[Last Friday I posted the first in a series of edited excerpts from the book I am writing at the present. Do you think your life was wasted, because anything you did or thought will vanish when you die? Well, you’re wrong, but it’s going to take several Fridays to tell you why.]
After half a dozen years of exploration, I took time out to write a book making sense of what I had come to, concluding with a chapter I called “Interim Report.” I called the book Muddy Tracks, to indicate that it was less a roadmap than an indicator that at least someone had preceded the reader in what otherwise might seem a trackless wilderness. I subtitled it Exploring an Unsuspected Reality to show that (in my opinion) what I was doing my best to portray were aspects of life that are all around us, but not all that obvious.
But even before that book was published, I had begun a new series of explorations that led me far beyond what I thought I had figured out. Then, in 2001 my friend Rita Warren, a Ph.D. psychologist with decades of experience in the academic world and in the world of psychic investigation, conducted a weekly series of sessions with the guys upstairs. In 22 sessions, she asked these questions of the guys upstairs, and they talked, and explained, and answered more questions, and drew analogies, and answered her supplementary questions based on their answers in prior sessions. [I published these sessions as The Sphere and the Hologram.] As Rita and I began to absorb the answers, we gradually realized that this new way of viewing things was changing the way we lived our lives. We came to be living in a new world, with much greater assurance that it is true, as the guys continually told us, that “all is well; all is always well.” At the end of 2005, it seemed a good time to pause again, and again lay out what I had learned, as a sort of trail-marker. I arranged a six month leave of absence, planning to write a book on what we had learned.
Besides a book explaining what Rita and I had learned in our sessions, I envisioned a book on contacting guidance and another on learning the art of energetic healing. So now I had three books to write, and more in the wings! A lot of work to be done, but fun, too! Then came what at first I thought was a distraction.
While writing the first draft of my book on healing, I found myself led to watch episode after episode of Ken Burns’ series on The Civil War that I had taped years before. I watched, not knowing why I was watching, criticizing myself for watching instead of working. As I watched I observed myself reacting to the series, and then I began to wonder if these feelings belonged to Joseph Smallwood, a Vermont man who became a Union officer in the Civil War, one of a cast of “past life” characters I had discovered (invented?) in 16 years of altered-state exploration.
Rita had said that she had never met anyone who was moved as deeply as I am by stories of the past. (And neither have I.) But from the time the boy that I used to be began reading history, it was alive to him in a way that it is not, apparently, to others. When that boy read of Mr. Lincoln or of Civil War battles, he read with great intensity, wishing to change what he read, half thinking it possible to do so. (Where could he have gotten that idea?) And I wondered for the first time if Smallwood’s unprocessed grief from Lincoln’s killing had spilled over into my life when John F. Kennedy was killed.
A couple of months earlier I had been in Oregon, and had gone to the historical society looking for signs of Smallwood, knowing that he had gone to Oregon Territory in the 1840s. A researcher suggested that maybe he had returned east. A thunderclap! Of course he did! He was a Transcendentalist, and probably an abolitionist. He would have been about 40 when the Civil War began, and no way would he have sat it out.
I googled Joseph Smallwood in a website listing Civil War soldiers and found nine possibles. So I tried to feel my way to which one would be the right regiment. I felt by my emotional reaction that he was at Gettysburg, so I was eliminating the regiments that only served in the west, trying to come to some logical place to explore next, and here’s when the really strange thing happened.
Then I woke up one day and googled the Civil War song “Marching Through Georgia,” which was in my mind for some reason unknown to me. I found a site that gave the lyrics and another that played the tune (neither of which I knew) and I wound up singing the song right there at the computer with tears in my eyes, I was so deeply stirred! I googled some other Civil War songs, but they only irritated me or left me cold. It was only this one. It took till the afternoon, telling a friend about it, for me to realize that this was, in effect, a message from Upstairs saying, “don’t jump to conclusions about Smallwood not serving in the west.”
I continued looking for traces of Smallwood, until finally I thought to ask the right question in the right way. I asked to be introduced, and he came right in! I wasn’t sure, at first, that the contact was real rather than imagined. (So what else is new?) But by 2005, I had long since mastered the technique of moving into altered states at will, holding my awareness half here, half on the other side, bridging the two. So for ten days, day by day I would awaken early, brew myself some coffee, and sit down with my journal to talk with him, and he became a larger and larger presence. (These talks – including my struggles to verify the information I was getting – were published in 2009 as Chasing Smallwood.)
The story of Joseph’s life may be full of inaccuracies, his or mine. Much more important to me was the record of his opinions of the times he had lived in. And more important than his opinions of his times were his opinions of our times. And more important than his opinions were those of others who began to show up, for it became evident that all this communication was not my own bright idea. They, on the other side, had an agenda for us, and they were using me as willing conduit.
Of course this ratcheted up my anxiety levels. Was I making this up? Or was I really talking to Abraham Lincoln, and Carl Jung, and so many others familiar to me from the history I had read? That was a lot to swallow. Even more, perhaps, was that they should be talking not just to me but to each other, and that in fact they on the other side were cooperating and competing and contending, rather as we do on this side of life, only without the barriers of chronology.
So, I found myself, in my sixties, talking to people who are not in bodies. Some have been dead a few years, some for decades, or centuries. It doesn’t seem to make any difference how long they have been gone or how famous they were or weren’t. Apparently I may talk to nearly anyone I wish to, provided that I have a reason to do so. I seem to have tapped into the invisible world’s Internet.
If this were merely my own experience or my own delusion, it wouldn’t be very important to anyone but me. But since it appears to be a skill that anyone can develop, and since it appears that they are anxious to talk to anyone willing to talk to them, I propose to tell you how to do it. (To do so, you don’t need to follow my path. In fact, you couldn’t if you wished to. Your own path, whatever it is, is the only one for you. You’re already on it, of course.)
But, how is it possible? Isn’t that the key question, how it can be possible?
And here is where experience is superior to theory. When we have experienced certain things, we don’t have to speculate as to whether those things are possible. Is true that we can (and often do; and perhaps often must) misinterpret what we have experienced. Nonetheless, experience gives us grounding in a way that theory cannot do. And in this case, the theory itself comes from the guys on the other side. Who should know better than they how to interpret one side to the other?
Years ago the guys said that the circumstances we live among represent the chief difference between “them” and “us.” I put “them” and “us” in quotes because the guys say that “we” and “they” are the same thing, with part of us in time-space and part of us out. Life inside time-space involves perceived separation, and delayed consequences, and intermingling of dissimilar mental worlds. Life outside time-space involves a lack of physical limitation, and instantaneous creation, and stratification by characteristics rather than by time or space. Those are two very different environments.
What Rita and I learned about all this can be found in The Sphere And The Hologram. Taking all that for granted, our concern here is much more specific: Just how can dead people talk with us, and talk to each other – regardless when they lived – and talk about our time, which was their future? How can they be aware of us, and of each other, and of everything we know? And why should they be interested in doing so?
The explanation came a little bit at a time. And as it did, I began to see what they were driving at in this long series of communications. In the absence of a tangible, believable picture of the afterlife, our society has divided between those who have ceased to believe that an afterlife exists or could exist, and those who rely strictly upon scriptural testimony, without being able to ground their belief in experience. I think the guys upstairs – our ancestors – want us to move beyond the stale and non-productive choice of belief or disbelief. I think they want us to begin to experience. It will change everything. But, oddly enough, many people are unable to allow themselves to experience something until they first are persuaded that it is reasonable to believe in that something. They need a model.