The Afterlife Guide is an attempt to bring before
the public eye a representative sampling of descriptions of the
worlds that humans should expect to encounter after departing this
one via death's door. The Afterlife Guide is not designed
to prove, or even to offer evidence for, the existence of an afterlife.
If you are not convinced of the Survival of the human personality
beyond the demise of the physical body, you are urged to study the
cases presented in the Survival
Top 40 section of this website. Only those viewers familiar
with highly evidential cases such as are described therein are likely
to understand and benefit from the descriptions quoted in this Afterlife
The descriptions are taken mostly from statements made by the
spirits residing in other realms who have managed to communicate
with us by impressing the minds of those especially sensitive
people generally known as mediums or channels. In addition,
a few of the descriptions come from memories uncovered by hypnotically
regressing people to the time before their birth.
At best, this is a most difficult undertaking; perhaps, as some
have suggested, an impossible one. For one thing, the number
of potential sources is not precisely known but certainly large
enough to be intimidating. For another, the structure of the
afterlife realms is, at best, complex and could be incomprehensible.
And then, we are faced with the task of drawing parallels between
statements made in different eras by spirits at different levels
having different purposes attempting to communicate via the
most imperfect mechanisms of mediums who possess equally varied
Nor should the spirits themselves be granted equal authority
to one another. As one spirit communicated back in the early
spirits are not equally enlightened in regard to these matters.
Some spirits are still so little advanced intellectually as to be
incapable of understanding abstract ideas; they are like children
in your world. Other spirits are full of false learning, and make
a vain parade of words in order to impose their authority upon those
who listen to them. They, also, resemble too many in your world.
And besides, even spirits who are really enlightened may express
themselves in terms which appear to be different, but which, at
bottom, mean the same thing, especially in regard to matters which
your language is incapable of expressing clearly, and which can
only he spoken of to you by means of figures and comparisons that
you mistake for literal statements of fact." [The
Spirit's Book p. 110.]
For all these reasons, the reader is well advised to avoid taking
any single statement as literal truth and to rely, instead,
on gleaning consensus from what appears to be the majority view
on each topic, while recognizing that divergent views may be
equally correct from different perspectives and assumptions.
In some cases, the uncommon perspective may even offer a key
for comprehending otherwise perplexing statements.
Those sources which, in the personal opinion of
the compiler, might be judged as the more authoritative (but not
necessarily the most concordant) have been signified with a diamond
[ ♦ ] on the source list. In like manner, those sources that
include the fullest descriptions of the afterlife are marked with
a club [ ♣ ]; those that are the more analytical are marked with a
spade [ ♠ ]; and those that are the most endearing with a heart [ ♥ ].
The compiler has been on-guard not to make selections based
on his personal views. Nevertheless, no human is without bias,
and some of its effects are bound to creep into any such compilation.
For this and other reasons, this guide is not an end in itself,
but is intended to be a reference, a source of inspiration,
and a gateway to other literature on the subject.
Consensus is instructive but not necessarily absolute. Although
agreements are widely apparent, three issues are highlighted
by stark disagreement. These are: the age of souls, the structure
of the spirit body, and reincarnation. The varying views on
the latter two can be most likely understood as the result
of spirits speaking from their own experience in different
levels having different characteristics.
Regarding the structure of post-physical bodies, if we accept
the consensus that we have many bodies encased one within
another in the manner of Russian nesting dolls, then it might
be concluded that the outer bodies are cellular or fibrous,
and the inner, more spiritual, bodies are unitary or atomic.
Thus, as a soul advances from one level to the next, it sheds
the outermost layer and is seen from the outside as more unitary
and less cellular than its previous façade. On the
other hand, the "nesting-dolls" concept would seem
to demand that astral bodies in the shape of fully formed
humans be somehow squeezed into tiny fetuses or newborn infants.
This adds weight to the position taken by some spirits that
the astral body is developed as the physical body grows and
the mind develops. This astral body is then the vehicle for
the soul in the next world, but it is abandoned when a soul
either reincarnates to another physical body or "dies"
to a higher level of existence.
As for reincarnation, which many spirits take for granted
and discuss at length while others claim does not happen at
all, such diversity is easily explained by taking the position
that not all realms have terminals from which souls can depart
for a return trip to Earth. A few spirits muddy the reincarnational
waters by postulating oversouls or group souls, but it is
very hard to conceive of how these would explain why hypnotic
regressions to past lives can have such salubrious effects
on the health and mental well-being of subjects. Being as
we Earthlings have such a vague notion of what an individual
soul actually is, perhaps it is best to postpone consideration
of oversouls until we are in a position to know more.
An issue not so easily reconciled is the matter of the age
of souls. While many sources speak of young souls and old
souls, the training of infant souls, and the constant creation
of souls (even the birthing of souls); other sources are adamant
that all souls were created at the beginning of time and are,
therefore, equally old. Those of us who have yet to progress
beyond the physical realm would much prefer the former concept
to be true; else we'd be faced with the fact that we who are
still inhabiting the lowest realm must be some of the slowest
developing spirits in the universe. A possible solution to
this age conundrum may lie in the recognition that each human
soul is a part - a very tiny part, to be sure - of the Almighty
Creator. Its essence must be as old as the Creator, therefore,
in the same manner that a freshly falling raindrop can rightly
be said to be as old as the oceans from which it came.
There is one claim, emphatically stated by many spirits, that
is nevertheless purely speculative; that is the claim that
all souls are eternal. No one, not even God, could possibly
The Geography of the Afterlife
Both incarnate and discarnate authors have given
varying names to different realms (or dimensions, or levels, or
planes, or frequencies) of the non-physical universe. Some of these
are heaven, hell, Hades, astral, etheric, mental, causal, and celestial.
Other sources classify the realms by numbering them generally
one through seven - although not all agree on what numbers signify
what realms. For the purpose of sorting statements into topics under
the "Destinations" category of this Afterlife Guide, we
employ three simple divisions: Lower, Middle, and Higher. If the
physical Earth is numbered one, then the Lower Realm would be number
two. The Middle Realms would then be three, four, and perhaps five,
leaving the label "Higher Realms" to designate the sixth
and seventh. Whether there is actually a strict demarcation between
realms is a matter of some disagreement.
Any statement concerning the Lower and Higher Realms
will be found in the topic so named (i.e.T3,3 and T3,5). The topic
labeled Middle Realms (T3,4) is limited to statements concerning
the general quality of experiences therein; this is because virtually
every other subject and category in the Guide concerns only the
Middle Realms. There are two reasons for this. First, the Middle
Realms are the likely destination of the vast majority of our readers.
Second, and most critically, because those spirits who supply the
information contained herein almost exclusively limit their travelogues
to the Middle Realms.
Deciphering descriptions of the Higher Realms is
especially tricky. Just as a child about to leave pre-school may
have a good idea of what awaits in kindergarten but no comprehension
of the trials of med school, so speculating about the nature of
the highest reaches of the multiverse will likely prove as unproductive
as it is unnecessary although it can be an intriguing diversion.
When trying to comprehend the structure of the spirit realms,
it could be useful to ponder how they might have come into
being. It seems logical that, rather than the entire system
making its appearance simultaneously, it would have developed
in stages. The question is: Did the universe accrete from
the center outward, that is from the more spiritual to the
more physical, or did it progress from the lower to the higher,
or were the levels created in some other order? Other than
pointing out that the Creator had to exist prior to His creations,
there is no way we could discern the answer as regards the
higher realms, which are hidden from incarnate souls; nevertheless,
something might be inferred from the relation between the
lower two realms which, for purposes of this explanation,
we shall refer to as the physical and the astral. (Here we
ignore the purgatorial realm number two, typically described
According to most spirit communicators who venture an opinion,
the astral is independent of the physical. Also, they say
that those on the astral are more advanced in knowledge than
those on the physical. Some even claim that the physical is
a reflection of the astral and that the astral is, therefore,
"more real" than the physical. From all that, it
seems safe to assume that the astral was populated prior to
the existence of the physical. But, by whom, and from whence?
One answer that seems to fit the revelations is
that newly created souls were first deployed to one of the Middle
Realms (collectively known as Summerland). From there, they could
progress to higher levels. Summerland, however, may have turned
out to be so enjoyable that souls sometimes lacked motivation to
learn and develop, so a similar realm was created one notch
lower wherein thoughts were not so readily converted to things
and strife and unpleasantness could be experienced. The result is
that now Summerland serves as both a vacation resort where a soul
can relax and play, and as an adult education center where learning
and growth are possible but slow. Those souls motivated to develop
quicker can return as often as they wish to the tougher school and
somewhat less halcyon vacation spot of physical life.
Those readers who enjoy this sort of speculating might also
wish to consider what Summerland was like for its first residents.
Today, we hear of wondrous vistas dotted with imposing temples,
crystalline mountains and sparkling rivers, palatial homes
and lush vegetation; but, we are told, these marvels were
created by the joint mental efforts of current and prior residents.
What, then, did this realm look like when the first spirits
came to reside there?
The great majority of statements herein are direct
quotes from discarnate spirits and are enclosed in double quote
marks. If a question from the original source precedes the statement,
it is printed in italics. Words or phrases added by the compiler
to clarify meaning are placed in brackets [ ]. Statements from hypnotherapists
or other non-discarnates are simply printed without quote marks.
Each statement is preceded by a number indicating
the source (book or article) and page within that source where the
quote begins. If the page number is multi-part [xx/yy], the quote
is a composite of statements made on two non-sequential pages. Page
numbers preceded by a tilde [~] are approximate; the exact number
not being available on the e-version consulted. Words or phrases
left out of quotes for reasons of succinctness are identified by
]. On rare occasions, the order of phrases has been
rearranged for clarity; these are separated by a tilde [~].