Spirituality and the Near-Death Experience

The gates of heaven.

By Kevin Williams

 

Some people believe that to be religious means to be spiritual and vice versa. They might go to church regularly, and have a great knowledge and understanding of scriptures, and believe this is what it means to be spiritual. They may even treat people badly or even live like the devil, but because they go to church and know scriptures they believe they are spiritual. Information gleaned from near-death accounts show that spirituality is very different from being religious. Perhaps the best way to distinguish religion and spirituality is to say that religion is the outward formula for guiding people inward to the spiritual force of love and compassion for others. In fact, religion and spirituality are so different, you probably know somebody who is so religious they're not very spiritual. 

Table of Contents
1. A Summary of NDE Spirituality
2. The School of Love
3. Love is Supreme
4. Self-Love Versus Selfishness
5. Love is God
6. The Love Connection
7. Love is the True Religion
8. God's Tough Love
9. The Heart Does Go On
10. Love Gives Unlimited Opportunities
11. Noteworthy Quotes About Love
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1. A Summary of NDE Spirituality

The following information is a summary of the insights about spirituality gleaned from the near-death accounts on this website:

According to near-death accounts, the reason for our very existence is to attain spiritual growth. We are more of a spiritual being than we are a physical being. We assume a body of flesh out of a desire for spiritual growth, to complete a mission for God, to qualify for higher spirit realms, to test our spiritual ideas we had before we were born to see if we actually possess these ideals, to obtain a level of self-realization, to re-discover higher knowledge in physical ways, to be more of a companion of God, to find the kingdom of heaven within, to achieve our goal of evolving into the higher spirit beings we once were, but with individuality, to make God stronger by spreading love which is God, to bring light in a world of darkness, but more importantly, to play, love, laugh, and live for the sole purpose of it because this is the way to holiness.

Love is God and loving others and everything is all that really matters. Everything else, our achievements and material wealth, is totally irrelevant. The important thing is to love people, nature, animals, and everything in creation. Whether people realize it or not, love is what we seek and need to sustain us. Although love is too immense and profound to be fully known in one lifetime, without love we are nothing. To love everyone as ourselves, we must love ourselves else our love for others is false. It is impossible to be really happy if we only have love for ourselves. Until we give attention to others, we will not be able to grow spiritually. Our choice is between the spirit of God (self-love, love for others) and the spirit of self (selfishness, love only for self). By conquering self, we can change and grow easily, and know ourselves to be ourselves, yet one with the Whole. When we do unto others, the same will be done unto us.

All paths eventually lead back to God - love. Love is the hard lesson we are here to learn more about and apply ourselves. While in a physical body, the kingdom of God is located within. Part of our mission is to manifest the kingdom into the world. Our goal is to attain a human-divine unity. As spirit beings, our core is perfect love - a spark of divinity. When our human nature fully recognizes the divinity within, self-divine-realization is the result. Part of this realization is that everyone is connected together through divine love - God. What one person does, affects everyone else. We are all of one spirit and to change the world we only need to change ourselves. One simple act of unselfish love affects everyone else. A simple smile has the power to alter the course of human history. The good we do for others will eventually come back to us. The important things is that we are to help each other rise to a higher level of love. Life is about people, not pursuits. It is about loving people, not things. To know love is not enough. It must be expressed. Whatever we become in life is meaningless unless it is done for the benefit of others. The ideal is to love others completely, unconditionally, more even than we love ourselves. It is the little things that count: a small act out of unconditional love.

Religious dogma means nothing on the other side. True religion is to love others as ourselves. It is what's inside that counts. Love, not religious dogma, creates spiritual growth. What is important is what comes from the heart, not what one professes with their lips. Love in action is what lasts. The more we live in love, the closer we are to God. The way to heaven is through the practice of love. Love is the law of the universe and holds the universe together. The Golden Rule is the governing principle in the spirit world. Our state in the spirit realm is determined by our level of spiritual maturity. This is often attained through hardships that challenge us and help us grow and stay compassionate. Before we can really feel joy, we must know sorrow. This world is the tough course that helps create within us the tough love of God. Life is a cycle of improvements that ultimately leads to perfection.

Once we leave the physical world, we will step into the spirituality we have cultivated within ourselves. We then will view reality from an inward perspective instead of an outward one. Heaven and hell are not locations but are spiritual states of being. We grow to heaven. We don't go to heaven. The spiritual state of being we attained on Earth is the spiritual state we take with us. We are all at various degrees of light which corresponds to various levels representing different stages of spiritual growth. The central factor determining our level of spiritual growth is the degree to which we have lived for the sake of others. Our ability to accept truth, to live by it, governs our progress in the spirit, and it determines the degree of light we possess. The higher our spiritual maturity, the brighter the light will shine from our spirit.

The chief purpose for returning to the physical world is for instruction that leads to the advancement of our souls in spiritual maturity. We are given all the opportunities it takes, as many lifetimes as it takes, to achieve it. Then, like the prodigal son, we return to our true home. Once we have learned the lessons needed in the physical world, we do not need to return.

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2. The School of Love

Multi-colored icon.   "We came into this world to have trouble and to learn from it. Unfortunately many people don't realize this and complain about their bad luck and spend their lives chasing pleasure, fame and money. Then they die without making any spiritual progress. And so they waste life after life. It should be obvious that all we'll take with us is our character, our karma and our abilities, and that we'll have to live with people like ourselves. Therefore, our highest success would be to rise into the highest heaven through unselfish love." (Arthur Yensen)

Multi-colored icon.   "The desire for spiritual growth arises from a desire to be close to God." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "We can not dwell in the higher spiritual realms until we have perfectly qualified for it by a change of heart and mind, a significant amount of preparation, and by completing our mission." (Dr. Craig Lundahl)

Multi-colored icon.   "God has a job for us. We don't have to know what it is. We just have to trust and follow our heart. That's because our heart knows more than our head does." (P.M.H. Atwater)

Multi-colored icon.   "All souls come to Earth to test their spiritual ideals to see if they are real. Only by becoming subject to the physical influences of the flesh and the laws of the Earth realm can a soul know for certain if they really possess that spiritual ideal. Through this process, the soul is tested and the result is self-realization. This is the purpose of the Earth realm." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "In order for us to appreciate, benefit, and learn all we can from life, we must re-discover what we knew before we were born - now in physical ways." (David Goines)

Multi-colored icon.   "In order to become one with God, work must be done to remember and find the truth. The truth is this: our true self is a spirit and our spirit is one with God." (Sandra Rogers)

Multi-colored icon.   "While the ideal place to grow spiritually is on Earth (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 on Earth. Love which has been misused or misdirected, is best corrected in a physical life." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "If we worship the God within others through love, we will find the kingdom of heaven within." (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "We are souls visiting and experiencing the physical realm in order to grow and evolve into the ultimate light beings that is our true origin and final destiny." (Juliet Nightingale)

Multi-colored icon.   "[The light] showed me that God is love. By spreading love, you make God stronger. By making God stronger, He can, in return, help you. He told me your love has to be unconditional. That is the only rule here ally has." (an anonymous NDEr)

Multi-colored icon.   "I heard the words, "Remember, pray without ceasing. Play, love, laugh, live for the joy of it. Have fun. Happiness is holy. The purpose of life is joy. Savor fully the loveliness of each experience. Self-awareness is the prayer of the heart. To pray without ceasing is to play. Play with the joyful abandon of the child, absorbed in the delight of each moment. Let go of obligation and duty. Live for the pure joy of being." (Jan Price)

Multi-colored icon.   "Life is for living and the light is for later." (a child in Dr. Melvin Morse's research)

Multi-colored icon.   "Our lives are a golden opportunity to live a spiritual life in a world of darkness." (Daniel Rosenblit)

Multi-colored icon.   "The highest purpose of our earthly connections is love." (Lynnclaire Dennis)

Multi-colored icon.   "Humanity has to think of life everlasting, manifested now in the present. This is very important. Life has been held very cheaply. Millions of people have been killed through devastation, torture, war, and man's inhumanity to man. This has brought spiritual pollution on all levels." (Margaret Tweddell)

Multi-colored icon.   "If we live true to the spirit we came to Earth with, we can progress more quickly. We do that by expressing the love of God that is within us, and we do that by loving God, ourselves, and each other. It is that simple." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love never hurts. Only the absence of love hurts." (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "When we leave ourselves open to God to learn more about unconditional love, he readily sends us the people we need to learn to love without judgment. Put to the test, our spirits expand with greater love, God's pure love, and it shines brighter within us." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is the law of the universe. Hatred is a disease that kills nations." (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "Our ultimate purpose for existing is to be a companion to God." (Edgar Cayce)

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3. Love is Supreme

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is really the only thing that matters. Love is joy! It all seemed so simple. If we're kind, we'll have joy." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "The absolutely only thing that matters is love. Everything else, our achievements, degrees, the money we made, how many mink coats we had, is totally irrelevant. It will also be understood that what we do is not important. The only thing that matters is how we do what we do. And the only thing that matters is that we do what we do with love." (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)

Multi-colored icon.   "There is only one truly significant work to do in life, and that is love; to love nature, to love people, to love animals, to love creation itself, just because it is. To serve God's creation with a warm and loving hand of generosity and compassion - that is the only meaningful existence." (Dr. George Rodonaia)

Multi-colored icon.   "He who understands nature walks close with God." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "I was shown that love is supreme. I saw that truly without love we are nothing." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "Since love is supreme, opportunities for the practice of love will continue after death." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is too immense and profound to ever be fully understood or experienced in this physical world. Love is God." (Sandra Rogers)

Multi-colored icon.   "What all people seek, what sustains them, is love, the light told me. What distorts people is a lack of love." (
Mellen-Thomas Benedict
)

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4. Self-Love Versus Selfishness

Multi-colored icon.   "Without feelings of self-love, the love we feel for others is counterfeit. We must love all others as ourselves." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "Above and beyond anything else, we must first learn to love ourselves non-judgmentally and unconditionally. Then we will actually love all people and all things the same way." (Laurelynn Martin)

Multi-colored icon.   "Happiness is love of something outside of self. It may never be obtained, may never be known by loving only things within self or self's own domain." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "Our ultimate goal is not the complete loss of self-identity, rather, it is to know ourselves to be ourselves, yet one with the Whole." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "How are we saved? By unselfish love. If we do only good things we will eventually run out of bad karma and only good things will happen to us, and vice versa. The purpose of karma is to force us to learn life's lessons whether we want to or not. The only way to bypass karma is to develop so much unselfish love that paying for bad karma will serve no purpose - much like a college student challenging a course he already knows. We evolve faster through unselfish love." (Arthur Yensen)

Multi-colored icon.   "Our minds are led by the spirit we are entertaining, the spirit of God or the spirit of self. People are led astray through self-centeredness, self-gratification, self-righteousness, self-glorification, self-condemnation, self-interest, and self-consciousness. The greatest enemy we will ever face is self - the false god. Jesus' mission was to demonstrate to humanity how self-sacrifice and self-denial can overcome these selfish desires and how it leads to our complete restoration with the divine nature within us." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "The conquering of self is truly greater than were one to conquer many worlds." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "If everyone completely understood the afterlife, they'd quit trying to keep up with the Joneses and start learning how to live unselfishly. Here [in the world] we can change ourselves quite easily and should use this life to make ourselves into the kind of people we want to be in the hereafter. [The spirit world] is a miserable place for anyone who hasn't learned internal harmony - characterized by unselfish love." (Arthur Yensen)

Multi-colored icon.   "Our earthly selves, however, are constantly in opposition to our spirits. Although our spirit bodies are full of light, truth, and love, they must battle constantly to overcome the flesh, and this strengthens them. Those who are truly developed will find a perfect harmony between their flesh and spirits, a harmony that will bless them with peace and give them the ability to help others." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "In the Earth realm, as in spiritual realms, until we turn our attention from ourselves, we cannot in any way change our estate." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "Not all people are lovable, but when we find someone difficult for us to love, it is often because they remind us of something within ourselves that we don't like." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "The minute we judge others for their faults or shortcomings, we are displaying a similar shortcoming in ourselves. We don't have the knowledge to judge people accurately here. Only God knows the heart of man, and only God can judge perfectly. He knows our spirits; we see only temporary strengths and weaknesses. Because of our own limitations, we can seldom look into the heart of man." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "We don't have any knowledge or right to judge anybody else in terms of that person's heart relationship to God. Only God knows what's in a person's heart. Someone whom we think is despicable, God might know as a wonderful person. Similarly, someone we think is good, God may see as a hypocrite, with a black heart. Only God knows the truth about every individual." (Rev. Howard Storm)

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5. Love is God

Multi-colored icon.   "We must open our hearts to love because love is God. Open our minds to life because life is God. Open our eyes to light because light is God. Love, light, and light is God; in other words, totally unfathomable!" (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is the power of life. I know that love between people here can be eternal. The key is love." (RaNelle Wallace)

Multi-colored icon.   "In the search for truth, all paths lead to love, the Spirit of God." (Sandra Rogers)

Multi-colored icon.   "Everyone is in the circle of God, Love. The Kingdom of God is within us. But more important, we are in the Kingdom of God. The Spirit of God is within us, but more important, we are in the Spirit of God. The love of God is within us, but more important, we are in the love of God. All there is - is God." (Jan Price)

Multi-colored icon.   "The meaning of the terms Christ, Christ Consciousness, and Mind of Christ, has little to do with the personality known as Jesus. These terms refer to the spiritual condition of human-divine unity or at-one-ment. This unity is the ultimate goal of everyone and is spiritually possible for all. Jesus became a Christ in that he attained perfect human-divine unity. It is God's desire for everyone to attain Christhood; or Buddhahood if you live in the East (same concept)." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "The truth of who I am, indeed, who we all are, is perfect love as a creation of God." (Linda Stewart)

Multi-colored icon.   "The very core of our essence is love, nothing else. Our core is perfect love, loving perfection." (Jayne Smith)

Multi-colored icon.   "When humanity recognizes the divinity within them as the controlling force in the world and turns away from their own selfish pattern of living for self alone, the old pattern disappears and the Christ pattern emerges." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "God is within you. The universe is God's Cathedral." (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "God said, 'You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.'" (Psalm 82:6)

Multi-colored icon.   "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods?'" (
John 10:34
)

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6. The Love Connection

Multi-colored icon.   "All it takes to change the world is to change one person (ourselves) which, in turn, will cause a chain reaction of change from one person to another." (Rev. Howard Storm)

Multi-colored icon.   "The quickest way to change the world is to be of service to others. Show that your love can make a difference in the lives of people and thereby someone else's love can make a difference in your life. By each of us doing that and working together we change the world one inner person at a time." (Dannion Brinkley)

Multi-colored icon.   "Those whose hearts have been awakened to God have a responsibility to share his love with others. That is the nature of service and of love; all of our lights shine brighter when we pass them along." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "The positive, as well as the negative, impact of one decision has the capacity to be felt throughout the world." (Angie Fenimore)

Multi-colored icon.   "I saw myself [in a life review] perform an act of kindness, just a simple act of unselfishness, and I saw the ripples go out again. The friend I had been kind to was kind in turn to one of her friends, and the chain repeated itself. I saw love and happiness increase in others' lives because of that one simple act on my part. I saw their happiness grow and affect their lives in positive ways, some significantly." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "I saw [in a life review] that I had sent out waves of goodness and hope and love when I had only meant to smile or to help in a small way." (RaNelle Wallace)

Multi-colored icon.   "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. As humans, we are all linked together. What one person does affects everyone else. This is why it is important to help people. We are not only helping them, we are helping ourselves and everyone else. And this is why powerful spirit entities on the other side are trying to help us. Until we all progress spiritually, the powerful spirit entities on the other side cannot fully progress. But, a simple smile has within it the power to alter the whole course of world history, change the balance of power, and save the universe." (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "As we each find one person with whom to share our light, a wonderful miracle begins to take place: we find the Lord answering our individual prayers and preparing us to become the light, the answer, to yet many others." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "The good that we have done for others, all of our good deeds and kind words, will come back to us and bless us a hundred fold after this life. Our strength will be found in love." (Virginia Rivers)

Multi-colored icon.   "We are all one. I comprehended that our oneness is interconnected by love and is an available, much higher level and means of communication than we normally use but to which we have access. This love is available to anyone who is willing to do the hard spiritual work that will allow us to open our hearts and minds and eyes to Spirit." (Linda Stewart)

Multi-colored icon.   "What is important is how we show our love for God by the way we treat each other. When we do unto others, we do unto God and ourselves. God loves and forgives us, and expects us to love and forgive others." (Sandra Rogers)

Multi-colored icon.   "They want every person to consider every other person greater than their own flesh. They want everyone to love everyone else, completely; more, even, than they love themselves. If someone, someplace else in the world hurts, than we should hurt we should feel their pain. And we should help them." (Rev. Howard Storm)

Multi-colored icon.   "This is the simple secret to improving humanity: The amount of love you received during your life is equal to the love you gave. It is just that simple." (Dannion Brinkley)

Multi-colored icon.   "If we learn to use what we have, we will receive more. This is a spiritual law. We will be given all that we are prepared to receive." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "By giving love, we receive and experience a tremendous love from the universe." (Laurelynn Martin)

Multi-colored icon.   "We are here to help each other rise to the higher level of love." (Sherry Gideon)

Multi-colored icon.   "I asked, 'How do I know right from wrong?' He replied, 'Right is helping and being kind. Wrong is not only hurting someone but not helping when you can.'" (Cecil, age 11)

Multi-colored icon.   "Whatever we become here in mortality is meaningless unless it is done for the benefit of others. Our gifts and talents are given to us to help us serve. And in serving others we grow spiritually." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   The Being of Light told Dannion, "Humans are powerful spiritual beings meant to create good on the Earth. This good isn't usually accomplished in bold actions, but in singular acts of kindness between people. It's the little things that count, because they are more spontaneous and show who you truly are." (Dannion Brinkley)

Multi-colored icon.   "They never gave me a direct mission or purpose. Could I build a shrine or cathedral for God? They said those monuments were for humanity. They wanted me to live my life to love people not things." (Rev. Howard Storm)

Multi-colored icon.   "Life is not about pursuits but about people." (Laurelynn Martin)

Multi-colored icon.   "If we look after others, God will look after us - and do a lot better job of it than we can." (Arthur Yensen)

To know about love is not enough. We must express that knowing. How we do that is up to us. (P.M.H. Atwater)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love unconditionally as much as you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the places you can, during all the times you can, for as many people as you can, for as long as you can. Then you will be able to worship God within everyone and everything and even walk upon the water." (Kevin Williams, a modification of John Wesley's quote)

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7. Love is the True Religion

Multi-colored icon.   "The guides taught us that doctrine and creed and race meant nothing. No matter what we believed we were all children joined under one God, and that the only rule was God's true law - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We should treat all people as if they were a part of our soul because they were." (May Eulitt)

Multi-colored icon.   "It is love, not religion, which creates spiritual growth. Where religion teaches love, there is growth. Where religion impedes love, there is stagnation." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "What counts is what comes from the heart, not what one professes to believe. 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." (P.M.H. Atwater)

Multi-colored icon.   "It is not true, as some people think, that if we only give verbal assent to belief in God, well, that's fine -that is our passport to heaven and everything will be all right. What we have to remember is that Jesus showed us the path by which it will be all right. He doesn't say, "It's all right, brother, come along in. Sit down now and relax and do nothing." He says, "It's all right. You are on my way. There are a lot of stones in it, but you are on my way. If you ask me, I'll help you over the stones." The old teachings that "as you strive, so you'll be helped" are right. The Lord helps those who help themselves." (Margaret Tweddell)

Multi-colored icon.   "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." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "God is love in all religions, so the more we live love the closer we are to God." (Betty Bethards)

Multi-colored icon.   "Because our opportunities on Earth for spiritual growth are limited time-wise, we should realize that indoctrinating children before they are old enough to reason can spoil the learning value of their lives. In some cases this is worse than murder because it may spoil their whole lifetime instead of just a few years." (Arthur Yensen)

Multi-colored icon.   "When I asked what a person should do while on Earth to make it better for him when he dies, he answered, 'All you can do is to develop along the lines of unselfish love. People don't come here because of their good deeds, or because they believe in this or that, but because they fit in and belong. Good deeds are the natural result of being good, and bad deeds are the natural result of being bad. Each carries its own reward and punishment. It's what you are that counts!'" (Arthur Yensen)

Multi-colored icon.   "God is really only concerned about what is within us, our heart and spirituality. The way to heaven is through love. We do not go to heaven by worshipping Jesus, or by believing in his name, or by believing in the cross, or by accepting Jesus as our Savior. We grow to heaven by creating heaven within us by practicing unconditional love." (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "You'll not be in heaven if you're not leaning on the arm of someone you have helped." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love in action is what lasts. After death, a person is his love. This is the person's life." (Emanuel Swedenborg)

Multi-colored icon.   "Our state in the spirit realm is determined by our level of spiritual maturity. If not mature, we may find that an understanding of the knowledge available through the various religious traditions may help to begin the process." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "The more knowledge of the spirit world we acquire while on Earth, the further and faster we will progress in the spirit after death." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "There are only two things we can take with us at death: love and knowledge. This is why it is best to learn about both as much as possible." (Virginia Rivers)

Multi-colored icon.   "No one can truly fathom the great truths of life until they finally unite with eternity after death." (Dr. George Rodonaia)

Multi-colored icon.   "In the spiritual universe, sin is not seen in the same way as it is here. In the spirit world, all things are learning experiences. We are here in this world to make mistakes, to learn and grow from them." (Jayne Smith)

Multi-colored icon.   Howard Storm was given the following insights from beings of light after his life review when he was fearful of returning to Earth life and afraid he would make mistakes again: "Mistakes are an acceptable part of being human. We are here to make all the mistakes we want because it is through our mistakes that we learn. As long as we try to do what we know to be right, we will be on the right path. If we make a mistake, we should fully recognize it as a mistake, then put it behind us and simply try not to make the same mistake again. The important thing is to try our best, keep our standards of goodness and truth, and not compromise them to win people's approval. God loves us just the way we are, mistakes and all. When we make a mistake, we should ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult if we don't accept that we are forgiven. We shouldn't continue going around with a sense of guilt, and we should try not to repeat our mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes. God wants us to do what we want to do. That means making choices - and there isn't necessarily any right choice. There are a spectrum of possibilities, and we should make the best choice from those possibilities. If we do that, we will receive help from the Other Side." (Rev. Howard Storm)

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8. God's Tough Love

Multi-colored icon.   "I heard the voice of Christ vibrate through me as he said, 'No, this heart condition of yours is not a cross from me for you to bear. This heart condition is a challenge to help you grow and stay compassionate.'" (Lynn)

Multi-colored icon.   "Hardships are necessary for soul growth." (Sandra Rogers)

Multi-colored icon.   "We need negative experiences as well as positive experiences in life because before we can feel joy, we must know sorrow. Every experience is a tool for you to grow by. Negative experiences allow you to obtain greater understanding about yourself until you learn to avoid those experiences." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "The angel (I don't know what else to call her) said that, 'Life is an endless cycle of improvements and that humans are not perfect yet. She said that most people have this secret revealed to them when they die, but that handicapped children often know this and endure their problems without complaining because they know that their burdens will pass. Some of these children, she said, have even been given the challenge of teaching the rest of us how to love. It stretches our own humanity to love a child who is less than perfect,' said the angel. 'And that is an important lesson for us.'" (Dr. Frank Oski)

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9. The Heart Does Go On

Multi-colored icon.   "It cannot be stated too often that the spiritual perspective is inward and not outward. Once we leave the physical realm we will view reality inwardly and not outwardly. All that we have placed inside ourselves will act as a lens, a filter. All that we see will be seen through and be distorted by these things we have stored within ourselves. This is why it is important to remove as much clutter as possible so as not to obscure our reality. We not only take our attitudes with us into death, but we inhabit them. They will, however, become much, much larger in death, much harder to bear, with no way to set them aside easily." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "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. 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, their 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." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "The spiritual state of being you have on Earth is the spiritual state you take with you to the world beyond when you die. There is no sudden metamorphosis from an idle person into an active person, from a nonreligious person into a religious person, from a money-centered person into a God-centered person. This is not an automatic thing." (Margaret Tweddell)

Multi-colored icon.   "According to Cayce, death in the physical world means birth in the spirit world; and death in the spirit world means birth in the physical world. Because of this, everyone is born with a spiritual void within them. Throughout our lives, we fill our void with a multitude of things. Then when we die, we step into the spiritual void we have filled. This is why having love within us is so important when we die. Giving and receiving love from the heart, creates a heavenly paradise within us which is manifested in the spirit world and becomes realized at death." (Kevin Williams)

Multi-colored icon.   "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." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "Our ability to accept truth, to live by it, governs our progress in the spirit, and it determines the degree of light we possess. Nobody forces light and truth upon us, and nobody takes it away unless we let them." (RaNelle Wallace)

Multi-colored icon.   "The higher one's soul development, the brighter the light will shine from their spirit. 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 their very essence is the identifying feature. For example, because they lived totally for other people, Jesus and other religious leaders emanate brilliant light." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "Spiritually, we are at various degrees of light - which is knowledge - and because of our divine, spiritual nature we are filled with the desire to do good." (Betty Eadie)

Multi-colored icon.   "Heaven and hell are not places - they are spiritual states of being. They are not static states but are states in which there can be growth and progress toward ultimate wholeness of being." (Margaret Tweddell)

Multi-colored icon.   "You grow to heaven. You don't go to heaven." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "The only thing you take with you when you die is the love you give away." (Laurelynn Martin)

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10. Love Gives Unlimited Opportunities

Multi-colored icon.   "A soul is given the time it needs to turn away from its selfish ways and, like the prodigal son, return home to a feast of joy and welcome from its Father in heaven. Reincarnation is the method that allows the soul enough time to correct its mistakes and develop itself." (Edgar Cayce)

Multi-colored icon.   "We progress at our own rate to reach the light. If you do things that take you away from the light, then you are perpetuating your time here." (Dr. Kenneth Ring's research)

Multi-colored icon.   "The chief purpose for reincarnation is instruction. We return to Earth, not because of any external pressure, but because we desire spiritual growth. This is a universal process that prevails throughout all of nature. All living things are evolving through the use of a physical form in order to gain physical experiences. When we have learned the lessons we need from the physical world, we need not return unless we come back of our own accord to act as teachers or helpers in the glorious plan of evolution." (Dr. Kenneth Ring's research)

Multi-colored icon.   "God loves and suffers for those in spiritual darkness, ignorance and misery. Based on their desire and willingness, such souls are given opportunities for advancement." (Nora Spurgin)

Multi-colored icon.   "After we die, we may realize that we haven't learned everything we should. So, we return and are born again. As we transform into another personality, our soul is maintained throughout. Our soul does not get bigger or smaller. We carry with us the characteristics of our former personalities. The phrase "burning off bad karma" means that we have characteristics that we have to deal with." (
Thomas Sawyer
)

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11. Noteworthy Quotes About Love

Multi-colored icon.   "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is a sign from the heavens that you are here for a reason." (J. Ghetto)

Multi-colored icon.   "To love another person is to help them love God." (Soren Kierkegaard)

Multi-colored icon.   "It is within you that the divine lives." (Joseph Campbell)

Multi-colored icon.   "Your religion is where your love is." (Henry David Thoreau)

Multi-colored icon.   "One good deed is worth a thousand prayers." (Zarathushtra)

Multi-colored icon.   "To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven." (Karen Sunde)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence." (H. L. Mencken)

Multi-colored icon.   "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Multi-colored icon.   "I knew with total certainty that everything was evolving exactly the way it should and that the ultimate destiny for every living being is to return to the Source, the Light, Pure Love." (Juliet Nightingale)

Multi-colored icon.   "Day by day we are building for eternity, every gentle word, every generous thought, every unselfish deed will become a pillar of eternal beauty in the life to come." (Rebecca Springer)

Multi-colored icon.   "By giving away food we get more strength. By bestowing clothing on others we gain more beauty. By donating abodes of purity and truth we acquire great treasures." (Siddhartha Gautama Buddha)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less." (Rabbi Julius Gordon)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love cannot save life from death, but it can fulfill life's purpose." (Arnold Toynbee)

Multi-colored icon.   "No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today." (Fra Giovanni)

Multi-colored icon.   "The best way to get to heaven is to take it with you." (Henry Drummond)

Multi-colored icon.   "Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy." (Louisa May Alcott)

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"Love unconditionally as much as you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the places you can, during all the times you can, for as many people as you can, for as long as you can. Then you will be able to worship God within everyone and everything and even walk upon the water." - Kevin Williams, a modification of John Wesley's quote

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