by Marie Gates (CreateSpace, 2010)
( Amazon link )
Marie Gates is a psychology teacher who has spent the past thirty years exploring reincarnation.
As a young child, Marie had an unusual experience:
Before I learned to talk, an unusual memory came to me. I saw myself as an old lady dying in a hospital bed. Women, who I later recognized as nuns in their habits, worked around me, and my daughter, wearing a scarf and a long coat, stood at my side.
In the 1970s, she saw a hypnotist specialising in past-life regressions who helped her uncover five past lives.
One was that of ‘Anna’, a New England mother in the 1940s with a husband called ‘Jacob Randall’. Marie visited the area and, in a local library, found a 1943 telephone directory in which was listed the name she had come up with for her past-life husband.
Jacob Randall’s wife was listed as Amanda, not Anna, but Marie decided to visit the neighbourhood where the Randalls had lived. The area did not seem familiar, and at the address given in the directory there now stood a liquor store. But the new owner kindly gave her the name and phone number of the former owner, who in turn gave her the name and number of the Randalls’ daughter, also called Amanda.
When Marie phoned Amanda, she learned that her mother, Mrs. Amanda Randall (née Jensen), had died from a bleeding ulcer in a Catholic hospital. The younger Amanda had gone to visit her that morning, and had held her hand as she died. The scene matched Marie’s early memory.
‘From that moment,’ says Marie, ‘I could no longer doubt the existence of God or reincarnation.’
The subject of Marie’s book is close to my own heart. It is about what we can learn about ourselves and our lives by taking the soul and reincarnation into account. Says Marie:
My chief goal in writing this book is to help readers understand themselves and others by exploring reincarnation. I illustrate its operation by giving examples from my own life and the lives of members of my family.
Before birth, she explains, energies from our former thoughts, feelings, and actions are downloaded into our current bodies, creating our personalities.
Into our lives we bring positive as well as negative tendencies. We work with these energies to balance unresolved emotions in the unconscious, commonly known as karma. Our personalities are a composite of our experiences, both in our past and in our current lives.
Energies relating to appearance, health, race, religion, values, habits, talents, handicaps, and many other qualities come through as what Marie terms soul patterns, creating our distinctive lives. Traumas often provoke ‘reruns’ of past-life experiences, and their accompanying emotions are part of this flow.
Like transpersonal psychotherapist Roger Woolger, she believes that most psychological illness is inherited at a psychic level; only a tiny portion can be accounted for in a present life.
We are a medley of values, beliefs, habits, abilities, and other characteristics drawn from our former lives. Souls reincarnate to resolve karma, to fulfill purposes they have chosen, and to help others. In this book I detail how the process works by exploring the personalities and relationships across lifetimes revealed by spiritual healers.
With the help of spirit guides, Marie has uncovered several soul patterns in her own previous lives.
For example, she traces her passion and independence to Jacob Gruber, a documented 19th century circuit-riding minister who was tried for inciting Maryland slaves to rebel. His efforts to control others led to frustration and depression. When Marie visited the Baltimore church where Gruber had served as pastor, she became dizzy and nauseous. She believes the residual energy from his unhappiness there has affected her in this life, and she has now resolved it with spiritual therapy.
Marie describes her own soul’s 1,700-year journey in chapters with titles like ‘Leah of Fourth Century Palestine’ and ‘Tim Cooper, 19th Century Gold Miner’. From Greece to Scotland to Russia and France, her soul has experienced pain and turmoil, sacrifice and shame. Although she spent many lifetimes unable to make peace with herself, her present revelations unleash hope.
As she deciphers her abilities, tendencies, shortcomings, and talents, she encourages readers to discover their souls’ patterns to understand themselves and to improve their lives.