Do you feel like you’ve been here before? I don’t mean like Groundhog Day. Do you sometimes go to a new place and have a strange feeling you’ve been there before, or can’t bear the place? One of the things I spend quite a lot of time pondering is whether I’ve had other lives, or whether I’ll have other lives in the future. Growing up Christian I’d always learnt about what I’d assumed was more a metaphorical life after death kind of experience, that wouldn’t see me returning to live another life.
I was interested to receive a newsletter from a place called Chanteloube, France where there is a Tibetan retreat centre. In it, an extremely grand announcement was made that a Rinpoche had recently passed away and had wonderfully and auspiciously been reincarnated as a boy of a Tibetan couple. This news seemed to imply much rejoicing and was celebrated just as any other good news of the earthly realm might be.
I have a friend whose religion teaches reincarnation. If you die a traumatic death, you may be reincarnated quickly into another life, and that person may have strong memories of the death. A situation like this was reported recently, when a boy, Luke Ruehlman, reportedly had lived the past life of a woman who had died in a fire.
I’ve had a few healing sessions where I have come into contact with the idea of past lives. In one I was told that I had been a wealthy landowner, but because I didn’t speak up, my husband and children were all killed, and I wandered off into the wilderness to die alone. When the healer asked did I know where this might be, the first thing that came to mind was France. This was well before my current obsession with all things French. In another session with a different healer, I explored being the partner of a violent man and escaping to a new life with another man on a ship. I have always been a little fascinated by boats.
Those of you who know me well, may know that I have often spoken of becoming a nun or of wanting to study theology. Probably the former with not too much seriousness. However an encounter with a friend recently has me wondering whether I may have been a nun in a previous life. This friend and I met at a French class in Sydney and we have had very similar musical upbringings, both having studied music at university. We ‘clicked’ immediately, and found we share a lot of values in common. I stayed with her before I left Sydney, and when I was telling her of my travels and my wish to visit Carcassone, she told me that we have been in Carcassonne together before. I knew exactly what she was saying, and this made me wonder why I am drawn to go on this trip, and to do a detour to a medieval walled city I had heard about a while ago, and had wanted to visit ever since. Is it just my attraction to beautiful places that may be the root of this, or is this going to be a real pilgrimage to exorcise the pain of past lives?