The Lord is never angry, never takes revenge, hates, condemns, punishes, throws anyone into hell, or tempts anyone; thus never does evil to anyone.(Emanuel Swedenborg in True Christian Religion)
Part 1 gives an overview of the hereafter according to Robert Crookal, and a couple of other authors. Robert Crookal was a retired geologist (1960’s) who collected numerous accounts of astral travels and carefully analyzed and evaluated them. In approximately 10 years he collected and wrote about over 750 different cases. I also highly recommend the books of Michael Newton: Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls. This contemporary writer is a hypnotherapist who developed his own hypnosis technique to reach the memories of the hereafter.
Part 2 gives an overview of the hereafter according to Emmanuel Swedenborg (1653–1735). He is a highly reliable source for information about the spiritual worlds, in spite of his archaic use of words.
Part 3 gives an idea about how Buddhists think of death and what lies beyond.
(based upon several sources)
When a person dies the silver cord, which is an energy cord that connects the soul with the physical body, ceases to exist. The physical body is now under the influence of its spirits and the four Elements which will decompose it and return it to the earth. From near-death experiences we know that when people die, some of them go through a dark tunnel towards a light at the end; others are immediately greeted by already deceased friends and relatives; or they are bathed in a brilliant light.
The way of dying has a strong effect on the state of mind of the deceased immediately after passing over.
When a person dies a sudden death, as with an accident, he often has no clue that he passed over. He thinks he is still alive and is puzzled why he cannot do the things he used to do, or why people do not respond to him. His consciousness is as clear as when he was in the physical body just before he died.
When a person dies a natural death, he notices that he leaves his body, but soon afterwards he goes ‘to sleep’. His consciousness goes into a vegetative sleep which is more like being in an undifferentiated state of mind for a while. In this state of mind he can hang around in the neighborhood of the place where he passed over. His nebulous consciousness is able to perceive the physical world vaguely, and sometimes he will attach himself to objects, plants, animals or people. In the esoteric teachings this is called the great Sleep, caused by the Dark Angel, the Angel of Death. This initial vegetative state can last from a couple of hours to several days.
When he leaves his place of passing over, he still thinks he is alive, and visits the living, and sometimes he lives with them for a while. He is still half or totally unconscious of his deceased state.
Many souls have little interest in what happens to their physical bodies once they are dead. But they do like to hover around the place where they died for a few days.
Some souls are still attached to the physical world. They try to communicate with the living. In houses that have been built over an earth’s energy spot, they are able to use that energy to manifest himself to the living.
Some of the deceased are still so much attached to the physical that they attach themselves to a living person to enjoy, through that person, the earthly pleasures, like the taste of alcohol, cigarettes, food and so on. Those souls used to be habitual drinkers, smokers and even compulsive criminals. Such a situation is always to the detriment of the living person, as the deceased interferes with the energy body of that living person. Ailments and disease will follow, sometimes quickly, sometimes gradually. Some of the deceased have a grudge against a living person and will attach themselves to him in order to cause harm. Others had such a strong connection with for example a family member, that when they pass over they attach themselves to that family member, because they cannot give up the relationship they had with that person. This also causes harm to the living person, and the deceased often does not realize that. Such disturbed spirits are rare, and help is available from higher, caring entities, who can assist in the adjustment process from the other side.
So, the deceased now knows that he has passed over. Some of the deceased now create themselves a dream world based on that what they had expected to find when they would die. Based on these expectations he creates himself a heaven, a hell or any other place he likes. Here he indulges himself in what he likes to do, like eating, feasting and so on, until, after a while, he gets bored with it and realizes that heaven or hell, as he imagined it, is a boring place, and that his expectations of these places were childish constructs of his mind. More developed souls will move much faster through this stage.
Many spirits will hear relaxing music, allowing them to feel more “at home”. Souls will find themselves in an environment of houses, rooms, parks, nature and so on. These are all places created by their mind that relate to the laces they have lived in on Earth. This astral world is usually much nice, more beautiful, more colorful, and much more euphoric.
Although the soul itself is androgynous, it will usually adapt an outer appearance of male or female in the spirit world. It is a question of what sex one wants to identify with.
Once the deceased wakes up from his dreamy consciousness, and is clear and lucid, he is calm and feels free. In this of mind he can also contact the living.
Souls arriving in this world are greeted by soul mates, friends, guides. Initially guides might be in the background when friends welcome the deceased soul.
After the initial stages souls will speed to their destination. They arrive at their own specific group of entities at their own maturity level. Group placement is determined by soul level. The souls represented in these cluster groups are intimate old friends who have about the same awareness level. It is usually a small primary unit of entities who have direct and frequent contact, such as we would see in a human family. Contact with souls from other groups is also possible. Members of the same cluster group are closely united for all eternity. They are often composed of like-minded souls with common objectives which they continually work out with each other. Usually they choose lives together as relatives and close friends during their incarnations on Earth.
If necessary the deceased will undergo a healing process and a reorientation to its spiritual environment. The reorientation is a substantial counseling session with one’s guide. The newly refreshed soul undergoes a debriefing of the life just ended. It is a self-evaluation process. It also provides emotional release and readjustment back into the spirit world. More advanced souls might skip the orientation process, although they will meet and talk to their guides. They are usually able to move on much quicker after their arrival in the spirit world.
At a later time the soul will meet with a group of wise beings, usually called the Council masters or Elders. This board of review is generally composed of between three and seven members. While the Council is not prosecutorial, they do engage in direct examination of a soul’s activity. Here the soul’s higher self will then show him his entire past life with the highs and lows, and he will judge himself according to universal spiritual laws. Yes, there is no one else to judge you than yourself. You can also not deceive yourself in this regard, as your higher self is straightforward, knows the truth, and shows you incontrovertible where you failed.
After the soul has spent time playing, studying, creating in the spiritual world in order to enhance its development, it will eventually feel the need again to reincarnate. This involves an orientation process too, during which a soul will be shown a series of possible lives on Earth.
When man dies, the breath and the systolic movements of the heart stop. The physical body and soul (the astral and mental body) immediately separate. After the separation, the soul stays for a little while by the physical body.
Once out of the physical body, consciousness is in the soul, and one is attracted to those souls or angels who correspond to the person’s inner state of being. Now he is in the World of Spirits, which is an intermediate world between the heavens and hells. In the beginning he keeps the same appearance as he had when he was in the physical body, but this will slowly change, as his appearance will reflect exactly his inner sate of being. By this other souls can see to which spiritual level one belongs. In contrast to life in the physical world, one cannot hide anything in the spiritual worlds.
In general, the deceased does not know he has passed over when he arrives into the World of Spirits. He thinks he is still in the physical body. He still keeps his memory and continues to act as if he is still in the physical world.
When more highly evolved beings interfere, the deceased is shown his past life in all the details.
There are three states the deceased undergoes before he goes to heaven or hell.
- The first state of the exteriors: this state is very much like on the physical plane. The deceased does not know that he has passed over and thinks he is still in the physical world. He meets old friends that have already passed over before him. They show him places, cities, people, and teach him about his new state of being, and the world he is now living in. Most deceased are so ignorant that they think they are already in heaven, because they think they have lived a moral and civil life. They never considered that both the bad and the good live a similar life outwardly, alike in doing good to others, attending public worship, hearing sermons and praying. They are ignorant not understanding that external deeds and external acts of worship are of no avail, only the internal state of being from which the external acts proceed is real.
- The second state of the interiors: now he starts to go into his own inner state of being. In the previous state he still could pretend to be different than he actually is. Now he can only act according to his true intentions. He thinks from his own will, from his own affection, from his own love. As in this world there is no fear of losing one’s face, or one’s reputation, he starts to speak and act openly that which he otherwise would have kept secret or hidden in the physical world. His good and wicked characteristics come out unrestrained.
- The third state is of instruction: This state is only for those who go to the heavens. They get instructions by angels of different orders. After the instruction the deceased are clothed with angelic garments, which are mostly glowing white as if made of fine linen, and they are lead towards the heavens and introduced to societies. Those who are spiritually well evolved have clothes that sparkle like flames; less evolved ones have cloths that shine like light; and lesser evolved ones have glittering or just white cloths. The lowest have cloths of different colors.