Whew. Just this afternoon, I finished archiving all the pieces I'd discovered recently, published in several different newspapers by my past-life self, Mathew Franklin Whittier. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was tracking him in about five papers--actually, I'm counting four papers and two magazines. We are talking something like 150 articles, which I had to key in, proofread, and archive on various hard drives. It took several weeks.
Believe it or not, this is pretty-much a topical blog. When I was visiting sites here in New England (my new home), connected with Mathew's life, I wrote about that. When I explore his writing, I talk about that. The only work I have left to do on this project, is to read through my sequel one more time. I keep catching errors when I proofread randomly, so I think it needs another pass.
Over the past few weeks, I made a very credible case that Mathew was plagiarized by Edgar Allan Poe, including some of the best work that is attributed to Poe. Nobody bothered to follow up on it, apparently. My stats went up (and are recently going back down again), and that's all I heard by way of feedback. Perhaps people become interested enough to watch my self-shot video interview, and dismiss me out-of-hand. But I've been over all this, before. It's the same experience Mathew had, of being too far ahead of his time, and shunned for it. I have, probably, the same feelings. I know how good my study is, and how good the results are. That Mathew was the real author (or co-author) of a couple of famous works, is just the icing on the cake.
Subjectively, during this latest round of research, I experienced too much prolonged stress for someone my age (64). I also felt Mathew's personality impinging, subconsciously, on my own to a degree I'd never experienced, before. It was almost to the point that my thoughts and feelings were trying to reference back to his experience-base, instead of my own. Time to stop. I know there must be more of Mathew's work out there. I realize, now, that during most of his free time, he was either studying, or writing--literally, a life-long student. He didn't have any trouble getting published in literary newspapers, so his work was continually appearing before the public, albeit anonymously--from 1827, to 1875. Much of what scholars admire, and either don't know who it belongs to, or, erroneously attribute to someone else, was actually Mathew's work. For example, what are admittedly the best reviews of Henry David's Thoreau's talks, are praised by scholars--but they don't know who wrote them. I do. Likewise, one of the most popular parodies of "The Raven," called "The Vulture," which some historians attribute to an English writer, Robert Brough. That was Mathew's, as well.
This last round of research confirmed a great many of my earlier conclusions and speculations, both about Mathew's career, and his personal life. I think I have learnt just about everything I needed to learn about him. I could go on digging forever, but there aren't any more mysteries that I can think of. All the questions are answered, after some nine years of intensive research. Furthermore, where I'm finding new pieces by Mathew, they are rehashes of an idea I've already encountered. Like every comedian, he would recycle his best ideas every few years, when he thought it was unlikely that anyone living would remember them. Not verbatim, of course, but I'm getting to the point, now, that I'm not finding much I haven't already seen a version of. For example, in 1831, Mathew wrote a series of letters from a country bumpkin who goes to New York City, named "Enoch Timbertoes." In 1847, he creates a very similar character, named "Joshua Greening," who does exactly the same thing; except that Greening gets swindled about 10 different ways, which forms the primary theme of that series. But the writing, and the character's language, is nearly identical. I suppose Mathew figured that 15 years or so was long enough.
I have known of very few people who gave their life's blood for nine years, for a project, and put it out there where it can be easily found online, and yet, almost no-one has expressed more than a passing interest. I have literally sold a handful copies of my book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words," and maybe one or two people have even looked at the sequel. And yet, these are masterworks. I won't "puff" (as they used to say) my own work, other than defiantly stating the obvious--both books are groundbreaking, and exceptionally well-done.
Meanwhile, my personal life is unremarkable. I am more socially isolated than I have ever been in my life, and I've never been a social butterfly. It's my relationship with Abby, still in the astral realm, that's almost my entire social world, now. I love Portland, including and especially the culture, here, but I am keeping my life extremely simple. I live in an attic--a "garret," they used to call it in Mathew's day--just as he did, at certain times in his life. My Social Security, which I took early, doesn't cover expenses, so I have to work at least half-time. The only job I have been able to find, is caretaking for elderly people, which is what I did for my Mom when she lived with me during her last six years, in North Myrtle Beach. I find it rewarding in some respects, but stressful. Years ago I videotaped legal depositions. The technical part of that was difficult enough, but the social part was truly tense. You had lawyers making substantial amounts of money per hour, who had flown in from Los Angeles or New York, and they expected to get to work on time. The whole atmosphere was touchy--you had to know the protocol, and you had to say and do everything just right. Of course, the tape had to be right; but there were a thousand ways to do or say something inappropriate, and only one way to play the role correctly. I was totally out of my element. Somehow, I found parking, got into the building, introduced myself to the receptionist, got into the room, set up the gear, and was ready when the attorneys and the client showed up. And I followed protocol, and came home with the tape. But this was very far outside my comfort zone.
This elder caretaking--especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities--is very similar. Except now you are dealing with nurses and staff and family members, instead of lawyers and court reporters. My social skills are stretched to the max. I can do it; but I would really prefer to be researching, and writing, and educating, and giving interviews, and so-on. Even public speaking at conferences (which no-doubt would take some time to get used to), would be less stressful. I feel, at these "gigs," like I'm on-stage.
I have long felt that when Society is ignorant, its lack of discernment causes people who are unqualified to take positions they have no right to take. Then, the people who should be in those positions, have to hobble together some kind of living doing what they aren't really suited for. I should be teaching philosophy, and religion. I should be educating the public about reincarnation. I should be doing radio interviews, and speaking at conferences.
Instead, people who are not nearly as competent and knowledgable, have filled those slots. They are on the radio shows, and at the conferences; while I scrape by doing elder care. It's noble work, don't get me wrong. But that is a direct result of Society not having enough discernment to know the difference. Someone watches my video, and sees that I have picked back up with Abby, in the astral realm, and they immediately dismiss me as self-deluded or fraudulent. In actuality, I really am doing that. I'm far ahead of my time in this regard. Because the only thing preventing soul-mates from continuing their relationship after one partner dies, is being wrongly convinced that it's impossible. Otherwise, it's not much different than the other kinds of obstacles that couples face. I saw one the other day--the fellow had lost, what was it, both legs and an arm in combat. His wife, loving him just the same, and being faithful to him, teamed up with him and they figured it out, together. That's precisely what Abby and I have done--we teamed up and figured it out together. After eight years, she and I are getting a lot better at it. There's no need to dismiss me out-of-hand as a nutcase. Trust me, I was a lot more concerned to make sure it was real, than anybody else! (And trust me, I wouldn't go public with such a thing unless I was sure about it.)
As for Mathew Franklin Whittier's talent, I can prove it. And have proved it here, in this blog. I haven't even scratched the surface, because I think I now have about 1,300 of his published works. It's all digitized and searchable, which means, for example, that I can tell you how many times Mathew used "cos why?" or "coz why"? in "Enoch Timbertoes," and how many times he used it in "Joshua Greening." I can tell you how many times he used "natur," or "Palladium," or joked about the patriotic song "Hail Columbia," in his known persona as "Ethan Spike"--and I can tell you how many times he used them in series that historians have assigned to other writers.
Well, I'm just rambling, and I don't know that I'm saying anything new, or interesting. I write because it's relaxing; but I'm poised to delve back into my Guru's teachings. I studied them extensively, and also the teachings of a few other spiritual masters who were likewise in the highest state of consciousness, when I was in my 20's. Now I think I want to immerse myself in them, again, having lived an additional 40 years or so. I may see quite a bit more.
I don't know what to say about the people who have been reading this blog. I know one or two of them, internet friends I have made along the way, some of whom are on a similar journey. The rest puzzle me. Why read something which bears such profound and exciting implications, and not spend a little on the books? I don't understand what's preventing book sales--simply not believing me? Fear? Laziness? Poverty? No-one has ever written me and said, "I am fascinated by your work, and would love to read your books, but I am so poor I can barely put food on the table, and I can't afford them." You know I would send such a person a free copy. My e-mail address is easy enough to discover. So it isn't the money. I really don't think it's because they're e-books, either--for most people, that's an excuse. (After all, how many hours per day do you spend before the screen, reading social media?) Abby has consistently told me--as I feel--that it is fear. I keep telling her (and I almost never am foolish enough to disagree with her), that people must simply not believe a thing I say.
Well, other than that I, myself, am living on financial fumes, in many respects I live a wonderful life. This "garret" is simple, set up precisely as I want it, and it has the feel of Bilbo's hobbit house. Portland is still, even now, a jewel of a city (it was even more so in Mathew's time). The people here are kind, considerate, straight-shooters. I have lived in conservative states all my adult life; suddenly, I am in a liberal region. Houses have signs in the yard proclaiming that you are welcome regardless of what country you come from; and all the liberal slogans you are probably familiar with. I saw a bumper-sticker the other day (I think it might have been from some out-of-the-way place in Washington State), that said, "We're all here, because we're not all there."
I have found the place I belong! And yet, I will never be a Mainer; and you can never go back. So I remain something of an observer--a nostalgic observer. Even these folks wouldn't understand, that when I walk around Back Cove, and gaze at the Observatory tower on Munjoy Hill, Mathew took a cousin up there on "Mt. Joy" (as he called it) and felt inspired by the vista. I don't remember it--but oddly enough, when I got up close to that tower, I did remember that I thought it was ridiclous--especially, the way the windows are staggered going up the sides. That was before I found a story he wrote, pretty-much confirming my impression.
So I do remember a little bit--and sometimes, the darndest things, little glimpses or snippets. What good it does me, I don't know. Sometimes I think it was pretty foolhardy to move to a place that I lived in, and loved, 180 years ago. Because, what if it really woke up in me? What if I suddenly flipped into being Mathew, transported into the 21st century? Could I handle it?
But I don't think that's much of a danger. The amnesia barrier between lifetimes is too strong, for that, in normal consciousness.
So, that's a little more of me. I'm a real person, not a raving maniac. You'd probably enjoy my books. You don't have to read all of them--they're designed with relatively short sections, separated by subheadings, so that you can even read them out of order if you want to, like popcorn. There's an incredible discovery, of some kind or another, every 10-20 pages. You can't hardly miss them, there's so many.
Time to see to supper--thank God, I seem to have the ability to eat the same simple fare, with one or two variations, every day and not get tired of it. I suppose Mathew did the same.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Song for Lynette," by Eric Johnson,
from the album, "Venus Isle"