Past Life Explorer interview

 

Name – Ashley Long

Location- Asheville, North Carolina

Occupation- Cardologer & Intuitive Coach

How did you connect with the Past Lives Project? –"I met Bobby at a Journeying Circle and when I discovered that he worked with a modality that enabled one to connect with their past lives (without hypnosis), I was interested in learning more!"

What was your experience with running past lives?

"I was surprised at how comfortable, easy and enjoyable the experience was! Bobby brought his warm-heart, laughter and compassion, making me feel safe and comfortable. I could relax and allow the intention I set to access a past life to unfold. He talked me through any emotions that came up and allowed me to be fully in control. Afterwards, we talked so I could understand, heal and incorporate what I discovered into my spiritual growth. I had always wanted to access an in-between life and I did and the experience changed so many things for me!"

Your work- "I am a Cardologer – I work with the ancient system that the deck of playing cards was originally created for. We each have a birth card and this system acts as our soul’s blueprint, giving us a spread of cards at our birth (our Life Spread) and speaks to who we are authentically, as well as giving us a yearly forecast so we understand the energies at play in our lives.

There are a variety of Readings from this system. You can delve deeper into your purpose, relationships, business or living more authentically. We can meet in person or do them over the phone. There are Courses, resources and tips on my website for learning more and a free ebook to get you started!"

Your website and contact info-

http://empoweredcardology.com

email: empoweredcardology@gmail.com

I've experienced Ashley's work, very powerful and a great way to map out your year, which I intend to do every birthday. as a gift to myself.

100 sessions and counting

Its almost the 1 year anniversary of the Asheville Past Lives Project MeetUp with over 100 successful sessions!

The main takeaway from a hundred sessions is, having heard so many amazing stories and experiences, when someone tells me something amazing that happens in a past life or between lives, I know not to say “oh, so that’s how it is” or “that’s how it goes”. Now I know it's more likely “oh, that’s how it went for you.” We each create our own reality, we each inhabit our own reality, and we take that awareness of our own reality into the past and between lives experience. Instead of it being a formatted, regimented check list of between lives experience, I am more impressed by the commonalities like soul groups and life reviews because most are so unique. Possibly this reflects my “tribe”. The people who are attracted to me and my work are different than the people who are attracted to a psychiatrist like Brian Weiss, or a hypnotherapist like Michael Newton. Granted, they have thousands of cases to my hundred, but 100 cases is a good start, and a healthy sample.

I am continually impressed with how bravely the people I work with approach their inner work. Everyone I work with helps to bring another piece of the puzzle into focus, although sometimes its a center piece that's a solid color, and I just have to put it on the side and wait for its connecting pieces to show up. 

I am looking forward to the next chapter in these stories, as we move off the 'known' map into unknown territory. I used to play a video game, and when the character I was controlling was on the screen, which was a map, only the areas of the map that had been explored were lit up. When you advanced your avatar to the edge of the screen, into the darkness, the next section of the map lit up and only then could you see where you are going. I have this theory that we created computers, both hardware and software, in our own mental image, and their construction reflects a map of our inner world. So this metaphor of advancing from darkness into light is reflected beautifully in this amazing technique for past lives exploration that gives us the tools to map our way back to the source of our creation.

Reading list

It seems every MeetUp, someone recommends an interesting book on past lives research or related subjects. So it occurred to me to start a reading list if anyone is interested in following the discussion. The most recent book was, once again, from someone I would not have given serious consideration to, but Jane Roberts "The Education of Oversoul 7" was a great read. Thanks to Pamela Shook for recommending it. Unlike her other Seth books like "The Nature of Personal Reality", this is fiction, it reads like a good novel, and has some interesting concepts about time and creating our own reality. Plus it deals with the big picture issues of past lives, how our talents and abilities echo through our lives to the present (even as it redefines what this concept we call "present time" actually is.)

Here is an excerpt that caught my attention, beautifully written -

"Honor your body, which is your representative in this universe. Its magnificence is no accident. It is the framework through which your works must come; through which the spirit and the spirit within the spirit speaks. The flesh and the spirit are two phases of your actuality in space and time. Who ignores one, falls apart in shambles. So it is written.

The marriage of soul and flesh is an ancient contract, to be honored.

Let no soul in flesh ignore its Earthly counterpart, or be unkind to its mate in time.

The mind cannot dance above the flesh, or on the flesh. It cannot deny the flesh or it turns into a demon demanding domination. Then the voice of the flesh cries out with yearning through all of its parts; the ancient contract undone. And both soul and flesh go begging, each alone and without partner.

Who feeds the body with love, neither starving it nor stuffing it, feeds the soul. Who denies the body denies the soul. Who betrays it, betrays the soul. The body is the body of the soul, the corporal image of knowledge. As men and women are married to each other, so is each soul wedded to its body.

Those who do not love the body or trust it do not love or trust the soul. The multitudinous voices of the gods speak through the body parts. Even the golden molecules are not mute. Who muzzles the body or leashes it muzzles and leashes the soul. The private body is the dwelling place of the private guise of God. Do it honor. Let no man set himself up above the body, calling it soiled, for to him the splendor of the self is hidden. Let no one drive the body like a horse in captivity, to be ridden, or he will be trampled.

The body is the soul in Earth garments. It is the face of the soul turned toward the seasons, the image of the soul reflected in Earth waters. The body is the soul turned outward. Soul and body are merged in the land of the seasons. Such is the ancient contract by which the Earth was formed,

The knowledge of the soul is written in the body. Body and soul are the inner and outer of the self. The spirit from which the soul springs forms both soul and body. In Earth time, the soul and body learn together. The genes are the alphabets by which the soul speaks, the body-which is the soul's utterance in flesh.

So let the soul freely speak itself in flesh.

The body is also eternal. The soul takes it out of space-time. The body is the soul's expression, and its expression is not finite. The spirit has many souls, and each has a body. The body is in and out of time, even as the soul is. Let the soul rush freely throughout the body, and breathe life into all of its parts. The first birth was a gift, freely given. Now you must acquiesce and give your blessing to the life within you. Trust the spontaneity and health of the body, which is the spontaneity and health of the soul. For each morning you spring anew, alive and fresh, out of chaos. . . ."

Previous titles we mentioned are-

Sylvia Browne - Past Lives, Future Healing

Mary Lee LeBay - Exploring Past Lives: Your Soul's Quest for Consciousness

More to come, email with any suggestions. I'm in the process of reading Fatal Attraction by Patricia Fara, for its background on magnetics and Anton Mesmer, the founder of hypnosis. And I'm waiting on a copy of  LifeCycles: Reincarnation and the Web of Life by Christopher Bache. Reviews to follow.

 

Lifetimes, plural, not lifetime, singular

My personal energy work is based on Gary Craig’s Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT*, and I am exploring his newest innovation, Optimal EFT. So it made me smile to see Gary use the word “lifetimes” (plural) in his latest newsletter -

So what does cause our multitudes of diseases?  Our NewThink answer points to the mind, not the body. More specifically, it insists that diseases show up in the body as manifestations of the unresolved fear, anger, guilt and other negative emotions that we all collect over our lifetimes.

Now he may be referring to the lifetimes of many people doing EFT, but it resonates with me as an acknowledgment that we carry unresolved issues from our past lifetimes. 

 

*Gary Craig generously includes instructions for doing both EFT and Optimal EFT at his website emofree.com

 

Sylvia Browne Quote, recommended by someone in the MeetUp

One of my favorite things about the MeetUp group is the recommendations I hear from the participants. Often its about someone that I never would have seriously considered, based on my own intellectual prejudices and the media portrayal of an author. This was the case with Sylvia Browne, author of dozens of books on assorted new age subjects. (Hundreds?  My initial Amazon search for the title revealed 437 results!) What I didn't know was that she had written a book called "Past Lives, Future Healing" in which she claims to have done "thousands of regressions" over a period of 25 years, and this book was published in 2001. Just reading the sample impressed me, Here's a quote I thought I'd share -

You have been alive since the beginning of time, in a gorgeous unbroken continuum, moving back and forth between earth and The Other Side many times. You have lived on earth in many different bodies, during many different eras in many different parts of the world under many different circumstances for your own carefully chosen purpose, depending on the goals and needs of your spirit’s progress. Please don’t let the term “past lives” mislead you into thinking you’ve arrived this time around as a separate person from who you’ve been before, alive, then dead, then alive again. No, what you’re living right now is simply the current phase of one life, the same eternal life your spirit has been living and will go on living forever.”

 Sylvia describes our present incarnation as "the current phase of one life", beautifully worded. And once again, my once closed mind is opened just a bit to allow in wisdom from an unexpected source. 

 

William Swygard audio

The file here has been digitized from a cassette that was available by mail order from William Swygard, the originator of the Awareness Techniques, which is the basis my work. Sending a cassette by snail mail was the only way to distribute an audio recording in the pre-internet days of the 1970's. As such, the audio quality is poor at the beginning but improves slightly. Such flaws do not detract from the significance of hearing William Swygard, who I never met, speaking about his technique. Its so casual that at one point, one of his and Diane's 11 children walks into the room where he is recording and he invites them to stay, a charming slice of life at the Swygard household in Miami, Florida. 

More Mary LaBay

My Kindle copy of Mary LaBay's book 'Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners' is almost all highlights. Even though she is working from the hypnotic regression perspective, her work is much more illuminating than Michael Newton and Brian Weiss, who are much more known in the field. Here is an example of how her work is much more in line with mine, and how I think she goes much deeper than anyone else in the field-

From the perspective granted by the afterlife, my clients often come to realize that the limiting beliefs they felt bound by during their time on earth were not as devastating or insurmountable as they appeared. Once out of the confines of the body, we see the many options and alternative measures that could have been taken to improve a situation or fulfill our purpose on earth.

(LaBay, Mary. Past Life Regression : A Guide for Practitioners (Kindle Locations 2109-2112). Trafford. Kindle Edition. )

Once again, the concept of distancing can allow us to reframe our present life struggles through the end of the past. And this -

Experiencing past lives and life between lives shows you that you are not just a personality at the mercy of a random fate. Rather, you are a soul who seeks out specific experiences for the purpose of expanding your spiritual understanding.

I am continually impressed with the participants in this past life work for their bravery. The above  quote from LaBay reminds me of this. 

And she quotes Richard Bach, of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull fame -

"You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it? "

(These quotes are from Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners, but a more accessible and more recent book is "Exploring Past Lives: Your Soul's Quest for Consciousness", which is available for $5.99 in the Amazon Kindle store. Not a plug, I don't get a kickback, just a recommendation.)

 

 

Interview with Paul Newell

I finally got the opportunity to talk to my dear friend Paul Newell from Dallas, TX. Paul is one of the people who introduced me to the Awareness Techniques back in the day, along with the late  Miguel Paredes. Paul was the person I worked with the most on the techniques, and he and I even talked to Diane Swygard at one point in the mid-1980's. I was able to get the details on how he learned of the Awareness Techniques.

It was an ad in the back of Beyond Magazine, which was similar to the still in publication (!) Fate magazine. (One of the few references I found online for this long out of print mag was a collection of issues of Fate and Beyond on Ebay with the heading 'Weird,, Unknown, UFO, Psychic", that says it all.) In the classifieds in the back was an ad titled "Develop Super Cosmic Consciousness." Who could resist? Not Paul, he sent what he remembered as $11 and received copies of instructions for all 3 Awareness Techniques. The ad was placed by someone in, small world, Dallas by the name of Roy Webb, who had gotten permission from William Swygard to promote the technique. Paul and Miguel worked together running past lives, and when the opportunity came up for Miguel to visit family in Miami, Florida, where Swygard was still alive and working, Miguel was sent on a mission. And Miguel did meet Swygard, and even attend some of his informal sessions at his house. Unfortunately, Miguel Paredes passed away just as I was getting settled in Asheville so I was unable to talk to him myself. And Paul said that the enigmatic Miguel wouldn't talk about his experiences, so Paul and I were comparing notes on what Miguel had told us over the years. Not much, but Swygard may have had a used bookstore in the Miami area and Diane Swygard remarried after her husband passed away.

All of the books and tapes that I have (some of which I have digitized and will be posting) came to me because Paul invested in them, a precious resource. Miguel, you are missed, and Paul, my deepest appreciation for introducing me to this work.

Mary LaBay's "Past Life Regression: A Guide For Practitioners"*

I've been reading Mary LaBay's "Past Life Regression: a Guide for Practitioners" in the Kindle version after checking out the sample and being impressed with her insights into the process. Here is her take on including past life explorations in our spiritual work -

"...imagine that you have amnesia. You cannot remember anything that happened before you were 21 years old. What would you know about yourself? How could you understand your relationships with other people? What would you know about your personality traits, the origins of your health issues, the basis for your choice of occupation, or the source of your knowledge and wisdom? Without substantiating evidence, it is difficult to truly know yourself. Expand that example to the bigger picture of the soul. Only by obtaining information about your previous lifetimes can you gain full knowledge of your character, your personality, your purpose, your overall progress, and the nature of your soul."

That's from Chapter 1, and she had me hooked. I was impressed with her concept of 'distancing'-

"Most of us have no trouble seeing strengths and weaknesses in others, but when it comes to seeing our own life situations with clarity, the challenge often seems insurmountable….When our clients view their past lives, a natural distancing occurs. When they see their past life 'counterpart' exhibiting the same or similar dysfunctional behaviors or making the same mistakes that they do, they more readily understand the changes they need to make. From this third-party perspective, our clients can allow themselves a more objective assessment of behaviors and decisions."

 

 

*The Kindle version of Mary LaBay's "Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners" is on sale in the Amazon Kindle store for $5.99, I highly recommend it. 

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The "Weed Nun" sums it up beautifully

If you don't know who the Weed Nuns are, you don't spend enough time on FaceBook, (lucky you). They are a group of not actual but self-declared nuns who preach the sacrament of marijuana and its benefits, both physical and spiritual. They have an extensive web presence and, to people like me who went to Catholic school, smart women in nun outfits get your attention. So I was very pleased to hear the following in describing their philosophy-

"We believe there is a Creator God that created all this. We are all a different set of eyes for God to look out at His creation and to experience life on this planet. And that we all have a little bit of God within us."

Well said, sister! Seeing ourselves as "a different set of eyes for God" is a perfect distillation of Swygard's cosmology, and that we are here to "look out at His creation and to experience life on this planet" is the daily life aspect of Swygard's "Go, know My creation, and return it to Me." There can never be enough reminders that "we al have a little bit of God within us." Thank you, Sister.

 

 

Christos technique

As soon as I set up the FaceBook page for the Asheville Past Lives Project, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/309565849472300/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel), I was contacted by someone in Australia doing similar work, known as the Christos Technique. The legend is that William Swygard printed up a 2-page sheet with the basic instructions and mailed them all over the world. Apparently one copy made it to Australia, where a woman, Jaqcueline  Parkhurst, started working with the technique with her husband and then with a small group of people (much like I learned it in Dallas in the 1970's). For undetermined reasons, they promoted it by calling it the Christos Technique, I don't yet now where the name came from but they used Swygard's original instructions and even re-published them. What's interesting to me about those original instructions is that they included this-

"Clasp his legs, one at a time, just above the knee and manipulate your hands downward, stopping at the knee briefly to make certain the knee is relaxed; then rubbing on, down to the ankle and bend the ankle; then massage the foot, and then the toes briefly and vigorously. Repeat this manipulation quickly. Next, place the palm of your hand on the person's forehead, and with little pressure, move the skin of the forehead up and down and sideways for a few seconds. This relaxation process should not be overdone. "

I emailed the instructions to someone I'd been working with online and she replied "Hey, where's my foot massage?"  The answer is, I literally hadn't done that since the first time I learned the technique, haven't used it since, and I've done over 75 sessions, mostly online. So its interesting to see that the Christos Technique (why not the Swygard Technique?) group took the massage aspect and ignored the last line - "This relaxation process should not be overdone." They are requiring 3 people for a session; one to rub the legs, one to massage the forehead, and one to read the written instructions. I'm glad they got great results, there are many books written based on their work, but it seems to be a detour from the simplicity of Swygard's technique. The Christos group has a FaceBook page that has access to the now out of print books -

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1433296560261085/

I'm grateful to the folks in Australia keeping this work going. It makes me wonder if there are other groups around the world that received the original instructions from Swygard and like me, are trying to keep this work alive and vibrant. 

"The more we heal from past life trauma, the better the future will be"

In his foreword to Barbara Stone's book "Invisible Roots", author (Love, Medicine and Miracles) and retired surgeon Bernie Siegel MD (born in Brooklyn!) had this to say about the importance of healing past life traumas -

I believe we bring unconscious awareness of the events of our past lives with us throughout our life experience. I believe that when the body dies, consciousness continues to exist and relocates or reincarnates into a new body in a circle of life. Just as a graduation is also a commencement, so death is also the beginning of a new cycle of life. Because of the brain wave patterns of a child, a parent’s words have a hypnotic effect on the child up until the age of six. Likewise, our past lives have this same unspoken, hypnotic effect, which we each bring with us at birth. The choices we then make are related to our past lives, even when we are not consciously aware of why we do things the way we do. Thus, the more we heal from our past life trauma, the better the future will be—our future incarnations and the future of society and our planet as a whole.

- April 2008, foreword to Invisible Roots, Barbara Stone

 

Progress report - 55 sessions and counting

I found an entry in my journal written right after a spectacular paradigm-shifting run of a past life that I realized while working on my own. I wrote that I intended to do 50 sessions with other people, and that would determine whether these tools created in the 1960's were still viable 50 years later. I am closing in on 60 sessions now, and I can officially report that this technique is definitely viable and still relevant in the energies of 2017. I am still interested in pushing the boundaries of what this process is capable of. I've gotten great results with getting people through a previous incarnation, through the death transition, and into the non-physical between lives experience. Everyone I work with is different, everyone moves at their own pace through the process, everyone has their own unique experience.

As I refine my technique, I am also refining my use of the technology that allows me to work online with anyone who has a streaming quality internet access. (I haven't done any international sessions yet, but the internet allows me to work with anyone and anywhere.) The learning curve on the tech front has been steep but thanks to the patience of the participants, both aspects are getting better and more efficient. 

One of my goals for the Past Lives Project MeetUp group here in Asheville is to put together a core of participants who will do multiple sessions with me, and with enough experience, be able to work either on their own or to run someone else. I already have one woman who is able to run herself, more to follow. As I told the group at the last MeetUp, if you do this once, its an experience; if you do it multiple times, it becomes a practice. That is how we discover new uses for this technique and take it to new and as yet unknown territory.

Present Life running

A friend emailed to ask whether this technique worked on accessing our present lives. Interestingly, by synchronicity, just last week I was running myself on a specific topic, and I came down into a physical body and everything seemed to proceeding smoothly. But when I looked down at my feet, I saw.... black and white Keds, a type of sneaker (pre-running shoe) that I remembered from my childhood. I had set my intention for a message for wisdom from a past life, and I have run enough that I know all my 20th Century lives, so seeing black and white Keds did not compute. But I trusted in the process, continued looking at my clothes and my surroundings, and was astonished to discover that I was being guided to look at myself, in this life, at age 5. The emotional situation I was dealing with at age 5 was exactly the situation that I was asking about. I got my answer, but how I got to it was unexpected. As a result of this experience, I now open myself to wisdom and guidance from my present life when I set my intention. 

What was interesting was, now that I am a man of a certain age, when I look at my life and experience from 50+ years ago, it might as well be a previous life. The events happened so long ago that I have only vague memories from then. My body seemed different, my clothes seemed different, my surroundings seemed different, and my emotional state as a 5 year old was different. So the technique worked in the same way as if it were a previous incarnation: identify the clothing, identify the location, then identify the emotional state. It was only when I accessed the emotional state I was in that it all made sense to my grown up self. Plus it was an opportunity to trust the visuals and the unexpected answer to "Look down at your feet and tell me what you're wearing.". If I'd rejected what I saw when I looked down and saw those modern sneakers, I would have missed what my consciousness was showing me, what it was guiding me to clear by accessing and acknowledging this emotional situation.

I love this work. I learn something every day, every time I use it, whether working on my own or running someone else.  

Notes from Rob Schwartz's blog

Robert Schwartz blog - https://yoursoulsplan.wordpress.com/

The Universe’s intention, however, is to mirror you to you so that any aspects of self that are in need of healing will be brought into the light of greater awareness, where you may then set about healing them. This is one of the fundamental purposes served by life in a physical dimension…Ultimately, then, the purpose of every life challenge is the same: to grant us the opportunity to embrace that which we have so far resisted. As well, every life challenge is healed in the same way: through an increase in the vibration of what we think, say, and do. Our experience of life is not determined by our life plan but rather by how we respond to that plan. Our responses—our thoughts, words, and actions in every moment—create our experience and potentially our healing. As we heal and learn life’s underlying lessons in a conscious manner, challenges that were planned as potentials in our lives either never manifest or occur in a more gentle form.

Powerful and insightful, especially when you consider how Rob Schwartz works. He has 4 mediums that he works with who are adept at reading the Akashic records, so the participant is told what his life experiences were. But he arrives at a very deep place of awareness, most likely because he had his own personal experience of 'the unity", even though he doesn't take participants on the journeys himself. But I love the idea that it is our responses to our life situations that create our experience and set the stage for our healing, not our life plan. It is a  very proactive and very positive approach to this work. 

 

Ghosts?

I was listening to a podcast (Mysterious Universe, highly recommended) and they were doing an episode based on an old book of ghost stories. These are always interesting, and most of the good ghost stories point to the reality of a continuity of consciousness after death. They also usually occur because of some trauma that lead to death, sometimes in the physical area of the haunting, and sometimes both. But later when I was thinking about this, I realized that in my past life explorations, I never came across any ghostly activity nor has anyone I've ever worked with. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that I haven't come across it in my work. Then, when I was reviewing my notes for this blog, I found something I'd written* after running a particularly traumatic death I'd experienced in combat in World War 1. I was on a mission, my assignment was to deliver a message on the battlefield. This was a trench warfare situation, we were dug in, literally, in these trenches and holding this ground from troops advancing on our position. I was ordered to take a message to the next set of trenches, which involved moving to the edge of our position, going up to surface level and over to the next set of trenches some distance away. I made it without drawing fire, but when I got to the next encampment, I found they had been breached and the enemy soldiers where waiting for me. (The strangest part of this was that I was a German soldier so the "bad"guys were American troops!) Before I could sound the alarm, I was knocked unconscious  and then when they realized I couldn't be interrogated for the message I was carrying, I was shot and killed. As I transitioned out of the body, I was still aware of my soldier duties, and my fears that my failure to complete them would lead to my fellow soldiers being killed and the position that we were holding overrun. That, plus my awareness of the family I was leaving behind was emotionally devastating. 

From my notes -

I looked down expecting a soldier’s uniform but saw a ghostly physical body.

That was my attempt to describe what I saw after I left the physical body, It was no longer the body I had inhabited for the last 20 years. That is where I had the revelation that inspired this post. Again, from my notes -

(I realized) that we all are ghosts temporarily when we have memory and awareness of our physical body but are no longer in that body.

Maybe some of us are stuck because of the shock in that moment of disconnection from our physical bodies. There was a separation from the pain that the physical body experienced when being shot, but the emotional pain of separation from duty and comrades and loves ones lingered (temporarily) into the between lives state. For one brief interlude, I experienced myself as a "ghost". Luckily, it passed and I accepted myself as no longer in a physical body. But I now have a new perspective of that ghostly experience, one that considers it as a semi-physical echo of a traumatic event. I can see the haunting as a formerly physical individual in need of comfort and guidance. 

*This post shows how crucial it is to take the time to journal after a past life exploration. The information we access when still in what Swygard calls an "integrated" state, that is, still connected to our higher consciousness, tends to slip away, and writing down notes immediately after captures information that would otherwise be lost. Its like remembering a dream that is vivid on awakening, but disappears in the barrage of day to day details. 

The "R" word and the "J" word

As a recovering Catholic, I don't think in terms of the Bible much, but thanks to Ashley Long from createtheleap.com, I became aware of a book by Herbert Puryear titled "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation". I started researching and was reminded that the Church used to include reincarnation in its teachings. In fact, according to Kevin Williams, 

"When Jesus began his ministry, many people wondered if he was the reincarnation of one of the prophets. Some people wondered the same thing concerning John the Baptist. And even Jesus affirmed to his disciples that John the Baptist was indeed the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah." 

"For all the prophets and the law have prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who was to come." (Matthew 11:13-14)

"And the disciples asked him, saying, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?'

"But he answered them and said, 'Elijah indeed is to come and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hand.'

"Then the disciples understood that he had spoken of John the Baptist." (Matthew 17:10-13)

 

This I did not know. The first quote on this blog is from Origen, and I learned more about him.

"The first great Father of the early Orthodox Church was Origen (185-254 AD) who was the first person since Paul to develop a system of theology around the teachings of Jesus. Origen was an ardent defender of pre-existence and reincarnation. Pre-existence is the religious concept of the soul as not being created at birth; rather the soul existed before birth in heaven or in a past life on Earth. Origen taught that pre-existence is found in Hebrew scriptures and the teachings of Jesus."

I'd never heard of the concept of pre-existence, but it resonates with my idea of the continuity of our consciousness before and after our physical incarnations. 

"The doctrines of pre-existence and reincarnation existed as secret teachings of Jesus until they were declared a heresy by the Roman Church in 553 A.D at the Second Council of Constantinople...(I)n 553 A.D., reincarnation became an enemy concept to the Judeo-Christian West. The reason reincarnation was declared heresy was given by Gregory, the Bishop of Nyssa. The five reasons he gave were:

1. It seems to minimize Christian salvation. (Inconsistent with the idea of eternal damnation in hell)

2. It is in conflict with the resurrection of the body. (Inconsistent with the rapture and final judgment)

3. It creates an unnatural separation between body and soul. ("For thousands of years, Christians believed that when a person dies their soul would sleep in the grave along with their corpse" until Judgment Day)

4. It is built on a much too speculative use of Christian scriptures. (Because there many quotes from Scripture referencing reincarnation?)

5. There is no recollection of previous lives. (Until now....)

All Hebrew and Christian scriptures support reincarnation: the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Christian Gnostic gospels, the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, the Kabbalah and Zohar. 

http://www.celestialgrace.org/bible/Reincarnation_and_the_Bible.pdf

Thanks to Kevin Williams for his research. 

 

 

 

Ben Franklin quotes

Found this amazing quote from Ben Franklin, who wrote this epitaph at age 22 that was never used: 

The Body of B. Franklin Printer,
Like the Cover of an Old Book,
Its Contents Torn Out
And Stripped of its Lettering and Gilding,
Lies Here Food for Worms,
But the Work shall not be Lost,
For it Will as He Believed
Appear Once More
In a New and more Elegant Edition
Revised and Corrected
By the Author

The grown up Franklin said this-

"I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning."