Insights into the After Life by Nora M. Spurgin
‘What to Expect When We Die’ - Page 3
After entering the spirit world, can we return to loved ones on earth?
Unknown to most of humanity, the moving back and forth of spiritual beings to their loved ones on earth is going on night and day, all over the world. As indicated previously, it is due to our inability to see spiritually that we have no awareness of the spirit world. Dreams, a visitation beside one's bed which seems like a dream, visions of departed loved ones and appearances of religious figures are all manifestations of spirit return. The major purposes of these visits is to guide those on earth or to comfort those who are bereaved by a beloved one's passing. Those from the other side are continually working to elevate the spiritual level of those on earth. By aiding in the spiritual growth of those on earth, the attending spirit derives energies for his own advancement.
Why can't people on earth see or hear the spirit if it is still alive and trying to make contact?
It seems from the accounts of people who have had NDEs that the spiritual self can hear and see everything physical, but the reverse is not true. Because their spiritual senses are undeveloped, those on the physical plane usually cannot penetrate this dimension, making communication impossible. The spirit on the other hand, may not necessarily know that death has occurred, and may be bewildered to discover that no one in the physical world responds to his efforts to communicate. No one sees or hears him. It is important for a person to know of the spirit world before death; otherwise the spirit may enter his new life frustrated and ignorant of the fact that he has, in fact, passed on. Seemingly intact, and not realizing that the physical body is dead, the spirit may wander indefinitely, seeking to make contact with those still in the physical body. It may be noted here that there are people on the physical plane whose senses are attuned to the vibrations of the spiritual world. They have experiences other than the near-death experience which give them extraordinary insight into the spiritual realm. They may be called clairvoyant (if they see spiritually) and/or clairaudient (if they hear spiritually). While it is often not reported, it is common for spouses and relatives to receive communication from their deceased loved ones. Among noted individuals who have recorded these unique experiences are Emanuel Swedenborg and Anthony Borgia. Emanuel Swedenborg was an eighteenth century scientist, philosopher, and theologian who explained that the Almighty allowed him to make frequent visits to the world beyond for a period extending over 25 years. He recorded his extensive experiences as a resource for others to understand the life hereafter. Borgia likewise has produced volumes of information on life after death based on spiritual communications with a deceased nineteenth century priest.
Do our prayers for the deceased help?
As a form of positive mental energy, prayer rightly directed represents our joining our energies with those of God as He seeks the growth and well-being of His children. Through prayer we cooperate with both God and the angelic and spiritual beings of the spirit world in an on-going, cosmic effort for the liberation of humanity. Because God looks to humankind as cocreators, and because He cherishes all efforts for the well-being of others, prayer is never wasted. Sooner or later, these efforts inevitably bear fruit, assisting in the positive advancement of those persons on whose behalf they are made. Calling out a specific name in prayer will draw cosmic energy to that person. Praying for someone who has passed on will be a boost on the other side to enlist the help of spiritual guides for the new arrival. Indeed, living in the spirit world, spirit persons may be even more sensitive to the beneficial effects of prayer than they were on earth.
Is there time and space in the spiritual world?
If one is in the highest realms, love reigns. And where there is love, there is happiness. Where there is happiness, there is no awareness of time. Therefore, there is no time as we know it here. However, in the lower realms, because one is very unhappy, time seem interminable. There is space, but the whole spirit world is a reflection of the qualities of the people who live there. Where love reigns, there is no distance between people. The spirit world is thus not like our three-dimensional world, but is more like a symbolic reflection of the inner quality of the people.
Can we still enjoy physical and sensual pleasure in the spirit world; for example, food, drink, and sex?
All that is good in human experience, whether it be food, drink, human affection, or sexual intercourse can be experienced in spirit world. Because our physical senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching are only poor reflections of our very sensitive spiritual senses, music, art, fragrances, occasional spiritual food and the feeling of textures are all more rich and enjoyable in the spiritual world. Swedenborg comments that husbands and wives enjoy intercourse just as on earth, only happier and richer, because when the love becomes spiritual, it becomes deeper and purer and therefore more fully appreciated. Intercourse does not conceive children however, because the material element is missing. Since the spiritual world is a world of mind and imagination, physical nourishment is not necessary for the maintenance of the spirit. One may still have a desire for familiar physical pleasures as they were experienced on earth. There is fruit to be eaten; one can even have a banquet. It may be useful to mention here that a spirit obsessed with or addicted to sensual pleasures may sometimes seek to gratify these desires through a person on earth. This is very harmful to the spiritual growth of both parties. These spirits are called possessing or obsessing spirits; they do not realize the harm done by the wrong use of another's body. Excessive or unbalanced behavior distracts one from those activities which nurture spiritual and physical vitality. Edith Fiore, psychologist and author of The Unquiet Dead, records numerous anecdotal accounts of clients who, through hypnosis, were able to identify and be liberated from such possessing spirits. Dr. Fiore is one of a growing number of professionals who use hypnosis in depossession or spirit releasement therapy to free clients of emotional traumas due to spirit possession. It appears that educating the earth-bound and possessing spirit about the existence and laws of the spirit world can liberate the spirit to begin his upward journey and the troubled client to live an emotionally healthy life on earth.
What happens to one who commits suicide?
This booklet would not be complete without mention of those who enter the spiritual world as a result of ending their own physical lives. The death of the physical body is determined by natural law, which is governed by divine law. To take one's physical life is to break that law, with the result that there must be special care and arrangements made in the spiritual world. In other words, breaking natural law must be accounted for before one can go to higher levels. According to some psychics, because the person's life was cut short and their work on earth incomplete, it will be necessary to live out this uncompleted time in spirit aiding the very ones on earth who were most hurt by the suicide. Since the motivation for suicide is usually to avoid unhappiness, we can assume that the spirit takes such unhappiness into the spiritual world. Any problems experienced on earth are always better worked out on earth.
Does suffering on earth have spiritual value?
Few things on earth are inherently good or inherently evil. Money, power, knowledge, and even love can be used for either positive or negative purposes and can be either good or evil. Suffering, too, can be meaningful or meaningless, valuable or worthless. Suffering, for example, that accompanies one's pursuit of a noble goal, or that produces a depth of character or sensitivity to the suffering of others, has positive spiritual merit and no doubt contributes to spiritual advancement. Indeed, one need look no further than the recognition that history has accorded those who have endured suffering for the sake of others, e.g., Jesus, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr., to see the truth of this principle. Further, it is often through suffering that one may come to appreciate God's grace. If one sees suffering as a means to understand more deeply the love of God, or indeed to become more God-like, such suffering will have great value.
What about reincarnation?
Traditional Judeo-Christian teachings describe a single incarnation with eternal, personal existence after death. On the other hand, many contemporary writings and some established Eastern teachings embrace reincarnation as true. Phenomena described by spiritually gifted persons may be logically justified by either concept; therefore, ideas common to both theories are important: Unique, personal existence continues after the physical body dies. Continued spiritual growth through love and service is a central aspect of eternal existence. After passing into the spiritual world, we do not lose interest in the welfare of our loved ones or the human race. We achieve merit and benefit from helping those on earth toward higher truth and greater love. It is extremely important on passing into the spiritual world to look toward the light and accept orientation from spiritual guides. If a person dies ignorant of the spiritual world, an earth-bound state or spirit possession may result, severely hindering the growth of all involved. A prayer or call for help may be enough to move us through the tunnel and into the light described in NDEs. Most psychics who espouse reincarnation do not believe that one must immediately inhabit another body upon physical death. Long periods (centuries in physical time) are used for continued growth by entities who earn merit by temporarily visiting earth as spiritual guides and teachers. Psychics believing in a single incarnation describe a similar return of spirit helpers who work so closely with us that thoughts and feelings blend, causing the distinct impression of past lives. Proponents of both schools share the belief that it is best to exist in eternity without reincarnating. Reincarnationists see this as the liberation of the soul from illusion, when the lessons of physical life have been learned. Others believe it is God's ideal for an individual to evolve through love and service beginning in this life and continuing in the next, without the necessity for reincarnation.
Are angels different from spirits of people who have lived on earth?
There is much interest in angels today. An angel is a spiritual being who lives in the spiritual realm and, yes, is different from the spirits of people who have lived on the earth. The angels were created first, to assist with the creation of man and woman as well as with the rest of the creation. The Bible and other scriptures speak of angels as spiritual beings who serve as messengers or helpers to men and women on the earth. Without our spiritual senses, we are not aware of their daily presence in our lives. Have you heard of guardian angels? It is said that we all have at least two. The angels of God are beautiful, radiant beings of light, similar in form to humans, often beautifully clothed, with the ability to speak, act and fully communicate. We might say that fallen angels are those spiritual beings, originally of God, who chose not to respond to the light and have turned away from God. Such spiritual beings seek to separate or distract humans from fulfilling their purpose, which is to fully live as God's children.
Are there demonic spirits and angels?
Numerous scriptural accounts describe angels who turned against the pure goodness and love of God, and also turn humankind toward evil by malicious intent. The master of such forces is often called Satan or the devil. There is no doubt that evil exists on earth. Similarly, those who have communication with the spiritual world state that all is not goodness and light there as well. Since we know that we enter the spiritual world at the same level of spiritual development we have gained while on earth, then it makes sense that those who have had much give and take with selfishness, revenge and maliciousness will continue such acts in the spirit world. There is, therefore, evil and darkness in the spirit world. The darkness may be a result of ignorance and lack of understanding. Spiritual guides will enlighten willing souls and offer growth opportunities to lead the spirit into the light and warmth of higher realms. Some accounts inform us that ignorance of the need to seek growth may keep someone in a state of darkness for a long period of time. Apart from ignorance, there are also dark forces in the spirit world created by those of vengeful and malicious desires. Such are the forces, often called demonic, which influence, obsess or possess people on earth and which may be instigators of crime and violence, sexual abuse and aberrations, and belief in Satanism. A person of such interests on earth will inevitably be drawn to similar companionship in the spirit world. The dwelling place of such evil could certainly be called hell. Everyone entering the spiritual world, however, should know that a God of love suffers for those in darkness, ignorance and misery. Based on desire and willingness, the spirit is given opportunity for an upward journey. One book recently reprinted, A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands by Franchezzo, is a vivid descriptive account of this process of growth and development.
Do we pass through some kind of judgment on our earthly life?
Upon one's entering the spirit world, we face a life review. In this review, a panorama-like view of one's whole life will appear in which both the good and the bad, the right and wrong are presented and are self-judged. Typically there is a good feeling for all the good, and a deep remorse for the wrongs. This is the judgment; it is self-imposed. Such judgment, however, is not the end. Out of remorsefulness can come the beginning of repentance, which enables the spirit to be liberated from ignorance and to begin to grow spiritually.
Are there marriages in the next life?
If I'm married now, will our family be together? According to Emanuel Swedenborg, people who were married on the earth meet in the spiritual world, recognize one another and may want to live together as they lived on earth. As the superficialities drop off, the couple will discover what they are like inwardly, what their love and attraction were and whether they can continue to live as one. A marriage without God's love and blessing may soon disintegrate. Where love is undeveloped, growth is necessary before such blessed oneness can be experienced and enjoyed. In fact, misuse of love and sex during one's earthly life leaves a deep scar on the spirit which can be mended only through true love. Truly loving marriages are perhaps God's greatest gift. These marriages in which the love of God is expressed between the spouses are for eternity. Each person experiences a deep inner relationship of love with God and with his spouse. Such a marriage is a union where each individual continues to grow close both to God and to his or her mate in the marital relationship. Where children were born to such a union, the depth of love shared on earth keeps the family together in the spiritual world.
What are some guidelines for disposing of one's estate?
Perhaps one could look at it this way: material possessions are a legacy which can bring about certain good and joy to others. It is one last service which one can control with a clear will. It may be wise to imagine watching the distribution of one's personal estate without being able to communicate your desire for its use. Then make a will accordingly as a final unselfish act.
Our life on earth is a precious growing opportunity. All of us, in living, are preparing to die. Some know that it will be soon, others will have many more years to prepare, and there will be those who die far sooner than they expect. It is a fact of life that everyone will pass on and none of us knows exactly when. Many will not be given an opportunity to prepare to make their passing a new celebration of life.
The purpose of this booklet is to educate people about the next life in order to provide guidelines for a more meaningful life on earth, offer enlightenment and comfort, and dispel the fear of death and the next life. This booklet is written as a tribute to my friend Linna who was mentioned in the introduction. At this point I would like to recount Linna's final hours.
It was summer and a warm August breeze blew through the open window by Linna's bedside.
From the window, she could see the countryside, familiar since her childhood: there was the yard she had played in, the trees she had climbed. She had gone home to say good-bye to this life. Linna's husband and children, and other family and friends, kept vigil seeking to bring every comfort and love to her final hours, as they sought the right moment to say good-bye.
On numerous occasions during those final days, Linna spoke with fading strength, "I feel the presence of people from the other side around me. They are talking; there is a flurry of activity and excitement. They are waiting for me." At another point Linna looked up and smiled. Her breathing was labored and irregular.
"Don't you hear the beautiful music?" she asked. Then as night fell, she closed her eyes and took her last irregular breath. Her frail body was no longer host to her lively and witty spirit. But we all know she lived on in the loving embrace of those who had been waiting to receive her.
Several days later, her pastor spoke the following words at her funeral service: “A funeral is in one way comparable to the celebration of a wedding; it is entering into a new life. It is seemingly a paradox that life imparts to us. On the one hand, we seek joy; and yet, on the other hand, our lives are filled with moments of sad good-byes. When parents send a son or daughter off to college, they are filled with a sense of pride and fulfillment, joy and hopes for the future. Yet, somewhere lingers the sadness of good-bye, and with that sadness, remain memories of past times when their children were young; when the home, Mommy and Daddy, were the only world they knew. The same is true of the wedding day; the father says good-bye to the daughter who for all her life was only his. In one moment, joy and sorrow encounter in one heart.
Our lives are filled with such moments, for God is teaching us always to temper our sorrows with the knowledge that a greater good and higher destiny is being fulfilled. The parents who sent a child to college with a smiling face and a joyous, happy mind may later quietly shed a tear; but that sorrow passes and is consumed in the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. They remember that, after all, it is this moment for which they sacrificed their lives.
Likewise for the father whose daughter becomes a wife and a mother; his momentary sorrow is washed away in the new dimension of his life as a grandfather.
All of those moments are but practice for this moment. God is teaching us to go forward, trusting that a higher destiny, a greater good is being fulfilled. To give us that insight is one of the more important roles of faith. Today we are sending Linna away to the ultimate college, and as we watch her go, we can be filled with a sense of joy for her accomplishment and hope for all that she will achieve there. Today, we give Linna away to the ultimate of bride-grooms. We watch her walk down the aisle of heaven with her beloved, and know that in this moment, she is consumed with an immeasurable joy. Let the knowledge that a better life has come for Linna, temper our pain and properly position our sorrow as a secondary, temporary condition. Let our sorrow be washed away by the faith that in freely giving her, Linna will, one day, be returned to us in unimaginable splendor, when we join her there.”
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