Thursday, May 23, 2013

What Should I Say to the World?

What Should I Say to the World?

by Robert Peterson

Due to its sales history, my publisher, Red Wheel/Weiser/Hampton Roads recently published a second edition of my first book, Out of Body Experiences: How to Have Them and What to Expect. I was thrilled. Naturally, they wanted me to help them promote the book so they could make some money on the deal. I've never been all that interested in the money or self-promotion, but getting my message out is important, so I agreed.

I was contacted by Red Wheel's publicist, an enthusiastic woman named Kat. She asked me to call the producers of the famous radio show Coast to Coast AM, and somehow between the two of us, I managed to get on their schedule.

I remembered back in March, 1999 when I met William Buhlman (author of Adventures Beyond the Body), Albert Taylor (author of Soul Traveler) and Patricia Leva (author of Traveling the Interstate of Consciousness). Buhlman and Taylor had both been on c2c several times when the host was still Art Bell. They told me, "Bob, you should send them your info and try to get on the show!"

After that I was all fired up with enthusiasm. I sent Coast to Coast emails, resumes, credentials, even a copy of my book. Unfortunately, I never got a response. Not even a thank you. Oh, I did probably a dozen or more other radio interviews, but I never got on c2c; that was the holy grail. Well, it's probably just as well, I told myself; I'm not a polished speaker like Buhlman, Taylor or Leva.

Fast-forward fourteen years, and I was going to be on the show. Despite the large audience, I wasn't nervous at all. In 1999, I would have been. But while I was waiting for the night of the show, I kept thinking to myself: This is my chance to speak to the world, maybe even change the world. I may not get another chance like this. It might be my only chance to give a message to the world; my proverbial 15 minutes of fame, my last and final message. So what should I say?

My friends know I've got thousands of song lyrics locked inside my head, and music plays a big role in my life. So I remembered a song by the 80s hair band Poison called The Last Song, that posed a similar question. Some of the lyrics went like this:
If this were my last breath,
Or my last day,
My last chance,
This is what I'd say:

I thank you for the laughter,
Sorry for the tears,
Time to say goodbye,
After all these years
The metal band Megadeth had a different solution to the problem. In their well-known song A Tout Le Monde, Dave Mustain's last words are:
A tout le monde (To all the world)
A tout mes amis (To all my friends)
Je vous aime (I love you)
Je dois partir (I must leave)
I liked that so much, I quoted it in my novel, The Gospel According to Mike.

My life has been such a jumbled collection of lessons, I didn't even know where to begin. Ever since my first out-of-body experience, OBEs have been my passion, so the most prominent message, of course, is: "You are more than your physical body." But with that knowledge comes enormous implications. I could think of ten lessons off the top of my head, all worthy of a last message:

The first lesson is that prejudice is just stupidity because we're all just souls. When you're out-of-body, you're not black, white, yellow or red; that's your physical body. You're not male or female, straight or gay, old or young; that's your physical body. Judge a person by his or her character, his or her soul, not their physical body.

The second lesson is that there is no death; it's only a shedding of the physical body, that's all. There's nothing to fear, and nothing to cry about. It's like changing into your pajamas before bed.

The third lesson is that materialism, hoarding and consumerism are futile and a waste of time. You can't take anything with you but your experiences, your life-lessons and your love. Got it?

The fourth lesson is that your time is not infinite; OBEs or not, sooner or later you're going to have to leave that physical body. So you better stop wasting your time and do what you came here to do.

The fifth lesson is that you are infinite. When you're out of body, you can go anywhere and do anything. You have no limitations.

The sixth lesson is that privacy is an illusion. When you're out of body, you can silently witness people's private lives. In fact, there have been times when I've left my body and found my bedroom crowded with spirits. You might think you're alone, but you're not. When you do something immoral, eyes are watching you all the time.

The seventh lesson is like the sixth: You are never alone. So even when you're depressed and feeling like you're alone in the world, it's not true. Not by a long shot. You're surrounded by loving spirits all the time.

The eighth lesson is that death is not a tragedy. So your loved one has died, and you miss them, and that hurts. It's not this huge tragic thing; in most cases they're still right there beside you, but you can't see them. They can hear you, but it's not their fault you can't hear them!

The ninth lesson is that visiting someone's grave is useless: believe me, your dearly departed is not lying in a hole in the floor of the cemetery, waiting for you to visit. That's just their decaying physical body. They're not in it anymore! If you want to talk to them, just talk to them here, now!

The tenth lesson is not to believe everything you're told by the religious authorities. The sum of our beliefs in the afterlife are all based on someone else's out-of-body experiences. For the most part, organized religion is a game of power and control. Don't let anyone tell you what to believe; you have the power to go out and find out for yourself, so do it.

My OBEs have taught me so much. How could I pick just one for a final message?

Then I remembered my "parting message" from chapter 13 of my second book, Lessons Out of the Body. The chapter is called "A Parting Gift" and it was all about a powerful dream I once had where I dreamed that I died. My final message to the world was, and I quote: "Love!" And compacted into that final word came multiple meanings: Love is the most important thing. Love God. Love one another. I love you all. Love is eternal. On and on.

My inner voice finally stepped in and simply said, "Don't worry about a message; Just be yourself." Sage advice. And I think the show went very well.

May 22, 2013

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