The Return of a Spiritual Writer and Friends By Carl Johann Schroeder, February 17-23, 2011 copyright 2011, all rights reserved, contact author for permission to distribute or excerpt
In this outline biography, the author shares how he discovered that he was in past lives three well-documented spiritual writers of some lasting cultural significance, in addition to other more private lifetimes of personal relationship development. Not everyone needs to be famous, of course, but in his current synthesis life of lifetimes the author is committed to living his soul’s talent and purpose to assist in the birthing of a more prosperous and enlightened humanity, for the benefit of all who live on this planet. His vision for the Earth is holistic and inspired by divine guidance. Various principles of reincarnation and karma are indicated, as well as perspectives for the “bringing of Heaven to Earth” in each human being. Some wealth of detail is offered to bolster the case for being an influential person despite remaining unknown beyond a local community, and in fact this corresponds well to the life of a medieval German abbess who was broadly impactful in retrospect but did not actually seek wider publication until attaining the author’s own current age of late forties.
-- The Song Of Friends --
I will help you know yourself,
I will set you free.
And if your place is by my side,
then by your side I’ll be.
slogan from Spirit, 1998
Hello World! My name is Carl Johann Schroeder, I am 47 years old, and I have essentially by the grace of God and the blessings of so many of the best friends a soul could have ever wished for, solved the riddle and puzzle and theme of my life. It is my great honor and hope of heaven in this year 2011 to introduce myself, at the invitation of Dr. Walter Semkiw and his IISIS foundation for past life research, as the reincarnation of the German 12th century mystic Hildegard of Bingen. That is to say, I am another child of her unique and immortal soul, and she and I are the same person in different circumstances.
Now I know that Hildegard means a great deal to many people, and I have no intention of taking that inspiration away from anyone. For those who wish Hildegard to stay Hildegard, that will be the case, and indeed to her fans there will appear far better Hildegard experts, impersonators, and descendants than I ever will be. For example, though I too have made music it has not been for the angelic style with which Hildegard is associated, but rather for the symbolic and thought provoking qualities which musical scholars know she also intended (hence the devil’s shouting in her musical play the Ordo Virtutum).
Thus to the purists I would only suggest that they also look into the beguines, so as to not miss the next evolutionary step to which Hildegard's spirit contributed. I would further reassure those of faith that yes, Hildegard is active in the world as her own lightbeing. If she comes to you with assistance it is not your imagination. To me she is something like a mystical big sister - we have functioned in harmony, merged, and switched places – which is beside the point for the genuine good that Hildegard does to serve Love and Light every day. And truly all love is reciprocal, for who but higher guidance led so many individuals to appreciate Hildegard, and it is no coincidence that modern rediscovery of her by scholars including Barbara Newman rose sharply since the year of my birth. I have been richly supported in my journey of awakening by the conscious and unconscious alike, and my soul is eternally grateful.
But to those of you who dream the kind of dreams that the good Dr. Semkiw lives for – the hopes for a global enlightened culture that makes it fully safe to act as your own immortal dear soul in a body (as last seen during the Greek civilization, I know because I was there with my beloved, she was an oracle to Athena and I was her scribe, both of us young grateful students of Plato) - I am announcing the return of my Hildegard soul and its continuing mission, which is to bring Heaven to Earth by teaching the value and effects of finding the right relationships we humanly require to live from our authentic selves. For indeed as I discovered many years ago, we are different people with different people, and furthermore like the Whorf-Sapir hypothesis which states that one cannot think what one has not the words for, so too one cannot be what one has not the love for.
The comfort of Spirit, the light of God and the love of Goddess have never left us, but we did leave them by the loss of our inheritance of wisdom. So the time has come for more individuals to proclaim the soul they were given at the time of Creation, in order to speak the words of support and do the good deeds of example that help awaken the future generations of humanity to their own destined paths. There is so much more love ahead for us all on this jewel of a planet, so blue and so green, that we have yet to dream of the greatness we are together becoming.
I have known that I was Hildegard since the fall of 1997, when I struggled for a year with visions and realizations for which I had little support in this reality before returning to “normal” society, i.e. going back to work and starting a family. But Spirit left me with many dreams, connections, and two precious pointers for future investigation. One was to get Karmic Relationships by Rudolf Steiner, a massive final series of lectures by an Austrian mystic which constituted a great legacy for the future of Earth. The other was to contact Walter Semkiw, who was apparently doing something very good and similar. These two suggestions paid off hugely in 2010 when I was able to return to my soul’s mission in the company of my most important reincarnated partner (she was not seen in Hildegard’s time).
In Karmic Relationships I discovered that Steiner knew my soul deeply and even described other lifetimes of Hildegard, all of which resonated and galvanized me. Walter then referred me to the channeler with whom he works to validate past lives. Kevin Ryerson was Shirley Maclaine’s psychic (I was drawn to him years ago from her great TV movie Out on a Limb) and my recent phone session revealed him to be such a sweet soul who furthermore channels the wonderfully supportive and insightful Egyptian priest Ahtun Re. Ahtun Re validated all of the lifetimes of which I will speak, giving me the final boost I needed to write this introduction from my soul to you, gentle reader and friend of the future.
And so I will share with you now an overview of my life story, which is truly but one humble thread of God’s great tapestry, as seen through my own grateful wonder at being so guided this far. Each of us has within us the most perfect story to tell, for the way of the Divine which has woven the world. As taught to us by the Blessed Ones who came yet before, every human life is a most precious miracle of Love.
As Carl, I was raised in rural New York State (in the birth region of Andrew Jackson Davis, whom I admire and was not personally), the son of a German immigrant father who fled post-war conditions to meet his true love, a school teacher. I have one younger sister, who may be connected with Elisabeth von Schonau, a younger contemporary of Hildegard. As a boy I was smart and deeply introspective, friendly and happy but not spending much time with others. I remember thinking about ghosts and dragons and friendly aliens constantly, and writing stories about them. In fourth grade, at age 8 or 9, I wrote a new kind of story about a boy who takes a boat across a lake to meet and fall in love with a ghost girl in a cave. He stays with her even if it means that he must become a ghost too. The girl felt incredibly real and inviting to me. Somehow it was I who fell in love.
At this time I also suddenly decided that it would be my life’s work to talk to aliens. This would be accomplished by writing computer software that becomes self-aware. That precocious choice determined my track of going to MIT and becoming a computer scientist, where I soon realized that the fantasies of artificial intelligence were metaphorical, and my real destiny was to find my ghost girl. When I graduated a bit late and distracted in 1987, I lined up a job for the fall in a music software company.
That summer I worked in a liquor store and heard something about the Harmonic Convergence. I was not much into the new age or religion or anything, yet I clearly had my own sense of the mystical. As a child I was very concerned with the nature of evil, especially as it had manifested in my father’s home country. I was terrified to wonder if I could ever be Hitler. As a boy I found myself designing an entire peaceful alien planet, starting with maps for topography and ecology, ostensibly for a story. I would also cry with the passing seasons for the pain of the Earth and how much I wished to heal it. As a young teen I got my first lesson from a guitar teacher, and promptly wrote my first song to call for utopia. “Do you think that someday we will ever find, a world as beautiful as mine?”
My childhood was full of private intensities, and these continued into college. I became obsessed with Germany and German friends, visited twice, collected Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave) records, and made an album upon my return of intuitive experimental music about the duality of spirit. I sang much in German, playing bowed psaltery, guitar, bells, synthesizers, and more. Several songs I made I found quite disturbing, especially one about flagellants. As it turns out, Hildegard’s instrument was a psaltery (unbowed), and people who whipped themselves upset her greatly; her mentor Jutta died of religious self-mortifications.
So when I heard after graduation about the Harmonic Convergence, it triggered something in me that I could not quite express. I wondered what sort of idealistic people might participate in such an event, and I hoped to be there in spirit. A few weeks later I was working in the liquor store, and a song of chant came on the radio that was announced to be by someone named Hildegard. I went into a trance and walked to the front of the store not seeing where I was going but being a nun in a habit in a stone abbey, walking to my favorite spot beneath the light of a window to kneel and pray. When I reached the cash register I came back to the present and cried.
That fall when I began my career as a software engineer, God came to me and told me that I needed to write a book about human spirituality. I can't even say exactly what happened, except that the universe synchronized and looked straight at me. I had been agnostic on whether God truly existed and in what form, but suddenly I knew that God was real, God totally loved, and God was everywhere. Especially waiting to be discovered in people! Thinking about human beings made my heart burst open with love. I cried a lot of spiritual tears and said some concerning things to family, friends, and strangers. I felt the authority to contact many people, and one professor said that I'd had my epiphany and should get back to work. Against his advice, I quit my job to write my book, which splintered into a jumble of mystical slogans and sacred geometry.
So began my true challenge to be in the world but not of it… at least not yet. Oh, how very key is that qualifying “yet”! For many are those dualists whose goal is to learn to love so they may one day leave the world, while mine is to learn to love so that I may enter it. I seek the heaven incarnated, as all may call the Heaven to the Earth within. I praise the way to Lovelight that has been so well traveled and foretold by the Shining Ones.
The finite human ego has not been structured in our society to give infinite home to the soul easily, but just as a limited dictionary may support unlimited literature the goal is not infeasible. It need not be a sign of self-importance, but rather the importance of all Selves in harmony, to experience the Universe as calling you to your own destiny. God is not impersonal. Creation is continuously updated with infinite care to speak to the needs of all individuals. Reality is thus multi-dimensional and totally personal, or what I would call multi-personal. Love is what fits everything with everyone together; love is the key to the future that works. Eternally.
After some months I stabilized myself enough to get a job making rehabilitation software in an autism and aphasia research lab. I appreciated the symbolism, and the director was a very kind woman with an autistic son. A friend at my last company had recommended the channeled lectures of Lazaris, which I found very helpful. My brain had shifted into a new symbolic view of reality, where loving relationships were the only true path through illusion. I adopted the self-image of a wounded healer, because in a different culture I would have been awakened into some kind of shamanic apprenticeship. I explored many avenues of spiritual, psychological, and medical healing. I took up continual journaling to know thyself, and felt the guidance and presence of many good spirits.
Though blessed with some fine long-term companions, a true turning point came with the choice to let go one sweet young librarian I was dating and had hoped to marry, after I realized that she didn't even know she was lesbian. When I helped her come out to her authentic self, I felt such a celebration of spirit that her happiness was my happiness. I became deeply rewarded by the same energy of a soul discovering the truth of its path through the world. Thereafter, from about 1994 onward, two female spirits appeared regularly in my dreams to advise my direction. They later named themselves, one to be my teacher and one to be my soulmate. The marriage of Heaven and Earth would come to me 16 years later with the discovery of to whom these spirits belonged in my waking life. They were actually higher selves of individuals I was destined to in turn love and guide.
We can and do experience each other's spirits in advance of the physical. When we are open to finding where and with whom we truly belong, we may enter into the grace of becoming our immortal souls, beloved and ensconced in a functioning body. Heaven on Earth cannot be forced or legislated, but it is much closer than we will ever know, until we walk the way of infinite love. The limitations of many relationships must be appreciated and respected, in order to eventually meet the right incarnated souls with whom we truly can and do grow forever. Yes, such ideal companions exist, for are we not the first such friends to ourselves? Sadly, so many people collapse from the hurt of failing to control their interactions with others that they never reach the true love that was waiting for them inside and out, and all because controlling was never the option.
Today I can look back and see how much the search for my ultimate partner hinged upon learning to love and let go joyfully, something that Hildegard perhaps did not master. Hildegard was tithed to the church at the age of 8 and never knew (or missed) romantic love, but the closest she came to a soulmate was the company of a bookish young nun named Richardis. RIchardis devastated Hildegard when she later left the abbey in some kind of career move which Hildegard desperately opposed. Richardis died soon thereafter. Hildegard shut down emotionally, making what I find to be undeservedly cold replies to the heartfelt offers of new friendship from kindred spirit Elisabeth von Schonau a year later. Though Hildegard lived and wrote for many more decades, her personal life became somehow over, much as the German director Margarethe von Trotta chose to depict in her recent fine film Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen.
By 1997, still not realizing that I was Hildegard nor having found my true love, I had settled into a decent job making linguistic software with a number of kind colleagues. I satisfied inner ambitions to run an inspirational community by a combination of hobby groups, mostly for singing and mineral collecting, and by one rave style art party at my apartment. “Isten hozott” – Hungarian for “God brought you” – was my favorite international greeting among the many I posted at the entrance.
I began to re-enter a mystical phase with new compositions on a Kurzweil keyboard. I won a sound design contest for alien music that brought me to the attention of the local Kurzweil company. Just when I might have gotten a job offer though, I speculated about reincarnation so openly that I’m sure people wondered if I was crazy. I didn't know any past life details, but the heavily layered instrumental songs I was making seemed to speak from so many selves and cultures in a great harmony, that I began to write essays and stories to give them more voice. Also, the lyrics of popular songs that had long haunted me were returning with a newfound sense of urgency, like the angel who sings in the final scene of the transcendent time-tripping film Orlando “I am coming I am coming I am coming through, across the divide to you.”
In the fall of 1997 I showed up at a castle armory Whole Health Expo a block from where I worked, renting a booth among the more usual vendors to offer poems and prophecies among crystals and to make some new friends. A number of psychics came up to me and said things like "there's so much more to know about yourself, the spirits say you're not listening". A medical illustrator and ex-Benedictine nun (Hildegard's order, I later discovered) befriended me most, and she stayed with her husband to help me pack up at the end of the weekend. I took a bus home and said to the universe, ok, I did what you asked, what's next? I opened a newspaper and found a little article about preparations to celebrate the 900th birthday of Hildegard of Bingen in the coming year.
My brain absolutely shouted beyond my control and I suddenly knew. "Oh my God, that's me, they remember me! There are people who know what my friends and I did!" I burst into tears and went fully into my next big mystical awakening, ten long years after the last experience. The floodgates were opened, synchronicities were everywhere to be found, and my heart expanded as I shed the spiritual tears every day. I had to quit my job in the struggle to integrate a whole new level of my being, but the corporation fell apart soon after I left anyway (in a corruption scandal of falsified profits, a too common misery today it would seem) so the timing seemed perfectly orchestrated.
Reincarnation had been to me only a poetic theory, and now it was suddenly all too real. I hit a lot of hangups with the potential ego of being someone relatively famous; most people didn’t want to hear about it, and I feared being misunderstood. But Spirit had no problem with me, and many were the joyful lightbeings who visited my little apartment to guide my life forward. One vision of Jesus with his beloved Mary Magdalene was particularly vivid and significant, as He filled me with a fantastic blue light from his eyes that assured me of his absolute reality (I had not personally known previously) and further imparted the lesson that soulmate love is at the heart of Creation. I later read that Hildegard had a vision of a blue Christ that was vital to her as well.
I enjoyed mystical walkabouts and private rituals around the Boston area as led by Spirit. I networked and made refreshing new contacts, albeit most undercover. By phone I thanked author Joan O'Hanneson for her heartfelt new book Scarlet Music: A Life of Hildegard Von Bingen, and we curiously chatted like old friends about how we each dated someone most significant from the other’s college. When Spirit told me to mention Hildegard’s name to a stranger, there would be an enthusiastic connection. One woman I met on the subway sang Hildegard’s music in Italy, discovered her own past life while on tour in Venice, and as the exception more than the rule fully appreciated my identity when I chose to share it. I advised and befriended some young local seekers, and mischievously posted otherworldly manifestos and symbols in key public places and spiritual publications.
I felt mysteriously drawn to the north shore of Boston. The spirit of American inventor John Hayes Hammond Jr. led me around his troubled castle in Gloucester and then to the Swedenborg chapel in Cambridge, where I was met by a host of good spirits including the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, known for the classification of all living things (in the afterlife he classifies souls naturally). I felt called by the mystic philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg (fellow spiritual writer as he was) to help save the church from real estate developers, and in some exchange of good faith I was given the keys to the place. Knowing now that I was Hildegard, and speaking of it only to a few trusted friends, I began there the Mystical Experiences Discussion Group, which led to the annual inspired creative community sharing experience we call the Mystical Art and Talent Show.
I am so grateful for the many good connections that this Swedenborgian strand of my life led me to, including the return of a friend who thought herself to be Jutta, Hildegard's mentor, friend, and later mother superior, who taught her scripture and writing and encouraged Hildegard to trust her own visions. “Cathy” and I together faced painful invalidations and doubts for nearly a decade, including from karmic spouses and ambivalent teachers. But the Universe generously acknowledged us by sending a researcher from Columbia University who felt called to write about the mystics of Cambridge, home as it was to William James who authored the underrated classic The Varieties of Religious Experience a century prior. Courtney Bender became our friend and confidant for a time around 2002, and her splendid book, largely filled with our stories under appropriate aliases and presented in the lineage of American spiritual thinking, was finally published to our surprise and delight a full eight years later.
I would recommend purchasing Courtney's book The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination directly from Amazon for the best pricing on a university press (you can use my site's link). I would just note that by the time I was interviewed as "Eric", I was downplaying the intensity of confessing that I was Hildegard, saying only that I knew she was important to me. I was unfortunately submerging my identity from holding onto some invalidating relationships, against the likes of which I plan to offer defenses in future lessons to fellow aspiring incarnated souls in the world.
Basically, you know from your soul what is your personal truth even as it refines itself, and you know who is making you feel bad just for you trying to be a little more you. You must not settle for abuses, you were handed a plan that was divine. You must believe that you were created by God to be with kinder fellows, as you hold to the humility of becoming both less and more then you ever imagined. Healthy skeptics will want to learn from your truths even as they question the symbols; tyrants will tell you to shut up at key points and repeat what they say. You must believe that your mission is holy, to find who you are in the world. Examine and live your God given life, for it is with the angels, and you are most beautiful there.
Through the 2000's, I feverishly wrote. After a 1998 website which I started in a blessed confusion of attempting to announce that I was Hildegard (so many other spirits came to me in my various untrained states of inspiration and channeling that I experimented with identity and said I was others at certain times, most notably the guides Carolus Linnaeus, John Hayes Hammond Jr., and Charles Babbage, who each helped me assert a more masculine side), I turned to filling web domains with pages upon pages for the Swedenborg Chapel, various spiritual essays, art projects, spiritual fables (Consciousness Fiction I called it, a sort of mythic fantasy style inspired from dreams), and movie reviews.
Analyzing films in particular brought me plenty more spiritual tears. After opening my heart to watching Starman one night, under the guise of The Mystical Movie Guide I collected and promoted rare spiritual classics such as The Dybbuk (1937), The People (1972), Between Two Worlds (1944), and Peter Ibbetson (1935), to name just a few favorites. I networked and traded, submitted articles for an online magazine, and had the pleasure of distantly helping the organization of Stephen Simon (producer of the heartbreaker Somewhere in Time) to launch the Spiritual Cinema Circle with a few choice recommendations. I thought I might have a career in this direction.
But like software, music, art, science fiction and so many other attempts to belong, movie reviewing became another stepping stone to knowing my own place of love in the soul of humanity, through the working out of the symbols of inspired experience. Later I would appreciate the synchronicities, since my ultimate partner was in fact comforting herself through our last lonely decade apart by watching a lot of old movies, singing opera, and becoming a fantasy writer, even as the recurring guides in my night dreams told me that we would soon be together, again and forever.
When my past life soul partner and I met in the fall of 2008, it is very interesting to note that we did not recognize what we were to each other. There was a great spark of mutual interest and many parallels, as we were both into spiritualism and working on a fairy tale in our writers’ group. I had just written a story about a boy who befriends a fairy, and she was working on a novel about a fairy who befriends a boy.
We remained distant however because we were both emotionally preoccupied, not only with the reorganizing of our marriages, but also with a spirit who had become prominent in our personal lives. The younger female guide from my night dreams had convinced me that I was her true love, and had recently called a great wedding together with all of our friends. I referred to her now as my causal partner for various nightly field trips and classes, assuming she was to remain discarnate. You see, I had accustomed and adapted myself to living as my soul on other planes of existence. I literally never dreamed that my perfect mate was to be found in my physical reality.
The new woman in my writer's group had been drawn to Rockport, north of Gloucester, by the ghost of a past life lover who was still waiting for her from the eary 1800's when they had been separated as teens by disapproving families, leading her to die unexpectedly. She likewise did not consider that the soul of her mate could be reincarnated, and she worked as any good medium should, off and on for over a year, to send her old flame into the light.
That we were each other's spirit partners took us almost two years to discover. When we compared notes it explained everything, including my obsession with the Rockport/Gloucester area which John Hayes Hammond Jr. had guided me from (even as a teen the song “Dogtown” by Harry Chapin paralyzed my emotions, and that was about the 19th century widows of the area). My Rockport lifetime of utter romantic loss was entirely personal with no direct bearing to Hildegard, since after the heartbreak I hadn't the will to awaken any further potentials. The devastated teenager became a melancholy coastal merchant, unremarkably married, and lost at sea in his early thirties. But with the help of Rudolf Steiner and Ahtun Re, I have come to appreciate how that experience was carried over into my next lifetime, when an obsessive 19th century Russian poet married eternal romanticism with classical philosophy for a new theology of divine human love, however unrequited that wisdom might remain to his own lonely passing at the age of – you guessed it – 47 years old, just like me and my old life that was ending.
When my soul partner and I opened up to each other in early 2010, she was attending the Swedenborg Chapel for a talk I was co-leading on the nature of magical beings in dreams. It’s wonderful to note that a great synchronicity had come full circle, wherein I discovered that the girlfriend of my co-presenter was the best friend of the librarian I'd let go years before. Worlds aligned for a third great mystical awakening of my life, in which God told me that my writer friend was the one that had been promised to me (recall the dream wedding). For the next six months my new beloved supported me through a very intense yet blessed phase of releasing many more past lives and karmic recollections. I cried more than I ever thought possible; I heard the fairies tenderly refer to me as the crying saint. I recalled Lazaris saying in a workshop in Philadelphia on love, you’ll be amazed at how many tears you have to shed.
As I understand it now, there are two main kinds of tears. The human tears of pain harden us for survival when we find ourselves going into a reality of separation from our love and joy. The spiritual tears of healing are released when our soul rejoins us in a manifested life of great happiness and celebration. As much as the world is meant to be a different place, a place that is divine complete and whole, that is how many tears of spiritual reunion we will have the opportunity to feel. It is truly a sign of great courage and strength to weep for the return of the love of God in our lives.
By the summer of 2010, after surrendering to the love so many years and layers of suppression and repression, I was ready to take the next supported step of exploring what it meant to be Hildegard. A series of rapid synchronicities boosted me beyond my wildest dreams. I tried my first past life regression with a wonderful therapist named Jonathan Yorks, who had given a talk for me at the chapel art show in the fall of 2007. The session was very successful, and answered many of my questions about Hildegard's emotional experience. I could better relate to that cult of virginity in which she did not miss sex but she missed her soulmate.
At the same time I found Margarethe von Trotta's film and ordered a German import, happily noting on the phone to London with my friend “Cathy” that it had debuted the previous year at Telluride on her birthday, and in Rome on mine. From the unforgettable opening scene - “That is the sun! That is the sun!” - I wept gratefully (appearances of Apollo have become very special to my mate and me). I also discovered online that Courtney's book had been finally published some weeks before, so my claim to being Hildegard was actually in print already! Courtney had declined to tell us, from sensitivity about the project into which she'd put so much of her heart, and figuring that if we were truly mystics then we'd find out when we were ready.
Within days I heard that Hildegard's play the Ordo Virtutum was being performed for the first time in the Boston area since 1998, a performance I had so enjoyed by myself. This time I could take my ultimate partner! After I bought tickets (and cried a river to Richardis), I further discovered that I needn't worry to translate Margarethe's film for my partner to view in preparation, because its debut with subtitles in Boston was coming the same week as the play's performance. This serendipity of course delighted the musical director, who turned out to be a friend of the old friend whom I then ran into again for the first time since 1998, who had herself sung the part of Humilitas, Queen of the Virtues, on her life-changing tour through Italy in the 1980’s.
Then, to really put the icing on the cake (oh thank you Universe!), when the week of the movie and play arrived, a young German man was introduced to me first thing at work. Here is Christian they said, an intern visiting us for two weeks from the German office. I got the intuition to ask him where he was from, and his answer placed him just south of Bingen. Softly I dared to asked, do you know Hildegard? Oh, everyone knows Hildegard where I’m from, he laughed! I praised God inwardly and gave him directions to the theatre which was very close to his hotel. He could hardly believe his good fortune to arrive in the states just in time to see a film about his hometown region. Neither could I.
The day after the movie and just before the play, I found a reference online about Hildegard being also a Russian poet, according to the work of Rudolf Steiner as further illuminated by Robert Powell. I panicked, wondering what would happen if I looked up the name Vladimir Soloviev, which I'd never heard spoken but sounded familiar. I burst into tears, as I found a face and a bio and quotes that brought me all at once home to a missing piece of my soul. I was filled with gratitude for the obvious explanation to my Russian experience, which had seemed so incongruous with my German upbringing. I had long been drawn to the mysterious Rasputin and his era, and I had often comforted myself to imagine a big Russian man inside of me. In recent years I’d enjoyed my collection of specially ordered Russian fairy tale films, legendary as they are in their homeland, plus Soviet era science fiction.
I recalled that when I greatly upset my father with my talk of being Hildegard in 1998, my mother was more curiously sympathetic, reminding me that her favorite novel had long been The Brothers Karamazov. She implored me to read it, claiming I would see myself in some of the characters and thereby learn something important. But I never got beyond reading about the author and feeling so concerned for his seizures. I had hoped that his condition brought him some wonder, like I had known since childhood from my own migraine auras (Oliver Sacks and others speculate that Hildegard’s visions were in part thus inspired). What I could now understand was that Fyodor Dostoyevsky was the close friend of Vladimir Soloviev, and one of the Karamazov brothers was based on Vladimir, another lifetime of my soul! I am humbled now for what a mother knows about her own son.
"Beauty will save the world." I sob with spiritual tears as I repeat this transcendent quote from my friend Fyodor, as powerful to me now as it was to Vladimir. I know that there is nothing more beautiful than the reunion of immortal love. It is offered to us from God, during our lives, by the way of reincarnated friends. There are reasons that souls travel in groups, very personal reasons that are your own to discover.
Most remarkable to me was that Vladimir and I knew and loved the same spirit. At the age of 9, Vladimir had a vision in church of a goddess with whom he fell in total love and spent the rest of his life seeking. This is the same age that determined the course of my life when I was in the fourth grade, when I saw the ghost girl in my heart and mind, and imagined the boy who found her to forever stay by her side. It is also the age when Hildegard was given to the church by her family, so there would seem to be a milestone here for my journey Home.
For Vladimir, this divine woman was his Sophie, an incarnation of Sophia the goddess of wisdom. He wrote endless poetry to her and made theories for how to align and incarnate the human form within divine adoration. This had been exactly the course of my own personal life, as with every earthly relationship I sought the one to whom I was devoted in heaven. Vladimir described her as blond, dressed in azure, and bringing the scent of roses. I called her the blond woman, the light anima, and she came from the blueness of sky. In one particularly vivid dream, shortly before my soulmate and I started dating, a woman so gentle handed me a small bottle of oil from the rose of heaven. I inhaled a fragrance so intensely divine that I have never experienced anything like it in my waking life. I was joyful for many days afterward, reminiscent to how I felt when Jesus filled me with the blue light from his eyes.
Neither Vladimir nor I have any problem with the concept of the Goddess incarnating in everyone's own beloved; the trick is to walk the path of the Soul one is seeking to both be and be with. Recall that the Universe is totally personal, indeed multi-personal. The goal of our evolution is to align and resonate with the ultimate Source of all Creation, so as to offer externally by our devotion one sacred role which reflects from the internal whole.
The wisdom is not new, but its application can be. Even now I am researching and rediscovering a precious familiarity with ancient Hindu Shaktism, predating yet another lifetime I know when my soulmateand I were tragically separated in India by a rigid caste system, not unlike what happened in Rockport. I am grateful that shortly before my beloved and I started dating in 2010, Sri Aurobindo introduced himself to me as a kindred spirit in a dream: his lifetime overlapped with Vladimir’s, and both wrote poems to the love of soulmates while foretelling the unity of spirit and matter.
For the soul of Vladimir, I could perhaps say more about my feelings for Russia, and how I had come years before to visit Moscow and feel for the city where he had been born. I regretted then not making it to St. Petersburg where now I learned Vladimir dwelled, and was instead blessed with the opportunity to fly to Krasnodar, just north of Turkey, to adopt the love of a most significant friend. But the mention of Turkey segues nicely into the next revelation that would come from Steiner.
As I collected more of Vladimir’s writings (absolutely paralleling my own thinking, often down to the phrasing ) and determined which volume of Karmic Relationships I needed, I reopened a dialog with Carla, one of the first artists I intuitively recruited for the Mystical Art and Talent Show back in 2001. I had never forgotten Carla, always meaning to ask her more about her studies of Steiner which I knew were extensive. She turned out to be just the person I needed to open to more of my soul, as she resonates with having been an illustrator for Hildegard (one of the mandalas feels like her own work). To Carla I could tell my reactions at reading Steiner’s description of the soul of Vladimir in a great arc of history, beginning with the First Council of Nicaea. There, as a theologian, he was greatly concerned for the nature of the trinity and how best to preserve that bridge of the Holy Spirit between the divine and the human.
This all sounded so familiar to me and made more perfect sense! Recalling college again, one of my first musical experiments after visiting Germany was a song poem to my inexplicable feelings around consubstantiation versus transubstantiation. I was not raised Catholic, this was not part of my usual vocabulary. In “Consubstantiation in the Brothel” I repeated the phrase “you must love until it hurts”, and I assure you that this was stated from reverence and not for simple sensation. The debates of Nicaea can seem academic and petty to modern minds, but consciousness was different back then. I had already wondered if I was there, when in the summer of 2010 my friend Cathy/Jutta called me from London to say she was exploring the Spirit-inspired idea that her soul energy might have previously expressed itself in the personality of St. Basil, and could I relate to being his friend Gregory of Nazianzus from Turkey, who had passionately championed for certain views of the trinity? Now here I was just a few months later reading Steiner asking me the same thing, but without the specifics of name!
Since then I have also read some of Gregory's writings. As with Hildegard and Vladimir before him, I resonate so deeply that I immediately know what it means to my soul, and just a little goes a very long way. One poem in praise of virginity sounded to me just like Hildegard talking, only now I suddenly understood as a man why virginity had been so highly regarded. Perhaps it will seem obvious to other folks, but for the first time I really got it, that when one is seeking to birth the Christ consciousness in one's self, one wishes to be like Mother Mary.
As Ahtun Re so kindly and humorously suggested while validating all of these lifetimes of mine, what with so many of them being such prolific writers, "It’s nice that you left yourself so many postcards!"
In conclusion, I would just like to say that of course this is all still just the beginning for the human condition. If even one true story of eternal love, whether my own or somebody else's, can stir your own soul to awaken for the hope of a world in which it is safe to be more of who you truly are, then all of our fumbling wide-eyed explorations together for what it means to be spirit in a God given body - from the circularities of synchronicity which confound linear thinking to the ecstatic expansions of identity that dare to seek ultimate answers - then yes these our baby steps, whose inelegance might alternately amuse and distress higher beings, will have been so very worth the risk of our egos and precious time spent.
God is so very close now to saving our planet because we are in the process of saving ourselves. You can feel this in the wealth of free thinking and heart open sharing that has become possible and ever more inevitable across a modern hyper-connected global culture. Do not be fooled by what is not symbolic. Have hope and trust in that which is hopeful and trustworthy. Gaia is calling you Home.
So now you know, here I am too. I had a dream recently that there were three kinds of heroes currently being assembled and organized in great teams for this planet. The first kind of hero is the people who are famous today and working for tomorrow; in the dream I saw President Obama as a prime example. The second kind of hero is those who are coming out of retirement, for they rally the people in nostalgic trust and broad recognition. It’s like in the Star Trek movies when the original actors make a cameo appearance and everyone cheers; in the dream for some reason I saw Han Solo with Chewbacca returning. The third kind of hero is the helpers whom no one was expecting, no one was counting on them, and their effect will be grand. Into this group I was being conducted, and as I looked about with such a lucid and playful excitement, I knew that the day was fast approaching when I would reveal my secret identity to an amazed and awakening world. I smiled and laughed in the dream, for I was fully aware that I was Hildegard.
Can you imagine whom else God alone is expecting, what beautiful souls are being readied to know precisely who they are (previously seen or not) and what a difference they will arrive to make for us all? Please, I beseech you, do not become territorial for the return of your own champions. This is Earth now! By the power of the Holy Spirit, every human being is infinite in function and potential. Look around you, and become brave enough to return the gaze of imploring eyes, those in the dire needs that cry out for the solutions that last, that matter, that sustain from the heart. And then expect the miracles that freshly stem from your own sacred willingness to love and support a divinely returning humanity. Truly, we have not yet begun to imagine what greatness we are still together becoming!
Thank you for considering the words of one joyful scribe. I am here now, and I will continue to write as I must. I am currently working on my first book in the spare time I can muster. I seek alliances and friendships, partners and patrons in the Great Work. I would encourage the support and expansion of Walter Semkiw’s non-profit IISIS organization, and you can read more of my own latest views at the New Earth Light blog.
About the photos:
(a) An icon of Gregory of Nazianzus and a painting of Vladimir Soloviev show the same extreme taste in facial hair. I haven’t tried something like that since college though!
(b) The side by side and inverted photo comparisons of Vladimir Soloviev and myself are in the style used by Walter Semkiw to demonstrate that, surprisingly, lifetimes tend to retain similar facial structure even across changes in race and gender. The soul makes itself as a template visible.
(c) An early image of Hildegard receiving a vision with her helpers Volmar and possibly Richardis.
(d) A happy view of me has no comparison for Vladimir sorry to say, he was too stressed for the coming 20th century.
Footnote:  Here’s an example of a shared phrase across lifetimes that particularly startled me. To vent my anger around the preventable and inexcusable economic collapse of 2008, and regarding the holes in the human safety net of the freedom-obsessed American society, I became fond of saying that “people here have the freedom to die of starvation”. Years later I found in lecture one of Godmanhood, Vladimir critiques the French revolution that might just prove to create a new system for the elite to abuse and rule within, saying “freedom is very often but the freedom to die of hunger.” So yes, my soul is very concerned for social justice and the tikkun olam, and the answer to the suffering that I have discovered must and shall evermore be, to sing praises to the eternal powers of Love that make so obsolete the old loves of power in the hearts of All who would call themselves men.
2011 Six Month Followup: Ah, what a little time must bring us sadly round to tell! I did some more research into Vladimir’s views on love as my own have evolved, and found he wrote that unrequited earthly love is the best circumstance for forcing one’s sights to the divine, and likewise that a happy human couple will not achieve the highest revelations. Such cynicism, what was his problem we may ask? Oh, I know. Turns out that he and I suffer the same limitation, related I suppose to Hildegard’s sacred celibacy, or Jakob Boehme’s fixation on the androgyne before the Fall. I have no doubt that some twin soul couples make lovely lasting conscious cocreative pairs, but many do not, despite the potential of divine design which must defer to free will. For every “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” as written by Elizabeth Browning to her soul twin husband Robert, there are more testaments to the passing of colleagues, karmic partners like so many others even as they remain eternal complements (dipoles in the terminology of Walter Semkiw). The patterns were always there to see, it’s such a madly predicted world. Alas, my soul partner and I have helped each other activate potentials and gone separate ways. Sorry, it was a great love story while it lasted, but it seems that twin flames are the creation partners who need to reunite in order to exit the old reality and begin the new, like college lab partners who must submit a final project and graduate together to then do what they will. Infinite possibilities await those who survive the heartbreak of what seemed perfect becoming flawed, but divergence was the nature of the Fall, and reconvergence will reorganize those who belong together now.
Three male philosophers of the divine feminine and the precise nature of a loving God 1575-1624 Jakob Boehme in Germany 1853-1900 Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov in Russia 1963- Carl Johann Schroeder in United States
yes they really did like their big collars and goatees, so one great benefit of finding your past lives is that you can finally let go of your old fashion obsessions!
all original materials including writings copyright 2011 Carl Johann Schroeder, all rights reserved. Hildegard era illuminations and historical paintings/photographs from public domain.