In the Sept/Oct 2007 edition of AARP The Magazine, Bill Newcott writes an article, "Life After Death," resulting from a poll of 1011 people over 50, regarding their beliefs on life after death. Here are some quotes from that article:
"[P]eople 50 and over tend to be downright conventional in their basic beliefs; nearly three quarters (73 percent) agree with the statement 'I believe in life after death.' Women are a lot more likely to believe in an afterlife (80 percent) than men (64 percent)."
"Believers show general agreement over the choice of destinations in the afterlife, as well: 86 percent say there's a Heaven, while somewhat fewer (70 percent) believe in Hell."
"Just 40 percent believe Heaven is 'a place,' while 47 percent say it's a 'state of being.' As for the alternate destination, of those who think Hell exists, 43 percent say it's a 'state of being': 42 percent say it's 'a place'."
"Among those with a household income of $75,000 or more per year, 78 percent believe in Heaven -- compared with 90 percentage of those earning $25,000 or less. Similarly, 77 percent of college-educated people think there's a Heaven, compared with 89 percent of those who have a high school diploma or less."
"The largest group, 29 percent of those who believe in Heaven, responded that the prerequisite is to 'believe in Jesus Christ.' Twenty-five percent said people who 'are good' get in. Another 10 percent said that people who 'believe in one God' are welcomed into Heaven. Likewise, 10 percent took a come-one, come-all philosophy, saying everyone gets into Heaven. And while 88 percent of people believe they'll be in Heaven after they die, they're not so sure about the rest of us. Those responding said 64 percent of all people get into Heaven."
"Forty percent of those who believe in Hell said 'people who are bad' or 'people who have sinned' go there; 17 percent said, 'People who do not believe in Jesus Christ' are condemned to spend their afterlife in Hell."
"Twenty-three percent of those responding said they believe in reincarnation."
"More than half of those responding reported a belief in spirits or ghosts -- with more women (60 percent) than men (44 percent) agreeing. Boomers are a lot more likely to believe in ghosts (64 percent) when compared with those in their 60s (51 percent) or 70s or older (38 percent). . . . Thirty-eight percent of all those responding to our poll say they have felt a presence, seen something, that they thought might have been a spirit or a ghost."
"Nearly one quarter of those responding agreed with the statement 'I believe that when I die, that's the end.'"
Now here is how my spiritual teacher, Charity (a spirit), would answer those questions:
1. There is life (i. e. consciousness of the Essence) after physical death.
2. There is what you humans can call Heaven in which we live. It is an interconnected universe to the one you live in. You may call it Thoughtspace if you choose. It has no time or distance, and no physical objects. All communication is by thought. There is no Hell, but we do have two centers for rehabilitation of turned Essences. In one, they may be retrained to be able to be reincarnated when rehabilitated. In the other one, they will be re-educated but will never be allowed to reincarnate.
3. All Essences and Personalities will be housed in our universe (Thoughtspace) when they cease to exist in Physicalspace. Religions are important only to the Personalities, who are in a state of hibernation in Thoughtspace, and it makes no difference what religion they may have practiced. Those with Essences who are willing to continue helping their charges follow and fulfill their life plans will be in a state of training with the CIE, such as Faith and Hope, during their time in Thoughtspace. Religion is of no importance to the Essences. It matters not to Essences what their charges (Personalities) thought about Jesus Christ or any other religious leader.
4. Reincarnation is a fact. Each human will have between 500 and 5,000 lifetimes, in one or another of the existing 11 parallel universes which exist.
5. Spirits exist, as we, the CIE (Faith, Hope & Charity), are spirits who have never had our own physical bodies. However, we can temporarily take over the body of a person, especially one who is highly hypnotizable. But it is also possible for a person who is unexpectedly dying to create a "thoughtform" from psychic energy, which can then exist after the body has deteriorated. That thoughtform is often seen as a ghost who only talks about the events surrounding the sudden death of that person. Also, Essences and we, the CIE, can create what appear to be ghosts or apparitions to someone we wish to influence and teach in that way.
6. When you, Ralph, die (we prefer to use the term "cease to exist"), both your Personality and Essence will go into Thoughtspace. Your Personality will be in hibernation, but your Essence will be in training for your next lifetime. When the proper infant you are to be is born, your Essence+Personality combination will be implanted into the infant when it takes its first breath after delivery. Only when a brain, with its neurohormones, is available, can the Personality start functioning again. The Essence can function without a brain, body or hormones.