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I'm not sure how A serving B and B serving A is necessarily mutually exclusivee and need be a chore (if in fact that's what you meant)?

If the purpose of each of us is to aid the development of others and in so doing aid our own development this seems to have a resonance for me.

Isn't it the old 'better to give than receive' idea?

Service is something we do everyday as I see it. A kind act, even a smile could be viewed as service. It suggests more emphasis on the good of others rather than on ourselves to me, not some sort of indenture. :)

It's interesting how people can read the same thing and have a different view of the meaning isn't it? :)

On the endless round of concerts and libraries: that too depends on the perspective of the person experiencing it as far as I can see. My day sounds like this: 30% sleep, 40% work, 30% idleness, hobbies etc. In actual fact, 70% of my day (excluding sleep for the avoidance of doubt) is filled with all kinds of experience, mostly positive at the moment, humour, decision making, contact with people, wildlife, pets, friends and family, observation of the world around me etc etc.

I'd say rarely a day goes by without some opportunity for learning and development, if we choose to see it that way.

In other words, the world described doesn't sound so different from the world now to me.

I realise I sound like Pollyanna here. Sorry :)

"There also are details I find hard to accept - the idea...that spirits spend their leisure time attending new plays by Shakespeare and new symphonies by Mozart... it strikes me as a bit silly, almost like a child's conception."
Do you have a source for these spirit adventures?

What little research that has been done shows that an isolated, void-like existence is the most commonly reported distressing near death experience, with fiery hells limited exclusively to folks who have been heavily influenced by Christian and Islamic teachings about the Afterlife. Even then, they are rare.

Although it's intriguing to speculate about the Afterlife (and I sincerely believe there is one), I don't think we are capable of fully understanding it until we get there. We are prisoners of our own linear logic. However, in this life we can open ourselves to spiritual growth and compassion, which by any measure, is a plus.

Spending Eternity watching Shakespearean plays does sound quite miserable to me, but one person's Heaven could be another person's Hell.
Who knows Michael? Maybe your Heaven will involve an eternity spent attending periodic performances of new plays written by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Alternatively, your Hell would be having to suffer through plays actually written by Shakespeare. :D

Walter asked, "Do you have a source for these spirit adventures?"

One source is The Afterlife of Leslie Stringfellow, which I discussed here:

This is the relevant excerpt from my post:

"Overall, I found The Afterlife of Leslie Stringfellow an interesting and worthwhile read. It is not likely to convince any skeptics, and I myself found some of the channeled material rather hard to swallow, as when Leslie attends a new play by Shakespeare (sadly we are not told if by 'Shakespeare' he means the Stratford man or someone else!), or when he visits an art gallery displaying a new masterpiece by Raphael or hears a concert featuring none other than Mozart on the piano. Some of this material reminded me of Borgia's Life in the World Unseen, another book that has always struck me as having a fictional quality."


You are probably already familiar with the book; “The Spiritualists' Reader: A Collection of Spirit Messages from Many Sources, Specially Prepared for Short Readings” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but if you aren’t you might want to check it out, if you can find a copy. It took me a couple years to find mine, but some of the “Collected Works” books on Arthur Conan Doyle’s work list it in their index.

It is a collection of communications received during séances, without any commentary but does list the source. It is arranged by the subject matter of the communication and addresses a number of the subjects that you expressed interest in; such as “spirits spend their leisure time attending new plays by Shakespeare and new symphonies by Mozart”, and a number of subjects that you didn’t mention such as “is there sex in the afterlife”, which I found interesting to be included in a book of this type published in 1925. 

I don't put too much faith in these books that try to "distill it down" for us. They always tend to select the communications that support the author's views, in this case a more sentimental one. Since the quality of the channelled material out there is so varied, it's better to do a careful study of it yourself. Otherwise you get a mixture of low-level material with the best and you have no way of sorting it out. I've read a lot of channelled material, and I never got the impression that it's all about service to others. The best of it paints the afterlife as immensly varied, not some dull Sunday school depiction of perpetual indentured servitude.

But since the plane of illusions is a stopover, it wouldn't surprise me to hear that some souls are enjoying Shakespeare or maybe listening to Einstein give a lecture on quantum mechanics.

One thing that never seems to go away, however, at least not until some far-off time when we may transcend all form, is struggle. The harmonius times are usually just brief periods of R&R. Until perfected, we're always going to search for the experience that gives us another missing piece. Sometimes it means reincarnating and sometimes it means moving on to a higher plane. Until then, we're just a work in progress and the striving never stops.

I'm glad someone else thinks that endless service sounds like a nightmare after a while! While the idea of helping others is certainly an appealing one, the thought of eventually doing nothing else is quite distressing; a few after-death communications have mentioned how after someone crosses over, their parents/significant others came up and said, "Now you will serve." After a lifetime of struggling with all the troubles on Earth, I think that's the last ting anyone would want to hear!

However, I think Paul is on to something: Maybe service isn't just grovelling at someone elses' feet all day and doing everything they command, but rather, doing what you can to help make the world (physical and/or spiritual) a bit better. If serving others comes in many forms and is about making things better, than maybe doing what you love and making it positive can count. Some examples might be:

A policeman who loves his job and adores helping to keep his community safe.

An author who loves writing uplifting books for children.

A social worker who loves making a difference in other people's lives and knowing that they helped someone get out of an awful situation.

So maybe the type of service these communications are really talking about is with regards to doing things you love that can positively impact other people and help them on their own journeys. I remember reading a few accounts (can't remember which ones) where some individuals work with the spirits of recently-passed animals, while others worked with the spirits of crossed-over children, almost like kindergarten teachers or babysitters. The thing was, both stories stressed how those individuals did the tasks because they loved it; the child-worker adored children, and she got to fulfill both her passion and help others at the same time. A win-win situation! And perhaps as individuals evolve and grow, they gain more and more satisfaction from helping others than personal pursuits (which begs the question: When he's not helping others, does Jesus ever take a day off to go fishing or hang-gliding?), with those pursuits gradually and naturally falling away, similar to how the things that bring us pleasure and happiness now are probably quite different than what we did as toddlers and in grade school.

Still, I have read several times from accounts that we can do things in the spiritual world that bring us happiness: the man who loves horse races can go to all the ones he wants and can bet all the money he could dream of; the painter can paint; the pilot can fly any craft they dream of, etc. But most of the sources I've read say that as time goes on, the desires and pleasures of the physical world fade away as we grow. Maybe by that point, we'll be ready for it, and the idea of serving/helping will be more appealing than it is now.

Also, I just realized while writing this that another form of service might including sharing thoughts and ideas about a topic that can help inspire others and give them ideas to ponder...something like, say, a blog, perhaps? *Wink, wink*

The deep philosophical questions such as to what form does the afterlife exist, I must say evades me. Like one person I read about who had had a NDE said - he doesn't need to ask the big questions anymore. I'm kind of the same.

If we look with a Quantum physics bent however, then if all of time was there and it was simultaneously experienced, I guess you could dip in to see a Shakespearean play if you wanted at any time (excuse the pun).

Using a top down approach, if we as souls have spent our entire life within the mundane and ordinary e.g. worked at a job, had a family, went to the theatre etc. Then it makes sense that revisiting those experiences and improving them ( as I read in one book) would be an important part of evolving as a soul and part of their learning experience. As hasn't your personality been formed by your experiences with people and with life, to create who you have become?

Spirit also seem to come to me and others as they are. So obviously who they were has not been forgotten. One spirit for example spoke to me out loud in her very New Zealand accent.

People are at so many different levels of attainment spiritually as well. From an extremists with anti-democracy views to Mother Teresa, I can see therefore that a 'one size fits all in heaven' would be very unlikely.

I also read at one stage of how a psychic researcher that died came back to talk to different psychics in various parts of the world, and suggested there were different levels in the afterlife. This resonates with me. Cheers Lyn.

At this point what I very tentatively conclude from survival accounts especially NDEs is that the greater reality is vast enough to allow for an infinite number of afterlife journies. The similarities among NDEs are convincing evidence of survival and of similar initial journies, but the differences may point to many different destinations. We may take the same kind of flight and even arrive at similar airports, but once we walk out the airport door we go to very different places.

"On a more personal note, I find the idea of ceaseless service rather off-putting. As someone who has spent an inordinate amount of time in recent years caring for ill relatives, I'm not sure I would look forward to an eternity of altruism. There's such a thing as caregiver burnout, even when the care-giving lasts only a decade or so. A trillion millennia of it would exhaust even the most bountiful spirit, I would think."

My feeling is that 'ceaseless service' is more an attitude of mind than an obligation in the practical sense.

+My feeling is that 'ceaseless service' is more an attitude of mind than an obligation in the practical sense.+

Well put.

Here's an interesting interview conducted by Mike Tymn, in which an "afterlife cartographer" discusses the various planes:


"Unlike earth, which is arranged geographically, the spirit planes are arranged hierarchically. As Julia Ames said, 'there are degrees in heaven.'

"This has several impacts. First, examining the communicators themselves, I found that I was mostly reading accounts by the newly-arrived. They occupied planes nearest to earth and knew the least about what they were describing.

"Second, the conditions of life become increasingly hard to describe as one mounts higher in the spiritual realms. Third, communicators lose their desire to communicate with us on this side the further up they mount the ladder of the planes. All this biases communication in the direction of the least well-informed, speaking on what is to them the most familiar territory."

Paul wrote, "I'm not sure how A serving B and B serving A is necessarily mutually exclusive and need be a chore (if in fact that's what you meant)? If the purpose of each of us is to aid the development of others and in so doing aid our own development this seems to have a resonance for me."

That's a good point. What I objected to was the apparent circularity of it, and the sense that it would be a never-ending exercise. But I think your way of looking at it is correct. It's a process with a goal - uplifting oneself and others to higher planes - and it requires not just self-help but active cooperation. (The idea of group souls may be relevant here.) If there is a definite sense of progress, with milestones reached and an ultimate goal in sight, then the whole thing becomes much more appealing and, I think, makes more sense.

Thought his name and the book rang a bell. I asked him a question in the comments in an article he wrote about the book. He didn't go into much detail in his response!

"The overarching point stressed by Heaven and Hell Unveiled is that the ultimate purpose of souls is loving service to others".

I agree that this couldn't be a purpose.

"If the purpose of each of us is to aid the development of others and in so doing aid our own development this seems to have a resonance for me".

That would go towards fulfilling a purpose, it wouldn't constitute a purpose.

I'm currently reading "what dreams may come". I haven't seen the movie yet. Only about 20% of the way through it, but it seems rather reminiscent of how a child might conceive of the afterlife!

I think one can make sense of it though . . at least from what I've read so far (he's just got to "Summerland"). Might write a review on my blog and Amazon when I've finished.

I liked "What Dreams May Come." The author, Richard Matheson, did a lot of reading on the subject; he lists his sources in a bibliography. Much of what he read would be familiar to readers of this blog. I seem to recall he came from a background of Theosophy or something similar.

The movie is not as good, but does feature some very beautiful special effects and some effective scenes. In one powerful scene, the newly deceased hero attempts to control his living wife's hand to write her a message, but he is unable to produce more than one or two scrawled words. Unfortunately the story is not well-developed and the ending falls flat.


I take your point however it seems to me that personal development may be a purpose. Ie a reason for doing something and an also potentially an objective in its own right.

It occurs to me that there may be many 'purposes' for service to others. If you mean 'some ultimate or final objective' then in my reading most of the communication that MP refers to is inconclusive as the purported communicators simply don't know what the final objective is.


I am new to the research for NDEs, psi etc. but I am just curious about something. There is a lot of talk in the literature about metaanalyses and how this metaanalysis confirms ndes or this metaanalysis confirms psi. I am under the impression that metaanalyses can be quite misleading because researchers can cherry pick the studies they include in their metaanalysis. My question thus is how do we know that psi/nde researchers are being honest when they perform said metaanalyses. I would be glad if someone would get back to me with an answer :)

In the political context of the world we live in, having a life purpose of ceaseless service to others has a dreary tinge of slavery to it. But if everybody looked out for each other, wouldn't this be a better world?
As idyllic as Socialism sounds to some folks, the reason it doesn't work isn't a lack of resources. The scarce commodity here is love.
Most readers of this blog know that the lack of universal love in this world is one of the trauma's that deep near-death experiencer's have to deal with when they reengage with life.

One of the reasons so many New Age folks sound like such airheads is their insistence on creating a world full of 'loving beings'. Send out enough loving energy and performing enough kind acts, and save the planet.
Somehow, I don't think ISIS or the average hedge fund manager would be open game to such efforts.

But what if we lived in a spiritually transformed state of existence where people really did look out for each other? Using this world as a metaphor for the next life, what if the rich looked out for the poor and the poor looked out for the rich? What if the person looking out for a disabled relative had an abundance of help? What would it be like if virtually everyone in this world looked out for each other?

I know, it ain't happening anytime soon, but it sounds like Heaven to me.

Great post and great comments!

I think part of the answer is that time does not work the same over there. Thus, there is not a feeling of having to do something over and over in a linear eternity.

And Michael, you are right about milestones. Spirit guides working with humans are to a large degree focused on Ascension right now.

I enjoy giving readings and advice to friends, but it doesn't dominate my time. Higher beings seem to feel the same way with respect to their own "time."

On another point, I agree with childish conceptions and the level of understanding that may cause them to come through in the channeling.

I was reading some Swedenborg recently. *Not* childish, but wrong in some respects, IMO. For example, he says angels used to be humans. I think what is saw is simply people in the Afterlife and saw them as angels. His conception of how these "angels" perceive time is a pretty big clue to understanding how time works in the Afterlife (i.e., state-based and not time-based).

As always, Michael, thanks for a thought-provoking post.

"There is, for one thing, a certain worrying circularity to it: if A's purpose is to serve B, and B's purpose is to serve A, then what overall purpose is there? On a more personal note, I find the idea of ceaseless service rather off-putting. As someone who has spent an inordinate amount of time in recent years caring for ill relatives, I'm not sure I would look forward to an eternity of altruism."

Perhaps a useful source of insight on this is the Life Review. Experiencers say they feel others' joy (and pain) as if it were their own. If that's accurate, then it means that in the spiritual realm, service is not about self-sacrifice, but self-giving, plain and simple.

If you received literally as much comfort and pleasure from caring for your relatives as they do, would you still label your efforts as altruism? Probably not.

But that's not how things work in the physical--we feel separate from each other, and can't share our joys as intimately as we might wish.

Maybe this is another example of how we need to be careful not to project our earthly psychology onto how we might feel in the "afterlife." (Probably an impossible task, except at certain very special moments.)

It boils down to this: if there's ultimately only one Being in this universe (as I believe), then all giving and all service is to oneself. This is not a metaphor but a fact, and we can feel its experiential truth in the life review, and, surely, to varying extents, even while still in the body.

Good point rabbitdawg. I agree entirely. In an afterlife with no division based on wealth, health or other material considerations maybe it would be easier.

"It boils down to this: if there's ultimately only one Being in this universe (as I believe), then all giving and all service is to oneself."

I believe the same "Bruce". Here's one of 'Seth's' quotes on how creation began and it's form.

e.g. "Desire, wish and expectation rule all actions and are the basis for all realities. Within All That Is, therefore, the wish, desire, and expectation of creativity existed before all other actuality. The strength and vitality of these desires and expectations then became in your terms so insupportable that All That Is was driven to find the means to produce them.,%20Tenets,%20Quotes%20of%20the%20Seth%20Material.pdf

Here is also a site about the psychic researcher ( Frederic Myers's) who came back and communicated with psychics after his death, and what he is purported to have communicated on the afterlife.

I meditated earlier today to connect to those above on the matter of the afterlife. Now I tend to not ask these questions for a number of reasons such as - downloading heaps of info is hard, it's not verifiable in a concrete way with me, I'm content with what I get etc etc.

This is what I get..

At this level- power appears to be limited to what they experience and understand. They don't dip into the past, but can experience past lives.

This is part of it, it got a bit heavy. Then I read Frederic Myers and Seth's quotes on the universe, and it all started to make sense- to me anyway.

As Seth says "Desire, wish and expectation rule all actions and are the basis for all realities'. So here's what i think ..

All of creation is consciousness, even a rock and a plant. Having had unusual experiences, I can relate to others having the same and I remember one day reading of a women who when meditating thought she became a cell in a tree. She said that all 'it' knew was that it had a basic sense of purpose, or was needed. So although we think of consciousness as being based on having a brain, I think there are gradients as such in the universe.

Myers suggest that many go to the level of "illusions' where you can live out your dreams, smoke, have a cup of tea etc. The purpose being, he says is to become satiated and no longer have primal needs.

Myers also suggests that as each level comes with more power, so we must learn the consequences of our actions, so we also re-experience our life after death to understand how our actions affect others for this reason.

And I think I understand what they were trying to tell me when meditating today.

Life is based on 'thought' and actions potentiated by that. So your journey from a simple cell, to human, to levels in the after life are all based on your experiences.

The first mental level was intimated to me as having your experience in the 'head' as opposed to experiencing it out there, along with more information given to you in order to create. But all you create once again is based on your past experiences. In the end when you eventually merge with god, you take your creations and the expanded form of you accorded to you by experience, back to the source.

Woo Woo stuff here, I really do try not to get too weird. But I certainly digressed today. Just my experience, and ramblings. Sorry far too long. Lyn x.

I'm almost finished, ha ha.

Having also read of what a person's deceased partner said when he turned up at the foot of the bed- that all experience matters, the good, the bad, the sad etc. And I think I understand what he means. That's what you take with you in other words, and that's all you have to work with throughout your journey. Just my thoughts. Lynx.

Hi Michael,

About serving others in the afterlife, I agree with Ian that the services we provide will be things that we love to do. Though there will be plenty of challenges, it will not be drudgery.

Also, just as we need R&R here on earth to break up the work and recharge our batteries, the same would be true there. After all, the only thing that changes when we pass to the other side is that we leave our physical body and the physical world behind. Our entire character and pattern of life continues on. Though there seems to be great variety in how people in the spiritual world live their lives, I do recall one place in which Swedenborg mentions certain angels doing their jobs in the morning, and having the afternoon and evening free.

If Shakespeare's not your thing, I'm sure there are plenty of other things you'd find enjoyable in your spare time.

I've come more and more to think of this life as a practice run and apprenticeship for the next life. This would mean that our life there is a continuation and development of our life here, not a radical break from it. Whatever general direction we set here through the development of our life and character, we'll continue going in that general direction in the other life.

I do, however, think that we still make real decisions there that affect the specific direction our life will go. I've come to think of our course in the afterlife as being not a simple linear progression from a direction set by this life, like the release of an arrow, but rather as a cone of probability that widens out in a general direction, but has many possibilities within that overall direction in life.

The issue of ultimate purpose in life is a tough one to nail down, because almost any answer seems to have some circularity to it. However, I do think it has to do with loving relationship among beings who freely choose to be in that relationship. Service to others is one of the ways that loving relationship is expressed and made real--but not the only way.

I also think that further development of our character through continually learning and continually gaining a greater capacity to love is a part of our purpose in life.

Swedenborg offers the image of the vortex (which seems, in his usage, to be a spiral that progresses in three dimensions rather than in two) as a geometrical figure that better pictures the course of our life than a simple circle or even a spiral. We continually go around in cycles, but there is a progression to the cycles so that on each cycle, we go higher or deeper or farther along on our life path.

"If Shakespeare's not your thing, I'm sure there are plenty of other things you'd find enjoyable in your spare time."

Since several people have made comments like this, I must not have made myself clear. Actually I like Shakespeare very much. My problem with the idea of Shakespeare and Mozart writing new plays and symphonies in heaven is simply that it sounds, to me, kind of ridiculous. Let me see if I can clarify why it strikes me this way.

1. Name-dropping. Any time a medium claims to be bringing through a celebrity or famous historical figure, I get suspicious. The same is true of channeled literature.

2. Inconsistency. We're told that more advanced spirits move on from Summerland to higher planes fairly quickly. Are Shakespeare and Mozart so un-advanced that they're still hanging out there centuries after they died?

3. Lack of evidence. It would be a lot more convincing if the channeled material included, say, excerpts from Shakespeare's new plays. Since he's had 400 years to hone his skills, presumably his new stuff is even better than Hamlet and King Lear. But we never get even a small sample of it. (On rare occasions when mediums do claim to bring through Shakespeare, his poetic abilities seem to have severely retrogressed.)

4. Logical implications. Do only geniuses keep at their art, or do lesser lights continue working also? Is Raymond Chandler writing more Phillip Marlowe novels? Is Agatha Christie penning new mysteries? Going lower on the artistic scale, is Harold Robbins still pumping out potboilers? Has Jacqueline Susanne produced more sequels to Valley of the Dolls? And, somewhere in heaven, is Ed Wood directing Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson in a remake of Plan 9 from Outer Space? If not, why not? Why should Shakespeare and Mozart have all the fun?

You can see how the whole scenario starts to seem more absurd than uplifting. This is why I would assume that many of the mundane details in the channeled literature are generated by the subconscious (or, in some cases, by conscious invention).

Hi Michael,

Like you, I suspect that most of the mediums who claim to be channeling famous figures are either being deceived by their contact spirits or are themselves deceiving us. Those figures themselves would have long since moved on to higher realms, and would have little interest in speaking with people on earth. For one thing, all of their friends and all of the family members they knew would have already died long ago. Who would they want to speak to?

I think that the reason famous figures show up so often in channeling, psychic regression, and so on is that . . . well . . . they're famous, so it's cooler to meet them, or to have been them, than some unknown serf who slaved away in obscurity somewhere in Siberia his whole life. Statistically speaking, we'd be hugely more likely to contact some nobody than some famous person. But spirits on the other side will present us with famous people because they get our attention better that way. It's easy enough for spirits to impersonate a famous person whose life is public knowledge. Shakespeare and Mozart do seem to show up in more contemporary movies and plays than your average medieval Siberian serf. Spirits can be very good actors--or sometimes lousy ones who produce doggerel instead of polished iambic pentameter.

About Shakespeare writing plays and Mozart writing concertos in the spiritual world, I have no particular problem with their doing that. Obviously they loved to do it here, so why wouldn't they continue loving to do it there? Even if we don't carry our physical body with us, we do carry our motives, loves, and skills with us. However, I agree that they would be doing so at a higher level--perhaps in a way that we can't fully comprehend as long as we're still in the material world. I therefore doubt that their artistic productions in the spiritual world would translate very well, if at all, into material words and sound.

I don't find these tour guide reports of "Heaven" helpful at all. There's nothing wrong with speculating but it's likely to lead to unfounded assumptions that will begin to go stale as we crave ever more snapshots to get off on. It leads to depression eventually as each "high" wears off.

We create images (earthly images) of beautiful or hellish landscapes which we can never know are accurate until we see for ourselves.

I think we can say "something" with some confidence because although NDErs can't draw us much of a picture, they can attempt to describe the feeling...the dying experience itself (for most people) is very pleasant once the body is exited and the entrance into the light is nothing short of ecstasy to say the least. That's where my imagination ends :-)

My experiences are purely subjective, just that. I put them out there as just another possible explanation of an afterlife, or the meaning of life.

I think it's good though Duck soup to imagine, if only to think outside the square and expand our ideas. To be honest, most all of what we discuss can't be validated. NDE's vary considerably as well, I know Mellon Thomas had extended travel through the universe and beyond, and described the source as a mandala of souls.

From my experience 'a mandala of souls" resonates with me.
i.e. the source is all consciousness and that 'mind' of an individual is all you take with you.

As Lee wolf says, I suspect therefore that having ones life experiences as Shakespeare, Mozart, or a physicist, it's those talents and consuming interests that you take. I also think you probably develop these talents exponentially in the higher planes.

That makes sense to me, that perhaps the source split into human form to grow and develop in a myriad of ways, while giving them an understanding of the consequences of their actions along the way. That learning continues on up through the astral levels, and when souls are given quantum power they develop these talents which not only allows the source to grow in excellence, but provides him with a worthwhile companion in every way.

I think people also vary in the time they spend in the Summer lands Michael. I know Frederick Myers didn't communicate for 35 years. So perhaps time there is dependent on the development of the soul.

So I think therefore that the 'ordinary' makes sense. isn't it the ordinary things in life that bring us such delight, for even those humans with loftier accomplishments. That morning coffee for example . So I can see why an 'all that is' may even desire to experience that. Lyn x.

I'm hoping some here can help me out on something. I think that materialism is usually attached to atheism meaning if you believe that matter and energy is all that exists then you likely don't believe in gods, spirits or an afterlife. The impression that I get here is the viewers of this forum aren't materialists since they believe in some kind of afterlife but also don't believe in a higher power, or at least the chrisitan god. That's fine but if that's the case then what is the origin of the afterlife and where do our souls, spirits or ghosts come from? What would be the source of the supernatural if god doesn't exist?

I realise I posted page 3, instead of page 1 of Tranfer4mind .com, which is about Frederick Myers. Its here if anyone is interested-

Cheers Lyn.

Luis, I think it could be perfectly logical to believe in an afterlife without believing in God. There could be natural processes at work that we don't understand - we don't understand consciousness, for instance, where it is generated. There's no proof either way that consciousness is generated by the brain. As water is liquid, or solid, or gas, so our consciousness could undergo a similar transformation upon physical death.

Personally, I believe there is a God, a super-power, at work. Whether this is a "Christian" God, I don't know. The Old and New Testaments present very different ideas about God. Jesus' teachings about God are very mystical in some instances.

\\"That's fine but if that's the case then what is the origin of the afterlife and where do our souls, spirits or ghosts come from? What would be the source of the supernatural if god doesn't exist?" - Luis//

Luis I used to teach 9th grade Physical Science. I think I can answer that question, if you really want to know? There is the original film, where all the information stored on the film is spread throughout the entire piece of film, where each piece contains the whole and everything is connected and everything interpenetrates everything, and then there is the projection from that holographic film. A hologram is made of two parts, original holographic film, which can be made out of pure information, in a similar way in which video games are projected, only in a 3-D format.

The projection is done with coherent light, like lasers, where all the photons are aligned in one direction. The projection is made by shining lasers on the film and then splitting and crossing the beams back upon one another, and the interference pattern produced, at the juncture between the beams, produces and image.

That is what many believe our Universe might be because it seems to have some of the attributes of a holographic projection; and interestingly enough that is how many near death experiencers describe their experience, talking about feelings of oneness and connectedness, being everywhere in the Universe at once, seeing 360 degrees at once, etc.

So, the origin of "this place" is the other side, some strange holographic dimension, like holographic film, and that means that what is here is simply a projection from someplace else, and upon the death of the physical body, the thing we call "the soul" simply merges back into that original holographic film, albeit changed somehow by the time it has spent here, and the things it has learned while embodied and living in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe.

So the soul simply comes here to this dimension, lives in a body, and learns the things here that can't be learned on the other side due to the differences between the physics of where we are now and the physics of holographic film. We are simply spiritual beings having a physical experience.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's Final Moments With His Wife, "But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: "This is all an elaborate hoax." I asked him, "What's a hoax?" And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn't visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can't even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once."

"The impression that I get here is the viewers of this forum aren't materialists since they believe in some kind of afterlife but also don't believe in a higher power, or at least the chrisitan god . . . What would be the source of the supernatural if god doesn't exist?"

Luis, I've talked about my concept of God so often here, that I hate to bore everyone by repeating what I've already said a thousand times. Nevertheless, you asked, and I do love talking about these things, so here goes.

My own understanding, which comes largely from my experiences in altered states and from the writings of NDErs and other mystics, is that the entire cosmos is one limitless entity, whom we can refer to as Source, All That Is, or God.

Because Source wants to know itself--to experience itself--in as many ways and from as many angles as possible, it chooses to partition itself into the enormous array of things and beings that make up manifest reality.

A key aspect of this scheme is that Source gives each of these split-off units the gift of temporary forgetfulness of its basic identity. In other words, you and I forget, to varying extents, that we are pieces of God, because this makes possible certain experiences that simply couldn't happen if we knew at all times, exactly who we are and where we come from.

It also makes possible the thrill of unraveling a profound mystery, the challenge of finding our way back home, and the incredible ecstasy of returning to our loving, complete, Self at the end of our journey. (Though in truth, there is no end, because the process of leaving Source and returning to it, is repeated endlessly, with infinite variations.)

It's a plot we know well and evidently find irresistible. Think of all those movies that revolve around an amnesia victim gradually discovering his or her identity. I think we resonate so strongly with that basic story because it is our own.

You ask about the supernatural. That's Source's way of talking about aspects of itself that are partially hidden, yet partially revealed, behind the wall of amnesia.

I really like the way Mellen Thomas Benedict describes his experience with the Light (God) during his NDE. It parallels exactly with how Michelle M describes her NDE describes consciousness,

Excerpted from Michelle M's NDE, "I remember understanding the others here.. as if the others here were a part of me too. As if all of it was just a vast expression of me. But it wasn't just me, it was .. gosh this is so hard to explain.. it was as if we were all the same. As if consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be like all things are all different parts of the same body."

Here is how Mellen Thomas Benedict describes essentially the same thing, "And it became very clear to me that all the Higher Selves are connected as one being, all humans are connected as one being, we are actually the same being, different aspects of the same being."

" it was as if we were all the same. As if consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be like all things are all different parts of the same body."

Art, thanks for chiming in on the creation myth I laid out in my last comment. Those are great quotes.

Here's Anita Moorjani on the same subject:

"As my emotions were being drawn away from my surroundings, I started to notice how I was continuing to expand to fill every space, until there was no separation between me and everything else. I encompassed­---no, became---­everything and everyone."

My guess is that even some readers who embrace the wisdom of the NDE tend not to take sentences like that last one at face value. They may see them as metaphors or exaggerations. But I'll tell you this--anyone who's had a taste of that state of consciousness knows her statement to be the truth, plain and simple.

And what might we call that state of consciousness? Moorjani answers that beautifully:

"God isn't a being, but a state of being." (Luis, that's my short answer to your question about my conception of God.)

What she says next sheds light on the true nature of psychic phenomena: what we call "reading someone's mind" is nothing other than knowing your*self* beyond the temporary boundaries (the amnesia I described) we set up in the physical realm.

"I was fully aware of every word of the conversation that was taking place between my family and the doctors, although it was physically some distance away, outside my room. I knew the frightened expression on my husband’s face and could feel his fear. It was as though, in that instant, I became him."

By the way, does anyone here remember the famous calling card, "Have gun, will travel"?

Here's mine: "On vacation, will philosophize."


Bruce, I could give quote after quote from NDEs and mystical and transcendental experiences expressing the oneness and connectedness of the other side. They all say essentially the same thing, and they can't all be liars!

"I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere." - from Carl Turner's mystical experience,

"I literally had the feeling that I was everywhere in the universe simultaneously.
excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE,

Well that's enough for now but you get the idea.

Bruce, I like to say I am a PhD - which stands for Philosopher, hermit, Dreamer... {grin!}

Art, here's my own quote. This is from my journal, written in June of 1995 while in a state of consciousness that has much in common with an NDE. I had just emerged from the deepest, trance-like part of the experience, regaining the ability to speak into my little recorder, while still in an extraordinary psychological space:

"I can't imagine after an experience like I'm having that I would ever look for proof again--proof of survival or proof of safety, or whatever. Because I spent so much time . . . I experienced so deeply that I am . . . everything.

I'm the landscape, I'm the people, I'm the whole thing. Every aspect of the universe is me. I'm just choosing to experience different parts of it from time to time."

To clarify: in each incarnation I gain a fresh perspective by choosing to dwell within one single part of the limitless being that is my true self.

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