Sadness friend or foe…?

Sadness is one aspect of grief.

The sadness and sorrow after the death of someone central to who we are, is frequently of an overwhelming nature, powerfully uncomfortable and sometimes frightening in intensity.

It is also an emotion that people want to apologise for, thinking it a sign of ‘not moving on’, of weakness and inadequacy.

At its purest, sadness is love in the face of physical absence.

Grieving may be understood as what is experienced as one becomes accustomed to a world forever changed the includes the person who died with a different connection, a non-physical one.

People may die, but our relationships with them do not.

Sadness is, in fact, a useful and necessary emotion.

Leaving aside cultural rules about this emotion, the question may be asked as to what purpose does it serve?…What good does it do?…Why would nature have chosen this emotion?

The emotion of sadness occurs when we have lost someone or something that is important to us, and there is nothing we can do about it.  Sadness turns our attention inward so that we can reflect and think.  It allows a close examination of everything…which is part of what is necessary to rebuild life around the pain of loss.

Sadness slows us down; it slows down our biological systems contributing to withdrawing of attention from the outside world to our inner world.

Moreover, when we are sad, we look sad.  Our face and body language signal to those around us that we may need help, care and compassionate understanding.

We are hard-wired to respond to each other in this way.  We are biologically constructed to respond with care and concern when we see others suffering.

While many of us have been conditioned to perceive sadness as a negative emotion, it is a necessary emotion and has its usefulness and wisdom.

We are expected to be in control of our emotions and while it is important to learn how to ‘dose” ourselves when faced with intense emotions i,e. Get a break from them; it is important not to suppress them, deny or avoid them,

We, in our culture, tend to overvalue reason, logic and the capacity to be rational.  Conversely, the language of the heart tends to be undervalued.

We search and are encouraged to seek quick remedy, relief and recovery.  We don’t like to be vulnerable, out of control.  We tend to keep our intense emotions secret and unseen and may even feel ashamed of them.

We are taught that to give too much room to intense emotions may be a sign of weakness or breakdown.

We turn away rather than toward them because of cultural conditioning and because they can also be frightening.

Grieving people sometimes fear that they will be overwhelmed by emotions like passionate sadness forever.  They may also feel as if they are going crazy because of the intensity and unpredictability of intense sadness.

Our language is full of advice such as ‘get a hold of your self’, ‘get a grip’, ‘stay in control’ amongst many others.

The fear is that overwhelming emotion may be destructive.

We are sometimes encouraged to take medication that will make us feel better.  The focus is on getting rid of strong emotions rather than learning from them.  It may be difficult to believe that having strong, intense emotions acknowledged, listened and attended to, in fact, helps them diminish.

Sadness and sorrow are neither positive nor negative in themselves …it is the way we think about them that is positive or negative.  How we think about things affects how problematic they may become.

Profound and passionate sadness is not a bad thing.  It is the most normal emotion imaginable following the death of a child.  While at the beginning that sadness may fill every inch of your being, it does not stay the same shape and colour for the rest of time.

Feeling emotional pain is not a sign of being sick…it is a sign of having loved deeply.  It is the other side of love and as noted previously plays an important role in rebuilding life around the pain of loss.  It allows an inward reflection on such questions as  ‘Who am I now?’, ‘How am I different?’, ‘What do I need?’, etc. and it acts as a signal to the world around that compassionate care is required.  This care includes the time and space to, for a while, withdraw from our normal concerns.

In spending time with intense and profound emotion, it is possible to discover or renew the capacity for gratitude, joy, faith, courage and compassion.

Healing is a journey through pain not a departure from it.

The purpose of intense emotion is not to make us miserable forever but to help us heal.

_lonely_mindful_nature_person_relaxing_repose_sitting_solitary_sun_thinking_thoughtful_woman
with special thanks to my social work colleague Vera Russell

Supporting Grieving Adolescents

fantastic-wallpaper-with-butterflieMany bereaved families may have surviving adolescent children who are mourning the loss of their brother or sister.

This is often new territory both for the teenager and also for the parents trying to work out our best to care for them especially when they are feeling so emotionally depleted.

Some things to think about:

1. Grief is not always visible

Grief is not just the outward display of emotion. It is also the thoughts and behaviours that we experience in response to the death of someone we love.
As adolescents are in the process of becoming more independent of their parents and other important adults, they may at times feel reluctant to show feelings or talk about their thoughts as it can reinforce a sense of dependence and vulnerability. They may also choose to inhibit some of their thoughts and feelings out of a desire to protect their families. They may also prefer to share their experiences with their peer group.

Strategy: Be available

It is when we are listened to and heard is when we feel most understood. Create a home environment where open communication is encouraged. Convey to them that it is okay to have the thoughts and feelings that they may have and that you will be available should they decide to let you know what is going on with them.
As with adults, at the beginning of grief, it is sometimes very difficult to communicate what we are thinking and feeling…it is no less difficult for adolescents who have less life experience than adults and who, when they are feeling vulnerable may find it difficult to put things into words.

2. Don’t try to “fix” the pain associated with grief

It is difficult and uncomfortable for parents to witness the pain of their children. They usually want life to be okay for their children and are pained by what they see and uncomfortable about the helplessness it can create in them. This means that we may want to take away or fix the pain of those we love. This may take the form of avoiding conversation about the person who has died or distracting them from thinking or feeling their pain. While this may be momentarily effective, it can result in the adolescent hiding their grief or withdrawing or expressing their grief in destructive ways.

Strategy: Talk about the loss

Invite the adolescent to talk about the person who died. Encourage questions. Should the teenager not want to talk, respect this. Offer others that they may speak with about their feelings.
Always answer questions honestly and clearly. If you do not know the answer to something, say so. Share your memories, thoughts, beliefs and don’t expect that your teenager will always see things as you do.

3) Understand that grief does not proceed in orderly predictable stages.

Young people grieve in doses. Like with adults, their grief is more likely to go in waves. Sometimes adolescents may have outbursts of grief after a period when they have seemed perfectly okay. Know that this is normal. Their grief like yours, may at times seem unpredictable. They are no better at grieving or making sense of the world than adults. The difference is that they may seem unaffected for periods of time and a burst of emotion can catch parents unawares.

Strategy: Allow for adjustment

Because grief does not proceed in an orderly fashion, teenagers need to be allowed leeway as they adjust to a life forever changed. Providing a secure, consistent environment with predictable routines is important. This helps to generate a renewed feeling of safety and security. Be aware of any danger signs such as violence, drug and alcohol abuse, risk-taking behaviour or dramatic changes in personality. Seek help when necessary.

4) Model Healthy Grief

Like all of us, adolescents learn from those around them. They will pick up implicit and explicit messages from those around them on how to grieve. This is how they think they should behave or are expected to behave. They take their cues from important grown-ups in their lives (even if they do not look like they are paying attention).

Strategy: Mourn together

Be aware of the messages that they may be receiving from those around them about how to grieve and offer alternatives when appropriate.
The more adolescents observe healthy communication and the appropriate expression of the many feelings associated with loss, the more likely they may understand, accept and manage the breadth of emotions and thoughts they may have.

Try as much as possible to consider what things might look like from their perspective. Give thought to the closeness of the relationship your teenager shared with their brother or sister. Acknowledge the deep loss it is for them too.

When you can, in the midst of your grief, set aside time, attention and availability for the adolescent. That does not necessarily mean talking about the death but maybe just time spent together doing something that is fun and thereby communicating that they matter and they too are important.

Finally, remember that this is new for all of you and that there will be some trial and error as families become better able to take care of each other.

COMMENTARY: BATTLE FOR THE MIND


 

Victor Zammit is the author of the Friday Report, a weekly report that has been printed every Friday for the past 18 years.  This weeks report can be found at this link.            http://victorzammit.com/November24th2017

 

Over the last five years we have seen the closed minded skeptics getting fewer and fewer, while orthodox religions are also losing numerical support.

Collectively we are going through an expansion of the mind unseen in human history. Fewer people are accepting traditional creation stories and religious beliefs. At the same time they are refusing to accept the materialist explanation that everything in the universe came by chance. 

Fundamentalists and other traditional religious believers blame the reduction in the number of their followers on the evils of materialism. However people are saying that they are not finding traditional religious information convincing and relevant.

This is why objective, repeatable afterlife research is more important than ever. People are opening their minds, seeking a new understanding of who we are, and our place in the universe. People are looking for the TRUTH and the TRUTH about the afterlife sets us free from fear of death and despair about life.

Gratitude…

Today I have a short story for you…

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which read, “I am blind, please help.”

There were only a few coins in the hat – spare change from folks as they hurried past.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words.

Then he put the sign back in the boy’s hand so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.

That afternoon, the man who had changed the sign returned to see how things were.

The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”

The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote, “Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.”

Both signs spoke the truth. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind, while the second sign conveyed to everyone walking by how grateful they should be to see…


When your life seems full of troubles, it seems difficult to maintain an attitude of gratitude, doesn’t it? All we see are our problems, like a blackened storm cloud casting a dark shadow over our lives.

And the times when everything just seems to be going smoothly? We often take these precious moments for granted too, don’t we? Caught up in the bliss, comfort, and familiarity of it all, we can simply forget to be thankful.

So what, then, is gratitude?

Simply put, gratitude is a habit. It’s a way of looking at the world and all the good things in it with a feeling of appreciation, regardless of whether or not your current situation is to your liking.

Gratitude is a heart-centered approach to being at peace with yourself and with all you have. When you practice this feeling of gratitude, it attracts even MORE things into your life for which to be grateful.

Go ahead, try it out right now. What or who do you have in your life to be thankful for? 🙂

 

 

 

 

Nick Ortner

THE RISE OF MCSPIRITUALITY

mc

 

With thanks to Cyrus Kirkpatrick for permission to reprint his article.    Cyrus also has written a book about “Understanding Life After Death” available through Amazon, Book Depository, links below.

***

Those of us who’ve read any amount of spiritual literature will find more than a few contradictions.    Among the most noticeable relates to the conditions of our existence immediately post death.   There are two camps:

The first camp believes that when we die, we more or less retain things like our individualities, personalities, and level of knowledge before we died.    In other words, “the journey continues.”

The second camp believes we are instantly transformed into Beings of Light.    Any flaws or issues we had in this life are immediately purified.    You may hear this camp say things like, “Everything in this world is a stage when we die the play ends, and we return to Source.”

And, there’s a reasonable third “grey area” that may be a mix of both elements.

The first camp is supported, in particular, by researchers of direct spirit communication. That includes information presented through physical mediumship sources (such as David Thompson, Scott Milligan, Leslie Flint, and others) as well as most information from Spiritualist sources dating all the way back to Swedenborg in the 1700s.    This opinion is also commonly supported by out-of-body practitioners who have experienced leaving their bodies and communicating with the deceased – often discovering people from this world living surprisingly similar lives as before they crossed over – within a different, albeit modified or enhanced, version of our current universe.

yognananda

These are not the only sources. Another example is Paramahansa Yogananda, the Indian yogi/guru who penned  “Autobiography of a Yogi.”    This highly influential spiritual teacher from the early 20th century famously recounts what the astral realm is like – and it matches up in a consistent way.    He describes the other side as amazingly similar to our world.   According to Yogananda, this is because the astral plane is also a bodily incarnation (and counts as a realm that one may reincarnate into).    He teaches his followers to be mindful of their journey and their karma, because death will not provide instant spiritual attainment, but is merely a continuation of another physical existence.    No matter what, we must walk the path of spiritual attainment ourselves, no matter how long it takes.

The Instant-Enlightenment Camp

The second camp is primarily reinforced by literature from near death experience books, pop mediumship, and channelers. It’s also part of an overall culture in various pop-spirituality circles.

As an example, the popular “Channeling Erik” community has included alleged communications from highly negative people in this life, such as Hitler.    In the Channeling Hitler video, a medium suggests that Hitler was an “angelic” entity; and apparently suffering no great consequences in the afterlife.   The Channeling Erik community also published an alleged channelling of the San Bernadino ISIS-affiliated shooters; who lost their lives during a 2015 terrorist attack. Going by the narrative that all who die are transformed into Beings of Light – there was no mention of consequences for their actions.

Another site that proposes this theory is Afterlife 101.    This highly singular perspective of the other side proposes all who cross over enter a purely non-physical domain as Light Beings, that our individualities blend and dissolve, negative emotions do not exist, and we each become spiritually omniscient.   In this view, there is no physical element to the afterlife and the dichotomy of mind influencing matter dissolves into the afterlife being pure “mind.”    This creates a common interpretation that the afterlife itself is a dream-like, insubstantial realm (this is in conflict with the reports by direct spirit communication).

(To be fair, I am uncertain what the Afterlife 101 alleged channellers say about negative consequences for actions in this life.    I find their work to be unbearable to read—but they may, in fact, warn about negative consequences of actions somewhere in their essays.    I haven’t seen it, though.)

Today, this point of view is commonly associated with the New Age movement and sprinkled throughout metaphysical books, TV shows and communities.

Why the Instant-Enlightenment Idea is a Philosophical Nightmare

Now, at last, I am going to editorialise about this subject.    The second camp—the Instant Enlightenment people—have been drawn in by a seductive, albeit highly limiting, point of view.

What this philosophy teaches is that no matter how messed up your life is—all you have to do is die and all your problems are instantly solved, because we are each a “Being of Light” waiting to emerge.

You can be utterly useless in this life—not lifting a finger to help people around you—in fact, you could even be a murderous monster—and you will STILL become a “Being of Light” as, after all, life is just a stage and we are its actors.

There is the very little conception of what we even do in our Light Being form.    Literal descriptions of the afterlife from this camp are often negligent and devoid of details.    As our imaginations are left to wander, most of us conceptualise a form of the religious imagery of sitting on top a cloud—basking in only positive emotions for eternity.

Nonetheless, the heavenly cloud concept where we all become angels is a fun way to completely alleviate oneself of responsibility.   It’s also an extremely marketable message. It’s the pinnacle of the pop self-help movement; where adherents of “The Secret” believe they can visualise chocolate cake making them thin—and now they can indulge in whatever they desire.    Now, their endless issues, addictions and personality problems too can be alleviated through the simple act of dying.

I am absolutely amazed by the stunning lack of critical thinking in this community.    No proponent of this point of view that I’ve met has stopped to think,  “You know, if there are no consequences and we all become angels, this means life can be spent in an utterly nihilistic fashion.    I could rape, murder and pillage without consequence because every action is pre-determined as part of God’s plan.”

This point of view also makes our individual existences highly transient;  that we essentially dissolve who we are at death.

This point of view is ultimately what some in the afterlife community have dubbed McSpirituality, where instant enlightenment is handed out with the same level of discrimination as a fast food clerk handing out cheeseburgers.    In this view, we do not need to practice a path of service to others to raise our vibrations—nor a path of raising our own consciousness—because we automatically become All-Knowing.

What Spirits Actually Say

All reputable spirit communication warns against the mythology of death alleviating all problems.   Mature spiritual information, like that which is taught by Silver Birch (brought from the highly reputed medium Maurice Barbanel), is that we are inexorably linked to our actions in this life, that the afterlife is only one step above the world where we live now and higher realms must be earned.    Far from all souls becoming Beings of Light, if we perform cruel actions against others we will fall back into dismal, dark planes and conditions—such as the horrific realms described in Anthony Borgia’s seminal work “Life in the World Unseen” (written through the channelled spirit Monsieur Hugh Benson).

Through my own experiences in out-of-body states (as I describe in, ” Understanding Life After Death”),  I’ve interviewed those living on the other side of the veil who describe their lives as being similar to before they died.   Many have jobs, friends and interests—dwelling in physical existences, often at the prime of their lives (28-32) and in perfect health.    While this condition is less physical than how we are now, it’s far from existence as an orb of light devoid of human characteristics.

As this realm closest to us in the astral is more like a continuation, it also means a realm filled with varied personalities and interests, with both a negative and positive spectrum. This astral existence is consistent with reports throughout the long history of spirit contact, including the concept that many of us go on to work in “rescue teams” to assist people trapped in dark, dismal or even hellish conditions.

The denial of the existence of the negative spectrum flies in the face of centuries of contact with the other side.    Essentially, it’s like throwing out libraries of knowledge and replacing it with some New Age authors who appeared once on Oprah.

Where Some of this Information Comes From

My personal theory about this philosophy is that it’s a gross mistranslation of sporadic reports stemming from channelled spirits of a higher density (keeping in mind that channelling is one of the least reliable ways to glean spirit information).

It’s safe to say the astral plane is a real density we transfer our consciousness to at death—due to an endless amount of reports of physical realms similar to our own Earth. However, there’s a smaller but relevant amount of reports (especially in NDE literature) of cosmic or celestial realms where our individual minds connect to our Higher Selves.

These realms are often beyond description, and are certainly not dismal existences on clouds, but are realms where the individual soul is completing a timeless journey of self-refinement and knowledge, coming into being in a realm where they have merged almost entirely with a “divine” level of their existence commonly known as the Higher Self.

I think at times a person has incarnated on Earth who is an extremely “old” soul.    Such a soul may belong naturally to these celestial realms, and during an NDE for instance—they glimpse such a realm and report their experiences.

(As a side note, these types of realms are generally “beyond” the scope of an incarnated existence, which includes both this realm and the astral—which as Yogananda described is also an incarnation.    However, just because a soul may journey beyond physical incarnation does not mean the inhabitants of those realms are disconnected from incarnated realms and exist forever floating on some cloud.    In fact, it would seem even exalted spirits attuned to their Higher Selves and originating in such realms can appear as physical humans in not only the astral dimension—but even as incarnated persons on this planet.)

The mistake occurs when “the masses” read these accounts but fail to apply critical thinking.    They come to the incorrect conclusion that these celestial realms are accessible by everyone—even the most dismal or cruel souls.    In a desire to avoid the responsibility of spiritual progression (a long, hard process) they reaffirm their belief system by convincing themselves that even an entity as dark as Hitler is just as progressed as Buddha—that everyone is on the same page, and everyone is instantly enlightened.

Finally, I believe this point of view is heavily influenced by Western Christianity infused into our ways of thinking. Since the rise of the New Age movement, we’ve found a convergence occurs between Christian thought and Spiritualist thought.    In some cases, people cling to the ideas of theological merging – that our individual existences are forfeit in the light of God.    They may also cling to the imagery of “angels” and the idea of becoming perfect or exalted merely through being “saved.”    The idea of death creating instant enlightenment is reminiscent of Christian theory that a cruel, dark person can merely renounce Satan and praise Jesus at the end of his life – and instantly go to heaven and become an angel.

It’s nothing short of wishful thinking.

***

Link to Cyrus Kirkpatrick’s book from:

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Life-After-Death-Exploration/dp/0692529179/

https://www.bookdepository.com/Understanding-Life-After-Death-Cyrus-Kirkpatrick/9780692529171?ref=grid-view&qid=1499804706534&sr=1-2

 

“A Dog’s View on Love, Life and Death” J R Archers novel – a review

 

What a delightful novel, J R Archer’s, “A Dog’s View of Love, Life and Death” is to read.  Those of us who enjoy the company of our best friend would not be surprised that they have a greater purpose than just remind us of and give unconditional love.  Rosie and Rags while going through their doggie days are not only interacting with an attractive small cast of humans and other canines but manage to sprinkle lightly some seriously valuable advice and information.

The story set in New York dog rescue unit which has its interesting sub-story, of course, involves humans and dogs who are linked together by circumstances that invite consideration from the interesting perspective of this novel.  Rosie and Rags are extraordinary characters who not only are fountains of knowledge regarding spiritual matters but also endearing teachers, to human and canines alike.

 

dogs life


From the publisher’s website:

In A Dog’s View of Love, Life, and Death, human beings, content they know the answers to life’s big questions, continue making the same mistakes time and time again. Dogs, being their closest non-human companions and knowing a little more than humans think they know, assist them discreetly with their evolution of consciousness.

After spending twelve years paralysed from the neck down, Seamus McGarry can’t quite believe he’s communicating telepathically with a dog named Rosie.

Millionaire Will Roper is living the life and feeling in control of his destiny. But his anger issues are landing him in hot water. If that isn’t enough, Saddam Hussein, his dead mother’s dog, and a man living in a doorway have all crossed his path. Things will never be the same again.

Old-timer Lennon, a Harlequin Great Dane, New York, born and bred, feels life is passing him by. That is until a dog shows up at the shelter and helps him understand his existence here isn’t quite what it seems.

Dolores Fanon, a recovering addict, has been clean and relatively serene for 3 years. However, life’s just dealt her a low blow. She’s struggling to cope, and when a psychic working for the N.Y.P.D. appears in her life, secrets from the past come flooding into the present.

With great imagination and spiritual insight, J. R. Archer imbues his beloved animal characters with enlightened personalities and telepathic abilities stemming from their unconditional love. Through a profound connection to human beings, these dogs teach us about the real nature of life and death. Anyone who has ever felt close to an animal companion will gain a new understanding of this relationship by reading Archer’s novel, and all of us will benefit from the wisdom the dogs provide about the human journey through the school of life.

Leslie KeanNew York Times bestselling author of UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Go on the Record and Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife
In his debut novel, J.R. Archer offers a warm and whimsical meditation on life’s meaning and the soul’s journey, as understood by the more advanced souls among us – our canine companions. I only hope that someday I can be as wise as the four-legged heroes of A Dog’s View of Love, Life, and Death.

Michael PrescottNew York Times bestselling author of Skin in the Game and The Street.
Generally, I read for enlightenment, not entertainment. Thus, I rarely read fiction. However, because I know the author and also because I was intrigued by the title, I decided to read this novel. I’m glad I did, and I can honestly and objectively say it is both enlightening and entertaining. In fact, it is the most entertaining book I can recall reading.

Michael E. Tymn, Editor, Journal for Spirituality and Consciousness Studies, and author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die
If like us, you feel that your dogs were brought into your life to teach you spiritual lessons, you will absolutely love this wonderful book. J. R. Archer takes us on a roller coaster adventure through New York with a cast of characters across the social spectrum who are dealing with everything that life can throw at them. Supporting them all with brilliant spiritual advice are two fur angels, Rosie and Rags, who are able to connect telepathically with the humans, and other dogs, who cross their paths. Fast-paced and full of action, this is a book that will resonate with lovers of animals and all those who have ever wondered if there is anything beyond this life.

Victor and Wendy Zammit, co-authors of A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife and The Friday Afterlife Report.

… a metaphysical brain teaser and an indictment of excess in all its forms.

Publishers Weekly.


About the author

J. R. Archer incarnated somewhere on the planet during the latter half of the twentieth century. He spent his life living as someone else until he wrote this story. At the time of writing, Rags and Rosie are in the body and enjoying this incarnation.


Publisher: White Crow Books
Published June 2017
312 pages
Size: 203 x 127 mm
ISBN 978-1-78677-011-0

 

 

 

from “They Shall be Comforted”

Maurice Barbanell (1902-1981) was an accomplished journalist and superb medium for the Teachings of Silver Birch.  The description of “life after life” in his book “They Shall Be Comforted” is well worth sharing.

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If you are currently grieving the passing of a loved one, you are urged to read this extract.

One day after “death” you will be the same individual as you were one day before it, except that you will have discarded your physical body.    You will express yourself through your etheric body, which is a replica of the physical one.    It does not, however, reproduce any of its imperfections.

All disease and infirmities will be left behind.    The deaf will hear.   The dumb will speak. The blind will see.   The cripple will be a cripple no longer.

You must try and understand that life in the spirit world is not dreamy or nebulous.   It is full of activity.     It is just as real as the life that each one of us lives here.     We are accustomed to thinking of the material world as being real and solid, although actually, this is not so, as the science of physics proves.    The things of the mind, or the spirit, seem to us shadowy and vague, but to those who live on the Other Side, the mental is the real and the physical is the shadow.

This doubtless will be hard for you to grasp, but you will find a perfect analogy if you think of your dreams.     When you dream, all the things that you encounter are real at the time of their happening. They only become dreams when you wake up.    If you never woke up, and dreaming was the perpetual state of your existence, then that state would become your reality.

The spirit world is round and about us.    Some people see it and hear it because they can tune into its vibrations.     It is not situated in some far-off continent.     It is a part of the universe, blending and intermingling with the physical world.

You must dismiss from your mind the old-fashioned theological idea that, after “death,” there is an undisturbed eternal sleep.      There may be, at first, a short time of rest to enable the newly-arrived spirit to adjust himself to his new life.   This usually takes a little time. Then he meets those who have preceded him.   Families are reunited.    Old associations are re-established.    Friendships are renewed.

I know the question you will ask is, “How will I be able to recognise those who have gone before?”   This is not a real difficulty.   They will know you, having watched over you and kept in constant touch with you.   Then, because the spirit world is a place where thought is the reality, they will be able to show themselves to you as you knew them.

There is, however, one great factor always operating in the spirit world – the unalterable law of attraction.   Only those of like spiritual qualities can meet on the same plane in the new life. The husband and wife, who were only held together on earth by a legal tie, and between whom no real love existed, will not be together in spirit life.

Sometimes, people are puzzled because they learn that there are houses on the Other Side.    You must remember, though, these are not houses made of bricks and mortar but constructed out of thought.    This applies also to the clothing that is worn.

The instinct to clothe oneself is deeply rooted and has become habitual. No one would dream of walking through the streets unclothed.    This habit is part of our mental make-up.    That is why it persists on the Other Side where mental states are the reality.

“What about food?” you may ask. “Do they eat?”

As long as there is a desire for food, this mental desire is mentally satisfied.    As long as the individual craves for food and drink, he can obtain the illusion of what he requires – and it satisfies him.   You may call this material if you like, but it is far more sane and logical than pearly gates and golden harps!

In the spirit world, there are no language difficulties.   All people of all nations speak the same language – thought.    There are no words to be mouthed, for ideas are conveyed telepathically, from one person to another.     Words, after all, are but clumsy substitutions for thoughts.    They are artificial means by which we communicate our ideas to one another.   But words can never adequately express the thoughts one is trying to convey.

One day, when the human race has evolved,  language will be abolished.   We will have learnt how to send our ideas to each other telepathically.    Then, many of our international difficulties will disappear.

In the spirit world, each person’s thoughts are known and cannot be hidden.   There can be no deception of pretence.   Every individual is known for what he is.   He cannot deceive anybody, for lying is impossible.

“What about age?” you may ask. “What happens to old people who pass on?”

Physical age and mental growth do not proceed at the same rate.   We rashly judge a man’s mentality by the age of his physical body here.   On the Other Side of life, it is the mind which survives, and mental growth consists of progress towards maturity.   Little children will grow older.   The old people grow younger in spirit.

What work do they do?   Each person seeks to express his natural bent.   In this earthly life of ours, there are thousands of singers who have never sung; actors who have never acted; painters who have never painted; poets who have never written a line of poetry; musicians who have never composed a note of music.   All these talents have never had an opportunity of being expressed, because through economic circumstances usually, the owners had to follow some other occupation to secure their bread and butter.

On the Other Side, they can express their talents.   There are no square pegs in round holes in that world.   For them, life is one continuous road of progress, each person striving to eliminate the dross from his nature and perfecting his own being. In that striving for perfection, there is no limit.   It goes on for eternity.

The spirit world will not be so unfamiliar as we think because … most of us visit it in our sleep state.   Unfortunately, few of us remember what transpires.   When, however, we pass on, the law of association of ideas will recall our nocturnal experiences.

Of course, it takes some time for the newly arrived spirit to acclimatise himself to the conditions of life on the Other Side.   This process of awakening differs according to the knowledge of spirit life that the “dead” man had before his passing.   The more ignorant he was, the longer it will take him to familiarise himself with his new conditions.

Then, too, those who were trained in very orthodox ideas, with rigid conceptions of after-“death” states, experience a great difficulty, because the next stage of life being a mental one, they live in the mental world they have created, until they have evolved sufficiently to dispel this illusion.

When we pass on, we do not enter Heaven through “pearly gates”, neither do we descend to Hell through lakes of “fire and brimstone”.    Nor do we sleep forever.

Each one of us naturally gravitates to the spiritual sphere for which we are fitted, according to the life we have lived and the character we have evolved here.   We cannot occupy a higher sphere than the spiritual status we have reached, nor will we desire to occupy a lower one.    Automatically, we shall go just to that plane of spirit life for which we are fitted.   We shall not be able to pretend that we are better or worse, for stripped of our physical body we shall be revealed and known for what we are.

People who have lived normal lives will not find anything to disappoint them when they arrive in the spirit world.   It is the selfish man who has to face great difficulties, due to these earthly habits which act as a barrier to be overcome by progress before he is fitted to associate with those he loves.   If by virtue of life he has lived upon earth, he has cut himself off from those who love him, that will be his hell.

What is heaven?   It is the reward of a life wisely spent on earth, for it will mean that automatically we reach those we love … heaven and hell are mental states.   Of course, those who dwell on a higher plane can, if they so desire, visit spirits on relatively lower spheres.   This they often do.   But it is impossible for those on lower planes to visit those on higher.

In many cases, those who “die” go through a difficult period of stress, due to the fact they cannot reach the ones they love on earth.   When they have awakened to an understanding of their new life, they naturally return to their loved ones to try to tell them of their survival.    They find it hard to understand that while they can see the earthly members of their families, the bereaved are unable to sense the presence of those for whom they are mourning.

This is a very poignant sorrow that thousands of spirits experience. They do all they can to attract the attention of earthly friends, but too often they fail and have to leave them disconsolate.

By some law which we do not understand, those on the Other Side know a little beforehand when somebody is going to pass from this world.   They make the necessary preparations to greet them and to help them with their passing.    This explains the fact that on hundreds of occasions people before they “die” have named “dead” relatives they said they could see in the room.   Sometimes these spirit relatives have been seen by those in attendance on the “dying” person.

Clairvoyants who have witnessed the “death” of an individual tell us that they see a replica of the physical body gradually rise, connected for a while by a thread (it is what the Bible describes as the “silver cord”) which is attached to a vicinity near the brain. When the thread is snapped, “death” takes place.   This etheric body is then seen to rise upwards until it disappears from view.

The one thing that brings the greatest sorrow to those who have passed on is our excessive grief.   This, curiously enough, acts as a deterrent to their getting close to us. They do not like the constant visits to the graveyard as they know they are not there. Most Spiritualists make a habit of placing flowers near the photograph of the one who has passed on, particularly remembering anniversaries.   This serves to perpetuate the idea that the spirit is constantly in the home.

Spiritualist also indulge in the habit of mentally communicating with those who have passed on by sending them messages, treating them as if they were actually present in the room.    I know that these messages are received, for again and again I have heard spirit return thanks for this communion and give evidence that he has received it by repeating to the medium some of the ideas expressed.

Spirit life is not a state of vagueness or eternal sleep, but one of activity and labour. Idleness and unemployment do not exist there.    There is plenty for all to do, although I know it is difficult for us who are immersed in material affairs to appreciate the activities of the spiritual world.

Apart from labour, there is the opportunity for recreation and enjoyment.   There are means of education and instruction in all branches of life – in just that particular form of knowledge which the spirit desires.

Of course, many of them are engaged in tasks which mean co-operation with people in this world.    Some of them are hard at work helping to make communication between the two worlds easier.

Others, attracted by people in our world who are following similar lines of research, industry, art or reform, naturally return to inspire those efforts, although often people in this world are unconscious of spirit interest.

(from “They Shall Be Comforted” by Maurice Barbanell,

published by the Psychic Book Club, London. Not dated.)

Happiness

 

Happiness is the natural outcome of being aligned with Essence, our true self, which is experienced when we are fully present in the moment.Cascades-Track-New-England-NP-NSW

The key to happiness is being very awake and aware of what is really happening in every moment rather than being absorbed in thoughts about the past, the future, your life, other people, and the many other thoughts we tend to get lost in, which don’t add to our life or enhance our experience of life but, rather, detract from the potential joy, peace, and contentment inherent in each moment. Happiness is in our control, since where we focus our attention is in our control. When we focus it on what the mind is telling us, we suffer; when we focus it on what is real and true in this moment, we experience happiness, joy, peace, and contentment.

The present moment is all that exists since the past and future are simply thoughts about the past and the future. But because we are programmed to pay attention to our thoughts, we often fail to notice what is actually going on now. Most people live in a mental world. When we drop out of this mental world into the Now, we experience a depth, a richness, and a joy and peace that feel sacred. This is the experience of our true self or Essence. So, when we talk about being in the Now, we are also talking about this experience of Essence.

Whatever you are doing, enjoy it! You have another option, of course, which is to not enjoy it. Notice what keeps you from enjoying whatever you are doing. It’s your thoughts, isn’t it? Even if you are experiencing pain, for instance, or something unpleasant, like going to the dentist, if you don’t listen to any negative thoughts, fears, complaints, and desires related to that, you won’t suffer. You will just have the experience.

You can go through life this way if you want, but when you are not fully in contact with what you are doing, you miss out on the potential joy and pleasure in an experience. Any experience can be interesting since you have never had it before. And any experience can be enjoyed because when you immerse yourself in it, you lose the false self (the sense of I or me) and discover the true self, which is always enjoying life. Essence is always in joy. And from Essence’s standpoint, every moment is an opportunity to serve life and love, which is another source of joy. What if you approached each moment as an opportunity to experience, serve, or love?

For more information visit:
> 60 Meditations for Greater Happiness

Taken from an article written by Gina Lake, with thanks.