exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Editor's 1-Minute Essay
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the full-color "real world"
Teachers on the other side are adamant for us to know that Summerland is a most substantial world, with no one floating on pink clouds or playing harps. They often say that their world is the full-color "real world" with ours as the pale black-and-white copy.
There, they walk on solid ground, touch solid tables, and possess solid, normal-looking bodies. Summerland is very Earth-like; in fact, it is an idealized Earth, without the social problems:
Summerland is a world of wide, foamy oceans; resort white-sandy beaches; shimmering, placid lakes, and rushing, bubbling streams; vast verdant forests, open unbounded prairies, and fortress behemoth mountains; a world of universities, study, research, and visiting lecturers; of laughing children and gurgling babies; beautiful spacious estate homes and small hide-away lake cottages, filled with artwork, tapestries, statuary, and all variety of fine things; of bucolic farms, horses, cattle, and crops; of glittering, bustling, clean cities with imposing architecture; of sweet-natured animals of every sort, including ones from your earth-life waiting to see you; of recreational activity, of sports, the arts, libraries, museums, social events, galas, music festivals, concerts, stage productions; of private sanctuaries, quiet places, restful oases, dominions of solitude when required - every good thing that one has always desired.
Summerland is Earth-like because many of our hopes and dreams will still be Earth-bound when we get there
Summerland was designed by our Advisors to address the questions and fears of hurting hearts upon their arrival in the next life. It is a place specifically crafted to "fill in the gaps," of every sort, created by the difficult Earth-experience; to help the emotionally injured of this life to move beyond a sense of loss regarding many issues.
bike-riding in Summerland
David, a psychic friend, told me of a reading he gave to one who desired to know about his father who had passed on. David was able to receive information and was told that the father was very much enjoying riding a bicycle in the New World.
This information seemed unremarkable to David, but, in any case, he offered it to the son - who found the message most comforting.
"My dad had a club foot, and as a kid he always wanted to ride a bike, but he never could. So what you're telling me about dad makes all the sense in the world to me!"
This man was riding a bike in Summerland. His boyhood loss was a most personal grief that needed healing - and he will ride that bike as long as he wants or needs to - until he's ready to ask the question, "what's next?"
To each hurting heart there awaits a particular and personally-defined sense of happiness. This is what Summerland is about.
"We are not transported to the full blaze of reality all at once."
Afterlife researcher, Michael Tymn, reports:
Sir Oliver Lodge, knighted for his pioneering work in electricity, radio, and the spark plug, pondered the situation in writing:
"I know that [Summerland's] inhabitants say it is extraordinarily like the Earth, that they have flowers, and trees and houses, and can get anything they want by merely wishing for it, which seems rather strange…”
In further discussing the matter with Raymond [his son, killed in WWI] and Frederic W. H. Myers, his old friend, who had died in 1901, and who also communicated through [psychic] Mrs. Leonard, Lodge concluded that it was a temporary environment for spirits who have recently crossed over and still making adjustments before going on to realms of higher vibration, which become less and less illusory, and more and more real, as a soul advances in the spirit world. "We are not transported to the full blaze of reality all at once."
Summerland is a place where we will grow beyond our narrow, provincial earth-attachments; like deep-sea divers needing to acclimate to surface pressures gradually, we will need to gradually adjust ourselves to what lies beyond Summerland.
I say "narrow" because there is a big universe out there: other dimensions, worlds, life forms, civilizations, of which we have no present understanding - and we'll need to expand our mental horizons in order to negotiate these new vistas.
Silver Birch: "The next stage of life to Earth is a replica of your world of matter. Were it not so, the shock for the many who are uninstructed and ignorant would be more than they could stand. And so it has to be accomplished by very easy stages. The next stage of life resembles your world. That is why so many do not know that they have passed beyond the physical."
It's a rational life. I wouldn't give this up for anything.
- an excerpt from the book Raymond by Sir Oliver Lodge
Lodge's son, Raymond, had been killed in WWI, but then communicated with his parents via psychic-mediums. The following is a message from Raymond, with the medium repeating what she hears Raymond saying:
"If you kneel down in the mud..."
Editor's note: Notice: There's real, honest mud in Summerland. See the paragraph below on gardening.
"If you kneel down in the mud, apparently you get your clothes soiled. The thing I don't understand yet is that the night doesn't follow the day here, as it did on the earth-plane. It seems to get dark sometimes, when he would like it to be dark, but the time in between light and dark is not always the same. I don't know if you think all this is a bore."
His father asks: "Do you see the stars?"
"Yes, he sees the stars. The stars seem like what they did, only he feels closer to them. Not really closer, but they look clearer; not appreciably closer, he says."
"Do you have rain?"
"Well, you can go to a place where rain is."
"He says he doesn't want to eat now. But he sees some who do; he says they have to be given something which has all the appearance of an Earth food. People here try to provide everything that is wanted…
"He wants people to realise that [life there is] just as natural as on the Earth-plane."
Raymond, at one point, in a playful mood, a reference to his new home, gave his name as "SummerLodge!" And then, not satisfied with this corny joke, came up with "Summer R. Lodge."
"He does so want to encourage people to look forward to a life they will certainly have to enter upon, and realise that it is a rational life...
"Would you think it selfish if I say I wouldn't like to be back now? I wouldn't give this up for anything. Don't think it selfish, or that I want to be away from you all. I have still got you, because I feel you so close, closer even. I wouldn't come back [though], I wouldn't for anything that anyone could give me." ...
"We are in touch with a world of reality because we are in the outer rim of the world of illusion," he explained to his father. "We're more sure of the world of reality than you are. Father, the Spirit universe is the world of reality. Spirit and mind both belong to the world of reality."
Editor’s note: I like nice summer days, who doesn't, and we’ll have plenty of that over there, but I once worried a bit, “what if I Iike some other climate?” Well, for example, as Raymond said, if you want a warm summer rain, you can go to where there is rain. And guess what? If you have your heart set (as I do) on being “snowed in” at some hide-away mountain cabin, you can go to where they have that, too. They have everything in Summerland.
not everyone lives in a country property with flower gardens
In Summerland we live in an environment that's familiar to us.
A South-Sea Islander would want to live in a tropical setting by the ocean; an Aboriginal Bushman might want to sit around a campfire and enjoy his "happy hunting grounds." Father Benson is English and his neighborhood reflects his culture with quaint cottages and small farms.
I said that we'll live in an environment that's familiar to us - or not. If we're of a mind to, we can transcend the inculcated culturally-familiar and do our own thing.
Editor's note: How about a comfortably furnished, quality-built tree-house, high above the Amazon rain forest in "the canopy," with its unique flora and fauna? I saw a nature-show decades ago on this, and I've never gotten over the wonderful images. Keep in mind, too, that you can have a get-away like this, even if you go there only a few times a year. You can have and do what you like.
We can live, or visit, wherever we want, among different peoples, and even have more than one property - or none at all, as some "free spirits" don't feel the need to have a dwelling. It's whatever suits the fancy.
most people look twenty-something in Summerland
Those who spend some time in "detention" do not immediately recapture a look of prime vitality and youthfulness. They will do so when they choose to be true to themselves. Appearing "young and beautiful" is a kind of perk of advancing spirituality.
In Summerland, children who pass over grow up and meet their prime young-adult appearance; those who die as seniors on Earth gradually "regress" to an ideal youngish form. But we get to decide how we want to present ourselves. You could choose age 17 or 47, it's up to you.
Actually, as we progress, and come into our latent powers, we'll have the ability to readily manifest as any age. Recall from the "holodeck" writing that people on the "super-dimensional level" have the option of appearing as children.
if you like gardening, you’ll be able to feel the soil on your hands, even under your nails
The following testimony, from a fallen soldier of World War I in Summerland, was sent to his mother via psychic-medium (from “Claude’s Book”).
you can plan an addition to your house, with double-doors, different styles of windows that might be mullioned with a colored-glass transom
Father Benson speaks of adding a meeting-room to his house where his workmates can discuss service projects. His description of building-plans sounds very normal and ordinary. (from "Life In The World Unseen, Book II")
"The new chamber was to be longer than it was broad, and rectangular... There would be windows upon three sides, and double doors at each end, one pair of which would afford entrance from the main building, and the farther pair would lead directly into the gardens so that whichever way we happened to glance we should see the trees and the flowers and the lawns beyond. The windows themselves were to be mullioned, with some colored glass introduced at the top."
religious organizations still operate in Summerland, but not in the "better neighborhoods"
Those faithful to a particular creed or faith might continue in familiar forms of worship, led by clergy of old. However, no group is allowed to proselytize, preach, or interfere with Summerland society at-large. They must keep their religion to themselves with a segregated mode of living.
Summerland society, in the main, as the phrase is used, is "spiritual, not religious," humanistic, with an emphasis on education and personal development. Religion -- not spirituality, which is much different -- is viewed as something afflicting the less-developed, something to "grow out of" before one might advance as a soul. The party-faithful, however, will continue in the old ways, meeting as they always did, until, one by one, each comes to realize the futility and inefficacy of the old doctrines.
Father Benson, and many other former clergy, work to help religious new-arrivals understand that the "real life" has no place for superstitious and fear-based thinking. (see extensive discussion on this topic elsewhere on the Word Gems site)
Brother John of Glastonbury: "Our world is not an extension of the Church."
The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by Brother John of Glastonbury (1393-1464 CE), a former monk during his Earth-life.
The following is from the January 12, 1966 recording:
Brother John states, in the course of his service-work, he frequently has to make trips to our troubled world. It's not pleasant for him to come here; no surprise there. He comments on the environment of Summerland, to the effect:
"Our world is not an extension of the church -- that's over. We don't live our lives continually praying and singing hymns. There is no 'great throne' with a visible deity to whom constant obeisance is offered -- that's nonsense. Our world is an extension of your world, but with greater vision. Here, we have real work and real lives that give us joy and meaningful existence."
instant transportation of oneself, with the quickness of thought
Father Benson says that sometimes friends just walk together in the countryside, just for the fun of it; but, most times, people in Summerland, by the power of thought, simply project themselves, instantaneously, to wherever they want to go.
we wear the clothes we like and feel good in, whatever makes us happy and comfortable
The following testimony, from a fallen soldier of World War I in Summerland, was sent to his mother via psychic-medium (from “Claude’s Book”).
Those who wear white robes, along with those who continue as church-goers, are the religious traditionalists. But, in Summerland, no matter what you've heard from certain unbalanced factions, there is no de rigueur dress-code supporting white-robe fashion. You might mention this to the Nice Young Man at Church.
Dressing one’s age loses meaning entirely in Summerland where people present themselves at their age of choice.
Instead of one’s apparel issuing as age-appropriate, how we dress over there will, or should, reflect our inner life-force, the hidden soul’s individualized sense of artistry and joie de vivre, a visual and colorized hint-of-manifestation of one’s particularized definitions of “truth, goodness, and beauty.”
Concerning “favorite age,” this will sound strange but, my inner person has already decided, and I get no say in it. In unguarded moments, I naturally image myself as nearly 18. It’s the spring of 1969 again. But this is not a happy time for me. It becomes evident, like the song about the Grandfather’s Clock that would not chime again, my internal chronometer shut down at that time and turned to stone. As such, I always see myself as nearly 18, the protestations of this present aged body of 70, notwithstanding. Clearly, at least to myself, I have much unfinished business, left behind, at age 17.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that, in Summerland, my typical casual wear will be summer shorts, running shoes, and sport top. I like a sense of “ready for action.” I wear no jewelry, my hair is cut short, I allow no encumbrances for my person. I like intellectual things, but with a sporty touch.
Editor’s note: Yes, I know, many are tempted to say that all this sounds like a fairy-tale; however, this a priori judgment comes as a result of listening to the Nice Young Man at Church; truth is, the materialistic and/or religious view is the fairy-tale.
Father Benson asked an architect to draw the plans for his new addition. On the architect’s work-table were very ordinary things, like sheets of paper and different kinds of pens and pencils
(From "Life In The World Unseen, Book II")
"The Architect took us into his workroom, and we seated ourselves round a table upon which were large sheets of paper and a variety of drawing instruments. Rather diffidently, I drew out our crude sketch, which certainly appeared more like a child's scrawl in the presence of so many skillfully drawn plans and designs... He laughed at our hesitancy and complimented us by telling us that on many occasions he did not have even the roughest scratchings on paper, and relied upon what he knew his enquirer wanted."
our bodies, in Summerland, can still enjoy food, drink, and erotic love
We won't need to eat or drink in order to sustain ourselves; but, at times, people do indulge just for the enjoyment. Further, some people study gourmet cooking, because that's what they always wanted to do, and there's no reason why they should not.
We don't need to sleep, either, although we can, if we choose to. And lovers can make love as they want to do. And regarding sleep, if lovers sorrow over the fact that on Earth they didn't have the chance to sleep together, they can experience real sleep, sleeping together -- just for the pleasure of waking up together.
I can't breathe, I cannot be, until you're resting here, with me
"I didn't hear you leave, I wonder how am I still here, and I don't want to move a thing, it might change my memory, Oh I am what I am, I'll do what I want, but I can't hide, and I won't go, I won't sleep, I can't breathe, I cannot be, until you're resting here, with me..." Dido
Nothing is lost, no good thing is forfeited, by residence in Summerland -- you can do everything there; in fact, a great many new pleasures might be added. They don't call it the "real world" for nothing. We get confused on this and think that Earth is the place for the real fun. Not true. (See extensive discussion in the "holodeck" article.)
Summerland, or one of the subsequent even-better worlds, is where you will find your Twin Soul
Charlotte Dresser, Life Here And Hereafter (1927): channeled from the other side:
"We see many who come here who had thought they had made an alliance which would last forever, who had no real conception of such happiness. [The true romance] is felt only once by anyone, and can never be mistaken when it really comes. I have watched the growth of several such [true] attractions here, and I realize that the earth-life seldom encounters the real thing... married people [from the earth-plane, when they arrive here] drift apart as they learn the true laws governing such matings."
Editor's note: Dresser's comment about "only once" corresponds to Silver Birch's "happens only once, whether in this world or the next."
Spirit Guide Margaret says that the chief element of happiness in Summerland is that of sharing life with your eternal romantic Twin-Soul mate
See her very wise and eloquent advice about eternal romance, the real marriage, in Eliza Duffey's book.
Are there oceans in Summerland? - subtitled, would you like to live on a houseboat?
from Father Benson's "Life In The World Unseen, Book I"
Ruth asked Edwin a question… Was there a sea somewhere? If there were lakes and streams, then, perhaps there was an ocean? Edwin’s answer filled her with joy: Of course, there was a seaside — and a very beautiful one, too! Ruth insisted upon being conducted there at once… [We transported ourselves to the] edge of the grassland, and then the most glorious panorama of ocean spread out before us. The view was simply magnificent. Never had I expected to behold such sea. Its coloring was the most perfect reflection of the blue of the sky above, but in addition it reflected a myriad rainbow tints in every little wavelet… [And there] were the most beautiful boats… I wondered who could own these fine vessels, and Edwin told us that we could own one ourselves if we so wished.
Many of the owners lived upon them, having no other home but their boat… Edwin [who was friends with one of the boat owners] sent a message across to the owner, and in reply received an instantaneous invitation to us all. We therefore wasted no time, and we found ourselves upon the deck of this most handsome vessel, being greeted with great good cheer by our host, who immediately took us off to present us to his wife...
the tropical birds, in their own way, on their own island of safety and peace, enjoying their own eternal life
from Father Benson's "Life In The World Unseen, Book I":
Edwin, Ruth, and Robert, with their hosts, take the boat out for a short cruise. They decide to explore a nearby island.
Editor's special note: I must admit, the following scene concerning the tropical birds I find to be one of the most moving in all of Benson’s reports. The image of these joyous birds, God’s creatures, “enjoying their own eternal life,” fills the soul with peace and wonder.
plumage as riot of color
We had by now approached sufficiently near to the island be able to view it quite well, and the boat turned in her course and followed the coastline. After continuing along in this fashion for a little while, we sailed into a small bay which formed a picturesque natural harbor. The island certainly came up to our expectations in its scenic beauty.
There were not many dwellings upon it; those that were to be seen were more summerhouses than anything else. But the great feature of the place … we could see scores of the most wonderful birds, whose plumage presented a riot of color. Some of the birds were flying about, others—the larger variety—were walking majestically along the ground. But all of them were unafraid of us. They walked with us as we strolled along, and when we held up our hands, some small bird would be sure to perch upon our fingers. They seemed to know us, to know that any harm coming to them was an utter impossibility.
enjoying their own eternal life
They did not require to make a constant search for food nor exercise a perpetual vigilance against what on Earth would be their natural enemies. They were, like ourselves, part of the eternal world of spirit, enjoying in their way, as we do in ours, their eternal life.
Their very existence was just another of those thousands of things that are given to us for our delight… it was [the birds’] trusting friendliness that was so delightful by comparison with the earthly birds… Here we were part of the same free world, and the understanding between the birds and ourselves was reciprocal. When we spoke to them we felt that they knew just what we were saying, and in some subtle way we seemed to know just what their thoughts were. To call to any particular bird meant that that bird understood, and it came to us. The perfect blaze of color from all the birds we could see about us was almost too much for us to take in at one visit. They were beyond description, and I shall not even attempt it.
an absolute enchanted fairyland of nature
We strolled on through delightful groves … as in an absolute fairyland of nature. We met people on the way, who called a greeting to us, or waved their hands. They were all happy among the birds. We were told that this part of the island was exclusive to the birds, and that no other form of animal life intruded upon them. Not that there was any fear or danger that they would come to harm, because that would be impossible, but because the birds were happier with their own kind.
upon arrival in Summerland, we are the same in our thoughts and views; there is no instant make-over, such that you would not recognize yourself
It's been said - with great insight - that if we were suddenly jerked into some kind of higher state, then survival of consciousness would not occur. We wouldn't recognize ourselves.
Our development as souls is a slow evolutionary process. For better or worse, whatever we are on our deathbeds is what we shall be at the start of our new lives in Summerland. The good news is that we can grow and change and reach the highest heights of development.
in Summerland, gone are the days of the vacuous celebrity culture; everyone is approachable there, willing to share what one has learned; everyone just wants to be friends and neighbors
The following testimony, from Summerland, from a fallen soldier in World War I, was sent to his mother via psychic-medium (from “Claude’s Book”).
You can talk to anyone in Summerland, including the so-called great of the Earth (but not in a spirit of "hero worship," which would either annoy or damage both parties); and if you have a special project, you can request a meeting even with expert Spirit-Guides, many thousands of years old, who stand ready to serve you with their advanced knowledge.
The most important item in Claude's comment here is that we shall all, so thoroughly, enjoy simply becoming brothers and sisters together in a "community of friendship."
a world wherein one experiences complete safety and security, a total sense of shelter and refuge from all that is boorish, obnoxious, and of poor taste; privacy when you want it, quietude when you need it, with no threats, of any kind, from vicious, hostile, or unkind people
Think of the coarse and crass people in politics today - we shall be rescued from, what Hayek called, "the worst who get on top."
Recently, I was explaining Summerland society to a lady. She breathed a sigh of relief and said, “What I look forward to most of all over there is just to be away from rude and crazy people.” Amen. Father Benson, too, is on record to comment that no longer will we find ourselves beset by those who are “annoying” -- and a great deal worse than annoying -- and ego-driven.
Editor's note: Later, after we get ourselves settled over there, we might choose to work with the undeveloped who mill about in the Shadowlands. But, at that time, when we interact with the "ego-insane," it will be on our own terms, on a strategic and limited basis, and we won't have to live cheek-by-jowl, unable to escape them, in the "asylum," anymore. Gone will be the days of the side-by-side "wheat and tares," as per Jesus' parable. A time would come, he said, when we'd finally be separated from the Mad Hatters and the March Hares -- "Oh, what is the hatter with you? You used to be muchier."
mad as a box of frogs
Mad Hatter: What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it.
Mad Hatter: You used to be ..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.
Mad Hatter: No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.
Mad Hatter: What is the hatter with me?
Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?
Alice: Well, I haven't had any yet, so I can't very well take more.
March Hare: Ah, you mean you can't very well take less.
Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing.
March Hare: Then you should say what you mean.
Alice: I do, at least I mean what I say, that's the same thing, you know.
Mad Hatter: Not the same thing a bit! You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!
Oh, what is the hatter with you?
why summerland cannot be invaded
How does this work? Why will we be safe from all forms of invasion? Will and Ariel Durant's view of history is that of a very long chronicle of groups of people violently robbing other groups. Why won’t this happen over there? Why don’t the millions or billions of warped spirits in the Dark Realms mount an attack, as did Hitler’s forces against Poland on September 1, 1939? Why not?
It doesn’t work that way anymore. Nobody in Summerland could ever be invaded or bullied or even insulted. But what’s to stop uncivil people from marching into Summerland? There are no walls or customs officers at the borders; in fact, there are no borders to be seen.
Father Benson talks about his missionary visits to the Dark Realms. To get there, he and his friends simply walk in a certain direction. As they do, they notice the scenery changing: the grass begins to look brown and scraggly; barren rocks now dot the landscape; a certain sewer-smell begins to pervade. Welcome to the Dark Realms, have a nice day at the spa.
But, as we’ve queried, why don’t the sordid denizens of the Shadowlands simply walk out of their squalor and move into the pleasant Summerland? It's not that way anymore.
Editor's note: As we learn from Father Benson, some of those in "the rat cellar" don't even believe that Summerland exists! They think "this is all there is," and that the missionary Guides are there to deceive them! How incredibly strange! There's skepticism in the "insane asylum," in those dark places, just as in our world.
The issue is one of vibrational essence. Those of “low vibration,” which equates to a selfish spirit, if they attempted to cross over the line into Summerland, would experience a sense of shattering. It would feel like they couldn’t breathe, a coming apart at the seams. Read about this in the “Crystalline Entity” article.
No negative dark force, from anywhere in the universe, can take one step into Summerland without experiencing a feeling of being ripped apart. Their energies would be out-of-phase with the positive spirit of Summerland.
Editor's note: By the way - all this becomes evidence against the myth of Satan and his armies invading heaven. There is no Satan with armies, there never was a rebellion, there is no consummate embodiment of evil, no superhero-villain, in the universe, that's not even possible; there is no "lake of fire"; and, in any case, the Bible, which gives life to a "Satan," cannot be trusted as an infallible guide. All this acknowledged, if there were some sort of Satan-invasion, it would never get passed the "border," as the malcontents would be ripped apart by the disparity in vibrational essence.
And so, it’s good news for those who just want a quiet and peaceful life, who’re all done with Earth’s poisonous spirit of “I need more and more, and I will kill you to get it.” That’s over; at least, it's over for those who have a Summerland zip code. Others will have some “overdue homework to hand in," in the "rat cellar," before they get to live in Ringo's "Octopus's Garden."
oh, what joy, for every girl and boy, knowing we're happy and we're safe
I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade, he'd let us in, knows where we've been, in his octopus's garden in the shade, I'd ask my friends to come and see, an octopus's garden with me, I'd like to be under the sea, in an octopus's garden in the shade, we would be warm below the storm in our little hideaway beneath the waves, restin' our head on the sea bed in an octopus's garden near a cave, we would sing and dance around because we know we can't be found, I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade, we would shout and swim about the coral that lies beneath the waves lies beneath the ocean waves, oh, what joy, for every girl and boy, knowing we're happy and we're safe, we would be so happy you and me, no one there to tell us what to do, I'd like to be under the sea, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you...
Editor’s note: What a great song by Ringo. All this expresses a very deep universal yearning. Notice why the octopus lets us in – “he knows where we’ve been.” Life on planet Earth, as I’m wont to express, is more or less a disaster for everyone, but this old world is good for one thing: it's great for aversion therapy. The suffering here, for sure, will make believers out of us to appreciate a better world -- “he knows where we’ve been.”
There will be those who'll say that all this talk of Summerland sounds like a fairy tale. Yes, I understand. It’s a far cry from life down here in the trenches. But we will discover that this Earth-world, this illusion-world and dream-world, is the fairy tale, with the life to come, as they call it over there, as “the real world.”
entertainment, recreation, and cultural events of every sort
Father Benson informs us that many of the great music composers are still at work, producing new art forms in Summerland. From Benson's comment we can extrapolate, with a good deal of confidence, to say that many artists, singers, and stage performers will still be offering their services in the coming world.
It would need to be that way; for both parties. Many of the performers, caught in the "celebrity" mindset, lived selfish, indulgent lives while on Earth; and many "common" people lacked the enabling means to attend concerts or the like while trying to make a living "down here in the trenches."
Summerland is a place where we'll do the things we always wanted to do but were denied - and some of this fulfillment would entail taking in great artistic performances. The artists, too, will desire to provide this service, as this will be part of their work, part of their own journey toward spiritual advancement.
Again, in Summerland there is no celebrity culture, no "worshipping of the stars." That's all in the past. People are much more aware of such egoism over there, and it doesn't exist. Those for whom it might still be a problem do not yet live in Summerland, but will be spending some time in a dark place, learning what's truly important before they can join the "real world."
Editor’s note: In an interview published on June 3, 2005, Mike Tyson, with great candidness and honesty, offered: "My whole life has been a waste – I've been a failure." The famous athlete continued: "I just want to escape. I'm really embarrassed with myself and my life. I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity without letting people know they chased me out of the country. I want to get this part of my life over as soon as possible. In this country nothing good is going to come of me. People put me so high; I wanted to tear that image down." Summerland will be a fresh start for everyone, even for the so-called “stars” of our world. How refreshing and satisfying to be viewed simply as a human being, just like anyone else, just brothers and sisters. All the very best to Mike, and to all of us.
"no one there to tell us what to do"
During the first half of my life, I belonged to two churches, both of which, I now realize, from my white-hair perspective, were cults.
And when they talked about the afterlife, they wanted you to know for sure that they, the Church elite, would be running things over there, and in a high-handed and steel-gloved manner. Well, we can hardly wait.
Eventually, I would learn that this proudful puffing was just empty power-and-control propaganda. The reality is altogether different. Not only is there no “churchy” society over there, with rules and laws all over the place, it’s a world of very few rules of any kind; no ostensible government.
There are no policemen; no angels with flaming swords; no frowning and stern judges, no legalistic courts; no fines, no penalties, no condemnation, no "white throne" judgment.
In fact, there is so much personal freedom in Summerland that – and here I will surely be misunderstood and accused of antinomianism, of supporting anarchy – one could say that it’s “a Wild West” of personal freedom over there. But I mean this in a good way. I don’t mean there’s chaos with no respect for decency and propriety. It’s not that way at all.
Then what? How does it work? If you’d like a biblical answer, the apostle Paul gave it to us in Galatians: concerning those who live in the spirit, “against such there is no law.”
Brother John of Glastonbury:
"Everything here is law-and-order; and yet one is hardly conscious of the order or the law. We are ruled but are not conscious of the ruling."
The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by Brother John of Glastonbury (1393-1464 AD), a former monk during his Earth-life.
The following is from the June 3, 1970 recording:
"Everything here is law-and-order; and yet one is hardly conscious of the order or the law. This may sound odd or strange but, what I’m trying to say is, though we are ruled, we are not conscious of the ruling, inasmuch as there is no one person who orders or instructs, in that sense… There are many souls who ‘organize,’ and yet the ‘organization' is such that it seems the most natural thing… There is nothing here that mars or jars. Everything here falls gently, peacefully, harmoniously, into place. It is as if you begin to see, gradually, the jig-saw puzzle of life coming into a clearer picture.”
Editor’s note: Brother John offers one of the very best short descriptions of the laissez-faire approach to regulation and government in Summerland. People follow their own inner passions and directives, their own Jeffersonian personalized “pursuit of happiness,” with very little external-authority guidance (unless they ask for advice from a Spirit Guide). And this is why it’s so important to cultivate one’s sense of the “true self.” And, concerning those who “organize,” see our friend Elizabeth Fry’s testimony.
We’ve mentioned (above) the “Crystalline Entity Principle.” You don’t have to be a saint (see below) to get into Summerland, but you do need a willing and yearning heart to live a good life. That’s the entrance ticket.
All those who live in Summerland would never insult you, never be rude to you, steal from you, be obnoxious or boorish, and the like – these immature would find it uncomfortable living in Summerland; as such, those who still believe in “me against all” and “I need more and more, at your expense” are busy “finishing their overdue homework” in the Shadowlands.
In Summerland, that veritable “octopus’s garden,” we find “no one there to tell us what to do.” It’s not necessary. Our own inner, deepest person will instruct us on a moment-by-moment basis. And so we won’t need a policeman because our own spirits police the heart and mind.
We’ll be free, totally free, no restrictions, in a perfected “Wild West” way, to pursue our own particular definitions of happiness, just as Jefferson, in the “Declaration,” envisioned the perfect society.
oh, what joy, for every girl and boy, no one there to tell us what to do
we'd sing and dance around, because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you...
Editor's note: also see my article on "authority."
each of us is the center of the universe's life and purpose; each of us is the center of God's undivided affection
from the book, “The Power Of Myth,”
a discussion with Dr. Joseph Campbell
Campbell: The shaman is a person, male or female, who has an overwhelming psychological experience that turns him totally inward [that is, to a realization of inner mystical energies; which all persons possess, but few are in tune with]. The whole unconscious opens up, and the shaman falls into it. Descriptions of this shaman experience are found all the way from Siberia right through the Americas down to Tierra del Fuego.
Bill Moyers: There’s a sense of ecstasy, isn’t there, in this experience?
Campbell: As reported, it’s always of ecstasy… [This breakthrough can happen, unexpectedly, to anyone. When] it comes… bang! - it’s like that.
Moyers: And the one who had this psychological experience, this traumatic experience, this ecstasy, would become the interpreter for others of things not seen.
Campbell: … yes.
Editor's note: Eventually, each one of us will have this "shamanistic" experience; each one of us will yet experience "consciousness opening up," and each one of us will yet become an interpreter of spiritual mysteries. There are no elites in the universe, and God will yet teach you as much as any "advanced" person. And then you will speak with Jesus, "but I say to you..."
Moyers: And what draws him into that?
Campbell: The best example I know which might help to answer that is the experience of Black Elk. [He] was a young Sioux boy around the age of nine [who became very ill]. Well, what happened with this young boy was that he had a prophetic vision of the terrible future of his tribe [the coming wide scale slaughter and displacement. But he also saw a future beyond that of peace and harmony among all peoples and nations.]
[Black Elk’s dramatic vision] comes to one great statement, which, for me, is a key statement to the understanding of myth and symbols. He says, “I saw myself on the central mountain of the world, the highest place… But the central mountain is everywhere.”
The “center of the world” is the axis mundi, the central point, the pole around which all revolves… where stillness and movement are together… [and] stillness is eternity… And the center, Bill, is right where you’re sitting. And [it’s] right where I’m sitting. And each one of us is a manifestation of the mystery…
Moyers: So, it’s a metaphor, an image of reality.
Campbell: Yes. What you have here [could] be translated into raw [selfish] individualism, you see, if you didn’t realize that the center was also right there facing you in the other person… You are the central mountain, and the central mountain is everywhere.
Editor’s note: Summerland is a world where individual preference, individual definition of pleasure, individual goals and endeavor, will reign supreme.
This does not mean that people there do not voluntarily donate time to serve the disadvantaged; but, in the main, we live our lives in Summerland directed by a Jeffersonian “pursuit of happiness.” Gone will be the cultish collective-ego institutions ruling our lives, dealing with us as pawns and playthings.
Summerland is where Black Elk’s vision comes to full flower: Each one of us, individually, is the “central mountain,” the central focus, of God’s purpose and affection.
Father Benson lives near a university town
This appeals to me. Imagine being able to learn music composition or mathematics or painting from a true master in the field. This is what's possible at, what Father Benson calls, the "halls of learning." Brother John (above) also speaks of these universities.
Editor's note: For some years I’ve wanted to study painting. I envision what I call a “great ideas gallery,” a series of symbolical and abstract representations of the best wisdom. It seems that I will not be able to create any of this at the moment but will await opportunity in Summerland.
Some of these master teachers were famous in their work here on Earth. But, as we said, there is no celebrity culture over there and you can talk to whomever you need to.
You will choose to live and work in a setting that suits your particular personality; for myself, I can think of nothing better than futuristic learning-community campus, combined with bucolic small-farm retreat.
Concerning my coming small farm over there, while I do not envision oxen pulling carts around the barnyard, I'll prefer my farm sanctuary to be a on the “low tech” side. With my studies in physics, mathematics, and chemistry, along with exploration of civilizations and natural wonders across the universe, there will be stimulus and excitement enough. My farm as private, quiet oasis will represent a lost boyhood environment, an unchanging venue of familiar animals, lake, field, and meadow, where I’ll be able to connect and center myself with all that’s sacred to me.
Editor’s note: The above Jetson-like conception of a city is probably not exactly the way it is over there (although, in some sectors, it could be). The following testimony was offered by one of the other-side dwellers via Leslie Flint:
"a city built in a garden"
"I live in what might be called a city, but it's a city built in a garden, a garden so vast that it cannot be described in terms of space. There are rippling streams, trees and flowers, and many different kinds of buildings with all sorts of architecture. Some of the buildings have a pearl shell-like color. The houses are decorated with beautiful furnishings according to private tastes, an expression of the inner person, the soul. Quite unlike what we had on Earth, these cities have no noise or dirt, and are well planned.”
in the spirit world, the truth ‘is the only important thing, and the search after it is the principle and most fascinating occupation’
In his investigations of famous psychic-mediums, Michael Tymn reports that other-side entities were asked the question, why do spirit-persons sometimes produce “carnival” effects such as lights, object levitation, rappings and the like. The answer was given that “these are the means best adapted to reach the materialist,” but such sensationalism was grudgingly allowed and not of primary interest to those in the astral realms.
Rather, it is the intent of spirit persons “to convince the world of the existence of the invisible universe, in which and by which alone all things subsist… To the spirit world, Truth is [like] an actual entity, and it is the only important thing, and the search after it is the principle and most fascinating occupation of spirits. Truth is not measured, as to its value, by the same criteria as men measure it; that is, not by money utility, but by its ability to make spirits and men more happy by adding to their means of enjoyment.”
It should be noted that the next dimensions are inhabited by people of all sorts of mental disposition, not all of which is noble or commendable. The desire to make known the higher elements of the spirit world would be shared only by more advanced persons. Nevertheless, in the above quotation we see what the healthy mind inclines toward.
Father Benson informs us that many in Summerland study music and chemistry for the particular enjoyment that these might provide; however, he went on to say that music and chemistry are also chosen as favorites in that these subjects provide special insight into the nature of things, that is, the Truth.
A final comment about "celebrities": the words of Jesus come to life in Summerland with, "He that is first shall be last, and he that is last shall be first." If you've led an upright and commendable life during your Earth-time, you might find yourself highly honored in Summerland, with the once-famous now wanting to talk to you for advice concerning what really matters.
Marilyn Monroe: “I’m terribly grateful for everything that’s happened... but, you do miss, sometimes, just being able to be completely yourself, [to be] some place [with] people [who] just know you as another human being.”
For all of her fame, Marilyn became an unhappy person, a prisoner of her own so-called "success." Hounded by an exploiting press and a fickle public, feeling compelled to present herself as she was not, Marilyn yearned for a new start, a new life, to live simply and authentically, in community with others who accepted her as just "another human being." Marlon Brando, too, grew to despise the public limelight and realized it had corrupted him. See his posthumously published DVD, his sometimes bitter comments in, “Listen To Me, Marlon.”
Bobby Tracey, a five year-old, talks about his life in Summerland: "We have nice chairs and carpets."
The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by a young boy, Bobby Tracey. I offer it here for many reasons but mainly for a small "ordinary" detail about his life there: they have "nice chairs and carpets" in Summerland -- with no floating on pink clouds.
This little fellow informs us that he goes to school, plays games, learns geography and history. Bobby lives with his mom (no longer on the Earth). He says he doesn't know how he died, how he got there, but he has a lot of friends now, and he plays cricket, has a nice garden, and likes to play with his animals, a dog, a cat, and a horse.
"I'm a very good boy," he beams, "everyone tells me." He would have us know that he wears short trousers, swims in a river, and a nice man takes him and other children for rides on a boat. They all go to an island for fun.
And Bobby is learning how to draw. And he knows that his dad, still on Earth, “has another lady” now. His one protest, however, is that "they won't let me have soldier toys."
Bobby says he wants to be a school teacher when he grows up. “Everybody is kind here,” and "you can help people better on this side, and you'll be young over here," too. And, oh, yes, "sometimes I eat an apple," he just wanted us know. [smile]
children in Summerland are not little saints running around with halos; kids are still kids, and need guidance as they did on Earth
You may have noticed little Bobby’s complaint - "they won't let me have soldier toys." With this, we discern that children in the astral realms are not only taught, but still require teaching, that a glorification of war and violence is not a good way of thinking or playing. In the article on “Evil” we discussed how immature minds are impressed with brute force.
War, in our world, is a harsh necessity at times, because there are many insane people on the planet who would kill you as easily as look at you, if they could get away with it. Some of these wayward live on the lowest levels of consciousness and cannot be reasoned with. It’s serious business. And immature children require a guiding influence instructing that spilling the blood of an enemy is not to be hubristically enacted in play. It's not fun, little Johnny.
Chief Black Hawk warns us that the thrill of the buffalo hunt just isn’t the same in Summerland
Wikipedia: Chief “Black Hawk (1767 – 1838) was a … leader and warrior of the Sauk American Indian tribe… Although he had inherited an important historic sacred bundle from his father, he was not a hereditary civil chief. Black Hawk earned his status as a war chief … by his actions: leading raiding and war parties as a young man, and a band of Sauk warriors during the Black Hawk War of 1832 [at age 65].”
The following other-side testimony is from CD #8 of the Spirit-Guide Abu taped-lecture series.
I always like the way Chief Black Hawk makes entrance to the teaching sessions: "Greetings white brother and white sister." In his humble salutation, we are stung with remorse in realization of all that we lost by not honoring the rights of the Native Americans.
From time to time, Black Hawk made guest appearances in a forum led by Guide Abu. On one occasion he answered a question about how people live their daily lives in Summerland. He begins by referencing his own people:
hunt-shoot-kill buffalo, no use
Young brave [as new-arrival in Summerland has] no desire to develop spiritual quality. Red man has habit on Earth to hunt and chase buffalo; to fight; to worship – in Earth way. Red man [crossing over to] spirit world, for a little while, has plenty buffalo, has plenty bow and arrow – buffalo fall dead, first shot. Very good hunter. Very pleased with self – for a while. Not [interested in] developing spiritual quality, merely bring over Earth habit. Young brave, young squaw ... [will] do in spirit [world] ... in [the] beginning, what you like, in Earthly sense – to travel, to visit, to see Earth sites … a little later, whole attitude begin to change. Hunt-shoot-kill buffalo gone, no use. All [desires in Summerland] come, as you wish. The spirit of Red man, White man, [it] matters not, is not content, has everything [he wants], too easy. Wait for a little while, perhaps, a few Earth years, in [this] magic world, you call – the modern phrase – a world of “wish fulfillment.” It’s not illusion. It’s happening [to] spirit [in Summerland]. But, after a while, spirit [persons] realize, “too easy.” And slowly the desire to do Earth things begins to fade. At the same time, [the human] spirit becomes more and more aware of [surrounding] spirit conditions, of other spirit dwellers, of need for service, for loving [good works] – on spirit plane, on Earth plane, below Earth plane [i.e., the Dark Realms] – you, my brother, will know [to] aid and help those in trouble and difficulty. And so, the mind of [a new arrival in Summerland] slowly, gradually turns toward loving, helping, useful work; which, in the doing, will raise spirit vibrations; so that the [new arrival] upon spirit planes shall turn attention in such direction [to good works] and not consider solely self… Those on lower levels need a helping hand to climb out. But, it’s not all work [in Summerland]; plenty time play, plenty time enjoy, plenty time learn – so much all the time to learn…
you can't earn your spirituality like working for a merit badge or a good grade on a test
[and in all this learning, we become spiritually minded and advance; however -- and here Spirit-Guide Abu will] support Black Hawk – not by saying, “now I go to hard work and endeavor to climb the ladder [of spiritual advancement] very quickly.” [Anyone who tries this way to evolvement, by human effort alone,] will not achieve [spiritual success]. Spirit world is not like Earth world [of competition and mere effort, where you] can take a book, and study, and remember, and [exclaim] at examination, “I have learned this, I have learned that,” and now earn a medal and a “big mark” and succeed in Earth terms. Not so in spirit, not so. Not by effort will spiritual qualities be developed… [you] cannot “pass examination” to [advance yourself].
Chief Black Hawk, now on the other side for nearly 200 years, explains the normal “growing pains” of a typical new resident of Summerland. In the beginning, if we know nothing about how things work over there, we will try to create what we knew on Earth; and no one will stop us. If we felt macho on a buffalo hunt, then we can try to do that again – until it doesn’t work for us anymore. See the discussion in the "Prometheus" book on primitive peoples in Summerland who eventually leave their campfires.
Disillusionment with traditional modes of living is meant to lead us to higher, broader planes of thought. However, some get stuck on lower levels. For them, a sense of discontentment, which should be mere passing phase, as the Chief suggests, settles in as a hardened way of looking at life. In this dysfunctional state, nothing is ever enough, and people want "more and more" – this is the pathological frame of mind suffered by the “insane 500."
Effort is required to grow spiritually, but it's more like "relaxing into" the advancement. But, as Black Hawk advises, it is not the effort per se that advances us. We already have the life within, and so there’s no need to huff-and-puff our way toward acquiring it. We just have to learn to open our eyes to what we were given. Please review the three articles on the nature of spirituality for further discussion.
Educational programs for children in Summerland reflect highest-level pedagogical philosophy, far superseding that of the Earth.
All of this is a very large subject and can only be mentioned in briefest outline. I begin to speak of some of this on the “Reading” page.
So much of so-called education in our world does more harm than good. There’s too much emphasis on memory work and reciting the “right answer,” and too little concern for encouraging a love of learning, creativity, and clear thinking. After experiencing the stultifying gauntlet of our schools, most students swear-off reading and studying for the remainder of their lives, having been forever inoculated against academic enquiry.
all men by nature desire to know
I say “so-called education” because the word “education,” far from inculcation, literally means “to draw out,” that is, from the depths of one’s inner person, a natural love of investigating the mysteries of life and the universe. As Aristotle said, there is much pleasure in the pursuit of knowledge. Consider his opening statement in his Metaphysics:
“All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in the senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves.”
But who thinks of such high-mindedness in most politicized schools today where preparing for the next standardized test is what’s most important.
Again, all of this is a very large subject, and I would direct you to a lengthy discourse on educational systems in Summerland to be found near the bottom of the “Clarice” page. See discussion there on how an elementary school teacher in Summerland designs a day’s program around a single blade of grass.
Why would a teacher do this? The answer relates to a “circle of learning,” a “circle of knowledge.” The origin of the word “encyclopedia” captures the sense. We see the root idea of “circle” in this word. What does this mean? It means that all knowledge is connected, and a good teacher can use any item of knowledge – a blade of grass, for example – as a starting point which might lead to insights concerning, math, physics, chemistry, biology, literature, art, or anything else to be mentioned.
There’s no magic in the blade of grass. The skillful teacher will use any item of interest to the child, ones that are familiar to a young student. It’s building from “the known to the unknown.”
Children in Summerland do not remain in a school system for a particular set of years, like a prison sentence. Instead, each child, while often part of group-learning, is taught individually, with lesson plans custom-crafted to the child’s particular talents and interests.
After basics are learned, the student will remain in a structured learning environment only until internal “fires” of knowledge acquisition are well burning. Once the child personally experiences the thrill of knowledge discovery, you’re all done. You can now stand on your own and receive the delights of a universe of perpetual learning, the enjoyment of new insights, the adventure and happiness of piercing the fog of mysteries -- discovering "the truth" -- for unending times to come.
This is the education of a "free" person; and this is what "liberal arts" really refers to, the education of one meant to live a life of freedom with clear thinking.
When you live in Summerland, if you pinch yourself, will it hurt?
Raymond Lodge, communicating via trance-medium Gladys Leonard, discussed his upgraded bodily form:
“My new body is very similar to the one I had. I pinch myself sometimes to see if it’s real, and it is, but it doesn’t seem to hurt as much as when I pinched the flesh before.” He also added that his Summerland body possessed internal organs, eyelashes, eyebrows, tongue, and teeth; moreover, to his delight, he discovered that a new tooth had replaced one that didn’t feel right.
Editor’s note: The power of thought avails much over there. I recall somewhere in the afterlife reports it being said that, if you’ve never been overly fond, for example, of the shape of your nose, you can tweak it, to your own specifications, with strategic intention. No plastic surgery required. From this detail, we might rightly presume that pretty much everyone on the "Third Level" is attractive and youngish-looking, with many people presenting themselves as twenty-something. (But see the discussion in the "holodeck writing" concerning displaying ourselves at various ages, as whim, pleasure, or duty calls.)
Special note: Would you like to hear something interesting? It's about Raymond's comment about the Summerland body possessing internal organs. Father Benson said that our bodies over there do not have certain organs common to bodies on Earth. Are we not as well-constructed over there? No, he said, quite the opposite. Summerland is our home-world, the "real world" for us, and certain organs were placed into our Earth bodies on an ad hoc basis, meaning, we had these just for the Earth mission, but, when we came back home, to our real life, we reverted to our ideal form, which did not include certain organs. What a great insight.
For many in our world, it’s been so long since we’ve felt good, we can’t even remember what “good” feels like. But soon it won't be that way.
The following is Robert Benson’s channeled testimony from the other side, “Life In The World Unseen.” He's just arrived, and is gathering his energy. And it feels so strange just to feel good...
“Making myself comfortable upon a couch, I sank into a delightful state of semi-sleep, in which I was fully conscious of my surroundings, yet at the same time I could feel a down pouring of new energy, which coursed through my whole being. I could feel myself becoming, as it were, lighter, with the last traces of the old earth conditions being driven away forever. How long I remained in this pleasant state, I have no knowledge, but eventually I fell into a gentle slumber from which I awoke in that state of health which in the spirit world is perfect… It is impossible to convey, even in a small measure, this exquisite feeling of supreme vitality and well-being. When we are living upon the earth-plane, we are constantly being reminded of our physical bodies in a variety of ways - by cold or heat, by discomfort, by fatigue, by minor illnesses, and by countless other means. Here we labour under no such disabilities… In the realm of which I am now speaking, all is exactly attuned to its inhabitants - its temperature, its landscape, its many dwellings, the waters of the rivers and streams, and, most important of all, the inhabitants one with another. There is therefore nothing [here] that can possibly create any unhappiness, unpleasantness, or discomfort. We can completely forget our bodies and allow our minds to have free play, and, through our minds, we can enjoy the thousands of delights that the same minds have helped to build up. At times we may feel saddened - and at times we are amused - by those who, still upon the Earth [indulge their base passions toward folly]."
In Summerland, meeting new people is no longer a big risk and scary problem.
The following is Robert Benson’s channeled testimony from the other side, “Life In The World Unseen.” He's been in Summerland only a day or so, and his old buddy Edwin is showing him around. There’s a girl sitting by a lake. Benson is hesitant to meet her, but Edwin encourages him:
"The brook began to broaden out until it expanded into the dimensions of a fair-sized lake. We could see many groups of happy people gathered at the side of the water… My friend … [took] me over to a young girl who was [admiring the flowers]… I was rather diffident of so intruding, but I was told to ‘wait and see.’ My friend bent down beside her, and she turned her head and gave him a friendly word and smile of welcome. I concluded that they were old friends, but such was not the case. In fact, he told me afterwards that he had never seen her before, and he explained that here in spirit we need no formal introductions; we constitute one large united gathering in the matter of ordinary social intercourse… we never intrude since we can read at once the mind of a person who wishes for a period of seclusion. And when we see people out in the open - in garden or countryside - we are always welcome to approach and hold friendly converse with them."
In Summerland, if you're sitting out in the open, especially, in a public place, it means you want company, or you would have stayed at home. It's not so different on this planet, but, over there, anybody you see has "passed the entrance requirements," so you're ok and safe. Summerland is one big gated community (with invisible gates) and no threats from anything or anyone. The loonies have some "unfinished homework" to hand in before they get to join the party. And, we're happy to learn, there're lots of parties in Summerland.
boating and water sports are not dangerous or hazardous in Summerland
The following is Robert Benson’s channeled testimony from the other side, “Life In The World Unseen.” Ruth, Edwin, and Robert are tempted to enjoy the lake water, but they've no swimsuits. And so Ed shows 'em how it's done.
"My friend suggested that I might like to go closer to the [lake] water and that, if the young lady were alone [that is, without an escort], perhaps she would like to join us in our excursions. She responded that nothing would give her greater pleasure, and so we all three moved towards the lake… Nothing could be simpler. We were just to go into the water precisely as we were. Whether we could swim or not, was of no consequence… my friend quite calmly walked into the lake until he was thoroughly immersed, and the two of us followed his example … Great, then, was my surprise - and my relief - when I discovered that the water felt more like a warm cloak thrown round me [and there was no danger, at all, which is not possible in Summerland; we could stay under water as long as we wanted]… As I emerged, the water merely ran away, leaving my clothes just as they were before. [The water] had penetrated the clothing just as air on Earth will do, but with no visible or palpable effect whatever. We and our clothes were perfectly dry!"
In Summerland, is it possible to feel annoyance, shock, or anger, at times, or will we be like Pollyanna, all sunshine and light, never without a smile?
Editor’s note: How old is this little girl? – somewhere between four and six. See the keen intelligence in her eyes. You need a certain level of sophistication in order to be annoyed. You’d be surprised, she already understands quite a lot about boys – she’s five, going on eighteen. Little boys of the same age, generally speaking, are not this way but are still quite babyish. It will take him many years to catch up; in some respects, she says, "if at all."
50 years ago, Art Mokarow told us ministerial students, “If you’re smiling all the time, there’s something wrong with you.”
Art was right. Life isn’t that way. Even Jesus was called a “man of sorrows”; and there were times he displayed annoyance, despair, and anger.
But how does it work when we cross over? Afterlife-reporter, Charlotte Dresser, channeling information from her sister on the other side, offered this:
“You say you have no disappointments?”
“We have no disappointments that grieve. If either of you were to turn away from us, we would be deeply grieved, our love would have a shock. Yet we would know that it would pass and that you would return to us. Love here is not disappointed. Those who are meant for each other always come into loving companionship"
Editor’s note: Charlotte Dresser is one of the very best sources of afterlife information. I’ve checked out a great many over the years and Charlotte gets it right on all the big issues. So many over there are cockeyed in their views, led by the dysfunctional ego, as we learned in the “500 testimonies” article. You’ll want to read Charlotte’s books, from a hundred years ago, still very relevant, and free online. But I know what you want to ask: How do you know that she gets it right? You will discover the answer when you enter the quiet small room.
Editor’s note: Charlotte explains that, while it is possible to experience grief in Summerland, it is not a grief that knows no bounds, rooted in hopelessness. Their grief “would pass” in a realization that “you would return to us.” But how could they know? They know because it is in the very nature of things, the ultimate nature of life and the universe, that those who love each other cannot be forever separated: “Those who are meant for each other always come into loving companionship.” In this world, we experience Silver Birch’s sorrowful “hindrances, obstacles, and impediments,” but the days of sorrow were issued with an expiration date.
Polyanna's day off
We take note that those on the other side, even among the mature, can feel grief, shock, disappointment, or any other emotion that communicates “things are not right.”
However, the main difference between their feelings and that of ourselves in this world, still run by the Little Me Ego, is that our feelings of aggravation tend to be the result of a personal affront, while theirs are other-centered, linked to a dismay in seeing the hapless causing themselves damage. A big difference.
Upon transitioning to Summerland, we retain a full complement of emotions, nothing is lost or forfeited. If we suddenly became unreal Pollyannas, smiling all the time, espousing platitudes and godtalk, we’d no longer be human; as Art said, there’d be something wrong with us.
Alfred answers a question: “If you kneel down on the floor to play with a little child, will you get a crease in your trousers?”
The following information is from the Spirit-Guide Abu tapes #6, custodian James Webster; another minor detail of Summerland which speaks to a certain ordinariness of life over there -- no harps or cherubs floating by.
Alfred, a soldier killed in World War I, is asked the whimsical question, “Do you have to press your trousers over there to keep them looking good?” Let's say, you're playing with a child on the floor.
Alf laughs at the question and jokes about it, but says, yes, trousers get creased here just the same as in your world. The difference is, you don’t have to bring out a hot iron to do the job. All that's needed is to mentally concentrate on the crease, and a pristine state for the trousers snaps back into place. However, he added, if you happen to like creased trousers, then they’d just stay creased for you, go knock yourself out. You can present yourself as you like.
ever'body gonna be nice to you
John Steinbeck, in only a few sentences, presents to us one of the most disturbing scenes in all of literature.
Lenny is a grown man, strong as the proverbial ox, but he has the innocent mind of a three year-old. George looks out for Lenny, as the two of them travel around, looking for work.
But Lenny has accidentally killed someone. He didn’t mean to; he doesn't know the meaning of evil; and he didn’t even really understand what he’d done. But now a posse of men and dogs are closing in on Lenny. They have guns, and a rope for lynching.
George hears the commotion in the distance. It will be only minutes before the bloodhounds reveal their hiding place. George begins to speak softly to Lenny, who is oblivious of the chaos about to overwhelm. He knows what will distract and calm Lenny down… as he surreptitiously removes a revolver from his pocket.
George asks Lenny to look into the distance, away from what his hand conceals. He begins to describe something they’ve talked about nearly every night before Lenny goes to sleep: a homestead of their very own, an acre of alfalfa for pets, a little place that the two of them have been saving for.
Now Lenny, breathless and bubbling as a small child, becomes very animated and joyful:
John Steinbeck, Of Mice And Men: Lennie said, "Tell how it's gonna be" ... "We gonna get a little place," George began. He reached in his side pocket and brought out Carlson's Luger. "Go on," said Lennie. "How's it gonna be. We gonna get a little place." "We'll have a cow," said George. "An' we'll have maybe a pig an' chickens ... an' down the flat we'll have a ... little piece of alfalfa." "For the rabbits," Lennie shouted. "For the rabbits," George repeated. "And I get to tend the rabbits." An' you get to tend the rabbits." Lennie giggled with happiness... "Gonna do it soon." "Me an' you" ... "ever'body gonna be nice to you..."
Lenny’s dream of living on his own acre - safe, free, and secure - is what we all want; a place where you can simply do as you like, be as you like, with no threats of any kind. It’s virtually a Jungian archetype, deeply embedded within the psyche of all of us. And, most inviting of all, this little oasis of peace and tranquility is where "ever'body gonna be nice to you."
Editor’s note: "For the rabbits! Lenny shouted." (sigh) I’ve asked myself, what would I have done in George’s situation? In ten minutes the horrific will engulf, men with guns and attack-dogs will arrive. They will torment and torture Lenny, and then they will hang him from the nearest tree. What would be best for Lenny? Show me the page in the catechism that covers this.
In another article, I referenced a conversation with a lady I happened to meet in the course of business. As we chatted about this and that, I offered that I’d spent some years researching the scientific evidence for the afterlife. She wanted to know, and so, for a few minutes, I told her what Summerland is like. Her response was something like this: “It all sounds so wonderful, but I’ll tell you what I really look forward to on the other side. I just want to be away from all the rude and unkind and hostile people in this world.” She and Lenny were wishing for the same thing.
On the other side, for better or worse, we will be with people who mirror our own spiritual state of development. We don’t have to be perfect, but if we’re generally trying to do our best in life and help others as we can, we’ll be fine over there and we'll live in a pleasant community. But if we are conniving and duplicitous, we will find ourselves in a world where people get up in the morning just to cheat others and “how can we fool’em today?” Similarly, if, as hard-core “true believers,” we’ve pledged cultish allegiance to some infallible Dear Leader – be it of the religious, corporate, political, or materialistic science sort – we will find ourselves in neighborhoods where clear thinking is spurned, superstitious argument is considered normal, and the angry, victimhood frame of mind is counted as the way things ought to be.
I have to say, I agree with the lady who wishes for simple civility and ordinary kindness. That’s in short supply on planet Earth. And just living in a world where people are normal and reasonable is what I look forward to most in Summerland.
In the “K&E” dialogues of the “Omega” book, we find Elenchus deeply troubled as he can no longer tolerate the “viciousness” of someone who was meant to be close to him. Those we love have the ability to hurt us more, far more, than others, as we naturally make ourselves vulnerable to them. A desire for the conviviality of Summerland might be generated from an utterly anomalous source.
modest, normal entrance requirements to Summerland: thankfully, we don't have to come with a record of heroic service like a Mother Teresa
We applaud the charitable heart of Mother Teresa, but, mercifully, for some of us, sainthood is merely optional entrance-ticket to Summerland. What's essential is for one to have lived, in the main, a decent life, of trying to do one's best, of helping and serving as opportunity allowed. Perfection is not required by any means; that's something we'll work toward over the next several thousand years and beyond. A willing heart gets us in and allows us to start. Alright then.
dear animals, pets of our past, are very eagerly waiting for us in Summerland
We'll be reunited with our favorite cats, dogs, horses, or any cherished animal. Our Spirit Guides know what we need and long for, and our pets are looked after in Summerland as they await our coming. Father Benson speaks of this.
This reminds me of Robin Williams, "What Dreams May Come," being met by his dog in Summerland: "I must have really screwed up! - this is 'dog heaven'!" [smile]
what a wonderful topic this is, and much more could be added, but allow me to conclude with a comment by Raymond
"It seems to get dark sometimes, when [I] would like it to be dark..."
A realm of thought-directed quantum possibility lies hidden within Raymond's words. As we've seen, even trousers are made creaseless by a quick intention.
In the "holodeck" article I discussed how the worlds beyond Summerland allow their inhabitants to craft reality by the power of thought; even, to bring whole worlds into existence for one's private happiness.
We find Raymond being introduced to this principle with a small example: generally, by "default setting," in Summerland there is continual perfect daytime summer environment; however, as we also learn from Raymond, it changes if you want it to change.
Editor’s note: Regarding changes in Summerland, Spirit Guide Abu, in one of his taped lectures, explained that Summerland has evolved over the millennia. For example, he said, when prehistoric man began to pass to the next world, in order to accommodate a sense of the familiar, Summerland issued as an idealized, shall we call it, “happy hunting ground.” But over time, as humanity became more civilized, more urbane, Summerland reflected this growing sophistication. Abu said that Summerland is altered by and reflects a “group mind,” a kind of mass-consensus of what people need in order to feel “at home.” All this acknowledged, even today there are primitive peoples on the Earth, and, when they cross over, they will find themselves in specialized “neighborhoods,” an idealized “primitive” environment – campfires and tents, that sort of thing – until they’re ready to experience more. No one is rushed into an advanced state, the "full blaze of glory," as Sir Oliver put it. That would just terrify people.
Raymond’s comment that “it gets dark when you want it to be dark,” and Spirit-Guide Abu's assertion that Summerland is altered by a "group-mind" consensus, means that we will live in an interactive environment.
Another example from Father Benson's testimonies: He says that if you bend down to take in the fragrance of a flower, it will, in a sense, virtually rise to meet you, to greet you, exuding not just a sweet scent but a scintillation of faint and subtle music, as well:
"All these flowers were living and breathing, and they were, so my friend informed me, incorruptible. There was another astonishing feature I noticed when I drew near to them, and that was the sound of music that enveloped them, making such soft harmonies as corresponded exactly and perfectly with the gorgeous colours of the flowers themselves."
we don’t have this kind of upgraded software in our world
Strictly speaking, as we learn from the “Double Slit Experiment,” Earthly environment does interact with us, on the level of sub-atomic particles. But as matter here is gross and heavy, a two-way interchange is rare in the macro-world of large objects.
It’s different in Summerland, though, and especially in worlds beyond Summerland, as featured in the "Holodeck World" writing. The entire environment is attuned to one's state of consciousness and is moved by our intentions.
Here are some examples:
Clothing: as we noted above, we wear what we want; however, as we mature, our clothing will simply manifest and perfectly represent our inner essence and interests in life.
Work, Activities: We won't need a guidance counselor later on to determine what we should do. Our very natures, one's inner life-force, will call out to express what we're best at, what we've always wanted to do.
Time, Space: Among the more aware, time and space bend to our needs (this is reminiscent of Einstein's view, with time and space expanding and contracting). If we need to be somewhere, space will shrink for us; if we need more time to indulge a favorite activity, there will always be just the right amount of time to match our intentions.
Relationships: We are with the ones we want to be with and love. Our beings cry out for them, and, with this cry, the friend or beloved automatically manifests. Space shrinks -- and they are there. For those with whom there is no affinity, there is no "call" for them, and an insurmountable distance will separate.
In each of these areas, and ones not mentioned, our intentions rule. It's an interactive environment coming for us wherein our highest intentions will craft and shape reality.
The Swedenborg Foundation
Swedenborg, featured on the "Afterlife" page, spoke of these things in his writings. And there is a group of dedicated individuals who seek to promote his philosophy and psychic visions. I recommend that you view their youtube videos and see their website, swedenborg.com.
Everyone in Summerland, as part of one’s way of life, is engaged in some aspect of charitable service. But will a time come when service goes out of style, when everyone is mature with no further need of aid or support?
From a practical standpoint, we won’t have to worry about this for a long time. The Earth will be around for a few billion years more before the Sun dies. Until then, presumably, souls will be making the “Terra Journey” as a means toward individuation; as a result, we can expect the usual collateral damage, with Spirit Guides picking up the pieces. And so, for at least a few billion years, service will not go out of style for those with a Summerland zipcode.
To press the issue, we could say, well, we might offer our charitable services to neighboring star-systems with intelligent life. That could be possible. But let’s not kick the can down the road and ask the central question: Will the Family of God, of which we are all members, ever reach a point where there are no new souls being formed and educated, no new souls entering the “kindergarten” experience of mortal existence?
always time for a good Curious George story
There are no official answers from the “higher ups” on a question like this. But my sense is this: the Family of God will always – forever, amen -- be in the business of bringing into existence, preparing, educating, and aiding new “children” to reach the level of mature son or daughter of God.
too great to fail
Why do I feel this to be the case? Why will the Family of God ever be in the “child-rearing business”? I think the answer is simple: The gift of life and joy is too great to ever shut down the system. The pleasures, simply to be alive, for a mature Spirit Being, are too wonderful, too marvelous, to part with. I say this in spite of all the sorrows and sufferings that occur on our tear-stained planet. No price is too high to pay.
The eventual benefit will be so vast, so monumental, that even those who suffered the most while here will readily concede that they’d do it all again, or a hundred times, in order to live life on that advanced, joyful level to come.
I do not believe that Mother-Father God would ever, in effect, close down the Family. This seems unthinkable to me. The very fact that the ancient Guides refer to God as “Mother-Father God” suggests, to me, that the Divine Parents will always and ever live up to their names.
As we go within, as we sense the joy of being alive, we begin to agree with the foregoing. Who would give up one’s eternal life, no matter the traumas right now?
The apostle Paul once said that "the present sorrows are not worthy to be compared to the joys to come." He was right. And once you’ve personally experienced the joy you would never opt out of the process, nor would you ever deny it to anyone else. This, too, is unthinkable.
Can you imagine God saying, "Well, you were kinda lucky, you were the last one to come through the hopper, but, you know, we're just closing up shop now, you're all just way too much trouble, too much aggravation, we need some me-time now, and too bad for all those who missed out on the great joy of being alive."
"It's A Wonderful Life" (1947)
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed
"What's the matter, George?"
"What's the matter?! Everything's the matter! You call this a happy family?! Why'd we have all these kids, anyway?!"
George is just having a very bad day. He's worried about something, and now he's taking it out on the family. Glad I never did that.
But, anyway, in some form or fashion, I think we’re going to be offering our services in the Family “child-rearing business” for a very long time to come. Good job security.
And why else would God have created such a large universe, all that real estate going to waste? - room for the Family to expand. But, don't make me come over to your star-system, though.
the whisperings of the deepest inner-person lead us forward
I believe in redemption, I believe that we can change and become more than we’ve been. I also believe that our future, what we were meant to be, do, and become, is written in our hearts and souls. In the “Destiny” article, with John Sebastian, we asked the question, “Do you believe in the magic of a young girl’s heart?” The answer is yes, but I also believe in that of a young boy’s.
All mammals, thousands of different kinds, to one degree or another, are programmed, it seems, to care for, to nurture – and even delight in -- their offspring. Mother Nature has imbued us with these sentiments. Evolutionists would say that such familial affinity is rooted in survival-of-the-species inclinations. And this is correct.
But there’s more going on here. We know this because the higher-level mammals, those that manage not only to become self-aware but keenly introspective, begin to write poetry and songs of the heart’s exquisite longing for much more than bio-thrill and species perpetuation. As our eyes open, we begin to realize that we yearn for “the great relief of having you to talk to.” See much discussion on this in the “Destiny” article.
a grand cosmic foreordination
The uncharted longings of an enlightened person become a road-map and signpost indicating a future, a destination, an "omega point." They are leading us somewhere, well beyond the mundane John-and-Mary expressions of home-and-hearth felicities. These “callings of the heart,” as “The Wedding Song” uses the phrase, will yet take us on a far journey and merge with a grand cosmic foreordination.
Editor's last word:
latent abilities, for all of us, brought to the surface of personhood
I think I'd like to live in Father Benson's "neighborhood" as part of a university town. It's great fun to think about goals for that future time -- several subjects appeal to me for study: mathematics, chemistry, physics, painting, philosophy, music composition and song writing, piano, guitar.
In our world, the brain actually serves as "reducer," a "filter," that holds us back - see what brain researchers such as Dr. Eben Alexander or Dr. Stanislav Grof say about this. But in Summerland -- see Dr. Peebles' comment below -- our coming expanded mind-powers might be 100 or 1000 times what we now have. Imagine gaining a respectable proficiency, in any subject, in fairly short order.
Editor's note: Beyond "respectable proficiency" lies stellar competence, equal to the mastery skills of anyone in history. This apex-level standard of achievement is available to anyone willing to work for it, though it might take 100 or 200 years of labor. See Spirit Guide Abu's testimony on this. Strangely, however, as we also learn from the Guides, so few people over there seem to want to develop themselves or take advantage of the many educational opportunities. Should we be surprised at this disengaged approach? Possibly not. Let us also consider that relatively few people in Summerland have yet found their true Twin Soul romantic mate. I think there's much to be said for connecting these two ideas, that is, lack of ambition and lack of love. See "The Wedding Song" for much discussion on the purpose of the eternal marriage as motivation and catalyst toward spiritual evolvement. As we witnessed in the song, "Ode To Billy Joe," when Papa died, "now Mama," without love, "doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything."
Somewhere in the afterlife testimonies - I think it's in Charlotte Dresser's books - there's a statement by a lady on the other side who essentially says, "How easy it is to gain knowledge here! For those who want it, it just comes so readily, we absorb it so quickly!" And as Father Benson tells us, once we learn something, it's retrievable by the mind instantly and perfectly, not like in this world where we forget so much of what we study. But, also, consider this comment...
"You can learn in one day here what it takes 10 or 12 years to learn on Earth."
Dr. Peebles, on the other side, speaking through trance-medium, Anna Wickland, offered this amazing statement! Imagine drinking in knowledge at such a rate! Think of the giant strides in personal development available to all!
Is this not more than wonderful? Think of the vast treasure-house of understanding, skill, and wisdom to be acquired, just for the asking and the taking, for the working toward -- talk about "kid in a candy shop"!
Carl Jung: “The assumption that the human psyche possesses layers that lie below consciousness is not likely to arouse serious opposition. But... there could just as well be layers lying above consciousness.”
Editor's note: For a discussion of Jung's "layers of consciousness" lying above normal awareness, see the article on creativy research.
charting the unknown possibilities of existence
“For that one fraction of a second you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you - not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.”
Editor’s note: Since I was a young boy, this, right here, is my favorite Superboy artwork. And now I know why the life and person he represented appealed to me so very much.