MacLaine, Shirley - Kevin 05
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Out on a Limb – Shirley MacLaine
"I was discussing the existence of the soul with someone the other night," I said, "using deja vu as an example of previous existence. You know, when you feel you're in a place where you’ve been before but know you can't have been? Or you have that back-of-the-head feeling -about an experience that it has all happened before?"
"Well, some people were saying that cellular memory or ancestral memory (like some of the scientists are also saying) was really the explanation. They believed that we just inherit genetically the memory of things our ancestors might have experienced. Now, how would you debate the issue of the existence of the soul?"
There was a moment of silence. "How would you do it?" he said, "now that you have had time to reflect?"
"Well, I guess I should have said that there are cases of people-say, in tribal societies in Africa whose ancestors have never moved out of their environment. Yet they have memories of North America, India, etc."
"My goodness," said Tom, "that is a good argument. Then of course you also have heard of your telepathy and mind-out-of-body experiences. Many people in your time have spoken publicly of out-of-body experiences. They were actually experiencing their souls as separate from the physical envelope."
I remembered how many people indeed had described this experience when going through a close brush with death. Most described the same white light as Peter Sellers had, drawing them with a compelling sense of love and peace, while looking down at their own dying body. Some did not want to return to the body. Many such experiences have been recorded in Life After Life by Dr. Raymond Moody. In my own acquaintance were a surprising number who had reported having the experience.
“And," Tom was continuing, "as for deja vu being simply a form of cellular memory there are many individuals who have had memory patterns of places their ancestors had never been."
"Yeah," I said, "that's what I said. But maybe some of his ancestors had been to Africa-like the Romans, for instance-and their cellular memory recorded their reactions and the offspring inherited those cellular memories."
"Possibly,” said Tom, "except for one thing. Deja vu also occurs in the modern context. For example, you may have deja vu when you walk into a house that’s only a few years old. That's hardly inherited cellular memory."
"What is it, then?"
'That is the result of the soul astrally projecting to the new house. Something like your experience in what you call the floating dream that you loved so much. You remember that experience?"
He stopped me in my tracks. I had never mentioned that to anyone.
“My goodness,” I said, "how did you know that?"
"Oh, a bit of the old spiritual voodoo, so to speak."
I needed a. moment to adjust to what had just happened. Could this have been a predictable guess? Did he tell this to everyone he channeled for? I choked back a cough. "Just give me a moment," I said.
"Quite right," he said, "one thing we have plenty of is time."
I felt confounded. Could it be that certain dreams were astral projections of the soul?
“Have you any more inquiries?" Mcpherson asked.
I collected myself. “Well," I said, “why is there such resistance to the study of the soul as a realistic fact? Why isn’t as much time and money spent on researching the existence of the soul as there is on splitting the atom or nuclear energy?"
'Well, for one thing," he answered, "the material isn't available. The soul is not a material thing. Also the field of soul study has a tendency to have scorn and ridicule heaped upon it and professional reputations go down the tubes, so to speak, very easily."
"But why is it so scorned?"
"Because it is considered to be a ludicrous waste of time. Superstition and the like. Serious people who admit to such investigations are sometimes made to feel ridiculous. But as a friend of yours said recently, 'To get to the fruit on the tree one must go out on a limb."'
I was silent-floored. He had used the same analogy as Gerry. I had been most careful never to even mention Gerry to anyone, much less what he said.
McPherson went on. "You must be patient with your Gerry'. We are being patient with you."
I was struck dumb. How the hell could this guy know about us? He not only knew about Gerry, he knew what Gerry had said.
"Do we have a revelation here?" asked Tom.
"Oh God," I said.
"Quite right," he responded cheerfully.
I sipped more tea and tried to sort myself out. A few moments passed.
"Would you like to continue?" said Tom.
Jesus, I thought, this stuff could be real. There were so many questions I had to ask. "Okay," I said under my breath. Then, "Okay. Tell me, why is there such a gap between science and the Church?"
"Well," said Tom, "because science just lately (in cosmic terms, of course) feels it has rid itself of the shackles of religious superstition and is now enjoying its freedom and golden age. The attitude is understandable. To research those domains of the Church which was its former jailer would only rebuild the power base of that old traditional persecutor."
"Is the soul under the dominion only of the Church?”
"Quite right. That is, it is considered so in the orthodox sense, yes. Actually, one's soul is, um, a highly personal matter, in a manner of speaking."
"But would proof of the soul's existence radically alter the attitude of science?"
"Yes, of course. But quite honestly, science feels there is no basis on which to inquire about the existence of the soul. Also, there isn't-much money in that kind of research."
"You mean, if you research electricity you can turn it into an electric light? Or, if you research the atom you can turn it into a bomb?"
"But if you research the soul there is no material profit in it?"
“Quite right. Could I have a bit more of your brew?"
I poured more tea. It was almost gone. "So," I asked, "are there research groups who solely devote themselves to the soul?"
"You turned a nice one there," he said.
"I turned a nice one where?"
"Solely for the soul? Very good."
"Are you aware," I asked seriously, "that you are performing for me right now?"
"Quite frankly," he said, "I believe I am sensationally entertaining at all times. This is my natural nature. There's another: 'natural nature."'
“You’re quite a punster, aren't you?"
"No," he said. 'I don't feel I'm being, so to speak, overly campy. No, it's all a natural extension of my personality."
I sat quietly for a while considering this outrageous tea party we were having. I wondered if I was so gullible I was swallowing a whale. The tape recorder whirred in the silence.
"Well," I said.
"Quite right,” said Tom.
"Well, I'd really like to know something more about my past lives. Would that be all right?"
"Very good," said Tom. "Has the instrument any alcohol in his system?"
"No," I said. "He said it inhibited trance channeling, so I don't think so."
"Very good then. One moment please. Would you remove the mug Please?"
I got up, took the mug from- Kevin’s grasp checked my tape recorder, and settled down again.