I still don't feel like writing blog entries to people who aren't interested enough to even consider purchasing my book...but now, having completed keying in a few hundred of my past-life journalistic works from the early 1830's, I'm going back and saving jpegs of a few select originals (some were pdfs, some photographs, and I own a handful of physical copies). This one is a good example of 18-year-old Mathew having complete control, as junior editor, of the editorial page; and the mock-sermon is particularly good (his biographer tells us he is known to have given them in-person, on the seashore, for the benefit of onlookers). Note that Mathew reprints his own brother's essay on "dandies," referring to him only as "Friend Whittier."
Mathew often inserted himself into his humorous reports as an anonymous third person--I would bet, dollars-to-doughnuts, that the fellow who kept interrupting during the lyceum talk was Mathew, himself.
Finally, as regards the mock sermon, note that it is written on two levels, and contains, hidden within the humor, a serious theme--that of not being able to take the scriptures literally, because they contain logical errors and inconsistencies. This two-tiered method is also typical of Mathew's humorous sketches, which as I've said, were most-often astute teaching stories, concealing a depth of understanding quite at odds with his characters and the supericial appearance of the piece.
Oh, here's something interesting...this won't be proof to you, but it is, to me. I have noticed that things I have long felt inclined to say in jest, turn out to be things that Mathew, also, liked to say. For example, if my memory isn't playing tricks on me, for years I had the whim to say "arrivved" instead of "arrived." Then I discovered that Mathew, also, liked to write this--and apparently it wasn't used by everybody, because his fellow writers made particular note of it. It may have been a colloquialism at the time, but not one that most proper writers would use, perhaps.*
Anyway, I have for some time felt especially amused by variations on the joke of "our four fathers" (as opposed to "our forefathers"), as for example, "We owe all our success to our four fathers." Just now I ran across this filler, on an editorial page which, once again, shows evidence of 18-year-old Mathew being in charge:
Note the racy implications--that just four men fathered all the children! (I was the Lee Camp of the 19th century.) Now, just how many of your favorite jokes, habits, mannerisms, etc. come from your own past lives is an interesting question. I would bet it's a lot more than you'd ever imagine. What's instructive with my study, is that I can actually demonstrate this phenomenon, rather than simply theorize about it or claim it, as many reincarnation writers do. (While Dr. Jim Tucker still dismisses my study as having no research value.)
I was going to add this as a footnote, but I think I'll just continue for a minute. These examples are not sufficient to prove that my past-life match is genuine, in and of themselves. They are to be taken in the context of the match being proven as genuine by the study as a whole. They are valid in that context. Similarly, I was just thinking (while walking to the beach after writing the above), that Dr. Tucker's method (i.e., Dr. Stevenson's method) is like building a house with 30 huge stone blocks. There's nothing wrong with that. But you can also build a house with a couple thousand bricks. My study contains from three to five huge stone blocks (depending on how one judges them), and the rest is bricks of varying sizes.** But altogether, they make a very serviceable house. What Dr. Tucker did, being locked into the "huge stone block" method of building cases, was to refuse to look at any of my bricks (citing lack of time); instead, he deigned only to look at three huge stone blocks. Not seeing a house there (naturally, as the bricks were invisible to him), he pronounced it "not a house." Actually, he unfairly dismissed two of the blocks out-of-hand, while grudgingly owning that the third one might be a block. And that was it.
What should have happened, were he being fair and honest with me, is that he should have acknowledged that the three strongly-verified past-life memories were suggestive enough that my study clearly merited more serious attention. That he didn't, may have had to do with professional jealousy; it may have had to do with prejudice against hypnosis-based reincarnation research (one of my three memories, which he blithely dismissed, was obtained through hypnosis, while the one he acknowledged might have merit, was not); it might have had to do with prejudice against any research method aside from the classical Stevensonian method. It might have had to do with academic snobbery, and a disdain for anyone with a lesser degree and lesser official credentials; it might have had to do with prejudice against anyone who claims to have made their own past-life match. I can't get into the man's mind to ferret out his motives--I only know he wasn't being fair or honest with me. This is a serious problem for someone who, presumably, claims to be continuing with Stevenson's stated beliefs, that "when the ball is in you call it in, and when it's out, you call it out."
I reminded him that the existence of one white crow proves not all crows are black--and if I have three strongly verified, idiosyncratic past-life memories in my study, the chances are very, very good that it's a genuine match. His response? That William James was referring to cases (i.e., Leonora Piper), not pieces of evidence. I told him that, being a philosopher, William James was setting forth a principle. His response? Nothing. He avoided it (which is easy to do in an e-mail exchange), because he knew I was right--and in a debate, if you can avoid acknowledging a correct statement, you win, even though your opponent was right. I told him he was using skeptical sophistry on me, and he refused to acknowledge that, either. (Here's the thing--he may be a psychiatrist, and I may simply hold an unused master's in counseling, but he isn't smarter than I am.)
One would have to immerse oneself, with an open mind, in my study, in order to see the "house." It's definitely there--and the implications are both legion and powerful. Because there are a lot of bricks, and they all fit together. Each is connected in an integral fashion to the whole. For example, dozens and dozens of written pieces I discovered, at the 11th hour in this research, found in Mathew's earliest work which he wrote in his late teens, clearly and specificially prefigure work he did 20 years later. One can also see the progression from him being a skeptic, to his young wife Abby's influence in teaching him metaphysics, to his championing Spiritualism in the 1850's. Likewise for Abolition--he started out as an advocate for Colonization, even though his brother was an Abolitionist; and as a result (presumably) of Abby's influence, he and she are writing powerful pro-Abolition pieces together some seven years later, after they had married.
One can also see evidence of the shunning that resulted. These things were prefigured in the two psychic readings I had at the outset of the study, as well as my own previously-recorded past-life impressions. And there is much, much more. But you can't see this tapestry of interconnected evidence by looking at three strongly proven past-life memories. They are there, alright, and two or three others I didn't share with Dr. Tucker. They are the necessary--but perhaps, not sufficient--condition for my study being proven genuine. But if you take all the bricks together with the big stones, you now have all the necessary and sufficient conditions met to prove my own individual match, and with it, reincarnation itself.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*There is a very interesting back-story to this example. Mathew, a traveling postal inspector, was in deep grief for his first wife, some nine years after her death, and this was an anniversary date--May 1st, the day (as I have determined) that he had proposed to her. So here, he denies he can write poetry, for lack of the proper mood, having returned to Boston at the inn where he rooms and dines. But elsewhere, he has written the most exquisitely beautiful unsigned tribute to her, speaking of experiencing her in visitation dreams. Tracing his travel route, he would have written the poem in the morning, and this travelogue entry that evening, upon arriving in Boston. I'm pretty sure I have my facts right, though some extrapolating is involved. It was typical of him to hide his true feelings--and his true abilities--in this manner. The "pudding" he asks for was (based on other travelogue entries) green corn pudding, which I have a hunch Abby used to make for him. When he makes an exaggerated show of loving the green corn pudding at Milliken's, he is making a secret tribute to Abby's--these are things I picked up on that nobody else at the time would have ever guessed. Some of them I was able to verify, through out-of-context references seemingly "tossed off" in his writings; some of them, like this one, I never did find a supporting reference for.
**Meaning, not that I have a handful of very large blocks and the rest are all little bricks. Rather, I have a handful of very large blocks (of the Stevensonian type), quite a few more about half that size, a few dozen a tenth that size, and a plethora of small bricks. To drop the analogy, this means that I have a handful of proven memories which were detailed, idiosyncratic, and immune from the cryptomnesia objection; perhaps 20 (just pulling a figure out of the air) that are not quite so strong, perhaps 40 that have some wiggle room but are nonetheless impressive, and I don't know how many which can't stand as proof by themselves, but taken together form a preponderance of evidence. Perhaps there are 200 of these, just guessing, with the piece of evidence I've shared here being classed among the weaker ones. In the Stevensonian method one would simply discount them; but none of those cases involve an author who published over a thousand articles, stories, poems, travelogues, etc. which were discovered after the relevant past-life impressions had been recorded; and which--because they were published in period newspapers which are not readily available--could not reasonably have been seen beforehand.
Music opening this page: "Song For Lynette" by Eric Johnson, from the album, "Venus Isle"