Author and spiritual medium, Claire Broad, returns to discuss her new book, What the Dead are Dying to Teach Us: Lessons Learned from the Afterlife. Topics include Reincarnation, Rising Up Above Fear, Nobody Dies Alone, and more!
In this special listener feedback episode, Patrick digs into listener emails, Apple Podcast reviews, PLUS discussion on past lives and reincarnation with Simon Bown and Claire Broad, and your 2019 astrological forecast with Dena DeCastro!
My dad called me about this one. “Hey! Turn it on SyFy. There’s a new show and they’re talking about séances!” This seems to be a goofy show that tastes a little like Unsolved Mysteries to me. Maybe it’s the reenactments that give me that vibe, because it’s certainly not the goofiness. And that’s not horrible, I guess… because I love me some old school Unsolved Mysteries. To this day the old theme song can make me pull the covers over my head, but musically I just love it! But Weird or What? is hosted by William Shatner (which explains the goofiness).
The particular episode that I watched was episode #2 and titled “Life After Death”. In this episode, Mr. Shatner makes his entrance on a Segway…. ??? I was delighted to see that the séance material ended up being about the Scole Experiment, which I’ve discussed on this blog quite a bit (see related links below). Most of the information was watered down to fit a small segment, but it was nice to see some fresh discussion on the topic with people involved. Other segments include a man who has been told and is convinced that in a past life he was a general in the Civil War Battle of Antietam, and a man who comes back from the dead after 18 years. That last one, of course, is trying to take advantage of the huge zombie craze that the American culture is going through right now.
Some of the interviews in this episode include a scientist who discusses his theory about the soul and quantum physics (that’s when I started seeing chickens out of the corner of my eye and thought about going downstairs for a snack), a photography expert that analyzes some of the Scole evidence (even though it has already been done), and a Harvard psychologist and a scientist who both play the part of skeptics. The scientist sets up an almost insulting and fake séance for unsuspecting sitters. Of course, this is his way of saying it’s all an illusion.
So what did I think? It’s the only episode I’ve watched and my DVR is not set to record anymore episodes.
I used to not like the boys from Ghost Adventures at all. In fact (as if I knew it all), I would roll my eyes and tell you all about why I thought they were giant asses (though they have been in the past). I’ve talked to other GA fans who believe that they’re softening up a bit and getting more serious. That might be true, but I think I just didn’t really give them a chance before because of the first impression. I began really checking them out in preparation for my Fort Chaffee Prison investigation with JPRS. They had investigated that location a year or so before and I studied that episode. Some people turn their noses up and pretend that all paranormal television (Ghost Hunters, etc.) are nonsense and had nothing to do with why they do whatever it is they do in this field, but I’ve learned to appreciate them for what we can get out of them. I suppose there are pioneers out there who have been at it for years, but the vast majority of people in this field joined AFTER the great paranormal craze of the early 2000s. (Warning: Completely random comment. I think we need to start using the term “ott” or “ot” again when referring to the first ten years of the century. Thoughts?) I can’t pretend Ghost Hunters wasn’t one of the biggest inspirations for why I do what I do.
Anyway… (Look! There goes another chicken!) I’ve been watching more Ghost Adventures episodes recently. The episode of their most recent visit to the Goldfield Hotel was outstanding, but just the other night I watched the Glen Tavern Inn episode. What fascinated me about this one? Not only did they get some really great EVP, and they gave us plenty of shots of the beauty of the hotel, but they conducted a séance! I was pleased to see Zak and the boys be open to doing that. The fact that they (like Ghost Hunters) have been having celebrity guests lately has been getting on my nerves, but I guess they gotta do what they gotta do.
Has anyone else been watching?
Shirley MacLaine has written several books, but the autobiographical Out On a Limb (1983) is the first book that really goes “out there” as she lets you follow her search for inner truth. If you not only go back a bit in time, but also think about the massive career that Shirley had built by this moment, it’s not hard to understand that she had a lot to lose by “coming out” to the public about her enlightenment. It’s not really a short read, and it’s not light and fluffy either. But I suspect many Big Séance readers can relate to much of what is in this book.
There are a few initial chance meetings that introduce Shirley to topics like reincarnation, mediumship, and aliens/UFOs. I found it interesting to hear her talk about her hunger for learning and finding information through books. She couldn’t stop reading and searching for answers. This is how I felt when I began what I’ve often called my “spiritual shift” several years ago. This blog has been a continuation of this shift. It took what seems like forever for Shirley to really accept some of these concepts. There were times she was downright skeptical and wouldn’t just take one person’s explanation or even one personal experience as proof. And the biggest moment that I could relate to happened after spending two and a half heavy and dramatic weeks in Peru with a friend and teacher. She became overwhelmed. The spiritual truths and learning was all too much and was happening so fast. I flagged this paragraph in the book.
“I spent the next few days walking and thinking. Sometimes David came with me, sometimes not. Sometimes I wanted to go home, back to America, back to the familiarity of my old world with its fast-paced involvement, its clanking relationships, its unrealistic romance, all the rushing with no seeming purpose–the events, the news, the arts, movies, hits, flops, sweat, hard work, black humor, competition, new fashions, profits, color TV, and success. I missed it all. I was used to it. I had survived in its colorful confusion, and I missed it. But I didn’t want to be unfulfilled in it anymore either. I watched the woman with no teeth wash her clothes by stamping on them with her feet. They came out clean. The clothes, I mean. (Probably the feet, too.) That’s what I wanted to do with my life… stamp on it until it came out clean. Could I go back to my old world now? Would I be two people? Was I more than one person anyway? I stopped and laughed right there. That was the whole lesson, wasn’t it? I was all the people I had ever lived. I had probably been through versions of this brain drain more than a few times before.”
How many of us have experienced this? I know I did. I still do sometimes. Well according to her book, it didn’t take long for her to snap out of the confusion. You might say that since then she’s been one of the few Hollywood faces of the paranormal/spiritual. Her site has the following as a part of their mission.
“The objective of our center is to afford visitors of all ages the ability [to] explore and interact with the myriad of alternative views relating to Spirit, Mind, and Body. These are vast realities that range from the very human concerns of health, well being, aging, and alternative therapies, to universal topics of extraterrestrials, UFOs and phenomenon, to our delicate environment, to life after life, and the spiritual truths of the Divine that each of us is striving to connect with.”
For those in a younger generation that may only know her as playing the role of Martha Levinson on the hit PBS series Downton Abbey (AhhhhMAZING show!), below is Shirley’s Oscar acceptance speech for the amazing film, Terms of Endearment in 1984, a year after Out On a Limb was released. In it, she makes a joke about past lives, but she also talks about there being no such thing as accidents and that we all manifest what we want. I love it and I’ve watched it several times. Just look at the amazing talents and personalities that are shown. The ending of her speech is classic. This video started me out on one of those endless labyrinths of addictive videos that kept me from sleeping. I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that this same all-night obsession has happened in the past with Esther Williams and Gloria Swanson. Anyway, view at your own risk.
Unfortunately, Shirley has most recently been in the news after her daughter, Sachi Parker, wrote and released a book Lucky Me: My Life With — and Without — My Mom, Shirley MacLaine. In the book, Parker apparently claims that Shirley was an absentee mom.