There is a Zen Buddhist text about a monk who was reborn as a fox for five hundred lifetimes, until he realizes what’s been going on.
And of all places to remember a lifetime as a fox, I can positively trace several features to closely matching the Daruma Ji temple, a very holy place for Buddhists in Japan. If not for the fact that all the details so far add up very well, I’d think I was losing my mind at this point.
The fox may not be a past life of mine at all, but a memory of something else I knew, long ago in one of my lives, and half forgot.
I know the story is supposed to be allegorical, and I don’t literally think I’m the monk in the story. This is just the latest in a series of really weird coincidences, since this story is about someone remembering past lives not necessarily because of enlightenment, but perhaps because of having done something bad.
Maybe I did something really evil when I was John, or in the life before. Maybe remembering past lives is karma for the war; then again, I think I remembered past lives when I was John too. Maybe this was the only way I’d ever see myself as I truly am, including faults that I find more and more profound as I take an honest look at myself.
Once again, my attention is drawn to Buddhism.