What is that they say: "Make a liar out of me!"? I'm not a liar--everything in my study is strictly and rigorously honest. But last entry I said my book was really, actually, finally, completed after seven years' research.
Then, for some reason--I can't remember what, now--I happened to poke around in one of my old volumes of 19th century newspapers, the 1850/51 Portland (Maine) "Transcript." That's the first one I ever purchased off Ebay.com, a straight buy for $75. I have these old volumes stored three-to-a-box, and I happened to pull out another one, first. On the opening page is what could be the signature, in pencil, of the editor, Edward H. Elwell. So I had to try to find a digital copy of his signature, to see whether it might be his, or someone else writing his name.
While I was online doing that--which, after all, had no direct bearing on my research (I just wanted to see whether it was, in fact, worth more money than I had thought it was)--I ran across a reference to Henry David Thoreau. It seems that someone, writing for the "Transcript," had written what had been called the best and most insightful review of one of Thoreau's lectures. It was tentatively attributed to one of the editors, i.e., Elwell or his co-editor, Gould. I knew it had to be Mathew Franklin Whittier, because Mathew contributed dozens of lecture reviews over the life of the paper.
I couldn't find it online, so I wrote to the webmaster, put my researcher on notice that I might want her to go into the historical library to look for it, and then decided I might as well look through my own hard copies. These old volumes, for some reason I'm not entirely clear about, run from April to April; so the tail end of each volume covers the first three months (Jan.-March) of the next year. I had the 1850/51 volume; and sure enough, I found it. It's Mathew's work, alright. But there's more; Thoreau spoke of an excursion, with a friend, to Cape Cod. The way the review is written, and knowing precisely how coy Mathew could be about such things, I am pretty darned sure Mathew was that companion.
So, there's that. These people were all in Mathew's brother's social circle. It's no surprise he might have known them also, socially. John Greenleaf Whittier, being famous, hobnobbed with them all. What's not known is that apparently Mathew knew some of them personally, as well. Thoreau was a regular guy, whose lectures were being ridiculed by at least some of the public who heard them. Mathew was defending him, in this review. It wasn't like it is, today, when he is a household word, having made it into all the textbooks, etc. etc.
But then, I realized that, this being the first volume I ever scanned through, I probably missed a lot. It kept nagging at me, in the back of my mind, that I really should take the time to go through it with a fine-toothed comb, again, now that I knew what to look for.
I did. The first thing I found was an essay, unsigned but almost certainly written by Mathew, about reincarnation. I had several clues that he believed in it--or, rather, had been taught it by his first wife, Abby, the mystic, and half-believed it--but here was the solid evidence. It's precisely as I would expect, and there are several clues to his authorship, which I won't go into, here. I was, however, fascinated to see that he described the experience of having a past-life glimpse precisely as I have described it in the opening of my book. In other words, today, I am having the same kinds of glimpses about his life, that he had about earlier lifetimes. And what kind of glimpses will I have of this one, next time, I wonder? I am pretty sure that if I ever see my documentary, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America," when the music for my company logo starts to play, my hair will stand on end.
So, continuing to search through this old volume, in the next edition I found a brief article about the "knockings," i.e., Spiritualist seances. To make a long story short, reading between the lines (based on a great deal of prior evidence), this is what seems to have transpired. Mathew was trying to convince his friend, the then-editor of the Boston "Pathfinder," B.P. Shillaber (later, editor of "The Carpet-Bag"), of the truth of Spiritualism. They must have been talking about Abby, who had passed on some nine years previously. Maybe they were talking about evidence; and just then, Mathew felt a rapping on his hat! So Mathew was able to talk Shillaber into attending a seance; and at that seance, Abby contacted Mathew, giving this message: "I rapped your hat." Shillaber was sufficiently impressed to write an account of it (sans identifying names) in his paper, the "Pathfinder," and here, Mathew was commenting on it and quoting the relevant portion of Shillaber's article.
That was interesting.
I also found two more pieces written under Mathew's known signature--a single asterisk, which to him, symbolized a star. It seems that when he and Abby were together, she would symbolize their soul-mate relationship as being two stars; so that all his life, after her death, he would occasionally sign his pieces with a star, i.e., an asterisk. One of these newly-discovered pieces was yet another symbolic account of their life, the tragedy of her death, and how it affected him. There was also a travelogue (further confirming my speculation that he used different identities, not only when writing humorous sketches, but also when writing these travel letters), and a defense of a mystical poem read by another poet for a fraternity.
That's it. I don't intend to go back through all the other old volumes I have. There's probably no end to it. I now have identified almost 600 of Mathew's published works (setting aside those I'm not reasonably sure of, which totals over a hundred--lest you think that's what I'm beefing up my totals with). Probably, there are at least that many, again, out there. I know he wrote for other periodicals. I just don't know which ones; and really-speaking, I think I have been able to prove, or at least substantiate, all of the past-life memory glimpses and impressions I had, before I was exposed to all this information.
It occurs to me what a joke this is--that this is really ground-breaking work, with incredible implications--and yet, it's so good, that no-one seemingly believes me. My presentation becomes an object of morbid curiosity, with no-one venturing to spend the cost of a fast-food meal for two, to buy the e-book. A lot of people are reading this blog, currently--but they are not going to the book's supporting website in nearly the same numbers, and none of them are purchasing it.
Are you one of those people who looks at what everybody else is doing, to see whether something is worthy or not? You know, "On the best-seller's list for five straight weeks in a row!!!" Well, by that measure, this is a piece of crap, because almost nobody is interested, nor is anybody buying it.
They're all wrong.
So far as I know, this is it. I'll give it a few days before calling the book completed, just in case something occurs to me in the middle of the night that I have to tweak.
Oh, in case you're wondering, it seems that there are no preserved signatures of Edward H. Elwell. That means that if my one signature is genuine, it's priceless. That's right, it's worth nothing, because it's the only one. Kind of like my study.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Zenland," by Eric Johnson, from the album, "Europe Live"