Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You are WHOSE daughter?

I just watched The Da Vinci Code. Never having read the book (although it has been on my bookshelf for the past year) I had a vague idea of what it was about, and of course, the punchline. My brother, a devout Catholic, was frankly bored. He couldn't see what all the fuss was about. It was harder to gauge my sister's reaction. But she was the one who insisted we should all go see it and make up our own minds.

I, on the other hand, was intrigued. Not because it was a new concept or even particularly well done. But because it dealt (inaccurately, I might add) with ideas I had already been exposed to, oh many times in the last decade.

There was this party in 1996 and I went because it was given by a good friend, although I was very very sick. I ended up talking to this South African psychic who had also been invited and she told me that she was part of the bloodline. Of the Holy Grail. Oh that, and the Jesus hadn't really died (they took him down from the Cross and healed him, the Essenes being a sect of healers and suchlike) and that he had gone off to France and had three children with Mary Magdalene. Pretty heavy stuff for me at the time, what with my aching head and all. She challenged everything I believed in and of course I wanted to attack her. She was not interested in defending herself, or for that fact, even talking to me. I'm afraid was a bit of a persistent infliction and she removed herself from my vicinity as soon as she could. And my head ached some more. And there was no one to fight with.

Later that year, someone I met in France (why does it always come back to France?) gave me a book, The Hidden Face of Jesus which was about all this stuff that the South African woman talked about and then some. My book was stolen (a colleague with light fingers), recovered, lent out for more than a year (the guy didn't want to return it), returned and finally lent out to a dying man (the father of a friend and I couldn't say no although I wanted to) and now it's gone forever I think.

Although I have chattered on about this quite a bit, that's not what I wanted to talk about. Because I don't think it makes much difference if Jesus was fertile and in fact sired a bloodline. (Actually I think it would be rather cool if he had)

What I wanted to talk about was a little incident that happened in Australia, which came to mind when I was watching the movie. I give it to you as I wrote it then:

For Colin Smith (not his real name), it is important you believe he is who he says he is. And although he introduces himself as Colin, that is not who he says he is.

"Whose picture is that," I ask, pausing awhile at his tarot card stall at the Psychic Fair in Fremantle.

"You don't know St Francis of Assisi?" Smith picks up the portrait and places it alongside his face. "I used to be him. Don't you see the resemblance?"

There are some points of similarity - the beard, the thin, rather emaciated face. His blue eyes rake me in desperation, willing me to believe him as his words tumble over each other in eagerness.

"Lots of psychics have recognised me. People kept coming up to me and asking if I knew who I was. Then a few years ago, they told me. The greatest of all saints! Some say even greater than Jesus! Not that it matters...it's not an ego thing," he hastens to add.

"I met my soulmate, Clare, at a bus stop. You know Clare, the beloved of St Francis? We never spoke but I love her and she loves me. We couldn't be together then, and we can't be together now. My life, you see, is a sacrifice, a decision I made before I was born," he says shaking his head sadly.

"Maybe you shouldn't be so caught up with who you were and just concentrate on being who you are," I venture.

His eyes harden and he shrinks instinctively away from me. "I never listen to advice. Many people attack me, try to make me doubt who I am."

The clock tower strikes upon the hour and St Francis-that-was starts packing up. "I have to go. I work at a Chinese take-away and I don't want to be late. It's embarrassing."

Addendum: I described this incident to a friend and she told me that every year at this conference which apparently regresses people to see who they were in previous incarnations, the number of St Francis of Assisis are exceeded only by the number of Jesus Christs. Oh well.


part-time buddha said...

I used to be Oscar Wilde, was supposed to be born as Justin, and I'm promised in the future to be the reincarnation of Wierd Al.

What a load of hooey. I'll take your advice: "Maybe you shouldn't be so caught up with who you were and just concentrate on being who you are."

This is actually great advice for me if you change the 'who you were' to 'who you want to be'.

Jenn said...

Don't be Justin. I like you as you. And I think there is great scope for "what you want to be".

And for Zeus' sake, don't come back as Weird Al.

part-time buddha said...

You're too sweet, really.

David Cho said...

If reincarnation were true, then multiple former St Francis of Assisis and Christs roaming around amongst us makes perfect sense.

Just look at the explosive growth of the world's population. According to the historic estimates of World population, around the time of Jesus, it ranged somewhere between 170 to 400 million people. Now we have at least 15 times as many.

The only logical explantaion for it is the multiplicative reincarnations of dead people.

I don't think re-incarnationists believe that one retains gender and race into the next life. Otherwise, certain ethnic populations wouldn't be growing at faster rates than others.

You and I could be sharing the same former life. Think about that.

St. Francis working at a Chinese takeout. LOL.

goldennib said...

Jenn, my comment got to be too long, so I answered with a post of my own.

Jenn said...

PTB: Yes, I am sure I give you cavities. As long as it doesn't develop into diabetes...

David: I dunno David, I wouldn't knock reincarnation. I don't think there are a finite number of souls (which means that the same ones get incarnated over and over again) and I am sure I have lived before. Certain places have a weird effect on me, like coming home, although I've never been there.

Nessa: Thanks. I read and commented. Wow.

lemontree said...

what a life - for all the Jesus Christs' and St. Francis'

btw even i have had 'that book' on my bookshelf for over a year and just can't manage reading it! good to have found you.

And even I plan to go see it at the theatre to know what the fuss is all about.

Jenn said...

Yes, I should imagine that it would be some life for them. My guess is that they look saintly, give out advice to everyone and reminisce in front of large crowds:

"You know, back in the day when I was such and such, this would not have happened. And this is not what I meant when I said... And btw, I never, never preached to birds. What a ridiculous notion."

gutterspace said...

Whoa! People have some imagination. I wonder what I was then???? Btw, was the movie any good? I've read the book though. Still undecided if its worth wasting 2 hours of my life over the movie.

goldennib said...

Yes, Jenn, tell us what you thought about THE blockbuster of the year.

Jenn said...

gutterspace: Dunno. Maybe an Egyptian princess or someone.

gutter and Nessa: As for what I thought of the movie, it seemed like the actors' hearts were not in it. I mean, it was like part of them were standing outside, observing, aware of the huge incredulity that would follow. So it lacked spirit, coherence, conviction.

(David I know you told me this before I went to watch it. You were right)

Andy said...

First of all, I agree with you about how cool it would be if Jesus had children. Imagine going to school with, oh, say, "Randy of Nazareth." And you just know he would so get picked first for kickball, like, every time.

Secondly, I think y'all are right about multiplicative reincarnations. It makes sense.

Jenn said...

Andy: Oh welcome back. I missed you! About multiplicative reincarnations...wasn't that the premise for The Little Buddha? I mean a great soul splitting because it can?

tilotamma said...

Jenn - u go to interesting parties, I must say.

Jenn said...

tilo: I was a nut. I congregated with other nuts. It was a nut fest. And then I grew up. And got nuttier. What can I say? It makes for an interesting life.