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Food #9: What It is Like to Live With Knowledge of Your Past Lives

Living Inside Your Head... With Others

People have often asked me what it is like to live with complete and total knowledge of your past lives... "Well, it's kinda hard to explain..."

The best example from popular culture is the life experience of Ezri Dax in the television program "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine".

Excerpts from this show given below will give you a flavor of what is like to live with this greater awareness how it effects your daily life now and how it impacts your family and friends.

Inconceivable... But if You Have Never Watched "Deep Space Nine"

To understand the scenes that follow, you need to know that Jadzia was the former host to the Dax symbiont. It is the Dax symbiont which remembers all of the lives of it's eight past hosts - in essence, all of it's past lives.

Ezri has inherited the Dax symbiont after Jadzia was murdered and now she has to learn to live with Dax's past. This means integrating those past lives into her present experience and getting others - her family and friends - to understand.

DEEP SPACE NINE: "After Image"

EZRI has returned to the place where Jadzia was murdered. KIRA enters and Ezri turns toward her. This is the first time Dax has seen Kira since Jadzia was killed. Kira and Ezri recognize one other. The two women stand there for a moment, not sure how to deal with each other. Ezri sees Kira as an old friend, but Kira sees her as a relative stranger. Finally, Ezri blurts out what's on her mind.

"I was killed here."
(Kira is nonplussed by her sudden declaration)
"I mean, Jadzia was."

KIRA reacts to this grim reminder of the friend she lost.

(looking down at the spot where Jadzia Dax was murdered)
"It's a strange sensation. Dying. No matter how many times it happens to you, you never get used to it."

It's odd to hear someone talk about dying, and having no experience with it, KIRA just listens respectfully.

"It must be a little disconcerting for you -- knowing that I have Jadzia's memories."
"No wonder you're uncomfortable."

"It's a lot to get used to..."

"Tell me about it."

DEEP SPACE NINE: "Prodigal Daughter"

EZRI confides in Captain SISKO about how taking on the Dax symbiont - and the knowledge of all it's past lives - has effected her relationship with her family.

EZRI (to Sisko)
"I haven't talked to my mother in almost six months."
"The last time I saw her was just after I was joined (to the Dax symbiont). She came to visit me on Trill. I was still a little... confused. When she walked into my room, I put on a big smile, looked her straight in the eye and said, 'Hi, Mom, it's me -- Curzon! (one of her past hosts)' Things kinda went downhill from there."

Later on EZRI goes home and has to face her family.

"... Jadzia considered Kira one of her best friends, and I'm starting to think of her the same way. We spend a lot of time together."

JANEL (her older brother)
"She didn't have any trouble adjusting to having a... 'new Dax' in her life?"

"No more than anyone else. I don't think any of them were expecting another Dax to walk into their lives."

YANAS (her mother)
"Whatever happened to that young man you were so interested in? Lieutenant... something?"

"Brinner Finok. He was an Ensign. I did talk to him after I was joined... once. I don't think we're right for each other anymore. He reminds me too much of my son, Gran. It makes me a little uncomfortable to be around him now."

The others exchange a look. Ezri starts to get a little flustered.

(nervous laugh)
"Sorry. He reminds me of Audrid's (a previous host) son, Gran. I'm still sorting out my pronouns."

NORVO (her younger brother)
"I'm sure all joined Trills go through this."

Ezri tries to laugh it off, but ends up rambling on and letting more of her insecurities show than she was anticipating.

(trying to be light)
"No, just me. Nothing simple for Ezri. There're times when the computer asks me to identify myself and I have to think about what to say
Worse yet, there're days when I wake up and I don't even know if I'm a man or a woman until I pull back the covers."

She laughs, but no one else is laughing with her -- they're all staring at her with concern. She finally stops herself and clears her throat.

"I also have an unfortunate tendency to ramble..."

Yanas puts her hand on her daughter's and conveys both reassurance and pity at the same time.

"Don't be embarrassed. It's not your fault. You should've gone through years of training before receiving a symbiont. It wasn't fair of them to join you to Dax just because you happened to be the only available Trill. It's no surprise that you're having trouble sorting out eight lifetimes' worth of memories and experiences."

"It can be a little... overwhelming at times."

DEEP SPACE NINE: "Field of Fire"

EZRI is forced to call on one of her past hosts, JORAN, for help in solving a murder. JORAN was a murderer and EZRI is forced to confront her negative feelings about this dark episode in Dax's past.

JORAN, a male Trill in his forties with a weathered face, stares at EZRI with a smile. (Joran is one of Dax's previous hosts.)

"Joran -"

"You recognize me, how nice."

"What do you want?"

"Respect. Understanding. Love. I wish you'd stop being afraid of me. It's not like we're strangers. That worm in your belly used to be mine. Which means I'm part of you... (whispering into her ear) "... and you're part of me."

EZRI recoils from JORAN.

"I'm nothing like you."

"Is that so? You want to find out who killed Ilario, don't you? Then what are you waiting for? Perform the Rite of Emergence. Just ask for my help and then we can get to work."

"I don't want your help -"

"Maybe not, but you need it."

"You murdered three people - I don't want anything to do with you. Now me leave me alone!"

"How can I? There's nowhere else for me to go. I'm within you, Ezri. All the time. Use me."


"I can help. I know how he thinks. We can catch him, Ezri -- you and me, together. And then we'll make him pay."

Later EZRI reluctantly calls on JORAN for help.

(full of self pity)
"Joran... the forgotten host. The outcast."

(with hatred)
"The murderer."

(NOTE: This is the point of all experience - to learn)
"I'm sure you never thought that little character trait would prove useful At least now I know you're hearing me. I've been ignored far too long... Curzon, Jadzia -- they didn't quite know what to do with me."

(a bit afraid)
"They buried your memories as deep within them as possible."

"That was a mistake. I have so much to offer..."

(not convinced)
"We'll see about that."

Much to her surprise, EZRI and JORAN work well together. When JORAN's memories must be reintegrated back into her, EZRI comes to realize that she will view him differently from now on.

"I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed our time together You know you won't be able to forget me... or bury me as deeply as Curzon or Jadzia did."

"I know."

"I'm a part of you now. As much as Audrid, Torias (Dax's past hosts) -- any of them.

EZRI can't deny what JORAN is saying.

(still afraid)
"I'll have to be careful."

and she will.

Credits: from STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE (TM) and 1999 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.



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