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I am a trained scientist with a master's degree in cultural anthropology. I have conducted field research in Latin America and Asia. I have published articles in professional journals and spoken at national anthropological conferences.
For over a decade, my wife Francesca and I have owned and operated an angel-themed gift shop in Ventura, California, called Things From Heaven. Working in this store, I have documented many amazing spiritual events. These include visions of angels, spontaneous healings, and conversations with lost loved ones on the other side. I have published three books documenting these phenomena.
The most amazing and life-changing experiences I have had, however, occurred due to what appeared to be an accidental contact with a spiritual guide named Chang. This book documents the revelations I have received from this highly evolved spiritual entity.
* A Guided Meditation by John Edward
In January of 2001, I purchased what I thought was a book on tape, called Understanding Your Angels and Meeting Your Guides by psychic John Edward. John Edward was very popular at the time with national daytime and evening talk shows. His concept of communicating with people's deceased loved ones using participants from a television studio audience was a new and exciting concept that had everyone talking about heaven again. I thought it would be good to learn more about Mr. Edward's opinions about angels so I could better discuss them with people who visited my store.
Francesca and I always go to a gift show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in mid-January, and I thought it would be interesting to listen to this tape while we drove to the gift show. I waited until we got on the freeway to put the tape in our car's player, and then I heard something that really disappointed me. The voice on the tape said, "Please don't listen to this tape while driving your car. This is a guided meditation."
At first I was furious. I had purchased this tape with the single intent of listening to it on our way to Los Angeles.
I felt I had wasted my money and considered returning the tape for a refund. I angrily ejected the tape from the player and threw it on the floor in the back of my car. It sat there for the next month.
On a Tuesday in mid-February of 2001, Francesca and I had the day off with nothing important to do. I suggested that we try to listen to the guided meditation by John Edward. I found it still lying on the floor of my car where I had thrown it. We turned off all the lights, unplugged the telephone, and sat on our couch. I figured I would get my money's worth out of this tape yet.
The tape started out with a discussion of chakras. I was immediately frustrated, as I was only really interested in what John Edward had to say about angels. And then he said something that concerned me even more. Communicating with your angels was not that important, he declared, which was why his meditation was about "spirit guides" instead.
"Spirit guides? I don't even believe in spirit guides. This tape really is stupid. I have wasted my money and now I'm wasting my time," I thought to myself.
Despite my concerns, I grudgingly decided to do the meditation anyway. John Edward first led me to meet my "spirit animal." To my surprise, an animal did come to meet me. It was my dog Shauna, who had died three years before. At first I was really happy to see my little dog in such good shape as she ran to meet me. Then I thought to myself, "This is stupid. Of course I'm going to see my dog. It's all just wishful thinking. There's nothing real about this vision at all."
John Edward's voice led me to follow my dog down a beautiful wooded path, past a bubbling spring, and finally into a clearing covered with bright green grass. In the middle of this clearing was a small wooden cabin. I followed my dog to the door of the cabin. At this point she left me and went frolicking through the grass and disappeared back into the forest.
John Edward directed me to knock on the door of the cabin. He said that I would meet my spirit guide when the door opened.
"Why am I doing this?" I asked myself. "I don't believe in this sort of thing. It's the stuff that crazy people tell you about. Yeah, everyone has this really cool Native American spirit guide that gives them messages. People should learn to accept responsibility for their own actions. They should learn to think for themselves and not have to rely on silly invisible friends like spirit guides."
But I had gone too far now to turn back, so I knocked at the door of the cabin and shortly thereafter it began to slowly open. As I looked at the person standing in the doorway, I was stunned. It was not who I had expected at all. It was a tall, thin-faced Asian man who appeared to be in his late fifties or early sixties, and looked a little like the mythical character Fu Manchu.
He had a long, thin mustache that hung down each side of his mouth, he had a goatee on his chin, and his head was bald with the exception of a long ponytail. He wore a strange double-decker hat that had a blue brim with a yellow band around it. The upper portion was red, topped by a large gold pointed spike. He wore a yellow robe with dragons embroidered on it. He clasped his hands together and politely bowed to me.
I was shocked. "I must be eating too much Chinese food. Everyone has a really cool spirit guide. And for some reason I'm stuck with one that looks like Fu Manchu."
Then John Edward said that I should ask my guide his name. "What's your name?" I asked sarcastically.
"Chang," the tall Asian man standing in front of me replied.
"I really have been eating too much Chinese food," I thought. "I've met Chang King."
John Edward suggested that I ask my guide what my life mission was. I halfheartedly complied.
Chang opened his robe and pulled out a copy of a book that I had written in 1997 called Andy Lakey's Psychomanteum. I was surprised at first, but then I concluded, "Of course I'm going to see my book. I must be on some sort of ego trip or something."
John Edward talks pretty fast, and the tape wound down before I had a chance to ask Chang any more questions. I asked Francesca what she saw, and she responded, "I can't meditate. I didn't see anything at all."
Then I made what I would at first feel was a big mistake. I told Francesca of my encounter with Chang. She was intrigued and extremely excited by my vision. This soon became an embarrassment for me, as she would tell all of our friends and her relatives, "It's so exciting! Keith has a spirit guide. We think he's Chinese; his name is Chang."
I eventually confronted my wife: "Francesca, why do you keep telling people about this? Aren't you afraid that they're going to think I'm crazy? People are going to start thinking that I am getting stressed out from working too hard and suggest that I receive psychiatric help."
"Keith, your spirit guide is very important to you. You are receiving this message for a reason. Everyone has to know about him," she answered.
I insisted that it all seemed pretty meaningless to me, and I had probably just imagined him anyway.
"Look Keith," said Francesca, "I've had many spiritual experiences since we've known each other. You've always thought I was imagining these things or that I was crazy. Now that you're having these kinds of experiences too, you'll have to believe the things I tell you. I know you didn't imagine him. I know that Chang is real."
* Ghost Hunters
In March of 2001, a friend of ours named Richard Senate came into our store. Richard is a local "ghost buster" who has written many books about hauntings in Ventura. He also has appeared on many television programs, including The Merv Griffin Show, Sightings, and Haunted History.
"I've got some great news," said Richard. "I have just been hired by Adelphia Cable to host a nationally syndicated program called Ghost Hunters. I would like both of you to help me put together a show about angels."
Francesca and I were excited and quite honored by the invitation. We quickly agreed to do the program. Richard made just one request of us: that we bring someone on the show who had had a real angel experience at our store.
* Katherine's Spirit Guide
Francesca and I debated possible candidates for the program over the next few days. I felt that the only person fit to represent us on television was a woman named Katherine Rosengren. Katherine had credibility.
Katherine is a small woman with short blond hair, twinkling blue eyes, and a sweet smile that radiates positive energy wherever she goes. Besides having an excellent presence, Katherine has the credentials to back her up. She is a registered nurse, with three master's degrees in psychology. She was also the Director of Volunteer Services at a local hospice for ten years. Besides this, she is married to a medical doctor in Ventura and assists him in his practice.
On two different occasions, with five different people, Katherine experienced angelic presences at our store. Her amazing stories are described in two of my books.
I called Katherine, and she agreed to do the program. We filmed our show at Adelphia Studios in Oxnard, California, on an evening in early April of 2001. Katherine did an incredible job of describing her angel experiences. She was a natural on camera, speaking with sincerity and professional conviction. Her participation helped us to make this one of the best programs of the Ghost Hunters series. It continued to be aired on Adelphia Cable stations throughout the United States as I wrote this book.
After the filming, Francesca and I invited Katherine out to dinner. We went to a casual restaurant that had a sports bar in it. There was a basketball game playing on their big screen television and the fans were howling like a pack of hungry wolves. I felt that this would be a perfect atmosphere where we could talk about anything we wanted and no one would hear us.
"Katherine, you were fantastic tonight," I told her. "I can't believe how many people have angelic experiences whenever you're around them."
Katherine looked at me over the table and smiled. "I never had many spiritual experiences in my life until the day I met my spirit guide."
Francesca looked at Katherine, very excited, and said, "You know what? Keith has a spirit guide, too!"
I knocked my knee against Francesca's under the table, looked at her sternly, clenched my teeth, and quickly shook my head. I did not want our friend to think I was crazy. Katherine could admit to a spirit guide if she wished, but I really did not want to give out this kind of information about myself to anyone.
Trying to keep my composure, I looked back at Katherine and said, "So what kind of spirit guide do you have? Is he a Native American, an African shaman, or maybe Merlin the magician?"
Unmoved by my ridicule, Katherine said, "My spirit guide is very unusual. I think he's Chinese."
This revelation caught me off guard. I felt as if someone had hit me on the head with a brick. I took a deep breath and timidly asked what he looked like.
"He kind of looks like ... Fu Manchu." She stopped and looked at me, a little embarrassed, and then began again: "Well, um, he has a thin mustache that goes down his face, and a goatee on his chin. He wears a funny hat that looks like it is two stories or something, with a spike on top of it. He also wears a long, robe. It's funny ... whenever I see him he always bows to me."
I felt a chill go down my spine. This was way too weird. How could Katherine see the same exact person that I had seen in the guided meditation with John Edward two months earlier?
"What is your spirit guide's name?" I stammered.
Katherine looked a little perplexed. She thought for a moment and said, "Well, I couldn't communicate with my guide at first. He would appear to me whenever I did a healing massage on one of my hospice patients. I was finally so intrigued by his appearance that I booked a session with a psychic named Michael. I asked him about what I was seeing. Michael told me that my spirit guide's name was ... Ch-Ch-Chang."
I leaned back in my chair in shock, unable to speak for a moment. I felt as if the room was spinning around me. I had not taken my experience seriously, yet here was someone I did not know that well, and she had seen the same manifestation, with the same name as the man I had seen in my meditation.
I shook my head. I could feel my heart pounding loudly as I tried to speak. I cleared my throat and said, "This is really, really strange. My spirit guide's name is also Chang and he looks exactly like the Chinese person you just described."
Katherine gasped and sat back stiff in her chair, stunned by my revelation.
I tried to compose myself, and asked Katherine one more question: "Did Michael tell you what your mission was?"
"Yes he did," said Katherine, now seemingly more confident. "There are supposed to be seventeen people throughout the world who have Chang as their spirit guide. Some of us will become famous and others of us will remain unknown. All of us will have the same mission to accomplish: 'Helping the people of the world to overcome their fear of death and helping bring peace and love to the world.' As a spiritual counselor and a hospice worker, I practice these things daily."
"Oh, my God," I responded, "That's what Chang was trying to tell me. My mission is to write spiritual books. The theme of all my books is to show people how to overcome their fear of death and to find greater love for one another. Katherine, how many of these seventeen people do you know?"
"Just you," she replied, "I think we may be destined to do something together. Don't you?"
"What do you think it is we have to do?" I asked.
She smiled and said, "I don't know yet, but I'm sure we'll learn our tasks in due time."
The three of us completed our dinner together, and Francesca and I dropped Katherine off at her home in Ventura. As we drove home, Francesca and I were so dumbfounded by the evening's events that we did not know what to say to one another. We just kept repeating, "That was really weird, really, really weird."
When we arrived home, Francesca asked me, "Keith, what do you think this all means?"
I shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe it was just a really strange coincidence."
Francesca shook her head vigorously and said, "What's wrong with you Keith? Can't you see there's too much happening for this to be a coincidence? You both saw the same spirit guide and received the same exact message. Something like this could never ever happen by coincidence."
I nodded grudgingly. "You're probably right. There's just too much going on here to write this off. I wonder what, if anything, this will lead to."
Francesca smiled at me and said very seriously, "Keith, don't you know this is all going to lead to our destiny?"
I laughed at her solemn tone, "So what do you think our destiny is?"
"I don't know, but I think we are going to find out soon," she replied.
* James Van Praagh Knows Chang
In the summer of 2002, strange things began to happen again. Francesca and I went to a wholesale book outlet and made a major purchase of spiritual books to sell in our store. One of the books that we purchased was a bestselling autobiography entitled Talking to Heaven by psychic James Van Praagh. I was never particularly impressed by Van Praagh, so the book held little interest for me at first.
For some reason, however, Francesca became fascinated to the point of obsession by this book. She just couldn't put it down. She carried it with her everywhere, and to my annoyance, quoted passages to me wherever we went. I was on my computer attempting to answer an e-mail from a customer about my Website, when Francesca came into the room holding Van Praagh's book and crying. Tears ran down her cheeks and she looked like she had seen a ghost.
"Stop what you're doing," she demanded.
"What's the matter?" I asked, concerned.
"I've just found something very important. I think it's going to change our lives," she sobbed. "It's Chang! He's James Van Praagh's spirit guide too."
She handed me her copy of Talking to Heaven and said, "Read this, Keith."
"Can't you see I'm really busy? I'll read it later," I protested.
"No!" she responded firmly, "This is really important. You can't put this off. You've got to read it right now."
"Well, okay, give it to me," I gave in.
Francesca opened the book to chapter three, "Spiritual Helpers," and turned the page to the sub-chapter "Becoming Aware of My Guides."
My hands began to tremble as I read the words on the page. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought Chang was more of a personal experience for me and maybe Katherine too, with a few coincidences thrown in, but this showed me that there was something real about the vision I had the year before.
Excerpted from THE Secret OF THE Butterfly Lovers by Keith Richardson. Copyright © 2007 Keith P. Richardson. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
PREFACE Life Is a Quest
PROLOGUE The Butterfly Lovers—A Chinese Legend
CHAPTER ONE Meeting Chang
CHAPTER TWO Almost Famous in Japan
CHAPTER THREE A Message of Abundance
CHAPTER FOUR Learning to Talk to Chang
CHAPTER FIVE Spirit Guides
CHAPTER SIX Finding Clues in Beijing
CHAPTER SEVEN The Butterfly Princess
CHAPTER EIGHT Reincarnation
CHAPTER NINE Soul Groups
CHAPTER TEN Chang in History
CHAPTER ELEVEN Our Return to Beijing
CHAPTER TWELVE Butterfly Lovers Reunited
EPILOGUE More Secrets Revealed
Posted September 9, 2009
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