|Posted on April 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM|
The Morris Pratt Institute has a correspondence course for those wanting to become certified mediums. This is my essay, which was required for Lesson Six on the Spirit World:
My first thought upon concluding this chapter is that if we all really knew the beauty and joy to be found in the Spirit World, we might all want to go there – today! However, we probably also intuitively know that terminating our physical life to get to the beauty of the Spirit World is not a very good idea.
Besides, if we learn the truth about how the Spirit World and our own spiritual faculties operate, we can actually develop the ability to perceive the Spirit World without actually living there.
The most impressive thing about thesubject matter of this chapter is the internal content. We learn that the most important element about life in the Spirit World is the content of our hearts and minds. We learn that the priorities of those in the higher realms of the Spirit World revolve around serving others, and educating others about what is really important in life
When we gain an understanding of the priorities for living well in the Spirit World, this will produce a powerful effect upon our perception of what our priorities should be here on the physical plane. The writings of Andrew Jackson Davis and others make it clear that the content of our internal character determines our destiny when we ourselves arrive in the Spirit World after the death of our physical bodies.
As we grow in our understanding of the nature of the Spirit World, and learn that how we conduct ourselves on the physical plane directly affects our destiny in the life to come, we will be naturally inspired to adjust our priorities accordingly. This is the reason so many people who have had Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) or other communication with the Spirit World usually return from the experience with a new outlook on life. Their priorities often shift from being concerned with the mundane realities of physical life, such as the pursuit of money and material comforts, to a focus on the importance of human relationships such as those with family and friends, and an awareness of the necessity to serve others in order to achieve the highest good and a desirable destiny in the next life.
This leads to another important implication of the content of this chapter. We have seen in human history two types of religious movements; we might call them “carrot” movements and “stick” movements. The “stick” religions focus on the emotion of fear. They emphasize exhorting their followers to live according to the particular moral behaviors that they deem important, by threatening them with horrible punishments in the life to come. The “carrot” religious movements, on the other hand, emphasize the benevolence of the Supreme Being, and the rewards to be received for good behavior and performance.
Spiritualism is a “carrot”religion, but it holds a special place even within that category. Spiritualism has the potential to move the human heart because it not only offers a rational explanation of human existence, both here and hereafter, but it also offers humanity the actual experience of the Spirit World. When one experiences the reality of the spiritual aspect of life, it is often a life-transforming experience, and it is a transformation in the direction of goodness.
While other “carrot” religions may offer attractive doctrines and dogmas, without offering people the actual experience of spiritual reality, these teachings over time will ultimately fail to satisfy the deep internal longing that all human beings possess for Truth and the actual direct experience of God’s Love. Their religious experience becomes dry, and their religious institutions become cold, leaving behind empty traditions of superstition and ritual.
For this reason, we must continue the task of training mediums, teachers, and healers, so that we can continue to offer human beings a direct encounter with the world of the Spirit. For it is only when an individual receives their own personal encounter with the reality of Spirit, that they can receive that profound awakening that leads to a new life centered upon love and service.