The Ghost of Charles Dickens – Part 1

Bust of Charles DickensI have been speaking about past lives John and I have experienced on the earth plane together as ‘Soul Mates,’ and I would like to speak about more past lives awakened together in our travels to sacred places. Before that though, it seems upstairs wanted to assist John with health problems and behavioural problems that existed between us. We are total opposites in personality and yet that has become an opportunity to find balance with each other and in so doing; we have been teaching each other. And so we dive into a two part tale of a great teller of tales (a stage actor, really), John’s past-life as Charles Dickens.

(From our book Two Soulmates walking through time and History.)

We know past lives are real … I casually ask John about how he feels he has developed the ability to remember? I know meditation is a good start, it gives opportunity to examine the psychology of one’s own mind, not just the brain. “We know your weak leg/ankle has a past-life memory causing it, and my skin disease and allergies definitely has.” We have, of course, inherited the karma that exists in our body from the previous soul’s karma as well as our own. “John, how do you think you gained the ability to go into a regressed state where you see other lives?”

“Because I am fundamentally psychic. I didn’t realize it at first but I do now. It’s an awareness, I can almost predict what’s going to happen in business and in all sorts of stuff. In fact if you worry about something hard enough it will go wrong.” John was on his soap-box now, “ To get people to understand what past-lives and regression is all about I think the starting point is to ask people what they think is deja-vu. Because deja-vu is totally in line with past-life regression. If you sit down and think I have done that before, or go somewhere and think I have been here before, although you know you haven’t not in this life anyway; then your mind can go backwards and you start to pick-up the vibes, the insight.”

“Does remembering past-lives help you in anyway John?”

“The memories are very clear, I can see them as visions. I remember catching the Admiral from the Spanish Armada. The affect upon me was reminding me of my? deep warrior spirit. I think I have always been a warrior in past-lives. I do have rather an aggressive nature. In the `Drake’ memory it also reminded me of chivalry – for instance giving the Admiral a stylish dinner before sending him to his incarceration. In other words I always respect rank, even of the enemy, as being equal to me. I apply that in my business dealings now. I suppose you could say I use words like swords to sometimes win a deal. I try to keep a sense of humour though, to make people laugh – I enjoy that. You know when I think about it, there are two sides to a warrior. One on the side of good and one on the side of evil. It depends on which side your on – doesn’t it? In fact it matters little which side you are on, everyone believes they are right and on the side of God. Makes war senseless, because nobody learns anything from it -in fact nobody really wins, all get hurt.”

One on the side of good and one on the side of evil. It depends on which side your on – doesn’t it?

I add, “Yes, I totally agree. I am a pacifist by nature. Some people would say that’s an easy way out, but I would rather sit down and discuss issues to resolve any differences. You know, respect everyone having different points of view but looking for consensus. I’ve experienced people arguing about something only to find when they expressed themselves in a different way, with different words, they found they actually agreed about the issue at hand and that they didn’t disagree at all. Or if they still disagreed, it was only an aspect of the issue at hand, not all of it – making it easier to reach consensus.”

John muses, “I suppose I could say the memory diminished my fear of death, and made me aware I needed to curb my aggressiveness and anger. In some way the memories helped me to release some of the aggression in me by becoming aware how deeply it is entrenched in me. It also alerted me to the knowledge that there is something besides this incarnation that I wasn’t aware of before. There are not many people that I know that have flash backs like that.”

“No, it’s not a usual thing.”

I have been speaking about past lives John and I have experienced on the earth plane together as ‘Soul Mates,’ and I would like to speak about more past lives awakened together in our travels to sacred places. Before that though, it seems upstairs wanted to assist John with health problems and behavioural problems that existed between us. We are total opposites in personality and yet that has become an opportunity to find balance with each other and in so doing; we have been teaching each other. He has helped me to become more vocal, and not shy, about what I think – particularly if I felt I was being accused of something unfairly. There was a need for John to stop drinking, because his health was at serious risk. There have been times when his behaviour and words towards me were loud and angry, usually after drinking too much alcohol. This was extremely painful to me and not acceptable so when I asked upstairs to help me…..they replied, “Leave him to us.!” This is how it unfolded…

John is now speaking:

“I had a blood test which showed that my gamma GT’s were becoming dangerously high levels and if I didn’t stop drinking, then the chances are that I would get cirrhosis of the liver and it would kill me. On that basis the doctor said to me, “Can you reduce your alcohol intake in the business you are in?” To which I said, “Good God no, no way. But I tell you what I will do, I’ll stop drinking completely for the next ninety days – and come back for another blood test and see what sort of an impact that may have had on me, right?”

“Which I did, and the boys said Dad will never stop drinking, and that was enough for me to stay off it, and I thought I’ll show you, you little buggers … and I did stop drinking for ninety days. Then I went back and had another test and the gamma GT’s had stabilized and reduced slightly – and then over a period of time it came back to normal.”

This was helped in the meantime, when I saw my friend Dr. Choong in Singapore, who is a graduate of Monash University, Melbourne – he put together a concoction of snake penis, ginseng etc. ground up in a pestle and mortar and put into capsules – whereupon for three days in Singapore I had a massive detox – diarrhoea, vomiting, sweating – the lot, I was very sick -and then when I went back after another ninety days and had a blood test, it was back to a normal level.”

I was 58 years old, and a cycle tied in with a past life memory of me dying at 58 years old from alcohol in another life.

Within days, our friend Helen, the one who is gifted in reading ‘past lives’ sent John this typed information on monogrammed paper of a Dove of Peace.

“As I tune in, it is the early 18th century England. I see you as a little boy. Your father’s name is John and he has some connection with the Navy. Now I see your father jobless and in great financial difficulties. You and your mother live in the back of some old house in very primitive conditions. You are growing up with a sense of neglect and wasted talents and in bitter humiliation. Your father is always away – there is something shameful about it – you heard people say that he is in prison – but you are not sure. Your mother teaches you to read – for a few years you go to school while the family could afford it. While still a child of ten or so, you were sent to work – I can see you in a very dirty job – you are covered from head to toe in black dirt.

Now there is money again in the family and you are being sent to school again. As you grow up I see you working in a lawyer’s office – I can see you doing lots of shorthand. I see you going in and out of courts – just like a reporter with notebooks of shorthand. I see you sketching – I see you writing stories – information seems to flow from your head through the hand. Immense talents in writing come to the fore. I see you becoming well known in social circles later on and also as an entertainer. I see you surrounded by books. You are writing books – there is a big human story in every one of your books.

I can see you in a terrible railway accident – it came so suddenly and unexpected. I see you being trapped at the back of a carriage – unable to reach the exit – being surrounded by screaming and injured people. You move in and out of consciousness – you are shocked to the core of your being at being trapped by one leg and completely at the mercy of others. You are eventually being rescued – suffering injuries to one of your legs – but the nervous shock from this experience remained with you to the end of this particular life. In fact your life was never the same again – you worked hard and you became very much exhausted but at the same time your life became more enriched in many ways.

Although you had been married before the accident – the marriage was not happy and you had separated. After that accident you saw things in a different light. You were 58 years of age, when you passed over to the Other Side – having had a life well lived and having been enriched by the adversities of life … … with this my visions faded. … ”

We both read the reading with intense interest and I exclaimed John, “I think this is the life of Charles Dickens.” John’s family are connected to Charles Dicken’s bloodline. His great, great, great aunt was Charles Dicken’s mother Elizabeth Barrow. When they were alive, John’s mother and father used to attend Dickensian Dinners held in London.

I remember when John took me to London, not long after we were married, we visited the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. As I looked at the Bust of Charles Dickens – I couldn’t help thinking how alike he was to my John.

The day after we read the reading we were out grocery shopping, when John excused himself while he dashed away to buy a book. He loves reading and keeps saying, “I have to write a book.”

He returned excitedly waving a book at me about “Dickens” written by Peter Ackroyd. John knew a fair bit of the history of Dickens but neither of us had heard of him being in a serious railway accident. We quickly looked at the index of the book, and sure enough Charles Dickens had been in a serious rail accident at Staplehurst.

“The Staplehurst rail crash was a railway accident at Staplehurst, Kent, England, which occurred on 9 June 1865 and in which ten passengers were killed and 40 injured. It is remembered particularly for its effects on the author Charles Dickens, who was travelling as a passenger in a carriage of a “Boat Train” (with passengers from France), with his companions Ellen Ternan and her mother. His lower leg was injured and he risked his life re-entering the carriage dangerously balanced over water to rescue his latest manuscript, but not before giving comfort and assistance to injured and dying fellow passengers.

One of the only photographs taken of the Staplehurst Rail Disaster, taken several days afterwards.

In a quiet moment, I held Peter Ackroyd’s book in my hands and asked my Mentor ‘upstairs’ did I share a part, in the life of Charles Dickens? The book fell open and my eyes were drawn to one particular paragraph about Ellen Ternan. “Described as a pretty, fair haired girl, only 18 years of age, and not a very good actress. She must have been a nervous girl for she suffered with a nervous rash.” She and her two sisters were employed by Charles in his stage performances of ‘character readings’ from his novels, and they always travelled with their mother.

It is recorded that Charles was not the same after his accident, often suffering panic attacks in crowded places. He continued giving public readings – entertaining people far and wide. It is said there was a lot of scandal regarding his friendship with Ellen Ternan, and that he was hopelessly infatuated with her, 30 years his junior. In fact the gossip became so bad, Ellen Ternan and her mother Francis, were moved to live in France – and this was arranged by Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens wife, and her socialite women friends, were convinced he was having an affair with ‘that woman’ and was the reason he had left home.

Charles would fly into a rage about gossip, for there was no truth to their friendship being any thing other than above repute. Charles Dickens was to write what became known as “The Violated Letter“. On May 25, 1858 saw fit to give his manager, Arthur Smith, a statement which would later become known as “the violated letter.” He instructed Smith to “show it to anyone who wishes to do me right, or to anyone who may have been misled into doing me wrong.” Smith apparently showed the letter around and it was published, without Smith’s knowledge, in the New York Tribune on August 16, 1858 and then reported throughout England. You can read The Violated Letter (opens in new window).

His mistrust of women, is being played out in this life – even to the point that John’s first wife had accused me of ‘stealing him’ despite us not meeting until after he was divorced. This gossip, and the damage caused by it in Dicken’s life, is something John has to come to terms with … … That healing has been given after the release of the past life memory, where he no longer has a problem trusting women. He also suffered agoraphobia particularly when travelling overseas and this has now healed with the release of the memory of the serious train disaster. Having stopped drinking, he is not as angry any more – thus his words he uses towards me, if at times we don’t agree, are far more acceptable.

John, in this life, still loves telling stories, in his beautiful English voice, using accents where necessary to colour and amuse his listeners. If he is standing, he still throws his arm up in the air, turns and walks away with a flourish, when he has finished the story – reminiscent to leaving the stage after a performance.

It was no coincidence when John found himself on business in Melbourne (a few weeks after all this began to unfold) that there happened to be a performance of Charles Dickens’ Characters being enacted on stage. I shall let him tell his story.

Charles Dickens at 48

“It all started out when I was doing a business trip down to Melbourne and I was walking down Bourke St – there is a theatre down there it’s name doesn’t come readily to me as it is some years ago now. When I saw on the billboard ‘An Evening with Charles Dickens’ I thought ‘Oh Yes’ bearing in mind my family association with Charles Dickens – Elizabeth Barrow was my great, great, great, Aunt and who was Charles Dickens mother.

Well, I rang my wife Valerie and said do you think I should go and see this or what!

To which she said, “Of course you must, it is part of your family.”

So I went into the theatre and up to the box office, it was about 6.30 in the evening, and I asked the lady in the box office do you have any seats for tonight’s session and she said, “Yes we have a few sir.” So I said that’s nice, so how much will that be. She said, “Oh, $68.00 including GST” and I thought, “Bloody Hell, that’s a bit hairy.”

So I pulled out my senior’s card and I said, “any discount for seniors?” “Yes”, was the reply, “I can give you 10% off for that.”

Whilst I was negotiating this, quite a tall gentleman, with a long cheroot hanging out of his mouth, stepped into the box office and there was something about him that made me want to talk to him.

I said, “And who might you be, might I ask?”

“Oh, I ‘m the producer of this show” and I said, “Oh really, are there any special discounts for family?”

He said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “Well Charles Dicken’s mother was my great, great, great Aunt, Elizabeth Barrow

It was his turn to say, “Oh really, would $40.00 be alright?” and I agreed with a big grin. Then he said “Tell you what, I want you to meet Simon Callow who was doing the stage show of all the Dicken’s Characters on his own.

It was almost a soliloquy. “I’d like you to meet Simon Callow after the show, can you manage that? I said, “Sure.”

Anyway to cut a long story short I went to see this show. Simon Callow took Charles Dickens off exactly the way Dickens did in his lifetime – because it is not altogether known that in fact Charles Dickens was far more famous in his lifetime for his show on stage, taking off all his characters. Simon Callow was on the stage non-stop, for three and half hours and he went through something like 42 different Dicken’s characters. I was absolutely mesmerized.

It was quite sensational, and because of my bloodline and the fact that Elizabeth Barrow was a bit of an actress in her own right, and came from a very wealthy family I thought it was as if the characters were coming through me. It was riveting … I felt as if I was there with Dickens

I met Simon Callow after the show and he was delighted that Charles Dickens mother’s great, great, great nephew had turned up and we enjoyed a quiet drink together.

I also ought to add; I asked Simon Callow if he knew about the incident about Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria. He said, “No, what are you talking about?”

Well, Queen Victoria commanded Charles Dickens to attend Buckingham Palace to giver her a private showing of his talents because she had heard so much about it. “When Charles Dickens was told this, he said, “You can tell that bloody woman she can come to my theatre.” Which she did.

Yet Dickens spurned all the royal invitations to Buckingham Palace in the following years, refused to perform one or more of his public readings for her or present one of his celebrated charity stage plays for the Queen, giving a variety of regretful reasons and excuses.

Her Majesty, who is known to have read Oliver Twist and dipped into the Pickwick Papers, countered in 1857 by taking a royal party to the Gallery in Regent’s Street, where Dickens was performing his latest play.

She wrote in her diary that it was “most touching, admirably acted by Charles Dickens,” the production being full of “reckless suspense” aided by charming scenery with additional music.

She returned home at half past midnight, and an equerry subsequently told Dickens: “The Queen and the Prince were delighted with the dramatic treat last night. I’ve hardly ever seen Her Majesty and HRH so much pleased.”