What Happens Next?

“Animals can communicate quite well. And they do.
And generally speaking, they are ignored.”
~Alice Walker

Some of the questions people ask after they find out that it is indeed possible to connect and converse with animals (including humans) who have departed the earth plane is: What happens next? Where do we go when we leave this world? Do we ever we return? These are questions I wonder about too. Most of the time, life seems to stretch out before us like an endless road. But there in the distance — just past the setting sun, beyond the horizon — lies a most intriguing mystery.

Not long after my good canine pal Barney died, I had a dream:

dog lying downI am walking up a small path to a house that has an open front door. As I approach the door, I see Barney inside the house. “Barney! You’re alive!” I exclaim. I am very excited by this, though an older man—a doctor—appears and tells me that, obviously, the dog was just asleep and hadn’t really died. I begin to argue with the man, but it is no use; he insists that a dog cannot die and come back to life. I realize that he is stuck in a belief and no amount of arguing will change it. I surprise myself by slapping him across the face, saying firmly, “You saw it. He was dead. And now he is alive!”

On waking, my fingers actually tingled from the slap, and the visual “open door” of death seemed deliberately funny, despite the parts of me (as evidenced by the doctor) that still wanted to deny that truth.

Perhaps this is an indication from your inner world that the division between life and death is not as you once believed, nor as others may want you to believe, Barney commented later that day.

Although Barney wasn’t physically present, I was still able to hear him and carry on conversations just as we had when he was alive.

He continued: You are already guessing that the doctor in the dream represents an older, male-based, authoritative way of seeing the world that you once held as true.

That seemed to fit. In the dream, the doctor was a good representation of a worldview that focused on firm, clear delineations between life and death; a traditional medical or scientific view. Because this is what we are usually taught in the West, this is what we come to believe.

That you slapped the doctor indicates your moving away from these views, though notice that it still entails an argument. A part of you continues to want ‘the doctor’ to believe you; thus, you are not necessarily fully centered.

Hmm. True as well. It annoyed me that the dream doctor was so insistent in his views. And yet, the “I” in the dream was equally insistent. Why such emotion? Apparently, there was a strong part of me that wanted validation and agreement. I sighed.

This is fine; this is where you are, commented Barney. It seems a human pattern that leaving one paradigm often involves some type of struggle. Once you get past this insistent division of life and death, however, you see that it is simply another choice of form.

Think of it like this: upon death, there is a falling away of personality, less identification with the ego and character subroutines that are dominant in the physical. It is as if the soul or spirit form of ‘you’ may now observe the software program or container you were using while on earth. Your focus widens to a larger part of yourself, rather than a narrowly-focused view, which is most often the perspective from the physical body.

Similarly, in preparation for incarnation, one’s spirit-being is open to a wide range of choices. You may start with just a few basics: the desire to learn, to experience, to evolve, to create, etc. These might be thought of as driving forces or energetic variables.

From these variables, you construct a scenario: species, bodily system, geography of land interactions, availability and openness to guiding information (spirit guides, angels, other teachers, etc.), and so on. Layer upon layer, you construct the basics of a life program. In doing so, you choose which circumstance, form and setting will best fit your need.

Once incarnated, there are ever more choices and opportunities. There are truly no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choices. Rather, there are a variety of paths, as well as the choice to follow one path over another, or one through another—or to choose several paths. For example, some spirit-beings incarnate in multiplicity so they can choose all paths simultaneously. Attention in these incarnations is placed on synthesis. Sometimes these individuals seem not to care where their choices lead. Why? Because at some level they are aware that they are a multiplicity, and that all paths will be covered.

Another example is to simultaneously incarnate into a variety of selves. That is, your spirit-being could choose to be several selves in different forms, such as different species, at the same time. Often the focus here is a meeting or ‘coincidence’ in which two or more of the selves interact in one reality of the here and now. This may lead to a gestalt in which each self awakens to its larger awareness, thus allowing for a more conscious creation of life.

Even as you find with humans living on the earth, however, after a long period of sophisticated or complex programming, as one nears the end of this type of planning, we see a return to basics, to simplicity. Some spirit beings choose ‘autoprogram.’ Masters who desire to remain aware without any knowledge of what circumstances will present themselves often choose this. That, also, is a unique programming.

The old truth that ‘All is Here and Now’ is the seeded core of understanding this. The examples I give are patterns of variation, ways to ‘play out’ different aspects of spirit-being or Self. Even to individuate as a ‘spirit-being’ is to hold a level of illusion, for in truth there is only One essence. Though to separate out and engage in game playing of any sort is a celebration of form and, at times, a deepening of essence.

For example: ‘you’ open to this voice of ‘me’ speaking in your head. To some degree, you are creating it in the sense that you are providing the words and expressions. It is your fingers typing, translating the inner words into phrases on a keypad into written sentences for others to read, and your thoughts helping to carry my ideas outward. Can you describe this experience to others?

dawn w dog on beachI laughed at the way my wise old friend so deftly brought teachings back to the core of experience. “Well,” I said, tuning into just how it was that I did this thing, “it is as you say. I quiet my thoughts and feel for a particular tone of energy and then I listen.” For a moment I did just that. The effect of consciously listening to myself listen, however, had a curious effect, like suddenly being hyperaware of yourself looking at yourself in a mirror.

“I don’t know where you’re going with this, Barney,” I said after a bit. “And when I think that thought, I get a little fearful. I know that’s silly because all I really have to do is be and listen. It’s almost as if when I’m not thinking and just being calm that it all flows the best.”

And don’t you see how this is great advice for yourself, for your life and death? When you allow and are ‘open,’ then your soul can open within you. Then there is the space for more of the greater you to filter into and infuse the physical you. You are enlarged; you become more aware of your totality, light and brilliance. And if you continue with this opening, you will begin to see the brilliance not only in yourself, but also in all other shapes and forms, all other beings. At that point—which is not really a point at all but a Be-ing—there is no longer a need for words.

And for several moments, Barney and I sat happily together in silence, our beings dancing to and fro, shuffling out beyond the horizon, and back.

For more information visit: http://www.animalvoices.net/

About Dawn Baumann Brunke

Dawn Baumann Brunke is an animal communicator and the author of six books including Animal Voices, The Animal Wisdom Tarot, and her latest, Dreaming with Polar Bears. For more info, please visit her site at: www.animalvoices.net

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