Thursday, December 18, 2008

Breaking news from the Other Side


Anna dreamed she visited a friend who had recently died. He handed her a mobile phone with just two keys, green and red and told her she could call anytime. Nothing simpler – hit green to call, red to disconnect. Anna was delighted to discover that the departed now have speed dial.

It seems that the communications technology of the departed keeps pace with innovations down here. Since the invention of the telephone, phone calls from the dead have been a familiar feature of many dreamers’ nights. One woman got a call from her mother, who had recently passed, in which her mother said, “I can’t talk for long since I just got here. I’ll have more phone privileges later on.” The dead send email and their voices come through on Blackberries and in podcasts in contemporary dreams.

This all helps to facilitate contact since it indulges everyday expectations about how people keep in touch with each other. Back in the Victorian era, contact methods were different. The newspaperman and psychic investigator W.T. Stead, reporting back to his daughter after he died in the wreck of the Titanic, described a communications center on the Other Side where “travelers” were trained in hand-carrying messages to the living, where necessary by focusing their energy in order to produce the clear impression of a face during séances. Stead dictated a wonderful little book, The Blue Island, through a male medium that is one of my favorite sources on the Western afterlife.

By my observation, contact with the departed, especially in dreams, is entirely natural (and would be quite commonplace, if we were more awake to levels of reality beyond the physical) for three reasons. Our dead may still be with us. Our dead come visiting. And in dreams, we go traveling in realms where the dead are at home.

I’m using the word “dead” here the way the Irish do. Our dead are usually alive in our dreams, because indeed they they are still living, "dead" only in the sense that they have left their physical bodies behind (though sometimes they are not aware of that). Interaction with our dead – again, especially in dreams – has been, in all cultures and all times, the principal source for the human belief that consciousness survives death.

Our dead are a constant source of breaking news, whenever we are tuned in. They give us news flashes, ranging from personal health alerts to next year’s headlines. The departed are not trapped by the illusion of linear time. If they have cleared old business and have an interest in helping survivors to do better, they can be very helpful guides in pointing out possible future events, and what we need to do to shape those events for our health and well-being. One of my personal markers that there may be unusually important information in a dream, especially relating to the future, to health, and to life-and-death issues, is the appearance of a departed person I trust, including two beloved black dogs who once shared my life.

There is breaking news from the Other Side that may be even more crucial for a fully-realized life. Through our encounters with our departed over time, we learn about transitions and alternate living situations in the afterlife, the nature of reincarnation, and realities of the soul.

A breakthrough moment on the roads of the afterlife is when a departed person discovers that he or she does not have to retain the same appearance they had when they checked out, which is often a broken and elderly body. Dreamer after dreamer reports the joyful surprise of encountering Mom or Grandpa in the body of a good-looking, energetic young person of about thirty. Such encounters are already an important education in the nature and malleability of one of the subtle bodies, or vehicles of consciousness, that survive physical death.

I asked my friend Wanda Burch, the author of She Who Dreams, who tracks these things as closely as I do, to report on what she has learned through successive visits with her departed parents in their changing living environments on the Other Side. Here is part of the narrative she generously contributed for this piece:

“My dreams of my father and mother's evolution have been entertaining and confirming of a great new life. In my favorite, I visit my parents in their new house. My mom looks younger, wearing smart little outfits from the days when she was dating my dad. She leads me to a beautiful pool that looks like a natural lake lined with stones, with lily pads in the water. I praise the beautiful house, and my mom says that my dad always liked my house and wanted one like mine. ‘But I don't have a house like this,’ I tell her. ‘You will,’ she says smiling. Then my mom drives off in a junky old car like the one they had in my youth. ‘Does she really need a car?’ I ask my dad. He tells me ‘No, but she enjoys it and there’s no harm in it.’

“A few months later, I dreamed my dad was checking in on me to tell me he was moving on. I see a charming farmhouse set among pastures and fields of crops. I know this is one of many residences for my parents. I find them and join them in a car. My father shows me that he now has his own driver and then invites me to come with him inside a lodge where he has been receiving instruction, some of it – he says – involving ‘my things.’ These include early religions, dreaming, and exploration into spiritual matters. He shows me charts of the heavens and points out stars and constellations, giving me lengthy and exciting explanations about the influence of the movements of the heavens on our lives and on our dreaming. I see a jumble of stars which he says he has just discovered. Humans have not been able to see them yet because they are too many light years away; but he is working with someone – I have the feeling this is an astronomer on earth - who will soon develop the technology to see them.

“On the way back to the farm he shows me shops, including book shops filled with new books, not yet written, on wellness and spiritual development. We continue on to the farm where my mother settles into a comfortable routine. I turn and see my father coming toward me with arms wide open, ready to hug me. My father was not a hugger, but he is now. He tells me he is going away for awhile but I can still get in touch with him if it is important. He leaves. My mom, after an initial feeling of panic, settles down and seems fine. She loves her farm and farmhouse and tells me she needs to do some tidying. We say good-bye and I awake seeing her waving to me and smiling.”

Over the years, the number one reason why people have shared dreams with me is that they have had an encounter with a departed friend or loved one that has touched them deeply. The most important thing we can do for each other in this respect is to offer confirmation and validation that these experiences are real - and then to reassure each other about a great truth that often goes unspoken in our counseling rooms and even our churches: healing and resolution and mutual support are possible, across the apparent barrier of death.

So dying definitely need not mean hanging up on those near and dear. It seems an increasing number of people in contemporary society are taking that notion a bit too literally. Funeral homes report a steady increase in the number of clients who are being buried with their cell phones, Blackberries, or Bluetooth earpieces. When Manhattan criminal defense attorney John Jacobs died in 2005, his widow buried him in a Paramus NJ cemetery with his cell phone and continued to pay the monthly phone bill. She had his cell phone number carved on his headstone so others could keep in touch too. According to one television report when she and others call, they get his voicemail, promising to get in touch as soon as possible.

Dream phones offer live conversation, and you don't get a monthly bill.


FURTHER READING
For guidance on this whole theme, including practical techniques for spiritual release and conscious journeying to the departed to explore their realm, please consult the chapter on “Dreaming with the Departed” in my book Conscious Dreaming, Part III of Dreamgates and The Dreamer's Book of the Dead.

8 comments:

octoberlady said...

Just found this blog and love it! Much food for thought. I am still deep in reading "The Secret History of Dreaming" so will have to get back to it when done...

I have met with both my grandmothers in my dreams. My dad's mother, who died at 75, always looks much younger and happier than she ever did in life.

My maternal grandmother died at 26 so I never knew her, but I've been with her, her own mother, and my mother (a mere 4 when my grandmother died) having tea al fresco back at the old family farm (sold before I was born). Sadly, my mother doesn't remember any dreams of her own mother, so I share mine with her.

My maternal grandmother's mother has helped me considerably in finding out family history/ genealogy. She has pointed the way to specific books, microfilms and cemeteries. She actually has helped me not just with her own kin, but with a number of my maternal family lines. (She must be a regular networker on the Other Side!)
I've learned to ask for her guidance before I even start researching! It saves time! (Thank You, great grandma Hazel!)

Robert Moss said...

Thanks so much for sharing your rich experience of your great-grandmother functioning as genealogy guide and networker on the Other Side. A woman from Quebec had a similar experience in one of my workshops. She had been stumped when it came to finding documents on the early history of her family in La Nouvelle France; then (in a certain kind of dream library) she met a maternal ancestor who took her step by step through the family tree with dates and names she was later able to confirm in the provincial archives.

diane said...

My mother died in 2007 aged almost 87 from complications related to end stage Parkinson's Disease. Many months later while I was sleeping it seems that I discovered her sitting in her wheelchair in a nursing home, waiting...waiting...
I called loudly several times to her. Finally, she saw me and asked me where I had been all this time. I realized that she was still stuck in her last stage of her life predicament. As her bright blue eyes stared into mine, I explained to her that it wasn't easy for me to reach her since she was no longer on earth. I told her that she was now not handicaped, that she was free to stand, to walk, to fly...As I spoke, realization was dawning on her face and she began to push herself up out of the chair. No sooner did I say the word, "fly" than we went flying off into the universe. I (as an invisible presence) was priviledged to witness her "arrival" and warm, loving welcome by a host of people. I noticed she was no longer an old, frail woman but instead looked like her young, healthy, beautiful self. She was drawn to an incredibly calm, compassionate man who held her and explained, in answer to her sad questions, that she had chosen to go through the ordeal of her physical disabilities in order to let go of her attachment to the physical plane. Next, she was in a different location with my father (also looking much younger than when he died) who seemed contentedly involved with others in various research projects that it seemed would somehow benefit people on earth at some point. It seemed she had the option to remain there if she chose - but, although worthwhile, the activities didn't particularly appeal to her. Instead, she traveled on to her best friend, Ann - a deeply spiritual person who had died an old lady but looked very youthful here. Anne informed her that now she was free to do whatever she wanted and that most people changed forms at will to suit the purpose at hand or to be recognized. She added, "But actually, we have no consistent forms". At this, there was a bursting of joy and light.

I had not thought that my mother was stuck, but I found that following this amazing and comforting dream, whenever I thought of her, the energy was much lighter.

Robert Moss said...

Diane: Thank you for sharing this moving experience, in which you appear to have acted very effectively in the spirit of Yeats's admonition that "the living have the ability to assist the imaginations of the dead." I was just looking at a report from another dreamer who was horrified to discover that her father was still confined to a wheelchair more than a decade after his death, apparently because he was not aware he could move along. She did not know how to speak to him, within that dream, but I'm hoping she'll be able to play the role of soul-friend that you played for your mother. Funny how it's sometimes a survivor who is called on to play guide on the Other Side, maybe because it's a familiar face, and also because (absent prior conscious experience) it takes some of our departed quite a while to grow the senses required to perceive who and what is available in their new reality.

Naomi said...

My brother-in-law's son committed suicide several years ago. My brother-in-law's sister Norma died of cancer a year before the suicide.

Shortly after the suicide, my brother in law related to me that he "got a phone call" from Norma telling him that "just to let you know Tom is with me and is alright".....

I had several dreams of Tom right after his death. One of him in a classroom and seriously thinking about what he was learning there. I also saw a glimpse of him surrounded by a green forest, vibrant with life the night I heard the news of his passing. I told this dream to my brother-in-law at the funeral service, which helped him with his profound grief.

My brother-in-law asked me if this was real or that he was crazy....

So many people are so conditioned to question sanity when non ordinary reality pops in....or religious people tend to scan that information with a jaundiced eye or call it evil.

Grace said...

I had a vivid dream of sitting at a table having a "serious" discussion with some passed on members of my family and some who are still alive. Everyone had very vivd colors, and I felt very serious, but I remember my dad and uncle (who are "dead") looking a bit jovial. The discussion was about the problem of what to do now that the family is getting smaller as so many members are dying. When I wake up, I realize I am talking with those that have passed on about them being dead, but forgot in the dream that they were!
Yesterday while walking, I have an insight I believe to be real in some sense, that maybe sometimes those who are "dead" also dream of us, in some sense they may "sleep" at times and dream and sometimes we are being dreamed of by them. I haven't gotten phone calls yet, but my mother always says the phone rings at odd hours when something big is going to happen to her. when she answers the phone no one is there or it's only a couple of rings. This has happened since my father's death 2 yrs. ago three times.

Anna said...

Hi Robert,
Im touched that you opened this blog with my dream. As you know this is one of my favourite subjects and while I haven't had that many dreams involving the dead, the ones I have had are precious to me for various reasons. One in partcular comes to mind. My father died when I was just 8 years old. I remember at the time that he was around, I remember I couldn't go to sleep unless I felt him sitting at the end of the bed near my feet waitingfor me to go to sleep, so it's of no surprise that he didn't come to me in sleep, I already know he was there. Then one night a few years ago I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life and I dreamed that dad came to me and wrapped his arms around me and gave me a hug I will never forget. It was full of a warmth and love I can't recall feeling in waking life. He said nothing, but when I woke I was at peace and comforted, and I said quietly, 'I love you too dad.' A message that was simple and straight to the point.
Merry Christmas Robert
Anna

Robert Moss said...

Anna: Your account of your father's warm hug is just lovely. You confirm for us how easy and natural it can be to offer mutual support and continuing love across the boundary of physical death. It is so healing for people to awaken to this. Merry Christmas and Joyous Solstice to you!