Grab some popcorn and get ready to be entertained. Lionel Friedberg is a man who has lived a full and adventurous life. We could hardly do it justice in this short format. But, we took a good shot at it.

Lionel was born in South Africa. As a white boy growing up during apartheid, at an early age, he was introduced to African shamanism and it made a lifelong impression on him.

As a young man, a Black friend took Lionel to see a sangoma, a medicine woman. This woman told Lionel about what awaited him in life decades in the future. Today, nearly 60 years later her prophecies are still coming true.

Lionel’s adventures would take him around the world and back to South Africa to seek healing for the illness she would come to him.

In this interview, we discuss his adventures and what he has learned about the nature of reality including how our ancestors are parts of our lives, shamanic prophecy, energy healing, exorcism, near-death experiences, even UFOs.

Lionel’s book is available at:






Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what if the things in life to cause us the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if, like a seed had been planted, and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is brief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey, everybody, I want to do a real quick introduction to this episode with Lionel Friedman. Lionel has lived a long and adventurous life. So we do talk quite a bit about details of his life in the beginning of the episode. And towards the end, we get more into general topics. So I do encourage you to stick around for the entire episode. It’s really good. It’s all fascinating. He’s lived an amazing life. The book is incredible. If you like movies, if you like adventures, and I do recommend you get the book. But stick around for the interview. And as I said, if you can stay till the end, have a great one. Hey, everybody, this is Brian and back with another episode of grief to growth and today I’ve got with me Lionel freedberg. Lionel has written a fascinating book about about his life. And we’re going to discuss his book today. I’m going to read his bio and then we’re gonna go ahead and cover have a conversation. Lionel is an award winning Emmy Award winning producer in New York Times bestselling author. He spent 50 years making films as diverse as full length theater, theatrical features and television documentaries. And he grew up in South Africa during the during the apartheid era era. And he began his career during the dying days of colonialism in Central Africa, and Lionel eventually settled in Los Angeles where his work took him to the sound stages of Hollywood and to the most remote regions of the earth. In his career expose them to extraordinary wonders of our planet. They brought him into close contact with many unforgettable personalities which he outlines in his books, from Maverick scientists to politicians, entertainers, and to people who survived near death experiences. Now, the reason I want to talk to Lionel day is his observations have taught him that life is far more complex and infinitely stranger than we can imagine. He was struck by a life unexpected life threatening illness. And in his efforts to find a way to save his life. They took him back to Africa, where he encountered the age old rituals and powerful healing methods of a lot of African shamans and their mysterious ways have much to teach us Lionel believes and are as relevant today as they were in ancient times. So with that, I want to welcome Lionel freeburg. And mine I should have asked you before we started my pronounce your name correctly.

Lionel Friedberg 2:59
Yeah, you gotta spit on Lionel freedberg is exactly right. Thank you.

Brian Smith 3:03
Why don’t I really, it’s great to have you here today. And I’m really looking forward to your interview. And I was telling you before I get started, there’s so much in your book and so much about your life. I’m not sure how much we can get through. But well, we’ll do our best. So if you could just briefly tell me like you’re you’re raised in South Africa. And tell me about you know, a little bit about your background.

Lionel Friedberg 3:25
Yeah, I regard myself as and I don’t mean to sound boastful or arrogant about this in any way at all. But I think I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate. I’ve been blessed with an amazingly fascinating life. And it began, you know, I was an only child living in South Africa. I was born in the just after the after the Second World War, I’m now 76 years old. And so I grew up there, went to school there and grew up in the midst of that apartheid system, that divisive iniquitous system. That was really very difficult. Even as a child it was, it was obvious to me that there was something grossly wrong with the way we were living our lives. We were privileged white society. We all had black servants in our homes. And the twain never met between white and black society. And it was very clear to me that this wasn’t right. We all had sevens in our homes. And you know, I had a nanny as well. And why I say that is because very, very early on in my in my childhood, I must have been about five or six years old. My I had a wonderful nanny. And one day she had a day off. And because I was an only child, she said to me, I’m going to see a friend this afternoon. You want to come with me? So I said sure. Absolutely. And so we went down the road in this little town where we were living place called Kempton Park, which is to the east of Johannesburg, with a big international airport is now Oliver Tambo International Airport and Named after one of the heroes of the of the struggle in the in the apartheid system, and, and we went down down the road to see to see her friend who was also a black woman working in a white household. And these people had tiny little facilities in the in the backyards of these of these houses a little tiny, miniscule room, a little cold shower and a toilet. And that was it. That was the all of these people had. Our seven had that and so did this, this other woman that we were going to visit her friend, you know, and I was, I was she always used to sing lullabies to me, and you know, she used to tell me stories, basically, based on on tribal lore, and I found that all very fascinating, and I love this woman. And she said, Come and visit my friends. So of course, I was very keen to do that. And we went down the road. And when we got to this little room at the back of this yard where her friend lived, they were like, maybe two or three other people standing outside the door waiting to see her. And, you know, so my nanny said to me, uh, you know, she’s obviously she’s seeing, she’s seeing some people. So I said, Why can’t we go in? And she said, No, no, no, no, she’s, she’s, she’s being she’s being a doctor. She’s just being a doctor. You know, what did I understand? It’s six years, right? This is a woman who polished the floors, clean them, you know, cleaned the kitchen, cook the food, how can she be a doctor? And she says, Yeah, she’s being a doctor. So I thought, What do you mean? And she said, Well, when we go inside a room shall show you. And sure enough, when after these two people had been inside the room and came out it’ll carry little sexuals something inside it, I didn’t know what they were, we went in there. And in this little room, which was very Spartan, there was a bed of course and a little little stove which you could cook off with Primus stove, you know, use parafin it had one electric naked electric light bulb in the roof. And often these lights didn’t even work I mean, these people often use candles. It was it was it was an unbelievable period of time. But anyway, on in her room where all these shows and on the shelves are little containers, little bottles and jars and stuff and there was all sorts of strange things inside there that I did not recognize obviously herbs sands, you know grains of stuff, little feathers, a couple of animal skins and whatever else and I I was intrigued by all of this. So my nanny said to her, tell him what you do here you know when you’re not working inside when you when you have your day off, what do you do get tell tell him and so she explained to me she said well, I have learnt in my tribe when I grew up there how to become a sangoma The first time I ever heard the word sangoma. sangoma is the word. It’s a Zulu word originally, but it’s now used by all the tribes By the way, there are 11 languages and different tribal groups in South Africa. But they all all the shamans go by the name of sangoma, that’s the sort of, you know,

generic name for these folks. And she explained to me that what she did was she could help heal people. And the way she did that was to read the bones. And I said, What do you mean, read the bones, and she had a little grass match in the middle of her room on the concrete floor. And on this grass mat was a little animal skin bag. And she took it, she shook it like this, and it was you know, clinking sound inside, and she said, inside, here are my bones. And I said, Show me and she said, Sure, and she turned the bag upside down. And what fell out were a bunch of various bones, a few stones, pebbles, and other trinkets in there. These were the tools the medium by which she could speak to her ancestors. Now one thing we have to realize about the healing paradigm, in the African tradition is very much centered on contact with the ancestors, the ancestral spirits, the ancestors are the ones who will guide teach, diagnose prognose see into the future, and also do all sorts of other amazing things with with the sangoma. So the sangoma looks at the bones and they come from various animals, some of them have to come from certain animals, like a goat Hina, a lion, crocodile even as little leaving the crocodile tooth, in the end and all of these sets of bones of all the shamans, all the sangomas that I’ve ever met, they all have these specific objects, but then they can all add their own little individual bits and pieces to it, as in when they feel fit. Whatever speaks to them, or allows them to contact their ancestral spirits is what they use in these bones. And the way the bones fall on this little grass mat, apparently is, is influenced by the ancestors. Instead of the way these bones for upside down left to right, whatever else, one on top of the other means something very specific. And these people can read that. So she was trying to explain all this to me. I mean, I was lost. It sounded like a like a high adventure to me was fantastic. And I thought, wow, not the whites, of course went cold. These people I knew that they existed, they would call them witch doctors, which was a derogatory term, right? And totally incorrect because there’s nothing to do with witches about this. But you know, they were all weird by the term of witch doctor, but they really they were sangomas, they were herbalist. They were diviners, they were clairvoyance, they could do all kinds of things. And the other thing that they did, and they did it remarkably well, because I’ve even had experience of this myself, which we can get to in a moment. And that is that they knew I don’t know how to go into the natural world, and pick leaves, and, you know, herbs and whatever else from the environment, in order to make medications to help people heal. And so that’s what all these little bottles and jars and powders were for. And that’s what these people obviously were carrying out when I was waiting outside her room. And so I found was really intriguing. Anyway, you know, my friends spend a lot of time they will yakking away in the language that I didn’t understand. None of us white kids were taught any black languages at all, we learn two languages with English and Afrikaans. And everyone had to learn those two languages, including all the black folk. But did we learn any black languages? No, absolutely not, not back in those days, not during the apartheid era, things are different enough. It’s all a very different country today. But anyway, you know, so I, I paint that picture because that was my first introduction into the healing paradigm of Africa, which I now have had extensive experience of, and it has been an extraordinary journey for me. I think that I have learned more from those folks than I have from anyone else. And believe me, I don’t want to sound boastful again, I’ve made movies with a ton of different people all over the world, from universities to you know, you name it, I’ve worked with NASA, I’ve been, you know, all sorts of exciting places. But I’ve learned more from some of the people who live in mud huts in the middle of nowhere, who don’t even speak English, about how one can develop a relationship with the natural world, how you can tune into the higher realm of, of thinking, raising one’s consciousness, and learning a lot about life and healing yourself. Through folks like that. It has been amazing. Now, let me just jump forward ahead a little bit, comes the year 1960. I finished my education, I’m done with school, high school is done, everything is finished. My father who was originally immigrant from Latvia, he married a South African woman and I wasn’t their only child. My father decided to leave the country because apartheid was really very, very, he founded an immortal system could not live with it. And you know, he’d seen life elsewhere in the world. He was originally from Europe. And he said to my mother, you know, I think it’s time we get out of here. This is just not the way otherwise we shouldn’t bring up a kid in a situation like this.

And so he took a job at a store, by trade, he was a watchmaker, which he learned in Europe, in Latvia, you know, tinkering. In the days when watches had coiled springs and little neck mechanical parts, you know, I have a watch like that, in tribute to my dad, I don’t wear an electronic watch. You got to either wind it up, you know, or our I don’t use it, watch anyway. So that’s what my dad did. And he took a job and a small store where he could be a watchmaker in what was then known as I’m sorry about the fire brigade in the background, but anyway, in an area that was known as Northern Rhodesia, now, Northern Rhodesia was basically two countries north of where we were, a country directly above us was north of South Africa was at that time called Southern Rhodesia, named after Cecil Rhodes, one of the Great British Empire builders, you know, land grabbers in a world, although his legacy did spawn the Rhodes scholarships, a year and a half to give the guy credit. Yeah, the red scholarship is named after him because the guy made a fortune out of gold and diamonds, you know. And so Southern Rhodesia was was one territory. It was British, a British colony, and to the north of that was Northern Rhodesia. And that’s where my dad got this job in this little tiny mining town where they mined copper. Copper had was was was in a very big commodity those days and you know, fetch the big price. It’s not so much today, but those days couple was a was a really important commodity using all kinds of stuff, particularly after the war. They used it and all sorts of you know, machines and war machines and whatever else So it was a very, very wealthy area, way up in the northern part of Northern Rhodesia, right on the border of the Belgian Congo, today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but those days, it was still the Belgian Congo. And that was the that Belgian gave Congo independence. And it was the beginning of a war that has never ended, ever since that had that event happened. You know, there was complete chaos, after the Belgians just, you know, through the Congo away, without having really prepared anybody for independence. And of course, there was a lot of the Congo became a pawn in the Cold War, because the Congo was, was and still is, to this day, extremely rich and raw materials. The uranium that was used in the bonds that were dropped on Nagasaki, and Hiroshima, actually came from the Congo. And I know folks know that I mean, that’s the Congo has every kind of natural wealth that you can, you can imagine, comes out of the ground in the Congo. So it became a porn between East and West. And both sides were playing against one another within the Congo and this inflame this war that began in the Congo. And it was at that time that my dad decides to go north, to live in the country directly on the border of this country that’s in chaos. But it was okay because Northern Rhodesia was peaceful and quiet because it was the British territory. And so he went up there, and I have to just say this to to to your viewers. Because it’s an important commodity in my story, my always love the movies, I praise and think my mom, to the end of my days, for having dragged me to every film that she ever went to see ever since I was like four years old, because I love the movies. And so my passion, right from the get go, was I wanted to eventually get to Hollywood, and make Hollywood movies as a kid. So when I was 11, a cousin of mine gave me an old used movie camera. Now these were long before the days of video, of course, we’re using we’re talking about film now. We’re gonna eight millimeter film. So he gave me that. And as a kid, you know, from 11 years old onwards, I was making films for my school, sporting events, birthday parties, stuff like that, you know. And I even made an epic called the glory of the garden, because my mother was an avid gardener. And I use, you know, hollywood music in the movie and all kinds of stuff. So I love the movies. And what I really wanted to do some of my favorite films of those days, were all the Tarzan movies, the adventure films, the African Queen, King Solomon’s minds, all those wonderful stories about Africa, you know,

because Africa is a place of unbelievable adventure, you know, the horizons are endless. There is so much, especially those days that were that were not known about the continent. It was a place of mystery, and Mystique, and, you know, adventure. Wow, said, My folks are gonna live in an area like that. I’m gonna take my camera, I ain’t gonna go to university, which my parents said, that’s what you should do gonna get a life. I said, No, I’m coming with you. I’m getting up to Northern Rhodesia with you guys. Because I want to make movies up there. I mean, not having a clue how I was going to do that. But that was my vision. So anyway, I went out when we got up there. I was, I was horrified because all they was was a copper mine and account. And the bush from horizon to horizon was just, you know, thick Bush, and nothing else. And I thought, What have I done, you know, what am I going to do here? And there were a string of these little copper mines. And there was a local newspaper. And after a couple of months, I looked in the newspaper one day, and there was a little tiny ad in the newspaper, which announced we’re looking for staff for a new television station that was being built in one of these towns. For me, it was like, heaven had heard my prayers. I thought, Oh, my, I got to get a job at this place. And I went and had an interview. That of course, they weren’t looking for, you know, super technicians and producers. All those folks were being brought in from Europe and from the UK. But they were looking for local people like drivers and people to work menial jobs in the station. Right? And I said, I will pay you guys I don’t care what job it is, but I got to work here. So they gave me a job and I started working before they even went on the air. I helped them you know, piece the whole place together, put it all together. And here was this tiny station, which eventually went on the air. I can never forget the date because it was like the beginning of my life. The 15th of December 1961 we went on the air And it was an amazing experience for me because for the next three years what we did was this. In the mornings, we would do educational broadcasts for local vernacular. speaking people, local tribes, in the vernacular languages, the main language in Zambia, in that part of the country is Bemba. And in the afternoons we would do a, what they would call cultural programming for for adults, people who are living in the bush uniform for the various tribal communities. So we would have these groups of people arriving in the afternoon in their tribal regalia and drums and skirts and musical instruments, and they would dance and play music. And it was like being in another world. It was amazing. And then and then at night, we’d have Leave it to Beaver, and Bonanza. And everything that you guys were seeing here in the States, so I was living in this dual world. Yeah, it was incredible. Yeah, anyway, To cut a long story short, when Northern Rhodesia was given its independence by Britain, which was happening at that time, Britain was giving up all its colonies, it was the end of the colonial period. And I discussed that whole episode in some detail in my book as to you know, what that really meant and how it was.

But one day, I was the oldest all the staff at the station, of course, needless to say, we’re white. But one day, after we had become independent, the country became independent, and became the Republic of Zambia, under a black government. We guys at the station all got a pink slip to say that the station has been nationalized by by the government, and you have all done a wonderful job, thank you very much. But in six months, time, bye bye. Out of here, your jobs are going to be taken over by local people. None of us argued with that idea, because it made perfect sense. The country was not independent. It had a right to run itself. And it had it we fully understood why they wanted to stuff this place with local black people, Zambians. But the big problem was, what was that? What was I going to do with my life? You know, where would I go now? The others could go back to Europe and wherever else they came from, you know, but what was I going to do? My dream was to get to Hollywood. Now, how do you do that? When you’re living in the middle of Africa? And you know, you haven’t really got a background? How is how what am I gonna do with my with my life. And so we had a guy working for us, a wonderful black guy who wasn’t much older than me. His name was David fury. He was also a member of the bimber ethnic group. And the next morning, I after I and I got back from the station late that night with his little sister, telling me Thanks very much, but you know, you gotta leave in six months. The next morning, I said to him, and he and I were really good buddies. He loved photography. We gave him a camera for Christmas one year. And, you know, we used he used to spend his time talking to me about photography all the time. Eventually, he wanted to open his own photographic studio. So he and I had a lot in common. And I said, David, you know, I don’t know what to do. Because I’ve been fired. I’ve been basically told to leave the station. Oh, no, no, he said, Why? And I said, well, because my job is going to be taken over by one of you guys, and what but what am I going to do with my life? And he said, Oh, and he thought about this. And he said, you want to go back to South Africa, I did not want to get back to South Africa. Even though there was a thriving film industry in South Africa, I didn’t want to go back to that whole apartheid. And this we talking about 1964 65. Now, I didn’t want to do that. And I said, I don’t know what to do. And he said, Well, I will try and find someone who may be able to help you. I said, like what, you know, like, who is who’s gonna tell me what to do, you know? And he said, just stick it out, find someone. The next day came back and he said, okay, on Thursday, or whatever day it was, we’re going to drive into the bush. And I’m going to introduce you to somebody, and that person will tell you about your future. And I, I gave, I trusted the guy implicitly I said, Okay, whatever you say, David, whatever you say, I’ll do exactly what it’s so. So the day came and they were going along in my little secondhand VW Beetle, driving along this dirt road on the outskirts of a town called and Dola. To this little settlement, little sort of tribal settlement about maybe a few miles in the bush, and on the edge of the settlement was one single house, little tiny house all on its own. And David said, I think that’s the place there. Let’s go there. So we went there, and he knocked on the door. And this little old lady came to the door. It was a hot day as it always is in that part of the world. But she was covered up she had like a trench coat on and up and you know, a rug around her shoulders. She, she was like half blind, she was old, wrinkled, and old and very, very short.

One of the things about her that that that struck me festivals is that she was an OBE No, you know, sometimes there’s a skin pigment problem, and the skin doesn’t go entirely black. And it’s kind of more white than black. Sometimes people like that regarded as freaks in the sort of, you know, not like by the tribe, but she was highly respected, because they said that she had special powers. She was chosen because of her power. And that was the sign of her powers. Well, we went inside her little house, and she brought us into this little room. And the minute I walked into that room, there was some kind of resonance about my childhood because the smells and the things that I saw in that room reminded me of my childhood, the day I went into my nanny’s friend’s room, in that count, way, way back, because there was a grass mat on the floor, there was a little egg sitting on that grass mat. And there were shelves with little bottles and containers of all sorts of weird things that I didn’t recognize on the shelf. So I knew Ah, she does what that woman did, way, way back. This is going to be very interesting. So a long, kind of long story short, she spoke no English, but thank goodness for David, he translated everything for me. She made us sit down, she said, blow into the bag, which I did, and say your name, which I did. And then she took some snuff, which is ground up tobacco powder, you know, tobacco leaves, and she put it in there, that’s an offering to the spirits. She shook the bag like this. And then she turned it upside down. And all of these bones and stones and little things fell on the grass mat. And she leaned over it like this, and she looked and suddenly she went like this. She said, I can’t see anything. It’s too bright. You know, I can shock and I thought, Oh, my God, you know what’s happened? And she says to David, she said, Why? Why am I why are all these bright lights shining at me? What What am I looking at? She didn’t understand what she was seeing. But she was seeing lights, obviously another attendee, this woman was half blind, her eyes was like, you know, ancient. And yet, you could see that she was struggling to see because of some kind of whatever it was, that she was seeing in the bones. And David said, she wants to know what these big bright lights are that that she’s seeing. And it struck me Oh, my god, she’s seeing the lights in the studio, where I worked. Yeah. And the minute I heard that I thought, This woman is for real. You better pay attention to what she has to tell you. And she for the next hour or so she just sat there picking up these bones. And she didn’t stop speaking for a second. It just kept flowing out of her. And David was translating for me. And I was trying my best to keep pace, making notes. He was trying to keep pace with her. She told me so many things. And every single thing that this old woman told me that day, 60 years ago, all came true. There were moments, there were highlights in my life that actually blew blew me away when that happened, because I only recognized when they came to pass that she foretold all that stuff. Yeah, I just I describe all this in the book. Yes.

I mean, let me give one example for your viewers. Sure. Like for example, she says, he’s not going to stay here. He is going to cross the big water. Now. She didn’t know what she was saying, because Zambia, remember, is a landlocked country. This little lady probably had never in her life, and seen the ocean, you know, maybe in the nearby river, and never been more than 10 miles away from her village. But she said he will cross the big ocean in the left direction and she’s pointing to the north. And when he goes there, there will be more lights. And they will be very famous people, and then he will do his work. Now, I had no idea what any of this meant. Yes, until I emigrated. I eventually left Zambia went back to South Africa worked in the film industry. And I immigrated to Canada because you couldn’t get a visa to come to the USA those days because of the anti apartheid policies they wouldn’t give us gifts are there for white South Africans visas. In those days, it was really difficult to immigrate, but I could go to Canada and that for me was good enough because that was like my you know the road to Hollywood if you like. And so those days you didn’t travel by air you went by sea I’m talking about 1966 and so on the voyage going to Europe on the ship one night I was standing up on the deck all on my own. And I used to look back south every night because in the southern hemisphere is a is a is the Southern Cross or is as almost as conspicuous in the sky like the Big Dipper is here in the Northern Hemisphere. It defines the southern sky and I would look at the Southern Cross every night getting low. And lower and lower and lower on the horizon. Because we were moving north, right. And halfway along this voyage took 13 days to get to Europe from South Africa, I suddenly realized she foresaw this. Yeah, I am crossing the big water, and I am going north. That’s what I’m doing. I’m sailing across the Atlantic, and I’m going from one hemisphere of the planet to the other. That old woman had foreseen this. Another thing that she told, she told me, she said, lots of things. But you know, he has another example. She told me, she said, One day, he will go to a world where there is only white, there is no color in this world at all except white. And he will be there. And he will do work there. And I thought, you know, what’s that mean? Yeah, well, comes 1991. I’m on a scientific expedition, making a film for PBS. And I’m going to Antarctica, and now we’re doing some research work in the ice, basically, to do some to find out is global warming really happening? Is the ozone hole getting bigger or getting smaller? Is the environment in the Arctic being affected by co2 in the atmosphere and methane, and is the sea getting more acidic, all that kind of stuff. So doing all this often icebreaker research ship, and it’s 1991 Christmas Eve, the captain stops the ship with dead still. Thus, the sea is covered in pack ice. And you know, everybody’s partying on board the ship and I went up on the deck was cold, I was gonna go cuddled up at writing in my diaries, I kept copious notes of everything in my life. And I’m sitting there sitting up there on the deck. And it’s like midnight, and it’s not dark, because it’s the southern hemisphere. And we so far south that the sun never set in a perpetual daylight. And I looked around and I thought, wow, this is like being in a big translucent egg because the sea was white, the ice was everywhere. The sky was white, you couldn’t even see where the horizon in the sky. It, you know, met. And I suddenly realized, Oh, my God, this is what that woman had seen. I’m in a world where there is only what, there is no color here. And I’m doing work here. You know, I was I was making a movie, she first saw that on and on and on. There was so many incidents like that. Then this incredible old woman had foreseen in her bones in a little hacked in Central Africa all those years ago. And now, you know, when this when this event happened, it’s like, nearly three decades after she foresaw it. Yeah,

you know, it was incredible.

Announcer 32:46
We’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach. If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know, people work with Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at WWW dot grief to www dot g ri e f, the number two, gr o w th calm or text growth gr o w th 231996. If you’d like to support this podcast, visit Slash grief to growth t ar e yo slash g ri e f, the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth. Yeah, you

Brian Smith 33:47
know, the thing is, is I was reading your book and one of the things you said that when you were talking about you said I kept copious notes, because I was like, I wonder how you got so much detail on the book. Because the book, we feel like I felt like I was going on the adventures with you. So you did a really good job of bringing us along and helping us to understand. And as you tell that story, I want to make sure that people understand that from the time that she gave you these predictions, until some of them came true was like 30 years or

Lionel Friedberg 34:15
more. Yeah, even more. I mean, this this was like this was over 50 years ago, nearly 60 years ago, she told me that. And it’s still happening even now. It was like, for example, one of the things you said was one day, he’s going to get very, very sick. The only way that he’s going to find any healing is to go to the place where he came from. I didn’t know what that meant. And it turns out that, you know, just a few years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious kidney condition. This is, in fact, in 1996 I think it was and you know, my nephrologist said to me, I had a biopsy and he said you know your kidneys are failing. You’re you have an autoimmune disorder that he said Serious, both of your kidneys are being attacked by your immune system and your kidneys are going to fail. You either going to be on dialysis within 10 years or you’re going to be dead, one of the two. And when I heard that I thought, maybe this is what that woman had for foretold, because she told me I was going to get very, very sick. But here’s the amazing thing. I have a friend who’s a surgeon is a white guy like me, and he’s the same age as me. And he studied at Stanford University, he originally studied in Johannesburg. And then he went to Stanford and he became a general surgeon there he practices now in Santa Barbara. And his big thing is studying the shamanic methods of back in South Africa, which is where he came from. Because there’s been so much so much proof of healing that has taken place from those traditional healers, particularly the medicine that they dispense to people, you know, doesn’t come from big, you know, a major pharmaceutical Big Pharma, and stuff that they pick from trees and leaves and grass in the bush, and people get healed. So my friend of mine, the surgeon, he wanted to study the methods and become, if you like, even ordained in the capability of being able to do that. So what he did was he found himself a teacher, back in Africa to do that. And this guy was living in Swaziland, which is a neighborhood, a neighboring country in South Africa, it sits between South Africa and Mozambique. And he had to teach there who was teaching him the ways of, of the shaman of the sangoma and how they were, you know, find how you how you go into the boondocks, and find healing stuff from herbs and herbs, whatever. And, and, and remember, he’s a general surgeon, and when when I told him about my kidney illness, he said, he said, You know, I’m going back to South Africa, and I’m going back to my teacher to for about six weeks to learn to have another course he used to go back once a year. And he said, Why don’t you come with me? I said, What, four? And he said, because maybe those guys, maybe my teacher, or maybe he knows someone like him, who will be able to help you. And I said, Excuse me, you are a surgeon. And you telling me, I’ve got some of the best specialists in the world, looking after me here in LA, telling me to go back to the bush in Africa with you to find someone who’s going to heal me. Are you serious? And he said, Yes, I absolutely AM. And you know what? I did that. And I met a lot of amazing people. I had met a lot of them before, because in the 70s, I did a series called the tribal identity, which looked at all the tribal groups in South Africa, how they differed one to the other and how their cultures and histories compared different and their traditions and so on. So I had been exposed to a lot of that during the course of the making of that isn’t a graphic series, I had an anthropologist, and we did that series. And I met a lot of sangomas during that. But Dave was serious about me actually trying to find a cure for my kidney disease. And you know what it was, it was predicted by nine by nine nephrologist that I would be on dialysis or be dead by now. And I’ve had this disease for nearly 30 years. And I’m still glad to tell the story. Man, I credit me going back to like that old lady had told me he must go back to where he came from, which means go back to your homeland, which is what I did. And I think I credit that was mainly why I’m still here today. Yeah, those guys.

Brian Smith 38:36
Yeah. And it’s it’s interesting, really fascinating that you know, because this woman tells you, she predicts your future, which is something we don’t understand in the West, right? We, we understand medicine we have we have our pharmaceutical companies, we understand I can give you this pill that can do this. And some some of these healers use herbs, but it’s it’s more than just the herb. It’s the spiritual aspect, right? Because when you did go back to get the healing, you underwent an exorcism, right? I did.

Lionel Friedberg 39:04
Yeah. Because this guy, the teacher of my friend, a wonderful old man, unfortunately, he’s passed away now. I have a great photograph of him in the book. He was he was an incredible individ You know, when when we arrived and he lived in this little art. He lived in this little compound place on the outskirts of a town called Manzini in Swaziland, actually Swaziland today is now called eswatini. The King who’s got like five or six wives he decided to rename it Swaziland was its original British term. He decided to call it after its original term eswatini so but those days when I went back that was still called Swaziland, the language they speak is Swasey, which is closely related to the end goony languages which include Zulu, Zulu and Swasey is an Guney language and so you know that basically those folks understand one another and this old man He, he said to me that when I met him as soon as we met him at his, at his compound was let me just get rid of why have I lost you? Here? I used to be okay. Okay. So the minute he met me, he said, he looked at me and he looked right through me. And he said, Ah, he said, You’re a sick man, aren’t you? He spoke perfect English. And I said, Yes, I am. And he said, tonight, we’ll throw the bones. And that night, you know, we check, we stayed at his place, we stayed in one of these guest huts in his little compound, and he throws his bonus for me. And again, the paradigm is the same. He communicates with these ancestors, the ancestors speak to him. And apparently, it’s not only his ancestors, that that that can be accessed. But my ancestors too, because apparently, according to the African paradigm, it’s my ancestors or the patient’s ancestors that influenced the way the bones fall. And then it’s the the the sangomas ancestors who allow him to interpret the way they have fallen. So he looks at the bones and he says, Oh, yes, he says, you have a very, very serious problem with one of your internal organs. And I think it’s your kidneys, isn’t it? And I said, Yes. He knew that immediately. And he said, you know what I need, you need to see someone a little more powerful than me. You need to see someone that can do a fembot on you. And when you said that, I looked at my friend Dave, and I thought, What is it’s like Indiana Jones, what does that mean? It’s like, you know, on on the front from that movie, you know, I didn’t know what it meant, but it sounded terrifying. And they’ve, they’ve said, No, you listen to the gut, you listen to exactly what he’s saying. You do exactly what he says. And so he, the next day, we go into town, and he introduces me to this short little guy was any like five foot, five foot 10 feet high, very meat mouthed little guy. I’m introduced to him, he spoke no English. And I was told that he was the man who was going to do the gemba. And in other words, he would get rid of the negative energy in my body through this process called fembot. And comes the appointed day, we go to his house, his compound up in the mountains overlooking the wilds of Mozambique, on the other side of the border. And I go to his, we welcome to his compound. He’s not he’s not, he’s nowhere to be seen. And welcomed by two younger guys, I found his sons, and all dressed in western, you know, dress. And I get shown into this large hut where all these women are sitting drumming. They’re all drumming, some of them have got babies on their backs, and they’re all singing and drumming and truly, you know, it was out of a movie straight out of a movie with a fire in the middle of the hut. And I’m told to strip down to my underwear. So I throw my you know, dignity to the wind, I couldn’t care what I you know, this is fine. Hey, why don’t you sit in the nude in the middle of this? Fine by me, whatever, you know. And I do that and I’m stripped down just to my my underwear. And I’m sitting in this in the middle of this height with a fire going. And I’m wondering, so where is this guy? You know, where’s this man who is going to perform the member. And suddenly in the other end of the hat, a door opens and various. The Civil meet guy that I’d met in town had changed, he’d become a completely different entity. He was dressed in his tribal regalia, covered in beads, wearing the skirt. He had these rattles tied around his ankles made from cocoons.

And I have to tell you, it’s straight out of Indiana Jones. And he dropped onto all fours, he dropped down to his knees, hands and feet, and on all fours, he’d become an animal. And he walked across the floor towards me, grunting and the way he walked reminded me very much about here of a hyena. It’s as though he had taken on the spirit of, of a hyena. And he came up to me and he just started to smell me all the way from my feet, all the way up to my, my, my my torso, and when he got to my kidney area, he starts to get he wants to, he wants to get sick. These two guys ran over to him with a barrel and he vomited this ghastly slimy stuff into this barrel. It’s as though he had extracted from my kidneys, some whatever it was metaphysically he taken something from me he taken out the illnesses though he had ingested it and he did so on the other side. My buddy as well. And at the end of this performance, which wait until way after midnight, I felt as though I had been relieved of whatever it was that was causing my illness, I intrinsically and implicitly felt that he had removed that bad energy. Hmm. Go figure, you know. And, you know, so we get back to the place where we stay with, with with with the the guy that we we were with. And he says to me, yeah, you are now clear of that you will be able to survive your illness. And you know, I have, it’s been absolutely amazing. And that was not in using any kind of medication, any sort of herbal, it was purely out of some kind of metaphysical supernatural method that he used, he could tell exactly what was wrong with me and rid my buddy of my illness with the age of the ancestors. Yeah.

Brian Smith 45:59
So it’s, it’s really interesting to me that you as a, as a, as a white man raised in South Africa and that society, and you saw this medicine, but it was, it was kind of taboo, I would assume for white people to take of it. But you are open to that for some reason. 100%

Lionel Friedberg 46:17
I mean, I didn’t die. And I’ll tell you why. Mainly because of this television series that I did in the 70s. When I went to all these tribal groups that I met these folks, there was just too much evidence for me when I saw what they did. There was just too much evidence that whatever they were doing worked, people were being healed, people will make a difference. I actually saw a woman who was exercised have a bad spirit, in a ceremony in an in a particular area during the making of that series. That was absolutely phenomenal. It was like straight out of the exorcist. There’s, this woman was possessed by something and I saw this, this shaman, the sangoma do a ritual with her that she came out of that as though she had been relieved of some possessive spirit. It was absolutely incredible. Now you’re not does this. It’s all sounds kind of like black magic, or Ooga booga stuff. It’s not, it’s real. They have the capability of tapping into another realm that we here in the West have no clue about him. Yeah, oh, we deny it. But these folks know about that. And they respect that. And so I develop a respect for that. So when this all began to happen, I was totally open to being exposed to this because I knew that there was more to it than just, you know, getting just hearsay. I knew that it was it would help me. And, you know, I’m proof. The fact that I’m still here is proof of that.

Brian Smith 47:41
Yeah, the fact that you’re well, the fact that you’re still here, and the fact that you documented that first reading you had in 1964, which I would imagine at that point, there was something she told you that seemed to kind of resonate with you. But I would imagine going forward as these things started to unfold, you were like, oh, wow, this really is happening.

Lionel Friedberg 47:59
Right? I mean, she foretold For example, I was nearly killed. A trampled by Marula by by an elephant in the bush when I was filming. Once in Mozambique, she foresaw that she described the event, she did not know that it was an elephant, but she described the great beast, it will want to kill you, you must be very careful. And there I was making the safari film in in in Mozambique in 1967. And I won’t go into the horrible details, because basically what it was I was doing coverage for a group of three white hunters from from California, on safari in Mozambique, giving wildlife for fun, which made no sense to me. That’s why I took the project. And you know, they shocked an elephant and missed and there was a female elephant who had a baby with her. And she knew that her baby was in danger. And she charged us. And you know, I was routed to the spot. She was actually charging the hunter who had the gun. He ran out of the shot and I was routed to the spot. I was terrified. And she kept coming towards me and I want to tell you, she would have she would have run right into me and trapped me to death. Had she not been shocked by the white hunter behind me, you know. So again, this was another incident that this woman saw in the bones. She didn’t say an elephant but he has an amazing thing. Brian, I have to tell you this. When I every time I had my bones read by a sangoma on all the later occasions. Every single time they threw the bonus for me, the very first thing they would say to me was What is this? What is this UN Global that you’ve got with you? And then global is the Zulu word for elephant. They all said you have this global spirit with you. What is this? And you know what, when that elephant when she died in front of me I filmed her death. And I felt a connection being made between me and that animal when she when she died It’s as though we made this that something happened. Something happened between us. And I’m not making this stuff up. I’m being absolutely. I think the spirit of that elephant has been around me ever since that happened. And this is way back in 1967. Wow, that she’s been around me ever since as a kind of protective spirit. And every time these shamans have read my bones, they have seen the elephant in the bones. They’ve all said, What’s the elephant spirit around you? You know, they’ve seen that, you know?

Brian Smith 50:28
So I want to ask you so you you have this reading in 1964? You’re, you’re a young man, and you’ve seen this unfold over your over your life? Yeah. Do you believe like, our lives planned out? Do you think she she saw or where she just was she was she predicting the future was? I mean, how do you What’s your feeling about that?

Lionel Friedberg 50:48
She was definitely predicting the future she was seeing into the future without even understanding fully what she was saying. Yeah, cuz she didn’t describe precise things. But, you know, the broad, the broad scheme of things all came to came to pass, like the great beast was the elephant. The white world is an article. You know, she didn’t know what that was. But she could see the vision. She could see the events. Yeah, even She even said one one thing, one of the most amazing things she said to David was this guy he will meet one day he will meet a man who knew the most evil person who ever lived in the history of the world. And that’s when I met at of hitless personal pilot, which I write about in the book. And it rises only when that happened that I suddenly realized this guy showed me his photograph albums about, you know, the inner workings of the third rice and all and, and all of those guys who made the Third Reich work, I made a document. The reason was, it was a film about aviation, this guy was a delivery pilot back in the 30s, for an airplane that flew all the way down Africa to South Africa, and eventually became out of his personal pilot. And those two were very, very close throughout throughout the world. And he was even with Hitler in the bunker the night that Hitler decided to take his life. You know, I met this guy, and he shows me his photograph albums. And again, it was like, you know, talk about six degrees of separation, I was one degree of separation, a handshake away from one of the most evil tyrants who ever lived, he was responsible for the death of millions and millions of people. This old lady had foreseen that. Yeah, how does it happen? So in answer to your question, as, as the quantum physicists are not telling us, you know, time is not, is not fixed. There is no yesterday, today and tomorrow. Yeah. And she was a typical example of that. She could foresee events way before that ever happened. So was she able to, to enter this quantum universe, which scientists are now only beginning to understand. And these folks who told her what she knew, and those who came before her, had known about all this stuff, centuries ago, that we’re only beginning to unlock now, with all our sophisticated technology and our science? they’ve known about that for centuries.

Brian Smith 53:15
Yeah, that’s my theory is that mankind at one time, we knew who we were, we understood who we were, we understood that we’re spirit beings, we understood the ancestors and all that stuff. And then we forgot Western Western culture particularly were like, We got so enamored with ourselves and our technology and our and our science. And we said, well, we know everything. Now. You don’t need that stuff anymore. So we’ll just call this witchcraft, dark magic. And, and we’ll write it off. But you know, when the thing in your book, it comes back to over and over again, it’s undeniable, as you read it, there’s, there’s a story you tell about where you’re in, I think it was in South Africa, where you guys were filming, and someone was disrespectful to, to the people there and you’re telling the story.

Lionel Friedberg 54:00
So I’m making this television series in the 70s, about the tribal groups. There is there is a tribe in South Africa called the vendor. Now, they are distinctly different to all the other tribal groups because they are slightly taller, they obviously must have originally have come from Central Africa and migrated to the south and settled in the northern part of what is now South Africa. And they speak a language that is not related to any of the other languages in South Africa like stitute, swana, Zulu, causa, you know, which is the language of Mandela. And so it’s a completely separate language and they are a very, very spiritual people. And they have a lot of amazing traditions and they have a sacred lake in their territory called Lake full duty and when I was doing the series, once every five years, the the members of the tribe of some of the chiefs and and hidden and it’s very much a patriarchal society. Remember, all of these tribal areas are very much a patriot. Local society with the chief and the headman and then you have the gentle puppets underneath it. This is the this is the African way, this is the tribal way. And it still exists very much today. So what what they had was a once every five years, they would go down to the sacred Lake, to pay homage to this, the great spirit that created the tribe, out of respect, it was like, you know, this lake was regarded to be sacred territory, and that the Spirit lived in there, and that their ancestors also hovered around the lake. Because this is this great creative spirit was there as well. And what they did was they poured offerings into the lake, usually homemade beer, which is great stuff, by the way, made from crushed corn that’s fermented. Got an infinite, but boy, it’s as nutritious that can as can be, it’s great. It’s like, it’s like, it’s like good Irish Guinness, you know, when you drink a bottle of Guinness, you drinking a meal. And, and, and this homemade brew is exactly the same. And they offer that to the spirits in the lake. So once every five years, they do that. Fortunately, we were in the timeframe where we could film one of these events. So you know, with lots of events and arrangements, and fixes and whatever else it was arranged that we would get permission to go and photograph the ceremony. And it was all going to be done in tribal regalia. they’d all be dressed in their in their traditional costumes, go down to the lake, there would be drumming, there would be music, and an old old priest of the oldest, the oldest priest in the land in this area, would officiate at the ceremony. And you know, when we met him, we asked him questions through our, through our interpreters. And we asked him questions about what he remembered as a child. And clearly this guy was way over 100 years old. And you know, and they had helped him down to the edge of the lake. And he was sort of hobbling there. But anyway, what he did was, you know, he put his hands up. And some of the other people would pour the, the, these these these offerings, this beer, and other other foodstuffs into the lake. And he was putting his hands up like this. And he was kind of catching up to this great spurt over the lake. Now my anthropologist, who was the host of the series, was in front of me. So here’s me, here’s my host, and in the background is this priest and the lake and all these other events, great shot, you know, it’s just beautifully composed. But we had to take our shoes off, because, you know, it’s holy ground, you take your shoes off in a place like that. So we had to do that. But there were lots of thorns and pebbles and stuff around. And my anthropologist stubbed his toe and was sort of hopping on his leg like this out. And my assistant, one of the assistants on the crew started to giggle. And it was infection, you know what it’s like, when when someone starts to giggle, it spreads like, you know, like wildfire, right? So we’re all starting to giggle and laugh. But the meantime the ceremony is going on, and this old guy is doing his thing. You know, doing he’s, he’s, he’s, he’s, he’s incantations, are to the Great Spirit in the lake. And we laughing we giggling behind the camera back there, which was very disrespectful of us, of course, but we couldn’t help ourselves. And I mean, really, we just couldn’t help ourselves. And he stopped. And he turned around, and he looked at us, he’s he was he’s also was like, half blind. And he just looked in our direction. The military did that. And we’re running film, by the way, we are using film and we are recording our sound on a separate tape tape deck, you know, with microphones and whatever else the minute he turned around and looked at us, because of our behavior. The cameras stopped running. The tape recorder stopped running, every electronic instrument that we had that we were using stopped. just stopped working. Oh,

I said to Peter, who’s my host? I said, Peter, just hold on one second. We got to fix we got a problem here. And I said to the sound man, Jeff, you know, get your voltmeter right. Let’s see if we got power here. So we were running around, trying to check what’s wrong with the circuits of our of our equipment? No, there’s power. There’s power coming out of the batteries. The volt meter is working. But nothing is running. None of the equipment, it’s jammed. And I said to my fixer who is a vendor guy. I said, I don’t know what’s going on here. But that guy, the priest is blocking us from filming this ceremony. He’s asking what has happened and this old piece was staring at us like this unit. Over drumming. It stopped, everything stopped and here we are in panic stations. Nothing’s working. So I fix it goes up to him and talks to him whispers into his ear. And he sort of you know, say something to the to this guy and the guy comes running back to us and says you will not respecting the Sisters, and the ancestors do not want you to film the proceedings. That is why your stuff is your equipment is not working. I said, and I said to my host, and I said to the other crew, please tell apologized profusely on our behalf. We didn’t mean to be disrespectful. Please ask him if he could ask the ancestors to allow us to continue. I see what I can do says the fixie goes back to the priest. Most of his injuries. Yeah, the old priest doesn’t say a word. He turns around, you know, is dressed in his knees, beads and his skins and whatever else. And he just holds his hands up like this. And he starts to chant out to the lake again, at that moment, everything starts working again. The tape recorder starts running, the camera starts working, the curse was lifted, the blockage was lifted, whatever it was, was gone. There is no question that there are powers and forces that we do not understand. And it’s beyond our paradigm to understand that those guys do. He did.

Brian Smith 1:01:12
Yeah, yeah, I really think that it’s kind of a thing that we need to go back to, to respecting more because we all came from that we all we all but we so we kind of forgot about it. And you I mean, there’s so much more because when we talk about extended consciousness, another thing that people are talking about a lot in ours UFOs. And the government nice size government has disclosed a little bit and I think there’s some work stuff coming. We’re going to talk about now that you’ve had some experience with UFOs as well.

Lionel Friedberg 1:01:39
I have I have you know, I think that we probably put a lot of people are saying that this is the year of disclosure. You know, I mean, recently when the US Navy released that footage from the USS Nimitz that that training flight down here in near San Diego, I mean, that was extraordinary footage, it was carried by all the networks, right. That stuff has been, you know, around for for years for decades. Right. I mean, it predating Roswell. I mean, it goes back much earlier than that. We have there is no question that they are, they are they are there there are craft that we do not understand. visiting our planet. There’s no question of that. And I don’t think for one second, that we are alone in the universe. And you know, I’ve often asked in in tribal areas, what do they think about this? And do they ever see things in the skies? Because I’ve always been fascinated by this. And I’m going to tell my UFO story in a second. And they say, Oh, sure, absolutely. You know, yeah, they come here we see them. And and this guy that I was telling you about earlier, my friend, the surgeon who took me back to this wasn’t and he spent some time with the sun. Bushman who are the last remaining remnants of the Stone Age culture of Africa, they still live in Botswana. In the Kalahari Desert. They’re a nomadic group of people who move everyday from one place to another. And they have what is known as a trance dance at night, they light a fire, and the men go around the fire, and they go into another state of consciousness, they go into another stage of awareness altogether. And it’s almost like doing remote viewing women drum and they go into a state where they can see where the wildlife or the the animals will be a week from now, or two days from now or three days from now, and where they will be because they’re hunter gatherers, so that they know where to go and do the hunt. And they can see that they travel there in their in their consciousness in their trance dense state. Yeah, these are the sudden people have but they still do it now, you know, so. And when my friend went there on one, one of his research trips, above the camp one night Is This Disc just appears above the group of people in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. It’s nothing there except sand dunes, a fire and these people going around before the the flames and the women drumming. And my friend says, What’s that? And the interpreters asks one of the local people, what’s that? And then the OLED guy, this was in New Zealand tells him and he says, he comes back and he says, Oh, don’t worry about them. Those are the people from the other world that come here all the time.

It’s like, don’t be in that it happens every day. You know, it’s a, it’s a given. We’re not alone. And those folks know that, you know, where we, you know, make a big deal out of it. And I think it’s because we’re hostile. You know, that maybe a UFO would have landed on the White House lawn on the White House lawn, or on the Mall, you know, or in Fifth Avenue, or wherever, if we weren’t so hostile because we are probably the hostile ones, not them. Now, I’ll tell you a story. Who knows what these what these what these craft are and I do believe that we have been exposed to alien entities I really do. But that’s another whole subject matter. But in 1966, I was in Canada, and I was working on a documentary about how urban areas developed in Canada, and are the Canadians live basically, all along a string along just north of the US border. That’s where all the major cities are. Right? Everyone knows that. But here and there, you find the little settlements up in the northern Canada is huge. And so we were filming in the province of Saskatchewan. And what we need what we were doing was we were filming at a protest plant protest is that they dig the dig the stuff out of the ground, like a white material. And they use it and fertilizer and all that sort of stuff. And, and in this potage plant, they they there’s nothing in that area, other than, you know, wheat fields, and cornfields for miles and miles and miles. And this potash mine. So we wanted to film a sequence day because I rounded was developing this little town. And that was part of our story, how communities get born, the genesis of urban areas and how they develop. So we needed to film with this potage plan. So that night, we staying it’s a small crew, just three of us, we stay at a motel, and the next morning, we get up pretty early to go and drive to the protest plant. And we’re driving and you could see that like 3040 miles away, you could see this white dust coming up from the rug. And there’s clouds sitting in the sky from this potez plant. And, you know, eventually we get to, to to the plant, we get to the main gate. And as we get to the main gate, and the guy says to you, you know, he signs us in he says, You guys are going to get down to the parking lot and and take a look at that cloud because there’s something up there. Like, you know, what do you mean? No, we don’t know what it is. But there’s something up there in that cloud, you know? Okay, fine. So we drive done station wagon days, the days when you used to have station wagons, and we drive down and we unpacked the station wagon, I unpacked the camera equipment, the director, I wasn’t directing that the director meets the manager of the mind, and they go and talk about the day’s filming. But I set up the camera in the parking lot. And I put on the longest lens, we have like a telephoto lens. And I trained it on this club because a couple of the guys from the working at the mine, they came up to me and they said, Are you trying to shoot? Are you trying to get a picture of that thing that’s up there? And I said, Yeah, what is it is it and they said we don’t know. But every now and again, you can sort of catch a glimpse of something sitting in that cloud. I’m intrigued. So I put on this lens. And I look at this card. And after about 20 minutes or so a little breeze comes up and the card dissipates. And in the cloud is definitely something metallic. Hmm. And I think wow, you know, I was a UFO flying saucer fanatic ever since I read ga dumpskey book back in the early 50s about flying saucers have landed. You know, that was the first evidence that perhaps things were like UFOs plank sources existed, right? And so I was always open to that and interested Besides, I was always a sci fi nut. And so I was waiting for whatever this thing was to reveal itself. And then another little breeze comes up. And I tell you, there is this cruft sitting up in the sky. Now people often ask me, How high how big. This was before the days of 747 jumbo jets. But it was a size of one of those around around disk, a triangle beneath the disk and like a tripod connecting the the triangle to this disk, no windows, no sound, nothing just their metallic, the sun reflecting off the surface of this thing. Well, in this card, and I run film, I’m running film, I’m getting some film, we shooting 16 millimeter on this particular documentary. And I’m running film. And I must have shot about 150 film, if you the film of nothing, except this, this craft sitting in the white sky in this whacked out.

Anyway, I’ve entered turn the camera off because of the cloud eventually, you know, covered it up again. And the director comes out and says Okay, enough of that, let’s get on with it with the work we had to do. And we spend the rest of the day working at the plant. You know, at that night, we still had no idea what we’d seen. That night it was my job to go down to the local railroad depot and hand in the film to be sent all the way to Montreal to go to the lab to be processed to await our arrival, you know, weeks later, which I did, but I separated this piece of film in a separate cannon. I said hold for our arrival, you know, just for the editor, just keep this dump. don’t dump it just keep it and so you know a few weeks later we get back to Montreal and now it’s time to look at the at the dailies of this shoot that we’d been on and you know, we took a lot I’m looking at all the boarding footage of housing and you know, mines and stuff. And at the end of all of that the projectionists at the back yells out, he said, You want me to show this? This short reel? Yeah, that you’ve got yet that says, hold for a rival? Yes, please put it on. So you know, he puts it on. And we’ve got the head of the camera department there. We’ve got a couple of other people there. And showing up on the screen as clear as day like there is this craft, sitting in the sky, silently doing absolutely nothing except us. There. Wow. And the feeling was, we don’t know what that is. But it was a during the days of Project bluebook. And everyone knew about Project bluebook. You know, it was it was it was it was big news Project Blue Book was run by J. Allen Hynek out of I think it was Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. And so the head of the camera Department says why don’t we send that footage down to the States? And let them analyze it and see what it is. Maybe it’s something that they’d be interested in? Who knows, you know, so yeah, sure. So the the the secretary who worked for him, her name was Frankie Johnson, I’ll never forget her name. She you know, wraps up the stuff and carries it to Ohio. And we forget about it. Some weeks go by and one day I go into the camera department and I say to her Frankie, did we ever hear back from those folks in the in the States about that, that thing that we that we shot above Saskatchewan above that mind? And she said no, let me call them. You know. And it was, you know, she looked at the time difference. He said, I can call a hire right now. So she calls the project bluebook, the office from the camera department office? And she says, oh, oh, really? I’m sorry to hear that, you know, and put you puts the phone down. She said they deny ever receiving the footage? No. It was Korea to them, they did receive it, they signed for it and then denied ever receiving it. Which lend to me, and secondly, to a whole lot of other folks. The fact that they was you know, there was an attempt to conceal information from the public about these stones.

Brian Smith 1:12:13
Yeah, there’s no doubt about that at this point. I mean, the government has admitted it. So, you know, if you told me this 10 years ago, I might say okay, but yeah, now they’ve admitted it,

Lionel Friedberg 1:12:24
there’s that they have. So you know, so how much more is there to know, I think a lot. And I think the time is coming? Pretty close, that they may reveal some stuff to us, you know? Because, yeah, there’s definitely it’s for real, it’s it’s, it’s it’s been happening for a long, long time. Jacques valet is a very, very famous French researcher who’s been collecting material about this stuff for years and years. He’s just brought out an incredible new book. And it goes right back to the times of even Ancient Egypt. He’s got artwork in this book that shows and even on the Middle Ages, you know, they were tapestries and paintings done in Europe, about flying objects in the sky. It’s been around forever.

Brian Smith 1:13:09
Yeah, absolutely. We’re running a little bit over. But I do want to ask you one more question I want to talk to you about you. So you shot a documentary about near death experiences, it’s like to get get your take on that for a few minutes,

Lionel Friedberg 1:13:22
I met a number of people who had Indies. And all of them told extraordinary stories. The one particular one that I found particularly interesting was a woman by the name of I just use her first name, Pam, this was in Atlanta, she was clinically dead on the operating table, they had to remove an aneurysm from her brain. And she was you know, it’s it’s very tricky to not have oxygen going to the brain because your brain can can basically shut down. So you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta be able to, if you if you are dead, and I have resuscitated people many, many times, you know, by using pedals on the, but the trying not to let the brain not get oxygen for too long, because you could have permanent brain damage, right? This is always the problem. But they had a Pam, they had to stop the blood flowing in her veins and stop her heart. Because that was the only way to get the aneurysm to get into the brain and get the aneurysm out of there without her losing a lot of blood. So she must have been clinically dead for about 15 minutes. And then they sewed it up, put in an revived, resuscitated her. And when she was resuscitated After that, she basically described every single thing that happened to her to her surgeon, a surgeon didn’t believe a word of it. And he said, Great, what did what did you see? She described things that he did. She described the fact you know, one of the assistants at during the operation, the surgeon asked for an instrument then the nurse dropped it and he scolded her. And Pam said I saw you do that. Why did you do that? You saw that you were connected. did at that time to sit now I saw you do that. She described the music that he was playing the surgery went on for like four or five hours. And he had a little tape deck in the corner of the of the of the operating room. She said I liked some of your music. But I didn’t like the song. And I didn’t like that. He said, How could you possibly have heard that? So I interviewed him, I talked to her. There was no question that she was absolutely awake and alive and aware throughout her operations. And she was witnessing what was going on. I met, I met a guy who was basically the dead, he was crushed by a boulder. And he was brought back to life. And he described his entire trip in the ambulance, what happened to him in the operating room. But you know, talking to adults is one thing. But what really was amazing for me were the children that I talked to who had near death experiences. There’s a guy who’s a pediatrician in Seattle. And I’ll try and make this quick because I know we’re running over time now. But I met about four or five kids that were introduced to me by this pediatrician, he interviewed kids who had all been clinically dead, and being resuscitated. And he asked them to draw pictures of what they saw while they were asleep. In other words, while they were dead, and yeah, yeah, all of those pictures were very similar. And none of these kids knew each other, this tunnel of light, these white beings, these angels, these big blobs of light that floated around the fact that they were given an option to return back to mommy and daddy, or to go to another place, you know, follow the angels, or whatever, whatever these white fingers were that they’re talking about. When kids tell you things like that they’re not lying, they’re making it up, especially when they don’t know each other and also similar. So there is no death. It’s just the demise of the physical body. And for Polk folks who really want to find out some really good scientific stuff about it. Read about Dr. Robert john, and the Princeton anomalies Research Unit at Princeton University guy is not passed on he was in my show, I did a show for one of the networks called Beyond this a two hour show. And the brief was what happens to the to the consciousness, or the spirit or the soul, and the body dies. And that’s what this two hour special was about. I met the most, there is no death. It’s just the demise of a physical being. We go on, there is no end. Wow, there’s no question of that.

Brian Smith 1:17:28
Well, that is that is a great note to end on. I want to thank you for for doing this. This has been a fascinating time spent with you. Any last thoughts you want to say before we wrap up?

Lionel Friedberg 1:17:39
You know, I think I think probably one I’d like to you know, if I have anything to say, and if I’ve learned anything, and particularly now You and I are doing this a day after martin luther king day, when we are we’re doing this interview today. You know, and, and, and tomorrow is Inauguration Day. And so we’re living in kind of troubling times, and a lot of people are scared. And we’ve got a pandemic around us. The world is dark and scary right now. But you know, I just want folks to think and because my experience has been, you know, there’s always light at the end of every tunnel. And we always have to remain, maintain a positive attitude. And I think one of the most critical and important things to do is to not to listen to hearsay, but to be curious, within yourself, and to try and find out. If you’re curious about anything, find out as much as you can without believing everything that you’re told, because I have found that insatiable curiosity, keeps you alive and keeps you young and keeps you going. The more we know, the more we know what we don’t know. And how much more incredible is the universe as we live in this incredible place? Well, it’s an extraordinary, it’s an extraordinary journey. We’re all on the same journey. And I think we’re all connected. I think there’s a grid that binds every one of us.

Brian Smith 1:19:02
Absolutely. Well, I want to thank you again, for being here. I want to tell people how they can get the book. It’s coming out very shortly. We’re recording this on January 19 2021, is called forever in my veins. How film led me to the mysterious world of the African shaman just by Lionel freedberg. You can find out more about the book at john hunt And I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. Or on

Lionel Friedberg 1:19:27
Amazon. It’s available right now.

Brian Smith 1:19:28
It’s available on Amazon right now. Okay, great.

Lionel Friedberg 1:19:30

Brian Smith 1:19:31
I want to encourage people to get the book if you like the movies, if you like adventure. And it’s it’s it’s a whole adventure of your life mixed in with all this great stuff about, you know, the extended consciousness realm that we’re all interested in. So thanks again for being here.

Lionel Friedberg 1:19:47
Thank you, Brian. Thank you so much. It’s been a great pleasure. Thanks for having me on. And thanks, everyone for watching. I appreciate it so much.

Brian Smith 1:19:53
Thanks. Have a good day.

Lionel Friedberg 1:19:54
Thank you.

Brian Smith 1:19:55
That’s it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you got something out of it. Please stay in contact with me by reaching out at www dot grief to That’s grief the number two or you can text the word growth to 31996. That’s simply text growth gr o w th 231996. So if you’re watching this on YouTube, please make sure you subscribe. So hit the subscribe button, and then hit the little bell here and it’ll notify you when I have new content. Always please share the information if you enjoy it. That helps me to get more views and get the message out to more people. Thanks a lot and have a wonderful day.

Transcribed by

Srini Chandra is one of the wisest and most compassionate people I know. I met Srini several years ago when he reached out to me to review his book 3 Lives in Search of Bliss. It’s a book I’ve read several times (we discuss it a little in the interview). I was struck by his knowledge of several religious traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Over the years, Srini and I have grown to be friends even though I hadn’t spoken with him until a couple of months ago when he took my course on racism. He’s kept me humble and grounded as we discuss how the nature of the ultimate reality and how that plays into our day-to-day lives on all fronts.
This is part 2 of a 2 part discussion on these religious and wisdom traditions, the nature of science, who is man, why we are here, and what can we do to achieve bliss.
Subscribe to Srini’s YouTube channel here:
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Announcer 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine

what if the things in life to cause us the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be.

We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if, like a seed had been planted,

and having been planted, who grow to become a mighty tree?

Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is brief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith.

Brian Smith 0:45
All right, this is part two of a two hour interview I do with my friends streaming. If you haven’t watched part one yet, go back and watch part one. First are listen to part one. If you’re listening on the podcast, and then go back and go ahead and watch part two,

Srini Chandra 1:02
as it is it we can easily break those arguments logically. Right? Those arguments don’t even stand the test of today’s time, let alone future. Yeah, they are very weak. The other two big questions in science today. I mean, there are many questions. I think the two biggest ones are? What does matter.

mean, all these things that make up the world? They are the things like what is the stuff that makes up those things? So you know, we started this journey, I mean, the Greek started, they said this all atoms, and then that state for 1000 years, and then somewhere in the mid 19th century, be restarted that work. And they said, oh, there’s atoms, and then they split the atom. And they found that there’s some more stuff that’s inside the atom. And we’ve been splitting those bits, you know, for the last 100 years. And every time we split the bit, we finally find that something else inside it, we still haven’t figured out what is matter.

So that’s, that’s the predominant view in science that unites. So the way I would categorize so this is matter in consciousness. The other observation in sciences, these two are treated as two separate questions. One is a question of physics. And the other is a question of neuroscience. But the ancient traditions,

treat them as connected the question, What matter and consciousness are connected. And they were these four schools of thought on this, and they’re largely like, you know, based on what takes precedence. So the first school of thought that says matter is primary, which is the modern view of the scientists today. And this by the way, this view was there. 4000 years back, these were the materials of the day. They said, matter is primary, and the brain creates consciousness. And that’s all there is to it matter dies eventually and you know, your consciousness will die and there is nothing more to it and

You know, there is some hallucinatory experience that is going on that the brain creates, right. And they said, there is not that that’s all there is to it matter is primary. And consciousness comes from the brain. That’s the first school of thought. And the second school of thought is the exact opposite, which is consciousness is primary. And matter is emergent from consciousness, which is the the theistic approach, the religion say that God is a super conscious being. And it is God who created the world with things in it. Right? So out of consciousness came at this creation. And that’s the second school and the third school of thought this is a, you know, almost five 6000 years old thought which is both are parallel realities. Matter is, they call it purusha. In Sanskrit, it’s called consciousness and proclivity, which is not quite matter, it is very fine subtle field from which things emerge. And matter is not just, you know, chairs and tables, it’s also thoughts, emotions, concepts, ideas, anything, anything that can be tangible, expressed, and describe this matter, right. And all these things, you know, these two are powerful, they are realities, and the consciousness is described as lame. And a matter is described as blind. Hmm. So the blind, the lame entity is being carried by the blind.

If you think of them as two men interested, the lay man has been carried by the blind man, okay, and the man who can see is directing the man who can walk. So that is one school of thought it is called a Sankey, and you know, philosophy and Buddha was heavily influenced by this. And it’s the first Ford school of thought, which is the Vedanta school, the Brahmin school, it says, they are not two different things, they are the same thing. Right? So there is the all all of you folks debating, you know, which is, came first or which came second, you know, you’re barking up the wrong tree, if they all came from the same thing. There’s one thing, matter is a one manifestation of reality, and consciousness is another one. So matter is equated to existence. Now, the only reason we know something is matter is because it exists. So it’s got a property. So it’s a, that those are the four schools. And, you know, I think I don’t believe sciences come anywhere close to having this level of sophistication, right, that existed I know. I have no doubt they will. But there is a fundamental problem in studying consciousness as a as an object. If there is an object, then there’s got to be a subject and absorb. Right? If it’s consciousness that is making, you know, creating our subjective experience, it is like an I have a personal subjective experience, every moment of my existence. Yeah. And so it is a very subjective experience. And if I, how would I objectify it as in? Who is that person that is observing it? Right. So it sort of logically lends itself saying it’s got to be the primary phenomenon here? Yeah. And that is argument that’s been made, or you know, several 1000 years back?

Brian Smith 8:09
Yeah, it’s kind of like seeing your own eye, you know, you can’t see your own eye, you know. So that’s when we try to look at consciousness. It’s like, from what what, how can we separate ourselves from it? In order to see it? We just, it’s inferred, you know, we would just have to take that take it on faith because we experience it. So

Srini Chandra 8:26
I think it’s a big assumption or a big area to pivot around. Because in I was having this email exchange with a physicist called Sean Carroll. He writes on time, he’s a physicist at Caltech. And he did a podcast and we were talking about this matter. Yeah, I’ve heard this enough. He’s like, and I’m 100% sure, where consciousness comes from the brain will just give us some time we’ll figure it out. I’m a physicist, but I’m gonna recommend neuroscientist colleagues figure it out. And they will tell you, but naked to the back. Right. So I, you know, I had an email exchange with him. And I said, like, how do you know what you’re observing is true? Because it’s happening in your consciousness. Right? Had it so happens that when your experience and my experience agree, we call it a fact? That is to it. Yeah. And so isn’t Isn’t there something deeper, and he had one or two exchange? And he sort of trailed off? But But I think that is the fundamental question like, you know, sciences in the context of our experience. And so it seems like they are going to hit a dead at some point, if they continue to treat consciousness as something that is objective viable. If they were to flip it and say it is the primary source, it could lead some very interesting, you know, developments in physics, maybe

Brian Smith 9:42
one thing you just said there, I want to I want to go back over because I think it’s so important. You said it just so happens when your experience in my experience, agree we call it a fact because we do we and it makes sense. We value the things that you and I both we both look at a picture on a wall. We agree that picture exists, but if I only see it, we call that subjective. And so there’s all this, there’s a whole subjective world that goes on that I haven’t experienced, and people dismiss those things, because you can’t observe it. So anything that goes on in my consciousness, you literally can’t observe. So we have this we call this objective world, because it’s something that we can both agree on that experience. But it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean that my experience that you don’t experience is any less important or any less real. So we just miss things like near death experiences, a lot of scientists will dismiss them because they’re not observable. Yes, but it does not real, are repeatable, repeatable and observed. That’s what science studies, things that are repeatable and observable. But we also science, that’s when they get freaked out when they start introducing consciousness, which catches every experiment. But when they deliberately introduce consciousness, then they go, Well, how can this happen? The double slit experiment, when I observe a particle, it looks like a particle, right? But I don’t observe it, it looks like a wave. How can this back in this be? Because my consciousness can affect the objective world?

Srini Chandra 11:03
I think some of the scientists who went down the rabbit hole in quantum physics, saw the truth and some of these theories, especially the Upanishads Upanishads, are the scriptures from which these statements were made. They are part of the Vedas, which are the scriptures of the Hindus. So Schrodinger, for example, a quantum physicist, you know, he said, the one one constellation of my life has been reading open ocean. And he found a great resonance with the the philosophers of their time. Yeah, they were doing different things. They were engaged in different pursuits. One, right one was the one group was trying to figure out the happiness equation. And Schrodinger was just trying to figure out, you know, the world. Yeah, but then he found a lot of common ground. I think that that’s a very revealing in the sense that science is about making life convenient. But life has to be worth living in the first place. No, that is not a primary consideration, right? The first life has to make sense, then we come to the convenience part. Religion makes of life worth living. I mean, practice properly, and that that’s what religion sort of gives us when I say religion, spirit, I mean, spirituality, religion all as this, I don’t believe them to be separate things. I think they are the same thing. And so there is no, you can have a very convenient life to date on happiness. That’s not what we are shooting for. Right? So I don’t see these two as adversaries. Rather, I think it’s somebody says you had to pick between science and faith, I would say you’re giving me a false choice, you’re putting me in a very difficult position. I don’t want I don’t see myself as having to choose between the two. And they have their context, in my life. So you know, yeah,

Brian Smith 12:47
there’s confusion about what science is, because a lot of people call science is actually materialism. You know, science. And I say this all the time, and people are getting sick of me to hear me saying that science is a method. Science is a methodology, it should not be a philosophy. And it’s not there to tell us everything I love the way you put that science is not here to make us happy. It’s here to make life convenient. But meaning is what makes us happy. You know, knowing who we are is what makes us happy. And we kind of talked about this, you know, last week, and if we don’t, if we don’t figure out why we’re here, if we don’t figure it out purpose, if we don’t figure out who we are. And when I was in Sunday school, one of the brilliant things they said was, everybody’s made with a god shaped hole. And they were talking about the guy, the guy sitting on the throne. But I think that was a brilliant observation. As human beings, we’re always seeking to fill that that void that we have in us, who am I Why am I here? What’s my purpose? and science doesn’t answer any of those questions.

Srini Chandra 13:46
Right? I my thoughts on this will evolve over time, I’m confident because I feel like some of them have come up in my mind off late. So I will caveat, before I say this. My observation, at least of myself, is that a few rules a lot of what we do. You know, it is and these these are all different manifestations of something. Fundamental fear is one major manifestation. So what I mean by that is when I’m happy, I fear that I’m going to lose my happiness. The immediate reaction is, oh, I shouldn’t be so happy I should be no, I have no business being so happy and something’s going to happen here. So we live in this fear, and in it destroys our ability to be happy. And it’s a very human thing to do. So the question sort of becomes, what is it that you know, how do I overcome this fear? And how do I know I’m going to be okay? Yeah, yeah, we want to know, am I gonna be okay? Yeah, I mean, when I say I, it’s like, you know, are we gonna be okay? And the answer is yes. So this there is some faith aspect to it to say believing I am going to be okay. And to to be able to sort of live that belief requires some training and practice. This is what our religions teaches, right? Yeah. They say it in different forms, God is going to take care of you. Or you know, Buddha says, you know, control your mind, will it like an instrument, just like how you drive a car to your mind? When you get on top of it, you’ll be okay. So they all said it in different ways. But depending on whichever path is easier for us, we can take that and but I think the bottom line of learning there is no, we are going to be okay. And we have to believe that.

Brian Smith 15:41
Wow, that was, yeah, that was so brilliant. You’re right. That is the ultimate question that we always have. Are we going to be okay? Am I going to be okay? You know, and, and it doesn’t mean that we’re going to have a carefree life, it doesn’t mean that we’re never gonna have any trouble. But we know that we’re going to be you know, okay. And yeah, and I think that’s, that’s right, you know, religion and spirituality. That’s what gives us you know, that that faith, that that peace, that comfort, that, you know, if I know that I am divine, if I know that I am eternal. If I know that everything will pass, you know, the good and the bad, you know, you’re right. When we’re happy, we’re worried about, well, how long am I going to be able to hold this, but when we get this broader perspective, you know, the way I look at it is like when I’m I’m having a good moment, or a good thing, I cherish it even more, because I know that it’s not going to last. But if I’m going through a tough time, I’m like, I know that’s not going to last either. And that gets me through the tough times. So this, this we can make time this temporal existence our ally, and know that that which I came from, I will ultimately return to no matter what happens between here and there.

Srini Chandra 16:55
Yes, truer words have never been said, I am reminded of a story, I will say it, you can cut it out if you don’t have time. There is the story is I love the story. I love telling the story. So there is this King in an Indian ancient times. And he’s going through this really rough period, there is famine in the land, enemies are attacking all around him. People aren’t happy, you know, he’s got his personal sickness. Everything that can go bad is going back at the moment. And this Buddhist monk happens to be traveling through the land. So you know, this man comes to visit the king and the king, he asked the king, how are you and the king says not so good. You know, things can be much better, everything has gone to hell. And the monk says, Don’t worry, this too shall pass. And he leaves and 20 years later. Now by this time, everything has changed. The kingdom is prosperous, the king’s son has grown into this handsome prince is ready to take over people are extremely happy. Everything’s going perfectly well. And the monk sample happens to be passing through the lab. So he comes to visit the king. And he asked the king, what? How are you? And he says things are good. You know, since we last met, everything has changed much significantly about everything. He builds off all this list of things that are going on. And the monk looks at him and says this too, shall pass and leaves. So it’s this great wisdom from the Buddha. He says the impermanence of things. And the happiness actually comes in. Understanding the impermanence of this world is very counterintuitive thing impermanence leads to grief normally, but happiness can actually come out of it, the sense that there is something that we are given a certain privilege of experiencing for some period of time or whatever. And we understand intuitively that everything is important when God is considered impermanent, in the eastern traditions, right? Even the Creator, we call him Brahma, he has a lifespan of 100 years in the mythology. Thomas Dies at the End of 100 years. And that’s like, you know, in 300 million years in modern time, but even that Brahma the Creator, the one who created everything in the mythology, I’m saying, not the Brahman, this is what are the different bits of god Okay, okay, cards die, Gods die in, in some of these traditions. So, the idea that something, there are two ideas, I think, which are very powerful from the eastern thought that I would like to share, one is, nothing is destroyed forever. Everything comes back. That is a very powerful idea. Nothing ever goes away it like once it’s gone, it comes up in a different place. And then everything is changing or things are impermanent. And if we these are connected truths, and in when we see the interplay of these two truths, there is great potential for us to derive happiness and it is Difficult to specify it in tangible terms, but we take it and apply to our lives, we find that you know, we can get some peace out of it. Yeah, I

Brian Smith 20:09
think that’s, you know, the thing is, and I learned this from a little bit of studying Buddhism, this idea of letting go and impermanence, which is again counterintuitive, because we want to hold on to the things that make us happy, which is what causes us suffering, because we can’t hold on to literally anything. So we, you know, the there’s, I’m actually interviewing a woman right now I’m in the process of interviewing because she’s paralyzed. So it’s a back and forth process. But she has ALS. And you know, slowly things are being stripped away from her. And but she she studied Buddhism before she got this. So she realizes that, you know, everything is impermanent, as I’m reading her book, and she says something so brilliant, she says, everything in life, life is always setting us up for death, the final transition, because everything comes in our life and goes away, it comes in it goes and we learned, we have to learn to let things go. We were in high school, when we graduate, we go to college, we get out of college, we get a job, we we have our children, or even our child, my cherished children, no one has already passed to the next world. But my other ones, she’s 25. Now she’s an adult, she doesn’t live here anymore, so that I mourn the loss of my child, that baby that I had, because I wonder back, but you know, so everything, everything is impermanent, and but even death is impermanent. So that leads us to talk about, you know, what is what is death? what and how do you view you view death? You know, what it is?

Srini Chandra 21:30
I think similar to every other question, I view the question of death as a series of different types of troops. There are multiple routes with regards to that. And each suit applies depending on where we are in our journey. And it could be the truth for us at that time. Yeah. So the options are, I think the laziest explanation for that is that it is the end of everything. I find it a very lazy explanation. It comes from nihilism. Now guys, like Nietzsche, and like a whole bunch of existentialism fans and Western philosophy largely said, This is it, you know, when you die, lights go out, and that’s all there is to it, don’t worry about it. Right? You know, it seems plausible, but it seems very lazy way to think about it. Especially when you see a lot of evidence to the contrary, in nature, nothing just goes away, things come back. So you know, the idea that that is sort of permanent, doesn’t make sense to me. That then there is the the Christian view, or the Islamic view, which is when we die, there is an internal self, and that survives death. And then we reach someplace, either heaven or hell, depending on, you know, the dispensations of what we did in life. That’s, it’s a step forward, I would say, clearly a step forward from the from the nihilist and atheistic view that there is nothing going on after that. But there is this idea that something survives death. In Christianity, I find that very interesting. And then you have the Hindu and the Buddhist view that says, when you when we die, there is a subtle aspect of ourselves, that survives, and takes possession of a physical body in the next cycle, and is reborn. So the Hindu view of death is it’s beginning of the process of being reborn. And life is a process of starting to die. Right? The Buddhists believe that too. And so I find that the most interesting, you know, plausible things he asked me, because, for me, logically, it explains a lot of things. And this is sort of related to karma, right? The whole idea of karma is a law of cause and effect. It’s, it’s a cause and effect principle. I think it’s very straightforward. It’s common sensical. In some sense. It says, if you do something, you will get something back in return. The consequences are guaranteed. That’s what the law of karma says, I find it intuitively you know,

right? In the sense if I if I, if I’m rude to you, you will be rude back to me. And I’ve seen that happen in my life. And it makes sense. It’s possible, right? Well, I think the difficulty in karma is sometimes that the consequences are separated in time from action. That’s the non non intuitive part. Sometimes we do some things I’ve done something I think I’ve gotten away with it. Not so fast, buddy. You know, it’s gonna come right. So that is where the belief comes in. And what span of time? Are we talking about multiple lifetimes? This is like there is this idea of rebirth. And you know, we come back and we carry the karma and the love and the baggage of you know what we have done in the past. It’s about good and bad. It’s not necessarily negative. We have done good things when you will. Good leads to good, bad leads to bad it’s a very simple equation and the law of karma. But the it makes a one thing Oh, wait, like, Am I going to be weighed down by let’s say I lived a million lives and all my business a jerk, you know, for most of it, my Doom, right? It’s Right, right. I mean, done. I mean, right now I’m gonna, like, you know, be in this loop forever? And the answer is no. Because there is the possibility of seeing things a different way at every moment why that happens and how that happens. Like, in the case of you and me, there was some life event that made us think a certain way. And our daughters were born right in when we become a parent, when we get married, when you have a life partner, that’s, that’s a life change. All of a sudden, you have to care about someone else, right? So the little things change, or changes, something could happen in the world that changes make us you know, look at things a different way. I don’t know how that happens. But you know, we have we have the potential to change. And we’ve seen that too. In our lives, we have seen people transform, we’ve seen ourselves change, right? So change is possible. So we know that. So I think that is where the positive power part of karma comes in until this moment, we have the the weight of our destiny, meaning what is happening right now the fact that I’m speaking to you, is a chain of events that started somewhere in Christ and past, but what my life is going to look like in the future, I control right now, by my actions towards you by the words I choose, by my attitude, and my by my ability to you know, calm myself down and be able to see the truth. And the more and more we see the truth, the more and more we liberate ourselves from the cycle, yet. Yeah, I

Brian Smith 26:34
love the way you put that because the thing about karma, again, it’s I think it’s misunderstood a lot by people here and I was taught that karma was okay. In Christianity, they’re like, well, we have grace. And the Eastern religions, agents have karma. So there, it’s a you, there’s no grace there. There’s no there’s no forgiveness, there’s no escaping from, you know, you did something bad and something bad’s gonna come back to you. And which also brings up the question what is good and what is bad? So, when you were telling your story about impermanence reminded me of a Dallas story about the nature of good and bad where the farmer goes out and he finds a wild horse. And all the village villagers come to him said it’s great thing you found a wild horse and he says maybe, and then the next day, his son’s out breaking the wild horse and he falls off and he breaks his leg. And the villagers all communist, that’s a terrible thing. Your son broke his leg, and he says, maybe, and then the next day, the armies coming through, and they’re conscripting people in the service, the son can’t go to war, because he’s broken his leg. And so you know how the story goes, we, we judge what’s good and bad, but we don’t know we don’t. So when we say, if I do something bad, something bad’s gonna happen to someone, a lot of again, parents, a child will pass away. And let’s say, Well, what bad thing did I do? What did I do to cause this bad thing? Well, how do you know it’s bad? You know, we don’t we don’t have that perspective. And no, it might have been their soul plan, it might have been their time to go back. And if we, if we truly believe a Christian say that we believe that they are in heaven with God, then how is that a bad thing? Yes,

Srini Chandra 28:05
I agree. The I, there is a framework I have put together for myself, which is, I feel like there is a set of core beliefs that we have. These are may be stated or unstated. There’s a very small number one, two, maybe three, typically one or two, I think, and it’s got to do with either something of the belief about who we are, or what is God, or one of the it’s literally one of these questions. And we sometimes, like stated very consciously, like we’re doing right now, you’re having a very conscious, aware discussion about these questions. A lot of times, we don’t promote a good part of our lives, we didn’t write scary disbelief, and something or the other is there. So this belief animates everything else. Our version of our views of good and bad, all the morals, you know, our view of the world, these are transactional beliefs, they can change, they will change, and they will change where as we go older, or go to a different place or, you know, depending on mileage, you know, we see one thing or the other working for us, these are very sort of transit, but there’s one or two believe that we carry, they make a big difference to our happiness. The transactional beliefs may make a difference to our prosperity, our health, our you know, like if I should not smoke is a transactional transactional belief. I should not be kind to others is a transactional belief because I’m kind to others and I will be treated well in society and there is a quid pro quo, you know, aspect to it. It has you know, but it all what I’ve realized is these beliefs are have to go. For them to be strong, they have to be supported by a core belief. This is sort of the argument people have made against atheism, saying that if You don’t have your core belief is a negation of another belief. It makes it very hard to be happy. You could be highly moral. Because you simply have the discipline, you will just like sort of soldier through it by being very good person. But happiness is eludes us, you know, you could be a very good person and be unhappy.

Brian Smith 30:19
Yeah, I think it’s interesting because a lot of times people said, Well, if you’re atheist will be a moral because they don’t have any real beliefs and I found the exact opposite most atheists I know are very moral people, it’s like that, and I’m analyzing but it’s almost like they’re overcompensating like I don’t need I don’t need religion to be more I’m going to be more moral than those Christians are. But, you know, you and I talked about this when we kind of did the pre pre show last week, when we’re just kind of going through some ideas. We all have a core philosophy, I’m just gonna say what you said kind of a different way. We all have a core philosophy and I’ve never really been interested in philosophy I haven’t, I always thought it was kind of a waste of time. But we do, whether we believe whether we know it or not, and and that philosophy informs our life, it literally impacts every decision we make. And

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Brian Smith 32:06
If we think the world is a transactional place, we’re going to behave in a transactional way. If we if we choose to be a good person, for goodness sake, then we’re going to be probably a happier person. If we know that we are this divine being and in a temporary situation, and that you’re a divine being in a temporary situation, it’s going to impact the way I interact with you, it’s gonna it’s going to even impact that transactional thing. If I know if I believe I’m going to have a life review, which I do. And I know that I, you know, I might be in a store, I might smile at somebody, and who knows what kind of day they’re having. And it could change your life. It’s going to impact the way that I treat even strangers. So all the all this is just it’s so important that we that we do examine these things. And you’re right, we go through life a lot of times totally unconscious. Yes. totally unaware. I’m sorry.

Srini Chandra 32:58
Yes, I’m saying I would like it or not articulating it is not there. And it’s better to be conscious of what they are, understand what they are, and why they came to be, you know, in our, in our minds, or in our in our thing and then see if they are true. Yeah, I think that’s a good exercise. Right? So, yeah, this whole aspect of the law is philosophy practical, right? I mean, the biggest fear, when we talk about things like Brahman, or you know, Buddhism, or the highest, or the exhilarating aspects of Christianity or Islam, the fear is that it all of them teach us to be selfless. And it’s very core idea in religion, that it’s selflessness is the core idea, right? So to be selfless, you have to understand yourself. And they, there are different techniques. One is, you know, by looking at God, you see a reflection of yourself or you look at yourself and to see a reflection of God, it’s all the same thing. Like a ways of understand once you understand yourself, the idea that you will become selfless because you see the self is the same as you know, Ryan and srini have the same self thing. And the problem with that is it creates this fear of the selflessness we see in this world is not rewarded. The world punishes people who are generous, or you know, we’ve seen that it’s not always the case, but selflessness we worry will lead to us losing in some way. You know, it will either you know, we will lose our career, or relationships or bank balance. You know, what’s going to nice people finished last is like the expression we hear, especially in Western culture, it’s not so much in India, right off ladies. It’s happening in India too. In the US, it’s all the you know, fashionable thing to say that nice guys finish last and you have to go get it in, you know, the whole selflessness is not does not get a lot of prominence. So we worry about that. I think the way to think about it is that if you do not understand yourself, you cannot do a good job. have anything that you’re trying to do right now what it is that you’re trying to do, and encounter, it is counterintuitive. If we actually invest our time, in making ourselves happy, we are going to be very, very valuable to this world. Imagine a scientist who has understood the greatest mysteries of quantum mechanics has also understood the nature of his or her own self. What a combination that that person will transform this world. We don’t find those people and when those people come along, we call them Jesus or Buddha. Right. But we can be one of those people. I mean, I’m I don’t see this in any arrogance, I’m saying it is the nature of creation that we all have that capacity, even way. And you know, just the journey makes a big difference. Yeah, just being on the day, you don’t have to worry about it. We’ll get there. And it looks very daunting. It is impossible for me to sit here and think that I’m going to be the Buddha someday. Yeah. Seems like such a distant thing. But the journey is just a very small, incremental, you know, things make a big difference. That’s the leverage is just phenomenal. Yeah. As small effort yields big results.

Brian Smith 36:10
Yeah, absolutely, totally agree. There’s one one of the concepts that we wanted to discuss was our list of things we want to talk about rebirth or reincarnation. Now, I was gonna go first and say that, as a Christian, I was raised to believe that there’s no such thing as reincarnation, it’s one and done, you’re in here out. What I found out later on in life, that there was reincarnation, the Bible that was actually removed by the guys in the early church, because they frankly, it’s about control. They want to say you’re one and done, you have to go to the church, if you don’t go to the church and do all the things we tell you to do. God’s gonna send you to hell for eternity. So I know a lot of Christians are still hung up on the idea of reincarnation. But so I want you to talk about the eastern idea of reincarnation, and then we’ll kind of see where we maybe can kind of come together.

Srini Chandra 36:53
Sure. The quick observation on Christianity, right, or the Islam and Christianity, the idea is that there is eternal self, soul that’s alive that and you know, close to God. So there is the idea that something survives. And so it’s a small leap from there to saying that that’s also lives in a different body, it says we are talking semantics at this point. If something survives that, that is the big hurdle to overcome. The big core hell Dawkins, does something survive death or not. Right. And the moment you know, we are on the other side saying something survives, then it becomes a matter of details, I find it sometimes I I find it sort of strange that the Christians don’t like the idea of reincarnation. And I suspect it is there is this sense of false urgency that has been created by the early practitioners of Christianity, they said, Oh, I have to close this deal. Right? to close this deal. If I tell these people, they’re going to live another 100 lives, no one’s going to close the deal in this life. Right? So if I had to close the deal and convert this guy, I got to tell him you know, he’s going to hell in the next 10 years. I else this he’s not going to see the light. So I can see some of the tactics in play that influence some of these beliefs. But I agree with you, I think the some of the Gospels in hinted in a rebirth, even Jesus interacting hinted in some of the things he does Eastern belief in rebirth is no simple observation of nature. I mean, they are asking all kinds of questions like us, look the way we do today, who am I? What is God? What is creation? And they looked around the world and contains so many beautiful things. And the question was, like, how did these things come about? And so the theory that they came to us, everything started with some fine, indescribable, subtle, you know, thing, and it evolved. So there’s this theory of evolution in Hindu philosophy, which is not quite like a Darwin’s theory in the sense that they have similar This is both a theory of evolution. So it starts with something fine. The theory is something subtle, evolves into something gross or material, that’s the nature of creation. So you have something very fine it keeps on you know, morphing, until you reach this very phenomenal world that we find ourselves in. But there are many other things that we are not aware of, because of the nature of our sensors, and we live in this constrained world. So the idea is that whatever trance one transforms into another and nothing ever goes away, the whole idea that something can just permanently go away, for some reason has never taken root in the Indian psyche. strangest thing, and actually, it’s quite a brilliant thing. There is not much, but there are not too many buyers, for that this moment or you know, something happened, this is the end. Now, there are not too many takers, that is this whole belief system that revolves around cycles, even time is cyclical, right? Is what the Buddhists and Hindus say. So the whole idea of rebirth ordination or rebirth comes from that, that things don’t go away, we get to come back. The big question there becomes who gets to come back? is a trainee who gets to come back in the next life? And how do I know it’s training? And because I clearly don’t remember what happened in my previous life, right? So what is the point of this thing. And so the point of, you know, being reborn, there is no point of purpose, like the nature is not a creation is not created, so that it gives you something we need explanations for your current existence, I think the way these beliefs have to be sort of looked at is in the context of how we can bring peace to ourselves. Yeah, and peace comes, you know, we notice this peace comes when we understand something and believe it to be true. It’s always a good truth or a bad throw this van palatable, palatable, when we find that some reason that we latch on to something is, you know, you say it’s true, we get gives us peaks. And that is the context in which these statements were made. So I would say some of the there are these truths that we are reborn, you know, we go through the cycle, get to play out this thing. And until we realize that there is a cycle going on, you’re condemned to the cycle, the moment you realize that the cycle is how things operate, you sort of elevate yourself about the physical aspect and the mental aspects of existence, and you are liberated, that interests you. And there is another view, which is the Vedanta view, which says, everything is a wave of an ocean of consciousness in which things come and go. So what you think of as birth? And what do you think of his death, or superstitions?

These are simple, merely experiences, that your mind is all your content in your consciousness. So when you’re born, that’s an experience when we die. That’s an experience when we sleep. That’s an experience when you’re awake, there’s an experience. When we dream, that’s an experience. There’s a whole collection of experiences, and a person who understands that the nature of consciousness liberates himself or herself. So you have quite so the Vedanta would directly negate the karma theory, saying that, you know, there is no such thing as birth or death. And, again, I like I liken them to two different belief systems lower higher truth in depending on where you are in one. It’s, and they are just convenient constructs, depending on who we are as a person, and yeah, and we hold on to them, they teach us something until we are ready to, you know, accept something else.

Brian Smith 42:35
Yeah, I think, you know, it’s the thing about the idea of death rebirth, because I’ve gotten it from several different ways. Now, you know, there’s, there’s soul planning, there’s life between lives. So we go and we come back. And I’m learning a little bit about the eastern view of it. I don’t think it’s as simple as a one. For one thing, I don’t think it’s as simple as, like, I Brian die and come back. And then I’m going to be john in the next life, and then I’m married. And then life after that, I think, I think we’re almost a collection, our souls are more like a, almost like, I hate the word Borg because it has such a negative connotation, but Star Trek The collective, you know, we’re all we’re we, we have this higher aspect of ourselves. So I, as Brian was just a small part of a more complex being, for lack of a better word. And when I go back, I share my experiences with the whole, they all they all get to experience it. But I don’t I don’t come back. Brian doesn’t come back. But there’s another aspect, that there’s this kind of this this interchange as we go back. And this is, I interviewed someone a couple weeks ago, but a series of books, you recall the team, and it really resonated with me that we’re not, we’re not the individuals that we think we are. So, but I think there’s, there’s absolutely, there’s so much evidence for some idea of rebirth or reincarnation, you know, the work that was done at the University of Virginia with children with past life memories, I mean, just incredible stuff, prodigies people that come into this world, you know, that can play the piano at the age of two and, you know, people with past life memories and have birthmarks where they were, you know, they were shot in a previous life. So there’s absolutely something to it. And I love what you said about the peace thing, because I have a friend, and she was a racist Christian, had a really tough life, you know, and, and we and I remember, we were starting to explore the idea of reincarnation, she said, every time I think about reincarnation, I just start crying, because I do not want to be forced to do this again. And guess what? That was her view of life. And I said, if it if it doesn’t bring you peace, don’t let it go. Because I don’t think we’re sitting back here as punishment. I don’t think it’s like, you didn’t get it right. You got to go back and do it again.

Srini Chandra 44:38
What your client said this, identical to what the Buddha said. I think she’s on the right track here, which is the Buddha said we are reborn only because we have a desire to be reborn. Right. Right. And the moment we abandon the desire, we are liberate ourselves. Yeah. It’s a tendency. It’s a it’s a it’s a constant thing within us. We love life. The person with the worst life imaginable on this planet will still not want to die, that are a part of life. Right? And so it is a very addictive intoxicating thing. And so the trick is like how do we convert it from being an addiction that we simply experience and enjoy? Without the baggage of? You know, I,

Brian Smith 45:21
I’m so glad you said that. I’ve never heard it put that way. Because it’s always been to me it’s been put like, it’s like, almost like a punishment. It’s like you You got to keep you got to stay on this wheel. But we’re saying is, it’s self inflicted. It’s like, we want this we keep coming back because we want to do it. As soon as we stopped wanting to do it. We don’t do it.

Srini Chandra 45:39
That was the great insight of the Buddha. I think that is why I think he worshipping God, the Hindus worship him has God even though he rebelled against Hindus. So because that is a great truth. That he said, Yeah, our desire proposes every second of our lives. If you the moment, you can, like you know, you engage, but you detach. That’s the letting go principle. You don’t know you don’t get you don’t come back. That’s

Brian Smith 46:06
what I’m Wow. Okay, that’s something I’m gonna I gotta take for it and let other people know because I think that’s a big misunderstanding of the idea of reincarnation. Now, I, we didn’t talk about this, but I want to talk about your book three lives in search of bliss, because I, I listened to it again this week. And it’s just so brilliant. I love the way you you integrate all these ideas we’ve talked about here into a very short story that’s got so many layers of depth to it.

Srini Chandra 46:37
So thank you for your kind words.

Brian Smith 46:39
Yeah, I mean, you know, I listened to it again, I’m like, Man, this guy knows, he knows the Quran, he knows the Hindu scriptures, you know, you know that the New Testament, you enter the ideas of reincarnation and rebirth and, and desire, you know, would you just I just realized, now, as you said that, and I don’t want to give away the end of the book. But you know, as we get to the point where it’s like, I don’t have the desire, I don’t have the need to do this anymore. That that we can escape it. So where did the word idea for the book and AR come from? How did you how did you come up with it?

Srini Chandra 47:12
I it was no specific event or, you know, phenomena, something that happened, that part of the book. The way it happened was the, I think in some senses, so it was a culmination of things I had been doing for about 10 years prior to that, which I put my birth of my daughter, I started reading a whole lot of philosophy, asking questions. And a lot of it was very personal, I was not engaging with other people. I did not have a teacher, I was reading books and sort of educating myself. And it all I think came together. One particular year, the year I wrote the book, and these thoughts started bubbling in my head. And I thought, What is a creative way of expressing expressing some of these ideas? And I love stories. I love reading books, right? And I said, If Can I write a book, I’m not a writer by any stretch of imagination. But I said, if I can somehow write up a story, simple story that narrates some of you know, through the narration brings out some of these principles, that would be great. So it started with no expectations in mind. You actually, in fact, I did not even expect to finish the book. So let these thoughts bubble in my head for I would say a good part of maybe six, seven months. And then I remember it was around a similar time, December holidays, I took two weeks off from work. And I already had like a week, in that month for the customers a week. I sat down and wrote it in three weeks. And it seems incredible that somebody can write 200, I wrote 250 pages and sort of cut it down to 150. How can you write down 30 pages and in a month, it just built up? I mean, I kind of knew the sentences and all the symptoms were all in my head. Before I started writing, I think one of one time once in a lifetime type of thing. experience. I don’t have that. I don’t feel that level of inspiration. Now. I haven’t found that since. Yeah, more. But you know, I just surrendered to the moment at that time. Yeah. In terms of the ideas I expressed, I feel I read that book. And I read that book myself recently. And I feel like I have evolved quite a bit since then. Yeah, not to say that I do not deny any of the concepts that I wrote there. I just said, I feel like a little more nuanced. Take consulting, and I do I’m thinking I should take it and not rewrite it but expanded.

Brian Smith 49:34
I Well, first of all, like I said, You came out of blue. I don’t even know how you found me. And you said, You know, I want to send you this book. I’d like for you to read it and give me your thoughts on it. And I was like it was it’s brilliant. And you told me at the time you distilled it down so it’s very short. But you know, it’s funny because I had Bernardo kastrup been a little while ago and he wrote a book called more than allegory. And he talks about in his work about sometimes truth has to be expressive. Through myths, it has to be it’s it’s ineffable. It can’t be really put into words. And as you put it in, I’m actually in his book. materialism is why materialism is baloney ends it with a story, like a creation myth. That’s, that’s great. I loved it. And that’s how I kind of view your book. I think you had the big press through the story. And then and every time I read it, and I’ve read it, like three or four times, I get something else out of it, it goes to another level. And I was, I just finished it this week. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, ending, I really got the ending better than I had gotten it before.

Srini Chandra 50:36
Thank you. I remember, one of my stated objectives, when I wrote the book was I did not want anything did to look prescriptive. Right. Right. I The idea was to just lay it out and spark sort of a thought process. Yeah, a person and did not want to be opinionated or to you know, be specific about something. Although I feel like the it has got a very strong Buddhist tinge to it. And I, you know, I was I am still and I was very much a strong Buddhist at heart when, and I think that influenced me, but, but our idea was to be sort of, sort of stream of consciousness and tell the story. We I think, by nature, we humans are storytellers, and listeners to stories. We love stories. We love telling stories.

Brian Smith 51:31
Our lives are stories. Yeah. One thing I want to say though, I talked to a lot of people that that claim that they channel books, you know, and I just interviewed someone yesterday. It’s she’s written several books, and she says they’re all channel. I think your book is inspired. I don’t think it came from srini gay came from somewhere higher. So yeah, I think it’s, it’s great. And I want to encourage people it’s a it’s a really short read. It’s like you said about 150 pages, but it really impacted my life as I was reading it. And it’s funny because I was realizing I got it before Shayna passed away. So before I was really on the on the journey that I’m on now, and reading it again now, it impacted me in a different way. So it’s one of those things that every time you read it, it’s gonna hit you from a little bit different angle.

Srini Chandra 52:20
Thank you for saying that. I’m glad you continue to like it. story of how I found you. I did a very simple thing. I went and looked at Deepak Chopra’s books. I’m if I was still a fan of Deepak Chopra. I love his books. And you had written a review on Deepak Chopra’s book, I think one of Deepak Chopra. Okay. Okay, I saw your name. And I said, If Brian likes the book, maybe he will like my book. And he might be more inclined to read it and be more sort of understanding of where it came from. The the book that I wrote, I showed it to a couple of publishers, I was living in Bangalore at the time. And they said this book is not readable. This is not publishable. They said this does not like it lacks a plot. There is no arc there is no like characters. You know, you start with some character you don’t do justice to it. You keep moving on. I said that will hold the point of the story is not the characters. It’s actually what happens to them. Right. But I can see that this is not

Brian Smith 53:20
like classic storytelling. It’s not the the hero’s journey. Well, it isn’t. It isn’t, you know,

Srini Chandra 53:27
it’s uh, yeah, it’s different. So, yeah, yeah. But

Brian Smith 53:31
it’s, it’s a, it is a journey. It’s absolutely a journey. And I think I just said, I, I find it to be brilliant. And, you know, the thing is, I think about my life now. And I think about we talked about these formative events, right. And so, you saw that I reviewed a book of Deepak Chopra. You sent me this book, we’ve been friends now for you know, 910 years. You you’ve really influenced my life a lot. Like I said, we’re Facebook friends, and I’ll be writing something I’m like, okay, Sweeney’s not gonna like this, because, you know, you just you really calmed me down and a lot of ways and i’d love your, your wisdom and your, and your compassion and the way you you know, you love your practice. And, you know, you talked about the book being, you know, maybe more Buddhist or whatever. It reminded me, I love CS Lewis, I read him. I think I’ve written everything he’s ever written. But he talks a one time about the town. I think he pronounced it the tau, but the TA O, and he says, This is the eternal truth. And he said, one of the things is people will criticize Jesus or Christianity because there was nothing new there. And he says, There is no new moral truth. All moral teachers do is remind us what we already knew. And as we look at all these faiths, and we put them in categories, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, then we say, Well, this is more like now there’s one truth. There’s, there’s literally one truth. And all these things are different ways of expressing it. Which is why I don’t I don’t call myself Christian anymore, and I’ve studied Buddhism, but i’ve i’ve never Taking the mouse on I call myself a Buddhist. I there’s things about Hinduism that I’ve found recently that I absolutely love. I’ll never forget the Brahman Atman, you know, thing, and I’ll take that with me. And as human beings, we’re allowed to do that.

Srini Chandra 55:13
Yes. Right. In fact, we should be doing that. Yeah, the the most practical goal. I mean, we believe we are being practical when we go in search of like, you know, we want to get into college, we want to have a career and make money. By You know, this, what, we have these things called practical. And it sort of comes from this belief that we are very limited weeks. This is all I can do. Like when you say there is Domino, there is this idea of God is exalted, you know, idea of God, it’s going to give you great joy. You say, Oh, wait, it’s very complex philosophy, and I am not capable of that. I’m a very simple person. And I can only do this, which is fine. You know, which is nothing wrong with that. But the question we have to ask ourselves is, what is the most practical goal? I mean, yes, you can, you know, even buy a new car, you can get a new phone, whatever, you will be fine. Like, this is a very cliched we all know this, right? When we buy something, the joy, you know, lasts for so long, right? Then we have to find the next thing. And this, this treadmill that we are on, we will get tired. And then at some point, depending on you know, who we are, whether it’s in our 40s or 50s, and unhappiness is bound to settle? It isn’t. It is no surprise. So the question is, then what is the most practical goal? What are all these things that we consider practical are not getting us anywhere? And so we are saying philosophy is not practical. It’s not, but I, I feel like it’s the most practical thing one can do. Because the most practical goal in human existence is to find peace. Yeah, I mean, it is the most practical goal, if you think about it, because that is what we are trying to do when we do the other things. Yeah, no one goes to work. for the fun of it. I mean, at the root of it, is that am I going to be okay? And the answer to the question is, you know, to find peace, and you know, so I feel like, that is one way to look at philosophy and, or, you know, invest in. So, you know, we don’t even have to make it complicated and read all the books out there, all we have to do is start examining our own experiences, right? What makes me conscious, you know, what makes me you know, see the world a certain way, we ask these questions. I mean, these very simple questions, you know, give us enormous mileage.

Brian Smith 57:26
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, you know, what you were saying, I was thinking about the idea of people pursuing things, you know, and I think that’s why rich people tend to be the most miserable people on the planet. Because when we’re, when we don’t have those things, we can keep telling ourselves, as soon as I get that, as soon as I get that will be happy. But when they get all that stuff, and they sit around and look at their lives, and like, I’m still not happy, then they’re the most miserable people because there’s nothing left to reach for. Right? And I want to kind of close this, you know, because you said that I was thinking about the words of Jesus, because I still follow Jesus. And Jesus said, store for yourself, you know, treasures in heaven, where moth in the thieves cannot break in a mosque and not you know, just corrupt. And, you know, they can’t, it can’t rust. I mean, Jesus is like, stork treasures in heaven. So, again, as a Christian, we were thinking, literally, we’re gonna have boxes of gold when we get there. But it’s really this. It’s a centerpiece, it’s growing ourselves. That is the most practical thing. And that is the only thing that really matters is peace. You’re gonna have everything else. If you don’t have peace, you’ve got nothing

Srini Chandra 58:27
completely agree the kingdom of God is within you is what Jesus said. Yeah, I think that is, you know, that those are Words To Live By.

Brian Smith 58:37
I think that’s a great way to end I want to say srini I really appreciate you doing this extended interview with me. You know, this is really first time we sat down and talk face to face and all the time we’ve done been doing this, but we need to come back with this again.

Srini Chandra 58:51
I absolutely will. I’ve always wanted to do this. And I can think of no better person to have this conversation than with you. I feel safe. I feel like you know, I will be understood and I am saying something wrong. I know that you will guide me now and so I feel very comfortable. having these conversations are something I absolutely know we should do this again.

Brian Smith 59:12
Absolutely. Thank you for training. You have a great rest of your day.

Srini Chandra 59:15
Thank you, you too.

Brian Smith 59:19
Should I go ahead and leave. That’s it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you got something out of it. Please stay in contact with me by reaching out at www dot grief to That’s grief the number two or you can text the word growth to 31996. That’s simply text growth gr o wt h 231996. So if you’re watching this on YouTube, please make sure you subscribe. So hit the subscribe button and then hit the little bell here and it’ll notify you when I have new content. Always please share the information if you enjoy it. That helps me too. get more views and and get the message out to more people. Thanks a lot and have a wonderful day.

Transcribed by

Srini Chandra is one of the wisest and most compassionate people I know. I met Srini several years ago when he reached out to me to review his book 3 Lives in Search of Bliss. It’s a book I’ve read several times (we discuss it a little in the interview). I was struck by his knowledge of several religious traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Over the years, Srini and I have grown to be friends even though I hadn’t spoken with him until a couple of months ago when he took my course on racism. He’s kept me humble and grounded as we discuss how the nature of the ultimate reality and how that plays into our day-to-day lives on all fronts.

This is part 1 of a 2 part discussion on these religious and wisdom traditions, the nature of science, who is man, why we are here, and what can we do to achieve bliss.

You can find more wisdom from Srini here:

The Vedanta Channel




Announcer 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine

Brian Smith 0:45
Hey, everybody, this is a special interview with my friend Srini Chandra Srini and I have been friends for a long time we had a lot to talk about this interview went for a couple of hours. I know most people don’t like two hour long interviews. So I’m going to break this up into at least two parts. You could break it up as many, many parts as you want to. So this is part one. So go ahead and watch part one. Then after you’ve watched part one, I’m going to publish Part Two the next week if you happen to listen this record, you can watch part two right afterwards. But we have a very far ranging discussion, discussion about the nature of reality about science versus religion and philosophy, about materialism and about a number of other subjects. So hope you find this fascinating as I do. Go ahead and watch part one now and come back and watch part two later. Thanks.

Hey, everybody, this is Brian Smith back with another episode of grief to growth and today I’ve got with me my friend srini Chandra, and I hate to say this I feel like such an American I can’t even pronounce your last name. I’ve known you for like nine years. So say your full name for me streaming? Sure. It’s broken into two parts. It’s not as bad as it looks. Chandra is the easy part. sakera are you can you not think of it as shake and run shake? Run? Chandra Chandra sacred. Okay. And your and your first name is longer than 3d. Also, what’s your first name? My first name, the full first name is Srinivasan. Yeah, okay, cool. Any last Yeah, I feel like such an American, it’s terrible. I need to learn how to say your name, but we’re gonna call you srini for the purpose of the day. But I’ve been friends with srini. I was looking up the other day, I guess it’s been like nine years. And we met srini wrote an excellent book, I love this book. It’s called three lives and surplus. And he sent the book to me to review. And I did I’d never heard of srini. And it’s one it’s a short book. It’s about 150 pages. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I I’ve read it again, over this week, I’ve read it like three or four times. So I want to talk about the book also as we as we have this conversation.

But the reason I’m having Srini on Today, Srini is one of the wisest people that I know. He’s one of the most compassionate people that I know, we’ve been friends on Facebook for a long time. It keeps me grounded. He’s a very well rounded person, I’m going to tell the story as to how he got to where he is, in terms of of his background. But we want to talk about today is the nature of we’re going to tie this nature blade, but I don’t think I want to change it, I want to call it the nature of reality. Because belief is important. But what we believe I think we kind of know we want to help people understand how to get to that point. So

ambitious agenda. We’ll see how it goes. But srini I’ve done a lot of talking, I want to say thank you. And welcome to Grief 2 Growth

Srini Chandra 4:28
Thank you, Brian, I want to thank you for this opportunity. I listened to your podcast regularly. This is I’m really honored to be I think it’s great quality stuff, work that you do. And I’m happy to be here

to tell folks a little bit about myself and not take too much time doing so. I was born in India, in the southern part of India on the East Coast, in a town called Chennai, it’s actually not a tiny little metropolis. Let’s meet a metropolis, very large city called Chennai. And as you pointed out, I was born in a Hindu family. My earliest memories are, you know, we had a large, extended family growing up among the folks. My memories of my grandparents are, you know, very vivid to this day. I went to school in Chennai, in an early kindergarten to high school. And I happen to study in India, we call them convent schools, they are schools run by Christian missionaries. So a big part of my formative experience was the going through an education system or school like that, and they were some of the kindest people. And I’ve known and once I graduated high school, I joined College in India. And I studied engineering, like every good Indian does or tries to do. Then, this is you’re talking late 80s, at this point. And at that point, the thing to do was to seek the land of opportunity, the land of milk and honey, United States of America. So it seemed very obvious at that point that I should head to the States. And so I applied for admission into Ohio State University, I came to Columbus, Ohio, very proud Buckeye, till this day, and got my master’s in engineering work for a few years went back to school. Don’t want to regurgitate my resume. But long story short, I spent more than 225 years at this point in the technology industry. And, and it’s been an interesting experience, because technology sort of shapes the way you look at life, a lot of things that we consider impossible become possible. And then you start thinking there are other possibilities to life, too. So it sort of spills over into your personal domain. That’s been a good experience, personal front, married, I have two daughters. They are grown now to my regret. But one of them is in college that just started her job. And we know at some point, I guess we will talk about it the when they were born, that that was a formative experience for me becoming a dad, circumstances under which they were born. There are some of these events that have shaped the way I looked at life. I like to describe myself very simply, as a seeker, I’m not anywhere close to being enlightened, I definitely on the path, I can feel it, I can feel that what I’m doing is working at some level, you know, I become very conscious of what I do, and what I say and my outlook towards life. And, and it’s been an effort, and definitely I can claim some credit for the effort. But we will see Time will tell where this leads me.

Brian Smith 7:49
Yeah, well, as I said earlier, you are one of the most grounded people I know. And you you actually talk me down a lot of times, so on Facebook, so I appreciate that. And you know, as I, I got to know you last week, we kind of got together we talked a little bit before we did this, and I got to know more of your story about your background, which I think is faster, because as I read, read your book, realize in search of bliss. I love how you wove your knowledge of Christianity, and Islam and Hinduism, all into the same fabric of that book. And I and so your your background, you know, you did go to this Christian school, but you were raised in a Hindu family, and they never really tried to convert you to Christianity, they just just taught you about it. So you’ve, you’ve got a deep understanding of all these faiths and how they intersect.

Srini Chandra 8:35
So I would say they were gracious enough to accommodate some inconvenient questions as a 10 year old, 15 year old as I went through Bible studies in school, I would ask some questions. And, and I’m happy to say that these days, they were very patient with some of these questions I and I like to think that that have that as a formative experience as well. I mean, they made all these seeds, I realized, in hindsight, all these seeds are planted by somebody or the other. But it’s a grandparent or a parent or a friend or teacher. And then they you know, they just grow and you know, without your knowledge, and one fine day, and you’re like, wait a minute, this plant was right there in front of me. And I haven’t noticed it. And it’s a beautiful thing that happens.

Brian Smith 9:20
It is it is as we get that perspective, as we get older we can see and how these seeds are planted. And that’s one things I try to make people conscious of now especially people have children, that you’re you’re planting these seeds, whether you know it or not, and they’re going to grow into some sort of tree at some point. So, um, so you had this formative experience of the religious background, the training in Christianity, the Hindu family, and then you were telling me your daughters come along. And so tell me that tell me how that shaped your life.

Srini Chandra 9:50
Yes, that I believe, was in some sense, an inflection point in my life. We’re talking late 90s my first daughter was born and when She was born, she was born two months early. She was a preemie as the as we call them. And I remember driving home from work, and I was in the supermarket and my wife called me and she said, I think they’re having a baby. And I said, What babies do until two months later. So the next thing, you know, we know we’re driving towards the hospital, and three hours later she was born. And the startling thing about that was the first time that, you know, it was a bit traumatic, to be honest with you being there and watching the baby be born for a few seconds there. When I saw her, she looked perfectly healthy. No fine, baby, except she was tiny. I think, you know, she was like, half the weight that babies are normally, you know, born at. And but she looked like, I had not seen a newborn baby for Hannah. And that, to me, she looked fine. And then they took her to the intensive care. And I remember the words of the nurse, when they go off to the intensive care my wife had, was anxious. And I was standing outside in the corridor, and the nurse turned to me and said, Son, take it one day at a time. And I had no idea what you mean, I thought, What would she talking about? Everything looks fine to me. But apparently, the history of premiums is like you can’t tell, you know, if things can go up and down. And then that’s, I guess, she was trying to be nice and kind and alert me. The thing about that experience was, you know, at that point, I was working in the technology industry, I was running a major product line, and I was not I felt like I had I was in control of my life. And things were going great. And, and some suddenly something like this happens. And I at that moment, I realized I mean, not in that in that in that timeframe frame, I realized that we do really have control over the things that we care about, that are truly important to us. I had every bit of control over in how I was going to launch this product, who was going to buy it, what is going to go into it. All these details, gave me the sense of power over the world. But then I had no absolutely no control over the trajectory, my daughter’s life is gonna take it, structuring it, like somebody was loading the boom on me, I remember sitting there in the parking lot on a call with some of my colleagues and thinking what is going on here. And, and it sparked.

It sparked a journey. I you know, I you know it, I started thinking, oh, there is there is a lot more to life than you know what I’m making it out to be. And so it’s not like I completely abandoned, you know, my career and myself. Those are important. But I felt there’s something more here. So it started a journey of just simply knowing what people have said, I felt completely ill equipped to make up my own, you know, theories. I said, let me start with what you know, other people have said, you know, we read the Bible, which I’d studied in high school, I reread some of the Scriptures my grandfather had taught me, I read the Quran. I haven’t read a whole lot of Judaism, but and I remember speaking to a couple of Jewish friends, you know, who talk to me about the religion? And what is it? Right, what is what is going on. So that journey started, I think I’d say that. And when my second daughter was born, same thing happened. Three years later, she was born two months ago, the little I was a little more prepared. I mean, my wife and I were a little more prepared. Yeah. So but that that was a that I would say that was a good in hindsight, a good moment in life, something that could have been

not necessarily good.

Brian Smith 13:40
You know, it’s interesting, as you’re telling that I’m thinking, you know, we have these formative moments in life. And for most of us, it seems like it takes trauma to wake us up, you know, it takes a cancer diagnosis or death or something like that. But it doesn’t have to, you know, I can take a moment like a daughter being born and, and my life changed when my daughter was born, you know, just to kind of echo what you said, You know, I remember them giving me this baby to leave the hospital. And I’m like, Where’s the instruction manual, you know, and I went to put her in the car, and I was putting the car seat in backwards because they have to face backwards at first. And,

Unknown Speaker 14:12
you know, I

Brian Smith 14:13
knew it, but I was just so nervous. My wife and I get home and we look at it, we’re like, Did I just take this baby home? What are we going to do with this baby for the next, you know, number of years. And for me, I was raised as a Christian. And I was raised with this guy who was angry, and I was told about Original Sin, I was told about, you know, hell and separation and damnation and all that stuff. And I remember I never liked it, I was pushed back against it and never made any sense to me. But my daughter was born, I looked at her and I said, you know, they told me that God loves me more than I could ever love anybody even more than I love my daughter. And I said, if that’s true, then the guy they told me about is a lie. That guy could not exist because I could never condemn my daughter, you know, not even for a moment, let alone for an eternity. So those those moments You know, that’s something we have in common that, that thing when we have that baby, we bring them home, and we look at them, and we know that love, but also the the awesome, just tremendous fear. Because we know that it’s, it’s out of our control that that child walk around the world, the most important thing to us is the one thing that we have no control over

Srini Chandra 15:21
the health of our loved ones, health of our own cells, is possibly the greatest wealth that we can have. Yeah, and we don’t have any control over it. And I think that’s a very humbling thought.

Brian Smith 15:32
Yeah, absolutely. 100%. So that’s a little bit about who you and I are, will kind of be that as we go through it. So let’s talk about Eastern wisdom, you’ve got a YouTube channel, where you do some basic Eastern wisdom, and I’ve been following it, and I’ve loved it, and I’ve learned a lot about it. So let’s just kind of lay a foundation, let’s take about 10 minutes or so and go through it. Real general outline.

Srini Chandra 15:57
Sure, sounds good. The, you know, I have prepared some notes to sort of kick this off. And the there are, I would say, five major religions today in the world. And a sixth one that is much smaller, possibly people haven’t heard of it. They are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on one side, and then we have Buddhism, Hinduism. And there’s a third one called Jainism in India, people outside of India may or may not have heard of it. But it’s very much a, an Ancient Faith, practice very diligently by a large number of people. When we look at this, and there are several other faiths, I don’t mean to discount any of them. But these are what I would consider the big religions of the world. There are creeds and beliefs in China, which, which aren’t quite religious in nature. So we will leave those aside for the moment. If you look at these six, the pattern here is like, you know, you see two broad highways intelligence. And these are, you know, look at Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, they were born in the Middle East, and the other three were born in India. And so this group of people a few 1000 years back, they started some things. And it’s interesting to see the paths they took. So I look at it as two broad highways in religion, the first highway is God oriented approach. And the people in the Middle East, you know, took that approach. And the most dominant question for them was, there is a God, there is a higher being and what is discard? What is the nature of this God? And how do I reach this God? I mean, those were the questions, it’s not to say that they were not introspective, but they spent a large amount of their time figuring these questions out. And, you know, from from these questions came, you know, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, I look at them as very God centric, fits on the east, and roughly around the same time, we are talking about 500 600 bc and Judaism, you know, some of the parts of the Old Testament are written Judaism is happening in the Middle East, roughly around the same time, you have the philosopher’s in India, the Buddha shows up around 600 bc to give give folks a rough sense of the timeframe and understand you know, this is completely different attitude in India. The attitude is, yes, there must be no there is also this belief in God in the in the land at the moment. But the philosophers, you know, say, Wait, there is something called a god, I can sort of sense it, but I have no definitive proof for such a being. And I’m finding it really hard to discover this being I don’t see any evidence of, you know, that person or thing in this world. And they say, the only thing I know for a fact is that I exist. And, you know, I have this being and I exist, and I, you know, there is something I’m doing, and there is some experience that I’m having, let me explore this experience. So this I call the self oriented approach, the, the sort of the examination of the self. And when you look at Buddhism, the Buddha, or the Jainism, was founded by a sage called Mahavira. People in India familiar with Mahavira. So these two folks, they were introspective philosophers, so they said, Who am I? That is the question they asked, you know, am I the mind, am I the body, and you know, quickly, they started eliminating possibilities. And they came to a certain truth about the nature of the self, that the self does not exist. It’s a big statement to make. And so those are the two religions that, you know, focused on the self oriented approach. And they largely discounted God in the scheme of things. They said, Go on this path, see where it takes you. You will get all the answers. And then on the other side, you had folks saying, you know, just believe in God, you will find all the answers and both of them are right. And then you have Hinduism. It is the granddaddy of them all in at least in India. And the Hindu philosophers said and asked the same questions. I think what is unique about Hinduism is it has theistic traditions. There is a very strong belief in God, like monotheism, like Judaism and Christianity and Islam. There is also a strong streak of inner exploration, leading to what I would what we call monism, or non dualism, there is this formless, indescribable entity being, and that is described as God, there’s a parallel stream of thought. So illusion is unique in the way it sort of marries the ideas of a,

a material in a describable, tangible God, you know, God looks like us, like, you know, God has a face and body and legs. So that’s the one description of God. And there is this other part that says the God is simply an indescribable inner being. And that language is you know, strikingly similar. When you compare some of the descriptions of God and Judaism, in Islam, with some of the language in the ancient Indian literature about this formless God, you can see that they seem to have had similar experiences in this in their in their explorations. So that is, to give a context of how these are set up. If you look specifically at Buddhism, I would think, you know, Buddhism and Hinduism are possibly the most influential streams of thought, today. And so when you look at Buddha like that, it’s nice to understand the context in which Buddha came, the Buddha comes into India at a time when there are two extremely strong and competing forces in play. One is this materialistic lifestyle, believe it or not, we’re talking 600 BC, they are the strong materialist group. And these folks said, you guys are overanalyzing things, there is nothing to it. When we die, the lights go out. And that’s all there is to it. somehow, somewhere life started. And the only goal of life is the pursuit of pleasure. They were hedonists. And so there was this thing. And there are a lot of takers, as you can understand for that moment, at that time, and it was a prosperous country at that time. So there’s all these things sort of playing to play into it. And then on the other side, you have these philosophers in India, who said, the body and the mind are not the ultimate realities, there’s something beyond and to prove that they suggest subjected the body to the extreme and severe, you know, hardships. So you would have these guys going off the mountain sitting in caves, and you know, starving themselves. And so these are the two options and the story of how Buddha got started on this journey. I think everybody knows, he’s born a prince. And now he looks around and he sees suffering. And he says, I need to find out what’s going on. And he leaves his house and he goes, and he does not, you know, like the materialist approach is very clearly because he like so well, he comes from, he said, That’s not it. And I’m gonna go with the Yogi’s, as we call them, the guys were the caves. And so he follows him around and subjects himself with the greatest austerity, there is a description of Buddha where his stomach is so thin that he can see his spine. And then he, you know, says no, this is not it either. You know, this is it does not take him anywhere. Yeah, he chooses this thing called the middle path. Yeah. But he said, it’s can’t be that it can’t be this, it’s got to be something moderate. The interesting thing about Buddhism is a it’s a very serious religion. I, in my opinion, having a possibly the most serious one out of them all. The middle part of Buddha is not quite moderate, it’s quite severe. In the modern context, back then, probably it was the middle of that. So the Buddha looks at everything he says, you know, there are these people who talk about God, then yeah, and then he comes up with this middle path, where he simply describes the world as a interconnected network of realities. Now, there is this there is something called matter and there is something called consciousness and these two things are reacting in a connected and they lead to something called this creation, right? And he said, there is no that is all there is to it, there is nothing more. And so he prescribes, you know, I think the most profound observation of Buddha The reason I say Buddhism is very serious, is it’s the first statement that the Buddha makes, after he comes out of his enlightenment, enlightened state, in the state of meditation. The first lecture that he gives to his not one small group of people who gather around him is everything is suffering, all of suffering. He says, this world fundamentally starts from a place of suffering. It’s a strong statement to make, and you have to buy into that to be a practicing good Buddhist, and then it gets a lot better from there. It seems dark and gloomy, but it’s actually a religion of great

There is a story of the Buddha when he got out of his trance, and he decided to get some water to drink, because thought was parch. So he’s walking through this field and he’s this little boy who’s working in the field who sees the Buddha. And he turned to the Buddha gives him some water. And he says, What are you? Many people in this world are asked Who are you? The Buddha, you know, are the few people who was asked, What are you because he was that this shining, resplendent be now it is pure happiness. So it is a religion of great happiness, it’s got a very positive message that suffering actually can be overcome. That is the teaching of the Buddha. And there are a lot of these techniques that he taught to folks. And but it’s not for the faint of heart, I think, in my opinion, right? Yeah. And then you have Hinduism, the Vedanta, I think the difference between the philosophy of Hinduism and Buddhism is not much the Buddha said, there is no ultimate reality, there is no such thing as itself, become and we go, and we know we understand to live in the cycles of life, growing old, dying, and then being reborn. So, you know, how do we get out of this cycle and he prescribed certain formulas. And he said that that that is that is that is what the one’s goal must be to attain this state of happiness. The Hindus went a little further, they said, something cannot come out of nothing. Clearly, there is a world around me, right? You may describe it as false or illusory, but it’s there. So what is it that is causing that? Right? And they said, the key to that is consciousness. So you know, we can talk more about that. But they said that is the ultimate reality. Yeah, there is the god, this there is this being and we call it God today, they call it Brahman, in back in the day in Sanskrit. And this being is the nature of this being as consciousness, and consciousness is something that activates this world.

Brian Smith 26:56
I want to ask you a couple of questions. As you’re going through that one is the Buddha, the Buddha was Hindu, right? Was it so Hindu as a predict? So I kind of think of Buddha almost as like Jesus coming into Judaism. And I don’t think he meant to create a religion. He just said, this is the way I see things. And then there was a branch that so that somebody made sure understood that history. The other thing is you can I comment on that? For sure. So yeah,

Srini Chandra 27:21
yeah. So the it’s an excellent observation that he made, the Buddha was born Hindu. And he was born a prince, you know, he, you know, he was well off when he was born Royal Prince. So then he comes out, and is an entire Legoland of his, you know, from, like exploratory years or the suffering, he understands. Buddha spoken extensively about the nature of suffering. And so he’s How do I get rid of this for myself, you know, if I can do this for myself, maybe I can help others. So Buddha comes in directly challenges Hinduism. Now, Hinduism, at least at that point is a ritualistic religion, they’ve got this idea of Atman, or this eternal self, and they have Brahman, and like the godhood, and, you know, there’s these other gods that they worshipped. And none of that is true, he rejected all of them. And to their credit, the people of the day, you know, the culturally It was such that the people when they saw good ideas, at that time, they simply took them up, they saw the, you know, they saw the idea was superior. The it was the it was the Nate the culture at that time, to simply take the better idea. And all the older faiths would simply not re configure themselves to be compatible with it. Yeah, and that is a beautiful thing. Because the the contrast between Buddha, Jesus Christ, as you know, you know, it’s kind of there is some there’s something there that Jesus Christ did the same thing. He came in directly challenge Judaism, and he was crucified for his troubles. So I think there’s a lesson for us in the modern world, that I’m not necessarily implying anything negative about Judaism. But it was the culture of the day and there is a lesson there, then that you know, when good ideas come along, it works out well for us to consider them and actually adapt ourselves. Right.

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Srini Chandra 30:07
You don’t and if it’s a bad idea, we have nothing to worry about because bad ideas we’ve seen in history just go away. good ideas will never die, right? Yeah. No, it’s I think something that we can take comfort from.

Brian Smith 30:18
I love that. I love that observation. The other question I went ahead for you about Hinduism, I studied it a little bit. And so Brahman is, should we consider Brahman being or Ivonne Brahman is almost just a potential or what things come out of, but do the Hindus view him as being? No. Okay,

Srini Chandra 30:40
that’s what I’m on is not even a concept. So the, the the literature says Brahman is something that cannot be described, right? Like, if it’s a if there is something that can be described by language, by definition, it can be objectified. I call a flower, a flower, because there is something an object, I’m a subject, I’m an observer, I can see something. And so Brahman does not fall into any of those categories. The number does not have a name, or a form. The easiest way to I guess understand Brahman is like, you know, we have this concept of fields. Yes. Right? Like you said, right? So in quantum mechanics, you have this field, and you know, something comes out of this field, a particle like an electron, right? So Brahman has this field, and the attributes of the human are no attributes, as if you take everything in the world, and put it all in one place. You know, the good is going to mix with the bad and there’s going to be, what do you call something that is perfectly good and perfectly bad? And you know, you meld them, there’s nothing, they just negate each other, right? So the all the opposites when they come together, there is nothing in some sense, like in terms of attributes, but there is something that one thing so the Hindus call it there is one thing, it’s a substratum. It is a ground on which reality exists. Yes. So Brahman is a thing or a field of possibilities. You know, they liken it to an ocean, where there are waves on the ocean, right? So the the nature of this phenomenon are three, three attributes. One is existence. So Brahma does not exist. brainless existence itself. Yes. You know, Brahman is not conscious. Burman is consciousness itself. So maybe we can look at it as a field with some properties. Yeah. And even that does the whole thing. This is to be honest,

Brian Smith 32:30
I think it’s such a brilliant observation that we think about how ancient that is. And there’s a Christian theologian Paul Tillich called God the ground of all being. And you know, and even science is kind of get we’re kind of getting ahead. I’m gonna jump ahead a little bit right here and talk about science. But science is starting to understand that there was this potential mean, one time, we were told there was a singularity that everything came out of, which makes no sense because we’re the singularity came from come from, but there’s this potential. And so as I was, as I was looking at that, and I watched this beginning thing on Hinduism, like these guys knew this a long time ago, a very, very long time ago,

Srini Chandra 33:07
it’s mind blowing, you’re talking several 1000s of years old in ideas here. And some of these ideas 10,000 years old, because some of the Hindu scriptures are, you know, they’re passed on verbally, or written records are about three 4000 years old. And they were passed on for, you know, several 1000 years, by word of mouth. And these were like cow herds, or, you know, they were like, wandering around in the mountains of in Central Asia. And they found their way into India. And, and it’s mind blowing, to see that such an idea came about.

Brian Smith 33:41
Yeah, and the other thing, and I want to make sure that I’ve got this correct, because I guess I don’t know a lot about this. So it’s good to ask you, because my understanding is Brahman, this this potential, this field, whatever, that’s also Atman. That’s, that’s, that’s all inside of all of us. So this idea that we and God are one and are the same, as again, that’s a new concept for me, but it’s something that Hindus have known for forever.

Srini Chandra 34:05
Yes. So yes, so the this comes from school of philosophy in Hinduism called Vedanta. And that is what my youtube channel is about. And I feel like there are some very exhilarating truths there. I don’t know what it’s going to do for people practically I don’t think it’s going to make somebody a better physicist or an engineer or marketing or whatever person but there is some very, you know, entirely goodness that comes out of sort of seeing the world a certain way. And that’s what Vedanta does and what the central teaching of Vedanta is that our true self is divine. Yeah. The self is the word used is Atman. And divine part is Brahman. Atman equals Brahman is the equation in Vedanta. And why is it so it’s a there’s a long explanation for it. We can if we have time, we can get into it. But the It essentially arises from saying that, as beings, we experience this world only in our consciousness. That is the only reality that we have, that we know of, which is to say, none of us have actually stepped into the world, and verified. In it, when I see a flower, the flower doesn’t physically enter my eye, or there is no physical, there is no merger of physical entities here, I see something, and it creates an experience in my brain. We think it’s the brain. And then it’s in our consciousness. And so what is it that creates this experience is the question they asked. And they said, it’s consciousness. And the way they categorized it in terms of the hierarchy, they said, consciousness is the root, everything else is an experience, even your brain, the your, your perception that you have a brain is an experience. So you know, so it’s a very deep philosophy. So they sit at the root of it is the consciousness that in yours in a personal whatever is causing your personal subjective experience that is optimal. And where does consciousness come from? It comes from this Brahman, which is the source of all consciousness. And the beauty of the punchline is, it’s all the same. Yeah, you and me and like nothing else, like, you know, it’s all being animated by the same, you know, force or energy or whatever the word that you want to call it. Yeah, there’s

Brian Smith 36:21
a guy. And I think, you know, Bernardo Castro, who, who is a philosopher and a computer sciences, brilliant, brilliant man. I mean, this guy’s got PhDs in computer science and philosophy. But so he’s got this idea of idealism. And so I was reading his books and studied that and interviewed him. I’m like, this is Hinduism. I mean, this is this is the and so the way he describes it is, and he has several metaphors, but one is like, we’re like ripples, you know, in the stream. And so when the stream for a whirlpool, when a stream forms a whirlpool, that’s kind of how we are, but we’re still part of the stream, we can’t be separated from it. We just have this self reflective thing where we feel like we’re separate. And I was. So you were saying, I don’t know how this really impact people. Practically, I was talking with someone yesterday. This is why I look at people now. And it’s person was saying, I feel separated from God. They’ve had a tragedy in their life. And so I feel separate, I felt I felt disconnected. And I said, you feel disconnected? I understand that. That’s the feeling is, is your real feelings are always real. But you’re not because you can’t be because I look at I look at you and I look at her. And I see God, I see. And I’m like, and it’s a blasphemous thing in Christianity to say that I’m God. Yes. But in Hinduism, it’s, it’s just reality, it is reality.

Srini Chandra 37:35
So Hinduism, yes, it is not at all blasphemous to say that I am God in Hinduism. And it is, it is not considered to be an inferior way of thinking to say that there is a God that is separate from me either. We are fine with everything. And there is there is this notion. So we are sort of getting into this nature of truth. If you want to talk about Yeah, there is there is this notion of truth in eastern wisdom, I would attribute it all of the Eastern religions. And I think we find that in the in the in the Middle Eastern religions, too. But they are suppressed. That’s all. I think they have been said, they have all been said, by all people. Yes. It just said what we, you know, gave play to over the years. The notion of truth is that we progress from one through to another. And they’re all true, even if they conflict with one another. It’s a it’s a, it’s sort of what Einstein said. Einstein said, you know, genius is the ability to hold two conflicting beliefs in one’s mind at the same time, right? Yeah. So it’s very hard for us to wrap our minds around it, but that that’s what they said. They said, there is this truth. You believe in it today. And tomorrow, you will discover another truth. And that truth will conflict with this and both are true. But the moment you see a higher truth, the lower truth sort of dies. Yeah, but it’s still true for others.

Brian Smith 38:58
Yeah. The kind of nested within each other. Yeah, right. Right.

Srini Chandra 39:01
So the the den the den, the journey becomes like the pursuit of the highest truth. And the highest truth is that of the Brahman according to the Hindu philosophy. So then we have this lower truths, right of karma, for example, isn’t a good example. So we have all these truths that we do in order to transact and engage with the world. You call them morals? Yeah. Right. And they are in the context of space and time and I’m in California, there’s a certain truth in this and I’m in Ohio, maybe there’s a different truth and India, in Africa, everybody, you know, there’s a context to truth. And they’re all true. That is the thing. So they describe them as sort of like steps on the ladder. Yeah, you climb up the ladder. Who’s gonna know who’s gonna say that the lowest of the ladder is less important than the highest? There is no such thing. Right? You cannot get to the next step without the one before it. Yeah. So would anybody want to have a ladder with just the top step? No. Right? Right. all equal. So there’s I think the attitude of looking at one as inferior. Superior is, you know, it’s not doesn’t work, because they’re all needed, right for us to get some.

Brian Smith 40:11
Yeah, and you know, and it’s true. So let’s just step back a little bit, because we got really deep in the eastern stuff, because I love it. But let’s, we’re going to cover Judaism and Christianity and Islam just real quickly. So my background is Christianity. And the thing about all of these faiths, probably even Hinduism, Buddhism, they’re different branches. So we’re doing real high general overview. So if somebody says, Well, that’s not the way I was taught that, that’s fine, because they’re, there are several 1000, literally Christian denominations, but from, you know, from a high level point of view, you know, we have Judaism that Abraham Abrahamic faiths, right, they all came from the same thing. They’re, they’re all based on the Jewish when the Jewish people became a people, and Abraham, and then the, what we call the Old Testament Christians, which is offensive, it’s Hebrew Scriptures, the Hebrew Scriptures that are part of the procard, BB Bible, then we get the New Testament, and then you’ve got Islam that came and built even on that. And they’re all based on this idea that they looked at the people around them, and they said, we’re not going to be like them. These people are pagans, they have multiple guides, we’re going to worship the one God and therefore there are no other gods, you know, don’t have any other gods before me. This guide we see develop from a angry tribal war, like God, and in Hebrew Scriptures, to Jesus comes along and gives us another version of God. And Mohammed comes along and gives us even a little bit maybe more enlightened version of guidance. I know, that hurts some people’s Western ears, to think that Islam might be more developed in Christianity, but it did come later. And people are evolving. And there are some beautiful, beautiful aspects of Islam, which we can maybe talk about a little bit. But as you said, at the beginning, you know, our, our faiths are more like focused on God and, and the tribe, you know, how do I fit into the tribe, not so much reflective of internally. And as a young boy, when I was taught about the Eastern religions, I was taught, and we’re all taught, you know, stereotypes about other religions, because they’re trying to indoctrinated against. So Buddhism is all navel gazing. It’s all about yourself. It’s all about, it’s a very selfish religion, it’s not about giving back to the world. It’s about improving yourself and trying to escape, you know, the world. So that’s, that’s kind of the thing that we were given, because we’re taught everybody around us more important you are, I mean, this is I taught in Sunday school, there was an acronym, they told us, Jesus others and you, you serve Jesus first, then you serve others, and then maybe if there’s anything left over, you take care of yourself. So that’s just my real quick overview. So what are your thoughts on on the three phase?

Srini Chandra 42:44
I, the way I see this, there are pros and cons. So when you take the guard centric approach, which is what Christianity and Judaism and Islam do, personally speaking, the biggest challenge I have, and I think most people have is, we find it very hard to believe. It’s not easy to believe in God. We like to think we believe in God, you know, we pray, we chant, you know, but there is this question in the back of my mind, is that, you know, is this really true, right, and we just can’t seem to get rid of, you know, most of us might spend our entire lifetime not being able to get rid of that doubt, it is not a lack of desire, it is it is there. It is, sometimes due to the nature of our being. But there are some people who are very naturally inclined to do that. And they do that effortlessly. They do I’ve seen people, you know, my parents are a good example of that my wife is a good example. They effortlessly believe in God and gives them great peace. And you know, for some of us don’t have that capacity.

The beauty of the god approaches is very simple. You don’t need to, you know, learn complicated stuff, you don’t need philosophy. It’s pure intent, believe in God, and it will take you to a state of peace. I think that that’s the beauty of the approach. The the self oriented approaches, it looks easier, but it’s not, you know, it’s equally hard, because it requires a lot of discipline, you have to learn, you have to have a teachers, you know, they have to teach you stuff, you have to respect the teachers. And then you have to learn what they have told you and you have to practice them. It’s a it’s a long process. It’s challenging, but the beauty of that approach is you don’t have to believe in anything when you start, right. So I think the I would say integrify if I compare the world religions it is they are all there depending on what kind of person we are

at the fee and sort of understand, okay, this works for me or that doesn’t work for me, it comes a little easier for us. You know, we don’t have to necessarily all believe in God to start with, right and find those who believe in God or not crazy people. You know, so that I think that the understanding of that when that comes in, then it becomes about what works for me. So I think that that’s the way I see it, I think there are these paths. And yeah, and then you might jump from one to the other. Because as you become a little more capable of doing certain things, I find myself, you know, practicing creep a lot these days. It’s just somehow I seem to have acquired some muscle and capacity to, to understand this being called God, and it gives me great happiness. I mean, there’s no name or you know, anything attached to this thing. But this idea of divinity gives me great happiness. Yeah, I

Brian Smith 45:34
think that’s, yeah, that’s great. I think it’s a really good overview. And I think you’re right, there’s, there’s beauty in both, and they can both be true. You know, there’s, there’s so many paradoxes in our world, in our in our universe. And we’re very much again, Western philosophy, science has kind of taught us this. It’s either or, you know, one is right, the other is wrong. But you know, it’s interesting, because we’ve discovered, like, the nature of light, for example, is light a particle or a wave? Yes. You know, it’s both, and it depends on how you look at it. Right? So that’s, that’s a concrete example of something in our world, and we would we, so when we say, well, it’s got to be there is a guide, or there’s not a guide, you know, it’s one or the other. Well, now, it kind of depends on how you look at it. And I was talking with the client yesterday, and she said, one of the things I want you to help me do is figure out like, who my god is now, and I’m like, That Could take the rest of our lives because I don’t know, you know, when people say to me, do you believe in God, I’m like, especially with atheists. I’m like, Well, yes. And no, which guy? Do you know which god are you talking about? I’m talking about the big white guy on the throne that judges us and controls the world like a puppet master. I’m like, now, I don’t I don’t believe in that guy. But do I believe in divinity? Do I believe in consciousness? Do I believe in Brahman? Yeah, absolutely. 100%? I mean, how could you not? How could you be here? If you don’t?

Srini Chandra 46:53
Yes. But it’s a journey. I, you know, that not there are not a lot of takers. Either. There are a lot of takers for a guard, who, which is a tangible, God. You know, as somebody who created this world, and with some purpose and intent and things like that. The, the way I sort of understood it is, you know, I’ve, I’ve seen questions on Reddit, or like, even on my YouTube channel, like, you know, how do I become a Hindu? And usually, it’s obviously not a Hindu who’s asking this question. So it’s a Christian or somebody else, right? My belief on that, and I don’t, I haven’t expressed it publicly. My belief on that is, you don’t have to, you know, you’re born in a certain faith, like, now you’re a Christian, or Muslim, or Hindu or whatever. And you actually have the advantage of having sort of grown in a certain culture, double down on it, it’s gonna be a very sincere Christian, meaning like, you don’t have to listen to what other Christians are telling you, you figure it out for yourself. If you double down on it, and you become a very good Christian, it will take you to wherever it will take, it’ll either take you to the Buddha, it might leave you with Jesus, it might even take you to the Bahamas, whatever it is, let the journey you know, be, but you know, you have to have a starting point. And practically speaking, the best starting point may be the one we’re most familiar with. And all these truths are valid, so there is no need to know. And if once we evolved, and we see something that is better, you can marry all these together. So right, yeah,

Brian Smith 48:29
well, you know, it’s interesting, as you say that because there was a time I thought about converting to Judaism, because I again, I was raised in the church. And I’m like, this makes more sense to me. So I was thinking about converting the thing about what you just said, is like, what a rabbi will tell you, if you go to him and say you want to convert, they’ll say don’t, they will talk you out of it, they’ll say do not convert to Judaism, you don’t need to the thing about one of the things about the Christian faith, again, the particular sect that I was brought up in is we had to bring people in because you had to be a Christian to be saved. But with a faith like Hinduism, or Judaism, where you don’t have that, that requirement, you’re like, just stay on the path you’re on. And for myself, I didn’t intentionally ever leave Christianity, but I just kept getting so far away from what I was taught that I don’t use that label anymore. And one of the earliest things for me just just kind of came to me just I don’t know, kind of intuitively I guess, was when I die and go to heaven. I don’t think I’m gonna see God. And we have this image of there’s gonna be a guy on the throne. I’m like, I don’t think there is a guy on the throne. I don’t think that I don’t it just to me. So when I heard about the idea of a Brahman, it was like, that makes more sense to me. I don’t I don’t think there’s a being to be seen. There’s no ultimate being there’s not a throne room where God sets that just, yeah, yeah,

Srini Chandra 49:45
I agree. I felt to me ramen makes complete sets. Personally, right? When I see somebody worshiping Jesus Christ or Krishna or Allah. I The way I see it is in all of them. Need some sort of a ritual, or a supplement, or some mechanism to sort of assure us that we are on the path? And if we add the moment, we feel like we don’t need it, and we are still somehow able to maintain a certain way of life, then we are good. Until then, you know, I think these are not necessarily, you know, bad things like, these are low, lower truth, higher truth, whatever you want to call them. There’s different types of truth. And it’s not. It’s one of the steps the ladder. And yeah, so, you know, I agree with you that there are all these ideas of God. And, you know, I think we, the practical advice would be pick the one that appeals the most to you. Yeah. And just be very sincere about it. It’s very hard to be sincere. I mean, I’m speaking from personal experience, I can talk a number of things, push comes to shove, how does it show up in my life? That is the that is the thing, belief has to convert into practice. And that is, if we focus on that part of the practice part. Even if it’s a it’s a lower belief or a wrong belief, or whatever it is, it will lead to good. Take us to a good place. Yeah, that is the discipline will force us in the right direction. I think we had to trust that process. And if we trust the process, I think we will be okay. That’s that’s sort of what I, in my opinion.

Brian Smith 51:22
Yeah. No, I think I, you know, I agree with you. And I don’t and it’s interesting, as I you know, as we talked earlier about how our lives we have these formative things that come in our lives, and then we and then we see a higher truth or different truth, it’s a and you know, it could blow our minds or I was I remember very vividly I was I was young earth, Christian, I believe that the Earth was five or 6000 years old, and I’m a scientist but, and I ran into these guys, Ken Ham. And I can’t read the other guy’s name. But the young Earth Guide to the Creation Museum, it’s not too far from here in Kentucky. And they were explaining how the earth is only 6000 years old. So I bought into the whole thing. And I’m out there preaching this whole thing. And then one day, I read a book that explained how the book of Genesis was really talking, but more like epochs or ages, not days, and how the earth was formed. And I remember looking up from that book, and the world just looked different. To me, everything was just like different. And God just became so much bigger, because I’m like, God didn’t create the earth in six days. That’s a magic trick. God created the earth and billions of years. That’s patience. That’s, that shows how large you know how big God is now, how patient and timeless so the earth became actually even more magical to me, when I when I embrace that truth, but I can still read the book of Genesis and say, from a mythological level, there’s a lot of wisdom in the book of Genesis, when we can start to learn to read it that way. I agree.

Srini Chandra 52:43
And and conversely, I would I would take issue with a piece, when I look at militant atheists like Richard Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens, I used to, you know, be a very avid consumer of what they, I was very interested, because these guys are, you know, smart people. And I felt like they cannot be ignored. And I think the biggest I find the biggest issue I had with, I actually was a practicing atheist for some time, I tried that too. The, the issue I had with the whole theory of atheism, and coming out of the scientific context is, it takes a very small data point, which is life on Earth, life on Earth, a claim about accidentally, it’s the basis of evolutionary biology. And then it led one thing led to another, and based on that it negates everything else, right, like such, such as the existence of God. You know, I might sound like I’m speaking like a, you know, revisionist Christian here, like, you know, defending the Christians here, but I’m not. But I think that there is something to be said for, you know, a model in which something can happen locally in a certain way, which is all part of a grander, you know, creation. Right. So it doesn’t, in my mind, it doesn’t necessarily disprove God. Yeah. And, in fact, into this hierarchy of beliefs. I think that is literally the first step. I think, with some sense, maybe perhaps the lowest truth in some sense, which is a lack of belief in God. It is, it’s sort of natural to sort of be there. But I think the moment you get into this is I see I’ve seen this in Hindu scriptures. It says, a man who worships a rock under a tree has moved one tiny step ahead of the man who doesn’t believe in anything at all. Hmm, I think there’s some profundity there. And it’s something to think about.

Brian Smith 54:36
I think, I think there is but you know, what’s interesting, and we’re going to talk about science and materialism and a little while but throughout man’s history, we’ve always had a belief in the divine. It’s the idea of materialism. materialism, the idea of atheism, materialistic atheism, is a new idea. I mean, it’s come about in the last couple 100 years, and I look at it as kind of like the fall of man. We became so proud We became so enamored with ourselves and what we could discover that we said, we don’t, we don’t need God anymore. We can figure this all out on our own. And it’s in it. And I think that was one of the things that led to our fall. The scientific process itself is beautiful. And as you said, I mean, you’re an engineer, and we’ve created amazing things with science, we’ve made our lives so much better with science. But that whole thing started because people believe that there was a God who created an orderly universe, that we could discover God through studying his creation. That’s where science actually came from. Right?

Srini Chandra 55:33
Yes, yes. So yes. The way I look at science, you know, it’s a pretty modern construct, at least in its current form, right? The whole idea of what a science do science studies the world, the goal of science is study the world in a very objective fashion, impersonal, objective fashion, they are in the business of collecting facts. And you know, they conduct a number of experiments. And if they see a pattern, as the experiment gives the same result again, and again, and again, it becomes a fact. And that is in the context of the timeframes that we have, we live for 70 years, or 100 years, or whatever it is that we live as human beings. In this timeframe, we see something repeated again and again, it becomes a fact. Something could be a fact and repeat once in every 1000 years, it is not around to see, it’s a possibility. Right. Right. Right. So But anyway, science defines itself in a certain way. And it is, I think, designed to be very practical, and convenient for us. But it isn’t the the business of studying impersonal, objective reality. Right? And it is also largely being in the business of studying the world, not ourselves. Right? Right. We make observations of the world. And then that is the nature of science. And it’s a beautiful thing, because it is life made life so much convenient for us. But I described sciences, promissory materialism. science does not give us all the answers today, how did this whole thing start? Science will say, give me another 100 years? And I’ll tell you,

Brian Smith 57:02
yeah, exactly right.

Srini Chandra 57:03
Why is why am I conscious? Give me another, you know, 50 years, and I’ll tell you, so this is like promissory materialism. And on the other hand, you have promissory spiritualism, which is the diligence. They say, if you do all these things, you will reach God will go to heaven. And it’s always, you know, everybody is talking about something in the future. It’s not, it’s never now, it’s like you have to do all these things, be patient, and then you will get somewhere. So, those are these are the two approaches. And there there has got to be a third approach that says, I should be able to figure this out, or like do something that gives me some benefit right now.

Brian Smith 57:42

Srini Chandra 57:42
I do not have to die to reach heaven, or I do not have to die to be enlightened. I should be able to, you know, avoid suffering, like right now. And that is where I think we find the fates like Buddhism and Vedanta Hinduism, come in. What they say is, yeah, you can do that. You know, you don’t have to wait for anything.

Brian Smith 58:02
Yeah, my biggest problem with science again, I’m a scientist, you’re a scientist. I’m a chemical engineer. So I don’t ever put down science I put down scientism, you know, our materialism. And my biggest you know, you talked about this idea of creation and we’re an accident. That’s that’s one big problem. The biggest problem I have is they don’t even know who they are. You know, this guy. Daniel Dennett says that consciousness is an illusion. And it’s like consciousness is the only thing that’s real. The only thing that we absolutely know for sure is that we’re conscious. You and I don’t even know if we’re really sitting in these chairs. We feel like we’re but we don’t we don’t know that. I just know I’m having the experience of sitting in the chair. That’s the only thing I know. And these guys tie themselves up so much in knots, that they since they can’t explain consciousness, they can’t talk. They can’t say what it is. I can’t say where it came from, because it makes no sense. That as the universe just became more and more complex, that consciously magic magically appeared. So they say it doesn’t exist. That’s got to be the stupidest thing anybody’s ever uttered. Alright, so that’s the end of part one. I hope you enjoyed it. Go ahead and watch part two whenever you feel ready to do that. And again, break it up into as many parts as you want to, and thanks for listening.

Transcribed by

This is a great episode to kick off the new year, recorded the last week of December 2020, we talk a bit about where Susanne sees things headed in our future. I’ve known Susanne for almost five years. Through a series of synchronicities, Susanne was one of the first medium readings I ever had and man did she set the bar high.

Susanne is a natural medium. It runs in her family and she has been seeing and hearing from Spirit since she was a little girl. She was highly successful in the corporate world before deciding to take up mediumship and spiritual teaching as a full-time profession. Today, Susanne is in demand around the world for her spiritual insights, her teaching, her meditations, etc. Her book Soul Smart- What The Dead Teach Us About Spirit Communication is the book I recommend when people ask me “What is the best book I can read on spirit communication”.

For more about Susanne’s offerings, visit her website:






Brian Smith 0:00

Hey, everybody, this is Brian Smith back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me my friend Suzanne Wilson. I’ve known Suzanne for about five years now. Suzanne, in case you don’t know, she’s an evidence based medium. She’s a spiritual teacher. She’s a writer. She teaches classes, she does events, she’s written books, she has guided meditations. She does group and individual sessions. And we’ll get into all the different ways that Suzanne offers or services to connect with spirit. But I met Suzanne about as I said about five years ago after my daughter passed away, and a mutual friend connected us and Suzanne did a reading for me, which I still go back and listen to every once in a while. It was just it was amazing. I felt like it was weird. I felt like I was I know I’d known you forever because we were just having this conversation on the phone. So that is want to say welcome to Suzanne Wilson.

Susanne Wilson 1:36
Thank you. Thanks for having me, Brian. I’m so proud of you and the work that you do. Well, thanks. I appreciate that. Well, you You’re a big part of setting me on the path. And I remember in that reading, you kind of told me that this was kind of it was coming up in front of me. And that was that was six months after Shayna passed. And so I had no idea it was coming. Well, it definitely wasn’t me telling you, you know who was telling you, but it’s an honor to be of service and to be that messenger? Yeah, absolutely. So um, I always assume that people know like Suzanne Wilson, cuz you’re like world famous. But I want to tell people your story and who you are and how you got to be where you are. So how did your gifts develop her the first start to manifest themselves.

In childhood, I was that weird, outcast kid that nobody wanted to pick for teams. Nobody wanted to eat lunch with and it was because our basically I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about seeing colors and lights around people. And that’s that’s a struggle there to think you know, kids all just want to fit in, right? Yeah, yeah, we’re kids. We just want to be normal. So how did that? Ya know, you had a nickname when you were a little kid too. Right. Crazy, Susie? Yeah.

You have done your homework? Well, I’ve known you for a long time. We’ve talked several times. So yeah, but you know, I know that feeling of just feeling different and kind of feeling out of place. So how did that How did that go for you and your tribe? How did that progress? Well, first off, I think a lot of your viewers and listeners can relate to feeling out of place, or feeling like they don’t belong. And it affects us in different ways. For me, it forced an inward journey at a very, very young age. And I’m talking about even in I was in headstart, which is a program that I think they still have for low income children to get a headstart in to get a meal and to have some learning and development before even going to kindergarten. And I can remember, I was so overwhelmed by all the lights around all of the other kids that they had this, this big rocking horse thing where one kid could sit on one side and one could sit on the other in this in the toy room. And before headstart would would begin, they, the teacher would come in, put it up on its side and lean it up against the corner in the wall. And then class would start all I wanted, I was there for the treats. I was just I didn’t care about the class. And I didn’t care about playing with the kids because I was just watching the lights. But one day, it was so overwhelming. I hid behind the rocking horse toy. And I hit the whole it was the whole session until treat time I came out and that that that bought me a phone call home from your principal. And so it was pretty much

it was it was like a roller coaster. After that of me pretending to be six I didn’t have to go to school. And then in first grade, second grade, getting beat up on the playground, I always had skin knees because I was you know, I was just a kid and overwhelmed and I would say like look, there’s there’s somebody standing behind you and I think this is your grandma And of course the other child would look. And if you know, they weren’t tuned into it, they think I was messing with them. I don’t blame them for calling me crazy Susie, do you?

Brian Smith 5:11
Yeah, you know what little kids are just there. They’re gonna do that. But you know, I think it’s interesting. A lot of people come in somewhat tuned in, I think I think that kind of goes away, usually by the time we go to school, but for you that stayed on and you could you can see the spirits. So did you talk to adults about it? Didn’t Adults React?

Susanne Wilson 5:29
Well, you’re right, in the first four or five years, especially kids, if it’s encouraged, they can tune into loved ones around them or angels, you know, imaginary friends. And for me, it wasn’t going away. It was getting stronger, and more clear. To where I did talk to adults. I told my mom, I’d say mom, that man is purple. Mom, that lady is is green, or whatever. And I didn’t know what any of this meant. But at some point, she called in her dad, my granddad, who was a Presbyterian preacher. And as it turns out a closeted medium. And so when he asked me why I was faking sick, to not go to school, I said, because, you know, I see these things. But he didn’t know to what extent I saw them. So I told him, and he said, it’s, you know, it’s a problem at school. And to my utter shock, and relief, he said to me, I see them too. So that started several years of like, a mentorship with him where I would go in to spend the night at the man’s and that’s what they call the house that the preacher is given by the church from Friday night, till Sunday night. And my granddad and I would stay up late and talk about, you know, why does God give certain gifts to certain people. And it wasn’t limit that these discussions were not limited to me. They were they were about everybody’s gifts. So I got to see a context of not only was this weird, but this was normal. And I wasn’t super special at more than any other person. And so it really normalized what I was going through at that point in time.

Brian Smith 7:22
So you were seeing what we will call ours, right? You were seeing colors around people. And you were seeing people that were in spirit. Is that correct?

Susanne Wilson 7:30
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I got to the point where I can remember, I would know that if the color was I would call it breaking apart, or dirty, or stormy. And so if the colors look like that, I knew something was wrong with the person. And the colors were bright, and big. I felt drawn to that person. And furthermore, I could tell in a school who was going to come after me to pick on crazy Susie, because their aura would change, it would change, it would just it would shift, I could feel their energy start to come towards me in a very dark and stormy way. But by the same token to this day, Brian, if I request prayer or distance healing from somebody, I see it coming to me no matter where they are in the world, if friends in Australia that have prayed for me, and I will know when they’re doing it because they see pink lights coming. So this was my world. Wow. Okay.

Brian Smith 8:34
So your grandfather was your was your mentor, and he kind of told you your gift was was okay. And it was acceptable? And I guess at that point, did you embrace it when you’re a child or when you?

Susanne Wilson 8:45
You know, another thing that he taught me was, when to keep my mouth shut? Which was really helpful. And it’s not like he could say to the congregation, you know, I see all of this too.

You know, there there are there are certain norms in that day and age where, you know, we didn’t have TV shows like the psychic kids, or anything like that. So he taught me to be discerning about sharing, but also would answer any question that I had, in a contemplate of way, where I knew and I could see lights over his head when when he did that I could see lights over his head and around him when he preached. I knew that he was getting his information not only from his own ego, but something bigger than all of us, even though I didn’t know exactly what that was. But no, I tried to hide it for a long, long time.

Brian Smith 9:44
Yeah, so at some point, you You came out as a as because you’re a professional medium now. So how did that progression go?

Susanne Wilson 9:53
I was always going to seminars and trainings in my 20s He’s 30 days and in my 40s, but it was a secret. And I would do readings set up by a friend. And I said, you know, I’ve got to swear you to secrecy, because this is not what I do. I actually had a great career that had absolutely nothing to do with spirituality. First off, my bachelor’s is in management. My master’s degree is in public affairs policy. It’s an MPa. And I worked in academia, I was an Administrative Director for Center for Leadership and innovation for university. I’ve also worked in the School of Medicine. As as an administrative manager, I ended up leaving academia for the so called Big Bucks in the corporate world, in in worked in Human Resources Development. But I know he’s never happy, there was this big black hole I was always trying to fill it filled it with shopping with cars, toys, like, for the waterway, because we lived in Florida at the time. And it really took a wake up call to say, look, there’s a reason why you’re not happy. There’s a reason why you keep looking for something. Well, I was even in a Ph. D. program, and working about 5560 hours a week for a $5 billion company. And it’s like, none of this is making me happy. And I you know what, one of my favorite quotes is john lennon saying, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. So in 2007, which is only 14 years ago, now. I had a near death experience. And I felt so much love and compassion that is so it’s like, it’s one of these things where this is who I am Yes, this is what I’ve been looking for, wow. In just a minute of going out of my body, I had anaphylaxis an injection was put into me, I came right back into the body. But that minute was a minute of reconnection. That minute was a minute of knowing that this world we’re living in is the dream. And the other side of life is the reality. And all I wanted to do was love. So just imagine the corporate HR person is coming to you. You’re an executive vice president for big company. You know, it’s kind of like, The Devil Wears Prada. And I’ve seen that movie, but bam, bam, bam, get out of my face, you know. And I walk into your office. And I say, I’m here to talk about, you know, your budget for next year. Oh, how’s your mom? I heard it, give me a hug. How are you? You know, you don’t touch it. I’m not for HR. And I know you don’t, you know, you gotta be buttoned up and corporate. And I couldn’t play the game anymore. I knew that they were gonna kill me. I just knew it. It just sent me an exit plan. And, and did it. And as soon as I did that, all the teachers they went to before and said, Don’t tell anybody you’re tutoring me. I’m like, I’m out. I’m out in closet?

Brian Smith 13:26
No, I think it’s really interesting. Suzanne, as an attorney, tell your story. You know, this, this veil that we live in this this illusion that we live in, if we went for lack of a better word, I think sometimes we think well, if I could just see like what Suzanne saw, then I would then I would understand, you know, this is really, you know, an illusion or I would live differently. But we are this is so powerful. The way people force us to conform, that someone that saw spirit even from such an early age, at some point, it seems like we always we put that away, and we kind of shove it under underneath until something wakes us up.

Susanne Wilson 14:00
Yeah, I carried shame. I would, I would I would be I was a denier. Not an apologist of my abilities for many, many years prior to my wake up call, where there is no way I would admit the abilities that I had, there was no possible way because I wouldn’t have the great career, you know, the credibility to be would be lost. And what I’ve also realized is, we’re not all meant to have a near death experience to have a wake up call. But we do get Wake Up Calls when our hearts open, and we are ready to make a change. We don’t know what that change is, but we know that this isn’t working. Something will happen. I have a friend who was in a very bad car accident where their car rolled and she walked away without a scratch. And it that was her wake up call. I know someone else who lost A child, which you know, you and I both know a lot of people who are in that club that nobody was going. And that was a wake up call about how to live their lives. So I think the thing is, we’re here building our trust. We’re here on Earth, in this three dimensional world, building our trust, trust that God is within us. Trust that no matter what happens, we’re blessed. And trust that everything is going to be okay. And how you get to your trust is a function of your free Well, it’s going to be the choices that you make every day. But, you know, yes, it’s about love and compassion. Yes, it’s about identifying your gifts, and leverage leveraging your gifts for the world. But it’s also your building trust. Do you know what the number one wish on the wish list is? For all my students in any of my classes ever? know what it is? I want to trust what I’m receiving. Yeah,

I want to trust that’s the number one wish. And how do you do that?

You take risks, you take chances, you work with your abilities, you keep you keep a journal, you track how you’re receiving information, the signs, symbols, synchronicities, Dream visits. And you start to you have to build your own trust your own life, you can have everything ripped away from you in an instant. But if you trust something is being put in place for you. If you trust, it’s like a circular, I’ll trust that if I trust, I can trust that, I come back to that word constantly. And it may sound silly, but but it works. And I can breathe trust, I breathe trust in, I breathe it in I like I’m seeing it coming in through my heart. And, you know, that’s sustenance. That’s the activation of the divine source within you. So, you know, with anybody watching or listening, you don’t have to have the near death experience. To build your trust, you just have to get up every day, put one foot in front of the other, and honor that day. Thank you, I have another day, use me of your instrument, I’m honored to be of service to find source. And I trust that no matter what I am blessed. That’s it every day, it’s a simple practice, you’ll get there.

Brian Smith 17:35
Yeah, that I think what you said was so profound. And and it’s interesting that this has been a long journey for me to get to that point of trust, and that it is a practice, and I’m starting to get there. But it’s interesting how, as humans, we seem to have to be woken up by something, a lot of times, and it doesn’t have to be near death experience. It could be, it could be the death of a loved one, it could be the loss of a job. It could be it could be a number of things. Or we could just choose that that would be the easy path. Just choose to take the journey. But it seems like that doesn’t. That’s not the way it works for a lot of us. But there’s also this thing I’ve heard you say this chasing the thing that’s going to make me happy. And we’re looking for that something to fill up something that we know is missing in us. And we chase all these different things.

Susanne Wilson 18:19
You know, and when we’re chasing more and more and more, we’re chasing things that are elusive, you know, careers, reputation, money, all of it is temporal. It’s connected to time what is timeless is the soul. And the soul yearns to live one day at a time, one moment at a time. And it’s not thinking about acquisition of this, or that, you know, those those are strategies, those are objectives of other things. You know, the soul’s mission is to learn to trust when we when we do trust that everything’s going to be fine, no matter what you wouldn’t believe the opportunities that come into your path that you that are better and bolder than you imagined. It can be so simple in life doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it.

Brian Smith 19:23
Yeah, I know. It had to be a big step for you to take that trust, though. You said it, but I’m going to give up this corporate career and I’m going to go out and become a medium and put my my gifts side. So how did that how did that path open up for you?

Susanne Wilson 19:36
Well, that was another interesting thing. I was really just so upset that I was allergic to mold. We’d been living in Florida for a long time I kept having all these sinus problems, which is actually what led me to have allergy testing is what led me into an anaphylactic shock is what led me to leave Florida. And it’s like, let’s cash out, sell the house, sell the boat, sell the cars, all of it and leave in. I had visited relatives in Arizona. I was in Arizona. I trusted it because every place I went, the land seemed familiar, especially when I got up around this area of carefree and Cave Creek RAM, which is just north of Phoenix, I would get these little flashes of I’ve been here before. It was around 1870 something. Okay, it wasn’t in this life. I’m not that old. Yeah. And so I thought, okay, there’s some connection here. Just Just on trusting that there, I’m connected to this land. Life was uprooted and replanted. And it’s just, it’s been amazing. It’s just, it’s one thing after another in terms of who you meet and where that leads. But I get off track when I start trying to plan very far ahead. And I want to get this and I want to get that. And I find that you know my lesson that may not be your lesson or someone else’s lesson. But my lesson is really patience with the trust. Interesting. Yeah, it really is. When I just go a day, a week, a month. At a time on on goals and objectives. I do much better. And I think what we’re finding through the Coronavirus, and everything that people are going through is that our expectations of who we are and how we fit into the world are being tempered. And we’re being redirected to our own village. Wow, we’re being redirected to look at our neighbors, and how can we help them? And we’re, you know, for all the global technology that we have, and all the access, we have to travel and zoom, and all of that. This is this has brought us back into the small communities where we can really support each other. I have neighbors ringing doorbells. And just you go and they’re not there, but there’s a note Do you need anything? Or I’ll bake a casserole, you bake it, we’ll split it will each have something, you know, and, and I’m I’m one of the really fortunate people that I’m not paycheck to paycheck. I’m not wealthy by any means. But I mean, it’s just a small example of we’re looking back to our community again, and it’s slowing us down. It’s causing us to rethink priorities. I don’t feel like Coronavirus, Coronavirus was done to us by anybody or for us by anybody cosmic. I don’t think it was some divine plan. That’s not been the information I’ve gotten from the other side. I think we on earth created it through our freewill choices. It got created in the quantum field first, where our spirit people could see if they were looking they could see. Wow, they got something big coming there. Yeah. But But having said that it wasn’t done to us or for us, cosmically, we can take advantage of the changes that it’s brought to us. And I like this because what I see now is that we really are in this Age of Aquarius, where more and more of us, anyone who wants to can learn how to trust their intuitive voice, can learn how to make their own direct connection with guides, beloved people and pets in the light. They don’t have to go get readings anymore. I think we’re, we’re in an acceleration of that time. And I’m hoping to see it all come to fruition before I leave this incarnation. But But yeah, my life is an example of you giving up a what I thought would make me happy to do what makes my soul sing. And that’s what I wish for people, whatever it is, do what makes your soul sing. Even if you can’t do it eight or nine hours a day, you can still do it at some point.

Brian Smith 24:32
Yeah, you know, I want to go back to what you said about trust, because that’s one of my big things. You know, and you talked about, instead of making these long term plans, maybe look a little bit closer, and that’s been that’s, that’s been my problem for a long time. Like, where am I gonna be in 20 years or am I gonna be in 30 years and I and I’m really starting to bring that focus more into like, Do I have enough like for for today and and that’s made me a lot more peaceful and just trusting That that’s going to be there in the future. And as you were talking, it reminded me of the story in the Bible, the man whose story is your lights in the desert, you know, and they only got enough Manor for one day. And then on the Sabbath, they got enough for two days, but it was it was to be taught to trust, like on a daily basis, and I think, I think in our society, especially we, we tend to think too long term, and we have these rigid plans, and we just get all worried about what’s going to happen to us, and then a couple of decades,

Susanne Wilson 25:28
yeah, it has a preacher’s kid, yourself, you know, you’ve heard enough of the teachings, especially the New Testament, the teachings of Jesus, which was, was that, you know, with the space that we have, that he works through us where we are. And so, so many people, before COVID, were telling me, not only did they want to be able to trust their own inner voice more, but also they felt that they had no purpose in life, or there must be a purpose. But I sure as hell don’t know what it is. And I see that changing now, too, because we find our purpose through service.

And there’s a lot of opportunities for service. Right now, whether it’s checking on somebody, whether it’s raising funds for somebody, you know, that’s, you know, out on the street, lost their jobs, lost their business, and it’s through service, that we find our purpose, we find our voice, you know, God uses us right in place where we are, there are very, no big plan, waiting for us. I don’t feel like I was born. And I had to be a teaching medium or research medium to be successful, my big could have turned out differently. I could have kept the abilities to myself, but use them in some way to make the world a little bit better right around me. And so I’m not any more special than any of you, you know, well, maybe a little more special. But

Brian Smith 27:05
you know, it’s interesting, though, as you were talking about purpose, because I work in my life coaching clients, I see if people get into the spirituality stuff, they’re hearing, okay, we’re here we have a soul plan, we have a purpose. And then they get all hung up on what’s that purpose because I have to have some big special purpose. And I keep trying to tell people just like what you just said, grow, where you’re planted, just do whatever do whatever you can do on a day to day basis, you don’t have to go out and seek to become something quote, big. And I think that’s also a lesson that the people on the other side tell us and people that have had near death experiences tell us.

Susanne Wilson 27:39
And they tell us so much. And we’re we have this voracious appetite, want to read the next book and the next book and see the next speaker and the next speaker, and the common thread all the way through that is service. It’s the common thread all of the time. I remember talking to a woman one time who, who said, You know, I just feel like, life is over. You have done, I’ve done whatever I needed to do. I had a great career. I’m retired, I’m bored. And I feel like I missed the boat. But as we talked and as a coach, you’ll relate to this. He talked about accomplishment, raising a family, being a medical professional with a 30 year service in that field, co authoring articles in science, and all of that, and I’m like, Okay, well, somebody else’s accomplishments can be, you know, they they build the house. They help someone who needed a meal when they needed it. The thing is, what are we measuring ourselves against? That we can say, my life has no purpose, you know, who are the day that we’re measuring ourselves against? That the source doesn’t want us to compare? You know, when two flowers bloom, the one isn’t jealous of the other for smiling up at the sun. You know, I think if you want to have a scorecard, folks, I would say your scorecard should be at the end of the day we talked about earlier about what to do in the beginning of the day. But at the end of the day is how is I of service to my soul’s growth and the growth of another living soul today,

Announcer 29:31
we’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach. If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know, people work with Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at www grief to EMF, the number two, gr o w th calm or text growth, gr o w th 231996. If you’d like to support this podcast, visit, slash grief to growth t ar e o slash g ri e f, the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Unknown Speaker 30:32
Yeah, and keep it simple.

Brian Smith 30:34
Yeah, that’s a very big shift in perspective, though from I think being a just a human being and understand that we’re a spirit. And so as we develop that perspective, through the practice we talked about earlier, that’s when we can learn to trust because like, when I was a little kid, I guess when I heard about trust, I always thought meant trust that nothing bad was ever gonna happen to you. And trust meant the guy was going to take care of me. And a lot of people still have that Sunday school belief about God, that if I do all these right things in quote, nothing bad will happen to me. And then we get knocked off track when you know, I know a lot of people who have children pass, including myself. And people say, Well, why did this happen? Does God not love me anymore? The God break his promise? Or does God not even exist?

Susanne Wilson 31:19
Well, first off, I love that we’re saying God, because I get so tired of saying the divine source or the one or the other, just to make people feel comfortable. to heck with it. You know, you can substitute your mind any other title you want. But it’s that essence that’s in all of us, that connects all of us because we’re never apart from each other, or from this sort of synergy. And the thing is, bad stuff is going to happen to us as part of the experience in the three dimensional earth plane. That’s the way that it is. And I know that you know that firsthand all too well. And but the thing is temporary. Again, this is temporary. This is temporary, we’re here. We’re meant to be here for as long as we’re meant to be here. And when it’s time to go the other side of life, we want to have lived our lives in a way that we can reflect back and say, you know, I gave it my best. I loved I gave love, I received love, I had compassion, I gave compassion. I received compassion because it’s got to go two ways. You can’t just be a martyr here on earth and be proud of yourself when you go home. And then when we sit in our discussion circles or groups or soul groups, whatever terminology you want to use, Hagen hung up on terminology all the time we lose people with it, but when you get home to heavenly home and in your in your reflecting back. Live in a way that you make yourself proud of yourself. Really, because it’s all you it’s all you are your own judgment. Nobody else is gonna judge you at all. And not only that, they’re probably going to tell you, wow, you went through so much. What a ride. You know, what a ride? Aren’t you glad it’s over?

Brian Smith 33:12
Let’s talk about God for a second because it’s interesting. I was just having a conversation with someone this morning on Facebook and she facetiously put on Facebook. Okay, tell me who is God? What is God, you know, define this for me. And, you know,

Unknown Speaker 33:24
that happened today.

Brian Smith 33:25
This was today. This was this morning.

Unknown Speaker 33:27
And that’s funny. Okay.

Brian Smith 33:28
And I’m like, the thing is, I go back and forth on the on the term God because there’s so much baggage associated with it. And what you just said, I think was really profound. You said, when we go back, we’re only gonna judge ourselves and a lot of people look at God as the judge. That’s, that’s one way people look at God.

Susanne Wilson 33:44
So what is the white man with the long white hair and a long white beard in a robe?

Brian Smith 33:49
Yeah. So let’s talk about what God means to you. What does that term mean to you?

Susanne Wilson 33:54
I feel that our souls are in a constant conversation with God the source energy because it is who we are, we are made in his her its energy in its form. Okay, and that we’re an expression of this. This is pure love, but it’s not the the soft, gushy mushy, cuddly love. It’s the love of I’m gonna throw you into the fire. And you’re going to jump out and you’re going to nurse your, your wounds. And you’re going to be so strong that when somebody else comes before you, who’s just come from the fire, your arms are going to be out wide because you know exactly what it is. And so the essence of God is activated in us in our worst times. And no experience that you have is wasted. Because the experiences that you have make you who you are, and furthermore, they can help prepare you for when your brother or Your sister is having a similar experience, which is why I’m so happy with the work that you do. Because you’re using your own experiences in a soul way in a godly way to help the next person. And when we do that, it reinforces our learning. It reinforces our growth, it reinforces our vibe, our vibration, that I think we’re closest to God when we’re in agony. Because we’ve dropped all pretense of, well, I’m Suzanne Wilson, and I am pretty well known. And I have my own office and, you know, yeah, forget that. It doesn’t matter doesn’t matter how much to me anyway, I could, I could walk away anytime a guy calls me to do. But the thing is, when we’re in agony, that’s when we can say, I’m, I know, I’m a soul essence. And I feel I feel the oneness, I feel the closeness. But that’s also when we need a brother or sister to see us and hear us. Not necessarily fix us, but to see us and hear us. And that’s God at work, where two or more gathered, I am there. So it’s really, it really comes back to service every time Brian, every time I have this conversation, and I get his cover, I have the privilege of having these kinds of conversations, not recently, because of certain circumstances, but over lunches, or whatever. Yeah, with some great thought leaders, the world’s finest minds. And it always comes back to God His service through you.

Brian Smith 36:54
Yeah, I really like what you said. And it, you know, it’s, it’s some people that would seem counterintuitive, that if you want to be happy, you need to serve other people, you know, and Jesus told us that, and it’s a, it’s a lesson that we really don’t want to hear. But when you start to realize, like you said, We are the essence of God, we are all connected, we’re all we’re all one rocks, you all one giant organism, if you want to look at it that way. So when we help others, we’re actually helping ourselves. But it was a we were, I was just talking with a client yesterday. And this is a very career oriented person. And they were saying to me about like, the last 30 years, if I don’t do this, and the last 30 years are wasted, or something to that effect. And I was saying to them, nothing is ever wasted. And it is again, it’s one of those things that sounds like it’s so cliche, it sounds like it’s so flip, you know, nothing’s ever wasted. But when I look back over my life, the worst things I thought happened to me, they’ve always made me stronger. And during the time I’m going through them, I did not want to go through them. But if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I know you’ve had the same reflection. So as we, as we start to get some age and experience, we can start to take that perspective.

Susanne Wilson 38:02
Yeah, it does help to have the age and the experience and, and that’s why I feel like the the souls who incarnate here into bodies, and leave us young, were some of our greatest teachers of all time. Yeah, they didn’t need to, to learn more and grow more, they came here to teach just like your daughter, like Sheena did through coming here for a short amount of time. And so those of us, you know, were of a certain age, I really want to help the new generation here, I really want to, to give them, you know, the benefit of the experiences that our generation has had the baby boomers and Gen X. And they’re coming into a completely different world in their teens and their 20s right now. And there are souls in the new generations that are coming in, fully equipped to lead us through this entire shift that we’re going through in the world. But there are others here that I think it’s going to be very, very different world. for them. I think that they’re going to be in contact with the spirit world, almost as easily as us just picking up a smartphone and hitting a button. And there’s some very, very special souls that are coming up around us. And in fact, I’m going to predict that over the next decade or so that you and I are going to learn a lot from some very, very young souls that are probably only about 18 right now. We are going through a big change. I can’t even articulate it.

Brian Smith 39:56
Yeah, you were mixing them up before we started recording. We were talking about you No 2020 has just been horrible for almost everybody I know. I don’t know anybody that had a good year in 2020. No. So what do you see coming up for 2021?

Susanne Wilson 40:11
a renaissance? I really do I see a Renaissance, I was telling somebody the other day, it’s almost like that that age of the flapper. And after prohibition ended, and people were out, like, I am not just partying, but gathering and celebrating and all that. So we’ll go through sort of like a very superficial period of like, God, can you believe it, we’re finally out of the house and all of that. But something much deeper than that is going on right now. And it has to do with a shift in the priorities around what we define as success and be successful in this world. And I think the huge gatherings of conferences of six, or seven or 800, people are going to be extremely rare for a very, very long time. Ultimately, we’ll be beaming ourselves in holographically, if we really want to feel like we were there. But for now, you know, I’ve been on zoom for going on three and a half years. So this wasn’t new to me. But everybody’s on zoom now. So the world will seem smaller. But what’s going to happen is, I feel and I’m hearing this from the spirit world, that our communities will become more important to us, our physical communities, and talking to each other, and trying to level the field and fix disparities within the communities and actually caring about other people that are hurting instead of turning away. So I see more compassion being built up right now. I also, you know, I’ve said it a couple times here. I also feel like what was woowoo it you know, it right now or even five years ago will be mainstream. And in the not too distant future, we’re all going to be mediums, not necessarily doing it professionally. But definitely for ourselves. I also feel like people will have relationships with angels. And flat out, say I talk with angels, they give me information, they comfort me, mean, we’re just our our world has broken open to other dimensions. They’re right here. They’re right here that heaven isn’t up there, or out there somewhere. It’s right here in a higher frequency. so fast that we can’t, most of us can’t tap into it. That’s changing. And our young folks on the planet right now are going to be leading us through it.

Brian Smith 42:53
Wow, I hope you’re right. I really do. You know, the one thing about this virus, you know, back in March, so when we were hearing about it, I was hoping it would be a time that would bring the world together, that we would come together and fight it as a common enemy. And frankly, I’ve been disappointed the way things have gone in 2020. So maybe that’s maybe that’s a little bit down the road when we actually learned the lesson. I think I think a lot of young people are learning the lessons right now.

Susanne Wilson 43:17
They are, yeah, they’re learning the lessons. And a lot of them are very smart, because they sit back and they see, you know, this debate over here and this rage over there. And they’re just sort of, it’s interesting. And it’s like, they’re, it’s like they’re a lot of them are collecting data, almost in the they just, they’re ready for the new paradigm. Yeah. folks that were there, they’re gonna be administering our social security, when they, you know, they’re gonna be taking care of us. And I think we need to take better care of them.

Brian Smith 43:53
Yeah, I agree. And I and it, my daughter is 25. And so she has a puppy, but you know, her age, of course, I get to talk to some of these kids, and they’re already kind of jaded about the materialism. And it’s kind of an in a weird way, because they’ve been, they’ve ever been told you’re not gonna be able to have what your parents had. So they’re like, well, we’re not even worried about that. We’re all about experiences. So they already have a different different mindset that we had when we were that age, when we were we were told to go out and be successful. And they’re like, No, I’m really more worried about being happy. I’m worried about not being fulfilled.

Susanne Wilson 44:27
Yeah. And they’re not afraid to not only pivot but just walk right off the cliff and trust that either a bridge will form beneath their feet, or they will learn to fly. Yeah. And that’s the fearlessness and the boldness that is going to be able to lead us into the new world.

Brian Smith 44:45
Yeah, well, I’m looking forward to that. Let’s talk about some of your some of your offerings what you do because you’re you’re available in so many ways you have so many things you know, out there. One of the things I want to talk about is your book sold smart because so many people come to me and say Say, I’ve worked with a lot of people whose children have crossed over, and are like, how do I connect with people on the other side? So what would you say to someone that asks you that question,

Susanne Wilson 45:08
I would tell them, start with somebody, start with an ABC 123, list, and then riff off of that, whatever works for you. And I think you’re right, that’s, that’s exactly what I designed solsmart. To be for people, I also tell them, do not fear the dreaded meditation. Because people will tell me, I can’t meditate, I’m never gonna be able to connect, what do I do? Your meditation can be taking a walk with a clear mind, your meditation can be focusing on your breath, your breathing. But it’s very important to leave the door open for the spirit people to connect with you, in whatever way is working best for them. And you. So you may ask, meet me in meditation and feel nothing happened, and you may get a dream visit the next night. So that is, my suggestion is to be open minded, observant, and journal, it’s very, very important. Now when I, I do meet every month, people don’t have to come every single month, they can just come on a one off, I call it chat with spirit guides. And we do a two hour session where the first hour, we take on a metaphysical topic. And then we take a very short break, and I come back with messages from spirit guides to help people and so when they’re learning, they can see me connecting with their guides and my guides, and they learn how to do that. And a lot of times the relationship with a spirit guide, they can become the gatekeeper that helps you to connect with your own spirit people. You know, sometimes it’s easier for easier for us to trust a third party. You know, I’ve got my spirit guide, they’ve done an exercise to confirm that they’re real, and not just my imagination, they’ll help bring my daughter to me. So there’s, there’s lots of different ways you just have to experiment and trust.

Brian Smith 47:04
Yeah, well, I know, in your book, you outline a lot of those ways. And there is kind of a one, two, ABC 123 kind of kind of way to do it. The other thing I found is a lot of people and you touched on this, too, like I want to connect with them in a certain way. You know, I expect this sign or that sign. And the big thing is people want dream visits or you know, and I’ve talked to people so I’ve got I’ve got nothing for my, for my loved one. And I’ll ask him this well, other than this, like this, they’ll tell me some incredible sign they had. But But I didn’t have the dream visit that I wanted.

Susanne Wilson 47:34
Oh, I got something to say about that. Yeah, you know, first off, there’s methods that you can try. But second off, one of the most important things you can do if you’re wanting that dream visit you haven’t gotten it. Talk to your family. Talk to your close friends. Tell them I’ve been asking for a dream visit. Have you gotten one? Oh, yeah. And I can’t I can’t tell you how many times as soon as come back and said, I did what you said. And guess what my cousin two days after my loved one passed, it saw my loved one and and they didn’t say anything, because they just thought it was crazy. But I asked like you said, Why does it happen? You know why that happens? Why does somebody else get the dream visit and you didn’t get it? You know why? Right?

Brian Smith 48:16
Well, I know sometimes we’re kind of blocking it with our grief. Yeah, yeah.

Susanne Wilson 48:21
And we’re pulling so hard on the energy. Come on, darn it. Tonight. It’s got to be the night. And we pull so hard. It can actually, do you remember earlier I talked about when I see auras, sometimes I can see that sluggish color or that muddy color. You can muddy your own aura you’re in. That means obstructing your own receptivity, pulling too hard for something you want.

Brian Smith 48:44
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good point. And and there are a lot of times people, they’ll say, Well, why did they go to my loved one as opposed to me because it’s some of them may be a little more detached? Yeah, it doesn’t have a real strong emotional connection.

Unknown Speaker 48:56
It’s true.

Susanne Wilson 49:00
And not only that, it’s so unexpected. And so that person who wasn’t super close to your loved one, but knows it was them knows that experience was as real as real could be. They may then share that with somebody else who really needed to hear it. Remember the spirit, people are always talking, Hey, I’ll help you get that dream visit through but it’s going to be to your dad’s friend instead of your dad because we can pull that off. And then your dad’s friend is going to help my cousin by telling that story. And it’s like, they’re they’re constantly looking for ways to help us to pay it forward here on Earth.

Brian Smith 49:40
Yeah, it’s good point. So what are some other signs that people get?

Susanne Wilson 49:43
I mean, can you they’re always plotting for us from the other side of life, Brian?

Brian Smith 49:48
Yeah. So what are some other things people can look forward to besides visits? What are other ways that spirits can communicate with us?

Susanne Wilson 49:55
Well, I like the signs a lot. I like the synchronicities of numbers. A lot of people send me pictures of license plates that have the birth date. Or, you know, I know I get 1111. And I’ve asked who this is from, and I’ve gotten the signs or whatever. But my personal favorite are things like a holding my hand. feathers, the pennies from heaven. Heart Shaped stones, you know, things like that. And then to have a medium later say, you know, your daughter is holding a heart shaped stone in her hand. Yes, I get those all the time. That’s her. Yeah. Not that you need that. But I feel like they set this stuff up. Sometimes. So. But here’s the thing. I’ve had sessions over many years now, where I’m talking about the signs, and the person says, Well, yeah, I do get that that’s from them in a vegan or you bonehead. You know, it’s like, I have to take a step back and be patient, like, okay, now, you know, now you can collect them, or now you know, who it’s from, or whatever. But one of the things that’s changing now, it during COVID is, I have noticed that the visitations are different. There’s more of a reassurance factor that seems to be going on. And it actually I’m getting goosebumps just talking to you about this. Because their recent readings that I’ve done, the spirit level ones are coming in, they’re saying I’m patting them on the head. And I said, I say, okay, I’ve already given identification and evidence. They know it’s their loved one. And then they say, she’s showing me she’s been patting you on the head and kissing you on the cheek. And the reactions are like, Yes, I feel static electricity on my head, and I feel this wind on my cheek and I have I’ve even said is that you kissing me or touching me? I’ve seen a lot more touch feelings of presence. I’ve seen an increase in electrical manifestations, like light bulbs flickering off and on. It seems like they know that we’re hurting so bad here on the earth. And they’re going Ott man over the top. Yeah, the physical manifestations. So anybody hearing that saying, I want me some of that. Ask, observe,

Brian Smith 52:26
it’s good to know to look for that. Because, again, I found the same thing I’ve had people say, I’ve never gotten signs, and then they’ll start to talk and they’ll tell me about you know, I felt this touch on my face, or, or my ceiling fan. In my case, my ceiling fan turns on and off all the time. You know, so that that happened just just a few days ago that ties it something about I haven’t had a sign in a long time. Next thing, the ceiling fan comes on high speed, the light comes on highs on high, and the remote will not work to turn it off. So it was on for like two days.

Susanne Wilson 52:58
Here. Okay. Good job. That was a lot of work.

Brian Smith 53:02
Yeah. So what I’m saying is, you know, when you when you ask for those signs and be on the lookout for it could be it could be any time It could be anything. I think sometimes they’ll put people in our lives. I was talking to a young woman, and she was saying she hadn’t had a sign. Your mother passed away. So she was really upset. And she goes out on the street and she’s taking a walk and she’s crying. And this woman stops with some This is in London. So in the streets of London, you know, major city, woman says are you okay? And she says, Yeah, I’m okay. And one says No, really, are you okay? I can tell you upset. And she tells her I lost my mother. And I’m really young. And I did. And the woman says, I lost my mother at a young age too. And she starts to share the story with her. And the young woman thought her mother was older when she was born. She said if she had been younger, I would have had her longer. And the other woman that she met said, Well, my mother was really young when she had me but she she died young. So anyway, they had to share this story. And this woman telling me the story. I’m like, I’m getting goosebumps that she’s telling me. I’m like that was a major sign from from your mother, that you met this woman? What are the odds and the woman who she met it? I never walked this way. I just happened to walk this way today.

Susanne Wilson 54:08
Oh, wow. Oh, these are the things that I live for. And here’s the thing, too, is it’s so easy to brush off. It’s so easy to say happy coincidence. So easy to just not even think about it again, but don’t do that. Just you know, say thank you. I really appreciate that. Can you do something like that again? Some time? Yeah, it’s we’ve found that gratitude begets more communication. It just does is something it’s to the love bond to raising the vibe. It gets them all excited. It’s, it’s, it’s the best and if you can be happy as though it happened to you when your friend gets something like that. That helps you too.

Brian Smith 54:59
Yeah. Well, we always say how it parents he’ll assign for one is assigned for all. So we share the signs amongst amongst ourselves and we could just as happy you know, for and then and then that seems to just perpetuate them. And it seems like also whenever we’re together as parents, our kids are together and they work together on signs.

Susanne Wilson 55:19
Oh, wow, that’s cool. You know, you you were asking me about some of some of the work that I do. And I have to tell you, I’ve seen a big trend and more people getting past life regressions.

Brian Smith 55:31

Susanne Wilson 55:33
And I think what’s happened is, people have asked me to regress them to find out if they lived through the black plague, or if they lived through the 1817, flu or died in it, or something like that. And none of that none of that has come up. And well. But what is coming up is, I found that by looking at who you are, as a soul, over an arc of time, like a couple of different past lives and the lessons that you’ve learned, it helps put into perspective, while you’re going through some of the things you’re going through today. And now. And you don’t have to go into somebody’s office, I know nobody wants to go into an office because of COVID. There’s a lot of great, you know, mp3 ease and regressions that you can do on YouTube or whatever. But I definitely say if you have free time to start doing some past life regressions, it will be some of the most comforting thing that things that you can do for yourself, it’s a great gift. I think it’s better than going for continual reading after reading after reading every few months or whatever, because it’s like it cuts right into who you are as a soul. And what we’re finding is that those people who feel that they’ve lost everything, or they’ve lost a lot this year, economically, or, you know, someone has passed or whatever, they will oftentimes meet up with the thing that they’ve lost or the person that they’ve lost in the past life. And they’ll see the connection between what happened then and what happened. Now. That’s just another healing modality that I see getting super popular. The reason I’m saying this is because what I’m going to tell you next is the theme for 2021. It’s, it’s a year of the healer. So we’re What is this December 29, that we’re recording December 29. Today, December 29 2021, of the worst years of everyone’s life. 2021 is the year of the healer, and the healing. So whether it’s Qigong, Tai Chi, reiki, mediumship, working with your intuition, past life regression, whatever it is, find what resonates with you, and put on your own oxygen mask first, work on your own healing first, and then look to help others. So coaching, like what you do, it’s your year, and those of you who are working in the healing, that’s one thing, but those of you who are like, you know, I have nothing to do with that. Oh, yes, you do. Let all of that you do be done from compassion. Your thoughts, words and actions be done from compassion is if you can match the healing vibration, that’s opening up right now for next year, you will know that you’re fulfilling your soul’s purpose, and it’s going to be in the little things, it’s going to be the little things that you do. So find, find something that you need, even if it’s just walking, it was just kinetic activity and movement, to make yourself feel better. And then pay attention to like the most innocuous interaction, you know, somebody in line at the grocery store, wherever could be an opportunity to help somebody else heal just a little bit more, that will raise your vibe and make your path easier. Do you know do you know? The number one thing you can do to be more intuitive, is kindness. Because when you’re kind to somebody else, you’re plugged into the matrix fully and firmly. And that boosts your intuition. So that’s like the main message I have.

Brian Smith 59:31
Wow, I love that. That’s awesome. And one thing I will add to that is, you know, as we sometimes we think self care is selfish. If I’m taking care of myself, you know, I’m not being an outgoing or an average person.

Susanne Wilson 59:44
I’m not sure anybody thinks that anymore.

Brian Smith 59:47
Well, maybe not this year. I think we’re getting a big lesson on that. But I was want to say is as we heal ourselves, we heal each other because we’re more collective than we realize. And that’s that’s something that I’m coming to learn is that We are all we are all one and a set. So as we if you want to heal somebody else heal yourself first preach.

Susanne Wilson 1:00:06
Yeah, absolutely. It’s you know, it’s and if you haven’t gotten that yet, you will because the the shift into this new world is happening. And we can go into kicking and screaming or we can go into it trusting.

Brian Smith 1:00:25
Yeah. Well I want to say I want to talk about your other offerings I want to tell people before I forget your your websites carefree medium calm so people can find everything you offer because you offer as I said, up top, you’ve got classes, you’ve got events, you’ve got meditations, your meditation is called hereafter now the guided meditation to the afterlife.

Susanne Wilson 1:00:45
I have four that have been out for a while and two new ones that I’m just waiting for my studio time.

Brian Smith 1:00:51
Yeah. I was gonna say that when I do all the time. And I know I

Susanne Wilson 1:00:56
know. And and there’s a bear and just burns. Somebody is he’s my office. me. He’s my office healing dog.

Brian Smith 1:01:04

Susanne Wilson 1:01:04
we have guidance question but your spirit guide here after now. I forget all the names of them.

Brian Smith 1:01:13
Yeah, but you’ve got several there. And you’ve we were talking about you’ve got a new course an on demand course. Yeah.

Susanne Wilson 1:01:20
Well, I’ve been doing a soul power now series. I started it in January in person in 2008. And that was like the last in person event. And now we have so power now be intuitive. That’s ready for video streaming. And in January, if you want to do a live class, it’s January 9. And 23rd. And this is so power now past lives. Okay. Awesome.

Brian Smith 1:01:49
Awesome. So and then you’re opening up to doing readings again now because I know for a long time you were totally unavailable.

Susanne Wilson 1:01:56
Or a long time I was hiding under the covers because I had 1000 people on the waitlist calling all the time. It’s almost like I needed to hire a person just to answer where am I on the waitlist. So we wrote that. I worked that out. And so now what I do is I can get appointments open, I just put them on the website. And that’s it. So you have to check on the scheduling page and carefree medium calm. But there are a few readings from time to time.

Brian Smith 1:02:24
Yeah, well, I was fortunate to be one of the people that got one of your readings, like I said about five years ago,

Susanne Wilson 1:02:29
right before the waitlist blew up. Yeah, you got 1000 people. But yeah, I really appreciate you I knew, I knew that you were already being utilized by God in the best possible way. But I see even more coming for you. And, you know, I’m not predicting your future or anything like that. But, you know, I’m just saying, You are where you’re supposed to be. And thank you for being who you are.

Brian Smith 1:02:59
Oh, well, you know, it’s really, it’s wild, as you talked earlier about how these people get put in our lives and how things work out. So, you know, I reached out to someone who connected me with you and then you and I’ve met a couple times in person and a couple of different conferences and you know, we’re running in the same you know, the same circles down I feel like you’re you’re become a friend over the years. So you know, the fact I’m sitting here doing this with you now, I would have never thought this would have happened. You know, back when we first met.

Unknown Speaker 1:03:27
Ain’t it cool?

Brian Smith 1:03:28
Yeah, it is. It’s really cool. Well, Suzanne, any any last words anything you want to say to people that are listening, any advice or wisdom you want to give?

Susanne Wilson 1:03:40
Know that nobody you love is ever lost that love truly does live forever, and I’m sending you love. That’s the love with a capital L i call it not like I love pizza. But I’m sending love from my heart space to yours, guys, take care.

Brian Smith 1:03:56
Alright, thanks for being here. That’s it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you got something out of it. Please stay in contact with me by reaching out at www dot grief to that’s grief, the number two growth calm or you can text the word growth to 31996. That’s simply text growth gr o w th 231996. So if you’re watching this on YouTube, please make sure you subscribe. So hit the subscribe button and then hit the little bell here and it’ll notify you when I have new content. Always please share the information if you enjoy it. That helps me to get more views and get the message out to more people. Thanks a lot and have a wonderful day.

Transcribed by

This is an extra special interview. Yes, they’re all special. Some are extra.

Teri and I became Facebook friends a while back. I’ve enjoyed reading Teri’s posts over time. I knew she had a neurological disorder. But, I didn’t know what it was until she started soliciting feedback for the title and the cover of her upcoming memoir. I asked to interview her on my podcast. That’s when I found out Teri is paralyzed and communicates by typing with her eyes.

Teri has ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She has been on an incredible journey since being diagnosed just a few months after being married. This journey is chronicled in her incredible memoir- No Pressure, No Diamonds. One proposed title was “I wrote this with my f*cking eyes, you should read it with yours.” But, Teri didn’t go with that one.

I have just finished reading Teri’s book. I have to admit I shed more than one tear. I’m impressed not just by Teri’s wit but by her grit. The story of how she and her husband John have handled the diagnosis and the progression of the illness is truly inspiring.

Teri comes into this with the background of being a Buddhist and a professional therapist.

This is truly one of the best books I have ever read. I’m going to go out on a limb and put it up there with Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. It’s much more accessible and her wit combined with the wisdom makes a very difficult subject palatable. Her book is titled No Pressure No Diamonds- Teri Dillion. It’s available on Amazon. I got the Kindle version and listened to the book.

We just skim the surface in this interview which took about three weeks to complete. I am overjoyed to be able to put it out into the world. I know Teri’s book, her life, and her wisdom are going to touch people in a way I am happy to play some small role in.

ℹ️  You can find Teri at:





Brian Smith 0:01
I’m very excited to introduce this episode to you. I’m going to talk to you today I’m going to talk with Terry Dillion. Terry and I have been friends on Facebook for quite a while. And I knew that she had a serious illness. I knew it was some sort of a neurological disease. But I didn’t know exactly what it was. And I didn’t realize it was ALS. And I asked her be to be on my podcast, because I’ve been so impressed by her Wit and Wisdom, over the years that I’ve known her. And I only learned she had als when learned she was writing her memoir, and I’m going to talk about that. So we’re going to talk about today is her memoir. And she’s asking for input on the on the cover the title for her book, and for the cover. So Terry was actually in her mid 30s. And she was recently married when she was diagnosed with ALS. If you don’t know what ALS is, is a my atrophic lateral sclerosis. And it’s maybe the number one disease that we all dread. It’s otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. And many people heard of it during the ALS challenge a few years ago. It’s a disease that eventually leaves you paralyzed, and Terry is paralyzed now. So the way that we did his interview was really crazy use of technology, Terry actually types with her eyes. So she has a device that can sense her eyes movements, and she types one character at a time by using her eyes. So we did the questions back and forth over the course of a couple of years. So the voice you’ll hear will be Terry’s voice actually computerized. So she makes it an attack, and then the computer reads it for but I just finished reading. I’ve just finished reading Terry’s book. And I have to admit, I shed more than one tear. I’m really impressed by Terry, not just by her whip because she’s extremely funny. But by also by her grit. She’s a tough woman, and the story of how she and her husband john have handled the diagnosis. And the progression of her illness is just truly inspiring. Terry also comes into this with the background of being a Buddhist and a professional therapist. So she’s got a really interesting background going into this and to the situation she’s gone into. I have to say, this is truly one of the best books I’ve ever read. And I don’t usually overstate things, but this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. And I’m going to go out in the limit put it up there with Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning. If you’ve read that book, you know, it’s a very deep book, some really great insights, but Terry’s book to me is much more accessible, and her story is much more relatable. And her wit combined with her wisdom, make this very difficult subject palatable. Her book is titled no pressure, no diamonds, and is by Terry t ri, di LL. io n. Terry delian. It’s available on Amazon, I got the Kindle version. And I listened to the book as I was taking my morning walks. I feel so fortunate to have known Terry and have gotten to know her better through the reading every book, and I am humbled and honored that she chose to do this interview with me. I want to make one more comment, and then we’ll get into the questions. I love the introduction, the book as much as anything. Terry begins by talking about two illnesses, the first being the illness as she was diagnosed with ALS, the one that’s changing her body, but the other illness is the illness of tidy answers. We’re going through challenges well meaning people will inundate us with tidy answers, tidy answers. They’ll tell us to pray more. Eat this, don’t eat that it’s your karma. You must have done something deserve this have more faith. Terry heard it all, and many of us do when we’re grieving as well. And I love that the book doesn’t try to provide any tiny answers. It’s raw, and it’s real. So let’s get into the questions. The first question I have for you, Terry is this. You mentioned you fancy yourself as somewhat of a master of manifestation. You and john were recently married, we began to experience symptoms and were diagnosed, you were living in extremely healthy lifestyle. Yet, at a retreat, you’re asked to pick a human archetype that you’ve been that you’d like to be. And you chose for Stephanie, the Greek goddess who was kidnapped and taken to the underworld, and eventually became the connection between the underworld and the, quote, land of the living. You had a meditation where you started howling, and collapsed to the floor and recognize you were in grief, even though at the time, nothing extensively was wrong. This was before your diagnosis. Do you think you knew on a soul level? What was coming up for you?

Teri Dillion 4:15
Brian, I do. On one level, I knew something was very wrong with my body. And I sense that the strength I was losing in my hand was never coming back. I would have these flashes of doom which were somatic in nature. My body knew something my mind did not. And I believe in many ways, the body is the record of the subconscious. But I had no conscious awareness of the threat I was facing, because I had no cognitive map for understanding how my weakening could be happening. And I knew very little about neurodegenerative disease.

And then I had all these mysterious longings for big change in my life, which I knew made little sense because my life was really working and I was sad. So to speak with my fulfilling career with a happy new marriage with our new house. By all outer appearances, I shouldn’t have been hungry for life changing adventure. But I believe that’s the thing with the soul. It knows what it knows and wants what it wants. And unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which perspective we’re taking, it doesn’t always play well with our ego, or with rationality. Actually, I would like to circle back to this later in the conversation, because I believe this tension between destiny and reason is very important to explore, especially for those of us fortunate enough to have the opportunity and language to explore questions of a spiritual nature. Because here I was with this beautiful, functional, privileged life, not yet consciously aware of the deep trouble my body was already in yet fantasizing about becoming an archetype and during an impossible existence between worlds. And now here I am nearly five years later, having been in hospice for nearly 18 months, straddling the land of the living and the dead and giving interviews no less. How could anyone argue I wasn’t tapping into a soul destiny or a path of some level before I even knew I was sick. I could talk about this all day.

Brian Smith 6:21
Yeah, you know, I found that quite often children who passed away early, and even adults give us a foreshadowing of their impending deaths that we don’t recognize until later. My daughter was a healthy 15 year old and about six weeks before she passed, she told my other daughter and her cousins how she wanted to be cremated, and her ashes scattered under a tree. I didn’t know about this until after she had passed, we were making her funeral arrangements. I’ve wondered if maybe they know on a soul level, but not on a conscious level. When we are left behind here that we plan this the natural first reaction is, there is no way in hell, I would have planned this. So what are your thoughts on the soul or higher self and its desires versus what our egos want? Well, first off, that’s a striking story about her daughter. What little I know about her. She sounds like an incredible being with a strong sense of purpose. And,

Teri Dillion 7:12
you know, I wish I could say I have well developed thoughts on the question of soul. I have a lot of questions. And I have some hunches, informed in part by the type of experiences people like those featured on your podcast have had and

I haven’t told this story to more than a handful of people. But soon after I was diagnosed with ALS, I visited a local intuitive who herself discovered her abilities after a serious illness. And she had a different approach than a medical intuitive I wrote about in the book and I was hoping I could find some deeper answers about what was happening for me on a soul level, and how I could alter my fate. And after a few days of meetings and calls, she ended up inviting me to coffee to discuss what she found. And after we sat down, she took a deep breath and said, Terry, this has been the weirdest thing. For the first time in the 15 years, my spirit guide has been communicating with me. He said something I’ve never heard him say before. He keeps telling me no matter how many times I’ve asked him that there’s literally nothing you can do to change having this disease or to stop its progression. And he keeps insisting sometimes these things just need to happen. And the intuitive was very kind and apologetic and knew how devastating this message was for me. She even refused to accept payment for the time she spent on my behalf and we parted amicably. But I was so disturbed by this. If there was some licensing board for psychics, I probably would have filed a complaint against her, and maybe her spirit guide as well. And it’s funny now, but I really was that unhinged at the time, this dot was not the answer I wanted to hear. And I wanted hope. It hammered another nail in the coffin of my trust in the spirit world. And it’s taken years of perspective to try to pry those nails back out. As you know, in my book, I play with the idea of Earth being a school of pain. And I playfully referenced the idea that as souls hoping to grow, we are willing to endure any sort of hardship because we know pain and adversity provide the necessary friction for us to learn about how to live and love. But of course, once we’re embodied in the thick of our legitimate suffering, it’s not so fun. No parent would ever want to endure the loss of a child. And no person would ever want to endure the debilitation of a paralyzing disease. And if I’m honest, that’s still a work in progress for me to identify what it is I trust about the spirit world and the afterlife and I don’t have the answers and my own beliefs are still evolving, but as the acute grief about that My disablement wears down. And I continue to grow and harvest gifts of perspective due to my illness. I’m trusting more and more that beautiful growth can arise from circumstances and losses no one would ever choose. So if nothing else, I can admit that though we can’t see the big picture from ground level, perhaps our souls or higher selves can and if we learn how to listen, they may just be sending us hints all the time. This idea is comforting to me.

Brian Smith 10:29
Next question I have for you, Terry, is you were an accomplished Buddhist and psychotherapists, and you even joked about becoming a master of manifestation. So how did this background impact you as you dealt with the diagnosis and the progression of the illness?

Teri Dillion 10:42
Well, I believe if anyone at my 30 something age was prepared to handle such a prognosis based on their training and prior life experience, I was the type of Buddhism I studied and practiced there ion of Buddhism is really all about sitting in the fire. And it’s about learning how to ride out and stay present to intense experience, and developing confidence in your inner resources to be able to regard any challenge as a teaching. Along with mindfulness straining, my training as a psycho therapist taught me how to watch my thoughts, not only to observe the content of my thoughts, but additionally to notice how certain thought patterns affected me emotionally. And even though it’s possible to be a trained therapist who doesn’t practice what you preach about emotional regulation and distress tolerance. My skills of talking myself down from emotional ledges have been intact throughout this disease process, which I’m incredibly grateful for. But my pride in my ability to manifest really ended up being a double edged sword. On one hand, I was inspired by the opportunity to somehow change my fate. And I knew if I managed to reverse a disease that was considered nearly 100% fatal, I’d truly be a manifestation, Rockstar with an incredible story to tell. And yet the flip side of that equation was quite negative and twofold. One, what would it mean about me if I couldn’t, in fact, create a better reality when it most mattered, and to what did it mean that I had manifested a paralyzing disease at all in the first place, and it felt so bad and was filled with such shame and self blame, which, of course, is where the law of attraction narratives become so problematic. And that’s why it was so important for me in the book to poke holes and the whole idea that we create our own realities. This idea deserves much more nuance than it’s usually given in prosperity, gospel and New Age thinking.

Brian Smith 12:44
You know, we all have expectations of life. And I noticed you and john were relatively young and newly married, you were younger than john, and I was struck by what a healthy lifestyle you guys were living, it had to be jarring and hard to accept your diagnosis. Did you and john ever discuss how unfair this all seemed?

Teri Dillion 13:01
I’m not sure john and i have explicitly discussed the unfairness in detail. But that idea is implicit in much of our process, and it taps into the kind of universal questions we humans tend to have about why bad things happen to good people. Many of us have strong defenses against contemplating our own vulnerability, we tend to think if we do everything right, we’ll be protected from misfortune because God, the universe, or our own good karma will be on our side. And so when we suddenly learn firsthand that reality isn’t so simple and transactional, it can send us into cynicism, or spiritual crisis. But I think this is just a process in developing maturity and a more humbled and complex perspective on how life works, we are presented the opportunity to believe we haven’t created our reality. But we are empowered to choose how we respond and make sense of it.

Brian Smith 13:57
While I totally agree with that, I thought it was interesting when you spoke about your Buddhist training, warning you about the trap of spiritual materialism, the idea that we can reach these, these states of mind that can prevent us from having to suffer, do you think you fell into that trap? Anyway,

Teri Dillion 14:11
Brian, I totally did fall into that trap. And I realized now that I carried a kind of spiritual arrogance about my path, and I thought I was special to be doing the practices I was doing. And to have the philosophical framework I had, I thought it all meant that I was favored by the fates, like I just mentioned. So my new reality was certainly a rude wake up call. And it’s worth mentioning this type of arrogance can show up in many different ways. And sometimes we think our intelligence will save us or our incredible drive or our good faith or the cleverness of our prayers, especially if we carry an abundance of social privileges like I have. It’s easy to overestimate our abilities to affect outcomes in our own favor. But that works only until the day it suddenly doesn’t. And then we’re forced to question the narratives We’ve been living by without realizing it.

Brian Smith 15:07
Yeah, Terry, I totally agree with that. We don’t know how much control we have over our certain circumstances, in terms of our minds being able to influence the outside world. But we do know that we can control our responses. And I love the way that you put that I love the way you talked about how the message that would have been more helpful to you is that you have influence over your well being. But it may not, it may or may not be possible for you to physically recover, but we do have a choice in how we respond to it. So I just wanted to emphasize a point, I think it’s a very, very important one. And we don’t always know what’s best for us. So I’ve come across the same thing myself some of the worst things I thought in my life, that happened to me turned out to be some of the best things once I got down the road a little bit. So thanks again for that. I next question is, I think the eye the New Age idea of manifestation, the prosperity, gospel, etc. I think they’re dangerous doctrines in the wrong hand. This has basically been talking about some of the law of karma. It’s easy to believe that we’re doing a great job of manifesting while things are going great. But as you pointed out, the flip side of that is ugly. I remember as a kid being totally confused by the book of Job in the Bible. The guy Job had everything taken from him and his friends kept looking for simple answers, which job wasn’t buying. In the end, God, God basically says, shit happens, or this stuff is so complex, you can’t even begin to comprehend it. The idea that we think we know it’s best for us, it’s completely natural. But I’m beginning to think that our human part is almost taught toddler like our higher self or source, our soul knows what is best for us in the long term. And I think like a loving parent sometimes gives us what we don’t think we want.

Teri Dillion 16:48
I believe those of us who have fancied ourselves as spiritual, or even just cutting edge in our alternative beliefs on health and well being need to be extra careful with this because we are especially susceptible to a subtle form of narcissism. And we like to think that we have an advantage over quote, normal people and power over quote, normal misfortune. And these kinds of beliefs can be very quiet. And often it’s impossible to know how much we carry them until something happens that we never expected and struggle to make sense of. And I think this is one reason why we’re seeing so many spiritual people falling prey to conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus right now is because in the West and I should also add in the global north, many of us have carried a sense of exceptionalism for a long time and we’ve gotten away with assuming technology, access to resources, and our own smarts will protect us. So when we are seeing these astronomical death counts, and the lockdowns are disrupting all our lives, many would rather cry foul, or blame the mortality rate on the victims poor health or maintain it’s simply the flu even when all legitimate data proves otherwise. I believe one reason for these behaviors is that many people simply don’t want to feel vulnerable to this tragic circumstance, and setting themselves apart with views that distance them from reality helps them feel safe and superior. But, of course, this collective dissociation comes at a collective price.

Brian Smith 18:23
Terry, in the book, you talk about a spiritual retreat, went on to Peru where you did Iosco and a couple of the people there Gabrielle and Pablo, some of the leaders try to blame your illness on you. Gabriella basically told you to just get over it, and public kept trying to give you that you are getting stronger while you are actually getting weaker. How do people trying to blame your illness on you make you feel,

Teri Dillion 18:45
in my mind, I had strong reactions, it felt bad, and ties in with what we’ve been talking about the myth that we have ultimate control over our fate, as opposed to having control over our responses to what happens to us. It’s easy as an outsider to try and coach someone into the idea that enough faith can heal anything, but it’s an entirely different experience to be living in a rapidly declining body with a terrible prognosis. For this reason, I think we need to be careful about what messages we give each other about serious illness. Because the idea that if we fail to recover, it’s only our fault can be very harmful, and nobody needs that additional stress and outsized responsibility for a difficult circumstance. It’s not healing and a more helpful message for me was you have influence over your well being, which may or may not make it possible for you to physically recover. But the more you can allow yourself to relax into unconditional joy, pleasure and trust in possibility, the more you invite miracles to the table. This makes sense to me too. There have been many times I thought I knew what was best for my life, only to later find The so called disaster I didn’t want to happen taught me an important lesson I needed to learn.

Brian Smith 20:06
Target I wasco retreat I Alaska showed you that we don’t die, that we just change form, which is the first time you realize this. And what were your beliefs in an afterlife prior to this experience?

Teri Dillion 20:17
Well, prior to this, I believed we have an ongoing journey as souls, I was very much on board with a Buddhist notions of reincarnation. But these were more conceptual beliefs. As I had never personally experienced that continuity of consciousness firsthand, at least not that I have remembered, I imagine io rasika gave me the closest thing to a near death experience that anyone can have without actually being near death. And it’s hard to describe what took place, because reality just became so altered. But sure enough, in that timeless state, it became crystal clear that something within us the most vital part of us, in fact, endures outside of a body. And I can’t really capture how enthralling this was to see, in that moment, my fears toward death just evaporated, and it was so liberating and relieving. And

Brian Smith 21:11
really, this is more of an observation and a question. It was right after the Iosco experience when you had this realization about the eternal nature of life, that you slipped and you suffered major trauma to your head. I loved how in the book, you kept the back and forth between the physical world that we all inhabit, and our true nature that you were discovering, there were no tidy answers was back and forth. Right after having this amazing realization, you have this accident. In the book, you keep this all very real, and you keep reminding us that there are no tidy answers.

Teri Dillion 21:41
Yes, I can’t say that was intentional for me to be weaving back and forth between ultimate and relative reality. But it did end up being a big theme of the book. Perhaps it’s fitting in a book tracing a perception a narrative between worlds. And I believe the question of how we relate to limitations in 3d reality is so important. Because while it’s alluring to want to bliss out on oneness, the great perfection, universal love, yada, yada. Meanwhile, day to day reality on Earth has some mighty sharp edges. We’re still tossed around by our HMOs and struggle to understand our income taxes and need to investigate whether or not our cats daily vomiting could be a sign of pancreatitis. And don’t get me started with climate change and systemic racism and how there are still questions for some folks whether or not this pandemic is real and poses a serious threat to public health. I mean, these times aren’t for the faint of heart, and no amount of spiritual realization makes the difficult stuff go away. There really aren’t any tidy answers. And I believe it’s an imperative for all of us to deeply inspect what it means to live Love and Light instead of just using it as a trendy hashtag. It seems to me that true spiritual maturity has to do with growing our morality, ethics and tolerance for complexity. That Yes, for any number of reasons, we may have trust in the whole cosmic shebang. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop evolving our engagement with an understanding of relative reality. I think we don’t get to stop asking what compassion and loving kindness actually look like in practice, whether for others or ourselves.

Brian Smith 23:29
Terry, one point you follow Joe dispenza, and even attended one of his retreats. Now, Dr. dispenza, famously claimed that he held a spinal cord injury by using the proper meditation technique. As you’re going through that the quote in your book is, even if humans don’t create objective realities, I know we can create or at least heavily influence our subjective realities through our outlooks. I loved your take on this. I’m frankly a little skeptical these people that say that we can change the rally around us or heal anything through our minds. So as after you follow Joe dispenza. What did you take away from his retreat and from his techniques, and would you recommend others?

Teri Dillion 24:05
What Joe dispenza has done, as far as I can tell, is graphed a very alluring mashup of law of attraction concepts, visualization, mental rehearsal, hypnotic technique, and cherry picked, and sometimes controversial, scientific research into a saleable and actionable package for creating one’s own destiny, and people hungry for change, go absolutely nuts for it. I know his work has helped many people improve their lives in all kinds of ways, and in many cases improve their health. You can find hundreds of glowing testimonials from students online, and I met many people at his retreat who reported significant changes for the better through engaging his system for life transformation. I’ll admit, his whole approach held my attention for almost a year and undeniably improved my subjective outlook during that time. I felt hopeful about the creative possibilities my future could offer when I was heavily engaged in his lectures and meditations and very open, and I totally get why people get excited about it. I mean, who among us doesn’t want more influence in how our lives unfold? If it only requires an hour or two of meditation every day, and consistent attention to our thoughts, it seems like a screaming deal. But as I hinted at in the book, there’s a shadow side to the narrative that anything is achievable with enough belief and effort. This worldview conveniently overlooks the fact that we are not living in vacuums somehow divorced from larger forces beyond our own minds. And we are living in relationship to environments, lineages, systems, and other beings, all with their own histories, force and momentum. And we’re all living from unique social locations with bodies that have sprung from our ancestors and the genes, grid, and traumas they carried. And we all eat plants and animals that carry their own histories of nurture or neglect. And there’s an ongoing reciprocity happening on material and energetic realms, the full measure of which is impossible to quantify. This means when we buy into the idea of our own omnipotence, we either become delusional in our grandiosity or are setting ourselves up for a painful reality check, or both. When I bring up these sorts of ideas in Dr. Joe’s online groups, they usually get challenged fairly quickly. And sometimes I was told I just needed to meditate more. The one time I dared to suggest that Dr. Joe wasn’t God, and that it’s okay to question what he says not only did my post get deleted, but other students told me to just leave already. Funny thing happened though, because enough people saw my provocative post in that brief time to start messaging me their stories of how they were hurt, or gas lit, or increasingly disillusioned after engaging heavily in the community. They just didn’t know how to talk about it. And my questioning had given them permission. And it’s worth noting that I think any charismatic teacher or spiritual community runs the risk of becoming cult like if you’re expected to be all in and leave your doubts and questions at the door in order to benefit and for a while I went through a period of extreme wariness of any spiritual narratives or teaching scenarios that can be used to Gaslight people. Now I see that a lot of beautiful teachings can coexist with harmful teachings. And the figures offering the teachings can simply have legitimate blind spots like all of us, or they might be engaging in a ruthless ego and power grab. It’s up to us to learn how to spot the difference and help each other do the same. And from there, we can take what we like and leave the rest.

Brian Smith 27:57
Just take what you like and leave the rest. I like that. I remember when I was a little kid in Sunday school, and they were being taught Christianity, at least their version of Christianity. And one thing they told us is you couldn’t do it like a smorgasbord. You had to take the whole thing, whatever they taught us, whatever the Bible said, whatever. And I will never do that. Again. I will never take what anybody says wholeheartedly without questioning anything, and I can take what they like or what I like and leave the rest. So I just want to kind of echo that point. I really enjoyed the scene in the book. Were you in john a role playing being in the spirit world and planning this life? You guys didn’t have really great time together and like the scene where you’re just planning these crazy challenges you would take on here and doing it kind of a joking fashion. Reminds me of the scene and Natalie Sutton’s near death experience, where she and her guides are planning which injuries Natalie will be left with after injuring an IED explosion, and how that they could be cool to liver blind or with one leg? What are your thoughts on soul planning? Do you think this was planned? And do you know for what purpose?

Teri Dillion 28:58
Gosh, Brian, I really don’t know. I certainly love the thought of a soul plan because it could explain the unexplainable and who doesn’t want that.

Unknown Speaker 29:07
And here’s what I do know.

Teri Dillion 29:11
One, the synchronicity is pulling john and i into a partnership or remarkable. I know it sounds cliche, but I believe we were meant to be together on some deep level. In retrospect, seeing how much we’ve grown together through this experience. It makes sense that this incredible challenge was meant to be and we needed each other to get through it. To all the little things that I’ve said before I knew I was carrying a terminal illness were truly uncanny. I mean, who wants to be per Stephanie? I somehow knew some soul challenge was coming. Is it possible something and me remembered the plan. And three, I always want it to be a writer and I always loved writing and occasionally felt I could barely wait until I gave myself Self over to it completely. But it never seemed like a practical enough way to spend my time. So I was always engaged elsewhere. Until that is, all of my other practical abilities were stripped of me by paralysis. And despite how difficult my day to day reality is, I’m deeply fulfilled by the practice of putting thoughts and feelings into words, and feel like I have something of value to share with the world. And though I still grieve everything I’ve lost, I feel I’m completing my mission as much as anyone can claim to be. Now, I suppose it’s possible that it’s all just random and unplanned. And I’m only seeing meaningful patterns for my life. In retrospect, we humans are storytelling creatures. But at a certain point of denying overwhelming evidence of synchronicity, we’re not being clever or critical minded. We’re simply being stubborn in our marriage to scientism. And so right now, I’m leaning towards the likelihood of a meaningful desygner, at least broad outline for my life scores.

Brian Smith 31:06
It sounds kind of like you do that back and forth that I do, Terry, the wanting to believe that there’s some purpose and design and that it’s magical, as magical as it seems, but also being pulled back by the world telling us that, you know, it’s all just materialized. It’s all just random. But I have to say, in my own life, it’s just been the evidence you said has been overwhelming, the synchronicities that have happened. And I’ve I’ve finally given into that, and what I’ve found is the more I give into that the more I give it to that the more I seem to see the patterns playing out. So yeah, that’s that’s a really interesting answer. In the book you mentioned Nina murjani. And her indie and and how after her in the her newfound outlook on life, actually ledger cancer being completely cured, and I’ve fuddled Amina murjani. And I’ve read her book. But this seems like a kind of a tidy answer to me, that if we just have the right believes about ourselves, that we can cure anything, and I know that you were probably told us at some point, or you were told at some point during your journey. So what are your thoughts about this idea?

Teri Dillion 32:08
For all I know, Anita moorjani was correct that her forgiveness healed her of cancer, I have no good reason to doubt her, or to doubt the many other people throughout time who argue their shift of heart initiated unlikely, and sometimes profound physical healings. I do know some of the insights and healing as I’ve experienced, often in altered states could be explained away by skeptics, even if I know in my heart What happened, science is still learning about how our psycho emotional outlooks have significant impacts on our immune systems. But can we cure ourselves of anything? And I find that hard to believe, especially for the majority of us mortals who don’t happen to be Jesus of Nazareth? And I think a good question in response to this idea is, are we always meant to physically recover his perfect health, or living the longest possible life, always the highest goal is, what happens if we’re more served by learning to live with limitations, or by learning how to trust and surrendering the outcome. And I’m also answering this with a critical light towards ablest beliefs which say disability is unacceptable, as if a failure of some sort. Sometimes limitation or difference helps us learn or create or serve in ways we never would otherwise.

Brian Smith 33:31
Yeah, Terry, I love that answer. And I love that’s why I love the book, because it’s full of wisdom like that. As I’ve grown older, the idea of manifestation of material goods or even physical health, maybe that’s not what we’re meant to manifest, maybe we can manifest. But we don’t really know what’s in our highest interest at any moment in time. And maybe what it is, which is desire is to manifest peace, to manifest acceptance, to manifest joy in every circumstance, whatever circumstances we happen to find ourselves in, that I believe we can manifest. And as far as manifesting external things, I think the jury’s still out on that a little bit.

Teri Dillion 34:06
Yes, I believe so. This is where the established wisdom traditions and lineages, like many within Buddhism often show more nuance and maturity than new agent New Thought philosophies allow for if your happiness is dependent on manifesting material success, power, or physical recovery, for example, that satisfaction is really conditional. And real life doesn’t work like that. We never just expand our greatness forever, or can avoid heartbreak forever. And ultimately, we’re all headed to the same place, no matter how special or enlightened we feel we are. If, on the other hand, you can develop an unwavering sense of well being and workability despite external circumstances, then you are truly wealthy.

Brian Smith 34:55
So the next question I have for you, I wonder, as a Buddhist, I think you’re trained that one of the things Just really supposed to get is that we are not our bodies as we as we meditate on that. So yet in our Western culture, that’s a trap that most of us fall into. We think we are our bodies. Does your Buddhist training help you making this differentiation? And what is your relationship with your body like now?

Teri Dillion 35:16
I may have a unique approach to this question because my experience of Buddhist practice springs from a specific lineage and teacher and I certainly can’t claim to speak for Buddhism as a whole. And I have ongoing questions about where my former teacher pulled together his unique canon of teachings and practices. And that’s a larger discussion for another day. But I can say that I was taught to really inhabit my felt experience in an intimate, immediate way. And through 1000s of hours of body focused meditation, I’ve learned to stay home, so to speak with sensations and feelings that arise in my summer, I’ve learned that so much of the emotional and somatic experiences we humans want to hide from can be made more workable by locating where in our body they reside, and breathing increased space into that area. This has been deeply helpful to me as I endure a difficult physical experience. And I’m grateful to have this training and mostly now I feel a real appreciation for and tenderness towards my body. It’s a true Marvel, and somehow keeps on trucking despite its major malfunctions. It’s funny, because I was temporarily thrown off course when my palliative care doctor told me I definitely had less than six months to live and I forgot to ask my body what was true. And here I am. 16 months later, only slightly weaker, yet feeling vibrant. Internally, it’s been a great reminder that I have to keep checking in with myself about my health, and whether or not to swallow a given prognosis. I should admit, though, that after working so hard for years to manage my health through a squeaky clean diet and exercise, it’s been quite liberating to let out the reins. Since entering hospice, I’ve really relaxed my highfalutin expectations for how to relate to my body. This means I now eat chocolate whenever I please. And I’m not above having say tater tots with dinner. I’m sure many nutritionists would screech on this. But I believe I’ve earned the right to relax the health rules and I still listen to what my body needs. I still eat my brussels sprouts. But I try to also honor what my playful, comfort loving Spirit wants to and it’s been so satisfying. And my body seems to be handling the indulgence is just fine. A lack of shame or anxiety about my environment, and my desire helps. Who knew the life lessons apparently never end. Now, having said that, I’ve also found it useful to purposely shift focus when being and my body feels claustrophobic. And one of the techniques I learned early when meditating, which is also used in painting, dance, and martial arts was softening the gaze. Contrary to focusing on visual stimuli, we may hold more of an evenly hovering awareness which receives our environment in a more muted, gentle way, when our awareness springs forth from the back of our body as opposed to the easily distracted sense of visual sight. This facilitates relaxation and helps build an intuitive sensing function. All of the senses become more evenly engaged, which ideally encourages more presence and equanimity. And when this teaching is more fully mastered as an inner posture or attitude, we can bring it to other parts of our lives as we lose some of the grip on our habitual ways of viewing things. It naturally tight rates physical or emotional intensity. For example, instead of focusing on how embarrassing it is to have my husband bathe me, I can tap into everything that feels workable in the moment. The bathroom is warm, the light is soft, my energy is holding steady, his energy is gentle. In this way. I remember I can healthily dissociate from unhelpful conclusions and from unnecessary suffering.

Brian Smith 39:21
You talk about how often the battle metaphors use when we’re fighting illnesses, oh, my God, terror. Did you fight the good fight? You travel? You tried all sorts of cures, you did these things. You did nutritional cures, you went on retreat, you went to different treatment centers. You talked about support groups. Also people are encouraged to keep fighting and they keep fighting and keep fighting. Do you think there’s a time to surrender and what is surrender do for us? a

Teri Dillion 39:45
drastic prognosis of ALS. One of my friends who is very active in her advocacy for the ALS community asked after reading my book if I think patients should fight so hard to try to Beat the disease when there are really no medically sound interventions. Because, believe it or not, I’m not unique in my extraordinary fight against this illness, quite a lot of us throw absolutely everything we can get in an effort to accomplish the impossible. I told her I think the decision to surrender or not surrender should primarily be driven by patients themselves. Only we know what we’re up for. And when it’s time to let go, or shift goals. And I’m betting those patients who ended up reversing the disease were mighty grateful, they kept pushing, despite all the logical reasons to surrender earlier. But I realized now, if I would have devoted more effort early on towards accepting the likelihood that I would not be able to fully recover, and working to integrate the grief and devastation of that I might have found a more measured and workable goal to work toward. And, for example, I could have simply work toward improving my quality of life for however long I might have left, and maximizing my well being for the long run of living with a progressive disability. As it was, I was in a frantic black and white dash to fix myself fully to return my life to a state I considered acceptable in terms of phases of grief, I was lingering in denial and bargaining for quite a while. And, of course, this was not a mind state conducive to healing. As I’ve learned, healing often requires a healthy dose of relaxation. And interestingly, letting go. By the time I was ready to accept the reality of having a terminal condition. I was emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted, and I had no energy left to fight. And my surrender, therefore came as a merciful relief. And it’s like, I gave up on the enormous effort of paddling upstream, and just decided to let the river Take me, I could cry, I could breathe, and I could let myself be carried by this force much bigger than me. And I found that letting myself be carried downstream met, I could finally notice the scenery around me. And what do you know, there was still a ton of beauty in it. This decision to let go was healing in and of itself. And the trick, as I see it, is to continuously turn over the outcome of our efforts. This is why having a relationship to a personal higher power is so helpful for surviving ordeals, and building resilience. It doesn’t matter who are what that power is defined. As for us, as long as we have some way to put our life and its figurative hands. At a certain point, we need to be able to say yes, this is not the same as agreeing or liking, but it is necessary for accepting reality. And once we accept, we have all sorts of choices and possibilities for moving forward with grace.

Brian Smith 42:58
You talk about life as a series of many deaths or losses, setting us up for the final loss of death. I thought it was a great observation. And it’s one Frankly, I’m only now coming to everything is impermanent and all throughout our lives, we’re constantly letting go of something or being forced to let go of something, something’s taken away from us. But you don’t end it there. You observe that after the quote loss, we always move on to something else. And you question why we think this ends at the death of our bodies. Could you expand on that?

Teri Dillion 43:28
I’m not sure I could say much more, because you just nailed it. And, of course, this perspective of death being another transition among a lifetime of transitions rests on the premise that consciousness survives physical death. And if we didn’t share that perspective, to begin with, this would be a much trickier point for me to argue. But let’s assume your listeners are more or less open to the idea to foremost, most of our lives, we are in a transition of one type or another. We travel through life stages, identities and roles. We change schools, jobs, careers, and if we’re able, we have the choice to retire, we gain and lose beloved pets, family members, and friends as our bodies change, sometimes slowly and sometimes in an instant. And you could argue that we are always between worlds in a way and have to grapple with all the feelings that come up while straddling multiple realities. And the only thing we don’t have his guarantees, except, of course, the inevitability of our own death. And I believe what makes physical death more monumental than other transitions is how it’s also a shedding of the ego, the part of us which identifies as a solid, continuous self with boundaries we need to defend, but from what I understand, when we shed the ego in such a way, we also shed our fear and our perspective suddenly expands. I have Feeling that we will know. Or I should say something in us knows how to navigate that transition more than we realize. And I like

Brian Smith 45:08
to go back to where your book begins with the no tidy answers lessons. Your book is titled no pressure, no diamonds, and people could maybe think this is a spiritual bypassing book, we’re just like, we’re going to say that, you know, it’s all good because we the pressure produces the diamonds, but I love the balance you have in your book. And you say the idea of finding diamonds deserves care and nuance. And it’s probably up to each survivor to decide how much and when if ever, it’s worth embracing, you say that the loss itself is not a gift, the loss is just lost. In the military, they use the phrase embrace the suck is just embracing where we are, and just dealing with the circumstances that we find ourselves in. So how does one find that balance between fighting and surrender between trying to see the bigger picture and acknowledging that life isn’t always the way we want it to be?

Teri Dillion 45:57
Here’s how I see it. Man, I swear. We all know shit happens. Sometimes, unbelievably ugly shit happens often at the worst possible times, we rarely see it coming either. No amount of piety or cleverness on our parts can fully prevent this reality from touching us at some point in our lives. And we may never be able to make sense of why certain painful things have happened, and whether we could have altered the outcome somehow. And we may not ever believe whatever good things arise in the wake of last may get a worthy trade off. But we always have the choice to mine. Whatever lessons we can from it. The process of mining meaning can be a part of the healing. David Kessler, who worked closely with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross recently wrote a book identifying, finding meaning as the sixth stage of grief. And the good news is, we all get to choose how we go about making meaning of the painful parts of our lives. And often it comes through in a service for others, a work of art, a new sense of purpose, or a worthy fight for humane legislation. On the day, a young woman who was recently diagnosed with ALS wrote me to say my book helped her trust she could get through the future she now faces, I cried with enormous gratitude and relief. And suddenly, I knew beyond a doubt that all my effort was worth it. And my pain had been transmuted into an important gift for someone. And we all carry the potential to offer of ourselves whatever we can for the benefit of others, which I believe is a beautiful thing.

Brian Smith 47:38
Terry, as I got to the end of the book, I realized I wanted to hear from john I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he wrote the afterword. Now, I’m sure you’ve been told many times before the john is a hero, and he is for taking this journey with you. I’m sure you’ve also been told how brave you are. And you are for enduring what you’ve endured and for sharing it with the world. So what do you want to say to us about you and john as compared to ordinary people?

Teri Dillion 48:02
I believe it’s true that john is doing 1000 heroic acts every day, and deserves real accolades for that, it’s quite monumental, as does my mother, Debbie, who generously upended her life to move to snowy Colorado to help us and for that matter, so does every other devoted caregiver to a loved one carrying a heavily compromised body or mind. Anyone who chooses day after day, moment after moment to show up for another person’s care and well being in such an encompassing way, no less is truly manifesting the energy of a bodhisattva. But I believe this is not so uncommon. Actually. When you put ordinary people into extraordinary pickles, they often become extraordinary out of necessity. I mean, look at what frontline health care workers are doing across the country right now. It’s incredible. And ALS patients, on the whole, along with many other people bearing significant disability are true warriors of determination and courage. It’s not that those of us showing up each day to meet our uncommonly challenging lives wouldn’t choose an easier softer way if we could. It’s just that loss and adversity can change us in ways we’d never expect and clarify our motivation and commitment. They can polish our hearts if we allow them to. And I believe the more we can allow what’s painful in our lives to enlarge our vision and our empathy, the more our challenges inspire us towards fighting the good fight for other beings, then the more likely we can help ourselves and each other survive our dark nights.

Brian Smith 49:42
Terry, as you know, my podcast is called grief to growth and people are inspired by stories like Anita moorjani, as we mentioned earlier, they end up with the miraculous physical healing, a cure of the illness that is ravaging the physical body. But we know that’s not always a path for everyone. Can there be a healing without a cure for the illness, can there be any Healing without a healing of the body. And what is that healing?

Teri Dillion 50:03
Yes, it’s such a great question. And I think that this is difficult to answer because the word healing is used interchangeably in physical, relational, and emotional contexts where the aims and end points might be quite different. And generally, we could define healing as a move towards greater wholeness and integration, or even a transmutation of past wounds or weaknesses. But even this definition is tricky. Because when do we ever stop learning, integrating and evolving? There’s always more shadow work to do and more reparations and amends to be made. And can we say we are fully healed while living on a polluted planet with a distribution of resources benefiting the few at the expense of the money? And these questions are far beyond the scope of this discussion, of course, but I think you can understand my point. But if we’re going to limit this discussion to the mind body connection, which is a more manageable subject, I’ll still go out on a limb and propose something that will be unpopular to many spiritual seekers. And I say this as a lifelong seeker with impressive credentials in everything commonly considered woowoo. I believe the mind body connection, as popularly conceived in the New Age, heart is largely overblown, or at the very least, it’s poorly understood. And unfortunately, this misunderstanding gets used as a weapon against people who are struggling with a health issue. And yes, it’s true that our mindsets affect our immune systems. And yes, forgiveness and self love can have remarkable impacts on our well being. And yet, the notion that a healed spirit will always lead to a healed body strikes me as simply delusional. You can live to a ripe old age with a lot of hardness and fear in your heart. You can also fancy yourself as a guru of alternative health, while spouting a ton of contempt and judgment for those who, for one reason or another, can’t simply manifest a conventionally acceptable body. And we’re actually seeing this a ton right now with popular wellness influencers who are revolting against common sense public health measures. And neither of these scenarios to me express health or wellness. And yet, you also see so many children with cancer, or other life altering illnesses and conditions, who are straight up warriors of empathy and gentleness, you can find people in bodies of every shape, size, ability, and precarity, teaching us all how to love and how to forgive. And so to me, it’s not always a straightforward equation that our bodies are a reflection of our spirits. scars, for example, are conventionally considered ugly, yet they also provide evidence of regeneration and adaptation and their strength and beauty and scars. Regarding my own healing, I wouldn’t say I’m healed, because I don’t believe there’s an easily identifiable end point to the journeys we are on. But I would say I feel satisfied in the healing I’ve done throughout this slow dance with terminal illness, even though it never manifested a recovered body. I think whenever we choose to grow in our willingness to course correct and admit our mistakes, we are healing and whenever we slow down enough to allow our own heartbreak and grief to be fully met and honored, we are healing and it’s healing to self define what wellness means to us to identify where beauty and empowerment and choice always exist in our lives. And we can just keep doing our best to allow what feels ugly and unresolved in our lives to open us up to possibility and division instead of shutting us down. And we can keep learning how to ask for help earlier and practice forgiving ourselves and each other when we inevitably stumble. And eventually we can become quiet enough to recognize and soon act upon our deepest knowing for what unique offerings we are summoned to bring to this world. And in this way, we embody vitality, we manifest wholeness, despite being in perpetual flux. I believe there’s powerful medicine in such growth for our own spirits and those whose lives we touch. And perhaps that’s all we ever need to live a beautiful and meaningful life. And

Brian Smith 54:30
while Terry, I’m not even quite sure how to wrap this up, I’m not sure how to put it in the words that would do justice to how fortunate I feel to have had the opportunity to have had this conversation and to put it out into the world. I’ve had a lot of books that have impacted me a lot that I’ve actually forgotten that I’ve even read. Your book is one that had an immediate impact on me and will never be forgotten. And I’ll never forget this conversation either. So I’m truly honored to have been able to do this with you.

Teri Dillion 54:55
Thank you, Brian. You’ve asked wonderful questions. So this has been a very enjoyable discussion for me too. It’s an honor to be featured on your podcast. So thank you for giving me a voice here. And thank you for your great work. I know you are helping so many people

Transcribed by

Roberta Grimes had two experiences of light in childhood that prompted her to spent decades studying nearly 200 years of abundant and consistent afterlife evidence. Eventually, she figured out what her experiences of light had been, and beyond that, she learned so many details about what happens at and after death that in 2010 she published The Fun of Dying – Find Out What Really Happens Next. Her 2014 sequel was The Fun of Staying in Touch – How Our Loved Ones Contact Us and How We Can Contact Them, after which in 2015 came Liberating Jesus. Her 2016 book, The Fun of Growing Forever – We Can’t Transform the World Until We Transform Ourselves, demonstrates how well the Gospel teachings of Jesus work to help us develop spiritually. Then in 2017, she published The Fun of Living Together – We Must Learn to Live Together as Brothers or perish Together as Fools, which explains how we can heal our racial problems in one generation.

A graduate of Smith College and Boston University School of Law, Roberta does a weekly radio program and podcast called “Seek Reality with Roberta Grimes” on and many other venues. She blogs and answers questions at

ℹ️ You can find Roberta at:


Paige’s spiritual awakening came abruptly and forcefully after her 23-year old son, Bryan, was brutally murdered in September 2008. Just as the only world she’d ever known was shattered, a new world opened. A world filled with Hope, Spirit, and Love; a world that allowed her not only to continue having a relationship with her son but a world that opened her own true self into being.

In this interview Paige and I discuss some very tough questions that people ask after their children have passed. This conversation may be upsetting for some.

If you have thoughts about suicide or are planning suicide, please seek help. The National Suicide Hotline is: 800-273-8255




Brian Smith 0:00
Hey everybody, this is Brian Smith back with another episode of reef to growth and today I’ve got with me Paige Lee Paige is another fellow shining light parent. And if you don’t know what that is, we’ll talk about that in a moment. But I want to enter I’m gonna read her introduction and then we’ll get started. Page of spiritual awakening came abruptly and forcefully after a 23 year old son Brian was brutally murdered, murdered in September 2008. Just as the only world she’d ever known was shattered, a new world opened a world filled with hope, spirit and love a world that allowed her not only to continue having a relationship with her son, but a world that opened her own true self into being pages dedicated to helping people have experienced a profound loss, face and release their emotions and find a way to then joyfully connect with their loved one in spirit, says the offer author of a new book choose to believe a story of miracles healing in the afterlife. In the book, she shares her after death experiences with their son, Brian, and outlines a detailed pathway toward healing, all the while encouraging the reader to make their own connections with a loved one after death. So with that, I want to welcome to grief to growth, Paige Lee. Thanks, Brian. I’m so happy to be here. Thank you. Yeah, it’s great to have you here and to meet you. And just to let everyone know what is shining light paradas in case they don’t know what it is. What that is, that’s a that’s a parent who has a child in spirit. And we don’t we don’t say that our child children are dead because we don’t believe they’re dead. We don’t believe that they died, but that they are in spirit, and that they are shining lights and that we can become shining lights and sounds like Paige you. You’ve already made that transition after the after the passing of your son. Thankfully, yes, thankfully, blessedly I was led on that path. Yes. Like instantly lead on that path. Yeah. Well, tell me about Brian and tell me about your path. Okay. All right. Um, I just love this beautiful picture of Shayna behind you. So what a beautiful and I was reading your blog, by the way, and that her name means beautiful light. Is that right? Is that? Is that what that here you are a shining light parents. So you know, anyhow, yeah. Connection.

Paige Lee 2:01
Brian, oh, what a sweetheart Brian was 23 when he died, I do say when he died because his physical body did die. So but I but I do believe that he still lives if that makes sense. But his spirit lives only the body ever dies.

And he was at school at University of Southern California. He had finished his economics degree. So he had started at West Point. Let me just tell the whole story. It started at West Point, he left after a year and a half on an honorable discharge because he just flat out didn’t like it and wasn’t for him. He transferred to Boulder, Colorado for a semester while he waited to hear back from USC. They accepted him. So he went to USC, he finished his economics degree there. And then he immediately enrolled and was accepted into the film school at USC. So he was super excited, really wanted to kind of move out of the economics business world and into the more creative arts, you know, be a director, world. And he was one semester I was going to say six months one semester away from graduating when he was killed. So

so you know, it was devastating. Tourists apart. I mean, of course, all of that. He was my only birth child. I do have two beautiful stepchildren. I had two babies that I miscarried and a baby that was stillborn. So for me, you know, Brian was my one and only my husband and I married into that in 1998. So he had been a big part of Brian’s life as well. So you know, it just rocked us. It rocked us just tore me apart.

He was killed in a random act of violence, walking home one evening, from a bar that he’d been at with two friends and they’d had a couple drinks and they were walking home. And it was a new apartment, and they weren’t familiar. It was just off campus. And, you know, they were just they walked by this building, and Brian slammed the gate shot. And that that was all it took. And somebody came, you know, running out and they engaged in a fight. And Brian and the boys after the fight, Brian and his two friends started to kind of walk away and the guy came, went back into his apartment, ran back out with a knife and, you know, one final blow and then that was it. So just, you know, random, but yet I but yet I come to not believe in random, which is a really tough conversation to have with people. But you know, I for my own sanity, I had to get to the point where I believed and I understood that that it wasn’t random that Brian you know that Brian soul recognized that this was an exit that he chose to take because that kid Let me tell you probably like your shame that that kid lived more in his 23 years than most of us do in a lifetime. He was always, always just off and running to the next thing and you know, the next accomplishment he wants so many awards, I would put you to sleep if I listed them all, you know, super smart, straight, a kid athletic all of that. And so, of course, we miss this physical presence immensely, of course, and I always well, but, but he’s with us. He’s with me all the time. And we now work together and helping other parents just like you and Shana do.

Brian Smith 5:29
Yeah. So um, yeah. You know, it’s interesting that it seems like a lot of times when our kids die early, that there they do live, lifelike, full out. And I talked to a lot of parents that have had children that have that have died early. And it’s almost always like, they’re like, they lived a certain way, you know, that they like it was almost like they knew they weren’t gonna be here for a long time. And they wanted to squeeze everything in.

Paige Lee 5:52
I agree. Yeah. Yeah, I agree. It does. It does seem to be that way. Yeah.

Brian Smith 5:57
Yeah. So I know you’ve you’ve made the transition now and into, you know, your your kind of healing and you’re in you’ve seen, you know, the bigger picture, but what was it like when you first found out that the Brian had been murdered?

Unknown Speaker 6:09
Oh, gosh.

Paige Lee 6:12
And I do the first two chapters in my book are about that, you know, that. So that phone call, right? It all started with that phone call at 5am. And when I first found out, I’ll never forget the name of the the Dean of Students at USC at the time, his name is Michael Jackson. And so that’s the name you don’t forget. And but his roommate had called me at 5am. And he had been, he’s like, I don’t know, Brian was in a fight. That’s all I know. Because he was not one of the boys with him. And would you call the hospital and find out what’s going on? I’m here, but they won’t tell me anything. So I called the hospital and because Brian was an adult, they would tell me nothing. Yeah. And so that was so frustrating. And, and then the next call came from Michael Jackson. And he said, you know, Oh, so you know, your child has died. And I just screamed, I mean, I just screamed and dropped the phone. And, you know, for the longest time, I mean, probably for a couple of years, I would wake up at 5am I would wake up when that phone call came in. It’s just I think it’s so traumatic on our psyche and our being physically and mentally and emotionally. That that it was just a trigger for me. And so I would, I would just wake up and just cry, you know, for the first certainly for the first six months anyway, if not longer. Yeah. So we we, somebody made reservations for us to get to LA I don’t know who and we met Brian’s dad and step mom at the earth air airport, and we all went to LA. And, you know, I don’t I don’t remember a lot. I talked about it a little bit in my book, but it’s just so it’s also vaigai. I do remember that aren’t my husband’s great, nice. We call her a niece and she she really believes she acted as if it was a cousin to Mike, my son and my nephew, and she was in the basement. And I always felt so sorry for her that she had to be there that day because she didn’t live with us. And so I just felt I’ve always felt so sorry for her that she had to witness that app just like a 15 year old you know that? Well, your daughter was what 13 1213 died. Your daughter Shana was 15 right?

Brian Smith 8:29
Yeah, my other daughter was 18

Paige Lee 8:30
eight. Oh, okay. 18 anyhow, so it just it just was it just was it was just like living in a dream. I

Unknown Speaker 8:41
guess this is really

Paige Lee 8:42
all I can describe it. We went to LA we went through all the motions, we we were greeted at the airport by these officials from USC, and some of Brian’s friends, thankfully, because they were the they were the humanity part of the equation. Right. And, you know, we were just kind of like, guided to USC into the president’s office. And it was miserable. It was awful. I was like the last thing I wanted to be doing. The day after know, the day the day of me hearing that my son had died. And so it was just horrible. And I remember waking up the next morning in the hotel and just staring in the bathroom mirror. And I just was like, trying to make sense of like, Who is this woman in the mirror? And why is she Why are tears just streaming down her face? And you know, you’re just like confused, right? Yeah,

Brian Smith 9:29
there’s just this this is so dissociation that comes about and there’s the this is unreal feeling like you’re walking through a dream or through a fog and it’s hard for anybody that hasn’t gone through it to understand so when you say that you don’t really remember a lot of it, I think I mean, I understand that. And, and that surreal feeling when you know that your life has changed forever. You know, just in that moment.

Paige Lee 9:54
You just can’t comprehend it for the longest time and and I just kept expecting him to walk in the room or Are you know it just like you that phone call, they’re gonna say, Oh, I’m sorry, it was a mistake. Thank goodness, it was a mistake. It wasn’t Brian who died, right? I mean, I wished that for months and months. And it’s just, it’s just such devastation. And that’s why helping parents heal is such a beautiful organization. Because Because we can, we can help shine light on other people’s journeys. And we can, we can share with them that, that that’s exactly how we reacted. That’s exactly you know, where our journey took us. And that’s how we felt. And that’s how we experience things. So that and that’s why I wrote the book, because I want people to know that they’re not crazy. They’re not alone. They’re not crazy. They’re not alone, that we’ve been there. And we do understand. And so while everybody’s journey is unique, you know, your journey in grief is going to be different than my journey. But yet, there’s so many similarities, we walk so much of a similar path, that, that that I think we can all resonate with each other stories. Yeah, while recognizing that each journey is unique.

Brian Smith 11:06
Yeah, exactly. And is, what’s one thing about being helping parents heal, which we’re both part of your caring listener, and we’ll talk about that a little bit also. But, you know, no matter how our children transition, for me, anyway, I see some people in the organization, so my child died by suicide, and my child died by cancer and my child died by murder, and those things are all different. But we still still share the same journey, there’s still something universal about what we go through, whether it was a long term thing or a sudden thing, you know, we so I can still relate to, you know, how, what your what you went through and, and getting that phone call for me, I found my daughter, but it’s the same thing. It’s just, you know, they’re here one minute, the next minute they’re not and you think it’s a normal day, and you find out this is the day that your life changed?

Paige Lee 11:53
forever. I mean, forever, the worst day of your life. I I went, I took Brian to West Point. I don’t know if you know much about military academies. But you know, I, we all were there. And we go through the line and we do the, you know, whatever, signups and then all of a sudden, they say, okay, mom’s you know, dad, say goodbye to your child. And I’m like, what, wait, what I mean, I’m like, No, I was not prepared for that. And said, I had always said, that was the worst day of my life. They didn’t even give me time. And then the next time I saw him, he had no hair. You know, he looked defeated, he just like, they broke him down, they, you know, and little did I know that the worst day of my life was yet to come that that day was really a day that that probably helped turn him into, you know, a man. But as a mother, I was grieving the loss of my little boy at that man, knowing that he would come back to me a man. And when, you know, with death, you know, it’s it’s different. And so, one of my biggest lessons in this journey that I’ve been on for 12 years now, which is like, That’s shocking, just like it was shocking at the beginning. And I was, I remember telling people I am, I am not going to survive a week I how am I going to go on? How am I going to survive a week or a month or a year or five years, like, I it’s absolutely unconscionable that I can live the rest of my life, like, you know, I was 49, I think at the time, and so, and now, here it is, 12 years later, right? It’s just but one of the things that I had to embrace that took such a long time, was understanding that not only that he still lives but that I if I choose to meet him where he is now and embrace him as the soul that he is now that that’s, that’s huge. That’s a big deal, because I I had to kind of let go of the need to have him here as Brian and the physical with his face and his dimple, and his, you know, his hair and his bushy eyebrows, I you know, I can remember him in that way. And he does still sometimes appear to me in that form, because that’s dear to my heart. And that’s how I remember him.

But but that’s not who he is now, right? Who He is now is this beautiful light being soul that connects with me on a much deeper level, honestly, than we ever connected when he was here in physical form as my son. So. So that was a huge part of my journey. And I think a huge part of what got us to the point where we can communicate the way that we do.

Brian Smith 14:31
Yeah, I want to go back to some of these because I think it’s really important for people in those early days and I listened to your interview earlier with Suzanne casement and you touched on this, this idea that, you know, that we can go on that because as a parent, my daughter was 15 when when she when she died when she transitioned, and my other daughter just gone to college. So I got through that morning, and I’m thinking okay, well we have Shana for three more years in the house, you know, cuz she’s, she was only going into 10th grade. So we will

got this time with her. So when when she was suddenly gone, I was like, I don’t want to be here. I mean, not not only did I think I couldn’t survive, I was like, I didn’t want to survive. And I had a mother, you know, asked me just a few days ago, she said, Could you talk on your on your program about suicide, about parents that are surviving? Because nobody wants to talk about that? And I heard you tell Suzanne, that was something that you had thought about. And so just something about that. Tell me about how you how, what you went through.

Paige Lee 15:31
In regards to the wanting to die? Yeah. Well, I did want to die. Or I thought he wanted to die. Yeah. Yeah. So I really thought he wanted to die because I couldn’t imagine my life without my son. And, you know, Brian being my only living birth child, since I had lost three babies prior to him. And I do have two beautiful stepchildren. I have a stepdaughter from a previous marriage many years ago. And and I love them all dearly. I do but but your own birth child is, you know, a little bit of a different connection. And so the thought of not having him in my life, I, I just kept saying, If I can’t be Brian’s mom, who am I? Like, I didn’t have any other identity, even though I had jobs that I had careers. I just all of my identity was wrapped into him, how could I help him? When was I gonna see him again? Do I need to bring you home? are we coming to you, you know, what do you need? And so I just couldn’t imagine what I would do with not that and so I just kept thinking in the back of my mind, just just end it. You know, my Dwayne my husband, he’ll be fine. He’s got his kids. Okay, you know, we had a granddaughter at the time. And now we have five, now we have five, but we had one then. And I, you know, he’ll be fine. And he’s got his business. And it just kept nagging at me. And Brian had a little red Ford Ranger truck that we had given him for his birthday one year. And he and I had driven that truck all the way to LA, when he went to enroll at USC, and it was quite the trip. The thing didn’t run all that good. So we had to like rev it up and take a big running, you know, head start to get up the hill, that daughter passed, I think it was, and so just a lot of memories in that truck with him. And, and I didn’t know what to do with the truck. His dad didn’t want it. And so I decided to give it to my nephew to Brian’s cousin Kevin. And so I made arrangements about probably, let’s see, that’s probably like seven, eight months after Brian died. So the following spring, Brian died in September. And I told Kevin, I’m gonna let you have the truck. But I’m going to take one more joy ride in the truck. And so I got in, and you know, it was a, what do you call it a four speed not a not an automatic a step by step manual, thank you, and a stick shift. And I drove to a community outside of ours where there’s a big reservoir that we always use to take the boys fishing, and so many memories of not not so much fishing, but wakeboarding and fishing and them dropping, jumping off the Highbridge into the water and just endless pictures and memories of those times. And so I drove there. And it’s kind of a windy road, you know, to get there and there’s a lot of there’s a there’s a drop right from the edge of the road. There’s no guardrail or anything like that. It’s just this drop down into the reservoir. And I had I had that car going a spell truck as fast as it would go. I had led zepplin blaring on the radio, it was our favorite band. And I was just lost. I was absolutely lost in my memories. And I just said, Okay, this is it. You know, I’ve been talking about I want to die, and I’m just I’m going to do it. And I I’ll be honest, and say I think there was some part of my brain that was like, you’re not really going to do it. But I understood that I had to put this to rest I understood that I had to I had to be done with this conversation because it was serving me no good whatsoever, right. And so I just wrapped that truck up as far as it would go. I you know, Led Zeppelin blaring on the radio, and I just arrived and I swerved to the edge where the water is. And then at the last possible second, I slammed on the brakes. And I stopped and I did not go in. And I just heard in my head No, this is not the way this is not to be your path. And and I understood that I needed I just needed to test myself I think is really what that was it was a test for myself that my higher self or my subconscious self needed to do so that I could just be done with that conversation of suicide. So for me, it wasn’t my path. Right? And just like in the earlier days, you know, I drink wine. I drink a bottle of wine every night. And you know, that wasn’t to be my path either. I had to stop doing that because I just had work to do. I think I think Just always known that, you know how we just take our pain and we turn it into fuel to do really great work. And I think that’s why so many parents of children who have died, do enter into this work to help others, whether we do it for free, or whether we do it for compensation, you know, which is which is fair.

It’s, I think we’re just driven to do that, because the pain is so great, we have no other choice, we’re either going to, we’re either going to drown in our pain, right? Or we’re going to use it as fuel to help other people. I think it’s one or the other. So for me, suicide wasn’t the answer. I do believe suicide as a as an option for people to exit. And I know a lot of moms whose children have left by suicide. And and I think, I think I think I think at the end of the day, we have to honor the choice the soul makes.

Brian Smith 20:54
Yeah, I agree with you. And I really, really appreciate you sharing that and being so vulnerable, because so many people aren’t. And for me, I didn’t I never planned it. But I thought about it. And it’s funny, you talk about driving, because I’m one day I was driving back from I was in Kentucky, and I live in Ohio. And it was a beautiful, sunny day. And I started thinking about Shayna. And I was like, you know, I could just run into a bridge abutment. And no, it’ll be over. And I would be with her. And I think a lot of people when they have these thoughts have never had before in their lives that they are, something’s wrong with me. I’m going crazy. But I heard you say this. And I agree. As a parent, I don’t know who doesn’t think about that. I mean, I guess there’s some people that don’t, but you want to be with your child. That’s just a natural instinct, I think probably particularly for mothers. But for fathers also, we want to we want to be with our kids, we want to protect them. We want to know, they’re, they’re happy and they’re safe. So that that thought comes I want to say to people that have had that thought, if you’re planning suicide, then I encourage people to get help and know, right, and I and I don’t want to ever feel like, you know, it’s very difficult to talk about this stuff with, you know, honoring people’s path.

Paige Lee 22:00
I know, I know.

Brian Smith 22:03
But at the same time, you know, giving telling people it’s okay to have those thoughts. That doesn’t mean that you’re crazy, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. But like, like you I ultimately said, Okay, well, I’ve got I’ve got work to do here. And I know how how my daughter is and how she would greet me if I did do something like that. And I have other people I’m responsible to, you know, I’ve got I’ve got a daughter that I love very much. And I have a wife that I need to be here for. And you know, I have work to do. So you know what we choose to stay, but for people that are going through that, that back and forth that, you know, it’s understandable.

Paige Lee 22:39
It is understandable. And and absolutely, they should seek help from a professional and I know as as caring listeners, which we’re going to talk about, we never, we never really venture into that territory with any of our with any of our parents who call us because we have not trained professionals. So I I do want to say that I that is that is my opinion. But I thought I sought mental health professionals to before and after. Well, not before that time, but after that time, not because I was feeling suicidal, but for other reasons. So I do believe in that. And I think that everybody should seek whatever alternatives they can to actually, you know, doing that. Yeah, I think everybody’s needed here. I think the reason we’re still here is that we have a purpose, and that, you know, somebody needs us. So there’s work we haven’t completed. So I think I think if we are still here, we probably have something we need to finish.

Brian Smith 23:34
Yeah, I agree with that. And the other thing I want to say to people is, you know, whether you think suicide is right or wrong or a path or not one thing we know is the people that you leave behind, it causes tremendous pain. And so I think that’s something that we need to really think about, you know, because we know how it felt when our kids transitioned or left. And for us to do that to other people by our own choice, which I think we have to really think about the ripples that we were going to leave a lot of times people don’t realize how needed they are, you know how we all are?

Paige Lee 24:06
Well, I think it adds that component of guilt. That summit, you know, that that maybe that’s it’s a big burden to bear, I can only imagine that it would be a huge burden to have to bear because there would have to be some guilt. I know. But the people I know who are living with that have that I’ve had some people reach out to me. I have a friend in New Zealand who wrote a beautiful letter to another mom about suicide because her son did suicide. And anyhow and her beliefs and how she came around to it. So she’s given me her blessing to share that with people if you know if it ever comes up but yeah, so yeah.

Brian Smith 24:45
Yeah. Well, I again, I appreciate you you going there with me because I someone just requested this like last week and I was like and she said, Can you have a mother on or to talk about this? I’m like, I heard your interview with Suzanne. I heard you bring that up. And I’m like, you know, I thought you’d be comfortable. With talking about that, because I think it’s really important for us not to feel alone, we’re on this journey. And for people, like, you know, you’re 12 years, I’m at five years, and I remember what it was like when I was at a few months. And I saw someone at five years, 12 years, just like you, I was like, yeah, that’s not gonna be me. Yeah, I’m not going to be here. And, you know, Suzanne giesemann talks about joy. And, you know, we talked about being shining like parents, and I’m like, yeah, there’s not gonna ever be any joy again. So that’s the feeling that you have in those first few days. I just talked to a mother a couple nights ago, and she was just in tears because it’s only been a couple of months. And I was like, it will get better you know, if we work at it. So tell me how you how you made this transition this this, you know, you go from being shattered and and so what happened then?

Paige Lee 25:48
Well, um, you know, I don’t talk about in my book about the trial, but there was a trial. So they did, they did catch the man who, who killed Brian and he said prison will be facing his was at Suzanne’s interview that we talked about that, but he’ll be facing parole here probably in the next five years. I think so that’ll be kind of interesting. We’ll see how spiritually evolved. I am at that time. Because that’s gonna be interesting, right? But, but we don’t have to. We don’t have to face that yet. Three weeks after Brian died. I was laying on my bed. And I heard out loud with my ears, mom. I heard him cry out to me. It was out loud with my ears. And I just Brian, I, Brian, my son’s Brian, you’re right. I jumped up. And I’m just like, Brian, Brian, where are you? Like I heard you, I heard you. And of course, I couldn’t see him or find him. So I raced to my bookshelf. And I’m like, nothing, nothing, nothing, no books on the afterlife. And so I went to the bookstore, and I bought every book I could find on the afterlife. And the first book I read was George Anderson’s lessons from the light, I think it is less than right. And, and then three weeks after that, approximately, I went to the grocery store, which was my first kind of venture out because I’ve been having horrible panic attacks. Like every time I would leave my house, I’d have a panic attack, because my home and I know many grieving parents will relate to this as well, my home was my safe haven, and I did not want to leave it. I want it to stay there with at the time, my wine, and my pictures and my memories, and my, you know, my music from the funeral, you know that I would just Blair didn’t want to leave the house. And I did on this day. And my husband, we went to the grocery store, and there’s a woman there with her husband in the produce department. And I know them and their son and our daughter dated and my son knew their son. And I’m just like, instant, like, avoid you know, that feeling of, oh my Don’t look at me like, you know, I don’t want to see the pity in your eyes. I do not want to see the pity in your eyes. And I know what you’re thinking. I know what everybody in this store is thinking you’re thinking. I’m so glad it was her. Not me. Right. That’s what I thought I thought they were all thinking. I’m so glad I’m so sorry for your pain. But I’m so glad it wasn’t me. Because we never think it will happen to us. Right? We never think it will happen to us. It just happens to other people that we don’t know. Yeah. And anyhow, so I’m avoiding her. And I hear this voice that you know, the voice This is when the voice started really piping up. And the voice said, Go talk to her. No, no, no, no, I’m not gonna go you know, I walk over to the grapes, you know, the other end of the produce department. And, you know, go talk to her. So after about the third nudge, I said, Fine. I’m like talking out loud at this point. Fine. And I go over there. And I’m like, Hi, Carol. How are you? And she goes, Paige.

Oh, my gosh, it’s so good to see you house, Brian.

Unknown Speaker 28:47
Oh, wow.

Paige Lee 28:48
And I just, I just melted. I mean, I literally just collapsed. And she’s like, oh my gosh. And so I told her and I don’t know how they didn’t know they live in my small community outside of Boise. But some people just don’t watch the news or, you know. And anyhow, so she says, Remember, this is three weeks after I heard Brian’s voice. So I’ve become a seeker at that point. I’m seeking Him, where are you? How can I find you? She says, she says, What can I do to help? And I said, Well, you don’t happen to know of a psychic, do you? And she said, as a matter of fact, I’m really working on my spiritual development. And I’m having a psychic message circle at my home in like two weeks or whatever it was, and I have two seats left, would you like to come for Wow. And I said, Yes, yes, I would like to come. And so everything Everything is everything is available to us, right? So we just have to be willing, I had to be willing to step out of my home and out of my comfort zone. I had to be willing to listen to that voice that had to nudge me three times before I went over there and did what they asked me to do they being spirit and and in order to be able to receive this invitation To talk to my first psychic ever in my whole life, and that turned out to be an incredible, amazing experience. And I saw that man every month for a year. He’s a very gifted, legitimate medium that lives outside of my community. He runs a church. He’s just a beautiful, beautiful person. And, and I signed up that January. So it’s like only four months after Brian died. And I signed up for psychic development classes, and Angel and guide workshop. And I was a sponge, Brian, anything and everything that I could learn. I was reading books like crazy, because I was on a mission to find my son.

Brian Smith 30:41
Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. And I love the way you put that, you know, it’s funny, cuz you said that reminded me I have a friend who’s a medium and the way we met was my daughter dropped in on her. And I walk every day. And so she was this friend was seeing my posts on Facebook and how many steps I take it every day. And she’s like, this guy is really like walking like crazy. I walk seven miles every morning. Oh, and she said, Shayna was telling her to reach out to me. So she reached out to me, she said Shayna is saying that you’re trying to hit you’re trying to catch up with her. And so you know, when you said that we’re seeking our children. I know someone else wrote a book about his son passing away. And this whole thing was I’m seeking my son. So it’s like we, you know, I don’t know what your what your religious background is. But a lot of us are, you know, raised Christian, we think, well, they’re in heaven. And that’s good enough when it’s an older person or something, but I’m when it’s our kid, it’s like, we want to know more. And I know where are they Really?

Paige Lee 31:32
Yes, really, because heaven was, I have a chapter in my book about finding spirituality, because I also was raised Christian Presbyterian, but mostly at Easter. Yeah, so we get dressed up for Easter and all that, but, but I really didn’t have an understanding of I believed in a god, I believed in God, I use the term God. I believed in definitely a higher power something greater than ourselves. I have a Bible, I’ve read parts of the Bible, you know, but I, I’ve tried Bible study, I’ve tried every church you can imagine. With my son, actually, we went on a journey one year to find our church and we never found it. And, and then after Brian died, I found found my church and my church is here. Yeah. And my church is here, and my god is here. And I believe, I believe in Christianity, I believe in God and Jesus, and I believe in the Bible and the Bible. They even used the Bible as a tool for me once in getting assigned to me from Brian on my first Mother’s Day Without him, so I don’t want to give away every story in my book, but that’s a really good one. Yeah. And so, but I, we almost died, Brian and I almost died once before. And God, either God plucked his hand into that water and picked us out and placed us on the rocks, or his angels did, because he went from almost almost being drowned, to sitting up on top of high rocks. Oh, I had what I say in the book is I had felt God work in my life before. That’s just the most extreme example of of one way which I had. But, but I had never really understood how God worked in my life directly until Brian died. And now everything I do is, you know, of God and to God and trying to live, you know, trying to live in God’s image, but trying to live in my son’s image, not not in his image, but to make him proud of me right, to do the work that I know that I’m left here to do, that we do together. So I believe I believe it was pre planned. I don’t know if you know, you do all that kind of stuff. And Sara ruble talks a lot about pre birth planning. Dr. Journey of souls is one of my favorite books, absolute favorite books, Dr. Michael Newton, about pre birth planning, and what happens when we’re in between lives. There’s just so much right. There’s so much information in 12 years, which is why I wrote the book to try to get as much of it out as I could so people could know. Because it’s like, you know, Tom zoob. I don’t know if you know, Tom, he likes to say, I wrote he wrote his book, because it’s the book he wished he could have read when his wife and two children died, right? This is the book that I wish I could have. My book is the book I wish I could have read so that I knew that I wasn’t going crazy. And so that I could have skipped over I could have skipped over some pain to get to Well, how do I do that? And how do I do this? And where should I go and where should I start? Yeah,

Brian Smith 34:33
absolutely. And I you know, what you said about, you know, the Bible and the way that we were raised and you know, and religion, let’s just call it religion. Yeah, no, it works for people until it doesn’t. And I find so many people and I would like I can’t reveal any confidence but I was just talking to him other than talk to others all the time. So there’s no one will know she is. I was talking to him about the other day. He was like, I don’t know who I am anymore. You know, I don’t I don’t know who God is anymore. Because we have this this Sunday school image of God that if we do the right things, then nothing bad will happen. And when we have something like this, then it’s like, suddenly we’ve got to start finding out for ourselves. And we’ve got it’s got to be more than just that superficial, you know, kind of kind of religion thing that we get. And you talked about, you know, your churches here. I tell people my religion now as I’ve heard people say, my religions love I call it Brian ism, because it’s like, it’s I study Hinduism. I study Buddhism, I study, you know, the Dow, I study, you know, I’ve read a little bit of the crime. I know the Bible, you know, really well, because my, my grandfather was a preacher. So I grew up in the church. So I, but I take all that stuff. And I also look at science, you know. And so I, when you said, I know, it’s like, I tell people, they’re like, what do you believe? I’m like, No, I know. At this point, I that’s what I know. And is, and I know it because there’s so much out there. And I love that your book because you give resources even in your book, right? I did, where people can go to find this stuff. Yeah,

Paige Lee 36:01
yeah. Yeah. It’s just everything that was gifted to me, I feel so lucky. I feel so fortunate because I need to hear Brian out loud with my ears just three weeks after he died. So it’s like, I’m just a mom, there is nothing special about me. I am not psychic. I’ve not been seeing dead people since I was a little girl. But for me, it was that that was probably they probably knew that’s what it was going to take to get through to me was something that extreme. Because I was completely I knew nothing about any of this. And sometimes I laugh at how persistent Brian has been. I mean, because he’s really had to just kind of do this with me a lot. So that’s what I want to avoid other people don’t, you don’t have to go through that. You know, let’s we’ll get you started in the right direction. So I do a live zoom thing now and doing it through the end of December, pockets free on Monday nights, and we do a connection meditation. So that’s free to everybody. I think Elizabeth has been posting it on the helping parents heal Facebook page, but just because it shouldn’t be a secret, right? I mean, that’s why you’re doing what you do. That’s why we all do what we do. It’s none of this should be a secret in the days of believing that I have to go to a medium to get the answers to communicate with my child. Yes, it’s comforting. Yes, it’s healing. Yes, I utilize that source. But is it isn’t necessary? No, because you can communicate with Shana I can communicate with Brian, everybody can communicate with their child, some of us might get there a little quicker than others. You know, what took me 12 years, you know, say I mean, not that I waited 12 years. But you know what I mean, might take somebody else one year or five years, because all of our journeys are different. And we all have different belief systems, you know, sometimes they get in the way.

Unknown Speaker 37:49
And we have to we

Paige Lee 37:49
have to learn like the religion, we have to sometimes learn how to how to how to walk around that and how to kind of ease ourselves into a new understanding and a new reality that will allow us to find our, our loved ones.

Brian Smith 38:04
Yeah, let’s talk about how you communicate with Brian, you said you got that time when you spoke to you audibly three weeks after after his passing. How is the communication? What’s it like now?

Paige Lee 38:14
Well, now, I’m now now that I guess the most physical thing that he does is he sends me these hugs, where he? So I used to call it I can’t say out loud, I used to call it but it used to be whenever I spoke a spiritual truth out loud, this spiritual tingle, like would come through my body. And I know many, many people probably in your audience can relate to that to where after I had studied the spirituality enough and got to the point I do, I’m Reiki and pranic healing certified. So I’ve learned about energy. And so I got to the point somewhere along my journey, where whenever I would speak like kind of a profound spiritual truth, I guess, I would get this like tingle and I would be like, Oh, that’s my you know, that’s my nod from God from my my spirit team that I just spoke something that’s truth. Well, Brian does that times 1000. He says, His energy through me, in me through me all the way through my arms and my hands and my legs and my feet, and I’m just almost vibrating. And I call it my Brian hug. And seriously, it’s intense. I said, if I’m holding something, I oftentimes just have to drop it because I’m just like, I have to just, I have to let it move through me it is that intense. And so I it’s hard to explain. But it’s the most beautiful amazing thing and and we’ve I’ve worked hard to get to this point where I can receive that from him. Because like I said, I’m not a natural at this. I’ve had to learn it. I had to go through years of doubt. And you know, the reason my book is called choose to believe is because even though I was communicating with him through mediums, and he was sending me some galore. I mean, we had so many signs, and all of these great things. And still I would, I’d be like, Ah, really? Like Did that really happen? Or, you know, did you really just, you know, was that really from him? And finally Spirit said, Listen, just choose to believe, just to please just choose to believe, because if you would just believe, then eventually you will, right. Just choose to believe and eventually you will. Yeah. And I just said, okay, because I couldn’t find it anymore. And I never gave up wanting it right. And so I did, and everything kind of broke wide open. And so from that point forward, I started hearing him more clearly in my head. When I if I’m in meditation on behalf of Brian or another child, he’ll kind of right through me. You, you heard the example I gave of Suzanne Wilson’s reading that I was so blessed to receive in Arizona, probably at the very end of Suzanne Eastman’s interview, I mentioned that, where Brian had spoken a phrase to me, and Suzanne repeated it on the stage. And it’s, it’s it had been years, first of all, and never had spoken those words to anybody. So it’s such a validation. And that’s why we go to mediums for the validation. But I can I can, I can now get those hugs from Brian and he can talk to me and I know it’s him. I know, it’s him. I no longer question. Is that really him? Am I just making it up. But I think we have to go through that. And that’s what we talked about in the in the class that I’m doing is, you know, it’s a process of first opening ourselves up to the energy opening, learning how to get out of our mind and into our heart space. And I use mantra, I use mantra to help me instantly kind of get into the calmness. And then and then it’s stillness for me. I’ve had some amazing guided meditations, amazing of which Dr. Marks, you know, pet sticks is one of them the most incredible thing I’ve ever I actually believe I left my body during that meditation and went to visit Brian and my loved ones in heaven. But, but for me, the silence is where the answers are. The silence is always where the answers are, right? It’s the quiet still place within us. That’s where the answers are. And that’s where we find our children, or our spouse or a parent or our friend. Yes. Or our sibling.

Brian Smith 42:25
Yeah, we you said, to choose to believe I think that was really interesting way of putting it, because it really is a choice. You know, it really is. And I see people, you know, I’ve had people say, Well, you know, my son or daughter passed two years ago, my mother, and I haven’t gotten any signs at all. And I’m like, Oh, really? Yeah, except for the dream I have. My mother came to me and told me that everything was going to be okay. And she was young and healthy. Or I was talking to a young lady, and she told me, her mother had passed. And she said, I was really distraught. One day, I was walking down the street, and I was crying. And this woman stopped me. And so the UK, they ended up having a long conversation. Turns out the woman that spoke with her mother passed when she was really young. And she spoke words of this to this young woman that changed her life. And she’s she’s talking to me, she said, Well, you know, I think that might have been a sign I said, that certainly, you know, was a sign so we, we can choose to when these things come along, and I’m an engineer, so I analyze them too. Because like Shane has done thing with things on my phone, like one day, my podcast, on my phone, she changed all the covers of all my podcast to a picture that I had of her when she was two years old building with these blocks. And I’m freaking out. I’m like, What happened to my podcast? How did that happen? And it is everywhere. So then I went and checked, you know, other places, and everywhere else, the podcasts covers were the same as they always were. But only on my phone where they changed and then they change back.

Paige Lee 43:52
I know Don’t you love that stuff?

Brian Smith 43:55
So I’m like, what, enough? So I’m like, Okay, how did this is? This is the engineering me How did this happen? Was it just a fluke could have just but I to this day cannot figure out how that could possibly have happened. So I’ve had to say, Okay, well, that was that was a sign

Paige Lee 44:10
that was shailer right? Because there is no explanation for Yeah, you know, there is no I mean, I we have all of that, you know how they love to use technology in the early days that really I think is truth. It’s easier for them to manipulate electronics than it is to enter through and give us a hug right that’s a little harder to enter through all of our energy bodies and you know, get where we can feel them in that way. We have to really do the work to be open I think to receive that. Yeah. But oh my gosh, iPods coming on and off by themselves TVs coming on and off freezing my phone, but just splashes picture, you know, just out of the blue. Just stuff that I mean that and that I think that’s what gets us through. That’s what gets us through those particularly the first year or so. Don’t get Yeah,

Brian Smith 44:54
I love I love what you said because as you said I was thinking you know, you said you’ve talked about getting the hugs from Brian. outtakes while to get there and reminds me, my friend, Jake, semi Edney, who’s a medium you might you might know, Jay? Well, the name so Jake was he describes it as when we’re in the heavy grief. It’s like, like it’s like Crisco when it’s solid, and there’s a feather sitting on top of spirits like the feather. And you need to melt the Crisco for the feather to be able to get through. I love that. And there’s those early days of that heavy grief. And it’s so unfair, because, you know, we tell parents, we have to raise your vibration, and they’re like, I can’t raise my vibration, because I’m in grief. And so I guess the thing is, you know, to be patient and to look for those other things. And I’m like, well, you said that, because it seems like they can get to us through technology, do light bulbs flashing on and off our cases, our ceiling fan in our bedroom, Shannon would turn that on or off. And if she doesn’t do it much anymore, it’s very rare that she does it now. But I think she comes to us in other ways.

Paige Lee 45:50
Right? And, and as I think as they progress in the ways that they communicate with us, they become more meaningful, and more just on on a deeper level, right? Because I mean, the the way I received Brian now is so much deeper than the ladybug that he sent me on my 50th birthday. All of that was, that was huge. You know, I mean, I’ve big thing that we have a big thing with lady bugs. That’s our thing. But that’s why I’m like, Can I hold up my book? Yeah, absolutely. Is that okay? So it’s choose to believe and there’s this. You see the stick and there’s a little Ladybug up there and the light on the sticks. See it but that’s the red the lady but such a huge part of our path is the the ladybug that he sends me. And he sends me ladybugs because I asked him just kind of inadvertently, randomly one day to send me a ladybug. And that night, the First Lady Bug came and they have never stopped coming. And I never had a thing for ladybugs before. So not only not only do they send us those types of signs early in our grief. Not only do they send us signs like that early in our grief, but they’ll also give you what you asked for. I had a lady who she read that chapter in my book, and she she stopped and she put the book down and she was sitting at a river. And she put the book down and she asked her child for a sign at that moment after she read that chapter. And and then she got the sign that she asked for. So they’re listening, they’re listening, they want to give us they want to give us but I love Jake’s analogy. And I always I just always say it’s just a gray shroud. It’s a it’s a it’s it’s a it’s it’s just like a big black gray cloud that we walk around with. And of course, they can’t penetrate that and, and I they want us to just they want us to, to come into the light and not have that shroud around us. But but we have to we have to go through our mourning process. I mean, yeah, there’s, there’s, we have to go through that. You know,

Brian Smith 48:00
I think we I agree. And I think it’s really important to say that we have to be patient with ourselves in that because, you know, people say I want to get there right now. And I’m like, tell people, there’s no timeline on grief. But there are some general guidelines. And the first year is generally shock. You know, it’s just first years Usually, I don’t believe this, you know, you just kind of stumbling through is like a fog. And then I’ve also found because, you know, we’re going through the holidays, right now we’re recording this at the beginning of December. And one of the worst years ever, so we’re going through a lot of stuff right now. But those first holidays are rough, but sometimes the second holidays are even worse that that second year, when it really sinks in. So it is a it is a process and I try to tell people in the early part of it is just hold on, you know, just just hold on and get through the days and it will get better, you know, starting you know, at a certain point in time.

Paige Lee 48:56
And and to be gentle, be gentle with yourself and allow a lot whatever comes up allow it I mean, I sat on my floor and screaming and kicking and pounding and tried to negotiate with God and and you know, it wasn’t gonna work. But I you know, I did that. And I mean, we have to, we have to allow whatever comes up in us that day, and if it’s to lay in bed and pull the covers over our head for a week or a month, and that’s what we have to do. I mean, I mean, I’m not a proponent of you know, I’m a proponent of doing whatever it is somebody needs to do that day. But we have to find opportunities to be kind to ourselves. And so bodywork is critical. If people can afford massage or do yoga, do something at home to where you’re stretching and moving your muscles because grief will absolutely locked down in our muscles. It’ll store there and locked down until we start to release it. So even though Yes, that first year is all about that and the first year is all about tears, tears, tears, tears, tears. I was like I could not possibly Have any more tears in my body? And then I would cry another bucket full, you know, and and it was just that way I would watch films of him to make myself cry. Yeah. I mean, because I just I just I had to I was.

Brian Smith 50:15
There’s something about that, you know, it’s interesting because when Shana this summer after she passed, I discovered an album by a group called Evanescence and the lead singer of the album, she had a sister transition when she was young. And so I’m listening to the album and the almost the whole album is about, it’s about death, and seeing the person again and going through your life that is a song called the end of the dream, because, you know, running toward it in the dream to see you again. And I’m like, What is it about listening to this music that makes me feel better, because it makes me cry every time. But there’s something about you need to kind of flush that out of yourself. And even even to this day, you know, I’ll put on a song that reminds me of Shane, and I know that I’m gonna cry when I do it. But there’s something that’s that’s cathartic about it, I guess.

Paige Lee 51:00
Well, it’s it’s healing, you know, it’s healing, and you probably on some level, feel better afterward. Because you’ve needed those tears, you need it to release. It’s all about, it’s all about releasing our pain and pain. Let me tell you, I’ve had a lot of pain in my life, and not as great as you know, Brian’s death, but a lot of pain and pain, pain, what you know, layer after layer after layer after layer of pain. And we have to whittle away at it a little bit at a time. So the more we can do things like moving our physical body, prayer, and meditation, gratitude, these are the things that I laid out in my book. You probably talk about this in your book, too. But just things that you can do to ease the pain just a little bit or to help yourself get through the pain, I guess, is a better way to say it, because it’s, I call them grief surges. Yeah, the first couple of years, it’s like, you know, you’re just driving down the street. And you see that little boy at the bus stop. You know, we’re in the exact same outfit Brian head on when he was in the first grade. And just, I had to pull over to the side of the road, it was such a trigger. And this was a couple, three, four or five years in, right. So I call them grief surges and what we can do about them to help us deal with them walking physical activity, I also love to walk and hike. That’s been a huge way, I guess, for me to relieve my pain, and to get out of myself. Because it’s like, it’s so weird, right? On one hand, we’re saying, Oh, you need to honor yourself. And, you know, cry, cry, cry. And on the other hand, we’re like, well, but we want to, we want to go do these other things to help the pain move out of your body. Because that’s really the goal, we want to feel like we have to feel it. But then we then we want to release it. If you don’t release it, we stay it stay stuck in us. And then it’s hard to become bigger than our story. And this really this journey, the healing journey is about becoming bigger than our story. In the beginning. It’s all about our story. How did how did Brian die? Let me tell you how Brian died. And I tell that story, you know, again, and again and again. And then you know, people don’t really want to hear it anymore. But I keep telling it until one day I didn’t I didn’t need to tell it anymore. And you know, I think telling it in the book was, was you know, maybe the last time I need to tell it right? It’s like, we get to the point where our journey is just bigger than that. And I think that we find a place where we find a place where we can, we can appreciate the journey that we’re on. And we can find gratitude in the journey that we’re on. So and I know for people that are newly grieving, that’s impossible to even comprehend. Yes. But but it’s so true. Right? Would you agree with that?

Brian Smith 53:43
Absolutely. 100%. And, and, and also, again, remembering what it sounded like when people talked about gratitude. I’m like, You gotta be kidding me. You know, gratitude practice, but I do it. I it’s a practice for me every day, before I get into bed, I think of three things I’m grateful for. And it can be small things, the beds warm, it’s winter now. So the fact that the bed is warm, the fact that I can get up and I can go for a walk, you know, with COVID I was I was waking up and like, I’m grateful that I can take a deep breath. So it doesn’t have to be you know, big things. And it really, and it sounds silly, but it really will change your perspective on things if you if you make that a practice.

Paige Lee 54:20
Yeah. And I like to ask people to add to their gratitude list add, what’s one thing that you’re grateful for to your beloved now after their death, and like start getting into that space of Okay, I have a new life with my beloved I have a new relationship because that’s what i was like i, George Anderson said, you can still have a relationship with your loved one and I’m like, I can, yeah, relationship with him. Like what’s that gonna look like? And so you know that and so the whole journey right commenced but start thinking about ways that you can be grateful to them. I am so grateful to Brian for the hugs. I’m so grateful for that Ladybug. I’m so grateful. And I would get a sign. And I’m telling you, if I would get a sign and I’d be, I’d be good for two weeks, like walking CLOUD NINE for two weeks. And then I want more. And then there were times where I felt so needy. And I’m like, I know, I’m so needy, but I need more. And sometimes I asked for signs and I don’t get them, right. That’s when I go back to my journal, you want to write all your science down, because when you don’t get one, you can go back and remember, the amazing miracles. I always called it my miracle journal. And because each and every sign from our beloved is a miracle, it’s a miracle. Isn’t that? Isn’t that amazing that they can communicate with us in that way?

Brian Smith 55:41
Yeah, it’s really, right. It’s really cool. And you know, the thing about the ongoing relationship because it sounds again, when people are remember what it’s like, was early in the journey was like, what does that mean? Because she’s not here anymore. I can’t I can’t watch TV with their we can’t get pizza together. But I do talk to her every day. And I realized this was not too long ago. It’s like, I talked to her more than I talked to my daughter that’s still in the physical because my daughter in the physical doesn’t live with us. So I only see her every few weeks. So but Shane I literally talked to every day. So it’s the first thing I’d say when I get up in the morning is I tell a good morning because of a big picture of outside my bedroom window. So when I walk out of the room, you know, I say good morning to her. But when I go to when I at night, I’m taking my dog out for the last time I say goodnight to her. So I talk more now than I would you know she’d be 21 now so she wouldn’t she wouldn’t be living here. She’d be way college.

Paige Lee 56:33
Right? Exactly. Yeah, say Brian would be 35 or something crazy. Gosh, like that blows my mind. Are my daughter’s my stepdaughter, my daughter, she is just six months older than Brian. So I’m always like, Oh, that’s how I think of everybody now is in terms of, well, how old were Brian B. So you must be this. Everything’s in terms of, you know, a B after Brian. Yeah, before Brian and after Brian. That’s how I think of my life now. A B or BP? Yeah, there’s these crazy birds right now. I gotta tell you this crazy birds. Like I almost feel like they’re gonna hit the house. While we’re flying all around this outside. It’s very, I’m like, ooh, I don’t like that movie. The birds so big black birds. Let’s hope that’s not assign

Brian Smith 57:17
any signs we don’t want them to. That’s right.

Unknown Speaker 57:20
Yeah. Yeah, who knows?

Brian Smith 57:21
Yeah, Shana likes to mess with my computer. I mean, one time, my computer’s just acting really weird. And I called the repair shop and said you’re probably gonna need a new computer. my hard drive was I was trying to repair it. It took me like several days. And finally it just started working again. And I was I was designers could buy a new computer. And like a week later, I had a reading with the medium. She said Shana said she likes to mess with your computer. And I said, Shana needs to stop breaking things. Because we had an outlet in the kitchen that stopped working. It was a GFCI outlet. And it just kept tripping. It wouldn’t stay. It wouldn’t stay stay in the right position. So I was just getting ready to leave to go buy another one and con electrician have replaced us at one more. I’m gonna try it one more time. And I hit the reset button. And it’s stuck. It stayed where we’re supposed to be. I love it. Yeah. So I’m like, you know, so they sometimes do things that will like, you know, they think it’s a little mischievous.

Paige Lee 58:12
I love how you talk to her that way to just so casual like she was like Shana, you need to quit breaking things. I mean, that’s so right. Like she’s just like still here right next to you that you’re in a casual. That’s how I talked to Brian too. And and you know, I said in the book and it’s, it’s in some it’s hard to put into words but in some ways I’m even closer to Brian now than I was when he was

Unknown Speaker 58:33

Paige Lee 58:34
Yeah. In body because man he likes to he pushed my triggers man all the time. He did he he just liked to do that. You know, we were so much alike. He is so much like me. And and I know that it doesn’t offend him for me to say that out loud to people. You know. We’re so close. Now. We were so close then. But it’s it really is kind of a deeper level now because it’s a soul to soul communication. Yeah. And and it’s just I wouldn’t. I mean, do I want him back in the physical? Yes, that would be amazing. Yeah. And I would be sad to give up what we have now at the same time, if that makes any sense.

Brian Smith 59:13
It does. You know, Shana was a very strong willed child. I remember when she was, well, we knew it from the literally day she was born. The nurses at the hospital that night she was born said this, you’re gonna have your hands full with this when she was two. I said, I hope she uses her powers for good and not for evil because she was just anything she wanted to accomplish the work. So she was 15 and a half when she passed. I think we probably avoid it. You know, we did avoid the 1617 1821 you know, all the fights we would have had. And but I feel like now Shana is a partner. So that’s something I wouldn’t have felt if she had been here because she is a part of my She’s the reason why I do what I do. And she’s a part of what I do what I do. So now she’s my partner.

Paige Lee 59:55
Exactly. That’s exactly right. Yep, that’s exactly right. I I always SAS Brian, go go gather up those kids now. Yeah, gather up those kids bring them on in. And I know that he is I know that he does do that.

Brian Smith 1:00:08
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think so there, it’s it’s weird no to say that to people and they’re like, you know, because it’s both. It’s just one of those things that we have to we can all both at the same time. I miss her tremendously, you know, I would love to have her back, it would give anything to have her back. But there is some there is some blessing and and this, and the fact that, which is the most important thing that I will see her again. So I always have that that hope in front of me. Yes,

Paige Lee 1:00:38
yes. And we’re not afraid to die, right. Like, I used to be so afraid of dying. And now I know. I mean, show me a parent Whose child is in spirit that doesn’t say, I’m not afraid to die now.

Brian Smith 1:00:50
Because that one yeah.

Paige Lee 1:00:51
Yeah. Because we know, we know that they’re going to be there. I’ve actually seen it firsthand. And um, you know, my grandma came to me three weeks before Brian died in a dream. And she told me, I didn’t remember what she told me. All I knew is she said, it’s okay. You will be with us soon. So I thought I was gonna die. And then of course, it turned out to be Brian who died. So I think my grandma came to, to prepare my soul for the time, you know that the time is near? This is what you know, we talked about this. Yeah. And then in an automatic writing years later that I did Spirit said, we know this is harder than you thought it would be. And, and boy, howdy, cuz I always say I am not ever doing this. Like we all say that. Please don’t ask me to do this again. It was too hard.

Brian Smith 1:01:40
Yeah, we all say that all of his parents say that. And it’s funny because I even tell people now it’s like, yeah, it’s like when people get a hangover, they say, I’m never gonna drink again. Well, we’ll get back over there. And we’ll forget. And we’ll say, yeah, I’ll do it again. Oh,

Paige Lee 1:01:54
maybe I’ve left my last. Maybe I don’t have to come back.

Brian Smith 1:01:57

Unknown Speaker 1:02:00
I don’t know.

Brian Smith 1:02:01
Yeah. Well, no, I don’t, I forgot. I know. A lot of people say that. They’re never going to do it again. But I said it myself. I don’t know. I’m saying now. I don’t know.

Paige Lee 1:02:11
I know. The healing journey is one though, that I mean, for us to be able to sit here and you after only five years, to be able to sit here and say, you know, yes, that we can see some of the gifts in our grief journey. Right. And that on some level, on some level, we have components of our new relationship with our child that is that we love and we cherish and we’re grateful for right. So for us to be able to sit here and say that gives other people hope. And that’s really what the journey I feel like the the journey is never over. It is a journey. It’ll be over. But, but but but it really is about kind of getting, you just want to keep progressing forward and getting to this point where you can find gratitude and peace, and in this reality that our child died, right? Because if we don’t, if we don’t get to that point, I feel like I feel like it’s a life of sadness. Whereas if we can get to that point, then I feel like we really have opened up potential, which I know I feel and it seems that you do as well. Yeah, for a life that truly does have joy again. Whereas before, we never thought that would even be possible ever again.

Brian Smith 1:03:20
Yeah, we’re back to the choice thing again, because the way I look at it is you know, I’ve got so much time to I called it a presence sentence first, when Shayna first I’m like, I gotta presence presence it I don’t know how long it is, I don’t really see it so much as a sentence anymore. But whatever time I have left, I can I can either choose to make it fulfilling, or I could choose to suffer. And it’s like, I might as well choose to make it fulfilling. You know what I’m gonna be here, because the days are the same either way, that same amount of time. That’s right.

Paige Lee 1:03:49
And it’s like every Well, we have choices every day anyway, right? It’s like we choose, you know, we can choose to have a good day or a bad day, we can choose to get mad at the person who just, you know, cut us off on the road, or we can choose to just, you know, take a deep breath and not say anything. My biggest challenge in life right now. Yeah. You know, I mean, so we have choices all the time we can choose to take care of our body or not, we can our body or not, we can choose to drink water. We can choose to, you know, anything, we can choose to pray, we can choose not to pray, we can choose to reach out to somebody else. We can choose not to do that. I mean, constantly, every day, all day long. We make choices. This is another choice. And I’m just here to tell you it’s another choice that if you make it it will lead you toward a good place on your healing journey.

Brian Smith 1:04:34
Yeah, yeah, I agree. And it’s, it’s, you know, I guess I’m almost 60. So it’s something we learn after a while because people I think we, we think we don’t have a choice the way we feel I was listening to a book this morning. And the guy starts off with the premise of we can’t control our feelings. So we can only control what we do. And I’m like, I gotta push back on that a little bit. I think we can control our feelings to a certain extent not directly, but we can If we can learn to choose our thoughts wisely, our thoughts can control our feelings. And we can, we can choose gratitude or choose to be in sorrow. It is a choice we can make.

Paige Lee 1:05:12
And our words, the words that we choose to say, I used to always say, you know, I’m just forever broken, I’m forever broken, I’ll never, I’ll never be happy. I mean, I’ll never be, I’ll never be happy. I’m just, you know, I’ll never stop crying, I’ll never this, I’ll never that. I’ll never he’ll never, you know, and words will power and it’s when we choose to, we have to, we have to write a different story. You know, it’s like, is this the story we want to write? And is this where we want to stay? Or do we want to write a new story? And what would that look like, if you could put yourself you know, two or three or four years into your journey if your child just died? And if you could Project 234 years into your future? What do you what do you see? What do you want that to look like? Do you want to still be saying to yourself, I will never heal? I will never get over this. You know what I mean? I will never, you know, never, never, never, never? And is or, or would you choose to have a life that says I am healing. And I miss my child. But I’m so grateful for you know, and it’s so those are, those are things that we have a choice to make all the time. And yeah, it’s an interesting exercise to go through. Because people don’t realize that the actions they take today will affect their reality tomorrow, and the next day and the next day.

Brian Smith 1:06:34
Yeah, that’s lovely. But then I think that’s so important. Because even though I felt like I was never going to heal, I remember going to a meeting of parents whose children died. And there was a woman there is, but 10 or 15 years after her daughter dying, just like I still go to the gravesite, like, I was like, every day or something. And she was just as angry as she was the day she died. I’m like, okay, even though I said, I’m not going to heal. I know, I don’t want to be that woman. So at least I set a goal for myself. It’s like if I’m going to be here, because that was that wasn’t a given. But if I’m going to be here, I don’t want to be like that.

Paige Lee 1:07:07
Yeah, there you go. I used to teach. I used to do helping parents heal. In person classes in Boise. I started the Boise chapter. And I and then I used to do grief classes. This is a long time ago, like 2014, maybe I can’t remember. And I would have these grief classes and workshops that I was doing for people. And I had this one woman and you know, God loved her. But she she did not want to heal she she really liked her story. And she wanted to stay on story. And and that’s fine. If that’s what she chooses, then that’s fine. And that’s her path. But I just realized I couldn’t help her. Because I can, I can only help somebody who wants to heal, we have to want to heal. And so sooner or later, she’ll get to the place, I hope, and I pray that she’ll want to heal. But until until we do want that, well, the universe will give us what we asked for. And we can choose to keep telling ourselves those same old stories and use those words. have never and always and you know those words that are so belittling and so keep us just stagnant.

Brian Smith 1:08:12
I want to ask you one last question. If you could pick one tool that helped you the most, what would that tool be

Paige Lee 1:08:18
meditation? Hands down. I don’t even have to think about it. You know, it was just I tried so hard to meditate. I had these. I don’t even remember what they were but these free guided, you know, meditations are some of them I purchased? And have you read my book? I don’t I hate to just say everything. But no, I’m not trying to. I’m not trying to put you on the spot. I’m sorry, I just tell you a story that’s in the book that I just could never, you know, it’s like, okay, close your eyes and, you know, walk, you know, walk down the path and you get to the bridge and you go over the bridge. And you know, I would do all that, you know, I’m gonna with this anticipation. And then you know, I’d get to the beach, and then through the fog, and then that way I would just start crying. And I couldn’t get there. I couldn’t get to that point where they said, and here comes your beloved. And you know, I just couldn’t get to that point. Yeah, so I tried and tried and tried. But the thing is, I never quit trying. I tried again and again and again. I tried every day. And finally one day, I saw Brian approaching me through the fog. Wow. And then that you know, and we and we hugged and that let you know, I just cried like a baby. But I there’s Um, oh shoot. I’m gonna forget his name. If I think of that. I’ll let you know. Craig Hogan. Uh, you know, Craig he does some amazing I did his meditations. I met Brian many times and Craig’s work. I met my dad who passed in 2012. In his work so he has some very powerful guided meditations. You know, Dr. Mark pick stick with his meditation was was tremendous for me at the last conference that helping parents heal did and The next Yeah, that was huge for me. So for so meditation has just been. And now I’ve learned over the last five years or so I do mantra, I repeat the omashu Avaya, which means I bow to the divine God. And there is such power in mantra that I just recite the mantra, and I can almost immediately be in that restful, peaceful place where I can connect with Brian. And so that’s my tool. Yeah, a lot of a lot of people use, you know, pendulum and things like that. And I was talking about this last night. And that’s great. It’s just and that was the first tool I learned actually was pendulum to communicate. And I just for me, it just wasn’t the right one. And I just knew that and I knew that that meditation without meditation in silence was going to be I just knew that that’s what I needed and wanted. And that’s what’s proven to be true for me.

Unknown Speaker 1:10:58

Brian Smith 1:10:58
yeah, I think it’s important to let everybody know that every, everybody has a different path a different way. I interviewed a young woman a little while ago, who people told her to meditate after her mother passed away into yoga, and she said it was too quiet for her. So her mind would just start racing. So she tried different things, and ended up being weightlifting was the thing for her. But anything that we can do mindfully does so when people hear meditation, like I have to sit cross legged in silence, you know, it could be a walking meditation, it could be going for a walk. For me, I like I like guided meditations. I also like listening to meditative music. Like I listen to a lot of pure time music. When I’m when I’m doing my meditations, and I find that works for me. So everybody needs to find what works for themselves. But I like you know, some sort of mindfulness I think, is really important for everybody to try to find.

Paige Lee 1:11:46
And that’s really what the mantra does is, is help you stay focused so that your mind doesn’t wander, right. And the other thing for me was hiking. I mean, we’re so blessed. We have these beautiful foothills that surround our Valley, here in the Boise Valley. And I just, I hear Brian, so clearly, when I’m hiking on those, I just, I like the dirt. And he just speaks to me, and God speaks to me. You know, my God speaks to me and my church, when I’m out in the hills, and I just love it. So those two things saved my life, I like to like to believe, you know, Brian saved my life if he hadn’t come to me. And if I had not heard him out loud with my ears, which is what launched me on my spiritual journey. I may not be here today, you know, I may have chosen a different path. But he did. And God and the universe continued to put opportunities in front of me. And thank the Lord, I followed those opportunities. And I said, Yes, yes, yes, yes to everyone. And, and even though even fighting all the way, you know, many times had to had to be nudged numerous times by them before I acted. And the rewards are tremendous. But the rewards are beyond my wildest expectations. And I know that’s easy for me to say now, because it’s been 12 years. So it’s like I say that, and I know how impossible that can sound to some of you, who who’s you know, whose loved one has died, you know, in the last even last couple of years. But I’m just here to tell you my story in my truth, and to tell you that that can be your truth, too. So that’s why we wrote the book, my son channeled a lot of the book, and a lot really wrote a lot of it, he was a very beautiful, gifted writer. And obviously still is, yeah,

Brian Smith 1:13:34
yeah. Yeah. Paige, it’s been wonderful having you, I appreciate you being so open and willing to share, to help other people, he’ll know what your journey has been. And to be an example of where we can, you know, aspire to get to, whether it’s been, you know, five weeks, or five months or five years, you know, since our loved one, in a transition that there is, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, if we just we just got to, you know, get through it.

Paige Lee 1:13:59
There is and to not be afraid, because I this year 2020 is all about authenticity, I think, and we’re really being called to open up to our true selves, I feel like and when I when I put this book out this year, I mean, there’s some stuff in there people like people might think I’m crazy. And I finally am at the point where I don’t care. They think I’m crazy. I know, I’m not crazy, you know, other grieving people will know that I’m not crazy. But we have to not be afraid, you know, we have to just trust in the process, trust in our God, trust in our loved one, that they’re going to hold our hand and guide us along the way. And to just believe that you can get through this you can get through this and that there is as you say, light at the end of the tunnel. So there is joy in life again. So he will see them again as you say we will absolutely.

Brian Smith 1:14:53
Thanks so much for doing this and have a good night.

Unknown Speaker 1:14:57
Thank you. Bye, everybody. Thanks, Brian. Bye Bye

Transcribed by

2,000 days

48,000 hours

5.479 years

That’s how long it’s been since my life changed forever. June 24th, 2015 was the day that my daughter Shayna Elayne left this Earthly plane.  Today is December 14th, 2020

This morning I woke up and thought about how things have changed since June 24th, 2015.

I got up, and I looked at my blog that I started amazingly the day after Shayna passed. Something told me to document this journey similar to what C.S. Lewis did in his book “A Grief Observed”. I didn’t know why I was doing it. I just had to. Then, just a week later, I made the blog public.

This post gets filed under several categories- milestones because it’s 2,000 days since Shayna passed, signs because I got a sign today, and podcast for the obvious reason.

First the sign. Today has been 2,000 days since Shayna passed. My YouTube channel has been creeping up on 2,000 subscribers for a while. Today, the channel hit exactly 2,000 subscribers.


2000 days

48000 hours

5.479 years

That’s how long it’s been since my life changed forever. June 24th, 2015 was the day that my daughter Shayna Elayne left this Earthly plane. Today is December 14th, 2020

This morning I woke up, and thought about how things have changed since June 24th, 2015.

I got up, and I looked at my blog that I started amazingly the day after Shayna passed. Something told me to document this journey similar to what C.S. Lewis did in his book “A Grief Observed”. I didn’t know why I was doing it. I just had to. Then, just a week later, I made the blog public.

As I read those early entries, the whole first week A.S. (time is now measured as before Shayna’s passing and after) came flooding back.

I woke up on what I thought was an ordinary day. I took a 3 or 4-mile walk. I came back and sat down to work in my office. Then, I heard Tywana call to me saying something was wrong. I remembered the feeling that my wife and I had when we found Shayna in her bedroom that morning. She wasn’t cold yet. She couldn’t be dead. My mind could simply not accept reality. I recalled the feeling of total disbelief, the feeling of shock, crying out to God, screaming her name thinking I could somehow shout loud enough to be heard across the Void and call her back to me.

The memories of falling to my knees before getting into the police car came back. I remembered my neighbor coming over and asking if everything was all right and me not even being able to form the words to answer her. The police officer who gave me a ride to the hospital as my wife rode in the ambulance with Shayna, him offering to pray and me not even having a prayer to offer.

I called my parents and asked them to pray. I remember Dad saying that once you lost a child things were never the same. “Why did he say that?” I thought. “I haven’t lost a child.” Shayna will be OK. She has to be OK.

I knew Shayna had not taken a breah in an impossibly long time. Yet, I clung to the idea that she would be all right. This could not happen to us. We sat in the waiting room with friends who showed up to support us. Then, the chaplain came in. I knew this was bad. I didn’t want to see the chaplain. I wanted to hear a doctor tell me she had started breathing and wanted to see us.The chaplain wanted to pray. I could not stop him. He prayed for God’s will to be done. I countered his prayer. “To hell with God’s will, just give me my daughter back.”
When the doctor finally came in and told us that they have pronounced Shayna dead I immediately had the thought that that’s it my life is over. My life will never be the same but immediately followed by the thought that I had to take care of my wife and my other daughter Kayla. That whatever happened, the three of us had to stay together. I knew I had to be there for them. I held Tywana and committed to her that I would be there for her; not having any idea what that would look like.

Walking out of the hospital that day the parallel to the day that Shayna was born 15-½ years earlier struck me. We walked into Good Samaritan Hospital in January 2020 empty-handed and walked out with Shayna. We walked into West Chester Hospital on that fateful day hoping to walk out with Shayna and we walked out leaving her body there.That walk to my brother’s car was the hardest walk I’ve ever taken.

Here I sit 5.48 years later. 48,000 hours later, 2000 days later. I never had any idea that I would still be here. In those early days after her passing whenever anyone said anything to me about the future if it was more than a week in the future, I’d get angry because I could not even imagine living a week without my daughter being on this planet When people talked about years I’d tell them I had no plan to be here in years.

I’ll be 60 in May which to me seems like an old man and I can’t believe I’m still here. What has happened in the course of that 2000 days nothing short of a miracle.

Some things are still the same. We’re still running our business, Treasured Locks. We still live in the same house. Kayla went back to school right away. She got her undergrad degree and will finish her Masters in a few months.

Something had to change. After Shayna passed I realized very quickly that I had to do something about how I lived my life. I could not just accept where I was. I didn’t want to live. My only motivation for staying here was Tywana and Kayla. That was enough short term. But I knew that I could not just stay here and survive, that I had to somehow seek healing even though healing seemed impossible. I didn’t even want to heal. I thought that to honor Shayna that I should be miserable for the rest of my life. I wanted people to say that after she passed Brian was never the same. I thought that would be a fitting way to show how much she meant to me. I remember going to a grief group and early on and a mother was there and her daughter had passed about 10 years prior. This woman was angry and bitter and I believe she went to the gravesite at least once a week. She talked about how unfair it was her daughter at passing how she was miserable and always be miserable and I realize she was making everybody in the room miserable. You know we can learn from everyone we come across. I learned from that woman that day. Her bitterness and anger taught me something. I learned I didn’t want to be that person. Something different had to happen. So, I started reaching out to people and someone recommended to me that I reach out to a guy named Mark Ireland. I had never heard of Mark Ireland but he wrote a couple of books about the passing of his son Brandon. Mark started a group called Helping parents heal along with Elizabeth Boisson. So I wrote an email to a stranger which is so unlike me to write to a perfect stranger. Mark wrote back and sent me copies of both of his books which I read and which were helpful.

The next May, we planned a vacation for the three of us, Tywana, Kayla, and me. The girls loved going to the beach and Kayla decided instead of going to the beach this time, we would go to the opposite. We decided to go to the desert to Phoenix, Arizona. I had spoken to Elizabeth Boisson at this point. But, I had no idea she lived near Phoenix. Elizabeth happened to be just a few minutes away from where we were staying. So we met Elizabeth for breakfast. Long story short, a little while after that, we decided to start a chapter of helping parents heal in Cincinnati Ohio. That eventually turned into the Helping Parents Heal online Group, which I helped to run for several years growing it up to around 6,000 people.

Meanwhile, in 2019, I took mentorship from a business coach to try to improve Treasured Locks. This was George Kao, a guy I had heard on Suzanne Giesemann’s podcast. Suzanne is a world-class medium and someone I consider a friend. I figured if she was using this guy, he must be good.

A friend sent me a message saying she had run across a life coaching course she thought I’d be interested in. This was strange because I had never mentioned becoming a life coach to her. But, since she’s an intuitive, I trusted her intuition and took the course. I thought it could help with my work with Helping Parents Heal. Then, it dawned on me. The mentorship course I was taking wasn’t for Treasured Locks. I was supposed to launch a new business. In April 2019, almost four years after Shayna passed, I started developing the web page and wrote a short book on Grief.

I wanted to create something short and easy to digest from the perspective of someone who had first-hand experience with child loss. I wanted to share the raw emotions I had felt and what had worked for me up to that point. I took everything I knew and I wrote one big Google Doc and created this book and put it. A couple of months later, I started the podcast.

As I write this, it’s a year and a half or so after I started the podcast and wrote the book. The podcast is approaching 50,000 downloads. I’ve got nearly two thousand subscribers on YouTube. A couple of videos have gone somewhat viral with over 20,000 views.

I am teaching classes. As kind of a sidetrack, I’ve developed a course on racism. I taught a class with Robin landsong this weekend. It’s the second time we have offered it- a new way to look at grief and death along with Robin doing singing medicine for the participants. I’ve done classes with Dr. Terry Daniel. We are finishing one up this coming Sunday. I have spoken at the Afterlife Conference and the Helping Parents Heal Conference. I have hosted a grief panel for the International Association of Near Death Studies.

My coaching and grief guidance work continues to grow. It’s extremely gratifying when a parent or any other griever tells me that my work has helped them.

It seems like recently I’ve been coming across a lot of parents who are early in their grief, and I’m talking about weeks or maybe sometimes a couple of months. I’m grateful that I can remember what those early days/weeks/months were like so that I can relate to what they are going through. It’s nothing short of hell on Earth. I wrote about that in my blog in the early days.

Last week I was teaching the class “10 Life-changing Lessons From Heaven” a book and course about wisdom from near death experiences. The group was all women who have children in spirit. Most of the women there were just a few months in, and I want to address those people.

When I first started this journey, I had no idea that I could ever make it and I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be happy again. I remember looking at people like Elizabeth Boisson and others who had been on this journey longer than I had and thinking I’ll never be that what they are. Frankly, I didn’t even aspire to be what they were. They were joyful and doing fulfilling work. That would never be me.

I talked with a mother just a few days ago who was broken, and I mean totally broken. She had faith in God. She had been through other losses in her life, deaths other than the death of her daughter. But there’s something different about when it’s your kid, and she had lost her faith in God, her faith in the Bible, her confidence in herself. Without that foundation of God and the Bible she didn’t know who she was anymore.

I had just listened to a podcast about the value of despair. It’s the point most, if not all, of the saints have reached. It’s known as the Dark Night of the Soul. Even Jesus experienced this in the Garden of Gethsemane as he sweated blood tormented by the thought of what laid ahead of him and as he hanged there bleeding on the cross crying out “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?”

As I spoke with her, my heart went out to her. But, I saw a saint in the making. I saw someone who had gotten to the point where she was broken wide open, an empty vessel ready to receive. The cracks are the places where the light gets in. She was seeking, asking questions, reaching out for a new view because circumstances ripped her old understanding away.

I was listening to a wisdom book a few days ago. One of the things it said was if you’re climbing a mountain and you feel like giving up; it’s okay to give up. Just keep moving your feet.

This gem resonated with me because I heard it listening to the book while taking my morning walk. I’ve walked every morning for the past several years, going back to before Shayna’s transition. After she transitioned, I turned that walk into a walking meditation. I would imagine that each step was a day. As I left my house, each step brought me closer to the step that would bring me back home. Each day brought me one day closer to the day when I would arrive at Home and see Shayna again. A friend I met on Facebook, Carolyn Clapper, not knowing this, messaged me on Facebook one day saying Shayna had dropped in on her and told her that I was walking trying to catch up with Shayna. That was 100% true. I’m not on step 2,000 on my round trip journey from Home back to Home.

Climbing a mountain or taking a walk, the analogy is the same. I don’t always feel like taking my walk. Many mornings when I first leave the house, I don’t think I’ll be able to do the seven miles. But, as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, it doesn’t matter what I feel, I will eventually get to my destination.

In those early days, I didn’t think healing was possible. I didn’t even want to heal. But, I kept taking the steps anyway. Even if you’re like I was and say there’s no way I’m going to possibly heal, just keep doing the things it takes to heal.

To this day I have times I don’t feel like I’ll make it. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t long to be Home, NOW. There are times I wake up in the morning my first thought is, “I’m tired. Why do I have to do this again?”

I then do my gratitude practice. I think of three things I’m grateful for, even if it’s as simple as having a nice warm bed. I think of what I need to do today, just today. And, I get up and do it. Doing that enough times has led me to here, 2,000 days later.

The milestones that we go through are opportunities to stop and take stock. Life can only be understood backward but must be lived forward. I thought my life ended that day in the hospital in June 2015. But, our stories never end. It was the end of a chapter. But one chapter closes, and another opens. We think of death as the end of the book. But, even death is just the end of another chapter. Death is the chapter at the horizon that we can’t see beyond. But, trust me, one thing I’ve learned for sure in the past 2,000 days is it’s not the end of the book.

What about you. Where are you on your journey? As I record this, it’s also the close of the weirdest year in the memory of everyone I know; 2020 is drawing to a close. We typically take this time, the New Year, to reflect on where we are and where we want to be. Take some time to reflect on the journey that got you to this point. If you’re going through hell, keep going. And remember what one man can do, another man can do. If I can do this, anyone can.

I’ve read The Team books two or three times. They contain some of the best afterlife and current life wisdom I’ve found anywhere. I met the author, Frances Key over a year ago when I participated in a book study of the first book. On October 9, 2010, at the age of 86, Gloria Crystal “Teddy” Key passed away at her Florida home, her family by her side.

Nineteen days later, her beautiful voice began to communicate with her eldest daughter, Frances, about the scope and wonder of her new perspective from the afterlife state. Through a variety of experiences including automatic writing, direct contact, and sudden downloads of information, this remarkable collection of insight was handwritten in less than a year. Divided into four books, the Team material has astounded a growing circle of readers with its unique analogies, wit, depth of wisdom, and unusual outlook on the human experience.


The poem read at the end is here:



Brian Smith 0:01
Hey everybody, this is Brian Smith and I’m back with another episode of grief to growth. And I’m really excited about this episode today I’ve got with me, Francis key, who is someone who wrote a series of books called the team. And if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ve heard me mentioned the team before. They’re some of my all time favorite books. I’ve read the books like each each book a couple of times, it’s a series of four books. So what happened is at the age of 86, Francis mother, her name was Gloria crystal, Teddy was her nickname, key, she passed away to Florida home or a family was by her side, when 19 days later, she began to communicate with her eldest daughter, who’s Francis, who I’ve got with me today about the scope and wonder of her new perspective from the afterlife state. And Francis went through a variety of experiences, including automatic writing, direct contact, and sudden downloads of information and put together this collection of information that she’s titled The team. So as I said, it’s a series of four books, the book one, Book Two, Book Three, and then the fourth book is called, I believe it’s called Beyond the team.

So I want to introduce Francis key. I’m excited to have her. And we’ve met a while ago, we have some trouble getting this worked out, but we’re finally together.

Frances Key 1:14
Okay, yes, we’re here. We’re here at the right time, I’m sure.

Brian Smith 1:17
Yeah, absolutely. Francis, I was, as I was saying, in the introduction, the books are just to me amazing. And I say that because I’ve read them multiple times I’ve shared with a lot of people. But I want to let people know how the books came to you. So explain me what that experience was like?

Frances Key 1:37
Yes, well, it’s been 10, full years. Now we’re talking hardly believe. And I always like to explain to people the background, the relationship I had with my mother, before she died, because I considered her my best friend, and spiritual teacher throughout my life. So we had this

shared bond, and

we’d had a number of different kinds of spiritual experiences together in our lifetime. Anyway, we really had a foundation.

When I was very young, I used to do,

I used to write poetry. And I would tell my mother, that something took over my hand and would write these very, very beautiful poems that were way beyond my age. And she kind of counseled me and what that was, and she understood that I had this natural tendency. before she died, she constantly told me you should do that kind of writing again, and write down some of the spiritual things you’ve learned in life. And I’d always say no,

I don’t feel drawn to that. And I tell her, she should write a book because she was so wise. And I said, just make it 80 concepts from an 80 year old before you died, you know, just go No, I’m too old. I’m too tired. Well, little did I realize, and I truly had no inkling that I would have this level of connection with her after she died. And that, indeed, she would get the book written that she thought that I should have been writing and, and that I thought she should have been writing. Wow, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 3:16

Frances Key 3:18
I was with her when she passed, I was with her when she took her last breath. And I felt at the moment of her passing, something I didn’t understand. But I grew to understand. And it was, I felt like a part of me left. And a part of her entered a part of her state in a way and a part of me left. And I think this literally happened because I’ve come to learn from these books. And believe me, I’m a student of the material, not a master of it. I’m not even the author of it. I study it like anybody else. So I’m growing in my understanding of it. But I came to understand that we have different aspects to the soul. And that I think what occurred was

Unknown Speaker 4:11

Frances Key 4:16
departed the earth. Because on the other side at all times, at all times, I hope you can hear me clearly. So I felt like something within left and something of her remained. And it allowed this connection, this communication to take place.

Unknown Speaker 4:39

Frances Key 4:41
three days after she told my sister I’ve heard son, I fell in my nickname strategy. And I said, all the frankness is gone. And she said, Well, this doesn’t sound normal. This doesn’t sound healthy. You should talk to a counselor. I said, No. It’s I couldn’t put into words that something had gone. And something had entered. So 19 days after she died, was on an airplane to New York City and members live. And I go back and forth all the time to Florida. Anyway, on the plane, I looked out at that incredible, beautiful VISTA of clouds. And I was feeling very emotional. And I just said the question to my mother. It’s Is there any distance where you are for me, I could hear her voice. Her beautiful Australian very distinctive voice, not a vague, unusual voice that you aren’t sure who’s talking to you. But it was really clearly her. It was in my mind, but it felt also like it was audible. And she said not. There’s no distance, the way you experience it. And she said, how she could drop into somebody’s state of consciousness, like you might drop into visit someone in a neighborhood. Anyway, from that first statement, I just started asking questions and receiving these answers immediately. And the main thing she pointed out in that conversation was, you are not alone. You are not even functioning as one person, nobody is for you are a member of a team, the spiritual team as close to you is breathing. So I began, I got out a piece of paper, and I just started writing down everything I was asking and her answers. And a lot of personal at that, at that point. For that hour and a half plane ride, it was more my own personal experience of her. But then it started to branch into more universal concepts about where she was about how she was about it. And as much as about why we’re here, and the purpose of our lives as as about the other side. And I thought this would be a personal experience. But when I got off the plane, it continued. And it actually continued for about a year and a half very intensely. Hmm. I wrote the first book that she dictated in three weeks, but one, and then the rest, it was all handwritten, because it just was part of the process, and then had to be tucked up. So the rest came, and I was able to release them, you know, throughout the next few years. But when I read this material, I really can’t believe it myself. It’s so far beyond anything that I personally would be able to, to write, or even speak. That’s why I feel like I’m just a person talking about the books unless I read from them directly. The language, the kinds of concepts that I had never been aware of. And many people I talked to who study for many years about spiritual concepts have never been aware of it was like a layer than another layer than another layer. In book one, it was an experience of just my mother. It was completely her voice. And then by the rest of the other end, she said that spoke one at the end of it. But with the other books. It felt like I had other connections that that there was a team. And this team, some had were more scientific. And some were more medical, some were more playful and creative. And there were different, almost different energies and the chapters kind of reflect that. It always reflects her. But you can feel sort of in beyond the team where it goes into almost like a quantum physics type kind of information and some of those chapters. There’s different. Different expertise. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s how the books came to be. Do you want to ask me something else about that before I proceed? Well,

Brian Smith 9:28
no, I think I think you did a really good job of telling us kind of how they came to be. And you know, it’s interesting because I you know, I’ve done a book study together before in the books and you said even at the time you said, Well, I’m just a student and the books that that they that they channeled that you channeled them, but I love that story also, but you writing the poetry, you know, as a child that this is stuff that you were channeling at the time and your mother having this wisdom and the two of you working as a team as a team was just perfect for what the concept is, you know, of the of the whole book and the thing I was that fascinates me about and I love the name, even the team because we think we think, okay, what’s the purpose of our life, but we think, well, we come here for individual growth. And then sometimes we hear well, we have spirit guides, we have a team of people here, but they’re all here to kind of support us. But and this concept of at least I got, the book says that we’re actually all part of a team, we’re not even really individuals.

Frances Key 10:24
Yeah, Book One, it really is so amazing to me how she describes that we are representatives of our team, That, to me, that’s such a meaningful concept about how we how to live our lives, you know, and she says, if you think of a business, or a person going to a conference, a business conference, that before they go, they stand up as the representative that the person who’s speaking at that conference, but before they go, they’re prepared by an entire team of people, you know, backstage or back home in the conference room, and their meetings and their brainstorming and their troubleshooting. And this kind of thing is done before that person speaks. So and then, and then you return to your team and you debrief them, you tell them well, I went to the conference, this is what went right. This is what I could have done this better, or I found out we really need to work on this. And everybody vicariously absorbs that information. Of course, some of our teammates are right here with us physically by our side, and some are on the other side. And we exchange positions, when we pass away, we work from the other side, the work is still the same, we’re just doing it from a different location. Yeah. And others enter here, and they have their physical experience, and they do their work as well. But all of that is absorbed by our team. And in that way, all the wisdom is leveraged so that everybody doesn’t have to do everything or experience everything or incarnate incarnate to do and experience every single thing. You can learn vicariously, and you can absorb. If you’re just like we absorbed from one another. Yeah, we take that information and we incorporate it into our lives, what you’ve gone through, I am learning from what I’ve gone through you’re learning from, we don’t have to do exactly the same thing to get that the impact of it.

Brian Smith 12:42
Yeah, I love that. And I’ve seen that hinted at in other places,

Unknown Speaker 12:46

Brian Smith 12:48
sorry, can hear me. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen this concept kind of hinted at and other places, but never as thick as fully developed as they are in the books that you’ve written. This idea that we can share information. And I think it kind of explains for me like one of the mysteries of is like reincarnation, we talked about, do we come back over and over again? And what’s the point of it? I think, I think this kind of helped us explain some of that. We don’t necessarily come back as the same person because we’re all part of this, this larger group.

Frances Key 13:26
Right? And, yes, she says a lot about reincarnation, she said, there’s a lot more to it than just you’ve your full soul comes, has experiences, leaves comes back with karma has experienced, it’s not like that, right? It’s much more. It’s much more connected to to your team. And it’s also connected to the fact. And this is so exciting and important to me. That just like the human brain has all these segments to it. That is our brain right now, we are doing many, many, many things at the same time. You know, I mean, we have a part of our brain that’s handling our breathing and heartbeat that we don’t even regulate consciously, that happens on its own. If you have a part of our brain that’s thinking about the technology, we have a part of our brain. There’s mathematical part and a language part you have all these parts to your brain. And it’s explained in the books it’s like that for the soul, we have all these segments or aspects to the soul. And when we come when the body when the body is born, and it’s so important to think about with our children or our loved ones who have died, that they are so much more than just the child or the person that we knew them has, that they are this infinite soul, who use this body For a time for a purpose, and only aspects of the soul come in with the body are connected to the body. Just like when you walk into a math class in college, your math part of your brain is engaged. But the other part your brain, you’re doing all kinds of other things, the same thing happens to the soul. And so when the body dies, that aspect, completed that work with that life. But it may be another aspect entirely, that comes back for another life. And all that information of that aspect goes back to your full self, there’s a chapter called the rest of you. And it says, it’s like you’re sitting on the bank of bank of a river and you’ve got your foot, you’ve got your toes in the water. But the rest of you is up on the bank, the rest of you is, is on the other side. And only part of you is extended down into the physical world. So each of us is so much more than what is even here. At this time. I know I got off on a tangent, but we were talking about oh reincarnation. So it’s not our full self that comes in. So even if we reincarnate, it isn’t the full self, it’s another aspect that needs to do something else this time. And we, we trade off with our teammates. It just it gives the example in the book if if a really strong person is present, they’re going to pick up two of those heavy suitcases and let the the child or the weaker one, you know, carry the rolling suitcase. So we may come into a lifetime. And we may take on a great deal of if you want to call it burden, difficulty challenge. And we may do that for a teammate who’s weaker, or who needs to rest. So we’re all doing this. And it’s much more than just, you know, live guy come back with karma. It’s not as personal as all that we do. We do it for others, we take on things for others, that might not even be our own. And another person’s difficulty another person’s karma. It’s our opportunity for compassion.

Brian Smith 17:32
Yeah, yeah, that that’s another really, I think, interesting concept. Because, again, we think of ourselves so individualistically and we think well, how does this affect me? You know, my illness, my mike my burden, the thing that I’m carrying, but it may not be for us personally, it may be for the other person or for our caregiver for example.

Frances Key 17:55
Yes, yes. Um, no, she constantly refers to the lookout tower of the soul said if you can take time every day in your meditation, or even just in your thought, just sitting and thinking. In a light, your thoughts go into lookout tower of the soul, like you’re going up in an airplane. It’s just so much vaster, wider, broader,

Unknown Speaker 18:25

Frances Key 18:27
than just our turnout. I’m so drawn right now to read. To read a few things, sir, here. There’s a chapter in books three called where relationships abide. And it says here and she touch speak to or look at one another, you assume that you’re interacting through your bodies. However, if the soul were not present with the body, you would have no awareness of this interaction. The true interaction, it’s in a realm that is free of the body. It is an interaction that precedes and goes beyond deaths. So this is what make makes our relationships eternal. Where do relationships abide they abide in the realm of the soul. This is not only so when the body has died. It is true when both bodies are still alive. This is because the relationship doesn’t ever dwell in your bodies in the first splice in both death and life. Your relationship dwells in the soul.

Brian Smith 20:07

Frances Key 20:08
So you and I would not be having this conversation. If our souls were not in connection right now. Yeah. And if our souls did not connect, right now, this conversation would end instantly.

And grieve. It says here it is not to negate the authentic pain, that it’s felt when a death occurs. The physical body interprets the loss of another body as a great absence. This is to be expected. But when we go through grief, to remember and say to yourself, I know that my body and all its accompanying senses, deeply miscible that in the place where our true relationship resides, everything continues as before. It’s not a matter of waiting until you meet again, it is a matter of knowing there has been no interruption in the loving flow of the true relationship in the first place.

Brian Smith 21:35
Yeah, I absolutely love that part. You know, and I think you combine that with the fact that you said earlier that when we come here, it’s only a small part of us that’s here, that most of us is still still I call it home, most of us is still back home. So when we think of our loved ones, you know, they’re that they’re not missing us at all, because we’re still there with them. We’re just still here, on the on the mission for a little while longer know, fulfilling our role, until we drop the body and they’re fully back back at home.

Frances Key 22:06
Right? Yeah, in fact, you just said what the very next paragraph said, and then read the books. And yeah, and it points out here. The love you have with your friends and family members has not died with their forums. Nor does it only live on in a memory. It’s still growing and expanding. The connection you had while they were here isn’t being expressed through a body that walks alongside yours, but it’s every bit as interactive and dynamic as it ever was. You continue to share hobbies together, learn new things together, laugh, create, make plans together as you did when you were both in the body. Souls can recreate earthly experiences if they wish. So you continue to go fishing with your grandfather on that beautiful lake, bake cookies with your and swing your child on their favorite swing, embrace your spouse, and so forth. There’s just so much more of us that is here on the earth. And there’s so much more of our loved one on the other side who has passed and we are continuing our lives together. And what you said, we’re doing our sign our assignment, this aspect of us that is for this body right now has an assignment to complete. And our bodies miss their bodies that are so our souls are together.

Brian Smith 23:44
Yeah. And I think I find it to be a very profound and comforting concept. That and I love the way you said that our bodies miss their bodies, but our souls are still still together. And we can we can learn while we’re here to tap into that higher self a little bit and at least reduce that that missing part of it.

Frances Key 24:06
Yeah, you know, I’m, I sat by my husband, when he took his last breath, I sat with one another. I have not lost a child. And as a mother, I can’t fathom that. That kind of loss. But I’ve I have friends who have lost their children. I have family members who have experienced that loss of a child and even by murder, by drugs by suicide. I have close people in my life who have died that way. So I understand when and I’ve learned when that wave of pain comes to just say, Oh, my senses miss their physical senses. My body misses their body I acknowledge I don’t try to squelch it or pretend or, or push it away. But I try as soon as I can to move my consciousness to the place where we are together.

Brian Smith 25:16
Yeah. Yeah.

Frances Key 25:18
Because we join them the most. You know, it, it’s sort of like, they’re in the next room. They’re up the stairs, and we join them, then stay in the basement. So that’s really the best thing that we can do. It’s to, through meditation, through thought through service to others, like you’re doing, because we teach what we learn. We learn what we teach, exactly. say, Okay, my body misses their body, but my body is not going to last forever, either. Right? So I don’t want to put all my, my focus on what my body feels and what my senses need. You know, I want to work from from the soul viewpoint as much as I can.

Brian Smith 26:27
Yeah, and that’s, and that’s Yeah, the book that they think they do a really good job, at least for me have lifted me to that higher perspective, that Lookout Tower. And I remember what another analogy in the book is, like, We’re on a mission. And some of us are down in the valley and some of our scouts, you know, up in the upper levels, and we and we take turns going back and forth right now, I happen to be on point, you know, I happen to be down down there the trenches, but super member that there is always at higher perspective. And I hear so many people in grief saying I will never see them again. And I it just breaks my heart. Every time I hear someone utter those words, I will never see them again. Because Well, it’s true physically, we won’t see them with our bodies again, we will see them again. And it’s always I think, for me, I’m always have to remind myself through like you said, through meditation, through prayer through service to others, through teaching this, which I do, you know, every day that I got to keep that higher perspective.

Frances Key 27:24
Right. And you know, that there’s another concept and it’s in Book Two called the vibrational spheres. Yeah. Do you remember that one? I

Brian Smith 27:35
love that. Yes.

Frances Key 27:37
I think it helps when, when we have lost a loved one to violence, or to suicide,

Unknown Speaker 27:48
or drugs,

Frances Key 27:50
things of that nature. You know, not illness, it’s one thing that we grapple with, but when these kinds of things happen. It really turned the lights on for me when that chapter came through, because we’re told that at all, throughout the universe, there are these enormous spheres that we’re all contributing to, with our thoughts, our actions. I mean, every hateful, angry thought or word I’ve ever spoken, has contributed to a year of that kind of energy. And every loving, kind, forgiving, generous thing I’ve ever done, has contributed to that ball of energy, if you want to think of it that way of bubbles everywhere. So we tap into the particular sphere. And what happens when we have overwhelming rage that turns into violence, because I’m sure some of your viewers have lost one to violence. My daughter’s my daughter’s boyfriend was shot in a home invasion. You know, a young man just sitting there on this couch. So what happens when these people are overtaken by these terrible, violent urges, or if they tap into drugs, and they can’t pull out of it, we’ve all had loved ones in our family and circle of friends who worked hard, went to rehab did everything they could to pull out of that. That magnetic pole of the draw really happens is that state of rage is is tapping into not only his or her own rage, but the rage throughout the eons of time that people have contributed. When people do these horrendous things, they are just awash in this magnetic pole to these spheres of that kind of energy. Like when people do superhuman things, they go in and pull a car off somebody’s body, they lift an entire car by themselves. They’re tapping into the heroism, the bravery, the courage, the strength of all those who have come before them. And this has helped me with forgiveness of myself. For things I’ve done that I, you know, you look back and you think, how could I have said that? How could I have done that, but we’ve been in touch with a ball of energy that was more powerful than even what we were even feeling at the time. And those people who are committing those crimes or cannot pull free, have been overtaken like a tidal wave by something bigger than in more difficult, dark than themselves. It’s helped me with forgiveness for myself, and it’s helped me with forgiveness for others. Because we’re always contributing something 24 seven, we’re contributing something to the spheres. There’s no way to not be contributing, because we’re creative beings, we’re always creating, with our words, with our thoughts with our days, we’re creating, and we’re putting this energy into these. So every I, it helps me to think that I’m helping a teammate, and I’m helping my team to become more aligned with those spheres of love, and kindness and forgiveness, every time I do it, I give it to them. And I’m also everything in those spheres are is available for other people to pull from. Every time you heal from a terrible trauma or heal from a grudge or heal from an anger. All that healing is put into the spheres and then people who need healing can pull from it. You know, it’s like a body of water that you drink from, and you pour into all the time and it’s there for everybody else. So it helps me work harder. It helps me work harder, because I know it’s being given to others.

Brian Smith 32:13
Yeah, that’s amazing to me. And and it’s funny, as we’re having this conversation I keep I’m reminded how much these books have influenced me because I like I said, I’ve read them over and over again. But that vibrational spheres thing is really important. We I think we tend to think of ourselves. So individualistically I’m responsible for my own actions. It’s my life. What am I here to learn, you know, things like that. But you know, you talk about the spheres, it just happened to me just this morning, I mean, someone sets up and that really triggered a lot of angry me. And I was like, you know, and I was like I wanted to react. And so I just went into my bedroom. And I was like, I’m just gonna meditate. And I just I let it go. And I just went to a different place. Because I decided not to tap into that into that anger, and to try to get back at that person who had done that thing to me. So that that concept of being able to say, No, I’m not going to tap into that. I’m going to tap into this instead. It’s I think, a very important thing for Yeah.

Frances Key 33:12
Yeah. I mean, it’s a choice. It, I was telling somebody the other day in my family who was really, really angry about something and I said, you know, you can just play this out all the way on the anger route. Or you can reframe it. I said, think of it as a wild stallion, riding up to you snorting and following and naming and you can either observe that, or you can jump on this back and take off with him, you know, this wild has, we really, really have the opportunity to choose and it It’s incredible how strong and empowered you feel when you do what you did this morning. I mean, you took control. You had to feel very powerful. To say I’m going to choose this. I’m going to meditate. I’m going to connect with a different vibrational sphere. I mean, that’s the ultimate power. There’s a chapter called who’s in charge here. Do you remember that one?

Brian Smith 34:22
Yes, I do.

Frances Key 34:24
Yeah. And you know, in the Bible, it talks about Satan get behind me they have that line from Jesus, Satan get behind me. And it’s sort of parallel on that. So we want to lead with the soul. So we say to our body that might be lazy or might, who knows when to get drunk? We say to our emotions that might want to just go off on a ranch or rage. We say to our body and our emotions and our mind. wants to carry on with all kinds of thoughts that are only going to take us to the spiral downward would know it, you know, we have to say get behind me. I appreciate you body for what you offer, but I the soul, I am in charge get behind me. I appreciate you emotions. But you will serve me. I am the soul and you will serve me. Yeah. And the same thing to the mind. Right? So what you did this morning is you did that. He said, I’m leading with the soul. And you guys get behind me. I’m in charge here. I mean, we this is this is how we spare ourselves and so many other people. Pain and judgment. Because the judgment is like sticky glue. It sticks us to those situations and those people that that we are condemning the very ones we’re condemning. We’re sticking ourselves to them. Quite literally.

Brian Smith 36:07
Right, right. Yeah. So you, you told me before you start Yes, passages highlighted that you wanted to bring out to help people specifically. I have a lot of listeners like myself who have had children transition. And it’s a difficult thing. And you already talked about one of those things, right? We’re still with our children. And that helps me tremendously to think of my daughter, you know, of still being with her and her still being with me that she could still communicate with me and I could communicate with her a certain amount. But you and your mother still have, you know, a great relationship. So what else would you like to share with us as far as that goes?

Frances Key 36:46
Um, I feel like a kind of talked about a lot of it, but I’m gonna I will turn here and see where I’m lead. There’s a chapter called reciprocal influences, okay. We often have this thought and attend book for a lot too. We have this thought that

I’m quote down here, and I’m switching up right. And they’re up there and they can’t reach down here. But it says you are not only calling out for upliftment, not only reaching out with a yearning, not only seeking to become more useful and enlightened, you are making an offering, we are not only assisting you, you are assisting us, we are all partners in the plan, working from different locations, but with one vision, our influence upon one another is reciprocal. When you when you commune with us in any form, and these forms are endless music, writing, dance, meditation, prayer, laughter, contemplation, appreciation, so much more. When you commune with us in any form, then you are giving as well as receiving. When errors are made. We all learn. Yeah, there’s no condemnation, condemnation of an error. That’s so important. Please understand this is a two way creation, a two way mission a two way flow, which links up with other teams to form a zillion way creation, mission and flow. They, they can’t do say Do it all for us, just because they may have a higher perspective, like when you’re in Lookout Tower, you can look down and go. Watch out over there. I see that right, because the person on the ground can’t quite see it. So we want to keep our, our intuition open to our loved ones who have passed and to our team, to our teammates, because they have this big broad perspective, and they can guide us. And a big part of being guided. Is, is I want to say listening. But listening because we’re being flexible. If we are rigid in it, it’s got to be this way. I’ve got to do it this way. That person has to do this for me in this way this has to happen. We’re not we’re not being open to the many, many, many possibilities and the many ways things can be done. Yeah. So when we listen Let’s be flexible. Let’s be willing to even imagine we lose completely. Or we give out, like that intense call. Maybe that that rigidness is keeping us from what? I hope I’m saying that right? We’ve got to have some detachment. Yeah, all these things and situations and circumstances in our life. Sure, we have detachment,

Brian Smith 40:35
we have a preferred outcome, but it’s from a limited perspective. And I think it’s a matter of having the trust that the higher good will be done, even if it’s not what we want, in terms of where we are right now. And that’s how it is for me, you know, I’ve had to accept things that don’t seem like they fit into my plan for my ego, for my, my body’s perspective. But I have to trust that the higher good is being done. I really loved the way you described the team because, again, I think this is important thing for me. I’ve heard people say, Oh, we’ve got we’ve got guides, we’ve got angels, and they’re there, they’ve got this super, you know, high perspective, and they’re just there to serve us as we’re here down, you know, doing doing our thing. And it’s really, I love the way you talk, it’s reciprocal, it’s two ways, what I’m doing is actually benefiting them as well. And they’re the same as I am that just happened to be in a different place right now. And at some point, will, will switch and will be, you know, in the high point, and they’ll be down here in the trenches.

Unknown Speaker 41:35
That’s right.

Frances Key 41:38
Yes, and we help them by, we help them when we lift ourselves up, we help them when we laugh, we help them and we feel joy again, we help them when we they can feel those kinds of things from us. Yeah, it’s a real gift, just like it would be. I mean, I was told to put ourselves in their shoes. If we had this, if we had departed the body just now think of your spouse, your other children, your friends, your close, whoever is important in your life, what would you what would help you the most from them, it would be to see them. Take what you had planted in them, Take what you had given, and go forth with it, carry the torch carry the torch. And that’s what I have marked here. If I can find it, is about carrying the torch. There’s so much we can do when somebody leaves to build. Because we’re all building upon each other. We’re all standing on the shoulders of everybody that ever went before in history. I’m talking eons of time, right when people get real cocky and think, oh, wow, I’ve done this. I’ve done that. until until this was invented, we couldn’t do this. Now until those roads were paved. We couldn’t drive to to connect with so many of the things we think we’re doing, we’re built on so many people. We shouldn’t get too egotistical about it. You know. It says here about carrying the torch. Having trouble finding exactly what it is, but it’s important. 44

had it I’m sorry. Okay, here it is. If a teammate dies without completing a portion of his or her mission, you can fulfill it for them if your commitment is great enough to carry you through. This is the impetus behind the drive to do something in memory of someone, whether it’s establishing a foundation in their name, or fulfilling a dream that person had but never got to live. If someone transitions to the other side and recognize it’s something important they had intended to accomplish didn’t, their yearning to make it right, it’s great. From their higher perspective, they survey the situation and assess which of their teammates might be in a position to complete the work. If they sense that you are willing and able, they might reach out to you in an effort to impinge a vision of this possibility on your mind. So

Brian Smith 45:04
yeah, I could really relate to that. And it’s interesting cuz I do I talk to a lot of parents and we feel like our children have left us with the with the mission. Something for us to go forward with and and what you said earlier about grief and about what the other person on the other side once for us I think is extremely important as well, because again, when when when your child drought passes before you sometimes we don’t feel like being here. And we are we are like, I’m going to be sad for the rest of my life. This is just you know, this is it. I’m done. I remember, right. I remember the moment that Shana passed, you know, it was total hospital she had passed, I thought, That’s it, my life is over, you know, it’ll never be the same. And it won’t be the same. But it doesn’t mean that your life is over, over. And it and it would not be fair, they would not want us to just lay down and give up. You know, we that’s not what we’re here to do. And so the people that are here behind them, this is what I love about these books is like, I’m not just living for myself, I’m living for the other people that are here physically with me, I’m here for the people that have gone ahead of me, for the people that I don’t even remember that I’ve lived other lifetimes with before. So it’s not about me. It’s about it’s about us. It’s about we. And I think that’s a very powerful thing, at least for me, in terms of lifting me out of what I was going through.

Frances Key 46:28
Right, right. And now we’re going to that our loved one wanted to be here. What, even if they, before they had wanted, we we do have the gift of life. I know clearly, three years ago, I was shown under dream that I was going to die and protested. I really did. And it’s a long story. So I’m not going to tell it now. But the series of events occurred. And I saw I had a vision of these angels on the porch of a of a church when I was driving by and I paused just enough to look because I couldn’t believe my eyes. And in that instant, I didn’t have the accident. The I slowed down enough where the person missed me by a hair and they would have come right through the driver’s side. Wow. So I realized from the two dreams I’d had that I was going to die. And then the second one where I was protesting, I didn’t want to die. And I had a list of things on a piece of paper, I was arguing my case that I had to finish. Yeah, and then then this event occurred Two weeks later, I realized I really am here. Because for some reason, I, I we figured out that I should stay for a while. So this was only a few years ago, and I know some of the things that were on the list, but I don’t remember all of them. So I’ve been steadily doing these things. And I’m wondering, you know, I mean, how many more on the list? I don’t know. Yeah, but I have the gift of life. Yeah, and I don’t want to to lie down in Yeah. And and and not fulfill it and not see it through. They would want those that I’ve have gone on before me, they would want me to to fill it and when I go back and I joined them again I want to come back to this conference with some concrete accomplishments and and wisdom because it is the thing so this is the money or that but success are the things that we get or do but it is the wisdom we gain and we give to others gain we share began with share with humility that is what we go back with there’s a chapter called naked where my mother describes how what it was like for her to die and how you leave naked he leaves become naked you leave naked and you have only this is what you do. You take all the love that you have received, truly received from others with you. Without strings attached, true love that you’ve received and all the love you’ve given unconditionally. The strings not attached. That’s what you take with you.

Unknown Speaker 49:48
That’s it.

Brian Smith 49:49
Yeah, yeah. Well, you know you

Frances Key 49:53
do have this life. We have it and we can offer it to our left one.

Brian Smith 50:02
Yeah, yeah. And I, that’s the way I try to think of it now. And the way I look at it is, you know, first of all, it’s not very long. Once we, once we realize that we are a soul, and we you know, this is this is just a very short period of time. And we’re, none of us has to be here forever. So while we’re here, we need to make the most of it. And I know my daughter very well, I know that if I don’t, that she’s gonna give me a hard time. So she’s my motivation. That’s why she’s always in my background when I do these podcasts, because she’s always over my shoulder reminded me this is this is our deal. This we signed up for you agreed to do this. And you know, you thought you can handle it. So let’s see what you know what happens?

Frances Key 50:46
Well, and we never want to minimize the pain that that we, we go through, I just helped someone write a memoir. And when she’s ready to release it, I hope it may be somebody you’d like to interview. We have written this book together. And it is about what she has gone through in her son being shot. And Wow, she’s learned Beautiful, beautiful insights and things that she’s but but it really outlines the pain. Yeah, and I think that’s very important to acknowledge this. Not not to brush it aside. It truly is. And no one is gonna still see me it looks like there’s a little glitch here.

Brian Smith 51:43
No, you’re back.

Unknown Speaker 51:46
Yeah, okay. Okay. You

Brian Smith 51:48
said Frank is really, really important. The pain is very real. And I hear people what I call spiritual bypassing. And they’ll say, well, it’s all okay, we don’t need to feel any human emotions. And I never ever advocate that I say, feel all the feelings. That’s why we’re here too. We’re here to feel those feelings away. And we are going to feel lost and our bodies are going to miss them. But we’re both human and spirit at the same time. And we have to learn to make that shift before that overwhelms us and overtakes us and we get stuck down here. Think Yes, it’s all over. So we need to be able to learn to, to live here, and to deal with the things of this earth and to enjoy our lives and embrace them. But also, when we get too stuck here, down here to make that shift and just say, it’s all gonna be okay, it’s all okay, even right now. I could choose how I react to this. I may not like the situation, but I could choose how I respond.

Frances Key 52:41
Yeah. Yeah. Um, there’s more here about I’m going to read a little more, I feel like I’m having a little problem with my phone. So if it if it if something goes wrong, can we pick up in a few minutes if I have, I think I’m running low on charge to be honest, because Okay, I’m using my phone. But anyway, I hope people cut that part out if it if it’s in the middle of our it says here. Becoming truly aware that your life was pre planned with your team, around spiritual agreements, will refine your sense of the legacy, the legacy you’re creating. Now, I want to say about that, that we do not that we come here with general goals and general ideal ideas, and we adjust them as we go along. It’s not all written in stone can’t change it. And all the things that happen are not always pre planned. So there isn’t always the intention, of a certain event occurring a certain way. Many things can occur to influence that but from my perspective, on the other side, this being stated by my mother, I can see how when the soul departs the body, it leaves behind a trail of influence. But it’s its streets through the sky. This train contains the quality of

the earth, which can range from minimal to digital vibratory after death, and they’re clearly visible to the departed, so and teammates. So it’s it’s throughout the book Someone can live five minutes and have been incredible live 100 years and has made very little contribution to others. The value of a life is not determined by its length. And it’s certainly not determined by my thought just went away. I can’t I can’t finish it that sentence. But it isn’t always the big great things that have impacted the world. Yeah, tiny, small moments. Can can be could be an offering into that vibrational sphere of love. The tiniest moment can have great impact and have great energy that that is residual that stays here. It has lingering power, it stays with people.

Brian Smith 56:01
Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s, that’s so profound. Because you know, we do tend to think we measure life by the length, you know, how long? How long can I be here? How long, but when people have near death experiences, one of the lessons I’ve learned from studying those is that it’s usually the small things that they really pick up on in their life reviews. It’s the it’s the smiling at a stranger, it’s the you know, it’s letting someone go in front of you. It’s it’s asking someone how they’re doing. I recently was talking with a young lady who her mother passed away and she’s walking down the street. And she’s just sobbing and a stranger stops her and asked her, you know, you Okay, and she says, Yes, I am the stranger. There’s no really Are you okay? Miss struck up a conversation. And it turns out this person had her mother had passed away also when she was young, and they had this conversation ended up changing this other woman’s life. And it was because a stranger stopped on the street and said, Are you okay? And I, and I imagined when that woman has her life review, she’s going to have an idea of how big of an impact that moment had on that young girl.

Frances Key 57:07
That’s right. And we’re told that we can have teammates that activate our spiritual DNA, by a brief encountering us briefly in our life. Mm hmm. Just like our physical DNA gets activated, like as you form from an embryo, into a child into a human being, certain things have to happen along the way to activate certain parts of the DNA to trigger this, create this organ make this happen, this hormone has to be secreted and so forth. So and then all throughout our life, people that we encounter, activate latent talents, or hidden abilities. So emotionally, spiritually, this happens to where we encounter a teammate, who was there for that purpose. And we can even encounter another aspect of our own selves, that is associated, because there may be certain aspects of your soul that are associated with Brian, but other aspects may be associated with a totally different person that is right here on this earth, and you may encounter yourself a part of you can reach out and help another part of you.

Brian Smith 58:24
Yeah, but that’s a really deep concept. And that’s, that’s one thing. I haven’t read the book over and over again, because it gets it gets really complicated. There are different aspects of myself that could be another bodies, we are all part of a team then in some one of the books you’ve talked about leads so we are we’re in teams and the teams around teams that form you know, these leads. So

Frances Key 58:46
leads are part of I think it’s legions, legions, and then but but in that part where it tells all that it Tim beyond the team, it’s saying, Don’t get caught up in the terminology that these are, these are words given to us so our human brain can get it all. But really, this team belonging to the league’s belonging to the legions and on and on and on, it’s because everything is one, right, because ultimately, you know, for our own purposes here, just like we talked about cells in the body, that the body is one, right for our own purposes, these teams exist for our our functioning in this way, right Really? Can’t go far enough out. It’s all one. So one.

Brian Smith 59:38
Yeah, exactly. I think the body analogy is a really good one because even we look at people on other teams, they’re not they’re not competitive with us. They’re just different parts of the body.

Frances Key 59:50
Yes, with different purposes and gifts. And and even in this lifetime, if you have always thought gosh, I wish I could go do so and so, across, over in India, I wish I could go, I used to be this way, no joke. I wish I could just go, you know, serve the poor in India. But I have four daughters here at home, you know, I’m not leaving to go serve the poor. Actually, it can be that part of my team. It’s doing that work, or even another aspect of me it’s doing that work. And that’s why I’m drawn to that. I’m drawn to that. Right? I don’t have to go do it. I need to do what’s before me. Yes, we bloom where we’re planted, and we serve where we are. Now, we might get drawn to do some, something across the world. I’m not saying that won’t happen. But I’m just saying, that’s where some of those feelings come from. Or could be another life that we remember doing that. But but we don’t want to neglect our responsibilities, you know, that we have before us?

Brian Smith 1:00:56
Yes, I Well, we would you said I use that all the time. I tell people you have to grow where your planet you know, we are we are we could you can do what you can do here. You don’t have to go across the world and serve the poor. There’s something that you can do right where you are, whether it’s it could be being a mother to your four daughters. People ask me like, what’s my life purpose on like, being a mother is an extremely important life purpose. Don’t ever, you know, sell short where you are right now. And the people are just around you. You know, serve them and grow yourself and you will benefit your team and, and once we cross back over, I believe we pick up all those other experiences that we didn’t have were physically in the body. We just we become reconnected with us.

Frances Key 1:01:46
Instead, okay,

Brian Smith 1:01:47
yeah, we’re having a little technical depth about Celtic. We’re coming to the end so we can push through.

Frances Key 1:01:52
Yeah. Okay. I’m going to send you I’m going to email you a poem that maybe could put up on the screen at the end. Sure. Or share with people called carry carry your torch, which I wrote, I wrote for the young man who was killed in the home invasion. And I think it could mean a lot to, to your people, to your listeners.

Brian Smith 1:02:17
Yeah. Be glad to do that.

Frances Key 1:02:20
Okay, well, I feel like I want to, I want to I want to mention something about suicide. Okay, I feel drawn to mentioned suicide, because we have had many lives, and we’ve had many deaths. And we do not define a person’s life by the way they died. That’s very important to remember, whether there’s illness, accident, suicide. If we’ve had many lives, we may also have had experiences of suicide ourselves. And there are some people who live their whole lives and never live fully. And then there are some people who live 25 years and have the richness of life and growth far beyond what that person lived who lived a long life. Yes, absolutely. So it’s so important not to define a person’s the value of a person or their life, by the way they

Unknown Speaker 1:03:18

Brian Smith 1:03:20
Yeah, I think that’s extremely, extremely important. Because I don’t think it matters, you know, how we how we transition, we all transition at some point, and I love what you just said. And I was I talked to a lot of parents again, who parent whose children have passed early. And it’s interesting, because it seems like a lot of times those children that concentrated I call it concentrated times with their parents, they seem to value that time more, a lot of them not all of them, of course, but I was talking to a guy who happened to you know, he retired early so you could spend time with his son, having no idea that just seven years later his son which was going to transition, but looking back on it now it’s like I just had such a great time with him being home when he came home from school and doing all these things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. My daughter we homeschooled Shana for eight years, about eight years. Yeah, she went to school for like, just a year, just two years to public school. Well, you homeschooled her. And I worked from home, my wife worked from home. So we just had such a great, you know, in those 15 years that she was here. I feel like we have as much time as some people would have had in 45 or 50 years with their kids. So it’s not a matter of the length of time it’s it’s what you put into it. Yes,

Frances Key 1:04:32
you talk again. I do want to say that if people if people do read the books and have questions, they can email me that their questions. And if they want to meet with me, by this way, zoom or Skype or something to let me know. Yeah. I’d be happy to to help them explore some of these concepts.

Brian Smith 1:04:56
I’ll put your put your email address in the show notes so people can consideration up there. I want to thank you, Frankie for doing this. It’s really been. Because I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. I cannot say enough good things about the books. Because I’ve read them multiple times. I thought people might feel like I’m pushing them. But I really am. I really am a big fan of the books in the work you and your mother have done together. So I appreciate it very much.

Frances Key 1:05:26
She has her books have have there’s about 100 insights in the four books and they’ve helped 1000s of people. And I’m one of them. Yeah, that changed my life that changed me in my essence. I can’t even put into words how much how much this information has changed me as a human being for the better, had a lot of growing to do. I had a lot of anger and things like that to release. And they blessed me. Oh, yeah, that’s another story. That they blessed me. Yeah, they healed me. They healed me.

Brian Smith 1:06:09
Yeah. Well, I appreciate you should do the same. This Yeah, well, I’m sure they have and they will and I will do everything I can to make sure everybody that I know reads the books. So again, Frankie, thank you for being here this afternoon and have a great rest of your day.

Frances Key 1:06:27
Thank you so much. I enjoyed it greatly.

Transcribed by

In this interview with Stephen Weber and his partner Katherine Plant, we discuss the accident that led to his life-altering Near-Death Experience. As happens with many Near-Death Experiences, Stephen is a different person now than he was before his experience.

Stephen Weber, a Technology Project Manager, and Katherine Plant, a childcare worker, and reiki practitioner, live in Northport, Long Island, New York.

After an accident left Stephen, a loving father in a coma, on the verge of life and death, he traveled to another place. On the outside, he was in a hospital bed; but, on the inside, he was in a place he calls, “The Place Between Here and There.” It was a place where time did not exist; where people were spirits; and where he learned the wisdom of the universe. This book details his journey to this wondrous place, then back to Earth, where he must rehabilitate from grave injuries, only to then experience the worst tragedy a parent can imagine- the passing of his son.






Brian Smith 0:01
Hey everybody, this is Brian Smith. I’m back with another episode of grief to growth. And I’ve got with me today Steve Weber and his partner, Kathy plant. And Steve and Kathy are the co authors of the book, the place between here and now. And here and there, I should say here there, and I’m going to read a short bio or short introduction, then we’re just going to have a conversation about their experiences. Steven Weber is a technology project manager and Katherine plan is a childcare worker and Reiki practitioner, and they live in North Pointe Long Island, New York with their precious pups Mary’s, a Rottweiler and banden and Australian shepherd. They both have 22 year old daughters at attend university in Connecticut. Steven Kathy has successful workshops in the place between here and there, which is their book, as I said earlier, accompanied by music and meditation. in their spare time, they enjoy hiking and many beautiful parks in Long Island, doing yoga, running and cooking. They also enjoy sharing their spiritual enthusiasm by helping curtains, full moon ceremonies, sound healings and guided meditations with friends, Steven Kathy love to hear from the readers and are thrilled to answer all correspondence. So after this, I’ll give information on how you can contact them. So with that, I want to welcome you to grief to grow Steve and Kathy,

Stephen Weber 1:10
thanks so much. I really appreciate the sharing your time and your audience with us. And thank you. Yeah,

Brian Smith 1:18
well, it’s great to have you here. I know just a little bit about your story. So I want to give you a chance to start wherever you like. And tell me about about what how the book came about.

Stephen Weber 1:28
Man well is that is that I’ve been a Harley rider all my life. But you know, from a very young age, I was riding motorcycles and been a part of my life. And I was driving out east on Eastern Long Island. We live in Long Island. And the eastern is more of a rural community. So I would occasionally drive out there have some barbecue and drive back Saturday, a Sunday afternoon. And the traffic was backed up from miles, people were driving on the shoulder to make make a right hand turn in the road ahead. And very foolishly I did the same thing. And and when I got to the intersection, a truck coming the opposite direction, made a left hand turn and T boned me on my motorcycle. And the lights went out. I mean, that was I was I was out the next things I knew is that I was flying through the air and a helicopter to to a trauma center. I recognized it from the air right away was Stony Brook Hospital, one of the premier trauma centers in the United States. I just happened dumb luck that I live nearby. And, and the helicopter could land nearby because there was a school is a rural area. And, and wow, they i was i was gravely injured, my spine was broken. I had grave internal injuries, they were immediately life threatening that operates several times. My hip was shattered. I it’s so many injuries. It’s like an autopsy report. Yeah, it’s it’s amazing. The things that they did at Stony Brook hospital is just, they did everything right. But it wasn’t just the machines. It was the people as the nurses, it was the caring people really cared. And that’s what I learned later on. That’s what that’s one of the most important lessons you learn in having these types of experiences. And so what and so what I lay in the hospital for, for three weeks in a coma, and that’s the way I appeared to the rest of the world. But, but in myself, I was in a place a place I call the place between here and there. And the overall is it’s kind of like purgatory the way I’m a Catholic and the way they kind of taught us what purgatory was. But it’s a it’s not a place of punishment. It’s a place of knowledge and enlightenment, and preparing you for for completing your journey into spirit. And it was there. I was in this place between here and there. And I was being prepared for the afterlife. And that’s the start of a story. Yeah.

Brian Smith 4:03
And when did this happen, Steve?

Stephen Weber 4:04
This happened in I guess 2016 four years ago. Oh, wow. Okay, so

Brian Smith 4:09
this is pretty recent. Okay.

Stephen Weber 4:11
Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it was it was, you know, and so many levels, it’s that you would think that it was a terrible thing that happened to me. But by far, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn’t go back and change a moment of it. But it took me a long time to realize it on when I say I was in a place between here and there is that is that it was centered on three important scenes that are that were taken from my life where I learned very important lessons, and I was actually tested on that knowledge. The first place was a work like setting me here was on this is where I was taught what I call the wizard The language of the universe are what I later learned to be synching with the Akashic Record. That means sharing all of your knowledge with the all that is, and downloading all the wisdom of the universe, that that will help you trance make this transit into spirit. The next thing that happened to me is I had a light review. And I reviewed my entire life from both to back many times, learning each time, and growing spiritually and feeling such a sense of bliss. Each time I reviewed my life, and, and I just saw so many things in my experiences that that really brought me You just just beautiful, beautiful enlightenment. And then finally, I was tested on my knowledge. And this was what was a test that I failed on. And, and this test was to determine whether or not I would continue in spirit or return back to Earth to have continued human incarnations. So that was the whole setting, in, in the place between here and there. And, and one of the first things that so So first, I was taught what out the language of the universe, I was taught certain wisdom that I was going to be using. But it wasn’t that I was in school that somebody sat down and said, okay, Stevie, now it’s time to learn this and blah, blah, blah, no, it wasn’t like that. It was to see things and feel things. So my internal teacher could see these things and learn them. And to help me understand those things. So this is a perfect example of one of the first lessons I learned is that I learned how to see spirit in people, okay. And so the way I was first introduced to this is that I saw people from my life, people who I knew I saw every day, everything looked fine, we’re in a work like setting, then I saw people who I hadn’t seen it 20 and 30 years, and they look just like I remember them, they haven’t changed, although many years have passed. And then as time went on, things started to change, I start to see people who I knew as, as teenagers, I might see them as, as elderly people, or people who I knew as elderly, I might see them as kids, or I might see people, men, as women and women as men, and all different types of nationalities, and, and, and ethnicities. And, and in the end, I was still able to recognize that part about each and every person that is unique to them, regardless of what shape or form they took. And that’s when I realized that I was seeing spirit. That’s what I was being taught. That was the first lesson, the that be able to see spirit.

Brian Smith 8:04
And this was you were taught in the first place, you said you went to the kind of the, where you were going to the Akashic records and doing the Okay,

Stephen Weber 8:11
and so on. And so I that went on for for quite a while on, I was taught different things. Like, for instance, once I could see spirit, and I could feel spirit, all of a sudden, I noticed everything around me had spirit. It wasn’t just people, it was plants, it was animals, everything has had had spirit. And that spirit was all common. And I began to realize that we’re really, we are all connected, we are all connected, we are all part of one consciousness, all of us, very similar to like cells in a body, how each cell has its own life that lives it dies it, it reproduces, you know, it’s, it has its own life, but all those cells together, make up us, and we have a consciousness, all of those cells don’t know of us in our consciousness. And that’s what what we are each of our spirits together, we are all part of the same the whole and that’s the Holy Spirit. And that’s one of another lesson that I learned as part of that consciousness. Some other lessons were, were that, that your experiences are so vital to help you learn and grow. And in the next step, that is where I really learned the value of the of experiences because the first things I learned was the Akashic Records synching with the Akashic records, learning the wisdom of the universe. The next place is that I was went through a life review, and this was a very tough and yet beautiful process, because that what I did is now I had the benefit of having this wisdom from this sinking of the Kaushik record, and secondly, I’ve only lived Through these events throughout my life, so so now I get to be a lawyer. It’s not that I could influence events, but I could see events over and over again, kind of like watching a movie. But there was something different about it. Because now that I could see spirit, every situation that I was in, in my life was really not what I thought, because now I could see why everybody was there. They were for different reasons. And, and there was a physical reason, like maybe we had a fight in the school yard. So everybody from school at the school don’t want wants to watch it. So that might be the physical reason why they’re there. But once I could see spirit, there was a spiritual reason their lesson learned or some something that had a play out within their own life app. And so now I began to realize so many of those experiences that I had, that I thought, Well, one thing really was another thing. And there was so much more to it, because now I could feel what the other people were feeling. And so now, after learning all throughout my life, seen it all over again, I’ve learned so many more things, and I was more blissful at the end than when I started. And one of the first things I’ve learned there is that some of the worst experiences in my life, some of the most heart wrenching things, or some of those experience that brought me the most bliss, when I was doing my life review, ruins, all of a sudden, you have all this stuff hanging over you, you have all this hate and animosity towards yourself, as well as others. Now, all of a sudden, all those things start to make sense, because you start to see other people’s perspectives, and why people are on different paths. And yet, you see things differently. And, and now when I understood those horrible events, and they washed away with the wisdom of the meaning of it, all of a sudden, it was like, Wow, it was beautiful. It really was because that you don’t feel, you know, hate and animosity is something that’s so difficult to carry around with you every day to project that on all of the people most of the time, people you love. And likewise, to be able to receive that from from yourself and for others, all that’s gone. And that brings bliss. And so that life review went on over and over and over and over again. Each time I learned from it, I learned

it was beautiful. I knew it’s gonna be a tough day, every time it started. But by the end, wow, you know, I wasn’t in a rush. But you get addicted to the bliss, because it really is. It’s just wow, it’s a great, great, great, great feeling. And, and that went on for so many times, because the need as long as I kept on learning I kept was in that situation. Very similar to the first place, the first place where I was learning the Kaushik record being synced with the Kaushik record and learning the wisdom of the universe. I stayed there as long as I was learning once I stopped learning, then I did my life review. When I stopped learning from my life review, then I went to the next phase of this, of this beautiful journey. Yeah. And, and that’s a that’s the first place I was in in the place between here and there. Where I shared my wisdom we see and then I did my life reviews.

Brian Smith 13:48
So when you when you transfer it from here to there, was there a feeling of leaving your body? Did you go through any? Or did you just what did you find yourself there? What did you think was going on? Did you know you’re dead?

Stephen Weber 14:02
Oh, no telling it. I had no idea. It was. Everything was so rooted in my life. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t even know. Although, when I was injured, I knew I was in an accident. But when I was here, I didn’t know I was in an accident because there’s nothing wrong with me. I was just like, I I don’t know. It’s just like, why I didn’t think of it. And and it’s not like I forgot it, but it just didn’t occur to me. I don’t know. It’s just like a continuation of my life. Yeah. And I know a lot of people talk about like, walking down or going to a tunnel or, or seeing a light or think things like lamp like that. I didn’t experience any of that. It was I was on my motorcycle. And the next moment I was in work, and I was dealing with the situation then I started to see the spirit and stuff. It was just like one second this. This was the next second. That was it.

Brian Smith 14:57
And was there any perception of time and you said that you went through these things over and over and over again. How did it feel? timewise?

Stephen Weber 15:04
Okay, time is kind of cool there in the sense that there isn’t like a sun rising or sunsetting in that in the way that it does here. And it wasn’t that this clock’s ticking like, like, what is time it’s like water boiling on the stove is I get turned on the key, it takes a while, then it boils out, well, you have appointments in the future is like that there. It’s that the real measure of time is how much you’ve learned, the experiences you’ve gone through, because you could always think back is like, oh, way back when is I thought this. But but then all these things happen. And I experienced these things. And now I’ve grown and now my awareness is here. Wow, I went through a whole lot. That gives you the impression of time gets what has happened to you. If you don’t do anything, which wasn’t the case, I would imagine, it would go so slow, like nothing would happen. It’s like really the, the as much as you learn and grow. That’s where the time brings you.

Brian Smith 16:11
Okay. And as you’re going through, like, for example, the reviews, were there for the guides with you were there, or was it you on your own? How does that work?

Stephen Weber 16:20
Not at this time. But but but no, that comes into play later on? But no, it was all a solitary thing. Okay. Okay, yeah, synching with the record, and the life review, I was being prepared for the next important step. And that was to be tested on my knowledge. And, and so that was the second place I was in. So I was tested on my knowledge, but I didn’t know at the time, anything to do with the test. And this is stuff that after thinking about it, and experiencing certain things that that now I realize it was a test. And but but at the time, I had no idea. I had no idea that I was on the verge of life and death and that I was being transitioned to be in spirit. And I would have been spirit if it wasn’t for all these machines, and the caring, but other than that my body thought I was dying. And so I was being prepared to spirit. And, and so and so that was the first place. Now the second place, I’m being tested. And that’s tested, what I mean is that if you think about the ascension of your spirit, after you pass, is that is that

are you going to continue in spirit, or you’re going to be returned to Earth for another incarnation To learn more, because if it wasn’t for my life experiences, I would have nothing to draw upon in the life review, there would be nothing there. Hmm. So the experiences are everything so so so that’s why we come to earth to have these experiences. I often say down to earth but but I that’s just a bigger speech. And often I’ll talk about days one and I speak about that place is that I really don’t mean days, I was just like the way people talk so on if I want to make that. And so in the in the second place is I was being tested, what I later learn to either I was going to be in spirit, be a spirit guide, or continue my evolution to be with the Ascended Masters and perhaps eventually, with the consciousness of the Creator, but right now is being tested on that. So what else being tested is I had, I was in charge of a group of kids, young adults, and I was there to teach them a task. And, and no matter what I did, they wouldn’t listen to me would feel like I was connecting with them. I really would I would feel it like like, hey, it’s you and me. You know, Come on, guys. Let’s do it. Kind of like coach Steve, you know, you know, it’s just like, I feel like I connect with them. And then they go and they run off. And then then I’d be held accountable for that. And I was just trying, I tried every bit of little manipulating tactics. I know, I tried bribing them. I tried one team against the other team. Like I tried all these little inspirational tactics. I know from sports or from work or from other things, you know, when you’re trying to get a team together, nothing worked. Finally on Finally I was at my wit’s end, I went back to the person who is in charge of me. And I realized as I stood before them, I realized I was looking into my higher self, that that, that my highest self that I was just part of that. And then I felt my higher self awareness. And then all of a sudden, everything my perception of everything changed, as I realized is that is that I wasn’t there to prepare those kids to do a task. That really those were spirits who have yet to have an encounter of human incarnation, and I was there to prepare them for their first human incarnation. That’s what I failed that because that I didn’t see them. As spirits, I was taught how to see spirit. And the first chance I get, I don’t see him as, don’t be kids wouldn’t listen. And then I tried to manipulate them instead of seeing this spirit, and understanding and making that connection. And that is where I fail that, but but eventually I succeeded because that with the help of this wisdom, but I didn’t do it myself. Okay. And, and I think that, that if I did, if I was successful, I think perhaps I would have stayed in spirit for forever or for time, because that it I think, if that was the case, I think I was going to be a spirit guide. That’s what, you know, that was the next step in my spiritual evolution for those who who are in physical incarnation. But but I wasn’t ready because that I didn’t see it. And then, but but there was something very interesting in that place is that is that there was a lady there who was always praying. And I didn’t understand that it because I wasn’t a spiritual person. I kind of looked like prayer it kind of like I did it. Because, you know, we, we pray before we, you know, I did, it wasn’t like, I don’t know. But I was feeling from this lady’s prayers is that I couldn’t hear a prayers, but I felt such a love. And such an energy that it was, it drove me You know, it, you know, in some of the challenges that I was there, I couldn’t hear her words, but our energy through a prayers is that that’s what helped driving me. And that’s something I learned a little bit later on what the significance of that is. And then finally, finally, that was the end of that place. As soon as, as soon as I was successful, and helping the kids transition to their to their next spiritual phase to have the human incarnation. Now, I was at the final place before I eventually returned back to, to my physical state of mind. Okay.

Brian Smith 22:20
Yeah. Okay. So, um, when you were going through this test was, were you aware that it was a test, or?

Stephen Weber 22:29
No, I wasn’t on an even at the end of it. I wasn’t aware of was was a test. I thought I was just doing tasks. And at this time, I mean, you would think that I would think at this point, that that Steve, you’re not in Kansas anymore. Like, like, like I expect, like, no, it just didn’t occur to me. I don’t know why. Yeah. No, it wasn’t until the very end, that that it occurred to me that that something’s going on here. Mm hmm. And it wasn’t until till the very end, and I and that’s, and that’s where we are right now.

Brian Smith 23:03
Yeah. So you were apparently were sent back at some point. So tell me about how that happened.

Stephen Weber 23:09
I’m sorry. I don’t not sure I understand the question.

Brian Smith 23:13
Well, you were you were sent back from that place. You said, you so you’re back here. So how did that tell me how that transition happened?

Stephen Weber 23:21
So true. Okay, so then I was in I live in a town on Long Island. I’m very young, it’s a very small community, but but it’s, it’s an old fashioned community, like everyone knows each other. And at the end of every day, we’ll have the town goes to the water to watch the sunset, we call it the bluff. And, and some people drink coffee, other people like drink out of red solo cups, and stuff and, and they watch the sunset. So so when I was in that place, I had a similar scene that that I did over and over again, with two old friends of mine, Joe and john, they were their old king sparkers that’s the town I live in. And they were in their 80s. And, and we would drink coffee and and watch the sunset at the end of every day when I was there. I used the term day, you know, we talked about just very loosely. And And this went over over and over many times over again. And it wasn’t. And then finally, I thought to myself is Joey and Johnny, Joe and john are both dead. Like, how could they be here? Hmm. You know, and and that was what was it and so it kept on going over and over again, seeing them and watching the sunset. And I want to ask them why they were here. And it was kind of starting to feel like an anxiety for the first time because that I was feeling like something big was going to happen soon. And and as each time I saw that I don’t know why I didn’t want to ask them. I’m thinking in my own mind, you know, I’m just starting to think this I’m not 100% sure, but on, but I’m starting to think because perhaps I was, I was I was very blissful at this point. And perhaps I was concerned, maybe the bliss would stop like, like, it wasn’t allowed. I don’t know, these are all things that that I just don’t know. And I was, it was all in my mind. Nobody said anything. It’s all in though, you know, the universe, according to Steve, you know, I don’t, I don’t know. But, but so. So. So then finally, I felt if I didn’t ask them now, I would never get this opportunity ever again. And so what so I finally asked them what they were doing here. And they said, They’re here to make sure I’m alright.

And that kind of echoed in my mind, because that I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with me. Yeah, you notice I felt fine. But But this whole experience was very odd. And so it was all getting to me at the same time. And, and then, then as we watched, the sunset just got brighter and brighter and brighter. And then when I couldn’t stand it, I closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes again, I was in my hospital room, and my mom was was was there. And she was telling me, that was an awful accident. And, and, and that was me returning back to, to my physical state. But it wasn’t until I started to recover, I couldn’t walk, I was in a very, very, very bad state that, that my spine was broken. I had all these pins and screws in my hip. And, you know, I’ve been out for three, three weeks. I was I was I was pretty beefy guy before. And now I look like Cathy says, A pluck chicken. No, no, I wasn’t too, too good. But then I started to, you know, do my rehabilitation. I had such a drive to get better, that that I’d often feel this energy. And was then I realize, Joe and john Joe broke his neck when he was a kid at the bluff. And he and he had his back views the whole time as he is in his life, and would walk around kind of like Frankenstein. It was a funny guy, you know, he, he made a lot of fun with it as a good soul. And then john, he was a diabetic and he and his leg got all infected. And he died from from that, you know, when he was an old man, older person. Yeah. And I had problems with my back. I had a broken back, and my leg was in pieces. And it wasn’t then I realized that there would have been my spirit guides to help me through going through this process because that I didn’t, I didn’t have them in my ear saying Stevie Come on, or Kaunas TV, you know? No, but I felt their energy. Same way as I felt the energy of the lady praying is that I felt their energy and I felt their wisdom by having a having the same experiences. And that’s what what they meant that that I would, I would I would see you later that that that’s that’s that that’s that they were here to make sure that I was okay. Now Now it made sense. And, but that lady, I remember that lady now. Because Because that lady now I could see spirit and now I’m awake. And I’m starting to come to my senses again. I know who that lady was, huh? It was my dear friend Kathy. Oh, I knew it. This lady right here. My Kathy, my co author is that that we would just friends at that time. But But she was always a little kooky because she would talk about these spirit things sometimes because we were like, moms together like I would stay at home dad. So all my friends were were moms and she was one of my mom friends. And she would and she would sometimes talk about spiritual things. I wasn’t spiritual at all. But I felt her prayers. sigh as soon as I got my wits together, I said I had to, I had to call her I want to talk to her and tell her about my experience. So the first things I did is I I got my phone as soon as I was untied and I texted her and you got my text?

Kathie Plant 29:27
Yes, they did.

Brian Smith 29:28
So Kathy, you were

Kathie Plant 29:30
friends for a while. And then when he had the accident, it was very devastating for me. We were friends about 16 years. So I I did the only thing I could do. I wasn’t next to kin I couldn’t go into the hospital. So I said based on my knowledge of spirit and having lived through my mom’s premature passing and my twin brothers premature passing and learning to communicate with spirit because I needed that connection to stay alive. And knew that where Steve was was a place where, although he wasn’t in his physical self, he was his spiritual self back in our spiritual home. So through through, like my mind, I could connect to him. So I said to him in my head every day, I said, Steve, I need you to come back, everyone needs you to come back. I’m going to pretend that I’m in the hospital room with you because I can’t be in there. I’m holding your hand. And we’re going to pray the St. Jude prayer, which was what was very meaningful to me. Now, this isn’t a religious thing. I mean, this all paths lead to one destination. But this is the saint with whom I resonated. And then I did this every day. And three weeks later, I get a text from him. And he says, Hi, cat, that’s Steve, I’m okay. Wow, thank you for visiting me when I was out if you know what I if you if you know what I mean. And I, I was just like, so excited. And I typed back and I said, You mean, you know, and he said, let’s just say I’ve been to a place where I know that everyone is connected, but that you and I have a connection that goes beyond this earth. And I learned all about life. And I’d like to share that with you. So I went to the hospital the next day. And it was just amazing the things that he learned. And it’s just it makes life blissful. I mean, there’s so much wisdom. Yeah, what people need to know is that there is an eternity to life, there is a continuation of consciousness. So when our loved ones pass, our pets pass, they’re there in spirit, they’re in an eternal home, and we can connect to them. And and that’s just once you get rid of that fear that we’re no longer connected to those and that there is really no death, then you could just relax and know that you will see them again. And and there’s a connection that love never dies, it changes form, but it never dies. love and life are eternal. And that was a very valuable lesson. And it. He’s back and I’m so grateful

Stephen Weber 32:13
most of the times except if I leave my socks on the floor, then

Kathie Plant 32:19
that’s great.

Brian Smith 32:21
Yeah, that is?

Stephen Weber 32:24
Well, it was it was just a very, you know, I definitely it. It was it was definitely a connection that went beyond this world. Yeah. But but for a long time, as I put it aside is that is that I was so wrapped up in trying to get better is that I stopped talking about it. And Kathy didn’t push me on it too much. Because I was convinced that the experience was the drugs they gave me like, like the sedatives or what perhaps I was dreaming, I didn’t think it was real. And the couple of times that I that I shared some parts with Kathy Kathy would get real excited about and tell me how it’s how it’s real. And I would, I would think she was kind of kind of kooky about the whole thing. I just thought it was just a trippy kind of thing.

Unknown Speaker 33:12
I was there. How can it be trippy?

Stephen Weber 33:14
I don’t know. I don’t know.

Brian Smith 33:16
Well, I think that’s that’s really not uncommon for people try to rationalize and when you mentioned the drugs or dream, I mean, a lot of people talk about near death experiences and even even doctors will try to explain it away with lack of oxygen to the brain or the drugs or, you know, stuff like that. But how was the experience? Did it feel because what How did it feel to you when you’re in that experience?

Stephen Weber 33:39
I felt extremely blissful all the time. I felt I didn’t see like, like, people speak up, perhaps seeing divinity and other things is I didn’t see any of that. It was all that but it was a framework around everything is that it was an energy that I felt like love You know, I believe it’s, it’s deeper than then than that. It’s a it’s a love of action and about it’s more than a feeling it’s a it’s a wisdom, like, like love is wise. Because Because it’s like the expression of love is is it’s like the law of attraction. You know, the more you love and the more you put positivity and things around you the more your world changes because that you’re putting out a different vibe. it’s it’s it’s different and that’s what I felt that the idea is as I learned is that is that you built more evolved than and spiritual and, and it was a beauty like I often wondered like, if all this bs about heaven is true, you know, before I had this experience is that I’d be bored. Oh, I’ll be bored. But what am I gonna do? sit around, hang out the clouds all day and play to play harps and stuff like what? What would it be? At least for me This is what this experience was.

Brian Smith 35:02
So early, you said it this was kind of like purgatory. So kind of like an in between place, do you think this is heaven? Or just like a place that leads to heaven? Or how would you? How would you put that,

Stephen Weber 35:13
I would say all the bugs. What I mean by that is that is that I think it’s preparing you to be in spirit. The only reason why I was alive was because that they had these machines that were keeping me alive. And in the past, you wouldn’t have access to this type of medical care, because did they work these miracles even put my leg back together, I could walk now. And, and they work these miracles. And But what’s more than enable you to survive is that my brain wasn’t damaged, like, like, I still have my cognitive abilities. And so and so in the past, that was very rare. I believe that going forward, more people will have these types of experiences, because of these medical procedures and advances and the availability of this type of care. But there’s a doctor, I think his last name is par. Now, I should know that better by now. But he’s a cardiac surgeon over at Stony Brook hospital where they had the surgery for me, and I never met him. But I saw him on a podcast where he was discussing a book. And he was saying that, that the idea of these life saving medical technologies is going to bring more of these types of experiences that people talk about. And really, we are missing a very, very big component as a society, that that we really need to begin to document this, this information. But from a medical standpoint, just as a part of your documenting your history, you know, what did you experience as a part of like, the outpatient procedure? So I thought, you know, I thought that to be, you know, I it made a lot of sense to me that, that it was the machines that kept me going.

Brian Smith 37:05
Yeah, and one of the reasons I asked you that question, I’ve talked to several people who’ve had near death experiences, and my working theory is that it is kind of a place in between and, and a lot of times in near death experience, we’ll hear about a barrier, for example, people say I knew there was a place I couldn’t go beyond there was a there was a wall, there was a gate, there was a river I couldn’t cross or something. So it seems to be like it might be an in between kind of preparatory place. And maybe even as you said, maybe a place of decision. And I’ve never quite heard it put the way you did. It’s kind of like, why to come back to this physical life. I come back reincarnated. Or maybe I move forward to being a spirit guide or something. It’s first time I’ve heard someone put it that way.

Unknown Speaker 37:47

Stephen Weber 37:51
it took a long time to to adjust to that. Mm hmm. Like I wasn’t a spiritual person at all. And Kathy had a lot to do with it. And then and then well, is that is that I was well into my rehabilitation. You know, Kathy was was there all the time and, and she was like Sergeant slaughter and Mother Teresa, you know, sometimes she’d beat on me Other times, she would just be kind and supportive. And I had Joey and john as my speed. I felt their energy life was moving on. I was starting to feel really good about things then. And then my 20 year old son died of a drug overdose. Sorry, I went overdose now. This this kid was the light of my life. I was a stay at home dad. I mean that that’s how I knew Kathy and all the other moms and, and he was a musician. He was he played Jimi Hendrix, like Jimi Hendrix, he played Mozart like Mozart on the on the, on the piano, and he and he played the saxophone, like Dizzy Gillespie played the song horn. He was great. And he was a championship wrestler, New York State Champion. He was on a scholarship, he was just, you know, all these wonderful things. And it just happened so fast, you know, it just, it was devastating. I just I got into this funk and I just couldn’t shake it. And and Kathy, I’d go on these walks with with with Kathy and I really wouldn’t talk and I just like being in her presence, and I felt a certain energy. And, and I began to think about things a little bit more about about the place between here and there. And I wasn’t sharing it a lot with her but, but it was just wow.

Brian Smith 39:40
So when I’m sorry. What did I interrupt you? When did this happen?

Stephen Weber 39:43
This happened. The accident was in 2015. And I lost my son in 2016.

Brian Smith 39:50
Okay, so you were you were probably still recovering everything physically at that point?

Stephen Weber 39:53
Yes, yes, I was still in Kathy was helping me all along the way through experience. And yeah, it was just, it was it was, it was just such a difficult experience is, you know, I kept on thinking to myself, Was it me? You know? No, how did I screw up? You know, I was a biker, you know, I’d like to drink beer in my my Holly eat hot wings and, and stuff but I was fully involved parents I mean, I was my, my my son and my daughter would often tell me why can’t I be do parent things and leave them alone You know, you know like I was always in their hair, you know as always involved and and then to miss out on the weddings and birthdays and the grandchildren. And then then did I bring this about like, like, you have all these thoughts of deep regret and blame and everything else. And then and then one day when I was working through this, Kathy turns around and says Nick, this my son’s name is that contact turns around and says, Did they ever try to contact you from spirit? Hmm. I thought this woman was freaking nuts. I really did. Is that is that I’m sitting in grieving. And I’m looking to it and she was really really my best friends. You know? Really? No, although is a guy and girl You know, it’s tough to win all your friends are women and moms and stuff. You know, it’s tough to imagine in this world but but but but no, no, she was my dear friend. But how to say this, I almost felt I was almost off piste it because it didn’t seem real, like oh, my son’s going to talk to me now. And and she backed off right away. And so but but I didn’t say a lot. I just kind of went went with the flow because I didn’t want to, you know, I didn’t want to be that way. Yeah. And so um, but but the next thing is I know is she’s dragging me around to all these trails, we go on, she’s leaving little statues of St. Teresa. And we’re and we’re writing stones of prayers, we’re putting them down. And then we’re, we’re leaving the pen there. So so the next day, we would come back to be more prayers that it was almost like we’d go to this shrine this day, this shrine the next day. And each day, there were more, there were more prayer stones that and that was the first time that I started to really feel some relief from from the grief that I was experiencing. Because that all of a sudden is like that old sting song where he talks about the message in the bottle, and, and all the bottles showing up on the shore. Like, like, like, you’re not alone in this world. Everyone has problems. And everyone has heartbreak and just knowing like I was all of a sudden, I started to feel that connection, again, that I felt in the place between here and there that all of a sudden, like I was starting to feel that spirit. But but but I really, you know, I really didn’t share it too much with with with Kathy occasionally, because it was like giving red meat to a dog you know, you know, she she was already having me praying and doing all this stuff. And then then we start to see the signs and, and Kathy

Kathie Plant 43:08
Well, he was very hesitant to believe me that there was an ability to communicate with spirit, which was made me just shocked because we communicated when he was in spirit.

Brian Smith 43:18

Kathie Plant 43:20
see this now, but it was my magic. He was just living in his lower chakras, his ego, which, you know, everyone does.

Unknown Speaker 43:28
Some more than others.

Kathie Plant 43:30
So when I started doing what I do best again, which is the praying and trying to connect and seeing all these signs around us that I felt next presence. You know, we were finding roses everywhere we were going and I’m like Steve, does this mean something you don’t just find roses would be roses on a trail roses at the beach roses everywhere. And it was the anniversary of his son’s passing. And I said, you know, he’s contacting us. And he was just like, You are crazy. And I knew I wasn’t. Yeah. So it wasn’t until his cousin went to visit a very well known local psychic and the psychic when she went to go contact her grandmother, but Nick was like, I’m taking this opportunity to go through the psychic to give a message. And he said, um, she said to the site to my to his cousin, there’s a Nic that’s coming through and he Do you know who that his and his cousin was like, of course I know who it is. Yeah, let him come through. And she said Nick is saying that he has a synchronicity with St. Teresa and he’s sending the roses. Okay, and and I thought like, Oh, I had Steve now once he has this he’s gonna be like so excited. And he still didn’t he still chalked it up to Well, it’s a coincidence.

Stephen Weber 44:53
And I know I know it sounds kind of you know, in hindsight, it sounds like I should have known like, like, I should have known In that place, but but it just it was too hokey pokey for me, you know, turns with but things. I’m a computer guy. So two plus two equals four. Yeah. But well,

Brian Smith 45:11
I’m gonna ask you out,

Kathie Plant 45:13
I just have to say one thing when we made a found out and this was this was the aha moments was that Nick and St. Teresa shared a birthday. They both were born on January 2, and Nick passed on the day that St. Teresa was canonized, which is may 17. So when I found that out, and I just excitedly brought that information to Steve and I was like Steve, you know, he said he has a synchronous that he was saying, Teresa, he said, He’s sending the roses to let you know that he’s okay. And these, those are the synchronicities the birthday and the passing day. And then he was like, well, maybe there is something to this. So he finally was starting to see the connection. And once that aha moment happened, and he opened his awareness to all of that, okay, then the signs started coming left and right i mean we ever since then he is just a sign machines, like we are connecting with this loved one that one love this saying that say that Angel St. Michael, just, there’s just this magic that once you open that spiritual door, and you allow that beauty, that connection, I mean, we did the veil gets thinner. When you make that realization, then you get signed suddenly from your loved ones, but you get signs on how to live your life. Like what, what to do, you’re struggling with whether you should go down this road of this road, and you’ll see left written somewhere and you know, to go left, I mean, it just, it’s just such a beautiful thing. When you open that spiritual dawn, once he did that, then life just became better. He knew Nick was okay. He knew that there was a continuation of life. And then there was just magic. I mean, life has been magical ever since

Stephen Weber 47:05
it was it was really is that the aha moment was an aha moment for opening the doors to think about it a little bit more as that. And it wasn’t like, like just an epiphany. It was a process now, like Kathy says, It’s once I start to think about it. And then I started to think that maybe Nick is in the place where I was. And he was feeling the things that I was feeling that that place is real. And Nick is feeling those things that he’s alright, he’s happy. He’s learning he’s growing. He’s realizing his, his true self, his higher self in this world in this universe. And, and that brought me peace. And now, that understanding actually brought my son back to me because that anytime I thought of my son, up until that point, I thought of him passing, especially dying of a heroin overdose, and just me not knowing and my responsibility and everything else is that all of a sudden, is that is that no, no, he’s okay. You know, what, we’re all going to be okay, we’re all going to be together. And this isn’t the end, and that he’s feeling that bliss. And now I got him back. Because now I don’t think about the circumstances of his death. I think about all the happy times and him holding the trophies over his head or in playing the saxophone. And people like stopping in the street and looking at him with just all these things I had, I got that back, like giving up the grief, because the grief sub process, at least for me, really is a process. But it wasn’t until I was able to give that up that I got the memory of my son back. And that’s what I wanted. Second, I want my son back number one, but if not, that is I want the happiness when I thought of him back, and soon as I was able to understand that life is eternal, that that place is real, and that he’s going on to his beautiful, his beautiful, higher self and the rest of the spiritual existence. That that. Wow. It’s okay. Yeah.

Brian Smith 49:18
So it sounds to me that so you had this experience. And you up until your next passing? Maybe even you didn’t think it was real, right? You didn’t really put together the meaning to it. You just did you just chalk it up to a dream or hallucination or? Well,

Stephen Weber 49:36
both of those things. Really, I was so preoccupied with getting better. Yeah. That was like, Ah, you know, I woke up every morning and pain. I was excited because I it was a great opportunity for improvement. I would say that all the time. The Kathy and I started to go to yoga. And every time I couldn’t do something, I’d be like, Wow, what a great opportunity for improvement. And that’s kind of like that. Like the attitude I think I felt from my spirit guides Jolyon. And that, and that I was just so wrapped up in it. It wasn’t until, you know, really losing my son that it really caused me to really dig down deep. And really, like, I had to face it. I was kind of like, put it out of my mind. And Kathy wasn’t pushing it on me pushing me too much on it. But, but it was still there. And like, in my own mind is a lot of times when I would say little things to Kathy, I would, I would end it with all the universe, according to Steve Yeah, you know, is it what I didn’t talk about it as a place as I talked about, I made fun of myself all the time about it. But after a while, there was little bits of knowledge in there that kind of like, took me by surprise, like, Did I just say that? Like, it was, it was weird. It was. I mean, like, like, a lot of things were what were weird about it. But, but it’s just that, you know, when we, when we finally decided to tell the story, and to share with with people, that was a process too, but I expected people who are interested in near death experiences to, to, like, be very interested in the book. And they are I mean, they definitely are, but it’s people recovering from grief. Hmm, that those are the people we get very long letters from. And we try to reach out and talk to talk real talk with, with just about as many people as we can, not as therapists, we’re not therapists, we’re just parents having lost a child. And that, and that it’s, it’s a shared experience, a club that no one wants to belong to. But But knowing leaving that sorrow behind that losing a child, or somebody who’s close to you, that that it does, it’s liberating, it gets your get your child back to you, or your loved one, because you could think of the happy times. And that that really was the greatest gift is that you lifted from the fear of death, not only for yourself, but for others. Because if you think about those things that worry people the most is the fear of death, or themselves or their loved ones. And now with this health crisis that’s going on in the world today. And everything else people are really worried. And to relieve people of that fear of death is that your experiences are everything, you don’t want to be in spirit now. Because you are you are alive and you are getting experiences, you want to get the most of experiences. But when your time comes, it’s going to be blissful. It’s not about puffy clouds and white angels with the harps and everything else. It’s not like, like is sitting around and being bored. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the highest high, it’s the most love. It’s it’s all of these things. And and once you feel that, and you make it real, all of a sudden, everything’s okay.

Brian Smith 53:04
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, as I listen to you talk, and you were saying that maybe I should have known this or known that. And I interviewed pmh Atwater, who studied near death experiences, probably more than anybody. And adults take somewhere usually an average between four and seven years to integrate a near death experience children’s even longer. So it’s not unusual for someone to take in a while to really grasp what they went through they, they’ve kind of got the the raw data, but as far as putting it together and the sort of information to understand what it means. And for you, it sounds like was kind of triggered by Nick’s passing was kind of accelerated your integration of it, right? So then, now you’ve got to, you know, figure it out. So it’s really interesting, I think how that how that played out in your life.

Kathie Plant 53:50
And also, I think, the fact that I was a believer, a lot of people don’t share that story because they feel fear that people will judge them and think they’re crazy. I was the one that was kind of extracting it at him like, Oh, this is okay, this is real. I mean, I read these books I’d like after my mom and my brother passed away. I’ve read every book like that the life heaviness for real, like, on death and dying, like I was just like, a sponge for knowledge. Because when you lose that person, you want to know that everything is okay, you want to connect. So once he and I started talking, it was just like, I saw, like, everything that he learned is what I read in books, this is real. And and I urged him I said, you got to tell the story. You could help people he could and and he didn’t want to because he’s like, you know, people studied this for so long. And I wasn’t a spiritual person. I just was lucky enough to survive and come back. And it’s a no but you have to tell people because not only did you learn this beautiful wisdom, I mean, in the book, you’ll see that there are To like really profound lessons learned from the other side, after losing your son and still being able to feel blessed, because you know where he is, I mean, that’s like, that needs to be shared. Yeah, to know this, because everyone grieves terribly. We all are going to lose somebody at some point. And it is a debilitating feeling. So if you could share that wisdom, it’s going to help so many people. And it is I mean, once the book came out, and we do workshops, and talk to people on YouTube videos, and all that people are really responding positively. And it’s so heartwarming that we could give that gift to people.

Brian Smith 55:44
Yeah. Workshops. I’m interested here, you said, I heard this you do. Host curtains, full moon ceremonies, sound healings, guided meditation. So tell me about these things.

Stephen Weber 55:55
All of those are just for our friends, we have people over our house all the time, okay. And most of the time, is that is that we’ll meet people at, at public events. And we’ll invite these people complete strangers, I mean, we, it’s a small community this year, nearly so people know each other, our son will, and will, we’re all musicians. And so we’ll play music. And we’ll do Kurt dance will sing and got the likes to dance. And we’ll have a whole house full of people just singing and dancing and having a great time. And then we’ll do something like like we’ll make like Reiki ones at a beach class. I mean, it sounds silly that like talk about it. But we just have so much fun doing this. And it’s and it’s old people as young people, people from all different backgrounds, and you just share the idea of spirituality. And, and that’s really important for us, especially with the young people, because that when I was in that place, is I was responsible for shepherding these young people, you know, to have a human incarnation. And now when we invite people, you know, about half of it is usually young people that, that I want them to know, like, if I was to be able to share one experience that I learned from that place that’s made the most difference in my life, is that ethics and spirituality are an asset in your life. Now, they aren’t a hindrance. A lot of times people think, like ethics and spirituality is a hinderance like, like, if you’re an ethical person, oh, you’re leaving money on the table, you could have got that you could have got that. But no, when you bring ethics to your work, it’s the law of attraction, you begin to, to not only send great vibes into the universe, but you start to surround yourself. And with the vents that are very positive, you know, you create your own reality, by by the way you behave, it’s the law of attraction. And so and so the ethics are key to that. And then also the ability to use the spirit in your everyday work, you can use everyone has intuition, that that part of you which you can feel the energy and people to use that in your everyday life, like if you’re in a business meeting, instead of seeing the kids as kids see the spirit in people. And so when I’m in a business meeting, is I try to connect with everyone’s spirit to find out why they are there, what’s the motivating what’s the physical reason, but what’s the physical, the spiritual reason, and over times, I get better at this, but now I created an environment that’s collaborative, as opposed to doggy dog, and then the whole benefit to everybody. And you as a person, as a spirit is so much raised because of the ethics and so and the spirituality. And so this is the message that we try to send to the kids when we’re with them. And, and that, that you could be spiritual, but don’t have to be poor. You know, yeah, you know, or not have assets or not have, you know, you can be that you just have to make those intelligent choices to, to really be able to make a difference in that in this world to realize that the Spirit is good, ethics is good. Those are assets in your life, and so on. And so that’s a very long answer to a short question.

Kathie Plant 59:21
Shops we do us about the workshop, right? And we’ve been we’ve been doing them locally, where we just we talk about the book, we discuss it we have a question and answer session. We do a sound healing, we do a little crystal.

Unknown Speaker 59:36
I think we’re still

Kathie Plant 59:37
waiting and an angel card reading just to make it fun. And it’s been very well received. We’ve gone to yoga centers, we’ve gone to the historical societies, and we were branching out and then the the health crisis hit us so we kind of took a seat back for a little while, but we have bookings and in other states and stuff coming up We’ve done a couple of zoom kind of thing. So we’re just trying to bring forth that message to everyone. Because when you know, we’re all individual consciousnesses on Earth, but collectively we have a consciousness. So not only should we work on our own consciousness, but as we do that we raise the collective. So we want to share this gift with everybody, and just bring this this earth to a higher awareness so that we can transcend what’s negative and fearful and anxiety produced in this world and just bring everyone to a higher level of consciousness,

Stephen Weber 1:00:39
really, by but by being positive, and sharing it with other people, you know, yeah, they give up work for bosses are real, you know, what am I everybody on the team is really upset and backbiting and the second negativity, that’s, that’s the energy that someone puts out, he has authority as well. But but that’s the energy as opposed to environments where, where people are very happy, and they’re all working together, and life is good. That’s because they’re putting out that energy in the same way in that environment. If you put out that energy into the world, it’s going to come back to you, but it’s going to spread, other people going to take that in their life. And then they’re going to bring that energy to people in their life and world. And especially now because people are afraid, you know, to be able to give that comfort by living that positive life is not about book reading. It’s not about just just on Sundays, you’ll be spiritual. It’s about every day. And that’s an asset. It’s beautiful. We have a good time. We, every once in a while, we’ll have some drinks, and we just, we just, we just live life and we’re going to get every experience we can I’m going to go skydiving, I’m going to ride the back of full Manchu the ball for 10 seconds. I’m gonna do everything I can to get as much experience and Cathy’s gonna make it her job to stop me and make sure.

Brian Smith 1:02:03
Really? Yeah, could you still write you know, are you riding motorcycles anymore?

Stephen Weber 1:02:09
I am. No, but but it is a big part of my life. And, and, and I we, we we talk about this it’s still in discussion. Yeah, but let’s leave it at that. But but but I do love riding horses and that’s tends to find the you know, fill that void. Because I just love horses that beautiful spirit animals and the our friends who had horses as moved away but but but we’re going to find something if this health crisis is over with we’re going to find another bond and we’re gonna go horseback riding does that is that a lot of fun too. And it also helps in the recovery because it’s about stabilizing your back and making small adjustments and so, so looking forward to that as well.

Brian Smith 1:02:57
Well, it’s really interesting talking to you, Steve, because it’s I could you know, as I hear you tell your story and your your big event evangelists for this now, and I can hear you saying how you’ve transformed and, you know, I kind of look at Kathy and I kind of wonder if Kathy is your spirit guide here and flesh to be there to kind of, you know, kind of pull you along and say, okay, you had this experience. Here’s what here’s what you experienced. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 1:03:23
yeah, little push.

Stephen Weber 1:03:25
Like I said, and she punches like a man so so I really have to watch out with that. But, but but I think you’re right. So because that, you know, but I think it’s like a two way street. Because that Yeah, she’s very much you know, but I bring other things to and that’s why I think like writing this book, is that is that the two of us I think it’s like a meant to be because obviously it’s meant to be by God. But we complement each other so well on so many levels. And so so she did provide that that but but also I gave the realness to to a lot of things she thought about and I’m more she’s more schooled person I’m a more you know, out and doing person the two of us together we help each other grow.

Brian Smith 1:04:13
Yeah, yeah, well, you’ve got the experience to kind of push the flesh on the bones. I’m the person studied a lot of this stuff to come, I think some of you Kathy, but I haven’t had any experiences. So for me, it’s all a matter of hearing or reading what someone else else has done. And I think you’re right to the two of you together, bring bring that and the other thing you know, Steve is you know, people talk about the near death experience. One of the one of the outcomes of a near death experience is people become transformed. They become like a different person. And and I’m just gathering from having this hour long conversation with you that you’re a different person than you were four or five years ago.

Stephen Weber 1:04:48
If the person five years ago met the person today, he’d beat the crap out of them. He would, he would end and also that’s also a comforting thought in the sense that that you Every time I look back six months, I think what a fool I was, you know, and that means I’m growing. And that’s also one of one of those things that that you take with you. Your openness and your willingness to find fault in yourself is a little tougher when Kathy points that things out to me, but especially when I bite them in myself, you know, the growth is good and feels good.

Brian Smith 1:05:21
Yeah. And there, you had like 12 universal truths that you learn. So let’s just go over some of those briefly. Well, we’ve got a few more minutes here.

Stephen Weber 1:05:29
On the first I universal truth, we have we spoke about was that every every is that everything has a spirit. And we spoke about that transition. And then we, the creator, and the creation are one, huh, okay. And, and that’s just what I felt. And I know other people feel differently. But but but but it’s what I felt when I was there is that is that we we talked about cells in your body is that is that I think that’s why we are here in human incarnation is because just as I was preparing those kids to have a human incarnation is that your spirit is always been here for eternity. And it will always be here forever, it’s part of the universe. But your spirit grows and develops through different incarnations over a period of time. And that as we are all connected, all of us together, are all part of the creation, everything, everything has a spirit, and the creation, and the creator are all part of the everything. The Creator and the creation are one. And so and so that was a very liberating thought or truth that I came to because that it gives a, why are we here? As we grow and develop our group consciousness, the creator and the creation, consciousness grows, this is why there are so many of us. And that’s why we’re in spirit, why we have these trials and tribulations while the why the earth is perfect the way it is, because it’s not a perfect place. It is this place to learn and to grow. So um, so the idea that the creator and the creation are one is, is another point. Another point is that don’t have hate or animosity towards anybody or yourself, not because you’re such a highly evolved person and like, Oh, I’m so wonderful. I don’t I don’t judge anybody. No, because that’s the way it is. Because that’s the truth is because when I was going through my life review is that I, the worst experiences in my life, were the ones I learned the most from, and the ones that I felt the most bliss from. And so and so everyone is on their life path. And so if people do bad to you, is that is that don’t allow them to do it. You know, don’t be a Pollyanna and say, oh, what’s going to be what what speed, I mean, that might be a life path. So bid, but don’t let people do bad to you. When bad happens, let it go. Don’t carry it with you let it go. Because that in the same way, the grief blocks your ability to have that that those happy memories, you know, these other things cause blockages when you hate someone, or yourself or you have anger towards yourself, or somebody else, it stops you from finding the real meaning and your experiences. So experiences are everything. That’s our reason for being here. So don’t have hate or animosity towards anyone who brings you those bad experiences.

Brian Smith 1:08:42
Yeah, those are extremely important lessons. And, you know, we experienced them, I guess, uniquely, you got something through the near death experience, but they’re kind of universal for people who have near death experiences, they come back and they tell us these things, that we’re all one that everything is good, everything’s gonna be fine. That is experience. And I think it’s really important especially as we’re going through the trying times are going through right now we’re recording this or anybody might be listening in the future. This is the end of November 2020 this and we were just joking before, you’re kind of writing this year off, this is like the worst year ever. Everybody found opportunity

Unknown Speaker 1:09:17
for growth,

Brian Smith 1:09:18
but it’s a perfect opportunity for growth and it’s a time where a lot of people are having to sit down and be quiet and get and get still by force. Right? So it’s a chance for us to to really take a deep look within and and realize that the this too can be used for good. Yes, absolutely.

Stephen Weber 1:09:38
It would be a shame to go through all this and not to get value.

Brian Smith 1:09:43
Yeah and exactly and you know and with your son You know, that’s something that that we share and I work with an organization called helping parents heal and you know, all of our all of our we’re all parents who have lost children. So in the lovely said that It’d be a shame not to use this You know, it’s like, it’s not any anything any of us wish you said, you know, you’d rather have your son back, I’d rather have my daughter back. But since this has happened, we need to use this for you know, for good. It’s an opportunity for growth.

Stephen Weber 1:10:13
Well, if there’s any opportunity for us to what is some something that that we can participate in some way to do to help your your mission with your, with the parents?

Brian Smith 1:10:26
Yeah, definitely. We’ll talk. Yeah, I would love to have you guys be part of the group. Yeah, it’s a great organization, I bet my daughter passed away five years ago, I’ve been in helping parents heal for four years. And for anybody who’s listening you, my regular listeners hear me talk about it all the time. But it’s a great organization, volunteer organization for parents who have lost children, because I said the word loss, we don’t lose our children. But for parents whose children have transitioned, we get together and we support each other. Because it’s it’s so devastating, as you were saying, Cathy, losing anybody. But especially when you have a child transition, it just seems it’s so out of order. So I I, your book, I think it helped people. And it’s great, because I think people that are going through grief should study near death experiences, there’s so many lessons, near death experiences, and people who study near death experiences can actually get some of the benefits from it. So I think your book is perfect. Because you’ve got both aspects in it, you’ve got the passing of your son, and you’ve got the experiences you had before that and how those two kind of tied together in your life.

Stephen Weber 1:11:32
Now, it also makes you think that, I mean, it does make me think that that is very purposeful. I don’t believe that that things are destined to happen. I think that there are likely outcomes. But but but the fact that I had this, this near death experience and a spiritual awakening, and then the loss of my son, and then the real spiritual awakening that, that if it wasn’t for the near death experience. I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t think I would have no, no, I would have reacted a lot differently. Because there’s a lot of times even now, the gentleman who sold my, my son and drugs was held responsible for for his actions. And people will often say, Oh, don’t you wish you That guy was was executed or all these horrible things? What would what would be happening to him? And I tell him, No, no, I want him I want him to be, I wanted to have life, I wanted to understand what he’s done. I wanted to have children, I want him to take care of the kids and feel the love. I want to take his kid to wrestling and teach them how to play guitar and, and to and to watch them get married and have the kids and to make something out of this terrible thing. You know, I don’t have hate or animosity towards you. And as part of that, like is so liberating. Is that is that to be free from that? I can never go back. I can’t.

Brian Smith 1:13:08
Yeah. And that’s and that’s a great perspective to have, as you said, we’re cells in the body. And we shouldn’t be hating on each other. Right? Because we’re all part of the same body.

Stephen Weber 1:13:16
So true. Yeah. And the only taken away from yourself in the here and now too, as well as whatever may come afterwards.

Brian Smith 1:13:24
Yeah, absolutely. Well,

Kathie Plant 1:13:26
advice to people who are sure, opening a new spiritual door. I like to explain it like a gym membership. Like someone read a book and they’ll feel bliss for like a month because it’s so helpful. But then that wanes. So we have to look at this, like, spirituality is a gym membership. You got to keep going back read the book, join a group, do yoga, do meditation watch inspiring you to videos really keep that going because once you do that more spiritual instances come to you read meet the right people, you find yourself in a higher alignment and then you’re just vibrating at a high level and all this wonder comes to you so just keep at it. Like don’t just stop, keep going. Yeah, really, really hone that spiritual practice just like you would do anything like education or you know, your physical body,

Stephen Weber 1:14:25
the week the garden you let it get away from you. Have you met in a short time?

Brian Smith 1:14:29
Yeah, I think that’s excellent advice. Thank you, Kathy. I want to let people know where they can reach you. So it’s between here and just the best way to reach us.

Stephen Weber 1:14:38
We have facebook youtube, and then I and then our email address is info at between here and and and if you have anything you want to share or reach out to us in any way just just just send us an email and we’ll we’ll get in contact with with you either through through email or or texting or give me a call, you know what, we’re all in this life together and as long as as long as we can help each other, it’s good. It’s good. I, when my when I help other people it feel it, you know, even even when things aren’t going well in your life yet, you know to reach out to that it’s a it’s a wonderful thing. Yeah,

Brian Smith 1:15:20
absolutely. Well, I want to tell you, I want to give you guys a chance to say anything, any final words you might have, on your part, so much wisdom? I’m not sure what you have left. But go ahead.

Stephen Weber 1:15:29
Thank you, if I want to just leave you with with with two, two, Steve isms. Sure, is that life is good, and people are good, even when very sad things happen. And, and try to think about that, and meditate on that. And think about how could that be, so how that could be so and how that is so and that life is good. And people are good, even when very sad things happen. And that’s really what that whole experience taught me and everything that’s happened since because that it is it is. And the other thing that that I want to say is that our experiences are everything they are and just just make the most out of life. You know, a lot of times when spiritual people are going down the spiritual path, all of a sudden, they stopped living life and they do want to go on the mountain and omal day and, and cool. That’s your life path. But experience like that’s why you’re here.

Brian Smith 1:16:34
Thank you, Kathy, anything you want to add?

Kathie Plant 1:16:36
Yeah, I would just like to say that. Were we’re here to love. All the Ascended Masters said the same thing, whether it was Buddha or Jesus, the purpose of life is to learn to receive love and to give love. And, and if we could all just really think about that and live from our heart center and spread that out. That’s that would make the world a better place. So I just want to share that. And I just really also want to stress that when people contact us, we we do want to help like they don’t feel that we’re putting us off. We get so many messages we answer every single one we’ve had face to face meetings with people, if they’re local, and they’re just grieving, we don’t want anyone to suffer. So if there’s anything we could do, just please reach out either on on Facebook or on YouTube, just Anyway, you know, just please don’t don’t suffer.

Brian Smith 1:17:36
Thank you. Thank you, that’s very generous, it’s very generous of you guys offer and I really appreciate what you’re doing. It’s been great getting to meet both you guys and have this conversation.

Stephen Weber 1:17:47
And we and we love you and thank you so much for your message and bringing this piece to people through your through your message and through our shared experience and losing a child and still being able to put one foot in front of the other and help other people heal. You know very I feel your energy. And Kathy and I we both love you and we want to encourage you and and we’re we’re glad to be into this into the spirit into this life with you and your wife and and all the people that that’s part of your life. Okay,

Brian Smith 1:18:18
thank you. Thank you. It’s been a really great meeting you guys

Stephen Weber 1:18:22
sat now the one last thing

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