Tommy Rosa and Stephen Sinatra, MD, HEALTH REVELATIONS FROM HEAVEN AND EARTH (New York: Rodale, Inc.), 2015
Greetings, friends. I just finished reading a book that Rosalie had recommended to me, and now I am recommending it to you. Tommy Rosa, a plumber by trade, and Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a cardiologist and psychotherapist, two men with very different backgrounds but with much in common at the soul level, met in October of 2010, at a conference in which Dr. Sinatra had given a lecture on “grounding,” a vibrational healing method whose principles resonated well with the information Tommy had received during a Near Death Experience (NDE) in March 1999. Sinatra describes this first meeting as taking them “down a path of discovery that would be life changing for both of us– one that would completely alter the way I think about life and afterlife.” (p. xiii) Health Revelations From Heaven and Earth is the result of a collaboration in which Tommy reports the lessons about physical and spiritual health he learned “from heaven,” and Sinatra reports the supporting information which he learned as a result of his work in the largely science-based fields of medicine and psychotherapy, his earthly sources.
During his NDE, Tommy had received instruction in a “place” he identifies as “heaven,” from a “Teacher” who at first did not identify himself. When Tommy finally asked, his teacher replied, “You know me as Jesus the Christ.” Later in the book, Tommy speculates that those who subscribe to other belief systems may know their heavenly teacher by other names: “Perhaps people of different faiths who experience near-death might meet a different teacher who aligns with their belief systems. They might meet Mother Mary, angels, Moses, Abraham, Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna, or other messengers of God’s choosing.” (p212). God does not speak to only a select few. Heavenly sources communicate with us in a style and form that is most familiar to us, drawing upon the belief systems with which we are most receptive.
Such an expectation is consistent with one of the many valuable lessons given to Tommy by his Teacher:
Faith should not separate people, but instead should bind them together to God. Belief systems, however diverse they may be, are all rooted in God’s love. All faiths should be respected and honored.
Human history is rife with examples of religion gone amuck, where religious beliefs have been used by malevolent, or ignorant, people to promote interpersonal and inter-ethnic conflict. Faith should not separate people. This message that Tommy says was given to him by Jesus stands in contrast with what has too often been the practice– and even the message– promoted by those who claim they are speaking for God. But the God Who Is Love does not pit us one against the other. That is not Love. Contrary to the divisive teachings of some, Jesus appeared to Tommy because Jesus is the messenger to whom Tommy could best relate; but other messengers from other faith traditions would be sent to those whose religious beliefs are also honored and respected.
Of the many other valued lessons in this book, Tommy identifies one as most transformative in his case. As has been observed by thousands who have had Near Death Experiences, Tommy was struck by a seeming impossibility. While his body lay unconscious by medical standards, he was in fact hyperconscious. His awareness was not extinguished; it was heightened, expanded. Or as he puts it in Chapter 15,
Of it all, the most important truth is this:
We don’t really die.
There is no death, no true end…If I could use my near-death experience in the most valuable way for others, it would be to help alleviate people’s fear of death….We don’t end. We just move into a different state of being. Heaven is paradise. Once you have seen it and been there, you carry that image and those feelings deep inside you.
This is a worthwhile lesson for many who have not had– or do not recall having– an experience-based understanding of our survival of physical death. If NDE descriptions are new to you, this book is a good place to start. But this book is not just about death or the afterlife. Far from it. It contains many detailed messages that are of value to those who wish to live in the here and now, on earth, but in a more physically and spiritually healthy way. Contrary to the impression some so-called spiritual orientations provide, our earthly, incarnated life is not something to be suppressed in order to “be spiritual.” Living this incarnated life in joy and health IS of spiritual value. That is why you are here.
In the first two chapters, Tommy describes the hit-and-run accident which brought him to the edge of death and the view of heaven he subsequently experienced. In chapters 3 through 10, Tommy reports eight major “Health Revelations From Heaven, ” while Dr. Sinatra provides cogent information from earthly sources which support and expand these lessons in their application to our life practices in very specific ways. Tommy lists The Revelation of Connection, the Revelation of Faithfulness, the Revelation of Vital Force, The Revelation of Grounding, The Revelation of the Body Temple, The Revelation of Positivity, The Revelation of Self-Love, and The Revelation of Purpose. Part III of the book describes the transformative effects of this experience.
The Revelation of Connection is most fundamental. Tommy is informed that “everything, seen and unseen, is connected to everything else. What we think, do, say, and believe affects us, people in our lives, and the world around us.” (p 35) The Revelation of Connection, like the realization that we do not die, will be familiar to many readers. The implications of this simple statement are far-reaching. They reach beyond what is covered in this relatively short chapter but the authors do a good job of describing some of these implications in very practical terms. What bearing does this connectedness have on my everyday practice? As Tommy’s Teacher explains,
….understand that everyone is born with two most precious gifts: the Divine Spark and free will.
The Divine Spark is the aspect of God that lives within each living being and binds all living things together. It is your guidepost and your link to all things divine. The Divine Spark burns brightly when you think good thoughts; live a life that reflects truth, love, honor, modesty, joy; and give service to God and others. All of these emotions and acts create an inner glow that others can perceive. It is the flow of love and warmth that makes others connect to you because it fills them with happiness to be in your presence. You are a beacon of all that is light and right and true. Through acts of charity, mercy, and faith, you continuously ignite the Divine Spark so that it illuminates your life and connects you to all things.
Conversely, acts of ego, fear, control, anger, selfishness, and faithlessness will dim the Divine Spark and thus your positive impact on others. The Divine Spark is never extinguished, but it can be dimmed by dark thoughts and acts of negativity that black out God’s presence in a way that makes you feel that God is not there.
…..Through the gift of free will, God bestows upon each of you the right to choose your own spiritual path so that you can live your life in a sacred way reflective of your truths and beliefs.
Each of you has the right to choose who you are in any given moment. Whether you choose divinely and use your life to most closely emulate God or whether you make choices that impede the growth of your soul is always up to you in every moment of your life…
It is helpful if people take one day of their lives and make mental notes about how they chose throughout the day. Some decisions are important and advance them spiritually, and some are just part of daily life. Once people see the many times they use the gift of free will for the good, they will feel gratitude.
But for many, the gift of free will has been abused, and this harms our divine connection…each person has the potential to influence or change the course of history through the power of thought and action. Each person can create peace and tranquility within themselves and therefore touch another life–or even influence the collective consciousness of all. When one person is uplifted, others are uplifted. (pp 36ff)
After Tommy’s discussion of the Revelation of Connection, Dr. Sinatra illustrates it’s application to our health and healing, pointing out many ways in which “our ability to connect with ourselves and others is central to what makes us ill and what makes us healthy, what brings us sadness and what brings us joy, what makes us hurt and what helps us to heal.” (p. 41) He draws upon his personal observations as a cardiologist and psychotherapist and cites some research findings on the positive benefits to our health of having supportive social relationships and on the negative consequences of their absence. At the end of the chapter on the Revelation of Connection, Dr. Sinatra provides some helpful practices which readers can employ to enhance the positive and avoid the negative.
Chapters devoted to explicating each of the remaining Revelations follow this same pattern, with Tommy relating the basic meaning of each as given to him by his Teacher during his NDE experience and Dr. Sinatra illustrating it’s application to our health and offering some specific practices that can be adopted in our daily life to enhance the positive consequences of each lesson.
The Revelation of Faithfulness deals with the importance of trusting that you are loved and protected by God, which translates into not living a fearful life. This chapter points out the negative effects of fear on our physical and spiritual health. “Tommy’s experience illustrates something important: that faith is the opposite of fear. Fear asks, ‘What bad things will happen?’ Faith asks, ‘What great things are actually happening?’ ”
The chapter on The Revelation of Vital Force tells us of the healing power of what is also called the Life Force, Chi, Ki, prana, and other names in other cultures and belief systems. Dr. Sinatra provides information on how the mitochondria, “tiny cucumber-shaped power plants in cells” generate what in current medical terms is called “adenosine triphosphate” (ATP), a substance associated with the vitality of this force within our physical body. This chapter delves into the importance of proper nutrition (e.g., adequate amounts of CoQ10 ), exercise and the avoidance of toxins (listing 10 common toxins and how to avoid them); the natural power of the body to heal; the interdependence of our physical, mental, and emotional qualities; and many other variables that affect the strength of the Vital Force.
The chapter on the Revelation of Grounding deals primarily with the healing power of the Earth itself:
The Earth has a vibration that heals your body. You can connect to this healing force by grounding to the Earth. This means walking barefoot each day…touching and embracing living trees, which are rooted in the Earth. You can also ground by swimming in the sea…You can meditate or pray as you ground yourself to the grass or the sea or the sand. The more you ground to the planet, the more you will heal yourself from everyday radiation, toxicity, inflammation, stress, sleeping problems, and pain. (p 90)
Among Dr. Sinatra’s recommendations to enhance grounding, in addition to those mentioned above, are the limitation on the number and duration of cell phone calls, unplugging electrical equipment when not in use, and reducing the time spent “toggled to devices and electronic ways of communicating.” (p 99)
But what is the connection between our spiritual health and the health of the physical body? In the chapter on the Revelation of The Body Temple, Tommy’s Teacher explains, “In simple terms, the physical body exists to house the spirit. Think of the body as a house or temple around the soul.” (p 102) There is no contradiction between our concern for our physical health and our concern for our spiritual health. Appropriate to both concerns, this chapter focuses mainly on healthy diet and nutrition. It contains a list of specific foods to avoid as well as foods that enhance our health and provides research evidence in support of it’s recommendations, (e.g., “Consuming sugar causes chronic inflammation in your entire body and leads to issues with the heart, liver and kidneys.”(p 102)
The chapter on the Revelation of Positivity examines the relationship between the positive and negative qualities of our thoughts and our spiritual and physical health:
There are positive thoughts and negative thoughts. Just like everything in the physical world, both have vibrations. Good thoughts and words, like love, gratitude, and appreciation, create higher vibrations. If you are feeling happy and thinking positive thoughts, you are giving out high vibrations and creating health and healing. Bad thoughts, like put-downs, unfair criticism, despair, pessimism, and anxiety, create low vibrations.
As for health, if you constantly have thoughts of sickness or disease, your body will convert those thoughts into physical form…All negative thoughts and emotions create toxins on an emotional and physical level that lower your vibration. Positive thinking produces a positive effect on the body, mind, and spirit. (p 120)
Taking care of ourselves is therefore an important aspect of spirituality. In the chapter on the Revelation of Self-Love, Tommy’s Teacher points out that we are mistaken if we think there is no relationship between love of others and love of self and he cautions against confusing love of self with egotism:
To be self-loving is the foundation of divine love. Divine love flows eternally and unconditionally between God and all living beings and never waivers. But for you to truly perceive and feel divine love, there must be a foundation of self-love in your life.
With this foundation, you can also love others unconditionally, as God loves you. You will be able to love without fear and without wanting.
….do not confuse ego with self-love for they are not the same.
Ego is the aspect of character that needs to be satisfied. Those who define themselves by and attach identity to what they possess–that is, their earthly accomplishments–and those who require recognition and applause at every turn are filled with ego. Ego has no place in spiritual life…When your personal concerns expand to include the safety and welfare of all living things and when the interconnectedness of everything is recognized, honored, and cherished, then enlightenment is possible. (pp 134-135)
This chapter’s discussion of the destructiveness of ego and fear and of the importance of forgiveness of both self and others is worth the price of the book. Tommy quotes his Teacher’s exhortation to forgive both self and others, neither being more necessary or virtuous than the other:
To understand the importance of forgiveness, you must remember that God created you as individuals, but you are responsible for each other. You are one member of the entire human family. And in this human family, no person is alone or without the need to forgive others and oneself. Each human being at some point in the spiritual evolution is imperfect in thought or deed. Therefore, you are urged to work together as a species in harmony and peace, and you can accomplish this only through forgiving and loving hearts.
Holding grudges keeps you in bondage; forgiveness frees you…if you become angry without resolution or feed the need for revenge or retaliation, you are creating negativity. This negative energy can be overwhelming and can consume your energy if it is allowed to fester unchecked….[it can lead to] depression and a weakened immune system, which allows disease and illness into your life.
It is a universal truth that the self must be loved. Self is you, yourself. It is all of you. Flesh and bone are irrelevant. Self and the soul are irrevocably intertwined. It is your essence. To not love self is to not love God…When divine awareness is achieved through self-love, not ego, your Divine unconditional love toward all things grows within you. By loving yourself, you are honoring God’s gift of life. (pp 137ff)
Among Dr. Sinatra’s excellent suggestions in applying this lesson is for us to make a resolution to forgive ourselves for bad habits and behavior and to recognize that no one is without flaws; to “relinquish the control that shame, fear, guilt, and regret have had” on us as impediments to our happiness, health, and spiritual development.
The chapter on the Revelation of Purpose, as with the others on each revelation, links its message to our overall health. It examines the oft-asked question, what is the purpose of life? The answer to this question depicts a clear relationship between our spiritual growth, the purpose of life itself, and the value of “vibrant good health.” Achieving the former simultaneously achieves the latter. Tommy’s Teacher answers simply,
You live to grow spiritually. The relationships that you form with God, with self, and with others provide you with opportunities to achieve spiritual growth and awareness….The divine purpose for all living beings, wherever they exist, is to become examples of Divine unconditional Love. When you become this divine love, you vibrate at a higher rate….Living though the heart keeps you fearless and egoless and connected to all things divine…True faith can elude the mind but never the heart. Living through the heart allows an individual to keep a high enough vibration to maintain optimal, vibrant good health. (pp 151ff)
In the closing pages of this book, Dr. Sinatra provides a very specific list of practices that can increase your vibration. Rather than review them here, I will end with what I regard as a very down-to-earth instruction for those who have adopted a personal life purpose which includes being in service to others, as is the case for many of our readers here. For those who have adopted such a purpose, caregivers and those many of us would call lightworkers, here is an exhortation from Tommy’s Teacher, Jesus:
Become an agent of change for the power of good. You need not wear a magical costume with a cape and mask to be a superhero. The superpower you have is the power of your own heart. Your heart gives you the ability to love and to grow your spirit. Therefore, you can achieve your own level of divinity, and then influence the people in your life and the world you live in. Every soul has the ability to increase its own divinity through the power of prayer, hope, love, truth, and faith.
Throughout life, each person must balance what is given with what is taken; what energy is expended with what is conserved; what resources are depleted with what is replenished.
If you are in service to others, energy that is expended in helping humanity must be replenished through sleep, rest, and self-loving activities that rebalance and restore the mind, body, and spirit. If the gifts of love and service are given without a solid foundation of balance, then ultimately, the mind, body, and spirit will grow out of sync with each other. It is for this reason that many nurses, doctors, healers, health care givers, counselors, and therapists fall ill or are stricken with disease themselves. Their actions have created an imbalance. Too much has been depleted, too little restored, and the physical body is sending a clear message to the mind and spirit that this imbalance must be corrected.
By paying attention to balance, each person can lead a full, generous life. By widely using what is given energetically and then restoring personal balance, you can claim full power without having to pay an unnecessary price. (pp 154-155)
It is clear in every revelation in this book that we are intended to live healthy, joyful lives in service to ourselves and others– and that ultimately there is no distinction to be made between the two. We do not serve the true interests of the one without serving the other. Many of this book’s lessons are quite consistent with the teachings of Jesus the Christ as found in other texts, including the Christian Bible in it’s several iterations. Some of its messages may be regarded by some Christians as significant departures from what they have been taught were the teachings of Jesus. But it is not intended to be a theological text, and such departures, if any, I am content to leave to theologians. One of it’s strengths lies in it’s being in substantial harmony with messages familiar to most people who are likely to read it. This information is consistent with lessons that can be found in various religious, spiritual, medical, and scientific sources. The book contains many practical applications and is an excellent introduction for those who are new to the literature on Near Death Experiences. From my own perspective, the book is simply about the close relationship between physical and spiritual health and it provides practical suggestions designed to enhance both. Take care.