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I DIED THREE TIMES IN 1977
By P. M. H. ATWATER
Printed by You Can Change Your Life P.O. Box 7691 Charlottesville, VA 22906-07691
INTRODUCTION Hi there! My name is P.M.H. Atwater. In 1977 it is my belief I physically died three times. Because of what I saw and experienced, my life has never been the same since ...nor have I. Though I was seriously ill, I was never hospitalized. Doctors were summoned only after the fact. This means I do not have documented proof I was actually dead. This little book, then, is one woman’s story. Just a story. And as with all stories, some people will believe it and some won’t, some will find it interesting and some will think it hogwash. That’s okay. It really doesn’t matter to me how people label it or what conclusion they reach. You see, their opinions don’t change any thing. Not at all. What happened, happened. Nothing can change that. It was a long nightmare that became a phenomenal blessing. It was a time when my world and everything in it came to a crashing halt. Not once, but three times. What I saw on the “other” side is like nothing else I’ve heard anyone else describe. Oh, there are some similarities, but that’s about it. It took nearly two years to rebuild my body. I had very little money or insurance and wasn’t getting anywhere with regular medical treatments. The worst of the symptoms were gone but I was still sick and confused. So, I took a daring step for me. I left orthodox medical care and committed myself to a program of “natural healing” in all its many forms and variables. I had to start from the bottom up: crawling, standing, walking, running, climbing, hearing, seeing, reasoning, relating, telling left from right. Sometimes I lost more ground than I gained. I was determined though, and I made it. Not only did I get well, but I’m now younger, healthier, happier, more at peace than ever before in my life. There are really two main stories to what happened to me
© COPYRIGHT 1980 by P. M. H. ATWATER
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without permission of the author.
FIRST EDITION, NOVEMBER, 1980 SECOND EDITION, MARCH, 1998
Published shed in the United States of America You Can Change Your Life P.O. Box 7691 Charlottesville, VA 22906-07691
- the events themselves and what I learned from them . . . a book of death and a book of life. This little book concerns the death encounters, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. A lot has been left out. So don’t be confused by missing details. It’s a little book of pain, horror and miracles. The rest of the story might be written someday, but for now this initial rendering is enough. The book of life, of health and wholeness, will be written handbook style and should be ready for print in 1981. It will be pragmatic, specific and surprisingly honest and open. There’s nothing like dying to clear your head and turn your priorities around. The process has a way of cutting through all we surround ourselves with to shine a brilliant spotlight on what’s really there. I’m excited about the opportunity to write it, so we’ll see what happens. You know, all of us will die someday. When that day comes we will each have an opportunity to find out for ourselves what awaits us. It’s not the same for everyone. It’s different - depending on you, your choices in life and what you truly believe. Since late 1978 when I began speaking of what happened to me, I have talked with people by the thousands in many states. I’ve met more “near death” survivors than I can count, many of whom I’ve hugged, shared with, or counseled as they continued their own battles to rebuild and make some sense out of what happened to them. The stories of what they saw or experienced are not the same. Some of the stories are filled with wonder, awe, inspiration, beauty and joy. Others are crammed d with seemingly endless horrors and panic. Those who were committed to Judaism most often saw Father Abraham. Those who were fundamental Christians most often met Jesus. The Buddhists saw Buddha. The Atheists saw their neighbors or best friends. And on and on. The so-called “good” people, who deep within themselves were actually filled with anger or bitterness or fear, met those negatives head-on; and were so traumatized by
what they experienced, they returned panic-stricken, denying all the stories of beauty told by others and claiming any form of heaven to be a figment of imagination and wishful thinking. The metaphysical or more abstract thinkers (those people more open to variables than to any form of dogma or tradition) most often experienced incredible dimensions of higher learning, guides and masters, light beings, and nearly impossible-to-describe phenomena. Those that died believing they would sleep until awakened by Gabriel, reported a black darkness, a feeling of being trapped and alone, stranded. What I’ve finally come to realize is we truly and most literally create our own realities. When we die, the reality we created is where we will live and what we will become. Our conscious minds, our thinking, our words, seem to have little bearing if any on what will happen to us. The one determining factor and the only absolute I could find (if there’s any such thing as an absolute) was: WHEN WE DIE WE WILL MEET AND BECOME WHAT WE TRULY ARE. Whatever system of belief we have built for ourselves within our subconscious mind, whatever we have accepted as true at the deepest level of our being . . . that is what we will find when we cross through death’s doorway. No more. No less. But that’s not all. I found there to be a kind of rhythm and fluctuation to what we experience once we cross over. It’s like we’re left for awhile to meet ourselves and what we once considered truth. We can revel in the joy of it or withdraw in horror. We’re left to thoroughly experience ourselves and what we lived through and learned while on Earth. Then, sooner or later, along will come a feeling, voice or being who will gently but patiently show us a better way and lead us upward toward soul-stirring surprises . . . vast vistas of learning and experience beyond anything we could have ever imagined. As we reach out to what we are shown or led to, there spreads before us more beyond that, and beyond that even more still. I couldn’t find any
endings, any arrivals, or even any beginnings. All I found to be valid beyond death’s door were endless possibilities of expansion and growth or equal opportunities to contract and withdraw. There are some surprises in this. And the reason is simple enough. We’re not always consciously aware of what we truly believe. All too often, we’re all so busy mouthing words, shouting shoulds, grabbing dollars, defending rhetoric, worshiping objects, and manipulating people ...we don’t really know what to believe. The cultural use of the American language, for instance, is based upon the degree of style and finesse with which one can mask what they feel or hide what they mean. Someone who is open and honest is declared immature and childish. Someone who questions and searches is declared antisocial, a threat to the community. Soon anyone who is filled with creativity and joy is banished from business or corporate environments as unfit or mentally ill. We say one thing and do another. That is socially acceptable. That is normal. The four main articles to follow were originally published in MANY SMOKES magazine in serialized form. MANY SMOKES is a Native American Earth Awareness magazine produced by The Bear Tribe (it has since gone out of print). Sun Bear, a Chippewa Medicine Man, and his Medicine Helper, Wabun, are leaders of the Tribe and have been dear friends of mine for more years than I care to remember. It was after the death of Wabun’s mother that I was asasked to speak of death and what I went through in 1977. It is because of their encouragement that I began to think more clearly of what had happened to me and how I might share the experiences with others. To Sun Bear and Wabun, I say a deep and loving thank you. Ho! P.M.H. Atwater
death is the window to dimensions beyond the unfathomed and unrecognized
premise that we live more than one life. People in the United States, especially, seem hungry for any shred of proof, any documentation at all that can be verified on past lives. Can it ever be proved? Can the Western empirical mind ever accept such a concept and incorporate it into their traditional Christian philosophy? It’s enough for Americans to face the subject of life after death without having to consider life after life. Death is a fact of life. Remember your first funeral, the first time you looked into the coffin and saw the lifeless form of someone you once knew? Life was gone, but where did it go? The body was buried in a grave, but what happened to that “sparkle” that once motivated the body and gave it personality and movement? Is that all there is to life, to live a few years, expanding and developing that spark within, only to stop cold when the body ceases to function? What’s the use of life anyway? What’s the purpose to living? Maybe when we solve the riddle of death, we will automatically solve the puzzle of life. The two are opposite sides to the same coin, functioning together in a cosmic plan. I’ve been hearing a lot about life after death. Maybe you, like me, have known someone or read or heard about someone who died in an accident only later to revive and speak of seeing angels, guides, cities, schools and loved ones encountered on the “other” side. Perhaps you know someone who was ill or having an operation when a close brush with death occurred and again the story was later told of seeing a departed loved one, ta talking with Jesus, or romping through some “heavenly” meadow of crystalline grass. Thanks to people like Drs. Ross and Moody, more people are relating their experiences. They feel freer to open up and describe what they saw and heard. With the increase in stories, comes the incredible pattern of similarity - the upward progression, the dark tunnel, blinding lights, magnificent music, loving guides and helpers, departed loved ones glowing with health and joy. Some of the details vary from person to person, but the essential story is pretty much the
ABOUT DEATH ABOUT DYING
Death! The word carries with it so many preconceived images, mysteries and fear. What of death? What is it really? Death has become a household word lately, thanks to people like Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her pioneering efforts in the field of death and dying, Dr. Raymond Moody and his book LIFE AFTER LIFE, movies like BEYOND AND BACK and RESURRECTION, TV talk shows and popular magazines. People are finally openly talking about death and the possible existence of life after death. They’re saying such things as: maybe death doesn’t end life, maybe it’s just a doorway into other realities, other dimensions of life. The really daring thinkers of today are going one further . . . reincarnation. This ancient fact of life to millions in the Eastern world is a shocking departure to the Western mind. Moviedom is capitalizing on that shock value and is making large sums of money on current films devoted to the
same. Death as we know it does not exist. There is life after death. Death does not end anything. It is merely a doorway. Those brave souls who boldly proclaim there’s no such thing as death, go on to speak of “wisdoms” they’ve since learned . . . that all life evolves (progresses) from life to life with the soul force learning and growing from each experience in an incredible parade toward Perfection and oneness with the Creator. There are whole schools of thought about seven levels to the earthplane, seven rays of color we all pass through, seven barriers we must conquer in our upward climb. Interestingly enough, the number seven has always been held magic or sacred in every culture on Earth throughout recorded time. For those not into the “seven game,” there are enough other theories and ideas to provide lively conversations for evenings to come. Many hypnotists now regularly regress people into former lifetimes, discovering causal incidents for present life problems, latent talents waiting to be developed, and often revealing recurring habit patterns that can be faced and conquered in the present existence. Today’s topic of death is really a complex one that challenge our entire belief-system, religious makeup and linear thinking. The new fad of “The Death Topic” is giving way to serious research and some surprising turnarounds. Millions of dollars are being spent by some corporations and many schools toward finding answers. Though hard fact is still elusive, some gains are being made. Take Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, for example, and the physical manifestation of her spirit guide in front of a crowd of 75 strangers, or the discovery that we really are energy and the energy we are can be measured and weighed in terms of kilowatts. But where does all this put you? Somewhere between the pages of the popular press and the glistening screens of moviedom, here’s your next door neighbor gasping for his last breath. What happens when it’s your turn, or your
wife’s or your child’s? What happens when the blood’s in your bed and the screams of pain and fear echo in your ears? What of death then? What happens to those neat theories when the fatal moment comes? Do you kiss it off with a prayer? Do you hate God and cry, “Why me?” Or do you turn the other cheek and mumble, “It’s God’s Will.” Mentalize all you please. Be you religious or metaphysical or whatever, it still all comes back to the gut YOU and where you are right now in your life. How do you feel about death? Are you afraid to die, or ARE YOU AFRAID TO LIVE? There’s a whole world out there of “GOD HELP ME, I’M NOT READY YET!” We will all die. There’s no stopping that. Someday we each will know for ourselves what death is and whether or not we are a body, or pure energy residing in a body. Death and dying, though popular topics today, are really very personal intimate subjects, as close to us as our next breath. They are intensely private issues of serious concern. Death is the most ultimate climax our linear world of matter can give us. There is nothing else so final. In 1977 through a series of severe traumas, hemorrhaging and blood clots I died three times. I didn’t talk about it much. It was all too personal and I was convinced no one would believe me. My experience was so different, so totally unbelievable. I feel better about it now. I’m no longer defensive about proving anything to anyone. I no longer feel threatened by angry people who damn me to hell for speaking heresy. That’s their hangup, and they’ll have to face their fears soon enough. I don’t speak about ideas and theory. I speak only from personal experience. Let no one ever call me an expert or authority. There’s no such thing and no such person! Least of all me. I’m just a woman who has stubbed her toes a lot in life and “fallen from the peaks of many mountains.” I’m just a person who faced a nightmare ...and woke up.
Pain is the sentinel of our growth guiding or crushing according to our choice.
THE PAIN AND THE FEAR OF DEATH
Does it hurt to die? No! It hurts to live! There’s no fear in dying. The fear comes when you realize you didn’t and somehow you’ll have to pick up the pieces and live again. Dying is a release from pain, like getting out of prison. Pain for me came before dying and after I returned to life. I experienced the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life before my lungs quit breathing and my heart stopped. Upon returning to life, there was constant and continuous pain, though not in the same degree as before. I was in and out of pain for a year afterwards. When those various crises were over, I wound up relearning how to crawl, stand, walk, climb and run. My task was a total rebuilding because when the neardeath experiences were over, I could no longer think the same way, hear or even see the same. The belief system I once had was no longer valid, and I found it impossible to relate to people in a logical or rational way. Not only did I have to rebuild my physical body, but I had to restructure every part of my existence on every level of my being. I was literally born again, only with the same body as before. Having the same body makes the rebuilding process harder. Remodeling an old house takes more time and effort than tearing the thing down and starting over again. No one likes to suffer. No one enjoys excruciating pain, but often as we approach death, we face just that. It’s like our bodies and brains don’t want to let go of anything familiar. They’re so programmed into living that death is unthinkable and to give up without a fight is out of the question.
A fast, sudden, sharp pain is so encompassing, so total, that memory is blotted out. Time, space, people, even loved ones no longer exist. The brain becomes so flooded so fast with so many messages of pain - it just freaks out and pain becomes our whole world, not a sensation to “feel.” Love, hate, fear, anger disappear and all that remains is the pain. Such a pain transcends suffering. It’s so total, the slate is wiped clean. But it doesn’t last. It had a beginning and it will have an end. That’s one thing we can count on in the earthplane. Nothing stays the same. There are many kinds of pain. It comes in many forms and packages. But perhaps the hardest of all to deal with is the insidious gnawing that grows inside of you when you finally realize, even though everything that can possibly be done to help you has been done, you’re still sick and you still hurt and your life is still a mess. The pain of not knowing what else to do or where else to turn or how was the worst pain of all for me... the ego hurt of losing when you thought you had won, the humiliation of discovering it was your own fault, the indescribable anguish of watching a lifetime crumble and there’s not one thing you or anyone else can do to save it. All your strength, all your wits, all the money and help in the world mean nothing. Suddenly you’re not only naked but transparent, and there’s nowhere to turn and no place to hide and no screaming or cursing that changes anything. That’s pain! And it doesn’t go away. Not until you give up and let go, especially of all your attitudes and opinions. Then and then only does real repair and progress begin. When we think of death, all too often our first thoughts turn to the fear of “Good God, what’s going to happen to me? Is this all there is to life?” We fear the unknown. We fear: no more controls, no more breathing, no more eating, no more seeing or drinking or anything else we’re accusPage Fourteen
tomed to. What if life does end at death? What about eternal hellfire, suffering and damnation? There’s a deep sense of guilt, so we scream out to God for salvation. Have mercy! And the fear builds. And the panic comes. We cling and grab and hold onto anything and everything within our grasp. Death seems grim and dark so we fight it, and even the pain must take a backseat in our stampede for life. We spend lavish sums of money we don’t have or encumber our family’s future. We hire only the best. We endure surgeries, radiation treatments and every kind of torture imaginable all in the name of life. It doesn’t seem to matter how crippled or deformed we wind up, just as long as we’re still alive and still breathing. All that fear. All that pain. All that money and effort. Yet what we’ve really been fighting all along was ourselves and our own ego. Not death. Not really. I found death to be a simple shift of consciousness. It was painless, instantaneous and nothing to fear. In fact, it felt more natural not to breathe than to breathe. It was wonderful not to “wear” a body. I had complete mobility, perfect memory and knowledge. I was free! I found no fear in dying. The fear came for me when I realized I was still alive, that I didn’t “stay dead.” There is no pain in dying, and there’s no darkness either, unless you want it. The other side has a crazy way of being whatever you think it will. If you expect hell, you’ll find it. If you want meadows and sunshine, they’ll be there. If all you ever thought about while living was liquor, you’ll find all you want; but since you don’t have a real body anymore, your every grab for a bottle will be like swatting thin air. You don’t lose your cravings or addictions in dying, but I found that you do lose your ability to satisfy them. The opportunities that existed before are no more. That’s where hell begins. The only difference I found between states of conPage Fifteen
sciousness was: when you’re breathing, you wear a dense form called a body, and when you’re not breathing you simply wear what you are. Whatever are your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, ideas, feelings, expectations or apprehensions... that’s what you’ll wear and that’s what you’ll be. They become your body and your world. No more games. No more secrets. No more lies. No more pretend. No more coverups. No more copouts. You become what you really are. In my opinion, that is what is meant by hell. I did not find hell to be a person, place or thing. I found it to be a condition of our own creation. We create our own dungeons. We limit and encase ourselves and then blame it on someone or something else because it’s easier that way. We stub our own toes and make our own choices in living. When we die, we reap our own harvest. The blame game is over. We all die. It’s part of the natural growth process. Death doesn’t end anything. It certainly doesn’t end our growing and learning. It just shifts things around and changes the scenery. It’s like a doorway, and we float through automatically regardless of our wishes. Kings and truck drivers are treated the same. No one is too big or too small, too young or too old, too rich or too poor. Diseased or healthy, ready or not, when we pass through death’s doorway the stage of life changes and the script is different. When your consciousness shifts in death, you’re still awake, aware and thinking. It’s hard at first to realize you’re dead. You can still hear, see, feel and talk. Only the way of that is different because you no longer have a physical body. Everything for me was bright and clear and totally free. I never experienced any darkness, but I know you can if you want to. You cross over and it’s like catching the next bus - only the country you visit is like nowhere on Earth!
death is the beginning life is the veil
THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF THOUGHT
floor, entering through the top of the head and pulled down inside. There was no pain, fear or sense of loss next to the lightbulb. Just confusion and questions. Back inside my body, the pain and fear returned and the lightbulb experience faded away like some bad dream. I begged the doctor not to give me a shot. My legs hurt, I kept saying. Why do my legs hurt so much? My question s were ignored, the shot administered and I was sent home to recover. The shot worked. Within two hours, the hemorrhaging stopped. Simultaneously the leg pains increased. I was able to walk fair1y well, but felt weak and dizzy, retiring for bed early. I could hardly make it to bed. The next morning was January 4, 1977. My right thigh was scarlet red with a huge lump growing out the right side. I called it a “volcano” because it felt red hot, angry and ready to explode. The pain was unbearable and walking was no longer possible. Before I could reach the phone to call for help, the pain overcame my sense of logic and I instinctively fought back, pushing and shoving the lump. It had to go. It was it or me. The lump won. There was a thin-kind of sound, like some thing giving way, followed by a detached floating without weight. The pain ebbed by as I rose steadily upward, again stopping at the light fixture, only this time in the living room. I looked down, recognizing the body on the floor as mine. There was no confusion this time. My situation was clearly defined. “Good God, I’m dead!” Time and space ended for me after gazing for what seemed endless minutes at my body. It made no movement. There was no breathing. No response. When I was satisfied
There were blobs all around me - shapeless, gray, confusing masses. Where did they come from? What were they? The more questions I asked, the more confused I became and the more blobs appeared . . . Like corks bobbing in water, slowly blocking out my view. This was my first introduction to the world beyond death’s doorway, a world that was to present me many different ways of viewing and countless alternatives to life. The date was January 2, 1977. The place was Boise, Idaho. My screams did not stop the blood nor catch my body when it fell in a lifeless heap. My memory traveled the distance from pain, panic and quickly glanced blood to being right next to the bathroom lightbulb, bumping into it with the ceiling scarcely an eyelash away. It all happened so fast.t. One instant I was inside my body dealing with a crisis, and the next instant I was without a body floating smack into the bright bulb of light. I don’t pretend to understand what happened. I only know it happened. My space relations and sense of depth and direction ended. I could see clearly. There was no darkness. I was still me. But the me I was kept bumping into that crazy lightbulb and every time I looked around or wondered what was going on, blobs would form - gray and strange. Then as quickly as it had begun, there was an audible “snap” and I was jerked back into the lifeless form on the
that it was dead, there came a joyous euphoria, like a prisoner being released from a long jail sentence. I danced and danced around the lightbulb, singing like a child. It was finally over. I was free! There was never any confusion of identity between “me” and my “body.” The personality of Phyllis Huffman and the body that encased her were simply parcels of clothing I had once worn. They were gone now and the “I” was free. I experienced pure exhilaration. Soon though, I began to ask myself some questions. Now that I’m dead, what do I do next? Where do I go from here? What am I supposed to do? As my questions continued, blobs began to form within my peripheral vision. Only thiss time, they were clear, translucent, pastel bubbles. If I exercised my thought or asked a question, more blobs appeared. If I remained quiet, nothing happened. A puzzle! So I began to experiment. Maybe, just maybe, these blobs were manifestations of thought energy. Maybe they could be controlled and directed. Most of my life as Phyllis, I had heard phrases like: thoughts are things, whatever you think long enough will come true, thoughts are the blueprints of life, we create our own realities. These statements seemed logical to me, so I had long since accepted their value and merit and made them a part of my personal philosophy. But never before, that I can recall, did I ever have an opportunity to actually test the truth of them, to really prove to myself one way or another just how thoughts work. Now was my chance and I took it. My experiment involved focusing all my thoughts and energy into one single activity - creating a house. The house I wanted to think into being was quite specific. It had to be like a white cube with a steeply pitched roof, a front porch with three white pillars, and a green porch floor, a shiny
brass doorknob on the door, a solid strong foundation. The house had to have windows and doors that opened and closed. It took what seemed to me incredible energy to focus in this manner, as if I were using muscles I hadn’t used for some time. I was finally able to accomplish a single focus, then, like a laser, project my image forward into space. In my mind existed only the house. Soon enough, outside of me, the house stood, solid, real and fully dimensional. By now, the home and life of Phyllis Huffman had faded from view and from memory. I was barely cognizant of existing in another dimension of bright substance yet without color, sound, shape or movement. It was a happy place but devoid of the trappings I had come to associate with humanity and being a human. My only interest now was the house of white before me. As near as I could tell, the house was real. I pounded on the door and there was the familiar thud of wood. The doorknob was metal, the windows, glass. Everything opened and closed and was full-sized. I was so elated at this event that I chose to next create a tree. After all, a house is an inanimate object. My question now was, could I create an animate object? Was that possible? Using the same procedure, I chose a tree of many branches and leaves, with a thick huge trunk and large protruding roots gnarled by time. And the tree came into being complete with insect holes in its bark. I guess it would take someone who had had a similar experience to understand what happened next. I simply flipped out. Something inside of me went - twang! I was like a kid with a new toy or a child who had discovered how to walk for the first time. I flew into a creation binge without stops. I created everything I could think of: cities, housPage Twenty-one
es, people, dogs, cats, telephone wires, trash cans, cars, schools, churches, children, books, buses, roads, fences, grass, flowers, lawns, streams, birds, suns, rain, sound, language, breath, motion. Everything existed on its own and became independent of me. There was life and intelligence. And the whole event so filled me with pleasure, I just watched and watched some more. There it was. Creation! I didn’t feel like God. I just felt tired. But I began to realize I was like a co-creator, made with the same abilities as That Which Existed Beyond Me. Thoughts really are energy that can be shaped and used according to our choices. It really works. I had my proof. As I watched and listened with loving pleasure, it occurred to me to see again my loved ones who had passed on before. No sooner had I expressed the thought than they were all there - including a grandfather who had died before my Phyllis personality was ever born. Talk about a thrill! It was pure joy to visit again with each one and especially to touch and speak with the grandfather who had left the colorations of his philosophy behind for his family to use and continue. Then I thought about Jesus and he came. There was never any feeling or need to worship him. No awe or fear. Rather, it was a feeling of seeing a beloved elder brother after being apart for so long. I had always wanted to thank him for the example he set for me to follow, and I took full advantage of his visit to do just that. It was a time of treasured friendship and much gratitude. He was my brother and I loved him. Then he left. My loved ones left as well. After that, I grew tired of the world I had created so I thought it all away. It disappeared instantly. Now was the first time I ever looked at myself. Much to my surprise, I had no body or form whatever. I was simply pure energy,
pure consciousness. Not even light. Beyond light. I simply “was.” I liked that. I came to discover that I did not need forms like people, buildings, worlds or anything solid or secure to be happy and fulfilled. I was completely at peace, satisfied, loved and totally real by being nothing at all and existing in no particular place. I discovered I didn’t need time or space. I didn’t need the illusions of substance. I was everything yet I was nothing. Shapeless, formless, soundless, colorless, without motion. Nothing was with me, yet everything that was known or could ever be was there. This was perfection. And into this great peace that I had become there came the life of Phyllis parading past my view. Not as in a movie theatre, but rather as a reliving. Had it been a reliving of just deeds done, it would have been as expected because I had heard of that before. But for me it was far more involved. The reliving included not only the deeds committed by Phyllis since her birth in 1937 in Twin Falls, Idaho, but also a reliving of every thought ever thought and every word ever spoken PLUS the effect of every thought, word and deed upon everyone and anyone who had ever come within her sphere of influence whether she actually knew them or not PLUS the effect of her every thought, word and deed upon the weather, the air, the soil, plants and animals, the waters, everything else within the creation we call Earth and the space Phyllis once occupied. It was a gestalt experience, meaning complete and whole on all levels, a total viewing and reliving of the totality of one woman’s life complete with all the ripples and consequences of her ever having lived. I had no idea a past-life review could be like this. I never before realized that we were responsible and accountable for EVERY SINGLE THING WE DID. That was overwhelming.
It was me judging me, not some heavenly St. Peter. And my judgment was critical and stern. I was not satisfied with many, many things Pphyllis had done, said or thought. There was a feeling of sadness and failure, yet a growing feeling of joy when the realization came that Phyllis had always done SOMETHING. She did many things unworthy and negative, but she did something. She tried. Much of what she did was constructive and positive. She learned and grew in her learning. This was satisfying. Phyllis was okay. As the joy within me grew, the room in Boise, Idaho, reappeared and the body below came into focus. As I looked down upon the body that had once been Phyllis, there came a wave of love and forgiveness, and with it worlds of sparklers like on the Fourth of July. Upon a stream of these sparklers, I floated ever so gently back into the lifeless body, entering through the top of the head. Back to the pain. Locked back up again inside the prison called a body. The whole experience seemed like years in length, but it could not have taken more than a few minutes. Yet I don’t really know. Clocks were a foreign thought then. Afterwards, instead of continuing to the phone to call for help, I was in such a dazed stupor nothing mattered any more. I was so caught up in what had just happened, I was unable to relate to anything, even the pain in my legs, so I crawled back to bed and lay there like a zombie for several days. Seeking help didn’t make sense. Living didn’t make sense. In fact, nothing made any kind of sense. Several days later, it took the random thoughts of money, pay checks and my job to jolt any life into me. I was so detached my children were foreign objects and the bed where I lay seemed a figment of my imagination. How I was able to dress and safely drive my car to work is beyond my comprehension. But I did. It took effort I did not think I
could produce. But I did. My job was on the second floor of an old building without an elevator, and the climb up the stairs proved to be a painful mountain. I fell more than I climbed. When my boss saw me, she shrieked I looked more dead than alive and insisted I see a doctor at once. With her help a specialist was found and I was committed to his care. He just shook his head in amazement that I had ever survived, and the long ordeal of getting well and rediscovering the earthplane began. I was to go through yet one more bizarre death experience before this would be over, and the resulting struggle to regain my health would take nearly two years, curtailing a rebuilding program that would start at the beginning, relearning how to crawl. The third experience would occur on March 29th, more than two months away. After its passage, I would be left little more than a functional creature, lost between worlds I could no longer comprehend. Fortunately for me, a very unique and capable doctor came to my rescue along with some of the dearest and truest friends any human being could have. With their constant love, care and patience, my recovery would be amazingly swift and complete. It wouldd be nearly a year later before I would begin to integrate what had happened to me and what I had seen and experienced. It took a professor of physics to rekindle my self-confidence and revive the word, “faith.”
THE ETERNAL NOW
I have no way of knowing how many of you relate to handicapped or injured people, those souls undergoing rehabilitation at whatever level for whatever reason for however long. I just know this - it’s pure hell to rebuild your body and your mind. No matter how much progress you make, it’s never enough and it’s never fast enough. No matter how slight the injury or disease or how complicated the setback, rebuilding is no picnic. It’s torture! Words of praise and encourage ment from friends and loved ones often register within your being as superficial bandaids. And who the hell needs bandaids when you’re exploding inside! The do-gooders and the mean-wellers become sources of more pain, and you feel anger and even jealousy because they’re whole and you’re not, and who are they to say what they say anyway. All the help that comes is never enough. Prayers fall flat. Following the two physical death experiences I lived through during January of 1977, I was left confused and desperate. I was living in Boise, Idaho, at the time and still had my two daughters at home. They were aware of my illness but neither could relate to it. Their image of “Mother” was that of the Rock of Gibraltar . . . a mother who could do anything, accomplish anything, strong, self-reliant, indefeatable. You never have to worry about mother. So they
there are no fetters to limit the mind except those that are imagined and accepted
didn’t. We interfaced to the extent of daily chores and conversation, but little else. This was the image of a mother I had carefullyy cultivated for them throughout their lives. How could they respond any differently? The eldest girl was in college. The youngest in junior high. My son and oldest of the three was half-way across the globe studying aboard a square-rigger in the Atlantic Ocean. I was employed as a bank analyst. Because of the illness and disability that followed, I was forced to take a leave of absence from work and begin a program of medication, doctor care, and much rest and exercise. I was put on a drug classified as “dangerous” because it could only be used seven days safely without destroying precious blood cells. There could be no refills. Food had to be consumed before it was taken on a round-the-clock basis. I was virtually bed-fast and incapable of the kind of activity my life had been based upon. My meals were prepared by others. I was almost helpless. Yet at no time was I ever hospitalized. For the greater part of each day I was alone, listening to the hours click by. Alone and dangerous drugs. An almost lethal combination, yet it allowed my mind and life force free rein and unrestricted expression. Had I been hospitalized I would have undoubtedly healed faster, but then I would have missed some of the most bizarre events any human being could know. Perhaps it was the medication. I don’t really know. Strange things began to happen. As I lay on the sofa each day, there began to parade past my view all the characters from all my past lives, one right after another, forming an
arc across my chest. Each character was fully dimensional and suspended in space, alive and animated, deeply engrossed in his or her own private activities and concerns. Like tiny people, the characters walked on by and events were played out. The arc was like a rainbow and each figure was like a hologram. I watched with gaping mouth and transfixed gaze. It was all too incredible to believe. Yet there they were. I witnessed life after life after life. They seemed without end until there came to view a tall, slender, green, lizardlike being from another world beyond Earth ––a being from a water planet, alone and lost in a world he did not understand, dying in fire from his own choice. I felt complete identification with this alien. He fascinated me. After the marching hordes ceased, another phenomenon occurred. I could both see and hear my own body cells. It was as if my body was transparent and my eyes were microscopes. Especially throughout the female organs and the right leg and hip. There were millions of them, but I could hear and see each individually. They were like armies complete with Generals and Captains and all manner of rank and file. They were massing their forces to fight off the invader and rebuild damaged parts. Those in charge were shouting audible orders to others and they all seemed tense and worried. I felt so sorry for the little fellas that I decided to contact them and apologize for all the hardships I had inflicted u upon them. Never before did I ever have any idea microscopic cells were intelligent personalities, beings of their own. I didn’t know if I could speak with them, but I wantPage Twenty-nine
ed to. Desire is a powerful force. The communication I wanted happened instantly, so I conveyed my apologies. A dialogue ensued and I came to form a deep and abiding respect for my cells. I came to understand we truly can converse with ALL our body parts. We can understand their needs, and WORK WITH THEM INSTEAD OF BLINDLY AGAINST THEM. We are a team, they and I. We’re in this together. I was overwhelmed by the experience. The unswerving loyalty and unselfish devotion of these tiny cells humbled me beyond words and struck me with awe. I just had no idea anything like this was true. As if all this were not enough, for the entire seven days I took the drug I could not distinguish between a person’s audible words and their inaudible thoughts. I “heard” them both at the same pitch and tone. I couldn’t tell which to respond to. The sounds and messages overlapped and conflicted most times which led to even deeper confusion. It made no difference who the person was or under what conditions. Their thoughts and their words were both clearly audible. Because of this, I often did not reply to people, choosing rather to remain silent. Around me were all the objects I had known in life: furniture, roads, cars, people, television sets, music, food, water, clothes, money, telephones, and so forth. Yet they all seemed so foreign and unreal. Friends and relatives came to visit. Words of help and encouragement were given. Healings of every kind imaginable were administered. I was prayed on, for, under, on top of. I was laid on “of hands,” stretched, squeezed, burped,
sucked, pounded and exorcised. People I’d never heard of practiced incantations and rituals I’d never seen. Healers came out of the woodwork, all meaning well, and all sincerelyy trying to help. They couldn’t. Because I didn’t accept them. I didn’t trust anyone any more. The healings wouldn’t work because the faith I once had crumbled. Nothing worked because nothing made sense. I was functional. I was still human. I talked. I lived, but I wasn’t all there. I was still “dead,” and slowly a black depression began to build inside of me. The two months leading to March 29th are a blur across my brain. I don’t remember too much of it. I do remember my landlord picked that time to raise my rent higher than I could pay. I do remember all the endless hours and days of exercise paid off because I could stand without effort and walk reasonably well, though I still dragged my right leg somewhat. Some incredibly beautiful people gathered round, another rental was found, and I was properly packed, moved and neatly tucked into a bright little house on the other end of town. I wasn’t there long before death came to call a third time, and again I was alone. I won’t argue that the move was too much for me or that the responsibilities of how to pay mounting debts were too much for me to bear. Though I appeared coherent, my inner world was chaos. Life faded more with each passing day. I was able to return to work, working half days at first and then progressing to 3/4 days and finality full time. Instead of helping, this only led to more depression as my job made no more sense to me than my life. I didn’t have the money for the kind of rehabilitation I would have liked to have, so
I improvised. I reached out into different arenas and alternatives. I was very frightened, but there seemed to be no other way. My son returned suddenly from his school cruise around Europe. On the night of March 29th, he was attending a party. He had been home 1 1/2 days. My daughters were off to their friends for overnight excursions. A man I had once thought myself in love with came to call. In tears, I told him what I had been through and begged him to hold me and just let me be a child again. I asked for no more than that. He was an understanding man I felt I could trust. His response was a loud and immediate no, whereby he jumped up, slammed the door and left. I could not understand his response. I had asked for so little. Never in my life had I ever turned down anyone who needed help, regardless of the conditions or inconveniences to me. Yet in my moment of desperation, I was shut out. His no thundered throughout my being. I exploded inside. An emotional bomb went off and I shattered into millions of pieces. To hell with life I decided. It’s the most damnable, oversold, worthless package there is. I decided to chuck it. It wasn’t worth living. I committed emotional suicide. I willed myself dead and my body was too pooped to argue. It collapsed. I left. Now I know full well bodies aren’t supposed to do that. But mine did. I knew the other side was better than this one and I saw no reason to continue living. Mv children were old enough to take care of themselves. They didn’t need me. I didn’t need me either. It was time to go, so I did. My son who loves a good party is not one to up and leave.
Yet at that moment, he suddenly addressed his friends and announced that he must leave and go home. His mother needed him. When he arrived, he discovered the body but made no attempt to seek help. To understand his reaction, one must realize that in our house members were always taught to be self-sufficient. It was drummed in from generations back that you never, never asked for help - ever. You find a way to take care of yourself. Also one needs to know that in our house the children were taught from earliest years to always follow their “feelings.” Psychic occurrences were so common to all of us they were perfectly natural, like breathing. Kelly’s “feelings” at that time were to sit opposite the body and start talking. He did. A flow of sound was created by his words. Before he had arrived, I was long since gone, ascending into a realm of bright light and unusual music like nothing I had experienced before. That’s no small statement for me to make since I had been a meditator and teacher of expanded thinking for many years and had countless encounters with astral travel, white lights and altered states of consciousness. I was always the practical one, saying, ‘’If you can’t use it in your daily life to make your world better, then it isn’t worth fooling with.” For me, practical application was always the measuring stick to judge anything. None of that mattered now. All that mattered was where I was, and where I was, was like nowhere I had ever been before. It was everything wonderful, bright and beautiful, everything that could ever be. Then I stopped short. I didn’t expect to see anything, much less the gigantic scene I saw. Before my view there
spun two objects I’ll call cyclones for lack of a better word. One was big at the top, narrowing to a spout. The other was inverted directly below, being big on the bottom and coming up to a spout. They formed an hourglass shape, yet the two spouts did not meet in the middle. Instead, there radiated out from that spot a kind of light I hesitate to call light. I don’t know what to call it. The English language doesn’t have such a word. Its rays shot out in all directions. I was suspended near the middle as I gazed in awe at the immensity of what towered before me. Both cyclones were spinning at tremendous speeds. The cyclone on the top was spinning clockwise. The one on the bottom was spinning counter-clockwise. Inside the upper cone, I glanced a tiny grain of sand I recognized to be me - or the Phyllis I had once been. Superimposed over Phyllis and the life she was living was all her past and future lives. Everything was happening AT THE SAME TIME IN THE SAME SPACE! I also recognized others around Phyllis and the same thing was happening to them. I saw multitudes of other people everywhere inside the cone and the same thing was happening to all of them. I felt like I was viewing all of life and I came to realize time and space do not exist at all. I saw no movements that raised or lowered, went backwards or forwards, no left or right. What I saw was only expansion and contraction. No one was greater or less than anyone else, but some people were expanded out and growing more, others were so contracted they seemed to shrink and wither. As I searched for more clues to life, I noticed Phyllis was also in the cyclone on the bottom and in the exact same position as on the top, and everyone else was there too. The bottom cyclone was a mirror image of the
upper one. They were reflections of each other. As above, so below. Fascinating as this was, my attention soon turned to the middle. That’s where I wanted to go, into it and through it. I felt as if it were the doorway to God. At last I would discover the source of God Itself. I was on my way there. It was then that I heard my son’s sounds. Slowly I found myself being pulled back. I never heard any words, only the sound of his voice. There was something different about it. There was love in his voice. A different kind of love. It was not the love of a son for his mother. It was something new - at least for me. It was the sound of one human being loving another human being because he wanted to, not because he was expected to. It didn’t even matter if the other person loved back. The only thing that mattered was Kelly giving love freely because Kelly wanted to. His love was open, without any expectations, restrictions or standards. It was unconditional love. Real love! I really didn’t believe that special kind of love existed on the earth-plane. I had heard of it before but had associated it with Divine or Saintly revelations. It was happening now and my son was giving it. Such a precious gift was worthy of being received. I choose to return and live again. There were no angels, or anyone else egging me along. I made the conscious choice and when I did, the cyclones disappeared and my living room returned. I slipped back into my body, entering again through the top of the head. This time, my body did not respond. It felt cooler and strange. I panicked. Instantly I became a tiny cheerleader and game coach, scurrying up and down my frame shouting
words like: hey team I’m back, wake up everyone, I’m back now, I’m sorry I did this to you. I won’t do it again, I’m really back to stay this time, come on everyone, I’m back. The air sacs in the lungs were the hardest to activate. It took real effort to get the bellows to expand. With the first sweep of breath, my consciousness returned to my head area and my eyes opened. My first desire was to stand to see if everything was awake and operational. I had to be certain the team was back together. After many halting motions, I was able to stand. Kelly in his greater wisdom, came to me, wrapped his large arms around me and let me cry. I couldn’t speak, but I could cry. I cried buckets. Torrents. Then Kelly spoke and reminded me of a letter I had written him that February. The cruise school was not as he had hoped and the costs were excessively high. He was in a state of depression. My letter arrived when he needed it most, and in it I had spoken of life as a school and how we’re all students progressing through the grades according to our ability until we finally graduate and cease our earthly existence. The letter had given him courage to continue the trip and get on with his life. As he held me close, he returned those words to me and I saw a circle close. The same words I sent half-way around the globe to help a soul in deepest need, returned to me in my darkest hour, and I “heard” them and I understood. I realized the words were a confirmation of my choice to return and live. I could rebuild my life. Life really was worth living and I could make it. Kelly put me to bed that night and the next day I committed myself to a very special
doctor and a different kind of medicine - naturopathy and homeopathy and whole vistas of therapy and alternatives. The rebuilding process took almost two years and involved several health reversals and crises. It’s never easy to remodel a worn-out body. Pain becomes a daily encounter. Depression a daily enemy. Medication of any kind a daily crutch. The first week of November, 1977, my friends obtained permission from my doctor to drive me to Seattle, Washington, to attend the “MIND MIRACULOUS SYMPOSIUM” put on by the Church of Religious Science in the Seattle Opera House. Guest speakers were people like Uri Geller, Dr. Brugh Joy, Dr. Lawrence LeShan, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler- Ross, and Dr. William Tiller. With an early-morning injection, a bag of medication-like remedies and the tender care of very special friends, I arrived perky, looking every inch a functional human being. The first lecture paid for the trip and told me why I was there. It was given by Dr. William Tiller, a physicist with Stanford University in California. His topic was THE ETERNAL NOW, and he illustrated his talk by having his graphs and drawings projected onto a huge stage screen. He described at length what he felt the greater reality to be, that what we really are is an energy mass and how that energy worked. The climax of his talk came when he spoke of The Eternal Now, what he felt it looked like and how it functioned. It was his belief that ALL THINGS HAPPENED AT THE SAME TIME IN THE SAME SPACE. The drawing flashed on the screen was of two cyclones inverted over each other, and where the two spouts should have met, there radiated an immense light shooting out in all directions.
I erupted from my chair. He saw it too. He knew about the cyclones! I wasn’t crazy after all! I wasn’t mad! I didn’t hallucinate! It was all real! I really saw it! What happened to me was valid ! I was sane! That moment skyrocketed my health and did more for me than any doctor or medicine or therapy ever could. My confidence in myself returned like a tidal wave and I could laugh again. I was okay! The nightmare was over! The road back to health involved a new education for me. I learned what wholeness and balance truly are. I learned who and what I am and how to live more abundantly. I discovered myself and in the process discovered everyone else around me and whole new layers to life. I came to realize that life is really a series of echoes upon itself and once energy is committed to movement, it will always form a spiral. I saw that the choices we daily make become the points of contact for forming more echoes which form more spiraling cones. In looking back at the scene of the two cyclones, I honestly felt like I was looking at a giant echo. When I allow my mind to wander the words from the Chapter of John in the Christian Bible come to me, “For in the beginning was the Word.” Word to me means sound, and sound creates spiraling echoes of movement which activate the first steps in the process of forming presubstance, then substance itself. Then words from the scientists return to me with their theory of creation starting with a big bang. Bang to me is sound. The scientists and the religionists are all saying the same thing. It all ties together and life begins to make a different kind of sense.
There’s a lot more to life than I had ever realized and the learning continues. Life for me is happier now, freer than before and filled to overflowing with constant miracles. The road back to health is really the larger story, and the one I am now committed to write.
If you have trouble believing this story, it’s okay. Be my guest. I’ll bet I had more trouble believing it than you ever will, and I was living it. When something happens, no matter what it is, that totally changes or obliterates any thought or belief we hold dear or accept as truth, the result is often numbing confusion, a deep sense of loss. Instead of facing the challenge we were given and working our way through it, we become, instead, depressed, sick or filled with denials lest anyone think we’re crazy. It’s so much easier to continue on as before, as if nothing had ever happened, professing the same beliefs, walking the same path. We’re not sure of ourselves, and we can’t stand to risk any thought of embarrassment, to be found a fool. We say nothing. And we block any opportunity to change. It was like that for awhile. love floats freely upon the wings of time unowned eternal But you know, the memory of it wouldn’t go away. It just kept getting larger, brighter, bigger each day. I’d be at work minding my own business and it would all come back. I’d be home sleeping and it would all happen again. I’d be talking to one of my daughters and as I looked into her face I’d see the cyclones. It almost drove me mad. What do you do about something like that? Who do you tell? Who’ll believe you? Who’d really care anyhow. Sometimes I’d speak of some of it, but I could tell from the
people’s faces, it was a story beyond any meaning for them. Oh, it was a good-enough story and I was a good storyteller, but the story itself was just too far-fetched to ring of truth. Obviously, I was still sick. After all, Phyllis was always a little weird anyway. Getting well, however, was something everyone could relate to, but the way I went about it was almost as unbelievable as the story of how I got sick to begin with, and so it went. My commitment, though, was to get well. Come hell or high water, that’s exactly what I was going to do. I didn’t care what other people thought. I didn’t care how long it took. I was going to get well. I was going to be whole again. And I was so obsessed with this commitment, I almost forgot to look around and see who else was with me. My son had joined the Coast Guard and was long gone. My eldest daughter was so busy playing games with college life, she seldom emerged long enough to say hello. But my youngest daughter, still in the throes of dealing with the divorce of my former husband and myself, was in deep trouble and sinking. She could never understand any form of illness or pain. Even stubbing her toe freaked her out. Standing there watching a once strong mother turn to jelly before her very eyes proved to be too much for her to handle. She broke down, turning on a binge of sex, drugs, booze, ditching school and Iying. She went half-crazy. Reaching out to her when I could hardly even help myself turned out to be the hardest task of all. There were days when the only logical sentence I could utter was the sentence, “God is,” and I’d say it over and over and over again, hour after hour, like a chant. It kept me going. It kept me sane. I finally took classes from a psychologist in how to speak to her, how to reach her. It worked. It was a good
investment. No, it didn’t solve the problem, and, no, all the scars didn’t magically disappear, but it was a beginning - for both of us, a beginning of mutual respect and hope. The feeling of failure in trying to provide a stable base and some form of discipline and love for her almost killed me a fourth time. I couldn’t do it. There wasn’t enough of me left. There’s no blame to be laid here, on her or me. We each had our own nightmares and we each were groping for a way out, some point of understanding what was happening to us and why. As it turned out, my youngest daughter became one of my very best teachers, showing me through the mirrors of her eyes that I could forgive myself. I had truly done all I could for her. I had done my best. All any parent can ever do is to raise their children to the best of their ability, provide what they can, give them love, hope, a sense of identity and belonging. The rest is up to each child. They have their own muscles, their own brains, their own life, their own choices. We can do only so much. More is wrong. It cripples them. When I finally learned to let go of what I thought to be my failures and despair and accept instead my worth and my success, I began to make large strides toward regaining my health. Interestingly enough, once I did that, my youngest daughter was then free to make progress too - at her own pace, in her own way, without a frightened mother suffocating her with worry and guilt. Body building or rebuilding must always be accompanied by mind building or the result won’t last. No matter what the illness or problem, we must each do our own homework. No one can cure us. No one. We cure ourselves when we wake up to our own destructive attitudes. Only then can healing begin and others help as nature intended.
In mid-July, 1978, a strange event occurred. I was almost recovered, had returned from vacationing with my aunt and uncle in Chicago, and was seated at my desk at work busily working on an analytical project. I shared the room with two other analysts and a secretary. Nearby were two bank officers. Suddenly my desk, the room, the walls, all the people - everything disappeared. I was back in that “nothing” world I had visited in death, a world filled with sparkling life with the purest of love and perfection, yet a world where nothing was, nothing moved, nothing made a sound. I had come to call it “The Void” or the “Realm of Non” for lack of better names. Immediately there came a message. Not really like a message. More of a living, seeing, feeling, knowing, being kind of thing. A gestalt message, meaning complete and whole on all levels at the same time. There was no difference between me, the message and where the message came from. We were all the same thing. We were all one. During the occurrence, I became aware of all my next movements, choices and happenings for the year to come. All were played out in detail. When it was over, my desk, the room and all its occupants returned, each in their proper place as if nothing had happened. My mouth fell open and I was shaking all over. The message ended and everything happening within it became past tense. The year to come had already been lived. What I remembered became like a script I was challenged to perform in conscious life on the public “stage.” Well, being a great believer in choice, I grabbed my phone and began to check out some parts of the message that could be verified. I wasn’t about to believe just anything I was handed, and most of what I had been handed
was too impossible to believe. For instance I was told that I would attend a week-long intensive class with Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross on Death and Dying. Over six months ago, I had finally given up ever being able to attend such a class. They were always overbooked and the waiting lists were “miles” long. When I called to see if it was possible I could attend, I found to my utter amazement and shock, I was already registered complete with my full address which could not possibly have been known since I had just bought a house and had never at any time contacted the people in California I was calling now, nor did the secretary I had once talked with in Illinois ever have anything but my phone number. I never found out how I was registered. It seems my name and address just suddenly “appeared” on their registration lists. The other phone calls I made netted the same remarkable results. It was like some kind of dream only I was wide awake. Among the things revealed in the message were: I would quit my job on a certain date, sell my house (which I had only owned nine months), sell or give away almost everything I owned, would stay with friends until time to go, would attend Elisabeth’s classes, wind my way across the United States fulfilling childhood vows of places I had always wanted to visit and things I had always wanted to do, stay with cousins in Reston, Virginia for a brief time, find a job in Washington, D.C., live in and around Falls Church, Virginia. The next message would come in the spring. Now, I’m a Western woman. Denver, Colorado, is just about as far East as my mind traveled at that time. Anything East of Denver was in another country, not part of the United States. If I moved anywhere it would be West not
East! After the phone calls, I began to do some deep thinking and finally decided to accept the message and act out the part. It didn’t make any sense but that was okay. I was getting used to things that didn’t make any sense. It seemed the more far-out and ridiculous something was, the more sensible it appeared. My mind and my world were reversing. That afternoon, I had an appointment with my boss to discuss my future at the bank where I worked. I was in line for some major career advancements. When I informed her of my decision to quit and “chase rainbows” for awhile, she turned chalk white, asked me to say not another word and sit down. She then relayed to me a startling dream she had had that morning at 4:00 a.m. So vivid was the dream she awakened her husband to tell him. In the dream, she had seen herself go to her boss, take him by the arm and Say, “Phyllis is leaving. She’s moving away. I must replace Phyllis.” All I could think of at that moment was to pound her desk and shout, “That’s not fair. You knew I was leaving before I did!” My decision had been reached at 1:30 p.m. that day. The message had not come until around 9:30 that morning. Life has been like that ever since. Everything is so different now. Nothing in my brain works as it used to. What once made sense makes no sense now. What made no sense before, is perfectly clear and logical. Everything happened as the “script” revealed, and in the spring of 1979, the second message revealed a move to Roanoke, Virginia, where I would meet the man I would marry. Sounds like something out of CINDERELLA, but I dutifully moved and found a home with two of heaven’s most wonderful angels, Don and Neddy Repp. I moved with the idea I would write a best selling book about the death experiences I had lived
through, become rich and famous, and be whisked away by some knight on a white charger. I guess we’re never too old to dream such dreams. After many trials and false-starts, the dream wore off, I stepped out of the clouds, and my magic flying carpet nosedived. The earth world of jobs, money, food, grocery bills, rent, debts and loans loomed large and I panicked, grabbing at whatever I could find. I lost my bearings and the guidance went sour. Though I did do some writing, the book project was abandoned. The long string of men I dated only served to disillusion me about ever marrying again. All seemed lost. My thought then was to hang my “tail” between my legs, admit my lunacy, and head back West. From the words of two dear friends, Diane Pike and Arleen (OSO) Lorrence (who founded, live and teach the LOVE PROJECT PRINCIPLES, Box 12009-418, Scottsdale, AZ 85267), came the simple phrase: BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE HAPPEN. I took the words literally. They worked. I became the change I wanted to see happen in my life instead of turning tail and running. My life turned around abruptly. My income base smoothed out. Many bills got paid. Job satisfaction skyrocketed. All the joyful, daily miracles that had once filled my life returned. And when least expected on a day heavy with the coming of rain, I met the man I would marry while out hiking alone upon a deserted country road. I just turned around and there he was. We had briefly met once before, but the meeting had never “registered” with me. He wasn’t the kind of man I had been looking for. He was better! So perfect were we each for the other, that we merged and
blended, fulfilling each other’s dreams and hopes. The “jackets” (our bodies) we wear in this life are different colors and we come from different generations and lifestyles. Still, we mirror each other and in doing so have taught each other that opposites are really complements. Two equal halves are really a whole. We were married in Roanoke, Virginia on April 29, 1980 at 11:00 p.m., near to the coming of the Full Moon. The Full Moon has become a symbol to us that opposites, though powerful energies, are really of the same unity, and so we were married in a Unity Church. I don’t know why all this happened to me like it did - or even at all. I can play guessing games about that, but the truth is I really don’t know. I could write reams of books about the death experience, what it taught me, about coping with the East and the move here, and rediscovering life. I’m not certain if it matters that I ever write anything at all. We each have our own dreams that become nightmares. We each meet our own hell and fight our own battles. It doesn’t take any talent to die. We all die, all the time. There are so many different kinds of death and ways to die. We each sooner or later play the part of St. George and the Dragon, as we each must face the “dragons” we’ve created in our own lives and “slay” them or perish. I call what I went through the “Heavenly Sledgehammer Effect.” I was just too stubborn to turn around, to change as I needed to, to see what I needed to see. I had become a doer of the first order, driven to accomplish, always dealing with outer influences, moving mountains because it never occurred to me to live any other way. My biography wound up in more books than I care to mention, with a string of awards longer than my arm. You can’t eat awards, and honors and recognitions don’t keep you warm at night.
I never meant my life to be that way. I just wanted to be the best wife and mother I could. I was married then to a good man who had problems of his own but wouldn’t stay home long enough to face them. We were always broke so I had to work. One tragedy stacked up upon another, year after year after year. A nervous breakdown called a halt to my life then, painting black the days that followed. God must surely be dead, I thought, for I had been the best possible person I knew to be and all that ever resulted were more debts, more tragedies and more pain. It took the lure of parapsychology and metaphysics to awaken me to countless dimensions and levels to the human soul, and show me that God was very much alive and well and kicking. In reaching out to the new and different, success came on top of success. Life became exciting and wonderful. Everything I tried worked. My world filled with creative, unusual people. The old limits and standards fell away. I began to see life differently and be honest about what I saw. The old illusions died too, and so did my marriage. It had lasted twenty years. I had just begun a program of retraining, attending my first college class with eyes toward a degree, when death came to call. So very final and total. But it didn’t stay. When death left, the me that remained was lost. I credit Dr. William G. Reimer of Ontario, Oregon (then of Boise, Idaho) with physically enabling my body to heal. Without his expert, if unorthodox, care I would not have the degree of health and mobility I have today. I credit Tom Huber, Elizabeth and Terry Macinata, all then of Boise, with giving me the emotional and mental support and assistance that kept me going - giving far beyond what any ordinary people would give, sharing so deeply and intensely that somePage Forty-nine
times we all hurt and we all cried. But most of the credit I give to God, The Force, The One, The All (whatever name you wish to call It) with simply being What It Is and giving me the space and time to find myself and discover Its Light within me. I know now why I couldn’t write the book I originally planned. Goodness knows it would have all the blood and guts necessary for sales, though it would have to have been sold as ‘fiction” as no one in their right mind would ever have identified it with any kind of truth. Nonetheless, its publication would have hurt many people. A doctor could have been accused of malpractice. A man could have been damned for life for his negligence. A whole list of wellmeaning and beautiful people could have been needlessly embarrassed. I began to recognize a powerful force at work wanting that book. It’s called ego. The book would have sold well, but what of the price to others? Because of this realization and the steady requests for something written down, I came up with this little book. It tells most of the facts as they happened. Enough that should inspire or challenge anyone who reads it. I borrowed the money to have it printed. Its distribution will be through word of mouth, mailing lists, some announcements and ads. It will “float” around as it needs to, and those who should read it, will. I’ve come to realize finally that everything happens as it should when it’s time. It’s just a little book, anyway. A tale of one woman who faced herself and decided to change what she saw. So she did . . .
f you’re looking for a guru or religious figure, please keep looking. I respect your quest, but I choose not to be a part of it. Mine is the practical inner way - the path of balance and joy. I get excited about dishwater and home-baked bread. I find the soft touch of a baby, the warmth of a loved one, the wrinkled hands of the old and tired more enlightening to me than chants, aura photography or becoming a master soul. I take personal responsibility for me . . . and what I have builded myself to be. I can’t blame that on anyone else and be honest, so I don’t. I am what I have made of my genetic code, environment and life’s experiences. I affirm the divinity of choice, and when something goes wrong in my life, I know just where to locate the cause - in what I see reflected back from my mirror. Life is so beautiful. So am I. So are you. We are the same you and I. And you honor me by being here. I cannot teach you or change you. No one can. You do that for yourself. I can only share where I’ve been and what that’s taught me. If you can understand what I say and find meaning for your life in that, then we are both richly blessed. I believe myself to be a Child of God, an individualized focus of The All. I believe that everything is spirit, everything is One . . . and that all my choices interact with all of yours. No one is an island. We are each part of the other. I believe that balance and wholeness are the secrets of life. There’s no difference, really, between a bowel movement and a vision, between scrubbing floors and praying, between balancing your checkbook and praising God. It’s all the same energy from the same Source. The only difference is how we choose to manifest that energy at any given
moment in time and space. And no matter what anyone tells me, no matter what is written or believed by anyone, including me . . . I’ve discovered there is more. And beyond that there’s more still. There’s no end to the mores and no end to our potential for growth and development. Thank you so much for touching my life . . . and allowing me to touch yours!
The former Phyllis Huffman was born in 1937 in Twin Falls, Idaho. She is the mother of three grown children. This photo was taken by Don Repp in his home outside of Roanoke, Virginia, during May, 1979. Phyllis is now P. M. H. Atwater, having married Terry Young Atwater and beginning a new chapter in her life.
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* $15.00 - SUBTEXT to “Children of the New Millennium” Contains the “missing” appendices. (Self-Published) *$50.00 - Bound, Manuscript Syle “ Brain Shift/Spirit Shift: A Theoretical Model Using Research on Near-Death Studies to Explore the Transformation of Consciousness “ (Self-Published) Phase I of Brain Shift is sold out and will not be reprinted. Phase II can be purchased and downloaded directly from the website. *$20.00 - Reissue of her first book, "I Died Three Times in 1977" (Self-Published) *$8.00 - Reissue of poetry book, "Life Sounds" (Self-Published) *$8.00 - Reissue of child's storybook with pictures to color. "The Frost Diamond" (Self-Published) *$50.00 - Goddess Runes Kit 1 hour audio tape, instruction booklet, runes, pouch, casting cloth, Goddess miniature, TestMarket Version (handmade). Request list of available colors. $24.95 - Video, VHS, 60 min. “The Aftereffects of the Near-Death Experience” (Recorded live at a conference in Kentucky) $7.95 - Audio Cassette, 48 min. “Coming Back to Life” (An update on her original book.) $9.95 - Audio Cassette, 60 min. “As You Die” (Inspired by an AIDS patient in NYC, this unusual tape talks a person through the dying process and the soul's separation afterward.)
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P.M.H. Atwater, Lh.D.has distinguished herself internationally for her ground-breaking research of the near-death experience and its aftereffects. Her books "Coming Back to Life" and "Beyond the Light" have challenged the entire field. With the publication of "Future Memory" she has expanded her work into areas of brain development that call for a reconsideration of what is presently known about the transformation of consciousness. Interwoven within her startling new discoveries are revelations she was given while on the “other side” of death’s curtain. Often forgotten is that she, too, is a neardeath survivor with her own story to tell. An engaging speaker and visionary, Atwater’s passion is born of experience tempered by over twenty years of objective research discipline. An accomplished rune caster specializing in the Elder or Yin Runes, she authored “THE MAGICAL LANGUAGE OF RUNES” (now out-ofprint), and the newly released “GODDESS RUNES” and the “GODDESS RUNES KIT.” A recipient of numerous awards, her biography is in sixteen Who’s Who books, half of them international editions. She has lectured extensively, her writings appearing in many national publications. She attended Boise State University in Boise, Idaho, and received her humanities doctorate in 1992 from the International College of Psychic Studies, Montreal, Canada. Look for her newest book in Spring 1999 (from Three Rivers Press), “CHILDREN OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM” - a major study of children’s near-death states and the millennial child. “LIFE SOUNDS,” “THE FROST DIAMOND,” and “I DIED THREE TIMES IN 1977,’ are all reissues of earlier work.
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