The Other Side and Back: A Psychic's Guide to Our World and Beyond

The Other Side and Back: A Psychic's Guide to Our World and Beyond

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by Sylvia Browne, Lindsay Harrison

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The world-famous psychic, featured on numerous TV talk shows, takes readers on an unprecedented and comprehensive "tour" of the afterlife and presents a handbook for spiritual survival in the new millennium that helps people tap into their psychic powers. Updated with new material.See more details below


The world-famous psychic, featured on numerous TV talk shows, takes readers on an unprecedented and comprehensive "tour" of the afterlife and presents a handbook for spiritual survival in the new millennium that helps people tap into their psychic powers. Updated with new material.

Editorial Reviews

Lin McNulty
Providingt exercises designed tocall up to persoanl Spirit Guide and past-life history, Browne spawns a sense of exhilaration about being here and eases much of the fear about being there.
Napra Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Browne, who bills herself as a psychic and spiritual teacher, follows up her Adventures of a Psychic with this comprehensive manual on living a spiritual life. She tells readers how to detect subtle energy levels, find their spirit guides, discover the major themes of their lives, recognize angels and dark entities, and master myriad other spiritual challenges. Browne's twofold purpose, she states, is to help readers use their psychic abilities to create health, and to reveal the nature of the "other side," the place where spirits reside after death and before they are reborn into new selves that retain programming and memories from previous existences. Those familiar with Browne from her television appearances (the Montel Williams Show, Sally Jessy Raphael, CNN, etc.) will recognize her signature, down-to-earth approach to the supernatural ("The closest thing I have to a soul mate on this earth is my granddaughter Angelia.") Occasionally, her relaxed banter grows boring, as when she reveals that her spirit guide, Francine, "adores attention, and it's fine with me, as long as she and I aren't wearing matching outfits, which would look a little too cute for my taste." A listing of 44 major life themes, ways to overcome fear, daily affirmations, and predictions for the next century provide ample fare for readers with a taste for comfortable excursions to the other side. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Browne follows up her best-selling Adventures of a Psychic with this guidebook to those who would like to tap into their psychic powers.
From the Publisher
"Psychic, Medium, Clairvoyant, Channel-these are all words to describe Sylvia Browne's unique powers. I've personally witnessed her bring closure to distraught families, help the police close cases, and open people's hearts to help themsee the good within themselves."-Montel Williams

"The Other Side and Back is the most grounded and authentic ‘entry to the other side' that I have ever read. You know immediately upon reading the first few pages that Sylvia Browne is more than a psychic-she is a master at conveying the truth that exists in the fourth dimension."Caroline Myss, Ph.D., author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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Penguin Publishing Group
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18 Years

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Chapter One

Help from The Other
Side: Our Angels and
Spirit Guides

Almost every religion on earth accepts the fact that our spirits survive death. But tell people you can communicate with those spirits and they will think you are nuts. So spirits exist, but we can't communicate with them? I think that's nuts. Of course we can! And we do, all the time, whether we are aware of it or not.

    The truth is, we are never alone. Every moment of our lives we are surrounded by a support group from The Other Side who knows, loves, and understands us better than we know, love, and understand ourselves.

    I'm sure you'd find that easier to believe if you could actually see and hear your spirit support group as clearly as you do the people around you. But look at it this way: When you leave your home and family every day and head off to work, do you immediately stop believing your home and family exist until they are right there in front of you again? Of course not. No matter how difficult, or stimulating, or consuming your day becomes, there is never a doubt in your mind that your home and family will be right where you left them when your day is over.

    Since what happens in your daily life is exactly what happens in the life of your soul, your mind and heart can be just as sure that your eternal Home and family are real. You left your Home—The Other Side—and your spirit family to come to this job, this bad camping trip, this hard work called life. Frankly, I'm surprised we're not all born carrying little lunchpails. And when your work/ life is over, you'll find that same Home and family waiting right where you left them, so safe and familiar and happy to see you that you'll wonder what gave you the bright idea to leave them in the first place. If, like me, you've gone through life feeling a bit homesick no matter where you were, it is because our souls are remembering and yearning for a place where we have all been before.

    Throughout this book, including now, you may find yourself reading along thinking, "How does she know this?" Rather than repeating the answer over and over again, let me pause to offer it here, if only to assure you that I would not waste your time with guesswork: I have spent every day of the past forty-seven years in direct contact with The Other Side, not only through my Spirit Guide Francine but also through the spirits who join my clients during readings. Francine in particular has given me volumes of information, none of which I ever accept at face value. Instead, I have used it to enhance those same forty-seven years of exhaustive research and experience, all of it documented and on file in my office. Not only am I a skeptic, but I am also from Missouri, the "Show Me" state. So nothing appears in this book that I have not questioned, explored, tested, retested, studied and personally validated.


    The Other Side is where our spirits come from when we enter the womb waiting to be born and where our spirits go when we die. It is heaven, paradise, more stunningly beautiful than our earthly minds can imagine. We usually picture it as being "out there somewhere," above the clouds, past the moon and stars, beyond Oz and Never-Never Land. And that's understandable, since "out there somewhere" is as infinite and mysterious as we imagine The Other Side to be.

    But the truth is much more fascinating and comforting than that: The Other Side is right here among us, another dimension superimposed on our own world, some three feet above our version of "ground level." Its vibrational frequency is much higher than ours, which is why we don't perceive it. For an easy analogy, think of a dog whistle—its frequency is so high that it seems silent to the normal human ear, but animals can hear it clearly. (Part of the psychic gift, in fact, is the God-given ability to perceive a wider range of vibrational frequencies, which is why we're able to communicate with the spirit world more easily than "normal.")

    People who have seen spirits invariably describe them as "floating above the ground." There is good reason for that—they are floating, above our ground. On the ground level of The Other Side. We're actually ghosts in their world, sharing the same space but unreal by comparison, since it is in the spirit world that all beings are completely and fully "alive."

    Typically, Francine gives me information about The Other Side, and I then validate it through meticulous research, including regressive hypnosis, which we will discuss in greater detail in later chapters. On the location of The Other Side, though, that process worked in reverse. Decades ago I was taking a client named Anne through her death in a past life. She described her family, gathered around her bed to say good-bye, and the small, simple, gaslit room in which she was dying. To her amazement, and mine, when the legendary tunnel appeared to take her spirit to The Other Side, it did not lead up from her body to the ceiling or the sky, but across the room and the southern fields beyond instead, only slightly above the earthly plane she was leaving.

    When client after client after client, without my leading them in any way, described on tape exactly the same experience, of a tunnel, or sometimes a bridge, that led not up to another dimension but across to it, I finally remarked to Francine one night as if it would be news to her, "The Other Side is right here!"

    She replied, "Of course it's right here."

    With some impatience I demanded to know why she had never bothered to mention that. With her typical and occasionally frustrating logic she calmly responded, "You never asked."

    You will also read in a later chapter about my own near-death experience. Not that I needed more validation about the location of The Other Side by then, but I am able to confirm that, just like Anne and these countless other clients, I personally saw the tunnel lift up from my body to take me across, not up, to the White Light of Home.

    We on earth are stuck with our dimension's annoying laws of time and space, laws that contribute concepts like "late" and "crowded" and "traffic jam" and "stressed out" to our vocabulary. The residents of The Other Side joyfully function without those restrictions and instead enjoy the freedom of such universal laws as infinity and eternity. Our lifetimes here last about as long as the blink of an eye on The Other Side, and the entities who reside there have no concept of the word "crowded," since hundreds of them could easily fit into an elevator without even having to inhale.

    And how is this for something to look forward to: All spirits on The Other Side are thirty years old. (Yes, that includes us, whether we're age two or ninety-two when we get there.) When my Spirit Guide, Francine, my "resident expert" on the subject of The Other Side, first told me that, I asked, "Why thirty?" She replied, "why not?" That ended that conversation. But I guess thirty is a good physical age to choose for a general population—we're about as comfortable with our bodies as we're going to get by then. Spirits can assume their earthly appearance when they come to visit us, to help us recognize them, but in their day-to-day lives on The Other Side, not only are they thirty but they also can choose their own physical attributes, from height to weight to hair color.

    I need to make something very clear in case it is not already. For the purpose of these descriptions of The Other Side and the differences between life there and life here on earth, I'm using pronouns like we and them. But please understand that we have been them many, many times, and we will become them again when we have completed this lifetime. All of us here and on The Other Side are parts of the same Whole, fibers in the same perfect fabric of God's creation. We are separated by nothing but a natural transition we call "death," a transition that is really the joyful cycle of our eternal spirits going Home again.

    Home, contrary to a lot of myths and greeting card artwork, is far more magnificent and complex than just an endless sea of puffy white clouds and blue sky. The Other Side is a breathtaking infinity of mountains, and oceans, and vast gardens, and forests—every wonder of nature that exists here, its beauty magnified hundreds of times. The landscape is punctuated with buildings of brilliant design and variety—classical Greek and Roman architecture for the temples, concert halls, courtyards, sports arenas, and other public gathering places—and homes designed to meet every entity's personal preference, so that a stately Victorian mansion might share a neighborhood with a simple log cabin and a geodesic dome.

    Animals, among God's most perfect creations, are alive and well on The Other Side, too. (And to be honest, if they weren't, I don't think I'd have the slightest interest in going there.) All the animals that exist on earth exist on The Other Side, without fear or aggression, and they are appropriately cherished and respected as the pure, innocent, guileless spirits they are.

    You will probably be as relieved as I was to learn that entities on The Other Side don't really spend all their time lying around playing harps. That might be pleasant enough for five or ten minutes every once in a while, but for all eternity? In fact, The Other Side's residents are constantly active and stimulated. Frankly, it is ridiculous that we refer to them as "dead." We should be so "dead." They study, they work, they research—by choice, I must add, and with great joy. They have brilliant social lives, full of parties and music and dancing and sporting events and fashion shows and lectures, literally every possible option for every possible preference. All the arts, crafts, hobbies, and outdoor activities available on earth are available there, taken to their most exhilarating extreme. Words like boredom, loneliness, and tedium are not part of the local vocabulary.

    It is especially fascinating that the entities on The Other Side also create everything from inventions to medical cures to great art, music, philosophy, and scientific breakthroughs. They then transmit those creations through subtle telepathy to those on earth who have the skills, tools, and dedication to make them a reality. If you have ever wondered why significant humanitarian brainstorms seem to occur almost simultaneously to separate people on opposite sides of the globe, now you know—The Other Side likes to make sure its finest contributions get maximum attention here on earth. This does not take a bit of credit away from the brilliant people among us who make these leaps of discovery. The entities on The Other Side need gifted, willing hands and hearts to carry out their work just as surely as we need their divine inspiration.

    Telepathy is the most popular form of communication among the spirit entities, but verbal communication is easy, too, since all languages are spoken and understood. The most universal language on The Other Side is the eloquently descriptive Aramaic of ancient Syria, a dialect of which was spoken by Christ and His disciples. However, there's no need to start boning up on our Aramaic before we die. Like all entities on The Other Side, we will have access to all knowledge when we get there, including memories from every one of our past lives, preserved for eternity in the magnificent domed Hall of Records. The Other Side's vast libraries include sacred Askashic records, which Francine defines as the written depiction of God's memory. All the entities have constant, total communion with God, who offers information and answers through "infused knowledge," transmitted directly from the Holy Spirit into the mind.

    There is no negativity on The Other Side, no aggression, no ego or jealousy or pride, and no judgment. Those qualities are strictly human-made, not God-made. And those human qualities are exactly why we make the seemingly insane choice of leaving our Home on The Other Side from time to time and trudge through yet another incarnation.

    Our purpose in coming here is to learn and to gain knowledge, as the sensing, experiencing extensions of God we all are. I have heard and read different interpretations of this, implying that with each incarnation our spirits "evolve" in an effort to get "closer to God." But that is simply not true. Our spirits were already fully "evolved" when God created them. Because we're part of Him just as He is part of us, there is no such thing as getting "closer" to Him—we're already there.

    I once asked a very wise soul, when I was much younger and going through an especially rough time, why life had to be so hard. She answered with a question: "What have you learned from those times when life was easy?" As much as I hate to admit it, she was right. The old adage "If it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger" is true. We don't learn from never having hurdles in our path to begin with; we learn from overcoming the hurdles we are confronted with along the way. That is why our spirits sometimes feel the need to leave The Other Side and come here—to experience and overcome negativity in all its forms and learn from it, and then take that knowledge back Home.

    Yet if we have access to all knowledge on The Other Side, why even bother putting ourselves through this "negativity" business? Why not just stay in the perfection of Home and read an eternity of wisdom about imperfection?

    Brilliant concepts are useful only when they are acted upon. If God had created our spirits to be content with unexperienced knowledge, Neil Armstrong would have never set foot on the moon. Leonardo da Vinci would have been too busy reading art books to create the Mona Lisa. Amelia Earhart would have stayed home with a dull ache in her heart every time a plane flew overhead. William Shakespeare would have spent his life going to the theater and never bothered to reach for a pen.

    It took the same strength, courage, discipline, curiosity, and faith we admire in those people for us to choose to experience another human lifetime. We owe ourselves and each other profound respect just for having the guts to come here.

    Once our spirits make the decision to inhabit a human body, we create a blueprint for this life based on what we're most interested in experiencing and learning to overcome in our eternal pursuit of knowledge. That blueprint includes everything from the kind of parents, families, and childhoods we will have to our career paths, health and financial circumstances, sexual preferences, marriages, children, and the length of our lifetime. We also select an "option line," or area in which we feel we have the most to learn and will therefore be especially challenged by while we're here.

    There are seven option lines to choose from: family, social life, love, health, spirituality, finance, and career. If you take a close look at your life, I'll bet there is one item on that list that you just cannot seem to get right no matter how hard you try. At its worst, it spills over into the other six and makes it feel as if you are doing everything wrong. Don't panic. It is not an affliction you have been burdened with against your will; it is actually the area of challenge you have chosen. Think of it as the subject you decided to "major" in this time around so that you can finally master it someday. (That's not always easy, I know. My option line is "family," and trust me, I'm still trying to get a handle on it at age sixty-two.)

    In addition to mapping out our blueprints before coming here, we also make sacred contracts with entities on The Other Side to watch over us, protect us, help us and advise us through this earthly journey we have chosen to undertake. The most intimate of these advisers, who, with God's help, conceives and reviews our blueprint with us, and is at our side every step of the way, is our Spirit Guide.


    Every one of us has a Spirit Guide, someone we were very close to and literally trusted with our soul on The Other Side, who agreed to be our constant, vigilant companion and helpmate when we made the choice to experience another lifetime on earth. Our Spirit Guides are the best friends we have ever had; they just happen to live in another dimension.

    All Spirit Guides have spent at least one life here, so they are able to empathize with the problems, mistakes, temptations, fears, and frailties inevitable in the human world. In fact, most of us either have been or will be someone else's Spirit Guide somewhere along the way. On rare occasions your Spirit Guide is an ancestor or someone you've shared a past life with. But because your relationship with your Guide was formed between your spirit and theirs on The Other Side before you were born, it is impossible for them to be someone you've known in this lifetime.

    My Spirit Guide, whom I mentioned earlier, is an Aztec-Incan woman named Iena, although I took it upon myself to change her name to Francine. She was born in northern Colombia in 1500 and was killed in a Spanish attack on her city in 1520. That was her only incarnation on this earth, and we never knew each other until we met and became close friends on The Other Side. The fact that we had never met in a past life has not diminished our intimate connection in the slightest.

    The Spirit Guide's job is to urge, nudge, encourage, advise, support, and, as their title suggests, guide us on our life's path. And they have several advantages to help them in their work. First, they have the closest possible bond with our spirits—the very essence of who we are. They have also studied and memorized our blueprints. We, unfortunately, lose conscious awareness of our blueprints during our time on earth and tend to wander off from our intended plans. They can help us get back on track. Their vantage point on The Other Side gives them direct access to God's divine knowledge, and they also enjoy every spirit's enviable ability to be in several places at once, unencumbered by these bodies we make such a big deal out of having. They can be at a lecture or party in the spirit world or visit another loved one on earth while still keeping an eye on us.

    Incidentally, in case you are picturing a flock of voyeurs, gaping at our every move and invading our most highly personal, shall we say, "private moments," let me put your mind at ease. They're called "Spirit" Guides, not "Body" Guides. They concern themselves with our spirits and only our spirits. Our various bodily functions are not their concern.

    Another thing a Spirit Guide won't do—take it from me—is leap in to interfere with the choices we make, or deprive us of our free will. At best, they will offer possible alternatives and warnings. But our agreement with them from the beginning is that we are here to learn and grow, and they know we cannot accomplish that if they are constantly shielding us from the lessons we need to learn.

    Spirit Guides communicate with us in a variety of ways, if we'll just shut up and listen to them. You would think that would be especially easy for me, because I have the advantage of being able to actually hear Francine talking to me, and even channel her so that she can talk through me, but incredibly, there are still times to this day when I get ornery and don't pay attention and end up with egg dripping down my face. It is a testament to her patience, and to the depth of the bond between us, that she is even speaking to me at all by now.

    So don't feel disadvantaged if your Spirit Guide doesn't seem to have an audible voice. They are still sending you plenty of messages, most often through your subconscious mind. What you have always accepted as instincts, or your conscience, or unusually vivid dreams are more likely your Spirit Guide waving flags. These experiences are common. You for no reason drive a different route than usual and find out later you avoided an accident. On impulse you call a friend, only to discover they needed your help at that moment. You go to sleep concerned about a problem and wake up knowing the solution. Anything you've written off to "something told me to ..." change that to "someone told me to." You're receiving your Spirit Guide's signals—and acting on them.

    As for your signals to your Spirit Guide, you can and should ask for help, advice, and reassurance as often as you feel the need. But please remember something I learned the hard way—whatever it is you want, be specific.

    When my son Paul was five months old, he was stricken with a potentially fatal infection. His fever was soaring past 105 degrees as I raced him to the hospital, where he struggled in intensive care for twenty-six hours before his doctors could assure me he was going to make it. I was terrified and alone for most of those twenty-six hours, and as I paced and prayed and sobbed in that waiting room, I must have pleaded, "Help me, Francine!" a thousand times without any noticeable response.

    Once Paul was home again, safe and sound in his own crib, I angrily confronted Francine, feeling betrayed. "How could you abandon me like that when I thought my baby was dying?"

    Like all Spirit Guides, who have the divine perspective we lack, Francine is always calm, no matter what I say to her. So with her trademark serenity she simply replied, "Is that what was wrong? I knew you wanted my help, but I had no idea what the problem was. I can't read your mind, you know!"

    That was news to me. I assumed she knew everything about me. But the more I have thought about it, the more sense it makes. Our Spirit Guides know our blueprints, but those blueprints hardly contain every momentary fear we will ever have. Also, speaking from practical experience, as psychic as I am, I can't read minds, either. When a friend or client says, "Help me!" I'm going to say, "With what?" every time. It was a valuable lesson I'm happy to pass along—your Spirit Guide is available twenty-four hours a day to join God as one of your greatest allies, if you'll just skip the generalities and tell them exactly what you need.

    I still wasn't ready to let her off the hook, though. She couldn't read my mind, but I had prayed constantly in that hospital room. She didn't have to be a mind reader to hear prayers, did she?

    More news to me: When we speak directly to God, a "dome of privacy" instantly surrounds us. The privacy of our conversations with God is so sacred that not even our Spirit Guides can hear them. God is part of us. We are part of Him. No one can trespass or eavesdrop when we are already one with Him to begin with.

    One more tip, by the way, is that Spirit Guides seem to be absolutely literal-minded about what you say to them, so when you talk to yours, forget about nuance or unspoken assumptions. Here's a perfect example: If I ask Francine, "Can you describe yourself?" she'll answer, "Yes." Period. Just, "Yes." She's not trying to be coy, she's simply giving the precise answer to your question because she thinks that is what you meant. But if I ask, "Would you describe yourself, please?" she's happy to oblige.

    Please don't neglect talking to your Spirit Guide just because you might not know who it is. Don't forget, they have been human at least once before. They are well aware that our memories of them and our lives on The Other Side are virtually nonexistent, so they don't expect us to remember them. If you haven't been introduced to yours, or if a psychic or medium has not identified them for you, make up a name and call them that. It will make your Spirit Guide seem more personal, and your Guide will happily answer to any name you come up with, just for the joy of your finally acknowledging and embracing them. Take it from a woman who changed her Spirit Guide's name from Iena to Francine for my own childhood convenience—their love for us is as patient, eternal and unconditional as The Other Side itself, where we'll reunite with them someday and, I'm sure, have a good laugh about the long, strange trip they saw us through.


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What People are saying about this

Caroline Myss
The Other Side and Back is the most grounded and authentic ‘entry to the other side' that I have ever read. You know immediately upon reading the first few pages that Sylvia Browne is more than a psychic - she is a master at conveying the truth that exists in the fourth dimension. (Caroline Myss, Ph.D., author of Anatomy of the Spirit)
Montel Williams
Psychic, Medium, Clairvoyant, Channel — these are all words to describe Sylvia Browne's unique powers. I've personally witnessed her bring closure to distraught families, help the police close cases, people's hearts to help them see the good within themselves.
Melvin L. Morse
Sylvia Browne gave me a psychic reading that was so accurate and profoundly moving, it changed my entire outlook on the possibility of life after death. After fifteen years of listening to the stories of children who have survived death, I have learned that it is scientifically respectable to argue that consciousness survives death. We are all born with a specific biological link to a loving universe. Sylvia Browne has the talent to access this source of universal knowledge, and the wisdom and insight to interpret that knowledge for others. She definitely helped me at a crucial time in my life, and I am extremely grateful to her for that. I could have easily ignored the information she gave me in her psychic reading, or ridiculed and trivialized it. Instead, I trusted the feelings of my heart, not my logical, scientific brain. She did not tell me what to do, but rather gave me the courage to do what I knew was right. Read this book and learn how to trust your own intuition and inner voice. (From the Foreword by Melvin L. Morse, M.D., author of Transformed by the Light and Closer to the Light)

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