Having obtained or accessed, as it seems, all of the historical sources pertaining to my past-life personality and research subject, Mathew Franklin Whittier, for the next two weeks I will be spot-checking my book. As I do so, I run across interpretations of his history, in the early portions, which I corrected later on. What it means is that, when faced with some aspect of Mathew's personal history, and based on the information I had uncovered at that time, I misinterpreted it. This would be entirely understandable if it were ordinary historical research; but it raises a question, if I am claiming to remember this as a past life of my own.
As with many skeptical objections I can foresee being raised, this one has a simple answer. I remember only a very small portion of Mathew's life. I have only a few glimpses, in the sense of full cognitive memories--but at the same time, I have full emotional memory.* I know, in short, how he felt about everything which I uncover in his personal history; but I actually remember very little of it.
This led me, where I indulged in speculations, to make occasional errors. But they are not to be wondered at, and they don't preclude this being a real reincarnation case. A couple of examples will suffice. But before I commence, I can almost hear the reader dismissing my statement, that I know how Mathew felt about everything I uncovered in the historical record. We may think of feelings as being intangible and ephemeral--but they are, nonetheless, data. Suppose you had this type of amnesia about your present life. As a test, you are going to be introduced to a person you once knew, and record your feelings. Now, there are perhaps 10 or 20 ways to be wrong, here; and only a few ways to be right. Say, this was someone you intensely disliked, feeling envious of his success, and angry at what you perceived as his cheating you to obtain that success. You are introduced to the person, and spend five minutes chatting, then record your feelings. You report that you feel very positive; that you like him, and feel that maybe you were friends, and did things together. Further, you feel that you admire him and trust him.
With these results, you would have clearly failed the test. So don't tell me that my past-life emotional reactions can't be used as objective data. They can.
Now suppose you recorded feelings of envy, and of distrust. From those feelings, you extrapolate a scenario that you were long-distance runners, and he tripped you to slow you down near the finish line. This, because someone had once mentioned that you liked to jog, and it got you thinking along these lines. Your extrapolation is mistaken--but your emotional reaction is on-target. This is the situation I found myself in, a number of times, in my self-study.
On to my example. I felt that Mathew's second marriage, a year after his first wife's death, was arranged. His sole biographer indicates that he probably split with this second wife around 1858, after 16 years of marriage. I then found evidence of him being out on his own, as though he had been kicked out of the house, in mid-1857. So I assumed this was the end of the marriage. I also felt that an affair had preciptated the breakup.
Subsequent research painted a somewhat different picture. I had always wondered why he hadn't left earlier; as it happens, that's precisely what happened. As near as I can tell, he had an affair sometime in 1849, or seven years into the marriage, and began traveling as a single man, a postal inspector, while writing a travelogue column for a Boston newspaper. From this time on, he continued to visit his children, whom he loved deeply, but that second marriage was over. He maintained separate residences in both Portland, Maine (where his family lived), and Boston, where he wrote for several newspapers from 1848-1853. Far from "abandoning his family" as his biographer asserted, he appears to have been supporting them during this time.
Then, it seems he fell on hard economic times (probably because he was blacklisted for his progressive views), and may have moved back with the family (or near the family), for practical reasons, even though he may have remained officially separated from his wife. There appear to have been one or two additional relationships with younger women (who no-doubt reminded him strongly of his first wife, for whom he continued to grieve). One of these "affairs," if we wish to call it an affair, may have precipitated the 1857 breakup, including the breakup of the family, entirely, such that the children were sent to live with relatives, etc. At this point, having been blacklisted, he was unable to continue supporting them.
This is not the scenario I initially interpreted--but my emotional reaction was correct, nonetheless. I had simply interpreted it according to the historical facts available at the time.
Actually, this revealed scenario matches even more closely with the person I had initially felt Mathew was. Even the first affair occurred because he should never have allowed his family to push him into the second arranged marriage at all, while he was still grieving his first wife. The young woman he had the affair with appears to have superficially reminded him of his first wife (being an free-thinking intellectual). Mathew had stayed in the arranged marriage up to that point for the children, as he and his second wife had almost nothing in common. My feelings about her, and that relationship, were confirmed in subsequent discoveries, as was the fact that it had, actually, been arranged.
So for the record, when people see that I have "changed my tune" when interpreting Mathew's life, and wonder why I didn't get it right the first time, this is the answer. Meanwhile, I tried to be transparent about it--I didn't go back and clean it up to make it look like my past-life memory was more accurate (or complete) than it really was. This may be a self-study, where I was "on my honor" to report accurately, but I was meticulous in doing so. I think a careful reading of the book will reveal this to any fair-minded reader.
Unfortunately, it seems that people simply aren't ready for this book, yet, and that includes my ostensible colleagues and those who interview the new-age personalities of the day. But as I go through it, spot-checking and fine-tuning, I am struck again with just how good it is. Most authors write their ad copy in third-person, with ample superlatives, making it appear that someone else is actually saying these wonderful things about their work. I'll just tell you flat-out, and you can take it or leave it. That's the way I approached the entire study, and wrote the entire book.
This is a real reincarnation case, folks.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*This became especially clear, over the course of the research, when one or another of my researchers would make an interpretation, and I would immediately know it was wrong. I think I batted a thousand in this regard--it always turned out the way I felt about it, but the researcher didn't have this advantage, being far more prone to error.
Music opening this page: "Trademark," by Eric Johnson, from the album, "Ah Via Musicom"