A Novel set in the Afterlife by Stafford Betty
Posted on 29 January 2024, 13:44
My new novel, Guardians of the Afterworld, has just been released. It’s the third such novel. The others are The Imprisoned Splendor (2011) and The Afterlife Therapist (2020). Together they form an afterlife trilogy.
This is an evidence-based book about a world whose residents rest and recover their strength following death, examine and evaluate their lives on earth, try to resolve conflicts postponed or ignored, enjoy friends and family, learn new skills and develop untapped talent, engage in meaningful and often challenging work, and delight in the endless beauty and splendor of their new world. As in every society, problems continually arise, and resolutions are seldom easy.
This book is mainly concerned with the challenges that confront the Guardians and its 9 billion residents.
One of the earliest chapters deals with the war in Ukraine, which I thought would be over by the time the book was released. Not so. Soldiers are dying by the thousands and crashing into the afterworld with no preparation. Many of them carry intense hatred for the enemy when they die—what’s to be done when they encounter each other int this new world? The Guardians, highly evolved spirits appointed as governors of a world not their own, must decide.
A chapter near the end takes place twenty years later. A fleet of alien but well-meaning visitors intent on preventing our world from destroying itself lands simultaneously at six different sites in the US. How does the world react? What is the advice they give us? And how is it received by the Earth’s astral citizens?
One of the more dramatic chapters takes the Guardians down into the astral “basements” where murderers and torturers reside. One of them is Pol Pot, the Cambodian leader who killed over a million of his own people for the sake of an ideal. His fate will surprise you.
Still another dilemma confronting the Guardians deals with religion. Should children be raised in the religion they would have practiced if they had lived, or the universal religion of this new world? This is a deeply divisive issue with passions riding high, especially for Muslims. How will the Guardians rule?
The climate and weather of Earth present a different kind of challenge. Residents see their grandchildren suffering and dying from drought, flood, and storm and turn to the Guardians for help. The Guardians meet with Gaia, the great spirit residing in and managing Earth, and learn why she can do so little.
This book is full of surprises but is guided by research, some of it conventional wisdom, some more speculative and adventurous. I believe the world we enter at death is something like the one you meet here. You will not find Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father or Allah making weekly appearances to the faithful in Paradise. You’ll find something more interesting.
If you read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Thanks.
Stafford Betty, Professor of Religious Studies, CSUB, (ret) is the author of When Did You Ever Become Less by Dying? and Heaven and Hell Unveiled. His latest novel, Guardians of the Afterworld is published by White Crow Books.
Stafford can be found at www.staffordbetty.com.