Trigger of Psychic Vision
parallels between the afterlife experiences of
and near-death experiences are quite remarkable. So remarkable in fact
that in Dr. Raymond Moody's ground-breaking book on near-death experiences
After Life, he has a section where those parallels are
specifically discussed. On this web page you will learn those parallels
and read an excerpt from
his most famous work entitled Heaven and Hell which was translated into
the book entitled Awaken
From Death. The following is an excerpt from Moody's book on
the Near-Death Experience
Swedenborg, who lived from
1688 until 1772, was born in Stockholm. He was quite renowned in his day
and made respectable contributions in various fields of natural science.
His writings, at first oriented towards anatomy, physiology, and
psychology, gained quite a bit of recognition. Later in his life, however,
he underwent a religious crisis and began to tell of experiences in which
he had purportedly been in communication with spiritual entities from
His later works abound with
vivid descriptions of what life after death is like. Again, the
correlation between what he writes of some of his spiritual experiences
and what those who have come back from close calls with death report is
For instance, Swedenborg describes how, when the bodily functions
of respiration and circulation cease:
man does not die, but is only separated from the corporeal part
which was of use to him in the world ... Man, when he dies, only
passes from one world into another."
He claims that he himself has
been through the early events of death, and has had experiences out of his
was brought into a state of insensibility as to the bodily sense,
thus almost into the state of the dying; yet the interior life
with thought remaining entire, so that I perceived and retained in
memory the things which occurred, and which occur to those who are
resuscitated from the dead ... Especially it was given to perceive
... that there was a drawing and ... pulling of ... mind, thus of
my spirit, from the body."
During this experience, he
encounters beings whom he identifies as angels. They ask him,
in effect, if he is prepared to die.
angels first inquired what my thought was, whether it was like the
thought of those who die, which is usually about eternal life; and
that they wished to keep my mind in that thought."
Yet, the communication which
takes place between Swedenborg and the spirits is not of an Earth, human
kind. It is instead almost a direct transfer of thoughts. Hence, there is
no possibility of misunderstanding.
spirits converse with each other by universal language ...
Every man, immediately after death, comes into this universal
language ... which is proper to his spirit ...
speech of an angel or a spirit with man is heard as sonorously as
the speech of a man with a man; yet it is not heard by others who
stand near, but by himself alone; the reason is, because the
speech of an angel or spirit flows first into the man's thought
The newly dead person does not
realize that he is dead, for he is still in a body which
resembles his physical body in several respects.
first state of man after death is similar to his state in the
world, because then in like manner he is in externals ... Hence,
he knows no otherwise than the he is still in the world ...
Therefore, after they have wondered that they are in a body, and
in every sense which they had in the world ... they come into a
desire of knowing what heaven is, and what hell is."
Yet, the spiritual state is
less limited. Perception, thought, and memory are more perfect, and time
and space no longer pose the obstacles they do in physical life.
the faculties of spirits ... are in a more perfect state, as well
their sensations as their thoughts and perceptions."
The dying man may meet with
other departed spirits whom he knew while in life. They are there to help
him during his passage into the beyond.
spirit of man recently departed from the world is ... recognized
by his friends, and by those whom he had known in the world ...
wherefore they are instructed by their friends concerning the
state of eternal life ..."
His past life may be shown to
him in a vision. He remembers every detail of it, and there is no
possibility of his lying or concealing anything.
interior memory ... is such that there are inscribed in it all the
particular things ... which man has at any time thought, spoken,
and done ... from his earliest infancy to extreme old age. Man has
with him the memory of all these things when he comes into another
life, and is successively brought into all recollection of them
... All that he had spoken and done ... are made manifest before
the angels, in a light as clear as day ... and ... there is
nothing so concealed in the world that it is nothing so concealed
in the world that it is not manifested after death ... as if seen
in effigy, when the spirit is viewed in the light of heaven."
Swedenborg also describes the
"light of the Lord" which permeates the hereafter. It is a light of
ineffable brightness which he claims to have glimpsed himself. It is a light of truth
and of understanding.
Dr. Moody concludes at this
point that the writings of Swedenborg provide striking parallels to the
events of contemporary near-death experiences.
Insights From Swedenborg's NDEs
During several of
Swedenborg's near-death experiences, he would witness people dying and see their
happenings in the
afterlife. He stated that immediately following death, there is a period of self-discovery
in which the social masks worn on Earth dissolve away and the true self is revealed. Each
person then shapes their own eternity to correspond with their real inner nature. Some
people become irrational, driven by fear and greed. Such people are in the
spiritual condition which Swedenborg called hell. Hell is a psychological condition which corresponds to the suffering we
experience on Earth when we allow ourselves to be driven by the blind greed of our own
egos. There are no devils in hell to inflict punishments
because in the hellish spiritual state each person acts out their own malice by tormenting others.
most people find within themselves the psychological state Swedenborg called
heaven. It is a joyous condition and a state of expanded awareness, of
perceiving more and more of the grand plan of creation. The heaven which
Swedenborg experienced, corresponds to deeds, not creeds. Therefore, persons
cultures and religions form the societies of heaven. Swedenborg often
mentioned that these societies, the Church of the Lord, are universal. This
Church of the Lord
consists of all those who have lived in the goodness of love according to their own
spiritual life on Earth. A
graphical representation of the heavens and hells
Swedenborg experienced can be seen at the web link provided.
Swedenborg's journeys into the afterlife provides more than just a glimpse into the
exciting journey awaiting us all, it gives a very clear picture. The
following is just an excerpt.
Person's True Desire Is Revealed at Death
There is a "strongest
desire [love]" which a person keeps after death, and which never changes
throughout eternity. Everyone has a considerable number of desires, but they all
go back to a strongest desire and make one with it - or, taken all
together, compose it.
All the elements of intention
that are in harmony with the strongest desire are called
because they are desired. Some of these desires are more inward, some
more outward; there are some directly bound; some are nearer, some are
farther away; there are various kinds of subordination.
Taken all together, they make
up a kind of kingdom. Thus they are in fact organized within a person,
even though people are completely unaware of their organization. To
some extent, however, this is made known to people in the other life where
they have an outreach of thought and affection that depends on this
organization. This is an outreach into the heavenly communities if the
strongest desire is made up of desires of heaven, but an outreach into
hellish communities if the strongest desire is made up of desires of hell.
death, people are their desire or impulses.
eternity, people stay the way they are insofar as their impulses or strongest
desire is concerned.
People who have a heavenly and spiritual desire enter heaven; while people
who have a physical and worldly desire without a heavenly and spiritual
desire enter hell.
People do not keep their faith if it does not come from a heavenly desire.
Desire in act is what lasts; hence this is the person's life.
After death, a person is his
desire or intention (impulses).
This has been made
clear to me
by observed experiences over and over again. The whole of heaven is divided
into communities on the basis of differences in the good that comes from
desire. Every single spirit who is raised into heaven and becomes an angel
is taken to the community where his or her desire is, and once there they
are where they belong, so to speak - as though they were at home,
where they were born. An angel senses this, and makes close friends
with others like themselves.
When they leave and go
to another community, there is a certain constant resistance. This is the effect
of their longing to return to those who are like themselves, which means
to their own strongest desire. This is how close friendships are formed in
heaven. The same holds true in hell, where people also form friendships on
the basis of desires which are opposed to heavenly ones.
We may establish that, after
death, people are their desire from the fact also that there is a removal
after death, a kind of carrying away of the elements which are not
consistent with their strongest desire. If people are good, then all the things
that are discordant, or that disagree with their true desire, are removed and, so to speak,
away. In this way they are installed in their own desire. The same happens
with people who are evil (the difference being that true things are
carried away from them, while false things are carried away from good
persons), until finally all individuals become their own true inner desire. This
takes place when a spirit-person is brought through into the third state
described below. Once this has happened, people constantly turn their face
toward their inner desire, keeping it always before their eyes wherever
The same holds true for
people in this world: their own desire leads them, too, and they are led by
others by means of their own desire. It is all the more true when they
become spirits, because then they are not allowed to present the semblance
of any other desire, or to pretend a desire that is not really theirs.
All personal associations in
the other life evidences the fact that people's spirits reflect their strongest
desire: in fact, whenever anyone acts and talks in keeping with
someone else's desire, that person seems complete, with a fully
expressive, cheerful, lively face. But whenever anyone acts and
talks contrary to someone else's desire, that person's face begins to
change, to become hazy, and to fade from view. Eventually the whole
person vanishes as though they had never been there. I have often
been amazed that this is so, since nothing like it occurs in our world;
but I have been told that something like this does happen to the spirit of
a person, which is no longer within another person's view when it turns away
from that other.
Several times I have been
enabled to see how good, simple folk wanted to educate evil people in
matters of truth and goodness, and how such people ran away from this
education; and when they reached their own kind, they grasped the false
elements that suited their desire with an intense pleasure. I have
also been enabled to see good spirits talking with each other about true
things, which the good people present listened to eagerly, while the evil
ones who were also present paid no attention whatever, just as though they
did not hear anything.
Paths are visible in the
spiritual world. Some lead to heaven, some to hell; one to one community,
one to another. Good spirits travel only along paths that lead to
heaven, to the community which is involved in the particular good that
comes from their own desire. They do not see paths leading in other
directions. Evil spirits follow only paths that lead to hell, to the
particular community there which is involved in the evil that comes from
their own desire. They do not see paths leading in other directions; and
even if they do, they do not want to follow them.
Then, after the first and
second states have been completed, these two classes are separated so that
they no longer see or recognize each other. Everyone becomes their
own desire, not only in regard to the more inward elements of their mind,
but also in regard to the more outward matters that are proper to their
face, body, and speech; for all people become an image of their desire,
even in outward things.
People who are involved in a
physical desire are wholly incapable of living in heaven's warmth, since
heaven's warmth is heavenly desire. They are however capable of
living in hell's warmth, which is a desire of cruelty toward other people
who do not support them. The pleasures of this desire are various kinds of
contempt for others, of enmity, hatred, and revenge. When they are
involved in these, they are involved in their own life, utterly ignorant
of what it means to do something good to others on the basis of and for
the sake of the good act itself - only of acting on the basis of
what is evil and for the sake of what is evil.
People who are involved in a
physical desire cannot breathe in heaven. If an evil person is
taken there, he draws each breath like someone hard pressed in a struggle.
But people who are involved in a heavenly desire breathe more freely and
live more fully the farther into heaven they are.
There are three states people
pass through after their death before arriving in heaven or hell.
The first state involves their more outward aspects, the second involves
their more inward aspects, and the third is a state of preparation. People
pass through these states in the world of spirits.
Insofar as the first state is
concerned, the state involving people's more outward aspects, they come
into this state immediately after death.
All people have more
inward and outward aspects to their spirit. A person's more outward aspects
are the means by which it adjusts to the person's body in the physical world
(especially his face, speech, and manner) for associating with other
people. But the spirit's more inward aspects are the ones which belong to
the person's intention and resultant thought, which are seldom evident in
the face, speech, or manner. From infancy, people get used to displaying
friendliness, kindness and sincerity, and hiding their real thoughts and
feelings. So as a matter of habit they reflect a moral and civic life
outwardly, no matter what they are like inwardly.
This habit is the source of
people's virtual ignorance of what lies deeper within them, and also of
their inattention to these matters.
Everyone's first state after
death is very much like their state in the physical world, since at that point they are
similarly involved in outward matters. They have much the same face,
speech, and spirit, consequently they have much the same moral and civic
This is why they are then
quite unaware that they are not still in the physical world, unless they pay
attention to things that happen to them and to what they were told by
angels when they were awakened - namely, that they are now spirits.
So the one life continues
into the other, and death is only a crossing over.
Whenever individuals in the
spirit world think about someone else in the spirit world, they set the person's face before
themselves in their thought, together with many other things that
characterized the person's life. When they do that, the other person becomes present as
though he had been called and summoned.
This kind of thing happens in
the spiritual world because thoughts are communicated there and because
distances do not have the same attributes as they have in the natural
world. This is why everyone, upon first arriving in the spirit world, is
recognized by friends, relatives, and acquaintances of one sort or
another, and this is also why they communicate with each other and then associate
with each other along the lines of their friendships in the physical world.
So they are taught by their
friends about the state of eternal life, and are taken around to different
places, into different communities. Some are taken to cities, some to gardens and
parks; but most are taken to splendid places because this sort of place
delights the outward nature they are still involved in. Then they are
intermittently led into thoughts they had during their physical life about
the soul's state after death, heaven, and hell, until they also come to resent their
former utter ignorance of things like this, and resent the Church's
ignorance of such matters.
[Note: In the earthbound realm, people can travel anywhere on Earth and see places they have never seen before. Also, the powers of the spirit mind can be first realized in the earthbound realm. Others can also arrive to guide the person. Swedenborg's description of the first stage is also similar to accounts of near-death experiences in the earthbound realm.]
Almost all of them are eager
to know whether they will get into heaven. Most of them believe that they
will because they have led a moral and civic life in the physical world, without
considering that evil and good people lead lives that are similar in
outward aspects, do good works for other people in similar fashion, attend
church in similar fashion, listen to sermons, and pray. They are
wholly unaware that outward behavior and outward worship do not accomplish
anything, but rather it is the inner elements from which the outward ones
come that really count.
Hardly one out of several
thousand people knows what their own inner elements are, or knows that
those elements are where
heaven and the church dwell within a person.
Then, all the people who arrive from the
physical world are put in connection either with a
particular community in heaven or with a particular community in hell; but
this applies only to their more inward elements. These more inward
elements, however, are not visible to anyone as long as the spirits are
involved in more outward matters, since outward matters are used to cover and hide
inner matters, especially by people who are involved in something evil on a
more inward level. Later on, when they come into the second state, the
more inward elements become very obvious because at that point their more
inward reaches are opened, and their more outward ones recede.
The second stage after
death is called the stage of the more inward elements, because
at that point people are brought into an involvement in the more inward
things that belong to their mind, or their intention (impulse) and thought, while
the more outward things they were involved in during their first state go
As a result, when people are
in this state they are involved in their true selves and in their real lives.
Thinking freely from one's very own affection reflects a person's
real life, and is the real person.
People in this state are
thinking on the basis of their very own intention, which means they are
thinking from their very own affection or desire. At this point, their
thinking brings about a unity with their intention - such a unity, in fact,
that they hardly seem to be thinking at all, simply intending. It is
almost the same when they communicate; but there is the difference that they
communicate with a certain fear that the things their intention is thinking might
come out naked. This is because their fear became part of their intention
in the physical world due to the demands of civic life.
Absolutely everyone is
directed into this state after death because it is the actual state of the
spirit. The earlier state is the way people were in their spirit when
they were in the company of others, which is not their proper state.
Once people are in the state
that is proper to their more inward concerns, it is very obvious what kind of
people they were intrinsically in the physical world. At this point, they are
acting on the basis of what really belongs to them. If they were inwardly
involved in something good in the physical world, they then behave rationally and
wisely - more wisely, in fact, than they did in the physical world because
they are released from their ties with a body and therefore from the
things that darken and, so to speak, cloud things over.
On the other hand, if they
were involved in something evil in the physical world, they then behave senselessly
and crazily - more crazily, in fact, than they did in the physical world, because
they are in freedom and are not repressed. When they lived in the world,
they were sane in outward matters because they were using them to
fabricate a rational person. So once these outward matters are taken away
from them, their madness is unveiled.
All people who, while
the physical world, were involved in what is good, and who acted out of conscience
(those who have acknowledged something divine and loved divine
truths, especially those who have applied them to their lives) - it
seems to all such people, when they are brought into the state proper to
their more inward concerns, as though they have been roused from sleep and
come awake, or have come from darkness into light.
They are thinking on the
basis of heaven's light, and therefore out of a deeper wisdom; they are
acting on the basis of what is good and therefore out of a deeper
affection. Heaven is flowing into their thoughts and affections with
something very deeply blessed and pleasant that they had not known about
They are in communication
with heaven's angels. At this time, they also recognize the Lord, and are
worshipping him out of their real life; they are involved in
their very own life when they are in the state of their more inward
elements, as we have just stated. Further, they are recognizing and
worshipping him from their freedom because their freedom is part of their
Then, too, they are
withdrawing in this way from what is outwardly holy, and are entering into
that which is inwardly holy, where actual, true worship takes place.
No one enters hell until they
are engaged in their own evil and in the false things proper to evil. This
is because no one there is allowed to have a divided mind, to think and
say one thing while intending something else. All who are evil there will
think what is false there because of their evil, and will speak out of
their evil's falsity. Both their thinking and their speech will come
from their intention, and therefore out of their own proper desire and its
delight and pleasure, in the same way they thought in the world when they
were in their spirit - that is, the way they thought within themselves
when they were thinking from their more inward affection.
All souls arrive at the
type of community where their spirits were in the physical world. In fact every person is
bonded to a particular heavenly or hellish community - an evil
person to a hellish one, a good person to a heavenly one. A person is
guided there step-by-step and eventually gains entrance.
When evil people are
involved in the state of their more inward elements, they are turned by
stages toward their own community. Eventually they are turned
straight toward it before this state is completed. And once this state
is completed, they hurl themselves into the hell where
there are people like themselves.
[Note: This is a very good description of the
void experience. In the void, there is nothing there but our own true inward nature. The purpose for this is to reflect and understand who we have become from the physical life just lived. Seeing ourselves as we really are can be a paradise if love is there. Then the love within you draws you out of the void and toward the light. But if there exists within us mostly unspirituality, then may remain in the void temporarily or return to the earthbound realm which is hell for those who are bound there until they eventually have a change of heart.]
A separation of evil
souls from good soul occurs in the course of this second state, whereas during
the first state they were together. The reason is that as long as people are involved in their outward concerns, it is the same as it was
in the physical world - the way evil people are together with good ones
there, and good ones are with evil ones. It is different when they are
brought into involvement on the basis of their more inward concerns and left to their
own nature or intention.
The separation of the good
from the evil happens in various ways. Broadly, it happens by taking the
evil ones around to those communities they were in touch with through
their good thoughts and affections during their first state. In this
way, they are taken to those communities which were persuaded by their
outward appearance that they were not evil. Normally, they are taken on an extensive circuit, and everywhere they are exposed as they
really are to good souls. On seeing them, the good souls turn away,
and as they turn away, the evil souls who are being taken around also
turn their faces away from the good ones and turn toward the region of
hellish communities, which is their destination.
The third stage of the soul after death is a state of instruction. This state is for people who
are entering heaven and in the process of becoming angels, but it is not for people who are
entering hell, since they cannot be taught. As a result, the
second stage is also the third stage for those entering hell, concluding with their complete turning
toward their own desire, and therefore toward a hellish community in which
its members are involved in similar desires.
When this has been
accomplished, they intend and think from this desire, and since the desire
is hellish, they intend nothing that is not evil and think nothing that is
not false. They are delighted in their intentions and thoughts because they belong to
this hellish desire. In
consequence, they spurn anything good and true that they have adopted
earlier because it was a useful tool for their desire.
Good people, however, are
brought through the second stage into a third, a stage of their
preparation for heaven by means of instruction. No one can be
prepared for heaven except by means of insights into what is true and good
- only, that is, by means of instruction. This is because
people cannot know what is good and true on the spiritual level, or what
is evil and false, unless they are taught. In the physical world, it is possible to
know what is good and true on a civic and moral level, and what is called fair
and honest because there are civil laws which teach what is false. There
are also social contexts in which a person learns to live by moral laws,
all of which deal with what is honest and right. But what is good and true
on the spiritual level - this is not learned in the physical world, but in
Unless people realize and
recognize these facts, they cannot think spiritually. Without thought
about these matters, they cannot intend them; if one does not know
something, one cannot think about it, and if one does not think about it,
one cannot intend it.
When a person does intend
these things, then, heaven flows in; that is, the Lord's life flows into
the person's life through heaven. The divine essence flows into
intention, through that into thought, and through these into life, these
two being the source of a person's spiritual life.
We can see from these
considerations that there is no learning of what is good and true on the
spiritual level from the physical world, but rather from heaven; and we can see
that no one can be prepared for heaven except by being taught.
To these places, the Lord
brings the good souls who are to be taught, after their second stage in
the world of spirits has been completed. This, however, does not
apply to everyone because people who have been taught in the physical world have
already been prepared there for heaven by the Lord, and are brought into
heaven by another route. Some are brought in immediately after death.
[Note: I believe Swedenborg is referring to those death experiences that involve the person to bypass the
(First Stage) and void
realms (Second Stage) and go straight into the light.]
Once spirits have been
prepared for heaven by teaching given in the places mentioned above (this
takes a short time only, since the spirits are involved in spiritual
concepts which take in many elements at the same time), they are dressed
in angelic clothes, most of which are white, as though made of linen. So dressed, they are brought to a path that heads up toward heaven and are
committed to angel guardians there. Then they are accepted by some other
angels and introduced into communities, and there into many forms of
[Note: This description of the third stage agrees with those who leave the tunnel and enter the light where they may be met by Jesus, loved ones, the Council of Elders, temples, libraries, etc.]
To Heaven Is Not
Some people believe that it
is hard to lead a heaven-bound life (which is called a spiritual life) because
they have heard that a person needs to renounce the world, give up the
appetites that are associated with the body and the flesh, and live like
spiritual beings. They take this to mean nothing other than rejecting what
is worldly - especially wealth and prestige - and walking around in constant
devout meditation on God, salvation, and eternal life, passing their lives
in prayer and in reading the Word and devotional literature. They think
that this is renouncing the world and living by the spirit instead of by
But an abundance of
experience and discussion with angels has enabled me to know that the
situation is completely different from this. In fact, people who renounce
the world and live by the spirit in this fashion build up a mournful life
for themselves, one that is not receptive of heavenly joy; for
everyone's life on Earth stays with them when they enter the spiritual
realm. On the contrary, if people are to accept a life in heaven, they must by all means live in the
world and become involved in its
functions and dealings. Then through a moral and civic life they will
receive a spiritual life. This is the only way a spiritual life can
be formed in people and their spirit be prepared for heaven.
Living an inward life and
not an outward life at the same time is like living in a house with no
foundation, which gradually settles, or develops cracks and gaps, or
totters until it collapses.
If we examine a
person's life with rational acuity, we discover that it is threefold:
there is a spiritual life, a moral life, and a civic life; and we
find these lives distinct from each other. There are people who live a
civic life but not a moral or a spiritual one. Then there are people who
live both a civic life and a moral life and a spiritual as well. These are the ones who are leading heaven's life - the others are
leading the world's life separated from heaven's life.
The first conclusion we can
draw from this is that a spiritual life is not separated from a natural
one, or from the world's life. Rather, they are bonded together like a
soul with its body, and if they become separated it is, as just mentioned,
like living in a house without a foundation.
The considerations about to
be presented will make it possible to see that it is not as hard to lead a
heaven-bound life as some people believe it is.
Who can't live a civic and
moral life? Everyone is introduced to it from the cradle on and is
acquainted with it from his life in the world. Everyone, good or bad,
leads it as well, for who does not want to be called honest and fair?
Almost everyone practices
honesty and fairness in outward matters, even to the point of seeming
honest and fair at heart, or as though they were behaving out of real
honesty and fairness. Spiritual people need to live the same way -
which they can do just as easily as natural people - the only
difference being that spiritual people believe in what is divine, and
behave honestly and fairly, not just because it is in keeping with civil
and moral laws, but because it is in keeping with divine laws.
People who are thinking
about divine matters while they are active are in touch with angels of
heaven. To the extent that they are doing this, they are joined to them,
and in this way their inner person is opened, which, seen in its own
right, is the spiritual person.
When people are like this,
they are adopted and led by the Lord without realizing it. Then
anything honest and fair that they do as part of their moral and civic
life is done from a spiritual source. Doing something honest and fair
from a spiritual source is doing it out of what is genuinely honest and
fair, or doing it from the heart.
The laws of spiritual life,
the laws of civic life, and the laws of moral life are handed down to us
in the precepts of the Ten Commandments. The laws of spiritual life are
found first, the laws of civic life next, and the laws of moral life last.
People who are simply natural
live by these precepts in the same way as spiritual people do, in outward
form. They worship the divine in similar fashion, go to church, listen to
sermons, put on a pious face, do not kill, commit adultery, steal or bear
false witness, and do not cheat their fellows out of their possessions. But
they do this simply for themselves and the world, or for appearances.
As for people who have at
heart recognized what is divine, who have focused on divine laws in the
deeds of their lives, and have lived by the precepts of the Ten
Commandments, things are different for them. When they are let into
their inward aspects, it is like coming from darkness into light, from
ignorance into wisdom, and from a mournful life into a blessed one. This
is because they are involved in what is divine, and therefore in heaven.
We can now see that it is not
as hard to lead a heaven-bound life as many people think. When something gets
in the way that people know is dishonest and unfair, something their
spirit moves toward, it is simply a matter of thinking that they should
not do it because it is against the divine precepts. If people get
used to doing this, and by getting used to it gain a certain disposition,
then little by little they are joined to heaven. As this takes place, the
higher reaches of their mind are opened; and as they are opened, they see
which things are dishonest and unfair; and as they see them, they can
be broken off. No evil can be broken off until after it is seen.
This is a stage people can
enter due to their freedom, and who cannot think this way, due to their
freedom? And once this is begun, the Lord works out all good things for
them, arranging things so that they not only see evil elements but dislike
them, and eventually turn away from them. This is the meaning of the
Lord's words, "My yoke is easy, and my burden light."
A heaven-bound life is not a
life withdrawn from the world but a life involved in the world. A life of
piety without a life of love (which occurs only in this world) does not
lead to heaven. Rather, it is a life of love, a life of behaving honestly
and fairly in every task, every transaction, every work, and from a more
inward source that leads to a heavenly one. This source is present in that life
when a person behaves honestly and fairly because it is in keeping with
divine laws. This life is not hard.
View an extraordinary chart showing a
representation of the heavenly and hellish realms as described by Emanuel
"God listens not to your words
[in prayer] save when he utters them through your lips."
- Kahlil Gibran
Copyright 2007 Near-Death Experiences & the Afterlife