Author: Roberta Grimes

Dealing with Grief

I hear from grieving people almost daily now. Their pain is often so raw that it is nearly unbearable to read their messages, and I realize that since I cannot feel grief myself I am handicapped in my attempts to help them. But I try!

Grief is a process. It is composed of a number of elements: the loss of old habits, fear for the loved one, loneliness, nostalgia, anger, guilt, self-pity, and more. All are very low-vibration emotions, so each of them is painful; and in combination, they can be unbearable! It is in the nature of grief that it will lessen over time – it should be a lot less painful beyond the first year – but you can help it along by trying to understand what the particular mix of negative emotions is in your own case. I suggest to most people the following steps:

1) Pamper yourself. Especially when the grief is fresh, listen hard for your own feelings and wishes and try to do exactly what you want to do from minute to minute of every day. Your mind knows what it needs to do to heal! Don’t be around people who make you feel worse: it is important that you be ruthless about that. Treat yourself as the emotional invalid that you are. Certainly don’t spend time with anyone who tells you that you have got to get over it!

2) Learn all that you can about where your loved one is now. Depending on how you process information, there are lots of books that you might read; and I urge you strongly to subscribe to the Zammits’ weekly newsletter (go to victorzammit.com). My The Fun of Dying is a quick summary, and it includes an annotated bibliography that can help you find lots of additional books. But the news is all good! And the more you learn, the more you should begin to feel more comfortable about your loved one’s present situation.

3) Learn about the signs that our loved ones give to us. It is generally true that your grief has to lessen before your newly-dead loved one can get through to you with signs, which is another reason why it is important that you work on managing your grief.

4) Let go of all negativity, especially anger and guilt. The most intractable form of grief is guilt-based, anger-based, or a combination of the two; so if as you examine your feelings you find that you feel guilty or angry about anything, then it will be important that you work on forgiving yourself and forgiving all your anger. The guilt and anger generally won’t lessen otherwise, and people typically feel that they are still actively grieving even many years later when what they really mostly are feeling at that point is guilt or rage.

5) Learn to accept and live with your grief. It seems to be true for many people that grief never completely goes away; but if you manage it well, it can be tempered to a kind of wistfulness that ideally will be enlivened by occasional signs and messages. Your loved ones are young again, beautiful and healthy, and are having fun in a place without time! They can be close to you whenever they like, so there isn’t the sense of separation for them that there is for you. And the love is stronger than ever!

Believe it or not, it is possible to lose someone close to you and hardly grieve at all. When you are certain about what is going on, you find that you are clueless about other people’s grief: my impulse is always to say how happy I am for the person who at last has gone home, but grieving people don’t want to hear that so instead I express my sympathy for the living. When each of my parents died, despite the fact that I was close to them I felt only glad for them that at last they were free of their useless old bodies. Human life is eternal! When you are certain of that – really certain of it – then seeing people grieve at a death will no longer make sense to you, either.

 

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This is Personal

           There is a theory that if you pick up a calf at its birth and then every day thereafter, eventually you can pick up a bull. It’s a nice idea, but I can personally testify that it is not true. I cannot believe that I haven’t found time to write a new blog post in the past two months! But I realize now that while the calf was growing and I have been struggling with it daily, more and more of my former life was slipping away.

Becoming modestly known is such an odd phenomenon that I wish more people could experience it. As with picking up that growing bull, the weight of it creeps up gradually, so it’s hard for me to pinpoint now precisely when my personal life disappeared, when my legal career shrank to almost nothing, and when my next FUN book was put aside. Apparently my blogging stopped in May, and by now even my podcasting is taking a beating as I have less time to prepare for interviews. What has largely taken over my life is a combination of correspondences with readers and listeners – sometimes responding takes most of my day – and lots of work on a project related to The Fun of Living Together that has captured my heart. But I’m coming up for air a bit now. Perhaps I’ll never be able to pick up that bull, but I seem at last to be learning to ride it!

And yesterday was the Fourth of July, which once again has me thinking about the young man who took up his quill in the heat of a Philadelphia June long ago and wrote what became our nation’s creed.

Thomas Jefferson hated slavery. It was a highly personal issue for him, since before he was thirty-one he inherited almost three hundred human beings. He couldn’t legally free them in the Colony of Virginia, but he didn’t want lifelong responsibility for them. He thought at first that he might persuade the Virginia House of Burgesses to allow slaveholders to free their slaves, but he learned when he arrived at the Continental Congress in June of 1775 that freeing slaves who looked so different from their masters was going to be a difficult trick.

Slavery may be the oldest human institution. It has existed over millennia, everywhere on earth, but nearly always the slaves have resembled their masters. It has therefore generally been easy to free them and let them blend into the larger society. But black slaves were already being freed in the north, and what Jefferson found in Philadelphia was a desperate underclass of newly-freed slaves, hungry and despised and clinging to the edge of the larger white society without hope of ever entering it. He was horrified! He realized then that the worst British sin had been the introduction to this continent of an aberrant form of slavery where masters and slaves looked so different from one another that we might never be able to end it. He was so upset about this discovery that the first draft of our Declaration of Independence was full of what John Adams wryly referred to as “Jefferson’s philippic against the slave trade.”

It is difficult for us to imagine now what was in the mind of a 33-year-old about to risk his life and his family’s lives by provoking a war with the world’s greatest power over the principle of personal freedom. Reading his letters at the time, you never see him waver; but you do see how much the slavery problem troubled him. He thought that for his countrymen to be claiming their own freedom while giving no thought to the slaves among them was almost to render absurd their claim, so part of that original philippic – and almost all of what remains of it now – lies right there near the top of the document. Delegates to the Congress may not have understood the full import of what they were signing, but in fact it was a heartfelt cry that no matter what the cost and no matter what effort might be required, the only possible outcome of this struggle must be a continent where slaves, too, were free.

Let’s look at the import of Jefferson’s words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

(He wrote at first that these truths are “sacred and undeniable,” but this was one Congressional edit that improved the document.)

that all men are created equal,

(“All men” included slaves, and of course it also included women. But how radical this thought was at a time when most people believed that the upper classes were born to dominate those with lower status!)

that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,

(The concept of rights given by God was not new, but “the divine right of kings” to rule was usually the most important of these rights. That individual rights might come first was a revolutionary concept.)

that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

(The universal usage at that time was “life, liberty, and property.” But Jefferson clearly meant to deny slaveholders the right to claim people as their property, and instead he decreed that slaves, too, have an equal right to freedom and a chance at happiness.)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

These were the breathtakingly radical words of a young man who never in the end was able to perfect the world that he inherited, but at least he could envision that more perfect world. His dream in turn became Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. It still beckons to us today.

 

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The 2017 AREI Symposium

It astonishes me now to realize that I met Craig Hogan just in 2009, and Susanne Wilson and the Zammits in 2014. For decades my obsessive hobby of investigating the afterlife was a lonely slog, with no colleagues and with no one in my life who even cared about what I was learning. I had known about Victor Zammit since the nineties, but he lived in Australia. Before the Internet, how useful was that?

It turns out, though, that during my decades of immersion in doing afterlife research, many others also felt called to do this work. They also labored on their own. But in the past few years we have found one another, connecting at conferences and on the Internet, and confirming (this should surprise no one) that all of us have reached the same conclusions. In particular, I have deeply connected with Craig Hogan, Susanne Wilson, and Victor and Wendy Zammit, and a year ago we formed an organization that is dedicated to sharing these truths.

The entire purpose of The Afterlife Research and Education Institute, Inc.  is worldwide afterlife-related research and education! As we gear up, we are making plans to raise money for electronic communications research, for an online university, and for outreach and support to local groups that share our interests. And on the weekend of September 15th we are excited to be holding our first annual Symposium! We hope you will be eager to join the five of us and two-dozen other experts in the broad field of afterlife studies. Together we’ll explore not just the standard afterlife topics but also cutting-edge afterlife communications practices; the best methods for achieving rapid spiritual growth; new thinking about how best to manage the transition that is not really death; and what the dead tell us is the purpose of human life. All in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona.

This will be the world’s largest and most comprehensive afterlife symposium! We have arranged special rates for two-room suites at the Embassy Suites for our attendees, as well as optional “bucket-list” experiences including a tour to Sedona, tours of Old Phoenix, and hot air balloon rides. This Symposium will be the third time that I have worked with Craig in putting on a large event, and I think it’s going to be our best one yet. Early-bird pricing ends on May 15th. Click HERE for more details. This is going to be fun!

Thinking From Love

SunrisePeople have been asking me to do more videos. I have a great face for radio, so being filmed while talking is not my idea of fun! But to help you enjoy my most recent books, I did three new videos. Here they are.

The Fun of Growing Forever details the amazing fact that the teachings of Jesus as they are given in the Gospels are the best short-course in rapid spiritual growth that we have ever discovered. Spiritual growth is the whole point of our lives, and giving us a place to grow spiritually seems to be the reason why the universe exists. Until now, Western religious and philosophical teachings have not focused specifically on spiritual growth, so the most effective methods of which we have been aware have all come out of Eastern traditions. And few Westerners have the interest or the patience to engage in some of the more complicated practices that Eastern teachings require! The program outlined in the Gospels, however, is simple. It requires neither meditation nor yoga – no chanting or gurus – and it can begin to be effective within weeks. I urge you to try it! Elevating your personal vibration has the power to make you the happiest that you can be.

The Fun of Living Together explains the source of America’s longstanding racial problems and details how we can end them and achieve racial harmony in one generation. I wrote about this book in my last blog post, so I will add here only that I am amazed that when this problem is so disruptive and so damaging to our national fabric there seems to have been no one who has examined history enough to try to find its cause. I can only think that most of us have been assuming on some level that there really is a difference between the races, that racism is a natural human condition, and that therefore racial divisions are innate and there really is no way to solve them. I am delighted to report that these assumptions are wrong! Racial differences based on physical characteristics are superficial. All the races are identical. And despite some studies that suggest otherwise, racism is a learned and not a natural condition. If we will take the right steps now, we can at last live up to the true meaning of our creed and make Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream come true!

Fixing America’s Problems is going to require the spiritual focus of the first video and the practical tack of the second. The reason why we are in such a mess in America now, on every level, is that in attempting to fix our problems we are always thinking from fear and negativity, which is the lowest spiritual vibration. What a difference it makes when we think from love! Once enough of us raise our spiritual vibrations to the point where love is where we live, then all the anger and strife for the sake strife, all the contention over trivial things and the violent rhetoric that makes our public life so bitter will dissipate as fog is cleared by the sun. Every problem that America faces has a set of commonsense solutions that can be tailored to benefit everyone, if only we can approach them from love!

If you like these videos, then perhaps you might enjoy subscribing to my YouTube channel. I do hope to start to do them more regularly!

A new day is coming soon, in America and in the world. Those at the highest levels of reality have been working for decades now through thousands of people all over the world to elevate the spiritual vibration of this planet away from fear and toward perfect love. Already we can see it happening, and each of us is a part of this effort. Every human mind is part of the eternal Mind that continuously manifests this universe, so effectively all of our minds are one. When enough of us have undertaken the task of raising our own vibrations and making ourselves us as happy as we can be, then the spiritual vibration of this planet will naturally rise like a bubble in water, and peace and universal understanding are going to overspread this weary earth. It will be a new day forevermore!    

The Fun of Living Together

FOLT Front CoverThe point of figuring out what happens after death is that you finally learn how to live. You start thinking on an eternal scale! Far from losing interest in the things of this world, you care so much more about all of humanity; and when you are thinking spiritually, you can see the world’s problems in a clearer light.

So it is that I am now proposing a fresh approach to solving our racial problems. It is clear that nothing we have tried has worked! Although there are more black people now who have entered the American mainstream, the vast majority of slavery’s descendants still lead debased and hopeless lives. Fully half of young black American children live in poverty. Two-thirds of those children are fatherless! America’s schools are more segregated than ever before, so nearly all black children receive poor educations. And incredibly, although they are just thirteen percent of our population, black people make up half of America’s murder victims. Nearly all their murderers are black as well. An amazing forty percent of black men will spend time in prison during their lifetimes!

But, why?

I hate to say this, but many Americans have come to take it as a given that there is something about having darker skin that makes people less able to cope. So we give them welfare and affirmative action, we allow the black areas of our cities to deteriorate, we turn a blind eye to young black delinquents, and we call people racist who have the nerve to point out that any of this is disturbing. But it is disturbing. And it’s time that we did something about it that really works!

Kelley Glover and I have been friends for a decade without much talking Roberta & Kelley Close - 3.17about race. We’d just go out to lunch for a couple of hours to talk and laugh and enjoy one another. It was only when one day I was thinking about this and I brought the topic up that she began to teach me what it is like to be black in America today. And I shared with her what I thought was wrong.

The result is The Fun of Living Together – “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” (MLK, Jr.). We wrote it as a Fun book and in my voice because that was what my publisher wanted, but the whole book is our joint effort. This is the first book I’ve ever written with a living person. And despite the seriousness of its topic and the intensity of our emotions surrounding it, the fact that Kelley and I can be silly together under any circumstance has helped a lot!

So, why are we still having racial problems a hundred and fifty years after the Civil War? There is only one explanation left at this point. We botched emancipation.

We could have freed the slaves in an orderly process that included educating them to live as free Americans and encouraging their fellow citizens to accept them. But instead, we destroyed a large part of this nation in a devastating Civil War, after which we abandoned the newly-freed slaves to survive surrounded by outraged folks who had just lost everything. What did we think was going to happen? Nearly all of America’s freed slaves and their descendants lived debased and hopeless lives in the Jim Crow South for the next hundred years.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the greatest American of the twentieth century. The more perspective we gain, the more certain that becomes. He brought an end to the Jim Crow South using only his pen and his loving example, and now his life and his words give a shape to the better America that is yet to come.

Slaves WorkingOur popular conception is that slavery was bad because it was violent and the slaves worked for free. But it turns out that what lingers of slavery over many generations is its effects on the mind. The slaves’ sense of being inferior, of being hopeless and beaten down and less is something that we have never addressed. So Kelley and I make a case in The Fun of Living Together that most of the descendants of American slavery still live in a kind of slavery-lite. We have thrown everything we can think of at trying to fix a few of the symptoms of their problem, but because we haven’t understood the cause, we have only made things worse.

Kelley and I now propose a solution that can end our racial problems in one generation and at little cost. Since we have by now tried every other idea and spent more money than our national debt, it is time to go back to emancipation and heal this nation where the rift began.

A friend told me a story yesterday that sums up the place where we are now. She feels shame in knowing that her ancestors owned eight slaves in an obscure town in Alabama and freed them when the Civil War began, after which they moved to Texas. One day a new client told her she had grown up in that same obscure town, so naturally my friend shared her shameful story. Her client burst into tears. She said that her own great-grandparents had been owned by a family that had freed them at the start of the Civil War and then moved to Texas.

They cried together that day. And so do we all cry! There is nothing we can do to changeSpirit Guide Team the past, but the time has come for us to fix a problem that should have been addressed when the Civil War ended. Then at last all Americans can come together in the perfect love and brotherhood that Dr. King was able to see lying waiting for us beyond the top of that mountain.

If not us, who? If not now, when?  

Science vs. Religion

Mad ScientistI often urge my audiences to subscribe to Scientific American. When I add that it’s really a humor magazine, the room will generally erupt in laughter so most people don’t hear my explanation of why I find the magazine so amusing. Scientific American actually is funny, but in a tragic sort of way: more and more, popular science literature is full of articles about enigmas  that scientists still cannot solve, the sad reconfirming of facts that they hate, and quirky investigations into nothing much that they must know will lead nowhere. Even that revered old saw of mainstream science, the replicable experiment, appears to have fallen victim to the sloppy despair of a profession by now so deep in crisis that more than two-thirds of scientific researchers cannot replicate other scientists’ experiments.

The cause of this growing malaise remains the fundamental scientific dogma of materialism that was put into place by scientific gatekeepers a century ago and to this day is enforced. Of course, anything based on a dogma has essentially become a religion, with all the need to enforce orthodoxy and to ignore contrary information that any faith-based system implies. To this day, no one who Max Planck Bustwishes to pursue a scientific career in any western university, or be published in a western peer-reviewed journal, can dream of investigating anything that might hint that reality is not matter-based; and this remains true despite the fact that quantum physicists have known for three-quarters of a century that, as the great Max Planck frankly put it, “There is no matter as such.” He said in 1931, ”I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

Consciousness is by definition not material, but yet those who hope to have careers in science must to this day eschew the investigation of consciousness as anything but an artifact of our brains. They can only conclude that there is something about matter that must inevitably give rise to consciousness. This dogma-based scientific requirement that matter must be primary was proven to be wrong almost a century ago, which is the reason why modern scientific inquiry has by now become so sadly hilarious.

One current example of the flatly non-scientific ends to which all of this must lead was published just last month (I swear!) and cited in Victor and Wendy Zammit’s wonderful Friday Afterlife Report. The article they cite,“Large Hadron Collider Disproves the Existence of Ghosts,” is such a marvel of foolishness that I cannot encapsulate all its nuttiness here. I urge you to read it Consciousness Robotfor yourself. Its core argument is made by a British particle physicist named Brian Cox who asserts that, “We are not here to debate the existence of ghosts because they don’t exist… I would say if there’s some kind of substance that’s driving our bodies, making my arms move and legs move, then it must interact with the particles out of which our bodies are made. And seeing as we’ve made high precision measurements of the ways that particles interact, then my assertion is there can be no such thing as an energy source that’s driving our bodies.”

Media personality and scientific apologist Neil deGrasse Tyson, on the panel where this statement was made, was heard to marvel, “If I understand what you just declared, you just asserted that CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, disproved the existence of ghosts.”

Some of the un-serious attempts that have been made to explain away ghostly phenomena are then cited, but as with all such debunker literature, no attempt is made to examine “ghosts” as an objective phenomenon. Rather, the standard (and telling) false assumption is made that whatever is not scientific must be religious, and that as scientists we are battling the forces of ignorance. First, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is touted as a triumph of international cooperation, where ten thousand scientists from a hundred different countries work together in blissful harmony. But “(r)eligion Chalice With Priestsand science haven’t exactly gotten along over the centuries. And controversies between the two have flared up from time to time. Yet, it seems confidence in science and its principles, at least in the US, has been relatively constant from the middle of the 20th century, up until the last couple of decades or so” when “… science is once again under scrutiny by segments of the population. Evolution, climate change, and even vaccines have been skewered by skeptics.” Oh, those evil religious forces of darkness! “Even the new dean of Harvard Medical School, George Q. Daley, warned in a recent Washington Post interview, that we are moving into a pre-Enlightenment era, where ideology molds reality rather than facts. This announcement about ghosts and CERN may act as a driving wedge, forcing these two camps even further apart.”  

What we are watching here is nothing more useful than a battle between two alternative belief-systems. And since religions and materialism are equally narrow and erroneous ways of seeking to understand the world, there is nothing positive Hourglass-226x300to come from their posturing at one another as if a reality not restricted by dogmas did not exist. And still, the march of folly goes on! Despite all the advances that have been made in the past fifty years by those who have been studying reality without the handicap of any dogma, that scientific need to enforce materialism has blocked any organized study of what might exist beyond materialism’s edges. So yet another sad milestone has been reached. The man who first cryogenically froze a human being in the hope that the man’s body could be resurrected one day has reached the age of eighty. And now he plans to freeze himself as well.

We know that this cannot go on forever. I give it another ten years at most. Once good electronic communication with those that we used to think were dead is in common use by the public at large, both of these sets of false belief-systems that still between them enforce human ignorance will be shamed into following lay researchers into investigating the by now obvious fact that what we think of as human consciousness is the source of everything. And meanwhile, there are some encouraging signs that the bravest and the best among mainstream scientists are finding ways to seek the non-material truth without being banished. Dr. Donald D. Hoffman’s eventual, inevitable Nobel Prize is going to be well deserved.

Forgiving Yourself

jesus-blessing-someoneForgiveness is the most essential and also the most difficult spiritual exercise. Most of us still are vibrating at a fear-based more than a love-based level, which is why humanity is in such turmoil; and we are being told now by beings not in bodies that unless we can raise this planet’s consciousness, human life is on a downward course. That should be reason enough for us to make learning how to forgive a priority! But on a personal level it is important to add that living in forgiveness also makes you happy.

I have blogged several times about radical forgiveness, including here and here. And I have written about self-forgiveness here, but it seems to be time to talk about it again. Aside from questions about the loss of pets – which I get almost daily – the most anguished contacts I receive come from people who have read The Fun of Growing Forever and are stumbling over their need to forgive themselves. For them, in particular, finally forgiving our entire lives forevermore can be the ticket to a much better life!

Forgiving everything in advance is a mind-trick. It works because our minds are not the efficient computers that we imagine them to be, but rather they are:

  • Lazy. Our minds generally don’t analyze things. Instead, for the most part they blindly react based on the patterns that we have inadvertently set by reacting to similar stimuli.
  • Habit-Driven. If we had to think through opening a door or driving a car or composing a sentence each time we did even basic things we would be spending our days that way and we’d have little mind-space for anything else.
  • Highly Adaptable. The habitual links that we have established are only what our minds have found in the past to be the easiest pathways. Think of water flowing in a rocky stream: when we move a few rocks, the water at once flows differently.

So forgiving everything, once and for all, is just a matter of retraining our minds to neverstained-glass-jesus-with-lamb again react negatively to anything. And yes, it really is that simple!

In The Fun of Growing Forever and in this blog post I explain the easiest process for retraining your lazy, habitual, adaptable mind. The forgiveness-ball-and-mantra technique really works! It astonishes me to tell you that my life remains full of things that used to bug me, but now that whole reactive emotional overlay that once plagued my days is gone.

But for some people, self-forgiveness is especially difficult. Most of those who contact me about having trouble forgiving themselves will point in anguish at some particular thing they have done that they found unforgivable; and the things mention always seem trivial to me. They should have been addressable when they occurred. But by now, these people have trained their minds to obsess over them, so that stimulus-response pathway has become a thoroughfare. They might try forming forgiveness balls, but they insist that even doing that cannot begin to assuage their overwhelming guilt.

If this feels like a problem that you might share, then I suggest that you energize your forgiveness work! Still form forgiveness balls and say the mantra, yes, but also:

  • Remind yourself that this is about just you. If others who were involved are dead, then apologize aloud and at once; but if they are living, it generally is best not to apologize until after you have forgiven yourself.
  • Make a point of forgiving your entire childhood. Many of us have medieval-angeldeveloped wrong programming in childhood that tends to make our self-blame worse; so while you are at it, forgive your childhood. Forgive your parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and everything you did that you now regret. The forgiveness-ball technique works best if you use it individually on people and events, so doing this right can take awhile.
  • Try to avoid stressors for at least six months. To the extent that you can, avoid people or places that are likely to make you feel worse about yourself, even if that means skipping some family holidays.
  • Read and write only peaceful wisdom. Read whatever uplifts your heart. And write! Some people find that it helps to write down whatever is bothering them today, then build the forgiveness ball, say the mantra, and burn that piece of paper. Do whatever you can to get all the poisons that you have spent your whole life building flushed altogether out of your mind!
  • Learn how to be good to yourself. Many who carry long-term self-blame will design unnecessarily difficult lives. They will make much of setbacks, deny themselves for others, and in various ways build up resentments that make them feel even worse about themselves. Building forgiveness balls around these obstacles as you notice them can be a help in cleaning out your mind; and even beyond that, insofar as you can, really get to know and like yourself. Try to do more of what makes you happy while it also betters the lives of others. With time and patient work, you can turn it around!

Forgiving yourself is essential, since until you have learned uncritical Sunriseself-love you cannot really love anyone else. Self-love doesn’t mean having a needy ego, but rather it means feeling so good about yourself that you hardly seem to have an ego at all! Once you have fully forgiven yourself, you will see yourself as you truly are: you are the eternally best-beloved child of the all-powerful Godhead that is all that exists. When you fully grasp the enormity of your own particular preciousness, then peaceful joy will become your mind’s set-point. Forgiving yourself forevermore makes you the happiest that you can be!

 

(I apologize for my month away from blogging! I’ve been doing a speaking tour and finishing The Fun of Living Together, about which I’ll tell you more next week).

Thinking About Reincarnation

twin-babiesOne of the most confounding things about studying the afterlife is getting our minds around the fact of reincarnation. And it is a fact. Much as I have tried not to think about it, given my traditional Christian background, the evidence is overwhelming and consistent that each of us lives many earth-lives. Jesus taught it, the dead affirm it, and those who are so inclined can undergo past-life regressions or future-life progressions and meet their own past or future selves.

The actual mechanics of reincarnation are impossible for us to get our minds around while we are in earth-bodies. This is partly because while we are here we can consciously access perhaps as little as ten percent of our vast and powerful eternal minds; and partly because we still lack a deep understanding of the non-material realities. We are left to try to put a sense of it together, while knowing that what we envision isn’t likely to be quite what happens. You will see what I mean!

Here are eight important elements to aid you in thinking about reincarnation:

* Our minds are part of the infinitely loving eternal Mind which is all that exists. We are of the very stuff of God! And since that is the case, our eternal minds are more complex and powerful than our limited earth-minds can imagine.

hourglass* Time is not objectively real. It exists only in this material universe, which is less than five percent of what even mainstream scientists know is real. Getting my mind around all that it means for time not actually to exist is for me the hardest part of this process.

* Since there is no time, in most of reality there is only Now. Effectively, everything is happening at once, including every one of our lives and all of human history. This is a concept that is nearly impossible for most of us on earth to grasp!

* After each earth-lifetime, we spend as much non-time as we like in what some call the Summerland. It is earthlike, beautiful, quite literally heavenly. We take courses and lessons there, travel, enjoy family and friends, and generally relax for what seems to be an eternity.

* Family groups generally gather in the Summerland before anyone decides to reincarnate. So in nearly all cases, your relatives going back for a couple of generations will still be there when you arrive. And even if we reincarnate early, in some manner that we cannot understand apparently we leave a presence there.

* Periodically for most of us the craving for further spiritual growth becomes unbearable. We then plan and undertake another earth-lifetime in conjunction with our chosen guides and with those who will be important in that new lifetime.

* What seems to us to be our next lifetime might be in earth’s future or in Neanderthal Loversearth’s past! There truly is no time. We might surmise from the non-existence of time that past and future must be happening at once, but what is astonishing is that we can actually demonstrate this. Past-life regression therapists have found that it is just as easy to progress people to earth-lifetimes in this planet’s future as it is to take them into the past.

* Each of our lifetimes apparently is a separate existence that also is part of our vast eternal mind. It might be better to think of yourself as an enormous collective. And yes, each of those identities also is you! Each of your individual earth-lives contributes learning and attributes to the whole of your being. A very popular post-death activity is researching our most prominent past lives, although something that I don’t know is whether we also have access when in the Summerland to our lives that are being lived in the earth’s future.

All of our individual earth-lives seem to be recognizably related to one another, although we are not quite the same person in each lifetime. For example, my primary spirit guide, Thomas, once was Thomas Jefferson, and even before I ever met Thomas I knew the historical Jefferson pretty well. Thomas has a lot of Jefferson’s characteristics: both are intense and intellectually restless, profoundly honorable, and idealistic to a fault. But Jefferson had more of a soft side than Thomas seems to have. He was lighter and more optimistic. My Thomas, on the other hand, is a spiritual warrior more adamant and intractable than Jefferson ever was. Susanne Wilson is our medium, and as she says, Thomas does not suffer fools! I can see that they are something like different aspects or views of the same person, and I find that really fascinating.

In 1960 Thomas Jefferson spoke through Leslie Flint, the great direct-voiceold-thomas-jefferson medium. At the time, my Thomas was guiding a 14-year-old girl and likely bored out of his mind. Thomas was able to assume his Jeffersonian demeanor, and he even talked as Jefferson did in his old age (I was in his life then as a young male protege, and I recognize the voice in the Flint recording – what an amazing experience!). Everything Jefferson said through Leslie Flint, including his wish not to talk about his presidency and his advice about loving everyone and finding a way to end the cold war, all was presented in Thomas Jefferson’s characteristic gentle style. But every bit of it was just what my Thomas would have said!

This having heavily researched Thomas Jefferson, and now coming to know my Thomas so well, has closed the reincarnation loop for me. Thomas says that he and I have shared seventeen lifetimes, and always in more or less the same roles: he was a warrior for truth, while I (nearly always a male, incidentally) variously assisted him in that effort. I still don’t really get reincarnation, but this much I know to my core to be true.

Each of us is one vast and powerful mind that takes on many earth-lifetimes with various aspects of ourselves as we learn and grow spiritually. Just as the little child grows and changes but is always an aspect of the adult that he becomes, so each of those lifetimes is loved by us and familiar to us but is seen by us once we graduate to be only one aspect of our glorious eternal selves!

It’s Time For a Second Christian Reformation

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It has been half a millennium almost to the day since Martin Luther issued his Ninety-Five Theses that attacked some of Christianity worst excesses. Whether he actually nailed his Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany, is unclear; but just the publication of his complaints began what is known as the Protestant Reformation.

What Martin Luther began was a great step forward. It pruned away some of the most appalling practices of the overbearing Church hierarchy, from the sale of indulgences as tickets out of hell through the refusal to allow Christians to read the Bible in their mother tongues. It helped, but it didn’t go far enough. So even translating-the-bible-in-1532centuries after the Reformation, the religion that nominally follows Jesus remains steeped in irrelevant dogmas while it all but ignores His Gospel teachings.

Among my whole life’s biggest surprises was my first read-through of Liberating Jesus. I had no time to read while the Master was using my hands to write: the whole book was written in fourteen days. So it was only when I was left with the finished book that I understood how radical it was! And I was appalled. Was it possible that Christianity had been so altogether wrong about everything from its earliest days, but still the Lord had let well-meaning Christians live in error for two thousand years?

Apparently it was possible. Both testimony from those we used to think were dead and the Gospel words of Jesus themselves abundantly confirm that most of what Christianity preaches is contrary to what is true. Here are the core dogmas of mainstream Christianity that turn out to be wrong in light of the Gospel words of Jesus and in light of what the dead now tell us:

  • There is no human-like God with human-like failings. The genuine God is Christian Godloving Spirit. Jesus tells us this in the Gospels, and the dead have been saying it for hundreds of years, yet Christians still worship a Jehovah God who is jealous, judgmental, and quick to anger.
  • There is no powerful being in opposition to God, no fiery hell, and no damnation. According to the physics of Consciousness (which is all that exists), the more loving an entity is, the more powerful it is. The less loving and more negative an entity is, the weaker it is. If Satan existed, he would be powerless.
  • The death of Jesus on the cross has never made an afterlife difference for a single human being. Since God doesn’t judge us, sacrificial redemption from God’s judgment is an irrelevant concept. Indeed, the life of Jesus is an extraordinary gift to humankind, but not for the erroneous reason that lies at the core of Christian teaching.
  • Religions are based in human-created dogmas that separate us from Chalice With PriestsGod, so Jesus came to end the influence of religions and teach us to relate to God individually. I recall that when I read the Gospels as a child I would wince to see how sharply Jesus condemns religious leaders and religious traditions. He meant it then. He really means it now!
  • Jesus came two thousand years ago to teach us how to raise our spiritual vibrations so we can bring the Kingdom of God on earth. He flat-out says this in the Gospels! His Gospel teachings are the most efficient system for achieving rapid spiritual growth that ever has been revealed to humankind. And since all our minds are part of the one universal Mind that is all that exists, if as few as ten percent of us will sincerely follow His Gospel teachings, we will raise the spiritual vibration of every human being and bring the Kingdom of God on earth. We will fulfill at last what we ask for in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray: Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (MT 6:10)

It ought to come as a relief to Christians to learn that God loves us Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]perfectly and never judges us. Yet most of the Christians I have heard from about Liberating Jesus are not relieved by its message, but instead they are annoyed to be told that the death of Jesus is not a spiritual shortcut. Jesus actually does require that His followers take His Gospel teachings seriously!

I find this attitude confounding. Liberating Jesus isn’t out on a limb, but rather it simply restates what Jesus tells us straightforwardly in the Gospels. But the problem is that despite the fact that the Bible is available in countless languages, very few Christians actually read it. Even fewer take the Gospel teachings of Jesus as seriously as He means them to be taken. Most Christians seem not even to know nor care that their religion and their Bible would be foreign to the living Jesus! Instead, too often Christians will go after the superficial emotional highs of their religion, and not seek the spiritual work and the deeper rewards that come from actually following the Master.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe tend to think of faith as a virtue.  Faith means believing in something, which seems to be better than believing in nothing. For most of my life I thought faith was a virtue, but now I am coming to understand that what Christians call faith is comforting pap, a diversion from any real pursuit of the truth, and the single biggest obstacle that Jesus faces in bringing His teachings to the world.

So it’s time for a second Christian Reformation. And this time, for the sake of a world that desperately needs what the Lord came to teach us, let’s really work to get this right!

 

Martin Luther – photo credit: rs-foto <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50402151@N00/4768475053″>Dresden_2010_07_ 091</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Translating the Bible in 1532 – photo credit: Roy’s World <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44586788@N00/23934666583″>Translating the Bible in the year 1532</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Butterfly

Igold-butterfly was very close to my mother-in-law. She lived with us for the final decade of her life, and she often confided in me things that at the time I could neither understand nor imagine. This wizened little lady with the wrinkled face and the artificial hip had been a dancer, a balletic skater, and a pianist, bright and beautiful, and she would show me pictures and tell me with wonder that she felt no older at ninety than she had felt at less than half that age. This woman shaped by the Great Depression who had been widowed before she was forty years old talked about how sometimes her lawyer husband who had an office in the Empire State Building had to be content to be paid with a chicken because nobody had any money, and she marveled at how little any of what had been tragedies at the time had really mattered at all.

I turned seventy in August. I understand her better now. To my own wonder I am finding that old age actually is the best part of life! I hear Bertha’s voice in my mind so often as I realize that I feel even younger now than I ever felt when I was thirty, and I can look back at what at the time had been calamities and see them as nothing, or even as blessings. Perhaps my greatest source of amazement is this sudden awareness that life is so brief! It seems to have been yesterday that I saw my life on earth as stretching into forever, time and possibilities without end, while now I see perhaps one more decade of health, another decade of decline, and then graduation. How brief is each human life! How precious is every day that dawns and each blessed chance we find to be of some use.

When I was in my teens I wrote bad poetry. I wanted then to be a writer, but myyellow-butterfly father wanted me to be a lawyer so I could, you know, actually make a living. I did go to law school, and I’ve had such a wonderful career advising small-business owners that now I hope never to retire; but still, for my whole life I wanted to write. If it occurs to you wonder why an afterlife expert and Biblical scholar who loves to teach these glorious truths also is writing a seven-novel series that is shockingly racy in spots, perhaps now you’ll see that the teenaged writer I was is finally having her say.

At sixteen I wrote a two-stanza poem that expressed the frustration that I was then feeling. Many years later, as we cleaned out my mother’s house I came across that poem and wanted to complete it. Here, dear precious friends, is what I thought when I wrote the third and fourth stanzas is my whole life in one poem. As I enter old age, I realize that actually it is all our lives.

I paused to watch a darting speck
That flickered in the yellow breeze
And came to taste my daisy bed
And touched with gold my lazy trees
And blessed all I had done.

Although I had to turn my head,
I watched it as it fluttered by.
And though I had to work instead,
I ached to be a butterfly
And frolic in the sun.

Now fifty years have come and gone
Between that butterfly and me.
I’ve done what I set out to do,
But still my fondest memory
Is what I wouldn’t try.

I’ve had enough of cheap success
And superficial days and hours.
Now what I want is gentleness,
The joy of decorating flowers
And trembling in the sky.