Yet another addendum, as I take another break from proofreading my prodigiously-long chapter, Chapter 14. It burgeoned as it did because this is where I put new evidence as it became available--and unexpectedly, a ton of new information became available since the time I first published it, in 2012. I know that I could streamline it a great deal, by simply re-telling the entire story in linear fashion. But this book is more like the internet, an interlocking tapestry, than it is a linear presentation. Moreover, I decided to tell the story of the research, itself. So I bring things in primarily where and when I stumbled across them.
The purpose for this (or, the rationalization, if I am rationalizing it) is that I want transparency above all else. I am putting myself forward as a Guinea pig, in what is admittedly a pilot study. Because I have no-one studying me, and must therefore study myself, this is the only way to be rigorous. I have to honestly convey to the reader what I encountered when.
But it does prove reincarnation, when all is said and done.
The drawing I had commissioned came back, with my additional directions, and it was stunning. I took what he had responded with, having read the poem by Mathew Franklin Whittier in "Punch," and added my own vision of it. He then executed that for me, and the resulting collaboration is, I think, more powerful than either of us could have created on our own. I will not be sharing it in this blog. Some things must be reserved for those who spend the equivalent of a fast-food lunch for two, on a book worth 10 times that amount.
I am now just about 100 pages out from completing the proofreading of Chapter 14. I am waiting for one more image--a CDV--to come in the mails, and I should be finished just about in time. One thing that strikes me, as I read back through this work (for about the fourth or fifth time), is how deeply Mathew Franklin Whittier's inner life is revealed through a deep comparison of his written works. As I have stated previously, I have, now, well over 600 of them. They range from poetry, to essays, humorous sketches, letters to the editor, reviews and other journalistic reports (his bread-and-butter work), to travelogues. One can compare this wealth of information, revealing Mathew's life-history and personality, to two pre-existing points of reference: myself, and my statements about Mathew, based on past-life impressions, recorded before I had discovered all of these works.
Keep in mind that the "cryptomnesia" objection, i.e., false memory, is defeated as soundly in my study as it is in Dr. Ian Stevenson's work with small children. That's because I could not possibly have seen these literary works, nor associated with them Mathew Franklin Whittier, when I recorded those impressions. Why? Because, first of all, the sources are all in period newspapers. Only one or two ever made it into books, and then, those were obscure books written by someone else. Mathew was never able to publish. Secondly, the bulk of them were written under pseudonyms, which took a great deal of detective work to search out and verify as his.
What I found, in these various works, published only in literary newspapers, was a diary-in-code. The book is as long as it is because I have to go through these examples, ferreting out their hidden aubiobiographical meaning. The case gathers strength as the examples are cross-referenced. This is why I can tell you (and have told you) the strongest idiosyncratic, verified past-life memories in the study, but even these are not as convincing as the whole.
The obvious skeptical objection will arise, that I cherry-picked the works I attributed to Mathew, and interpreted the clues therein to match my preconceptions. I assure you, however, that I did no such thing. Or if I caught myself trying to do that, I admitted it. Here is where my own honesty comes in. If you are equally honest, you may decide this question by risking $12.00 and a few weeks of your time, to read it, yourself.
Who, exactly, will ever be interested enough--and courageous enough--to expose him- or herself to the entire study, I don't know. As I read through it, proofreading and editing, against the clock and piecemeal, I find it tedious at times. I also find it fascinating. I think, that were a reader to take it in bite-sized chunks, from one subheading to the next, it would be quite enjoyable. It would be the kind of longish book that you live with for 2-3 weeks, where you are sorry to see it end. And where you are never quite the same person afterwards.
Back to work...
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Gem," by Eric Johnson, from the album, "Up Close"