Afterlife controversies

Afterlife researcher and author Cyrus Kirkpatrick wrote an excellent piece on his blog Afterlife Topics. The post was about the two camps of belief about what happens when we die.

The first camp proposes that we enter the spirit world pretty much as we are. Our environment changes along with some of the rules of physics, but our personalities and our knowledge remain as they were. Stepping into the spirit world is like continuing education.

“The first camp is supported, in particular, by researchers of direct spirit communication. That includes information presented through physical mediumship sources (such as David Thompson, Scott Milligan, Leslie Flint, and others) as well as most information from Spiritualist sources dating all the way back to Swedenborg in the 1700s.”

The second camp is what Kirkpatrick calls instant enlightenment. It’s as if our ego falls away and we re-discover who we are as eternal light beings. A popular metaphor here is that we are like actors in a movie playing roles we chose before incarnating. When the movie is done, we die and go back to our real selves. If we played a bad guy in the movie, that’s just the actor following a script.

“The second camp is primarily reinforced by literature from near-death experience books, pop mediumship, and channelers. It’s also part of an overall culture in various pop-spirituality circles.”

Kirkpatrick allows for a third camp, a kind of combo-pack of the two, and that’s probably where I fit. The Albert Brooks afterlife romantic comedy Defending Your Life comes fairly close to my personal philosophy: Earth School is a workshop and you are accountable for what you do here.

My thinking has been that when I die, I will stay pretty much who I am, but opportunities will be much different than here. Specifically, access to knowledge will be much better. Here we have to sift through all sorts of deception, manipulative marketing, secrecy, “fake news,” corruption. We are constantly being sold things, often not too ethically. People want your money, your labor, your votes, your undivided attention. There it seems as if we have much better access to knowledge. So, while there is no instant enlightenment, per se, with a little effort any individual can learn and grow.

Perhaps the motivation to learn and grow comes better from life on physical Earth where we are exposed to heaps of pain and suffering. Through all that pain, we aspire to a better existence. When we get to the other side, many of us are motivated to soar even higher, which is to say learn and grow. If instead we simply existed in a place where all our needs and desires were constantly met, we would not be motivated to do anything but chill some more.

While I have wondered about the various differences in the accounts of the afterlife from various sources, I have not yet encountered many critical thinking pieces comparing afterlife scenarios put forth. (I just purchased Kirkpatrick’s book and hope that he discusses more on this theme in it.)


When we consider what potential to our planet the SoulPhone will eventually offer, it pays to know the operating principles of the spirit world. We will eventually have to establish systems for credibility, reliability, and truth so that we know how authentic SoulPhone communication is.  This will be especially true if any attempt is made from this side to incorporate input from the spirit world in any of our legal, governmental, or otherwise official affairs.

Currently, as you may have discovered, certain sites for mediums or other metaphysical practitioners include disclaimers about how this input is “for entertainment purposes only.” Giving medical advice is forbidden. Much of this system is going to face the forces of change when the SoulPhone comes of age.

Kirkpatrick’s voice seems to align with those who say that Earth School requires some effort on our parts. You can’t skate through, buy a degree, or cheat. The feel-good brand of spiritualism quite common today sells a vision that doesn’t add up to any grounds for instant enlightenment.

To receive Soul Phone News & Views free by email, click on the Menu icon at the top left corner of the page and fill out the brief form to follow.