In this personal account, one man details how he discovered the fact of reincarnation and explores what he did in his prior lives.
More people than you would believe have prior life memories. In his new spiritual memoir "My Journey down the Reincarnation Highway: The True Story of a Man who found nine of His Past Lives" author and businessman Frank Mares tells how he acquired psychic ability in his middle age. With this new gift, he recovered facts about nine of his prior lives, most of which involved violent, bloody deaths. The most recent life was that of a young German Wehrmacht sergeant who was ambushed and killed by Russians during the night of May 1, 1944 in a dark Estonian farmhouse. Not being satisfied with just discovering his past lives, Mares goes on a spiritual mission to find out why he kept dying violently. The answers do not come easily, but by using a team of three world class psychics he eventually tracks down the shocking reason for all his brutal deaths. The psychic team finds that within the soul of this normal small businessman resides a brutal, stone cold killer from the 1600's who surprisingly was the revered founder of a gentile noble family.
As part of his soul's continuing quest for redemption, Mares hopes to salvage the dark time in his soul's past into something that could help others today. His experiences show that death is only a transition phase, and that it should not be feared. His book also reveals that reincarnation is actually a well designed, organized system that allows souls to learn personalized life lessons over a surprising number of lives. If you read this book, you will never look at life (and death) in the same way again.
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My Journey down the Reincarnation HighwayThe True Story of a Man Who Found Nine of His Past Lives
By Frank Mares
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Frank Mares
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFrank, the Atheist
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Fervid atheism is usually a screen for repressed religion. —Wilhelm Stekel
Reincarnation highway mile marker: USA, 1976
I could start this story at the same point that I did when I told it to my brother-in-law, which was the time that I started to meditate. But, instead, I will use the late spring of 1976 to begin. It's the perfect place to start because it really shows where my level of spirituality was for most of my life, a measurement that would read a big fat zero on the religious scale.
Let me set the scene. I was a twenty-year-old college student sitting with my girlfriend, Michele, in a priest's office. Michele was a slender, pretty, eighteen-year-old blonde who was a devout Catholic—so devout that she went to a weekly church youth group meeting every week besides going to Mass. We had met at the grocery store where we both worked part time and had been dating steadily for five months. Her parents absolutely did not like me—no, make that they could not stand my presence. I tried to get along. I schmoozed her mother like crazy, but my charms were not moving her. It's not that I was not a nice guy with prospects, but the issue was that I was not Catholic. I was not even a Christian. I had no religion, as I had a live-and-let-live attitude. I believed that religion was everyone's personal choice, and I respected other people's beliefs. However, my attitude about respecting other people's beliefs was not shared by all people, especially Michele's parents. Regardless, she was my first love, and I was really into this girl. So if she wanted us to meet with a priest, I would go along like a good little boy. Why did she want us to meet the priest? It seems that I threw her into a minor spiritual crisis when I told her about the logical paradoxes of Christianity. It wasn't my fault; she challenged my lack of beliefs one night and asked me to explain them. Two years previous, when I was a high school senior, I had read a book called The Case against God. It presented a devastating string of logic that just shot holes through Christianity like a machine gun. Since she had challenged my lack of belief in a mocking manner, I shared some of this counterlogic with her. The experience rocked her; she just could not resolve the paradoxes that the book posed. This was the first time in her life that she had ever heard a different viewpoint. In response, she went to her priest and asked the same questions that I had presented her with. When she did, I am sure that alarm bells started ringing down the halls of St. Anthony's parish. Hence, the priest asked for a meeting with the both of us to straighten out the situation. He cautioned me during the meeting that when I had these types of questions, I should ask someone who is trained to answer them. Well, even though I was young and stupid, I knew that my relationship with Michele was moving from thin ice to slushy water. She was emotionally connected to me, but her parents would use any excuse to get rid of me. I planned to be perfectly good during the meeting and was not going to be combative. I just wanted to get through this crisis with a minimum of damage. Nevertheless, the priest couldn't do any better than Michele had in addressing the questions, and he eventually retreated behind the "all will be revealed after you leave this life and that is why you need faith" routine. I thought, What a copout. You can't even defend your own beliefs logically. Needless to say, my romantic relationship with Michele ended not long after this meeting, when her parents forbade me from entering their house. Unfortunately, the pain of our breakup would linger as I would continue to work with her at the store. Eventually, Michele married and moved out of state.
So how did I become an atheist in the first place? Blame it on my parents. They were not religious, and my mother, who was raised a Catholic girl, just could not buy its dogma. She left the religion quickly after she left her childhood home. Growing up in my parents' household, I never had the religious training (or brainwashing, some would say) that other kids received, much to the horror of my beloved Italian Catholic grandmother, Naomi. She who would cringe when my parents would call out, "Don't let the bed bugs bite" rather than recite the Lord's Prayer before bed. To rectify the situation, she would occasionally sneak me into mass when I was little. To her disappointment, these occasional church visits never resulted in the religious seed sprouting within me. Looking back, I believe that my lack of religious indoctrination allowed me to examine things objectively. I could study history and science, compare them to religious beliefs, and see the obvious discrepancies. This ability to be objective reinforced my lack of belief, which I learned over time to keep "below the radar" so I wouldn't be a social outcast. However, having reached the dating age, my heresies were starting to be exposed.
What were the barriers that kept me from being a Christian or otherwise religious as an adult? Let's keep it simple. Solve these two paradoxes, and I will believe in God.
1. If God is truly loving and perfect, why is there evil in this world and why do the innocent suffer? This is probably the most commonly discussed dilemma of them all. Why would the horror of the Holocaust ever be allowed to happen? Why is there so much suffering and unhappiness in life? Why is life so difficult? If we have only one shot at life, shouldn't it be idyllic and happy? I really do not believe that most people have a happy life. You have your ups and downs, but it seems that there are more downs. Who do you know of that has a perfect life? If you can think of a specific person, you may consider that he or she may have a better life than you, but is that life without pain? I am willing to bet that that is not the case.
2. Why can't I directly see or experience God or the supernatural? If God is the creator of the universe and the driving force that keeps it going, why can't we see even a glimmer of the supernatural at work? Or why doesn't God or his angels communicate with us directly?
My hard-core lack of belief in a higher power and the spiritual world is "square one" of my story. Philosophers have been grappling with these two tough issues for thousands of years without any measurable success. You have to admit that I have created a very high standard that must be met before I could ever believe that God exists. Barriers can be overcome, and you will come to see how the spirit world reintroduced itself to my soul despite the overwhelming obstacles I had set up. This reunion had to happen because spirituality is the whole foundation of reincarnation.
Chapter TwoThe Homing Beacon
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Being obsessional does not necessarily mean sexual obsession, not even obsession for this or for that in particular; to be obsessional means to find oneself caught in a mechanism, in a trap increasingly demanding and endless. —Jacques Lacan
Reincarnation highway mile marker: USA, 1960s
I went through my boyhood in the 1960s. What is relevant about that period is that, despite being remembered as the hippie age of Aquarius, it was also the decade that the American men who fought in World War II reached their midforties. These men were in their prime earning years, and the TV networks created shows in hopes that they would attract their attention, such as The Gallant Men, Combat, and the comedy Hogan's Heroes. You can still see these shows on the retro sixties cable channels. If you watch them, you will notice that they all featured brave American soldiers who fought the Germans in World War II. These black-and-white wartime dramas were usually set in France, and the lack of color on the TV screen made the German soldiers look especially ominous as their uniforms were dark gray. Dark colors always signified the bad guys. Looking back on it now with older eyes, the shows were really not that good. But as a ten-year-old, I thought they were great and watched them every week. Even though the Germans were the bad guys, I always admired them. The American soldiers, in contrast to the Germans, seemed to be dressed slovenly and always needed a shave. The Germans had cool-looking uniforms with high collars and black, polished boots. They were always disciplined and looked sharp, and their weapons were fearsome with their nasty black submachine guns and their fast-firing big machine guns. The German officers were always tough and professional, and their subordinates would immediately jump into action at their orders. As a boy, I frequently wondered why these German troops lost every week when they looked so much better and seemed tougher than the Americans. When my friends in the neighborhood would play army with toy guns, I never minded playing the German side. I just wished I could have a plastic gray German helmet so that I could play the part better.
One strange thing was my youthful reaction to the show Hogan's Heroes, which was based on the outlandish plot that Allied prisoners in a German World War II prison camp had a secret underground complex beneath their prisoner barracks. From this complex, they would conduct sabotage and spy operations, causing mayhem deep within Germany. The German officers in the show were presented as complete buffoons and were easily manipulated by their prisoners. Even at the young age of ten, I thought this show was insulting to the Germans as it made them out to be complete morons. For some reason, I almost felt personally insulted. Another thing I noticed specifically about Hogan's Heroes was that the German officers were always threatening their subordinates with assignment to the Russian front. Conversely, being sent to the American front was never mentioned as a punishment. By implication, that Russian front must have been a real bad place.
In junior high and high school, I took German for my language class. Our school system back then offered only Spanish, French, and German language courses, no Chinese or Japanese like today. A strange fact is that although I took German for only three years, I can still speak some of it thirty-seven years later. My grammar is horrific, but if I traveled to Germany, I know that I could get around okay. How did I keep my fluency? Wherever I took a job in my college and banking days, there was always a middle-aged German lady working in the same department as I worked. Even when I started my own business, I still managed to have a German-speaking woman on my staff. I had an impulse to speak German, and I would talk to those ladies in their native language to indulge my compulsion. They often mistakenly assumed that I had come from a German family; but my family's background was Italian and Czechoslovakian. The only German blood in my ancestral line comes from one great-grandmother, whom I have never met.
Another unusual thing I remember was my desire to wear coats modeled after the World War II German military tunic, the kind that had four pleated pockets on the front. My mom custom made a winter coat in that style for me when I was eighteen, but that particular style was never fashionable where I was. When I was twenty, I marched around in a German brown-shirt tunic outfit at a college Halloween party.
From the age of ten on, my typical reading has been World War II history; I never stopped studying the subject. I had consumed hundreds of World War II books by the time I reached my forties. One of my more interesting memories is from a novel that told the story of what some Japanese civilians experienced during the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. In particular, I remember the story of a young Japanese woman who was out in the open when the atomic explosion occurred. She was not close enough to be killed immediately, but she was badly burned. After the attack, she walked, dazed, with a large group of survivors in a burning part of the city. The flames drove the survivors to a river and to a bridge that crossed it. The bridge formed a bottleneck, and the press of people caused her to fall off the bridge and into the water. Unfortunately for this character, she could not swim, and she sank below the surface and drowned. Her religion was Buddhism, a common religion in Japan, where reincarnation is accepted and believed. Her last thought as she was losing consciousness was, I hope my next life is better. That line really struck me. Having grown up in Western society, I had never given any thought to what reincarnation would really mean. This dying woman was not panicking that her only life was ending, but rather she was hopeful that when (not if) she came back, she would be in a happier life. I considered her dying hope a very comforting thought, although I had never actually believed that reincarnation could possibly be real. To me, it was just a nice, dramatic touch in the book.
By the time I reached my late forties, my reading interests had shifted specifically to the German-Russian front in World War II. Most people do not realize that most of the big WWII battles occurred in Russia. That was where the real action was. Germany had 80 percent of its men allocated to the Russian front and used the remaining 20 percent to fight the Americans and British. I would read many, many firsthand accounts of the German military survivors of these battles. The stories of loss, suffering, and hardship were amazing as far as what these men endured. I thought there was no way that I, personally, could survive long in those conditions. Thank God, I never had to go through that hell.
With all of my readings about and fascination with World War II, the ironic thing was that I, a man in his midforties, had never shot a firearm—BB and paintball guns, yes, but real guns, no. I guess I had never had the opportunity as my dad did not own a gun and we did not live in the country. But I always dreamed of shooting the German submachine gun, the MP-40. Until I was forty-four, I had only seen this gun in movies or pictures in books. I finally saw and actually touched one when I was serving on a grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio. One day, the lawyers took the jury on a tour of the police crime lab. In one room of the lab, technicians tested the identifying characteristics of bullets from individual guns. On the wall of the lab, all by itself, hung a German MP-40 submachine gun! Obviously, it must have been confiscated from someone who had brought it back from the war. It was a big thrill to see one up close and touch it.
I finally lost my gun virginity in a big way. A year after the birth of my twins, my in-laws were kind enough to watch the babies while my wife and I took a four-day trip to Las Vegas to recover from the first year of twin infancy. While I was in our hotel room, I noticed a flyer advertising a nearby gun range that offered an opportunity to shoot a variety of submachine guns—one of which was an actual German MP- 40! I excitedly told my wife that I had to go there. She was extremely apprehensive, thinking that I would shoot myself or that there would be an accident. I assured her that I would not do it unless it was safe. The next morning, while she slept in, I took a cab to the gun range. I walked into the place and saw an amazing arsenal of guns hanging on the wall behind the counter. I asked how the process worked and was told that a gun range employee would assist me in the indoor range and watch over me. That sounded safe enough for me! I bought three clips of ammo and was outfitted with safety glasses and ear protection. Then, I followed the employee into the indoor gun range in the next room.
The shooting range had a dark, claustrophobic basement feeling. A series of separated stalls were set up for people to shoot from, aiming at paper targets. Before entering the range, the attendant cautioned me to shoot slowly and to not let the gun shoot on full automatic, explaining that the gun was getting old and had a tendency to jam. He carried the MP-40 to an open stall. I was disappointed that their rules allowed only the gun-range attendant to insert the ammo clip and cock the gun. After he had done those, he handed the black and dangerous-looking gun over to me and stepped back out of the shooting stall. With great delight, I examined the weapon, looking over every detail. I then shouldered it and let loose a rapid single-shot barrage of nine-millimeter lead at the paper target about twenty feet away. I was immediately comfortable with this gun; it felt like I had been shooting it for years. (Ho-boy, if I had only known the real story about this at the time!) It was easy, and I was pretty good, right on target. I quickly went through two clips of ammo (sixty rounds), and when the attendant loaded my last clip—I couldn't help it—I let loose on full automatic. When shooting on automatic, the barrel tends to rise with each shot because of the rapid recoil of the gun. The stream of bullets rose, and I sawed off the clip that was holding the target to the wire down range. The attendant was pissed, but oh, well. That was too much fun. After I was done, I gave the gun back and took a cab back to my hotel. There, I excitedly told Karol about my experience. She didn't understand why it was a big deal, but she was happy for me.
Excerpted from My Journey down the Reincarnation Highway by Frank Mares Copyright © 2012 by Frank Mares. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Frank, the Atheist....................1
Chapter 2: The Homing Beacon....................5
Chapter 3: Searching for Immortality....................13
Chapter 4: Opening the Door through Meditation....................25
Chapter 5: Finding Other Members of the Club....................37
Chapter 6: Reunion with My Father....................45
Chapter 7: Past-Life Regression through Hypnosis....................51
Chapter 8: A Spirit Gives New Road Directions....................57
Chapter 9: Chief Shem....................63
Chapter 10: The Story of Laurie....................69
Chapter 11: Finding Sergeant Otto....................79
Chapter 12: Hey, I Used to Be Famous!....................93
Chapter 13: Guardian Angels and Their Tricks....................109
Chapter 14: Gorman and Zul....................117
Chapter 15: My Spiritual Crisis and the Return of Shem....................121
Chapter 16: Time? What Time?....................133
Chapter 17: My Life as Frank Explained....................139
Chapter 18: To Be a Member, You Have to Remember!....................147
Chapter 19: Count Nicholas von DesFours, the Thief....................153
Chapter 20: Father's Day....................167
Chapter 21: On to Another Spiritual Highway....................181
Appendix 1: Funny Psychic Stories and Deleted Scenes....................185
Appendix 2: Defending the Faith....................205
Appendix 3: Recommended Books and Psychics....................215
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The spiritual world, angels, and reincarnation continue to intrigue me. Frank has told a fascinating story that some would not believe. He mentions that everyone has the ability to have an out of body experience and speak to the non-physical world. Although I have experienced similar situations as Frank, I have never been focused enough to take it even farther as Frank has done. If you are interested in the spiritual world and ever wondered what is on the other side, then this book is a must read!
I was always interested in the idea of reincarnation. I bought the book because of the premise that the author found had found many of his past lives. That he did so was pretty cool, but for a nonfiction book to add a mystery to be solved (why the author kept dying brutally in all these lives) was even more fascinating. This is one of those rare books that is both an adventure and thought provoking. I definitely recommend it.
Frank Mares is an insightful and comprehensive writer, making a convincing case for the 'unknown'. Frank Mares presents his story of his past lives and his history. My Journey down the Reincarnation Highway is a wonderful read and you won't be able to put it down. If you are open minded and want to learn more this book will take you on a wonderful journey.
I cannot express enough how the experiences of this author have helped me to accept certain aspects and events in my life, (and the tragic events throughout the world for that matter), that have been hard to understand. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and it has been a long time since I have felt this way. I am truly grateful to the author for sharing his journey with me!