Two Worlds:  Spiritual and Material = One Love, God

 

April 27, 1993

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

            When think about or contemplate the ending of life on earth two thoughts inter my mind death and life after death. Death is a given: that everyone must accept and experience in this material world, but life after death is a n that little is known about. There are only speculations and experiences that people who came near to death, known as near death experiences can postulate. For myself, the way I live and what I  believe in helps me accept and death and hope a future world does exist. This paper will be divided into two sections Part A and Part B. Part A will focus on how I came to accept death and believe in the after life through my own principles. Part B concentrates on the ideas and research from journal articles and books covering the topic of death and life after death.

            The two specific ideas or principal that have importance to me, and tie in with what have learned in history of psychology are death and the after life, and my own principles on living (my “own” life). The way I live my life in the “now or present” leads me to accept death, and look: forward to the future word, The two ideas are discussed and illustrated b psychologists in the text History of Philosophy and I go with some of their, but disagree on other theories.

            I 1ive my “own” life by what I feel benefits me or that I want to do (good or bad).  In my own mind. I can think and act out any thoughts that I want to. A few extremes examples are running around naked with the whole world naked too, being President of the United States, love whoever went to love, etc. What I do and how I actually live my life in the physical world I govern by the good or consequences I face if I do something. The environment I was raised and brought up in has a tremendous influence on the way I am today. My family, school system. friends, government, church, etc. all have imbedded in my mind something that affects my life. They do not run life or make me do things I really do not want to do, but It does have an affect.

            My family is not religious or belongs to a specific belief, butt they instilled upon me that there is a God that is the creator of all things. I also attended a catholic and Christian school while in my intermediate and high school days and I really did not gain much but that there is an after life or spiritual world. It was not until this Class that my eyes were really open to the reality and power of the future world. I now feel more at peace with myself.

            This leads to death and dying. I accept the process of dying and the end which is death. Thinking of the end of my human existence and what will happen after I die makes me have anxiety and contemplate what is really on the other side to this world, but I accept It and when it is my time I go with no regrets. I feel each person is different (human differences), so everyone has their own understanding, beliefs and attitude towards death. I just listen and read what people said about death and dying, and if I feel I can accept it or it helps me understand the process better, I accept that idea as my own (somewhat).

            Death and the afterlife and human existence can be seen and read about in the works of Existential psychology (e.g. Martin Heideggar). Heideggar states that to live an authentic life, one must have a sense of urgency or anxiety, arid I feel this is sons what true for my “own” point of view. To someone else it could mean the opposite. This is just one example on how I feel, what I think and believe in about the topic on death and the afterlife. I will no turn to the research project of for this paper.

 

            BELIEF IN AN AFTERLIFE

            This publication is a journal article in the Omega Journal of Death and Dying.  The field or discipline that the article is in is psychological aspects.  Its library of Congress category is death.  The call number for the journal is BF 789. D4.  The authority this journal has is that it is recognized by the Omega Journal of Death and Dying.   I do trust the author of this journal article, Daniel Klenow, PH.D.   The reason is that I see no real faults with Klenow’s work, and his views coincide with a national survey and what Klenow concludes on the idea of an after life.  The type of tone of writing is research.   The view of the author is objective and impartial.  This can be seen by Klenow stating the limitations of the survey, and understanding the view points of two critics of the findings of the survey, Kubler-Ross and Feifal.  To me, the school of thought that this journal article by Klenow would belong to is functionalism.  The reason is that functionalism uses and accepts any view or fact (philosophical, scientific, etc.) that is beneficial.  This journal fits into this idea and reasoning.  Reading this article has made a difference in that many people like myself believe in an after life than those that do not.  I felt and thought more did not believe in life after death than those that did.

            I found this journal article using the CD-Rom in Hamilton Library.  I first selected the PsycLIT 1987 to present database. I then used the words death and after life to begin my search.  These two words were sufficient in producing 40 journal articles that pertained to my topic. I then selected 11 journal articles out of the 40. I used the UH CARL and the choice I made to find the call number was at the Manoa Library Periodicals. Out of the 11 articles chose, only 6 journals that these articles were in were subscribed by both UH libraries. From that L I could locate only 2 out of the 5 journal articles due to the volumes I needed n being on the shelf (till today) I selected the article because of the statistics and information that it provided. The journal gave percentages on those individuals that believed in the after life, those that did not and those that did not know. The article relates to Par: A in that it illustrates the belief of an afterlife by more people believing in life after death.

            The article data was taken from a 1973 sub file on the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey. This survey found that 65.8 percent (1,059) respondents believe in life after death, 21 percent (325) do not believe, and 8.8 p (35) selected the “Don’t Know” response.   This majority of people believing in life after de in the United States were also seen in the 1978 Gallop Report which indicated 71 percent of the U.S. population elevated in life after death.

 

THROUGH THE EYES OR THOSE THAT EXPERIENCED DYING

            When one thinks about the future world or after life, there are only two ways to gain insight, through speculation and from people who came near to entering that future world. Out of these two ways to ponder about the future world, I feel the accounts by people who experienced near death experiences are the closes way on what the after world may be like.

            One aspect that I felt was of ideal importance for the experiences by near dying individuals were the aspect of love. People who experience dying was said to come back and live their life with a more profound and unique love (Moody, p.38). I remember Dr J. always emphasizing God is love, an1 I really did not totally believe that point of view until now. These people come back to this material world, and it seems 99.9 percent of them all feel a deep love in this future world that they want to expose and touch others with in this world. This strengths my view of another world does exist after this life.  This is totally uplifting.

            The type of publication I got this information from was a bock called Life After Life.  The field or discipline this book was written under is comparative religion.  Its Library of Congress category is called future life. The Call number for this bock is EL 535 M54. The tone of writing is scholarly.

            The authority this book has is that it states first hand personal experiences by people who experienced dying. This book was written by Raymond A. Moody, JR. who worked and conversed with many people who experienced dying. I do trust the information that as stated by Raymond Moody on the topic there exist a world after death. The reason is almost everyone that I have heard of or read about who experienced dying says very similar things (e.g. see a bright light at an end of a tunnel, renewed sense of life when they get a second chance on earth) that is stated in the book by Moody.

            Yes the views of the author seem impartial and objective. Moody states that he is only human, and that the book naturally reflects the opinions and prejudices of its author. He did, however, try to be as objective and straight forward as possible. All he wants is for those that are skeptical to review his literature and see if any point appeals to them, or helps them understand death and the future world.

            Reading the literature by Moody has strengthened my belief in the future world and that God represents Love. The explanations and experiences people face when they were at the boarder line of this world and the future world, and what they all saw (very similar to each other as made a positive difference on me. Also, because they come back with this deeper and profound love leads me to believe God is love.

            I found this book while doing a search in UHCARL under the UH Manoa Library Catalog.  I used the word command, and words that I chose were life after death.  The title caught my attention and I then proceeded to look for the book that was on the right shelf but a few books down from where it should have been.   I learned from past experience to look around the vicinity of where the book suppose to be because people after seeing they do not want that book put it back on the right shelf but not in the right spot.

            I selected the book because it seemed interesting, and had a lot of personal insight on the life after death by people who experienced dying.  This book relates to my Part A in the same that it agrees that an after life does exist, and live your life to the fullest with love.

 

SWEDENEORG’S VIEW ON THE TOPIC OF AFTERLIFE

            According to Swedenborg, if you want to go into the “heavenly” future world, you must lead a heavenly life on earth. No individual can lead a life of “evil” and just before they die they pray to be forgiven to be included in heaven. Your life on earth must be one of good and loving thoughts and affections in this world.  These points I agree with in that love and internal heavenly goodness must be present for someone to be included into the realm of heaven (future world).

            This information was from a book by Lorimer, David called Survival?  Body, Mind and Death in the Light of Psychic Experience.  The field or discipline is under comparative religion.  The Library of Congress category is future life. The call number for this book is BL 535 L67. The type of writing is scholarly.

            The authority this book has is a: signifies a point of view by a highly intellectual and knowledgeable individual, Swedenborg.  Yes, I trust the author because he states points dealing with the afterlife that I agree with, and he seems sincere and focused with his information (e.g. work of Swedenborg).  I feel, the work by Swedenborg is not as open to other schools of thought, and his beliefs are seen can as the right way of thinking of the afterlife. This can be seen can by his exact things one must do and do not do to get into heaven. It sort of seems like a religion, and religions to me are bias and not objective.

            I saw this information when reading over a paper for the second forum. This is the only book I remembered because it quoted Swedenborg. The ideas that were stated agreed with my view point of life after death, so I decided to use it, I had the call number so it was very easy locating the book.

            I really did not experience nothing new or read anything totally different on the topic of afterlife but felt the book (Swedenborg information) represented one aspect on what 1 also feel net to be somewhat followed to be included into the afterlife (heaven). This book relates to my Part A in the sense that I try to live a heavenly life on earth, so I too can be included in the heavenly future world.

 

AN AFRICANS SOCIETY VIEW OF LIFE AFTER DEATH

            This journal article is the beginning of views that are contrary to my beliefs concerning life after death. The study of this article was dons on an African community, the Xhosa.  The ideas of life after death that contradicted with my views ware they thought their ancestors lived beneath rivers, they make animal sacrifices to their ancestors and they viewed death as polluting arid contaminating. A few of my views are to live a heavenly and authentic life to reach a heaven future world, no sacrifices, and I see death as not a pollutant but a cleansing and awakening of my inner soul.

            The field or discipline this journal article is in is psychological aspects. Its Library of Congress category is death. The call number for this article BF 789 D4. The authority this journal has is that it is recognized by the Omega Journal of Death a Dying. The tone of writing is research.

            The author’s views are impartial and objective.  The author E.W.M. Gijana illustrates the points that were found in this study. He did not veer away from the study to force or back any of his own beliefs or other people’s beliefs that did not pertain to this study. Gijana stated that this type of research show no different cultures view and ideas of death and the afterlife, but the important thing is to help those that care for the dying to have a better understanding in helping those people with death and a view on life after death. I feel the school of thought this article would fall under would be functionalism because of its scientific, religious, and philosophical approach of study. Functionalism is open to all aspects that can prove or be of help to a study, etc.

            I found this article using the CD-ROM. I then selected the database PsyLIT 1987 to present. After selecting this article I used the UH CARL Library of Periodicals to find the call number. I then had no trouble locating or obtaining the journal article.

            Reading this article made no difference on my outlook on the afterlife, but it was interesting to see what views another culture had of the topic of life after death. I selected the article for it contradicted my views, and most of there views did differ.

WISH-FULFILLMENT AND DREAMS EQUALS FUTURE WORLD

            The second contradiction of my point of view is a book by Terence Penelhum called Survival and Disembodied Existence.  The ideas that I do not agree about are that hallucinations, wish-fulfillment and dreams are what was said to make up the “Next World.”  The person’s departure from this physical world would cause that person to create an imaginary world, and the person would live their life in this state. The reason for this idea is that the mind not the physical realm, so thoughts dreams, etc. are of images.  I believe you live as you are now, but just without the physical body you existed on earth with.  The future world is one of spiritual life, and not of past thoughts or images of your physical self.

            This book is in the field of comparative religion and philosophical psychology.  The Library of Congress category is called future life.  The call number of this book is BL 535 P43.  The authority this book has is that three chapters 7, 8, 9 appeared in Volume I of the Proceedings of the Seventh Inter-American Congress of Philosophy and includes a few seminar papers from the University of Washington Summer Institute of 1968.  The tome of writing is scholarly.

            I trust the author’s views are authentic, but I do not agree with some of his points that I mentioned earlier, and he used some recognized information by educated arid respected people in the field of philosophy. I feel Penelhum views are not so tunnel vision on the topic of life after death but needs more research. If more people who experienced dying or other references of the afterlife (e.g. Swedenborg), his perception of life after death may be stronger.

            I found this book by using UHCARL. The selection I chose was UH Manoa Library Catalog.  I then selected the word command, and used the words afterlife and death. Out of a list of 60, I selected this book because the title sounded interesting and different. I pressed the number of the book and all the information I needed to find out were listed (call number, checked out or not, etc).

            The book contradicted my point of view; that I stated earlier, but it did make me contemplate if life after death may be partly like a dream. The reason is no point of view is a fact on what actually is or even if there is an after world, but I believe there exists an afterlife.

 

LIFE AFTER DEATH

            The last article that I found during m search for journal articles dealt with Nat Wadsworth personal experience of dying.  When I looked at this article I was going to put it right back, but I never read a persons true confession of being at the end of the tunnel contemplating staying in this material world or moving on into the spiritual, seeing his picture turned something inside me while reading the article.

            Nat suffered a heart attack on January 15, 1988 at 4:30 AM.  He remembered gradually going down a long dark tunnel. Nat started toward the light that was just coming into sight when he heard a voice say “It’s not time yet, go back.” Then total silence is what he remembered, not a single noise. About a week later he came to and slowly started rehabilitation. His heart had stopped 12 minutes, and he was one of the chosen to come back to this material world for some reason. I feel part of the reason is to shed insight on his experience and touch as much people as he can with love from God. Nat runs with his wife WKIX radio station, when I read this I said to myself, he is really touching many with the unprofound love that God had shed him!

            This article was from the magazine QST. The field and Library of Congress category for this article was not listed under the topics I looked under dealing with death, future life, etc. The tall number is TK1 .Q2. The writing seems more popular than scholarly. I found this article using UH CARL and then selecting the uncover database. I then chose the all journal articles in social sciences category. I then pressed the articles number and all the information I needed to know popped up (call number, what library it is located in. etc.).

            The authority is a personal experience of facing the future world in person. Yes, the author of the article is impartial and very sincere. Nat is the author of the near death experience which he shed his knowledge on what happened. Reading this article has made me realize that if would be given a chance like Nat or will it be decided for me. It is a something now that is in the back of my “mind.” I selected the article because of its personal and sincere look of Nat in the wheel chair on the air (radio station).  This relates to my Part A in the sense your time to step over the boarder into the spiritual could be anytime. This is my thought and feeling that I accept and understand.

 

CONCLUSION

            No views have not changed greatly doing this library search on the topic of death and the future world, but has strengthened my library skills and knowledge.  The research has only strengthened my views on life after death.  It has made me realize that many people has the same beliefs in the after world life myself, but there are many others that do not have the same ideas and thoughts (less of them). The way and in what culture an individual is brought up in has a tremendous factor on that persons belief.  It may not make any choices or make them believe in some belief, but it affects them.  Yes, I would recommend this exercise to other students because they will gain much insight in getting better acquainted with facilities that hey probably never knew about.  By this new found information that they will have a richer variety of information that they probably would not have found or used without new library skills.

 

Love is the tool of God!

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Davis, Stephen T.  (1993).  Death and Afterlife.  New York:  St.  Martin’s Press.

Klenow, Daniel J.  (1989-90).  Belief in an Afterlife:  A National Survey.  Omega Journal of Death and Dying, 20, 63-74.

Lorimer, David (1984).  Surivival?  Body, Mind and Death in the Light of Psychic Experiences.  London:  Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Moody, Raymond A., Jr.  (1976).  Life After Life.  Pennsylvania:  Stackpole Books.

Wadsworth, Nat (1993).  Life After Death:  A New Beginning.  QST, 77-78.

 

 

 

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