More Memories

I’ve started remembering bits of John’s life again.

While using a regression recording last night, I recalled being on a football pitch with tall, Victorian-looking stands that were slightly elevated, sort of like the ones in this photo of Shrewsbury Town Football Club:

The pitch was surrounded by stands and facilities on three sides, but toward the back there was nothing but trees.  I couldn’t see anything behind it.

It’s possible it could have been Gay Meadow, though I’m having a difficult time finding photos of Gay Meadow in 1914.

I also found out that Shrewsbury Town played at the Copthorne Barracks for a while (though they stopped in 1910), so it’s possible that stands they had erected for the purpose were still there in 1914.  The stands would explain the slightly elevated angle of that photo of new recruits in 1914.

Also, I had a brief flash of standing in line to join the army.  I was nearly twice the age of most of the boys in line.  When it came my turn the recruiting officer, a mustache the size of a small bird on his lip and a smoldering pipe in his hand, gave me a smile.

“And how old are YOU, son? ” he asked.

“Thirty Seven,” I replied flatly.

“Good man!” he roared with a hearty laugh.  “We’ll be needing you to keep these young ‘uns in line!”

It seems my age always made it harder.  From the day I joined until the day I got killed, I was always forced into the role of setting an example.  I couldn’t let them know how scared I was when I got pulled into dangerous duty as an expendable man.  I couldn’t back down when they needed volunteers.  Ultimately, though, I also couldn’t stop the bullets and shells from picking them off one by one and I had to be the sane, mature one each time.  And each time, I cried as little as I could or sometimes not at all; I didn’t want them to see me do that either.


So I played with this online thing called Akinator, which is basically a web game that tries to guess which character/person you’re thinking of.

It turns out that while it guessed Philip K. Dick within 20 questions, it could not, after about 70 questions, guess William Longespee (though it did guess Richard the Lionhearted… so close!).

Sort of puts Count William’s reputation in perspective I suppose.  Few people outside of avid medievalists and readers of historical romances seem to know anything about him.  I don’t know whether to be frustrated at being so obscure or filled to the brim with smug hipster satisfaction at having been a “kind of obscure” medieval statesman.


When I get to California this summer, I intend to take every opportunity for closure with my apparent previous life.

For one thing, I’m going to visit places I knew.  Point Reyes Station, San Rafael, and Berkeley are all on the itinerary.

For another, I plan to have what I guess could be termed a memorial service for my earlier life.  I’ll go out to the cliffs along the California coast with a boom box and play “Da Stiegen Die Menschen Als Licht” from Beethoven’s “Cantata on the Death of Joseph II” and watch the sun set over the ocean.

I already feel the need for this more strongly than I have since the memories broke.  I think my recent trip to San Jose- a place I’m sure I had been to at least on occasion during that life- has really only made the pull of these places I knew from the late 30s to the early 70s that much more irresistible.

It’s time to start letting go and moving on.  I have learned a lot from my previous life but I can’t write in the same voice or see the world through the same eyes, because too much has happened since then.

Incidentally, my next book should be out some time around the 33rd anniversary of Phil’s stroke; the significance of the number is not lost on me.

Stuck in the Early 60s

Lately, since discovering that my trip to Ypres will have to wait and a trip to Marin County is much more likely this summer, I’ve found myself listening to music from 1959-62.

The music of this era all seems to have a weird, dreamlike quality about it.  I find I’m really starting to love The Platters in particular.  I’m not sure if I was that into them in my previous life but I love the way they used reverb and broad harmonies to build a smooth, smoky sound.  I also love the fact that they tended to cover a lot of old standards.  “My Prayer” for instance actually goes back to the 1930s (the lovely Vera Lynn did a version).

I could almost forget that 1959-62 was about the time my previous life started coming apart.  Almost.

I’m hoping that I can build some new, happier memories in Marin County this time around.  I’ll have my fiance with me and I won’t miss a single opportunity for romance if I can help it.  And if this trip is everything I hope it will be, then I’m thinking we could come back to Marin County every summer.  I can’t change the past, but I can turn a place where I met disappointment and disorder into our own special summer place.

Major Edits Complete

I’m finished with my edits.

Hopefully what I’ve done so far will be deemed at least acceptable, and require only minor edits here and there. Some of the suggestions involved radically restructuring the story in ways that I didn’t feel would be helpful in telling the story I wanted to tell, but on the whole most of the notes were helpful and probably improved the story a great deal.

It doesn’t help that my publisher hasn’t read my previous life’s work, and a lot of the nuances that fans of my earlier work have picked up on when I showed it to them were kind of lost on him.  I had to rigorously defend my decision to keep certain scenes and explain my rationale, short of actually telling my publisher that this was in fact a letter to my future self as much as it was an entertaining mindfuck.  The truth is, he doesn’t know that I suspect I was Phil previously, and as a hard skeptic he probably wouldn’t believe me even if I told him, so the issue has never really come up.

I suppose I’ll have to see what my publisher and editor think of it now.  As for me, I’m tired and I’m ready to sleep on it.  I did a hell of a lot of work for one evening and although it’s the furthest thing from drudgery for me, it’s still exhausting.

Terence McKenna on Philip K. Dick

A fascinating read:

I’m not sure I completely agree, but I think that McKenna here is right that I probably was mistaken on some level in my efforts to systematize my insights.

I also think he’s absolutely spot on about being clued into the fractal nature of time (I described it in my previous life as “reticulated and arborizing,” being unfamiliar with fractal geometry).  My observations on Count William and John’s lives and their curious similarities across a period of roughly 701 years bears out that the underlying structure of time is essentially unchanging so I am willing to believe that wholeheartedly.

Also, the overwhelming sense that I get is that I didn’t expect to reincarnate after my experience.  As a result of systematizing it too much and relying perhaps too slavishly on antique explanations, I honestly thought I had broken the cycle and would not be back.  I think if anything discovering a past life as Phil is proof that I miscalculated on some level even if I may have had the gist of things right.

What I’m skeptical of is McKenna’s insistence that he knows exactly what I went through and moreover, I’m entirely uncertain about his insistence that the truth is in the King Wen sequence of the I Ching.  Admittedly, I haven’t looked into the I Ching in this life but perhaps I should if for no other reason than I think I ought to have a more informed opinion on this.

Sadly, Terence McKenna died when I was in high school in this life so trying to get in contact to get more insight into his thinking isn’t really a practical option.

UK/France Trip Cancelled

It’s official, I probably won’t be traveling to France, Belgium, and the UK this year. Dad was going to help out but says the cost would be prohibitive (I suspected as much).

Instead, there is a very good chance that my fiance and I will be spending some time in Marin County, CA seeing some sites from my most recent past life.


I remembered having a very ornate backgammon board in medieval times, and didn’t have to look very hard to find examples of such boards:

It’s frustrating when a confirmation comes that easily and it seems less remarkable and rewarding than a confirmation I really have to do some serious research for.  Nonetheless, it was worth recording because none of the sources I’ve read mention a fondness for backgammon (though one source did mention a fondness for cards and frequent gambling debts).

If nothing else, it adds a bit of dimension to Count William.

Back From San Jose

While I didn’t get the pleasure of debuting another book, I did at least get the chance over the weekend to be a panelist!  The topic of the panel was on historic fiction and while I had to dodge some questions because “I just remembered it that way” wasn’t the sort of answer that would have helped anyone, over all I did a good job and had a lot of fun.

I sang karaoke for the first time since starting my transition on Saturday Night.  I sang “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables and actually did OK, for being two years out of practice and my voice being trashed by a nagging cough.

I also got to spend some time with someone from one of the reincarnation forums I post on, who had previously been a German soldier in both world wars.  After a toast and a quick lunch, we made a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Rosicrucian Peace Garden and museum in the older part of San Jose.

While I can’t find any evidence that I had been there (by all accounts Phil had taken RC courses by correspondence) I nonetheless had the intense feeling that I had been there before.  This was compounded by the fact that in the last few years, the grounds of the compound have been transformed into a beautiful palm tree garden.  I can’t help but wonder if the beatific vision Phil had was nothing more than a hazy “memory” of the future.


Interestingly, the RC peace garden had previously featured a statue of Julius Caesar in front of the planetarium (my friend even had a photo of this statue).  When I was there, however, we saw this instead:


A statue of Pythagoras had been erected in place of the statue of Caesar some time prior to my visit.  I cannot find exactly when one statue replaced the other but it seems strange nonetheless.  I’d be tempted to believe that this is a sign that the Empire will not stand before me but that’d just be crazy and grandiose.  Nonetheless, seeing the photo of the statue of Caesar where Pythagoras now stood gave me chills!

The museum was pretty impressive too, though sadly too dark to get good quality photos with my 8-year-old digital camera.  I did get a photo of the outside of this gorgeous building though:


Afterward we went to the Winchester Mystery House, though we didn’t have time to go in (maybe next time I’m down there).  I did get to see it from the outside:


After that, it was time to go to the airport.  I had just enough time to get dinner (which I literally finished in the gangway out to the plane).

I definitely want to spend more time in California soon.  I’d forgotten how much I missed it.

On My Way

On my way to San Jose shortly.

If you see a tall brunette in the airport or the downtown area who looks a little like a young female version of Philip K. Dick, it might be me or it might be someone else entirely.  Either way, I’m probably not going to say “yes” if you ask me “Are you Onecalledthree?”

I’ll be leaving my computer at home so I’ll get back to this blog Sunday.