What man calls death came to my body rather suddenly, and the soul quickly decided to find another environment in which to express and grow.
I am not sure as to the lapse of time between incarnations, but it was relatively short.
Life carried me to a strangely enchanting land, totally different from my previous life.
It was a land of rigid customs.
The people moved with quick steps yet stood still in the face of tradition.
The way of life was leisurely, but there was a flare of elegance that found expression through simplicity in lines and contours that were fluid with emphasis on preserved beauty.
The philosophy of the people had a tone of similiarity with what Jesus taught.
Buddha was the God.
Buddha spoke with great wisdom, bringing a breath of freshness to the lifeless words.
I learned much from this oriental teaching, and it has endured through many generations for it is woven into the very warp and woof of the Christian world.
Today, a glazed Buddha stands in my home because of a memory.
This Buddha is a happy image and sits in retired contentment, holding in his hollow interior the names of people with whom I keep a vigil of prayer.
My body was that of a slight man, highly animated with energy.
For the most part, my life was uneventful and reasonably short.
I spent much time among the delicate blossoms of the garden, beside quiet pools, reflecting on life and her purpose.
In our peaceful home, I shared life with a love that could not last for numerous reasons.
Class distinction brought much difficulty to love that did not recognize man’s differences.
Life without her would not have been life, but because of this both our lives ended by my hand.
This I wish my soul did not remember.
In life’s lessons, I have learned nothing is destroyed.
There are times when it must be removed in order to build again—to build a finer structure, a new skyline—to raise the vision, to create a new image.
The old must make way for something more durable and more beautiful.
So it was, and the Master Sculpturer was already chiseling on a new piece of His handiwork.
* * *
My soul craved excitement and love, so it migrated to another oriental country and placed me in the body of what was to become one of China’s most popular geishas.
My temperament and body had a flare for the artistic; I was moved to create.
Hand painting was only one of the arts in which I engaged.
For the most part, my life was taken up by my work as a geisha.
Time was spent catering to the needs of many, leaving my own soul unfed and hungry.
Everything within me hungered for life and a fuller expression of it.
It was my desire to share with one man rather than have my body as a crossroad for many.
Inwardly, this starvation brought illness, and once more I brought destruction to the body through suicide.
Suicide is a most unfortunate way to leave the body for there is much confusion and great distress.
Even in spirit, I wandered helplessly for a long period of time trying to regain conscious awareness of my true nature.
I only remembered that I was Tonya and Tonya was no more.
Tonya had been a personality and had died with the flesh.
* * *
Once more the soul, asking for another opportunity, sought a new experience.
I reveled in the thought of living again and taking up a new body for the sake of joy and gaiety.
I realized there was a definite bitterness in me that had to be overcome because of past experiences.
This time, I wanted only to charm, taunt and tease.
There was a wildness to my spirit that was
I arrived in one of the lower European countries.
Here my feet whirled to gypsy music.
Love was the order of the day, much love, more than I had yet experienced.
There was not just one man in my life but men, men, men!
Everywhere I went, music beat its rhythm of fast living.
Music was in the streets, in the market places.
Yes, music was even there as we indulged in each other.
My body was a restless bundle of explosive energy; sculptured and trim.
My wild beauty caught the eye of a Pasha who purchased me as his personal concubine.
I let myself be bought for it gave me a recognized position.
I no longer was a nobody of the streets.
In spite of this, I remained more empty than ever before.
A strange loneliness attached itself to me with a passion.
I could not shake it or find freedom from a feeling of desperation.
Life had become a series of demands, requests and harsh orders.
I had been bought for a price; I had sold myself to lose myself.
Panic drove me into the streets, back to the
men I entertained in dreams.
Once more I threw myself into the currents of the sense world.
Once more, I was caught up with undisciplined feelings and gave full vent to every emotion.
These men had nothing to give but themselves, for jewels were not a part of their price.
Their need was only to use, to take, to leave, to come back and take again.
My only comfort was in their taking.
They spoke kindly, caressed and spent themselves fully.
The experience had no value but to make the body scream for more.
I became an addict to men and a slave to their ruthless habits.
The body which had been a vessel of desire now became a curse; I tell you, she was a raging tyrant.
What once was pleasure now met with disgust, and I lived in a mental state of anguish and frustration.
I reached out to life to again answer me and clarify my needs.
My heart beat a pounding rhythm of pain, causing sleepless nights filled with remorse.
Feverish desire lurked in my world, leaving tracks of guilt, as life began to refine her actoin.
I was tortured and tormented beyond my ability to bear.
This drove me once more into the streets where I could forget in moments of ecstasy.
Fear working with jealousy put a blade through my heart; the pain I still remember.
The body had been evacuated.
Again, I was free to ponder my experiences.
* * *
Life, I ask you.
Bring peace to my troubled soul.
I am weary worn and know not the direction to take.
Give me yourself that I might live and learn on a higher plane.
If I be lifted up by your energy then I can light myself into new understanding.
© 1972, by Richard Dale Billings
All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission.