Through a glass darkly

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Jim78, Feb 6, 2019.

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Are you a warrior soul or were you involved in war by circumstance?

  1. Warrior soul

    8 vote(s)
    57.1%
  2. Circumstance

    6 vote(s)
    42.9%
  1. landsend

    landsend Senior Registered

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    The points you raise are interesting, Jim, and soul searching ones at that. Not ones I can answer five minutes on an internet forum. This is something I'm trying to understand and have a feeling I won't have a full grasp on it till I'm departing this life, either. Hopefully at a more robust age than twenty-eight.

    My life in the civil war, although I recall only snippets, I know from records that past me survived the war and went on to become a farmer of sorts in South Carolina. My death was peaceful, not on the battlefield. But I do know I probably carried scars. I had a dream a while back about myself in that life going out to a cabin in the middle of a woods and living as a hermit for some months probably after the war was over. He lost a wife, and brother during the war.

    But still, I found war in subsequent lives, or should I say, it found me. My very short life and death during the outbreak of the World War II set me in motion for my next life as Terry to look, subconsciously, for the justice of that small little boy who died. As Terry, I idolised the returning Vets, as many my age did. We grew up with Hemingway, tales of valour, tales of war, becoming men and doing your patriotic duty. It felt like a smart career choice at the time, too. There was no war in 1958 when I signed up. There was the threat of communism, and the cold war -- and the threat of all out nuclear disaster. Defending the country against that felt again like a smart choice. The rockets, radar technology and primitive (for the times) computers were fascinating to me, too. I still feel that I saw a poster somewhere with one of those cool rocket illustrations on saying they were looking for folks to sign up for the Army to defend the nation against the nuclear threat. The poster won me over.

    Someone must have thought I was decent enough at being a soldier, and recommended me to go sign up for the OCS. And then they were looking for folks (officers especially) to join Special Forces back in 1963 because they, the government, knew what we didn't know then which was that the war in SE Asia was going to escalate, and they wanted more SF folks over in SE Asia. Special Forces prior to that was mostly old timers, guys who had fought WWII & Korea and already had significant knowledge. But obviously they needed to expand, and they asked for volunteers. Most of the guys who volunteered were not like me then, that is to say, not married and w/ kids. But Special Forces was prestigious, they were airborne, the crem de la crem. And I knew I was capable to do that, so why not? It was infectious, the pride of being so capable in mind, and body. I felt like I belonged in the Army in a way that I have not felt since. It was my home, my brothers, my life, my blood, my everything. Jim Thompson, another Special Forces POW put it very well -- Army first, everything else came after.

    Then, of course, Vietnam happened. Prior to that, probably had knowledge it was going to happen. At least in '64 before the Marines landed, because we were preparing to go over at the end of '64, and we did go over in January '65 before the war officially started. Some of the guys I went over with had already been to Nam before in an advisory role. The advisory role meant we were to help out the locals, help train the local forces, and was under instruction not to shoot unless shot at.

    Would I take away my experiences of that life as Terry, having gone to Vietnam, done my time, even if things went so wrong? Even if the very institution I devoted my life to abandoned me? I don't think I could. It has shaped me. Scarred me. Challenged me. Opened my eyes. Made me stronger, weaker, wiser, dumber. Of course I can look at me now, today, and say look where it's lead me -- too afraid to face myself, my pain, choosing this life to hide away, hiding away from everyone, wanting to disappear. And I can say that I'll never get the recognition I deserved for serving my time, I won't get to heal my war wounds the way I would have wanted to. I won't get to sit and reconcile with my son how it was to serve in Vietnam in the way that I would want to. They'll be no slideshows of photographs I took, no trying to make up for lost time with my grandchildren.

    This is how it is. Myself, in a foreign land, foreign body, trying to make amends through a computer, and trying to find my death, my body, and trying to find it all so I can put myself to rest, and apologise to my family for leaving them behind.
     
  2. Jim78

    Jim78 Senior Registered

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    Hi landsend.

    I think we find war again and again because it mirrors impulses we have within us. I think it challenges everything we think we believe. It tests us.

    Interesting about your civil war life. Have you seen this documentary? Its about Vietnam vets living in the wilds:



    I think the same way as you. For all my suffering and fears and trauma I wouldn't go back to being the person I was before...I couldn't go back to it. I've learned too much and changed too much.

    I know what you mean about what you won't get to do. I never got to marry Kitty or her current incarnation. My work for my country, on the other hand, seems to be complete so I've nothing unresolved there.

    I'm on this site really to grapple with the profundity of my experiences. It feels overwhelming at times. I don't know if I can deal with it in my current life but, sure, all I can do is try.
     
  3. landsend

    landsend Senior Registered

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    Have seen that Jim, I posted that here on a thread a while back. It's very apt, and expresses feelings a lot of vets struggle with after coming home.

    I still feel I'm attempting to escape Nam, but not in the wilds -- through this life I'm living now, far away from America, from SE Asia, etc. etc. I've lived a very safe existence this time round. Am hyper alert all of the time. Am learning to drive, and can get startled even by a frigging bird flying too close to the car and then nearly crash into the sidewalk -- I have to explain to my driving instructor how bad I am w/ PTSD symptoms, he kinda gets it and the meds help a lot -- but Jesus H it's deliberating. Can't handle stress, can't handle pain. Just try to numb and anaesthetise myself much of my life. Am essentially an hermit being forced to live in the modern world.

    Well, at least we can all support each other. You know I, and others here have got your six. Am only ever a message away.
     
  4. Jim78

    Jim78 Senior Registered

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    I'm sick of reincarnation.

    I had a so called friend pointing and laughing at me the other night because of my past life memories. He was almost orgasmic in his power tripping of ridiculing me. Clown.

    What set him off was my mentioning my past life son. For some reason he found it unbelievable that I would have a son in a past life. I don't know why. People procreate.

    I'm sick of the ignorance of people to it. Another friend of mine couldn't understand why I'm traumatised so I showed her a few of my memories I'd written here and my descriptions of the lessons I'd learned about conflict. She said it was too deep for her to read but she understood why I'm traumatised. She said I should be worried about women at my age not war. That I need a good woman.

    Every time I don't go to bed drunk I'm tormented by nightmares. Ridiculing me doesn't help me. Talking to people who haven't experienced war doesn't help me. I'm just sick of it. How dare that friend who ridiculed me give an opinion on my pl memories. He hasn't lived them. He cant hope to understand. Right now its ten to four in the day. Still a few hours to go until the polite time to get drunk. That's all I have in my life...drink...and I don't even like the bloody taste of it anymore.

    My healths going downhill too and I'm beyond caring. I just wish it would end.
     
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  5. KenJ

    KenJ Assistant Archivist and Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Jim, everyone has been at war at some point, and your current battle with alcohol and depression are also a too common war. The solutions are many, you just need to find, and stick to it I think.
     
  6. Jim78

    Jim78 Senior Registered

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    Maybe Ken....but not everyone remembers being to war. I'd love for another veteran of the battles I fought to be in my life. No one in my life can relate to it. Especially not some fat faux tough guy who plays video games all day in stead of working for a living.

    I'm not battling alcohol. Getting drunk means I can watch TV or sleep or relax and listen to music. Things I can't do when I'm sober.

    What I need is a solution that doesn't involve abusing something though. I can't see any solution. Talking is the only thing I can think of but what's the use in talking to people who don't understand what I've been through? They don't get it.
     
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  7. landsend

    landsend Senior Registered

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    Ditto. No one in my life recalls the war I recall either, and the one who could, refuses to do so. Don't have anyone to talk to about Vietnam. Not sure I even want to talk about it, and those I've found have come and gone from these forums, they don't recall as vivid as me, yet they are the same. Wandering souls, who want to deny the past. Most of them with a fair share of pain. I often find myself completely alone with these feelings with no one, or no where to turn.

    Am in some sort of limbo, purgatory, not sure where I am.

    I've decided to tackle some of my problems, at least ones that I can separate from the past life issues. Might be an idea to see if you can find a support group for the drink, Jim. In the end it's just repressing the problem, not solving it.
     
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  8. landsend

    landsend Senior Registered

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    It's also funny how stupid things can trigger me. I'm currently plotting the search & rescue attempts from Terry's MIA case, and found a nearby waterfall, about 2km from Terry's crash site. It's a tourist trap called 'Elephant springs', where young millennials go to get drunk whilst 'experiencing life' in Vietnam. Makes me angry, makes me sad. What about the poor kids who died on that soil? Those 18 yr olds who had no chance at life. Younger kids, still... what about all the suffering, untold suffering. How could we normalise relations with Vietnam, still a communist country? It's all money, oil, riches, fat cats who never once got their hands dirty but go there to discuss details with nearby dictators. My blood boils. Inside feel I'm crying.
     
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  9. yvettebruneau

    yvettebruneau Senior Member

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    As a circumstantial 'combatant' of war, I have not been haunted by the memories a true soldier would retain. My memories are of the horrors of humanity, not so much of the war. And, my path to rediscovery is still a dawning one. So, I have little authority in giving advice on how to cope with such nightmares.

    I am, however, in a similar mind frame to landsend. I look at those of my current generation [millennials] and the Gen-Z bunch and can only shake my head in disappointment at these self-absorbed youths with their noses in their device screens. Making victims into nothing more than memes, stealing objects/artefacts from historical sites such as Auschwitz, turning memorial sites into nothing more than cavalier selfie opportunities. I actually applaud Israeli artist, Shahak Shapira, for his art-project 'Yolocaust' [though, I'm not too keen on the name], where he superimposed the tourist shots on to images of the atrocities. When these millennials cannot focus on something other than themselves for a few minutes, someone had the gumption to show them just what these memorials stand for. As I wrote this, I was appalled to see the original caption for one 'exuberant' selfie had been [I might be paraphrasing here] "Jumping on dead Jews".

    What is the world coming to?

    How can we as a society be forgetting such atrocities?

    It's one of the points that make me want to give up on all of humanity and hope I don't come back again.
     
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  10. glia21

    glia21 Senior Registered

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    It´s not exactly war I remember but I was under a lot of pressure prior to my death and I´m ashamed of a lot of things I did. After listening to certain songs 2 days ago, songs I assume I listened to shortly before the accident took place, a huge trigger! - I literally watched the darkness arising from inside out, all darkness and hopelessness, an awareness of the not accomplished things I was so eager to do , and I slipped into a depressive mood that lasted the whole day and made me non functional. This condition is terrible and I think this is what you are talking about. I don´t see a way to overcome it except by avoiding the triggers. Most of all it´s unfair to my family. I need to step back, and stay away from the triggers for a while, yet I yearn to know everything, there are still some blanks, but I suppose if I dig any further right now I´ll let myself get lost too much in this. For me it is essential to balance things more.
    And it sure would be great to talk about things, but as it is I don´t have anyone to talk to.

    Jim, I do hope you find a way to cope with things!
    In my case -I just need to stay away from Rolling Stones songs, or Animals, Kinks, Manfred Mann, you name it :cool:
    Do you know "paint it black" by the Stones? This is exactly how I felt.
     
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  11. Jim78

    Jim78 Senior Registered

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    Thanks all. I find it sobering that all the dead I remember are just a footnote in history and sometimes not even that and I find a lot of millenials to be naive and disrespectful too.

    I'm in a dark mood its true but it feels unending. I feel at a remove from everyone I know. I guess its much like when a soldier comes back from war. Those who stayed at home can't understand what it was like.
     
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  12. Speedwell

    Speedwell Senior Registered

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    That last part certainly rings a bell with me, about those who went to war, and those who stayed home. In my case it was something seemingly harmless, going away to college, to study. During a couple of years there I changed, not because it was an experience like going to war, but because I started to remember.

    When I came home I felt alienated from my family, friends, and from the people I met when trying to socialise in pubs or clubs. In a sense I was rootless, I belonged nowhere, because the thing which I was attached to was nearly a century earlier and far away. And in addition it hurt, not physically, but with the recall came the intensity of the emotional pain of the past.

    As a young person I spent many hours drinking alone in a pub. There was vibrant activity going on, but a quiet corner was where I'd be. Other people were puzzled by me, and I by them. There was something unbridgeable, and alcohol did help to make things tolerable. In one sense I'm lucky, I don't have any uncontrollable attachment to drink. Sadly I have known a few people who in effect drank themselves to death, that isn't me.

    The impossibility for me was that whatever had caused the pain I felt was long ago, it wasn't some present-day situation that I could actually deal with or do something about. All I could do was experience the hurt. One thing I eventually tried was the opposite of trying to find ways to lessen the pain. I figured that wasn't working so did the opposite, I just felt it, whatever I was feeling, good or bad, at times it wasn't pleasant, I embraced it, I felt the pain which was inside, brought it to the surface so it was more intense, not because it was actually stronger, but simply it wasn't held back.

    During those times I'm glad I was alone. I must have looked like a crazy person as I shook and wept with emotion, waves flooding through me. Each time, there was a period of relief afterwards, I felt so light and free. Briefly. That pattern went on for days, weeks, gradually it seemed the flood was less, there were occasional times when it came rising to the surface, but I could usually postpone dealing with it until I was alone. Thus I was able to re-engage with the outside world, not necessarily all at once, or in a smooth transition, but in different phases I moved on.

    Sorry Jim, you were telling about your life right-now and I'm retelling of my past, I don't know if there's a connection. I do get a feeling I can relate to some of the rough things you describe, about the hardness of daily existence.

    My thoughts and good wishes go with you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  13. Speedwell

    Speedwell Senior Registered

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    To continue with the title of this thread, "Through a glass darkly", and following on from Jim's statement in a recent post, "I'm in a dark mood its true but it feels unending."

    That is a place I've been. During a period of struggling with existence itself with no reason to go on, I had a dream.

    The scene, a tall cliff-top at night-time. Overlooking the rocks and sea below. A young woman, perhaps twenty or so years old walks desperately along a footpath on the grass-covered top. She has two very small children with her, a boy and a girl. The girl is self-contained, content, she sits on the grass clutching a doll or teddy, happily enjoying the unexpected adventure of being out at night. The small boy, standing inches away from the edge of the cliff is restless, he tugs at his mother's coat, wanting her attention, her reassurance, her love.

    The woman gazes out over the sea, the full moon reflecting off its waters. She is ready to jump, taking her children with her. What has brought her to this? She is a single-parent, with no-one to turn to, She feels unloved. She can't love the boy who tugs urgently at her clothes because she doesn't feel loved herself. The boy is saying "love me!". She is saying that too. Not to anyone or anything, but to the universe.

    The dream ends.

    That was nearly forty years ago. That was the first time that I understood that the only answer, the only reason to wake up in the morning, to go to bed at night, the only reason to exist, was love.


    Apologies for posting this here. I guess it belongs in a thread of my own really. I put it here because it occurred during one of my my darkest times.
     
  14. landsend

    landsend Senior Registered

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    It’s very hard to love yourself when
    A) you cause pain to those you love
    B) you push people away constantly
    C) you find yourself very much alone due to points A / B
     
  15. landsend

    landsend Senior Registered

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    Using your dream as an analogy, maybe the woman could have learnt to love herself, cope with her situation if she had the right support frame. It’s very difficult to face such darkness alone.
     
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  16. Speedwell

    Speedwell Senior Registered

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    Yes, that's so.

    Still, in the original context (many years ago) I was myself desperately seeking meaning or purpose, a reason to even be. The concept of love was very far from my thought processes, so the dream was a way of reminding me, of alerting me to something which I'd overlooked. It wasn't to say that it would be easy.

    Indeed, afterwards as time went by my situation grew worse. It wasn't a quick fix.
     
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