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(Monroe  Journeys  -  January  2020) 


by  Harriet  H.  Carter,  JD 

Professional  Member  Harriet  Carter  is  a  full-time  attorney  specializing  in  tax  law  and  a  part- 
time  researcher  in  after-death  communications  and  altered  states  of  consciousness.  “Guided 
Tour  to  the  Afterlife”  is  her  firsthand  account  of  her  friend’s  death  and  the  adventures  that 
followed.  Her  intense  Gateway  Voyage  experiences  in  August  1999,  described  herein  the 
edited  version  of  her  journal  entries,  almost  convinced  her  that  an  NDE  was  imminent. 

Today,  the  energy  and  the  routine  of  our  activity  shifted  into  reverse.  The  morning  started  out 
in  David  Francis  Hall,  where  we  usually  end  up  in  the  evening.  Our  Gateway  group  was  in  the 
lecture  hall  to  see  the  film  “Powers  of  Ten.”  The  first  scene  showed  a  couple  lying  on  a  picnic 
blanket  in  a  Chicago  park.  Then  the  camera  zoomed  back  in  increments  of  10  percent,  all  the 
way  out  to  the  edge  of  the  known  physical  universe.  At  that  point,  it  reversed  direction  and — 
keeping  the  same  momentum — zoomed  in  on  the  man’s  hand  and  continued  inward,  down  to 
the  level  of  an  atom  inside  the  skin. 

I  was  fascinated.  We  live  our  lives  focused  primarily  in  an  extremely  small  slice  of  physical 
space  spanning  the  surface  of  our  skins.  As  infinitely  large  as  the  physical  universe  seems  to 
be,  however,  there  is  an  infinitely  larger  nonphysical  universe  surrounding  it — both  outward 
and  inward — into  which  we  can  expand  our  consciousness.  Through  that  shift  in  perspective,  I 
realized  that  “Powers  of  Ten”  was  a  metaphor  for  Robert  A.  Monroe’s  lifework  and  the  mission 
of  the  Institute  that  is  his  legacy. 

The  film  was  a  fitting  prelude  to  the  first  of  the  three  tapes  scheduled  for  that  Wednesday 
morning:  a  tape  designed  to  send  us  into  the  silence  of  self.  I  didn’t  know  if  I  could  stand  three 
successive  sessions,  so  I  told  Karen  Malik,  our  trainer,  that  I  might  take  a  solo  break  at  the 
lake  after  session  one. 

In  Focus  21  we  were  asked  to  expand  our  consciousness  to  the  edge  of  the  physical  universe 
and  beyond.  I  found  myself  holding  the  entire  physical  universe  in  my  hand!  That  image,  and 
the  associated  expansion  of  consciousness,  didn’t  bother  me  as  much  as  an  intense  feeling 
that  the  entire  universe  was  now  within  my  body.  My  ego  and  body  panicked  together.  All  of 
my  cells  felt  as  if  they  were  being  stretched  in  every  direction  at  once  on  a  medieval  torture 
rack,  and  my  whole  body  seemed  to  be  flailing  around  in  explosive  paroxysms.  “You  call  this 
deep  relaxation?”  I  thought  to  myself. 

My  frightening,  jolting  movement  through  a  psychedelic  starfield  resembled  the  trip  that  Jodie 
Foster  took  in  [the  movie]  “Contact.”  Another  scene  was  analogous  to  [a  scene  in  the  movie] 

“Flatliners,”  in  which  the  researcher  took  himself  to  the  edge  of  death  to  get  a  glimpse  into  the 
realms  beyond  while  hoping  that  his  compadres  would  slap  the  defibrillator  onto  his  chest 
before  the  point  of  no  return.  My  personal  defibrillator  arrived  in  the  nick  of  time  in  the  form  of  a 
voice,  that  of  my  friend  and  soulmate,  Bob  Monroe,  who  gently  brought  me  back  down  to 
Focus  10.  I  finally  relaxed  with  the  thought  that  I  had  once  again  defied  the  death  and 
destruction  of  my  body. 

Tears  started  to  flow  just  before  Bob  rescued  me.  How  could  I  ever  get  through  the  levels 
beyond  Focus  21  intact?  It  felt  as  though  I’d  almost  had  a  heart  attack  or  a  stroke.  So, 
immediately  after  leaving  my  CHEC  unit  I  took  my  blood  pressure.  It  was  122/81  with  a  pulse 
rate  of  72.  Either  the  racing  heart  was  all  in  my  mind  or  else  the  energy  had  been  released  by 
that  earlier  volcanic  eruption!  Even  so,  I  still  couldn’t  stop  crying. 

Then  it  struck  me  that  my  cataclysmic  experience  was  connected  to  the  dream  that  had 
awakened  me  earlier  that  morning — a  dream  that  had  played  itself  out  backward  just  like  the 
day’s  routine.  The  dream  had  “clicked”  from  a  scene  with  practically  the  whole  state  of 
Maryland  on  fire  ...  to  a  whole  residential  neighborhood  in  flames  ...  to  a  house  engulfed  ...  to  a 
child  in  the  house  with  a  little  black  and  white  dog  (just  before  the  dog  accidentally  started  the 
fire) ...  to  the  contractor  building  the  house  (knowing  how  the  story  was  going  to  turn  out  and 
trying  to  change  the  course  of  events  by  making  the  house  fireproof).  I  was  mirrored  in  every 
element  of  the  dream. 

What  symbology:  fire  of  passion  and  anger  and  violent  cleansing;  house  as  the  physical 
container  for  the  soul;  child  and  dog  as  innocence,  spontaneity,  creativity,  and  playfulness;  and 
the  creator  of  the  entire  reality  trying  to  rewrite  the  story.  The  dream  also  resonated  with  the 
last  tape  exercise  on  Tuesday  evening.  We  were  to  pull  our  greatest  fear  out  of  the  Energy 
Conversion  Box,  identify  and  feel  the  attendant  emotions,  and  rewrite  whatever  frightening 
story  had  shut  down  our  souls. 

A  couple  of  hours  later,  I  sat  under  the  maple  trees  and  looked  out  over  Lake  Miranon.  The 
crying  had  finally  stopped,  and  I  felt  soothed,  nurtured,  and  surrounded  by  peacefulness  and 
love.  Two  dogs  wandered  by,  sniffing  their  way  around,  and  fully  enjoying  each  moment  in  the 
eternal  Here/Now. 

After  that  pleasant  little  diversion,  I  refocused  on  my  own  situation.  Just  sitting  by  the  lake  with 
an  opportunity  to  regroup  represented  a  major  change  in  a  pattern  going  back  to  early 
childhood.  My  supersensitive  soul  had  been  devastated  countless  times  by  some  event  that 
threatened  to  kill  my  body.  Yet  either  my  peers,  or  authority  figures,  or  the  rule  of  form  over 
function  forced  me  to  stay  with  the  routine  and  to  minimize  or  ignore  the  attack.  Tears  welled 
up  again  as  I  grieved  for  the  panic-stricken  child  within  beseeching  somebody — anybody, 
please,  oh  please! — to  protect  its  battered  soul. 

Today,  I  stated  my  intention  to  care  for  myself  and  put  my  need  for  sanctuary  in  nature  ahead 
of  the  morning  agenda.  Miraculously,  I  was  supported  (even  blessed)  by  both  trainers  to  go 
and  to  report  back  after  processing.  A  major  fear — that  of  disapproval — had  been  released 
from  my  Energy  Conversion  Box.  I  saw  the  many  past  occasions  when  brutal  violation  had 
been  the  price  for  daring  to  honor  my  own  needs  over  accepted  protocol.  By  honoring  myself 
today  and  being  supported  in  that  choice,  I  learned  that  it  was  safe  and  acceptable  to  put 
myself  first. 

This  story  has  a  truly  happy  ending.  By  leaving  the  scene  of  the  trauma  for  a  few  hours  of 
restoration  in  nature,  my  first  exposure  to  Focus  21  ultimately  served  as  a  cosmic  and  psychic 
roto-rooter.  It  cleared  out  the  “gunk”  in  my  energetic  plumbing  so  higher  energy  frequencies 
could  run  through  me  more  smoothly  later  that  afternoon.  When  I  mustered  up  the  courage  to 
climb  back  into  my  CHEC  unit  and  revisit  Focus  21 ,  I  quickly  discovered  that  the  energy  of  21 
could  be  used  to  speed  manifestation  of  my  desires  in  the  outer  physical  world.  Thus,  while 
Focus  21  originally  left  a  bitter  aftertaste,  it  eventually  became  an  acquired  taste. 

Perhaps  “No  pain,  no  gain,”  really  is  true.  In  any  event — to  quote  the  indigenous  peoples — 
"That’s  a  healing  story.”