Author Archives: Ravon Alford

What Are Dreams?


In almost all of the small group discussions I’ve had during the past week or two, the topic of dreams always tends to come up.

This video asks the questions whether or not dreams are the “nonsensical byproduct of a sleeping brain, or a window into our unconscious mind?”

“Doing” The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible By Charles Eisenstein

This world that we’re living in is so fast-paced. We have to have the fast working wireless internet, vehicles, messaging software, and much more. Everything is always so urgent that we sometimes forget to be in the moment.  We always have to be actively doing something in order to feel like we’re utilizing our time wisely.

In Charles Eisenstein’s chapter, “Doing,” he touches basis on how our concept of doing isn’t what’s best. “Here and now is never enough.” We’re constantly planning for the future. I have a physical planner, calendar apps, and Google calendar. When I don’t utilize those, I’m constantly taking mental notes of what I need to do. Although I’m always tired, I enjoy always having something to do on my schedule because I feel productive or that I’m using my time wisely. Although they hardly ever happen, it’s the days where I relax and lounge all day that I feel least productive. Despite this, these are times I have the opportunity to think. Not about where I’m supposed to be, or what I’m supposed to be doing but just think or allow my mind to wonder wherever it pleases. Eisenstein emphasizes that, “we tend to devalue those periods of pause, emptiness, silence and integration.” This is the concept of mindfulness.

With graduation around the corner for most of us, finalizing our plans for our life after UMich has become more pertinent. I find myself getting so caught up in what needs to be done instead cherishing these last few weeks of undergrad.  We won’t get these moments back. There’s no need to be urgent, because the time in undergrad has been fast enough. Live for the now. Doing nothing is not bad, but needed sometimes. Be in the now.

Alford After Death Communications

After Death Communications

Special Relationships

            This short book includes records of automatic writing being communicated by individuals who have been deceased. This spirit-communication is designed to give those who grieve, a brighter outlook on death and separation, gradually drawing away from natural sorrow. This particular part of the book includes several accounts of how the deceased have communicated to loved ones in order to bridge the gap of separation. The one I find most touching were the messages sent by a son to his mother who had been killed in the war. The first set of messages that were sent expressed how Gilbert, the son, had been with his mother all-day and will always be near, that he was alive, that he was in a happy place, and that he will always be with her and his father. The second message again stated that he is with her all-day, that he has saw her grieving and he understands, that he has not left her, that he is very happy, that he hopes to bring her comfort, that he is not dead in the sense of the word, and that he loves her just the same. Adding to when he mentioned that he is not dead, he said that death doesn’t exist. We are only out of the fleshly body, but the new body is more beautiful, easier to move around, and alive to all of the life of the whole universe. The third, and last message mentioned in this short book, said that he would never leave her, he is still alive, he is happy in exception to the sorrow that his mother feels, that he will be able to make her certain that she feels him near very soon, and that he loves her now more than ever; death cannot touch their love.

Erroneous, Confused, and Irrelevant Matter

Being the scriber of the spirit-communication can inevitably cause some problems. The author writes the messages exactly as he receives them, but everything is not always clear. There are messages where they do not leave any confusion, while there are others that leave a considerable amount of guessing. There are cases where the connecting link in the messages are unknown. In others, the information relayed via the messages aren’t always factual. Assertions about death and/or recovery have been invalid as well. Lastly, there can be a great deal of illegible words or sentence fragments. In one instance, the deceased wrote the author in French, possibly assuming that the author’s French-given name guaranteed his knowledge and comprehension of the French language, however, it did not. One reason why there may be various errors during the communication is because the individual has been deceased for quite some time. Also, if the author has had a long sessions and is quite tired, this may have effects on how comprehensive the messages are.


I drew interest in these accounts from the short book because although I have not had or felt any contact with deceased loved ones, I have wondered about the messages they would send. I know individuals often express how they feel that their deceased loved one is with them, they are comforting them, and they feel their love. While I believe that these feelings are true, I have always wondered how the communication was expressed on the other end. Additionally, while I have never heard of spirit-communication through message writing I am skeptical of the factuality and sufficiency of this. If the connection of communication and be easily triggered by the fatigue of the scriber, there can assuredly be other ways that the messages can be affected by the scriber. Nevertheless, I do find the goal of this communication commendable to help individuals cope with deaths of loved ones a little easier.

Alford Gary Schwartz The Afterlife Experiment


As a scientist, Dr. Schwartz is trained to look at the world through a scientific intellectual lens. Rather than simply believing, he is expected to hypothesize. Referring to the movie, Contact, Dr. Schwartz refers to the scene where the scientist, Dr. Arroway, was talking to spiritual scholar, Palmer Joss. When speaking to Reverend Joss, Dr. Arroway states that she needs scientific evidence in order to believe. However, Reverend Joss refutes this belief, and asks Dr. Arroway to prove whether she actually loved her father. Mr. Joss was teaching Dr. Arroway that love is sometimes unexplainable and can only be understood by experiencing it for oneself. Just as hard as it is to prove that you actually love someone, it is even more difficult to prove that there can be communication with the afterlife.

Additionally Dr. Schwartz had also been a skeptic. There have been several instances where he stated that these occurrences simply cannot be true. Although he would be surrounded by data he would be in disbelief based off what he has been taught or personal fears. Nevertheless, the data that Dr. Schwartz had compiled for this book he feels is real and speaks for itself. The objective Schwartz was proposing was that just like science can support that gravity, electrons, and photons exist, science can also prove that love, consciousness, and the survival of one’s existence can exist as well.  This was the starting hypothesis and the drive for the experiment.


This registers with me because although I find the information on near-death experiences to be interesting I am still unsure whether or not I believe it. Just like love, I may only be able to believe by having an experience of my own or being immersed in the data. This literature has allowed me to realize that my indifference towards this issue is normal, and until I am able to have data prove itself or have a near death experience of my own, it is okay to be a skeptic. Science is powerful, but only as powerful as we allow it to be. There was a certain time where scientists and nonscientists agreed that the earth was flat. However, with more research it was later learned that the earth is a globe. Until I am able to experience communication with the afterlife on my own, I will continue to have the common idea about death and communicating with the deceased.