Life after life: A clairvoyant’s insight.

To my readers:
Lately, it seems that I have come across many people who are searching for an understanding of what happens after this physical life is over. Either their life has led them to care for someone in the last stages of this life, or they have just suffered a loss, and have inklings of an afterlife.

For me these question arrived very early, as my sister Alisa passed on at the age of 14. She was completely confident, having apparently been born clairvoyant, that she had work to do in other realms. Clairaudient would probably describe her better. When asked how she knew, Alisa would simply say that the angels told her.

Alisa was just 18 months older than I, but I was sure she knew everything. Her imaginary friend she called “Radio”, played along side us everywhere. She could hear and speak with Radio but neither of us could see him. I came to understand that Radio knew more than even Alisa did. At some point she didn’t want to talk about him anymore. In seventh grade, she was hospitalized with a brain tumor and came home after Christmas, to live out her short life in her bedroom next to mine.

Alisa was weakened and thin after the operation, and the blue cobalt marks on her bald head stood out in an other-worldly contrast to her alabaster white skin. It was as if she were becoming translucent. At first she could walk about, and she would come in to my bedroom and explain my dreams and nightmares to me. Once she made it downstairs in the middle of the night, where my father was fitfully sleeping, to comfort him with a “message from the angel”. As she dwindled, she struggled with physical pain at night. But still, in the morning she awoke with words of encouragement for all of us. I spent many hours by her bedside, listening to her speak quietly, with absolute certainty, about the angelic world that she was beginning to call home. As she passed, I knew it, and ran into her room, where she lay, utterly still, on her rumpled white bedsheets; frail, translucent, finally pain-free. Though she had explained a lot already, the unanswered questions filled the room like tears.

I was just turning 13. My Odyssey began. I needed to know where she really, really was; why she had to go; how it was possible to still feel her comfortingly near. What was this living, invisible world where Radio and her angel friends, and now, she too lived? As the spring arrived, I rode my bicycle to the nearest church; the one where the funeral had been held, even though we were not a church-going family. Reverend Kenseth sat down with me in the pews to try to answer my myriad questions. But it was not easy. His words meant very little to me. I joined his youth group, “The Pilgrim Fellowship”, where we were taken to witness the services of every church and synagog in the area. The Quaker service was closest to my idea of sacred. With my parents blessing, I started a weekly bicycle pilgrimage to the Friends Meeting, 13 miles away.

But nothing really got to the heart of the matter until I went to my family doctor in New York City. Dr. Franz Winkler saw completely through the questions I brought him. He spoke the same language as Alisa had spoken; about angels and the “Higher World”. He gave me some mantric verses to read and suggested I look through my mother’s library.

My mother had taught French in the Garden City Waldorf School, where Alisa and I, and my younger sister, Helen, had gone for many years. Her library was full of literature that had been given to her by the faculty, to help her understand her job. Titles like “Discussions with Teachers”, “Manifestations of Karma, volumes 1 through 7”, none of which meant anything to me. But one struck my eye; “Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Its Attainment”. I opened it to the words:

“There slumber in every human being faculties by means of which he can acquire for himself a knowledge of higher worlds. Mystics, Gnostics, Theosophists—all speak of a world of soul and spirit which for them is just as real as the world we see with our physical eyes and touch with our physical hands. At every moment the listener may say to himself: that, of which they speak, I too can learn, if I develop within myself certain powers which today still slumber within me. There remains only one question—how to set to work to develop such faculties.”

Here was someone who really knew something. I was 15, and this was going to be quite a journey.

Not too many weeks later, I found this clairvoyant‘s account of the journey of the soul after death. (You can read an excerpt of The Soul in The Soul World After Death, here.) Lengthy and detailed almost to a fault, it promised to satisfy my deep need to know. I swam through its density, buoyed by a sense of familiarity with the concepts. I was elated, struck with a feeling of completion and final comfort. It spoke of letting go of the bonds that tie us to the physical body. It spoke of the soul’s release from the habits and inclinations that have no where to go when the body can no longer carry them. It made me realize that Alisa had done a lot of the work of passing on and letting go while she was still here.

But she was still here for a while. She stood quietly in the background as a guiding light and helped me grow into my early twenties.

As I have grown through many deaths of people I have know intimately throughout my life, I have learned to see the latter parts of their lives as ascending paths to the higher worlds. The ascension of the essential and eternal, contrasted greatly with the ragged return of the spent physical being to the natural world. The senility of my grandmother, the sudden death of my first child, the slow decline of my father, the physical disintegration of my mother, the rapid decline of my closest aunt, the translucent passage of my childhood nurse and her saintly husband, all tell different stories. But the theme which runs through each of them is that of ascension, of the crucial but ephemeral nature of the physical, and of the unstoppable triumph of each of their spirits.
Letting go of the emphasis on the material world is something we can do consciously throughout our lives, or dramatically after death. Some of us have a period of struggle that seems inhumane, though it is probably better to get the necessary job done here than in a disembodied state. By experiencing the love, gleaning the wisdom and developing the strength that we can only truly experience through this embodied life, we can hope to enter into the next with little fanfare . Every one of these souls went through a process of letting go and soaring onwards.

Have courage. It was never meant to be easy.


6 thoughts on “Life after life: A clairvoyant’s insight.

  1. foolishsage42

    Beautiful. Thanks so much for writing. I am sorry for you that you had to experience such close loss at such a young age, and I am sure see the suffering of your parents. And sorry for your other losses, but here you are, learning and teaching from it. You are a wise soul! The last line is my favorite!

  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    without sounding like a gushing groupie,
    I enjoyed your thoughts on this post have shared a different perceptive to me…
    I am most appreciative ….I will follow the link and no doubt have to find the book it came from….
    the next step after this life here has always fascinated me….for as long as I have memories it seems
    being a little different I look for answers to questions I have yet to formulate into full thoughts
    Thank you for sharing such a powerful energy…
    my condolences of your losses…I cannot say I understand for I have not had the experiences you have….know I empathize though….
    I will be back to wander more if you don’t mind….
    Take Care…You Matter…

    1. Landscaping the Sacred Post author

      Thank you for your kind comment. I certainly hope you find the same kind of solace in the conviction that life doesn’t end here. Though your condolences are very considerate, I have long since made peace with the notion of death. Yes, I miss these loved ones, but I see their passing as a stage in the cycle of their ongoing spiritual growth. I only hope that I will shed this world when the time comes, and pass into the next without the cumbersome burden of baggage.

  3. Tina Bodtke Carlson

    Tom, I came upon this link from Penny’s facebook page. She has had far too many losses lately! You have written so movingly on a topic that touches us all at some point in our lives, and the eternal questions that I think everyone who is truly human grapples with sooner or later. Obviously, you began grappling at an earlier age than many other people do. I applaud your search, although I realize, and am sorry, there was sadness and suffering that spurred the beginnings of that journey. In my own life, there have been losses as well—of course! And the older one gets, the more they occur. I suppose that the loss of my parents was the most dramatic, as it can be for many people. It is a hard milestone, but an inevitable one, and in a bigger sense, a necessary one. However. I have experienced, before and during these losses (and others) something incredible that helps me cope with it all. I’m not sure exactly WHAT it is, but it is THERE. I have been aware of some kind of silent, inner “work” going on as a person prepares to leave this life. It is apparent in demeanor, gestures, and words. And it is paired with something I can only describe as a feeling of some kind of “bathing”—is it a bathing of Love? Of Light? Of the Infinite? Of God? I can’t say. But the air is palpable with it. It is, in a word, something sacred and incredible. And the general message –very simplified–seems to be that “everything will be all right”. I don’t know if this is anything like what you yourself have experienced, but I thought I would share it with you. At the moment of death, it is so incredible that the essence of a person, the thing that animated his or her body and face VISIBLY flies away. Where it goes…..who can truly say, who hasn’t actually made that journey? But from the very feeling in the air, I would say it is to a good place. The best place. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your Philosophy” Will Shakespeare got it right, I think! Peace! Hope all is well with you!

    1. Landscaping the Sacred Post author

      Hi Tina. Good to hear from you! Thank you for the thoughtful comment. Penny has gone through a lot. I feel that strength comes to us from the departed souls themselves. I know that my journey was not self motivated, but truly inspired by my sister herself, as is my sense of devotion to things “undrempt of in our Philosophy”. Be well. Tom


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