PhotoHi, I’m Barry. I’m a psychologist exploring the hidden depths of human nature — what may be called our essence or soul.

Many people ask themselves “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”

To answer “Who am I?”, they might begin by looking into their own personality.

To answer “Why am I here?”, they might turn to a spiritual teaching or philosophy.

But ultimately, both searches end up in the same place — who we are is why we are here. 

In other words, your personality — with all its quirks and limitations — is no accident. It is a kind of vehicle for your higher self (or soul) to operate in the world.

And while many psychologists, philosophers and other thinkers regard spirituality as meaningless or irrational, I cannot deny my own experiences nor can I dismiss the experiences of others so lightly.

The purpose of this website is to be a hub of information, inspiration and occasionally entertainment about who and what we really are — beyond (but including) the personality.

  • For my occasional blog posts about the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, including positive psychology and transpersonal psychology, see Research.
  • For occasional journal accounts of my own experiences, including meditation, manifestation, self-discovery, spiritual awakening and past life regression, see Journal.
  • My perspective is informed by various spiritual teachings, particularly those which focus on consciousness evolution and enlightenment. See Teachings.
  • You could also take a look at my various Articles, or check out my list of recommended reading under Books.

If you need my details to cite in a paper or article, please click on the down arrow below and all is revealed!

Citation details

My Health and My Purpose

(Updated 5 April 2014):  I just thought it worth mentioning this bit of back-story. I have two fairly serious medical conditions that have had a dramatic impact on my life, affecting my time and energy. And yet they also have a special relationship to this website.

The first is called Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP), a rare disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Ugly but benign tumors, rather like pink raspberries, constantly grow inside my trachea and voice box, gradually affecting my ability to breathe and talk.

I’ve had this since before turning 40 (c. late 2000). I wasn’t properly diagnosed for about two years, in which time I spent several months on the very edge of choking to death, fearing sleep every night, not sure if I would actually wake up the next day. And I had no voice at all, just a whisper. Plus a constant (like 10 times a minute) dry cough that drove everyone around me insane.

Eventually, thanks to the determination and skills of my fantastic wife, I was seen by an international  expert. properly diagnosed, rushed straight into hospital for an emergency operation, and saved.

A troublesome feature of this disease, however,  is that it doesn’t just stop. These airway growths have to be pruned on a regular basis, either by clipping or by burning with a laser, regularly enough to prevent choking. In my case, I have to undergo a 1-hour surgical operation under general anaesthetic every 3-4 months.

I have lost count of the number of operations I’ve had, but I’d guess it must be between 40 and 50 by now. Not surprisingly, perhaps, all those anaesthetics have taken a toll on my body’s general resilience. It now takes me at least a couple of weeks to return to normal functioning, and I am highly susceptible to infection.

Then in May 2008, after months of feeling increasingly “unwell” in some way, I suddenly experienced what felt like a possible heart attack. I was in my boss’s office at the time, so he called for an ambulance.

Well, the good news was that it wasn’t a heart attack; in fact it was a case of acute pericarditis, which is where a bug causes the pericardium (the membrane that envelops the heart) to inflame. This is rather painful in the heart itself, though for the record it feels more like a bullet wound, rather than the crushing weight that accompanies a heart attack. The sore, swollen membrane also affects the heart itself, resulting in weakness, as well as the anxiety that goes with constantly feeling your heart “struggling” with each beat.

The pericarditis cleared up in a couple of months, but my general condition didn’t; in fact it plummeted from bad to worse to terrible. I found myself in a constant state of utter fatigue and depletion, barely able to walk a few yards and certainly not able hold a book to read. On top of this I had all-over aches and pains, and feeble-mindedness. I felt like I had become a 90-year-old overnight. A 90-year-old with Alzheimer’s and the flu.

Again, a few false and misleading diagnoses had to be dealt with, until I was eventually diagnosed as having post-viral fatigue. This is the label for having constant fatigue for at least 6 months following a viral episode. If it still persists beyond 18 months, as mine did, then the label changes to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as M.E. It was once derided as “yuppie flu” – a sort of middle-class excuse for feeling tired. Despite the growing evidence now showing that the body’s ability to make and use chemical energy has been damaged in CFS patients, there are still many — even doctors! — who dismiss it as “all in the head”, or just malingering.

Fortunately, my doctors have been on the ball and there is a government-funded CFS/M.E. support clinic near where I live.

The upshot of all this digression into my medical history is to point out the following:

(a) Sometimes, whole days, weeks or even months go by in which I lack the energy to concentrate or communicate. Needless to say, that includes my responding to personal issues that people write to me about. (I seem to have become a sort of psycho-spiritual agony aunt.) As you can probably see in the comments sections around the website, I do try to respond to each individual as best I can, but sometimes I simply cannot focus at all. If I have ever failed to respond to you, please accept my apologies.

On the other hand…

(b) This website and its continued expansion, including  my responses to readers’ questions, appears to be my life’s mission, or at least a platform for it.

One day, at a time when I felt I was not so much close to death but as good as already dead, I actually locked myself in a quiet room with a pen and notepad and decided not to come out until I had a clear, conscious knowing of my life’s purpose. If I only had, say, a year’s worth of activity left in me, what should I do with it? How could I die feeling satisfied that I had done what I came here to do? Was I missing anything?

It took about 45 minutes of introspection and self-enquiry, which took me through a series of insights.

First, I realised that whatever it is I might be here to do would be something I naturally find fulfilling and rewarding, as it will be an opportunity to let the essence of my soul (or the quality of my life force, if you will) flow at its best. In other words, to fulfil my life I must be authentic and express my true nature and the way I truly see things, even if that feels self-indulgent, as any falsity will lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.

Second, I realised that whatever it is that I would find most fulfilling would inevitably be of service or value to others. This just seems to be like a law of Nature: do what truly expresses your gifts and interests, and satisfies your heart, and others will automatically benefit. If service to others (or life in general, or society, God, whatever) doesn’t feature in your sense of purpose, you’re probably not seeing your true purpose.

Third, I realised that living with purpose, or being true to my purpose, did not necessarily mean giving up my day job or my lowering my standard of living if I was unwilling to do so. So long as my heart is set on self-fulfilment and service, and my mind is open to new possibilities coming from nowhere, the universe will find a way.

Finally, I got my purpose. I had to turn different words and phrases over in my mind a few times, but I could feel that I was on the right tack — it was just a matter of getting that “chime” feeling of resonance, that “tuning fork moment” in which the words describing my purpose match the feelings I seek (the joyous, uplifting and freeing sense of doing one’s true work, that which I came here to do).

Here it is:

To find something I feel  is really worth saying, and then to say it to all who are ready to hear it, and say it with exquisite beauty and clarity, such that their soul feels uplifted as a result.

The next day, I started this website.

And with hindsight I can also see how my illnesses have been a huge gift.

sun-barry Signature

PS. To reveal a list of all blog posts in reverse order, just click on the link below:

Blog Posts

  • Cynicism – bad for the brain?

  • How to spot an Artisan soul

  • Dying To Be Me: an incredible NDE

  • Children with past life memories wanted for TV

  • ‘Michael Speaks’ — the 1970s group transcripts are finally published

  • Peter Higgs – the reincarnation of Isaac Newton?

  • Tarot and the Michael Teachings

  • “How near-death experiences are changing the world” – new video

  • NDE researcher arrested for “waterboarding his own daughter”

  • International Association for Near-Death Studies – 2012 Conference

  • Explaining near-death experiences – Or, why Occam’s razor cuts both ways

  • Psychic experiences and synesthesia – online survey invitation

  • Reincarnation and world population – Do the numbers add up?

  • Final message: Inspiring video from the boy who died on Christmas Day

  • Soul mates: The reincarnation of Emily Brontë?

  • Bluejay: The reincarnation of Gustav Mahler?

  • New research: a mystical experience on psilocybin can transform your personality

  • Simply beautiful… Neale Donald Walsch tells of his journey to the Light

  • New book explores ‘The Lennon-Brontë Connection’

  • Life after death – two upcoming conferences

  • Alanis Morissette — the reincarnation of Sergei Prokofiev?

  • Wounded at Gettysburg – an optician recollects a past life

  • Chinese government assumes control over reincarnation

  • The Sphere of Universal Communion – insights from William’s journey into light

  • The story of a child’s visit to heaven is a best-seller in the U.S.

  • “Lives changed forever”: near-death experience conference call (IANDS 2011)

  • Hereafter UK: Spiritual beliefs and near-death experiences in Britain

  • Onward Christian soldiers? The U. S. Army wants only one kind of “spiritual fitness”

  • Feeling the future – Are results of recent experiments evidence of precognition?

  • New book explores soul patterns from past lives

  • Phil Collins – the reincarnation of an Alamo soldier?

  • Pyramid scam? – Evolutionary psychologists take on the Hierarchy of Needs

  • Western belief in reincarnation on the increase

  • Growth and the journey of life: A dream

  • New Zealand near death experiencers needed for first Kiwi study

  • Successful psychopaths [update]

  • Update on Raaz Pichhle Janam Ka – India’s past life reality TV show

  • The Swiss mystic and his big Red Book: the secret world of Carl G Jung

  • The Character Project: Templeton Foundation funds study into the nature of human character

  • Enlightenment Intensives podcast: “What is direct experience?”

  • A new international organization for reincarnation research: IISIS

  • The seven soul types: what do they look like?

  • Conference Call: ‘Mysteries of Near-Death Experiences: Perspectives from Experiencers, Science and Spirituality’

  • Boy of 3 has near-death experience and meets his [great?] grandmother

  • Groundbreaking study of near-death experiences by renowned cardiologist

  • US health professionals offered new online course on Near-Death Experiences

  • Lovers’ reincarnation story told in new book: ‘Lifetimes Ago’

  • Conference invitation: ‘Evidence-Based Spirituality for the 21st Century’ (Colorado, June 2010)

  • Early video of near-death experience interviews released

  • Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor: the neuroscientist who had a stroke and discovered Nirvana

  • Near-death experiences explained by carbon dioxide? [or: How journalism works]

  • Being spiritual (but not religious) makes children happier: new research

  • Why people think psychology is just common sense: children’s misperceptions

  • In search of harmony: A life-between-lives regression

  • At the cliff edge: A past life regression

  • Your Soul’s Plan [book review]

  • Dark, satanic mills: A past life regression

  • Self-transcendence and the brain: new research, old fallacy

  • Jim Carrey’s moment of spiritual awakening

  • Physician says near-death experiences are evidence for life after death

  • Groundbreaking reality TV show features past life regression

  • Reincarnation of American pianist as blind Korean girl?

  • Cynthia Lennon – the original “Mrs. Robinson”?

  • Are narcissists as attractive as they believe?

  • The most important conversation of our time!

  • My first Enlightenment Intensive – by Isis the psychic

  • The soul of Barack Obama – eight profiles compared

  • Being Nefertiti – past-life recall or mid-life crisis?

  • Manifestation – a big one

  • Spiritual experiences in the movies

  • Personality quiz: discover your soul type

  • All You Need Is Love (book review)

  • John Lennon – the reincarnation of Branwell Brontë?

  • 10 things everyone should know about reincarnation

  • Michael Jackson – the reincarnation of Mozart?

  • Astrology and personality: a study of animal behaviour

  • Reincarnated World War II American fighter pilot

  • The Personality’s Place in Spiritual Practice (a review)

  • My first enlightenment experience

  • Self and no-self: the personality crisis of a Zen master

  • Truth – relative and absolute

  • A spontaneous enlightenment experience

  • Insight into body state and self-critical attitude

  • Meditation as a dialogue

  • One good meditation

  • Allowing myself to feel great

  • Highs and flat periods

  • This manifestation stuff really works!

  • The money connection

  • Insight into good states

  • A difficult time

  • Ups and downs

  • “Getting” what I want

  • My first manifestation?

  • More insights

  • Good vibrations

  • An insight into my purpose

  • Ask And It Is Given


    28 Responses to “About”

    1. 1 Callee 24 Aug 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Barry, I literally stumbled upon your blog – hadn’t read much, but as I worked my way down this first page and CFS jumped out at me, I knew I was supposed to find you. I too have CFS, unbelievably (for me!) for almost 30 years. I look forward to immersimg myself here, with you, for a while.
      ;} callee

      • 2 barry 24 Aug 2014 at 9:26 pm

        Hi Callee

        Ah, CFS! What a weird thing. On the one hand it’s a constant drag trying to get through the day with only 5-10% of normal energy available. But on the other hand, it forces me to be very conscious of what I’m doing with my energy, and when to stop using it.

        My personality has been a big part of the equation, and I suspect this is true of many. I have a mixture of Perseverance (never stop a task once you’ve started!) combined with Impatience (finish every task ASAP because there’s probably something more important to be done next). So I have this huge demand on my energy flow — committing too much of it unnecessarily AND committing it quite aggressively because I fear running it out of time. On reflection, it’s no wonder I went kaput!

        How about you, Callee? – I’m always fascinated to hear others’ stories/journeys with this thing.

        Best wishes


    2. 3 babylonmagus 24 Aug 2014 at 12:41 pm


      Well hello you, über-miracle worker Barry… Where would I be, were it not for the marvellous skills of scholars? All my empathy, compassion and love is focussed at this moment in time to the very core of your soul… know that you are loved and sweet dreams!

      Arvin da Braga

    3. 4 Elaine Power 08 Jul 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you for this stunning, rich gold mine of a website! The beauty, clarity and integrity of what you write shines through! and it does indeed resonate with my soul… I look forward to reading lots more. Many blessings to you. Elaine

      • 5 barry 08 Jul 2014 at 6:17 pm

        Many many thanks Elaine. I really appreciate the acknowledgement!


    4. 6 Caroline 12 May 2014 at 11:37 pm

      Hi Barry, I am using am quoting one of your articles in a research paper and I need to do a works cited page.. Can I please have your last name?

    5. 7 Lissa 09 Feb 2014 at 4:09 am

      According to Astrology I am a Virgo. According to Numerology I am a 9 life path. According to Myers-Briggs, I am an INFP. I don’t believe in violence, war, or dissention. I think these are all very unnecessary ways of solving what seems to be a problem. I have always been very sensitive to other peoples feelings and in my surrounding environment. I love to help people and to be of a benefit to improving their lives or making their lives more happy. I will stick up for something or someone whom I feel is being treated unjustly. I spend a lot of time in quiet contemplation. I am extremely spiritual and mostly everything I do feels connected to higher power. I am not religious at all. Although, I believe that if one finds that religion helps them to enlighten their souls development and become better people then this is very good for the person. I believe in reincarnation without a doubt. I feel completely innocent in many ways, yet I feel deeper, intuitive, and insightful. Wondering what soul category I would fit into?

      • 8 barry 03 Mar 2014 at 9:30 pm

        Hi Lissa

        Based on what you’ve said about yourself, I would bet on you being a Mature (or possibly Old) Priest, emotionally centered, with spiritualist attitude, and I would suspect goal of acceptance though I would need a bit more to go on to be more confident about the goal. No sense of your mode or negative feature however.

        Any of that resonate?


    6. 9 Lawrence 04 Aug 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Barry, suggestion, take you picture off the sight, you look sedated and like you haven’t smiled in 10 years.

      Will keep you in my prayers.

      What I Bless Blesses me.

      • 10 barry 08 Aug 2013 at 8:32 am

        And that’s me on a GOOD day. You should see what I NORMALLY look like:

    7. 11 Emiko 27 Apr 2013 at 3:34 am

      So I have been reading a lot about reincarnation and different soul types and stages etc. Now I’m just wondering who came up with all these? How did they know about all of these? Is there any proof other than the children with past life memories? I really need some kind of proof to truly embrace this concept. Can we explain this scientifically? Or this is just something you just have to believe…like religion???

      • 12 barry 27 Apr 2013 at 11:25 am

        The idea of reincarnation has been around for thousands of years, enshrined in various religious teachings around the world. There have also been new teachings about it in the last hundred years or so, received through channelling (that’s when a human being goes into a meditative state and allows a higher consciousness to speak/write through them). What we might call scientific evidence for reincarnation has only appeared in the last few decades, in the form of children’s testimonies, past-life regression therapy, and documented physical correlations (e.g. birth marks that correspond to past-life gunshot wounds).

        However, none of this is “proof” for the existence of reincarnation, nor will it ever be. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a proof when it comes to science and nature. Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, for the simple reason that these are closed systems of meaning. (If X=1, then by necessity 2X=2. Why? Because that’s the way we define truth in algebra.) In science, however, we are just trying to find the best ways to describe the myriad facets of an infinitely open system – nature, reality.

        In maths and logic, there is only one possible right answer to any question. In science, no question is ever finally answered. Instead, we have theories, or working models, and those theories/models that appear to be supported by a lot of evidence tend to be accepted as “the likeliest explanation”.

        There is no “proof” for evolution, for example. As a theory, it is undeniably so well supported by the evidence as to appear to be the best explanation beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, many scientists assume it to be “true”, at least privately. Some, such as Richard Dawkins, go so far as to claim it to be “true” publicly and outspokenly. But all (good) scientists know that a well supported theory isn’t proof of anything – the question is never fully answered.

        So there is never such a thing as scientific proof – there are only scientific theories plus an accumulation of observations and other evidence which may or may not allow us to make a judgement as to which theory is probably “right”, or at least worth adopting as a working model. It’s similar to how a court case works. We can’t prove that so-and-so did the murder, but do we have enough evidence that supports the prosecution’s case “beyond reasonable doubt”?

        In the case of reincarnation, there is not now and there never will be proof that it is true. (Until, that is, the day you die and find yourself in the afterlife with total recall of your past lives!) So there is no proof, but there is an accumulation of evidence. There are a few scientists who find that the evidence is persuasive, and so they personally accept reincarnation as “true”. But most scientists have an unfortunate prior commitment to a materialistic worldview — they see metaphysical, paranormal and supernatural explanations as unscientific by definition, and therefore not acceptable as viable theories. They denounce the case for reincarnation as “pseudo-science”. They in turn are denounced as “pseudo-skeptics”.

        Now, another grey area in science is that, when it comes to testing a theory, a lot depends on the validity of the evidence. That’s another judgement call — some will accept (say) a personal testimony as evidence, and others will reject it as mere “hearsay” or “anecdotal”. Much of the evidence for reincarnation is of that type.

        So at the end of the day, it’s down to you. I personally came to a point where, after reading a lot of accounts of past-life regression, of children’s spontaneus past-life recall, of physical correlations between facial and pther physical features from one life to the next, of channelled material describing the reincarnation process … I was eventually persuaded to see the theory of reincarnation as the likeliest explanation. And privately I do believe it to be true, though I always leave some room for doubt as well — I’m not a “reincarnation fundamentalist” or an evangelist, just someone who has moved from an anti-reincarnation to a pro-reincarnation position over the course of many years.

        The descriptions of soul types you refer to have been around for about 40 years and come from a channelled source:

    8. 13 seeker 16 Mar 2013 at 4:01 am

      This is a lot of reading materials for me which are very interesting. Thank you for listing them down.

    9. 14 Dan 26 Feb 2013 at 1:44 am

      Mr. Barry im doing research paper and would like to cite you from one of your articles, therefore i need some qualifications other than psychologist; and a last name would be nice! Thanks!

      • 15 barry 26 Feb 2013 at 3:37 pm


        • 16 Garland 11 Apr 2013 at 4:16 am

          Barry! I am also writing a paper for a class and would like to cite some of your work. Wondering if you could provide me with the same info, and possibly answer some questions for me? Thanks.

          • 17 barry 11 Apr 2013 at 12:35 pm

            No problem. I’ve emailed you.

            • 18 Ava 09 Jun 2014 at 9:53 pm

              Can i have the same information to cite you?

              • 19 barry 12 Jun 2014 at 8:12 pm


    10. 20 Helen Frederiksen 11 Feb 2013 at 6:28 pm

      I just stumbled upon this – wonderful and looking forward to reading more

      • 21 barry 11 Feb 2013 at 6:35 pm

        Hi Helen

    11. 22 Ann R Davis 07 Jun 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Hello – Enjoyed your website. I had an extraodinary, surprising experience of visions of past lives years ago and finally had the courage to publish the book. If you would like to see a little about me, visit my website. The book, “Looking Out the Back Door: Visions of Past Lives” will be out in a few weeks.
      If you like I could send more about the “happening” and my adjustment to it. May I make a link to your website from mine?

      • 23 barry 07 Jun 2011 at 5:33 pm

        Thanks, Ann. Sounds fascinating – I will take a look.
        Feel free to link!

        - barry

    12. 24 Carol Hubbard 23 Sep 2010 at 6:32 pm

      Hi, Barry.

      Can I get your permission to put a link to your website on mine ( Just let me know … thanks!


      • 25 barry 23 Sep 2010 at 7:47 pm

        Of course :)
        And by way of reciprocating, here is a link to yours:
        - barry

    13. 26 Valnea 04 Jul 2010 at 3:33 pm

      I love your blog. I didn´t knew I can leave comments since today.

      Well, very nice colours I mean design.
      And it is interesting I like to read. :)

      • 27 barry 04 Jul 2010 at 3:38 pm

        Thanks very much, Valnea.

    14. 28 ૩rd ɛyɛ ℑndigo 24 Aug 2009 at 7:23 pm

      BRAVO!! Well done Kudos to you for this! I have been a Micheal Group follower since 1987 and to find an extentensive and simple compilation of basics teachings in such a simplistic form is a blessing! I will positively pass and promote this blog because, this is powerful information for self-discovery and understanding!

      Thank you and NAMASKAR!

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    Enlightenment Intensives

    If you have ever wanted to experience for yourself a moment of genuine spiritual awakening, or if you simply want to know who you truly are, then an Enlightenment Intensive could be for you. Highly recommended.

    In the USA, see:

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    Or to find out more, see my articles here:

    Recommended book

    Spiritual Turning Points

    A Metaphysical Perspective of the Seven Life Transitions

    Amazon link


    Victoria Marina-Tompkins


    Xlibris, Corp. (January 25, 2011)

    A groundbreaking look at the Seven Life Transitions --

    • Birth
    • the Terrible Twos
    • Adolescence
    • Mid-life Crisis
    • Life Review
    • Dying
    • Death

    -- through the lens of the Michael Teachings, Shamanism and Astrology.

    Order from Amazon:

    Spiritual Turning Points



    You can email me here.