It’s quite possible that when we hear or read about communication with the dead, our first reaction is that of skepticism or outright contempt. But have we stopped to ponder on how and why do we have such preconceptions? What would happen if we opened our minds and embraced such a possibility as a real and accessible phenomenon for anyone to experience?
How would our lives and our relationship to the dead be changed if we were to incorporate a completely different understanding about what happens when we die? What kinds of lives would we lead if suddenly the fear of death was no longer present? How would our knowledge of the universe and the divine be changed if we were to incorporate the messages from those who exist in different dimensions beyond our material reality?
These are some of the many and very interesting aspects included in this interview with Julia Assante, author of, The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death.
Julia is an established social historian of the Ancient Near East. She received her doctorate in Archaeology and Art History of the Ancient Near East from Columbia University. She has also been an active professional intuitive. From 1977 to the present, Julia has been a professional psychic and medium. In addition to private sessions, she has taught workshops on remote-viewing, healing arts and aura reading, after-death communication, remembering the future and reincarnation recalling in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France and Spain. “Although it is a great wonder and privilege to assist the dying, officiate at funerals and contact the dead for others, what really changes people and really heals and ends grief, what unveils the truth of immortality is making direct contact themselves.”
SuperConsciousness: What was the reason that led you to write this book?
Julia Assante: I was born in mourning, deep morning. My mother’s child, just before I was conceived, died in infancy. Around the same time, my mother’s father died. So there was always this mournfulness and anxiety about what happened to them that she felt. And the questions — “Are they all right? Why did they leave me? Why did they die?” So that was, really, the prenatal environment up to and through early childhood.
In the mid-70s, I started working as a professional intuitive. I routinely got people coming in from the other side for brief messages and what not. But in 1983, I started working extensively with someone who had died from cancer. There was a lot of denial around her death and the expectation of a miracle. She was enraged when she got over to find out that she did die. She was completely unprepared, first, because she was told that the prayers and healings of her spiritual group would save her, and second, because no one talked to her about the possibility of dying. It took me three days going in and out of trance to set up something that would lead to her letting go. That was a turning point for me in terms of helping people crossing with bad transitions or poor transitions. I do a lot of that work since.
Another turning point happened while I was in graduate school and met this man, Michael, whose death I assisted. Michael was scheduled for a routine quadruple bypass. He had a lot of premonitions about dying despite the prognosis of his doctors who assured him not to worry. They told us that his particular condition was ideal for this operation. We acted as though we believed them. He was in Intensive Care after an extremely successful operation and then he started going. I watched this very closely. In this case, it was his indecision of whether to die or not. He would leave his body and then come back in again when the resuscitation paddles were applied. The paddles set off a brilliant red. Seconds afterward he would leave again, floating back up and looking down at his body from the ceiling in surprise. He wanted to go and eventually did. After his death, I became his acting reverend. Because I was preoccupied with arranging his funeral and working with his estranged family, I wasn’t letting him in.
That’s when I started getting these electronic problems in my home with the fax machine constantly twittering and the phone ringing when no one was on the other end. What alarmed me, living in New York City, was that the apartment door was standing open in the mornings. One morning while I was standing in the kitchen, I saw him forming in the air. I was finally ready to let him in and the contact was spectacular, lasting for over an hour. When I first saw him, his face wore a look of agony. When he realized that I could perceive him and communicate with him, his agony turned to euphoria. His eyes grew huge with love and gratitude, and his etheric body shot off little sparks, like tiny fireworks. That’s when I realized how easily we dismiss the departed. We put them away in that place we call the imagination. It was the most unbelievable after-death communication, with arguments, jokes, tears, avowals and it continues to this day. Now that level of passion is no longer there — there’s no need for it. My encounter with Michael opened up a portal for me where after-death communication became constant. It was that moment when I realized how important it was for the dead that we acknowledge their existence. That’s when I decided to write this book.
SC: What are some of the greatest benefits for us that you perceive in learning more about the afterlife, about what happens after we die?
JA: For me, what’s ailing our world the most is the fear of death and how we’re exploited by it day in and day out, especially by the news and entertainment industries, the health and medical industries, the government, even how we educate our children and teach them the origins of our species. We are made to believe that the universe is unsafe and the body is a time bomb. The fear of death is also something that is anchored in the story of creation in the book of Genesis in which death is brought on humanity as a punishment, therefore disconnected from the natural cycle. In that context, when you die, you are not expected to reunite with the divine. In fact, in the creation story, there’s really nothing that happens after death. That really was the orthodox take in early Judaism; there was nothing afterward. Society proposes many, many reasons to fear death and we operate out of that fear.
If we learn about the afterlife, we will lose that fear. We will learn that the afterlife is glorious. We will learn that communication with the deceased is not only possible but it’s happening all the time; that the dead are alive and vigorous. If you put all of this together, you would develop what I call the psychology of immortality, a perspective that sees our lives as a little flash in the pan within the immensity of eternity. Suddenly life becomes a very precious experiment, something to be cherished and enjoyed. The dramas we make for ourselves seem pitiable or downright laughable.
When you lose the fear and gain that kind of perspective, you reach your authentic self. Then you start to realize what’s important and what’s not. It just seems to occur to you all at once. The need for greed goes, competition goes, people turn instead toward service, toward fostering a better future. They become more compassionate, more philosophical. Physiological changes also occur when that fear is gone, such as less need for sleep, more energy, lower metabolism, and so on.
Learning about the afterlife is a spectacular adventure in itself. But learning about it would also help the dying. They could live life to the last, without fear. When fear is out of the way, there is little or no pain. Family and friends would be free to see the miraculous side of dying and to participate more fully. All would know that death is not an end. That there is continuity between this world and the next. Learning that would change the way we live and the way we die.
When he realized that I could perceive him and communicate with him, his agony turned to euphoria. His eyes grew huge with love and gratitude, and his etheric body shot off little sparks, like tiny fireworks. That’s when I realized how easily we dismiss the departed.
SC: Even for those people who follow certain philosophies and do believe in life after death, reincarnation, and in particular the New Age movement or modern spiritual philosophies, you say that they still carry some limitations in their conceptions. What is it you perceive to be limiting?
JA: The New Age movement of the 60s has been very beneficial, but in a lot of ways we substituted the old dualistic systems of judgment, war and punishment, the saved and the damned with higher and lower, for instance. You are either an old soul or a new soul, a high soul or low soul, which, if you think about it, still plays on judgment and hierarchy that we see in orthodox religions. That’s one aspect. Another one is this old Darwinian notion of spiritual evolution in which you continually move up the ladder of spiritual evolution. This is something I abhor, by the way. Defeating your human or animal self is pure Darwin and I’m a very anti-Darwin person. I am not a Creationist by any means, but I just think he has done tremendous damage from an academic point of view. He was a product of his period, there’s no question about it. He had the standard imperialistic attitude of his time about hierarchy and supremacy being natural for certain races. Of course at the top of the evolutionary ladder was the Victorian gentleman. I think we have to drop these ideas of natural dominance for the superior, of strong and weak, and of struggle and danger. More and more current research is showing that Darwinian ideas of even physical evolution were actually poorly substantiated.
If we learn about the afterlife, we will lose that fear. We will learn that the afterlife is glorious. We will learn that communication with the deceased is not only possible but it’s happening all the time; that the dead are alive and vigorous. If you put all of this together, you would develop what I call the psychology of immortality
What we’ve done is taken this idea of spiritual evolution, from Darwinism, social Darwinism in particular, and applied it to spiritual life where it simply doesn’t belong. You cannot have spiritual evolution in a non-time zone. You cannot have spiritual evolution in the inner dimensions of the afterlife where there is no cause and effect. We know that this is true, even clinically in trials that study psychic abilities. A person will react to a stimulus before the stimulus was even transmitted. Now that’s not cause and effect; that’s something else. If you’re looking at simultaneous time or non-time, the nonlocal reality of the afterlife in which all incarnations, for instance, issue at once, you can’t possibly have spiritual evolution. In my own memory of incarnations, and I remember an awful lot of them, there have been other, earlier lives in which I was a so-called higher person, by modern spiritual standards.
We cannot put everything on a timeline when time really is an illusion created by our nervous systems. There are all kinds of ways of structuring time. Certainly a gadfly would do it differently from the way we do it.
SC: How do you understand evolution? You don’t believe that evolution is a process that really exists?
JA: Change is a process, but the notion that something progresses from worse to better continually with time, I think we don’t really have evidence for this.
SC: Talking about evidence, a part of your book deals with different research that has been done that documents stories about what happens after we die. Can you briefly explain what kind of research has been done that gives us a glimpse that there is life after death and what we can expect after we die?
JA: I think we can start with the basics, which is from near-death experience studies. We know that consciousness not only operates when the body is shut down to the point of clinical death, but still continues to operate outside of the body far, far better, in fact, than in the body. Congenitally blind people can see using what I call protobiological sight, for instance. I think that just in near-death experiences the notion that consciousness can operate outside of the body, without the help of the body, is a big step. It’s a huge endorsement for survival after death.
Second, of course, are the hundreds of thousands of experiences that people have had with spontaneous after-death communication. Much of this can be corroborated. Sometimes people communicate with someone they didn’t even know had died, only to find out later that that person had passed. The problem with all of this is, of course, that we could consider such an instance as precognition rather than as a genuine afterlife encounter. Or the person could have picked up the death of someone telepathically from someone who knew of the death. That’s one explanation, which is called direct mental interaction between the living. Still, it cannot explain the sort of things I had with Michael, the arguments and the jokes. It also can’t explain things that the folk from the other side tell us that no one on earth knows, no one among the living knows. And how can it explain phone calls from the dead when the phone is out of service?
The conundrum is that if I were to die and tell you things about the afterlife that can’t be verified on earth, we simply cannot verify it, right? You have to get very special circumstances in which the dead tell you something that can be verified on earth but they only found out after they died, such as, perhaps, one of their bones was lost and could be found in such and such a place. That’s evidence, that’s proof.
My hope really is for near-death experience studies, reincarnation studies and after-death communication studies to pull together and start making serious maps, and for one sector of afterlife studies not to claim supremacy over another.
From the accounts that we have, and my own experience about what happens after we die, we now know that anything can happen. The afterlife is a nonlocal reality, a focus no longer in the world of matter. What you experience in it is about what your consciousness wants, needs, and expects. It is also culturally influenced. People recreate situations, even locales or landscapes, from these needs and expectations, at least in the beginning.
I think that just in near-death experiences the notion that consciousness can operate outside of the body, without the help of the body, is a big step. It’s a huge endorsement for survival after death.
Usually there is a reconstruction of the energy body, the energy body becoming fully operative, having incredible skill, where motion and mobility are fully restored. One of the things I usually hear from people who had long illnesses in which they were immobilized is the delight and astonishment in their new super-mobility. All they have to do is think about a destination and they are there. They feel utterly free; free from any impairment, including mental ones. All the perceptions change radically. They start to use their protobiological senses fully, resulting in synesthesia, where you can smell sounds, taste colors, or hear light, for instance. There’s a whole new delight in that arena of sensations and senses. For people who transit well there’s a sense of deep and total security, after the one big fear is over with. Self-realization is quite rapid and along with self-realization comes self-forgiveness. When reconciliation is achieved with the living, forgiveness is complete and the dead are released. They are often trapped by their own remorse and will try to make contact with, say, one of their children, not so much to beg for forgiveness but to express their remorse at what they had done. That can keep them in certain places, trying to reconcile with what they’ve done to others. Some of them will continue to attempt contact for several decades in our terms of time.
When the transition is good, there is a kind of golden ambient luminosity, a sort of divine fluid or ether that permeates all things that exist in any reality. It knows you thoroughly and loves you as well as every thought you have ever had. These are the factors that seem to be somewhat cross-cultural.
Some people may imagine they are meeting Jesus while somebody in India certainly may see Krishna, so most of the other factors depend on one’s background. People will recreate things knowing that they are recreating them, such as a childhood home or a place by the sea, certain kinds of landscapes in which they feel at their prime and which promote their greatest fulfillment. Their environments are maximizing their abilities and inner lives.
On the other hand, the people who have trouble can actually hallucinate hells or can stay somewhere in a “stuck zone.” In stuck zones, they remain focused on our reality and refuse to focus on the non-physical one they are entering.
SC: You have worked with a lot of people helping or instructing them how to communicate with the dead. What are the benefits you are seeing in the people that are still alive after they have this kind of communication?
JA: For one thing, think about the resolution of doubts and fears about what happens after we die. More important, perhaps, is the realization of who the dead are now without all the petty fears and dramas they were caught up in on earth. You may see, for instance, a parent who once rejected you, now capable of fully embracing you, a parent incredibly alive and accountable. You get to know who that person is now and so you’re looking straight in the face of immortality, an immortal being, the essence of the authentic human. Realizing that you are a friend or relative of an immortal is an extraordinary experience. It is life changing in itself.
My own parents were wretched parents when I was a child. By the time they died, our relationships had already improved enormously. But knowing them now without the fear, knowing who they really are, that real authenticity, I am now the daughter of parents like that, parents who care about what happens to me, who are proud of what I have become, who love me unconditionally, and who are there when I need them. This has totally changed me. It’s like becoming the daughter of something that’s divine. I no longer dwell on my past and no longer feel like a victim. Believe me, I am not prone to fantasy either. These living relationships with the dead are real and can change your life too.
Forgiveness is huge. There are cases where a murderer is lying on his deathbed and the murdered victims come to forgive him or her before they pass. Can you imagine how that will change the way the guilty die?
Warnings — the dead often come in to warn us about something harmful that’s going to happen and to be careful while driving, to change routes, for example, to not take that plane, or to check in on someone. Their warnings often save lives. When those warnings are not acknowledged, people usually have grave cause to regret it.
When we really open this up, and we will, we will tap into the greatest resource of knowledge that ever was. So that’s from our end, but from their end, many of the dead, especially if they died from murder or had an unforeseen or accidental death, they really need to connect with us to explain and share their stories. They also need to connect with us because of reasons of remorse or to tell us that they are okay. And when we see them the way they are now in real after-death communication, that image of their living selves in the other side replaces the one that we hold, that intrusive, disastrous memory of them on their deathbed or lying in the street mangled by a car accident. We tend to hold onto those memories because we are poorly informed. Holding onto them creates grief, feelings of helplessness, and tremendously deep pain. I teach people to see who their departed are now, alive, in their prime, with extraordinary skills and expanded awareness. I teach people to replace that morbid, intrusive memory with the vision of the departed as they are now. It eliminates grief instantly. Holding on to memories of people dying or as corpses is like holding onto a memory of your father and mother when you were 12 and refusing to remember them as they were when you were 45. That is holding onto the past; it’s no longer there. And by the way, the dead almost never bother to recall their deaths any more than we recall getting over some minor illness.
Realizing that you are a friend or relative of an immortal is an extraordinary experience. It is life changing in itself.
SC: In recent years with the advent of applications for mobile devices there is new software readily available that has been developed to allow one to communicate with the Spirits and entities from other dimensions — dead people. What is your opinion about these types of technologies?
JA: I believe the technology is there. George Meek developed a machine, the Spiritcom, decades back that allowed jaw-dropping, two-way conversation, much of it technical, with the dead. Still, it needed a medium. Nevertheless, we are ready. In fact, we wouldn’t be having this conversation ten years ago. I wouldn’t be having the hundred percent success I am having teaching people to make direct contact with their departed loved ones. A great reason why we’re ready is because of technology. Since the advent of the telephone, talking to a disembodied voice over a great distance has become second nature to us now. In fact, the telephone is still the technology most involved in after-death communication. There may be another reason though. We live in a digital world, bombarded by electronic transmissions. Just think of the cell phone. I believe that exposure alone is training us to pick up subtler and subtler electrical impulses with which the dead convey their messages, whether in images or in other forms. I think of electrical impulses as the conveyor belt of those messages. I believe technology is mainly what is launching this revolution in consciousness.
On the other hand, I’ve had a certain amount of future incarnation communication of 200 years from now. From what I have learned, it seems there will be a technology in place that will give us a steady communication feed between the physical and non-physical dimensions; it will become reliable and readily available.
SC: One of my questions was about your experience in communicating with someone from the future and, related to that, I also have the following question: If we take into account that we live in a multiverse and that all time exists simultaneously, is it possible that some of the entities we communicate with are in a parallel universe or living human beings alive in a different time? What I would like you to talk about is when we communicate with someone who is not living, is it not necessarily someone who is dead but could be somebody who is living in this same space but in a different time?
JA: All the time, absolutely. We can communicate with anything that is conscious, alive or dead, in this world or another.
SC: How do you distinguish if it’s somebody who has passed or if it is somebody who is living here but in a different timeline?
JA: Well, usually they tell you. It will be apparent. With the dead there is a kind of “physicalized” sensation that I feel when they appear. It’s a real presence. In other words they are able to project themselves into our dimension. People who are alive in other time zones communicate more in terms of a light, auric awareness, or when we are in an altered state. I’ve even run into past lives of mine on the streets. One time, I saw a woman who I was in my last life quite clearly coming the other way. She couldn’t perceive me but I could see her. She was certainly alive. At another time, with this same woman, I became her. My body, or rather, the experience of my body, transformed utterly, totally. Everything shifted. I felt suddenly tiny, restricted in the chest, etc. l would like to mention, too, that you have incarnations in existence now that are contemporaries. So it’s not just a matter of past and future. Just as one consciousness can create several incarnations inhabiting different bodies at the same time, there are also people who carry several distinct personalities in one body. The simultaneity of incarnations, whether from one time zone or thousands of different ones, can be likened to a radio in which transmissions are everywhere. Any one of them could be picked up by the radio, but usually we only tune into one at a time. In the afterlife, we tune into many at once. All these things coexist. There’s no end to the self, really. The self is just enormous.
SC: In the last part of your book you give descriptions about how to communicate with dead people. What is the difference between communicating with the dead and communicating with someone in the future? Would the techniques be the same?
JA: The main difference is that with afterlife communication the urgency is what makes it work best, the raw need of the living. Need works like an interdimensional beeper. You don’t have the need factor with a future personality because you don’t know who it would be. Simple curiosity does not supply the need or the emotional energy for a good connection. With my future incarnation, the guy is a communications expert. His name is Bernard and when I met him he was alive. Or maybe I should say he is alive or will be alive. And so I don’t know him from an afterlife perspective although I suspect I could. Meeting him was spontaneous and unexpected. I had put myself in trance and shot forward, feeling propelled through deep space. I could even feel the skin of my face pulled back and flapping as it would be if you were catapulted at a great speed. Then I suddenly landed in his office where he is, 200 years from now. He looked at me and said, “Oh, you finally figured it out, huh?” Obviously, he feels our techniques are primitive. I have communicated with him since too. The more we conceptually break down the past versus future framework, the easier future memory will be. I’ve been a past life therapist since the mid 1980s. People jump into their past lives quite easily. It’s really, really simple. It should be that simple for jumping into the future, too.
It’s more of a conceptual block than anything else. When we break through it, we will develop the technology.
The simultaneity of incarnations, whether from one time zone or thousands of different ones, can be likened to a radio in which transmissions are everywhere. Any one of them could be picked up by the radio, but usually we only tune into one at a time. In the afterlife, we tune into many at once. All these things coexist. There’s no end to the self, really. The self is just enormous.
SC: What is your perception of our future society? How do you perceive society to be in the future, once we have incorporated these concepts that you talk about in your book? How would our relationship to the dying be then?
JA: First of all, as far as I can see now, the population will be very reduced. Overpopulation is a symptom of the fear of death, a way of creating an early immortality through progeny. And that fear will end or at least greatly diminish in the generations to come. I’m not the only one who has seen that in the future.
There will be a sense of reverence for life, a sense of how precious this experience in the body is, how rare it is. There will be a sense that we are a small point in a very, very large universe, and even smaller in a gigantically large non-physical universe. There will be the recognition that what separates us from the dead is a microscopic dot of matter. If I took all the energy out of all your atoms, you would be reduced to a microscopic dot of matter. I think that knowing this, that we are largely projections ourselves, will change the way we’ve been understanding health. Right now we’re obsessed with health and anti-aging and, again, that’s all about the fear of death. Once that obsession is gone, our body trust will return and we will live longer, healthier lives. The body knows how to heal itself. Similarly, we’ll understand where illness comes from better and how to correct it energetically rather than biochemically.
We will have this enormous resource of knowledge. I think the penal system will collapse. Prisons will close. Policed morality hasn’t worked in all of human history, as we know it. It’s not likely to work in the future. And policed morality is not morality but fear. So forgiveness and rehabilitation will be the rule.
We’ll see life and death as a continuity — in a body; out of the body. The whole purpose of life will be astonishingly different, with different values and aims. The citizens of earth will know all this. They will know who they really are and they will know what really matters.
People jump into their past lives quite easily. It’s really, really simple. It should be that simple for jumping into the future, too. It’s more of a conceptual block than anything else. When we break through it, we will develop the technology.
SC: This is my last question and it’s kind of where we started this conversation. What I perceive as probably the greatest limitation for the acceptance of this information is that scientists refuse to endorse it or recognize its validity. They are very reluctant to engage in this kind of inquiry and don’t perceive it as a serious and worthy area of research. What were the greatest challenges you faced in writing this book?
JA: From scientists? I think really scientists are starting to break down under the pressure. They’ve done just about everything they can on their end to remain materialists, but they have already created the conceptual structure for afterlife dimensions. Consciousness research and nonlocality research are doing amazing things to support a survival-after-death hypothesis. The current technology is also helping.
It’s just a matter of time before science starts to look at it seriously. After-death communication, the proof of life after death via mediumship, I think is something that is mostly over. We are going to take a new track and it’s going to be more technological investigation done with machines. There are electrical factors when the dead are present and those factors can easily be tracked by technology we already have. So I don’t think it’s going to be too long from now, maybe in the next generation when science finally gives in and admits survival as real. There could be a lot of secret information already collected on this issue by science or government, certainly from Russia, which may become public.
SC: Is there something else that you would like to add that I did not cover in the interview?
JA: There’s one thing. You are never more dead than you are now.
For more information about Julia Assante and her work, visit: http://www.juliaassante.com/