I call it Previous Incarnation Therapy

Wikimedia/ photo by Luis Ascenso: The beauty of the Highlands is well known

Wikimedia/ photo by Luis Ascenso: The beauty of the Highlands is well known

   [This post is in continuation to the previous one, 'Other People Just Live', from May 7. If interested look for the previous incarnations material on previousincarnation.com as well.]

   I don't want to be as reticent as George, my last previous incarnation. George experienced enormous problems when it came to gathering and marshaling all those ethereal spirits he could sense dancing around him. The problem was making them substantial enough for a reader to grasp, but without destroying them.

   George had moved out to the Highlands in order write, but the beauty of the Highlands was well known, an established fact. Writers have “done” it many times over, so he wasn’t worried about covering all the details; like a painter in the age of photography there was no point to that. What he wanted was to let the reader enjoy the views, both physical and metaphysical, while undergoing some adventure, while achieving some insight maybe.

   I love telling other peoples’ stories, and this has to do with the many preparations I have already done, as George, for the writing. I’ve done the part every writer must do, which is to prepare one’s craftsmanship. The other part is, of course, to trust that your experience is interesting enough for other people to want to read about. Either that or you write other people’s stories, other people’s messages. As a ghost writer I am allowed to improvise wildly with other peoples’ material, harnessing all those butterfly-winged fairies George was never fully able to take a hold of.

   He was so shy. I remember him when he still worked at the paper (the name I associate with that paper is ‘the Sun Dial” but I have never been able to find a newspaper by that name in the archives). He would write his reviews in long hand and then go into the typists’ room to find someone free to type his piece. The typists were a joyful lot, but he couldn’t just talk to them any old how, like the other journalists did.

   I hate to say this but I think his writing must have been stinted too. I mean, if he was so shy and withdrawn with real live people, then his writing must have been, well… it couldn’t have been flamboyant. Although what I do remember is him being very conscientious as a book reviewer, adhering to the text, to its purported meaning, to its highest purpose.

   My aim, then, is to overcome George’s reticence. George was fortunate in that he was a public school boy. He was a graduate of a school designed to prepare upper middle class boys to run the empire.

   They were citizen-soldiers, these boys, separated from their families at age seven, disconnected from the emotional support of their close relatives, especially their close female relatives, in exchange for the opportunity to join the club.

   Being ‘a public school boy’ meant you were immediately recognized by other school boys as one of their own. This was the greatest club in the world. If you were a member there was no need for further credentials. A public school boy was obviously a gentleman; his perspective was obviously that of the ruling class, not only of Britain but of the entire planet (because Britain still ruled over vast tracts of land, not to mention sea) and it was obvious too that he was eminently qualified to carry out any task he set himself to.

   As I remember it, it was very easy for George to get the job he had had at the paper. He met a friend on the street. The friend mentioned they were looking for writers at this rag, meaning a newspaper, George rushed over and that was it, he got the job. Nothing like that is liable to happen to me today, of course, so I’m a little jealous. On the other hand, I have so many advantages over George.

   Remembering George makes it easier for me to communicate. Remembering how difficult it was for him to communicate his feelings, how intensely introverted he was; I carry the memory with me at all times, as a contrast to where I am at now. Never again, I tell myself, never again this Georgian reticence.

   But there's an additional advantage I have over George. I think of my ability to remember previous incarnations generally as a great advantage. This is so extremely helpful that I would like to spread the information around. I call it Previous Incarnation Therapy and I plan to continue writing about it here. And if this is something you are interested in please comment below. I would much appreciate it if you do!

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