I want to emphasize that while my initial idea may have been to prove reincarnation once again, over the last several years it has evolved into a study of what an ordinary person is always experiencing from his or her past lives, in the normal waking state of consciousness. For this, of course, you have to establish a genuine past-life match. I established mine beyond any reasonable doubt--as I am fond of saying--several times over. This way, the issue of whether it is real or not is squarely put behind us. If people remain in denial and can't go there, even though logic clearly dictates it, then that isn't my fault. My study isn't for those people.
There is a fellow here who, having sadly sold his cherished sailboat some years ago, is still all about things nautical. He loves boats, and charts, and the weather, and everything about sailing and the sea. Perhaps you have seen a caricature of such a person on the British sitcom, "As Time Goes By," in the character of "Mrs. Bale," who continually monitors the weather on the English Channel. But this fellow is for real--and where does this passion come from? I would bet the house he was a seaman in a past life--and given that he also enjoys cooking for a group of guys, and likes to keep his pantry and kitchen neat, I might venture a further guess that he was the cook. But the important thing to take away, here, is that this phenomenon applies to us all.
The only thing I'm doing that's different from what everybody else experiences (other than some of the accomplishments made in this particulart the past-life), is the fact that I have solidly and painstakingly proven it is a real match. Having done so, I can now record my reactions to places connected with that lifetime.
Mathew Franklin Whittier, younger brother of poet John Greenleaf Whittier, was born in Haverhill, Mass. He eloped with his first wife, Abby Poyen, to Dover, New Hampshire, where they lived for about a year and a half. Being discovered in their abolitionist views, and shunned, they returned to Amesbury, Mass., near Haverhill (where they were shunned, as well); considered moving to Michigan; ended up living with extended family in the area after their first son died in a local scarlet fever epidemic; and then went to live in Portland, Maine in 1839. Abby died of consumption in March of 1841; Mathew remained there, entering into an unfortunate, family-arranged second marriage a year later. He left Portland in 1861, having been "outed" as the author of the anti-slavery letters of "Ethan Spike" in 1857. From 1857 until 1861 (i.e., the start of the Civil War), it appears that Mathew was blacklisted in Portland; with influence from his brother, he obtained an "office," or government-appointed position, with the Boston Custom House. It's possible this also made Mathew immune from being drafted as an officer (or, he thought it might make him so). He had been strongly opposed to the practice of "office seeking" before this time, but had to humble himself to the extent of indulging in it.
So Mathew lived in Portland a little over 20 years. He really didn't like Boston, and he felt trapped at the Custom House, but never was able to leave. Someone was trying to arrange a job for him in Washington in 1863, but he wisely turned it down because Washington was largely pro-slavery at the time; and his reputation was now known, at least by his enemies.
Recently I reported visiting the Portland Head Light, where I experienced the first clear past-life memory since I arrived in Portland on the 10th of this month. Very soon, I intend to visit Mathew's grave in Union Cemetery, in Amesbury, Mass. This is where his brother chose to have his body interred. I feel it is not what Mathew wanted. But John Greenleaf needed to have the entire family, as represented in his big hit, "Snow-Bound," all in the family plot. If Mathew chose to be buried elsewhere, it would sound a sour note in the whole thing. It would be a signal that all was not well in paradise. At the same time, Mathew is buried as far away from John Greenleaf, in the plot, as possible.
So yesterday I located precisely where the plot is, and obtained driving directions. I was going to go today (it's not quite 6:00 a.m. as I write this), but I have some administrative things to take care of. I may possibly make it this afternoon, if all goes smoothly. It's supposed to be a very nice day--more like the weather I left in North Myrtle Beach, SC than Maine February weather.
I know of three people who have been to their own gravesite. One of them, Jeff Keene, I videotaped and interviewed in front of his tombstone. That interview appears in my documentary, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America." This is probably a world first, though of course I get no credit for it. The second is Capt. Robert Snow, author of "Looking for Carroll Beckwith." Jeff was relatively non-plussed, but Capt. Snow found it unnerving. The third is simply known to me as an anecdote about my Guru, Meher Baba. As he and some of his men were driving in India, Baba was amused to see a Mohammedan praying at the tomb of a saint. (I think, that like some Christian denominations, they consider anyone who has passed over in the faith, a saint.) Baba said that the man was actually praying at his own tomb!
There may be more instances--I'm just not aware of them. In any case, I intend to shoot a selfie video there, if there aren't other people around, much as I did at the Portland Head Light, recording my reactions in real time. I am not an actor, nor am I given to dramatizing. I will record precisely what I feel, as I have been trained to do in my master's level counseling training. I will not embellish anything. Do you trust me? So much of this boils down to trust. I have proven my case as genuine, if you trust me. If you don't trust me--including the trust to accept that I am not lying to myself--then all bets are off. But it remains with you to be honest with yourself in this evaluation--which is to say, not to be self-serving in your assessment of my honesty or lack thereof. In that case, my supposed dishonesty becomes a tool in supporting your denial. I have no interest in being a tool to support your denial.
So we shall see. I rather anticipate not feeling anything at all. This is what has happened when I visited most of the other sites--now radically changed--connected with Mathew's life in Portland. Also, this is a bit different. Mathew would never have seen this grave, except from outside his physical body. So if I remember anything, I would be remembering what he thought and felt after his death. I have had what I believe to be one memory flashback from the period immediately after a death, during the funeral service. Not for Mathew, but for another, unidentified past life. So if that flashback was real, then it is possible.
I do suspect that Mathew may have remained earthbound for a time after his passing, due to the emotions of felt betrayal, and the desire for revenge. After he died, he would have suddenly seen that just about all the people in his life at that time, had been false to him. I know, from his writings, that he did have a penchant for revenge. So this would have kept him from ascending to the higher astral spheres, at least for a time. That being the case, he would have seen his own grave and tombstone. I do know that John Greenleaf chose a minister, Rev. James Freeman Clarke, who would not have been to Mathew's liking. There's even the possibility that they had crossed swords (both being masked by pseudonyms) some years earlier, when Mathew harshly critiqued one of Julia Ward Howe's poetry books. The poetry was, indeed awful--but it appears she was going to use the proceeds to help fund John Brown's planned raid. Mathew was aligned with William Lloyd Garrison, and very likely could have caught wind of the plot. He would have panned the book specifically to reduce sales. All that intrigue is documented in my book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words." But the man who defended Howe wrote under a printer's dagger, while Mathew wrote under an asterisk, or "star." He had used that enigmatic pseudonym, on occasion, since the earliest days of his friendship with Abby, when she was only 12 or 13 years old, and was acting as his tutor in the classics--and on an informal basis, in metaphysics, as well. But, I digress.
So because this minister was personal friends with Julia Ward Howe and her husband (being the one who suggested to her that she re-write her poem, "John Brown's Body," which then became the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"), I strongly suspect that he was the "dagger." How bitterly ironic it would have seemed, to Mathew, for this man, who knew nothing of his accomplishments and didn't understand him, to be in effect damning him with faint praise, at his funeral. It was not the only such bitter irony in Mathew's life, but it would certainly have been the crowning one.
Do you see how personal this is? I hope you do. It would be the same for you, if you uncovered a genuine past-life match. It would be much, much more than historical research.
I'll report back, hopefully with another video clip to share, after I can get over to Union Cemetery.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page, "Take a Pebble," by Emerson, Lake and Palmer,
from their debut album