For literary purposes I set up a scenario to tell a story. I do not believe we are conscious at any time between death and resurrection. But I do believe we will survive. Nor do I believe physical death is a magical springboard, therefore I posit the necessity of interstellar travel from here to there.

Each of us can envision heaven as we wish. These visualizations must be inventions since no one really knows what the other side looks like. Nonetheless it may be possible that a remarkable prophet may have had a glimpse. The obvious such candidates would be Jesus and John the Revelator. However I think there is a lot we can infer, even conclude, with good reasoning and healthy, original assumptions. In any case we can speculate. And I hope my speculations have been more than entertainment; that they have helped you in your search for the truth. Maybe you have pinned down a few good questions, and maybe even a few good answers. If conjecturing about the other side gives us a better idea about how to live here and now, it is worth it.
     There are many afterlife projections presented by our various belief systems. One cannot wonder about heaven without wondering about reality itself. We can each look at the diverse notions offered and see what harmonizes with The Truth. The value is in the looking; our ideas about the future do shape the present. Whether our speculations are fiction or fact we will not know firsthand until we take the long sleep ourselves. The price of admission is somewhat high, and though most would prefer to postpone it as long as possible, it is inevitable.
     If nothing else, it is an invigorating exercise in the use of our dynamic freewill, intelligent discrimination, and exploratory insight. When we all meet on the other side, we can compare notes and have a good laugh about how far off we were.

In the end it all comes down to verification and/or belief. So what would we need to confirm The Real Truth? How do we determine what is true and what is false; right or wrong? Do we have an inner truth indicator? Is there a scale from good to better and then on up to best? If so, is there a hierarchy in the universe? Is there really a Final Authority, an Objective Reality? I believe our minds are equipped with the inherent faculty to not only sense but to actually know when we touch upon an answer, no mater how partial or garbled. It is the same sense giving us the ability to know what is genuinely beautiful, to feel goodness in all of its forms, and to recognize what is really real. And since God is good, we are assured he gladly gave us such a gift.

How do we get to the truth? For scientific questions we look to the facts science is accumulating; for philosophical questions we turn to the logic of philosophers; and for religious questions we most often accept the teachings of our elders, established institutions, or revelation.
     Some folks just take the traditional story of a particular religion or philosophy and run with it (frequently not looking very closely at the contradictions or obvious inconsistencies). Others have not yet bothered to ask the questions. During our time on this planet there are people with all manner of ideologies who are making an effort and seeking the truth. And they are asking lots of questions – not just the ones I asked in this book but the ones I could not even begin to think of, because all questions are unique to the questioner. Each person filters all information through their own senses, experiences, morals, beliefs, logic, reasoning, and faith. Even without faith in an Ultimate Source, these experiences confirm or move us closer to, a fuller and truer sense of reality. Enlightenment is ours as quickly as we are able to live the truth.
     We can know what is right not only by external experience but also by internal experience. We are in possession of not only the mental systems of logic, reason, and intuition but also the higher senses of the personality and the Spirit who generously shines light into our hearts (if we do not block or obstruct it). Our intuition, of course, can be accurate or inaccurate. Yet we also know we can correct our ideas and beliefs as we acquire more information (external), spend more time in refection (internal), gain more experience (practical), or live according to value-based principles (spiritual). What we each decide molds how we think, and how we think shapes how we live this life, thus effecting what we bring with us to our next life.

I am convinced there is an afterlife. But why hold onto such a truth/wish? My knowledge comes from an even bigger a priori foundation: the existence of a good God. I choose to believe God is Reality (all of it) and each of us is an important piece of his grand scheme. I have no doubt he is thoughtful of all our needs – individually and collectively. A Divine Person who loves us has designed everything. The grand Propose is carried out by the angelic corps who where created for service.
     I willingly share my beliefs but I cannot prove his existence to someone else; it is one of those internal certainties we can know only in our heart of hearts.
     There is no need to ignore the human sources of information, but it is unwise to give them more credit than they deserve. We should use all secondary sources (books, experts, etc.) to verify or confirm our ongoing progress. Once we know in our soul that God exists (or even before then) we may then look to a Higher Source. Who first said, “Put no other gods before me?” Was it God or was it The Book? All too many people have turned their written revelation into the new golden calf. Word symbols are only mental aids providing information. If we rely on any human source outside ourselves to give us direction, we need to understand it (or they) can only point the way. You and I are required to make the decisions and take the actual steps.

There are five components of the self: body, mind, personality, soul, and Spirit. The self is a fusion of these constituent elements. Self-consciousness is an awareness, in the mind, of a uniquely self-aware personality in fraternal relationship with other personalities. Life is the intentional divine animation of these five components organized as a self. Life is not inherent in organic systems, no matter how complex. Life is associated with the entire energy system. When there is a fatal disruption of any critical part of the system, this vital unifying life-force loses its hold on the system and physical death occurs.
     In order to experience our resurrection we will be provided with another body: an appropriate energy system with mobility, dexterity, and all of our current senses. This new body will be partially physical and partially spiritual. If our previous attainment was substantially more spiritual than physical, then a greater portion of the new body will be spiritual.
     When a physical body dies, the mind associated with the brain is disconnected from its physical energy system. The mind is not a stand-alone entity. It is never disconnected from its divine source. It is a gift from, and a part of, the Infinite Mind. When the individual mind-reach can no longer connect with the human neural system it is drawn back into Itself. All valuable memories and Earth experiences are protected and retained. They are uniquely yours and will be reintegrated into your new mind/body/soul consciousness upon reassembly. Mind is superimposed on energy and energy is responsive to mind.
     During our Earth life the personality is seated in the mind circuits. As we mature spiritually, our identity is gradually transferred from the material-intellect to be increasingly associated with our emerging soul. After death the personality is totally identified with the soul.
     This reassembly takes place far away from Earth, but still within the physical universe. Thus, with a new body, a renewed mind, our same personality, the unique soul we formed on Earth, and the Spirit entity who chooses to dwell within each of us, life can be re-imposed on the new system allowing self-consciousness and self-awareness to return.

We will look back on what happened during our Earth life after we are on the other side. But you and I have decided to investigate the afterlife before it happens to us. This examination has given us some insights into how humans think, and hopefully, how things really work.
     Thank you for taking a serious, and especially sincere, look at these questions. I honor your well-thought-out, elegant, and genuine conclusions.