ADCs [after death communication] and Personal Transformation

Do you believe in the reality of ADCs ?  Readers of my blog and book know that I do.  Although by nature a skeptic who questions everything, my research into the personal extraordinary experiences of otherwise normal, ordinary individuals has provided me with evidence that has left me no other option than to concede that such experiences are true communications with a spiritual dimension.

  The entire issue, obviously, has enormous metaphysical implications.  Clearly this points to the reality of the soul, the continuation of consciousness after physical death and an entire unseen universe which surrounds each one of us. It is impossible  to experience life, death and the adversities of daily living without this greater awareness.  Life is never the same once this concept takes hold in your consciousness.  It can change your life.

I recent experience with a young man is worth exploring.  I was just recently at the funeral of a very dear friend's father.  We are more like family than merely friends with this entire family and I had an opportunity to speak with one of his grandsons.  I know this young man for most of his life but only see him once or twice a year when his family visits the Jersey shore.  I know that he has had a troubled past with difficulties in issues of substance abuse and self-esteem.

Knowing my own interests [his parents have read my book and I have discussed such issues with them] he approached me after his grandfather's death and before the funeral.  'I feel him around me', he said.  'I know he's with me'.  'It's an incredible feeling.  It will change me forever'.
He also related to me that a close friend had just died from a drug overdose and he was still deeply shaken by that loss as well.

Over the next 48 hrs he had several other extraordinary experiences which would be considered ADCs.  While he was delivering a short eulogy at the funeral, we all witnessed the lights blink.  He called me excitedly the next day to tell me that he asked his Grandfather for a 'sign', and saw a plastic bag 'move' several inches.  He also had an experience of a flashing light when he returned to the cemetery the day after the funeral. 

He was extremely energized by these experiences and seemed to crave more.  I told him to be especially grateful by having them, that they are real and extraordinary, but to not obsess over them.  I told him to 'let them go' and to understand the next steps in his life.

Rather than to look for the next ADC, he should use this new awareness to change the direction and trajectory of his life. ' Live life the way your Grandpa would have wanted you to', I told him . ' Be aware that he is around you and take that knowledge and strength with you.'  'That is the greatest gift you could give to him and to yourself.'

Now I am not so naive to be absolutely certain that this young man's life has been transformed by this experiences.  But I do believe he has been given a tremendous opportunity to do so.  I will be in touch with him as time goes by.  We can only hope that it will.

CATCH & RELEASE– A FISHING METAPHOR FOR EMOTIONAL HEALING

I am not a particularly avid fisherman.  I'll go if my friend invites me on his boat [didn't make it this season] but I do like one fishing metaphor in particular–the notion of CATCH & RELEASE.

I believe it has particular relevance regarding handling our negative emotions.  We all know them and all too well:  anxiety, sadness, grief, anger…..   They are part of the spectrum of human feelings and no one escapes their occasional visitation. 

But what happens when they seem to be around a bit too much ?  It is easy to become weighed down by their darkness, their negativity.  It is all to easy to find ourselves lethargic, weak, without motivation and even physically ill.  We can find ourselves loosing our momentum, becoming anxious or depressed.  We don't feel well and we want to change but find it difficult. Passivity seems to swallow and we feel weighed down, blocked from enjoying anything.

Sometimes we seek to suppress these feelings and choose the usual suspects–alcohol, drugs, sex.  Or we try to deny them. 

Yet they are too powerful for either approach to be truly successful. And in fact such attempts have the opposite effect– suppression or denial usually leads to a strengthening of their impact on us.

Perhaps the fishing metaphor can help.  Firstly, acknowledge them.  Don't pretend that you don't feel them.  Doing so actually is the first step towards loosening their hold—crucial in the healing process itself.

Acknowledge them and understand why they are there.  Often there is a reason:  personal or professional difficulties.  Job stress, financial stress, world stress, personal difficulties.  You can fill out the list as well as I can. 

Acknowledge that they are there and why.  Then let them go.  Release them as you would a beautiful fish that you caught but have no intention of eating.

Ah, you say, easier said than done.  To be sure.  But it is easier when you believe/know that you can.  Catch the negative emotion, understand it, plan a course of healing of the underlying cause [if possible] then release the emotion.  It is no longer helpful.  You've got the message.

Realize that sometimes the emotion hangs around longer than need be.  Send it away consciously and the feeling may very well lift.  Focus your awareness on the solutions to the underlying problems.  Make a list, set tasks for yourself.  They may not come to fruition but the very act of taking action [rather than slipping into passivity] will surely help the healing process.

Catch & release.  Good fishing!

WHY QUANTUM THEORY MATTERS…..

   Quantum theory is one of those poorly understood, 'mysterious' aspects of physics which has tickled the consciousness and imagination of the layman.  Numerous books have been written over the past few decades dedicated to explaining its scientific/metaphysical implications to the curious seeker.

I am one of those curious individuals who have been fascinated by the mysterious, counter-intuitive almost paranormal aspects of quantum theory.

Emerging in the early years of the twentieth century by physicists who were themselves baffled by what it told them about the nature of reality, it has been explored by philosophers, historians, spiritual writers, artists and the generally curious.  It overturned much of what seemed logical, rational and reasonable even to such great minds as Einstein himself.  Although he was the architect of an equally revolutionary theory of relativity and was one of the founders of quantum theory, he never quite accepted its nontraditional challenge of 'classical' physics.

Some of its principles seem to suggest  that communication between two physical objects could  occur faster than the speed of light [quantum entanglement], that light itself could be a particle or wave depending upon how it was observed, that perhaps conscious observation itself caused the quantum world to 'choose' how to manifest itself to the observer, that subatomic particles possessed a probability that they could appear in a distant location without logically having traversed the intervening space  [quantum leap].

Such conclusions about the nature of reality [metaphysics] shocked some physicists, intrigued others.  Physicists found themselves making metaphysical assumptions about the nature of reality which were strangely similar to the pronouncements of mystics.

All of this seemed fascinating enough, but physicists had proclaimed that these strange qualities only applied to the bizarre world of subatomic particles. Few individuals believed that our 'macro' world obeyed such unexplainable properties.

But a recent article in Discover magazine is bringing the quantum world closer to us–literally.  Called ENTANGLED LIFE by Mark Anderson [Feb 09] it begins to explore how life itself, including photosynthesis, sense of smell or consciousness itself may express quantum realities.

Those of us who regard mystery as an inherent part of the universe such as the nature of dark matter and dark energy  [rather than the residue of ignorance] can even find in quantum theory  the possibility that science and spirituality  may some day find common ground.

There is no reason  to  feel that one must choose between the poles of science and spirituality any longer.  Both are avenues  a seeker can take in order to seek ultimate truth about the nature of reality.  Metaphysics welcomes all as tools to uncover ultimate truth.

THE MYSTERY OF THE HUMAN MIND: ITS INTELLIGENCE/STUPIDITY [you choose]

I'm not sure which quality of the human mind and hence human behavior is more awesome—our acts of stupidity, self-destruction, irrationality or the examples of human creativity, brilliance, compassions and self-transcendence.

I'm actually quite serious about this issue.  We all seem to recognize when we make poor choices, sabotage ourselves and our causes.  We clearly recognize this when nations, groups and other people seem to exhibit irrational stupidity, wanton destruction and unexplainable brutality.  We often beat ourselves up–acknowledge our own mistakes and question how we could have been so delusional, wrong or just plain stupid.

We are quite 'hard' on ourselves and others. Yet we are often more than justified in our criticisms of ourselves and the human race.  We are capable of such indefensible stupidity, brutality and self-destructive thinking and behavior that it is easy to forget that human beings are quite amazing and awesome as well.

Try, sometime, to read and comprehend a technical journal in any field in which you are unfamiliar.
It's amazing how much difficulty we have.  Just try to wrap your mind around some concept in science, technology or philosophy for the first time.  Attempt to create something new and sublimely  beautiful in any of the arts.

And let's not forget the many acts of courage and compassion that we exhibit when we come to the aid of our fellow beings.

At tunes we need to  step back and contemplate the awesome nature of the human mind.

Why are we humans even capable of such 'mind-boggling' achievements ?   If the forces of evolution require that we be just slightly more 'fit' than our competitors—why have we evolved to the point that we need to contemplate the nature of the universe or our own minds ?  Was the ability to create operas, sonatas, great sculptures all that inevitable ?  Did we need to be capable of quantum physics, relativity theory, exploring quantities of time and space or multiple dimensions in order to survive ?  And why did we need the ability to contemplate our own existence, explore nature of a soul, of God ?

I know it is much easier to ask such questions than attempt to offer answers.  But I also know that we tend to see and address the failings of human thought and deed much more easily than our achievements.  Perhaps this is the way it should be.  Our mistakes are powerful reminders of how much suffering we can and do inflict on each other and on ourselves, how much further we need to go in the process of perfecting ourselves.

But let's not forget how great we are and can be.  We have placed ourselves above other living creatures on this planet and just below the angels.  Perhaps we should acknowledge this more than we do.  We all innately and inherently  know  when our achievements raise us to a higher level. In these moments  we should acknowledge  that we are manifesting that spark of Divinity which reflects our true nature.

Perhaps we would do better if we felt better about who we are.    In terms of individual behavior, positive reinforcement is often more effective than negative in motivating personal evolution.  Free will allows us to create a future which manifests light rather than darkness.  Why not see ourselves in the same light ?

The way we see reality can become that reality.  Our consciousness is inherently creative. Our thoughts about our lives can assist in the manifesting of that life.

The human mind is an awesome, paradoxical  mystery.  Let us contemplate what this tells us about our potential as evolving beings.  Let us focus on what we can be and strive to follow the path that unfolds before us with a confidence that by doing so  we can manifest our higher selves.

METAPHYSICAL ‘NET WORTH’

What is your 'net worth'?  It is a term that has been casually bandied about over the past few decades and years to describe how wealthy an individual is determined to be.

In very basic financial terms it is the difference between the total value of all  money,bonds, stocks, real estate, furnishings, collectibles, retirement accounts etc. minus what you owe on them.  Loans, mortgages, car or college debts are deducted from the total and voila!– we have your 'net worth'.

How tragic  that such a term as 'net worth' is understood in terms of material goods and money. Many in our culture regard wealthier people as somehow 'better' or more 'valuable'.  We often judge others by their financial  'net worth'.   The epitome of this attitude was demonstrated by the 'Wall Street' generation in NYC  who often flaunted their arrogance and newly minted wealth as proof that they were 'masters of the universe'.

Even sadder.  If our society and culture believes this to be so–what happens to us when our 'net worth'  suddenly plummets ? 

I don't care who you are in our society as of Jan 7, 2009.  Your 'net worth' is way down.  From rich to poor, your aren't 'worth'  as much as you were previously. Factors beyond our personal control contribute greatly to this notion of 'net worth'.   And yet we suffer on an individual as well as collective level.

Language is a powerful tool for comcommunicating how we feel to others—and how we feel about oursevles.  The term 'worth' denotes something subliminal and dangerous about our personal self-esteem as well as how we feel that others view us.   As part of this culture, we may not realize how deeply and dangerously we are affected by this attitude.

This societal paradigm tends to reinforce the perception that wealthy people are 'better' and less materially successful individuals are less so.  This attitude, of course, is self-perpetuating, leading the wealthier to regard themselves as such and those who are 'below' them as somehow inferior.

Times of suffering offer opportunities for re-evaluation and perhaps growth. Let's create a metaphysical 'net worth' paradigm.  Let's survey how we think, feel and act in our daily lives.  Let's take all of our positive activities and thoughts:  love, compassion, kindness, charity, smiling at others, signs and demonstrations of affection,truth telling, honesty, courtesy, optimism, consideration for all living beings etc. and subtract out our thoughts of anger, hatred, lying, gossip, desire for revenge, jealousy, greed, sneering and scowling at others, flipping someone the 'bird', joy in the suffering of others, destruction of nature and its creatures etc.

Now we have a metaphysical 'net worth'.  Of course as human beings we will have 'something' to subtract from the total.  We are here to work on all of these issues.   We can improve our metaphysical 'net worth' by both increasing our positive attributes, attitudes and behaviors as well as decreasing the negative ones.

The benefit is manifold:  we are soley the determinants of the metaphyiscal 'net worth'.  No outside agency can affect us in this mission.  We will stop worshipping the 'rich and famous' among us.  We will evolve spiritually and ultimately we will be happier and more at peace in this lifetime. 

Perhaps in this time of lower 'net worth' we can re-evaluate what is truly important in life.  Perhpas we can begin to see ourselves and others for what is much more valuable–our metaphysical 'net worth'. 

Am I naive enough to believe that this is possible? Won't we all return to our previous attitudes when this financial crisis is over ?  Perhaps–but it doesn't hurt to try

REVIEW OF A BOOK REVIEW ABOUT DYING

Perhaps it is unfair to write a response to a book review about a book I have not read.
But I do think it is valid to comment on the thoughts and words of the reviewer about a topic
I feel passionately about–death and dying.

This Sunday's NY Times book review section leads off with a review by Leah Hager Cohen of a book entitled THE MERCY PAPERS: A Memoir of Three Weeks by Robin Romm.

The essence of the book regards the death and dying of Romm's mother who suffers from terminal breast cancer. Apparently the dying mother was a bright, accomplished woman who was known for her temper and  apparently her daughter, the author, has inherited that trait.

Robin Romm clearly  cannot accept her mother's dying.  She apparently takes some of her own frustration and anger out on her mother's hospice nurse [universally amazingly compassionate and caring individuals] who advises her to 'let her Mother go' in peace. 

The author is quoted by the reviewer Cohen telling her dying Mother, "I won't be OK. I can't imagine life without you".   Cohen then states in the review, "there is valor in this, toddler-like refusal to manage her grief or indicate acceptance."

Now I would never be so presumptuous as to criticize the feelings of someone for their dying loved-one.  There is no scale or standard to which suffering and mourning can be applied.
I do object, however, to the failure of individual's to come to terms with the reality of death and to help our loved-ones accept it as well.

Dying is frightening to all involved, but our priorities must be with the one who is dying!  Otherwise we do behave like selfish children.  We are not and should not impose our feelings of loss and abandonment on our dying loved-ones.

I have had many a conversation with the relatives of a dying patient who are confused, pained and disoriented by the prospect of losing their loved-one.  Time and again I have tried to focus their attention on the wishes and needs of the dying individual, not their own.

Refusing useless medical procedures, encouraging supportive therapy, wanting their loved one to die without pain and with whatever 'dignity' is still salvageable, these should be their primary concerns.  Their own loss, their own pain which will inevitably follow should not!

To hold on to a loved-one, to cry about how they will suffer after the loved-one is gone is absolutely  inconsiderate and totally selfish.  On a soul level, we must make their passing as easy as possible.  They should not 'hold on' and continue to suffer in a failing body to assuage our pain.

We must be able to do what is in the best interest of the loved ones who are about to die.  We need to think about all of this far in advance of the actually moment of death.

End of life issues must be brought into the mainstream media:  books, TV, movies etc.
Even a death that is poorly handled [such as in this book and review] are valuable.  It encourages the discussion and that is the beginning of change.

STOP THE MISSLES, A….HOLES ! The Metaphysics of the Middle East

I am old enough to have lived through much of the Israeli-Arab conflicts having been born on Israel Independence Day [May 14, 1948].  Much of the media hype over the conflict is influenced by the personal political, personal and religious opinions of the observers.  In truth, there are very few individuals on the planet who do not have strong emotional reactions to what is going on there.

But in short the conflict between Jews and Muslims involves the very existence of the country of Israel and their control over Jerusalem.  Historically speaking, the partition of the land which Britain conquered from the Ottoman Turks after WW I into a 'Jewish' and 'Arab' set of nations by the vote of the United Nations did produce an Arab Palestinian state.  It's name is Jordan. 

The borders of the original Jewish state of Israel were amazingly tiny.  They also controlled only half of Jerusalem.  If the Arab world would have accepted this UN mandate, the state of Israel would exist as that tiny fraction of what it became.  Unfortunately, the Arabs NEVER accepted the existence of such a state and the result has been several horrific wars with countless loss of lives on both sides.  The present borders of Israel are the consequence of such wars and the unwillingness of certain Arabs states to recognize Israel's existence.  Of course Egypt and Jordan are powerful exceptions, demonstrating that peace, even a fragile peace can exist.

History is replete with examples of territorial concessions for the sake of peace.  Look at the history of the US.  Wars with Spain, France and England has produced the outline of what we take to be 'sacred' territory.  The history of Europe reveals an incredible degree of alterations in the borders and even the existence of countries.  Much of these changes have been the consequence of war and subsequent peace treaties.  NO ONE IS SUGGESTING THAT EUROPE OR THE USA GO BACK TO ANY PRIOR TERRITORIAL SITUATION.  In fact it would be impossible for any country to do so.  At what point in history  is a particular city in Poland, for example, German, Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian or Polish ?

"Reasonable" human beings  understand that life is imperfect and that peace is better than war. 'Reasonable' people understand that conflicts produce changes in land and borders and that the 'winners' determine those borders.  Spain is no longer at war with the US, England, France or Germany because reasonable Spaniards prefer peace to war.

  Unfortunately a significant percent of the radical Islamics of today are not so 'reasonable'.
Their entire metaphysical platform reeks of hatred.  Peace is not in their vocabulary nor in their consciousness.  They are the reason behind continuous suffering in the Middle East.

Americans and Westerner's in particular have to understand that Israelis do not want war, do not want to 'control' the territory of Arabs.  They gave back the Gaza to demonstrate that to the Palestinians and to the the world.  Israelis are like us–the want to work, party, do science, culture, discover inventions which will help ALL of humanity.  And they do so, in spades. War is a terrible disruption to their way of life.

But what choice to they have but to defend their right to exist ?   Of course they should give back land for peace. Of course right wing Jewish fanatics need to be controlled and evicted from illegal settlements [and they are]. 

 But what happened with Gaza ?  It didn't exactly work, did it ?
So stop blaming Israel for defending its own land !

 Convince Hamas that life trumps death, that hatred inevitably brings down those who hate, that their children deserve better than to be infused with the sin of hating another of Allah's creatures. 

It is time for a comprehensive peace in the region–but it will never happen until the a….holes stop shooting rockets across borders……