Evidence for past-life memories being real doesn't have to come in the knock-your-socks-off variety, that one sees in Dr. Ian Stevenson's best cases. It can come in small bits, as well. One hundred small bits prove reincarnation as well as five big chunks. You can fill up the pail either way.
When I moved to the Woodford's Corner neighborhood of Portland, Maine, I began taking walks around it. One of my favorite routes takes me up Beacon Street to Brighton Avenue. At Brighton Avenue and Highland Street, there is a hill; and walking toward that hill along Brighton, I had a past-life glimpse. I was riding in a carriage with Abby. We were gay and laughing, on a day-trip to the countryside. But this hill was a bit of a challenge. We would laugh and joke about it, but we might have to jump out to make it easier for the horse. It was high adventure for a young couple in love, on a holiday excursion. The glimpse itself, per usual, was only a fraction of a second long. I got the feelings, and the sense of it--no cognitive memories per se, as to what the horse looked like, the carriage, or our clothing.
I put this in my book, along with a photograph of the hill. And just today, I mapped out the route from where I think Mathew and Abby lived at the time, and it's pretty straightforward from there. It's only four turns from their house on Pleasant Street, onto High Street, to Park Street, to Deering, and to Brighton--about two miles to the hill. I think they would not have taken State Street, as Google wants you to do, because my feeling is that State Street was very upscale, and if you weren't rich, and ventured onto State Street, you were considered to be loitering! So I think ordinary people would have taken High Street.
But one thing puzzled me--it just didn't seem steep enough to justify all that excitement. I speculated that perhaps Abby was being too nervous, and Mathew was teasing her about it; or they had borrowed a carriage that was too big for the one horse.
Today, I walked a slightly different route, which took me along the hill at the very top, going in the opposite direction. I noticed something that hadn't registered consciously, before--that hill has been cut into for the road, to the tune of about 7-8 feet, right at the crest. Before the road was graded like that, it would have been a much steeper climb.
Now the question becomes, was that done before or after 1839, when this memory would have taken place? The Maine Historical Society (of which I am a member in good standing) didn't know--but they referred me to the Portland Public Works Dept. They're closed today, but I will try to call them Monday.
If they don't know, I will simply add this to my sequel as a question. If it turns out the road was cut (into solid rock) prior to 1839, I will honestly add that; but if it turns out it was cut after 1839, I will add that. I rather suspect it was a steeper hill when Mathew and Abby climbed it, which is why I remembered it that way.
This would be a little thing--hardly worth including in one of Dr. Stevenson's cases. But it would be evidential nonetheless, because I had that brief past-life impression before I had noticed that the hill had been cut into. One can say that, having seen it previously, I knew it subconsciously, but I don't buy that, as a practical matter. Lots of things are technically possible, but that doesn't make them probable. I had that past-life impression as a direct result of something very old being triggered in the depths of my mind. I didn't run some subconscious logical program based on peripheral vision, or subliminally-registered facts, to create a false memory out of whole cloth.
Personally, of course, this has a very different meaning for me. I have proven a few of these memories--qualitatively, exactly like this one--beyond any reasonable doubt. I know, therefore, that they can be genuine. Since this one is the same type of memory, I have no reason to doubt that it, also, may be real. But again, what it means to me personally is something else, again. If you have loved someone deeply, and a memory of some little cherished vignette is suddenly triggered--something you hadn't thought about in a very long time--then you will know how I feel about this one.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "On The Street Where You Live," from the musical, "My Fair Lady"