Today will be my researcher's third and final expedition into the historical liberary, scanning through the newspaper which I learned that I had contributed to, as Mathew Franklin Whittier, in the early 1840's. It's the last expedition, because I am tapped out for cash. Of course, my project isn't funded, or rather, is entirely self-funded. Only because of the power of the internet, have I been able to proceed with the bulk of it. On rare occasions I do hire someone--at Craigslist prices--to access these sources which are not yet online.
And, of course, it is only through the internet that I can afford to act as my own publisher, and make my work available to a world-wide audience. A world-wide audience of, perhaps, a hundred people per month (not counting re-visits); which is the irony of the web. Everybody is a researcher, an author and a publisher--and therefore, we are back to scratch again.
I have over 650 of Mathew's published pieces, now (either in physical or digital form); he must have written thousands, if one counts unsigned fillers and book reviews written as an employee of this or that paper. I have tried to estimate his lifetime public reach compared to my own, and I think it's roughly equal. My documentary (including in substandard, viral copies) has been seen online over half a million times; but the sketch introducing Mathew's flagship character, the Archie Bunker prototype "Ethan Spike," was reprinted across the country, and even shows up in newspapers in Britain and Australia. Of course, Mathew received no income, or personal fame, from these reprints. In all of them, his typical philosophical opening is omitted, so the serious underlying message has been truncated, and he wasn't known to be the author until 11 years later, in 1857, when he was "outed." Today, the viral posters edit out my company logo at the opening of the program, and nobody knows that I was the producer, director and editor. As they say, the more things change...
So far, in this Portland, Maine literary newspaper, my researcher has found only a handful of pieces. This is not too surprising, since Mathew had, as I have said, lost his wife and child just before the paper was launched. Several months out, we have seen one brief essay on death (entitled, "Death."), confirming what I already knew were his Spiritualist views. Then, the following year, around the anniversary of their marriage in 1836--despite the fact he had been pressured into a second, arranged marriage a few months earlier--we see a cluster of four poems. Two are definitely his, signed with his "asterisk" or "star"; one of the unsigned poems, about a young woman's death from consumption, i.e., tuberculosis (entitled, "Consumption") turned out to be by another author; and the fourth one, also unsigned, may or may not be Mathew's, because it ends with what may be a personal reference to a friend. Again, all four pieces are published over a period of a few weeks after the anniversary of his first marriage; and all are deeply personal, about that relationship and her death. Because it is his typical MO, I am guessing that he personally sent all of them to the editor, even the one by another author, which so closely expressed his own feelings.
As far as proving my previously-recorded past-life impressions to be genuine, there is only cumulative evidence here, to add to the pile. There are no "clinchers," of the sort that skeptics insist upon--and then deny, if you ever present them with one. You do know that skeptics, i.e., cynics, are dishonest in this way? They insist on "clinchers" because they assume you can never provide one. Having worked for years to comply with their demands, if you ever do provide one, they go into denial. That's because their demand was, itself, dishonest. Had they been honest skeptics, instead of cynics masquerading as skeptics (Skepticism is a fine philosophical tradition in its own right), they would have done their own research, and would be convinced, by now, that reincarnation is real.
Cumulative evidence, the "weight of the evidence," has its own value; and it can put you in jail, in a court of law. Here, so far in this research foray, we have the cumululative variety on several counts. First, that Mathew did, indeed, use a single asterisk as his consistent secret pen-name. With one or two possible exceptions, which my researcher will go back and check, today (because I saw them cut off at the edge of the page in his photographs), everything of Mathew's he's found in this paper so far had this signature. And we do know that he is said, by the editor, to have contributed to it. But if the asterisk signature is confirmed for Mathew, this opens up a whole host of other confirmations--because now, we have a body of his work, in several different genres, spanning his entire literary career. The asterisk, or star, now becomes the standard by which we can judge every other piece written either anonymously, or under another briefly-adopted pseudonym. Mathew is the only 19th-century author I know of who adopted pseudonyms like popcorn. He would start a series with a new pen-name, and run it for, perhaps, 3-5 sketches. Then either it was shelved, or he generated spin-offs. Very often, though not always, these were characters who were writing in to the editor. Frequently, some other author would be credited with the work--sometimes through greed, and sometimes, apparently, as a deliberate ruse with Mathew's cooperation.* For example, where historians see "Trismegistus" and its popular spin-offs, in the Boston "Carpet-Bag," this was not written by Benjamin Drew, as the editor, himself, remarked in his memoirs. This was Mathew, taking the name "Trismegistus" to refer to the metaphysics he had studied deeply (and which there is no sign of Drew having ever studied, no less embraced to the point of using that pseudonym--I know, because I had a researcher explore his diary and unpublished autobiography**).
So we have a deeply personal glimpse into Mathew's relationship with his soul-mate, Abby, in this first marriage. These pieces reflect things that a psychic told me about that relationship back in 2010, as well as things I feel that Abby has told me, through thought-impressions, subsequently. It also reflects themes which are seen repeatedly in Mathew's and Abby's respective writings, as I have been able to uncover them in these period newspapers. (Mathew published a body of Abby's stories, edited by himself, posthumously about a decade after her passing.) In particular, the poem "Why Art Thou Sad," which I shared in the previous entry, reveals what this relationship truly meant to him.
Mathew kept his cards very, very close to his chest. I have been told that this is a New England trait, especially as regards men and their emotions. He has revealed his true feelings only in a joking, symbolic way through his humorous sketches; in a heavily disguised form, through adventure stories; and directly, in poetry which is disguised with an impenetrable pseudonym, or even with no signature, at all. I was able to ferret all this out, because I have full (if, at times, delayed) access to Mathew's subconscious mind. But here, in the very early months after Abby's death, we have his unabashed thoughts written, as it seems, directly to her, and signed with what he believed at the time to be an impenetrable signature--the asterisk. The asterisk which was really a star, which was really a soul--his half of a twin-soul, left behind on earth, now, to try to carry on the work they had begun, together.
This is powerfully evidential; except to the cynic, who will simply dismiss it. But you have to understand, I do have "clincher" evidence. I have shared it before, and when I do, either publicly, here in this blog, or privately, including with with people who are deeply involved in reincarnation studies, that has never induced anyone to purchase my book. Nevermind the financial side of it, but if I am accomplishing what I say I'm accomplishing, why wouldn't a person want to buy my book? For $12, the price of a fast-food lunch for two? Given the literary fast-food that people spend twice that much on? And with over 400/month reading the article in which I explain my research method? The only two explanations I've ever been able to come up with (aside from professional jealousy, for those who are in the field), are disbelief, and fear. I think people simply don't believe me (and this, partly because they are so jaded from a glut of fanciful information in the media); while Abby, if I catch her thoughts correctly, says it's fear. If she's right, the more convincing I am, the fewer books I will sell.
I guess I must be making a pretty strong case for it, then.
I should have the results from this last research foray tomorrow morning, and should be able to summarize them here within the next couple of days. (I expect several book sales afterwards, unless y'all are skeered...)
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*In some instances when, unknown to Mathew, he was being betrayed, it was both.
**Drew is revealed, in his private writings, to have been a sort of "reformed Calvinist," as we speak, today, of a "reformed Catholic" or a non-orthodox Jew. He was, in short, less religious than his religious mother, and more like his liberal father, if I remember correctly, now, which parent was which. But there is no indication that he rejected Calivinism to deeply study any esoteric teachings. Thus, if he had used the pseudonym "Trismegistus," it would have to have been casually, in fun, rather than as a veiled hint of a lifetime of serious study, the way Mathew would be using it. There was no reference in Drew's diary to any of the spin-offs, which became famous at the time--only, there were two of the poems, which had been published under the umbrella pseudonym, entered under a prior date, and claimed by himself. It appears, from my reading of it, that he inexplicably lied to his own diary about having written them. I gather, from poking around a bit, that some people actually do this, if they are temperamentally inclined in that direction. In this case, I think we have a rather marshmellow personality of pedestrian talents, who privately wished to fancy himself a poet. Perhaps it was convenient for Mathew to let him, given that people were looking for him (Mathew) because of his radical views, so he let this fellow dig his own pit.
Music opening this page: "Death Letter Blues" performed by Gove Scrivenor,
from the album, "Heavy Cowboy"