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    Lulu
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    Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:09 pm

    Thanks so much for inviting me to this lovely forum, Cherubino and Susanna! I have a couple of notable past lives as Catarina Cavalieri and as Louisa May Alcott. Strangely, I have more memories of being Catarina even though Louisa is much more famous, though the story of how I found out I was Louisa is interesting, so I will tell it.

    My mother has a certain spirit guide who likes to "walk in" once in a while and take an earth body to try to catch up with her. One day when I was a baby my mom was walking me when her guide came up to her in a new body and said, "Oh, do you know who she is?" and he whispered to her of my Alcott existence. Now my mother thought she would play detective throughout my childhood to see if I would figure it out for myself.

    Thus, I had a childhood very different from most people where the concept of reincarnation was accepted as being perfectly natural. My mother had several lifetimes as famous folk herself that had been verified through hypnosis, though her memories still come up unbidden and trip her out. Notably, she was raised very differently from my brother and me as her parents were very Christian and thought she was probably crazy. It makes an amazing difference in one's ability to remember past lives if you're raised in an environment where it's not seen as strange, it also makes a marvelous difference in your ability to cope with those memories. To this day my mother and I talk about our past lives just as naturally as if we were talking about our current one.

    Anyway, Mama's trick was to give me several of Louisa's novels as a Christmas present one year. Just as she suspected, I could barely be cajoled to open them, when usually I was quick to devour any book that came my way, and it took me a couple years to get around to reading them. It took me three years to finish reading Little Women, and once I finished it (I don't know why I bothered to finish it) I didn't like it. I didn't like any of her novels, which by itself is flimsy evidence, but now whenever I read her books I keep thinking of ways to improve them. As a child I had a curious habit of constantly creating and acting out stories, often I would even create whole books complete with illustrations. I had a chart hanging in my bedroom to dictate which story I would "act out" on every day of the week. Furthermore, I had an odd habit of composing whole stories, word for word, in my head before I wrote them down. Now, I've never met anyone who does this, but apparently Louisa May Alcott did! I also had a curious habit of editing my own diary entries. If I thought something was unsavory I would erase it later. I guess most people don't do this, but Louisa did it ad nauseum much to the frustration of scholars. For some reason I always write my journals with the assumption that they will end up being read one day by complete strangers.

    When I was 14 I regressed myself back to the year 1856 to see what I would find. I found myself sitting by a fireplace staring broodingly into it wearing an uncharacteristically cheerful piece of calico, a white dress with little blue flowers on it which didn't suit me whatsoever. My "mother" was sitting behind me knitting and said, "What's wrong, Louisa? Are you depressed?" I replied, "I'm a writer, I'm supposed to be depressed!" Mother just shook her head and said, "You are a strange girl, Louisa."

    I wrote this down in my journal, noted it as odd, but didn't tell my mother for a few months. When I told her I had figured it out, tears rolled down my cheeks and I don't know why, perhaps it was just the feeling of release from my subconscious secret. She verified what I already knew and admitted to her tricks. Then it came out that my brother was Bronson, my former life father, which makes perfect sense. Throughout our childhood we would sit up for hours at night talking about philosophy, especially philosophy of education discussing the many ills we saw in our current system. He even looks like Bronson. I don't really look like Louisa much.

    Strangely, I pretty much left it at that and never bothered with another regression or even with reading a biography until about 16 years later. I felt it was a life well lived and didn't think there was much purpose to dredging it up. Last year I quit my job and had no idea what to do with my life, so I started looking to where I "left off" more and more for a clue. I found a double biography that just came out on the lives of Bronson and Louisa and the effect they had on eachother. Now, this was a biography I wanted to read! Mainly because I was more curious as to how my brother's karma worked with mine. I couldn't believe how much made sense after reading it! Now I understand what I need to work through and what hang-ups I've brought to this life. I understand where my fear of wealth and success comes from and why I was born tired.....so tired.

    I'll tell my Cavalieri story in another thread. I just haven't gotten to tell the Louisa story to anyone outside my closest friends and family, so I'm really excited to finally do it! I must say that knowing about two successive lifetimes is incredibly informative and helps tremendously in knowing why you are the way you are, and why you need to change the ways you think. I just hope that in my next lifetime I can remember this one. I guess I'll have to ensure my fame in this one in order to have a chance of remembering it later.
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    a couple of questions...

    Post  peter on Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:52 pm

    I'm wondering, if it's not too personal, how you would improve "Little Women"?

    I'd also be quite curious to hear more about what you think the effect of remembering two successive lives has been on your insight.

    Thanks for sharing your stories. I find them quite interesting.


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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:42 am

    Hmmm, how would I improve Little Women? I haven't read the book in over 20 years, so I'm not completely sure. For one, I think it's too sappy and often too heavy handed with its moral message, as much of Louisa's work is. But she wrote her children's books to please her father, and to make money, not because she wanted to. Marrying Jo off was definitely not what I wanted to do and only did because that was what was expected for a "happy ending", but I am glad she didn't marry Laurie, that would have been way too predictable. I seem to recollect that the stylistic difference between part one and part two is a bit pronounced and could be evened out. Louisa's works generally fall into one of two categories: sensational thrillers and children's books with a moral message. There is very little middle ground in her oeuvre aside from "Moods", "Work", and "Hospital Sketches". Which brings me to the next point regarding my insights from the two lives I remember.

    I see one task in the life I have now being to reconcile my ideas about "morality". Catarina was not a person who I would call immoral today, but I believe she began to see her life that way toward the end. She lived a rather sensational life, though not more so than any other artist of the time, probably even quite a bit less so. I remember seeing the first performance of Haydn's Creation, as Catarina, and it made me feel that I hadn't devoted enough of my life to God and I came away from it with a sense of renewed religious virtue. My mother, who claims to have been Mary Shelley, also thinks that I was born to her in that life only to die a few months later. She thinks the Shelleys were just too scandalous for the little baby and she had to go be born to the Alcotts instead. Considering the life I had just left behind this is very likely to be true. Louisa spent her whole life trying to be "good" but had a deep love of all things scandalous. She wanted desperately to be an actress, but her family forbade it (though she still acted in charity plays every chance she could), she had a hot temper that horrified her father, and she spent most of her time writing thrillers in order to vent her dark side. Honestly, she would have been better placed with the Shelleys, maybe that's why I chose to be born to my mother now. Ironically, my mother is quite scandalized by my operatic burlesque performances, but I do them anyway!

    In both the lifetimes I remember, morality was something based in religion, an objective standard that everyone was supposed to aspire to, and there was something deeply wrong with those who couldn't, or wouldn't try to overcome their demons. Now I know that "morality" is in the eye of the beholder and I think the golden rule is the only rule we need to live by.

    I remember writing my memoirs as Catarina and finding I enjoyed it and had a talent for it. Though I'm sure I requested those memoirs destroyed upon my death, I decided to devote more time to developing that skill in the next life. I also think that my love of philosophy stems from somewhere many many centuries ago and I had it even as Catarina. Salieri was probably the most well read composer out there, he had a huge library, and this is probably why he and DaPonte (Mozart's librettist) had such a special bond (DaPonte wrote the libretto to "Cosi fan Tutte" for Salieri first, and it contains more literary allusions than any of the libretti he wrote for anyone else). Catarina's father was a school teacher, as was Louisa's, and I think this is why she and Salieri were drawn to each other. Catarina had an odd interest in academic things and Salieri was surprised to meet a woman who could share those interests with him.

    Not surprisingly, I wanted to continue the life of the mind in my next incarnation and chose to be surrounded by Emerson, Thoreau, as well as Bronson Alcott. Emerson too had a huge library that Louisa spent much of her childhood in. She borrowed books from him all the time, Goethe being one of her very favorite authors (perhaps we see a connection to Catarina here). She even had a big crush on him at one point and sang to him outside his window, Mignon's song a la Goethe.

    Strangely, Louisa wrote a short story about rival prima donnas and Catarina was in a Mozart opera about rival prima donnas (though of course Louisa's version had to contain murder). The most annoying thing is that Louisa claims to remember a former life, but never said anything else about it. No word, no clue, that could for me be the smoking gun. Sad

    Anyway, I see enough connections between the two lifetimes that make sense, even though to one unfamiliar with the two ladies the connection would seem bizarre. As for how the knowledge of these lives informs this one, I feel I have many talents from these lives but no genius for any of them, and this makes it very difficult for me to choose my life's path. However, the path of my character is more clearly defined. I chose to be born this time without a temper, having thought my temper was evil before, but now I miss it. I could achieve so much if I had more motivating anger and passion. Overall, my personality now is much more befitting a proper Victorian lady, when in my Victorian lifetime my personality was more befitting a woman living now. I decided to be born as the woman I had tried so hard to become as Louisa, but now I realize that my decision was misguided and I'm stuck with a shyness wholely inappropriate to life in America today. Why? Because I thought being shy was a morally superior trait to being too assertive. So this is one of my greatest lessons in this life: that one should live by no one else's standards but their own. Morality is not a law created by a higher power, it is none other than the law of our own conscience. We just need to tell ourselves it's ok to listen to our own beliefs and to trust them.

    Boy, I'm long winded! Maybe I'll write an article for the blog section afterall.

    Lulu
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  peter on Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:26 pm

    Hmmm. I don't find you long winded at all, you're interesting.

    You shouldn't be too critical of Little Women. Stylistically, it was quite typical for it's time. If it hadn't been, it might have been totally ignored. What would be the fun in that? :-). Children's and young people's literature is almost universally moralistic on some level anyway. We're attempting to help them learn difficult life lessons vicariously instead of the old hard way.

    Your little women explored feminist themes in a society so patriarchal and conservative that any direct confrontation would have been unlikely to go too far. Yet these books did that so delicately that they were acceptable to young people and wildly popular. I think that's very neat myself.

    The Shelley link you mention is quite interesting. Ever notice the similarities between Robin March and Shelley and the Marches situation and that of the Shelley family, that is penniless with wealthy but unsympathetic relatives? Seems like quite a coincidence...

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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:42 am

    Ha ha ha! Yeah, my wealthier relatives still won't help out the family, or when they do it's with weird strings attached. My grandmother paid for my college education with the stipulation that I not major in music, which I was considering doing anyway had the music department not pissed me off. However, art history seemed ok with her! Nonetheless, I ended up being the first woman in my family to graduate from college, so I do have her to thank for that.

    Thanks for putting Little Women in perspective. It's true that most authors must cloak their messages in a more palatable format for the consumption of the general public. But as Emerson said, "a man cannot bury his meanings so deep in his book but time and like-minded men will find them." - or women as the case may be. Smile

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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  peter on Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:33 pm

    Truthfully, it's not a work I knew anything about before this. I spent my childhood in outer space or the far far future. Then, science fiction was a niche genre. Now that it's become so overblown, overexposed and pretty much run of the mill, I've developed a much stronger appreciation for history.*

    I was rewarded by reading first about you and then your neighbors in that time. Sounds like you landed in the middle of the uber hippies of America. I'm trying to listen to Thoreau now. The reader is trying to ruin it by droning on in a sonorous and solemn tone . I'd expect the person who wrote what I'm hearing to have a nice, dry sense of irony. If it were read that way, it would come off completely different. About the only author I've ever read from that area and time is Oliver Wendell Holmes. I was quite taken with "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table" and still think it's a blast. I even called my blog autocratofthebreakfasttable in his honor.

    What's your area of art history? Idle curiousity... I majored in art and I've now realized that my artistic tastes were strongly suggestive of my past lives. I was about 30 before anything after about 1940 except the pop art movement made the slightest impression on me.

    I'm thinking about what you say about the connections between the two lives your remember. I have a minor theory about how it happens that we end up with outdated character traits. It's been a huge problem in my life so it's something I've thought a lot about.

    (italics are revisions for the sake of clarity)


    Last edited by peter on Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:13 pm

    Yeah, I guess we were the proto-hippies. Now in this life I ended up managing the hippiest dippiest coffee shop in all of Seattle for years, and my brother still runs the city's longest running open mic there. While I didn't get to specialize in art history as a bachelor I ended up really loving Indian Buddhist art the best. Sadly, that was in my senior year, so I didn't get to take any more classes in it, but I thought seriously about going to grad school for it. Unfortunately everywhere wanted me to be able to read two Asian languages and a European one well, so I tried to teach myself Sanskrit (hippie!) but that was really hard. Maybe I should try again. I have a huge collection of Tibetan and Indian art books and religious texts, even the complete two volume set of the Jatakas, the stories of Buddha's former lives - they're kind of the Aesop's fables of the Buddhist world.

    I didn't realize till recently just how into Eastern religion the American transcendentalists were (I guess that's why they're called transcendentalists, duh). Thoreau even translated a reincarnationist text into English (granted from French not from Sanskrit). I'll see if I can get a link to it up here. I would love to learn more about that aspect of the movement. There appears to be only one book on the subject and it costs almost $200 on Amazon! Guess I'll have to spend some time in the library.

    What type of art did you major in? I remember the class "Performance art after 1960" had a huge influence on me. It's kind of the impetus for me starting my own cabaret troupe. It was very liberating for me to realize that I could be an artist without being a painter or sculptor.

    This Holmes fellow sounds interesting, I'll have to look into him. Maybe you should work your outdated character trait theory into an article for this site. I'm sure we'd all love to read it.

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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  peter on Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:30 pm

    I majored in studio art and did drawing, pen and ink, water colors, printing, photography and collage mainly. I never really picked up painting, which I now regret. I actually had a little flair for the dramatic arts and even tried twice to connect. Something about acting that I still don't understand made me quite uneasy, so I moved on. I too like performance art (better than drama). Performance art and protesting were so similar that everyone I hung around with was kind of fascinated by using performance art to protest social issues. We ended up mainly scaring people around here.

    I was a troubled, erratic and ultimately horrible student. I was only able to focus on school as an afterthought most of the time. The net effect of that approach to school is, of course, some other profession after the art degree. It's like you said of yourself, "many talents, no genius" and often no clear direction. Although, some of my defects, I'm sad to say could have been easily overcome by working a little harder on things. Embarassed

    I got a job in the state mental hospital, where I discovered that I liked mentally ill people and more importantly had a capacity for compassion and harmlessness. When I started to hate the other staff members, I got a job at the public library where I became a children's librarian. I grew disenchanted with that soon enough and I then became a crisis counselor at the county jail.

    I've been doing that for the past 20 years. No idea where my art impulses went. I retired in 2006 anxious to revive them and... found nothing much there! My artistic impulses came from that childlike and childish part of my ego and had faded with my successfully assuming adult responsibilities. I'm still working on locating a more adult motive to resume art.

    I did a past life regression hoping to better understand it and remembered being a Franciscan monk strongly, maybe even fanatically dedicated to service over personal, egocentric goals. I recognized him very well, art seems like a complete vanity to that narrow-minded and dutiful aspect of myself.

    I THINK there are some quotes from the Transcendentalists in The Phoenix Fire Mystery: An East_West Dialogue... edited by Cranston and Head. It's available for more like 20$ hardcover, but I can't recall exactly how much there is on the Transcendentalists. Your Miss Alcott is listed in what contents I could find online. If you're interested in reincarnation, you're not likely to regret giving it a looking over in any case in my opinion. It's 620 pages of commentary on reincarnation compiled from world literature through the ages.

    I need much more information on my trait hypothesis before it would be more than about a paragraph or two. I need to talk to a lot more people who've experienced soul memory before I would generalize.

    I am casting around for something neat to share, but other than laying out my "Who was Who" theories, which have been my obsession since I discovered Semkiw's work and a couple of people he seems to have gotten his ideas from, I haven't come up with anything very interesting. I still weighing whether or not it's harmless enough to share.


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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  peter on Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:31 pm

    BTW. What I was thinking about the progression of your temperament isn't particularly germaine now that I've reread what you've written about both your past lives. Your stories do support the Buddist idea that we experience the karma of what we desire over time. That's not much of a new insight really.

    I do wonder about your conceptualization of your temperament from life to life. To an outsider who has never heard your explanation before it sounds like you deliberatelyly pushed yourself to outgrow some of Miss C's more self indulgent, temperamental and perhaps shallow ways. After all, Miss Alcott could have chosen to run away and join the circus again. She did not, but chose to spend her life largely in service to others carefully channelling her tastes for passion and high drama into a socially acceptable outlet.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if you're current life experience and insight is richer and more well rounded than either of those two previous incarnations, because you're likely a deeper and better integrated person than either of them. After all, you have all their potential plus your own to work with.
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:06 pm

    Phoenix Fire Mystery sounds pretty cool, I'll definitely have to find a copy. I do definitely feel like I'm a slave to the karma of my desires sometimes. I think in this life I have finally realized the joy of infinite patience, with others, though I'm still very hard on myself, probably even harder on myself than in the past. It's especially hard when you remember a famous lifetime, the pressure you can feel to succeed in your current lifetime can be unbelievable. I feel like I'm having my mid-life crisis at age 30, though it's not surprising when you think that I probably have lived very few lifetimes past the age of 50. It did make me feel better to read that Miss Alcott didn't acheive fame and financial success till she was 36, but Cavalieri was quite young when she was famous, though she also died pretty young.

    A big hang up I have now is a fear of worldly success, both financially and otherwise. I didn't realize I had this fear until a few months ago after reading Alcott's story. It was an attitude that was reinforced by the way I was raised. My mother has a considerable fear of success brought on by her memories of several famous lifetimes. So, now I have this double cross to bear. Do any of you other folks with notable lifetime memories have this problem? It seems to me that it could be a common burden for many of us. When one remembers having been royalty it is usually only to remember how politics brought about your death; if one remembers being an artist the feelings of "selling out" can be quite strong, or of never being appreciated; the memory of wealth comes with the stress of managing that wealth or of never knowing who your true friends are. All in all, it seems to me that the memory of a notable lifetime can handicap one's current life with a fear of success, making it almost impossible to be famous again until that handicap is overcome. Then again worldly success and spiritual "success" are very different things. It is also very difficult to acheive spiritual success when one has to deal with a fickle thing like fame.

    What do y'all think?
    Happy Halloween!
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  peter on Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:36 pm

    So, glad you responded (I realize I'm not "y'all" btw Cool I'm very curious what others think as well, we seem to be early risers on here). I wanted to clarify something I told you. The progress that you descibe in your two past lives and perhaps your situation in this one sound like evolution to me. You're obviously a work in progress at the present time and you just haven't yet made it to the finished expression. In both your past lives you seemed to have people coaching and motivating you. Now you're trying to become your own creation. That's quite a shift in perspective to adjust to IMHO. I was struck by the thought last night that I think you ought to have the potential to be an incredible singer of some sort in this life.

    BTW, your point is well taken by me at least. I have had to deal with tremendous fear from my royal lifetime... fear of everyone else, fear of doing the wrong thing and causing needless harm and so forth. I've resolved it to an extent, but I still have unresolved fear issues from my last life. I just don't know enough about that one yet to fully address my feelings.

    Nice chatting with you!

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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:30 am

    Well, hopefully I'm evolving. It's true, I'm pretty much going it alone this time with no man and his big library to help me out, but one day I hope to have my own huge library. I could have had quite the career as a singer this time around had I started to nurture my gift soon enough. Part of the problem was that I found that most of the opera producers and judges of competitions are stuck in the 1960's and see no wiggle room for trying something different with vocal types, staging, and creativity of the individual singer in certain roles. When I had figured this out I decided the way to go was to do my own thing and go in a completely different direction with opera. Feeling that my approach to classical music could sometimes be "too creative" I decided that being a director or impresario might be better. Opera especially is a genre that needs to be brought back to the people and have new life breathed into it.

    Though really, all in all, I feel like the authorities that be in music today have in general pissed me off to the point where I don't want to have anything to do with them, so I'm trying to be my own authority. Maybe if I tried continuing my career in Europe things would be different, who knows?

    Anyway, sorry to hear your royal lifetime is still causing you such problems. It seems to me that those with royal pasts have the most issues to work through, no matter how glamourous those lives may seem. Kudos to you for keeping up on your evolutionary path! I know it's not easy, but hopefully we can all help each other keep up the valiant fight.

    I personally think that when one asks the question, "why is it that everyone thinks they were someone famous in a former life?" the easiest explanation is that it is simply easier to remember a famous lifetime because there are more souvenirs around in your current environment. Or as you said, that you can feel a pull toward a certain circle of people, though it may not necessarily mean that you were the center of that circle, you were probably a very important part of it or at least a kindred spirit.

    I'm just very glad to be able to discuss such things with people who aren't my most immediate close friends. While even my own boyfriend is very good about listening to me talk about former lives, he's a recovering Catholic and I don't think he really believes me, but he's very good about keeping an open mind. While I know it's hard to believe in reincarnation if you weren't raised with the concept and/or you haven't experienced the memories for yourself, I am actually quite surprised at how many people believe me or take my memories seriously in the outside world when I have been daring enough to discuss them with people I don't know as well. Maybe it's just because I'm around a lot of hippies, but I'm glad this forum exists and I look forward to a lot of discussion to come. The philosophy and ethics behind reincarnation are too little considered even in books on the topic, I think, so hopefully we will all share our ideas toward that end.

    It has been lovely chatting with you too! I hope you feel it within yourself to go make art again. The act of creating is the only way we can understand the Creator, so it is not self indulgent at all, but part of our process of becoming one with the mind of God. I hope your inner Franciscan monk will forgive you such a "vanity" as painting. Truly, can there be a perfect world without art? I think not! Art is the very realization of prayer.

    Regards,
    Lulu
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Susanna on Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:12 pm

    Lulu wrote: I understand where my fear of wealth and success comes from and why I was born tired.....so tired.

    Oh my God! You have described my EXACT feelings! How many times have Steph and I said this to one another??? I can't count. And considering my life as Nancy and then after that a life as a female house slave on a South Carolina tobacco plantation, and then a Jewish child who was murdered in the Nazi massacre of 35,000 Kiev Jews at Babi Yar, it is understandable why I would be so fearful and tired.
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Susanna on Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:36 pm

    Lulu wrote:

    Strangely, Louisa wrote a short story about rival prima donnas and Catarina was in a Mozart opera about rival prima donnas (though of course Louisa's version had to contain murder). The most annoying thing is that Louisa claims to remember a former life, but never said anything else about it. No word, no clue, that could for me be the smoking gun. Sad


    This is the opera, The Impresario, that Mozart composed for a competition that was held in the Orangery at Schönbrunn in February of 1786. Ironically, I sang in the opera that Salieri composed for the competition. Salieri won the competition because of my comic imitation of the infamous and outlandish, castrato, Luigi Marchesi, which had the audience laughing so hard that they were literally falling out of their seats!
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Susanna on Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:54 pm

    It is such a pleasure to discuss reincarnation with someone who has all their "threads" and connections from one lifetime to another in place. You really do have your stuff together, Lulu, and I am already learning so much just from reading your posts here! Of course you grew up believing in and discussing reincarnation, having it affirmed in your life, which is so very helpful. I was not fortunate enough to be raised in such an environment and therefore my experiences with reincarnation are limited to the last ten years. I'm learning, and it is people such as yourself who help me so very much! Please keep posting your stories and thoughts here, because I am literally devouring them!
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:43 am

    Ah, thanks. You remember more lifetimes than I do, though. Do you see any continuities between your lifetime as Nancy and the succeeding one? How does remembering the succession of your lifetimes affect how you view this one?
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Susanna on Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:55 am

    I know very little of the two succeeding lives, only what I have gleaned from my own memories and what has been told to me by a past-life reading. The details of the slave life are a bit more clear, as that was the one that the past-life reader (who is a member of this forum), picked up on. My name was Julia and my master was a doctor. He was an alcoholic who not only beat his slaves routinely, but who also beat his wife and daughter. He had been disgraced in some local scandal and was forced to retire from his medical practice which only made him worse. (I believe that he was John Fisher in my life as Nancy, the man who my mother married me off to and who beat me.) I was the mistress' personal house slave and seamstress. I was very intelligent and I could read. I loved music and was the soloist in the slave church on the plantation. I was close friends with Massah Doctuh's (what I called him), daughter, who secretly taught me to play the piano. (She was born to me in this life as my oldest daughter, Lauren. She had also been born to me in my life as Nancy, the child Mozart fathered and who my mother turned over to the foundling home.)

    I know very little of the life as the Jewish child in Kiev. I believe that my name was Mania Chalef and that I came from a pretty well-to-do family. I sense that I was the only child of a doctor and his wife. I was murdered along with my mother and father in the Nazi massacre of 35,000 Kiev Jews in a nearby ravine called Babi Yar. We were lined up along the edge of the ravine and gunned down with machine guns. I was eight years old when I died. The following is a photo of me when I was two.



    There is a strong Jewish connection in these lives. Although I can't find any documentation to this, I strongly believe that Nancy was half Italian Jew. Her father, Stefano, was from Naples, a large Jewish center in Italy, and he was not Catholic. When he moved to England, he married an Anglican woman and Nancy and her brother, Stephen, were both baptized into the Church of England. Later, Nancy took up with John Braham, a Jewish tenor, who was extremely active in Jewish political causes. If you look at the portraits of Nancy, she appears to be Jewish.

    I have no way of knowing if there were any Jewish connections in my slave life, but it fits in with the ethnic bent I seemed to have had in the past. It would also make sense that after being murdered in the Holocaust that I would come back in this life a toe-headed, fair-skinned, blue-eyed white girl with absolutely no ethnicity in her lineage whatsoever, not even Native American. I am Scottish, English, Austrian, and French.

    More later. Now I have to finish getting ready for work! Very Happy
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    Susanna
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Susanna on Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:53 pm

    (continued from my previous post)

    Although I would never describe my childhood as particularly unhappy, it was emotionally and spiritually oppressive. I was born into a devoutly religious, conservative home to fundamentalist Christian parents. My father was/is a veterinarian who grew up during the latter part of the depression and World War II. His father was terribly hard and abusive and my dad encountered his wrath on a daily basis. My dad had a volitle temper that when it errupted would often result in someone's being screamed at, backhanded, or kicked. He hid his temper from the outside world behind his piety. He was a respected deacon and Sunday School teacher at the First Baptist Church, an established professional in the community, and a respected member of the Chamber of Commerce and the county Historical Society. His ideas of the role of women in the home, society, and the church were very conservative and traditional. He was an aggressive, opinionated, and pontificating leader in the home and yet at the same time he could be delightfully humorous, sentimental, charming and fun. I can't say that he was a devoted father. He was certainly devoted to seeing to it that his children were schooled in what he viewed as "correct" religious doctrine, and he was a good provider. He loved music and had a lovely tenor voice and was a devoted member of the church choir until only a couple of years ago when he lost the ability to sing due to an attack of internal shingles.

    Do you recognize the man I have just described? When I first learned of my past life as Nancy, I recognized him almost immediately. This man was John Fisher, as well as my master in my slave life. He was married to my mother for 49 years before she succombed to cancer in June of 2001.

    My mother in this life would be very recognizable to anyone who has read "So Faithful a Heart", for she was my mother, Elizabeth, in my life as Nancy. It is no surprise that after she orchestrated that disastrous marriage between Fisher and me that she would come back in this life feeling that she must do pennance for her "crimes" by marrying him herself. In this life she wasn't quite as overbearing as Elizabeth, but she could be every bit the snob that Elizabeth was and every bit as manipulative. And just as Elizabeth, she was every bit the martyr. However, in this life, Mother and I were much closer. Although I have to admit that since her death I really don't miss her all that much.

    My younger brother and I have the same exact dynamics as Stephen and I had. There is no doubt that he was Stephen for the paths that our mutual interests and lives have followed almost exactly mirror our lives and relationship 200 years ago. From the time that Monte was born he was thrust upon me by my mother, who demanded that we be close, rather than allowing the closeness to develop naturally. I resented that for a long time and as a result, resisted being close to him until only very recently.

    I have a much younger sister who was born when I was eleven-and-a-half years old and who I cannot place. We have never been really close because we were so far apart in age, and although we tried to develop a closer relationship after Mother died, we had a falling out over the phone two years ago and now Karla refuses to speak to me.

    My issues entering this life had everything to do with personal freedom and the developing of my own beliefs, opinions, morality, and ideals and the breaking away from the people and things that have kept me oppressed. I can most certainly see the connections, especially from my life as Nancy as well as my slave life. Again, other than the Jewish connection, it is more difficult to see where my most recent past life fits into that sequence, probably because I have so few memories and I died so young.

    Any insights that you might have would certainly be welcome! Smile
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    Lulu
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:55 am

    I find it very intersting that after so long you still can not get away from Fisher. It sounds to me like proof that our karma is only what we think we deserve and not what others think we deserve. If in the past you believed you deserved to be beaten by Fisher, for whatever reason, then you were reborn to be beaten by him again only to realize that you didn't really deserve it afterall. The same thing goes with your former and current mother, thinking that she "deserved" to be beaten by the same man for marrying you off to him in the first place. I'm sure you wouldn't think she deserved it, but apparently she does, and this is what creates karma. My own mother has spoken about how she had to be reborn to her father who was her former life executioner, not because she wanted to but because he felt an obligation. She would much rather never have to deal with him again, and he turned out to be such a wicked man she forbad him from seeing her children in this life. I've often heard her lament that karma is caused by those who feel the obligation to make up with their "victims" when usually the victim would rather just forget about the whole thing and move on. It also happens that the victim considers him or herself to be the agitator and continuously comes back to be punished for a self perceived transgression.

    So, if negative karma is just the result of what we believe we deserve, then if we are undergoing difficulties in this life we need to take a step back and evaluate if we truly believe we deserve our hardships. So many times we get stuck in a situation because we feel we don't deserve any better, but others would never think us unworthy of the simple comforts we desire. Physical and emotional safety, enough money to live on, a stimulating environment to live in, love. These are the most common areas of self denial, even though we don't always consider it self denial but rather as a situation forced on us against our will. If we could stand up for ourselves and truly believe that we deserve better then we will be able to achieve better. Afterall, those that get the best jobs are those that lie on their resumes - why? Because they believe they deserve it come hell or high water!

    Which brings me to another point. Of course chasing after what you think you deserve should never come into conflict with your ethics, because if it did you would no longer think that you deserved that thing and your negative karma kicks in once again.

    I could go on and on about karma, it's one of my favorite thing to think about while washing dishes at the doughnut shop, but this is the aspect of karma that I think your former life lineage makes clear. Hopefully you and the soul that was Fisher have gone around together enough to work out your guilt. It sounds like he feels bad too for having treated you the way he did and that's why you were born to be his daughter this time.

    It's so rare and fascinating to hear from someone who remembers their soul's lineage and can trace their relationships from life to life. If there were more people like you out there we would all be able to learn a lot about the forces that make us come back again and again.

    Consequentially, my mom too was born only to die as a child in a concentration camp during WWII. Her spirit guides said they wouldn't let her remember it as the memories would be painful and pointless. I find it curious that both you and Steph died as children in the same lifetime. What if Hitler never came to power? Would you two have been able to work out your karma that much sooner? I've heard people try to explain how the genocide of WWII was karmic, but I can't buy it. I don't think every evil act committed by someone is an act of retributive karma, and if we were to think that way then every act of genocide or racism would be justified, and of course it is never justified. God gave us free will, but also a conscience to balance it. It's when these two forces clash that we have karma to account for, but only if we can see it. Luckily, in the spirit we always can.

    It is unfortunate that so much of what informs our conscience while we are in the flesh are traditional standards of human morality, which often have nothing to do with God's standards of morality. That's why it's so important that we think for ourselves and follow the golden rule. Mob mentality doesn't necessarily equal right and shouldn't force you to feel guilty about anything.

    Thank you for sharing your story here! I hope I haven't rambled on too long, but philosophising about such things is one of my favorite things to do. Maybe it's the wine. drunken
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Lulu on Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:03 am

    Speaking of the tiredness, I had an awesome dream last night.

    I had arrived late to Mozart's funeral and was the last to say farewell at the coffin, which was an open casket in some kind of bland Presbyterian church. As soon as I approached the coffin he sat up and started checking his text messages on his cell phone. I scratched my head and helped him out of the coffin. We both carried the empty coffin like pall bearers to the reception hall where we set it down and started drinking wine. He said to me, "I used to think this dying thing was useful, a good rest, but now I don't see the difference. I'm always so tired anyway, what's the point in dying? I may as well just stay alive forever. I'm done dying!" "Here, here!" I said as we raised our glasses to everlasting consciousness.
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    Susanna
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Susanna on Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:28 am

    What a great dream! And such a powerful message to us all!
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    peter
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  peter on Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:16 pm

    Lulu wrote:Speaking of the tiredness, I had an awesome dream last night.

    I had arrived late to Mozart's funeral and was the last to say farewell at the coffin, which was an open casket in some kind of bland Presbyterian church. As soon as I approached the coffin he sat up and started checking his text messages on his cell phone. I scratched my head and helped him out of the coffin. We both carried the empty coffin like pall bearers to the reception hall where we set it down and started drinking wine. He said to me, "I used to think this dying thing was useful, a good rest, but now I don't see the difference. I'm always so tired anyway, what's the point in dying? I may as well just stay alive forever. I'm done dying!" "Here, here!" I said as we raised our glasses to everlasting consciousness.

    Ha ha. That's so funny! I think you still like to make an entrance... and more than anything, I'm wondering what you dreamed you were wearing. Very Happy

    I was reading a little bit about Nancy because I'm quite ignorant of opera in general and wondered if I could locate a trend in Suzannah's life. What stood out wasn't unique to Suzannah, but I noticed that like you, and Mozart, Suzannah worked incredibly hard in that lifetime. Being a famous performer is clearly an arduous path. Not one of you has even mentioned it, but not only are you all considerably more industrious than the norm, you are all basically very harmless creatures. Either of those traits alone moves all of you to the farthest end of the bell curve of human behavior. Both together? I'm very honored to be acquainted with you!

    As for making sense of one's karma... I think that's so difficult. How do you know when you know enough to really understand what's going on? The first thing I thought when reading Suzannah's letter was that there's MORE there than what she knows about so far and part of the reason for what she experienced in those lifetimes goes back to the Roman empire at least. It's hard enough to wrap one's mind around one or two lives, let alone 20, or 100. Everytime I think I've figured something out, it leads me to another vague mystery. I've heard so many theories about karma that contradict each other that I'm completely confused. I've been reading and listening to different people's explanations of it for quite some time and much of what I've heard sounds quite fanciful to me.

    I do strongly agree that we tend to get what WE think we deserve much of the time. It's the only reason I can come up with for why a person would knowingly live on a flood plain or a fault line or with an abusive person and millions of people are doing just that as we speak.

    I also strongly doubt that EVERYTHING in life happens for a comprehensible reason. I suspect that some of the more negative stuff we experience just happens because of our inadequate grasp of the entropic nature of the physical world. Disaster, disease, and being injured by other people who are ignorant of their spiritual nature all strike me as potentially preventable hazards not intentional divine challenges or retributions of some sort.

    As we've begun to unravel disaster and disease, they've become more manageable and have less power to define our lives. I mean, nobody (much) is going around these days saying that GOD destroyed Pompeii for some divine infraction or that people are sick because they're evil, and that kind of causual theory used to be quite ordinary. The Pompeian people didn't know enough about geology to realize they were living on the flood plain of an active volcano. I'll bet if it starts to erupt again, they'll make a point of evacuating sooner. Nothing too divine about it, just ordinary common sense.

    I suspect social disasters like Hitler and the Nazi's, slavery and all those abusive men in the world are ultimately no different. We've just not progressed enough in our insight to recognize them for what they are or to know what to do to heal them. Hitler and the Holocaust are so high profile in our society that they seem like more extraorinary events than they are. Unfortunately, genocide is one of man's most routine pastimes. American history is naturally less forthright about our country's victims...

    If I'm right, when enough people recognize hatred and violence as symptoms of arrested ego states or mental illness and we treat all people who act out of hatred or engage in violence as persons of diminished capacity, then things like the Holocaust and abuse become as obsolete and rare as polio.

    Suzannah, I think maybe you're relationship(s) with your father says a lot more about his karma than yours. He sounds completely stuck. You're just someone who obviously cares about him. Every life with him you've mentioned, you're rather like Christ knocking on the door of his heart... when he doesn't open it, eventually, you walk away... Sad It's about as much as you can do for another human being on a spiritual level. Hopefully, one of these fine days, he'll grow enough to invite you in.
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  Susanna on Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:24 pm

    peter wrote:

    I was reading a little bit about Nancy because I'm quite ignorant of opera in general and wondered if I could locate a trend in Suzannah's life. What stood out wasn't unique to Suzannah, but I noticed that like you, and Mozart, Suzannah worked incredibly hard in that lifetime. Being a famous performer is clearly an arduous path. Not one of you has even mentioned it, but not only are you all considerably more industrious than the norm, you are all basically very harmless creatures. Either of those traits alone moves all of you to the farthest end of the bell curve of human behavior. Both together? I'm very honored to be acquainted with you!


    Thanks, Peter. And I'm very honored to be acquainted with you, as well. Very Happy

    Yes, it was/is an arduous path, but one that I desperately sought after in this life, as well. I remember telling my brother when I was performing the role of Josephine in Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore (when we were both in college), that there was no other place on earth where I felt more like myself or where I was more in touch with myself than when I am on stage. That disturbed him tremendously, for like my parents, he was/is devoutly religious. (Long, involved story behind that. I believe that Stephen was a homosexual 200 years ago, and that Monte is a latent homosexual.) Both of my parents and my brother did everything within their power to dissuade me from a life in the theater, although it was what I was clearly born to do. During the run of Pinafore some Broadway talent scouts were there to see the guy who played the role of Ralf Rackstraw, and as a result, I too, was seen and offered an understudy role in the then new Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance which starred Linda Ronstadt (who I would have understudied), as Mabel and Kevin Kline as the Pirate King. I had so much emotional pressure from my family (threats of rejection and being disowned), that I turned it down and decided to stay at OBU (Oklahoma Baptist University), and finish my degree in vocal performance and church music. I ended up marrying a ministerial student who later became a Baptist minister and knew from the moment that I made that choice that I had made a mistake.



    peter wrote:I do strongly agree that we tend to get what WE think we deserve much of the time. It's the only reason I can come up with for why a person would knowingly live on a flood plain or a fault line or with an abusive person and millions of people are doing just that as we speak.

    I also strongly doubt that EVERYTHING in life happens for a comprehensible reason. I suspect that some of the more negative stuff we experience just happens because of our inadequate grasp of the entropic nature of the physical world. Disaster, disease, and being injured by other people who are ignorant of their spiritual nature all strike me as potentially preventable hazards not intentional divine challenges or retributions of some sort.

    I couldn't agree with you more, Peter. That's why I seriously doubt people who claim to have detailed knowledge of more than a few lives at a time. I have known some who have claimed to have had detailed knowledge of up to twenty lives - most of them famous/notable to boot - but very few who make those claims can provide the "threads" that connect those lives. That's why I believe so strongly that we only remember the lives in detail that we are supposed to remember, or that we have chosen to remember for a specific purpose. I believe strongly that the reason I came into my understanding and knowledge of reincarnation with the memories of being Nancy Storace is because I had a karmic relationship with Mozart that was ready to be worked out.

    peter wrote:As we've begun to unravel disaster and disease, they've become more manageable and have less power to define our lives. I mean, nobody (much) is going around these days saying that GOD destroyed Pompeii for some divine infraction or that people are sick because they're evil, and that kind of causual theory used to be quite ordinary. The Pompeian people didn't know enough about geology to realize they were living on the flood plain of an active volcano. I'll bet if it starts to erupt again, they'll make a point of evacuating sooner. Nothing too divine about it, just ordinary common sense.

    I've always said, (even before I understood it as karma), that there are natural consequences to one's decisions, ignorance, and/or chosen ignorance, be they good or bad - that God allows us to learn through our own life experiences. Even as a Christian I didn't believe in a punishing, vengeful, God. I have always seen God as a loving parent who allows his children to live out their choices and then only they will receive the praise or blame for such choices.

    peter wrote:I suspect social disasters like Hitler and the Nazi's, slavery and all those abusive men in the world are ultimately no different. We've just not progressed enough in our insight to understand what to do about them. Hitler and the Holocaust are so high profile in our society that they seem like more extraorinary events than they are. Unfortunately, genocide is one of man's most routine pastimes. American history is naturally less forthright about our country's victims...

    If I'm right, when enough people recognize hatred and violence as symptoms of arrested ego states or mental illness and we treat all people who act out of hatred or engage in violence as persons of diminished capacity, then things like the Holocaust and abuse becomes as obsolete and rare as polio.

    I completely agree with you on this...

    peter wrote:Suzannah, I think maybe you're relationship(s)with your father says a lot more about his karma than yours. He sounds completely stuck. You're just someone who cares about him. Every life you've mentioned, you're like Christ knocking on the door of his heart... when he doesn't open it, eventually, you walk away... Sad It's about as much as you can do for another human being on a spiritual level. Hopefully, one of these fine days, he'll grow enough to invite you in.

    You know it's funny you would say this at this time as I have just come out of a recent experience with him that has caused me to "rent my shirt" where he is concerned. I'm done with him, at least in this life. I can no longer submit myself, "Cherubino", and my family to his emotional abuse and attempts at manipulation. So as much as I still do care for him, and as much as I do look upon him with compassion, understanding why he is the way that he is (just another wounded soul), he is too painful right now, and I must remove myself from his pain. Does that make sense?
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    peter
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    Re: Thanks for inviting me!

    Post  peter on Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:28 pm

    [quote="Susanna]
    You know it's funny you would say this at this time as I have just come out of a recent experience with him that has caused me to "rent my shirt" where he is concerned. I'm done with him, at least in this life. I can no longer submit myself, "Cherubino", and my family to his emotional abuse and attempts at manipulation. So as much as I still do care for him, and as much as I do look upon him with compassion, understanding why he is the way that he is (just another wounded soul), he is too painful right now, and I must remove myself from his pain. Does that make sense?[/quote]

    Makes perfect sense to me, like I said, why continue to live on the flood plain if you know what's going to happen? I'm very anxious to help the less evolved but I try to avoid being a martyr (haven't always managed to escape it however)

    One must accord oneself the same love and compassion one extends to others... you owe it to yourself and your other loved ones to be at least as good to you and I don't see much benefit in forcing oneself to endlessly negotiate with a close-minded unreasonable person. Sooner or later he's got to wise up enough to choose the treasure of your love and friendship over the fool's gold of his silly dogma, you can't really do it for him.

    He reminds me a bit of my father. We had an awful relationship and my father was pretty terrible in a lot of ways. He told me any number of times that he'd rather have seen me dead than gay. Looking back, now that he's been dead for years, I suspect that fact that I was able to continue to express my love and concern for him despite our general enmity may have reached eventually reached him on some higher level and helped him to grow a little. If I'd been able to express my love to him sooner it might have been downright transforming for him. I think (or believe or am probably assuming for the sake of argument) that our actively loving and caring for others is how we help them grow spiritually.

    See? I DO sound like a clergyman. LOL

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