Michael Tymn reviews The Risen
(Originally published 2010 at Amazon and also in The Searchlight, newsletter of The a\Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies, Inc.)
Michael Tymn, globally esteemed paranormal journalist, author of The Articulate Dead, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and many other outstanding books on the afterlife and survival, provided this review of our book, The Risen.
Had I started reading this book 20 or so years ago (assuming it had been written and published then), when I was just beginning my serious metaphysical studies, I probably would not have gone beyond the first few chapters, as the material would have far exceeded my boggle threshold. I likely would have tossed the book aside as just so much fantasy.
However, with those 20 years of metaphysical study behind me, I quickly became engrossed in the book. Not only were the "dialogues of love, grief, and survival" (the sub-title of the book) consistent with the most credible testimony relative to life after death that I have encountered elsewhere but the dialogues helped me make sense out of a number of things which I had previously struggled to grasp.
Outside of the actual evidence suggesting that consciousness survives physical death, the most important teaching coming through modern revelation is that we do not cross over into some humdrum heaven or horrific hell, as orthodox preachers would have us believe. We pretty much cross over as we are when we depart the material world. As Professor Robert Hare put it many years ago, we build up a moral specific gravity by our actions and deeds in this world and find a starting place on the Other Side that is in accord with that moral specific gravity. From that point we continue to evolve spiritually.
That is the primary message conveyed by August Goforth and Timothy Gray in this intriguing 315-page book. August Goforth is a pseudonym for a New York psychotherapist who for obvious professional reasons is reluctant to use his actual name. He is also an intuitive-mental and psychophysical spirit medium. Timothy Gray was a New York City writer, editor, and photographer who transitioned to the spirit world during the early 1990s and then, about two years after his physical death, began communicating with "Goforth," his former partner in earth life, providing his own experiences in the afterlife as well as information given to him by "The Risen Collective," a group of more advanced spirit entities who use Timothy Gray to relay information to Goforth. The "Risen" is the authors' term for those who have transitioned to the spirit world and seen the light, i.e., excluding earthbound spirits.
"Tim and I passionately want to share that there is no such thing as death," Goforth writes. "There is only Life - infinite varieties, forms, qualities, and expressions of it. What the majority of still-embodied people fear as `death' is simply a transitional phase from one quality of life to another."
The subject matter includes everything from the initial experiences after death to dwelling places in the afterlife, the nature of the afterlife, and advancement in the afterlife. The authors discuss the nature of self, obstacles in communicating, materializations, the rescue of earthbound souls, dreams, out-of-body travel, mediumship, skeptical attitudes, dealing with grief, and misinterpretations relative to reincarnation, to name just some of the subject matter. To quote a few passages:
Tim on when he was dying: "I thought I was hallucinating. I perceived the environment of a hospital because there were so many people coming and going, but most of the people I saw were not embodied. I could see them because I was nearing separation from my physical body. They were transparent and glowing with light and became easier to see the deeper I sank, the closer I neared my transition."
August on the decline of ectoplasmic phenomena: "Tim shared that he heard of a study that certain Risen Ones are conducting to determine how all the chemicals we take in through our food and water may affect various mediumship abilities. As my own experiences illustrate, ectoplasm, or something like it, can still manifest. The intense headache that I developed became one of the main side effects of these kinds of experimental experiences with Tim."
Tim on materializing before August: "When I had materialized, I wasn't fully conscious of it simply because I wasn't conscious that I was experiencing anything other than a very realistic dream."
August on skepticism in the afterlife: "Tim and others have told me that there are Risen who believe that their earth experience was all a dream - or a nightmare - from which they simply woke up. There are groups of Risen, including those who were once scientists on the earth, who maintain adamant skepticism that such a place as earth ever existed. When compared with their present reality, it simply doesn't make sense to them and so they challenge others there to prove the existence of such a crazy-sounding place as `Earth'."
August on the problem with getting names: "Why can't the Risen just simply say their names, for pete's sake? Because light and sound move at a highly faster, finer rate in the Risen environment, so a medium may catch the sound as it zips past his spiritual ear - and not much more beyond that first sound. `Mandy' might sound like `M-ee' to the medium. It could be Mikey, Mindy, or Murphy...The Risen One might present the symbol of candy, which rhymes with Mandy. But maybe showing a piece of candy further complicates matters..."
Tim on remembering past lives: "The experience of remembering past lives may also be from the projection of character elements of an earthbound spirit onto the ego-mind of a receptive embodied person. Those who are convinced they have lived a previous life are actually recalling memories of those who have gone before them."
August on the problem of modern psychology: "Unfortunately, most modern people, having lived in denial and disbelief about survival, are paralyzed by their ignorance and fear into further states of confusion or silence. The attempts of the transitioning person to tell others about what they are experiencing will be misinterpreted as some kind of delusional or hallucinatory symptom of their illness or medication."
Tim on conveying higher realities: "I partially materialized because there was only so much atomic substance that could be used at the time, although in truth this substance goes far beyond so-called `quantum' levels - but there is no way to convey these finer, higher vibrating realities in human mental concepts."
There is much more like this to ponder in this book. As with me 20 years ago, the boggle threshold of most people is probably too low to fully understand and appreciate what August, Tim, and the advanced Risen Ones have to say about the greater reality, but to the serious student of metaphysics this book has much to offer. And as the authors point out, there are things which may not make conscious sense at this time, but the spiritual senses comprehend them and retain this knowledge for the Authentic Self.