Spurgin's Near-Death Experience Research
following near-death insights are a part of the research conclusions
Nora M. Spurgin, M.S.W. who studied the near-death findings
of such NDE experts as
Dr. Raymond Moody and created
a very impressive quantity and quality of spiritual information
gleaned from near-death accounts. Her research conclusions and
spiritual insights concerning the experience after death are
beautifully articulated in a way that really speaks to a person's
heart. You be the judge. Twenty-nine questions and answers from Nora's
research are presented below. These answers are presented without
specific religious doctrine and dogma and are for the sole purpose
of enhancing life both on Earth and beyond. This information
is for those who are in the full bloom of life; for there is
still time to prepare. For those who are terminally ill, it
might make a difference in the quality of the final years or
months and help the new arrival into the spiritual world.
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| 1. Is there
life after death? How do we know?
From Plato and the early Greeks,
through Jesus and Paul, through most African and
Oriental cultures, to spiritualists of the twentieth
century, a belief in some kind of survival of bodily
death has been unequivocally affirmed. Jesus' assertion
that in his Father's house there are many rooms,
would seem to be justified by the fact that this
common belief is held by such divergent peoples.
While many traditional believers tend to shy
away from the topic, testimony to the existence
of a spirit world actually permeates the Bible.
Prophets such as Ezekiel and Isaiah report powerful
spiritual visions, as does the writer of the
Book of Revelation. In
the Gospels, angels speak (Luke
1:28) and on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus
talks with the long-dead Moses and Elijah (Matthew
17:1-3). Christian mystics and saints throughout
history also spoke of spiritual experiences.
The proposition that life continues beyond physical
death goes a long way toward explaining well-recognized
and otherwise unexplainable phenomena, for example,
near-death experiences, visions of deceased persons
and the experience of authentic communication from
the other side.
To understand what happens
to us at death, we first need to understand of what
we are made. Most of us tend to identify closely
with our physical bodies, but this is only part
of the picture. We are not only physical matter,
but also spiritual essence. It is accurate to say
that we are essentially spiritual beings who possess
physical bodies. When we die, we in effect take
off our physical bodies as one might take off an
overcoat. The essential person remains.
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| 2. If life continues
after physical death, where is such life lived?
Our bodies exist, of course,
in the physical world, which provides an environment
for our activity and growth on Earth and offers
us nourishment, stimulation and joy. Likewise, there
is a spiritual dimension of the universe the invisible
spirit world- which serves as the environment for
our spirits. Our spirit is the internal counterpart
to our physical body, and the spirit world is the
invisible counterpart to the physical world. This
world is located not up in heaven, but in a different
dimension, inter-penetrating the physical world
and the universe. While on Earth we exist in both
worlds at once, in effect connecting the two. For
this reason, people on occasion can have visions
and communicate with the dead.
people are prepared to admit belief in some kind
of life after death, fewer accept the proposition
that during our physical lifetimes we are existing
in two realms at once a material one and a spiritual
one. There is an invisible spiritual world surrounding
this physical one, inhabited by those who have passed
on. Because the two realms inter-penetrate each
other, the spirit of a person near death can float
out of the body.
To begin to understand how
we could simultaneously live in two realms and,
for the most part, be unaware of it, we must remember
that there are many things in the natural world
that exist beyond the range of our five physical
senses. For example, we cannot see infra-red light
or x-rays, or hear sounds above or below certain
frequencies. Nevertheless, x-rays and high and low
frequency sound vibrations do exist. In the same
way, even though we cannot perceive a spiritual
world through our physical senses, it exists all
The discoveries of modern science
lend credence to this prospect. Whereas in prior
times scientists thought of the material world as
constructed of solid, though minute, blocks of matter,
they now believe this is not the case. Rather, what
we think of as the material world seems to consist
of invisible patterns of energy. The implications
of this theory with regard to the existence of a
spiritual dimension are clear. Indeed, it is probably
such a discovery as this that gave rise to Albert
Einstein's celebrated remark that his work was spiritual,
involving the discovery of where matter ends and
Just as we perceive the physical
world with our physical senses (sight, hearing,
taste, touch and smell), so the spirit world can
be perceived by a set of spiritual senses; which
are not limited by the physical laws of nature.
Because most of us are not attuned to our spiritual
senses, we become aware of the spirit world only
when we pass into it at the end of our physical
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| 3. What is a
Due to modern technology, the
number of people who have been revived from clinical
death and brought back to physical life has increased
tremendously in recent years. Many such individuals
have shared amazingly similar accounts of their
experience. Whereas in the past people may have
been reluctant to discuss their experiences, perhaps
due to fear of ridicule, thousands are now reporting
near-death experiences (NDEs). Documented observation
on the subject of the next life reported by individuals
who have had near-death experiences has taken this
area of research beyond theory.
experiences gained widespread publicity when Dr.
Raymond Moody's book,
Life After Life, became a best seller. Dr. Moody
writes convincingly of his vast research on people
who were clinically dead for a short time and were
revived. Elements which appear most frequently in
such accounts are the following:
||The identity of the individual who has died remains
intact. The conscious self leaves the body and observes
it in its lifeless state but feels no break in the
continuity of consciousness.
||The sensations associated with leaving the body
are described as being very positive lightness,
brightness, love, joy, peace and cessation of pain.
||The consciousness, or spirit, enters a dark tunnel
with an extremely bright light at the end.
||Relatives and friends (already deceased) are often
seen. Usually they communicate a welcome, and the
person who has just died may be given the choice
to return to physical life on Earth.
||Often the spirit is greeted by beings of great light
and love perceived to be God, the Creator, or a
religious figure such as Jesus.
||There may be a life-review, which is a rapid panoramic
view of the earthly life in chronological order.
||The consciousness, or spirit, can hear and observe
everything that is happening in the physical world,
but cannot communicate with people on Earth through
speaking or touching.
||There is instinctive knowledge that in going into
the light there is a point of no return to physical
Earth life. Since these accounts come only from
people who have returned to physical life, there
was a point past which they did not venture.
||When they return to physical life, most people who
have had an NDE feel an enhanced quality in life;
there is a lack of fear of dying, and a new purposefulness
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| 4. Is going
to the spirit world automatic?
Yes. It is not a matter of choice
or qualification. Every person is created as a being
whose spirit is eternal. Life in the spirit world
is simply the next step after life on Earth, much
as life on Earth is the natural step after life
in the womb.
Physical birth takes place when
a baby, having spent nine months in a small, dark,
warm place, suddenly pushes through the birth canal
into a bright, expansive new world. There is a similar
sequence of events in our birth into the next life.
Those who have had NDEs describe a dark tunnel leading
toward a bright light where loved ones await their
It should be noted, however, that
if one is educated to believe that there is no life
after death, she may fail to recognize the natural
process which automatically takes place. There are
those who describe this lack of knowing as an incredible
injustice, for the passage to the next world is
confused and the spirit may wander indefinitely
without the body, stuck between two worlds, feeling
part of neither. This condition may persist until
a spiritual guide is sent to rescue and re-educate
the lost soul.
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| 5. What is the
spirit world like?
Sensitive people who have had
glimpses into the world beyond say it is a world
much like our own, but having no time nor space
as we think of these dimensions; it exists in a
higher dimension of energy and, in its higher realms,
is a world of inexpressible beauty. It is a world
where it is possible to be fully alive, where, for
example, the whole body perceives. It is a world
of endless possibilities for creativity and full
realization of self; and it is a world where the
love of God is like the air we breathe. As air is
the atmosphere on Earth, God's love is the atmosphere
in the spirit world.
One's spiritual body
can travel with thought waves. Therefore, if one
thinks of a person and place, he can immediately
be transported there. Communication is also by thought.
In addition, one is free from the restrictions of
the physical body; eating, for example, is possible,
but not necessary to maintain the physical body.
In the spiritual world, one realizes that life on
Earth has, like life in the womb, been preparation
for a fuller, freer and richer eternal existence.
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| 6. Can spiritual
growth take place on the other side?
Yes, it appears to be a law of
the universe that growth is always possible. According
to many accounts, the spiritual world has teachers
and guides (those who have died, sometimes centuries
before, who have the mission to guide newcomers
who want to learn and grow in the spirit world).
For children, teachers are provided to give them
basic knowledge, and people in the position of parents
provide them with essential love.
are lacking in emotional growth, or who have lived
unloving, resentful, vengeful, or selfish lives
will be given the opportunity to serve and help
others in order that they may advance to higher
realms. They may even come back to Earth as spiritual
helpers, like guardian angels, to influence people
to avoid misdeeds and harmful lifestyles, and to
overcome unloving attitudes. Those who have passed
on often come back to their descendants to help
and protect them. In so doing, spiritual growth
takes place for both.
Desire for such spiritual
growth arises from a desire to be close to God.
The spiritual world is a world where an ever-increasing
unity with the love of God is the goal of one's
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| 7. 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.
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| 8. 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
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| 9. 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
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 one's 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.
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| 10. 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.
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| 11. 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
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
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.
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| 12. 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.
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| 13. 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
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.
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| 14. 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.
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.
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| 15. 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.
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.
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| 16. 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.
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.
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| 17. 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
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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| 18. After entering
the spirit world, can we return to loved ones on
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.
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| 19. 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
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
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.
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| 20. 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.
God looks to humankind as co-creators, 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.
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
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21. 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
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.
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| 22. 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
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
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
Excessive or unbalanced behavior
distracts one from those activities which nurture
spiritual and physical vitality.
Dr. 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.
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| 23. 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 her
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
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.
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| 24. 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
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.
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| 25. What about
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:
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.
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.
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| 26. Are angels
different from spirits of people who have lived
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.
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| 27. 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.
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.
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
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| 28. 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.
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| 29. 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.
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| 30. References
| • Borgia, Anthony
|• Callanan, Maggie, and Patricia
|• Eadie, Betty J.
|• Fiore, Edith
|• Gladish, David F.
|• Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth
|• Martin, Joel, and Patricia Romanowski
We Don't Die: George Anderson's
Conversations With the Other Side. New
York: Putnam, 1988; Berkley, 1989.
We Are Not Forgotten: George
Anderson's Messages of Love and
Hope from the Other Side. New
York: Putnam, 1990; Berkley
Our Children Forever: George Anderson's
Messages from Children from the Other
Side. New York: Berkley, 1994.
|• Moody, Raymond
|• Moody, Raymond, with Paul Perry
|• Swedenborg, Emanuel
Love in Marriage, a translation
of Emanuel Swedenborg's The
Sensible Joy in Married Love and
The Foolish Pleasures of Illicit
Love. New York: Swedenborg
Heaven and its Wonders and Hell.
First published, London, 1758; reprinted,
New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1967.
Arcana Coelestia. First published,
London, 1749; reprinted, New York: Swedenborg
|• Wickland, Carl A.
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