A23. Return of a Friend

During the following two weeks until DJ’s next appointment with me, I kept thinking about the remarkable lessons that DJ and his subconscious were teaching.  Further, I wondered how it came to be that DJ experienced his transition around a phrase in the book that seemed to be a “throw-away” line:  “I went on a little walk by myself… sat meditating… came back.”  Why did the author choose to write such a line? 


I have been a student of the Bible for many years, and one of the things I have learned is that there are no “throw-away” lines in the Bible.  Even though some of the verses seem obscure, a meaning can always be attributed to each verse.  In a similar vein of thought, I wondered about the meaning of the line in Jack Kerouac’s book.


After greeting DJ upon his return I said, “Before we begin today, I want to ask your subconscious some questions.”


“OK,” said DJ.


“Did you plan DJ’s transition in advance?”


The “Yes” finger rose.


“Did you plan it during a previous life?”


The “Yes” finger rose.


“What’s your relationship to Jack Kerouac?”


“It is I,” said DJ.


“What did you say?”


“He said he is Jack Kerouac!” exclaimed DJ.


“I get it!” I said excitedly.  “Your subconscious says that he is Kerouac, which means that he wrote that section in the book in order to permit his own transition in a later life!  That makes sense to me!  I have written things that are only have meaning to me!”


I stood up, and open a file cabinet drawer from which I pulled a single page article I had written 31 years earlier, entitled “Lessons from a Death.”   This is the same article that was published in The New Physician and was mentioned in blog A4.  “You see,” I explained to DJ.  “In this article I mention the ages of my friends who died:  19, 23, and 62.  These ages only mean something to me, and serve to remind only me of these friends.”


DJ spent a few moments reading the article.  “If my subconscious is Jack Kerouac, we should find out more about him.”


DJ stood behind me to read of my shoulder, as I opened my internet browser.  We found out that Jack was considered to be a leading author of his generation. He began publishing books in the late 1940’s, which covered various topics including Catholic spirituality, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel.  He was one of the early leaders of the hippie movement.  Kerouac died in 1969, at the age of 47 because of internal bleeding that did not stop because his liver had failed as result of his drinking too much alcohol.


“I don’t drink alcohol,” said DJ.


“That’s Jack, not you,” I responded.  “Your conscious is the Captain of your current life.”


“That makes sense,” he pondered, as he sat down.  “Wait a minute,” he said.  “If Jack died in 1969, and I was born in 1994, why did it take him so long to get back?”


“I don’t know,” I laughed.  “I don’t know the rules for reincarnation, or how they work!”  I paused. “But maybe, there was a life in between Jack and yours.  Can I ask your subconscious?”




“Were you in a life between Jack Kerouac and DJ?”


There was no pause.  The “Yes” finger rose.


“Wow!  That’s interesting!” I exclaimed.  “Since souls may travel together, I wonder if I knew you in your immediate preceding life.”  I looked at DJ’s hand.  “Did I know you in your previous life, when I was still part of my current life?”


The “Yes” finger rose.


“I wonder who you were,” I said softly.  I have known many patients who have passed away because of my work as a pediatric pulmonologist.  I had an idea.  “Are you one of the people in this article?”  I pointed to the article “Lessons from a Death” that was placed on the desk next to us.


The “Yes” finger rose.


“Wow,” I said.  “Are you the 23-year-old?”


The “No” finger rose.


“Are you the 19-year-old?”


The “Yes” finger rose.


“That’s interesting!” I exclaimed.  My thoughts quickly went back to the 19-year-old who had died 20 years earlier: Larry!  “Is it really you?”


Is that how life works?  I started thinking rapidly.  Was Larry placed in my life as a guide to help choose pediatric pulmonology as a career?  Is he now back to teach me more about the nature of our existence?  Some of my life highlights came back to me in a rush.  Was the friend who helped me decide to go to medical school yet another guide?  Was the student who suggested I apply to MGH a guide?  Was Dr. Byrd, who insisted I could be of help to Paul a guide?  And of course, Paul was yet another guide who pushed me into the world of hypnosis.  And am I acting as a life guide for some of my patients?


I asked DJ to stand up, and asked permission to hug him.  It is not every day that one gets a chance to greet an old friend who has returned.

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A27. Dreaming of a House

I had expected to have several more sessions with DJ in order to continue our post-transition work. However, we met on only two other occasions to discuss his career development path, and then he felt he no longer needed to return.

A26. Another Synchronicity of Events

After living in Syracuse for a number of years, my wife said that she was tired of the difficult winter weather there, which affected the city nearly half of each year.

A25. Guided through Life

During the summer prior to medical school I met with the Cantor at my parents’ synagogue and asked him to help me to continue to learn how to chant from the Torah.

A24. Finding my Spiritual Self

The amazing events with DJ reinforced ideas and feelings about life that I had been developing for a couple of decades. Thus far I have shared how my involvement with the world of medicine helped instruct me about how life can work.

A22. The Role of a Leader

DJ brought a copy of “Dharma Bums” to his next visit with me two weeks later. “You were right!” he exclaimed. “The part about the paths was not in the book.”

A21. What happened?

I looked out my office door at 4:59 pm on Sunday, December 23. And precisely at 5 pm DJ walked down the darkened hall towards my office. (For some reason, no one else was seeing patients at that time.)