by John Holland
John Holland is an internationally renowned psychic medium who has spent more than 20 years investigating and developing his abilities as a psychic medium. Born and raised in Dorchester, MA, John regularly lectures on both the East and West coasts, including Circles of Wisdom in Andover, MA.
The following selection of questions and answers is reprinted from his first book Born Knowing, published by Hay House.
Q. Where is the spirit world?
A. It isn’t above us or below us ¬— it’s all around us. You see, everything is made up of energy and vibrations. The vibrations of this world are slow and dense, whereas the spirit world vibrates at a much higher rate. That’s why it’s invisible to the human eye. There’s a thin layer between this world and the next, and the only thing that separates us is the frequency of the vibrations.
Q. Can anyone become a medium?
A. Many times I’ve heard the line “mediums are born and not made.” That said, let me add that everyone is born with a degree of psychic ability, and each and every one of us has the capability to improve and develop our awareness. And we can all connect with our loved ones who have passed, through the power of thought and through our dreams. I’ve said many times that they’re “only a thought away.” We can assist them in contacting us by learning to increase and raise our energy — by doing so, we’ll help in the communication by meeting them halfway.
If you have the gift of mediumship, it will present itself in its own way and in its own time. To actually practice as a working medium takes dedication, patience, and time; and it can be a physically demanding job. This undertaking is not to be taken lightly. Mediumship has to develop and grow; you’ll find that most mediums spend their entire lives developing their abilities. You must also be ready to live a life of service.
Q. When it’s my turn to cross over, will it matter what religion or faith I practiced?
A. Most religions have some belief in the afterlife — some more than others. I do believe that it helps to follow some kind of faith, for with its teachings, it can assist us when it’s our time to cross over. I like to use the analogy of the spokes of a wheel. Each spoke represents a different religion or faith, and although each is independent of the other, they’re all moving in the same direction.
We’re all born with the spark from the divine (our spirit), so when our spirit crosses over, that spark will leave the “jacket” it’s encased in and move back into the spirit world where we all originated from. We all survive death, no matter what (if any) religion we choose to believe.
Q. Are there bad spirits, and if so, do they come to you?
A. In all the years that I’ve done this work, I’ve yet to have a malevolent spirit or energy link with me. I strongly believe in the saying “like attracts like.” I work for the highest good, consider myself a child of God, and believe in a Higher Power; therefore, I wouldn’t attract this type of energy. Instead of calling them “bad spirits,” I’d rather refer to them as spirits that exist at a lower vibration and dwell in the lower spheres of the spirit world. They’re just farther away from the Divine Source, so it will take a longer time for them to reach a higher level.
Q. Are there different levels in the spirit world?
A. Most definitely. Every lesson and deed here determines what level you’ll go to when you leave this physical world. You’re incarnated into a physical body to assist you in your soul’s growth, which is why it’s so important to try to be the best you can be while you’re here. You should continually strive to be compassionate and kind, and give assistance and love to others. This will always increase your rate of vibration. And when it’s your time to pass, your spirit will gravitate to its rightful level.
Q. Are the spirits connected to us all the time?
A. Your family and friends who are in the physical world aren’t around you 24/7, but they can be with you if you need them. It’s the same way with your family and friends on the Other Side. People don’t realize how much energy it takes for those who have passed to lower their vibration and make a connection to this physical plane, so it’s not something they want to be doing all the time. In addition, I believe that they have their own learning to do over there and need time to grow and progress, which is why those who have recently passed often need time before they’ll connect to the living.
Q. Why do spirits come back?
A. Because they can. People on the Other Side want to share our lives with us. I’ve done many sittings where spirits acknowledge that they were around their loved ones during difficult times to lend their support and strength. However, they don’t just visit when the going gets tough. I often receive evidence of spirits who were there to see their child get married or witness the birth of a baby. Holidays and special occasions are also big for them — they want to see us happy and like to take part in that joy. After all, if they were here physically, they’d be at such events. Being in spirit doesn’t change the fact that they’re still our family and still care about us.
Q. Can they help from the Other Side?
A. Like those dwelling here, they can assist you, send you love and support, and even inspire you; however, it isn’t their job to tell you what to do, or to do it for you. You have to make your own decisions and take responsibility for your choices and actions. They can’t interfere with the lessons you need to learn while you’re here.
I remember a woman who was thrilled that her mother came through during our session. She wanted her mom to tell her if she should divorce her husband. Of course, the mother couldn’t make that decision for her because it wasn’t her job. The woman needed to take responsibility for her own life.
Q. Can you give us your views on suicide?
A. There’s no running from your problems. Since there’s no real death, there’s no escape from your dilemmas or issues. I’ve linked with many people who have taken their own lives, and I get a very different feeling when I’m communicating with them. They’re usually full of regret because they can see how those left behind are affected. On the Other Side, they may be shown the difference they could have made in their own lives as well as the lives of others if they’d chosen to stay.
When these spirits communicate with me, they rarely want to talk about how they passed, and they never link with me for very long. Usually someone who’s passed before them, such as a family member or friend, will come forward to help with the communication. I believe that these spirits need all their energy to work on themselves and are going through a process of healing.
I always tell people that prayer can help those on the Other Side who have taken their own lives, and in this way, they can be assisted in the healing process.
Q. Do animals exist on the other side?
A. Absolutely. We’re all a part of God’s creation — each and every living being has a spirit, and that also goes for the four-legged kind. Often someone who has passed will come through with their beloved pet or acknowledge that your furry friend is by their side and being taken care of by them. All animals survive on the Other Side.
Q. Are guides and angels the same thing?
A. In my experience, a spirit guide has lived at some time or another on Earth in a physical body, while an angel has never had a physical incarnation. Every medium has one or more guides who work with them — some are constant and some change during the medium’s life, but each has their own unique influence over the development of the medium’s gifts. But many people have these guides, not just mediums. They may show themselves in many forms, such as Franciscan monk, an indigenous person, an ancient Egyptian, or even a child. I believe that they choose to show themselves in these familiar forms for our benefit. I feel that too many people place responsibility on these guides and expect them to do the person’s work. Guides are here to assist, not make decisions.
Angels are in a totally different category than guides — they’re “Messengers of God.” There are thousands of people from many different cultures who have had experiences with these beings. According to ancient Jewish tradition, angels were the first intelligent beings, created by God to help sustain life and assist us in all areas of our lives. Have you ever said to yourself, “How did I get out of that situation safely? It must have been luck.” Well, luck may have come into it, but more than likely, you had a little angelic assistance.
I remember being in a parking garage in Los Angeles, and I was driving up a steep incline. Another car came flying over that hill in the opposite direction, coming right at me with lightening speed. All of the sudden, my car stalled right in its tracks. Had I continued to drive, I would have hit the approaching car head on, but because my car stopped so suddenly, the other car had room to avoid me. Was it just luck that my car chose to stop at that exact time…or did I have a little help? I think I know the answer to that one.
Q. How can I be more spiritual?
A. Being spiritual is more than just taking a workshop or reading a book — it’s a state of mind. How we live, what and how we think, and helping others in need is all part of being spiritual. We’re always given the opportunity to raise our vibration to a higher level simply by our actions. So many people are trying to have spiritual experiences when the truth is simple: We’re spiritual beings trying to have human experiences. Acts of unconditional love and compassion are the highest forms of “being spiritual.” Each and every one of us is capable of such wonderful and beautiful things. We can achieve so much with our time here, so let’s embrace it!