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Learning to See the Unseen: How Do We Do This?

Posted on 03 September 2015, 12:51

“I go Home!”

Peter Metzler (1899–1921)

After escaping the tyranny of Russia and immigrating to the United States, my great grandfather’s cousin passed after a mishap on his uncle’s farm in California. These were his parting words.
What was my cousin Peter Metzler talking about when he said, “I go home”? If we do indeed live in a universe which co-exists alongside other dimensions, do the souls of our loved ones travel to one of these worlds after physical death? Is this “home” just another dimension of existence?  In a few hours I will be presenting on afterlife contact at the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) and I’m sure I’ll be asked these questions.

My Mickey Mouse theories

Many physicists believe numerous universes exist right alongside ours. Because these parallel worlds vibrate at much higher speeds they are invisible to the human eye. This concept was difficult for me to wrap my mind around. I needed some sort of “earth based” analogy and my childhood friend Mickey Mouse did the trick!

As a kid, I loved Saturday morning cartoon shows. When I got older I even took a summer animation class. Sitting with my friends eating jelly beans, I learned how professional artists created incredible animations.

A peg bar was used to hold the drawing of a cartoon character in place. Transparent paper was then laid on top of the original drawing. The new drawing was copied but not exactly. Each frame was a little bit different. If the animator wanted to show a character throwing a ball, the first drawing would illustrate the ball in hand. The next two or four drawings might show the character preparing to throw the ball. With the final three frames we would see the ball being released from the hand.

Like most school children, I chose to create an animation of Mickey Mouse jumping up and down. I had about fifty individual drawings in my three second cartoon. When the drawings were shown in rapid succession the animation showed a continuous, smooth scene of Mickey leaping in the air. The individual frames were now difficult for the naked eye to identify. In slowing down the sequence, it became easier to see the differences in each frame. I believe higher dimensions of existence operate a bit like a fast moving animation.

Quantum physics has suggested that while our world is denser and slower, parallel universes are lighter and vibrate faster. Because of this, we can only catch a quick “glimpse” of these rapidly moving, lighter density higher dimensions. In other words, while living in this world seeing the detail of these heavenly universes will be difficult, if not impossible for many of us.

Witnessing the essence of our loved ones separate from the physical body as a mist, vapor, clouds, smoke or silver encasements feels like a mystical encounter. In actuality, what’s really happening is that the departing soul’s vibration is still moving slow enough for the human eye to detect.

Those preparing to physically die begin to shake off the anchors binding them to their earthly bodies. With this release spiritual vibration begins to increase. As this vibration intensifies they not only see this world, but a life to come. Looking toward heaven, the afterlife, deceased friends, relatives and even angels, they are no longer afraid of physical death. They know where they are going and understand the separation from dear family and friends is just an illusion.

When we are able to sense our deceased loved ones, either they have lowered their vibration level or we have somehow increased our own. I think it’s that simple. If this is the case how can we consciously raise our own vibration and build a solid bridge of contact with our loved ones living in the afterlife?

Increasing one’s spiritual awareness takes work. We must first address any physical, emotional or spiritual wounds hampering our progress. For example, addiction can create problems. As my friend Buddy Stone says, “To be conscious you must be conscious.” To avoid taking these first steps puts us at risk for remaining “stuck” in our own spiritual evolution.

Healing physically and emotionally

In order to make contact with the afterlife, we must take responsibility for every area of our lives in “this” dimension. In starting my own journey it was imperative that I look within myself and explore what might be holding me back. In my case, the stumbling blocks were clear.

When my mother died discussion about where her spirit had gone never happened. The “no talk” rule permeated my family. I responded to this by going to the pantry and grabbing a bottle of cheap red wine. Alcohol temporarily buried the pain of my loss, but also kept me from grieving.

Before the funeral my grandmother pulled out a vile of white pills. After grinding up a couple of these tranquilizers she not only laced my grandfather’s peanut butter sandwich with the drug, but mixed it into orange juice. After serving this to me I found I was emotionally numb for most of my mother’s service.

When it came time to close the lid on the silvery blue “Cadillac” casket, I decided to be brave and say good-bye. Making my way to the front of the funeral home, I saw a body that looked like my mother’s but something was missing. Confused, I again wondered where her spirit had gone.

Though I’d had a fantastic departing vision, the trauma of my mother’s funeral, along with the pills and wine, kept me from healing from this loss. Not talking openly about death, dying and the afterlife held me back spirituality.
Shortly after her physical passing, I discovered I was suffering from a debilitating medical condition. I had Cohn’s disease. My choices for treatment were steroids, along with surgeries and drugs. Addicted to not only alcohol, but pain medications my emotions were frozen and I was cut off from my spirit.

Start at the beginning

At twenty eight years of age my mother had been gone for twelve years. One day while sitting on the beach I asked myself, “Is this how she would want me to live?” The answer was an immediate, “No”. If I was to practice a spiritual life I had to start living a more balanced, holistic lifestyle. In 1984 I checked myself into a drug and alcohol center to cleanse myself of all of the medications and booze I’d become so addicted to. It wasn’t easy, but with help I survived.

I also knew I’d never healed from not only my mother’s tragic passing, but a host of other childhood traumas. Hiding from my pain wasn’t going to make it go away. Healing old wounds was going to be necessary for my spiritual growth. Thankfully, I found a good therapist who helped me with my grief work.

Trauma involving a troubled past, a lost love affair, a divorce, a major job change or geographical move, caring for aging parents, difficulty in raising children, experiences with war, a sexual assault, or any other number of intense life experiences can also block spiritual growth. Pushing such history aside won’t relieve us of the emotions associated with these events. Successfully raising our spiritual vibration can only happen if we are willing to clean up any emotional wreckage.

Unhealthy relationships can also block spiritual development. True intimacy and healthy connections with other likeminded people teaches us how to be spiritual beings. One-night stands and quick sexual interludes will leave us feeling empty and spiritually disconnected. An identity which rotates around taking care of everyone else’s wants, before caring for our own needs is also very unhealthy. For my growth I had to look at the people in my life and determine if these relationships were good for me.

If you are suffering from emotional despair or unhealthy living you can begin to mend your spirit with active psychological healing techniques, positive lifestyle changes, nutrition, and even herbal medicine. Utilizing a more holistic approach can have many long-term benefits. For more information, pick up my books, “Natural Mental Health” and “Learning to Say No.” For relationship issues grab a copy of “Beyond the Chase.”

The next step

Do we need to completely heal ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually before we can begin to make contact with the afterlife? The answer is no. If we are willing to start making healthy changes, this “intention” alone can begin to raise our spiritual vibration.

Along with working through my emotional baggage, and caring for my physical well being. I began looking into what I needed to do for my spiritual health. Below are a few of the steps I took.

Carla’s spiritual path

• Creating a spiritual sanctuary: The first thing I needed to do was to create a private spiritual place in my home. I cleared an area in my bedroom specifically for my spiritual sanctuary. In this space I had pictures of both my departed and living loved ones. Any religious tokens such as angels, statues, candles, and holy books, or items from nature, like quartz crystals, flowers, plants and seashells can also be included. This quiet sanctuary provided safety and enabled me to focus in on my spiritual evolution.

• Learning to be quiet: My mind was so busy! Just like a squirrel in a cage! There was no room for spirituality. I learned how to “turn down the volume” with a simple daily meditation. After silencing the phone, shutting off the radio, computer and television, I’d light a candle and just stare into the flame. While I did this I’d let my mind chatter away. After several weeks I found my thoughts were beginning to slow down. Within a month the chatter was replaced with a sense of calm along with moments of enlightenment and awareness. Today when confused or stressed, I get quiet, close my eyes and visualize my deceased loved ones. I then ask for guidance and listen! Eventually I receive answers.

• Firing concepts of God or a Higher Power that don’t work: For years I was furious with God over the loss of my mother, but tried to convince myself otherwise. When I finally got honest I gave myself permission to have my anger toward this god of my youth. Suddenly, I felt spiritually free. After firing the old god I had to find a more loving and compassionate concept. First I meditated by seeing my deceased relatives and friends in my mind’s eye.

Next, I asked them to show me a Higher Power I could trust and believe in. I now have a sense of spirituality that works for me.

• Developing religious tolerance: When I learned I could have a relationship with a Higher Power that made sense to me, I recognized everyone had this same right. This is why there are so many different religions and spiritual philosophies. Understanding religion was manmade, but spirituality was universal I became more tolerant of the beliefs of others. Religion is only a path to spirituality. The path taken isn’t important. How we treat ourselves and others is essential to our spiritual development.

• Creating personally meaningful prayer rituals: The repetitious religious prayers of my youth were no longer comforting me. I needed something more personable. While working through my anger toward the god of my youth, and my many losses, prayers for help were directed to my mother in the afterlife. I’d talk to her about my day, how I was feeling; anger, grief, fear or sadness, and sometimes I would even draw pictures. This worked for me. Today, my form of prayer continues to include speaking from the heart with deceased relatives on the other side. Talking to a loving universal spirit initially felt awkward, so I began by writing my prayers out in a daily journal.

• Embracing all our emotions: Society is quick to categorize certain human emotions as either good, or bad. Actually, feeling all of our feelings is healthy. How I react to my emotions can have positive or negative consequences. Unexpressed anger turns into rage, depression or physical illness, while unresolved grief can leave us feeling hopeless. Learning how to embrace our emotions responsibly is essential. It’s also important to understand that feeling “numb” doesn’t mean we have healed ourselves. I’ve had some of my most powerful afterlife encounters while in the depths of emotional distress. Expressing our feelings responsibly will open us up to spiritual experiences.

• Accepting ourselves, warts and all: For years I believed spiritual people were perfect people. I also thought once we physically passed we became even more perfect. I couldn’t see how I was going to measure up. Such pressure! This kept me from trying to connect with my deceased loved ones. I’d made mistakes and really believed this lack of perfection would disappoint them. What freed me up was recognizing we take ourselves to the other side. This journey is just part of an ongoing process of spiritual evolution. Perfection isn’t a requirement. I had to start talking to my loved ones in the next dimension just as I had when they were in this world. Along with this, if I carried anger toward any of my physically deceased family or friends, I needed to understand I could still work this out with them. And I did.

• Recognizing how different the physical body looks without a soul: The fear of physical death is a Western culture phenomenon which haunts many in today’s society. This also includes feeling distressed about aging.

Getting physically older brings us closer to physical death! Because of these fears, there are even those who avoid visiting the elderly, sick or funerals. How can we get past this phobic behavior? When I go to funerals I’m always reminded that the physical body laid out in the casket is missing something; a soul, that “light,” or a spirit. After my mother-in-law passed my then sixteen year old son wanted to see her body. When he looked down into the casket he said, “Oh! She really isn’t there!” and walked away! We are not our body. Our physical self is a manifestation of our spirit. When attending a funeral, imagine the spirit of the physically deceased sitting with you, gossiping about the event! As you approach the casket for viewing, continue your conversation with the spirit of this loved one. See them standing next to you looking down on the body. In visiting the elderly or sick, look into their eyes and try to see the soul.

• Connecting with the soul in everyone we meet: All of us have a spiritual self. When friends or family hurt us sometimes it’s hard to work through this. By separating the human fallibilities of those we love from their core spiritual essence, we can then learn to connect with others on a “soul to soul” level. Recognizing we are all spiritual creatures having a very human experience in a material world has helped me be more forgiving and tolerant of myself and others.

• Studying afterlife encounters: Looking into the history of near death experiences, after death communications, premonitions and deathbed or departing visions let me know I wasn’t alone in my experience. Such contact has been going on for centuries. There are also many modern day books, online articles, weekly blogs and internet websites dedicated to afterlife encounters. When reviewing such information, my philosophy is “Take what you like and leave the rest.”

• Pay attention to dreams: We can facilitate afterlife contact by paying attention to our night time visions and visitations from the other side. Looking at pictures of our physically deceased loved ones before going to sleep, and then writing out our dreams in the morning gets this process rolling. Remember, dreams can be the doorway to a heavenly hug.

• Being our own medium: We can learn to be our own medium or conduit to the afterlife. The easiest way to accomplish this is to join a Spiritualist church. These groups are typically nondenominational and open to anyone.

Their philosophy is based on contact with friends and loved ones in the next dimension, and life is seen as continuous. The website for National Spiritualist Association of Churches is Even if you don’t join a Spiritualist church, many groups within the NSAC offer information and even classes on medium-ship.

What to do if you have made afterlife contact

If you’ve had a quick peek at the next dimension or been visited by your deceased loved ones you might be asking, “How do I integrate these afterlife encounters into my daily living?”

Such experiences can rock us to our core, challenging everything we once believed. They can also pull painful issues we have avoided for years out of the darkest recesses of our mind. After a series of afterlife communications, I was suddenly hit with strong feelings about a loss I had avoided addressing for a decade. Spiritual contact with a deceased loved one forced me to finally do the work to heal from this old wound.

Shortly after a departing vision, near death experience or afterlife communication, unresolved past traumas and losses can suddenly ambush the mind. The unfinished must be finished in order to continue exploring a spiritual path.

Along with this, after making afterlife contact we can feel alienated from our religion, friends and even family. If we aren’t believed or our experiences become the butt of bad jokes and ridicule, many of us will be at risk for isolating ourselves.

When traveling a path of spiritual enlightenment, the ride can be bumpy. On such a road we will most likely be confronted with more than one difficult spiritual lesson. Instead of sweeping these opportunities for growth under the rug, we must roll up our shirtsleeves and start beating the bushes in search of like-minded people.

The internet is a good place to start. By searching words like deathbed vision, departing vision, after death contact and near death experiences, not only will we find literature, but groups of people in chat rooms and on message boards eager to share what they have experienced. Once we have this support we will have more confidence in sharing openly with family, friends and even naysayers!

Today, I have no problem letting those around me know where I stand. I don’t need to sit and feel misunderstood because I’ve been silent about spirituality and life after physical death experiences. If I allow this to happen, my soul feels distressed. That said I will add I do have boundaries of caution when there is a possible risk for experiencing unkind responses from others.

Having boundaries also means we discuss our afterlife encounters with our spouses, family and friends without having expectations about how they will respond. They don’t have to believe or agree with us. We must also look at how we share our encounters and beliefs. Instead of trying to force them to accept our experiences, we will do well to just model healthy spirituality. Along with this we might want to remember how we once were before beginning our own spiritual trek. I believe we all have an individual path to follow and specific journey in this life to complete. After experiencing a departing vision or similar encounters, we may have a hard time recognizing where we are going. The post signs of our journey can become blurred. It’s also not unusual to feel confused over the true purpose of life. What use to make sense and work for us no longer meets our needs. This can be a hard place to be in.

Afterlife experiences will force us to re-evaluate our course in life. After my first series of encounters I realized I was not happy with where I was living, so I moved closer to the sea. My work hours were too long and I was missing out on family time. Even my religion felt shallow. My priorities were no longer the same, so my lifestyle needed to change.

With spiritual growth I realized I was responsible for every aspect of my life. I had to learn how to take care of myself physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. It was also important to respect where my family and friends were spiritually. I needed to work on tolerance and patience while watching out for self righteousness. Finally, I understood my life had new purpose and meaning. Because of this, I couldn’t let concerns about what other people thought sway me from my path.

For thousands of years there have been tales about afterlife contact. History has taught us life continues. Our inner light can never be destroyed.

Over forty-five years ago I had my first departing vision. Since then I’ve been blessed with more afterlife encounters than I can count. These blessed events have assured me other dimensions of existence are real. When it’s time for me to shed my “earthly attire” I’ll be guided to the next adventure by those who have gone before me. Then together we will travel to the other side.

Though history separates on afterlife encounter from another, the experience is the same and the message rings loud and clear. Physical death is not the end.

Carla Wills-Brandon, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is also the author of 13 published books discussing topics including;

• Trauma resolution and PTSD
• Recovery from grief, loss and death,
• Afterlife research and spirituality
• The Departing Visions of the dying

One of her published books, Learning to Say No: Establishing Healthy Boundaries was a “Publishers Weekly Best Seller. The author has lectured across the U.S. and U.K., and has appeared on numerous national radio and television programs, such as Geraldo Rivera, Sally Jesse Raphael, Montel Williams, Coast to Coast Radio Show with Art Bell and George Noory, Uri Geller’s Coast to Coast Radio Show and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. Wills-Brandon has also appeared on several programs with her husband, Licensed Clinical Psychologist Michael Brandon, PhD.
A Glimpse Heaven is published by White Crow Books and is available from Amazon and other online bookstores. Her other books on departing visions, One Last Hug before I Go: The Mystery and Meaning of Deathbed Visions and Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope from the Afterlife

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