In this guest article, we hear from Robert Serocki Jr, an author, veteran and PTSD survivor. Robert is a student and previous client who has had some interesting experiences researching his past lives. I know many of my readers love to read about past lives and so asked him to put together an article with details of what it was like to find out that he was an American civil war soldier in a past life.
Over to Robert…
My Past Life As a Civil War Soldier
A few years ago, I began writing my fourth book (in a series I have written about healing PTSD and becoming spiritually ‘whole’ and integrated.)
A big portion of the book was about three dreams that I had over and over again, as a child. In one of the dreams, I was in the American Revolutionary War, in the second I was in the American Civil War, and in the third I was in Vietnam. In all three dreams, I was mortally wounded in the chest, and I saw myself die each time.
Since I was a little boy, I had always thought that these were past life dreams, and when I was young, I would always pretend I was in big battles and that I got shot in the chest.
These dreams stopped when I turned 18 in this lifetime and joined the United States Marine Corps. This time, I lived (obviously). I also got out of the Marines after my first enlistment. (This was significant because in all three of my past life dreams, I had re-enlisted in the military and each time it ended in me dying.)
I believe that the purpose of being in the Marines and going to war again in this life was that I needed a different experience this time around. I needed to move past staying in the military and dying in combat. (I have always felt that I had baggage to clean up from past lives.)
OK, so back to my story as a soldier in this life…
Altogether, I spent four years in the United States Marine Corps, and I fought in combat on the front lines of the first Gulf War in 1990/91.
Because of my experiences, I developed PTSD. And because of PTSD I lost everything. I lost a job of 20 years. I lost my ability to walk and was in a wheelchair. I also lost my home and ended up on the street. I ended up in the hospital twice and they pumped me up on so much medication that during this time, I existed as a drugged-up zombie. I spent nearly 20 years doing that. I have since overcome it all (and my books go into how I overcame those experience in more detail.)
The Civil War Soldier
One day before I began writing my fourth book, a friend of mine sent me a text message with a picture in it. He told me to look at it and let him know what I thought — it was a picture of a Civil War soldier and it showed his head and shoulders.
Upon looking at it, I realized that it looked exactly like me. I texted my friend back and told him what I thought. He said, “Yes, that is exactly what I thought too. That is why I had to send it to you.”
At that point, I decided that I had to find out who this man was. Maybe he was a past relative? Or maybe it was me in a past life?
Finding out who he was
To find out the identity of the soldier, I contacted the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and a bunch of different museums back east and in the south. One of them was in Georgia. I had left a message on an answering machine there.
The next day a woman called me back. I told her I was writing a book. However, I did not want to tell her I was writing a book about my dreams and past lives because I did not want her to think I was crazy. I kept being vague about it and she kept saying, “I get it.” So, I finally decided to spill my guts and tell her. But before I could say anything, she said, “God told me to tell you to keep interpreting your dreams, keep doing what you are doing and everything will work out fine.” I just about dropped the phone! She then proceeded to tell me that I left a message on a general message machine that numerous people check throughout the day. She said she just happened to walk by and see it blinking. She told me that God gives her messages to give to people who need it and then somehow God gets her in contact with those people. She said that was her purpose. I thanked her profusely and hung up.
A day later, the Library of Congress contacted me and told me that the picture was supposedly taken at Harpers Ferry in 1862.
The picture on the left is me and on the right is the Civil War soldier in 1862.
This led to a large amount of laborious research that caused many headaches for me. (As a retired archaeologist, I knew that a lot of Civil War records, and historical records in general, were incorrectly filed, labeled, etc.)
It took a couple years of research before I came up with anything meaningful and during that period, I had given up on finding out who he was many times.
One day, after I became re-inspired to find out his identity, I found a free online book from 1896 that had been digitized about a unit in the Civil War. The book mentioned that one of the battles they fought in was in fact at Harpers Ferry and it contained lists of all the units and the men who were in those units.
At this point, I became frustrated again because I couldn’t get anywhere with my research. I was running into one roadblock after another. I got so frustrated that at night when I was saying my prayers, I asked God for help in finding out who this person was.
Upon awakening in the morning, I very distinctly heard this voice say to me, “Company I.” Once I got out of bed, I pulled out that book from 1896. I began looking through the pages and I found a Company I listed in the battalion roster. However, there were at least 100 names listed in that company for the years 1862 and 1863. So, here I was again, hitting another roadblock.
That night when I went to bed, I said, “ok, I can’t do anything with company I, I need more information, a name. Please!”
As I was opening my eyes in the morning, I was stunned to see an older man dressed in a grey top hat, long grey coat, grey pants, black boots, white shirt, and a black bowtie. It was indicative of Civil War period dress. The man had grey hair and a beard. He was hovering above me and he said to me, “John Hart!” I just about flipped my lid.
I jumped out of bed and ran right to my desk where the 1896 book was. I frantically flipped through the pages and found the roster for Company I. Bam! There it was on the list, “John Hart.” Now I had to find out what happened to him.
This person’s records were completely screwed up. I spent months and months tracking everything down, talking to historians, volunteer historians and historical societies in New York. (This is where the unit was from that John Hart was in.)
Eventually, after months of painstaking work, I got his records correct. He had had a very rough life. He died in a Veterans home all alone. He fought in many battles and was sick several times during his enlistment. He got sick the first time when he was in a military hospital because he got wounded slightly in the chest! (This is where I was wounded in my dream.)
He was also in the battle of Harpers Ferry and was a Union Soldier. He was part of a unit that fought the bulk of the battle. They eventually had to surrender because of inept leadership. His unit got labelled the “Harpers Ferry Cowards”. He was able to redeem himself at the battle of Gettysburg where his unit won great honors fighting heroically in the battle.
I looked up the battle of Harpers Ferry and found a photo of it. It looked exactly like the area of the Civil War battle I was in, in my dream, where I got wounded in the chest. Everything was exactly the same. My dreams are very vivid, and I can still recall every detail of them.
For many years after the war John Hart suffered from alcoholism. He did get married and have children. He and his family were very poor. He couldn’t get any help from the government he fought for.
Interestingly, these were very similar struggles to what I have gone through in this life due to my military and combat experiences. However, because of alcoholism, and the diseases he contracted during the war, he developed a spinal disease similar to syphilis. He eventually ended up in a Civil War era military hospital in a wheelchair where the disease led to pneumonia, and he died in 1906. After I told his story in my fourth book, I never saw John Hart again.
Something that didn’t make sense…
I was convinced that John Hart was me in a past life, however he did not die of his wound in the chest, as I did in my dream. So that didn’t make sense.
However, a German psychiatrist (with a background in Jungian psychology) I was seeing when I had PTSD suggested that the wounds from those 3 past lives were symbolic wounds to the heart, rather than literal ones.
She suggested that in my past lives, because of my experiences in combat, my heart was wounded, emotionally. So, I reenlisted each time in order to avoid having to deal with that (this actually is typical response for people with trauma because it is something they are familiar with). And because I did not deal with those wounds, it eventually killed me just like it did to John Hart. In this life, I broke the cycle. I did not re-enlist, and I did deal with the wounds the war caused for me.
This was all for a reason. First, it was about self-love, loving and valuing myself enough to heal myself. Then, I was to use what I learned from these experiences and inspire others to do the same through light work.
Subsequently, I had Anna do an Akashic Record reading for me. These life lessons (self-worth and love) showed up in her reading along with the percentages of how much work I have done on them throughout all of my lives which demonstrated to me that I have been working on them for a purpose all along.
It also came up in the reading that on the ‘other side’, in between my earthly lives, I helped others heal after a traumatic or early death. (I primarily helped small children and babies.) After reading this, I felt that these past lives I mentioned and everything I’ve been through in this life were for the purpose of gaining knowledge about the difficulties these experiences cause so that I can advance to helping others on the other side.
Spirituality has always been a big part of my life. My intuition guides me daily and I have learned to trust it. I can sense things and feel things in people. I have had out of body experiences, I have had dreams that predicted the future, God spoke to me once in my family room right before I published my first book, A Line in the Sand, and everything he told me would happen, did. So, for these reasons I have always “believed”.
More details about me, my books, my videos, and all of my TV and radio interviews can be found on my website www.robertserockijr.com