03. April 2016 · Comments Off on The Afterlife Unveiled: What the Dead are Telling Us About Their World · Categories: Afterlife, Consciousness, Death, OBE, Uncategorized

Book Overview: “The Afterlife Unveiled: What the Dead are Telling Us About Their World” by Stafford Betty, PhD.

Many people ponder the question, “What happens to us when we die? Quite a few think of the Afterlife as heaven – an unimaginable state of bliss. Many even believe in hell – a place of everlasting fire and brimstone. How can this subject objectively be approached?  Unfortunately, Mainstream Science rejects the idea of the Afterlife entirely and thus makes no attempt to research it.  However, a good deal of under-appreciated research has been going on for well over a hundred years through the vehicle of mediumship. So if you want to be prepared for the rest of your spiritual journey, both in this life and the life to come, you should read and study this book!

In The Afterlife Unveiled by Dr. Stafford Betty, Professor of Religious Studies at California State University Bakersfield, California, he compares and contrasts the material brought through from a half dozen of the world’s most talented and dedicatedDr-Stafford-BettywBook mediums. Before you pooh–pooh the idea of obtaining information about the afterlife via mediumship you must first realize that at this point in our spiritual evolution mediumship represents the most accurate method of communicating with the so-called dead given that our spiritual technology has not advanced very far as of 2016. And by spiritual technology I am talking about EVP or ITP which basically encompasses attempts to contact the dead using actual technological devices such as tape recorders, radios, computers, and cell phones. This is a subject for another time.

Dr. Stafford Betty feels that, “The key to such knowledge is mediumship.”  Over thirty years of research have taught the author, a world expert in the field of death and afterlife studies, who the most reliable voices are.  He feels that, “These accounts are far better developed and more plausible than anything found in the world’s scriptures or theologies. And that, “The world ahead, unlike ours, is fascinating and fair. Authentic mediums may be the closest thing to the voice of God that our planet has.”

In his book, each chapter contains a summary of the teachings of one of the studied mediums. Most of these represent books in themselves, many of which I have read previously. All are good. Some of the material overlaps, and of course they are all a bit different in their own way and by the time you are finished reading you will have a much greater expanded understanding of the many levels and worlds in what we call the Afterlife.

I recall Jesus, telling his followers two thousand years ago in a language they could understand, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” If you take a little time to read Dr. Betty’s book you will begin to understand exactly what Jesus meant by this description.

In order to better acquaint you with what you might expect, I offer a brief description of each chapter. And you need not read the book in chapter order as each chapter stands alone.

Chapter 1- Trance Teachings from the Seventh Sphere. This material came through a nineteenth century Anglican minister named William Stainton Moses (1839–92). Initially a skeptic, he eventually came around to channeling a spirit called Imperator who said he was the chief of a group of 49 spirits. In some respects Imperator and his group were religious reformers. Sayings like the following are found throughout: “We call you from the dead formalism, the lifeless, loveless literalism of the past to a religion of spiritualized truth, to the lovely symbolism of angel teaching, to the higher planes of spirit, where the material finds no place, and the formal dogmatism of the past is forever gone.” Moses published their teachings in a book, Spirit Teachings, in 1883, ten years after the first messages appeared. A later book, More Spirit Teachings, would appear in 1892, shortly after Moses’ death.

Chapter 2 – The Afterlife of a Young Texan. This chapter contains the thoughts and experiences of a young man named Leslie Stringfellow who died in his hometown of Galveston, Texas, in 1886 after a brief illness. Not long after his mother started using a planchette (old time Ouija Board) and within a few days was getting consistent messages from her dead son. This went on nearly every evening for about 15 years! Many of the messages were evidential, meaning that he was providing information that neither of his parents could have known but were able to letter prove out. If you have a copy of his now rare book, The Afterlife of Leslie Stringfellow, please let me know as it is out of print and the cheapest price was about $75! I would love to read the entire book!

Chapter 3 – A Notable American’s First Year on the Other Side. This chapter provides a nice summary of the channelings of Judge David Hatch who was a California resident of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and who died in 1912. The medium was a woman named Elsa Barker. They had been friends for about six years and when he died she had been living in Paris. Hatch’s first communication came while Ms. Barker was living in Paris and before she even knew he was dead. She communicated with him through automatic writing. The Hatch/Barker collaboration is titled Letters from the Afterlife, a book I was lucky enough to get my hands on back in 1998.

Dr. Betty states, “The details of his account are fresh, sometimes bizarre, and sometimes mysterious – rather like what you would expect of a world you had never set foot in.” I loved the book because it seemed to reveal a very realistic progression from Judge Hatch’s initial orientation experiences toward a higher level as he evolved and gained a greater understanding. However, Judge Hatch is an exceptional case; he was very spiritually inclined while on Earth and so I think he deserved what he got in heaven. He says, “This is not a place where everyone knows everything – far from it. Most souls are nearly as blind as they were in life. … I am sorry to say that the person who has a clear idea of the significance of life is about as rare here as on the earth. … a man does not suddenly become all-wise by changing the texture of his body.”

Chapter 4 – A Psychical Researcher on This Side Speaks to Us from the Other Side. The medium for this chapter was Geraldine Cummins, an Irish woman who authored 22 books, 15 of them automatically while in a light trance. The communicator from the spirit side was primarily Frederic Myers, who was trained in the classics and lectured for a time at Trinity College Cambridge. He was one of the co-founders of the Society for Psychical Research in 1882, his influence on the young movement was immense. His monumental book Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death is still regarded by many as the greatest work on psychical research ever to appear. He first spoke through Ms. Cummins in 1924, 23 years after his death, and reappeared intermittently until 1931. The book examined here, The Road to Immortality, is the record of their collaboration. It combines very fine writing with a rare breadth of vision.

Dr. Betty states, “Myers expresses impatience with the English language as well as with mediums who sometimes find it hard to blank out their own minds’ contents. Much about the world he tries to describe, especially the last three of the seven planes, can only be approximated by our language. It is with a feeling of awe, even unworthiness that I try to summarize his account of these realms. In places the language becomes fuzzy, virtually unintelligible, so far beyond the world we are familiar with is his subject. One can imagine his impatience!

Chapter 5 – A Catholic Priest Describes the ‘Land of the Great Harvest’. Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, the communicator of this work, was born in 1871 the son of Edward White Benson, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The younger Benson was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1901, but converted to Roman Catholicism three years later. In 1911 he became a secretary to Pope St. Pius X and managed the pope’s household and appointments. He was solidly identified with the Catholic world.

What I enjoyed most about this chapter is the fact that Msgr. Benson, while alive wrote several novels, especially The Necromancers (1909), in which he ridiculed and condemned spirit communication as ‘dealings with the devil.’ But after his death he would be haunted by a need to atone for the mistake he felt he had made in the novel. Later, speaking through the medium Anthony Borgia, the book titled, Life in the World Unseen, was published in 1954 (now in its thirteenth printing and is available online for free).

In this book Benson, speaking through the medium Anthony Borgia, tells us he was psychically gifted while functioning as a Catholic priest, but was taught by the Church to think of the gift as a ‘mental aberration’. After having passed, he said, “I could see volumes of orthodox teachings, creeds, and doctrines melting away because they are of no account, because they are not true, and because they have no application whatever to the eternal world of spirit and to the great Creator and Upholder of it. I could see clearly now what I had seen but hazily before, that orthodoxy is man-made, but that the universe is God-given.”

Chapter 6 – Oh, the People We Meet Over There! In December 1965, a month after her death, Frances Banks, an Anglican nun for 25 years, found a ‘pure, unobstructed channel’ through which to describe the bracing new world she found herself in. The ‘channel’ was the mind of her close friend Helen Greaves. The book that was thus born through Helen Greaves was Testimony of Light.  Dr. Betty states, “the spiritual and moral life urged on the reader is entirely consistent with the gospel of love and forgiveness preached by Jesus – or indeed by the saints and sages of the world’s major religions.” She goes on to discuss what I would call the blueprints we are born with; she is able, after death, to see how well she measured up to the goals she mapped out for herself – as we all will do once we make the transition. Dr. Betty says that if you want to get a good synopsis of what you can expect after you die, that you could just read this chapter alone!

Chapter 7 – What the Protestant Theologian Discovered upon Dying. The primary communicator here was the notable Lutheran minister, theologian, and professor Alvin D. (AD) Mattson, who died in October 1970. An author in this life, he became one in the next as well. His postings from the Other Side were collected by his daughter, Ruth Mattson Taylor, and published in two books – the first, Witness from Beyond, in 1975 and also Evidence from Beyond, published 24 years later. The medium through whom AD spoke was Margaret Flavell, a devout Methodist and graduate of the London School of Paranormal Psychology and Sanctuary of Healing. Both Mattson and Flavell were persons of the highest integrity. Neither had ever met each other. An excerpt: “The astral world is almost a replica of your world, AD tells us, except that it is of a finer substance and we are not ‘bound’ by our objective reality here.” Churchman that he was, it is perhaps not surprising to hear that “we have denominations on this plane and we continue to practice the rites of our respective churches. There are even great cathedrals and great churches where ministers who preached on earth, and still feel the urge to do so, continue to preach. And our body is also familiar: The astral body in which we live immediately after we have died is a duplicate of our physical body, except that it is made of a fine, tenuous substance.”

I would say that the above paragraph depicts a picture that for that preacher would be an expected scenario as an extension of his Earth life. The same would be true for any one of us. However, once we are more settled in and feel comfortable, we begin to make more rapid evolutionary progress to higher realms. That is for MOST of us. Some unfortunate souls who were not so loving while on Earth will not immediately be eligible for a heavenly ‘reward.’  But they are their own judge and jury. There will be angels and spirit workers who try to wake them up and point the way toward the Light, but ultimately, it is their own Free Will Choice whether or not to progress. And so it is.