FROM HAIKU, MAUI
A PERSONAL ESSAY: "Constantine and I, Part III"
17 century-long shapeshifting journey from Sword to Lotus Flower
Constantine's Trail of Tears
Retracing memories and emotions of Constantine's personal life through relationships in current incarnation brings out pain, tears, and finally... release, freedom
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 9, 2011 - I grew up in a tough neighborhood. Male children are bread to be soldiers in the part of the world I was born in (see blue circle on the map). There is a very good reason for it. The Balkans is sometimes called a "graveyard of empires." This is where Europe meets Asia. This is the land across which conquerors from the east and from the west had to pass on their way to glory or damnation. So the people on the territory of former Yugoslavia are used to fighting off foreign invaders. What they are not used to is defending themselves from themselves. Which is why any kid who doesn't act like a tough guy is mocked and ridiculed.
My father (right) was a tough kid. He came from a peasant family of 10 children. He was the only one picked to go to school. So he finished not only high school but also got an engineering degree from the Belgrade University. Which was very untypical in those days. But that did not let him off the hook back home. He spent his summers working the fields of the family farm like everybody else. When World War II started, he had the rank of a captain in the Yugoslav army who commanded an anti-aircraft unit in Novi Sad, on the river Danube. They fired on Luftwaffe planes at Easter, April 6, 1941, when Hitler bombed Belgrade to signal the start of his war against Yugoslavia. Later, my father displayed tremendous courage and cunning when he used his command of the German language to free himself and his entire unit from a German prisoner of war camp. Eventually, he joined the anti-Nazi resistance movement and worked as an undercover agent right under the German noses. For his service to the cause of freedom, he was "rewarded" by a long prison sentence. Tito, the Yugoslav president, failed to shoot a deer one day during a diplomatic hunt my father was orchestrating. Of course, he was not charged with that. He was accused of trying to assassinate Tito. When prosecutors failed to prove it despite using torture to extract a confession, my father was convicted of a lesser charge. He was released from prison in 1954. I never learned the full story until I was 21.
So my father tried to raise me the only way he knew, the way his father and grandfather raised him - to be a tough kid. Up until the time he went to prison, I would have to report to him every afternoon after my mandatory nap (which I hated) about my daily transgressions. And there were always some. I was into some sort of mischief almost every day. Then I, not my father, would also have to pronounce the sentence. He would ask me how many lashes with his leather belt my misdeeds were worth that day. If I were too soft on myself, he would double the punishment. So I always added a few extra lashes just to be on the safe side. [mark 1st dot in Constantine's life story].
When they came to arrest my father, I was playing in our backyard. I watched two uniformed policemen arrive and walk into the house. Since my father had a high security clearance and we had dignitaries coming and going all the time, including Tito and other top government officials, I did not think anything of it. It was not until the two policemen came out of the house, with my father walking between them, that I became a little curious. I do not recall seeing the cuffs on this hands as I was quite far away, but I suspect he must have had them.
When I walked into the house, the whole place looked like it had been ransacked. The policemen had evidently turned everything upside down searching for "evidence" of the alleged assassination plot. Still, my mother and grandmother managed somehow to quiet my fears. I do not recall any emotional trauma over it.
Two years passed. We came pretty close to starvation. Our neighbors shunned us for fear they might be also persecuted. There was one exception... a medical doctor who lived across the street who was a friend of my father's. He brought us food every once in a while.
(More than forty years later, we had the privilege of paying back his kindness with kindness. This doctor and his family became refugees during the "ethnic cleansing" of the Serbs in the Muslim part of Bosnia where they lived... something Americans never heard about from our lamestream media which always portrayed the Serbs as predators, not victims. When they arrived in Serbia, my mother helped them with shelter, linen and clothes for a while. I helped them financially).
Back to 1952, my mother, sister and I are on a long train ride to Slovenia. Lepoglava is a an old fortress that was also used a the Austrian Empire for political prisoners. So Tito continued the tradition. Only now the enemies of the communist regime occupied its cell rather than those who opposed the Habsburg monarchs. As a seven-year old, of course, I had no idea about any of that. All I remember is arriving and this cold and foreboding place with high stone walls. And a long corridor with open air windows cut in the stone.
After a while, my father arrived wearing blue prison uniform. It was only then that it hit me for the first time. My father was not "just away on business," or some other similar story my mother and grandmother made up. He is in prison! To me, he was God. How can God be in prison?? My young mind could not wrap itself around that conundrum. I burst out in tears and uncontrollable convulsions. I evidently cause so much commotion and racket that even the prison guards felt sorry and tried to comfort me. "Don't cry. Your father will be home soon," one of them told me.
On Sep 3, 1953 my father arrived home. He was wearing the same blue prison overalls when I saw him at the opposite end of our backyard. I screamed for joy and ran into his arms. Fifty eight years later, I still remember the scene and feel the elations as if happened yesterday. [mark 2nd dot in Constantine's life story].
Please don't feel sorry for me here. I, as Constantine, did a lot worse to other people than just ordering a few lashes. I also remember doing something as a little kid for which I was not punished because I never shared it with anyone. That's because at the time I felt no guilt about it. It was only later as a grown up that I realized the gravity of what I did. So this is my first confession about it. Ever.
I grew up basically as an only child. My sister was over nine years older. I used to spend most days playing in our fenced backyard. I am guessing I am about four or five at the time of this memory. Besides my love of music which manifested itself at the time when I tried to emulate the Gypsy musicians (see Dance of Stars, July 22), I also loved ceremony (my 7th ray soul manifesting itself?). I used to make little wooden crosses to use as grave markers. Then I would perform funeral ceremonies. Now, here's the terrible part. I would catch some baby chicks and ring their necks they way I saw the grown-ups do it. Then I would bury the chicks and pretend I was a priest sending them off to heaven. As I said, I felt absolutely no guilt at the time for killing the baby chicks. They were like stuffed animals to me, objects to use in my ceremonies. That's why I never told my father about it. Nor anyone else. Till now.
Perhaps that was the first spark of the brutal Constantine in me, even if it flared up from the subconscious. Maybe that's why I have been led to the path of shamanism and love of all things living and inanimate (see Shepherd of the Earth, July 18, User ID/Password required). Every tree and flower I have planted at our property here in Maui has grown from the seeds of the crosses on the graves of those little chicks. The birthing of new life as an adult was my form of repentance for that childhood sin. I am also going to stop eating eggs for the rest of my life. That's the guidance I received just now as I was writing this paragraph. "I am sorry, the baby chicks," that I deprived you of a chance to lay eggs. [tears] [mark 3rd dot in Constantine's life story].
Everybody remembers their first kiss, right? Well, mine happened when I was about 13 or 14. The girl's name was Nevenka. Which roughly translates into Innocent in English. The significance of that only hit me in the last few days. Nevenka was a beautiful girl, gentle as a flower, with a smile that would melt the Alps. I was as shy as can be. And awkward. It took me a long time to work up the courage to approach her in a romantic way. But when I did, luckily she liked me, too. So we held hands walking on the Sava river bank, went to the movies, and... one day we kissed. It was heaven. I thought my heart would jump out of my chest as I walked home afterward.
When I got home, my father and mother looked rather grim. I knew that look on their faces. A Star Chamber was in session and I was to enter the prisoner dock. Turns out the word got out about my little romance. So they were here to tell me that Nevenka the Innocent (what irony in the name!) was the wrong girl for me. She was from the "other side of the tracks," to use an American metaphor. In other words, not good enough for me. So I was to break off the relationship. Or else...
I felt terrible. My first love and I had to kill it before it even had a chance to blossom. But at 14 or so, I was still an obedient son. so with a heavy heart and feeling like a heel, I broke off the relationship. Of course, Nevenka the Innocent was also heartbroken. Even more so because she was an innocent victim of the class strata which existed in implicit form even in a communist society.
I never got over that betrayal. Luckily, I got a chance to ask and receive Nevenka the Innocent's forgiveness. It came 35 years later when, while working as a war correspondent in the Balkans, I had a chance to attend the 30th reunion of my high school class in Sremska Mitrovica, the modern name for the old Roman capital of Sirmium that lies underneath. It was the first time I had seen Nevenka the Innocent in decades. As the evening progressed, and most people were getting more and more drunk, I came over and sat down next to her. We spent the rest of the night together. Not sexually. I was a married man back then. We allowed our souls to make love to each other and make up for all those decades we had missed. We walked till dawn. I asked for her forgiveness which she gave me as easily as she offered me her love when we were 14. The sun had already risen by the time I walked Nevenka the Innocent back to her car in the hotel parking lot. We kissed again 35 years after our first kiss. [mark 4th dot in Constantine's life story].
My late cousin Bora, my mother's sister's son, was 18 years older than I. Yet he was the closest man I have known in my entire life. He was my brother and my father, and later, he would also become my son.
During WW II, Bora lived with my parents. His father was a prisoner of war in Germany. His mother, like my father, was a part of the anti-Nazi resistance movement. But she was unlucky and got caught and arrested by the Gestapo. Which meant torture and an almost certain death. So Bora lived to avenge his mother. At age of 17, roughly the age the photo (right) was taken, he ran away from home to join the freedom fighters against the Nazis. He distinguished himself as a fearless fighter.
After the war, he remained in uniform with a unit that was hunting down the Nazi collaborators and other "enemies of the people," meaning the communist regime. As part of this "cleansing" process, Bora participated in some unspeakable crimes, such as executions of thousands of innocent civilians. He was lucky enough to be able to quit both the Communist Party and this army unit. He spent the rest of his life lamenting his role in all this. He confessed these crimes to me much later, during the phase in our relationship when he was like my son. He asked me to keep them a secret until his death. He passed away 10 years ago.
But when I was a child, Bora was the epitome of Love itself to me. My heart would jump every time I saw him. He never treated me as a little kid even though he was 18 years older. We were always brothers in everything. Yet het was also protective of me. Even against my father. One day, he was teasing and tickling me on my parents bed. We had just moved into this house and the boxes and furniture were all over the place. As I giggled and squirmed to escape his tickling, my foot hit a beautiful porcelain chandelier, my parents' prize pre-war possession, one of the few things that survived all their moves.
My father was furious. In a wild rage, his eyes bulging with anger, he pulled the infamous leather belt out of his pants. I thought he was going to kill me. Interestingly, I was not afraid. Guess after years of facing that belt I had become numb of fear. But Bora was not going to let him do it. Not this time. Acting swiftly and spontaneously, he threw himself on top of me. "If you're going to beat anyone today, beat me," he yelled at my father.
Stunned, my father stopped. His raised arm holding the belt and poised for a hit, fell limply. I was saved. Bora saved me. [mark 5th dot in Constantine's life story].
College Love, Abortion, Betrayal
When I was a junior in college I felt madly in love with one of my high school friends. We had lost contact. Her father was a diplomat and she and her family spent several years in New York. When she returned, we reconnected through another cousin of mine, her former boyfriend. One thing led to another and we ended up in bed. And in love, not long afterward. At least I was. I am not sure how much in love she was.
After a couple of months, she told me she was pregnant. Since we were both students without any independent means to support ourselves, her suggestion that she get an abortion seemed reasonable to me. It sure made things easier - FOR ME. So I contacted my brother Bora. I figured he'd know people. And he did. It wasn't a big deal. Getting abortions in a communist society was like having your tooth pulled. Bora and I waited at the doctor's office until the procedure was done, and then we took my girlfriend home. She never told her parents. I never told mine. Bora and his wife were the only ones who knew.
Oddly enough, this did not end our relationship. In fact, it seems to have strengthened it. At least for a while. A few months later, we decided to get informally engaged. No rings. We introduced our respective parents to each other and told them of our intention to get married. A few weeks later, I caught her cheating with another man while on vacation away from Belgrade. So that ended the "engagement." I went off to Switzerland to a summer job and to lick my wounds.
Twenty seven years after that, also during my work as a war correspondent in the Balkans, I met her again. We forgave each other whatever there was to forgive and spent some nice social hours together [mark 6th dot in Constantine's life story].
Fast forwarding to North America in 1970, that's when I met my first wife, Betty. She was taking a tennis lesson on a court next to mine and spraying her balls liberally in my direction. I don't think it was intentional but it did attract my attention to her. When her lesson and my match were over, I went over to talk to her. I was still quite shy with women back then, so it took some courage to do it. But she was very easy to talk to. I asked her if she wanted to go for a coffee and she accepted.
When she found out that I was born in Belgrade, her face lit up. Betty and her three sisters actually lived in my hometown at the time when I was in junior high or early high school. We never met back them. But we felt an instant bond now. We were engaged two months later, and married four months after that - on St. Nicholas Day, Dec 19, 1070, my family's patron saint.
While we were still happily married newlyweds, we went to see the film "Love Story" which was released in early 1971. We both cried at its tragic ending. "Love means never having to say you're sorry," was the line from the movie we both remembered and loved.
Three months later, Betty was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumor. Little did we know that in a few months, we'd be living our own version of the "Love Story." Three months after that, she died in my arms. Literally. It was June 24, 1971.
In Nov 2008, I honored her memory with a Despacho (a shamanic offering) and this musical tribute:
[mark 7th dot in Constantine's life story].
* * *
Okay, let's stop here. These have been some of the dots from my childhood and youth and popped up recently. There have been others, too. But let's not go there now. Let's start connecting these seven dots from my current lifetime with the Constantine era...
* * *
Those among you who are paying attention may recall that my first Constantine intuition and revelation about that lifetime came right around the 40th anniversary of Betty's death ( When I first met Beth on July 5 in Kona, my heart stopped. I did not know why. I just felt an instant bond with her. But I did not tell her that until a few weeks later. This is what I wrote on July 19:
When Beth wrote back and enclosed one of her pictures, my heart stopped. I knew my intuition was true.
[images removed by author to protect privacy of current incarnations]
Janine Turner (left), an actress is also a split from the same soul. And when I compared Beth and Betty from a similar younger age (right), they practically looked like twins.
"Well, this is something," Beth wrote back. "I had a 'gasp' reaction as I read your email. The resemblance is obvious as Betty looks like a combination of both me and Janine... Your Betty is so beautiful and I am so sorry that you had to experience this unbelievable loss at such a young age ... both of you! Wow. Makes me want to cry. Makes me cry. And because it makes me cry, I feel strongly that you are right."
Which, in turn, made me also cry. But mine were also happy tears. Because I realized that Betty never really left me. And has now also returned to my life in a different relationship (Beth is happily married and has a wonderful husband and two gorgeous girls).
But I also realized something else. That Betty's death must have been karmic. And because of the timing of my first Constantine revelation, that it must have been somehow related to that lifetime. This is what I wrote to Beth on July 20:
Fast-forward to the night Aug 3-4. I had two dreams. In the first dream, I was holding in my hand an owl. I remember being scared at first, thinking it would attack me. But as I called out to someone (Elizabeth?), the owl sort of morphed into my hand and we became one.
I had another emotionally powerful dream just before waking up, after only four hours' sleep (around 6AM). It had to do with a woman from my Constantine lifetime. Beth-Betty? Eve-Elizabeth? I was really bummed out that I cannot remember the story or who the woman was. I told Elizabeth as much over breakfast.
Later in the day (Aug 4), I did some research on owls as sacred
animals. Some Native Americans associate the owl with wisdom,
and keeper of sacred knowledge. The owl's ability to see at night is
an attribute that is invoked during ceremonies
an oracle of secret knowledge was required. Native Hawaiians
consider the owl a guardian, a protector.
As I read this, I remembered my own "Athena the Reader" lamp-sculpture which has been gracing my living room for years (photos). So I concluded that my spirit guides must think that I need more wisdom and had sent an own spirit to assist me.
Then in later afternoon, when I tried to take a nap after a short night and an exhausting day, something hit me like a bolt of lightening. I figured out who that woman was from my Constantine lifetime in the second dream. I saw a fuzzy image of Betty or Beth as Minerva, I could not quite make out which. So I jumped out of bed to do some research on Minerva. What I saw felt like another lightening strike. Almost every image of Minerva I looked at included her holding an owl!
Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, was the equivalent of the Greek goddess Athena. She was associated with the owl, traditionally regarded as wise, and hence a metaphor for philosophy. Hegel wrote, in the preface to his Philosophy of Right: 'The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.' He meant that philosophy understands reality only after the event.
So I wrote to Beth:
So Betty-Beth-Janine is Minervina, my first wife as Constantine, I concluded. Indeed, not long afterward, the Teacher had confirmed my intuition.
Like Father, Like Son: Constantius and Helena, Constantine and Minervina...
So what happened between Minerva or Minervina and I, as Constantine? It's another story of betrayal and abandonment. Twice over. There is very little known about Minervina's life in the world's archive. But here's what my heart and soul told me about what happened.
My father, Constantius (left), was one of several Roman emperors in the late third century. Before he had ascended to this position, however, he fell in love and married a Greek commoner Helena, my mother (who was later beatified as Saint Helena of Constantinople - right). I was born in Nis (Nassius in those days), a city in today's southeastern Serbia. Because Helena was a commoner, some say a barmaid, she was not a suitable match for a would-be Roman emperor. So my father put ambition ahead of love and divorced Helena to marry Theodora, a stepdaughter of Maximian, a senior emperor at the time (below left and the chart). Constantius became the ruler of Gaul (see the pink countries on the chart below left), the western part of the empire, and was based mostly in Britain.
Even though Constantius and Theodora had other children, I was my father's firstborn and favorite son. He showed his affection by abandoning me. At least that's how I felt. At the time, Constantius was involved in a power struggle with Diocletian, his senior among the emperors. Diocletian was ruled the Eastern part of the empire from Nicomedia, today's Istanbul in Turkey. My father sent me there ostensibly to for my benefit to improve my education. But by placing me in the care of Diocletian, he was giving me up as a hostage so ensure peaceful coexistence with Diocletian.
During my years in Nicomedia, Diocletian saw to it that I was not only well trained and tested on various battlefields (Danube, Syria and Mesopotamia - 296-299), but that I also received great formal education. When not fighting on the empire's eastern fringes, I was trained in literature and Greek philosophy. I also attended the lectures of Lactantius, a Christian scholar of Latin in Nicomedia.
That's how I met Minervina who was also taken by philosophy and literature. She was one of those rare women with whom I could talk about anything, including such "manly" subjects as art and philosophy, and even war. And her beauty took my breath away. We fell in love but I knew I could not marry her. My father had me betrothed to Fausta, another Maximian's daughter, before he sent me to Nicomedia. My mother Helena loved Minervina. She now had two reasons to be upset with my father.
Yet, when I returned to Nicomedia from my military campaign in Mesopotamia, I found out that I was a father. Minervina had given birth to our son Crispus. I was overjoyed. And sad. I faced the same choice my father did. Do I choose love and marry Minervina, or do I go pursue power and ambition, and marry Fausta? Like father, like son. I chose the latter and broke Minervina's heart.
When I left Nicomedia to join my father in Britain, I took my young son Crispus with me. I loved him dearly and wanted to somehow make up for the pain I had caused his mother by raising him to be a great emperor one day. Except for the time I sent him to be educated by Lactantius, a Christian teacher whom I knew and greatly admired, Crispus was at my side most of the time. He served as Caesar in the Eastern Empire from 317 to 324AD, frequently making Sirmium as his case. Crispus was young, energetic and extremely popular with the troops due to his strategic abilities and the victories to which he had led the Roman legions.
Crispus was leader in victorious military operations against the Franks and the Alamanni in 318, 320 and 323. Thus he secured the continued Roman presence in the areas of Gaul and Germania. Crispus joined his father in visiting Rome during 322, and received the warmest and most enthusiastic welcome by the crowds. The soldiers adored him thanks to his strategic abilities and the victories to which he had led the Roman legions. I was beaming with pride looking at my son.
Crispus spent the following years assisting me in the war against Licinius, my brother-in-law who was married to my favorite sister Constantia. In 324, I appointed Crispus as the commander of our fleet which left the port of Piraeus to confront the rival fleet of Licinius. The subsequent Battle of Hellespont was fought in at the straits of Bosporus. The 200 ships under the command of Crispus managed to utterly beat the enemy forces which were at least double in number. Thus Crispus achieved his most important and difficult victory which further established his reputation as a brilliant soldier and general.
Following his navy triumph, Crispus and I divided the command of the army loyal to me. Crispus led the legions assigned to him in another victorious battle outside Chrysopolis against the armies of Licinius. The two victories were his contribution to our final triumph Licinius. They left me as the only Augustus in the Empire. I honored my son for his support and success by depicting his face in imperial coins, statues, mosaics, cameos, etc.
Constantine and Fausta
Fausta (right) and I were married in Trier in 307AD. By then, my father had died and I was running the Western Roman Empire out of Trier, near today's German-Luxembourg border. Fausta knew that I married her because she was the daughter of the older emperor that I also aspired to be one day. She did not mind. She was an aristocrat in every sense of the meaning of that word back in Roman times. She knew we all had roles to play and she played hers to perfection. And she was a good wife to me. She bore me three sons and two daughters.
Fausta proved her loyalty to me in 310AD when she tipped me off about her father's plot to have me assassinated in my bed at night. I had put a eunuch in bed in my place and caught my father-in-law Maximian red-handed in the act. I offered him what I thought was an honorable way out. He took it and hanged himself. Afterward, my army and I marched from Trier to Rome, where I defeated Maximian's son Maxentius, my brother-in-law, in the Battle of Milvian Bridge, depicted in "Constantine, Part II."
For her loyalty and support, I rewarded her with the title of Augusta (an empress), the first woman to ever hold such an imperial position. I also had coins struck in her name, such as these shown on the left.
What I did not realize, however, is that she had one major weakness - jealousy. Not of other women. She couldn't have cared less how many concubines I had as long as she was being treated as an empress. She was jealous of Minervina's son, my firstborn and favorite Crispus who was by then already Caesar. She feared that Crispus' popularity and success will prevent her own sons from ascending to the throne.
I was blissfully unaware of her feelings until one day in May 326, while we were all in Pula, Istria, Fausta told me something that made my hair stand up. She said that the young Caesar, my beloved son Crispus, was in love with her and had tried to rape her. She said she rejected him but felt she needed to warn me about his disloyalty, just as she did when her father tried to kill me 16 years earlier. I found the her claim shocking but had no reason do doubt her loyalty. So I ordered Crispus to stand trial for treason.
The court found him guilty and sentenced him to death. He was executed in Pula around June 17, 326. It was a tragic and abrupt end to a glorious career and a young life. It broke my heart. But I could not tolerate betrayal, especially not by my own flesh and blood.
When my aged mother Helena learned of the death of her favorite grandson, she was dismayed and outraged. My mother was but a simple Greek woman, but she was not to be trifled with when it came to her family. She came to our court and found enough evidence to show me that it was Fausta who was disloyal. She was actually plotting against Crispus behind my back. My wife had apparently made amorous advances toward Crispus who left her horrified and disgusted. Not only because he loved me and was always to proud to serve me, but he was already married to a lovely woman also called Helena. They had a baby boy three years earlier. I was very pleased to have my first grandson just as I had turned 50.
If there was ever anyone in my life whom I could trust completely and with my life, it was my mother. So when she told me all that, I saw red before my eyes. So I ordered Fausta killed, along with all the maidens and other aides who had assisted her in this devious plot. My order was carried out in August 326, two months after Crispus died. Modern day historians aren't sure of the date, but I think it was on August 13.
"My dear son, my pride and joy, apple of my eye, fruit of my first great love, if I could, I would reverse our roles and change places with you in a heartbeat. Let the executioner's sword fall on the neck of a stupid father for acting so hastily and impulsively. Worse, I dishonored you by expunging any record of your life from history. By publishing this story, I wish to shine the spotlight to your short but rich life. My vanity and quick temper ended it prematurely. My pride prevented me from apologizing later. So let the record stand now and forever:
I, Constantine, admit to being wrong in my judgment of you. You, Crispus, was innocent of the charges brought against you. I pray that the Creator and my spirit guides show me how I can be of service to you now or in the future. Your deeply repentant father, Constantine."
And now, let me turn to my wife Fausta, who falsely accused Crispus of adultery with her. There she is in my current lifetime (left and right in the pictures below).
[images removed by author to protect privacy of current incarnations]
Fausta's bust is in the middle shot of the left picture. Elizabeth (left) and Eve (right) are her current incarnations. And who is that lady in the middle? She is my late mother in this lifetime who may have been Theodora, Elizabeth-Eve's mother in the Constantine lifetime. I have always felt that Elizabeth resembled my mother very much, but have only recently intuited that my mother may have been Theodora.
Surprised? I was. When the Teacher recently revealed that Elizabeth-Eve soul split are the current reincarnations of Fausta, I had a hard time believing it. Elizabeth epitomizes pure love. And from what I have seen so far, Eve also has a golden heart. But then, who am I to wonder, the Teacher reminded me recently.
"Would your neighbors and friends who know you as a loving shaman ever believe that you were once Constantine?" he asked. "No," I replied.
Indeed. Point made. Once the karmic debt has been paid and the negative energy discharged what remains is pure love. That's how we all started from that first spark of God. That's how we should all strive to become again, after we cleanse ourselves of the patina accumulated over the millennia of selfish pursuits through war and violence.
I feel fortunate to share my life with "Fausta " again. This time, it is a mutually loving and supporting relationship. We have both learned from our past mistakes. We both know now that ambition and power are poor substitutes for love and compassion. Furthermore, look at what Elizabeth made the day before while I was trying to figure out the meaning of the owl in my dream - three owls (left). She was unaware at the time of what they meant in my life. But her Higher Self knew. She Fausta's spirit clearly joined with Minervina's to help me write this story and purge the karma from all of our lives.
I, as Constantine, had lofty ambitions. I pursued them ruthlessly. Hundreds of thousands of people paid for them with their lives. In just one battle at Chrysopolis against Licinius, my rival for the throne, some 40,000 soldiers lost their lives (left is the standard including the Greek XP-symbol for Christ, under which my troops fight). Crispus and I "won." That battle made me the sole ruler of the world's largest empire in recorded history up until then. But what kind of a "victory" is it when it is forged in a river of blood. How many more "great" battles like that had I "won" with similar or greater toll in human lives? Ten? Twenty? Fifty? I always won. Other people always died.
Just to put things in perspective, back then, the world population was about 300 million people. The Roman Empire had about 45 million people. If I were to fight and "win" 10 such "great" battles today, the cost would be 800,000 lives. That's monstrous. Nothing can excuse such madness, especially not wielding a sword in a mistaken belief of serving God. It is an insult to God, I know see.
It gets worse. Violence begets violence. Check out this editorial "Collateral Damage" Hits Home I wrote as Bob Djurdjevic, former war correspondent, on Sep 11, 2001. It was being written while the Towers were still standing in New York City. I feel that I, as Constantine, also share the responsibility for that. I, as Constantine, also feel responsible for the Nazi pogroms against the Jews, Serbs, Gypsies, Russians, Poles, etc. I, as Constantine, also feel responsible for the Inquisition and Conquistadors. [sobbing and crying uncontrollably... have to take a break]. My incarnation King Phillip II merely played off the same sheet of music. I, as Constantine, also feel responsible for the Crusades. And for any other example of intolerance that followed my reign.
Why? Because I, as Constantine, ended the persecution of Christians only to persecute everyone else who was not. [crying] I made the sword look to others like a righteous version of the cross, not the cross I was shown at Milvian Bridge. Great leaders lead by example. I inspired other to follow me. They also used the sword thinking it was the cross. Because of my power as the ruler of the biggest empire in the world, all other kings and emperors who followed me and aspired to gain such power copied my example. [crying uncontrollably... have to take a break... hard to breathe... okay, back again after a 5-min break].
During the break, I felt the Teacher's presence in my heart. And I told him how sorry I was not to have followed his example when I was Constantine or Phillip. "I was a poor student," I said. "But I have learned. I know you now. Because my heart feels you."
[I am being told to prepare another offering of Frankincense, Myrrh and Palo Santo (from Peru) at my shaman's altar. When I publish this story, I will light the fire to start the smoke transmission of its message to the Creator and to all my spirit guides who have helped me write it].
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
I now re-invoke again here the New Constantine Creed which I wrote and sanctified by fire ceremony at the end of my denounce and renounce the use of violence in all of my lifetimes, past or future. I also denounce any scholar, spiritual leader, king or a politician who refers to me as Constantine with the epithet "The Great." I will ask Wikipedia to remove it from their web site. *Done (see below)
Finally, there is but one more thing I feel I need to do before I and the world can fully dispense with the likes of Constantine and my other warrior lifetimes. I must travel to Trier, Pula and Constantinople to cleanse my warrior energies from those places where I had accumulated so much karma. I must plant a lotus flower on my grave in Constantinople and pray that it may replace the sword that's buried below. As Constantine's sword shapeshifts into a pink lotus flower, it will portend a shift in human consciousness from violence to love. That should put an end to 17 centuries of glorifying people who kill in the name of God.
NOTE: Here's a link the letter to the editor of Wikipedia which I posted this afternoon (click here to see original):
Your Constantine "The Great" page
I am writing about your Constantine the Great web page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great
My name is Bob Djurdjevic. I am the current reincarnation of Constantine. And I respectfully request that you strike any reference to him as "the Great" from your web site. Thank you.
To understand my reasons for this admittedly unusual request, I invite you to check out following articles posted at my altzar.org web site:
Constantine's Trail of Tears (Aug 9);
Constantine and I (June 28-July 19)
You can reply to this message by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at the number shown below. Thank you.
Bob Djurdjevic Haiku, Maui Mobile: 602-703-2111
Epilogue to Constantine Part III
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 9 - I performed the fire and water cleansing ceremony at exactly noon today.
I then came back to my office to write this Epilogue. The urn with the Frankincense, Myrrh and Palo Santo is still burning here, spreading the heavenly scent around. I am now inhaling it and blowing it to all of you.
I also need your help. Can you identify this tune? If so, please email it to me. Thanks.
And the answer is...
What is particularly interesting is that I don't recall ever playing any of Grieg's pieces before today. So my guides evidently wanted me to associate this music with the completion and deletion of my Constantine life. It was their message to me. Here's what Wikipedia says about it::
When I did my fire and water cleansing ceremony, that is exactly how I felt... like Peer Gynt addressing God and my spirit guides around him. What a marvelous way to communicate that message visually and through music. Thank you, thank you...
* * *
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 9 - Here's now the video that my guides wanted me to make...
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 10 - When I woke up, I was given this epitaph for my grave marker:
THE SHAMAN WHO DEFEATED THE UNDEFEATED AND TURNED "CONSTANTINE THE GREAT" INTO A FLOWER
Cute, huh? :-) Power of shamanic shapeshifting. Interesting, just now... this image from my war correspondent years flashed before me (right).
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 10 - After two days of rain and showers, today was a hot and sunny day around here. When I went down to the gulch to do my evening rounds and the ceremony at my shaman's Huaca-Ahu, the sky overhead was clear before I closed my eyes and got into it. I first prayed for a successful conclusion of Beth and Tracy's business sale and some other private prayer requests, and then I thanked the spirits again for all they have done to help me on the Constantine Trail of Tears.
Even before was finished, I felt some light misting on my skin. I knew instantly what it was... a divine response that my message was being heard. This happens so often when I do ceremony down there that it is more of a rule than an exception.
What was different this time around, however, was that when I opened my eyes and looked up, the sky above was still blue and clear. Yet there was unmistakable misting everywhere. I did not have my camera with me to record it like the last time this happened (see "Talking Story" with Spirits, July 28). So I just smiled and thanked the Creator and my spirit guides for acknowledging my prayers.
When I lowered my eyes and looked toward the east, I saw a beautiful rainbow. Then I realized that this was more than just the "usual" non-verbal sign from the spirits. Because the sky overhead was STILL CLEAR! It was a Divine acknowledging what I did yesterday and today with the Constantine clearing and giving me their "rainbow up" sign of approval. I thanked them all profusely and sincerely. When I continued my walk, the rainbow was still there. I regretted not having my camera with me.
"Maybe it's better that way," I reasoned. "Maybe they wanted this rainbow to remain 'just between us'. Or maybe they'll keep it up till I get back up to the house?" I sent them an intention to that effect.
As I climbed the hill on the opposite side of the gulch, the rainbow kept getting bigger and bigger. Eventually it reached such a gigantic proportion both in terms of its height and the width that had I had the camera, I would have needed multiple frames to fit it in. I have seen many rainbows around here, but never one as large as that. So I just stood there in awe, feeling and admiring the beauty of Divine communications. All the while, the sky overhead was still clear, yet the misting was getting more intense.
When I eventually made it back up the hill to the house, at least 20 minutes must have elapsed since my first glimpse of the rainbow. I smiled and said to the sky, "so you did keep it for me. Thank you. Gues you do want me to take a picture and share it?"
I went to the house and got the camera. As I walked out, they cleared the clouds in the west and the sunlight became more intense, giving the rainbow a brighter glow. I snapped four pictures and combined two of each into these panorama shots of the "Constantine deletion rainbow."
Then I realized why they kept the rainbow up so long till I took a picture of it. They wanted me to share it with you. It is YOUR RAINBOW, too. All of you have been as much a part of that deletion as I, with your own deletion work, and so many supportive messages.
So here it is... YOUR GIFT FROM THE HEAVENS! Enjoy.
* * *
"To you, Bob Djurdjevic - ALTZAR - an Inca-trained and thrice-ordained shaman by the mountain spirits themselves, I bow and apologize for having strayed from your soul intentions. I should have known better. Man's power comes from God not man."
"And to you, the multitudes of others whom I abused, injured or killed mistakenly as the Roman Emperor, I also bow and ask forgiveness. I did not deserve the epithet Constantine The Great.' I acted stupidly. I thought that such acts would be pleasing to God and Jesus Christ."
Today, I know better. So I reserve my last apology to the one whom I betrayed the most... the one who has shared himself with me.
"Dear Creator, Jeshua-Yeshua-Jesus of Nazarene, and all of my other wonderful spirit guides and teachers, I am sorry I failed you as the Roman Emperor Constantine. You gave me the power to change the world for the better. I used it for self-glorifying purposes."
(I have had to take a break from typing at this point. I am sobbing and crying loudly and need time to calm down and blow my nose. Continuing...)
"I now know why I needed to suffer karmic losses in this lifetime. I was paying old debts. Thank you for giving me a chance to try to do better in this lifetime by serving as a shaman and helping uplift other souls as an artist. I have been a poor student, a slow learner. Seventeen centuries is a long time for a human. But I "get you" now, Father. Thank you for not giving up on me."
PS: On this day, Sunday, July 31, 2011 - exactly 620,457 days - or 1698 years, 9 months, 3 days from the day I became a Christian in Rome by the sign of the spirit at the Milvian Bridge - I also performed a shamanic ceremony to send by my breath through fire the New Constantine Creed messages to the Creator and to my spirit guides. For those of you who are interested in ceremonial matters, here's what happened...
And now, here are the sounds of the Song of My Life that I feel my Teacher has given me via a divine download in recognition of the progress I had been making clearing the karma from my Constantine lifetime. If you click on the link below, you can also read about the shapeshifting that occurred during that process in which my imperial sword morphed into a beautiful pink lotus flower.
Song of My Soul [by Altzar, Aug 7, 2011]