THE UNFORTUNATE BROTHER OF A HATEFUL YOUNG KING
 
 
 
 
...Roger made me come down and look at myself there on the pyre. It was horrible! I was a mass of char, and my face had a kind of grimace on it caused by the exposure of bone. Then he made me look at the bodies of the others. When he saw I could not experience myself out of the body, he had me go quickly to the next life. Again I saw nothing but darkness, but as he said the words "See yourself," I had caught a quick impression of myself manacled hand and foot in a dungeon, lying in utter darkness.
 
Roger says martyrs sometimes become addicted to martyrdom and experience it again and again in life after life. What I never understood was how deep-seated the guilt was which I felt in being this martyr! I knew survivors of massacres feel guilty, but no one has ever said those who die may also feel guilty, depending on the way they die!

 

I have reproduced the ending of my previous life as the young girl Marguerite, who lived and worked with the last of the Cathars at Montségur, because the significance of this life, my contact with which followed so quickly from the horrible ending of the previous lifetime, cannot be understood completely if looked at solely as a life lived in its own terms!
 
It is clear to me, surveying the pattern of these many lives, that a number of them can be understood best as following from the "lesson" whose message is being lived through - or ignored - rather than as a discrete life in a certain period of historical time. Not that any of these other factors are insignificant in determining the course of any one life - but additionally, each of them represents a stage in the unfolding of themes based on needed corrections to erroneous pathways followed or in actual reaction against a previous lifetime whose ending was so disasatrous as to prevent real leqarning from taking place, or the message of which was so alien to one's "soul values" as to invite some sort of reactive theme to enact itself in the following lifetime.
 
This life is an instance of the latter pattern. As I say in my account of the Cathar lifetime,
 
Roger says expiation is one of the strongest impulses there is, and the only thing I had in my mind was the need for expiation, only I didn't even understand that that was what it was! No one could help me. It was too late. The deed had been done. I had gone, with no perceptible space except horror between them from "too soon" to "too late." I had wanted to experience life, and it was too soon to die. Now it was too late for me ever to die properly. One is only allowed one death, and I had blown it! Do you see what I did? I forgot that God had given me his grace! I absolutely wiped the entire experience of conversion and consolation out of my being! I wiped it out so totally, I didn't even perceive that I had done so! That is the sin against the Holy Spirit.
 
... which is called "the one unforgiveable sin" in the eyes of the Church. I have not had th opportunity to explore any more of the details of this life. All I have is this final scene in the dungeon. I know only that my brother was the king, that he hated and feared me, and that he had abandoned me to die in the dungeon - a slow death by gradual asphyxiation.
 
I lay face upward on a cold stone slab which inclined at an angle, my head toward the lower end of the slab. My arms and legs were manacled in iron collars attached to my wrists and ankles, which were attached by thick chains to iron rings high on the wall above me. Around my neck was an iron collar clasped closely around my neck and also attached to an iron ring by a very short chain. The angle of the slab was such that my body's weight was pulling me slowly downward on the slab, and gradually tightening the pull of the collar against my throat. It had already begun to shut off my airway, so I could see that my life was nearly at an end, and soon would be.
 
I do not know what my young brother the king held against me, although I can guess that he was afraid that I would usurp the throne if not eliminated. I do know that his hatred, his vengefulness, his implacable enmity toward me were palpable as I lay there slowly dying in the darkness!
 
That is all I know of this life. It is enough! It is as though I needed to punish myself in every way for the betrayal I felt I had committed of the people I loved best in the world - and of God Himself! It was to be many lifetimes following this one before I would finally even begin to see a resolution of this spiritual issue!
 
 
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