Its A Wonderful Afterlife and Flipside Available Through Barnes & Noble; Amazon

The books are available through Amazon as a kindle or softcover. Click this link here to find it ON SALE!!! FLIPSIDE: A TOURIST'S GUIDE ON HOW TO NAVIGATE THE AFTERLIFE or here AT AMAZON IN PAPERBACK. AND FINALLY!!! IT'S AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK AT BARNES AND NOBLE!!! THANK YOU!!
BARNES AND NOBLE'S FLIPSIDE The Film FLIPSIDE is now available at Gaiam.TV and Amazon


End of the World and the Elaborate Hoax

Our daughter asked if I'd heard these "rumors the world was going to end next month."

Before... and after we blow up.

I had not - so I had to look them up.

Are we all going to die next Wednesday?

Two nightmare scenarios, two ends of the world. In the first, there is little warning. For maybe a month there would be no sign that life was about to come to an abrupt and nasty end for all living things on Earth. Then, earthquakes would start unexpectedly, alerting geologists that something terrible, unimaginable, was amiss. After a few days, these seismic disturbances would reach catastrophic proportions. Cities would be levelled, the oceans would rise and wash in a series of mega-tsunamis that would attack the world's coasts, killing millions.

I have some good news and I have some bad news with regard to this research.

You want the bad news first? Okay.  

"We don't die."

What I mean by that is literally, we don't die.  So even if the planet blew up tomorrow, we don't die.  So we would go and populate some other planet in the Universe. (and perhaps screw that up too) I've had at least one person speak of an apocalypse on "another planet" during a lifetime she remembered prior to this one on Earth. (In "Flipside").

She said that the citizens of the planet had allowed science to get out of control, (no, it wasn't called "Krypton") and in their search to design some kind of energy mechanism, had caused the destruction of their planet.

Just like in the movies.

I'd hate to see it go. So much work involved!!

So is it possible for us to destroy the Earth by doing an experiment on it?

Well, according to these eyewitness accounts, it's happened before, just not on this planet.  So technically, sure.

And, the good news?

There are reports of people out there who keep an eye on us so we don't screw up the planet.

Wondering why we haven't been hit by an asteroid in the past million or so years?  I have too.

I've interviewed more than one person who under deep hypnosis has spoken of how the Earth came into being - how there are "entities" or "energies" that oversaw the process, that planned these events "in the future" and that "continue to guide it."

There is a universal law of "no interference" according to these folks.  So we are free to destroy it if we want to.  However, when it comes to helping the Earth move along, these folks act like guardians, or sheep herders perhaps is more accurate - helping seed life, and creating an environment so that we could inhabit this planet.  I'd say they've done a heck of a job.

Space fotos NASA. Guardians watching over us? Cool!

I know how weird this sounds.  But I'm just repeating what they've said.  That the "reason an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs" was so that human life could come to fruition.

As if they protected the Earth in some fashion from other asteroids, but allowed one through to help with the "intelligent design" of the planet.  (And I'm not referring to the religious version of that phrase, obviously, as the only thing that atheists and evangelicals agree on, is that I must be crazy.)

It's hard to put our minds around planning "that far" into the future - but when you consider that once we're outside of this realm, we're outside the normal constructs of time and space.  

Meaning, planning on creating a habitable planet so humans could inhabit it is exactly what happened.  So - is it possible that's what occurred? I don't know.  All I can tell you is that I've talked to more than one person who described these folks who "oversee" or "keep an eye" on our planet during its journey. My job is to report whatever it is I hear (but I try to limit these reports to two or more folks who've said relatively the same things.)  

So what does that have to do with Cern starting up?  All I can say is either the doomsday folks are right - and if they are, then some event will occur so that the accelerator does not work properly or doesn't do it's desired functions. (Thank you folks who oversee our planet!) Or, it's time for us to move on to another planet.  Or the doomsdayers are wrong, and there's never been a reason to worry.

All I can tell you for a fact (from the research) is this: no matter what happens, we don't die.

A rose is a rose... unless it's a photograph.

So sorry to hear of the latest shooting of a reporter on camera. 

I'd offer that the odds are, the fired employee was on SSRI drugs given him by a shrink. (Every "mass shooting" since Columbine was someone who had easy access to guns, and had been on prescription anti depressants.) So I would lay even money that it's the case here.

Why does this happen? 

Because the anti depressants alter the behavior of the amygdala (they supress seratonin release in the brain, which has unforseen consequences).  So in people severely depressed the switch is screwed up - and (a doctor friends says up to) 15% of the people on SSRI drugs it has a deleterious effect - shuts off the "morality" switch, and something they would never have thought of outside a video game (or torrid fantasy) seems like the most logical thing in the world to do. 

I'm sorry to hear of these tragic events that caused the death of three people.  However; to sound like a broken record - we don't die.  

This dude looks like me in a past life. (Rodin) Or I look like him in this life.
The reporter is not here, but she's not gone. The cameraman is not here, but he's not gone. The shooter is not here, but he's not gone either.  No one involved is "gone" or "dead" or whatever term we have to signify "the end." 

All three stepped thru the doorway marked "afterlife" and all three are experiencing that now.  

The reporter, who is likely hanging around this realm to spread love to her father and her fiancee, family and friends - the cameraman, hanging around his family and friends to see how things play out, the shooter, who is watching all the chaos he created and lives he's wrecked. (And watching the usual nutballs claiming "it didn't happen, it's a false flag Obama trick to take away my guns.") 

When you realize we don't die, we can't die, people can't kill us it alters our prespective. If we aren't killable, then people don't have to fear death, or their guns being taken away. The hard part is to enjoy their lives and still have compassion for those that might take it away. 

We all move into the next realm - whatever that represents based on our journey here - and then if and when we feel like it we come back with the help and advice of our loved ones.  

We can argue all we want about taking away guns - it only makes logical sense to treat guns the way we treat cars - licensed, accompanied by tests and earning the privelege to own a license.  For me it's not a Constitutional issue - but one of common sense.

My pal in Darchen.  Long way from here, but always connected.

I have not watched the shooter's video of his actions because frankly, I'm not interested in indulging his view of the planet. I understand that he thought it was a good idea to use social media to focus on himself, and I understand the "tipping point" result of his choice, but I'm not interested in being forced to step into his shoes.

And the reason it's hard to judge this guy's actions is because I'm not in his shoes.  I don't know what soul contract he made before he came here - it may have been to show that people who are given SSRI drugs are dangerous to society - it may be to convince congress to change gun laws - but that was his journey, and I can't judge it because I'm not part of his soul group. (At least I hope I'm not.)  But if we knew someone in his soul group - perhaps we could ask them. And perhaps it's possible to ask him too - because he didn't die either.  (Sorry to say, but it is what it is.)

He's caused a mountain of grief to be sure. There's a mountain of pain and suffering that he participated in, and I haven't the faintest idea how or why he signed up for a lifetime what would include that. My heart goes out to this reporter's parents, her dad and fiancee, family and friends, and those of the cameraman as well.

I've been in those same shoes - when I worked for CNBC on the Charles Grodin show, I did countless "stand ups" or "man in the street" interviews all over Manhattan.  I know that world, I've had fun doing it. I know others in that world, and my heart goes out to them as well, as it will surely engender copycat incidents.  We live in a crazy world.

I worked on The Charles Grodin show for CNBC for 6 months.

On a Flipside level, the research shows we come here knowing basically what role we're going to play.  And only about a third of our energy comes here to each lifetime.  And it's that other two thirds that is always back there, always watching whats happening here, always amused, always behind the scenes - always adjusting to whatever other people do.  

So we can argue - the nature of reality is a "false flag" event.  

It's in the research, that is, it's in the actual sessions talking to people who remember past lives and the between lives realms - and their testimony is corroborated by people who've had near death experiences and are scientists and generally are considered experts in their field.  There is an architecture to the afterlife if we look for it.

Events play out the way they play out - and part of the reason is seems scripted is because on some level - it was scripted. Once you can embrace the concept that we don't die - on some etheric energetic level - we can see that everything that happens is part of the school of learning.  The question is, are we strong enough students to learn from these lessons?  Can we still have compassion in the face on tragedy?  Can we honor a person's memory by coming to the conclusion they're still here?

It reminds me of Roger Ebert's last words.  Prior to his passing - he wrote a note to his wife Chaz that said "It's all an elaborate hoax."

Roger Ebert experience the hoax paradox with Mr. De Niro

She was confused. "What's an elaborate hoax?"  I think he was referring to reality, to the nature of existence.  It's all an elaborate hoax because we don't die.  Life continues on.  Not just here, but over there as well.  I offer this by way of solace to those who can't bring themselves to go on after such tragic events. But don't shoot the reporter.  I mean that literally.

My two cents.


Mother Earth and consciousness outside the brain

Can consciousness exist outside the brain?

Look deep into my eyes...

This is pretty much the crux of the question about the afterlife.

Great talk by Dr. Bruce Greyson on the topic can be found here:

There are scientists, reasonable people, very intelligent people, who don't believe it's the case.  There are doctors, lawyers, educators, politicians, business people who don't believe this is the case. There are entire sociological structures who don't believe it's the casee.  It's at the heart of whatever debate anyone wants to have about the afterlife.

And from my research into the topic, I can tell you that religious people don't really believe it either. Plenty of theories about the soul going somewhere - used to go to limbo, then when limbo was cancelled, Buddhists believe that there's a subtle clear light of consciousness that moves from one body to the next, but not that it's fully conscious - they describe it as a "wisp of smoke."  There are a number of eastern religions who feel that our consciousness after leaving our body is pushed/pulled moved around to places based on our karma, or good or bad deeds.  Certainly that's echoed in the Christian religions who believe that sin or the lack of it dictates where and how our consciousness moves around after we're gone.

Look deep into my eyes...

And then we have the post materialist scientists, those dealing with quantum physics who believe that there may be a myriad of universes, options, that are occuring, all of them beyond our will, and that in the afterlife we find ourselves pulled in a myriad of directions, perhaps millions of lifetimes and choices, ad nauseum.

It's just not in the data.

What is in the data - or research - or anecdotes - I don't particularly care what one calls them, but they're eyewitness accounts, we find that not only are we conscious after this life, there are many accounts of being hyper aware, or conscious of other details, all of our lifetimes, conscious of libraries, and classrooms and teachers and schools and groups of individuals who guide and counsel and love us, and laugh at us too.

Basically that everything we've been told about the afterlife - that it's a place or retribution, it's a place of revenge, it's a place of suffering from our actions here on the planet, is not supported by the data.  Or anecdotes.

Light reflecting on light

I use the word anecdote because that's the latest attack by materialist scientists talking about near death experiences.  "They're just anecdotes."  Well, if you get 10,000 anecdotes, and they all relatively report the same events, do we ignore them?  And then if you compare the 10,000 anecdotes to people who have had between life experiences, either via a coma, or while under deep hypnosis, or some other consciousness altering event, should we discount them when they all relatively say the same things about the afterlife?  I call them "eyewitness accounts" because what else are they?  If you get 10,000 people who witness the same event, you're going to get that many saying different things about it - but you're also going to find that most of them say the same things about it.  Because that's the nature of language, of communication, of syntax and nomenclature.  They express themselves in the best way they can.

Recently, I was given a transcript of a session that a person did while under deep hypnosis, where he was able to access some other entity that was not human in nature, not alien in nature either, but just some form of energetic thought that was beyond anything the person who had the experience had ever heard of or pondered before.

This person remembered a previous lifetime, the dates, life and journey of someone who lived in the 15th century, and during that lifetime had this apotheosis event where he/she felt connected to the earth.  And the hypnotherapist asked this person to describe that event in greater detail.  And further, the therapist asked the person to examine what that "connection to the earth" was about.

And in the session, this person claimed to be speaking to an entity - or energetic force if you will - that represented the planet itself.  Mother Earth. Gaia.  Whatever new age phrase you'd like to associate with this particular entity - that's been written about for eons, that many native cultures have claimed exists.

The pale blue dot has its own soul? Who knew?

And in this fairly mind blowing encounter, this entity shared some wisdom - that every planet has their own version of an energetic "oversoul" that represents the planets (and stars I would imagine) and that they're all interconnected.  That they all form some kind of network that is sentient.  I've heard this before during some of the sessions I've filmed - that the "universe is sentient" but I didn't quite understand the concept.  Perhaps this is a way of getting closer to that.

And this "mother earth" energy seemed slightly annoyed by the way humans had been treating their home.  She/he likened it to "having the flu." She/he was describing the human a bit the way we would describe germs that have taken over our health, and how that would eventually "no longer be the case."  This person couldn't access any apocalyptic version of events (for which I was grateful) but that things would "right themselves" in a way that it's supposed to.  And that the consciousness of the planet is being raised, and those who can't handle that transformation will choose to incarnate on other planets where they'll fit in.

Which I thought was kind of funny.  "You don't have to go home but you can't stay here."  This person under deep hypnosis was claiming that those who can't handle the transformation of energy won't be coming back.  It does give one pause.  But it's just one person's observation, and if I get another dozen or so who say the same thing, I'll spend more time examining it.  But until then, it's just another anecdote.  Enjoy the weekend.


Talking "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" with Tara Marie live! today

Freewheeling fun interview with Tara Marie live! Talking about things seen and unseen. Wed 8/19 ‪#‎TARAMARIELIVE‬ @MartiniFilm discusses the‪#‎afterlife‬! 6-8p ET @AmLatinoRadio @SIIRIUSXM Ch154


Talking to the Flipside

Last night I was having an interesting discussion with a Jungian psychologist, a very successful gentleman in his 60's, and we were at the memorial service for a mutual friend, a doctor who had passed away in the prime of his youth.

I spoke to the sister in law of the doctor, asked if she had felt his presence at all since his passing and she said she had "felt him around her."

Dancing in the clouds

Normally people stop after that question and comment how wonderful that is to experience.  But of course, I'm not a normal person when it comes to the flipside.

So I asked her what the most significant experience was.  She said that she felt him "lean against her" as if he was putting his head on her shoulder.  I asked if she heard or sensed any message from him.  She said she had, that he said "Thanks for holding up the tent."

I asked her what that meant.  She said she didn't know.

The bedroom as he left it at the Potala; HHDL.  Another form of tent.

This friend is a doctor as well, from a family of doctors, attorneys, lawyers, all people who've been hard at work helping others, helping people heal.  I asked the deceased doctor's brother if he was aware that his brother had "spoken" to his wife from the Flipside.  He wasn't.  She laughed "He never asks me about that sort of thing."

So when I sat with the Dr., the Jungian psychologist, we talked about how people don't have the words to discuss these events, don't really have the syntax to express what they saw or felt. People can describe a "dream" - but dreams are not always the same. Some are more vivid than others.

He shared with me that one of his patients had called him recently and said he was going for a walk at dawn, walking along the beach on a dark cloudy day.  The client said that the clouds "parted" and a ray of light came down and an "angel" appeared before him.  The patient screamed in terror, as it frightened him half to death. (Great term isn't it? "Half to death.")  He said when he screamed, or jumped in terror, the angel disappeared.

The ghost in my cappuccino.

I offered that the word "angel" is a word we use as a placeholder.  We don't really know what an angel is or who that angel was, unless we ask them questions.  And we don't really know if they have wings, or what wings are made of unless we examine them more closely.  And I've seen or filmed sessions with people who do just that - the hypnotherapist can ask the questions - "who are you?"  And sometimes they'll give a name, but even then they'll explain "that's not how I refer to myself over here, or how others refer to me over here, but it's the easiest name I can think of to give you a reference."

Michael. Gabriel. Etc.  The famous names.

Are these folks actually "the archangel Gabriel or Michael?"  It's possible.  It's equally possible that people are making these things up with their subconscious.  But its when you get "new information" from the flipside that we can examine these events in closer detail.

But let's just agree that this energetic form that appears to a person is someone who is either no longer on the planet, or someone who never was on the planet.  Either is possible.  It's also possible that they're some form of a guardian angel - as the thousands of reports I mention in Flipside where people meet their "guardian spirit."  Some are "dressed in white."

Of course, no one is wearing a color.  White is an energetic wave that we see and is translated in the miracle of our brain to become the color white.  It is not white per se - but the vibration of white.

A sea of white, being held in place by mom, circa 1959

So when people see a "ghost" or someone wearing "white" - just assume that they're witnessing some form of energy that is affecting their brain. (And equally that they could be imagining it - except of course, when they aren't, or in the case where more than one person witnesses the energetic form.)

But whoever it was that appeared to the person walking on the beach miscalculated that event.  In other words, the person walking on the beach couldn't have conjured up the event, because why would they have conjured up an event in order to be frightened enough to "scare" the energy away?  And the "angel" itself couldn't have expected this person to scream or be frightened, else, why make the journey?  It takes a lot of energetic movement to change from one realm to the next, and if everyone could do it, why wouldn't they?

In this case, the angel made a mistake.

Which goes to my point that angels are not "omniscient" or "godlike."  To be sure, the reports of wise elders and guardians are of a higher power, of someone really smarter and more wise than the person they're visiting - but they're not omniscient. Meaning the angel thought that showing up on the beach at dawn was a good idea that there would be a good outcome as a result of it.  Not so much.

As it turned out, this person wasn't ready to experience that event.  Maybe another time.  

So when we talk to someone from the Flipside - it's not that they've completely lost who they were - they're a heightened version of themselves over there to be sure - but they still have a sense of humor, or a sense of awe, or love. But we have to imagine for a moment how difficult it may be to communicate with our side of the coin, slowing their energy down, trying to form words, or concepts, or even dreams in their loved ones.  And it doesn't always work properly, does it?

Santa Monica Sunset. A sunrise somewhere else.

For example in "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" one woman saw her spirit guide "dressed as a monk in a robe." The therapist asked "describe the robe."  She said it was brown and he had a cowl, but looked a bit like the actor who played "Friar Tuck" in the television series "Robin Hood."  (Allowing that she may have imagined that person because she knew him, or he appeared to her in that form because he was tapping into the memory of this person.)

The therapist asked "So why is he dressed like that?"  And the woman under hypnosis laughed.  She said "He just said "I left my clown outfit at the cleaners."

Now did this woman make that joke up?  She insisted that she didn't.  You have to imagine for a moment the powerful emotions this person was experiencing, having already witnessed a previous lifetime (and a serious one) and now had traveled somewhere outside of time and space to see someone who could only be described as "her spirit guide" or her mentor.  And he came up with a joke that made her and the therapist laugh.

New information.  Not coming from her. Coming from someone, or somewhere else.

So when someone from the flipside reaches out to talk to us, note the ideas or concepts that you could not have been aware of. New information. Something you didn't know, or couldn't have thought of or made up on your own. As in the case of my friend had no idea what her deceased brother in law meant by "holding up the tent."  

Are you talking to me? 

When she told me that, I laughed, and said "Perhaps he's talking about the three ring circus that is your in-laws."  She laughed as well.  I suggested everyone meditate on what he meant, and what it means to be the one "holding up the tent."  Sounds like the pillar of strength, but said in a way that was poetic for her.

I also found references to the "tent holder" in the Bible and the Qur'an, to give her some context.  That the person who holds up the "tent" is someone who is an avatar. I'd quote those passages, but anyone with a search engine can find them, and I find that by quoting a holy book, sometimes it gives the passage of the book more significance than it should.  After all, someone else wrote the same idea or concept down 2000 years ago, or 10,000 years ago - does that make it any more or less important than the same concept written today? "Thanks for holding up the tent." 

Only she and her family will eventually know what that means. Something to meditate and ponder on as their lives continue - his journey that continues  on in the flipside, and theirs on this side. The Flipside of the Flipside.

Ya think?

My two cents.


Three books FROM the Flipside, the Overview Effect and Sentient Plants

There are three books I recommend about the Flipside, written from the POV of people who are no longer on the planet.

I talk a bit about Annie Kagan's book The Afterlife of Billy Fingers" in It's a Wonderful Afterlife: Further Adventures in the FlipsideVol 1;" -- Having read Galen Stoller's " My Life After Life" and Erik Medhus' "My Life After Death," I think it's worth comparing all three - first person perspectives from the flipside. (Galen Stoller writes the foreword to "It's a Wonderful Afterlife: Further Adventures in the Flipside" Volume two with the help of his dad and a medium.)

Not one person's POV (like most books on spiritual topics are) but three people basically the same things about what they experienced just after life, what they're experiencing now after they've checked off the planet. Not every observation is the same (how could it be? we each have our own path and journey) but enough is the same (a feeling of being still here, but not "here" - classrooms, teachers, soul groups, life reviews, a sense of unconditional love and insight into the human condition) to make it worth examining. 

When compared to near death experiences and between life hypnotherapy sessions it comes together like a massive puzzle. (at least for me).

And now.. the overview effect:

Astronaut Scott Kelly's shout out to the US from space
"Good morning western USA" from a guy who's spent a year in space. You think he's concerned about whatever it is people are concerned about down here, raging about? Or just kind of in awe? I choose awe and the ‪#‎overvieweffect‬.

NASA's Earth Observatory
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly), currently on a year-long mission on the International Space Station, took this photograph and posted it to social media on Aug. 10, 2015. Kelly wrote: "‪#‎GoodMorning‬ to those in the western ‪#‎USA‬. Looks like there's a lot going on down there. ‪#‎YearInSpace‬"

The space station and its crew orbit Earth from an altitude of 220 miles (359 kilometers), traveling at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles (28,100 kilometers) per hour. Because the station completes each trip around the globe in about 92 minutes, the crew experiences 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.

See his tweet at

See more astronaut photography at

And even more at 

The overview effect is important when discussing this research about the Flipside.  Because for those who've had a near death experience, or a between life experience via hypnosis, or an out of body experience that's profound - it alters their view of the planet.  The overview effect is what astronauts experience after coming back to the planet - THEY NO LONGER SEE BORDERS OR HUMANS AS SEPARATED BY COLOR, GENDER, ORIENTATION, ETC.  They have begun to see the planet as we see it from our perspective in the afterlife - one big ball of fun.  It's worth repeating.

And finally; a new book that claims plants are sentient:

 Beech Tree, on the North Downs near Dorking, Surrey, UK. Photograph: Derek Croucher

I prefer to call trees "lungs." After all, they not only look like them, they function the same but in reverse. So plants are sentient? Reminds me of one of my first short stories in grade school, guy with a new set of headphones suddenly hears screaming coming from outside. All he can see is a neighbor cutting grass...

Are plants intelligent? New book says yes

A new book, Brilliant Green, argues that not only are plants intelligent and sentient, but that we should consider their rights, especially in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction

Plants are intelligent. Plants deserve rights. Plants are like the Internet – or more accurately the Internet is like plants. To most of us these statements may sound, at best, insupportable or, at worst, crazy. But a new book, Brilliant Green: the Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence, by plant neurobiologist (yes, plant neurobiologist), Stefano Mancuso and journalist, Alessandra Viola, makes a compelling and fascinating case not only for plant sentience and smarts, but also plant rights.
For centuries Western philosophy and science largely viewed animals as unthinking automatons, simple slaves to instinct. But research in recent decades has shattered that view. We now know that not only are chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants thinking, feeling and personality-driven beings, but many others are as well. Octopuses can use tools, whales sing, bees can count, crows demonstrate complex reasoning, paper wasps can recognise faces and fish can differentiate types of music. All these examples have one thing in common: they are animals with brains. But plants don’t have a brain. How can they solve problems, act intelligently or respond to stimuli without a brain? 

“Today’s view of intelligence - as the product of brain in the same way that urine is of the kidneys - is a huge oversimplification. A brain without a body produces the same amount of intelligence of the nut that it resembles,” said Mancuso, who as well as co-writing Brilliant Green, is the director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology in Florence.
As radical as Mancuso’s ideas may seem, he’s actually in good company. Charles Darwin, who studied plants meticulously for decades, was one of the first scientists to break from the crowd and recognise that plants move and respond to sensation – i.e., are sentient. Moreover, Darwin – who studied plants meticulously for most of his life, observed that the radicle – the root tip – “acts like the brain of one of the lower animals.”

Plant problem solvers

Plants face many of the same problems as animals, though they differ significantly in their approach. Plants have to find energy, reproduce and stave off predators. To do these things, Mancuso argues, plants have developed smarts and sentience....
Many plants will even warn others of their species when danger is near. If attacked by an insect, a plant will send a chemical signal to their fellows as if to say, “hey, I’m being eaten – so prepare your defences.” Researchers have even discovered that plants recognize their close kin, reacting differently to plants from the same parent as those from a different parent. 
“In the last several decades science has been showing that plants are endowed with feeling, weave complex social relations and can communicate with themselves and with animals,” write Mancuso and Viola, who also argue that plants show behaviours similar to sleeping and playing.
So, instead of a single powerful brain, Mancuso argues that plants have a million tiny computing structures that work together in a complex network, which he compares to the Internet. The strength of this evolutionary choice is that it allows a plant to survive even after losing 90% or more of its biomass. ....
“The main driver of evolution in plants was to survive the massive removal of part of the body,” said Mancuso. “Thus, plants are built of a huge number of basic modules that interact as nodes of a network. Without single organs or centralised functions plants may tolerate predation without losing functionality. Internet was born for the same reason and, inevitably, reached the same solution.”
Having a single brain – just like having a single heart or a pair of lungs – would make plants much easier to kill.
“This is why plants have no brain: not because they are not intelligent, but because they would be vulnerable,” Mancuso said.
In this way, he adds, it may be better to think of a single plant as a colony, rather than an individual. Just as the death of one ant doesn’t mean the demise of the colony, so the destruction of one leaf or one root means the plant still carries on.

The wide gulf

So, why has plant sentience – or if you don’t buy that yet, plant behaviour – been ignored for so long?
Mancuso says this is because plants are so drastically different from us. He says it is “impossible” for us to put ourselves in the place of a plant.
“We are too different; the fruit of two diverse evolutive tracks...plants could be aliens for us,” he said. “But all the same we share with plants life, the same needs, we evolved on the same planet. In the end we respond in the same way to the same impulses.”

The banana orchid is threatened with extinction.
 The banana orchid is threatened with extinction. Photograph: Jose Pestana/PA

Deforestation in the Amazon. Forest destruction worldwide has pushed innumerable species into extinction, many of which we may never know.

 Deforestation in the Amazon. Forest destruction worldwide has pushed innumerable species into extinction, many of which we may never know. Photograph: luoman/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Yet, human actions – including deforestation, habitat destruction, pollution, climate change, etc. – have ushered in a mass extinction crisis. While plants in the past have fared better in previous mass extinctions, there is no guarantee they will this time.
“Every day a consistent number of plant species that we never met, disappears,” noted Mancuso who added that mass extinctions “are never happy events and I suspect that, despite their diversity, even plants don’t like to disappear.”
At the same time, we don’t even know for certain how many plant species exist on the planet. Currently, scientists have described around 20,000 species of plant. But there are probably more unknown than known.
“We have no idea about the number of plant species living on the planet. There are different estimates saying we know from 10 to 50% (no more) of the existing plants,” said Mancuso.
Many of these could be wiped out without ever being described, especially as unexplored rainforests and cloud forest – the most biodiverse communities on the planet – continue to fall in places like Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Papua New Guinea, among others.
Yet, we depend on plants not only for many of our raw materials and our food, but also for the oxygen we breathe and, increasingly it seems, the rain we require. Plants drive many of the biophysical forces that make the Earth habitable for humans – and all animals. 
“Sentient or not sentient, intelligent or not, the life of the planet is green...The life on the Earth is possible just because plants exist,” said Mancuso. “Is not a matter of preserving plants: plants will survive. The conservation implications are for humans: fragile and dependent organisms.”


Nagasaki and the Flipside

70 years ago this bell survived the first blast of a bomb that wiped out hundreds of thousands. As a meditative exercise, uncouple yourself for a moment from judgement either way ("it had to be dropped" "the war was already won" "they" attacked "us"") and observe it from the perspective of someone watching humanity's journey on the planet. 

Seems like a long time ago. And yet, just a flash of light ago. Once you step further into the flipside research, we can pause to honor all the souls who signed up to experience that journey on both sides of the battlefield. Those innocents who certainly were not targets, those innocents into whose hands were thrust weapons of destruction. 

Once we examine the fanciful concept that we don't die - we can't die, we can't be killed, nor can we kill, that we're all identical creatures here, all equal, all imbued with some form of spirit, call it what you will, consciousness, that apparently not only survives this journey, has survived that journey, but continues to survive future journeys in a desire to help others, to teach and learn or show up here to carry the burden, or lighten it, or examine it from all angles.  
Then this bell comes to represent a clarion for all of us to see our actions from a different perspective. We honor those who fell, who fought and died on both sides. We honor them because we recognize they have not died, they have transitioned, and yet they continue their journey, teaching new lessons to an old planet, bringing hearts together again in the future. My two cents.

Map of Heaven

Great book!

Dr. Eben Alexander, MD uses his background in science to explain post materialist theory and its roots in quantum mechanics. He explores his own profound near death experience, and combined with letters from his readers, shows how their accounts echo accounts back to Plato and Aristotle. 

Fun to see him cite Dr. Bruce Greyson's contribution to the NDE field, mentions Roger Ebert's "It's all an elaborate hoax" comment (as do It's aWonderful Afterlife: Further Adventures in the Flipside Vol 1 and Vol 2) and an introductory quote on "how to navigate the afterlife." 

Glad to see we're on the same page, albeit different paths!

  (On sale at B&N for $6)

The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife Paperback – October 7, 2014


What Is Life Between Life Hypnotherapy?