>>Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people and interviews or conversations about all sorts of related topics. We’ve been doing this for about 12 years now. If you would like to check out some of the previous ones in case this is the first one you’ve seen, go to batgap.com, then look under the past interview’s menu. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. If you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website. There’s also a page where you can mail in a check or something like that if you’d rather not use PayPal. My guest today is Father Nathan Castle. Father Nathan graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio and entered the Dominican Order in 1979. He received an MA and Master of Divinity degree from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. He was director of the Catholic communities at Stanford University and Arizona State University. He believes the Holy Spirit has given him a “night job” of helping souls who died suddenly and violently find afterlife peace. He is the author of “And Toto, Too: The Wizard of Oz as a Spiritual Adventure” and “Afterlife, Interrupted (Books 1 and 2): Helping Stuck Souls Cross Over”. So welcome, Father Nathan.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Great to be with you, Rick, thanks for having me.
>>Rick Archer: Great to have you. I’ve been listening to your books all week and listened to maybe well over 10 hours of them. I love listening to or watching or reading books or talking to people about this topic. Because when I do, and I’ve always experienced this for many years, it’s almost like the veil between this world and the other world thins and you kind of have a broader vision of (what’s that saying in the Bible?), ‘in my Father’s house, there are many mansions’ or something like that.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Absolutely. I use that one at funerals all the time, it helps people imagine something great after this.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, because I think so many people get in the habit of assuming that what they’re perceiving is pretty much all there is. And, in fact, there used to be a beer commercial where guys were sitting in a rowboat fishing, and one of them says, well, doesn’t get any better than this. But there is so much more. And it’s I think it really is inspiring to broaden one’s perspective, deepen it. So, I just gave the briefest of explanations of what you do there. You have a night job of helping souls but why don’t you elaborate for a while on what it is you do and how you started doing it. I have a lot of questions written down and I’m sure some guests will send in questions, and we’ll just have a very edifying conversation.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Sure. Well, I do a lot of things. I do call this topic my night job because the contacts come during the night, but I’m a Catholic priest, and I have been a campus minister most of my career. Now I’m a writer, and retreat director, much of that’s been driven onto the internet because of the pandemic. But in short, about 23 years ago, I was on a retreat. I was at the time the Director of the Catholic campus ministry at Arizona State University in Tempe. We were on retreat, and about three o’clock in the morning, I had a dream. It started with my own dream content. I was with another guy, a priest playing golf. We were finishing our round, and we went into the bar, where there was a silent auction in progress. We were looking at all these donated things. I looked up at the far wall and there was this ghastly piece of art in the frame, and I just said to my companion, good grief, who would give that to a charity? They should be ashamed. But it was so horrible I needed to go look at it more closely like we do when there’s a wreck on the freeway. The looky-loo, you want to see the awful thing. I went toward it, and it came toward me. It just moved magically as things happen in a dream. And inside the frame, this was well before we had televisions on our walls, it moved toward me and inside the frame, a little video started to play. It was a young fellow on the hood of a car. He was sitting on the radiator with the hood open of a car from the late 50s, early 60s. He burst into flame, he was screaming in anger, not just in pain, but in anger at somebody outside the picture frame to the lower right. And I woke up. This dream had elements of my dreamscape, my normal playing golf. And then, it had this other thing, and I knew immediately as soon as I woke up that I was contacted. Even though it was the first time I just knew that wasn’t my psyche, that was something else.
>>Rick Archer: And had you been kind of open to the possibility of such things already, having perhaps read books or talked to people or whatever?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I grew up praying for the souls in purgatory. I was a little Catholic child who said blessings because my mom taught me to, and she taught me that I could send a blessing to anybody in my house, or across town or the next state, or even people that had died already. And I got busy praying for, especially for people that died, even when I was really little. And I went to sleep that way. So, when this happened in my early 40s, 15 years ordained by that time, I had room for it.
>>Rick Archer: Perhaps either the fact that you had been doing, praying like this since childhood had cultured in you the perceptive, the capacity or the receptiveness to be a contact in this way. Or I don’t know what the other was, two theories in mind that I think
>>Father Nathan Castle: You’re already there. Yeah, I had, even as a little kid, I would, I was told and Catholic school, maybe in first grade that if yours was the prayer that moved someone from Purgatory to heaven, you’d have a friend for all eternity. So, I used to busy myself as I fell asleep with praying for whoever was the next person in line. One aggravating prayer away from heaven. I supply the little thing, the bread that got them over the line. I used to think of them as like at the bank, with those zigzaggy ropes that go back and forth that make you wait your turn.
>>Rick: Right, at the airport.
>> Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, I would help them cut in line by praying for them. And I’d tell God, here, I pray for the person at the front, and then the one that just got there. I grew up in Texas, where there were a lot of Baptists, who wouldn’t have thought of purgatory. And so, I prayed for the Baptists that died. I knew their family wasn’t going to do that. Anyway, I just was a very busy little kid that way, and then later in my life, this whole thing.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, this is completely in line with what you were doing as a kid. I mean, in a way you were sending out signals all this time saying, hey, me, I’m interested in this, and they say, from some level, they said, hey, boys, we got a live one here. Let’s use him.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah. I always believed in the continuum of life that it didn’t stop when you died. I was taught that as a child, and it made sense to me as I got older. It just never was, I have always believed that we keep going. I’m a member of IANDS – International Association for Near-death Studies.
>>Rick Archer: Sure, I’ve interviewed some of those people.
>> Father Nathan Castle: I’ve always been interested in that topic.
>> Rick Archer: By the same token, have you always believed or do you now that we didn’t start when we were born?
>>Father Nathan Castle: I’m not sure when people that believe in reincarnation talk about passing through a veil, or something like that, that you did some pre-life planning, but then you go through a veil where you forget that? And maybe I just forgot it really well? I don’t know.
>>Rick Archer: I think that’s the way, well, I mean, I happen to believe in it, but not in a dogmatic way. But my understanding is that’s kind of the way it works. There’s a purpose to being veiled. We don’t, we wouldn’t learn all we’re meant to learn if we had the whole picture from day one. But anyway. So, you’ve used the word purgatory several times. Do feel that the people you’re interacting with are in some kind of purgatory?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Oh, well, that word never comes up. I just supplied it because I was talking about my early childhood training. There’s parts of it that always made sense to me because it presumed a continuum. Not just a binary heaven and hell, but some continuum. That just made sense to me early on. Hardly anybody’s perfectly good or perfectly evil, most of us land somewhere in the middle. And I also believe that God made everyone well. God didn’t make evil, even the worst person you can imagine still has good characteristics left to them. That’s part of my training from St. Thomas Aquinas. So anyway, that word doesn’t come up, but I do use it because it has some function. I don’t think that the people I’m dealing with, even though I haven’t said this yet on this show, but they’re always the ones that I deal with died sudden, violent, tragic deaths. And they’re working their way through that somehow.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, I actually had several questions noted down related to that point. It almost seems like, perhaps, well, there might be a couple of things. Is it, do you think it’s generally the suddenness of their death that tends to get them stuck? Or could it also be that they have some kind of resentment or anger about having died? Because I’ve heard in some of your stories, like there was a plane crash where 20 people died, but only one of them got stuck, even though they all died violently and suddenly?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, well, let me first say on I have two books in this “Afterlife Interrupted” series. In the first one, I used the subtitle, helping stuck souls crossover. And then in the second book, we kept the word stuck, but we crossed through it. Because some of these people aren’t so much stuck as they just were overwhelmed at the manner of their passing and needed more help than they might have had they died peacefully in their sleep. But yeah, back to your question, some do get stuck, and that particular woman on that plane was stuck because of guilt. That and identity. She left young children behind, and at that point in her life, her whole reason for being, her mission was to get these kids raised. Then it was so abruptly taken from her that she didn’t recognize her life anymore.
>>Rick Archer: She felt guilty because she had invited, kind of coerced the friend into coming onto that particular plane with her and…
>>Father Nathan Castle: She had, and she held herself responsible for talking someone else into going on a plane that crashed. That was irrational, I just had to kind of tell her so. I, any one of us, anytime we get on a plane, there’s a chance that it’s not going to get you safely where you’re going to go. That doesn’t mean it’s your fault.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. So, you had this dream of the guy bursting into flames on the radiator and you woke up realizing, whoa, that wasn’t just a dream, I was contacted. How did you get to the point of actually sitting down and having sessions where you interact with these people? I mean, what, did you sit there and scratch your head that morning and think, well, now what do I do with this?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I believe in what I call the Holy Spirit. Lots of people have different language in which they use to describe the source or the universe or God, whatever. I believe the Holy Spirit knew that I was available and knew that I was with a partner on that retreat that could be helpful right away. When I’m on retreat, we were up in the woods, Northern Arizona, which is mountainous and beautiful. We went, when I got there, it’s always on retreat there are early risers. They get up and do their walk, or I watch them walk while I have coffee. Typically, I just get up and talk with whoever’s hanging out early in the morning. And my friend, I had, there was one friend on the retreat, who I’d prayed with before, and I knew she had spiritual gifts that were uncommon, that would probably be helpful. So, I just said, could we find a break? Something happened in the night, would you pray with me about what it was, and one thing led to another, and we ended up meeting the guy and talking with him.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve interviewed several people over the years who are channelers. And one thing I found remarkable about your books is, and maybe you polished it up a little bit before turning it into a book, but the sort of ease and fluency of the conversation as if you were not talking to somebody on the other side, but you’re just talking to somebody who was right there in the room with you with all sorts of detail and nuance. It seems so natural and fluid, I mean, does it really come across that way? And how do you find such gifted…? I mean, you yourself are very gifted because sometimes it’s you doing the channeling and sometimes it’s your partner that you do this with, but that impressed me.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I’m just, I don’t usually use the word channeling because of my Catholic Church. It’s kind of a toxic word, but on the other hand, I can say the St. Francis prayer that’s quite popular in the Catholic Church and other churches, is make me a channel of your peace.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s channel or instrument, is it?
>>Father Nathan Castle: I asked an angel friend of mine. “This is a problem for me. I need some language to use. Could you recommend something?” She said, “You’re God’s instrument, you’re an instrumental communicator.” I joined the Dominican Order where our voices are particularly consecrated for the work of preaching, and it just happened that it had this particular manifestation. Yeah, I can let them talk through me. And I’d only do that after careful, protective prayer. I don’t throw myself out there and pick up hitchhikers in the spirit realm. I pray to St. Michael, the archangel, Holy Mary, St. Dominic, St. Benedict, the whole cast. Before we go into this, we’re surrounded by a holy huddle of powerful, holy spiritual people before going into that.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, and I mean, I didn’t have a very religious upbringing, I was dragged to church sometimes on Sundays, and it would kind of ruin the whole day because I resisted it so much, but over the years I’ve been meditating for a long time and interested in spiritual things, and the kind of thing you’re talking about has become more and more real to me. I really felt as I was reading your book, or listening to your book, that these higher beings that you evoke, before starting, do kind of come and protect you, I mean, I was convinced of that.
>>Father Nathan Castle: They don’t kind of come, they absolutely come.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, kind of too many words here. But, on that point, it’s interesting how you can put a call out like that, and they’re instantly there. And it makes you, not only the saints and all, but the person you want to deal with who had the violent death. And it just makes you wonder about the way it works on the other side, where they obviously, wherever they were, they can be there in the snap of a finger. And whatever else they were doing; they can now be doing this with you. Right?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I tell them the night before. We have to schedule these sessions; they don’t happen automatically. Just the fact that this is, I don’t know spiritual, paranormal, whatever you want to call, it doesn’t mean that the rest of your life grinds to a halt. I mean, I’m a busy guy, and so are my prayer partners, and so, we schedule time to have these sessions. And so, when we have one scheduled, the night before I go into prayer, and I say to the person, be ready because tomorrow is your turn.
>>Rick Archer: Okay, so you give them a heads up,
>>Father Nathan Castle: I get the heads up.
>>Rick Archer: Okay. Interesting. I wonder, have you ever done one on impromptu, and still, they come work to do?
>>Father Nathan Castle: That works, too. But I just think it’s polite to give people a little heads up if you’re able to.
>>Rick Archer: But you kind of get the sense, or I’ve gotten a sense that time and distance are just not what they, they don’t work the same way there as they do here.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Not exactly. Although early on, I presumed that people, after they died, didn’t have much of a concept of time. For example, I’ve often asked them, what year did you die? And then watched them stumble and stammer to come up with what I thought would be a really easy answer. Because sometimes they just quit thinking about it. And they had to kind of, maybe like a language that you used to speak but haven’t used in a long time, you have to dig in again to go back into it. And then others pay quite a lot of attention to time. It just depends on, I don’t know, their disposition.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. Let’s come back to the story of the guy who burst into flames. So, you ended up having a session with him? And why don’t you tell us how that went? Just to give us a sense of how these things go in general when you do them.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, well, that was the only one that took more than one session. It took about three over the period of about three weeks. But we went into prayer, and my friend said, well, whoever this is, I explained the dream to her. We went into prayer; we were quiet for maybe three to five minutes. And she said, well, whoever this is, he really wants to talk to you. Would it be okay if I allow that? She could allow her voice to be used in that manner. So, I said, well, we’ve protected ourselves and we’re not delving in; there’s a line in one of the psalms that says, “I have not gone after things too great nor marvels beyond me”. When I’m not fascinated, I’m not doing this for any reason, except it seems like somebody is in trouble, and I might have been asked to help.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, you’re not doing it for kicks.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Not at all. I’m not asking for tomorrow’s lottery numbers or anything like that. I’m just trying to help somebody that sounds like he’s in pain. So, I said, well, sure. Go ahead. And out of her mouth came this young man saying, who the hell does he think he is taking me just when my life was getting good? So that’s what we had to work with. I introduced myself and said, here’s my friend and this is me. May we know your name? And he said, Ray. Well, it turned out he had died in about 1960. I was born in 1956. So, I explained to him, I was about four years old when you died, and now I’m 40 something. What’s going on? And what is it we can do to help you? Which is, when you go into a store, don’t people ask you that? How can I help you? What do you want? Maybe I can help. He said this thing about who the hell does he think he is? And so, what’s going on? We said, well, how can we help you? Well, my wife, she’s dying. We were only married a year and a half. I died in this, at this fire, but now she’s an old woman, and she’s got cancer, and she moved from Georgia to South Carolina, and now she’s dying of cancer. And I want to greet her when she passes, but I can’t the way I am. I said, okay, well, that’s our mission, then we need to get you ready to do that. I said, what have you been doing since 1960? He said, nothing. [laughing] And now we’re going to go from zero to 60, we need to get you ready to greet your wife. Well, okay, we’ll get to work on that. So, bit by bit, we peeled through it, and I at least did, that he was talking about God. Somebody taught him that God takes people. That’s why they die. So, in his mind, God was this body snatcher that set him on fire or something. And I said, well, who taught you that? He explained it was his pastor, Brother Something. I don’t remember the name at the moment. But I just said, well, I’m a pastor, too, and I just think that’s hogwash. He might have been giving you the best he knew, but I just don’t think that’s true. I’ve known God for a long time, and I don’t think God is setting people on fire. So anyway, we just pushed back a little bit, and eventually, over about, I told him, I said, you’re asking for us to help you change your mind about something. People generally don’t like to change their minds, even if they think they do, and, and cancer’s got its own schedule. If we go slow, we might miss the opportunity for you to greet your wife. So, we’re going to kind of go fast. And if we go too fast, you could just tell us to stop. And we will, but we want to help you. So, he moved through the process that we put him through that was just asking questions. One of them was what have you been doing all this time? And he said nothing.
>>Rick Archer: Wouldn’t that be boring? I mean, well, we just talked earlier about how there’s the sense of time is different there. But I mean, it is almost like solitary confinement, where you go crazy sitting there with nothing to do, but I don’t get the impression that that’s how people have reacted to this stage or place that they languish in.
>>Father Nathan Castle: He was just so angry that he didn’t imagine anything new or different. He just was in this what I called a stuck situation, but he was watching his wife. He said, she married up; she married her a lawyer, moved to South Carolina. They didn’t have any children. But he did a fine job of raising my son. I don’t have any beef with that man. But she’s dying now. And I want to be there when she passes.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. So, it seems like most of the stories, if not all of them, are like you just have this friendly conversation with the person. And there’s not a lot of big convincing of anything, they’re just, maybe little gentle suggestions about seeing things a slightly different way or something. And, often, I mean, the stories don’t go on for more than a few minutes, and then it seems like the person is ready to move on. Sometimes you ask who would you like, and all of a sudden somebody comes and gets them. Sometimes you help them suggest, or help them come up with who they might want that to be?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, there was no manual for how to do this. We just kind of, we just did what seemed to make sense. Over time, what I learned after doing a lot of them – I must have done about 400 of these by now – I began to understand that it was sort of a healthcare continuum. Imagine dying tragically in a violent action. Maybe there’s something like an EMT, in the ambulance and maybe something like an afterlife emergency room, maybe something, some sort of triage, like we would go into surgery or an ICU and eventually get healthier and healthier until you don’t need to be there anymore. My partners and I are like the discharge staff with a social worker that helps you gather up your meds and understand your follow-up appointment and make sure you’ve got a ride and you’ve got somebody to feed you well, and they’re all dead. We’re not trying to twist anybody’s arm, they’re all ready to move to the next level, and we just end up helping them do that.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, one thought I had is perhaps the reason that some of these people need somebody like you is that they actually haven’t moved on that far beyond the earth plane, so to speak. And so, they seem to like, need to interact with somebody who’s still on Earth and who, and many of them are still observing earthly events. And perhaps that when they do move on, they’ll go to a place that’s farther removed from Earth, and then it would be more difficult or irrelevant for you to connect with them. There wouldn’t be any need to, but it’s almost like they’re in this antechamber or foyer or something, that they’ve just stepped into the other side, but they haven’t gone into the house. So, they need somebody who’s still on the earthly plane to help facilitate that.
>>Father Nathan Castle: They’re always told that they don’t have to say a permanent goodbye to anything, that the move that they’re going to make to a next level doesn’t preclude they’re coming back to the current one. They can circle back around if they want to, but there are things that they’re now capable of that are beyond what’s available at this level.
>>Rick Archer: Yes, I have a friend whose brother died suddenly of a drug overdose. He wasn’t even much of a drug user. But he tried it one time and died. And she said that she and he had been very close, and she said that for a while, she felt like she was still tuned in to where he was and able to sort of be connected and follow along. But at a certain point he moved on, and she could no longer make that connection.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, that can happen.
>>Rick Archer: So, you mentioned that pretty much all the people that you interact with have died violently or suddenly. So, we’ve already discussed how perhaps that kind of death is more likely to kick people into this limbo state. But they all seem like pretty nice people. Like there was nobody who was a murderer, rapist, or anything like that.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I’ve had those too.
>>Rick Archer: Have you really?
>>Father Nathan Castle: I haven’t put those in these two books. But I have had that also.
>>Rick Archer: Oh, well, why did…?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Everybody’s got a story. Even people that do that, there’s a backstory, people just don’t wake up one day and become a rapist or a murderer? There’s always a story.
>>Rick Archer: Something led to it. Why didn’t you put those in the book?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Maybe I will, in the future one, but just this topic is strange enough as it is. I prayed over which ones ought to come into it, and why, what stories I thought would illustrate it well, or be helpful to people. And maybe at some future point, I do bring in somebody like that. But for right now, I just chose people, many of them died in car crashes, lots of car crashes, anybody could die that way. One other thing is that it there’s a few, once in a while, I get people who were, who need this kind of help, not because of the manner they died in, but something that happened that was like dying, earlier in their life, something that broke their heart, that shattered them and left them feeling like a shell of who they used to be. Sometimes that happens.
>>Rick Archer: That kind of makes sense.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Those don’t happen all that often, but once in a while, people know that after the event that was heartbreaking, they were never the same. And they just hoped that it would all stop when they died, and then they learned that they kept going.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, we all have known people like that who underwent something so traumatic that they were just like a walking dead kind of person.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Even they get the help they need. They just, it’s all at your own pace. Nobody is shamed in the afterlife that I’ve seen that they’re not keeping up with the class or they’re somehow the dull pupil or anything like that. They’re just helped at the pace that they can find comfortable.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s one thing that really hit me about the book also, is that the lack of judgment on the other side, there’s no kind of fire and brimstone, oh, you’re a bad person, but everybody seems to be greeted with compassion.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, I’m a Catholic and Christian, and Jesus is the center of our faith. But somehow people really got the message loud and clear that he’s the judge and needs to be feared or something. If he really is the judge, and he’s also your brother, and he also loves you shouldn’t he recuse himself? It’s kind of a conflict of interest.
>>Rick: [laughing] That’s good.
>> Father Nathan Castle: It’s really not so much about some external agent like God or Jesus judging you. Our actions have their own consequences. Sometimes people just need it, here or hereafter, needs to simply be brought through truth, objective truth about their life. And here’s what led to this. And here’s what led to that. If there are amends that you need to make, are you willing to make them?
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, seems like some of the people that you’ve interviewed like that, kind of beat themselves up over the fact that in the process of dying, they took several people with them, like the kid who drove his car off a dock into a lake and three other people died, in addition to him. I guess part of their healing seems to be to assuage that guilt to make them feel like they didn’t obviously do anything intentionally wrong.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, his name was Paul. He’s in the first book. He had died like a week after graduating high school. The three companions in his car were in his high school class, they’d all graduated. So, did you read “The Scarlet Letter” when you were in high school?
>>Rick Archer: Yes.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, I did, too. And so did he. Then he took that scarlet letter that, uh, Hester Prynne…
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, that was the name.
>>Father Nathan Castle: He called himself minus-four man, that he had robbed the earth of four people, and that he just had to wear that as a badge. And so, we just pushed back against that. In fact, the companion that worked with him on that one, hit upon algebra as a solution to this problem and helped him work it out with algebra. No, you’re not minus four. In fact, you’re minus one, the other three crossed just fine. You haven’t seen them. You’re the one that stayed behind. Anyway, he since, at the beginning of Book Two, he’s ended up being a driver now for getting people over to the next realm. They put him, kind of got him back on the horse. You can be trusted to drive a car in the afterlife. You’re not going to wreck anybody; you’re not going to kill anybody.
>>Rick Archer: Have you seen the movie “Soul”? An animated movie.
>>Father Nathan Castle: No, I remember when it came out a few years back, but no, I haven’t seen it.
>>Rick Archer: Oh, you’ll love it. I want to see it again, myself. Tina Fey is one of the voices, and Jamie Foxx is another voice. It’s about this guy who dies unexpectedly, and he kind of gets stuck, and then, I won’t go into it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I’ll make a point of looking for it.
>>Rick Archer: Let me see, a question just came in and see what that is. A fellow named Adam Buicke, I think how to pronounce it, from Cork, Ireland is wondering, can Catholicism work without reincarnation? Can some people be born just to be sent to hell? (And I presume he means eternal hell.)
>>Father Nathan Castle: I don’t know. I don’t believe that God has created a torture chamber where God sends people like some eternal cage. I believe that people can go to the outer darkness where they can choose just like they can in this life, can choose to create an environment around them that’s awful. And I believe people can do that in the afterlife, but it’s not the same as God’s sentencing them and becoming a jailer. That’s just not my worldview.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. One thing I like about you is that you seem kind of scientific in a way that you’re not rigid about what you believe. But you’re willing to consider different possibilities and say you don’t know when you feel you don’t know. You’re not saying it’s got to be this way just because this book happens to say it, or seems to say it, or something like that. Would you agree with that’s the way you operate?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, well, for one thing, I’m a Dominican. I’m trained in the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, who derives a lot from Aristotle. Aquinas taught that theology was the highest of the sciences because it studies the noblest object that can be studied. So, he thinks of, he uses the scientific method in theology, and so that’s my training. But on the hell thing, it didn’t make sense to me in Catholic school in first grade that you could tell me at the beginning of religion class that God is all-loving, and then God has also created this horrific torture chamber for his enemies. It didn’t make sense in first grade and every day at any time since.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of people say that. It’s kind of a paradox or a disconnect here that they couldn’t reconcile.
>>Father Nathan Castle: It’s not that I don’t believe that there is punishment for wrongdoing, including in the afterlife, because I think there is, but I believe it’s, my dad disciplined us when we did wrong things. Disciple in discipline is Greek for a student. My dad after administering some punishment, which sometimes was the spanking, would say, son, what did you learn? And then I’d have to say what I learned. Don’t do that again. I believe that if God is disciplinary, it’s not that he’s enjoying doling out punishment, it’s that God wants us to learn and make better choices.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, your dad didn’t spank you, all day, every day for the rest of his life or anything like that. There was…
>>Father Nathan Castle: Some people have had that, and sometimes they’re there. Ray, the guy that we were talking about earlier, when I asked him, how did you even know about God? He said, well, my mom, she used to make me kneel next to my bed, and she beat me while I said my prayers.
>>Rick Archer: Oh, yeah, I remember that.
>> Father Nathan Castle: So, I had to say to him, well, would you have done that with your own child because you did have a son. He was only a year and a half old at the time of Ray’s death. He said, of course, I wouldn’t do that. I said, well just hold the thought that maybe you picked up a strange idea about God, as you were being beaten while you prayed.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, I like this, the theme of learning more that comes through in a lot of the stories of your guests who they almost feel like they’re in this fascinating school where they can learn all these new things that they couldn’t learn before. There are – I remember the lady who died in the fire, I think it was, she said her mind had become all foggy, and she couldn’t read books anymore because she had to keep rereading the same page over and over. But now on the other side, her mind is clear and focused, and she can really explore and learn and
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, her name is Lucille, and she died in one of the California wildfires. Said she was about 83, I think, she, just like a lot of people as we age, we want to read something, but we keep reading the same sentence or paragraph. And she delighted in the fact that after her death, that wasn’t a problem anymore. She could think clearly.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. And it was cool that people on the other side, the orientation seems to be finding a way in which they can help. And there are people helping them find a way in which they can help. That’s the whole thing, you’re not just there to sort of hang out, but, alright, let’s see how we can, let’s see what position we can find for you in which you’ll be most helpful. Learning is often part of that, but I like that emphasis.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, and you don’t have to be head of the class at anything as long as you gain some little competence at something, you can teach that to the person behind you. Even if you only learned it the day before, well, turn around. I’m aspiring to start my own podcast, and I’m finding that you and your fellow podcasters are really very generous in giving tips and suggestions about how to get started.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, feel free to ask me any time if you have any questions. But that’s a good point about you don’t have to be Albert Einstein to start teaching somebody something. You can go to first grade and learn ABC, and you come home, and your little sister says, what do you learn? ABC? Okay, what else? I don’t know, I’ll tell you tomorrow. Maybe it’ll be DEF. Take it step by step.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Sometimes these people feel like they were stripped of a lot of dignity in the course of what happened to them.
>>Rick Archer: How they died, you mean?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, how they died. Especially people that were murdered or people that had endured a lot of abuse of one kind or another before their death. Being asked to teach somebody something confers dignity. Somebody looks at you and says, Rick, you’re competent to do this. Would you mind turning and helping that person over there?
>>Rick Archer: It really does. I’ve experienced this as a teacher, and I’m sure you have too, that functioning as a teacher is the best way to learn something.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Absolutely. I just about knocked myself out. I’m doing a lot of online teaching of Scripture, and I just taught a class on Paul, where I was racing to keep one step ahead of the class. It really about wore me out. Yeah, that’s a great way to learn something is to teach it.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. A lot of questions are coming in from people who obviously have had Catholic upbringings. And they’re not directly germane to this, to what you do with helping people on the other side, but I think this might be a good opportunity to help people who might have felt a little burned by their experience in Catholicism. This is all interspersed though with our main topic, but this is from a fella named Paul in Santa Cruz, California. He said, I was raised Catholic but left the church at the age of 21. Why the emphasis on being worthy of God? This worthiness aspect seems to be the theme of my Catholic upbringing. There was a constant emphasis on one’s unworthiness. This seems to have created a lot of, at best, neurotic people in my sphere. What’s your take?
>>Father Nathan Castle: I was around some of that too, and it never really goes away. I’ve never placed very much importance on that because I just don’t operate that way. I don’t think that; it’s really about love. And if somebody loves you, do you deserve their love? Do you even approach it that way? You’re a loved man, aren’t you, Rick?
>>Rick Archer: Sure.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Do you say, I don’t know you, do you have a wife or friends that…?
>>Rick Archer: Do I have a wife? Yes, she’s sitting right here.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, I’ve seen or heard a little bit in the background, but we haven’t met. Do you look over there and think, I deserve her love? I’m worthy of her love.
>>Rick Archer: Well, I try to be in a way, I mean, I try not to be a jerk, and try to be loving myself. In that sense, I guess. But I mean, let’s say when I was first born, did I have to be worthy of my mother’s love when I was two days old or something? I hadn’t done anything to be worthy, but I received it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Right. It’s a gift, and yes, you can be grateful for it. And you can do the best you can, as you said, to not be a jerk. But I don’t look at any of the loves in my life and say I should deserve that. I’ve earned that. I’m just grateful for it. Love expands us, I think, and it makes us rise to a better version of ourselves. Because we want to be, if you want us to use the word worthy, go ahead. I just don’t think worthiness is the way I think about love. I’m just grateful for it, and I want to be a better loving person.
>>Rick Archer: One thing that I think came through in your books is that everybody is love, loved rather. I mean, it’s not like you were talking about God in the book specifically, but those who greeted them on the other side when they died, loved them, and cared about them and wanted to help them in whatever way possible. Maybe those are just God’s little foot soldiers who are serving in those capacities on the other side. But the whole emphasis, the whole quality of the stories seems to be that this is a school, and we’re here to help you learn. Here’s your next opportunity. This is the next step; you need to take it. It’s not like, hey, you’ve been bad get out of here.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, whoever is writing in the chat or whatever contacting you that has either Catholic or other Christian or religious upbringing that’s problematic, if anybody wants to be in touch with me, they can do that through my website. And I’m sure we can do that commercial at the end of the show. I spend a fair amount of time online anymore, talking with people about these things, and how to take the best of what their training was, and leave behind what they didn’t find helpful.
>>Rick Archer: Well, while we’re at it, let me ask you a couple more Catholic questions. This is from, and he said that they loved your definition of the word Catholic. You said that in addition to being a Catholic with a capital C, you are Catholic with a lowercase ‘c’, and I felt like I am too. Maybe you could elaborate on what you meant by that, since I just said it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I love etymologies. And the word catholic just means universal. The lowercase ‘c’ catholic word just means universal. When you capitalize it, it usually refers to the Roman Catholic Church. The lowercase ‘c’ is the broader category. The capital ‘C’ is the smaller subset. I believe I intended, my mission is, to be both Catholic with a small ‘c’ and with a large ‘C’. And while we’re at it, most people who are willing to believe there is a God would say that God is everywhere. Is that your experience? It used to be in the ancient world that people presumed that any god that they prayed to was local. And polytheists, when they traveled, they inquired about who the local gods and goddesses are so that they could be in touch with the local gods. Well, somewhere along the line, we left that behind, and now most people presume the universality of whatever they think God is. So, I just say to people, well, look God is everywhere. Do you believe that? They will usually say yes. And I’ll say, well, then, aren’t you somewhere? Yeah. Sometimes I’ll say how much do you weigh? You take us up a certain amount of space, that you clearly occupy space. If God is everywhere, and you’re somewhere, doesn’t that mean you’re inside God?
>>Rick Archer: And God is inside you, also.
>>Father Nathan Castle: And God is inside you. And if you’re inside, have you, and then I’ll say to, perhaps to a crowd, has anybody here ever lived inside anybody else? Anybody? Have you ever lived in anybody else?
>>Rick Archer: What do they say?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Sometimes they just stare. Other times they laugh, like the question is ridiculous. And sometimes they go, well, all of us have, all of us lived inside our mother. We have the experience of having been a living being living inside another living being. I just think that’s what all this is, that we’re surrounded by God all the time. When you were talking earlier in the show about people coming when they’re called, maybe we’re already all together. We’re all connected. Deep in the quantum field, however, you want to think about it, we’re all organically connected to one another already, the way that we were connected to our mother in the womb. I don’t know how it all works. I just know that I believe we’re swimming in a sea of love. and that we can always be at the service of one another if we choose to be.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, I agree. And one thought that comes to mind is that the more sort of dense and gross in material creation becomes, then the more sort of rigid it is, in a sense, but the levels at which you’re functioning are much more malleable and not so limited by relative constraints, space-time, distance, things like that. And so, even though here on Earth, if you think, oh, London, you can’t just physically be in London, but those who live on those subtler realms have that ability, and it’s because those levels are less rigid and more porous or malleable. Yeah, on this topic of God, I sometimes have these friendly discussions with atheists. I’ve read some of Sam Harris’s books, “Letter to a Christian Nation,” and they, more often than not, fabricate a straw man version of God, some dude, a switchboard at a distance, kind of manipulating things. And, and I say, no, that’s not what I mean by God. I mean, if that’s what God is, then I don’t believe in the same God that you don’t believe in. I’m talking about something all-pervading.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, I’m the same way. As a Catholic Christian, I try to describe the church as something like a very broad, deep river. Think the Nile or the Mississippi or the Amazon, the really big ones, that you belong to all of it somehow. And it’s a channel. My dad was in shipping, and part of his expertise was knowing where the deepest part of the channel was, because it’s not always in the middle. The left bank or the right bank might be the place where it’s deepest. And there are people in it that are different, right and left and center, but I belong to the whole thing somehow. That doesn’t mean that I operate out of every last thing I was ever taught. Too much of it is self-contradictory.
>>Rick Archer: That reminds me at the beginning of your second book, you had these great quotes. I forget who they’re from. St. Thomas Aquinas and somebody else? These great quotes about the importance of being able to tune into paradoxical perspectives or something. Do you know what I’m talking about?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I have the book right in here.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. If you have those at your fingertip, I’d love to have you read them.
>>Father Nathan Castle: It might be in the Preface. I was talking about, I think, truth. Dominicans, our motto is, is veritas, which is just Latin for truth. We believe that truth is a lifelong search. But we know some truths already that don’t have to be questioned by every generation. There are some things that we just believe are true and always true. Then there are other things that are to be explored. And because I’ve lived and worked in the Academy, I live on the campus of the University of Arizona, where today is the first day of finals. It’s very quiet around here today. The professor often will be in the classroom in the morning, teaching truths to somebody that signed up to learn about this discipline. And in the afternoon, they might be in the lab because there are still more things to be discovered in the same realm of study. Those need to be approached more humbly, because we still don’t know for sure what all this is, but we’re working on it. I believe that that’s a way to live the faith that we know some things for sure, and other things, maybe not so sure,
>>Rick Archer: Even the things we know for sure, at a certain point, professors were teaching Newtonian physics, and then Einstein came along and said, well, here’s a whole completely different way of looking at it. That didn’t invalidate Newtonian physics, but it certainly expanded the picture.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, and I’ve been within departments there, it doesn’t matter what the discipline is. There are different -isms, or you can be the Freudian or the Jungian, or whatever. Then, whatever discipline, all somebody has to do is write a seminal paper in a journal, and it upsets the whole system. And then people need to decide where they land, where they’re going. Are they going to stick with the tried and true, are they going to go with this or that? I just think that’s a part of the big enterprise of delving into truth.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. Have you ever read Thomas Kuhn’s book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”?
>>Father Nathan Castle: No, I haven’t.
>>Rick Archer: It’s a great book, you’d love it. Anybody who’s listening might want to check that book out if they like what we’re talking about right now. You didn’t find those quotes by any chance, did you?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I was quoting myself, I don’t think I was quoting anybody else.
>>Rick Archer: There were a couple of quotes, something in the beginning there.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Here we go. This is Thomas Aquinas, “We must love them, both those whose opinions we share, and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in the finding of it.” Was that when you were thinking of?
>>Rick Archer: That was one of them. There was another one too, but that’s definitely one.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Another one that’s, again, it’s Aquinas a lot of the time for me. He talks about, he uses the phrase, the truth is in the middle. And that doesn’t mean at the midpoint of a number line. He says we must speak to people on both ends of the continuum because there will be some part of the truth that’s best explained there. That doesn’t mean you have to embrace their worldview, necessarily, but you can listen to what they have to say because it might be better explained there than anywhere else we hear it. And then you can bring your own intellect to bear and your own experiences to decide where you land upon a topic.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. It’s very relevant. Because these days, there are so many conspiracy theories flying around, and people believing things for which there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of evidence, like, the earth is flat, or Trump won the election or all kinds of things. And so, I think it’s a very lively topic. How do we determine what is true? And how do we be compassionate to those who have, I mean, you know how polarized everybody is these days.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Sure do. It affects me. Well, that’s why Aquinas says we must love them both. Amen to that, as far as I’m concerned, even if it’s really difficult, I follow Jesus, and from the cross, while he was dying, nobody apologized, but he was forgiving them with one of his last breaths. And I follow him, and I try to do the same.
>>Rick Archer: There was an interesting story in the book about the guy who had been stabbed during some kind of sadomasochistic sexual thing, and how Christ. Tell the story.
>>Father Nathan Castle: His name is Dwight. In the dream, I remember I could just see the upper part of the torso of a young man. I was on top of him, and into his, right around his breasts, these sharp things plunged, and he didn’t even oppose it. He didn’t fight. He just, what are you doing to me?
>> Rick Archer: He was tied up.
>> Father Nathan Castle: Well, I didn’t know that in the dream. But what had happened to him, his name is Dwight. He was in his early 20s, which was, I’ve dealt with people in their early 20s most of my career as a campus minister. He was just this kind of sweet soul, a young man. He was gay and closeted, and Catholic. So, he had not ever acknowledged to anybody that he was gay. But he knew that he was, and in addition to that he had some kind of persistent itch about S&M sex. He had never had it, but he couldn’t get it out of his system somehow. He had made this effort to find out where that was available to him and was told to go to this place and stand at the end of the bar near this door, somebody will lead you down to a room and then go in there and somebody will join you. So, it’s just this young person having this first experience. The person who came in asked him to disrobe and allow his hands to be tied to bedposts. He was expecting I think some S&M. Some sort of inflicting of pain and a sexual encounter. But this guy didn’t have some little craft knife, or I don’t know what would have been used, but he said they were like curtain rods that were sharpened to like a pencil point. And he just plunged them into me. And that’s why I said, what are you doing? Then he said, the room started to fill up with all these spirit people. And he was in the most embarrassing, shameful circumstances he’d ever been in, and he wanted that to be absolutely private, and now it felt absolutely public. And so, he said, if what he was experiencing as he was leaving his body, had people known who I was and what I was doing, they would have run me out of town on a rail, so I ran before they could chase me. So, in the afterlife, his first cognition was to run and hide. He ended up, he also went unconscious in the afterlife, but when he came alert, he was in a hospital bed with nice people coming in and checking vital signs as they do when you’re in a hospital.
>>Rick Archer: He was in an afterlife hospital.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yes, some sort of afterlife hospital, but he was well cared for, and well treated. And he said, there was this one guy that came in, and he wasn’t a doctor, he was more of a Chaplain. He didn’t look at charts or, do an IV or anything. He said he was just a nice guy that visited and didn’t stay very long because you shouldn’t when people are ill. But then as he got stronger, the visitor stayed longer and longer, until he eventually said, Dwight, did you ever see a crucifix? And he said, yeah, I was a Catholic. And he said, well, I was the guy on it. And he said, and by the way, that day there wasn’t any loincloth covering the middle of me. I was hanging out there completely naked, and my mother was standing right there. So were her women friends, and it was on a busy street. And then he said, and do you remember that they stuck sharp metal things in me too?
>>Rick Archer: So that mountain was called cavalry or something? That was a busy street there?
>>Father Nathan Castle: That’s what he said, at least in this.
>>Rick Archer: Well, there certainly were a lot of people there anyway. So, in other words, Jesus came to him and commiserated with him, hey, I’ve been through something similar.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, we’ll get over this. We’ll help you out. You’ll get through it. That one was very powerful.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. Now, this might be, if that’s not a stretch for people, then this guy’s name was Dwight, and that leads us into who else came to visit with him.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I’m looking at his picture.
>>Rick Archer: Oh, you have Eisenhower’s picture there? That’s him. There we go. Yep.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, it was strange. I mean, all of it is strange. It’s not so strange when you’ve been doing it for 22 years. You just roll with it. I think it’s marvelous and wonderful. But anyway, it was time for him, for Dwight, to move. He said, well, I think I’m about to, and we asked him to be still and wait to see how it would evolve. He said, there’s a guy over there, and I think he was a general and didn’t he used to be a President? I’m named after him, and said, oh, my God, it must be Dwight Eisenhower. He was President when I was born. And they don’t always, they are, sometimes famous people like that’ll show up. And they don’t always want to talk, but sometimes they do. And I’m already busy with somebody talking to me. So, I said, well, if you’ll just slide to the side, let him talk. And so, he did. President Eisenhower came on and said something like, it’s in the book, but I’m quoting from memory, well, I was asked to do a lot of important things in my life, but I was never asked to do anything like this. He said, I wasn’t a Catholic, and I didn’t believe in the saints. We were told that was just not our way. But he said, I did know that during the war and after a lot of men or couples were naming their sons after me. And I didn’t know them, you couldn’t know, all the 10s of 1000s of people, but he said I knew that people were honoring me by giving their son my name. And then after I died, I met a lot of people who had whose name had been given to others, and I wanted to find out about that. They said, well, if you’d like there’s a guy named Dwight who could use some help right about now. So, he just showed up and met one of the young men that was named after him and ended up helping him just go for a walk. Sometimes when it’s time for them to leave and move from plane to plane, their experience of it is let’s go for a walk.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. And then they just shift into something else.
>>Father Nathan Castle: They shift into something else
>>Rick Archer: And this other guy called upon Einstein.
>>Father Nathan Castle: That was, what was his name? Eric. Again, campus ministry. Eric was between an undergraduate degree, and he wanted to start a Ph.D. program that was seamless. He didn’t exactly know what he wanted to study, but universities are not necessarily requiring that people get a BA, and then an MA, and then a Ph.D. There are a lot of these programs where you just flow from one thing to the next, and some of them are interdisciplinary. He didn’t know really what he wanted to devote himself completely to because he wanted universal knowledge. He didn’t want some very particular stuff. So anyway, he’s on a gap year as it’s often called. He wasn’t in an academic program, and he went on a hike. That was a meetup that he went, I think he was on an app. Within the last 10 years, or 15, since we’ve had those kinds of apps, he joined a bunch of people for this hike, expecting that he’d meet new people, but he found that just about everybody that came, came with somebody else and that he was the odd man out again. So, when he sized that up, he just decided, well, I’ll just enjoy going for a walk by myself, I’ll wait and let them all go ahead of me. He did that, he trailed behind. Then, along the trail, he took a step that caused a landslide, a rockslide, and he went tumbling. He was covered in rocks and knew that it was un-survivable. And when once we were engaged, at the time, I used to say, here are three options. You can either ask for somebody specific, like your grandmother, or you can take the luck of the draw and see who shows up, or if there’s anybody that, like a desert island, if anybody ever asked you if you could spend a day on a desert island with anybody at all, who would it be? And I glossed over that, and he said, wait a minute, did you just say it could be anybody? I said, well, theoretically. They have to have died, and they have to be willing, we’re not summoning, we’re only inviting, I don’t have the power to demand that people come when I clap. But we can ask, and he said, then I want Einstein. Alrighty, well, let’s say a prayer and see if Einstein is available. And that’s all it took. Professor Einstein showed up, not as the old guy with shocking white hair going out in all directions. He showed up as this kind of tweedy, 30-ish, young professor who could be kind of an older brother. And Eric said he’s like this really, really smart, older brother. So, he was a loner, he had been an only child of two PhDs, who didn’t have other children and who, pretty much their marriage was their whole life. And so, he had a pretty small little circle. And he just decided he wanted Einstein to be his companion. So that’s the way that worked. And he didn’t come on the line and chat the way President Eisenhower did. He just was content to quietly escort this guy.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, it seems like everybody needs an escort in this world in which you deal,
>>Father Nathan Castle: It’s not good that the man should be alone. Page one of God’s book, we need each other.
>>Rick Archer: Since my tendency is to believe that there’s something like reincarnation that happens and actually real reincarnation, but also other possibilities, I imagine, you could perhaps go to other levels that aren’t earthly and live there for long periods of time. But, in any case, when I hear a story like that, my thinking is, well, it doesn’t mean that Einstein is just waiting, doing something somewhere, and comes when called, because Einstein could already have been reincarnated and doing something here on Earth, but it says somewhere in your book that you can actually be in more than one place at the same time. I’ve heard other people say that too, that, it could be that right now, you and I are only like 25%, incarnated here, and our soul still exists on some higher plane, and could perhaps be doing other things on that plane at the same time. So that’s a bit of a theory. I don’t know. But that’s one way of thinking about it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I can come back to my orthodox Catholic training. Take somebody like Mary, Mother of Jesus, who is human and not a goddess. She’s human as you and I are. But how many places around the world are named after her? How many places, how many people are saying a prayer to Mary right about now? Is she going nuts? I think she can go and be anywhere she needs to be. I don’t know. I know that we don’t necessarily learn how to do that at the instant of our dying, but I believe that that’s the capacity that we can grow into, to be available wherever we’re needed.
>>Rick Archer: Especially someone of that caliber.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, or any of the canonized saints. I just assume that that’s something that you and I can inquire about, and perhaps learn. I’ve seen a lot of schools. I love schooling, I’ve been in schools, my whole life because I love learning. I’ve seen that there’s learning is often, it can be an isolated activity, you can sit down and read a book in the privacy of your room. But a lot of our learning is organized into groups where you get to be with other people that want to know what you want to know. There’s a joy in that, an excitement and mentoring. And I guess, we were talking earlier in the show, as soon as you learn some little bit of a thing, you can turn around and teach your little brother or sister how to do the alphabet. Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of people, even Ray, the guy that we didn’t quite finish his story at the beginning. He did get to see his wife; he did get to be with her when she crossed. Afterward, he decided, he said, I didn’t like school and school didn’t like me. They were always trying to teach me something I didn’t want to know. But then he said, after doing that, after helping his wife cross or being present to her crossing, he said, I thought that was fascinating, and I wanted to learn more about how to do it. They said, well if you’d like to know, you don’t have to do it just for your wife, if you’d like to do it for anybody else, we could show you where you can learn more about it. And he decided to do that. He decided, this guy that didn’t like school, decided, I think I’d like that school. So, he went to school on learning how to be an afterlife greeter. And at the end of that story I said, Ray, I think our purpose is finished here. I don’t know that we need to talk any longer. I think we can kind of say goodbye. And I said, but if this is it for a while, I wonder if you would keep an eye on me and watch when it’s time for me to pass? Because now you’re an afterlife greeter. Would you help me when it’s my turn? And he said, why sir, I’d be most honored. Just look for the perfect gentleman. Earlier I told him, I think I know what the problem is, why you can’t greet your wife is because you’re kind of a caveman. I think you’d like to grab her by your hair and drag her into your cave, you act like you own her. You don’t. None of us own anybody else. You might have been married to her, and you might have had a child with her, but that doesn’t make her your private possession when she dies. You’re probably going to be in a small group, and I think you need to be in gentlemen. Be prepared that you belong, but you’re not the whole show.
>>Rick Archer: He needed to go to finishing school and learn a few manners.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Something like that. He just needed to calm down, have a little humility about him. He agreed to that. That’s the way it worked.
>>Rick Archer: Another thing about the people that you have interacted with is that they seem to somehow cluster together, at least some of them do, according to how they died. Like there was a whole group of people who fell and died by falling out of trees or off buildings or whatever. I imagine there are some other clusters who died in other ways but similar to one another.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Sometimes plane crashes, or, and I think in the first book, I gave a story of Buddy the conductor, that he had died in a collision of a car in a train.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s a whole bunch of those people.
>>Father Nathan Castle: They were together.
>>Rick Archer: Like a fraternity or something.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, they sometimes have something in common that they died in a similar way, and for whatever reason, they’re clustered that way. And sometimes they go together. Other times, I had one like that of people that died over in the Middle East with all this religious violence between different kinds of Muslims. I ran across a group of people that had died in that kind of crossfire of religious violence.
>>Rick Archer: It’s interesting that some Muslims came to you for this.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I said, it’s universal.
>>Rick Archer: Catholic with a small ‘c’.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I’m not trying to be sectarian. I believe that, if there are some truths that are told well in the Roman Catholic tradition, I’ve studied all my life, so maybe I could be of service. It doesn’t mean I’m trying to make you into one. I sometimes say to people, do you know anybody that does yoga? Just about everybody will say yes. And I’ll say, do they want to become Hindu? Usually not. They’re just borrowing something from a world tradition, a world religious tradition that seems wholesome and good for them. I believe that my tradition has, even though it often has a lot of garbage in it too, a lot of people been maltreated within Roman Catholic religious system. If they want to go into any of that I do some of that online. I just say, well, here’s things I might be able to help you go over your upbringing and see, can you sift through it and find some things that you want to hang on to, that you believe are true?
>>Rick Archer: I think you could say that of every tradition. I mean, the Hindus have the untouchables. I don’t know, I’m not a scholar of world religions, but I think that you can have factions like that in every religion, who really don’t do justice to the beauty with which it was originally founded. Speaking of Buddy, when I was listening to that story, a thought occurred to me, I want to run it by you. I wrote it down, let me read it. If the things that people experience in the afterlife are representations of a deeper mechanics that are designed to appear in forms that people can relate to, like the graphical user interface of a computer that bears no resemblance to the underlying code, in terms of a graphical user interface but enables us to meaningfully interact. So, like Buddy, for instance, with the boulder on the train tracks, and then the front loader to move it off. Or there was some other story where there was an ascending staircase. So, it seems that somehow people fabricate objects that they can interact with in this astral realm, or whatever it is, that means something to them, and enable them to symbolically resolve the situation they’re in. But it’s not like, it’s like there’s some kind of deeper underlying thing. The boulder on the train tracks or the front loader are just representations of a deeper mechanics that are taking place. The way it is with the computer, there’s not really a trashcan and files aren’t really these little things. It’s all ones and zeros that enable us to interact with it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, you were losing me on the computer stuff because I stay at the surface level of the trash can and the file. I know that it’s ones and zeros, but beyond that, I’m pretty dense. In that story, Buddy had died in there. I think the driver of the car that he was in, I think they were drunk. He said, we were just out for a good time, and then this happened. I couldn’t get in my body again; it was like it was locked. Then I ended up in this place where all these people were sad. They all died in train-car collisions, and there’s this train track running through this place, and there’s this big boulder on it. None of us can move. I just said, well, you wouldn’t have come to me, you wouldn’t have been sent my direction if somebody didn’t think you were ready to move. I never have to twist anybody’s arm. You’re probably more ready than you thought. But he was coming. My older sister was giving him a voice. Both of my sisters and I have this same facility. He came out of my sister saying, I’m not the conductor. I never said I was the conductor. These people want me to be the conductor. Well, I calmed him down and said, well, what are you? Where are you? How can we help? Oh, there’s this boulder on a train track, and it’s keeping us from moving. So, I just said, well, there have been immovable objects for a long time, there must be a way that we can move it. I said, could you do like a fulcrum, like, get some stick and get everybody to throw their weight? Maybe you can push it off. And he said it would be easier if we just had a piece of heavy equipment. I said, well, have you asked for it? No. So, I said, well, then what if we just ask, would it be okay? You’re talking to a priest. I say prayers, but they don’t have to be long prayers. I just, he gave me permission. And so, I said, okay, God, you just heard Buddy. He wouldn’t give me his name, and he had an attitude. Just call me, Buddy. So, I said, okay, Buddy. Can I just say God, Buddy would like a piece of heavy equipment? And I said, while we’re at it, Buddy, is there anything else? He said, be sure to ask for the key. The ignition key. I said, good idea, Buddy. We’re going to ask. While I’m at that, what if I also asked for somebody that knows how to operate it just in case it’s too complicated for you. Would that be alright? Yeah, that’d be alright. So, we asked for a piece of heavy equipment with the ignition key and with somebody that knew how to run it. And then within 10 seconds, he said, Oh, my God, looky there. I said, well, I can’t see what you’re seeing. You’re going to have to describe it. He said, well, there’s a piece of heavy equipment, and it’s like a front-end loader. I said, is it yellow? Lots of times, they’re yellow. He said, yeah, it’s yellow, and there’s this cab, and there’s a guy up in it, and he’s waving at me to come up. So, I said, well, do you think you’re being tricked? Do you feel safe to do this? He said, yeah, I feel okay. So, I said, well, then go on up there. And he said, well, he sits me down in the seat and he’s going to stand right behind me, look over my shoulder while I run it. And he said, there’s this big ball of light that’s coming toward us down the tracks, and I said, oh, crap, you all got hit by something coming down a track. Are you in a safe place? Is it okay? And he said it’s okay. It’s just this ball of light and there are people inside of it. And I can see my Papaw. I said, well, are you sure it’s him. Yeah, I know what my Papaw looks like. I said, well, what’s happening next, and he’s saying, well, I’m pushing it with the front-end loader, but it’s become a nothing. It’s not a boulder anymore. It’s just light, and then he said, my Papaw is telling me to get all these people that want to, to hold hands like they’re a train. Did you ever do that when you were a child? Red Rover, Red Rover? Or any kind of Ring around the Rosie or any child’s game that involves holding hands. We used to do that on the front line.
>>Rick Archer: Used to square dance too.
>> Father Nathan Castle: Oh, that too? Yeah. Well, I remember we sometimes pretended that we were a long train, and we were going all over the place, and we’d go too fast, and people would fall down.
>>Rick Archer: Sometimes we do it with ice skates, and the person on the end would get going really fast. Like a whiplash.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, well, we didn’t have ice skates in South Texas. But we ran around on the lawn and fell over and laughed and stuff. Well, anyway, he said, I’m supposed to ask all these people that want to, to join hands and, and they’re going to pull us all through at the same time. And I just said, well, you know what that sounds like? To me, Buddy. It sounds like you’re the conductor. You’re kind of like saying, all aboard. That’s what a conductor does. He said, well whatever. But it has to happen now. They don’t have to come if they don’t want to, but if they want to, they can go. And they’ll just pull us out of here. So that’s the way that turned out.
>>Rick Archer: That’s cool. Well, people are getting the sense of how detailed these, I mean, surely people are getting the sense as they listen to this of how detailed these stories are. And I kept thinking as I was listening to them, wow, it’s amazing that you guys were able to be such literal conduits for all this information. I mean, I don’t feel even remotely close. I’ve never had anything much like that. I do feel kind of like an instrument of God, but not in this way. So, to get all this verbal information that could be recorded and written down, it’s quite unique.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I just use an app on my iPhone. And so, I’ve recorded, and at the end of that, I press “save” and “send” to somebody that transcribes it. It’s kind of like Uber and Lyft, somebody somewhere listens to this thing with buds in their ears, and they type it and I get it back in a few hours.
>>Rick Archer: That’s really cool.
>> Father Nathan Castle: I clean it up because our common speech has a lot of interruptions in it.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. A lot of ohms and ahhs and ohs
>> Father Nathan Castle: And I started a lot of sentences with and, so, or but. But I clean them up a little bit just because they’re annoying to read. I try to stay true to the idiom of the person that was talking. I don’t correct the grammar necessarily. But your point about people being so specific, whoever’s listening to this show, they are specific. Every last one of us has detailed stories that if we listened long enough, they would tell us, and that’s just what this is. It’s just people telling stories.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s neat that you’re able to be kind of a conduit for them in that way.
>>Father Nathan Castle: It’s an honor. I feel really honored to be a part of all these stories, and they’re so resilient. They all died in ways that would horrify any one of us. But in the end, it kind of doesn’t matter. It does in the short run as you get over it and adjust and so on. But after a while, they just go on to other things.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, even very quickly, like the lady who burned in Santa Rosa. I mean, she died in the fire that swept through the residential neighborhoods there. But well, she thinks she might have just passed out by oxygen deprivation before the flames actually got to her. With all these stories, there are not a lot of gory details in terms of people suffering excruciatingly.
>>Father Nathan Castle: And often they save us that even if there were a lot of gory details, they’re coming to me while I’m asleep, and they’re respectful. They don’t fill my ideation with things that make me wake screaming. They’ll explain, very often, like car crashes, there’ll be something like you see the 18-Wheeler crossing the center line about to hit you when I wake up. I’m not put through flying through the windshield or whatever else happened. They know how to tell their story in a way that doesn’t have any unneeded gore.
>>Rick Archer: But do you get the sense that even if they’ve died, well, you don’t usually get the people who die slowly, like by cancer or something, but do you get the sense that even if there was a lot of suffering involved in their death, they’re completely free of that as soon as they have died. Are they still traumatized in some way sometimes?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, the way that, you’re talking about people that died on sick beds of deaths that were predictable.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, you don’t you really get that kind because that’s not the type you do.
>>Father Nathan Castle: But I’m a priest, and I’ve done that all my life. I’ve done lots of burials. I’ve done lots of sick beds, and so on. And there’s a whole category of pre-death visitation. Are you familiar with that?
>>Rick Archer: When angels or something come to the people?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Grandma, or their mother who’s been dead for 30 years. So, what happened to my grandmother, there were people in the room, I was with her at her death.
>>Rick Archer: Remember what Steve Jobs said, as he was in it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Wow, wow, wow.
>>Rick Archer: Oh, oh wow.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, I’m sure many of your listeners today have had some experience of being present to somebody pre-death as a patient. It’s like they’re looking at you, but they’re talking to somebody over your shoulder.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. What happened to me when both of my parents died, in my father’s case, I didn’t even know he had died until hours later. But I experienced in my mother’s case, I was there in the hospital, but I experienced this huge upwelling of bliss, as if I were partaking in what they were experiencing the freedom and joy that they were stepping into.
>>Father Nathan Castle: One thing that they get, like people that die of a cancer death, they get to be free of cancer pain right away. Sometimes they can be in a mental fog and need a little bit of adjustment time to realize that they’re out of body. You’d think that if you die on a deathbed, and you couldn’t get from the bed to the toilet, that the first thing you’d want to do is fly around the room. But sometimes they kind of got out of the habit of moving, and they don’t move much. Then they have to be reminded that you’re capable of moving now, would you like me to help you up? It’s not, there’s not a one size fits all to the way this stuff works. The one other kind is people that die in addiction, alcoholism, or drug addiction, we’ve had so much of that. Sometimes, they immediately don’t have cells anymore because their body died, and they left it. So, they don’t crave, physiologically they don’t crave their drug of choice the way they did. They still might have what you, I guess you could talk psychological cravings. They still have to do something in the afterlife sometimes to kind of break the problem down into smaller parts and begin to realize you’re not an addict anymore. But like in the 12-step movement, when you get to somewhere around steps four or five, six, there’s something there where you start making amends, but you have to be careful about not harming people even more while you’re trying to make amends to them. There’s some of that goes on in the afterlife as people just own up to the consequences of behaviors that they exhibited while they were. But it’s, they’re not getting their nose shoved in it. They’re getting to do it without the threat of relapsing the way they might have been in rehab here, right? I’ve been through that with a bunch of people because drug abuse deaths are, they happen a lot.
>>Rick Archer: I had a good friend who was kind of a mentor to me who died suddenly in a plane crash when I was in my early 20s, and he was just a few years older than me. But someone who claimed to be able to see such things said that they saw him. I was teaching Transcendental Meditation, and he was a teacher also. Someone said they saw him show up at the TM center in some kind of astral body carrying his briefcase later on as if he didn’t realize he had died, and he was still trying to serve his function or something. Have you ever heard anything like that?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Maybe sometimes. That might not have been that he didn’t realize he died, he might have been quite clear on the fact that he had died, but sometimes they’ll bring with them an identifier. They’ll dress up in the way that would make you recognize them on site. Do you have, you’re in your house, aren’t you? I can see your little knickknacks and stuff in the background. Presumably, there are some pictures of your parents somewhere, maybe somebody in a military uniform or in their wedding picture or something like that. Sometimes they’ll pick an image of them that they know that you’ve seen over and over again, you’d recognize them on-site if they show up looking like that. They’ll do that as kind of a calling card, and then they can morph into something else after they’re confident that you know it’s them.
>>Rick Archer: Okay, good. We mentioned Mother Mary recently, and a question came in from Wesley in Oregon. Several questions in this actually, I’ll do them one at a time. The first question is what do you think of Mary apparitions such as Medjugorje?
>>Father Nathan Castle: I’ve been there twice to Medjugorje. I had my own experiences there that made me know it was a holy place. The other part of it that happens in the hierarchy about verifying it, and so on is just above my paygrade. I just stay out of stuff like that. I’ve got a full plate of my own. But I just found that there were spiritual seekers from all over the world that were in that space. So, when you have open-hearted spiritual seekers, good things can happen. I don’t know, I don’t believe it was like mass delusion or anything like that, just a lot of good people, on some sort of a pilgrimage looking for truth and beauty, and whatever they were resolving in their own lives, I got to hear confessions there, as a Catholic priest, and then, I only speak English, but they have these little metal tent things with the languages. So, you could just put them on, like those things when you’re at a conference, and there’s a little folded piece of paper with your name on it. You have to put these things down on the ground next to your chair, to identify the languages that you can speak. But I was hearing these, Irish people and Scots, and Australians and people that weren’t from the US. So, there’s a cultural difference, even if not a language one. I just heard the sweetest heartfelt stories pour out of people that weren’t what I’m used to hearing before Mass on Saturday. You hear kind of a lot of feather nesting; I missed my morning prayers, or I skipped mass or something like that. These were not that. These were people dealing with big, big resentments and stuff that had gone on for years that they wanted to somehow unburden themselves of. So, I found Medjugorje to be a holy place.
>>Rick Archer: I have some questions about angels. And so does Wesley from Oregon. His first question is, have you ever been visited by angelic beings? Or like Jesus? And if so, can you share a story?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, that happens all the time.
>>Rick Archer: What’s it like?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, the angels are, my own guardian, I got to know him. They don’t have gender. But they understand that we’re used to gendered personality. And so, they’ll kind of pick one that they think might be a better fit than the other one. Mine is named Philip James of the mind of Michael. And he’s wonderful, kind of subtle, but he doesn’t do a lot of talking, he helps me remember things. You’re on your way to the dry cleaner, and you’re in the front seat of the car, but the clothes are on the edge of the bed. He’s good at saying the car keys are over there. They’re your glasses, they’re over there. He’ll just, he’ll help me, I’m multitasking too much of the time. Not focusing on what I’m doing.
>>Rick Archer: Okay now a skeptic here would say how do you know that’s a guardian angel? How do you know it’s not just your own memory kind of kicking in?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, none of us have to believe a word anybody says. We all choose who we listen to and who we don’t, or what we take with a grain of salt. You can listen to me any way you please, I’m just telling you because you asked. I believe that’s one of the ways my angel helps. But then there are others. I very often at the beginning of a session, I’m getting the information that I got in a dream, but it’s in dream language, and dream language can have some subtlety in it even if it is about a car crash or plane crash or something. And I’m not sure are we helping more than one person or only one? Or I wasn’t quite sure the gender of this person, I had a sense that I wasn’t in the United States, can you help me out there. So very often, their guardian will come on first and give me a little bit of explaining, to give details to both me and the prayer partner that I’m working with, just to kind of focus us and help us do our job better. Everybody has a guardian, and they’re all-loving. They’re there. They have personalities, just like we do. Just like God does. The Holy Angels are all about helping. I’m asked about this more and more, where I think I might need to write a book on that. It’s not like there’s a lack of Angel books in any metaphysical bookstores, but I keep being asked, and maybe I have something to say.
>>Rick Archer: Just so people know where I’m coming from and so you do, I have the sense that, as I was saying earlier, there’s kind of a grosser, more dense concrete level of creation and then there are subtler levels of creation. Just like we have ice, which is very dense and then water, which is less dense, and then steam, which is less dense, there are subtler levels of creation and there are beings who reside on these subtle levels without having a corresponding gross form. That’s my understanding of what an angel is. There are probably many strata of the subtle levels.
>>Father Nathan Castle: And we’re all made of energy regardless of what form we’re in. We’re all energetic beings, but I just find them delightful and helpful and if you want to know or access the support of the guardian, all you need to do is have some fidelity, some practice where you invite them into your imagination. I do that in the sign of the cross because I don’t want to pick up stray hitchhikers. And so, some kind of protected spiritual practice, and then just sit still and invite their presence.
>>Rick Archer: You said at one point in the book that angels are not humans who have died. Is that a universal hard and fast rule? Or could there be some beings like that who once were humans and then have taken on an angelic role?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, again, I’m just I’m speaking from the cosmology and the religious tradition in which I’m trained. In my tradition, there are three kinds, at least three kinds of divine persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; angelic persons; and human persons. And in more recent days, in my own lifetime, there have been Catholic theologians speculating about animal personhood. I have a dog that I love, and he has a very distinct personality. Yes, it functions different from a human personality, but it has a lot of similarities. There are at least three kinds of personhood and perhaps another, but we share with angels, individuality, freedom, will. And we have, they can have the capacity for being very sober and serious-minded if they want to be. Some of them are more risk-averse. Some of them are more carefree. Some of them are really funny. I get some of them that just come on and are comedians right out of the gate. They know that I have a kind of reputation in this work for being kind of a playful guy. And so, some of them just want to, even though we’re not really acquainted, they’ll just show up like that, and they’ll want to play.
>>Rick Archer: Just like different personalities.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yes, absolutely. Sometimes they go out of their way to be a little lighthearted because the topics that we’re dealing with are heartbreaking. And so, it can be a kind of a tonic to deal with this tragic story with some lightheartedness around it.
>>Rick Archer: I kind of, I don’t know, it’s just a belief, it’s a theory, I kind of feel like we could move from one realm to the other. There could be people who were angels, and angels who were people, and then you get to try out all kinds of different experiences in the total course of evolution. But obviously, I’m not adamant about that. It’s just kind of the way I’ve been thinking about it. But who knows?
>>Father Nathan Castle: We can wonder about such things, can’t we. I wonder about lots of things. It’s not that I haven’t been taught the Catechism. I know, a lot of question-and-answer stuff about the Catholic cosmology. But St. Thomas Aquinas, with whom I’m taught, at the end of his life, he said all of his writing was straw. He had some experience of God late in his life, and he quit writing.
>>Rick Archer: Interesting. Yeah, my attitude is that all such ideas can be taken as interesting hypotheses that could be explored and understood better. Scientists don’t usually say, this is the way it is, and nothing can change this. That’s not the way the scientific method works, and I think spirituality can kind of work like the scientific method.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, if we treat others the way we’d like to be treated, we ask questions of others and listen, I mean, you’ve been, we’re getting close to two hours, and you’ve given me your show, and given me this platform, and you respected me by asking what I think about things. We can do that all in all kinds of ways. We can just ask people, what do you think about this?
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, a good way to learn, that.
>>Father Nathan Castle: And what questions are still open questions? Which things? Do you still wonder about that you’re just not sure of? When I first started this, I put, my sister, has been my editor. One of the things I wanted to do was have one of those offsets like USA Today will have a story that then there’s a box in it that has some graph or something. I wanted to put in my first book, a shaded area that says, I don’t know, but here’s what I think. She said, no, editors do that. Instead, you’re trying to establish yourself as somebody that’s an expert in something and you’re not going to help by reminding people that you don’t know stuff on every page. So, I gave in, and I didn’t do that. But I still say it all the time. I’m not sure, but here’s what I think.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s kind of what I’m saying. Actually, have some more guardian angel questions. Is it their entire responsibility to tend to just one person? Or do they kind of like have a group and they multitask?
>>Father Nathan Castle: The way I understand it, we each arrived here with one. They follow us through our life, and they knew that we were mortal as we came into earthly existence. So, part of their job is going to be with us on the day of our death, whether that happens, at the end of an illness, or in a tragic accident or something, one of their jobs is to be with us in that enormous transition out of the body and into the next mode of life. They don’t just leave us. And besides, they grow to love us. And even if they can be reassigned, if they want to guard another human soul, they can take a break, and then they can take on any human incarnation. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll have forgotten the experience of being with us, and we’ll have a bond with them, forever.
>>Rick Archer: What do they do when we sleep?
>>Father Nathan Castle: I would imagine they can kind of take a break, there’s not that much to guard. Although mine might be the exception to the rule because my sleeping
>>Rick Archer: That’s true, you got a lot going on.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I suppose they take an angel break; I just don’t know.
>>Rick Archer: I have a friend who claims to be able to see these things. We were at a conference one time, and she said that she would see several beings clustering around each person. And she didn’t really know what they were or anything else, but it’s kind of routine for her to perceive that, or so she said.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I was with my sister once, and people that have these spiritual gifts, we all have different ones. All of us have spiritual gifts anyway, but they’re manifest in different ways. My sister was asking for validation of something, and she wanted a sign. This odd guy showed up, and he kept pointing at a dime on the floor. It was in a hotel, near an elevator and he kept going on about this dime. I wasn’t sure he wasn’t hitting on her. Anyway, she told me after we got in the elevator, she said that was that he was not a human. He was an angel. He didn’t have firm outlines. His outlines were fuzzy. They like American coinage because of the phrase In God We Trust.
>>Rick Archer: Oh, that’s nice.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah. American coinage always has that line on it. They like that.
>>Rick Archer: Did you ever see “The Bishop’s Wife” with Cary Grant and David Niven?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, that’s a kind of Christmas movie, isn’t it?
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s a classic. It was just on the other day. Dudley was the name of the angel.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah. And then you’ve got Charlie that gets his wings.
>>Rick Archer: “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Love that movie. In passing, it’s interesting that there are so many angel movies. It’s like people are fascinated with this. I think perhaps because, on some level, we know that there’s something to it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, I haven’t told this story out loud. But I don’t mind doing that. Not long ago, this summer, I was on vacation with my best friend who’s a priest, and we had a really long vacation. He just rented an Airbnb, and during the pandemic, I don’t have that much to do that, I can’t, as long as I’ve got the internet, I can work anywhere. So, we were watching, we were in this place, and we’re both baseball fans. I’m Houston Astros and he’s Boston Red Sox. I was watching on my laptop, and he’s watching on an iPad, and it was during the Little League World Series. We had a big screen on the wall, we were watching that. And I was doing a crossing over, and we were moving at a pretty good clip. I had the leisure to do these. Sometimes I have five or six or seven in a row before I get with a prayer partner and help them, so sometimes several weeks pass between the dream and when we get it resolved. But we were moving really fast. This guy, I asked for the help of an angel, and he said, we were just here recently, but we were told the line is moving much faster than normal. So, we needn’t go anywhere else, so I’ve just stayed here. I said, Oh, okay. Well, I said, what shall we call you? And he said you can call me Jake, but not from State Farm.
>>Rick Archer: That is so funny. [laughing]
>>Father Nathan Castle: He went on to explain that. He said, these two men, they watch a lot of baseball almost daily, and they watch them on two small machines, and then on the wall. There’s a big machine where children play baseball, and he said, but it doesn’t matter which machine they’re watching on, the baseball is regularly interrupted by Jake from State Farm. And he’s under the impression that everyone he encounters is being given a preferential rate, and he has to dissuade them that this is available to everyone and that’s why they should buy this from product. This angel was explaining this whole picture. He said you may call me Jake but not from State Farm.
>>Rick Archer: [laughing] The reason I laughed so much is that for some reason I like those Jake from State Farm ads, and my wife thinks I’m nuts. I keep laughing at them.
>>Father Nathan Castle: This angel got a kick out of it. And he said you should just call me Jake, but not from State Farm.
>>Rick Archer: That’s funny. Have you ever had subjects who had, when they were alive, adamantly disbelieved in any sort of an afterlife, and then were pleasantly surprised after they died?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yes, that happens. Fair enough. By the time they get to me, they’ve been through a lot of other helping, where I’m like the discharge staff at the hospital. I’m not in the ER. They’ve been helped a lot.
>>Rick Archer: They’re past the surprise stage.
>>Father Nathan Castle: They’re long over that, but sometimes they say that, and it’s just undeniable that if they wanted to deny that they’re alive, well, how are you going to do that because it’s self-evident.
>>Rick Archer: I say that to friends sometimes who pretty much adamantly disbelieve in any sort of afterlife, and I say, well, then you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I say that too and without arrogance.
>>Rick Archer: Just wait and see.
>>Father Nathan Castle: You’ll wait and see. But yeah, if you’re alert after you die, well, then you’ll know that there was more to it than you thought.
>>Rick Archer: Are you aware of other people who do what you do? Because obviously, you can’t meet the needs of everybody in the world who is in
>>Father Nathan Castle: Oh no. Rick, we’re all individuals, but you’re not the only podcaster in the world, right?
>>Rick Archer: Have you met some other ones who do it?
>>Father Nathan Castle: I have. When we were going to conferences before the pandemic, I started meeting people that. One, I remember one lady telling me that she did her work while she was quilting. She would, she found quilting, very meditative, and she said something about the layers of fabric somehow corresponded to some sort of spirit layers. While she was quilting, she had helped people cross. And then I’ve heard of other people that have different little methodologies, and I’ve had people who I asked, how did you find me? And they’d say, well, they gave me a catalog, like the Sears catalog. One way that you could, they picked me out. And then another person said, it was sort of like brochures that you see in the lobby of the hotel, there’s some little steam train that you can pick a ride on, or there’s some other,
>>Rick Archer: Different restaurants, and all that,
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, or different little excursions or hikes or things that you can do.
>>Rick Archer: Another point I want to ask is, I thought at this point, you told the story of the guy whose face kind of got smashed by a construction beam that was dropped on a highway. And there was a sense in that story of how he was still very kind of hung up on identifying as a body and referring to his body as me and worrying about how his body looked. That actually came up in a lot of the stories where the person is sort of hung up on the appearance of the body they had, even though they no longer have one. And I was wondering whether being sort of overly attached to the sense of the body as who I am, which is not really who we are, could be one indicator of getting stuck when that body dies.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, he was on his lunch break with people on a freeway that I knew was in a southern city. He told me it was Savannah. I was guessing it was Charlotte, or Atlanta or something. But anyway, he was going through a construction zone when an accident happened that took his life, and he was smushed. And he looked at his body after he left it and was so disgusted by what it looked like that; it really threw him. And he just needed to calm down. So, I said, well, have you asked? He had been through some helping, and he remembered photos of himself, like going out to the prom. Did you ever take a picture when you were in high school or college of yourself looking all decked out? He had done that, and he really liked that he could look really good, and then he died this way. Apparently, for part of the afterlife, what helped him was dressing up. And he dressed up. He said, like in a powdered wig, or different times in human history, where a man had all kinds of different things that they wore. He did that for a time and he said, that’s just a little bit of fun I’m having just as I get used to my new way of being and try to get over the fact that my face doesn’t need to be a bloody pulp anymore.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah. Interesting. Let’s see, here is a question from Glen DeMeyer in Belgium. Once I visually encountered a shadow figure in my bedroom, and she was not pleased with my being there. I asked, why? What are you doing here? This is my house. To which I replied with love, no, it’s not anymore. I live here now, after which I felt the change in the room. Shortly after a being of light appeared over my bed which filled me with joy and awe. What could this have been?
>>Father Nathan Castle: What’s the person’s first name? Glen. I bet if I could talk to you, Glen, you could tell me what it was. You kind of already did. You shared the space with someone who once dwelt there. And you explained yourself well, that no, I live here. And you responded with love and respect. Then a being of light, probably an angel, showed up to assist this person. It might have just been a moment of recognition for her that it was time for her to move along. These kinds of things happen more often than you’d think; it’s just that they can be embarrassing to speak about because people get mocked when they tell stories like this sometimes. Once in a while, I help with that kind of thing. And it’s, I try not to take over, I don’t want to be, the Ghostbuster or whatever, I don’t think I need to have some odd expertise. I can just walk people through a circumstance like that and say, have you tried this? Have you tried that? I help them distinguish between what might be benign. I always ask them, do you feel safe? Is there anything menacing about a presence that you might encounter, because that’s important. You want people to be safe. Once their safety is okay, then you can just kind of teach them how to pray, if they don’t have a prayer practice already. And how just simply to speak to the person that’s there, and maybe encourage them to consider whether it’s time for them to move on to something even better. Even if a person really loves the place where they used to live, can you imagine it being augmented? Did you ever want to add a deck on, but you couldn’t afford it? Did you ever want to redo the front bathroom, but you’d never got around to it? Could you take this place that you have an affinity for? And could you ask? However you might do that, can I continue to enjoy this place, but not be stuck to it? Can it move with me?
>>Rick Archer: I bet that this whole thing you’ve been doing all these years has really had quite a profound influence on your own life. How would you describe it? What do you feel like you’ve learned from this, not only informationally, but how has it transformed you if you feel it has?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, we barely know each other, but I don’t mind telling you tomorrow, I will be 65 and three-quarters years old.
>>Rick Archer: Okay, you’re still a kid. I’m 72.
>>Father Nathan Castle: But who does that? Who thinks that? Who pays attention to the fact that they’re three-quarters of a year old? But tomorrow I will be. I’m going to be 65 and three-quarters tomorrow.
>>Rick Archer: [laughing]When I was 33 and a third, actually, my friends gave me a 33 1/3 RPM birthday.
>>Father Nathan Castle: That’s cool. You have good friends. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I’m not afraid of dying. I just know so many people that have died already. I know that there are going to be really fun times ahead. I’ve got work to do while I’m here, so I don’t let that distract me too much. That’s one of the ways it’s changed me. I just have so many friends in high places, if you will. Just so many people I love, many of whom I’ve met through this work. I knew all along, I was taught when I was little, that I would always live that I wasn’t something that would just die and stop being. Through this work, it’s given me a sense. It doesn’t matter even if the worst comes to the worst. So, what? Then it stops. Then that’s over, and then the next thing happens. Maybe you do get shot or drowned or some calamitous thing happens. Well, then there’s still the opportunity for new experiences and new growth. That’s just the way I think of it anymore.
>>Rick Archer: Yeah, me too. I sometimes wonder what people who think that when this body dies, that’s the end of your existence, how that they perceive life, with that understanding or that orientation, because for me, it’s just this endless continuum. Death is, I mean, it’s a little harder to die than it is to change your clothes, but in a sense, it’s about the same thing. You just shift into a different body.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Whatever it all is, I do believe that we can retain our personalities, and our story, and our history and look forward to reunions with loved ones. All kinds of things. Can reincarnation accommodate that? Maybe. Maybe you can be more than one thing at a time, I don’t know. I at least know that I’m going to enjoy some specific things. You mentioned Jesus’s reference to ‘in my Father’s house are many mansions’. I’ve just seen so many of them. Recently, a guy that died, an abductee at the hand of a serial killer, and man, that one was really dark. But he was in some sort of place, they needed to give him fresh memories because he had so many dark ones. They needed him to tend to experience lots of joy. So he was in a place that reminded me of Downton Abbey. Except it was a great big, like, three-dimensional play. He said, you never knew what they were going to ask you to be next. You could be the coachman that’s welcoming the prince. Then the next day you were in the stables, and the next day, you were the prince. Then they give you a top hat and tails and say quick put this on, we’re on our way to the opera. They were just giving him lots and lots of joyful experiences, just to counterbalance all the dark stuff. And some of it just began to recede. Have you found that sometimes you don’t need to resolve a dark part of your own history as much as you just need to let it fade away?
>>Rick Archer: I would call it the principle of the second element. Let’s say you have a dark room. You don’t have to work on getting rid of the darkness, you just have to light a candle or turn on the light or something. And where did the darkness go? It’s just displaced by the light.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Sometimes we need to go back into specific memories. And that’s what therapists can help with. We need to resolve this thing that happened so that you can move on. Then other times, we can really just, the sharp edges of an unhappy experience begin to dull, and they begin to just not be very important anymore as we have happier things to think about.
>>Rick Archer: Now, ordinarily, I would say, that’s a good place to end. This has been a wonderful two hours, but I promised you we could talk just a little bit about the Wizard of Oz thing. So, you want to spend five minutes to tell what the gist of that is?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, I just teach online anymore if people want to go to my YouTube. I was teaching, I was learning about the Gospels, and the first Gospel is Mark, and it’s a really long short story that has a line in a city. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem for the whole story. There’s this plot, this road, and a city. Well, then Matthew comes back behind it and adds a prologue and an epilogue. I remember being in the seminary classroom and learning that it’s not so much a linear story. In Matthew, it becomes circular when the two ends bend and meet. And I thought that’s the Wizard of Oz. It’s Kansas, Oz, Kansas. It’s black and white, color, black and white. I love the Oz story from childhood. I watched it build community. When there were only three channels on TV, when I was a kid, they’d start advertising the Wizard of Oz, about two weeks before it would come on. And at school on the playground. that’s all anybody talked about. It was before there was a Super Bowl. But it was like a Super Bowl party. People presumed that you were going to go to somebody else’s house and watch it, and what food you would bring and stuff. It was a communal thing, and old people and young people and a whole cross-section. I just I knew that’s what the gospels were supposed to do, but nobody was that excited about going to church. They weren’t as excited about that as they were for the Wizard of Oz. So, I watched the Wizard of Oz with interest as a compelling story, and then I wanted to know why has it been seen by more people than any movie in history? What is it about that story that connects so deeply? So, I began paying attention to it. The thesis that I came up with is that Toto is the Christ, the universal Christ, not just the Christian thing, but the in-flesh present God who’s always with. That’s the short thesis, but I go through it. I imagine that the reader, or the listener because it’s an audiobook, going with me like we’re walking through the movie scene by scene and not so much just watching it on a screen but being in it, inside of it like 3d. Walking through it in an imaginal way and then asking questions about our own lives and the characters that lack something. They think they don’t have the brain, but they problem-solve from the first moment you meet them. I don’t know maybe if you just twist the nail I’ll slip off, and the guy that doesn’t think he has any emotions, you have to keep the oil can close by because he cries all the time.
>>Rick Archer: Right? And then the lion, we thought he was a coward, but then he did the brave stuff.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, he ends up being, he’s probably the one that was the most right about being cowardly because he really was. But that doesn’t mean he had to stay that way. And he could rise to the occasion. Slowly you get to watch him do that over time. I give retreats on that a lot. I just did one up in Phoenix, at a little church up there just last weekend. And when a whole group gets together, Judy Garland is going to turn 100 this summer. Her hometown is Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’m hoping that I can go up there, at least somewhere before that, and offer some sort of a retreat that helps people imagine the story or bring it to life in some way. So, I love that little movie.
>>Rick Archer: Alright, so I will set up a page on batgap.com about this interview, as I always do, and I’ll link to your books and to your website and everything. Just in closing, so there are the books, obviously, and you just mentioned a retreat in Grand Rapids possibly. What are some ways in which people can kind of plug into what you do? You have online webinars. Do you have, COVID-permitting, in-person things people can do?
>>Father Nathan Castle: Yeah, if people have any, if they hear what I’m saying and are interested, just contact me through my website. I really prefer to be emailed. I don’t like Facebook Messenger. I get some traffic through there, but I pretty much direct people, please email me because that’s what I’m looking at all the time.
>>Rick Archer: Should I put your email address on your BatGap page? Or is there a form on your website?
>>Father Nathan Castle: There’s a form on the website. The website is Nathan-Castle.com. Then the YouTube channel. I’ve had the leisure during the pandemic to get it cleaned up and organized. It used to be my grandmother’s attic; it was just a place to dump video. Now I’m not ashamed of it any longer. It has current material, and it’s organized. That’s Father Nathan Castle. But you can also go to my website from the icon for YouTube. Click on that.
>>Rick Archer: And I’ll link to it from your BatGap page, also the YouTube channel. Well, this has been a wonderful conversation. I really enjoyed the whole week walking in the woods, listening to your books. It’s been great to get to know you. There’s something about Tucson. I mean, there’s you and then they have that consciousness conference down there. And there’s some lady I interviewed recently named Julie Beischel. There’s something in the water there.
>>Father Nathan Castle: I’ve been trying to get in touch with her about it, they have a kind of moat built around there.
>>Rick Archer: I’ll send you her email address.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Well, it’s not that I don’t have it. I can’t get her to reply. I think she gets a whole lot of people that want mediums or whatever. Whatever she’s trying to do she doesn’t want to be distracted from it by a whole lot of people requesting things. So, I haven’t been able to contact her yet or get through to her, but maybe I will soon. I don’t know.
>>Rick Archer: Maybe I can help with that. We can talk about that later. All right. Thanks, Father, Nathan, and thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. And batgap.com go there, check out the menus, see what’s what. There are a number of things you might find interesting. This also exists as an audio podcast. So, if you’re watching this on YouTube, and you’d like to subscribe to it in audio so that you can listen while you’re commuting or whatever, there are links to that on the website. I appreciate your time. Thanks again Father Nathan. I hope we’ll be in touch over the years.
>>Father Nathan Castle: Good. I hope so. You said you’d help me with a podcast, so I’m going to be in touch with you.
>>Rick Archer: Yep, take me up on it.
>>Father Nathan Castle: It won’t be long.
>>Rick Archer: Okay. That’s a Beatles song. Thanks a lot.