A Conversation With Dannion Brinkley
by Thomas Merryman & Alysia Peters
"Death is back in-style and so am I," says Dannion Brinkley, internationally best-selling author of, Saved by the Light and At Peace in the Light.
"Everywhere you turn these days, in movies, on television, in books and magazines, people are fascinated with dying, death and the mystical nature of the Hereafter. And I know everything there is to know about that!"
In 1975, Dannion experienced his first of three run-ins with the Grim Reaper. At age 25, while on the telephone, he was struck by lightning, and spent over 28 minutes on the "other side".
During his visit to heaven, Dannion was shown over one hundred visions of the world to come, and was then sent back to fulfill his heavenly mandated mission. His first two books artfully chronicled Dannion’s life in the shocking aftermath of that unprecedented journey to the beyond.
Despite the fact that he had seen the magnificence of the heavens, Dannion returned from his near death experience to re-enter a body badly charred and damaged by the lightning. It took two years for him to learn to walk and feed himself again. Once his strength was restored, Dannion vowed to become a caregiver for others. Initially, he gave of his time in nursing homes, and eventually he became a hospice volunteer. In 1997 Dannion proudly co-founded a national organization of volunteer caregivers named Compassion in Action/The Twilight Brigade.
Although he has not written a new book in eight years, Dannion's latest contribution to the impressively vast library of spiritual literature is destined to be another classic. The Secrets of the Light: Spiritual Strategies to Empower Your Life...Here and in the Hereafter is a must read for every spiritual student of Truth who seeks to discover the mysteries of life, and dispel the illusion of death.
In 1994, In Light Times conducted its first of three interviews with Dannion (click for third interview) following the publication of Saved by the Light. Kathryn Peters, who conducted all three of those interviews, found Dannion to be most intriguing, funny and brilliant. Today she is happily married to this man who touched her soul.
Since 1998, Dannion has been on the National Advisory Board of In Light Times. As a dear friend of this publication, we proudly present this Las Vegas interview exclusive with Dannion Brinkley, one of the world's leading authorities on the Near-Death Experience.
TM: Mr. Brinkley, your first best-selling book, Saved by the Light was published in 1994. It was quickly followed by, At Peace in the Light in 1995. Can you tell me why it has taken so long to complete and publish the last installment of your light trilogy, The Secrets of the Light?
Dannion: That's a great question, Thomas, but please, call me Dannion. In all honesty, I never started out to be a book writer; my mind was intent on one thing— fulfilling a holy vision. And in the course of accomplishing that, Saved by the Light was written and served to catapult me into a wonderland, of sorts. Then, when At Peace in the Light was published, the odyssey really shifted into high gear. Of course, after the success of those books my publishers wanted me to write another one. I just didn't feel I had anything to add to what had already been written.
However, all that changed rather abruptly in 1997. As die-hard In Light Times readers may remember, I boarded an airplane in Los Angeles bound for Atlanta that year, and during that flight, I blew three subdural hematomas in my right frontal lobe. Subsequently, after five hours of brain surgery and forty-one hours in recovery, I suffered a grand mal seizure followed by heart failure.
Trust me when I tell you this, after barely surviving that little escapade, my life was literally reborn. More importantly, the frightening reality of the disturbing near-death experience I had during brain surgery became the next story I knew I was destined to write. You see, in stark contrast, the near-death experience I had after being struck by lightning was incredible and beautiful beyond imagining.
During open heart surgery, again I traveled to the other side of life to witness even deeper levels of Heaven’s perfection. However, I was totally unprepared for the third experience. Although I knew I had to share what I saw, I had no idea how to do that without scaring the life out of people. Up until the time my wife, Kathryn, helped me put it all into a positive, well-organized framework, I wrestled miserably for years with a stubborn case of writer's block.
AP: Dannion, rumor has it that you did not think you would live past the year 2004. Obviously, you're still here. Is that because you have not completed your mission or do you think that your marriage to Kathryn was responsible for rewriting your destiny?
Dannion: For me, it never was an issue of whether or not I would die in 2004. I simply did not see myself as an active participant in any of the visions I received after that time period. Consequentially, the lack of my presence in the visions evolved into a collective assumption that I would no longer be alive. Quite honestly, I'd grown weary of answering that same question over and over.
So, I let people say and believe what they wanted. As to my wife Kathryn’s influence on my life, I must say it has been incredibly dramatic and undeniable. As a matter of fact, if she was not the wonderful, pampering, and attentive wife that she is, this interview may have never occurred. Recently I have been dealing with some pretty serious health issues and Kathryn vehemently demanded that I stop everything and take proper care of myself. In actuality, she was right. I can feel myself going through a change, and it has weakened me considerably. It's like a certain life force is ebbing from me.
Now, before falling in love with Kathryn and her six children, I wouldn't have cared if this meant I was about to make my transition. I would have kept pushing myself until I dropped dead because I only cared about myself, and the mission — until they came along. Today, however, it is my deep love for them that has radically changed my will to live along with the fact that I now pay more attention to my health.
TM: How do you think writing as a couple has affected your writing style, your thought processes and your creative ideas? I see a huge difference in the voice and structure of The Secrets of the Light in comparison to the other two books.
Dannion: I’ve always needed a co-author because I am as scattered as one can be (Kat insists I’m ADHD). Paul Perry was an incredible co-author on the first books, but writing with Kathryn has opened up an entirely new genre for me. We write in a way that's like sharing an intimate conversation between us. Whether we were in agreement or not, over certain points in the book,
I believe our union grew even stronger as the result of this project. Kathryn is not only beautiful and smart, but she is one of the best wordsmiths I have ever met. Because I admire her skill as a writer and trust her implicitly as my life partner, I allowed myself to be more open and honest in this book than ever before. I also love the fact that we worked so well together in conveying my sense of humor in this book. I think one of my greatest gifts is being able to make people laugh at the things that scare us the most.
AP: A major thread found throughout the fabric of your work over the past decade has been the theme, “We are all powerful and mighty spiritual beings.” What do you think would happen if all of society suddenly woke up to this fact? Would it lead to our greatness or would arrogance lead to the complete downfall of mankind?
Dannion: In The Secrets of the Light I believe that if we all strive to live in alignment with the Four-fold path we can open ourselves to physically experience the spiritual place I call, the Heavens. In the new book I repeatedly touch upon the fact that we are powerful, mighty spiritual beings. In order to assist the readers in viewing themselves from this place of Divinity, we created a system of spiritual self-evaluation called, "The Seven Truths." The Truths offer seven perspectives on life that take us beyond our commonly held belief in ego and dualism and lift us instead into the spiritual focus of our eternal nature.
As we are shifting from the fourth, into the fifth dimension and onto the ninth, a belief in our interconnectedness with all things now becomes essential. Quantum dynamics urges us to shift away from a polarity-based paradigm into a state of conscious oneness. As the active movement of this shift makes itself known, between 2008 and 2012, this unified field of consciousness will gradually become a permanent part of our everyday reality.
Kathryn and I have tried to design practical tools for people to use in order to open themselves to the eternal spirit within while, at the same time, they remain energetically anchored as we gradually become aware of our multi-dimensional realities. Throughout the turbulent times ahead we will endure many transformative upheavals. I personally believe the ultimate outcome of the changes we are about to face will be positive and empowering for they will serve to reveal the innate greatness we do indeed possess.
TM: According to Truth number two of the Seven Truths you state, "We choose to come here as a 'Force of One' in order to make changes for the betterment of all humanity, knowing that we can make a real difference"
What about people living in third world countries suffering from starvation and disease...how are they making a real difference?
Dannion: We all go through certain cycles in life. By the mere fact that you are asking this question out of a troubled concern for those who are sick and starving, they have already taken the first step in changing your life. And this may well be of paramount importance in their personal mission. I do not pretend to know everything. Certainly I cannot give you all the reasons why suffering exists, but I do believe it is designed in part to create within us the spiritual consciousness of compassion.
AP: In your book you write about the Four-fold Path of Power, built upon the pillars of prayer, belief, choice and love. You write that love is a supreme power capable of conquering all.
Please give me an example of how love's great power has made itself known in your life.
Dannion: I believe that if we all strive to live in alignment with the Four-fold path we can open ourselves to physically experience the spiritual place I call, the Heavens. Quantum physics tell us the atom is the basic building block of life. The atom is 94.6% empty space, what the quantum physicists call dark matter. Within this dark matter the planets are all suspended and the universe is held together. That matter is what Luke Skywalker called, The Force. I call it Love. The love I have witnessed at the bedside of a person in transition is what has had the greatest impact on my life.
In 1997 I formed Compassion in Action/The Twilight Brigade. It is a non-profit volunteer, end-of-life organization that helps veterans make their transitions from this world to the next. We believe no one need die alone.
I have personally accrued over 16,000 hours at the bedside, and I have held 349 people as they took their last breath. Many of the veteran's I have died with laid in their hospital beds for months and had no one else visit them. Yet, I came to them as a stranger, with only one agenda — to say thank you and show my gratitude for their efforts to serve this nation and keep it free.
At that moment, no matter what else these brave men and women experienced along the way, they know their life had power and purpose. Love doesn't get more powerful than that, for at that moment, I am the difference that God makes!
TM: The last chapter of the book is titled, The Final Vision. You write of visions you received during and after your first journey to the Heavens.
These visions are rather bleak and startling. What do you feel is the most prevalent threat to the world to come?
Dannion: Fear! To give away our empowerment due to the enervating might of fear is humanity's greatest threat. I admit that I do write of some disturbing events which I believe will come to pass. But they are necessary events in the overall scheme of things.
They are designed to assist in the evolution of both our planet and our species. Shortly, we will discover that we live simultaneously on multiple dimensions, and that we are not alone in the universe. However, this is nothing to fear. These things do not threaten us as they have harmoniously co-existed along side us, without our conscious knowledge, for all time. Again I reiterate, our greatest threat is fear.
It is fear that causes us to give up our freedoms. Fear of death, fear of terrorism, fear of instability and lack of financial security all cause us to relinquish spiritual and physical control of our lives. From the seed of fear we have grown into a nation willing to send our children off to die in a distant desert for the supremacy of democracy over religion.
Until we replace all this programmed fear with the empowering light of love we will continue to live at the detriment of giving away our power to governments, religions and institutions. I have learned that because we fear the hereafter, in many ways, we have over-looked the importance of life in the here and now. Life on this side of the veil is every bit as important to the unfoldment of the Divine Plan as life in the Heavens happens to be. We must lose our fear of death, for it does not exist.
I have been dead and I have gone to the Heavens. I believe I was sent back for the explicit purpose of sharing with the world my firsthand knowledge of the continuation of life in the hereafter. Life on the other side is resplendent, filled with growth, beauty and joyful wonderment. If The Secrets of the Light teaches anything, I want it to be this: There is no such thing as death. It is imperative that we understand that our moms, dads and children who have already made their transition are happy, safe and very much alive in the world beyond. Life never ends, and love will always find a way!
TM & AP: Thank you Dannion for your candid insights and willingness to be so open and share with us. And congratulations on that long awaited book.
Dannion: It was my pleasure and thank you for the opportunity.
Dannion's Main Page <Compassion In Action>
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