I noticed a telling figure in my online stats, regarding my recent entry which reports visiting my past-life gravesite. I shot two videos with my first-ever cell phone there--one a "selfie," with the grave marker over my shoulder, and the other a running commentary about the row of Whittier graves, and my real-time feelings as I put myself in that situation.
Because I am new to cell phones, and also new to the free video editing software I downloaded, the videos are unedited except for cutting the file size about in half. Still, they take 2-3 minutes to load. The statistic is that no less than 25 people viewed the "selfie" video (which was presented in the text first), while only four people watched the longer one, where the real meat of the presentation is.
Furthermore, in the selfie video, I basically make a fool of myself. The shadow on my face from my baseball cap, makes it look like I have a skin disease; wide-angle lenses always make people look cartoonish, with large noses (mine is already substantial, as was Mathew's in my previous life); I say the stone is over my right shoulder, when it appears over my left (because, as I gather, the monitor image on the phone is reversed, like a mirror?), and then I keep trying to zoom in, when that feature isn't available in selfie mode.
But I get it together, and kick it into gear, in the second video--the one that only four people were interested enough to wait for.
All this reminds me of nothing so much as the scene in Star Wars, where Luke meets Yoda for the first time. The casual visitor is deterred from delving further into the matter, because he is confirmed in his belief that I am a clown. Thus, you inadvertently insure that you get what you expect to get.
Yesterday, I visited Back Cove, a small bay here in Portland. It came up in my research, when I discovered a brief article in the Nov. 29, 1853 Portland "Advertiser," as follows:
The 19th-century shore of Back Cove has been filled in quite a bit, so where one stands, today, was probably quite a ways into the water (or ice, when it had frozen over).* Mathew must have gone there to think, and watch the children skate; or perhaps he was keeping an eye on his own son, Charles, who would have been about 11 at this time. He had been separated from his second wife (a family-arranged marriage) for about four years, and he was traveling, but when in Portland he probably took his children to places like this.
No past-life memories, either cognitive or emotional, surfaced for me when I was at Back Cove. Lots of people were walking and jogging along the hard-packed dirt trail which lines the shore, and there are some apartments nearby I'm interested in. It's not frozen over, now, obviously. Basically, nothing except the water, itself, would be as it was in the mid-1850's.
This is the scientific approach (i.e., no results is still results)--not what the skeptics are doing. I am putting myself there, and recording whatever happens. If I think the stone is over my right shoulder, when it's really over my left, that's what happened. If I was so new to my phone that I didn't know I can't zoom in, in selfie mode, that's what happened. If I didn't have any past-life flashbacks, that's what happened. And if, for a very brief instant, the whole scene suddenly struck me as being like a miniaturized 3D image, that's also what happened. Posterity can make sense of it, and they can laugh along with me at the goofs. But I am still only the second person I know of to be filmed at his own past-life gravesite (and I videotaped the first one, Jeff Keene).
See what you have eyes to see, you will.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*I later learned that the area in question would have been on the opposite shore, nearer the city proper. Mathew probably would have rescued the boy near where the expressway stands, today.
Music opening this page, "Walk of Life," by Dire Straits,
from the album, "Brothers in Arms"