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She almost had me...
on January 31, 2010
First, please forgive the long review. I simply have too much to say to contain this to a few sentences. Secondly, I mention many spoilers here, and just wanted to warn anyone before they read any further.
I wanted to believe this..really I did. I was so excited to order this book, being a fan of John Lennon and The Beatles. I also ordered, "Peace at Last", but was more eager to read, "Across the Universe". By the time I was done with both books, the reverse turned out to be true.
I have no doubt that Linda Keen experienced *something* or *someone* in her psychic journey's, but I question whether it was really John, and also, whether Heaven (or the Afterlife, if you prefer), is really as she depicts. Much of what she said didn't resonate with me at all.
For example, at one point in the book "John" is reminded of his abandonment issues and sobs uncontrollably. I've read many different spiritual books and the one theme that often comes up is how you are healed of the pain of your Earthly incarnation, if not immediately, then over time. I find it hard to believe that ten years after John's death, he is still struggling with all of the issues of the flesh, so to speak. He comes across very insecure, at times, and still very much attached to the ego. From most of the spiritual books that I've read, the impression I've gotten is that once one crosses over to the Other Side, they eventually come to know the spiritual being that they truly are; devoid of the trappings of the flesh and of the ego. All of the physical, mental and psychological pain of their former existence falls away and they are reminded of the pure and perfect soul that they truly are.
If Linda Keen would have you believe it, Heaven is a place much like Earth where you can fall asleep snoring away (as John does), get drunk (as John does), eat (something I had read is not necessary in the spiritual realm--eating OR sleeping), and encounter wild boars that look like they are going to attack you. It's also a place where danger seems to lurk at every corner depending upon where you are or what you are doing. At one point upon climbing a mountain to get to Arcadia or Paradise, the author fears she is going to topple off of the cliff. In another, John and the author go through some type of initiation ritual where they are forced to face their fears, reminding me of a page taken from "The Celestine Prophecy". Why one would have to go through such measures in Heaven is beyond me, and contradicts everything I've ever read about the Afterlife.
At one point, John meets up with his father who appears as a beggar to him. From what I've read, there are different levels of Heaven and those who are of the mindset (still harboring a beggar, thief, murderous mentality, etc.) stay in the same "communities" with like-minded people until they don't want to, anymore, and realize that their thoughts, alone, can make them "leave" at anytime. Why John's father would appear as a beggar to him in an environment so unlike his state of being just doesn't mesh with me and everything I've read.
In another scene, Brian Epstein magically appears and in a flustered state hurries on his way because he is "late for an appointment". One of the comments that John makes after Brian has hurried away is that "he has a lot to work out with women". That comment struck me as being highly ignorant and inaccurate because most people (at least Beatle fans) know that Brian was homosexual, so to suggest that his sexual preference was an affliction brought about by having a "problem" with women is very insulting and narrow-minded, if you ask me. Why John and/or the spiritual realm would cast Brian's "malady" in such a light seems like a judgment to me that has no place in Heaven. As I understand it, we choose to be whatever we are (male, female, heterosexual or gay, etc), to learn life lessons, so looking at it in that respect, there was nothing whatsoever "wrong" with Brian being gay.
Brian also comes across as some kind of bumbling idiot, unsure of himself and verbally sparring (albeit, briefly) with John.
Sorry. Don't "buy" it.
John also talks about his murderer, Mark David Chapman, how he loves and forgives him and how "it took guts for him to do what he felt he had to!"
While I get the whole thing about your thoughts attracting what you most fear to you (something John mentions in relation to his death), I wouldn't go so far as to call Chapman a victim (as John suggests) because he was "being driven against his will to kill me".
My honest opinion about all this is that John comes across still too attached to his last Earthly incarnation or his "human-ness" if you will, and the objectivity that you think one would possess as a spiritual being is sorely lacking. Yes, I believe one-hundred percent that John forgives his murderer because as a spiritual being he can see the whole picture of his last life and its purpose. Also, if you believe that we have "soul contracts" prior to our birth and nothing is an accident, then it would make sense that John would come to see (or remember) that his death was as it should have been. But his take on Chapman being the "bigger" victim then he doesn't ring true to my soul because it shows him looking at things from a human point of view.
In "Conversations with God", God says that there are no victims in life; everything happens for a reason and is perfection personified, even though we can't see it as such while in human form. In "Across the Universe", I see a John with possibly the same human qualities he had on Earth, only difference being he is in the spiritual realms. Again, I find it very hard to believe that after being in Heaven all that time, his ego issues would not have fallen away to reveal his true spiritual essence. Aren't we all spiritual beings having a human experience? From the many spiritual books I've read, in Heaven you are "you, only better". In "ATU" I sense a John that has not evolved much from his Earthly existence, and that just doesn't ring true to me.
Another thing, the author frequently basks in the glory of having shared many past lives with John. All I can say is, how "convenient". She also claims that John was Mozart in a past life, but there have also been claims that Michael Jackson was, too!
Also, during their trip to Arcadia when they had a meeting of sorts, the "head" of the meeting discusses Greek philosophy, or what-have-you, and I failed to understand how this type of history lesson was to help their next Earthly incarnation. If I'm going to learn anything in Heaven, I want to know how to better cope with Earthly (or whatever planet on incarnate on) conditions, be it people or circumstances. I do not need to know what the Greeks thought about "such-and-such".
In her travels, people the author meets range from homely to attractive, vary in shapes and sizes, and her and John's clothing often changes miraculously from one thing to the next.
What's the point?? And why would there even be any homely people in Heaven, much less anyone with physical or mental afflictions?
....An arduous climb up a mountain. Why??? Isn't Heaven supposed to be devoid of the hardships of Earth?
In another "scene", John tells the author that a fellow "colleague" could have destroyed him, but decided to teach him a lesson, instead.
Destroy each other in Heaven??? Not my Heaven.
..and the idea that getting to the gates of Paradise or what-have-you; the risk and mental and physical turmoil involved--makes no sense to me whatsoever. I believe God loves us all and that Paradise (or whatever one chooses to call it) is "free" to everyone. One shouldn't have to jump through hoops and go on stressful journey's to reach it, or worse, be forced to literally find it in order to experience the beauty of Heaven.
While the spiritual insights that John utters are truths I've read of in other books, his personality and demeanor, the fact that the Heaven in this telling seems like a beautiful, but malleable and sometimes dangerous place, and the characters you meet along the way seem like just that--caricatures and not spiritual beings, make this a hard tale to swallow. Again, I've no doubt that Linda Keen believes what she saw in her channeling's.. I just doubt how much of this is true or whether it is the imaginative ramblings of fantasies she harbors about being a frequent past-life partner of a famous ex-Beatle.