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As suggested in the article devoted to unlocking our dream memories, our deceased loved ones are not living somewhere up in the clouds. They are much closer than that, only a thought away: it is as if they were living in the room next door and the door is never locked. However, when we speak about the room next door we are just using a metaphor, as the spirit world is not bound by our physical notions of three-dimensional space and linear time.
Being free from linear time means that, when we die, our greatest desire is to reassure our loved ones that we are safe, healed, happy and above all alive, but this is not a pressing need as it would be, for instance, if we had escaped a disaster in a foreign country and did not have the means to let our family know we are OK. It is not the same as many near-death experiencers report the moment they are pronounced dead and suddenly realise that, even though they are feeling perfectly well, they are invisible to relatives and friends who keep focusing on their dead body. Once we realise we are truly dead we also find out that time is not an issue and we will be back with our loved ones in the blink of an eye.
Being free from the notion of three-dimensional space means that there are no distances, walls, fences or doors that can separate us in the spirit world: indeed on a number of occasions, during out-of-body experiences or dreams, I have met deceased relatives or friends in non-existent extra-rooms placed next to the one I was in, or in non-existent extra flats located on the same floor as the one we live in. This means that the non-physical plane can manifest in the form or extra rooms or buildings we are not usually aware of while awake on the physical plane.
This metaphor is also used by William Thomas Stead (1849–1912), an English newspaper editor, influential writer and medium who was among the victims of the Titanic disaster. Stead communicated many times after his death, notably in a number of sessions in which he described his death at sea and the nature of the Afterlife through the medium Pardoe Woodman, via automatic writing. These communications formed part of a book, The Blue Island: Experiences of a New Arrival Beyond the Veil (Hutchinson & Co., London, 1922). In his account, Stead says, ‘Death is only the doorway from one room to another, and both rooms are very similarly furnished and arranged.’
In fact, the room-next-door-metaphor is simply designed to help our earthly minds to figure out the complex notions we have just described and understand how we can practically coexist with our departed loved ones on the spirit plane, a plane we are all part of, incarnates and discarnates.
On the other hand, R. Craig Hogan, Ph.D., who is president of the Afterlife Research and Education Institute, Inc., and of the Center for Spiritual Understanding, Inc., devoted to helping people develop their spiritual understanding through Afterlife connections, remarks, ‘Receiving communications from those on the next planes of life is not like hearing someone speak to you from another room. When someone on this plane speaks to you, you receive the messages involuntarily; you can’t escape hearing the voice. In these efforts to have Afterlife connections, the messages are subliminal, and won’t be in audible voices at all. They will be in thoughts, impressions, feelings, and subtle knowing. You won’t receive them until you bring yourself into a state of mind in which you can let them into your consciousness.’
R. Craig Hogan, Ph.D. is the author of Your Eternal Self (Greater Reality Publications, 2008), presenting the scientific evidence that the mind is not confined to the brain, the Afterlife is a reality, people’s minds are linked, and the mind affects the physical world. The Afterlife Research and Education Institute offers an online self-guided Afterlife connection training programme (http://www.selfguided.spiritualunderstanding.org/) designed to teach and train people how to obtain after-death communication without the aid of a medium, as well as connecting with people still in bodies unable to communicate. As the programme presentation says, ‘you will establish a new relationship or enhance an existing relationship with your loved one living in the realm next door.’
Something I found very helpful about this programme is the way it presents the mechanics of spirit contact, by using another example that efficiently explains how important it is to be aware of what it is we are seeking and also available to tune into the subtler planes of existence in order to hear from our deceased loved ones.
‘To understand what it’s like for them to try to communicate to you, try this little experiment. We know from the research done by Rupert Sheldrake and others that people do have a sense of being stared at. People subtly know when someone is looking at them. The next time you’re in a line of people waiting for something, pick someone close to you, ahead of you in line, who is not preoccupied and not next in line to get to the clerk. They’re just standing idly. Focus on their neck and imagine tickling them on the neck. After a few seconds, some people will turn around and look back, and even brush their necks. They don’t know why, though. The message came through to their minds at a very subtle or subconscious level, but they don’t get the clear message that you’re imagining tickling their necks. They won’t turn around and say, “Why are you imagining tickling my neck?” The message is there, because they respond to it, but it doesn’t rise to the level of their conscious awareness.
That’s what it’s like for your loved one trying to communicate with you. They can communicate through thoughts, mind to mind. They do focus on your mind and try to get a message through, but the subtle messages don’t rise to the level that we can become conscious of them. We’re just too preoccupied with life to quiet ourselves and let the thought message come up from the subconscious into our conscious mind.
At times, you’ll suddenly have a memory, perhaps something you hadn’t thought of for years. That’s your mind connecting with their mind. They’re thinking of that memory, or they’re focusing on you and sending that memory to you. Thank them for it and let the love you feel pour over you. It’s them communicating mind to mind.’
I find this example absolutely brilliant! It explains very well how frustrating it might feel, if our loved ones were not living out of our linear time, to try and connect with us when we are awake and focused on our everyday life. Mind-to-mind communication also happens between physically alive people, of course, between people whose bodies are able to communicate. However our loved ones in spirit have an advantage: they have none of our worries, physical restrictions or conditions, they are young, healthy and pain-free. Their disadvantage, on the other hand, could be having to do with our disbelief, our lack of expectation, a deep sense of grief and loss and, above all, few topics to share that we may comprehend with all our mental filters and scarcity- or fear-based daily concerns, which are so typical on this plane of existence.
Thousands of near-death experiencers have found how little our language can help to describe the blissful mystical knowings they are made aware of while temporarily dead. This means that, in most cases, all our loved ones can hope to share with us is the notion that they are safe, alive and watching over us, advice and guidance about how to handle our daily challenges and a sense of protection at difficult times. The good news is that this is all most of us would really hope to get from after-death communication. So let us try and step into our departed loved ones’ shoes and imagine how it feels to try and convey such messages to us while we are engaged in our daily activities. They focus on us conveying their love and reassurance, just like a person standing in a line of people and staring at somebody else, and all they obtain in response to this, most times, is triggering a memory that will possibly cause us to feel nostalgic. Let us just stop and think about it and of any past experiences in which this might have happened to us and we discarded the thought as a memory or fantasy.
For instance, you might have been shopping at a supermarket, wondering whether to bake a new cake because you have never felt good at cooking, and you suddenly hear the speaker on the radio suggest it is time to try out a new recipe which is sure to prove as delicious as grandma’s cake used to be. Is this a coincidence?
In my case, it has happened more than once that I was feeling down because I was desperately missing my grandmother, who used to be so sweet and caring, whereas now I felt lonely and unable to handle the idea of having to shoulder too many responsibilities… She was the only one who used to make me feel absolutely special… And, as I was parking my car in the street or driving along, I happened to notice that the car right in front of mine displayed the name in italics “Giulietta”, which was the nickname she always used for me as a child. Was this a coincidence?
An even more significant form of spirit contact is the case in which you may suddenly remember something you had not thought about for years, a happy memory connected to somebody very dear to you who has passed on. That old incident might have come to mind out of the blue and you realised you had not thought of it for a long, long time: this may actually be a mind-to-mind contact by that person who is thinking of you and of that special time.
These are all special opportunities to become aware that after-death communication does happen even when we are not expecting it. Can you imagine how it may feel for our loved ones on the other side if, instead of acknowledging the thoughts and feelings they are trying to convey, we simply shrug them off as a sign of weakness on our side, or as a pleasant memory of a time that is lost forever?
Once we are convinced that spirit contact is absolutely natural and only requires to be acknowledged with a sense of gratitude, we can consciously start thinking of ways of seeking guidance from our loved ones in a quiet meditative state. If they are so clever at getting through to us when we are busy with our daily multitasking, how more effective will the process be if we actively create the best conditions for it to take place?
For those who feel like trying the online self-guided Afterlife connection training programme (http://www.selfguided.spiritualunderstanding.org/), which is also available with the aid of binaural beats, I recommend you carefully read through the conditions you must evaluate before going through the procedure.