I believe absolutely in reincarnation, that I have lived on earth before in other bodies, and will again. I have known since I was a child in London that I used to live in India, used to be Indian. Everything about India seemed familiar to me, drew me towards it. (And not just because my mother is half-Indian, my beloved grandmother having had an affair with an Indian during the War. But more of that another time.)
As it says, this is a “how to” book. Each chapter contains not one but a whole series of exercises all aimed at awakening awareness of, memories of, past lives. In the introduction, Understanding Reincarnation, under the famous Yin-yang symbol, he says:
In this ancient eastern symbol, we can see the mysteries of reincarnation. The black side is that half of the developmental cycle we spend in the physical, and the white side is the half we spend in the spiritual. Together they make one cycle of growth. Because it is a circle, though, it never ends. One cycle always becomes another. Our growing and unfolding never ends.
I like that. I never thought about the yin-yang symbol that way before. And I found especially interesting the use of the unfettered imagination (letting yourself write a story set in another time and place without any interference from the conscious mind – almost like automatic writing!), and, in meditation, along with Qabala and the Tree of Life, and the Tarot Wheel of Fortune, a kind of self-hypnosis (also fascinating) and (something I had been aware of but never practised before) the use of a dowsing pendulum to get answers, establish places and dates, and so on. Also what he says about the use of particular fragrances to stimulate past life meditation, for instance sage, which has always been a favourite of mine, and of which he says here that it awakens a sense of immortality and the realization that the life of the soul extends far beyond one physical incarnation …
If you have any interest at all in your own past lives, work through the exercises in this book. For me it was nothing less than a revelation.
1. The person your co-workers/neighbors know; you see this person day to day. Wave hello, share pleasantries, you share a common bond of existence. It’s work, business, and existence.
2. The second is the person your family and childhood friends know. They grew up with you. They know you on a deeper level. They know that girl/guy who they went to church, school, or summer camp. Lived in the same county or city. You probably went to high school together. They know the base that made you.
3. Then the person your friends knows…the person your friends open up too, professional friends, college friends, good neighbors. Those you open up too and trust. You probably hang out, drink occasionally, and feel comfortable. They are you day to day. In the now friends.
Nathan, our hero, is haunted by dreams in which he half remembers, sometimes fully remembers, dramatic events that occurred during previous lives, but is unaware when the book opens of an organised group called the Reborn who remember clearly, and benefit from the experience gained during, their past lives. These Reborn are in a war against another, very different, group whose aim is to prolong this one life (as they see it) indefinitely, as vampires or whatever, and who will do anything to achieve that goal.
Needless to say, Nathan gets caught up in the battle which takes place in his home-town of New York, a battle which is just one small part of the on-going war between Good and Evil. And like all reluctant heroes, he has to make painful choices regarding his personal life.
Being a great believer in reincarnation, I loved this particular urban fantasy world with its reborns and its horrifying “soul-eaters”, and would welcome a sequel, preferably featuring Nathan and the witch Candace as partners. I always have difficulty identifying with male protagonists, even one as sympathetic as Nathan, though in this case I was certainly helped by the fact that the earlier self Nathan most closely identifies with himself is a woman, a warrior named Marjorie. We are even there with him while he as her is being gang-raped – and I mean gang literally: she is captured and raped by a group of ruthless professional thugs.
Candace, who only has a very minor role in this book, but on the other hand is still very much alive, is just my cup of tea.