Reincarnation and Other Breakfasts

I was just talking in another area of the net about possibilities of reincarnation. The person I was replying to was talking about walk-ins because someone they were attached to had perished, and they were wondering if a new love was this same soul, walked-into a body who had been born before the previous lover had gone.

As I said, sometimes this happens, but it is very, very rare. The walk-in doesn’t remember the life of the body they have walked into, because the memories belong to that other soul and stay with them. In previous times, this would have been seen as “possession” of the walked-in individual by the spirit of the soul walking in, who would have been seen as a malignant demon, for the very valid reason that they had forcibly and without consent thrown out the soul who had every right to live out a full lifetime in that body. The original soul for that body had business in that body, that country, that family line – and before they get to work it out, someone else waltzes in and takes over. Not very nice. I’d exorcise them, too!

Walk-ins do happen. I know a man who, try as he might, can’t remember anything that happened before the age of 23, and doesn’t remember or acknowledge his body’s birth parents – he’s quite likely to be a walk-in. I met him in the middle eighties when he was twenty-seven. He had found out that he had a degree, but couldn’t remember his schooling or university. He was happy doing labouring work. He was constantly annoyed by the attentions of a rather despondent younger brother who kept visiting and calling him, that he felt no kinship for and had no memories of childhood with. I can only imagine the grief that younger man had for his lost-but-not-lost brother, and how devastating that would have  been for his parents, who were still alive at the time.

An ex of mine reckons that their younger sister was a walk-in. At eight she had a fever that put her into hospital. She came out of it with total amnesia, and had to be re-taught everything about her life. She also came out of it much more driven, and much better at schoolwork than she had been before, though less gregarious and having more difficulties making and keeping friends. She may very well have been walked-in on at eight, during that illness, which is certainly less intrusive than I___’s walk-in in his twenties without an illness or accident to act as a bridge.

What happens more often is this:

Just as a soul won’t reincarnate at the exact scene of their death (or very often, in the same country!), they are free to move-in-time, just as they move-in-space. I had an epiphany about seventeen years ago when I remembered fifty-four years of my grandmother’s life from early childhood through to the moments of her death, and I’m pretty sure I am her, reincarnated (yep, she was odd too). Problem is, I *clearly* remember as an adult dandling my eldest son’s daughter on my lap as a baby several months before I died. That baby was me. I had unfinished stuff with my son/father (who has been dead for years), so I came back as me. I lived to the instant of my death in Melbourne, rested a while, then moved in both space AND time to be born several months earlier in Canberra.

It wasn’t hard.

What was hard, was the pain of remembering her whole life, and its mistakes and regrets. And I now know why I am loud and pushy. And broke. I’m making up for being polite and elegant and well-groomed and feminine and submissive and wealthy. She wasn’t all that happy, although the family all think she was (she wasn’t chronically depressed either). I’m trying her life the other way around, half a century later, in the same overall family. I’m not a whole lot happier, but at least I’m not letting other people force me to be someone I’m not.

I could well have reincarnated backwards in time every bit as easily as reincarnating in a different place. Time is just another direction, like up/down, front/back or left/right. If you can move through three directions, you CERTAINLY can move through the fourth, especially if you don’t have to drag a solid body along.

This sudden awareness of my grandmother’s life and my past life came to me when I was washing dishes at age thirty-two. I remember when I was six, looking forward to my seventh birthday with great anticipation, because I knew it was an age of great importance to me. It was mystical, magical, potent. Six wasn’t. Eight wasn’t. Ten wasn’t. Even eighteen or twenty-one weren’t, so I never had big parties for them. Seven was, but I was too young and powerless to organise a big party.

I also remember when I was probably less than half that age and struggling to find words for my thought, knowing what it felt like to be an adult, but bewildered that my body and my mind didn’t feel like that any more. Remembering what it felt like to kiss with tongues, but never having seen my parents or anyone else do it. With time those memories faded, and no longer existed. I just remember my wonderment, and the child-thoughts I had as I struggled to understand adult experiences that were distant memories.

And when I re-lived the earlier life over soapsuds and cereal bowls, I worked out why seven had seemed like such a potent, important age. A week after her seventh  birthday, my grandmother tried to drown her baby sister, who seemed to be getting more than her fair share of love, in the fishpond. One of the gardeners came by, pulled the baby out, and gave her/me a spanking. He was instantly fired, but at least the baby, my great-aunt, lived. My grandmother had spend a lot of time thinking about this, how she would do it, and had taken days to wind up the courage. Seven was indeed an important age for her, an age where she tried to regain her power in the family.

I remember a lot of other stuff from her life too, stuff with piquancy and poignancy, that makes sense in the context of my own phobias and loves, interests and skills – and lack of skills. I remember the love of her husband, who only I know how strongly he resembled my current-life father. I remember what she said when she was dying, which my father either mis-heard or misremembered when passing that memory on, and what she needed to have understood from those few words. I remember houses, servants, brandy-in-warmed-milk (something no one ever told me she drank). She liked tea brewed entirely differently to the way I like it – her tea, which I remembered the taste of, would taste foul to me today, as my weak-teabag-tea-with-soy-milk would have completely disgusted her. The little things and the big things. I remembered it all. We are not a close family – I was told little enough about her. I had to remember it all for myself.

And one of the warmest memories was in her last illness, knowing she’d never live to see this gorgeous baby girl in pink grow up, wondering if there would be others. The warm, wet weight of my nappy in her lap, fresh baby-urine just starting to soak through slightly – it didn’t disgust a doting grandmother. Blue baby-eyes, slightly out of focus, streaky with radiating white streaks in the clearest blue. The eyes have changed minimally, if at all – I search them in the mirror often now, remembering how they looked as baby-eyes.

Yes, I remember my grandmother, a woman who died when she was only a few years older than I am now, broken-hearted about a husband who pre-deceased her by two years and died before sixty of overwork and a fatty diet (heart-attack), but indulgent to this little scrap of a baby, the first of three broods of grandbabies that she never got to meet, a speck of a human being in pink who was her hope for the future.

She really, really did want me to carry her legacy into the future. She wanted it with a passion. And after she died, she made sure it happened. She reincarnated not only in a different town and different bed to the one she died in, but in a different time, a few months earlier. By the time a horrified infant opened its eyes to be assailed by light for the first time, my grandmother was in residence – as me, determined not to repeat her mistakes. And here I am, exactly like her, and completely different.

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