My sit down conversation with psychic medium John Edward reveals his struggles, convictions and his truth about the afterlife
It was 20 years ago this month (March 2001) that I conducted my very first interview as a journalist in this space of spirituality and consciousness with then rising star, psychic medium John Edward on the set of his former hit TV show Crossing Over with John Edward.
Wide-eyed and eager to sit down with Edward after witnessing a number of psychic readings he’d given during the taping of his show, with mini tape recorder along with pad and pen in tow (yes folks, imagine pre-smart phone, pre apps, pre…all that stuff!) I was ready to drill down with the man who regularly dials up the “dead.”
My private chat on a now empty production set was a ‘spirited’ one – full of great energy, honesty and transparency. I’d later relish in the fact that I’d landed the exclusive interview with the man who’d eventually become known as “psychic to the stars.”
Most importantly it was my first crack at being a “real” interviewer within a niche that most still consider anything BUT real.
Needless to say, the interview and subsequent published article was a hit and so is John Edward, still, some two decades later!
Although this piece is nearly the same as when it was originally published back in 2001, I’ve tweaked a few areas and changed the title for style and relevancy to the present-day. That, plus a fair amount of journalistic maturity in my writing style many years later should make for an engaging read!
The afterlife or “survival of consciousness” idea is a subject that many on this side of the veil still have a hard time believing exists.
Though none of us can fully know if and how such a realm operates, some are certain that not only is the afterlife real but insist that those who occupy the other side have the ability to communicate with the living.
Psychic medium John Edward is one such individual who’s message has and continues to be consistent when it comes to contacting loved ones in spirit: Life and love are eternal and act as the catalysts for making contact between the living and the so-called “dead” possible.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Edward on the set of his hit television series Crossing Over with John Edward (1999-2004) to discuss his spiritual sojourns with those on the other side and how his process works. Needless to say he had much to share and I had much to learn!
John Edward along with his show Crossing Over has garnered and sustained an enormous and loyal following, peaking unprecedented interest from the public and from all walks of life – crossing over to a diverse demographic and on a massive scale. Regardless of the differences in culture – religious orientation, racial designation, or social and educational status, all have one thing in common: the desire to hear from loved ones who have crossed over.
When I asked Edward what he would attribute to this ever-growing desire to want to know more about this subject he said, “I think what’s driving [this] is as Gary Zukav put it in his (best-selling) book The Seat of the Soul – ‘As a society, we are evolving…’ and I think that on the planet and as a society, we are evolving. People are seeking knowledge and I think that they are seeking to identify with truth and seeking to identify with empowerment. I think this is about life and about how to better your life (and how to) lead a more fulfilling life with the people that you’re connected to that you love, family and friends. And to know that the ones you have lost physically are still spiritually connected to us.”
In other words, “I would attribute [the show’s] success to the tribute that we provide to the people that come here both living and crossed over. “
While many are openly amenable to Edward’s messages and often awe-struck by his accuracy along with the process for which he gleans the messages, there are others who seem a bit perplexed as to why Edward can receive messages from “Dear Aunt Sarah,” and on a public stage no less, but aren’t able to receive the messages from their loved ones directly.
Though a fair question, the possible answer may very well lie within the framework of what is referred to as extra sensory perception or ESP.
Many who study ESP under the larger subject umbrella of metaphysics say that the key to receiving information of any kind outside of the physical sensory system is in having and keeping an open and an unbiased belief system. With this we remain untethered to rigid dogmas of any kind, availing us to act as an open conduit for information. Whether they be mere intuitive hunches or that long awaited message from “Dear Aunt Sarah,” we are primed to become a living channel. Many suggest meditation can help facilitate that process though my sense is that by just keeping an open mind, free of any one expectation may do the trick.
What happened when I watched John Edward in action?
Just prior to my interview with Edward, I sat in on a taping of the show and witnessed what I believe may provide a perfect illustration of the above.
Edward had been reading two audience members – a couple sitting roughly in the third or fourth row of the “Gallery,” as the studio audience is called. As is usually the case Edward began to receive a flood of symbols – frames of reference that intruded upon his awareness. Immediately he conveyed the messages he was getting in his frame of reference to the audience members, in hopes that they would validate what was coming in. On several uncannily accurate references, he clearly got it spot on the individuals confirmed. However, while watching this process, it was interesting to note that although Edward seemed to have been fully on target, the couple remained rather aloof, conservative in their reaction, almost dubious about what he was “getting.” There was clearly some resistance to what he was saying and perhaps some preconceived notion about what he was doing and how he was doing it.
He then began to get a persistent impression…
“I’m getting a female name beginning with the letter H.”
Although he wasn’t able to make out the name entirely, he began to get what the name sounded like.
The message became so insistent that on several occasions he had to go back to the couple and say, “They’re not letting this one go…this is a name beginning with ‘H.’ You must know this.” (I noted that Edward was starting to get a bit agitated that there was no validation or recognition of any kind from the couple).
It wasn’t until well after the taping of this segment had ended, and the couple had left the building and a new segment had been well under way, when suddenly in the middle of tape, Edward yells, “Heather! The name is Heather…where did that couple go?”
Obviously (at the time of this writing) we do not know whether the couple was able to come back and validate the name, but what stands out is quite intriguing.
If you want to connect with the other side, you have to step aside…
It wasn’t until the couple’s departure not only from the set, but from the building that Edward was able to fully get the person’s name, descending on his awareness like a plane making a perfect landing, (pun intended) albeit after the couple had left the space. Was it their seemed closed-mindedness that perhaps blocked the message from getting to Edward’s conscious awareness, despite the loved one in spirit being so insistent on getting the message through?
Note: In my research I have found many examples of a medium being blocked from getting a clear message due to the sitter’s disbelief in the process itself.
Though we may never know the modus operandi that allows for a connection to happen between the living and the dead, I asked Edward what that sensation feels like – when impressions become so persistent that they refuse to go away.
“[When messages come through forcefully] I feel like I’m being held hostage. Locked! That’s the feeling. I get a feeling of being locked-in.”
So how do people react when Edward becomes unrelenting about getting his messages across?
“…I say to people all of the time, ‘listen, I don’t care if you’re liking me. I’m not here to win a popularity contest, you know? I’m here to deliver a message. And you leave with the message – right, wrong, interpreted correctly, misinterpreted – it’s all coming through. I just want to show them what the process is and the understanding and maybe a month from now it’s going to mean something that’s just going to make them just totally, totally appreciate the experience more – and that’s happened!”
Watch my on-location interview with psychic medium John Holland about connecting with the “other side.”
Aside from the occasional itch of agitation, which he has been known to have, there is every reason to like John Edward. This native Long Islander who has a dual degree in Public Administration and Health Care Administration is an endearing and engaging personality. He is quick witted, sharp, passionate and a fast talker! I was especially touched by his level of humility and warmth, even in the midst of a hectic work day on a pressure filled TV production set. It’s clear that he is fully committed to his work – a profession which he admits, he was ambivalent about at first.
“The thought of this being my career was so not even remotely okay with me. After you go to school for so many years and you get a degree, that’s like the professional thing, (but) I said, ‘well, I’m helping a lot of people doing this [psychic mediumship], let me just do it for a little while longer.’
A “little while” has grown into a long haul career, worldwide travel and a following that just won’t quit!
But despite the staying power Edwards and other psychic stars like John Holland, James Van Praagh and Theresa Caputo (aka The Long Island Medium) have enjoyed, there still exists a vehement denial on the part of many about the reality of an afterlife, never mind the ability to contact those who reside on that mysterious “other side.”
Will science ever declare life after death a viable theory? Will the thinkers and teachers of science at-large ever give credence to the “afterlife” hypothesis? Although Edward does not believe we will witness any official proclamation in the foreseeable future, he hopes that his work and that of the others like him, might help forge us toward a renewed understanding that life does not end when we take our last physical breath. He feels it is vital to know that those who have “crossed over” are still in fact connected to us, watching over us and are aware of what we are doing: our joys, our struggles and our triumphs!
“The process of connecting [with loved ones in spirit] is not one quick meal, it’s a cookbook of understanding!” – John Edward
“As a medium, I want people to understand the process and [when they do] that needing to connect with a medium doesn’t become the fast food they seem so desperate for but rather it becomes a cookbook for life. The process of connecting [with loved ones in spirit] is not one quick meal, it’s a cookbook of understanding!”
In pondering this ultimate question of the reality of an afterlife, perhaps we need not look to a formally accepted paradigm for validation. Often the most profound truths come from one’s own personal experience, even if it appears shrouded in mystery. For as the famous American physicist and philosopher Richard Feynman once said, “It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it.”
As Edward stated in his book One Last Time, “[Loved ones in spirit] are coming through for us because they love us, and because they know the ultimate message is a vital one: In these modern, often cynical times, it is important to remember that we are all spiritual beings, and as such, we cannot die. We can only live and learn forever.”
Adapted from the original article by Alexis Brooks: “Reality TV” Takes On New Meaning With John Edward’s “Crossing Over” – 2001.