Scientific explanations of the World Beyond impossible to grasp. Young children growing up in the World Beyond. Spirit clothing. Natural recycling of spirit material - no problems of decay, demolition, garbage and litter.
Do you prefer a scientist’s description of a near-death experience, or one from a person who has experienced that state?
To compare these different points of view, here first is a statement from a researcher’s report:-
There is extensive evidence that some endogenous opioid peptides play a fundamental role in the regulation of excitability of the hippocampus. Leu-5-enkephalin and met-5-enkephalin have excitatory actions in the hippocampal pyramidal cells, especially in the CA1 field and B-endorphin has a naloxone-reversible seizurogenic effect, while intraventricular administration can induce convulsive epileptogenic actions on the spontaneous electroencephalographic pattern of rats, especially from limbic areas….During stress and brain trauma, there is a liberation of endogenous peptides which explain the appearance of hallucinations. In the N.D.E. there is a possibility of endogenous peptide liberation resulting in alterations of limbic activity.
Now here is a typical account of a near-death or out-of-body experience:-
I went over to the other side, traveling to the top of a hill where there was warm golden light, a feeling of complete security, acceptance and love, and I met and talked with grandparents and other loved ones who knew me, and I wanted to stay there forever. With regret I had to return here, but I have never forgotten the experience, which was 64 years ago, and that feeling of all-embracing love has never left me.
When we die, will we drown in the peptides, or walk in a green and pleasant land and meet our loved ones? Can we ever be objective about our personal experiences? What level of scientific knowledge is relevant to our actual experience…particles, neurons and genomes, or the contents of our mind and its awareness. ? Can we be equally aware at the molecular level, as Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater appeared to have been, and also at the personal level, reading minds telepathically, seeing auras and having the ability for clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience, and further, having understanding at the superconscious level of God-Realization, or similar? Almost too much for one human brain to cope with?
These articles take the lay person’s approach in experiencing aspects of the Life Beyond. In a further article we will take a look at what poets have had to say, and we prefer use of poetical imagery, and metaphor, in approaching the subject rather than theological or scientific discussion.
In Chapter III, she describes how her companion in spirit showed her how there is no decay in the World Beyond. “Plant life as you call it in earth life, is the same here. It has its growth, change and periods of rest, even as yours does, only it does not fall to decay, it rests and recovers.” Colours there are beyond description, being reflections or radiations of the Infinite. The flowers there seem to sway to the accompaniment of strange but beautiful music. The disorder and decay of the earth world is superceded by a new consciousness of life, where decay, dust and death of physical form are no more. There is no litter. Forms, instead of aging, rotting and falling apart, just de-materialize, just as ectoplasmic forms at a physical mediumship séance are seen to take shape, become solid and tangible, and then later vanish.
There are cities over there, not just cottages and gardens. People continue with their occupations and interests, according to their desires and progression. There is the same magnetic force and energy which forms the physical universe, but at a higher level or frequency. The spirit world is beyond and outside time and space. “To us,” said the guide, “neither exist. Therefore dimension and its meaning are valueless to us.”
After this Bertha returned to her body. “As I opened again my physical eyes, I realized the enormous contrast between that amazing world of infinite possibilities and beauty, and the dull grey sky and heavy atmosphere which I saw and felt on my return….how heavy and weary my body seemed to be!”
In Chapter IV Bertha describes how she was taken to meet some old friends. She was taken first to a green, shaded slope to meet an Airman. He told her that he had communicated to his mother and wife through her mediumship. “By the aid of your helpers, I have been able to give proof of my identity to them. I want on this happy occasion to thank you for all the help you have given to them from time to time, and for conveying to them my many communications. How much this has helped me in my world and them in the earth world, you cannot realise. Sometimes the way was easy, and I was well pleased with my efforts. Other occasions it was difficult, but your Guides and helpers were patient and understanding, and you played your part well. Indeed I am grateful. …… You will remember how I proved to my people my identity by this particular [decoration on my tunic] and where they had placed the actual decoration, proving that I knew of this event. Tell my family that I have learnt in this new Life that the sacrifice which these decorations called for may be great, but in comparison to the Spiritual ‘decoration’ or glories which I am striving to attain by service, devotion and progressive consciousness is beyond all earthly understanding. This message will comfort them. I have a glorious vision, a vision of what real valiant service means, something more even than a man gains when he gives his earthly life in the cause of freedom for his country. I do not think that I can describe this vision to you, for I know you could not understand. I only know the greatest glories that a soul can achieve are within the scope of this, my Spirit consciousness, and I willingly desire to leave behind the trailing clouds of earthly glory that I may aspire to greater Spiritual joys: as yet I have seen but tiny glimpses of these great achievements, but I am ready and anxious to go forward and the love and aspiration of those of my people who are still in earth life is my incentive towards that goal.
I was told to come and wait here for you, and that I would have this opportunity, not only of thanking you for your part in my joyful reunions with my people on earth, but also that I had been given the opportunity to congratulate you on your work as a sensitive for so many earthly years. We in Spirit Life who desire to get into communication with those we have left on earth, look out for you in earth life, wearing the cord on your shoulder. We know when we make our journeys to the earth what this stand for, it is placed there by your Spirit Helpers.”
Bertha asked him:- Is it a kind of emblem or insignia
Airman:- Yes. Do not all people in earth life wear such insignias, the priest his collar, the nurse her uniform, the soldier his flash or regimental badge, even so, then this crimson shoulder cord identifies you to us, and we look for you and know you by it.
The airman was called away by something that was happening on earth, and Bertha’s companion sat talking with her for what seemed like half-an-hour until his return. The Airman was carrying in his arms a small child of six or seven years of age.
Airman (with trembling voice) - Now you, as well as myself, know why I was called away so hurriedly – it was to receive my child. She has just come to this world, being killed by a car near the door of her home on earth…..how I little thought my little one would so soon be with me. But oh, my wife, how she will suffer, and it is not easy for us to be always able to comfort those who are bereaved.
He moved away, with his child still clasped in his arms. On a later journey, Bertha’s companion took her to visit his home in a kind of Garden City. She writes “There were many houses, different in type and shape, and after passing by many of them, we arrived at one where, upon the front lawn, I recognized again this same small child whom the Airman had carried in his arms. She was accompanied by two other children. They had the usual display of children’s toys around them. As we reached the gate, a young woman, [the girl’s aunt, already in spirit], came out to meet us.
Aunt - I am R….’s sister. You will interested, I know, to hear that I left my other occupation in Spirit, so that I might look after my little niece. The two accompanying children I brought with me. They are (or were) two unwanted babies, who were thrust into Spirit Life because their respective mothers did not desire them to be born into the world naturally, and I am permitted to have charge of these children. It is my duty to see that they are given the opportunity of development and progress in this life which has been denied them on earth plane.
Bertha - Does the child know she has passed over?
Airman - Not quite. She only partially understands it. Here we have the power of transforming children's minds, and even adults too, when necessary, so that when they come to this world suddenly by accident, or shock, the distress is subdued, and gradually the mind is allowed to grasp the true nature of things, and then they are better able to accustom themselves to that new life by easy stages. I shall find great happiness in caring for my child, and look forward to the time when the other members of my family will join us here.
Bertha - Will it not seem a long, weary wait ?
Airman - No, at least, I mean we shall not find it so. May I remind you that we are not separated from our loved ones, it is they who feel the separation, for they have but the memories of us to live with, while we who have passed on, are not limited to memories. We still are able to share in their lives. I trust I am able to make myself understood. Our lives here are full, and sharing in their experiences. We live in the present, yet the past is, and becomes the ever present, and last, but not least of my thoughts, I again remind you, we are not limited to time such as you are on earth. Have you noticed that I have changed my attire, and show no medals on my tunic? I did this in order to convey to you that I am much more desirous of reaching out to greater and higher achievements and can do so more readily when I can put aside all that for which I died physically.
Bertha - Can you tell me the nature of your interest, your hopes, your occupations ?
Airman - I would try to explain it to you, but I know you would not understand anything of my interests in regard to occupation or work, [just] as it would be for a man who had been born on the earth a hundred years earlier than I was born, to grasp the meaning of the type of work I did in my earth life. Let me explain. You and I know the meaning of the word ‘radar,’ though I claim to know more about it than you. I was fully trained to know of its technique and its mysteries, but were I to have tried to explain it to the man who had been born on earth a hundred years earlier [before its invention and that of aircraft, and flying] he could not have comprehended my meaning. The word ‘radar’ would convey nothing to his mind. This also can apply to other modern or present-day discoveries. Would he have understood the words wave lengths, or transmitting stations? Thus you will see that even as your earth evolves and activities and occupations come into being by means of scientific discoveries, which your earth people call ‘progress,’ even so this applies to our life in Spirit with its endless and infinite possibilities. Therefore I think you will see how impossible it is for those in earth life to understand the intricate evolution and progression of life in the Spirit World. I have some vague earthly recollection of a famous person on earth saying ‘There are greater thing in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of even in your philosophy.’ One can only grow in knowledge in stages, even as man on earth has grown in the knowledge of the mysteries of the universe. Men in earth life call it scientific discoveries, while I can only offer you these words, they are the conscious consciousness of the soul’s growth and knowledge of higher perception of God’s Infinite Being.
So what the Airman was saying reflects what I was pointing out at the beginning of this article. We can hardly understand what our scientists are talking about when then are using their jargon about body chemistry, the human genome and nuclear physics, let alone trying to grasp the infinite complexity of the spiritual universe. We can merely glimpse a few things closer to home, as the discussion in Chapters III and IV of Bertha’s book where she also discusses the clothes worn in the World Beyond. When she first saw the Airman, he was wearing his uniform and his badges and medals, for identification purposes. But for regular life in the spirit worlds, the spirits can choose whatever is comfortable and appropriate for them. Though when she first went on these journeys, she said that she certainly had no more to do with the choice and design of her clothing than she had to do with the creation of her Spirit body. Her spirit companions had chosen what was suitable for her, though the draped crimson cord placed on her shoulder was put there by her own efforts and service as a medium, as already explained.
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