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Death and the Beyond

A GATE OPENS - Part I, Chapter 7

   BIRTH AND DEATH are the beginning and the end of earthly life, and no human being who has within him even a faint longing for the Truth can disregard the two important questions - how does life enter the physical body, and what becomes of it after death?

Most human beings are so fixed in their low views, which are focused only on earthly things, that they can no longer free themselves from them. Through the one-sided cultivation of the earthbound and therefore transient intellect, they have in their investigation into the enigmas of life lost a very important key, namely the ability to draw conclusions from that, which has its origin “above,” down to that, which manifests “below” as the effect. In spite of this, many a higher recognition may yet be gained alone by studying the effects “below,” if it is born in mind that the same Laws operate in the visible world as well as in the physically invisible world.

These Laws of Creation form not only what is on earth but also what is in the “beyond,” and furthermore it is through the effects of their working that nothing in the great Creation is lost. Hence also the life that has left the physical body at the time of death must have some form, and this form must have gone somewhere. And it is so indeed. The “formed life” that leaves the dead body is the soul, which after death passes over in human form into the so-called “beyond” - a collective term for a number of different regions.

The Law of Gravitation determines the place to which the soul comes there. Depending on how light or how heavy it has made itself on earth through its thoughts and deeds the soul, after leaving the body, either rises or sinks to the region that has the same gravity as itself, where it is then attracted by its homogeneous species.

Man holds far too narrow and one-sided conceptions about the living activity in Creation, thus also about the continued existence of the soul after death, supposing he really believes in it. He is often of the opinion that after death the soul goes to rest. Just the opposite is the case: If the soul wishes to remain alive after death, then it must not rest but has to move! For only movement is life! Phrases like: “He has gone to eternal rest” and “Rest in peace!” therefore give an entirely false conception of what takes place in the beyond.

The most lively activity prevails in the beyond, and experiencing there is much stronger and richer than here on earth. Man finds again in the beyond all that he thought and intuitively perceived on earth. These are his “works,” which follow after or await him, the good as well as the evil. These alone would be sufficient to prevent him from coming to rest. Thus there is no question of a personal resting or repose of the dead up to the Last Judgment!

The “awakening for the Last Judgment,” has a quite different meaning from what men imagine: Not all the dead, but all that is dead shall be awakened! By this is to be understood also all the evil qualities slumbering in the human souls as if they were dead, which will be roused through the Divine Power that is increased at the time of the Judgment; that is to say, they will be forced into the strongest movement, so that they may thereby pass judgment on themselves. He who as a result of his self-incurred failure does not stand the test of this great World Judgment sinks into the “other death” - which is the “eternal one.” With this he loses his laboriously acquired self-consciousness.

Therefore man should never forget the actual goal of his existence-Paradise! The road there leads through the beyond; earthly death is but a gateway on this road, which continues beyond the earthly sphere and offers to the upward-striving world wanderer a surprising vista into another physically invisible world, which is much vaster and more beautiful still than the earth.

Unfortunately, earthman has almost completely closed himself to this world, which actually does exist. He can no longer understand it because he has voluntarily narrowed down his perceptions, and confronts the happenings in the beyond with disbelief and doubt. Yet at any moment he can establish the connection with the beyond in the simplest way; he need be gifted neither with mediumistic nor clairvoyant qualities for this.

We all know of the “conscience,” but without ever having rightly discovered its true meaning: It is closely connected with the working of those deceased human beings, who seriously strive with their greater experience to help their fellow men still sojourning on earth, to guide them safely and to protect them - provided that through genuine longing or heartfelt prayer earthmen prepare the way for it. The quiet working of these helpers in the beyond is a part of our conscience, the other part being the voice of the spirit, thus our intuitive perception!

How often do those in the beyond try through an admonition or warning to restrain us from doing evil? How hard they strive again and again through a gentle urging to remove our hesitation, which still keeps us from a good deed. How many a time do they pass on good and useful advice to us? But of what use is their influence, however seriously meant, if we do not let them “appeal to our conscience,” but instead try to lull it to sleep, only to realize later that this certain something, which suddenly crossed our minds to the contrary, was right after all but was suppressed by our intellectual cleverness! Naturally, these helpers in the beyond can never force us, for they too must respect the free will.

Therefore blessed is he whose conscience is still alert, who by his own decision follows the voice of his conscience, and who willingly allows himself to be guided, led and protected by his helper in the beyond. In the helping and accepting of help there lies reciprocally a great blessing, which may bring an unsuspected spiritual upsurge for both parties.

But at times earthmen are given still other possibilities of a connection with the beyond, developing naturally and having nothing to do with artificial aids that are always potentially dangerous and seldom pass without damage to body and soul. Thus for example the English poet H. Dennis Bradley, who died in 1934, had promised to communicate after his death, if this were at all possible. And shortly afterwards he actually succeeded in giving a very good description of his experience in the beyond through a medium, which runs as follows:

“The landscape in which we live is a great deal different from that of the earth. It is of a blessed purity and clearness. There is a tremendous amount of light, and nothing is gray or even dark. “There is soil here too, as well as an ocean, trees, and flowers, but everything is more beautiful and more wonderful than on earth.

“Even the plumage of the birds is more radiant and more colorful. But strangest of all are the flowers. They not only exude fragrance, but also emit delightful sounds that the physical ear cannot hear, and which are different for each kind of flower.

“There is no weariness here and no need for rest, instead one feels oneself always overflowing with a wonderful strength. Time is of no importance. One is always busy, for there is a million times as much to be learned as on earth.

“There are millions and millions of departed souls to be found here. The spirits can communicate with one another, even though they spoke different languages during their earthly lives.

“The ability to move from one place to another is also wonderful. It is not the same as on earth, for there are no physical bodies here. Even though I do have a form that could be compared with a body, it does not bind me.

“Here it is enough simply to wish to be somewhere and immediately you are there.

“In the future it will probably again be possible for human beings still on earth and souls in the beyond to communicate. But for this it is necessary for the human being in simple trust to open the gates of knowledge, which he has closed to himself by his lack of belief.”

Physical death must lose its terror when we know that for the forward-striving human being it is simply a crossing from one sphere of Creation to the other. The soul, with the spirit as its core, only strips off the perishable earthly cloak; however, it retains the bodily form as a characteristic of the spirit, whose actual home is the Spiritual Realm, also called Paradise. The way there is long, but it is bordered by luminous gardens in which the upward-striving human spirit finds wonderful helps and refreshing strength. It is one of these luminous gardens that is described by the deceased poet from the beyond.

Not only once must a human soul be born and die again, until it has attained that lightness, and with it that purity, which completely detach it from the earthly. Then one day comes an earthly death, which for it will be the last. Freed from all earthly burdens, the spirit can jubilantly press on towards the Luminous Heights until at last the gates of Paradise will open for it. In stepping over the threshold to the Realm of the Spiritual, it has attained to the “other life,” and above it forms a wondrous radiant halo, causing it to give an exultant cry of supreme happiness: the Crown of Eternal Life!

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Excerpts are translated after the original German "Ein Tor öffnet sich" (A Gate Opens).
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