Prince Speaks from the Flipside

Headline for this is "Prince Says "Live Your Truth" from the Flipside." I know Dr. Medhus (Elisa) and recommend this clip to everyone who is a fan of the Flipside research or Prince. I don't know the medium Kim, but I have worked with Dr. Medhus, was able to verify "new information" from a previous interview. (Elisa appears in "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" volume two.) Hard to announce that "everything Prince says here bears out in the research" but that is the case in terms of his descriptions of the flipside. 

Suspend your disbelief for 30 minutes to hear Prince talk about what it's like to go "home" (or as he call is "the homeland.") I've filmed 30 people under deep hypnosis, nearly every one talks about "returning home" with regard to their memories of life prior to coming here, or upon our return.

Some highlights: 1. "Be true 2 who U R." The central message, according to this interview, of his journey in this lifetime. 2. He had a pre-arranged "exit point" which he felt he could take, as he felt he'd "accomplished" mostly what he'd set out to do. That it was not a deliberate event, but one that he wasn't surprised by, and was "calm and accepting" about. 3. He says "If you say in your comfort zone you will never know who you are." That the paramount reason to be on the planet is to "be true to yourself." 4. "Don't pray it... be it." (In answer to why he told people "not to pray for him" - his point is to merge prayer and the idea of projecting what should be) 5. "If you believe (in a cure) and let go, miracles (of healing) can happen." (in answer to how he cured his own epilepsy, with the help of a guardian "motherly" spirit.) 6. "Purple Rain" referred to demonstrating, showing something bigger, more powerful than us, and he wanted to "shine light on things that are bigger than us" with the phrase. 7. The use of his "Prince" symbol was his way of defining "who I am, staying true to myself."

I applaud Elisa for posting this - and the work she does with her son Erik at ChannelingErik - this clip won't convince everyone that life continues on, or that Prince was the subject of this interview - but for those who are working in this area of research, everything he says here about his journey into the flipside is referred to at some point in "Flipside" and "It's a Wonderful Afterlife." Thanks Elisa and Kim Babcock!

"If I could do one thing to help the planet - give them vision to see what it looks like when they cause hurt - we'd all be kind."

How To Navigate The Afterlife w/ Richard Martini...Plus Haunted Bonus Vi...

Oh man! this is hysterical. At around 34: the skeleton "sits forward" as I'm talking - at around :38 it "turns its head" and around :40 it falls on its face!!!! I've seen the footage of this skeleton moving on another video on their website - the head turned on its own 100 degrees or so - not to look in the camera, but just away from where it was before while he left it on. Either Anthony has some vibration in his home he's not aware of (over the subway in Manhattan?) or... I don't know. Trippy. But funny too!!!!  How odd that I would be talking about the Flipside and this is the reaction?


Flipside talk via Paranormal Review

Fun interview on blogtalkradio this evening with the Paranormal Review crew. Lucy was in Chicago, and Anthony in NYC - with me in Santa Monica. All Flipside all the time.


Prince and the Flipside

When someone we love passes away, where do we go for solace?  Church usually.  Perhaps we sit in a pew and we focus our love and energy and prayers to the person who has left us.

From the Jazz fest. Photo E. Gundersen
Sometimes they answer.  (Reminds me of the old saying "If you speak to someone invisible while in Church, you're religious, but if they reply you're insane.")  It depends on how your circuits are wired, apparently.  As we know, some people can speak directly and often with people on the flipside, and all sorts of individuals show up to make their voices heard.  Some of them do it for others, some of them do it privately, some do it publicly. 

And some of us have heavy filters on our equipment - we can't hear anything from the flipside or our loved ones. Not a peep.  I hear it often; "I've been praying forever for a sign and nothing comes through."  Well, we're all different.  Each one of us has different brains, different energetic patterns, different tonality - different voices.  How many of us can spot our mother's voice in a crowd of voices?  That's tuning.  

Sound is a vibration, and depending on the person doing that tonal vibration, we may pick up on it. Or not.

Peter Max's tribute to Prince on twitter. copyright Peter Max

When my father came to visit me after he passed away, I thought "am I making this up?"  But I had enough sense to get up and find a pen and piece of paper. And his message from the flipside: "It's indescribably beautiful here."

The point being that words would not be able to describe it.

However, we are stuck with words, at least for the time being, as the best way that we can communicate with each other.  We do it through feelings and song, and other methods, but at the moment, words probably impart the most information.

I was surprised to hear that Prince suffered from seizures and epilepsy as a youth. But I'm also aware that many artists suffer, or benefit from neurological disorders as they're known in medical literature - but in actuality are the primary reason they're so good at so many things. It has something to do with their spiritual self - the part of ourselves that is always left behind in the flipside - communicating with their temporal self - the part of their energy that inhabits a human being.

And depending how strong that connection is - that person can tap into, learn from, gain insight knowledge and other things from the flipside. 

It's what I'm writing about for my new book "Hacking the Afterlife" - or whatever I eventually call it. 

The more I learn about Prince the more I think he was having conversations with his higher self.  I don't mean from the Jehovah Witness version of religion - although I'm familiar with it, I find all religions are actually talking about the flipside and their relation to it - translating experiences that their faithful have had over the eons and putting it into dogma.  But if we start with the basic ideas of religion - that we have a higher power, or higher self, or someone who keeps an eye on us - which is reportedly consistenly in all the flipside research - then we have a common area of communication.

I've been cataloging what people say under deep hypnosis for the past ten years, in my film "Flipside" and the books "Flipside" and "It's a Wonderful Afterlife."  In them there are transcripts of what people say under deep hypnosis (flipside) and what scientists say about consciousness (it's a wonderful afterlife) and reports from people who've had near death experiences.  There's also a number of conversations with people who are no longer on the planet.

I mention this preamble, because someone on facebook (thanks eric H) mentioned that Prince had talked about "going home" in one of his songs, and it seemed to be about the flipside.

So here's the song; it's the last track on 'ART OFFICIAL AGE' released in 2014 called "Affirmation III."

All rights reserved to NPG records, under license from Warner Music, quoting this lyric is merely for educational purposes only.  (excerpting the lyric to note the meaning behind it). 

I'm going to include the lyric, and then my comments on what the lyrics say, and how closely they resemble reports from the flipside:

"Affirmation III" lyrics by Prince.

"How are you feeling today, mister Nelson?
I trust you're having a quick and enjoyable adjustment period."
(RM: this is the time while you're adjusting to being no longer in a body)
As you can see, we’re communicating now telepathically.

(RM: we speak by thoughts there, answers appear before ww can form the question)
Which makes things move so much faster here.
(RM: the time element as well. Things happen in "the blink of an eye" like life reviews)
After you’ve completed the planned affirmation therapy, you’ll find this way of interaction far easier.
(RM: havent heard this term, but perhaps its related to a life review, affirming who you've been, the good you've done)

(Until I, I find my, my way back, home, home)
You’ve probably felt for many years in your former life, that you where separate from not only others , but even yourself. Now you can see that was never the case. You are actually everything and anything that you can think of. All of it is you. 
(RM: often reported. We are all connected. We may feel isolated, but its an illusion. Back home we experience how all is connected. "Like ornaments on a christmas tree" said one person)
(Until I, I find my, my way back, home, home)

(RM: people report "seeing" their home from a distance, one described it as a light pod where friends were waiting for them. But in a sea of billions of pods, they had to find their own.)
"Remember there is really only one destination, and that place is, you.
All of it.
Is you.
(RM: We are what we seek. "The journey is the destination." If everyone is connected then we are already home. So its both "finding myself" and finding my way "home" on the flipside where our loved ones await.)
(Until I, I find my, my way back, home, home)"

Written from the pov of a spirit guide welcoming Prince back to the flipside. 

It's pretty much verbatim what I've filmed people saying (over 30 cases now, examined thousands other in my books) while under deep hypnosis. I can only guess that Prince's experience with an angel wasn't an isolated incident.

Makes me wonder if purple rain came from a vision as well; many report seeing purple in the energetic makeup of their "wise elders," like a radiant light. (I know purple rain is reportedly related to an apocalyptic end of world vision, but which came first? - the color purple - in these flipside sessions anyway - are often reported as the visual energetic makeup of "wiser" "older souls" and often represent people on the "council of elders" as Michael Newton calls them).

But "find my way home" refers to not here but on the flipside, where people claim "home" is. Where you're greeted with unconditional love, and your soul mates and pals you've been incarnating with for eons.

If you want to see what transcendant guitar playing is watch this clip. George Harrison's son loves it - but Prince does what he said he loved to see other guitarist's do - bring the house down. Just standing center stage and channeling a higher power. 

Enjoy Prince at his finest.


Prince heads Home and the Angel who saved his life.

"A brain isn't the mind... and the mind isn't a soul... that's why we need the arts." Senator Al Franken in his eulogy on the Senate floor for the Purple one.

"I am so saddened to hear of Prince's passing. Prince was a revolutionary artist, a wonderful musician and composer. He was an original lyricist and a startling guitar player. His talent was limitless. He was one of the most unique and exciting artists of the last 30 years." Mick Jagger

Amazing artist. Purple ray of light. This came to mind for some reason; "Tis a far far better thing i do than i have ever done, tis a far far better place i go than i have ever been..." in a hurry to get somewhere perhaps, or to be with someone... musicians live in their music forever, whenever a note he wrote or played is heard; he's there on a quantum level. RIP

What to say about Prince and the Flipside?

Well, he's headed home.

Wonderful interview that took place in Paisley Park a couple of years ago - and the reporter was chagrined to hear that "no one knew where Prince lived."  The last line of the article was "He's gone home, wherever that is." 

Prince … ‘When was the last time you were scared?’
Property of NPG records
Article offers a rare glimpse into the world of Paisley Park with some tasty sidebars into the clever improv he kept up all these years. Oddly enough last sentence was the subject of my appearance on radio in minnesota last night. "I've filmed 30 people claim that home isn't here. It's on the flipside."

Last night, just as a coincidence (there are no coincidences, but this radio show came to me two weeks ago, so I had no idea what I was going to talk about) I appeared on "The Darkness Hour."  It's a bit like "Coast to Coast" and the hosts Dave and Tim will be substituting for George Noory this next weekend.  I haven't heard the show, but I assumed it would be a bit about the flipside.   your first hour   your second hour

But I took the opportunity to chat a bit about the Purple One who had just "left the building." I pointed out that the media will talk about his life and loves, his arriving and his departure, and most people will focus on his age (57) and how he died (to be known.)  Why do we focus on age and way of passing?  It's like focusing on how someone tripped off stage after a great performance.

Part of the reason is to make sense of our own lives. 

But as I point out, in the research, it's consistent that people "choose to come here" - choose who they're going to be and what they're going to do while they're here.  And sometimes they sign up for a journey that is shorter than one might expect - but if you allow for a moment that a person "doesn't die" - that they just have left the building - they aren't here any longer, but they still exist - then you get a better handle on where Prince might have gone.

Turns out besides being a terrific musician, he was a humanitarian, and that he donated, help thousands of people, insisting no one would know of his participation.  That unto itself is pretty amazing.

According to Van Jones on CNN, who worked closely with Prince on his projects, the man's generosity was unbounded.  We know that Prince assiduously took down mention of him on youtube - but perhaps this wasn't because of monetary issues or the internet "ripping him off of royalties" (although that has been stated in the past) perhaps there's a spiritual aspect to it.  "Don't focus on me.  Focus on the music."


Something else I wanted to note about the Purple one.  "Why purple?"  Did anyone ask him?

I found this insightful article from Nancy Dillon in 2009:

Prince reveals he battled epilepsy as a child in rare interview, until 'angel' told him he was well

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 2:09 PM
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Prince revealed to Travis Smiley he had epilepsy as a child, until an 'angel' told him he wouldn't be sick anymore.MOSENFELDER/GETTY

Prince revealed to Travis Smiley he had epilepsy as a child, until an 'angel' told him he wouldn't be sick anymore.

LOS ANGELES - He's got the look - and a medical secret that helped shape his legendary music career.
Pop icon Prince revealed a childhood struggle with epilepsy during a rare, soul-bearing interview.
"I've never spoken about this before, but I was born epileptic," the Grammy winning singer said on the PBS show Tavis Smiley. "I used to have seizures when I was young. And my mother and father didn't know what to do or how to handle it but they did the best they could with what little they had."
Prince, 50, said the illness helped shape his over-the-top persona.
"From that point on, I've been having to deal with a lot of things, getting teased a lot in school," the Purple Rain singer said Monday night, wearing a high-collared white satin shirt and high-heeled black and white spats. "You know, early in my career I tried to compensate for that by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could."
A Jehovah's Witness who weaves spiritual themes through his songs, Prince said his faith also helped him cope.
"My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said 'Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore.' And she said 'Why?' And I said 'Because an angel told me so.' Now, I don't remember saying it, that's just what she told me," Prince said.
He didn't say whether he grew out of the illness or continues to live with epilepsy, but in a song titled "The Sacrifice of Victor," Prince tells the story of a boy who was "Epileptic 'til the age of seven."
Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible. He told Smiley that he taught himself to play music after his musician father left his piano at the house when he moved out while Prince was a kid.
"When he left, I was determined to get as good as him," Prince said. "I just stuck with it, and I did it all the time. And sooner or later, people in the neighborhood heard about me, and then they started to talk about me. And it wasn't in a teasing fashion. It was more like, 'Wow, look what he can do.'"
He said the support motivated him to write his own songs.
"Once I got that support from people, then I believed I could do anything," he said.

Epilepsy! An Angel!

Wow.  Seizures as a child... that he credits with inspiring his onstage persona.  Talk about someone taking what might be construed as a negative and turning into a positive - doesn't get much better than that.

"My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said 'Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore.' And she said 'Why?' And I said 'Because an angel told me so.' Now, I don't remember saying it, that's just what she told me," Prince said.

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard someone say in my flipside research they were "visited by an angel" that told them everything would be okay... or some variation of getting a visit from someone on the flipside who gives insight into our future... sometimes a "bright light." "Unconditional love." As I'm fond of saying; "He's not gone. He's just not here." No doubt hanging with that angel once again.

In terms of the flipside, many such stories of being "visited by an angel" who tells you that you're going to recover.  Who was that angel? Well, in the research, they're often "spirit guides" coming in disguise to help you through a difficult path.  Sometimes they're literally "angels" - people who don't incarnate, either anymore, or perhaps never had, but serve others from the flipside as avatars and helpers - and sometimes those angels are our "higher selves" - as I mentioned on the show, the research shows that about 2/3rds of our energy is always "back there; back home" keeping an eye on us.

  "He's not gone. He's just not here."

Prince has left the building.

I got to review Prince exactly 23 years ago.  I was a stringer for Variety at the time, and here's what I wrote:

Review: ‘Prince and the New Power Generation’
Rich Martini
APRIL 20, 1993 | 12:00AM PT
The King of erotic funk slammed into the Universal Amphitheatre Thursday for the start of a three-day stint. There was plenty of glitz and glam, and when the sparks settled, Prince again proved that, beyond the hype, he's a master showman.

The King of erotic funk slammed into the Universal Amphitheatre Thursday for the start of a three-day stint. There was plenty of glitz and glam, and when the sparks settled, Prince again proved that, beyond the hype, he’s a master showman.

Evening began with Prince reading a copy of the recent Los Angeles Times pan of the San Francisco tour, pretending to urinate on it with lighter fluid, and sending it to oblivion with a match as he launched into “My Name Is Prince.” More flames were to follow.

First act consisted of songs solely from his latest Warners release, which uses a symbol uniting male and female signs that hung like a flaming arrow above the stage, under which the meister of erotica played out his funkadelic fantasies.

The early show was framed around cliche-ridden scenarios; a faux sheik’s daughter, Mayte Garcia, is dragged from the audience and turned into a Power Generation funkette, and dancer Kelly Konno plays a nosy reporter who gets her comeuppance by being stripped on stage. Both sketches seemed more suited to reruns of Dean Martin’s “Golddiggers.”

Nonetheless, the top-notch footwork of Garcia, and Prince’s high voltage performance around and on top of her, served to turn these banalities into amusing sidebars to tunes like “Sexy MF” and “Love 2 the 9s.”

Massive drummer Michael Bland and zoot-suited guitarist Levi Seacer Jr. provided sharp backup when Prince wasn’t soloing on his lavender guitar or plum piano.

The second act was even higher octane, as Prince blasted off with “Let’s Go Crazy,””Kiss” and “Irresistible Bitch,” showing no signs of the flu that caused him to reschedule the first two nights of this stand.

The New Power Generation was top-notch throughout, with kudos to rapper Tony Mosley and fellow hip-hoppers Damon Dickson and Kirk Johnson. Ace tech work included roadies who seemed choreographed, a panoply of clever costumers, and a futuristic light rig, which kept the night full of eye-popping spectacle.

Prince and the New Power Generation
(Universal Ampitheatre; 6,251 seats; $ 42.50 top)
 Reviewed April 15, 1993. Band: Prince, Tony Mosley, Sonny Thompson, Michael Bland, Morris Hayes, Levi Seacer Jr., Tommy Barbarella, Damon Dickson, Kirk Johnson, Mayte Garcia, Kelly Konno.

Where has Prince gone? "He's gone home. Wherever that is."


Circling the Sacred Mountain, God and Morgan Freeman

For fans of "Flipside"  

Cover photo Jock Montgomery, Cover type by Richard Rossiter

This is the book that was in the library of the apt I sublet while working on the film "Salt​." 

I had read the book and audited Robert Thurman's class at Columbia U in '96. In 2004 I was in Mumbai filming a Bollywood script when I got an email "If you can be in Kathmandu next week you can join our trip around Mt. Kailash in Tibet." I joined the trip and documented it ("Journey into Tibet." The full version is here and costs $2.99 to view, but all pieces are free on youtube if you search for them).

At some point we were on Mt. Kailash (pictured above) and Robert told us any wish made in this sacred place "would come true." I jokingly decided I'd wish for a million dollars... or a 3 picture deal. Couldn't make up my mind, and out of my mouth came the words "I want a son." I was startled when I said it. Then three years later, driving around Santa Monica with our son, and I asked "Did you know daddy from before?" He nodded, "yes." I asked "Where did you meet me?" He said "in Tibet." Startled, I said "Where in Tibet?" He said "On the path." I thought of all the paths I'd been on - then I remembered the wish I'd made. "Was it Kailash?" He shrugged. I asked "Was it Kangra?" He nodded "yes" and said "It was Kangra." 

Where I made the wish

Kangra is the name of the path in Tibetan where I made that wish. Then a year later, subletting an apt in the West Village while working on "Salt" son found this book in the owner's library, pulled it out to show his mom. He pointed to the picture of Mt. Kailash and said "That's where I found daddy."  

Sherry called me on the set and asked "Did you know this book was here?" I didn't and had not said the word Kailash to him other than in the car. "That's where I found daddy."  From Flipside: A Tourist's Guide On How To Navigate the Afterlife​


Morgan Freeman

is seeking the story of God on National Geographic.  The series opens with an interview with David Bennett - an author ("Voyage of Purpose") who had a near death experience.  I interviewed him for the book "It's a Wonderful Afterlife"  David has a fascinating story - he doesn't call this ball of light "God" in his book - but of course since the show is about God, Morgan asks him if the ball of light is God, to which David replies - "yes."

Important to be specific here - in his written account and in the account her gave me during his interview, he saw this ball of light as "millions of lights" - and a few of them separated from the light to travel to speak with him... so in essence, you could say that the ball of light was "God" and that the slivers of light that came to visit him where also "of God."

Because in this world of trying to use language to define the inexpressable, we seem to be caught up in what the word's say or mean.  Is God a he?  Often people will say "I felt a male presence" when asked that question.  Sometimes they'll say "I felt more of a female presence."  So it depends on the person doing the viewing.

In this search of "God" or the meaning of the afterlife, they're touching upon the surface of these questions - by the nature of the medium of course.  But in essence, they jump from David Bennett's first person account of his experience with the afterlife, to Dr. Sam Parnia's work - the doctor behind the Aware project - who has studied near death experiences.

Dr. Sam talks about life continuing on for a few moments after death, and David Bennett's experience was for "15 to 18" minutes. The implication being that David's experience couldn't be "hypoxia" or some other physical event created by the brain, because the brain didn't have oxygen for quite some time.

My interview in a noisy cafe with author David Bennett

But I think they're skimming the surface here.  It's wonderful to hear Morgan's face, to see his face react to these stories, to hear his own personal journey with this work.  But by limiting the series to a search for "God" - and then lightly touching upon what people say about their experience in the afterlife, is to mix the subjects up.

In Michael Newton's interview in "Flipside: a Journey into the Afterlife" he talks specifically about the "Creator or creators" that many of his clients have experienced.  These are people under deep hypnosis who recall not only past lives, but a between lives realm where they can examine, explore and explain what they're experiencing.

As I've outlined in "Flipside" and the "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" books these reports are consistent and they're replicable.  I've filmed nearly 30 people under hypnosis, and examined other taped recordings of these sessions from different people across the globe, and what they say is consistent.  That we don't die. That our consciousness continues on. That it's here that we are deluded by "reality" as if this was the only realm in existence. That we return "home" to be with our loved ones and teachers - and are able to see our lifetimes as "performances on stage" where we learn and teach and examine all forms of energy.

I've filmed people who've had near death experiences, and seen how they can re-examine those events clearly - with more depth - I've filmed people who are skeptics, who don't believe in an afterlife, but who clearly remember previous lives and then experience the between life arena and are able to see their lives with perspective.  I've filmed interviews with people NOT under hypnosis - who by merely asking them the same questions people are asked while under hypnosis - are able to access the same clarity about past lives and the between life realm.

The point being - you don't need to have a near death experience to experience life off this planet.  You don't need to have a near death experience or be under hypnosis to access your memories of previous lifetimes or being able to talk to and hear from your spirit guides.  That you can access "new information" from them in the spirit world - meaning details that you aren't aware of, could not be privy to or never heard of - and yet turn out to be true because you've heard them from people not alive.

That's a series I'd like to work on - and perhaps one day will.  But for the time being we'll just have to hope that the people who are making these shows are able to take that one step further.  Or "One Step Beyond."

My two cents.


Defending Your Life and the Flipside

What's startling about this film is the consistent reporting that it's accurate. Michael Newton ("Journey of Souls") refers to it in my doc "Flipside" and in all the 25 cases I've filmed there are unusual reports that are either identical or oddly similar. 

"Past life Pavilion" (and its correspondent "Life Planning Session") examining your life "in front of a council of elders" where they know "everything you've ever done." 

That "hell" might be considered a difficult life here on the planet (except in this research people choose them for specific reasons), that we don't return as animals as a form of punishment (reportedly creatures have their own realms) and heaven might be considered staying back there with our soul mate, ala Meryl Streep. 

One wonders what it will be like if/when Albert experiences the same upon his departure from this stage - "oh my god, i got this SO RIGHT." 

Kudos for presaging (and writing, directing, acting in it) a film that appears to be more like a hilarious documentary of what actually happens on the Flipside. 

Again, not an issue of belief, philosophy or religion; just reporting what thousands have said (and consistently continue to do so) while under deep hypnosis, or when re-examining a near death experience (as detailed in "Its a Wonderful Afterlife" vols 1 and 2.) 

Still a funny film.

On the 25th anniversary of Defending Your Life's release, Rolling Stone asked the director to take us back to Judgment City and explore his own reasons for why the film has remained so relevant to today's audiences.

Albert Brooks: "I don't know how, where, and why the idea for Defending Your Life began; the idea had been bouncing around for a while. Stories like that sort of have to bounce. They don't come out of nowhere. I went through my own period of life with sort of everything turning upside down, and wondering, why is it this way? I went from being unafraid at the beginning of my career, in my late twenties, [to] being like the Roadrunner; I looked down and I didn't see anything. You don't wake up one day and say, "Earth ain't the best place to be." That's a brewing type of feeling.

We'd all watched "heaven" movies forever, and they always bothered me. They were just like little children's fairy tales. So I began to think more clearly that, why would anything in the universe be different than what we already see? In other words, our best indication of this vast, mysterious place are the processes that are going on right in front of us. And we see the Darwinian theories working; we see survival of the fittest working. Even in making automobiles, the better automobiles are the ones that keep getting made, so why would anything be different than that?


It intrigued me that the whole universe would be run sort of like a business. I also liked not having Earth as a place that's the best place. You don't want to go back to Earth — and by the way, they weren't threatening to send you back as an animal. It was obvious you were going to have to go back as a person and try it all over again; that was failure. So this is an alternative, but it's at least an alternative that makes some weird kind of sense to me.

"...Judgment City and the way things looked there were basically traditional matte paintings that they'd been doing since the beginning of movies. That's how they did the original Ben-Hur; just talented people painting over a city. For example, the Judgment Center, the place where we did the trials, was the Federal Building in West Los Angeles with two large annexes painted onto it, and it's just done perfectly. That never changes. You can do that today and it looks as good as it always did.

In casting the film: I met Meryl Streep at a party years and years and years ago. I think it was at Carrie Fisher's house. Meryl brought so much reputation to her life because of all these iconic roles, but when you met her, she was just so easygoing and natural. She was aware of my work, and she asked what I was doing. I told her I was making this movie, and she sort of jokingly said, "Is there a part in it for me?" I went home and thought, "Okay..." It took a lot more from the producers to make that happen, but the person that I wanted for that role was the person that I sat and talked to at that party.

So my job was to provide an environment where she could just hang out. She's the greatest character actress that ever lived, and she didn't get a lot of opportunities just to hang out, so that's what I thought could be great. She's playing somebody who's had a perfect life, and she automatically brings to that someone who is as close as you could get, someone who seemingly has had a perfect life. So all of that worked.

Rip Torn hadn't worked for a while, and the studio was a little worried because he had been through some problems and everything. We had a serious talk. The studio wanted me to go to someone safer, but Rip was one of the people that made that movie sail, and the reason is because he was unpredictable. That's why I wanted him. I saw many other actors for that part — people that I liked, people that I knew exactly what I would get — and I cast him because it may have been more work for me. But it was a good kind of work and he would give you something you didn't expect. He would just give you an attitude or a line reading or … he was just the most original kind of person, and it helped the movie immensely.

I've got a lot of favorite scenes from the movie, but I'm pretty fond of the Past Lives Pavilion. One of the things about Defending Your Life I have to mention is that the cinematographer was Allen Daviau, [who had worked a lot with Steven Spielberg]. He was brilliant. I just got a fan letter through my website two days ago — I swear to God, two days ago — that said, "I'm looking for the film that Mr. Brooks used in the Past Lives Pavilion, where the native was running through the forest. Can you tell me what film that was from?" And, of course, that wasn't from a film. All of that was shot. But the way it was shot and put into miniature? I guess I was sort of tickled that I even thought of something like the Past Lives Pavilion. I thought it was sort of a cool Disneyland ride.

And then to have Shirley MacLaine. Think about that: There is no person on this planet that can get you a laugh just by telling you about the afterlife. She had that wrapped up entirely in her personality. I met her at a hotel, I did my pitch, and I couldn't even imagine getting a "no." I must've sold it well because she did it — "Welcome to the Past Lives Pavilion." Nobody else could get you that laugh.

All of my movies had to go through the normal testing processes, and I never got E.T.-type test scores. From Real Life to Modern Romance, some of the cards were like, "What's wrong with this person?" So it was funny because this movie got like a B+ overall, but it got an A+ from young people. Literally, from 18 to 25, the cards were off the charts. I was all excited, and the studio basically said to me, "Well, we're not going to market an Albert Brooks movie to that group anyway. So it's nice, and you should feel good about it, but it doesn't matter. We're not going to release it to that group. That's a big, expensive group." And that's where the fear aspect comes in, because people at that age don't know what the hell's going on, and the movie resonated with them. It was not about life or death or Earth; I think it was about trying not to be afraid.

The idea behind Defending Your Life: Imagine if you had to sit in a courtroom and watch your life. I don't care who you are, if you committed a crime and you had to have all of your emails searched and made public, who on this planet could survive that? Nobody. Who hasn't written some angry email to somebody at 11:30 at night that, if read in court, would make you want to kill yourself?

But the interesting thing about Defending Your Life is that it's been 25 years and if you look at it on Amazon, it always sells at the same rate. And that makes me feel pretty good, because I don't think this is aging too much. I think what the movie is saying is going to stay relevant for a long, long time, because fear isn't going away.

I've had people talk about Lost in America and other films that meant something to them. But this particular movie, whatever effect it had in those original test screenings to a certain younger group, it seems to still have that. Last week, I got a letter from a parent who said their kid had memorized the whole movie. The whole movie! Now I'm not saying this is happening en masse, but sometimes, with younger people, once a movie has no electronics in it, they just don't watch it. Or even if it's not in color. They just don't relate to it. But this film does not need cell phones or any sort of modern accouterments. It still can affect you. Being afraid and not doing what you want to do is such a basic emotion.

I don't know that, any of the films that I made, I could make today. I would have to find another way to do that. It's not just me saying, "It's that the movie business." I could convince financiers that America would like me, even if they didn't, but I never could convince somebody that Korea would love Modern Romance. I just couldn't do that. [Back then] I only had one country to lie about. Now, I'd have to say, "No, believe me, China's going to go nuts over this!"

But the subjects that are the big subjects, they don't go away. Sometimes the telling of them gets modern-ed up. The thing about Defending Your Life is if you made it today, you really wouldn't make it much differently. You might not use answering machines, which played big parts in my movies, but I don't know what's in it that would be any different. I even think we were pretty clever in Rip Torn's office in that all he read were numbers. ....

... I've gotten thousands and thousands of letters of people who had relatives that were dying, or they were dying themselves, and the movie made them feel better. I guess it's because it presents some possibility that doesn't involve clouds and ghostly images. So this thing never goes away. It's a quarter of a century, but I don't think the idea behind the subject is ever going to change." Albert Brooks via Rolling Stone interview (link below)

Read more: 


Garry Shandling's NDE

"I had a car accident when I was twenty-seven in which I was nearly killed. I had a vivid near-death experience that involved a voice asking, "Do you want to continue leading Garry Shandling's life?" Without thinking, I said, "Yes." Since then, I've been stuck living in the physical world while knowing, without a doubt, that there's something much more meaningful within it all. That realization is what drives my life and work." 
Garry Shandling

Garry Shandling from his Esquire article

Garry had a classic near death experience. He was asked if he wanted to come back and live the life he'd signed up for. Luckily for us, for comedy, he said yes. (If you don't know about NDE's I recommend checking out, or watching David Bennett's account of his NDE which will be featured this week on the "God" Show with Morgan Freeman.)

Question is "who asked him the question, "do you want to return?" Turns out a number of people answer that question in my books "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" (1 & 2) Many people who've had NDEs claim we have spiritual guides who keep an eye on us at all times, and Garry appears to have met his. Its a profound experience, and nat geo will cover one example with Morgan Freeman and David Bennett in their "God" show. 

When you experience the reality that this isn't the only stage in the theater, that we choose to perform on this stage, it shifts the paradigm. If its true we choose our lifetimes, doesnt it make sense to leave behind fresh air, water and food for our return? 

And if someone is clever enough, find a way to reconnect us to our old comedy files?

From his article at Esquire:

"I'm more handsome than I act.

You're born a heterosexual. It's not a choice. Who would choose this? The guilt, the shame...and do you think I'm happy having to hire a decorator?

Call me old-school, but I miss the cold war.

Men who betray women also betray other men. Women shouldn't feel so special.

There's a good chance that if you're talking to me when I'm snoring, it means I'm bored.

Gossip is a sin.

I started boxing for exercise, and on the very first day, the trainer got in the ring with me and said, "Whoever controls the breathing in the ring controls the fight." I immediately passed out.

I had a car accident when I was twenty-seven in which I was nearly killed. I had a vivid near-death experience that involved a voice asking, "Do you want to continue leading Garry Shandling's life?" Without thinking, I said, "Yes." Since then, I've been stuck living in the physical world while knowing, without a doubt, that there's something much more meaningful within it all. That realization is what drives my life and work.

Dating a professional actress is tough. Especially if you're up for the same part.

Love is not enough to save a relationship.

My mother did the best she could. Sorry.

Dogs are not people. Be leery of any woman who refers to her dogs as her "kids," because you'll only end up paying for their schooling.

I remember when I was a struggling comic appearing for the first time in Las Vegas. Don Rickles came in to watch the new guy. Afterward, he came backstage, and I asked him if he thought I was funny. He said, "You know when you're funny. You don't have to ask." And he was right.

Smoothies might be fattening. Especially the ones made with frozen yogurt and gin.

Dr. Phil is hiding something. Otherwise, why wouldn't he use his last name?

Everyone at a party is uncomfortable. Knowing that makes me more comfortable.

Nice guys finish first. If you don't know that, then you don't know where the finish line is.

The best television series ever is probably The Twilight Zone.

Some people can fake it their whole lives.

I never listen to the audiotapes of my shrink sessions because the audience is usually so bad, I can't tell which jokes work and which ones don't.

Tom Hanks seems to know exactly what he's doing.

I once saw an elaborate landscape in a gallery, drawn in pencil, that took my breath away. Then I realized the artist probably didn't have enough confidence to use a pen.

A woman once asked me to autograph her T-shirt right across the chest. It only occurred to me later that she may have recognized me.

Nothing can succeed and last without teamwork.

I was anxious and depressed ahead of my time. I didn't need 9/11 to realize that in life, anything can happen. I've been on a state of alert since high school. Code plaid.

Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence.

Intellect without heart scares me.

Buddha didn't get married because his wife would have said, "What, are you going to sit around like that all day?"

The problem with the Pledge of Allegiance isn't the "God" part. It's the "pledge" part. Does a child know what kind of commitment he's making, and to whom, and at what cost?

I'll never agree to make another list like this one."


Garry Shandling RIP

Garry Shandling: Life in pictures

Click on link for Jerry Seinfeld's interview with Garry - "It's great that Garry Shandling is Still Alive"

"The pair also chatted about death, particularly those of fellow comedians Robin Williams and David Brenner, and the legacy of their work. Shandling said material “is purely a vehicle for you to express your spirit. And your soul, and your being” before expressing in his droll way what he'd want his end to be like. “What I want at my funeral is an actual boxing referee to do a count. And at 5 just wave it off and say, ‘He's not getting up,'” Shandling said." (From the LA Times)

Not gone. Just not here. Up by the count of 6, but looking down at the fellow still on the mat. "To get up or not to get up, that's the question." I made him laugh loudly once, can't remember what i said to him, he looked at me with that twinkle and asked "are you a comedian?" "I wish" i said. As we know; Dying is easy, comedy is hard.

There's a wonderful moment in the "Coffee with Comedians in Car" episode linked above. 

Jerry talks about David Brenner's passing and laments "think of all that work that went into his humor, and it's just gone." And Garry says "It's why your on the planet... expressing your spirit through your comedy." Jerry says "And that's it?" And Garry says ""That's it, there's nothing more." This is a Buddhist concept, which relates to the idea that we "don't exist" at leasty theoretically. That we're always in transition, always changing. I would agree with Garry, but then we'd both be wrong. Here's why: 

In this research I've done regarding the Flipside: A Tourist's Guide On How To Navigate the Afterlife, people claim that we choose our lifetimes. Further, they claim that we do so in order to learn lessons, or teach others. (Thousands of cases, via Dr. Helen Wambach, Dr. Michael Newton, and my own filming of 25 people under hypnosis, some who've had near death experiences as outline in "It's a Wonderful Afterlife: Further Adventures in the Flipside Vol 1)" And this is where it gets right to the heart of this discussion. "Why would anyone choose a lifetime of standing up in front of people and telling jokes?" Well - the jokes aren't for the comedian, they're for the people hearing them.

As I heard during filming one of these "between life sessions." "Laughter is a healing energy, and the quickest way to change someone's disposition. Tears work the same, but they require catharsis." The person crafting the laughs, is just like a doctor, or a surgeon, using his or her craft to heal people. They guffaw, they laugh so hard they cry, they double over - and for that brief moment they are outside of time - they are outside of themselves, not thinking or suffering or worrying about where they are or where they are going. It's the most Zen concept there is - How can I effectively alter someone's path or journey in small doses? Through laughter.

And if what these thousands of people say is true, then Garry has left the stage, but he may not have left the theater. And indeed those he feels the closest to, energetically will be hearing from him now and in the future. "That's so odd! I felt as if Garry just made that joke in my ear." Because once we're off stage - once we're outside of the time zone where the stage exists - we're free to do and experience anything we'd like to. It's not my opinion or belief this to be the case, I'm merely the person who is writing down what I here, transcribing what I've filmed, and reporting what they say. Like it, don't like it - doesn't matter. It is what it is, or in this case "is what it once was and will choose to be in the future." 

"What will Garry come back as?" Important to remember we have the choice to return or not - but if he does, and when he does, sounds like boxing might be one occupation he'd enjoy. And he'd be a helluva competitor. My two cents.

Here's something to enjoy - zen comedy with Garry Shandling.  It exists unto itself.  An hour with Charlie Rose in 1998... 


The Story of God, Flipside and Near Death Adventures

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on April 3rd, opens with the story of David Bennett's near death experience.

Here's a five minute clip which begins with David's story:

Now, the question is - does David say that he "saw God?"

He doesn't really.  I mean in the show, they may ask him that question point blank "Did you think you saw God?" and he answers it.  But I don't know. I'll have to tune in. But in my interview with him, he just spoke of seeing a "white ball of light."

As mentioned previously, I had the opportunity to interview David for my book "It's a Wonderful Afterlife."  I was in upstate New York at the upstate New York conference room, and David was my host.  The night before my talk, I looked him up online and found his book, which I downloaded from kindle and read that evening.  And then the next day I got a chance to ask him some questions about his experience - and asked if he minded if I recorded our conversation.

So here is our conversation.

I have to apologize, as we were in a noisy coffee shop - I didn't intend to broadcast or put this online, but I did want a record of our conversation so that I could transcribe it and include it in my book "It's a Wonderful Afterlife Volume One."

You should take a look at David's amazing book, as it details more than could be said in the time we spent together.  You can find that here. 

It's interesting to note that David's experience, while it's featured in the "God" episode from National Geographic TV, and it's on the website version - it's not in the print version of the magazine article.  In that article, the mention of the research from Dr. Sam Parnia's "Aware" project is mentioned, and the discussion is led into an aread of "preserving human tissue" so that we might be brought back to life from some cryogenic state, like the Revenant.  Left for dead, but then returned at a later date.

Then there's a mention of a scientist who refutes "near death experiences" (or as Dr. Parnia calls them "death experiences") who claims that people are merely experiencing "Hypoxia" - that their brain is not dead, but "active" and creating the hallucination of the afterlife.

Kevin Nelson, a neurologist at the University of Kentucky, was on Neal’s panel, and he was skeptical—not of her memory, which he acknowledged was intense and valid, but of its explanation. “These are not return-from-death experiences,” he said, also contradicting Parnia’s view of what had happened. “During these experiences the brain is very much alive and very much active.” He said that what Neal went through could have been a phenomenon called REM intrusion, when the same brain activity that characterizes dreaming somehow gets turned on during other, nonsleep events, such as a sudden loss of oxygen. To him, near-death and out-of-body experiences are the result not of dying but of hypoxia—a loss of consciousness, not of life itself.  From Nat Geo

As my old Oxford/Harvard trained professor Julian Baird used to say "I'd agree with you but then we'd both be wrong."

There are numerous medical cases where blood does not go to the brain for a long period of time - the brain is not functioning and can be measured as not functioning - and those cases, also have the same "afterlife" experience that David Bennett did, as well as many of the thousands of cases listed in Dr. Bruce Greyson's cites ("Irreducible Mind") and Dr. Sam Parnia's cases.  There's no evidence or data to support his conclusion "during these experiences the brain is very much alive."  Because A. Kevin wasn't there. B. He didn't measure the brain of the person having the experience. C. He's assuming the brains must have been active because it's counter-intuitive to everything he (thinks) he knows.

There is evidence, data of many cases outlined in Mario Beauregard PhD's books, including "Brain Wars."  He's a neuro-scientist as well, and he's been able to verify that there is no so called "God spot" on the brain, and he cites a number of cases where people's brains had no blood for an extended period of time, no oxygen to the brain, ie were dead - and yet reported seeing/sensing/hearing a number of things they could not have sensed or heard.  (My favorite is the man born blind and yet while outside of his body, saw that the doctor was wearing orange tennis shoes and told him so. "New information" that could NOT be from his brain.)

It's a bit like the idea of having 99 scientists who talk about climate change being man made, and yet they always refer to the one scientist who doesn't believe it to be the case.  In this instance, there's no evidence that it's Hypoxia - that's just an assumption, and therefore should be treated as one.

As I've pointed out in my books, when you have thousands of people saying relatively the same things about the afterlife - no matter who is asking the questions - then it behooves us to examine what really might be going on, instead of fretting over how the conclusions might appear to our colleagues. Or if they fit neatly into a materialist reality.  

Quantum physics has proven repeatedly that the material world as we know it is some form of an illusion - and there shouldn't be any surprise that our adventures in consciousness defining might have the same conclusion. Since there is no scientific defintion of consciousness - and since there are numerous cases that point to consciousness not being confined to the brain - then we have to conclude that consciousness is NOT NECESSARILY confined to the brain. 

If you want medical cases cited - I refer the reader to Bruce Greyson's youtube talk "Is Consciousness Produced by the Brain" (also reproduced in "It's a Wonderful Afterlife Vol One") where he cites a number of cases where brains were not functioning (due to Alzheimers or another medical condition) should not have been able to function, and yet people were able to suddenly regain their memories as if the memories themselves were not confined to the brain.

Here is that talk. It's worth 90 minutes of your time. (If you actually care to know the science behind these conclusions.)

But beyond that - one sure way to prove that it's not hypoxia is to examine the information that is gleaned from the experience.

For example, if a person is traveling in a train their entire life, and they've never known anything but the world passing by them in motion, if they stepped outside the train and stopped for a moment, then got back on the train and explained what they've experienced, we can't conclude that they're "hallucinating" or "delusional" or inaccurate.  We can only assume they've had an experience that is different than our own.  And once we compare these reports of "train stoppage" we can get a clearer picture of what the world might look like when the train is stopped.

That in itself doesn't make it accurate either - because like blind scientists examining an elephant, each will come back with a different description.  "There's a hell over there with flames and pitchforks" or "there's bug eyed aliens over there" or "there are angels flying around with lutes" - might all be descriptions that people have had during some kind of consciousness altered event - but that doesn't make them accurate or true either.

And when you actually take the time to examine the reports of people who've had a near death experience, and compare them to reports coming from people who under hypnosis can recount their near death experience, or who under hypnosis can recount the last time they died and went "back home" (as I have done in my books) then you have a better shot at coming to some conclusions about the architecture of the afterlife.

Once we introduce words into the conversation, instead of imagery, senses, or feeling - then by the very nature of language we limit that experience, or we reduce the experience into some form of syntax that others can understand.  It's what we've been doing for as long as we've been on the planet - using one word to describe "water" when the bushmen have dozens, using one word to describe "snow" when the indigenous tribes of the north have many, using one word to describe "love" or "home" or "heaven" or "God" applies in the same way.

Depends who you ask.

In David's case, as you'll hear in the interview, he saw a "ball of light." But it was later, as he approached the light - that a few shards split off from the light and came toward him.  During his near death experience he only saw them as shards of light, but later, while under deep hypnosis with a Michael Newton trained therapist in upstate New York, he was able to identify who these shards of light were -- their names and their connection to him.

During his hypnosis session he was able to reaccess the event in a way that allowed him to see a number of things in a different light.  Not that they were different, or inaccurate, but in a different way, the way we might see a painting after years and realize that there's more to it than we thought at first glance.

And finally - David was able to bring back "new information" from his near death experience.

That's information that he didn't know at the time of the near death experience, could not have known, could not have been "cryptomnesia" or "hypoxia" - because these events had not yet occurred on the planet.

In his near death experience, David saw into the future.  He saw a doctor, one whom he didn't know yet, come into an office and tell him he had only a few months to live from a cancer diagnosis.  And in David's near death experience he saw that he survived that diagnosis, survived the cancer.

But he didn't understand it when it happened to him that first time.  In fact when he shared it with a loved one, she doubted him so completely as to think he was insane.  It was over a decade later that David shared his experience with anyone, and only after re-experiencing the event during a meditation session.  And it was years after that he revisited it completely with the help of hypnosis - to see some of the events in a different light.

He told me the story of how when he was in the doctor's office to get the results of his xrays, that a NEW DOCTOR entered the office. Someone that he'd never met, but because his doctor was unavailable, had been given the task to tell David he had weeks to live.  And David RECOGNIZED the Doctor from his near death experience decades earlier.  He knew what the Doctor was going to tell him "You won't survive this, get your life in order" - and he also knew that he would survive it.

Of course the Doctor told him "you're in denial."  But it was the Doctor who was in denial, as David knew he would survive the ordeal and the cancer (with medical and holistic treatment, he followed the course required but also allowed for other therapies as well).

The point is that there are many NDEs where people experience new information - something they could not know, but later learn to be true - proving beyond a shadow of doubt that these events could not by "cryptomnesia" (having been heard or experienced at an earlier date subconsciously) or "hypoxia" (lack of oxygen brain altering event.)

So what are we to make of this?  Does it mean we should all start wearing pyramid hats?

But let's start with that these events can be categorized, they can be studied, and they can offer information about the flipside, or the afterlife.  And that what they say on the flipside is consistent, and its repeated with case after case after case.  There's a reason they aren't studied on the university level, and its because if you can't sell it as a pill, it's just not examined by modern research science. Who would fund such a study? 

A philanthropist?  Problem with philanthropy is simple - if it doesn't benefit the person putting up the money, why put it up?  If they can't find a way to sell it into the future, why bother?

The answer is: if you are a philanthropist, and you care about the future of the planet, then start by helping humans realize that we do reincarnate. We do come back here if we choose to do so - and that it makes sense to leave behind a planet with fresh air, fresh water, fresh food - not only for our children, but for ourselves.  If and when we choose to return to the planet.

That's a pretty profound rethinking of the problem, wouldn't you say?  

It's not just about finding God - but about finding why we're here on the planet in the first place.

I had an older cousin ask me this question today: 

"Richard, I do not mean this negatively at all, but why are you so obsessed with death and "the after life"? Are you not happy in this life and appreciate all the beautiful things and people here? Just curious."

To which I replied:

Not obsessed my dear. I'm an author and filmmaker. But then you'd know that if you'd read Flipside. There's a film and three best selling books. Will send you a link. 

Your mom (my aunt) told me how your father came to visit her the night he died. She said "he appeared at the end of my bed, young and healthy (which is what people report) and he said "I'm fine and i love you." Then the phone rang, the hospital called to say he died. 

Your brother saw our grandfather after he died. Your brother was downstairs in your basement, in his darkroom working on photos, came out and saw our grandfather in his favorite chair. Startled, your brother stepped back in the darkroom - but he said when he opened the door again, our grandfather was still sitting in the chair, smiling. Your brother ran upstairs. 

My father came to visit me the night he died, put his hand on my shoulder asked "why didn't you tell me your brother had a son?" I told him I felt it wasn't my place to reveal that information, as I'd only heard a rumor that was the case. (It later turned out to be true, so when my brother announced it, I already "knew" it. An example of "new information.") 

Then he told me he was in a "beautiful" place. Called it "indescribably beautiful." That he was with mama and papa, his brother, then named friends who died in WWII that I'd never heard of. "Harry, etc," all confirmed by my mother the next day. Names that I did not know but that both he and she did. 

When I told this to your sister she said "bullshit!" - but its not BS. I'm just reporting what eyewitnesses say about the afterlife. And they say it consistently. 

Is it valuable to know we don't die, that our loved ones wait for us? Its not for everyone. 

But I've had at least one grieving mom who read my book say "thank you for saving my life." Not the kind of review i could ever get in my career in film. But worth aiming for.

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