13. RESEARCHING PAST LIVES
After fooling around with this business of time being reset and living the same lifetime multiple times, I began to doubt my vague recollection of past lives.
I had run endless incidents, and some had been very productive of case gain, but that did not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Also, if you include Nots in the picture, you have to allow for picking up and running other's incidents as well as your own.
By this point I had mapped out my current actual GPM and had dated the last few dozen lifetimes here on Earth and had a vague idea of who I was etc. But this also had some oddball stuff and loose ends.
What I felt was that the past life recall should be like remembering having breakfast last week, and it was far from that. And I realized that I was using the certainty of the impacts that occurred in heavy incidents to dig up snatches of past life data. If I did that for my current lifetime, I would have a few recollections of things like being in the hospital once and no real idea of who I was or what I was doing.
So I began to work with light everyday incidents and pleasure moments. I tried to spot things like what kind of breakfast would I have had or what would I have done for entertainment etc. And at the same time, I searched for things that would validate my recall and convince me that I was not just imagining this stuff lock stock and barrel.
And finally I did come up with some things that convinced me that I was remembering real data. Of course this was only subjective proof and there is no way to show that I didn't look things up in the history books first and then make up some lifetimes that fit in. But the following stories should at least be a bit interesting and maybe they will help you when you reach the point where you need to undertake a similar search and validation for your own past life recall (and please realize that you need to build up a great deal of recall before you should even consider trying to validate any of it, its just too vague and only half correct in the early stages of processing).
Back around 1994 I was sitting in a coffee shop having breakfast and considering how I might have sat around in similar circumstances in earlier lives. And I thought of Constantinople.
I was already pretty sure of being at the fall of Constantinople, and I had run an incident of standing on the walls and feeling great sadness as the enemy overwhelmed the defenses. But now I found a lighter and clearer recall of sitting in a tavern overlooking the harbor and having some kind of sausage for breakfast. And I frequented that place regularly and it seemed that I would sit there in the mornings sketching out things that had to do with defending the city.
And I remember drawing a plan for reinforcing a sort of elevator, which was a huge wooden platform lifted by chains and pulleys. This was used to raise catapults up to the top of the walls. But in my sketch I was modifying it so that it could be used for cannons. With that I knew that I was dubbing stuff in because Constantinople had fallen in 1453 and I was sure that gunpowder had not yet been invented.
But I decided not to worry about it and to keep running through that time period on the basis that the dub-in would gradually lift as I took more charge off. And it seemed that there was a lot of charge there to be confronted. It seemed to me that I had been some sort of leader or strategist planning the defense of the city, but somebody else had shown up and replaced me as commander and they had betrayed the city and caused it to fall. My certainty in the incident was that we could have held the city if it hadn't been for that. It seemed to me that the city had been impregnable and that a traitor had opened the gates.
And then I tried to get the name I had then. I'm almost hopeless on last names, but first names are fairly easy to remember. But then it seemed to me that my first name was Paul, and that didn't seem at all appropriate for somebody living in Constantinople.
The whole recollection was still pretty vague, but the Italian sounding name and the cannons seemed to be unshakable on repeated scanning through the time period. Eventually I decided to let the matter drop and look things up in the history books.
I was shocked when I read the Brittanica's account. Giustiniani (or Julian or Justin) had arrived just before the battle and taken over the city's defenses. Paul (or Paolo) Bocchiardo and his brothers had therefore been demoted from managing the main defenses (and the main gate) and were placed in charge of holding the next weakest of the gates. Julian then left a gate (actually a small sally port) open and a few Turks stormed in before the Bocciardos could get it closed again. When this handful of Turks showed up behind the walls, Julian announced that the city was lost and that he was badly wounded, and lead his troops from the walls and sailed off while the city fell. And Constantinople did indeed have cannons but they weren't used in the battle because Julian convinced the Emperor that they would shake down the city walls (which were a hundred foot thick) if they were mounted on the walls and fired.
As to the Italian names, both Julian and the Bocciardos were from Genoa and each had raised troops and brought them to defend the city. My impression is that the Bocciardos had a rich shipping business between the two cities and that the family maintained a residence in Constantinople as well as in Genoa.
And another impression I had on reading about this was that I would have followed Julian after the battle and killed him.
Eventually I found much more detailed accounts. When the Turks stormed the position abandoned by Julian and swept into the city, the Bocciardos maintained their position and held their section of the wall until nightfall. They successfully evacuated their men and got their ships out of the harbor and then sneaked out themselves under cover of darkness. Now the accounts get interesting. Paul was officially reported as having died while the Bocciardos were escaping the city, but there are accounts of people talking with him afterwards. The historians hypothesis that there was some confusion as to which brother was which. I would suggest however that if you were going to hunt down and kill another citizen of Genoa, you might want to issue a false report of your own death.
Then there is the matter of Julian's wound which he used as an excuse to explain why he was leaving the walls (the Emperor mustered what few troops he could and bravely held the main gate while Julian made good his escape, the Emperor of course perished with his men). All but one account consider that Julian's wound was a fake or a minor scratch that was self inflicted. But one historian considers that it must have been a real wound because there is a record that Julian died at Chios on the day following the battle. Although the cause of Julian's death is not recorded, it would obviously be related to the battle, either being due to a real wound, or, more likely in my opinion, being due to an angry man extracting vengeance from a horrible traitor. I seem to recall catching up with him in a tavern.
One might well ask why the city was betrayed. Julian was rich and certainly didn't need any kind of payoff. Another interesting point is that the Pope sent a fleet from Venice to help the city but it managed to dawdle around and avoided arriving until after the city had fallen.
And the politics are very interesting. Until the fall, Constantinople had the greatest library of ancient documents in the world. It was primarily a city of scholars and traders with a small but highly educated population (three quarters of the city within the walls was uninhabited and the parks etc. had been turned into farming land - the population was under a hundred thousand when it had been over a million in early times). They had original versions of biblical books etc. which were quite different from the versions that had been heavily edited by Rome, and they were considered religious heretics and dangerous to the church. They had all sorts of wild and non-standard ideas that were a mixture of early (pre-Roman) Christianity combined with Greek philosophy. This included things like trying to tap cosmic energy, etc. When the head of the church in Constantinople made peace with the Pope, his own priests rebelled and continued the conflict.
My own feeling is that Julian was asked to betray the city to eliminate a dangerous source of heresy. This fits in well with the Venetian navy rushing to the rescue (to create good public opinion) while never quite making it to the city (they had plenty of time and zig zagged around at sea for months). This was the time period when the Catholic church was sinking into its darkest era, with the Popes being concerned mainly with money and power. Within a generation, the church would hit rock bottom under control of the Borgia Popes and it would be a century before the church was cleaned up and reformed.
As to the Turks, the previous sultan had been friendly to Constantinople and the city was generally useful to them as a neutral intermediary between the Catholic and Islamic worlds. A hothead had just come into power and was making his name with a holy war. But the cause was not popular and the siege was running out of steam. A final attack was called for before abandoning the whole thing as a bad job. That's when the city was betrayed. Without that, the city would have made it into the modern era. Of course we have Istanbul instead, and perhaps there is not much difference. Except for one thing. All the books were burned. It was comparable to the loss of the library at Alexandria.
For example, the Hermetica of Hermes Trimagistus (a metaphysical reference work which is popular among mystics) was compiled from earlier materials during the 1100s in Constantinople. Both the compilation and the earlier documents were destroyed when the city fell. The currently available editions are incomplete reconstructions from other sources that had had access to the library at Constantinople before it was burned.
The other lifetime I found where the history books provided some validation was during the American Civil War.
Although I abhor slavery and prejudice, I always felt a strange sympathy for the Confederate armies. This was hard for me to understand because I had pretty much swallowed the popular view that the war was fought over slavery. Even though I had seen the occasional mention of the fact that it was really fought over state's rights, this seemed to me to be a minor side issue when I was in school and the teacher's did not really bring the point home or offset the heavy federal propaganda which was originally used to justify an unnecessary and bloodthirsty war and which still remains a part of our culture to this day.
The truth of the matter is that popular opinion in Virginia and North Carolina and the upper half of the south had already turned against slavery. These states actually voted to remain in the union after the deep south succeeded. And they did so knowing that with Georgia and the rest of the gulf states gone, the heavy anti-slavery majority in congress under Lincoln would ensure that slavery would be eliminated within a few years as did happen in Maryland and Delaware.
Of course the slave holding land barons were resisting this, but the bulk of the population in the cities had already turned against slavery. Most ordinary people had no vested interest to blind them to the horrors of it, and even the rich businessmen were beginning to see that you can't run an industrial economy with slave labor and that you need a free population as a market for your goods. And there was dissension among the ranks of the landed gentry. General Lee for example, had freed his slaves before the war and was sympathetic enough to the abolitionists to be offered the command of the US Army by President Lincoln.
As to the deep south, they went into an immediate economic collapse as soon as they succeeded. With a heavy trade embargo, Lincoln could have brought them to their knees, and the morally torn states of Virginia and North Carolina would have debated and protested and waffled back and forth. It would have taken time, but it might even have been accomplished before 1865. With only vested interests and a morally repugnant practice to encourage resistance, the gulf states could not have resisted the pressure. They had no real industrial base and could not go it alone in a modern economy. The true industrial base of the confederacy was in Virginia and North Carolina and they were sticking with the Union.
But Lincoln was probably worried about the 1864 election, which might disrupt a potentially successful embargo. He couldn't count on winning it if the union was still divided, and he probably worried about a compromiser being elected. And he must have foolishly thought that a quick military strike could end the whole thing and leave him as the great president who had both ended slavery and beaten the rebels into line. I'm sure he never imagined that we would still be at war by the fall of 1864 or he never would have risked it. The faintest shift of events at Gettysburg gives Lee a successful strike at one of the big northeastern cities and that almost guarantees Lincoln's defeat in the election which comes in the following year. And that almost certainly gives us a worst case result which is a permanent division bathed in blood, hatred, and periodic wars with slavery perpetuated for an ungodly length of time.
And so Lincoln makes the stupid and horrifying mistake of launching an all out war and calling for troops. And when he tries to draft the citizens of Virginia and North Carolina, they promptly rebel. And Maryland would have revolted as well except that Lincoln had the Governor and his staff arrested for treason. And there were even draft riots and barricades thrown up in the streets of New York City.
Of course at this point Virginia and North Carolina should have practiced civil disobedience and covert non-compliance and a Vietnam style protest rather than going into open rebellion. It is doubtful that Lincoln could have set himself up as a dictator (which is what the Virginian's were really fighting against) and a hated president can be ousted at the next election. Even here a sane course could have reduced the horror and the evil consequences. But events had proceeded past the point where people would listen to reason.
The true price we paid was to be shackled under a strong central government (instead of a loose amalgamation of states) and to see a century of unjust prejudice perpetuated by hatred and vengeance. For it is the engramic impact and the continual reminder in terms of dead and maimed relatives and unscrupulous carpetbaggers that ensured that the racial prejudices would be cast in concrete instead of fading over the course of a few generations. We might have had true civil rights by the turn of the century (and certainly by the time of the suffragettes) if Mr. Lincoln had restrained himself from launching the blood bath.
Of course I didn't think all of this initially. I used to think that Lincoln was a great man. My change in attitude came first of all from running incidents, and then from following it up with a great deal of reading about the time period. I believe that all of the above is historically correct.
Before my recall opened up on this time period, I only had a few odd loose ends. First was an actual GPM item for that lifetime which did not fit properly in terms of dating the birth. I was certain that I had left the previous body in 1853 and the dates I was getting for this late 1800s lifetime were obviously incorrect and overlapping the previous life. Although I seemed to have some sort of reaction on confederate generals and the civil war, I was sure that I could not have been in it because I would have been a child in 1860. There was also my odd fascination with American railroads, which seemed to have no basis in any past life experience. I knew I was European in both the preceding and following lifetimes (the next one starts in 1893) and it seemed unlikely to me that I would have had anything to do with America.
But, despite believing wars to be part of the trap and a grave mistake, I have always found military strategy to be interesting in a game playing sense. And there is a proposition, both by Ron, and by other intelligent writers such as Gordon Dickinson, etc. that a small group operating as individuals can take on a large army. There is also the additional point that the American Revolution was primarily won by frontier style fighting opposing orderly regimentation.
So one day I wondered why the confederates hadn't simply all run around in the woods as individuals and shot apart the invading union troops in a guerrilla warfare like action. And then I had the wild idea that I had tried it. And then the memory came back to me.
What I recalled was that I was some sort of junior officer with perhaps a company of men under me. Things were disorganized and there were few trained officers at the lower ranks. So I had my group to train as I saw fit, and I had heard stories about revolutionaries bushwhacking the British. So that's how I trained my men. I didn't believe in drilling them as if they were on parade. Instead we went into the woods and ran around in mock combat, hiding and sniping and trying to stay in touch with each other while we did so.
And finally we marched off to battle. I couldn't remember which one, but logically it seemed to me that it had to have been Bull Run because I knew that one was a confused mess that happened at the beginning of the war.
On the battlefield, while most of the regiments were marching around in orderly lines, we were crawling and diving around through the bushes. Of course what happened is that we got confused about our position and lost contact with the rest of the Confederate troops. About an hour later, we were crawling around in some tall grass near a rise and I sent one of our men to go peak over the top. He waved me over frantically. When I peered over the edge, there was a wide creek and what seemed like thousands of Union troops lined up along our side of it. And on the far side, upon a tree covered slope, were the southern forces.
We tried to back away quietly, but one of the Union troupers looked up and began shouting. I was freaked out. There were less than a hundred of us and what seemed like ten thousand union soldiers were about to turn around and come charging up at us. So I did the only thing which I thought might save our lives. We had to pretend to be a large Confederate force which had outflanked the Union. I spread the men out and had them yelling like they were company commanders. We had one flag, and I had them poke it up once and then yelled at them to keep the flags down until we're ready to attack. We fired one volley with every gun we had (including firing pistols which were out of range) and then yelled loudly to cease fire and wait for the main attack.
Surprisingly enough, it worked. We created such a fuss that the Union did think they were being outflanked and turned their artillery on us. But the cannons were at the far end of the union line and we were right on top of their people. So they began blowing their own troops to hell because of their poor aim. And then the Confederates across the creek, greatly outnumbered, charged and the union line broke and ran from the field.
After running this, I tried to get more about that lifetime. It seemed to me that I would have been disgusted with fighting after that first battle. I was sure that I was from North Carolina and would have gone back there as soon as possible. But it seemed to me that I would then have been in the local defenses and gotten sucked back in when the Union landed invasion forces on the North Carolina coast. And then maybe I would have ended up back in Lee's army and perhaps even ended up as a general because I was known as a hero from that first battle.
All I could get of my name was that I was called Bill. And I knew that I had died in Europe in 1853, so I must have picked up a grown body there at that time. And it seemed to me that there might have been a 17 year old southerner studying architecture in Europe when he took deathly ill and went into a coma. And maybe that thetan left and I picked up the body then. And I could remember designing a stone arch bridge for one of the southern railroads (maybe the Richmond and Danville?) in the late 1850s when I returned home, suffering a bit of amnesia after my sickness (I seemed to know the language and engineering but was uncertain as to people's names etc.). My father was a civil engineer and we lived in a small city along the coast. We had no slaves and I had little understanding of the reality of it. And after I designed that bridge, I was sent to the construction site. And I was horrified by how they treated the slave labor that was used to build it. I remember having a fight with the foreman and getting beaten up by him.
In that lifetime I certainly wouldn't have fought to defend slavery. But I would fight to keep my homeland from being invaded. And I would fight to overthrow a dictator or a government that tried to draft me and was ordering me to attack neighboring cities that were in the state next door.
The attitudes I had in the incident when war first broke out surprised me when I first discovered that I had felt that way. Now that I have read a good bit more, they make a lot more sense.
It was at this point that I decided to dig into the history books and see what I could find. And I found him. General William Lewis of North Carolina. He was 17 in 1853, worked for the railroads before the war, and became a civil engineer after the war, living until 1893. The books don't say much, only about a paragraph, but he was the hero of Big Bethel, the first battle in Virginia, with a few thousand men on each side. And the Union artillery shelled their own troops and the Confederates only lost a few men while the Union ranks were decimated. I had gotten the name of the battle wrong, but the details were right, and I certainly had never even hear of the battle before, it only gets about a paragraph in the biggest reference works. And after that he had mustered out until the battle of Cape Fear where he is part of the coastal defenses. And then he becomes a Corneal and joins the regular army again, eventually begin promoted to General before the end of the war.
As for military strategy, it seems to me that I decided that the idea of loose individual forces was unworkable despite winning the battle and went back to the ordered regimentation that was the usual military style in the civil war. According to the history books, the battle of Bull Run also had a lot of disorganized running around which was handled by Stonewall Jackson forming his men up into a "stone wall" which formed an organized position around which the other troops could rally. These organized lines of men became the keynote of military operation at that time. With hindsight, however, it would seem to me that the ideal strategy would use both with the solid formations providing strength and orientation while the light individualized units drove the enemy PTS.
This concept might work well in many fields of endeavor. Having both highly organized groups and totally independent individuals all working towards the same long range goal should result in the maximum horsepower possible. What ruins this are the implants which place freedom and organization into opposition so that the organized units try to force the individuals into line and the individuals tend to fight the organization to retain their independence.
The long range solution would be to run out the implants. In the short term, the group members and the free beings should work on mutual tolerance and those who are aware enough to understand this should encourage the others to move in the right direction. The right action when these two types come in contact is to rehabilitate the shared goals rather than attempting to control or unmock each other.