Second Afterdeath Encounter with Barbara (Astral Plane)AC 226: July 29, 2003 (Mt. Greylock, MA)
In this adventure in consciousness, which took place in the dream state, I encountered Barbara, the ex-wife of a close friend of mine. Barbara died earlier this year, of breast cancer, at the age of 49.
Barbara was in a space that resembled the last apartment she lived in, in Northampton. I only saw the inside of that apartment once, since she and my friend, still married at the time, had moved into it after Barbara had broken off contact with me.
Barbara was busily moving furniture around in a preoccupied fashion, driven by a sense that things weren’t in their proper place, but not sure about how they should be put together. A new piece of furniture had just arrived: a large vanity with big drawers, made of blond wood. One of Barbara’s problems was where to put this vanity--or how to make sure that there was no room for it, since she seemed to feel ambivalent about it.
The vanity was like a pressure, presence, or force that Barbara was responding to. She was both aware of it and wanting to ignore it. As she tried to make the space she was in comfortable, the problem of where to put the vanity became ever more absorbing, making her restless.
Barbara didn’t notice me until I addressed her. “I can help you with that,” I said--meaning the process of arranging the furniture. I knew that this process symbolized the arranging of her past experience, or the contents of consciousness, represented by furniture (the contents of a room) in order to understand it from the soul’s perspective.
Barbara was hunched over, dealing with something close to the floor. She looked up at me suddenly, startled, with an expression of extreme distaste, full of fear and anger, such as I’d sometimes seen on her face while she was alive. She didn’t want me to be there.
Barbara refused to speak to me. I awoke.
Barbara was in a transitional phase between what I call the Rest Zone, where Shades prepare an environment for themselves based on a place they loved and felt comfortable in while alive; and the Deep Life Review Zone, in which they take stock of their lives, learning to see them from the soul’s perspective. Barbara’s case was a little different from that of the average Shade. Her life was dominated by an idée fixe based on vanity--hence the large vanity she felt so ambivalent about in the space she was arranging.
The pressure of having to face and work through this idée fixe made it difficult for her to feel comfortable in the Afterlife. It demanded her attention and she wanted as much as possible to remain unconscious of it. This vanity was what cost her her life--she refused to have her breast removed or go through chemotherapy because of what such procedures would do to her looks. She chose instead an alternative mode of health-care that didn’t work.
I had a dream some months ago [AC 224: June 13, 2003] that told me I needed to let go of my resistance to being of assistance to Barbara in the Afterlife. It’s clear now that there’s nothing I can do for her at this stage of her experience there.
When I awoke from the dream, it was in the middle of the night. Because I was camping, I had no idea what time it was.