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Think Like a Soul
How learning to think like a soul can relieve much of our suffering.
When I was writing my book, Answers About the Afterlife, I discovered from my investigation that there’s a difference between a spirit and a soul. I explained this fully in an early chapter of that book, but for the purposes of this topic, all we need to know is that there is a part of us that forever remains in the spiritual dimension, which I call our soul, and it’s detached from the drama and chaos we deal with as human beings.
What this means, really, is that the soul is forever reminded that we’re eternal beings; and because the soul knows this, it also knows that the purpose of a human life is simply to have experiences, preferably new experiences that the soul has never known before in other lifetimes.
Since the soul knows that any anguish we’re experiencing is only temporary (because every human life is temporary), the soul can remain detached from the emotional turmoil we’re enduring.
In my interview with near-death-experiencer Natalie Sudman, she described how her vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq, which became the catalyst for her near-death experience. As her spiritual experience was ending and she was waking up from her unconscious state, Natalie was essentially straddling the veil between the physical and spiritual dimensions. In her half-unconscious state, she became aware that her soul was enthusiastic about the possibility that she might be blind in one eye. When I asked why her soul felt excited about this potential permanent injury, she said her soul was excited because it had never experienced being blind in one eye in a prior lifetime.
If we understand that the soul remains detached from our human dramas, it helps us to understand why the soul gets enthusiastic about any new experience, even when that experience involves tragedy and suffering.
Natalie’s story became the most profound insight into our souls that I’d learned thus far in my investigation. Sure, the thought of a soul being excited about being blind in one eye can appear twisted from a human perspective, but my mind was instantly expanded by the paradigm shift. So many puzzle pieces came together at that moment, none more than the profound understanding that life is about having experiences, both positive and negative.
Contrary to the soul’s experience, when we human beings have a new experience that is challenging to us, many of us contemplate the myriad of reasons we should be fearful and worried. That being true, we also have the option to pause our anxieties and simply be present with the experience itself—to witness where it takes us. We can remind ourselves that we're eternal beings, for what that's worth, but more importantly we can remind ourselves that we're okay right now in this present moment.
For example, you're in a doctor's office waiting room for a serious health concern, and you remind yourself, "I'm okay right here, right now." Or you get into a minor car accident, and you can remind yourself, "No one is hurt. I'm okay right now." Or you can be waiting to find out about company layoffs, and you can remind yourself, "Whatever the news, I'm okay today, even this week, possibly this month." And so it goes, no matter what you're going through, even in the thick of the experience, you can think, "If this is the worst of it, I'm going to be okay, because I'm okay right here and right now."
The suffering that accompanies experiences like these is often more related to our mental projection of the absolute worst possible outcome. We catapult our imaginations into a future that may never come. We might be feeling pretty good physically, but our mind is imagining being on our deathbed. We might never have to experience the frightful story our friend told us or what we saw on the news; nonetheless, our mind takes us there for the imaginary experience. Sadly, our body and mind doesn't really know the difference between what's real and what's imagined, so our suffering is real even when it's just our fearful imaginings.
I'm not saying “thinking like a soul” is easy to implement. Heck, I certainly imagined all the possible worst-case scenarios when my wife, Melissa, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. I envisioned all the possible fearful outcomes of what might happen, even though they never happened. I'm only mentioning this because it's a valuable lesson I learned because my reaction to Melissa’s diagnosis increased my suffering. In other words, I learned from hindsight that I’d caused myself unnecessary anguish by imagining a future outcome out of fear.
The question I eventually asked myself was, “Why did I allow myself to imagine these worst-case scenarios, because I suffered more from my fearful projections than I ever did from what really happened.” And this was true for every one of my own health crises over the years as well as Melissa's. Only in recent years have I been able to catch my knee-jerk reaction to project my fears and, instead, remind myself that I’m okay in this very moment, so why not wait to see what happens? It’s a much better experience to pause my projections and simply wait to see how the story ends.
The only question we need to ask ourselves during a crisis is, "How am I right now?" If the answer is that we’re okay in the moment, why would we mentally imagine some awful experience that might not--and probably won't--ever happen anyway?
If you’ve read my books or watched Afterlife TV, you know that we’re eternal beings, so the truth is that we're all going to be okay in the end. Even mothers of young children recognized this when they were having a near-death experience. Despite having young children, many of these women begged to stay in the spiritual dimension rather than return to their human bodies. People later asked them, “How could you not want to come back for your children?” Their answer was always, “Because I knew everything was going to be okay for everyone involved.”
I don’t know if having the awareness that “we’re okay in the moment” works in every situation. Watching the news, I can’t imagine suggesting this to someone fleeing their country due to war or after their home just burned to the ground. But maybe that’s the point, isn’t it? Perhaps living in a war zone or watching your home burn down IS the worst-case scenario. These experiences fit among the horrendous circumstances that we tend to fear, like experiencing a plane crash, being told you have only days to live, or being a passenger in a car that hits a roadside bomb.
All that being true, I can’t help but wonder how it might lessen the blow if we had the presence of mind to wait and see what happens even in the midst of tragedy. Is it possible that we make even these unthinkable events worse because of our fears? Might the dying suffer more because of their fear of death? What might it be like if our plane was going down but we remained calm until the final impact? If we believed that death is merely a doorway home to a much more joyful and peaceful place—and I definitely believe this myself—how much suffering might we spare ourselves if we could remain present-moment minded in the face of such life-threatening circumstances?
This reminds me of a story I heard as a teenager. I believe my friends referred to it as, That’s Good, That’s Bad. There are many different versions of this story, but here’s the story as I remember it.
One guy says to his friend, “Did I tell you my uncle died?”
His friend replies, “Oh no, that’s too bad. I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s actually good. He’s no longer suffering, plus he left me fifty-thousand dollars.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“No, that’s bad. After taxes, I only had thirty thousand left.”
“Oh, that’s bad.”
“No, that’s good. I still had enough money to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I bought an airplane and learned to fly.”
“Oh, I’ll bet you really enjoyed that. That’s good.”
“No, that’s bad. I was stunt flying upside down, and I fell out of it.”
“Uh oh, that’s really bad.”
“No, that’s good. I was wearing a parachute.”
“Thank goodness. That’s good.”
“No, that’s bad. My parachute wouldn’t open.”
“Wouldn’t open? That’s got to be bad.”
“Nope, that’s good. There was a big haystack on the ground below me.”
“Thank goodness. That’s good.”
“No, that’s bad. There was a pitchfork in the haystack.”
“Yikes, that must be bad.”
“No, that’s good. I missed the pitchfork.”
“Thank God. That’s good.”
“No, that’s bad. I missed the haystack.”
My point in telling this silly story is that we can never know what’s going to happen next. Maybe it’s good. Maybe it’s bad. We can never know until we know. It’s true that some outcomes turn out to be the worst-case scenario, but most do not. This is why it’s wise to live in the present moment, because we really don’t know what the next moment will deliver. Quite often, what appears to be moving in a negative direction can turn into something quite positive.
I know a man who got fired from his job only to get hired into a new, better job weeks later. I know a woman who got dumped by her boyfriend and then later met her soul mate. I know someone who broke his leg and ended up writing a bestselling novel while recovering. It’s the adage that when one door closes another one opens. Sometimes we merely need to wait and see where the experience is taking us.
The point of this piece is that if we project our fears and imagine that things will get worse and worse, we might live that horror in our minds even though it never really happens. Later, after something new and more exciting comes from the initial bad experience, we wonder why we put ourselves through that suffering when the worst we imagined never happened anyway.
To conclude this thought, whenever I think in hindsight about some of the most challenging experiences in my lifetime, including a couple which involved immeasurable suffering, I have often shared with friends that I wouldn’t change those events even if I had a time machine. I wouldn’t want to re-experience them either, but now that the suffering is behind me, I can appreciate how it transformed me. I’m not alone in this thinking. Many people have shared with me this same attitude regarding their most challenging experiences. Being on the other side of it, they can appreciate the reshaping and transformation they gained from it.
That’s why I titled this, Think Like a Soul. Our souls always remain detached and simply wait to see where the experience takes us. It’s understandably easier for our souls than for us, but doesn’t it seem like an idea worth trying? Why live our lives thinking “that’s bad” when we can keep reminding ourselves that we’re okay right now, so why not wait to see where this is going? How much better might life be if we could live this way? We might actually end the story with a “No, that’s good. I lived happily ever after.”
I sincerely appreciate you reading my article,
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Bob Olson is the host of Afterlife TV, author of two books, Answers About The Afterlife and The Magic Mala, and creator of the reputable directory of vetted psychics and mediums, BestPsychicDirectory.com. His newest venture is Bob Olson Connect, a Substack newsletter where you can read his stories, listen to an audio of each article, and ask him questions or share your otherworldly experiences.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT (articles you might have missed):
Peculiar Stranger at 93 Townsend: A true story about an unexpected encounter that taught me a lesson worth learning.
Why I Went from Private Investigator to Afterlife Investigator: Events that became the catalyst for using my skills as a private eye to investigate life after death.
The Three Funerals (paid): The sequential guidance that ensued when questioning the purpose of my afterlife investigation.
The audio for this article here in the podcast area.