Yesterday I published an account of a gnostic experience I had over the weekend.
This experience was a complex one, and it involved several phases, only two of which I discussed. Those were a reading I received by a woman in some manner of trance, and part of the experience I had during the Dumb Supper, in which I was contacted by my grandmother. The reading I received focused on many things, primarily on the centrality of storytelling to my identity. But since I have been dealing with the issue of surrender and trust, I decided to share the part of the reading that dealt with a past life experience.
A big issue for me my whole life, which has been demanding more attention lately, is my compulsion to service. I do things for people. I express my love through service. I’m an empath and a healer. And I will gladly give of myself until it hurts, frequently putting the interests of those I care about above my own.
When you combine an inherent tendency to make strong emotional connections to people with a compulsion to put their interests above yours, you have two primary results. You make strong, deep friendships. And you get taken advantage of and manipulated easily. Which has made me shield my empathic nature heavily. And going against my nature for so long has caused me distress. So I am trying to figure out what that nature truly is, and how I can fulfill my need to serve others and dedicate myself to something greater than me, while balancing it with enough caution to keep myself from getting used.
So i shared my past life experience from ancient Rome. That lifetime came up during the reading, and I discussed it with the oracle as she read me. She did not regress me; I had knowledge of that lifetime previously. It is the past life that currently has the biggest influence upon me, and I have been processing it to determine why.
The story was about service. It was about devotion. It was about loyalty. It was about the prices paid for such things, and the rewards received. And it was about betrayal.
I don’t know if it it really happened. It doesn’t matter. The story matters.
And the story connected to the reading. The overwhelming feeling is that those I dedicated myself to took advantage of me and let me down. And that fosters a lot of anger and resentment, especially since it is against my nature to not devote myself to people and causes that way.
I define myself by who I love and what I serve. And that means that I don’t have an identity beyond that. And I’m trying to figure out who I am when I’m alone. And I don’t want that definition to depend on anyone that is taking advantage of my service without honoring and respecting my devotion.
I still have some refuges in the divine world. But I’m kind of distrustful of all of them. If I make an agreement, there’s not too much I can do to enforce it should they decide to break it, at least that I know of.
But I’m a bit freer, I think. The notion that I have to love a life devoted to such beings had been becoming more and more engrained in my thinking, and I am free to reject that idea. And it is becoming clearer to me that the appeal of the Roman gods was tied very much to this idea of service, and to the idea that they could give me purpose. And I am free to reject that idea as well.
I will still ask them for help, solace, and comfort, as they have provided this to me. But I will be cautious of what prices they demand. And I will make my own decisions of what is best for me. I will find the kind of love and success I want and not be stuck complying with their mechanations of what they would like for me to do for them.
And this doesn’t just apply to the gods and their divine plans. I don’t need to live a life of mindless service to others. I can put my own needs first. I can decide who I am and what I am without seeing what other people need me to be first.
I’ll still make connections to people. I’ll still help people. I’ll still offer service to people.
But on my terms.
That’s a very powerful and cathartic statement.
So the comment that I got struck me as a little off:
If I may be blunt(I haven’t read all the way to the bottom, I just past the roman part and how you don’t trust Jupiter or Mars). I think you are blaming the Gods when it is the corrupt Roman senate you need to lay the blame on.
The Gods didn’t go after your wife, the others did. They simply poked you for further service, because you are capable.
If I may be blunt, perhaps reading the whole post would have helped.
But perhaps not. Perhaps the format of my story was confusing. Perhaps I need to clarify.
This was a personal gnostic experience. It was told from the perspective of a religiously devoted Roman soldier and priest over two thousand years ago. From that perspective, there is no difference between Rome and the gods. The Senate speaks for the gods: it is a religious body. The state is divinely ordained, and relied heavily on omens and signs to conduct business.
So yeah, he would have blamed the gods.
And why the hell not? We credit the gods with our blessings and successes. We give them offerings in exchange for protection and fortune. Why is it their benevolence when we get what we paid them for, but the misfortunes we befall are beyond their power to stop?
But the story seems to have taken center stage, at the expense of the insights I had into my nature and identity. Because apparently the story needed to be critiqued.
And I’ll be honest, I’m legitimately offended at this treatment of my experience. Not because such experiences should be questioned, or their value judged. But because of the assumptions that were made into me, my motivations, my internal state, my thoughts, my emotions, and my self-awareness. And because those assumptions are used to criticize not me, not my experience, but the actions of my past life self. And not only does that completely miss the point, but it’s kind of insulting.
Let the fisking begin.
Though there are some things in his post that I want to address. When we receive stuff via past life regression, we should look at the filter from whence it comes. Objectivity is hard to maintain, and our own personal crap will influence stuff. Whoever is providing the info, yeah spiritual who ha’s have biases too, also have a stake in how it is presented. So, write it down, but look at who is giving it to you, to see how much salt needs to be applied.
This experience was not a regression. The past life memories have been built up from other regressions and readings. They resonate well with me and my experiences, insights, and interests. the oracle that was reading referenced the past life, and I filled her in on the details myself. I’ll say it again, this was not a regression. And this is important, because the actual regressions that brought me the past life memories were much more controlled and emotionally neutral. This was not me learning of a past life, this was me making sense of and processing it, and doing so unbidden. And that is a personal and subjective experience. It cannot be objective.
Ok, now that you got through all that, deal with the emotions. We are human, not Data a sentient Android. Shit is gonna make us feel stuff. Process. Try not to yell or blame or make rushed judgements until you have processed the emotions.
The blame and judgements were emotions. They were from the past life. They were what past life me felt and dealt with.
The telling of the story was part of the processing. Please don’t tell me how much of this I’ve processed. you don’t know. I do.
Guided meditation, so while the person who guided it was being ridden, you HAVE to take biases and the human filter into account. What is their political bent? How do they feel about war and politics and other stuff.? How has that influenced your regression?
That part wasn’t a meditation, it was a reading. That person’s political motivations are irrelevant. They were bringing up the questions I was having about who I am and what I was seeking.
And the past life content was not the main thrust of the reading.
He feels betrayed and is pissed and is now in a crisis of faith. But he isn’t letting himself grieve.
That is a mighty crystal ball you have to know what emotions I am currently having or have had on the matter.
This is actually why I related the story of my grandmother. Because she showed me that the frustration and betrayal that past life me felt was the same frustration and betrayal that she had felt. And because it is the same frustration and betrayal that current me feels. And I saw what it did to her, and I understood her in a way I never had. And I grieved not for a long dead me, or a long dead me’s wife (who is happily living with husband and child, by the way), but for the grandmother I resented and never got to really know until twelve years after her death.
He is making decisions a little too rashly, mind you they are mature, but still he needs time to ponder and sort and grieve and see how much truth is really there. He’s also not taking into account the emotions of this life and how it may be bleeding over into the vision.
Um, no. Taking into account the emotions of this life were central to the experience, as well as to the post.
And don’t tell me how rash any of my decisions have been. You don’t know my thought processes. I haven’t shared them.
Ask yourself questions and go with it, write it down, blog, do art, it helps in figuring out why you feel this way, and helps in dealing.
Writing about the experience may help me process it? Hm, I should try that.
He is blaming the Gods
Past me blamed the gods. See above. To recap: if the gods get credit for the good, why are they blameless for the bad? Have you read the stories of the Roman gods? They don’t love you. You make deals with them. What do you do when they don’t honor the bargains they made?
He’s studies the history of this time period. So, it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out which General he was and figure out how true this is.
Two points on this.
1) Are you fucking serious? “Oh, he should just be able to look it up!” Really? Fucking really? Yeah, I’ll just Google that shit. Shouldn’t be hard at all. How many generals could the Roman Republic have had?
2) It doesn’t matter how true it is. From the original post: “I will always equivocate over what “past life memories” are. Did I really live back then? Is the story I tell here historically accurate? Who knows? I don’t think it matters. What matters are the themes in the story resonate with my life now. And I need to address them.”
but why get bent out of shape over something that didn’t occur, why internalize the emotional baggage?
I wonder if this person had ever cried at the movies.
The baggage is already internal. If it didn’t really happen, the story is still relevant, because it expressed the baggage that is already there. The story did not cause the emotions. The emotions were there, and the story resonated with them and allowed me to make sense of them.
Ok he is blaming the Gods and not those, that did the deeds, in the past life(we haven’t established how true it is). Why is this shit Jupiter and Mars fault and not the Senators? Dude was a General, dude played politics, dude should know how the damn game is played, dude needs to also take responsibility for not thinking about shit ahead of time.
Are. You. Serious.
So this has no gone from how I am processing a personal insight to an emotional issue, to how some guy in ancient Rome should have seen it coming, and it’s all his fault? Are you serious? Really, are you fucking kidding me?
I’m not okay with this. Not at all. I put my deeply personal experience here in the hopes that it will be of some benefit or guidance to others. And it turns into an armchair discussion of plot holes and what someone should have done.
This is not the way anyone should respond to someone else’s past life story. Or any traumatic event from a current life.
And again, this needs to be put into perspective. A religiously devout general in ancient Rome would not differentiate between the state and the gods. The will of the Senate was the will of the gods. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter: the issue of service and betrayal is the same.
And this isn’t even touching on the lack of detail on the past life memory. That the wife’s suicide was motivated by others wasn’t known for some time later. And people died for it. That is another story.
If you wanted to retire away from politics, Britannia would have been a better location and less likely to be bugged by senators. Because who the hell wants to travel that far into the outer reaches of the Roman Empire? Saying it aint fair, is bullshit, especially when if you were a General, you know good damn well, how hard these guys play for power. If you don’t want to play, then take care to get yourself out of the line of fire. It aint Jupiters fault you didn’t think this through and thought people were gonna be honorable with you and leave you alone? It is being naive. (Again who’s cultural bias is showing, that is having him have these emotions? Americans? In fact I’d even say it is a very modern American cultural bias and not the Generals of Rome)
So we have more advice to a dead person who should have known better. Yes, the general should have gone to Britannia. Too bad Rome didn’t have a presence there when he was alive. Yes, a man who lived and killed by honor codes, and a society held together by honor codes, should have expected that dishonor. Yes, this is my America bias showing through, and has nothing to do with the biases of someone who seems bent on portraying the gods as blameless agents of peace and love, and who seems ignorant of the nature of life in the Roman Republic.
Ok so you wanted to be let alone but Mars and Jupiter were poking you. You don’t know if you can trust them to keep to their promise of happiness. They gave you opportunities at happiness. Expecting them to protect you from the harsh realities of life is a bit much.
And I don’t know what to make of this. There appears to be a conflation of past me and current me, and an utter confusion of my relationship to my gods.
The past story is this: service was rendered in exchange for fortune and happiness. Fortune and happiness were not delivered; instead more service was demanded. Past me had no identity allowed outside this service.
The current story is this: gods are requesting service. I do not wish to base my entire identity upon this service.
If you had listened to them and gotten into politics, would you still have had your wife, or more time? This is the lesson of looking at the tapestry of possibilities and looking at chess and the various outcomes.
Someone didn’t read the story. Past me could not have gone into politics with former slave wife. He would have had to leave her, and was not willing to. It was a moral and religious stand.
Can we stop lecturing a dead guy on what decision you would have advised him to make? It’s getting more and more obnoxious.
Ok you wanted peace, quiet and a contented life. Well, the Gods have a responsibility to more than just you. Do they have the right to nag the shit out of you, if the choice is you, vs say the asshat Nero? Where does their responsibility lie? Have you looked at the larger picture here and tried to work out why the hell they were poking you?
We again have a problem in reading comprehension.
Jupiter has been encouraging me to get into politics in this lifetime.
In the past life, the Senate was trying to get past me into the fold, because past me had a good reputation and they wanted his support and obedience.
And it needs to be emphasized that the peaceful and quiet life was not a simple wish: it was payment for services rendered. It was owed. It was not delivered.
And none of that matters at all.
I apparently have failed as a storyteller. Perhaps this is an artifact of modern movie and fandom saturated culture. I told a story to illustrate an internal struggle. And instead of compassion for that struggle, I got criticism on the character featured in the story. He should have acted different. He should have known better. He should have not questioned or blamed the gods.
He’s fucking dead. Your advice to him is meaningless. Thankfully he never lived to see the Empire that his beloved Republic devolved to.
I’m here. And I’m trying to figure out who I am without identifying completely with who or what I serve. And having to parry criticisms on the motivations and actions of a past life personality (from someone who would conflate Mars and Ares, no less) does not help. Having to deal with the assumptions of what I feel, what I think, and how self-aware I am doesn’t help either.
It cheapens the experience. And it’s pretty insulting.