On this blog, I have disclosed the details of three possible past lives and I have hinted at a fourth, which I am still hesitant to discuss in detail.
However, you might also notice that there is another theme that has become quite common here: my attempts to work out exactly what these experiences represent. And while my conjectures have been numerous, I feel that they can be generally classified into three categories with problems endemic to each of them.
The first I like to call the “Insanity Hypothesis.” That’s an easy one to explain; simply put, if this hypothesis is correct, I’ve simply had a series of psychotic episodes. This seemed to be borne out by the emotional nosedive I took after the more graphic memories I had of Ypres. However, my quality of life and emotional stability has actually improved somewhat since recovering from the initial shock of those memories, which makes psychosis seem unlikely. I also have the opinion of multiple professionals that these ideas are not psychotic in nature.
The second hypothesis might be termed the “Stranger than Fiction” hypothesis. In simple terms, this means that whatever these experiences are (past lives, remote viewing of the distant past, or simultaneous existences in non-linear time), they are real and therefore deserve to be studied and learned from. The problem with this hypothesis is that I cannot find any solid evidence to tell me what these experiences actually are, only that they bear a close resemblance to actual historic facts.
The third hypothesis I call the “Walter Mitty Hypothesis.” Simply put, if this hypothesis is true then my experience has been a combination of emotional immaturity and a tremendous intellect for constructing quasi-rational fantasies, and I am nothing more than a writer who told myself a story so realistic that even I believe it.
This last hypothesis would seem the most likely, but to my mind there is one major problem: I don’t know if I’m that good as a writer. In fact, if the reception to my published work is any indication, I’m too much of a “close but no cigar” kind of writer who can write light and entertaining pulp fiction, but little else. I am often frustrated by my inability to run with the literary heavyweights of my era like Tom Wolfe and Thomas Pynchon; in reality I’m just barely a notch above your average romance novelist with plenty of pedestrian narratives and tired themes.
I suppose, though, after convincing myself that I can remember lives strung across 800 years, it’s time to see if I’m really capable of telling a story that good whole cloth. I want to be able to make up stories about places I’ve never been and people I’ve never met that somehow turn out to be stunningly accurate.
But already, I feel like I’m having to work up to that. I’m having to draw from my experiences and slowly wean myself off of them, and my one attempt at writing historic fiction based on a past life, I was told, reads more like an outline than an actual story; it seems when I deliberately spin yarns I’m just not as good at making them work. I’m not having flashes of inspiration where I see the story playing out as if it were a memory from many centuries ago. I feel frustrated and lost at times and I wonder if this is simply my own self-doubt and self-consciousness coming into play, or if I’m really not capable of telling stories like this one on any deliberate basis.
But writing matters to me because if I can tell a better story than a string of past lives linked by weird coincidences and supported by historic facts, then I’ll know for sure if it’s possible that I could have made the whole thing up. If not, then I’ll have a pretty good indication that what I’ve experienced is probably genuine and a wonder to be cherished, even if it has been emotionally difficult.
I might never know, and I might spend the rest of my life trying to figure this out… but maybe I can live with that.