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Are We Supposed to Know about Life after Death?

Posted on 27 December 2011, 16:01

A Lesson from the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Sometimes I wonder if we are supposed to know what to expect after we die.  Maybe it’s part of the divine plan that we do not.  Are the spirits who tell us about their world through mediums flouting the plan?  Are they making it too easy on us?  And isn’t earth supposed to be that place where nothing comes easy?  Not even the truth about ourselves—and our destiny?

Spirits do not agree with this assessment.  On the contrary, they feel that life on earth in the best of circumstances is difficult enough.  Adding more to the ordeal than is necessary is more likely to retard our progress than advance it.  Remaining ignorant of the divine plan is just such an unwelcome addition.  Ignorance of the plan leaves us in the dark about why we struggle, why we suffer, why we fail, and why we die.  Without insight into these mysteries, we are setting ourselves up for despair and character disintegration.  The spirits know this, and that is why they try so hard to come through.  For them it is natural that we should know in a general way what lies beyond death; it is in the Creator’s plan that we should.  The fact that so few of us do is a breach of the divine will, not its fulfillment.

I agree with this assessment.  But allow me to warn against taking your favorite account of life after death too literally.  Words reaching us from the Afterworld are inevitably too clumsy and imprecise to convey with accuracy what the next world is exactly like.  And there is the additional problem of the medium’s biases sometimes getting in the way of the spirit’s intended message.  Nevertheless, spirit communications are of great value.  I compare them to maps, and maps are essential for getting to places we’ve never seen.  When Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean in 1804, they depended on a few extremely rough maps.  As they proceeded westward, helped along by their Shoshone Indian guide Sacagawea, and later by other native Americans, their maps got better and better.  But it wasn’t until they reached the Pacific that they really knew what they had been seeking.  At that point they didn’t need maps.
Now our earth-formed theologies are like those extremely rough maps Lewis and Clark started out with in St. Louis.  The much better maps drawn up with the help of natives who knew first-hand the country ahead are like the accounts given us by spirits.  And the Pacific Ocean itself is like the world we will all enter in a few short years—when at last all will become clear, and maps will become obsolete and be discarded.

Stafford Betty’s new novel The Imprisoned Splendor

is published by White Crow books and available from Amazon and all good online book stores.

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What if the reason We have no detailed information of the afterlife is simply because its grandeur is so far beyond our limited comprehension that if we did understand it heaven - or whatever term we use - would be no more than our current minds and spirit could manage. Why is it not sufficient to trust God for the afterlife on the grounds Jesus gave to the thief on the cross. The critically important words are ‘Today you will be with me—’ Apart from knowing that all that hinders the full wonder of humanity will be removed and all unrighteousness overcome can’t we be content with the gift of eternal life in all its glory and leave the details in God’s hands? Revelation will come - let’s be happy to wait for it and focus on the more urgent tasks of living and sharing the Gospel now.

John Marcon, Wed 1 Feb, 10:36

I forgot that I had posted the following as a question in the Amazon reviews of your friend Michael Tymn’s similarly named _The Afterlife Revealed_.

p.s. I’ve since ordered his book (didn’t have it at the time I asked the question) and plan to read it after I finish yours.


Jun 13, 2011

I’ve always wondered…

What if they (those who are no longer in the physical) are wildly successful in getting their “message” across to all of humanity, via mediums and other evidentiary means. Assume for a minute that some day in the future it is absolutely *proved* that consciousness survives physical death. Don’t say, “Yeah, right!”, etc. I’m positing a thought experiment. Say there’s a point in the future when every single living human *knows* that they are an eternal spirit who chose to come here to “learn and love” and all that. Say that results in a world which no longer has all the “negative” things we experience in our current lives, things which seem to be necessary to the process of “learning to love unconditionally”. Say there is nothing but utter peace and love and tranquility and harmony.

My question then becomes:

What then?!? Doesn’t such a world represent “GAME OVER”...?!

If everyone learns and *lives* the lessons and messages that come across from the other side, then what’s left to do here?? *How* do we learn lessons *without* all the *crap* that we seem to *need* in order to learn those lessons?? We seem to *need* emotions and conflict and striving and all that stuff. Isn’t that precisely *why* our souls supposedly *chose* to come to this “playground”??

Don’t we risk becoming victims of our success? Don’t we risk ruining our playground?

Ron Cecchini, Tue 31 Jan, 07:14

Hi, Prof. Betty.

I’m the guy you talked with for about three hours one evening at last year’s Afterlife Awareness conference.

I remember that one of the things we talked about was the very topic of this blog post.  I even asked the question of the panel during the Q&A we had, which was before I grabbed you outside to talk to you.  This question continues to be probably the second most important/biggest question that I - for better or worse - obsessively fixate on. (The first being: “How did Something come from Nothing?” which is the same as, “Where did ‘god’ come from?”)

Anyway, I was just wondering if you are going to this year’s AA conference in Virginia Beach?

Take care.


p.s. _The Afterlife Unveiled_ is next on my reading list and I was hoping to finish it before the conference.  I also just ordered your most recent novel, which I’m excited about because it sounds very reminiscent of one of my favorite books and movies of all time, “What Dreams May Come”.

Ron Cecchini, Tue 31 Jan, 06:08

I totally agree there is life after life. We lost our child after an eight year battle with a legion on his brain. In this time our spiritual beliefs grew. I recently published a book on Amazon Kindle detailing my own experiences with this subject as well as my walk with God and supernatural events in my life. The book is titled Chris’s Crosses and is receiving very good reviews. It can be found here on my website if interested.

Chris Parsley, Wed 11 Jan, 01:01

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Spirits and Crime by Carl Wickland – Habits, desires and inclinations are rooted in the mind and remain with the individual after he is freed from his physical body, until they are eliminated by the will. The spirits of many criminals, murderers, those who were executed or are seeking for revenge, remain indefinitely in the earth sphere and often endeavor to continue their former activities and to carry out their evil designs through controlling the bodies of mortals who are sensitive to their influence. Read here
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