For the past year or so now I have become incredibly curious about the possibility of past lives and reincarnation. I became especially curious after visiting a renown medium named Liam Galvin back in January (read about this visit HERE). Among other things, Liam informed me that I had a past life in California and I couldn't help but wonder who I may have been. Seeing that I am into film and writing and I'm an overall creative individual, I wondered if maybe I was in Hollywood and maybe I was a famous actor or director or musician or somebody like that! How cool that would have been!
I looked all over the place for somebody who could help me find answers to these questions. But for some reason, I didn't have too much luck. First of all, many of the people I approached charged a lot of money for their services and they also wanted to regress me by means of hypnosis. To be frank, hypnosis kind of freaked me out and I was skeptical of whether it would actually work on me; plus, I feared my conscious mind would interfere with the results and I would purposely start describing a life in California/Hollywood that never occurred.
One day, however, I stumbled upon the website of a lady named Donna Ciaciarella who is based in South Carolina. Donna specializes in "regression therapy" but she doesn't use hypnosis. Instead, she is a kind of medium who is able to have extremely detailed visions of an individual's past life and then she describes everything she sees on an audio recorder. This was a method of regression that immediately struck me as a better way to go. With Donna doing all the work, I wouldn't have to worry about my mind skewing the results. I could just sit back and listen to the vision.
I looked over Donna's website (click HERE to visit) and determined that she seemed pretty legitimate, so I gave her a call and spoke to her personally. The first thing she wanted to know was my intention in wanting to be regressed. And I didn't beat around the bush. I told her that a well-respected medium said I was in California in a past life and - out of sheer curiosity - I wanted to know who I was! Donna, however, politely told me that she wasn't interested in helping me. Regression, she explained, was a very serious thing, not an amusement ride; sheer 'curiosity' wasn't a good enough reason to want to be regressed. Needless to say, I was disappointed by Donna's refusal to help me, but I completely respected where she was coming from. In fact, I was glad she was so picky about who she helped, because it went to show that she wasn't running any sort of a scam. She seemed to be the real deal.
Anyway, five whole months went by and I still couldn't stop thinking about my past lives. I had a near-obsessive desire to know who I was...what kind of person, when I was last alive, if I was anything like I am now etc. So, finally, about a week ago, I decided to get back in touch with Donna...only, this time, I was sure to state my intentions to her differently. Basically, I decided to forget about the whole California past-life thing. I told Donna that all I wanted was to learn about a past life that was in my highest and best interest to know about. I wanted to know something that would help me understand my purpose in my current life, something that would possibly help me clear any negative emotions, thought patterns or other energies that were carried over into my identity as Matt Burns.
This time around, Donna was willing to help me.
As I mentioned before, Donna is located in South Carolina, but she does all her readings over the telephone. All she needs to know is your birth date and to hear your voice (over the phone) and she is able to have visions of certain past life experiences. She begins each session with a prayer and asks that she be shown a certain life that is in the person's best interest to know about at the given time.
In my case, it took Donna about a minute or two to start having a vision. I expected she would maybe go to my California life or at least go to some other life where I was a creative individual (like I am now). I assumed she would start talking about Hollywood or entertainment or vaudeville or theater or something like that. But this was not the case at all.
Donna began her vision by saying that I was "stuck between a rock and a hard place". I was a non-Jewish man living in Nazi-occupied Poland in the 1930s or 40s. I had a very large family with about nine children and we had fallen on hard times. Money was a big problem and I was very concerned about how I was going to keep feeding my family.
After much worry, a well-paying job came along and I thought it was a gift from God. I was a mechanics engineer or machine operator of some sort and I was hired to clear out large areas of land and excavate very large holes. "This is it," I thought. "My family is going to be OK."
It wasn't long after I started the job, however, that red flags started to arise. First of all, it was never made clear what, exactly, I was digging the holes for, and whenever I asked any questions I was either lied to or told to keep my mouth shut. In other words, the whole operation was very shady, but I kept on doing the job, anyway - for my family's sake. I needed the money, or at least I thought I needed the money.
Then came the day that I realized what I was doing. I was basically clearing the land and digging the holes so that massive amounts of bodies could be buried within them (around a thousand to be exact). Some of these bodies may have been Jews, but most of them were members of the Polish elite, like professors, bankers, high-ranking officers and other intellectuals who were a threat to the Nazi agenda. These people were bussed to the digging sight, shot in the head by German soldiers and then buried. It was a very well-organized massacre.
According to Donna, I witnessed many of the executions with my own two eyes - hundreds and hundreds of people getting shot in the head. And it was actually my job to bury the bodies right after they were killed. Of course, I knew that what was happening was incredibly wrong and evil, but I ultimately still went along with it. Because if I didn't, I would have been shot myself. And my family would have (potentially) starved to death.
Needless to say, I was never the same person after I had this "job". According to Donna, it changed me forever and haunted me for the rest of my life. I felt so much sadness and guilt, and also anger towards the Nazis (for putting me in such a tough position). I had recurring nightmares and I was, overall, a very disturbed individual. My children would always do a good job cheering me up, but I was never the same person. I lived for about thirty years after the massacre occurred, which I guess means I must have died in the late 1960s or possibly the early 70s. I was fortunate to be able to watch my children grow up, but my guilt haunted me every day until my death.
Looking back on the situation, I wonder if I could have done anything differently. Like Donna said, I was "between a rock and a hard place". I think most people would have done the same thing if they had a family of nine to feed. But was this really the right thing to do? No, I don't think it was.
I think the main mistake I made in this past life was in allowing fear to influence my actions. I was so afraid that my family would starve that I compromised all morals for the sake of ensuring their survival. I should have risen above the fear, refused to bury the bodies and, thus, refused to partake in the evil. Yes, I would have been shot and killed if I did all this, but at least my soul would have had a clean conscience. And maybe my family would have starved, but maybe they wouldn't have. Maybe they would have found a way to survive after I was dead. Maybe a miracle would have occurred. Maybe God would have helped them out in some way.
The fact of the matter is that I was living in the future, with a "what if" mindset. Basically, I was thinking, "if I don't comply with the Nazi's, awful things will happen to my family." But I should have been acting more "in the moment" and taken a leap of faith. If I stood up for what I believed and took the bullet (literally), maybe God would have helped my family survive. And even if they ended up starving to death, at least it was all done for the sake of truth and morality.
Anyway, the lesson to be learned from the experience is that you have to always exist in the present. You have to take each event in life one step at a time, do the right thing, and possess the faith that everything is going to work out well in the end. FEAR (of things going wrong in the future) is literally the seed to most evil in the world. If I wasn't afraid that my family would starve, then I wouldn't have participated in doing something that was so very wrong. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one in this situation. I'm sure many of the German soldiers who were doing the ACTUAL killing were committing such heinous atrocities out of fear as well. A lot of them probably had families that they wanted to make sure were safe and financially sound. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Incidentally, I would argue that the fear I experienced in my past life is something very similar to what many people in America are feeling right now, especially with the economy being in the shape that it's in. The question is how are we going to deal with this fear as the future becomes more and more uncertain? Will we allow it to manipulate us into carrying out immoral acts, like it did with me and countless others during the Holocaust? Or are we going to take the high road, so to speak, and stay true to ourselves, even if that means financial ruin (or even death) for us and our families?
I recently watched a documentary entitled TEENAGE PAPARAZZO by Adrian Grenier (star of "Entourage"), which was essentially about the paparazzi in Los Angeles. One thing I found incredibly interesting about the film was how the paparazzi justified their professions. Many of them knew that feeding distractions and disinformation to our celebrity-obsessed culture wasn't a healthy thing for the human family, but they still did it because "they had mortgages to pay and families to feed". But is this right? Whoever said survival was of utmost importance? Isn't it better to starve (and, perhaps, die) then to live your life doing something immoral? Isn't this what Jesus taught us? Surely being a paparazzo isn't the same thing as exterminating people, but it's still a job that is unhealthy for the human family and, thus, something I'd consider immoral.
And the paparazzi, of course, aren't the only Americans working immoral jobs out of fear. Think about the people working for the shady credit card companies or drug companies or the people in the entertainment industry making unhealthy "Reality" TV; think about all the people who work for companies that have oversea sweatshops or companies guilty of profiteering during wars; think about all the politicians who want to build casinos in communities to "create more jobs for people"; think about the people who work for ANY corporation where the 'bottom line' is of utmost importance, where profit is valued over people. All of these people would justify what they do in saying they have a family that they have to support amidst an insecure economy. But is this a reasonable justification? I don't think so.
Please keep in mind that I'm not judging anybody here, because - if my past life is any indication - I'm as guilty as anybody of selling out my morals for the sake of me and my family's survival. But I still feel that we need to start thinking long and hard about our jobs and how they affect humanity as a whole. With the economy being in the shape it's in, people are more and more desperate to bring home the bacon. But is it right to compromise our morals for the sake of survival?
Donna told me that much of my guilt and sadness from my past life in Poland was carried over into my current life. This actually explains a lot about my overall temperament, which I would describe as generally melancholic, although I usually don't show it to others. Hopefully I can begin to clear the sadness through the process of writing about it like I am now, and also by thinking about where I went wrong. And hopefully I don't make the same mistake in my current life. I mean, I doubt I'll be placed in a similar position as I was during the Holocaust but I'm sure I'll come to many points in life where fear will try and influence me into making bad choices. Hopefully I will be more conscious of my fear now and I'll be able to go down a better path.
On a brighter note, I have to admit that - apart from everything else - it was heartwarming to learn that I had a really big family in my most recent past life. According to Donna, I had about nine children. It's very likely that many of them are still alive today, not to mention all my grandchildren. I mean, there are actual people out there in the world today, thinking of their dead father or grandfather, and that guy...is me! That's a messed-up thought. Crazy. I can't help but wonder what these children are like - if they're all still in Poland or somewhere else. In fact, I can't help but wonder if I stayed in Poland after the Holocaust. Maybe I ended up moving to California in attempt to escape my nightmare. Maybe I moved my whole family out there. Or maybe it was in another past life that I was in California. Who knows?
I think it's also interesting to learn how (completely) different I was in my past life. I mean, I would never be a mechanics engineer or machine operator in my current life. I'm so different from that kind of a person. Today, I'm a writer, filmmaker, wedding videographer, actor, percussionist...in short, I'm not your normal, working-class fellow. So I think it's true when meta physicists say the soul incarnates itself in many shapes and forms. The purpose, they say, is to go through several types of experiences, so that our spirit becomes well-rounded and ultimately ascends to the wisest and most enlightened level possible. And throughout our many incarnations, it is essential that we learn from our mistakes. Hopefully I will learn from mine...if I haven't already.
I ended my session with Donna feeling rather dazed and, frankly, sick. In fact, I kind of felt like puking after I got off the phone with her. But I feel like my traumatic past-life memory was something I needed to come to terms with. Over time, I will hopefully be able to clear some of the guilt and sadness that I'm still carrying with me. Writing this blog is my first step in trying to do this. Hopefully, in time, I will begin to feel better, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. To be completely honest, I think I feel a tad lighter already.
The videos below are the actual recordings of my regression session with Donna Ciaciarella. Please note that I edited areas where there were long periods of silence or parts that I thought were superfluous. Donna's voice comes in loud and clear, but my voice is a little more difficult to hear, so you may need to adjust your volume accordingly.
POST-SCRIPT: There is a new update to this blog that identifies the exact massacre I was involved with. Click HERE to read.