Excerpts from Return of the Revolutionaries

Posted: July 6, 2009 in literature
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Return of the Revolutionaries by Walter Semkiw

My story begins in 1984, when I was in my medical residency and living in Chicago. A friend suggested that I have a session with a medium who was working out of a local metaphysical bookstore. Being a skeptic by nature, I never had even considered going to a psychic before. It had been a dreary winter, though, with little to do but study, and I reasoned that a session with a medium might break the monotony.

During the session, the medium went into a meditative state or trance and in doing so, allowed spiritual guides to talk through him. These guides told me about family issues with surprising accuracy. The guides then told me about two past lives, one of which was during the American Revolution. They gave me the name of who I was supposed to have been and told me that if I researched this person, I would see myself. In 1984, I dismissed the session. It would not be until 1996 that I would revisit the past-life information provided to me. At that time I did research on the person who was identified as my prior incarnation. That person was the second President of the United States, John Adams, and I was quite shocked to realize that I did see myself in him. I was even more surprised to recognize his entire family and closest friends reincarnated among members of my own family and friends.

In seeking information on reincarnation, I encountered a number of other people with similar stories, though there were variations in how people learned about specific past lives. Though the means by which past-life identities were derived varied, the independently researched cases showed common features with cases that I had studied and delineated. As a result of these independent cases, I have divided my book into two sections. In the first, cases that were discovered and documented by other people are reviewed. The second section involves a series of past-life cases that I have researched stemming from the American Revolution. What is exciting is that these cases from both sections reinforce each other. Cases derived by various means and studied by a variety of different people lead to the same conclusions regarding the manner in which reincarnation occurs. These principles of reincarnation are summarized as follows:

1. Physical Appearance
Facial architecture, the shape and proportions of the face, appears to be consistent from lifetime to lifetime. Physical habits, such as postures, hand gestures and the type of jewelry worn, can also be consistent from lifetime to lifetime. Even poses struck in portraits and photographs are often uncannily similar from one lifetime to another.
Of note, my reincarnation research shows that in approximately 10 to 20 percent of cases, a soul changes gender. Even in these cases, facial architecture still remains consistent. Overall, most people (80 to 90%) maintain the same gender from one lifetime to another, and it seems that our essence has an innate masculine or feminine quality. Those who are innately masculine tend to reincarnate as males. Those who are innately feminine prefer to return in a female body.

2. Personality
Personality traits appear to persist from lifetime to lifetime. Some of our personality traits are positive and we carry them with us to our benefit. Other personality traits can be detrimental and can cause suffering from one lifetime to another.
Though personality traits remain consistent, I have observed that physical and mental illnesses do not persist from one lifetime to another. Individuals who are chemically dependent or have a psychiatric illness in a previous lifetime do not appear to carry these disorders over to subsequent ones.
Spiritually and intellectually, we seem to pick up where we have left off. Our hard earned achievements in spiritual and intellectual pursuits are retained – they are a part of us.
Religious affiliation and ethnic background change from lifetime to lifetime. A soul can be Christian in one lifetime and Jewish or Islamic in the next. This casts new insight regarding conflicts based on religious or ethnic differences.

3. Writing Style
Just as personality traits remain consistent from lifetime to lifetime, a person’s manner of expression seems to be similar from one lifetime to another. Some variation in writing style, of course, will be observed due to differing customs of various eras. Still, consistencies in modes of expression and in content are observed. Just as portraits allow us to see how one’s appearance is the same from lifetime to lifetime, historical documents, diaries and other available documentation allow us to study writing style across incarnations.

4. Karmic Soul Groups
People appear to come into life in groups, based on shared karma and emotional attachments. Couples often come back together and entire family units can recur. When an individual reincarnates, other members of that person’s karmic group will be present. Identifying members of the person’s karmic group is another important criterion in establishing a past-life match.
In analyzing past-life cases, I have observed that we all have a predetermined destiny or life itinerary which brings us to the people we are supposed to spend time with. We meet up with different karmic groups at different points in life. New venues bring us to karmic groups we need to be with. My belief is that though we all have a predetermined itinerary that we are committed to honor, we have free will in what we do along the way. Indeed, growth and human evolution could not occur without free will. Some people may have a more structured itinerary that limits diversionary treks, while others may have a less structured game plan. Either way, we have free will along our destined paths.

5. Past-Life Symbols, Synchronistic Events, and Anniversary Phenomena
A common feature in past-life research is that symbols from a prior lifetime are found in the person’s contemporary incarnation. For eleven years I worked for Unocal 76, also known as Union 76, an oil company whose slogan is ‘The Spirit of 1776.’ The company name and slogan reflect my participation in the American Revolution as John Adams. In William Barnes’ book, Thomas Andrews, A Voyage into History, Mr Barnes relates how he came to uncover his past-life as Thomas Andrews, the designer of the Titanic, who died on the ship. Appropriately, William Barnes was born on the anniversary date of the Titanics’ sinking, 41 years after the tragedy occurred.

6. Attraction to Specific Geographic Locations
Individuals are often attracted to geographic settings of past lives. In many cases, people are observed to gravitate to places where they have lived before. Individuals may reside in these areas or visit old haunts on vacation. In some cases, it appears that the soul is simply nostalgic for familiar settings. In other cases, the soul may direct the individual to a specific place to trigger a remembrance of the past lifetime or to facilitate a spiritual awakening.

7. Memories
Memories of past lives can have a profound effect on the individual who has experienced them. Memories can occur spontaneously or through past-life regressions. In a regression, a therapist guides a person into a state of deep relaxation. The subject is coached to go back in time until former lives are experienced or remembered. Memories, whether spontaneous or experienced through regression, are subjective. Alone, these memories provide only weak evidence of reincarnation to those who have not experienced them. Memories, though, when supported by objective facts obtained through historical research and corroboration, provide compelling evidence of reincarnation.

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