In December 2017, I had a reading with Carolyn Clapper- The Next World Medium.  I met Carolyn on Facebook and we have become friends. I’ve had the opportunity to have readings with many mediums, some very famous. Some stunningly accurate. Carolyn is among the top three or four in accuracy I have seen or had a reading with. Carolyn’s gift came to her after an NDE on 11/11/11. She is a natural medium. I have since referred several people to Carolyn and they have all given her the highest praise possible. As of this writing, you can still get an appointment with Carolyn. I don’t know how long that will last as word gets out on her. I keep telling her she’s going to be famous. She will be, whether she wants to or not.

Here are my notes from our reading. A few days before I had the reading with Carolyn, my friend Geo’s wife died suddenly and unexpectedly. I had mentioned this to no one. After my reading with Carolyn, I mentioned this to her and she immediately brought through information on Bonnie. I had no idea if any of it was right until I confirmed with Geo because I had only met Bonnie once many years ago. You’ll see this at the end of my notes- linked below.

Carolyn Clapper Reading Shayna 12-6-2017

 

This is a mystery. I know I posted this before, back in May 2018 when I conducted this experiment with Thomas John. But, it’s completely disappeared. So, here we go again.  Thomas John graciously agreed to submit to a test reading. I set up the test protocol. Only two people in the world knew who both the sitter and the medium were- Tywana and I. Thomas was given a Zoom link. The sitter was given a Zoom link. Thomas had been working with Helping Parents Heal and had given several of us readings, including me. He absolutely blew us all away. I wanted to have even more strict conditions since when a medium does a reading they will often have a credit card charge and/or a telephone number to call. With this information, someone could do social media research on you and find information. To eliminate this possibility, this was not a paid reading (no credit card information) and we used my Zoom account to make the connection. No one had any phone numbers. When you’re doing scientific experiments, you use blinds to make the results as objective as possible. There are single-blind, double-blind, triple-blind etc.  I’m not sure of the level here. Obviously, Thomas could see and hear Fran once the connection was made via Zoom. But, it’s not possible he could have researched her before or during.

The sitter, Fran, is a friend of Tywana’s. I had met Fran a couple of times. She has a daughter who has transitioned (as you’ll see when you watch the video). But, she is not affiliated with Helping Parents Heal. Besides, Thomas did not have even the first name of the sitter.

At the appropriate time, Fran and I got on the call. That’s when I told her the medium would be Thomas John. Thomas came on and the rest is recorded for you to see and judge for yourself. Afterward, I stayed on with Fran and did a short debrief. Fran was astounded by Thomas’ accuracy.

The further along I go on my spiritual journey, the more I find I have in common with atheists, and the less I see I have in common with religious people. My favorite pastor, regarding his sermons, is Roger Ray. I think he would describe himself as an agnostic. But, since he’s a person who regularly rails against a belief in the afterlife or a God who intervenes in human affairs, I’d classify him more as an atheist. Yet, he is one of my favorite pastors because we have a lot in common. When I hear an atheist say they are an atheist and I ask them what they mean, almost inevitably, all of the things they don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.

I was again reminded of this kinship with atheists recently when listening to the Russell Brand podcast Under the Skin. (Confession time, I have a man-crush on Russell Brand. He’s brilliant) Two guests, in particular, revealed this to me. He had Sam Harris, a famous apologist for atheism, and Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek minister of finance. Both are atheists, but both agree with Russell and me about some very important and fundamental realities of our reality. There seems to be a new type of atheist emerging from the strict materialist atheism I was familiar with. Let’s call this new atheism postmodern atheism. If modern atheists believed there is only the material world, consciousness and spirit are both illusions, at best; postmodern atheists think both consciousness and soul are genuine and essential parts of being human. Both of these types of atheists still believe that everything is rooted in the material world. Consciousness exists. But, they think it clearly is emergent from the physical. The former atheists were basically nihilists. The postmodern atheists, not so much.

What I have in common with the new atheists

The things I have in common with the new atheist are many and significant. Consciousness is all we can be sure of. We perceive the world through our senses. We have no direct access to what is actually occurring. We know our senses can be fooled. Maybe there is a physical reality, perhaps there isn’t. Since we rely on our senses to tell us what is going on “outside” of us, for all we know we could be a brain in a jar in a scientist’s laboratory reacting to input from a computer. Or, we could very well be characters in s a very detailed and realistic computer game. What we do know directly is our awareness or our consciousness of these phenomena. Consciousness is the only thing we can be entirely sure is real. Far from the crazies who went so far to question whether consciousness even existed, these new atheists are admitting consciousness is the only thing we can be sure is real. It’s the only thing we can experience.

Besides the fact that consciousness is genuine, another thing I have in common with these new atheists is the fact that humans are more than biological robots, rising from an accident. We don’t live in a strictly materialistic and deterministic universe. Human beings have agency. To my surprise, Yanis said he has absolute belief in the “human spirit.” Sam Harris acknowledges this as well. Their faith in the human spirit has led to a type of morality freed from the shackles of religious belief or belief in a questionable history told to us by people writing with an agenda.

This leads to the third thing I have in common with postmodern atheists. I believe there is a real objective morality. The Christian morality, for many, is based on the writings of Moses who may or may not have existed and who almost certainly did not receive carved tablets penned by Elohim. If you cannot accept the claims of the journey of Moses to the top of the mountain, you can quickly reject the authority of the Ten Commandments. Sam Harris speaks of morality as maximizing beauty, joy, and love and minimizing suffering. It’s simple and concise. Who could argue with that? What do we need to add? And, while one might expect atheists to argue against any real objective morality, he argues against moral relativism, an extreme many liberals have gone toward as they have become unmoored from the religion their morality was based on. We bend over backward to not call anything wrong. As long as someone has a sincerely held belief, who are we to judge? This has led to a reluctance to criticize things that are clearly wrong, just because they are done in the name of religion or in a different culture. If Saudis want to behead people for being gay or say it’s OK for a man to beat his wife, some say “Well hey, that’s their religious or cultural prerogative. It’s right for them.” Religion can convince people to do almost anything they are told, whether it’s right or wrong. Those who are spiritual will do what is right regardless of what they are told. Those of us who believe some things are right or wrong regardless of sincerely held beliefs or cultural norms would disagree. Things like “honor” killings, female genital mutilation, and forced marriages are wrong, in any culture.

The fourth thing we have in common is a belief in scripture. Surprisingly, I heard Yanis say he believes in scripture. That doesn’t mean he takes it literally as history or even accurate regarding gods. What it means is he takes the moral lessons from scripture as being true and applies them regardless of their literal truth. This is something else I have in common with these new atheists. I still quote the Bible extensively even though I long ago set aside the belief that most of it is historical or that it should be taken literally.

Where we disagree

I believe that we all came from consciousness, which I often refer to as Source. This is fundamental and pre-dates the material. The material would not exist without consciousness forming it and maintaining it. I believe that, as consciousness, as Souls, we survive the physical death of the vehicles we use while we are here. So, stretching backward, we pre-exist this body and going forward, we endure the cessation of these biological functions. I believe that the soul/spirit is what animates the body. It doesn’t arise from the body.

While we disagree on where we came from and where we are going to, we agree entirely on what we should be doing while we are here- maximizing joy, beauty, and love and minimizing suffering.

Do the differences matter?

The fact that I think consciousness is fundamental and they think consciousness comes from the material, I think is immaterial. The origins story, while interesting, isn’t particularly significant. How we got here isn’t as relevant as where we are. What is more important to me is the destination story. I’m not sure what they believe what happens when you die. It follows that if you believe the spirit arises from a complex arrangement of matter, when that matter loses that arrangement, the spirit would dissipate. Does that matter in how treat our fellow man? Does it lessen, the joy, beauty, and love we can experience or hope to share with others while we are here?

Here is what I think is critical about your beliefs and Sam Harris says the same thing. Does it improve your behavior? Does it bring you peace and joy?

Imagine There’s No Religion

This is what has got me really excited. I see where we come together as a new type of spirituality. The tenets are that humans are conscious beings with moral responsibilities to each other. We are more than the sum of our biological parts. We can learn from the scriptures, not just of our own particular religion but of all ancient scripture and even new writings. We can agree on an objective morality and act and govern accordingly. This new type of spirituality could begin to a spirituality we can all embrace. Christians could embrace it without giving up their Christianity. Muslims could embrace it while remaining Muslim. But, most importantly, people who don’t believe in the literal interpretation of any text or in any particular origins story could get on board.

Can mankind evolve beyond religion? Can we come to embrace a spirituality based solely on observation of what is around us and not on special revealed knowledge? John Lennon spoke of this. When he said “no religion too” in the song Imagine, I have always felt he was not saying imagine a world of nihilism and utter lack of spirituality. I think he meant quite the opposite. Religions are often what divides us. We kill and die in the name of our particular god. I’ve heard Christians time and time again say “Allah is not God,” one of the most ludicrous things someone could say. This new spirituality could bring us together in a way we haven’t been together as the human race in millennia.

p.s.- the image used for this post came up in my Facebook feed just after I finished the initial draft of this post. Since it was sent to me, I thought I might as well use it. Good timing, Universe.

 

I don’t normally just link out to other blog posts, but I wanted to share this story. Sarah Silverman, a comedian known for her acerbic sense of humor and quick tongue, was called a c*nt on Twitter. One would expect a professional comedian of her reputation to take the guy down several notches. Instead, she replied with kindness and the rest is a truly amazing story.

https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/sarah-silverman-twitter-troll-san-antonio/?fbclid=IwAR0AySG2xZ2Dsd36s7qVofuAD_KXeygTze1OQtCX03gtV66Dg3jc2a7AQ

People often ask why those who have passed on don’t communicate with us more. A common experience is communication will start out almost non-existent.  This may be because we are too deep in grief to receive it. Then, communication will increase. Often then, communication starts to wane. Signs slow down. People often ask if their departed loved ones have forgotten about them.  Perhaps they’ve moved on to a place where they can’t communicate with us. It can be frustrating and it can be disheartening. We still long to hear from them and we can feel left behind.

Victor Zammit put this into the best analogy I’ve heard to explain why this might be the case.

Victor said:

“I think a good analogy (for the experience of one’s own death) is what would happen if you moved to another country to attend the best college in the world doing post graduate studies in an area you have always long to specialise. For the first few weeks you might phone home frequently, especially if you knew your family was missing you. But, as they adjust to your being away and you become immersed in your studies, you know that it’s just a short time until your end of term break when you will all be together again.”

This has been my experience with Kayla being away at college. Her freshman year, we talked nearly every night. I would at least text her to say goodnight and I love you. As she’s finishing up her fifth year, we don’t talk nearly as frequently, but we look forward to her trips home.

 

When Rev. Peter Panagore first spoke to us, he mentioned that he had prayed to die after his NDE. I perfectly understood what he was talking about as I have prayed this prayer many times myself. Many (most?) parents who have lost a child have prayed this prayer. Many NDErs say coming back here is a major adjustment and a most difficult one. I wanted to explore this further with Peter as some of our Helping Parents Heal found his conversation “depressing”. Peter, generously agreed to give me another half an of his time and I’m sharing our conversation with you.

Be of good cheer!  It’s all good news.

 

You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice- Bob Marley

Some themes have run through my dreams for decades.  One is driving a car with very little control. Either I can’t open my eyes, or I’m driving it remotely with my mind and really can’t see it, or the car just isn’t handling right. The other is being in school or a work situation where I’m supposed to take a test or make a presentation, and I’ve never been in the class before. I have no clue what to do. As I enter the dreamscape tonight, I have two very familiar dreams, but significantly different. Instead of a lack of control, there’s this feeling I’m starting to gain some control.

In the first dream, I’m hanging out with an old neighbor from childhood. Tony Merrill lived across the street from me and was about four years older I think. I remember him having nice cars before I could drive. In this dream, he’s got an old restored Pontiac in mint condition. It has red and white leather seats. The interior is decked out with modern features though. It’s beautiful. He insists that I take it for a ride along with a mutual friend who is at his house. I would never drive someone else’s prized possession, but he insists. He’s got it rigged to a hidden switch in the garage that must be flipped or the car won’t even start. He flips the switch, hands me the key fob and I climb in and nervously and slowly pull out of the garage where I promptly sideswipe another car in the driveway putting what I’m sure is a long scratch down the driver’s side door. Then, I run the front bumper into another vehicle in the driveway. I can only imagine the dent in the fender as I get a sick feeling in my stomach. As I pull out into traffic, I ding another parked car. I think I can never go back and face him again. I’m despondent. What am I going to do? Then, I realize it’s all going to be OK. It’s only a dream. I don’t have to go back. I’ll wake up soon. I might as well see where this goes.

People come out into the street in front of me and start taunting me. They’re blocking me from going forward. They’re pointing out the dents in the car. They won’t move. But, I know it’s only a dream, and they aren’t real, so I just hit the accelerator and drive through them. I end up at a house where I go in, and there’s a party going on. I end up in the den where there are all of these unusual aquariums on the wall. I begin looking at the fish, identifying them, just hanging out waiting to wake up. This is where the dream ends.

Last week, when I had my Akashic records reading Barbara Reed asked me if I ever have lucid dreams. They are extremely rare for me.

In the second dream, I’m in school. There’s an old IBM work friend in class with me. I don’t know anyone else in the class. We have the assignment to do a presentation. Unlike the vast majority of my dreams, I know this assignment and I’m prepared. I’m a morning person. And, I like getting things out of the way. But, I’ve been assigned the very last time slot, which is stressing me out a bit. The presentations go on all day every day, Monday-Friday, and I have the 4 o’clock Friday time slot. As other people are making their presentations, I notice they have all used the same software to prepare them. It’s a version of PowerPoint I’ve never seen. There are animated characters in their presentations, sound effects, voiceovers. They are all amazing. But, I don’t feel intimidated. I admire their work and I ask them what they used to create it. I notice that the effects are less and less impressive with each presentation because they are all so similar.  I’m confident with my presentation. It won’t be like theirs, but I like my story. When my turn to present finally comes around, I realize I am wearing a shirt and no pants- pretty typical for one of my dreams. I look up, and there’s my dresser. I calmly walk over to it, pull out a pair of shorts that matches my shirt, put it on and give my presentation.

My amateur analysis… In the first dream, I am in my typical out-of-control situation driving this car. I’m incompetent and screwing it up. The difference though is I relaxed into it realizing that the damage was only temporary. I would wake up, and none of it would matter. So, I just went with it to see where it would go.

The second dream could be a direct effect of a workshop I took last night. I took a writing workshop with Tricia Barker, an English major and Near Death Experiencer. The day before I took a writing class with George Kao. George’s take was “just knock it out.” Get a book out; you can fix it later. Self-publish. Just get it done. Tricia’s approach is, take a year to write the manuscript, another year having people look at it, find a publisher, have it edited some more. Tricia was talking about vehicles to use in your writing, how to hook people, editing down (and down and down), etc. My head was spinning after listening to such different advice from one person who has published several books and another who has a contract to have her book published in the Spring. The message I got from the dream was to do my own thing. I don’t need to worry about doing it perfectly or doing it like everyone else. I need to be comfortable delivering my message my way. And, even though I wasn’t quite prepared at the time of the presentation (no pants), the wardrobe appeared and my shorts were there.