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Time to go back to sleep and try this day again tomorrow.  I just learned my fellow poisoned me with decaf this morning and all this past week. This was after attempting to move the car for alternate side parking only to discover we have no power steering at the moment. We tried to maneuver the car to the other side of the street and parallel park it. That didn’t happen. Then I was poisoned. Did I mention he tried to decaffeinate me? By accident, he says. I shall avenge myself anyway.

After revisiting Ghosts Among Us by James Van Praagh. I am too old to care what other people think, especially about my reading choices dammit. Still best to click away. Something very interesting is happening over there. I’m gonna write some stuff for my eyes only and post it on the internet if you don’t mind.

At some point, past-me put this book on hold at the library and then forgot why so present-me could mistake it for a collection of ghost stories. It is kind of that, only I assumed it was a work of fiction or something along the lines of Weird NJ.

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If you’re going to read this book, I recommend an open mind. Skeptics will not enjoy themselves here. I flip back and forth. Scientists are convincing, but I prefer to believe there’s more to us than just this. Even still, it takes effort to refrain from Oh, boy eye rolls when people insist they’re sensitives or mediums – with the exception of Amy Allan on Dead Files. Her I believe because she reminds me of my sister. That’s reason enough.

Van Praagh is a mental medium. Want to know what that’s like? He tells you, sharing his own story as well as anecdotes of the dead passing on messages to their loved ones. He lays things out in a matter-of-fact, take-it-or-leave-it way. Better still, he goes there, right to the spot hard skeptics love to poke and poke at. Not proof, the other place. In Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife author Mary Roach writes that the difficulty of believing in spirits is that they never seem to acknowledge the most obvious questions: Does death hurt? Where do we go? What’s it like?

The meat of this book addresses these questions and expands them to why we’re here in the first place. I had to power down my skepticism in a few parts because I like the overall intention behind what he has to say. He urges us to learn our lessons, take risks and don’t waste potential. Sometimes it comes across as motivational speakery, but these aren’t bad messages to hear.

Who wants to entertain the possibility that our souls live on, death is painless and deceased loved ones visit us? That we’re our higher selves when we laugh and love? That putting out thoughts of love and light is healing? Who doesn’t? This is a quick, compelling read, though not so quick for me. I kept looking up to share the details with Raj because many of the ideas were new to me, or intriguing takes on familiar concepts, looking at you, hell. Sharing details led to pointing out passages, which led to him holding on and finishing the whole book before me.

According to Van Praagh, there are no coincidences, but there are often signs. One of my favorite sections dealt with energy and the power of our thoughts. He also provides some meditations. I read this section right after listening to the StarTalk episode with Sam Harris, The Illusion of Free Will, where they also discuss the practice of meditation. Coincidence? The universe wants me to hush up and calm down. Maybe the universe decafed me. I will begin thinking positive thoughts and learning my lessons after payback, Universe. Or Raj accidentally buying decaf and destroying me with it was my payback for making him watch Crazy Rich Asians. (Why do people love that movie?)

I must admit once I realized what this book was about I stayed aboard for the after party. Tell me what happens when we die. This book gave me a glimpse of what I want think about death, afterlife and how I want to spend my time here. There are sections on angels, earthbound ghosts, demons, hell and this lovely place called Summerland where apparently there’s a house being built for me. I hope they know I prefer winter and make appropriate adjustments. Just kidding. Straight to hell for me. Kidding. Not. Yes. Not. Yes. Carry on.

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