..The Intuitive Times


An Interview with Elizabeth and Dr. Neil Carter
"Cosmic Cradle: Souls Waiting in the Wings for Birth"

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The following Interview was conducted in Montreal by Revs. Barry and Sandi in May, 2002 with the authors of "Cosmic Cradle: Souls Waiting in the Wings for Birth," Elizabeth Carman and Neil Carman, Ph.D., who have been investigating the field of consciousness for more than thirty years. This book is the result of ten years of research into pre-conception experiences of souls and the ability of souls to choose and communicate with their parents before birth. Their research is both fascinating and compelling as it provides new insights into the nature of souls and life here on earth.

IT: The first question I want to ask you is, what brought you to do the research for your book?

Elizabeth: I initiated the whole project as part of a Master's degree and roped Neil in at an early point in the research. Throughout my whole life I've been interested in full human potential and part of a course for a Master's degree was writing a magazine article about women giving birth without pain (they were in a state of ecstasy). These mothers were going through natural childbirth in a hospital or at home, but without drugs. As I interviewed these women, I realized that their stories revealed the cosmic side of how our souls come into this world. Mothers related what happened during pregnancy, how they communicated with their baby in the womb and received messages, predictions, and information about the child's plan to be born on earth. Some women were so ultra-sensitive that they told me what happened when the sperm and egg united, an experience which quantum physics supports today as a biological reality. Others witnessed a subtle pillar of light energy coming down over them at the time of sexual intercourse. These were very subtle, very real experiences that seemed to be happening beyond the normal range of human senses.

In the interviews, mothers (and even some fathers) also shared dreams and visions of a future child which preceded biological conception sometimes years and decades before. One sixteen-year-old girl had a heavenly vision of her future son. So she knew what he was going to look like and continued to feel his soul's presence around her until she was finally ready to conceive a child fifteen years later. Beyond pre-conception communications, several people recalled their own birth, womb-time, and journey from the heavenly world to Earth.

This research took me on quite an adventure. I didn't know where it was leading. I just went with it because it was enticing me and I found it all very intriguing. It was at this point that I asked Neil for his assistance and he became part of the project.

Neil: Elizabeth wanted my feedback about the remarkable women she was interviewing. As she began to highlight some stories, I realized, "Elizabeth, this is more than a magazine article. This is a series of articles and a probable book or series of books. This is an untold cosmic story about who we are, where we come from, why we are here. It's a beautiful, spiritual journey that people need to understand." This intuitive experience impressed upon me, that what Elizabeth was discovering was important. I wound up being so struck by my spiritual experience about this research project that I became part of it.

Elizabeth: Since this project began, I ended up gathering enough material not for just one book but for a series. The first book, Cosmic Cradle, uses stories from gifted contemporary people and stories from a wide range of cultural traditions to help us understand the pre-conception state, the stage of life prior to biological conception. Book II covers conception, Book III pregnancy, and Book IV, birth.

The research for this series covers the topic from the perspective of the spiritual side: the parents' contemporary experiences and then it goes beyond that into cross-cultural experiences and an interdisciplinary look at the whole subject. The book covers 165 cultures and religions in Book I. Throughout history, for example, the birth of Jesus, Buddha, Dalai Lama II, Tsong Khapa, St. David, St. Columba, to name a few, have been announced to the world so people could be prepared for them. Either the mother had a dream or vision, the father, some family member or a close associate (of the family) gave them the message that the child was coming. In the same way, we're finding that special children are being born today to many parents and they are being announced ahead of time via dreams, visions, and intuitional insights. Parents have been sharing information with us about the extraordinary abilities and gifts of these children once they are born. So maybe one day we'll be writing a fifth book entitled, Children of the Cosmic Cradle.

IT: Cosmic Cradle also has a very strong interfaith message because it covers many traditions and the many understandings.

Elizabeth: We lay out a new paradigm that bridges the major religious traditions. The new paradigm links together spiritual wisdom from every cultural perspective. For example, we show how various teachings agree about how our soul selects parents, life purpose, and key events in life prior to conception. We also present parallels about how our soul travels the highway between heaven and earth as well as parallel descriptions of our souls superphysical consciousness prior to conception. Cosmic Cradle includes accounts about parents (contemporary and ancient) meeting their children prior to conception, stories about the cosmology, the structure of the world and the world of the soul according to religious and philosophical traditions. Cross-cultural stories explore questions such as, "Does the soul choose to experience trials and tribulations on Earth? Or is it karma?" Or are we all just actors on the stage of life with God as our Stage Director? Altogether our book contains more than 200 stories in five different sections. Cosmic Cradle synthesizes, for the first time, all this wealth of information and links together people of different religions, the ancient peoples with modern as well as sophisticated cultures with indigenous peoples. It shows the underlying unity and the connection between the experiences, memories, and beliefs of 18 religions, 25 ancient and modern cultures, 53 Native American peoples, 20 African peoples, 28 Australian Aborigine peoples, and 21 other indigenous peoples from around the world. So Cosmic Cradle is unifying rather then separating. We are all one family.

Neil: The first chapter was the most challenging to write. It presents a new paradigm and explains, in relatively simple terms, how it differs from the outdated materialistic paradigm. We present a new philosophical structure to help us understand the research information in Cosmic Cradle. So the first chapter is a beautiful synthesis of the whole book and shows the underlying unity between all the different traditions.

IT: Could you share with us a couple of stories that really struck you as you did the research?

Neil: A very sweet story is "The Message of the Bumblebee." It is a contemporary account from Katarina, a young woman who already had one child and began to feel the presence of the soul of another child who wanted to join the family. A second pregnancy came at a time when her marriage was a little shaky and needed some time to heal. The couple also wanted to move into a bigger home and Katarina was in the middle of finishing a degree program. One morning early in the pregnancy, she decided to sit in her backyard to pray and meditate. Katarina felt the presence of the child's soul and communicated her concerns about the timing of the pregnancy. She then recorded in a journal the three conditions that needed to be fulfilled before she would be ready to have this child - heal the marriage, move into a bigger home, and thirdly finish her degree program. After writing down the goals, a bumblebee flew down and landed on her journal and walked up and down these three conditions. Katarina watched in amazement. The little bumblebee flew off and Katarina thought, "Well, I hope he knows her." Katarina accepted this as a sign from Nature.

The next morning Katarina had a spontaneous miscarriage. Then roughly one year later, the three conditions were met - the marriage had stabilized, they had moved into a bigger home, and she had finished her degree. Katarina became pregnant again.

She felt the same little girl that was hanging around the year before. (The soul whom she had asked to return had come back.) The soul had the same energy, flavor, and personality. This time Katarina went through the pregnancy. Once her daughter began to grow up, she was always a year ahead of herself. It is a beautiful story.

IT: When you were interviewing people, were they eager to share their stories or were they hesitant?

Elizabeth: People had no hesitations and it was exhilarating for me because I would live through their experiences as I listened to them. They were all new to me. I became supercharged hearing about their peak experiences. In some cases, they had never shared the information with anyone or maybe only one or two other people.

Neil: Generally, I think it's important to point out too, that this is what was happening in their lives. This was not a field of knowledge that they had been reading about in a book. So our research is based on personal, innocent spiritual experiences. Another thing that happened is that in 1992, we moved to Austin and I suggested to Elizabeth that there might be some pertinent historical and cross cultural information that could be placed in the book besides contemporary interviews. So she began a lengthy research effort at the University of Texas library, one of the largest library systems in the United States in terms of the number of volumes.

IT: So you had access to good resource tools?

Neil: Eleven hundred footnotes and 532 bibliographic references ended up in Cosmic Cradle to document the sources. Any information that we did not obtain through interviews or our own intuitive insights is thoroughly referenced. We wanted to put a scholarly touch to the book. And other researchers are absolutely amazed by the wealth of the information from published literature - cultural anthropology, philosophy, history, biographies, religion, poetry, and mythology.

IT: Did you find in talking to people from different traditions that the words they used were different or the same?

Elizabeth: Cosmic Cradle is filled with over 600 cross-cultural parallels which create a bridge between peoples of diverse backgrounds and continents. One example is a contemporary story called "Soul's Fiery Light." Susanna was lying in bed one night and a little ball of light, like a firefly, entered her bedroom and buzzed around her. It greeted her and said, "I'm the soul of your child and I'm coming to be born to you." Susanna recognized the soul's energy and felt comfortable, but then she remembered, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, I already have two children. I'm not having anymore kids." But the little soul said, "Oh yes you are!" and buzzed away.

Someone might ask, "Did Susanna really experience the soul of her child as a little light?" Well, first of all, Susanna did become pregnant shortly after this communication and she recognized the same soul presence during her pregnancy. She also said, "The first time I looked into that newborn baby's eyes, I knew it was that same soul who had greeted me months before.

" Besides Susanna's conviction that this was a real pre-conception vision, what's fascinating are the cross-cultural parallels related to the soul as a light. Ancient philosophers, such as Heraclitis taught that the soul is a spark of starry essence; Hipparchus likened the soul to fire; Heraclides Ponticus compared the soul to light. Medieval Christian literature equates the soul to a spiritual substance, spherical in nature like the globe of the moon. Native American traditions describe the soul as a minute spark of fire (Iroquois), a miniature star (Skidee Pawnee) or a fire (Eskimo).

My favorite images of the soul are Native American death-bed visions (vision of the soul leaving the body at the time of death). For example, the Quinault saw the soul as "a ball of fire flying through the air throwing off sparks and making a crackling sound like burning spruce twigs." So a variety of sources from Greek and Roman philosophers to Christian mystics and Native Americans) equate the soul to a light whether it's the soul coming in (before conception) or someone is seeing the soul's departure from the body (death). These cross-cultural accounts make provocative parallels to Susanna's experience. (I also want to point out that parents report different flavors of the soul through their pre-conception dreams and visions. The soul can appear as a little cherub, as a young child, or as it will be as an adult. Cosmic Cradle cites cross-cultural accounts to support some of these contemporary experiences as well.)

IT: Cosmic Cradle is a great resource in terms of information and understanding. It is an excellent tool for people to understand the Spirit and the nature of Spirit from a totally different view point. I don't think anyone has ever looked at it from this view point. People always talk about after-life experiences as opposed to pre-life experiences.

Elizabeth: Yes, I believe Cosmic Cradle is the first compilation published on this most mysterious stage of human existence. Cosmic Cradle presents knowledge of our soul's journey to Earth from many cultures, throughout time and space. Stories told by contemporary people, saints (East and West), Tibetan lamas, Sufi mystics, Greek philosophers, near-death experiencers, and indigenous peoples (Native American, Australian Aborigine, African, and more). It contains everything you wanted to know about where your soul comes from, what is the origin and purpose of your life, how your soul got into an earthly body.

Neil: Some points of the new pre-conception paradigm presented in Cosmic Cradle are: number one, parenthood begins long before sperm unites with egg. We are recognizing that biological conception is not just a matter of sperm and egg coming together. We know that there is something else going on. Number two, preparations for human life occur in the womb of the universe. A hidden realm filled with intelligent souls waiting to be born. Three, our life plan or cosmic contract, a kind of life script, is designed prior to conception, so each soul that comes into this world into a physical body, comes with a plan. Fourth, the boundaries of memory transcend our brain. Human consciousness exists independently of the brain and a nervous system even before the tiny fetus is born. Five, individuals with gifted awareness are aware of the soul seeking birth and remember pre-uterine life.

IT: You talked about a story in your lecture where Glen was basically looking down and there were three life-plan choices, could you share that story with us?

Neil: Yes, Glen Beicker's story is one of the most amazing revelations in Cosmic Cradle. We call cases like his "Gifted Memory" life-long memory of the events leading up to physical existence. We were interested in researching individuals who were born with these memories intact. People, like Glen, naturally recall the pre-life state and pre-life planning even as a child. So we excluded any evidence of memory which surfaced during hypnosis, rebirthing, or past-life psychotherapy. We titled Glen's story, "Path of Thorns, Smell of Roses," because Glen chose a life filled with trials and tribulations, but a life that would have the greatest spiritual reward in the hereafter. The challenges of Glen's life are the path of thorns and the reward is the smell of roses. Glen is in his seventies now.

Elizabeth: Glen gets very upset when people curse their parents. He would like to tell them, "Look you fool, you choose your parents!" But he does not do that because they would think that he was an old kook. So Glen just keeps quiet about it. Glen explained why he has this belief: "I remember choosing my parents. I remember standing on this high heavenly ledge overlooking earth. I was standing there in an assembly of souls. Each one of us had a guide who was assisting us and preparing us to be born on earth. My guide was helping me select my parents, showing me which ones I could choose. First, he showed me couple "Number one" and I saw what they looked like, where they were, their whole life-style. I even saw the bedroom scene."

The guide explained that Glen's life would be "a breeze" if he were born to this first set of parents. This was a very wealthy family. He had that possibility. Next the guide showed Glen couple "Number two." Again he saw their whole scene, all the details of their life. In this case, it was a family of medium income. Life would be pretty easy, maybe not as easy as the first, but life would be a relatively smooth ride. Finally Glen saw a younger couple riding in a car, couple "Number three." They were driving home on an old country road in Texas. This was 1929, so it was pretty quiet, not a busy freeway. The young couple was hugging and kissing and before they arrived home, they parked off the side of the road. The wife looked in the backseat to make sure that her young daughter was sound asleep. Glen recalled, "They opened the door and got on with it." The guide warned, "Glen, if you choose this family, it will be a challenge to pass God's test. Life will be full of frustrations. It will be difficult to meet your full potential."

Glen asked, "But if I choose this family, won't my reward be greatest in the hereafter?" The guide explained, "Yes, that's true, but it's not going to be a piece of cake." Glen said,"That's the one I want." And the guide asked, "Are you sure that's what you want?" Glen emphasized that he wanted to aim for the maximum salvation. As soon as Glen made that decision, he felt himself travelling down this tunnel. A band of pure light, like the white band on a candy cane, followed him all the way down the tunnel. So he was weightless and floating all the way down through this tunnel which was a beautiful stream of consciousness.

Glen remembers these events as clearly as he remembers yesterday: "Most people forget where they were before they came to earth and how they chose their parents, but the eraser did not work on me." The next thing Glen remembers is he is a four-year-old boy. His mom and dad have just returned home from his aunt's funeral and they are explaining death to this little child. As soon as Glen hears about his aunt going back to the heavenly world, it triggers the memory in him, "Oh that's where I was." He remembers, "Oh, yes I was there, I know what they are talking about because I have been there." It was like a video tape of his pre-life state playing in his mind. He doesn't say anything about it to his parents. He just accepts it.

By the time Glen was seven years old, his memory was bothering him because he's wondering what this memory means. So he came home from school one day and his mother was cooking dinner and he asked, "Mommy, was I placed with you and daddy when you were in the front seat of a car?" His mother replied, "Well, we don't talk about that. That is not decent." So Glen didn't say anything more about it, but he still wondered, "Other people don't talk about these things. Am I crazy?" The memory was always very lively in his awareness.

So by the time Glen was 25, he's a married man, in the military, he decided to put this memory to rest. He traveled home purposefully, just to satisfy himself on this issue. He sat his parents down and asked, "Do you remember where I was conceived?" His mother replied, "Well, that was over 25 years ago. How can we remember that?" Glen said, "Well, what if I supply some details? Would you be able to confirm them?" The parents agreed to this. Glen continued, "Was it in the front seat of that 1919 Overland car?" And the mother turned to the father and said, "Gus, you haven't been talking to this boy, have you?" And the father answered, "No, Hilda. You know I wouldn't talk about that." Glen proceeded to explain how he saw the whole conception scene on the country road. He saw them with the little girl (his older sister) sleeping in the backseat. The parents confirmed every last detail about that day. They turned red in the face. They were very embarrassed. They were a conservative German family. They didn't talk about sex.

Neil: So, he didn't overhear his parents discussing this subject. Which is one question that some skeptics have put to us. They think,"Oh well, Glen just heard that from his parents." But parents don't talk about, "Oh, we conceived Johnny in the bathroom at lunch." This is not a topic people discuss. I have never heard my family, parents, or any of my brothers and sisters speak about how they conceived their children.

Elizabeth: Cosmic Cradle reports additional cases where people have confirmed conception memories with parents. But even more interesting is what the Buddhist scriptures teach: at the time of conception, the intermediate being (that is their word for soul) looks down at the couple who will be the parents and chooses to be born. So, here we find parallel experiences between Buddhism and people, like Glen, born here in the West, into a Christian family.

Neil: The universe has a glass ceiling and the souls seeking birth are up there, looking down. And souls are drawn to certain kinds of energies and the consciousness of the parent. For example, Cosmic Cradle has a beautiful story about a contemporary Bengali saint named Shree Maa. Her parents were married at a young age. Her mother was about 13 or 14. Right after they married, the couple made a pilgrimage to a holy mountain where there's a famous temple. When they reached the mountain top, a respected swami approached them and said, "I've been expecting you. You're going to give birth to a divine child." The mother protested, "I don't know what you are talking about. I'm not pregnant. We just got married, and we don't know when we are going to have children." But the swami blessed them and asked, "Please return once you become pregnant. I need to talk with you again and initiate you and the child in the womb."

After a short period of time, the young woman became pregnant. She said to her husband, "Well, maybe the swami was right." So the couple returned to the temple up on the mountain. The Swami was very pleased. He said,"This is a special child in your womb." He gave the mother instructions, some initiation, and information on things she should eat, etc. The Swami then instructed her, "Return once the baby is born."

The pregnancy progressed pretty normally, and the child was born. The parents went back up the holy mountain. The Swami initiated the mother and her third eye opened to the size of a football. She levitated off the temple floor for several hours. They couldn't get her to come down. She had entered an ecstatic state of consciousness. Meanwhile the Swami took the baby, "the little Saint," and he danced around the temple chanting sacred sounds in her ear. He had already initiated her in the womb and now he was with a newborn baby, chanting mantras into this baby's ear and dancing around the temple, knowing this is a saintly child.

We met Shree Maa several years ago, and she gave us a few more tidbits that were not in her original biographical information. She shared some beautiful insights about her mother. She emphasized that her mother was a very innocent, but pure person. That is why Shree Maa choose her for a mother.

IT: Do you have any Gifted Memory stories you'd like to add?

Elizabeth: I'd like to share a story about a two-year-old boy named Taylor. One day his mother Beverly told him, "Oh Taylor, I'm so happy that you're my son. I'm so blessed to have you as my child." Taylor responded, "But, mommy, don't you know I chose you to be my mommy." She said, "Oh, is that true? What is this?" Taylor explained, "Well, I chose you to be my mommy because I knew that you would take good care of me and that you would love me." Beverly said, "Oh, is that right?" "Well," explained Taylor, "it goes both ways. I chose you, but you also have to choose me. It's a mutual thing." Beverly said, "That works fine for me. Does it work ok for you?" Taylor said, "Yea, it works just fine for me." Then Beverly walked out of the room, just overwhelmed by a two year old saying this advanced philosophy that she had never talked to him about.

So Taylor was remembering choosing mommy. Neil: During Beverly's pregnancy, the doctor was quite concerned because Beverly had had cervical cancer. The doctor advised that she had a ten percent chance of getting pregnant. So Taylor was the only child she had every carried. Beverly was extra careful and made regular doctor visits during the pregnancy. Her doctor always looked over Beverly's diet and said, "Beverly, you have a perfect diet, if I could only get all the pregnant mothers to eat like this." According to the doctor, Beverly never needed pre-natal vitamins or supplements. What Beverly did not tell the doctor was that the inspiration about what to eat was coming from her son in the womb. People can read the whole story about that in Cosmic Cradle. Elizabeth: Taylor also spoke about his memories of being in his mother's womb when he was a toddler. One day his mother Beverly told a pregnant friend, "You can't go by that due date business. It doesn't matter what the doctors calculate. Those children are going to be born when they want to be born. That's all there is to it.Taylor was due at the first of the month.

He didn't come. They induced labor and he still didn't come. Finally the doctor pulled him out with a Caesarean." Then little Taylor, who was only 3 1/2 years old and had been sitting there listening to the conversation, said, "It was great in there, your own private swimming pool and all the food you can eat." Taylor was referring to how he guided Beverly's diet and got the foods he wanted when he was in the womb. More details about how this happened are in Cosmic Cradle. IT: This journey must have changed your lives, but it must also have changed your perception of the world on many different levels?

Neil: Well, we have been on a spiritual journey for over thirty years. We had been working on spiritually transforming ourselves, but this has added a whole new element of transformation in our lives. It has given us a lot of insights about our journey into this world and a whole new paradigm about pre-conception, pregnancy and birth.

Elizabeth: We have been exploring states of pure awareness, pure consciousness, through personal meditation and teaching others how to meditate. As we did the Cosmic Cradle research, we discovered people who spontaneously remembered their superphysical state of consciousness prior to biological conception. Their descriptions parallel a state of inner pure awareness attained during meditation when thoughts are transcended. That's what they remember coming from. And that's what people also describe in near-death experiences which we also parallel to the pre-life or pre-conception state.

IT: How has this project impacted you the most?

Elizabeth: Personally, I feel that the spiritual side of life is our real nature and the most important part of our life. Cosmic Cradle has given me the vehicle to awaken people to this missing aspect of life. Many people make a mistake and identify with the limitations of their ego and physical body - "I'm a woman. I'm 50 years old. I am a doctor. . . . And that's who I am." They have become trapped in physical bodies and have lost their conscious connection to the most fundamental part of themselves. Cosmic Cradle is saying, "You are more than this physical body which seems to live for a very brief moment. You existed before you entered your mother's womb. And you made certain choices before you came to Earth. You are a spiritual being. You will exist after you leave your physical body. You are beginningless and you are endless. You are pure consciousness. You are peace beyond thought." This message is dearest to my heart, to awaken people to their spiritual source, where we are going, the reason for our existence.

IT: In closing, is there anything you would like to share?

Elizabeth: I believe everyone has a subconscious memory of this primordial consciousness, some people may call this their higher Self. Deep inside people know it exists. They may even have some intellectual understanding of Self, however not everyone knows how to experience pure consciousness on the level of direct awareness. So they are homesick for it. And they encounter all kinds of problems in life. The purpose of Cosmic Cradle is a wake-up call. Wake up to who we really are. Cosmic Cradle reminds us through stories of gifted individuals who are fully aware of their connection to Source. These people serve as role models to inspire us that higher consciousness is not an impossible dream, but it is our natural birthright. and our destiny to reach that state.

Neil: I would like to share a review comment we received from Beverly Anderson. She says, "Cosmic Cradle is a book of messages from heaven. It works as a guidance tool that is why I keep it around me all the time. I use it to get my message for the day. Whenever I feel compelled or motivated, I just crack it open and I read whatever section I feel guided to open to. It always gives me a chuckle when this happens because Cosmic Cradle is incredibly applicable to what is going on in my life. It gives me the message, the answers, the guidance, the direction, or the perspective that I need at the moment." Beverly found it to be like a daily guidance tool because there are 200 stories and you can pop it open and read something and see what kind of inspiration comes.

Cosmic Cradle is available at www.amazon.com or call 1-800-853-9757. For more information, visit: www.cosmiccradle.com

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