(This evening, although I was in a deep state of relaxation trance, no definite control was taking place. I was inspired to ask for a topic for the evening and one sitter asked for a talk on the process of dying.)

The process of dying differs from situation to situation, that is, the cause of death. If you have been killed in, say, an accident it can be instantaneous - the same with heart attacks - you can get an instantaneous death, or you can get the sort that is, shall we say, mildly drawn out - say you have been injured in an accident, so you take two or three weeks to die, something like that. Then you can get the very prolonged dying process which can take several months or even a couple of years - a slow death.

In the case of a sudden death, a sudden destruction of the body, the soul or spirit, of course, is very suddenly ejected from the body. One minute it is in full possession of a body and quite suddenly it doesn't have a body any more. This way of dying, of course, is quite a shock to the soul/spirit. There is also an added complication of personal characteristics, the personality. The person who believes in life after death will adjust to this situation more readily than somebody who doesn't. So there are different degrees of reaction to this situation.

In the extremely adverse reaction, the soul/spirit can go into an extreme state of shock in which it is completely bewildered and - I can't quite get the words for it. This is one of those cases where I am being given the feelings and I am trying to grope for the words. It can sort of, freeze. You know how a person is sometimes described as being rigid with fear, it is that sort of reaction. If they were in the physical body they would actually become unconscious, but, because they are not in the physical body it is not really becoming unconscious, it is a sort of freezing so that they can't react. They don't know what to do and consequently they do nothing. This would be the kind of reaction of somebody who does not believe in life after death. Somebody who totally rejects any sort of spirituality. Again, they will be in that state for different periods of time. The Astral Body itself is receiving a sort of shock so that you are getting two types of shock, shall we say, the psychological type of shock, but there is also what would be a physical shock if it had a physical body. I suppose I should call it an astral shock. You know how you can go weak at the knees in certain situations. If you are very afraid you might start trembling, feel weak at the knees and that sort of thing. It is a similar state where the soul/spirit cannot control the astral body. It actually becomes somewhat dispersed. It is not broken off into little bits or anything like that - its sort of spread out for a while and it takes a period of time for it to coalesce back together. During this period the person's guides and helpers, loved ones, will be gathering around the person; will be trying to reassure and make contact with the person. This is successful to different degrees, naturally those persons who know about this philosophy and have accepted it will respond more readily than those who have completely rejected it.

The rejecters will very often become rescue cases and the really extreme types will eventually have to be brought into a circle, into a medium as a rescue. Other cases will be "worked on" shall we say, in the Spirit World by the spirit guides and helpers, and loved ones there.

The effect of the Astral Body gradually coming back together and coalescing again has a similar effect to the process where death takes place gradually, because, as it is gradually coming back together, so the person gradually comes aware of the people around. And the receptive people, of course, will respond to them, will be able to understand what has happened and will then go on to a more normal adjustment period to the Spirit World.

As in all cases, one's expectations of what will occur after death have some effect. Those people who believe that they are going to sleep until the last trump will, of course, be expecting to go to sleep and will even insist on being asleep. Then there will be those people who are expecting The Judgement and will, sort of, be trying to get themselves to the judgement hall type of thing. Usually that type of person isn't too difficult to deal with, at least they will be asking what to do, where they are supposed to go, this sort of thing, and what the routine is with the judgement. And so you can get an interaction going with them and gradually help them to see and understand.Many of this sudden death type will almost instinctively be drawn back to the material world. Either they will be trying to continue their life if they have not believed in life after death, or they will be wanting to try to contact, to reassure, to comfort, the people they have left behind. The process of the body coming back together, would, in material terms, take two or three days. So, usually, by the time you are beginning to dispose of the body, or the remains of the body, the person will be going through the process of adjustment and probably trying to contact the loved ones; they may be watching the funeral; that sort of thing.

It is almost universally the case that a person who has passed over will come to their funeral. They are drawn there by the people's feelings. You get quite bombarded with the feelings and impressions of the people that you have left behind. This is why extreme prolonged grief can hinder a person's progression in the Spirit World. You are hit with this grief and usually have the desire to comfort or reassure the person who is grieving, and so you will hang around these people much longer than you would otherwise. Naturally, initially you like to feel that people are grieving at your death and not being too happy about it.

Now, the case where there is a slight or a small period for the dying process to take place, again has several variations. One situation is where the person is unconscious during that period and dies without regaining consciousness. In this case the physical body hasn't been completely shattered and so the Astral Body is still linked to it, and this gives the soul/spirit chance to adjust, to see and understand what is going on. Again, their reactions will be governed to some extent by their expectations, but very often during this 'in between' period the guides and helpers do have a chance to communicate with them and to explain the true situation. If the beliefs are strongly held then this initial period may not be very successful. If the beliefs are not so strongly held then this period can be extremely helpful and information can be passed on, so that the person adjusts better in the Spirit World.Those people who understand and accept the Spirit World during their small transition period will be much more concerned with the people they are leaving behind, and will be making considerable efforts to contact them, and to comfort them. Again, the amount of grief being experienced will affect the process. Extreme grief will always hold back the person who is passing and will cause some distress to the soul/spirit. The person who is having periods of consciousness will very often have the chance to talk with their loved ones, and can indeed sometimes give information about what they are experiencing in those periods when they are seeing the other side, because in a gradual dying process - and this applies to both the short term and the long term dying process, the soul/spirit has chances, opportunities, to see the Spirit World. The longer, more drawn out the dying process, the greater opportunities for seeing the Spirit World, for communicating with people, for communicating with their guides and helpers. They also have the opportunity to review a lot of their material life during this process. This is why elderly people who are gradually dying, those who just gradually waste away, spend a lot of time reliving their past, reliving their childhood and their youth. They seem to spend a particularly large amount of time on the early part of their life, because this is where a lot of their psychological, shall we say, luggage, is formed. And so they have chances in which they can work out a lot of their psychological difficulties. In some cases, this can be done so thoroughly that they do not have to go through a life-review on this side.

For the protracted transition period, the quality of care and the amount of love that they have been given will considerably affect their adjustment over here, because they will bring across with them a lot of that acceptance and unconditional love which their condition and state has required people to give them. The greater the love and concern and care that they are given, the calmer they are and the more accepting of the Spirit World. Particularly, for the elderly, gradual dying must be treated with great care and love and tenderness. They are in a condition in which their senses are quite wide open and sensitive to people's attitudes around them.

People who die in a lot of pain, when they come over here, are usually in a way, sort of put in hospital. It's not quite like that, but this is the sort of surroundings in which they are usually placed. The guides and helpers, try to reassure and calm the person. You can remember how you react to pain in the material body, now when you pass over the pain ceases instantly, and people experience great joy and relief at that. But the reaction to the pain experienced before will very often set in. Of course, while I am talking you must remember that I cannot cover every type of situation and reaction and there will be people who won't react like this at all. So don't expect that everything I am saying is exactly set and rigid. So you will often find a reaction sets in.

Pain can be very tiring, and so they will be put in a situation where the astral body, too, can receive healing and where the soul/spirit can be refreshed. Now, when I talk of a hospital I do not mean one of these sterile white walled institutions, you don't go to bed. It is more a situation where you are surrounded by coloured light, and the colour depends on what the illness has been, on what the experiences have been. So there will be different colours, and it also depends on the personality of the person. We use a lot of the cooler colours, the colours containing blue, so there will be greens, blues themselves, mauves, purples. Also the yellow colours, the pinks, the softer reds. We don't usually in this situation use the strong, bright reds because they are energy givers, and usually people in this situation need calming and building up. They don't need the vibrant energy just at this point. So the warm colours that we use are usually the blended ones. We will use orange, we will use the soft pinks and the paler types of red, but not the very strong bright reds. We use the rainbow colours. We do not use grey or black or any of the fawny beige shades because those types of colours are rather deadening colours, and we are trying in this situation to build the person up. Brown is also not used. Brown can be a very good colour, it is the colour of the earth and gives strength and firmness. But it doesn't really give the building up that we need in this particular situation. So they are the rainbow colours that are used with the addition of the mauve-purple type of shades.

So you can imagine the person in the material world in a room with some of your bar-heaters on the wall, and they are radiating heat down. And we generate the coloured light that we need in a similar type of way, but we use other souls over here to do this. So, instead of walls with strip heaters on, you will have a group of people standing there, and they are mentally projecting the coloured light that we need for the soul/spirit until the person is refreshed, until their astral body has adjusted, strengthened, until the person's aura has strengthened too. You still have your aura over here. And when they are ready they can go on into the Spirit World, into their life here.Your life-review will take place when you are ready for it, there are few people who really look forward to their life-review. You usually have a pretty shrewd idea of what you have done in your life. You may have forgotten certain incidents of course, but all of you know that there are things that you have done that you are not very proud of. So all of you face your life-review with some trepidation, and it does not usually occur until the person is considered strong enough, psychologically, to be able to handle it. Your chief guides will always be with you during your life-review. Others will also be there, especially if there is someone you particularly want to be with you. That soul or spirit particularly will be there. After the life-review you will have the chance to discuss it with your guide - usually with your principal guide although one or more of the others can also take part. You will decide if you wish to take action to make some form of recompense for the things you have done of which you are not very proud. You could also discuss your next line of work, your next activity - whether you wish to go straight into helping those souls, of which there are many coming over, who need help. Whether you feel it is wise first to undergo further development of your Self before undertaking this sort of work, and if so, what form that development should take. Very often this will at least include a period of time in the Halls of Learning. I think the activities there which can be undertaken, in your world are termed philosophy. Although, having studied philosophy in your world does not mean any great advantage when you come over here. Some philosophers have had a bit of a shock. On the other hand you may wish to work out some desires which still linger from your material life, and these opportunities can be made available to you on this side. Of course, you can, if you wish, return to the material world, but it is much wiser to stay over here.The forms of help you can give to people coming over here are as varied as the people coming. They are as varied as people have in your material world. Some people may simply need to talk with someone who is closer to their material experience than their guides and helpers. For various reasons they may feel happier reacting with someone closer to their own experience and understanding. There are people who are extremely distressed when they come over here for instance, and for those people someone with a more familiar type of appearance can be more reassuring than a highly evolved guide. And so they will welcome someone to just talk.

We need people to work with people who have passed over in tragic circumstances, especially the drug addicts. Those who have a psychological dependence on the drug will still be craving that drug when they come over here. So they will be needing help.There are people with guilt complexes and all sorts of other imaginable problems. As you are moving to work with these people, you are, yourself, evolving and progressing. You will be working in association with evolved guides who will be guiding you in how best to help these people. Just as on the earth plane, you are not puppets to your guides, so in this situation, you will not be puppets to them either. Their guidance largely takes the form of suggesting what a person needs and then you putting that into action. It is still very much an interaction between the two of you. In this way, as you progress, you are developing to the stage where you, too, can be a guide to people still on the material plane.

Now, other things that you can do, of course, is to act as helpers to people you have left behind. People very often take this approach in two broad, general attitudes. One is to have a relationship with someone you have left behind which you did not have. So, the grandparent for instance, who for various reasons did not have contact with their grandchildren, might come back as a helper to a grandchild in order to fulfil that relationship. The other approach, of course, is to come back to someone with whom you still have strong loving links.

Then you may come back as what we have termed in the past, a free-lance helper. In which you will help someone in temporary difficulties, say somebody who is very ill, you will then draw close to that person to help them through that illness, to bring the extra energy that you can give to help them through that illness. Or people who are going through a difficult time, you may help them with that problem, with that difficulty. And you can also vicariously fulfil material desires that were not fulfilled in your own life. You may, perhaps, attach yourself to somebody who is an artist, if you wished to be an artist, or a musician of some sort. That sort of thing. These are the ways in which you can work out, what is commonly termed karma, and which we would prefer to call your guilts, your doubts, your worries, your unfinished business. And as you do this you are moving through the first few stages of the Spirit World. Now, please understand that I am being forced to use words and concepts which apply to the material world. In reality, over here, there is no higher, no lower, it is all one. And so, although I may talk about levels or areas of the Spirit World, please understand that it is really all one, but the only way in which I can get certain concepts across to you is to use these phrases which you have in your material world. So when you first come here you have gone through the initial process of death. You will have detached from the material body. You may have seen your death, you may have been already semi-detached. You will withdraw from the material world and re-adjust to the spirit orientation. This is when people have the sensation of going through a tunnel. You are not really going through a tunnel, it is that re-adjustment of sense perceptions, an adjustment from the dense material world to the Spirit World.

There will always be at least a split second, as you term it in your time, in which you are greeted by your guides, your friends, your helpers, before your own reactions and expectations set-in. If you understand the process that is going on, you will be able to react and progress through your transition more readily, more alert, with full awareness and co-operation. And, having gone through that, you will start working out these other things. You will find yourself, for a while at least, in certain surroundings which are dependent on your own psychological state. Some people may find themselves in dry and barren places, others will build for themselves material houses, buildings, as they wish them. Others will be in beautiful realms, perhaps country settings, they may not be attached to a particular thing. It is all so very, very, various that I cannot possibly cover all the possible variations, but we may term this stage the lower or first level of the Spirit World. Now, people like yourselves are already working with Spirit co-operatively. You will pass through this stage quite quickly. It will have little attraction for you. In many cases you will already, at some level of your consciousness, made this disconnection from material conditions, and you will pass on to the next level of development of your self, working with others and circles. There are areas - you have heard of the Halls of Learning. These may take the form of immense marble halls. It may be perhaps an out-door setting, may be taking place in a field, or a wood or something like that. Other times it takes the shape of an abstract setting. Some people can find themselves in cities built of crystal, and this sort of setting is in another level of the Spirit World - those people who are just letting go of material conditions and concepts. I am talking at the moment more about the environment in which you could find yourselves rather than the psychological states I was dealing with earlier. And as you progress through, that surroundings will drop away from you and you will become aware of the vastness of space. You will be moving into an attitude which we have previously described as sliding down rainbows. The concepts I really cannot give to you, but if you look up into space on a moonless night when the stars are clear, and feel the immensity of that space that has no bounds, it will give you some inkling of this sort of state. And beyond that there is the Godness.

These are the conditions over here. One cannot put them into a concise logical scheme, because it is all happening at once. And the different states I have tried to describe to you - both the psychological ones and the environment - are what you give yourself. They are what you perceive to be. Do not believe anyone who will give you a cut and dried laid out order of the Spirit World. It is like I feel my talk has been tonight, all over the place, and from one state to another. (The trance state was beginning to get much deeper at this point.)But that is how the Spirit World is, it is all at the same time. It is all one. And it is your perceptions. When you go beyond your perceptions you will know true freedom and true joy.Let go as much as possible of your rigid concepts, so that when you come over here you will be more receptive and accepting of what you find, so that you will not put yourselves into these pre-conceived ideas and so limit your experiences. It is true you have all eternity and you will eventually reach the Godness - you cannot fail to reach the Godness. But why wait? Remember, there is no-one who is saying you have GOT to do anything. It is always what you choose to do.

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