Michael Tobert
Michael Tobert

Michael Tobert hasn't always been interested in reincarnation. He once had what his first wife called a ‘proper job’, several of them in fact. He even started his own company (several times) and one of them did well enough for him not to have a proper job, and to spend time on other things.

He wrote 'Cryptogram' to explore the idea that it is not just nature and nurture that forms us, but also the things we bring with us when we are born; the loves and traumas of lives gone by. He has seen this in people he's known, people who appear to have so much more about them than can be explained by their family or the circumstances of their birth. And he argues that if the idea of reincarnation is true – for which there is more scientific support than may be generally supposed – then it must give our lives a circularity; we must forever be orbiting the pasts we have sprung from. It is this circularity which is overlooked in much of western writing with its assumptions of progress and direction.

Besides the freedom of not having to go to an office every day, one thing that has also inclined him to reincarnation is meditation. He meditates (Vipassana) for some three or four hours a day. Vipassana is a technique for exploring the subtle physical realities of mind and body, out of which comes a sympathy for the idea that there may be consciousness that does not rely entirely on self-generation. He does not say that this follows directly from meditation – no eureka moments – but just that it ratchets up sensitivity to the idea that when it’s over, it isn’t over. He finds this a comforting notion. Do we overvalue the needs and wants of the day to day? What really constitutes self-interest? What is the meaning of death?

Michael Tobert went to Oxford, is a Sloan Fellow of the London Business School, has worked in the City, in a water utility and in an industrial conglomerate. He then started his first company. He has travelled widely, especially in India, about which he has written a humourous travelogue (which he is publishing in instalments on his blog) and a novel, 'Karna's Wheel'. This is almost finished.


Books by Michael Tobert

Cryptogram

... because the past is never past

Dec 2014

Welcome to the dystopian world of 2050: two men and a woman, lovers haunted by the echoes of a past 800 years before.

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