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UR2 Appendix 22: (For Session 724) 24/52 (46%) Roman soldier tower Jerusalem Peter
– The "Unknown" Reality: Volume Two
– Appendix 22: Seth on Simultaneous Lives. Rob’s Fourth Roman-Soldier Vision
– (For Session 724)

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(The day before the 724th session was held on December 4, I had another experience involving internal perceptions of myself as a Roman soldier in the first century A.D. As far as I can tell, however, this latest episode was not a continuation of my three visions of last October, in which I saw the end of my life while I was an officer in the armed forces of Imperial Rome1 — yet this time also I confronted circumstances surrounding my own death. The little adventure certainly fits in with Seth’s idea of counterparts, as he introduced it in the 721st session, but it raises a number of questions, too. Jane discussed my previous “visits” to the first century in Chapter 4 of her Psychic Politics, but [I can add later] she never did deal with this one. I don’t mind noting that I wish she had.2 She might have been able to offer insights about it that I couldn’t come up with, especially concerning the seemingly endless abilities of the psyche — call it personalized energy, consciousness, or what-have-you — to travel through its own space and time.

(With some elaborations, the following account of my “fourth Roman” is directly from the description I wrote upon awakening. The notes, added later, are intended to give a minimum of “ordinary” background material, and to explore a few of the questions referred to above.)

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“Not long after I closed my eyes I saw, almost in silhouette, a Roman soldier standing on the top of a square, crenelated tower that formed a corner or angle in a massive stone wall. My position was at ground level. I’d lost all sensation of my body lying on the cot. The scene was very faint, so much so that it might almost be called more of an idea than an image. The sky behind the soldier was darkly overcast; I was aware of very little color. I ‘knew’ that the tower I faced marked the southeastern corner of Jerusalem, and I ‘knew’ that the wall itself was an enormous fortification that had surrounded that ancient city sometime during the first half of the first century A.D.

“As I looked up at the soldier’s head and shoulders, I believe (with some hesitancy) that I confronted another version of myself. The whole thing was so nebulous — I was almost a disinterested observer, as I’d been while perceiving my first three Roman episodes. Perhaps this affair was engendered by a book I’ve just started to read; it contains descriptions of the long siege that Imperial Rome, whose military forces had occupied Palestine for 60 years, began against a rebellious Jerusalem in the year 66. I don’t know whether or not the city had a wall surrounding it earlier in that century, but assume it did.3

“There was something very contradictory about the affair: The soldier-self I saw atop the tower was a Roman — whereas, according to the little I know of those times, such a position should have been occupied by a native Jew, who was perhaps a lookout for the city behind him. I saw, dimly, the outline of the typical Roman helmet, what seemed to be a leather vestment or short-sleeved garment, the upper portion of the shaft of a spear. I don’t think the ‘me’ I watched was an officer, as had been the case in my third Roman, of October 30.

“What would a Roman soldier be doing up there?, I wondered. For below, on the flat ground outside the wall, were the hordes4 of the Roman army. I don’t know whether they were preparing for an attack, or had some other reason to be assembled there. I saw only a forest of helmets and spears pointing upward, with light glinting dully on metal here and there. I write ‘saw,’ yet it would be just as accurate to note that I sensed these figures. They were turned toward the soldier on the tower.

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“Now the scene changed, as one might change a slide in a projector. In another little drama, motionless like the first one, I saw my Roman soldier suspended in the act of falling from the tower. He had, in truth, been thrown off it, and I believe that he was either dead or mortally wounded from stab wounds. He had a bandage wrapped around the biceps of his left arm. Now I knew that a ‘task force’ of other Roman soldiers had carried out this assault, reaching ‘me’ by climbing the steps already described. I saw no sign of others on the tower, though. I kept this second image in mind for some time before allowing myself to realize that the victim fell amid a group of his fellows. One of them, I believe, ran a spear into the body.

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“When I got up half an hour later I hurriedly typed the first version of this account. I also tried to capture the overcast mood of the entire episode in a couple of quick drawings done on typing paper with a ballpoint pen. First I drew my Roman soldier standing half-visible behind the squared crenelations on top of the tower; then I drew him falling, poised face up against the tower wall.6

“Several interesting — and frustrating — questions are raised by today’s episode. As stated, this makes the second time that I’ve had an experience involving the violent death of a Roman soldier in the earlier part of the first century A.D. (I never did arrive at names for those two militant individuals.) Perhaps both instances are merely my own psychological reflections of present concerns or challenges, although I think that more is involved. Given Seth’s concept of simultaneous time, the best connection I’ve made so far between the two soldiers is that as counterparts of mine they explore questions having to do with authority. As I rebel against authority now — a characteristic remarked upon by Seth in the 721st session — so do my Roman selves in their times.

“My own defiance is a peaceful one having to do with ideas. I see my two Romans physically undergoing an exploration of the opposite sides of rebellion or subversion, within the context of a much closer, more oppressive military authority: For whatever reasons, the Roman officer is turned upon and thrown into the Mediterranean to drown (as described in Note 1 for the 715th session)7; my Roman soldier, a man of lesser rank, has evidently betrayed his sworn position of trust, and is caught in authority’s vice. I think all of this could be counterpart action, all right, personified by two selves living in the same narrow time period, in close proximity in the same geographical area of the Middle East.8

“However, more questions arise from the fact that over three years ago, long before any of my Roman experiences surfaced, I’d obtained vivid information on another life I’d known in the same part of the first century. And not only that — as a man called Nebene I’d spent part of my life in Rome itself. Seth referred to Nebene in the 721st session also.9 Here too, through that individual, the ramifications of authority are confronted again; if in a way less drastic than one involving death, still certainly in a very dogmatic manner, as expressed through Nebene’s rigid personality. The list grows. Counterparts all — three simultaneous lives in which I seemed to play a part, although, as explained below, I insist that I participated in each one of those existences in my own way.

“Seth’s data and my own on counterparts make sense to me. I feel (as Seth mentioned in the 721st session) that I wasn’t Nebene, or two different Roman soldiers per se, but rather that my whole self chose to manifest such personalities together; that I, too, am such a manifestation at a “later” time, then, and that from my own vantage point I can tune in to those other lives. But I question, at least provisionally, any idea of past or counterpart lives that I lived one hundred percent. At this writing, I think that I am living my only one hundred percent life now, with the privilege of occasionally being able to focus upon scattered portions of those other existences emanating from my whole self, which has its basic reality outside of our space-time concepts.10

“Assuming that my internal data about those three lives are reasonably correct, it may be, as Jane said recently, that the psyche is so incredibly rich that anything is possible. Is that true? (Humorously:) I’ll have a hell of a time with my list of chronological lives (which I have yet to work on, by the way) if I start turning up a whole group of them in one historical period. What if I happen to list half of the Roman army? I need to know more — lots more.”

(Jane held her ESP class that same evening. Long after class break toward the end of the night, I presented my fourth Roman by reading from the notes just given. Class members passed my sketches around. Almost immediately Seth came through with further elaborations on his ideas about counterparts. He also cleared up a few points for me. Seth:)

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You form your history. You form your reality, and so no one is thrust into a position which first was not accepted as a challenge. So you work out your problems and challenges in whatever way you choose, historically. In your terms, again, you and the Roman are connected; and the Arab and the American; and the African and the Chinese; and so are your identities intermixed with others who may seem to be strangers, but others who speak with your own voice — others who communicate with you in their dreams as you communicate with them. You have comrades, and you come to this earth at a given time and place of your choice, and so do you reap and form the great challenges of your age.

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(I was in for a surprise as the students discussed Seth’s remarks. One class member, a close friend whom I’ll call Peter Smith, is an artist and sculptor; after studying my Roman sketches, he had a note passed across the crowded room to me:)

[... 12 paragraphs ...]

6. My ruminations in notes 3 and 4 should indicate how difficult it can be for the conscious mind to interpret psychic data arising from other “layers” of itself. Jane and I haven’t been to Jerusalem, although we’d like to make the trip some day, but even if we did I don’t think it would be easy to identify the physical site of my “fourth Roman.” To do so would take much cautious study. For one thing, I’m sure that my imagery — and drawings — of Jerusalem’s fortifications would turn out to be much too meager in scale; surely those “real” works would be far more overpowering in height and mass. To insist upon interpreting my mental information in literal terms only might lead into a labyrinth of supposition, then.

For another thing, what was my nameless Roman self doing on that tower? I didn’t “see” the reasons and actions leading to his presence there, and I doubt if I ever will. In my reference works I read accounts describing how Pontius Pilate, the Procurator (or governor) of Judea from approximately A.D. 26 to A.D. 36, had organized hunts for members of the Zealots, the Jewish political-religious sect that had consistently rebelled against the rule of the Roman Empire. This is the correct general time period for my visions, I think, and I felt a surge of thrilling sensations as I learned about certain subversive Zealot activities. Then I “picked up” that my soldier-self was killed by his countrymen because he’d traitorously sought to warn Zealot leaders of a planned search of the lower city of Jerusalem by Roman troops. My thrills deepened considerably — and those feelings of rightness were what I settled for; I could carry my wonderings no further, nor did I want to.

As best I can interpret the objective information at hand, the physical locale of my subjective experience is a precarious one, since outside the eastern and southern boundaries of Jerusalem the terrain quickly drops away into valleys close and steep enough to protect the city from large-scale attack — with hardly enough room there for the “hordes” of Roman soldiers I saw on the “flat ground.” I cannot explain my terminology or choice of locations, except to say that I expressed just what I wanted to. I trust the elements of those perceptions, and my reactions to them, but their conscious understanding and integration remain beyond my abilities at this time. Obviously (as will be explained), I think it wise to ascribe as much of the episode’s validity to its symbolic meanings as to its physical ones.

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7. See Note 12 for Session 721, in which I quote Seth about my Roman officer’s querulous attitudes toward authority.

8. Much could be written about the ageless conflicts the individual feels between society’s demands and his or her urges toward personal freedom. It seems to me that no matter what role in any life the individual decides upon before birth (to incorporate Seth’s ideas here), that individual will carry consciousness’s innate drive toward personal expression — but still within the protection furnished by social organization. This applies even to my Roman selves in their restrictive military environments (which are also protective), and even if their chosen courses of action result in demands or challenges they cannot surmount….

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11. It’s of interest here to note that although he referred to my three Roman-officer perceptions of last October in the 721st session (which itself was held a month after I’d experienced them), Seth didn’t mention that I had a second Roman-soldier counterpart living in the same time and area of the world in the first century A.D. I didn’t ask about any such possibility, either. I don’t attach any special meaning to these observations, although we may ask Seth to comment upon them eventually (see Note 2). If his material on counterparts is correct, any of us could have many such relationships going in a given century — too many to conveniently uncover, perhaps, considering the physical time that would be necessary to do the psychic work.

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This isn’t the first time Peter Smith has been able to comment upon one of my Roman experiences from his own viewpoint. He’s traveled a good deal. In Chapter 4 of Politics, Jane described how Peter offered some interesting present-day “correlations” with portions of my third Roman, of the first century A.D. Peter’s information concerned the Spanish fishermen he saw hauling large nets ashore along certain beaches of the Mediterranean Sea; I’d seen similar actions during my internal perceptions that day.

13. Early in this appendix I wrote that I added these notes later, to give “ordinary background material” for my fourth Roman. So now, what do I make of the considerable similarities between my Jerusalem episode and Peter’s? Although his internal data reinforce mine to some extent, he can be no more specific about a physical location in the city for his visions than I can be for mine. (See Note 6.) I’ve also written about the conflicts involving authority that I believe my two Roman soldiers are expressing. Here I feel on more “solid ground” symbolically than physically. Just as I do, Peter rebels in his own peaceful ways against conventional authority, preferring to go his individual route in the arts, no matter how dubious his rewards may be.

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