This is an interview with August Goforth, Author of “The Risen.”
I’m delighted to host August Goforth on Powered by Intuition. I read his book and found it fascinating and informative. If you are interested in going deeper in your understanding of the afterlife I highly recommend reading it.
It’s apropos that I publish his interview this week with Valentine’s Day just around the corner as “The Risen” is also in part a love story that continues after the physical death of Timothy Gray, August’s former life partner.
1. August tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in a remote area of the northern Appalachian Mountains. It’s still mostly near-impenetrable primitive forest, because the land is government-protected and will never be developed: It’s exceptionally beautiful and even dangerous in places. My father’s family, along with two others—each a particular small informal sect of what’s more formally called Amish—built the first church, a one-roomed log cabin there almost 200 years ago.
When my grandfather married an Irish Catholic, everything changed—I was taught by nuns and was the church organist from the age of 12 until 19. The sisters were good people but all of the superstitious nonsense they professed went right over my head, and instead I went into my own private trances whenever in the church—which was often—and probably how I developed as a contemplative medium. My father’s mother was known for being deeply religious and quietly known for what we would today call “automatic writing.” I was told that she would “get very still” (i.e., trance) and sit at the kitchen table and stare out the window while she wrote “inspirational poetry”—nobody was allowed to talk to her when she did this. She was a devout Irish Roman Catholic and transitioned when I was two. I often heard her referred to as “a healing saint” by many of the older villagers as I grew up.
My maternal grandfather’s family is said to be directly related to Victor Hugo—who was a medium himself—and my grandfather was the village dowser. They came from Germany, where Victor had expatriated himself. In spite of such a grand connection, they were quite unsophisticated and barely educated laborers. My grandmother was extremely high-strung and distrusted her strong psychic abilities—she was known for causing glass objects to explode or fall off shelves upon entering a room. She had many sisters, all who knew how to cast spells for healing and controlling certain weather aspects.
My special memories are of clearly seeing “spirit people” at family functions, especially when we had dinner at her house. While we ate at the huge table, they sat on the extra chairs along the walls. They were always wearing coats and hats, whatever the weather, and never spoke but always watched me intently and sometimes smiled and winked at me. I began insisting that the chairs be brought to the table so they could sit with me, and sometimes the grownups would actually do this for me. I never felt they were humoring me, but just somehow they felt it was the right thing to do. Or maybe they were afraid not to.
I lived with my parents in a large Victorian house that was already 75 years old when we moved into it. My grandmother would often manifest to me when I was alone in my bedroom, somehow fitting into a tiny rocking chair meant for children, silently watching me play, never speaking. I was a very solitary child for a few years until siblings began to show up, but never lonely. My best memories are of being in the huge brass bed at night, listening to independent voices talking and singing to me in the dark. After I learned to read at an early age my Risen companions began manifesting books which floated and glowed in the darkness above me, which I would read aloud with them as I lay with my head on the pillow, looking up. I can’t recall what the books were about, but there were colored pictures that moved. My guides tell me now that they were lessons about kindness, sharing, humility, and things to make me laugh. The voices eventually stopped as I got older, and I miss them.
Both families were very quiet, reserved, and quite unexpressive about “odd” things. But looking back, I see there really was a very strong shared psychic connection between many of them, which allowed them to experientially know what was going on, and so there was no need to discuss things—just lots of knowing looks but not a lot of smiles. I never heard the word “medium” until I got out into the world years later, and even then didn’t identify with it for a long time—not until Tim manifested when I was almost 40 years old.
Much of my childhood might sound idyllic and some of it was, but if I’m to be completely honest there was a great deal of unnecessary cruelty and suffering in too much of my life then. If not for the Risen people who intervened to teach and comfort me, I doubt I would have made it past the age of 17. I never fit in where I grew up, and on the rare times when I took college friends there they would wonder aloud how someone like me came from a place like that. When I didn’t answer, they would silently mouth to each other, “UFO.”
My immense love of knowledge and reading, combined with an insatiable, courageous curiosity about everything has led me on many wild and wonderful steeple chases over my life, which have rewarded me with several academic degrees and certifications, including art history, painting, journalism, music, herbalism, clinical social work, clinical psychology and shamanism, eventually resulting in finally hearing and answering my present calling as a psychotherapist.
2. What is contemplative mediumship? How does it differ from mental mediumship or channeling?
I’m so glad you ask a question like this. I’ve done much research to try to understand the mediumistic experiences of others, and I’ve amassed a library of several hundred books on the subject, many over 100 years old. Far too many of the books by research scientists treat mediums as some kind of lab rat, or even an object, like one of those robotic gypsy fortune teller machines sometimes seen at carnivals—meaning mediums were never considered to be real people, but instruments to be used by others, including scientists, and in especially insensitive and even cruel ways. Nobody seemed to care to ask mediums what their internal experience was like, about their feelings, worries, hopes and fears. This is what I want to know when I read such books. It can be quite difficult to give exact explanations about what one’s own mediumship is like, so this may partially explain the lack of material on many medium’s personal experience and insights, but still, researchers seemed to care more about their data and less about the person—although finally this is changing for the better.
I ask that anyone reading this remind themselves that words and labels are not the things in themselves, and so my definitions are not the final word about anything—the authority with which I use them is wholly my own. My experience of spiritual contemplation emerged during my childhood, when I spent so much time in the hushed stillness of the deepest forests and in the quiet echoes of the many churches nestled there in the mountains, which were often empty and became important as refuges of nourishment. I found validating solace in the writings of certain Christian contemplatives—although I didn’t and don’t identify with any particular religion—but these were the writings I had access to at that time. I’d like to quote from our book:
“It is out of …(the) ever-flowing fountain of contemplation that my intuitive and mediumistic senses have evolved—the innate knowing that arises from my soul’s connection with the earth’s spirit, as well as that which has its eyes and ears ever attentive on Original Creator Source. These connective perceptions of a contemplative self neither need nor seek worldly recognition. The only seeking involved is that of an attentive awareness that is open to serving others. This expression of openness is what attracts the higher light-filled vibrations of the Risen…”
I also refer to my experience as a type of intuitive mediumship. One of my personal definitions of intuition is that it’s a form of communication with Authentic Self—a metaphysical and mystical experience. I see it as a kind of prayer-without-words, where information from the Risen and from those beyond Risen dimensions reaches me through spiritual inspiration. Awareness of such intercommunications depends upon the degree of one’s receptivity. Intuitive experiences may be brief and fleeting, but we can learn how to extend them to be in prayerful thought and communication for greater lengths of time.
So contemplation is the entering of the doorway within, and then following the trail of some inspirational phrase or idea; “for thinking makes it so,” to follow Shakespeare’s musing. This trajectory eventually trails off into places where words cease to exist and another mental way of being in the universe replaces brain thinking. I find myself at a final doorway—someone in a Risen realm has sensed me coming and now stands on the other side of the door. I often hear a gentle knocking, asking permission to join me. The Risen always ask—the knowing of this is be a kind of test about who or what is there—but if we are not aware of this aspect, or not listening for and to their knocking—whatever form that may take—the door will not open. And it should never be forced.
Beyond the door is like entering a cavern of enormous space—infinite, actually, where the openness is one’s spirit heart, eyes, and ears, and the feeling is one of relief of coming Home. The silence then becomes the background against which the Risen and other non-embodied entities can project light and sound, which manifest as feelings and images. When felt, these feelings cause something within me—or maybe it’s just all me—to vibrate back in resonance. This is felt by the Risen, who respond with still more feeling. I often use the word “commune” instead of “communicate” because the experience is much more than just having a conversation with someone. It’s a sharing and merging of presence, of mind and spirit in an integrative way that goes far beyond a mere dialogue of words. Because there is no time and space in this shared communication—or “communion”—there is no conceivable limit to the amount of information that can be shared—which I refer to as “info-spheres.” (At the end of these questions is a detailed definition of info-sphere.)
But still, there are no words or mental thinking—yet. Resting in this immensely quiet state of mind also stills the chattering ego-mind, which otherwise tends to cause all kinds of interference and confusion with its fearful and judgmental comments. Eventually, maybe quickly, actual words or phrases from beyond the ego-mind begin tricking up, like bubbles in an underground pool. I initially respond to them best with mostly feelings, and then my calmed brain begins to be able to accept the information coming through the right brain without left-brain interference. Dialogue between me and someone Risen has begun.
Because this is primarily the state from which I received the transmissions from Tim and others for the material, it can be seen that the book is contemplative in nature, and therefore the best way to read it is by slowly letting it lead you as you read and savor each phrase. This will be very hard to do is you have your own expectations and agenda to begin with. In truth, the entire book was constructed—quite literally—so that each and every page, paragraph, sentence, and word is positioned in such ways as to stimulate very particular vibrations in the reader. There were strict rules that I had to follow about how to place words, end a sentence or a paragraph, and where to put a page break so that even if the reader is not thinking about the words, their eyes and then brain still perceive a spiritual shape or pattern. The pattern is the shape of the first door in.
One clairvoyant reader noticed something unusual as well, which might be called the book’s “landscape of resonance.” The peculiar aspect centered on a particular paragraph—although there were many others—which seemed to literally and physically project out from the page surface, as if three-dimensional. I had also noticed this phenomenon which reminded me of a raised relief topographical map, such as geologists use—but then I know how to look, having been so intimately involved with the material from the beginning. It was clea, that we were seeing this “landscape” from some kind of spiritual sensing perspective, perhaps clairvoyantly. Because this was a first for this reader, it might be surmised that the book stimulated the emergence of this ability.
[Incidentally, this exquisitely careful construction of the book is why I encourage anyone who wants to obtain it to get the printed copy rather than the e-book, and they will see why we call it a splendiferous looking thing. The entire book, including the cover, the design, the different typefaces, were all chosen specifically by the Risen to stimulate existing and latent spiritual senses of each reader. Many people have reported back that this actually happens. The least expensive print copy can be found at a link at our website. ]
The contemplative way of being is actually a prayerful way of being, and so, among many other things, the book is a book of prayer as well. Most people are not inclined in this way due to their own beliefs or unbeliefs and thus find it difficult to relate to, or resist relating to the book’s material. One of the main backbones of the book is the element of dialogue—as its title says—which is a conversation. There are many conversations in the book—and not just between Tim and me, but many others. The book actually becomes like another person present there with the reader, and a dialogue begins between them. Where it goes is up to the reader, for the book was also designed to change as the reader changes. Tim says it is primarily meant for the future, and so it seems to me that those who do find some kind of significant connection with the book are probably ahead of their time.
This aspect of contemplation further defines the differences between communing and channeling—the former is primarily a 2-way passageway, and the latter is predominantly only 1-way. Many mediums these days can be described as “mental mediums” because the communications they receive take place primarily on mental levels. Mental forms from the Risen draw near or enter the mediums’ minds, which their physical brains then try to interpret into spoken or written words. Because many varying factors are often impossible to control or predict, transmitted mental messages can be quite difficult to interpret. The Risen must lower their higher vibration in some way in order to make sense on a human level, while mediums must raise their own vibration. Because many mental mediums are also gifted intuitively, they can access and comprehend messages on the deeper levels of the subtlest of feelings. These feelings carry much information in multi-leveled ways. Having a rich life experience and being knowledgeable about many different things is also very useful for mental-intuitive mediums in their work.
Another useful term appropriate to all mediumship is discernment, where the medium utilizes mental faculties, hand-in-hand with intuition, in order to arrive at a place of penetrative insight. Discernment takes interpretative aspects to higher, fuller levels of intuitional knowledge. At these levels the medium’s insight into spirit realities can be most penetrating, indeed.
I also have tendencies toward physical mediumship, something much rarer in modern times, although there is evidence of it increasing again as the twenty-first century unfolds. This is where actual physical manifestations of Risen energies materialize, usually in the physical presence of the medium. Certain Risen Ones are able to make themselves known in more direct material ways, from appearing on the earth plane in a visible, tangible body to other materialistic phenomenon involving energy in the forms of light, sound, and other physical elements. Tim and I have been involved in several Risen experiments concerning physical manifestations.
Many mental mediums are greatly gifted and can sense on various levels those who have recently transitioned and are still rather close to our earthly plane. Frustratingly, it appears that I am less able to do this. My physical, etheric, and astral bodies apparently vibrate at a particularly higher-than-average level. Not really much more than normal, but appreciatively enough so that my perceptions are expanded beyond the closer earth planes. I can often sense but not always clearly understand those in Spirit who are still relatively close to the earth. They actually have more luck by joining me on the astral planes during sleep and sometimes during trance where we can communicate more easily. This heightened sensitivity enables me to commune with those who have passed on to astral planes far beyond our earthly realm of existence, and even beyond Risen geographies.
When I initially realized my strange limitation, my first thought was that I should immediately begin to work to correct it. When I asked for help from Spirit in this, the wiser beings watching over me advised, “There is no need to move toward a place from which others are striving to move away.” So I was not to think of myself as limited at all—instead, I was already able to travel about less burdened in the higher areas of the Risen. Yet I still find myself frustrated at not being able to easily sense or connect with the newly-transitioned who are still closest to Earth.
Mental mediumship very often starts almost instantly with direct attempts as using brain thinking to start the dialogue, or at least to respond to beginning communication from Spirit. Often there is the idea that the Risen think as we do, so all we have to do is think at each other in order to communicate. Perhaps that is possible, but it is more difficult for me—although I can sometimes do it—but a lot of information either gets “contaminated” by the judgments of the interfering ego-mind, or “lost in translation” because of the many languages we carry in our head from moment to moment. For me, personally, such experiences feel like using a hammer to carve a delicate ice sculpture. I’d rather let go and float. The Risen do not use language or thought as we do, and it is very difficult for them to return to dealing with our primitive brain-waves and equally primitive feeling tones. If a Risen person is using human language and doing it well, this means they must be exceptionally gifted and even trained to do so. I am increasingly in a contemplative state much of the time, and I must note that it does not seem to be conducive to giving on-the-spot readings that are so typical of mental mediumship.
Mental mediumship and channeling seem to be more often compared than contrasted, and I do not formally consider myself a channeler in the way it seems to be meant these days. Here is how channeling is defined in our book:
“Channelers are individuals who, for various and often unapparent reasons, are utilized by other consciousnesses usually outside three-dimensional awareness, primarily for teaching and inspirational purposes. The channeling entities are usually from higher levels of evolved intelligence and compassion. Because they’re without material bodies, they’re primarily interested in temporarily utilizing someone else’s body, by borrowing their brain and voice, thus enabling them to speak to embodied beings. The channeling entity is almost always seeking to impart spiritual information, and often has never been human, in the sense of having lived on Planet Earth. Of course nothing is written in stone about this and any and all possibilities are endless. While in an altered state of consciousness—or trance—channelers may be completely unaware of the experience as it’s happening, while others are more or less aware of what’s going on through their physical and spiritual senses.”
3. Briefly tell readers what “The Risen” is about and who, aside from you, are its authors?
I fully embrace the belief that life is meant to be easy, so will answer using some extracts from the handy description at our website and the book itself. Many find the book’s density difficult and frustrating, but we ask that they think of the story of someone sitting outside the imposing door of a monastery waiting to be let in, and how that works out. For others we recommend, as suggested in Alcoholics Anonymous, “Easy does it” and “Take what you need and leave the rest.”
The Book. There are many extreme differences between the Risen and the non-Risen, and this book was manifested to attempt to introduce ideas, ways and means to understand and even change some of those differences … to become more (quantum) entangled with the Risen, and to realize how entangled one might already be.
The book is also about grief and loss … (The Authors) know that one can be led to personally experience that grief can be transformed into joy, which is also a transition to a new life and way of living. This book is for those who have not yet fully shut down, but still open to change for the better.
Many of the primary differences between the Risen and non-Risen are psychological, or more precisely, psychospiritual in nature. This book could be seen as a kind of “psycho/spiritual/logical” textbook and guide that introduces perhaps very alien Risen behavioral and developmental concepts about what a human being is, and the mental and emotional aspects that are interfering with being psychologically free enough to dispense with fear, in order to then spiritually connect with previously hidden or unsensed realities and other aware, alive, conscious beings in those realities.
It took August nearly 8 years of almost-daily endeavor to help the Risen group bring this book into this world, and he also has had to struggle with new concepts while letting go of old ones. Putting it into comprehensible written language was probably the greatest challenge of all, as the Risen do not use words as we do, if they ever use them at all.
The Authorship. The Risen Collective, which has been the primary force behind the orchestration of this book, is composed of over 1,500 non-terrestrial beings, plus inestimable terrestrial devas of various ranges of intelligence, status, self-awareness, and time-spans. All are colleagues in a cooperative of higher-vibrating multidisciplinary groups, which reside in spiritual geographies outside the normal range of terrestrial psychic access. This collective includes educators, scientists, healers, philosophers, and artists from multicultural and multi-temporal backgrounds of Earth and of other dimensional systems, and who have an intensely committed interest in the advancement of communicative relationships with those still embodied on Earth and in other dimensional systems. In turn, they are contributing this service under the direction and auspices of an even higher-vibrating gathering, The Risen Assembly.
4. Explain why you say that “all of existence is a spiraling adventure that is open-ended, never finished, and undying?” (p.20, 39)
People seem to instinctually view life as history, and history as an adventurous series of cycles, with the same themes occurring over and over but presented in different forms manifested by the cultural and socio-psychological dynamics of that particular era. This is really a mental misperception and the sensed—and even feared—aspect of “return” gives us a sensation of a circular movement, or of “There is nothing new under the sun.” One metaphaphysical meaning of this saying from the Bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes hints that our human brain will project and perceive in limited ways while we’re on this planet and under its sun, which goes around and around and around, never deviating—unless we rise in some way above the usual way of seeing and experiencing life on the planet. Doing the same thing over and over, however seemingly novel, no longer feels like an adventure and so tends to get tiring and boring, like going around and around on a carousel 24/7. This is a mentally 2-dimensional perceptual experience of space and time, and most likely comes not from true higher-dimensional intuition, but from the instinctual mental limitations of a human brain, which cannot always see the forest for the trees nor the galaxy for the stars. Here, “instinct” is meant as a mentally unconscious physical reaction that arises from the nerve system of the body—which includes the mental mechanisms of the brain. “Intuition,” however, is meant as a spiritual response that includes instinct but also information from fields of awareness beyond the consciousness of the body. Intuition can also be conscious but is typically not as such in modern man, and is now primarily and unfortunately a latent ability awaiting to be awakened. Some refer to this process as kundalini, the awakening of the sleeping serpent or the Orobouros.
In his book Tertium Organum, P.D. Ouspensky, the Russian esotericist who studied and expanded on the perplexing teachings of Gurdjieff during the early 20th century, presents an amazing little diagram on what is really happening when this circling is seen from a higher (or risen) dimensional perspective. We commented on this in one of our blog postings from 2006, Everything There Is To Be Known:
“The Ouroborus of cyclicality, the serpent devouring itself by its tail, the constant re-manifesting of self (not Self), is the seemingly eternal return, and perceived as cycles that begin as soon as they end—nascentes morimur—”from the moment we are born, we die.” Ouroborous is an archetype—an idealized model—a belief—of patterns, copies, emulations. That is, we return to the familiar, known and assumed, while attempting to resist or flee the unknown and the unassumed.
“At this point, the fact of time—briefly, however, unfortunately, a bit densely—must be brought in to impress this discussion in such a way that the two-dimensional aspect is carried through the third and into the fourth dimension. Brought into relief like a repoussé design, it will still be deficient as only an impression.
“… because of the complexity of any conversation about dimensions and time, and self-imposed limitations of my own space and time, see the original chapter VI, page 59, in Tertium Organum.
“To simplify this and to incorporate the idea of Ouroboros, keep foremost in mind the image of a coiled serpent—which is a spiral—and which is also a key symbol by which the collective Risen authors intended to codify their book, The Risen. Above is an illustration used by Ouspensky to show the motion of a being, living a two-dimensional, cyclical (circular) existence through time, while the dimensions of three and four continue on around the being, who is in total unawareness of the other dimensions in which it moves and has its being. The being is actually a point on the line of its existence, and this line is generated as it moves through space. The drawing shows how the line becomes a spiral as the point moves through time.”
Confused yet? That’s good! For confusion is often the first sensation in waking up into a larger dimension, like coming out of deep sleep into a light-filled room. Paraphrasing The Risen, the spiral, like the moving circle through time, is the actual experience of Life—that all movement is, in fact, Life. There is evidence of this spiral everywhere in our physical existence— in pinecones, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, water spinning in a whirlpool, the shell of a snail, the winds circling the earth, the movement of blood through our body, the shape of DNA, the dancing of galaxies and people. So Life is a spiral—a relationship of matter, time, and space that leads to a continual transcendence of them. Life means change, which is transition. Our greatly slowed-down existence on Earth often seems to be a maze, wherein a human being seemingly struggles alone along an unknown path, while trying to discover one’s center. Yet it only takes a change in perception to realize we are never far from “the spiraling adventure that is open-ended, never finished, and undying.”
Very early on in the book, the Risen call attention to the spiral as a way of helping us begin to understand that we need not fear or struggle against transition:
“We will each begin this transition in our own unique way, and then we will awaken as a Risen One into a new world. Instead of continuing to manifest as a seemingly isolated island encircled by a sea of unforgiving loneliness, a new life-spiral and a new way of being will emerge. As these new beings, we will rejoin all whom we have ever loved and who have loved us, including many old and new friends and lovers. We will emerge as an integral part of an infinitely spiraling community of like-minded others, to dwell in ever-present joy, learning, service, and love.” (p. 7)
5. In “The Risen” you recorded your actual conversations with Tim. Can you share the process for how this information comes to you word for word? (p.46, 53)
There is so seldom the experience of “word for word” in the way that you and I would communicate that I will venture to say that it’s not immediately possible in the way our limited thinking might wish. Much of what I shared about the contemplative process conveys the idea, which in my case was often prolonged and sometimes agonizingly slow when the information was being transmitted first by the Assembly, then to the Collective, then to Tim and his colleagues, and then to me. When information was coming just from Tim it was much easier. But as a talented writer and book editor on Earth, and a gifted word-smith, he was not about to let me get away with just any old word. Like many who are in love our relationship was often one without words, and still is and even more so. Earlier I noted that the Risen do not use thinking or words in the way we do—in fact, they don’t use words at all. So we had to develop ourselves individually and then together in order to learn how transform non-words into words, a process I dubbed “communing” and “discernment.”
Tim is one of only three others in Spirit that I will allow to enter and share my astral-etheric form in the manner that true channeling takes place, which enables me to produce words in a way similar to how an entranced medium’s vocal organs are used by Spirit. However, I insist that it must in a way that I can consciously participate, so it is like being in a deep trance but on a consciously aware level. Many years ago a very successful professional hypnotist who entertained on stage became a good friend, and came to the conclusion that either I’m in a consciously aware but deep trance state even when awake, or in some other heightened state that was beyond his experience and outside the influences of hypnosis.
So I actually hear and feel the vibrating energy we humans call words which begins on the most subtle, higher vibrating levels, which then stimulate the next lower-vibrating levels until they reach the physical molecular level of my body. Then neurons across the entire bodily nervous system—meaning the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as the endocrine system—become activated and produce some kind of light energy that carries information. The science currently termed “the new biology where mind and matter meet” has been able to verify and demonstrate the existence of these “biophotons” that are emitted and absorbed by our molecular systems and result in cellular intercommunication. Because of the brain’s neuroplasticity, if these processes are repeated enough new neuro connections grow, increasing brain density and thus achieving what we call transmutational connections between Risen and non-Risen. As in any learning process the activity must continue to maintain regular communication, or else the new neurocellular material will atrophy and cease to function.
And so my physical brain—which as a problem-solving organ is also a tuning and transmitting instrument—interprets the original Risen-emitted light signals that are now traveling through my embodied nervous system. The “field of Mind” which is individually mine and overlays my brain then discerns the interpretation and searches through the nonlocal library which is my memory for as near-exact a match for concept and language (nonlocal as is meant in quantum mechanics.) My mind then impresses the language areas of the brain with its conclusions. By the way, it is here where the problems caused by the interference of and undisciplined ego-mind begin. The ego-mind was designed and/or evolved to be a kind of filter for picking and choosing amongst the overwhelming amount of information incoming to the body. If we are letting it make such judgments without our awareness, all kinds of fiendish mischief will occur. Because Tim and I can merge our fields of mind, and have learned to quiet the ego-mind’s chatter, the resulting experience is rather like our hearing and saying the same words at the same time. Our simultaneous dialogue merges into a loving soliloquy, woven of many images, sounds and feelings.
6. You mention that “there are many more finely-defined bodily experiences than just the three [mental, emotional and astral/etheric bodies] –they’re actually infinite in number.” Can you tell us more about that? (p.27)
A main function of the book is to stimulate the reader to ask questions such as these, but without providing ready-made answers that would prevent them from “the spiraling adventure” it wishes to promote. More than a few readers already know that I will answer their emailed questions by directing them to try what the Risen suggest—which is to go within, get quiet, ask, and wait. This is not some kind of hasty evasion on my part but rather an unswerving response that directly acknowledges the fact of infinity, meaning that the further in you go, the bigger it gets, and everything you need is there. What I can initially offer here is to ask you to conceive of expansion, rather than confinement. In our book, a “body” is simply defined as any form through which the individualized self moves and functions on some level (p. 21). Many us who study such things are probably aware that the countless traditions and belief systems categorize the embodied experience according to their cultural belief systems. Some cite there are three or more bodies interpenetrating one another, while others focus more on hierarchal layers or planes of bodily existence, such as the oft-mentioned seven levels of the afterlife. These are not facts but effects, or manifested ideas based on the primal law of causation and effect—what one believes, will be. Some people are apparently able to sense and identify many more bodies than just those dictated by a culture or tradition—and not just in people, but in minerals, plants, animals, music, art, anything. The shapes and forms cannot be limited in an unlimited universe of unlimited physics.
When there is an interpenetration of body forms, where does one layer end and the next begin? Upon the closest of observation it will be seen that there are no hard or even soft edges but rather only merging—and so there is no beginning and no end. Here we have a startlingly clear and direct revelation of the Great Truth which has been expressed as “that which is without beginning or end” and which is also the very living existence of each and every one of us, or “Thou Art That.”
7. Different authors mention levels or planes that risen souls go to. You speak of “geographies” and maintain that they “share the same space with everything else.” Can you clarify the concept of “geographies” and give readers an understanding of where these planes are located?
Following directly on the heels of the last question, we will continue to keep the immense idea of interpenetration in mind while referring to what the book has to say on this concept. As noted before, labels like “planes” tend to be restrictive in definition, which is perhaps the intention in using such labels to begin with. They promote some kind of model of judgment that results in inclusion or exclusion according to some hierarchal plan. The Risen people that Tim and I have interacted with definitely acknowledge the existence of such separatist realms, with the understanding that they are not always necessary or permanent and serve some purpose to those who manifest them. The Risen Collective prompted Tim to share that “geography” is usually described on earth as an experience of Space-Time. Space appears to stand still while events are perceived to change by passing through it in a linear, timely way, manifesting impressions of past, present and future. Conversely, the Risen geography could be said to be an experience of Time-Space. Time appears to stand still, while space appears to change as one moves through it. Tim also used “geography” interchangeably with the notions of landscape, environment, and field (as in dimensional fields, or fields of resonance.) He demonstrated this in one of many information-packed phrases such as this: “This landscape is also the place I’m continuously waking up into. It’s a coming together, an assembling of the environment—or the ‘geography’ as you’ve put it. This continually manifesting environment reflects my awakening mind’s conscious awareness. This is the same as saying the environment is me, and I am the environment. My mind is my environment.” So time is one way in the geography where Tim is, and different in the time-space where he and I merge and commune.
Our book uses the idea of geography as a sort of umbrella term to denote an area of space that is identified by boundaries of any kind. Boundaries enable individuation to arise from the ground of un-individuated Source, and can be physical, mental, emotional, psychological, astral, etheric, luminous, shared, and so on. The concept of “many mansions” seems to be another umbrella term although one of stricter boundaries, if we are interpreting the word mansions as metaphysically intended.
8. “Just as there are Risen Healers waiting for a call for help, there are embodied Authentic Selves ready for service. All are seemingly invisible until one makes an inner request for help.” Who are the “Authentic Selves? How does one reach them? (p.87)
Did you ever find yourself in some kind of trouble, and instead of trying to fix it by controlling the situation, just gave up, accepted your helplessness and cried out to the Universe, “HELP ME!!” And then some angel in human form just happens to be there or show up a minute later and rescue you in some way? Did you ever turn out to sometimes be the angel?
Whether or not you were consciously aware of the divine response to your human problem or even of your own godly powers, such events are Real. They are not contrived, cannot be duplicated, are neither delusional nor induced, but “authentic.” Authentic Self is typically undescribed by the Risen and left to stand on its own. The only way one can understand it (i.e., “stand under”) is to consciously feel one’s own personal, self-authored reality of being. I’ve attempted to provide some insight about Authentic Self using some of the material from The Risen in the Definitions at the end of these questions.
9. Do the Risen eventually forget us and their human lifetime?
Some do not, while most do forget their old life on Earth—if not completely, certainly partially or imperfectly. It’s very much like when we don’t stay in touch with someone, eventually they fade out of our minds and then often out of our lives. It’s not much different for the Risen. Sometimes this is intentional because not everyone is necessarily interested in contacting those left behind on the terrestrial plane after their transition to a Risen geography. It’s noted in the book how the heightened reality of the Risen experience is so intense that many individuals quickly lose interest in earth and even forget they ever had a life there. Tim and others have told me that there are Risen who believe that their earth experience was all a dream—or a nightmare—from which they simply woke up. There are groups of Risen, including those who were once scientists on the earth, who maintain adamant skepticism that such a place as earth ever existed. When compared with their present reality, it simply doesn’t make sense to them and so they challenge others there to prove the existence of such a crazy-sounding place as “Earth.”
We see much evidence of this “amnesia” when discorporate people finally find a way to get in touch with us on Earth, primarily through mental mediumpship. They act very odd and unsure, unable to remember dates and places correctly—even their own name. It’s important to remember that unless they’ve been highly trained, as was Tim, lowering their newly-heightened vibration will be like someone’s first deep-sea dive. This experience has been reported by them as very uncomfortable, like “sinking into thick, muddy water,” or “being in a smoke-filled, airless room,” or as “a dimming and dampening of all light and sound.” The mental medium may also experience these same sensations by association, so their brain can become muddled and find it difficult to receive and respond. Further, Tim has shared that the Risen—at least those with whom he has interacted—do not need or use names to identify other individuals. And not only names of people, places and things, but many of the more abstract things we on Earth also take for granted, such as paid employment, insurance, money, disease and other fear-based “needs”—all which imply lack. Among many other things, the Risen eventually awaken to realize that there is no such thing as lack, and this, perhaps, along with the very different way they experience time, may be explain why they often can seem rather insensitive to our very real earthly worries and disabilities.
If Tim and I do not consciously work at maintaining contact with one another, we drift apart, the signal fades, the picture gets fuzzy. It’s very difficult for the Risen and yet-to-Rise to make contact, and then to sustain it—if it was easier, a lot more people would be experiencing it.
10. You don’t support the theory that we reincarnate. Why? What is your theory of how we progress and grow as souls if we do not incarnate again?
I don’t support it because I don’t need or want to. Tim knew I had no interest in even including it in the book, but The Risen Assembly did, and so he took on the assignment of researching and manifesting the final chapter, “The Pastime of Reincarnation” which turned out to be the culmination of all the previous chapters. (Shows just how much I was paying attention!) Because I do not feel that I could ever do it justice in my own words, I’ve made the entire chapter freely available online as a pdf document for any and all to read or download and save, and which can be accessed here.
But I will very briefly comment about progress and growth: They cannot be achieved backwards.
Tim also boiled it all down to three suggestions: 1) One’s reality is defined by three I’s: Individuality, Intensity, and Infinity. 2) Only one individual can claim that individual’s life experience. 3) When Original Creator Source gifts us with individuality, It always gets it entirely right the first time.
11. You have participated in several “liberation dramas” or what we might call “leading earthbound spirits to the light.” Can you explain why some Risen become earthbound and how you receive the call to “liberate” the? (p.195)
The phrase “liberation drama” is used to indicate an inventive psychological strategy which is often used when a person becomes so trapped in their transition that they can no longer think or respond in free-flowing ways because they’ve become a victim of their own fear and ignorance. The intervention involves “staging the scene”—i.e., a drama—in ways that will capture the victim’s attention and redirect their behavior in productive ways that will liberate them. The rescuers assume roles as if characters in a play, and also assign a role to the victim, who will more or less accept it and so will follow the “plot” as scripted by the highly skilled and resourceful interventionists. The entire production is aimed at freeing the imprisoned person from their current situation and moving them onto the next “stage” of their journey. Although the situation is fictionalized, the stage, props and characters used will most likely reflect aspects of the victim’s life on earth, so as to seem familiar and logical and non-threatening.
Fear of “death” and ignorance or denial about life after the event are the main causes of interference of a person’s transition from a terrestrial to a Risen geography, thus ending up “earthbound”. Any intensely sustained, deep, fear-based emotion, especially rage—but not anger, which is usually not strong enough—or intentions to harm through hatred will effectively: a) bind a non-corporeal person to the earthly target; b) act as an anchor to hold onto while refusing to surrender to the absence of terrestrial gravity; c) render the person blind, deaf and numb to the reality of their situation, and to many outside attempts to intercept them.
Until fear is lessened and they can begin to gain an empowered sense of their new reality, they will be trapped in a self-imposed limbo. They might even refuse assistance, most often because they are afraid and misinterpret the well-meant intentions of healers. Strong negative emotions branching out from fear will form barriers, creating a force of repulsion that prevents healers and Risen loved ones from being felt, seen, heard, or sensed in any way.
Many of us on the earth receive the call to assist in reaching the earthbound, although we may not be aware of it because it happens while our body is asleep, and thus will probably not remember it upon awakening. I often receive such requests while asleep, but sometimes can awaken while still asleep and attain a conscious awareness of what’s happening, and then retain a fair amount of memory of it upon returning to the awakened body. If I or anyone receives such a request from higher-vibrating healers for assistance, it is because we possess some special relationship to the subject, and so they might not fear or resist us, or due to some particular spiritual talent. My mediumistic abilities as well as my training in psychotherapy and shamanism are such abilities.
As some of my close friends know, this past summer I received such a request in the middle of the day while standing in my kitchen. My 15 year-old nephew had just been “ejected” from his body due to a freak shooting accident, and some Risen family relatives had been summoned to greet and escort him to his new geography. As the drama unfolded, they discovered at once that he had never given any thought to the possibility of survival, nor had any beliefs about it, and so was quickly decompensating from fear and confusion as he stood over his lifeless body while his best friend and parents were freaking out, unable to see or hear him. Further, because our relatives had all transitioned long before he had even been born, he had no sense of their presence and wouldn’t have recognized nor understood them if he had. One of my Risen aunts, a very spiritual and no-nonsense kind of person, was in charge of the situation which now had turned into a rescue dilemma—i.e. a drama. She called on me immediately for help, assigning me an intermediary role. There is more to the story, especially the exciting part where there were near-simultaneous validated spirit responses picked up by a mental medium and an EVP specialist, both on opposite sides of the globe—the details of which will be found in Isabelle Chauffeton Saavedra’s recently published book, God Consciousness. Synchronistically, her book’s forward was written by Dr. Melvin Morse, who also contributed the marvelous forward for The Risen.
12. Can you give readers an idea of what goes on behind the scenes in order for us (human beings) to have a physical encounter with a the spirit of deceased loved one or in order for them to manipulate something such as a telephone answering machine?
I don’t see how it’s possible, although I’ve seen it quite clearly with my own clairvoyance. But what I see has no “fit” within our dimensional geography—there are no words in our language to describe what I’m seeing. Sometimes I’m reminded of computer graphic animation that seeks to demonstrate what goes on inside a human cell—it doesn’t look like that, but the shapes and movements are so alien in appearance that it’s the feeling of “shock and awe” that’s so overwhelming. Tim tried to describe some of the “Risen technology” in the book in ways that I would comprehend, and which seemed very science-fiction like but not too hard to imagine. But later he admitted that the imagery is really symbolic, abstract and even metaphorical, in ways my brain can conceptualize and perceive. His actual direct experience was entirely different and outside my realm of comprehension.
I felt quite validated at a physical séance—one of several—that I attended a few months ago with Kai Mugge, when Hans Bender, the Risen scientist who controls the medium and the séance, remarked quite clearly that we should not even try to strain our minds to understand what’s going on “behind the scenes” because there is simply no way to “dumb it down” for us. Further surprising validation came when he commented that the physical manifestations that we were seeing—the lights, sounds, even the ectoplasm—were actually “side effects” of what the Risen chemist-technicians were doing behind the scene—something we actually mention in our book (p. 150). This suggests that the real results the Risen techs were achieving in their experiments vibrated at such a level that they could never manifest at our level of vibration. My full report of those séances—which is quite lengthy and detailed, along with Shannon Taggart’s historical photographs—can be found online here. The next report that Shannon and I will be working on is about some mind-blowing apports that had been coming through on a regular basis with a physical mediumship circle that met for a few years in upstate NY until it disbanded not too long ago. Hint: Michael Jackson and Thomas Jefferson.
13. What one thing or lesson stands out most in your mind as being an important take away from the book?
“Fear not, for Thou art forever free.”
14. Will there be a sequel and/or what are you working on now?
The book, The Risen, is meant to last all the way through one’s lifetime on Earth. It is a living text and will continue to reveal information as the reader evolves and is progressively able to understand more. It also simultaneously exists on at least two higher vibrating levels, which I guess could be called “astral” —meaning that the printed book can be a window or door to these higher levels. I don’t know about the e-book, although a few readers have reported that their kindles and nooks have acted up after downloading the book. So there is no sequel.
However, there is another book in progress, one that focuses specifically on the transformation of grief and is meant for the grieving. It is much less in length but still rather intense with info-spheres. I don’t know when it will be finished. There also appears to be yet a second book in transmission, which is very weird even to me, and seems to be some kind of mystical manual for achieving certain Risen sensibilities while still on the Earth plane. I don’t know what will happen with this manuscript yet.
* * * * * * * * * *
August Goforth, a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in New York City, is also an intuitive-mental and psychophysical spirit medium. Timothy Gray was a writer, editor, and photographer in New York City until he made his transition to his present Risen existence in the early 1990s. With two spirit teams known to them as “The Risen Collective & The Risen Assembly” they assisted in writing and manifesting a book, called: “The Risen: Dialogues of Love, Grief, & Survival Beyond Death—21st Century Reports from the Afterlife Through Contemplative, Intuitive, & Physical Mediumship.”
DEFINITIONS (extracts from The Risen)
Authentic Self. Authentic Self is beyond language and increasingly revealed as it is “uncovered.” This self-revelation happens as we regain control of the ego-mind and its simulate selves. “Know Thyself” is the open-ended answer to the question, an answer that appears only as truth reveals itself through our individualized Self of Authorship and its various states of emerging awareness. The core Authentic Self will inevitably recognize the feeling of its truth in its various states, thereby recognizing itself as an immortal individualization as it moves inwardly from any felt point, ever onward. Stilling the incessant criticism of the ego-mind will eventually result in an awakening to the Hidden Observer, who is already very awake but just seems hidden, simply because it is much quieter than the ego-mind. When no longer hidden from us, it becomes clear that this Observer is Authentic Self. It is a direct channel to Original Creator Source, from which all individualities arise. It is a direct channel to Original Creator Source, from which all individualities arise. What are the qualities of Authentic Self? If such labels could be found and described here, the ego-mind would attempt to simulate them into personality traits, which the unaware reader would then pretend to have.
Ego-Mind The ego-mind is an obsessively opinionated, decision-making psychological component of the earthly mind-body. When the feeling of Authentic Self has awakened, all thoughts can be observed, accepted, shelved, or dissolved from a consciously aware stance. But until then, the ego-mind is in complete control of any rising thoughts. The language of a malfunctioning ego-mind is tribal and therefore fear-based. It subscribes to judgmental concepts that use words and phrases such as “exclusive,” “special,” “restricted,” “fashionable,” “better than/less than,” “best/worst,” “superior/inferior,” “evolved/degenerate,” “elite/common,” “chosen/damned,” and “new and improved.” Gossip, complaint, and criticism are its food and drink. It is motivated by fame and recognition, and fueled by envy and competition. Insatiably seeking entertainment, “gleeful” and “gloating” best describe its sense of humor, which is delivered with jealousy, sarcasm, and resentment. The ego-mind loves competitive contests. It enjoys attracting and manifesting disasters. The ego-mind is future-oriented—it cannot wait, and it worries. It worries about worry. Its language, couched in suggestions, generates anxiety attacks. The ego-mind will seize upon the body’s minor aches and escalate them into mental terrors and fantasies about disease and death. The ego-mind prefers to begin speaking with “I think” and “I believe.” It developed the ritualized practices of “say please and thank you” and “I told you so.” Co-conspiring ego-minds are responsible for the inventions of money, business, politics, capitalism, socialism, spectator sports, organized religion and other forms of war games; journalism, art criticism, bumper stickers, body dysmorphia, racism, sexism, homophobia, genderphobia; so-called “reality” shows and other Nazi-like experiments; as well as the destruction of the rain forests. The Internet has been co-opted almost entirely by simulate selves.
Awakened Authentic Self, while outwardly aware of these insane aspects of the simulated world around it, remains inwardly undisturbed and at peace.
Simulate Self. Who are we communicating with when we are not communicating with our Authentic Self or with other Authentic or Risen Authentic Selves? For most of us, this would be the simulate self. This is the personality construct—or an artificial intelligence, so to speak—meant to be regulated by the ego-mind. These personalities are what we usually present to others while on the earth. We give them great value, and much energy is spent into making them appear as powerful and attractive to others as possible, which further increases a sense of separation. Trying to maintain a youthful appearance in spite of the aging process is one such example. “Clothes (car/house/job) make the person” is a typical expression of a belief in the power of a simulate self-concept that exists apart from others. In spite of the pain it causes, such separation is still believed to be highly desirable by most of our society.
Info-Sphere. Perhaps we can begin by reflecting Robert Monroe’s concept of a Related Organized Thought Energy, or ROTE, a kind of “thought ball of energy.” All the concepts encapsulated in this compacted energy form can be passed in one action from one entity to another or more. The information can be experienced and absorbed all in an instant, or stored for later access—a little at a time or all at once. It also possesses an organic, intelligent quality, absorbing new energy and changing from what it absorbs, producing more information. I sometimes see ROTEs clairvoyantly as balls of light, so I call them “light-information spheres” or info-spheres, if I have to call them anything. (For example)—Tim gave me a compacted, very complex, multi-sensory laden and layered educational recording with which I interacted. In an instant I experienced what Tim had experienced, and I now have a personalized, working knowledge of what Tim meant when he said he had looked into my astral-etheric experience. Info-sphere are a form of conscious intelligence, and learn and grow as they interact with other forms of sentience. They release more information based on needs, desires, requests and other aspects of evolution. It could be said that The Risen book is an info-sphere that is a collection of info-spheres.