I've been busy keying in my past-life reporting, as a young man in New York City, of the police office arraignment hearings. History would tell us that these were written by William H. Attree--I can prove to a pretty convincing degree, that they were written by Mathew Franklin Whittier (myself in that lifetime).
I'm now into July of 1835, and he has really got this down. He has turned these reports into an art form, and they are exquisite as humorous writing. Just now, I finished one in which he reports, with wry humor, a case of a disputed shirt. Two black couples each claim that the shirt is theirs, though neither couple can prove it. The entire matter is taken with deadly seriousness, which amuses Mathew no end--especially when, as he mentions, in passing, in his introduction, the truly serious issue of the disputed legal status of some runaway slaves is apparently front-and-center in the city at that time.
The ladies have each mentioned wearing the shirt as their night-shirt; I have fondly remembered Mathew's wife, Abby, doing the same with one of his. I suppose that's a universal custom even today, I don't know.
But of more interest, to me, is how bits and pieces of a past life inexplicably show up in one's present life. Dr. Stevenson and colleagues insist they found no evidence for "karma" in their studies--but if by karma one means, recapitulation of patterns, I have clearly demonstrated it in my own study.
In the early 1990's, I used to freelance as a legal videographer. Mostly I videotaped legal depositions (which were all for civil cases); but occasionally I would be asked to play back videotapes in court. This, by the way, was a very, very strange kind of work to have fallen into. I got into photography as an art form; and then into video, as an extension of photography--but here I was earning extra cash as a legal videographer, in the most worldly atmosphere you could imagine. And it was an education for me, no doubt. But sometimes I was greatly amused by the absurdity of it all.
Sometimes people do try to pursue their dreams, only to end up in the opposite situation because of the need to keep a roof over their heads. I am thinking of the middle-aged airplane pilots, here, who probably started out with the yearning to be free in the skies, but who now plod along flying over the "Grand Strand" here in Myrtle Beach, during the tourist season, trailing a huge banner advertising beach trinkets or restaurant specials to sun-tanning tourists.
I didn't discover Mathew Franklin Whittier until 2005; and I didn't know he did this kind of reporting until recently. But, subjectively, allowing for technology, it was a very parallel experience.
This account which I just digitized, this morning, reminds me of a civil trial I once played back a video for. Dennis Rodman was being sued by an attractive young white lady, for having given her herpes. The lady was sitting right next to me; and in the front of the room, on an easel, was a HUGE photograph of a vagina with herpes sores on it. At first I thought it was actually her vagina. In any case, this entire courtroom of well-dressed officials of the court and interested parties, was studiously ignoring this huge vagina sitting there in full view.
As the trial progressed, the young lady said that during intercourse, she felt the roughness of the scabs on his penis. He, however, testified that the discomfort she felt was not herpes, but rather it was due to the size of his member.
Then they began going into the girl's background, and it turned out she was a table dancer, and that about did it, I think, whether her claim was justified, or not.
But I remember feeling exactly as Mathew Franklin Whittier did in some of these hearings that he reported on.
Well, I don't have much to add to that. I have to get back to my digitizing. I have a bunch yet to go, and I'm trying to get them squared away before my researcher goes back into the historical library and photographs Mathew's work from a still-earlier paper. But this example I've given is just the tip of the iceberg. Skeptics ask, "If people really lived past lives, why can't they remember them?" But we do, on emotional and intuitive levels. More than that, we are actually re-living them to a large extent. Probably today's skeptic was a skeptic, before. This isn't his first lifetime as a skeptic, and if you went back further still, you would probably find that he was duped into believing something which he later exposed as false, and this is the emotional basis for his skepticism of even good information, today.
We are all living the past, to such an extent, that we can barely see the present. And people ask why you can't remember your past lives!
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Over and Over Again," by the Richie Furay Band, album "I've Got a Reason"