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A Meditation on War from a Spirit Perspective

Posted on 07 July 2022, 10:28

What follows is a meditation on war. Specifically, what do our spirit friends thing about the war in Ukraine? Is there a clash of wills. Though a work of fiction, it is based on my research, as found in my books The Afterlife Unveiled and Heaven and Hell Unveiled.

Sephia and Numen, trusted for a time with governing the astral world, never felt comfortable in the mountaintop mansion that served as home and headquarters of the former governors. Instead they made their home in a smaller building resembling an Italian villa that had once housed the head gardener and her family. But the mansion had an open-air turret that the couple prized. High enough to overtop the surrounding trees, it allowed a panoramic view of the landscape stretching into the distance. In restful moods they would sometimes fly up to it and stand, amazed that all this beauty was theirs to enjoy and rule. The terrain could be compared to the Lake Garda district of Italy with its cypress and pine forests, its olive and citrus trees, its clear azure blue lakes, steep mountains, and villages nestled in valleys or spread out in strips along the length of a clinging meadow. As they turned slowly around and scanned the horizon in every direction, they saw, even with their heightened vision, only a tiny fraction of their world. One of the beauties of the astral was its sheer size. So far out was its outermost sphere that it covered an area 56 times more expansive than Earth’s cramped land and sea mass. “So much space!” Sephia sang out. Only in the Shadowlands hugging Earth was there congestion.

As time allowed, they explored the lands modeled after the less temperate zones of Earth. Africans enjoyed thick forests of tropical foliage, Inuits the snows that they loved and named in its many varieties, and herders endless grasslands that was home to them. Even desert regions flourished, and whales and dolphins plowed through the oceans that lapped at the astral shores. Whatever the inhabitants desired and were willing to make and preserve—the landscapes and seascapes, the buildings and their furnishings, astral arts and technology, even the weather—was available. Learning and discovery replaced the dirty work of Earth. Imagination, industry, and teamwork had produced this amazing world, with every generation passing it along better to the next.

Yet this world was not heaven. Many souls lacked the curiosity or dedication—or humility—to learn; and a paralyzing self-made laziness left many stricken with boredom. Others occupied themselves with the events of Earth and failed to outgrow their mundane fascinations. They missed the nightly news, football scores, gym work, even soap operas. They couldn’t wait to discuss the latest shooting or politician’s fall from grace or the latest styles in shoes or even tee shirts with their friends, anything to fill the tortoise-like tread of time. Many sank into the Shadowlands, where gunless gang warfare prevailed, the only weapons being insult, hatred, and pointless competition. Time hung heavy, and rebirth on Earth often seemed the best way out. When unwilling to wait for an appropriate set of parents, many began considering any mother that came along. The most desperate flung themselves into an animal’s womb, anything to escape the unbearable drag of time.

It saddened Numen and Sephia when considering such waste. What caused such lethargy, such lack of curiosity? They thought that in most cases a traumatic childhood event on Earth—a child disease, a battering father, a terrifying witness to a mother’s rape, violent bullying, slow starvation when the rains failed, relentless neglect, any of a thousand things—was the cause. It stunned the child into a permanent state of victimhood. When they died, young or old, they brought with them a paralyzed will. They were not bad people—they didn’t belong in the Shadows, but they didn’t function in the astral either. Numen and Sephia regarded this as the most challenging problem they faced. But what could they do about it? Over and over they exhorted the healthy to love the victim into freedom.

All this beauty and comfort, this release from the deadening work of Earth—yet so many wanted nothing more than to go back there and do it all over again. Numen and Sephia had never experienced such torpor. They wondered what their galactic Parents must think when they see it.

Sometimes it wasn’t torpor that concerned them but its opposite. Many souls held convictions that drove them almost to a frenzy when challenged. Such was the case when Russians and Ukrainians clashed over Putin’s war, which was raging when the new regents arrived.

News of Earth was televised all over the astral—not directly, as if the planet’s technology could be taped for an otherworldly audience—but with the help of an array of astral scouts that covered the planet, country by country, region by region. These scouts—or sentinels, as they were sometimes called—patrolled their region and reported back what they found. In this way news of the entire Earth, not only one’s own country, was accessible and viewable using the same psychic technology that Dhruva used to project scenes on her hologram, though on a much larger scale for general viewing. In this way news of the war reached the astral’s entire population. In addition, soldiers and civilians killed in the war brought their own tales.

The purpose of scouting the planet was to facilitate spiritual aid, not excite factions and rivalries. Sephia and Numen got news of squabbles, then hatreds, then clashes as Russian and Ukrainian partisans lobbed psychic bombs at each other. The couple had witnessed such wars in the afterworlds of their own planets and seen the damage to basically good persons that such warfare caused. Many souls caught up in the fury found themselves catapulting toward the twilight regions of the Shadowlands. Recently arrived victims of the war were especially vulnerable.

As the madness spread, Numen and Sephia knew there was nothing they could do to get the two sides to reach agreement. They would have to use a different approach. It carried risks. If it succeeded, it would cement their authority. If it failed, it would threaten it.

They chose a spot where a famous peace memorial, a towering obelisk consisting of 85 heroes from Earth, had been sculpted from the ether and held in place by the will of the people. The heroes, 43 men and 42 women, were intertwined on the column as it rose toward the sky. Some, like Lincoln and Gandhi, were well known to Earth’s historians. Others, in the majority, were completely unknown. The greatness of their lives became known only after their death.

Highly skilled specialists had their projecting technology geared up and ready to go. The hologram that every citizen had access to in their homes was visible to the speakers, who looked at themselves in their striking robes heavy with symbolism. Numen’s featured broad horizontal stripes of white, blue, and red, the color and design of the Russian flag, in descending order; Sephia’s gown the blue and yellow of Ukraine’s, also in descending order. They stood holding hands, their bodies so different in appearance, his elongated and thin, hers short and sturdy.

They had memorized and rehearsed their speech, their first since arriving. At the nod of the director’s head, Sephia began.

“Friends, Numen and I greet you warmly yet soberly on this day, known as June 22-23, 2022, on our home planet. Many of you have been following events in Ukraine since the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, invaded that country. Some of you have taken sides and passionately defended one side and condemned the other. Full-scale psychic grenades molded of hatred are being slung back and forth. Hospices designed for the newly dead are being turned into emergency centers for victims of these brawls. In many of our homes a favorite pastime, watching the news, has occupied our citizens to the point of addiction.”

“We are concerned,” Numen continued. “When we arrived here four months ago we found an advanced planetary surveillance system in place. We were told it helped our world follow the events of the world you left behind at death and especially that it allowed you to keep in touch with the communities your loved ones lived in. In other words, it served as an outlet for a healthy curiosity about your former homes. In this way, we were told, it kept your kin close to you and facilitated the transfer of healing energy and love to them. More generally, it served as a portal for well-rounded entertainment.”

“But look what is happening now,” Sephia continued. “This war has ballooned into a distraction from the work you are responsible for doing. Please understand: We re not opposed to entertainment. There are a thousand ways for us to enjoy ourselves over here when our work is done. We are not even opposed to following the war if it doesn’t consume us or excite conflict.”

“To follow it with compassionate hearts heavy with sorrow is one thing,” said Numen. “To get caught up in the blood lust that makes you celebrate the slaughter of your enemy is quite another. And that is what we see around us now.”

“Please understand,” Sephia went on. “We know the issues. We see the wrong that Mr. Putin is doing. Invading a weaker country that borders yours is never excusable. Ukraine has a right to be outraged. To fight the invader, even at the risk of death, is an understandable response. And the courage to die in battle for a just outcome is praiseworthy and can even be heroic. But there is another side—there always is. Russians will tell you that Ukraine is a made-up country. If you have Russian friends, ask them to explain. They are likely to say that Lenin, then Stalin, then Khrushchev added territory to what is now Ukraine, and that Putin is only trying to take back what was Russia’s to begin with.” 

Numen continued: “Putin called present-day Ukraine ‘a regrettable accident of history,’ a claim that won’t make you friends in Ukraine or in most places around the world. But these arguments shouldn’t concern us. Here is what should. A fair number of the cities and towns in eastern Ukraine are uninhabitable, and that list is growing every day. Oil depots and chemical plants are burning. Clean water plants have been blown up. Rivers and wetlands are being laid waste. The global food supply is being blockaded at Black Sea ports. The carbon footprint left by armies at war is skyrocketing. All over the country smoke and ask hover over bombed out cities. Bridges and trestles needed to move populations and supplies have been wrecked. Altogether 30% of the country’s infrastructure has been levelled, with worse to come as Russia destroys armament sent to the front by Western allies. Meanwhile Six million Ukrainians have fled their homes, many of them living in terrible conditions in countries that welcomed them at first but now want them to go home. But to what?”

Sephia: “Ukrainian president Zelenskyy refuses to meet with Putin and discuss a truce. He is willing to watch his cities reduced to rubble by an invincible bully he cannot defeat. “Give me liberty or give me death,” said an American hero during their revolution. This is Zelenskyy’s policy. Is it a wise and good policy, or is it madness fighting madness?”

Numen: “Dear friends, this is not our war. If you feel you must get involved, then bombard one or the other president with thoughts of peace. You might get quite specific. Prompt Putin to resist the temptation to use a tactical nuclear device, which he is seriously considering. Or prompt Zelenskyy not to destroy Kherson, a lovely Ukrainian city on the Black Sea that he has sworn to take back, even if it leaves the city in ruins, like Mariupol. Send your prompts if you feel they will do some good. Nuke them with appeals to peace! They might make all the difference in the world. Otherwise get back to work. Your home is not Earth, but here in the astral.” 

Sephia: “We especially appeal to victims of the war who have recently joined us. Do not yoke yourself to the ringleaders of this mayhem. Rather, seek out victims on the other side, even those you might have killed if you can find them. Let them see your contriteness. Embrace them if they allow it. Endure humbly whatever emotion they throw at you. Help them digest this truth: You killed them because you were born to your parents and they to theirs—there was never anything personal. Do not allow an accident of birth—whether you were Russian or Ukrainian—to govern your attitudes. The astral exists precisely to take you beyond that.”

Numen: “Forgiveness is critical. No one who persists in hatred can find a home in the astral. That person will gravitate inevitably toward the Shadows. Dear friends, you were made by your parents for the worlds of light.”

Numen and Sephia, wearing their robes, turned and faced each other, then reached out and embraced. As they did, their bodies melted into each other, and the contrasting colors of their robes, the colors of the flags of Russia and Ukraine, faded and disappeared, leaving only a glowing, pulsating white with gold at the edges.

Stafford Betty, Professor of Religious Studies, CSUB, is the author of When Did You Ever Become Less by Dying? and Heaven and Hell Unveiled. Stafford’s latest novel, The Afterlife Therapist is published by White Crow Books.


This meditation on the current war in Ukraine is very interesting. It reminds me of the communications of James Padgett during the First World War. The Spirits in their World sadly attend the spectacle of the war which tears their brothers on Earth. Thank you, Professor Betty !

Jean-Paul Palat, Tue 26 Jul, 17:27

Thank you…may it be so…an embrace where the colors of the flags disappear into the White Light of Eternity..which is Infinite Love and Peace.

Sister Rosemarie, Sat 9 Jul, 23:39

Stafford, very creative with much conflicting imagery to ponder on.  I picture the lower Summerland.  I might be there now and just haven’t awakened to it.  Thanks for sharing.

Michael Tymn, Sat 9 Jul, 22:20

In the tragedies of old Greece at the end of the play there appeared a ‘deus ex machina’ ,a unexpected player suddenly appearing to give solution to the conflict…well, we are waiting for their appearance. But let us not forget the forgotten tragedies of Afghanistan and other regions where people are abused and killed for their religion, opinions and so on. How can we make it the world clear that we all are one and that nobody can own a country, a person or a spirit, here on earth as in the realms of heaven. Ownership is all a temporary illusion. We are all equal and part of the divine. Cooperation is the divine goal, not to divide, destroy or separate.

Chris, Sat 9 Jul, 18:21

What I believe the spirit world sees when looking at Ukraine from the vantage point poetically pictured in Stafford’s bold and unusual post, is something akin to a spouse in a dysfunctional relationship, long abused, stymied, and threatened by a partner, who eventually comes to see no way out but a desperate, decisive act of violence.

To focus primarily on that act of violence and ignore the historical context (the mainstream media approach to the conflict) is to prevent the possibility of perceiving and evaluating the situation in its totality, complexity, and ambiguity, and then to easily slide into demonizing the reacting side (which Stafford astutely refuses to do).

Similar to the incendiary abortion issue currently discussed on Michael Tymn’s blog, where the spirit world seems as divided as we are here, the conflict in Ukraine is about as grey as it gets. The only way IMHO that it can be resolved (which may determine whether our world continues to exist) is for us to turn from simplistic narratives and do homework on the issue, drawing from a variety of sources, and then be willing to take a public stand whatever the cost.

Thank you, Stafford, for having the courage to wade constructively into a crucial and divisive issue where the world has lined up on opposing sides and the water is teeming with sharks eager to feed on easily-triggered emotions—hatred of a demonized enemy and compassion for innocent victims. Only when it comes to those victims being crushed in the conflict, the vast majority of Ukranians, does the greyness give way to painfully piercing clarity.

Father forgive us, for we know not what we do…

Newton Finn, Sat 9 Jul, 16:04

Thank you, Professor Betty, for another appealing and plausible portrayal of what awaits us.  If only more of us could live our current lives based on worldviews like this.

John Gallagher, Sat 9 Jul, 14:47

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Ukraine War: A Story of Survival, Sacrifice, and Service – If charitable service to those in need is the ultimate in spirituality here in the physical life, this book most certainly deals with spiritual matters. The author, Amber Poole, an American woman and her husband, Paul, from Scotland but with Polish roots, operated an educational center in Poland when the Russians attacked Ukraine in 2022. As many Ukrainians fled to Poland, they turned their center into a home for as many as 40 refugees. The author kept a very interesting “war diary” over the first 18 months of the war, discussing everything from the cultural adjustments required by both the Polish and the Ukrainians to her own reactions and adjustments, as well as philosophical concerns and conflicts that often surfaced. In spite of the adversity and distress, she embraced the adversity. Read here
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