Archive for April, 2012

A blog of the Chamberlain variety

A blog of the Chamberlain variety
Posted by Jessica Jewett 1 Comment »

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.

There is a new book coming out that has me quite interested. I haven’t seen a new Chamberlain book come out in several years, probably because the three main biographers have covered his life very well and there haven’t been any new revelations. However, this new book called Joshua L. Chamberlain: The Life in Letters of a Great Leader of the American Civil War is coming out next month. It’s edited by Thomas Desjardin, who previously wrote Stand Firm Ye Boys from Maine: The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign and Joshua L. Chamberlain and he served as the historical adviser to Jeff Daniels, who played Chamberlain in the film Gettysburg.

The description of the book on Amazon says:

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain has been a central character in two feature films (Gettysburg and Gods & Generals), a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (The Killer Angels), and an inspiration for Ken Burns’s production of the highly acclaimed PBS series The Civil War. Chamberlain won national fame at the Battle of Gettysburg for his key role in fending off the Confederates at Little Round Top on day two of the battle.

This new volume brings to public light 300 never-before-seen letters from Chamberlain’s personal correspondence, which comprises letters sent by or to Chamberlain from his college years in 1852 to his death in 1914. The first 100 letters shed light on Chamberlain’s formative years and his courtship with Fannie Adams, which has been the source of much speculation by scholars. The final 200 letters reveal insights into Chamberlain the Union commander and the aftermath of the war.

Chamberlain’s image can be found on everything from historical art to sculpture, from t-shirts to clocks, from bobble-head dolls to snow globes. Despite all this attention, there is still a lot about Chamberlain that most people do not know. His life is a remarkable story of perseverance, tragedy, and triumph. From an insecure young man with a considerable stuttering problem who grew up in a small town in eastern Maine, Joshua Chamberlain rose to become a major general, recipient of the Medal of Honor, Governor of Maine, and President of Bowdoin College. His writings are among the most oft-quoted of all Civil War memoirs, and he has become a legendary, even mythical historical figure.

National Civil War Museum

So basically a massive amount of letters that weren’t public before are going to be public in this book. This is a big deal, especially to me, and I suspect it may be the most significant book to come out since Fanny & Joshua by Diane Monroe Smith about twelve or thirteen years ago. There was a piece on this book in the latest Civil War Times magazine (I’m probably the only female subscriber under 40!) that printed five different letters from the newly released material. It seems the letters were part of the collection belonging to the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and were released as part of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. Actually, we’re in the 150th anniversary of the second year now, which was when Chamberlain volunteered. The National Civil War Museum is very well done from what I remember of it in 2007. It’s like a bigger version of the Civil War exhibit here at the Atlanta History Center. I recommend it if you’re ever in Pennsylvania and you need something interesting to do.

A book like this is going to help me a lot because, if you’re aware of my reincarnation case, there is quite a bit that I haven’t been able to document just yet and some of the things I know don’t quite agree with the way history interprets. Such a hefty number of letters being released can help confirm or deny certain facts in my memory. Mind you, I haven’t been looking to prove my case in several years. I became satisfied with its validity a long time ago but I do still have personal curiosity about some things. For example, last year I had seen some chatter about Lawrence being a Mason but I had absolutely no inclination to think he was before and I found it confusing, so I asked (the author of this book, actually) if it was true. As it turns out, he became a Mason in a hush-hush ceremony the night before he left for the war and became a pretty high ranking member. Certainly Fanny/I was aware of it at some point but men never really talked about being Masons – at least in my present family – so it’s probable that it wasn’t on my radar enough back then to be easily remembered now. As I’ve said many, many times, most of what I know and remember is centered on the home, the family, art, music, relationships, etc., not what he was doing every day of his life. Sometimes, however, there are little nuggets of information in Lawrence’s letters and things that can clue me in on what was happening to me at different times and that’s why publications of letters like these are rather important. Most of my written material has disappeared over the years, so I have to rely on the documentation of people around me to paint the picture for me and tell me if what I remember is right or wrong.

This book isn’t going to be a dry collection of letters if I know Lawrence’s style either. He wrote in a beautiful way but he was also cheeky, affectionate, stern, critical, and he had the ability to make you feel like you were there. I’ve spent many hours buried in his letters at Bowdoin College, the Pejepscot Historical Society, and the Maine Historical Society. There were times when he had my friends and me laughing out loud and times when we were moved by the things he saw and felt. There’s a reason why he’s one of the most quoted primary sources on the Civil War. He had a way with words that showed much more than the dullness of military tactics and policies against the enemy. He was charming, even for today’s standards, and very compassionate and intelligent. People I know who aren’t interested in the nineteenth century still find his writing thought provoking, so I think more people will find a collection of his letters more interesting than they think.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

I have spoken to Thomas Desjardin a few times concerning research and found him to be very helpful and considerate. I’m sure he knows the real reason for my occasional research inquiries but he has never been unkind or dismissive, which makes me respect him all the more. I never said why I ask questions and he never said anything about it either. That works for me! The approachability and willingness to share information is why I recommend his books to you all. Some historians can be quite unwilling to help people who aren’t themselves known as scholars. I’m just a woman in Georgia. Sometimes I need a little guidance because I didn’t get to finish college due to illness (I will eventually go back). It’s nice when respected people in the field take a few minutes to answer questions once in a while. I don’t care if people believe or understand my perspective in these matters (it took a long time to get there) but common courtesy is important in all areas of life.

In short: buy his books because I said so! Pre-order it here http://www.amazon.com/dp/1849085595 in hardcover or for your Kindle. The book will be released May 22.

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Reincarnation book list

Reincarnation book list
Posted by Jessica Jewett 1 Comment »

I didn’t know what picture to use for this blog so I just put up the one of Eilfie and me since this list is mostly for her. It’s not any narcissistic desire to look at myself. Ha!

Anyway, the reason for this blog came from me looking at the books on the Paranormal Research Society’s donation wish list for their library. I told Eilfie that there weren’t any reincarnation books on the list and I volunteered to help her out with that section. This is my area of expertise. I’m an advocate for reincarnation research and providing people with access to research material. She wanted the book suggestions, so here I am with a list. I was going to give the list to her alone but then I thought maybe the rest of you could benefit from it too.

There are a lot of books here, yes. My goal was to provide a cross-section of books written by doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, spiritual leaders, as well as the people who have been brave enough to come forward with their individual experiences. Dr. Ian Stevenson and Dr. Brian Weiss are considered by many to be the godfathers of reincarnation research, so their books were the first ones to go on the list. Dr. Walter Semkiw is someone that I have personally worked with concerning my own past life case and he did some research on it with Kevin Ryerson, so I included his books. There are several books on this list that I haven’t read yet but that have come recommended to me in one way or another. There are also books on this list by people whose individual cases I have not personally investigated but I’m not one to only share ideas that I personally endorse. I share ideas of all kinds and let you decide for yourselves. For example, the case of Sherrie Lea Laird being Marilyn Monroe – I have talked to Sherrie before but we no longer communicate due to her extreme political views. Extreme views and personal differences, however, do not make a potential case invalid. On the other hand, I included a book by Jeffrey Keene who has been one of my mentors for several years and was a very close friend of my former husband’s in our past life cases. He wrote the introduction to my book.

If you’re a beginner, I suggest Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Weiss, then his other books to get the principles laid out, and then progress into Dr. Stevenson’s books and so forth. They will give you the proper tools to make decisions about what to learn from individual cases when you read them later. You will notice that these books are the Western take on reincarnation for the most part. The reason for that is I don’t consider myself educated enough in Eastern religions to make recommendations on such books. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who can recommend the Eastern books. There are certainly other great books I’ve forgotten too but this is a great start. This list is already long enough! Oh and I included my own book at the end.

Eilfie, I hope you find this list helpful. Let me know if you need any more help with anything.

General Reincarnation

Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Brian Weiss – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0671657860

Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives through Progression Therapy by Brian Weiss – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0743264347

Only Love Is Real: A Story of Soulmates Reunited by Brian Weiss – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0446672653

Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson – http://www.amazon.com/dp/081390546X

Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0786409134

European Cases of the Reincarnation Type by Ian Stevenson – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0786442492

Born Again: Reincarnation Cases Involving Evidence of Past Lives, with Xenoglossy Cases researched by Ian Stevenson, MD by Walter Semkiw MD – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0966298241

Return of the Revolutionaries: The Case for Reincarnation and Soul Groups Reunited by Walter Semkiw MD – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1571743421

Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation by Walter Semkiw MD – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0966298268

Born Again: Reincarnation Cases Involving International Celebrities, India’s Political Legends and Film Stars by Walter Semkiw MD – http://www.amazon.com/dp/8185250375

Children’s Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child by Carol Bowman – http://www.amazon.com/dp/055357485X

Return From Heaven: Beloved Relatives Reincarnated Within Your Family by Carol Bowman – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0061030449

Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1567184855

Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1567184995

Life Before Life: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives by Jim Tucker, Ian Stevenson – http://www.amazon.com/dp/031237674X

Past Lives, Present Miracles: The Most Empowering Book on Reincarnation You’ll Ever Read…in this Lifetime! by Denise Linn – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1401916821

Echoes from the Battlefield: First Person Accounts of Civil War Past Lives by Barbara Lane – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0876043554

Beyond the Ashes: Cases of Reincarnation from the Holocaust by Yonassan Gershom, Jon Robertson – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0876042930

Your Past Lives and the Healing Process: A Psychiatrist Looks at Reincarnation and Spiritual Healing by Adrian Finkelstein – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0964783118

Individual Cases

Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot by Bruce Leininger, Andrea Leininger, Ken Gross – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Z4M3I4

Someone Else’s Yesterday: The Confederate General and Connecticut Yankee: A past Life Revealed by Jeffrey J. Keene – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1577331346

Looking for Carroll Beckwith: The True Stories of a Detective’s Search for His Past by Robert L. Snow – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1579541011

Across Time And Death: A Mother’s Search For Her Past Life Children by Jenny Cockell – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0671889869

And the Wolves Howled, Fragments of Two Lifetimes by Barbro Karlen – http://www.amazon.com/dp/190263618X

Marilyn Monroe Returns: The Healing of a Soul by Adrian Finkelstein – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1571745556

Another Place, Another Time: The Reincarnation of Crazy Horse by C. D. Montana – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0977059006

Jude —- My Reincarnation From Auschwitz by Jewelle St. James – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0973275219

All You Need Is Love — Second Edition by Jewelle St. James, Foreword by Bill Harry – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0973275227

The Lennon – Bronte Connection by Jewelle St. James and Foreword by Judy Hall – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0973275243

Stars Behind The Tortured Soul: Using Astrology to Heal Past Life Memories of the Holocaust by Miriam Slozberg – http://www.amazon.com/dp/193534076X

My Five Autobiographies: My Soul’s Experiences Lived through Five Recent Lives by Miriam Slozberg – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1440162182

Unveiled: Fanny Chamberlain Reincarnated by Jessica Jewett – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0557159350

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Healing your spiritual safe space

Healing your spiritual safe space
Posted by Jessica Jewett No Comments »

This is the third blog in the “spiritual safe space” series. In order to do the exercises in this blog, you first need to practice the exercises in the previous two blogs: creating your spiritual safe space and defending your spiritual safe space. Practice and discipline are of the utmost importance when it comes to learning meditation and visualization exercises and implementing them into your daily routines.

Many people are wholly unaware that when the body is suffering, the soul can do a lot to help it through the healing process. Although many things cannot be healed by faith alone, you can combine spirit and science quite easily. The things I’m going to teach you here are exercises that I have developed for myself over the last nineteen years (yes, I am only thirty and have been doing it that long). I began learning about non-medicated pain management from a nurse in the Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, when I was 6-years-old and I developed my own routines based off of her fundamental help. Exercises like these are especially helpful if you’re like me and have gone through addiction to narcotic painkillers and you cannot take them anymore or you’re hesitant to depend on them so much. I’m not advertising these exercises as a magic cure all. I am saying that you can be proactive in controlling your own pain and illness. Every doctor I’ve ever worked with agrees that healing the body is just as much about your mental constitution as it is your physical constitution.

So let’s get to it. Just as we did with every other exercise, we begin by getting into a comfortable position and focusing on our breathing. It doesn’t matter where or what position, just as long as your body is able to relax to a degree. First you want to begin by closing your eyes and taking slow, deep breaths. I’m an anxious person by nature, so this step takes me longer than others. There is no time limit. Focus on your breathing. Let yourself experience the rhythm of breath in your body, how it fills your limbs with life, and feel your lungs filling and deflating with each breath. As you feel your body beginning to relax, take further deep breaths. Each breath pulls you further under a warm blanket of comfort and further into your spiritual self. The noise of the tangible world fades away with each breath. You sink away from the physical and emerge into the spiritual safe space that you built for yourself. You should be very familiar and comfortable with this space by now. It’s yours. You’re safe and nothing can touch you here without your permission.

The breathing exercise that I was taught as a 6-year-old going through multiple surgeries is like this: take in a slow, deep breath and count to five, hold it for three to five seconds, and then exhale slowly like blowing through a straw as you count to three. Repeat as necessary. This is called square breathing. It’s an exercise often taught to people who suffer from panic attacks but I also find that it’s helpful in coping with intense pain because the rhythm forces your brain and body to slow down and relax. If you can’t get into full on meditation, this is a good quick fix that will help as well.

When you’re in your spiritual safe space, create a moving source of water for this visualization. If you’re indoors, create a sink, shower or bathtub. If you’re outdoors, create a river, stream or waterfall. This is going to be used to wash away the substance causing your body harm. Think of the place on your body that is causing you pain or illness. Just for today’s example, we’re going to use my kidneys because they haven’t been functioning well lately and I need some tests soon. I’m visualizing my kidneys in my body. I’m giving the pain and illness a face – something I can fight – and it looks like black sludge invading the organs. Whatever causes me pain at any given time is represented by black sludge. You can choose any other negative representation of pain or illness that you want as long as it registers in your mind as being negative and unwanted. Now you want to visualize your hands in the source of running water. Think about pushing the black sludge through your body, through your arms, your hands, and release it through your fingertips. The pain, the illness, the suffering is being expelled from your body under your own control. It’s leaving your body and going into the current of water or the circling the drain. Take time to feel relief from your symptoms and announce your intentions to the universe: “This pain and illness will not dictate my life. I heal my own energy and I heal my own body. This pain and illness is expelled from my body and not allowed to invade me again.” Once the black sludge is gone, cleanse your hands and arms in the water. You should look clean. Remember how it feels to be relaxed and carry it with you.

Aside from the physical pain, sometimes there are illnesses that suck the life out of us. These can be energy related illnesses like chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia or things of that nature. I’m anemic due to iron deficiency from prolonged use of over the counter drugs like ibuprofen, which causes fatigue, an inability to concentrate, grumpiness, etc. The fatigue brought on by anemia was very intense for a while before I was diagnosed – I could easily sleep eighteen hours per day – so I learned and developed an exercise to help boost my energy at different times in my day.

If your spiritual safe space is indoors, you’ll need to step through that door in your room and go outside for this one. Don’t create a vast outdoor space. Keep everything very contained. A little courtyard with grass, dirt, leaves, flowers and trees will be enough. If your space is already outdoors, make sure you’re facing a tree. Feel your bare feet on the cool, damp grass. Feel the dirt beneath the grass. Become very aware of the earth and the cycle of life. Now as you look at the tree, visualize the roots pushing through the earth drinking up nutrients and water from the soil, going up through the trunk into the branches and into the tiniest leaves. Energy from the earth is given to that tree to keep it alive and flourishing. Once you understand earth energy, return your focus to your bare feet on the grass and visualize that energy coming into you from your toes up through your legs into your torso, your arms and your head, like that tree. Inhale and draw more energy into your body. Inhale again. And again. Give yourself enough energy from the earth to continue moving along throughout your day. This is also an exercise that you can do in the physical world if you have the opportunity to go outside for a barefoot walk.

Just like before, when you feel a greater sense of peace, you will notice a sensation of being lighter as well. You may begin to return to the physical world at this point. Use the same method we talked about in the last blog. Coming out of it is the opposite of going into it. Focus on your breathing again and with each exhale, feel yourself rising up to the physical world. Start to hear the sounds around you, become aware of where you’re sitting, etc. Sometimes it can take a little longer to reconnect with the physical world, sort of like waking up from a long nap, so let your body re-acclimate slowly. Move around where you’re sitting, stretch your arms and legs, and so forth. You’ll feel more relaxed after you’re finished.

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