One night in 1996, I had a remarkable dream where I was standing naked in front of a full-length mirror as a powerful voice announced: “You were Xxxxxxx in a previous life.” Xxxxxxx was actually the name of a semi-famous character of the Old West in the late 1800s, but I’ll keep that identity to myself for now.
The dream was extremely vivid and I remembered it in great detail after I awoke. Gazing into the mirror in the dream, I looked “almost” like myself and also had a remarkable resemblance to Xxxxxxx at the same time. Years earlier, I had a series of dreams that came true so I’ve paid a great deal of attention to them ever since. Although I wasn’t convinced I really was Xxxxxxx in a previous life, I didn’t dismiss it either.
I knew very little about Xxxxxxx, but the dream compelled me to research his life. At age nine, he and his family moved from Iowa to Kansas. After a stint in the Army, he spent his adult life roaming the West, bouncing from job to job, prospecting for gold and even wrote a couple of books. His Army days were spent in Ft. McPherson, Nebraska.
Oddly enough, when I was age nine, my family and I moved from Wisconsin to Kansas. After a stint in the Army, I spent much of my adult life roaming the West, bouncing from job to job, prospecting for gold and even wrote a couple of books. My Army days were spent in Ft. McPherson, Georgia.
These coincidences kept churning in my mind. I had already written three novels and was in the process of writing another one but could no longer concentrate on it after the dream. So I decided to start a brand new novel, titled THE ELEVENTH SAGE, about a man who has lost his memory, except for being convinced he is the reincarnation of a famous person from the previous century, and is being accused of a crime of which he has no recollection.
Instead of using Xxxxxxx as the Old West reincarnation in the novel, I chose to use Wild Bill Hickok. There was plenty of research material available and he had lived a colorful, eventful life.
As a teen-ager in Illinois, Hickok got into a fistfight with another fellow and knocked him into a canal. When the other fellow failed to come back to the surface of the water, Hickok ran home, convinced he had just killed a man. He hurriedly packed, took off on horseback and didn’t stop until he was in Kansas.
Although the other fellow lived, Hickok went through his life believing he had actually killed a man. I suspect this is what gave him the great courage he purportedly possessed. He probably figured he had nothing to lose.
Not only was he a notorious lawman, Hickok also made a living as a buffalo hunter, a Pony Express rider, a cargo wagon teamster, an Army scout, a gambler, a Yankee spy in the Civil War and a stage performer in New York City. As a gunfighter, he killed many people. Once, he even killed a grizzly bear with a knife.
Since those who believe in reincarnation also believe we re-enter the carnal world along with family, friends and enemies from previous lives, I incorporated some of Hickok’s friends and foes in the novel as well. To my surprise, I learned that Hickok and Xxxxxxx had crossed paths several times. Both worked as teamsters for the same freight company, rode for Pony Express, were scouts under General Custer, and Wild West entertainers.
THE ELEVENTH SAGE was my fourth novel. It was published in 2001. I never did go back and write the novel I had been working on before my dream. I had more pressing things to do, such as earn a living.
In 2007, I had a reading (the only one I've ever had) through a well-known national psychic whereby my previous life as Xxxxxxx was described in detail.
Later that year, I mentioned to an acquaintance, who was a highly gifted intuitive, that I may have been a semi-famous person in the 1800s. That's all I told her. Two days later, she sent me a message informing me that I had been Xxxxxxx in a previous life even though she didn't even know who he was. I subsequently learned she was related by blood to General Custer – another synchronicity.
On a third occasion, another highly gifted intuitive ended a correspondence (about a completely different subject) with me by stating, "By the way, you may have been Xxxxxxx in a previous life." This remark had nothing to do with the subject matter at hand – it was simply blurted out at the end of a note. I nearly fell out of my chair when I read it.
Since this series of events, I've spent a great deal of time dwelling on this subject and have come up with my own interpretation (12 steps) of this earthly existence. I call it "The Purification of the Soul."
1) There exists a supreme realm of oneness, consisting of all matter, space, time, energy, perception, intention and love. All is one.
2) The Supreme Oneness is made up of individual souls (eternal spirits within oneness), with each soul containing an individual awareness.
3) In order to insure purity of the Supreme Oneness, individual souls were given free will, thereby allowing impure souls to be cleansed.
4) A rebellious portion of the Supreme Oneness, eager to experience pleasure, brought the material world into existence through imagination.
5) Planet Earth is one of many three-dimensional illusions where curious souls project themselves (incarnate) to experience material pleasures.
6) When a fallen soul reincarnates into a three-dimension carnal reality, its divine soul (counterpart) remains in the higher realm.
7) The carnal world contains injustice and pain. Each fallen soul is forced to choose between good and evil (or indifference), and must suffer.
8) Fallen souls must cycle through a series of incarnations (tests) to obtain enough patience, grace and purity to return to the oneness.
9) Between incarnations into the carnal existence, souls must review their carnal experience and are judged, by themselves, on their righteousness.
10) Buddha, Jesus Christ and others were divine examples of purity.
11) Souls incapable of achieving divine wisdom become doomed to an endless cycle (eternal damnation) into the lower realm (carnal worlds).
12) The ultimate goal of each soul is to reach perfection through patience and grace, and reunite with its divine soul within the Supreme Oneness.
Whether or not I was Xxxxxxx in a previous life still remains a mystery to me. Then again, just about everything in this life is a mystery to me. But this experience has too many coincidences and synchronicities to ignore.
Reincarnation is the primary belief system of Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalists, Gnosticism, Jewish tradition, Mystical Christianity, Native Americans, Ancient Greeks, New Agers, etc. At least half the population of the planet believes we pass through this plane of existence, again and again, until we clear our Karmic debt to the collective oneness.
My debt should be cleared in about 33 more lifetimes.
Quote for the Day -- "I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums. All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me. Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born." Jack London
Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and a Karmic debt at minus 33. His blogs appear on several websites, including www.myspace.com/bret1111