Sometimes we find answers to difficult questions that pop up in our lives by looking at the world a little differently. And, some people are better at doing this than others, as Manny learned while he worked on a feature story for his TV station's news department.
Excerpt #5 from "A TIME TO..."
Manny began his interview with a simple throwaway question just to get Janice comfortable and talking, “What does it mean to be a psychic?”
“Ha, ha, ha, ha.... oh, I’m sor... ha, ha, ha,” Janice laughed uncontrollably for half a minute.
Manny and his camera operator turned to look at each other with puzzled expressions.
“You...you don’t understand. I know what you meant. You want me to tell you how I can see the future, talk to the dead and know where to find hidden treasure. But, for some reason I took your question literally and it struck me funny because being a psychic means spending many of my waking hours in a dream state...living with one foot in the physical world, bound by the laws of physics, and another foot in a world where space, time and things have no intrinsic meaning...a world where images and sounds are produced from activities in the physical world. So, it’s really a funny experience,” Janice explained. “...In a strange, rewarding, scary, mysterious way.”
This scene from Al’s life then paused, and as it did, Al wondered if the flashbacks of his life that began with him as a seven-year-old and continued on to this Manny interview with Janice were a type of psychic experience. Her description of what psychics experienced reminded Al of what he felt now as the images of his life filled his consciousness, without regard to space and time. But he was no psychic, so the images cascading before him had to be something else. With that thought, hanging like a rain cloud about to burst, the scene with Manny and Janice resumed.
“Yes, tell me about your psychic powers and what you’ve done with them,” Manny said to get the interview back on track.
“Some people can forecast the weather by interpreting nature’s signals, others do it by measuring indicators with scientific instruments. I forecast events, retrieve past events, solve mysteries and speak with the dead by tuning in to the spirit world. We are all spiritual beings, but only a few can live in that extra dimensional world while they are still living in this one. Most people intuitively know there’s more to life than just this physical world. Religions are testaments to that. But actually living in the spiritual world, experiencing its unfamiliar dimensions, is something else. Don’t ask me how I do it because I don’t know. You’d get the same answer from great artists and athletes, if asked how they can perform as they do.”
“You said you tune into the spirit world, but you can’t say how?” Manny said to confirm what he had just heard from Janice.
“I focus my thoughts on a person, place, event or thing – then somehow I ‘see’ images and hear conversations in my mind that relate to them. I don’t know where they come from or how I can do this. It mystifies even me. It’s like I’m dreaming,”
“What is the most memorable psychic experience you’ve had?”
“The one that was more amazing than all the others? The one that almost left me stranded in the spirit world? The one in which I sat down for dinner with all my ancestors and we talked about how their views of the physical world have changed since they left it?”
“Yes, tell me about that one,” Manny said with more skepticism than anticipation.
“A few years ago, I was having a rough period in my life. I was very sad...depressed really. Nothing was going right. Everything I did, the choices I made, turned out to be the wrong ones, adding to my problems. Ironic, I know...a psychic making wrong choices. At the same time my parents passed away within months of each other...one from a freak accident, the other from a broken heart. To make matters worse, people who I thought were my friends, really weren’t. So to set the record straight psychics, at least this one, doesn’t ‘see’ everything. People and situations can and do fool me. But my psychic abilities rescued me from myself.”
“I was sitting in my home, holding a family heirloom, a brass goblet, that has been passed down from generation to generation for about five hundred years. As I ran my fingers along its side from top to bottom a vision of a dinner party at on old English inn not only appeared in my mind, as other visions have done before and since. But, this time I was actually in my vision. It was as if I were transported to mid-evil England. Then, it really got strange. My mother and father greeted me and began introducing me to everyone else at the long table that seated at least one hundred.”
“There were grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins – going back before America was even discovered...before the ‘Old World’ knew it was old. Everyone was dressed in the clothes they wore when they were living in the physical world, so it was like viewing five hundred years of fashion. But the years didn’t separate them socially. They all knew everything about life on earth before and after their physical deaths. When the family’s patriarch, the one who began the tradition of passing the goblet, spoke to me, he seemed to know everything about my life, including my current troubles.”
“‘Your parents haven’t stopped talking about you since they arrived. All of us here, your family, have witnessed your recent trials and wanted to do something to support you,’ he told me.”
“’’Your father and I suggested that we all get together like this to create a lot of energy in one place so that you could use your psychic power to connect with us,’ my mother interrupted.”
“’We all whispered in your ear at the same time to pick up the goblet so you could visit us,’ my father added.”
“’’This...this...this is...amazing. I’m actually here with you...on the other side,’ I told them. ‘Heaven...? We’re in Heaven?’ I went on.”
“’Ha, ha, ha, haahh...Almost,’ Richard, the family patriarch replied. ‘Actually, we’re in Heaven’s waiting room. We’ve come out to meet you here. The waiting room itself takes the form of places on earth where we’ve lived and it can change in an instant to another place depending on the occasion. Right now we’re enjoying the inn I had owned. Notice that everyone is drinking from goblets like the one in your hand.’ Then he added that, ‘The goblet in your hand is the one I passed to my eldest child, when I died, as a reminder to enjoy life on earth because it is so short. All of us here now also know that it is filled with hardships and suffering like those you’re experiencing. You should spend some time now with each of us, to talk about our lives to get some perspective. I think you’ll feel a lot better,’ he added.”
“So, that’s what I did, and he was right. The pain I had felt after losing my parents disappeared because I saw them so happy in their new life. They weren’t really gone. They just moved to a new place, a better place, where they were healthy and very happy...so being sad about their deaths made no sense anymore. Sure, I missed them but how could I feel bad when they had moved to the most cherished address in the universe...a place more magical than Disneyworld?”
“Are you sure it wasn’t a dream...that you weren’t really asleep, imagining all this?” Manny asked.
“You know, that’s an interesting question because more than one of my family members at this dinner party told me that when they looked back on their physical lives on earth, they thought those lives were dreams. Their eternal lives, and everything that came with them, as amazing as they would have seemed to them before, were now more real and more meaningful than what they experienced as physical beings.”
“No, I wasn’t dreaming. While back there my mother told me about a note she had left me, tucked in the pages of her Bible. After I returned to this world from my family visit on the other side, I found the note, just as she told me. In the note, she said that she would do her best to connect with my psychic powers from the other side, that I should have a drink from the family goblet for her, and that she would always love me,” Janice told Manny as she wiped away a tear from her eye.
“You told me you were ‘almost stranded’ in the spirit world.’ How did you return to this world?” Manny asked.
“I was having such a good time; I didn’t want to leave them and their world. I didn’t want to return to the physical world and all my problems. As a result, I couldn’t focus and use my psychic powers to return. I was stuck between the two worlds and didn’t know what to do about it. Then Richard told me that my time would come soon enough, that I had been given special gifts to share with others who could benefit from them in the physical world, and that once I fulfilled my purpose here, I would then be able to rejoin them forever.”