I used to know things. I read a lot of books. I fancied myself a well-trained academic with a great pedigree; I was proud of what I thought I understood about the world and the people in it. People used to think I was arrogant; I was. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time. I would never have defined myself that way. People misunderstood me; that was all. If everyone around me would simply listen to me and follow my lead, everything would be just fine. Deep down, I truly believed that I was smarter than most other people.

The last 4.5 months have taught me that I know almost nothing. I have some ideas and theories, but in terms of what I KNOW, I can’t say much anymore. When you suddenly and vividly recall how you died in a past life and who you used to be, nothing makes much sense anymore. My emotions have bounced from one extreme to the other, as the Universe or God is clearing out my dramas, traumas, preconceptions, habitual thought patterns, destructive behaviors, stereotypes, prejudices, you name it, if it doesn’t serve me or others, it’s disappearing.

What I have realized, however, is just how much we depend on negative behaviors, addictions, presuppositions, and cultural stereotypes to define ourselves. Our culture promotes a kind of group think that divides people into categories and encourages competition, victimization, outrage, false values, and glaring, painful, insecurities. So many people I know and come across at work or in social circles don’t feel at all good about themselves. They all carry around this sense that they’re missing something, they’re incomplete, and they don’t and can’t measure up to an ideal that they see promoted everywhere in the media and in their social/family circles.

Strangely enough, if you have the epiphany that ‘you’ are just the latest version of something eternal, all of the above starts falling away. Once you know on a visceral, emotional, level that you are the most current incarnation of a you that has lived multiple lives, the sense of you as a separate being falls away, and you see yourself as part of a large and complex plan that you understand only parts of, but that relieves you of the burden of ‘yourself’ with all your stories, pain, and dramas. When you see yourself as living along an endless continuum of lives and identities, the craziness of the current moment is less and less overwhelming; it frees you to ‘do the work’ in order to safeguard the planet for future generations, but that work can now be accomplished without misery and hopelessness.

That’s the ideal. However, the crumbling of your false identities can take your breath away in its intensity. It hurts a great deal. If you have lifetimes of trauma to clear out, it feels like you’re going to die from the emotional pain. I end up on the floor a lot, curled up and crying, asking for help from God. And God, whatever that name means now, intervenes and helps me manage it. There is nothing specific in my current life that creates this purging of trauma; this is about eradicating everything in your past that led you to make false and damaging assumptions about who you are and who others might be. You also have to let go of the previous lives, and that in itself is hard. You can no longer blame or even be influenced by the person you used to be. Her circumstances are over; it’s your responsibility to move forward on your own.

This has, of course, radically altered my views on the ‘afterlife’, death, and ghosts. I no longer believe in the concept of ‘after’ life at all. It’s all one, conscious creation. We have multiple lives, all of us, and there is a period of time when we are with God (or whatever name you prefer for the cosmic, divine, consciousness) healing and making decisions. Part of us is with God all of the time; parts of us might still be living out other lives. There can be fragmentation or multiplicity in our identities. There is a ‘me’ living as Kirsten, another ‘me’ living out another life simultaneously, and a ‘me’ that is currently with God. Since time has no meaning outside of our material lives, all of these selves are operating at once. There is also a ‘me’ living out some moment in the past, which is present for the ‘me’ that is aware of it.

So . . . a ghost is a version of the self that we have called into existence who is living some version of its past life in a dimension that we have tapped into. It is the present moment for the ‘ghost’ or the self that is living it. It is ‘reality’ for the person who is experiencing it. What is a ghost NOT? A ghost is NOT:

• Dead. There is no death in the universe, simply transitions to other modes of existence.
• A ‘spirit’. We are always fully real and realized. We always have some sort of body which we perceive as material.

Here’s the rub, though: Trauma, such as I discuss above, creates false identities that can split off from the true self and take on a life of their own. The trauma identity, after the true self has moved on to another incarnation, STAYS BEHIND. A trauma identity is going to have certain characteristics.

• Repetitive behavior. Your ‘trauma self’ will go through the same motions again and again, as it is stuck in an event or series of events that scarred it.
• Nonsensical interactions. You can’t get the ‘trauma self’ to explain itself or ‘move on,’ since trauma creates a self that plays out pain endlessly with no solutions or illuminations.

The “residual” hauntings are selves trapped in thought and emotion loops. They can’t and don’t ‘leave’ or resolve themselves because they are not whole, true selves. They are fragments of consciousness that split off from the soul that reincarnates. All of the attempts we make to ‘send’ them to the Light might be useless if ‘they’ are not fully formed souls. We are dealing with aftereffects, not true, God-identified selves.

The process I am undergoing feels like an exorcism of the ghosts that reside in me now. The traumatized selves that still remain in my heart and mind must leave my soul. I wonder where they go. Will I end up haunting the locations where I was most hurt? I think that is entirely possible. A ‘ghost hunter’ could find my trauma-self in various places, now that it’s leaving my current body. All of us have some sort of split off ‘pain body’ that is hovering in the places it most identifies as the ‘scene of the crime’. You do not have to be materially ‘dead’ to haunt people or places. We have so many versions of us in various dimensions that we could actually be picking up on our OWN spirits during investigations.

That’s more than my brain can handle on a Wednesday morning, so I will leave it at that. Please write to me. I need to hear from anyone for whom this resonates on some level.

Much love,

Is This Heaven?

Have you ever glimpsed something so beautiful that your life changed?

Did you call it Heaven, Paradise, Nirvana, cosmic bliss, or something else? Did it matter what you called it? You know that names mean nothing now. Only experience teaches.

How did you get there? Did you fast for three days, eat a mind-bending plant, drag yourself on your hands and knees to Talpa, whip yourself into a frenzy, pray until you collapsed, or did you simply look deeply into the eyes of a loved one and see God? Does it matter how you got there? You know it doesn’t matter. It is in the finding it.

What did you see? Is it beyond words? Of course; but words are all I have, all you have, in this strange, disconnected world. Can you describe it? The world is glowing from a perfect Light, but most of the time we see through a glass darkly. There is perfect Love, but most of the time we can’t feel it. Life never ends, but we choose to kill ourselves, just a little, every day. Eternity is where we live, but we ruin our lives with clocks and fear, because time is terrifying when you see it with human eyes. There is a center to everything, and it’s still and quiet; there is a communion every day with every creation, and you could live there . . .

There is this place, which is not a place, there is this reality, which is nothing like reality, there is this state, which is constant, behind and over and through the buzzing craziness of us and the world we created, which is, which is, which is . . . something like the deepest love we ever felt, the freedom of when we were eight, climbing a tree and seeing every leaf as a novel, something like that, which now we can’t reach, can’t grasp, can’t see, can’t touch.

But we know it’s there.

Giving Up, Giving In

I dedicate this post to Amanda, the best reader ever, and someone who understands what I’m talking about more than most. 

I have wanted to write something here that would make sense to other people, a post that was articulate, logical, fascinating, and enlightening. I tried to come up with topics, themes, any way to organize the chaos and confusion of a ‘spiritual crisis’, or whatever you might wish to call it (spiritual awakening, spiritual emergence, ‘kundalini rising’, etc.). Nothing I tried to write seemed worth posting. I’m not sure that this will be worth posting. I can only write in fragments and hope that you all can fill in the blanks.

As best as I can describe it, a spiritual crisis–for me, at least–is when your theory on the nature of God or the divine, the nature of consciousness, the existence or lack thereof of time, becomes an experience of revelation that leaves you in total shock. You find yourself in a constant state of emotional flux. One day, you’re in a state of bliss because you know that life never ends; it just changes form. You’ve seen the luminous energy of the creative universe shining through everything and everyone. The next day, something happens and you’re on your knees in pain and suffering, because you have to start the process of clearing out your worst traumas, including the ones that happened to you before you were born.

This process demands something in return for the stunning revelation of the Divine. The contract goes something like this: I (God) will allow you to see how (some) things really work and let you know (directly, no research required) that you are always going to exist. In return, you must surrender your little, scared self completely: your ego, your traumas, everything that holds you back from joy and communion with spirit. But the universe demands you surrender ALL of it. As it turns out, that is the hardest task I have ever been assigned.

Imagine burning through every trauma you have ever lived through: the near death experiences in the hospital; the agonizing divorce; the abuse; ah, the list could go on and on, since it includes more than just the content of this life. By ‘burning through’ it, I mean you must relive it, hit rock bottom, curl up in the fetal position, and give it all to God. If you don’t completely feel the emotions associated with the trauma you must exorcize, then you will have to go through it again and again, until you have really, truly, allowed your feelings their full expression and you’ve surrendered yourself utterly to a Higher Power. The spirit driving this expansion of your consciousness will not allow you to take short cuts in your healing.

I am not finished with this, not by a long shot. I have amazing days so filled with joy, I think I might just float straight into the Cosmos. There are other days that I feel crazy with grief and sadness, barely able to function, praying and crying, begging for help. Help always comes. The purpose of this is not always clear to me, but as far as I can tell, I am enduring a rebirth into another life. This new life requires me to relinquish the dramas, stories, and traumas of the old life. Completely. It’s clear that God wants me to give up completely and understand what faith really means.

I don’t go to church anymore. I meditate, but not as often as I should. I write in my journal every day. This intense relationship with the Divine is an ongoing experience; attending church seems strangely unnecessary. I suppose I will find another spiritual practice somewhere, but not in order to find God. My search now is simply for a supportive community who has some idea what I’m going through. I am not special because this is happening to me. Many people go through this spiritual trial, but not many write about it as far as I can tell. Fewer still form communities to assist others with the process. I don’t know how long this lasts, or if it ever truly ends. There are some days when I feel ‘normal’, and then it starts up again. In any case, I understand this–no matter how difficult or heart wrenching–as a gift from the Universe.

I had always prayed for knowledge. Since I was a child, I wanted to know the secrets of God. I had arrived at a point in my life where I was sure that God was going to keep silent on the issue, and my depression was profound. On June 25th, 2017, God decided it was time to reveal to me what it means to be a human being with an eternal soul and spirit. It would be lovely to report that after that, everything was roses and life was a grand adventure. I wish I could say that; but as I’ve stated before on Soulbank, what most people want, myself included, are simple answers to complex questions. Choosing Heaven or nothingness as reality is easy. Either way, you don’t have much to think about, and you aren’t required to undergo a complete transformation of your very being.

The truth is stunningly complex. It will bring you to your knees.


Sometimes, it feels like I have joined a secret organization of spiritual adventurers and knowledge seekers, but the club never meets. The members stick to the Internet and keep out of sight. There seems to be nobody to talk to about spiritual issues who are not intimately involved with the Christian faith, and I suspect that those pastors, vicars, and priests would not approve of where my spiritual seeking has taken me. So I remain alone in a culture that does not support or even understand profound spiritual experiences that occur outside of church. I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. If anybody out there knows of any group accepting of ‘alternative spirituality’–whatever that means–please let me know. I don’t mean New Age, Topanga-style, rich white hippy stuff. I just mean, where are the people who have had a massive breakdown in their concept of self, of religion, of God, of reality, and of all creation? Where are the people who have felt that they are finally on the path to understanding a tiny portion of what and who God is, but that understanding is not what they’ve been taught?

I failed at Christianity the way it was presented to me, as something I was supposed to figure out. I was supposed to understand the Bible as mainly allegorical, but sometimes I was instructed to take it literally; the convoluted doctrines pertaining to sexuality and morality made little sense to me, and the Old Testament seems like the story of God on a power trip, all ego and little compassion. Jesus makes more sense, but even He is wrapped up in doctrine that probably had more to do with Church fathers and ancient cultural norms and beliefs. I think Jesus probably both understood and believed in the concept of reincarnation, for example, but the passages where that issue is referenced are always explained and circumvented by those who have the power to interpret God’s word. I thought that was us. I thought that could be me. Jesus says that ‘Ye are gods,’ but that is explained away as meaning ‘judges,’ even though the judge reference makes no sense in context. There is no point in continuing. It’s an endless battle of interpretation that has no definitive answer outside of an authority figure telling you what it means.

I have found out part of the answer to my biggest, most pressing and often painful questions regarding God, the nature of reality and identity, and what ‘spirituality’ means. I got there through a spiritual crisis that involved vivid memories of a past life–more specifically, of a past death–but that was only the beginning. After that, the process of illumination sped up and left me in a state of shock and awe. How I got there is less important that the fact that it happened; and once you arrive at this knowledge, there is no going back. That might also mean, no going back to church.

Briefly, this is where I am right now. And, this is probably where many human beings end up at some point, some very young, and some old, and others like me, at the midway point. All of the following is probably blindingly obvious to the many people who are farther along their spiritual path than I am. However, I just figured out that I’m a spiritual novice and that I basically know nothing. Well, I know a little. This is what I know:

  • I have lived many times. The purpose of past lives, no matter how objectively painful they may be, is to present us with a spiritual challenge that we must learn to overcome. If we don’t, we come back and re-experience the same challenge in a new guise. Since there is no time in the world of God, it doesn’t matter how often we return to work things out. Once one challenge is met, there are many others. Why don’t we all remember our multiple lives? Simply put, our conscious mind can’t handle that much trauma and pain in addition to whatever we are working out now. Our previous lives are stored as patterns of behavior and emotional/instinctual responses to our environment. Our subconscious mind knows  who we were and what existential dramas we are working through. We would be flooded with overwhelming spiritual chaos if we were aware of all our lives.
  • My stories, my trauma, my past life trauma, my status as a victim of people and circumstances, are all unimportant in the final analysis. There is a purpose to remembering emotional upheaval and unfortunate circumstances, but those terrible events do not define me, they don’t explain me, and they don’t control me. During a unique moment of insight while I was babbling on and on to my husband about how my past life trauma fed into my current life issues, I realized that none of those stories were necessary to my spiritual development or my sense of self. Bad things happened to me. Those bad things did not destroy me; I survived them all. Here I am.
  • When I wonder where God is, why He allows me to freak out about everything on a regular basis and won’t simply remove my panic and anxiety problems, I realize that God is with me constantly. He is with me when my husband looks at me with tears in his eyes as I pour out my soul to him. He is with me when my husband wraps his arms around me in the middle of the night when I’m consumed with terror. He is with me when my kitty sits on my chest and purrs at 3:00 AM when I can’t sleep. He is with me when my kid tells me how much she loves me. He is with me every second of every day for all eternity. He is the love in everyone I know. He is everywhere, always, trying to make me see that I am cherished. God doesn’t want to punish me, He doesn’t want to send me to Hell, he doesn’t want to hurt me, He doesn’t wish any harm to me at all. He wants me to heal, to evolve, to understand, to transform, to see and feel the truth of Eternity and the kind of love that radiates throughout all of creation.
  • Panic and anxiety are, in a sense, defense mechanisms against God and love. I can’t imagine that there is a force that loves me that much; I cling to the idea that I have to protect myself from a scary world where I can control the outcome if I worry enough. Anxiety reflects a lack of faith in a loving God. It’s also an expression and representation of the ego self, the little Kirsten who is terrified and defines herself by being in control in a world that is chaotic and confusing. There is evil in the world, and I can’t stop it. I don’t understand how this works, but God uses evil to arrive at the good and the holy. It’s pointless to be angry about dying from a heroin overdose or suffering abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to protect me. I can recount stories all day about how unfair one’s circumstances can be; but in the end, I do not know the purpose, the plan, the design, the Big Picture that is working throughout the multiple universes, dimensions, and realities that we inhabit. I don’t know the mind of God. But as someone who is, on occasion, invited to be directly in God’s presence, I can know that I am loved, no matter what the outcome of this life or what stories will play out in the coming decades.

That’s all I can say for the moment. This process is exhausting and frequently challenging. I don’t know if anything here resonates or makes sense to anyone, but whatever is happening to me, I can only hope that it leads to a better version of me that loves more, helps more, and can do her part to lend a hand to those standing on the precipice, wondering if it’s worth it to keep pushing forward. It is. It’s not easy, not at all, but it’s always worth it.

–Kirsten A. Thorne

I got sucked into a Mary KayKirsten July 2017

session today. I spent way too much money; discovered that the same products were available online for less than half what I shelled out; and realized yet again, that I’m a sucker when it comes to capitalism, business, and trusting random strangers to have my best interests at heart. Have I learned NOTHING from my previous life? DO NOT TRUST STRANGERS when they want money, sex, or favors. Some lessons, apparently, take lifetimes to learn.

I was worried after my last couple of blog posts that some people might think that I had lost my mind. Maybe the whole Mary Kay visit was about reconnecting with what people think is normal: spending money on cosmetics. Maybe, I thought, I’ll return to myself by spending money on stuff I don’t need to maintain the illusion of youth. This was the wounded Ego desperately trying to return to equilibrium. I want people to think that I am ‘normal’ and not so far off the deep end that I lose readers or end up even more marginalized by our culture than I already am.

Of course, spending money on cosmetics and wrinkle creams did nothing for me but leave me a couple hundred bucks poorer. There is no way to go back to the old, superficial ways of relating to others and Western culture. I’m too far gone, and I simply have to accept that nothing is going to be the same as it was before. If other people are not OK with that, don’t understand it, or pass judgement on me one way or another, then I have to accept that with grace and move forward. Of course, this is all in my head. Nobody has come out and questioned my sanity. Mostly, nobody says anything at all. I get the sense that quite a few people I know are just letting this pass and trying not to say anything for fear of me taking it the wrong way. I know that some people I love think that yes, I am deluded and out of touch with reality.

The problem is that I am IN touch with reality. It’s a reality that most people don’t see or acknowledge; the ones that do are marginalized. But this is my proper place in this culture, and this historical moment. I am on the fringe. I always have been, I always will be, and I have to find my comfort level with that. I will never fit in. I could lie and say that I am OK with that, but it’s simply not true. I would love to buy Mary Kay, get a face lift, play tennis all day, do some volunteer work, read women’s magazines, and go to the movies with my church ladies; but I can’t. It’s a culture of comfort and ease, and my lot is to be uncomfortable, confused, seeking, striving, breaking apart norms and paradigms to the best of my ability, and questioning everything that most people accept as given. For that, most of my time will be spent alone.

I used to laugh at people who believed in fairies, elves, gnomes, aliens, La Llorona, the chupacabra, Big Foot, and various swamp monsters. Now, I think they all exist and are products of our ongoing co-creation of reality. All of it is out there: ghosts, people reliving their time line, people living in alternate dimensions of reality, people reincarnating, souls returning as animals or plants, souls slitting up in various levels of reality, souls in Heaven, souls in Hell, souls reliving the same moment for all eternity, souls everywhere and all over the place experiencing themselves in an infinite variety of ways. There is no one way for consciousness to continue on, but endless ways. That makes paranormal investigations extremely rich and difficult to interpret. We don’t know how the consciousness we pick up on is manifesting itself. Can we know? I don’t know.

Given all of this, how do we meaningfully conduct investigations? How do we know how to interpret the information that we receive? How do we know we’ve contacted a living consciousness on another timeline, and not a gnome or a dark-eyed child or a dark energy that was never human? I have no answers. I will attempt to work on this issue over the next several posts. I thank you all for your patience with me and this long, strange trip.

–Kirsten A. Thorne


I’m trying to live with this new world, and it continues to be a struggle. The old world dies hard and pulls me back in a variety of ways; but there is no going back. What happened will continue to play itself out for the rest of whatever ‘time’ is. Here is a partial list of the weirdness one might expect from a ‘spiritual awakening,’ or a sudden realization that everything you thought you knew about time, God, Heaven, Hell, life, consciousness, and reality is, quite simply, wrong:

  • You might feel dead already. This is one of the strangest symptoms for me. It often feels like my heart stopped beating, and that there’s an absolute stillness in my chest. It seems like I have stopped functioning as a biological entity. Obviously, I continue on as a physical being, but the supreme importance of my biological functions has been reduced to practically nothing. One day, my body will stop working completely; and I will continue on. I used to think about that a lot; now I know it, because it’s already happened. I HAVE DIED SEVERAL TIMES AND I REMEMBER IT. It’s a big deal, because you have to start over in a different illusion, but that’s OK. So I can now access the feeling of being dead and it doesn’t really phase me. It’s just weird. It’s not scary.
  • You might never sleep a full night again. My energy patterns have completely reversed themselves. I used to wake up around 3:00 AM–and I still do–but I would hop out of bed at 6:00 am with no problem. Now, strange energy bursts wake me up completely at random times, but ALWAYS around 3:00 AM. In the morning, I can barely function, and I would sleep in if the cat allowed it. But these unusual wake up times are accompanied by intense mental processing, not only of the significance of Mary, but of other memories from other lives. I’m now trying to work out the meaning of my life in the 1920s, where I worked at a speakeasy during Prohibition. I am also reliving scenes from my current life that I thought didn’t require additional processing, but clearly do. There is tremendous pain left over from my teenage years that, as it turns out, I didn’t deal with on an emotional level during all those years of conventional therapy. Imagine having to relive your worst, teenage traumas at 3:00 AM.
  • Food tastes strange and you lose your appetite. My normal food preferences have undergone a bizarre transformation. Nothing tastes that great. The intense pleasure I used to get from certain foods like chocolate has been replaced with a certain lack of interest in any particular food. I don’t even look forward to mealtimes like I used to, like a dog who can’t wait for her kibble. Now, I simply don’t care to structure my day around food like I used to. Yes, I had the flu, but my weight loss started before. I have not lost huge amounts of weight, but I have dropped pounds because I’m always thinking about other things now, and the role food used to play as entertainment, distraction, or supreme projection of my desires is . . . over. This might be the strangest thing of all. Food filled up all the empty spaces. The empty spaces are now full.
  • Time stopped. The clock keeps moving, but it’s not measuring anything. I can now feel the complete absence of time. Existence feels like complete stillness, a state of being, not a state of doing anything. You can do things, like write a blog post, but al the doing doesn’t move anything forward or backward or anywhere at all. There is nowhere to go. Things happen all of the time. Things change position or state. But there is no flow to it. The flow of everything has stopped. It’s kind of terrifying sometimes; after decades of feeling things moving, often too fast, now I can’t feel anything but the present moment. I know that that is the goal for much of Eastern religion, that ‘be here now’ concept. I read about this state for decades, but it never made any sense to me. Now I feel it. It’s almost panic inducing, because how in the world do I take all my tasks and errands seriously when nothing feels pressing? I literally have all the time in the world . . .
  • Ambition? Projects? Goals? Yeah, I was always the girl with a Project or a Plan. I’ve never experienced life without some big Goal that I was working on, because, you know, Time is Running Out. No longer. I do things. I write, I read, I take naps, I follow a routine. But there is no internal drive to do it because it’s important. There is nothing pushing at me to Get Shit Done. I don’t care if I publish a book, show up on TV again, win an award, or anything else I can conceive of. I have no ambition, no interest in accolades, no need to be loved or liked, no need to convince anyone of anything. My needs have become basic and my desires are offline. And it’s completely bizarre for me. This is not who I was.
  • Oh My GOD!! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DRAMA???? There’s lots of drama at work. Students have drama; institutions have tons of it. My kid has drama. My friends have occasional drama. FB has drama. The United States has drama. Pres Trump lives for drama; he full of it and it drives him. But me? I can’t feel it anymore. I can’t work up much interest in it, and I can’t even take sides. Everyone knows how vehemently anti-Trump I was; and I still feel the need to work constructively to safeguard certain rights and protect the marginalized. But that work is divorced from outrage, pulling out my hair and rending my garments. I don’t scream at the radio when he talks. I don’t have the energy. I see Trump and other histrionic individuals as playing out a personal drama that, while we might have to protect ourselves from it–is not permanent, not cosmic, not even important. It’s your circus and your monkeys. Yes, I will protect my community from the damage your circus causes, but I don’t hate your circus. It’s yours, it belongs to you; I just won’t be buying any tickets to the show.
  • Distinctions break down. We tend to define ourselves and everything else by what we and everything else IS NOT. I am this; not that. Recently, I can’t see much essential difference in people and events. I see difference in choices; but not in defining essences. As far as paranormal research is concerned, we are all operating under the false pretense that there are ‘living’ people and there are ‘dead’ people who float around the living like ghosts. Nope. It doesn’t work that way. We are all living. Some of us occupy this dimension in this universe governed by these laws, and some of us operate in that universe, governed by those laws. And by ‘this’ or ‘that’, I don’t mean to imply that there is any space or time separating us at all. It’s a matter of perception, whether you’re ‘here’ with me, or ‘over there’ with the others. There are no dead people. There is continuous, living consciousness. I am not aware of someone who shed their body and is now in a different state, but there’s a whole lot that I’m not aware of. That doesn’t make what I cannot perceive ‘dead’, or unreal. It’s just beyond my current capacity to perceive. That will change when I shed this body and move onto something else. So we need to stop asking insulting questions to people who do not see themselves as ‘gone,’ or ‘dead.’ We need to start talking to people as the living beings that they are. And we need to stop assuming that somehow they are ‘somewhere else’ and we occupy the privileged, ontological space. Their space is just as real, or more so, than ours. We need to respect that. We are the ones operating in darkness and confusion. Not them.
  • I still don’t want to be sick or old. Not everything changes. I still don’t want to suffer physically. I don’t want to be incapacitated, in pain, or so old I can barely move or use my senses. I still don’t like the extra skin under my chin, or the bags under my eyes, or the fact that the barista always calls me Ma’am with a deference reserved for Old People. I don’t like the physical aging process. So I’m not all Enlightened and crap. I have lots and lots of work to do on multiple issues. I just don’t feel any pressure to figure it all out now. And for that, I say, Thank You to whatever or whomever pushed me over the edge. I’m over the edge, and I did not die. There will be more edges to be pushed over, but that will happen when it happens. Or, it probably already did happen, but I’m not yet aware of it. Because of no time, and all that . . . speaking of, I need to do something with my day! Or not.

Bye all, drop me a line.

–Kirsten A. Thorne

There is no way that this post is going to make sense of what has happened to me, and I can barely explain it to myself, much less to my dear readers (if there are any left). I have debated endlessly if I should make any of this public, since it is so desperately personal, but if I do not, then Soulbank will close down. There will be nothing else to write about if I don’t face this crisis first. I will do my best to start the process, if only because I can’t be the only one this has happened to, and I do truly and honestly desire help from those who know what I am talking about. Here is the first fact: three weeks ago, I remembered how I died in my previous life as Mary, a drug-addicted street kid from San Francisco who met her end after her ‘boyfriend’ injected her with a lethal dose of heroin.

Maybe at this point you are done reading, thinking I’ve become a New Age hippy, or you think I have a big imagination, or perhaps I’m just deluded and have read too many books. Trust me, I have had all of those thoughts. As much as I want to explain away Mary’s story, my life, and everything it entails and means, I can’t. The reason why I cannot, is simply because this person’s life was my life, and for 52 years I tried to keep the whole thing buried in my subconscious. But now, the memory has worked its way painfully to the surface, and there is no going back. I died. I remember dying and what it felt like. It was a textbook overdose death. I lost the world. Everything started to shut down, like a computer going off-line, and finally I was unable to catch my breath. I tried desperately to breathe, but I could not inhale air into my lungs. I watched as the ‘boyfriend’ walked away and left me to die alone on the front steps of a Victorian row house near Haight Street. I raged at his betrayal, I panicked at my failing senses, I was desperate and terrified. And then it ended, and I died.

Therapists want me to find Mary’s documents. Therapists want to me to ‘prove’ that she was real. Therapists want to know if I ‘went to the Light’ and if I talked to God. Well. I’m sorry. I don’t remember going to the Light or talking to God. I remember the fury and horror of dying at 15 and wanted to come back, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I probably did meet God, but I had no time for communing with God or any other well-meaning deity, because I was mad that God would allow me to die like that in the first place; I suppose that I rejected the Light in favor of a quick return. Ah, how I wish I could remember meeting God.

Regarding ‘proving’ Mary’s life, I can see how other people would find that interesting and how it would make a stronger case for reincarnation. However, I don’t need to prove it. I remembered it. That was more than enough for me. Mary was in the foster care system, possibly a kid interned at Edgewood near the Mission District, and would have passed around 1964. I might be able to find her if I looked hard enough. I don’t remember her last name. In fact, I get the sense that she changed her name or someone changed it for her. The best I can come up with is Mary Tillerson, but a search for that name yields nothing. It could be Mary Thompson. I am not sure I want to locate her records. I don’t want to open wounds that are still so fresh.

There is a great deal that I could write about what I remember and the intense repercussions that this realization or epiphany has had in my life. For three weeks, everything I thought was true has been upended. I used to ‘investigate’ the paranormal, keeping a safe distance from my life after death theories. I wrote and read about consciousness as something not produced by the brain; but I never believed my theories 100%. There was always part of me that I held in reserve, a corner of my brain that doubted that we survived physical death. I didn’t want to doubt it, but I did; I wanted to believe, but now I know. KNOWING is far different from SUSPECTING. I can’t emphasize this point enough. When you KNOW something to be true, it changes everything about your life. When you only suspect something to be true, you don’t really have to change anything.

Imagine that you thought UFOs must exist, due to the vastness of the universe. One day, a UFO lands in your backyard and you watch the aliens come out and wave at you. It’s something like that. I now have had a direct, emotional experience of a past life. When I remembered my death and all the sordid, sad details of it, I cried like my soul had been ripped from my body. I cried harder than I have ever cried in my entire life. For most of my life, I have grieved a death that I wasn’t consciously aware of: my own. Every single day of the last three weeks, I have been rocked by revelations concerning my life as Kirsten. I blamed other people for trauma that they had not caused. I acted out in unhealthy ways because I didn’t understand that Mary’s life had ended, and Kirsten’s life was different. I allowed myself to be manipulated, abused, and used in various ways because I didn’t remember that HER life was over, and MY life didn’t have to be a continuation of a trauma that didn’t belong to me. Except that it did, or does; because Mary, or whatever her true name might be, IS ME. The fundamental misunderstanding was that the circumstances of my life had changed; I was in an infinitely better situation, but I didn’t grasp that and continued acting as if I were still dependent on bad people to survive.

This, I suppose, is what they (the gurus of the Internet whose advice I seek countless times a day) call a Spiritual Awakening. It is, if I understand it correctly, what happens to you when you finally understand that you are not your body, but a consciousness that never ends; you just change form. There are many ways to arrive at this conclusion, but for it to really sink in, it has to connect emotionally in a strong enough fashion to crack open your current reality and blow apart your ego, your routine, your reality, your relationships . . . everything. A Spiritual Awakening is NOT a logical supposition you arrive at after studying the subject of life after death for a decade or two; it’s a massive, spiritual meltdown that leaves you reeling in a sea of uncontrollable emotions. It actually kind of sucks. There are many days where I wish that I could just go back to the way it was before, my familiar life of quiet desperation. Now I live of life of raucous, intense, and continual freak out.

Yes, there were and are moments of the promised bliss of Enlightenment; sometimes I giggle like a child at how beautiful the world is. I think I’m already in Heaven, and I assume, wrongly, that this state of joy will last forever, because, dude, I’m like, Enlightened. Then I realize that that self conception is a complete joke. I know nothing. I am at Stage 1 of a long journey. I had not even started on the path to Enlightenment until three weeks ago, and I’m guessing I have several lifetimes ahead of me before I reach it. What is so ultimately confusing about all of this is the chaos of emotion. As you could probably tell from reading this post, I have significant anger over these memories. I feel victimized and pissed at God. Then, I realize, I have no clue as to why I needed that life, but I need to trust that it was for the good. After all, I have the distinct privilege of experiencing Kirsten, and I like her. None of what I have discovered would have happened if it hadn’t been for Mary and her short existence. Kirsten owes Mary her very life.

One of the unfortunate results of this realization regarding our infinite self is crippling anxiety. I thought, stupidly, that this step towards Ultimate Knowledge would bring peace and Buddha-like contentment. Nope. It throws the brain into a spiral of confusion and pain. My brain has always worked very hard to keep me and my loved ones safe from harm (don’t tell my brain, but it never works. Or rarely–sometimes my anxiety actually allows me to take preventative action when necessary). Now, there has been a radical reconceptualizing of my brain’s job. Even if I die, I will be back. Or better said, there is really no death of me at all. My body will crap out, but that doesn’t really do anything but change my circumstances. I have now fully realized that my Self is operating outside of the confines of my brain and body, so my poor brain doesn’t know how to keep this non-physical Self ‘safe’ from the world’s terrors, so it decides that EVERYTHING is a threat; it can no longer distinguish threats from non-threats, as it hasn’t figured out that NOTHING can threaten the Self. Until my brain catches up with Kirsten’s existence as a non-temporal, non-spacial being, it’s going to go nuts trying to keep me alive. Brain: nothing can kill me. Your job is just a practical one now. You know, you can still let me know that the brown thing on the hiking trail is likely a rattle snake. But your existential job of keeping the terrors of Death at bay is O-V-E-R.

To conclude: I am an emotional mess and would greatly appreciate hearing from others who have gone through this or who are going through this. For those of you who suspect you are, but aren’t sure, just Google “Spiritual Awakening” and see what it’s all about. I recommend Jim Tolles’ site. After you’ve had a chance to read through some of what helps to explain all this better than I can, please let me know what happens next. I used to write this blog from a place of having answers and being an authority. I now realize how ridiculous that is and how wrong I was. I don’t really know anything. I am trying to learn. That tables have turned.

All I CAN tell you is this: if you’re afraid of death, get over it. You can be afraid of dying, or suffering, or other indignities that life throws at us; but you will always be you in different circumstances.

I’m exhausted. Thank you for reading.

–Kirsten A. Thorne