JAMES VAN PRAAGH — an accomplished medium who provides evidential proof of life after death by connecting with the dead and sharing their messages — rose to popularity in the early 1990s on the NBC morning talk show “The Other Side,” and then he wrote the best-selling books Ghosts Among Us, Talking to Heaven, Reaching to Heaven and Healing Grief. For five seasons, Van Praagh was the co-executive producer of the CBS drama “Ghost Whisperer,” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.
On November 3, Van Praagh will return to the Midwest to present “An Afternoon of Spirit,” a keynote address at Minneapolis Edge Life Expo on the process of mediumship and demonstration of messages he receives from the departed, and he will follow that up with a three-day, post-expo workshop entitled “Awakening Your Mind to Mental & Physical Mediumship,” sharing with participants the keys to being in perfect harmony to receive the highest quality of spirit messages and insights.
Advance tickets for Van Praagh’s keynote address range from $69-$129, and advance tickets for the workshop are $369 — available at Edgelife.net and by calling 1.9877.776.5244. Minneapolis Edge Life Expo runs November 2-3 at Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN.
Van Praagh, who travels the world speaking, teaching mediumship development classes, and conducting sold-out seminars, says he is committed to helping the living by sharing his abilities — “and the message that there is no such thing as death; it is merely an illusion, and everyone survives death!” He spoke by telephone with The Edge to share insights on the practice of mediumship and talk about his upcoming address and workshop in Minnesota.
Let’s talk about the process of mediumship. What do you do before reading to open up and receive information?
James Van Praagh: What I do is I put myself into a receptive place. I really work to put myself in a meditative state. I energize each chakra center, open the power, and bring myself to a place in my mind that is receptive. I do a blessing and ask Spirit to move with the highest good and then I just receive. I will receive impressions, whether it is of a man or woman, the age of the person sometimes, relationship to the person in the audience, whatever it might be, and share the message.
Talk to me about connecting with such a variety of spirits of people from the other side. I imagine it’s similar to what it’s like talking to people on this side of the veil; some people you can easily talk with, and some others you might have a hard time relating to.
JVP: Exactly. On this side it’s difficult, because there are certain belief systems people have or preset ideas or notions about things, and the same is true on the other side. Just because someone has passed over to Spirit doesn’t mean that they have quickly changed their awareness. They might still have the same mindset and belief systems. People think just because they are passed to the Spirit world that they become completely aware of things.
They don’t immediately become enlightened.
JVP: Exactly. Some souls on the other side of the veil will open up and expand and change if they are willing to. If they feel a desire to open up to another way of thinking, they will do that. They will come to demonstrations, when we have group readings, for a couple of reasons. Number one is the bond of love between themselves and their living person on the Earth. It’s also a way for them to learn that communication is possible, that their relatives can hear them through a medium.
I tell the audience many times that we are here together, and you might think that you are here for yourself to receive a reading, but really you are here maybe for the highest good of the Spirit world. This might give the people in the Spirit world the opportunity to come through and to have a last chance to say, “I’m sorry,” “I love you” or “Forgive me.” Let’s say there was a man who did not express his love to his daughter when he was alive and when he passed into the Spirit world he sees, “Oh, God, I didn’t do this and look at how it’s messed up her life. She doesn’t trust men, she doesn’t know about love. She doesn’t know herself how to express love because I didn’t tell her I loved her.” This is just a hypothetical. So, this father now is stuck in a condition in his mind that he has to forgive himself for what he didn’t do or say or express to his daughter. So being at a demonstration might give him, the spirit of that man, the opportunity to come through now and say, “I love you. I’m sorry I didn’t do this when I was alive. Please forgive me.” And it might free him up at the level he is at to move on and evolve.
Do you think that happens a lot?
JVP: I think it happens more than we think. It’s an interesting perspective, because people don’t think about that. They think that once they’re in spirit, then they are free. Well, it’s not true, because of certain conditions we create on the Earth and mindsets we carry over with us. One of the first things that happens when you leave the physical world is you have a life review and you see all the good things, the bad things, the indifferent things that you did to another person or things that you said or things that you thought. You see that, feel that, and hear that ten times, twenty times, thirty times stronger than you did while you were on the Earth. You are your judge and your jury, and you have to forgive yourself for what you said or what you didn’t say. So, in a way that can be your Heaven or Hell, depending on how you lived your life.
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