It seems that a long-standing pattern in my life has held true. When I have divested emotional attachment from the outcomes of important things, they have worked out.
As I slept off one of the most intense euphoric experiences of my entire life, the letter of recommendation I had been agonizing over was finally posted. My relief is tremendous.
Sometimes, the only way to really understand something is to re-experience it.
I had speculated for a number of years that my sudden recollection of past lives in September 2012 was somehow related to an experiment with psilocybe azurescens mushrooms earlier that year (about July).
Just today, the opportunity presented itself to repeat that experience. However, I had to use the slightly less powerful cubensis variety of psilocybe mushroom this time. Having consumed an eighth ounce of these at about 7:50 this evening, I am still experiencing quite a profound effect from them and I now am quite sure that these are not what caused my recollection of past lives.
In fact, what I feel is something far more transcendent; certainly, my past lives stand as a matter of fact before me but they feel so insignificant. Instead what I find is that I sit at the base of the mountain, attainment. I am not enlightened, but I am loved by many enlightened beings and with their love, I can attain it in this lifetime.
And in the face of that, these long years of yearning for lost connections with people and places that are either long gone or far away, it seems so insignificant now. Lord Shiva dances, turning stars into dust, dust into stars, so much dancing that even he tires, so much dancing that even when he is not dancing, he is still dancing. And he smiles, and I smile with him. Past lives are so much stardust to me in this blessed moment.
I can’t blame the mushrooms. I feel almost as if I have slighted them for even thinking for a moment they were the cause.
Things are moving ahead, and the professor who was taking a while on his letter of recommendation may be starting that process finally. At least, after I acted as a go between with him and the history department, things started moving forward!
If I have his letter, then that’s the last of it. The finishing touch on a really excellent application. I’ve got the GPA, the test scores, and the writing samples to show that I’m a capable historian and able to use a vast array of resources for a variety of different research tasks.
My qualifications are absolutely sterling…
..so why do I still find myself crippled by worry that it won’t be enough?
It seems I’ve had that happen a few times in my life: people glibly said “try your best” and my best was not hard enough. But lately, I’ve had some modest successes as both a writer and an academic; these are not resounding successes but I feel like I’m chipping away a niche for myself, slowly but surely.
Still, old failures haunt me. Mainly, it’s my present life that’s been heavy on my mind. I had a lot of missed opportunities and I took a lot of things for granted. But my biggest regret is not applying myself as a historian before, because I figured there’d be “no money in that.” I should have just forged ahead! I should have known how important it would become in my life! Hindsight nags at me like a rabid hound.
I just want to know that my present life is going somewhere. Ne frustra vixisse videar.
Doing a little better. Still grappling with a lot of things and sleeping until 3 in the afternoon from anxiety but I managed to get out of the extreme panic for now.
I began work on a project last night to turn my first published novel (the dieselpunk one) into a screenplay.
I don’t know how far I’ll go with it but I figure it couldn’t hurt at this point. The source material’s all there, the work is moving pretty quick, and the story adapts beautifully to the screenplay format with only modest changes made on the fly.
What prompted this? Let’s just say it has something in common with one of the upcoming film releases that has gotten surprisingly good reviews.
Although screen adaptations I made of my own books in my last life never got made (it was always somebody else’s adaptation), if I’ve learned anything in the last year it’s that I’m not chained to my last life’s luck.
Today is the deadline for my grad school application. I just called the history department and they said as long as my contact info for my letters of reference is up to speed, I don’t have to do anything and they’ll do the follow-up if one of my letters isn’t received. I’m naturally going to go back and double check the contact info but that is literally the only thing left to do.
Now the long wait. I hear they take a while to process these and they won’t start until after the deadline. Then if I can get in, funding will be another matter to worry about but it’s an issue I can work around.
I could soon become the first in my immediate family and the second in my extended family to get a postgrad education; everyone else either got in on a good job back when it was easier to become a professional with only a high school diploma or 2-year degree, went into the military where it wasn’t vitally important to have an advanced degree, or married someone with a good job so they didn’t have to bother finishing high school. Now I face a job market glutted with BAs and with military service and OTR trucking not really options, I’m going forward not so much with my head held high as feeling a bit between a rock and a hard place.
This is also the first lifetime I’m aware of that I’ve gotten this far as an academic. It’s thrilling, but also terrifying. I can’t tell most of my classmates, peers, and professors the truth, that I owe my direction to past life memories of the 12th century. What would they say? Maybe I’ll admit it once I’ve got something to show for my skills as a researcher. Maybe once my qualifications speak for themselves and I’m set for life (if that ever happens) and someone asks me how I got into this, I can admit it was a mystical experience; until then, I’ve got everything to prove.
Words fail… Soldiers basically crucified by their own commanders for minor infractions, not in ancient Rome but in the 20th century!
Thankfully if I experienced this in my earlier life, I have no memory though it resonates with a certain horrible familiarity.
I did have a flash of being crucified, but as a rebel against the Roman Empire somewhere in central Europe, some time in antiquity.
One’s imagination does go wild, though. Certainly from a Gnostic point of view I’m intrigued and more than a little disturbed at the symbolic implications.
101 years ago today, one Pte. John William Harris of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry arrived at Le Havre, France awaiting transport to the Western Front.
I still don’t remember that day. I’ve had brief flashes that might have been of Le Havre but I can’t positively place them.
As for my motives, re-tracing my steps has helped me understand better why I was there and to some small degree, begin to make peace with it.
I was there because the only stable career I had ever known was as a soldier. I was there because I wanted a second chance to make a name for myself, to finally get past the rank of Private and show courage under fire. I was there because I wanted to make my father proud by doing my duty. I was there because men I had served with in India were also there, and I missed the esprit de corps.
In short, I was there because it seemed at the time like the only sensible thing I could do with my life.
I still have trouble accepting it. I look back at a life shattered and contaminated with memories of some of the most barbaric slaughter in history and I ask myself all the time if there really wasn’t any other way. The experience left a deep psychic scar that has run across several lifetimes now.
Was this really the only way? Did I really have to die like a dog and spend two subsequent lives trying to figure out why I was so messed up?
I submitted my application for the MA history program at Portland State University.
It’s done. I’m finished with months of preparation and toil to make this application the best I could, and now all I can do is wait.
Now we’ll see if the bizarre twist of past life anamnesis that took me from a restless student with no direction to an avid scholar of medieval history has paid off.
My grad school application process has been an emotional roller coaster. The latest drama involved a language requirement that I had not met…
…except I did meet it, kind of. At least, I got by on a bureaucratic technicality that I can’t be bothered to explain in detail (it had to do with transferring from my university in London, a registrar’s error in processing my records, and a TOEFL score that never existed), and I can make up for the deficiency by studying Latin, which is something I’ll need for my major anyhow!
Sometimes I really do wonder who or what is looking out for me and what will happen when my luck runs out, but for now I’ll take it.