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More Wisdom of Ramadahn by Ursula Roberts

CHAPTER TEN

 Death and the After-life

 What is life like in the spirit world?

 Life in the spirit world is firstly a life of happy reunion, then one of joyous surprise and then one of joyous fulfilment. (It is only in the lower regions of the first planes that spirits spend their time in idleness and in foolish pursuits, because they are still held by the old ideas of the mortal life). In the life of the spirit there is an availability unto all who desire to gain knowledge, for there are schools, colleges, and temples of wisdom into which those, who seek to gain understanding, may enter. They may, if so they wish, hold within their hands the semblance of any book which has ever been created by mankind, or they may learn how to seat themselves in the quietness of the meditative rooms and simply absorb knowledge into their minds by the quietude of meditation. There is room for every spirit to find that which he may desire and to find that fulfilment he or she may be seeking.

 So I would say to you, look forward to your time of transition from the mortal body with expectation and with joy, in the knowledge that as you leave your body you will meet those whom you have loved and those who have loved you in the mortal life, and you will also meet those whom you have loved and who have loved you before you entered into the mortal existence. You will also meet spirits who have heard the note sounding in harmony and in longing from your soul, who come in answer to that sound - these will be the spirits who are harmonious to your own special vibration.

 What of those who have sinned and feel remorse? How can they know the joy of which you speak?

 This will be one of your difficult experiences, but because you will be surrounded by the love of understanding spirits you will be aided by their love and their sympathy; if they hear you crying with the anguish of regret, or with a torturing of yourself because you see and realise the result of that which you have done, loving ones may draw near to comfort you, saying: “You may undo this by rendering service. Come with us and we will show you how you may set right some of this which seems to you to be wrong and is hurting you in this moment of your clear perceiving”. So they may take you and teach you how to return again into the atmosphere of your earthly world to shield, to guide, to strengthen, or to give goodness into the world because you have become conscious of the inharmony which was created during some part of your mortal existence.

 There are some who see with their clairvoyant vision what seem to be temples in the spirit world - can you tell us of their purpose?

 Here in the places of the spirit the temples and the churches are not so much dedicated to the seeking of the spirit of God but more to the concentrating of the power, the light and beauty of the spirit into a confined space, into which beloveds may come to find a deeper and fuller communion and communication. So the canopies that cover the top of such temples are of a very transparent nature, through which light can stream down upon the seekers from higher spheres and from higher places. Such temples are invariably of a circular shape, raised with pillars of light, and from them there will always outstream a radiant beam of pure light.

 There are the green temples, dedicated unto peace, which will bring unto the seekers a feeling of great relaxation and peacefulness as they bathe themselves in the green colouration of such a temple, where the light swirls with a gentleness of movement.

 There are also temples of a blue colour to which those servers of earth often come when they have become wearied by their labour of working with mediums and healers in the earthly plane; resting and meditating in quietude they may absorb from the blueness of the atmosphere the peace and the energy which later they may carry again unto the places wherein they serve. Sometimes persons still in the earthly body may be brought in times of sleep or trance into such a beautiful blue temple, so that they can be renewed and absorb the harmony and peace which the blue colours impart. So do not be surprised, beloved ones, if sometimes you behold in your inner vision blue clouds swirling around you, or if you return to your earthly body with the recollection of the beautiful blue places of the spirit. There are also very, very beautiful temples of a gentle pale-pink colour, which gently palpitate in rhythms of light, in radiations of pure soft whiteness, of pink, of blue and mauve, but which are too delicate for the human eye to behold. Such temples are the temples of the great Christ love, the temples of the loving heart, and to these we sometimes take earth's rejected souls, the unloved and the badly wounded by the hurts of the earth, so that being bathed in that love some of their bitterness may be washed away and they may be healed and renewed.

 When you have your great Christmas festival, and all the activities of your immediate earthly world are suspended, many spirits do withdraw into the temples in the higher regions to replenish themselves, to be recharged with the light and the love, the peace and the truth that is needed in your earthly world.

 There are many other temples, but these are those which are most easily comprehended by yourselves, but if you see in your inward vision, or you behold in your soul-travelling, temples such as these, then know that it is not just a dream of the mind but you have been beholding some part of the glory of the spirit.

 Can you give us a description of that part of the Summerland in the spirit world in which you live?*

 I would describe it in this way. There is a temple situated at the foot of a mountain, and running through the centre of this temple is a stream of pure water. Upon the sides of this flowing stream are mossy banks and little grottos in which Indian spirits may come to rest, to meditate and to draw fresh power, ere some new ministry is undertaken on the earth. It is from this stream of healing or purification that the spirit known as ‘Rushing River’** draws the influence he endeavours to impart through his medium, for the stream can be diverted, or used by any individual who so desires.

 Also within this temple are kept scrolls which relate to the further work we plan to do, and special scrolls or books to which I myself may refer when giving a specific teaching on a subject unfamiliar to me, but good for those on earth. This corresponds to a library, and is my place of study and meditation.

 Within this temple is the hall of rest wherein many spirits, still joined to their earthly bodies, can come  during  sleep  or entrancement, to absorb the atmosphere of peace and inspiration which may help them in their further progression. At the far end of this temple is a gateway of silver filigree. We only open this gate at special times of festival or recreation, and when we do, it reveals a shining pathway by which we may go upward upon the mountainside to attend festivals of reunion. There we commune with those of a more advanced nature who give us a baptism of power, that upon our return we may bring fresh power to cleanse and harmonise the conditions wherein we work near the earthly plane itself.

 Around this temple is a smooth grassland with trees; children come and go, and the souls of the weary sometimes come to rest here. It is not a permanent structure, but one we have raised for our special work, and when our time of service unto earth is completed, the temple will dissolve silently away.

 * repeated in Wisdom of Ramadahn.

**(another spirit, who entrances the medium for other work).

 You have spoken of people waiting on the spirit side of life for revenge. I expect it also works in reverse - that there are spirits waiting for the arrival of people from the earth so that they can say “Thank you for the great goodness you did to me during my life”?

 This is true, beloved one; however, this comes not within the question of punishment but rather within the  question of appreciation and reward. There are some spirits who have passed through the experience of death and have remembered a great hurt or harm that has been done to them in mortal life, yet by enduring that, they have developed a quality of the soul which they did not have, and so they may meet the tormentor with forgiveness. Because they endured the injustice of the tormentor they developed within themselves a greater understanding, a greater strength, which gives them the power to forgive. But even such forgiveness, when it is received by the tormentor, simply increases his feelings of shame, and makes him wish to hide himself even further from the light which may be emitted by such an enlightened one.

 Can you explain the difference between the etheric and the spirit bodies?

 The etheric body is not the spirit body itself. The etheric body is compounded of the ethers which interpenetrate the whole of your earthly world. It is the ether of air, rich in oxygen, rich in life-giving forces, the atmosphere which some of you say is the source of the electricity at which you marvel. This etheric life force relates to the earth upon which is sustained each living leaf, each mighty tree, each living creature, each little insect, each man and woman - all things that live have their relationship with this great ether of life.

 Does the food we eat affect our etheric bodies?

 The food you eat affects the physical body according to the type of person you are, for some people have an acid system, some an alkaline system and some are a balance between the two. So there is the need to eat the type of food which blends with the type of body belonging to you, because too great a state of acidity or alkalinity can affect the etheric body.

 The centres in the physical body through which the etheric life force flows in, and spiritual power is absorbed, are the spleen, the heart, the stomach (solar plexus) and the forehead.

 How long a period is the etheric body used, and what happens to it when it is discarded?

 This very much depends upon the actual texture of the etheric body itself. The texture will be heavy if the person has loaded the body with the harmful influence of unwise food, the unwise taking of earth's substances such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and also if the person has allowed the heavier passions to influence the body, so that the etheric body is weighed by the heaviness of the more material aspects of mortal living. But if the ethereal body has been lightened by prayer, by pure and harmless living, the spirit will quickly be able to rise into the purer and the lighter atmosphere of the spirit life -and according to the swiftness of the rise through the first plane of the spirit existence, so will be the term of time before the spirit will relinquish the ethereal body. In those who are very pure and very good the etheric body may be laid upon one side in a matter of months, as your earthly time is known. In others the ethereal may be retained for periods of years, if the spirit wishes to do important work in the planes that are very near to the earthly atmosphere. So in the first stages of the spirit experiences the ethereal body is retained until the spirit no longer needs it, when it will pass through what is known as the ‘second death’.

 What finally happens to the etheric body?

 It dissolves, even as the physical body dissolves when your mortal body is discarded and is laid into the sands of the desert, or into the body of the earth, or is submitted unto the cleansing action of fire; then the elements of the body return unto the elements of the earth, and the mineral matter is reabsorbed into the soil of the earth itself. Even so is the etheric body which returns to the etheric atmosphere, when it has been discarded by the spirit - the elements dissolve into the etheric atmosphere quite quickly, and disappear and vanish entirely away.

 Does some kind of ‘memorial’ service take place for the second death?

 Those who love and who companion such a soul may sometimes come to be with the one who is moving on to another state of existence, but the dying is painless and swift. There is a discarding, a transmutation and a development of the finer bodies - then the close resemblance to the mortal and physical body ceases to be so strong, and in the higher states of the spirit growth the mental and emotional body tends to expand more into the shape of a shining globe, and the etheric body is no longer needed. But if a spirit who has gained this higher degree of unfoldment wishes to converse or to communicate with earth's people, then such a spirit must use the etheric body of another, because it is not possible to conjoin closely into earth's heavier existence without the intermediary link of the etheric body.

 You have said that the mental body sometimes withdraws before the etheric body. Where does the mental body go, and is it separate from the physical body?

 It can separate from the physical body. In some forms of illness in your world a person's physical body continues to eat, sleep and walk, but the memory and ability to communicate are absent. This is because part of the soul body is separated from the purely physical one. It is similar to what happens in your earth if something severs your arm; you can continue to exist and your ethereal arm also continues to exist, although you may say it is not there because you cannot see or use it. After death has taken place we take these souls to what is the equivalent of a hospital in the first plane of the spirit existence, and there they rest and wait until the energy within the physical body dies and the whole soul body can be reunited.

 Can you explain what happens when a human being enters the spirit word?

 If there comes about a death through age, or through the body being destroyed by means of disease, then we know that such a one is going to be reborn here into the region of the spirit. Then a watcher will be appointed to wait for the time when the spirit is ready to be released from its hold on the physical, dying body. The watcher will then send forth a call, drawing in another group of spirits who will, as it were, wrap that one in wrappings of their love, and convey it to a place wherein it may rest in peace. There a place is prepared, often a simple room in one of the spirit temples, dressed with blossoms and flowers from the gardens of healing, and into which we bring objects dear and familiar to the beloved. The mother, father or other loving spirits will sit silently waiting beside the new-born soul until the deep state of rest ceases to hold the consciousness. As they awaken, they behold the smiling faces of those lost long ago, but who wait now to welcome them into the newness of spirit. Therefore I would say to you, a death to you on earth is to us a birth into the spirit.

 Often as I have beheld such renewed souls wakening from the dream of death I have seen like cords tugging at the heart. As the souls feel this pulling vibration, they know that some beloved still in the earthly life grieves and wants to see or to hear from them . . . in that moment they are drawn back again swiftly into the vibration of the earthly life, to be momentarily reunited with the one who has called them in their moment of sadness or of sorrow. But in their coming do they not impart to the mourner a touch of their joy, a moment of their gladness, bringing some comfort to the mourner?

 To you who are in the earthly life we would say: do not be ashamed because sometimes you feel a gladness enter into your heart at a time when you feel you should be sad. Those who have passed through the change of death would like you to share with them your love and gladness that their freedom from the mortal body has been established. For how can life continue from everlasting unto everlasting unless it be through little deaths,  through little resurrections, little sleeps and awakenings, times of revelation, times of renewal, and wondrous times of praise?

 But it would seem that in your mortal life there is little understanding of this truth, for when a beloved is coming to the time when the soul is leaving the body . . . then those of the family and friends will weep, creating a turbulence of emotion around the departing one, which disturbs the soul seeking to find peace. Also, amongst the doctors and the nurses there is an agitation, a fearfulness that the spirit should escape from the body - and so and there is a hasty use of many instruments and many ideas, so that the soul might be brought back again into its control of the mortal body. Therefore, there is not the peace that allows the soul to go quietly and easily from the body.

 When a person passes in their sleep, does that give a certain indication as to the success of that person’s life on earth?

 Truly, for the spirit has learned to be wise and can easily and naturally relinquish its hold upon the atoms of the body which it has used. It is not a reward to the spirit but it is an indication of the harmony of the spirit.

 How do the watchers cope when something like a nuclear explosion happens and all the people are killed at the same time?

 Each individual gives forth a certain sound or note, and the totality of that sound is like a song which we of the spirit are often able to hear. Therefore, the watchers will be aware of the total sound of a group in an earthly place. There will be some in that group whose note may change because of an intuitive awareness of the fact that there is soon to be an ending of certain lives. So if there is a sudden explosion, or a suddenness of death or dying, there will be some spirits who become aware of what is taking place, and who will be there to aid those who have left their bodies. Many souls will not always be immediately aware of the fact that they have died, and so there will be brought into such a place spirits who are what you would call ‘recent departures’, who are not guides, or the spirits of light, but spirits who come, converse and convey to the souls just died the fact that the dead body they see is indeed dead, and that they should come away and learn new things. This is a ministry carried forward continually.

 It is difficult to know what to say to somebody who has lost a young person. Have you any words of advice how one could help them?

 Give to them the knowledge that the young life that has been taken from their care will be continued in the regions of the spirit. What was being learned, or what was learned, in the earthly life will be continued through into the life of the spirit; so there is no wastage, but all continues into another region of learning, living and loving.

 What happens to the souls who are drowned or burnt in world disasters?

 They are just translated from the condition of drowning, or of burning, into the new life of the spirit. Those who die in water take a longer time for progress than do those who die through fire or burning, because the burning fire releases the spiritual energies more quickly from the body, whereas the elements of the body dissolve more slowly when enfolded in water or simply buried in the earth. Unless the soul has the inner consciousness of leaving the body and looking for the light of spirit, then it may be tied to the body for a longer time.

 What can we do to help those souls?

 You can do what has been done through many years of your earth's history which is to pray for their souls, and for those who die in the sea, sing your sacred songs! Sometimes as an act of remembrance scatter on the surface of the water symbols of your love and remembrance, to awaken within their inner consciousness the fact that they are remembered and they have died.

 How may we help one who is dying?

 You may help this process of dying by saying to the soul: “Go in peace; know that we love you; look toward the light”, so that the soul may hear your thoughts and may be aware, not of sorrow and sadness, but of love and peace, for this will help it to be freed easily from the encasement of the mortal body.

 You may also call upon the spirits whom you know and love, or to the wife, or husband, or brother, or sister, or any other dearly-loved ones who have preceded this one through the experience of death, saying: “Please come and protect and guide this dear one at this moment of death.”

 But if you have one whom you know has been suffering from terrible illness for considerable seasons of time, and the body is in a state of great pain and weakness, those of you who understand the usage of the healing energies in your hands, may use this healing energy to draw the spirit gently, gently, upward through the body toward the brain, because the departure of the spirit from the body takes place firstly as a withdrawal of energy from the feet, then a withdrawal of energy up the legs, and then a withdrawal of energy upward to the other organs of the body, until it comes to the seat of intelligence which is the brain . . . But if you are unable to be present at this time, you can equally well undertake what is known as absent healing, and gently in your thoughts stroke the physical body, aiding the soul to come easily and swiftly from its physical tenement. This work will be seen by your guides and servers who will try to aid in this process.

 It may seem to you that you are witnessing the suffering of the whole person, but often it is but the suffering of the mortal body, for the soul is freed from its body some time before the actual moment of death is completed, but is still connected to the body some little while before the moment of death, so your thoughts are heard by the soul, your love is received by the soul, and your flowers and their perfume may bring sweetness unto that departing one.

 Often, you may say: “I will care for your dear one, I will aid this one when you have gone”; this will bring reassurance to the soul's remnants of consciousness, who may still be worrying about a dear child or a dear one left alone in the mortal life.

 Many old people become blind or deaf, often bed-ridden, it seems they are not learning anything; why are they not freed by death?

 If they had been wise they would have sought to learn the lesson of patience in the earlier years of their lives, but by the goodness of the Great Power often a longer span is given unto some souls so that they may learn more complete lessons and bring their treasures of experience into the spirit realm with them. Therefore, often what appears to be an unjust or bitter experience is a blessing which will not be revealed until their life journey is completed.

 Do we carry our earth memories entirely with us into the spirit world?

 Those who have lived wisely in the earthly experience, as they relinquish the etheric body go through what we call the Halls of Forgetfulness - the halls where old memories are cleansed away. So, before you become fully involved in your spiritual body you are taken through a place of cleansing in which the memory of your disease, or the memory of your inhibitions, might be slowly washed away, that you can become a free and a happy spirit in the places of the spirit. That is why, sometimes, your dear ones of the spirit may try to return to give to you a message of their love, and you may feel confused because they do not always remember their age, or their illness, or their suffering, or whatever troubled them in the earthly life, and you will not know that they have been through the Halls of Forgetfulness, which are to eradicate some part of that painfulness.

 Can you tell us about the homes we may inhabit when we leave our physical bodies?

 This is difficult to answer, for the homes of the spirit are many and diverse, and each one is designed to fulfil the needs of the individual. Because your thoughts and your feelings are creative, often, without your awareness, you are creating the very home in which you will dwell, after you leave your mortal body.

 When I wander on journeys of discovery through the many planes of spirit existence, I see the differing kinds of homes into which the loved ones go. Here and there, there will be a large building, surrounded by beautiful gardens filled with peace. In this place there are to be seen those men or those women who once spent their life within the walls of a monastery, or within the walls of a convent. They loved the chapels and the gardens in which the years of their lives passed gently away in  service and in prayer and in contemplation. So these beings, coming to the closure of their mortal life, go to the semblance of the place they have created in the regions of the spirit (the semblance of a monastery or a convent) where they will continue to lead their lives in love, in unity, in prayerfulness for those who are still in the earthly world, or who belong to the order which was once the joy of their life; or they pray and love souls such as yourselves, who are linked to them by ties of love and recollection. But they call this place their ‘home’ because it is the reflection of the place and the home they loved when they were in the mortal world.

 Then again, wandering through the many places of discovery, I behold sometimes a little dwelling place, shining with a pearly-white radiance, with windows which gleam and shine; around this little dwelling there are many blooming flowers and blossoms, and small paths that twist and turn within a familiar garden. In such a small dwelling there is a man and a woman living quietly together, in the peace of the spirit life, in this replica of the little home that they once had when they were in the earthly world, sometimes known as a ‘cottage’. It is small, but shining and beautiful, with a pearly-radiance that is the symbol of the love they built into their home during their devotion to each other, and the love they had for their simple home and garden in the earthly life.

 You may say - “Why should they have so humble a place if they led lives of simple beauty and love and kindliness; why do they not have a shining large dwelling?” They do not have it, beloved ones, because they do not want it; they have what they love and they have what they have created.

 Will you tell us a little about family relationships in the world of the spirit?

 If real love has held together a family in the earthly life and that reality of love continues into the life of the spirit, then the family will continue as a group through many experiences and many spheres of the spirit life. But if the family on the earthly side has only been held together by a common interest in the possession of property, or by the common bond of a similar name, or simply by the bond of duty, then when death dissolves those bonds they may no longer hold together as a family circle  . . . Many persons in the earthly life remain in a relationship that is not necessarily real love but one which is compounded of loyalty and duty and sometimes necessity; although there may be tolerance and understanding in that relationship, if there is not love then it will not continue here into the life of the spirit.

 What joy there is for those who are conjoined together again in this unity, this wonderful renewal of love, for these will find a dwelling in the great open spiritual fields, often remaining together for long periods of time, simply exchanging thought and affection. Even as in the mortal life lovers will sit silently holding hands and looking one to the other for long periods of time, so in the life of the spirit those who are bonded by love may often remain seated together in a closeness of unity and an exchange of lovingness for what may seem to you in the earthly worlds as months, sometimes years, before eventually they decide to move on into other spheres of spirit activity, in which they may serve and grow or learn of other things and of other places.

 After a season in this Summerland, there may come the experience of reunion with other spirits who have not necessarily belonged to the family in this earthly life, but who have known each other in other places and in other experiences. Sometimes these spirits become known as guides and helpers, and some are spirits who have loved that one in another life experience, in centuries which have long gone by. So gradually there may be established a new, loving group which can be known as a family group, but not necessarily a family group according to your earthly understanding.

 When we think of our loved ones in spirit we sometimes wonder what work they are doing? Can you enlighten us about this?

 Many labours are undertaken within the places of the spirit, but you must not expect your loved ones always to continue in the same work which they undertook in the earthly existence. The work which they may do in spirit will be that which has been the secret and unsatisfied desire of the soul. One who may have wished to sing, but instead cooked and laboured for the family, when freed from the body will sing within the heavenly choirs. One who desired to create music with the fingers and then discovered that the hands were crippled by disease or stiffened by labour, will come to the ‘music places’ in spirit and will play (if they so wish) upon an instrument as large as the largest organ ever visualised, or may play upon instruments of gold with silver strings, so that their music goes forth like the sound of silver bells. Those who wished to heal will indeed continue to create life and harmony wherever it should be needed. Those who, in the inner searching of the soul, desired only to find their god (seeking through readings of many books, the praying of many prayers, and the study of many philosophies) will seek once more in love for unity with the great Creator of the nights and the days . . . and shall find the answer to their questions.

 Can you tell us what happens to young people who pass to spirit before they reach maturity?

 The young spiritual soul, when separated from the mortal and physical body, is taken by teachers and loving spirits into the regions of light and into the gardens of peace, that therein development and unfoldment may be completed in the care of wise and loving spirits. Groups of spirit children are trained to come into earth's atmosphere from time to time to blend their influence with the influence of earth's dweller. As they do this, so are they able to shed and share some of the love within the emotional body amongst earth's people; and they become aware of the heaviness, the weariness and the loneliness experienced by earth's dwellers.

 They come, too, when you are seated in your times of meditation, or in your little groups seeking to quicken and develop your psychic and spiritual powers. For as you sit thus, often a person sinks into stagnation and sleepiness, instead of peace. But when the groups of children circle round such a group, then they impart movement, a quickening vibration, power and joy to the people seated in such a place; as they dance, move and sing, their vibration often emits a little sparkling dust of radiant light which may be seen to the clairvoyant eye by some still in the earthly body. When the children return into their spirit schools they will be full of questions, asking: “Why are the earthly dwellers encloaked in grey? Why is the atmosphere of the earthly world so heavy: Why are my parents who love me well so filled with tears? What is the purpose of the earthly existence?” The teachers who love and teach them will try by symbol and by truth to give to their enquiring minds the answers that they seek. For as these children learn the truths and understand the lessons, so in the fullness of time they may be enabled to give to some developing medium a part of their knowledge and their truth.

 These children are not only conjoined in unity unto their parents or unto the circles of mediums seeking development, but often they may be brought unto the beds of those who are sick, who are weary with pain. In each of your great hospitals there are wise and lovely spirits - women who in their earthly existence served as nursing nuns or nursing sisters and who still continue their ministry of love in these places of illness. When they may need it these lovely souls will send forth a request unto the spirit children that they may come into these places, to share their joy with the children who in their bodies are weary with pain or sickness of the body.

 And, sometimes, these spirit children will minister unto the aged and lonely, conjoining themselves in unity with an ageing man or woman so that their love may lighten the burden of loneliness in the heart, and this old one, waiting quietly for the call to spirit, will be comforted, whenever that call may come.

 What is the effect on the spirit of burial of the body in the earth?

 Quite often the spirit may linger in the region of the burial place. It would be good if your people should know this, so that as you walk through these grey burial places you may sometimes broadcast light and peace and love through your thoughts unto any who may be held there in that area. In places such as France and other lands, there are burial vaults created wherein all members of the family are placed. In such places, if the spirit is an ignorant one, it may retain its linkage to the body and be held within the vicinity of this vault for some considerable time. If this is so, then communication will not be possible between such departed spirits and those who may wish to contact them, unless they can draw the spirits away from their place of rest by establishing a psychic contact.

 Here in your own land, as the bodies are laid to rest in these burial places, so there has become established groups of spirits whose task it is to watch over these areas and try to reach the spirits of those who have died, as the coffins are committed into the earth.

 Remember that you who have knowledge of these things can send out light unto the spirits of those whom you know have died in the lonely places of the earth, or whose bodies were hastily laid to rest in the bosom of the earth itself. As you send out your thoughts and prayers to them, speed them on their way in peace.

 So will there be an increase in earth's cleanliness, for some of the illness of your people today comes about because they are influenced by the spirits of the departed, who are still attached to the little homes in which they lived, or to the possessions which once they used. These flats or rooms in which many of you live - people move in and out, but very seldom do earth people think to purify the atmosphere, or to charge the place with light, so that any spirit that may be hovering there may not affect the new dwellers, as they move into these little dwelling places.

 Is cremation a good thing?

 If the life is lived without a true understanding of spiritual truths, with an undue concentration upon the satisfaction of the desires of the body, and with a degree of greed in which it tries to attract toward the body the wealth of the world, then it becomes like a magnetic centre to which all these things are attracted, and at the time of death does not suddenly cease. So it is good that such a body should be submitted to the cleansing element of fire, for fire will cleanse all these appetites and will destroy all that has related to the purely physical body and to the purely physical plane. Then may the soul be freed from its ties with the mortal world and be enabled to move into the life of the spirit, unencumbered by the weight of the old desires.

I would also say to you that for those of you who are concerned with the proper disposal of the body of those whom you have loved, it is good to remember that the spirit of the beloveds may hover near to the body for a little season of time, and therefore you should allow a period of three or four days and nights before you bring the body to the purification by fire, otherwise, the departing spirit may not know sufficiently that death has intervened and has freed it from the bodyself. Many do not know they have died until they hear the familiar words of your service of burial and your farewell words unto their soul. So when one whom you love is dying you should speak to the departing spirit in your prayerful thoughts or with your own words, saying: “Depart in peace, look toward the light, look to see your guide or your mother or father. Go in peace and know that we love you”. In your thought and in your love lift them unto the thoughts of the Great Light which is dawning in the after-death state.

 Some Christians subscribe to the belief that when one dies, one remains in the grave until the day of resurrection - is this true?

 This is sometimes true. If the individual dies holding within the inner consciousness the thought ‘this is the end, now I must rest and sleep until I am awakened’, then that consciousness will remain in the vicinity of the burying place.

 So we have groups of ministering spirits who, from time to time, will visit places of this nature and they will bring sometimes a musician, or may even influence an earthly musician to go to that place to blow or play upon their trumpet, to create sound which the sleeping one may hear, and will think ‘this is the great call’ and will go toward the sound; they can then be led higher by the ministering ones into the places of greater light and knowledge.

 Heaven (or paradise), hell, and the day of judgment: are these things really true, or are they only mythology?

 There is a certain degree of myth, and there is a degree of truth in such beliefs. There is the place known as heaven, which we call the Summerland, or the places of peace. There are also the grey spheres into which some souls go at the time of their death, because they are still loaded with their own unsatisfied desires. There is also a time when, after the death of the physical body, the soul goes through a time of review in which it may see the happenings of the mortal existence and will see its successes and the failures, but it is not judged by any judge, it is judged by its own feeling of failure or by its own feeling of happiness and joy. The only judgment that may be experienced may sometimes be in a feeling of shame in the thought that other minds in the spirit are able to see the particular result of the experiences, or the failures in the mortal life.

 Those who have served as mediums, as co-operators with spirits and the healers, do they fare better when they pass to the spirit existence?

 It is true that those who have blended their consciousness with that of spirits of light and of wisdom, when they come to the time of dying, are (as it were) drawn up by gold chains of spirit love and by silver chains of spirit inspiration, because the ‘guide’ who has inspired the medium during the years of earthly serving is always on a higher plane, and so he (or she) ‘goes before’ and lifts the medium into a higher state of understanding. Death for the Spiritualist takes place in knowledge, but death for the non-Spiritualist takes place sometimes with faith, sometimes with hope, but it does not take place with the light of knowledge. Knowledge sheds a clear and a beautiful radiance, by means of which the newly-born spirit, who leaves the body through death, can tread safely and securely through all the different aspects of experience and through all the different regions of knowledge.

 How can one help those who take their own lives?*

 You can help them by realising that what they mostly need is your recognition and light, for those who end their lives in what is termed “suicide” do so because of some great shadow of fear and loneliness. It is a greyness in the soul and, therefore, as the body dies and the soul is freed, often it will find itself in a place that is grey and cold, where they may feel very alone and sometimes afraid. As they are still nearer to the earth plane than to the spirit plane, a person wishing to help should speak the name of the departed one, sending prayers of love and encouragement, saying: “Look for the light! Look for the light!” The soul will receive your thought and begin to look for the light in the plane wherein they find themselves. Always there will be nearby a ministering spirit who radiates light, and as they look toward that spirit then that ministering one may come to give aid or comfort to the one in the state of lonely greyness.

 Some commit suicide because they have been oppressed by oppressors, or reach starvation because there is an insufficiency of nourishment, some simply see no reason for continuing to live, and some do this deed because they are unable to continue to face the difficulties of the mortal world, or because they are ashamed of something they have committed. Those who calmly, quietly and prayerfully decide that they can no longer continue with a disease, or a starving or an ageing body, may commit this suicide, but because the physical body has already been lightened of its energies through their illness or starvation or agedness, then they can rise rather rapidly because the ethereal bodies are not so heavy.

 There are always exceptions and many reasons why earth's people come to the termination of their mortal experiences, and we wish that you would not send out to them thoughts of despair and horror, but rather lift them on prayers of light and thoughts of encouragement.

 *This theme has also been discussed in The Wisdom of Ramadahn.

 What retribution is there for the instigators of the last war and the tyrants who killed so many people in gas chambers - and what was the reason these people had to die?

 The reason they had to die was because there was a great massing together of the great laws of cause and effect. But those who brought about the deaths of those many people will - when they come to their own time of death - inevitably have to face the vision of what they did and the results of their deeds in the lives of those who followed after. Therefore, they are those who are running and running through the lower spheres, seeking to escape the realisation of that which they did.

 But there are some who obeyed orders, because if they did not obey, then their families would be destroyed; therefore, for the love of their families they obeyed the laws of the land of that time, and committed those deeds. So, for them some part of the law of love will be operating and there will not be, as you would term it, a total retribution for them, because the circumstances by means of which these deeds were done were also part of the great karma of their time.

 Many have asked about the soul known as Hitler. This soul retreated into the very dark shadows, but he had a mother who loved him, and his mother spirit does not cease to love her son, no matter what he may have done. So that mother undertakes a ministry of love and from time to time will go, with the aid of other spirits, into the place of shadows and try to show him some manner in which he may heal the many wrongs which occurred during his life's experience. As with him, so is it for many others.

 In your mortal world there is no soul who is not loved by at least one spirit, and even if such a soul refused to admit the presence of such a one because he is so involved with his own shame, still we have our own ways of penetrating through the shadows. Unto some we would take a simple animal soul, from whom the person has experienced some devotion at some time, and when that animal comes close, then often we see the lightening in recollection by the one who is enclosed in his darkness, and a reaching out to the comfort and the companionship which the animal may bring him. Then, slowly, the ministering spirits may be enabled to approach him or her, and draw them upward through giving service, or through love, or understanding, into the places of goodness and of light.

 What happens to someone who is an agnostic and does not believe in religion or an afterlife - where would he go?

 His condition, beloved one, would depend on the manner of life in which such a one lived on earth. If that one lived with the thought of enriching and beautifying the world by giving goodness and companionship and love to those who surrounded him, or to beautifying some part of the planet, then this would be regarded as a symbol of worship, for he would be expressing from within himself some part of his inner creativity. But if a man had no thought or belief beyond himself, and created simply a shell of inner selfishness or self-concern, then on leaving the mortal body he would come into the first plane of spirit existence, where he might remain for what in your earth term is a considerable time, contained within his own shell, until realising his loneliness and isolation, he endeavoured to come out of that, to try to reach others who might surround him.

 But I would say to you, progress in the regions of the spirit is not founded upon belief, but it is conditioned by what the belief brings forth in the soul of the person. Therefore, if your belief, or your religion, brings forth from within you an appreciation of the beauty of your planet, and engenders within you a compassion for the persons who are around you, and increases love within your heart, then your religion, or your belief, is good.

 Is the fear of death lessening in the world?

 Within the minds of those who are aged in years, who dwell within their lonely place, no longer able to meet with minds or listen to the communications through the mediums, we see that these souls wait quietly without fear to the time when the body shall dissolve, and their spirit shall be free, and they may come with joy into the great new life of the spirit. It is not good that men and women should leave the body with the cloak of fear drawn close around them, for when they do so, often they become immersed within the shadowed places near to the earth, and we cannot easily draw them out into the great high places of light and of joy. So we would say to you, go on spreading your silent influence wherever you may go. Wage your war upon man's fear of death. To those who are coming to the end of the journey and who are afraid, say: “Fear not, death is not a door that leads to darkness, it is a door that leads to freedom and to light”.

 There are children who are born, live for a Little while, and then suddenly die for no particular reason. Can you pleas give some explanation of this?

 They may come for a little while and be unable to maintain their hold upon the physical body, either because of some fault within the etheric body, or sometimes because of changes that are taking place in the atmosphere of the earth itself. There are changes that are being brought about by the usage of very subtle instruments in your earth. You are sending forth radiations of sound through your broadcasting machines, radiations through the creation of your picture machines (television), and even radiations through your food preparation machines. All of them combined together are altering the actual ethereal structure of the world, and sometimes- this may weaken the etheric body of a child or an infant, and then you will have this which you call a sudden death.

 When I visit my child's grave does her soul know that I am there?

 She will not know that you are at the grave, beloved one, but she will know if your loving prayer and thought goes forth to her. The soul does not remain with the body which is within the grave, but moves on into the regions of the spirit and will often be with you in your home, instead of when you visit the grave. From time to time in your home environment, you may see what is like a little spark of light, flashing through your vision occasionally - is this not so? (That is true!) This spark of light is the soul light of your child coming to visit you, and so when you behold it you may send your love and special prayer to that infant and renew the contact.

 Are thalidomide children, who have been born without arms and legs, given a whole spirit body and made normal again?

 Certainly, but apart from the importance to your mind of limbs, that spirit gains strength through the wish to master and use the imperfect body; it gains patience since it cannot do all that it would wish to do. Therefore, try to learn to look at such a person with the eye of understanding, saying to yourself. ‘This is a soul who is undergoing a difficult life experience, but what richness it will gain at the end of its journey’.

 In the case of abortions do the children have special nurseries to go to, because often they do not have loved ones?

 Most assuredly; if the soul has conjoined itself to the body of the potential mother and then has been rejected, that soul is taken into a home in the spirit world and loved by those who, during their earthly life, had great love and compassion for infant and child souls. Having touched the earthly atmosphere the soul is, as it were, anchored into that atmosphere and then it will grow and develop in the ethereal world near to your earth.

 What age would it be when it stopped growing?

 We do not have age, beloved one, but you may think of a child growing to maturity, and you may think of the very aged becoming younger until they gain the age of maturity.

 There are many things which occur here in the life of the Spirit that is for the healing of earth's children. There are the flowery fields of the spirit, the great open meadows wherein grow all the semblance of the tiny blossoms that make your earth so beautiful. These meadows of healing are those places into which we will take the child souls who, because they have been hurt and ill-treated by earth's dwellers, are too frightened to open themselves to the love of the serving spirits. So we lift them gently and take them unto these meadows of peace, and set them down there so that they may for a season rest and be still. Like all earth's children, after a little time they will look around and see some tiny blossom growing near, will reach out their hand to touch it, and finding that it does not hurt, they will then look and see other blossoms in the meadows of healing. Slowly the child soul will rise to its feet and move amongst all these blooming flowers and gather to themselves the perfume, the healing and the peace, and eventually be ready and unafraid to meet the ministry of the ministering spirits.

 So, if you in your sadness know of a child soul who has come to the end of life through the cruelty of man or woman, send out your thoughts, saying to that little one - “Look for the blooms, go to the flowery meadows”. Eventually your thought will reach that little one and they will indeed go unto the meadows of healing and of beauty.

 Again: if a child in the earth life had love and desire for some creature, for some dog, cat or horse, or lion, then in the fullness of time this wish may be granted, for in the great open lands of the spirit the creatures do not harm or hurt each other (they dwell in peace and have a time of joy); if the child so wishes, an animal will come in gentleness and in trust so that the child may have what you would call in your earthly language, a pet or beloved creature, within its care - this, too, will add to its joy and strengthen it in healing and in its growth.

 So, in all ways and in all things, the children are cared for, and loved; and children are sought by those who are the ministers of light, who go into the places of shadows to find the lost, the lonely and the tearful, to lift them into the places of peace.

 At what stage of death is the silver cord broken?

 The cord breaks when the etheric body finally separates from the physical body, for the cord which ties the ethereal atoms of the ethereal world to the physical body is the last to be dissolved. There are some occasions of sudden death when the higher part of the soul body may be separated and the etheric body may still remain enmeshed in the physical being. But when there is natural death, with a gradual withdrawal of, firstly, the spiritual body and then the etheric body, that is when the cord dissolves.

 Is the silver cord sometimes severed by a spirit surgeon, in the same way as the umbilical cord on earth is cut?

 Only on rare occasions, and it is not always silver because silver has a gleaming light, and the cord which ties the two bodies together may be grey or white, depending on the illness or the condition of the dying body. But there may be some occasions when the etheric body is tied very firmly to the physical, and when the spirit is unable to relinquish or withdraw, then we send out a call to one who, when on earth, was skilled in surgery, so that he may sever the cord and release the soul from its attachment to its physical counterpart.

 Whereabouts in the human body is the life-cord of the soul attached?

 It is attached to a little cell, not exactly in the cavities of the heart but just behind the cavities of the heart. But with those who have reached a high degree of enlightenment there is also a cord that is at the base of the human brain, and so there may be two cords, depending on the degree of development of the individual.

 Is there a pre-planned time for the passing of a spirit?

 There is a certain pattern of experience for each soul, but there is not necessarily a pre-determined length of time. In the things of the soul, what is important is the learning of the lessons of experience, instead of the time which may be taken in doing so. So some can grasp or develop a quality of the soul in a period of twenty years, which may take another soul a period of seventy years before they come to the same understanding.

 What happens when there is a tragic catastrophe, involving a large number of people passing suddenly? Were these people not meant to go at that time?

 They were not all intended to die at that special time. The life of an individual is like a chain and, as in all chains, there are certain links that are weaker, and times when the chain is stronger. In a life's experience there may come a time when there is a weakened link causing that individual to come very close to an accident, to illness, or to some happening that brings about a breaking of the chain. If we are able to, we of the spirit will sometimes try to bring a warning to earth's beloveds, saying that extra protection, extra healing, is needed at a certain time in the life experience. Then that individual may come very close to an ending of the life, or may just evade it, either through treatment for an illness or by responding to the warning. If they can by-pass that weakened time then their life may continue for a considerable period.

 It is true to say that, whenever there are these tragic happenings, there are always some who avoid or emerge from them, because the link in the chain of life was strengthened through the loving prayers of a true lover of such a one, or sometimes by the influence of a spirit who was able to draw near sufficiently to warn or to guide that one. But in your earthly world many, many people are indifferent to the warnings which are given, and are so involved in the pursuits of their own pleasures that they are unresponsive when we try to reach them through dream or vision.