We are the world.
We are the children.
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving.
There’s a choice we’re making.
We’re saving our own lives!
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.
– Michael Jackson (1958-2009) & Lionel Richie, from “We Are the World” (1985)
The only way for humankind to entirely fix what is wrong with this world is to make it common knowledge now that every human life is eternal. No other attempt to repair a world gone so badly wrong would even make a dent, when compared with the transformative power of that one bit of crucial information! The truth about our eternal nature is far more than just peripheral knowledge. For everyone to know the truth right now would change everything.
I used to wonder about this. But as I said last week, now I am certain that it is true. And the reason I am so confident is that I have been widely teaching the survival of death for more than a decade now. I have heard from many people who have described the transformative difference overcoming the fear of death has made in their lives, and I have heard from others so traumatized by Calvinism and other fear-based Christian notions that they are rather hoping their death will be extinction and not eternal hellfire! I especially recall one young man who had grown up in a fire-and-brimstone church, and now he lived in an agony of fear that the God he had learned about in church might exist, and might be gunning for him now. I laid out a reading plan for that fearful young man, and I offered to answer his questions as he learned; but he simply went away. I hear from so many people that I lost track of who he was, but fortunately about two years later he emailed me as a response to that earlier emailed reading list. And he was altogether transformed! I had suggested in my email that he keep at it because becoming certain of the truth about death could take as much as two years of study, and he was pleased to report when he emailed me back that it had taken him exactly two years. He had read not just my suggested list, but a good part of my appendix booklist besides. He told me that he knows what is going on now, he looks forward with pleasure to dying someday, and meanwhile he is dating someone and getting down to the business of living. Dear God, if I can help no one else, his email has made my whole life worthwhile!
But in fact, I have watched a great many people come to realize that their lives are eternal. This is a revelation quite different from the almost mechanical process of raising our consciousness vibrations away from fear and toward ever more perfect love by applying the Gospel teachings of Jesus. And yet, the result in people’s lives and outlooks seems to be about the same. People who have learned enough about what actually is going on to become confident that death is an illusion, that God is love, and that their own lives never will end have the following characteristics:
A Lack of Fear
It was when I lost my own fear of death that I first noticed this lovely phenomenon. Since childhood I had been afraid of the dark, to the point where I now wonder whether my fear might have begun with that sudden flash of light in my darkened bedroom at the age of eight. I recall once in college explaining my fear of the dark to some boy I was dating. I blurted to him, “There might be anything there! Or nothing there!” My fear was primitive, and it was so overwhelming that prior to my marriage I needed a night-light to sleep. Then eventually, at about age forty, I was working at my computer one evening as the room grew dark around me. I paused briefly and looked around, and I was astonished to find that the room was pitch-black but I was not afraid! After seeing this same phenomenon in others, I have come to conclude that fear of death is the mother of all fears. When you no longer fear death, you no longer fear anything.
Living in an Eternal Frame
This term covers a cluster of characteristics. People who have internalized the certainty that they never will die begin to think in an eternal timeline. Death is going to end nothing for them! So:
As you can see, this shift toward living in an eternal frame is functionally close to the same as giving up on selfishness entirely. And in helping us to lose both fear and selfishness, our becoming certain that we never will die seems to be about as effective at raising our consciousness vibrations as is strictly following the Lord’s Gospel teachings.
What did Jesus say about eternal life? Actually, He said a great deal. As you know, Jesus told us that we must apply His teachings to our lives first of all! He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). And He did in fact teach eternal living. We can’t be word-for-word certain about these quotations because we know that First Nicaea in 325 and some of the later first-millennium councils are guilty of editing the Lord’s words here and there; but these quotations seem to be largely genuine. He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word he will never see death” (JN 8:51). And, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (MT 6:19-21). And, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (MT 5:11).
As Jesus was preparing His disciples for His impending crucifixion, He explicitly told them He was going ahead of them to prepare a place for them, in a process that afterlife researchers can confirm is pretty much what our loved ones are going to do for each of us! He said, “Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (JN 14:1-3). Then later, on the cross, He gave one of those who was crucified with Him the same promise that very soon He is going to be giving to each of us. He said, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (LK 23:43). And of course, proving that death is not fatal was the entire point of His Resurrection! I have lately come to think that a certainty that we live eternally may have been the actual “truth” that Jesus was promising to share with us. And what He assured us it would “set you free” from eternally was the fear of death!
We know that every one of our minds is part of the great eternal Mind that continuously manifests this universe. And because that is true, once as few as ten to fifteen percent of all the people on earth have sufficiently raised their personal consciousness vibrations, the change in them must inevitably begin to raise the consciousness vibrations of us all! But to get there, we have been thinking that we would have to convince maybe a billion people to want to raise their own consciousness vibrations. And it is a sad fact that the notion of “growing spiritually” has little broad appeal. We might point out that this universe exists just to give us a place to grow spiritually, and we might even add that unless we can raise the consciousness vibrations of at least ten percent of the earth’s population we can have little hope of improving all the horrors that now torment this world. But even at that, we get just yawns and a shrug more than seven billion strong!
So let’s decide now to stop talking about spiritual growth altogether. You can sell only what people want to buy, and what they hunger for now is just the certainty that they really never are going to die. So let’s begin now to talk only about how happy you, and you, and you are going to be when at last you conquer your fear of death! Let’s develop a quickie two-year course from which the graduation degree will be a certainty of your own eternal life. Let’s give people a joyful hook where they can hang their lives and every bit of their happiness. Step right up! Spend two years getting your Ph.D. in learning what really is going on, and you will be able to live your most joyous life, both now and forevermore! Freedom from death is the Gospel promise of Jesus. And at this point, it is our one remaining hope if we seek to save humankind from its present death-spiral into extinction. The Lord said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (JN 5:24). Amen, Lord!
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call,
When the world must come together as one.
There are people dying!
It’s time to lend a hand to life,
The greatest gift of all.
– Michael Jackson (1958-2009) & Lionel Richie, from “We Are the World” (1985)