PLEASE NOTE: This chapter starts with a personal story, omitted here.

Life goes on 

Death sounds dark and scary and is likely associated with our worst feelings. So the topic of what lies beyond may not be your usual cup of tea, but it is mine. And the irony, the apparent paradox is, that by considering and studying death, we find wonder, peace of mind and even joy. We make truly illuminating and inspiring discoveries about our life: the real us, what is within; and some of our purpose here, which leads us to live both more fully and at peace.

These days the topic of what lies beyond, and our feeling towards it, is of considerable interest. And this is not because, as some would have us believe, we are all going to abandon our bodies in a global catastrophe! Rather, we shall experience great revelations without having to leave at all.

Since my father’s passing I have thought about death on a steady basis. A morbid obsession you may say, waste of a life. But you see, there is no opposition between life and death. “Life” is when I am in a body, and “death” is when I am out of one. That is the only difference. It is just another stage of life. The “I” remains the same.

Now we may not all have had the chance to experience this. I feel very fortunate that I have, and I will attempt to share that with you. It is not an obvious concept to convey because we are so identified to being only our bodies; and also, because our language stems from this physical reality, it cannot really portray the immaterial spaces of other dimensions. Many have tried, and there are some excellent descriptions. We can’t grasp them with our minds, but we can allow the feeling in.

You are never more alive than the moment after your body closes down.

  ~ Stuart Wilde

“In a singular burst of euphoria, my mind, my heart and my soul opened simultaneously to complete cosmic awareness. And it shall be the same for you, no matter how spiritually evolved you may be or not. Our humanness simply cannot conceptualize the breathtaking sense of wholeness that reunites with your spirit in what we refer to as death.” 

“Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.”  

                                                                                                          ~ Dannion and Kathryn Brinkley, THE SECRETS OF THE LIGHT.

Death looks gruesome from the point of view of the body or the ones left behind, but to be out of our body-mind is a really enjoyable state. We should rather use the term “afterlife,” or more precisely: “life-continuation.” Life and death walk hand in hand. It is simply the voyage beyond the horizon. We only seem to disappear to those standing on the shore. They may see a door closing, you have just moved into another room.

I understand when people say, “That’s just wishful thinking, out of hope.” They may feel the topic to be out of reach, ungraspable.  They may not dare to consider it or believe it, out of fear it may not be true. Some are afraid to look at it out of fear of “judgment day.” Others believe they are better off not to know, don’t need to know, or say, “We can’t know.” I dare to say, that due to many having been there and back, we can at least get a glimpse.

The reason to look into death is not morbid curiosity or abstract interest. It is just being realistic and responsible. Seen from a traveler’s perspective, we came here on a limited visa. To consider our next destination is quite essential for our lives because in doing so we enable ourselves to live fully, with far less fear. The end of one’s life is not something one has no feeling about. We are either scared of it or it is something to actually look forward to. This does not mean you are rearing to go, and neither am I quite yet; but we can be more prepared, when such changes occur, to enjoy the happening.

Fear lives in the gap between “us” and “something else.” So as we become familiar with something that is at first foreign to us, we become at ease with it. We have all experienced this: with a new person, a new place or a new country. So, in familiarizing ourselves with the topic of our “life-continuation” we become a lot more comfortable with the whole idea. You may feel a bit peeved that you have to leave home, but how often have you moved house? Life goes on.

Take it from a brain scientist. After her stroke, Jill Bolte Taylor describes:

“I wondered how I could have spent so many years in my body and never understood that I was just visiting here. This cellular mass of my body had provided me with a marvelous temporary home. It was clear to me that my body functioned like a portal through which the energy of who I am could be beamed into a three dimensional space.”

“I felt like the genie liberated from its bottle. I felt I would never be able to fit the energy of me back into this skin.”        

                                                     ~ MY STROKE OF INSIGHT: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey


Death is not an end, it is an expansion. It is not a sleep, it is waking up. It is shedding the layer that separates us from the whole, to reveal that which we have always been. It is the rediscovery of our expanded self.

We associate our body with our life: it is the vehicle through which we have been able to express ourselves on Earth. We can’t eat chocolate without it, but we can experience the vastness, the magnificence and the perfection of our eternal spiritual identity. That makes up for the chocolate, doesn’t it? Be sure that you have thoroughly indulged and enjoyed your body while you have it. It would be a bit of a shame to have to come back all over again just for the chocolate!

It seems to be not all that difficult to leave this home, for millions seem to manage, more or less successfully, every day. The trick of course is to enjoy it. Dying is like childbirth: a natural process, a transition from one phase to the next. You made it into this life and you will make it out, as billions have done before, and you have likely too. It makes sense that throughout our eternal spirit existence we have materialized in and out of form before. We don’t need to know how to do it. “Just relax…” Trust that we will feel comfortable with where we are going, because that is where we come from. In fact we are neither coming nor going. We simply always are.

I met a young woman once who had worked at a clinic for elder people; she told me that the last words half of them say, or yell, are: “I don’t want to die.” This fear can be avoided. I have been on the other side, and so have many, many others. Countless “Near Death Experiences” (NDEs) have been written about. These are not just brain fantasies because these people are often clinically “brain dead.” Read what they have to say! We are alive, we stay alive. You are no deader than when you leave Disneyland. You just used up your ticket to ride.


 “The year was 1975. Back in those days I was one cocky, 25 year old guy who could anticipate a punch, fieldstrip a rifle, and fix a ’57 Chevy. Beyond that, quite frankly, I didn’t give a damn!  I’d never heard of a near-death experience and would not have believed in it even if I had. I never gave any thought to that kind of crap, until the day…”

Dannion Brinkley was struck by lightning, not only once, but twice in his life. He had: “…one death and 2 near-death experiences. Once I was clinically dead for 28 minutes… that’s dead, nothing near about it. Needless to say, after 3 times on the other side, I finally saw the light! A lot of things took time to penetrate my thick skull…”

                               ~ Dannion and Kathryn Brinkley, THE SECRETS OF THE LIGHT


He and others share the highlights of their experiences in a beautiful 28 minutes film, “Infinity: The Ultimate Trip.” It is well documented through Near Death Experiences, which are quite commonly known to doctors and nurses, that at death we leave our body. There is, throughout thousands of accounts, a common theme:

“Oh my god! I’m not really dead ~ am I? I mean, my body is dead ~ but I’m floating. I can see my body on the bed…the nurse is pulling a sheet over my head… everyone is crying. I want to shout, “Hey, I’m not really dead! I’m alive!”

“I’m ejected out the top of my head… like a pinpoint of light, my energy, my soul… It’s as if I shed my skin, like peeling a banana. It’s wonderful to feel so free….no more pain.  As I leave my body, in one whoosh, I seem to grow a little, my light expands…”

                                                                                                                                                      ~ Michael Newton, JOURNEY OF SOULS

We are then pulled by a magnetic force through a kind of tunnel towards a brilliant loving light. Our guides, soul mates, family and friends greet us. When you “die,” you are not finished, ended, terminated, obliterated, wiped out, extinct, extinguished and non-existing! Your life energy is exactly that: life energy. You are the ongoing energy of life. Life goes on, and on, and on.


Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: the Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.

                    ~ Richard Bach, ILLUSIONS

The fear of death, and for some hell, has been used to control us. How can we overcome this fear? Is it not that, at any time of our lives, we ought to be ready to go in peace?

Peace comes when we start to see that life is, surprisingly, fair. We have designed our lives with opportunities for our expansion. To make the game spicier they may well be disguised as obstacles. It is the ultimate perfect set up: we can experience different realities depending on our attitude and our view point. We get the world we believe in, and the ability to change it. Karma is not a system of punishment and reward but simply the consequence of our thoughts, feelings and actions. We have all been in hell sometime: caught in the mental and emotional space of doubt, resentment, depression, guilt or hate. The only hell we have to worry about is the one we create for ourselves and for our co-cells. We are, here and there, our own and only judge.

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.”

Make your life the kind of book you would like to read! For after leaving this plane we will be treated to a panoramic life review. In that flash we will understand all the whys and “hows.” You may very well find that what you consider to be your weaknesses are indeed your strengths, that your “failures” were all for the best.  And that wherever we are is always right, even if it doesn’t feel like that at the time. When all is said and done, the only judge you have to face is yourself.

So the reason we want to develop compassion for others weaknesses is not to win brownie points. When you get to review your life, in every minute detail, you would like to have compassion for that less conscious person that you too were. For we will see our exchanges with others not only from our own feelings, but also from theirs. As in any movie the emotionally charged parts stand out most. Because of our single viewpoint and our rather selective memory, we could be in for some surprises. What are we most likely to feel ~ sadness, shock, sheepishness, or sympathy?

If we are the critical type we may judge ourselves harshly and give ourselves a tough time about our “failings.” We may even feel for stringent lessons the next time around. Is it a wonder then that we are all anxious about a potential “judgment day?” Don’t kid yourself, because it’s not a matter of being religious. It is simply our smaller part being worried about our own potential criticism.

We grade ourselves from the perspective of what we had intended to do here, and from knowing the love we are here to display. Do your best to remember what you wanted to experience in this life. To express more love is always a good start. I am not threatening you with hell, only with your own disapproval! You won’t get anything worse than that.

Fortunately, at our spectacular life review we have our inner coach, our own wiser part, embodied perhaps by a spirit guide, to console us that we didn’t fail too miserably. Can we match that love? It’s all not that serious really, it is the play of life and this is our sand pit. In the end it is less about what we did, than how we truly feel about it. This feeling is our resonance.

It is the vibration of our feeling that either resonates with the love of our higher self, enabling us to merge with it or, heavy with blame, causes continued separation.

Perhaps we gave ourselves a thumbs down last time and therefore came back to give it another shot! Hence our shaky self-esteem, our striving, and our longing for approval. One man reported from his NDE that from the point of expressing unconditional love he had done a horrible job. Years later he was still not over it. It is like putting glasses on and suddenly we can see clear: “Oh, so that’s what it was all about… Can I try again?”

Once we have seen, then we know, and from knowing we judge: this is good, this is bad. That is why judgment is part of death, of our seeing from behind the scenes. If our heart is open we will have compassion, if not we will give ourselves a hard time. It is the same in our daily life: all hell is created, in some way, from our own judgment. With compassion we realize that none of what we felt to be our “mistakes” and “misdoings” was of a bad, sinful, or evil nature but simply out of our unawareness. We did the best we could at the time. Would you blame a baby for not having a beard? So no condemnation of ourselves or others is relevant, only acceptance.

Give it a trial run: dig up some well buried episodes of your past. Having misunderstood and blamed at some time, are you now able to forgive? To love that teenager doing nonsense, that small child always within us, trying so hard to find happiness and approval?

Make yourself at peace with who you are and with everything you did and did not do. Most likely, whatever we all accomplished, we won’t feel it was enough! Much of what we wish we had done is finally for our own and other’s approval. Seriously consider taking a shortcut: sidestep all that work by just approving of yourself, as you are, now.

When I loved myself enough I redefined success and life became simple.  

                                                             ~ Kim McMillen, WHEN I LOVED MYSELF ENOUGH

We can always compare ourselves to those who seem to have, or to be, more than us; but why would we, except for inspiration? We are here to love ourselves, as we are, where we are, and to know we are okay. Suddenly the world around us looks brighter. The pushing stops, the trust begins. You are not defective, insufficient, and in the wrong place. You are beautiful, just as you are, and so are all the mirrors around you.

We are all human and have, in different disguises, the same issues around self-approval and trust. How much acceptance and compassion we have for ourselves is a vital factor in both our daily life and our onward journey. This has never been truer than in these times: for our feelings determine the reality we recreate. Fortunately the influx of information and light coming in now is most conducive to our growing in understanding and love. Soak it up, relax, and keep your daily life in perspective. When faced with something larger, the small stuff quickly fades to various shades of insignificance.


After my father died I met up with my family. It was then that I was granted another glimpse into the eternity that words cannot portray.

It was a hot day and I walked out with my brother and sister down to the river. We stood there, on its banks, in silence. My mind went blank in the still summer air and it seemed a vast space opened up around me. I felt therein the enormity of our soul journey, how connected we were through the ages, and how life had brought us together once again. The silence felt sacred, not empty but full of knowing. The river flowed slowly past, inexorably, the river of life that takes all with it. It was a long time before anyone spoke.



I hadn’t seen my father in years and that was hard enough, but for my sister it was worse. She was staying with our parents at the time, and she was pregnant and moody. One evening she didn’t respond to his “Good night.” The next day he left early morning to work and never returned.

It feels tragic, irreparable, but what do we know? Perhaps it was part of the script. Years later I watched an interview with Jessica Schab. At sweet little sixteen she had told her dad that she hated him and he had died that night of a heart attack. You can imagine how she felt. She later learned that there was a soul arrangement between them: because they were so attached to each other, she would have to give him a sign so he would know when to leave her. I wrote that to my sister.

Still, my dad leaving so unexpectedly made me feel we want to love while we can, and to always stay even with people so we have no regrets. Don’t leave anything nice unsaid. Whatever your differences, when some-body dies you will just want that person to know that you love them.

The first time I met my father after he had passed on was, as it often is, in the dream space. My heart soared when I saw him standing there. I threw my arms around his neck saying, “I love you, I love you.” Then I jumped back and exclaimed, “Oh, but you’re dead now. I cry so much when I think of you, what should I do?”

You can guess what he replied! “Just to relax.”

Looking back at my own grief I often wished I had taken my dad’s departure lighter. I forgave myself that weakness a long 20 years later when I told a very close friend about his death: “I was 27 when he died. I took it really hard.”

Zephyr, 26, looked right into me from across the room, across the space and the years that seemed to separate us, and said, “Of course you did.”

I am guessing I am not the only one in the world who can be hard on herself. This is why we yearn for approval: because we judge ourselves. Instead of beating ourselves up for what we think we are not, it is high time to love ourselves for what we are. We are all earnest individuals seeking to do our best in this seemingly confusing world.

Take note that to be our best includes times of not being at our best. Because it is not about forcing anything, not about being good or better, but about being and loving the totality of who we are.

Understand your inner child, your weaknesses, the insecure parts within yourself, and give them some love. And with time you will realize we are not alone in a cruel and random world. We are always connected to our expanded self, to the whole, and to the cosmic laws, which are, truly and honestly, fair and loving. This may not all be obvious at first glance, but if we are willing to tilt our heads a bit, to twist our necks and to peer through the smokescreen, we could be in for a big surprise.