Tranceformers: Shamans of the 21st Century
Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river that carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.—Jorge Luis Borges
The story you are about to read is true.
“John,” the voice on the phone said, “I have some very bad news.” My best friend George Sebastian Viguet III (pronounced “Vee-gay”) had died that day of a massive heart attack in Huntsville, Alabama, his wife had just informed me.
Born in White Castle, Louisiana on January 24th, 1947, he was a vibrant, young man of 40 when his life ended suddenly that Monday morning at 9:30 A.M. on November 9th, 1987, as officially noted on the Certificate of Death.
In fact, George drew his last breath in the medical clinic of his family physician located right next door to Huntsville Hospital. So you couldn’t ask for a better location to have a cardiac crisis nor a better set of circumstances. That is, as I learned he drove himself there on the way to his office because he was not feeling well. He had hoped to merely get some medicine and be on his way again.
However as fate would have it, that was not in the cards for while being examined by the family doctor the worst possible scenario unfolded; his heart suddenly exploded. Thus all attempts to resuscitate him failed.
I had known George for 18 years. We had met in 1969 as soldiers stationed at the U.S. Army Missile and Munitions Center and School, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Along with a few dozen other men undergoing highly-specialized training in computers, electronics, and missilery, we were assigned to the same select military unit, the 116th Ordnance Detachment that had transferred from Fort Riley, Kansas.
Our specific outfit was preparing for deployment as a one-of-a-kind missile support team to West Germany at the apex of the Cold War. Interestingly enough, we were going to set-up our shop at one of Adolph Hitler’s former Nazi SS strongholds during WWII. It was called Merrell Barracks now.
Indeed I was really looking forward to this “field trip” of sorts, too, as I had studied the German language, culture, and history for 3 years while at Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale, Washington. Upon hindsight, or a past-life memory, it was as if I knew subconsciously that I was going to use that knowledge, again.
From Grits and Gravy to Bratwurst and Beer
The day to depart for Germany arrived and I awoke at the crack of dawn on January 28th, 1970, showered, shaved, dressed, breakfasted, and drove us to the Huntsville International Airport. Shortly thereafter, I kissed my wife of 2 months, Connie, goodbye as we watched our married officers and senior enlisted personnel get aboard our plane with their families, then the rest of us, for the flight’s first leg to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon arrival there we were taken by bus to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, flying on then later that evening to Europe via the Military Airlift Command (MAC).
Going overseas on a military assignment is a gut-wrenching experience. There is no greater trauma to a young, newly-married soldier especially than to be involuntarily torn from your loved ones’ arms, in my opinion. A civilian has not a clue how difficult a task that is to do. So, of course, that day is forever etched into my mind and heart some 35-years later.
The shock is cultural, climatic, and culinary as well. For example, we departed Alabama on a warm clear-blue sky day and arrived in Germany on a cold, cloudy-rainy day at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Frankfurt. I went from “see ya’ll later,” to “Guten Tag!” I also went from an Alabama breakfast of “biscuits, grits, gravy, and coffee” to a German lunch of “bread, bratwurst, sauerkraut, and beer” in 24 hours!
Notwithstanding, we were gratefully bussed down to Nuernberg a few hours to the southeast along the Czechoslovakia border, finally settling into our new living quarters at Merrell Barracks late that evening totally exhausted. I slept like the proverbial log that night oblivious to my stark surroundings. But in the morning I awoke to find myself within a massive, multi-story concrete block structure with bullet-holes visible on the walls.
These combat remnants we learned were the calling cards left behind by Allied GIs who captured it from the former Nazi SS occupants in 1945. No doubt if we were in the USA’s fashionable mind-set today, we would have seen this sign displayed on a soldier’s door somewhere: “Martha Stewart Does Not Live Here!” Whatever the case, the single guys were stuck here for the duration of their tour of duty.
In contrast, we married guys began counting the days until our wives would arrive “in country,” so we could live downtown like German civilians. I wanted out of here as soon as possible as I did not fit in with this foot-loose and fancy-free single crowd at all anymore.
To digress a moment, George married Kathy, and I, Connie, a couple months before we had to ship out and so those days of separation were tortuous for us as I recall. But our wives arrived on April 10th, 1970 on a chartered flight out of New York City, and we made up for that lost time in a big way—visiting medieval castles among other things. Specifically, Connie and I took an American Express Tour of Bavaria, Switzerland, the French Riviera, and northern Italy. In particular we attended the 1970 Grand Prix of Monaco, watching it from a hillside overlooking the harbor was surreal. Wow, what a day for the diary!
We likewise partied in our local German villages at every opportunity. A smile comes to my face as I recall us swaying back and forth with our liter-sized beer steins in synch to the native music being played in those big circus-like tents at the Folks Festivals. I loved the yodeling songs and the spirited “Chicken Dance” and the food that added so much joy to these celebrations. These are fond memories for a big eater like me but they ended abruptly on May 7th, 1971 to be exact. For Connie and I returned to Alabama, where her parents lived and I was accepted to attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville under the GI Bill, as did George and Kathy a few months later by the way.
Initially I began my collegiate studies in electronics engineering but George, on the other hand, pursued a rigorous curriculum in physics, graduating with honors. This guy was born to be a scientist: He was very bright and very introverted.
In fact, I was one of the few persons George felt comfortable talking to about non-technical matters, conversations held late at night usually over cold beer and hotly contested chess games. From these exchanges, I knew that George believed that when you were dead, you were dead and gone, period. That was it, game over.
But that was not my belief and at his elaborate Catholic funeral, where I was a pallbearer, I stared at that metal-box in front of me solemnly. I kept asking myself over and over again: Where is George?
Where in the world—or out of this world—is the “soul” of George right now at this very minute? I sincerely wanted to know the truth. This desperate heartfelt plea paid dividends, as George was not dead!
Talking Telepathically with the Dead
How do I know this is true? It is because in June 1988, nearly seven months to the day after I helped place his casket in a marble-faced mausoleum in Huntsville, Alabama, I saw George in my master bedroom in my new home in Silverdale, Washington, 2500 miles away from where he “died.” From indeed what I thought at first was merely a lucid dream of him, I saw George standing there shimmering in a holographic body of light right in front of me looking well—and smiling!
Although, initially, it was his clothing that really got my undivided attention because George was wearing a brightly-colored, short-sleeved Hawaiian luau shirt with a white beachcomber hat on his head. This was no dream and I stared at my friend like a deer caught in halogen headlights.
This is ironic, I mumbled. Here I quit my job in Alabama and moved back to my former hometown, Silverdale, in April of 1988 to get over the grief that I was experiencing: Yet there George stood, plain as the nose on his face!
George was really alive and now I had to deal with it. That was the tough part as my paradigm—model of reality—clearly did not include an option for talking to the dead, even if we did survive death itself. What about going to heaven and all that jazz; why would he remain and how could I see him now? Well, I was a science guy by training and temperament, too, so I started to slowly piece the psychological and physiological facts together.
This much I knew then: I had been in an altered state of mind, what I know now we call all too casually the state of “trance,” when I saw him. That is, suddenly I could see multi-dimensionally and communicate telepathically with George. But one of the most bizarre aspects to my experience actually helped me validate it later as a bon a fide after-death communication.
That is, I saw that George had a row of flattened metal beer cans stuffed inside his hat’s headband. Now we were both avid beer drinkers at the time of his “death,” so that in and of itself was not surprising, yet upon deep reflection I grasped the significance to this comical imagery.
And this is what ultimately blew my mind—and third eye—wide open: Months later I recollected what I had said to George while at the funeral home in Huntsville, Alabama, not aloud but to myself. I had leaned over his casket to look him squarely in the face and then projected this thought attempting to alleviate the severity of the situation—at least for me. I said mentally to him, “George, a joke is a joke, let’s go get a beer!”
To the point: George had heard me speak those words to him that day no doubt about it! Unequivocally, he was showing me symbolically by his colorful party attire and “the old beer cans in the hat band trick” that he was still very much alive and, equally, he was giving me a clue as to our own future psychic powers once we too reopen our third eye in era-2012.
Today I realize that mind-to-mind communication—telepathy—will become the common means of information exchange between the living and the “dead” in the years ahead, as well as with other so-called “alien” species within our living cosmos. This ability is not an anomaly, in other words, but is sine qua non of the mystic, prophet, and shaman-in-training as well.
In summary, it is simply part of the total psychic package of new tools that comes unwrapped when your third eye opens and you finally see into the Fifth Dimension. Thus I conclude as did science writer Lynne McTaggart of London, England in The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe: "Death may be merely a matter of going home or, perhaps, staying behind—returning to The Field."
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. This is the home of our imagination.—Rod Serling (1924-1975), The Twilight Zone
Dr. John Jay Harper is a clinical hypnotherapist, talk show guest on many programs in Canada, UK, and USA, and author of Tranceformers: Shamans of the 21st Century. He and his wife, Connie, live in Spokane, Washington but will soon be relocating to the Spa Lifestyle Community Village on Sewanee Creek, Tennessee. For more information, please refer to www.johnjayharper.com and www.sewaneecreek.com.