Wisdom Magazine's Monthly Webzine Skip Navigation Links
Wisdom Magazine, a bi-monthly compendium of information and resources related to holistic health, spirituality and metaphysics, is the largest free holistic publication serving New England with 50,000 copies printed and distributed to over 2,000 locations throughout Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Home  About  This Month's Articles  Calendar of Events  Classified Listings  Holistic Resource Directory
 Educational Programs  Sacred Journeys & Retreats  Reiki Healing
 Article Archives  What's New in Books, CD's & DVD's  Wisdom Marketplace
 Where to Find Wisdom Near You  Subscriptions  Web Partner Links
 Advertising Information  Contact Us
Denali Institute of Northern Traditions
Ellie Pechet
Margaret Ann Lembo
Wisdom Magazine
Bach Flower Education
Wisdom Magazine
Circles of Wisdom
Light Healing
Wisdom Magazine
Alternatives For Healing

Excerpt from "What To Do When You Are Dead: A Former Atheist Interviews the Source of Infinite Being

Chapter One: The Conversation

by Sondra Sneed

I met God in the basement of my rental house in Secaucus, New Jersey, which was a weird thing to happen to an atheist. I was fired before Christmas and the man I still loved went away, never to return. Bitter cold days and inky black nights cut through the floorboards and into my bones. Arctic wind swept across the Northeast to encase my unbearable loneliness into icy silence. I made my retreat to the basement to write and smoke cigarettes. I pined in agony; my peripheral vision blurred. My heart wailed in panic, like a sine wave out of phase, it constricted my chest and cut short my breath. Worry about not being good enough, not being important to anyone, lay on my torso like a slab of cold, black granite.

Six feet underground, below the living room of my house, I sat in a dingy basement more alone than I had ever been. In the crook of a blue corduroy couch, under the yellow glow of a table lamp I experienced the worst psycho-emotional storm of my then thirty-nine-year life.

But something else unfolded between those wood-paneled walls in the winter of 2004. Something extraordinary began to sprout beneath a snow-white blanket of solitude.

My writing habit increased with my smoking. In with the bad air, out with toxic residue, I wrote and wrote in unceasing verse; my uninterrupted lament filled page after page of a spiral notebook. When I finished the last page, I opened a new one to begin again. But this time something sprung forth before I noticed the pen moving. I didn’t know I was writing until the pen stopped. The words . . .

Unemployed? It is my assertion you are employed by me.

. . . had already spilled out onto the first line.

Maybe the brain can just think it is talking to someone else, my unconscious mind may have created another person in the absence of human contact. I was a skeptic, and it would have been easy for me to conclude that this emerging “hello” from another world was just a figment of my imagination, or worse, the onset of mental illness. But something deep within me said otherwise; the room had changed. Energy all around me was electric and enormous.

Within an instant I knew these words were the first crumbs, nuggets placed on a path where atheists fear to tread.

* * * *

That moment sparked a year of solitude and isolation. I filled ten spiral notebooks in dialogue with what I came to call God.

Seven years have since passed. I have written hundreds of thousands of words in spiral notebooks, on the backs of envelopes, torn cardboard boxes, and on countless five by seven-inch note cards and sticky notes. A voice from the eons with knowledge of origins has worked to answer my every question. And now, the book you are holding, the one I am writing for you, is going to answer your questions, too. How do I know that? Because for seven years the secret I have held holds me no more, and the time has come for a message to be given to the world.

The book you are holding is the beginning of a brand new conversation. But before we start I must warn you, God doesn’t talk to me the way you and I talk to each other. And for the record, God is not a He, or a She, or even an It, because God has no way of being that is even remotely similar to human form. There is no form that God takes except through the beings God makes.

God is going to talk to you and I from a place of many—a chorus of the mind. You need only look so far as the book of Genesis to see God referenced in the plural form: “Let us make man in our image,” it says. But man’s image is not what it appears to be, as you will soon learn.

In my seven years’ experience with these conversations I can only tell you that you will change. You will change your mind because that is the purpose of your life. Without that change, you cannot evolve to become the nature of what you truly are.

So let’s begin. This journey you’re about to take opens, if you don’t mind, with the subject of me.

God, how was I born?

God is not going to give you information about how you were born but why you were born. How is for another book.

Okay then, why was I born?

You were born to make the world your own but then to give this world over to me, because first you needed to know the cruelty of the world before you understood the way the world is meant to be.

When you were given this task, you were in the life of Being. This Being—that is where you were before birth—wanted to know what could be done to help God make the world a brighter place for those who lived life on earth. You wanted to know why all of the people who didn't know Love were so miserable and why they didn't have anything on which they could truly depend. The reason you wanted to know this is because you were unable to give your world a more important role than one of listener.

You had the role of listening to people's wants and desires. You were then to get those reports to the ways of being that would correct people’s wrongdoings on earth. Your role was to support the essence of life by giving a working way of the truth in all things. What we mean is that you were not doing anything, just reporting, so you wanted to know how you could help us to do more.

What world are you talking about when you say I was a listener?

The world of Love.

Can you tell me what “world” means here? I think of the world as in life on earth. Are you saying the world of Love is in an actual place?

No. The world of Love is a substance that is in the world's way. Meaning, what is the world’s way?

Are you asking me?


Well, my dictionary says that the word “world” derives from “the age of man.”

Yes, the word derives its meaning from the age of man. Now think of the world of Love in that context.

The age of Love?


I don't get it.

The age of Love is the level of existence that is the source of your existence.

I'm still lost here because I don't think of Love as an existence, I think of it as a feeling.

Feeling is just another way of describing Beingness. When you feel something you are being in the body. The body is simply reporting to your mind what state of being you are in.

So when I was in the world of Love, I was in the state of being Love?


When I imagine that, I don't see how I could be an individual with a separate role in order to become a born person.

This is the most important discovery you could have made. You now realize what the state of Oneness means. It is not that one is all, but many. Each individual part of the whole of One is a part of the way of being One. The way that God is One is also the way that each one is a one.

I imagine that to be like suds of soap in the sink. All of the tiny bubbles are exactly the same.

The way of bubbles is the way of One in a very specific way. They all look the same but upon closer inspection you see the difference between each in their size and dimensions of color.

Okay. I can also imagine One to be like an organism made up of many cells.

This is an awesome comparison because we are, in fact, a giant cell made of infinite cells. You are one small, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny aspect of this giant cell.

That's getting really intense. So can we go back to the story about my life on earth?

Yes, but first you must realize one more thing. What is the difference between the world of man and the world of Love?

Man has or is a body?


Man can live in a world without Love?


Man has a form or body, Love doesn't?

Yes. There is exactly the difference. Love is not able to form. Love cannot divide itself. It cannot make itself into alternating ways of being because it is All Being, One Being.

How does it have aspects of individuation then?

I already told you that. It is because Love is One made of many, many, many, many ones.

Each of the many has a role to play?

No. Each of the many plays one role.

To listen?

Yes. Love is listening. Love cannot do anything, it can only be. That is why you wanted to know how to do something for humanity.

So I came to earth in order to do?


That is how I am an aspect of God?

No. That is how you are an aspect of Love. God is Love but God is also the Doer and the Lover.

I'm confused now.

If you do for Love, you do for God. If you do for others, God does for others.

But what about doing not for others?

Then you are doing for the body and not the spirit. You are doing to serve the world of humanity in its illness not in its wellness. If you do only to satisfy the dictates of the human world, in a way that works against Love, you are only satisfying the needs of insatiability; the dark hole that Love is worked out of.

Like a black hole?

No, like a dark force that some people refer to as evil. But that is not a word we like to use very often. People have misconstrued the meaning of the word evil for a very long time. Evil merely means to under-work the laws of Love. It does not mean there is an entity in and of itself that is evil, but that the way evil works is to suppress the way that Love works.

I see. Let's get back to talking about me. I want to know if it's true what you've told me before that I came to earth with a purpose.

Purpose? No. Mission, yes. The difference is in the details. Purpose is a way of conducting your life and mission is a way of performing your duties.

When you were born, you were given to a woman on the verge of a grand discovery. She discovered, at your birth, that life is very different from what she was told and that there is Beingness worthy of attention beyond the body. She witnessed your body awakening into the world of man. She saw you come to life from a state of stillness. She watched you enter the body.

What? What does that mean?

You are inhabiting the body. You are not the body you have inhabited. You are a being that has no form. The being without form has entered the form, in order to express the being you are.

Inhabitant sounds kind of creepy.

Not really, it's not that difficult to imagine. The way you are in this body is not like a hand in a glove, it’s more like the glove is in the hand.

I don't get your meaning.

If the glove represents your body and the soul represents the hand, then the hand is actually puppeting the glove, not wearing it.

So my body is a puppet for my soul?

In a sense, but let's skip that idea for now. Let's get back to the particulars of why you came to earth and the details that are being made into your awareness of the world of man.


When you were born, your mother's epiphany was very traumatizing to the family. It resulted in her search for answers and she was taken by a new religion in town. This religion had very important reasons for wanting your family to join. It wanted members in order to facilitate the mission of its founder, and the effects of that on your family were, in a sense, catastrophic. Ultimately you were forced to lose a mother and become a motherless child in the world of mankind.

This has extremely important significance in the world of Love, because mother is a symbol of “unconditional Love from that which begat you.” Mother Earth, for instance, symbolizes the essence of life on earth as having been derived from the womb of nature, and you were abandoned by that very nature of God at the tender age of two.

Age two is also significant because that is the age when a child first begins independence from mommy. So when you were exploring the world of man, your mother was gone, leaving you to explore with God's Love only. You were very close to God at that age; you were in love with Love instead of in love with mommy. This was an intentional act on our part. In order to help you become what we had helped you to become, you needed to lose the only attachment you would have to the earth.

If you had a mother you would not have explored the domain of man and you would have grounded your needs into a mother's heart and not God's heart.

Is losing a mother at a young age important to awakening in God?

No. You were given this opportunity because you possess a strong need of God's Love and that just made it the easiest way to get to you that which we were supplying.

Let's move on. You were in the world without your mother in order to facilitate the mission you had set out to fulfill, when you wrote your world’s works in the Book of Life.

Please tell me about the Book of Life.

This is not an actual book; it is a place in the mind of God that records the duties of the souls that go to earth. When you record your functions on earth, in the mind of God, you are giving your soul a prerequisite for learning. You are allowing yourself to become a function of God. When people forget why they have come to earth, this book gives the mind of God a remembrance that can be accessed, at the right time, when the body returns to the earth and the soul ascends to the ways of God. When that remembrance is given back to the soul, it decides whether or not it has completed its mission. Manners of the mission are relearned if the soul is unable to manage what the mission is supposed to be. In other words, if you wish to have another chance at the mission, it will be given and you will have another set of works to perform.

If, however, the soul decides it cannot fulfill the mission, it will be given the duties of life in spirit, and that will determine what level of ascension is needed to fulfill the joy of the soul. Unfortunately, for some, the body passes before the life of their soul has a chance to live with purpose in the world of man, and they become lost in a world of torment unable to decide what they are to do next. In that indecision they are often left to wander the earth without a body and to haunt the past.

This past is an element of time that is being in the world but not of the world. They become stuck in the ways between. This is a sad state because we cannot reach them unless we are given notice of them. If there is a way to show them that they are wanting the ways of Love and not the ways of the world of man, they can ascend to the next realm. However, many are not noticed by the people who would or could help them, because human beings on earth do not usually see them. When they are seen they are feared, and that only makes them overwrought within their own fear: fear of being and fear of not being.

If I had died before turning 39, when you and I met, what would have happened to me?

This is an odd question because we already said you were given a mission before coming to earth, and we would have made every effort to keep you alive in order for you to fulfill it.

But I thought you said these wandering souls had a mission that they forgot and died before they remembered?

I see your point, but there is a big difference here. These souls were not in the Book of Life. They did not leave the world of Love with a mission.

So not all souls come from the world of Love?

No. Many come to earth from other worlds in which Love only plays a small part. There are so many worlds that inhabit the earth. There are more than I make time for in this book. Let's get back to your world for a moment.


You grew up not believing in anything except Love. But the problem with that was that no one could convince you what Love was except your father. When you were a child he was a man in your life who was distraught by the loss of his family-world, when your mother was gone. He stopped believing in love and stopped believing in his own life when his world disintegrated. He was forced to make a living and feed his children, when what he really wanted to do was feed his soul. As he turned away from what his soul wanted, he turned his back on your needs for emotional support, and therefore gave you the idea that love and longing was the same thing. He was a man broken by love and he made a daughter who was broken as well. You were so young when he turned his back on love that you don't remember it happening, but it became a written word on your heart. The word was longing.

That explains a lot about my faulty relationships, such as attracting emotionally unavailable men.

Actually he did not manifest that in you. That was from the loss of the mother in your life. These men supplied you with a feeling of constantly wanting without satisfaction. Your father's role was to convince you that you didn't “need,” and you were, therefore, able to sustain these relationships because you had learned not to need their attention. In a positive sense, that's how you were able to do so many things in your life that many women cannot do. Your father showed you how to be independent and how to manipulate the mechanical aspects of your world instead of having babies. You were given tools to give yourself a healthy sense of courage and independence because your father was a role model to what you wanted to become.

Like what?

Well, like becoming an artist for instance. You would not have succeeded in the world as an artist if you had not watched your father work the mechanisms of material worlds.

You mean work with his hands?

No. We mean solve problems using his hands. The world became your refuge as you worked with materials that helped to solve problems and satisfy your curiosity about existence. It was successful because you watched your father's face contort with questions, and then you watched his hands move to make the answers. You mimicked him. You chose art but you used his techniques. This was also in our design. We purposely placed you in a couple with a mother who had spiritual insight and a father who had major questions about power; power in the way of engines and in the way of working out the distribution of power, in an automobile.

You see, the way that you are learning about power in the world of spirit now, you made possible by learning your father's ability to command the tools of his trade. You learned from him why the world turns simply by watching him make the wheels of a car turn. You watched him take the power of an engine and make the vehicle move.

I think I get it. I certainly feel very close to my dad because of his ways.

Yes. He's fond of you, too. Don't forget you are also incredibly gifted in that way; you have been brought into the world to bring Love. And his fondness for you has always been about the Love you don't let him forget.

For some reason it really touched me when you said that.

It's because you know it's true, through and through. Now let's get back to the point we want to make in this chapter, and that is how you were in the world before you met us.

When you were in the world and making your way as an artist, in the major way of worldly life, you were happy only when you were working and distracted by work. You had no way of knowing that your life's work had yet to begin. You thought you were born to create and so you moved every mountain to make yourself a success in the world. You loved being a writer and loved taking pictures with a mechanical device. You loved working on the machine that made magic out of your pictures. But you couldn't find happiness anywhere else. You were unable to find joy ultimately, even in your work as an artist, because you were heading down the wrong path; it was one that could only lead to the loneliness that became apparent when you lost your job and no longer had the false affections of a man to whom you wished to be married. You were finally at the end of the line and it was about time, because we were running out of things to throw at you that would signal to you your time had come. We were sure that you would eventually surrender, but we could not be sure as to the manners that would make you wake up.

You began to drift into the deep manner of depression, and we knew it would not be long before you picked up the pen over other activities and begin to scribble into our world. When it finally happened, you were a bigger mess than we ever expected from someone so prone to courage and independence. You know, we were quite amazed by your openness to our existence, however. You were overdue for introduction and when it happened, it was as if you had expected it all along.

The reason we tell you this is because it took seven years before you were able to translate this work into a mission that was foretold.

Why do you think it has taken so long?

I was thinking it was because I needed family support. And given the effect of religion on my family, becoming a God Lover would cause my dad and brother to leave me, and I couldn't let that happen.

This is not only false, it is insulting.

Really? I would never want to insult you. I really thought that was the reason I had dragged my feet.

The reason you dragged your feet to make this mission a truth in your heart is because you cannot assert yourself in the world of man, as a Lover of God, unless you really know to whom you are talking. You don't have a clue who will listen to you or who will read this book.

That is so true it scares me.

The person who is reading this book right now is someone you could never have predicted, but I have. I have made the point to put this in the hands of every living soul who is under my care in order that they may know I am here, listening to their manners of Love and working every way possible to meet their needs. This book is more important to them than even to you. You have already worked through every element of faith possible and don't even need this book to make your faith stronger. The fact that you are writing it is proof of how strong your faith has become over the past seven years. What you must see now is that this book is for the one who holds it in their hands and says, “My God can hear me!”

I am so supremely humbled by this honor then. I thought it such a difficult task, but you've shown me just now that this task is not hard for me at all. This makes writing it a much lighter burden to bear.

Is it a burden?

Only one that is lifted.

But to what do you attribute the burden?

That it is inescapable.

Ah, yes. Inescapable indeed. You've seen the courage of Love by knowing that what is for others is not for the soul, unless it is done for Love.

That takes us to our next point. You're going to provide a very important service for us, and that is to give our service an opportunity to demonstrate what God is, in the world, and that is an aspect of the very people who inhabit the earth. As you are learning here, we are working, on your behalf, to make this task of giving to the world a light of hope, one of ease and joy.

What do you mean?

You will see in the coming chapters every essence of what we mean.

Are you ending this chapter now?

No, not yet. We have one last message to give. You are a very perceptive being, and what we must do now is penetrate your mind and walk further into the world of what you were like before we came to you.

Am I ready for this?

Probably not, but that's how we prefer it.

What we want you to know is that the woman you are today is so far from that little girl inside a woman's body, that you may not believe us when we tell you that you were incredibly broken by every person you were loving and needing. What they were feeding you was so toxic and torrent-filled that you had become the very essence of evil yourself. We don't mean you were possessed-by-demons evil, but you were suppressing the Love we were giving you in such a powerful way that you had become a demon-child yourself. You were so cruel and painfully mean to others with your wit and quips that you would slay the very heart out of a man's chest without blinking an eye. You were an awful woman, full of venom and rage that not even the smallest complement could penetrate your vile soul.

You had made everyone who cared about you feel as if they had made a big mistake for loving you. You made everyone you came in contact with worship and defile you with simultaneous repulsion and compassion for your wickedness. They felt you had lost your mind and never had a heart, when in fact you had squashed your heart to silence so that it could not be broken again. New York had become the perfect breeding ground for your vileness, because you didn't notice the worthlessness in your soul when the skies turned gray and the cement turned to ice. You were the torment of your friends and the fright in your acquaintances. There was little left to work with when we got to you. We had to slowly and deliberately take you piece by piece down to the river to wash your soul.

You were very, very afraid of your own reflection, because you wasted every element of what you were into the depths of your worst nightmare. The reason you must know these things and the reason they are part of this book is not for your edification, but for your very dear mother and father. It is so that they know the daughter they grew to fear is no longer living in your body. The vile woman who grew to despise every manner of man and woman has gone for good. They can trust the work they are to read in the coming chapters to be honest to goodness renewed hope, and they will know that they are not responsible for the tormented spirit that emerged in you at the end of your former life.

When you are finished crying we will continue.

I knew this book was going to be hard, but during the seven years of these conversations, you have never said those things, never once reminded me of how awful I became. Why now?

You're only making me repeat the way of reprimand, but as I said, it's for your mother and father who did not deserve the torment you brought to them in those days and months of your reckoning. And I don't blame you for your behavior, but it is time to look at what was accomplished, as we worked to bring to your life the sanity you could not assemble on your own.

Thank you.

You have always been welcome.

Now let's talk about how you move from the realm of God to the realm of humankind.

I'm not sure what you mean, but you have the floor, please proceed.

The way you say that sounds like you have a question.

Yes. When did I move from one realm to another?

When you let God take over your life.

I feel I have to surrender every day, one day at a time.

Indeed, but we mean when it was destined in the way of your birth.


Give me a moment to catch you up, here. I just cut your barriers down to the ground so that I could revisit your birth without you stopping me with questions. So here we go. Let's first start with the process of “woman and man make baby.” How do you think that happens?

Everyone knows how that happens.

Right. But let's pretend they don't have the first clue. What would you begin with?


No. That's wrong. Try again.


No. Try again.



I imagine they recognize themselves in each other, in some way, and then their reflection creates another version.

YES! Exactly. Very good. How did you get that answer?

I'm not sure. I imagined my parents looking at each other and it just hit me. I am a product of what they recognized in each other.

Yes you are. And not only that, you are also a reflection of the way they look, therefore you manifested their recognition in a beautiful way by taking equal parts of them and making the wholeness of you. Do you see where I'm headed?

No. I'm still caught up with the reflection thing and not sure how that translates to the physical.

All you need to see right now is that in the reflection of your life, your perfection must also satisfy what they reflect in themselves, or they will not recognize you. When they see in you a way for them to complete themselves, you become a reckoning of their life. So this book will reflect their purpose in being as much as it does yours.

They were born to make me?

Not like you mean, but more like that they made you to make them. In other words, you embody their hopes and dreams, carrying their seed to the fulfillment of their mission. You are completing their mission by completing your own. You did not have a child because it was not necessary to carry the seed beyond you. You are the completion of a long line of ancestral manners of succession to make this time in the year of your birth the time for the next messenger to come.

Okay, that is sounding way too messianic for my comfort. I am no Messiah.

You can call your job anything you like, but in the history of messengers throughout the ages, you were born to fulfill this mission.

How about scribe?

Scribe it is.

Are we done with this chapter now?

Yes we are. And I promise, we will not talk much more about you. The rest of this book is going to be about the realm of the ways of God.


Sondra Sneed is a science and technology industry writer and former atheist, with a secret. All the years she’s spent interviewing scientists and engineers, translating their high-minded knowledge for lay persons, she has also been interviewing the highest mind, the Creator of the Universe.

Available from: Amazon.com, B&N.com and at bookstores near you ISBN 978-1-937907-11-2, $17.95 US/ $21.95 CAN, Rainbow Ridge Books

Add Comment

Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Sondra Sneed
Bach Flower Education
Wisdom Magazine
Light Healing
Circles of Wisdom
Wisdom Magazine
Alternatives For Healing
Wisdom Magazine
Ellie Pechet
Denali Institute
Margaret Ann Lembo

Call Us Toll Free: 888-577-8091 or  |  Email Us  | About Us  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map  | © 2021 Wisdom Magazine