In the 1970s all the people I knew in show business, which was for a decade or so all the people I knew in L.A., were getting past life regressions. I did it, too but I had a specific reason which I won’t disclose here. Anyway, it seemed like everyone I knew had been someone really special in the past: Rumi, Marie Antoinette, Julius Caesar, Kit Marlowe, Aristotle, Marie Curie, Shakespeare’s wife. When I went, however, and I did it more than once I got the following results: once I was a baker’s wife in London, we were poor and unnoticed; another time I had a similarly unillustrious career and yet another time, also a short lived working class slug. I had been, it seems, completely unremarkable in every way in every time.
Why, I wondered, did my soul bother to get reborn in a human body? Were all the earthworm slots taken?
I wondered what I was supposed to learn in this the present lifetime and I am wondering still even as the edges are beginning to set. What am I supposed to be doing? What am I even actually supposed to be?
Much, much later I read something about the human population. Here it is: It turns out that by 1986 or some similar date, the population of the Earth was so great that it was as big or bigger than every single human being that had ever lived all put together. Ha! Therefore, a direct Anna-Pavlova-to- me reincarnation line just doesn’t make any sense, in case it made sense before. Take that Mary Magdalen the 4th!
I began to see that reincarnation might not work at all the way I had assumed. Perhaps, because we are humans, we have a specifically human bias that tells us that humans are the top of the existence chain when there is literally no rational basis for that. Are we more beautiful than a butterfy? Mightier than a whale? More ferocious than a lion? Do we smell better than a rose? Are we shinier than a lake? As refreshing as a cool drink of water from a stream?
Perhaps it is only when we really blow it as a starfish that we have to come back to existence as a homo sapiens and start to try and put it together pretty much from scratch.
So I am at scratch. I have been so many things in this short life of mine, I’ve played so many roles already, encountered so many fantastic beings. I have no way of knowing how I’m doing as a human because of course we don’t get much feedback except from those who love us, which is, let’s face it, probably the best feedback ever.
I hope I get to know them again, all these wonderful beings I’ve been privileged to encounter, including dogs and cats and flower and trees. I hope that when we see each other again some part of us remembers how really special we have always already been to one another, and that we can be kind.