2002-03-23 - 7:50 p.m.

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I do not believe in reincarnation...most of the time. Iíd like to believe in it, Iíd like to believe that my soul just ambles easily into another bodily form after my previous body dies, not because I like living so much that I want it to last forever, but because I like the romance of the idea that my soul is on a mission, a mission to learn whatever it is that I was predestined to know, I like the idea that people I meet and feel a sudden connection to were once part of my life in a former time. But I canít believe that because I am a very rational person and things must be proven to me before I will believe it. I canít believe it because it doesnít make sense to me with the expanding population. If this world started with two souls, where did the rest of the souls come from? Is there a soul factory? Even if some of us are reincarnated animals it still doesnít explain it because Iím sure the animal population grows too.

But there are times that I do believe in reincarnation, times when my mind hasnít had the chance to process the facts and make me a non believer.

When I sixteen I went to a past life regressionist. What she told me gives me shivers still. Occasionally when I clean out cupboards I find the tape and Iíll pop it in the stereo and listen for about five minutes before I get freaked out and hide it away again in another cupboard or drawer where I wonít find it again for a couple years.

She told me these things.

In one life, during the inquisition, my family took in some nuns and priests who were in hiding. I didnít want to get in trouble so I turned them in. Only I didnít expect them to kill my entire family along with the nuns and the priests, but they did, and they did it in front of me. She says I lived the rest of my life with a debilitating guilt first for not saving my family and for turning them in, and second for turning in the nuns and the priests when my heart believed so much in what they were.

In many other lives I was sacrificed. She said that I probably, in this life, am sure that I will die very young because I never lived long, I was always sacrificed or killed very young.

In my life before this one, in the 30ís, I was shot in the back while coming out of a theater in Chicago. The shot was intended for my fiancťe but hit me. She says she thinks I was a seamstress. She also said she thinks I came back in this life to find that man, my fiancťe and that she believed him to still be alive.

Why I am writing this is because yesterday at work I approached a table where one elderly man sat alone. As I set down his glass of water and greeted him, he looked up and as our eyes met we both became startled and speechless. It was fucking weird. For a moment, before my brain kicked in and said, ďReincarnation is not possible,Ē I thought, ďthis is the man...Ē. He just kept looking at me, like I reminded him of someone, and I kept looking at him because I too felt that familiarity. I quickly came to the assumption that I was confabulating the whole thing, that I must have been thinking about that tape at some point in the past few days and then this old man shows up and looks at me at just the right moment and my mind starts playing tricks on me. But then I remember the dream.

When I was five years old I had a dream, the most vivid dream I have ever had and one of two dreams that haunts me still. I dreamed that my family was driving down some roads in the country, my Dad was getting impatient to get home and stopped the car in front of this road that had a sign that said, ĎPRIVATEí, we all knew that no one was allowed to go down that road or they would be killed, but my Dad just really wanted to get home and it was the fastest way to get there. As we drove down the road we saw two men running scared through the corn fields, my Dad stopped the car and they jumped in with us and my Dad stepped on the gas and tore out of there. We drove past a guard station and none of us were quite sure whether they saw us or not. When we got home the two men we picked up went to our basement to hide. Soon after some military people busted through our door asking where these two men were. My Dad kept telling them he didnít know what they were talking about, that we hadnít left the house all day. They told him that they would kill him if he didnít tell them the truth. My Dad stuck to his story. I got scared that one of the hidden men would make a noise in the basement and that we would be found out for lying so as one of the military guys was going upstairs to look I told him Iíd tell him where the men were if he didnít kill my family. He said okay and I told him. Then he started shooting my family. He killed them all and took me, telling me he liked me and wouldnít kill me if I stayed with him. But once we got to those cornfields where we had found the men in the first place, I jumped out of the car and started running and they shot me in the back. The part of the dream that scares me so much is that I felt the shot tear through me, that I still, to this day, know exactly what it feels like to be shot. Exactly. The next day I couldnít move my left arm or shoulder.

So when the past life lady told me about my life when I turned my family in for hiding nuns and priests I got the chills because that dream came thundering back to me, and when she finished her session telling me that I had been shot in the back I got tears in my eyes because I was so scared. And reading through my old journals, before I had that session, I say at least three times that I was certain I wasnít going to live past the age of 20. And I also had an obsession with learning to sew. And what I really wanted to be the most as a child and a teenager was a nun (though I also had a preoccupation with drinking and doing other bad things that made me think I was too evil to be a nun).

Iíd rather believe that the lady was just a psychic and knew about my dreams and the things I thought. That would make more sense to me then does the idea of my having lived lives before. But still, I sometimes get the sense that I have lived before and that I will live again. Sometimes I wonder if I hide something in this life, bury it someplace where no one will go, if in my next life a past life regressionist (which will probably be a robot by then) will tell me that I buried something in my last life and that I came back to find it. And I wonder if I will find it?


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