Insights into the After Life - by Nora M. Spurgin
‘What to Expect When We Die’ - Page 2
Are people on the spiritual side aware of our passing?
Yes. Whenever someone passes from the earth, no matter who, people in the spirit world know that the person is arriving. Those on the other side know who, when and where, because it is the responsibility of those in the spirit world to receive the newcomer. In most cases, relatives are apprised so that they can welcome the one who is passing on. Because the major motive of those in the higher realms in the spirit world is love, there is great desire to help the new arrival leave the physical world in the best possible way.
Will we know and be with our relatives and friends who have passed on before us?
Just as on earth we seek out relationships which are comfortable, the same is true in the spiritual world. We are likely to seek out our relatives, loved ones and ancestors with whom we have a bond. However, if there is a vast difference in spiritual development, a person of lesser development and thus having a lower vibration, will be unable to enter the higher realm to which those of greater development have advanced. In this case, the more highly developed loved one may choose to visit and help the person in need of spiritual development.
What will we look like in the spiritual world?
As already stated, each person has a physical body and a spirit body, even while on earth. The physical body which one leaves behind is a reflection of his spirit and is similar in appearance. The spiritual body has the same identity, the same vibration; it simply lives in a different dimension. The higher one's development, or vibration, the brighter and more finely attuned will be his spirit. Fundamentally, an individual maintains distinguishing characteristics. However, what determines what one looks like in the spirit world is the person's quality of heart and life. One's inner quality is perceived as light. One's features are visible but the light that comes from her very essence is the identifying feature. For example, because they lived totally for other people, Jesus and other religious leaders emanate brilliant light. A very homely person who has served sacrificially will emanate such light and be very attractive to others in the spirit world. If at the time of death one's physical body was impaired, his spiritual body will be free of pain and impairment. However, because the spirit world is the world of mind, he may still think of himself as being in pain or having impairment. If so, as long as he carries it in his mind, such pain and impairment will be present.
What will we do in the spiritual world?
It depends on where we are in the spirit world. The higher realms of spirit world is truly heaven; a world of enjoyment and recreation. People do things they enjoy, and keep company with people they enjoy. It is a world of joyful activity. The skills, interests, and abilities developed on earth may be reflected in the roles chosen in eternity. Each of us will contribute uniquely toward the goodness and beauty in our realm. Further, it is said that the spirit world is vast and of transcendent beauty. Those dwelling in the higher realms are able to travel to its vast reaches. The quality of life in the spirit world is directly affected by one's heart and his activities on earth. Since love is supreme, opportunities for the practice of love will continue. The means for spiritual growth is through the dynamic of love, which is to serve. Relationships are thus very important.
Do we have to be religious?
As indicated above, everyone, religious or not, believing in God or not, transitions to the spirit world as part of the natural process of life. Just as one does not need to be religious to live in the physical world, one does not need to profess a particular faith to live in the spirit world. Nevertheless, it is also true that the great world religions have been the carriers of universal spiritual truth, have been the source of the spiritual education of millions, perhaps billions, of people and have been the central force in the spiritual development of the human race. Properly understood and fully lived, the teachings underlying the great religious traditions inevitably promote the spiritual growth of their followers and thus are enormously valuable in preparing such individuals for the richest possible lives in the spirit world. Thus while one does not have to be religious to dwell in the spirit world, one inevitably will benefit from a thorough understanding and practice of a particular tradition. This said, however, it needs to be recognized that not all teachings described as religious are beneficial. Religion which is judgmental, prejudicial, critical, and narrow may impede the spirit's natural growth. It is love, not religion, which creates spiritual growth. Where religion teaches love, there is growth. Where religion impedes love, there is stagnation.
If we are not religious, what happens?
As explained above, everyone transitions to the spirit world on the death of the physical body. One's state there is determined by the level of spiritual maturity. If not mature, one may find that an understanding of the knowledge available through the various religious traditions may help him to begin the process. This knowledge is best acquired through an experienced mediator who in effect serves as a type of spiritual parent or guide for one just beginning his journey. Further, while the ideal place to grow spiritually is on earth indeed, this is the reason for life on earth growth in the spirit world remains a possibility. There, however, in the absence of a physical body, growth is more difficult. The opportunity for the full range of love (child's love, marital love, and parental love) is ideally available while one is on earth. Love which has been misused or misdirected, is also best corrected in the physical life, for there is the full range of physical and spiritual senses with which to act and communicate.
Does what we believe and practice in different religious traditions make a difference in terms of quality of life in the spiritual world?
It is said that the Golden Rule is the governing principle in the spirit world: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. People who truly practice the religion of love will find themselves in a universal sphere where everyone understands that true religion is to love others as ourselves. The most difficult thing for a person who has been deeply steeped in a particular religious tradition is to realize that the form alone is not what elevates a person; it is the heart. Still, those who cling to an external form of religion will be most comfortable with others who practice the same rituals, whatever they may be. In this sense, congregations may continue centered around the particular religious traditions they practiced while on earth.
Will we meet God and other religious figures?
Everyone in the realms of light knows that there is a Creator. It is said that this presence is so obvious it cannot be denied. In the spirit world one can see and experience the source of life. So the first awesome feeling is said to be, God IS! There is no question. Other religious figures including the founders of world religions, the saints and prophets, exist in their own dimensions of the spirit world. The similarity of one's life, heart and knowledge to a particular figure determines one's closeness to these religious figures.
Of what significance are repentance and making amends before we die?
Wrongs which cause injury to others require repentance, forgiveness and restoration of wholeness. When one has hurt someone else, unless she apologizes to that person, repents for the hurt caused and is forgiven, she will carry that burden into the spirit world. If someone has something against a person who has not apologized, progress is impeded in the spirit world. When we can recognize the hurt brought to others, and make amends for it by seeking forgiveness, then healing of the spirit can take place. This liberates both parties for greater love and spiritual growth. A re-orientation of one's life toward God and love at any point has great value. If a person can take this step while still on earth, and in particular can make amends for any wrong done, this will do much to enhance his status in the spirit world. The next step for the last minute repenter is to preserve this new orientation and upon arrival in the spirit world to do whatever is necessary to continue growth there. The quality of the energy that we maintain is affected by whether our intentions and actions lead us toward, or separate us from, goodness and God.
What about heaven and hell?
On earth we are all aware of different gradations in the lifestyles of various individuals. Some seem to have a very desirable lifestyle, others less so. The same may be said about life in the spirit world. In terms of externals, some persons there live in more attractive and comfortable environments, others in less appealing conditions. At the extremes there are beautiful and uplifting settings which are truly heavenly and, on the other hand, there are very unattractive, even repugnant, environments which are without a doubt hellish. The difference between life in the physical world and life in the spiritual world is that the environment in the spiritual world corresponds to one's internal nature rather than to that which can be created through external resources, as is possible in the physical world. If, during our lifetime on earth, we matured in a spiritually rich and beautiful way, we will come to dwell in an environment that corresponds with these qualities. Indeed, such environments are said by those who have experienced them to possess a beauty that is beyond anything seen on earth. In the spirit world, God's truth is represented by light and His love by warmth. Those individuals in the spirit world who live in harmony with God thus live in light and warmth. Conversely, if one has been stunted in his spiritual growth through an undeveloped or misdirected lifestyle, has led a purely self- centered life or has hurt other people, his spiritual environment will reflect something of these realities. A self-centered life on earth places one in an area of the spiritual world with like- minded people who have yet to learn the value of unselfishness for the advancement of the soul. Environments distant from God are said to be dark, cold and inhospitable. Indeed, they reflect the spirits of those dwelling therein. In between these extremes are many levels representing different stages of spiritual growth. The central factor determining our level is the degree to which we have lived for the sake of others, and the extent to which we have been able to influence others likewise to follow paths of service and love. In this respect, the actions of loving, serving and teaching others carry the highest spiritual value.
What could we do while still living in the physical body to make a better transition at death?
We should educate ourselves as much as possible about the spirit world. Even gaining the smallest impression that there is life after death will bring enlightenment and understanding. The more understanding one has to illuminate the objective reality of the spirit world, the more one has the desire to live in accordance with natural and spiritual laws and is enabled to go directly from earth into the higher realms of the spirit world. Betty Eadie, author of Embraced by the Light, explains that it is possible for the uneducated and unbelieving spirit to be a virtual prisoner of this earth. This is especially true of those who remain bonded to the earth through greed, bodily appetites and other earthly commitments which make it difficult to let go and move on. Such spirits, she was told during her near-death experience, may not recognize the energy and light which draws one toward God. Lacking the faith and power to reach for the light, unenlightened spirits may actually stay on earth until they learn of the higher power which surrounds, and is available to them.
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