Remembering Past Times

In The Court Of The Crimson KingI had a wonderful time today reliving my teenage years while watching a concert of Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the Isle of Wight on TV.

E. L. and P were one of the first supergroups and I was a huge fan back in those days. Along with groups like Cream, Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Led  Zeppelin, they wrote the soundtrack to my youth. I could name many, many others, but the list would fill the page.

Things were very different back then. An Afghan was an embroidered shaggy coat that smelt awful when it got wet, not what it means today. My first live concert was at the Town Hall in Birmingham. It cost 6/- (six shillings), 30p in today’s money, and I watched Genesis, Lindisfarne and Van der Graff Generator on their first tours and soaked up every last note.

But listening to the music today, some 40 years after I heard it the first time, revived memories in a way that only certain smells can emulate. I say smells, because in my case, the smell of steam engines takes me right back to childhood holidays in Margate. Each morning, or so I recall, my grandfather took me to the shunting yards to watch the tank engines arranging the commuter coaches into the trains for people to get to work. One whiff of coal smoke and oily steam, and I can see it all so clearly.

The music took me back to school days. Long hair, loons, tie-dye T shirts and evenings spent in my bedroom with the commandeered family PYE gramophone, and a reel to reel tape recorder blasting out the latest Progressive Rock tracks. I was supposed to be studying, or doing homework, but all I can remember is trying to pick out the chords on my six string and practicing riffs. No wonder my exam results suffered.

As those memories came flooding back, it got me thinking about how wonderful it would be if we could recall events from our past lives. I have been through past life regression sessions in the past, with some interesting results, but that’s not quite what I mean.

My life has been a cycle of repeated events, some good, others not so good, but the cycle is quite clear. Finally I have seen the light, I’m taking steps to avoid another cycle and learning from past mistakes.

My Buddhist Practice, and particularly the study of Karma, have made me look at the past in a different way. I now realise that I created the causes for that cycle to repeat and by stopping my life will change course forever. It can be a painful realisation, but not as painful as going on the way I had.

As a postscript, I would like to say a huge thank you to all those folks who read my blog, over 1000 of you now. I hope you enjoy, or at least gain something from, my thoughts.



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