In the other life it is easy to tell what opinions others held during bodily life concerning the soul, the spirit, and life after death. When people are kept in a state like the one they had in the body, they think the same way they did then, and their thinking is communicated as clearly as if they were talking out loud.
In the case of one spirit who had departed this world not long before, I perceived–and he admitted–that although he believed he would live on as a spirit, he expected to live a vague kind of life. His thinking, since he located life in the body, was that if physical life were withdrawn, only a vague something-or-other would remain. So his picture of the spirit was like that of a ghost. The observation that brute animals too had life, almost as people do, had confirmed him in his opinion. But now he was amazed to see that spirits and angels live in the greatest possible light and in the greatest possible intelligence, wisdom, and happiness, with such keen perception that it can hardly be described. Far from living a dim kind of life, he discovered, they live a clear and intensely vivid life.
I talked with another individual who during life in the world had not believed the spirit had any extension in space. On this principle, he had refused to accept any word that involved dimension [to describe the spirit]. I asked him, “What do you think now, as a soul or spirit, about the fact that you possess sight, hearing, smell, sensitive touch, desires, and thoughts, so much so that you feel exactly as if you were still in your body?”
Restricted to the picture he had formed when thinking about the subject in the world, he said, “The spirit consists in thought.”
“You once were alive in the world,” I was allowed to reply. “Don’t you know that physical sight cannot occur without the visual organ—the eye? How can thought, which is inner sight, do so? Doesn’t it require an organic substance in order to operate?” He then acknowledged that during the life of the body he had labored under the delusion that spirit is simply thought, without any organic matter or dimension.
“If the soul or spirit was only thought,” I added, “we would have no need for a brain the size we have, since the brain is nothing but an organ for our interior senses. If that were not its function, the skull could be hollow and still provide a place for our thoughts to do the work of the spirit. This alone should have convinced you that the spirit is organic, or made of organic substance. And had you considered what impressive activities result when the soul operates on the muscles, it might also have convinced you.”He confessed his error and wondered how he could have been so foolish.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 443-444
Previously Cited: 5/13/2016-5/14/2016