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22 January 2008

LIFE AFTER DEATH ( AN ALTERNATIVE VIEWPOINT )

No doubt believers (in life after death) have asked this question before. Some already know what to expect, some are not sure, some believe what their religion teach, others do not believe that there is even life after death, some refuse to even think about death and struggle to avoid it, always looking for ways to prolong their earthly lives.

Whatever your point of view doesn’t matter here. We are not trying to argue who is right and who is wrong. I’m only interested in seeing beyond death’s door and what’s on the other side because we will all reach that door one day. Is death really ‘THE END’ or is there something more that many have no way of knowing about until they reach that stage?


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Let us try to keep an open mind about this. There are many things which cannot be explained away by science or religion alone. Things that are hidden from the human knowledge and understanding - for the time being.

PROOF OF LIFE, after death

How do we get proof of life after death? Well, I suppose it is all around us today. Sensitive people are more able to grasps this ‘proof’ more than others. Their senses are much more sharper and finer than ours and they even have advanced senses that others do have. They are able to tune in to the existence of souls that were once human before and some can even communicate with them. Some call them mediums or shamans or psychics etc. There are even uncomplimentary names for these people which does not do them justice. Yes I know, I know… some are frauds but not all of them are. Some have proven time and again that their powers are genuine and you can see the result does not involve fraud or lies. They have many witnesses to back them up. Some belong to religious bodies, some to psychic societies, some to certain associations while others function alone as a freelancer.

There are also non-sensitive people who have had contact with the dead and they did not even start the communication themselves either through the Ouija Board, through a medium or some ritual/rite etc. It was the dead that contacted them first, either to convey a message, to show that they are trying to help you or that they have some unfinished business here on Earth that they hope you will take care off.

Other people, sensitive or not, have even been to the other side and back. They lived again and were able to tell others about it. My own husband’s grandmother, rose back from the dead after two days, coming into the third day, which gave her relatives a surprise, not to mention a horrifying shock as they were getting her body ready for burial. Noticing that her body had not started decomposing yet, her relatives decided to wait until distant relatives had arrived. It is the tradition of our people to wait until the third day before actually start burying the dead (which is a relief to those who happen to live again and have time to wake up above ground). After the initial shock, her relatives were told about what she saw and experienced on the other side. Her report is consistent with written material and personal confession that others have experienced in the past. This is not just in our society but all over the world.

Many people have done research and studies on life after death, they come from various professions ranging from doctors and scientist to ordinary people like you and me.

Proof 1; GHOST, who and what are they?


(Pictures borrowed for non-profit purposes. Source: Internet)

One book which I have read is about a ‘Vicar/priest extraordinaire cum Ghostbuster by the name of Aelwyn Roberts from the UK. For 40 years before retiring from his work as a parson in the Anglican Church of England, he had often been called to see into hauntings by people from various walks of life and to deal with spirits of the dead who have been Earthbound. He later did this work together with three other partners; Elwyn Roberts and Elwyn Edwards, who are members of the Society for Physical Research, UK, and his daughter, Bridget, a professional psychologist. The society does research on physic matters that are difficult to understand by the ordinary person on the street. Some of them have physic powers themselves and are able to sense spiritual presences. I suppose many of you have seen the movie ‘The Exorcist’ and are terrified by it. Well his experience is not as bad or terrifying. He managed to uncover what actually terrified people.

According to Aelwyn, many die unprepared and struggle during their last moments of physical life because they do not know what to expect after death. He also laments the lack of books in the English language on how to die gracefully. Surprisingly he says a book does exist but not from the Western World. It is called the Tibetan Book of the dead, researched and translated by Evans-Wentz. The original book was written during the 8th Century. This book tells us that making a good death requires skill, and skill comes from good instruction which the book itself provides. When a person dies in Tibet a monk is called to instruct him/her on what to expect in the next stage of existence and how to reach that stage. Even when someone dies suddenly, the monk is still called to give instructions. Days later, he will still continue to read into the ear of the dead person, continuing even during the funeral ceremony. Buddhist believe that even after death, a person’s soul will be able to hear and to understand his ‘earth’ language for many days. They believe that the last earth faculty to be extinguished is the sense of hearing.

Having often conversed with the dead through his friend Elwyn Roberts, who has the gift of ‘discerning spirits’, Aelwyn discovers that the ‘thing, ‘evil spirit’ or ‘ghost’ that haunts a particular place or building ceases to be exactly that once they reveal their true identity which is that of ‘Yesterday People’ or people who were once alive and have now passed onto the spiritual world. Aelwyn tries to write down facts given by them so that he can do checks on their previous existence. Sometimes it is hard and sometimes easy to confirm their previous existence. More easily so when the newly deceased have relatives in the same room who can identify them. Often important information are revealed that only the dead and their family relatives/friends know about but not anybody else. Sometimes they need to send messages or do unfinished business here where ordinary Earthly people live, so they hang about until it is finally settled. Many diehard religious people refuse to believe this and think all spirits are evil spirits who come with lies and deceits. They refuse to have an open mind about the matter even if proof was put down in front of them.


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Aelwyn also says that most houses do have spirits, not just one but many, from different times and era (especially if the house is old) but a particular one may be more noticeable or troublesome than the others. These spirits usually live peacefully within the same space although they have no sense of time (they don’t know what date or year it is). People who are ‘sensitives’ will notice them more than people who are not. Some accept their presence while others don’t - even though they are peaceful. They ‘feel’ the spirit’s presence and are spooked by them. This is when they start to call in the ‘ghostbusters’. When Aelwyn is invited to expel them from people’s home he tries to converse with these spirits first, they often turn out to be dead relatives or people who have lived in that house before. He says ‘Yesterdays People’ do tend move around like us and are not necessary stuck in one place as previously believed. Sometimes when called upon to find the source of the hauntings, his group will notice that the spirit is not at home at the moment. Some do have a particular room or place they like better than others but do not live there day and night. A sensitive will know this when walking into a room ie; hair on the back of their necks/arms will rise. Maybe the room will be more colder than others. Aelwyn’s group séance (talking to spirits) will often take place in the warmest room – to make the inhabitants more comfortable when trying to communicate with the dead. If the spirits choose to speak through Elwyn Roberts, they will come, sometimes one after another. Some need persuasion more than others.

Aelwyn, despite being a pastor and believing in God, does not actually believe in a ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’ concept as most Christian do – to the horror and anger of many Christians. He believes that there are many places to go to after death and not just the two common places believed by most Christian. For your information, Catholics believe in three places; Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. He says communication with the dead is not that difficult. His group does not summon them through rites or the Ouija board but allows them to communicate through the use of his friends’ sensitive body. If they choose not to talk then they cannot be forced to do so. The spirits who have managed to come through often bring back messages from the next life explaining what happens after one dies. Of course, some living people choose to believe this information and some don’t. It is up to them.

His understanding of life after death is that we all go through different levels of existence. There is no final judgment at any given point in time. The first place we visit is called the ‘Summerland’ not exactly Heaven as most people know it (Summerland - as in a place to rest and recuperate). This place does have its lower place of existence - the equivalent of our Purgatory or Hades to those who have lived evil lives on Earth. They are not sent there or are they forced to go there. It is their own spiritual nature that draws them there, where they can live out their own bad desires until the time comes when they eventually sicken of them and with the help of spiritual guides, progress to a higher level of existence. Those who are spiritually mature go to a better place and know that it is for their own benefit that they work hard and learn to improve themselves spiritually. Again they are not forced to do anything, it is totally up to themselves. Once they improve themselves, there are many more further higher places of existence to go to.

He says life in the Summerland is very similar to the life on Earth even though everything exists in thought form. There are jobs to be done (spiritual of course), new skills to be learned and old skills to be improved. Professional people are always required. Craftsmen are always fully employed. So are teachers, doctors and nurses etc. There is also a need for a lot of guardian guides to look after those of us still living on Earth. Souls can move from Summerland to Earth and vice versa especially if they have unfinished business here. That is why there are so many reports of spirits still existing in many houses. Some come to complete unfinished business, some come to look after their troubled relatives and others come to guide those who have been misled/set things right.

Aelwyn Roberts theory seems to make sense especially the bit about ghosts and lingering spirits. This alternative point of view has made me less afraid of ghosts although he does mention that there are unknown and bad spirits out there too and no one should simply NOT allow their bodies to be used unless they are strong and are able to control who/what enters their physical bodies. Care must be made before divulging in spiritual matters too.

Proof 2; Communications with the dead?

Another book I’ve read also proves that there is life after death. This book is researched and written by Bill and Judy Guggenheim who have had an experience themselves where their youngest son was saved from drowning by a voice in Bill’s head warning him of the danger. He does not know who or what spoke to him. The idea and possibility of communication, either one way or both ways, occurred to them after attending a famous Doctors’ seminar on Death and Dying. This doctor, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, was from Europe and moved to New York after graduation. She was appalled at how doctors and people generally treat those who are dying and those who grieve for them later on. It seemed to be a taboo subject and no one seemed to be able to comfort those who are dying or those who are bereaved. She did a lot of research on the matter and came up with a conclusion. (Please visit the related website for more information). Her contribution to Bill and Judy’s Book titled “Hello from Heaven” is about communication with the dead which she has had herself and to the possibility of life after death – from a doctor’s point of view.
Quoted from the book:-

" Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh and to be able to grow " by Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Dr. Elisabeth has had After Death Communications herself: -

I was at a crossroad. I feel I needed to give up my work with dying patients. That day, I was determined to give notice and leave the hospital and the University of Chicago. It wasn’t an easy decision because I really loved my patients.
I walked out of my last seminar on death and dying towards the elevator. At that moment, a woman walked towards me. She had an incredible smile on her face, like she knew every thought I had.
She said. “Dr Ross, I’m only going to take two minutes of your time. If you don’t mind, I’ll walk you down to your office.” It was the longest walk I have ever taken in my life. One part of me knew that this was Mrs. Johnson, a patient of mine who had died and been buried almost a year ago. But I’m a scientist, and don’t believe in ghost and spooks!
I did the most incredible reality testing I’ve ever done. I tried to touch her because she looked kind of transparent in a waxy way. Not that you could see furniture behind her, but not quite real either. I know I touched her, and she had feeling to her.
We came to my office, and she opened the door. We went inside and she said, “I had to come back for two reasons. Number one, I wanted to thank you and Reverend Smith once more for what you have done for me. But the real reason why I had to come back is to tell you not to give up your work on death and dying. Not yet.”
I realized consciously that maybe indeed this was Mrs. Johnson. But I thought nobody would ever believe me if I told this to anybody. They really would thing I had slipped!.
So my scientist in me needed proof. I needed a sheet of paper with anything written in her handwriting, and hopefully her signature.
This woman knew my thoughts and knew I had no intention to ever giver her note to Reverend Smith. However, she took a piece of paper and wrote a message and signed it with her full name. Then with the biggest smile of love and compassion and understanding, she said to me, “Are you satisfied now?”
Once more she said, “You cannot give up your work on death and dying. Not yet. The time is not right. We will help you. You will know when the time is right. Do you promise?” The last thing I said to her was “I promise.” And with that, she walked out.
No sooner was the door closed, I had to go and see if she was real. I opened the door, and there was not a soul in that long hallway!

Dr Elisabeth story defied everything Bill knew and understood and assumed was trued about death and life after death, and it forced him to re examined all his beliefs for any logical explanations but found none. Bill decided to find personal answers for some of mankind’s oldest questions: Is there life after death? Do we enter a new dimension or level of existence when our physical life is over? Will we be united with our friends and family members who have already died? Is it possible for our deceased loved ones to communicate with us now?

So began Bill and Judy’s research into life after death. There are many books on this topic. What they came up was a detailed book on Communication from the dead in various forms or After Death Communications (ADC for short). They are members of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS since 1981) and talked with hundreds of people (first hand) who reported having near death experiences, out-of-body journeys, after death communications and other kinds of spiritual experiences. These Bill and Judy wrote down and categorized.

Their research is done with several defined boundaries to outline what is termed as an After Death Communication (ADC) or not;-

- It must be a direct one to one experience. No medium, psychic, hypnotist or third party is involved.
- It is a spontaneous event. The deceased initiated the contact. Seances, ouija boards, crystal balls or similar devices used to make contact with the dead are not counted as ADC’s.

The ADC Project started in Orlando, Florida (North America) in May 1988. They had collected 3,300 firsthand experiences in all 50 American states and ten Canadian provinces. The people interviewed are from all walks of life and represent diverse social, educational, occupational and economic background. They range from a 8 year old boy to a 92 year old widower. Almost all had a religious upbringing and were still practicing at the time of interview. Those interviewed were in good health (not senile or crazy) and were never involved in drugs or alcohol at the time of their experiences.





Bill and Judy Guggenheim’s research came up with a lot of ways that communication can happen. The list is in accordance to their book content:- through ones senses like feeling a presence, on hearing a voice, feeling a touch like a hug a kiss etc., smelling a fragrance like perfume or cologne, seeing a dead relative’s or friend image partially or fully, having visions of their dead relatives/friends in a better place, encountering their deceased loved ones when almost asleep, almost awake or while dreaming, having out of body experiences, getting calls from the other side even when phone lines have been disconnected, getting symbols and signs that they know are from someone who has crossed over, things moving or changing around the house after someone has departed from physical existence, having communications when the death of the other person is not known yet or even after many years has passed, getting evidence for lost things or missing information that is urgently required, getting information that can protect you or your family from harm like the folly of suicide, having a second person around when the deceased contacted you (a confirmation that you are not insane or hallucinating).

They also discovered that After Death Communications is usually positive and when it is over, it leaves a sense of comfort and peace to the living. Sometimes this is not so as the person’s disposition can affect his or her understanding and acceptance of the experience. Some, due to superstitions, negative frame of mind from watching too many horror movies and negative social perception about death, people tend to be frightened out of their wits and are unable to communicate effectively or get the message that their deceased relative or friend is trying to say even though it is just simply to say “Hello, I have crossed over successfully and am doing fine over here.”.

The stories published in the book are very touching unlike the scary movies we so often watch, and I was often moved to tears on how much effort and trouble the deceased loved ones take just to show that they still care for the living and that they do not want them to mourn too long as they are happier where they are.

Since there is enough proof that life does exist after we die, what happens next? Where do we go once we open that door? Is there a Heaven and Hell or an alternative place that we can go to after we die?

This I will continue to do research and write about in the future.


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