The Flipside of Father's Day and Bruce Springsteen

Happy father's day.

RC Martini chillin' during WWII

If you're like me, then your pop is no longer on the planet.  Maybe you're thinking of him, maybe you're thinking about how you miss him, or thinking about how you don't miss him.

If you've never visited this blog before, you'll know I'm not about to throw shade, or disrespect to anyone - everyone has their own path and journey on the planet, but because it's father's day - we reflect on our own journey in the shadow of our father's. So you could say that I'd like to talk about Bruce's dad, Doug Springsteen - but really I'm referring to all dads by extension of Bruce's dad.

Bruce talks about this trip with his dad in his book. Two smilin' NJ guys.

If you're a fan of "Flipside: A Tourist's Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife" or "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" or "Hacking the Afterlife" what I'm about to say isn't new to you.

But it will be to Bruce.

Reading his autobiography "Born to Run" this paragraph jumped out at me:

"One night I had a dream. I'm onstage in full flight, the night is burning and my dad, long dead, sits quietly in an aisle seat in the audience. Then... I'm kneeling next to him in the aisle, and for a moment, we both watch the man on fire onstage. I touch his forearm and say to my dad, who for so many years sat paralyzed by depression, "Look, Dad, look... that guy onstage... that's you... that's how I see you." (pg 414 "Born to Run" Simon and Schuster)

Now I know Bruce doesn't believe in an afterlife - I know it because earlier in the book he took the time, while talking about his life, he added in parenthesese to a comment he was making about "life" - "there is only one."

I think that's funny when people opine that to be the case.  "Based on what evidence?" I'd like to ask.  I mean, sure, we all think that people die when they cease breathing on the planet.  Doctor's declare people dead all the time. But the sun goes away ever night, and we don't declare it dead.  Or that it's "reincarnating every day."

I've been documenting cases for the past ten years where people either have a near death experience (they die, then come back) or they remember a previous lifetime while under deep hypnosis (based on Michael Newton's 7000 cases over 30 years, or New Jersey native Dr. Helen Wambach's 2000 cases done a decade prior)- all of these people say the same thing while under hypnosis - that we don't die, that we can't die - that we "go home" and then decide with advice of loved ones and guides plan our next lifetime.

Another famous dad: Basil Jagger. He reminded me of Stan Laurel,just as sweet and fun..
and his kid ain't bad either.

There are hundreds of thousands of clinical cases of "near death experiences" - many books on the topic, and I've interviewed a number of near death experiencers. And they are all convinced, all of them - that there is life after death.  Why is that?

It's a bit like talking about what it's like to jump in a cold pool of water. If you haven't done it before, you can talk about it - sing about, tell stories about it - but if you're never done it before, then you're bound to get it wrong.  If you've spent your whole life outside of pools, maybe even afraid of the water, saying "hey jumping in the pool is great, it's liquidy, and every piece of skin enjoys it" - it's meaningless to someone who's never been in a pool. 

Doug Springsteen on the Jersey Shore. (from pinterest)

 So let's go in the pool, shall we?

This isn't my belief, opinion or philosophy. It's just based on the data.

If you take the time to read Newton ("Journey of Souls") examine the science (Dr. Greyson at UVA, Dr. Tucker's books about reincarnation) Gary Schwartz PhD, Mario Beuaregard PhD, Dr. Eben Alexander - Dr. Sam Parnia's epic study over ten years "the Aware project" etc, etc, etc - you'll find bona fide doctors - psychiatrists, scientists talking about how consciousness doesn't die, it lives on. (Or appears to)

I'll prove it to you.

Bruce says in his book he had a long a tempestuous relationship with his dad.  As I wrote to a friend today who was talking about his "deadbeat dad" who had abandoned the family: 

"For what it's worth; I've been filming people under deep hypnosis for a decade. ("Flipside") what they say about the journey is consistent. It can be disconcerting to hear, as I've had an earful. But I try to report what they say without opinion or prejudice. I've filmed 40 sessions (5 of my own) examined the work of Michael Newton (7000 cases) and Dr Helen Wambach (2000 cases). What they say consistently is that "we choose our parents for specific reasons." That the choice is made with "help and guidance from our guides and teachers." That when we ask "why?" 

The answer is often "so you could become who you are." (A better person, more compassionate human, or perhaps an artist who uses pain to help others.) This is not a belief, philosophy, or opinion on my part. I'm just reporting verbatim. So if this is true - I would argue - that you chose well. Your difficult choice has made you a better human, a better father. Happy dad's day."

The same applies to Bruce. If he examines his art, his work, his life, he's lived a lot of it in reply to his father. After all, he was only living with his father until he 17, the rest of his life his father was elsewhere - so for 40 some odd years, he had his own world to inhabit, and yet when you read his book, you can see how much his father had an influence on him.
Bruce reading with his pop. (fansite)

First some bonafides. I've been to about a dozen shows, starting with a bar next to Fenway, then in Cambridge, Charlie's, Harvard Square opening for Bonnie Raitt, Boston Garden, then a number of times in L.A. - I've met Bruce, twice. Once was backstage at Charlie's in Boston. I was brought there by an old friend of his Donna Stearns (she's from Deal, spent time at his place in Freehold when he was young, she grew up to marry the Allman Bros' Dickey Betts whom she met at the Stone Pony after an AA meeting.)

She took me to see Bruce twice - once after "Wild Innocent and E street" came out - his name was misspelled on the Boston marquee - "Springstein" - and she spoke to him after the show. Then months later, at Charlies benefit (where Jon Landau wrote his famous review for the Phoenix "I have seen the future or rock and roll and its name is Bruce") she took me backstage to meet him.

(An aside here: I just became aware of Donna having legal troubles in Fl. I wish I could help. I knew her before both parents died in a car accident, which led to her alcohol abuse - I knew her in college - she's a sweetheart, and struggled with alcohol her whole life. I've sent her cards over the years, tried to reach out to her - perhaps this page will find her - if so, Donna! Reach out. This research can help you as well.  "There is no act that we can't overcome.")

The book, like Bruce, is deep and rich.

I know I met Bruce backstage with Donna at Charlie's because he was complaining that someone had stolen his notebook with all his songs in it.  (Not me!)

Some years later, I met Bruce backstage at Sting's show at the Wiltern (I was covering it for Variety) and I reminded him of Donna - which he said "I don't know who that is." (His book says there were "lots of teen girl" who hung out at his house - whatever - I know what happened when I met him, so I found it a bit odd.) In response looking for something to say other than "when I went to school in Rome we had only your 3 albums, and we danced to them every night for a year" I said - "whatever happened to David Sancious?  He said "Ask him, you're leaning over his shoulder."

I realized he was sitting with the great keyboard artist David Sancious, who left his band when it hit big. D'oh.  End of conversation.

I had more fun conversations with other E street members:  Clarence Clemons at a party in Long Island - we had a mutual pal Lilia Chacon, (Chicago Fox News reporter) and Danny Federici who sat in with our band (played my Casio like it was a Hammond!) - so I do have bonafides when it comes to Bruce.  

In terms of this research, I have bonfides as well - the ex-wife of one of his band members is a good friend, did a between life session after losing her mom, and she appears in my film "Flipside" and the book as well - remembering a lifetime where she knew the alpha and omega. Talk about name dropping! Not only is she tight with everyone in the band, (name rhymes with Miss) she clearly remembered a lifetime where she knew the "real Boss."

Okay, enough about me.

Bruce's dad showed up to let him know he was still alive.  Showed up to him in a "dream" to let him know that he's okay.  How do I know that it was his dad, still alive, reaching out to his son from the Flipside, and not some figment of his imagination?  

Doug from a fan page.

 "One night I had a dream. I'm onstage in full flight, the night is burning and my dad, long dead, sits quietly in an aisle seat in the audience. Then... I'm kneeling next to him in the aisle, and for a moment, we both watch the man on fire onstage. I touch his forearm and say to my dad, who for so many years sat paralyzed by depression, "Look, Dad, look... that guy onstage... that's you... that's how I see you." (pg 414 "Born to Run" Simon and Schuster)

First of all - he saw his dad in the audience. Sitting on the aisle. 

How old did he look in the dream? Old? Or younger? Well it has to be at least a little bit younger, because he wouldn't have seen him sitting upright in a chair if it was based on the last time he saw him - just prior to his passing. So his dad somehow was able to get into the show and was sitting in the aisle.

People would argue "he imagined him there at the show."  But then I would ask "what was he wearing?" and Bruce might describe some outfit that his dad felt comfortable wearing. Perhaps he'd seen him in it before. But whatever it was, it was a "normal" set of clothes - as otherwise, he'd have mentioned them.

 Sometimes people remember precisely what the other person in the dream was wearing - it's usually it's some relatively "normal" version of how they looked on the planet.

But not always.

Evelyn Salt (archive pic)

While working on the film "Salt" I had an NYPD detective pull me aside after hearing me talk about this research on set, and he said "Can I talk to you? I think my house is possessed."  

I asked him why he thought that. He said his 8 year old daughter "sees a ghost."  I asked him who the ghost might be - someone he knew? He said "Well, I asked her about it, and she said "Daddy, he dresses like you." (an NYPD uniform.)  So he wracked his memory and pulled out a picture of his former partner, an African American policeman who died 10 years earlier.

And she said "That's him, but he looks younger now. He's got hair and he's thinner."  The Detective said to me "If it's my old partner who died 10 years ago, how does he show up to my 8 year old daughter thinner, and with hair?"  

And I said, "Well, time over there isn't like time over here. People tend to appear as people remembered them, because it makes it easier for them to get the message. And people report that they appear to people over here, as they'd like to be seen."

I said to the Detective "So did you like this guy?"  The cop looked at me and said "I loved him."  I said "So is it a bad thing that the guy you loved is hanging around your house keeping an eye on you and your 8 year old daughter?"

He said; "Not when you put it that way."  

Mom and Dad, Venice. Took me awhile to find the upside down sign.

He then brought up the fact that his daughter had suddenly been talking about reincarnation - how one day she claimed that she was "born in Australia and died there." He wanted to know if that was related to the ghost thing. 

I asked him if he was watching a tv show about reincarnation or about Australia.  He said he didn't own a TV.

I said "Well, the best way to find out the answer is to ask her. Why don't you bring home a map of Australia and see what she says?" The next day I returned to the set of "Salt" and he was waiting for me. He took me into a back room, locked the door and said "I did what you asked. I brought home a map of Australia and unfolded it in front of her.  I asked "So where were you from?"  

He said she pointed to Perth (a place he'd never heard of) and she described a lifetime there where she was a father and that the family was stuck in a terrible drought, and they all died from starvation."  He said his daughter said it as if she'd been waiting 8 years to tell him the story, and then she bursts into tears.

As I said to the NYPD Detective - "we're not used to not knowing the answers to things for our kids - but clearly she knew more about these events than you did."  Needless to say he locked the door to our conversation for a reason - it's something he could not share with anyone, as his department would "think he was nuts."

  But back to Bruce's "dream" of seeing his dad in the audience... then there's a quantum shift in the dream...

He's talking to his dad in the audience, and then refers to himself on stage. How did you get into the audience with him while you were still on stage?  How could you be in two places at the same time?  

We assume that was some kind of fantastical part of the dream - but I can point to numerous cases where that's a possibility, where people report seeing not only their "higher selves"  while under hypnosis, but people who are "still on the planet' during a near death event.

  People claim in this research that when we incarnate, we only bring about a third of our energy to this lifetime. When asked why - people say "if I brought any more I'd blow the circuits."  When asked where the other two thirds of their energy is they say "it's back home. It's always home.  It's always accessible."

This is why when people have a near death experience they sometimes see people who are not dead - but they usually see them in a way to indicates a more etheric version of them. (David Bennett's book "Voyage of Purpose" describes him seeing a friend back home during his near death experience who is still alive - then some years later, after his friend died, he saw him back home during a deep hypnosis session) 

(For those curious about "between life hypnosis, in LA, I recommend Scott De Tamble of the Newton Institute - "" if you're curious - I've filmed 35 sessions with him, and he's always successful taking people "back home.")

Bruce experienced "new information" - because he touched his father's arm, only he would know what that felt like - and he simultaneously observed himself on stage performing.  That's not physically possible - unless your consciousness can be in two places at the same time. Which according to this research; it always is.

And it could not be "cryptomnesia" (as materialist science calls these events - either "hypoxia" from a hallucination - which Bruce obviously wasn't having - or something he'd heard or seen somewhere, like in a movie (no film I can think of where a person is in two places at the same time - one with a passed away relative,looking back at himself on Earth). So it can't be cryptomnesia, hypoxia, or synesthesia (the latest claim that the wires of the brain are mixed up) because everything else about the dream was real. 

Touching his dad's arm, having his dad in the aisle, conversing with him, and then gesturing to himself on stage.  And being consciously aware of it to be able to say "Hey dad - see that guy on stage? That's how I think of you!!!"

 Because if he was making it up, imagining it, he never would have created two of himself - there's no basis in human experience to create two of ourselves in a dream - so therefore it must not have been a dream. And I'll bet (who wants to cover this bet for me?) he's never had another dream like it - where there were two of himself in the dream. Ever. 

Further, as I'm fond of pointing out - many folks refer to our lives here as "being on stage." That while two thirds of us are "back home" observing how we're doing on stage - think of it as sitting in the balcony watching yourself below - or even further, imagine it as a marionette and you're responsible for how the strings are moved - where you're literally in two places at the same time; on stage, and in the balcony watching yourself on stage.
Onstage with Walter and Chuck Grodin

I'd also bet Bruce is not aware of this research or information, nor are any of the therapists he's seen in his lifetime, because, well... they just aren't. I've had people say to me "someone should study this in a university setting" and I've had scientists say "well, the big pharma companies fund research so we can sell a pill to fix something" - that's why there are no studies to figure out what the heck is going on with consciousness. If you can't market it, what's the point?

It's contrary to the popular method of psychology. I'm happy to report the Newton Institute  (where they train therapists in between life therapy) reports that they have many psychiatrists and psychologists who are learning this method of therapy,so perhaps that will change.

Can you hear me now?

So Bruce got a chance to be himself standing next to his dad. How very cool is that? But his dad appeared to him to let him know he was okay, to let him know he was "still alive." Not gone. Just not here. 

If I was interviewing Bruce about it, I'd ask him if it was possible to "shift his consciousness to his dad's point of view" - and take a look at the Bruce in the aisle. How do you look to him?  

People often describe a color or light.. or someone different than what they thought they'd see.... but once you "shift your consciousness" to allow for new information to come forward, I'd ask his dad to see if he can't bring other people forward for Bruce to see or say hello to.  After all, this research shows that they're all accessible, because no one dies, they're not gone - they're just not here.

Clarence is accessible, as is Danny.  

And if Bruce wants to talk to his dad, or Clarence, or Danny - he can.  He just has to open himself up to the possibility.

I've been filming people talking to their loved ones for a decade now. And as anyone can tell you, when you hold the hand of your loved one, only you know what that's like. When you look into their eyes, ask them a question and they reply before you get the question out, only you know how real that feels.  It's next to impossible to describe what it's like to be in a pool if you haven't an idea of being in the pool - but when it happens, you come away knowing that you had a conversation with your loved one.  Directly, and through the heart.

There's another passage in the book that Bruce mentioned - and it was at a point when his father was feeling better. He was visiting with Bruce he spoke to him in an open, honest fashion and said in essence; "Money doesn't matter. Fame doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you've opened your heart to other people." I'm paraphrasing, but that in its essence is what I hear over and over and over again in this research.

That we come here to learn lessons in compassion and giving love. And that the difficult journey we choose for ourself is so that we can reach other people with lessons in love and compassion. And I would say that Bruce did an excellent job in choosing just the right kind of dad, just the right kind of environment, so he could continue teaching lessons in love to a planet hungry for it.

Hangin' with my homies in Ladakh

So - that's it for father's day. My gift for the reader is to understand that our dads are always accessible to us - to ask why, or how, or what they were thinking - the answers aren't always hilarious, but sometimes they are - and it's something that we can all access if we take the time to do it.

And one more thing - it's what his wife Patti Scialfi is referring to when she recounts that she had met Bruce as a teenager, but he was "swimming in different lakes" prior to finally realizing they were meant to be together. She was 17 when he first met her, and it took him all those years to realize that she was the love of his life. That she was meant to be by his side. 
Ms. Patti Scialfa Springsteen (publicity page)

People often talk about those kinds of kismet connections - and I'll bet him a HUNDRED BUCKS - (relatively small sum, but worth it, as I can buy some sheet music, or he can send me a free CD) and there's only one way to find out - that Bruce's dulcet toned wife Patti knew from the day she met Bruce that he was the guy she was supposed to be with.  It just took him awhile to figure that out.  But that's for him to ask her:  "Honey, when did you first know that you and I were meant to be together? When was your first conscious thought that "this is the guy?"

I can name a dozen people who either the man or the woman knew "the moment they met" their loved one that they knew they were supposed to be together.  Knew it as in "past tense" - like "I've always known you, and now I'm just running into you in this life." 

Just ask her if I'm right. If I'm not, send me the bill. But if I am, then let me know.

Happy Father's Day Bruce.

Tribute to Michael Newton

Lovely tribute to the author/psychologist Michael Newton.

The raw footage at the beginning, after the introduction by Pete Smith, current President of the Newton Institute (TNI) is from my original interview with him.

Great to hear him speak again.


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