"Someone Else's Yesterday"
by (Jeffrey Keene) is the auto-biographical
story of how this Connecticut Yankee firefighter discovered that he was the
reincarnation of Confederate General John Brown Gordon (1832-1904).
What sets this book apart from other reincarnation
histories is how Keene helps the reader to follow along as he discovers
this past life and where this journey leads him.
"Past Life First Contact": it is the moment when one first discovers that
this life is not their first one. "First Contact" is usually a slow, drawn out
process because the personal experience of karma, reincarnation, and past lives
can be overwhelming.
Here is how this "Past Life First Contact"
Return to the "Scene of the Crime":
Although our lives can seem to be random and chaotic,
they are actually closely guided. When it is time to confront our past life
karma, events unfold to make it happen. Returning to the "scene of
the crime" is pure "emotional overload"
as Keene describes it: "grief, sadness, and anger
washed over me. Without warning, I was suddenly being consumed
by sensations" (p. 2). This is almost
identical to the emotional overload I experienced in Williamsburg, VA
during my first contact with past lives, for more
The Past Life (PL) Apparition:
Usually after one has returned to the scene
of the crime, after some time has passed, the next step is the "appearance"
of your past life self. This can happen in a dream (the vast majority of
cases), in-between waking-sleeping (what happened to Keene p. 6), or while
relaxed when awake (what happened to me). However it happens, this
"apparition" is memorable. This happens just before
"memories of other lives"
The PL Research Vortex:
Whether curious or compelled, internal pressure
builds until the individual takes action to learn more about both the
of the crime" and the "past life apparition."
The greater the unresolved past life karma, the stronger the urge to explore
the past. Past life exploration can be all consuming it. As Keene explains,
"I would read more books that I had in all my life,
travel thousands of miles, and visit many battlefields"
The PL Conveyor Belt:
After the vortex sucks one in, the "past life
conveyor belt" pushes one forward. As Keene expressed it,
"it was clear to me that the process once begun
would have to be played out to its conclusion"
(p. 25). At this point, the train tracks of
one's life have been switched and their life will never be the same
again. Whatever they have imagined that their life would be (like
me having a long career in IT), it becomes about karma (like me
becoming a past life channeler). In Keene's case, although he
remains a firefighter, he became an author.
The PL Mountain of Evidence:
What keeps the conveyor belt going is the
mountain of evidence that emerges from the research vortex. As Keene
expressed it, "I was not only receiving
confirmation of a past life; I was being beaten over the head with it"
(p. 31). These "tantalizing
tidbits beckoned me to press on in my search for... my other selves - the
many pieces that make up the whole" (p. 89-90).
That is the whole point of wading through the mountain of evidence is to
heal the past life and to open up to greater totality of oneself.
The Unexpected PL Emotions:
What keeps one climbing on up the past
life mountain of evidence is the unexpected
"punch to the heart"
(p. 158) that happens along the way.
One's past life exploration would not get very far unless there
is undeniable confirmation along the way that this climb is not
an intellectual exercise, it is an emotional necessity. Often
the emotions will manifest physically as they did for Keene when
he returned to the site of Gordon's funeral:
"my heart started beating like a drum...
until [I was] back on the street"
Here is evidence that the past is still present
in your life now:
Although I disagree that
"people look the same from lifetime to lifetime"
(p. 178), the similarity between the facial
structure between John Gordon and Jeffrey Keene is uncanny to the point of
being scary. As can be seen in the picture above, they are virtually clones
of one another. However, it has been my experience that individuals tend to
reincarnate with "composite" faces (like me with piercing eyes from the
American Civil War, the hideous nose from the Protestant Reformation, and
the sexy mouth from the Norman Conquest).
Birth marks are where
"reincarnation and biology intersect"
past life wounds
manifesting in the present physical body.
As Keene found, there were "three areas
on Gordon's face and mine [that] matched: the small star over the left eye,
the area of the bullet entry wound under the left eye, and the jagged from
the right ear across the right cheek" (p. 126).
Keene is not alone: I have five birth marks now from my own lifetime in the
The day that
we choose to enter this life
always has something important to tell us.
In Keene's case, his birthday was
which was the date of the "Lost Orders" incident
which resulted in the battle of Antietam: the "scene of the crime" which
initiated Keene's past life journey (p. 9). In my case, every significant
event in my life now (before I knew of my past lives) was on either the
birth date of my past life personalities or on battles I commanded.
Parallel Life Events:
Keene experienced the metaphysical pain of Gordon's
past life medical problem. On September 9, 1977, Keene experienced
"getting a pain in the right side of my jaw done by
neck and out to my shoulder" for which doctors
"could find no cause" (p. 28)
(the definition of
On September 17, 1862, Gordon
received his "fifth wound at Sharpsburg
[where] the bullet entered just below his left eye, traveling through his
face exiting the right side almost severing the jugular vein"
As Keene put it,
"an ailment or an injury will cause a person to be
suddenly forced into spending time with themselves"
(p. 208). This really is an understatement: physical
illness is one of the primary means of administering karma and of motivating
the past life healing process. For the list of present life disorders caused
by unhealed past life karma,
Habits and Mannerisms:
As Keene remarks, "Gordon
and I share... mannerisms... I almost always have my arms crossed in front
of me." In "pictures of Gordon... he has his arms crossed"
(p. 79) I have Keene beat: I have 100 points of
comparison in habits-mannerisms with my Civil War past self.
How one communicates - either verbally or
in written form has been developed in past lives and is impressed in the
present life mind. In Keene's case, a
found there were six similarities between his
writing style and Gordon's (p. 189). I have noticed many parallels
between my own writing style with several of my past life author
Career Choices-Work Styles:
Although I disagree that
"you choose if you will reincarnate again"
(p. 204) (it has been my experience that only
a few have earned the right to choose), I do agree that we do help
choose the "situations that will give us
the best opportunity to learn the lessons needed for our soul's development"
(p. 204). Career choice and work styles are two
areas that tend to remain the same. In Keene's case, Gordon found himself
fighting fires and today Keene is a firefighter by profession (p. 189).
In my case, I was a higher level Civil War commander in one past life
and a higher level IT project manager in this life.
Relationship Roles: Keene makes a very interesting
comment about this:
"I have often wondered if the people I work with [now]
were with me in those tumultuous times in the 1860s"
(p. 178). Without commenting on this situation,
I can say that life is intimately connected. Before we go on the adventure of our
lives, we agree to come into certain relationships with others to resolve past
life karma. Reincarnation works to open us to greater levels of love. This
becomes easier when we reincarnate with the same group of people over the
course of time. This has happened to me with alarming regularity in the past...
and it still does.
Keene and Gordon both perfectly describe how
these past life emotional challenges manifested in their present lives.
"We were never strangers... we share a common heart...
[and the] feelings we do not have the luxury of purging at the moment they
arise. The job comes first and the feelings must await a later time...
[because] the strain and the quick shifting of events compel the commander
to stifle sensibilities and silence the natural prompting of his heart as
cherished friends fall around him" (p. 37).
As a former commander, I could not agree more with this statement.
"Many people will say that all of this is
coincidence, but at what point do things stop being coincidental? When you
get a list of five things? Ten? Twenty?" (p. 27) Only you can
decide when to stop calling all these parallels between the past and present
coincidence and start calling them synchronicity.
Those like Jeffrey Keene (and myself) who embark on a long path of past life
healing will find these kind of experiences along the way.
Guided by the Unseen Hand:
When one opens themselves to the greater
totality of their existence, it becomes clear that their journey is being guided by
an unseen hand. As Keene expressed it: "I felt as if an unseen hand has come
out of the past and guided me, much like a chess piece being moved from square to
square" (p. 139). The chess piece is the perfect analogy because you feel
as if someone outside of and other than yourself is moving you to where you need to
The Guided Missile:
The "unseen hand" will unerringly guide you to where
you need to go, how you need to see, and what you need to find. This happened to
Keene: "In the dark of night in a strange city of
forty-five square miles, I picked on of five exits (the correct one) and
drove to the street I was looking for. How had I managed such a feat? If
I did not receive any help from without, that only leaves... guidance from
within" (p. 136). Time and again,
"Mr. Destiny would step in"
(p. 134) to help him out. I know all too well how
persuasive "Mr. Destiny" can be when it comes to healing the past.
"This Day Only":
What really convinces someone that an unseen hand is
at work... is eerie timing. Take this experience of Keene's while researching
in Atlanta: the librarian told him "if you had
come here yesterday, you would have been out of luck. We just found it in a
room that had been locked for eons and we just got the key for the room this
morning"(p. 130). "This Day Only" incidents
have happened to me more than I can count: it's "Mr. Destiny" at work!
Past Life Keyword:
Exploration of past lives is an "on again, off again"
journey. Just when it seems that the trail has gone cold, people will get a
"keyword" to keep them going in new direction. Literally this word is like a key
that opens the door to the past. In Keene's case, his past life keyword was
(p. 90) which triggered his remembrance of another past
existence as a soldier. In my case, it only took one highly charged keyword to
change the course of my entire life.
Going Home Again:
It is a strange sensation to go "home" to where you once
lived. What can be even stranger is that the universe often gives you some time
alone in your home so that you can say goodbye. As Keene explains (p. 131):
"On my visit I had to settle on peeking in the windows,
now I was 'in charge' of the building."
This happened to me twice: it is an unsettling feeling
to walk into a place you have never been to before... and feel like you have
come home... but no one of your family is there. It is hard to accept that
your old home is no longer yours.
Walking on Your Own Grave:
It is an even stranger sensation to walk on your
own grave. As Keene describes it (p. 160),
"the beating [of my heart]
built in intensity until it felt as though I was being punched in the chest, but
from the inside. This pounding stayed with"
him until he left the site of his funeral. I had
a similar reaction: heart pounding wildly and uncontrollable tears.
I was much luckier than Keene as my gravesite was secluded allowing
me to mourn privately.
This is not a common phenomenon. I only mention
this one because Keene and I had the same experience. When Keene
visited Gordon's gravesite, he met the caretaker who commented that
General Gordon was "a fine gentleman. So
[Keene] thanked her for the fine job they were doing"
(p. 157) He was lucky: I got an hour long
lecture while visiting my past life gravesite!
End in the Beginning:
What is truly inspiring about past life exploration
is when reincarnation shows its face miraculously. Keene had this experience.
While at Appomattox Court House, Keene correctly identified that the flag in
the painting of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia... was not
the right one. The flag in the picture was the
"third National Confederate flag... the official flag
at the time of the surrender, but it had not been issued to the troops in
the field yet." Even Keene had
"how did I know about the flag?"
(p. 59). That's amazing thing about reincarnation:
the end is always in the beginning.
If you are interested in exploring your past lives,
Keene shows you how:
Keene used what I call the "Shoe Gambit" (p. 166) to entice past
life information with gentleness. Here is how it works: If you are having
difficulty seeing yourself in a past life meditation, ask only to see the feet of
your past life personality. Try to see what it is that you are wearing on
your feet. Are they shoes, sandals, boots, or are your feet bare? For
more click here on
Past Life Regression.
Childhood Echoes: "Out of the mouths of babes" is another way that people
can connect with the past. Keene relates several stories about how children connected
with their past existences (p. 161, 166, 167, 172). This also works the other way
around. During the time I was connecting with my past life in the Civil War,
I was in a restaurant, sitting by a plate glass window. Suddenly a young child
flung themselves into the glass right next to me. The child would not move until
I returned their salute and recognized our past life connection to one another.
Search for Past Life Relics:
Keene had several instances of past life
relics "floating back" his way. Keene received
"a mini ball just laying there
waiting for [him]", a
Gordon had once owned. These all
"took their places in [Keene's] ever growing trays
of cherished mementos" (p. 115). I was infinitely blessed to acquire a
collection of letters written by my past life wife. Such relics can bring a
profound sense of peace.
Although we agree to forget the past and remain
ignorant of the future, there is always some part of us... that knows
the total truth of our existence. This is why we can have "premonitions"
(Keene uses the Victorian term of "presentiments" p. 141). Gordon tells
of a premonition made by Colonel Tennant Lomax who declared
"Give me your hand Gordon and let me bid you good-by.
I am going to be killed in this battle. I shall be dead in half an hour"
and so he was (p. 141). I too experienced this.
At the beginning of the war, a friend and neighbor told me to take great
care of myself... because he knew my death meant his. Years later, in war,
we died within days of one another.
The best thing about Keene is his balanced
viewpoint on the journey of past life healing:
"It is important to stay in the present... If one
gets too involved in past lives, one runs the risk of being incapacitated
in the present and is likely to fall short in this life's lessons and
goals" (p. 90). The goal of past life
healing is to live more fully with a greater sense of peace in the present
and empowerment in the future. For when one knows the
"struggles and trials they endured [this] gives
[them] a sense of where they came from, and a deeper foundation on which
to base their own identity" (p. 65)
Only Love Lives On:
Keene and I are in agreement that looking back
into the past reveals that
"no one ever truly dies... Everyone that you
have ever loved or that has ever loved you still exists"
(p. 190). There is more love for you than
you can imagine... past lives can reveal the deep well of love you
have experienced during your journey as Soul.
"Love lasts forever"
"excursion into a better tomorrow" can start
by discovering "someone else's yesterday"
After reading "Someone Else's Yesterday", here are
my final thoughts:
Why We are Here:
Past life exploration can be the greatest tool for
both self knowledge and growth. Stepping into the greater totality of
ourselves shows us that
"we are both the archer and the target, the deceased
and the heir" (p. 140). For the
"most heroic battles are not fought on the battlefield,
but in everyday life. We are here to learn through experience and to put
those experiences to work for us. Many times our greatest strides forward
come after we muddle our way through some of life's difficulties"
(p. 140). This is why we are here.
Living in the K&R World:
Today, there is much prejudice against reincarnation
and karma. Keene put it this way: "in the Bible
Belt" the result of
"hanging from a tree with flammable liquids all
over" one's body (p. 133). Although this
would not happen here and now, it did happen in past lives in other
places in the world.
It happened to me in the past.
It is my belief that what God requires of us in life
is to give "true witness" when it really matters. That Connecticut Yankee
Jeffrey Keene has chosen to give true witness of his knowingness that he
is the reincarnation of Confederate General John Brown Gordon is truly
admirable and courageous.
The Greatest Synchronicity of All:
Keene discusses the many synchronicities
that he encountered during his past life exploration of Gordon's life (p. 129).
Perhaps the greatest synchronicity of all is that my past life self worked
with Gordon during the Civil War. From this book, I recognize Jeffrey Keene
to be the reincarnation of John Brown Gordon... this is my true witness.
Hopefully this will give Mr. Keene the
"warm peaceful feeling that [he is] not alone"