What Happens When We Die?
by Joseph Shore
Isn’t this the question we all want answered? As much as we may believe something, we want to know. I have collated information based on three areas of inquiry: My experiences with physical mediums who I can certify not to be frauds; My consciousness experiences including a six week episode of enlightenment based on A Course in Miracles and Information from Near Death Studies. First the NDE material:
I have had four open heart surgeries and during the first one, I had an out of body experience that seemed very natural. I was later able to identify the events which took place while my body was unconscious. Some of my friends have gone all the way. My dear friend, Dr. George Rodonaia, was dead for three days in a hospital morgue and later revived during the autopsy. PMH Atwater died three times This is what she has to say about it:
“Any pain to be suffered comes first. Instinctively you fight to live. That is automatic.
It is inconceivable to the conscious mind that any other reality could
possibly exist beside the earth-world of matter bounded by time and
space. We are used to it. We have been trained since birth to live and
thrive in it. We know ourselves to be ourselves by the external stimuli
we receive. Life tells us who we are and we accept its telling. That,
too, is automatic, and to be expected.
“Your body goes limp. Your heart stops. No more air flows in or out.
You lose sight, feeling, and movement – although the ability to hear
goes last. Identity ceases. The “you” that you once were becomes only a
“There is no pain at the moment of death. Only peaceful silence. . . calm. . . quiet.
“But you still exist. “It is easy not to breathe. In fact, it is easier, more comfortable, and
infinitely more natural not to breathe than to breathe. The biggest
surprise for most people in dying is to realize that dying does not end
life. Whether darkness or light comes next, or some kind of event, be it
positive, negative, or somewhere in-between, expected or unexpected, the
biggest surprise of all is to realize you are still you. You can still
think, you can still remember, you can still see, hear, move, reason,
wonder, feel, question, and tell jokes – if you wish.
“You are still alive, very much alive. Actually, you’re more alive after
death than at any time since you were last born. Only the way of all
this is different; different because you no longer wear a dense body to
filter and amplify the various sensations you had once regarded as the
only valid indicators of what constitutes life. You had always been
taught one has to wear a body to live.
“If you expect to die when you die you will be disappointed.
The only thing dying does is help you release, slough off, and discard
the “jacket” you once wore (more commonly referred to as a body).
“When you die you lose your body.
That’s all there is to it. “Nothing else is lost.
You are not your body. It is just something you wear for a while,
because living in the earth plane is infinitely more meaningful and more
involved if you are encased in its trappings and subject to its rules.
(This material was excerpted from two of P.M.H.Atwater’s books – “Beyond the Light: The Mysteries and Revelations of Near-Death Experiences” (Avon Books, New York City, 1994), and “We Live Forever: The Real Truth about Death” (A.R.E. Press, Virginia Beach, VA, 2004). It is based on first-person commentaries from over 3,000 adult experiencers of near-death states. ~PMH)
Whether you find yourself in a tunnel or simply but suddenly experience yourself out of the body and in a dimension of Light/Love, you will be greeted by those you love who have already passed over. This is a reunion you have been longing for. Next you may encounter a Being of Light, an angel, or a Being you identify as Jesus. In His/Their loving presence you will be given strength to see the details of your life. As on a movie laid out holographically, you will see the times in your life when you hurt people. But you will feel it from their perspective. It will be very painful. But then you will get to see all the loving things you have done and experience them from the perspective of the people you helped. These things herald through the universe and you will feel the happiness of the angels and other beings around you. Next you will be taken into conference by a group of beings, whether we call them angels or the Lords of Karma, you will see all of your past lives and review all of the lessons you have learned and those you failed to learn. You may get to stay in spirit with your loved ones for a “time”–as long as you need.. You may stay in spirit and learn your lessons there. You may get a fuller picture of all your lives and the eventual merging back into God. You will begin to experience yourself as a universal being who has had all these lifetimes, instead of just the person you were before you died. But at some point you will have to choose whether to stay in spirit or go back into another life that will be designed for you as a classroom for you to continue your learning. No one is forced to go into a body. All who choose to come back are viewed as heroes by their brothers in spirit.
Some people complain that the NDE is all too dualistic to be true. My first answer to that is the fact that this is the way people are experiencing the process. The second answer is that we experience the world dualistically. Your birth was experienced dualistically. There was a time when you came into the womb of your mother and felt connected to her, but unique. Then you were shot like a canon ball out of her and experienced yourself separate from her and all other things. You lived your life that way. Why should the death process be experienced any other way?
Many people who have had full NDEs find it very difficult to put the experience into words, but many of them also feel a compulsion to try to explain what has happened to them. The truth is so utterly fantastic. We are not native to this dimension of material. We are photonic Beings who come from a dimension of Light and Love and we are learning lessons here in this classroom of the world that will help us go back Home. Our Father and our elder brother, and all those we have loved are waiting for us there. Never a doubt there is but that we will get Home.
Next, my experiences with mediums. For three years I worked with Jao de Deus, the Brazilian medium many people consider a great healer. Jao will go into a total trance and another spirit with a personality comes into him to perform a healing. Many times these surgeries are performed on doctors, M.D.s, who then report what an excellent surgery was done on them. I have also seen spirits manifest in thin air and appear as solid as you or me. I also worked with a physical medium in Seattle named David LeBaron. Spirits also could manifest through him. My grandfather came through, the same size, same height, same personality. Death is just dropping the body. The spirit still has the same mind, including carrying in his mind the same state of development he had when he died! Nobody gets enlightened just because they die!! Your mind without a body is the same as the mind when you were in a body!!
Now my experiences in mysticism, going into oneness, being almost totally released from feeling I am a separate individual. I have had lengthy periods in which I identified with the Christ Mind in me. The longest was six weeks last year. I shared it with you in Facebook:
“A stillness has come to me which is unlike anything I have experienced before. The Love of God has come into my mind to take up abode. I am not alone, nor lonely, nor do I ever feel bored. I am actively experiencing the Love of God in my mind. I need no TV. The thought of it is humorous. I need nothing. I eat my meals while looking happily out my window at the beautiful clouds and mountains. I walk to the grocery store, talk to the street beggars with a smile and love in my heart while I pull out the change in my pocket and give it to them. I come back home and look at the clouds and the mountains and am more than content. Songs play in my mind of peace and the love of God. I write on Facebook, email friends, and pet the cat. What more need there be? I am still inside and need no entertainment. I know that I am a part of God and share his holiness and glory. I am at the gates of heaven. This is a stillness which I have not had before. This is not the stillness from nature, as beautiful as that is. This is the Love of God which has taken up abode in my heart and I want for nothing more; not fame, nor riches, not wife, nor position. I have found peace and happiness within the Love of God. And I am not alone here in my mind. You are here too. We are all one Mind and we are almost home. We are the Glory of God.
“The Glory cloud of God will fall on us. Be grateful that it will fall. Nothing in all your life has prepared you for anything like being under the Glory cloud of God. You will not be able to stand. The body cannot stand in the Glory of God. In the Glory cloud there is the weight of holiness and as much as our spirits belong there, the body does not! The body will groan, shout, and travail under the Glory cloud. But your spirit will never want to be any other place than in the Glory of God. We belong in the Glory cloud of God. We are the rays of His Glory. When the Glory cloud falls the spirit remembers its true home. We know then that we are not a body, but a spirit and a part of the Great Spirit of God. The holiness we feel under the Glory cloud is our holiness as well. But the body can only groan or bark like dogs. In the Glory cloud we speak the language of the Spirit. No human language can work in the Glory cloud.
Pray for the Glory of God to fall, as we awaken to Self, One with God. In the Glory cloud will all our lessons be reviewed. In the Glory cloud will we climb up the ladder. In the Glory cloud will we see Jesus. In the Glory cloud we will know our Home. Soon we will be done with the troubles of the world. Soon we will just be what we are. We are the Glory cloud of God.
“The Glory of God is all I need.
The Glory of God is my Home.
The Glory of God is my peace.
The Glory of God removes all illusions,
None can stand in The Glory of God.
The Glory of God is all I want.
The Glory of God is all I seek.
The Glory of God is the will of my spirit.
The Glory of God is the answer to my deepest question:
“Who am I?”
I am the Glory of God,
As rays from the sun,
I am His Glory.
I am The Glory of God.
“I eat my food and pass my water. I pet the cat and watch the clouds, gather in the twilight and welcome the night.
“I teach my students and just stay in this Love which I never, ever, want to leave. It is my Home. It is my Highest Self. I am where I belong, and I am far from alone. You are here with me, and you, and you, and you, and you. “We are all here, Father. The Mind which you created as One has come Home to you. And you know we never really left. We traveled only in dreams while safely in your embrace. Our Love, Our Light will shine forever with You. And the Love you have for your Son is returned back to you as pure as it was when you created Him. Our song, in praise to You, is all that will be heard.”
“I thought that, for me, the most difficult part of staying in right-mindedness, and continuing my experience of the Love of God in my daily life would be to control reactions. Reactions can send you right back to wrong mindedness. But I have found that the Love of God actually gently protects me from reactions. I mean, there is just so much space and timelessness! I stood in a long line at the IGA today, without any temptation to lose patience. I just listened to the people’s thoughts and feelings as I waited. That’s another thing about the real Love of God…It is not evangelistic! I had no urge to try to persuade people! The Love of God honors our sleeping brothers! It is like Tara Singh said, “Some of our brothers are deeply asleep. That’s alright. Let them sleep. They will awaken.” The Love of God knows no pressure.
“Today I awakened from sleep rather early for me. I thought, ‘Jesus why am I up so early.’ I soon found out there was work he wanted me to do. This is life in the Spirit. We listen to an inner Voice that always speaks for truth, and we happily do as the Voice tells us. We have learned over the years, that those who obey the inner Voice will know the Love of God! May you know it today!! Peace.
That was my sharing with you. For six weeks the Christ Mind was almost totally me. It was the culmination of my life. Eventually, though, I faded back into Joe Shore, more loving, of course, and with higher gifting, but Joe Shore nonetheless.
I had a vision in which I found myself at the top of all dimensions, in a space that was not a space, and I was right next to the Ocean of God. The only thing that separated me was the thinnest film, no thicker than a soap bubble. I knew that I could walk through it and into that ocean any time I wanted to. That thin soap bubble represents the tiny little illusion that we have made with the tiny mad idea that we could break off from God and observe the Whole. It was an absurd idea. It has not changed God one bit, nor could this Ocean of Love ever be “angry” at us. There is nothing but eternal Love in that Ocean which is our true and only home. But our tiny mad idea has created this soap bubble of separation, which is an illusion as mad as the tiny mad idea itself. We are in that Ocean right now, you and I, and you, and you, and you over there, you the skeptic, and you the unbeliever, you the Catholic, you the Baptist, you the Hindu, Buddhist, you the Islamic, you who are angry and you who know something of Love. We are all there as one, not as EGO’s, thank God, or we would have to suffer evil and good for eternity, but as spirit, ONE Spirit. ACIM calls this One Spirit, the Son of God. Jesus is a part of that Son, but so are you and me and every sensory byte of information in this illusory universe. Let go of all your little hates today and just see the Love that is in all things. Stay up in the Love and sooner than you imagine, the universe will disappear and we will find ourselves in the Ocean of God. That Ocean is unconscious eternal Love and it is an Ocean which has no shore, nor an end. Don’t be afraid to give up the little conscious “you.” Every loving thought, every loving deed you have done, has been perfectly remembered in the Mind of God. None of your unloving thoughts and deeds have been remembered because they were all unreal. “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
The Casa spirits, the spirits who had materialized for me at an earlier visit to John of God’s Casa, told me that they were going to be raising me in dimensional vibration to prepare me for my next visit to the Casa. This dimension talk is illusory. It is just a way of talking about the extent of our right-minded readiness to join with the Christ, but since they used it with me, I will use it. They said that the Casa operated at what they called the 499th dimension, where the 500th dimension is direct contact with God. Over a period of weeks, they steadily raised my spirit. It was a wonderful experience of being transformed in my perception. Burnaby Lake, which had always been my teacher in Oneness became transfigured as Heaven itself. And then as I prepared to get on that plane they said, “You are at the 499th dimension. But when you see Joao you will go to the 500th dimension, the direct contact with God.” And so it was, as I grasped Joao’s hand and looked into his eyes, I saw the Ocean of God, as in my vision. The tiny membrane that separated me from it ever so slightly was the cornea of Joao’s eye. I experienced the direct Presence of God and was overcome with Love for all things. This year at the Casa there were a vast number of high healing practitioners. The vibration was so, so high. There was perfect health. I could walk for miles and slept for only about three hours at night. I was up at 6:00AM and ready for the work of the day. We had all indeed been summoned to the Casa for the month of August. It was then I realized that the incredible spirit that came out of the crystal in my home and told me I must return to the Casa was Joao himself!! He was summoning his spiritual family to pray for the world by joining completely with him. He needed no other form of prayer. We all joined there in the Christ Mind and Love was extended throughout the planet.
I want to close with a passage from A Course in Miracles called “The Forgotten Song.” It is in chapter 21, section one,
“Listen,–perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered. 2 Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. p446 3 But you remember, from just this little part, how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you.
T-21.I.7. The notes are nothing. 2 Yet you have kept them with you, not for themselves, but as a soft reminder of what would make you weep if you remembered how dear it was to you. 3 You could remember, yet you are afraid, believing you would lose the world you learned since then. 4 And yet you know that nothing in the world you learned is half so dear as this. 5 Listen, and see if you remember an ancient song you knew so long ago and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since.
T-21.I.8. Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle. 2 And all the circle fills with light before your eyes. 3 The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained at all. 4 The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity forever shining and with no break or limit anywhere. 5 Within it everything is joined in perfect continuity. 6 Nor is it possible to imagine that anything could be outside, for there is nowhere that this light is not.
T-21.I.9. This is the vision of the Son of God, whom you know well. 2 Here is the sight of him who knows his Father. 3 Here is the memory of what you are; a part of this, with all of it within, and joined to all as surely as all is joined in you. 4 Accept the vision that can show you this, and not the body. 5 You know the ancient song, and know it well. 6 Nothing will ever be as dear to you as is this ancient hymn of love the Son of God sings to his Father still.
T-21.I.10. And now the blind can see, for that same song they sing in honor of their Creator gives praise to them as well. 2 The blindness that they made will not withstand the memory of this song. 3 And they will look upon the vision of the Son of God, remembering who he is they sing of. 4 What is a miracle but this remembering? 5 And who is there in whom this memory lies not? 6 The light in one awakens it in all. 7 And when you see it in your brother, you [are] remembering for everyone. “
We are spirits, not bodies. The bodies are illusions, dreams, just as the universe is a big dream that the One Son of God is dreaming. We think we are all separate spirits but that is an illusion. We are all One Spirit. We are all together the One Son of God. As individuals we are dream figures within the dream of the universe. Each of us is a hologram and contains the whole Son of God within him. “The Holy Spirit’s function is to take the broken picture of the Son of God and put the pieces into place again. This holy picture, healed entirely, does He hold out to every separate piece that thinks it is a picture in itself. To each he offers his Identity, Which the whole picture represents, instead of just a little, broken bit that he insisted was himself. And when he sees this picture he will recognise himself. If you share not your brother’s evil dream, this is the picture that the miracle will place within the little gap, left clean of all the seeds of sickness and of sin. And here the Father will receive His Son, because His Son was gracious to himself.
“I thank You, Father, knowing You will come to close each little gap that lies between the broken pieces of Your holy Son. Your holiness, complete and perfect, lies in every one of them. And they are joined because what is in one is in them all. How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognised as being part of the completed picture of God’s Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part.” (T28.IV)
The Course is very clear that every piece of sensory data in the universe is a part of the Sonship. When the Son dreamed his dream of separation, believed the ego’s version of the event, He ran out of his mind and projected a universe in which to hide from His Father. In doing so, he split into billions and zillions of pieces. This passage above is very clear that each piece, regardless of the form it takes, is a hologram of the whole. “How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognised as being part of the completed picture of God’s Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part.” (T28.IV)