Monday, April 23, 2007

28. Life After Life?

Let me take this question of life after life vs. road kill back to about a month after Gregory died for yet another conundrum.

Through a person I trusted deeply, I contacted a medium. Arlene (the medium) lived in another part of the country, was in fact traveling in an RV, and the person I had contacted had to call one person, then the person that person told her to call, then another, through about five layers of connections. This person I trusted did not know a lot about Gregory, and Arlene could not possibly link me to him or him to me, not with the best search engine on the planet.

The “meeting” was set: I would call Arlene at a specific time on a specific day. I had it in my mind that I would be super sharp, super skeptical and give this person no feedback whatsoever about what she was saying. My plan was to listen, listen, listen and see whether anything came through or not. She would get no verbal prompts from me.

At this same time, I worked for a publication, and as you probably know, they are bombarded with samples and review copies of everything. Our department pooled these odd bits together in early December and held a sale with bargain pricing. It’s not like you’re going to pick up a Danielle Steel novel or Bruce Springsteen CDs. Most of it is offbeat stuff. All the proceeds go to a local charity.

As it happened, this sale took place the Friday before my Sunday call with Arlene. I was back at work, barely. The sale was a nice diversion, and it was fun to get caught up as we flooded in from the hall and began swarming the tables. After 45 minutes, my booty consisted of a handful of Celtic CDs, a Dixie Chicks video and an obscure animated short.

Sometime later that day, my boss said, “Let’s go see what’s left,” and so we did. The room had really been worked over. I decided to concentrate on the stacks of books that still lined the walls, maybe to find a horse book for Helena.

I made it only a little way around the perimeter when I came upon a small paperback about communication with dead. Hmmm. I put it in my bag. A little farther along, there was a copy of John Edward’s first book, One Last Time. This was before he was famous. I had no idea who he was or precisely what he did, but at the top of the book was a quote from Raymond Moody that said, “Astonishing.” Having followed Dr. Moody since his Life After Life days, that made an impression. The tagline on the book said, “A psychic medium speaks to those we have loved and lost.”

I thought that rather peculiar; it made it sound like a book about relationships. Except, this Edward guy was a psychic medium. I started to put the book in my bag, then thought better of it. I didn’t want the people in my office who were tallying and taking our money to think I was obsessed with the topic of communicating with the dead. I put the book back. Halfway around the room, there was another copy. This time, I put it in my bag for keeps. To hell with what people would think.

When I got home, I put the two books side by side, wondering which to read first. Love Beyond Life by Joel Martin and Patricia Romanowski was “inspiring and thought-provoking,” according to a quote by pediatrician Melvin Morse, author of Closer to the Light, a book about near-death experiences in children.

Ultimately, I picked Edward’s book, and could scarcely put it down long enough to sleep. It told of his own dubiousness at his “skill” and how he put aside a career in public health to work full-time as a medium. The remainder of the book talked about what he does and how he does it, as well as how to spot fake mediums. He mentioned two other books he felt were reputable, and one was the Martin-Romanowski book.

First off, for these two books of all the books at the sale to somehow be overlooked was remarkable. Not only that, the Edward book was like a primer of what happens in a reading of the type I was about to have. My position of not giving any feedback would have ruined the session.

Indeed, Edward explained that he instructs people NOT to lead him with information, but simply to tell him whether or not a name or bit of information has meaning. It allows him to “feel” from the other side whether it’s right. A person might say, “Oh yes, I have a cousin named Harold,” and Edward will say, “That’s not who this is referring to.” (This, as opposed to a fake, who will then try to draw out more information about “cousin Harold.”)

In a personal appearance I later attended, again before he was a psychic superstar, Edward told about the name Orlando coming through for a specific woman. He and she went through every possible permutation of meaning, and both became extremely frustrated when nothing “fit” for the insistent entity coming through. Finally, one of them said, “Disney World?” Jackpot.

So – from the chance second visit to the sale, the chance sighting of two of the best of three books on the subject of this kind of mediumship, the chance of reading the one that would best prepare me for my own reading – what are the odds?

And what a difference it made in the reading.

This is the stuff that makes my brain ache, and sends me running back to the Robert Monroe books.

Image by Vladimir Kush


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