Tricia Barker, Life After Near Death Experience Ain’t Always Easy |469|


Tricia Barker helps Near Death Experiencers deal with the gifts and challenges that come next.

photo by: Skeptiko

[Clip 00:00:00 – 00:00:27]

That’s from the movie Wonder Woman and I think we have somewhat of a wonder woman today. Tricia Barker has an amazing near-death experience to talk about, but she has so much more to talk about. This is one of those non-linear level three conversations that I so, so enjoy. 

Tricia Barker: [00:00:46] And I saw, quickly after that moment and this life review, how the things that mattered the most is when I was peaceful and happy in nature, when I was kind to others, and the thing that I needed to change were exactly those moments. The people that I worked with, who I judged, who actually went home and prayed for me. They were Catholic and they just included me in their prayers. And I thought, wow, their hearts are really lovely, they’re just beautiful people, and it doesn’t matter who they are, like look into the hearts of people, and create a kind environment wherever you go. Like, that may be the most important thing we do, wherever we work, wherever our feet hit the ground, if we’re kind to people around us, then life is going to work better. 

And I did not want to leave, that’s when I was like, “Oh, broken body on that operating table. Why don’t we forget about that and why don’t I stay here where I can feel good?”

This voice said, “Look down,” showed me a river and all these souls were covered with either light or darkness. And I knew this to be fear, the darkness was fear, the light was just a consciousness that was connected to God. So we either walk around in fear or we walk around connected to God. It seemed very simple, as if I could tell all the people who had darkness around them, “Hey, just connect to God. It’s that simple.”


Yeah. so I didn’t really want to go here, but I guess I’ll go here. We live in a porn saturated environment, and little kids are seeing violence as their first exposure, violence against women as their first exposure to porn. Does porn cause rape? No. But does a saturation of it and a continued saturation of it make people see people as objects? Yes. And so it’s dehumanizing. So do Asian men get most of their pornography from the United States? Yes, they do. Are we not having enough conversations about what pornography is doing to the brain? You know, I think there’s a lot of men who want to talk about it, who wants to say, “I want away from it to a degree, I want to real open tantric experience with a woman. I don’t want to end up using virtual reality for the rest of my life and having sex with a screen.”  [box]

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Alex Tsakiris: [00:03:04] Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris and today we welcome Tricia Barker to Skeptiko. 

Tricia is the author of Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival and Transformation. And the book tells a really rather remarkable story, a horrific story about Tricia’s near-death experience, but I guess more importantly how that led her to her teaching mission about spiritual transformation, healing and all sorts of other stuff you learn when you talk to more highly evolved beings.

And the other thing I really appreciate about Tricia is it’s a book not only about that experience but about the trauma that sometimes comes with life after a spiritually transformative experience, and that’s something a lot of people don’t talk about. A lot of times I think people in the NDE community leave the impression that it’s all fixed, it’s all healed, not only that it’s all healed, but that nothing bad will happen again. And Tricia’s story is a larger story about overcoming trauma and maintaining a perspective that is enlightening, uplifting and empowering beyond that.

So hey, it’s fantastic to have her on, Tricia is a very sought-after speaker on these topics. She’s created this rather amazing thing called The NDE Summit, where she has all these terrific speakers. She had to do it virtually this year of course, but a lot of these folks you will recognize from Skeptiko, we’ve interviewed all of those folks, most of those, two of those folks, a couple of those folks. 00:05:14

Anyways, she is a real mover and shaker in the NDE world, so Tricia, it’s awesome to have you here, thanks so much for joining me.

Tricia Barker: [00:05:26] Oh, thanks Alex. I really appreciate the introduction and yeah, a lot of near-death experiencers who have their experiences when they’re 15 or 22, still have a long life to live, you know, so they are going to encounter struggle and they’re younger and they’re making their way in this world. So that struggle resonates with younger NDErs. You know, the ones who have that later in life, maybe incorporate it a little bit differently because they’re set in their careers and that kind of thing. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:05:54] Well, I think that’s brings up a whole interesting set of topics. And first of all, I have to say, I am glad we’re having this conversation because I really thought that maybe I had scared you off with the Skeptiko… because this is a show about inquiry to perpetuate doubt. And I hold to that, I think doubt is a very spiritual thing. And when I hear anyone including NDErs, who have this degree of certainty about their experience, I am immediately leery because I just want to say, you know, I’ve talked to a lot of people at this point and there’s a lot of contradictions out there that are impossible to all resolve. So I think we all have to humbly hold this stuff gently as we try to figure it out in this kind of mode of doubting.

The only people I hear who don’t doubt, I always tell this story. The last person I remember, and I told them. This was a woman, she’s in Ramtha, the cult, the Ramtha cult. But a super sweet woman and we were talking about this book she had written, which I thought was nice, and I like people, even people I don’t necessarily agree with, and I was telling her about Skeptiko. And I said the ethos of this show is inquiry to perpetuate doubt. She immediately interrupted me, she goes, “No, I have no doubt. There is no doubt. I have no doubt.” And I go, “Yeah, because you’re in a fricking cult, of course you have no doubt.”

Tricia Barker: [00:07:28] Right. Well, I have to say that I’m excited to be on your show and I’m excited to talk about this, because I came back, I think, to talk to agnostics. All my friends were agnostic before my experience, you know, I was very seeped in that culture and it’s taken 25 years to correct the mind of one of my friends, just a tiny bit. But when she read my book, at the end of the day she sat back and said, “You know, I’ve thought about what happens when we die, and I’ve just thought about it with this kind of open hearted, open minded perspective.” So I love it, that I was able to crack open her mind, just a tad.  

For me, I see consciousness as greater outside of my brain. So, you know, when I was in the near-death experience, I felt smarter, I felt like I was learning more. Like I was being given these uploads and downloads, whatever you want to call them, at a high rate, which gave me more knowing, if you will. So I felt like the brain is a limiter of consciousness and that consciousness out there is… and I’m sure you’ve heard that before, is more expansive.

But this is my experience, so I’m just asking people to walk a mile in my shoes. I don’t expect them to change everything. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:08:42] Yeah. I don’t expect anyone to change their views on anything, and I’m certainly not agnostic on your view of consciousness. As a matter of fact, I feel like it’s a hard one battle that I’ve had to convince myself that consciousness is more expansive and there are these extended consciousness realms that near-death experiencers talk about. But I’d go one step further. I mean, I’m very convinced by the evidence behind near-death experience science, when we take it into the lab and we really look at the kind of work that’s been done. But that doesn’t get to some of the fundamental questions. A lot of people wouldn’t necessarily agree with your take on the integration problems that come with that. 

So in order to get there, I’ve kind of jumped ahead, we ought to back up and allow people to hear your story, because it has so many interesting elements to it, particularly regarding… I love the ‘watch this’ healing aspect of it, which I think is very unique and I think people will find interesting.

So tell us the NDE story, we all love these NDE stories. When I first got into this I used to listen to or read one a day, just because it’s inspirational, kind of like miracle stories. You just have to reground yourself with all the crap that’s out there by saying, “Wait a minute, there is something else I need to tune into.” So please, go ahead.

Tricia Barker: [00:10:24] Yeah, I think a lot of people feel like little children when they hear these stories, they feel this joy or this excitement, because it’s a topic that gives us hope or it gives us faith. And I’ve seen so many people’s faces light up when I randomly mention the story and end up telling it. But I get a lot of healing from interviewing near-death experiencers on my channel too, and I didn’t think I would, but still just being seeped in that afterlife experience is wonderful. 

But yeah, so I was an agnostic college student. Had a major wreck and broke my back in T10, 11, and 12, these vertebrae were completely shattered. Bone fragments were pressing into my spine, I found out when I got to the hospital. I’d lost feeling in my left leg, which was terrifying as a runner and an athletic person, you know, the thought of being in a wheelchair possibly was horrifying. I was all about the physical, my grades, you know, was I going to be able to graduate? What happened to my car, my body, I could care less about any afterlife experience, I just didn’t want to die. I wanted to survive and walk, that was my only concern going into surgery. So when I signed that form, that piece of paper that said 17% chance of death, I thought, whatever, I’m 22, I’m strong, I’m a runner, I’m not dying. 

So you can imagine how shocked I was when at some point during the surgery, in the 90s, they opened up the back and they took bone from the hip. So they were placing the rods above where the injury was and below. So most of my back is fused, I can’t do some yoga poses. There’s a long rod running through my back. 

So I lifted up and I saw how bloody this surgery was, there was just so much blood seeping out. And that was my first thought when my out-of-body experience occurred, when my spirit form left, and I saw this body. And I never questioned, was this a dream? I was certain that I was seeing the surgeons, certain that this is what was happening. But what kind of blew my mind were the angelic presences behind the surgeons and they were about nine feet tall. People always ask me what they look like. Androgynous. Highly intelligent. I just called them light beings, not really angels because I didn’t know what to say about them, other than they were or highly intelligent and they had this healing power. They put me completely at ease and they were sending light into my spirit form, which I believe was to help me adjust to this realm, to make sense of, okay, now I’m my spirit self, not just this physical body. 

At one point, they said, “Watch this,” rather playfully, which you mentioned, and they sent this light through the back of the surgeons, through their hands, and it lit up my entire physical body. And I knew, I just knew that the surgeons would be able to pick out the bone fragments, I’d walk and run, I’d live a longer life, I wasn’t going to die right there. But the monitor flatlined, I knew that sound and I knew that that meant the body’s dead and I thought they’re going to revive me, this is going to be gross. How in the world are they going to do it now that my back is open? I’m out of here. 

And so I left that room, and I had no idea that my near-death experience wouldn’t be documented as much as it would, and that this next part would be so important. But I saw my stepdad get a candy bar out of the vending machine. So this is somewhere in the hallway of the hospital. And what’s important about that, for anyone who’s lost kids or anyone who’s lost a teenager, there is psychic bond, I believe between parents and kids. So at that moment, I later verified with my mom and dad, that when he walked back in with that candy bar, both of my parents were on the ground praying. They were certain that I had died, that it was over. And they just felt this need to get on their knees and pray. And my stepdad walked back in with that candy bar and was like, “Hey, everyone, do you want some candy?” And just was making a joke.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:14:33] And that’s significant as well. I love your story and it’s absolutely amazing. One thing you allude to, and we’ve got to bring it up, because people are always looking for, kind of independent verification, things that we can really put our finger on, and with that doubt thing, kind of reduce that doubt. So tell why the candy bar is so significant here. 

Tricia Barker: [00:15:03] Yeah, so he was a health nut, and I never thought that he ate things like that, so that’s all I thought when I saw him. But later to have someone verify it, that became veridical perception, which in the NDE community, everyone loves. You know, when a near-death experiencer like Kimberly Clark Sharp sees a red shoe in another room, or another near-death experiencer might verify something that’s happening in a different location, everyone’s just thrilled because that proves that consciousness survives the body, even for a little while, if that is verified. So I did verify that he got that Snickers bar, and that became an important part for researchers. It wasn’t that important to me. I just thought, okay, whatever, you know, he’s getting a candy bar and moved on, because flying is a lot more exciting than watching someone get a candy bar. 

Tricia Barker: [00:15:57] So, as soon as my spirit left that hospital, I was flying above the hospital, looking at Austin, Texas, where the accident happened and where I was going to school at a wonderful college, just Downtown. UT is a fun campus. And I remember thinking, “Hey, I just love everyone,” like that was my first thought. When you leave the body behind, I just wanted everyone I’d ever known on a friendship acquaintance level, or just briefly, to know that I cared about them and wanted them to have a good life. And I think that’s essentially who we are. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:16:29] And Tricia, one of the things that I love that I heard in your story, it just resonated with me as being particularly meaningful, maybe because it’s something I need to work on more. But you said that that heart opening that you felt, you immediately, kind of in almost a life review thing, saw how that could be improved in your life and that the women that you worked with at the restaurant, who you always said, they’re off doing their own thing, I’m a college student, I can’t really connect with them. You saw how you were connected with them and how this web of love and feeling, the connection that we have extends beyond sometimes what we imagine, and that they not only cared about you, but they were praying for you. But also, you felt a certain sadness, I think, that you hadn’t connected more with their lives. And I just thought that was such a beautiful part of the story.

Tricia Barker: [00:17:30] Thanks. Yeah, it is an important reminder. Judgment separates us from people and certainly as a young person, I was clique-ish and had all kinds of judgmental ideas about who I would be friends with or who I would associate with. They weren’t good enough for me, or interesting enough for me, or smart enough or in college or whatever. I just had judgments about who could enter my life, and I saw quickly after that moment and this life review, how the things that mattered the most is when I was peaceful and happy in nature, when I was kind to others, and the thing that I needed to change were exactly those moments. The people that I worked with who had judged, who actually went home and prayed for me. They were Catholic and they just included me in their prayers, and I thought, wow, their hearts are really lovely, they’re just beautiful people. And it doesn’t matter who they are, like look into the hearts of people, and create a kind environment wherever you go. Like, that may be the most important thing we do wherever we work, wherever our feet hit the ground. If we’re kind to people around us, then life is going to work better. And that was the lesson, that it’s not about ego.

And many near-death experiencers experience this. They think they’re going to come back and write a great book or make a great monument or do something that’s fantastic. And that intelligence from the other side is like, “Hey no, why don’t you love other people? Why don’t you be kind?” And it’s kind of simple. But the messages were definitely simple, and they did slow down.

So as I was transitioning past that life review, I started seeing, almost like words, different lessons coming toward me. One is love is all that matters and all that we take with us into this realm. So anything I did from a place of love or passion or excitement or joy or kindness, I was taking that, it’s like those were the jewels and my soul and I got to take them into that realm. Anything I did that was ego centered or, you know, my shadow-self or whatever you want to call it, just left behind, it was left on the ground, it wasn’t it. And as I transitioned into that place, I also heard, “Remind them to go to nature.” And that’s something that I keep telling people, especially in this technological age, we are forgetting what it’s like to have respectful, decent human communities, and we’re losing this ability to connect, both to the energy of nature and the energy of others. And so that was something that really hit me.


Alex Tsakiris: [00:20:09] let me interject something. Cause I kinda, I love what you’re saying. I spin it a little bit differently for myself because I almost hear that as kind of another negative thing.

You’re doing wrong thing to add to your, to do list. I really love what, um, echo totally, uh, says sometimes when he says, look, we’re all trying to connect with this ultimate stillness. That’s. The core essence of who we are as a spirit. And we can naturally easily connect with that in nature, because nature is all about stillness.

And I just tell me that just really resonated in has helped me whenever I’m in nature to just find that stillness and that connection. And it’s instant. I don’t have to think about it or do it, or, you know, make sure I. You get what I mean? 

Tricia Barker: [00:21:05] Oh yeah. No, that’s beautiful. I’m glad you have that connection. I worry about the youth because I work with a lot of kids who are addicted and it won’t even say addictive.

They have habitual patterns where they don’t even go outside to sit under a tree or take a walk in nature that they’re playing video games to all. Hours of the night and suffering from deep anxiety and depression. And so I’m reminding them and I take them outside to go sit under a tree. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:21:33] Yeah. I mean, I’m just shaking my head.

I mean, I got, I got four kids and, you know, age range in age from 25 to 17. And my 17 year old is in there doing her online senior, a high school. And I love it when she goes outside and gets, gets in nature. But this company it’s down to the other stuff that we’re going to talk about as a parent or as just someone who’s interacting with another soul.

My learning has been to tread very. Lightly on somebody else’s path, you know, and I, that isn’t, that doesn’t come easy for me. Cause my thing is like, put down your damn phone and get the hell out there. The beach is right here. You can see it go down there. You’re going to get all this great stuff from the beach.

And from that, now go do it, you know? Well that kind of destroys larger message right there. So there’s a lot to do. 

Tricia Barker: [00:22:31] Yeah, I appreciate what you’re saying. So that’s where near death experience there’s probably get into trouble is we get these messages than our own intellect starts interpreting them in different ways.

So all that was said is remind them to go to nature. So I just throw it out there sometimes like, yeah, Hey, if you’re stressed out, go to nature. And that’s the, the closest message I can connect to another person part in my near-death experience. And this is a little bit different. Some people’s experience.

  1. It felt like when I transitioned from that star skate, you know, that eternal, you know, expansive stars into this realm that looked like heaven, I, which was just filled with green grass and this flood, I felt like it was an actual holding place. I didn’t feel like this was. The end all and Beale, I felt like this was a place to rent and a place to connect with an ancestor.

So the only person who was dead was my grandfather. And that’s another part of near-death experiences that researchers love to talk about. If you don’t connect with anyone here. So it’s not like a dream, you connect with people who have actually died and they’re there to welcome you. So my grandfather was only one who died.

He looked very young. He had this beautiful, glowing face and blowing eyes, and I hardly recognized him at first. And he spent some time with me there in that realm. And then asked me if I wanted to go on, which I knew to be the light of God and this ultimate consciousness call it creator, call it God. But it was something that drew me and it was so magnetic.

I could not stop myself from wanting to go there. My soul, just like let into the sky and went towards this light of God. I felt people’s prayers trying to hold me back. And I. I knew exactly what their words were, what their prayers were. Prayers felt like a wind or an energy. And I broke through that and I remember thinking, Oh, whatever, maybe I’m not going to come back and this’ll be great.

And I’ll just see as soon enough. And in that expanse of no time, it feels, it doesn’t feel mean to say that to family members, it feels like, Oh, I’ll just see you soon. Here at time. Feels so long, but over there, not so much. And so, yeah. As I was going toward that light of God. Every part of my life, that was difficult.

So I didn’t have the easiest childhood. And sometimes I felt as if there wasn’t much good about me. You didn’t hear a lot of good things. And I was a smart kid and a good kid and did well the school and was obedient, but I, I felt deeply criticized, but in that light of God, I felt 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:25:09] like, Oh, 

Tricia Barker: [00:25:10] I’m finally loved all that love I’ve been searching for my whole life is right here.

I’m fine. I’m safe. There’s nothing to worry about. I have access to this. Everybody has access to this. I’m completely. Okay. And that was the first time in my life that I’d honestly felt that good, except for a few moments, maybe in nature, where I was playing and enjoying life. But. That was almost like an atomic bomb of love.

Any little romantic experience I’d had or anything did not compare to it. It was just massive and it fills up my spirit body. And. You know, sometimes when near death experiences talk about this part, we almost sound arrogant. I started to seem larger than I was as if this light just emanated from me. I felt so powerful.

And so right. You know, just one with God, God, and I did not want to leave. That’s when I was like, Oh, broken body on that operating table. Why don’t we forget about that? And why don’t I stay here where I can feel good. And that’s when I felt as if there was a barrier or stop and I hit some kind of energetic wall and this booming voice, not really masculine or feminine, but I just heard it deep within my soul.

This voice said, look down, showed me a river. And all these souls were covered with either light or darkness. And I knew this to be fear. The darkness was fear. The light was just a consciousness that was connected to God. So we either walk around in fear or we walk around connected to God. It seemed very simple as if I could tell all the people who had darkness around them.

Hey, just connect to God. It’s that simple. And as that vision unfolded and a lot of, a lot of the vision and the afterlife for more like metaphors. So I knew that I was going to teach not really as a spiritual teacher, but in actual public schools and colleges. And that was going to be my profession. And I was going to work with these kids and teens and remind them just how to shine and how to feel good about themselves and how to have access to love, not from a religious perspective, but more from a.

Holistic I’m, I’m a good person. I can go out into this world and make a difference kind of perspective. Just empower these students. And although I was excited about that part, I also knew how little teachers got paid and I’d grown up poor and I wanted nothing to do with it. So I actually. Actually argued with God for a moment and said no way, I’m not doing that.

And then I felt as if my soul was hurled out of heaven, back into my body, like, like I was at or something being thrown back into my body, it was not nice. And, and this dark wind encompassed me and then I felt shit back into my body. And then I remember the moments and the, uh, of waking up and speaking my name.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:28:04] Oh, that’s great. We’re going to continue on with the story you throw on a lot of, for some to say, not religious, you’re throwing a lot of religious terms in there, which I think is, is like, okay, maybe later we’ll have some conversations about that. You know, you know, David Ditchfield did you, he was at your summit.

He was on this show as well. Great guy love his story, you know, very. Christian themed in D E but when you really press him, he’s like, well, I don’t know if that’s really the end game also interviewed while back. I always referenced this guy cause he really fits so many of the things I love to talk about an McCormick, you know, Hey, he’ll tell you, man, if you didn’t see Jesus in your NDE, you didn’t have it.

And you had Satan coming to see you when he goes around to churches around the world. And that’s his fricking message. And he had an E there’s no doubt yet. And he was in a frickin Morgan. I forget, you know, remote islands off the coast of the Indian ocean. So we’ll get into that later that, you know, like you said, the ego comes in.

Even for the NDE or it doesn’t erase, it doesn’t change. It seems to, well, here I am saying, like, I know, you know, I don’t know anything. I’m just saying, looking at, looking across, you know, all these NDEs and studying them like ahead, along with studying other spiritually transformative experiences and extended transformative experiences.

Hey, are these. Higher evolved beings. Are they ITI, you know, have some people tell you that have had NDEs and have had those encounters and say there’s some kind of connection there that we don’t understand. So there’s a lot of stuff to explore and the answers can never be reduced down to one person’s experience.

That’s my takeaway. But I did want to, before I kind of shift into all that, allow you to finish the story because there’s. Such an interesting, I think, and you’re so open about this in such an important way about. The trauma that you experienced after the NDE, which again, surprises people because it’s like, no, wait a minute is all set.

Now God, if you will, has, you know, the goddess. Got it. Here you go, Tricia. It’s just going to be, you go a girl, I’m going to be fun. And you know, all this stuff, but it doesn’t exactly happen. 

Tricia Barker: [00:30:35] Yeah. So you bring up so much in what you do. You said, and I want to say that my family didn’t accept my experience.

Ultimately, you know, my mother thought that not seeing Jesus meant that I did not have a real near-death experience, but I was filled with so much consciousness, so much light. I was having psychic flashes. I was. Connecting with healing, which helped me learn to walk again. You know, I was having lucid dreams every night.

I knew that I had awakened because of this near-death experience. And I knew that it was a much more healing way of living. Yeah. You know, to be interested in yoga and meditation and lucid dreaming, then partying like the average college student. I knew that my life had changed for the better. And I knew that that experience was.

Ultimately good. And I think the soul would know the difference between, you know, the angel of light being the devil versus God. I know that I encountered God. And so to me, that people who feel that way, they seem to be seeped in fear, which I saw was not a good thing. You know, they’re fearful of any experience that.

Does not mirror their own or does not align with their belief system instead of just listening openly to a different view. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:31:50] Can I interject a point there though, because that’s tricky and slippery because. You know, the, the one thing we’re leaning on here, if we can call it the scientific, you know, this whole discussion of near-death experience.

And I really like that we can call it scientific because in the larger context of our culture, we have a very science centered culture that, you know, for the longest time, and you’ve been doing this for a while, know that, you know, they just denied. Near death experience at all. And it’s really the science that has won the day.

So the Penn bound mammals, the Jeff lungs, the, uh, Sam Parnia is, uh, I don’t know, Peter, Peter fannick and all these people that said, well, wait a minute, I’m just doing this straight up as a medical professional. And I’m telling you, I there, I see no other way to interpret this data. And that does. Give us some degree of, of Terrafirma to kind of stand on here.

But with that comes a complexity that we don’t really know how to wrestle with. And by that, I mean, yeah. And McCormick was dead. We can’t remove that from the equation. He was like really dead. I mean, he was in the mall, he was in the morgue for hours. So he was in that extended realm. So now what he’s bringing back, we can make judgements and say, well, it’s fear Laden.

And that’s why he, you know, sees Jesus and only Jesus, or he reinterpreted it when he got back. And we can say a lot of stuff. But now we’re venturing a little bit away from the science, if you will, that we relied on because the science got us to the point of saying, wait a minute, you people that say we are biological robots in a meaningless universe and our life is meaningless.

Just get on with it. Don’t think about larger things. We’re shouting them down by saying these people are dead and have a conscious experience. Do you know what I’m saying? So we can’t, we, I think we have to be careful about going too far with the assumptions we’re making about how they’re experiencing that extended realm and what that means.

And, you know, it’s all fear Laden or that’s how it works or, you know, any of the rest of that stuff. 

Tricia Barker: [00:34:08] Yeah. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:34:08] Well, I 

Tricia Barker: [00:34:10] would say that I’ve continued to evolve and grow and change and heal since 1994 after my experience. And so, yeah. One of those key lessons that you brought up earlier was not to judge. And so, yeah, some.

Some of that may be judgment that we’re placing on Ian, but, but at the same time, maybe he’ll grow and change in 10 years and have a different way. Looking at things you don’t know. There might be a spiritual way of evolving past, past some limits here. There are so many questions that you can start bringing up so someone can come back to a body.

And have a biological condition of depression. And I did, you know, I came back and still struggled with that. You can come back to this body and still have childhood traumas and memories that you have to release. And, and you might come back to a culture that you don’t agree with. Everything that’s happening around you.

And so you become somewhat of a rebel. So there’s. There’s a lot of individual journeys. And one of the reasons I think it’s important for many near death experiences to talk is people are going to gravitate to me and my story because they resonate because of their backgrounds to me and someone might resonate to Ian and find greater peace.

And. And love and connection to God because of his story. So we should all be talking 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:35:34] that’s. Yeah. I mean, I guess I’m going to have to persist on this a little bit further. There, there we do mana judge, you know, I mean it it’s, I had this topic come up and I really like one comment that was made and it was either on YouTube or in the skeptical forum and, uh, The said the person said this person doesn’t understand the difference between judging that is discernment and being judgmental, having a predisposed, you know, bias on people.

I think discernment is like a really good thing. I think Ian. That the data doesn’t again, getting back to the data. That’s what I told him. I said, well, Ian, you can have your opinion, but the data isn’t on your side, Jeff Long has collected thousands of near-death experiences. And the data overwhelmingly contradicts your experience.

That doesn’t mean your experience is wrong. That doesn’t mean we can’t hear your experience, but I, my discernment, my judgment is. You’re probably making a mistake. They’re buds. You need to kind of loosen up on what you think, you know, as long as you’re there, I want to get to the rest of that story, but I’ll interject here with a little,  a clip that I think is going to further this discussion, maybe in a way that you’ll like, maybe in a way you don’t like, I don’t know. 

Tricia Barker: [00:37:01] Okay. Cause I’ve interviewed him. That’s one of my more popular interviews. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:37:05] Great. I interviewed him, I really, to S to say that I’ve found his views and his certainty offensive.

Would be a bit of an overstatement, but not too much of one. Let me play you the clip from my interview with him. Scientists tell us that the giant tsunami wave that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004. Wasn’t as big as we usually imagine. It’s not that they got hit by a 20-foot-tall wave as depicted here in 2012.

Crushed by a 20-foot wall of water that was miles and miles.

And the human suffering is imaginable. Hundreds of thousands died. Millions of lives were destroyed, and the devastation will go on for generations. But maybe not. I remember then a 

Tricia Barker: [00:38:21] number of years ago, there was 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:23] a natural disaster in Southeast Asia. There was a typhoon, a monsoon 

Tricia Barker: [00:38:28] that killed about a hundred thousand people.

I’ve asked about that event 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:34] in 

Tricia Barker: [00:38:35] the research I’ve done for your soul is planning your soul’s gift. And what I was told 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:40] in the channeling sessions is that those ones, 

Tricia Barker: [00:38:43] 100,000 or so souls before they were born, uh, they 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:47] looked at the earth and 

Tricia Barker: [00:38:48] they said, basically we would like the earth as a planet, as a whole, 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:53] to be at a certain frequency or vibration by a certain 

Tricia Barker: [00:38:56] point in linear time.


Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:58] if it looks as though the earth is not going to 

Tricia Barker: [00:39:01] get there, we agreed to give our lives in a large scale, natural disaster, because we 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:39:06] know. That the result of that disaster 

Tricia Barker: [00:39:09] will be a worldwide outpouring of love and support and aid and compassion. It will elevate the frequency 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:39:16] of the 

Tricia Barker: [00:39:16] entire planet.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:39:18] I find, uh, Rob’s, uh, answer explanation interpretation of those world events. Not only very unsatisfying, I find them offensive than him. In a number of ways. So that’s okay. Maybe he’s right. Maybe he knows the mind of God better than I do. Maybe he’s had a download that I didn’t have. I have, but you know, first off I don’t like people to get their figures wrong.

So 225,000 and not a hundred thousand people died from that a disaster. So Rob gets you get your numbers straight right off the bat, but I don’t know. 

Tricia Barker: [00:39:56] Yeah, I’m here a lot of discussion around this and I, I tread lightly because people need to go through grief and we don’t need to shut victims down of crimes or of the loss of massive amounts of human life and say, don’t grieve, or don’t be sad, or don’t go through the stages of grieving when you go through something because you are human and that’s a real loss.

And I think it takes away the humanity of an experience too. You know, victim blame or to say, Oh, the souls are fine on that level. Aren’t they possibly, because that, that is the way it felt. On the other side, when I was told souls are either co covered with fear or love, it looked really simple. I didn’t think of it fear as someone being a murderer rapist or antisemitic, or, you know, like I didn’t look at that darkness as some of the really horrible things that it might be.

I just looked at it as they’re not connected to God in the story. And it would be really simple to connect them to God. It’s not simple. We’re attacked on so many levels just being out in the public, you know, energetically realistically. It’s really, it’s fascinating that, that on the other side it looks very simple.

So maybe he’s tapping into souls, do take on plans or they do take on. A journey that on the other side seems a lot easier than it is down here. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:41:22] Yeah. Maybe he’s wrong too. Maybe he got the message. Maybe, you know, everyone has the people in the extended realm over and over again. We hear about a download and then we hear about, as you alluded to before, you know, how that download plays out in terms of somebody creating a culture, you know, becoming a power-hungry guru.

I interviewed a pretty well-known anthropologist from Canada who wrote a book on, um, self-aggrandizement. And these shaman in these native cultures who, you know, were genuine Sharman were in the extended realm and their message when they came back was. Hey, pal, let me sleep with your wife. That’s what they told me that if I sleep with your wife, then I can pass along to you.

Some of the stuff that I’m learning over there, you know, I mean, we see this over and over again in, in cults and it’s not to dismiss that these people have not connected with this extended realm. They seem to be maybe connecting with a different part of that extended round that has a different agenda, but they are nonetheless connecting with this larger extended realm that our current scientific minded culture has completely excluded from our examination.

So I’m kind of. Getting into more and more things there that, that we won’t have a chance to button down, but I don’t think Rob is right. I think Rob needs to check himself. I at what really gets me about Rob is his certainty is absolute certainty that I’ve written the book on God’s plan. So I know the mind of God here it is.

I’ll just tell it to you right here. You don’t have to just buy it in my book. That’s right. I mean, come on discernment, discernment, discernment. If I can let me put a pause on that, cause I want to get back to your story. Cause I think it’s. It’s important in terms of the work that you do and how that came out of some of your additional experiences.

I don’t want you to share anything that you’re not comfortable with, but you’ve shared a lot of this stuff before. So I think it’s, you know, part of the story. 


Tricia Barker: [00:43:39] Yeah, so to continue my story, I was in a body cast in Texas in the summer for four months, which is a massive amount of time. If you can imagine in 100-degree weather, learning to walk again. And basically I healed really quickly. I meditated a lot, and returned to college, and I was a different person. And that’s one of the key elements of near-death experiences, is I was interested in other things. I started going to meditation groups with a bunch of old hippies, and here was this 22-year-old kid, you know, in all of these groups doing yoga, just living a different   life really, focused on health and wellness. 

And then I followed the mission. I got my teaching certification before I went to teach in public schools in the US, I thought I’ll travel a little, I’ll teach in Southeast Asia or somewhere, China. I looked into different places. Japan. I ended up in South Korea, which was a wonderful experience, you know, to live overseas and to experience that culture. But I did experience sexual assault in a foreign country, and you don’t have the same rights there that a citizen would have. And so there’s no prosecution, there was no investigation and that was horrifying on so many levels. A lot of people who experience sexual assault here also don’t get, you know, justice and that’s a really long, complicated subject.

I felt like all that light and all that beauty was just shoved back into this human experience and now had a real trauma to overcome. And I thought, okay, well, I do have some knowledge from the other side, how am I going to heal this? And it was a long journey. The first year you’re in shock, you know, the second year you’re beginning to process things in therapy. But honestly, what helped the most was being that voice that could help kids who experienced sexual assault in their families, or, you know, date rape or other experiences and get them the resources and the health and the healing that they needed. And if I didn’t do that healing, I wasn’t going to be able to show them how to do it. S

o it’s really a whole lot more common than we realize. And in the book I write about a young boy who was sexually assaulted and still processing that from when it happened, when he was a kid, to when he was an 8th grader. And there are so many kids who are going through that and it’s almost like they understood they could talk to me. 

And we definitely need to revamp sex ed in the United States and just be realistic about it and safe about it, and just understand that kids who have been raped might be sexually active and they need information about how to heal themselves emotionally, how to have safe sex and take some of the religious dogma around that element out of schools and really get to healing. 

And that was, I think, part of what I experienced in order to become a better healer in this sense with kids and to just understand the human experience. Because a lot of teachers had judgment and they didn’t use opportunities to connect with kids. They’d see bad behavior and they’d make a judgment about that kid, send them to detention where I’d go in and I’d say, “What’s going on in your life? Why are you acting this way?” And often find abuse, whether it’s physical, sexual, or emotional, and then start dealing with that. Even if the CPS system couldn’t help them, I could at least give them insight on how to grow and heal beyond that in their lives. So that was a big part of teaching in the public-school system, that I kind of changed my way of looking at the world. 

Was it hard to write about it? Yes. Believe it or not, not my own experience. I’ve done enough therapy, you know, to where I’m perfectly fine around that. What was hard was putting it into the book and my editor was making me think about this on a larger level and saying, “Okay, you’re the voice for a lot of people who may never speak this, what are you going to say about rape culture? What are you going to say about it in South Korea and America and other places? Are you going to make a stand? Are you going to lift up people and be their voice?” And that was a heavy responsibility. I was like, “No, I’m just telling my story. I’m writing my story, like a memoir. I’m not trying to be a voice for others.” And then he said, “Well, then you’re not stepping into your power. That’s what you need to do.”

So to some degree I know that I have said this for the sake of all the people who won’t say it. And certainly they write to me and that has become a big part of, I guess, the communication that I have with a lot of people.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:48:24] That’s amazing. I’ve kind of stumbled into this topic of sexual abuse, particularly satanic ritual abuse, which is something a lot of people don’t want to look at. A lot of people want to deny. And if you look at it honestly, it’s completely undeniable. I mean, it’s proven over and over again. What’s worse is that the connections it has to, for example, some of our religious institutions is kind of well known, but also some of our political figures. That’s been explored and exposed lately, with the Jeffrey Epstein thing. But anyone who’s paying attention, that stuff goes back, well documented, well documented in the 90s with the with the whole Franklin scandal. Well documented in the 70s and 80s with the Finders cult, where the CIA was actually using sexual blackmail as a tool against… 

If you’re a CIA guy and you’re already in the ‘win at all cost’ things, the idea that you can take some eight year old or six year old boy or girl, and, you know, compromise some foreign dignitary or some not foreign, you know, in this country person and get them on tape with that. I mean, that’s just the ultimate prize, it’s worth more than years of surveillance and doing it the hard way, but it’s soul crushing and it’s evil in a way. 

So understanding all that, you know, and talking to people like, I think I mentioned to you in that last brief chat we had. My conversation with Anneke Lucas was particularly meaningful and I connected because she’s used yoga and meditation and other things to kind of transform and kind of overcome. But her mother sold her into sex slavery in a Belgian satanic cult. The one that you see if you just go in the 90s, the one that was connected to the highest levels of government throughout Europe, that’s the one. She doesn’t like to name names because 25 of the people connected with that case were murdered before it went to trial, but they still did convict a couple of them. But it’s so fricking real. But imagine, six years old, your mother. Because her mother was not stable, you know? And the thing about the satanic ritual abuse is that it’s cracking people open in order to spiritually interfere with them. 

So I know I’m doing kind of a mind dump here, but not really, because one of the things that’s lacking in the near-death experience community is an ability to come to grips with that kind of evil, that kind of extended consciousness evil. I think from what I’ve learned, that you are totally on it, in terms of your bottom line conclusion, which is to, basically just find the light, and keep finding the light, and keep finding the light, and keep finding the light, and don’t be discouraged. 

But I think that I’d like to see more people bring that message forth after acknowledging what folks are going through and not reducing 225,000 dying as some environmental project that God had planned all along, so don’t worry about it. To me, that sounds a lot like you’re a biological robot and a meaningless universe, so your life doesn’t matter anyway. 

Tricia Barker: [00:52:36] Yeah, I’m way more interested in the healing aspect. And since I’ve started speaking publicly about this, I have connected with people. There’s one man, Jackson Hanks, he’s a lawyer in my town of all things, in Texas, and he was ritually abused by a satanic cult when he was a kid. And he’s had to process this and writes openly about it and it’s horrifying. I mean, the book is hard to read, but he has focused so much of his life on healing, and then helping other abuse survivors find ways to heal, working with shamans and past-life regression, and all kinds of people. And I certainly have a dump of healing modalities that I throw in at the end of my book as well.

It’s a path for everyone, and I think that everyone might find different modalities that work for them. I’m so glad she found that modality, and there’s something about looking at the energy that is taken from you, when you experience child abuse or rape, it is an energetic assault as well as a physical assault. So that has to be healed, that was something that really came to me and I saw other rape survivors as if a cannon had been shot right through the center of their being. So it takes power literally away from you, you don’t have the power to go out and fight in this world and get ahead. 

They say it’s not a crime of passion, sometimes it may be, but I think it is a way to extract power from another human being, to take something from them. And so when you reclaim that you get more of your energy back, but it’s a long process. So yeah, I like people who focus on the healing aspect of it.

And we do have to have conversations about these things because they’re real and they exist. And with just staying only in this topic of love and light, and that’s all, then you’re missing a world of suffering that needs your healing. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:37] What’s behind that darkness? What’s behind that evil that wants to wants to inhibit that light? Do you have any insights into what’s going on there in a way that can help? 

Tricia Barker: [00:54:56] Yeah, we need to create more stable, respectful human communities where we have discussions like this. So that was one thing that I saw in a classroom. I talked openly with students, let them talk openly about what they’ve been through and how to be respectful to one another when they date, when they go out into the world, really just away from religion and away from education, just how do we create stable, safe, respectful human communities? That’s one discussion.

And another part of this is people are afraid to talk about these topics because it makes them uneasy and they don’t know how to categorize it, and they don’t know what to do necessarily, you know, to confront their own pain, their own darkness, the things they suppress. So there’s a lot of discussion, I think, that needs to happen. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:55:50] You know, one of the things that, again, referencing back to Anneke Lucas, one of the things that she said that’s challenging to me in a way, but she said, and I don’t know what term to put on this, because when you say abuser and stuff like that, you’re just really softening it in order to make people  not, I don’t know, flip out or stuff. She was raped thousands of times as a kid, a tiny kid, six years old. And she said she had to learn to look into the eyes of the perpetrators and in that, this relates to something you’re saying, she saw the fear. She saw the little kid that had been traumatized and had given over to a darkness. And that that was what helped her, kind of understand it and get through it.

And I think it’s interesting that you said, which is again is a more complex nuance thing, that these aren’t crimes of passion and then you said, but sometimes they are. And I think you’re right. All the experts tell us these are primarily crimes of domination, control, of evil, of darkness, of blockages of light that needs to be released in these unproductive ways.

So again, I guess I’d ask, do you have any thoughts about what’s going on in those darker realms and, and in particular, how you link that? Because I think you linked that quite beautifully to, you don’t have to dwell on that, you can transmute it, transform it into lightness. So anything there? 

Wow, that is quite a bit to get into. How do you link that back? What are some of your thoughts about linking that back to what you were saying earlier and your spiritually transformative experience? I mean, I think some of the links there are quite obvious, and they’re well made, but deeper than that I think there’s… 

Tricia Barker: [00:58:04] Deeper than that is letting go of fear, even when you’ve been through trauma and reconnecting to how quickly can I heal. This is a time period of healing quicker. So we’ve seen some people who are bitter about the child abuse they’ve been through until they’re 80 or 90, and they die just bitter at, you know, a family member. No. This is the time period where we can reclaim that energy. There’s so much that we know about energy work, about trauma release, and there are so many people who are making groundbreaking strides in that area that we need to remind people that you can heal completely. You can take all your power back. You can be this fully functioning human being in this world, even after experiencing trauma, but you’ll be more compassionate to others who have experienced this. 

So complete healing is the direction I’d like to see people moving toward and walking toward and then changing, you know, because even the horrible things in life, like human trafficking, although it exists and it’s horrific, now I do believe percentage wise, less people are enslaved than ever before. We just have more people on the earth. So the numbers are bigger. So I like to think that we’re moving in a trajectory of making society better over time, that we’re evolving. I’d like to believe that, I’d like to hope that, but that means that we have to get involved, and that means that you can’t just go, “Oh, I’m healed.” It means you have to support people who are working in larger arenas. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:59:34] That’s awesome. Tricia. So tell us more about some of the work that you’re doing. The book is really pretty phenomenal. I can’t say that I’ve read the whole thing because we kind of came to it kind of late, but some stellar recommendations and it looks like very, very good, fun reading, but powerful reading.

But I want to hear more about the NDE Summit and your YouTube channel and just some of the work that you’re doing with people, in terms of a coaching, helping and all of that kind of stuff. So tell us more what’s going on and in your world. 

Tricia Barker: [01:00:13] Yeah. I’m having a ton of fun. I have a spiritual community that meets every other Wednesday on Zoom and I’m giving medium readings, kind of spontaneous readings, because I want people to have their own intuition verified and an upgraded in a sense. And I think when we just talk about these moments and other people understand that they have the same ability, then their intuition is strengthened. So I love connecting with people and that’s a ton of fun. 

I also, for three years, have had online Near-Death Experience Summit, where I have speakers come and talk. This past year it was free, and I just streamed it on YouTube for two days. So thousands of people, I think 5,000 people viewed the first day and 4,000 people viewed the second year, which is just amazing. And those videos are available for purchase on my website, I have links for that.

But yeah, I have been blessed by hearing the stories of near-death experiencers. I thought it would just be interesting and I’m an experiencer and I’ll just talk with them, but on an energetic level, I’ve lived through some of their experiences and it’s seeped into my own experience. And I felt this, I guess, because I just connect on that energy level, this deepening of an understanding of the other side by hearing these stories. And I know people who hear these stories do get some of that energy or do get that hope and that faith as you’ve talked about. So I think it’s important to keep talking with near-death experiencers, and I think I’m someone who kind of launches new voices. And I certainly have interviewed some of the famous ones and the well-documented near-death experiencers, but I love fine just ordinary people who want to tell their experience for the first time and support them on that journey and remind them of how this may touch someone’s life. And that’s a lot of fun too, is supporting new people, young people.

 I’d like to continue to interview young people since I work with college students, and really give them that voice and that awareness that they may be walking through difficult things in life, but they’ll always have their experiences, this guiding force of faster healing, faster growth and transformation here on the planet.

Alex Tsakiris: [01:02:29] Well, that’s awesome. I really appreciate you talking with us today on Skeptiko, and best the luck with this very important work that you’re doing. 

Tricia Barker: [01:02:39] Well, thank you very much, and I have loved the conversation. You took me to places I haven’t been in other interviews. So thank you for that, it’s cool. 

Thanks again to Tricia Barker for joining me today on Skeptiko. The one question, I guess I tee up from this interview has to do with what we take and what we leave behind. You know, it was really quite a profound statement I think that Trisha made about the limits of materialism when it comes to this extended consciousness realm that we transcend into after we die, if you believe all that stuff. But she had quite a statement to make that I think kind of resonates with all of us. We kind of know it’s true, but we don’t want to think about it. It’s another spin on the, you can’t take it with you. And her spin is, well, the one thing you can take with you is love. Woo. That’s a tough one. 

Let me know your thoughts, kind of a question, non-question, but you get the idea. Let me know your thoughts. Love to hear from you. As always stay with me, more to come in the future. Take care. Bye for now.   [box]

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