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The Silver Cord

Posted by Roberta Grimes • July 23, 2022 • 51 Comments
Afterlife Research, Human Nature

Remember Him—before the silver cord is severed,
and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the wheel broken at the well,
 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
– Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

Please read our frame-verse a second time. The Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes was written about 935 BCE. Almost three thousand years ago. Three thousand years! That is even a thousand years before Jesus had to enlist all the powers of the Godhead just to reanimate His crucified and stone-dead body enough to resurrect it for a few days more on that first Easter Morning. Let us together briefly hold that thought.

Seeking to understand reality as deeply as possible is the most difficult thing for most of us to force ourselves to want to bother to do. And I am not sure why that is. But I guess the task of fully understanding things seems to be so monumental in prospect that most people would rather not even try. Most people would prefer instead to settle for superficial explanations for even the most gigantically glorious phenomena. They want just surface-level answers that can then be reduced to little human-sized bites. And then they try to tamp those bites down even more, so they can swallow them like pills that can be so well-digested that people barely need to pause before they can move right on. Take near-death experiences, for example. That term was coined by the wonderful and indefatigable Dr. Raymond Moody, who told me when he was my guest on a Seek Reality podcast some years back that he had given those phenomena that name because he knew they had nothing to do with death. Of course, however, since near-death experiences often involve amazing astral travel, and they can sometimes feel like dying and coming back to life, many near-death experiencers blithely assume that must be what has happened to them. They must actually have momentarily and amazingly died! And even many worthies who consider themselves to be near-death experience scholars will do little to try to disabuse experiencers of their demonstrably erroneous delusions.

I have never been able to understand this urge that so many people seem to have to slide right through life without trying to more deeply understand even their most extraordinary experiences. For me, it is the seeking, and the ever more profound discoveries that so often result from our deeply seeking that really make our lives worth living! When I had my two childhood experiences of light, they remained forever vivid in my mind, as all such extraordinary experiences will do. And they inspired more than fifty years of obsessive research that began right after college. I couldn’t rest until I had at least some idea of where that light and that voice had come from! I began by researching life after death, because that was all that I could think to do, which was how I first discovered the afterlife. And I fumbled and blundered on from there! The fumbling and the blundering are part of the fun. It wasn’t until I was thirty years old that Dr. Moody published Life After Life, and I discovered the existence of the astral plane. I said, “Aha! So that’s where that light must have come from.” And then I happily carried on.

It wasn’t until I was fifty years old that I felt that I had the physics and geography of the greater reality all figured out and verified and cross-checked. Of course, I wasn’t calling it that back then. I think I was probably calling it heaven. And the only problem was that at about the same time, I was realizing that none of what I had learned from this part-time study of whatever evidence I was turning up could validate my obsessive Roman Christian beliefs. Oh, on the contrary! I knew that what I was learning about the afterlife was right, which meant that Roman Christianity had to be dead wrong. And could you be condemned to hell for having discovered that there is no hell? I stopped reading the Bible at that point, stopped doing any more afterlife research, and for two years I simply tried to pretend that none of that had ever happened.

Eventually, though, on one rainy afternoon I bucked up my courage and I dared to trust Jesus enough to read only the  four Canonical Gospels. I wasn’t testing Jesus. I was doing that extra bit of Gospel-reading in the same spirit in which I had studied early Christian history in college. It was yet more basic research.

I have told you this story before, and how astonished I was to see that repeatedly Jesus refers in the Gospels to what I already knew from my afterlife research to be true. But then when I came to the story of the woman at the well, where Jesus refers to “living water,” I ‘bout fell off my chair. The water in the afterlife is oddly dry, it feels like silk to the touch, it gives off notes like music, and it is alive. Not only does Jesus say nothing in the Gospels that contradicts what I learned by doing afterlife research, but the fact that two thousand years ago He knew about that living water really sealed the deal for me. The afterlife is real! And Jesus is our living witness.

 So it was my determination to pursue the truth, and not to live my life just barely flitting along skimming the surface of it, that made it possible for me to find, and then to deeply research the afterlife. Which brings us to the night of April 6th. The more that hour recedes into the past, the more I realize that actually meeting Jesus on that amazing night was the most extraordinary thing that ever has happened to me.

And thanks to my having bothered to do such thorough afterlife research over decades, I know enough now to tell you that, as is true of our nightly meetings with our spirit guides and our transitioned loved ones, my meeting with Jesus took place in the gigantic astral plane. The astral plane is probably as much as twenty times the size of this whole physical universe, and it is all so densely interwoven with the material universe that it would be impossible to separate them. If I had thought to look behind me when I was with the Lord, I would have noticed that I was trailing my own faintly bluish cord. So in fact, despite the heavenly atmosphere, I was not actually dead! And nor was I even sort of dead-ish. Despite the wonderful, love-filled atmosphere that otherwise might have fooled me, just as it fools so many near-death experiencers, I know that I was just astral-traveling when I met with Jesus on that unforgettable night.

 Here is a news flash for you, all our dear beloved NDE experiencers! Well, perhaps it isn’t exactly news at this point, since it was first written about three thousand years ago. Are you able to speak up and tell us now what happened to you during your NDE? Then you never, even for a single moment, ever actually died. To “flat-line” on a monitor does not equate with being “dead,” since the same machine that has just gone flat on one of its monitors is also maintaining your material body’s functions, and therefore that machine is keeping your material body fully alive. If there were no such machine, however, at this moment you would be reading these words in spirit over a living loved one’s shoulder. Insofar as I have been able to determine, our frame-verse this week is the first written mention of the silver cord which connects your energy body with your material body and keeps it alive, and that ancient Biblical verse is testament to the fact that the silver cord has always been visible in dim light when people were out of their material bodies. So even back three thousand years ago, they were able to precisely define what physical death is, and when it occurs! The human silver cord is amazingly stretchy. During life, as the great Robert Monroe demonstrated, you can probably travel to the edges of the universe without having it break. In a more extensive near-death experience, NDE experiencers will often come to the edge of the afterlife foyer area, and they will be warned to turn back because if that NDE-er does not turn back, his silver cord will break, and his material body will die.

 The silver cord cannot be reattached. Physical death is always a one-way trip.

We are very seldom allowed to remember those frequent meetings that we have with our spirit guides and loved ones while our material bodies sleep. And even on occasion with the King of Kings. Having active memories of our frequent trips out of our material bodies would only distract us from the business at hand, which is to take these earth-lives seriously enough that we can learn and grow spiritually just as rapidly as possible. This is why books like Robert Monroe’s indispensable trilogy are so essential! I urge everyone who has even the slightest interest in better understanding physical death, the afterlife, and what actually happens during near-death experiences to read Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys, and Ultimate Journey. And if reading those three books piques your interest at all, then you might consider looking into the wonderful work of The Monroe Institute. Bob Monroe’s books are decades old, but  they remain on the intellectual cutting edge.

 When Jesus was crucified, He planned to die unusually quickly. He needed to resurrect a usable body, so it had to die before the soldiers went around and broke the legs of those dying on crosses who were still alive so they could no longer push up and keep on breathing. The soldiers wanted to finish all the executions and take the dead bodies down prior to sundown on the eve of the Sabbath, so Jesus and God had His quick death prearranged. But still, even with their careful planning, by the following Sunday morning Jesus’s crucified body had deteriorated so much that when He resurrected it with a gigantic burst of energy on that first Easter morning, His material body was such a mess that He had to abandon it within a few days. Even for God Himself, fully resurrecting an actually-dead body is a very difficult proposition.

And so, dear near-death experiencers, it is long past time for all of you to face one incontrovertible fact. You cannot sever your silver cord – which is the true definition of death – and then reattach that cord to your material body and move on with your earthly life.  If you are able to tell your own beautiful story, then you never for a moment have actually died.

We have known for at least three thousand years that death is always a one-way trip! So I hope that The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), will continue to help NDE-ers and the public to understand such basic things as the true definition of death and the crucial function of the silver cord. When all of this was crystal clear to Biblical folks as early as three thousand years ago, it is essential that clear and definitive education on these matters continues to be maintained. Near-death experiences are, as the wise and delightful Dr. Raymond Moody said during his Seek Reality podcast years ago, indeed wonderful spiritual experiences. But all the hundreds of NDEs and their messages that I have studied since 1980 have been just deeply personal to the experiencers themselves, and certainly no NDE that I ever have seen has had anything to do with actual death. For anyone to pretend otherwise misleads the public, it goes contrary to all the afterlife evidence, and it defies simple common sense.

Remember Him—before the silver cord is severed,
and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the wheel broken at the well,
 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
– Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

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51 thoughts on “The Silver Cord

    1. Hello my dear Mac! Thank you – it really does amaze me that more people don’t seem to be aware of this rather crucial part of our anatomy 🙂

  1. Roberta, before I started reading your books, listening to your podcasts, and reading your blog, I was one of those people that when I read of a near death experience, I believed that those people had gone to and seen heaven. Many thanks to you for clearing it up , that that simply is not true until the silver cord is broken. Dave

    1. Many see NDEs that way, David. They’re often convinced an individual had died, gone to Heaven but then had returned to continue living on earth. It’s a situation I’ve tried to help with both on ALF and other sites on numerous occasions.

        1. thanks, David 🙂

          I do call by fairly often to see what Roberta has been writing about but mostly it has little relevance for me so I contribute here only occasionally.

          Additionally I find the blog-response format of this place very limiting without the free flow of a forum-based discussion with its editing and formatting tools. Those features are vital for me so I can express myself as clearly as possible – and correct my many mistakes!! lol

          Don’t forget to visit us again on ALF sometime. You’re always welcome there 😉

    2. Oh my dear David, these ridiculous NDE fantasies do spread far and wide before the truth can even get its boots on, don’t they? But in the end the truth always prevails!

  2. I so enjoy waking up early every Sunday morning and reading your knowledgeable insights regarding what awaits us all! It’s comforting to know that this physical life with all it joys and challenges is just a temporary segment of soul progression. The old saying “this too shall pass” is a frequent reminder when this terrain becomes difficult (and it will).
    Thank you Roberta for all you do!

    1. Oh my dear Susan, thank you so much! And I enjoy our weekly coversations about these blog posts, too. There are weeks sometimes when I think it’s impossible for Thomas to come up with yet one more interesting topic, but amazingly he somehow always comes through!

    1. And ultimately, yes, I think you’re right, my dear. The thing is, though, that everyone thinks a bit differently, so they each will see those ultimate truths from a slightly different perspective.

  3. I enjoy reading your blog Although I do not agree with some of your writings. Jesus
    is not Lord God is Lord! This man Jesus has no Idea who I am and never will
    care that I am even alive. It´s sad that people think that you have to have Jesus in your life or you have no life!

    1. For me neither of those ‘guys’ is what we humans refer to as “lord”. And, again for me, it’s not important that either Jesus or God knows who I am on a personal level. I feel sure it has no importance for either of those guys either! 😉 For Roberta the situation is different. She’s just as much an individual as you and I are, Michael and sees matters differently from both of us. Again for me, what’s in the message of survival and what it means in practical terms are what’s important. Most of what Roberta’s written above appeals to my reason, the ‘Silver Birch principle’. You’ll find more on these subjects at afterlifeforums.com, Roberta’s forum-based other website.

      1. Dear Mac, I think you realize that each of us sees things differently. And one thing that I think you also realize is that since each of us has a personal primary spirit guide, in fact we each are much more plugged in to and know by the Godhead than we know!

    2. Oh my dear Michael, I’m not sure who might think that you have to have Jesus or you have no life – I certainly don’t feel that way. Different strokes for different folks, and His teachings are the easiest way to grow spiritually, but not the only way. To be frank, Jesus is my personal friend. I know Him personally. Outside the religion. And I do see why you might be irritated to think that Jesus is especially important to me, but just think of Him as something like one of my buds. And I think you would find that Jesus Himself thinks more as you do than as I do! He would prefer that I NOT call Him “Lord” and NOT capitalize His pronouns, for example, but He understands that I want to do it so He just considers me to be a bit eccentric. He thinks of it as one of my quirks. You can perhaps give me the same space? Remember that He taught us to pray The Lord’s Prayer – to God – and I’m sure you don’t find that objectionable?

  4. I always look forward to your posts and am getting so much great information from your Seek Reality website subscription!

    Just ordered those Robert Monroe books on Amazon, thank you for your recommendation. Have been familiar with him and his facility’s good work. Love the Robert Monroe Center’s CD’s for deep meditation.

    Your selection of scripture was beautiful and brings home that there was knowledge of our silver cord even at that time. Thank you for all you do!

  5. Dear Roberta,
    This was a very brave post today! Thank you. I think it’s important that we understand the difference, especially with so many youtube channels sharing stories, and some get confusing. For instance, while Jesus tells us there is no judgement, some NDE stories say they went to “hell” or had some tour that doesn’t jive with the message of Love. In some, they say Jesus showed up and spoke to them and shares what sounds an awful lot like mainstream Roman Christianity and Evangelicalism. I’m not sure what to make of those, but reading today’s post puts things into perspective. I hope anyone who has had an NDE and reads this, understands you are not trying to diminish nor toss their experience, but put it in it’s right category. Does that make sense? I hope so.

    1. Fran as I see things one of the biggest obstacles to understanding NDEs is folk’s desperate desire for fantasy rather than reality. People WANT to believe someone has died but then returned from Heaven. They are insistent that’s what happens.

      Online media allows them to spread such stories to a huge and hungry audience who do not understand and/or also want to believe the fantasy. NDEs are life-altering events but continue to be misunderstood by experiencers and readers alike.

      Roberta’s explanations reach those who are here because they’re thinkers; ALF enables them to discuss this and other afterlife related events. 🙂

    2. It does make sense, my dear Fran. The fact is that every NDE is in the nature of a dream, and delivered by the experiencer’s own guides, for his or her own edification. So of course none of those “Jesuses”was real, and for certain none of the hellish experiences was real. I frequently hear from people who were terrified by YouTubes, when there was no need for them to be!

  6. Willie,
    I just ordered the 3 books in Monroe’s Trilogy (Amazon) and went to the Monroe Institute website to get some CDs for deep meditation that you mentioned. BUT there are 389 CDs listed after I did a search! Do you or anyone else have a suggestion as to which one or ones I should order to get started? Thanks for any guidance/help you can offer.

    1. Dear Dennis, our Lola’s suggestion below is a good one – the folks at The Monroe Institute can probably help you find what you are looking for!

  7. I think that’s why these events are called NEAR death experiences, the individuals haven’t actually died. I never considered them to be death experiences, because the souls and bodies are still on earth. Many people who’ve had these experiences realize they can’t go past a certain point, because the silver chord will be broken and they WILL die. I don’t find it helpful to critique the experiences these individuals have gone through, because in many cases, the NDE has been life changing for them. A large majority of these cases give people hope, and every soul has a unique expression and experience. Any material that can help people lessen their fear of death, is a positive. We all relate to and process information differently. Sharing any information encouraging people to realize they have a soul, not just a body, is a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

    1. My approach is never to question, criticise or ridicule the account of someone who has experienced a so-called near death experience.

      What they tell of their wholly personal experience should never be a subject for debate or rejection because ONLY the experiencer can speak with authority about what (s)he experienced.

      But if someone goes beyond that to draw conclusions at odds with what’s widely known by those who have spent years or decades ‘at this stuff’, then I think it’s fair to challenge what they say. Whenever anyone goes public with an opinion or belief it should be expected others may challenge it.

      I agree totally with the way Roberta views NDE (and we don’t always agree about this ‘stuff’ ;)) saying much the same things over on ALF and elsewhere – death is a one-way trip. If you’re here telling us your story then you didn’t die and miraculously return. I do make the point, though, that I totally get why such events can be life-altering, often in amazingly dramatic ways.

      Such events may encourage the experiencer to seek a better understanding of life, death and what follows. I’m always happy when anyone does that. 🙂

      1. Oh my goodness, my dear Mac – when you and I agree I always find that to be rather lovely!

  8. Dearest Roberta,
    I was always brought up with the esoteric Jewish belief in the silver cord as essential for life. If it is still attached, this Divine tether ensures that a soul maintains his/her life on earth. If it is cut, then a person is dead to this earthly life and there is no coming back. It is interesting that this ancient knowledge source got this bit right.

    Is the ‘golden bowl’ human or earth-based consciousness? I wonder. This vessel breaks on death too. Could it be a metaphor for the freeing of the soul from the human, earth-bound mind, perhaps?

    Roberta, I’ve got to admit that in my desire to get beyond the duality of this earthly life, I looked at NDE reports some years ago. I sought to understand the afterlife and I was hoping for a clear view on Heaven and a sense of Divine Oneness. I was looking to see if there was consistency with regards to the myriad experiences in NDEs. Instead, I found that many were positive and loving, some were freaky (involving giant, purple octopi and fantastic beasts) and some were based on the idea of being sent to hell..

    I became frustrated because these experiences didn’t resolve anything conclusively. NDE anecdotes were just as inconclusive as belief systems on earth. Some NDE experiencers said there was a hell and some said there was no such thing. Some experiences were spiritual and love centered while others expressed religious dogmas abundant in religion. In short, although many NDEs were inspiring, they didn’t clarify my understanding of the actual hereafter!

    I now understand that the greater astral realm is where NDEs happen. This is a highly creative place, so happenings and meetings therein are created for NDE experiencers. It looks like NDEs are ‘shock settlers’ for the experiencer who has just suffered a major bodily trauma; be it a car accident, heart attack or another impactful disaster. Maybe, caring spirit guides arrange these experiences to help the minds of their humans suffering life trauma… I bet such compassionate creativity would indeed be employed, since guides love their human charges completely and greatly desire to help them. That feels about right to me. 😉

    Loved this blog post my dear. Thankfully, your own decades of research have shed a light on what happens after death. Finally, I can see some consistency! 🙏🏼❣️🌅

    1. Efrem: With my luck, I will see a giant purple octopus like you mentioned. Another guy saw biblical characters holding a large chocolate bar with the ten commandments on it, while yet another one saw a pink bear beating a drum. I think some of these are created just for a good laugh. Just about anything can be created on the astral plane, and most spirit guides have a great sense of humor.

        1. I’m convinced that they do. For instance, who can get spiritually inspired by seeing a pink bear playing drum music? LOL

      1. Dear Lola, I love your anecdotes here. And that large chocolate bar wouldn’t last long around me. It’s a very funny image. Even the pink bear beating a drum, sounds like something from a kids’ cartoon program.

        I guess Spirit in the astral plain likes fun creativity! Now we are getting into the area of weird dreams are we not?

        Now, if you did see a purple octopus Lola, you would realize it was all froth and bubble. Then it would disappear and you would suddenly be in the blessed Summerland realms. Your own awareness would find the Shining Place. I have no doubt about that my dear! 🙏🏼❣️🦋

      2. Oh yes, my dear! And every last one of these NDE experiences was created for the experiencer himself or herself. Not for the world. The notion that these folks are all meant to be somehow all prophets now is all such utter nonsense.

    2. Oh my dear Efrem, I am traveling this week, and I love the fact that when I can’t be here as much, all my dear friends here take care of one another so wonderfully! thank you and thank everyone here for that! Yes, I’m sure that your Jewish heritage would have made you much more familiar with the silver cord. And I love the fact that it is such a clear-cut tradition!

      1. Dearest Roberta,
        We love you and we love being here to be able to love-befriend each other. Thank you for giving us this truly outstanding forum, filled with such beautiful, spiritual souls. 🙏🏼❣️🕊

        I enjoy the fact that wherever your good self, or any of us, may travel we always seem to meet here! 😎🌅

        1. Oh my dear beautiful Efrem, I love all of you! And when I am as distracted as I have been this week, my sweet friends here carry on and make such a beautiful and spirit-filled meeting place for one another. thank you!!

  9. Something Roberta notes above catches my attention: the reference to the “silver cord” as a part of our anatomy. Maybe someday soon medical equipment will get sensitive enough to detect this vibration and the whole legal, ethical and moral definition of “death” will change from measured brain waves to the integrity of our spiritual tether. Anchors aweigh!😃

    1. I hope that happens, Mike, but I am not confident. Although we speak about this umbilical-like cord as if it’s a physical thing it’s not. The cord is not of this physical dimension hence detection using physical equipment may never be possible, just as it’s not possible to detect the presence of spirit individuals. Those who discern a cord – or a spirit – do so using their psychic awareness/sensitivity

      1. Yes, and it could never be detected by physical equipment. To even get scientists to admit that such a thing is there would be a miracle

        1. I don’t consider it matters that most scientists are unable to accept what to us is everyday fare.

          Constantly referring to their inability or refusal to do this or that bestows on them an unwarranted degree of importance. Scientists ARE important to the sciences that impact our lives here in this physical world. Outside of it all bets are off; science provides no insight into the world of the spirit. Scientists know nothing about that world.

          Much is made nowadays of the quantum sciences without there being any indication such sciences actually apply in the world of the spirit. Why do we continue to treat science as being important to subjects we already know about? Should we need to coax science even to start looking at re-inventing the wheel? Or should we just leave most to their blinkered beliefs?

          We would welcome a better wheel but first there need to be an acknowledgement we already have a working one. 😉

          1. I don’t know, my dear Mac. I do think it’s rather important for mainstream science at last to come to grips with the fact that at death humankind doesn’t blink out like a light. Don’t you?

    2. Oh my dear Mike, one thing that I just love about you is that you are such an optimist! The silver cord is indeed a part of our anatomy, but it is a part of our spiritual anatomy. It attaches our spiritual body to our material body and keeps the latter alive. So since material medicine can’t even acknowledge that the spiritual body exists, I’m afraid that it will be awhile before we will have the sort of breakthrough that you describe!

      1. There was a time when brain waves could not be detected by then-modem medicine. A time when ultraviolet and thermal fields around the body were unknown. Now all of that is “measurable” and studied. Our favorite example of “dark matter” was unknown but now, at least, it is deduced if not measured. So who knows what new instruments may detect and eventually take for granted.

        1. Yes who knows what might happen but thus far all discoveries have been of/from/in this physical dimension, even the most recent discoveries of far distant galaxies by the James Webb telescope – all are in our physical dimension and not in the etheric world(s) 😉 I do hope events eventually prove me unduly pessimistic.

          blessings 🙂

        2. Ah yes, my dear Mike. But even when they can detect it, will they be willing to admit what the energy body actually is, and what their discovery of implies, do you really think??

      2. quote: “I do think it’s rather important for mainstream science at last to come to grips with the fact that at death humankind doesn’t blink out like a light.”

        There was once a time when I felt similarly, Roberta but now I feel it’s vastly more important for regular gals and guys to know it. I they are not persuaded of the simple message of survival then so be it. Mischievously mixing my metaphors, you can lead a horse to water but there is none so blind as those who will not see…..

        I think we should just continue to set the table and invite the scientists to sit with us. Their time will inevitably come even if not ’til long after we have long gone 🙂

        Who knows? We might even have returned for another go by the time it happens! lol 🙂

        1. quote:” I they are not persuaded of the simple message of survival then so be it.”

          This should have read: ” If scientists are not persuaded by the simple message of survival then so be it.”

          The problem with blog responses is that we’re unable to edit after posting. 😉

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