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Commentary From The Soul Doctor

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Conversations with Dr. Gary Schwartz - Chairman of Eternea

Adapted from work to be published soon called "Ask the Soul Doctors";  by Mark Pitstick

The following information is opinion and speculation, but grounded in the scientific study of STEs over the past four decades. It represents a convergence of opinion and insight offered by thousands of individuals reporting STEs. It is offered for consideration as a possibly valid interpretation of reality.


Who am I?

I'm going to speak as a scientist, not from my own personal experience. Yes, we each are clearly more than just a human body. From everything we know in contemporary physics, everything that “is” is a combination of what we call energy and information. What we mean by matter, what we experience as matter, is actually "organized energy." And the interesting thing about information and energy is that, in the "vacuum of space,” it's there forever.

Consider, for example, if we look at the night sky when we're out in the country away from city lights. There's no moon, no clouds, and we see the light of thousands of stars. With telescopes, we can see billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars. All that light has been traveling for millions and billions of years in the vacuum of space, and it doesn't disappear. If it became "randomized," if it became distorted in the vacuum of space, then you and I would look at the night sky and see mush. But we don't see mush; we see a history of star light going back millions and billions of years.

Light has a kind of "immortality," and the energy/information of humans is like distant stars. And that includes, by the way, what we call our thoughts, feelings, personalities, and consciousness. Just a basic understanding of physics, particularly quantum physics, leads us to the conclusion that our essence is like the essence of matter itself. It’s information and energy, which sounds very much like soul and spirit.

Why am I here?

If I am an infinite being of energy and part of God, why would I come to a place like earth?

First of all, that's a great question. Why is a bird on the earth, and why is an elephant on the earth? Why are any living systems on the earth? You could argue that we're here to learn life's lessons. We're here to grow. We're here to develop our "individual souls" and at some level, that's true. You could also say the same thing about lobsters, fish, tigers, and so on. All creatures are here to live out their respective lives.

But I think human beings have a bigger purpose than just that. We have the capacity to reflect on all of this and to be of service. My working hypothesis is that we're here not just to learn and grow, we're also here to develop the capacity to love, to increasingly appreciate, and take an ever-greater responsibility for things. It's not just to go back to heaven and be happier. We can be wiser parents and people who express love and caring now. That's my personal opinion as opposed to a scientific one.

I wrote a book called The G.O.D. Experiments. G.O.D. stands for guiding, organizing and designing process. At the end of this book, I have a chapter that says infinite love is the ultimate gift from God. A lesson occurred to me many years ago when I was a professor at Yale: human beings are like little love machines as we come onto the planet. We literally love everything and want to experience it. We're curious about everything. That only changes when we experience pain, or our parents and teachers punish us for doing things. They teach we're not supposed to love this or we're not supposed to love that.

One of the things that is quite remarkable about the capacity for human love is illustrated in a university setting. There you have hundreds of professors from all walks of life pursuing their passions for questions, whether they're about atoms in physics or molecules in chemistry. My father was a chemist and pharmacist who loved chemicals. People who are biologists spend their lives studying fruit flies or finches. Others fall in love with psychology, sociology, and on and on.

Human beings have the capacity to love almost any aspect of life, and I think this is one of our defining qualities. And as people evolve in their "soul growth," they consider concepts such as universal love and unconditional love. We hear phrases such as “God loves everyone and everything,” and that certainly was a message of great spiritual teachers like Jesus.

What I realized is that we're sort of "pre-programmed to love." We are designed with that capacity. That’s what is so fascinating about the science, biology, and psychology of love. Love is a nearly untapped resource, but it requires education for us to manifest it. That's my greatest inspiration: to expand people's appreciation for their capacity to love and then to honor it.

What happens after I die?

Is there a range of afterlife possibilities?

The word death is no longer appropriate. There is no death; there is transformation. There is "moving" to other dimensions. The word “death” is like the phrase “the sun revolves around the earth.” It’s just not that way.

When the physical body dies, our energy, information, memories, all of our history continues in the "vacuum of space," since everything that ever happened is present there. This is just slightly rephrasing what contemporary physics tell us, and this is somewhat controversial.

The question is what do we do with all that energy and information? What do we do with our life experiences? There's scientific research that says a few different things can happen. Number one, people can "reincarnate.” There's evidence from research at the University of Virginia, very strong evidence that supports the hypothesis that we can return to earth and continue to grow and be of service.

In addition, some people can choose to continue to be of service, but not necessarily reincarnate. In fact, the most exciting part of our current research is that we've been working on technology to detect the presence of spirits with what I call a soul phone. We’re evolving from the cell phone to smart-phone to soul phone.

In principle, and I describe this research in my book The Sacred Promise, it's only a matter of time before we’re able to use technology to communicate with people who have "died”, that is, people who have transitioned from life on earth. And then the love that they had while on earth can be sustained and evolved with people they knew and those they’ve never met.

The subtitle to that book is How Science Is Discovering Spirit's Collaboration with Us in Our Daily Lives. It discusses the whole notion of other potential roles for departed souls. They don't have to come back to Earth in a physical form, but they can continue to have relationships with their children and grandchildren. They can help care for the planet because they love Earth and wish to be of service. Then there's all the freedom once you lose your physical body: you can go to other places in the Universe and potentially to other Universes. You can better know the Source. There are lots of opportunities.

My personal opinion is that we have choice in our after-death possibilities. There's choice at every level. We also have responsibility and soul contracts. You know the phrase, “As above, so below.” Well, there are also indications that “As below, so above” is true. I think the notion of our choosing and fulfilling different missions is a very plausible one.

Is there a God/Higher Power/Source?

If so, what is that phenomenon like and what is our relationship to It?

In the book I wrote called The G.O.D Experiments, I used the subtitle How Science Is Discovering God in Everything—Including Us. The word “small” has the word “all” in it and, literally, the “All” is in the “sm-all.” A hologram can have stores of information of everything in it and that everything can be simultaneously present everywhere. The notion is that there's this infinite potential, what David Bohm called the implicate order. This universal consciousness, intelligence, mind, source is in everything. And it has the capacity to be manifest in a zillion numbers of ways, including in the form of a human.

From this point of view, this Universal Consciousness or Source Energy would be in everything. And we can consciously access it, make requests of it, and be of service to it in an intentional way.

For me, one of the most fascinating things about the Source is the more we live a life of love, compassion, and caring, the more we have the capacity to be in harmony with and experience what Larry Dossey, MD, calls the One Mind. One of the ways that expresses itself is in synchronicity. The more one chooses to live in harmony and with the highest intentions, the more one will see evidence of, as my wife Rhonda calls it, the continuity of encouragement. You see not just subtle signs of interconnections between things, but ever more evidence of the nonrandom nature of the Universe being expressed in our daily lives.

Why is there suffering?

This is especially difficult to understand when children suffer and die.

Of course it's a fundamental question. There are multiple reasons for what we call suffering. Number one is protection. For example, as young children, we learn to not put our hands in fire so we don’t get burned . How do we know not to put our hands in fire? Because we experience pain. Pain is a built-in mechanism, and its purpose is to inform us when we injure ourselves and prevent future injuries. So, in that respect, pain as a built-in capacity for suffering is actually a gift. It's a gift because, without it, we would constantly be hurting ourselves.

Secondly, if we don't have the capacity for fear, we will not survive. Sometimes there are real dangers in the world, and people who lose the capacity for fear are less likely to survive. So fear is also a gift. What about depression? Depression is also a gift because if we don't feel sadness, we will be less concerned about the people that we love. So our capacity to feel pain, fear, sadness, loss, and guilt provides us with feedback to love and care more, so these are not bad things per se.

Now the next question is why does disease occur? And, even worse, why do we do such cruel things to ourselves and others? The primary explanation I know is that one of the gifts humans are given is the gift of relative freedom. We are given the opportunity to make choices—including making mistakes—and to take responsibility. Expecting God to do things that we can do ourselves is missing the point. We want the freedom to be able to make choices. Everybody loves freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility.

The last thing is that some people come to Earth with designs for a shorter life. Their suffering from illness and/or an early death is not just for them personally. It's not that they are serving karma or penance to make up for mistakes they made in the past. There may also be an agreement that they come into life and suffer to help others learn compassion and take responsibility.

So there could be many levels of why suffering occurs. My conclusion is that the Source—that creates life and gives us freedom to grow, explore and make our own mistakes—has created a very wise and caring system.

Will I see my departed loved ones again?

How can I best communicate with them now?

I can speak as an authority having done so much research in this area. The evidence is clear. Absolutely, yes. When you die, you can reconnect with the people you love and who love you. Love is what connects us. And, when a child, parent, or loved one passes on, we can connect with that individual now. Not just through mediums, we can develop this capacity ourselves by learning a new skill.

I can teach anyone to play chopsticks on the piano, but very few of us are going to become a concert pianist. If we want to become concert pianists, we have to put in the time and energy to practice. The same thing applies to the skill of being able to connect with the Other Side.

In the future, I think it's going to be just like you and I talking over a great expanse. You’re in Ohio, I'm in Arizona; I can't see you and you can't see me. But I’m talking over a wireless phone via a satellite that sends signals back down to you. We take that technology for granted and I foresee, sooner than later, that we'll have the technology to connect with the Other Side as well.

Communication with departed loved ones can be subtler than most people expect and that's why they might dismiss it. Let's get back to looking up at the sky at night where we can see thousands of stars with the naked eye. But during the day, we look up at the sky and see no stars. The question is what happened to all the starlight from thousands of stars that we can see at night?

Did all that starlight disappear? Or it is still there and we just can't see it because we're blinded by the brightness of the sun? Sometimes we need to go into the dark in order to see the light. This information is subtle; it's below the level of our usual conscious experience. That's why, historically, people went into caves to become enlightened. That's why people learned to meditate. That's why mediums still their minds and get their emotions out the way, so they can pick up the subtle cues that are really there.

Are there really ghosts and evil spirits and, if so, what are they

Well, that's probably the most controversial and taboo topic in all of science if not all of humanity. Many years ago, I started thinking about the physics of consciousness and survival of consciousness. It became very clear to me that what allows your and my consciousness/energy/information, to continue after it dies is the same for any living system after it dies.

The consciousness of the Hitler’s and Bin Laden’s of the world continues on just as much as the consciousness of the Mother Theresa’s and Martin Luther King’s. Energy is energy, information is information. Individuals don't automatically lose their malevolent tendencies because they die; there’s not instant enlightenment. Consequently, the negativity continues. Once you recognize this, then you say, "Wow, then I have to be protected from this."

What kind of protection is literally built into the structure of the cosmos? My working hypothesis is that a "veil" exists as protection from the Other Side so that we will not be potentially harmed by "negative forces" that continue to exist.

For the record, science doesn't want to touch this with a hundred and ten foot pole. The implication is that all consciousness survives because all energy survives. The notion that so-called evil or dark forces, both individual and collective, survive has to be entertained. Science does not want to address these questions, and the public is frightened about this.

It is wise for us to be frightened about this, but that doesn't mean we have to be terrified by it. There are different ways to minimize the impact of negative forces and protect ourselves. We can develop spiritual immunity, just as we have biological immunity, by using spiritual practices such as connecting with God, living in love, and so on. All of that appears to really work.

What happens to the soul/life-force of people who commit suicide?

Suicide is not suicide is not suicide. Some people commit suicide because they are severely grief stricken and depressed. After they pass on, the evidence suggests that they wake up and realize their actions were affected by their tremendous challenges. A subset of that group will decide that they made a mistake and regret having taken their own lives and causing so much pain to others. There are various ways they can respond: by giving back to those whom they love on Earth, caring for those on the Other Side, or returning to Earth again.

Other people commit suicide because they feel they’re no longer of service and can’t help their family. They don't want to take up any more resources. In some Native American traditions, when people felt they were a burden on the tribe, they believed they would be of more service to become an ancestor. They would go out into the desert and die. This was also suicide, but they weren't doing it out of depression or anger—they were doing it out of love. They would continue to be members of the tribe, but from the ancestral rather than the physical realm.

I think that suicide is often tragic for the individual and loved ones, but it's also an opportunity for growth.

How can I best hear my inner self’s voice and know my highest purposes?

The first thing is to know it is possible. Know that you have a choice and can set an intention to do this with genuineness and gratitude. You enter this space saying, “This is how I want to live my life and what I wish to do as an individual.”

Secondly, there are various techniques for meditation, to quiet one’s mind. One of the things I do personally is focus on love. “Energy flows where a loving mind goes.” You can consciously put yourself into a loving mind state by doing exercises where you put one hand on your heart and one hand on your abdomen as you're breathing in. You feel the energy flowing up your left arm into your heart and think the words “love—heart.” As you breathe out, you feel or imagine the energy flowing down your right arm into your right hand and think “love—breath.”

You're literally filling your consciousness with love for your heart and breath. It’s extremely relaxing, energizing, and takes you to the path of being love-focused. As you become more love-focused, you develop loving energy habits of mind and heart. It then becomes easier to discern and use more of your capabilities.

You could also think the words “divine love—heart” and “divine love—breath.” That shifts your consciousness from just the personal notion of love to the Divine. That word works particularly well for me. I’ve researched this with over 400 people, and most say their experience is more intense and broader. They feel it more over their whole body, and they connect with higher experiences.

How can I evolve beyond my earlier religious teachings that don’t make sense to me now?

Examples include notions of: an eternal hell, being born into sin, only one true religion, being gay is sinful, etc

First of all, we have to understand that most of our religions arose many thousands of years ago. Those people did the best they could with the knowledge they had, which was minimal. They believed that the Earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the Earth. People used to have all kinds of beliefs that were quite naive by today's standards.

It's not surprising that our spirituality is going to change as our knowledge grows. So first of all, we have to forgive our churches, temples, and mosques. We have to forgive the writings of people who hadn’t progressed beyond ancient historical views of their time.

Secondly, we have to stay open-minded. There are grains of truth in almost every spiritual tradition. We can celebrate the genuineness of people who were on those paths, but still treat them as historical. I believe we need to develop evidence-based faith that supports an evolving spirituality—not faith based on history and dogma.

Eternea was founded by Dr. Eben Alexander, who wrote Proof of Heaven, and John Audette, one of the founders of the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS). Eternea is all about the convergence of science and spirituality and its implications; Eternea's seven spiritual statements  are based on scientific evidence. These postulates are also cornerstones of most religions. Eternea's mission is to develop and expand spiritual understandings that are also supported by science. Science is not taking away spirituality; it's actually taking us to spirituality. This is really wonderful, since we can evolve as individuals and, at the same time, be respectful of traditions we were raised in.

All of us have to grow. If that means we have to change some of the religious teachings we once believed were true, so be it. Our ancestors all thought the sun revolved around the Earth and we were all wrong. That's okay. The critical thing is that we can always learn and grow.

How can this information help me deal with life’s toughest challenges and make the world a better place?

Singers and composers such as John Denver, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson addressed evolving our spirituality. The song “Man in the Mirror” says that if we wish to contribute to solving humanity’s greatest problems, including the mess we’ve made of the planet, it has to begin within. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror first and decide that we're going to change ourselves. And as we grow and change, we can then contribute to others.

Whether we get our inspiration from spiritual leaders, scientists or entertainers, the critical thing is that we realize we're each infinite beings of energy. This is really true and, once we remember our core essence, it changes the way we see everything. It changes the way we approach life. We stop thinking of ourselves as limited beings suffering on a small planet. We realize there is a greater reality that we're each part of. We can get rid of conventional teachings and see with greater wisdom. This provides hope and inspiration. It expands our capacity to love, to be of service, to see the bigger picture.

When I was invited to become the new chairman of Eternea, and was speaking with the CEO and president. I said, "The initiative of Eternea is very important. I don't just think as my life in terms of ten or twenty more years on this planet. I do envision the soul phone coming along. I’ll make a deal with you. I'm willing to become the chairman, but only if we make a commitment to be of service to this particular organization for the next two hundred years."

Now, I don't mean in the physical. I don't expect to be living physically in my body for two hundred years. I just don't anticipate that. But what I do anticipate is that I can continue to be of service from the Other Side, particularly as more bridges between Earth and there get built. That’s just one example of how taking a longer view in our lives changes the way we live in daily moments.


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