Sunday, March 26, 2017

Reincarnation as a research method

Paul Little has reviewed The Stolen Island for North and South, and been bemused by the role that reincarnation plays in the text. Little writes that:

Hamilton is relentless in his determination to follow every lead concerning the 'Atans. He tracks down descendants of both [Thomas] McGrath and the rumoured betrayer of the islanders. For some, the book will be flawed by the willingness with which he accepts one source's claims of remembering a past life on 'Ata and goes on a hunt for the grave she saw in her trance. 


My allegedly dodgy source is a young Chilean woman who spends whalewatching seasons in Tonga, and believes that she is drawn to the Friendly Islands today because she lived there in a past life. 


I can hardly object to Paul Little's scepticism about claims of past lives, because I was just last week taking to social media to pan this Radio New Zealand programme on Lisa Allen, a performance artist who claims to have been a member of a pre-Maori Waitaha people in her past life, and who uses her 'memories' of that past life as inspiration. 


I don't believe in reincarnation, but I think that the notion of transmigrating souls is considerably less ridiculous than Allan's claims that her Waitaha ancestors migrated from Rapa Nui to these islands a couple of thousand years ago. The Waitaha civilisation Allan identifies with is a New Age scam, and Rapa Nui was not settled much more than a millennium ago. 


I can agree with Paul Little that 'memories' of past lives are not the stuff that good research is made from, but I don't think I was wrong to include Mata in The Stolen Island. I wanted the book to show how a variety of people had become fascinated with the tiny, inhospitable, and long-uninhabited island of 'Ata, and to explain how their obsession had changed their lives. Mata is convinced that her soul once belonged to an 'Atan; the Spanish adventurer Alvaro Cerezo risked his life to land and lodge on the island, and claims to have detected an extraordinary energy there; a young Tongan who approached me in Nuku'alofa insisted that the garden of Eden was located on or near 'Ata. 


I don't endorse claims like these, but I am very interested in why people make them, and what they tell us about our lives in the twenty-first century. There's nothing wrong with discussing an idea, however outlandish, in terms of its meaning, rather than its truthfulness. 


I think that appeals to past lives are one way for palangi who feel an affinity for Pacific societies to express that affinity. 


In the past, when the boundaries between palangi and indigenous peoples were much more rigidly enforced, ideas about reincarnation could seem a threat, rather than an opportunity. In one of the essays in his collection Webs of Empire, Tony Ballantyne describes the opposition that Theosophists faced in early twentieth century New Zealand, and the way anxieties about 'race mixing' could segue into horror at the doctrine of reincarnation. Ballantyne cites a Dunedin Presbyterian leader who lost a young daughter, and was both disgusted and tormented by the notion that she might have been reborn inside the body of a heathen Indian. 


But let me give the floor to Mata. Here, from The Stolen Island, is her vision of 'Ata:



On our first night at the Hideaway, Cerian and I put the kids to bed, then took turns hanging out in the bar. Working behind the bar was Mata, a tall Chilean with a whalebone necklace and a degree in Tourism Studies. For several years now, she’d been coming to ‘Eua during the whale-watching season to help Naite and Taki run the Hideaway.

When I told Mata why I’d returned to ‘Eua she smiled, then began to talk with an intensity that reminded me of Alvaro Cerezo.

‘I take a holiday in New Zealand, I go to Raglan. And I meet a woman skilled in hypnosis, a woman who puts people in trances – who helps them remember the lives they have lived before this one. I go into a trance, and I have a vision – I see a graveyard, a small one beside the sea. I see coconut trees, I see mounds of sand, and I know – I’m seeing Tonga.

‘I recognise the graveyard: it’s on the road from the Hideaway to town, to ‘Ohonua. I know that my vision is significant. When I got back here, I asked a man who knows the island’s history, and he tells me that the graveyard is called Pangai, that the graves belong to some of the ‘Atans who came to ‘Eua after their homeland was raided by slavers. After I hear that, I decide that I might have been an ‘Atan in a previous life. It explains the connection I feel with Tonga.’

Naite had been wiping tables and listening to Mata. ‘Mata has some sort of connection with Tonga,’ she said. ‘She’s at home here. People love her. She knows what to do and say. It’s like she was born here.’

I told Mata and Naite about Alvaro, and his obsessive, almost fatal desire to visit ‘Ata. ‘I want to go as well,’ Mata said. ‘That island calls people.’ 

4 Comments:

Blogger pak alresky said...

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ASS..WR.WB.SAYA pak alresky TKI BRUNAY DARUSALAM INGIN BERTERIMA KASIH BANYAK KEPADA EYANG WORO MANGGOLO,YANG SUDAH MEMBANTU ORANG TUA SAYA KARNA SELAMA INI ORANG TUA SAYA SEDANG TERLILIT HUTANG YANG BANYAK,BERKAT BANTUAN AKI SEKARAN ORANG TUA SAYA SUDAH BISA MELUNASI SEMUA HUTAN2NYA,DAN SAWAH YANG DULUNYA SEMPAT DI GADAIKAN SEKARAN ALHAMDULILLAH SUDAH BISA DI TEBUS KEMBALI,ITU SEMUA ATAS BANTUAN EYANG WORO MANGGOLO MEMBERIKAN ANGKA RITUALNYA KEPADA KAMI DAN TIDAK DI SANGKA SANGKA TERNYATA BERHASIL,BAGI ANDA YANG INGIN DIBANTU SAMA SEPERTI KAMI SILAHKAN HUBUNGI NO HP EYANG WORO MANGGOLO (0823-3744-3355) JANGAN ANDA RAGU ANGKA RITUAL EYANG WORO MANGGOLO SELALU TEPAT DAN TERBUKTI INI BUKAN REKAYASA SAYA SUDAH MEMBUKTIKAN NYA TERIMAH KASIH
NO HP EYANG WORO MANGGOLO (0823-3744-3355)
BUTUH ANGKA GHOIB HASIL RTUAL EYANG WORO MANGGOLO

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angka;GHOIB: singapura

angka;GHOIB: hongkong

angka;GHOIB; malaysia

angka;GHOIB; toto magnum

angka”GHOIB; laos…

angka”GHOIB; macau

angka”GHOIB; sidney

angka”GHOIB: vietnam

angka”GHOIB: korea

angka”GHOIB: brunei

angka”GHOIB: china

angka”GHOIB: thailand

ANGKA TOGEL JITU 2D 3D 4D 5D 6D
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5:54 pm  
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12:48 pm  
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11:30 pm  
Blogger Ibu Sri Marwani said...

Kami sekeluarga tak lupa mengucapkan puji syukur kepada ALLAH SWT, dan terima kasih banyak kepada aki bromo atas bantuan angka ritualnya yang aki berikan 4D dan 3D ternyata itu benar-benar tembus 100% aki... dan alhamdulillah sekarang saya bisa melunasi semua hutang-hutang saya yang ada sama TETANGGA dan juga BANK BRI dan bukan hanya itu aki insya Allah saya akan buka usaha sendiri demi mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya sehari-hari itu semua berkat bantuan aki, sekali lagi makasih banyak yaa aki.. BAGI SAUDARA/SAUDARI YANG PUNYA PERMASALAHAN EKONOMI ATAU TERLILIT HUTANG PIUTANG SILAHKAN HUBUNGI AKI BROMO DI: =085 - 288 - 958 - 758= insya allah anda bisa seperti saya menang togel ( 455 JUTA ), dan anda tidak usah ragu lagi akan adanya penipuan atau hal semacamnya sebab saya sudah buktikan sendiri, Saya Jamin aki bromo tidak akan mengecewakan. SEMOGA SUKSES AMIN...!!!

1:20 am  

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