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Spirituality and the Near-Death Experience

The words “religious” and “spiritual” have historically been used interchangeably to describe a variety of concepts concerning religion. But the consensus among people having a near-death experience (NDE) reveals a striking difference between religion and spirituality. The modern phrase “spiritual but not religious” is commonly used by experiencers to express this difference. For example, a religious person may go to their place of worship regularly, have an understanding of their interpretation of their organized religion and scriptures, and identify themselves as being “spiritual.” They may believe their particular religion is the only means to further “spiritual” growth and be justified in the eyes of their God or Gods. They may even severely persecute or kill people of different religions because of this narrow religious mindset. But information gleaned from near-death experiencers (NDErs) reveal how spirituality is a very different concept than being religious. Perhaps the best way that NDErs distinguish between “being religious” and “being spiritual” is to define religion as the outward practice of guiding people inwardly into the spiritual force of love and compassion for others. In fact, the difference between religion and spirituality are so great, you probably know somebody who is so religious that they are not very spiritual at all. As you will understand in this article, religions are cultural institutions only; but love is universal. This universal concept of loving and accepting everyone, no matter what they believe to be true for themselves or their God(s), is what NDErs reveal to be the universal way to inward spirituality.

1. A summary of NDE spirituality

Arthur Yensen

The following information is a summary of the insights about spirituality gleaned from the near-death accounts on this website:

According to near-death accounts, the reason for our very existence is to attain spiritual growth. We are more of a spiritual being than we are a physical being. We assume a body of flesh out of a desire for spiritual growth, to complete a mission for God, to qualify for higher spirit realms, to test our spiritual ideals we had before we were born to see if we actually possess these ideals, to obtain a level of self-realization, to re-discover higher knowledge in physical ways, to be more of a companion of God, to find the kingdom of heaven within, to achieve our goal of evolving into the higher spirit beings we once were, but with individuality, to make God stronger by spreading love which is God, to bring light in a world of darkness, but more importantly, to play, love, laugh, and live for the sole purpose of it because this is the way to holiness.

Love is God and loving others and everything is all that really matters. Everything else, our achievements and material wealth, are totally irrelevant. The important thing is to love people, nature, animals, and everything in creation. Whether people realize it or not, love is what we seek and need to sustain us. Although love is too immense and profound to be fully known in one lifetime, without love we are nothing. To love everyone as ourselves, we must love ourselves else our love for others is false. It is impossible to be really happy if we only have love for ourselves. Until we give attention to others, we will not be able to grow spiritually. Our choice is between the spirit of God (self-love, love for others) and the spirit of self (selfishness, love only for self). By conquering self, we can change and grow easily, and know ourselves to be ourselves, yet one with the Whole. When we do unto others, we do unto ourselves.

All paths eventually lead back to God — love. Love is the hard lesson we are here to learn more about and apply ourselves. While in a physical body, the kingdom of God is located within. Part of our mission is to manifest the kingdom into the world. Our goal is to attain a human-divine unity. As spirit beings, our core is perfect love — a spark of divinity. When our human nature fully recognizes the divinity within, self-divine-realization is the result. Part of this realization is that everyone is connected together at a deep level through divine love — God. What one person does, affects everyone else. We are all of one spirit and to change the world we only need to change ourselves. One simple act of unselfish love affects everyone else. A simple smile has the power to alter the entire course of human history. The good we do for others will eventually come back to us. The important thing is to help each other rise to a higher level of love. Life is about people, not pursuits. It is about loving people, not things. To know love is not enough. It must be expressed. Whatever we become in life is meaningless unless it is done for the benefit of others. The ideal is to love others completely, unconditionally, more even than we love ourselves. It is the little things that count: a small act of unconditional love.

Religious dogma means nothing on the other side. Deeds, not creeds, is what really matters. True religion is to love others as ourselves. It is love, not religious dogma, that creates spiritual growth. What is important is what comes from the heart, not what one professes with their lips. Love in action is what lasts. The more we live in love, the closer we are to God. The way to heaven is through the practice of love. Love is the law of the universe and holds the universe together. The Golden Rule is the governing principle in the spirit world. Our destiny in the spirit realm is determined by our level of spiritual maturity. This is often attained through hardships that challenge us and help us grow and stay compassionate. Before we can really feel joy, we must know sorrow. This world is the tough course helping to create within us the tough love of God. Life is a cycle of improvements ultimately leading to perfection.

Once we leave the physical world, we step into the spirituality we have cultivated within ourselves during our life. We then view reality from an inward perspective instead of an outward one. Heaven and hell are not locations but spiritual conditions. We “grow” to heaven. We don’t “go” to heaven. The spiritual state of being we attain on earth is the spiritual state we take with us after death. We are all at various degrees of light corresponding to various levels representing various stages of spiritual growth. The central factor determining our level of spiritual growth is the degree to which we have lived for the sake of others. Our ability to accept truth, to live by it, governs our progress in the spirit, and it determines the degree of light we possess. The higher our spiritual maturity, the brighter the light will shine from our spirit.

The chief purpose for returning to the physical world is for instruction leading to the advancement of our souls in spiritual maturity. We are given all the opportunities it takes, as many lifetimes as it takes, to achieve this. Then, like the prodigal son, we return to our true home. Once we have learned the lessons needed in the physical world, we do not need to return.

2. The earth school of love

“We came into this world to have trouble and to learn from it. Unfortunately many people don’t realize this and complain about their bad luck and spend their lives chasing pleasure, fame and money. Then they die without making any spiritual progress. And so they waste life after life. It should be obvious that all we’ll take with us is our character, our karma and our abilities, and that we’ll have to live with people like ourselves. Therefore, our highest success would be to rise into the highest heaven through unselfish love.” (Arthur Yensen)

“The desire for spiritual growth arises from a desire to be close to God.” (Nora Spurgin)

“We can not dwell in the higher spiritual realms until we have perfectly qualified for it by a change of heart and mind, a significant amount of preparation, and by completing our mission.” (Dr. Craig Lundahl)

“God has a job for us. We don’t have to know what it is. We just have to trust and follow our heart. That’s because our heart knows more than our head does.” (P.M.H. Atwater)

“All souls come to earth to test their spiritual ideals to see if they are real. Only by becoming subject to the physical influences of the flesh and the laws of the earth realm can a soul know for certain if they really possess that spiritual ideal. Through this process, the soul is tested and the result is self-realization. This is the purpose of the earth realm.” (Edgar Cayce)

“In order for us to appreciate, benefit, and learn all we can from life, we must re-discover what we knew before we were born – now in physical ways.” (David Goines)

“In order to become one with God, work must be done to remember and find the truth. The truth is this: our true self is a spirit and our spirit is one with God.” (Sandra Rogers)

“While the ideal place to grow spiritually is on earth (this is the reason for life on earth), growth in the spirit world remains a possibility. There, however, in the absence of a physical body, growth is more difficult. The opportunity for the full range of love(child’s love, marital love, and parental love) is ideally available while on earth. Love which has been misused or misdirected, is best corrected in a physical life.” (Nora Spurgin)

“If we worship God within other people through love, we will find the kingdom of heaven within.” (Kevin Williams)

“We are souls visiting and experiencing the physical realm in order to grow and evolve into the ultimate light beings that is our true origin and final destiny.” (Juliet Nightingale)

“[The light] showed me that God is love. By spreading love, you make God stronger. By making God stronger, He can, in return, help you. He told me your love has to be unconditional. That is the only rule he really has.” (Joseph Kerrick)

“I heard the words, ‘Remember, pray without ceasing. Play, love, laugh, live for the joy of it. Have fun. Happiness is holy. The purpose of life is joy. Savor fully the loveliness of each experience. Self-awareness is the prayer of the heart. To pray without ceasing is to play. Play with the joyful abandon of the child, absorbed in the delight of each moment. Let go of obligation and duty. Live for the pure joy of being.'” (Jan Price)

“Life is for living and the light is for later.” (a child in Dr. Melvin Morse’s research)

“Our lives are a golden opportunity to live a spiritual life in a world of darkness.” (Daniel Rosenblit)

“The highest purpose of our earthly connections is love.” (Lynnclaire Dennis)

Humanity has to think of life everlasting, manifested now in the present. This is very important. Life has been held very cheaply. Millions of people have been killed through devastation, torture, war, and man’s inhumanity to man. This has brought spiritual pollution on all levels.” (Margaret Tweddell)

“If we live true to the spirit we came to earth with, we can progress more quickly. We do that by expressing the love of God that is within us, and we do that by loving God, ourselves, and each other. It is that simple.” (Betty Eadie)

“Love never hurts. Only the absence of love hurts.” (Kevin Williams)

“When we leave ourselves open to God to learn more about unconditional love, he readily sends us the people we need to learn to love without judgment. Put to the test, our spirits expand with greater love, God’s pure love, and it shines brighter within us.” (Betty Eadie)

Life is God, everything that exists. Light is God, what everything is made of. Love is God, the power holding everything together. This is the same message coming from people who have had near-death experiences. It’s the same message from Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, Muhammad, Zoroaster, etc..” (Kevin Williams)

“Our ultimate purpose for existing is to be a companion to God.” (Edgar Cayce)

3. Love is supreme

“Love is really the only thing that matters. Love is joy! It all seemed so simple. If we’re kind, we’ll have joy.” (Betty Eadie)

“The absolutely only thing that matters is love. Everything else, our achievements, degrees, the money we made, how many mink coats we had, is totally irrelevant. It will also be understood that what we do is not important. The only thing that matters is how we do what we do. And the only thing that matters is that we do what we do with love.” (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)

“There is only one truly significant work to do in life, and that is love; to love nature, to love people, to love animals, to love creation itself, just because it is. To serve God’s creation with a warm and loving hand of generosity and compassion – that is the only meaningful existence.” (George Rodonaia)

“He who understands nature walks close with God.” (Edgar Cayce)

“I was shown that love is supreme. I saw that truly without love we are nothing.” (Betty Eadie)

“Since love is supreme, opportunities for the practice of love will continue after death.” (Nora Spurgin)

Sandra Rogers wrote: “Love, being God, is too immense and profound to ever be fully understood or experienced in the physical world. To have an abundance, do what you do with Love, and Love what you do. In the search for truth and understanding, all paths lead to Love. The only thing that lives forever is Love. God’s paradise for us is Love. We can create paradise again if we learn to Love one another as ourselves. Life is a road full of lessons teaching Love. When Love is learned, you will forever be home. God transforms the results of man’s sins into opportunities to learn Love. When we work for God, we create Love. Love at its best is Love motivated to action. Every action of Love has a reaction of joy. The greatest joy is to share Love. Where Love dwells, God is there. Forgiveness is the capacity to give Love in the most difficult circumstances. Forgiveness shows God’s Love in action. It is as close as we get to God’s nature in this physical world. Love in the physical world is a reflection of Love throughout eternity. Indifference is the opposite of Love.” (Sandra Rogers)

“What all people seek, what sustains them, is love, the light told me. What distorts people is a lack of love.” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

4. Self-love versus selfishness

“Without feelings of self-love, the love we feel for others is counterfeit. We must love all others as ourselves.” (Betty Eadie)

“Above and beyond anything else, we must first learn to love ourselves non-judgmentally and unconditionally. Then we will actually love all people and all things the same way.” (Laurelynn Martin)

“Happiness is love of something outside of self. It may never be obtained, may never be known by loving only things within self or self’s own domain.” (Edgar Cayce)

“Our ultimate goal is not the complete loss of self-identity, rather, it is to know ourselves to be ourselves, yet one with the Whole.” (Edgar Cayce)

“How are we saved? By unselfish love. If we do only good things we will eventually run out of bad karma and only good things will happen to us, and vice versa. The purpose of karma is to force us to learn life’s lessons whether we want to or not. The only way to bypass karma is to develop so much unselfish love that paying for bad karma will serve no purpose – much like a college student challenging a course he already knows. We evolve faster through unselfish love.” (Arthur Yensen)

“Our minds are led by the spirit we are entertaining, the spirit of God or the spirit of self. People are led astray through self-centeredness, self-gratification, self-righteousness, self-glorification, self-condemnation, self-interest, and self-consciousness. The greatest enemy we will ever face is self – the false god. Jesus’ mission was to demonstrate to humanity how self-sacrifice and self-denial can overcome these selfish desires and how it leads to our complete restoration with the divine nature within us.” (Edgar Cayce)

“The conquering of self is truly greater than were one to conquer many worlds.” (Edgar Cayce)

“If everyone completely understood the afterlife, they’d quit trying to keep up with the Joneses and start learning how to live unselfishly. Here [in the world] we can change ourselves quite easily and should use this life to make ourselves into the kind of people we want to be in the hereafter. [The spirit world] is a miserable place for anyone who hasn’t learned internal harmony – characterized by unselfish love.” (Arthur Yensen)

“Our earthly selves, however, are constantly in opposition to our spirits. Although our spirit bodies are full of light, truth, and love, they must battle constantly to overcome the flesh, and this strengthens them. Those who are truly developed will find a perfect harmony between their flesh and spirits, a harmony that will bless them with peace and give them the ability to help others.” (Betty Eadie)

“In the earth realm, as in spiritual realms, until we turn our attention from ourselves, we cannot in any way change our estate.” (Edgar Cayce)

“Not all people are lovable, but when we find someone difficult for us to love, it is often because they remind us of something within ourselves that we don’t like.” (Betty Eadie)

“The minute we judge others for their faults or shortcomings, we are displaying a similar shortcoming in ourselves. We don’t have the knowledge to judge people accurately here. Only God knows the heart of man, and only God can judge perfectly. He knows our spirits; we see only temporary strengths and weaknesses. Because of our own limitations, we can seldom look into the heart of man.” (Betty Eadie)

“We don’t have any knowledge or right to judge anybody else in terms of that person’s heart relationship to God. Only God knows what’s in a person’s heart. Someone whom we think is despicable, God might know as a wonderful person. Similarly, someone we think is good, God may see as a hypocrite, with a black heart. Only God knows the truth about every individual.” (Howard Storm)

5. Love is God

“We must open our hearts to love because love is God. Open our minds to life because life is God. Open our spiritual eyes to light because light is God. Love, light, and light is God; in other words, totally unfathomable!” (Kevin Williams)

“Love is the power of life. I know that love between people here can be eternal. The key is love.” (RaNelle Wallace)

“Everyone is in the circle of God, Love. The Kingdom of God is within us. But more important, we are in the Kingdom of God. The Spirit of God is within us, but more important, we are in the Spirit of God. The love of God is within us, but more important, we are in the love of God. All there is – is God.” (Jan Price)

“The meaning of the terms Christ, Christ Consciousness, and Mind of Christ, has little to do with the personality known as Jesus. These terms refer to the spiritual condition of human-divine unity or at-onement. This unity is the ultimate goal of everyone and is spiritually possible for all. Jesus became a Christ in that he attained perfect human-divine unity. It is God’s desire for everyone to attain Christhood; or Buddhahood if you live in the East (same concept).” (Edgar Cayce)

“The truth of who I am, indeed, who we all are, is perfect love as a creation of God.” (Linda Stewart)

“The very core of our essence is love, nothing else. Our core is perfect love, loving perfection.” (Jayne Smith)

“When humanity recognizes the divinity within them as the controlling force in the world and turns away from their own selfish pattern of living for self alone, the old pattern disappears and the Christ pattern emerges.” (Edgar Cayce)

“God is within you. The universe is God’s Cathedral.” (Kevin Williams)

Bible: “God said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.'” (Psalm 82:6)

Bible: “Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods?'” (John 10:34)

6. The love connection

“All it takes to change the world is to change one person (ourselves) which, in turn, will cause a chain reaction of change from one person to another.” (Howard Storm)

“The quickest way to change the world is to be of service to others. Show that your love can make a difference in the lives of people and thereby someone else’s love can make a difference in your life. By each of us doing that and working together we change the world one inner person at a time.” (Dannion Brinkley)

“Those whose hearts have been awakened to God have a responsibility to share his love with others. That is the nature of service and of love; all of our lights shine brighter when we pass them along.” (Betty Eadie)

“The positive, as well as the negative, impact of one decision has the capacity to be felt throughout the world.” (Angie Fenimore)

“I saw myself [in a life review] perform an act of kindness, just a simple act of unselfishness, and I saw the ripples go out again. The friend I had been kind to was kind in turn to one of her friends, and the chain repeated itself. I saw love and happiness increase in others’ lives because of that one simple act on my part. I saw their happiness grow and affect their lives in positive ways, some significantly.” (Betty Eadie)

“I saw [in a life review] that I had sent out waves of goodness and hope and love when I had only meant to smile or to help in a small way.” (RaNelle Wallace)

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. As humans, we are all linked together. What one person does affects everyone else. This is why it is important to help people. We are not only helping them, we are helping ourselves and everyone else. And this is why powerful spirit entities on the Other Side are trying to help us. Until we all progress spiritually, the powerful spirit entities on the Other Side cannot fully progress. But, a simple smile has within it the power to alter the whole course of world history, change the balance of power, and save the universe.” (Kevin Williams)

“As we each find one person with whom to share our light, a wonderful miracle begins to take place: we find the Lord answering our individual prayers and preparing us to become the light, the answer, to yet many others.” (Betty Eadie)

“The good that we have done for others, all of our good deeds and kind words, will come back to us and bless us a hundred fold after this life. Our strength will be found in love.” (Virginia Rivers)

“We are all one. I comprehended that our oneness is interconnected by love and is an available, much higher level and means of communication than we normally use but to which we have access. This love is available to anyone who is willing to do the hard spiritual work that will allow us to open our hearts and minds and eyes to Spirit.” (Linda Stewart)

“They want every person to consider every other person greater than their own flesh. They want everyone to love everyone else, completely; more, even, than they love themselves. If someone, someplace else in the world hurts, than we should hurt we should feel their pain. And we should help them.” (Howard Storm)

“This is the simple secret to improving humanity: The amount of love you received during your life is equal to the love you gave. It is just that simple.” (Dannion Brinkley)

“If we learn to use what we have, we will receive more. This is a spiritual law. We will be given all that we are prepared to receive.” (Betty Eadie)

“By giving love, we receive and experience a tremendous love from the universe.” (Laurelynn Martin)

“We are here to help each other rise to the higher level of love.” (Sherry Gideon)

“I asked, ‘How do I know right from wrong?’ He replied, ‘Right is helping and being kind. Wrong is not only hurting someone but not helping when you can.'” (Cecil, age 11)

“Whatever we become here in mortality is meaningless unless it is done for the benefit of others. Our gifts and talents are given to us to help us serve. And in serving others we grow spiritually.” (Betty Eadie)

The Being of Light told Dannion Brinkley, “Humans are powerful spiritual beings meant to create good on the earth. This good isn’t usually accomplished in bold actions, but in singular acts of kindness between people. It’s the little things that count, because they are more spontaneous and show who you truly are.” (Dannion Brinkley)

“They never gave me a direct mission or purpose. Could I build a shrine or cathedral for God? They said those monuments were for humanity. They wanted me to live my life to love people not things.” (Howard Storm)

“Life is not about pursuits but about people.” (Laurelynn Martin)

“If we look after others, God will look after us – and do a lot better job of it than we can.” (Arthur Yensen)

To know about love is not enough. We must express that knowing. How we do that is up to us. (P.M.H. Atwater)

“Love unconditionally as much as you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the places you can, during all the times you can, for as many people as you can, for as long as you can.” (Kevin Williams)

7. Love is the true religion

“The guides taught us that doctrine and creed and race meant nothing. No matter what we believed we were all children joined under one God, and that the only rule was God’s true law – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We should treat all people as if they were a part of our soul because they were.” (May Eulitt)

“It is love, not religion, which creates spiritual growth. Where religion teaches love, there is growth. Where religion impedes love, there is stagnation.” (Nora Spurgin)

“What counts is what comes from the heart, not what one professes to believe. The most difficult thing for a person who has been deeply steeped in a particular religious tradition is to realize that the form alone is not what elevates a person; it is the heart.” (P.M.H. Atwater)

“It is not true, as some people think, that if we only give verbal assent to belief in God, well, that’s fine – that is our passport to heaven and everything will be all right. What we have to remember is that Jesus showed us the path by which it will be all right. He doesn’t say, “It’s all right, brother, come along in. Sit down now and relax and do nothing.” He says, “It’s all right. You are on my way. There are a lot of stones in it, but you are on my way. If you ask me, I’ll help you over the stones.” The old teachings that “as you strive, so you’ll be helped” are right. The Lord helps those who help themselves.” (Margaret Tweddell)

“The Golden Rule is the governing principle in the spirit world: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. People who truly practice the religion of love will find themselves in a universal sphere where everyone understands that true religion is to love others as ourselves.” (Nora Spurgin)

“God is love in all religions, so the more we live love the closer we are to God.” (Betty Bethards)

“Because our opportunities on earth for spiritual growth are limited time-wise, we should realize that indoctrinating children before they are old enough to reason can spoil the learning value of their lives. In some cases this is worse than murder because it may spoil their whole lifetime instead of just a few years.” (Arthur Yensen)

“When I asked what a person should do while on earth to make it better for him when he dies, he answered, ‘All you can do is to develop along the lines of unselfish love. People don’t come here because of their good deeds, or because they believe in this or that, but because they fit in and belong. Good deeds are the natural result of being good, and bad deeds are the natural result of being bad. Each carries its own reward and punishment. It’s what you are that counts!'” (Arthur Yensen)

“God is really only concerned about what is within us, our heart and spirituality. The way to heaven is through love. We do not go to heaven by worshiping Jesus, or by believing in his name, or by believing in the cross, or by accepting Jesus as our Savior. We grow to heaven by creating heaven within us by practicing unconditional love. At death, we “step into” that heaven we created within us.” (Kevin Williams)

“You’ll not be in heaven if you’re not leaning on the arm of someone you have helped.” (Edgar Cayce)

“Love in action is what lasts. After death, a person is his love. This is the person’s life.” (Emanuel Swedenborg)

“Our state in the spirit realm is determined by our level of spiritual maturity. If not mature, we may find that an understanding of the knowledge available through the various religious traditions may help to begin the process.” (Nora Spurgin)

“The more knowledge of the spirit world we acquire while on earth, the further and faster we will progress in the spirit after death.” (Nora Spurgin)

“There are only two things we can take with us at death: love and knowledge. This is why it is best to learn about both as much as possible.” (Virginia Rivers)

“No one can truly fathom the great truths of life until they finally unite with eternity after death.” (George Rodonaia)

“In the spiritual universe, sin is not seen in the same way as it is here. In the spirit world, all things are learning experiences. We are here in this world to make mistakes, to learn and grow from them.” (Jayne Smith)

Howard Storm was given the following insights from beings of light after his life review when he was fearful of returning to earth life and afraid he would make mistakes again:

“Mistakes are an acceptable part of being human. We are here to make all the mistakes we want because it is through our mistakes that we learn. As long as we try to do what we know to be right, we will be on the right path. If we make a mistake, we should fully recognize it as a mistake, then put it behind us and simply try not to make the same mistake again. The important thing is to try our best, keep our standards of goodness and truth, and not compromise them to win people’s approval. God loves us just the way we are, mistakes and all. When we make a mistake, we should ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult if we don’t accept that we are forgiven. We shouldn’t continue going around with a sense of guilt, and we should try not to repeat our mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes. God wants us to do what we want to do. That means making choices – and there isn’t necessarily any right choice. There are a spectrum of possibilities, and we should make the best choice from those possibilities. If we do that, we will receive help from the Other Side.” (Howard Storm)

8. God’s tough love

“I heard the voice of Christ vibrate through me as he said, ‘No, this heart condition of yours is not a cross from me for you to bear. This heart condition is a challenge to help you grow and stay compassionate.'” (Lynn)

“Hardships are necessary for soul growth.” (Sandra Rogers)

“We need negative experiences as well as positive experiences in life because before we can feel joy, we must know sorrow. Every experience is a tool for you to grow by. Negative experiences allow you to obtain greater understanding about yourself until you learn to avoid those experiences.” (Betty Eadie)

“The angel (I don’t know what else to call her) said that, ‘Life is an endless cycle of improvements and that humans are not perfect yet. She said that most people have this secret revealed to them when they die, but that handicapped children often know this and endure their problems without complaining because they know that their burdens will pass. Some of these children, she said, have even been given the challenge of teaching the rest of us how to love. It stretches our own humanity to love a child who is less than perfect,’ said the angel. ‘And that is an important lesson for us.'” (Dr. Frank Oski)

9. The heart does go on

“It cannot be stated too often that the spiritual perspective is inward and not outward. Once we leave the physical realm we will view reality inwardly and not outwardly. All that we have placed inside ourselves will act as a lens, a filter. All that we see will be seen through and be distorted by these things we have stored within ourselves. This is why it is important to remove as much clutter as possible so as not to obscure our reality. We not only take our attitudes with us into death, but we inhabit them. They will, however, become much, much larger in death, much harder to bear, with no way to set them aside easily.” (Edgar Cayce)

Nora Spurgin wrote: “If, during our lifetime on earth, we matured in a spiritually rich and beautiful way, we will come to dwell in an environment that corresponds with these qualities. Conversely, if one has been stunted in his spiritual growth through an undeveloped or misdirected lifestyle, has led a purely self-centered life or has hurt other people, their spiritual environment will reflect something of these realities. A self-centered life on earth places one in an area of the spiritual world with like-minded people who have yet to learn the value of unselfishness for the advancement of the soul. Environments distant from God are said to be dark, cold and inhospitable. Indeed, they reflect the spirits of those dwelling therein. In between these extremes are many levels representing different stages of spiritual growth. The central factor determining our level is the degree to which we have lived for the sake of others, and the extent to which we have been able to influence others likewise to follow paths of service and love. In this respect, the actions of loving, serving and teaching others carry the highest spiritual value.” (Nora Spurgin)

“The spiritual state of being you have on earth is the spiritual state you take with you to the world beyond when you die. There is no sudden metamorphosis from an idle person into an active person, from a nonreligious person into a religious person, from a money-centered person into a God-centered person. This is not an automatic thing.” (Margaret Tweddell)

“According to Edgar Cayce, death in the physical world means birth in the spirit world; and death in the spirit world means birth in the physical world. Because of this, everyone is born with a spiritual void within them. Throughout our lives, we fill our void with a multitude of things. Then when we die, we step into the spiritual void we have filled. This is why having love within us is so important when we die. Giving and receiving love from the heart, creates a heavenly paradise within us which is manifested in the spirit world and becomes realized at death.” (Kevin Williams)

“Since we know that we enter the spiritual world at the same level of spiritual development we have gained while on earth, then it makes sense that those who have had much give and take with selfishness, revenge and maliciousness will continue such acts in the spirit world.” (Nora Spurgin)

“Our ability to accept truth, to live by it, governs our progress in the spirit, and it determines the degree of light we possess. Nobody forces light and truth upon us, and nobody takes it away unless we let them.” (RaNelle Wallace)

“The higher one’s soul development, the brighter the light will shine from their spirit. What determines what one looks like in the spirit world is the person’s quality of heart and life. One’s inner quality is perceived as light. One’s features are visible but the light that comes from their very essence is the identifying feature. For example, because they lived totally for other people, Jesus and other religious leaders emanate brilliant light.” (Nora Spurgin)

“Spiritually, we are at various degrees of light – which is knowledge – and because of our divine, spiritual nature we are filled with the desire to do good.” (Betty Eadie)

“Heaven and hell are not places – they are spiritual states of being. They are not static states but are states in which there can be growth and progress toward ultimate wholeness of being.” (Margaret Tweddell)

“You grow to heaven. You don’t go to heaven.” (Edgar Cayce)

“The only thing you take with you when you die is the love you give away.” (Laurelynn Martin)

10. Love gives unlimited opportunities

“A soul is given the time it needs to turn away from its selfish ways and, like the prodigal son, return home to a feast of joy and welcome from its Father in heaven. Reincarnation is the method that allows the soul enough time to correct its mistakes and develop itself.” (Edgar Cayce)

“We progress at our own rate to reach the light. If you do things that take you away from the light, then you are perpetuating your time here.” (Dr. Kenneth Ring’s research)

“The chief purpose for reincarnation is instruction. We return to earth, not because of any external pressure, but because we desire spiritual growth. This is a universal process that prevails throughout all of nature. All living things are evolving through the use of a physical form in order to gain physical experiences. When we have learned the lessons we need from the physical world, we need not return unless we come back of our own accord to act as teachers or helpers in the glorious plan of evolution.” (Dr. Kenneth Ring’s research)

“God loves and suffers for those in spiritual darkness, ignorance and misery. Based on their desire and willingness, such souls are given opportunities for advancement.” (Nora Spurgin)

“After we die, we may realize that we haven’t learned everything we should. So, we return and are born again. As we transform into another personality, our soul is maintained throughout. Our soul does not get bigger or smaller. We carry with us the characteristics of our former personalities. The phrase “burning off bad karma” means that we have characteristics that we have to deal with.” (Thomas Sawyer)

“We can only gain what we are willing to accept. What you think is where your heart will be. Our character is built by our dominating thoughts. You are much more than you think you are. Others are much more than you think they are. If everyone knew their true nature, there would be peace on Earth. In order to become one with God, work must be done to remember or find the truth. The truth is this: your true self is a spirit and your spirit is one with God. When you do unto others, you do unto God and yourself. Those who seek to do good are on the quickest path to God. If practice makes perfect, why not practice being good? A simple act of kindness, like a ripple on a pond, radiates from the giver throughout eternity. Kindness finds its way back to you. If you want to find happiness, look for those in pain and help them. React to the faults of others as kindly as you do with your own faults. That which you loathe in others is the very aspect you forbid yourself. Others judge us by our actions; God judges us by our motivations. Sleep is a time in which our spiritual body connects in a focused manner with God to recharge our energy. Dreams are messages from your subconscious in the form of a puzzle. To comprehend your dream, piece the puzzle together. Dreams without action remain dreams” (Sandra Rogers)

11. Noteworthy quotes about love

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer)

“Love is a sign from the heavens that you are here for a reason.” (J. Ghetto)

“To love another person is to help them love God.” (Soren Kierkegaard)

“It is within you that the divine lives.” (Joseph Campbell)

“Your religion is where your love is.” (Henry David Thoreau)

“One good deed is worth a thousand prayers.” (Zarathushtra)

“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.” (Karen Sunde)

“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.” (H. L. Mencken)

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

“I knew with total certainty that everything was evolving exactly the way it should and that the ultimate destiny for every living being is to return to the Source, the Light, Pure Love.” (Juliet Nightingale)

“Day by day we are building for eternity, every gentle word, every generous thought, every unselfish deed will become a pillar of eternal beauty in the life to come.” (Rebecca Springer)

“By giving away food we get more strength. By bestowing clothing on others we gain more beauty. By donating abodes of purity and truth we acquire great treasures.” (Siddhartha Gautama Buddha)

“Love is not blind – it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.” (Rabbi Julius Gordon)

“Love cannot save life from death, but it can fulfill life’s purpose.” (Arnold Toynbee)

“No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.” (Fra Giovanni)

“The best way to get to heaven is to take it with you.” (Henry Drummond)

“Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.” (Louisa May Alcott)