exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Editor’s Essay: After 30 years of investigation, here’s what I’ve found as the most convincing evidence for post-mortem survival.
return to "Afterlife" contents page
Editor's note: The reader may also be interested in the primary article on "Certainty."
the feeling which is evidence
So sometimes comes to soul and sense
The feeling which is evidence
That very near about us lies
The realm of spiritual mysteries.
The sphere of the supernal powers
Impinges on this world of ours.
The low and dark horizon lifts,
To light the scenic terror shifts;
The breath of a diviner air
Blows down the answer of a prayer:
That all our sorrow, pain, and doubt
A great compassion clasps about,
And law and goodness, love and force
Are wedded fast beyond divorce.
Then duty leaves to love its task,
The beggar Self forgets to ask;
With smile of trust and folded hands,
The passive soul in waiting stands
To feel, as flowers the sun and dew,
The One true Life its own renew.
On the “afterlife” page, I’ve listed 60+ favorite examples of -- controlled experiments, next-world testimonies, mystic revelation, unexpected discarnate visits, studied opinion, double- and triple-blind testing, and accumulated empirical research, some of it published in scientific journals -- regarding post-mortem survival of human consciousness.
Some of these are really magnificent and, as they say, will “knock your socks off.” Among the most evidential will be the Scole experiments, the Leslie Flint direct-voice mediumship, the Myers cross-correspondences, Dr. Carl and Anna Wickland 40-year research, the Dino and Annie Nanji case - but, actually, to be fair, I could list all 60+ here as they're my favorites, though hundreds more could be called to the witness stand.
And yet, after all this mountain of evidence, so much that no one individual could process it all; this...
... great body of evidence which, taken as a whole, absolutely and unqualifiedly proves the case for the afterlife... This evidence would be technically admissible in the Supreme Court of the United States, the House of Lords in England, the High Court of Australia, and in every civilized legal jurisdiction around the world." Victor Zammit, retired attorney of the Supreme Court of Australia
After all this, materialists continue to spurn and refuse to acknowledge; moreover, even within the afterlife-research community, there are some who might confess that they're only “98% certain.”
Can we ever be totally certain, with no shadow of doubt, that we continue on after the mortal body subsides?
I believe that we can attain certitude. And this is what I’d like to discuss with you now.
the bible hero who changed his mind about earlier beliefs
My first point of evidence derives from, what some might consider to be, an unlikely source – the Bible. I say this because elsewhere I offer 90 short articles in which I argue that so-called holy writ is man-made and not infallible.
However, just because the Bible might not have been “dropped from heaven,” delivered by angels bearing a golden scroll, doesn’t mean that the most famous book of Western civilization offers no merit. As with all great literature, it assuredly does and is to be considered, some of it, a treasure-trove of wisdom.
I’m thinking of a letter written by the apostle Paul, Second Corinthians. Its subject matter directly impinges upon our topic under review. In fact, it goes not too far to say that Paul offered his own version of "most convincing evidence for survival."
being thrown to the lions might change your viewpoint
Paul pens his missive, says Dr. F.F. Bruce, having recently endured the most harrowing experience of his life – he was almost eaten alive by lions in Ephesus and really believed that his number was up. Somehow, likely providentially, he escaped the “big goodbye.”
However, this event so shook him up that he found himself re-evaluating what he knew, or thought he knew, about life and death. In this reshuffling of belief-system, he threw out certain “infallible holy doctrines” that he’d accepted all his life, even since young boyhood, with his training in Jewish Pharisaical mindset.
bible scholar Dr. F.F. Bruce
It’s important to interject that I’ve already written about these things in earlier articles. Moreover, the primary Second Corinthians investigation was completed by the well-respected scholar, Dr. F.F. Bruce. Before proceeding here, I must strongly encourage you to survey the following as prelude:
(1) Dr. F.F. Bruce's analysis of Second Corinthians
(2) my own comments on Paul's experience
You will want to do your own reading, but, in capsule summary, Paul changed his mind about “the seventh trump" and "waiting in the grave for Jesus to return.” He came to see that, when the moral body dies, we immediately possess an etheric body, with no delay for anything.
Editor's note: Paul's beliefs were in serious flux at the time. He would discard more of the old concepts over the coming years, as he saw more, and realized more. Ironically, Paul's new certainty was matched by a corresponding "I don't know, I no longer acknowledge" now-superseded precepts, what he thought he knew.
Paul boldly declares 'we know' these things are true - but, how did he know?
All this evolvement of Paul’s view on what happens at death is remarkable enough, but, concerning our question regarding certitude, we note that Paul prefaces his declaration of new outlook with a resounding “we know”! (2 Cor. 5:1) - he's not shy to go public in a big way.
In other words, Paul is saying “we know,” we are certain, we are without doubt, that when we die - that is, when the mortal body dies - there's no sleeping in the grave, there's no waiting for anything, as we immediately attain to consciousness, seamlessly and uninterruptedly, with a new life, and a new spiritual body.
But – how do “we know”?
Is this not utterly remarkable? Today we might possess my 60 points of good evidence concerning survival - and, as stated, hundreds more, if we search for them - but, even those with knowledge of such are still found hedging with "98% certain."
But there's no hesitation with Paul. Throwing temperate expression and measured words to the wind, he proclaims "we know" - but what fueled his sense of certainty?
a complex topic with many moving parts
We will not be surprised to learn that achieving certainty is not easy. It's hard to come by in this world. Supporting this exclusivity, Paul’s confidence issued as aftermath to a mystical experience, something difficult to program and schedule.
Editor's note: I just said that it's "not easy." However, this is not really true. To clarify, when it's time to enter our own mystical-revelation experience, not so unlike what Paul received, we will easily see, and easily speak with him "we know."
Another problem is that achieving certainty will sometimes require an understanding of several foundational concepts; many of them, major subjects featured in the Word Gems collection - for example, Repression, Spirituality, Belief, Causation and Induction, Dualism and The Ego, Morality, Consciousness Levels, Sensibility, Soul and Spirit, and the Certainty article itself.
Stated differently, arriving at certainty concerning post-mortem survival becomes a product of spiritual maturity. This evolvement, and the need for it, is hinted at on the masthead of every Word Gems page: exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity.
A review of these several topics as background would lead us to revisit much of the content of the website, and so we will refrain from that here. However, we must understand that this formative information concerning certainty cannot be waived away, and so the dedicated student will want to work toward a better grounding in these foundational precepts.
All this acknowledged, with homework now assigned, let’s proceed here on a best-efforts basis toward coming-to-terms.
Editor's note: To contradict myself - while the aforementioned research is important, reading, study, and the scientific method will not, of themselves, help us achieve that "last 2%" of certitude. An assurance via the Spirit is needed.
Paul’s dramatic assertion “we know” was born out-of-time and unexpectedly; in a flash of insight, he suddenly perceived a totality of framework concerning “how things work.” There is no gradualism for mystical experiences; in a moment, it's just there, a full view, dropped into one's head, one of sacred creativity's "discontinuities."
This will come for us, as well, each in his or her own time; but, in the meantime, we can do some things to facilitate the process.
a ‘total field’ perception
In his lectures, Krishnamurti often makes reference to glimpsing the “total field’ of truth.
"I say, you will never find truth through the gradual change of [experience] - only through immediate perception, immediate discernment, lies the whole of wisdom.”
Why is this "immediacy," this "totality" important? Adrian Smith reminded me of the following:
There’s a well known Sufi story from the 12th century about a group of blind people trying to figure out what an elephant is. One person would feel the ear and say it’s like a velvet carpet; another would feel the trunk and say no, it’s a hollow pipe; yet another would feel the leg and say it’s a pillar - but no one has the vantage point to see the whole elephant. The totality of experience is never accessible. In the words of the apostle Paul, “we know in part” (I Cor 13:9). Somewhere there exists a whole elephant, but even the rigorously applied scientific method, the burdens and standards of proof in law and the rules of evidence in court, are limited by human fallibility.
A “total field” perception is important because, even at our best perspicacity, we never see more than a tiny fraction of the Sufi elephant. This is a problem because the greatest truths cannot be discerned in a piecemeal, gradualistic manner. We need to catch a glimpse of the “total field.” Elsewhere I called this an “Earthrise perspective.” Mystical experiences offer this, and it’s why they’re so valuable.
Editor's note: As a side issue, we find here the real reason why a so-called perfection available via reincarnation will always disappoint us. There is no coming to truth gradually, there is no piecemeal spiritual evolvement - only a momentary cosmic total-field clarity can accomplish that.
there’s much to discuss, but let me share, right now, what is most wonderful
I presented the F.F. Bruce research 20 years ago, and so, for some time, I’ve known about Paul changing his mind concerning old doctrines, how the etheric inner-body is already with us, even this moment. See more discussion for the inner-body on the OBE page.
But very recently I saw something new in Second Corinthians 5, and it’s quite marvelous. It was already on the website, forgotten, tucked away as a postscript to the “levels of consciousness” writing, but it makes Paul’s testimony in Corinthians light up like the proverbial Christmas tree.
the arrabon of the spirit
Paul is excited as he writes. There’s a breathless quality to his discourse. With fervor, he wants us to know about his new insight of the inner-body, and how we already have it, right now. This is big news. But there’s something else, possibly even of greater importance that is lending ardency to Paul’s words – it’s the “earnest," the "arrabon," of the spirit.
Well, this doesn’t sound like much to us, just a bit of watered-down “godtalk” that we might have heard in a sermon sometime. But the archaic language of traditional translation cloaks a hidden scintillation. We must ask Dr. William Barclay, Greek scholar, to enlighten us:
the down payment, the smallest foretaste, of a grand life coming into view
Arrabon was a common word in classical Greek. It referred to a security deposit indicating that more was to come when a job was done.
In ancient secular literature, we find arrabon as part of the language of commerce. Arrabon, a first installment, was paid, for example, to dancing girls, with the final amount to be settled after the big party; and a woman who was selling a cow received arrabon, a down payment, with the full purchase price to follow upon delivery.
In the New Testament, we find the apostle Paul employing this worldly term of trade and business, arrabon, in reference to the holy spirit, and it's used in II Cor 5:5 - it is the "earnest," the "arrabon," of the spirit.
Elsewhere, we have discussed that "holy spirit" is better rendered "purified consciousness." Paul is saying that whatever level of spiritual sightedness or advancement we achieve during our brief time on this planet, it is but the "arrabon," a meager down-payment, on an ever-burgeoning consciousness, an expansion into a "made in the image" godliness, which is to be realized in Summerland and beyond.
But there's more.
'earnest money' is not the same as 'pledge money'
These two are different.
A “pledge,” a security deposit, is referred to many times in the Bible. For example, in the book of Exodus, if money is loaned to a day-laborer, his coat might be taken as “pledge,” that is, as collateral for the loan. The lender doesn’t really want the coat, he wants his money back, but the coat is at least something to make the debtor want to show up again.
But “earnest money” is not the same at all, is quite different in kind. The “earnest,” the “arrabon,” is an advance, part of the actual payment owed.
The older biblical translations render arrabon as “earnest,” but more recent works tend to translate with the more general “guarantee.” However, Paul purposefully employs arrabon in Second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 5.
Let’s look at the context to catch the flow of discourse.
In verses 1-4, we find analogies of a tent, a temporary building, or a garment to signify the old mortal body. A tent is made to be taken down, and garments can be removed, meaning, our mortal bodies will eventually die.
In verse 3, the New King James Version states, “having been clothed, we shall not be found naked,” which, in Paul’s logic, means, “we presently have a mortal body, that is, we are clothed, and after death we will not find ourselves naked or without a body.”
I would encourage you to review Dr. Bruce’s analysis here to gain a more complete picture of the implied message. As we put it all together, essentially, Paul is saying:
“We were made to be with God, to enjoy close union with God, and even in this difficult mortal life we are not cut-off from God. Therefore, when we die, it makes no sense to me that we should be more separate, more cut-off, from God, but, rather, we should have more union, more connectedness, to God, and so, I say there’s an immediate accessing of a new spiritual body at physical death. This would have to be the case as I do not believe that we will be more separated at that time. The entire purpose and plan of God is to bring us closer to him, and therefore the new etheric body is made available immediately in order to make good on God’s intentions for us to be near him. Let me say, too, admittedly, that I have no ‘chapter and verse’ to support this new understanding, but I have something better, I have the first payment, an arrabon, on a purified consciousness, insights into the mind of God, and, therefore, ‘we know,’ we feel the certainty, and need not doubt, that we are correct in this proposition concerning the reality and immediacy of the inner eternal body.”
All this is the expanded message of verses 1-4; again, see Dr. Bruce’s work for a complete review.
first payment on an expanded consciousness, the arrabon to accessing the mind of God
But, then we come to verse 5:
“God himself has prepared us for all this and, to that end, has given us the earnest, the arrabon, of the holy spirit.”
To restate once more, Paul is saying,
“I know all this is true, and we all can know it's true because (1) God’s whole plan 'has prepared us', is directed toward bringing us closer to him, and (2) we have received the arrabon, the first installment, on future full payment of inheritance 'owed' to us as sons and daughters of God. It is a first payment toward a burgeoning purified consciousness which will allow us to think as God thinks, and this heightened sense of awareness, given to us even now, allows us a better insight into the mind and plans of God.”
From “The Vital Message” (1919) by the great afterlife researcher, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
“Let us, then, with confidence examine this matter of the ‘spiritual body,’ to use the term made classical by Saint Paul. There are many signs in his writings that Paul was deeply versed in psychic matters, and one of these is his exact definition of the natural and spiritual bodies in the service which is the final farewell to life of every Christian. Paul picked his words, and if he had meant that man consisted of a natural body and a spirit he would have said so. When he said ‘a spiritual body’ he meant a body which contained the spirit and yet was distinct from the ordinary natural body. That is exactly what psychic science has now shown to be true.”
our destiny is to become, to think, more and more, like God; and, even now, if we allow it, we can receive the first installment on expanded mind-powers of wisdom, understanding, fortitude, guilelessness, love, and certainty
The problem of certainty cannot be solved just with more information; after a while, the scientific method fails to satisfy. As discussed, we might have a mountain of scientific evidence, far more than any person might review in an entire lifetime, but this will not be enough to overcome the “98% certain.”
If the dysfunctional ego is running one’s life, no amount of knowledge will totally convince. The problem is structural in nature, not one of content. The ego is driven by a systemic “I don’t have enough” because “I am not enough,” and, caught in this maelstrom of perceived lack and inadequacy, one will never find wholeness – which includes a sense of certainty.
The apostle Paul had it exactly right. What we need is an enhanced level of consciousness, because the problems of the ego cannot be rectified on the level at which they were created.
The following is one of my favorite testimonies from the afterlife. How wonderful it will be to emulate the positive outlook of Rose Carson:
Two Years In Heaven, Dr. C.H. Carson, from his wife Rose, her experiences in the afterlife:
"My mind is filled with plans of what I hope to do. How glorious it will be to enter into active work and to realize that whatever I set out to do I shall be able to accomplish through the efforts I make! It seems good to be alive; to feel so well and strong that one’s whole being vibrates with new and wonderful life…
"Every moment of the time I spent in spirit life was occupied with something helpful and instructive… [to] furnish me with some helpful idea that I could impart to others to aid them in their progress toward higher, grander, and better things...
"My soul is alive and vibrant with plans for the future, and I am happy and more glad of life as each day passes, not for myself alone, but for those who are to follow after me and whom my influence is to lead heavenward... The consciousness that I have attained tells me this great truth: The soul aspiring for progress never retrogrades; it goes on and on, throughout all eternity, toward greater achievements and higher realizations."
Editor's note: How infectious is the joy and enthusiasm of this lady - her "soul ... alive and vibrant with plans for the future." Is this not the divine mind-set? And look at her supreme confidence and certainty: "whatever I set out to do I shall be able to accomplish." But, how could she know this? - her own inner guidance informed her: "The consciousness that I have attained tells me this great truth." Is this not "mountain-moving" talk at its best? See the discussion in the Mark 11 writing. How "good" she says, "to be alive," to feel the vibrancy of one's own existence. What a wonderful example of "embrace this God-life, really embrace it."
‘98% certain’ and arrabon at the same time
I can tell you from personal experience that it’s possible to concurrently know the ‘98% certain’ doubt and the fullness of arrabon. It's an awkward union.
How is this possible? There are two parts of us, the “false” and the “true self.” The former can never enter into a sense of completeness because, by definition, it’s dysfunctional neediness on two legs. The “true self,” however, can enjoy feelings of wholeness even if physical evidence is scanty.
These two live in opposite worlds, one foot on “earth,” so to speak, with the other in “heaven.” It sort of is like that. And you can actually “toggle back and forth” between these two death-and-life levels of consciousness when you learn how to do it. For the same reason, we might concurrently experience unhappiness -- which relates to "happenings" and the mutability of life-circumstance -- and a higher-level joy, which is a characteristic of the soul.
See more on the “true self” page.
certainty is not achieved simply by transitioning to the other side
From the channeled testimonies we learn that some of the inhabitants of the Dark Realms doubt the existence of Summerland. These confused entities, in their misery, are convinced that “hell” is the only reality.
But, possibly even more anomalous is the report that some in Summerland do not believe that a horrid place such as planet Earth could exist!
My acquaintance, August Goforth, in his book “The Risen,” speaks of his friend on the other side informing us of the following:
"Not everyone is necessarily interested in contacting those left behind on the terrestrial plane after their transition to the Risen state. For one thing, it’s very difficult. And for another, the heightened reality of the Risen experience is so intense that many individuals quickly lose interest in Earth and even forget they ever had a life there.
Editor's note: This kind of repression strikes me as very unhealthy. On the Earth-plane, the ego will allow itself the self-deception of repression in order to flee from unpleasant thought or circumstance, but this escapism is not confined to our world. It's unhealthy because our wisdom, going forward, is to be built upon the Earth experience; it cost us a lot, and we don't want to give it up. In the "500 tape-recorded messages" article we learned of millions over there who do not live life in an authentic manner.
"Tim and others have told me that there are Risen who believe that their Earth experience was all a dream—or a nightmare—from which they simply woke up. There are groups of Risen, including those who were once scientists on the earth, who maintain adamant skepticism that such a place as Earth ever existed. When compared with their present reality, it simply doesn’t make sense to them and so they challenge others there to prove the existence of such a crazy-sounding place as 'Earth.'
"Because relatively few Risen individuals are able to connect and communicate with those of us here on the Earth plane, our terrestrial existence becomes supposition and theory to many there. In a similar way, as a mother can completely forget the pain of giving birth to her child, we may quickly forget the suffering endured during our earthly existence, once we are secure in the knowledge that we have permanently moved to a far better state of existence. The past and all the suffering it contained fades very quickly when there is no linear time and only awareness of the Eternal Present.
"Even those Risen who want to stay connected with loved ones on Earth can rarely make contact. It’s very problematic to achieve, and must be learned by studying, understanding, and utilizing advanced principles of physics and psychology totally unrealized on Earth."
Editor’s note: Certainty cannot be gained merely by a change of location in the universe. When the dysfunctional ego afflicts us, we will know the affects of its underlying fears of “not being enough.” This sense of deficit will represent itself variously in one's life, including a perception of doubt that cannot be expunged with more knowledge, no matter the quantity. Instead, an upward shift in consciousness is required.
‘we make inward bedlam and will not come out’: we will find certainty when we stop repressing ourselves
On the homepage, I invite you to examine a discussion on repression, what the great poets have said about this, how we refuse to “stand in the open sunny air,” how “there is a pain so utter, that an open eye would drop him.”
When we stop repressing ourselves, when we put away the ego as director of our lives, when we access the “arrabon of the purified consciousness,” then, almost as an afterthought, we’ll get certainty for free, at no extra charge.
In the “Pythagoras and music harmonics” article, I presented a noteworthy comment of Kairissi, which serves us well in the present discussion.
some things are too wonderful to be untrue
K. A long time ago, in the closing remarks of “Prometheus,” I stated that “some things are too wonderful to be untrue.”
K. It was true for me then, however, with all that we've suffered since those days of immaturity, it’s far more meaningful for me today. Some will scoff and deny, but I’m not concerned about their criticism. I know what I feel, and what I’ve seen with the eyes of the soul. At times, I’m given a vision of the future, the great joy you and I will yet share simply to live and love together. I don’t believe it’s possible for me to be mistaken about this sense of coming bliss. And when I say that “some things are too wonderful to be untrue,” I mean that my feelings are so deep and so profound that they can’t be illusion. In our discussion today, we spoke of proclivities which could not exist but for their basis in “hidden blueprints” and the mind of God. This is what I mean. I could not feel what I feel if I had not been made – “made in the image” – to feel them. And so, yes, “some things are too wonderful to be untrue.”
To be untrue -- or to doubt.
The “arrabon of the purified consciousness,” as appropriate, provides a sense of certainty, but it’s a certainty, quite often, laced with joy, wonder, and marvel. In receipt of this aspect of the mind of God, “some things," indeed, "are too wonderful to be untrue.”
Spirit Guides warn against emphasizing, too much, physical phenomena as evidence for the afterlife
William Stainton Moses, "Spirit Teachings," (1883): Moses channeled extensive teachings from Spirit Guides covering many subjects. The wisdom received is impressive and most valuable; but, for our purposes here, it should be noted that the Guides strictly cautioned against becoming too enamored with physical phenomena - i.e., rappings, table liftings, levitations, receipt of apports, and the like -- but, instead, one should focus on the inner journey of the soul, "the spark struck off from God." See the following excerpt from "Spirit Teachings":
low-level spirit entities unduly promote physical marvels
"Beware of encouraging the promiscuous evolution of violent physical power [when you seek for a psychic-medium]. Such comes generally from the lower and more undeveloped; and its development is frequently attended by spirits for whose absence you should pray. In the encouragement, especially in newly-formed [psychic-medium] circles, of undue care for physical marvels is a great risk.
do not rest in material evidence but seek for something higher
"Such are necessary to the work, and we do not in any degree undervalue their importance to certain minds. We desire to bring home evidence to all; but we do not desire that any should rest in that material form of belief, in an external something which is of little service to any soul. We labour for something higher… Nor do we rest content even with showing man that beings external to himself can interfere in the order of his world. If that were all, he might be so much the worse for knowing it."
These Guides are so adamant for us to experience the inner life, the true riches of the soul, that they fear we might be made “worse,” even by knowing of their existence; bedazzled and distracted by a messenger from heaven, diverting our attention from the real action within.
one sole aim
"We have before us one sole aim … to demonstrate to man that he is immortal, by virtue of the possession of that soul which is a spark struck off from Deity itself. We wish … to show him the life that leads to progress, to point him to the future of development and growth…"
even the scientific evidence of the spirit world, they say, can become a detriment if it distracts us from our primary task, that of realizing the “spark of God” within
Feel the flow of the Guides' argument. They say they have one “aim.” It is to inform us that we are “immortal,” that is, made in the image of God. By what demonstration? “by virtue” of the fact that we possess a divine “soul,” which is like a “spark," a particle of the divine essence, "struck off” from God. And how shall we assure ourselves of this divine possession? We will know that our essential life is divine and from God because it will reveal itself as a “life that leads to progress,” to a “future of development and growth.”
In other words, we can know that we are immortal, fit to “live with the gods,” by our awesome potential to enlarge and by a commensurate innate desire to improve, to become, to achieve, to soar. Granted, the “false self” has dampened this success-mindedness with its fear, guilt, despair, and anger – but these merely cloak and overlay and do not represent our natural state. We are to “go within” and discover who we really are, the "made in the image" heritage from which we derive. Special note: compare this desire to achieve and improve with Jesus' teaching, "Embrace this god-life, really embrace it!"
Restatement: What is the Guides’ “one sole aim”? It is not merely to inform us that we are “immortal,” that we'll live forever, but that we are “sparks” of God, an expression of the divine essence. The implications are huge. If we could truly perceive what this means, it would change everything for us: how we live and die, think and act.
physical phenomena, including the scientific evidence of the afterlife, should be seen as a mere first step to conviction, but then, as soon as we can, we are to move toward what really matters, the true evidence of the afterlife, which is coming to know God within
"If we use such [phenomenal] power at all it is because we find it necessary, not because we think it desirable, save always as a means to an end… Regard [the phenomenal] only as means of conviction, as so many proofs to your minds of actual intervention from the world of spirit with the world of matter.
the scientific evidence of the afterlife is merely the 'material foundation on which' is to be built 'the spiritual temple' of authentic experience with God via going within
"Look upon them as such only, and use them as the material foundation on which the spiritual temple may be built. Rest assured that they of themselves can teach you no more than that ... you must go on to further steps…
the physical evidence is as ‘nothing compared with the inner communing of spirit with spirit’
"When you can reach out beyond the phenomenal to the actual investigation of Truth for its own sake—when, in short, you can believe our pretensions—then we can open out to you a realm of which you are yet ignorant, and which has been far more fully revealed to earnest seekers in other lands than yours.
"To few, only, in your land have higher revealings of spiritual truth been vouchsafed. Even this means of communing by writing, which seems to you such an advance on the clumsy rapping out messages and such material means of communication is as nothing compared with the inner communing of spirit with spirit without the intervention of material signs… [we] encourage you to rise above the material to the spiritual plane.
the Guides ‘yearn’ for our maturity which will allow us to discard the physical phenomena and focus solely on ‘the higher revealings of Truth’
"Receptivity [to the inner communion with spirit] must precede higher development: but we yearn and pray for the time when you shall have shaken yourselves free from earthly trammels, and seek only after the higher revealings of Truth. To that end you must have singleness of purpose: you must have shaken yourselves free from human opinion, and have dissociated yourselves from the material plane, so far as an occupant of earth may do so."
not everyone who 'goes within,' accessing a better consciousness, attains certainty of post-mortem survival
I count Jiddu Krishnamurti as one of the great spiritual teachers of history. On a page devoted to his work, I’ve posted 50 of his lectures. He helped me clarify many issues related to the ego.
K's explanations of the ego were the best concerning the hidden cause of the world's strife and wars among nations and individuals.
In view of this understanding, I found it somewhat surprising that K harbored doubts about the afterlife. There’s a transcript of a 1979 discussion concerning “life after death.” At the end, in the “final comments” section, you’ll find his misgivings that anyone survives, or, if at all, possibly, only for a while but not permanently.
This seemed strange to me as, in a 1929 talk, he stated that “the self alone is the Kingdom of Eternity” and "Who but yourself can tell you if you are incorruptible?" Further, over the years, he became famous for his assertion that “truth is a living thing.” Can any of this suffer mutability? Can a living truth within, whose vitality we can learn to sense, undergo degradation? Is consciousness, the essence of a person, something perishable? Materialists will say yes, but anyone who's learned how to access the life within would never agree.
It seems that K, as a young man, began with an acceptance of eternal life but, as old age came upon him, he changed his mind.
Editor’s note: While K's autopsy of the ego as the cloaked impetus of the world's ills is valuable to understand, other teachers have pointed out that, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as evil as a substantive entity. While this statement might seem naïve, we need to understand that all events occur within the domain and purview of God. There is no cosmic struggle between good and evil. There is no competition to God's will and plans. A larger perspective reveals that “God is singular pervasive reality,” and, beside this, there is nothing. All events in the world, for now, take place within, not the ultimate but the provisional, will of God. What we, in myopic view, refer to as evil is but the puerile ego, endowed with a measure of volition, writhing in a process of sacred individuation. It's messy. But free will is required to produce autonomous individuals - not robots or programmed angels - who, eventually, will choose, of one's own accord, the selfless altruistic path. This will take a while. See a Spirit Guide's further discussion. In the meantime, to become angry and cynical, and then despairing, at the apparent evil in the world is to becloud one’s judgment and to relegate oneself to a lower level of consciousness. See the articles on “evil” for more on this.
What does this mean for those who seek for the 'arrabon of the spirit' and its certainty?
It needs to be pointed out that K's emphasis on the ego as wellspring of the world's calamity begins to create a sense of disproportion: what we can learn by "going within" is much more than seeing the cause of trouble.
A metaphor used by the apostle Paul helps us here (from the Course In Miracles page).
The ancient temple of Israel, in addition to its public-gathering courts, was constructed around a generally-inaccessible inner chamber, the “holy of holies,” wherein, it is said, the very presence of God could be accessed. Only the High Priest was allowed into the “holy of holies,” and this, but once a year, on the Day of Atonement. On this holy day, the High Priest would offer sacrifice and enter the inner chamber to gain forgiveness for the sins of Israel. This annual ritual is highly symbolical, pointing toward, Jesus instructs, a purification of the unenlightened mind led by the dysfunctional ego.
At times, Paul would use the Greek word for the temple’s “holy of holies” to refer to the mind, the center of being. This is where, in ritual, God could be met. But the "outer courtyard," while part of the Temple property, offered no such direct contact.
My sense is that K was a good man, and knew many things, but he remained, so to speak, in the “outer courtyard of the Temple,” and did not go deeply enough.
There’s no condemnation in this. People come to see things clearly at different rates of development. Nevertheless, the fact remains, in K’s teachings, we find lacking a certain sense of the joy of living, the joy of God's mind, the sense that “some things are too wonderful to be untrue.” While he's very good at describing the universal problem of the ego, as someone once said, “you cannot become a saint by reciting the sins of others.”
we ourselves may be the answer to our own questions
Professor David Fontana, Is There An Afterlife? - from the conclusion: “Ultimately our acceptance of the reality of survival may not come solely from the evidence but from personal experience and from some inner, intuitive certainty about our real nature. We are who we are, and at some deep level within ourselves we may be the answer to our own questions. If your answer is that you are more than a biological accident whose ultimately meaningless life is bounded by the cradle and the grave, then I have to say I agree with you.”
If this expectation be delusive, what instinct of the heart can henceforth be trusted?
W. Rathbone Greg: “Millions, in all times, have walked courageously into the Great Darkness, satisfied that they were going to rejoin the company of those whose places had been long 'left void in their earthly homes,' and, after long yearnings, to satisfy again, 'the mighty hunger of the heart' in the fullness of eternal joy; whatever human affections have been pure, fervent, self-sacrificing, devoted and enduring, look forward to Heaven for their renewal, their resting-place, and their full fruition. If this expectation be delusive, what instinct of the heart can henceforth be trusted?”
the truest earnest of everlasting life
Max Muller: “I know we shall meet again, for God does not destroy what He has made, nor do souls meet by accident. This life is full of riddles, but divine riddles have a divine answer. And again: Our broken hearts are the truest earnest [advance-payment] of everlasting life. I quite understand, he said, what you mean by the sweetness of grief; it is but another name for that love which lasts forever.”
a well known NDE account speaks of meeting Jesus, but we have substantial doubt that this was a genuine encounter
There is a famous NDE account. The reporter has spent the last 30 years offering testimony concerning what he was told on the other side.
Part of his story, the climax, is that he met Jesus. He was given directive to go back to the Earth and tell everyone that “There is no death.”
I don’t want to mention names as I’d rather not be confrontational, especially since he seems to be a sincere individual. However, I have my severe doubts that what he experienced was the real Jesus.
Elsewhere I’ve discussed that there have been a great many reports over the last 150 years concerning meeting Jesus, and each one offers a different protocol, or requirement, or preliminary ritual, or avenue of approach concerning such meeting. Some of the accounts speak of great ceremony and ritualism, a veritable pageantry of glitz and glamour. The testimony of the reporter under review offers a somewhat muted method of securing audience with Jesus, however, even so, I don’t think it -- or any of these other accounts -- is real.
Before I continue, allow me to offer reminder that there is an alternate reality over there that entraps the materialistically minded. We looked at this in detail in “the 500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” article.
Further, in line with the beliefs of almost all of the dysfunctional “500,” the NDE reporter of whom I speak believes in reincarnation and past lives. This by itself marks him as unknowledgeable and a victim of arrogant teachers among the “500.”
However, as we bear all this in mind, is there anything wrong with a command, from the purported Jesus, to go and tell people “There is no death”? This reminds me of Mark Twain’s joke about "water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody." What I mean to say is, the statement is fine, as far it goes, but the real Jesus is not likely to have made such a request. Here’s why:
First, there’s no point to it. Why not? you say. Well, the world is awash, not just with NDE stories but, the “infallible” doctrines of world religious organizations, for thousands of years, making claim, to their billions of devotees, that life continues after the mortal body dies. But this message seems to fall flat and does not particularly change the world. It hasn’t yet, and it won’t. Why not? We spoke to this deficit above with the “98% certain” problem. Mere information, mere assertions that there is no death, will not calm the agnostic or atheistic mind.
We would have been much more impressed if this purported Jesus had told the NDE reporter to minimize the external teachers in one's life, “go within, access the ‘god-life’ within your own soul, and, when you do, you will discover, via Paul’s arrabon, a sense of reality concerning the eternal life that you already possess.”
If this had been the directive, we could have taken it to the bank. But what he was given was just one more external authority concerning the reality of God, life, and death. Externalities cannot help us. And that's why the Spirit Guides with Stainton Moses, referenced in the above quotations, spoke of moving on from external phenomena as evidence of God and centering upon the inner life of the soul.
The purported Jesus offered a materialistic approach to certainty of God and life, mere hearsay evidence, and this is why we doubt that he was the real deal.
The real Jesus would have spoken of “the Spirit of truth” leading us into all the ironclad certainty we need – and it won’t come from an NDE testimony; just ask any agnostic fence-sitter - they remain unconvinced when reports from the other side are offered.
Editor’s note: With a view to compare, I would direct our attention to another account from the other side. Famed psychic-medium of another era, Robert James Lees, in his channeled work, “Through The Mists” (1898), relates an incident from Summerland. Two spirit-persons were traveling to meet and serve new-arrivals who had completed their Earth mission. These new-comers were still in a stressed frame of mind from the rigors and unpleasantness of the Earth society. One of these spirit-persons, himself not long in Summerland, as they neared the ones to be helped, noticed that his outward appearance was changing:
I saw the colour gradually fading, first from the robes of my [guide], and then from my own... our clothing no longer possessed its delicate blue and pink tints, but had been changed to dark grey… “This,” [the leading guide] said, “is perhaps one of the most tender and beneficent provisions of our Father. Whoever comes to visit or minister to one of the friends located here, experiences this transformation... The object is [to] enable us to meet on apparently equal terms, by preventing them from knowing the difference in our condition [that is, our more advanced condition], and thus to enable us to give them the greater assistance [by dealing with those of a lower development without alarming them by a display of power or authority]. As you will soon discover in the case of Marie [to be helped], this one requires the most careful and sympathetic treatment… This change in our appearance, then, is but another variation of the great law of love [and service, in that, there is nothing about us to frighten or agitate the mind of a younger one, but only to calm and pacify by appearing ordinary with no gaudy or self-serving displays of power]…
As discussed in “the 500” writing, it seems that the majority of channeled works represent the ideas of those abiding in the alternate reality over there, those of a materialistic mindset.
However, in my view, the work of Robert James Lees is one of those somewhat rare productions which gets it right on many counts in his description of the next world: He understands that reincarnation and past-lives are a fraud; that Summerland society is conducted on principles of natural law; that the sacred eternal marriage (Twin Soul love) constitutes the greater part of happiness there; that there is no immediate make-over for those transitioning but that growth and development must overcome immaturities gathered during the Earth-mission. And in the above example, too, Lees understands that there is no showmanship, no overt display of power or authority, on the part of those truly advanced over there.
In the NDE just reviewed, we see a faux version of Jesus, a “stage prop” Jesus, created in the illusions of an alternate reality world. He’s presented with “lights, tinsel, and glitz,” designed to bedazzle the new-comer. And this is exactly what is not done by those authentically engaged in reaching out to new-comers. This false Jesus represents the dreams of the dysfunctional ego, strutting and impressing, wanting all to see "how powerful and wonderful I am.”
However, those who are truly advanced on the other side, cautioned the very wise Elizabeth Fry – in a tape-recorded message via Leslie Flint – never, ever give the impression of being better or superior; and, to do so, is a dead give-away that you’re dealing with a plastic-banana rock-n-roller false image of authority.
The following testimony from Summerland, a tape-recorded account, was facilitated by the direct-voice mediumship of Leslie Flint. His work was featured in the article “500 tape-recorded messages from the other side.”
this report from the other side speaks to the fears of some in our world who are never satisfied with evidence and can never be convinced
Lionel Barrymore [Hollywood film star, died November 1954]: “It is quite an effort to talk at length. I'll come and speak to you again some other time. One of the reasons I don't come back very often is that I get fed up with these people who are all the while asking to talk to 'Fanny and Charlie'. I realize you have to have proof and evidence in the beginning, but some of these people go on and on and never seem to be satisfied.'
Betty Greene, assistant to Leslie Flint: “That is what we call an Aunt Fanny session. We want something on these recordings that we can play back to people and teach them.”
Barrymore: “Well, you can play these recordings to your friends and to those who are interested, and I can say with all sincerity that, if they seek they shall truly find.”
In other words, true certainty comes when we let go of material evidence as primary means to conviction. Merely knowing, or hearing a report that can be doubted, that "Fanny and Charlie" still exist will not give you 100% freedom from fears.
Editor's last word:
At the end, after all the controversy, the only argument that convinces any of us that life continues will also address the larger question of “why should we want to live on?”
The great poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning well stated the issue:
what is it to live but to feel the life in you, all the fibres of being, passionately and joyfully
Elizabeth's love letter to Robert, March 20, 1845: “You seem to have drunken of the cup of life full, with the sun shining on it. I have lived only inwardly; or with sorrow, for a strong emotion. Before this seclusion of my illness, I was secluded still … I grew up in the country – had no social opportunities, had my heart in books and poetry…
my life, drooping toward the ground like an untrained honeysuckle
"My sympathies drooped toward the ground like an untrained honeysuckle… It was a lonely life... Books and dreams are what I lived in… And so time passes and passed – and afterwards, when my illness came, I seemed to stand at the edge of the world with all done … I turned to thinking with some bitterness that I had stood blind in the temple [of life] I was about to leave – that I had seen no Human nature, that my brothers and sisters of the earth were [mere] names to me, that I had beheld no great mountain or river, nothing in fact…
what is it to live
"I am, in a manner, as a blind poet… how willingly I would as a poet exchange some of this lumbering, ponderous, helpless knowledge of books, for some experience of life and man… What is to live? Not to eat and drink and breathe, -- but to feel the life in you, down all the fibres of being, passionately and joyfully."
In the “500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” we discussed how there are millions and millions in the next world who are trying to do away with themselves. They are not so excited about living. And why is this? – they have not experienced the God-life within; they have not, as Elizabeth proclaimed, known what it is to live, “to feel the life in you, all the fibres of being, passionately and joyfully.”
This is more than poetry, but, indeed, sustenance and breath, for without the first-hand experience of accessing the joy and wonder of God’s mind we will not survive, as put forward earlier, the “terror of eternal life.”
validation for post-mortem survival is linked to a desire for it
We were made to live and to love, and, bereft of such confluence, we will have no reason, no impetus, to continue on. And therefore validation for post-mortem survival is intertwined with a desire for it. There is a reason why Spirit Guide Margaret said that the essential life of heaven, all that makes living worth while, is to live and love with one's eternal Twin Soul mate.
we become our own best evidence
The enlightened you and me, we ourselves, in receipt of the arrabon - essentially, the joy to be alive - become our own best evidence that life is eternal; moreover, worth living.
The joyous Rose Carson, one with "soul alive and vibrant," also achieved certainty, as her own “consciousness” informed her of “this great truth.”
And this is what Kairissi meant in exclaiming, “some things are too wonderful to be untrue.”
'nothing was of any value without him'
Anne, in her darkest hour of losing the boy who loved her, the boy she had secretly loved all along, suddenly understood the meaning of life, what we stay alive for - with the ensuing existential dilemma:
Anne Of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery (1985)
“Oh, the black years of emptiness stretching before her!”
"There is a book of Revelation in every one's life, as there is in the Bible… She loved Gilbert -- had always loved him! She knew that now. She knew that she could no more cast him out of her life without agony than she could have cut off her right hand and cast it from her… If she had not been so blind -- so foolish -- she would have had the right to go to him now. But he would never know that she loved him -- he would go away from this life thinking that she did not care. Oh, the black years of emptiness stretching before her! She could not live through them -- she could not! … Nothing was of any value without him. She belonged to him and he to her. In her hour of supreme agony she had no doubt of that… Oh, what a fool she had been not to realize what the bond was that had held her to Gilbert... And now she must pay for her folly as for a crime.”
Editor’s note: Being out-of-phase with another, failing to tell the one you love just how you feel, is somewhat of a universal problem.
See the story of “the Palm Sunday Maiden,” Mary Lyttleton. She did not confess to her beloved, Arthur Balfour, who later became British Prime Minister (1902 - 1906), her truest feelings, and then, when illness suddenly took her from the Earth, she spent the next many decades, desperately, trying to get a message through to her skeptical fiance.
The following might be considered a sister-writing of the "arrabon" discussion:
The Mystical Experience: 'silence your ego and your power will rise'