Wednesday, October 01, 2003

What happens to people who have committed crime?

QUESTION: "What happens to people who are in prison for committing a

violent crime?" ...anonymous

ANSWER: "This question leaves me a little confused as I am not certain what
the individual means. People in prison serve out whatever term they were
given. Some choose to take advantage of the time they have to educate
themselves, read, study, grow in understanding and self-knowledge. Others
become bitter or angry or simply resign themselves to their fate and endure.
Should they die in prison, there is no definitive way to be certain what
comes next for them - be it heavenly or hellish or ?. My reply reflects
near-death research. We know from the various reports given so far
worldwide (and there are millions of them), that what seems like it should
be a criminal's "end," is not necessarily what occurs.

" Near-death research highlights the existence of a Higher Source or Higher
Will. We do not know what is going on at the soul level of any individual.
We can know people on the personality level: what they did, how they acted,
what were the mitigating factors in their life that contributed to what they
became. And, we judge them on that basis, but we do not know nor can we,
" who" they really are and what this life really means to their overall
development as a soul. Because there is such a gap between the personality
level and the soul level, we are cautioned in our churches and by our
spiritual groups to judge the deed but not the person. Jesus said, "Judge
not, lest ye be judged also." You get a heavy dose of just such a reality
in cases of people who died, then came back to life with a different
perspective, a greater sense of truth.

" I would refer you to the case of Nathan Kyles III on pages 94-96 in Children
of the New Millennium (Three Rivers Press, New York City, 1999), for the
opposite view. He returned from his childhood near-death experience as
transformed as any, but, because of how he was treated when he tried to
share what happened to him, he turned to a life of crime. You see? We
cannot be certain how anyone will respond or what is true for that
individual at deeper levels of his or her being. There are no absolutes.
The more you know about near-death research, the more convinced of that you
will become.

Question Two: "What happens to people who do horrible things such as rape
and murder? What about Hitler and tyrants and such, did they choose to be
that way before being born?" ....Todd.

Answer: "This question sounds a lot like the first one. I wonder if
" anonymous" is really Todd. Still, the question is a reasonable one, and
one we all grapple with. Although no one can really answer this question,
nor does near-death research address the subject directly, there are
findings that convey some pertinent ideas I would like to share."
" Reviewing the thousands of sessions I've had with near-death experiencers in
a quarter century of research, there is a description about the spiritual
realms that is consistent across ages and cultures and it goes something
like this: there are levels to what we call "heaven" and "hell" and they
are stacked atop each other like a "layer cake," separated only by rates of
vibration. After you die, you usually go to where you "fit" according to
your vibratory resonance at the time you passed over. Some souls, however,
wind up in shadowlands or border areas for awhile and for various reasons.
Those who go there seem to be the ones who are the most confused, regretful,
curious, lost, or the most passionate about sticking around to help or
hinder the living. These individuals are invisible to those alive, but can
appear on occasion as if "ghosts."

" Apparently, we stay in the realm where we "fit" until we learn and grow
beyond the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that sent us there. Neither
heaven nor hell are end-points. We are never "stuck" unless we think we
are. Advancement seems to depend on our willingness to learn and grow, to
awaken to the greater realization of who we are and the responsibilities we
have as souls, as spiritual beings. For some, that is a big "call," and is
tough for them to handle. Those more fixed or confused in their thinking
have a more difficult time and can take longer in their development. We are
not punished "for" our sins (mistakes) but, rather, "by" them. . . for we
must face the consequences of whatever we think, say, and do. Yet how this
works, how the soul plans its missions and growth patterns, is different
than what a human being (ego-personality) does.

" The soul has no concept of time and space, neither does it respond like a
personality. Near-death experiencers are crystal clear on this. There is
no "black and white" fact sheet that outlines how things should or must
occur. What happens to any given individual depends entirely on his or her
choices, the life as actually lived, and how that compares to the will of
the soul. There really are spiritual laws and these laws apply to everyone,
irrespective of religion or belief.

" How someone like Hitler is dealt with and what becomes of him after death is
not for my knowing. What I do know from my own near-death experiences
is that once you begin to awaken, to know your real self, your Higher Self,
and have a better sense of spirituality and of God, the puzzle pieces of life
begin to fall in place and a knowing comes - a peace. There is justice; it just
doesn't work on The Other Side like we think it might or should." (For a more
in-depth rendering on these matters, be alert to the publication in March, 2004,
of my book Not Here, Present Elsewhere: The Real Truth About Death and
Dying, due out from A.R.E. Press.)