These entries may come in rapid succession for awhile, because as I suggested, this may all be quite boring, but then again...
So, (it is now en vogue to begin every new thought with "So"), yesterday evening I did indeed attend a service of the Portland Spiritualist Church. One or two people seemed familiar, and my father came through. Not my mother, who had passed on quite recently, but my father, who passed in 1993. Although the minister admitted she knew some things about me through our e-mail correspondence, my father conveyed to her something, by way of brief verification, that she would have had no way of knowing--the place we lived, for about a year, when I was three years old. It had at least two tall palm trees in the front yard (Miami), and at least one large mango tree in the back. My sandbox was under the mango tree. The medium said she was going far back to when I was a little boy, from "3-6" as I recall her words, and there were two tall trees where I used to play. Now, my father always had very set ideas about what he wanted me to be. He wanted me to be tough (the sensitive-vs.-tough issue, again, as recently discussed for Maine), and he wanted me to grow up to be a tennis star. Here, he was acknowledging how I had grown and developed in the ways that I personally find worthwhile. So the reading sounded generic to everybody else, i.e., that my grandfather or father was proud of me--but privately, it was far more meaningful.
He also conveyed to her that I would become completely immersed in a totally different line of research. But it is possible he was conveying to her my current shift of having closed the first book, moved to Portland, and begun this second phase. The medium--as I also do, when I try to communicate with Abby--was interpreting feelings my father was conveying to her. Apparently she is clairvoyant, so she began with a vision of the trees and play area, but was also relying heavily on feelings, i.e., clairsentience.
So that was the church visit. But I can finally report a strong "hit" on the internal past-life Geiger counter. It's about time--but this fits hand-in-glove with my previous findings, as to how past-life memory works in normal waking consciousness, when you are exposed to elements of a genuine past-life match.
On a whim, I drove to the Portland Head Light. I knew that Mathew and Abby almost certainly would have visited it. In the 1830's, it was a favorite hangout of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of Mathew's older brother's friends, who would visit with the keeper. Mathew no-doubt would have visited with him, as well, at least up until 1840 when a new keeper took over.
But when I got to one particular spot, on a bluff overlooking where Casco Bay meets the sea, it felt very familiar. Now, this scene probably has not changed at all; whereas the other places I've visited have changed completely, or, a great deal. Market Square (now Monument Square) has none of the original buildings, just an open area with cobblestones and a Civil War monument. Congress Square (now Congress Square Park) has only the triangular-shaped Hay Pharmacy building (now a Starbucks, I think). Pleasant Street and Danforth Street may have some of the same old mansions, crowded by more recent houses, all looking fairly similar. The intersection of Pearl and Congress streets, where Mathew once rented a flat over the Sawyer grocery (until it was torched), has change completely. I got feelings in these places, but nothing I would classify as a past-life memory.
But, as said, this scene, from this particular vantage-point, hadn't changed at all.* And it was here I began to remember something, in a flash. I was standing in this very spot, seeing a bare strip of an island out on the water, and another, unpainted lighthouse somewhat off to its right. There was the ocean, the rocks, the islands which could be seen disappearing off into the distance, in a chain. And I was grieving. Or, I remembered grieving. My heart felt like it was coming out of my chest--in the memory--or, I remembered feeling this way, I should say--my aching for Abby was so intense. I had stood with her on this very spot, just as the young couples visiting the place were doing--quite unmindful of the fact that they could ever lose their beloved. You take paradise for granted, always. So we had stood there--myself being tall, her being small--with her on my right, and my arm around her, and we had gazed at that scene. That was the earlier memory. The later, more emotionally dominant memory, which sort of masked the first one, was standing in the same spot, alone, after her death, my heart aching for her. And I remembered one thing--she contacted me mentally, just as she would, today. But I wasn't sure I could believe it was real. The "thought-burst" she gave me, referring to a rock that broke the surf just off the shore, "You will see me, we will be together again, but you must have the patience of that rock." And so, I would try to have that rock's patience. I would meditate on it and try to be that rock, in its patient endurance as wave after wave broke upon it. (This memory about the rock, and what it meant to me, remains clear and distinct even upon re-read, as such flashes typically do.)
All of this I related, on-site, in a video of the scene I took with my phone. I am so new to this phone, I didn't know how to zoom in, so if I can get this to play online, you will see me struggle, and fail, with that. I was able to reduce the file size about half in some free video editing software, which I haven't had time to learn fully. I'll capture a still just so you'll be able to see the scene, here, even if you can't play the video. I just tested it, and it will play, but it takes awhile to download. (click for low-res version) The edited file has audio, but for some weird reason the audio may not play for you--I don't have time to trouble-shoot this right now, but will do so as soon as I have a little time.
Admittedly, this memory would be difficult to verify by the historical record, unless it showed up in a diary. This is not impossible inasmuch as I have evidence, in his writing, that Mathew did keep one. Presumably, it was destroyed in the Sawyer grocery fire. But in any case, keep in mind that all of this is in the context of the match having been proven, to any reasonable degree of certainty, many times over in my book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words." If you have opted not to read that book (i.e., cover-to-cover, giving the preponderance of evidence a fair chance), that isn't my fault. Therefore, I can say the match is proven, and you can't say anything at all, aside from expressing skeptical sentiments--just like the online trolls do. And I give their utterances no weight, at all.
But once again, I am just putting myself on-site, and recording my reactions. I put myself at several scenes connected with Mathew's life--scenes which had been radically altered by time--and got no discernible reaction. I reported that faithfully. Then, not necessarily expecting very much, I put myself into a scene which hadn't changed at all, and I got a strong reaction, which I have now dutifully reported.
In terms of science, given that I am entirely unfunded, thanks to not being taken seriously by the paranormal research establishment, what more would you want?
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*On further study, I learned that the lighthouse which can be seen out on the water is Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse, established in 1905. So Mathew would never have seen that. Whether the low island it warns of was visible (i.e., at any time of year or tide), is another matter. I note that I honestly said it was the island, more than the lighthouse, which felt familiar.
After discovering this online, I learned from a housemate, who has sailed in the area extensively and who knows the local history, that "Ram's Ledge" has always been visible. The way I expressed it is precisely what one might expect, if consciously I was assuming it had all been there in Mathew's day, but my feelings were connecting more to the island than to the second lighthouse.
Music opening this page, "Death Letter Blues," performed by Gove Scrivenor,
from the album, "Heavy Cowboy"