The roots of this particular story go back several weeks to when I was attempting to shoot a documentary about metaphysics. I had wanted to do a "follow-up" to my short documentary "A Parallel World" which consisted of me investigating a haunted house and communicating with an intelligent entity through knocks (go to my http://www.mattburnsproductions.com website to watch).
After "Parallel World", I became fascinated with the possibility of some sort of spirit world coexisting with our real world, and I wanted to further explore this phenomenon. I didn't know exactly what angle I was going to approach the subject from, but I knew I wanted to explore anything and everything metaphysical, especially the possibility of past lives and the existence of spirit guides (a concept which I'll explain in a minute).
Anyway, along came Liam Galvin, a renown medium who's written a couple of books and is so popular with people that it takes about three months to get an appointment with him. I actually met Liam through a female psychic friend whom I planned to initially focus my documentary on. Liam is my friend's "spiritual mentor" and I filmed him reading her at a place called "Women of Wisdom" in Easton, MA. And when I say he "read" her I mean he explored her past lives, her spirit guides, her health, her love life and her general future. Although I was skeptical at first, I must say that it didn't take long for me to be absolutely blown away with what I saw. Within minutes of the reading, Liam was talking to the girl's dead father like he was right in the room with us (which he supposedly was).
After the reading, Liam approached me (sitting in the corner of the room with my camera) and said I had "very interesting people with me."
He also told me I was "intense" and that I "got stuff done." I'm not sure what that meant but it sounded good to me. Then he said that there was "California energy" all around me and that I'd definitely be going there.
Needless to say, I was rather intrigued, but not necessarily sold on the idea that this guy was reading my future. I mean, maybe he just figured that since I was into making films that I obviously would want to go out west - to Hollywood - eventually.
I asked Liam whether he could do a reading on me sometime and he said "Sure! Absolutely! Just call and make an appointment!"
So a couple days later I called "Women of Wisdom" and was surprised to learn that Liam was booked for the next two or three months. I didn't really want to wait that long, so I made a few more phone calls, pulled a few strings and eventually managed to land a reading with Liam two weeks later at a place called "The Healing Moon" in Norwood, MA.
Like "Women of Wisdom", "The Healing Moon" is a "wellness center" where people do yoga and Reiki and engage in other holistic healing practices. There is also a small gift shop where they sell New Agey sorts of things, like crystals, rocks, minerals, angelic figurines and other items that would probably make the common Joe Six-Pack raise some eyebrows.
I met up with Liam in the gift shop and he led me into a peaceful room with dim lighting and an artificial fountain that sounded like a small brook running deep in the middle of the wintry woods. I don't know if it was because of the fountain sounds or maybe the good Feng Shui, but the room was seriously one of the most relaxing environments I had ever been in.
"All right, let's get started," said Liam as we sat down at a small table with cushioned chairs.
And so we began....
The session started with Liam introducing me to my main "spirit guides". In layman's terms, a spirit guide is basically like a guardian angel. The theory (proposed by meta physicists) is that these guides help us with our endeavors and also protect us from harm. Oftentimes, guides are family members who have died either far back in the past or during our lifetime. But many of our guides are also non-family members who help us with our work or hobbies. A musician, for example, is likely to have ex-musicians as guides, as well as writers to help them write lyrics, and maybe even philosophers who help them convey complex ideas through their music.
Anyway, Liam introduced my first spirit guide as being a "maternal" figure who didn't sound very familiar to me, though Liam ultimately determined that it was probably my great grandmother on my mother's side (whom I had never met). He said she was on the short side, had great skin, was very pleasant and uplifting, and also very religious.
"OK," I thought to myself. "I guess that could be true." But so far I wasn't very impressed. In order for me to take Liam as legit, he needed to talk about somebody I actually knew, not some person who may or may not be a great grandmother of mine. I needed something more concrete before I definitely took this guy for real.
Liam proceeded to skip over my second guide (whom he had trouble identifying) and went immediately to my third guide, whom he identified as my dead grandfather (my mother's dad)! And just as he started to speak with him my other dead grandfather (my dad's father) supposedly "came through" to talk as well! Yes, both of my grandfather's were supposedly in the room with us!
Needless to say, I was pretty damn shocked about all this, though still very skeptical. After all, Liam could have just taken a shot in the dark and guessed that one or both grandfathers could be my guides. Maybe he got lucky. I didn't want to feed into it too much, so I remained stoic and conservative with my reactions.
But then Liam proceeded to describe each respective grandfather's personality/physical build/interests/quirks in detail and with eerie accuracy. He told me one grandfather was more social and the other one was very military (true). One was bald and the other had a full head of hair (also true). The military one was surrounded by water (yes, he was the captain of a ship) and the other one liked the beach (true). He even described the different ways in which the two grandfathers passed. One "went the way he wanted" while the other had a "tougher passing".
Although I tried to maintain my composure, I was completely blown away by what I was hearing. Liam was dead-on with his descriptions!
Here is the video of this section:
After listening to my grandfathers speak for a while, another shock came my way:
"Who's John?" asked Liam. "They keep on saying, 'Say John. Say John. He'll know what we mean.'"
And, indeed, I did know what they meant...or at least I thought I did. See, for the past few months I had been thinking about the possibility of spirit guides and also thinking about who mine would be (if they actually existed). For some reason - and don't ask me why - I always thought the ex-filmmaker John Cassavetes, the so-called "godfather" of the American Independent Film movement, may have been with me. This was partly because I was so drawn to him as a filmmaker and also because I felt that we thought eerily alike. Now, of course I never told anybody about this. They would have thought I was nuts. But if I had to (I mean HAD TO) guess who one of my spirit guides was, I would have probably said it was Cassavetes...possibly.
So when Liam said "Who's John?" the first person to enter my mind was, of course, John Cassavetes. But I didn't want to admit it right away. I wanted Liam to describe this "John". And he did...with more eerie accuracy.
He said John was a young, good-looking man who died too early (Cassavetes died at 59), loved women and was very flirtatious (true, Cassavetes made women the main focus of much of his work), worked hard and played hard (very true), didn't take good care of himself (also true, as he died of cirrhosis), smoked like a fiend (he was a chain smoker, basically), and was an artist (of course). He also said that I admired this "John's" work and there were shades of his work in my own work (incredibly true).
Overall, it sounded a lot like Cassavetes. The only thing that threw me off was that Liam said he saw a lot of music with him and that he thought he might have been a musician. This was not true. Cassavetes was a filmmaker and an actor (you may remember his role as the husband in ROSEMARY'S BABY), though he loved music and listened to it all the time, which is what Liam may have been picking up on.
Whether it was Cassavetes or not, this "John" was ultimately identified as being my spirit guide number-two, right behind my great grandmother and in front of my grandfathers. Crazy stuff.
Here is the video for this section. There is more about Cassavetes in parts three and four where it is more definitively confirmed that the "John" is, indeed, Cassavetes:
After the introduction to Cassavetes, Liam started to talk about my future and my work and how he saw me in California. He also told me there was a beautiful actress with me as a guide, somebody from the 1920s or 30s. Apparently a book I had written (about Hollywood) attracted a lot of ex-Hollywood spirits to me and they helped me out with it. Why me? Who knows...
Oh, and apparently I was in California before. In a past life....
Here is the video for this section:
After discussing my future in California and Cassavetes some more, Liam gave me shock number three. All of a sudden - out of the blue - Liam said, "You have Alfred Hitchcock with you!"
"Yeah, he hangs out with you."
Of course it goes without saying that I was completely knocked on my ass by this (figuratively speaking). I mean, at least with Cassavetes I sort of had a tiny inkling that he may have been a guide of mine, but Alfred Hitchcock?! Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock?! The guy who made PSYCHO and VERTIGO and THE BIRDS and God knows what else??? This was pretty intense.
"You must be all about detail," explained Liam. "There are a lot of parallels between you and him. He's philosophical like you and you try to get messages across like he did. He's going to help you with Lighting and color."
"Yeah, well...I guess that makes sense," I said to Liam, but I wasn't really sure if it actually made sense.
"Wow, that one really shocked me," said Liam. "He's all around you."
Here is the video for this section:
The reading eventually came to an end and I told Liam I was incredibly impressed with what I had seen. I mean, this guy was so dead-on about so many things it would have been extremely difficult for me to call him a phony.
I subsequently left "The Healing Moon" feeling...well, incredibly weird. If what Liam said was true, I am not alone when I am alone. I am supposedly walking around with the spirits of John Cassavetes and Alfred Hitchcock (not to mention the spirits of my grandfathers and a bunch of other people) by my side. It's pretty hard to comprehend, but at the same time it's a really cool feeling.
And maybe it all sort of makes sense. I mean, what really happens to us when we die? If there is an afterlife, then do we just sit on our ass, like in a hot tub or something with tons of babes around us (or hunks if you're a woman)? Surely we would want to make ourselves useful in some way. So maybe this is what we do. We help others who are alive. Why? I'm not really sure.
Some meta physicists view life on earth as a sort of school where we constantly come down here (over the course of several lifetimes) to learn certain lessons, go through different types of experiences, all with the ultimate intention of growing into the most intelligent and wisest soul we can possibly be. In other words, the meaning of life is to learn and experience, so that in the greater scheme of things our soul grows to the most advanced level possible.
So maybe our "guides" help us with this growth. And we help our guides with their own growth. It's, like, something we HAVE to do if we want to progress on a spiritual level. After all, Clarence didn't get his wings until he helped George out with his problems on earth (allusion is to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE if you didn't get it). Maybe we're both helping each other in a way. And we switch roles as the guides and the guided. And we grow in the process of playing both roles....
Anyway, this is all food for thought, but not necessarily something I one-hundred-percent believe in at this point in time. I feel the need to investigate further. In part three of the video, Liam told me I had been in California during a past life of mine. I'm curious as to who I was and whether I was there recently, like within the past 100 years when the film industry was alive and kicking. Was I a filmmaker or director? Actor? Musician? Or maybe I was a Mexican or Native American who was there a long time ago. Maybe a dude in the gold rush. Who knows?
On my way home from "The Healing Moon" I zoned out for a second in my car and took a wrong turn onto a web of side streets. I suddenly found myself on a street that looked very familiar. It was the street where my grandparents lived before they moved into a condo many years ago. In fact, most of the memories I have of my grandfather are products of the time he spent at this house. And the weird thing is that I had actually forgotten how to get to it!
Perhaps I'm being a tad melodramatic, but it's almost as though my grandfather led me to the house, as a sort of sign. It was a way of telling me that everything that had just happened with Liam REALLY just happened.