Sunday, July 4, 2010

Echoes of the past

I have always had an interest in reincarnation, since I had an experience myself in which I remembered flashes of a life before my life. I am perfectly prepared to accept that many people would consider that a delusion, and be unable to even contemplate the idea of reincarnation.

It's not a subject that is unknown, even for christians, as despite the best efforts of Constantine to eradicate reincarnation from the bible, there are still numerous references to reincarnation there. Jesus identified St John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah, for example.

A few years ago, I encountered the idea that a reincarnated person might look like the person they claim to have memories of being. Intellectually I find this an interesting idea: how would this work exactly? How would the facial and other characteristics of the person magically transfer to someone who wasn't related to them? What was the role of DNA? When do babies become people? All those things, wrapped up into one.

I have stumbled over a number of sites which claim to have found a link between a person and someone else, and often the resemblance is remarkable. What is even more remarkable is that from time to time, someone has provided pictures of a couple of even a group of people, who all seem to resemble people from another time. One such website is return of the revolutionaries, which I have no doubt you will explore if you have an interest in reincarnation, and which you probably would not otherwise.

However, one of the people on that website who caught my eye was Michael Jackson, because the person he is alleged to have been in a past life is relatively obscure. Charles Dassoucy, was known as the Emperor of Entertainment in his time, was friends with Moliere, and a host of other people, and was successful.

I thought it was interesting, but I wasn't much convinced by the argument that Michael Jackson was trying to return to his previous caucasian incarnation with surgery. I just try to keep an open mind, and I wasn't convinced or skeptical, but balanced somewhere in the middle.

Tonight, I saw the "Who do you think you are?" from the US version of the show, featuring Brooke Shields. I thought her ancestry was fascinating, particularly on her father's side. He was born from an Italian family, with connections to the aristocracy. In the course of the programme, Brooke went to Rome, to trace back the origins of her Italian ancestry, only to find that her Italian ancestor actually came from France.

It was the only frustration of the programme: there was obviously a fascinating and involved story about how he came to move from rural France, freeing an Abbott who was a relative, and fleeing around Europe with him, eventually ending up in Rome, but there wasn't the time within the hour of the programme to flesh out that story.

Brooke visited the small house where the parents of her ancestor lived, and then set off again to research her Royal connection, through Christine Marie, who was born in the Louvre, the daughter of Henri IV of France.

At the end of the programme, I googled Brooke Shields, in case there was additional information that wasn't on the programme, and saw that she had been great friends with Michael Jackson. I thought for a moment that it was an odd coincidence that Michael Jackson should have supposedly been French in a previous life, and Brooke Shields should have French Ancestry.

Then I looked up Charles Dassoucy in Wikipedia, and discovered that one of his patrons had been Christine Marie, Brooke's ancestor. I thought that was an interesting coincidence.

I was intrigued, and thought I would look up the people around Charles Dassoucy and see if I could recognise someone as beautiful as Brooke Shields... I didn't think she would be too difficult to spot.

The obvious first person to look at was Moliere, whose picture you can see here.

Hold on a moment... doesn't he look amazingly like Andre Agassi, first husband of Brook Shields?

I looked for a picture of Christine Marie, Madame Royale, to see if Brooke Shields resembled her at all.

I couldn't see any strong resemblance between Brooke and her ancestress, but when I looked at Steffi Graf, second wife of Andre Agassi... well, call me deluded, but I do think that there is a resemblance.

I've searched for a beautiful contemporary who might resemble Brooke, but haven't found one yet.... I'm entranced by the idea, and how reincarnation might work, particularly in the case of groups of people.

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