Sunday, October 12, 2014

Spirit Guides and Angels

In my book Angels Among Us, I mention a poll done by the Washington Post in 2008, in which 36,000 people of various faiths (or none) were asked if they believed angels actively participate in our lives. The majority answered yes. That same year, in a poll by Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion of 1,700 Americans, 55 percent reported that their angels had protected them from harm.

Many people think that when we die we become angels. But according to Billy Graham’s website that’s incorrect––we become something greater. The Compelling Truth’s website says: "Humans are physical beings with a spiritual soul" whereas "Angels are spiritual beings . . . who can only become physical if God ordains that their work requires it.”

As I understand it, we won’t become angels, but we may evolve into spirit guides at some time. During my visits to the spirit realm, I observed souls as colored orbs of brilliant light. Their colors indicated their level of wisdom and experience (see my post “What Color Is Your Soul?” for more). Blue and purple souls were the masters, who guided beings on earth. These masters once existed as humans, but have now reached an advanced level and no longer need incarnate––though they may, if they choose. Less advanced souls––especially those from our own soul groups––may also assist us throughout our earthly lives. (See my post “Soul Groups in the Spirit World” for more.) I suspect that these entities are the ones who watch out for us, and that we sometimes mistake them for angels.

After my long-time companion, Ron Conroy, left his physical form in 2013, I asked him about this. He replied, “When people ‘die’ they don’t become gods or angels, they’re still themselves, just not physical.” He also explained that our core natures remain the same after we leave our bodies––we’re still playful, quiet, serious, adventurous, artistic, etc. Our fundamental purposes and interests stay with us, too. (See my post “Soul Roles: What’s Your Life Purpose?” for more.) Our egos fall away, however, leaving us “kinder and gentler” than we were as humans.

Psychic and medium Francine Clausen, “The Angel Lady” of Gloucester, Massachusetts, told me each of us has at least seven angels around us all the time––and we can call upon more for assistance when we need it. I think it’s possible that both spirit guides and guardian angels offer us protection and aid. Furthermore, I think it’s likely that we knew some of these spirits on earth––as I knew Ron for many years––but we may never have encountered some of them in physical life. (Nature spirits, fairies, and other ethereal entities also exist among us, but that’s a topic for another post. You can also read more in my book Fairies: The Myths, Legends, and Lore.)

In his book Journey of Souls, Michael Newton, PhD writes, “Most of my subjects report the first person they see in the spirit world is their personal guide.” Even if other entities that the newly deceased person knew on earth are present, the individual’s main spirit guide stands nearby, ready to escort the soul into the spirit realm. This guide, it seems, remains with us throughout all our earthly incarnations as well as during our time out of the body––teaching, protecting, and steering us through life with great love and compassion.

Children often speak of seeing their spirit guides, although adults usually discount these claims, labeling the spirits “imaginary friends” or “alter egos.” 

You may meet your spirit guides through meditation, trance states, dreams, hypnosis, moments of illness or trauma––they may even appear to you during your everyday, waking life. People sometimes describe them as light forms in the shape of a human being, as angels with wings, or as faint ghostly images. Others see them as glowing orbs, as I did in my journeys to the spirit realm. Even if you don’t actually see them, you may sense their presence, perhaps as warmth or coolness, a slight breeze or movement, a tingling sensation on your skin, or something else entirely. Once, while I was giving Reiki to a woman, I felt her guide standing behind me, laying its hands over mine to provide healing energy through me to the woman.

Trust your experiences, whether you see, hear, sense, smell, or otherwise become aware of your spirit’s presence. If you keep an open your mind, you have a good chance of making contact with your spirit guide and benefiting from what it has to share with you.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Do You Choose Your Death?

In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, Matthew 24 warns that no one knows the day or hour of his death. But some spiritual teachers and researchers who study reincarnation tell us that we choose our lifetimes on earth as well as the conditions of our physical existences. We also choose when and how we depart from earth, to return to our true home in the spirit world.

Although many of us fear and dread physical death, everything I’ve witnessed and read indicates that we have nothing to worry about. People who’ve had near-death experiences generally say the same thing. In fact, life outside the human body seems to be a whole lot better than it is here on earth. Brian L. Weiss, MD, in his book Many Lives, Many Masters, writes, “ ‘To be in physical state is abnormal. When you are in spiritual state, that is natural to you.’ ”

If you’re someone who can communicate with spirits in the nonphysical realm, you’ve likely heard them say that they’re happy where they are now. In his book Journey of Souls, Michael Newton, PhD, reports that clients he has regressed through their prior deaths usually say something like: “ ‘Oh, wonderful, I’m home in this beautiful place again’ ” or “ ‘I’m relieved to be away from Earth.’ ” My long-time partner, Ron Conroy, who left his body in 2013, tells me often how much happier and more peaceful he is now. “What we call the ‘other world’ is the real one,” he explains, “earth is an illusion.”

Some might interpret this as a reason for suicide, even though some religions insist that suicide is a sin. As I understand it, however, our teachers, guides, and spirits don’t judge or punish us––they welcome everyone, including suicides, back home. But people who decide to end their physical lives early will still have to complete the lessons they skipped out on, during another earthly incarnation.

After his physical death, Ron told me that even if we go quickly (as he did, from a stroke) we’ve actually made the decision much earlier. “We leave in stages, gradually detaching from the physical world,” he explained. Nine months before he passed, he told a mutual friend of ours that he wanted to die of a stroke before his seventieth birthday––which is exactly what happened. He picked the moment and method for his departure, not through suicide, but through intention.

Why, then, would anyone choose a painful or gruesome death? When I asked Ron this question, he replied that some accept terminal illnesses, such as cancer, to give doctors a chance to study the disease and learn ways to help other people. In some instances, souls decide that their host bodies will die in traumatic ways in order to raise awareness of a situation or to inspire interest in a particular cause. This may be true of warrior souls who die in battle. Undoubtedly, numerous other reasons exist, perhaps as many as the individuals involved.

If it’s any comfort, Dr. Newton writes in Destiny of Souls that “souls often leave their bodies seconds before a violent death.” And if we really do reincarnate on earth many, many times, then we’ve all gone through numerous deaths––and survived.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why Did You Choose This Life?

Past-life researchers and people who believe in reincarnation propose that we choose our lifetimes on earth for specific purposes. We select our parents/families, the physical bodies we’ll inhabit, the cultures in which we will live, the timeframes during which we’ll exist, and the challenges we’ll face. Astrologers say that we also look at celestial configurations to determine what cosmic of energies will offer us the best potential for achieving our life goals. I’ve read that although the individual soul gets to make the final decision, our spirit guides and teachers offer suggestions and assist us in making these important choices.

If that’s so, you may ask, why would anyone choose a lifetime of hardship, pain, illness, poverty, or suffering? The usual answer is: to learn, and some things must be learned the hard way. Another theory states that we take on onerous conditions in a particular incarnation in order to atone for past misdeeds. It seems to me that as evolving souls who will eventually become spirit guides ourselves, overseeing the human race, we may need to experience everything that morals undergo, so we can understand and assist them in their earthly journey. If you’ve never suffered the loss of a loved one, for instance, you might not know how to ease another’s grief.

In my earlier posts, I’ve suggested that we incarnate for other reasons, too: to be with members of our soul group who’ve already entered human forms; to work on relationships or projects that we began in previous lifetimes; to create in the manifest world; to inspire or implement changes on Planet Earth; and most importantly, to bring love from our divine “home” into the physical realm.

As I wrote in my post “Soul Roles: What’s Your Life Purpose?” your lifetimes are based on certain fundamental themes. Soul roles fall into various categories, such as teacher, healer, warrior, leader, etc. Therefore, you’ll integrate your soul’s primary purpose into each incarnation, even though the details will differ. If you’re a warrior soul, for example, you might have been a gladiator in Ancient Rome, a soldier during the French Revolution, and a professional football player today.

My post “What Color Is Your Soul” discusses soul colors as indicators of spiritual knowledge and development. During my visits to the spirit world, I saw multitudes of white souls (beginners), but very few purple ones (masters). This idea is reiterated in the books of Michael Newton, PhD, Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls. As my partner, Ron Conroy, who left the physical world in 2013, explained it to me, the younger white souls often enter lifetimes where they can learn basic survival skills and practice adapting to the requirements of earthly embodiment. These souls may not have spent many lives on this planet and must develop their “earth legs” before they can help others. People who live relatively primitive or very simple existences, in which they have few responsibilities other than sustaining themselves, may fall into this group.

Souls who’ve graduated to higher levels (yellow, gold, green), perhaps through many lifetimes on earth, face a different set of challenges and opportunities. They may choose incarnations in which they must consider and/or take care of others as well as themselves. Perhaps they’ll share what they’ve learned with other beings. Or, they may assume responsibility for other humans, animals, plants, etc., protecting or guiding these entities in their own growth. More developed souls may bring knowledge to earth’s inhabitants, provide support/jobs to others, create products that make physical existence easier, defend communities in times of crisis, and so on.

Eventually, we accomplish our earth “lessons” and reach a high enough level of spiritual development where we no longer need to incarnate. As blue or purple souls, we may choose to operate from a nonphysical realm instead of taking on human bodies. I suspect levels far beyond this exist, but I can’t speak to that––yet. Perhaps you’ll share your own experiences and ideas, or direct readers toward other sources of information beyond these humble posts.

Communicating with Spirits

Has someone you knew on earth contacted you from the “other side”? If so, you’re not alone. According to Canadian sociology professor Ian Currie, “contact with the dead is not rare. It is, in fact, commonplace.” In his book You Cannot Die, Dr. Currie reports numerous studies of people who say they’ve been in touch with deceased loved ones. In one, psychologist Dr. Robert Kastenbaum at Wayne State University in Detroit asked 140 people if they’d experienced this type of otherworldly communication; 45 percent answered yes. In another study in Wales, Dr. W.D. Rees asked 300 widows and widowers the same thing––and got a similar response: 47 percent said their departed spouses had contacted them.

Rather than being scared, most people welcome such “visits” and feel comforted knowing that their loved ones aren’t really gone. Soon after my life partner, Ron Conroy, left his physical body in April 2013, he began talking to me, reassuring me that he was all right and happy now that he’d returned “home.” Since then, he has continued to share fascinating information with me daily about other worlds of experience, what happens in the life of a soul, the purpose of incarnation on earth, and much more.

Spirits contact us for a variety of reasons. Often, disembodied beings want to console the people they loved on earth and let us know they’re okay. They also show up to assure us that they still love us, they are with us all the time, and that we can talk to them whenever we choose. In some instances, these soul entities come to take care of unfinished business, or to bring messages to us from the world beyond. They may offer guidance and protection to mortals, and help us in our own journeys during this lifetime. One reason Ron stays in constant contact with me is to collaborate on our forthcoming book, The Three Wounds of Wisdom (which I plan to publish in 2015). We both hope that the book––and these posts about the afterlife––will ease the grief experienced by people like me whose loved ones have entered the spirit world, and diminish the fear of death that causes suffering for so many humans.

According to many researchers, beings on the “other side” really want to talk to us––and they go to great lengths to get us to pay attention to them. Often we meet our loved ones in dreams, because when we’re asleep we’re more receptive to the spirit realm. They also contact us through epiphanies and coincidences. Sometimes they present themselves as scents or sounds, such as tinkling bells, familiar perfumes, or music. They may even communicate through meaningful symbols. Once Ron placed a tumbled piece of rose quartz at my feet––a crystal that represents love and emotional peace. But spirits also may move objects, make noises, or even show themselves to us.

In the summer of 2013, several friends and I visited Massachusetts and stayed in a house built in 1690. An elderly lady who’d live in the house and died a few years earlier at the age of 102 visited us. She called my name clearly, nudged one of my friends several times, crossed the bedroom of another in a ghostly form, and looked down upon another friend while she lay in bed. I often heard unexplained footsteps on the floor above my head, when no other human being but me was in the house. Even a workman doing renovations on the house sensed the former resident’s spirit. I felt she wanted to make certain it was okay for us to be there and that we weren’t harming her house.

How can you communicate with spirits? Talk to them, just as you would if they were still embodied. Send thoughts to them. Offer them prayers. Pay attention to your dreams. Meditate. A tarot reading or even a Ouija board may provide insights. The holiday Samhain Eve (October 31) honors those who’ve gone on to other places. This is an ideal time to try to connect with loved ones in the soul world, for the veil between the physical and nonphysical realms is thinnest on this day. Light candles in memory of those you wish to contact. Then be still and listen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Soul Roles: What’s Your Life Purpose?

No doubt you’ve wondered about your path in life: Why are you here? What are you supposed to accomplish during your time on earth? How can you fulfill your mission?

In an earlier post, “Insights from the Afterlife,” I wrote that we come to earth with one purpose: to bring love to this troubled planet from our true “home” (the place we go to between physical incarnations). We all have the same, universal goal of dispelling fear and suffering through the power of love. However, our souls may seek embodiment for individual reasons, too.

Sometimes we take human forms in order to be with people we love who are living on earth. Other times, we may incarnate to rectify or complete a situation rooted in another lifetime. Spiritual teachers often refer to earth as a “school” where we come to learn. In his book Many Lives, Many Masters, Brian L. Weiss, MD, reports that there are “different levels of learning, and we must learn some of them in the flesh. We must feel the pain. When you’re a spirit you feel no pain.” In Conversations with God, however, Neal Donald Walsh proposes that we choose earth lives, not to learn, but “To remember, and re-create, Who You Are.” He writes that “life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation.”

Many sources describe earth as a “hard” planet, a difficult place to live. The dense energy of earth and the limitations of the physical body pose challenges for the incarnating soul. When we enter human forms, we lose some awareness of the immense love and light we knew in the spirit world and become immersed in the fear that prevails on earth. Apparently, this “amnesia” is necessary, so we can meet the challenges facing us and grow through struggle. No pain, no gain, as the saying goes.

After my beloved life partner, Ron Conroy, left his physical body in 2013, I began studying the spirit realm, life between lives, and reincarnation in depth. I read lots of books, talked to mediums and psychics, did past-life regressions, and visited other worlds through shamanic journeying. During the course of my explorations, I noticed that souls seemed to fall into certain categories, according to their natures and their purposes, which they expressed through the roles they played on earth (and elsewhere). I identified several classifications or types of souls: leaders, protectors, teachers, healers, warriors, artists, explorers, and caretakers, though I’m sure I’ve missed some. If you trace your “lineage” through a series of lifetimes, you’ll probably see a thread of continuity running through most of your lives. The details of the lives themselves will be different, but an underlying theme remains consistent.

For example, in one of my lifetimes about 3,000 years ago, I worked as a slave in the library at Alexandria, Egypt, where I was exposed to knowledge and written words. In a later incarnation as a nun in a convent, I served as a scribe copying manuscripts. This time around, I’ve devoted myself to writing and sharing information. It seems that my soul’s role is that of the teacher and that I’m carrying on today with what I began long ago. However, I’ve also had healer lifetimes: as a wise woman/midwife in a small Scottish village about 1,000 years ago and as a nurse’s aide in a veterans’ hospital after WWI. In my present incarnation, I practice Reiki and other forms of energetic healing, and often write about holistic healing, combining both roles. As you revisit your own past lives, you may find that you, too, integrate more than one path in fulfilling your destiny.

Your role may not fit under a narrowly defined heading, or your soul may interpret its purpose more broadly than we humans do. Athletes, for instance, are often warrior souls. Environmentalists may be caretakers, protectors, or healer souls. My former husband is a healer soul, but he doesn’t work as a health professional. Instead he renovates––“heals”––antique houses.

How can you determine your soul’s purpose? Meditation, hypnotherapy, and past-life regression may help you gain insights. A simple way to discover your path is to pay attention to what gives you joy. When are you the happiest? When do you lose track of time and immerse yourself totally in what you’re doing? Follow that thread and you could find it leads to your true purpose, in this life and beyond.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life Review: Examining Your Life from the Spirit World

Soon after we arrive in the “world beyond” and have recuperated from our time on earth, we begin processing what we experienced the last time around as humans. From what I’ve read and been told by my life-partner, Ron Conroy, who left his earth-body in 2013, this “debriefing” period is known as Life Review. As I understand it, the soul meets with its guides and teachers to examine its most-recent incarnation, in great depth. These teachers and guides (which some sources call the “Council”) don’t judge, condemn, or punish––they serve as supportive and patient councilors, but they don’t let you avoid things you’d rather not deal with. 

Some sources describe these meetings as taking place in a somewhat formal setting, with “elders” seated at a type of table with the newly arrived soul before them (sort of like a courtroom), but that’s not what I saw when Ron showed me his own Life Review group. In trance, I observed several guides seated in a circle with Ron. To me, these masters appeared as purple orbs (see my post “What Color Is Your Soul?” for more information) and they seemed to levitate––maybe because without physical substance or gravity, entities sort of float in the spirit realm. In the center of the circle, Ron’s teacher/guides presented scenes from his recent life as Ron, in a manner similar to a hologram.

During your Life Review sessions, you revisit what you did, thought, felt, said, etc. in the course of your previous lifetime. Not only do you review what happened from your own vantage point, you also experience your life from the perspectives of all the other people involved. You get to see how your actions affected them. If you harmed someone in your last lifetime, you feel that person’s pain. If you gave someone joy or comfort or love, you sense what he or she felt. “It’s hard, and it takes a long time,” Ron told me, “but it’s interesting.”

Perhaps you’ve heard that when you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, instantly. From what I’ve learned, this isn’t the case. (Remember, the people who relate such things usually had NDEs––they didn’t actually die.) As Ron explained it to me, you review your previous incarnation at your own pace––and it takes as long as it takes. “You can start at the end of your life and work back or start at the beginning and move forward, so long as you cover everything. Life Review is mandatory, but doesn’t have any deadlines.”  

One of the hardest parts of Life Review is facing up to the suffering you caused others. However, now that the soul is free of ego, it can examine situations objectively, without emotion. By going through this period of discovery, you learn how to handle things better in the future, how you can be kinder and more loving. You also find ways to make restitution to those you’ve injured. Depending on the “offense,” you may only need to acknowledge what you did or perhaps apologize. In other instances, you might choose to offer greater recompense. 

This is not punishment or payback, an eye-for-an-eye and all that. The purpose, as I understand it, is to restore balance and to give love where you caused pain before. It may also be necessary––for your soul’s growth––to experience both sides of a situation. For example, in one of my previous incarnations the entity I knew in this life as Ron was responsible for my death. In this lifetime together, he gave me the power to end his life by taking him off life-support after he suffered a massive stroke.

What you learn in Life Review will influence future lifetimes. Understanding the big picture enables you to choose lives that will further your soul’s purpose, and gives you the wisdom to do a better job next time around.

What Color Is Your Soul?

In 2005, during meditation, I began seeing colors associated with people I knew. I understood these to be their “soul colors,” not their auras. Auras appear as a result of conditions in our physical bodies and our emotions, enveloping the body like a halo or cocoon of light. As our health or feelings change, so do our auras in response. The soul colors I saw, however, had nothing to do with my friends’ physical selves, and I didn’t see the colors while in my ordinary beta state. Rather, they expressed these individuals’ core beings, the light-energy of their spirits or souls. I’d never heard of such things before, but I didn’t doubt what I’d experienced––I simply accepted it, though for some reason I didn’t investigate further.

The core energies I witnessed looked like glowing orbs of light, some translucent, some denser. Some of the orbs were solid colors, others blends of two or more hues. I observed yellow, gold, green, and one pale blue soul within my circle of close companions––and a watery-blackish one that represented the spirit of someone I had not known in this lifetime and who does not currently reside on earth. I sensed my own soul image as well, a soft yellow-gold, and did a painting of my soul-self.

In addition to seeing colors, I sensed energetic qualities emanating from the soul orbs. Some felt powerful, others gentle; one seemed restless, another centered and calm. I could watch them move, too. The blue orb zipped about, propelled by an extension rather like a pseudopodium. The green one’s motions were slower and steadier. The blackish soul washed over me with a frightening force that reminded me of a tidal wave.

After my beloved life partner, Ron Conroy, departed earth in 2013, he began guiding me on sojourns to the spirit world. On my first journey to the “home” where now lives––the place where we all go when we leave our human bodies––I saw shining orbs of light just like those I’d witnessed in my earlier mediations! Souls! Multitudes of them. So many, all pulsing and undulating, that they looked like an endless sea of sparkling soap bubbles. Most were white, but I also saw reddish, yellow, gold, green, blue, and a few purple among them. In my earlier meditations, I’d observed Ron’s soul as a deep, rich, solid gold; now I noticed tiny flecks of green in it as well. Surrounding everything, like a giant net that held all the souls together, I saw a beautiful pinkish light––the energy of love.

Some months later, I read Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, PhD. To my surprise, he wrote that souls appear as colors, and that these colors distinguish their levels of development. The many people he’d hypnotized described seeing the same thing I’d seen! For the first time, I’d found some validation or at least collaboration for what I’d experienced. According to Dr. Newton’s subjects, white souls are “beginners” (Ron called them “baby souls just learning to crawl”), and they constitute the vast majority of entities in the spirit world and on earth. Yellow souls are intermediate beings (Ron likened them to “teenagers”), gold ones high-intermediates, light blue advanced souls, and indigo/purple are highly advanced masters. And, as I’d witnessed, the hypnotized subjects explained that the more advanced souls projected stronger power and could move more rapidly. But Dr. Newton didn’t mention green or black souls, yet I’d seen both. Not until his book Destiny of Souls came out nine years later did he include those colors in the pantheon of souls.

As we evolve, perhaps over millennia, our soul colors shift to show our levels of knowledge and mastery. Ron described these color identifications as being like karate belts. High-level souls (blue and purple) serve as guides and teachers for the rest of us. What color is your soul? Can you sense or see it? You probably won’t observe it with your physical eyes (the way some sensitive people see auras), and it’s unlikely that Kirlian or aura photography will reveal it. But perhaps through meditation or trance states, shamanic journeying, or a dream you’ll discover your true color.

Soul Groups in the Spirit World

After my long-time partner, Ron Conroy, left his physical form in April 2013, he began communicating with me about the place where he now resides, which he calls “home,” and showing me what it’s like in the spirit world. What he described, and what I witnessed, closely matched what I later read in books by Michael Newton, PhD. 

In the realm of spirits, light-beings cluster together into groups in which some affinity exists––just as people on earth do. Not all souls associate with all others––though they could if they wanted to. As people do on earth, souls tend to hang out with beings who have similar interests or purposes.

In his book Destiny of Souls, Dr. Newton, writes that “primary groups”––somewhat like families––consist of three to twenty-five souls, who have close ties to each other. “Secondary groups” may contain 1,000 souls or more and resemble communities. The souls in these larger clusters may interact for various reasons, such as joining forces to assist in a particular project or to achieve a common goal.

Ron explained that primary soul groups may be self-contained circles, or they can overlap, like the intersecting rings of the Olympics logo. He said this means that although he and I are in the same primary soul cluster, some beings in other clusters overlap ours. As a result, some souls who are in my primary group aren’t in his, and vice versa. Souls in primary clusters are bonded forever. They work, learn, and play together in the spirit world, and often reincarnate together on earth or in other places. According to Dr. Newton, soulmates and beings from the same primary soul group don’t usually incarnate as humans within the same biological family, however, which I found interesting.

As well as sharing similar interests and purposes, beings within a primary group usually possess similar levels of knowledge. Beginner souls and master souls don’t cluster together in the same intimate group––although souls with varying degrees of knowledge may interact at times for certain reasons. I also got the impression that as one soul in the group advances, that being’s increased knowledge and experience aid the advancement of the entire group. (In future posts, I’ll discuss soul colors and levels as well as soul “types.”)

While looking at pictures of crop circles, I noticed a similarity to the soul clusters I’d seen in the spirit world and began to wonder: Are these mysterious designs that appear without explanation in fields across the earth actually images created to help us understand something about our existence as spirits?

Will You See Your Loved Ones Again?

The idea that some part of us survives physical death exists in many religions and in the belief systems of many people around the world. Christians, for instance, propose that after the body dies the soul goes to “heaven,” where it meets up again with the souls of loved ones and enjoys everlasting life with God. Lots of spiritual traditions embrace the concept of reincarnation, although they don’t all agree on exactly what’s involved. 

Prior to the year 325, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible contained references to reincarnation––until the Emperor Constantine decided to remove them; in 553, the Second Council of Constantinople made it heretical for Christians to believe in reincarnation. Reincarnation is also part of the teachings of the Hebrew Qabalah, though few contemporary Jews are familiar with these ideas. We find the tenets of reincarnation in Hinduism and Buddhism, too.

Researchers, including Ian Stevenson, MD, Brian L. Weiss, MD, Michael Newton, PhD, and many more, have studied reincarnation by guiding thousands of people back through previous lifetimes and by working with men and women who’ve had near-death experiences. Their subjects reveal remarkable information about other time periods and people whom they could not have known about through ordinary means. The case of Bridey Murphy, a Virginia housewife (1923–1995), is one of the best known. Director Bernardo Bertolucci’s film Little Buddha tells the story of a young boy whom Buddhist monks believed to be the reincarnated teacher Lama Dorje. You’ll find scores of compelling stories in the books of serious researchers, stories that cannot be explained by conventional science––so many, in fact, that after a while it becomes more ridiculous to deny the possibility of reincarnation than to accept it.

Children often speak of their past lives. Sometimes they recognize people they’ve never met this time around and know intimate details about those people. In the summer of 2013, I met a three-year-old boy who took an instant liking to me and showed me around the house where he was staying. He told me his name was Will. After we finished the tour, I met the boy’s parents and commented on what a nice boy Will seemed. They told me his name was Sami. Later, I asked the boy why he’d said his name was Will. He answered simply, “In my old body I was Will.”

Theories about reincarnation generally agree that we reconnect with some of the same souls again and again in our various earth lives. We don’t always assume the same types of relationships with them, however. In prior lifetimes, your current spouse may have been your mother, your brother, or your best friend. (In future posts, I’ll discuss this subject in more detail.) 

In his book Many Lives, Many Masters, Dr. Brian Weiss explains that one reason for becoming human is to experience relationships with other people. He writes, “ ‘You develop through relationships.’ ” Often, we choose to live many times with the same entities in order to learn certain things or to perform certain tasks. Other times, we may return to earth at the same time because we like being together. If you find yourself in a particularly close, intense, or meaningful relationship with someone now, chances are you’ve known each other before––and will be together again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Where Do We Go When We Die?

Christians have their Heaven; Buddhists speak of Nirvana; Wiccans go to the Summerland when their earthly lives end. Many people who’ve had near-death experiences report being drawn through a dark tunnel toward a radiant light, emerging in a place where they feel suffused with love and joy. Their deceased friends and relatives, they say, greet them when they arrive in the hereafter, welcoming them back to their place of origin. Spirit guides also show up to usher the recently departed souls into a place of peace after their sojourns on earth. Virtually everyone who’s ever undergone a NDE or been regressed/hypnotized through a prior death describes pretty much the same thing––and what they describe sounds wonderful.

Soon after my long-time partner, Ron Conroy, left his physical form in April of 2013, he began telling me about his experiences in the “world beyond.” He calls this place “home” because it’s the energetic realm where souls originate and where they return between lifetimes on earth (or other worlds, which I’ll discuss in future posts). Here, everything is made of light and resonance––nothing is physical. No longer encumbered by dense human bodies, souls feel a delicious sense of freedom. They can move about without restriction, communicate with one another via thoughts, and create whatever they choose instantaneously just by envisioning it. 

A beautiful web of pink light envelops all beings here and holds them together in a cosmic “hug.” This light of love unifies everyone through resonance, and reassures souls that no one is ever alone––we only experience fear and loneliness when we are separated into physical forms. In reality, we are all part of an infinite, loving, joyful network that has always existed and always will. When we realize that we all come from the same Source and are all linked energetically––that every being is part of the whole––racism, sexism, religious disputes, and other ego dynamics that divide us on earth quickly disappear after our bodies die.

In the early 1980s, I experienced a metaphysical occurrence that Canadian psychiatrist William Bucke called “cosmic consciousness.” Without intention, without doing anything at all to bring it about, I suddenly and inexplicably slipped into an altered state during which I felt myself dissolve into a realm of pure bliss. I lost all awareness of my body and merged with a beautiful, all-encompassing, infinite pink-white light. Everything in my earth-world disappeared. I felt totally immersed in a loving consciousness unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. All suffering, fear, and thinking evaporated. I have no idea how long that event lasted––seconds? A few minutes? But it was enough to transform my understanding forever. Much later, after Ron’s passing, I realized that in those few moments I’d reconnected with my place of origin, my “home.” This is where we go when we slough off our moral forms and soar back to the realm of love and light from which we emerged and will ever abide. This is the home that awaits us when we depart earth.

Knowing that this wondrous world now embraces our deceased loved ones can ease the pain of loss. But perhaps even more importantly, this knowledge can lessen our own fear of death. Regardless of what we’ve been taught about the hereafter––and many of us have been taught to fear retribution and suffering, hellfire and damnation––our real destination is a realm of infinite love and peace. It makes no difference what “savior” you believed in, what faith you followed (or none), or what rituals you enacted. No one gets turned away. The people we loved on earth who’ve gone on before us are reveling in that blissful state right now, and they’ll be there to welcome us back when our time comes. So will our guides and guardians, who’ve been with us since the beginning of time and will remain by our sides forever. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Insights into the Afterlife

I haven't blogged for a long time, because many things in my life fell apart after the sudden, unexpected passing of the man I loved for thirteen years, Ron Conroy. But during the past eighteen months, I've undertaken a new type of writing––with his assistance. That probably sounds strange, but every day since he left this plane of existence, Ron has communicated with me from the so-called "other side," which he refers to simply as "home." 

What he's told me and shown me totally transformed my ideas about what happens after we leave Planet Earth. After Ron conveyed many experiences of life after death to me, I began reading books by researchers in the field. (The best, in my opinion, are Dr. Michael Newton's Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls.) To my surprise, many things I read concurred with what Ron had shared with me. I'd never heard most of this before, and just knowing that other people had similar experiences gave me comfort and confirmation.

So, being a writer, I started writing a novel about what I'd learned, titled The Three Wounds of Wisdom. At first I considered writing a nonfiction book, but many people have already done that, most of them MDs, PhDs, and folks with more "credentials" than I have.  Plus I like writing fiction better, and sometimes it's easier to present unusual or thought-provoking ideas as fiction, so readers don't feel the author is trying to convince them of something. I changed the characters, the storyline, the location, and lots more––but all the information about what transpires between our lives on earth and elsewhere came through to me during meditative trances and other experiences with Ron since he's moved on. My beta-readers and advisory group are examining the manuscript now, and I hope to make it available to readers soon. My goal is to help those of you who've suffered the devastating pain of losing someone you love, and to give you hope. I also want to open a forum for people who've had near-death experiences and other awarenesses to share what they witnessed. 

In the meantime, I decided to start blogging about "the great beyond." In each post, I plan to offer one or more pieces of information that Ron has conveyed to me. All of us have wondered what happens when we die and why we came to earth in the first place. In the last year and a half, I've received answers to those and other big questions. The most important, IMO, is why are we here? One reason: to bring love to the world. 

In our true "home" love is omnipresent. We carry some of that great love with us, in the form of energy, when we assume physical bodies here on earth. Our primary job is to radiate that love to everyone, everywhere, in everything we do. In this way, we overcome the force of fear that dominates our earth-thinking. Only two forces exist in the universe: love and fear. Each moment, we have the choice to operate from a place of love or a place of fear. It's that simple––and that difficult.

As I write this blog, and in The Three Wounds of Wisdom, my objective is to follow this mandate to the best of my ability. If I can lighten your fear and sadness in even the smallest way, I will feel I've accomplished my goal. The old Beatles' song says it best: "All You Need Is Love."