LIFE IN THE SPIRIT REALM
Introduction | Spiritist Teachings | "Heaven" and "Hell"? | Familiar Environment
About Life in the Spirit Realm
Information found in "The Spirits' Book", "Heaven and Hell", "Genesis" and others, tell us about the state of the spirit while living in the spirit realm.
Some examples of what these books teach us are:
A spirit, upon leaving the material body, maintains its individuality and, therefore, does not become someone different, for it has only lost its material covering.
Depending on the state of the spirit upon disincarnation, the spirit will go to a place in the spiritual realm with which it has the most affinity, sometimes even remaining on Earth for a significant time, until it either realizes the reality of its situation or releases itself from its affection for material things and/or pleasures of the material world.
The zones of the spirit realm closest to the Earth are the least pure. Spirits of a lesser degree of advancement and those who are in a morally weak state will find themselves there. Those who engaged in behaviors of a very immoral nature and those who were responsible, through their actions on Earth, for the significant suffering of others will undergo a great deal of suffering in the form of mental torture brought on by their own conscience. This suffering will last until they "awaken" to face and repent for what they have done, whereby they will want to get better and will seek help in returning to the right path and to, eventually, deserving their next chance to make amends.
Spirits who have made good use of their material lives (even despite some mistakes made along the way) and who do not remain bound to Earth by materialistic ties will be received by loved ones and friendly spirits who will take them to places farther from the Earth's crust. There, they will recuperate from the process of disincarnation before continuing on to their life in the spirit realm, where they will work, study, and prepare for their next incarnation.
Spirits are able to continue their progress in the spirit realm, through various educational activities, and depending on their efforts, they can make great advances. Still, however, during their next incarnation in the material realm, they will have to put those newly acquired ideas into practice.
Spirits have all the same perceptions they had in their earthly life and others that we on Earth do not have. The more advanced the spirits are, the wider is their range of knowledge and the broader and more distinct are their perceptions. Also, they are often able to see the past, though they see it with the vividness of the present, and, depending on their advancement, they are sometimes able to foresee events of the future, though they see it only partially and are not always allowed to reveal it.
Before incarnating, the spirits who have achieved a significant level of awareness and responsibility will take part in the selection of the trials that they will undergo in the coming incarnation, depending on their present evolutionary needs╣.
A hierarchy of authority does exist among the spirits, but it is not like the authority found on Earth. Authority in the spiritual realm is a reflection of the spirits' moral state. The spirits associate with, and are attracted to, one another by affinity, though the more enlightened spirits do try to reach out and help the less advanced ones to overcome their negative tendencies.
Through the medium of the cosmic principle, spirits communicate to one another by thought. Likewise, they are able to read one another's thoughts.
Upon incarnating, spirits retain their affection for the loved ones they leave behind in the spirit realm. Likewise, upon returning to the spirit life, spirit's keep the ties of love and affection for those they left in the material realm. The spirits can recognize, and are often reunited with, loved ones that they lived with on Earth, even in incarnations prior to the most recent. For their loved ones who remain on Earth, the disincarnated spirits often say prayers and ask for help. Likewise, they even try to help them, themselves, whenever possible.
Just as they recognize their loved ones, spirits in the spirit realm also recognize their enemies. Imperfect spirits will hold on to their resentments and may even seek revenge. As spirits mature to a greater advancement, however, they often arrive in the spirit realm only to forgive one another, for they are able to see that their earthly hatred was caused by something foolish.
The memory of a spirit's last incarnation, as well as other incarnations, will come back to the spirit upon disincarnation, though slowly, depending on the spirit's material ties, as well as the attention that the spirit focuses on it▓. The spirit will then use this knowledge to plan its next incarnation.
╣ See "Choice of Trials" in Chapter
5 of "The Spirits' Book" for an even more detailed explanation.
▓ For more on this see, "Memory of Incarnate Lives", Chapter 5, in "The Spirits' Book"