Spirit Daily

'At the Moment of Death You Are Conscious of the Separation of the Body and Soul'

By Michael H. Brown

Christ came to remind us that we’re spiritual and not physical beings and that our consciousness does not cease upon earthly death. We do not “blink out.” Our existence does not turn into nothingness-- despite what certain philosophers say.

Earth is temporary. It lasts but seven or eight decades. And that’s a grain of sand on the beach of eternity. While on earth we’re in exile. We’re away from home. We’re on a mission and we’re in a kind of school and we’re being tested for something much larger than anything you can see with your eyes or hear with your ears or even imagine. 

I don’t think there could possibly be better news than that: after death there is life. The soul doesn’t end with the body. Our bodies are not us. Our souls are us. One day we’ll look at our earthly bodies as nearly foreign matter when we find our true selves in the spirit world at a time of fantastic wonder.  

That’s the news of Jesus. After death there’s another existence and if we prepare, it’s a splendid existence, an incredible existence, an infinite situation that will engage us for all eternity. Heaven is endless and we'll be spending eternity exploring it!

Death is a transition. It’s a shedding of the physical shell. It’s the transcendence of a body which had been used as a sort of instrument in the physical realm. There is nothing to fear if we have Jesus. There is nothing to fear if He awaits us. In fact, when scientists have studied the attitudes of dying patients, they’ve been amazed at the large number of people who, in the hour of death, are happy and even elated. There was evidence, said one study in New York, “that considerable numbers of patients meet death not with fear and despair but rather with elation and exultation.”

The fact that death is less intimidating than many think was shown clearly by the way Jesus endured the worst possible death-- only to quickly rise above it. If there was one lesson from His Resurrection, it was that the supernatural exists and the spirit moves beyond the body. We also see descriptions from Paul, who in 2 Corinthians 12:4 said, “I know this man—whether in or outside his body I do not know, God knows—was snatched up to Paradise to hear words, which cannot be uttered, words which no man may speak.” Elsewhere in the Bible we’re told that “eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Since the time of the caveman there has been belief that the human soul is transcendental, and it’s a belief that is common to every people and culture, in every age, no matter how modern or primitive. From the beginning of recorded history people have had experiences that indicate the eternal nature of the soul and in our own time, with reports of apparitions and other religious phenomena, we have only seen an affirmation of those ancient beliefs.

The soul lives after death. It cannot be destroyed. It is not made of a physical substance. It exceeds anything physical. In fact, it controls the physical. It controls your body. And upon death it moves on to eternity. It heads for its true home. Those who are dying in the grace of God sense this—sense their homecoming—and know they are at the end of a difficult and dangerous journey.

Physical pain and the reliance on money—the bondages of flesh that make life one constant struggle—end with death.

There’s no more limitation. There’s no more doubt. And contrary to the greatest of fears, there is no “nothingness.” We do not go blank. Our Blessed Mother reminds us of this at her famous apparition site in Medjugorje. “You go to Heaven in full conscience, that which you have now,” said Our Lady of Medjugorje on July 24, 1982. “At the moment of death you are conscious of the separation of the body and soul. It is false to teach people that you are reborn many times and that you pass to different bodies. One is born only once. The body, drawn from the earth, decomposes after death. It never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body.”      

May 2004     

[excerpted from After Life]

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