Machu Picchu, Peru
In 2007, I had an idea for a story. I got to wondering about reincarnation. You sometimes hear people joke about who they were in a previous life, and they invariably say someone famous. So I got to thinking about the current lifetime of a previously famous person. What would that be like?
I began to research not only the publishing industry and creative writing, but also Peru because I wanted to set my story partly in Machu Picchu. Even if I never ended up writing my story, I really enjoyed learning about this sacred site. I mean, llamas, magical stones, a city in the clouds. . . what’s not to love? Someday, I hope to get there in person.
I’m happy to say, though, that write my story I did. Five and a half years later, I’ve completed the manuscript for a middle-grade novel. With fingers crossed, I now begin part two of my journey: the search for an agent and editor.
There is a saying that if we do not learn our history, we are doomed to repeat it. As someone who believes that the whole meaning of life is to learn, I like this saying. Just as politicians and world leaders should know the history of their countries, so we too should know our own past. All of those lessons, successes, failures, small victories, and great sorrows add up to make us who we are.
What if we added an extra layer, though? What if we considered past lives? Many cultures and religions believe in reincarnation, and for today’s post, I ask you to entertain the idea too if you already do not.
I believe that we each go through many lifetimes, gathering experiences and memories and skills, so that we can grow. I also believe that those experiences and skills carry over into each successive lifetime. Think of it this way: each life is like a lab class where we put different theories to the test. Hopefully, if you’ve done your homework well, you don’t have to keep doing the same lab exercises over and over in each lifetime.
So take a good inner look at yourself now. What are your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies? If you look at those as a whole, who might you have been in a past life? For those wanting to comment, come up with a brief sketch of a single past lifetime and share it here.
Me? Well, I know that in this lifetime, I love Japanese art, have studied several forms of martial arts, and very much value things like honor, strength, and balance. So I am going to guess that there was at least one samurai lifetime in my past. I can definitely see myself in 16th-century Japan, serving a shogun with pride and working hard to uphold the samurai code of honor.
Now, how about you????