I think I'm about to get booted out, again--from the online reincarnation group which focuses on scientific research, that is. I have a mind to use the situation to illustrate an important principle--but who is listening? Who will understand it?
Nobody will understand it, now--and in the future, when it is understood, it will merely be "poignant." But I might as well.
The group is rather looser than I remember it, from a couple of years ago. People who believe they had a past life, based on scanty evidence, are allowed to post their tentative conclusions as fact. References to past-life therapy, and hypnosis-based research, creep in without being challenged. But someone suggested his own metaphysical group, founded by a leader with whom I was unfamiliar. His teachings were supposedly based on Pythagoras, but I don't think Pythagoras taught everything (or, is recorded in history as having taught everything) that this group presents, on their website. I strongly suspect he had taken it from some of the same sources I studied, in my late teens.
So I made that comment, or rather, I simply opined that it was good to have this Eastern wisdom as a base--even better than starting out from the materialistic scientific perspective--but I questioned what the founder's sources were.
This caused the founder of the online reincarnation research group to step forward and warn me (i.e., ask me "to remember") that the group focuses on the scientific method, not on philosophy.
Now, as Mathew Franklin Whittier in the 19th century, I would likely have responded with blistering sarcasm. I have quite a few examples. I held myself back in this regard, to a very large extent--but the little bit that seeped through may have cooked my goose. Rather than paraphrase, let me copy exactly what I posted, as a response:
I personally believe that those religious and philosophical teachings, at their best, are also based on facts. Which is to say, that the core of them come from people who experimented and found them to be true from direct experience. I would add the caveat of "subjective" experience, except that in that realm, subjective and objective are found to be two sides of the same coin. This is why I personally am glad that I started with that background, rather than from the background of the scientific method. I incorporated the scientific method, after-the-fact, when I began researching Western cases for my documentary, "In Another Life," in 1997. So my background in the Eastern view--I will call it "view" rather than "philosophy"--goes back to about 1973; while my background in the Western research goes back to 1997. That, in turn, has been evenly divided between Stevensonian research, and past-life therapy. I combine all three sources in my work. Therefore, my work doesn't fit neatly into any group. As for asking me to "remember that," you will have to lay some more distinct ground rules, because I am simply true to my own conceptual base. If you are asking me to only refer to one "prong" of my conceptual base, then of course I don't belong in this group. I bring all three to bear on any reincarnation question that I address. I would also remind you that as I understand it, it was Chester Carlton, who embraced the Eastern view, who initially funded Dr. Stevenson's work. I seriously doubt, if Mr. Carlton were in this group today, he would be told not to include his views in any discussion.
What I didn't say, is that after studying (primarily) the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Rumi (I pulled away from Paramahansa Yogananda after awhile, not feeling he was at the same level), I became a follower of Meher Baba in 1974. These men had direct experience of the highest spiritual attainment, which also means the highest perception of reality. Not a sub-rational perception, but a super-rational perception. Gnosis, in other words--not philosophy. Philosophy is the intellectual attempt to understand something which is inherently beyond it. The crumbs, as it were, which fall off the table of Gnosis.
I can't explain this in a post. Nobody is going to understand it. Nobody is going to understand it here, either, with perhaps one or two silent exceptions.
I am not less rigorous than this fellow--I am more rigorous.
This is why my books don't sell--and this is why I believe they will sell, someday, when Society catches up to what I'm doing, today. This is why the psychic I first used, in 2010 said, of myself as Mathew, along with his first wife, Abby, that we were both "ahead of our time."*
But I am not doing what the more imaginative contributors to that online group are doing. So it is relatively easy to be imaginative, when it comes to reincarnation research; and, believe it or not, it is also relatively easy to be rigorous. But it is not so easy to go beyond both into a higher synthesis, such that one looks to super-rational Gnosis as one's ground, or as one's pole star; and yet, retains strict honesty in the search for truth. Objectivity is the poor man's search for truth; just as imagination is the first infant stage of direct, intuitive perception. What is needed is not objectivity, per se, nor imagination, swinging as polar opposites. What is needed is that which moves beyond them as the unswerving search for truth, combined with direct intuitive perception.
I am applying those principles to investigating my own identified lifetime in the 19th century. Try as I may, I can't get anyone interested enough to actually read my work. It's not because it's an e-book--people buy e-books. It's not because the first book is too long, or too expensive--my sequel is neither, coming in at around 150 pages, and I am charging $5.00 for it. It's not for lack of exposure--I get an average of 300 visitors to this website per day (as many as 400 until recently), and the book was first made available six years ago, while I have literally sold only a handful of copies. Surely, it's not because I don't use hype--are we all so conditioned by Madison Avenue that we can't reach for our wallets unless we are manipulated into it by hype? Is it because I offend peoples' "boggle threshold"? Possibly, in combination with the fact that I can back it up with good research. People who offend one's boggle threshold sell books all the time, so long as they remain within the realm of fiction and imagination.
I think it's none of these things. It's because my work is too far ahead of its time.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*A second psychic I used that same year, who is Lily Dale certified, and who was focusing primarily on Abby, mentioned that she was "before her time," and then again, later in the reading, "well before her time." Abby, four years younger than Mathew, was yet his teacher in metaphysics.
Music opening this page: "Brilliant Room," by Eric Johnson
from the album, "Up Close"