One of the hardest things about being in contact with the dead is believing that it’s real. This is because we determine reality based on physical cues, and they are totally absent in this type of communication. So, we want signs, sign after sign.
I am no different. As soon as one sign appears, I’m looking for another. We were in continuous communication for forty-five years, talking, touching, loving—being physically together in every way. Not a day passes that my body is not startled a new by her absence. And yet my mind knows that she’s here. Right now, this moment. Here. I hear her speak to me, see various manifestations, get convincing reports from others that are so varied and consistent that they qualify as personal knowledge. Not universal knowledge, certainly, but on a personal basis, yes.
However, my body’s reaction is different. Without smells, tastes, sounds—no physical manifestations at all, as far as it’s concerned—she’s gone. Unlike my mind, it has no way of believing otherwise. As it no longer has any confirmation of her existence, it adds a layer of question—which is good. Far better to open the door with question than close it with belief. Above all, we must not look to those in the nonphysical as prophets and guides.
The reason for this has to do with why we are here on our side of the bridge. We are not here to see the future, but to experience the present. This is how we explore and come to understand ourselves. Surprise is crucial or we will not act out of our deepest truth. We won’t get to discover ourselves. So, there will always be a limit not only on how much our dead know of the future, but also on how much we can be told. I would say that my relationship with Anne is deeper now than it was when we were both in the physical. I was her companion in life. Now I am in communion with her.
We are, in other words, sharing our beings in ways that are not possible when both are limited by the barrier of the physical. We share our beings and at the same time cultivate questions that will help us both continue the process of discovery that is the core aim of any relationship, including—and especially—one that crosses the bridge.
Teacher that she is, Anne loves the question and understands its value deeply. It would be wonderful to be able to have certainty. But as much as we would rather enjoy the comfort of belief, to live in the adventure of the question is richer, better and, frankly, a great deal more fun. To our deepest cores and in every drop of our blood we human beings fear to die. It is this crushing fear that can strip the humanity right out of us and turn us violent.
Anne is part of the effort to change this by helping us, the living, to replace the fear that rules us with another approach entirely. It is not a rigid belief, but rather a supple, questioning sense of assurance that this universe isn’t simply a passive reality that happens to contain us, but a living presence of which we are a part.
The bright materialism of modern life makes it hard to believe that there is anything more than the body, even though some of us still embrace religious beliefs that tell a different story. But Anne, like my other near-death experiencers who weren’t religious, didn’t follow the old rituals but did believe in the soul.
She didn’t just believe in a subjective sense. Because of her NDE, she felt that she had objective proof of the existence of her soul. She wrote eloquently about the NDE in Anne’s Diary, which she kept on our website, unknowncountry.com. The entry is called “The Love That Led Me Home.”
These lines from it are relevant to this discussion: “All that really survives of us is the love we have made in the world. It’s a simple truth that will stay with me forever, even when I pass again across the threshold, this time never to return.