Monday, May 9

Life #3

There are several problem with past lives that make it difficult to pinpoint when exactly you lived and who exactly you were. The more ancient the culture, the more alien it will be to all you have come to know... giving it a dream-like unreality that makes identification even more difficult. Unless it's a well known culture like Egypt, chances of a positive identification are very slim, and even then, Egypt existed for thousands of years before official recorded history. Forgive me for not being able to narrow some of these lives down to more than a certain century or even millennia.

I have been both male and female and no longer attach much significance to such things. You may consider my gender to be asexual; there is more than one reason for this, but I don't plan on discussing them beyond saying, neither men nor women impress me as being better than the other. I defer to knowledge and ability.

The first human life I recall occurred in ancient Egypt where I was apprenticed to be a scribe. In Egypt, scribes were usually the younger sons of noble families. It was a lucrative position equating to both magician and priest. The god of scribes is Thoth (Tehuti or Djehuty)... the ibis headed god of magic, language, judgement and the moon. This is a connection I retain to this day. He stands at the head of my pantheon and when I act, I ask myself if he would approve of my actions.

In my first human life, I was apprenticed at a young age with several other boys to a master scribe. He was very old and infirm, and we boys were expected to perform various chores for him. Every morning, one of the boys was supposed to get water from the well in the city. The morning of my death, the boy whose turn it was didn't do it. When I realized there was no water, I went to get it instead. While I was out, I was strangled by a thief, probably for the ewer I carried since anyone would have known an apprentice scribe wouldn't have any money or real valuables.

What did I gain from this life? You would think it would be sense enough to be careful of my surroundings, but no. Instead, my big mouth and sense of propriety have earned me the distinction of having been murdered six out of eight lives.  I just can't seem to keep quiet when I see injustice, even in societies rigidly controlled by taboos. It was from this life, I collected my sense of duty and loyalty, which is what got me killed. If there was a lesson I failed to learn, it was patience. I would not have been punished for the lack of water; and this perhaps leads to the second lesson, to know my place. It wasn't my place to get the water, but I did it because someone had to and the longer we sat around arguing about who's turn it was, the more likely it was that our master would wake and wonder where it was.

I can't even properly say that it was a thief who killed me. I only assume it was a thief, but it could have been one of the other scribes who thought my tendency towards expedience was an attempt to earn the old man's favor. It could have been a dark magician or priest who wanted to use me for parts in a spell, something that is still a problem in parts of Africa to this day.

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