My parents taught me to say, ‘I want to be a nuclear physicist’ when people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up.

What exactly is that? Does it still even exist? It doesn’t sound very artistic and I definitely am. It does sound impressive though, which I guess was the whole point.

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Do you believe in past lives? And if so, can we remember them? I believe I can.

As a toddler, I used to build something called a ‘Ducaneses’ (duck- can-nees-sees)  whenever I got my hands on building blocks or Lego or paper or really anything that one could use for building materials. My mother would ask, ‘What are you making?’ and I would exclaim ‘Ducaneses!’. Later on, when I was slightly older, I would stage an elaborate cooking and serving display on our kitchen table. This consisted of a pot of warm water with a round bundt Pan and several serving dishes and accruements. The idea was you cooked food in the center in the bundt pan and then it was served to others around the table.

At the time I was about four years old and I had never seen food served this way, yet it was strong in my mind how it was done and it had to be acted out over and over again. This was much to my mother’s chagrin as she was the one who had to clean those pots and that was the table she sat at smoking her Camel Menthols and talking to her friends on the old pinkish wall-mounted rotary phone, while my brother and I played, mostly unsupervised.

I was in her space.

That, of course, is not the point. What was this strange method of cooking and serving that I had never seen, yet seemed to know and what were ‘Ducaneses’?

I suspect they are faded past life memories. I think children, being closer to birth, are also closer to soul memories and other unconscious memory. As we grow older, we become more focused on the reality of this agreed upon level of consciousness and we forget what we once knew. Was ‘Ducaneses’ an ancient word for something I used to know in a past life? Was I cooking and serving the way we used to serve in that life? The cooking and serving method sounds to me a lot like methods that were and are used all over the world for millennia.

People sitting around a pot set on a fire cooking and serving food

It seemed to have a Greek or ancient Roman/Greco flavour to it. ‘Ducaneses’. Perhaps I was having a memory from a past life that was from that time period.

I’ve heard stories of children who can see spirits or who have telepathy and forget it as they get older. I think our memories of our past lives are similar. As we get older and experience more on this plane of existence this reality takes the place of that one. So those memories fade as they are replaced with more and more memories of our current lives. This is how it should be, probably. If we assume that we are all here for a purpose then that would stand to reason that we should focus on our current reality.

A similar thing happens to children who are empaths or those who can see spirits walking on earth. As these sensitives age they become more focused on our current agreed upon reality and less aware of these other existences until they cannot see them and/or they are unaware of them at a certain point.

We call this maturity.

This is not unsimilar to what we tell artists in our society.

Grow up and get a real job.

Whatever that is.

‎In fact, those kind of ‘real jobs’ are becoming scarcer and scarcer in our societies now. Maybe us ‘arty’ types are really where it’s at after all.

I never would’ve considered my career path to have been a secure choice at any time, but I knew what I wanted to do as a young adult. As it turns out all those decisions I made, all the trials and tribulations have been worth it. I decide what I do with my life and I am wholly responsible for the outcome.

Of course, this is the same for all of us and this is a lesson we could take into our practice of our mental health.

Self-employed artists are glaringly aware of this.

That and the fact that our career choice comes with no benefits package.

Of course the difference between us and them (and by ‘them’ I mean the people who have chosen more traditional established career choices versus ‘us’ arty self-employed types) is while ‘they’ have expected the elaborate pay structure, benefits packages and security that have traditionally gone along with certain career choices, ‘we’ have gone along and busily created our own job security, pay structure and benefits packages. Now when corporations are downsizing and going bankrupt or being run into the ground by their corrupt and fraudulent masters and governments are outsourcing staff and going private with whole departments, this leaves those employees vulnerable, doesn’t it?

The point I’m making is there’s a power shift, a disruption. ‘They’ can’t reasonably expect the same job securities of the past and ‘we’ have always known we had to depend on ourselves for our job security and now that is more important than ever.

YOU get a fucking real job.

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I wonder if this idea of past lives had a little Buddhist bent to it?

The funny thing is that the collective consciousness of Nirvana is not unlike the Borg in Star Trek. (The scariest tv EVER, right?) I guess the difference is that the Borg has a sort of forced and artificial assimilation, while Buddhists achieve their assimilation through personal knowledge and growth.

When I was twelve years old we moved from Burkville to the Stevenson area of Richmond. We lived in a townhouse on Springfield Drive. This area had a lot of different townhouse communities in it and therefore there were a lot of kids to hangout with. Colette, Todd and I went to Manoah Steves elementary. I was in grade 7, Todd was in grade 5 and Nadene was in grade 1.

My mother had her job at the Buy and Sell at this time. The one whose insurance would finance the first part of her career into mental illness.

My parents had lost the house on 100 turned 1000 Lancaster Crescent in Burkville and we were renting on Springfield Drive. The landlord, who lived directly across from Manoah Steves had a little girl the same age as Colette and she used to look after Colette after school. She also used this as an excuse to check up on her townhouse whenever she dropped Colette off. I remember her going through the house and noting the various damages we were doing to the townhouse. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised by that as we were anything but careful with the maintenance of that home, not having much guidance in the day to day maintenance of a home or in having any kind of routine set for chores or any kind of routine set at all for that matter aside from those imposed on us by outside sources, such as school, sports and work. In which case it was a mad dash and every man for themselves or at least that’s how I recall it.

I don’t think my parents were much equipped at running a household. I don’t know if this was because they were both the youngest sibling in their respective families or if it was just the generation they grew up in but we didn’t have any kind of rules or chore lists in our house. I know this was not the case with most of my friends. They were expected to contribute to the household chores and at least keep their rooms clean. Not so for us.

Anyhow as I was saying Colette was being looked after by the landlord after school and Todd and I were left to our own devices. I assume Todd spent most of his time watching TV and as for me, this is when I learned to smoke and smoke pot, I learned how to do rush.

For those of you who don’t already know, Rush is also known as Poppers and can mean amyl nitrite, butyl nitrate, or isobutyl nitrite. Other aliases are TNT and liquid gold. You inhale it from a little bottle and it gives you an immediate rush and dizzying stone and usually, you end up with a killer headache after.

Anyway, this was one of the things we used to do for fun when I was twelve years old in grade seven. We used to hang out in the school field and do rush. I don’t remember where we got it from, but apparently, it wasn’t even regulated so I don’t think it was hard to get and it certainly wasn’t expensive and someone always seemed to have some so it was the go-to activity for a while.

Another thing we used to do for fun was make each other pass out. We would hyperventilate and then get a friend to squeeze our rib cage and this usually had the desired effect. If not, you just kept trying until you lost consciousness.

What an incredibly dangerous and stupid trend.

It was during one of these episodes that I experienced a past life memory that was related to the one I had experienced as a young child when I used to build the ‘Ducaneses’.

Kristal and I were making each other pass out one afternoon when coming back to consciousness I remembered myself as an older girl in the life I had spent in ancient Greece. I remembered that Kristal had been with me in that life and we had been young servants (slaves) at Temple. Kristal also had a similar vision which seemed to substantiate this certain past life memory for me.

This kind of thing is either something you believe in or not. If you personally experienced past life memory or you have seen or spoken to spirit in dreams or in your day to day life, I don’t have to explain this to you. How having this different level of understanding of the world around us affects you.

If you are a nonbeliever, then past lives and life after death have never been proven to exist scientifically.

Nor has it satisfactorily been proven to not exist. Even atheists (and there’s something that requires a lot of faith) know at some level that there is something more to us that what just meets the eye. We’re more than just water and electromagnetic energy.

I think nonbelievers will find it quite easy to discount the spiritual happenings that occur around them on a daily basis. These are the children that have grown out of their empathy. If you believe that all children can see spirit and remember past lives as I do, then we must as a society be teaching them to forget. Did you ever wonder if your imaginary friend was actually just imaginary? Is it possible that you had a spirit friend that your parents couldn’t see?

There’s not much point in trying to convince nonbelievers and it’s not within the scope of this book. I’m just telling you what I have experienced. You might think I’m the one that’s crazy. And I will answer that point.

I’m pretty highly functioning for a crazy person.

Isn’t that how we judge whether someone is mentally ill? On whether or not they can successfully navigate our mutually agreed upon reality?

Trust me. I’m good.

My friend Ameila has spent much time meditating on these existential questions. As a young actor she naturally sought out fame, but eventually, she realized that it wasn’t enough. The adoration that she needed couldn’t come from an outside source. There would always be someone younger or prettier or more adored and what did she really want from her life? She turned to yoga and meditation as a path to answer these questions. After many years, she had come to the conclusion that everything we’re doing here on earth are just games. That when die we kick aside our mortal coil and laugh ‘Oh that was silly. Oh well, I don’t need this stupid body anymore. On to bigger and brighter things.

So when I’m asking her, ‘What is the karmic meaning behind what I went through with my mother and why do I keep repeating similar patterns with other people in my life? Is it because there’s a greater lesson I need to learn in my life so I can transcend and keep working towards Nirvana? She laughs and says, ‘ it’s all just games that we play while we’re here.’

Mmmmmm