Keywords: religion, afterlife, physics, eastern religion, eastern philosphy, buddhism, the bible.
What this is:
I am presenting my thoughts here about the afterlife, because I feel I need to share my thoughts and my findings. These thoughts and findings venture off into physics and what reality is. This is because there is a connection that modern-day organized religion does not seem to recognize. I do not know the truth, I only know what I believe and what I've read. If this page gives you hope and inspiration, then I've done my job. I am not putting this page up here to argue with people of different faiths. I do not plan to accept emails and I do not have a guestbook or message board. It's not that I don't want feedback, I get plenty of feedback from the newsgroups I post in, and from friends and relatives. If you send email to me, I may not read it or answer it. I simply hope that my shared thoughts help you. If you disagree with me, fine. May your disagreement bring you closer to God by making you defend your faith and think about it more and talk about it more. God bless you all.
References (in no particular order):
(1) Slyvia Browne: "Life on the Other Side"
(2) Sylvia Browne: "The Other Side and Back"
(3) John Edward: "One Last Time"
(4) James Van Praagh: "Talking to Heaven"
(5) Fritjof Capra: "The Tao of Physics"
(6) Deepak Chopra: "Perfect Weight"
(7) CNN: "Qigong: Political dynamite or elixir of youth?" - September 24, 1999
(8) sdaine.com/spirit: A discussion about Deepak Chopra
(9) Deepak Chopra: "Boundless Energy"
(10) Kenneth C. Davis: "Don't Know Much About the Bible"
(11) William B. Collinge: "Subtle Energy"
Why I'm doing this:
I was born Catholic. I didn't finish all the rituals, like confirmation, etc. I worried that I would go to hell for it, and because of other things that the church considers "sins", although I (and many others) beg to differ. I dabbled in southern Christian religions (First Assembly of God) and found alot of solice (got "saved"), but also found more hypocritical-ness and self-righeousness than anywhere else. [And I was sick and tired of hearing about how my mother, sister, grandmother, entire family, was going straight to hell because they were never "saved" [we're Catholic], meanwhile Jeffrey Dhalmer would go straight to Jesus just so long as he "got saved" just before he was executed.] All around me I see people who are "christian", but I swear, they are the worst! My worst experience was with a "christian" man who stalked me and hurt my friend. The worst characters at my job are "christians". They talk, read, and preach "christian", yet they are the worst back-stabbers in the place. "Disillusionment" is the key term here. But yet I managed to keep my faith, although some would argue that I didn't, because I didn't perform the rituals of "the church" (but which church?).
I have always been fascinated with the paranormal. Not because I'm some poor, dark, lost soul who is awe-struck by "the dark side" or witch stuff. It's because most of the paranormal stuff (ghosts, spirits, etc.) seem to be indicitive of an afterlife. And at that, an afterlife that doesn't seem to be as discriminating as modern-day organized (seperated and competing) religions. I have often gone on small "spiritual quests" to learn what I can by reading various books; the bible, books on angels, books on mediums, books on NDEs (Near Death Experiences). But inevitably I come across "something I don't want to hear", about the end of the world and how we're all gonna suffer terribly... and yet after all of that, I'm still going to go straight to hell anyway. Yeah, like I'm inspired to continue after that! So I quit. And I've done this several times. But this time, even though I come across stuff like that, I'm overwhelmed by the rest of it, the postive, the hope, and I plan to keep going with it.
What's been so inspiring is that alot of different people are saying the same thing. And not just modern-day reputable psychics who arguably are making money selling their books, but also ancient eastern philosphy and religion, and modern-day physics! [Please be aware of "PHYsics" vs. "PSYchics".] All of this is so amazing, that I can't keep it to myself.
I highly recommend to anybody, that they do what I am doing: questioning things and reading what others have experienced. I am not saying that you should turn away from your bible or religion. What I have found from all of this is that it doesn't matter what religion you are, so long as you are heading in the right direction. Rituals, versions of the bible, etc., do not matter, although if they help you feel closer to God, then by all means use them. Also, never, never disrespect another religion, as I will not disrespect yours. But do keep an open mind, and do not disrespect my beliefs. Bear in mind that the bible, whichever version you are reading, is old, is full of rules for life that no longer apply (I'm not talking about "thou shalt not kill", etc.), and was translated and re-translated many times, with errors along the way.
I think it all started with John Edward. I had been seeing ads for his show, "Crossing Over", on the SciFi channel, and was afraid to watch. But once I finally did, I was inspired, and now try to catch every episode, tape it, and cycle it around to friends who don't have the SciFi channel. After that, I picked up Sylvia Browne's books, and now John Edward's book (couldn't find it for a while), and my list of books to read is growing. I thank these people for giving me hope and inspiration, and motivation to read further, beyond what they have to say.
My thoughts and findings:
We are who we are:
First, according to the "reputable" psychics, the world isn't coming to an end "any time soon", so I can stop worrying about that. Second, the thought of reincarnation used to bother me alot. If it's just a perpetual cycle that's out of our control, that sux, because I love my life. With all it's ups and downs, I love my life, I love being me, and I don't want to be anyone else. It's depressing and discouraging to think that I could be reincarnated into some terrible existance, without choice, to suffer, alone, without my family. Well, according to what I've been reading, it's not like that. Yeah, we reincarnate... but only if we want to. And we pick our family, which is why spirits tend to stay together, (and your granddaughter may be your grandmother reincarnated). And we chart our own course. I don't have to be born into a poor, abusive family, unless I want to. And why would anyone want to? Because that's how we learn. This sounds more productive to me and more reassuring than the "we just randomly reincarnate" theory. We also stay who we are. While we're here on earth, we don't remember the other side or our other lives. But who we are is always the same. Our personalities, etc., stay the same, on the other side and in other lives. We are always ourselves. Thank God!
James Van Praagh says: "At death, only the physical body is shed, much like discarding and old overcoat. In fact, the personality remains the same, complete with likes, dislikes, prejudices [what the?!?], talents, and attitudes." (4) [Why we would have prejudices in Heaven, I have no clue.]
Mind over Matter:
Deepak Chopra's "Perfect Weight" (6):
'At an atomic level, we are 99.9% empty space.'
So why then, is it so hard for modern-day science, medicine, and people, to believe in mind-over-matter? It seems, then, that we are more thought than matter. I am very "into" natural medicine (herbs, dietary influences), and mind-over-matter (healing with faith, prayer, energy, meditation, etc.). In a CNN story, it was stated that some Quigong masters "were able to alter the chemistry of an enzyme solution in a test tube from five feet away" (7) by emitting qi.
"Qi itself is a subtle energy that cannot be measured directly, but the electromagnetic field it generates can. Using digital electromagnetic wave detection equipment on two qigong practitioners in the laboratory, researchers at the Showa University Medical School in Japan found a dramatic increase in the strength of the body's energy field during the practice of qigong." (7)
"Other researchers have found that practitioners can intentionally 'send' or 'emit' such energy outwardly. For example, in a tightly controlled experiment at New York's Mount Sinai Medical School, two qigong masters using emitted qi were able to alter the chemistry of an enzyme solution in a test tube from five feet away." (7)
[If the subject of subtle energies interests you, I highly recommend the book "Subtle Energy".] (11)
I admit there is controversy around this, but then there is also controversy surrounding religion, psychics, the afterlife, you name it. What I wonder about is, in this article, the author discusses how organized crime took advantage of citizens by faking amazing feats of qigong. What I wonder is, does that necessarily mean that qigong does nothing and never did? Or does it mean that these people took a perfectly valid (yet subtle) thing, qigong, which does have benefits, and exploited it, by faking feats greater than it could produce natrually and saying that qigong could do more than it could. What I mean is, if one studies qigong, would they still experience healing, etc, beyond the placebo effect? The CNN article (7) states that tests were done in an American hospital. Does that mean, then, that the results were real?
Modern Physics, Matter is Energy, and so is Heaven:
Matter is energy. College Physics taught me that matter might be a wave. Matter can be explained using wave-theory. They're not even sure what light is... a particle (photon) or a wave? It's a particle which behaves like a wave. It seems to act as both. College Physics also taught me that microwaves, radio waves, etc., are all just different frequencies of a wave. I always thought, growing up, that a microwave was a different kind of wave, as if it were made of something different, or that it travelled in something different. But no, you take any wave and slow down the frequency or speed it up and you have something entirely different. You speed one wave up and you have visible light, you speed another wave down and you have sound.
Modern Physics: Matter is energy, is a wave:
In "Boundless Energy", Deepak Chopra states: "...the basis for achieveing a more fulfilling experience of life in general, lies in the ability to tap into the unlimited natural field of energy which surrounds us at every moment. Einstein revealed that every atom in the universe contains an enormous amount of power, and contemporary physics continues to demonstrate that everything in the universe comes into being through fluctuations in the unified field of energy and intelligence, which is the very foundations of nature. In other words, there is a single source of energy which underlies everything, and it is from this source that all the phenomena in the uiverse are brought into existance. [God?] As human beings we are simply localized concentrations of energy and intelligence in the universal field. The intelligence and energy which flows through our bodies is the same as that which governs the universe. We and everything around us, are part of a continum with nature. All of this becomes very clear when we consider the atoms which compose the human body.
"Quantum physics has shown that atoms themselves are solid, irreduceable objects. They are made up of subatomic particles, protons, neutrons and electrons which whirl around eachother at lightning speeds. And within each atom, the distances between subatomic particles are proportionately as great as the distance between stars and galaxies. This means that the human body is proportionately as void as intergalactic space. From a physicists point of view, even subatomic particles are not solid, tangible objects. Rather, they too are fluctuations of energy that have taken on a material form. Einstein said that matter is really nothing but energy cloaked in a different form. And the great physicists of the 1920's and 30's confirmed that every physical particle is ultimately a form of energy vibration called a wave function. This revelation, that matter is actually a form of wave-vibration is called 'wave-particle duality' in quantum physics.
"These insights from the most advanced branches of modern science can provide us with an entirely new understanding of our bodies. Beyond it's material form, the body is really a pulsating, dynamic, field of energy. The individual particles which make up the body, are energy vibrations within the larger universal field. Underlying our material being, there exists, what might be called, a quantum-mechanical body, which is pure process, pure energy, and pure intelligence." "Once you understand that the apparently material structure of the body is really nothing other than pure energy, it becomes clear that thought and matter are fundamentally alike. From the point of view of Quantum Physics, there is not much difference between fluctuations of thought arising within the unified field, and the wave-vibrations which give rise to the particles that make up the human body. In short, your thoughts are quantum events; subtle vibrations of the field, which have a profound influence on all the functions of your body." (9)
Deepak Chopra goes on with even more convincing scientific evidence. You will have to read the book (or listen to the audio book) yourself, to fully appreciate how awesome this really is. It is awesome to think that our bodies are energy... the same energy that our thoughts are. How awesome to think that "mind over matter" is really possible! There are countless accounts of people who have used mind over matter, meditation, guided imagery, etc., to overcome pain and disease. Modern medicine chalks it up to coincidence, and is quick to write it off. If you read enough about spirit encounters, angel encounters, etc., you will quickly learn that there are no coincidences. Of course the doctors write it off... it's a threat to their income. And how awesome it is to realize how attainable heaven is! It's not some far-away place that you only get to go to if you subscribed to the right religion and then followed it to a T! It's right here! It exists physcially between you and me, it's simply another dimension, and we can even see, hear, and visit it if we can raise our vibrations through meditation or OBE's (Out of Body Experience). That's what psychics and mediums do!
Heaven is not "up there":
Sylvia Browne's spirit guide told her that heaven, or "the other side" is at a higher frequency than us, kinda like the "other dimension" that my Dad and many other people talk about. Sylvia's spirit guide also told her that heaven is right here, not "up there". Sylvia was surprised to see that when she had her near-death experience, that the tunnel opened up from her chest and went "across", not up, confirming that heaven is not "up there". This same phenomenon (of the tunnel going "across") was confirmed by my mother who had a near-death experience when she was 8 years old. And just like Sylvia Browne, my mother was brought "back" by the sound of her loved one calling her name (and in Sylvia's case, telling her that she was needed here).
Heaven is not boring:
According to Sylvia Browne's spirit guide, the other side is not a bunch of people sitting around on clouds playing harps and staring at Jesus. It's a real life, almost like we have here, but it's all love and peace, no decay or illness, and no bugs. You can hike, bike, walk, take a road-trip, and study. Yes, study. The misconception that we become all-knowing when we die is just that: a misconception. Only God is all-knowing. We can read, study, and learn on the other side, and that's what we do over there. We read, study, and research. We help humans here on earth come up with cures for diseases, etc. This is a relief to me, because I love to research and learn. James Van Praagh says: "One must realize that when someone passes to the other side of life, it does not mean that he or she has learned all the secrets of the universe." (4) "...we must understand that a spirit's knowledge of things in general is slightly above our physical comprehension." (4)
Even John Edward has stated that life on the other side, though he cannot describe the details, is a life like we have here, not boring harp-playing, but living and learning.
Long before I ever picked up a Sylvia Browne book, I used to think: "God, how boring it would be to die, then become all-knowing, and then have nothing to do but sit around on a cloud." Imagine being able to read literature, science, to learn, to share with others... sounds like fun to me. I could go on and on about what was said in Sylvia's books about the other side, but you really ought to read it for yourself.
What I'm leading up to here is, is that a) I'd hoped for that kind of a heaven before I started doing all this reading, b) Sylvia's books have given me hope for just that, a heaven that is fun, challenging, and interesting, and c) other author's besides her have said the same thing.
James Van Praagh says: "...I believe in heaven. I personally believe that heaven is the other side of our physical world with similar sights and sounds, although more vivid and more colorful. Heaven is a place where we can stroll in a garden, or ride a bicycle, or row a boat. As a matter of fact, we can do anything in heaven that we want as long as we have earned it." (4) The "so long as we have earned it" part is what I think it might contradict what Sylvia's spirit guide says.
How is this all possible? Considering that at an atomic level, we're 99.9% empty space, and matter is a wave, and a wave is energy and frequency, then this all lends credence to a) heaven being another dimension at a different frequency than we are at, and 2) all this mind-over-matter "hooey" may not be "hooey" at all. If our bodies are energy, then why not meditate on or pray over an illness or injury? Deepak Chopra says that we go to the same place to form a thought as universe does to form matter. [Get quote. (6)] "The physical laws of the universe are actually this whole process of divinity in motion, or consciousness in motion. When we understand these laws and apply them in our lives, anything we want can be created, because the same laws that nature uses to create a forest, or a galaxy, or a star, or a human body can also bring about the fulfillment of our deepest desires." (8)] We must let go of this "materialism", meaning that we are caught up in the fact that we are material, physical, beings. But we're not, now, are we?
Sylvia Browne and John Edward and James Van Praagh specifically say that the other side is just a faster (or higher) frequency than ours, and that for our spirit guide to talk to us (or our loved ones) they have to "slow down" their frequency. John Edward and James Van Praagh also say that they have to speed their vibrations up in order to contact the other side, sort of meeting the spirits in the middle.
From "One Last Time" (3) by John Edward, Pg. 44:
"All of us-we in physical bodies and those in the sprit world- are made up of energy expressed as atoms and molecules spinning and vibrating at certain speeds. The energy of spirits vibrates at a very high rate, while ours goes much slower because we are in physical bodies. How we bridge the gap dictates how well communications traverse these two dimension. That's the job of a medium." (3)
"For spirits to come through, they must slow their vibrational rate of energy. Think of the blades on a helicopter." (3)
It was either Sylvia Browne or James Van Praagh, I think, who used the analagy of the blades of a fan. 'When the fan is turned on high, do you believe that the blades cease to exist just because you can no longer see them?'
James Van Praagh: "...he continued to explain that not everyone was able to raise their vibration to a level that would allow for direct communication with those in spirit." "I learned that when I raised my vibration to reach into the other side, the connection infused me with incredible sensations of freedom-love and joy." "Keeping up the bibration exhaused me, but the rewards were well worth it." (4)
Sylvia Browne talks about how her granddaughter, from the time she was able to talk, called her "Magda". No one knew why. Many years later they found out that "Magda" is another language (syrian? african?) for "wise woman" (or "wise one"?). They are sure that the granddaughter didn't hear that from tv or conversation. Well, my mother told me, unsolicited, about how my Yiya's name came to be. Yiya is Helen, my Grandmother's sister. Since the day he knew how to talk, one of the Duffy boys called Helen "Yiya" and nobody knew why. Well, many years later, when my brother married Jean, who is Greek, she asked "why do you call her 'Yiya'?' We (my mom or somebody) told her that it was because the young Duffy boy had called her that since he knew how to talk and nobod knew why. Jean then said: "Don't you guys know that 'Yiya' is Greek for 'Grandmother'?" Well, they were all floored because nobody in our family is Greek and it wasn't as if that baby was sitting around watching The Discovery Channel or reading books, and nobody had ever used that term before.
We know that we have energy, and energy never dies... it just transfers to somewhere else. Why should we be any different? A have a friend who even hypothecised the same thing on his own, and that is the basis of his belief-system. So again, if at the atomic level, we're 99.9% empty space, then aren't we mostly energy? And if matter is energy, which modern physics seems to be saying, then we are nothing but energy. And energy never dies. Our energy, our soul, will move on.
"The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra (5) talks about how the more we learn about physics, the more ancient eastern religion/philosophy seems to coincide with it.
It's been said by alot of different psychics and eastern religious figures that time does not exist on the other side. Not only do earthbound ghosts (different from the departed spirits who come back for brief visits) not realize they're dead, but if they died in a car accident years ago, and you get to communicate with them, they think that car accident just happened. Well, we all know about the theory of relativity from Einstein. So we know that time is relative. The Tao of Physics talks about how a star collapses and it's "event-horizon", and how we don't know how long the process takes to complete because a time warp occurs around that star. When we're outside this event horizon (like a bubble preventing us from seeing in) the process seems to freeze, but what happens inside of this event-horizon we don't know, so we can't even answer that question, althought it's believed to be an infinite amount of time. If you are near the sun, your watch and heart run at a slower rate than mine due to the gravity affecting time. The same thing happens if you are near a collapsing star. But if you are inside the event-horizon, and I am outside of it, I won't be able to tell.
Map of Heaven:
Sylvia Browne talks at length in her book, "Life on the Other Side" (1), about what it's like over there. What it looks like, what we do, etc. John Edward says that he's "highly skeptical" of any human being who says that they know what it's like on the other side. However, in his book (3) he goes on to describe exactly the same thing that Sylvia Browne (and her spirit guide) have described: Greco-Roman architecture, a "Hall of Knowledge" (Sylvia referred to "The Hall of Records" and I think the "Hall of Wisdom"), and even a "Council of Elders". These were mentioned in both Sylvia Browne's book and John Edward's book.
I have picked up many, many books, written by different people, some with multiple accounts from many different people, all of which repeatedly describe the same heaven, with Greco-Roman architecture and "the hall of knowledge" or the "hall of wisdom" or other similar terms. They're all seeing the same thing, these people, when they have NDE'S or OBE's.
Some of these people make drawings or paintings of what they "saw" over there. Specific layouts, maps, and scenes, depicting specific places on the other side. People will later come along and say "oh, I've been there!" and upon qestioning, the person will reveal that they "were there" during an NDE or OBE.
Either these authors are working in cahoots to make everyone feel good, thus buy and recommend their books, and thus get rich... or they're working in cahoots with the devil (as I once read a southern christian say) either conciously or subconciously for the purpose of turning people away from the truth that there is a hell you'll go to if you don't follow the right religion to a T... or they're all honestly seeing the same thing, the truth. In my heart, it rings true. It rings true in my heart as the truth, what else can I say. But devout christians would say that's either the devil at work, or it's my brain giving me feel-good vibes because I'm reading what I want to hear. I don't want to over-analyze this to death and go nuts... and I may never get the answers, but if I can get as close to the truth as I'm allowed to here on earth, I'll feel better.
Who's burning in hell:
The global question: Are all my Catholic relatives going to burn in hell because they weren't "saved" like the southern Christians? Are all the southern Christians, Jews, Buddhists, going to burn in hell because they didn't have a Catholic baptism, get communion every week, go to confession regularly, and have a Catholic confirmation? It doesn't make sense. It doesn't ring true in my heart, inside.
As Sylvia puts it: What about all the Catholics that are burning in hell because they ate meat on a Friday? What happens when the church decides it's allright to eat meat on Fridays? Does God call all his souls home from hell and say "oops, I made a mistake"? I think not. God doesn't make mistakes.
Sylvia says (and I mean her spirit guide told her) that whatever religion you use, so long as it takes you to God, you're ok. The rituals are fine, follow them if that's your religion, but it's not necessary. So long as you belive in God and love God, you're ok. And this makes sense, because it's not like it's just the Catholic people or just the buddhist people who come through from the "other side" to visit to say that they are allright and that everything is beautiful and peaceful over there. Also, if everyone who had had premarital-sex in their lives, or told a lie, or stole anything, was in hell, there'd be hardly ANYBODY coming through!
What makes me wonder, though, is what about the people whose stories I read about while in the Christian bookstore? There are stories in books in that store about people who had NDEs and saw hell. The whole flame and demon thing. What's that about? Did they really see it? Or did they see it because it's what they expected to see? James Van Praagh says that you'll go to the heaven or hell that you belive is there and that you believe that you're headed to. To quote him: "...each religion has a heaven and hell based on thair particular beliefs." (4) That bothers me alot, because there are alot of confused people out there who are afraid that they're heading to hell, although they've lead good lives and had faith. The woman who told the story about going to hell was a "good housewife" and "faithful christian" who had supposedly never really sinned or done anything terrible, but yet she went to hell. She says she must not have been close enough to her faith. If she's a "better christian" than I am, and she went to hell, then I'm surely on my way! But the thing is, she was pulled back. And now she's alive. Maybe if she had died, she'd have been "pulled back" and sent to the right place. But why was she shown that? Did God make a mistake sending her there? God doesn't make mistakes. Was it so that she could then tell others to keep the faith because there really is a hell? Was it her subconcious fears and it wasn't really there (after all, she lived)? Or is she making it up because she is so gung-ho about getting others converted? The latter would be misguided but well-intentioned, so I can see that as a real possibility. This is an unanswered question for me.
Update: One of the many books I read about this time was, I think a James Van Praagh book where a fundamentalist preacher had an NDE and saw hell. But later, and now I can't remember exactly and am trying hard to find where I read it, but later when he had a session w/ a medium, it turned out that he didn't really see hell at all, but that his long-time friend who was dead was just playing a prank on him, showing him hell because he was one of these jerks who spouts that if you don't buy HIS religion YOU are going to hell, and he thought he'd teach his friend a lesson. Gosh, I wish I could find the book where I read this. I'm still looking.
There is no hell:
But supposedly there is no hell. When you die, you go to heaven. If you murder, or are really evil, or have committed suicide (with some exceptions), you go through "the left door" (which you don't even notice is there if you go straight to heaven). The left door has an anti-chamber where lost souls wander, but not for an eternity, and that place is what the Catholics consider "Purgurtory". Once you go through the left door, yeah, it is dark and scary, but it's not hell, and you only pass through... you go straight back into utero, to try again. Nobody is "doomed" to stay wandering the earth, wandering the dim purgurtory-like anti-chamber, or yo-yo-ing forever through bad lives over and over again. Spirits in heaven work on helping these people, so that they can finally "come home", eventually. Sylvia does a much better job of explaining this, so I highly recommend you read her account of it. I think the "eventually" in the sentance above is when the spirit either gets it right by living a good life, or the lost soul in the "anti-chamber"/purgutory realizes, "hey, wait, god exists, god loves me, and god will help me!"
And it can be God himself... or it can be Jesus... or it can be Buddah. Whoever is your savior for getting you to God, is the one you must believe in, pray to, ask help from... and your savior, whichever one you believe in, is who you will meet in heaven. Some see Jesus in NDE's, some see Buddah (I think), some see/sense God himself.
Levels of Heaven:
James Van Praagh says: "I believe there are many levels to heaven..." [like Sylvia Browne says] "...and we go to that level we have created by our thoughts, words and deeds while on earth." "So where do bad or evil people go? They go to the heaven, or the hell, that they have created based upon their words, thoughts, and deeds while on earth." (4) What I'm not sure of is whether he's saying that we're going where we think we're going (which could suck if we've been mislead by organized religion), or if he's saying that we're going where we're supposed to be going. Sylvia Browne and James Van Praagh both say that a spirit who is on a higher level can go down to a lower level, to visit, or to help out, but a spirit on a lower level cannot go up to the next level. On page 183 of Sylvia's book "Life on the Other Side" (1), Sylvia begins a secotion of Chapter 8 named: "The Seven Levels of Advancement". In this section Sylvia says: "There is no segregations among levels..." (1) "There is also constant mobility from any level to any other level we've graduated from." (1)
The "levels of advancement" are different from the "quadrants". Quadrants are geographical, and "there is complete movement among the quadrants. In fact, there is no area of The Other Side that is off-limits to anyone." (1) "You can freely visit each other and spend as much time in each other's quadrants as you like." (1)
Whether or not a spirit progresses to the next "level", depends on the person's choice. Free will never dies, as neither does our personality, etc. To quote James Van Praagh: "In time, a spirit might progress to a higher spiritual level and perhaps enlighten itself, but this, too, is strictly up to the individual." (4) Sylvia also talks about how on the other side, you can research and learn if you want to, to try to progress to the next level, but you don't have to if don't want to. You don't even have to live a life on earth more than once if you don't want to. You can try to learn the lessons there. But Sylvia also says 'what did you learn when everything was going well?'. And that's another point. Supposedly we can't really learn and progress unless we live a life here. Lessons of hardship can't really be learned there, since there is no evil, hate, or hardship.
Visit Heaven without dying:
My mother once had a "very real" dream, I guess what they call a "lucid dream", where she was on the outside of a building that had columns or arches, she was between the pillars and the building istself, on it's porch, or whatever you call it. At the far end she saw Moses, or some saint (I forget who). Perhaps this was on of the great Halls on the Other Side? Why not? People supposedly visit heaven often in dreams and OBE's.
Connecting science with religion:
I'm not the only one who has been making connections between religion, psychic glimpses, and science. In Sylvia Browne's "The Other Side and Back" (2), there is a "Foreward" by Melvin L. Morse, M.D.. He, too, turned to science. To quote Mr. Morse in his Foreward:
"My research has shown that not only are near-death experiences real, but that by studying the mechanism of the experiences, we learn that all human beings are interconnected with the universe and everything in it that ever was and ever shall be. We learn that in fact there is a sound scientific basis for explaining how mediums can talk to the dead and facilitate spiritual and physical healing." (2)
In response to the question of whether the NDE of a child he'd talked to was "real", he says:
"This is the question that we all have about these experiences. I took his question to the nation's top theoretical physicists, at Los Alamos, New Mexico. I asked them what is reality and how do we know if something is real or not. I learned from them that the child's description of a near-death experience is much closer to being real than the experiences we perceive through our ordinary senses.
"Physicists speak of 'non-local' reality as being the basic reality of life. This is a level of reality in which time and space do not exist, and everything happens all at once." (2) [may I interject: This is just what the eastern philosophers said, according to the Tao of Physics (5), and just like Sylvia Browne's spirit guide told her. (1)]
"This is extremely difficult for us to understand, since we are, at least on one level, biological machines with a ticking internal biological clock. We are so conditioned by our perception of reality through our five senses that we cannot fathom what reality is truly like. It is a pattern of energy that exists in nature, a pattern which contains everything that ever was and ever will be." (2)
[Please note what Deepak Chopra says: "...because you are the eternal possibility, the immeasurable potential of all that was, is, and will be." (8)]
"Children who have had near-death experiences have no trouble with this concept." (2)
"When I asked another boy how long his near- death experience lasted, he replied: "It could have been a second or it could have been as long as my whole life." (2)
"Physicist Paul Davis, in discussing non-local reality, stated: 'We have cracked the cosmic code. We, who are animated stardust, have a glimpse of the rules on which the universe runs. How we have become linked into this cosmic dimension is a mystery. Yet the linkage cannot be denied.'" (2)
[And Deepak Chopra said, "Because you are inseparably linked to everything,..." (8)]
"When I read this statement, I suddenly knew what the linkage had to be. It must be the same biological structure that allows us to have near-death experiences, that is, the right temporal lobe.
"It made perfect sense. On the one hand, we have theoretical physicists who have been trying to explain to us for the past fifty years that our material world is actually based on pulsating, endless patterns of light and energy." [Again I interject: This is the same thing said in the "Tao of Physics", and by Deepak Chopra.] "On the other hand, we have mystics, psychics, and those who have had near-death experiences telling us that they have had a glimpse of a level of reality in which all knowledge is contained, time and space are meaningless, and is filled with a loving light. Our right temporal lobe is our link to non-local reality or, as a child called it, "the really real" place.
"Not only can we glimpse this ultimate non-local reality, but recent scientific evidence suggests that we are constantly interacting with it. Evolutionary biologist Rupert Sheldrake has proposed that we are not biological machines at all, but instead we are based on patterns of energy [like I've been saying!] which code for our bodies and behaviors, patterns that exist in nature or non-local reality. As conscious life evolved, according to Sheldrake, it only reflected changes in the patterns of energy that underlie animal and human forms.
"In summary, the most recent scientific advances suggest that there is a non-local reality that contains the master program for our bodies, our behaviors, and quite possibly our memories. It is independent of time and space. We can access this reality through a biological structure we are all born with, the right temporal lobe.
"At last we arrive at a scientific hypothesis firmly within the current scientific mainstream, which explains how Sylvia Browne can interact with people who have died, or facilitate spiritual healing. She simply has a more developed right temporal lobe than most of us. This could have been a talent she was born with, just as Carl Lewis was born with extraordinary athletic talents, or it could have been triggered and augmented by having a spiritual or near-death experience.
"Within non-local reality, the patterns of those who have died continue to exist. Time is meaningless within that reality. So of course they can return to us via the mediation of our right temporal lobe and communicate with us in after-death communications. It is also theoretically possible to contact them. Now we can understand the scientific basis of spiritual healing. When Sylvia facilitates a spiritual healing, she is most likely directly communicating with the master pattern that programs a given individual.
"Through the mediation of the right temporal lobe, it is likely that errors in the patterns of our current bodies can be corrected by accessing the master program. I have documented in my own practice of medicine such a case of a remarkable healing that came about by the spiritual correction of an infant's DNA. Now, at long last, I have come to a scientific hypothesis of exactly how that could occur. Yet it must be remembered that such healings are extremely rare." (2)
I find most of what he says inspiring, that modern physics seems to be validating what spiritualists have been saying. But part of what he says depresses me. Toward the end he makes it sound like, if not directly says, that when Sylvia Browne or John Edward talk to the dead, they're really reaching out and reading a type of cosmic computer program, like they're looking at the computer program code and extracting the relevant information, not that they're really talking to live people who have died and moved onto another dimension or "heaven". It's like... there are ghosts (earthbound sprits who don't know they're dead), spirits (spirits who have crossed over but are coming to visit), and there are "imprints" (where something very traumatic, or even happy, has left an imprint of emotion on the place itself, like a house or spance of trees). It's as if he's saying that there are no spirits alive on the other side, but that mediums are really just reading the imprint, or computer code, of that person. I don't know what to make of it. However, I have hypothecised in the past that Mr. Morse is cryptic because he's afraid of what his peers would think and how it would affect his career. But even if he's like that because he IS still clinging to the biological/material side of things, that doesn't mean that he's right. He could be wrong, and it also could be that there is a biological connection to the ability of our spirits to enter/exit the body and communicate with the other side. It makes sense that there could be a link between the two, physically.
At least he admits: "I do not feel that science can ever prove or disprove the abilites of Sylvia Browne. My research indicates only that there is no conflict between believing in psychic abilities and the most recent scientific understandings of how the universe works." (2)
We're all 30:
Sylvia Browne (her spirit guide) says that we're all 30 years old on the other side. Visitin spirits often visit us looking younger than when they died (if they were adults) or older than when they died (if they were children). But they will usually appear to you the way you remember them being. Then Van Praagh said that one of the people we was bringing through said that they "work with children" on the other side as their job. [Pg. 75 of "Talking To Heaven"] (4) I don't get that. If we're all 30 when we get there, how can that be? Maybe if you die as a child, you need some extra help crossing over. Sylvia talks about a process of crossing over where sometimes (like if the death was sudden or traumatic) a soul needs time to re-adjust. Sometimes they need to rest in a light sleep, sometimes they need to spend time alone doing the things they love, like fishing, meanwhile being "watched over" by caring spirits. [Pg.22 of "The Other Side and Back"] (2) Maybe this is what Van Praagh was relaying.
It's been said by Sylvia and John Edward that when spirits appear to us, they take the form of what we'd know them as, so that we'll recognize them, unless they are taken by surprise (which confuses me because I thought time didn't exist on the other side). So your grandmother will appear 90, although she is naturally 30. The same with a child who had died. Sylvia's grandmother, who had passed as an elderly lady, rescued Sylvia one day from a small kitchen fire. Sylvia only saw a lock of blonde hair. Her spirit guide later told her that that was her grandmother, who on the other side, being 30 years old, has beautiful blonde hair. Sylvia's grandmother didn't have time to change her appearance, because this was an emergency. But, if time doesn't exist over there, then why was this an issue? Or was it more an issue of not being concerned about appearance?
Afterlife after suicide:
Van Praagh has a different take on suicide than does Sylvia Browne. Sylvia says that if one commits suicide because they can no longer take the physical pain of illness, or if they are suffering from a chemical imbalance, then they go to heaven and work things out. If one commits suicide because of spite or because they just give up, they go to the other side, through a dark door, and back into utero to try again, immediately.
Van Praagh says that when a person commits suicide, they are stuck on the earth, affected by gravity, and cannot pass over until the time comes that they were supposed to die. Meanwhile they are usually aware that they are dead, are aware of what they were on earth to accomplish (and failed trying), are painfully aware of how they died and the grief they have left behind, and see again and again a replay of their suicide.
Revelations already happened:
My friend has a very interesting take about the book of revelations. It already has happened. The book refers to the fall of the roman empire. Ceasar is 666, the cities are the ports of trade, the vatican has taken a seat where the roman empire stood (which is why some christians say that the catholic church is evil).
Sylvia's male and female single God and how The Bible implies the same thing:
Quotes from "Don't Know Much About The Bible" (10): "One of the most sudden and shocking surprises to readers who might be vageuly familiar with the biblical creation story, but have never read the bible, is that there are actually two creations in genesis, seperate, and unequal. Version one begins comfortably with the well-known 'In the beginning'." (10) "In this first creation, which begins in the first chapter of Genesis, it takes God six days to create the heavens and earth, then come the animals, and finally man and woman are created simultaneously, as apparent equals, in God's image." (10) "In the words of the King James version, 'So God created man in his own image, in the image of god, created he him, male and female, created he them.' Clearly, in the first creation account, there is no differentiating between male and female. God crates both sexes at the same time, both, in his image. Of course, this first creation account raises all sorts of troubling questions on it's own, even without a competing version in the next chapter. Who is this 'us' that God mentions when he says 'let us make man in our image'?" (10) "If man and woman are created together, both can't literally be made in God's image, can they?" (10)
Sylvia Browne's sprit guide told her that God has a male and female aspect, [get quote] almost as if (?) it is two people. So, if Sylvia Browne really does talk to her spirit guide, then yes, both man and woman can easily be "in God's image".