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Current Update as of July 05, 2003

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Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.

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The Spirit World


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General Description

"Existence in the spheres is but a continuance of that on earth, and life on earth is but a preparation for that in the spheres" (Edmonds, 1874, p. 355). The spiritual world is the great spirit life of God, a higher state of consciousness (Leonard, 1927). All of the early Spiritualist writers agree that the spirit world is the local abode and habitation of those who once lived on earth. The change from this world to the spirit world is only a change of condition. Hyslop (1919) explains that it is the same physical cosmos, but a different perception.

Everything on earth has a spiritual counterpart; it is the density that is different. Peebles (1902) states that although there is a counterpart to all organized forms, there is no counterpart to such things as fog, smoke, mist, clouds, vapor, or fire. The spirits of all things that die on earth pass to the spiritual spheres. Nothing decays, dies, or is injured there; everything grows more beautifully.

Universal Laws

Universal laws must be obeyed in the spirit world, just as on earth. There are no sectarian or ecclesiastical levels and no dogmas, except perhaps in the first sphere. The laws have to do with spiritual and mental thought (Herbine, 1919). Although those in the spirit world live together according to the law of attraction, which is like attracts like, this is more restricted in the spirit life. One lives with those with the same spiritual development and with whom they are in harmony. Spirits are more inclined to live in groups than we are on earth. Peebles (1902) states that spirits live in many places, divided by purpose, language, dress, tribes and nations, but all gradually work toward oneness.

Petersilia (1892) cites the City of Brotherly Love in the spirit world as an example of the law of attraction. Dwelling here are men who are determined not to have anything to do with the female part of their being. They will not look at women, and are unapproachable and embittered against them. Priests are sometimes in this category, as well as educated men. However, most do not remain long in this phase.

The law of vibration is also at work in the spirit world. Disfigured bodies can be made whole. This may happen automatically if you have the finer graces of spirit, such as love and harmony, or it may take years of education, training and discipline (Longley, 1908). Peebles (1902) says that the laws of cause and effect are immutable in the spirit world.


Most of the early Spritualist writers agree that there is no time and no space in the spirit world. Hare (1855) states there is no division of time, and references to time are only for explanations to those on earth. In the spirit world time is judged by how long it will take to do something, or when an event is to be by how near or far away it is (Farnese, 1901). Crowell (1879) states categorically that there is time like that on earth, and residents even have clocks and watches. He adds, however, that time passes more rapidly there; that one month of our time equals one year in the spirit world.

Spirit body and personality

Most of the early Spiritualists agree that there is no great change with the spirit body; it is lighter and more responsive to commands of will. Spiritual bodies are young and beautiful; age, infirmities, and injuries are no longer visible. Owen (1920, vol. 1) states that although bodies are not of material flesh and blood, they still feel solid and real. Spirits can assume their earth identity in order to be recognized, although it may require skill. Tuttle (1900) explains that a spirit has more power to appear immediately after death than later on when it becomes completely separated from physical matter.

We do not escape from ourselves when we leave our bodies; neither do we gain all knowledge immediately. Death is viewed as the birth of the soul, which retains the mind, knowledge, experience, habits of thought, and inclinations that one had on earth (Stead, 1909). There is no loss of memory; ties and affections are the same, as are the moral and intellectual status of the individual. After death, the mind continues to think and has the same identity and attributes; the same emotions are experienced. Changing the texture of the body does not mean that one immediately becomes all wise (Barker, 1995). Even though the surroundings are better, there is no sudden perfection.

As we are in the spirit body, we continue to develop special talents and interests and to grow and progress in our development. Free will is never overridden, just as on earth. All experiences of love, compassion, and kindness are the basis of life in the spirit world (Wagstaff, 1996). The longer you are on the spiritual plane, the happier you become. Owen (1920, vol. 1) says that the longer that you live on earth, the less you have to learn of it in the spirit world, and can therefore pass on to higher studies. Peebles (1902) agrees that it is easier to do your work on earth and have time to cast aside errors and vices.


Evidence from the spirit communicators about the transition from the earth to the spirit world is similar to what we have learned from those who have had near death experiences. Some of these characteristics are being aware of being out of the body, travelling through a tunnel, seeing light, and being met by loved ones. Kennedy (1992) relates that we are guided to the spirit realms by guardian angels, and then have a reunion with relatives. Tuttle (1900) agrees that we are met by loved ones, who appear as they did on earth so they will be recognized. They then introduce us to a new life. Randall (1922) goes further and says we are met by friends, who are clothed in white and blending colors. Recent entrants to the spirit world have periods of rest and sleep to adapt to changes; this may require an average of two to three months in earth time. More sleep may be required if death is by violence or suicide, or there has been a long illness or history of maladjustments. (Kennedy, 1992) Deep sleep is way to restore strength in the spirit realms, just as on earth. Preliminary instructions may be given before the time of rest, or in some cases, it may be after.

Many people may be puzzled and confused at first, particularly if their method of transition is sudden. In these cases, various methods are used to make them feel at home. Often people pass over and do not realize it for weeks; they think they are dreaming. New arrivals are left alone to meditate and realize their new conditions, then are allowed to follow their own inclinations. Free will and choice is the same as on earth (Leonard, 1927).

Herbine (1919) describes a life review where opportunites that were passed by are seen as if in another's life. Everything is viewed, including acts and motives, and judged impartially and with mercy. One may receive insights into what was accomplished on earth - or not. The amount of universal love expressed on earth determines placement in the spirit world. After a time of rest, instruction, and meditation, a spirit naturally gravitates to the proper place. One can be held back, however, by the excessive and hopeless grief of those on earth. Minds in spirit life can affect those on earth, and vice versa. Peebles (1902) states that most dreams and impressions of those on earth are visions of immortality. Spirits are always with us.


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