It looks like I'm done with my sequel, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own world." I think it's at something like 130 pages (as opposed to 2,270 pages or so, for the first book). The purpose of the sequel is to describe personally visiting the key locations connected with my past life as Mathew. This, I was able to do after moving to Portland, Maine. It has taken me about three months, including visits to some locations in Massachusetts.
Of course, there are always more locations. I have not, for example, tried to visit the Boston Harbor Lighthouse--but I recall seeing a feature on it awhile back, indicating that it is now privately owned. Nor have I put myself in the coordinates of the houses where Mathew lived, in Boston--given that all of them, so far as I know, have been replaced with newer structures. My research has indicated that the former site has to be as precisely as it was, as possible. And that if it is gone entirely, it's unlikely I'll get any "hits" on the internal past-life Geiger counter. So it's not really worth hunting up all those addresses, to be faced with a more modern building, or a parking lot--as I have done here in Portland.
But I did make some amazing finds. This books holds up very nicely on its own, and that was a relief, because I was concerned that my efforts would be so disappointing, and the book so boring, that it would hardly be worth publishing. Not so. This one has its own knock-your-socks-off discoveries.
I really did have to complete this second phase. I had a past-life case, where the research was 100% done either on the internet, or through researchers. I hadn't personally visited a single place where Mathew lived or worked, because I couldn't afford to, and because I was taking care of my Mom in her last illness. That was a serious drawback, compared to other cases out there where the subject traveled, or was taken, to the scenes of his or her past life. But I'm actually glad I wasn't able to do this for the first book. This way, someone who might not want to read a 2,270-page book, might drop $5.00, or whatever I decide to charge for it, for a 130-page book. (There are lots of pictures, too.)
A year or two ago, I joined an online group dedicated to reincarnation research; but I quit after feeling that I was being given the cold shoulder. Recently, on a whim, and also to announce my sequel, I re-joined. Now, it seems that I am being greeted much more warmly. I don't know what has caused the difference--my perception, that people have seen something of my presentation on this website, or heard about me, or what. In any case, I want to make it clear that I just don't complain about everything (as I did in my previous entry). If things are going well, and if I'm being treated fairly, I say so. It's just that I've been studiously ignored, as it seems, for a very long time. It gets to be a way of life, and you fall into the rut of expecting it. So this is refreshing.
And, I'm not pulling any punches in this group. Anybody can get accepted, if they twist themselves into something they're not, to conform. But it seems I can let it all hang out, and still be welcomed. (We shall see.)
Before I sat down to write this entry, I was looking out the window of my attic studio apartment, at the street below with its row of eccentric Victorian houses; and I was thinking, "If this second book is completed, now I have to start living in Portland, Maine of 2018." And it is not quite as charming, I should say, as Portland of 1839, when Mathew and his young wife Abby moved there; or even as Portland in 1861, when Mathew left for Boston. In 1861, Mathew had been "outed" as a radical some four years earlier, and it appears he was being blacklisted (i.e., whether he realized it, or just attributed his problems to a poor local economy). That means I have a past-life history of being shunned for my radical beliefs, here. Radical beliefs means, Mathew was allied with William Lloyd Garrison, and agreed with Garrison's "disunionist" motto, "No union with slaveholders." It means that he was a Spiritualist; but he was also, by this time, a Spiritualist who accepted reincarnation, and who had an idea about at least one of his past lives (as a Jewish high priest). It means, that he was anti-slavery, had worked under Garrison as an agent, had done anti-slavery undercover reporting in New Orleans, attended anti-slavery conventions, and had participated, on at least one occasion, in the Underground Railroad. It also means that he was anti-military, in the specific sense of ridiculing, through his published writings, the unreasoning glorification of military conquest.
Expose these beliefs openly, and you would be shunned. If you remained hidden, but were exposed, you would be up against the same. Mathew finally had to take a government-appointed "office" at the Boston Custom House, in order to survive--a practice he had, himself, lampooned.
So while I experience Portland as being culturally liberal, I am still somewhat wary of showing all my cards. I half-expect to be shunned, again.
Shunning is the slow way of burning someone out of their home. It's no joke.
On June 1st, I will be seeing radical political comedian Lee Camp here in Portland. I have not assumed a love of radical leftist politics, just to be consistent with my past-life claim. Heck, I volunteered for the Friends Service Committee in the early 1970's--something like 40 years before I learned that in a past life, I had been a political radical who had been raised Quaker. If you comfort yourself with the explanation that I work things backwards, this isn't going to fit very well with your theory.
All I knew about Mathew Franklin Whittier, when I stumbled upon his etching and knew that I was seeing myself in his eyes, that "that was me," was that he was brother to poet John Greenleaf Whittier (whom I knew very little about), and that he was an author, i.e., an author of some kind.
The fact that I'm getting a more respectful reception in this online group, gives me hope that perhaps I'm making inroads. Perhaps it is happening at about the speed plants grow. Perhaps it's so slow, that I can't notice any change, at all, unless I'm making a comparison like this, where a couple of years have elapsed. You know, like the childhood relative who sees you after two years, and says, "My, how you've grown!" But in this case, I'm the same guy I always was, so perhaps somebody else has grown.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Trail of Tears" by Eric Johnson,
from a live performance on "Austin City Limits"
We will never hide in shame,
but forever guard the flame
that's burning for eternity.
Hundreds of nights, oh my body cries
a trail of tears--the spirit flies.