James Van Praagh speaking to Luana Anders

Luana in a mirror of a mirror. Hello Lu.

In case folks missed it, some years ago I was producing segments on the Charles Grodin show. Chuck was best friends with Luana Anders, and she introduced us. He and I became pals and he's the godfather to our children... and when Luana passed away, Charles called me up and invited me to come and work for him on this show. 

Charles Grodin
from his CNBC days
I had seen James on CNN, and suggested that Chuck invite him onto the show (for two appearances.)  I've never met James in person, although I have seen him in person - but at this point, I wondered if it was possible for James to communicate to Luana (who had appeared in my dreams at this point as a younger woman.)

Charles is an equal opportunity skeptic - he has always suggested that we let evidence speak for itself. That being said, he was the person who initially turned me on the work of Robert Monroe and out of body experiences.  But in this case, he did not believe or disbelieve that James could speak to the afterlife, but invited him on at my suggestion.

We devised an experiment.  I would call in from my home and pretend to be an average caller - Charles arranged with a producer on the show to take my call, but she had no idea why I would be calling.  So live on the air, Charles took my call, pretended not to know me (and there was no interaction with James prior or after the call about this conversation with Luana) and the following is what occurred.

In the call, she refers to a few things in my apartment including my cocktail glass collection (my last name engenders gifts that are Martini glasses of all shapes and sizes.)  But there's a moment in this clip when I realized beyond any shadow of doubt that James could speak  to our departed friend - further that our departed friend was "still alive" - as she had to have been "over my shoulder" when I put the only photograph of her on the refrigerator and said aloud "Oh, look, the essence of our relationship. Cappuccino's and cookies in Italy."  Laughter as well. Lots of laughs.

Here's the photo that was on the fridge. The only time in my life I've spoken to a photograph as I put it up.

"The essence of our relationship."

Here's the moment when James Van Praagh connected to her.

People still exist who are not on the planet.  It's up to us to figure out a way to communicate with them.



Hacking the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer, Elvis, Bill Paxton and Steve Bing

Another mind bending session with Jennifer Shaffer Allow me to repeat - this is live on the air, I have not conversed with Jennifer prior to the session. 

I invited three people - my pal who said something to me in the kitchen of my home, a friend of mine who passed away whose son has down syndrome, and my pal Bill Paxton. 

I had no idea that Elvis would appear or have something to say - however as noted, we interview him in "Backstage to the Flipside 3"...  I had invited Steve Bing the previous week, but he wasn't "ready yet" to have this conversation (as his death was the day before, and it takes some time to get used to the environment). 

Steve Bing with Bill Paxton, Cassian Elwes, Adam Rifkin, James Caan
When I saw this photo after his passing, I knew that Bill could
facilitate this conversation (and he does. From Adam's FB page.)
What Jennifer says about him - not knowing who he was - is absolutely correct. (Steve was a filmmaker who died by his own hand, jumping from his apt. in Century City). Sometimes people are "not ready" to speak with us, but later are. I leave it up to Luana Anders and her clipboard. During one session, Tom Petty came forward, and I asked him "why?" since I'd never met him in life.  He said "You have no idea how hard it is to talk to you two. Luana is like the person with the clipboard who decides who gets the VIP pass." Hence the title "Backstage Pass to the Flipside."

In the intervening weeks, since our last session, and when we heard he "wasn't ready to speak to us" I saw a photograph posted by one of Steve's friends that included Bill Paxton in it.  

Since Bill is an old friend and frequent contributor, I invited him to help us talk to Steve. 

Dennis Hopper and Luana in "Night Tide" - later
Dennis cast her in "Easy Rider."
Luana Anders is my friend on the flipside who runs this class, and knew Bill in life, and Jennifer through me. Jennifer has no idea that I was going to ask Bill about Steve - and I captured the moment when she realized who he was.  
She's the holder of the clipboard.  If you aren't on the
clipboard, you don't get into class. Sorry.

For those who know these folks - we are here to demonstrate how easy and simple it is to communicate with our loved ones on the other side.  The idea that Elvis would give us the theme for this episode - "write the love song of your life" is mind bending and poignant.  

Elvis Felt Pressured to Marry Priscilla and 'Trained' Her to ...

I do not name the family that has a child with down syndrome because I will direct them privately to this episode - its for their eyes and ears only, but for anyone out there who has a sibling, child with down syndrome - what this young man had to say "I only have about 10% of my energy on the planet" is in line with the reports we've done with others.  
Down syndrome and TV's Born This Way
Great show, great cast
That Jennifer saw him as a "hologram" - meaning "see through" - or "not all there" is also in line with reports from the flipside about people who are still on the planet.   (People who have near death experiences and see people "who are still on the planet" often see their pals or loved ones as "see through.")

A note about Steve's "soft landing."  We first encountered this during our interview with Harry Dean Stanton just after his passing. (From "Backstage Pass to the Flipside book One"Upon crossing over, Harry saw himself in this car, driving up to Monterey. He “assumed it was a dream.”

There was a third friend in the car as well. Let’s call him “Fred.” (I reached out to “Fred” yesterday as Harry had a message for him, and answered some questions raised here.)

Harry said “I thought this is what happens when people die — they go to a happy memory, like a dream, and then they’re in that dream forever in kind of a loop.” The idea that a dream or memory would just play out over and over when someone was no longer on the planet. Then, he said, they had a flat tire.

And as they were fixing the flat tire, Harry said he “realized this was not something that had happened” — that they did not have a flat tire on this trip. So he looked at his friend “Fred” and said “We didn’t have a flat tire.” And “Fred” said “I know.”
It was at this moment he realized he wasn’t in a dream — but “in the afterlife.” Harry chuckled as he said (through Jennifer) “Luana gave me a soft landing by doing that.”

In this interview, Steve Bing reported finding himself on a movie set, directing a film. While Steve produced a number of successful films, he also directed a feature film "Every Breath." It's a unique experience, and I can attest that being in the director's chair on a film set (I've written and/or directed 8 theatrical features) can feel like "home" to those who've directed.  It's fun, it's about visualizing what's in your mind - and it's not something we ever forget, even if the films don't "do that well."  

So by "suddenly appearing on a film set" and not knowing which film it was, is a version of a "soft landing."  A person is focused on the task in front of him or her, instead of focusing on the "where am I?" This is also why many people report that they were "greeted by pets" on the flipside - our focus shifts to the fact that we recognize someone we love unconditionally and gives us that kind of awareness - "Oh. I'm not dead. How can I be if I'm here with my dog/cat/cockatoo?"

When I refer to Steve Bing's "dark and light friends" in this interview - only they would know who I'm referring to. Some who consider themselves "closer friends" because of their status, fame, or utility to him in life - or some who could be considered "lighter friends" because he only showed a side of himself that was helpful or fun to them. 

It's weird that in life we may meet someone we dismiss out of hand, and on the flipside realize they were our brother/father/sister/mother in a previous incarnation, and their role in our life was merely to help us along the path. (We are all just walking each other home.)

Steve unequivocally states in this interview; "they're all the same, and he loves them all."

So - if one isn't aware of how to communicate with a loved one on the other side - that would mean that they have yet to learn how to do so. 

And there is no amount of money that will purchase that ability.  No amount of fame that changes that aspect.  There is no hierarchy in the afterlife - no fame, no one "hoards the jelly beans." So those who pretend it exists here are in a state of "performance illusion" - or perhaps in a kinder way, they "are fully invested in the play they're currently in" as if money mattered, as if fame mattered, as if anything but love mattered.

Steve Bing suffered from anxiety, according to this interview, and did himself in because of a "broken heart." However, because we've done a number of interviews with Anthony Bourdain, I asked him to come forward and ask Steve a question, hoping he would offer the sage advice he's give us before. "If you don't know how to meditate, learn to do so." He did have sage advice for us.

That's why we do this work. 

That's why I post these unedited, raw "as it happened live on camera." Jennifer didn't know who I was referring to as "Steve" - until she did live on camera.  

As I point out - I don't have to prove that Jennifer can speak to the flipside - law enforcement agencies nationwide ask her to do the same for them - I have at least four books ("Hacking the Afterlife" "Backstage Pass to the Flipside 1, 2 and 3") that demonstrate that she can learn "new information" from the flipside.  I'm not here to prove anything to anyone - nor is she. 

However - we do our best to be straightforward, and present whatever comes through as it comes through. To demonstrate how simple it is to ask questions and get answers. Anyone can do it.

Everyone has loved ones on the flipside who have been trying to reach out to them - and because of the filters involved, have denied they exist. 

My advice; stop that. Let 'em through. They still care about our journey. Let them give advice. Who knows, they may even pass along a lottery number or two.

This session is a bit of a roller coaster, and I don't recommend it for everyone - but if you've read "Flipside" are familiar with this work, it's in line with everything else we've done.

"Elvis has not left the building."

Finally - I'll let Harry Dean Stanton have the last word:

When the notorious atheist showed up in a session with me and Jennifer I said to him "So Harry, famous atheist fellow, what was it like to realize there actually is an afterlife?  What do you want me to tell your friends at your memorial?"

He said "Tell them there is an afterlife."

I laughed. I said "Harry, your friends are all just like you - none of them will believe I spoke to you in this fashion."  So he gave me three private messages to give to pals at his memorial. Close friends who all had health issues that I didn't know, Jennifer couldn't have known - and yet when I mentioned them to these people they knew "beyond a shadow of doubt" that only Harry Dean could have told me these things.  They were flabbergasted. One screamed. (And later when discussing these health issues with their children independently - they all confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt that Harry knew what he was talking about.)

But I also told them what Harry told me later - "Tell people to believe in the POSSIBILITY of an afterlife, so then they won't waste another minute of their lives arguing about it like I did."

Wise words. Thanks Harry. 

The late, great Harry Dean Stanton


Councils on the Flipside and Wigs in Court

For fans of Michael Newton and the Newton Institute, they know that the idea of "councils" is often reported in the research.  In the work of Dr. Helen Wambach, a decade earlier, her clients referred to them as panels.

I had first encountered a description of them in making the documentary "Flipside." In my interview with Michael Newton, he talks about them extensively.  I wasn't sure what he meant - or what they could be until I did my own session (as reported in "Flipside"). Jimmy Quast of Easton Hypnosis conducted the session. At some point he walked me in to visit with my council.

Council of Clement

It was different than what others had reported. In Newton's reporting, often there was this description of going into a sacred place where people got to explore why they were on the planet in the first place. Many described a "face the music" or judgment fear prior to entering - and that was coupled by people appearing on a dais, or wearing robes, or in some fashion feeling apart from them.  Older, wiser souls who give advice.

In my case I had the distinct feeling of going onstage - that moment before the curtain comes up, and there's a buzz.  A feeling of anticipation - and I was aware that my council was anticipating my conversation with them.  When I began to speak, it felt more like a "give and take" - as I was actually saying things that made them laugh or chuckle.

I was aware I had made them laugh - because at one moment I said something aloud that both the hypnotherapist (Jimmy Quast) and the eight members of the council laughed at.  It was unusual to "get laughs" from two sides of the veil at the same moment in time.

The first time I encountered a description of councils "in the real world" was at the death of Olympian Dave Schultz. His father Phillip spoke at his funeral about the day Dave was five years old, pulled him aside and said "Dad, can you keep a secret?" His father, amused, followed his son.  Then Dave said "Dad, I went to visit my council. They were old men with beards. They said I could come here to teach a lesson in love. But I won't be here for very long."

His father forgot the comment until his son was murdered by John DuPont. Apparently his son had "visited his council" prior to incarnation, and been told what he was going to the planet to learn or teach; "a lesson in love." But he "would not be there very long."

Not this council but similar. Robes and long hair.
Then I started to see or encounter councils in every session that I filmed. I'm in the back of the room, the hypnotherapist (sometimes Scott at LightBetweenLives.com but others as well) and at some point people would "visit their council."

Then when I began to interview people without hypnosis - asking the same questions and getting the same answers, the encounters changed dramatically.

The descriptions are and were always slightly different. The size of the room, the construction of the room. The light in the room. Sometimes not a room but outside. Sometimes a hovering room - sometimes one can see "straight through the floor to land below" - sometimes it's "floating in a cloud." 

this building on this small island looks like it's floating in the ...

The make up of the council is often different - anywhere from 3 to 20 people have been reported (the average is 12 but sometimes they aren't all there when the person is visiting, so they may show up later, or be busy "doing something else.")

Sometimes the council members don't show up because they don't want the person accessing them to "see them" up close - because it might alter their path knowing that "Uncle Bob" is on their council.  It's not "Uncle Bob" per se - only a third of Bob's energy is on the planet at any given time, but two thirds of Bob's energy is always "back home."  So he could appear on a council - and he could change the way he looks as well. "Ancient old Uncle Bob" or even how he might appear to others. "I sense this is my Uncle Bob but he looks like a bright light right now."

Then in "Architecture of the Afterlife" I began interviewing council members directly. That is - the person I'm speaking with is not under hypnosis. We are often drinking coffee. They have a profound memory - could be a dream, a vision or a visitation of someone. I use that memory as a gateway - a key into their memory of that event.

In interviewing council members, I've met young and old. A young girl who "would rather be riding a bicycle" that represented freedom of expression to a writer friend of mine, and ancient, ancient council members. I've interviewed members that look only like "lights" to the person viewing them, but also have interviewed people who look "reptilian" in demeanor.

I've asked council members if they appear on other councils, if they have incarnated on earth, and if they have incarnated with the person we're speaking with.  Sometimes the answers are yes, sometimes no. I ask  them if they are aware of my work - talking to councils - and some members are "very aware" of what I'm doing - and others, on the same council - have never heard of me.

I always ask.  I get varied answers from the same person accessing them.  I also always ask for lottery numbers and that always gets a laugh as well.  No reason not to keep it light.

I know that everything that occurs leaves a packet of information. A holographic floppy disk of everything that happened during that memory. When we access the floppy disk, like a hologram - I know that we can explore other avenues. Like "Who was your guide at the time of this incident? Can we speak to them?" If so, "Can the guide walk us into the council?"

Here's an example where I walk Dr. Drew in to visit his council. A skeptic, he doesn't believe in an afterlife,  wasn't aware he had a guide or a council. Yet, when I asked his guide to "walk us into the council" - Dr. Drew asked "What's a council?" And I replied - "I was talking to your guide. He knows what that is. Can we go there?" And we did.

They know. They walk us in.  The person says "I don't know why I'm seeing this, but what comes to mind is a large room, with marble floors, and a row of people standing in front of me."  I have learned that at first I need their permission to ask questions (the one time we were booted out comes to mind) - and I try my best to not make jokes or tease council members.

But sometimes I can't help myself. Recently, during a session with a fellow in the UK, he said that his council member called me "the troublemaker." 

Simon's Podcast

Then later, when I pressed him on a question about how he looks to others in his council (he looked ominous and dark to the fellow accessing him) and when I asked that he said "Okay, you busted me. I'm just a light."

That's something that Scott De Tamble mentioned once when accessing members of a council. His client saw them as sages, wise, old, imposing - almost too powerful to address - and when Scott asks them what they look like, they "turn into a blob of light."  Something to keep in mind in the following post.

Not a long time ago, Luana Anders waving from Rockefeller plaza.
Interesting dream I want to report.

This wasn't my dream.

But it was the dream of a close friend of mine.  Someone I've known for decades, someone I grew up with.  Someone who has followed my forays into the flipside with interest, and has gone so far as to do three deep hypnosis sessions - which are reported in "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" and "Architecture of the Afterlife."

One in which she recalled living as an accountant in the court of Louis XVII in Versailles, (details of which I was able to find in the royal record) which included the day that she/he had to turn her son over to another family - paying someone to take her son because she knew that the court would not survive the French Revolution.

In her second session with Scott De Tamble, my friend had a recollection of being the captain of a ship in the East India Company - whose name and address I found in the records of the Old Bailey - and after that short lifetime of 25 years, found herself "returning home" in her mind's eye.  

She saw herself returning home to a mountaintop, and as she walked over the hill found a class of about 25 people waiting for her.  They were her students - she was their teacher - (teaching a class in the movement of energy, or teleportation) and she had "gone out to experience that lifetime."  

In the memory of it - she said "It felt like I went out for a smoke" before returning to her class which was mid exercise, mid lesson, waiting for her return. My friend had the distinct impression that the experience of 25 years on earth was equivalent to ten minutes on the flipside.  

Myself, Jennifer Shaffer and Scott De Tamble

Since then, without her knowledge, I've asked this relativity question often to people I've spoken to on the flipside - "Is ten minutes over there like 25 years here?" and I've heard a consistent and resounding "Yes." (Or to ask "Can you give me an example of what time feels like?" One person said, "between our conversation two months ago and today, it feels like a comma.")

So 2500 years on the planet feels like... anyone?  The math is simple - one hundred times ten minutes.  

Not a long time.  

This has been reported across the board. What is two years to us, feels like a few second on the flipside. (As reported in my first and second between life sessions, where in first session I was with my pal Luana in a classroom, and two years later, during the second session, discovered we had walked down to the stage - about a two minute walk - which apparently had happened over the ensuing two years.)

Then some years later - after these incredible two past life memory sessions, my friend stopped in LA with a friend of hers to take the hypnotherapy class offered by Scott De Tamble at lightbetweenlives.com - they both learned and participated a lot - and I offered to film it for Scott because my pal was going to be there, and... why not? It became chapters in "Architecture of the Afterlife."
Not a long time. My grandparents are here waiting  for the King of England.

So at some point both my friend and I did sample practice sessions - both of which are in the book.  Both of those sessions are mind bending, and go beyond what my mind can easily comprehend.

A council of sorts. Peeps in high school

Imagine my chagrin this morning when I got this text:

"Ricardo - I had a vivid dream about you last night. We were on a panel deciding when it was time for souls to depart the earth...

My reply: Oy vey. Was I one of those scheduled for departure? Or was it a general discussion?

She wrote: "Lol - not you. We were discussing others. A group of us were watching images of people in the air and discussing others. A group of us were watching images of people in the air and discussing if they had achieved all they had set out to do in this life time. Them making decisions based on their lifetime.

Was it a friendly discussion? or was it "off with their heads?"  How many were on the panel? Anyone you recognize?

People would appear out and disappear after the decision had been made.

I do recall having a dream about a discussion like this. I tend to argue for folks to stay as long as they can or want to, even if it screw up other plans...

12 people were on the panel in a circle. We were left center. Sitting together. The discussions were very unemotional. More like "Did they accomplish everything? If not, can they do it in this lifetime?" You brought in some great perspective.

In the dream I had, I was with a friend - perhaps you. Aware that I had made this argument for someone to continue their lifetime - to change their plan or their exit strategy... and I remember afterwards, turning to my pal and saying "Well I hope that argument worked" like an attorney with fingers crossed after a case.

I only recognized you and of course me. We all seemed to be floating in the air. Same with the table.

(Note: My pal wouldn't know this, but it is often reported that people visiting their council see the world below and see that everything is "floating in midair.") 

Wow. Any impressions of what I opined about?

You had a very different perspective of each life which everyone on the panel seems to appreciate.

And what was your pov?  Let em stay longer/ or send them home?

My concern was focused on if/how each person could do more of had they grown up.

Did we use examples of the lives in question? Like, "Well that guy was nice to his aunt Betty so let him stick around" Or more like "It's ok to go home and replan the next lifetime."

It was more analytical and focused on goals.

So... Off with their heads then.


Giving council to Abe.

At that point the phone rang and it was my pal - and we chatted about it... in person so to speak.

I did what I normally do and asked her to describe the setting. She repeated seeing 12 people, we were in the middle left - I was on her left. She said the room was large, white, and seemed to be "floating in the air."

I asked her to look to the person on her immediate right (center of the group) and she saw an older man - described him as beyond age, just really wise and old - and he was wearing black robes and a wig the way they do in England.  I asked if we could ask him some questions and he said to her "Yes." 

I asked him for a name or a letter to use. He said "Caleb."  I asked him if he had ever incarnated. He said "He was beyond incarnating. He no longer felt the need to do so."  

I said "But you could if you wanted?" He said "Yes, but I don't need to anymore. I'm helping others who incarnate." 

I asked if this council was a part time or full time gig. She said, "He says "It's full time, we are always in session." 

She said the holograms would appear and I would introduce them - and her impression of the way I spoke was both "flowery and eloquent" - a person would appear in front of us, like in a hologram, it didn't seem like they were aware of us, and I would introduce them to the panel, describe their lifetime and path and journey and the trials and tribulations that they went through. 

And then my friend would ask about whether they had learned the lessons they set out to learn, whether they had grown, or learned how to grow, and whether it was the right time for them to return home. "If they could do more or if they had grown up." 

 She said we would point out the reasons for them to continue or to head back home - she said it wasn't an argument, but that she and I did the bulk of the talking.

I asked if everyone was dressed the same and she said that Caleb said "Yes."  

I asked if we were involved in any kind of judgment or decision making - or if we presented the evidence to someone else who made decisions (I.e., handing down a judgment) and Caleb said "That's not how it works. We don't judge anyone. We help them to see the answers for themselves, and they ultimately make the decisions."  

As if we imparted to their "higher selves" the various reasons for staying on the planet - staying alive - or if they had accomplished whatever they had set out to do, whether it made sense for them to "go home" or return home. They made the final decision. Not us.

(Note: Worth repeating. WE DECIDE when it is time for us to depart. No one else.)

I asked Caleb why my friend had this dream - and what value her seeing the dream might be for her own life. And she got "flashes of information" - about different avenues that she should pursue, which include sharing her ability to chart people's lives, as she's been doing that for decades (without my knowing that she had been doing so.)  

Her charting abilities allows her to give solid advice to people about what their best potential career might be - and if they're on that path or not based upon when they were born.  (I've seen Tibetan masters do this same kind of calculations with uncanny skill - and know that my friend is very successful in her career already - this side skill might be something for her to pursue.)

I thanked Caleb for allowing us to ask him questions - knowing that he's always available, that we can reach out to him in any manner of fashion and get more details about this council, about this group.  (And I may revisit this in a podcast with Jennifer Shaffer)

It appears that our council was not just for one particular person - since many appeared - I don't know exactly how the council came into existence - and it may or may not be related to the councils I've already met or encountered through others.

In my research on councils, I know that everyone has one.  In "Architecture of the Afterlife" I demonstrate how people can access their council without any hypnosis - but it didn't occur to me until I wrote this sentence what the perspective of the council might be.

I've asked many council members if they "sit on other councils" and nearly all of them do so.  

Some on thousands of other councils... so it may be that what appears to be a life review (prior to departure) might not be a "visit to my private council" but perhaps a visit to this "general council" where my friend and I were sitting - answering questions about this person's journey or path.

A Council of Sorts
And it doesn't have to be limited to a near death event - at any time a person can come forward to discuss with their council the reasons they might depart.  Like "Exit points" or "Off ramps" that become available. (It's become a standard question when I chat with someone on the flipside via medium Jennifer Shaffer to ask; "Was this one of your exit points that you had available to you?")

Because people on the flipside are "outside of time" it's not that unusual to be able to access an event that is about to happen - and yet have guidance with the teachers and guides and councils whether that event is needed, or warranted, or desirable.

Mind bent thanks to my friend's dream.

For further adventures in councils, I recommend taking a look or listening to "Architecture of the Afterlife" available across all media.

Patron Saint of Donuts


Sonnet 4 a.m. New York City

I was looking for this old sonnet today, something I wrote in college.

Mr. Sonnet himself

When I was 18 I wound up in Manhattan with two friends, Paul Tracey and Cate Conniff. Our first trip to the Big Apple, we had a discount room at the Sheraton, because Cate worked at the one in our home town - but that meant one room only.We were pretty broke - so we three shared one bed.

Not these four -
but here's Kathy D, Paul, Janet T and Me circa 1969
However as we checked in, we met these guys from a rock band in L.A. Long haired fellas with easy smiles. They told us they were playing a gig in Central Park (I had no idea how big or little the park was or where the gig might have been within that park) and invited us to the after show in their room. Cate went, Paul and I did not - she hung out with that band; the Eagles.

Amazing how YouTube can locate actual footage from that particular day. Here's the Eagles in Central Park in 1973 the same day we met them.

But this isn't about the Eagles.. It's about my sonnet.

Later - when Cate came back to the room about 2 a.m., she was flying - and proceeded to chat up a storm... Paul was trying to sleep, she was talking a blue streak (hmm... wonder why?) I tried to sleep on the floor and then gave up - found solace walking the streets of Manhattan at 4 a.m.

It was raining, so there weren't many people. I walked all the way from 57th to Times Square and back again. Saw just a few folks in the rain.

World Trade Center is dedicated in 1973 - New York Daily News
1973 the year the towers were dedicated; when I stepped foot in NY.
A couple of years later, while a Humanities Major at Boston University, one of my roommates, Andre Shashaty had some "space to fill" in the DGE newsletter and asked me to contribute something.  Here's my sonnet. I post it here because I know that one day, if I type in the words "New York City lies in a quaking still" I can find it. Here - in cyberspace.

Me at BU circa 1973. Photo Ellyn Toscano

"New York City 4 A.M."

New York City lies in a quaking still.
Streetlights reply to the silent alleys
while Bowery confessors lie in their swill.
The rain drives the pimps to rat warm'd galleys,
The only doors open boast lewd desire.
The gay movie crowed stays out of the wet
in all night freak shows that never retire.
It's 4 a.m., the hooker ends her set
Back to the corner she finds a dry spot.
Scanning the parked cars for a John to meet
Like erect buildings determined to rot.
The smoke dissipates from cooling concrete.
A city in rain can only perspire
when the city's pulse is the devil's fire.

But I dodge drops from the park to the square.
trying to remain the unseen foot tread,
crossing the street to hear corner girls dare,
I smile wink once and shake my blood filled head.
"Tis too early for love," I tell the wall...
The bricks laughed back at my foolish wishes:
"Don't you know you're not old enough to crawl?
Give yourself time to sleep with the fishes!"
The wet Boulevards will soon fill the ears
With the honking, dodging shouts in the street
Her ghosts disappear from thousand of years
Manhattan returns to staggering feet.
Just as my storm clouds begin to grow few...
the sun soon enough decides to break through.

13 Amazing New York Sunset and Sunrise Spots - Your AAA Network

AbAb, CdCd, EfEf, GG.  Twice.

But it adequately captures the memory. (And the last four EfEf lines are lost, so they were written 45 years later. Kinda like Goethe writing the second act to Faust 57 years after he wrote the First Act.) Cheers.


A message from the Flipside

Needless to say, with so many of our fellow travelers not making it or having their lives ended by something as senseless as a "zombie virus" - it sends the mind reeling. Looking for answers.

If one looks through this blog they'll find some practical advice from none other than Jonas Salk.  Zinc (elderberry) aloe vera (juice) and acai.  Daily. Stay home. Wash hands. Eventually there will be a vaccine, and or the amounts will lessen.  These things take time.
Elderberry, Aloe Vera, Acai
from Jonas Salk
Or we can try to look for value in the pandemic; "Well, I can finish up my books about the afterlife, just in case."  That was on my mind, when I raced to finish both "Backstage Pass to the Flipside 3: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer book three" and "Architecture of the Afterlife."   I had these two very large books over 600 pages each, and I knew if I spent the next three months trying to edit them, they might never get done.

So I put them out, then recorded the Audible versions.  That too was a matter of urgency, getting the recording equipment together, finding the right space to record it - and then reading about 40 hours (for both books.)  Then because Audible was in another mode because of the pandemic it took two months to get those versions released.

I'm aware some quality control has slipped through the cracks - a fan wrote today that he found a 100 typos in "Architecture of the Afterlife."  The good news is that once I recorded the Audible, I saw many typos, then edited the copy and submitted new editions (something not available to authors before, but nowadays it's a click of a button to resubmit a new edition.)  So my sincere apologies for any typos I missed. (If you have an "older edition" send me an email to "MartiniProds" at gmail and I'll forward a newer edition (PDF) without the typos.)

Also, I heard that in "Backstage Pass to the Flipside 3" one can hear me "making corrections" while I'm reading the text. (Scribbling in the margins) Which is pretty funny - or a testament to recording. Again - apologies if the sound of a pen is distracting. An early review had one person complain they could hear my "cat meowing" in the original audio of "Flipside." So in subsequent introductions I proclaim "I'm the kind of author that has cats meow in his books. If that's an issue, I sincerely suggest getting a refund. You also might hear me get choked up while reading a passage (often) - I can't help that. Part of what I'm doing is catching lightning in a bottle - and sometimes that includes crickets."

But this post is about something else.  

The other day, I was in my kitchen where sometime I hear folks saying things to me. Robert Kennedy approached me there (I clearly heard his voice say "I understand you're the fellow I'm supposed to speak with to pass a message to my children.") Startled, I said "No, sir, I'm the guy who knows the people who can help you. If you want to speak with us, show up at our weekly session where Jennifer and I speak to the flipside via Luana." 

Luana Anders waving hello.

Then the following week, on my way to see Jennifer - lo and behold when I arrived at our meeting place she said "Robert Kennedy is here."  (What he had to say I did pass along to one of his children.)

That has happened more than once - another time with John McCain - another time with Paul Allen (see "Paul Allen, Junior Seau and Dave Duerson" on YouTube for direct visual evidence of what I'm talking about.)  But again - that's not what this post is about.  

This is about something I heard the other day.  I heard the voice of a friend who had departed, and I heard her say something clear as a bell.

I don't know what she meant by it. I immediately thought it might mean one thing - and I took offense at hearing it. "What are you telling me that for?"  

However - I normally don't have a problem with people reaching out to me from the flipside as I know they do so for a reason.  And despite the thoughts that surrounded what she said - I have to allow that if it's accurate, it's for a reason.

So next week I'm going to address this in a session with Jennifer. 

I've been doing this research for over ten years.  My books are filled with the hows and whys those events have occurred.  They're like bread crumbs to the same place, the same conclusions.  If one wants to take that ride, and reads them in order, they will see the same information that I've seen. 

What I've seen is that everything happens for a reason - nothing happens without the connectivity of all of our previous lifetimes, all of our guides and teachers and loved ones participating. There are no coincidences, and our loved ones can communicate with us from the other side if we're open to the possibility that they can do so.

I've also learned that time exists relatively over there - while some say "there is no time" or that "everything exists at the same time" I've found that not to be the case in terms of the research. We apparently live each life in a linear fashion, we experience them in a linear fashion, otherwise we couldn't learn anything. 

If after every lifetime we said "Oh, I want a do over" - everyone who participated would have to agree. And even then, all the events would be different.  Even the concept is self serving - we live our lives so we can learn things about ourselves, or learn things about love and help others, even if we can't see that's why we chose our lifetimes in the first place.

The most important thing I've learned in this research is that the journey to the planet is about unconditional love. That's easy to say, next to impossible to consider. We all have conditions about why and who and what we're doing on the planet - or opinions, reactions to what other people do on the planet.  

But by "opening our hearts to everyone and all things" we have a shot at understanding the nature of reality. Not that it's a phrase that's a panacea - or an ad campaign - but understanding that the nature of consciousness, the nature of reality is embracing the idea that we are all connected and if one wants to experience that connection they can... by "opening their hearts to everyone and all things."

And beyond that to realize that we chose to come here, that leaving here is just another part of the journey, that no one dies that no one leaves the stage entirely - we are all available on the flipside, even if a portion of us has already come back. Two thirds of "who we are" is always "back home."  If one reads all the books, they'll come to the same conclusion (or I would bet they would.)

By the way there is a "donate" button on the side of the page. If this research has helped in any way, or changed perspective in any way, it would be most helpful if one took the time to donate something to that research - any amount that they can. I sincerely thank everyone for doing so, and also I mention those donors to the gofundme page in the next book and they get PDF's of the books for doing so.

So this post is about paying attention to what people say to us from the flipside. It's also a preamble that the next session I'm going to do with Jennifer I will bring up this person and this message and see if she gets it right.  I'll post it next week. I would say what the message was - but then someone somewhere would say "But Jennifer must have read your post."  I have a larger issue to deal with - Jennifer is often reading my mind, especially when writing about her or her name. My phone routinely rings whenever I write something she said, or was about to say. ("Ring." "I was just writing your name." "Shut the front door." "No seriously. Stop bugging me.")

So do the same with your loved ones. They still exist. Allow them to speak to you. Allow for the possibility that they can. Allow that they still care for you and want you to do well, and have some pretty cool things to impart from the flipside. Live your life with as much love as you can. Love love.

Remember; they're as close as you can imagine, and never far from you despite the illusion they aren't. 

Don't take my word for it. Just ask them. When you hear an answer before you can ask the question, you'll know you've made a connection.

My two cents. 

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