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Afterlife Conversations With Ken Kesey (and Others) by William Bedivere resonates as an authentic, luminous and inspired conversation with the famous deceased author

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

This is a slim volume of about 100 pages but is has the impact of a book perhaps 300 or 400 pages. It’s a major challenge to review because so many issues present themselves, sometimes even in a single paragraph.

In fact, I’ll go as far to say that there is “hidden” information encoded within certain tracts of this document – but am I going to discuss that? No way. (I’ll reserve that for the advanced class, another time).

Let me try to zero in here on a few things:

So this is a book in which author WILLIAM BEDIVERE has made contact with the afterlife personality of the writer Ken Kesey, most famous for his novels One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion. Both books were adapted to popular Hollywood films. Cuckoo’s Nest was a huge critical and financial success, winning the Oscar for Best Film in 1975, and several other Academy Awards.

Of course, Kesey’s other fame was that of counterculture icon status fueled by his high-profile LSD-soaked exploits that became a central element of the Hippy generation of the 1960s.

Kesey died in 2001 at age 66.

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Ken Kesey, photo by Brian Lanky

What’s utterly fascinating about this book is how the “Kesey Personality” at first comes on strong and feisty, spouting lots of groovy, wavy gravy pronouncements typical of hallucinogen-informed concepts and representing Kesey’s (early) lifetime personality.

He raves about the “War On Drugs,” framing it as a power struggle between the forces of evil (it’s the usual suspects: the government, CIA, establishment pigs, fearful fundamentalists, take your pick …) against those courageous Consciousness-O-Nauts who would dare smash the status quo by cracking the Collective Cosmic Egg of humanity with a selected line-up psychotropic kickers.

But then as the pages melt by, the Kesey Personality gradually recedes, giving way to a consciously expanded, yet softer Group-Mind Entity that continues to hold forth with mellower, yet profound transcendent concepts.

This transition is highly significant and provides an important insight into what all of us need to understand about the nature of our existence, who and what we are, the nature of the afterlife — and I’ll expand on this more in a bit.

But first, the big issue that must always been dealt with for manuscripts which purport to offer information coming from the dead is the question of authenticity. This is especially true for those readers who are new to what traditionally has been called “spirit writings” or “automatic writing” but in our New Age is more often called “channeling” or maybe just “after-death communications.”

This document conveys all the tell-tale signs of authenticity – that is – I’m satisfied that the author is in no way a charlatan spinning tails of pure imagination, or simply attempting to leverage his familiarity with Kesey’s works to create a narrative that merely parrots what a deceased version of the author might have to say.

One such marker of the bona fides is a measure of the author’s agony. In this case we can feel the nagging pain of Mr. Bedivere dripping off the pages. A plodding kind of existential angst smolders throughout, and even more so, a plaintive longing for … for … what is beyond … and for meaning.

Those famous lines from that George Harrison song comes to mind:

Now, I really want to see you

Really want to be with you

Really want to see you lord

But it takes so long, my lord

When you combine this painfully urgent need to know, to understand, to seek, to find, to discover, to explore – with the one of the worst sufferings of them all – self-doubt – then you get some measure of the intellectual courage it takes to take on these kinds of tasks, and where you find courage, you’ll find authenticity.

Again, the author demonstrates all of the above. (As novelist Rita Mae Brown said, “A writer cannot hide on the page”). So, I am impressed with an overwhelming sense that what we have here is a genuine afterdeath contact and dialogue with, yes, the “real” Ken Kesey – although I beg the reader not to over-simply who or what the “real” Ken Kesey might be.

After our physical body dies, the consciousness that is the ego-based personality survives. NASA physicist and early MONROE INSTITUTE research pioneer TOM CAMPBELL calls this a “Free Will Awareness Unit.” (FAU) (I’m borrowing a couple of Campbell’s terms here because he has coined some of the most lucid and descriptive jargon for all of this).

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Tom Campbell “It’s all just data.”

The FAU is part of or an aspect of an Individuated Unit of Consciousness (IUC) – this is the aspect of the person who “operated” the FAU while it was “alive” in physical 3-D reality. The ICU is not in physical reality, but in the nonphysical realm composed of Consciousness.

The IUC in turn is almost certainly a part of a larger organized system of consciousness that we might call an “Oversoul” (a more traditional term, not Campbell’s). The Oversoul if a kind of “group mind” being that encompassed dozens, hundreds, but most likely thousands of “people” or individuals that also once manifested in our 3-D physical reality as Freewill Awareness Units (people) here on our planet Earth.

And I could continue going “up the ladder” to higher and more complex organizations of consciousness, indeed, all the way to “The One” or “All That Is” – but that is a long journey indeed, so let’s stop here.

So when a medium, or someone like our writer William Bedivere, makes contact with a specific individual, in this case the famous Ken Kesey, he can at times be communicating with:

• That which was the Freewill Awareness Unit that was Ken Kesey.

• That which was is the IUC, the Individuated Unit of Consciousness that operated the FAU of Ken Kesey.

• Both the FAU and IUC at the same time.

• The Oversoul of Ken Kesey

• Those continuing upper levels of “Group Consciousness” organizations to which all the “lower” Ken Kesey elements belong.

• All of the above.

What is clearly demonstrated in this book is how the author comes to get a sense of this larger multidimensional nature of the Kesey personality. The “Greater Ken Kesey Consciousness Organization” (my term) slowly reveals itself as the pages go on from beginning to end of this book.

There is something important to point out here:

If we want to, we can focus our conversation with a deceased individual on communication that is strictly limited to just the Freewill Awareness Unit, or that which was the ego-based consciousness once manifested in 3-D, physical matter reality.

But can it be said that this “version” of Ken Kesey is the actual Ken Kesey?

The answer is mostly “Yes!” but it comes with this critical distinction, or perhaps acknowledgement:

The “real” Ken Kesey” has actually moved on to other, higher realms of consciousness. His mission on earth is done. He has little no reason to just hang around for years on end merely in the event that someone like William Bedivere (or anyone) wants to have a conversation with him.

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However, we can still have a perfectly legitimate communication with that individual we once knew as Ken Kesey, as he once was. That’s because we can connect with the sum total of the “data” that was once Ken Kesey – Tom Campbell calls this a “supremely complete probability record” of Ken Kesey.

This “supremely complete probability record” might be compared to a computer file that has been saved, but it is an utterly complete file that contains absolutely everything that Ken Kesey once was down to the very last atom, electron, neutron, quark – everything! So in essence, IT IS KEN KESEY – albeit a perfect “saved copy” of the original.

Let me emphasize, even though the “real Ken Kesey” has moved on, this “supremely complete probability record” that we can now communicate with is in fact Ken Kesey because it is an absolutely total, perfect and “supremely complete” copy of what was once the “real” Ken Kesey.

(Note: For an excellent discussion about the legitimacy of a “perfect copy” of a human being after death and “resurrection,” see this book: The Physics of Immortality, by Temple University Professor of Physics, Dr. Frank Tipler).

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Note that because the “real Ken Kesey” has moved on, the “Perfect Copy” of Ken Kesey that was once his Freewill Awareness Unit no longer has free will – although it can seem like it has free will because it can answer our questions based on an almost infinite number of probability choices.

For example, we can ask a question in 10 different ways with 10 different intents, and the FAU of Ken Kesey will respond differently to each one based on the nature of our intent and the way we ask the question. But left to itself, the FAU of Ken Kesey cannot innovate on its own because the “real” Ken Kesey has moved on and the FAU is now a “closed system.” However, innovation and free will awareness can“bleed” into the responses we get if higher aspects of the FAU get involved.

A spectacular example of this is the work of author FRANK DEMARCO He has engaged in extensive afterdeath conversations with the deceased writer Ernest Hemingway. It’s proper to bring DeMarco into this conversation here because Mr. Bedivere acknowledges DeMarco as the inspiration for his work with Kesey.

Bevidere is a reader of DeMarco’s blog, where he engages in ongoing conversations with a variety of afterdeath personalities. (Find DeMarco’s blog here: I OF MY OWN KNOWLEDGE.)

This includes an in-depth conversations with the deceased Hemingway. DeMarco has also published a book of his conversations with the great American author titled, AFTERLIFE CONVERSATIONS WITH HEMINGWAY. (See my review of that book HERE.)

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In my opinion — and perhaps DeMarco himself may not agree totally – the bulk of the information DeMarco is channeling from “Hemingway” is that “saved copy” of what was once the Hemingway Freewill Awareness Unit – although from time to time, “higher aspects” of the Multidimensional Hemingway do come forth to further inform (and innovate with free will) the communications between DeMarco and Hemingway.

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Frank DeMarco

However, most of the time it seems to be DeMarco’s intent is to keep his communication with Hemingway focused as close as possible with only the ego-based Hemingway we know from history. That’s because DeMarco is fascinated with commentary on the life and times of the “real, physical” Hemingway, and the specifics of his body of literary works, his politics, beliefs, etc.

If DeMarco “intended” more or otherwise, he could certainly “climb the Multidimensional Hemingway ladder, so to speak. (And sometimes he does, I speculate).

The case is similar with this book on communication with Ken Kesey.

Another example I must mention is that of Jane Roberts, author of the famous Seth books. Roberts also channeled a book-length document in cooperation with a great deceased personality, that of philosopher and proto-psychologist William James, producing, The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher. The book is a masterpiece.

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What’s interesting to note is that Roberts was highly circumspect about just who or “what” she was actually communicating with. She speculated that she was not so much having a conversation with the “real spirit” of William James, but rather the existent and detached “World View” of William James, which was somehow stored out there in the greater realms of the Conscious Universe – this sounds an awful lot like Campbell’s model, the Freewill Awareness Unit.

ANYWAY …

Anyway, I have rambled on far too long, and yet, have not touched on even a fraction of the rich load of material and implications suggested by this intriguing manuscript.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Mr. Bedivere’s book is well written. And don’t be quick credit for the lively prose to Ken Kesey – far from it! I can guarantee that the credit belongs to Mr. Bedivere, but if I try to explain why, I’ll be off and running through several more pages.

I should also mention that are instances of true hilarity! In a couple of cases, Mr. Bedivere sees fit to ask his transcendent connection with an ascended great author incredibly mundane questions – such as what to do with a problem he is having with his taxes! Ha, ha! It’s great!

On another occasion, Bedivere asks for advice on what to do about some very typical marriage problems his daughter is having – and here Kesey coughs up:

a) A bit of non-advice, and,

a) b) A dollop of sensationally bad advice!

Oh man, it’s so funny!

Never discount humor as an important marker of authentic afterdeath communication, or the channeling of legitimate transcendent information. I’m reminded of philosopher Bertrand Russell who said that he was troubled that the Bible seemed to contain no humor, and at least for him, that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Holy Book.

Ahhhh … I wish I could go on and on … but it’s past time that I pull the chain (as they say in the Hood). Suffice it to say I consider this small book a gem, and authentic example of afterlife communication that bears reading and rereading, each time delivering a different set of insights to the open-minded, yet skeptical, but always intuitive-oriented reader.




Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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Maximus Freeman delves into his own psyche seeking the answers to spiritual growth

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

This book has an intriguing title, and it is aptly chosen because the author is attempting to dig into his own psyche, striving to uncover the greater meaning of what makes himself tick. He is on a courageous mission to find spiritual growth, but also to relieve the fundamental suffering that all human beings feel – what the Buddha called “the dukkha.”

The dukkha is the agony of the self. It’s that all-pervasive, undefinable pain and misery we feel that seems to come from everywhere and nowhere. It can be depression, it can be anxiety, it can be alienation, it can be a nagging sense of dissatisfaction, it can be loneliness, it can be persistent anger and contempt for others.

Many people today attack this suffering by reading the reams of self-help books on the market today. There’s never a shortage. Suffering is a universal phenomenon and wherever you find a universal problem, you’ll find hundreds of people offering a solution.

Like many people, the author has spent years in the New Age candy store, devouring the endless tomes of self-help gurus from all walks of life. He acknowledges the drawback of this approach. In the Prelude, he writes:

“Many books are informative and helpful, but usually within a week or two, I have forgotten most of what I have read and have resorted back to my old comfortable ways of being.”

His goal is to make this book different – more practical, effective, useful and leaving the reader with genuine tools that will get the job done – the relief of suffering and the discovery of greater spiritual meaning.

Does he succeed? Yes, in part, I think he does. His approach is at times brutally honest and sincere. His effort to penetrate to the fundamental elements of what makes us unhappy – and provide solid solutions — is downright heroic. MAXIMUS FREEMAN is clearly an author who deeply cares about his readers. He honestly wants to help you by showing how he tried to help himself.

He gets the job done partially with a lot of heavy leveraging of other self-help luminaries who are giants of the field – he quotes liberally from Gary Zukav and Dr. David R. Hawkins, for example. But he also dabbles in a bit of light channeling, connecting with a source he calls “The Universe,” from which we get insights in a question and answer format.

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Maximus Freeman

Mr. Freeman also serves up some of his own advice, some of which comes off as perhaps a tad “corporate speak” in flavor, as when he offers his “Mechanisms of Transformation” which he describes as a “six-step spiritual maturation process.”

I don’t give this book my tip top rating only because I set the bar very high in this genre. As we all know, entire forests have been cleared to accommodate the truck loads of self-help books published year after year, decade after decades.

Consciousness Archaeology, although a fine book, is not destined to become a classic of the field. The structure of the book is a tad disjointed and uneven. I also found more than a few points I might quibble with, which I won’t air here – but when a book is just a 100 pages, it should have that power-packed “this is a home run” feeling or “this is a small gem” aura, which it just doesn’t have for me.

For example, “The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment” by Thaddeus Golas is about 80 pages, and after reading it you think: “All my problems are solved! Everything is so crystal clear now! I’ll never have to read another book again!” Other classics come close this feeling, such as “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen or “Acres of Diamonds” by Russell Conwell – and these latter three masterpieces are available for free across the Internet.

Let me just say, however, that I would recommend anyone buy and read Consciousness Archaeology. The way it work for people who are seeking answers through reading a lot of books is this: You never know when you’ll find that one book that really clicks for you; something that just happens to resonate with you in just the right way at the right time.

Consciousness Archaeology may be the book you need right now that has that certain something you need to hear at this moment in your life – you never know.

Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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A small heartfelt gem that tells of life-after-death communication

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

This small book brought a tear to my eye, and also gave me goose bumps more than once.

It’s an honest, sincere accounting of a man’s experience of not just dealing with the death of his parents, but his real-life experience of establishing afterdeath communication with them..

Even better, it offers tantalizing evidence that when the physical body dies, the person does not. Call it what you want – the soul, spirit, energy body, higher self, mind – there is a huge body of scientific (yes, scientific) evidence that physical death is not the end.

Not only is there life after death, but we can communicate with the loved ones we have lost. They’re still there for us, they can communicate with us, and we can talk back to them. You just have to be willing to open your mind and reshape your belief system to accept that it is possible.

The incidents of afterdeath communication author Alexander Peters demonstrates in these pages proves to me that his story is authentic. I say this based on dozens of other books I have read by some of the world’s most elite doctors and scientists who have written about the specific nature of afterdeath communications.

These include: Dr. Gary Schwartz, Dr. Michael Newton, Dr. Pim van Lommel, Dr. Eben Alexander, Dr, Raymond Moody, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Dr. Brian Weiss, Julia Assante Ph.D., Dr. Larry Dossey and that’s just to name a few.

What all of these luminaries agree upon is that afterdeath messages from our loved ones often take the form of not just direct thoughts and actual words that are heard – but seemingly coincidental symbolisms which cannot be mistaken for anything else but a message from the departed.

As this book demonstrates, these symbolic communications can be things like a special song with lyrics containing just the message you need to hear – and that song unexpectedly begins playing on your radio just as you are thinking about your loved one.

Peters tells of amazing confluences involving his cell phone and Blackberry, the appearance of a special bird, the surprise appearance of gifts – and much more.

He packs a lot into this short book. This is obviously not a slick book written by a professional writer, but rather is an honest, readable account penned by an ordinary middle-class guy from a small town in England.

It’s a significant contribution to the ever-growing body of literature by scientists and ordinary folks alike who have come to realize — beyond a reasonable doubt — that life goes on after death. The fact is, our loved ones never leave our sides. Even after death, they’re still right there for us, and close by.

To find this book online, go here: MY MUMMY AND DADDY

Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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Talking to the dead: Medium Suzanne Giesemann insists on real evidence

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

This is a fascinating book because it is anchored by a story that seems almost too sensational to be true, yet the evidence would seem to indicate that it is true.

Author and professional medium Suzanne Giesemann also brings an added aura of credibility — her former career as a high-ranking U.S. Naval officer provides a sense of grounding – here seems to be a no-nonsense person we can trust to be level-headed, honest and highly responsible.

Before taking on the life of a professional speaker-to-the-dead, Giesemann spent 20-years in military service, retiring with the rank of Commander. She served at the highest levels; she was Aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Anyone not knowing her background, and upon reading this book, might peg her as among the most airy-fairy of New Agers. This book, Wolf’s Message, has it all – all the (seeming) New Age fluff it can muster, and more.

There’s channeling of the dead, communication with advanced collective beings, angels, psychic phenomena, trance states – and so many of the common accouterments of New Agers – power crystals, dream catchers, runes for casting, angelic clouds, mandalas, sacred geometry, Hemi-Sync CDs – it’s almost as if the author used went into one of those New Age trinket shops in a place like Sedona, Arizona, and bought `one of each,’ then worked them all into her narrative.

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Suzanne Giesemann

But the real foundation of this book is the astounding details surrounding the death of a young Plymouth, Massachusetts, man by the name of Mike Pasakarnis, who went by the nickname “Wolf.” He was struck dead by a freak lightning bolt.

Remarkably, this is the same way the step-daughter of the author died. Giesemann’s step-daughter was a sergeant in the U.S. Marines at the time. But that’s just one of the eye-popping confluence in this story.

The details of Wolf’s death, his prediction of his own death, the seemingly incontrovertible evidence of that, his after-death communication – it will all blow your mind.

I don’t want to give away too many details and ruin this read for anyone, but the circumstances of Wolf’s death, and Giesemann’s subsequent afterdeath communications with him, are intriguing, to say the least.

Note that Giesemann calls herself an “evidential medium.” That means she’s all about getting the hard facts – solid, undeniable proof that the voices she hears in her psychic head must be and truly are the spirit of the dearly departed.

It is important to note that this book goes well beyond the scope of merely communicating with a deceased person and passing on that information to his grieving parents – Giesemann uses the overall scenario as a platform to deliver up much wider, deeper and more penetrating spiritual lesson for her readers.

If you ask me, her prose is a bit over-the-top. Her style comes off as super-sticky-sugary New Agey schlock. Here enthusiasm is almost tiring – practically on every other page Giesemann reports being “stunned!” “astounded!” “awestruck!” “weeping with gratitude!” “blown away!” “blissful!” – the superlatives just keep gushing forth, as if a dam holding back a lake of Holy Water has breached.

But you know what? That’s okay. Suzanne Giesemann is clearly all heart. She’s a sincere-to-the-bone explorer of transcendent realms. She is driven to bring us a message of unstoppable, monumental cosmic hope. Why hold back?

I encourage everyone to get this book and be prepared to be “awestruck!”

Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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The ghost of Ernest Hemingway: Still eloquent in the Afterlife

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This is the second FRANK DeMARCO book I’ve read. The first was “A Place To Stand,” and I think anyone who reads both of the above will be sufficiently impressed that here is a guy who not merely another frivolous New Age writer raving from the fringe, or some person seeking to capitalize on the name of Hemingway merely to sell a book.

This is an intelligent book of substance that should intrigue long-time Hemingway fans, and give us pause to consider the implications of what it might really be like to have a one-on-one chat with an American literary giant.

There is ample historic president for these kinds of books, in particular, Jane Robert’s (author of Seth Speaks), “channeling” of the American philosopher William James. That book came out in 1977; James died in 1910.

Another famous example: Emily Grant Hutchings and a medium using an Ouija board took “dictation” from the spirit of Mark Twain to produce an entirely new novel, “Jap Herron.” It was published in 1916, six years after Twain’s death.

In 1869, a medium “downloaded” a fresh novel written by the deceased Emily Brontë; It’s presented in a book called “Strange Visitors” edited by an esteemed legal scholar, Henry J. Horn.

So DeMarco is backed by solid tradition, and the precedent of others who have written amazingly high quality books in this way.

Beginning in 2004, DeMarco, using the time-honored, method of automatic writing, made psychic contact Hemingway and engaged in a vigorous post-death conversation with Hemingway. The dialogue resulted in this book.

In it, Hemingway clears the deck on dozens of misconceptions he says numerous biographers and academics have besmirched upon his life, work and legacy over the years.

Not that he’s particularly angry or blames living biographers who, after all, only gave it their best shot. It’s just that, Hemingway says the game is rigged. Writing a truly accurate biography is fundamentally impossible. The deceased Hemingway tells DeMarco:

“To write a true biography you would need to do impossible things, such as:

* See and feel and think and react as the subject would have done.

* Contain within yourself all the subject’s background, including people, places, books he’s read, the news of the day (day by day), the daydream he had, the talents and aversions and every aspect of his personality.

* Know everything that had ever happened to him and some that happened only around him, and from multiple points of view.

* Know every strand that operated within him, and in what proportion and in what circumstances, including the tremendous amount he didn’t realize himself.

*Know at least something of why he came into life (or, you might say, what the potential or that particular mixture of elements was) and see how one thing could express only at the expense of others, and hence what tensions set up.”

That all makes sense, when you think about it. Certainly, the dead Hemingway has a knack for bringing an unclouded, common-sense kind of wisdom to vexing questions and thorny issues.

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Frank DeMarco

Another example: DeMarco asks Hemingway to explain something controversial the macho-man writer once said, that he would “rather beat someone up than read a good book.” (This in light of Hemingway’s well-known love of boxing and barroom brawling).

Hemingway, from his perch in the Afterlife, defends his statement this way:

“All right … who are you talking to? In this case I mean, what age Hemingway? The answer you’d get from a 20-year-old isn’t what you’d get ten years later, or thirty, or after-the-fact entirely … the whole point of living is not to be the same year by year, but to change — I didn’t prefer beating somebody up to reading a good book. Just count the number of people I beat up and the number of books I read!”

Still eloquent in death, Hemingway scores again!

DeMarco’s book is loaded with gems like these. Hemingway’s quips zero in like sharpened darts, hitting dead-on rhetorical bullseyes time and again.

If this is not the actual spirit of Hemingway speaking through DeMarco, then DeMarco himself is one clever wordsmith.

But wait a minute — DeMarco cautions us that just who is actually communicating here is a tad more complicated than you might think. Here is the way DeMarco struggles to define his trans-death connection with the deceased writer:

“I think you mean to say that Hemingway 1899-1961 and DeMarco 1946-20-whatever do not touch, and that I have been thinking that DeMarco-46 was touching the spirit of Hemingway-99, but it may be more accurate to say that the larger being of which DeMarco-46 is a part is communicating with the larger being of which Hemingway-99 is a part, and the two time-bound parts are having a sort of virtual conversation.”

In other words, most people assume that when you contact the spirit of a dead person, you are speaking to the exact person/ego-construct/personality of that same person when he or she was alive.

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Papa

But there is not a Person A = Person A situation vis-a-vis the live version of a person and the afterlife version of that same person.

After we pass over to the other side, we apparently expand our consciousnesses to embody the “whole self,” or perhaps “soul self.” We become aligned with the so-called Oversoul.

For the dead, the ego-self recedes into the background because the ego is actually an elaborate, artificial coping/defense construct designed to function in the environment of our earth-bound, physical matter reality. The ego is too often shaped by fears and desires, and is a reactor rather than an actor within a material system. Yet, after death, we can still operate from an ego-based platform if we want to …

What I really like about Afterdeath Conversations With Hemingway is that it reads not like the typical spooky and/or smarmy medium-channeled stuff, but as an insightful, intelligent and piercing series of observations by a savvy writer, who just happens to be positioned in the non-physical realm.

DeMarco’s book makes the extraordinary situation of speaking with the dead seem as commonplace as chatting with your Uncle Ned via Skype.

With dogged attention to detail, DeMarco combs through the issues that were the passions of Hemingway’s vigorous life — World War I, the Spanish Civil War, the American psyche, the artistic culture of Europe, big game hunting, deep sea fishing, writing and literature. Hemingway discusses what it meant to be an American, an emerging modern man in a nation straining to become the next superpower.

What about his suicide? Hemingway is actually rather blasé and dismissive of the whole issue. He called suicide “the family exit.” Hemingway’s father committed suicide, as did his brother, Leicester, and sister, Ursula. The dead Hemingway says of his suicide:

“When I left the body — when I blew myself out of that situation — I knew what I was doing, and why. I wasn’t emotionally distraught, I wasn’t out of my mind, and I wasn’t even depressed — once I figured out how to get out … the bad effects of suicide have a lot more to do with attitudes that with the given act.”

After his death, Hemingway tells DeMarco that he now manifests himself in the spirit world as a 30-something-year-old.

“I went back to being in my mid-thirties,” Hemingway said. “I was happy then. I’d taken my lumps and I’d already left Hadley, (first wife Hadley Richardson) which was a stupid thing to do but there you are, and I was in the prime of life.”

The bottom line: This is a marvelous read, well worthy of five stars, and gets my top recommendation.

Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

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