#155 You might have heard of a Near Death Experience before. But have you ever heard of a Near Life Experience? Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll is a spiritual mentor, speaker, author, artist, and healer and during our conversation today, he sheds light on many matters regarding the soul, including a Near Life Experience. We also discuss the higher self, Jeff’s experiences with spirituality during his time as an emergency physician, how he dealt with death, and how we can open ourselves up to spirituality and discover our soul’s purpose.
If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like: Knowing: A Journey Beyond The Veil | Jeffery Olsen
About Jeff: Jeff O’Driscoll, MD, practiced emergency medicine in a level-one trauma center for twenty-five years, and served as department chair for eight. Dr. O’Driscoll recently stepped away from practicing medicine to pursue consulting and to write. His recent books include a novel, Who Buried Achilles?, a series of children’s books about Muck the Duck and friends, and his award-winning memoir, Not Yet, focusing on his spiritual encounters in the emergency department.
Key points with time stamp:
- Jeff’s work in his own words (0:12)
- What is the higher self? (0:25)
- Jeff’s experience with spirituality during his time as an emergency physician (1:28)
- Was Jeff open about those experiences? (4:34)
- Was it the death of his brother which kickstarted Jeff’s experiences? (6:03)
- Are we often aware of our own spiritual experiences? (7:48)
- The story of Jeffery Olsen and Jeff O’Driscoll (10:50)
- How did Jeff know when to talk about his spirituality? (16:29)
- How was Jeff’s vulnerability received? (19:43)
- What is a near life experience? (20:54)
- The perspectives around death and passing (22:07)
- What is the purpose of our souls on earth? (25:13)
- A low point in Jeff’s life that became a blessing (29:50)
- Is Jeff hopeful about the future? (32:42)
- Jeff’s morning routine (34:14)
- On the connections between spirituality and religion (36:29)
- What Jeff leaves us with (42:35)
Mentioned in this episode:
- Jeffery Olsen
- University of Virginia
- Anita Moorjani
- Eben Alexander
- Mary Neal
Dr Jeff O’Driscoll’s Website:
Jeff’s Book: Not Yet
Jeff, welcome to the podcast.
Oh, it’s great to be with you. Thanks for having me.
I love asking everyone on the show. If you were at an intimate dinner party right now, and you sat next to a complete stranger, and they asked you what you were doing for a living at the moment, what would you say?
I refer to myself as an intuitive mentor, I would tell that person that I help people connect with their highest self, and their most authentic path.
Beautiful. And the first thing I would ask to get clear, because this used to confuse the hell out of me, and it probably still does to a degree. But how would you describe the highest self
I believe the highest self is the Divine Self, the the eternal self that existed before we were born and continues to exist in us now and will continue to exist after we transition through death. That’s what I think the higher self is. Now, if you’d have asked me that question a few years ago, I’d have had a very, I would have had a very different answer at the dinner table. Because I’d have said, I’m an emergency physician for 25 years, I, I practiced emergency medicine, and people routinely when I went to dinner with them or something, they say, what they, they’d always say, Tell me about your most interesting case. And I used to hate those conversations.
Yeah. Wow. So you would have been around a lot of death, then? Sadly, I’m thinking,
yeah, frequently, regularly. But you know, what I learned was that a death is perhaps the most spiritual experience associated with mortality, death and birth. And the reason I say that it was because in my experience, when I was, when I was present at a birth or a death, it was as though someone drew back this veil or curtain, to allow a soul to pass through it, whether they were arriving or leaving. And when the curtain was drawn back, some of that light and glory from the other side, would splash on to me. And sometimes the curtain would be held open long enough, I could actually peer inside. And sometimes I saw somebody I knew. And I had some profound experiences when people were born. And when they died. Sometimes I actually saw souls leave their bodies when they died. And they communicated with me before they left this
round. Wow. Wow. That’s incredible. So like physically see them as well with your own eyes?
Yeah, it’s kind of a sticky wicket when you talk about how you see with your physical eyes. Because if I was simply seeing them with my physical eyes, the person standing next to me it see the same thing. So it felt like I was seeing with my physical eyes. But the way I interpreted the way I think about it is that rather than go through my eyes, the rods and cones, the the optic nerve, and down to the occipital cortex, where the signals are processed in an image is generated. When I see spiritually, it’s like, it bypasses all of those physical steps. And I just get the full, pure image without having to use my eyes and my brain, if you will, but it still feels like I’m seeing it with my eyes.
Wow. Wow. And was this just this, like, 25 years? Like, that’s a long time and, you know, dealing with people trauma and experience in this. Were you seeing this just now? And then? Or was this like a regular occurrence where you’ve lost count? Like, what kind of spectrum was this happening?
Well, I it was frequent enough that I lost count. It certainly wasn’t every day. And sometimes people come to me and they think I’m this profoundly spiritual person, because they’ve read my book or heard me speak. And I remind them, I say, Look, when you take 40 years of your life, and you compress it into 120 pages of a book, it makes you sound like, you’re pretty spiritual. But those things are spread out over years or decades. And sometimes you go a long ways in between and you start to think, man, was that real? what I experienced? How come I’m not having it anymore? And then all of a sudden, you walk into work one day, and you have one of those profound experiences. And you go, Oh, yeah, it was real.
Wow. Were you talking about it at the time to many others?
No, I never spoke about it. When I was working. And see it started before I was an emergency physician. It really started. Just about the time I was a teenager. I was it was just a month before my 12th birthday, when my older brother died in a farm accident and I really thought I got through Through that unscathed without any big emotional wounds. But 20 years later, my deceased brother came to me. And he said, you have to go talk with our mother. There’s things she’s never told you about my death. As you can imagine, that got my attention. So I went and visited with my mother. And on that day, for the very first time, she told me, she always knew where I was in the house before my brother died, because she could hear me singing. She said, When Stan died, you stopped singing. And that was the first time I realized the psychic impact my brother’s death had on me. It was shortly after his death that I started having messages and messengers, one of which I think saved my life from from a what would have been a fatal car crash. And so by the time I got to be an emergency physician, I had kind of grown into it gradually over over a long time, and it felt normal and natural to me. But I never spoke about it until after I stopped seeing patients just a few years ago.
Wow, incredible. I there’s just two things that spit me off at the first one was, if these experiences you’re having, so there wasn’t you didn’t like have a spiritual practice around anything to enhance experiences, it was the death of your brother. And then these experiences started to happen. Is that correct?
Well, I think so I never wondered about that until a few years ago, when I started speaking. And now I speak internationally about some of my experiences and what I learned from my spiritual experiences in the emergency department and such. And people would come up to me and they asked me, when did this start? What happened? How did this start for you? I had never contemplated the question until people started asking that to me. And after much introspection, I concluded it started when my brother died, although I didn’t realize it for a while. And it came on gradually. But it must have happened a lot. Because I remember when I was 19, I approached a woman who was a few years older than me. And I trusted her I really respected her. And without giving her any context at all, for my question, I use the language that was available, available to me growing up in a Christian environment as a teenager, and I just asked her, I said, Does God ever speak to you in sentences? And she just looked at me with this very knowing look. And she said, Don’t ever doubt that. That was all she said. And that which was a powerful piece of advice for me. So I think it started when my brother died, and it gradually grew from there. It went from hearing messages to seeing the messenger sometimes having other profound experiences.
Yeah, wow. And then the other thing I wanted to ask you that that opened the loop as well, because I’m thinking about the listeners right now is the fact that when you saw that woman 20 years later, after your brother’s death, and there’s a part of you that you hadn’t allowed to flourish and open, and we’re not even aware that we’re doing that, do you think that’s going on for a lot of people that we’re having incidences and traumas and life experiences, but we’re not dealing with them. So we kind of continuing just to hold on to that.
It’s been my experience that many people have spiritual experiences that they either don’t recognize, or that they so efficiently minimize that they talk themselves out of it. I’ve had many clients who told me they never had a spiritual experience. And then when we start talking a half hour or an hour into a conversation, and they’ll share an experience, and I’ll stop them, I’ll back up and say, Hey, wait, what? Well, wait a minute. And I’ll let me give you one example. I was meeting with a married couple. I usually need individuals. But this was a married couple. Their son had passed from a drug overdose and inadvertent drug overdose, he’d gotten clean and sober. And then he must have relapsed and, and five years after the fact, they met with me, because they felt like they’d had no closure, no closeness to their son, no experiences of any kind. They were very discouraged. an hour into our conversation, the father says, you know, my wife and I were to religious service. And after it was over, we were just sitting there. He said, I don’t know what exactly what happened. It felt like a dream, except that I was wide awake. My son came to me, and we were in this elaborate, beautiful train station. And he took me over to the ticket counter and he bought a ticket. And he looked at me and he said, now I can go places I couldn’t go before. And then this father changed the subject and started talking about something entirely different. I said, Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. I said, if a complete stranger came to you, and described that experience, what would you call it? And he thought for a minute, he was very Are you reluctant? He was he was tentative, and he finally said, a vision. I said, Okay, let me get this straight. And I picked up the metaphorical mirror off the table and pointed it back at him with his own words. And I said, so your son came to you in a vision. And he told you he was okay. And that now he could go places he couldn’t go before. And I looked at this father and tears just streaming down his face, he started to weep, because he finally realized, Oh, that was real. That was my son. People have those kinds of experiences all the time. And they talk themselves out of it. They say, Oh, it was just me. It was my imagination. It was in my mind. And I’m here to tell you otherwise.
Yeah, for sure. Thank you for sharing that. I’m also intrigued as well, because the reason why all this synchronistically happened on the podcast today is because I was interviewing Jeffrey Olson, on my show last month. And by the way that, out of the 150 podcast episodes I’ve done over the last two and a half years that had the biggest reaction I’ve ever released, I couldn’t think just people connected on a deep level. And when I was chatting to Jeffrey, you came up in the conversation. And I was just blown away, because I was like, what that that had like that happened at the same time. You know, Jeff, Jeffrey is telling me that his journey and his story, which was just mind blowing, and then you come into it, and I was like, would he come on the show to talk? You know, kind of they? Absolutely. And you’re here today, so I thought I thought it’d be really interesting for the viewers as well to tie that in a bit. Because I have no doubt there’ll be context already for many people that have had that show. And to hear your perspective of what happened that day for yourself personally.
If you’d have asked Jeff Olson that same question. Over the last 20 years, he would have said No, he won’t come on the show. And several people asked, and I persistently declined. He talks about me and his books, but he doesn’t mention my name out of respect for me because I wasn’t ready to talk about it publicly. Jeff Olson, as you know, was in a bad car crash. It took the life of his wife of 10 years Tamra and his 14 month old son Griffin. And it almost took his life. He was flown to my trauma center where I was on duty. And when I entered the room, the trauma suite where he was there was a bunch of people taking care of him. He was unconscious. I didn’t have to worry about his medical care because there were other people there to take care of that. And standing in the air above the gurney was his recently deceased wife Tamra. And she filled the room with light and glory and power. And she communicated with me she expressed her profound gratitude for for the care that Jeff was receiving. For me, everything started to slow down. And the room got quiet. It was like somebody had muted the television. Everybody else in the room was still talking to each other, still providing care, everything was happening. But for me, I didn’t hear any of it. I was just experience her experiencing her presence. I walked over and I looked down at Jeff on the gurney, I checked the pulse and his foot, I remember saying, oh, he’s going to lose the leg. And as I looked down at he could still see Tamra standing in the air behind me, because I could see in all directions at the same time. And it was it was like there was this flood of knowledge. I knew who she was though I’d never met her. I knew who Jeff was. I knew that he’d live I knew there was something purposeful in his future life, I had all of that knowledge that was just available to me. We sent Jeff off to the operating room, I went over took my gown and shoe covers off and went back out into the department and finished my shift. I went home. I wrote a sentence or two about it in my journal about having a powerful experience, but I didn’t say much more about it than that. And I never expected to see him again. A month later, a nurse who had real spiritual sensitivities and who had had a similar experience in the trauma room with me, came and she started tugging on my arm. She said, we have to go tell Jeff what happened, Jeff Olson. I said No, we don’t. I said if you want to go talk with him, go ahead. But I don’t have to tell anybody and i’m not i’m not inclined to share my spiritual experiences with a total stranger. But she was persistent. She drugged me up to his hospital room and we shared and As he learned about my experience, he started to weep. He knew it was Tamra because of the things she said to me, or communicated to me. And then he told me about how he had left his body at the scene of the accident and met her in the air above this car. And she had said, you have to go back and raise our other son, because their seven year old son and survived without serious injury. That’s been 23 years ago, Jeff and I are fast friends. Since that time, we often traveled together, we speak together. And people who know about near death experiences will appreciate this. Raymond Moody is kind of the godfather of near death experiences in some ways. He coined the term near death experience four years ago. And yet, over that 40 year period, he still harbored a reluctance to acknowledge that there was an afterlife, he was unconvinced. He was uncertain when he heard about the story, but involving Jeff Olson and myself. And when he read my book, he called me up and he said, I’ve let go of the doubt. Now, I, after hearing your experience and reading your book, I acknowledge there’s an afterlife, and I’m a believer.
And he and he’s a very scientific mind if I’m not mistaken.
Oh, yeah, he’s a physician. He trained at University of Virginia. He had a PhD before he went to medical school. He’s very objective and scientific in his approach.
Yeah. Which is great, which is great. But at the same time, yeah, it’s an interesting one, isn’t it? Why did you decide to come out then, if you like, I’m always fascinated with that as well. because like you said, You didn’t share your experiences with hardly anyone. And then you’ve decided to put into a book and come out. And because I remember speaking to Anita moorjani. And she was actually terrified about sharing her experience with anyone. So I’m always curious to hear that perspective on what was going on for you.
Yeah, most people are pretty reluctant, the average length of time for a near death experience or before they share their experiences about seven years. I think Jeff Olson went about nine, almost 10 years before he wrote his book and really started sharing. Sometimes it felt a little too sacred for me to talk about. Sometimes, I think I may have had some reservations about my professional reputation and how it might have impact my, my career. And in retrospect, looking back now, I think one of the main reasons was, spirit was whispering to me that it wouldn’t be fair to my patients, that I needed to not speak about it because some people would be comfortable with it, some people would be uncomfortable with it, and it wouldn’t be fair to the patients. If I spoke about it, six months after I stopped seeing patients, I woke up one day, and something just clicked in my soul. And I understood it was okay to talk about it now.And six months later, my book was published. And I was going to my very first public speaking engagement in Boston, in the US. I was in the airport waiting for my plane, and I had a suitcase with a bunch of brand new, hot off the press books in it. This young couple came and sat down next to me, and started asking the usual airport questions, where are you? Well, they asked me what I was going to be speaking, speaking about. And I told them, this young woman’s whole countenance changed. And she looked at me and said, my grandfather just died. And he’s come to me a couple of times. And my initial thought was, why would you share something so profoundly intimate with a total stranger? And then I realized, Oh, she knows I’m a safe place. She knows I believer. She took one of my books and went and got on her plane. I went and caught my plane. I’ve been an emergency physician for 25 years. At that point, I estimated I’d seen in excess of 60,000 patients on the plane to Boston, that spirit, that’s that voice that speaks to my heart, said you will help more people with this book than you helped as a physician in the emergency department. And that totally changed my perspective about the next chapter in my life and what I’m doing now.
You know, yeah, that’s incredible. How did your colleagues and family and friends and everybody respond once you started like with a lot of people that just had no idea and they’re like, Whoa, Jeff, Wow, really, you know, or Was it? Did? I mean, what was the response? Because I only asked because I think we all have burning desires to share more in our in ourselves and be a bit more vulnerable and open. But we quite often keep things closed off. And we’re frightened of telling people.
Yeah, I, I had several colleagues that sent me emails or text and said, Wow, I never knew this about you. And I had no idea. And my parents read my book. And they both said, how come we didn’t know any of these things about you? So yeah, I got I got quite a bit of that most of it was warm and inviting. Some people are just kind of tolerant of it. And I haven’t heard from any people that were hostile about it. There’s probably some out there, but they haven’t bothered to let me know.
Yeah, yeah. Beautiful. Fair enough. I wanted to ask you as well, because on your book, I’ve just got my note here. I hadn’t heard this term before a near life experience. I was wondering if you could explain that for us, please.
Yeah, it’s a new term. I think I, as far as I know, I coined it, I have not heard of anybody using it before. And the reason I use the term is because people that have near death experiences or similar, spiritual transformative experiences. and myself included, I’ve had spiritually transformative experience, I’ve had what are called shared death experiences. And when these things happen, you feel more alive than you ever do. In just in the flesh, you feel closer to the existence that you’re meant to be. It all feels more real than your physical life. And so I think when we have these experiences, we’re closer to the to the life we’re intended to have. We’re near life, nearer to life than any other time. So that’s why I call them near life experiences.
I see. So did you feel then, I mean, what if you were to summarize what life is what death is, what our journeys are here for, if what there is a once we pass the veil, because I think death is probably the one thing that doesn’t get talked about much. There’s a lot of fear from it, we get protected from it, we kind of don’t look at it. And then of course, when it happens, it’s devastating, obviously, you know, and I just would love to hear your perspectives on all of them.
I agree with you entirely about denial. I heard one statistic statistic, and I haven’t independently confirmed this. But I was told once and only 5% of medical schools have a mandatory course on death and dying. Talk about denial. I view birth and death as two sides of the same coin. But because of our mortal perspective, we don’t often see it that way. Because we’re only seeing one side of each. But think about it. We lived among souls before we were born. And when it came time for us to come to this earth, we said goodbye to them for a while. And I suspect that there was some of them that gathered together and comforted one another reassured one another much like we do at a funeral in this life. And just going for a while he’ll be we’ll be together again, will be sad to be away from you for a while, but it’s the best thing. But we view it from this side of the veil as what a glorious experience for this person to enter the world we get to be together we have some a new person in our family and on and on and on. Well, the opposite happens at death. But death we’re the ones gathering mourning, grieving, supporting one another reassuring one another, you’ll see them again, they’re, they’re not dead. They’re just transitioning, we’ll be together again. And on the other side of the veil, that person that’s dying is being welcomed by their friends and family and loved ones insane. It’s so good to reunite again. I think death and birth are exactly the same thing. We just only view half of each of them from our mortal perspective. And so we think they’re very different. And as far as the veil goes, in my opinion, the veil is the flesh. The veil is the mortal tabernacle that we live in right now that we’re dwelling in. And it protects us from all of that infinite knowledge that we had before we were born. It protects us from the accountability for all that knowledge by allowing us to forget some of it and learn to live in this realm in a new way. So, I think it’s one continuum of existence. We just happen to be in mortal experience right now and we can’t remember or see much of it.
Wow. I never have never thought of it like that. And what do you think is our then soul’s purpose while we are here? Because so often when you speak to people, I think we like direction we like purpose. There’s a lot of fear. Like, what what, what do you believe is the journey? Here?
Let me answer that with a little experience I had in the ER, and then I’ll expound on it a little bit. Okay. Yeah. I walked in a hospital room one day. And there was a gentleman there that was probably about 40 years old, even though he looked like he was 50. He had long, scraggly hair and an uncapped beard. He was he was unwashed, and clothing was tattered and soiled and he had shoes with holes in them and I could see his feet through his shoes. He was walking around in snow and cold and his feet were in rough shape. He struggled with addictions. He really was having a rough life. I filled the washbasin with warm water and squirted some salt in it. And I sat down at the foot of the gurney with a wash rag. He was a bit apprehensive, but I reassured him, it was okay. And he knew what needed to be done. We both did. We were the only two people in the room. I took off his shoes, and I removed the last threads of his socks. And I washed his feet. And something miraculous happened. Everything that was physical or mortal, that veil that that mortal veil was drawn back. And I saw who he was. I saw his divine nature. And I understood I was in the presence of God. I thought I went in there to serve this man. And I realized he was there to minister to me. He was the antithesis of everything the world defines as success. And yet he was divine. And I viewed every soul since that day differently, because I realized, that’s who I am as well. I’m always sitting next to God, whether I’m sitting in church or in the gutter. That’s who we are. And we forget that in this life. And so back to your question about why are we here? I pondered that I asked that exact question once. And it was explained to me. It’s easy to love other people, when you see their divine nature. You’re here to see if you can love them when you can’t see that. And the same with yourself. It’s easy to love yourself. When you see your own divine nature, can you love yourself when you don’t have a clear vision of it? We’re here to strengthen and help one another. We’re here to learn empathy. We’re here to learn that we are all one. And what we do to each other is what we do to ourselves.
Beautiful. And so do you think that’s a great place to start is really then to turn that inward and find that love within for ourselves within ourselves.
It’s a great place to start. But it’s a hard place to start sometimes, because we’re so hard on ourselves. Right after I published my book, I got on Facebook because somebody said, if you’re gonna have a book, you have to be on Facebook. So I got on Facebook. And I was scrolling through my feed and I came across this meme. And at the end it said at the top. The hardest place to see God is in the mirror. And I thought, yeah, that sounds really familiar. And I scrolled down to the bottom of the meme. And it was attributed to me it was from my book, I just thought, Oh, no wonder it sounds familiar. It’s hard to see God in ourselves. Because we’re taught our whole life, that we have to be humble, we have to be we, that we diminish ourselves, we make ourselves small, so that we don’t seem to be arrogant. But that doesn’t serve us well. What we should realize instead is that we are divine beings, and we should step into that and live that that reality and help others do the same. Huh?
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I got it. I got a few questions. I want to ask you. Jeff asked everyone on the show. And normally it brings up a few interesting things. As well, what’s been a low point in your life, that’s later become a blessing.
for about five years, I was in a really horrible dark place. It would take a while to explain. So I won’t go into that too much in my book if people want to read it. But I learned some profound truths about myself and our relationship to the universe to source during that time. But it was it was really miserable. I literally didn’t think I was going to live through it a couple of times. And just as I was coming out of that, is when I met Jeff balsam. And Jeff had had this near death experience and some of what he experienced didn’t seem to harmonize with what he’d been taught all his life. And he was really working through this difficult process of integrating what he’d learned versus what he’d experienced. And the very first meaningful conversation we had about this after he got out of the hospital, I came home that night and wrote in my journal, that I was grateful for my years in the darkness, because I knew the answers to his questions. And I knew how to help him. That was the first time that I was grateful for that horrible experience, where I felt so lonely, so alone, so confused, and frustrated, and even angry. But then it turned around and I thought, Oh, what a gift it was because now I know how to help other people.
Do you feel that our hardships hardships in life? I hear for it to help us learn?
Absolutely. A messenger came to me once and said, every experience is to enable you to help someone else. I said, sometimes, yeah, that’s kind of how I received it. Because sometimes I argue with my voice, as I said, Wait a minute, I thought experiences were for personal growth. And the voice said, ever, the primary purpose of every experience is to enable you to help someone else, you get the secondary benefit of personal growth. And so it just 180 degree turn on my view of difficult experiences. They’re not. It’s not happening to us, it’s happening for us. It’s there to teach us something, it’s there to give us empathy. It’s there to enable us to help someone else else along the path.
Are you hopeful with everything that’s been going on in the world right now, with the future to embrace embody this as a as a race as people?
I am absolutely hopeful. Notwithstanding a one and a half million people’s lives have been lost in this pandemic so far. And it’s far from over. Notwithstanding the wars around the world, and the pestilence, the hunger, all of those things. Yes, I am absolutely humble, and hopeful. And, frankly, in my opinion, we’re right, exactly where we’re supposed to be. That’s part of it’s part of understanding who you are, and why you’re here is to realize, I’m on my path. And so is everybody else, we are doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing. And even the horrible things that we soak see going on in the world. They helped me it was when I finally got to the point where I could look at a person and say, I don’t understand your path. But I don’t have to, it’s not my path. I don’t have to understand it or explain it or rationalize it, or justify it or condemn it. It’s not my path. We are all on our path. learning what we’re supposed to be learning doing what we’re supposed to be doing. And the more we come to that realization, the more hopeful I think we become.
Yeah, no, I agree. I agree. It’s an interesting one, isn’t it? You know, because Because right now, if you look at the world, quite often we kind of tune into, see the experiences that we want to see to keep us feeling a certain way constantly. If I want to watch the daytime news every day, I’m gonna have a certain perceived view of the world that’s going to be happening. Or if I spend a lot of time and just nature and connecting and speaking to people, your view will be very different again, you know, and a lot of it I find is that if we can start to start to see these things and and allowing, you know, life what we want more of that’s where the real changes started to come for me personally anyway. No point moving forward. You know, Do you have any particular routines, daily routines, morning routines that help you keep you not on path, I guess that could look like anything.
It’s very, it’s very broad. For a lot of people, my particular routine, I often try to spend some time in good literature, sometimes by modern authors, sometimes by ancient authors and ancient texts. I try to, you know, make sure it’s multicultural. I’ve read the Bhagavad Gita, I’ve studied the Quran, I learned Hebrew to study the Torah. I’ve read the Bible, many times, I’ve read the Book of Mormon. I try to get my knowledge and understanding from many sources. I often spend some time in meditation or pondering some quiet time, often I spend time in prayer, and may not be the kind of prayer that some people practice. But I spend time in communion with source, let’s say that sometimes my meditation is, while I’m exercising, I often get very good downloads when I’m out running or riding my bicycle, which I like to do. So that’s what I try to do to center myself on a on a regular daily basis.
Yeah, beautiful. There, you know, that triggered? Another question. And just going off in a bit of a tangent is that you seem to have a broad range of spectrum of looking at different religions and, and belief systems, and what what conclusions Have you come to around religion and spirituality? And are they one of the same? Are they different code reviewed? Or is it a common thread? How would you look at all that?
I see much more about how they are all alike, and how they are different. But maybe I hadn’t experienced this morning, in anticipation of you asking me this question today, because I had a very interesting experience this morning thinking about religion. And mind you I grew up in a Christian tradition. I don’t think religion is bad, necessarily. But I was thinking about how humans remember when Christ excuse me, when Christ said that he was the son of God, his accusers accused him of blasphemy, and they, they wanted to kill him. And his response to them was, wait a minute, isn’t it written in your law that I have said, You are gods. And he was quoting ancient texts, he’s quoting the 82nd song. And I got a Facebook post this morning. This is what prompted it was, I posted something on my Facebook page about how you are enough, you are divine, you are loved. And that’s been generally warmly received. And it came to me in a very profound way. Somebody responded to it today with God is enough. God is divine, and you are loved by God. And I wonder why they felt obliged to go into my personal spiritual experience and offer what they felt was a correction to it. And in that context, I was thinking about religion, because you’ve heard of Eben Alexander, Mary Neal, they’re both good friends of mine. They both said that their most vehement attacks are experienced their near death experiences came from very conservative Christians. One of them was really mad because Mary wasn’t using the right translation of the Bible. And in this experience, this morning, I dawned on these religions, whether they be Judeo Christian traditions, or Islamic or some other traditions, they’re very much about making man less than God. It’s about how to make God is way up here and perfect man is way down here. And we have to keep them separate. And I thought, isn’t that a strange thing for religion to to be so concerned about? Because you think about Christ. He said, You are gods. So if Christ’s up here, he says, You are God’s, he elevates everybody a bit. Right? Then he says, I am the light of the world. And shortly after that, in the Sermon on the Mount, he says, You are the light of the world. He elevates everybody again. Then when he comes walking across the water to the boat, he doesn’t say Look how great I am. He says, Peter, come walk on the water with me and Peter gets out and does it elevating the whole human race again. In. And at the end of his ministry, after everything he did, he turned to his disciples and He said, greater things than these, Shao, you do. And he elevates them all, once more. His greatest prayer before he died was father, let them all be one with us like we’re one with each other. Christ was all about elevating us to be more like Him, not making the gap wider. So I think religion is good. In many ways, it’s kind of a prickly thing, because it makes some people mad and others, they get comfort out of it. But I think we have to be really careful that we use religion to elevate humankind and not to diminish them.
Yeah, fair enough. I know from my own journey, and personal experiences, it really feels like that we are one or all of the same. It really does. You know, and removing those pedestals has been a very big component for my own growth, and knowing that I am enough. And I have everything that I need within me right here right now to to embrace life, not fear it. Yeah, and have the best experiences possible while I’ve been got these gifts of life come, you know, happening. So it’s, yeah, it’s an interesting one. I am. You know, it’s interesting, Jeff, because I was, I wasn’t really brought up in any kind of religion, or any framework. So I’ve never had a framework. So it kind of, I don’t know what that was a blessing or a curse or whatever. But I kind of just had come to my own conclusions without a lot of belief systems imposed upon me, ya know, which is why I’m so curious.
Yeah, belief systems can be a blessing or a curse. Although, as I said, I had a Christian background. I also had a very liberal background, in some ways, because I was always taught and understood that I was an eternal being that I existed before I was born. That laughter I guy, I continued to exist, and I become more and more like God, I become God, if you will. It’s an eternal path and a progression. And the divine beings on that path that we look at as such, they’re just simply a bit further down the path than we are. And they’re, they’re there to help us. They’re there to teach us to show us the way to encourage us. Those are very liberal views that are much more aligned with Eastern traditions than Western Christianity. And so I’m grateful that I was taught that since I was a child.
Yeah, beautiful. Absolutely. I got one last question for you on the show, Jeff. Yeah, that is, with everything that we’ve covered today. There’s been a lot. What would you like to leave our listeners to ponder on?
I was getting ready to speak to a large group of people a while back. And I take it very seriously. I tried to connect with with heaven with source and get a message. And I that’s what I did. I asked, What’s the message? What should I tell them? And that’s when I got the message. Tell them their enough. Tell them their divine, tell them they’re loved. It was very clear, it was unmistakable. And I shared it and it was well received. A few weeks later, a friend of mine who was a very successful international public speaker was talking with me about connecting with your audience. And he says you have to you have to adjust your message to accommodate your audience so that you can connect with I was pondering what he said about adjusting my message. I was thinking, How do I get my message. And that same voice came back to me and said, I gave you the message. I’ll bring you the audience. So it was a good, it was a good ego check for me. So that’s a powerful, powerful message that the, our listeners hopefully can benefit from. You are enough right now today, just the way you are. You are divine already. And you are loved. And that love is not conditional. You don’t have to do something to earn that love or to be worthy of that love. It’s infinite. And it’s there for you.
Beautiful. Jeff, where can we send everyone if they want to learn more about yourself or grab a copy of your book? Not yet.
The book is available internationally on Amazon. Domestically, they can get it on my website if you want. My website is Jeffodriscoll.com or if it’s easier for you to remember helping souls heal.com my artworks on there I have some other books on There are a series of children’s books a novel. those are those are available domestically that it’s prohibitive to ship them overseas, but the novel and not yet are both available internationally on Amazon. And you can reach me about my personal mentoring through my website or anything else.
Beautiful I’ll make all the links will be in the show notes below to no matter what platform people are listening on. So they can pause this and, and scroll below and click through to find out more. And, Jeff, I just want to thank you for coming on the show and, and sharing everything that you’ve done and doing to the world. I really enjoyed the conversation and just you know, appreciate it.
Well, it’s an honor to be with you. And let’s let’s get me and you and Jeff Olson together in Australia, let’s set up some events and invite a bunch of people and Jeff and I’ll fly over there and we’ll we’ll share our message in person.
Yeah, that’d be pretty impressive, wouldn’t it? And it’d be it’d be great to get a big room full of people that are all hungry to learn more and listen to and have these conversations. I think it’d just be Yeah, yeah. Be divine. Fantastic. Thank you, Jeff.