Saturday, January 8, 2011


How did I get here -- to this place in my life where I'm writing this blog? Undoubtedly, the roots of this story go back many years, or even many lifetimes. However, there was one moment a few years ago that stands out in my memory as key. In fact, it was like a key that opened a door to a world of belief which had previously been closed to me.

That moment came abut five years ago during a conversation with my daughter Corinne in which she told me that she had read a book she thought I would like. The book was Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian L. Weiss. At the time I thought nothing of it. She did not tell me what the book was about.

A short time later, during a visit to Portland, Oregon, my wife and I were in Powell's Books, just browsing, when I remembered Corinne's recommendation. Well, actually, I didn't remember it exactly, just that she had recommended something. So I called her from the bookstore. At first, she didn't remember which book she had recommended either, but eventually, we narrowed it down together and we were able to reconstruct the conversation to the point where she could remember which book she had suggested to me.

This time though, in response to my question, she did tell me what it was about: past lives therapy. I have to admit that when I heard that, I was more than a little skeptical about whether or not I would like the book. The only thing I knew about past lives was what I had heard about Shirley McClaine's books on the subject. And, that was not very encouraging.

Nevertheless, with some difficulty I found a copy of Many Lives, Many Masters in Powell's. (Exactly which section of a bookstore do you look in to find a book on past-life therapy?) In spite of my doubts, I bought it and read it.

Wiess' tale turned out to be a great read. I was immediately swept up in the tale of a young patient with mysterious symptoms, who, under hypnosis, reveals details of many past lives she had lived, complete with knowledge of events and cultural details that it would have been impossible for this young 20th century woman to know.

Much to my surprise, though, I found I didn't need all of the "proof" Dr. Weiss assembled to validate this woman's experiences in order to believe in what she and the doctor were experiencing during her therapy. Somehow, without making a decision to do so, my consciousness had moved on from the world of empirical fact to the world of belief. I knew in my heart that these stories were true, and it amazed me, because I had always been a doubter when it came to anything resembling the spiritual side of life.

Yet, now I had found something that I believed in, and I was just as impatient with Weiss' initial doubts about what he was experiencing as I would formerly have been dismissive of his later acceptance of those experiences. Some part of my mind had opened to a new perception of the world that day, and I had both the recent convert's impatience with doubters and a hunger for more knowledge.

After finishing the book, I was anxious to discuss with Corinne what had made her think I would like this book. To me there seemed nothing in my personality or previous interests that would have lead her to believe this book would appeal to me. Yet, somehow she had not only arrived at that conclusion, but felt strongly enough about it to follow through and mention it to me.

When I eventually asked her about it, she simply said, "I just thought you'd like it." Although at first this seemed inadequate as an explanation, I have since come to understand that many seemingly inexplicable occurrences make perfect sense once you become open to explanations outside the realm of what is scientifically provable. Of course she knew I would like it, it was exactly what I was ready for...what I that moment. All it took was the right person to see it.

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