A soldier awoke confused at the boundary of the first level of heaven. Spirit helpers found him lying on the grass near one of the gates. They came up to him and waited for his eyes to open. To open from a life spent on earth. To open from a violent death in the midst of a great battle.
The war was World War I, the war to end all wars, as it was thought of immediately after the conflict. On December 7, 1917, a group of spirits relayed the story of two combat veterans meeting in heaven. The war had been raging since July, 1914, and would last for almost another full year.
The group of spirits, employing the spirit Kathleen for direct communication with the Rev G. Vale Owen in the book Life Beyond the Veil, in The Ministry of Heaven section told him about a recently deceased soldier and his reception into heaven.
He did not die in his bed like so many others; he never had a family to leave behind – he wasn’t old enough. He, like so many others, was swept up in a fervor of nationalistic conflict, caused by poor judgement of those in power. A common state in a world of atonement.
Earth, is our campus of learning. For we who come here are in the beginning of our education and as such we must first learn to recognize the benefits of civil behavior. Therefore, we are sent here to experience, first hand, the pitfalls of selfish acts, uncontrolled lust for power and money, and an absence of love and fraternity for our fellow humans.
The Boy Awakens
His first question demonstrated his training and his time in the trenches:
“What about my kit, please? Have I lost it?”[i]
Like kind nurses to a patient coming out of surgery, no harsh realities are spoken. Only calm and soothing conversation to allow the patient to slowly come to their senses. To regain their balance and place themselves within a new context. The spirit helpers engaged with the young lad:
“One of them who led the others replied, ‘Yes, my boy. I fear you have. But we can give you other and better kit in its place.’
He was about to reply when he noticed the aspect of the landscape and said, ‘But who brought me here? I don’t remember this country. It was not like this when I was hit.’ Then his eyes opened wider, and he asked in a whisper, ‘Say, sir, have I gone west?’
‘That’s what it is, my boy’, was the answer, ‘You have gone west. But not many realize the fact so soon. We have watched you all the while, watched you grow up, and in your office, and in your training camp, and in your work in the army till you were hit, and we know you have tried to do what you felt to be right. Not always but, on the whole, you have taken the higher way, and now we will show you your home.’”[ii]
As a soldier, in the thick of the long drawn-out battle of trench warfare, the young man was ready for death. He had seen so many of his comrades perish, that he too, knew that death would come in an instant. One moment you are in your physical body and the next, the body is destroyed by the latest weapon of war.
The correct path is always easy to follow. Our conscience illuminates the road ahead. When we wander off, our bodies experience stress. In our normal course of life, we live with a low-level dose of anxiety, all that is part of our make-up. We wish to perform well, to show ourselves and others we can be successful. But the debilitating type of stress is when our normal balance and harmony is thrown off by violating what our conscience is telling us. By moving forward with a plan, an occupation, an emotional attack on another, or any deed that we, at some level, recognize as unjust, our harmony is thrown off-kilter. Our chakras, or force centers, as they are called in Spiritism, sense we are acting in direct confrontation to the set of Divine Laws that each of us carry within.
This is why meditation is an effective method for dealing with stress. It allows our mind to be silent and opens a pathway for spirits with our good in mind to send us the solutions to our problem. And that solution is invariably is to act honorably in whatever situation we have gotten ourselves into.
The young soldier had, within his short lifespan, tried to stay within the boundaries his conscience laid out for him. Hence, upon his death, he did not wake up in a dangerous and desolate wasteland, like so many did and still do today, but on a grassy slope, with assistance waiting by.
Then he wanted to clear up a point that had been on his mind:
“He was silent for a time and then said, ‘Can I ask questions, or is it against the rule?’
‘No, ask your questions, we are here to answer them.’
‘Well, then was it you sir, who came to me one night in sentry and spoke to me about going west?’
‘No, it was not any of us here. That one is waiting for you a little further up the road there. If you are strong enough we will take you to him. Try to rise and see if you can walk.’
He arose quickly and stood to attention, from the habit he had formed, and the leader smiled and said, ‘My dear boy, all that is past. Discipline here is quite different from that which you have known hitherto. Count us as your friends, and cone along with us now. Commands will be given, and you will obey, but not yet awhile. When that comes to pass, such commands will be given by those who are higher than we, and you will obey them, not from fear of reprimand, but out of the greatness of your love.’
He simple said, ’Thank you, sir,’ and went forward with them along the road, silent and in deep meditation on what had been said, and on the strangeness of the beauty of his new surroundings.”[iii]
Obey because of the love one bears – there is nothing more telling about heaven and the organization of the spirit realm than this statement. It explains the atmosphere of love that is everywhere in every level of heaven. It illustrates the deserved superiority of the higher spirits, from whence we take our orders. Imagine working for a company where you couldn’t wait to get to work, interact with your friends and enthusiastically anticipate your next assignment … now that is heaven.
The lad followed the group through the gate, with grand trees lining the roadway. Flowers which had sprouted out of the ground, contrasting the tall trees. As the troop marched on, into the land of heaven, they came upon a grassy mound. Upon which another young man sat, waiting for the arrival of his mate.
Seeing his friend, he stood up and walked arm in arm with the new arrival. The young lad walked a short while, then:
The spirit group who recounted this story to the Rev G. Vale Owen told him the important points to contemplate:
“Now we have chosen this incident in particular to show you several things, among them these:
No kind act is ever passed by without note in these spheres. The one who does the act is always thanked here by the one to whom the benefit has been done.
Those who come over still use the language and manner of earthly speech. Some of you would be greatly shocked to hear the rather forcible phrases which drop from the lips of really bright spirits when they first meet their friends of earth. I speak now more especially of the soldiers who have fought in the war, as these two have done.
Rank here keeps pace with true inner worthiness, and is affected not in the least either by earthly rank, or by earthly education. Of those two, the one who came over first had been a laborer before enlistment, and of poor parentage. The other had come from a family not poor in worldly affairs, and had for some years been in office of business in preparation for a responsible position in his uncle’s house. Their respective status was not of much account when the one had led the other wounded away from the enemy tranches. Here it was of no account at all.
So do friends meet here and begin their onward way. For they who are faithful in their duties of earth are made welcome when they come hither into these fields of beauty and rest where no sound of war is heard, nor wounds nor pain can penetrate. For this is the Realm of Peace where the weary find sanctuary from all earth’s troubles, and many joys of life abound.”[v]
Hence, a laborer, a white-collar worker, a captain of industry, a senator, and a Nobel Prize winner all take the same baggage with them over to the “other side” – their deeds, their accumulated knowledge, their character – transformed for the better or worse. That is all. Nothing else factors into the equation of where in heaven, or below they shall land after their bodies melt back into primal matter.
With this knowledge, never be jealous of the rich or famous … for their trials are all the harder due to the many temptations they encounter, enemy’s made, and inconsequential people they unknowingly walk-over. For, on the whole, they shall not be met by friends, but by people with petty jealousies and a litany of wrongs to recite.
Look, instead, to the quiet worker, who goes about her or his task every day. Doing well wherever possible and avoiding doing harm. The person who doesn’t partake in malicious gossip and won’t be drawn into trifling schemes to teach a lesson to a transgressor. This is the person, who when waking up after they have left their body for the last time, will have a team of spirits waiting to escort them through the gates of heaven.
Learn more about the spirit realm and what it means to us. The first place is to learn what the basic tenets of Spiritism are and how your life is planned so you can improve. You can begin by reading The Spirits Book, by Allan Kardec, or you can read my books, one on reincarnation, The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection, the other about the spirit realm, and how we fit into it, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined. You will find out why you are on this planet and where you are destined to be.
[i] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, p. 385
[ii] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, p. 385
[iii] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 385-386
[iv] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 386-387
[v] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 387-388