Life Beyond Death

The purpose of death
The nature of life after death
How we can prepare for death
How we can assist the dying

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Over the years, many people have written to me about the information on this web site. Below are some of the more frequent questions and answers.

Index

Where do you get your information about death and dying?

My search to know about death goes back to my childhood. When I was 6 years old, my grandfather died suddenly from a heart attack. During the days that followed, I realized that one day, I too was going to die. This was a shocking revelation which had a profound impact on my young mind and world view. When I tried to talk about it with others, I was told, "Don't be silly. You're not going to die for a long time." But the fact that death was a future event didn't pacify me. Some day, sooner or later, I knew that death would come, and I would have to face it by myself, within myself.

From that point on, I had a burning desire to know what happens after death and how to prepare for it. For me, these were obvious and urgent questions. Whatever one might believe about death, we can't deny its inevitability. How is it possible to be alive and not want to know everything we can about it?

When I was 30 years old, certain events threw me into an acute spiritual crisis, culminating in a clear and profound out-of-body experience. During this experience, my awareness was drawn out of my physical body and through several higher planes of experience. Eventually, I was met by a spiritual guide who showed me the meaning of death, as well as a book containing the highlights of my Earth life.

Initially, the information I received was raw and abstract. It took some time to condense and organize the material into a concise booklet which anyone can use as a roadmap for their own spiritual journey. Please do not accept or believe this information at face value. Look within and ask if it resonates with your own sense of what is true. Or better yet, use it as a launching point for your own inquiry into these important questions.

Aside from what you suggest in your web site, how can I prepare for death?

Live your life simply and honestly. Try your best not to harm others. Keep in mind that our similarities far outweigh our apparent differences. As we do to others, we do to ourselves. This spiritual law is as real and practical as the law of gravity.

Find a spiritual teaching and daily spiritual practice that helps you feel connected to the Divine and resonates with your soul.

Your life is a commitment that you made long ago. Keep in mind that simply fulfilling that commitment to the end is a great accomplishment. Whether or not you achieve happiness or success in worldly terms, is not important. Just being here on Earth will trigger the events, relationships and conflicts that you came here to experience. Trust in the process.

Cultivate love, humility, kindness and generosity in your dealings with others. Love is the underlying current that runs through the entire cosmic creation. And it is a most direct path to the Divine.

Do these simple things and know that it will all turn out well in the end. When you pass over, you'll be met by your guides and taken to the next stage of your spiritual journey.

Our beloved dog just passed away. What happens to animals after death?

All conscious intelligence survives death. But animals are different from humans in the sense that members of each species share a group oversoul. After death, animals awaken on the astral planes for some time and then merge directly with their group oversoul. Some animals share a very close relationship with humans, which is likely to result in "rebirth" into human form when the time is right. This would include many of the more advanced mammals, such as dogs, cats, cows and horses, to name a few.

My mother has a terminal illness and has decided to stop eating. Should we try to make her eat? Do you have any advice or are there any special prayers I can offer?

During a terminal illness, the body eventually stops processing food and there's no longer any desire for it. At that point, it's natural to stop eating. This is not widely understood in western society. But people who are more attuned to their bodies and the rhythms of life, are naturally drawn to this practice. Also hospice nurses and people who work with the dying are well aware of this stage of death. In most cases, it means that death is only a few days away. (see Terminal Illness)

If you feel inclined to pray, then pray for her favorable transition, that she will make a clean break from the Earth plane and move on to reach her highest spiritual potential.

After 14 years of clinical depression and bad luck, I don't have any reason to live and want it all to end.

Please trust me when I tell you that your conscious experience will not end with the death of the body. You will gain nothing by committing suicide and will gain everything by completing your natural lifespan. I realize that when troubles accumulate, it's nearly impossible to see the bigger picture. But consider that your remaining natural life span is just a blink of an eye in terms of your total soul experience. You may never be able to change your difficult circumstances during this life. But after your natural death, you will be very pleased if you stayed the course and completed your given lifespan.

I suggest that you do some research and read the accounts of suicide survivors who had experiences on the other side. Also, I would recommend that you discuss these feelings with a counselor or therapist. And please write me if you wish to continue the dialogue.

My son was in an accident and died the next day from traumatic brain injuries. Can you tell me if he suffered any pain?

There's no way to know for sure what your son experienced. But usually, when an accident occurs, like the one you describe, the astral body leaves the physical body just before impact. The conscious intelligence sees what's happening and decides to push the "eject" button. It's like when you're having a bad dream and you make the decision to wake yourself up. Like that, the astral body "pops" out and hovers over the scene for a while. I doubt that your son experienced any pain at all.

A few days before my mother passed away, she told me she saw her grandmother at the foot of her bed. When I asked her why she had come, she said, in a very matter of fact way, "to tell me I'm in good hands". My mother was not on any medications and was in a very clear and alert state of mind. Do you think this is possible?

This is not only possible, it's very common. People often experience visitations from a deceased relative or friend, shortly before their final passing. These visions usually appear anywhere from one to three weeks before death. It can happen on their deathbed or even during war, where soldiers have reported such visions prior to their death in battle. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

If a person is suffering advanced dementia, how does this affect his or her experiences after death?

It's important to bear in mind that consciousness does not originate in the brain. Dementia is a brain disorder and does not affect the conscious experience after death, any more than a broken leg or a disease of the internal organs. There is no carryover from physical disorders. The experiences after death are based primarily on the psychic impressions (positive and negative) which have accumulated from the life just lived.

Is there a hell? And if so, what is it?

Actually, both heaven and hell are states of consciousness that are always present within us. When we are consumed with negative emotions like anger, fear, greed, lust or guilt, we are already in hell. In the same way, when we experience love, beauty and truth, we're in heaven.

After death, hell is a level of experience on the astral plane, created by unresolved negative psychic impressions. These impressions produce vivid and painful experiences, being the reflection of strong obsessions or guilt from past actions. Ultimately, these are self-limiting experiences. But in some cases, they may seem to go on for a long time.

After death, the sense of separateness dissolves and we experience the interconnectedness of all life. Naturally, the memory of any pain we've caused others is felt sharply, with deep regret. So, the only punishment of "hell" is the acute awareness of the pain we have caused and the regret that we didn't choose differently. No matter how heavy these impressions are, in time they get resolved and the awareness is purified and allowed to continue to the higher planes. No one is damned or condemned.

There is no one alive who has not committed wrong action. Life is not about being perfect. But when we see that we've made a mistake, it's important to apologize to the ones we've hurt and try to make amends in whatever way we can. This is not esoteric teaching. It's something any child understands.

My mother recently became ill and died. I feel terrible because I was planning to spend more time with her and tell her how much I loved her. But before I could return, she suddenly passed away. What can I do for her now, if anything?

When our loved ones pass on, it's natural to wonder what we might have done differently. But this was her natural time, just as your time will come some day.

The best thing you can do for your mother now is to feel your love for her and ask the Divine for her favorable passage. Some pain and grieving is natural at first. But as best you can, try to turn your thoughts to the positive feelings and memories of her. For some time, your mother will be able to feel the thoughts and emotions of those who were close to her. It's best to remember the love and good times and to feel your gratitude for such a fine mother in this life. Above all, don't think of her as dead. She is very much alive on the inner planes and your positive feelings will reach her there and speed her progress.

If you still feel that you want to do something, you can arrange a formal spiritual ceremony to assist in your mother's favorable passage through the stages of death. Your priest, rabbi or imam can help to arrange such a ceremony for her.