LIFE AFTER DEATH: THE UNSEEN WORLDS
A CONFIRMED PERSPECTIVE
The transition from human life to the life after [i.e. death] is the source of much misunderstanding and confusion by the transitioning individual and even more on the part of those left behind. The sorrow associated with such transitions is in no way justified by the known facts that should be the foundation of reasonable and justifiable human anticipation and reaction to this event.
Those who have moved past transition have always been eager to tell their story to those awaiting the change of life. However, most of this informed transcribed communication has not been available to the general public.
The levels and varieties of experiences revealed in these “Unseen Worlds” transcriptions is extremely diverse. Yet, there are descriptions and explanations of this experience that are more generic and can serve as a foundational skeleton of the nature and environment that one would experience upon entry.
Two individuals are singled out as representative of the most comprehensive and descriptive presentations of the life transition experience. The most comprehensive of these works is represented in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg a prolific Swedish inventor, mining engineer, anatomist, astronomer, philosopher, theologian and mystic (Jan. 29, 1688 to March 29, 1772). Since his transition in 1772, the comprehensiveness and credibility of his writings on this subject have never been equaled.
Swedenborg’s seminal work was the heralded “Heaven and Hell” that describes in some detail the structure of the inner levels (spheres) into which those experiencing the transition find themselves. However, his most gripping inner explorations resulted in descriptions of darker regions, which he called the hells. Dwellers were never condemned through eternity since gradual, gradated redemption based on character change was always available. These levels awaited those that had exhibited selfish, mean, violent or disreputable behavior during their earthly incarnations, inconsistent with values of love, devotion, caring and integrity. Release from these darker regions is always up to and available to the individual, just as their initial transition into these regions is the result of the kind of lives they lived.
Despite the range and importance of Swedenborg’s work, this is not where our journey into these regions of light and darkness begins. Instead, we turn to a more recent denizen of the spheres of heaven as told by a chronicler of his arrival and travels throughout various parts of the light regions and the regions of darkness.
Our guide is one thoroughly familiar with church descriptions of the transition and the inner workings of the Christian Church in particular. As of 2010, Christianity was the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth.
Having served both in the Anglican Church as a priest (son of the Archbishop of Canterbury) and later as a Monsignor in the Catholic Church, his role as a prelate in both gives him a unique perspective. He is perfectly situated to debunk the mistaken dogma of the church, especially as it relates to issues of redemption, salvation and death and dying.
The quality of his writing, the sincerity with which he writes and his descriptions and experiences parallel a plethora of similar transcribed descriptions contributed by others at various stages of their earthly transition and afterwards. However, his distinguished background as a Priest and Monsignor carry a unique gravitas. This is especially true because of the opportunity he was granted more evolved being in this dimension to correct the many misguided teachings he imparted as a scholar, writer and communicator of church doctrine during his eartly incarnation. He was granted the opportunity to share his special perspectives for reasons similar to Swedenborg, whose excursions into these rhelms occured while still in the physical. He was granted this special opportunity to open the eyes of humankind to the continuity of life after physical death and the relationship between the lives we choose here and their cause effect connection with the lives we will live following our earthly transition.
In some ways, Monsignor Benson’s experiences are somewhat a-typical of the experiences of many that make this transition. For some, the so called “judgment” is a phase that most departing mortals go through but it is far from the judgement that is commonly described in spiritual lore. Instead, it has never been a judgement externally imposed on transitioning persons but instead a matter of choice and self-selection. Transitioning beings move and vibrate with those that are similar to them in their proclivities and are aided in finding those channels of expression and activity that make for a comfortable and easey transition.
Benson’s life of service and devotion to God (in spite of the misguided and inaccurate content of much of Church Doctrine) nevertheless evinced a sincere desire to share the truth as he knew it and believed it to be. This life content is what permitted him to bypass these transitional stages that most of the population experiences, and move directly into the regions of light, which he describes in exquisite detail.
Perhaps a better book for understanding this filtering (so called judgment) stage of transition is Swedenborg’s book entitled: “OUR LIFE AFTER DEATH – A Firsthand Account from an 18th Century Scientist and Seer”
As fascinating and idyllic as Benson’s descriptions of scenery, vegetation and new activities are, they are only the beginning of a process of spiritual growth that continues so long as the visitor perseveres. Part I of this remarkable continuing adventure follows.
CHAPTER 1: MY EARTH LIFE
WHO I am really matters not. Who I was matters still less. We do not carry our Earthly positions with us into the Spirit world. My Earthly importance I left behind me. My Spiritual worth is what counts now, and that, my good friend, is far below what it should be and what it can be. Thus, as much as to who I am, as to who I was, I should like to give some details concerning my mental attitude prior to my passing here into the world of Spirit.
My Earth life was not a hard one in the sense that I never underwent physical privations, but it was certainly a life of hard mental work. In my early years I was drawn towards the Church because the mysticism of the Church attracted my own mystical sense. The mysteries of religion, through their outward expression of lights and vestments and ceremonies, seemed to satisfy my Spiritual appetite in a way that nothing else could. There was much, of course, that I did not understand, and since coming into Spirit I have found that those things do not matter. They were religious problems raised by the minds of men, and they have no significance whatever in the great scheme of life. But at the time, like so many others, I believed in a wholesale fashion, without a glimmering of understanding, or very little. I taught and preached according to the orthodox text-books, and so I established a reputation for myself. When I contemplated a future state of existence I thought – and that vaguely – of what the Church had taught me on the subject, which was infinitesimally small and most incorrect. I did not realize the closeness of the two worlds – ours and yours – although I had ample demonstration of it. What occult experiences I had were brought about, so I thought, by some extension of natural laws, and they were rather to be considered as incidental than of regular occurrence, given to the few rather than to the many.
The fact that I was a priest did not preclude me from visitations of what the Church preferred to look upon as devils, although I never once, I must confess, saw anything remotely resembling what I could consider as such. I did not grasp the fact that I was what is called, on the Earth-plane, a sensitive, a psychic – one gifted with the power of ‘seeing’, though in limited degree.
This incursion of a psychic faculty into my priestly life I found to be considerably disturbing since it conflicted with my orthodoxy. I sought advice in the matter from my colleagues, but they knew less than I knew, and they could only think of praying for me that these ‘devils’ might be removed from me. Their prayers availed me nothing – that was to be expected as I now see. Had my experiences been upon a high Spiritual plane there is the chance that I should have been regarded in the light of a very holy man. But they were not so; they were just such experiences as occur to the ordinary Earthly sensitive. As happening to a priest of the Holy Church they were looked upon as temptations of ‘the Devil’. As happenings to one of the laity they would have been regarded as dealings with ‘the Devil’, or as some form of mental aberration. What my colleagues did not understand was that this power was a gift—a precious gift, is I understand now—and that it was personal to myself, as it is to all those who possess it, and to pray to have it removed is as senseless as to pray that one’s ability to play the piano or paint a picture might be removed. It was not only senseless, it was unquestionably wrong, since such a gift of being able to see beyond the veil was given to be exercised for the good of mankind. I can at least rejoice that I never prayed for release from these powers. Pray I did, but for more light on the matter.
The great barrier to any further investigation of these faculties was the Church’s attitude towards them, which was – and is – relenting, unequivocal, narrow, and ignorant. However long were any investigations or in whatever direction, the Church’s final judgment was always the same, and its pronouncements unvarying – ‘such things have their origin in the Devil’. And I was bound by the laws of that Church, administering its sacraments and delivering its teachings, while the Spirit world was knocking upon the door of my very existence, and trying to show me, for myself to see, what I had so often contemplated – our future life.
Many of my experiences of psychic happenings I incorporated into my books, giving the narratives, such a twist as would impart to them an orthodox religious flavor. The truth was there, but the meaning and purpose were distorted. In a larger work I felt that I had to uphold the Church against the assaults of those who believed in the Spiritual survival of bodily death, and that it was possible for the Spirit world to communicate with the Earth world. And in that larger work I ascribed to ‘the Devil’—against my better judgment—what I really knew to be nothing other than the working of natural laws, beyond and entirely independent of any orthodox religion, and certainly of no evil origin.
To have followed my own inclinations would have entailed a complete upheaval in my life, a renunciation of orthodoxy, and most probably a great material sacrifice, since I had established a second reputation as a writer. What I had already written would then have become worthless in the eyes of my readers, and I should have been regarded as a heretic or a madman. The greatest opportunity of my Earthly life I thus let pass. How great was that opportunity, and how great were my loss and regret, I knew when I had passed into this world whose inhabitants I had already seen so many times and on so many different occasions. The truth was within my grasp, and I let it fall. I adhered to the Church. Its teachings had obtained too great a hold upon me. I saw thousands believing as I did, and I took courage from that, as I could not think that they could all be wrong. I tried to separate my religious life from my psychic experiences, and to treat them as having no connection with one another. It was difficult, but I managed to steer a course that gave me the least mental disturbance, and so I continued to the end, when at last I stood upon the threshold of that world of which I had already had a glimpse. Of what befell me when I ceased to be an inhabitant of the Earth and passed into the great Spirit world, I hope now to give you some details.
 [N]ormal forms of address for all higher prelates of the Catholic Church below the rank of cardinal or patriarch, including bishops and archbishops, English bishops are not usually addressed as “Monsignor”, a title reserved in English for diocesan priests who have received certain specific honorary awards or who hold certain offices.
Benson was the youngest son of Edward White Benson (Archbishop of Canterbury). He was educated at Eton College and then studied classics and theology at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1890 to 1893. He was first an English Anglican priest but in 1903 was received into the Roman Catholic Church in which he was ordained priest in 1904. He continued his writing career at the same time as he progressed through the church hierarchy to become a Chamberlain to the Pope in 1911 and subsequently titled Monsignor.
 Anthony Borgia was a noted transcriber of the communications of transitioned beings most notably the deceased priest and author, whom he had known in life; the Catholic Priest Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson