Current Update as of July 05, 2003
Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies
Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
The early Spiritualists have given us their views and descriptions of the spirit world. As we have seen, there are general areas of agreement, beginning with the premise that there is a spirit world, and we can communicate with those who reside there. The consensus is that there are various spheres or levels, and where a particular spirit resides depends on his spiritual development. All agree that service to others and learning and growing as a soul are the most important activities in the spirit world. Prayer, both by and for those in the spirit world, is of utmost importance.
There are discrepancies and differences in these descriptions of the spirit world when we look at specifics. Although all agree that there are levels and spheres, and most settle on the number seven, others say that there are far more than that, and we just do not hear about them because spirits from those levels do not communicate to those on earth. This could very well be true, but we have no real way of knowing. This applies to other details as well.
Descriptions of food, clothing, physical surroundings, homes, buildings, relationships, education, and occupations vary. There are a number of factors that could account for this. Communication with the spirit world depends upon the reliability of both the spirit and the medium, or the person who is receiving the information. The one in the spirit world can only communicate what he or she knows. Just because the person has left the physical body does not mean that he has suddenly become all-knowing. He can only tell us what his own experience is. The medium may have his or her own biases, may do his own interpreting of what he hears or sees, or put different meanings on what is being conveyed. Mediums are rarely completely accurate all the time.
What does all this mean? Is this an accurate picture of what life after death looks like? I do not know, and there is probably no way of really knowing until we get there ourselves. For myself, I do know that there is indeed life after death, and the early Spiritualists have given us a general picture of what a spirit world may look like. Those who have had near-death experiences have also given us descriptions of the spirit world looked like to them. Here again there are variations in details, but the general picture is similar to those who wrote in the late 1800s. We hear about beautiful scenery, light that does not hurt the eyes, meeting loved ones, and halls of learning, among other things. Some present day mediums and psychics have given us similar descriptions.
Personally, I know that there is life after death, and what I do in this life affects what happens in the next one. It is comforting to know that life does go on, and that one can always learn, grow, and develop spiritually. The details do not matter. It makes no difference if, for example, I will wear a white robe or a colored one, or no robe at all. What does make a difference is the belief that I can make an effort to be of service to others, to love, to develop spiritually, and to work toward oneness with God.
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