How Death and Reincarnation Inspired Me
Updated: Mar 6
This life is mostly humdrum of waking up, taking the dog for a walk or taking a child to school, going to work, returning from work, then repeating the same process day after day. We know who we are, we have visions of what our life is about. Occasionally maybe the pattern is broken, but generally, it’s not.
We as writers are supposed to imagine incredible happenings and take our readers away from the monotony of life. To do that, we sit at our computers and try and tap into the unimaginable. We constantly have to deal with whatever is thrown at us and sometimes we must ask the questions about our existence and who we are exactly.
Maybe we are remnants from our previous existence - reincarnations. We can’t prove as such, but sometimes we can sense that some things might have already happened.
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There are a lot of examples of people who can draw up vivid memories of past lives. (See the video Children’s Past Lives). Sometimes children say remarkable things to their parents like “I used to be somebody else.”
I guess the parents must be freaked out!
Some researchers out there are doing their best to verify that what their children are saying relates to some historical context and that it’s not just their far-flung imagination. As parents can often be cynical about some of the things their children tell them, discounting them, because well, they are children’s notions after all.
I recall hearing a story (it was during a French class I was attending) about a child who claimed to have been murdered in a past life, then tracking down their murderer in their present life.
That’s when I started thinking about reincarnation. Death is a never-ending inspiration to many and as a writer, my stories are often dark and horrific, built upon my own dark fears and anxieties. The theme of my latest book is “death”. It is a subject that we all dwell on. I noted my young son would talk about it and say he didn’t want to die. Death is our last great adventure. It can arrive at any moment. We are all desperately clinging on to life, while also trying to make some kind of sense of it.
After all, I believe many of us write because they wish to leave a legacy, something to be remembered by once we pass. Death is always present, but on the other side, reincarnation is almost like a Schrodinger's cat – we won’t know if it’s there until we reach the crucial moment.
And this is what inspired me to write my latest book. “Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation”. The book starts with a strange occurrence, as a married couple who live in a house which looks out on a remote beach, witness a strange happening. Horse riders arrive, at night time with torches, and deposit a naked woman, leaving her for dead.
The couple comes to her aid, but discover she can’t speak. Later the husband discovers that the woman can communicate but via her mind. His world is turned upside down, as she tells him, they were together in a previous life and what’s more she is carrying his child. He is an old soul and his name is “The Master”. Of course, this puts pressure on his marriage and the sedate life he has lived in the past. This is the opening excerpt:
THE MASTER’S HOUSE
The strange goings on in the life of Amos Toft.
We had found her face down on the sand, as the tide closed in. The moon shed silvery light and there was a soft gentle off shore breeze that glanced our faces. We’d run out of our house, having seen torch light. They had left as quickly as they had arrived. There were sounds of horses, leaving at speed, shadowy figures, hooded, dressed like soldiers, soon fading into the horizon. We presumed she was dead and were relieved when she spluttered and coughed and fought for breath.
“Let’s get her inside” my wife said urgently. She was totally naked and had no possessions.
“Are you all right?” I demanded. She did not respond. I repeated myself again, there was just the sound of her heavy labored breathing.
“She appears in terrible shock,” my wife said, as we helped her up. We draped one of her arms over my wife’s shoulders while I propped the other. We struggled along the sand and then headed towards our small house, which looked over the large bay.
“What’s your name?” I asked, expecting by now she was in some kind of condition to speak. Again no response, her eyes were fixed on the ground, she made no attempt to speak.
We got her back to the house and sat her down on a couch.
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With the doomsday clock slowly but surely clicking away, our world getting ever more polluted, our weapons of destruction ever more deadly, death becomes a wild adventure, that can't be ignored and our reincarnation always remains the mysterious fountain from which authors all around the world should drink insatiably.