After Death States
|W. Macneile Dixon
||The Human Situation
It is Plato's doctrine, and none more defensible,
that the soul, before it entered the realm of Becoming, existed in the
universe of Being. Released [at death] from the region of time
and space, it returns to its former abode into communion with itself.
After a season of quiet "all alone with the Alone," of assimilation of
its earthly experiences and memories, refreshed and invigorated, it is
seized again by the desire for further trials of its strength, further
knowledge of the universe [in the physical nature], the companionship of
former friends, by the the desire to keep in step and on the march with
the moving world. There, it seeks out and once more animates a body,
the medium of communication with its fellow travelers, and sails forth
in this vessel upon a new venture in the ocean of Becoming.
As a worker in gold, taking an ornament,
moulds it to another form newer and fairer; so in truth the soul, leaving
the body here, and putting off unwisdom, makes for itself [in the heavenly
state] another form newer and fairer: a form like the forms of departed
souls, or of the Seraphs, or of the gods . . . .
For never to an evil place goeth one who
doeth good. The man whose devotion has been broken off by death goeth to
the regions of the righteous, where he dwells for an immensity of years
and is then born again on earth in a pure and fortunate family: or even
a family of those who are spiritually illuminated.
For in the next world neither father, nor
mother, nor wife, nor sons, nor relations stay to be his companions; spiritual
merit alone remains [with him]. Single is each being born; single
it dies; single it enjoys [the reward of its] virtue; single [it suffers
the punishment of its] sin.
|G. R. S. Mead
||The Thrice-Greatest Hermes
Not all human souls but only the pious ones
are divine. Once separated from the body, and after the struggle
to acquire piety, which consists in knowing God and injuring none, such
a soul becomes all intelligence. The impious soul, however, punishes
itself by seeking a human body to enter into, for no other body can receive
a human soul; it cannot enter the body of an animal devoid of reason.
Divine law preserves the human soul from such infamy.
||The Jewish War
Do you not know that those who depart out
of this life according to the law of Nature. . . enjoy eternal fame; that
their houses and their posterity are sure; that their souls are pure and
obedient, and obtain a most noble place in heaven, from whence, in the
revolution of ages, they are again sent into pure bodies; while the souls
of those whose hands have acted madly against themselves are received by
the darkest place in Hades?
|Leslie D. Weatherhead
I don't want to be one note sounding alone
. . . . If I could be one note in a glorious symphony, would it not be
well for separateness to be lost in symphony?
Patrick Bowen in Africa
|Mankanyezi (A wise
After the death of the body, idhlozi (the
soul) hovers for a while near the body, and then departs to Esilweni, the
Places of Beasts. This is very different from entering the body of
a beast. In Esilweni, the soul assumes a shape, part beast and part
human . . . . After a period, long or short, according to the strength
of the animal nature, the soul throws aside its Beastly shape, and moves
onward to a place of rest. There it sleeps till a time comes when
it dreams that something to do and learn awaits it on earth; then it awakes
and returns, through the Place of Beasts, to the earth and is born again
as a child.
[Souls are] ordained to wander between incarnations,
and in a higher region dwell advanced beings call genii. They are
present at, and assist in, the most advanced of the initiatory rites .
. ., they act and serve as saviors in battle and at sea; and whatsoever
thing in these capacities they do amiss . . . they are punished for it,
for they are driven down again to earth and coupled with human bodies.
As I walk by night on the seashore and listen
the song of the waves, all sorts of visions and memories flood my brain.
I seem as though I had once looked down from above on the same shifting
scene and, dizzy with terror, had fallen to the earth. I seem as
though with telescopic eyes, I had seen the stars moving through the heavens
large as life . . . then, as from millennial depths, there surge up . .
. thoughts of primeval wisdom, but all so misty that I know not what they
In sleep our ideas, our sensations, our
sentiments of the evening before, seem to become incarnate in us, become
ourselves by a phenomenon analogous to that of the digestion and assimilation
of our bodily food. It is thus that sleep regenerates us, and that
we emerge from it the stronger, with a certain oblivion. In death,
which is a mightier oblivion, it seems our life becomes digested and elaborated.
Then comes the awakening, or new birth . . . . We are in our potentiality
the exact sequence of what we were, still the same being but grown larger.
|David Lloyd George
||Reported by Lord Riddel
When I was a boy, the thought of Heaven
used to frighten me more than the thought of Hell. I pictured Heaven
as a place where there would be perpetual Sundays with perpetual Services,
from which there would be no escape, as the Almighty, assisted by cohorts
of Angels, would always be on the look-out for those who did not attend.
It was a terrible nightmare. The conventional Heaven with its angels
perpetually singing, etc., nearly drove me mad in my youth and made me
an atheist for ten years. My opinion is that we shall be reincarnated
. . .
|Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
||Near Death Experiences
. . . . All experienced the same thing.
They virtually shed their physical bodies, as a butterfly comes out of
a cocoon. They describe a feeling of peace, often beautiful, indescribable
peace, no pain, no anxiety. And they were perfect -completely whole.
Between one active life and another there
may well be . . . an intermediate state of mental rumination and reflection
as many theologians have assumed. This state, it has been said, "is
not a domain of deeds and works, for the external conditions for these
are wanting . . . it is the domain of inwardness, of silent consideration
and pondering, a domain of recollection in the full sense of the word."
. . . basically, the inner portion of you,
the soul-stuff, will not suddenly change its method of perception nor its
characteristics after death.
|Roshi Philip Kapleau
||The Wheel of Life and Death
"There is no death of anyone save only in
appearance, even as there is no birth except in seeming. The change
from being to becoming seems to be birth, and the change from becoming
to being seems to be death; but in reality no one is ever born, nor does
one ever die." --Appollonius of Tyana
||The Soul of the Universe
This theory [of conservation of mental categories]
has an important relationship to Plato's idea of a recollection by
our soul of conditions in the world from which it originally came.
The conclusion at which we arrive is that in the non-physical world to
which we return at death, there is the space and time of our perception,
but not the metrical space and time of physics . . .
Our real selves, our souls, belong before our
birth, during our organic life and after our death to the non-physical
world . . . . All the memories of our past and our previous lives can be
reviewed [there] in full details in an instant, since there are no atoms
which in the physical world block and slow down all our mental activities
. . . . (The atoms form a screen or veil that makes it possible for us
to concentrate on the immediate requirements of our earthly life.
When this veil disappears at death, our memories from this and perhaps
earlier lives crowd in upon us without hindrance, tormenting us or blessing
us) . . . . The memories of the cruel acts we have committed against men
and animals follow us through eternity. The victims of a tyrant are
all there, and the memories of their suffering haunt their oppressor.
The torment he suffers will probably produce a strong urge in his mind
to make, a new "emersion" into the physical world . . . .