It’s also the ONLY church out of all the ones I mentioned having come in contact with or been a part of throughout my life that would probably be open to the idea of “past lives”. That is, the concept that the life we are living now is not the first, and most likely not the last, that we will have here on earth with this “soul”, “energy”, “spirit”, whatever name we give it. Now I can just hear the Christians out there (those who made it this far, anyway) thinking: past lives are incompatible with Christianity! As Lee Corso of ESPN would say: “Not so fast my friend!” Think about it. Chrisitanity (traditional Christianity anyway) is based on an everlasting life after your mortal life, either in Hell (which I don’t believe in) or in Heaven. So even in traditional Christianity, if you are chillin’ out in Heaven, you’ve had at least ONE past life! The one you lived on earth.
To cut to the chase, I haven’t decided whether I fully embrace believing in past lives. I can only tell you that I have become open to it (just as I’ve become open to SO MANY other new ideas and concepts since attending my first program at The Option Institute, www.option.org , and changing the way I see my universe). And as I constantly look at my beliefs in this regard, I can certainly see evidence of things that would otherwise require some sort of other explaination from traditional Christians (who would probably want me to drop my brain at the door, and just say it was “Satan’s work”). And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, I don’t believe that Christianity and past lives are mutually exclusive. The last five years where I have been FAR more open to new and different ideas has done nothing but DEEPEN my Christian beliefs, albeit they are very different from what most traditional Christians believe. In fact, that I am much LESS afraid of dying than almost every Christian I know would actually indicate that I believe more strongly in God and an afterlife than they do.
So what about past lives and what’s this evidence I’m talking about? First, I have a really wonderful friend, Heather D’Amore (“D’Amore you know me, D’Amore you love me!” as she says). She is one of the sweetest, most wonderful souls I have ever met: she even has her own drink at her local coffee shop where one of the ingredients of the recipe is “stir with love”. Anyway, she’s into the whole past lives thing and I asked her, as I drove her to the airport one time, if she would be willing to do a past life regression with me (or direct me to someone who could). She said she could do that, but it was just as easy for me to learn to do it myself. She said “pick a time in history that you feel particularly connected to”. So I said the U.S. Civil War era. She said, “without thinking about it, just pick the first thing that comes into your head: north or south?” I said south. And we went from there. It felt less like magic or “airy fairy” as she calls it than it did just creating a great story from my imagination, but also there was a ring of connection to it for me. Much like how deeply Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary series felt so connected to me, especially this passage of music and the recitation of an actual soldier’s letter to his wife. This letter, still, to this day, holds the deepest meaning of the word “passion” to me.
And, if nothing else, it was FUN!
And since then, things have gotten progressively more interesting! Mary is really only the second person (after Heather) who has really been an adament proponent of past lives. Things started with her recognizing my postage-stamp-sized photo on Facebook as being one she’d had two dreams about in her lifetime; someone who she felt she knew from past lives. So here is some of the interesting stuff that has come up since we have met. First, there’s the aspect of “porch swings”. As we were chatting on Skype (after we were in love, but before we met in person for the first time), I mentioned that I have a VERY CLEAR picture in my mind of what I want my Big House to look like, most likely in Montana. I talked about the log cabin look and feel, the back yard that runs down to the river, the plenty of rooms so that I can host everyone in my extended family all at one time, and the big, long porch at the back with the porch swing to sit in and watch the river sweep by, the kids playing in the yard, etc. Well then she started describing HER perfect location and she kept describing something called a “veranda with a ‘schommelbank‘ “. Well I told her I knew what a veranda was, but what the fuck is a “schommelbank?” She finally got out that it was a “chair hanging from the ceiling“, LOL! So we BOTH saw the same thing for the house we wanted. Okay, great, so we both like the same home accessories, what about past lives? Well, when she did a regression with me just a couple of days after we met in the US, the “remembrance” I created was that of us living in Tuscany, of having a home attached to an art shop with a vineyard in the back, tables under a vine-covered trellis, and of me dying of cancer in her arms on a porch swing. Some twisted version of my belief that I will die in my loves’ arms on a porch swing in this life? Or is that desired death something I created (LONG before I met Mary, by the way), as a way to set an old memory from a past life right? Did I create this wonderful way of passing for myself to offset having died before my time on a porch swing in a past life? Cool food for thought!
Final part tomorrow…