This is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Enlightened Afterlife, my new ebook centered on Spiritualist philosophy on life after death. In this section, we learn about enlightenment after death (a rare experience) from the “spirit communicators” who’ve experienced it.
You can purchase a PDF file of the book at the bottom of this post, or you can check out the Kindle version by clicking on the book cover below.
Death isn’t usually described as enlightening. Even in spiritual circles centered on enlightenment, there doesn’t seem to be much of a link between it and death.
As I mentioned previously, enlightenment is the ultimate higher state of consciousness achievable through love, meditation, service to mankind and other means. Some philosophies state that we’re all inching closer to it whether or not we know it.
Enlightenment is believed to be the purpose of life. It can be attained more quickly depending on the choices made in life and the level of devotion given to it, but it’s believed to be our destination no matter where we are right now.
This means even the most hateful or spiritually starved people are inching toward it. They might be pretty far from it now, but like the rest of us, they’ll get there when they’re ready.
Enlightenment After Death
In rare cases, enlightenment can come at the moment of death. Not much has been said about it since it doesn’t occur often, but it does occur and it just so happens that two people who experienced it returned to share their story.
In these passages, a spirit communicator known as Father Andrew Glazewski describes his death and breathtaking enlightenment:
The ecstacy of dying is something I can never express. It is suddenly like becoming light itself. It is so wonderful. It is heat and coolness. It is warmth in the mind. It is clarity of vision and understanding. It is like a clap of divine thunder and, hey presto!
There I am, out of my old tiresome old body, leaping about in the glorious ether; and you’ve no conception of what dying is like…. It is a Communion, a Sacrament of living on a higher level – this is the most transforming experience that any mortal can attain. I am overcome with joy, pure joy. …
The pain grew suddenly so bad that it seemed to burst or break something inside me – and I was suddenly free – free in the strangest sense. I felt for a moment inert and without power, as in a walking trance. I was above my body but still attached to it.
I was sorry for it, it looked so helpless, almost like a child, and Gordon tried so hard to reawaken life in me again. Then I saw in his face that I had finished and, as you say, ‘dropped in my tracks.’ Well, fair enough. I had tried to finish the course but no matter.
So I accepted death and, as I did so, the whole world changed. The room blazed with light. The books on the table, the chairs, even the carpet and the curtains, everything in the room was alive with love power. (1)
He remained still next to a body he could no longer see and braced himself for what would come next.
“I stayed quite still, quite close to my body, but I couldn’t see it any longer; perhaps they had taken it away. It did not seem to matter to me any more.
“I was at this time alone with God … I had often tried to feel this at-oneness with the Divine, but never succeeded to this overwhelming extent.
“I felt like a piece of blotting paper that was being saturated with light. I waited in an ecstacy – every moment was beyond words. Had I been able to hold this in my body, I could only have done so for a moment, but now I seemed to have gained a certain resilience.” (2)
Once the experience wore off, he watched peacefully as family members slept and prayed for him. He blessed them with a power unlike any he had before.
“I became tireless in my power to receive. How long it lasted I have no idea. But when I touched down again, as you would say, I found all quiet and everyone in bed. Some were praying for me or thanking [God] for my release.
“They made me feel very humble as I passed from room to room blessing them all in turn, not as I used to, but with a power quite outside my knowledge and experience.” (3)
These passages suggest what previous ones established: the way we experience death depends on how we behave in life. Assuming Father Glazewski was a good person, his deeds in life resulted in his unique enlightenment after his death. Interestingly enough, he isn’t alone.
In this passage, a young writer named Barbara who died of a long illness describes her initial unhappiness when crossing over, which would lead to something much better.
“I came over unhappily, not as the old who die easily and fall like ripe seeds matured and ready for the soil of spirit life. I came through the dark valley – but, oh, nothing in all my lives can touch the beauty of awakening….
“In misery I lost myself in unconsciousness, but I awoke to a glory beyond the morning sun….
“I had forgotten ecstacy, but it was waiting for me with a fullness of perception that breaks through every fancy and escapes my pen – the feeling of absorption into the very Godhead itself is the only way I can describe it.” (4)
She gives a clear, detailed description of the enlightenment she felt at death and the loss of ego that accompanied it.
“This is what happens to us who suffer: Christ, in the fullness of his divine sympathy, embraces and endows us with a power to merge and literally to cease our individual consciousness so lovely, so profound, that I knew no loss of self, but I became just one more sentient part of the Christ consciousness, knowing and feeling only the greatness of love, and within that overwhelming ecstacy I hung poised between life and life, until the broken particles of the suffering me had grown together in this love solution.
“As the time grew near for me to become again just Barbara, I found myself not less but more, far more than I had ever imagined possible.” (5)
Most of these reports are incredible enough without including enlightenment and an enhanced sense of love and bliss that comes with new abilities to bless the living on earth. This is pretty much the best case scenario.
If we were aware of the possibility of enlightenment after death, we might be inspired to make the world a better place by addressing the miserable conditions responsible for murder, war, genocide and other awful human inventions.
Selfless service is believed to be a quicker path to enlightenment, so by helping the planet, you help yourself.
Although enlightenment doesn’t come after death for everyone, some amazing states of consciousness do. As we explore them throughout this series, let’s remember that they pale in comparison to enlightenment.
Barbara shares a message for a friend on earth:
“I should like one old friend to hear from me. … Tell her – oh, tell her – that I’m free – thought carries me on an ever beyonding reach.” (6)
Barbara’s words, “thought carries me on an ever beyonding reach” allude to her connection with higher states of consciousness. It didn’t take long for her to connect with them after her death and subsequent enlightenment.
In my experience, a little openness is all it takes to access some form of higher consciousness. Meditation helps. These quotes suggest that the same can be said for the other side: the more open you are, the more you’ll become aware of and the more you’ll enjoy this new place.
Philip Gilbert on the “Easiest Form of Sudden Death”
We learned earlier that death isn’t always a positive or nourishing experience. Despite the peace and equanimity most people find on the other side, returning there can involve sudden, violent or painful circumstances for some.
We can’t deny that the world contains a lot of light as well as a lot of darkness and ugliness. Fortunately, those who die suddenly may know nothing of their death until they’re on the other side.
Even if their death is particularly grim, they may feel no pain or suffering. This isn’t always the case, but it would obviously be preferable.
Philip Gilbert tells us that his sudden death was among the easiest kind to experience.
“The easiest form of sudden death is the way I came – one minute happy, normal and in good health, and within five minutes: away from the earth plane.” (7)
He describes what it was like to die suddenly and quickly come to terms with his passing.
“There was a crash. I was going fast down that slope. There was a crash and a blackness and then I opened my eyes and saw trees glowing, illumined in an ivory golden light – they seemed alive….
“I opened my eyes again. I was surprised that I had no bruises after that fall, and I sat up and felt myself all over. … Then I saw a car coming, and I jumped up to get out of its way, and I saw it brake, pull up and push something along the road.
“I looked and it was my body. I looked at myself and saw my own body seeming quite real and solid. But there were streams of light coming from my finger ends. Suddenly I saw Grandpa, standing smiling, all lit up, and I knew I was killed. I said at once: ‘Then Mother was right – I have got an etheric body.’” (8)
Philip’s death was sudden and could’ve been painful, but he felt no pain or suffering. He experienced the common “blackness”, only to awaken to ivory golden trees and become instantly aware he had passed.
He was now a self-aware spirit discarnate from the body he thought was responsible for his existence. He now knew he was more than his discarded body, and like others, he set out to reach loved ones and communicate what he’d learned as he familiarized himself with the other side.
It’d be great if every sudden death could play out like this, but since each experience is unique, determining what it’s like for each person is a fruitless effort.
- Cynthia Sandys and Rosamund Lehmann, The Awakening Letters, 83-4.
- Loc. Cit.
- Loc. Cit.
- Cynthia Sandys and Rosamund Lehmann, The Awakening Letters. Ibid., 31-2.
- Loc. Cit.
- Loc. Cit.
- Philip Gilbert through Alice Gilbert, medium, Philip in Two Worlds. London: Andrew Dakers, 1948. Ibid., 206.
- Ibid., 89-90.
Featured image credit: spiritualityhealth.com