Stuck with our dimension’s annoying laws of time and space

And another post on Sylvia Browne from 2004.

I’ve been visiting the Other Side. Well not so much visiting it, I guess, as reading about it. Or researching it, you could call it. Sylvia Browne calls it researching, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t.

And never mind about shooting fish in barrels. Not that you would, most of you, but some of you would and do. Some of you seem to think that the targets are too easy and that there’s no reason to shoot at them. Well the targets are easy all right, I’ll give you that, but there is every reason to shoot at them. I’ll show you why.

So why this current interest and acceptance of the absolute truth that yes, there are Angels among us?…First of all, as the belief in Angels continues to grow, people are less and less reluctant to speak up about their encounters with them.

That’s Sylvia Brown, in The Other Side and Back (page 25). And she’s right. She’s wrong about nearly everything she puts on paper, but she’s right in that last sentence. As belief in angels spreads and gets entrenched and becomes commonplace and meets little opposition – so it spreads and gets entrenched and becomes commonplace even more, and meets even less opposition, and so people are indeed less and less and less reluctant, embarrassed, inhibited, ashamed about believing in angels and speaking up about their ‘encounters’ with them. And that’s a bad thing. A very, very bad thing. It may be getting to the point where we have to worry that bus drivers, airline pilots, dentists, engineers, pharmacists, grocers and countless other people we entrust with our bodies, our health, our food, our safety, believe in angels and listen to advice from their spirit guides. We really, really don’t want that. Trust me on this (or don’t – read for yourself) – we don’t want people who think the way Sylvia Browne does to have jobs of that kind. It’s hard to think of jobs that are harmless enough to entrust them to people who think like that, really.

I’m actually serious. I sound flippant but I’m serious. Browne does have a serious point there, and she is right. It’s a meme thing. A groupthink, conformity, culture thing. Humans do take their cues from each other, and it is becoming ever more Okay to believe and avow belief in ‘paranormal’ or ‘psychic’ or ‘supernatural’ or ‘metaphysical’ entities and events, as more and more people do exactly that. I don’t see any way to resist this dangerous and idiotic trend other than to resist it. Exposing it is the first step.

And then of course a lot of it is also extremely funny.

We on earth are stuck with our dimension’s annoying laws of time and space, laws that contribute concepts like ‘late’ and ‘crowded’ and ‘traffic jam’ and ‘stressed out’ to our vocabulary. The residents of The Other Side joyfully function without those restrictions and instead enjoy the freedom of such universal laws as infinity and eternity.

Cool. Einstein meets the tooth fairy and everybody’s happy.

And how is this for something to look forward to: All spirits on The Other Side are thirty years old…Spirits can assume their earthly appearance when they come to visit us, to help us recognize them, but in their day-to-day lives on The Other Side, not only are they thirty but they can choose their own physical attributes, from height to weight to hair color.

Eeyup, and they can choose their clothes, too, and their jewelry, their shoes, their accessories, their cars, their wine cellars. Yup.

And on and on it goes like that – just a description of anyone and everyone’s fantasy of a perfect world with everything good at hand and all limits and frustrations and undesirables erased – but described as if it were a real place, and as if Browne had the maps and guidebooks and lyrical travelers’ descriptions at her elbow. Of course, she says she does; she says her spirit guide Francine has told her all about it, and that she herself has then ‘validated’ what Francine tells her through ‘meticulous research.’ Right on page 13 she says that – ‘Typically, Francine gives me information about The Other Side, and I then validate it through meticuous research, including regressive hypnosis…’ Ah yes, that’s meticulous research all right. I tell you about a hitherto unknown alternate universe that my spirit guide has given me information about, and which I have validated through regressive hypnosis. Er, you ask, but how can you being hypnotized validate anything about the existence of a place outside you? Tsk – don’t be silly – that’s a physical question, and the information I’m giving you is metaphysical. Or something.

And yet, and yet – the description can be quite of the earth earthy, at times…

The Other Side is a breathtaking infinity of mountains and oceans, and vast gardens, and forests – every wonder of nature that exists here, its beauty magnified hundreds of times. The landscape is punctuated with buildings of brilliant design and variety – classical Greek and Roman architecture for the temples, concert halls, courtyards, sports arenas, and other public gathering places –

Hmm – sound a little like a mix of Disneyland, Celebration, Las Vegas, a wet dream of Prince Charles’, and Nazi Berlin? And now for the real estate agent’s patter:

– and homes designed to meet every entity’s personal preference, so that a stately Victorian mansion might share a neighborhood with a simple log cabin and a geodesic dome.

Yeah right. People are really going to want to go to The Other Side so they can live in a log cabin while other people whoop it up in a ‘stately Victorian mansion’ (a what?) just as if they were still on This Side. No. Look, if we’re just going to sit around dreaming up our fantasy places, let’s get it right, shall we? The deal is, I get to live in the biggest house in the place, and all the people who irritated me on This Side have to live in nasty little shacks nearby enough so that I can see them when I feel like gloating and far enough so that I can ignore them when I want to. That’s the housing set-up on The Other Side, obviously. Not to mention which, picture it, will you? These chaotic neighborhoods? Norman Bates’ house on one lot, Abe Lincoln’s on the next, a McMansion across the street, a yurt next to that, Trump Towers next to that, then a pueblo, then a Frank Lloyd Wright, then Castle Howard, then the Gherkin – oh gawd, I feel sick. The Other Side will be one long festival of nausea.

Okay, that’s enough meticulous research and regressive hypnosis for the moment.



  1. Claire Ramsey says

    Obviously the Other Side hasn’t bothered with any kind of sensible zoning plans.

    And I’m wondering, next time you do the research, could you find out whether The Other Side is around the corner from The Far Side? Because The Far Side had lots of animals, and I didn’t get the feeling that The Other Side has animals.

    Just asking. . .

  2. says

    Ah, I can answer that easily, Claire. In another post on Sylvia Browne a few months later, I quoted her addressing that very thing. (It’s a Sign!)

    All God’s creatures exist on the Other Side with only one exception. The only living things I have never seen at Home are insects. I am not sure exactly why that is, but I have never seen a spider, fly, or any other type of insect…

    I bet I know “why that is.” Because she felt like it, that’s why.

  3. says

    Are people really so ignorant as to think that this is any more than Silvia’s own personal fantasy of what she wants her afterlife to look like?

    I dreamed of what I wanted my afterlife to look like, but I could never keep it straight. I always added shit, like music, science, food, animals, etc. It really is wishful thinking, and nothing else.

    And it bugs the hell out of me that people are blind to this. Are they truly blind to it, or is it willful… that is, they know it’s all fantasy, but are still happy calling it true, anyways?

  4. stever says

    I can say that my goddesses need no faith, because I have video (drop “Celtic Woman Over the Rainbow” into the YouTube search box), but I don’t expect anyone to take me literally.

    Monotheism is intellectually attractive for its elegance, and pragmatically attractive because you only have one set of priests to support, but the emotional appeal of polytheism winds up winning. You just don’t call them all “gods.” The Abrahamic cults are nominally monotheistic, but they have a swarm of angels, plus Satan and his demons. Christians even split God three ways and add a growing list of saints. Maybe the urge to make new gods lives next to the human superstition center.

  5. Claire Ramsey says

    I don’t think a “side” that had animals and people would work very well without insects and arachnids.

    And it’s starting to sound like the fab water color world that well behaved Jehovah’s Witnesses get to go to – the world’s peoples in their native costumes, all friendly and patting backs and shaking hands, tables of all the fresh fruit you could want, and wild animals all tame and sweet and the lion lying down with the lamb, and etc.

    I think I’ll take a pass on The Other Side, it sounds far too architectural. Not enough insects and arachnids.

  6. bad Jim says

    How can you say there are no Angels? I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant and they were on the TV. I don’t know who they were playing (consuming chile verde is a messy process taking nearly all my attention) but their existence is as incontestable as their current name (The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) is indefensible.

    Also, too, the proximity of “All spirits on The Other Side are thirty” to “their wine cellars” led me to conclude prematurely that the first phrase should have read “are thirsty”.

  7. sailor1031 says

    This is all very comforting, especially the idea of having my own wine cellar (instead of the Weinschrank in the corner) – hope it’s true. It;s the only way I’ll ever get to taste a ’47 Chateau Margaux or Gevrey-Chambertin…can’t wait!!

  8. says

    You mean you can actually earn a living writing drivel like that?

    Yeah, I guess you can. And that’s not even the outer edge of what a gullible, demon-haunted public will swallow while gladly forking over $25 for the hardback privilege.

  9. Margaret says

    Surely the fantasy of the person who wants a log cabin does not include having the log cabin stuck in the middle of an urban (or suburban?) neighborhood? Sylvia doesn’t just suck at reality, she also sucks at fantasy.

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