I'm bored, because for the foreseeable future, all the research for my book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words," seems to have been completed. Occasionally some little tweak will occur to me in the middle of the night--I seem to have the entire book in my head--and I'll make that change. But even those kinds of adjustments may be at an end. There are bound to be a few errors, which for the most part, only I would notice. I still can't bear to watch my documentary, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America," lest I see something I missed. I was amused to find a video of an event, at which Pennan, the little Scottish town where they filmed "Local Hero," staged a screening of the film some 25 years later. Bill Forsyth, the writer/director, said to the admiring fan who put the event together that he hadn't watched it all the way through, in all that time. Presumably, he felt the same way I do.
This book is so inherently interesting, that it would induce any normal person to purchase it immediately, unless held back by either of two factors: 1) he or she didn't believe it, or 2) he or she did believe it, and it was too frightening.
I'm still undecided about which it is for most people. Of course, we evaluate new information based on what we think we already know. Our assumptions act as an unconscious filter, dictating to us what we can perceive, and what we can't. We know, for example, that we are our physical bodies; we are animals, only; and our brains produce the effect of consciousness. Therefore, reincarnation is impossible, because there is nothing which could reincarnate. Nothing can survive the destruction of the body. Reincarnation is to be either indulged as a myth, or ridiculed, but never taken as a serious possibility.
We also know that marriage is "til death do us part" (and so far as we know, has always been that way); and that a relationship cannot survive death, nor could it possibly grow over multiple lifetimes to such a degree of intimacy, that a man, finding that his soul-mate is currently not incarnate, would wish to resume that relationship with her in spirit.
Finally, we know that Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol"; and we know that Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Raven." If one happens to be a historian of 19th century literature, one knows that Samuel Clemens wrote the humorous story that got him into so much hot water, when he read it at John Greenleaf Whittier's 70th birthday party. And, there are several other attributions of less famous writers which one has learned by rote and accepted as being genuine.
Speaking of poet John Greenleaf Whittier, one may know that he was a deep thinker and a sincere paragon of Quaker virtue.
But what if all of the above was wrong? What if I could prove it?* Wouldn't this book be worth buying?
People want you to prove things quickly; at the same time, the skeptical dictum is, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." But since when can you prove something extraordinary, in 100 words or less? I was able to disprove all of the assumptions I've stated, above; but it took me 1,700 pages (in Word, 12 point type). That's including copious images and a very large appendix; but, still. It's a long book.
It's also a very entertaining book, both because so much of Mathew Franklin Whittier's writing is included by way of example--and he really was brilliant--and because of the detective work involved. That's for people who like to use their brain.
I happened to see the History Channel recently, after not having viewed it since it first came on the air. I was shocked at how sensationalized it has become. It's so extreme, that it's really cartoonish. They have ramped it up to the "nth" degree, to the point that for me, personally, it's practically unwatchable. Is this what the public has come to expect? Have they become so desensitized, that they require this kind of overstimulation to be able to pay attention for longer than five minutes?
I'm not pandering to that trend. Perhaps the public will catch me on the pendulum swing back; perhaps it will be the next generation, or the next. There are enough shocking discoveries--including proof--in my book to satisfy anyone. But you have to work a little for it. If you don't want to work for it, you can skip to what I call the "Scorecard summary" in the Appendix, but it won't mean so much to you unless you go on the journey with me.
Well, that's as close as I come to hawking my book. By God, I'm pleased with how it turned out. It's better than I ever could have hoped for, and much of that is due to the incredible discoveries I made along the way.
This book is not worth a nickle, no less $12, so long as you hold to the assumptions I laid out in the introduction, above. The very instant you challenge those assumptions, $12 is an absurdly low price for it.
It's "just a step away."
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*Meaning, to varying degrees of certainty. The reincarnation case itself is proven absolutely, to any fair-minded, rational person. Mathew Franklin Whittier's authorship of "The Raven" is strongly suggested by a preponderance of the evidence, as is his authorship of the story read out by Clemens; most of the rest lie somewhere in-between, but generally toward the high end. A reading of the entire book confirms them more strongly than a cursory reading, because the clues are interconnected and build upon one another. Several of the historical claims of other writers to Mathew's work, and that of his first wife, Abby Poyen, are disproven outright.
Music opening this page: "Awaken,"
by Eric Johnson, from the album, "Up Close"