Hi, cousin Becky,
For my social studies project for school, I had to come up with a big question that will take me on a quest for an answer. My big question is: What does heaven look like? This question came from another question I had, which was: What happens when we die?
Well, Cato and whoever might be interested . . .
Great Question and thanks for asking. I have a sense of this because I work with people who are dying and are afraid. Lots of people are afraid.
When someone dies their soul hovers over their body for a time (less time when no one is around, more time when loved ones are present.) When the soul leaves the body, it takes about 12 hours for the body’s functions to stop.
The soul either is guided by other loved ones who have passed before, or they hang out and try to figure out what to do. When Cousin Elly and Uncle Rick passed, for instance, Grandma Boddicker’s soul and likely, Uncle Tim, were there to help guide them over. Most people have loved ones to guide them.
When I am involved in a passing, I tell the soul what to expect. I help them release the things they do not want to carry into this next stage of their soul’s evolution. Essentially, I help people forgive themselves. I assure them that they have done their job on this planet and it is ok for them to leave.
I always assure people if they want to stay and heal their body, they can. They can go whenever they are ready. Many are not ready when I work with them, but they are happy to learn what to expect when they are ready.
If a person decides to pass over and it is not their time, they usually have someone on the other side that tells them it is not their time and that they need to go back to finish what they came to the planet to do. There are lots of stories about these “near-death experiences.” A good one is from a woman, Anita Moorjani. She writes about it in her book, Dying to Be Me.
Most of us have heard about “the light” and have the sense to, “go toward the light.” Some souls are afraid to because they feel like sinners and that they will go to hell. I don’t believe there is a hell, short of the one cranky people create for themselves right here on the planet. Most people just move toward the light. Once you get to the other side, you are given what I call a “life review.” Some religious people call it “answering for your sins” or “judgment day.” In my experience, it is neither of those things.
In my opinion, sin is . . . not learning your lessons, doing something you know is wrong. The funny thing is that you are continuously given the same lesson over and over until you learn it, so the nature of the law of cause and effect establishes that what you do will result in a consequence. That consequence is designed to teach you the lesson of whether or not to continue the behavior. Thus, sin is a negatively charged and all to common word used for the process of learning life’s lessons.
Back to the life review, because you have left your body, which is an emotional detection system, you no longer feel the emotions that were tied to the experiences, choices, or behaviors. You see how all the things you did in your life lined up to serve the purpose you came to this earth to serve. You see how what you did caused other people to do things. The beauty of it is that you see how you are a unique and essential thread in the tapestry of life. You see that you served your unique purpose every day of your life. People that have done bad things also see what happened as a result. At this point, without emotion to establish it as bad or good, it becomes information that helps define the next experience of the soul.
Regarding heaven, I believe the soul moves to a realm of love, rest, restoration, healing, learning, processing, and planning. It stays there as long as necessary. Once a person dies they are outside of time and space. Humans define time. Once you are out of your body, there is no such thing as time. Once the soul learns what they need to and heals fully, they are given a chance to come back and do it again with a new plan, based on their past plans and what they feel they did not accomplish. This is commonly referred to as reincarnation.
In ancient Jewish and Christian writings, as well as the Bible, we find reincarnation as a common belief, although today it is mostly ignored. In this quote, the historian Josephus states, “Do ye not remember that all pure spirits when they depart out of this life obtain a most holy place in heaven, from whence in the revolution of ages, they are again sent into pure bodies?” (Jewish War, Book 3, chapter 8, no. 5)
Here is another interesting quote: “The sages of truth remark that Adam contains the initial letters of Adam, David, and Messiah (Jesus); for after Adam sinned his soul passed into David, and the latter having also sinned, it passed into the Messiah (Jesus).” (Nishmat Chaim, fol. 152, col. 2) This statement alludes to the idea that Jesus was the reincarnation of Adam and David. This shows up in several ancient writings. Here is a link to all sorts of references to reincarnation in ancient texts and the Bible:
It is pretty cool to think about. The idea that your soul comes back for a new assignment and with a new plan, implies that you came to this life having crafted the plan for your life. You created a plan based on what you experienced and learned or did not learn in the past lives of your soul. We call this pre-incarnation planning. The concept of pre-incarnation planning establishes that you carefully crafted this life according to what you know based on your past incarnations and what you want to accomplish. You chose the parents, siblings (or not), family, friends, personality traits, strengths, weaknesses, locations, and experiences that will most likely enable you to fulfill your life’s mission.
Remember, when you are outside of your body, you do not have the emotional control system to determine what experiences are going to feel bad and good. You just know that they will lead you to accomplish your life’s goal, or ultimate purpose. That is why bad things can happen to good people. The greatest change comes from situations that feel bad to us. If we need to shift our behavior or move in a different direction, we are going to start receiving positive suggestions leading us in the new direction. If we don’t respond to the happy messages, eventually we are given increasingly more impactful indications that we need to change and shift, sometimes that hurts.
In summary, when you die, your soul leaves the body, you review your life, learn from it, heal, rest, and make a new, informed plan for the next one. This whole life and death situation is amazing to me. I know that we serve our purpose every day of our lives, even if we do not realize it. We are all here for an important purpose or many purposes. We shift and support each other every day through our interactions. It is important that we do the best we can. We are always on a journey of learning and growing and there is no state of perfection. Just do the best you can with the information and resources you have, knowing that your soul put all that in place to ensure you accomplish your life mission.
There it is . . . Death and Heaven, according to Cousin Becky.
That was fun. Thanks for asking.