Friday

Talking to Harry Dean Stanton on the Flipside

"Just open yourself up to the possibility that there might be an afterlife."


Luana on the Flipside (or a mirror in Rockefeller plaza)

This is a post about my pal Luana Anders (who passed away in 1996) and my pal Harry Dean Stanton (who passed a few weeks ago) and my conversation with them via Jennifer Shaffer (JenniferShaffer.com)

First some bonafides; I've known Harry Dean Stanton since I appeared in an episode of "Laverne and Shirley" with him back in the 80's.  I played a pizza delivery guy who whenever he rang the doorbell, was always shy a couple of slices of pizza.  "Hey fur face, where's the rest of our pizza?"  (Shirley's line) And I'd make up some story "Well, I was on my way here, and suddenly I saw this fire in a building, and I set the pizza down, and went over to the building and caught this baby that fell out of window... but when I got back to your pizza, a few slices were missing."  

All the while, wiping pizza crumbs out of my beard.

Charles Grodin got me the part, it was his idea, he called his pal Penny Marshall and she brought me in to do an episode.  I filmed the bit on the same night that Harry Dean Stanton was performing - singing songs actually, and later, when I ran into Penny she said "Oh, I forgot. We had to cut you. Harry's song went long." (Some years later we shared the "millennium cruise" aboard Bob Shaye's yacht - and I played piano while Penny sang. So there was a circle to that story too.)

But in Harry Dean's case, that circle closed yesterday in a cafe in Manhattan Beach.


Wine and Spirits anyone? (Jennifer's name for a cool talk show)

It's where I meet up with Jennifer Shaffer to talk about the flipside, and when we're there together, we sometimes "invite" folks to come and chat with us "if they're available."  It's a strange set up - we have a small knit group of folks we normally speak with, and our class cheer leader is Luana Anders, my pal who passed away some 20 years ago, who inspired this journey into the Flipside, and has been appearing to me and in my books since then.

She was very tight with Harry Dean Stanton.


Harry Dean Stanton "Everyone's favorite character actor"

How tight?  Well, I did not know this when she was on the planet, but a mutual friend told me about a trip he took with Luana and Harry Dean up to the Monterey Pop festival in 1967.  The film played at the Aero theater in Santa Monica recently, and I went to see it just to experience what they'd experienced - but I don't recall mentioning any of that to Jennifer.  Either way, as I'm about to report; she wasn't aware of it.

So yesterday we asked Luana to stop by.  I said "Lu, our mutual friend Harry passed away recently, I wondered if we might chat with him?"

Jennifer said "He's sitting next to her."


Harry with a close pal.

Now, allow me to pause for a moment - I know how weird this sounds.  But I can tell you that I've verified many of our sessions.  I've heard things from Luana (and others - I've filmed about 30) that I did not know (so it can't be cryptomnesia, something I read, Jennifer read, heard or was told me) but later proved to be true. (It happens in "Hacking the Afterlife" with Jennifer.)


This has happened numerous times, and the details she gives me are verifiable.  They're usually private - so I don't normally talk about this kind of thing in public.  (If Harry had children or a family, I'd share it with them privately. I've shared many details from our sessions with family members, but in this case Harry was a solo trapeze artist.)


I knew and got to hang out with Harry over the years as well.  

We jammed at a party one night - playing guitars, him crooning his Spanish repertoire - Harry knew them all.  We also spent a night drinking at Dan Tana's with Dabney Coleman at their booth. I mentioned seeing Harry at Dan Tana's to Jennifer, and Harry said "Until four a.m." (which was accurate.) We drank until the wee hours, smoking cigarettes outside; Harry was always friendly to me because of the Luana connection - but he firmly did not believe in an afterlife.  He spoke of that disbelief often.

He was kind of famous for talking about it - this was the only path and journey, and after that, nothing. (As the director of his most recent film Lucky points out: "He was deeply spiritual person who was 100% certain that there was no God and there was only a void and we were all going to disappear into nothing and no one was in charge," Lynch says. "He was deeply committed to that worldview.")

His film "Lucky" goes into it in detail, although I haven't seen it yet, I'm sure he gets a lick or two in there about this being the only go-round on the merry-go-round.

That is, until I spoke to him yesterday. On the Flipside.


HDS - Entertainment Weekly

Jennifer did not know who he was, did not know who I was referring to, and I carefully avoided saying his full name or credits or how they knew each other.  But I suspected that it might have been "unusual" or "difficult" for Harry to accept the fact that there IS an afterlife, and it would likely have given him some pause.

It did.

(I filmed this event, it will be a chapter in my next book, but in essence this is how Luana and Harry described the process via Jennifer.)
Luana Anders in the 1960's.
About a week prior to his passing, Harry said, Luana started appearing at his bedside.  He said she was wearing her hippie outfit - specifically the one that she was wearing when they drove up to Monterey in 1967.  

Harry said "I thought I was hallucinating."  He said that he recognized her, but assumed it was a trick of the brain to have her appear in this memory.



I asked Luana what happened next.  

She helped him remember the drive to Monterey.  (Jennifer at first said "Santa Barbara" and I said "I think it was further north.")  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."

I said "I'm in touch with the other friend in the car - "Fred" - he's still on the planet, just to be clear, when you were speaking to him while fixing the flat tire..." Harry interrupted "I was talking to his higher self."  (It's a term I often use to describe the energy that is always "back home" in the afterlife.) 

(According to the thousands of cases done by Michael Newton of people under deep hypnosis (7000 over 30 years, as detailed in "Flipside") people claim we bring about a third of our energy here, and the rest is "always back there.")  

So when Harry saw his pal "Fred" helping him with the tire, he realized he was talking to the "higher self" version of his friend.

He added "And the higher self version is much less uptight than he is down on the planet."  

Jennifer didn't know that - could not know that - but I know that.  This "Fred" fellow is famously taciturn, doesn't speak unless questioned, he's described by all who know and love him as a "doesn't speak until spoken to" kind of guy.  So for Harry (through Jennifer) to describe him that way was precisely as I know him.  And it made me laugh.

He said ""Fred" is heartbroken, you need to let him know I'm okay."

I said "What have you been doing since you arrived back there?"  He said "Seeing friends. Thousands of friends.  You can tell my ex that I saw our child who passed away."  I said "Who is that?"  He said "Look it up - we had a child in 1962 (Jennifer said "the date 1962 comes to mind" - so don't know if it happened then, or she was born in 1962, or some other connection to that date) and that child passed away.  Let her know that I'm with that child."  

I said "Harry, I have no way to access her."  He said "Google it."  

So I will.  (People don't lose their syntax or personality when they get to the flipside.  They're not gone. They're just not here.)

I asked "Is there anything you want me to share with people, your friends, fans, or just anyone?" He said:

"Tell them there is an afterlife.  Tell them to believe in an afterlife."

I laughed.  I said "Harry you were famous for claiming there isn't one. Who is going to believe me when I say "Harry Dean said "You should believe in the afterlife?"

He said "My point is that you spend so much time worrying about whether there is one or not, if you just open yourself up to the possibility, then you won't spend so much time, like I did, on that hamster wheel worrying about whether there is one or not."

I said "So how did you come to believe there wasn't one?"

He said "Too many of my friends died. That was painful. It was a way that I could wall off the pain. Just easier to believe it didn't exist."

I thanked him for the point.  "Believe in the afterlife" - not because there is or isn't one - but the act of opening yourself up to the possibility there might be one, takes the onus and pressure off the wasted energy worrying about it. (to paraphrase Harry.)


Old pals, Jack and HDS (and Luana)
(I didn't mention Harry's other friends, that we eventually spoke of, as I didn't want to inject bias into my questions to Jennifer about Harry.  But later, he had some wry comments about Marlon and Jack which I'll include in the chapter.) 

I will be transcribing the session verbatim.  It was thrilling for me since Jennifer didn't know anything about this trip.  I didn't know anything about the trip either until a few months ago, when the third fellow in the car told me about it.

I said "Harry, show Jennifer where you were going in Monterey.  What did you guys do up there?'

She said "He's showing me big screens and people sitting around.  Luana said it was a 'free love' event. (We had not discussed a year or time when this event happened.)  I said "What's happening on the screens, what are people doing?"  Jennifer said "It's like a concert of some kind, listening to music."  I said "Harry, show her who is performing at this concert."  Jennifer looked into the deep distance and said... "Prince?"  


Did not play Monterey.



I chuckled.  I said, "Okay, you can see a guy playing a guitar who could be Prince. Look more carefully. Is that Prince?"  



After a long pause she said "Is it Jimi Hendrix?"  

A chill came over me as she said it.  This of course, was the famous concert where Jimi lit his guitar and the world on fire.  I spoke to the third person in the car yesterday and he confirmed that they did see Hendrix, and no, they did not have a flat tire that he could remember. Jennifer said she saw Harry and Luana smoking pot together, getting high, but this third fellow said he's never touched the herb, but couldn't rule out they may have been getting stoned.


Did play at Monterey

At some point, my friend Bill Paxton showed up in this discussion.  (Bill was an old friend, he's shown up a whole bunch of times, including when I'm interviewing other mediums, and his visits will be included in the next book).  Bill did a number of "we're not worthy" bows towards Harry, as he was and remains a big fan.  


Harry Dean and Billy P. in "Big Love."

But then, Bill knew both Luana and Harry, so it's not out of the ordinary that the three of them would be hanging out.  Bill joked "Harry's the new guy here, so Harry's gotta sit at the end of the row in this crew." (I'm paraphrasing, but in typical Bill fashion, made light of what we were doing.)  Harry also made a number of jokes, bad puns, and when I have the time to transcribe, will share them as well.
Bill Paxton directing

If you've never come across my page, welcome.  And a warning:

I am reporting what I filmed verbatim.  Jennifer works with law enforcement agencies nationwide on missing person cases. We've filmed other sessions where she's told me things about friends of mine (information from them on the other side to their loved ones over here) that turned out to be accurate, true, and not what I (or Jennifer) knew or could know. Verifiable details.

I've been cataloging what people say about the afterlife for about a decade now - I've examined the work of Michael Newton (7000 cases over 30 years), Dr. Helen Wambach (2000 cases a decade earlier), and filmed over 40 between life sessions.  (I've done 5 myself, four with Scott De Tamble (lightbetweenlives.com)  

I've interviewed scientists about consciousness and near death events, and have had a number of near death experiencers do between life sessions to gather further information.  I have worked with a number of mediums, including Jennifer, to access "new information" from people no longer on the planet. 

All of this is cataloged in my books "Flipside" "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" volume one and volume two and "Hacking the Afterlife."  I'm currently crowd funding my next book "The Afterlife Expert."

I offer this information merely as a reporter (I'm a filmmaker, have written and/or directed eight theatrical feature films, some documentaries, and been a journalist for a number of magazines).  

I'm not trying to alter, adjust, change anyone's beliefs, or reroute their journey or path in any way.  I've found that the people who are drawn to this research come because of some reason only they know.  It may be part of their path or journey, or they're trying to understand someone else's path or journey. This research is not for everyone, nor should it be.  Not everyone needs to know "what happens at the end of the novel" and it's infinitely more fun to not know the ending to the play when you're in the play.  But for whatever reason, it's been my passion for the past decade.

 Harry Dean was a friend, and remains one to this day.  While he had many more famous friends than me, our mutual pal Luana, one of his nearest and dearest friends was there to greet him on the flipside (along with others) and she orchestrated this session between me, Harry and Jennifer.  I know what it's like to hear and see Luana (and have visited her a number of times "over there" and the information is consistent and revelatory) know what its like to see her "over there" (appears younger than when I met her, but the same persona, sense of humor and deep insight.)



God rest ye merry gentlemen.  

It took me a few minutes after he said this outrageous thing "just believe in the afterlife" -- but now I feel I understand what Harry is saying: 

"Just allow that there might be an afterlife.  Even if you don't believe it, open yourself up to the possibility that it might be true." As if allowing ourselves to be "open to other possibilities" helps us navigate life on the planet. As if allowing that there's more to this journey than we can comprehend takes some of the stress out of experiencing it.  Good point Harry.  Thank you.

And finally, I'll end with a Harry quote from when he was still on the planet: "Heisenberg, Max Plank and Einstein, they all agreed that science could not solve the mystery of the universe." Harry Dean Stanton

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