It was Saturday mid-afternoon in the marketplace. The vendors were busy selling, people crowded into the market, buying and bargaining, and once again I was in the past not the present.
My attention was drawn to a small shop inside the market that displayed intricate silver jewelry. In the window was a necklace in the traditional style of the Bedu. The Bedouins, the Bedu, inhabitants of the desert, I could see the tents and felt the hot dry heat. The smell of the soft aroma of oils and scents of cooking filled the air as the wind moved them through the tent. I placed my hand over my throat and felt for my necklace, the necklace, that brought me back to the present. Of course there was no necklace, I was going to buy a necklace. I entered the small shop it was full of jewelry and there was the necklace, I had to have it, but, I thought to myself, at my price not his.
The shopkeeper approached me and asked me in broken English if he could show me something and I asked about the necklace in the window. He gave me a broad smile, nodded, and went to fetch the necklace.
I asked him how much he wanted for the necklace. When he told me, I have no idea what came over me, all of a sudden I exploded and began yelling at him, and we started yelling at each other; and the bargaining began. I was fed up with him, he had no right to charge so much for that necklace. The man down the street charges less, and if you look closely his jewelry is much better than this, and he as the store owner ought to know. He yelled back at me, I yelled over his yelling. He began wringing his hands and pleaded with me that he had a wife and a family to support, if he sold the beautiful necklace for less, his wife would beat him. I was thrilled, he deserved the beating and I was going to buy the necklace from the store keeper in the next block, at least he was a better person and didn’t put up his price. I walked to the door and paused dramatically.
The storekeeper shrieked desperately, waving his arms and gesturing imploringly. I had no understanding of the dire circumstances he was in, he had no option. I tossed my head at him, opened the door and yelled back at him, I was not interested as he was asking an outrageous price! As I put one foot out the door, he was begging me to come back, and even though he was so humiliated, he would sell the necklace to me; but in very deep humiliation, at the risk of an argument and a beating from his wife. I paused, letting the silence and tension build, and finally, reluctantly I agreed. Secretly I was thrilled, that was a good price. I pretended to be aloof and distant, we completed the exchange of money and goods in a reverent silence, we were both satisfied.
The shopkeeper was pleased, gone was the agonized expressions and declarations of humiliation. He asked me where I was from. I told him, and he shook his head. “No one except those who live here know how to bargain like that.” There was a general murmur of agreement, I looked around the shop, it had filled up with people, I had not noticed them as I was so involved in the excitement of the bargaining. “Maybe I have been here before,” I said smiling at him, holding my precious Bedouin necklace that I had worked hard for. The shop was crowded, people were starting to ask him the price of other pieces of jewelry, we nodded at each other and I left the store. I had brought him business, he was grateful, and I had the beautiful necklace!
Translating the experience
I have never bargained that way before and I have no idea what came over me. I translate the experience as the entrance into the past life memory of another time and place when I was incarnate on earth in circumstances living in a Bedouin tribe. Since that experience I have read about the nomadic lifestyle of the Bedouins and some of their traditions. The Bedouin culture was known for maintaining a pastoral culture of exceptional grace, honor and beauty.
I carry in this lifetime a love of poetry and soul searching as they did. Exceptional grace in a lifestyle is what I seek and I have actually sought to ‘simplify’ my life accordingly. This is a part of me that I know existed once before. I could journey to the desert and be very comfortable living within its fold and embrace of nature.
The desert is a soul searching place to live, it is the solitude we seek in times of great stress when we must return to the origin of our true nature. Alone with the elements and shifting sand dunes brings deeper perspectives it matters not if you were male or female, the night comes and goes as does life. The absence of nature in the barren desert reminds you of your life and how precious it is. Look after it well, never take it for granted.
How does this memory of this past life affect the present; the memory serves as an explanation of why I am the way I am. This may not be a satisfactory answer, perhaps it is for each of us to experience in our own way. My only advice is to not let someone else tell you who you were in a past lifetime, let your own memory reveal it to you if you truly want to know.