I have half an hour, here... I received the roll of microfilm, containing the newspaper that I felt might have some of my past-life work, and perhaps some written by my past-life wife, Abby, as well. I'm shipping it off to be digitized tomorrow--but before doing that, I took it into the local public library today, to see what I could find, in the hour I had available, using the microfilm reader. I did find one small clue.
Now I want to make clear, again, this case is not primarily designed to prove reincarnation. It is designed to demonstrate the next step, to investigate reincarnation in more depth. Originally, I did have the idea to see if I could prove reincarnation, though admittedly it would not be for the first time. But I don't have the kind of extreme recall one finds, for example, in the children Dr. Ian Stevenson studied; nor even in the best of hypnotic subjects. I got a few "shockers" like that--enough, in my opinion (if not in the opinion of a cynic), to show that it is a genuine past-life match. The rest of it is a great number of clues which all support each other in a complex tapestry; with the dates I reported the impressions, vs. the dates I confirmed them in the (obscure) historical record, duly recorded.
Dr. Stevenson's evidence is like 20-30 shocking photographs. My evidence is like three shocking photographs, with the rest of it being a jig-saw puzzle having 500 pieces. But in my opinion, it has its own charm--and its own utility.
So, this morning, I found another puzzle piece--and I don't have time to describe how it fits with about 15 other pieces, but I can go over it briefly. I had long felt that Abby must have tutored Mathew, even though she was four years younger. She would have had the benefit of private tutoring; Mathew, a farm boy who was denied more than a few weeks in the winter in a one-room school house, was thirsty for knowledge. To some extent his mother may have educated the children; to some extent, he may have educated himself. His brother, poet John Greenleaf Whittier, was permitted to go to a higher school; but he was not. They needed him on the farm.
So I intuitively felt, and also extrapolated from the data, that Abby must have tutored him. Gradually, I found evidence suggesting she started when she was only 14 years old, and he was 18. Each winter they must have had regular sessions; and then, whenever else he could spare the time from the farm. Quite a few "puzzle pieces" fell into place around this scenario; but nothing definitive. It was like the invisible planet that has to be there because of how it is affecting the orbits of the other planets...
That is, until today, when I found the smallest of clues. If I am not mistaken, Mathew, signing as "M." (one of his known signatures in his early years), published a piece in this newspaper in May of 1833. Abby would have "come out" at age 16 the previous fall, and Mathew wrote more than one version of dancing with her, at that party. In the spring of 1833, they had starting courting in earnest. So May of 1833 is precisely when they first became a couple, i.e., at least in their own estimation, if not that of their parents. The article is a translation, from the original Greek, of an anecdote from the childhood of Cyrus the Great, when he was about 13. Cyrus wisely, and ironically, tells his grandfather that he didn't test the wine he handed him, because, judging by the effects he had witnessed, it was "poison"--i.e., the unadulterated wine, itself, was poison.
Now, I can extrapolate some interesting things from this. Mathew would normally have studied the lives of the ancient Greek philosophers, not the rulers. What this means is that Abby, seeing Mathew as a prince-in-the-rough, has him studying similar people in history. She, herself, is descended from French nobility--and, Pygmalion-like, she is cleaning up Mathew, and educating him, to be her equal. Not in terms of outward show, but in terms of substance.
I know from other sources, that Mathew--like very many men of this era--drank to excess, at least, socially. By making this particular translation exercise part of her curriculum, she is trying to impress upon him the dangers of alcohol abuse.
But most of all, we have her here, at age 16, tutoring him. If Mathew had been educating himself, he would have chosen an ancient philosopher; and probably, at age 20, he would not have chosen the anti-alcohol theme. Later, he became a teetotaler and advocate of Temperance; but not, according to his sole biographer, at this age.
It all hinges on whether "M." is Mathew in this instance. But there are several triangulating clues; Mathew has, and will, publish in this same paper; he has already published as of 1831 in another publication; he very frequently references ancient Greece in his writing, all through his life; and if Abby is tutoring him, translations of the classics are definitely plausible for her curriculum. Meanwhile, I know from a vast number of Mathew's works, that he loves a good bit of irony, and he abhors hypocrisy (which is clearly lampooned in the story about Cyrus, as regards Cyrus' grandfather). With all those clues bearing on it, the chances of this being Mathew Franklin Whittier are extremely high.
Would this impress my scientist friend, or my personal friend, both of whom have recently expressed skepticism about my results? Probably not. But I know how to do a jig-saw puzzle; I know how to tell whether a piece fits, or not. I know when the pieces are forming a picture. And I know when that picture has become fully-developed to the point that I can call the subject of the image.
Is there anything about this method that's not valid? Not if I'm being strictly honest. If I'm being strictly honest, and I get outrageous results--if the picture that develops is something astounding--does that, in itself, prove that I have not been honest? Not really.
What's happened is that no-one will actually take the time look at the puzzle, in an honest and fair way. Just based on what I say the picture has turned out to be, they assume that I must be lying. Ipso fatso--which, translated from the Latin, means, "It must be a big, fat lie."
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: Remote Outpost, by the author