“Rita’s Gift” in two ways: It was a gift from Rita and a gift to Rita. And as the years roll on, I see ever more clearly just how much I and others benefitted then, and continue to do today.
Readers of this know that Rita Warren was a Ph.D. psychologist, a respected professor of criminal justice. (Among other things, she invented a questionnaire, still in use, to help social workers determine what different ways to approach different kinds of juvenile delinquents.) In her early 60s, she did one of Bob Monroe’s early Gateways, promptly put in for early retirement, and the following year moved down to the New Land surrounding the Monroe Institute. Given her background, Bob volunteered her to be in charge of his new consciousness lab.
The lab featured an isolation booth (the “black box”) to help people achieve altered states of consciousness. Rita invented the protocols for using it. Then she and her husband Martin conducted hundreds of sessions over four years. She told me later that she sometimes asked volunteers about the afterlife and other aspects of reality, but re-retired (in 1984, age 64), with her curiosity unsatisfied.
She and I started to work together in the fall of 2000, and it turned out that the universe had plans. I posted the transcripts of ten black-box sessions to email friends, naturally including Rita. The following summer, at her suggestion. We began weekly Tuesday night sessions in her home. I would go into an altered state, and she would ask the questions that had long interested her. Rita later told me that neither she nor Martin had ever gotten answers equal in clarity and consistency to what we got from what I called “the guys Upstairs.”
Session by session, “the guys” introduced themes, and built upon them, until after a few months Rita and I were living in a very different world. I set out to edit transcripts of 22 sessions, and got Rita to write an introduction, but by the time The Sphere and the Hologram came out, she had already made her transition.
Rita died March 19, 2008. She came to me in a dream to assure me that she was fine, and I assumed our work together was over. So I was surprised and pleased when, in December, 2014, I dreamed of her saying she was ready for us to work together again. The next morning, I sat down with my journal and announced myself ready, and that was the start of six months of sessions, usually every day. Then we paused, in mid-May, which was all right with me: We had accumulated quite enough material to change anybody’s life.
Rita, while in the body, had been trying to satisfy her curiosity about the hidden nature of things.. Now, she was setting out to answer those same questions, with the benefit of her new vantage point. Direct communication with the non-physical side of life is as close to first-hand information as we can get.
Rita and I set out to provide a new picture of interaction between the physical and the non-physical aspects of the world. How do beings there spend their time? What is it they do, and why do they do it? What if anything is their relationship to us? What light, if any, does their existence shed on our life here? The world’s scriptures have been answering them for centuries. But that doesn’t mean we understand what’s written. Sometimes old truths have to be restated to be heard. What’s more, sometimes new perspectives make old words more understandable.
While living in the physical world, Rita had questions. Now, in the non-physical world, she remembered the questions, and – she and I having worked together while she was here – she had a way to give us some answers.
And that was the gift Rita received, and the gift she presented.