An White Crow Books Interview by Michael Tymn

“The Last Frontier”: An Interview with author Julia Assante, Ph.D.
Posted on 07 November 2012, 9:17
by Michael Tymn on the White Crow Books blog
My personal library consists of around 500 books dealing with
spiritual, metaphysical, paranormal, and philosophical matters.  I’ve
given away another thousand or so because of space problems.  If I had
to choose just five of those 1,500 or more books to be given to every
hospice in the world, The Last Frontier by Julia Assante, Ph.D.
(below) would definitely be one of them.  Recently released by New
World Library, this book, as the subtitle states, is about “exploring
the afterlife and transforming our fear of death.”

In addition to being an academic, having taught at Columbia, Bryn
Mawr, and the University of Münster in Germany, the author is a
professional intuitive, medium, and past-life therapist. She explores
the whole area from inside out and outside in, discussing every
conceivable subject related to dying, death, and the afterlife,
including after-death communication, angels, deathbed visions, dreams,
karma, life reviews, spirits, near-death experiences, reincarnation,
suicide, telepathy, thought forms, xenoglossy, what-have-you. Included
are a number of personal experiences with the dying and the dead.

“There is so much fear around illness and death that it is literally
killing us,” Assante explains her motivation for writing the book,
going on to say that it has made our society schizophrenic. “On the
one hand, the topic of death is scrupulously avoided; on the other
hand, it is a cultural obsession.”

Since writing the book, Assante has given up teaching to give
workshops and talks on afterlife phenomena, psi-development, conscious
death, and related topics.

I recently put some questions to her by e-mail.

Dr. Assante, many people say we shouldn’t concern ourselves with what happens after death, but should live for today. How do you respond to them?

“Knowing something real about what awaits us after death takes the
fear out of living and dying and replaces it with wonder. It makes
dying immeasurably easier and opens up the pathways for communication.
If we were to truly understand the nature of our immortality, we would
let go of petty stresses.  We would be freer to be ourselves, to be
creative and playful, and not grab so hard at life. We would know that
the good things in life are not things and immediate gratification
does not in the end bring great reward but rather destructive
exploitation of nature and a population problem that is threatening to
devour the earth.

“Knowing that what awaits us is ineffable love, understanding, and
forgiveness restores our innate morality. It creates a safe, positive
framework of reality that fosters honest evaluations of our lives
now—where our fears are blocking self-expression, creativity, and
love. And it fosters forgiveness. Knowledge of the afterlife is known
for sharpening a sense of life purpose, while expanding our definition
of the self. As it is now, we impose enormous limitations on humanity,
which would be immediately lifted if we better understood the self
that survives the body. Knowledge of the afterlife includes knowledge
about reincarnation and how it works. Realizing that our soul
histories include different races, different sexes and social
categories would break down prejudice. Lastly, I have worked with a
great many people who died confused about the afterlife or with false
expectations and it caused a lot of unnecessary trouble after their

How did you become interested in the subject of life after death?

“I think I was set up for it. From my conception through the prenatal
period, my mother was in powerful mourning from the recent deaths of
her infant son and father. My absorption of her grief later led to
this interest, no doubt urged by my late grandfather who believed he
was channeling Tolstoy while alive. As a professional intuitive,
working with the dead is an every-day occurrence. But in 1983, when my
husband died only 11 days after our wedding, my dog, my only living
brother, and my father, all within 6 months, I began to have strong
personal afterdeath communication. My husband, who lay dying for days
in quarantine—with no phone, left a thank-you message on my answering
machine after he died. Events like these are bound to generate high
interest in the afterlife. Soon after, I started working with those
deceased, sometimes for days at a time, who were having serious
adjustment problems on the other side. This was a turning point in my
understanding of life after death.”

Have you always been a believer in an afterlife?

“I would say yes, although I had doubts about the existence of
anything outside my own perception in my teens. At that time, I wanted
to be a scientist. Three extraordinarily influential experiences from
my childhood made it impossible to forget that there is an eternity.
My first came at seven, as what I call an infinity moment. While I was
hugging a big old maple tree, I felt swept up in a kind of vortex. As
I was whirling upward, I instantaneously understood everything and
felt the indescribable love that is at the foundation of reality. The
second occurred while I was sitting in a cherry tree in full bloom,
staring up into a crystal-blue sky. I became overwhelmed with a sense
of a luminous Presence around me and through me that lovingly knows
and cares for absolutely every little thing that exists. Later, at 16,
I had an NDE in which that luminous Presence returned.”

I understand that you are an intuitive and a medium.  Could you
explain how you acquired these gifts?

“First let me say that without exception everyone has these gifts.
It’s simply a matter of awakening them. In my case, the abilities
never had a chance to go underground. I needed them in my childhood
for defense. For instance, in order to protect myself from emotional
or physical harm, I had to know what my parents were thinking. The
results are telepathic and remote viewing abilities that according to
clinical tests are off the charts. Childhood stress or trauma usually
leads to heightened abilities and plays a decisive role in who has a
near-death experience and who doesn’t. It also explains why intuitive
abilities often go hand-in-hand with psychological problems. In fact,
traditional societies frequently induce stress in rituals as a way of
provoking sacred visions. Think of the forty days and forty nights in
the desert. Obviously, stress is what triggers sacred visions of the
NDE type. Nonetheless, there are far better ways to keep those inborn
abilities in working order. Parents should encourage creativity in
children and allow them full use of their imaginations, reincarnation
recall, and intuition without censorship.”

In your book, you discuss reincarnation in simultaneous time.  I
realize it is difficult to explain this in a few hundred words, but
please give it a try.

“Reincarnations operate outside of time because they originate in the
non-spacetime of inner dimensions. Our incarnations all burst out at
once in simultaneous time, going in different trajectories of
experience we interpret as different time zones. Time is only the way
our nervous systems order data, including solar data, a perception
influenced by our biology and cultures. Many scientists already know
that time doesn’t exist. The Block Theory claims that all past and
future zones still exist now but can’t be perceived.

“The notion of a sequence of lives, one replacing the other, is not
true. The idea of reincarnations proceeding from a lower to higher
vibration or lower to higher spiritual advancement along a timeline is
also not possible in the non-time reality in which our incarnations
are anchored. The individual personality never dies, even after death.
Individual reincarnations co-exist in the afterlife. And they can
co-exist in this life too. I know a woman who is a reincarnation of
me. We both have the same past-life memories and share one future-life
memory, even the name of the man we are going to be, a man named
Bernerd, who lives about 200 years from now. Our other-life memories
were already known to us before we ever met. She and I simply split up
into two bodies. After death, the individual personality expands
enormously. Part of that expansion is absorbing the knowledge and
experiences of other lives, until we reach the state of awareness
equivalent to that of our oversouls, which spawns and contains all of
our incarnations.”

The way I see it, the civilized world is becoming more and more
materialistic and hedonistic, but a number of my friends believe we
are becoming more spiritual.  What are your thoughts on this?

“There is no doubt that the ego’s view of reality — that only what is
perceived through the physical senses is real — has led to an insane
focus on materialism and greatly hampered our intuitive faculties.
Ironically, however, the very pressure of repressed intuition has led
to a creative explosion in communication technologies that are
training us to develop unprecedented abilities. It all began with the
invention of the telephone, really. We are now accustomed to
communicating with disembodied voices even from outer space. Still
today, afterlife encounters and other communication phenomena involve
the humble telephone, either as a physical instrument or as a symbol
of telepathy, more than any other object or concept.  The internet has
primed us to deal with multiple inner dimensions in which time and
distance play little or no role. You are never more than one page away
from where you want to be. Because of technology, we can imagine
crossing the cosmos. The picture taken from outer space of our tiny
planet has served as a powerful reminder that we are one family with
one home. Perhaps more than anything is family upbringing in which the
intuitive faculties are not beaten out of us as children as they were
generations ago. The change during my lifetime is quite noticeable.
More and more people are easily accessing their intuitive selves. I
believe the change will be globally fixed in mass consciousness by the
end of this century. Abilities like telepathy, for instance, and
afterlife communication, will be considered normal. Our awareness of
the nonphysical, of immortality, and the benign universe will be far
greater than it is now. Hence, our values will change.”

Many writers feel that knowing with absolute certainty, or at least
with something close to it, that we do live on after death would
deprive us of those challenges uncertainty brings that spur spiritual
evolution. Do you agree?

“You might already have guessed that I’m not much of a supporter of
spiritual evolution in which we progress sequentially. I know I have
had past incarnations in which I was more advanced than I am now. And
nearly everyone is more “spiritually evolved” as children than as
adults. The notion that discomfort makes us grow is to a large extent
the nineteenth-century thinking that produced the conflict theories of
Darwin, Freud and Marx. In all these theories, change or growth is
inextricable from pain, fear, or conflict. My question is, Would we be
more spiritually evolved if we didn’t know for certain that we could
keep a roof over our heads? Would we grow more enlightened or just
grow differently, wasting energy in worry and strife?

“A better way to answer this is to look at what happens to people when
they are certain of a life to come. An inner awareness of what is
important for the planet and its residents resurfaces. Dying is no
longer an enemy or an end but a miraculous turning point in the life
of the eternal self. Creative, intellectual, and psychic capacities
measurably increase. People become more reflective, more altruistic,
and more sensitive to nature and the environment. Prejudice and a “them-versus-us” mentality give way to compassion for others. The desire for material success wanes, as does the need to compete. People feel instead a sharpened sense of life purpose, usually involving service. That’s a lot to gain from certainty.”

How do we know that after-death communication is not just wishful
thinking or fantasy?

“Statistical studies show that people are not wishing for an encounter
when they happen spontaneously. In encounters when people do not know
of the death of the discarnate visitor —  and I have in mind here a
mother’s encounter with her teenage daughter before the police
informed her of her daughter’s fatal car accident — wishful thinking
can be ruled out. What the dead do and say almost always takes us by
surprise anyway, which shows that they are independent of our
thoughts. Wishful thinking does not save lives, but warnings from the
dead do. Fantasy won’t instantly heal a person of post-traumatic
stress disorder, but a visit from the dead can. Something else that
cannot be attributed to wishful thinking is the all-over body
sensation of tingling that people often feel when the dead are

One last question – What do you see as the benefits of after-death

“The instant alleviation of grief is number one. Knowing that
relationships between the living and the dead continue to grow and
contact is normal transforms the way we die and the way we live.
Contact also brings us face-to-face with immortality, a life-changing
event. More specifically are the messages we get from the dead, the
reassurances, encouragement, warnings, asking for forgiveness or
giving it — the list is long. If allowed, the dead will help us reset
our values to build a better world. As communication develops we will
be able to tap into the greatest resource of knowledge imaginable
about anything you can name, science, the arts, history, including the
nature of reality itself.”