exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Editor's 1-Minute Essay
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the full-color "real world"
Teachers on the other side are adamant for us to know that Summerland is a most substantial world, with no one floating on pink clouds or playing harps. They often say that their world is the full-color "real world" with ours as the pale black-and-white copy.
There, they walk on solid ground, touch solid tables, and possess solid, normal-looking bodies. Summerland is very Earth-like; in fact, it is an idealized Earth, without the social problems:
Summerland is a world of wide, foamy oceans; resort white-sandy beaches; shimmering, placid lakes, and rushing, bubbling streams; vast verdant forests, open unbounded prairies, and fortress behemoth mountains; a world of universities, study, research, and visiting lecturers; of laughing children and gurgling babies; beautiful spacious estate homes and small hide-away lake cottages, filled with artwork, tapestries, statuary, and all variety of fine things; of bucolic farms, horses, cattle, and crops; of glittering, bustling, clean cities with imposing architecture; of sweet-natured animals of every sort, including ones from your earth-life waiting to see you; of recreational activity, of sports, the arts, libraries, museums, social events, galas, music festivals, concerts, stage productions; of private sanctuaries, quiet places, restful oases, dominions of solitude when required - every good thing that one has always desired.
Summerland is Earth-like because many of our hopes and dreams will still be Earth-bound when we get there
Summerland was designed by our Advisors to address the questions and fears of hurting hearts upon their arrival in the next life. It is a place specifically crafted to "fill in the gaps," of every sort, created by the difficult Earth-experience; to help the emotionally injured of this life to move beyond a sense of loss regarding many issues.
bike-riding in Summerland
David, a psychic friend, told me of a reading he gave to one who desired to know about his father who had passed on. David was able to receive information and was told that the father was very much enjoying riding a bicycle in the New World.
This information seemed unremarkable to David, but, in any case, he offered it to the son - who found the message most comforting.
"My dad had a club foot, and as a kid he always wanted to ride a bike, but he never could. So what you're telling me about dad makes all the sense in the world to me!"
This man was riding a bike in Summerland. His boyhood loss was a most personal grief that needed healing - and he will ride that bike as long as he wants or needs to - until he's ready to ask the question, "what's next?"
To each hurting heart there awaits a particular and personally-defined sense of happiness. This is what Summerland is about.
"We are not transported to the full blaze of reality all at once."
Afterlife researcher, Michael Tymn, reports:
Sir Oliver Lodge, knighted for his pioneering work in electricity, radio, and the spark plug, pondered the situation in writing:
"I know that [Summerland's] inhabitants say it is extraordinarily like the Earth, that they have flowers, and trees and houses, and can get anything they want by merely wishing for it, which seems rather strange…”
In further discussing the matter with Raymond [his son, killed in WWI] and Frederic W. H. Myers, his old friend, who had died in 1901, and who also communicated through [psychic] Mrs. Leonard, Lodge concluded that it was a temporary environment for spirits who have recently crossed over and still making adjustments before going on to realms of higher vibration, which become less and less illusory, and more and more real, as a soul advances in the spirit world. "We are not transported to the full blaze of reality all at once."
Summerland is a place where we will grow beyond our narrow, provincial earth-attachments; like deep-sea divers needing to acclimate to surface pressures gradually, we will need to gradually adjust ourselves to what lies beyond Summerland.
I say "narrow" because there is a big universe out there: other dimensions, worlds, life forms, civilizations, of which we have no present understanding - and we'll need to expand our mental horizons in order to negotiate these new vistas.
Silver Birch: "The next stage of life to Earth is a replica of your world of matter. Were it not so, the shock for the many who are uninstructed and ignorant would be more than they could stand. And so it has to be accomplished by very easy stages. The next stage of life resembles your world. That is why so many do not know that they have passed beyond the physical."
It's a rational life. I wouldn't give this up for anything.
- an excerpt from the book Raymond by Sir Oliver Lodge
Lodge's son, Raymond, had been killed in WWI, but then communicated with his parents via psychic-mediums. The following is a message from Raymond, with the medium repeating what she hears Raymond saying:
"If you kneel down in the mud..."
Editor's note: Notice: There's real, honest mud in Summerland. See the paragraph below on gardening.
"If you kneel down in the mud, apparently you get your clothes soiled. The thing I don't understand yet is that the night doesn't follow the day here, as it did on the earth-plane. It seems to get dark sometimes, when he would like it to be dark, but the time in between light and dark is not always the same. I don't know if you think all this is a bore."
His father asks: "Do you see the stars?"
"Yes, he sees the stars. The stars seem like what they did, only he feels closer to them. Not really closer, but they look clearer; not appreciably closer, he says."
real mud and real rain
"Do you have rain?"
"Well, you can go to a place where rain is."
"He says he doesn't want to eat now. But he sees some who do; he says they have to be given something which has all the appearance of an Earth food. People here try to provide everything that is wanted…
"He wants people to realise that [life there is] just as natural as on the Earth-plane."
Raymond, at one point, in a playful mood, a reference to his new home, gave his name as "SummerLodge!" And then, not satisfied with this corny joke, came up with "Summer R. Lodge."
"He does so want to encourage people to look forward to a life they will certainly have to enter upon, and realise that it is a rational life...
"Would you think it selfish if I say I wouldn't like to be back now? I wouldn't give this up for anything. Don't think it selfish, or that I want to be away from you all. I have still got you, because I feel you so close, closer even. I wouldn't come back [though], I wouldn't for anything that anyone could give me." ...
"We are in touch with a world of reality because we are in the outer rim of the world of illusion," he explained to his father. "We're more sure of the world of reality than you are. Father, the Spirit universe is the world of reality. Spirit and mind both belong to the world of reality."
Editor’s note: I like nice summer days, who doesn't, and we’ll have plenty of that over there, but I once worried a bit, “what if I Iike some other climate?”
Well, for example, as Raymond said, if you want a warm summer rain, you can go to where there is rain. And guess what? If you have your heart set (as I do) on being “snowed in” at some hide-away mountain cabin, you can go to where they have that, too. They have everything in Summerland.
not everyone lives in a country property with flower gardens (we're not sure why)
from Arthur Findlay’s The Way Of Life:
"Another native of Glasgow [Scotland], now in that beautiful world, told her sister [via Direct-Voice medium John Sloan]...
"Oh, Jean, it is beautiful, and I have such a dear little cottage to stay in with a beautiful garden. I had never seen such a lovely garden before with glorious flowers of all colours, flowers that you never see on earth, and they do not fade. They bloom all the time, and, when you pick them, others just seem to come in their place. What beautiful perfumes they have, and, Jean, there is honeysuckle growing up at each side of my door, masses of it. I just wish you could see it, it is so lovely, but you will see it some day, dear. I will show it to you."
In Summerland we live in an environment that's familiar to us.
A South-Sea Islander would want to live in a tropical setting by the ocean; an Aboriginal Bushman might want to sit around a campfire and enjoy his "happy hunting grounds." Father Benson is English and his neighborhood reflects his culture with quaint cottages and small farms.
I said that we'll live in an environment that's familiar to us - or not. If we're of a mind to, we can transcend the inculcated culturally-familiar and do our own thing.
Editor's note: How about a comfortably furnished, quality-built tree-house, high above the Amazon rain forest in "the canopy," with its unique flora and fauna? I saw a nature-show decades ago on this, and I've never gotten over the wonderful images. Keep in mind, too, that you can have a get-away like this, even if you go there only a few times a year. You can have and do what you like.
We can live, or visit, wherever we want, among different peoples, and even have more than one property - or none at all, as some "free spirits" don't feel the need to have a dwelling. It's whatever suits the fancy.
most people look twenty-something in Summerland
Those who spend some time in "detention" do not immediately recapture a look of prime vitality and youthfulness. They will do so when they choose to be true to themselves. Appearing "young and beautiful" is a kind of perk of advancing spirituality.
In Summerland, children who pass over grow up and meet their prime young-adult appearance; those who die as seniors on Earth gradually "regress" to an ideal youngish form. But we get to decide how we want to present ourselves. You could choose age 17 or 47, it's up to you.
Actually, as we progress, and come into our latent powers, we'll have the ability to readily manifest as any age. Recall from the "holodeck" writing that people on the "super-dimensional level" have the option of appearing as children.
she was eighteen again, vibrant, wrinkle-free, beautiful - and so much more
Caroline D. Larsen, in her book, “My Travels In The Spirit World” (1927), recounts a spontaneous and unexpected out-of-body experience. Startled by the event, she now observed her mortal body lying in a bed. Attempting to make sense of what had happened, she walked out of her bedroom to the bathroom and gazed upon her astral body in the large mirror above the wash basin:
"Looking into the mirror I became aware for the first time of the astonishing transformation I had undergone. Instead of seeing a middle-aged woman, I beheld the figure of a girl about eighteen years of age. I recognized the form and features of my girlhood. But I was now infinitely more beautiful. My face appeared as if it were chiseled out of the finest alabaster... My eyes, quite strong in the physical body, were piercingly keen now. They shone with such luster... My hair, no longer gray, was now, as in my youth, dark brown, and it fell in waves over my shoulders and down my back. And to my delight, I was dressed in the loveliest white shining garment imaginable, a sleeveless one-piece dress, cut low at the neck and reaching almost to the ankles. I looked down at my legs and saw that they were as beautiful as my arms, neck and face. I walked forward and backward before the mirror reveling in my newlyfound beauty… My joy and enthusiasm were unbounded at seeing myself so beautiful. Eagerly I drank in the glory. It was also an exhilarating sensation to be conscious of the fact that I was out of my physical body and that I lived in the astral."
Editor’s note: Ms. Larsen was granted the rare opportunity to experience her “Summerland body” before crossing over. We're already in possession. It’s a field of energy just below the surface of the mortal shell. As she discovered, the inner-body is our natural home, a natural delight to us, and far more beautiful - as Caroline reports, "infinitely more beautiful" - than the one we struggle to maintain during our Earth-mission.
And you might wonder, where did the classy evening-gown come from? It came from where all clothing comes from on the other side. It’s a projection of our truest desires, what we really like and feel good in. See more discussion below.
if you like gardening, you’ll be able to feel the soil on your hands, even under your nails
The following testimony, from a fallen soldier of World War I in Summerland, was sent to his mother via psychic-medium (from “Claude’s Book”).
you can plan an addition to your house, with double-doors, different styles of windows that might be mullioned with a colored-glass transom
Father Benson speaks of adding a meeting-room to his house where his workmates can discuss service projects. His description of building-plans sounds very normal and ordinary. (from "Life In The World Unseen, Book II")
"The new chamber was to be longer than it was broad, and rectangular... There would be windows upon three sides, and double doors at each end, one pair of which would afford entrance from the main building, and the farther pair would lead directly into the gardens so that whichever way we happened to glance we should see the trees and the flowers and the lawns beyond. The windows themselves were to be mullioned, with some colored glass introduced at the top."
religious organizations still operate in Summerland, but not in 'better neighborhoods'
Those faithful to a particular creed or faith might continue in familiar forms of worship, led by clergy of old. However, no group is allowed to proselytize, preach, or interfere with Summerland society at-large. They must keep their religion to themselves with a segregated mode of living.
Summerland society, in the main, as the phrase is used, is "spiritual, not religious," humanistic, with an emphasis on education and personal development. Religion -- not spirituality, which is much different -- is viewed as something afflicting the less-developed, something to "grow out of" before one might advance as a soul. The party-faithful, however, will continue in the old ways, meeting as they always did, until, one by one, each comes to realize the futility and inefficacy of the old doctrines.
Father Benson, and many other former clergy, work to help religious new-arrivals understand that the "real life" has no place for superstitious and fear-based thinking. (see extensive discussion on this topic elsewhere on the Word Gems site)
Brother John of Glastonbury: "Our world is not an extension of the Church."
The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by Brother John of Glastonbury (1393-1464 CE), a former monk during his Earth-life.
The following is from the January 12, 1966 recording:
Brother John states, in the course of his service-work, he frequently has to make trips to our troubled world. It's not pleasant for him to come here; no surprise there. He comments on the environment of Summerland, to the effect:
"Our world is not an extension of the church -- that's over. We don't live our lives continually praying and singing hymns. There is no 'great throne' with a visible deity to whom constant obeisance is offered -- that's nonsense. Our world is an extension of your world, but with greater vision. Here, we have real work and real lives that give us joy and meaningful existence."
instant transportation of oneself, with the quickness of thought
Father Benson says that sometimes friends just walk together in the countryside, just for the fun of it; but, most times, people in Summerland, by the power of thought, simply project themselves, instantaneously, to wherever they want to go.
our bodies, in Summerland, can still enjoy food, drink, and erotic love
We won't need to eat or drink in order to sustain ourselves; but, at times, people do indulge just for the enjoyment. Further, some people study gourmet cooking, because that's what they always wanted to do, and there's no reason why they should not.
We don't need to sleep, either, although we can, if we choose to. And lovers can make love as they want to do. And regarding sleep, if lovers sorrow over the fact that on Earth they didn't have the chance to sleep together, they can experience real sleep, sleeping together -- just for the pleasure of waking up together.
Editor’s note: Both Father Benson and Raymond Lodge from the other side inform us that our Summerland bodies are very similar to that of the Earth, complete with internal organs. However, as Benson points out, not every bodily organ of the Earth is found in the astral body. Does this mean that our future bodies will be not as well-constructed? - just the opposite, he says. Summerland is our real home, where we will live our natural and real lives, and therefore certain organs of the mortal body were supplied merely on an ad hoc basis, for the Earth-trip only, and will no longer be necessary, nor included, in the “upgraded software” version. For example, while it’s true that lovers can enjoy erotic love as before, the Summerland body conducts itself on a different, shall we say, “operating system.” Animal libido proceeds on the basis of “blood and brain chemical,” all in service of Mother Nature’s mandate to perpetuate the species. But there are no children thus produced in Summerland (however, see the “family and children” page for another way that they come into being in Summerland). But the “real” sex drive, the higher-order sexual impulse, is not rooted in the body but in the soul; therefore, we will not need “blood and brain chemical” to enjoy erotic love over there. This is good news for us on another level, as well. The Earth-body is driven and compelled, we could say, mindlessly, to express itself sexually; we are autonomically led by Niko Tinbergen’s animal “super stimuli” and have no choice in the matter. We can, it's true, "rise above" and, with will-power and self-management, deny the Earth-body’s sexual force, but not without conflict in our lives. This will no longer be the case in Summerland. Father Benson states that we will have full control of our minds and impulses and therefore no longer be slaves to animal instinct. This means that we can “put on the shelf” sexual desire, find the "off switch," and not be bothered by it, until the right time with the right mate.
I can't breathe, I cannot be, until you're resting here, with me
"I didn't hear you leave, I wonder how am I still here, and I don't want to move a thing, it might change my memory, Oh I am what I am, I'll do what I want, but I can't hide, and I won't go, I won't sleep, I can't breathe, I cannot be, until you're resting here, with me..." Dido
Nothing is lost, no good thing is forfeited, by residence in Summerland -- you can do everything there; in fact, a great many new pleasures might be added. They don't call it the "real world" for nothing. We get confused on this and think that Earth is the place for the real fun. Not true. (See extensive discussion in the "holodeck" article.)
Summerland, or one of the subsequent even-better worlds, is where you will find your Twin Soul
Charlotte Dresser, Life Here And Hereafter (1927): channeled from the other side:
"We see many who come here who had thought they had made an alliance which would last forever, who had no real conception of such happiness. [The true romance] is felt only once by anyone, and can never be mistaken when it really comes. I have watched the growth of several such [true] attractions here, and I realize that the earth-life seldom encounters the real thing... married people [from the earth-plane, when they arrive here] drift apart as they learn the true laws governing such matings."
Editor's note: Dresser's comment about "only once" corresponds to Silver Birch's "happens only once, whether in this world or the next."
Spirit Guide Margaret says that the chief element of happiness in Summerland is that of sharing life with your eternal romantic Twin-Soul mate
See her very wise and eloquent advice about eternal romance, the real marriage, in Eliza Duffey's book.
we wear the clothes we like and feel good in, whatever makes us happy and comfortable
The following testimony, from a fallen soldier of World War I in Summerland, was sent to his mother via psychic-medium (from “Claude’s Book”).
Those who wear white robes, along with those who continue as church-goers, are the religious traditionalists. But, in Summerland, no matter what you've heard from certain factions, there is no de rigueur dress-code supporting exclusive white-robe fashion.
Dressing one’s age loses meaning entirely in Summerland where people present themselves at their age of choice.
Instead of one’s apparel issuing as age-appropriate, how we dress over there will, or should, reflect our inner life-force, the hidden soul’s individualized sense of artistry and joie de vivre, a visual and colorized hint-of-manifestation of one’s particularized definitions of “truth, goodness, and beauty.”
Also, another good example of “wearing what you like,” Father Benson has a friend, a Native American named Radiant Wing. He works as a healer for those still on the Earth, conducts healing missions to our world accompanied by his pet, a large dog, and also teaches his healing art to anyone desiring to pick up the trade.
Radiant Wing, a cultured intellectual, is sometimes seen wearing, what is for him, a traditional tribal feathered head-dress (of humanly fabricated materials), and no one interferes in the slightest with this personal-taste embellishment.
Might there be such a thing as a “black tie” dress-code for gala events in Summerland? This could be the case. Father Benson comments that when visiting “upper management” dignitaries address the local-neighborhood crowd in an auditorium, the speakers invariably are attired in fancy robes: colorful, gilded, embroidered with precious stones. On these formal occasions, given the standard of dress-wear set by the leading figures, it would only be natural for the entire audience to reflect this touch of ceremonial decorum. However, these are somewhat rare events. Nevertheless, extrapolating from the formal event dress-code, it’s not difficult to understand that a segment of the Summerland citizenry might assume that the “proper” thing to do is to wear robes all the time. But this would be an unwarranted conclusion.
I say this because there are too many reports from Summerland indicating that it’s entirely ok to dress as you like on an “everyday” basis. When we say “dress as you like,” this freedom comes with the caveat that, whatever mode of attire one chooses, it should always conform to principles of modesty and good taste. For example, it would not be a good idea to parade oneself in very tightly fitting clothing that leaves little to the imagination; this would not be considerate to those of the opposite sex, and this does not happen in the “better neighborhoods” of Summerland. However, all this acknowledged, if you and the boy you love forever have decided to spend the afternoon on a secluded turquoise-water, pink-sand, “Blue Lagoon” beach somewhere, then, you will wear as personal desire and private occasion invite.
"you can't catch me"
Footnote: Concerning our happy friends on the pink-sand beach, we might find them, similar to the joyous children in the movie “Blue Lagoon,” playing like dolphins in the waves.
We see them laughing and teasing with games like “you can’t catch me” and “I’ll race you.”
(By the way, as we discussed in the "holodeck" article, advanced spirit persons can, if they like, manifest as children, or other outward form; and so your day on the beach, frolicking as young giddy kids, is quite possible.)
In their great fun, they not only gleefully dart and swim underwater (among the colorful fish, possibly, for long periods of time), they can zip and chase around at the speed of thought. And not only in lateral movement, but with vertical displacement, as well.
Here’s Father Benson’s account on this:
"In contemplating this world of spirit we must abandon ... that idea of distance which we measure with the eye, since distance becomes annihilated by our immensely rapid means of transit ... We are not confined to keeping our feet on the ground. If we can move ourselves laterally ... by the power of our thought, we can also move ourselves vertically ... And I must say that this had never occurred to Ruth and me as yet. We were still in some ways limited by our earthly notions and habits of thought. If we could sink beneath the waters without harm, but rather with enjoyment, then, of course, we must be able to mount into the ‘air’ with the same safety and enjoyment! Ruth did not express any very keen desire to do so -- just yet! She preferred to wait, she said, until she had become more thoroughly acclimatized. I wholeheartedly shared her sentiments in the matter, which caused our good friend [Edwin] the greatest amusement."
Ruth was a little skittish about heights at the start, but she's right in there now with the best of the adventuresome.
What does this mean? It means that, when you’re playing a game of “you can’t catch me” with your friend on the beach, don’t be surprised when, in order to avoid being caught, she launches herself, even, from underwater, like a Poseidon missile, or like Supergirl, high into the sky, or even into outer space!
Father Benson asked an architect to draw the plans for his new addition. On the architect’s work-table were very ordinary things, like sheets of paper and different kinds of pens and pencils
(From "Life In The World Unseen, Book II")
"The Architect took us into his workroom, and we seated ourselves round a table upon which were large sheets of paper and a variety of drawing instruments. Rather diffidently, I drew out our crude sketch, which certainly appeared more like a child's scrawl in the presence of so many skillfully drawn plans and designs... He laughed at our hesitancy and complimented us by telling us that on many occasions he did not have even the roughest scratchings on paper, and relied upon what he knew his enquirer wanted."
Are there oceans in Summerland? - subtitled, would you like to live on a houseboat?
from Father Benson's "Life In The World Unseen, Book I"
Ruth asked Edwin a question… Was there a sea somewhere? If there were lakes and streams, then, perhaps there was an ocean? Edwin’s answer filled her with joy: Of course, there was a seaside — and a very beautiful one, too! Ruth insisted upon being conducted there at once… [We transported ourselves to the] edge of the grassland, and then the most glorious panorama of ocean spread out before us. The view was simply magnificent. Never had I expected to behold such sea. Its coloring was the most perfect reflection of the blue of the sky above, but in addition it reflected a myriad rainbow tints in every little wavelet… [And there] were the most beautiful boats… I wondered who could own these fine vessels, and Edwin told us that we could own one ourselves if we so wished.
Many of the owners lived upon them, having no other home but their boat… Edwin [who was friends with one of the boat owners] sent a message across to the owner, and in reply received an instantaneous invitation to us all. We therefore wasted no time, and we found ourselves upon the deck of this most handsome vessel, being greeted with great good cheer by our host, who immediately took us off to present us to his wife...
setting right what once went wrong
Quantum Leap (1989), episode “Play It Again, Seymour”
The principle of “setting right what once went wrong” served as theme of the hugely popular 1980s tv series, Quantum Leap. Divinity itself, Dr. Sam Beckett came to believe, orchestrated the remedial work. There is something about second chances that deeply moves all of us. We crave the make-over.
It’s said that the brain doesn’t even reach its physical growth potential until age 25; and yet, the way this world works, we’re required to enter, or stumble into, binding agreements, life-defining decisions, in high school or the early 20s. And those of us with many decades behind us mentally revisit the early years and shake our heads with chagrin: “There was no way to make it work back then, I was so young and immature, it took me most of my life just to grow up, I didn’t know what I was doing at age 18 or 23.” Lawyers would call this a voidable contract due to lack of capacity. Obviously, this world is not meant to be the place where we get what we want and need. We came here for another reason.
Happiness is elusive on this planet; truth be told, it’s impossible to find here, in any meaningful and lasting sense. There’s so much loss, so much illusion, and mistaken identity; plus, with our interrnal guidance systems offline, we can't see straight, and so we stagger around in the dark.
Summerland is designed to answer this confusion. It’s where we come of age, where destiny has its day with soul-pledges fulfilled; it's where what ought to have happened, "what once went wrong" - and with whom - is finally corrected and brought to fruition.
the tropical birds, in their own way, on their own island of safety and peace, enjoying their own eternal life
from Father Benson's "Life In The World Unseen, Book I":
Edwin, Ruth, and Robert, with their hosts, take the boat out for a short cruise. They decide to explore a nearby island.
Editor's special note: I must admit, the following scene concerning the tropical birds I find to be one of the most moving in all of Benson’s reports. The image of these joyous birds, God’s creatures, “enjoying their own eternal life,” fills the soul with peace and wonder.
plumage as riot of color
We had by now approached sufficiently near to the island to be able to view it quite well, and the boat turned in her course and followed the coastline. After continuing along in this fashion for a little while, we sailed into a small bay which formed a picturesque natural harbor. The island certainly came up to our expectations in its scenic beauty.
There were not many dwellings upon it; those that were to be seen were more summerhouses than anything else. But the great feature of the place … we could see scores of the most wonderful birds, whose plumage presented a riot of color. Some of the birds were flying about, others—the larger variety—were walking majestically along the ground. But all of them were unafraid of us. They walked with us as we strolled along, and when we held up our hands, some small bird would be sure to perch upon our fingers. They seemed to know us, to know that any harm coming to them was an utter impossibility.
enjoying their own eternal life
They did not require to make a constant search for food nor exercise a perpetual vigilance against what on Earth would be their natural enemies. They were, like ourselves, part of the eternal world of spirit, enjoying in their way, as we do in ours, their eternal life.
Their very existence was just another of those thousands of things that are given to us for our delight… it was [the birds’] trusting friendliness that was so delightful by comparison with the earthly birds… Here we were part of the same free world, and the understanding between the birds and ourselves was reciprocal. When we spoke to them we felt that they knew just what we were saying, and in some subtle way we seemed to know just what their thoughts were. To call to any particular bird meant that that bird understood, and it came to us. The perfect blaze of color from all the birds we could see about us was almost too much for us to take in at one visit. They were beyond description, and I shall not even attempt it.
an absolute enchanted fairyland of nature
We strolled on through delightful groves … as in an absolute fairyland of nature. We met people on the way, who called a greeting to us, or waved their hands. They were all happy among the birds. We were told that this part of the island was exclusive to the birds, and that no other form of animal life intruded upon them. Not that there was any fear or danger that they would come to harm, because that would be impossible, but because the birds were happier with their own kind.
"their own eternal life," part two
The following was reported in "Letters From the Spirit World,” channeled information via the mediumship of Carlyle Petersilea who accessed testimony from his father on the other side:
“… within the waters here, glide beautiful fishes — the spirits of those that have died on earth, and it is the same with our animals… nothing is crowded here and there are vast areas of space… When wild animals die on the earth, their spirits rise into great spiritual forests which… human spirits seldom or never visit ... when great sea monsters die, or smaller fish, their spirits ascend and find homes within boundless spiritual oceans. Your globe of earth, that seems so vast to you, is but a small speck, or like a grain of sand, compared to eternity and its eternal heavens… Forms come up through the material, not that they may perish, but that they may be conserved to fill eternity with beauty and intelligence — not only the intelligence of mankind, but the lesser intelligence of beasts, birds, reptiles and fishes — these forms, to Nature, are just as beautiful as is that of man.”
Editor’s note: It strikes me just now that certain ones of us, particularly drawn to the animal kingdom, might choose, while a rare opting, to live among our feathered, furry, and finned brethren on a somewhat permanent basis. No one would stop you.
And just think – the dinosaurs would be over there somewhere, too! and in far greater numbers than our familiar mammals. Why? - the “age of dinosaurs” lasted for about 200 million years but mammals have been around a mere 65 million. For the adventurous, there’s a real jurassic-park to be explored, and you can play fetch with Dino.
horse-riding in Summerland, the 2.0 upgraded software version
from Excursions to the Spirit World by Frederick C. Sculthorp: "I sensed that this horse had been long in spirit and was used to the love and kindness in the thoughts of the people of this plane. To describe a ride on a spirit horse seems to call for some swift, Pegasus-like ride, but it was not so... We simply walked, and I did not wish for anything better. Sometimes I would be attracted by the beauty of a scene and, my desire being known, the horse would halt and give a half-turn so that I could dwell on it and then on again. We seemed to be of one mind. The happiness this apparently simple ride gave me is hard to describe. Every time my thoughts strayed to the horse there would be an answering thought which was an utter love for humans. I could not detect the slightest trace of 'subjection by mastery'."
upon arrival in Summerland, we are the same in our thoughts and views; there is no instant make-over, such that you would not recognize yourself
It's been said - with great insight - that if we were suddenly jerked into some kind of higher state, then survival of consciousness would not occur. We wouldn't recognize ourselves.
Our development as souls is a slow evolutionary process. For better or worse, whatever we are on our deathbeds is what we shall be at the start of our new lives in Summerland. The good news is that we can grow and change and reach the highest heights of development.
in Summerland, gone are the days of the vacuous celebrity culture; everyone is approachable there, willing to share what one has learned; everyone just wants to be friends and neighbors
The following testimony, from Summerland, from a fallen soldier in World War I, was sent to his mother via psychic-medium (from “Claude’s Book”).
You can talk to anyone in Summerland, including the so-called great of the Earth (but not in a spirit of "hero worship," which would either annoy or damage both parties); and if you have a special project, you can request a meeting even with expert Spirit-Guides, many thousands of years old, who stand ready to serve you with their advanced knowledge.
The most important item in Claude's comment here is that we shall all, so thoroughly, enjoy simply becoming brothers and sisters together in a community of friendship.
what will it feel like in Summerland to experience real brotherhood and sisterhood
from Excursions to the Spirit World by Frederick C. Sculthorp: “There were hundreds of people here [at the social gathering] whose faces I had never seen before, yet I could not see a 'stranger'. We all 'knew' one another. I cannot attempt to explain this."
"When two sincere friends meet on a pleasant plane, each will radiate a thought of pleasure which will be received by the other. Each recipient's pleasure is therefore doubled and the returning thought is consequently doubled. This multiplication of the original thought many times and at electrical speed gives some idea of the happiness on some planes."
"There is a complete absence of 'class', 'sets' or 'cliques'. There are no critical thoughts or lionizing some to the exclusion of others. There are no sects, dogmas, or denominations with their earthly trimmings that have led to so much division and bloodshed throughout history."
a world wherein one experiences complete safety and security, a total sense of shelter and refuge from all that is boorish, obnoxious, and of poor taste; privacy when you want it, quietude when you need it, with no threats, at all, from vicious, hostile, or unkind people
Think of the coarse and crass people in politics today - we shall be rescued from, what Hayek called, "the worst who get on top."
Recently, I was explaining Summerland society to a lady. She breathed a sigh of relief and said, “What I look forward to most of all over there is just to be away from rude and crazy people.” Amen. Father Benson, too, is on record to comment that no longer will we find ourselves beset by those who are “annoying” -- and a great deal worse than annoying -- and ego-driven.
Editor's note: Later, after we get ourselves settled over there, we might choose to work with the undeveloped who mill about in the Shadowlands. But, at that time, when we interact with the "ego-insane," it will be on our own terms, on a strategic and limited basis, and we won't have to live cheek-by-jowl, unable to escape them, in the "asylum," anymore. Gone will be the days of the side-by-side "wheat and tares," as per Jesus' parable. A time would come, he said, when we'd finally be separated from the Mad Hatters and the March Hares -- "Oh, what is the hatter with you? You used to be muchier."
mad as a box of frogs
Mad Hatter: What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it.
Mad Hatter: You used to be ..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.
Mad Hatter: No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.
Mad Hatter: What is the hatter with me?
Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?
Alice: Well, I haven't had any yet, so I can't very well take more.
March Hare: Ah, you mean you can't very well take less.
Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing.
March Hare: Then you should say what you mean.
Alice: I do, at least I mean what I say, that's the same thing, you know.
Mad Hatter: Not the same thing a bit! You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!
Oh, what is the hatter with you?
why summerland cannot be invaded
How does this work? Why will we be safe from all forms of invasion? Will and Ariel Durant's view of history is that of a very long chronicle of certain groups of people violently robbing other groups. Why won’t this happen over there? Why don’t the millions or billions of warped spirits in the Dark Realms mount an attack, as did Hitler’s forces against Poland on September 1, 1939?
It doesn’t work that way anymore. Nobody in Summerland could ever be invaded or bullied or even insulted. But what’s to stop uncivil people from marching into Summerland? There are no walls or customs officers at the borders; in fact, there are no borders to be seen.
Father Benson talks about his missionary visits to the Dark Realms. To get there, he and his friends simply walk in a certain direction. As they do, they notice the scenery changing: the grass begins to look brown and scraggly; barren rocks now dot the landscape; a certain sewer-smell begins to pervade. Welcome to the Dark Realms.
But, as we’ve queried, why don’t the sordid denizens of the Shadowlands simply walk out of their squalor and move into the pleasant Summerland?
Editor's note: As we learn from Father Benson, some of those in "the rat cellar" don't even believe that Summerland exists! They think "this is all there is," and that the missionary Guides are there to deceive them. How incredibly strange. There's skepticism in the "insane asylum," in those dark places, just as in our world.
The issue is one of vibrational essence. Those of “low vibration,” which equates to a selfish spirit, if they attempted to cross over the line into Summerland, would experience a sense of shattering. It would feel like they couldn’t breathe, a coming apart at the seams. Read about this in the “Crystalline Entity” article.
No negative dark force, from anywhere in the universe, can take one step into Summerland without experiencing a feeling of being ripped apart. Their energies would be out-of-phase with the positive spirit of Summerland.
Editor's note: By the way - all this becomes evidence against the myth of Satan and his armies invading heaven. There is no Satan with armies, there never was a rebellion, there is no consummate embodiment of evil, no superhero-villain, in the universe, that's not even possible; there is no "lake of fire"; and, in any case, the Bible, which gives life to a "Satan," cannot be trusted as an infallible guide. All this acknowledged, if there were some sort of Satan-invasion, it would never get passed the "border," as the malcontents would be ripped apart by the disparity in vibrational essence.
And so, it’s good news for those who just want a quiet and peaceful life, who’re all done with Earth’s poisonous spirit of “I need more and more, and I will kill you to get it.” That’s over; at least, it's over for those who have a Summerland zip code. Others will have some “overdue homework to hand in," in the "rat cellar," before they get to live in Ringo's "Octopus's Garden."
oh, what joy, for every girl and boy, knowing we're happy and we're safe
I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade, he'd let us in, knows where we've been, in his octopus's garden in the shade, I'd ask my friends to come and see, an octopus's garden with me, I'd like to be under the sea, in an octopus's garden in the shade, we would be warm below the storm in our little hideaway beneath the waves, restin' our head on the sea bed in an octopus's garden near a cave, we would sing and dance around because we know we can't be found, I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade, we would shout and swim about the coral that lies beneath the waves lies beneath the ocean waves, oh, what joy, for every girl and boy, knowing we're happy and we're safe, we would be so happy you and me, no one there to tell us what to do, I'd like to be under the sea, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you...
Editor’s note: What a great song by Ringo. All this expresses a very deep universal yearning. Notice why the octopus lets us in – “he knows where we’ve been.” Life on planet Earth, as I’m wont to express, is more or less a disaster for everyone, but this old world is good for one thing: it's great for aversion therapy. The suffering here, for sure, will make believers out of us to appreciate a better world -- “he knows where we’ve been.”
There will be those who'll say that all this talk of Summerland sounds like a fairy tale. Yes, I understand. It’s a far cry from life down here in the trenches. But we will discover that this Earth-world, this illusion-world and dream-world, is the fairy tale, with the life to come, as they call it over there, as “the real world.”
entertainment, recreation, and cultural events of every sort
Father Benson informs us that many of the great music composers are still at work, producing new art forms in Summerland. From Benson's comment we can extrapolate, with a good deal of confidence, to say that many artists, singers, and stage performers will still be offering their services in the coming world.
It would need to be that way; for both parties. Many of the performers, caught in the "celebrity" mindset, lived selfish, indulgent lives while on Earth; and many "common" people lacked the enabling means to attend concerts or the like while trying to make a living "down here in the trenches."
Summerland is a place where we'll do the things we always wanted to do but were denied - and some of this fulfillment would entail taking in great artistic performances. The artists, too, will desire to provide this service, as this will be part of their work, part of their own journey toward spiritual advancement.
Again, in Summerland there is no celebrity culture, no "worshipping of the stars." That's all in the past. People are much more aware of such egoism over there, and it doesn't exist. Those for whom it might still be a problem do not yet live in Summerland, but will be spending some time in a dark place, learning what's truly important before they can join the "real world."
Editor’s note: In an interview published on June 3, 2005, Mike Tyson, with great candidness and honesty, offered: "My whole life has been a waste – I've been a failure." The famous athlete continued: "I just want to escape. I'm really embarrassed with myself and my life. I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity without letting people know they chased me out of the country. I want to get this part of my life over as soon as possible. In this country nothing good is going to come of me. People put me so high; I wanted to tear that image down." Summerland will be a fresh start for everyone, even for the so-called “stars” of our world. How refreshing and satisfying to be viewed simply as a human being, just like anyone else, just brothers and sisters. All the very best to Mike, and to all of us.
"no one there to tell us what to do"
During the first half of my life, I belonged to two churches, both of which, I now realize from my white-hair perspective, were cults.
Editor's note: We never realize these things at the time; that's why we stay. It's only later that the anguished soliloquies begin: "Why did I put up with the abuse and disrespect? Why didn't I stand up for myself? What was wrong with me?" This inability to assess while in the sordid midst is referred to in the opening passages of Revelation: John needed to go into the wilderness, well away from the thick-and-burley of egoic society, in order to perceive the evil nature of this world's institutions.
And when they talked about the afterlife, they wanted you to know for sure that they, the Church elite, would be running things over there, and in a high-handed and steel-gloved manner. Well, we can hardly wait.
Eventually, I would learn that this proudful puffing was just empty power-and-control propaganda. The reality is altogether different. Not only is there no “churchy” society over there, with rules and laws all over the place, it’s a world of very few rules of any kind; no ostensible government.
There are no policemen; no angels with flaming swords; no frowning and stern judges, no legalistic courts; no fines, no penalties, no condemnation, no "white throne" judgment.
In fact, there is so much personal freedom in Summerland that – and here I will surely be misunderstood and accused of antinomianism, of supporting anarchy – one could say that it’s “a Wild West” of personal freedom over there. But I mean this in a good way. I don’t mean there’s chaos with no respect for decency and propriety. It’s not that way at all.
Then what? How does it work? If you’d like a biblical answer, the apostle Paul gave it to us in Galatians: concerning those who live in the spirit, “against such there is no law.”
Brother John of Glastonbury:
"Everything here is law-and-order; and yet one is hardly conscious of the order or the law. We are ruled but are not conscious of the ruling."
The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by Brother John of Glastonbury (1393-1464 AD), a former monk during his Earth-life.
The following is from the June 3, 1970 recording:
"Everything here is law-and-order; and yet one is hardly conscious of the order or the law. This may sound odd or strange but, what I’m trying to say is, though we are ruled, we are not conscious of the ruling, inasmuch as there is no one person who orders or instructs, in that sense… There are many souls who ‘organize,’ and yet the ‘organization' is such that it seems the most natural thing… There is nothing here that mars or jars. Everything here falls gently, peacefully, harmoniously, into place. It is as if you begin to see, gradually, the jig-saw puzzle of life coming into a clearer picture.”
Editor’s note: Brother John offers one of the very best short descriptions of the laissez-faire approach to regulation and government in Summerland. People follow their own inner passions and directives, their own Jeffersonian personalized “pursuit of happiness,” with very little external-authority guidance (unless they ask for advice from a Spirit Guide). And this is why it’s so important to cultivate one’s sense of the “true self.” And, concerning those who “organize,” see our friend Elizabeth Fry’s testimony.
When we acquire competency in an area of knowledge, the ‘higher government’ will ask us to become teachers.
Editor’s note: The following channeled information is from Charlotte Dresser’s book, “Spirit World.” She communicates with her sister Dee on the other side via automatic writing. Charlotte asks about government in Summerland:
Dee: "The joy of acquiring knowledge is one of the delights of this life. We never tire of learning, for we love knowledge too much. It is only earth weariness that may hinder you. We learn of the stars and all the elements that compose the stars. Then all the diversified lives on the millions of planets surrounding the stars; all the products and combinations of chemical action; all the history of life from its lowest forms upward; light, electricity, sound waves, musical vibrations and the harmonies resulting therefrom; all that is beautiful in the world of art or in the world of literature…
“... the newly arrived spirit may discover the infinite variety of teaching here and may select the study most adapted to his taste … the specialty he desires most to perfect himself in … Then his fitness for a teacher is decided upon, and if he has this talent, [then] he becomes a teacher of others. There is no limit to acquisition and no limit to one's taste. Two or three specialties often go together. Mary [their mutual good friend] here has half a dozen. She uses these and still goes on acquiring other knowledge for her own pleasure.”
Charlotte: “You have some sort of government, have you not?”
Dee: "Yes, we are held to account in various ways. We receive instructions from higher intelligences, and report to them of success or failure. But there is no unreasoning tyranny, remember that. For instance, if I have a talent in some one direction, I may be asked to use that talent. Or if I need instruction in some direction, I may be asked to seek that instruction [to make myself competent]. All is meant for our development, and for our more intelligent or capable service."
Charlotte: “Then you have nothing that corresponds to our political government?”
Dee: "No, for all here is the process of development, and the best good [for all concerned] is the one thought [of motivation by anyone in a position of leadership]."
Editor’s note: In our world, in various hierarchical settings, one’s competency will almost assuredly invite attack by invidious others jealous of opportunity for private advancement. They will put you down to keep themselves higher. But in Summerland all of that gamesmanship is finally put away in favor of the greater good. How refreshing it will be to live and operate in an equitable social or work environment wherein merit makes its own way, where no one is envious, no one is working against you. Instead, and so contrariwise to what we're used to, you will be proactively asked to consider promotion as a teacher, when you are competent enough to fill the shoes.
What are some of the occupations in Summerland?
From Charlotte Dresser’s book of channeled writings, “Spirit World”:
Dee: "To tell you anything of our occupations, you must know first that we are taught to work for others, which is the joy of life here. Then we are taught various sciences and the methods of spirit thought. We are then allowed to go to other planes and study the conditions there. We can see all the life on the different planets and work there if we choose. We are free to choose our work; but, if later we find objections, we may change. Some are teachers, some are messengers, some welcome the new arrivals, many are caring for the little children, some study the other planets, and many will go to distant worlds to learn such new conditions as may be understood.
"We are interested in the development of the processes of the mind as they act upon outward things, such as the formation of our plant life, the combination of colors, and the manufacture of fabrics. These are all mind processes, all regulated by fixed laws…
"Authors are here writing books. I mean spiritually writing them, and spiritually reading them to others… Some study chemistry as it pertains both to the material and to the invisible life. Others teach history… Then we have work for other planets … altogether away from any conditions that you know. We are in some ways more advanced than they are; in others they are superior to us…
"Many come here so strongly influenced by their earthly beliefs that they do not realize themselves as spirit at all, and have to be led in various ways to comprehend that death has separated them from the life they once knew. That is one of the things that give us occupation. Then we have many who have recently come over who are ignorant of this life and have to learn its new ways of perceiving and enjoying…
"You do not know, nor can you know, all the occupations of this life. We have given you those, or described those, more nearly resembling the occupations of earth life. But there are many, many others of which you cannot as yet form any conception.
"We are active with a freedom unknown on earth because of added powers; we are happy with a joy unknown on earth because of increased sense of appreciation, and we worship with an infinitely greater reverence because we are more in touch or communion with the divine."
What is a typical day like in Summerland?
From Charlotte Dresser’s book of channeled writings, “Spirit World”:
Charlotte: “Could you describe your own activities for one day?”
Dee: "Your breath would be taken away if I were to tell you of the speed and ease with which I accomplish a host of things. I may go to a planet with a message or lesson. I may go to a hall of learning; or drift away to some far off circle to learn of its activities; or I may be helping some mortal on earth, or receiving some newly arrived soul. All of these would not be too much to accomplish in a day here, and much more could be brought within its hours if necessary."
Charlotte: “An intimate diary of your work, and of your impressions while doing these things, would be very interesting to mortals.”
Dee: "But, you see, we do not try to keep track of what we do… Our way is to do good and forget our work as soon as possible and move on to the next duty. But do not forget that duty and pleasure are one with us."
Considerably later, possibly a year or more afterward, we spoke of their work again, asking:
Chatlotte: “What have you been doing today?”
Dee: "Mary went to a circle where they were studying magnetic waves, and listened to a lecture on this subject. Then she went to hear some music in the great temple of music, and listened until her soul was filled with harmony. After that she went to a newly arrived spirit who was not finding her way perfectly, and tried to help her to realize her surroundings. And the hours sped by until she finally went to her home, and [we] had one of the dear talks and companionships which are such a blessing…
“These are just a few things. Many others came into the day … studies, journeys to the library for help and knowledge, and teachings in various ways and places."
Charlotte: “Yes, and you did not have to do up your hair and change your dress before you went to the library; and you did not have to consider the weather; and if it was a long way, you did not have to order out the automobile, or take a street car!”
Mary: "You are right! There are no obstacles in the way, and we make each day equal to half a dozen on earth."
Charlotte: “What was Dee doing?”
Mary: “She went to her children two or three times, for she has several groups under her care. Then she spent much time helping and comforting several little ones, [who had] just come over, and this is for her such a loving and lovely work. Then she went to her studies and to various lectures, and so her day passed pleasantly; and included various little occasions of going to see if you needed her and were all right. You were not well last night; but we did not worry, as we thought you would soon be better…”
in Summerland, can your body be hurt, injured, or cut
Editor’s note: The following account is somewhat strange. Sculthorp had learned how to “astral travel” and spent many years, during his sleep time, investigating and visiting not just Summerland but the lower dark realms, as well. The following incident happened as a kind of prank. No one was hurt, but this could not have happened as a “joke,” or in any case, in Summerland but would have taken place in some lower domain. Nevertheless, it provides some good information for us concerning how our bodies work over there.
from Excursions to the Spirit World by Frederick C. Sculthorp: "I have said that the spirit body cannot be injured. I did not experiment in this direction but a demonstration was arranged by my spirit helpers. I was ... talking to a group of young men whose ages appeared to be between 23 and 25, the age usually assumed by those who have progressed in spirit [but in this case apparently not]... Suddenly one of them plunged a knife into my hand. For the moment I was startled, then I laughed as there was no pain. One of the smiling group said: 'Look at your hand'. There was a hole in the palm, and it was slowly closing through no volition on my part."
Editor’s note: Elsewhere on this page we learned from Sculthorp that, when wild animals pass to the next world, they do not immediately lose their “wildness.” This mellowing process will take some time. However, we can know that, if we wanted to play with a lion or a tiger, there would be no danger because even if we were bitten, our bodies would immediately make themselves whole.
if you were rushing to an appointment in Summerland and you accidentally bumped into somebody pretty hard, what would happen
from Excursions to the Spirit World by Frederick C. Sculthorp: He could visit only briefly in the next world via astral traveling and wanted to see his wife who was getting off work from her hospital job.
"I felt impatient, as I am always aware of the limited time of a projection, and time was growing short... Quickly I ran to the hospital, through the entrance and up some stairs, and as I turned a corner I ran headlong into a group of people coming down. There was no shock or collision. I felt as if I had hit a soft cushion of air, and was diverted around the group. The group continued on but I stopped in surprise. I had in an instant contacted the minds of the group, they were hospital workers going off duty, but I could not understand this strange happening. My teacher then impressed upon me - as far as I was able to understand, that the spirit body is electrical, and is surrounded by a zone or [force]field, like a magnetic field, which automatically repels. This repulsion is neutralized when the mind desires to touch or grasp."
When you study chemistry in the next world, you will be able to see actual atoms and electrons.
The following channeled information from the other side is recorded in Charlotte Dresser’s book, “Spirit World.” We learn that chemistry students, a little more advanced than Summerland dwellers, are able to view atomic particles:
Charlotte’s friend Mary is speaking on the other side:
"We in this circle [of enquiry and study] are not yet advanced enough to deal with atoms and electrons, or to watch their motions. Other planes have done this and are busy explaining the existence and movements and powers of the electrons… The electrons are the nearest approach to spirit of anything pertaining at all to matter. They are etherealized to such a degree as to be almost pure spirit; yet when they are surrounded by material forces they obey those laws.
“They may belong to either the seen or the unseen world. When connected with matter they become part of the material atom; when used by spirit they lose all material attractions and become amenable to spirit control."
"Try to conceive of thoughts as formative processes in themselves, and in dealing with the material used, are all-powerful to build from that material. The electrons are the material, and thought can attract, distribute, or segregate these minute particles as desired."
All this is very instructive to us. Compare the highlighted items to the comments of Heisenberg and his discovery that the atom has no form as such; or the findings of the Double-Slit experiment concerning the role of an observing consciousness.
I found these observations by Mary on the other side particularly interesting as I had wondered about these very things and had concluded that light and the electron, with their seemingly dual natures, sometimes acting like waves, sometimes like particulate matter, have “one foot” in the spirit world and the other in this 3-D plane. It seems that this view is correct.
perfection not required to enter Summerland
We’ve mentioned (above) the “Crystalline Entity Principle.” You don’t have to be a saint (see below) to get into Summerland, but you do need a willing and yearning heart to live a good life. That’s the entrance ticket.
All those who live in Summerland would never insult you, never be rude to you, steal from you, be obnoxious or boorish, and the like – those who would do this, the immature, would find it uncomfortable living in Summerland; as such, those who still believe in “me against all” and “I need more and more, at your expense” are busy “finishing their overdue homework” in the Shadowlands.
Editor’s note: Elsewhere I've stated that if one finds oneself in a dark place upon crossing over, not to worry, we can leave the very same say - yes, the same day. So let's not obssess about this.
However, it should be pointed out, strange to say, that many do not want to leave dark detention. Many will linger in a dark place for months or years; and, in hard-core cases, they may settle in for decades or even centuries.
Why do they insist upon suffering?
There is a companion article which discusses this phenomenon in some detail. All of us have friends and relatives who’ve ended up in a dark place and, in many cases, do not know how to get out; and sometimes they don’t want to. We might be able to help them.
See the lengthy discussion on the “Sensibility: 1-Minute” page.
In Summerland, that veritable “octopus’s garden,” we find “no one there to tell us what to do.” It’s not necessary. Our own inner, deepest person will instruct us on a moment-by-moment basis. And so we won’t need a policeman because our own spirits police the heart and mind.
We’ll be free, totally free, no restrictions, in a perfected “Wild West” way, to pursue our own particular definitions of happiness, just as Jefferson, in the “Declaration,” envisioned the perfect society.
oh, what joy, for every girl and boy, no one there to tell us what to do
we'd sing and dance around, because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you...
Editor's note: also see my article on "authority."
each of us is the center of the universe's life and purpose; each of us is the center of God's undivided affection
from the book, “The Power Of Myth,”
a discussion with Dr. Joseph Campbell
Campbell: The shaman is a person, male or female, who has an overwhelming psychological experience that turns him totally inward [that is, to a realization of inner mystical energies; which all persons possess, but few are in tune with]. The whole unconscious opens up, and the shaman falls into it. Descriptions of this shaman experience are found all the way from Siberia right through the Americas down to Tierra del Fuego.
Bill Moyers: There’s a sense of ecstasy, isn’t there, in this experience?
Campbell: As reported, it’s always of ecstasy… [This breakthrough can happen, unexpectedly, to anyone. When] it comes… bang! - it’s like that.
Moyers: And the one who had this psychological experience, this traumatic experience, this ecstasy, would become the interpreter for others of things not seen.
Campbell: … yes.
Father Benson lives near a university town
This appeals to me. Imagine being able to learn music composition or mathematics or painting from a true master in the field. This is what's possible at, what Father Benson calls, the "halls of learning." Brother John and Raymond Lodge, too - three independent sources - speak of these universities.
Editor's note: For some years I’ve wanted to study painting. I envision what I call a “great ideas gallery,” a series of symbolical and abstract representations of the best wisdom. It seems that I will not be able to create any of this at the moment but will await opportunity in Summerland.
Some of these master teachers were famous in their work here on Earth. But, as we said, there is no celebrity culture over there and you can talk to whomever you need to.
You will choose to live and work in a setting that suits your particular personality; for myself, I can think of nothing better than futuristic learning-community campus, combined with bucolic small-farm retreat.
Concerning my coming small farm over there, while I do not envision oxen pulling carts around the barnyard, I'll prefer my farm sanctuary to be a on the “low tech” side. With my studies in physics, mathematics, and chemistry, along with exploration of civilizations and natural wonders across the universe, there will be stimulus and excitement enough. My farm as private, quiet oasis will represent a lost boyhood environment, an unchanging venue of familiar animals, lake, field, and meadow, where I’ll be able to connect and center myself with all that’s sacred to me.
you can put down roots in Summerland, with no need to move again; travel the universe as you like, but why not return to a home-base of peace and rejuvenation
Life In Two Spheres, or Scenes in the Summerland, by Hudson Tuttle, channeled testimony from the other side. The speaker of the following is known as "the ancient Sage," a resident of Summerland, it seems, for nearly 3000 years:
The Sage: “This [world of Summerland] is the home of the spirit. I stay here [in my house and gardens] but a small portion of my time; the other portion I am visiting other groups. You will do likewise; but when weary with activity, it is pleasant to return to this retreat."
Question: "I am then to choose a locality and call it home?"
The Sage: "That is as you please. When on Earth you did so. Then you might have been a rover without a fixed habitation. The same applies here. You have a choice. This spot is my selection, and it is home to me.”
These comments by “the Sage” are of special interest to me. For some years, with so much talk, within certain dysfunctional circles, of attempting to advance, in a spirit of elitism, to so-called higher worlds with prettier flowers and greener grass, I felt iconoclastic to suggest that I might want to remain on my small farm, with my animals, in Summerland, indefinitely.
Why not have a home-base of operations? Why uproot oneself? One will have the ability to be anywhere in the universe at the speed of thought, and so why not “put down roots” in a familiar, comfortable, setting, a "retreat," wherein one might center oneself after work, parties, study, travels, and service. With this in mind, I was particularly gratified to read of “the Sage’s” similar thoughts as he further asserted,
"How can we become exalted in the spheres?" that is, how can mere change of address elevate one's spirit?
"He who seeks exaltation for its own sake will be debased" - as Chief Black Hawk warned (see on the "Summerland" page), one cannot work for spiritual advancement like earning a merit badge.
Editor’s note: The above Jetson-like artwork of a city is probably not exactly the way it is over there (although, in some sectors, it could be). The following testimony was offered by one of the other-side dwellers via Leslie Flint:
"a city built in a garden"
"I live in what might be called a city, but it's a city built in a garden, a garden so vast that it cannot be described in terms of space. There are rippling streams, trees and flowers, and many different kinds of buildings with all sorts of architecture. Some of the buildings have a pearl shell-like color. The houses are decorated with beautiful furnishings according to private tastes, an expression of the inner person, the soul. Quite unlike what we had on Earth, these cities have no noise or dirt, and are well planned.”
in the spirit world, the truth ‘is the only important thing, and the search after it is the principle and most fascinating occupation’
In his investigations of famous psychic-mediums, Michael Tymn reports that other-side entities were asked the question, why do spirit-persons sometimes produce “carnival” effects such as lights, object levitation, rappings and the like. The answer was given that “these are the means best adapted to reach the materialist,” but such sensationalism was grudgingly allowed and not of primary interest to those in the astral realms.
Rather, it is the intent of spirit persons “to convince the world of the existence of the invisible universe, in which and by which alone all things subsist… To the spirit world, Truth is [like] an actual entity, and it is the only important thing, and the search after it is the principle and most fascinating occupation of spirits. Truth is not measured, as to its value, by the same criteria as men measure it; that is, not by money utility, but by its ability to make spirits and men more happy by adding to their means of enjoyment.”
It should be noted that the next dimensions are inhabited by people of all sorts of mental disposition, not all of which is noble or commendable. The desire to make known the higher elements of the spirit world would be shared only by more advanced persons. Nevertheless, in the above quotation we see what the healthy mind inclines toward.
Father Benson informs us that many in Summerland study music and chemistry for the particular enjoyment that these might provide; however, he went on to say that music and chemistry are also chosen as favorites in that these subjects provide special insight into the nature of things, that is, the Truth.
A final comment about "celebrities": the words of Jesus come to life in Summerland with, "He that is first shall be last, and he that is last shall be first." If you've led an upright and commendable life during your Earth-time, you might find yourself highly honored in Summerland, with the once-famous now wanting to talk to you for advice concerning what really matters.
Marilyn Monroe: “I’m terribly grateful for everything that’s happened... but, you do miss, sometimes, just being able to be completely yourself, [to be] some place [with] people [who] just know you as another human being.”
For all of her fame, Marilyn became an unhappy person, a prisoner of her own so-called "success." Hounded by an exploiting press and a fickle public, feeling compelled to present herself as she was not, Marilyn yearned for a new start, a new life, to live simply and authentically, in community with others who accepted her as just "another human being." Marlon Brando, too, grew to despise the public limelight and realized it had corrupted him. See his posthumously published DVD, his sometimes bitter comments in, “Listen To Me, Marlon.”
Bobby Tracey, a five year-old, talks about his life in Summerland: "We have nice chairs and carpets."
The 500 Leslie Flint "direct voice" tape-recordings include a testimony by a young boy, Bobby Tracey. I offer it here for many reasons but mainly for a small "ordinary" detail about his life there: they have "nice chairs and carpets" in Summerland -- with no floating on pink clouds.
This little fellow informs us that he goes to school, plays games, learns geography and history. Bobby lives with his mom (no longer on the Earth). He says he doesn't know how he died, how he got there, but he has a lot of friends now, and he plays cricket, has a nice garden, and likes to play with his animals, a dog, a cat, and a horse.
"I'm a very good boy," he beams, "everyone tells me." He would have us know that he wears short trousers, swims in a river, and a nice man takes him and other children for rides on a boat. They all go to an island for fun.
And Bobby is learning how to draw. And he knows that his dad, still on Earth, “has another lady” now. His one protest, however, is that "they won't let me have soldier toys."
Bobby says he wants to be a school teacher when he grows up. “Everybody is kind here,” and "you can help people better on this side, and you'll be young over here," too. And, oh, yes, "sometimes I eat an apple," he just wanted us know. [smile]
children in Summerland are not little saints running around with halos; kids are still kids, and need guidance as they did on Earth
You may have noticed little Bobby’s complaint - "they won't let me have soldier toys." With this, we discern that children in the astral realms are not only taught, but still require teaching, that a glorification of war and violence is not a good way of thinking or playing. In the article on “Evil” we discussed how immature minds are impressed with brute force.
War is a great evil, however, in our world it's often the lesser evil. It's a harsh necessity at times because there are many insane people on the planet who would kill you as easily as look at you, if they could get away with it. And if they were not stopped, the rest of us would live under brutal jackboot oppression without end. George Orwell explained it to us:
Some of these wayward live on the lowest levels of consciousness and cannot be reasoned with. It’s serious business. And immature children require a guiding influence instructing that spilling the blood of the recalcitrant is not to be hubristically enacted in play. No, it's not fun, little Bobby.
we work together as a team, more like a family, and we would never leave anyone behind
I was a fan of Sliders; still am, really; at least, the first half of the series, before politics at the network caused key members of the cast to fall away. In those early episodes, there was more emphasis on the wonder of science, on the subtleties of what a parallel universe might mean – the hinge on the front gate that didn’t squeak – but, later on, the network wanted “sex and violence” and that ruined everything; though I own the complete series, I’ve never bothered to watch the last two seasons, that’s how terrible it became. However, in those early days, what I liked most of all, I think, was the camaraderie of the foursome. Frequently, they would call attention to the spirit of their bond, "we work together as a team, more like a family, and we would never leave anyone behind."
Allow me to digress a moment to speak of an ideal: Wouldn’t it be great to have a friend whom you could call anytime you wanted company or truly needed something? We’ve witnessed this kind of amity, it seems, only in the movies. In our day-to-day world, even if you have a good friend, everyone’s so busy that, oftentimes, even a phone call is an intrusion. I don’t think life was meant to be that way, and I think our coming lives in Summerland, the “real world,” will enjoy a degree of satisfying friendship that’s always eluded us.
We have some evidence to be hopeful. In Father Benson’s Life In The World Unseen he speaks of Edwin, Ruth, and himself working together as a de-programming team, helping new arrivals overcome the effects of cultish organizations of our world. They chose to work together because they were very good friends and just wanted to be together more often. Elizabeth Fry, whom I’ve often referenced, also speaks of being part of a service group, the members of which are very closely bonded in warm relationship.
I thought about these service groups, and I’m sure that it will be wonderful to work with good friends; but then it occurred to me – what about other projects for which friends might ally themselves? What about fun things? The Sliders group is a good model. What about a group of friends in Summerland who devote themselves to high adventure? We already know, as per testimonies of Spirit Guides, that space exploration as recreation and education is very popular on the other side. It seems it would only be natural for a small group of friends to come together, like the Sliders band, to investigate other civilizations across the cosmos. Also, why not come together as friends to attend university or to become proficient at music?
Editor’s note: My university days were so fraught with crisis, my thoughts in such upheaval and burdened with serious matters, that I didn’t have time, or inclination, to have much fun. I want to attend university again in Summerland, for a lot of reasons, many subjects to enter more deeply, but it’s not lost upon me that, this time, I want to have fun, and to experience it with very good friends.
There are many possibilities. It’s hard for us right now to really imagine ourselves free of the stultifying atmosphere of the Earth-plane, but a new world awaits us, with a new life-style, and part of that new way offers the joy of spending as much time together with good friends as we like.
Wouldn't it be more than wonderful to be part of a close-knit group of friends, who always had your back, whom you could count on as you go through eternal life together, with all of you living by an ethos of "we work together as a team, more like a family, and we would never leave anyone behind."
Chief Black Hawk warns that the thrill of the buffalo hunt just isn’t the same in Summerland
Wikipedia: Chief “Black Hawk (1767 – 1838) was a … leader and warrior of the Sauk American Indian tribe… Although he had inherited an important historic sacred bundle from his father, he was not a hereditary civil chief. Black Hawk earned his status as a war chief … by his actions: leading raiding and war parties as a young man, and a band of Sauk warriors during the Black Hawk War of 1832 [at age 65].”
The following other-side testimony is from CD #8 of the Spirit-Guide Abu taped-lecture series.
I always like the way Chief Black Hawk makes entrance to the teaching sessions: "Greetings white brother and white sister." In his humble salutation, we are stung with remorse in realization of all that we lost by not honoring the rights of the Native Americans.
From time to time, Black Hawk made guest appearances in a forum led by Guide Abu. On one occasion he answered a question about how people live their daily lives in Summerland. He begins by referencing his own people:
hunt-shoot-kill buffalo gone, no use
Young brave [as new-arrival in Summerland has] no desire to develop spiritual quality. Red man has habit on Earth to hunt and chase buffalo; to fight; to worship – in Earth way. Red man [crossing over to] spirit world, for a little while, has plenty buffalo, has plenty bow and arrow – buffalo fall dead, first shot. Very good hunter. Very pleased with self – for a while. Not [interested in] developing spiritual quality, merely bring over Earth habit. Young brave, young squaw ... [will] do in spirit [world] ... in [the] beginning, what you like, in Earthly sense – to travel, to visit, to see Earth sites … a little later, whole attitude begin to change. Hunt-shoot-kill buffalo gone, no use. All [desires in Summerland] come, as you wish. The spirit of Red man, White man, [it] matters not, is not content, has everything [he wants], too easy. Wait for a little while, perhaps, a few Earth years, in [this] magic world, you call – the modern phrase – a world of “wish fulfillment.” It’s not illusion. It’s happening [to] spirit [in Summerland]. But, after a while, spirit [persons] realize, “too easy.” And slowly the desire to do Earth things begins to fade. At the same time, [the human] spirit becomes more and more aware of [surrounding] spirit conditions, of other spirit dwellers, of need for service, for loving [good works] – on spirit plane, on Earth plane, below Earth plane [i.e., the Dark Realms] – you, my brother, will know [to] aid and help those in trouble and difficulty. And so, the mind of [a new arrival in Summerland] slowly, gradually turns toward loving, helping, useful work; which, in the doing, will raise spirit vibrations; so that the [new arrival] upon spirit planes shall turn attention in such direction [to good works] and not consider solely self… Those on lower levels need a helping hand to climb out. But, it’s not all work [in Summerland]; plenty time play, plenty time enjoy, plenty time learn – so much all the time to learn…
you can't earn your spirituality like working for a merit badge or a good grade on a test
[and in all this learning, we become spiritually minded and advance; however -- and here Spirit-Guide Abu will] support Black Hawk – not by saying, “now I go to hard work and endeavor to climb the ladder [of spiritual advancement] very quickly.” [Anyone who tries this way to evolvement, by human effort alone,] will not achieve [spiritual success]. Spirit world is not like Earth world [of competition and mere effort, where you] can take a book, and study, and remember, and [exclaim] at examination, “I have learned this, I have learned that,” and now earn a medal and a “big mark” and succeed in Earth terms. Not so in spirit, not so. Not by effort will spiritual qualities be developed… [you] cannot “pass examination” to [advance yourself].
Chief Black Hawk, now on the other side for nearly 200 years, explains the normal “growing pains” of a typical new resident of Summerland. In the beginning, if we know nothing about how things work over there, we will try to create what we knew on Earth; and no one will stop us. If we felt macho on a buffalo hunt, then we can try to do that again – until it doesn’t work for us anymore. See the discussion in the "Prometheus" book on primitive peoples in Summerland who eventually leave their campfires.
Disillusionment with traditional modes of living is meant to lead us to higher, broader planes of thought. However, some get stuck on lower levels. For them, a sense of discontentment, which should be mere passing phase, as the Chief suggests, settles in as a hardened way of looking at life. In this dysfunctional state, nothing is ever enough, and people want "more and more" – this is the pathological frame of mind suffered by the “insane 500."
Effort is required to grow spiritually, but it's more like "relaxing into" the advancement. But, as Black Hawk advises, it is not the effort per se that advances us. We already have the life within, and so there’s no need to huff-and-puff our way toward acquiring it. We just have to learn to open our eyes to what we were given. Please review the four articles on the nature of spirituality for further discussion.
Editor's special note: Chief Black Hawk is not speaking hypothetically. There are multiple millions in Summerland who do believe that they can huff-and-puff and pull themselves up. As the Chief says, we get it wrong by saying, “now I go to hard work and endeavor to climb the ladder [of spiritual advancement] very quickly.” [Anyone who tries this way to evolvement, by human effort alone,] will not achieve [authentic spiritual success].” It’s rather amazing. There are millions over there who do say “now I go to hard work to climb the ladder very quickly.” With some, they hardly say anything else; no exaggeration. I won’t mention names, but there are many channeled testimonies, whole books of this, and, virtually, on every page, all they talk about is “who’s on what level, how long did it take them to get there, I plan to earn my way to the seventh level in only two years, she’s so advanced because she made it very high, very fast.” All of this reminds me of multi-level marketing organizations with the constant chatter about who’s “going Diamond, I’m only on the Bronze level.” This is not spirituality, but millions are convinced that it is. Chief Black Hawk and the better teachers are not impressed. It’s just the same old ego dysfunction wrapped in godtalk, just constant wanting and needing and never being content. See "the 500 tape-recorded messages from the other side" article for much discussion on this issue.
Educational programs for children in Summerland reflect highest-level pedagogical philosophy, far superseding that of the Earth.
All of this is a very large subject and can only be mentioned in briefest outline. I begin to speak of some of this on the “Reading” page.
So much of so-called education in our world does more harm than good. There’s too much emphasis on memory work and reciting the “right answer,” and too little concern for encouraging a love of learning, creativity, and clear thinking. After experiencing the stultifying gauntlet of our schools, most students swear-off reading and studying for the remainder of their lives, having been forever inoculated against academic enquiry.
all men by nature desire to know
I say “so-called education” because the word “education,” far from inculcation, literally means “to draw out,” that is, from the depths of one’s inner person, a natural love of investigating the mysteries of life and the universe. As Aristotle said, there is much pleasure in the pursuit of knowledge. Consider his opening statement in his Metaphysics:
“All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in the senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves.”
But who thinks of such high-mindedness in most politicized schools today where preparing for the next standardized test is what’s most important.
Again, all of this is a very large subject, and I would direct you to a lengthy discourse on educational systems in Summerland to be found near the bottom of the “Clarice” page. See discussion there on how an elementary school teacher in Summerland designs a day’s program around a single blade of grass.
Why would a teacher do this? The answer relates to a “circle of learning,” a “circle of knowledge.” The origin of the word “encyclopedia” captures the sense. We see the root idea of “circle” in this word. What does this mean? It means that all knowledge is connected, and a good teacher can use any item of knowledge – a blade of grass, for example – as a starting point which might lead to insights concerning, math, physics, chemistry, biology, literature, art, or anything else to be mentioned.
There’s no magic in the blade of grass. The skillful teacher will use any item of interest to the child, ones that are familiar to a young student. It’s building from “the known to the unknown.”
Children in Summerland do not remain in a school system for a particular set of years, like a prison sentence. Instead, each child, while often part of group-learning, is taught individually, with lesson plans custom-crafted to the child’s particular talents and interests.
After basics are learned, the student will remain in a structured learning environment only until internal “fires” of knowledge acquisition are well burning. Once the child personally experiences the thrill of knowledge discovery, you’re all done. You can now stand on your own and receive the delights of a universe of perpetual learning, the enjoyment of new insights, the adventure and happiness of piercing the fog of mysteries -- discovering "the truth" -- for unending times to come.
This is the education of a "free" person; and this is what "liberal arts" really refers to, the education of one meant to live a life of freedom with clear thinking.
When you live in Summerland, if you pinch yourself, will it hurt?
Raymond Lodge, communicating via trance-medium Gladys Leonard, discussed his upgraded bodily form:
“My new body is very similar to the one I had. I pinch myself sometimes to see if it’s real, and it is, but it doesn’t seem to hurt as much as when I pinched the flesh before.” He also added that his Summerland body possessed internal organs, eyelashes, eyebrows, tongue, and teeth; moreover, to his delight, he discovered that a new tooth had replaced one that didn’t feel right.
Editor’s note: The power of thought avails much over there. I recall somewhere in the afterlife reports it being said that, if you’ve never been overly fond, for example, of the shape of your nose, you can tweak it, to your own specifications, with strategic intention. No plastic surgery required. From this detail, we might rightly presume that pretty much everyone on the "Third Level" is attractive and youngish-looking, with many people presenting themselves as twenty-something. (But see the discussion in the "holodeck writing" concerning displaying ourselves at various ages, as whim, pleasure, or duty calls.)
Special note: Would you like to hear something interesting? It's about Raymond's comment about the Summerland body possessing internal organs. Father Benson said that our bodies over there do not have certain organs common to bodies on Earth. Are we not as well-constructed over there? No, he said, quite the opposite. Summerland is our home-world, the "real world" for us, and certain organs were placed into our Earth bodies on an ad hoc basis; meaning, we had these just for the Earth mission, but, when we come back home, to our real life, we revert to our ideal form, which does not include certain organs. What a great insight.
For many in our world, it’s been so long since we’ve felt good, we can’t even remember what “good” feels like. But soon it won't be that way.
The following is Robert Benson’s channeled testimony from the other side, “Life In The World Unseen.” He's just arrived, and is gathering his energy. And it feels so strange just to feel good...
“Making myself comfortable upon a couch, I sank into a delightful state of semi-sleep, in which I was fully conscious of my surroundings, yet at the same time I could feel a down pouring of new energy, which coursed through my whole being. I could feel myself becoming, as it were, lighter, with the last traces of the old earth conditions being driven away forever. How long I remained in this pleasant state, I have no knowledge, but eventually I fell into a gentle slumber from which I awoke in that state of health which in the spirit world is perfect… It is impossible to convey, even in a small measure, this exquisite feeling of supreme vitality and well-being. When we are living upon the earth-plane, we are constantly being reminded of our physical bodies in a variety of ways - by cold or heat, by discomfort, by fatigue, by minor illnesses, and by countless other means. Here we labour under no such disabilities… In the realm of which I am now speaking, all is exactly attuned to its inhabitants - its temperature, its landscape, its many dwellings, the waters of the rivers and streams, and, most important of all, the inhabitants one with another. There is therefore nothing [here] that can possibly create any unhappiness, unpleasantness, or discomfort. We can completely forget our bodies and allow our minds to have free play, and, through our minds, we can enjoy the thousands of delights that the same minds have helped to build up. At times we may feel saddened - and at times we are amused - by those who, still upon the Earth [indulge their base passions toward folly]."
In Summerland, meeting new people is no longer a big risk and scary problem.
The following is Robert Benson’s channeled testimony from the other side, “Life In The World Unseen.” He's been in Summerland only a day or so, and his old buddy Edwin is showing him around. There’s a girl sitting by a lake. Benson is hesitant to meet her, but Edwin encourages him:
"The brook began to broaden out until it expanded into the dimensions of a fair-sized lake. We could see many groups of happy people gathered at the side of the water… My friend … [took] me over to a young girl who was [admiring the flowers]… I was rather diffident of so intruding, but I was told to ‘wait and see.’ My friend bent down beside her, and she turned her head and gave him a friendly word and smile of welcome. I concluded that they were old friends, but such was not the case. In fact, he told me afterwards that he had never seen her before, and he explained that here in spirit we need no formal introductions; we constitute one large united gathering in the matter of ordinary social intercourse… we never intrude since we can read at once the mind of a person who wishes for a period of seclusion. And when we see people out in the open - in garden or countryside - we are always welcome to approach and hold friendly converse with them."
In Summerland, if you're sitting out in the open, especially, in a public place, it means you want company, or you would have stayed at home. It's not so different on this planet, but, over there, anybody you see has "passed the entrance requirements," so you're ok and safe. Summerland is one big gated community (with invisible gates) and no threats from anything or anyone. The loonies have some "unfinished homework" to hand in before they get to join the party. And, we're happy to learn, there're lots of parties in Summerland.
What does it feel like to be a spirit person?
from Father Benson's Life In The World Unseen, volume one:
"What does it feel like to be a spirit person? That is a question that has arisen in the minds of many people… First of all, [by way of contrast] consider the [Earthly] physical body. It undergoes fatigue for which it is vitally necessary to have rest. It gets hungry and thirsty, and it must be provided with food and drink. It can suffer pains and torments through a great variety of illness and disease. It can lose its limbs through accidents, or from other causes. The senses can become impaired through increasing age..."
boating and water sports are not dangerous or hazardous in Summerland
The following is Robert Benson’s channeled testimony from the other side, “Life In The World Unseen.” Ruth, Edwin, and Robert are tempted to enjoy the lake water, but they've no swimsuits. And so Ed shows 'em how it's done.
"My friend suggested that I might like to go closer to the [lake] water and that, if the young lady were alone [that is, without an escort], perhaps she would like to join us in our excursions. She responded that nothing would give her greater pleasure, and so we all three moved towards the lake… Nothing could be simpler. We were just to go into the water precisely as we were. Whether we could swim or not, was of no consequence… my friend quite calmly walked into the lake until he was thoroughly immersed, and the two of us followed his example … Great, then, was my surprise - and my relief - when I discovered that the water felt more like a warm cloak thrown round me [and there was no danger, at all, which is not possible in Summerland; we could stay under water as long as we wanted]… As I emerged, the water merely ran away, leaving my clothes just as they were before. [The water] had penetrated the clothing just as air on Earth will do, but with no visible or palpable effect whatever. We and our clothes were perfectly dry!"
In Summerland, is it possible to feel annoyance, shock, or anger, at times, or will we be like Pollyanna, all sunshine and light, never without a smile?
Editor’s note: How old is this little girl? – somewhere between four and six. See the keen intelligence in her eyes. You need a certain level of sophistication in order to be annoyed. You’d be surprised, she already understands quite a lot about boys – she’s five, going on eighteen. Little boys of the same age, generally speaking, are not this way but are still quite babyish. It will take him many years to catch up; in some respects, she says, "if at all."
50 years ago, Art Mokarow told us ministerial students, “If you’re smiling all the time, there’s something wrong with you.”
Art was right. Life isn’t that way. Even Jesus was called a “man of sorrows”; and there were times he displayed annoyance, despair, and anger.
love here is not disappointed
But how does it work when we cross over? Afterlife-reporter, Charlotte Dresser, channeling information from her sister on the other side, offered this:
“You say you have no disappointments?”
“We have no disappointments that grieve. If either of you were to turn away from us, we would be deeply grieved, our love would have a shock. Yet we would know that it would pass and that you would return to us. Love here is not disappointed. Those who are meant for each other, always come into loving companionship."
Editor’s note: Charlotte Dresser is one of the very best sources of afterlife information. I’ve checked out a great many over the years and Charlotte gets it right on all the big issues. So many over there are cockeyed in their views, led by the dysfunctional ego, as we learned in the “500 testimonies” article. You’ll want to read Charlotte’s books, from a hundred years ago, still very relevant, and free online. But I know what you want to ask: How do you know that she gets it right? You will discover the answer when you enter the quiet small room.
Charlotte explains that, while it is possible to experience grief in Summerland, it is not a grief that knows no bounds, rooted in hopelessness. Their grief “would pass” in a realization that “you would return to us.” But how could they know? They know because it is in the ultimate nature of life and the universe that those who love each other cannot be forever separated; sacred intentions cannot be thwarted forever: “Those who are meant for each other always come into loving companionship.”
And notice Charlotte's untempered use of the world "always" - those who are meant for each other, after a time, "always" find each other. Summerland, much more than our world, represents the quantum domain wherein one’s primary thoughts and intentions rule: see discussion below on the "interactive environment."
And so if you truly love someone, and the other is of similar mind, then you two will draw each other like a most powerful magnet, and the hidden structure of the universe will bend to your mutual sacred destiny and intentions; as such, as Charlotte instructs, it’s not possible to lose the person you love in Summerland because there is no place outside the scope of the quantum world's influence where loss could even exist, where sacred intentions do not rule: see more discussion on destined lovers coming together in the "holodeck" article.
In this world, lovers are kept apart by Silver Birch’s sorrowful “hindrances, obstacles, and impediments,” but the days of sorrow were issued with an expiration date.
Polyanna's day off
We take note that those on the other side, even among the mature, can feel grief, shock, disappointment, or any other emotion that communicates “things are not right.”
However, the main difference between their feelings and that of ourselves in this world, still run by the Little Me Ego, is that our feelings of aggravation tend to be the result of a personal affront, while theirs are other-centered, linked to a dismay in seeing the hapless causing themselves damage. A big difference.
Upon transitioning to Summerland, we retain a full complement of emotions, nothing is lost or forfeited. If we suddenly became unreal Pollyannas, smiling all the time, espousing platitudes and godtalk, we’d no longer be sentient humans; as Art said, there’d be something wrong with us.
Alfred answers a question: “If you kneel down on the floor to play with a little child, will you get a crease in your trousers?”
The following information is from the Spirit-Guide Abu tapes #6, custodian James Webster; another minor detail of Summerland which speaks to a certain ordinariness of life over there -- no harps or cherubs floating by. Also notice that he speaks of trousers, not robes.
Alfred, a soldier killed in World War I, is asked the whimsical question, “Do you have to press your trousers over there to keep them looking good?” Let's say, you're playing with a child on the floor.
Alf laughs at the question and jokes about it, but says, yes, trousers get creased here just the same as in your world. The difference is, you don’t have to bring out a hot iron to do the job. All that's needed is to mentally concentrate on the crease, and a pristine state for the trousers snaps back into place. However, he wryly added, if you happen to like creased trousers, then they’d just stay creased for you - go knock yourself out. You can present yourself as you like.
ever'body gonna be nice to you
John Steinbeck, in only a few sentences, presents to us one of the most disturbing scenes in all of literature.
Lenny is a grown man, strong as the proverbial ox, but he has the innocent mind of a three year-old. George looks out for Lenny, as the two of them travel around, looking for work.
But Lenny has accidentally killed someone. He didn’t mean to; he doesn't know the meaning of evil; and he didn’t even really understand what he’d done. But now a posse of men and dogs are closing in on Lenny. They have guns, and a rope for lynching.
George hears the commotion in the distance. It will be only minutes before the bloodhounds reveal their hiding place. George begins to speak softly to Lenny, who is oblivious of the chaos about to overwhelm. He knows what will distract and calm Lenny down… as he surreptitiously removes a revolver from his pocket.
George asks Lenny to look into the distance, away from what his hand conceals. He begins to describe something they’ve talked about nearly every night before Lenny goes to sleep: a homestead of their very own, an acre of alfalfa for pets, a little place that the two of them have been saving for.
Now Lenny, breathless and bubbling as a small child, becomes very animated and joyful:
John Steinbeck, Of Mice And Men: Lennie said, "Tell how it's gonna be" ... "We gonna get a little place," George began. He reached in his side pocket and brought out Carlson's Luger. "Go on," said Lennie. "How's it gonna be. We gonna get a little place." "We'll have a cow," said George. "An' we'll have maybe a pig an' chickens ... an' down the flat we'll have a ... little piece of alfalfa." "For the rabbits," Lennie shouted. "For the rabbits," George repeated. "And I get to tend the rabbits." An' you get to tend the rabbits." Lennie giggled with happiness... "Gonna do it soon." "Me an' you" ... "ever'body gonna be nice to you..."
Lenny’s dream of living on his own acre - safe, free, and secure - is what we all want; a place where you can simply do as you like, be as you like, with no threats of any kind. It’s virtually a Jungian archetype, deeply embedded within the psyche of all of us. And, most inviting of all, this little oasis of peace and tranquility is where "ever'body gonna be nice to you."
Editor’s note: "For the rabbits! Lenny shouted." (sigh) I’ve asked myself, what would I have done in George’s situation? In ten minutes the horrific will engulf, men with guns and attack-dogs will arrive. They will torment and torture Lenny, and then they will hang him from the nearest tree. What would be best for Lenny? Show me the page in the catechism that covers this.
Above, I referenced a conversation with a lady I happened to meet in the course of business. As we chatted about this and that, I offered that I’d spent some years researching the scientific evidence for the afterlife. She wanted to know, and so, for a few minutes, I told her what Summerland is like. Her response was something like this: “It all sounds so wonderful, but I’ll tell you what I really look forward to on the other side. I just want to be away from all the rude and unkind and hostile people in this world.” She and Lenny were wishing for the same thing.
On the other side, for better or worse, we will be with people who mirror our own spiritual state of development. We don’t have to be perfect, but if we’re generally trying to do our best in life and help others as we can, we’ll be fine over there and we'll live in a pleasant community. But if we are conniving and duplicitous, reflecting, for example, our poisonous political world, we will find ourselves in a place where people get up in the morning just to cheat others and “how can we fool’em today?” Similarly, if, as hard-core “true believers,” we’ve pledged cultish allegiance to some infallible Dear Leader – be it of the religious, corporate, political, or materialistic science sort – we will find ourselves in neighborhoods where clear thinking is spurned, superstitious argument is considered normal, and the angry, victimhood frame of mind is counted as the way things ought to be.
I have to say, I agree with the lady who wishes for simple civility. That’s in short supply on planet Earth. And just living in a world where people are normal and reasonable is what I look forward to most in Summerland.
In the “K&E” dialogues of the “Omega” book, we find Elenchus deeply troubled as he can no longer tolerate the “viciousness” of someone who was meant to be close to him. Those we love have the ability to hurt us more, and far more, than others, as we naturally make ourselves vulnerable to them. Strangely, a desire for the conviviality of Summerland might be generated from an utterly anomalous source.
Where is Summerland?
Is it "over the rainbow, way up high"? just past "oz" and "narnia"? take a left at "never-never land"? But Summerland is not a fairy tale, "something once heard in a lullaby." It's a place with real people, ones we've loved and lost, who walk on solid ground and live real meaningful lives. In fact, we know enough about Summerland's location almost to supply a "latitude and longitude."
On the “direct-voice medium” page we were introduced to Edward C. Randall. In the early 1900s, he was a well-known attorney in Buffalo, New York. His avocation, however, was afterlife research. In his book “Frontiers Of The Afterlife” Randall recounts:
“I have heard … voices of those the world calls dead on more than seven hundred nights, covering a period of twenty-two years, aided by a wonderful psychic [the aged Emily French]... I talked, not with a hundred but, with thousands of spirits, a majority of whom, perhaps, I had intimately known in their Earth life. It would require many volumes to print the record obtained in all the years of my research work... This astounding statement, owing to lack of knowledge and to erroneous conceptions, staggers the ordinary imagination.”
His research addresses many topics, one of them, the location of Summerland:
“Where is this afterlife? Just where do they live? Where are its boundaries? … I have not had all the information sought on this subject. However, I have some knowledge, gained both from my friends in the spirit world and from my ability to deduce from common facts.”
One person on the other side offered this:
"This spirit world is in reality just as much a part of your planet as the earth and rocks you tread upon. Around and about your globe, and forming a part of it, are separate, material, concentric belts or zones, varying in width and vibratory action, and therefore in density, into which all mankind and all planetary life passes, on the happening of that event you call death.”
Randall posed the question of location to a scientist on the other side: “Dr. David Hossack, one of the leaders of the spirit group with whom I worked so many years, and for whose statements I have great respect … said:
“What appears as space about your Earth is composed of [rarified matter]. There are three distinct circles, the outer filled with more radiant vibrations than those within. Beyond these, the spheres or circles blend with those of other planets. Each circle is very, very many miles in depth, according to your standard of measurement."
“I know that these gentlemen made the statements quoted… They are rational and I accept them, and, basing my opinion thereon and on other knowledge obtained from persons in the afterlife, I state without qualification that about this earth there are material concentric belts or zones ... which become more radiant and higher in vibration as they extend outward. In these zones all the so-called dead reside and have their homes, where the family relation is ultimately restored. For the first time the local habitations of spirit people have been discovered and the spheres or zones can now be named.”
Albert Einstein: “One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike. We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us. It is entirely possible that, behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden, of which we are unaware.”
spheres within spheres, like Russian nesting dolls
To survey the cosmic depths of a starry night, we are, in fact, peering through various spheres, belts, or layers of inhabited worlds. These are worlds within worlds, like Russian nesting dolls, with the Earth as the central "nesting doll." We mortals cannot see these worlds as they’re composed of rarified matter, vibrating at elevated rates beyond norms of the Earth; invisible to us, just as the sound of a “dog whistle” is undetectable to the human ear due to higher sound frequencies.
The sphere nearest the Earth we call the Dark Realms. Its boundaries intersect or adjoin the Earth, which is why trouble-making spirits have little difficulty reaching like-minded ones here who open themselves to contact.
It seems that the oft-experienced “tunnel” of the NDE is a portal “through” the lower spheres into the world of light, birds, and flowers. This makes sense. Also, we begin to understand what happened to Father Benson when he transitioned (see his first book). Edwin came to meet him after he’d risen from his “deathbed.” Benson’s guide, however, advised his charge to close his eyes during their “flight” to Summerland. This wasn’t absolutely necessary, but we presume that Edwin did not want a “newcomer” to be unduly disturbed by the unpleasant sights of the Dark Realms.
As these spheres project outward, away from the Earth, an expanding circumference, the area incorporated therein quickly becomes ultra-gigantic. This means there’s plenty of room in Summerland, and subsequent worlds, for all inhabitants.
Editor’s note: Though the Earth is the central “nesting doll,” this does not mean that it’s the center of universe. The Earth is the center only of a system of local “astral worlds” devoted to our “mother planet.” We are informed by numerous afterlife sources that the universe is teeming with millions upon millions of inhabited celestial bodies, and each one has its own “system of astral worlds,” its own particular Summerland. Think of the adventures to come, not just exploring the universe but, visiting other “Summerlands,” settled by the regionally-indigenous sentient beings “made in the image.” And this is why Father Benson reveals that the cosmos is overseen, as part of "middle-management," by a humanoid, several billions of years old, with the title “Ruler of the Realms” – plural.
I said that Summerland is not a fairy tale, not to be found "over the rainbow"; while this is true, it is, in fact, a place where “skies are always blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” It’s an enchanted land, a promised land, in which, during our many troubled moments here on planet Earth, we have not dared to believe; and yet, we hear its beckoning whisperings in our lonely 3 AM vigils. Part of us has always believed in Summerland, our true home, because – without it – we’re not sure why we continue to live here.
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake instructs that Nature is constructed on the basis of ‘nested hierarchies’
See more discussion on this in the "Evolution" writing. Rupert speaks of "holons":
"[Morphic] fields [are] hierarchically organized. They exist as “nested hierarchies,” parts within wholes…
"These could be sub-atomic particles in atoms, atoms in molecules, molecules in crystals, or they could be organelles in cells, cells in tissues, tissues in organs, organs in organisms, organisms in societies – everywhere you look in nature, there are levels of organization.
"The parts of one are wholes at their own level, containing parts which are also wholes at a lower level. Arthur Koestler called these 'holons,' and he called this pattern of organization a 'holarchy.' You could also call it a 'nested hierarchy.' The higher level includes the lower levels."
Our analogy of Russian nesting dolls, illustrating the afterworlds, built as concentric spheres, conforms closely to the principle of "holons" as "nested hierarchies."
It is extremely interesting that Rupert sees this mode of construction operating on smaller levels, here on Earth. There appears to be a unified method of putting Nature together, from the very small, on up to the macro-level.
Editor’s note: On the “Afterlife” homepage, I offered the above “you are here” map of our Milky Way Galaxy. In the discussion there, it was stated that, given the ultra-immense expanse of the universe, there might be a great many millions of planets supporting intelligent life; indeed, even one average-sized galaxy, such as our own, is so enormous that it alone might be home to a very large number of worlds supporting sentient activity.
But think of this. Our little planet Earth has its own private “afterlife” and Summerland. We’ve learned that it's sphere-like in nature, encompassing the home planet. However, in the many channeled afterlife testimonies, received in the last nearly 200 years, we frequently find allusion to other worlds of intelligent life, each with its own “afterlife” and “Summerland.” Presumably, they are constructed along the lines of encompassing spheres.
This means that, as we consider the “you are here” artwork – and this, featuring just one average galaxy among hundreds of billions of galaxies, each shepherding hundreds of billions or trillions of stars and planets -- we begin to perceive a cosmos filled with, an interconnected latticework of, “bubbles” or spheres of "afterlife" domain. Later, we can visit these and make new friends.
modest, normal-person entrance requirements to Summerland: thankfully, we don't have to come with a record of heroic service like a Mother Teresa
We applaud the charitable heart of Mother Teresa, but, mercifully, for some of us, sainthood is merely optional entrance-ticket to Summerland. What's essential is for one to have lived, in the main, a decent life, of trying to do one's best, of helping and serving as opportunity allowed. Perfection is not required by any means; that's something we'll work toward over the next several thousand years and beyond. A willing heart gets us in and allows us to start.
If one hasn’t prepared oneself for Summerland, would it possible to “sneak past the gate” and get in that way?
There are jokes about skating into heaven, passing through the Pearly Gates, on Saint Peter’s day off, that sort of thing. But, of course, the Pearly Gates and Saint Peter are just religious fables. It doesn’t work that way.
But let’s answer the question. Could we somehow gain entrance to Summerland though unqualified to enter? - like climbing over the fence into Disney World, without paying the fare.
No, that wouldn't be possible – because, as we’ve discussed, Summerland can’t be invaded; but what’s even more important to understand is that, even we somehow inveigled ourselves in, we wouldn’t like it, and we wouldn’t want to stay.
Why would this be the case?
There are hundreds of books written in the last 175 years featuring channeled testimony from the other side. Remarkably, very close to 100% of them speak of a similar process of entering the afterlife. But, concerning our question at hand, here’s what we learn as a general rule, a synthesis of many accounts.
Let’s say that one has lived a selfish life during the Earth mission. This will invariably lead to a time in dark detention. However, upon crossing over, if contact can be made, if one isn’t too blind and deaf, if one is willing to embark upon a program of restitution, Spirit Guides in the “welcoming party” will conduct the new-arrival to his temporary living environment. While it will not be “5-star” accommodation, it will at least be tolerable, and progress can be made from there. However, the Spirit Guides will then take the new person on a quick tour of Summerland proper. The contrast will “knock the socks off,” and the novitiate will see what he’s missing. But, more than this, as the new person witnesses the sort of people who live in Summerland – their positive, caring, unselfish frames of mind – there will be a sense of “I don’t belong here. I don’t fit in. I’m not ready for this. It’s best that you take me back to my grey-and-dour surroundings.”
There is no “sneaking past the gate” of Summerland; because, even if we could somehow do this, we wouldn’t like it, and we’d want to immediately leave – until we’ve prepared our spirits to properly enter.
dear animals, pets of our past, are very eagerly waiting for us in Summerland
We'll be reunited with our favorite cats, dogs, horses, or any cherished animal. Our Spirit Guides know what we need and long for, and our pets are looked after in Summerland as they await our coming. Father Benson speaks of this.
We're reminded of Robin Williams, "What Dreams May Come," being met by his dog in Summerland: "I must have really screwed up! - this is 'dog heaven'!" [smile]
what a wonderful topic this is, and much more could be added, but allow me to approach conclusion with a comment by Raymond
"It seems to get dark sometimes, when you would like it to be dark..."
A realm of thought-directed quantum possibility lies hidden within Raymond's words. As we've seen, even trousers are made creaseless by a quick intention.
In the "holodeck" article I discussed how the worlds beyond Summerland allow their inhabitants to craft reality by the power of thought; even, to bring whole worlds into existence for one's private happiness.
We find Raymond being introduced to this principle with a small example: generally, by "default setting," in Summerland there is continual perfect daytime summer environment; however, as we also learn from Raymond, it changes if you want it to change.
Editor’s note: Regarding changes in Summerland, Spirit Guide Abu, in one of his taped lectures, explained that Summerland has evolved over the millennia. For example, he said, when prehistoric man began to pass to the next world, in order to accommodate a sense of the familiar, Summerland issued as an idealized, shall we call it, “happy hunting ground.” But over time, as humanity became more civilized, more urbane, Summerland reflected this growing sophistication. Abu said that Summerland is altered by and reflects a “group mind,” a kind of mass-consensus of what people need in order to feel “at home.” All this acknowledged, even today there are primitive peoples on the Earth, and, when they cross over, they will find themselves in specialized “neighborhoods,” an idealized “primitive” environment – campfires and huts, that sort of thing – until they’re ready to experience more. No one is rushed into an advanced state, the "full blaze of glory," as Sir Oliver put it. That would just terrify people.
Raymond’s comment that “it gets dark when you want it to be dark,” and Spirit-Guide Abu's assertion that Summerland is altered by a "group-mind" consensus, means that we will live in an interactive environment.
Another example from Father Benson's testimonies: He says that if you bend down to take in the fragrance of a flower, it will, in a sense, virtually rise to meet you, to greet you, exuding not just a sweet scent but a scintillation of faint and subtle music, as well:
"All these flowers were living and breathing, and they were, so my friend informed me, incorruptible. There was another astonishing feature I noticed when I drew near to them, and that was the sound of music that enveloped them, making such soft harmonies as corresponded exactly and perfectly with the gorgeous colours of the flowers themselves."
we don’t have this kind of upgraded software in our world
Strictly speaking, as we learn from the “Double Slit Experiment,” Earthly environment does interact with us, on the level of sub-atomic particles. But as matter here is gross and heavy, an easy two-way interchange is rare in the macro-world of large objects.
It’s different in Summerland, though, and especially in worlds beyond Summerland, as featured in the "Holodeck World" writing. The entire environment is attuned to one's state of consciousness and is moved by our intentions.
Here are some examples:
Clothing: as we noted above, we wear what we want; however, as we mature, our clothing will simply manifest and perfectly represent our inner essence and interests in life.
Work, Activities: We won't need a guidance counselor later on to determine what we should do. Our very natures, one's inner life-force, will call out to express what we're best at, what we've always wanted to do.
Time, Space: Among the more aware, time and space bend to our needs (this is reminiscent of Einstein's view, with time and space expanding and contracting). If we need to be somewhere, space will shrink for us; if we need more time to indulge a favorite activity, there will always be just the right amount of time to match our intentions.
Relationships: We are with the ones we want to be with and love. Our beings cry out for them, and, with this cry, the friend or beloved, in a sense, automatically manifests. Space shrinks -- and they are there. For those with whom there is no affinity, there is no "call" for them, and an insurmountable distance will separate.
In each of these areas, and ones not mentioned, our intentions rule. It's an interactive environment coming for us wherein our highest intentions will craft and shape reality.
The Swedenborg Foundation
Swedenborg, featured on the "Afterlife" page, spoke of these things in his writings. And there is a group of dedicated individuals who seek to promote his philosophy and psychic visions. I recommend that you view their youtube videos and see their website, swedenborg.com.
Everyone in Summerland, as part of one’s way of life, is engaged in some aspect of charitable service. But will a time come when service becomes obsolete, when everyone is mature with no further need of support?
From a practical standpoint, even if this could ever happen, we won’t have to worry about it for a long time. The Earth will be around for a few billion years more before the Sun dies. Until then, presumably, souls will be making the “terra tourney” as a means toward individuation; as a result, we can expect the usual collateral damage of human need and requirement, with Spirit Guides picking up the pieces. And so, for at least a few billion years, service will not go out of style for those with a Summerland zipcode.
To press the issue, we could say, we might continue to offer our charitable services to neighboring star-systems with intelligent life. That could be possible, and it could keep us occupied. But let’s not kick the can down the road and instead ask the central question: Will the Family of God, of which we are all members, ever reach a point where there are no new souls being formed and educated, no new immature ones entering the “kindergarten” experience of mortal existence?
always time for a good Curious George story
There are no official answers from the “higher ups” on a question like this. But my sense is this: the Family of God will always – forever, amen -- be in the business of bringing into existence, preparing, educating, and aiding new “children” to reach the level of mature son or daughter of God.
too great to fail
Why do I feel this to be the case? Why will the Family of God ever be in the “child-rearing business”? I think the answer is simple: The gift of life is too great to ever shut down the system. The pleasures, simply to be alive, for a mature Spirit Being, are too wonderful, too marvelous, to part with. I say this in spite of all the sorrows and sufferings that occur on our tear-stained planet. No price is too high to pay for all the blessings in the offing.
The eventual benefit will be so vast, so monumental, that even those who suffered the most while here will readily concede that they’d do it all again, or a hundred times, in order to live life on that advanced, joyful level to come.
I do not believe that Mother-Father God would ever, in effect, close the doors to the Family. This seems unthinkable to me. The very fact that the ancient Guides refer to God as “Mother-Father” suggests, to me, that the Divine Parents will always and ever live up to their names. It's what they do.
As we go within, as we sense the joy of being alive, we begin to agree with the foregoing. Who would give up one’s eternal life, no matter the traumas right now?
The apostle Paul once said that "the present sorrows are not worthy to be compared to the joys to come." He was right. And once you’ve personally experienced the joy you would never opt out of the process, nor would you ever deny it to anyone else. This, too, is unthinkable.
Can you imagine God saying, "Well, you were kinda lucky, you were the last one to come through the hopper, you squeaked through, but, you know, we're just closing up shop now, we're all tired, the doors to the Family are being padlocked, no new novitiates, that's it, no more, you're all just way too much trouble, too much aggravation, we need some me-time now, and too bad for all those who missed out on the great joy of being alive." Uh-uh.
"It's A Wonderful Life" (1947)
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed
"What's the matter, George?"
"What's the matter?! I'll tell you what's the matter! Everything's the matter! You call this a happy family?! Why'd we have all these kids anyway?!"
George is just having a bad day. He's worried about something and doesn't really mean what he's saying right now; he really doesn't regret having his little ones. With a cooler head, he'd agree with us that we’re going to be offering our services in the Family “child-rearing business” for a very long time to come. It is a "wonderful life," or someday it will be, and we have a hard time denying it to anyone.
And why else would God have created such a large universe, all that real estate out there going to waste? I suggest it's room for the Family to expand.
the whisperings of the deepest inner-person lead us forward
Our own natures speak softly to us and offer clues concerning what we're meant to do and become. In the “Destiny” article, with John Sebastian, we asked the question, “Do you believe in the magic of a young girl’s heart?” - but we can also believe in that of a young boy’s.
The "child-rearing" aspect of the Family of God constitutes more than promptings of Mother Nature. All mammals, to one degree or another, are programmed to care for their offspring. Evolutionists would say that such familial affinity is rooted in survival-of-the-species inclinations. And this is correct.
With us, however, there’s more going on than autonomic instinctual response. We, the higher-level mammals, begin to write poetry and songs of the heart’s exquisite longing for much more than bio-thrill and species perpetuation. As our eyes open, we yearn for “the great relief of having you to talk to,” for expressions of higher-order family love. See more discussion in the “Destiny” and the "Children In Summerland" articles.
a grand cosmic foreordination
The uncharted longings of an enlightened person become road-map and sign-post indicating a certain future, an "omega point." Especially for us, "destiny" is the root-idea of "destination."
Our deepest desires are leading us somewhere, well beyond the mundane John-and-Mary expressions of domestic business contract. The higher level “callings of the heart,” as “The Wedding Song” uses the phrase, will yet take us on a far journey and merge with a grand cosmic foreordination of God's very own desire for sons and daughters, for family.
Editor's last word:
|"Now you be sure to dress warmly on all those other planes of existence."
latent abilities, for all of us, brought to the surface of personhood
I think I'd like to live in Father Benson's "neighborhood" as part of a university town. It's great fun to think about goals for that future time. Several subjects appeal to me for study: mathematics, chemistry, physics, painting, philosophy, music composition and song writing, piano, guitar.
In our world, the brain actually serves as "reducer," a "filter," that holds us back - see what brain researchers such as Dr. Eben Alexander or Dr. Stanislav Grof say about this.
But in Summerland - consider Dr. Peebles' comment below - our coming expanded mind-powers might be 100 times or 1000 times what we now have; or much more. Imagine gaining a respectable proficiency, in any subject, in fairly short order.
Editor's note: Beyond "respectable proficiency" lies stellar competence, equal to the mastery skills of anyone in history. This apex-level standard of achievement is available to anyone willing to work for it, though it might take 100 or 200 years of labor. See Spirit Guide Abu's testimony on this. Strangely, however, as we also learn from the Guides, so few people over there seem to want to develop themselves or take advantage of the many educational opportunities. Should we be surprised at this disengaged approach? Possibly not. Few people, it seems, have found their "true selves" even in Summerland. See "the 500" article. Let us also consider, a closely-linked concept, that relatively few people in Summerland have yet found their true Twin Soul romantic mates. There's much to be said for connecting these two ideas, that is, lack of ambition to develop oneself and lack of true love. See "The Wedding Song" for much discussion on the purpose of the eternal marriage as motivation toward spiritual evolvement.
Somewhere in the afterlife testimonies - I think it's in Charlotte Dresser's books - there's a statement by a lady on the other side who essentially says, "How easy it is to gain knowledge here! For those who want it, it just flows and comes so readily. We absorb it so quickly." And as Father Benson tells us, once we learn something, it's retrievable by the mind instantly and perfectly, not like in this world where we forget so much of what we study. Even with this potentially super-prodigious rate of knowledge acquisition, there's no need to fear that we will soon "learn it all" and have nothing more to gain. The Spirit Guides assure us that this will never happen. There's an expanding universe out there filled with knowledge, and the possibilities of mental advancement will know no bounds.
Also, consider this comment...
"You can learn in 1 day over here what it takes 10 or 12 years to learn on Earth."
Dr. Peebles, on the other side, speaking through trance-medium, Anna Wickland, offered this amazing statement! Imagine drinking in knowledge at such a prodigious rate! Think of the giant strides in personal development available to all!
Is this not more than wonderful? Think of the vast treasure-house of understanding, skill, and wisdom to be acquired, just for the asking and the taking, for the working toward - talk about "kid in a candy shop"!
Carl Jung: “The assumption that the human psyche possesses layers that lie below consciousness is not likely to arouse serious opposition. But... there could just as well be layers lying above consciousness.”
Editor's note: For a discussion of Jung's "layers of consciousness" lying above normal awareness, see the article on creativity research.
charting the unknown possibilities of existence
“For that one fraction of a second you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you - not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.”
Editor’s note: Since I was a young boy, this, right here, is my favorite Superboy artwork. And now I know why the life and person he represented appealed to me so very much.