Ruth Montgomery (1913-2001), a past president of the prestigious National Press Club, began her career as a Washington DC reporter. She wrote a book about the world-renowned psychic, Jeanne Dixon, called A Gift of Prophecy (1965). Jeanne Dixon was the psychic who warned President Kennedy not to go to Dallas on that fateful day. Her book on Jeanne Dixon was very successful and Ruth began looking further into the paranormal phenomenon. She soon discovered that she had the gift of “automatic writing” (trance typewriting) by which she could communicate with various deceased personalities. Despite all the ridicule and criticism, she was able to channel a great deal of information from the other side, specifically from her deceased friend, the famous spiritualist and medium, Arthur Ford. Ford was the psychic who successfully revealed Houdini’s secret code from the Other Side; and although there was a controversy about this, but it was never proven that Ford received Houdini’s code any other way but from his psychic abilities. From beyond the grave, Ruth Montgomery received startling answers to questions about life after death, such as: What happens after death? Where do we go? What is it like over there? Ruth Montgomery documented these revelations in a series of books: Strangers Among Us (1982), Here and Hereafter (1983), Threshold to Tomorrow (1984), A Search for the Truth (1985), The World Before (1985), A World Beyond (1985), Companions Along the Way (1985), Born to Heal (1986), Aliens Among Us (1986), Herald of the New Age (1987), and The World to Come (2000). The following is an excerpt from her book, A World Beyond.
1. An Example of an Unspiritual Person’s Death Experience
Let us take as an example a person who is so sure that there is no God and no hereafter that he treats others badly while on Earth and he feels no moral obligation to lend a helping hand or to be a decent citizen. When he makes the transition he is angry and tempestuous as he finds himself in a situation of his own making, surrounded by other greedy souls who, because they are in like situation, welcome him gleefully to the hell that they have created for themselves. He is shocked. These are not the type of people he wants to associate with. They are fiendish and ill-mannered, whereas he has been a stiff-necked, educated, and polished man, although he never gave thought to anyone but himself. He tries to break out of the fiendish group, but they surround him. He calls for help, but no one with a better nature can enter the group to save him. He has dug his own grave, so to speak, and is allowed to lie in it for a while.
He is utterly miserable, for he now begins to see the folly of his ways but does not know how to avert his fate. He is left there until his own remorse for sinful ways begins to penetrate his being and he acknowledges to himself that he wasted a lifetime, a rare privilege, by thinking only of himself. After he reaches full repentance he is then able to free himself of the unrepentant creatures around him, and for a long time thereafter he searches his own soul to review the past mistakes. This is sometimes a long, drawn-out process because he will have to make his way alone. Only he is able to assess his wrongs and seek forgiveness, although there are many here willing to lend a hand whenever he reaches out to them for it.
[Webmaster note: The description of the above person’s death experience sounds uncannily similar to the near-death experience by Howard Storm whom I profile on this website. Ruth Montgomery revealed the above information about a decade before Howard Storm’s experience. Comparing the two accounts reveals a strange synchronicity that goes well beyond coincidence in my opinion. Also, it is extremely unlikely that Howard Storm made up his experience based on the above description. Once you read his experience, you will see why.]
2. An Example of a Murderer’s Death Experience
What of a murderer who deliberately kills another for his personal gain or satisfaction? This is not a pretty story. Full of hatred or vengeance, he expects to find nothing when he passes through the door called “death“, and for a long time that is usually what he finds – nothing. He is in a state like unto death for a goodly while, until at last something arouses him, and he wakens to find out that the hell he had every reason to expect is indeed awaiting him. It is not goblins and devils that he sees, but visions of his own face distorted by hatred, greed, malice, and other defeating emotions. He cringes from the sight, realizing that he sees himself thus, that he himself was possessed of a devil, and that except for his baser nature he would have been able unaided to cast him forth. He is appalled as he realizes that he wasted a lifetime of opportunity. Not for him is enrollment in the Temple of Wisdom or the higher school of learning.
This soul will stay in torment for a long, long time, until he believes himself to be totally lost. When he eventually reaches this pit of despair, he may at last cry out to God to rescue him and that wail of despair is heard by God. Other souls are sent to ease his suffering, and if his will is truly uplifted toward spiritual development, he will slowly, slowly, slowly begin to work himself upward until he has learned the penalties for taking another’s life which was given by God. When he is sufficiently strong to do so, he will accost the person whose life he took, and their reaction is such as to ring bells in paradise; for, as likely as not, the other soul has conquered self to such an extent that he has already forgiven the suffering soul who cut short his span of physical life. This forgiveness uplifts the murderer to such an extent that he is gradually able to take his place in the society of other souls and finally to learn some of the lessons of salvation. Remember that a soul on this side, just as on your side, is never without help from God and the good souls whom God created in his own image. Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you. That is the law of the universe. Ask, receive; knock, open the door of your mind and let the rays of universal love flow in.
3. An Example of a Drug Addict’s Death Experience
People who die as an alcoholic can hover around people on Earth who drink too much, lusting after the pleasures of alcoholism yet unable to break the bond of habit which bound them to their physical bodies. The same with heavy smokers or drug users, there or here, or the sex maniacs who take advantage of others to appease the bodily craving for intercourse. This is a very important lesson which we learn on this side. To escape the perpetual cycle of rebirth into physical form, we must erase the ties, the shackles which bind us to satiation of the physical body. So try to lick the bad habits while on Earth. It is easier by far than to come unloose from them on Earth. Those who neither drink nor smoke nor use drugs nor lust after sex will be free of those shackles on the other side.
It is easier while in physical form to break those shackles than it is to undo them on the other side, where no temptations are put in our way. Thus, there is no reward for behaving correctly here in spirit, because there is nothing to tempt us otherwise. The hard school is in the physical one, and there it is there that we must meet and overcome the temptations.
[Webmaster note: The above example of drug addict’s afterlife experience is strikingly similar to what George Ritchie observed during his near-death experience. Although Ritchie’s experience occurred in the 1940’s, it was not published until the mid-1980’s. This was well after Ruth Montgomery published the above account. Again, the similarities of both of these accounts is such that it goes beyond coincidence. To my mind, they both affirm the truth of these similarly described experiences.]
4. An Example of a Baby’s Death Experience
Let’s take the case of a baby newly born into the flesh who, after a brief struggle for life, withdraws back into the spirit state. The baby had wanted life, to be sure, and most likely had helped to select its parents, but what happened to alter the circumstances? Sometimes a soul enters a body so weakened by malformation that it will not sustain life, but more often it is the spirit which withdraws which results in the death of the baby. Let us take as an example a baby born into a lovely home where he is greatly desired but who lives only a few days, weeks, or months before the soul departs the body. That baby’s soul most certainly had something to do with the decision to withdraw. Perhaps at first there was a reluctance to enter the human body, or the spirit became convinced that that particular body was not the proper vehicle for working out the karma that obstructed its spiritual growth. At any rate, the baby’s soul was absent from the spirit world for such a brief period that little readjustment to the spirit world is necessary. Once again the soul takes stock of what has just occurred and assesses why it gave up the opportunity to become flesh again in order to solve its karmic problems.
The baby’s soul was not a baby, at least in the spirit world because all souls have been in existence from the beginning of time, although some of them are more highly evolved, far wiser and more meaningful than others as a result of experiences here on Earth states. No one in the spirit world is a baby.
The baby we used as an example above went back to the spirit world after a brief struggle as a baby in arms. The heart had been damaged in the physical body and therefore could not sustain life. The soul was disappointed at first when it returned here because babyhood is by no means an ideal existence, he had nevertheless chosen parents whom he loved and surroundings where he felt that he would be able to repay some karmic indebtedness. That this opportunity was denied him by physical limitations speaks itself of karmic patterns, for this soul now realizes that it’s most recent life it ended the life of a new baby through neglect of its needs. Thus, although this was a life that he greatly wanted to complete, he had to make amends by withdrawing from that seemingly ideal situation. The so-called baby returns in the spirit world and after a brief period of adjustment, is ready to begin again in the temple of wisdom to learn how to resume the ascent toward the ideal of oneness with God. Because he has been gone from the spirit world only briefly, he needs little re-instruction, but if he had been a physical baby for two or three years, there would be souls in the spirit world ready to help him adjust psychologically to bring him out of the baby syndrome and into adulthood again.
5. An Example of a Fundamentalist Preacher’s Death Experience
Let’s take the case of a man of the cloth, a Billy Sunday-type who preaches hellfire and brimstone and believes every bit of the Good Book literally. He dies, and after the first shock of discovering that God is not sitting on a throne surrounded by angels, he begins exhorting people here to repent before it is too late. He thinks that this is a very brief interlude until he adjusts, and that the rest of us are probably lost souls who lack the righteousness to advance into God’s waiting arms. His sermons here actually do draw souls who hunger for the kind of heaven that their finite minds had conceived, and they think that this Billy Sunday-type will lead them rapidly to the promised land. They throng to his sermons and shout “Amen,” while he tells them that within a very short time they will all advance into heaven with a retinue of angels playing harps. ‘Amen’, they shout again, and are grateful that one of their own, at last, has arrived to open the gates of the temple. This preacher, who we’ll call Billy, at first rants and exhorts, demanding to know of the older souls around here how he can find the way to the throne of God, because he honestly believes that it is being concealed from him in some mysterious way. At last the old souls gather around and explain to Billy that he is preaching a false doctrine; that heaven is within each man, and so is his private hell; that he has arrived, and nothing is being hidden from him. It is up to him to begin work on his own spiritual advancement, and he is retarding the progress of others by misleading them with false hopes of a promised land. For this is the promised land, and we make of it what we will through our own endeavors.
Wiser heads, so to speak, take Billy in hand, because he is a good but misguided soul. They suggest that he attend a Temple of Wisdom for a time to have his eyes opened to the one truth; that all of us are God, and that until all have realized this basic truth, none of us will advance beyond the basic state of man.
When we grasp the idea that each of us is as much a part of God as any other person, then we are able to spread the good word, which is that by helping these other parts of God we advance together to a higher realm of awareness, the veils drop from our eyes, and we are able to see exactly where and why we are here. Helping others is the watchword. Billy begins to grasp a glimmering of this universal law, and before long he is zealously spreading this word to others much as he was preaching hellfire and brimstone before. Basically he is an excellent soul, but through mistaken principles he was spreading a false line. Now he spreads the truth with the same eloquence, and soon he begins to assess his previous earthly existence, seeing where he misled others by not opening his own eyes and listening to the persuasive arguments of those who were less orthodox than he was when he held his close-minded beliefs. He is eager to undo the damage he has done, and through other ministers of like faith in the physical bodies he implants seeds of wisdom which, if placed in fertile soil, begin to sprout roots and spread truth among the misinformed. Because he is basically a fine soul, he will advance more rapidly here than those who knew the truth while in the physical state but failed to work as hard as this soul has done to uplift and help others.
6. A Church Lady’s Death Experience
Today we will look into the heart and mind of a woman who believes that she is of saintly qualities and who expects to be transported directly to the arms of God. She fears nothing so much as having others in higher places of authority and is determined to impress Saint Peter with her virtuous ways so that no mistake will be made at the judgment throne. She awakens on this side and looks about her for the pearly gates through which she will enter after admission by Saint Peter. All she observes is a platform on which sprawls an old soul who has been on this plane since eons past. Mistaking him for Saint Peter, she approaches and says, “Look here, sir. I am Mary Blunk and I wish to be taken to God.”
The old soul look pityingly at her and suggests that she rest awhile, but she will not hear of it. She had been sick in the physical body, and now that she has shed it she is full of anticipation for her seat beside the Father. She will brook no delay, so the old soul motions for her to pass along, and soon she arrives at a gate that is not nearly as magnificent as that which she was expecting. There is no lock and no gatekeeper, so she passes through and begins an ascent along a garden path. Flowers are blooming in profusion, but she pays them little heed, since she is bent on reaching the seat of God as quickly as possible. Along the way she encounters others who are either ascending or descending the path. Our heroine nods but rushes along, hoping to pass some of those who are toiling up the path ahead of her. Those who descend, she assumes, are rejected ones who are on their way to hell.
Pushing past those ahead of her, she eventually reaches a high stage and assumes that on top of it she will find God awaiting her with open arms. Now she adjusts her hair and clothing. She feels them reassuringly, for the raiment here is as real to her as that which she washed on Mondays at home. She glimpses a handsome young man and, assuming him to be an angel, asks sweetly, “Will you announce me, please, because I am in a hurry to bow my head at the knees of God.”
The young man slowly surveys the scene and finally replies, “But, madam, some of the newly arrived souls are still plodding up the hill which you have climbed.”
She impatiently requests that he address God for her so that she will not have to wait in the long line that is approaching. The young man smiles and says, “But, madam, how will you be saved until all those others who struggle upward are also rescued from the abyss below?”
The woman replies that she has nothing to do with them, since they are all strangers to her.
Finally another man approaches her, and she seems vaguely to recognize him as the old beggar down the street who was always holding out a tin cup when she hurried past his corner.
“What in the world are you doing here?” she demands of him.
He replies that he has only recently left his battered physical body and is now in the next stage of development.
The woman snorts that this seems an odd place for him to be hanging around, and she herself begins to mount steps that she has just noticed, which make an entrance to the pavilion where she assumes God is awaiting her. There at last she sees a man who seems to have a very spiritual face. Curtsying before him, she asks to be taken directly to God.
The man replies, “But, madam, all of us are God.”
She looks wildly around and notices that he is including the old beggar in that sweep of his arms. This annoys her, for that beggar never seemed to wash and his hair had always been matted, although she observes now that he gives the impression of cleanliness.
“Stop playing jokes,” she says. “Lead me to my Maker.”
“But, madam,” the beautiful young man says, “He created all of us, not just you, and He does not have time to welcome each and every one of you back to this temporary stage of development. The one over there whom you think of as a beggar will be a good instructor for you during this interim period until we are able to assist you and others to reach a higher state.”
Such argument as the poor woman gives him! She will have no part of taking the beggar for an instructor, or anyone else for that matter. Her business is solely with God, and she demands to know where she will find Him. Others are now crowding around, and some are also asking for God. They all want to know where He is, and the woman is indignant that many of them have caught up with her, so that she will no longer be first in line.
At last the young man turns to the throng of newly arrived souls and says sweetly, “Hearken, God is everywhere. God is love, and as surely as each of you learns to love and assist each other, there will God be working among you. Now take up the mantle and see if it fits you any better than those who surround you.”
“But where is the judgment seat?” the woman demands impatiently.
“You are sitting on it, madam,” the beautiful young man replies.
She looks wildly around, seeing no seat of any kind, and at last begins to perceive a glimmer of his meaning. She is to be the sole judge of herself. No one will tell her whether she has lived a pure and blameless life. She will have to work it out for herself, and as she begins to look within her own heart she discovers this terrible truth: In trying to live blamelessly, she has been thinking only of herself and her own spiritual growth. She was too busily concerned with her own goodness to think how to stop for a comforting word with those beneath her status. She had bethought herself to avoid contamination with those beneath her for fear that it would stain the white garments that she spiritually wore. Where was the love for others? Within herself lay all the answers. God would not have spoken more directly in His judgment than she was now able to do on her own. She who knew her own heart best was now appraising her shortcomings. No one would judge her, for she was the sole judge of self, and when she tried to assess the qualities of the beggar beside her, she knew that not in ten thousand years could she see into his heart and know his errors of commission and omission, for he also was the sole judge of himself.
7. A Primitive’s Death Experience
Arthur Ford next discussed the case of “a savage who had never been exposed to Christianity or any other organized form of worship except for the jungle cult.”
This lad died after having been bitten by a cobra and was about nine years old when he crossed over. He was a totally uncivilized as anyone who has never seen any form of cleanliness or civilization, because it was perhaps thousands of years since that lad’s previous incarnation and he had done little or nothing in the spirit form to improve himself. He slept for hundreds of years and was so disinterested in other souls here that when he finally decided to try on the physical body again, he was like a fish out of water. He lived only to eat and sleep, and what work he managed to do was solely to avoid beatings and cursings. He lived in ignorance, and he died in the same manner, and thus progressed no single jot in that lifetime. For that reason there was no point in continuing his physical existence, and here, although kindly souls are trying to awaken him, he continues to sleep or thinks of nothing but himself and his pleasures, which are few, except that he likes to torture animals. Thus, the snake bite was in the way of karmic indebtedness for what he had done to those beings which are less evolved than human beings.
This type of soul is highly depressing here, even more than in the Earth life, for there seems little to jog them into awareness of responsibilities and soul growth. But even that boy was no worse than many who, living in civilized areas with plenty to eat and much work to accomplish, give themselves over to riotous destruction instead. They in their next incarnations may find themselves in circumstances similar to those of this boy who perhaps many eons ago had been equally destructive and thus was unwilling to return to physical state in order to repay his karmic debts. Growth, development, love, constructive action, and consideration for others are the keys to unlock the kingdom of heaven, and those who use force and anger to destroy, instead of love to rebuild, are earning dire consequences for themselves in this spirit life and in future incarnations.
8. About Reincarnation
We learn now why the problem so often arises that some souls want to return again and again to the physical state without spending enough time in the spirit realm to assess all errors of the previous round and determine exactly how they expect to meet future temptations as they arise. Why would a soul want to rush back to Earth form before it is ready? Here they face the failing of so-called human nature: the zest for pleasures of the flesh, desire for too much alcohol, sex, body-building, and the like. Some are so overly fond of the bodies they left behind that they are hardly able to wait for an opportunity to enter another body and set to work indulging it.
These souls are truly earthbound and they will not be able to advance spiritually until they learn to give less thought to appetites of the flesh. Any habit-forming pleasure, and they are endless, traps them into the cycle of rebirth over and over, until their appetites are finally put aside while they are in the flesh – lust for money, lust for power, lust for sex, and other habits such as an unnatural craving for alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or any of the indulgences which they are unable to break loose from. This is a lesson for those souls that would like to break the cycle of rebirth.