A friend recently encouraged me to watch Midnight in Paris, and since she and I often enjoy the same movies, I checked it out from the library without even looking to see what it was about. Unfortunately, this was one instance where the friend and I differed vastly in our movie viewing tastes. Owen Wilson’s acting was horrid, and once I Googled to discover that Woody Allen was the director and writer, I immediately understood why I was hating the movie so much. I avoid Allen’s films like the plague because his style is very much not one I enjoy; I also have issues with his alleged past actions towards his daughter.
I was only able to endure the first 20 minutes or so, but early in Midnight in Paris, one of the characters discusses the idea of some people that they would be more satisfied to live in another time period:
Nostalgia is denial - denial of the painful present... the name for this denial is golden age thinking - the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one's living in - it's a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.
A few years ago when I was looking at a friend’s vacation pictures from Glastonbury, England, a place I’ve never visited in this life, I got hit with a terrible wave of homesickness and the thought, “I want to go home.” It was amazing and powerful. I suspect that one of my many British lives was lived in this area of England, prompting the feelings of homesickness when I viewed the photos. I also tend to like British television series and British humor better than American; one person accused me of a Britophile many years ago, something I can’t deny. I know my most recent past life in England was in the 1920s and 1930s, and I’ve had many issues in this life that I’ve had to work through from that life. Perhaps that is the root of my fascination with elements of English culture.
I’ve also had a great deal of dislike against Germany in this life even though I am genetically at least 30% German; one grandmother was 100% German-American. I have always hated the harsh sounds of the German language. I can’t handle watching movies about World War II, especially ones set in Germany. I’ve never seen Schindler’s List, and I never intend to. Movies of that era strike absolute terror in my heart just looking at their covers. Since exploring my past lives, I’ve discovered that I was a British agent in Germany during World War II and was exposed to many atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi regime. I also died there during the war, and my body was never returned to England. My guess is that those traumas of my past life have motivated my dislike for almost all things German in this life.
Likewise, I’ve realized that my Pinterest fantasy travel boards initially were to locations that I had lived somewhat recent lives: Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Maine, New York, England, Ireland, Scotland, and France. I’ve never been to any of those places except New York in this life (and then only driving through). It makes me wonder if many people’s obsessive desires to travel to certain places are based on past lives.
I’ve also noticed an interesting phenomenon with certain people who have a strong desire to be a from a different ethnic group or culture than their own. It’s as though they forget their own origins and become a part of that different culture which they are obsessed with. One man of European descent whom I know wants desperately to be Hispanic; he married a woman of Mexican descent and speaks Spanish as often as possible. Another woman of European descent whom I met was obsessed with all things Far Eastern. India, China, Korea, Japan: It didn’t matter. She only dated men descended from eastern Asia, and she became active in various community relations for immigrants of that area of the world. With no known trigger from this life to cause these people to obsess over another culture to the point that they changed the way they lived their lives, it makes me wonder what their recent past lives were like.
As for me, I am quite happy to be living in our current era. When people indulge in golden age thinking, I am never induced to do the same. I always have a feeling of “been there, done, that, don’t need to do it again.” Perhaps in one of the most interesting and amusing ways in which I feel like the past eras have influenced my current life, though, involved the Y2K phenomenon. Out of fear of what might happen with the computers had to face the date of January 1, 2000, many people began stockpiling basic supplies of food, water, batteries, and generators. I bought my usual food and a few extra things that week. However, what I actually stockpiled was toilet paper. The modern version of toilet paper was only invented in the 19th century, and it was in short supply during World War II. Toilet paper is a luxurious necessity of this era, one which I don’t really ever want to be without. Another friend admitted to stockpiling tampons before Y2K, something that probably didn’t dawn on me since I was pregnant for the second year in a row. Were these present day fears rooted in our past lives? It’s an interesting question to ponder.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC