John EdwardPsychic medium John Edward hosts the hurgely popular TV show "Crossing Over With John Edward" (SciFi Channel and local stations) in which he gives members of the audience messages from loved ones who have passed on, validated by information only they would know. He spoke to Beliefnet about his connection to the Other Side.

You went to an off-Broadway show in New York City recently and had an uncanny experience. Please tell me what happened to you.

I went to see "Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman." I have been a fan of his music for years, and I was invited to opening night because I know one of the producers. My wife was not able to accompany me because my son was not feeling well, and I had this extra ticket. So I gave it to my friend, Natasha, the co-writer of one of my books.

During the first act, there was a song that was performed titled "You'll Always Be My Baby." Natasha had lost her mom, and I clearly thought that this song was going to have a profound effect on her. This song was about a mother-daughter relationship, and how a mother helps her child get through good times and bad times. I thought, Natasha's really going to have a meltdown here.

As I started to turn my body towards her, I felt like a spiritual hug, or a connection, with my own mother who had passed close to 14 years ago. It was clear, and distinct...and I had no doubt that she was standing there with me.

Right at the same moment, the singer, Allison Briner, looked directly at me, and delivered the next line, "In time you were blessed with a child of your own... " My son, Justin, had just turned one year old, and to me, it was like my mom was letting me know she was with me, and acknowledging my son, her grandson.

Was this the first time you felt the presence of your mother in the 14 years since her passing? Did she have a particular message for you?

No, I have felt her before, often, actually. And the message is the same for me as it is for those who seek me out...They [those who have passed] are with us.

I was so moved and emotional from the experience, that I felt compelled for my fans, and the audience of Crossing Over to be aware of the show. Within a few days, we went back to the theater, Upstairs at Studio 54, and captured a few of the moments on my show [airing on Nov. 21st].

Are you able to turn off your psychic ability when you want to? Is it like turning off your cell phone to get some peace and quiet, like when you're having dinner?

Yes, I have to be able to turn it off. But sometimes an energy tries to get through to me when I'm "off duty." I feel a buzzing at the base of my neck. It's like I'm on eternal "vibrate" in case of an emergency.

How do you open up to those who have passed on, for your show or readings? Do you meditate or go into a quiet state or trance?

My process of preparing for any type of psychic work is to meditate and pray the rosary.

Why do the dead want to connect with us?

Well, if we don't define them as dead, and we look at them as the people who are in our lives-just without a body-it's the same as those who are alive want to connect with us. It's love.

Do you think they move on at some point to another plane where they no longer connect?

I always feel that on some level we can connect.

What's your view of the afterlife?

My view of the afterlife is that it's made of different levels, depending on how spiritual a life we live. It really helps to shape our experience there... but I always say, I live here and not there, and when I get there, then I will truly know.

Can you only communicate with the recently departed, or can you get messages from those who have died long ago, or with well-known figures?

That is one of the top questions I am asked. Can you connect with Elvis, etc.? There has to be a link to that energy, or else why would they come through? It's love that brings them through, and it's that connection in some way that gets the message across.

Elvis could possibly come through in a session, if the person who was sitting had a connection to Elvis. However, Elvis wouldn't just come through to a random person. The bonds of love are what connect us to the other side. If Lisa Marie Presley were sitting for a session, then yes-Elvis could potentially come through.

Were you raised in a religious faith?

I was raised Catholic.

Do you have to belong to any particular religion to be in contact with the other side?

No, to me my work is spiritual, not religious. It's painting an energy portrait, and whatever framework an individual coming through chooses to use is based on their own belief system, whether Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, or atheistic. Interestingly, atheists have the loudest energy and the most to say when they reach the other side and realize, "Hey, I was wrong, there is an afterlife!"

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