I'm debating with myself whether to write this morning...I'm at loose ends, with nothing more to do on this project (which has admittedly become a way of life), until a microfilm reel of a historical newspaper arrives in the mail, which will probably be in the next day or two. I'm frustrated that I seemingly can't get anyone to take me seriously. It would seem that everyone has already made up their minds, and it doesn't matter what evidence I show them.
No doubt this is as it should be, in some larger scheme of things. This morning, on my daily beach walk, I saw a sand piper standing forlornly on one leg. I don't think those stand on one leg as a habit, the way seagulls do. At any rate it didn't run away, and these birds are usually very skittish. It looked sick and miserable. I'm thinking that with only one leg, it can't feed; and seeing one earlier, I had remarked to Abby that I never see them when they're not feeding. They have to bend over and continually poke into the sand; and I would guess they can't do that on one leg, so the poor thing was slowly starving to death. Probably monofilament line, or something man-made.
And I was helpless. What were my options? Take it home and furiously research how to feed it? Call Animal Rescue? I think it is better off to die a natural death, free by the pounding surf, than to die in a cage.
I share that because I feel the same way about the response to my project. Some part of me, no doubt, would like to be successful, and recognized for my accomplishment. I don't know about "famous"--that's a two-edged sword. But primarily, believe it or not, I want to make a contribution to easing human suffering. And in my estimation, human suffering is due to ignorance, meaning, specifically, spiritual ignorance. And the first step in alleviating spiritual ignorance is to clear up ignorant conceptions about spiritual things. The crying need, in this regard, is to reinstate a correct and deep understanding of reincarnation in Western culture.
But seemingly I can't help them--any more than I could help that bird.
I was just musing how many things I knew about my past life, through intuition, which have been subsequently verified in the course of my research, over the past eight years or so. Now, these hunches are dated, for the most part; and the discoveries which confirmed them are also dated. But these things are kind of amorphous, and not so suitable to prove, to a skeptic, that I have been having real past-life memories. There are just enough proofs of the "shock" variety in my study, to convince any open-minded person that this is a real case, a real past-life match. Just because two highly-intelligent people recently refused to be convinced, does not mean that they were being deeply honest with themselves; or that my evidence isn't up to the mark. It is.
But that isn't what this study is about. Neither was my documentary about proving reincarnation to be a real, actual phenomenon. This is for after it's been so-proven. Dr. Ian Stevenson's research proved reincarnation. That is so, even if the entire scientific community refuses to admit it. The magnolia tree in my (rented) yard is about to blossom with something like 50 flowers. That is true, whether you believe it, or not.
My study can be appreciated only when you get past this skeptical hurdle. Once you understand and accept that it's a real match, then you don't have to question each and every impression I had, with its concomitant historical validation. The same goes for believing in my veracity. Once you establish that I am reporting with strict honesty, you don't have to bring that issue up every time I report something. It is like any relationship, I suppose--the relationship begins to flourish after trust has been established.
What you can readily find about Mathew Franklin Whittier is that he was a worldly man, a nihilist, who wrote scathing political satire primarily using one character. That he was not nearly as talented a writer as his famous brother, John Greenleaf Whittier. That he had a brief marriage to an "attractive" girl in his mid-20's; and then remarried a year later, had three children, and abandoned his family. He then remarried soon afterward, or, possibly, shacked up with the third one, spending the last portion of his life as a clerk at the Boston Custom House.
That's about it. And boy, is that wrong. I wouldn't even know where to start, and I won't attempt to rebut all of that, because it would take too long, and that's not my point, here.
I will only say, don't trust what you read in the history books. Get into the period newspapers. Personal correspondence is fine, but here's the thing about looking in the library for someone's official papers--if the person wasn't famous, they aren't there. If the person was famous, the only things included in the collection are that person's interactions with other famous people. The things that people who are obsessed with fame and fashion thought important enough to include. No correspondence with an obscure person--unless he or she was family--is going to be in that collection. Nor will you find any "dirt," or very much of a deeply personal nature. So while collections of a person's papers aren't entirely useless, they are not nearly as helpful as one might think. I got some useful information from some of them. You want to know what I found most useful, after period newspapers? Ebay. Because Ebay is a long-shot, but when you find something, it hasn't been filtered. Not by editors, not by family, and not by curators. And in this case, the more obscure the person is, the less likely it is that the seller will know what he or she has.
With the above-described biographical info on MFW, and with a handful of his humorous sketches to start with, I knew immediately it wasn't right. I knew--and here I am trying to be strictly honest, and not insert things I learned subsequently--that he wrote in layers of meaning. I knew he embedded his own secret, personal autobiography in his works, and perhaps other coded references, as well. I knew (and some of this came from a psychic reading, and some from my own intuitive perception) that his first wife was his soul-mate, and that he grieved for her his entire life, despite remarrying twice. I knew he had one or more affairs, or relationships, with young women who reminded him of his first wife. I knew he didn't abandon his family. I knew that his second marriage was arranged by his family-of-origin--that they played on his guilt, getting him married to a sensible woman who would keep him in line. I knew he adored his children. I knew he was a deeply spiritual person, who had studied metaphysics and philosophy; and that he wrote in an attempt to reform society. (All I had found, to begin with, is that he had aligned himself with Abolitionism at some point.) I suspected he wrote far more than the humorous sketches he is credited with by historians. I knew he was very much like me--including being a deeply sensitive person, at least, underneath.
All this and more turned out to be true, as I gradually discovered evidence in the form of his published works, as well as some of his correspondence. It turns out he hid himself behind dozens and dozens of pseudonyms. Once I began to identify them, I could cross-reference them. I could trace his itinerary, for example, by comparing clues as to his whereabouts in the pieces written, during the same period, under these different pseudonyms. Pseudonym "A" wrote about New York State, at roughly the same time that pseudonym "B"--one that had already been established--was writing about New York City. The ones I was most sure of, could be used as a gauge against the ones which I was still unsure about.
And I am not just blowing smoke, here--all of the above points, which I initially perceived intuitively, have been verified--most of them many times over.
Some things gradually dawned on me in the course of the research, so it is difficult to pin-point a definite time when I felt them internally, vs. when I verified them in the historical record. I began to suspect, for example, that Mathew had functioned undercover as an agent of some kind for the cause of Abolition. I also began to feel that he had interviewed slaves.
Just this year, I verified both of these hunches. I mean, I nailed them--there is no question, whatsoever.
That Abby, Mathew's first wife, was the real and original author of "A Christmas Carol," with Mathew either collaborating or editing after the fact; and that Mathew was the real, original author of "The Raven," are not so much pie-in-the-sky as you might think. I can't clinch either one, but with the entire study taken into account as a whole, I have some pretty strong evidence for both of them. You don't believe me. That's fine.
Other things I felt and remembered only have a shred of historical evidence to back them up--now. But more evidence could very easily surface in the future, including, perhaps, after I've passed on. I think that some of this evidence would be more effective if it did wait to be revealed until after I die. "Oh, look--he said he felt this was true, but here we have actual proof of it." For some weird reason, I think that will have more weight, for people of the future, than my finding it, now.
Once I get over feeling rejected and disappointed at not being believed, today, I am struck by the irony of the whole thing. How odd that I could achieve something like this, and no-one take me seriously? How odd that I could write a book like this, and hardly anyone even think about purchasing it, no less actually buy it? How odd that it is available for a mere $12, and people don't appreciate it? They will spend money on the darndest things, but not on something which has the power to transform their lives, and Society, itself. Similarly, they will send and receive tweets all day long, and haunt their Facebook page for hours looking at pictures of kittens riding Great Danes, but when it comes to my e-book, they make the lame excuse, "Oh, I can't read on the computer."
I don't mean to lapse into cynicism. But you do know that there comes a time when one has to believe in oneself, even if the entire world turns away. Even if an expert, and a Mensa-level friend, both patronize you. Even if not a single person has even looked at the point-of-purchase site for my book in weeks.
But they read the article I wrote on my method. This is what kills me--I'm over 400 hits on that article, this month, as of today's date, and still climbing. Why would so many people read an article, but not be interested in the book that the article was based on? Is it because I refuse to use hype? Are people so conditioned by hype, that if you don't use it, they can't bring themselves to actually buy the thing? Is it because it isn't a physial book? Is it because everyone is so strapped for cash, that they can't afford $12 out of their budget? What?
Or do people think that having skimmed an article, and my blog, they already have the gist of it? I wonder how many people actually immerse themselves in anything, anymore. It's all memes and sound bites and tweets. That could be part of it.
Meanwhile, I know what I've accomplished, with Abby's help. If my being forthright about my relationship across the Great Divide with my soul-mate is reason enough for you to doubt my sanity (and hence not take my work seriously), then you had best be protected from the power of this book. It functions unintentionally, I think, as a test for readiness (not of credulity, as you might assume).
I will mention again what my friend--who knows me from 1990, when I was producing a show for community access TV, in Atlanta--commented. He said he knows what kind of behavior characterizes schizophrenics, and that he has concluced I am not psychotic. So what are your go-to theories about me? I'm neither sociopathic nor schizophrenic, so I am not perpetrating a hoax, nor am I delusional. If you ever read my book with an open mind, you'd see I am not a sloppy researcher, and I'm not indulging in magical thinking. I do have actual evidence--a great deal of it.
Never-mind. That's logic. People in denial don't respond to logic. I will know what I've accomplished, and you can dismiss it, and we will get along just fine. Your children and grandchildren may understand, perhaps after I'm gone, and maybe that's the way it should be.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Baba O'Riley," by The Who, from the album, "Who's Next"