THE SYMBOL OF THE SERPENT
Aweek after Jule and Laura first met at the Temple, the search for Pythagoras reincarnate was in full swing. In the prevailing atmosphere of unwavering belief, Jule’s initial skepticism regarding reincarnation had somewhat abated. He had proposed setting up some kind of bait message on the Internet and in newspapers around the world which might get a response from a potential candidate but would mean nothing to others. Trench, however, would have none of that, for fear of being swamped with calls from all kinds of impostors and freaks in search of attention or worse.
They began by looking at how other religions faced with a similar problem went about it and studied the case of the Tibetan Buddhists. After the death of a Dalai Lama, their supreme spiritual guide, a search team made up of monks and other Lamas is sent to look for his reincarnation. Their search may go on for several years. The thirteenth Dalai Lama, who died in 1933, had foreseen his reincarnation in a dream. He described a small house with peculiar gutters and an old poplar tree behind it, and the golden roof of a monastery in the distance. A place bearing a striking similarity to this description was found by the search party some four years later. A two-year-old boy called Tenzin Gyatso lived in the house with his mother. After the Lamas obtained her permission to conduct certain tests, they placed a number of objects in front of the boy; among these, there were some that had belonged to the previous Dalai Lama. They then asked Tenzin to pick out the items he liked. Familiarity with the possessions of