I want you to meditate on your, fear of death, pray on death, read books on death, listen to CDs on death, embracing everything about death. I did and I had wonderous experiences and wonderful visions and meditations, like big long dreams where I remember this woman comes to me and says, before you know about death, first you need to know all about life. She shows me how we’re both human and divine and I hadn’t really thought about that before. And I could see in my dreams, the human side of myself struggling to get away from the Divine Self.
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Terrified and stalked by an oppressive, fear of death, John David Latta was a single dad with two children facing rock bottom, loneliness and bankruptcy. Hard work, and logic were getting him nowhere, the competition was tough, and he was in over his head. In his new book, The Synchronicity of Love, John shares his extraordinary stories of what happened while at rock bottom. His stories about his journey will inspire, uplift, heal, shock, awaken and transform. They contain the seeds of potential to change habits, beliefs and one’s deepest assumptions about what is possible.
Today, John David Latta is a mystic, author, teacher, and former founder and CEO of a multimillion-dollar consumer products company. He shares intimate and personal stories and teaches workshops on leadership, healing, transformation, awakening, love, synchronicity, and wisdom that unite and expand human experience.
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Fear of death after hitting rock bottom
Myrna: How did your, fear of death, start? How did how did that happen?
John: Well, I think a lot of people that go through transformation that began with pain and suffering.
So yeah, so I was living what I would call a relatively charmed life, married two children. I was the store manager for a large regional grocery chain. I managed a number of stores, coaching my kids teams and everything was going great, but man in a short period of time, all the wheels came off the cart.
My wife got cancer, it came completely out of left field, entirely unexpected and in a short period of time, they had to remove her entire thyroid gland. She had to take a pill every day for the rest of her life just to live and she started to change. She started reading books about God and the meaning of life and I think she was kind of reviewing her own life. And I am not sure at that stage of my life, I was able to support her with what she was going through.
And then about the same time I left my very secure job, which I was good at and started my own company and promptly lost all of our money and a whole bunch more. So, in two years, I was $650,000 in debt, a quarter million in personal credit card debt and I was in fear of bankruptcy. In the middle of it all my wife decides to leave. She wants a whole new life. And so suddenly, I’m a single dad with two kids ages 9 and 11 facing bankruptcy. That was my personal rock bottom and it was embarrassing.
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A Spiritual retreat helped me face death
And so, about that same time I was reading a book that Michael Creighton wrote, a nonfiction book called “Travels” it was his sort of autobiography. There was a chapter in the book where he went to a spiritual retreat, which was a big leap for him because he was an intellectual and didn’t really believe in that kind of thing. But he had all these wonderful experiences there. And I was feeling so bereft and lost in grief and anger and hopelessness, that I signed up.
Myrna: Was the retreat in the United States you had to go to India?
John: It was in the United States, In the mountains in Southern California. Dr. William Brew Joy and he went by his middle name Brew. He was a very eminent Southern California physician who went through a big transformation himself and gave up being a medical doctor and became a spiritual teacher. He promised to do, life renovation, I figured that is what I needed. I just knew I needed a shake up some way. And so, I got my mother and father to watch my kids and I flew to California.
Myrna: Where did the fear of death come from?
John: I forgot to throw that in there too. So, at the same time that my wife got cancer and decided she wanted the whole new life, the same time I was suddenly terrified of death. I didn’t have any spiritual background. I was raised as a part time Catholic at best and stopped going to church when I was probably 13 or 14. So I didn’t have anything to fall back on. It was terrifying to me; death is like it’s over forever. It was so scary. But I had so much going on in my life, that I kind of shoved the, fear of death, aside.
And so, I went to the retreat. And three years later, that same teacher formed a year-round study group where we met both in person and online to work on the, fear of death. I signed up for it. At the end of the first year Brew says I want you to prepare for your own death. If you don’t have a will, make a will. If you need to make amends to other people or say something to other people before you die. Do it this month. If you need to talk to your kids or your parents or somebody you’ve harmed or been harmed by this is your time, you got one month to do this.
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Meditate on the fear of death: embrace death
And then in the meantime, he goes, I want you to meditate on death, pray on death, read books on death, listen to CDs on death, and he talked about embracing everything about death. I did and I had wonderous experiences and wonderful visions and meditations, like big long dreams where I remember this woman comes to me and says, before you know about death, first you need to know all about life. She shows me how we’re both human and divine and I hadn’t really thought about that before. And I could see in my dreams, the human side of myself struggling to get away from the Divine Self.
I began to love death!
Myrna: That is a crazy statement.
John: I mean, I, I really did what he wanted us to do to, embrace death. The lesson was, turn around, face your fears.
Myrna: Did Brew have you do the funeral meditation. The one where you are sitting in the back of the church at your funeral?
John: He didn’t but I think that’s a beautiful exercise, because I think we all know where we want to end up and that is a look to see if we got there.
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How to remember your dreams
Our spiritual teacher did teach us how to remember our dreams. Imagine in your mind’s eye that you walk up to the edge of a really tall cliff. You take off all your clothes, you turn your back to the abyss, and you fall backwards in total trust and ask for a dream. So, I started doing that because he put a lot of emphasis on dreams. Carl Jung and a lot of others also put emphasis on dreams. If took me some time to remember all my dreams and after that, I had dreams flooding forth.
I was writing down as many as five dreams every single night, in middle the night in, the morning. I didn’t have the slightest idea what they meant. And so, it was a whole learning curve of learning to read the language of dreams because dreams usually speak to us symbolically. And it’s usually better to use your intuition to ever stand your dream rather than your logical mind.
So fast forward two years. And so, I own this huge consumer products company that thankfully stopped bleeding cash, and kind of flatlined for about a year or two. It didn’t get worse. But it didn’t get better. I had just enough to get by the skin of my teeth. And then I had the I had the opportunity to sell my products on QVC, the home shopping network, which I’d never done before. I’d never been on live TV before and they said you have seven minutes to sell your stuff.
But you’re gonna repeat your little pitch every minute because you have 700,000 new people watching every minute. So, I was really nervous again on TV goes great. I sell a fair amount of product, not a ton, but you know, it wasn’t a failure either. And I go back to my hotel room in Philadelphia, and I can’t go sleep my body’s full of all this joy and I’m assuming it’s because I didn’t screw up on live TV.
So, I’m lying in bed around midnight, kind of just dozing but not sleeping and all of a sudden, I have what feels like this gigantic orgasm in my perineum area. It fills my whole body with a blissful, happy sensation that kind of shoots upwards and through my whole body. And it kept happening again and again the entire night.
Myrna: Was that the, Kundalini awakening?
John: I believe it was, Kundalini energy. You wound not believe how many people have read my book and asked, how do I get some of that, Kundalini energy? There are people that practice, Kundalini Yoga, all the time, and that is their goal. I didn’t do anything. It was just my time. Again, this is really in alignment with Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, he said dreams helped make the unconscious, conscious. So, my lucid dreams started the process of my, Kundalini awakening. He was a big proponent of let’s make the unconscious, conscious.
Carl Jung talked about, heart center meditation, that was the practice and coming back to you talking about these lower chakras and upper chakras. He always said this is the function of the, heart chakra, it unites the lower chakras that are really for survival.
Myrna: Wow, that is that is an incredible story. So, your book is called the Synchronicity of love. What do you want readers to walk away with after reading.
John: One of my favorite sayings is you don’t know what you don’t know. And so, I like to use the analogy that we all build brick walls around ourselves, let’s call the walls safety. But then I think comes the opportunity, especially if there has been a lot of pain to start to dismantle those walls, it allows you to see the world differently, to see yourself differently. Allow your perception of things to grow and evolve. And so that is what I wanted to capture in the book. It’s 100 short stories. They are all true or mostly true stories.
Dreams allow the unconscious to become conscious
Half the book had some kind of connection to a dream or an experience in a dream. I want people to walk away with the image of death and life after death. In my dreams, I saw on the other side is trying to imagine you know, skydivers, when a bunch of them jump out of a plane and they’re all linked together, holding each other’s ankles and wrists. So, try to imagine a grid around Earth made of light, but it’s actually composed of millions of people holding each other by their hands and wrists.
And so, I talked about that there is a crisis grid that’s built around Earth and it’s even being constructed as we speak. And so, the way I understand it kind of messes with the mind when I die, I go to join that grid, as an individual, but I’m also part of a greater collective. You might say, like, I’m part of that grid. So, I’m both, an individual but also part of the whole. When people are on earth have a problem, they have a question or they’re praying. This grid answers the question. It’s like a profound thread of infinite wisdom, you might say an infinite love or guides.
That is what my dreams showed me how to make the unconscious, conscious.