9 QUESTION: You said in today’s lecture that when something weighs heavily on one’s chest, we should ask ourselves what in us is wrong. But the heaviness may come also, for instance, from grief?

ANSWER: That is possible. But the question is, what kind of grief? Healthy sorrow does not feel like a heavy burden. On the contrary, it lifts you up, it loosens you; I could almost say that despite the grief something quite wonderful takes place deep inside. It is almost impossible to describe feelings in words, ever, so just try to understand and feel into what I mean, and sense the difference between the tightness of bitterness and the sorrow that loosens the soul.


10 QUESTION: When a person dies and the spirit reenters the spheres of the beyond, is this entry always accompanied by pain?


QUESTION: You mean not necessarily?

ANSWER: No, not at all. There are many instances where this is absolutely not the case.

QUESTION: Is a painless return a grace that one has merited?

ANSWER: I would describe it as cause and effect – or as grace. It can be both – it can be a merit that comes to fruition in this way. Or it can be the effect of a self-created cause through a particular way of life.


18 QUESTION: I would like to know whether people who have gone to the beyond still have feelings of love for their children or relatives.

ANSWER: This is not a question that I can answer with a Yes or with a no. So much depends on the individual. You cannot generalize. There are some spirits who – provided that love has existed during their lifetime – feel bound to their relatives for a very long time. This is not necessarily a very good state to be in.

The further spiritual development goes, the more a being will learn to detach itself from its relatives and from its old bonds. That does not mean that their love ceases, but spiritual growth means that gradually all creatures are included in one’s love, not only the near and dear ones.

The spiritual infant has to learn to love gradually. The more the growth proceeds, the more beings can be included in that love. To love more people in the right way does not diminish the love one feels for a few. Then you must consider also something else: when you return to the spiritual world, you will meet first of all your dear ones of this life.

According to your own will and wish, you will remain in the state you have been at the time of your so-called death. But when you begin to develop further, you will meet many other spirits, some of whom you will recognize as having been very close to you in former lives, or in lives on different planes, not only on the earth plane.

There you will rediscover contacts, loved ones, old friends. And when reincarnation is no longer necessary, the love you are at present only able to extend to some people, you will then have for all creatures. So some deceased people still feel very much bound to their relatives of the last life. Others also have this love, but they are not bound by it anymore. They go on to other tasks. And this state is infinitely better to be in.

QUESTION: I would like to know whether spirits in the Spirit World are still tied to their country and their names?

ANSWER: The same answer would apply here as to the last question. It depends very much on the individual. Of course, earthbound spirits, or spirits who are not very developed yet, often hold onto their past earthly bondages, whether this bondage concerns a fanatic patriotism, family pride, a profession, or whatever else it may be.

You must not imagine that when you die your state of being will be altogether different merely because you have left your shell behind. Your whole personality, your thinking, your feeling, your opinions if they are very deeply rooted, your idiosyncrasies and your fixations, all this is not part of your body; it is part, however, of your subtle bodies which live on.

Whatever your personality makeup is now, it will be after death. So when a person dies with a fanatic feeling of patriotism, he or she will not feel any differently after death, and may thus be bound. But if a person has begun to detach himself and takes a wider vision on things, he will be able to progress spiritually much better once in the beyond.

He or she can be guided more easily and thus live a more pleasant life. If you die, for instance, in a state of fear, you will be in a state of fear afterward. If you die in a state of serenity, you will be serene afterward. Whatever you are at the time of your death, you will feel, experience and live afterward, and this will be your world because your thoughts, opinions, feelings and attitudes create the world around you.

I might say it is a psychological world, which does not mean it is a world of fantasy. It is real. For you, abstract ideas are formless. In the Spirit World all abstract ideas have form and substance. That is how individuals build their worlds – by their personalities.


34 QUESTION: Is it correct that birth, and time and form of death, are determined by an unchangeable destiny?

ANSWER: No, it is not correct. As to birth, I have just explained how it is, so I do not have to go into that any further. [Lecture #34 Preparation for Reincarnation] And as you have heard, even that can be changed in the last moment. The time and circumstances of death can also be changed. As I said to you, there is a plan for each life. But I also told you that there are many plans. There is a plan for every alternative, every possibility of free-will decision.

Let us say an entity fulfills the most he or she was expected to. For that alternative there is one plan. Another plan has been made for the eventuality that he fulfills even more than the best that could be expected. That exists occasionally too. There are several other plans for partial fulfillments, or if he does not fulfill anything. Perhaps a person will straighten out a karmic debt, but will not overcome a certain weakness or solve a psychological problem.

The time of death does not vary according to which plan is fulfilled, but the time and manner of death varies according to which plan has come true. Again, I wish to emphasize that the fact that life can be longer than projected in one of the plans is not always a sign that this longer life has been fulfilled at its best, though it may be so.

If an entity really fulfills his or her very best, his life may be prolonged because through his special fulfillment he may have possibilities to help others. But then, again, a life may be cut shorter because the entity has fulfilled his or her best. Then the favor is granted to return home sooner, to begin something new, a task that he or she has been waiting for.

Therefore one cannot bluntly say that an unforeseen prolongation of life is necessarily a proof of good fulfillment. It may be that way, but it may also be exactly the opposite. So the time, as well as the form of death, can vary according to which of the many alternatives the entity has chosen.


95 QUESTION: When you suffer grief, when you are separated from someone and you know this must be and you accept it, you still suffer deep pain – even more so when you are aware of your own feelings and the depth of love you have. This is healthy, is it not? Doesn’t it take time to heal?

ANSWER: I cannot answer the question by saying it is either healthy or unhealthy. It depends entirely on how it is felt. It may be something utterly healthy. But it may also contain certain unhealthy currents. This is very hard to determine in a general answer. It is completely individual. My advice – in order to determine whether or not it is healthy – is that the person ask where there may be feelings of helplessness, weakness, self-pity, or of being subjected to the misery of life.

If your personality feels impoverished by such a separation, then there must be an unhealthy grief, perhaps in addition to healthy grief. But if the loss is felt as painful without a feeling of self-impoverishment, then it is purely healthy.


QA113 QUESTION: Regarding the lecture, Humanity’s Relationship to Time, [Lecture #112 Humanity’s Relationship to Time] how can one truly face death and accept the reality of after-death so as to live in the Now?

ANSWER: I will remind you of two lectures I have given a considerable time ago about the duality. [Lecture #81 Conflicts in the World of Duality; Lecture #82 The Conquest of Duality Symbolized in the Life and Death of Jesus] Now, if you have a concept or a belief about the continuation of life after death but this concept is not yet fully experienced in your whole being – it is still something you cling to through superimposition – then you have to admit to yourself that inwardly you may doubt.

You may hope, and you may believe to a degree of your personality that all these teachings are truth, but you have to face and admit and meet your doubts, as you have to do with your fears. Now when you do so, in that area of doubt you are not sure that life continues. In that area, you have to meet this fear and this doubt, and go through it and accept at the moment that this is the way you feel.

It is the same process as, for instance, you know through all spiritual, religious and metaphysical teachings, that love is the key to the whole universe. Yet you have to admit to yourself first in what areas your heart does not know about this – where in your innermost self you feel hate where you would want to feel love.

You cannot produce that love if you do not admit hate, resentment and hostility. And when you admit it and meet it and face it and understand it, then it dissolves and you are free for loving.

It is the same thing with your doubts, whether this doubt relates to continuing life after physical death or to anything else for that matter. So naturally the very way this question is put together mutually excludes what I am saying.

You cannot in the moment of doubt live your belief – whatever this belief may be – where you doubt. So there you have to admit, “I am not sure. I am afraid. I am afraid of dying, because I do not know that life continues.” Or “I am afraid of dying because I am afraid that life does continue.” These very thoughts have to be met.

Then you will come gradually through the inner experience that life is an unending process, that it could not be anything else but that. Even if you are actually afraid that life may continue, you will no longer fear it wherever you stand. Or if you were afraid that life may not continue, you will deeply know and sense its truth without having to superimpose it and talk yourself out of the fear.


QA136 QUESTION: In the lecture, [Lecture #135 Mobility in Relaxation – Suffering Through Attachment of the Life Force to Negative Situations] you said that finding or understanding mobility and relaxation completely would mean that there is no death. {Yes} You did not say that there is no birth either. So, evidently people are incarnated and then maybe they find this – or maybe they have other things to find – so does no death mean that they immediately wake up in the Spirit World and that there is no sort of sleep or interval between one life and the other – or what does it mean?

ANSWER: No, I meant something a little different. What I meant is this: that the whole phenomenon of dying is a product of illusion. That does not mean that they don’t have to go through the process of dying as people in a certain stage of development. They are going through it.

In that sense, it is a reality at the moment. It is just like the world of matter; it is just like unhappiness; it is like darkness; it is like despair. All these things are products of illusion. They’re the result of illusory concepts. The moment illusion is no longer adhered to or clung to, is totally given up and reality accepted, the phenomenon of dying and being born – and being born is also dying, perhaps more than dying from a human point of view – ceases.

So when I said dying, I mean every facet of it, including from where you see it, death and life, and life and death, or being born and dying, and being born and dying. This phenomenon, is after all, nothing but a phenomenon of unawareness.

The process of dying or the process of being born are both temporary darkness, lack of self-consciousness, lack of awareness, not knowing that one exists. That darkness – that lack of awareness – is dying or apparent dying, or death or apparent death, whether it is from your point of view of being born or dying, or being in any kind of state, no matter to what degree of lack of awareness.

The whole human life in this particular dimension in matter is always to some degree death, because there are so many aspects you are not yet aware of. Each finding you make, makes you more alive because you become more aware. By being more aware of yourself, you become more aware of reality as such.

You can ascertain quite easily what I say here is so, that I do not merely make words. But you know it is so because each finding, each recognition, makes you indeed more vibrantly alive. The more important the recognition is, the more vibrantly alive you feel. This is a proof of what I’m saying.

While, on the other hand, when you let yourself go and slip into a negative downhill curve, when you refuse to take a grip upon your thinking, upon your attitude, and the way you direct your will and your mind forces – if you allow yourself to slip into the negative, you become more apathetic, more dead, more numb, less and less aware.

You lose more and more contact with life itself, and you feel that within yourself and with others. Everything is dull and a sour mood and seems unreal. This is a result, and in that sense, it is also a degree of death. Death is not out of one thing. It is not a phenomenon that is this or not. There are many degrees of it. Even that is not black or white.

It cannot be said it is either life or death. Death is a state of mind, and there are degrees of death. And the average human being is aware of that much. Therefore, it is alive that much.

There is that much area that the average human being is not aware of; therefore, he or she is dead during his or her lifetime, until more awareness is made. And in that sense, death is an illusion, because the darkness – the lack of awareness – is a result of false ideas, of misconceptions. This is what I meant.

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