Speaking of Luana
|Luana portrait by Monte Hellman
Luana Anders popped onto my facebook page this morning.
Could have been an algorithm, could have been because Jennifer and I were chatting with her YESTERDAY.
Jennifer Shaffer and I meet up weekly, I film our interviews, and for fans of our work, Luana is the "holder of the backstage pass" (as dubbed by Tom Petty during a session) that allows us to speak to various individuals who still want to communicate with their pals back on the planet. (If I know the family of the person involved, I reach out to them the best that I can, if I don't, I'll post something on their instagram page or social media page, figuring if their loved one on the flipside has the ability to tap their shoulder, they'll point to it and say "that's from me.")
If they don't see it, or don't believe it, that's fine - as I'm fond of saying "Not everyone signs up for a lifetime where they know how the play ends." It's okay to believe that life ends at death, but as Harry Dean Stanton said to us (in the 2nd chapter of the first book) "Believe in the possibility of an afterlife, then you won't spend any time like I did arguing about it."
(Harry had a number of verifying, validating things he said during his interview, which has been mentioned here in earlier posts, but suffice to say, I knew him, knew who he was talking about, and the friends he asked me to reach out to, all were going through exactly what he observed from the flipside.)
In honor of those we've chatted with I try my best to let their loved ones know they AREN'T GONE, THEY'RE JUST NOT HERE. They still exist, albeit on a different wavelength but still want to stay in touch with them. (We were given a simple formula for folks to use on their own; 1. Say their name. 2. Ask your questions 3. When you hear the answer before you can form the question you'll know you have a connection. (I'm told saying their name, looking at a photograph, listening to their voice is a way of "strengthening the signal.")
In honor of Luana and her continuing help with navigating the flipside, here's the Foreword from our book "Backstage Pass to the Flipside; Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer." Might as well have Luana's name in the title - she's doing the same work that Jennifer is doing, only on the other side.
"Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer" by Luana Anders
"Forewords are an unusual introduction to the material inside a book. In “Flipside: A Tourist’s Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife” Harvard PhD Gary Schwartz offered to write the foreword, where he said that “self science” was something Einstein had done, and he felt my “journey into the Flipside” should be considered as part of that canon.
In “It’s a Wonderful Afterlife volume one” Charles Grodin suggested in his foreword that he didn’t quite know what to make of my forays into the afterlife but enjoyed my passion for them. In Volume two, Galen Stoller, a young man who passed away some years ago wrote an eloquent foreword from where he is now, detailing what he wanted to impart about the journey. “It is a wonderful afterlife,” he wrote (via a medium), “but only because “it is wonderful to be alive.”
I suggested my pal and compatriot in this endeavor medium/intuitive Jennifer Shaffer should write the foreword, as she’s the conduit for this research. But while we were discussing this, Luana Anders, my friend and inspiration for this journey (who passed in 1996 after our being best friends for 20 years), suggested (through Jennifer) that she wanted to write her own foreword to this book.
(Note: Luana, besides being an actress who appeared in 30 features (including “Easy Rider”) also appeared in 300 TV shows. Her film writing credits include “Fire On The Amazon” and “Limit Up” written with yours truly.) At some point in this book, she suggested I try “automatic writing.” I sat in front of the keyboard, put my fingers on the keys and thought; “Type whatever comes to mind.” I opened myself up to the possibility I could write something on her behalf:)
|Tom Pittman who took this photo, was an actor and contemporary of Luana's, but died in a car
accident like James Dean - Tom was wearing the same jacket and driving the same
Porsche as Dean when they found him up on Mulholland Drive in the 60's.
“First, let me be clear. Richard is not talking through me. I am talking to him through Jennifer (usually). She does her best to make it easy for him to understand what I’m trying to say, and I’m doing my best to make it easier for him to understand. But it is leaning in from both sides.
(Note: Like the 11:11 example Luana cites later in the book.)
At the moment, Richard is typing this sentence and has put his mind on virtual hold (he claims it’s a meditation technique) to allow “me” to take over his typing. Some people call this “automatic writing.” Doesn’t mean it’s any good. It just means it’s automatic. No brain stem involved.
I’d would like to point out that chanting “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo”* saved my life. I know that Richard used to tease me about it, make fun of it – and I’m grateful for that because it allowed me to laugh about it as well.
(Note: Luana would do her “daimoku” (“Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” prayer) in the car on the way to an event. She’d chant at lightning speed, decades of practice, which sounds a bit like “homina homina munya homina.” I would imitate her and she couldn’t help but laugh. Chanting helped her navigate her fear of parties. Luana was an incredible listener, and on more than one occasion, I’d leave her for ten minutes at some tony event, come back to find a close friend sobbing, pouring out his/her life to her. She had incredible compassion, even as a listener.) (*SGI/NSA Buddhist chant.) (You can see her chant in the film "The Last Detail" in a scene with Randy Quaid.)
But it saved my life. I never would have made it as long as I did on the planet without being able to focus on something else so dear to me. Saving humanity by chanting about it. If you’re not familiar with it, if you’re suffering, I recommend it as a form of meditation and healing. You pray for someone else and you are healed. Simple as that.
I suggested that I write the foreword to this book because after all, much of it is about me – and I have little to say in the matter. Believe me, it was as shocking to me as it was to my class to have him (Richard) appear as he did – willy nilly – in front of my classroom over here. He just started speaking out loud as if was completely normal that some ghostly avatar would appear in front of our class and start blathering away about his “research.” **
(**Note: It was during my first deep hypnosis session where I found myself standing in her classroom, interrupting it. Everyone turned in shock as I appeared. She looked at me as if to say “WTF?” She looked about 20 years younger than when I knew her – at least 10 years before I met her. She looked embarrassed to see me standing in the class talking – but I continued to speak. (as reported in Flipside))
But I applaud him for it. He’s got cojones this boy. I can call him a boy – because I know him better than most. He’s endearing... to me and to others. But at his core, he’s that little boy that I’ve known for a long, long time.
|Me and Luana around the time we met at USC
assigned to the same screenplay for a script class.
It’s going to upset some people, but we’re on top of that as well. It’s going to liberate most people. Help most people. And ultimately turn out to be completely accurate when others figure this process out.
Some may ask “Why now?” Some may ask “Is this a good thing to do to communicate with our elders and loved ones who’ve gone on?” Well, we still have things to communicate to you, we still have thoughts, dreams, feelings and hope for humanity – because we consider ourselves part of your journey as well. You may not think of us that way – but we think of you that way.
So please, allow me to offer this small token of appreciation for the fellow who is typing this sentence. Yes, you are a goofball Richard, you are someone that has vexed and frustrated me during my life, but also during other lifetimes.
But you also taught me how to laugh, how to let go, and how to be more of myself while I was on the planet. I know what my path was about, I know why I had to depart early – eventually you’ll come to know these reasons as well. Suffice to say it’s okay not to “know everything” or “why everything happens” but it is good to trust in the idea that they do “happen for a reason.”
And let’s focus on that for a moment – “focus on reason.” What is reasoning? Taking the evidence presented in front of us, and trying to figure out what it means and how it can help me in my journey. We reason things out because that’s what we do with our minds... we also can go “beyond reason” and allow things to happen to us, or for us... and that’s how I want you to consider what you’re about to read. That this goes “beyond reason.” And there’s a reason for that as well.
|Circa Dementia 13 in the 1960's.
One more thing about love. I love you all. I’m not just saying that as a phrase – but I want you to really feel what I’m saying. I LOVE YOU. I send my heart and soul and unconditional love to you who are reading this sentence. I hope and pray that you receive this love because love is what moves this universe, it is the giant engine of who we are, it’s what or who God is, it’s what or who we are. If you can wrap your mind around love – that’s great – if you can’t, that’s okay too, just open your heart up to the idea of it.
Love yourself. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy. Love the idea of love, of creating love, or spreading love of being loved and giving it in return. That’s about all I have to say on the topic except... “See you on the flipside.” (To quote a corny phrase too often used by a close friend of both of ours.)
PS: (It’s) Just a few days after my birthday – I would have been xxx age in your realm – but over here – not such a big deal. Which I prefer. Enjoy the cake."
Written (as if channeled) by Luana Anders (Foreword from "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Medlyn Shaffer")
|Here's Luana with Mick Gough when
they did Broadway together in the 1960's.
|We spoke to this pal of hers yesterday. Michael Gough (original Batman's butler)
Luana and I went to see Mick in "Breaking the Code" on Broadway,
on our way backstage to find him, we walked across the pitch black stage
and stumbled into him. This photo taken a few minutes later.