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Why COVID-19 doesn’t scare me to death

Posted on 11 April 2020, 9:02

Unlike so many of the world’s population, I am not terrified of dying. I respect death and want to avoid it, of course, and I take reasonable precautions to postpone it as long as possible. What leads up to death, as long as it’s not sudden, is usually painful and thoroughly unpleasant, but the moment of death is painless. It’s not the horrifying experience that many imagine. You just gently slip out of your body.

What horrifies most people about death is not usually fear of that moment, but fear of what follows. And there is nothing so horrifying as the thought that nothing follows. That’s what most of us dread the most.

But if you believe that life goes on, only in a somewhat different kind of world, fear of dying is greatly reduced. And the coronavirus, at its worst, can do no more than send you on your way to a different set of adventures.

I am one of these fortunate people, but not for the reasons you might assume. My confidence that life goes on is not based on religious teaching but on research. I’m not alone. Many consciousness researchers have concluded that the chances of surviving death are very high. They see mounting evidence that the brain is not the originator of consciousness but its transmitter. The mysterious immaterial self that we are uses the brain as an instrument — rather like a television set picking up electromagnetic waves and translating them into image and sound.

According to their research, the self disengages from its instrument at death and moves on. I find the evidence for this, which I’ll get to below, compelling and want to share it with two types of people.

First, people of faith. My long experience with my friends who fall into this category, almost all of them Christian, is that they are very afraid of death any way it comes, COVID-19 or otherwise. Why should this be? The reason is uncertainty about what follows. Is there suffering? And what about heaven? Is it really blissful? How so? The tenacity with which some of my very old friends hang on to life suggests misgivings.

Second, agnostics and nonbelievers. Quite a few of my friends fall into this category, and I would have joined them long ago if it weren’t for the evidence we’ll look at in a moment. These people always see themselves as scientific, and science tells them we are only our physical body. End of discussion. But they have not looked at the evidence.

One facet is purely philosophical: none of our thoughts or feelings have anything in common with physical stuff. They have no weight, size, color or smell. They aren’t to the left or right of anything. They are immaterial, or what we sometimes call “spiritual.” This is suggestive, but we need more.

So we turn to empirical data. They fall under nine headings, each by itself a powerful argument pointing to a world beyond ours. These include deathbed visions, the near-death experience, apparitions or ghosts, the uncanny memories of little children about what feels to them like a previous life, poltergeist phenomena, spirit channeling, instrumental transcommunication from the deceased, terminal lucidity among advanced Alzheimer’s victims just before death, and unwelcome intrusions by earthbound entities. If any of these, let alone all, are what they seem, then some kind of personal afterlife is strongly indicated.

Digesting this information should greatly reduce the feeling of panic at the thought of dying by COVID-19 or any other cause. Here are the best sources for reducing the terror: David Fontana’s monumental Is There an Afterlife?, Chris Carter’s Science and the Afterlife Experience, my own When Did You Ever Become Less by Dying? Afterlife: The Evidence, Michael Tymn’s blogs at White Crow Books, Jeffrey Mishlove’s YouTube video collection at New Thinking Allowed, and Keith Parsons’ YouTube videos on the afterlife.

From this massive amount of evidence, I long ago concluded that we survive bodily death. What we live into is a fascinating subject in its own right. But that is for another day.

Stafford Betty is a Cal State Bakersfield professor of religious studies and author of The Afterlife Unveiled and Heaven and Hell Unveiled.


Comments

Jim, you wrote: “I want to know of experiences and messages which tell of folk who in this life were selfish, uncaring, and dominating.  They were like that here.  What about there?”

Jim Hunt, Fri 17 Apr, 22:30

My book Heaven and Hell Unveiled, published by White Crow Books, goes into this subject in detail.

Stafford Betty, Thu 23 Apr, 22:01

Very Interesting. As I Lost Someone Special To Me Over Two Years Ago Now.Suddenly And Unexpectedly. And I Miss Him Dearly. And So Much Now. 😢 I Want To Know If He’s Not Gone And If He Will Wait For Me In Eternity. And If We Are Going To Be Together Forever Again Once More. I’ve Always Been Interested In Whether Life After Death Is Real. When I Was A Lot Younger I Used To Think That Once You Died, Then That Was It.

Catherine Sartorius, Sun 19 Apr, 04:11

Hi Jim
You can get back to the page by cutting and pasting the link in the email in your browser WITHOUT the first part that says {site_url}.

With what I’ve learnt, people that have been selfish, uncaring and dominating in their last term at earthschool will find themselves in a level where everyone else is just like them.

People like that usually have a lower vibration and you go to where your vibration at the time of transition takes you.

At some stage you will go thru a life review which is like a high-speed video of your last earth life in which you get to feel how you made others feel, good and bad.

If you don’t learn and truly feel remorse for the negative way you impacted others you will stay in the lower vibration realm till you do.

These realms can be very grey and uninviting which is due to the vibration produced by the people there.
Its not unusual for people to remain in these realms for a long time because they are in denial and refuse to accept their wrong doings.
In saying that they can move up to the beautiful realms with the higher vibration souls at any time if they show true remorse and ask from the heart for help in doing that, but it has to come from the heart not just a casual “yea ok I did wrong”

Their are helpers just waiting for your cry for help, no one is forgotten no matter how low their vibration is, but it is up to them how long they stay there.
For some it can be ions of time, you cant be helped if you wont help yourself by asking for that help from your heart.

A good movie that explains this is called Nosso Lar or Our Home in English, it is a Brazilian made movie based on channelled writings of one of their best mediums Chico Xavier.
Sometimes you can find it online or you can order a dvd,I use it to help people understand why we are here and help with the false emotions of “grief” and loss”.
Bret.

Bret Robinson, Sun 19 Apr, 03:10

I have one oerson telling me were to find a reply to my comment, but I cannot find it.  However I repeat the gist of it.  I appreciate the good intentions of Staffordbetty and others quoting evidence from mediums and their messages which remove fear, but I want to know of experiences and messages which tell of folk who in this life were selfish, uncaring, and dominating.  They were like that here.  What about there?

Jim Hunt, Fri 17 Apr, 21:30

Here are three of my favorite quotations on the subject. I offer them in thanksgiving for your comments.

“Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness.” Jerry Fodor

“If we were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of this world would at once be dried up.”  Dostoyevski

“It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”  C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Stafford Betty, Fri 17 Apr, 14:05

Stafford,  how right you are about Christians. If I believed that we first of all had to rest in peace in the ground until Judgement Day, then I would also be terrified of dying. As it is I have read survival as a branch of physics, something that is a scientific fact and is natural and normal. Something to look forward to.

Michael Roll, Thu 16 Apr, 09:21

Just another day at earthschool for us immortal spiritual beings having a human experience!!

Bret Robinson, Thu 16 Apr, 07:58

Morning all, since my early twenties, I not only believed in the continuation of awareness, I had many experiences. I may have mentioned before, that after delivering my third baby I went into a state of physical collapse and my awareness was witnessing the panic from up on the corner of the ceiling. My state was complete calm observation. Obviously, I returned to my body and next morning Sister said, “We nearly lost you last night” Now just past eighty years, I have in my memory, many spiritual encounters, including Princess Diana and in my work as a care, assisted some souls to the gate as it were. As I age, my insights increase and colours of nature that the physical eye could not normally see, are revealed to me. So many examples, I could tell you about. I do share with others of varying faiths, or of none. Local Anglicans have got used to me now too! I really should complete my book! Blessings to all, such companionship is encouraging and a relief in this trying times. Margaret Coles.

Margaret Coles, Thu 16 Apr, 07:55

I entirely agree with you. I too am not afraid of death because of all the reasearch that was done that I did read. Now let me add two comments:

1) I don’t want to die mainly because I don’t want to abandon my wife and my two dogs behind. However, this fear of Covid19 mostly appears like a hysteria promoted by ignorance and media. But if you look at statistics, one has very low risk of dying from it, even if they catch it!

2) Fear of death because one fear there is nothing afterwards, is being scared by an idea, which is ludicrous. I remember that once, long ago, I did a meditation focusing on the fear of anihilation, the fear that I would entirely disappear upon death (an old Sadhu meditation by the way). Well, this was my best meditation ever, and turned my fear of death to dust…

DOM, Thu 16 Apr, 04:52

C.M. Mayo, I know what you mean about the “changing the subject” routine.  It’s happened to me on at least two occasions, and it almost seems like it comes from some book one of them wrote on how to cope with those incorrect spiritual people.  But I’ve never come across the book…

Stafford Betty, thanks for a great post!

Lloyd, Thu 16 Apr, 02:49

I first became interested in White Crow books when I found a group of Christians investigating messages through mediums coming from Stephen the martyr. In this series we are looking at now we read an article mentioning the power of love.  Today we have an article comforting those afraid of death with the view that there is no hell. I see no harm in writing books detailing evidence that there is another life after death and that the process of dying may not be terrifying, but seeing how some people in this life care for others and others hate and despise and think only of themselves I wonder how this can be corrected in the life to come. There is a great gulf there in what we call moral matters. The church has theories about judgment, forgiveness, and punishment.  What evidence is there from the spiritualist side?

Jim Hunt, Wed 15 Apr, 23:48

A most interesting article, thank you, Stafford Beaty! At the height of painful, chronic, debilitating fibromyalgia I prayed for a miracle. I even prayed for my own death, anything to escape the horrid pain that just kept getting worse no matter what I tried-both medically and holistically. It was then my uncle, a free thinker, who was always giving me books on metaphysics and healing beyond the medical phoned to suggest I see friends of his who had helped him and his family as well as members of his Edgar Cayce group who had introduced him to Joy of Healing founders, Tamara and Andrew Overlee. Uncle Bill assured me, “If anyone can help you it’s Andrew and Tamara, and their spirit family who work with them. And help me they did. It has now been more than 20 years since I first my dearest friends and experienced their spirit family. Because of them, and my own efforts that at last had direction and focus, I am in remission, pain and prescription free. They helped me physically, emotionally, and spiritually; and I am forever grateful for Andrew’s healing trance mediumship and Tamara’s spiritual counseling. After experiencing their work I know that we are spiritual beings experiencing life here on the earth plane and upon passing our souls do live on.  My life altering experience was so much more than spirit assuring me of the eternalness of the soul. Because of them my life is full beyond my wildest dreams. joyofhealing.com shares so much information Re: The Truth of Life From the World of Love and Spirit, which is also the title of Tamara’s beautiful book of universal truths that has helped me and so many others. Thank you for your article which inspired me to write and share my personal experiences with spirit and mediumship,

Janet Komanchuk, Wed 15 Apr, 22:38

Yours is a thoughtful, well-expressed piece that should influence the fence-sitters who can’t make up their minds whether the Afterlife is real or not. I have had the enviable experience of being in touch on a regular basis with a “ghost” whom I love very much (my wife, a term she never cared for). She has maintained contact with me in very dramatic ways during the six years since her “death”. She has also been in contact with her sister, her niece, and a close friend of ours who heard her speak clearly to him as though she were sitting beside him. Both he and I have seen her as well. For me there is absolutely no doubt whatever that we never die. My dear ghost went to the trouble of arranging for a medium to make contact with me so that we could have direct communication with each other. She has given me valuable information about the Afterlife. Two major points: Be who you are, and Don’t feel guilty about anything. She has a wicked sense of humor and has played a variety of pranks on me over the last six years. I am never alone and never out of reach of her love and assistance. I still marvel at the fact that there are those who are in doubt about the reality of the Afterlife.

Frank Juszczyk, Wed 15 Apr, 20:10

Thank you, Stafford Betty.

I agree and would strongly emphasise that, as you say, the question is not a religious one, but one of empirical science. Religions are made-made, and probably in every case the product either of terror or of one or two strange and wonderful genuine beyond-this-world experiences of the originator of the particular religion enhanced by a great deal of this-world all-too-human imagination and, too often, power-lust.

Real ‘spiritual’ awareness gives the only genuine experience, and that experience comes in all the forms you mention. ‘Churchianities’ and systems of ritual, wherever they are found, are to be sloughed off by the open and aware mind, though it take decades to become completely clear of human invention, and the No-Thing-that-cannot-be-described which replaces the human dross is to be enjoyed both now and after sloughing off that other impostor, the physical body.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 15 Apr, 13:04

Dear Stafford Betty,

Yes indeed, there is quite a stupendous heap of evidence for the survival of disembodied consciousness, but not everyone is ready to be so scientific as to actually look at the vast range of what has been published, which is just endlessly peculiar to me. Although I strongly suspect that many people say they do not believe in life after death, or say that they don’t really know what to think about it,  in order to avoid ridicule—and especially ridicule behind their backs—when in fact, they do believe.

I know you know of it, so I will take the liberty of mentioning that as the author of a scholarly book on the ardent Spiritism of the leader of Mexico’s 1910 Revolution (and including my translation of his 1911 Spiritist Manual) I am continually struck by how many people, otherwise keenly interested in Mexico, find the subject of Madero’s Spiritism beyond their ken for any discussion whatsoever. I have learned to answer casual dinner party questions about my latest book with a quick, and soothing, “well, I know, it’s a really tough subject for people to talk about, haha, no one asks me about it!” and I stand ready to let them change the subject to the easier one of my current work-in-progress (a travel memoir, nothing overtly metaphysical). In the past, when I would start to say anything at all about my book about Madero’s Spiritist Manual, oftentimes they would get a look of rigor mortis and suddenly HAVE TO interject some terribly enthusiastic comment about whatever it is we’re eating—or, what is that bird outside the window!!!??? At first I found that reaction disconcerting, then I found it sort of predictable and a little bit annoying/ amusing, and now I figure, well, that’s just their limit, OK.

At the same time, I have been struck by how very many Mexicans, some very distinguished, have seen my book as the opportunity to confess to me, sotto voce, things they have witnessed that they never told anyone, or never said publicly and no doubt never would. So this underscores my suspicion that many people do believe in life after death—and many more things—but they won’t say so openly.

Thanks for this one.

C.M. Mayo, Wed 15 Apr, 12:20

Great blog - it’s time we started to wear our mortality with pride and accept we are just passing through this physical existence .
.

Sue Brayne, Wed 15 Apr, 12:14

Dr. Betty, it’s so great to see your words added here. I’ve read your books and loved your talks for years. I’m also grateful to see the other comments here.

Perhaps I should know better, since I’ve learned from many accounts from beyond the veil in cross-correspondences, etc. and from those who also stopped short and returned, but it’s hard not to desire heaven prematurely these days. (And it could also be selfish to post that very thought.) Maybe there are others thinking the same thing or, in the wake of so much loss, who wish that we could even trade places with those are so deeply missed. Yet my own NDEs reminded me of something vital: I not only agreed to this stagecoach ride, but was its co-creator.

Many of us, I’d wager, who read this blog and the publications therein, are what may be rightly called ‘sensitives’. As such, it’s often easy to see the harsh lines between the best humans can feel and the sad places. While it would be grand to see our leaders respond decently, to see health care blanketing those who need it, I realize far more difficult realities have been part of the earth experience going back many thousands of years.

Perhaps these are the best days to reach out to others with the certainty of life eternal and, best of all, no hell awaiting - except as a fiction from man’s need to judge or constrict the behavior of others.

To those who have made it your mission to continue these messages of hope, thanks from the heart. It seems you are all part of an important soul group whose teachings were designed to coincide at this exact point in history.

Peace & light to all.

Brett, Wed 15 Apr, 12:09


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When Skeptics Attack: Skeptical Organizations and Websites by Craig Weiler – If you really want to get to the heart of skepticism, the best way to do that is to look at the organizations that skeptics create and see how they operate. The behavior of these organizations is the behavior of the individuals, writ large. There are two national organizations worth considering: the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). Read here
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