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Today's book is - Close to the Bone. You know her as an internationally known author, a young Jungian analysist, a clinical analysist at U.C. Medical Center. She is an activist, and a friend. Since she wrote "The Millionth Circle", she has been an advocate for women and women's issues bringing women's wisdom into the world. She speaks and writes about our search for meaning and the need for spiritual dimension in life. Her books are used as college and University texts, in gender studies, women psychology, mythology, spirituality, east-west philosophy and psychology courses. Dr. Bolen has been in Book Passage several times and we are very fortunate to call here front of the store and this is another incredibly inspirational book for women, for men, for families just about for everybody. So please welcome Dr. Bolen here today. It's a real pleasure to be at Book passage always. And this time, I am bringing a book that has had to wait ten years to have a beautiful cover. Its "Close to the Bone", - it's the tenth anniversary edition of the soft cover and it has a new subtitle called "Life-threatening Illness as a Soul Journey", because that's actually what the book is is very much about. Now, it's a new edition because of the additions and because of the deletions, ten years ago or 11 years ago, when the hardcover came out; AIDS was a terminal diagnosis. And in that in this ten year period, that would may kill and affect 30 million people worldwide, in the United states of America, with our medicine and clinical availability of of treatment; AIDS has become by enlarge a chronic disease - much as diabetes or heart disease. 11years ago when you got the diagnosis or some one close to you got the diagnosis, it was a fatal disease or viewed as such. Cancer has had a similar kind of way of moving through the medical story and the personal story that every year, there is yet another new breakthrough and yet every year do diagnostic methods, diagnose cancer earlier and earlier and for every person and every person who loves someone with who gets the diagnosis, its really scary. It is also the beginning of a potential descent of the soul into the underworld and the beginning of a deeper, more significant and meaningful period or phase of life. For many people because of when the diagnoses come, it is a variation of the midlife crisis a major midlife crisis. One that as medicine gets more and better at treating cancer can actually be missed as it becomes something that you you know, because diabetes and tuberculosis and other illnesses that once became terminal don't we get treated now. And without that confrontation, you can miss the enormity of having a wakeup call - a call to go deeper that you other wise would have. Now, there is on this cover - a picture of a lotus in a very dark pool and it allowed me to then - to draw a little symbol in the book and describe. The lotus is a symbol of soul development because it rises through and above muddy waters to bloom, inspiring the eastern saying - out of the mud grows a lotus. A lotus is an appropriate symbol for this soul journey, taken by people who are plunged into the depths by a diagnosis that then becomes a turning point for spiritual and psychological healing and physical healing. That's really the thesis, the message. Now it started out really as a talk. It started out as a talk that was heard by the women who is the founder of Healing Journeys Cancer as Turning Point. And the initial talk was illness as a descent to the soul into the underworld. And so in this book what you find is mythology being part of your story. Because there are two myths all the myths would have to do with the underworld apply to have in your life threatening illness. Whether it be cancer or any other life threatening illness. And the two myths said especially describe the situation - as first of all, one is very well known to most people and that's the story of the abduction of Persephone. I mean here Persephone, gathering flowers in the meadow having nothing more to decide than what beautiful flower shall I pick next. Now she is a daughter of Zeus and Demeter. The sun is shining and it's a great day, she walks across the field to pick a gorgeous flower and then she reaches to pick it, her life changes. Suddenly in front of her the earth opens up and out of the deep dark vent in the earth comes Hades in his black chariot, his black horses and he has come for her. And he grabs the terrified Persephone into the chariot and then horses, chariot and screaming Persephone go back down through that dark vent in the earth and the earth closes over as if nothing has happened. The other story has a different beginning and it is an even more ancient story and it is a story we know, Inanna a Sumerian story that goes back several thousand years before Persephone's story, Inanna story is it, she is really somebody in the upper world she is after all - queen of heaven and earth. And she is used to been respected and having power and authority and the story begins - she hears that her sister Ereshkigal is in mourning and suffering in the underworld. And she makes a decision to go down and be a witness and thinking that she has the same entree - the same ability to to make her way in the underworld as she has done in the upper world. She knocks imperiously at the door to the underworld. The gate keeper opens it a little bit, and wants to know who she is and what she wants. And the story progresses, she goes through - well her first reaction is - what is this? And she is told Inanna - the rules of the underworld are different, they must be obeyed. Now what is this have to do with, what it's like to get a diagnosis - the first one is pretty obvious you are minding your own business doing the equivalent of picking flowers in your meadow and suddenly something happens that plunges you under the underworld it takes you into the underworld. It may have been really a fine day until your doctor called you on the phone and said that your PSA or that biopsy turned out to be really bad news. It may be that every thing was fine and then you were stricken in some way, may be you will have consciousness may be you had an unexpected pain and you passed out. Whatever it was, there was a before and an acute after. And after that nothing was the same. And that is the story that begins the descent of the underworld for most people who have a life threatening illness - except for people who are like Inanna who - for whom things are just problems to be overcome and the biopsy comes back or the test comes back and right, it's not great news and that is cancer but there are experts and there we will just go through and get the best series and have it taken care of and its very much the Inanna approach said that knocks on the door to the medical standard or the expert or whom ever and assumes that this can be taken care of, just like all kinds of other things and very often the person learns very early. Some times its just as soon as you enter the hospital admissions area and the question really is - who are you? - meaning, do you have adequate insurance. And you get first glimpse in to a world that doesn't really care that much about who you are in the upper world and that your role as patient is humbling and strips your defenses from you for Inanna story she goes through seven gates and at every gate she is stripped of a symbol that represents her power, or her persona or her defenses in the upper world and at every gate she is shocked by what is the latest indignity. We don't have to do too much being a patient in a patient role to know that their indignities where you might want to say - what is this? And the message is the rules of the hospital, the rules of the doctor that must be obeyed. And so then you lose more of your sense of your self in the upper world and your persona and you go yet trough another gate and finally in Inanna story and in Persephone story, they find themselves in the under world and that's where people go and get to with a life threatening illness. But all the stories of the under world involve the potential of coming back and this is what makes these stories so interesting and so relevant. But coming back changed. So this is where I started talking about mythology as it applied to major illnesses. And then I began to work with Healing Journeys Cancer as Turning Point. I became more involved in the literature, I became more able to speak about how with my own experience with friends and family and patients how after you get the best medical diagnostic procedures done, go to the best doctors that you can find. How healing takes more than that, and how often in this place of vulnerability rehearsed deeply begin to realize that life is a soul journey. Now caught up in every day a lot of people seem totally unaware that is about soul, in the accumulations of material things and the ambitions that that we all get infected by ,and the addictions that numb us. There is a forgetting, that essentially this human being businesses is a fascinating deep and real soul journey. Now the book is called - Close to the Bone because this is what we know in our bones. What is it you know in your bones not what someone else tells you but something that you have a deep intuitive feeling or sense of without being told? It is what human beings for ever have had for one things what I believe differentiates us from all other species has something to do with the awe that we have for the numinous that is way back 40,000 years ago when you see pictures or actually have gone into caves in which ancestors painted the spirit of the animals that they depended on for life. You get a sense of awe, in fact awe and a sense of having a soul that goes on or is an invisible part of who we are seems to be something we know in our bones, and numinosity is that sense that that goes beyond religion. Its been part of the foundations of every religion however its that our perception of that that experience of divinity of something far greater than ourselves that we can't wrap our minds around, that gives us a sense of awe and being a part of something much larger - the universe, divinity how ever we define it. But this is an essential part of who we are as people, as human beings. So if you ask every body - do you believe that you have a soul? The invariable answer seems to be in your bones - the answer is yes. And it has been through time what we have as human being the sense of soul. That means that you could define us, as spiritual beings on a human path rather than human beings who may or may not be on a spiritual path. And if we come in to this world as a spiritual being as a soul there must be some point to this human existence how ever short it is and how ever if people who study - families are correct. How strange it is, we come in as is it vulnerable, young so young, we come in - we come in into our human form as vulnerable babies into our particular form of this functional family and we go from there. And part of this human being business is that we will get our share of suffering. There is no way you can get through this journey without your particular share of suffering. There must be something to this human path that in a mortal soul experiences in no other way ,I mean if we have in our mortal soul then what is the point of coming into this human path where it's so messy, its so short, where it's so vulnerable and yet there is such capacity for love and for beauty and for making decisions in which the soul either grows or shrinks, and if you start to think about your life in these terms, then if you encounter a life threatening illness or some one that is significant to you does or dies from it the question is, with these experiences what do we do and how we deal with it? Might the life threatening illness be part or very significant part of the journey the question being if a spiritual beings on a human path and what did we come to do here? Or what did you, in particular come to do? If a spiritual begins on a human path, what did you come to learn? And then it moves out into who did we come to love, what did we come to do with as my favorite poet Mary Oliver really says it so cynically, at the end of her poem - "A Summer Day," she makes this statement. Doesn't every thing die at last and too soon, tell me what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life. I think that is a major challenge that maybe is recognized most at that point where you have been through that first descent. You have, had the diagnosis, you got the treatment which also drained you and also interestingly made you if you had chemotherapy look like a new born kid without much hair. And now what - now that you are regaining your strength, now that you don't know what did they got it all and whether its going to come back. Now that you know that you could die from this. Now I don't know why it takes having a life threatening diagnosis to think that you could die, because after all life is a terminal condition and we all will ,but there is nothing like a life threatening diagnosis to get our attention about the preciousness of life and shortness potentially of life. So then what shall we do with this one wild and precious life? And wild for me has a great deal to do with what was naturally in you to begin with. What you came in with? What your talents were? What your heart was in? What you and how you grew through the particular family difficulties that you had to go through because that's the entry way into life from through through which you came. What about this short life that in Jungian terms - one wonders about individuation - normally at mid life? When you get to that place, where you have spend the first half of your life thinking you had all the time in the world. And doing what was expected. And you either succeeded or failed at relationship and work. The two charges that are put on us, by our families and societies - this is what you are supposed to do successfully in the first half of life and you either do or you don't usually and at that point where you are so aware of how fast the first half of life has gone by, that's where psychological mid life crisis has happened. That's why what ever has been suppressed and repressed are not allowed to live and be nourished, suddenly gets projected on to somebody else and you follow it. I mean that's one variation of mid life crisis they are all kinds of mid life crisis certainly a life threatening illness is one that gets your attention, makes you aware that preciousness of life and makes you wonder what you might do now. Now I have made an attempt this time to try to read from my book. I so often don't I get up in the night to talk about what I have written in my book. But I I really read from my book and yet this book is the first one that I truly did - go through to revise. And it's the only book of my ten that I have done that to. And in reading it, I also had read I also suggested before - let it be a book that could be read chapter by chapter out loud between a person who has a life threatening illness and another who is accompanying that person on the journey. That is probably the most poetic of my books in many ways. I wanted to give you and also I wanted to tell you some things of what I I did with this book. Other than the delusions that that took a lot of the AIDS stories out, but not all of them. What also I did was add more story, and the reasons I did I described here some times the difference between life and death begins with a story. Especially the patient is gotten a message that there is no further hope. Expectations are powerful. The words and attitude of others especially doctors are potent. The words and attitude, they help us or hex they help or hex healing and recovery. When a person is taken into the underworld by a life threatening illness or a self shattering violation it is an emotional enactment of the myth of the rape of Persephone. In the beginning she was gathering flowers in the meadow and then the earth opened up and Hades came out of the depths to abduct her. It was not until Hermes the messenger of god descended to the underworld and appeared to her that she realized she would not remain there for ever. Hermes whose Latin name is Mercury was the god who with his wing sandals and wings on his cap to go between levels and cross boundaries. He was called the guide of souls. When Hermes appeared to Persephone, he brought the message that she could return to the upper world - that recovery was possible. Hermes is symbolically present in the stories that reach people whose illnesses have taken them into the underworld to tell them that recovery is possible. Especially if they have been given up or have been given up by others and then hear and believe a story that could be about them. Such stories come in many forms. It may be a second opinion sort from another physician, it could be a journal article or information from the Internet or story about what some one who once was as sick as they are now did to get well. These are the words that mobilize hope and lead to action that in turn affects the healing response of the body, for words to become a healing story that message and the messenger must be believed. And so I added more stories, for that reason. And I also got from Candace Pert who wrote the book - Molecules of Emotion. And whose field is neuron cycle immunology and the connection between the mind-body so to speak. Now she spoke about, how when a person expects to die; and here is a story - how it's not a message that it just goes to the head - that when a person takes in a message it says if what happens in reality a small molecule called a peptide goes to every cell of the body. Or the peptide is a Hermes a messenger to each cell that says - Guess what community, we don't have to die after all - different story. It's at that level that a story can have a cellular difference. And why it's important? For example, that Healing Journey Cancer as Turning Point always has patients who have more than outlet their prognosis tell - what they did? And what weren't? So that those in the audience can feel the words from a person who has been there is there and there is some thing about them mobilizing a different story once you acknowledge that that story that change could be what - could be your story. So there is something about telling stories, stories are powerful. Stories - so I added more to that. Also added more about circles that in the book - The Millionth Circle and in Urgent Message from Mother, I speak about the possibility of changing the people in the circle and changing the world through the geometrical progression of numbers and stories and circles; so that what was ones disbelieve becomes a new taken for granted - way we think or act. You don't have to be too too distant from the Women's Movement to realize how before the Women's Movement there were so many limitations on women that are so gone now that it's hard to believe that we ever couldn't even get a credit card in our own name, things like that. And how did the world change to consciousness raising groups supporting the women and them to do whatever it was that they individually believed they should do and they are going out and doing it, and and becoming a critical mass changed how we live?. Now I bring up this activism in connection with - Close to the Bone, because the research that I that I I share in the book talks about how when people who have had especially a life threatening illness that returned and we are supposed to take them out and didn't. How altruistic health, altruistic meaning giving back service became and is one of the crucial incumbent elements of people who have had meta static disease, were supposed to die and didn't are two and again, this is second half of life stuff. The second half of life, you start to want to make a difference in some significant heart or soul way, so meaning becomes the issue. What is meaningful for you to do? And interestingly as human beings not only do we have a natural sense of having soul and a natural sense of having a soul and a natural sense of awe. We also have a you know, we lose it along the way but but if we are lucky we don't. We we understand how when we help other people, how good we feel and how that sustains and gives us in energy that more than keeps us going. We who can't be healers and helpers to other people; all kinds and always, when it's a natural gift we have been able to find a way into the world to use are extraordinary effort, extraordinarily fortunate people, because in that I-Thou connection between the healer and the other; Energy is generated in both, and now this is very Jungian as well because of one thing that Jung said that about the therapy that he was speaking of, as he he described it is an alchemical reaction. And then he described it or else it was described, it sounded much more like a chemical reaction, to me as a first year resident in psychiatry and what he said, that - for one person, the patient to be affected by the therapeutic process the other person the doctor had to also be affected as well. That and this is really, one whole chapter in this book is about I-Thou connections. That if you go to a doctor and you are treated like in it, if you don't feel better for the human connection with that doctor when you leave; if every time you leave that doctor you feel worse, you'd better get another doctor. That there is some thing beyond the doctor being a fixed person eagerly involved with and eagerly involved in overcoming the the problem that the patient has, in this way a good patient is is supposed to treat the body like you treat your car when you take it to a body shop some thing is wrong with it, fix it, replace some thing and give up the fix if it is - unfixable. And that's a model of the good patient to many doctors. Then we have Bernie Siegel come along and write about The Exceptional Patient, and one of the things that The Exceptional Patient seems to be as a real pain to their doctors. That rather than just following orders and being compliant, the exceptional patient becomes an expert about his or her own disease stays up ahead of the doctor often and what's on the internet. Ask, why this and not that form of treatment? And if a doctor can then be in partnership with the patient it's a very different experience and if the doctor cares about what happens to you, then you have a therapeutic alliance as it's called - that truly does make the journey go - not only with more ease but there is a sense that you are sharing the journey with your doctor, with those closest to you, with your friends and this is one of the things about the journey that that often changes people is that many women within - in cancer is a turning point have made the observation that cancer was the cure for codependency. That up until then they let people take energy from them and then to hear about realizing that they have a cancer that could kill them and the treatment has taken energy and they are tired, and these same people who have always been narcissistic and dreaming are still the same, only the patient is different; hopefully. And and there have been several interesting ways in which I tell about one one person who - before she began her treatment for cancer, she spoke to about three people who were energy drainers, who have - always expected her to extend herself, which she always seem to be doing and this time knowing for well, that they took a lot out of her and knowing that the journey that she was about to embark on requires all of her energy to do so. She had lunch with each of them and told them about the diagnosis and drew a boundary that said - I will need all the energy I have for my own healing, that I can't answer the phone every day, that I can't be expected to take you to this and that and the other thing or whatever it was. And having put that out, she then had a point of reference when they invariably tested the boundary, she could again speak, the truth with compassion. You don't have to be hostile toward people, but you do have to draw a line when your life may depend on it. And there is another story, mythologically; - The Last Task of Psyche in which she has completed three tasks and her fourth task is to go into the Underworld and return. And she is told that three times on this journey, she would be asked for help and she must harden her heart to pity and walk on. And sure enough, as she goes into the underworld, it happens three times, pathetic request, - Oh, Psyche please help me, - oh, Psyche please help me. Oh, this is such a small thing. And each time, she remembered the advice that she had taken. She hardened her heart to pity and walked on. Now, in this story, she had to carry coins for the Ferryman and she had to carry two cakes, one to give the three headed dog as she entered the underworld, and one to give him when she returned. And that second coin to get across river Styx to get back. And had she lend a hand, metaphorically or literally, she would have had to drop what she had in that hand; and she would not have had what she needed to get back from the underworld. And I think this story is a story that a lot of feeling persons people, men, - women more than men. But those good souls that are always been asked to help and who get tired because they are drained. Once you encounter a life threatening illness in which you will need all of your energy to succeed, then to heed the mythology and remember Psyche, - it's a need to harden your heart to pity or to your automatic reaction just because some one is going to say, - Well, this is not going to take very much out of you and you are being selfish whatever the implications might be. To have the support of an archetypal story, to say no and do what you need to do for yourself is often a major step in saving your own life. Another part of the story had to do with appreciating prayer and quoting some of the good research not only that, that was done at San Francisco General Hospital but it was also done in Kansas City on the acute coronary units; that helped people to not feel strange. In the Medical World some how to talk about love, to talk about prayer, are words that you don't hear very much. And to bring them into that realm while you are going to the underworld is really an important and empowering thing to do to say just, - What can I do for you? or to say, - You could pray for me. And to let people know about e-mail, you are going into surgery at x-time, you would like prayers during that time, - for the surgeon, for the best outcome. And the sense is that you are empowering people who want to help you to help you and that whatever prayer does, actually does help you. I see - When we pray for ourselves or someone else, we may in effect be sending an angel to help as we are asking or inviting an interaction between the invisible world and the physical one. Since humans cannot really know what god is, or know what an angel is even after a life time of worship or a life predicated on the existence of god. What we are affecting when we pray is in the realm of faith and speculation. However, the affects of prayer can be substantiated by research; whether we influence the mind of god or shift an archetype or activate a morphic field, there is something we affect when we pray. And then, there is this health business about appreciating the non-ordinary experience of being a patient or a doctor in surgery which only if you have several ritual sense of things. And I do think ritual cause and energy that if you have a circle of friends prior to your entry in your treatment, if you do a ritual around beginning chemotherapy. And one that I described here that has become quite common is women who will gather with good close friends who truly know of her journey or she is in already a spiritually centered women's group. And to have your head shown before it comes out in chemotherapy. And to talk to tell the story about how you are experiencing this whole cancer thing and what your concerns are and what you want from people through the next part of the journey. And to have other people in this circle speak from the heart is a profound support in the morphic field and the archetypal field. But one other thing you said that I appreciated very much I said, I wrote here about parallels to initiation. Surgery has parallels to indigenous initiations. You are taken from your usual surroundings, occupations and people and are prepared for an ordeal. Prior to surgery, as in many initiatory rituals, fasting is required. All pre-operative orders include NPO; the initials of the Latin words that mean - Nothing through the mouth In the morning, you are taken into the operating room which like ceremonial chambers has undergone purification. You are placed in the on the operating table, draped and prepared as if for a sacrifice. Surrounding you are doctors and operating room nurses who are a special cast of people who wear gowns, masks and head covering are set apart, and have received special training and privileges, like members of a priest class. Under anesthesia, you lose consciousness, enter another world and are unaware of what is being done that will change you. When the surgery or the ceremony is over, you are awaken and are told what happened to you. You have undergone a transformation and are no longer the same. Far in the operation you go through recovery period in which a sequence of food from fluids only, to soft and blend food, to a regular diet if prescribed. In order that recapitulates the feeding of infants. Mobility progresses from lying down, to sitting up, to taking the first steps with assistance, to being ambulatory or able to walk by yourself which is another recapitulation. And then there is the interesting your in your bowel and bladder activity which is also reminiscent of infancy. The surgical patient enacts a ritual of death and rebirth; an archetypal pattern, that it the basis of indigenous initiations of inductions into secret societies and religion in which one is born again. In them all, the initiate dies, is reborn and is for a time an infant member. The similarity and its underlying pattern makes surgery a ritual experience as well and what it as well as what it actually is. Because this is so rituals to prepare for the ordeal and to welcome the initiate back are fitting from the Psyche's perspective. Another place that I added a lot to is the last chapter which is - Musings. And I began with with a kind of words that I - I learned, which is I wonder what might happen next something I found myself saying over and over again when for a time nothing was predictable; everything that could go wrong seemed to happen and surprise kept surprises keep turning up. Well I think if you go through a major transition in your life if that's actually what happens. You know, you your usual expectations and the reliability of your expectations and your and - and what actually happens fitting together, those are right you know. And you just are in difficulties if you your expectations are so held onto because one of the descriptions of what creates anger unfulfilled expectations which I think this is well, I think its true. So that if you don't have expectations about how things will smoothly run or how - this particular person will come through. And you are going to a transition when lots of things happen and lots of things don't happen as you expected. To have the feeling, if I wonder what's going to happen next is truly the best attitude with which to go through any major transition that especially involves the underworld. And this could be the end of a job and end of a significant relationship, a new beginning in some place space in your Psyche. So I wrote, if a life threatening illness is effecting you right now, I believe that having a I wonder what might happen next attitude is realistic regardless of what you have and what you have been told. A prognosis is only an expectation much like an itinerary that can never take everything into consideration. A prognosis is like a weather report, which utilizes the most technically advanced instruments and collected data. The doctor like the meteorologist, predicts and sometimes uses statistics, - There is a 90 percent chance of survival or a 50 percent or only a 10 percent for example is in my mind about as accurate or inaccurate as predicting rain or the year in which a natural disaster will occur; with one major difference may be you can influence the outcome which is really the spirit of the book that maybe you can. And to act as if it all depends on you, and want you do on one hand and to fully surrender to the mystery that you don't know, when the end of your life is going to be and the other is to hold the opposites both of them can be held together to act as if everything you do will make all the difference and to know that, that's not true. The other the other addition that I brought to this book was something that that I wanted to bring to the to the reader that has to do with the mystery about living and dying. And the whole point of moving through a life threatening or life ending illness is not to survive necessarily but to grow through it. I mean if you take as premise, it's the whole point up our lives is to enter here as spiritual beings on a human path and to do whatever it might be that we came to do on a soul level. To take that two you've got this illness, it may take you out it may progress inevitability, it may not. It may be a major wrestling with are you going to live or are you going to die and then have a long next phase. We don't know that. But what I wanted to - to bring to the book was that surviving an illness and just living physically longer is not the end all. If you have a sense truly are souls that continue on in some way out of this human path, human body, but continue on, and again, it is something that you know or feel in your bones or not. I mean, you can you can read a lot or you can - there is some great there is some actually some very credible research and books on after death communication and things like that, that can intellectually support what it is that you know in your bones. But it will never convince someone who doesn't believe it. It will support you if you have a deep sense set it so and and if you are losing a child or losing a spouse, or you - or yourself on can see that whatever you are doing now is not working to save your life and that sooner around this and later, you are going to get to that point of major transition which is the transition from this form to what ever comes next. And you see one of the things when when you really are opened to people telling the truth as their experience and when they don't fear being laughed at or foolish. How common it is that people have had after death communication experiences, it's merely common. One statistics says it's like 60 percent of Americans have said that they had such experiences. So in that sense, what is the big deal if you get a visitation dream in which that person in the dream is more than a dream and there and then it conveys to you some real sense. First of all, almost every visitation dream conveys the message, "I am okay." And what is it about our particular Judeo-Christian tradition that doesn't seem to hold what every indigenous culture forever has held, which as you have some communication with folks who care about who you are on the other side. I mean everybody's religion except ours has some form of thinking that may be their folks on the other side who care what happens here and it is reassuring there is lots of reassurance on the other. Now what I added in this book, in the end was messages from Andy who is my son, who died at 29. And one other things that Andy did is he woke me up just before he left his body. And then on the day that he was dead that he died, his father went home and was at the edge of despair and loss. When he heard in his head our son Andy saying, - Hey dad, I am okay, - tell mom, I am okay. And he preceded to speak to his father as with the same kind of voice that he had throughout his illness actually it was amazing about him is how his soul got shiner and shiner as his body got weaker and weaker. And when he died, he was paralyzed he was paralyzed. And he went into himself to go over every over his my daughter came over and asked Andy once, - What do you what do you with yourself? what do you do? And that particular day, he was going over the lyrics to every song he had ever known. He just did a lot it really helps by the way if you have a well developed inner life if you have to face any kind of slow transition zone, it really would help if you did develop a deep and real inner life. But Andy Andy proceeded to say such things as when I went to the crematorium with a couple of my friend's, you know one who play the flute as and and his father didn't want to go there. And then he felt ofcourse badly that he wasn't there when Andy piped and said, Hey dad, I am not there either. And then another time, I mean he described that he has a different body. And if you could imagine, the joy kind of feeling of having a different body when you have been paralyzed at that very end point. And then, because if been a patient you know and you have been a you know, bed patient have only some body would say something like, I can eat anything I want here and I never have to poop. And so what I got was that there is a there is a phase where we first enter that has to do with wish fulfillment, it seems to not be the end all by the way. So may be may be some people do see 72 virgins, I don't know. But there is something about the kind of a communication that people have had that will never persuade any other people of the reality of they are being the other side. But what I wanted to bring into this particular book was something of that, because I think that we do know such things in our bones and that one should not be afraid of crossing over. And I know that I had written earlier about the great gift my father gave me by, because I was present at the moment he died. And this was when I was a first year resident in psychiatry at Langley Porter and I had gone home to be with my folks when my father was sent home to die from the cancer that took him, but it took a while to take him. And we had a round the clock nurses at home and he must have gone into that kind of breathing that you go into, when you are about to leave, because we had a system to wake us up. And so at very early in the morning I was awakened to be at my father's bed side. And by then, he had he really had suffered a lot of weight loss and he was gone to and all of that. And what I saw at the moment he just the moment before he left was that his eyes opened widely and his face got infused with joy. And he was seeing something of to this side that obviously I couldn't see. But he saw something, he had this joy infused in face and then he was gone just like that. And what was left was just a worn out old body. It was so clear that the soul inhabit that body and one nanosecond later, it was gone. And that what ever he was going toward was just fine. So I believe him this was one of the things that set me on a course that makes me not afraid of what ever comes next. And I think there is lot of people who have this actually. I wrote a book called - Goddess in older women about an archetype - of Hecate who is one of the three goddess characters in this story of Persephone At the end of the story of Persephone; you know she does come back. And when she comes back, Hecate is said to proceed and follow her that from that day forward - which means that she wasn't embodied so much if she was in attitude or spirit or a wisdom that accompanied Persephone when she came back from her underworld descend, and could then be a guide to others, which is of course the model of all the recovery groups based on, and if you've been in the underworld and you make it back, you can be a guide to others. You know your way around the underworld. So that there is something about wisdom acquired and Hecate is an archetype of well, first of all she is, the goddess of the cross-roads and the goddess who lived between the upper world and the underworld. So, she was a crone Goddess. And when you approach to cross road in ancient Greece, there would be a small statue that represented Hecate with three faces. One that could see the path that took you to this fork in the road and the other that looked down each of the two choices you had. So Hecate is this wisdom figure that it the archetype in therapists, the archetype in midwives, the archetype in hospice workers, it's the archetype of wisdom that is that people tamp into when they help other people at major transitions in their lives. And Hecate are is what, may draw some of you to do the help of helping the soul cross over from this world to the next through hospice, -it may be the healer in you. It originally as the midwife was a midwife who could know when the stage is about the stages of labor and know that the transition time when the baby goes under the bony arch of the mother's pelvic bone, that - this is when the mother and the child are most endangered, and that narrowest point before the child emerges. And the archetype of Hecate then is that in us, which I think is in everybody if you will only tamp into it. The people that are probably the most traumatized and who become multiple personalities have often suffered so much abuse at in growing up that they would submerge a personality and another one would come up, there were different personalities would emerge so that you wouldn't remember the suffering that happened before. And in the treatment of multiples, Ralph Allison who was one of the pioneers of it named that part of the person that he called the inner self helper, and it was the witness in the Psyche of a multiple who actually could remember the history; had only one emotion which was compassion. And this is like Hecate, if you get to a cross road you may have other parts of you that blame you for getting sick, or blame somebody I mean so much of what happens to people they blame themselves for ofcourse; that's because other people project blame so much that you can used to it as you grow up often. But to to be at the cross roads and be able to tap into an inner wisdom which is again get back to metaphor of what you know in your bones, and to listen to know which direction to take next? Or that you are at that place where the next place you may step over is to the other side, this is all of our journeys. This is why I might be concentrating on life threatening illnesses or soul journey; but really it's about how we get through life with all the losses and sufferings that come with life and to end up this we didn't talk. This is the most I have read at a book talk and signing ever by the way. I end the book with this paragraph. - If we are spiritual beings on a human path which I deeply believe; then life and all that we experience and do here is a soul journey. Most of us who have lived long enough know that the most difficult periods are those that also that teach us and test us and often pull us back on to a soul track or a hard path that we may have lost touch with. The hard times are the times when we grow our souls or falter. We learn from experience that this journey is much easier when we love one another, see the divinity in each other and know that we are not alone. Thank you.