Okay, this is kind of an interesting one. I just got finished sharing a bit of proof, i.e., evidence for my past-life impressions being actual. And today, I stumbled upon another. I'm not going to present the evidence itself--that's in my book. But I'll describe it in general terms.
Back in year 2009, when I first started formally researching my past-life case, my researcher at that time stumbled upon a list of my past-life co-workers, at the Boston Custom House. This is the latter portion of Mathew Franklin Whittier's life, when he had been forced by circumstances (and shunning, due to his liberal views) to take a government-appointed clerical position--something he was ideologically against. He was forced to retired from ill health in or as of Sept. 1882, had a life-threatening health crisis at the end of that year and died on Jan. 7, 1883.
So my researcher sends me this list, which I'd never seen before, and my job is simply to react to it. I picked out one name, based on my feelings, as having been a friend. Subsequently, I found, online, a story which was published the year after Mathew's death. It struck me, intuitively, as Mathew's own writing--but it was published after he died, and it was signed by the friend. It appeared to be an account of a sight-seeing trip they took together, right after he retired. This was very early in the research--at that time, I didn't realize how much Mathew kept his identity hidden, how much he had published, or how often people stole from him (sometimes, seemingly, with his blessing; other times not).
So I struggled to come up with an explanation, especially since one of the jokes made by the writer sure struck me as Mathew's sense of humor. I finally came to a sort of compromise solution--it looked as though Mathew must have gone on the trip, which is described in the article, with his friend; and his friend simply reported this humorous remark, which Mathew had made.
There the matter stood for years--until today, actually. I had the whim--and this one came out of the blue, as it seems (and hence may have been my Abby's prompting, from the astral world)--to go back to this article and key it in completely, for my digital archives. But it has been many years since I last read it, and I have made many discoveries of Mathew's written works since then. Lo and behold, there is another passage in there which is clearly a rehash of a favorite bit used in some of Mathew's previous reports. Three of them, to be exact. In other words, he liked this particular gag so much, he used it three times over the years (once, under his signature, and again, under two pseudonyms I have proven as his); and then, once more in this final article, which his friend appears to have published posthumously under his own name.
That identifies it as his work, and not his friend's writing. This, in turn, simply means that when I recognized the article as Mathew's work, but couldn't let myself admit it because of the date and the signature, my intuition was correct, after all. But the evidential part of it is, when I picked this fellow's name out of a list of something like eight names, just based on my emotional reaction and the feeling of recognition, I was correct. This was indeed Mathew's friend, with whom he went on this excursion. And I had no normal way to have known it.
Let's see, what are the standard skeptical objections. Chance? My researcher actually sent me this same list twice, 2-3 months apart, as I recall. It was long enough that I'd forgotten it, and yet, I picked out the same name, a second time. Maybe I just got lucky. That's the skeptical go-to explanation.
Another one is that Mathew was equally friends with all of his co-workers, so no matter which name I'd picked, I would have been right. It just so happens I got lucky, in picking the guy who published his story after he died. But that would have been the one he shared the story with, probably, unless he passed it around to everybody in the office. So, while there is a mention of "friends" (plural) going on this trip, logically it is more likely that the one Mathew shared the story with, was the closet one.*
The final resort for skeptics is to charge fraud. Well, if I've committed fraud, I've been incredibly thorough. In my book, I give the dates of all these research events. When the researcher sent the list; how I reacted to it (dated by e-mail); how my analysis progressed, through different theories. And it was today that I made the connection with the similar pieces I'd discovered in the interim. My discovery of each of those is recorded, as well.
I'm not perpetrating a giant hoax. You can shelve that one.
These little bits are unlikely to convince anyone, by themselves. What they do is to provide another piece of the puzzle; another corner of the tapestry (see previous Update). Once again, because this is a genuine past-life match, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. No matter where I poke it, I come up with supportive evidence.
This study has the potential to demonstrate just what people are actually remembering about their past lives all the time. It isn't total recall--but it isn't nothing, either. It's somewhere in-between. We just don't have any conceptual place to put it in modern society, so to us, it doesn't exist. But it exists, alright. Have you always loved cold weather? Have you always liked to use a lot of butter? Have you always been afraid of heights? Do you feel like you've known this or that person, before? And on, and on, and on... These are the impacts of past-life memory on your present life. Again, the study I'm doing makes it possible to see precisely how, and what, I'm remembering in a normal state of consciousness. Rules, and patterns, begin to emerge from such a study. You can begin to see what kind of memory is operating even in normal consciousness, and how it affects you in your daily life. The effect, I believe, is profound. Past-life therapy is beginning to understand it, where severe phobias are concerned. But this is more comprehensive, and more subtle. This is how past-life memory, of one kind or another--emotional, recognition, etc.--is affecting you all the time. And my study is rigorous, with the normal explanations painstakingly and rigorously eliminated. Or, as rigorous as I can make it in a self-funded pilot study where I am filling the dual roles of subject and researcher.
Well, if nobody is going to buy my book, due to lack of interest, I can't see wearing myself out trying to explain this. I'm going back to my proofreading.
I bought a copy of this edition from 1884, which holds Mathew's last, posthumously-published story, this afternoon. It will probably have its own little display box in the modest museum which I think will someday house the relics of this study, and of Mathew's life. Should make a nice addition.
Oh, I forgot to mention. This fellow turned out to be a distant relative.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
I was rushing around with caretaking chores when I wrote the above...now I have a bit of time to relax in the evening before I turn in. I was thinking about the poignancy of reading letters and accounts that I wrote just months before my death in Jan. of 1883. It's an odd feeling--it seems so final, one's last illness and death. Nevermind philosophy, but it's a joke, of sorts. It's not final, except in certain senses.
I'm looking at these letters and writings, and I'm thinking, "What, actually, died?" Certainly that body, which was 70 years old. That personality is gone, but it didn't die. It is just below the surface, I think, and could bob up again under the right circumstances. My personality is jogged over about 10 degrees or so, is the best I could describe it. While I am doing my caretaking chores, for example, I can feel that as Mathew, I would have been far more impatient with them. I was sharper, mentally, less emotionally mature, and more mercurial. I had with me, in short, more of the sailor that I had been in the previous lifetime, than I do, now. But I still carry the residue of many still-earlier lives--like a rabbi of ancient times, apparently--which Mathew, of course, also carried. All his stories were really teaching stories, as one might see in the Jewish or Sufi traditions. Nobody ever figured that out, I think, except myself, today. Maybe William Lloyd Garrison figured it out, when he published four of them; or psychic Andrew Jackson Davis, when he published one.
Having studied this past life deeply and continuously for some eight years now, I do feel that it is just below the surface. I feel that subconsciously, I am about half Mathew. I can't explain it. But this tells me that one never really dies. Did your teenage self "die" because you are now 40, or 50, or (like myself) in your early 60's? However you answer that question--"yes" or "no" or "in a sense yes, and in a sense no," that is about the same sense in which I could say that Mathew Franklin Whittier died. I wouldn't want to go back to being him, entirely, because as said, he was less emotionally mature, and more confused. He was also deeply grieving all of his life after losing his soul-mate, Abby, and I have reconnected with her again, so for the first time in a century and a half, I am not grieving. I was grieving, subconsciously, all of this lifetime until I found Abby.
So I certainly wouldn't want to go back to that.
But I have also retained, or rediscovered, his mission, and his causes. I haven't retained all of them--after all, the world has changed, and I have progressed in my understanding. But even though his causes have morphed to some extent in my own life, today, still, I carry them forward.
You have to understand that Mathew committed "legacy suicide." He hid his light under a bushel to such an extent, that nobody knew all that he had accomplished. As I've mentioned, before, his sole biographer believed he had published about 66 installments of one humorous character; whereas I have found that he published at least 650 pieces in several different genres, using scores of pseudonyms and a variety of characters.
But I distinctly remember yogi Baba Hari Dass, when I attended a retreat that he led in 1974, saying, "Nothing is ever lost." I get confused as to which things I remember him saying, vs. which things I read in his "Yellow Book." But I think he said that in my presence ("said" meaning, he wrote it on a chalk board and someone spoke it out for him).
It is literally true. All these identities, and their accomplishments, are surely in the Akashic Record; but more than that, they resurface in subsequent incarnations. Somehow, they come back, like bread thrown on the water. As hopelessly scattered as Mathew's legacy was, I have largely pieced it back together. It includes, if I am not mistaken, pieces like "The Raven" and "A Christmas Carol" (the latter co-authored with Abby) that people now believe were written by better-known names. I will be vindicated in this, however crazy it sounds to you, now.
So Mathew's legacy has been resurrected, and I believe it will take its place, eventually. Not necessarily a huge place. An appropriate place. Because this is the lesson I learned--let your achievements take their natural place. Trying to squelch them, is as much pride as trying to artificially inflate them.
There is that strange, strange time in life when one's body is falling apart, and when the end is approaching. It seems that all is lost, and death will win. But one of Mathew's best friends, George Bradburn, was asked by his wife, Frances, if he was afraid of dying, when his end approached. He replied, "No more than I would be of going into that other room."
When the time comes for me to go, I intend to remember George's words.--S
*I also felt very strong personal recognition for this fellow's photograph, when I ran across it some years after picking his name from the list. Of course, this doesn't count as evidence, per se. It told me, however, that I was on the right track.
Music opening this page: "The Inspector" by Wally Badarou, from the album, "Echoes"