Sunday, January 16, 2011

Past Lives: Finding the People You Recall

I vividly remember several unidentified people during my past-life regressions. There's an older gentleman, whom my husband and I visit in a rich, Adamesque-decorated house in London. There's a younger gentleman, whom I am greeted by boisterously as he comes in our house saying, "Where's Carter?!" And there's a young woman of whom I am terribly fond, a woman who is with the young gentleman and waiting for me at New Wardour Castle before a musical party.

How do I figure out who they are? Well, I've discovered that, of all the scores of scenes I could see from my life with these people, I am shown something very specific. Something that, in just the right combination, will lead me to these peoples' identities. I just have to put the pieces together.

Easier said than done.

The older gentleman, for instance, has a paternal feeling for Thomas, my husband. He's at least 50 years old, fat, probably tall, has bushy eyebrows, and what looks like a bulbous nose. The front of his house is on a wide street or square, and when you enter the front door, you can see a staircase rising beyond the entry hall. If you turn to the right (staying on the ground floor), somewhere in his house you will find a room with at least three windows, and this room will have sparing, Robert-Adam-like decoration and a dark-colored carpet.

How many people match these specifics? That Thomas Carter knew? Not many. I've currently got a short list which includes the likes of East India Director Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, the Marquess of Buckingham, and Lord Chancellor Edward Thurlow (among others). For the moment I've settled on Thurlow because, not only does he have the big, bushy white eyebrows, but he had a house on St James's Square that was situated at the corner of King Street. Thurlow loved music, and was the main patron of R.J.S. Stevens, one of Carter's good friends and musical colleagues. Thurlow also knew Edmund Burke pretty well, and Burke himself was a best friend of Carter's father, the Earl of Inchiquin, and Carter's mother, Abigail Aston. In addition, Thurlow was fond of the Margravine of Anspach, who was the hostess for Carter's friends at Brandenburgh House; and the Margravine's son, Keppel, matches precisely the personality and image of the boisterous young man who would visit us, saying, "Where's Carter?"

In 1781, Lord Thurlow was described this way: "In his person Lord Thurlow has an air of dignity, and a formidible appearance, when dressed in his senatorial robes, and attended by the pomp of office. But when relaxing from public business he throws off the trappings of state, he looks like a Kentish yeoman, or the master of a coasting vessel, so unfavorable is his external aspect, having a saturine complexion, large black eye-brows, a stern look, strong muscles, and a stature above the common size." Thurlow's eyebrows are reported by Stevens to have turned snow white soon after the clandestine elopement of his favorite daughter. The word saturnine, according to Johnson's famous dictionary, means gloomy, grave or severe.

Here are my memories of the mystery man (separated here from the other memories that were recorded on these dates):

January 24th, 2003
Then, out of nowhere, a vision: a man, seemingly small and corpulent and flat-nosed, with bushy brows and moles, a man sitting at a writing desk in a London room. Rich house. Sash windows to the floor and covered with sheer curtains to dim the day outside. A turkey carpet under his feet of primarily red and blue, and he's wearing a frock coat that won't meet in the front, buckled shoes, hose, waistcoat, feet splayed out on the carpet in front of him. He's turned toward Thomas beside me (to my right), calling him "my boy." He hands him something. The room is fairly large, and nothing else is visible to me except the wooden chair and writing desk he's sitting at, a small desk. Thomas is taller than me, wearing hose and heels and maybe a green coat. His hair is pulled back. I'm wearing dark colors. I could see the man handing a piece of paper to Thomas. The man's hair was grey and a little unkempt.

April 13th, 2003
In the room with the old, fat man again. Thomas wearing green. The man is writing something on a piece of paper. "Give this to him, my boy, and you'll be admitted..." Or something like that. Definitely a paternal feeling from the man. Bushy eyebrows. Messed, white hair, short on top, and a squidgy, wide nose. We're excited when we leave. We are in a London carriage with the piece of paper between us somewhere, or it's in our thoughts, and we're thrilled about what lies ahead. Something about the Prince of Wales enters my thoughts at this point.

November 27th, 2010
Saw the house of the older man, and it either took up a corner of a block, or it occupied the whole block, in front of either a wide street or a square. The front door was reached upon ascending about three or four steps, and it seemed to have white columns on either side of the front door, or something white, while the building itself seemed yellowish gray. Inside, there seemed to be narrow corridors, and the room where we met the older man was to our right upon entering the house, not facing the street from which we’d just come, but the cross street. The room seemed extraordinarily bright, which didn’t seem right to me, given the windows we were facing (a row). I could see no details at all about the room. The man himself seemed to have white hair, very messed and short on top, and his nose seemed big, his eyebrows bushy but not overly so. He seemed to be wearing a medium blue-colored frock coat, very plain, and white hose and shoes. He was pretty large, and when he was standing, he seemed taller than me and Thomas. He shook Thomas’s hand. I was reminded of the King’s advisor in Amadeus, only with white hair. He sat down to a writing desk on the right side of the room facing the windows.

Kappelmeister Bonno in Amadeus

Edward Thurlow by Thomas Lawrence, 1803, painted for the Prince of Wales.

Since having these memories, I've learned that the Prince of Wales was a great friend of Lord Thurlow's. The Prince used to ask Thurlow to dinner often, and solicit his advice, which the Prince never took and Thurlow always resented. Thurlow never hesitated to give his opinion to the Prince, even if it made the Prince angry, and he somehow got away with putting the Prince of Wales in his place on more than one occasion. If anyone was to provide a letter of introduction for Thomas Carter to the Prince of Wales, Lord Chancellor Thurlow would be that someone. And as it happened, the Prince was renting Crichel House in Dorset, not far from Encombe, where Thomas and Mary Carter went to aid in Carter's recovery from his worsening liver disease. The Prince was at Crichel on and off between early 1797 and early 1799 -- which exactly corresponds with my memories of a musical party within a carriage drive's distance from Encombe at the time my children were three and four years old.

See how these specific things shown to me in my self-regression have led me to one specific person? For Lord Thurlow must be the elderly gentleman of my visions. I might not have gotten all the details right, but certainly most of them. I find it interesting that I have been shown exactly the configuration of facts and images that will lead me in the right direction, if only I dig far enough.

If you are interested in finding out about your own past lives, you can follow my instructions for self-regression here.

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