An Interview with Betty Eadie

by Veronica M. Hay

Betty Eadie is the author of ... Embraced by the Light

The fascinating account of one woman's journey beyond death and back.

What is it like to die and return to life?
Embraced by the Light has the answer.

At the age of 31, Betty Eadie was recovering in the hospital after surgery. Although she was expected to recover fully, sudden complications arose and she died. The events that followed have been called by experts "the most profound and complete near-death experiences ever."

Now, after many years and countless prodding's from friends and family, Betty finally feels comfortable sharing her experience with the public. She does so in the New York Times Best-selling book entitled Embraced By the Light, the incredible account of one woman's journey into the hereafter. The response to the book has been overwhelming.

Betty's book stands out from other near-death experience accounts because of it's amazing detail. Betty was in the next world far longer than most near-death experiences and she came back with an almost photographic view.

Betty Eadie's message in Embraced by the Light brings hope and understanding to those who have lost a loved one or may be nearing their own death. She instills courage and peace in us all.



Veronica: The first thing I wondered when reading your book Embraced by the Light, was, why the long gap between your experience on November 18, 1973 and the publishing of the book. Was it not yet the right time?

Betty: That's exactly what it was. The timing wasn't right. I knew that I would be told when the time was right for the book and I believe too that I also needed to process and assimilate the information that I had received and perhaps I wasn't ready to write it.

Veronica: Why do you think you were chosen for this experience?


Betty: I have no idea. I guess it is going to go on unanswered forever. I wish I knew. Perhaps it's my commitment to it. I don't know. I've thought about it. I have no answer for it.

Veronica: What do you mean by your commitment?

Betty: My commitment to the experience, to what I received. I am totally committed and I am the type of person who follows through with her commitments. So, I guess I am just roughly looking for an answer and there is none, except to look into my personality, perhaps to find out. The answer is obviously there somewhere and I'm too close to it to see.

Veronica: You mention the three men in robes that appeared to you just after your death. You refer to them as your monks and ministering angels as opposed to guardian angels. What is the difference?

Betty: Ministering angels are angels that administer to your spiritual needs. Guardian angels are those that are there for more of a protection, keeping you out of harms way.

Veronica: During your experience you said that you wanted to learn the purpose of life on earth. Just why are we here then?

Betty: To learn to love unconditionally, as close as possible. I don't think we'll ever achieve that, but I do think we are to learn to love as close as the Christ's like love as is possible, to learn to love under the most unlikely circumstances and deepest tragedies. To learn to love even those people who are unlovable, to learn to love and accept them unconditionally, and not be judgmental. Love is very healing. I think the one thing that we lack the most here on this earth is that kind of love and yet we can only give what we have received and so we often have a difficult time with that. Perhaps because we haven't received love during our childhood and we don't know how to show love or we don't know how to receive love.

Veronica: Do you think your own capacity for love increased after your experience?

Betty: Oh, there is no doubt.

Veronica: Would you elaborate on the spiritual, physical and universal laws you talk about in your book.

Betty: The spiritual laws are the things that pertain to God, that which is spiritual because of our divine nature. The physical laws pertain to our physical selves, our mortal selves. The universal laws are those that govern the universe and the world. All three are separate yet very much connected.

Veronica: Would you tell us about the humour that you experienced in the spirit world?

Betty: At first they used the same form of communication that we would use here on earth, until I could develop enough of an understanding of what I felt was the more natural way of communication, which is almost heart to heart, not really telepathy, but yet again that is a way to explain it. So, the humour they used was similar to the humour that we use here. In order to communicate with me they often used the same words and phrases. The humour was natural to me. It's a loving humour. It is very much like the humour that we feel as parents when our little children do something that is so obviously wrong and yet to them it isn't. So, we would smile at them and humorously guide them in the right direction.

Veronica: How would you explain the difference between heaven and earth?

Betty: As it was explained to me, like comparing a 35 millimeter print to its negative.

Veronica: Would you talk about your experience with the rose? I was particularly moved by that.

Betty: The rose seemed to be very symbolic of something I felt. I don't know that I completely understand the symbolism. I wasn't particularly attracted to roses before I experienced my death. But, when I saw this rose, I was in a very unusual way drawn to it. I went to the rose and I entered into the rose. I actually became a part of it, in that I was looking from within it, looking out and seeing through the petals, seeing the light in each little particle and becoming a part of the music, the melody that seemed to flow from it. It was a beautiful experience.

Veronica: And are you more attracted to roses now, because of that experience?

Betty: Not only am I more attracted to roses but I later learned that when I was a child (unknown to me though) one of my school principals had written a little story about me in which he had referred to me as his prairie rose. How ironic really, because my native name is Rose as well. Ever since, I have absolutely been attracted to roses and daisies also. I don't know the purpose of the rose, except that I enjoyed it and appreciated it and I have a great love for them now.

Veronica: Often when someone has a spiritual experience, the intensity of the feelings diminish over time. Has this been the case with you?

Betty: Not at all. In my deepest times of despair I look back on this experience and it balances me. I can sense and feel it even as I now talk about it. I give hundreds, probably thousands, of presentations of my experience and when I become focussed on the experience, I relive it. I can feel this great desire and longing for where I was taken to and the spiritual beings that surrounded me. I can relive those moments there in the garden. Everything just comes back to life. I don't know if that's all a part of it, if that is something that was imprinted before I came back. I don't understand it. I just know that I have this vivid recall of the entire experience. I taped all of this after I had the experience, but I never had to listen to it. The memory of it never left me. It was always there. And even though I had not written the book in those 19 years, I always used the experience to help other people. So this book wasn't new to the people that surround me, the people that I worked with, in my volunteer work and my work also as a counselor. I just felt so limited. I felt there were so many people that needed to know about this and I felt that as soon as my spirit knew that it was the right time that I would write the book. And not just the book, I knew there would be a video, I knew there would be a movie. I just knew all of these things.

Veronica: You mention in the book that your mother died of cancer. Did you see her during this experience?

Betty: I didn't mention seeing her because I believe that that was taken from my memory. I do believe that not only my mother, but my daughter, were a part of the grieving party. After I came back, I went into depression for quite a few years. Looking back on it and trying to understand it, I think that had I remembered them, with vivid recall, having visited with them, I don't think I would have overcome my depression because I wanted to be back there, not here. I was told that those who we love would be there and so I know that the ones that I love were there, I just couldn't remember them.

Veronica: Our most severe challenges will one day reveal themselves to be our greatest teachers. Can you give an example of that in your own life?

Betty: I think probably one of the greatest challenges that I have connects back to love. I was one of those children that was never really bonded, having been taken away from my parents so young, and I think that bonding has a tremendous amount to do with love, unconditional love, with trust, with feelings of self worth and those have been my greatest challenges.

Veronica: Everyone has a mission, no matter what, from becoming president, or being a mother, a teacher or whatever. Many people, I am sure, are wondering what their mission is, or if they really do have one. What would you say to help those people?

Betty: Everyone has a mission. I don't think that we will necessarily know what our mission is. I believe that we are brought to that mission through the trials that we go through. Again those trials seem to test our strengths and through those trials we become stronger and that's our greatest challenge. Take for instance, many of the people who have gone into counselling and helping people as a result of a tragedy happening in their lives. I give here the example of a man who recently lost his son. He found out later that his son was murdered and now this man is on television bringing about a tremendous amount of change to the word regarding these child abductions. Because of his pain, many things were done. Unfortunately, we aren't always compelled to make changes unless we have some tragedy hit us. When those things happen, even this terrible thing that happened in Oklahoma, many changes will come about because of that particular tragedy.

Veronica: Is writing this book part of your mission, the mission that they showed you and the memory that they took away?

Betty: I would say that it is part of it because I was given the information and also allowed to remember it in such vivid detail. I'm absolutely sure that it is part of my mission. I do not believe that it is all of my mission because I am still here and they promised me that I would go back as soon as my mission was completed.


Veronica: So, there is obviously more to do?

Betty: Right, there is more to do and I am busy doing it.

Veronica: Was writing this book indeed an adventure for you and did you expect the kind of response that you got?

Betty: I didn't know the physical changes that writing such a book would bring. For example, I didn't understand the New York Times best seller list, I didn't understand all of the publicity, all of the interest and the notoriety. But, what I did know was, that the book was going to absolutely blanket the earth. I knew that, I just didn't know all of the details.

Veronica: During your view of pre-mortal existence you saw that birth is a sleep and a forgetting. Why do you think that is?

Betty: It is necessary to forget it in order for us to live here. It's difficult knowing what I know, having experienced what I've experienced and then having to continue to live here with that knowledge.

Veronica: Because you want to go back?

Betty: Not only do you want to go back, but it is very hard to communicate with others unless you find people on that same level of thought. It's hard to think of things as being tragic and painful when you know that there are lessons that are being taught, things that are being learned. Something good is going to happen. So, you have a tendency to feel differently about everything.

Veronica: The only thing that we take with us from this life is the good that we have done for others. Our strength will be found in our charity. Everything produces after it's own kind. So then, what we give out, we get back. What goes around, comes around. Is that right?

Betty: Exactly. We are the creator of everything that we receive.

Veronica: I was particularly moved by the section on prayers. The range of our help for others is immense, you said, and if the faith of our friends is weak, the strength of our spirits can literally hold them up. Would you talk about how that works?

Betty: That's through prayer. We all have friends or relatives who go through low periods in their lives. And when they are going through these low periods of life, they need the help of our prayers, because they often don't have the strength within their own prayers to lift them up, or perhaps the faith. And so, we are constantly to be praying for those that are in this need and hopefully we will have that returned when we are the lower and the weaker.

Veronica: Why must we never consider suicide?

Betty: Suicide is breaking a law. We are here to fulfill a purpose. When we take our lives, we have shortchanged ourselves, as well as others. Sometimes depression can be beneficial to many people. Not necessarily for the person going through the depression at that particular moment, but sometimes it is a teacher and a help to other people who are perhaps servicing that person, healing that person. It is easy for us to give, but it's hard to be a receiver of things. At least it is for me. It is very hard for me to receive something. I've always been the giver. I've learned that we must balance all things. That you give joy to another by allowing them to give to you. So, when we take our life, we literally are being self-centered, and we are wallowing in our own despair and our own problems. If we take our mind away from ourselves and stop just considering our own comforts, then we lose that tendency, that feeling towards becoming suicidal. Of course, that's if you are dealing with just the mental. There are people who have a lot of physical problems that could bring them to the point of committing suicide and it is not our place to judge. Some of these people would not do this if they were in their right mind. In fact, I believe that no one would commit suicide were they in their right mind.

Veronica: So, basically when someone is feeling that way or depressed they should think of what they could do for someone else?

Betty: Right. Re-focus. Because at that moment they are still focussed on self.

Veronica: The music tape that has been released about your experience, how did that come about? How were you and some of the musical creators able to capture some of the incredible sound that you describe in your book?

Betty: It was done through inspiration. I met Stan Zenk who is one of the composers. I heard some of the music that he was playing and it just absolutely brought me to tears. It just hit me at the soul level. So, I asked him if he would create the music for that experience. He worked with Bryce Neubert and they came up with some beautiful music. Music is so healing to the soul. We need more of it, more good music in the world.

Veronica: What is ahead for you now, Betty? I understand that you are about to write another book. Would you tell us about it.

Betty: The next book is the questions and answers to Embrace by the Light. I received thousands and thousands of questions, as you can imagine, and I had to keep Embraced by the Light very short and very simple. I thought that if I went into it too deeply, the message would be lost, the message about love. And so, this other book is almost an absolute have to, one that is more difficult, in that I don't have all the answers, but the mere fact that I don't have them, I think, needs to be told as well. So, this is the book I'm working on right now. It is a continued journey, I guess of Embraced by the Light, where I have been and where I am going with Embraced by the Light. And during the telling of that, I hope to answer as many questions as I possibly can.

I am also working on the movie. This is something that I think will be very beneficial to those who don't like to read. You know, we have all these different senses, some people are more intrigued with a book, others more intrigued with movement, with eyes, the visual and others like to just hear. So, I am trying to touch all senses and hoping that every bit of this will bring people closer to the God like quality within them and that is love.

Veronica: Thank you, Betty.



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