‘Inventions’ are usually done not by one person in one place but simultaneously by a group, Adamus said in the December Shoud. Different people in different places may be working on the same idea or invention at the same time. The one who becomes known for a creation might be just one person out of a whole group of people, all spread throughout the world. Ideas are picked up and worked on by others and can come back to the person in another form.

In fact, this happened to me when I was studying sculpture at the Academy of Arts in Maastricht, the Netherlands. I was working on a project to develop a flotation tank from glass for people to enter and have the experience of weightlessness and sensory deprivation in the setting of a museum or gallery. I ended up not executing the tank. But interestingly enough, five years later two glass floatation tanks had ‘appeared ‘in two locations, created by others, exactly where I had visualized them myself. My friends said: “Oh, they stole your idea!” but I realized how others had just picked it up, out of thin air. Maybe like I had picked it up out of thin air myself.

Working on that project gave me the idea for my final paper at the Academy of Arts: “Virtual Reality and the Disappearing Body.” It was in the very beginning of the nineties, the time before wifi and cell phones and internet as we know it. Yet, in the paper, I talked about the new possibilities of virtual reality – the immense opportunities of experiencing a new freedom, the danger of getting lost in it and the disconnect with our bodies. Then I got a bizarre idea: what if…, what if … from that space of sensory deprivation, like I had experienced myself so many times in a flotation tank, you would be able to let technology serve you? What if it would be possible to communicate digitally to, let’s say, ancestors or the ones that have passed on or baby beings or anything without a body?

Little did I know that 15 years later this is exactly what would happen! The ‘idea’ had come back to me. In the meantime I had moved from the Netherlands to Hawaii and was living on the Big Island as a retreat guide. Right before that, I lived for a short time in Waikiki, where I had a love affair with a Hawaiian Indonesian man. In the short time Umberto and I were together, he had lost both of his parents in the aftermath of the 2005 Indonesian Tsunami. But now our relationship had ended and I was on another island, far away. Or at least so I thought.

It was on the first day of a retreat with two Dutch guests, in Kealakekua, when I got a text message on my laptop from his brother that Umberto had been in a coma for a few hours and had died. When I burst out crying, it happened: my laptop screen started to flicker, and then handwritten cursive letters appeared out of nothing on my screen – “Why are you crying?” I immediately knew it was him, and not only that, I was able to type back; we had a whole conversation that went on for about half an hour. The two eyewitnesses, my retreats guests, were horrified. But I felt an incredible calm and realized that I was now actually doing what I had written about fifteen years earlier: communicating digitally to the ‘other side’ in a calm, grounded way.

Umberto communicated that he was with his parents, he was ‘dancing in heaven’ and wondered why I was crying. Then he said: “They are calling me, all the ones that lost their lives in the Tsunami.” And I said: “You don’t have to follow that calling of your ancestors, you can choose to be alive.” To my amazement, he came back to his body and woke up, after being ‘dead’ for two hours. He called me on the phone right after and said, “I could hear your voice when I was on the other side.” “No,” I said, “I didn’t use my voice. Your letters just appeared on my laptop screen, outside any frame, and I typed back to you.”

He couldn’t believe it. He just heard my voice, and talked back. Then he said: “I saw you take a shower at 7.30, the moment I left my body.” This is when it hit me; I had taken an outdoor shower at 7.30, and in fact, I was thinking about him and our relationship that had just ended, this thinking turned into fantasizing, and this fantasizing turned into well, hmm, a whole sensuous experience. I was feeling him, really feeling him, and now it appeared that he had truly been there, with all that he was at that moment.

I know how absurd this may sound, but this was just the beginning. The beginning of a whole series of experiences of Umberto – entering a coma, over and over again, and sometimes crossing over, dying, and coming back, and in the meantime communicating to me on my laptop while I was on another Hawaiian Island. I often experienced being right there with him in his experience. He would describe the reality of his body in the hospital on machines, the thoughts of family, doctors, and nurses around him, a place he called the Garden, his depression, how he would visit his birthplace in present time and how it has changed. He would visit all these different realms, places that were heavenly and places resembling hell. He had predictions, such as the Hurricane Katrina that became reality, and even once talking about a strange president. But also he would describe what I was thinking and feeling, and the reality around me. Even to a hilarious point when I was taking classes at a school for clairvoyance and he would precisely describe my experience there. He could see how I was enthusiastically telling everybody about my experience with him and how the teacher denied it, telling me straight to my face that this is not possible and asking me to stop talking about it, since it was making the other students uncomfortable. “How clairvoyant can you be?” I thought. “Only clairvoyant within a box?”

What do you do with an experience like this in the world? I was always so in it with Umberto, it was so visceral that it never came to mind to “prove it,” to take a picture of his writing on the laptop or connect with his doctors or anything. There was enough distance between us that I didn’t want to take an expensive plane ride and hurry over to see him, yet there was enough love to connect. I often wondered if the ‘magic’ would have disappeared if I had been confronted with the reality of his body on machines. I only visited him once in Waikiki when he was back in his body in between his travels.

It took me ten years to digest the experience. Okay, if you tell your friends that your lover died and came back in his body one time, they are excited for you. But if you tell them it happened again, they strangely look at you, and when he dies over and over again, they don’t believe you anymore. They don’t want to hear it anymore. It is incredible the reactions that people have: they either deny it, they are entirely in awe, they start praying to Jesus for you, or they say it is just not possible. I don’t know which is worse, so I just decided to keep my mouth shut. And to top it off, more and more it appeared that he and I had completely different worldviews and backgrounds. He was deeply embedded in ancestral Hawaiian and Indonesian energies, whereas I was all about my own independence.

What a delight it was for me to take the Dreamwalker Death class in 2010. I finally got validation and understood so much more about my strange experience. Of course, I was feeling all he was feeling. The beautiful thing was that Umberto’s experience would change because of our conversations. Just like in a DreamWalk, it was over and over again an invitation to let go of the ‘not you’ and enter a larger version of who he was. When my father passed in 2011, I was now able to experience it all with him, all the layers and the expansion, although not on my computer screen this time. But he did send me one text message after his passing.

Just like with the floatation tank experience, I am sure that there are many more people who have similar experiences with this kind of ‘Virtual Reality,’ and that in the next few years they will somehow surface. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing if we create DreamWalkers that could consciously use technology to help others in their transition? And for themselves to get a whole new insight into everything we ever considered ‘death’?

Although I have to admit: when I see my computer ‘flicker’ like it did that first time, my first reaction is a very human one: “Oh, no! My expensive MacBook Pro is breaking down! Help!”


Christel Janssen is a Speaker, Teacher and Author. She studied arts, martial arts and Chinese Medicine until one day she moved to Hawaii and has lived there ever since. She is the author of “Forty-Nine Days, a Sensuous Journey in the Modern Afterlife,” a memoir about her extraordinary and sensual experiences with the beyond. She loves writing about ‘the things that cannot be seen’ and the sensual experience of living. She teaches telepathy and offers Spontaneous Movement Retreats on Kauai. Since life is not about dying, she is now writing a book about birth.

Visit her website christeljanssen.com

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