An Interview with Laurie Conrad on her new book "Visits With Angels", scheduled for publication in 2010. November, 2008. Ithaca, NY.
An Interview with Laurie Conrad on her new book Visits With Angels by Diana Souza
D. Laurie, as we’ve read in your new book, “Realms of Light”, you’re clairvoyant. You can see other dimensions beyond the physical one. In your new book, “Visits With Angels” we’re treated to stories about your close encounters with angels. You’ve seen Angels?
L. Actually, the full title of this book is, “Meetings With Angels And Other Divine Beings”. It is not a book just about angels. But yes, I have seen angels and I have spoken to them – but I need to explain that. I have not seen angels inwardly, as a form of inner clairvoyance or outer vision. When these meetings take place, it is really another realm and this material realm overlapping. It would be just as though somebody were standing here, next to us now. And I have never heard a fully audible voice, as I have with my clairaudience in other instances throughout my life. The communication I have had with angels is more a telepathic communication. And I have never seen an angel in a way that I could fully describe them. All this is difficult to describe. But they say those sorts of clairvoyant and clairaudient experiences are actually higher than if I could describe the angel perfectly, or understand every word consciously – and I don’t even know why that is. But that is what saints have written.
The other Divine Beings I speak about in the book have either appeared outwardly, sometimes very distinctly, or inwardly, in what I call clairvoyant movies. For instance, St. Dymphna appeared to me in a way that I could have actually physically touched her. She was entirely comprised of brilliant, radiant Divine Light – and at some point during our meeting she just slowly disappeared, the Light dispersed. But that was an unusual experience, and not clairvoyance per se: I think anyone in that room could have seen her. She was a real presence, tangibly standing there. Our Lady, Christ and Saint Joseph have appeared to me inwardly, in the spiritual Heart, or clairvoyantly in my mind. I have also seen and felt their presence outside of me – or in Our Lady’s case, been aware of the supernatural scent of roses or myrrh. But again, not always clearly enough to be able to describe them. If Divine Beings or saints appear to me as a little movie in my head, or in the spiritual Heart – I can describe the scene or Them perfectly. It’s a little – it is difficult to explain all this in words. Not so simple. But yes, you could say I have seen and heard and communicated with angels and other Divine beings, in various – in different ways.
D. So since it’s not really a visionary kind of experience, you cannot confirm whether or not angels look like ceramic knick-knacks?
L. Exactly – not angels. However, I can tell you that they are made of radiant Light. And they are so very respectful of us humans, more than we could ever be towards each other or towards ourselves. There is a purity there and a reverence for all life that we could barely conceive . And by life, I mean the soul as being made in the image of God. And it is the same with Our Lady. If you read Her messages from Medjugorje to the world , She always begins with, “Dear children…”, and She always ends with, “Thank you for having responded to my call.” And this is Our Lady, the Madonna! But She, with Her clarity of vision and Understanding and the depth of Her Love for us, is speaking to us as individual souls. Unfortunately, we rarely speak to each other or to ourselves with that much kindness, understanding and respect.
D. So this book is not just about angels, it’s also about Divine beings, encounters?
L. Yes. With Our Lady and Our Lord. Saints as well. This is not in the book, but I have also had clairvoyant communication with more than one Hindu saint. In Realms of Light I mention Muktananda, but there have been others, for instance beautiful Chidvalasananda, his successor. I heard her speak more than once, in New York City and also at her ashram in South Fallsburg, NY. But one afternoon I was back in Ithaca, at Friendlies with a friend, and she inwardly appeared to me as I was eating a coffee ice-cream cone. I had a big mystical experience, one I could not have imagined on my own. I still remember it vividly, and this was many years ago.
D. And she’s living being?
L. Yes, she is still alive. I think she is one of our current saints.
D. You think we have living saints?
L. I definitely do. I would say all the visionaries that are speaking with Our Lady are saints – in Medjugorje, in Naju, in Betania. The Dalai Lama of Tibet and Mother Meera, Chidvalasananda – all these human beings who have devoted their lives to God, spend their lives praying for the world, every day – for many hours each day. Traveling the world and teaching others. I think they are all saints. We can all be saints – that is what God wants for us all.
D. What about humans who have made great long strides in regard to social progress for entire nations, like Nelson Mandela?
L. That would depend on how they lived the rest of their life. It is not just good works that make a saint. The Higher has to come through you, purely.
D. What about Gandhi?
L. That would also depend on how he lived his private life. The entire vehicle has to be purified enough so that the Higher can come through us continually, and purely. I don’t know enough about the people you have mentioned and their private lives. But I have personally met some of the people I mentioned. Others – the visionaries for instance – I read about when I was producing my tv series, “Paths to Spirituality”. Because of the television show, I was fortunate enough to receive many books and videotapes about the visionaries and the many supernatural occurrences in Naju, Betania and Medjugorje. These otherwise ordinary people have devoted their entire lives to God and Our Lady’s messages. And clairvoyantly – by looking at the photographs and the videos – I can see how pure those visionaries are. They are just radiant. Transparent.
D. Is celibacy a necessary component for sainthood?
L. No, I do not think so. In fact, all the visionaries Our Lady chose in Medjugorje are now married and have children. Maria Esperanza, the visionary in Betania, was already married and had children when Our Lady first appeared to her. Julia Kim, the visionary in Naju, Korea, was also married and had several children when Our Lady first appeared to her. I think by choosing visionaries who were married and also parents, Our Lady was underscoring the message She gave us in Medjugorje: pick a spiritual Path and do your best on it. Lead a kind, simple life. And of course, make God the center of your life. You have to be chaste. But you can be chaste within a marriage.
D. You’ve been in accidents that have been catastrophic in their effect on your health. Yet you say that you don’t believe in accidents. What would you call an accident if not an accident? This is from the story, “The Angel and My Old Car” where you say, “I do not believe in accidents.”
L. Divine Ideas run through every moment of our lives. And the soul and God are making decisions we are not conscious of. So no, I don’t believe in accidents.
D. So what you’re talking about is more about destiny or fate, or Divine Will? Which of those things?
L. Well of course, there is a Divine Will. But since the soul is connected in some mysterious way to the Divine we would have to say that the soul and the Divine are working together.
D. So it’s not just plain fate?
L. No, I don’t think so. We are all given free will. That is a part of our evolution here on earth – to exercise that free will and make the right decisions. And to learn from our mistakes, if we make the wrong decision.
D. Well speaking of free will, in your story about the cloak, I was really touched by the level of respect you were given in being brought to the Archangel – for the conference about the cloak that had been placed on you. They didn’t want to interfere with your free will. So they gave you a chance to address your concerns. That was touching.
L. That was the cloak that I believe was given to me by Our Lady. It just appeared on me one day. The story you are speaking of is when I began to doubt the cloak – I didn’t know what it was for, what it represented. In fact, I went through a sort of crisis about it. And in my vision I asked the Divine Being if I could take the mysterious cloak off until I better understood it. And I was allowed to take it off. After my car accident I was wearing it again, I must have asked for it. Some people have even seen it on me. I have it on right now.
D. What can you perceive about it other than its presence?
L. Frankly, I still do not understand it fully. I can only - that it is some sort of protection. It might have been given to me because I teach meditation, write books and A Mystic’s Journal, which thousands of people have already read. So that I do not lead others astray, that I lead them to Truth. I do not think the cloak is just for me, or the result of merit on my part. I think many people are given cloaks, whether they are aware of it or not.
D. There may be a whole cloak society for all you know? You’ll have to attend meetings one day.
L. There are a lot of things here I do not understand, and I may have to wait until I get to another realm before I do.
D. In the story about the cloak, you talk about walking into a clairvoyant movie – that you walked into it. First of all, what is a clairvoyant movie? And secondly, how do you walk into it?
L. That is not so easy to describe. Basically unbidden. A little movie starts in my mind – in the part of the mind that resides in the center of the forehead. And the movie is very colourful, vivid. It has intense, even unusual colours, so it immediately grabs your attention. And once your attention is there – sometimes you are given the option of walking into it. Other times, all of a sudden – you just find yourself in it. And it becomes your entire world, just as though… It would be as though you walked into a movie on a movie screen. And then you are living in the movie. Only you are walking into your own mind. How that happens and why I don’t really know. But when I have been in those clairvoyant movies and they pertain to something happening on earth, they have always proved entirely accurate. Whether it has been a lost animal, or some place else on earth – everything in the inner movie has been entirely accurate – the events, the place, the people, and so on.
D. So it’s part of how your clairvoyant visions come to you?
L. Some of them, yes.
D. So those people who might be having something vaguely resembling what you describe happen, but aren’t sure if that’s what’s happening to them – how could you differentiate what you’re talking about from imagination?
L. There is no way to confuse the two. And the way you can distinguish from hallucinating is that when we walk into that movie we still know who we are and where we are on earth. The events we see are clear, crystal clear – and orderly. Even if suddenly I am in Russia, I still know that I am sitting in Ithaca, New York in my living room. That sort of confusion does not arise. And the imagination? No, there is no way that you can confuse true clairvoyance with imagination – no. Even aside from the fact that you can check the data later, to see if everything you experienced was accurate. Even aside from that, the experiences are so very different you cannot confuse them.
D. Is it sort of like the difference between a dream that’s just a dream, and a dream that seems exceptionally real – inexplicably real, the way some dreams can be?
L. Yes, some dreams are actual visits to other realms, or other places on earth.
D. But there’s a similar difference?
L. It is much more marked than that. And I don’t know how really to describe that. Someone else probably could.
D. Too mysterious to describe?
L. Or I just do not have the words.
D. In your story, “The Angel and My Old Car” there’s a phrase that took me to another place when I read it. It worried me and I wanted to ask you about it. Talking about situations in your life where you could not see the reality of those portions of your life clearly and precisely. And you say that it’s “as though I were deaf and blind to the truth as I lived those moments or years of my life.” And you talk about how apparently we’re not given the ability to always see what’s going on and the meaningfulness of certain parts of our lives. My question is, what did we do to be blind and deaf to the meaningfulness of our lives? Why is our vision obscure?
L. That is probably an age-old question. No, I do not think we are doomed to blindness. I think all of us are given glimpses of truth, whether it be a mystical experience in waking state or in dream state. Or somebody says something to us in an ordinary conversation, and suddenly things become clear. Or you open a book and a sentence jumps out at you. Why we are so blinded from the truth of our lives: we have forgotten that we are the soul. I think it always comes down to that – that we think we are the physical body, our ideas, our perceptions, our emotions.
D. We’re too identified with our personal known lives, our physical plane reality, our identities with our culture, our nation. We can’t get past any of that, long enough to really be able to see what’s really going on – the truth and the meaningfulness of our lives?
L. I think all the major religions and philosophies agree on that. I think the Hindu sage Ramana Maharshi summed it up. He said that our first and last mistake is thinking we are the physical body. And I think that is the beginning and the end of our major mistakes, and all the smaller ones that follow. As long as we think we are the physical body, our personality, our thoughts, our emotions – we are not going to find Truth there, or in the physical, manifested universe. If we are lucky, we can stand in the witness position. And that in itself is a sort of mystical experience, when you actually can see yourself almost as a separate person. And your life as a life other than your own life. And it is from that perspective that true Detachment is achieved. You can start to see clearly. It is also in those experiences that you realize that you are not the physical body. In those experiences, it is an awareness and knowledge – with a capital “K” Knowledge, capital “A” Awareness – that comes in mystically. We can tell ourselves that we are not the body – that we are the soul, a being of Light – we can say it and repeat it, but it takes a true mystical experience of it to truly Know it.
D. Is it uncommon for Divine beings to make personal appearances on the earth plane? Or is it simply uncommon for us to be aware of their presence here? What could those of us who aren’t clairvoyant do to become more aware of the presence of Divine beings among us?
L. Those are questions I hear over and over again, from new meditators, from friends and acquaintances, from people who contact me from my website, and from those sent to me through the Distant Healing Network. “How can we become more aware of their presence?” And it is a wonderful question. There are more Divine beings with us humans often than there will ever be other sentient beings, incarnate beings. There are an infinite number of Divine beings, and they will come when we call on them. And they will often come even if we do not call on them if they are needed. So yes, I feel part of my mission as a clairvoyant is to tell people that Divine Beings exist. That They come when we call on them. They are here with us. And that we can call on them at any time. There are more than enough Divine beings for everyone, more than you could ever imagine. And they are more willing than you could ever imagine to come and help us. We can ask for legions of angels to protect and heal the entire earth, or we can just ask for one for our dog or cat or child or friend. Our Lady of Medjugorje told the visionaries there that we should all ask the Archangels to be with us always.
How to become more aware of these Divine beings? I would imagine that you would have to be quiet, and that you would have to pay attention. Even if you are not clairvoyant or clairaudient, or clairsentient – you might still feel a presence, or you might feel a warmth, or love or peace surrounding you. Or you might suddenly feel happy instead of sad; or you might feel hopeful instead of despairing. Or perhaps an idea comes into your head that is exalted or more positive than usual, or a warning of some sort. And you don’t know where it came from.
D. Well it’s very helpful to make the suggestion just to spend more time alone.
L. That is what I would think. There are certain things you can look for, and certain questions you can ask yourself after an event happens to try to determine whether it was just a piece of luck, or if there was a Divine agency behind it. In this book I try to give suggestions that I hope will help people.
D. That sounds handy.
L. I hope so.
D. In the story called, “I Act As A Human Angel”, you even say to allow silence is the best thing to do because the soul knows a great deal more than the conscious mind knows.
L. I am so glad that I wrote that.
D. I wanted to tell you that the phrase, “The soul knows a great deal more than the conscious mind…” – that idea reminds me of the popular Christian motto, “Let go and let God.” In your story, “I Act As A Human Angel”, you say that good-hearted people often act as angels in the lives of others, because on the soul level we’re all connected. You say that people who aren’t even together in the same place can do this. What makes this possible – intention? Goodwill?
L. Yes, intention. Goodwill. Sometimes a conscious intention to help others – but this intention does not to be conscious. We are all connected on the soul level. That is the true relationship. And the soul itself is the higher Love, the higher -. So healing and Love are powers of the soul itself, intrinsic qualities of the soul. There is no distance in that place really. When you are connected, you are connected.
D. Geography is irrelevant when it comes to the soul level?
D. So it’s a realm that doesn’t involve space or time?
L. Space and time as we know it does not exist in the soul. And that is the true relationship between all of us, soul to soul. We are just not consciously aware of it. But on some level of our being, we are conscious of it – we know that we are connected.
D. Just by practicing virtues?
L. You have to purify out your own life.
D. I have a friend who for years did rather vigorous spiritual practice everyday. And I asked her recently if she’s still doing her practice, and she said the only practices she’s doing anymore are kindness and generosity. She does a stellar job at both of those! That’s a lot to contribute on its own, isn’t it?
L. When you are on the spiritual path, your personal practices most likely are going to change over time. And an aspect of being on the spiritual path is knowing to look within and listen – to see what comes next. One of my favourite stories is about an old woman who decided to give an aspirant food and clothes, so that he could just live in a cave and pray. And so every day, in all weather, she trudged up the steep mountain, bringing him food and whatever else she thought he might need. She carefully and quietly left the food and clothes outside his cave, not wanting to bother him because she wanted him to become a great saint. This went on for about ten or - years. One day she decided she wanted to speak with him, receive his blessing and perhaps some Teachings. So she went up the mountain but this time respectfully stood in the entrance of the cave, waiting for him to speak. The so-called aspirant saw her and immediately yelled: “Old woman how dare you bother me! Leave me in peace!” And so she said, “This is the last time I will bring you food and clothes. I have brought you food and drink and clothes all these years so that you would one day find God.” This is just a story – I don’t think it ever happened. But I think the point of the story is just what you have said. We can sit in a cave and pray all day, but if we cannot relate to our fellow-humans and fellow-creatures with love, if - and the intention to help others does not grow in us – then we are not on the spiritual path. We have taken a wrong turn somewhere. And we must correct that. So there are times on the path when we should do more good works in the world. There are times on the path when we should focus more on self-discipline. There are times on the path for saying “I am the soul”, trying to remember and live that Truth. Perhaps it is time to pray or meditate more. Or the time to focus on one or two special prayers that you say each day. There are times on the path for everything. If you are quiet and self-reflective, you will know what to do. It will feel right to you.
D. Even if you’re sitting at Friendly’s eating ice-cream and doing an interview.
L. What a great prayer!
D. Since the soul isn’t limited by time or space, does this imply that we can transcend time and space if we can get our conscious minds out of the way more so our souls guide us? Can we become timeless? Can we attain the power like some saints and yogis to be in more than one place at a time?
L. Definitely! Bilocation is a skill that a number of the saints and yogis througout history have had. Padre Pio described bilocation as an extension of mind. Bilocation, strictly speaking, means that others can see you in both places – the person seems to have a physical body in two places on earth at the same time. For instance, Saint Martin de Porres went to a picnic, had a hearty meal – and was also seen by his fellow monks at the monastery. The soul is beyond space and time. And in those high mystical experiences, when you are really standing consciously in the soul, there is no space and time. In fact, there is nothing in form. And yet you know better than you have ever known who you really are. And that is very hard to describe in words. I would - that to have the Gift of bilocation or levitation, or any of those unusual skills and Gifts, you would have to be very pure and transparent. But it is possible that you could also use those skills in a negative way.
D. I was going to ask, are entirely selfless intentions necessary for this to happen, or would it be an inherent capacity of being human – something we just haven’t developed yet – our ability to transcend time and space?
L. The clairvoyant is transcending space and time whenever he or she sees into the future, or sees current events somewhere else on earth. And often this Gift is given to us at birth. As for levitation, bilocation : I would think that if some people can develop those abilities, then everyone would be able to. We are all sharing the same human vehicle. So in that sense I would say yes. If the great saints have achieved those abilities then that tells us that we all could. And I suspect that if your intentions are not pure, those powers will be taken from you. But I would like to add that there are two things for us to remember. First, on the spiritual path we are trying to contact the soul and the Divine: that is our task. The second thing to remember is that we are not seeking these powers. They mean nothing in comparison to contacting the soul and the Divine. They really do not. Sometimes I think these abilities are given to certain people just to teach the rest of us that things are not as they seem. That there are higher Laws in operation. Sometimes I think that we all have these abilities in other realms, and when we reach a certain point of purity and enlightenment while still embodied on earth, when we are more Consciousness – in a way we are then living in the soul state of other realms while still embodied. These are mysteries we will never know the answer to. Not while we are still in the physical body. But the main thing for us to remember is not just to seek these abilities, because then we are taking a side road away from the main spiritual path. Those powers are not even given to all the great saints. Certain saints have one skill but not another. And we do not know why. Some saints could walk on water, some never ate. Some saints could become invisible, or bring the dead back to life, or make very heavy objects light enough for a small child to lift. St. Martin De Porres – they would find him twelve feet up in the air praying in front of Christ’s statue. He also could walk through walls, and once he brought other monks with him through the locked front door of his monastery. He never worked for those powers. They were the natural result of his purity and aspiration and the depth of his prayer life. And there is the story about Saint Teresa of Avila who asked the nuns to hold her down if she ever began to levitate in the presence of others – and they all left the ground together. A clump of nuns and Saint Teresa all hovering in the air, - and in plain sight. Yet some of the greatest saints had none of these powers, not that we know of.
God gives us what He Wills, and for His own Reasons.
D. Are entirely selfless intentions necessary for us to transcend space and time, or is that transcendence just potentially an inherent capacity of being human – that just hasn’t evolved yet, like walking on fire, which yogis and rishis have been able to do for aeons, but which now has entered the popular culture? A lot of people are walking on fire. Might not the same apply to levitation or bi-location?
L. I just read a story in the newspaper about a minister who set a day and time and place to walk on water, and everyone went to watch him – and he sank right to the bottom like a stone. As I said, we do not know why these powers are given to certain people and not to others. And I would like to hope that all beings are going to get to that same high state of evolution where it is a normal thing to transcend the conventional laws of this universe. But can you get there just by virtue of the fact of having this human vehicle? If that were true , since we know that the rishis were experiencing these abilities millennia ago, then we would all be experiencing them by now. So to share the human vehicle is one thing; but to get yourself to the place where you are that pure, and in alignment with your own soul, and with the higher Consciousness, or the Divine, or God – whatever you want to call It – are really two separate issues. The human race is going to have to work towards that. Or, Divine Grace will come down and suddenly everybody will have those powers. And it is Grace. The miracles I see – they are the result of Grace.
D. Would you include being able to walk on fire as an act of Grace that’s given?
L. When you and I walked on fire together many years ago, I inwardly said my own version of the prayer of St. Francis of -: “Brother Fire please don’t harm me.” We did all those preparatory exercises as you recall, for hours – and most of us were meditators. It was a test of Faith, as I understand it, as I experienced it. And I would not put walking on burning hot coals on the same level as miracles of healing. As a test of Faith – very valuable. But we do not want anyone trying to walk on fire for fun. We had teachers. We prepared and we meditated….
D. As they say, don’t try this at home.
L. Do not try it at home. The basis of all miracles, from our human position, is Faith. Either we have Faith in the Higher, we have Faith in God, in the soul – or we do not. If you are going to walk on hot coals, or walk on water, or see miracles – there cannot be a question or a doubt there. On the other hand, you can have no doubt at all: but if the Grace doesn’t come in, you are still going to plummet to the bottom of the lake like a rock. We cannot get there only by our own merits – it is not possible. But we can make ourselves as pure as we can and the most perfect vessel as we possibly can. That we can do, and then we have to wait. And all our efforts really are pretty paltry. When that Divinity does come through you, if it is given to you, you see how very far you are from that goal that you had set for yourself. Even the goal is so far from the reality of the Divine. But we can invite Grace. I think if you invite it and prepare for it, it will come. In fact, I think more than not it comes before we really deserve it and are ready for it – certainly in my case. So it could be that I am here on earth to show that others that we do not have to be ready or even anywhere near the goal: it can happen anyway, in spite of you.
Going back to the firewalk. For me, as you say, success lies in suspending all your doubts. Knowing that the physical laws of this universe can be transcended, that there is another, higher set of Laws governing all that we perceive. For me, that was the value of the experience. Christ gave a similar exercise to His disciples, when he told one of them to walk across the water towards Him. If Our Lord gave it as an exercise to one of his Students – then walking on the burning coals was also a good exercise.
D. So on the night that we walked across hot coals, I didn’t say a prayer to protect myself from being burned. I just suspended my doubts.
L. Yes, and the experience was helping you to believe in a higher Reality. When Christ told His disciples that if you tell a mountain to move, it will move – He was saying that God could do anything. He was a Teacher while on earth, not just a Healer and Prophet. If you want to be trained by Christ Himself, read The New Testament. Conventionally speaking, yes of course, the laws of physics work and govern our ‘physical’ reality. But if you do not also believe that there exists a higher set of Laws, then you are forever stuck in conventional reality and its laws. You will not experience what we humans call ‘miracles’.
D. In your story about the angel who came to you to talk to you about writing Visits With Angels, do you think the angel knows a publisher who’d be interested in the book? Can you get back in touch with that book angel?
L. No, no, we are not going to ask that.
D. Does the gist of that conversation with the book angel remain with you, or are you simply not at liberty to share its details?
L. Well, I do talk about what the book angel said, in Visits With Angels. I had forgotten several stories and meetings with Divine Beings, and the angel reminded me of those. Often there are no words. Instead, I find myself saying something in response, for instance: “Yes”, or “No”, or “How will I know this?” In those times I am not allowed to consciously access what the angel is saying. But after the book angel left, suddenly I remembered more stories for the book. And I found a booklet of formal prayers to angels that I had forgotten about. Sometimes I can almost hear words – or I can hear rhythms, but not the words themselves. Othertimes it is telepathic communication. But when I can always hear the words or not, it doesn’t matter – I know that I am understanding everything on some level of my being, and that all will manifest later.
D. So at the level that matters, you’re getting what’s being said, but at a conscious level you have no idea?
L. Not always. Sometimes I only hear my own response to the angel. And sometimes not even that.
D. In regard to your use of the term, “mystical consciousness”, is this another way of saying union with the soul?
L. That could be one aspect of it.
D. The story is, “The Statue” and the sentence is, “It would be difficult to fully express the beauty and wonder of this experience. But when we are in that true mystical consciousness experience, a radiance and intense awareness of the soul and its power and immensity light the experience in a way that is inexpressible.”
L. In that experience, yes I would say “mystical consciousness” would be the soul lighting up the experience. If you are very lucky, it could be an aspect of the Divine Itself lighting up the experience.
D. Next question. When we ask for angels, do we have to ask through an intercessor, like Mary?
L. In my experience at least, we can all call on angels ourselves, directly. We do not need to ask for them through an intercessor. In fact, we do not need to know their name or rank. Whatever problem you might be having, you can simply say: “Will the angel in charge of this sort of problem please help”. You can send angels to situations on earth – earthquakes, wars, famines. You can ask Our Lady to send legions of angels to earth, for whatever reason. But you can also ask for or send an angel to a friend, or to yourself. You can also call on Our Lady and Our Lord – we can call on any of the Divine beings.
D. I was really impressed that you said we can even ask for legions of angels.
L. We can. We can ask Our Lady to send legions of angels anywhere on earth.
D. You are asking through an intercessor for that. Does it take a special order to ask for a legion?
L. If you’re going to ask for a legion, I would go through Our Lady.
L. Sometimes when someone is very ill, I call on St. Michael the Archangel, to take the person to a high realm when they leave this earth. He is our Protector, both in this realm but also in other realms. You can ask for angels to be messengers, or helpers, protectors, healers, teachers … As I mentioned earlier, we do not need to know their names – the same for the saints. I just ask for the saint in charge of the problem at hand – whoever that is – because I do not know all the saints, and I certainly do not know all the angels. Christ was the only incarnate being who knew who all the angels were and recognized them. We couldn’t possibly know who they are, not unless they tell us. So we just ask. I learned about asking for angels and sending them here and there from reading books about Saint Padre Pio.
D. And his instructions were?
L. He himself did not give instructions. But in reading the books about him I learned that he often asked for or sent angels various places for various good reasons. And one day I thought: “I wonder if I can ask for angels and send them to others…” And I asked for them – and they came.
D. Padre Pio, I didn’t know that?
L. Yes. There’s some wonderful books about him. I learned much from Padre Pio. Which brings up another point: if we read books on the saints, or the Hindu sages, or the Buddhist Zen masters, I think it is very important for us to realize that we should emulate them. Walk in their footsteps. We should not read books on the saints thinking we ourselves cannot get there. So if you read about a great saint and the things they were capable of doing, know that you too are a human being. You also can ask for those things.
D. Do you have to have a really good excuse or reason to ask for angels?
L. If you ask for the wrong reasons, they will not come. You can’t bother an angel to help you win the lottery unless – well maybe if you were going to give the money away to the poor you could. Maybe.
D. Like in a traffic jam maybe?
L. I would ask angels for that because people are getting upset and angry.
D. Would it make the line in the grocery store go faster?
L. It could. But what if the person behind you would have a terrible car accident if he or she left the grocery store a few minutes sooner? I would rather ask that angels come and heal everyone in line. If you ask for something that could harm another sentient being – you are not allowed to do that. The angel will refuse and he would probably punish you. You don’t want to get angels angry at you.
D. Is there such a thing as an angry angel?
L. O yes!
D. How could that be – that seems somewhat contrary to their character doesn’t it?
L. No, no. They will get angry.
D. What would they do if they’re angry?
L. They will protect the Good. They say that if you have bad intent towards someone, that person’s guardian angel will punish you.
D. That person’s guardian angel?
L. It is their job to protect.
D. Why won’t your own guardian angel protect you from their guardian angel from going after you?
L. Well, if you have bad intention your guardian angel is more likely to give you a lecture than help you. There was an instructive anecdote about angels in one of the books I read about Padre Pio. One day Padre Pio found himself under attack from negative beings, devils. He called on his guardian angel for protection, but instead of protecting him, his guardian angel just sang hymns and fluttered around him. When the attack was over, Padre Pio yelled at his angel for singing instead of protecting him. That told me that in the angelic realms just as in the human realm, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. And our -, our mission. Padre Pio’s guardian angel, his strength and purpose in Padre Pio’s life was to sing hymns and bring peace. That angel was obviously not a warrior. In my experience, angels have their own personalities, their own strengths and their own tasks to perform. (Pause) Padre Pio yelling at his guardian angel – I loved that. That is how intimate and familiar his relationship with them was.
D. Did Padre Pio say that he could see the angels?
L. I am sure that he could see them. And of course many people saw Saint Pio levitate over crowds of people. When it got too hot in the church, he would just levitate over the crowd to get some fresh air.
D. At -?
L. After -. He also bi-located. There are countless stories about Padre Pio, and many fine books written about him. But I think St. Martin De Porres was the only Catholic saint I have heard of that could actually walk through walls.
D. And was seen to walk through walls?
L. Yes. Once he brought some monks with him through the locked front door of his monastery.
D. I mean I have to wonder at some level if they’ve learned to speed up their vibratory emanations, they are vibratory beings. I mean the atom is 99.9 per cent empty space.
L. It is not something they would do consciously, or even strive for. It would be the result of their spiritual practices.
D. In your stories about angels, there are quite a few that talk about angels making people’s lives easier even in the most mundane things. Angels can help make your life more efficient even on a shopping trip? Why would angels bother with things so mundane when there is so much work to be done of a more important nature, like protection etc.
L. That is an interesting question. There is the joy factor. When things are going smoothly our small hearts tend to open, the personal heart. And when the small personal heart opens two things happen. First, we start radiating the higher personal love towards all beings. Just by virtue of the fact that our heart is open – which then creates waves of love and peace that radiate from us, bringing a feeling of peace to our environment. So by helping us, helping our hearts to open, we then begin radiating peace and good will. And now we are affecting all the other people in the grocery store. Now their hearts are opening, and in turn they are affecting more people. So, the supermarket becomes filled with this wonderful loving, peaceful energy.
D. So, it’s infectious. It spreads
L. Luckily, just as anger spreads negativity happiness spreads peace. The other thing that happens when out heart opens is that the Higher has the chance to come through us. We cannot be a vehicle for the higher Love unless our small hearts are open. So in my opinion, those are some reasons why the angels help us in just about every way and situation. Even the most mundane. Because when you think about it, what really separates the mundane from the extraordinary is not that much. If you are an Enlightened being, a saint, it doesn’t matter if you are standing in line in a crowded grocery store or alone on a mountain top. It doesn’t matter where you are. And that is the way it should be for all of us.
D. So angels don’t automatically go to someone who is suffering. They have to be asked?
L. In my experience they can come to us without our conscious asking.
D. Well there is so much suffering at all times, why would angels help somebody on a shopping trip to the grocery store if there are people suffering in a hospital full of people that need care?
L. Don’t worry, there countless, an infinite number of angels. You are never going to run out of angels.
D. So when they say legions that is not just a literary turn of phrase.
L. No, there are more than enough angels for everyone. We all have our own personal angel. People call it a guardian angel. In addition to them, we can be given other angels.
D. I have a question about Sarah’s story. There was no actual angel mentioned in that story, and it was just serendipity it seemed to me. She had good luck with her car when there was some kind of problem. Her car rolled down the path and it stopped at a tree but it stopped gently. But I don’t know, it seemed to me there was nothing angelic about her story whatsoever. There was no voice of an angel. There was no vision of an angel. I’m skeptical about this really being a story about angels.
L. I am so glad you brought that up. You were speaking about my friend Sarah in the story Angels on the Road. I was with her on one of her car trips and I wrote a long footnote about it in the book. It was extraordinary what happened. We lost our brakes on the highway and I won’t go further than that – but it was just extraordinary how things worked out. It is a good point to raise because Sarah is not clairvoyant or clairaudient or clairsentient, but she is very spiritual and she has deep faith in the higher Beings. Even if an angel had been standing right in front of her, she would not have seen or heard them. But when I heard all those stories in a row, and after experiencing that one trip with her, where everything worked out so miraculously – I do think there was angelic intervention. And you will notice that she calls the man that happened to be standing there with the right tool at the right moment her ‘angel’. This question goes back to our earlier discussion, that angels can work through people. And we ourselves can act as angels for others. The Divine can and does work through us. And for all we know, the man in Sarah’s story might have been angel. Was an angel. Had Sarah looked back a few moments later, he might have just magically disappeared. What I love about her story is that many of the other people interviewed are clairvoyant and clairaudient, so they could say they saw or heard an angel. Sarah did not. And I think that most people are not going to see or hear an angel announce their presence. It is more learning to read signs, becoming aware of what might be angelic intervention. People are always asking me: “ How can I become more aware of an angel near me.” Well, when you have the same sorts of situations and the same sorts of so-called serendipitous solutions or outcomes, you might then realize there might be angels at work. I think her stories are wonderful examples.
D. I ‘m glad you brought that up. It appeared to be a human helping her, but actually it may have been an angel. There are a couple of stories in the book – one is The Song, another is Mabel’s Angel – and both stories mention appearances of people who appear to be human. But then after performing some simple act of grace, they literally disappear.
Why would we ordinary flawed humans be of such interest to spiritual beings? Why would angels bother to physically manifest in order to - us?
L. We are made in the image of God. We are the soul. According to some philosophers, theologians, we are higher than the angels. Other philosophic systems say we are lower than the angels. But what does it matter? We are the soul, so we are also divine beings, in that sense – our essence is Divine. The soul is connected directly to God. In the angelic realms beings are not confused by a physical body, whereas we can get confused by it.
D. We couldn’t possibly look as good as angels, seems to me.
On February 9, 2005 during your meditation -, what you call supernatural fragrances began appearing in your living room. Describe these for us Laurie, if you would please.
L. That night we had just started reading about the Desert Fathers in -. It was a volume of poems, The Book of Mystical Chapters, a collection of meditations written by various Desert Fathers. Most of the poems are about meditation or what we would call Enlightenment, and they were used to train the monks. The monks were to learn them by heart and meditate on them. The poem we were reading mentioned fragrances and incense, and I believe Trudy was reading. After she read the poem, or during it, all of us in that room became aware of different fragrances. Some were incense, some were fruits we had never known. Some were the fragrance of roses – and now I don’t remember if all that happened the first night. But as I remember, the fragrances filled the entire house that night. These magical fragrances were physical in that Trudy and I were aware of one fragrance, but those of us sitting in another place in the room were aware of a different fragrance. At one point, one of the people in - said that she couldn’t smell anything, and I just waved my hand towards her and she said, “Oh, now I smell roses.” So in that sense they are physical. But their arising is from something supernatural that I do not understand. The poems that we were reading referred to these different fragrances of incense and myrrh and frankincense and roses as the prayers of the saints. And of course, the sanctity of the saints – and I suppose the presence of the saints. The odor of roses and myrrh are often - with Our Lady, the Madonna. In any case, every time we read the Desert Fathers, this would happen. I still am occasionally aware of these supernatural fragrances, as are other members of the -. Various friends were aware of the fragrances at Windgarth, or in town, or in their own homes.
D. Miles away at Windgarth, your lake house?
L. Yes. The supernatural fragrances followed us to Windgarth: myrrh, roses and frankincense. Those three I do remember at Windgarth. One of our cleaning ladies said the scent of roses filled her car one day. Another day Carolyn, Elizabeth, Ian and I were saying good bye. As they got in the car to leave, Elizabeth said, “Did someone - laundry soap here?” That is how strong the fragrances are. As the car left, so did the fragrances. They went with the car. It was incredible, really. The fragrances filled the downstairs of my house during some meditation -. Just extraordinary.
The same thing happened to me during - at our church. I found out later that someone had given the person I was with a book about the Desert Fathers before -.
I wrote the fellow who did the translation of the volume we were reading in -, John McGuckin, asking permission to quote his translation in A Mystic’s Journal. In my e-mail I mentioned the fragrances. He wrote back and said, “Yes, of course, you can quote my translation .” And he added something to the effect of “I am glad that you are getting a wave of hello” from the Desert Fathers. He took it all very calmly.
D. A little salute from the Desert Fathers from wherever they were. So in what period did the Desert Fathers live?
L. They were early Christian monks, and were in a way the first monastic orders. The monks in the volume we studied were from the fourth to the eleventh centuries. They originated from Egypt, Syria and Palestine and fled to the desert where they led simple lives of contemplation and prayer. There were women with them as well.
D. Do you know anything about their lifestyle or their spiritual practices? Do you know what importance incense might have had to them?
L. Before I would sit down to meditate, I would have clear clairvoyant images of them. The monks were outside, around a fire. The clairvoyant images were very limited to the small space around a fire. It was always the same outdoor scene. You cannot expand what you are given clairvoyantly. It looks as though they are making dinner or warming themselves. It is nighttime, or twilight. And that is all the information I have. (Laughter.)
D. The role of incense in lives which are so limited by a desert environment. Living in the desert, maybe incense was one of their few luxuries. And so if they had incense, it must have been incredibly important to them.
L. We still use incense during - in the Catholic church. But as I said earlier, in the poems, the fragrance of incense at least in part represented the prayers and sanctity of the saints.
It seems to me The Desert Fathers are trying to make their presence known to us for whatever reason. They want us to know that they are here. Sometimes I would be meditating, and as the other meditators arrived - it was as though they brought the scents in with them, as though they were being accompanied, or brought into the room by a Desert Father or a saint, or Our Lady. Sometimes the fragrances would begin as a meditator left my house, as though to accompany them home. Extraordinary really. We got very used to it.
D. How long did that go on?
L. I would say, easily for over a year. Sometimes even now, years later, they begin as I type up A Mystic’s Journal entries. Or in the upstairs hallway, or out in the gardens or walking down the street – in winter.
D. When you were alone?
There were several different types of incense, and then there were the unidentifiable fruit fragrances, roses, frankincense & myrrh. Someone said, “Maybe the unidentifiable fruit fragrances are the ambrosia of the Greeks.” In other words, the Greeks might have been aware of these supernatural fragrances, and called them ambrosia or the food of the gods. Whatever that scent is, we do not have that fruit on earth. None of us could identify it. We recognized the incense, the frankincense, the myhrr, and the smell of roses – but none of us could identify the fruitlike fragrance.
D. The scent of ambrosia. I am just going to ask this for the record because I think I already know the answer. Just for the record, you cleared any possibility that it might have been perfume or somebody who used too much laundry soap on their clothes.
L. Definitely. As I say from place to place within the room the scents changed, were different.
D. This underscores that they could not have been laundry soap or perfume.
L. They would appear and disappear. And at other times, fill the entire downstairs. Of course, in the winter, it could not have been the fragrance of flowers in the garden because no flowers were in bloom. In any case, I always asked, “Is anyone wearing perfume?” because the scent was so strong, it did seem as though it was perfume out of a bottle.
D. And no one claimed to be wearing perfume. . .
L. I would stand up after meditation, and immediately ask “Is anyone wearing perfume?” And of course, they weren’t.
D. Was there ever anyone who wasn’t a member of your - who smelled it?
L. Yes, my cleaning lady. I mentioned the fragrances to the two ladies who clean our house each week. A few weeks later, one of them said she was driving somewhere and suddenly there was a strong scent of roses in her car. Some friends came to visit me at Windgarth, and one of them said, “I smell frankincense.” He was not one of my meditators. Also the fragrances began at one of my meditator’s homes, and her entire family was aware of them.
L. At Windgarth, my friend was aware of the odor of frankincense but I was not. He was sitting at the kitchen table and I was on the couch, five feet away. It’s that localized. To be aware of the frankincense, I would have had to stand up and walk over to the table.
At other times I would be walking down the street, and suddenly I was surrounded by the scent of roses or myrrh – in the middle of winter. If someone was walking with me, they would also be aware of it.
D. And that was the extent of the message. Our Lady never came and cleared up the meaning for you? It says that in one of your stories, that you weren’t going to make any presumption about it being from Our Lady unless She actually came and told you.
L. The myrrh and scent of roses, especially the scent of roses is generally - with Our Lady. No, I could not see anyone standing there. We cannot produce clairvoyance. We can only see what we are given to see. It is a Gift. It was all hidden from me except when I was meditating and saw the Desert Fathers in that little movie in my mind. But other than that, nothing. So for whatever reason, I was not allowed in this case to know exactly who it was, or what they looked like. The meditators were so happy. Trudy said she was so glad because she is not clairvoyant or clairaudient, but she could experience the fragrances.
D. So what would you call that?
L. I have no idea. Clair….something. I have no idea what the term is. But this was not even that. Anyone who walked into that room would have been aware of those fragrances. My students are not clairvoyant or clairaudient. These occurrences were physical, not in another realm.
D. I think it does prove it beyond a doubt that two people who were not meditators smelled it.
L. My cleaning lady is very spiritual and we always talk about God when she is here cleaning. In fact, I did teach her to meditate, but now I cannot remember if I taught her before or after the fragrances began.
D. And what about your friend at Windgarth? He’s not a meditator.
L. He does meditate. But I don’t think being a meditator or not would matter.
D. So Laurie, when the mysterious fragrances started, in your meditation group, you wrote in A Mystics Journal that you would make no presumptions about where they came from, unless Our Lady spoke to you as she had before. Our Lady spoke to you at a previous time in your life? Could you tell us about this close encounter with divinity? What did she speak to you about? What were the circumstances?
L. That story is in the first book I wrote, The Spiritual Life of Animals and Plants. So I won’t recap it here. Let me just say that it was the most beautiful Voice you could imagine.
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