If you are not ready to ask hard and searching questions, then you need to brace yourself for that adventure, or should we say, a rollercoaster ride, as you do more than thumbing through Judy Barnes’ book – Deep Talk – death does not exist.
The book is not for readers who religiously wear dogmas of faith or other stereotypes – it is for hardened sloggers who are willing to shed of their straightjackets and painstakingly and honestly seek to search after evasive truths, whatever these may be. What is heaven? Is it a figment of our imaginations, bolstered by church traditions and teachings? How do we perceive God? Is he, if she has a gender at all, the unknowable old and bearded man, resident in the unknowable heaven, only reachable through prayer and belief or faith, courtesy of the brainwashing of Sunday schools propaganda so many of us were subjected to in our formative years in the church?
Do you believe in “spirits”, in the afterlife, and can these be part and parcel of our concrete lives? Do you believe in death – or as Barnes puts it – that death does not exist? The entire Barnes’ 384-page book explores these phenomena in a delicate and sensitive and convincing way, driven in the main not by the desire to be seen as an “expert”, but by her unwavering conviction informed by her own personal experiences, and those close to her, such as her son and parents, and a wide-ranging research done over many years to support her assertions. Elsewhere in the book she writes: “Let us try to absorb that fact (that light is indestructible). Energy cannot be destroyed. “Are we able to grasp the enormity of that statement?”
Implied in the book is that life is energy, and so if energy is indestructible, we can logically extrapolate, that “death does not exist”. If this be true, we cannot, by way of logic, rule out the possibility of reincarnation – the “one continuous life, worked out in many incarnations, until we unite with God in perfect love”. The endpoint of the author’s logic is that “if everything endures forever, then you and I, end everyone else, will still exist, forever”. These ideas, if they are true, as the author believes them to be, then they have all kinds of implications for matters of life and death – and reincarnation – which the author explores in great detail in the book. She explores the heavenly realm, which she contends has been “rammed down our throats as a deterrent against evil”.
She seems to argue that heaven and hell belong to a mythical world. On the contrary, what does exist is “the permanence of everything in perpetuity”, as the writer of the book of Revelation would say, “Behold I make all things new” (my own emphasis). If light has been shone in places of darkness by people like Mother Teresa, then we need, in order to be consistent, appreciate the possibility of light being shone in other contexts of our lives.
Barnes extrapolates a lot. Extrapolation is a keyword, which is a process of estimating beyond what is humanly observable. This is what we ought to do when we read her book – to look beyond the obvious, and divest ourselves of our straightjackets, opening ourselves to a myriad of life’s possibilities.
In her opening chapter, Barnes makes these points clear in an almost ethereal conversation with her son, Ty. Her son, she notes, has had a Near Death Experience (NDE) – “and the description he gave me of where he had been (when he experienced the NDE) was unlike any other I had ever read about”. Ty was in a bad space health-wise, surviving what the author describes as “his dark night of the soul”.
Elsewhere in the book, she gives a vivid description of her father’s dream in which, as he related it to her, he had performed “extraordinary acts” which “in his present lifetime” would have been foreign, and almost impossible to perform, and this includes conversing in French and being able to play the piano. Could it be that Barnes’ father may have been harking back to the days of his previous life, or in the author’s words, “returned to a remembrance of another life”?
A cancer survivor herself, in Barnes’ book you will meet well-thought through arguments to prove that death does not exist. Reading her book seems to be a journey worth traversing.