Tag Archives: Reincarnation

The Feast Before The Famine

I’m sitting here in bed at 7am and feeling grateful for the incredible blessings that continue to show up in my life. I’m also sitting here feeling a bit apprehensive about what’s to come over the next few weeks.

I am attending a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat that starts on Wednesday. Ten days of silence. No yoga or exercise. No reading or writing. Very little food and 10 hours and 45 minutes of meditation everyday. That’s about 110 hours of meditation in under two weeks.

The schedule is intense, as is the food regimen , so I’m taking this opportunity to feel VERY grateful that my retreat begins after Thanksgiving. I plan on eating way more than I should in an effort to fatten up before I drive out to the desert to waste away. The feast before the famine, so to speak.

Besides my immense gratitude for this opportunity, what I imagine to be a life-changing experience, I am also especially thankful for these 3 realizations that I’ve come to understand over this last year.

My Mother’s incredible dedication to my development

My mother made the long trip to come and visit me for a week and we spent our time going through her old journal entries and listening to audio of me as a child. She had recorded a few of our conversations and one stood out as being very interesting.

I was 8 years old and my mother was asking me all kinds of questions and out of the blue I said something about my baby sister being “so fat and cute and she must have been born again” and basically I began telling my mother that good people who die go to heaven so they can come back and live again.

I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools so reincarnation was definitely not on the menu for any curriculum I would have been exposed to. My mother listened to me and began to explain that I was describing reincarnation and proceeded to give me a very intelligent and in-depth lesson in who believed in reincarnation and why.

This was cool for me on two fronts: 1) Seeing that I’ve had ideas about energy and life that were uniquely my own since I was very young. Ideas that had to have originated from somewhere outside of what my parents or school were teaching me; and 2) Seeing that my mother was open to my curiosity and did everything she could to educate and encourage me.

These audio conversations between 8 year old me and my then 31 year old mom have been such an incredible gift this Thanksgiving.

Learning the full art of forgiveness

Last night I enjoyed a little feast with an old friend. Someone I used to have an on/off relationship with over the course of many years. It wasn’t the healthiest or kindest relationship most of the time, but I always felt a connection to him that seemed like it was important for me in some way. Anyway, it had been maybe 3 years or more since we’d had any real contact and earlier this month he reached out to me to say hi and apologize for his behavior in the past.

I had been reading “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM) and was at the part where the act of forgiveness was being discussed and it felt like appropriate timing for me. When he apologized, I accepted it and told him not to let it worry him any further. It’s taught in ACIM that forgiveness is more than just saying “I forgive you” or “just letting it go” – forgiveness is actually taking the step beyond those things and doing whatever is in your power to balance the energy again.

In this case, that meant going to meet him and his new baby son for dinner without carrying anything from the past with me into the situation. We ended up having a really nice evening and it felt awesome.

Because I chose to release pride, ego, past hurt and all the other junk, I was able to reconnect with my old friend on the things that were always good between us. I felt incredibly happy holding his son and seeing parts of his dad in his little baby blue eyes. By truly forgiving and taking the final step in forgiveness to reset the balance in the energy between us, I gave myself the gift of having this relationship transform back into a positive force in my life, rather than a sad or injurious one.

The ability to feel from the inside and radiate out in a way that connects with others

Through all of the yoga and meditation and self-guided study I’ve undertaken this past year or so, I’ve come to a place where I’m able to feel my way through life more. Where in the past I was living from a place mostly inside my mind and thoughts, this year has brought the blessing of being able to trust in the sensations presenting in my physical body. These sensations are the manifestation of an intelligence that is always available to me if I take the time to slow down, let go and get quiet.

Because of these new practices, I’ve witnessed my love of self flourish and my capacity for love increase. I feel more love being attracted and drawn into my everyday life and I feel so grateful for all that it’s brought to me. My close friendships are growing even closer and feeling more and more like family everyday, and the relationships with my family members feel easier and more transparent.

I’m especially grateful for the connection I’ve made with a new person in my life. Someone I met last month who I never ever ever in a thousand years would have come to know if I hadn’t been available to accept and respond to the tiny sensations in my body telling me to remain grounded, listen and finally take action to speak up and connect in a vulnerable way.

So these are my things… What about you? What are you grateful? What lessons can you reflect on from the past year?


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Radical Responsibility



“Why would God allow this to happen?”

I heard this questions, in many forms, in many variations many, many times. At last I responded. This time it was about a five-year old girl who was raped with an iron rod and died. Why would God allow this to happen?

“Maybe because God considers humans to be responsible adults who don’t need supervision, but can make their own choices, design their own lives and create their own reality” I responded “maybe because God acknowledges their freedom to do so. Humans are free to choose, some choose pain, others don’t — all create their experience of life with their choices.”

And the inevitable response came:

“But the 5 year old little girl didn’t choose all of this for herself. What does God have to say about that?”

 And … and it gave me pause. It gave me pause not because I didn’t have an answer to that – I have an answer and it is a good one — but because I was not sure my answer would be an acceptable one. I was not sure it would be a hand-able one.

I said:

“God might say: you choose your own faith, you create your destiny and your life in ways you don’t yet understand. You chose where and how you will be born and you choose how, and when, you die. Your life is called ‘your life’ not ‘God’s life’ for a reason. That you are not aware of choosing and creating doesn’t mean you don’t choose and create.”

Is that too much? Is it too much to say? Is it too much to expect from a five year old, from a fifteen year old, from a fifty year old?

But, you see, God just might see humans differently than humans do. God just might know the unlimited power humans wield and with which they create their reality, their world, their life. God might know that there is no limit to what humans can do, to what they can be. God might know that the human world looks and works like it does because humans say so, believe so, relate so.

God might know, at last, that it is nothing more than an outward projection of humans themselves. A name, a concept to which humans assign that which they, themselves, truly are — the ultimate, unlimited creators.

All humans, even those who are five years old.

Is this too much?

Find Out What You Want – Step #9


 “Why does God allow children to suffer and die?” read the question.

To which I answered:

“Because God sees death as a beautiful transition, not a horrific disaster.”

And he responded: “Every torturer sees someone else’s torture and death as beautiful.”

And what did I say to that? I said this:

“What if death is actually quite beautiful, and the habitual terror of it blinds humans to that fact?”

You did, I am sure, notice that I did not speak to the suffering. Though maybe I should have … maybe I should have said that suffering is when we deny, refuse, and resist that which we are: nature, god, life, death…

Isn’t it?

Deepak Chopra: Do We Reincarnate?

Do you believe in reincarnation? What happens to us after we die?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra examines different theories and perspectives on reincarnation. What is the relationship between memories and our material life? Are memories stored in our brain or in a consciousness field that transcends space and time? Watch to see how Deepak weighs in:

What do you think about reincarnation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Wicca 101: Witches, Magic, and the Art of Intention

What is it with witches and wizards? We love them, hate them, persecute them for hundreds of years, and glorify them in wondrous stories of magical worlds and flying broomsticks. In this week’s episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra explores the wizarding world of Wicca in the hopes of dispelling some common misconceptions about this rapidly growing religion.

We’ve come a long way since the witch trials of Renaissance Europe and the American colonies,  but prejudice lingers. In some parts of the world witch hunts are a daily reality, with individuals harassed, beaten, shunned and occasionally even murdered for bearing “witch-like” traits. Harry Potter is a fine and beloved fantasy around the world, but how would we treat him if he were real? Witchcraft is acceptable in the realm of fantasy, but could we make room for it in the muggle world, too?

The world has had centuries to work on religious tolerance for pagans and Wiccans, but we continue to fail in making an accommodation to their traditions. Ancient European paganism, Hebrew mysticism and Greek mythology are just some of the forebears cited by Wiccan texts and oral histories. The inclusion of a feminine divine also leads historians and archaeologists to draw a line of ancestry from ancient fertility cults to contemporary Neo-pagan traditions, of which Wicca is probably the most organized and certainly most widely recognized.

Historians in the 19th century began writing about the connection between earlier traditions and groups purportedly practicing underground magic at the time. In 1951 the United Kingdom joined the rest of Europe in repealing remaining anti-witchcraft laws, just in time for the publishing of civil servant and amateur anthropologist Gerald Gardner’s book Witchcraft Today. In his book, Gardner declared himself a practitioner of a heretofore unknown religion “Wicca,” which he dated back to the Stone Age. The religion swiftly gained momentum, with many neo-pagan traditions branching off from it in the decades that followed.

John William Waterhouse: Magic CircleThere is no single sacred text, governing body, or outlined doctrine in Wicca today, and beliefs and practices vary widely from practitioner to practitioner. But certain themes crop up repeatedly in rhetoric and at modern gatherings. Connection to the earth and nature’s rhythms is key, as is reverence for both the divine masculine and feminine, sometimes as the Goddess and God but often as a merging of creative forces in the Universe. Wiccans and pagans also tend to revere the directions (East, South, West, North and Center) and elements (Wind, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit), perform rituals that coincide with seasonal cycles (equinoxes, solstices, and moon phases), and believe in reincarnation.

Even more fundamental is adherence to a fundamental ethic called the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what ye will.” Essentially, the community trusts its members to make their own decisions, hold their own beliefs, and act in such a way as to harm none – self and environment included. Similar to The Golden Rule known to just about every religious tradition throughout history, The Threefold Law is prominent in Wicca, as well, and teaches that energy released into the world will return to the individual three times as powerful, for better or for worse.

Wiccan magic, often referred to as “the Craft,” is largely grounded in intention and ritual. The word “magic” stems from both the Old Persian term for “sorcerer” but also the ancient Greek word for “art.” Consider, then, that the artist, actor, or carpenter utilizes magic as much as the magician does in transforming natural resources into entirely new expressions of creativity. Just so, Wiccans harness energetic influences and elements in order to manifest certain intentions. Easier said than done, right? But at the end of the day isn’t it a lot like praying or repeating positive affirmations? More mainstream, but equally magical in essence.

What are your thoughts on Wicca and magic? Let us know in the comments section below!

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photo by: deflam

Who Were You in a Past Life?

As part of their journey on 30 DAYS OF INTENT, Iman and Natalie meet with Michael Hayes for a past life reading. They don’t know what to expect going into it and are pretty surprised with the results! You can watch the episode by clicking on the annotation at the end of our “Last Wishes” episode (see below) or by clicking the link at the end of this article. We interviewed Michael Hayes on past lives, karma, and what we can do to improve this life.

The Chopra Well: In one of our ancillary episodes, you sit down with Natalie and Iman and read their past lives. It’s amazing! How does it work?

Michael Hayes: When I begin to work with a person I look at them spiritually, meaning that I look at who they are beyond their personality and present day presentation. In doing this, I often become aware of the greater story of their existence, that goes far beyond the limited vantage point they have about their lives. Many times they are obstructed in creatively manifesting their goals and dreams, in fulfilling a greater potential, because of unresolved issues from a past life. When the person receives necessary information from that particular past life, they are freed from unconscious attachment to that past and their energy and intention can now be more fully available to them. My intention is not to take someone back to a past life but to free them from it, so that all of who they are is available to them here and now.

How I do it is harder to explain because it is not so much a technique as that I am able to do it as a byproduct of my awakening. I see and hear the information very much like watching a movie, but it is more precise than that because I get inner direction on what is important for the person to know about what is being revealed. Knowing what not to say as well as what to say is the real art of the process and that ability seems to have increased through many years of practice.

CW: Can you see your own karma? If so, is that jarring?

MH: It is much harder to see my own karma because I am in it, but I have looked at a lot of it. It has been jarring at times, but really it has been a much more liberating experience that has explained the challenges and blessings of my life.

CW: Reflecting on her session, Natalie says that she wants to explore her past lives more but is worried people will think she’s “lost her marbles.” What would you say to someone with similar concerns?

Michael sits across from Natalie and reads her past lives

MH: I am a proponent of doing what works, and if looking at one’s life from the perspective of having many embodiments brings healing and understanding then I think it is worth considering. When I started to remember past lives and to see the past lives of other people I wondered if I was crazy and what other people would think. I was raised to not believe in reincarnation and only after seeing the positive transformation of many people’s lives through the sharing of what I saw did I really accept it. Inevitably, those who choose the path of self-discovery will have those around them who question their choices and involvements. But our lives are our own and if we hold back from living in accordance with our deepest yearnings we will miss our greatest fulfillment. Fortunately we will get other chances to be true to ourselves; as many as we need.

CW: Why is it important to consider past lives? How can understanding our past lives help us in this life?

MH: The only good reason to consider past lives is the assistance it can give us in living this life more effectively. I am actually not a proponent of going back into all of our past lives, but rather to look at whatever memory from whatever embodiment, including the current one, that will help us manifest greater joy, loving and personal fulfillment.

For a direct link to the Past Lives episode, click here.

Do you remember any of your past lives? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well for more of Natalie and Iman’s amazing journey on 30 DAYS OF INTENT.

Re-thinking Reincarnation

Of the many choices we are given every day, we all know that we can’t choose our parents.

Or can we?

I have a friend who believes that we indeed choose our parents before we even enter into this life, and that we choose them based on the lessons our soul wants to learn. Be it a desire to learn patience, detachment or total self-acceptance, we choose parents who challenge us (the word “challenge” being up for interpretation) to find this within ourselves. According to my friend, we then spend our lifetime interacting with people – bosses, friends, teachers – who resemble our parents in one way or another, and we continue learning these lessons if we are open and willing. If we don’t get it all down in our alotted time, so says my friend, we keep coming back – we keep coming back to planet earth until our lessons are learned and our soul can finally find its rest.

If this is true, then know that I am doing everything I can to make sure I get my stuff straightened out in this lifetime. Why? Because, to be quite frank, I have no intention of having to relive junior high. Once was enough.

So when your new boss not only represents your mother, but is your mother, that’s when things start to get very amusing. Yes, you read that correctly: among my many ongoing creative projects, I am now officially working as a content creator for my mother’s tech company.

This should be interesting.

Though the likelihood that I’ll now be sentenced to return to this planet with a spray tan and awkward highlights has now increased about five-fold, I have to admit, I’m totally looking forward to what awaits. My mom might be intimidating to many of her employees, but I know her as the woman who wears flannel pajamas and does crosswords while watching TV at a deafeningly loud volume. In other words, let the immature stunts and office pranks begin. (Just kidding, mom.)

All challenges aside, it goes without saying that my mom is my biggest champion, which is the biggest reason why I’m looking forward to our new “work relationship.” However, know that when she came down on me about my rather youthful office attire today, I whined like a six year old. While not reliving junior high is an incentive to learn to stop snapping at my mother when she comments on my apparel, I’m just not there yet.

When I called my friend Rob to debrief after day one, I re-hashed my reflections as noted above, laughter reverberating throughout my car. I was reminded that while I may well be making an encore performance on planet earth, at least I will go down laughing this time.

In the end, perhaps that’s the biggest and best lesson of them all.

The Akashic Records….Your Personal Soul Library

A defining moment that propelled me forward on my personal spiritual journey, was reading Out on a Limb, Shirley MacLaine’s 1983 autobiographical accounts of her own spiritual journey.  My quest has led me down many revealing avenues, exploring so many possibilities, that they are far too numerous to even begin to list.  It seems fitting that at this point in my journey, I re-found Shirley (though she was never really lost to me), by way of her newest book, I’m Over All That.  I know how far I’ve come, there has really been no turning back for me, so it was with great anticipation that I sat down to read her stories and to see where the last three decades have led her.

She never pulls any punches, always saying exactly what she feels and thinks.  The book has no index, so not knowing what to expect next, I was curious when I got to the chapter “Will We Ever Get Over the Akashic Records?”  I dove in with an open enthusiasm, as I have personally been aware of the Akashic Records for many years.  Also referred to as “The Book of Life”, references to them go back to antiquity.  They are non-denominational and have no ties to any religion or Church.  Those who believe in them claim they were used by ancient peoples around the world, including Indians, Tibetans, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Hebrews, Christians and Mayans.  The belief was that there was some sort of celestial tablets that existed containing both the history of mankind, along with all spiritual information.  Even the Bible mentions these records as “The Book of Life”  in both the Old and New Testaments.

The Akashic Records are, simply put, the knowledge of all things.  Akasha is the Sanskrit word for sky, space or aether.  They are defined as the primordial source energy that is imprinted by each soul as it travels on it’s journey from inception to the present moment.  Each person also has their own record of their soul’s journey – all past, present and future information is recorded there.  Call it your individual personal library of your soul’s journey.  Like silly putty, it is imprinted with everything. Intriguing idea.

Everything that has ever occurred is recorded; each thought, word, action, feeling and intent of every person.  Like a huge cosmic world wide web that has existed since the creation of the universe, each of us has our own etheric webpage which when accessed, can guide us, helping to clear karma, contracts and vows.  Respected scientist Ervin Laszlo also referred to them as the A-Field in his book, Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything

Some people access them through doing a past life regression.  I believe an experience my daughter Lani and I had many years ago might in fact have been us accessing our Akashic Records simultaneously.  At the time, our house had been burglarized and one day, a few weeks later, my very young daughter and I were talking and she said to me, “sometimes I think you’re a burglar with my mommy’s face on.”  I didn’t understand and tried to reassure her I wasn’t.  But, after doing a guided past life regression, we all saw the same scene from a previous life, where in fact I was a burglar and had frightened a sleeping child, who my daughter was in that lifetime. The fear and trauma was somehow cleared.  Interesting.

Personally, I am very fortunate that my good friend Lisa Barnett is a certified Akashic Record teacher and consultant, as well as Vice President of ARCI, (Akashic Record Consultants International).  Very few qualify for status in ARCI, so how lucky am I!  I have my own personal guide who leads me into my Records.  We’ve done numerous readings which have helped me to clarify many things.  After giving her permission and saying my full legal name, she uses a sacred 50 year old prayer brought forth from the Mayans and opens my personal records.  It is that easy to do.  Now, I’m ready to ask any and all my pressing questions and receive direction from my Lords, Masters and Teachers. The Dalai Lama has referred to those that govern and protect the Records as a group of nonphysical light beings called Lords of the Records.  Although I haven’t done it myself yet, Lisa does teach how to access your own records, which is the way I read Shirley MacLaine works with them.

The list of well knowns who have claimed to consciously use the Akashic Records includes Alice Bailey, Nostradamus, Rudolph Steiner and Edgar Cayce.  Edgar Cayce, himself a Christian, when asked in an interview, stated that the Akashic Records and God’s Book of Life were one and the same.

Imagine the possibilities that accessing your own records can have for you!  You are free to ask about virtually anything.  Once opened, you can understand and clear past karmic energy that might be creating any current life blocks and stopping you from moving forward.  From love and relationships, abundance and money, to health or career; if there is something you are curious to know about, ask and you shall receive an answer.  I had my own recurring money issue that came up yet again, and in a session with Lisa, we identified where it originated and I do believe, cleared it forever.  What a relief, as it was a really long time coming.

Although these ideas might be new for some, and fodder for non-believers, I point out that even Hollywood has included the Akashic Record theme in films.  Think of Albert Brooks in Defending Your Life or Kirk Douglas in Illusion. And most recently, The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.  So, I’ll leave you with a final thought from Ms. MacLaine’s book that to me, sums it all up.  In referring to the Dalai Lama she says, “I find it fascinating that his beliefs in the soul’s journey through time (reincarnation) never elicit cynicism or derision, but that same belief from a Westerner who works in show business elicits derisive smirks.  Maybe it’s only a matter of wardrobe.”

Maybe for some, but I’m definitely a believer, regardless of the wardrobe.  Are you?  I am most interested in hearing your thoughts on reincarnation, karma and the Akashic Records.

I did a radio show recently on The Akashic Records, and Lisa Barnett was the opening guest. If you would like to learn more about this topic, listen here.


(1) MacLaine, Shirley. I’m over All That: and Other Confessions. Cammeray, N.S.W.: Simon & Schuster Australia,   2011. Print. pg. 177


Puppets On The Strings Of Destiny

There is only one way to judge the quality of any psychic reading. The moment you finish your conversation with the reader, you should feel ready to make a choice, prepare for a decision… or at least take some sort of action. You should also have a basic idea or plan outlined for the way forward. A good psychic reading will leave you feeling inspired, informed, enlightened and ready to take a step forward in your life, for better or worse. But, sadly, this is not always what people want from their psychic readings.

Do you believe that your life path is entirely pre-destined? Some people do. They prefer to see themselves as helpless puppets on a string, hanging around, while fate takes its course. For them the future is firmly carved in stone. Their destiny is pre-determined and their life path non-negotiable. The writing is on the wall. Period.


There’s much to be said for challenging fate instead of ducking behind it ~ Diana Trilling


I call them the ‘Marionettes’. During psychic readings these clients are typically only interested in what will happen to them and when it will happen to them. They show no interest in the possibility that they have much more control over their destiny, and that they can make great things happen for themselves and by themselves. Indeed, there is much for them to learn from the story of Pinocchio, who dreamed of becoming a real boy and set out on a brave adventure to achieve his goal!

The Marionettes appear to be unwilling to accept the fact that they can change the course of their lives, or prevent personal calamities from occurring. Neither do they realize that they can get what they want from life so much sooner, and enjoy those outcomes for so much longer. They can also achieve far better results, whether some of the twists and turns were pre-destined for them, or not.

I have never been able to understand why anyone would prefer to merely cruise along, like a tourist through their own life? Why would you ignore the opportunity to be truly alive and experience the power of your own free will? Do you not realize that this is the very reason we came here in the first place? We came for the experience, the adventure, the fun, the drama and the sheer thrill of it all!


Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars.  But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle ~ E.M. Forster


Sadly, the Marionettes among us will probably have to come back and do the whole thing over again. Their souls get stuck in a rut. Their incarnations can also become somewhat like habitual supermarket shopping trips when they have to plan and design their next physical experience, between this lifetime and the next. They will just buy the same old toothpaste or washing powder their mother, grandmother and great grandmother preferred, each and every time, life in and life out, for as long as it takes, or possibly for all eternity. If you listen closely you can actually hear their current Spirit Guides sighing.

Such a dull business indeed. No change, no risk, no adventure. No challenging choices or brave decisions. The Marionettes do not like such things. Pushing their cosmic shopping trolleys around is exhausting enough as it is. Oh, the burden of bad karma! And if their favorite product is way past its sell-by-date, they can always blame the Manufacturer.

Personally, I prefer not to go through a repeat version of my current lifetime. I would much rather move up a notch, or two, or at least come back and have another amazing, but very different experience. To me the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate. Why would I want to waste a whole lifetime, only to return and relive it, like the endless re-run of a failed sitcom on cable TV? The jokes only stay funny for so long, you know what I mean?


One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license ~ P. J. O’Rourke


Marionettes also go through a lot of unnecessary pain, suffering and misfortune in their lives. Much of this can be prevented, or at least be alleviated. Too often I have to be a helpless bystander, watching these clients turning themselves into powerless victims of their circumstances. They become martyrs to their own fear, laziness or indecision and they are unwilling to change their self-destructive ways. ‘Denial’ is not a river in Egypt, that’s for sure!

As if cruising along is not boring enough, some Marionettes take their tedious road trips to an even more pointless, mind-numbing level altogether. Not only are they content to sit back and wait for Fate, Chance, Luck and Destiny to drag them by the hair along their ‘pre-written life path’, but they also recruit psychics, mediums and astrologers to join them on this lacklustre, uninspiring journey to nowhere.

Now, asking a psychic for some directions along the way may seem like a step in the right direction, but in this case the psychic is usually not invited to act as a tour guide. Quite the contrary. No, the Marionettes merely need their psychic advisor to provide a detailed itinerary. They want a pre-designed schedule for the trip; a full-color brochure of their future.


There is an unseen life that dreams us.  It knows our true direction and destiny.  We can trust ourselves more than we realize and we need have no fear of change ~ John O’Donohue


And so, the Marionettes travel daily through the most amazing and exotic locations in the human experience, without noticing or enjoying a single sight, sound or tourist attraction. Instead they yawn, cry or whine, while they read their brochures repeatedly…staring with great long-suffering at the colorful snapshots provided by their favorite fortune-teller. They care only about getting to the next pre-determined destination. What happens along the way is of little consequence. And the fact that they may pass by several shortcuts along the way, well, that is also irrelevant.

The Marionettes never get to feel the wonder of the monsoon rain on their faces or the miracle of the desert winds in their hair. Heck, they don’t even get off the bus, when it is time to re-fuel or change a flat tire. No, the Marionettes prefer to just hang around in the stuffy cabin, while patiently waiting for predictions to come true and outcomes to manifest, without any active input or participation.

Ironically, for the Marionettes the long-anticipated outcomes are often an anti-climax and a non-event. Not playing ‘snakes and ladders’ usually leads us to finish yet another round of life’s game without feeling any real sense of achievement or fulfilment. This is what they had been waiting for all this time? So, they wandered through the maze via the long and difficult route. Well done. Now what? Life is what happened to them while they were waiting for the master plan to unfold.


Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation ~ James Allen


One can clearly see the evidence of a person’s level of self-determination and spiritual growth by simply looking at the kind of information that comes through for them during psychic readings. People, who know what they want and know where they are going, often receive very clear and specific details about outcomes and timelines during readings. They are typically aware of their own power, or are at least keen to increase their awareness, and they often reap the rewards their status as co-creator brings. They even receive clues to alternative routes and fun stops along the way. Reading for them always feels like being part of a treasure hunt; an extreme sport of some sort.

But for the Marionettes, who are out of touch with themselves and live without any real purpose, the content of their readings can be somewhat like the twighlight zone. Certainly not the highlight of any reader’s day. Marionettes show little interest in how they can improve their life, gain wisdom, develop spiritually or meet their true destiny. They have no idea where they are heading, or what they really want. They are definitely not ready to make any choices or decisions. Yet, they expect a clear indication of the outcome. Due to their indecision and passive inertia their readings often become blurred. Predictions become mere probabilities; timeframes remain vague, outcomes appear fluid and uncertain.

The psychic usually knows the general direction of where their Marionette clients are heading, but how soon they will get there usually remains to be seen. The psychic is also relatively powerless to reduce the amount of trauma that will be experienced along the way. Warnings and advice fall on deaf ears.

The Marionettes will eventually get to each of their pre-determined destinations. All roads do lead to ‘Rome’. But they will probably take the longest route with the most obstacles. And they will have as little fun as possible getting there.


The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination ~ John Schaar


If you suspect that you may be a Marionette, you need to know that your future is not entirely pre-determined. There is also no such thing as ‘fate’ or ‘bad luck’. There is only destiny and free will. Destiny is the cards we are dealt in this lifetime. Free will is how we play them. Any successful card player will tell you that the secret to success lies in a combination of opportunity and strategy. They will also tell you that it is possible to win the jackpot with a weak hand, or lose millions with a royal flush. It is all about the attitude, the faith, the patience, the confidence, the self-control, the focus and, most of all, the timing.

Yes, most of the major events in our lives are predestined. You can identify them easily, because they are the events and circumstances that are truly beyond your control. These are the signposts and pit stops we have planned for ourselves, like an elaborate obstacle course, before we entered into this lifetime.

Pre-determined events and outcomes serve as the highlights and low-points for our roller-coaster ride through life. They are destined to happen to us, one way or the other. But how good or bad the actual experiences are, how much time they require and what route we take to get to each of them, all depends on what we think, feel, decide, choose and ultimately do.

When life gives you lemons, you don’t make lemonade. You use the seeds to plant a whole orchard and build a new lemonade brand… an entire franchise. And once you have had enough fun being the CEO of your lemonade empire, you sell your stock, buy a flying carpet and travel to Atlantis or The Pleiades on holiday. Along the way you could visit each of the Seven Wonders of the World and maybe meet your Knight in Shining Armor, before you ride off into the sunset.

Or you could just stay on the bus and drink lemonade someone else has made, from a can.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Life After Death

I’m an academic neuropsychiatrist with deep interest in brain and mind. I only read 2 of your books, Buddha and Muhammad. What impressed me the most is your thorough understanding of the person in these figures. For me you seem to know that what is sacred is every moment we spend existing and not in what is "out there". I don’t believe in god/gods or in religion and I feel that humans are miserable because they developed "consciousness", an extension of the frontal lobe function that allowed awareness of time, what has passed and what to come, which created this eternal anxiety about life and death and all the complexity that followed. I think that the Buddha figured it out and gave us the only way to go through it with the least suffering. But when we die, we blend back to the energy in this universe, our soul is the set of experiences that we had and left traces behind, the noise of the working machine of our body and the products of that machine that is left behind. How far am I from the "Truth"!
I don’t presume to know Truth with a capital “T”, but Buddha’s doctrine of freedom from suffering is premised on the idea of awakening from ignorance. This ignorance is the energetic pattern of our identity that keeps us in the cycle of reincarnation until we are fully enlightened. So while the raw material of our bodies is recycled on death, the energy of our individual consciousness is not united with the consciousness of the universe until the body of the enlightened person dies. As for what exactly that experience will be or won’t be, we’ll have to see.

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