Chapter 12: Awareness

The Body I Left Behind

     Doris's mother stepped into her reading near its end, just as I was summarizing all that we had covered. She had passed over a year ago, and Doris confirmed many of the memories her mother projected, that it was indeed her mother. Then Doris became very determined with her questions.

     "So what does my mother think?" Doris began, certain that her mother would know what she was talking about.

     "About what?" I answered, still tuned in to her mother's thoughts.

     "About what I did!" Doris exclaimed, sounding impatient that her mother and I weren't quicker contestants in whatever contest this was that she was trying desperately to lead us through.

     "Well, I see that your mother carries memories of many things that you and she did together. What specifically do you have in mind?" I asked patiently, trying for clarification.

     "The urn! About what I did with the urn!" Doris nearly shrieked, then smiled, sitting back on the couch, arms folded, looking very satisfied with whatever she had done.

     Silence. I couldn't pick up on what Doris was looking for, or what she wanted me to relay on behalf of her mother. So I telepathically asked her mother to comment. The mother then showed me a scene of a cemetery with headstones covered with flowers. Then I caught her thoughts and related them to Doris.

     "Your mother is talking about a cemetery, and..."

     "Yes!" interrupted Doris, "I wanted Mother to be buried there, for her to be placed in a beautiful coffin at the cemetery! But my sister fought me about it, and went ahead and had her cremated without my consent!"

     "Your mother wants you to know that she's not there," I tried to respond, but again she interrupted.

     "Not where? So what does she think about what I did?" Doris insisted.

     I paused a moment, trying to let Doris's questions and her mother's thoughts fall into some comprehensible order.

     "Doris," I began gently, "your mother wants you to know that she is not in that body anymore. It doesn't matter to her what you did with the body. She didn't need it anymore."

     Then Doris' mother projected another scene, that of a large dining room table with some sort of decorative arrangement in the center. I described it to Doris, and she jumped at it, now inching forward, saying, "Yes! That's what I did! I really showed my sister! I took mother's ashes from the vault and put them into a centerpiece, marched right over to her house, and said, 'There! You wanted mother in ashes, you can have her, right in the middle of your table to remember her by!'" Doris again pushed herself back on the couch, again looking very pleased with herself.

     "Doris," I began again, "your mother is no longer attached to the body she left behind. It was only a vehicle that allowed her to function and move through her life here. Souls who come forward from the other side often comment on the lovely service that was given in remembrance of them, sometimes sending me the scent of the carnations or roses that filled the church. They want loved ones to know that they were also in attendance.

     "After going to the light and experiencing a rest period, if needed, they are usually more involved with reflecting back on all they learned and experienced in this part of life, and with counseling concerning all that yet has to be experienced and balanced. Drama resulting from making final arrangements, how things are or aren't worked out, is really more engaging for the living."

     I finished, then looked at Doris, who now sat on the edge of the couch with her head bowed. She was muttering to herself, "I still think that I did the right thing. My sister shouldn't have done that."

     Such drama can keep a loved one busy during the grieving process until passage of time assists in the healing of the painful feelings of loss, or it can keep them from the feelings as long as they choose. Unresolved grief often transforms into anger, and family is the handiest on which to project it. As long as people stay engrossed in the resulting drama, they can effectively keep themselves from feeling the emotions that can move them through their grief. Or it can delay the healing of those emotions until the person finally becomes receptive.

     I guessed that Doris was still too frightened to let herself feel the hurt from losing her mother. It didn't matter that she now had assurances that her mother still existed. She was still fixated on the drama with her sister. Fighting battles involving decisions about her mother's remains let her feel dutiful and devoted to her mother and kept her too busy to feel her own sadness.

     I hoped that she would allow the feelings to move through her when she was ready, so that the unresolved emotions, held in her body, wouldn't be forced to turn inward and create illness for Doris. Then, again, each in one's own way, according to one's own, individual choices.

Mountain Man

     I watched Richard drive into my courtyard, his big old Cadillac lumbering and maneuvering around the curve down into the parking area, then back around into a parking slot, gears shifting from forward to reverse, back and forth until the car was placed perfectly between the two white lines. He seemed to be taking his time getting from his car, and I watched him reach over into the passenger's seat and then turn back to open his door, pointing an imposing walking cane affirmatively to the pavement, before lifting himself out to make a slow but deliberate trip to my front stoop.

     My first impulse was to run down the steps to greet him and take his arm to help him up safely. But I quickly stopped myself. There was something about the way he carried himself, with a proud dignity, rather than moving as though he would have preferred to have left his encumbered body behind in the car. He seemed to move it with reverence and high regard. So I stood at the top of the stairs and waited, probably feeling far more uncomfortable about whatever it was that inconvenienced him, than he did.

     Reaching the curb, he smiled a greeting and introduced himself, then looked back down, sizing up the climb ahead. Then, with intense concentration, he slowly made his way up the stairs, grasping the handrail with his free hand with each hoist of his body. He was medium in height, very muscular and tanned, and looked to be maybe in his early sixties. I figured that his disability had to have been recent, or at least minimal, for his body to be in such excellent shape, with no visible loss of muscle from a long illness or convalescence.

     I had left the front door open, and he took this as an invitation to go on past me, nodding and smiling again as he made his way into the house. I indicated the way up another short flight of steps and back to the left of the mirrored wall, into the family room off the kitchen. I saw him catch a quick glimpse of himself in the mirror as he walked by it, straightening his body and tilting back his head proudly, a momentary self-satisfied pose.

     Finally, he settled himself down at the near end of my L-shaped couch, resting both hands on the bulbous gold knob on the one end of his carved wooden cane, now secured between his bent knees. He gave me a broad smile, his big brown eyes twinkling. Now he was ready to begin. When Richard started to speak, his voice cracked, sounding as if he were about to cry. We renewed our introductions, and then he announced why he had made the appointment. His daughter had come some months before for a reading, and had recommended that he try a session with me.

     Richard explained that he had Lou Gehrig's Disease, a rare muscle wasting-disease, which had already affected his larynx. The disease, he explained, had forced him to open his heart, make amends for past abuses with his children, and point him towards a few self-realization programs, where he'd learned about the power of the mind over the body.

     He looked directly at me with his warm, now moist brown eyes, and asked when God would take away the disease. He pleaded, "I've learned from my disease. Now when will God take it back!" I answered him gently that he would have it as long as he needed to learn from it. Richard did not seem to be stuck in a victim mode, and his question told me that he had already taken responsibility for his disease, but now was impatient to be done with it.

     I offered to place a pillow behind his back for support and encouraged him to relax as I seated myself in a straight-backed chair, a comfortable distance in front of him. I took a few cleansing breaths, began to relax into my invocation, and then went deeper, starting to view all the scenes around him.

     It's as if the information I view and understand through pictures, clairvoyantly, all exists in a dot. It's all there: strategic scenes from the past, present challenges, and future glimpses; plus an occasional disincarnate friend or loved one, or a soul in preparation for "re-entry" may transmit in on my higher vibrational frequency to pay a visit. It's challenging to retain all that I'm viewing in this first stage of a reading, then attempt to spread it all out to relate in linear form, while trying to include all the nuances and significant themes that are known to me the instant that I view the scenes.

     I immediately saw an overlay of a past-life around Richard, a very alive, still-existing life experience. When I view a past life in a client's reading, I see a concurrent life space that relates in a specific way to what the person is acting out in his present life, at the time of the reading. In this particular overlay Richard was a robust peace officer in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1800's, looking like a burly mountain man. I watched a side view of him stepping up and into the doorway of a building, set among several others on either side.

     When I view this kind of scene, I'm tuning into a part or frequency of the client's consciousness that is operates through another co-existing physical form in a concurrent but different time period. I can telepathically connect with the thoughts of the person, operating through that "past" persona, then direct their thoughts back to me, to communicate with me about what's going on with him in that particular scene. Sometimes past selves turn around and face me, as if to have a chat, much like the way souls communicate who project themselves from between life spaces, or from future glimpses.

     I started to describe the scene to Richard, and added, "I have to say, Richard, you strike me as a pretty 'macho' guy back there!" I hadn't intended this as a compliment, but he took it as such and, throwing his chest out, answered, "I know!" He himself had seen what I was describing, in some of his own meditations. I went on to view other overlays that dramatized a theme Richard continued to repeat, that of defining himself and his worth in terms of his physical brawn. I saw that in this life space he had excelled in athletics, as a welterweight in boxing and a black belt in the martial arts. I also viewed some past glimpses of him physically beating his children when they were young.

     It seemed as if, in his own words, God was taking away that which he had made his God—his muscle—to which he had become extremely attached. When he could dominate or win others over using his physical strength, he held himself in high esteem. When he was defeated in strength, he felt less purposeful, less validated.

     Richard had long ago divorced and had since married a woman whose weight had increased to obesity. He made no attempt to hide his disgust at what she had allowed her body to become.

     In the following sessions, held over the next few months, I worked with Richard through meditations and astral projection exercises, to help give him a sense of his essence, the existence of his more total being, beyond his understanding of his physical body. At times I would feel we were really making progress. He seemed to radiate with joy at the realization that he was far greater than the physical body that, having served him so responsively, only temporarily housed his enduring and continuing spirit. Then, at other times, it was as if none of our work together had made any difference at all.

     At the end of one particularly (I felt) successful session, he pulled himself up from the couch and readied himself for the walk down to his car. He turned to me, leaning on his cane, with a big grin. I mistakenly anticipated some sort of spontaneous testimonial. "Don't think I told you," he began, "about the other day on the freeway! Cut in front of this guy, and he edges me off onto the shoulder....I get out, and he starts to come at me, looks at my cane, and figures me an easy mark. Man," he beamed, "I knocked him flat."

     The significant part about Richard's story came a year later. I hadn't seen him after that last session, and months later I received a call from his daughter, informing me that her dad had passed over. She said that she thought she believed that we don't "die," and that her dad still existed somehow, somewhere, but her faith had failed her. Hesitantly, she wondered if she might come for a reading.

     Richard had no problem projecting himself into his daughter's reading. His big, beautiful smile and twinkling eyes made me smile. He transmitted several messages, and as I relayed them to his visibly moved, loving daughter. He applauded her for figuring out where important forms had been left in his desk, was glad that she had found his wallet under the living room chair—misplaced during his final days in bed at home, and allowed me to move into his consciousness to experience the sensations that were his, as he was passing from this dimension.

     He had complete awareness of all that took place in the house and around his bedside (as well as of those who waited for him on "the other side"), even when he appeared to be losing consciousness. He knew that the lettuce in the refrigerator was going bad, and he had a keen understanding of who did or didn't understand what he was experiencing. "John knew, " he added. His daughter said that John was the mailman, who happened to drop in one day and stand by his bed. Richard conveyed to me that there was an almost telepathic communication or understanding with him and anyone else who was intuitively receptive, as Richard's life force was slipping away.

     Finally, he turned to me, beaming, and announced, "Now I get it!" I knew from his thoughts, exactly what he was trying to say. Now he finally understood that he was more than the physical body that he had left behind. It was in the passing from the physical plane that he finally understood the lesson that he tried in vain to comprehend while fighting for his strength, while trapped in his failing body.

Proof of the Continuum

     Over the years, I've read many people who come for proof that a loved one didn't die. Sometimes they come with an obsessive intensity, like the woman who came to ask about her deceased husband, Harry. I later found that this woman had experienced personal interviews with many notable people in fields specializing in the understanding and acceptance of death and the dying process.

     Among them, she had met with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, noted psychiatrist and pioneer of valuable work with the terminally ill, and the developer of hospices. Those facilities provide an environment where the dying are fully supported in experiencing their last days as a fulfilling, enriching episode of life. They're encouraged to share and value that time without shame or denial.

     My client estimated that she had allowed herself to go through the grieving process. It became clear, however, that she had yet to find any peace or acceptance about the loss of her husband.

     As I tuned into her, Harry showed up immediately. He tried to project every possible memory he could come up with, to prove to her that it was indeed the energy she had known as "Harry." Memories are very alive and present when we're out of the body, because our perceptions aren't limited by the illusion of time being linear or sequential. He showed me a scene of how they used to watch TV and eat popcorn, tossing it in the air and trying to catch it in their mouths.

     Harry transmitted a scene of the blue floral picture they had purchased, early in their marriage, and the imitation gold necklace he'd given her, which, he added—with all that he was learning in reviewing back on that life about fears of lack—if he had it to do again, would be a necklace of real gold! It felt like Harry was performing a three-ring circus over to my right, trying to help his dear wife from whom he'd departed accept that he, his energy, wasn't dead and buried in the ground.

     None of Harry's feats seemed to convince her. At the end of the session, I understood why. "Well!" she started, as she watched me return to normal consciousness. Sometimes when I come out of it, my eyes are a little crossed; both my twin brother and I had eye operations for strabismus when we were little. Being in such a relaxed state and not fully operational in the body during readings, my eyes are sometime out of focus when I "return." A bit unsettling to my clients, I imagine, as I open my eyes, looking at them cross-eyed.

     "Well?" I answered.

     "Well," she repeated, "the Christmas after My friend Dorothy's husband died, er, passed over, he blinked the Christmas tree lights on her tree, at the exact time that he had died!" Suddenly it was clear to me that she was seeking the same kind of dramatic display of "proof" that her friend had experienced.

     I asked her if she'd known Harry to have had a flair for the dramatic in life. "Oh no!" she replied, "he was the most unassuming, unpretentious man!"

     "Then why do you think he would present himself other than how you had known him?" I finally asked.