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Old 04-19-2018, 03:29 PM
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Given: Reincarnation is Real -or- Who Were You in 1862?


Please note the title and let's all pretend that reincarnation isn't hogwash. This isn't Great Debates so please hold off on pissing on the idea. And I'm not looking for your brand new, as of this thread, "recollections." Instead I am looking for the moment when you felt like you had lived before, and the circumstances that triggered it.

My wife believed that in a previous life she had been a surveyor in North Africa. I asked if I had a previous life and she said, "You have a young soul, so probably not." Okay.

Years later we were at Walmart and I was watching some Jack London-ish movie in Electronics and found myself oddly and strongly affected by a scene of tying dogs to a dogsled. I rushed over to her and started to explain what I had seen when a daughter asked, "Why is daddy crying?"

Wife answered, "He misses his dogs."

"But our dogs are at home."

"Different dogs."

Daughter probably figured she meant my dogs from when I was a kid, like King (named after Sgt Preston's lead dog) and let it go.

Early the next morning I looked into the darkened living room and for a moment instead of furniture and stuff on the floor lit by our streetlamp it was a snowy clearing with my team curled up sleeping.

Prior to all this I had momentary "memories" of the Klondike Gold Rush and climbing that damned hill, the Chilkoot Pass, over and over again. Were this thread intended to debate reincarnation, WHICH IT IS NOT, a very good case could be made that I had watched too much Sgt Preston as a kid and read too many books and seen too many documentaries (one of each) and that I was a bit mentally ill and unmedicated. FTR, I miss my hallucinations.

So, how about you? Was your trigger talking about it at a slumber party or whilst getting high with your buddies? And remember that I'm looking for true stories so if you are negative or obviously BSing I will Junior Mod your ass.
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This seems to be pretty definitive.
posted by logicpunk at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:41 PM
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I have had the feeling I was in a English household in the 1800s. It happens when I hear cockney accents or smell musty /greasy odors. I am fairly certain I was below stairs and did scullery work. I just know, deep down, how these people felt. It always makes my arms ache and my stomach turn when I get these feelings.
I can see from a far place where I fit in the whole scheme, I was a little tiny cog in a giant wheel of a household. I had a pride that someone today would only laugh at.
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:55 PM
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Fine. I will throw myself under the "you're an idiot" bus.

As a child, laying on the lawn with my sister, watching a plane fly overhead, I had memories of being worried about planes flying overhead to drop bombs. Tied to those memories, I had memories of standing on the back of large boat waving goodbye to people on a dock as the boat pulled out to sea. I was fairly young at the time. It was before I learned anything about the Blitz, or about the evacuation of children. The first time I visited England, I had the profound sense I was coming home. On subsequent visits, I did not have that feeling.

There you go. Mock away.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:26 PM
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(comforting tone) This is not the place for mocking, but I could open a Pit thread if you'd like.
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This seems to be pretty definitive.
posted by logicpunk at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:29 PM
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Well, this is the Dope. Home of Skeptics and Snark.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:36 PM
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I won't mock you
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:39 PM
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I was a grikdach in the army of Florn in the galactic cluster of Hrorh.

You Earthlings are so parochial.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:55 PM
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Where did I say that the thread was limited to reincarnation of your life essence on Earth?

ETA: Though I am wondering what you had done as a grikdach that got you exiled here.
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This seems to be pretty definitive.
posted by logicpunk at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]

Last edited by dropzone; 04-19-2018 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:10 PM
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I think I was a woman in the path of Sherman's Army during the March to the Sea, so it would be more late 1864, not exactly 1862. Seriously. When I read diaries, journals, narratives and letters of the women who lived through that, I have a very strong emotional response. Crying for hours, breaking out in a sweat and feeling like a I am on the verge of a panic attack, and I don't have panic attacks. I have thrown books across the room and even vomited. My heart has felt like it was going to beat out of my chest, but I still keep getting drawn back to that specific time and place. Other settings don't effect me like that at all.

I especially felt an intense reaction to a woman named Dolly Sumner Lunt, who lived near Covington, GA. And having been all over the areas between Atlanta and Savannah all my life, I know what is fact and what is fiction, and I know I am not just reacting to what people have told me. Once when I was driving on a back road near Madison, GA, something compelled me to turn the car around and pull over. Lo and behold there was a little rural cemetery with iron fencing around it. I know there used to be a community and farms in the area. It just felt so very familiar. I stood there and cried and cried over these graves and I have no idea why.

Something in my DNA remembers.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:00 PM
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I am not pissing on anything, but being a data point.

I get this idea, but I have nothing remotely resembling what you're talking about. And when I dream, I dream things like "I went to that store down the road and bought three cans of soup; then I came home."
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:28 PM
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I asked if I had a previous life and she said, "You have a young soul, so probably not."
I have also been told that I have a young soul, and without believing in reincarnation, it resonates with me. I feel like I approach the world and my experiences as if they are brand new to me. I don't have any sense of past lives, except that in natural environments I tend to imagine myself there at a much earlier time (in a U.S. forest as an American Indian; in the Sinai desert as a Biblical Israelite, etc.)
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:48 PM
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Going by population numbers in 1900, rolling 1d10 for the top 10 populations gives me: somewhere in the French Republic and associated colonies (I rolled a 7). The colonial population was a bit higher than the population in France, proper. Now let's see what the highest population colony . . . dang. It's the five colonies making up Indochina. No wonder I don't remember it. Dread of the future blotted things out.

In 1892 I suppose most people, anywhere, were farmers, or helping on farms. So I was probably planting rice.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:49 PM
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I have been told I have an old soul. I never understood that, until my baby was born. She came to me with an understanding and wisdom that can only be gained by age. If I am an old soul, she is positively ancient. She knew things no American child, in this century should know let alone understand.

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Old 04-19-2018, 10:31 PM
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Just to be clear to the currently young, "Who were you in 1862?" was a play on the advertising blurb for American Graffiti, "Where were you in '62?" and not a request for a specific year. As near as I can tell, either as a believer or a denier, I weren't nowhere, though my great-grandfather and eponym was gestating.
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This seems to be pretty definitive.
posted by logicpunk at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:29 AM
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I don't know about the 1800s - I'd like to think I was an eccentric fellow of some sort.

More recently (early 20th century), I may have been someone in the army or air force. When I drive past military places - typically where they look something like this, I have a strong emotional response that I can't even properly describe - it's something like a weird blend of yearning, melancholy, physical hunger and homesickness.

(taking as given the thread scenario)
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:44 AM
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I've never had the experience. When I see movies or pictures of people from other eras, all I can think is "I would never have survived under those conditions."

But I'm curious of any of those who have experienced the feeling, does anyone imagine being of another species or even a different gender than your current one?

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Old 04-20-2018, 06:01 AM
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References to World War I make me cry* Other historical wars do not affect me the same way. It makes me wonder if I lost someone dear to me in that war. I didn't in this life... so maybe in the last one?
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:52 AM
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I like German beer and food and I'm not very good at painting, so I assume I was probably Hitler.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:24 AM
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Hitler was a sorta-vegetarian, so proper German food was out. And he wasn't a bad painter, just not a very good one.
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This seems to be pretty definitive.
posted by logicpunk at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:51 AM
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But I'm curious of any of those who have experienced the feeling, does anyone imagine being of another species or even a different gender than your current one?
I always have the feeling of being a human female. I definitely have a girl brain in a girl body, and as the old song says, I enjoy being a girl. So I am not sure if my strong female identity in this life is clouding anything, but I don't think so.

The intense feelings that bubble up seem to be associated with fear and sadness, mostly fear of violation, both emotional and physical, and it is an amplified version of the familiar fear many women feel when you find your self in a vulnerable situation. The sadness is what remains in that aftermath, and the helplessness of the situation.

When you read lines in a personal journal like "Mrs. Treadwell and her daughter were violated in the worst possible way" and it is just left at that, you know exactly what that means in the language of that era.

Why I can read of similar accounts from other times and places and it doesn't gut punch me like that, I do not know. Maybe I am just picking up on the psychic loop of energy that permeates that part of Georgia.

I have only experienced this when I am awake. I never dream about it. My dreams, much like DavidwithanR, are just silly nonsensical versions of my everyday life.

It is not very a very pleasant thing, so one would think I would avoid reading of their lives, but something keeps pulling me back, like they don't want to be forgotten somehow. That's awfully maudlin, but that's my impression.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:59 AM
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I'm open to these kinds of intuitions, but I've never had one strong enough to think it signaled a past life.

The one eerie feeling I have had is being in the Netherlands and in Germany. Like I was home--really among my people--and I hated it. Like coming back to a small town I'd left after high school. I belonged, whether I liked it or not.

I put it down to my ancestors having immigrated from those areas as recently as the 20th century. A lot of that culture survives in my family.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:02 AM
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I think it has a lot to do with your ancestry in a way.

(Oh and I do believe in reincarnation)

This is a little off topic but I'll get back there.

I do genealogy research. I've found that many of my ancestors had careers of what I am interested in, carpentry and law enforcement. Course the majority in the 1800's seemed to be farmers. 20th century was a great deal of different careers of course.

My brother had two children from his first marriage and they grew up without knowing him or anything about him and our family. The daughter is working in law enforcement and the son is a carpenter. My father was a carpenter. I think its amazing the son, my nephew became a carpenter.

Ok back to topic.
I dont know my triggers but I was Jewish in a past life. Also I lived in the later part of the 19th century. Not sure how reincarnation works but its alive and well in all of us, well most of us.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:11 AM
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Hitler was a sorta-vegetarian, so proper German food was out. And he wasn't a bad painter, just not a very good one.
Oh good, I was probably just German then.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:21 AM
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When I was a kid, I had a vivid, recurrent dream in which I was on a poorly-lit rooftop, being chased by unseen persons. I was running parallel to the street below when my right foot would slip and I'd fall towards the street. The last thing I'd see was invariably some sort of pole extending within reach perpendicularly to my trajectory. I'd hold out my hands, touch it but it was all going too fast for me to grab it firmly. Next stop : pavement.

Now, what always surprised me about it was the amount of things that I knew about the scene without direct information.

- I was a thief, which explains why I was being chased.
- It was in Paris, although no landmarks were in sight.
- It was in the 19th century.
- It took place in twilight but I knew it was dawn, not sunset.

I see it as a weird dream I used to have but when I was younger, I'd sometimes have some doubts.

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Old 04-20-2018, 11:30 AM
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I've had some weird...I don't even know what to call them...preferences? Feelings about certain things that I couldn't have explained?

I've always had a thing for paisley patterns. Found out a year or so ago that I had an ancestor on my mom's side who worked in the textile mills in Paisley before he came to the US.

There was a small unincorporated town we'd go through while traveling to see family called Dundee, and I always told my dad that if I fell asleep, to wake me up when we got to Dundee. I do have ancestors from his side who came from near Dundee in Scotland, but I only learned that as an adult.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:37 AM
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I've always loved gardening. Watching things grow.

Farming goes back many generations, on both sides of my family. I'm sure that would be what I was doing in an earlier life.

My maternal grandfather choose oilfield work instead. My dad choose the military.

That broke the chain.

It would be hard to ever return. The family lands were sold long ago. The knowledge of farming is lost.

I can garden. Farming 20 acreas is a whole nother thing.

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Old 04-20-2018, 11:50 AM
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I was about 10 years old, and I had never even heard of the concept of reincarnation. The subject had never arisen, or entered my mind.

I was having my hair cut at a barber, and he happened to lightly tap on the side of my head with the side of his scissors. I felt an intense and overwhelming sense of horror, and I thought, "Why did I feel that?"

Immediately I knew - it was because I was killed by being hit on the side the head. Simultaneously, along with that thought, came the image of what I could see at the moment I was killed. Mostly it was my own hand and forearm raised in front of my face, holding the hilt of a sword. Behind that, great clouds of dust, and a large confused mass of men running through the dust towards me. It's not clear how they were dressed or equipped - just an impression of white and green and some metal.

There was nothing much to indicate time or place, but I've always had a deep emotional affinity for ancient Rome. Many years later I read Livy's account of the battle of Cannae, 216 BC, where Hannibal, having invaded Italy, practically wiped out a Roman army. When I read Livy's account of the dry fields, and the wind blowing the dust into the faces of the Romans, I felt a deep sense of grief, like someone close to me had died, at the thought that that battle was lost.

Some years later there was another spontaneous vivid memory of a different life, that I may write about later.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:54 AM
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I was a member of a landed nobility in central/eastern Europe. It's the most likely explanation of why I was born with the innate urge to treat everyone like serfs, peasants and servants.

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Old 04-20-2018, 12:12 PM
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You know, life as a colony of stromatolitic cyanobacteria back in the PreCambrian was pretty sweet. Good memories.
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Old 04-20-2018, 12:26 PM
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I have also been told that I have a young soul, and without believing in reincarnation, it resonates with me. I feel like I approach the world and my experiences as if they are brand new to me. I don't have any sense of past lives, except that in natural environments I tend to imagine myself there at a much earlier time (in a U.S. forest as an American Indian; in the Sinai desert as a Biblical Israelite, etc.)
When I lived in London, there was a nightclub where I was a regular. In the basement, the music was exclusively 80s Gothic, Cold Wave and Electro-Industrial. As you can imagine, the crowd was colourful (well, if shades of black can be considered "colourful" ).

One night, a girl I'd never seen before grabbed my shoulders, looked at me straight in the eyes and said : "You're dead. See all these people ? They pretend to be dead, but you, you're reaaaaaaaally dead."

I guess it was a sort of compliment.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:14 PM
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My past life memories do not go back that far. I know at one point, probably during the Depression, I was a hobo who road the rails and hung out near old red brick warehouses. The now me LOVES the sound of mournful train whistles and old redbrick buildings.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:00 PM
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John Finnemore has a nice sketch on this. A woman asks a "reincarnation expert" who she was during Cleopatra's reign, and he replies "You were a serf, but then you died at the age of ten, then you were a baby in India but only for a day before you died, then you were born to a slave ... and died... then another baby for an hour, then you died..."
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:15 PM
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Yeah, but that time in the womb made for awesome memories!
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:44 PM
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You know, life as a colony of stromatolitic cyanobacteria back in the PreCambrian was pretty sweet. Good memories.
I thought you looked familiar! Moving ahead, by 1862 I'd worked my way up to Big Dumb Fish.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:28 AM
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I've been called an old soul my entire life. I've never had the types of experiences/feelings you are describing.


The closest I've come is a weird sense of dejavu when approaching a few random locations that I'd never been before. And not old historical sites like Stonehenge, but approaching a horse farm in Ireland, but the feeling was attached the signage etc, which had been built after I'd been born in this current life. So not a "I worked with horses in Ireland" feeling but a "I swear I've been to this farm before" when it was my first time in Ireland... The studies on the synapse mis-firing that causes the dejavu feeling are interesting to me as a reslt.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:35 AM
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I probably wasn't anywhere interesting, but I suspect my eldest nephew may have been a Jewish Grandma or a Southern Lady at some point, based on the quality of his rebuffs and delivery. Might even have been the Jewish Southern Old Lady who came up with that "bless his heart!"...
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:13 AM
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If I'm going to believe in reincarnation, I'm not going to believe in anything like temporal linearity: my life in the 1800s may happen at some point to my future soul.
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:15 AM
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This isn't exactly on point, so I apologize if you're offended.

For a long time, as a child, I believed I was a reincarnated criminal who had been executed by gas chamber, since I had a recurring nightmare in which that happened.

That nightmare made much more sense when I was diagnosed with sleep apnea.
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:27 AM
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All right, here's the best contribution I can think of: I don't normally like to read straight up historical accounts. I'm a fan of historical fiction, or of memoirs, but when you recount an incident without actually including the person's thoughts and emotions, I find it far less interesting. However, I remember an article from my childhood in American Girl magazine about The Children's Blizzard of 1888, and the article keenly held my interest. Recently, I was browsing through a list of possible books to read, and I saw one on that blizzard. It prompted this reaction in me, like "that's the blizzard I read about as a child!," and I marked it as a book I'd like to read. So something about that particular environmental disaster peaks my interest more than other environmental disasters or incidents in the past. That's all I've got.

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Old 04-24-2018, 07:46 AM
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I've been called an old soul my entire life. I've never had the types of experiences/feelings you are describing.


The closest I've come is a weird sense of dejavu when approaching a few random locations that I'd never been before. And not old historical sites like Stonehenge, but approaching a horse farm in Ireland, but the feeling was attached the signage etc, which had been built after I'd been born in this current life. So not a "I worked with horses in Ireland" feeling but a "I swear I've been to this farm before" when it was my first time in Ireland... The studies on the synapse mis-firing that causes the dejavu feeling are interesting to me as a reslt.

Oh how that is a weird feeling. I've had many of those happen. Been a while but its still weird


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The knowledge of farming is lost.
Do you mean within your own family or in general? Plenty of old family farms out there still but they are becoming fewer as time goes by but someone has to feed us...I want to believe that the land, that a generation of family farms, farmed on, are bought up by other family farms. Any farm for that matter. I've seen way too many farm fields converted to expensive subdivisions. Many not developed but two to three huge mansion type houses. Is there that many families having large amount of children that need that big of a house? Unless of course the economy picks up and people arent losing their life long careers, houses will continue to be repossessed.

I think maybe there should be some sort of restrictions on building new subdivisions on farm land. Yes allow it but criminy, think on it.

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Old 04-24-2018, 10:02 AM
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Fun thread, Drop! Shades of Woolf's "Orlando."

Since early childhood I desperately wanted to live in Trenton, NJ. Why I, a sheltered kid in Utah, had such a driving desire is a mystery.

It took me 41 years to get here, but I made it to Trenton, NJ. I've a very, very deep sense of belonging here that I've not had anywhere else, including my hometown. My house, wife, and work are exactly right in eerie ways that sometimes make me question my sci-atheist stance.

(If I were a believer in reincarnation) I'd be 100% sure this is the first time I've landed in a female body and one of only a few times I've been white. My interests and weird "been here before/done this" experiences point toward being an old male soul who was a badass world adventurer for centuries -- with a detour as an Irish Catholic priest in the 1500s.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:32 AM
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I am comfortable, to a level some friends over the years have found creepy, in what can best be described as 1750s conditions. I can live for a month or more in the wild with what I have on my person, love flintlocks and fresh meat, and understand (to the degree possible) the mindset of a person trekking off to see whats over that next hill. I've also had a few brainstorms/insights over the year that have checked out both in the written records and archeologically. Does that mean I was "alive" back then? I doubt it. But if such a thing exists I would say probably around then.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:58 AM
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Fun thread, Drop! Shades of Woolf's "Orlando."
I'm afraid I've never read it.
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:43 AM
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I'm afraid I've never read it.
Touche, good sir!
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:23 PM
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Given that the population of the world in 1850 was about 1.2 billion, and is currently 7 billion or so, maybe I was in the holding area waiting my turn. Not enough information to tell - maybe I was a passenger pigeon or a mouse or something.

Regards,
Shodan
  #46  
Old 04-24-2018, 02:55 PM
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This former raccoon wins.
  #47  
Old 04-24-2018, 05:44 PM
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I was one of approximately 6,476 handmaidens of Cleopatra.
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:51 PM
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A handmaiden to Cleopatra but no Napoleons?
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:29 PM
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Napoleon's handmaidens were all booked up.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:40 PM
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That's a real Handmaidens Tale, I think.
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