Takeaways from The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: Part II

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Higher Beings/Angels:  Annie Kagan’s translations of Billy’s experience in the afterlife makes for a moving and uplifting book.  Billy’s descriptions of the Higher Beings/Angels ring true for me.  As an NDEr, I have struggled to translate the experience of coming in close contact with two of the most intelligent, large, amazing beings I have ever encountered.  By default, I have called them angels, but Higher Beings seems an accurate term as well.  I got the sense that other people might have different Higher Beings as their guides, but the qualities that my protective angels/Higher Beings exhibited most were intelligence, compassion, and healing powers.  They healed me through the backs of my surgeons with their light, and I had complete faith in their healing abilities.

Perhaps at different times in our life, different angels and guides show up for us.  In Kagan’s book, Billy describes the Higher Beings as, “Whatever qualities come under the heading of benevolence, that virtue is right there in the light.  It’s different with these Higher Beings.  They’re more specific, more personal, like the Divine Presence is focused through a prism.  And the colored rays that come through the prism—these are the higher beings.”  I resonate with that description because my Higher Beings were indeed specifically focused.  Perhaps at different times in our lives we might require differently focused Higher Beings.

Toward the end of the book, Billy says, “There’s an impersonal quality to these Supreme Beings, but that’s not a negative—it’s a big plus.  There’s a pureness to it.  This is what I’ve imagined being in the presence of God would be like….They are pure Spirit.  Just as our bodies are the carriers of our souls, our souls are the carriers of our Spirit.”  For me, this description helps add clarity to my interactions with my angels during surgery.  They were pure Spirit, pure benevolence, and put me at ease outside of my body immediately with telepathy and strength.  I knew I would be fine whether I stayed in the environment outside of my body or returned.  For me, all signs pointed to returning, but I got the sense that everything would have been beautiful, pleasant learning experience for me had I not returned.

Nature:  One of my other favorite lines in this book is a simple but true message reading, “Nature has more light than anything else on your planet.”  In the book, Kagan takes Billy’s advice and returns to nature for healing, inspiration, and connection.  All of us need the healing power of nature in our lives.  Technology is a powerful connector, but not healing in the way that being in nature is healing.  When I am broken, I go to the mountains and let the mountains give me their strength.  When I am stressed, I go to the ocean and let the waves wash away my pain and troubles.  When I want fun, I head to nature.

At another point in the novel Billy says, “The best cure for suffering?  An enlightened experience of it all.  What does that mean?  It means finding the invisible within the visible.”  Nature is a great place for people to experience enlightened moments.  Looking down from a high peak at a city helps us put everything in perspective again.  We are a small part of the whole, but our enjoyment of our life is key.  Nature keeps us present and helps us enjoy our lives more fully and even sometimes catch a glimpse of the invisible within the visible.

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Addiction:  (Spoiler Alert) Billy’s struggle with addiction and even his death as an active addict did not prevent him for any of the bliss, compassion, or benevolence on the other side.   Life’s purpose and a particular soul’s purpose can be grand on the other side while looking rather shabby on this side. One of the more important lessons I took away from my NDE was that the shadows I danced within during that time in my life (the drugs and alcohol) only prevented me from living more fully and connected to others at times.  I wasn’t judged by the light.  I was met with deep compassion and love.  Maybe if I would’ve stayed in the environment outside of my body longer, I might have seen how my life looked from a musical perspective—the ups and downs, the crescendos, and the drumrolls.

In recovery, people are sometimes shamed for relapsing, and there is so much disappointment around the deaths of addicts.  As an NDEer, I sometimes have a different perspective and see the struggle for sobriety as more of a dance the way Billy described it. I see those who relapse as in need of more compassion and care, not less and definitely not condemnation.  The other side greets us with compassion.  Part of our lesson on this earth plane seems to be finding a way to take everything a little less seriously, to let go of resentments quickly, to forgive ourselves and others instantly.  As Billy says, “…there is no one to forgive, because we signed up to do this dance together before we were born.  We weren’t acting out some type of I-did-something-wrong-to-you-in-another-life-and-I’m-paying-for-it-now kind of thing.  It doesn’t really work like that… It’s more a kind of experiment chosen for soul-type reasons that humans have an almost impossible time understanding.  And not understanding is an important part of the experiment.”

If there is one criticism I have of the book, it is that there is not a lot of description of how the oneness occurs.  During my NDE, I saw from the perspective of others in my life review.  That part of the life review for most NDEers shows us where we have hurt and disappointed others, not as a form of punishment but as a way to fully understand our roles and the perspective of others.  I know that there is much compassion on the other side, but the ways we harmed or hurt others is something worth noting in the life review process.  The ways that we harm ourselves are only pitied, but in my experience the light seemed to wish that I could love myself more and open up to others more frequently.  I appreciate the compassion and benevolence described and know this is correct.  There is a bit of “relearning” about our roles that goes on outside the body.  Mabye this could have been explained a bit more.

However, this is actually a minor detail.  The book as a whole is a fantastic read.  I loved it and highly recommend this beautiful, unusual, uplifting book.

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Takeaways from “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers”: Part I

Update on 1/19/19:  My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered now. It is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love it if you helped me make near-death experiences more mainstream.

billy  Annie Kagan’s wonderful book which channels messages from her deceased brother is a lovely description of the afterlife through an interesting, colorful, musical character named Billy Fingers.  The quote on the back cover is one of my favorite pieces of advice from Billy Fingers.  He tells his sister, “If I could give you a gift, it would be to teach you how to stay free inside that game, to find the glory inside yourself, beyond the roles and the drama, so you can dance the dance of the game of life with a little more rhythm, a little more abandon, a little more shaking-those-hips.”  I am often shocked by how seriously people take themselves.  Nothing is funnier than arrogance (even our own) when you have a universal perspective.  When you have journeyed far beyond the confines of this body and your personal drama, it is hard to get back in the body and play the game of life without remembering the oneness beyond the self and how beautiful divine love really is.

After Death Communications:  Beyond the beautiful descriptions from Billy Fingers, I appreciated the author’s candor and openness about wondering if her communications were only wishful thinking or unreliable.  For years, many of us have heard ridicule and disbelief around the topic of after-death communications.  I am glad that Annie Kagan addressed the disbelief that she feared others might have concerning her communications with Billy.  In the beginning of the story, she admits to fearing being viewed as a fraud and asks for verification from her brother.   Billy’s gifts of information to others are lovely and humorous at times.  These gifts of information seem to bring the author closer to those around her and that seems to be part of the gift.

Though ridicule is possible when talking about spiritual topics, our times are changing and the more of us who come forward and discuss our spiritual experiences, the more others feel free to discuss their experiences.  In a short amount of time, I have had lots of people open up to me about their NDEs, their communications with loved ones who have passed over, and other related topics.  I have only had two people ridicule me, but I take the occasional flares of jealousy as a sign that I’m on to something good.

you choose  I battled with discussing my communications with my deceased father, but I am glad that I did.  Reading The Afterlife of Billy Fingers reminded me to open up and ask if he had a message for me.   I thought about where he might be on his journey, several years after his death.  His perspective now seems to be even larger and farther away, and Kagan explains that process of becoming one with larger realities beautifully.

When I asked for a message from dad, he very quickly replied, “At least you are trying to access the invisible and bring what really matters to the people.  So many are not even trying.”

eternalHis words felt more profound than just those words, as if my dad exists so far away in that Universe now and is able to see the workings of this place and others in the cosmos.  He saw the world as if it were a world of busy bodied ants, driving from place to place, building things, doing things, but not thinking about the true meaning of what they are doing.  The spiritual ones are the ones looking up and wondering how everything works beyond the veil, wondering how they might access Divine Love and bring it into the world for others so that they might understand.

In my dancing and stumbling ways, I am one of the ones who looks up at the sky, goes to nature for more light, and brings what light I can into the world.  I am trying.  My efforts might be small at times, but I am one of the ants looking outward, hoping to bless others with the love I sense from the other side.  Sometimes, I am toppled by fear, by grief, and by cruelty, but I continue on because to live is to continue.  As long as we have breath, we can be of use to others to help them remember the beauty of this journey.

Dad seemed to be disappointed that a large part of the world is largely unconcerned with spiritual realities.  He likes his place in a universe of connectedness and understanding, far beyond this one.  He wishes more people took an interest in all that is possible beyond what is right in front of their hands.

Divine Love:  I’m a fan of how Billy describes Divine Love.   Divine Love was one of the most exciting parts to cover in writing my story of my NDE.

Billy explains the experience of being surrounded by Divine Love as Bliss.  He goes on to say, “Bliss is like being in love multiplied by a thousand, but it has nothing to do with anyone else.  It’s fulfilling in and of itself.  On earth you usually need someone to give you a reason to feel love, and that feeling usually has its ups and downs.  With bliss, there’s no downside—and you don’t need a reason for it.  As your soul floats through this dimension, it’s just natural to feel bliss.”

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Many NDErs miss that feeling of bliss if they get a taste of it.  I miss it, and yet nothing has changed my life more than to realize that this Bliss/Divine Love exists.  Love like that puts everything on earth in perspective.  People often live their lives as fractured parts of a whole, and many do not even know that they are part of a whole.  They believe only in the splintered part that they observe daily, obsessively comparing themselves with others.  Comparison is not what the Divine Light gives us.  It gives us complete acceptance, complete love, and complete safety.

Billy’s character goes on to address disappointment in a broader sense. “Disappointment is part of the pattern on earth.  But things change.  I know you’ve heard this a million times, but it is a secret.  Things change. When you die, you realize how much and you realize there are immortal things, things you take with you, and they change too.  The Eastern concept of Maya, or illusion, what does this mean?  It means temporary.  It means our lives are temporary.”

Divine Love vs. Romantic Love:  Life is indeed a quick journey and not nearly as long as we think it is when viewed from the other side.  Divine Love is an amazing experience, and hard to translate and experience while in human form.  You almost need the freedom of not having a body to fully understand it.  As Billy Finger’s character says, “After you die, you spend a lot of time, solo time, exploring yourself as a Universe….You are the Universe.  But society teaches you different.  Society teaches limitation, (but)…everything you ever need is already inside you.  And who you really are is far beyond your comprehension.  That’s why living squeezed into the human experience can be painful at times.”

While in form, we long for that picture perfect life to show to the world to bolster our ego and say, “Here is my soulmate/twin flame, my family, my great job, my perfect kids, and my white picket fence/condo/home in the country.”  That life rarely exists, and if it does for a while, it changes anyway.  On the other side, I wanted to see that I returned to a picture perfect life, but the message from the Divine was only that I must remind others of their light and souls.  I wasn’t promised a perfect life.  I was only told that I must remind others of their light.  As I wrote about relationships before and after my NDE, I channeled a passage and a healing statement about the search for soulmates and the occasional pain of romantic relationships.

Excerpts from Angels in the OR, “We are all looking for a missing part of souls in another person and not realizing that our own souls are the true source of happiness.  I knew this on the other side.  No one accompanied me there, but I was whole and the light was both me and larger than me.  Source was all that I needed….”

“When we forget our connection to source, we are sometimes reminded of this spark of the divine in another and hold on desperately as if God were only in that one specific person, but God is everywhere, especially inside of us.”

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Occasionally, I am given a healing statement for others.  In connection to this topic, here is the statement I was given.  Many people on a spiritual path are sensitive, and the loss of friendships, relationships, and others can be a painful part of the jouney.  It doesn’t have to be.  The pain ends so much quicker with more self-love and more faith in the workings of a loving energy larger than ourselves.  Billy Finger’s life appeared to be one of great pain on this earth, but it prepared him to be freer than some souls and merge with a universe after death.  Not every soul chooses that path.  The point of viewing his story is to learn not to judge others or yourself.  Love yourself more through every part of your journey.

Healing Statement:  You are loved.  Don’t forget how much the divine light delights in you.  You waste resources and time trying to be seen and loved when you are already loved.  You need do nothing.  You can give that love away and feel immediately in touch with the universal flow of love.

Relationships (of all kinds) are sometimes fractured and split because we have so much to learn and release.  We must free ourselves on a vibrational level when it becomes difficult (sometimes very painful) to stay with another.  Sometimes, people around you are not changing or evolving in the ways you are changing.

Don’t beat yourself up for anything.  Just center yourself.  Quiet yourself.  Listen to what you need.  You need to remember that you are already loved and safe.  There is nothing you are gaining or losing from another.  You are only sharing along the way.  If a person stops sharing, then you move on and share with others.  It isn’t complex.  We create a lot of judgement around issues that need no judgement.  If love is flowing between people, all will work out.  If it isn’t, they move on, especially if they are aware of their own connection to source and love.  Why lose out on a connection to source and love that is already exists because another doesn’t want you to have love or be love?  Why stay with someone who wants you to have less, be less, and experience less than you know you can find through a connection to source? You stay with someone who shows you how to have more, be more, and experience more because of their presence.  You stay with someone who really knows how to love and whose presence makes you feel stronger, freer, and happier.

**I realize this level of detachment and freedom is not easy for many people.  NDErs tend to love and accept others often without the usual attachments and conditions society expects.  I only know that I’ve observed a lot of needless drama in people around the ending of relationships and marriages.  In the news, we see husbands and wives who take that drama to sociopathic lengths and kill their spouses.  They forget that time is a great healer and time is relative.  There is a way to speed healing up.  Meditation, a change of perspective, and enlightened moments can take us far away from our circumstances and change our perspectives.  If we eventually get over something, why not envision what getting over something feels like and bring it into the present moment quicker? In The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, Billy learned how not to take his life or perspective seriously the farther he got away from his situation.  Like Billy, NDErs know that our lives look very different from a far-away perspective and that perspective is wonderful.   Distance and a new perspective is healing for everyone.

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers Continued….This book has been so enjoyable that I must address other topics such as Higher Beings/Angels, recovery from addiction, and the healing power of nature in another post.