A previously undiscovered fragment of the writings of Richard Whyting
Richard Whyting was the last Abbot of the Glastonbury Abbey in 1539 who was hung, drawn and quartered on the Tor during the dissolution of the Abbey.
“I am Richard Whyting Abbot of Glaston, and I would like to talk to you about my understanding of Reincarnation or the transmigration of souls.
It is not the policy of the Church to admit, or discuss the matter of reincarnation, nonetheless it is discussed amongst the monks who explore the feeling that they sometime have in dreams and during their meditations, that there has been an earlier life in which they have lived or indeed many earlier lives.
Some of them have discussed these matters with me and indeed I too have had similar experiences. How to reconcile these experiences with our faith and belief is one of the challenges, for it is not enough to insist on rigid belief . It is necessary to have some understanding of these matters even though we don’t moot this abroad.
One of the questions that arises in these dreams and ideas of earlier lives is that almost invariably those involved recall themselves as some famous historical figure. Caution is shown in mentioning these figures for it might seem to be one of aggrandisement. Nonetheless it is most infrequent for anyone to recall themselves as being one of humble origin. Nearly always they are some lustrous figure from the past.
Frequently they have recalled being one of the disciples of The Lord Jesus. They believe they have been one particular disciple and recall this with great vividness. Although this is not a matter that I have revealed before, I too have recalled a time in the time of the Lord as the disciple Peter. I can clearly see what it was to walk beside the shore; I know what it is to row in the boat, fishing; I know what it is to attempt to walk upon the water and to sink beneath the waves when my faith failed; I know what it is to lurk behind the pillars when the query went out as to whether I was associated with the Lord; and I know what it is to honour His name in later years. But does this mean that I was Peter?
My contention is that it does not. I believe that there are certain classic roles in history that are learning processes for souls in their human guise. Amongst these classic roles are the twelve disciples, each represents a different energy, feeling and awareness. I believe that these classic roles are restaged over and over again in some area of heaven or earth; that area I ma not clear about. But in some place not of this world we are put through the plot and we are players upon the stage. I have been through the play of being with Jesus in Nazareth and playing the role of Peter but it is important to understand that not only I have been in this role; hundreds indeed thousands, indeed many thousands off others have experienced the same understanding and have learned the same lessons.
The plays are staged many times, over and over again, and the players are different, the actors are different, but the parts are the same. So each one of us is put through these plays and performances so that we may learn and grow. There are many of these plays, that of the time of Jesus being only one. There is the time of Rome, there is the time of Greece, there is the time of Egypt. All of these times contain plays and performances, and those that are relevant to us are the plays in which we have performed. Our role may be the leading role or a subsidiary part. But it is a vital part for our learning.
So I believe that in some manner, which I do not fully understand, we are exposed in dreams and our meditations to experiences in these classic plays and from these experiences we learn and grow. Whether they are indeed past lives or only these classic plays I do not know but I believe that why many of us have experience of being the same person is that we have played the same part in the same play“.
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