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Shock at the gate of reckoning

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It is often said that there is nothing as certain as death. Despite its inevitability, it is often thought of with trepidation. A great many quickly dismiss it from their minds. Some of us avoid funeral procession or passing by a cemetery. It is thought cemetery is the abode of Mr. Death and its minions and so that one does not fall a careless victim of his whims and caprices passing by a cemetery is avoided. Even the brave does not pass by it in the night. Visiting cemetery, somehow, is ever so sobering. The inevitability of death bows the spirit. Memories of friends, childhood friends, colleagues at work, playmates, classmates, neighbours, business partners, and sweet memories of prominent figures who have passed away all flow back to overwhelm the soul. And you think of siblings, and there is shedding of tears—tears running down the cheeks effortlessly.

Cemetery is a severe teacher and reminder of the day as the Yoruba would say, when the cock will crow at the back of man! In the words of the Author of “In The Light of Truth”, The Grail Message, “There is one thing in which men believe without exception. It is death! Everyone is convinced that it will come. It is one of the few facts about which there is no dispute or ignorance.” Because man is spirit, he longs to connect with home and to go home albeit unconsciously, at the end of his sojourn on earth. Of course, it is like being away from the ancestral hometown, you want to get in touch with home from time to time. Those who are totally lost in the course of their sojourn are not in the reckoning here. As it is in the earthly, so is it in the spiritual. And when the stage of ardent longing is reached in the Beyond, there is striving for the necessary flight.

Again referring to the Grail Message, we read for unparalleled enlightenment as follows: “Spirit is something entirely different. It is an independent consistency, coming from the world of its homogenous species, which is different from the part to which the earth and thus the physical body belong. The spiritual world lies higher, it forms the upper and lightest part of Creation. Owing to its consistency, this spiritual part in man bears within it the task of returning to the Spiritual Realm, as soon as all material coverings have been severed from it. The urge to do so is set free at a definite degree of maturity…”

If something is inevitable, indeed unavoidable, it should stand to reason that everyone prepares for it and have an understanding of what that preparation entails. After all, whoever wishes to “Japa”, to be present-day Andrew, must obtain a passport, save money for his flight and what he would need to settle down in the country of his new abode.

There is a very wide gap between the fear of death and the rejoicing that comes with the celebration of birthdays. It is often: “Happy birthday, long life and prosperity.” Yet, with each birthday, death gets closer. And, indeed, death is a consequence of birth. The young die, and the old depart from earthly life. As it is said, in a storm both the ripe and unripe fruits fall. We have just witnessed this in the air raid by Moscow on Ukraine. And it is the horrendous harvest in the Gaza Strip. It is a feature at all theatres of war. In between the two poles of birth and death is what we call an earth life. And what we fill the space with is what determines where our paths lead us in the Beyond. What the purpose of life is on earth a great many do not ask and where the consequent paths lead scarcely do the multitude bother. The majority believe that words of supplication pronounced by clerics at the graveside are all that is required to saunter into Heaven.

From home, at school, and in religious houses, everyone is told there must be a purpose for what we do for there to be success. But we human beings hardly want to concede to the Almighty the purpose of His bringing Creation about and for creating us. A great many cannot see purposefulness we consider needful and which we ascribe to ourselves as existing in the perfection of the Most High and the outflowing therefrom the perfection of His Holy Will, His activities, and His ways. If we wish and supplicate our Creator for long life, it should stand to reason that we should also seek what the purpose of life is on earth otherwise the opportunity for that earth-life would have been a total waste. With what is the long life we all desire to be filled? As of now, for many who care, the purpose of an earth life is hazy, for the majority it is thought to be material pursuits, and the acquisition of fame, power, and recognition. But the last moments arrive when the departing soul is one leg on earth and the other leg in the Beyond; he is seized by shock, consternation, and perplexity. He knows fear; there is the fear of the unknown! He is then inexplicably induced to become pious.

Abd-ru-shin says in His Work: “How pitiful it so often appears when the majority of those who so rigidly tried to deny any responsibility in a life after death begin, in their last hours, fearfully to ask the great questions, thus proving they have suddenly become confused about their own convictions! But their questioning is of little avail then, for again it is only cowardice which, shortly before the great step out of this earth-life, suddenly conjures up the possibility of a continuation of life and of being called to account therein.”

As I was saying in the last column, many prominent personages, some said to be atheists, knew dread in their last moments. Among them with their experiences were:

VOLTAIRE—famous anti-Christian atheist: “I have swallowed nothing but smoke. I have intoxicated myself with incense that turned my head. I am abandoned by God and man.” He said to his physician, Dr. Fochin: “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months of life.” When he was told this was not possible, he said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die!” All night long, he cried for forgiveness.

THOMAS PAYNE, Leading writer on American colonies: “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone, O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. O Lord, help me! Christ, help me! No don’t leave; stay with me; for I am on the edge of hell alone. If the devil had an agent, I have been that one.”

CAESAR BORGIA—Italian nobleman, politician, and cardinal: “While I lived, I provided for everything but death; now I must die, and I am unprepared to die.”

DAVID STRAUS—Leading representative of German nationalism, after spending a lifetime erasing belief in God from the minds of others: “My philosophy leaves me utterly forlorn! I feel like one caught in the merciless jaws of an automatic machine, not knowing what time one of its great hammers may crush me!”

JOSEPH STALIN—Soviet Georgian revolutionary and politician. In a Newsweek interview with Svetlana Stalin, the daughter of Joseph Stalin, she told of her father’s death: “My father died a difficult and terrible death… God grants an easy death only to the just. At what seemed the very last moment, he suddenly opened his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a terrible glance, insane or perhaps angry. His left hand was raised, as though he were pointing to something above and bringing down a curse on us all. The gesture was full of menace… The next moment he was dead.”

DAVID HUME—Atheist philosopher famous for his empiricism and skepticism of religion: He cried loud on his death bed “I am in flames!” It is said his desperation was a horrible one.

ROBERT INGERSOLL—American writer and orator during the Golden Age of Free Thought: “O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul!” Another version reported him as crying out this way: “Oh God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul, from hell, if there be a hell!”

SIR THOMAS SCOTT—Chancellor of England: “Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty.”

SIR FRANCIS NEWPORT—Head of the English Atheist club, to those who gathered around his deathbed: “You need not tell me there is no God, for I know there is one, and that I am in His presence! You need not tell me there is no hell. I feel I am already slipping. Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever! Oh, that fire! Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell! Oh, that I could lie for a thousand years upon the fire that is never quenched, to purchase the favour of God and be united to him again. But it is a fruitless wish. Millions and millions of years will bring me no nearer the end of my torments than one poor hour. Oh, eternity, eternity forever and forever! Oh, the insufferable pangs of Hell!”

CHARLES IX—The French king. Urged on by his mother, he gave the order for the massacre of the French Huguenots, in which 15, 000 souls were killed in Paris alone and 100,000 in other sections of France, for no other reason than that they loved Christ. The guilty king suffered miserably for years after that event. He finally died, bathed in blood bursting from his veins. To his physicians, he said in his last hours: “Asleep or awake, I see the mangled forms of Huguenots passing before me. They pass dripping blood. They point at their open wounds. Oh! That I had spared at least the little infants at the bosom! What blood. I know not where I am. How will all this end? What shall I do? I am lost forever! I know it. Oh, I have done wrong.”

ANTONY LAVEY—Author of the Satanic Bible and high priest of the religion dedicated to the worship of Satan. One of his famous quotes was: “There is a beast in man that needs to be exercised, not exorcised. His dying words were: “Oh my, oh my, what have I done, there is something very wrong.”

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE—French Emperor who, like Hitler, brought death to millions to satisfy power-mad, selfish ambitions for world conquest: “I die before my time, and my body will be given back to the earth. Such is the fate of him who has been called the greatest Napoleon. What an abyss between my deep misery and the eternal Kingdom of Christ!”

THOMAS HOBBES—Political philosopher: “I say again, if I had the whole world at my disposal, I would give it to live one day. I am about to take a leap into the dark.”

The interest of this column is in the experiences most people, eminent and so-called powerful men, go through when death approaches. The Laws of Nature which are also called Divine Laws which activate the experience do not discriminate between the high and the lowly. Before them, it is the quality of the soul that counts. It is not all hellish for everyone at the approach of death or when death has occurred and the departed goes far in the Beyond. Dr. Raymond Moody, a physician, and the author of Life after Life, the book to which Chief Awolowo drew attention in 1987, provides several accounts of those who found their journey sunny and joyful upon awakening in the Beyond. They had sweet memories of their experiences. “What is it like to die?” Dr. Moody shares the experience of a man who was pronounced clinically dead but who was brought back to earth life:

“All pain vanished. I went through this dark, black vacuum at super speed. There was a feeling of utter peace and quiet, no fear at all. I was in a very dark, very deep valley. Later I thought, ‘Well, now I know what the Bible means by the valley of the shadow of death because I have been there.’ After I came back, I cried off and on for about a week because I had to live in this world after seeing that one. It opened up a whole new world for me…It opened a whole new world for me…I kept thinking, ‘There is so much I’ve got to find out.’ I heard a voice telling me what I had to do—go back—and I felt no fear.”

A renowned author, Dr. Richard Steinpach, describes the experience of a departed soul who made a strenuous effort to reach his relations mourning and would like to speak to them. He had not gone far in the beyond. The mourners were not aware of his presence. The earthly body does not respond to the bodies in which the departed is now cloaked, the immediate being what is called the astral body and the other ethereal body and he called out loudly: “What is the matter with you? I am still alive!” Similarly, he saw the doctors handling the earthly body he had just laid aside and attempted to drive them away. Again in vain as nobody took notice of him. Dr. Steinpach says “The ignorant person feels himself to be alive in this intermediate region and yet expelled from all the living. It is an experience of terrifying loneliness.”

He goes on: “May you recognize from this how senseless it is to have pushed aside everything connected with dying as though just the most inevitable thing in this earth-life had nothing at all to do with us. Surely we shall all have to cross this threshold one day. Is it not better to do this knowingly, instead of being pushed into the unknown? But such knowledge is essential for us not only for this hour, which indeed is approaching every one of us, but already beforehand. Thus at funerals, people follow a coffin. How few of the so-called mourners remember the deceased with loving thoughts! How much evil or trivial talk often goes on in a funeral procession. If these people knew that the deceased is perhaps still near, that he can hear them, they would behave differently.”

The purpose of the foregoing is to re-emphasize that there is life after death, which put differently Dr. Raymond Moody called “Life after Life.” Dr. Moody states: “If experiences of the type which I have discussed are real, they have profound implications for what every one of us is doing with his life. For, then it would be true that we cannot fully understand this life until we catch a glimpse of what lies behind it.” I should add that until we familiarize ourselves with the unique enlightenment of these times spreading on earth about Creation, life and its purpose on earth and the self-acting and immutable Laws governing the whole of Creation–uniform, incorruptible, and self-policing living Laws!

In the foregoing, I have not discussed what goes on in what may be called the beyond proper, in the Light plane, or in the Region of Darkness—the torments and the lamentations. In the words of the Grail Message, it is said: “On passing into the beyond every human being is divested of earthly power and its position. Name, position, everything is left behind. Only a poor human soul passes over, there to receive and experience what it sowed. Not a single exception is possible. On its path it is led through all the wheels of the relentless reciprocal action of Divine Justice. There is no church, no state, but only individual souls who must personally account for every error they have made.”


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