So the other night, I’m watching the X-files episode entitled “The Field Where I Died” in which Scully and Mulder are tracking (for some reason that is unclear to me but doesn’t really matter) a very Branch Davidian-Jonestownesque cult , and Mulder just knows where the bunker is in the old Civil War battlefield behind the compound and saves the cult from suicide. Well, in the beginning, they all end up dead at the end. Um, that was a spoiler, huh? Well, it’s a ten plus year old ep, so I guess that’s okay, isn’t there a statute of limitations on those? Onward. So, the episode turns out to be about reincarnation, specifically Mulder’s past life with his then love / now cult harem wife and multiple personality sufferer (along with this past life recall thing she has going on). So she doesn’t sound like a prize in this lifetime, a bit nuts, actually, but apparently, she and Mulder were truly in love back during the Civil War, and she is waiting and waiting for him. It all gave me goose bumps and made me boo hoo. So touching.
Reincarnation attracted my geekish attention when I was a teenager (on the younger side of teendom, like thirteen or fourteen, maybe), and I did what all good geeks do, I researched it. So I read rather voraciously in all books that I could find about the topic. All books, that is, except religious texts; I just didn’t want to “go there,” as I wasn’t looking to unseat God or anything, just find out about this reincarnation thing that had sparked my interest in one way or another (fuzzy on that all these years later). Anyway, it’s amazing how easy it is and how much information there is on reincarnation that doesn’t focus on the religious aspects of it, the who believes what and why stuff, that even to this day doesn’t interest me over much about this topic in particular. Guess it’s just one of those things that can be made to fit in and work with most religious beliefs (though some, obviously, better and more than others).
Anyway, so I read about people who had memories of their past lives, dreams of them (some lucid, very interesting), and all manner of tales that involved people speaking languages they couldn’t possibly know, knowing their way around places they’ve never been or read about, being unreasonably afraid of something in this life, and so on. And of course there are always the “well, he could have picked up ancient Sumerian anywhere” arguments, and that’s all good, too. I don’t have the answers, nor do I profess to. I just love the whole idea of reincarnation, I really do. And while I’ve never suddenly broken out in song in . . . oh, say, Greek, I have had those feelings of comfort and affiliation with places I’ve never been, people I’d never previously met. I guess that we all do, really, and we explain this in different ways, but I’ve felt that I was actually “home” in some places, and am drawn to certain cultures and historical eras over others, love some people instantly, and on. Who knows why?
Now, I’m not talking about that transmigration thing where you might be a fruit fly in one life, a dog in the next, and an antelope some other time. Even if that’s true or possible, I just don’t care about it. No romance and mystery there, right? What’s the life expectancy of a fruit fly? Shrug. Naw, give me human lives throughout the centuries; now THAT is interesting. Particularly when you add in the (usual) element of popularly accepted secular reincarnation (I just made that term up, I just mean what people like me think who aren’t preaching in a pulpit): the people who are with you, also reincarnate, so it is entirely possible that you and your true love (as with Mulder and crazy cult lady) may meet once more.
One of my favorite movies is Dead Again with the ever fabulous and amazing Kenneth Branagh and his then wife Emma Thompson. They are a couple who loved and lost long ago, and then are reincarnated to find one another and set the record straight, as it were. It’s lovely. Truly. And action packed and fun filled, and not to be dismissed is the most marvelous Derek Jacobi as the . . . well, okay, I won’t spoiler this one, if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a peek. Unless this whole topic turns you off, in which case, catch these actors in Branagh’s excellent Shakespeare adaptations (my favorite of which is Henry V, and oh, is Jacobi brilliant in that. Sigh. But that’s another blog). Anyway, it’s definitely the love stories I remember from my youthful reading on the subject. The lost lovers, the accidental (or purposeful) deaths, the reuniting of two hearts and souls.
And it’s really quite remarkable how few people claim to have been Henry VIII or Marie Antoinette; most of the people who’ve been through past life regression or have these memories of past lives come to the front through other means think they were . . . well, just some ordinary person who lived an ordinary life. A mailman in Scotland, a seamstress in Sweden, a tenant farmer in America, a yak herder wherever they herd yaks. And in a larger sense, I guess that I am attracted to the idea of reincarnation for all the usual reasons people like these ideas: it’s hopeful. And it’s romantic.
Thought I’d provide a couple links, but with the following disclaimer: I’ve not read ANY of these sites, they just look cool:
wiki, of course
http://www.elevated.fsnet.co.uk/index-page14.html (I included this one because it mentions reincarnation and Christianity. Interesting. But again, I’ve not read it, nor am I likely to do so. Sigh.)
And finally, I just want to say that I have a brand new admiration for you Kerry, how the heck do you manage to find just the clips you want on youtube? I couldn’t even find a vid of the X-Files ep. Period. Let alone a scene I wanted. Sigh. But yay you!!
Omg, can I just say that Kerry is phenomenal? She actually found not a clip of the X-Files ep, but the whole ep! Have you ever? Yay Kerry!! Three cheers for Kerry!! (secretly I’m very jealous of this incredible search ability that she has, but shhhhhh, don’t tell her)