I'm continuing with the task of proofreading--probably for the last time--my Chapter 14, where the bulk of my evidence has been placed, as it has slowly come in over the course of about eight years of research. I am at the point, in the narrative, where I closely examine the text of "A Christmas Carol."
Last entry (only yesterday!) I mentioned that I could see a domino effect, resulting from some recent discoveries. If I am certain, now, of the authorship of a body of short stories--that they were, in fact, all written by Mathew Franklin Whittier's first wife, Abby--then she and Mathew were the original co-authors of "A Christmas Carol."
So far as I could see, the Lagina brothers never found anything in the "Curse of Oak Island"--but I did.
I'm tired of telling people. Yesterday, I picked up the laptop of a late acquaintance (the same who was visited by Prof. Chris Bache, who didn't bother to ring me up when he was in town).* So, when I was chatting with the mutual acquaintances who had inherited the machine, I happened to mention I was writing a book. Now, the woman of this couple is an author and an editor by profession; and she is in no-wise averse to reincarnation. He, the man, was quite eager to know what my book was about; she said to him, "Oh, you know, I told you about it." But I went ahead and told him anyway, that it was a book in which I was exploring a past-life of my own, that I had identified in the 19th century.
Now, even with people who are quite well-acquainted with metaphysics and reincarnation, there is a kind of "macro" which fires off. It says, based on their prior experience with such things, "Oh, another person fondly speculating and imagining about his past life."
That is not even close to what I am doing. But the urge to accept that "macro"--that piece of automated, canned mental software--as one's own original thought on the subject, is so powerful, that it commandeers even the most powerful intellect. What this means is that we must be driving on automatic 90% of the time, mentally. In the same way that we don't remember precisely how we got home in the car, we don't realize we are thinking with canned reactions.
I could have talked myself blue in the face with this couple from that point on, but they had tuned me out. Their eyes had glazed over--they were disappointed. They had already decided. I would never be able to convince them that I had actually done something radically different from anyone they had ever encountered before, who claimed to have identified a past life.
And when I share this discovery, that in my past life, it appears that my wife Abby wrote the original text of "A Christmas Carol," with me either collaborating with her at the time, or editing after her passing, it only confirms this perception. "(Yawn)...another one..."
The editor told me that people don't read long books, unless perhaps one is famous. She advised me to write a "light" version, i.e., a summary work. No doubt she's right, in the short term, if what I want is to sell books. I've seriously thought about it, many times--a shorter book that just touches on the highlights, and presents the best evidence. The problem with that, is then I would end up with what everybody else has done, and what everybody expects--a work that titillates, but doesn't actually prove. This is what everybody wants--a thrill ride that leaves you precisely the way you were before you picked it up. I would then be reinforcing the spurious meme, "Reincarnation can never be proven."
But that's not what this is about. This book proves reincarnation by a preponderance of the evidence--and that takes some time. After you immerse yourself in my world, when you come out the other side, you aren't the same person. That is what I've always wanted to do, and that is what I've done. As it happens, this is a fascinating and entertaining read, but admittedly it takes some effort. That no-one will take it on, yet, is not really my concern. I've created the worm-hole, as it were--I can't give people the motivation or the courage to go through it. In the desperation of needing to know the truth, people will go through a transformative experience--not before. For example, who would ever take seriously that soul-mates can continue their relationship even after one of them has died, physically? I'll tell you who takes that seriously--the one who is grieving the loss of their soul-mate. That person is motivated.
When it comes to proving reincarnation, and demonstrating how it can be studied, I'm not sure how that motivation is created. What will induce people to immerse themselves in such a book, and emerge from it understanding that life is both spiritual, and cyclical, and that death is only of the physical body? That Materialism is bogus; and that each of us is 100% accountable for every decision we make, and every action we take? That we are, now, basically living out the patterns we created for ourselves in the past; and that each of us has a purpose in life that we incarnated to fulfill, with crucial lessons to learn?
The person who has hit rock-bottom, generally, is the one so-motivated. By the looks of how things are trending, I think there may be quite a few such people in the next couple of generations.
As regards length, and this editor's comment, what comes to mind is that she doesn't realize that the subject is worthy of the treatment. Could Ken Burns have told the story of the Civil War in an hour-long documentary? Could Tolkien's trilogy have been encapsulated in a standard length film? How about the "Star Wars" saga? This is not hundreds of mind-numbing pages of me philosophizing; this is a ton of evidence, which all needed to be carefully presented and cross-referenced.
Well, I'm going back to my proofreading. Gradually, over a period of eight years, I have been adding evidence to this book. But I don't get a sense of just how powerful this evidence has become, until I start reading it through, again.
Here, I'll share a brief snippet from the section I'm proofreading, which just caught my eye. This will give you some idea of what I found when I looked deeply into this question:
By contrast, the entire section regarding the meeting of Scrooge with the Ghost of Christmas Present seems unfamiliar to me. Large sections of the description of the Ghost and his surroundings remain intact, but it is impossible to determine whether this might represent Dickens’ own original writing, and his own revisions of same. My intuitive sense of recognition picks up again where the Spirit defends himself against Scrooge’s charges of cramping the poor people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment, and he explains:
“There are some upon this earth of yours,” returned the Spirit, “who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”
My strong feeling is that this is Abby speaking, and it has been rather arbitrarily inserted by Mathew because she specifically wanted to make the point. It represents a defense of Spiritualism, which movement Dickens, himself, ridiculed. Presumably, it was Scrooge’s second spirit guide, of Abby’s invention, who had originally spoken these words, not Dickens’ “Ghost of Christmas Present,” whose representation as a gluttonous giant of plenty would not have been to her liking.
The difference between me, and the Lagina brothers, is that they started out with a rumor of treasure, and persisted on looking for it until they ran out of money (not counting whatever they may have made on royalties); whereas I actually started with the treasure (sans royalties), and proceeded to amass evidence that it was, in fact, what it appeared to be. Because I had picked a winner in the first place, whatever I touched was already gold, by definition. Does that make sense? I couldn't miss--it was like shooting fish in a barrel, because it was a real case. Even where the evidence initially seemed to go against me, it most often turned out to be supporting evidence, after all--and those seeming "misses" led me down some very, very interesting side alley-ways. For example, where someone else was credited with a work that either Mathew or Abby had originally written, a deeper investigation exposed a theft.
And that was exactly what happened with Charles Dickens and "A Christmas Carol"--but it was hardly the only instance.
Admit it--until you read this book with an open mind, you don't know, you are only guessing. You are only driving on automatic. Your eyes are glazed over, but you don't know it. Someday they will clear--or, your children's eyes, or their children's. Because the truth will out, eventually.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*This kept bothering me all day after I wrote it, because I know it sounds cold. I liked this fellow, but didn't get to know him very well because, as it seems, he thought himself academically or intellectually superior to me, given that he was a full-fledged psychologist, and I only had a master's degree in counseling. We never really hashed this out, because we never got that close in the first place. I could be wrong, of course. At any rate I wish him well on the other side, and somehow, I have ended up with his laptop, because the friends who inherited it didn't know what to do with an XP machine missing the "z" key. I intend to use it as a back-up, perhaps when I go places where I'd prefer not to risk my primary laptop, but still want something I can write on. I'll certainly think of him when I use it.
Music opening this page: "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" by Johann Sebstian Bach
(adaptation by Wendy Carlos, from the album, "Switched On Bach 2000)