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When Tragedy Strikes, the One Question that Helps

Bite-Sized Episode (15 min.): Since March, we’ve been living amidst tragedy and hardship. For some, it’s a health crisis. For others, financial. Still others are experiencing misery and misfortune that varies as wide and weighty as anyone’s imagination can fathom. From an afterlife perspective, this episode is about what I learned about dealing with tragedy while I was investigating the afterlife.

This episode focuses on the one question—the ONLY question—we should ask ourselves when calamity knocks us down in order to move in a positive direction. It also covers the one question we typically ask ourselves that never, ever leads to a positive outcome. This, of course, is based on this Afterlife Investigator’s unexpected discovery during a 23-year investigation of life after death. Enjoy!

With so much love it’ll make your eyes water,
Bob Olson and

PS, If you watch the video, I must give credit for all the gorgeous photos to my lovely wife, Melissa. I’m usually walking with her when she takes them, but she sees beauty where I often miss it. I absolutely love recognizing the gifts others have that are foreign to me.

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Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

Don’t miss another Afterlife TV episode. Join our email list to get new video announcements (and to download a free excerpt of Bob’s book): CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.

Hey, everybody. Bob Olson here with Afterlife TV. This is where I talk about the big questions you have concerning life and death. You can find this and every episode at Well, welcome back, everybody. I’m so happy to be back here. This is very enjoyable for me, and part of that enjoyment just comes from the feedback that you gave me last week. Thank you. We’re here still in the midst of our crisis. You can’t help but worry about your fellow human being. And I know that so many of you, especially those with religious upbringings, who were led to believe that if you were a good person and you just followed certain rules that were given to you by your religious leaders, that everything was gonna be great in life, that you’re going to have all ups and no downs. And, of course, we know that that’s not true. But many people, when bad things happen to good people, they start to question their faith and their foundation seems to crumble below them.

I got thinking about this. And while I have great empathy and compassion for everybody who has been suffering due to this, I also am not questioning God. But that is what happens when your only foundation is based in religion, and it gets very confusing. In fact, I remember right after September 11th, that tragedy, seeing a documentary on the subject where a 60-some-odd-year-old priest was being interviewed. And, you know, he’s at the end of his calling here as a priest, you know, he only had so many years left, and yet this particular tragedy, September 11th, shook his foundation to the point where he now is questioning everything that he believed. And I found that extremely revealing.

Today, I have decided that I’m just gonna read from my two books, the first being “Answers about the Afterlife,” the very final chapter of that. And then, I’m actually gonna read you a little section from “The Magic Mala,” which is fictional, but it also teaches the things that I learned about life. So, I’m gonna read to you from these two books. And just keep in mind that this is really what it’s all about, because I know many of you have questions as to why, right? We’re asking ourselves why when we see these horrible things happen to these beautiful people out there.

So, I’ll start with the “Answers about the Afterlife,” it’s the final chapter. The chapter’s just called “Final Words: How Learning about the Afterlife Teaches Us about Life.” And this is what it says, “So often, I have heard the comment that I should focus more on life than I do death. What many people don’t know is that my investigation of what happens when we die has taught me as much about life as it has the afterlife. I can honestly say that my experiences researching this field have made me a better human being. I’m more loving, I’m more compassionate, and I feel a greater sense of inner peace and purpose than I ever did when I never gave the afterlife a second thought. And I attribute this transformation to the knowing I gained about life and death from my research.

This knowing did not occur as one event, it came as a process. More importantly, it was a subtle process that enveloped me gradually as a result of my experiences. Said another way, what I learned about life during my investigation of the afterlife was less intellectual and more experiential. Rather than memorize information, I instead became aware of an internal wisdom that I never before knew existed. I didn’t notice it right away, I first recognized this wisdom in my behavior, I was responding to life in a new way, I was making choices differently than I once did. Without planning it or expecting it, my spiritual experiences stemming from my research of life after death had changed me, and before I knew it, I discovered that my work inadvertently had taught me how to live a fuller life with greater love, joy, and inner peace, regardless of whatever drama or chaos might be happening around me.

My most significant growth resulted from my understanding of the concepts I stated in the “big picture section” at the beginning of this book. I’m not sure at what point it happened, but when I came to know that the purpose of life is to have experiences, which can include negative experiences, and I shifted my paradigm of God from entity to energy, I stopped looking at my challenges in life as signs that I was unlucky, or was being ignored, or punished by God for some reason. Now, I saw myself as a spiritual being on a human adventure where everything has purpose, even when bad things happen, because every moment is an experience.

I’ll never forget one story told by near-death experiencer Natalie Sudman, which is the perfect metaphor for understanding how our souls think about human suffering. Natalie’s near-death experience had pretty much ended, and she was waking up after a roadside bomb had exploded under her vehicle in Iraq. She was in a dream-like state of mind, half in the spirit world and half in the physical world when she realized that she might be blind in one eye due to her injuries. Because she was still straddling the ethereal veil, Natalie recognized that her soul was quite excited about this possibility of being blind in one eye because her soul had never had that experience before. Natalie’s soul wasn’t concerned, fearful, disappointed, or frightened, it was enthusiastic about this possible new experience that it had not yet known in any other lifetime.

Before I began investigating the afterlife, I might have thought that this idea of our souls being excited about an experience that could involve suffering was appalling. Because I believed that life was meant to only be light, laughter, and lollipops, I would not have been able to wrap my mind around this concept that life is about experiences. But now that my research has taught me otherwise, I am free from the suffering that comes from interpreting challenging experiences as punishment, bad luck, or being ignored by God. And while this change in perspective will not eliminate all suffering, it certainly reduces the mental and emotional anguish that comes from these beliefs.

My investigation of life after death has taught me that experience is what happens to us, and it is our free will that gives us the choice of how to respond to what happens to us. Take any experience that most people would consider as negative, and I can find you one person who reacts to that experience as a victim and one person who reacts to that experience by making the best of it. The first person will experience more misery than the second, and all due to a single paradigm shift. Because of my fascination with death and what follows it, I now understand why Source and our souls allow such tragic events to happen, and I also understand the spiritual depth of these people who keep smiling in spite of their suffering. They inspire us, of course, but even more, they exemplify the power of our spirit. These people respond to life with love, which is all that our souls know in the spirit world. And they remind us, through our free-will choices, that we can be joyful and loving in the face of challenges too.

I don’t know how I would respond to every tragic possibility in life, but I know that my investigation of the afterlife has given me a greater chance for making the best of what happens rather than falling into victimhood. Even in my daily life, I live with less fear and greater inner peace when faced with challenges. My understanding of why bad things are allowed to happen to innocent people, children included, helps me to focus my compassion on their suffering rather than get paralyzed by blame, fear, and judgment. And so, I believe that learning about life after death does teach us about life, which is one more reason why I wrote this book.”

So, that’s all I’m gonna read you from that section. And that’s in my book, “Answers about the Afterlife” by Bob Olson. You can find that on Now, “The Magic Mala.” “The Magic Mala: A Story that Changes Lives” is a fictional story, but it’s a fictional story that teaches. And, as I have said many times, if you liked “The Alchemist,” or “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” or “The Celestine Prophecy,” then you’ll probably love “The Magic Mala.” In relation to what we’re talking about here, here’s something that I thought was relevant in “The Magic Mala.”

There’s two characters, Ruth and Dave, and they’re having some conversations, and Dave is teaching her about metaphysics. They’re having this conversation, and this question comes up from Ruth, “So, how do illnesses and injuries, including tragedies of all sorts that cripple or kill human beings, fit into metaphysics, Dave?” Dave says, “Things will happen to us that we cannot control. Some tragedies and suffering cannot be avoided. You can call it fate, you can call it being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It doesn’t matter what we call it, we have to surrender to the fact that bad things might happen to us in our lives. Metaphysics teaches us to accept this truth and understand that there is only one question we can ask ourselves if something bad happens to us. Do you know what that question is, Ruth?” “I probably don’t,” she says.

“The only question we can ask ourselves after something bad has occurred is this, “Given my current circumstances, what can I think, say, and do to move forward in the best possible manner?” And this is where the laws of metaphysics empower us, “What can I do in this new situation to make the most of my negative circumstances?” Ruth turned from looking at the babies, cocked her head to reflect, and then looked at Dave, “So, you’re saying that the laws of metaphysics help us with what we are able to control, which is the present moment, and not with what we cannot control, which is whatever has happened to us in the past?” Dave’s eyes lit up, “You said it a lot better than I did. It’s not that I don’t believe that we can attract undesirable people, events, and circumstances into our lives with negative thinking. I do. It happens all the time, which is why we must become conscious about what we are thinking. I’m just saying that not every bad thing that happens to us is a result of our thoughts, words, or actions. I still believe in fate.”

“Fate being what exactly?” said Ruth. “Well, that’s a big question, isn’t it? Let me just say that, to me, I still believe in a higher power that knows what I came into this life to experience, and if getting ill or injured is going to lead me toward that destiny, then who am I to question it?” “So, you don’t believe in asking why, “Why did this happen? Why me? Why now?” asked Ruth. “Precisely. ‘Why’ questions never lead to answers. More importantly, they leave us facing backward toward the past. People can ask ‘why’ questions all their lives and never move forward. ‘What’, now that’s a better question. “What can I do now to get better? What can I do now to improve my life? What is needed in this situation for growth, healing, love, and a more joyful tomorrow?”

Okay. So, that’s “The Magic Mala: A Story that Changes Lives” by Bob Olson. And those are two passages from two of my books that I just thought were relevant and appropriate for what has been going on. And I think it’s just something important for all of us to think about. I certainly have recognized that there are two different types of people, and tragedies and events like this that occur certainly bring out the best in people. I think we all can attest to that.

And the people who are out there just doing what they can, not only to make the best of their lives but to help their neighbor, to help their family members, to help anybody that they can, these are just very, very special people. I think I can speak for the entire world of how proud we are of those people, and how they inspire us, and how they make us recognize that we do live in a very wonderful world when you see that kind of human inspiration, I guess, people wanting to help other people. Anyway, that’s really all I have to say for this week. I hope it was helpful to you. As usual, check out my books, “The Magic Mala” and “Answers about the Afterlife,” and talk to us via social media, all the social media that you prefer. Thanks again for listening, and have a wonderful week. Bye-bye.

All right. I should mention that this show is sponsored by Best Psychic Directory is my site where I have vetted psychics, and mediums, and animal communicators, and tarot readers. So much of this came from me being scammed by psychics when my father died well over 20 years ago, and I decided to use my skills as a private eye to investigate life after death. That led me to psychics, and eventually mediums. And early on, I was scammed. And so, this is a big reason why I became an expert on psychics and mediums and have used my expertise in order to vet all the psychics, and mediums, and animal communicators, and tarot readers on, so that you don’t have to become an expert or a private investigator in order to get a good reading. So, please support the psychics and mediums on

So, that’s another episode of Afterlife TV. Thank you for joining us. Please like us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, or sign up for our newsletter at so you don’t miss our next episode. See you next time.

Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

Don’t miss another Afterlife TV episode. Join our email list to get new video announcements (and to download a free excerpt of Bob’s book): CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.

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