The spiritual life then is part of the human essence.  It is a defining characteristic of
human nature, without which human nature is not full human nature.
It is part of the Real Self, of one’s identity, of one’s inner core, of
one’s specieshood, of full humanness.

Abraham  H. Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, 1993.

Welcome to Ways of Being, a website dedicated to advancing knowledge and raising awareness and understanding of after-death contact and its relationship with psychospiritual growth, spirituality and the afterlife.

Ways of Being takes its name and vision from a doctoral study entitled, Ways of Being: The alchemy of bereavement and communiqué (Knight, 2013).  The study has its origin in the lived experience of my own bereavement, which provided the psychosocial and psychospiritual context for spontaneous and unsought encounters between myself and those close to me who died.

The website is a reflection of my research and personal and professional interest in death and the afterlife, all of which have their origin in the lived experiences of my own life. This relationship with the afterlife, which began in my childhood, was precipitated by diverse experiences of what I term non-ordinary or other-worldly phenomena.  These experiences taught me that death was simply a doorway which led to another kind of existence, to another ‘place’.  They have continued into my adult life and inform how I live in the world as an embodied being and how I understand ‘life’.

As an adult I was bereaved and also became a relatively young widow, and it was during this time that I experienced those close to me who died ‘returning’ on numerous occasions without provocation from myself. These unexpected and random other-worldly encounters, and the attitudinal response from others when I spoke about them led to my conducting research and completing a PhD in bereavement, grief and the afterlife (University of Sydney, 2013).  Death had never been this personal before, and I wanted to demystify it as I did the after-death encounters I was experiencing.  My research explores the impact of unsought after-death contact experiences between the bereaved and those close to them who died.   I utilise a social constructionist approach to research, qualitative transpersonal research methods and narrative analysis for meaning and theory construction.

In addition to this now public aspect of my private life, I was also a student of an esoteric Christian school located in Sydney, Australia, for fourteen years.  During this time I was taught the principles and practices of the Fourth Way (George I. Gurdjieff, 1866-1949) and particularly those of Beyond the Fourth Way (Dr Philip W. Groves, 1920-1999).  This was an immensely formative period which continues to have a deeply profound and directional impact on my spiritual growth and understanding of my place within the universe and of the spiritual foundation of reality.

From one perspective, if I was going to define myself in a way which embodies my world-view and associated belief-system, I would say that I’m a social scientist.  From another, I would define myself as a spiritual being in a physical body whose birth was a meaningful event in the continual unfolding of creation and in the maintenance of the universe.  My prevailing philosophy is that the subjective experiences and understandings of the meaning of death, the dead and spirituality, evidence a changing and shifting theoretical and intellectual discourse.  This discourse is helping to revision how we conceptualise what we are as human beings, what the purpose for our existence is, and why the dead, by their cross-cultural presence in our lives, offer all of us an invitation to consider life from a transpersonal perspective.

I have extensive involvement in community development, support and advocacy in both a professional and para-professional capacity, have been an invited speaker at national and international conferences, and am a published author.  Since 2006 that involvement has encompassed the for-profit and the not-for-profit sector in the areas of bereavement and grief, hospital pastoral care, and academic lecturing and tutoring.

I hope you enjoy rambling through the following pages, and please reach out to me if you feel the need.

For further information email Dr Michele T. Knight at salondemorte@gmail.com or visit us at Instagram instagram.com/salondemorte/ or Facebook facebook.com/salondemort/