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Thread: Deja vu all over again

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    Victor Redseal
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    Default Deja vu all over again

    A good year ago or so, I tried to post my feeling of having lived in medieval Europe because of my automatic/unconscious reaction to medieval music and art. I tried to put it in the Community forum and was told I had to put it here. That annoyed me, because it has NOTHING to do with ******* religion. So I just didn't post it.

    But the feeling waxes and wanes and right now it is waxing. So, basically, here the deal:

    Since I was old enough to remember anything, I have been plagued with "memories" of having lived in medieval Europe. I don't know if this is a past life sort of thing whether there is a scientific explanation for it. I've been trying to find a label or name for this phenomenon but I'm not having much luck. Maybe someone here knows.

    Now, this is NOT a religious NOR a political discussion so it doesn't belong in this folder but that's beyond my control. I will NOT discuss religion on this thread, if anybody sees fit to respond at all. If you want to talk about reincarnation, start your own thread on it. This thread is about the FEELING of having lived in another time.

    When I was about 4 or 5, I heard medieval music on some tv program--remember educational tv?--they played some medieval music and my immediate reaction was like, "I've heard that before!" It was maddeningly familiar but I couldn't place it. That feeling never went away. Certain medieval songs still haunt me that way:



    But, even more, it wasn't just a feeling that I knew the music but that it was accompanied by scenes of medieval that would flash through my brain. Not moving images but like snapshots or paintings. Two images haunted me more than any other: one of a woman in light or white sort of tunic wearing a kind of headdress or scarfy-looking thing standing behind a half-door--the top half was open--and she was pouring something into the street--a stony kind of street--from a pot. I don't know if it was water or waste from a chamber pot, the image isn't that detailed. More of a fleeting impression. She seemed to have on some kind of apron thing that tied around the waist but went over the shoulder also.

    The second impression was so constant and much more concrete and almost a kind of real memory. I was standing in a colonnade holding a torch looking up at a vaulted ceiling. It seemed to me I was listening intently to music playing somewhere else. Like I wanted to hear the bass frequencies by filtering out the others with walls (and that actually works because bass frequencies can travel through walls more easily than high frequencies. I had this "memory" so often that I believe that I was a monk. My head may have been shaved on top but I can't be certain but I seemed to be wearing a loose-fitting, dark-colored tunic like something a monk would wear.

    But I can't place the locale. Sometimes I think Germany, sometimes England, sometimes Holland, sometimes France, sometimes even Scandinavia. Nor can I place the time or the century. There's just not enough there to allow that. Nor do I explicitly recognize any piece of music but rather it's just a feeling that I've heard it or something like it before--like something I knew very well at one time but then forgot for many, many years then I hear it again and it jumps out at me but I just can't remember exactly how it went although I know I've heard it before.

    When I was a kid, 7 or 8, my class took a field trip to art museum and I was like every other kid looking at all the exhibits until I saw a medieval Jesus on a cross--a wooden sculpture still preserved. Suddenly, I was transfixed by it. Again, that feeling that I KNEW what this was. I had no religious feelings for it whatsoever. I have never been religious even as a boy (I never went to church). That wasn't what interested me. I had seen crucifixes many times and could have cared less. But THIS crucifix fascinated me. This feeling of having seen it before, of knowing what it was even though I knew nothing about it whatsoever.

    The suits of armor fascinated me. While I had seen knights in pictures, it was wholly different to see the suits in front of me (actually, the preserved suits you see are 3/4 size and used for display purposes from that period because the real armor worn by knights basically got destroyed and very little of it survives today which leads a lot of people to conclude that knights were small men but they weren't, they were often very large men). They actually had a part of a medieval stone chapel there. You could walk into it and see the icons and feel the stone and look up at the little piece of vaulted ceiling which intrigued me greatly.

    Everything about the medieval art was fascinating to me and I felt at home in that gallery and didn't want to leave. When they gathered the kids up, I hung back and a teacher had to tell me to get in line with other kids so I did rather reluctantly. They led us to another gallery which I had no interest in and I snuck away and went back to the medieval art where I "belonged." Sometime later, a teacher came back and found me standing in that little stone chapel room drinking in the atmosphere of it and angrily told me that I was not supposed to be here. "Just let me stay here!" I blurted out. "You can come and get me when we're ready to leave." Such arrogance! She looked at me like I was nuts. "You're coming with me right now!" And she grabbed me by the arm yanked me out of there. She gave a bad report to my teacher who was a pussycat and so all I got was a "I'm disappointed in you for not staying with the group" thing--big deal. You're lucky you're not my mom, lady, you'd have a lot more to be disappointed about--believe me.

    I have read that H. P. Lovecraft felt he lived in 18th century England and that he longed to return that time. I can't I long to return to medieval times. People were often quite dirty, there was no dental or healthcare short of the village blacksmith yanking your teeth with his tools. If you made it to your 50s, you were exceedingly ancient and you almost certainly wouldn't make it to your 60s. There was always a bloody war going on somewhere over something. You had no civil rights any king was bound to respect. Torture was commons. Jews were horribly persecuted. Unless you were a monk or nobility or royalty, you were illiterate. Even Charlemagne never learned to read or write. He practiced his letters but he couldn't get the hang of reading. Of course, the Black Death was rampant because there were rats and fleas everywhere. It just didn't sound like a fun time to live.

    But I don't know, of course, that I actually lived then. But if I didn't, that there is some scientific explanation for this feeling of having lived before, why does it happen at all? Why this time period and not another? That's why when I had my custom bass made, I had it made with medieval motifs.

    I don't the feeling as intensely as I did when I was a boy but it still happens. As I said, it waxes and wanes and it's waxing right now.

    What about you? Do you feel you lived in another time, another culture?

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  3. #2
    Victor Redseal
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    Chess riot.


    The Siege of Antioch.


    I love illuminated pages and I own a number of such page, my earliest going back to the 13th century.


    That looks incredibly...PAINFUL.

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    Victor Redseal
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    From the Luttrell Psalter.


    This little pipe organ is called a portativ.


    This reminds of the colonnade I saw in my "memory."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Redseal View Post
    The second impression was so constant and much more concrete and almost a kind of real memory. I was standing in a colonnade holding a torch looking up at a vaulted ceiling. It seemed to me I was listening intently to music playing somewhere else. Like I wanted to hear the bass frequencies by filtering out the others with walls (and that actually works because bass frequencies can travel through walls more easily than high frequencies. I had this "memory" so often that I believe that I was a monk. My head may have been shaved on top but I can't be certain but I seemed to be wearing a loose-fitting, dark-colored tunic like something a monk would wear.


    What about you? Do you feel you lived in another time, another culture?
    Nope. Interesting that the YT clip you posted has some shots of Fountains Abbey. The Undercroft there runs at right angles to the church and fits your description:



    I suspect you've seen something like this in a book and misremembered it.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Victor Redseal
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    I must have seen when I was very young because that "memory" is one of my earliest along with real memories. I still get it at times. I am haunted by it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Redseal View Post
    I must have seen when I was very young because that "memory" is one of my earliest along with real memories. I still get it at times. I am haunted by it.
    Don't lose too much sleep over it though.
    It will come ....one fine day
    Last edited by Pugg; Apr-02-2016 at 04:51.

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    Stories of the so-called Great War (1914-1918) have always made a far stronger impression on me than others - I sometimes wonder whether I experienced it first hand in the trenches in a previous life. My wife is convinced she lived in her hometown Shanghai in the twenties.

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    Victor Redseal
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    Reviving this old thread because I could swear I've posted on it before. But anyway, I was looking for music apps for my phone when I ran across Medieval Music Radio. The problem is that most of these stations frankly suck. They play modern stuff with drumbeats and distorted guitars that have a gothic quality to them and if I made it sound interesting, I apologize for that. It's like metal but I like my metal very hard-edged, blasting, abrasive and unforgiving and this stuff is too sweet-sounding--yick! One station that appears to be French does a kind ambient music thing with tenuous links to medieval stuff. It's okay but I have already downloaded a bunch of trance/psy/chill stations (that mostly seem to broadcast out of Mumbai, India for some reason) so I have ambient up the yin-yang already.

    But there are three channels that stand out: Abacus FM Renaissance Lute, I think it broadcasts from London. Not medieval but some nice relaxing stuff. Nothing modern but real renaissance stuff. I don't hear any DJs so I think it streams music 24/7 but then I'm not sure of that either--It's not broadcasting right now but that might be an error or glitch. But when it works, it's nice stuff to listen to. Ancient FM from Canada is truly outstanding. Again, nothing modern. Not always medieval. I hear renaissance music a lot and also a lot of baroque. Right now they are playing "Greensleeves" but doing it traditionally and not some amped-up, over-produced modern folk version. Again, you can put this channel on and let it stream all day. I don't hear DJs on this channel either. CEU Medieval Radio is pretty good at times and not so good other times. They often veer into that modern vein which I just don't like--sorry. It has DJs and commercials that speak in German but they don't do a lot of talking. When they go medieval, they're great! I just wish they'd stay there. I'm listening to them right now and they are playing nice stuff. When I looked for where they broadcast from, it seems it's from Budapest, Hungary but I'm skeptical of that since the broadcasts are in German. I mean, yes, they could still be in Hungary since I did find a Korean language station that broadcast out of LA but I get the impression that this CEU station is truly German. I know it is.

    There is another station called Celtic Moon. It's alright if you like Celtic. Some Celtic is great and some I don't like that much. I can't listen to it all day like I can medieval and renaissance. Sometimes these other stations I mentioned cheat a little by sneaking a Celtic piece or two into their repertoire but I can handle that as long it sounds old and not one of these over-done modern things. I mean, I respect what they're trying to do but with Celtic music I think less is more. Keep it simple, keep it stripped down and it's pretty good stuff. I don't want to hear Riverdance, thanks.

    Adagio FM-Timeless Classical Music is pretty good if you like straight-up classical. They broadcast, from what I can see, out of San Jose, CA. Pretty amazing they're even American since most Americans know absolutely zilch about classical and could not care less about improving on it. My guess is that its home is one of the colleges in the area. They claim they play everything from medieval to modern classical but I haven't heard any medieval yet. But they do play a nice selection of classical regardless and so it's a good station. I still say the best classical station streaming over the internet is Ottava out of Tokyo, Japan. I like them better than even the Sirius/XM classical station I get in my car and that one is pretty good!

    The rest of these stations are frankly bad. I tune in and they're playing something so unrelated to medieval music that I can't figure out why it's there. On top of that, it's crap. Or it's DJs and commercials more than music.

    Luckily, I can plug my phone into my car and listen to the app stations over my car's speakers. And i was listening to either CEU or Ancient a few days ago and I was sitting at a stop light waiting to make a left turn when they started playing some piece that struck me once again as being something I've heard in another life and I just sat there totally entranced, just zoned out with those medieval images flooding my mind. Suddenly, I hear car horns blaring. I had a green light and was supposed to turn and I'm just sitting there with a bunch of people behind me waiting for me to get moving. I felt pretty embarrassed. They are like, "Move, you stupid jerk!" Man, I can't listen to the medieval stuff when I'm driving. That's dangerous! If I zone out, I don't notice traffic lights, stop signs, merging traffic, intersections, roundabouts or anything. I just get lost in these images. Maybe it's a type of seizure. Whew, man, that's weird!

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    I know what you mean about deja vu for a time before you were born. I feel the same way, in my case it's the 19th century that stirs up my feelings of deja vu. I don't know if it has to do with past lives (probably not) or if it's just that I've spent too much time studying the music and literature of that time period!

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    Victor Redseal
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    Probably the latter. Otherwise, you'd have that feeling since you were too young to even know anything about it. Then again, if it is a past life thing, maybe you were drawn to study it for that reason which unleashed that feeling. My sister feels strongly that she lived in the 1890s and early 1900s. I kind of do too but that is undoubtedly because I studied ragtime upside down and backwards. It's not a primal thing with me the way the medieval memories are. They're so strong that they are part of the foundation of who I am. I'd be a different person without them.

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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Redseal View Post
    A good year ago or so, I tried to post my feeling of having lived in medieval Europe because of my automatic/unconscious reaction to medieval music and art. I tried to put it in the Community forum and was told I had to put it here. That annoyed me, because it has NOTHING to do with ******* religion. So I just didn't post it.

    But the feeling waxes and wanes and right now it is waxing. So, basically, here the deal:

    Since I was old enough to remember anything, I have been plagued with "memories" of having lived in medieval Europe. I don't know if this is a past life sort of thing whether there is a scientific explanation for it. I've been trying to find a label or name for this phenomenon but I'm not having much luck. Maybe someone here knows.

    ...

    When I was about 4 or 5, I heard medieval music on some tv program--remember educational tv?--they played some medieval music and my immediate reaction was like, "I've heard that before!" It was maddeningly familiar but I couldn't place it. That feeling never went away. Certain medieval songs still haunt me that way:

    But, even more, it wasn't just a feeling that I knew the music but that it was accompanied by scenes of medieval that would flash through my brain.
    I enjoy Medieval music on occasion. Hildegaard von Bingen comes immediately to mind. I certainly enjoy Medieval literature, if Dante and Chaucer count. But I have no pretensions that I am reincarnated or have ever experienced a past life. (One life to struggle through seems adequate to me.)

    What I'm wondering about is: do you have a preference for Medieval plumbing, dentistry, and travel methods over what we currently have in our contemporary world? I, for one, confess to a favor for horseback riding. But I have no intentions of giving up my old Jeep. Or of replacing my modernized outhouse (which is in-house) for a chamber pot. Besides, I have enough to clean up in the barn.

    All the best to you ... whatever era you hail from.

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    Victor Redseal
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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    I enjoy Medieval music on occasion. Hildegaard von Bingen comes immediately to mind.
    Hildegaard is a big fave. I love her stuff. After all, she is the West's first known composer.





    I certainly enjoy Medieval literature, if Dante and Chaucer count. But I have no pretensions that I am reincarnated or have ever experienced a past life. (One life to struggle through seems adequate to me.)
    I don't make any pretensions. That's how it feels and so it is the only way I can relate to it but I have by no means concluded this to be the case. It could certainly be some other explainable phenomenon but that doesn't lessen the feeling of having lived before. That's how it feels, that's the only way it makes itself known to me--flashes of recognition, images of medieval Europe cascading through my mind when I get these flashes. Ever since I was very young.

    What I'm wondering about is: do you have a preference for Medieval plumbing, dentistry, and travel methods over what we currently have in our contemporary world? I, for one, confess to a favor for horseback riding. But I have no intentions of giving up my old Jeep. Or of replacing my modernized outhouse (which is in-house) for a chamber pot. Besides, I have enough to clean up in the barn.
    No, nothing like that. My penchant is for medieval art and music. When I write music, it sounds medieval--the melodies, the intervals, the rhythms often sound quite medieval even when I do something purely electronic or like 20-some years ago when I was in a hardcore punk-thrash-metal band, my stuff sounded grimly medieval. Even music instructors who have heard some of my recordings when I tell them I have a medieval penchant in my writing style have responded pretty much the same: "Yes, I noticed."

    Here's my custom-made bass:

    My custom-made bass from start to finish

    All the best to you ... whatever era you hail from.
    I very frequently wonder about that myself.

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    Senior Member Jacred's Avatar
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    I have never had such feelings but it sounds interesting the way you describe it. Actually, I know someone who has memories of a pioneer-like life in North America. I've not spoken to that person in detail, though.

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    Victor Redseal
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    Last night I dreamed I was in a big stone chamber, very ornate. Initially, I had made my way through the structure singing some kind of plainchant with these other men. We were walking in a procession. Then I broke off and I was searching for something. I don't recall exactly what happened but I ended up in this chamber and a boy was with me--maybe 6 or 7 years old. He was wearing some kind of ceremonial robe but I don't exactly remember what it looked like. We were sneaking through this chamber and he was ahead of me walking kind of loud. I remember grabbing his shoulders or upper arms and stopping him. I bent and whispered, "We have to be very quiet or they're going to hear us" or something to that effect. Even whispering was amplified by the reverberant acoustics of the room so that you could hear someone whispering as though they were talking out loud. We were running from someone.

    There was a kind of altar in the center of the room. Suddenly, we heard footsteps coming down a corridor that led into the room. Like a procession marching. I grabbed the boy and pushed down below this ledge thing we were next to and I ducked down but I saw a man enter the room. I can't remember much about him but I do remember a kind of very white tunic and a very crimson sash that went around the waist and over the shoulder and one end of it hung down to about half the thigh. He was carrying a torch, I think, even though the chamber seemed well-lighted. He stepped to the altar and chanted something and people in the corridor were responding.

    I knew we couldn't stay where we were so when the man turned, I picked the boy up and ran with him behind the altar. Then the others began filing into the room still singing. I knew they were going to form a circle around the altar and we'd be seen. I knew if we were caught we would be killed. The footsteps advanced towards us on both sides of the altar and I still had the boy in my arms and I ran towards a doorway directly opposite the one the others had entered through. It was a long shot because it was a good distance away and the men would round the altar before we could get through the doorway. But it was our only hope, so I ran with the boy as fast as I could go. My heart was in my throat. I looked over my shoulder as I ran and saw the men coming around one side of the altar just as I passed through the doorway. I don't know if they saw us or not. I ran down a pitch black corridor too afraid to stop but knowing I had to because I didn't want to run smack into a wall.

    I woke up then and this medieval stuff was playing on my phone plugged into my computer speakers. I drifted off to sleep listening to it earlier. So I was hearing the music bleeding into my sleep. But it was a weird dream. First, it occurred in deep sleep, I generally sleep lightly and will awaken at fairly quiet noises. My cats frequently awaken me chasing each other around the house in the dark, which they like to do. But I was deep under at the time. Secondly, I don't remember dreaming about a child before. I dream about adults when I can remember the dream. Children are never part of my dreams but I distinctly remember this boy. I don't remember what he looked like but I remember him. It seemed to me I had infiltrated this church or maybe a chapel in a castle or something. I had come to get the boy. I don't remember how I got him but I remember that I had to get him out of there and I had to protect him with my life. My every move was to protect the boy. Why? I don't know.

    It was definitely a medieval motif. There were medieval tapestries and statuary all over the place. The boy and the men I saw were white. The architecture was definitely very gothic and medieval-looking. But who I was, who these other men were and why I had to get the boy and who he was are all a mystery.

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