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.
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 texts and their voices come through in podcasts in contemporary dreams.
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.
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.
using the word “dead” here the way the Irish do. Our dead are usually alive in
our dreams, because indeed 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.
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 beloved dogs who once shared my life.
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.
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.
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:
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.’
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.
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.”
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.
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. 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. When she and others called, they got his
voicemail, promising to get in touch as soon as possible. Dream phones offer
live conversation, and you don't get a monthly bill.