Biblical Lives Reimagined


Matt McNichols


Born within the swirling, high-flying thoughts and super-charged


Of my first severe bipolar manic psychosis circa 2000

Once foreign and unrecognized conceptual frameworks

Took hold and became a prominent fixture

Throughout my chaotic, windswept mindscape


The philosophic notion that everything and everyone is universally


The Buddhist traditions of reincarnation and past lives

Mysteriously, without provocation, found themselves

Firmly entrenched within my mind and its lofty thoughts


Gradually developing strident suspicions

That “I” once lived and perhaps was a featured figure

During the era of the New Testament

This Biblical reincarnation contemplation

At first alluring, magical, and spiritually uplifting

Yet inevitably gravitating towards pain and profound confusion


Imploring Jesus for help and guidance in one moment

Believing I am, in fact, the Second Coming of Christ the next

Overcome with blasphemous guilt and shame

I swiftly ventured into other, perhaps more palatable and plausible

Past lives my soul may once have inhabited

Saint John, Saint Matthew, Saint Joseph, Lazarus

All came under my mind’s inquisitive scrutiny


An obsession now cemented

To uncover and solve

This mysterious case of spiritual identity