Do you believe in life after death? Does consciousness exist outside our bodies? Does the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own?
For this special Soul Series episode of Life on Purpose, my guest is author, linguist, educator, and poet Lisa Smartt who founded the Final Words Project, an ongoing study devoted to collecting and interpreting the mysterious language at the end of lives.
Lisa joined me for an inspiring conversation about her new book, Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death (New World Library), in which she decodes the symbolism of those last words, showing how the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own.
She shares the compelling language she has heard and the coherency that emerges in even the most puzzling phrases. She also provides tools for more meaningful communication with loved ones who are at the end of life. And we discuss her work with Dr. Raymond Moody, the pioneering researcher who coined the term Near Death Experience (NDE) in the 1970s.
“Words at the Threshold marks a new era in the understanding of the process of dying. Lisa Smartt’s work has profound psychological, spiritual, and clinical implications for the care of terminally ill patients and their families. And I believe that her work also opens unexplored pathways for the genuinely rational investigation of human kind’s deepest mystery: the prospect of life after death.”
— from the foreword by Raymond Moody Jr., MD, PhD, author of Life After Life
About: Lisa Smartt, MA, is a linguist, educator, and poet. She is the author of Words at the Threshold: What We Say When We’re Nearing Death (New World Library 2017). The book is based on data collected through The Final Words Project, wwwfinalwordsproject.org, an ongoing study devoted to gathering and interpreting the mysterious language at end of life. She has worked closely with Raymond Moody, guided by his research into language, particularly unintelligible speech. They have co-facilitated presentations about language and consciousness at universities, hospices and conferences.
About Words at the Threshold: A person’s last words can often be enigmatic, confusing or powerfully meaningful; they can also offer tantalizing clues about the ultimate fate of the human soul. Until now, no author has systematically studied end-of-life communication by collecting and analyzing the final utterances of the terminally ill. When her father faced his final weeks, linguist Lisa Smartt began transcribing his conversations and noticed that both his language and personality underwent inexplicable changes.
Smartt’s father, a skeptical man with a secular worldview, developed a deeply spiritual outlook in his final days — a change reflected in his last words. Baffled and intrigued, Smartt began to investigate the near-death utterances of others, collecting over a hundred case studies with interviews and transcripts. In Words at the Threshold, Smartt decodes the symbolism of those last words, showing how the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own
To learn more about Lisa's work, visit: http://www.finalwordsproject.org/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #65, my guest is award-winning author Linda Johnsen, a long-time student of religious philosophy. Linda holds degrees in Eastern and Western Psychology, and has post-graduate training in theology and Sanskrit. She is the award-winning author of eight books on spirituality including Daughters of the Goddess: The Women Saints of India, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hinduism.
Linda joined me for an enlightening chat about her new book Lost Masters: Rediscovering The Mysticism of the Ancient Greek Philosophers, in which she offers a fascinating opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the ancient Greek masters, revealing a side of Western philosophy that has been almost completely ignored by traditional academia.
"Ashrams in Europe twenty-five hundred years ago? Greek philosophers studying in India? Meditation classes in ancient Rome? It sounds unbelievable, but it’s historically true. Alexander the Great had an Indian guru. Pythagoras encouraged their students to meditate. Apollonius, the most famous Western sage of the first century c.e., visited both India and Egypt."
About Linda Johnsen: I'm a writer who shuttles back and forth between two universes: the modern Western world and India! I've published over 200 articles on topics related to yoga and Hindu spirituality in many magazines including Yoga Plus, Yoga International, Yoga Journal, Himalayan Path, The Mountain Astrologer, and Light of Consciousness.
I'm also author of eight books so farincluding Daughters of the Goddess: The Women Saints of India, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hinduism.
My essays have appeared in a half dozen anthologies including The Divine Mosaic, Uncoiling the Snake, Science of Breath, Shree Maa: The Story of a Saint, Hindu Astrology Lessons, Yoga Abenteuer Meditation (in German), and In the Footsteps of the Goddess.
I've lectured throughout the U.S. on Goddess spirituality, yoga, Hinduism, and Vedic Astrology. I've suffered through numerous radio and cable TV interviews. I have a Master's degree in Eastern Studies.
For four years I was Manager of the Center for Holistic Medicine in Glenview, Illinois. Later I served as Administrator of the Program in Eastern Studies, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. This was a fully accredited Master’s degree program which focused on the many facets of the yoga tradition: hatha yoga postures, stress reduction and breathing exercises, diet, physiology, ethics, philosophy, Sanskrit studies, meditation and research.
These days I'm still writing, teaching, and introducing people to their Vedic horoscope. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where my husband, Johnathan Brown, shares my passion for the Vedic tradition.
To learn more about Linda and her work, visit: http://thousandsuns.users.sonic.net/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #55, a special "Soul Series" interview, my guest is preeminent theologian and bestselling author Matthew Fox, a popularizer of Western mysticism.
Matthew joined me for an enlightening chat about his new book A WAY TO GOD: Thomas Merton's Creation Spirituality Journey, the Cosmic Christ, the divine feminine, eco-justice, and MUCH more!
“A WAY TO GOD is a powerful book about Merton’s pioneering work in deep ecumenism and interfaith; about his essential teachings on mixing contemplation and action; and about how the vision of thirteenth century mystic Meister Eckhart profoundly influenced both Merton and Creation Spirituality, which Fox has long espoused and written about.”
“Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.” —Pope Francis
About: Matthew Fox is a preeminent scholar and popularizer of Western mysticism, who became an Episcopal priest after being expelled from the Catholic Dominican Order by Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict.
He holds a doctorate in spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris and has authored 32 books on spirituality and contemporary culture that have been translated into 60 languages.
He's devoted 45 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality and in doing so has reinvented forms of education and worship. His work is inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions and has awakened millions to the much neglected earth-based mystical tradition of the West.
He has helped to rediscover Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, and Thomas Aquinas. Among his books are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, The Reinvention of Work, A Spirituality Named Compassion and Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times.
In his latest book A WAY TO GOD: Thomas Merton's Creation Spirituality Journey, he reimmersed himself in Merton’s journals, poetry, and religious writings, finding that Merton’s marriage of mysticism and prophecy, contemplation and action closely paralleled that of Meister Eckhart, the thirteenth-century mystic who inspired Fox’s own Creation Spirituality.
To learn more about Matthew and his work, visit: http://www.matthewfox.org.
For Life on Purpose Episode #39, my guest is intuitive strategist, corporate change-maker, and life-driven business mentorSusan Lustenberger.
Susan joins me for another great "Soul Session" — a powerful conversation on abundance, manifesting the life you want, the power of gratitude, moving past obstacles, mindfulness and meditation, the "laws of the Universe", and much more!
About: Susan Lustenberger is the only master teacher and intuitive strategist that makes activating universal laws a lifestyle for conscious people and businesses who are weary of theory and hungry for results at a time when the hope of abundance is more common than the experience of it.
She was born Clairvoyant and Claircognizant. Through major life transformations, she learned more about her intuitive strengths and realized that she was put here to help. Along with these gifts came the ability to manifest and help others manifest vast prosperity and abundance in their lives through consciousness.
Through this work, she has been lucky enough to work with an array of clients from guiding pro athletes, movie executives, C.E.O’s on various goals and manifestations to working privately with individuals seeking happiness, answers and authenticity in their personal lives.
Susan is a Natural energy 3. What does that mean? Well we each are born with on of nine different natural energy centers and each one indicates a different universal strength. A Natural energy 3 soul-type is able to connect with a person’s soul (their deepest dreams and desires) and directs the energy into the Universe for manifesting. It is her SuperPower!
To learn more about Susan and her work: http://susanlustenberger.com/.
For Life on Purpose Episode #37, my guest is bestselling author and world-renowned "dream explorer" Robert Moss.
Robert joins me for a fascinating and lively conversation in which we discuss fun ways to bring more magic and play to your life; his new book Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life; living with a sense of a larger purpose and story; becoming a kairomancer, and much more!
About: Robert Moss is the author of Sidewalk Oracles and numerous other books about dreaming, shamanism, and imagination. He is a novelist, poet, and independent scholar, and the creator of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanism. He leads creative and shamanic adventures all over the world.
About Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life: Synchronicity is when the universe gets personal. Through this book of games and enchanting stories, you’ll learn how to monitor the play of coincidence and the symbolic resonance of incidents in daily life in order to tap into the deeper logic of events, receive extraordinary counsel, and have wonderful fun.
You will be invited to become a kairomancer: someone who is poised to catch the messages in special moments when synchronicity is in play — and to take action to seize the opportunities those moments present. To be a kairomancer, you need to trust your feelings as you walk the roads of this world, to develop your personal science of shivers, and to recognize in your gut and your skin that you know far more than you hold on the surface of consciousness.
This is a way of real magic, which is the art of bringing gifts from a deeper world into this one. Follow it, and you will put a champagne fizz of enchantment into your everyday life.
To learn more about Robert and his work: http://www.mossdreams.com.
Have you ever been psychically-curious? The idea that the deceased can communicate with their loved ones certainly intrigues me! Life on Purpose Episode #33 is a special "Soul" Edition (periodic explorations of such topics); my guest is psychic medium Bill Philipps.
Bill joins me for a fascinating and inspiring conversation about his unique work and how he became one of the world’s most renowned psychic mediums. Plus we discuss his brand new book Expect the Unexpected: Bringing Peace, Healing, and Hope from the Other Side.
About: Bill Philipps is a psychic medium who helps the deceased communicate with their loved ones on earth. Bill’s fresh, upbeat, and direct approach perfectly complements his warm and relatable demeanor, captivating audiences worldwide.
Bill studied opera at the san Francisco conservatory of Music and graduated in 2008. He found that music, in a deeply spiritual way, enabled him to tune in to and further develop his psychic-medium abilities, which dated to his childhood. He gave readings while attending the conservatory and, after graduating, professionally pursued his true calling.
Bill has appeared on such television shows as Dr. Phil, and his clients include numerous celebrities. He conducts individ-ual readings in person, by phone, or via skype. He also offers small-group readings and large-audience readings throughout the united states. He lives in southern california.
His new book Expect the Unexpected: Bringing Peace, Healing, and Hope from the Other Side (New World Library) is a down-to-earth, honest account of how he became one of the world’s most renowned psychic mediums. He explains how spirits communicate with him; why he first denied and then embraced his gift; and how anyone can learn to recognize the signs spirit loved ones use to offer them guidance.
Part memoir, part explanation, and part inspiring testimonies from clients, the book provides the “unexpected”: insight, wisdom, and evidence that there is a life beyond this one and that we are never alone.
To learn more about Bill, visit: http://www.billphilipps.com.
For Life on Purpose Episode #30, my guest is meditation teacher, spiritual teacher, and counselor Diana Lang, the director/owner of LifeWorks - Center for Growth in Los Angeles.
Diana joins me for an inspiring conversation about meditation, consciousness, spirituality, and the updated version of her book Opening to Meditation: A Gentle, Guided Approach.
For Life on Purpose Episode #16, my guest is spiritual teacher, entrepreneur, author, and coach Eric Klein from Wisdom Heart and Dharma Consulting. Eric was a guest on Radio Enso back in 2012 and joins me for another deep and thought-provoking conversation about awareness, consciousness, neuroscience, integration, habit building, and his latest program The Meditation Habit. We all know meditation is good for us, so why aren't we practicing?
About: Eric Klein is a spiritual teacher, entrepreneur, author, and coach. For the past two decades, he's been a leading voice in the movement to bring greater spirit, meaning, and authenticity to the workplace through his company Dharma Consulting. He’s worked with over 20,000 leaders from a wide variety of settings: Fortune 500 companies, healthcare, governmental and non-profit organizations as well as mid-size companies.
Eric is the author of the bestselling book Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Work (over 250,000 copies sold) and To Do or Not To Do: How Successful Leaders Make Better Decisions based on research and experiences with more than 200 companies. His book You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For won a 2008 Nautilus Award as a world changing book in the conscious leadership/business category.
About Wisdom Heart: Wisdom Heart helps people bring powerful spiritual practices and principles alive in their daily lives.The Wisdom Heart Way (WHW) distills and focuses a 5,000 year old spiritual system (called Kriya Yoga) into a form that works for 21st century people. We’ve been engaged in committed practice of this method since 1972. We’re ordained swamis in the Kriya lineage. We’ve tested the practice in real life. We’ve applied the practices and principles personally, in our relationship, with our kids, and in our businesses.
To learn more about Eric and Wisdom Heart, visit: http://wisdomheart.com.
Dr. Bernie Siegel is a sought-after speaker and media presence and the author of more than a dozen books, which have sold more than 1.5 million copies! They include the blockbuster Love, Medicine, and Miracles; Peace, Love, and Healing; and 365 Prescriptions for the Soul.
Bernie first wrote about miracles when he was a practicing surgeon and pioneered Exceptional Cancer Patients, a groundbreaking synthesis of group, individual, dream, and art therapy. His safe and loving approach facilitated patients’ awareness of their own physical, spiritual, and psychological healing potential.
Compiled during his more than thirty years of practice as well as his speaking and teaching events, the new paperback edition of his book A Book of Miracles (published by New World Library) offers a cross-section of the healing and miracles he has personally seen and facilitated.
The book is dvided into fifteen sections, each consisting of stories of miracles, pertinent quotes, anecdotes and his personal reflections.
We talk all about that, along with his life journey, and how he lives his own life “on purpose.”
For more information on Dr. Bernie Siegel, visit: http://berniesiegelmd.com.