Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #169 – “Past Lives”

THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

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by Larry Brody

If there’s one thing friends of Wanda the Arkansas Angel have learned to expect, it’s the unexpected.

Awhile ago she called Gwen the Beautiful and me with an invitation so unusual there was no way we could refuse.

“My friend Dolores Cannon is putting on a program at the Unity Church this weekend,” Wanda said, “I think you and Beautiful would love it.”

Visions of artery-clogging food and strained socializing danced in my head. “What kind of program?” I said warily.

“Dolores is Shirley MacLaine’s past-life regressionist—regressioner?—whatever it is,” Wanda said. “She charges hundreds of dollars to take people back to whoever they were centuries ago. But she’s doing a mass regression at the church for ten dollars a person. Don’t you and Beautiful want to know your former lives?”

I don’t know which intrigued me most, the idea of learning about any past life I might’ve had, the concept of a ‘mass regression’ with dozens of people turning into Cleopatra or Mozart or Clark Gable at once, or the big discount. Whatever it was, I heard myself say, “Yes!” and jump in with both feet.

The following Saturday Gwen and I joined about 20 people in the meeting room of the little church in Conway and listened as Ms. Cannon explained that we should all get comfy on the floor so she could do the thing she does and take us back, back, back in time.

“All you’ve got to do is relax and listen, and let your mind wander wherever it will,” she said.

I’m as open-minded about this kind of thing as they come, but I can honestly say I had some reservations. I waited for someone else to voice a doubt, or at the least the dry sound of scoffing. But the only response was a chorus of, “Amen”s.

In this place, at this time, Ms. Cannon definitely was preaching to the choir. There was no point in me doing anything but lying back and letting myself become part of the show.

Ms. Cannon spoke in a soft, soothing voice that nevertheless carried throughout the room. “You’re in a beautiful, blooming garden. At the other side of the garden is a gate. You walk to the gate, open it, and go through to the woods. In the woods, you walk along a path leading to the foot of a mountain. Along the way, you admire the singing birds and distant animal sounds….”

There was more, but I didn’t hear it. I was walking along the path, which ended abruptly, revealing that I was at the top of a mesa. At the edge of the mesa was another path. Narrow and steep, it wound down to a cave. I entered the cave—

And found myself standing at an altar, speaking to about fifty people who were gathered before me. My listeners were dressed like South American Indians. Aztecs, I thought. The people were smaller than I was, but that didn’t seem unusual because I was about seven feet tall, not counting the high, feathered headdress I wore.

One of the reasons I was so tall was that I wasn’t human. I had a face and arms, but a long, scaly body, and brilliantly feathered wings.

My speech to the Aztecs was short. After many years as their teacher I was saying good-bye. I was leaving in the large, disk-shaped spaceship that I knew hovered overhead even though I couldn’t see it from inside the cave.

As I finished what I was saying, I began rising upward, pulled by a beam that took me through the mountain and up, up, up toward the ship—

And then, before we reached the ship, the vision was gone and I was back on the floor of the church, where Dolores Cannon was asking everyone what they’d experienced, and who they’d been while in the light state of hypnosis she had induced.

Gwen saw my dazed look. “What is it?” she said.

I told her what had happened. “You were Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent of the Aztecs,” Gwen said. “You were a god.”

“An alien actually.”

Ms. Cannon was listening to us.

“I know those aliens,” she said. “Shirley wrote about them in her autobiography.”

“I haven’t read her autobiography,” I said.

On the other side of me, Wanda spoke up. “I was Cleopatra,” she said. “And now for sure I’m gonna read Shirley’s book.”

So am I.

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

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