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This review is from: Here and Hereafter (Paperback)
"The Church has made the hereafter into a place of mystery, and the whole subject of a future state has been wrapped round in a mantle of religiosity, until people have come to look upon it with fear, with awe, with scepticism, with ridicule, with horror..." So reads part of the introduction by Anthony Borgia, the `scribe' to The Late Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson.
Dictated in 1957 (the author died in 1914) by means of clairaudience (and independently verified by twice-weekly circle-sittings with a non-professional trance medium,) `Monsignor' has in this book (along with its predecessors, `Life in the World Unseen' and `More about Life in the World Unseen')
At the beginning of the first chapter, `THE THRESHOLD', Monsignor raises within us important questions regarding the Churches attitude towards a future state; born out of fear of the unknown (for The Bible tells us little, if nothing, about what we will find in `Heaven'), with the prospect of finding oneself before some dreadful, stern God, who will decide if you are to be accepted into `Heaven' or sent down to `Hell' for all eternity - little thought, however, being given to the fact that death is but a natural phenomenon, happening to all, religious or not.
From the start, Monsignor addresses these and other profound questions with both humour and compassion, in straight forward language that all can understand, with no pre-acquaintance with Spiritualism being necessary.
We are told how each of us go to our SELF APPOINTED PLACE. The whole notion of a `Judgement Day' is shown to be childish and merely a weapon, used by the Church throughout the centuries, to scare good people into believing as they do - OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES!
In the second chapter, `THE SPIRIT WORLD', Monsignor speaks of the Spirit World proper, and, in effect, takes us on a `guided tour' of the countless beauties that await us all - free to enjoy, without condition. Mention is made of the architecture, and of the superbly beautiful materials that the buildings are composed; the private dwellings that dot the landscape, giving the impression of being one immense park-land, with no territorial boundaries. (overcrowding is unheard of, despite the countless millions of inhabitants.)
One of the most surprising things to be read is the fact that churches, of all denominations, exist in the Spirit World. Monsignor explains, that, as the members of the congregation look around themselves, and see what they regard to be `Heaven' - brought about by their great faith - what better way to give thanks to God but to build a church to his glory? (and hope for his continued benevolence.) Monsignor explains, however, that those who live in this `home-made' Heaven are strictly confined to themselves, with no prospect of converting others, and that for as long as they stay within their constricted Heaven, so will their spiritual progression be at a standstill.
A large portion of the second chapter is devoted to the extremely important subject of gardens and the infinite variety of flowers (with many types only to be found in the Spirit World.) Where there is no night-time, or seasons, it can be appreciated that all manner of flowering arrangements are to be had. We are told how colour produces sound, and how sound produces colour, and therefore how everything is arranged to produce consonance with its neighbour.
Spiritual progression is also touched upon. We are told how great personages from the high realms often come down and freely meet the inhabitants, bringing with them encouragement and unconditional love, direct from the Father of us all.
The third chapter, `SPIRIT PERSONALITY', deals with thought and how it is the `building-block' of life in Spirit.(Although not touched upon in great depth in this book, `Life in the World Unseen' has an example of an extension to a library being constructed entirely by thought, with no `hands-on' participation.) We are also told how the power of thought can transport us throughout the entire Spirit World, and how it is possible to communicate telepathically.
Throughout this book, it can be seen to be Monsignor's sole purpose to show us something of the brilliant prospect that lies before each of us when our moment comes to join the happy band of contented, NORMAL, people, who, FOR ALL TIME, are enjoying the reality of what we so readily think of as merely being the end result of a religious exercise - only for the `select few'; who, in reality, can have no notion of what life in the Spirit World is really like, for one simple reason - THEY ARE AFRAID TO ASK!!
(128 pages, paperback)
With great regret, `Life in the World Unseen' is currently out of print. (Concerning the U.K.)
However, a fourth book `Heaven and Earth' is available.