Valentines Day has arriv...I could tell you what Valentines Day means to me, but then, who would read it?
In the last couple of entries, I have been drawing parallels between my earlier incarnation, and myself as I am, today. I have had the inclination to jokingly say "arriv" all my life, as long as I can remember...but when I learned that in my past life, as Mathew Franklin Whittier, writing a travelogue under the pseudonym "Quails," I also was fond of saying, "arriv," I realized just how much in our current lifetime is a carryover from the past. It even goes to pet expressions.
Mathew seems to have allowed comic author B.P. Shillaber, his editor for the "Carpet-Bag," to poke light-hearted fun at his relationship with his soul-mate, his first wife, Abby, across the Great Divide--or, as he termed it, "over the way." Similarly, I sometimes find myself writing about the same relationship, now, knowing full-well that a high percentage of my general audience is going to be snickering at me. In the pieces written (presumably) by Shillaber, I, as Mathew, became a character called "The Sensitive Man"; but when the Sensitive Man had been gently lampooned, his poetry was Mathew's real poetry to Abby, "Over the Way." Each of several poems was given the same title, "Over the Way."
Just so, in this lifetime I allow myself to be ridiculed so that some few people may get the message.
I notice, this morning, in my website stats, that my article, "Proving Reincarnation (With a Method Anyone Can Use)," has reached 219 hits, mid-month. It's the highest-ranked page in the entire website. By way of comparison, the number of people who have listened--voluntarily or involuntarily (depending on the browser) to the theme music which opens the home page, is only 191. This, of course, means that someone is graciously linking to it. I haven't tried to figure out who it is. I have mixed feelings. Theoretically, people would read what I have to say about my method, and then investigate what I have done with it. But that isn't what the stats are telling me. This Updates page is at 109; the supporting page for my book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words," which describes my own pilot self-study, stands at 65; and the number who have looked at the point-of-purchase website is a Goose Egg (likewise sales).
That means a lot of people are interested in my method; but they are bypassing me, and my own efforts.
This, too, was Mathew's experience. People wanted to know how he did it, so they could achieve money and fame for themselves, through his technique. They had little interest in promoting him or his work. Mathew was extensively imitated and plagiarized. Several of the imitators became famous and wealthy. I won't give you a list, here, because, like sharing my thoughts about Valentines Day, you may stop reading.
So I should not be too surprised, if people want to use my method. As regards continuing a relationship across the Great Divide, there is someone promoting this idea very aggressively, using every commercial technique in the book.(1) This is the person who will be credited with the idea. I'm not saying she's stealing from me--I'm saying she's not the only one, but the people who "go commercial" are the ones that come to the public's attention.
My Guru, Meher Baba, made a very interesting point about false spiritual masters. He said that it is the false seekers who are drawn to them. Interpolating my own reaction, here, I would say that in a sense, they deserve each other. The ratio of real seekers to false seekers is, I would guess, something like 5% to 95%. If you are reading this far down the page, you may be a real seeker.
But even if people use my article to popularize the method, they are playing right into my hands. That's because my motives, in writing that article, were only secondarily to drive people to my book. That intention failed (at least, so far); but the more important goal, was to break the propaganda lie which says, "Reincarnation can't be proven." How many times have you heard that? "There is some compelling evidence, but when all is said and done, reincarnation can never be proven."
And to some extent, it may be deliberate bullshit, i.e., part of an organized disinformation campaign. Chris Carter documents some of this in his book, "Science and Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics." These pithy memes do not only go viral by themselves--they are helped along, if not created outright, by people who want to keep the public in the dark.
Now, you may say, "But didn't Dr. Ian Stevenson, the foremost reincarnation researcher, say that his evidence for reincarnation was merely 'suggestive'?"
Yes, he did say that, and I would interpret he did so for two distinctly different reasons. First of all, there is no "proof" in science (except perhaps in mathematics). There are only theories, for which such compelling evidence is presented, that the scientific community as a whole, being able to replicate the results, signs off on it. But the scientific method breaks down when the work is done, but the editors of scientific journals refuse to publish it; or, if they publish it, the scientific community goes into irrational collective denial, and refuses to sign off.
That is what happened to Dr. Stevenson (and still happens, today, to his successor, Dr. Jim Tucker). Faced with this aggressive rejection, Dr. Stevenson chose to make a more modest claim. But when I interviewed philosophy professor Robert Almeder for my documentary, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America," he protested. He said "suggestive" didn't go far enough.
Given that "proof" is a layman's term, which has no place in science, reincarnation can be studied and verified as a genuine phenomenon, just as well as many other intangible objects of study. I won't go into the examples. The point is, the problem is not in verifying the existence of reincarnation. The problem is the lack of societal will to do so. The method I outlined is obvious, to anyone who doesn't irrationally believe--because of the meme--that it is impossible.
The logic train goes like this: Dr. Gary Schwartz, of the University of Arizona, has demonstrated that mediumship can be real. He has not proven that psychics can get real details of past lives--but this has been done outside the laboratory (as in my own study). If you grant that this is possible, then you don't just use one or two psychics, as I did. You use, say, 10 of them (that is, if you have a grant, or a benefactor). Ten who have already been verified as genuine, using Dr. Schwartz's method.
Then, you combine that with several hypnotic regressions, done under certain controlled conditions--the first control being that you use a subject who is honest and rigorous (there are personality tests to indicate this). This person is given instructions to only report what he or she subjectively experiences, unbidden, as it were, and not to indulge in flights of fancy or imagination. This is what Capt. Robert Snow did--initially, as a skeptic--in his own case.
Then, you triangulate the clues from the ten psychics (who, of course, should not be permitted to know of their subject, or to discuss the case with each other(2)), and the results of the hypnotic regression sessions. Very likely, you will be able to identify a historical past life, at least in a certain percentage of cases. Australian psychologist Peter Ramster did, and you will be able to, as well.
Then, my own method, or something like it, kicks in. If the subject is exposed to information from this past life, and his or her reactions (including emotional reactions) are recorded, those reactions can be systematically compared with the historical record.(3) It was awkward for me to apply this method to myself, but I have been practicing strict self-honesty since my late teens, which makes me uniquely qualified to try it. Neither as Mathew, nor as Stephen, today, have I ever sold my soul. (Honesty demands, however, that I report that I am seriously considering buying one--a Kia Soul, that is.)
I was successful in my study, even to scientific standards, I would say. Studying myself, my method could not, by its very nature, be as clean and straightforward as a design where a researcher was studying a separate subject, who is not told how accurate he has been until the end. But I accomplished the result, nonetheless.
What happens when this method is widely put into practice? Well, lots of slop, of course, as people try to commercialize it, or bastardize it in other ways. But the end result could be, that it becomes as popular as genealogical research is, today. And genealogical research is a big business. Go to Thanksgiving Dinner, and somebody in the family is an amateur genealogist, and has worked up the family tree.
Now, we go into the future a couple of generations, when my method of investigating one's own past lives has become as popular as genealogical research is, today. At that Thanksgiving Dinner, five people there have verified one or more of their own past lives. When reincarnation hits this level of social validation, the shit will hit the fan. Past-life therapy will become the first-tier medicine of choice (not the ultimate last, as things stand now). The use of prescription medicines will fall drastically; the necessity for surgeries will likewise drop. That's just the tip of the iceberg. "Paulinity" (i.e., Paul's influence in Christianity) will dwindle, while the Vedanta that my Guru said Jesus taught will replace it. The Gospel of Thomas will be added to the New Testament (Jesus gives a parable confirming the Vedantic view of reincarnation in that Gospel--see my home page). And much, much, much more.
And it all (or, at least some of it) will have started with this little article, even if my own contribution is ignored--once again.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
1) Undoubtedly she is aware of my work, which precedes hers by several years, but so far as I know she has never cited nor acknowledged it. She is a psychotherapist with a doctorate, but I have a masters in counseling, so I am technically a colleague in her own profession. Her method relies on visualization, as I understand it, which is irrelevant and unnecessary; but my "method" can't be packaged or sold like a visualization technique can be. I did try to contact her once, when she first came out with it, trying to explain to her that it was unnecessary; but I got no response from her.
2) Nor should the subject be permitted to know the results of the psychic readings, until the conclusion of the study, except inasmuch as he or she will obviously know that one past-life personality has been chosen for the invesgitation. The subject should not be permitted to do any research on his or her own--a potential weak point in the method, if the subject can't resist the temptation and doesn't report this to the researcher. Here again, it is crucial to have a strictly honest subject.
3) With the understanding that the historical record can be severely compromised. I found that between rumors which became "fact" with repetition, and deliberate falsifications which went undetected, there is a great deal of misinformation in the historical record. This simply means that contra-indications can't be taken at face value, but must be investigated and cross-checked before they are accepted as valid history. I have demonstrated in this blog how many errors were introduced as regards Mathew Franklin Whittier's personal biography, no less spurious claims for his published works.
Music opening this page: "Awaken" by Eric Johnson, opening the album, "Up Close"