Housebuilder Seen: Reincarnation Unveiled
by C.S. Roman
Through countless births in the cycle of existence
I have run, not finding
although seeking the builder of this house;
and again and again I faced the suffering of new birth.
Oh housebuilder! Now you are seen.
You shall not build a house again for me.
All your beams are broken,
the ridgepole is shattered.
The mind has become freed from conditioning:
the end of craving has been reached.”
Some months ago, I shared with you that my late husband, Chris, wrote a manuscript for a modern day fable, titled Housebuilder Seen. Over the last six months, I researched and edited the manuscript to get it in shape, not only to read but also, perhaps, to convert it into a TV script. Upon the advice of someone “in the know”, I developed a summary document that is more likely to be read and considered by a TV producer. Since Chris would have turned 66 last week, I want to share some of the story of Housebuilder Seen with you on in this blog post. This is for you, Chris!
The Story Synopsis
The story follows the incredible mystical experiences of Eric Hill, as told in retrospect by his older brother, Sam. From the time Eric was an adolescent, until his death in 1993 at age 33, Eric was able to stop his heart at will through meditation and revisit his past lives. Upon his return from each “trip,” Eric teaches a growing number of “disciples”, who learn from Eric’s deepening wisdom and actions. As Eric grows up, he begins to apply what he has learned in his past lives to influence his community in positive ways, e.g. building housing for and healing the sick and dying. His activities earn him both suspicion and astonishment from those affected.
As Eric gets older, his spiritual abilities grow to where he is able to enter others’ thoughts – creating new opportunities to solve crimes and engage with mystical beings. Throughout the story, Sam shares what it is like living with his gifted brother and how that affects his own spiritual development. The story culminates with Eric’s death and a surprise – an old note left behind for Sam, telling him who and where his next life is. Sam packs his bags!
The Proposed TV Pilot
The story begins in a middle school classroom, Mrs. Rupert is teaching a health lesson that includes presenting an oscilloscope to let her students see their own heartbeat. After a few rather disappointing student experiences, it was Eric Hill’s turn.
“Eric took the chair, and after being wired, closed his eyes and leaned back. The display of heart rhythm became very slow, and after 15 seconds, it stopped. Mrs. Rupert thought the wire had come loose, and she checked both ends. When she told Eric to open his eyes, he didn’t respond. Then she saw that Eric wasn’t breathing. She reached over and touched his temple. There was no pulse and his skin was cold.
Mrs. Rupert screamed and fell from her chair, whereupon Eric blinked, gasped for air, and started rubbing his arms. The class was in chaos, the principal was summoned, and several minutes later Mrs. Rupert and her class had regained their composure. Mrs. Rupert glared toward Eric; now back in his seat, as if this was all his fault. She put her equipment away, told the class to study for the next day’s nutrition test, and went to the principal’s office to file a report. She never mentioned the incident again.“ (Roman, 2016)
Why an Audience Might Like This Story
“Part of the uniquely human dilemma is that we all struggle to find meaning in our lives. We try different jobs, different relationships, different places – these pursuits are often exciting and challenging, but ultimately leave us still hungry. This is a modern day fable about a 12-year old boy who discovers that he has a mystical gift – a gift that transforms his life and the lives of his family and friends. By stopping his heart at will during meditation, he is able to revisit his past lives – lives that offer the opportunity to pass on a deep wisdom upon his return to the present reality. His story is for anyone yearning for life’s meaning.” (Roman, 2016)
In many ways, the story of Housebuilder Seen, particularly the thoughts of Sam, the narrator, paralleled Chris’ own spiritual development. He penned an addendum at the end of the manuscript in which he shared his struggle with the meaning of his own life.
“…I spent time puzzling over whether my life had a purpose. Was there a reason behind my birth, my life, my certain death? Or was I merely the inevitable consequence of millions of prior events? My genes, my upbringing, my childhood traumas – all have contributed to the wiring of my brain and my perception of the world. What if it’s all nothing but wiring? What if there is no one behind the wiring – no self actually doing the perceiving? What if the sense I have of myself is a hoax? Like a robot, am I just an assemblage of parts? And like a robot that believed foolishly that it had a soul, do I deceive myself with thoughts of “I am”? Such possibilities depressed me, and I decided, for my own good, they must be wrong. But what was right?” (Roman, 2016)
I think we all can relate to Chris’ self-doubts. While Housebuilder Seen falls into the genre of “mystical fable,” it is the story of us all. And it is the story of my brilliant, creative, fascinating, late husband, Christopher Scott Roman. I honor his memory.