The big question: Will life be different when you die? Are heaven and hell real? Do you follow a bright light? Is there such a thing as life after death? We say yes – and you’re going to love it!
As many faiths and near death experiences assert, what if what looks like death to us is actually the beginning of eternal life? What if the afterlife looks and feels familiar, and yet is more responsive, authentic, and wonderful than we could ever imagine?
After death we live on as human beings, just as we had lived in the physical world before. As we used to in the world, we see, hear, and speak. As we used to in the world, we wear clothes and accessories. As we used to in the world, we feel hunger and thirst and we eat and drink. As we used to in the world, we enjoy making love to our spouse. As used to in the world, we go to sleep and wake up.True Christianity §693:3
Swedenborg learned a lot about the afterlife! Click any topic to go directly to that section – and remember, if you want to learn more, read Swedenborg’s works!
- Spiritual Substance
- Homes and Clothes
- Time and Space
- Jobs and Activities
In the afterlife, there are mountains and valleys, oceans and streams, cities and villages, and almost everything you see on earth – only better. In True Chrisitianity §693:3 Emanuel Swedenborg wrote, “…every single thing that exists on earth exists in an infinitely more perfect form in the heavens.” How? Because everything in the afterlife is built from love. Spiritual substance behaves differently, but this doesn’t make it less real. “Real” actually means alive! And the closer we are to God, the more alive and responsive everything is, because God is Ultimate Aliveness!
Let’s learn what that means!
Homes and Clothes
In the afterlife, our thoughts and feelings actually build the environment around us. The closer we are to God and to love, the more amazing our surroundings become. Learn more about that in Levels of Heaven.
Cities and villages come from the collective minds of many, but smaller environments, like our houses, are affected by individuals. Your home will be uniquely suited to who you are and what you love. Learn more in How To Get a Home in Heaven.
Our clothes will be different too. We don’t need to shop or try things on – instead, clothes appear on our bodies, or in our closets, and will perfectly reflect who we are and what we care about. Learn more in The Clothes in Heaven.
Time and Space
In How to Live in Eternity Now, we learned that even on earth, we can experience time very differently depending on our state of mind. This is even more true in the afterlife.
In the afterlife, space and time don’t exist as they did on earth. Instead, we experience apparent space and time, which allows us to define ourselves, our experiences, and to make distinctions.
Imagine if time responded to you personally! Time would stretch for as long as your heart was enthusiastically absorbed in a task. Even better, everyone would be united in that feeling, so this applies to everyone involved! That’s how time works in the afterlife!
It’s the same with space. In the next life, your space will actually respond to your state of mind. Spirits and angels see actual changes in their houses when their state of mind changes.
In the afterlife, we won’t have language barriers or misunderstandings! There, language flows from the inside out, so everyone can understand each other, even if the form is different.
Swedenborg describes some of the forms as languages of:
- Facial expressions
- Visual imagery and symbolic representations
- Bodily movements, and information visible in the hands
- Telepathically shared thoughts and feelings
- Written letters and numbers
So, life after death will involve a whole new depth of communication. Learn more in How Spirits Talk!
In the afterlife, religious practices are only as meaningful as our intentions. So earthly religion only matters if it helps you better love the neighbor and connect with God through that kind of love.
Anyone whose life was motivated by genuine love for God and for others is already deeply connected to God and heaven, whether they were religious or not. Anyone who didn’t care for others will be distant from God, no matter what their faith! That’s why Jesus said,
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.Matthew 7:21
When you enter the afterlife, what matters is how you lived, and what your intentions were. Because good intentions, love, and a good life, are what heaven and God connect with above all.
Relationships are core to most of our life experiences, but on earth, the desires of our hearts aren’t always met.
But in the afterlife, your friends and family will be determined by the way you think and feel, rather than only by biological or circumstantial ties.
You can also find your soulmate and share a meaningful life together, even if you didn’t meet on earth.
In the afterlife, thought brings presence – instantly. You can be with someone just by thinking about them, and you stay close to someone if you love them. You’ll only be with who you truly want to be with. Learn more in How to Travel in the Afterlife!
Jobs and Activities
After death, we gradually become our most authentic selves, fully aligned with what we love and believe. We talk about that process in What Happens Immediately After You Die?
Knowing yourself better will help you find your dream job! After death, work is about helping others by doing what you love – not about money. It will be satisfying, fulfilling, and with people who share your passions and goals.
Recreation exists in the afterlife, too, and will be rejuvenating and deeply enjoyable. Learn more in A Day in the Life of an Angel.
Every effort we make to be loving, useful people matters, and leads us to heaven, where we can be our truest selves, surrounded by people we love, in homes and communities we love, with jobs we love!
So, will life be different when you die? Yes – because life after death will be more real than life on earth ever was!
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