[an excerpt from “Til Death Do Us Part?” which is available from Kindle, or from the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com.]
Dolores and I were active students of metaphysics, mostly through our association with WTI’s Spiritual Studies classes. We spent a lot of time studying Harold Percival’s “Thinking and Destiny,” and other books such as Fromme’s “Art of Loving” and Hayakawa’s “Language in Thought and Action.”
By the early 1990s, we began to conduct weekly study sessions and classes in our home, mostly readings from “Thinking and Destiny” on Sunday afternoons.
One night, we offered a class called “What Happens After Death.” About 10 people showed up for this one, which was a large gathering for our small meeting room.
We began by telling everyone that this was not some sort of religious exercise, nor was anyone required to “agree with” or “believe” anything we were telling them. Rather, we simply asked that they consider the scenario that we’d be sharing as a possibility, and that we would not consider “arguments” or “debates” about it. In other words, something does “happen” to us after our body dies. This “something” can range from “nothing” to reincarnation to “going to hell” and many other possibilities.
We were students of Harold Percival’s “Thinking and Destiny” book, and we explained that for this class, we’d be sharing his version of what happens after we die. Obviously, Dolores and I considered this version to be not only acceptable, but possible and plausible.
A brief explanation about Percival is required. He claimed in the preface to his monumental “Thinking and Destiny” book that he “came to” the information that he shares by means of what he calls “Real Thinking
Upon body death, according to Percival, we “automatically” go through a series of steps, which he initially describes as a brief overview on pages 240 to 253. He describes a specific order of 12 events, which includes a life-review, a judgement, a heaven-state, etc.
After our brief explanation, we asked each participant to lie on our floor.
“Now you have just died,” we announced, and we covered each person with a sheet to further simulate the death experience. We then read through the after-death stages, one by one, slowly, in the darkened room, asked each participant to work hard to fully feel the experience.
Talking through this process took about 45 minutes.
Then, we got through the entire cycle, and explained that these steps could actually take several hundred years of earth time. Then it would be time for being reborn into a suitable and appropriate family, in the place on earth that we’ve earned for ourselves.
We turned on the lights, and removed the sheets, and let everyone take a few minutes to get their eyes adjusted to the light. Slowly, each person opened their eyes and slowly got up, and sat down in a chair.
We began to share significant experiences that each person had. A few folks were very quiet and would not talk at all, but others were very talkative. Some were even in tears.
We closed the class by telling everyone that they had not died tonight, and that everyone now has a “new opportunity” to still “do the right things” since they were still alive in a body.
We shared some freshly-made coffee-elixir and healthful cookies, and we discussed a few of the upcoming classes and poetry readings that we’d be having in the coming weeks. But no one seemed interested in our announcements. Most everyone was strongly affected by the experience, and they wanted to ask more questions, which we tried to answer. As usual, we didn’t feel like the most perfect examples in the world, but we knew that “the future” is all the result of each and every choice that we make, second by second, and the consequences of those choices. To make the wisest possible choices every second of one’s entire life required a unique sort of sobriety and focus which itself required a unique lifestyle regimen to maintain – and, of course, those details were the subjects of our on-going classes.