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I continue to spot-check my book, as I will for about the next week-and-a-half, but I'm finding fewer and fewer things to "tweak." In the meantime, I'm in more of a mood for sharing, than for debating. The other day I happened to be poking around in an 1850 Boston city directory, knowing that Mathew kept a second residence there (or stayed there frequently). It had shown up on Ebay, and I'd let someone out-bid me, being a bit tight for cash (all loose change goes to Bernie Sanders' campaign these days), and I wanted to reassure myself that a digital copy was always available online. I had no-sooner scrolled down a few pages, than something caught my eye. If I were to report the subjective sensation as accurately as possible, I would say it kept "calling to me," or nagging me that I should pay attention to it. Here's the ad:

Now, we have my conscious mind, and my subconscious mind, operating simultaneously. I have the ability to watch both in action, as an observer--perhaps from having done meditation in the past. In any case, my conscious mind is saying, "Okay, okay, I'll look at it, but this is for blank books. Diaries? Oh, I see, for bookkeepers and such. Wait, Mathew worked as a bookkeeper."

Meanwhile, my subconscious mind is feeling a certain thrill. Say, you collect and build model trains. This is the same thrill you would get seeing the hobby store display window.

So I start looking at the items displayed in the picture, to see whether I know what they are, and what they do. Here, the conscious mind is bumping up against the subconscious mind, with each trying, as it were, to jostle the other out of the way. The question now becomes, "Which is which?"

Note this is not fraud, or a deliberate attempt to hoax anyone--nor is it blind naivete. I'm getting some of both, conscious and subconscious.

The subjective experience is that I "almost know." Like something being just on the tip of your tongue. Is it my conscious mind figuring it out, or is it past-life memory? There is a candle holder, and maybe a candle flame snuffer. There are pens, and a book press, and ink; maybe a dual pen holder. What is the tied bag holding? Quills? My eye is especially drawn to the boxes on top of the vertical books. What is the substance in those boxes? I don't know but it feels like I should know. What is the thing that looks like a tall cigarette lighter--is that actually a flint lighter, in 1850? I see an eraser... and so-on.

This is a good example of a past-life stimulus which has no evidential value. I have studied Mathew's life for seven years, by the time I first encounter this image (and I may have seen it in passing, before). I know he was a writer, was proud of his tools, and also did bookkeeping for a living. So my emotional reaction to the "tools of the trade" is predictable, and my guesses as to the name and use of each tool cannot be proven as having any past-life memory component.

But not all my memories, and emotional reactions, had these research handicaps. In some of them, I encountered the stimulus before I had studied it. I was able to document my reactions, and then determine, from the (obscure) historical record, that they were valid. The more idiosyncratic they were, the more evidential they were. And the less opportunity I had to have learned of them before, the stronger the proof was.

Notice this one came through, however slightly, because there was emotion attached. Not strong emotion--just the fascination of a workman with his tools, and the thrill of contemplating buying them at a specialty store. Where the emotion was far stronger, the past-life memory which piggybacked on it, was clearer. Sometimes, clear enough for the kind of evidence that would stand up in a court of law.

So this is a continuum. You will note that I am not approaching this as a fanatic, but rather, with deliberation, weighing both sides, viewing the phenomena on a continuum.

Where are the potential readers who would do the same?

Best regards,

Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.

Addendum, 5/23
I added the above to the book after all, because I discovered that this store was only three miles from Mathew's favorite restaurant, "Milliken's," where he also may have roomed while in Boston. It's a straight shot down a main drag, Washington Avenue, from Milliken's to the store. Almost certainly, there was omnibus service. That probably makes it the closest source for Mathew's writing supplies, which means he almost certainly frequented it. However, when I felt my eyes drawn to the ad, I knew nothing of this. It becomes what you might call mildly evidential. In my book, I tallied over 90 of these impressions, which all check out to some degree of plausibility, before I stopped counting. As said, some of them were much stronger. I really just intended this as an example of the process, until I found out that it, too, comes with some degree of evidence.--S

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