Life on the Other Side: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife

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Overview

In her phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Other Side and Back, acclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne introduced millions of people to a world beyond our own, where they saw for the first time that death was the end but just another phase in our eternal journey. Now, with Life on the Other Side, she goes even further, attending to our most pressing questions and quelling our deepest fears about death. Like a "psychic travel agent," Sylvia answers our five basic questions: "How do I get there?"; "What does it look ...
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Life on the Other Side: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife

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Overview

In her phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Other Side and Back, acclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne introduced millions of people to a world beyond our own, where they saw for the first time that death was the end but just another phase in our eternal journey. Now, with Life on the Other Side, she goes even further, attending to our most pressing questions and quelling our deepest fears about death. Like a "psychic travel agent," Sylvia answers our five basic questions: "How do I get there?"; "What does it look like?"; "What are the 'local' like?; "What is there to do?"; and "How exactly do I get back?" She also looks over lifelong career as a psychic, using past experiences, readings, hypnosis sessions, and research to illustrate her findings about "the other side." Now, for the very first time, we're led on an adventure of the spirit to see an unprecedented view of a peaceful place where our departed loved one--and the next leg of our exciting journey--are patiently awaiting us.

"I've personally witnessed her bring closure to distraught families, help police close cases, and open people's hearts to help them see the good within themselves." --Montel Williams

"The The Other Side and Back is the most grounded and authentic 'entry to the other' I have ever read. Browne is a master at conveying the truth that exists in the fourth dimension." --Carolyn Myss, Ph.D., author of Anatomy of the Spirit.

Sylvia answers our five basic questions: "How do I get there?"; "What does it look like?"; "What are the 'local' like?; "What is there to do?"; and "How exactly do I get back?" She also looks over lifelong career as a psychic, using past experiences, readings, hypnosis sessions, and research to illustrate her findings about "the other side."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
July 2000

A Look at the Afterlife

Sylvia Browne has been a practicing psychic for nearly 50 years and is well known to many through her television appearances on The Montel Williams Show, Sally Jessy Raphaƫl, Larry King Live, Unsolved Mysteries, CNN, and Entertainment Tonight. Her two previous books, The Other Side and Back and Adventures of a Psychic, both of which deal with such paranormal phenomena as ghosts, channeling, out-of-body visits, and the afterlife, became New York Times bestsellers. Now Browne expands upon her vision of eternal life, reincarnation, and things otherworldly in Life on the Other Side: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife.

Browne possesses a self-deprecating honesty and a down-to-earth appeal that serves her well in this inspirational look at life after death. Certainly her message -- that death is not to be feared and is not the end of our existence -- is one that many will want to embrace. But whereas Browne's tone may be down-to-earth, her reported experiences are anything but. She goes beyond mere claims of an afterlife; she describes it in detail and says she has been there, even providing sketches of some of the sights she has seen.

There is a great deal of religious symbolism and imagery in Browne's vision of life, the afterlife, and the connection between the two. Reincarnation and past-life regressions figure prominently, and at the heart of it all is what Browne calls the Godhead, which consists of the Father God and the Mother God, Azna. According to Browne, the Father God embodies our intellectual side, whereas the Mother God represents our emotional side. Together they provide a sort of spiritual balance that is fed, both in this life and in the eternal one, by the pursuit of arts, knowledge, and contacts with other souls. Browne devotes a portion of her book to explaining this vision of life and eternal life, even correlating several quirks of everyday life with occurrences in the eternal one.

For instance, Browne believes each soul is assigned a sex, although our corporeal existence here on earth may take the form of either gender. She offers this juxtaposition of gender as a reason why some people are born confused about their sexual orientation -- some lingering memory or awareness of their spiritual gender is in opposition to their earthly one. She also ascribes a high level of autonomy to our spirits, eliminating many of those "how could a beneficent God let this happen?" questions. Another of Browne's more intriguing theories is the attribution of phobias in our current life to events that occurred in a past one.

Browne then devotes nearly half the book to describing, in detail, what the afterlife is like. Basically, she claims it is a utopian version of life here on earth, where everyone is treated fairly and there is no need to be concerned about appearance -- one can, in fact, change it at will. We maintain a flesh-and-blood body, although there is no need to eat or drink, hence eliminating those pesky unmentionable bodily functions. No one ages either, and those who are plagued by deformity, injury, scars, or other disabilities will be pleased to note that, with one odd exception, these things are not carried over into the afterlife. And while Browne may disappoint a few readers when she says there is no sex in the afterlife, she does offer an intriguing substitute.

Time and space more or less cease to exist in this other world, and the laws of physics aren't quite what we understand them to be here on earth. The geography of this other world matches this one for the most part, though there are a few exceptions. Except for the curious absence of insects, the entire animal kingdom is represented there, all coexisting in peaceful harmony. There are magnificent buildings and structures, stunning works of art, and great pieces of literature that mirror those here on earth. Lest Browne's written descriptions not suffice, she provides several drawings of the buildings, structures, and lands in the afterlife that depict them in striking detail.

Browne delves into what happens at the time of death, where our spirits go (including a special Left Door for the truly incorrigible spirits that are beyond redemption), and what they do once they get there. She attempts to answer some of the more difficult questions inherent to her theories, but she never claims to have all the answers. In fact, her willingness to admit her inability to explain certain things, particularly some minor ones for which an explanation could easily be trumped up, tends to lend her more credence.

Skeptics will find plenty to scoff at here, and Browne even anticipates many of the objections. But there is no denying that her underlying message -- one of hope, eternal life, ultimate forgiveness, and the chance to be reborn and do it all again -- will be a popular and inspirational one.

--Beth Amos

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565113749
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 7/17/2000
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 Cassettes
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 4.52 (w) x 0.78 (h) x 7.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Browne
Sylvia Browne is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Other Side and Back and Adventures of a Psychic. A working psychic for nearly fifty years, Ms. Browne has appeared on The Montel Williams, Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King Live, Unsolved Mysteries, CNN, and Entertainment Tonight.
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Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


The Other Side: How I Know What I Know


I believe in the other side and the eternity of the soul. I believe our spirits make the round-trip from this world to The Other Side many times, by our own choice, to learn and experience for the ongoing advancement of the souls God gave each one of us. I believe that only a thin veil separates our earthly dimension from the dimension of The Other Side. I believe that The Other Side is Home, where we all came from and where we will all go again, and that we carry very real memories of it in our spirit minds. And I believe it is on The Other Side, between what we call "lifetimes," that we are really at our most alive.

Every one of those beliefs is absolute. For some reason, many people assume that since I was born psychic, into a family with a three-hundred-year psychic lineage, I'm already genetically goofy anyway, and likely to fall for every harebrained, supernatural "woo-woo" rumor that comes along.

But the truth is, I was also born in Missouri, the "Show-Me" state, into a Lutheran/Episcopalian/Jewish home, and attended Catholic school, which gave me enough theories about The Other Side and the journey of the soul to keep me perpetually confused if I had simply believed everything I heard without questioning it. Not a chance. I happen to be one of the most naturally skeptical people you'll ever meet, and I'm almost addicted to research. My faith in God has always been unshakable, but until and unless I've seen, tasted, smelled, felt, and experienced the details about how this whole creation of His really works, I take nothing for granted and keep righton digging for answers.

I would never waste your time with a book of pretty fantasies and illusions about The Other Side. I love fairy tales as much as the next person, but only when they're properly identified as fiction and used as pleasant little escapes from reality. The Other Side is reality, as real as the ground we walk on, the bodies our spirits inhabit, and the air we breathe. And the truth about The Other Side is more thrilling, comforting, loving, and empowering than any fairy tale could ever be.

Rather than ask you to just take my word for it, though, I'll assume that you're as skeptical as I am, and walk you down the sixty-three years of paths and occasional detours that led me to the truth, so that we can all take the upcoming tour of The Other Side together with fearless, confident joy.

I was born with an inherited, God-given psychic gift in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 19, 1936. Neither my dear daddy, William L. Shoemaker, nor my not-so-dear mother, Celeste, was psychic. The gift skipped that generation and passed directly from my beloved, brilliantly psychic maternal grandmother, Ada Coil, to me. Grandma Ada was my mentor, my inspiration, and my constant source of assurance that being psychic wasn't really the frightening burden I often found it to be. She used to say, "You're the only one in our family who's ever rebelled against this gift." She was right. Until I understood it and discovered that I could use it to help people, it was one gift I would have happily exchanged.

Just as a God-given musical gift can manifest itself in a variety of ways, from singer to composer to musician to conductor, the specifics of the psychic gift have varied from one generation of my family to another. Some of us can trance, or step aside to allow a spirit entity to see, speak, and hear through us, while others of us, including Grandma Ada and my psychic son, Christopher, either can't or won't. A few of my ancestors and my amazingly gifted granddaughter, Angelia, have psychokinetic power, which is the ability to manipulate tangible objects psychically. I don't have that ability, nor does Christopher, who is Angelia's father. The variations go on and on, but the bottom line remains the same: even when we were too young to understand what was happening, the psychics in my family have had countless, undeniable encounters with The Other Side in some form or other.

The majority of my childhood psychic experiences were visual. I was five years old when, at a family dinner, I saw the faces of both my great-grandmothers melting, as if their skin were slowly running down their necks like lava, leaving nothing but their bare skulls behind. Within two weeks they both died, and until Grandma Ada explained psychic visions, I was simply being given a visual form of psychic information, I was convinced that I had somehow killed them. At around that same age I discovered I had the disgusting, involuntary ability to see inside people, like a three-dimensional, full-color X ray. Try having a normal childhood when some repairman or family friend stops by and all you see is a diseased liver or tumor-ravaged lung floating through the living room.

I couldn't imagine a lifetime of looking at melting faces and infected organs, and I complained to Grandma Ada, the one person who understood. She taught me that, just as God gives us this gift, He can help us refine it. "Ask Him not to show you anything you can't handle," she said. So I did, and He answered the prayers of a frightened child. The visions kept coming, as powerful and intense as ever, but the images themselves were always more "age appropriate" from then on.

For example, it was only a few months later, the week before Halloween, when a little classmate of mine named Pam came to the house to show off the paper witch costume she was going to wear that year for trick or treat. The moment she stepped in the door I "saw" her surrounded by flames, as if she had an aura of fire. I wasn't sure exactly what it meant, but I was sure I preferred that to seeing her completely engulfed in an inferno with her flesh burned and charred. Pam was twirling around the room in full witch regalia when she spun too close to the wall heating grate, and suddenly her paper costume ignited and burst into flame. Purely on impulse, I threw her to the ground and rolled an area rug around her, extinguishing the fire even before my parents could rush into the room at the sound of Pam's terrified screams. Not only was my psychic vision of her surrounded by flames a bit less violent than the melting faces and diseased organs I'd been subjected to before, and not only did it turn out to be accurate, but I'm also convinced it heightened my senses and allowed me to help rather than panic when the vision became a reality just minutes later.

I was in my early teens when I "saw" my friend Joan severely slamming her head against the dashboard of a blue car. I told her about it and begged her to stay out of blue cars. Days later her older boyfriend's car broke down, and he managed to borrow his parents' blue car for his date with Joan that night. Fortunately, she'd known me long enough to take my warnings seriously-she actually started to get into the car before she changed her mind and told him she couldn't go. A few hours later he wrapped the blue car around a light pole. He and the driver's side of the car suffered only minor damage, but the empty passenger's side was totally demolished.

What I could handle without panic was seeing spirits, which has been a constant part of my reality for sixty-three years now. They started with night visits in my very early childhood. I'll never forget lying in my bed in the dark, watching forms take shape, one after another, until they almost filled the room, as if word had spread through the spirit world that "if you want to be seen, there's a party at Sylvia's." They never threatened me or even paid much attention to me, they just mingled and went about their business until a light came on, at which time they promptly became invisible to my clairvoyant night vision. Again I complained to Grandma Ada, and she calmly handed me a flashlight to take to bed with me. It worked, thank God. To this day I can't sleep in a completely dark room, because the minute I try it the room begins filling up. As a child, it was scary. As an adult, it's just annoying, like having a crowd of uninvited shadowy guests gather around you every time your head hits the pillow.

My psychic son Chris and I took my very psychic seven-year-old granddaughter Angelia to see a movie called The Sixth Sense, and since all of us routinely see spirits, we appreciated how accurately one of our daily realities was portrayed. We did find ourselves wishing that the little boy in the film had spent more time urging the ghosts around him to understand that they were dead and go toward the light to The Other Side, but that's another issue for a later section of this book. The movie brought back one long-forgotten memory of my Grandma Ada losing a steel strongbox full of important personal papers when I was a very young child. She had searched everywhere for it before she mentioned it to me, at which moment I clearly saw a tiny, rather unattractive woman-my great-grandmother, as it turned out-pointing to the back of a huge bureau in her bedroom. I told Grandma Ada, thrilled at this rare occasion when I was seeing a spirit she couldn't, and she finally remembered that yes, before the moving crew had grunted and groaned that giant bureau into place against the wall, she had slipped the strongbox behind it for the ultimate in safekeeping. For that memory and a generally well-done portrait of life through the eyes of a psychic child, I do thank The Sixth Sense.

I can hear you saying, What child doesn't see shadows moving around their bedrooms at night? True enough. It's not that uncommon. What is uncommon is for parents to take their children's night fears seriously. The typical reaction is to turn on the light and say to the trembling child, "You see? There's nothing here. Stop imagining things and go to sleep." But next time you find yourself in that situation with your child, please bear a couple of things in mind. For one thing, my Spirit Guide, Francine, whom I'll properly introduce later, swears that one of the most unfortunate words in the English language is imagination, because it's too convenient an excuse for a lot of incidents that deserve a closer look. For another thing, the most psychic beings on this earth are children and animals, so instead of dismissing what your child claims to see as made-up nonsense, encourage them to tell you all about it, and really listen. You'll be surprised at how much they can teach you about the spirit world and The Other Side if you'll let them.

Before long, to my chagrin, I was able to see spirits just as clearly in the bright light of day as I could in the dark. They would blithely mill around in a room full of people, seemingly unnoticed by everyone but me, two dimensions superimposed over each other and both of them equally real, and I finally stopped bothering to ask my parents or my sister, "Do you see that?" The answer was always no, so why reinforce to them, and to myself for the millionth time, that I was not a normal child? Except when Grandma Ada was around, I just kept my mouth shut and felt like an alien.

The whole family was gathered in the living room one night, reminiscing about dear departed relatives, when I saw the form of a man take shape behind Grandma Ada's left shoulder. I was sitting on the floor at her feet and whispered, "Grandma, who is that man behind you?"

Unlike the rest of the group, she didn't say, "What man?" or "There's no one behind your grandmother, Sylvia, knock it off." She simply asked, "What does he look like?"

I told her he was tall, with reddish hair and little round wire glasses, and he had a string around his neck with a horn on it, that he used to listen to people's chests.

Grandma Ada beamed, immediately recognizing the description of her Uncle Jim, a doctor who had died in the flu epidemic of 1917, twenty-four years earlier. She loved knowing he was there, and I loved knowing that by seeing him, I had given her a reunion that made her very happy. It was wonderful validation for the accuracy of my visions and the first time I remember believing that maybe this "psychic" thing really was a gift instead of a burden after all, if I could bring a smile like that to someone I loved so much.

It was in the context of all these spirits around me, and my curiosity about where they came from, that Grandma Ada started telling me about The Other Side. She said that when life on this earth ends, our eternal spirits leave our bodies and go Home to God in a place of unimaginable beauty, full of colors and music and pure, all-encompassing love. These spirits weren't coming around to hurt me, they were just visiting from The Other Side, and because of the gift she and I shared, we could see them when others couldn't.

I thought her stories about The Other Side were enchanting. I also thought they sounded too good to be true. She was probably just trying to make the spirit world and life after death sound pretty and safe, to ease the mind of the gifted, sensitive, confused granddaughter she adored. So I listened, adoring her right back, too young to realize that my soul was quietly resonating with the truth of every word she said.

Frankly, I didn't care very much about The Other Side and the eternity of the spirit when I was a child. I was too busy being relentlessly inquisitive, hyperactive, and outspoken, loving my daddy and grandmother, trying unsuccessfully to understand my troubled mother, and always, always "knowing things," whether I wanted to or not. I knew who was calling before the phone even rang, and who was at the door before they knocked. I announced the sudden death of my paternal grandfather just as Daddy raced in to break the news. I frantically pulled my father out of a theater one afternoon in the middle of the movie, screaming that my baby sister Sharon couldn't breathe, and we arrived home just in time to rush her to the hospital to be treated for double pneumonia. I knew what was about to happen, good and bad, to my friends and teachers. I even knew, without ever being told she existed, what the pretty blonde woman looked like whom Daddy quietly called when he thought we were all asleep. (I didn't blame him, by the way. To this day, although my father never did end up leaving my mother, I still see that "other woman" and consider her part of the family.)

I was seven years old when The Other Side became intensely personal for me and changed my life forever. I was in my bedroom, brushing my hair, playing with my flashlight, trying to ignore my certainty that someone I couldn't see was nearby, watching me. Suddenly, almost blindingly, the light from the flashlight grew and intensified until it filled the room with a pure white glow, and from the midst of the light a woman's voice said, "I come from God, Sylvia. Don't be afraid."

If a disembodied voice told you not to be afraid, no matter where it said it came from, would you just sit there? Me neither. I was out of that room, flying down the stairs, terrified, in search of Grandma Ada. I crashed into her in the kitchen, where she was cleaning vegetables from her victory garden. Sobbing and trembling, I told her what had happened. She held me and stroked my hair and explained, as if she'd been expecting this, "That was your Spirit Guide, sweetheart. She's here to help you. Pick up the carrots."

As always, Grandma Ada was right, it was indeed my Spirit Guide, and I've never spent a day without her since. Her real name is Iena, but for reasons no one can quite remember I immediately insisted on calling her Francine instead. In her one lifetime on earth, she was Aztec-Incan, from a small village in Colombia, killed by a spear in 1520 while trying to protect her child during a violent Spanish invasion. She is my closest friend, my constant companion, my patient confidante, my teacher, my "resident expert" on The Other Side, and my infuriatingly judicious protector who knows I can't learn without making mistakes. She speaks to me in a voice that's transformed into a high chirping sound as it makes the transition from her dimension to mine. With my permission, she also speaks through me, using my voice while I trance, oblivious to what goes on in my absence until I'm told about it later or hear her on tape. She's five nine, rail thin, with elegant long-fingered hands and waist-length black hair that she wears in a thick braid. She is sloe-eyed, and her looks are exotic, almost Egyptian, with her olive skin and huge dark eyes.

I didn't get my first actual glimpse of Francine until I was eighteen and in college. And when she appeared, I very deliberately closed my eyes and turned away.

I majored in education and literature at St. Theresa's College, with a minor in theology, toward my goal of becoming a teacher. I also signed up for a hypnosis class at the University of Kansas City. Francine had been chirping away to me on a regular basis for eleven years by then. The Three Faces of Eve was the hot new must-see movie, about a woman with multiple personalities. And, as part of my required studies, I was taking a course in abnormal psychology. I had felt abnormal all my life, and now here was a handy textbook that listed the eight symptoms of schizophrenia, four of which might as well have had a little photo of me beside them as far as I was concerned. The more I read, the more I studied, and the more I added things up, the more impossible it became to ignore the obvious: I was crazy. Far too crazy to teach children. The exalted three-hundred-year "psychic legacy" in my family was probably, in reality, a long, tragic hereditary insanity instead. As for this Francine person that no one could hear but me, how could I have been so stupid? She was no Spirit Guide. She wasn't even real. She was clearly just my own alternate personality, a sad imaginary splinter of my poor genetically deranged mind.

It sounded like good, solid logic to me, and I was almost smug when I announced it in my farewell speech to this symptom of my dementia I had known for so many years as Francine. She listened with her usual patience and didn't argue with me or defend herself even once. But she did ask me to indulge her in one little demonstration before I permanently declared her unreal: for the first time since I met her, she was going to materialize.

It was nighttime. Raining. My mother, father, and sister were with me, beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of seeing this woman I'd been chattering about for all these years. I, on the other hand, was some combination of scared, anxious, and resigned to the fact that when nothing happened, it would prove beyond a doubt how completely nuts I really was. We dimmed the lights a little, at her request, so as not to hurt her eyes on her first physical trip to this dimension in several centuries, or so she said. And then we waited.

But not for long.

There was a rocking chair beside me. Slowly, with silent grace, the folds of a pale blue dress took form, draping from the seat of the chair to the floor.

Next came a hand, resting in the lap of the soft dress, its fingers long and slender.

My father ecstatically blurted out, "Don't anyone talk until she's gone, so we'll know we didn't influence each other about what we saw!" No problem. Mother and Sharon were too busy gasping in awe to form actual words anyway.

An arm gradually appeared above the hand, with smooth mocha skin, and then, resting against it, a long braid of thick black hair.

That was enough for me. While my family kept watching, utterly enchanted, I turned away and never glanced back.

Dr. John Renick, a psychiatrist who had become one of my favorite teachers and confidants, was surprised at me when

I told him the next day about my reaction to Francine's physical debut. He thought I should be thrilled. "I've known all along that you're too strong and well integrated to have any serious psychological problems, let alone schizophrenia," he told me. "But you and your family saw Francine with your own eyes. She's real, which means that you're perfectly sane. Why did you turn away from her?"

I don't cry often, but I remember feeling tears on my cheeks. "Because I have to live in this world, Dr. Renick. I hear and see so much that normal people don't have to put up with. I don't want to be some airy-fairy weirdo, I want to be a teacher. I'm goofy enough. I can't afford to get any goofier."

He smiled, looked into my eyes, and said, "What a perfectly sane thing to say." I finally smiled back. I still have a written diagnosis from him: "Normal, but has paranormal abilities?" Even with the question mark, it meant a lot to me, coming from a highly respected psychiatrist, and at least as a psychic, I never questioned my sanity again.

Incidentally, after Francine disappeared that night and the family compared notes, it turned out that all three of them had seen exactly the same entity, right down to the tiniest detail. And while I refused to admit it at the time, part of me was furious that I missed it. How's that for predictable?

Also incidentally, I've known since the day she was born that my granddaughter Angelia is possibly the most powerfully gifted psychic this family has ever produced, so it didn't surprise me when she strolled into my bathroom one day when she was four years old and said, "Bagdah [her nickname for me], who is that lady with black hair who follows you around?" I'm always surprised, though, at how many "normal" audience members ask me after lectures and television appearances why I didn't introduce the tall dark-haired woman behind me onstage.

Now that I had fully accepted Francine, and at the risk of sounding like an ingrate, I began complaining to her about her high-pitched, chipmunk-like chirp and asked if she couldn't find some slower, lower-octave, less irritating way to communicate. She explained again that she couldn't control the distortion of the sound of her voice as it traveled from her dimension to mine, but for the first time she offered an alternative: if I would trance, she could speak through me, using my voice. I wouldn't be aware of anything that was said during the trance, but I could tape it and listen afterward to whatever she had to say.

My response was a less polite version of "Fat chance." I wanted no part of that. Letting a Spirit Guide occasionally borrow my vocal cords hardly sounded compatible with my determination to keep one foot safely planted in the rational world. She assured me that trancing was risk free, that it could be very helpful, and that I would never find myself unable to come back and take charge again. I didn't care. The answer was still a resounding no. She started to talk about trying it sometime if the opportunity presented itself, just to give me the experience, but I cut her off, finished with the whole conversation.

It happened a few days later, in a hypnosis class led by Dr. Royal. My friend Mary Margaret, whom I'd known since kindergarten, was with me. I remember being "counted down" as usual. The next thing I remember was regaining consciousness. I'm double-jointed, so it was a particularly graceless awakening-I was still seated on my chair, but I was bent over with the top of my head resting on the floor between my feet. Everyone in the room was gaping at me. Self-conscious and very confused, I sat up and asked what had happened.

All of them, including Dr. Royal, talked excitedly over each other. I caught phrases like "You should have heard yourself ...!" and "So much information ...!" and "Where did all of that come from?!" and the one that especially caught my attention, "It was like you were someone else." Finally Mary Margaret leaned close to my ear and discreetly announced, "Francine was here. Talking through you."

I insisted that there must be some mistake. But Mary Margaret was a close friend who knew me well, and she had been hearing about Francine for years. It wasn't just that Francine had introduced herself to the class while I was "gone." The speech patterns, the rhythms, the terminology, everything that came out of my mouth, with my voice, was so dramatically different from what Mary Margaret knew to be "me" that there wasn't a doubt in her mind, or anyone else's, that somehow, as I voluntarily slipped into a hypnotic trance, Francine had stepped in and taken my place. And by the way, they loved her and hoped she would come back soon.

I was furious. I confronted Francine that night, demanding to know how she could betray me like that. She patiently reminded me that she had told me she would be watching for an opportunity to channel through me, and the hypnotic trance she used to accomplish it was voluntary on my part. So she hadn't lied to me, nor had she really come in against my will. She had just wanted to show me how safe it was for me to channel her, that I could and would always come back, and that it was a perfect way to help her communicate with those who had no other way to hear what she had to say.

I have never won an argument with Francine, including that one. She convinced me to give channeling a try and made a few ironclad promises: she would never again surprise me like that-I would never have to worry about standing in front of a classroom or client or audience and jumping back and forth from me to Francine to me again with no warning. She would never, ever tell anything but the truth, or cause harm to me or anyone else. And, most important, she would only use my voice for humanitarian purposes, to teach people about The Other Side and the eternal, unconditional love of God. If I ever had any reason to believe she'd broken one of those promises, I could call an immediate halt to channeling her or even hearing her voice again.

That was forty-four years ago, and she's kept every promise. When she talks through me, it's always with my willing permission, and she's been of immeasurable help to countless people. It frustrates me that I never get to hear what she has to say until later, but I have thousands of tapes of her lectures and agree that, except for the sheer mechanics of my voice itself, she sounds nothing like me. Her speech pattern is very slow and deliberate compared to mine, her knowledge and vocabulary far exceed mine, and she never says a single word in jest (as unlike me as you can get, let's face it). I never take her information at face value, much to her frustration, but it never fails that the more I research and study in an effort to prove her wrong just once, the more I discover that she meant it when she said she would never tell anything less than the truth.

My psychic son Christopher, who doesn't trance but understands the process, leaves the room when Francine takes over. He loves and appreciates her, it just unnerves him to see me so obviously absent while my body is still sitting there. Which leads me to another point about Francine: she never helps me with my own lectures, television appearances, and readings. Frankly, I wish she did. I'd love to be able to blame it on her when I'm wrong. But you never have to wonder if it's me or Francine you're talking to. If you don't know me well enough to hear the difference, you can absolutely trust the fact that she never shows up unannounced.

I was nineteen years old when I embraced Francine as a legitimate part of my life, graduated from college and became, almost as a diversion, a full-fledged licensed hypnotist. I thought it might be a useful tool for helping people stop smoking and lose weight. I never dreamed it would lead me to some of the most remarkable experiences of my life, throw open the door to The Other Side, and then dare me to have the faith and the courage to step through it.

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First Chapter

Chapter One: The Other Side: How I Know What I Know
I believe in the other side and the eternity of the soul. I believe our spirits make the round-trip from this world to The Other Side many times, by our own choice, to learn and experience for the ongoing advancement of the souls God gave each one of us. I believe that only a thin veil separates our earthly dimension from the dimension of The Other Side. I believe that The Other Side is Home, where we all came from and where we will all go again, and that we carry very real memories of it in our spirit minds. And I believe it is on The Other Side, between what we call "lifetimes," that we are really at our most alive.
Every one of those beliefs is absolute. For some reason, many people assume that since I was born psychic, into a family with a three-hundred-year psychic lineage, I'm already genetically goofy anyway, and likely to fall for every harebrained, supernatural "woo-woo" rumor that comes along.
But the truth is, I was also born in Missouri, the "Show-Me" state, into a Lutheran/Episcopalian/Jewish home, and attended Catholic school, which gave me enough theories about The Other Side and the journey of the soul to keep me perpetually confused if I had simply believed everything I heard without questioning it. Not a chance. I happen to be one of the most naturally skeptical people you'll ever meet, and I'm almost addicted to research. My faith in God has always been unshakable, but until and unless I've seen, tasted, smelled, felt, and experienced the details about how this whole creation of His really works, I take nothing for granted and keep right on digging for answers.
I would never waste your time with a book of pretty fantasies and illusions about The Other Side. I love fairy tales as much as the next person, but only when they're properly identified as fiction and used as pleasant little escapes from reality. The Other Side is reality, as real as the ground we walk on, the bodies our spirits inhabit, and the air we breathe. And the truth about The Other Side is more thrilling, comforting, loving, and empowering than any fairy tale could ever be.
Rather than ask you to just take my word for it, though, I'll assume that you're as skeptical as I am, and walk you down the sixty-three years of paths and occasional detours that led me to the truth, so that we can all take the upcoming tour of The Other Side together with fearless, confident joy.
I was born with an inherited, God-given psychic gift in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 19, 1936. Neither my dear daddy, William L. Shoemaker, nor my not-so-dear mother, Celeste, was psychic. The gift skipped that generation and passed directly from my beloved, brilliantly psychic maternal grandmother, Ada Coil, to me. Grandma Ada was my mentor, my inspiration, and my constant source of assurance that being psychic wasn't really the frightening burden I often found it to be. She used to say, "You're the only one in our family who's ever rebelled against this gift." She was right. Until I understood it and discovered that I could use it to help people, it was one gift I would have happily exchanged.
Just as a God-given musical gift can manifest itself in a variety of ways, from singer to composer to musician to conductor, the specifics of the psychic gift have varied from one generation of my family to another. Some of us can trance, or step aside to allow a spirit entity to see, speak, and hear through us, while others of us, including Grandma Ada and my psychic son, Christopher, either can't or won't. A few of my ancestors and my amazingly gifted granddaughter, Angelia, have psychokinetic power, which is the ability to manipulate tangible objects psychically. I don't have that ability, nor does Christopher, who is Angelia's father. The variations go on and on, but the bottom line remains the same: even when we were too young to understand what was happening, the psychics in my family have had countless, undeniable encounters with The Other Side in some form or other.
The majority of my childhood psychic experiences were visual. I was five years old when, at a family dinner, I saw the faces of both my great-grandmothers melting, as if their skin were slowly running down their necks like lava, leaving nothing but their bare skulls behind. Within two weeks they both died, and until Grandma Ada explained psychic visions, I was simply being given a visual form of psychic information, I was convinced that I had somehow killed them. At around that same age I discovered I had the disgusting, involuntary ability to see inside people, like a three-dimensional, full-color X ray. Try having a normal childhood when some repairman or family friend stops by and all you see is a diseased liver or tumor-ravaged lung floating through the living room.
I couldn't imagine a lifetime of looking at melting faces and infected organs, and I complained to Grandma Ada, the one person who understood. She taught me that, just as God gives us this gift, He can help us refine it. "Ask Him not to show you anything you can't handle," she said. So I did, and He answered the prayers of a frightened child. The visions kept coming, as powerful and intense as ever, but the images themselves were always more "age appropriate" from then on.
For example, it was only a few months later, the week before Halloween, when a little classmate of mine named Pam came to the house to show off the paper witch costume she was going to wear that year for trick or treat. The moment she stepped in the door I "saw" her surrounded by flames, as if she had an aura of fire. I wasn't sure exactly what it meant, but I was sure I preferred that to seeing her completely engulfed in an inferno with her flesh burned and charred. Pam was twirling around the room in full witch regalia when she spun too close to the wall heating grate, and suddenly her paper costume ignited and burst into flame. Purely on impulse, I threw her to the ground and rolled an area rug around her, extinguishing the fire even before my parents could rush into the room at the sound of Pam's terrified screams. Not only was my psychic vision of her surrounded by flames a bit less violent than the melting faces and diseased organs I'd been subjected to before, and not only did it turn out to be accurate, but I'm also convinced it heightened my senses and allowed me to help rather than panic when the vision became a reality just minutes later.
I was in my early teens when I "saw" my friend Joan severely slamming her head against the dashboard of a blue car. I told her about it and begged her to stay out of blue cars. Days later her older boyfriend's car broke down, and he managed to borrow his parents' blue car for his date with Joan that night. Fortunately, she'd known me long enough to take my warnings seriously-she actually started to get into the car before she changed her mind and told him she couldn't go. A few hours later he wrapped the blue car around a light pole. He and the driver's side of the car suffered only minor damage, but the empty passenger's side was totally demolished.
What I could handle without panic was seeing spirits, which has been a constant part of my reality for sixty-three years now. They started with night visits in my very early childhood. I'll never forget lying in my bed in the dark, watching forms take shape, one after another, until they almost filled the room, as if word had spread through the spirit world that "if you want to be seen, there's a party at Sylvia's." They never threatened me or even paid much attention to me, they just mingled and went about their business until a light came on, at which time they promptly became invisible to my clairvoyant night vision. Again I complained to Grandma Ada, and she calmly handed me a flashlight to take to bed with me. It worked, thank God. To this day I can't sleep in a completely dark room, because the minute I try it the room begins filling up. As a child, it was scary. As an adult, it's just annoying, like having a crowd of uninvited shadowy guests gather around you every time your head hits the pillow.
My psychic son Chris and I took my very psychic seven-year-old granddaughter Angelia to see a movie called The Sixth Sense, and since all of us routinely see spirits, we appreciated how accurately one of our daily realities was portrayed. We did find ourselves wishing that the little boy in the film had spent more time urging the ghosts around him to understand that they were dead and go toward the light to The Other Side, but that's another issue for a later section of this book. The movie brought back one long-forgotten memory of my Grandma Ada losing a steel strongbox full of important personal papers when I was a very young child. She had searched everywhere for it before she mentioned it to me, at which moment I clearly saw a tiny, rather unattractive woman-my great-grandmother, as it turned out-pointing to the back of a huge bureau in her bedroom. I told Grandma Ada, thrilled at this rare occasion when I was seeing a spirit she couldn't, and she finally remembered that yes, before the moving crew had grunted and groaned that giant bureau into place against the wall, she had slipped the strongbox behind it for the ultimate in safekeeping. For that memory and a generally well-done portrait of life through the eyes of a psychic child, I do thank The Sixth Sense.
I can hear you saying, What child doesn't see shadows moving around their bedrooms at night? True enough. It's not that uncommon. What is uncommon is for parents to take their children's night fears seriously. The typical reaction is to turn on the light and say to the trembling child, "You see? There's nothing here. Stop imagining things and go to sleep." But next time you find yourself in that situation with your child, please bear a couple of things in mind. For one thing, my Spirit Guide, Francine, whom I'll properly introduce later, swears that one of the most unfortunate words in the English language is imagination, because it's too convenient an excuse for a lot of incidents that deserve a closer look. For another thing, the most psychic beings on this earth are children and animals, so instead of dismissing what your child claims to see as made-up nonsense, encourage them to tell you all about it, and really listen. You'll be surprised at how much they can teach you about the spirit world and The Other Side if you'll let them.
Before long, to my chagrin, I was able to see spirits just as clearly in the bright light of day as I could in the dark. They would blithely mill around in a room full of people, seemingly unnoticed by everyone but me, two dimensions superimposed over each other and both of them equally real, and I finally stopped bothering to ask my parents or my sister, "Do you see that?" The answer was always no, so why reinforce to them, and to myself for the millionth time, that I was not a normal child? Except when Grandma Ada was around, I just kept my mouth shut and felt like an alien.
The whole family was gathered in the living room one night, reminiscing about dear departed relatives, when I saw the form of a man take shape behind Grandma Ada's left shoulder. I was sitting on the floor at her feet and whispered, "Grandma, who is that man behind you?"
Unlike the rest of the group, she didn't say, "What man?" or "There's no one behind your grandmother, Sylvia, knock it off." She simply asked, "What does he look like?"
I told her he was tall, with reddish hair and little round wire glasses, and he had a string around his neck with a horn on it, that he used to listen to people's chests.
Grandma Ada beamed, immediately recognizing the description of her Uncle Jim, a doctor who had died in the flu epidemic of 1917, twenty-four years earlier. She loved knowing he was there, and I loved knowing that by seeing him, I had given her a reunion that made her very happy. It was wonderful validation for the accuracy of my visions and the first time I remember believing that maybe this "psychic" thing really was a gift instead of a burden after all, if I could bring a smile like that to someone I loved so much.
It was in the context of all these spirits around me, and my curiosity about where they came from, that Grandma Ada started telling me about The Other Side. She said that when life on this earth ends, our eternal spirits leave our bodies and go Home to God in a place of unimaginable beauty, full of colors and music and pure, all-encompassing love. These spirits weren't coming around to hurt me, they were just visiting from The Other Side, and because of the gift she and I shared, we could see them when others couldn't.
I thought her stories about The Other Side were enchanting. I also thought they sounded too good to be true. She was probably just trying to make the spirit world and life after death sound pretty and safe, to ease the mind of the gifted, sensitive, confused granddaughter she adored. So I listened, adoring her right back, too young to realize that my soul was quietly resonating with the truth of every word she said.
Frankly, I didn't care very much about The Other Side and the eternity of the spirit when I was a child. I was too busy being relentlessly inquisitive, hyperactive, and outspoken, loving my daddy and grandmother, trying unsuccessfully to understand my troubled mother, and always, always "knowing things," whether I wanted to or not. I knew who was calling before the phone even rang, and who was at the door before they knocked. I announced the sudden death of my paternal grandfather just as Daddy raced in to break the news. I frantically pulled my father out of a theater one afternoon in the middle of the movie, screaming that my baby sister Sharon couldn't breathe, and we arrived home just in time to rush her to the hospital to be treated for double pneumonia. I knew what was about to happen, good and bad, to my friends and teachers. I even knew, without ever being told she existed, what the pretty blonde woman looked like whom Daddy quietly called when he thought we were all asleep. (I didn't blame him, by the way. To this day, although my father never did end up leaving my mother, I still see that "other woman" and consider her part of the family.)
I was seven years old when The Other Side became intensely personal for me and changed my life forever. I was in my bedroom, brushing my hair, playing with my flashlight, trying to ignore my certainty that someone I couldn't see was nearby, watching me. Suddenly, almost blindingly, the light from the flashlight grew and intensified until it filled the room with a pure white glow, and from the midst of the light a woman's voice said, "I come from God, Sylvia. Don't be afraid."
If a disembodied voice told you not to be afraid, no matter where it said it came from, would you just sit there? Me neither. I was out of that room, flying down the stairs, terrified, in search of Grandma Ada. I crashed into her in the kitchen, where she was cleaning vegetables from her victory garden. Sobbing and trembling, I told her what had happened. She held me and stroked my hair and explained, as if she'd been expecting this, "That was your Spirit Guide, sweetheart. She's here to help you. Pick up the carrots."
As always, Grandma Ada was right, it was indeed my Spirit Guide, and I've never spent a day without her since. Her real name is Iena, but for reasons no one can quite remember I immediately insisted on calling her Francine instead. In her one lifetime on earth, she was Aztec-Incan, from a small village in Colombia, killed by a spear in 1520 while trying to protect her child during a violent Spanish invasion. She is my closest friend, my constant companion, my patient confidante, my teacher, my "resident expert" on The Other Side, and my infuriatingly judicious protector who knows I can't learn without making mistakes. She speaks to me in a voice that's transformed into a high chirping sound as it makes the transition from her dimension to mine. With my permission, she also speaks through me, using my voice while I trance, oblivious to what goes on in my absence until I'm told about it later or hear her on tape. She's five nine, rail thin, with elegant long-fingered hands and waist-length black hair that she wears in a thick braid. She is sloe-eyed, and her looks are exotic, almost Egyptian, with her olive skin and huge dark eyes.
I didn't get my first actual glimpse of Francine until I was eighteen and in college. And when she appeared, I very deliberately closed my eyes and turned away.
I majored in education and literature at St. Theresa's College, with a minor in theology, toward my goal of becoming a teacher. I also signed up for a hypnosis class at the University of Kansas City. Francine had been chirping away to me on a regular basis for eleven years by then. The Three Faces of Eve was the hot new must-see movie, about a woman with multiple personalities. And, as part of my required studies, I was taking a course in abnormal psychology. I had felt abnormal all my life, and now here was a handy textbook that listed the eight symptoms of schizophrenia, four of which might as well have had a little photo of me beside them as far as I was concerned. The more I read, the more I studied, and the more I added things up, the more impossible it became to ignore the obvious: I was crazy. Far too crazy to teach children. The exalted three-hundred-year "psychic legacy" in my family was probably, in reality, a long, tragic hereditary insanity instead. As for this Francine person that no one could hear but me, how could I have been so stupid? She was no Spirit Guide. She wasn't even real. She was clearly just my own alternate personality, a sad imaginary splinter of my poor genetically deranged mind.
It sounded like good, solid logic to me, and I was almost smug when I announced it in my farewell speech to this symptom of my dementia I had known for so many years as Francine. She listened with her usual patience and didn't argue with me or defend herself even once. But she did ask me to indulge her in one little demonstration before I permanently declared her unreal: for the first time since I met her, she was going to materialize.
It was nighttime. Raining. My mother, father, and sister were with me, beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of seeing this woman I'd been chattering about for all these years. I, on the other hand, was some combination of scared, anxious, and resigned to the fact that when nothing happened, it would prove beyond a doubt how completely nuts I really was. We dimmed the lights a little, at her request, so as not to hurt her eyes on her first physical trip to this dimension in several centuries, or so she said. And then we waited.
But not for long.
There was a rocking chair beside me. Slowly, with silent grace, the folds of a pale blue dress took form, draping from the seat of the chair to the floor.
Next came a hand, resting in the lap of the soft dress, its fingers long and slender.
My father ecstatically blurted out, "Don't anyone talk until she's gone, so we'll know we didn't influence each other about what we saw!" No problem. Mother and Sharon were too busy gasping in awe to form actual words anyway.
An arm gradually appeared above the hand, with smooth mocha skin, and then, resting against it, a long braid of thick black hair.
That was enough for me. While my family kept watching, utterly enchanted, I turned away and never glanced back.
Dr. John Renick, a psychiatrist who had become one of my favorite teachers and confidants, was surprised at me when
I told him the next day about my reaction to Francine's physical debut. He thought I should be thrilled. "I've known all along that you're too strong and well integrated to have any serious psychological problems, let alone schizophrenia," he told me. "But you and your family saw Francine with your own eyes. She's real, which means that you're perfectly sane. Why did you turn away from her?"
I don't cry often, but I remember feeling tears on my cheeks. "Because I have to live in this world, Dr. Renick. I hear and see so much that normal people don't have to put up with. I don't want to be some airy-fairy weirdo, I want to be a teacher. I'm goofy enough. I can't afford to get any goofier."
He smiled, looked into my eyes, and said, "What a perfectly sane thing to say." I finally smiled back. I still have a written diagnosis from him: "Normal, but has paranormal abilities?" Even with the question mark, it meant a lot to me, coming from a highly respected psychiatrist, and at least as a psychic, I never questioned my sanity again.
Incidentally, after Francine disappeared that night and the family compared notes, it turned out that all three of them had seen exactly the same entity, right down to the tiniest detail. And while I refused to admit it at the time, part of me was furious that I missed it. How's that for predictable?
Also incidentally, I've known since the day she was born that my granddaughter Angelia is possibly the most powerfully gifted psychic this family has ever produced, so it didn't surprise me when she strolled into my bathroom one day when she was four years old and said, "Bagdah [her nickname for me], who is that lady with black hair who follows you around?" I'm always surprised, though, at how many "normal" audience members ask me after lectures and television appearances why I didn't introduce the tall dark-haired woman behind me onstage.
Now that I had fully accepted Francine, and at the risk of sounding like an ingrate, I began complaining to her about her high-pitched, chipmunk-like chirp and asked if she couldn't find some slower, lower-octave, less irritating way to communicate. She explained again that she couldn't control the distortion of the sound of her voice as it traveled from her dimension to mine, but for the first time she offered an alternative: if I would trance, she could speak through me, using my voice. I wouldn't be aware of anything that was said during the trance, but I could tape it and listen afterward to whatever she had to say.
My response was a less polite version of "Fat chance." I wanted no part of that. Letting a Spirit Guide occasionally borrow my vocal cords hardly sounded compatible with my determination to keep one foot safely planted in the rational world. She assured me that trancing was risk free, that it could be very helpful, and that I would never find myself unable to come back and take charge again. I didn't care. The answer was still a resounding no. She started to talk about trying it sometime if the opportunity presented itself, just to give me the experience, but I cut her off, finished with the whole conversation.
It happened a few days later, in a hypnosis class led by Dr. Royal. My friend Mary Margaret, whom I'd known since kindergarten, was with me. I remember being "counted down" as usual. The next thing I remember was regaining consciousness. I'm double-jointed, so it was a particularly graceless awakening-I was still seated on my chair, but I was bent over with the top of my head resting on the floor between my feet. Everyone in the room was gaping at me. Self-conscious and very confused, I sat up and asked what had happened.
All of them, including Dr. Royal, talked excitedly over each other. I caught phrases like "You should have heard yourself ...!" and "So much information ...!" and "Where did all of that come from?!" and the one that especially caught my attention, "It was like you were someone else." Finally Mary Margaret leaned close to my ear and discreetly announced, "Francine was here. Talking through you."
I insisted that there must be some mistake. But Mary Margaret was a close friend who knew me well, and she had been hearing about Francine for years. It wasn't just that Francine had introduced herself to the class while I was "gone." The speech patterns, the rhythms, the terminology, everything that came out of my mouth, with my voice, was so dramatically different from what Mary Margaret knew to be "me" that there wasn't a doubt in her mind, or anyone else's, that somehow, as I voluntarily slipped into a hypnotic trance, Francine had stepped in and taken my place. And by the way, they loved her and hoped she would come back soon.
I was furious. I confronted Francine that night, demanding to know how she could betray me like that. She patiently reminded me that she had told me she would be watching for an opportunity to channel through me, and the hypnotic trance she used to accomplish it was voluntary on my part. So she hadn't lied to me, nor had she really come in against my will. She had just wanted to show me how safe it was for me to channel her, that I could and would always come back, and that it was a perfect way to help her communicate with those who had no other way to hear what she had to say.
I have never won an argument with Francine, including that one. She convinced me to give channeling a try and made a few ironclad promises: she would never again surprise me like that-I would never have to worry about standing in front of a classroom or client or audience and jumping back and forth from me to Francine to me again with no warning. She would never, ever tell anything but the truth, or cause harm to me or anyone else. And, most important, she would only use my voice for humanitarian purposes, to teach people about The Other Side and the eternal, unconditional love of God. If I ever had any reason to believe she'd broken one of those promises, I could call an immediate halt to channeling her or even hearing her voice again.
That was forty-four years ago, and she's kept every promise. When she talks through me, it's always with my willing permission, and she's been of immeasurable help to countless people. It frustrates me that I never get to hear what she has to say until later, but I have thousands of tapes of her lectures and agree that, except for the sheer mechanics of my voice itself, she sounds nothing like me. Her speech pattern is very slow and deliberate compared to mine, her knowledge and vocabulary far exceed mine, and she never says a single word in jest (as unlike me as you can get, let's face it). I never take her information at face value, much to her frustration, but it never fails that the more I research and study in an effort to prove her wrong just once, the more I discover that she meant it when she said she would never tell anything less than the truth.
My psychic son Christopher, who doesn't trance but understands the process, leaves the room when Francine takes over. He loves and appreciates her, it just unnerves him to see me so obviously absent while my body is still sitting there. Which leads me to another point about Francine: she never helps me with my own lectures, television appearances, and readings. Frankly, I wish she did. I'd love to be able to blame it on her when I'm wrong. But you never have to wonder if it's me or Francine you're talking to. If you don't know me well enough to hear the difference, you can absolutely trust the fact that she never shows up unannounced.
I was nineteen years old when I embraced Francine as a legitimate part of my life, graduated from college and became, almost as a diversion, a full-fledged licensed hypnotist. I thought it might be a useful tool for helping people stop smoking and lose weight. I never dreamed it would lead me to some of the most remarkable experiences of my life, throw open the door to The Other Side, and then dare me to have the faith and the courage to step through it.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    Thank you.

    Being given a gift that lasted only a few years, but provided such an intense insight into the afterlife - as well as the here and now... Reading this book was the first time I had clarification that I wasn't nuts, and wasn't alone in the belief that I found so hard to explain and share. I have since passed copies to my family, who now not only understand my beliefs so much more, but have in turn passed it to friends, and so forth. Thank you.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    My Favorite Sylvia Browne Book

    This is such a valuable resource. I am a big fan of Sylvia and this book is a blessing. I love the information passed along by Sylvia's Spirit Guide, Francine. This is a beautiful book that details what heaven is like. It is filled with absolutely gorgeous pictures of Francine's descriptions of the Other Side. Any time I get sad, scared or nervous about people or pets I love passing away, I turn to this book for peace and reassurance. I often recommend it to clients who may have lost someone and they also find hope in its pages. I wish you peace!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2007

    Life touching book

    I read this book after three of my friends passed away in a fire that didn't have to happen. I was so lost in my greif that I felt as if I had lost my faith. The mother of one of my friends who passed on gave me this book, she said it helped her deal with the loss of her amazing son and that it would probably help me too. She was so right! I thank God for Sylvia's perspective on the Other Side and for sharing it with all of us. I feel more at peace with my friends' death because I know he's still with me and I will see him again.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2005

    Outstanding!!!

    I could not put this book down. It's very insightful & well thought out. It changed my view on death & the afterlife. Some of the descriptions of the afterlife (heaven) are hard to believe, but if true, it will be wonderful!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    Informative, enlightening.

    How amazing it is to find such inside, such faith and understanding. My own research has lead me to Sylvia Browne and her valuable insight. I am amazed. I am also grateful to know I am not alone with such a task of understanding.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2003

    Do You Believe In Life After Death? Whether you do or not this is a book that you should read.

    I like the title because that is exactly what the book is about. This is an extraordinary book about how a psychic reveals her past experiences, hypnosis sessions and research to tell the truth about The Other Side. Sylvia explains the process of leaving this world for the next and how we can resume our lives on Earth. It also tells stories about other peoples experiences with hyponosis or out of body experiences. I started reading this book after my best friend died and I found it to give me great comfort after reading it. It's also a very spiritual book which can also help you bring out your spiritual side. Whether or not you believe in psychics or The Other Side it is still a book that everyone should read because it can change your point of view on things even if you are a skeptic.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Fascinating Book

    This book had amazing information that comforted me after my grandpa died. It has beautiful stories, amazing facts and it gave me a great picture of what the other side is like. I would definitley reccomend.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Fantastic read

    This is one of the books that changed my life and makes more sense than just about everything else. If nothing else it eases fears about death and puts u in a happy place.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Spiritually comforting

    This book is very comforting when you are cycling through a difficult grief process. Some of the descriptions of the spirit are simular in other cultures.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Love her!

    Can't go wrong with Sylvia Browne, if you are interested in learning about life (and afterlife) from a psychic's perspective!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2005

    The Best True Story Book Ever!

    Life on the Other side by world renowned psychic Sylvia Browne, is the most insightful, comforting, helpful, interesting, fascinating book, I have ever had the chance to look at! I must have read well over 400 books in my lifetime, this is the very best! I have followed Sylvia, and I know that everything she does is honest and from the heart, and that is exactly what the reader gets from this great book! The best part about it, is that the book is completely true!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Very interesting-would recommend to a friend

    This is the first of Sylvia Brownes books that I have read. I have enjoyed it quite a lot and would recommend it to anyone interested in this subject.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Good read

    I really enjoyed reading this book but found it a little hard to believe everything that she says in the book. In other words, her description of the afterlife just sounds too good to be true. I did find one " fact " in the book where she contradicts herself but it could have been a typo or editing error. Overall, it was a very enjoyable book to read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2002

    Truly Breathtaking and Visionary

    This is the book that I have been waiting for to read after my father died that gave me the most comfort. It wasn't full of the fairy-tale images that you often read about heaven and hell (both are so over-exagerated in the christian faith) Yes, what sylvia believes is that there is a mother and father God, and that God is love. Her amazing account of what happens right when you die and what you do with your time while you are on the other side makes EVERYTHING ELSE THAT I HAVE EVER READ, SEEMS LIKE PURE NONESENSE. Thank you so dearly Sylvia, for giving me the comfort that I was so looking for yet never have found it until now. I know now, my dad is in a wonderful place, and is being very proserous with his time and energy, as he did here on earth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2001

    An Awesome Book For An Enlightened Age

    Having been allowed to travel 'home' for a all too short a moment, all while conscious of the event. I was amazed at Sylvia¿s accurate, very detailed description of the other side. I was allowed this visit very shortly after my mother¿s death this past January, having made the trip before finding this book. I recommend this for anyone who has an open mind. As I told my family, read the book and then as heavenly father to validate it¿s accuracy. He did for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2001

    'Life on the Other Side' is a beautiful book

    I think it is hard to doubt Sylvia Browne. This book makes a lot of sense about every aspect of life and how and why it is formed. I was very skeptical to believing in an afterlife. It is hard to explain how I feel now after reading it, but I am very happy that I did. I have not left my Catholic religion and agreeing with Sylvia's explanation doesn't mean you have to leave yours. Sylvia believes in God and loves him and like she says even if you don't love him, he will love you. We each have our own paths. I believe this is a truthful book and I think everyone would find a truth in it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    I hope her son will have his mom as a guide

    And write about what is happening there

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Fraud and a waste of money

    I bought one book by this author and 50 pages in decided to research sylvia browne. First i dicovered this is a stagename and an 'e' was added to the new last name folllowing criminal charges for felonies including fraud. This spiritual adviser has been married 5 times and her first husband of 13 years denounced her practice as a lie. She told him, "f them. If people are so gullible, they deserve to be taken." Many people attest to her being wrong nearly all the time regarding missing persons cases and she has no reliable reference from law enforcement in terms of significant contribution to a case. Sad.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Pretty wild

    To deal with my grief, I've been reading afterlife books for months, during my mother's illness and after her death in August 2011. I'm convinced, especially after watching her die and seeing her actions, even in a coma, that she was being taken "home". However, this book has some wild claims about life in the spirit world that I find hard to believe, and I'm currently looking for other mediums' accounts to verify if these details could be accurate. At a minimum, this book is entertaining!

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Strange

    The book started out ok but turned crazy midway. She is way out there.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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