Spirit Quest


Dark Energy

When does life begin? How long does it last?
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective
Is there life after death, and is there life before birth or conception? Haunting questions that Susanna Kearsley ponders in her novel Mariana (1994). 
Although I enjoyed reading her story, which is well written, without her literary skill her tale of a previous life that keeps intruding into the present could seem banal, certainly far fetched and too dependent on convenient coincidences.
Protagonist Julia Beckett, an attractive artist, (why not?) is periodically drawn back into the 1700s, a time after the restoration of the monarchy, still resisted by vestiges of Cromwells’ Puritans. The setting of the story, an old manor house in the English countryside, is ideal for this paranormal drama that she unfolds. The love story embodied in this dual environment ends in a surprise twist revealed in the last two pages. Her group peruse a local pub owned by one of them, a dashing redhead, would you believe it?
Reincarnation is not a closed subject,  at least not to everyone.  There have been too many incidents of people who have some kind of an awareness of a previous existence. While science may poohoo such ideas, it itself casts a shroud over the concepts of time and space, leaving the field open to conjecture about existence. What is this “dark energy” that counters gravity and takes up to 70% of the universe? What are those “wormholes” that cosmologists suggest as possible shortcuts  that might connect us to other universes? And does the idea of “infinity” mean that there are “countless” possibilities of reality?  Are there parallel universes to our own. Infinity suggests: why not?
But I live in the here and now, in this 21st century, on a minor planet on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, a tiny space beset by terrestrial problems such as unemployment and an environment in deep trouble. Kearsley suggests that unresolved dilemmas of the past may in fact  pursue us into the present causing phobias, strange preoccupations, even visions. Were the prophets of the past, maybe even the present, haunted by or at least aware of the other?
There are no answers, certainly not for those who are firmly ensconced in linear thinking, left brained and non intuitive, for whom the present is all there is.
I sometimes have the sense that I am here to fulfill some purpose. It is easy to deny and to insist that I have no other mission for myself than the one that I envision. Of course there are those who see no other cause than to make as much money for themselves as is legally or illegally possible and don’t give a damn for the world and the people among whom they live. Indeed, they have been with us in every age.
I am, of course, influenced by my environment, by the people around me, particularly by my parents  who had the first and most powerful influence on the formation of my personality, my values and my hopes. They had high principles and fought for them and lost against totalitarianism and corporate greed.  From how far does my Inheritance come?  
I have often asked myself whether the events that I encountered in my pre-teen life, of flight from Nazi persecution, financial uncertainty, the foreseeable abandonment of what I had come to accept  as a secure and loving home and life on a remote farm, had a significant impact on my present  preoccupation with security, peace and justice? Was my vocational choice, as clergyman, influenced by those events? My background is quite non-religious.
Unlike my spouse I have no paranormal experiences, e.g. premonitions. Kearsley’s Julia has no similarity to anything I have encountered. I am firmly anchored  in the here and now. 
And yet, I sense a spirit that influences, even pushes me in directions that I would prefer not to go. Perhaps I should have gone to the Hill and got busted with my friends for protesting against the tar sands and the pipeline. My faith is non theistic, not in a god out there created in the image of man, but a power or energy, and as the hymns says A love that will not let me go.
Thinking back to Kearsley’s book, although the heroine’s brother is a rural vicar, she posits no god up there directing events down here. Love is certainly very much present and unrelenting in her lives. That love is opposed to greed and violence, hatred and fear. It spans the lifetimes that she experiences and leads to a resolution that will  “close the circle,”  (her words) and give her peace. 
The spirit moves in mysterious ways. We may try to resist its ambient nature. I strive to open myself to its urgings. Who knows where it may lead!

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