Redefining Death

PhotoMoodySmartt

For over a year I spent studying one on one with Dr. Raymond Moody, by phone or at his home. I learned so very much from this brilliant, gentle and funny man. From ancient Greek philosophy to the logic of nonsense to the use of a psychomanteum as a vehicle to address grief, he shared generously of his vast store of knowledge and expertise as a medical doctor, doctor of philosophy, and forensic psychiatrist.

And yet…after 50 years of research into near death and shared death experiences, reincarnation…virtually all things surrounding death…he never concluded that consciousness survives death. I cannot now give you the very lengthy definition he used for death…but… it came to the idea of complete annihilation. Period. Zilch. The end. Forever. All work in the field of life after death attempted to explain the paradox of…life…after…death. The phrase is nonsensical.

I suggested something to him that I am not sure he appreciated. I suggested that the very definition was wrong…was predicated on a falsity. I suggested that the definition of death needed to be redefined. I mean…who got to stipulate what death was? And when? Certainly, the ancient Egyptians and other cultures had a vastly different view of death. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” In any case, after all these years and all this study, it just might be time to redefine death.

With that I invite you today to register for Dr. Moody’s free webinar, “I’m Convinced.” It kicks off the opening of his new online school, The University of Heaven. With his colleague, Lisa Smartt, they will be offering courses of study in many facets of the death. There will be many of the top people in the field of consciousness as guest teachers. And finally, after more than 50 years in the field, Dr. Moody will address his conclusion on whether consciousness does indeed survive what we call death.

For those of you, like me, who have been avid readers and admirers of his work since the beginning, this is a momentous occasion. Dr. Moody is an incomparable teacher, mentor…and friend. I hope you will join “us” this coming Tuesday, October 30th at 7pm ET.

 

Artistic feeling/Spiritual faculties

And even more so when we step upon the bridge between this world and the next. I know that there are those who look to science for confirmation of consciousness beyond what we call death…but the heart of an artist is needed too.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

It should be remarked that artistic feeling, when coupled with a quiet introspective nature, forms the best preliminary condition for the development of spiritual faculties. This feeling pierces through the superficial aspect of things, and in so doing touches their secrets.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – Knowledge of the Higher Worlds: II: The Stages of Initiation

Translated by George Metaxa

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What is Real?

Reality

A lot of new people have joined the community recently and I want to thank each one of you for sharing this journey with me. I don’t post as many original blogs these days as I am committed to writing my new book. It’s a bit of a surprise as I never thought I would write another book after The Art of Death Midwifery. Then this past winter solstice the premise of a book struck me like lightning. I’ve been writing every day since.

This book draws on all the various experiences of my life and yet…I am often stunned by what is evolving. Generally, I do not talk about a book while I am writing it but because of its surprising nature I spoke with my friend and mentor, Dr. Raymond Moody, about it. I have such deep respect for this work, his intelligence, his experience and his genuinely kind heart that I wanted to run it by him and see what he thought. He is a medical doctor and a psychiatrist in addition to being the grandfather of the modern near-death experience after all.

After I laid out what has transpired in the writing of this book thus far, I asked him, “Am I nuts?” Yes, those exact words. He very thoughtfully assessed what I told him and how I told it to him. “No,” he said, “Your voice is energetic and bright but I do not detect any signs of psychosis.” He also assured me that what I had described to him is not out of the range of possibility. In fact, he said with all the discoveries in science and our universe, with all the infinite possibilities we continue to discover, he asked, “What is real?” Or as my much-loved songwriter sang, “The real world is really unreal.”

As much as I wish I didn’t feel the need for validation, it was great comfort to get the Dr. Moody seal of approval, with his promise to read my book before publication.

This book is coming together in an entirely different way than my first and one thing I am discovering is that body chemistry plays an important role in my being able to sense the very subtle energies I connect with. A few months ago, I had to change thyroid medications. I had a choice of going lower than my normal dose or higher as the new medication didn’t offer the exact dose I was on. I tried lower and saw that gradually I began to gain some weight. So just recently, I tried the higher dose. That felt awful…sleep difficulties, feeling like being crushed in a vise…and an inability to sense the subtle energies required for my work to go forward. So…I had to make a choice: weigh less and give up the work or go down to the lower dose, gain a few pounds and restore the sensitivities needed. As much as I dread gaining weight, the choice is clear. I’m back to the lower dose and beginning to be able to sense the subtle energies again. Whew! It was a little scary when they left.

Vanity aside, it becomes clear that in order to do the work that is unique to you…and each of us have that work…the work that only you can do and that is very much needed by the world…you will be called to make sacrifices…large and small. It is my wish that the choice will be easy for each of you.

So…I’ll check in from time to time with an original thought but mostly I will send along quotes from Rudolf Steiner and others that touch in some small way upon the work I am doing. And if you are currently pursuing the work that the Universe asks of you, the work only you can do, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment on this page and let us know what that is…if you can.

Until then…

The Sun and What Follows

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My first attempt at mirror gazing at home was with my husband Richard. I purchased as large of a crystal ball as I could and used black curtains to block all light from outdoors. We used an artificial candle behind our yoga chairs (seated on the floor with our backs supported) for a very dim light. We used no music. Our intention was to enter the ball and connect with the Enlightened Dead. We used the Emerald Tablet, an ancient hermetic text considered technically as nonsense (it adheres to some rules of English while breaking others).

First of all, I could feel the very definite shift in energy. Richard has never mirror gazed and I have just a little experience with Dr. Moody. As I have mentioned several times before, his energy gave me a tremendous boost. Now I was doing what I could to boost Richard. I can tell you, it will take us much practice for us to be anywhere near as powerful. We also had our little dogs barking at various passersby. Since there is not a lot we can do about that, we will have to grow strong enough for certain noises and distractions to be overcome. But we persisted.

Challenging as it was, after some few minutes of focusing, the crystal ball expanded for me. It became the Sun – sentient, ancient and wise. It spoke to me saying:

“Child of the Sun, I am your mother and your father. I am the third link in the chain though I am the First Cause behind all things. Lean on me.  Look to me for guidance, for strength, for nourishment, for encouragement, for I love the Earth will all my being and would not have her perish before her time.

Do not be fooled by the Darkness for I am blazing even in the darkest night. Know and trust in me. Feel my radiance pulsing thorough you (I noticed that my hands grew hot and pulsating). Draw on that any time and do not doubt. All who chose to do this work are Children of the Sun. Draw on my Light to Love the Darkness Bright. I am Shemesh.”

It is possible that with so much outside distraction to overcome, I only heard part of Shemesh’s message but what I reported is what I heard. It is also of note that up until recently and for the past ten years, I was part of a Western Mystery tradition of Hermetic Kabbalah. As the Sun, Shemesh, is a vital part of that tradition, it makes sense that I might connect with an energy from that tradition. So one could say that intending to connect with the “Enlightened Dead” has a broad scope and may elicit a variety of responses.

Okay…so…where to go from here? What purpose can it serve? Seeking guidance on this, a kind of process was shown to me. One I have experimented with, with enough success to feel it is worth sharing with you. If you feel called to this particular act of service, you might try the following:

I am assuming that you are drawn to the practice of mirror gazing as this is the particular method we are using to cross the threshold. There are others and as I work with them, I will share them with you but for now, this is the form of practice we are using. It is my feeling that a large mirror, set at a height so that it has no distractions in its reflection, is better than the largest crystal ball. You can get a good idea of creating your own psychomanteum from Raymond Moody’s book Reunions: Visionary Encounters With Departed Loved Ones.

I cannot guarantee what you will discover but once you engage your spiritual practice and have yourself in a state of peace, protection and poise, should you make contact with members of the Enlightened Dead, over time, while in a state of deep Presence, form a chain. See each member of your “team” holding hands, one with another until the last one links hands with you. So for me it was Shemesh with Its dazzling Light, holding the hand of Sarawati’s Sadhu, holding the hand of St. Catherine of Siena, holding my hand.

Again, I do not know what the purpose of your link with the Enlightened Dead will be…but mine was most definitely to help the United States in this time of extreme change. While in meditation, it was given to me to link my free hand, crossing the threshold from the Dead to the Living with Ivanka Trump. She was chosen as the person the President is closest to and perhaps can influence him most lovingly. She then took the President’s hand with her free hand. Now the link was complete. From there I saw brilliant white Light coursing down the link of hands, flowing like a mighty river from Shemesh all the way down into the President, filling him, healing him, nourishing him with wisdom, compassion and loving guidance. Wave after wave coursing into him healing not only him but all who participated in this linking of Beings. Once that link is established, you can easily form it in meditation, repeating it without needing the crystal ball.

Science is beginning to show that the Universe, or more accurately, the Multi-verse, is a hologram. One small change creates changes throughout eternity. Therefore even our smallest endeavors to serve the Light can create important and much needed change, out and forever, on and on. So if this process calls to you, I hope you will consider experimenting with it.

I will leave you with this and see where I am led to speak with you again. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

 

Saraswati’s Sadhu

Sadhus-21On my final double mirror gazing experience with Raymond Moody, we entered the mirror with the intention of connecting with one of the Enlightened Dead. Raymond chose a near English, categorical form of nonsense by W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan that had meaningful refrains as our bridge over the threshold.

Once again, piggy-backing off Raymond’s considerable energy and experience, things moved very quickly for me. Once again, the mirror reformed into the shape of a heart. At first I thought we were returning to St. Catherine of Siena’s monastery but instead I see the entrance to a dark cave. Entering into it, I discover a naked Hindu Sadhu, body smeared with ashes, hair matted and uncombed for years, his body nothing but skin and bones. I ask him who he is.  Not completely sure but I think I hea, “Saraswati.” Is there such a person? Is he that person or is he a sannyasin of that person? I will have to do research again when this is over.

He takes me to, I believe it is, Benares, now known (I later found out) as Varanasi, one of the most sacred of destinations in India and one of the most fortuitous places to die and be cremated. He tells me that many of the dead who will form my team in the otherworld will be those who worked with the dying in this world.

We move on to the burning Ghats where corpses lie on pyres and the fires burn 24 hours a day. I watch as a man uses a mallet to crack a hole into the skull of a corpse to keep it from exploding in the heat. The Sadhu takes me by the hand, leads me into the Ganges and begins pouring water over my head, telling me it is a kind of initiation and preparation to help me become a walker between the worlds.

We stay this way in the Ganges as day becomes night, watching as the souls of the newly dead rise from the burning pyres and begin their journey to the otherworld. “They are too new to help us,” the Sadhu tells me. He continues, “I am the next link in the chain. I take Catherine’s hand. I am here to help balance you. Catherine, though she protects one from fire, has lit a flame in you. You are afire. I am here to cool you, to help you find silence and stillness. In my tradition, we call it egolessness. That will be essential for you. Also I bring you patience. The team is forming. Be patient. Do your work but know… the team is forming.”

Once more, I am taken by the information I am getting. Wikipedia tells me “Saraswati (Sanskrit: सरस्वती, Sarasvatī) is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning worshipped throughout Nepal and India.[3] She is a part of the trinity (Tridevi) of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to create, maintain and regenerate-recycle the Universe respectively.” Surely one of her disciples will be a welcome guide for me in this work.

That was the end of my double mirror gazing experiences with Raymond Moody, the perfect ending for our private weekend of work together. While I will not share his mirror gazing experiences here with you out of respect for his privacy, I can say that although different, each one was resonnant to mine in some important way.

Next it is time to take all this knowledge and experience home and see where it wants to go. We will pick up from there next time. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Cry of the Elephants

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For my second double mirror gazing experience with Raymond Moody, he chose a travel narrative piece of nonsense (which is self-explanatory as it conveys a sense of traveling) to carry us over the threshold and into the mirror. We decided we would have no particular agenda for this trip; we would just see what happened.

Again, piggy backing off Raymond’s considerable experience and energy for this work, I easily entered, or more accurately, was absorbed by the mirror and found myself nose to trunk with a giant and old elephant.

“I will take you through the nephesh,” he told me. “You’ll be safe with me.” He picked me up and placed me gently upon his back. I should explain for those not familiar with the Kabbalah, nephesh refers to the level of soul related to the lower astral and the sephira Yesod. It is also known as the animal soul. There are four or five levels of soul in the Kabbalah depending on the school of thought one follows. The nephesh can be the most problematic as it encompasses the more primitive aspects of man and animal.

We traveled deep into the jungle until we entered a clearing. Here I saw the whole family of this ancient elephant gathered in a circle around a dead bull lying in the center upon the ground.

“Please grieve with us,” the lead elephant asked. “We know you are one whose task it is to feel what others cannot or will not. Grieve his death with us. Poachers killed him for his ivory tusks. We know you know how to grieve. Please help us to grieve his loss.”

I cried with them. Moaned and swayed my body in sync with them. Their trumpeting cries scored my heart with pain. When they felt their grieving complete, the lead elephant asked me to guide their dead brother across the threshold to the other side of life. Once again, he picked me up, and then gently placed me upon the back of the dead elephant whose soul now stood ready for his next journey.

Slowly together, we made our way to a bridge and crossed it. We went as far together as I was able to go, then he gently used his trunk to place me on the ground. He thanked me and made the rest of the journey on his own, as I turned, made my way back over the bridge, back into the nephesh and once more found the circle of elephants that was his family. They stood waiting for me.

“Please,” said the head elephant, “you have always known we have souls, we have emotions. You know that we grieve and mourn the loss of our loved ones just as you do. Some of your kind try to help us. They dye our tusks pink to render them useless to the poachers. Please tell them to do this more and more quickly or soon we will be no more.”

Initially after this mirror gazing experience, I thought it was unrelated to the first one and the others yet to come. Now, however, I understand the relationship and purpose of the experience and am humbled by it. What a blessing, what a gift, to cry with the elephants.

Through the Looking Glass

On the Saturday of my weekend with Raymond Moody, we experimented with something st-catherine-of-siennahe has never done before. We gazed together in the mirror. Before we did, we set the intention to go into the mirror and connect with what I call the Enlightened Dead – those of a high spiritual aptitude who have been in the world of spirit for some time and are actively interested in helping the manifest world. This incorporates Rudolf Steiner’s idea that one of the most important acts of service to this world and the next is for those here on earth to act as a conduit for the unrealized potential of the Enlightened Dead, bringing it down to the physical plane.

Before we began gazing, Raymond chose a piece of nonsense poetry suited to our purpose. I do not know that name of it but since our goal was of a spiritual nature, it was spiced with words like consciousness, over-soul, gnostic and so on. It set the tone quite perfectly.

Raymond has been mirror gazing for over thirty years and just what I hoped would happen, happened; I was able to piggy-back off his immense energy and things enfolded rapidly. So rapidly in fact that I had to break off the experience after a short while or be unable to remember all I experienced, be able to write it all down.

Here’s where it gets tricky. What exactly happened to me in the mirror? I cannot say for sure but I will give it to you as it was given to me. With time and practice perhaps I will know for certain what the nature of this experience truly was…or maybe not. It was without a doubt powerful and shifted my energy very high.

This is what happened…

As I gazed into the mirror it began to change shapes and formed a heart-shaped entrance to what I heard in my head was a monastery? A cathedral, a nunnery? No…a monastery. Okay monastery. On my left I once again saw a being outlined in brilliant white light. This is the third time I’ve seen this being. It doesn’t say anything to me but I sense it is a loving being of Light.

The entrance expanded and enveloped me. I am inside the mirror. Next I heard inside my head – St. Sienna. Okay, I am not Catholic, I don’t know much about saints…but Sienna sounds familiar.  Whatever this is feels decidedly female. “I come from dark times too,” she says. I ask for more information – where are you from, what time? I’m wondering about Spain, about the Inquisition, but I do not get any more information from …her. I’ll have my husband Google about her later.

“You have a wounded beast for a leader,” she says. I hear this inside my head, not an actual voice but telepathically, “but no soul is irredeemable. This is what happens when one is raised without love. He does not know agape love.” Whoa…I am stunned.  When I began this journey to create the Community of Spirits, I had no idea how the world would unfold and what the U.S. would encounter shortly. I am not a political person…but it seems very clear who and what she is referring to…and what our purpose together might be.

“You must love the darkness bright.” She says this over and over. “You must love the darkness bright.” She shows me his heart. It looks like a lump of blackest coal. “You must send a laser beam of Light, of Love, into his heart. Yes, peaceful resistance but you must redeem his heart and then his will, will follow.”

“It is easy to condemn but you must join with others and reach higher to love the darkness bright. You join with others there on the earth and I will gather others on this side. Linked hand to hand, we will flow the healing Light of Love to his wounded heart.”

“There is a battle for his soul and we must win for the consequences of failure will be dire for the earth and all upon it. We must love the darkness bright.”

Okay…what was that? Did I actually connect with a saint? Is this some part of my higher Self? I do not know. I do feel it is okay to act as if and begin the task of joining with others, to build the Community of Spirits on both sides of the threshold and see if we can send the power of Light and Love where is it desperately needed.

When I shared my experience with Raymond, he shared his with me. Though it was different in the details, he also saw the linking of…let’s call it energy. He saw a feminine being in white and blue. Interesting. He also told me that there was a St. Catherine of Sienna.

So after our day together, which included another double gazing experience I will share next time, I spoke with my husband on the phone. He googled Saint Catherine of Sienna. While I encourage you to click the link for more information I will briefly tell those of you, like me, who are not familiar with the saints in any real way, that St. Catherine lived in Sienna, Italy during the middle 1300s, during the time of the plague. “I come from dark times too.” She created a monastery. She was very politically active during her time on earth and she is considered the patron saint of the U.S. Whatever this is, it seems perfect for what our work in the Community of Spirits might be at least for a while.

That was my first experience of double gazing with Raymond Moody. The jury is out on what it all means…but it was a transformative experience no matter what. I’ll leave you with this and next time will share my second double gazing experience with Raymond which was quite different yet very, very meaningful.