The New York Times once dubbed Dorothy Eady “one of the Western World’s most intriguing and convincing modern case histories of reincarnation.” Born in 1904, Dorothy was raised in London, but -- according to Dorothy -- she had previously lived a past life in ancient Egypt.
When Dorothy was three years old, she fell down a flight of stairs and suffered severe injuries. In fact, the doctor who arrived at her home initially declared Dorothy dead. Yet, when the doctor returned only an hour later, Dorothy not only miraculously survived, but woke up with a completely new personality and demeanor. According to Dorothy, this fall had unlocked memories of her past life as an Egyptian woman named Bentreshyt, the lover of Pharaoh Sety I.
Dorothy soon after became engrossed in Egyptian history. She eventually moved from the UK to Egypt to study Ancient Egypt, and soon became one of the most respected Egyptologists worldwide. Her knowledge of the subject was, at the time, unparalleled. Later in life, Dorothy changed her name to Omm Sety, meaning “mother of Sety” -- the name of both her past live lover and her son.
Here are four of the most shocking and unexplained phenomenon surrounding Dorothy Eady’s life that point to her reincarnation:
1. Her mysterious fall.
Mysterious activity has surrounded Dorothy since she was three years old. In 1907, Dorothy fell down a set of stairs and suffered such severe brain trauma that the doctor who visited thought she would not survive -- and even declared her dead. She was unconscious for an extended period of time, however, when the doctor returned only an hour later, he found Dorothy playing on her bed as if nothing had ever happened. After her fall, however, Dorothy’s demeanor and personality had completely changed.
According to Jim Tucker, a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia who specializes in past life research, evidence of previous lives often emerge in young children. And, Tucker contends, past lives often carry over more than just memories: many children exhibit behaviors and emotions “closely related to their previous life”. This was certainly the case with Dorothy Eady.
2. Her extremely vivid dreams.
Dorothy had extremely realistic dreams of living in Egypt -- according to her own accounts, in Dorothy’s past life she was a poor woman named Bentreshyt ("harp of joy"), a young orphan girl. When she was a teenager, her beauty was noticed by a visiting pharoah, Sety I, and the two became lovers. While their love was forbidden, and eventually lead to Bentreshyt’s death (by suicide), they had a very passionate affair.
According to Dorothy, Sety I would visit her often during her dreams during her present life, each time revealing more and more about her past life. While it is unclear if Benthreshyt ever really existed in ancient Egypt to historians, Jim Tucker has claimed that vivid dreams of a past life are often seen in children who are going through these types of experiences.
3. Her keen knowledge and interest in Egyptology.
As a child, Dorothy’s parents would often take her to the British Muesum to learn about the world (interestingly enough, she had been kicked out of Christian school for refusing to sing to a hymn with the line, “Curse the swart Egyptians”, in it). Dorothy would often spend hours running up and down the Egyptian hall, kissing the feet of the mummies and telling her parents “these are my people”. Her mother later claimed that when she was in the museum, her voice was “like that of a strange old woman rather than that of a child”.
As she grew older, Dorothy caught the eye of Ernest Wallis Budge, a respected Egyptologist and keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum. He began teaching her how to read Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Dorothy learned the language incredibly quickly, eventually committing several hundred of the pictographs to memory. When asked how she was able to learn the language so quickly, Dorothy replied, “I had known it all before, Now it is simply coming back to me.”
4. Her research is still used to this day.
Out of all of the evidence of Dorothy’s existence of a past life, this is certainly the most Compelling to me. Although she had limited formal training, Dorothy’s knowledge of Egyptology and archeology in the region where she was thought to once live is still unmatched by any other researcher. Of course, Dorothy claims, this is because she is not researching this subject for the first time, but rather reliving it. In fact, she even was able to discover new archeological dig sites apparently from memory. In one case, she let her fellow researchers know that there was a garden in one spot that had previously been unexplored, and, low and behold, when it had been excavated, the archaeologists found evidence of a new, undiscovered garden. Dorothy’s research is still used to this day to help Egyptologists find new dig sites.
To me, this evidence is compelling enough to point to the possibility of Omm Sety’s reincarnation. Dorothy passed away at the age of 81 in Abydos, Egypt, but its clear that her legend will live on for much longer.