Guest Blogger: Jan Scarbrough
The winner of Jan's book is Judith Leger. Congratulations, Judith! Send me your email and snail mail info and I'll pass it along to Jan. Thanks for participating!
Several years ago, I had my palm read at the state fair and was surprised to learn I had known my ex-husband in a former life. That was a new concept for me, and I wasn’t sure I believed it. However, when I began to explore that ill-fated marriage, I started to wonder “what if?”
Wondering “what if” is the catalyst for many novels. What if the palm reader was right? What if I had known my ex in a previous life, but what if our relationship had ended happily ever after instead of in divorce? The result of the palm reader and my own imagination is Tangled Memories, my book from The Wild Rose Press.
Before I began to write it, I researched the idea of reincarnation, “to be made flesh again.” Wikipedia defines it as “a doctrine or metaphysical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body.”
As part of my research, I heard Jenny Cockell speak when she came to my hometown. Also from Wikipedia: “Jenny Cockell is an English author who in the mid-1990s came to fame for her book about reincarnation called Across Time and Death: A Mother's Search for her Past Life Children. In the book, Cockell discusses her "past life memories" of life as Mary Sutton in early-20th century Ireland. The book chronicles Cockell's research into Sutton's life and Cockell's subsequent ‘reunion’ with Sutton's children, some whom accept Cockell as the reincarnation of their mother.”
Jenny had discovered reincarnation as early as four years old when she began envisioning her past life. My heroine Mary begins to have dreams and waking visions of her past life when she marries my hero. As the plot develops, Mary is helped by a psychologist who hypnotizes her.
From Tangled Memories, a conversation between Mary and the psychologist:
“No, a far memory—of times long ago.”
I frowned. “That's crazy.”
“When we've done past life regressions, we've discovered the human can communicate historic data graphically and accurately. The person hypnotized has never been exposed to this historic information.”
I considered Anthony with growing trepidation.
“Another thing we've found is that you're probably interacting with many people who were important to you in the past incarnation. People seem to be reborn in another time frame, seek out each other and explore their relationships once more.”
“You don't believe that stuff, do you?” My question held a sense of self-doubt.
Anthony sat back and shrugged. “It doesn't matter if I believe it or not.”
As he favored me with his quiet, confident look, I shifted uncomfortably. “I don't understand why this is happening to me.”
“Because something was left unfinished.”
After writing Tangled Memories, I discovered several books by Dr. Brian L. Weiss based on his experience as a psychiatrist and healer. “In his first book, Many Lives, Many Masters, he vividly describes the insights of a young patient named Catherine. She came to important realizations about the circumstances of her life today and the intricate thread of previous beings within her experience. Through Time Into Healing contains numerous case histories which illustrate the healing potential of past life regression therapy, and it provides several techniques for eliciting past life recall.”
You can learn more about Dr. Weiss at
Why do we reincarnate?
“I think everybody reincarnates because we have many lessons to learn, lessons about love, compassion, charity, nonviolence, inner peace, patience, etc. It would be hard to learn them all in only one life. Also, some people come back voluntarily to help others.”
Do all souls reincarnate?
“I think that sometimes you have to come back. If your learning is not finished, you find yourself being born into another lifetime. There may be some choices involved, however, but apparently there are limits to the choices. Highly evolved souls do not have to come back but often choose to reincarnate to help as teachers.”
Do souls reincarnate immediately?
“Reincarnation is not always and not usually immediate. The in-between state may last a long time. Also, our soul is far greater than our physical body. It is not limited by our constructs of space and time.”
Do I believe in reincarnation? I don’t know.
Unlike Jenny Cockell I have had no such vivid visions about past lives. I have gone to past-life readings with psychics and mediums, but I have never been regressed. In one past-life reading, I learned that my present husband Bill and I have shared lives together. Recently a medium told me that my mother and I chose to come into this life together. At times ours was a turbulent relationship, but before she died, my mother and I had reached a friendship and understanding.
As a writer, I like the idea of reincarnation. It provides terrific motivation for my characters. Writers always go back into the character’s past to find his “back story,” his reason for behaving the way he does in the book. It’s fascinating to think that back story can be from back farther than our childhood.
Maybe my current love of horses is because, as one psychic told me, I was once a medieval knight riding into battle. Whether that’s true or not, it’s fun to think about.
Do you believe in reincarnation? Have you experienced any dreams or visions of a past life?