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FORWARD TO TOUCHED BY THE EXTRAORDINARY BY SUSAN APOLLON
Melvin L Morse MD FAAP
Foreward to Susan Apollon’s Book
It is been over 25 year since the publication of Raymond Moody’s classic “Life After Life” and yet we are just starting to learn the true meaning of near death experiences. Since that time there has been considerable research into the science of the experiences, who has the experiences, what sorts of experiences they have, and what we might expect about what the experience will bring in terms of transformations of the soul.
We have learned that NDEs are real. My own research has documented that not only are they real, but that there is an area in our brain, our right temporal lobe, which allows us to access the energetic patterns that make up the universe. We don’t have to wait until we die to have these experiences. Science has now validated information that mystics and psychics have known for thousands of year; that is that we all have the ability to directly communicate and receive spiritual inspiration from a source outside our body. There are many names for this source of spiritual information, and it presents itself in many different ways. For some it is a voice from “god”, for others it is a “gut feeling or a knowing”. The naming of the source, or the method of communication is not important. There are many names of this source of love and inspiration. As my six year old son Cody once said in frustration to me “but what is God’s real name?”. What is important is that we can trust that this information is just as real and just as valid as any other information that our brain receives and uses to create its model of reality. Spiritual intuitions and perceptions are just as real as math, and just as valid as the energy patterns our brain receives from our eyes to create a visual picture of reality.
The stereotype and popular misconception of these experiences is that they are beautiful visions of an unearthly realm. Those who have them are bathed in joy and light. All that is true, but misses the point of the experiences. These experiences empower those who have them by giving them the emotional strength to overcome fear in their lives. They learn that fear is the opposite of love, and that it is fear that often what keeps us from our true potential as human beings.
Understanding spiritual experiences requires an act of faith and courage. Our scientific understanding of the experiences can only take us so far. These experiences speak to us deep within our own souls, they often involve a “knowing” or a sensing of powerful forces beyond our understanding. When properly understood, they have the potential to heal grief and give us the strength to overcome depression, fear and anxiety. If we have the courage and faith to embrace them, we can use them to generate new understandings and meaning in our lives. These new understandings have the power to allow us to find our ultimate potential as human beings and ultimate happiness.
Unfortunately, far too many of us dismiss our own spiritual intuitions as crazy dreams, weird thoughts, or foolish ideas. As a Pediatrician, I regularly counsel grieving parents. Frequently they dismiss the powerful after death communications of their dead children, communications which contain seeds to heal grief, as “wish fulfilling fantasies” or hallucinations. As a medical scientist, I typically point out that science validates these experiences as real. Society does not agree, however, and far too often, we have no support systems or cultural context to use to understand these experiences. Society has not caught up with the science of the twenty first century. Our cultural myths trivialize our spiritual feelings and intuitions. Irrationally, they are considered the products of brain pathology instead of real communications with a “god” or a “loving light” or as one child told me “a light who told me who I am and where I was to go”.
Susan Apollon’s book “Touched By the Extraordinary” represents an essential handbook and guide to understanding our spiritual selves. It took extraordinary courage for her to publish it. Mainstream psychology specifically rejects using spiritual intuitions to heal the soul. “Intuitive Psychologists” are immediately suspect as they represent a new way of understanding and healing the human spirit. Psychiatrists and psychologists are more comfortable using medications to treat the grief. Spiritual visions as regarded as products of brain pathology instead of sources of healing and understanding.
Our society is in desperate need of new ways of understanding our spiritual selves. Touched By the Extraordinary is an essential source material for anyone trying to have a deeper understanding of their spiritual selves. It is beautifully written, drawing on story after story to demonstrate spiritual truths. Susan writes in the great tradition of shamans and teachers throughout history, using stories to help us to reach greater spiritual insights.
Susan started to write her book to help patients to better understand grief. She quickly realized that she needed to address greater issues of the nature of mind and consciousness. Soon she recognized that she needed an understanding of modern quantum physics and the science of spirituality to continue in her own spiritual journey. Only after her own personal transformation of growth and learning was she able to see life from an important new perspective. Her own development of her intuition led to a deeper wisdom that she shares with us in her book.
Touched By the Extraordinary is a gift of love and wisdom from Susan for all of us who are seeking new spiritual understandings. She tells remarkable stories of premonitions of death, after death communications, extraordinary encounters with angels, and of the healing power of prayer. She devotes two powerful chapters to stories from woman who lost loved ones in the events of 911. No one can fail to be touched by these stories of spiritual inspiration and compassion.
She uses these stories of extraordinary encounters to teach us how to develop our own intuitions and spiritual insights. Touched By the Extraordinary is a spiritual how-to manual, it is practical as well as deeply philosophical. Susan is not content to be just a story teller. She shows us how to develop our own intuition and spiritual wisdom. In scientific terms, I would describe her as a psychologist who teaches us how to use our right temporal lobe to communicate with a source of spiritual wisdom beyond our bodies. A more religious person might describe her as someone who teaches how to pray effectively to find inspiration from the healing light that surrounds us at all.
I personally was stunned and amazed by Touched By the Extraordinary. It is itself an extraordinary book. As a society, we are only just starting to learn how to fully use our brains to understand our spiritual selves. This book is an essential step in catalyzing a new spiritual paradigm in our society. Read this book. It can change your life.