It is difficult to say, “this next plane of life is like …”, and then give a detailed picture.
Many have communicated their experiences and what they have found; there are similarities and there are distinct differences.
This is not as surprising as it might seem. Consider this simple analogy – a space ship sends down a dozen of its crew to explore our earth, each going to a different area. On returning, one will describe a burning desert, another wild stretches of open sea; one, the tropical jungle, another, the polar icecap, while yet another will talk of lush plains and another of mountain ranges and so on.
Each is describing accurately what he has seen. Based on each individual account, the earth could be described as all sea, or all ice, or all desert; but taking all the accounts it is seen that the earth is a very varied place. Is it any wonder, then, that we cannot get a uniform description of what is sometimes called the “spirit world”?
What comes across about this spirit world is that there are some things which have a similarity to what we know (and we need these to relate to our new surroundings), but some things which are very different; remember – it is a non-physical world so there will be the need to establish new “points of reference”.
When we no longer need to concern ourselves with making a living or paying off the mortgage or going out shopping, things must be different. Now comes the chance to do what one has always wanted to do, pursue knowledge, or create beautiful pictures, or help in the advancement of science, or serve through healing, or work with children (for children coming into the spirit world need particular attention, as do those who have suffered greatly or been suddenly precipitated there through an accident) or pursue our particular interests.
The desire to communicate is strong in many, to show continuing love and affection and to offer help and guidance. This communication is a corner-stone of Spiritualism, offering incontrovertible evidence of survival, not just hope and belief. It is usually carried out through a medium, someone who is able to link between those in this plane of life and those in the next. Spirits using natural forces, are able to produce different manifestations, or “phenomena”.
The phenomena can be divided into two main sections – (i) mental, and (ii) physical. In mental phenomena, information is passed to the medium who in turn passes it on to the recipient; the medium might “see” (clairvoyance) or “hear” (clairaudience), or “sense” (clairsentience) what is to be communicated. He might be “inspired” in his words or even go into a “trance” where he allows his body, or a part of it, to be used by a spirit operator.
Physical phenomena are something which can be observed by all present, irrespective of prior knowledge, experience or belief. By creating a substance know as ectoplasm, complete or partial physical forms can be built (materialisation), masks can be built on the medium’s face (transfiguration), a voice box can be built (direct voice), rods can be formed to lift and move objects (telekinesis), and so on.
Mediums have different abilities. With some it is slight, in others very pronounced. Some ignore it, some develop and use it. Some suppress it, whilst some are unaware of its existence.
“Life after Death” is really just another part of life, lived in new surroundings. If your loved ones move to Australia, that removal does not cause love and interest to cease. Death is such a removal. Using the channels open, spirits can and do return to their families and friends to assure them of continued life, continued love and a continued desire to be of service.