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The Attack: What I witnessed on the Inner Planes

P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D.

(P. O. Box 7691, Charlottesville, VA 22906-7691) 

          I am more than a researcher of the near-death experience and its pattern of aftereffects.  Yes, that job has consumed me for 23 years and I have 5 books out

now on my findings.  But I am also an experiencer - three times in three months during 1977.  Although I turned to research because of what happened to me, I turned as well to the inner planes – that dimension, that space, that resonance wherein lies the untarnished soul, our Higher Self, and the reality of A Greater Plan for humankind.  It is from that space that I wish to share what I witnessed concerning the Attack on America.

          Long before the attack occurred, I noticed a level of frustration, almost a low-level anger in the general populace.  This began in early September, with some

people calling me to report dreams of an explosion, of a plane crashing into a tall building.  Several were more specific, seeing this event as a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City but they didn't know when.  People were am-bivalent during public affairs and festivals the weekend before.  This was especially noticeable at the event in North Carolina where I was one of several featured speakers.  I flew home in a driving rainstorm late Monday night, feeling safe but apprehensive.  I knew "something" major was about to happen.

          When I heard the news early Tuesday morning I instantly became a child again, watching newsreels of planes bombing Pearl Harbor.  All the sights, sounds, screams, smells – the utter horror of it – came back.  You cannot protect small children from the impact of an event this massive.  They know.  Even the little ones.  And they need caring adults to talk them through the scenes as they unfold, adults with enough sense to let them ask questions, draw pictures, write poems, cry, talk.  Children can adjust if they can express their feelings, and be heard.

          Pearl Harbor forever imprinted my childhood.  The rationing, air raid drills, victory gardens, grocery stores with little on their shelves but boasting large tables and canners at the ready in case you had enough produce from your garden to can.  You paid for any tin you used at the check-out stand alongwith the items you want-ed to purchase.  My mother and I would walk to the local library.  In the basement women gathered to roll bandages for the troops.  My job was making Q-tips.  I  wasn't very good at it.  Every morning I walked along the path of death on my way to school.  At that time, if anyone in your family died in the war effort, you put a big decal of a gold star in your living room window.  I knew what those gold stars meant.  Once I passed a house where six new gold stars had been added overnight.

I just stood there, sobbing.  I do not recall a single morning in my entire first-grade experience that wasn't spent faking bravery while deep inside myself I was crying.

Once I could shake myself free of images I associated with Pearl Harbor, I went into a state of prayer and meditation and witnessed what was happening on the inner planes to those involved in the attack, both in New York City and at the Pentagon.  An unexpected death, accident, or murder often confuses or disorients a departing soul.  And that is exactly what I saw. . . bodies and body parts flailing in the air as souls twisted around in disarray from the trauma.  I couldn't separate the dead from the dying from those who survived.  There was that much confusion.  Too many.  Too fast.  I did little else that day but join with others across our coun-try and the world who were helping in the only way any of us could at that moment – through prayer.

Prayer is powerful.  It can heal, guide, inform, steady, warm, soothe, calm.  By affirming God's Greater Will, we free ourselves from judgments, attachments, and desires, and place our focus and our intent where it will do the most good for the highest possible purpose.  Instinctively we call upon Source in this manner, ir-respective of religion or belief.  We are "programmed" to do this, not by what we were taught, but by the beating of our heart.  Heart wisdom supersedes the intellect.  It is the connecting link between us – that of love.

          Wednesday morning I again entered that state where the inner planes were fully visible.  What I saw startled me.  Instead of confusion and disarray, the departed souls were forming a huge wave, like a "hand" stretching.  They were coming together as if one energy mass and they were "waking up," becoming aware.  I have helped at many tragedies and led prayer vigils, but never have I seen anything quite like this.  My sense was to aid those still embodied who hurt and were injured.  They needed me more right then than the souls of the dead.

          Thursday morning the soul wave was fully formed, each soul totally conscious and possessed of knowing.  The sound they made, their tonal vibration, was one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.  Music, the music of a great love, the love of those willing to die for the benefit of others, overwhelmed me.  Before I could think, the wave and I merged.  What I saw, felt, knew, and witnessed in that wave transcended my childhood memories.

          This is what the wave revealed.  Each person who died, regardless of who, victim or perpetrator, had agreed before birth to be part of this event – to be there at that location at that time as that person.  They had not "contracted" as souls to die, necessarily, but to be present and accounted for, to be part of the energy that would ensure this event occurred.  It was only as the moment neared that final decisions were made.  A wake-up call was needed, one horrendous enough to reverberate across our country and the globe, affecting every man, woman, and child and in every nation.  Many are those who have grown complacent in life - sloppy of  dress, rigid in beliefs, uncaring in the consequences of personal activities, ever needful of another addiction convincing enough to prove we are alive. 

The people who died sacrificed their lives to make the statement that none of us can continue to live the way we have.  It is time to awaken.  America, in particular, has been protected by oceans, soft borders, and a legacy of people who put God first in their lives – not because of any one religion but because of a spiritual truth that burned in their soul.  That fire became a beacon to the world, grounded in law, tempered by a willingness to air our disagreements and learn from our mis-takes. Our complacency comes from putting "things" ahead service and investment; a consumerism gone mad, a spirituality deemed little more than new age nonsense.

          In the wave I learned that this event, the terrorist attack on New York City and the Pentagon, will not be the only horror to occur.  There will be more:  this year around the holidays, next year from summer on, and throughout 2003.  Even the Presidency of the United States will not be immune to the force of the call that has sounded.  Nor is the enemy who we think.  Anyone who uses drugs for purposes other than medical is directly responsible for the destruction of at least five countries.  Anyone who lashes out at another because of race, religion, or gender has become what they claim to hate.  Even the refusal to make eye contact with a person of color is in itself an act of prejudice.  Weather challenges will heighten.

          Friday morning I joined the wave.  I made my choice to be part of the healing of our country and our world.  I chose to add my voice to the voices in that wave.  They are my heros and I am humbled by their sacrifice.  Huge numbers of those still alive have made the same choice I have.  The energy of our wave steadily broadens and is stretching far afield.  Freedom is not free.  It demands that we be responsible and self-disciplined, that we honor what is worthy and each other.

          I have no doubt about what I have witnessed on the inner planes of this tragedy.  Nor do I have any doubt about the continuance of this wake-up call until we as a people fully awaken.  God is the God of all, present and available to each and every person.  To quote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:  "If we could read the secret histories of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." 

Can retaliation be avoided this time?  Perhaps not.  Yet I am certain that if we listen to Longfellow, we can discover options, other ways of handling conflict and difference.  War is not the inevitable response to attack.  When people agree to disagree, when healing is more important than revenge, peace can happen. 


P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D. is the author of Coming Back to Life, Beyond the Light, Children of the New Millennium, Future Memory, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences.  Her website is


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