26 QUESTION: What happens after death to a person who was an atheist?
ANSWER: There are spheres for every possibility. You know very well that the issue is not so much what religion you believe in, but whether or not you fulfill the best that can be expected of you in your incarnation. If people are atheists, they will be judged according to their accomplishments; the same applies to everyone, of course.
These accomplishments are measured individually according to one’s previous incarnations, merits, omissions, and so forth. People may have been atheists and still have accomplished something; perhaps they have overcome a particular weakness or a hatred against someone sharing their last incarnation, and this counts in their favor.
So those people will be in the sphere that belongs to them, that they have built with their feelings, with their thoughts, and with their general and particular attitudes. You tend to forget, my friends, that the spheres are not out there and you are not put into them. The spheres are your own creations. You build them, and whatever you have built is your sphere, your temporary home.
QUESTION: I always thought that atheists remained in darkness because they are separated from divine light?
ANSWER: Yes, this is so in most cases. But here too, one cannot generalize. There may be an instance where an atheist is not in darkness. He or she will certainly not be able to live in a sphere of bliss, beauty and divine harmony, but they do not have to live in dire misery either.
It depends on so many considerations, my friends, for the judgement or the evaluation of a particular case is entirely relative. Beings who are still very undeveloped have much less expected of them. Let us take for example souls who are still very young, who have only had a few incarnations. Their instincts are still low and coarse.
Such people may be tempted to give in to these instincts and perhaps kill someone. If this temptation can be overcome – even though such people do not believe in God, but have merely some sense of decency – their souls will have earned great merit. This may be more in their favor and may be of infinitely greater merit than what people of higher development acquire.
What counts is the effort to overcome one’s lower self. Whether the lower self still contains such dark trends in a younger spirit, or whether the lower self simply contains the faults, weaknesses, and sick currents that any of you possess, is immaterial. The effort counts.
Therefore, atheistic souls such as the ones I mentioned here will have some light in their sphere, some bright spot that signifies open encouragement or a certain strength that will flow into them in their next incarnations. In the Spirit World, evaluation is never general. It is always strictly personal, and judgement is passed on all personal considerations.
Everything is taken into account, and therefore judgement is always completely fair. For human beings this is hard to imagine, since you tend so very much to oversimplify and generalize.