I'm going to continue on the theme I addressed yesterday. The question is, how does my study compare with the method pioneered by Dr. Ian Stevenson and collagues?
If you're not familiar with that method, I can try to summarize it very briefly, but I won't be able to do it justice. I'd suggest reading his flagship book, "Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation," word-for-word, at the very least. But basically, one identifies a child who has very clear past-life memory, of a lifetime which he or she has no normal way of having obtained information about. The better-documented the child's statements, before any research is done, the better. Ideally, the parents will have written down these statements before anything is done to identify the past-life village, parents, relatives, etc. Then, the child is taken, under observation, to the place he or she longs to return to. Any and all recognitions or unexplained knowledge is documented, from simply recognizing a past-life family member, to knowing where money was buried, or where his name was written on the back of a door. Then there are other indicators, including the observed nature of relationships, emotions, talents, and even birthmarks corresponding to past-life injuries.
This method is excellent for establishing that reincarnation exists. Usually, the past-life personality had died of some form of sudden trauma. It seems, to me, that the usual process of reincarnation--which involves a period of time in the astral realm, a life review, and so-on--is truncated in these cases. Sometimes, severely so, such that the soul (i.e., astral body) does not even enter the astral realm at all, but remains earthbound. This may account for the presence of clear, specific cognitive memories of the most-recent past life, in such cases.
The method that I evolved, to fit the exigencies of my own case, are quite different. I did not have superlative past-life memory recall. Even under hypnosis, I wasn't a particularly good subject, and had trouble entering more than a relatively shallow trance state. I did experience a handful of past-life memories--some under hypnosis, some not--which were unique, specific, detailed, and which I could not have gleaned from any normal source. These established the validity of the past-life match.
But most of my past-life impressions were what just about anybody probably has--if only they could accurately identify a past life. However, there's one unique element to my case, and that is that Mathew Franklin Whittier--myself in the 19th century--was a prodigious author, who nonetheless published 98% of his work anonymously. It amounts to a diary hidden right out in the open, as it were, buried in obscure 19th-century literary newspapers. If only I could identify this body of his work, and then, if only I could learn to penetrate his "code," I would have what amounts to a very extensive--and very deeply personal--diary. Some of this work even consists of travelogues, which are literal (albeit public) diaries.
I was able to do just this. In fact, it was sort of like the scarves that the magician keeps on pulling out of his hat. One led to another, until a man who supposedly published about 65 pieces, turns out to have published more like 1,200.
The minute I first encountered four or five of his works, appended to his only full biography (part of a student thesis published in 1941), I immediately knew that he embedded a great deal of his own life in them, in "code." When I say code, I don't mean cryptography; I mean, in allegory, with certain facts changed or even made opposite.
Mathew was a deep thinker, and a very astute philosopher. On the surface, his work looks like mere entertainment; but it has hidden depths. Probably no more than 5% of his readers ever recognized this fact. As said, I knew it immediately.
Mathew was also a lay psychologist. He understood what made himself tick, and he understood what made other people tick. Imagine, just as a rough example, that Carl Jung wrote humorous sketches and essays, which contained his deeper insights embedden within them, such that hardly anyone understood what he was saying. This is something like what I have found with Mathew's work.
This means that I can immediately see--and feel--how his life informed my own. How I went from Point A to Point B. It's hard to explain, because it's seamless. Let me try to express it, by saying that I can understand very deeply what makes me tick, by seeing what made Mathew tick. I know Mathew like the back of my hand, would be another way to put it--because he was me, and I am he, on a profound level.
This is very difficult to translate for anyone else--but because I strove to be methodical, honest and rigorous in my method of investigation, some portion of this is provable and demonstrable. I can show you that I am, in fact, the extension of this person.
Inasmuch as I can do that, we can generalize principles that apply to everyone. We can see, for example, that the higher mind remains essentially the same, even though the physical personality, with its period-bound associations, is necessarily different (though not very different). We can see what is learnt, from one incarnation to another. We can see what emotions persist; and we can see how these emotions, when they are powerful enough, can sweep cognitive memory glimpses into consciousness--memory glimpses which can, at times, be substantiated against the deep historical record in such a way that the "cryptomnesia" (false memory) objection is defeated. We can, in short, see karmic and personality patterns at a depth one cannot reach in the Stevensonian cases.
I don't know that I'm doing a very good job of explaining this. I've been editing and proofreading all day. I am trying to explain something that is best understood by immersing oneself in my study. Then you would see it. It's extremely difficult to explain this, by way of "hawking my wares," to people who can't be bothered to read my books. One wonders, frankly, whether you all deserve such an effort. Read the books, and you'll understand that this takes the study of reincarnation somewhere that Stevenson, by-and-large, couldn't go. What you mostly get with Stevenson's cases, is a child who remembers dying traumatically. He or she remembers his former family, and often wants to go back to them. He remembers the traumatic death vividly. But that's about it. We don't get to know the person as deeply as one gets to know Mathew Franklin Whittier. We don't see the subtleties, the nuances. We don't know what makes these children tick, as people, at any depth. We just know they were traumatized, and they remember it, and in some cases, they are conflicted about which is their home, and which is their family.
There are exceptions, of course. But there is something else which I feel shy about explaining. Mathew Franklin Whittier was an exceptional person, a genius who hid behind a literary clown suit. I am convinced he had a profound impact on 19th-century literature. When I say he co-authored "A Christmas Carol," and was the original author of "The Raven," I'm not kidding, and I'm not crazy. He really did that. One would think--if anyone took me seriously--that these would be enough as calling cards, to pique people's interest. He wrote those things because he was fully capable of it. I am not claiming it to make myself look better. There were other things he wrote which were at least as good. In fact he literally churned out work at a very high level. Some of it was just okay--but the percentage of brilliant work was very high. He was a font of raw creativity. In fact, he made several plagiarists famous, to a lesser degree--not just Dickens and Poe.
Oh, never mind. I can't explain this to you in a way that you will understand. I know that because nobody buys my books. If anybody believed me, they would automatically want to buy them, don't you think? Therefore, I know that nobody believes me.
It's a frustrating, lonely place not to be believed by anybody. To have discovered something so incredible, that one becomes non-credible. It's a case of having succeeded so well, that one has put oneself beyond everyone's boggle threshold. And there are so many ridiculous claims out there. How would one discern the real one from all the fakes?
That, my friend, is your lookout. It rests with you to discern the real from the false. You have to have that polestar, and that motivation, within yourself.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Peekaboo," by The Free Design,
from the album, "Cosmic Peekaboo"