I have gone farther with my research into possible past lives than a lot of people have.
And yet, I often wonder what drives me, why I can’t just let it go, why I insist on contacting people who might have known me, or asking weird questions of historians.
I guess what it all comes down to is the age-old question of what happens when we die. I had gotten used to the idea that there is nothing after death and now I want to know if I was wrong because in truth, the answer really does affect me here and now.
Let’s say someone takes exception to me for being born male and living as a woman. I have a one in twelve chance of being killed just for that fact. Add in some additional risk factors- poverty, being overweight, anxious/depressive disorders, and the inherent dangers of hormone therapy to name a few- and I’ll be lucky to make it to 60.
I’ve taken some steps to reduce risks (most notably no longer drinking), but there’s only so much I can do. Sooner or later, this body will wear out too.
How I spend the time I’ve got left wouldn’t change so much; I still will have to live as if my final breath is “game over” even if there is another quarter in my pocket. A life lost is a life lost, even if I can expect to reincarnate. I can’t go back and claim the Earldom of Salisbury, or John’s 1914/15 cross. Whether I come back or simply dissipate into nothingness, everything I had in this life will one day be gone.
But I guess the answers to my questions would certainly change my outlook, if not the outcome. Reincarnation is not all sunshine and daisies, especially if you remember past life misfortunes and how easily everything can go wrong. There’d still be a lot of fear in me because I would lose some good things in this life and I would be destined for a very uncertain future, but maybe I could close my eyes on that fateful day and say “I can handle this. I’ve done this before.”
But before I commit to believing that, I’d like to have something really solid to believe in. I want to know for sure that something I have remembered is more than just a lucky guess or cryptomnesia, even if I can never prove it to anyone but myself. I don’t want to delude myself, or to believe the wrong things about where my soul is headed.
Whatever happens the day I die, I want to die sure in what I believe. I think everyone does, really, but not everyone has a chance like this. Here I have this golden opportunity, a possible past life that ended a little over 3 decades ago. There are people alive who knew the person I might have been, and I have already had tantalizing leads to suggest that there is something to my memories. I feel so close to finally answering the question for myself.