What is it like in the afterlife? Most people will go to a place that looks a lot like where they lived on earth, at least initially. There are different regions in the afterlife, so everyone can go to some place that looks familiar to help them adjust to the transition from being incarnated to being a spirit.
This description of the afterlife comes from The New Revelation, by A. Conan Doyle. (The book is free to download at the link.)
[This description] came in a private letter from Mr. Hubert Wales, and is, I think, most instructive. Mr. Wales is a cautious and rather sceptical inquirer who had put away his results with incredulity (he had received them through his own automatic writing). On reading my account of the conditions described in the beyond, he hunted up his own old script which had commended itself so little to him when he first produced it. He says:
"After reading your article, I was struck, almost startled, by the circumstance that the statements which had purported to be made to me regarding conditions after death coincided--I think almost to the smallest detail--with those you set out as the result of your collation of material obtained from a great number of sources. I cannot think there was anything in my antecedent reading to account for this coincidence. I had certainly read nothing you had published on the subject. I had purposely avoided Raymond and books like it, in order not to vitiate my own results, and the Proceedings of the S.P.R. which I had read at that time, do not touch, as you know, upon after-death conditions.
At any rate I obtained, at various times, statements (as my contemporary notes show) to the effect that, in this persisting state of existence, they have bodies which, though imperceptible by our senses, are as solid to them as ours to us, that these bodies are based on the general characteristies of our present bodies but beautified; that they have no age, no pain, no rich and poor; that they wear clothes and take nourishment; that they do not sleep (though they spoke of passing occasionally into a semiconscious state which they called 'lying asleep'--a condition, it just occurs to me, which seems to correspond roughly with the 'Hypnoidal' state); that, after a period which is usually shorter than the average life-time here, they pass to some further state of existence; that people of similar thoughts, tastes and feelings, gravitate together; that married couples do not necessarily reunite, but that the love of man and woman continues and is freed of elements which with us often militate against its perfect realization; that immediately after death people pass into a semi-conscious rest-state lasting various periods, that they are unable to experience bodily pain, but are susceptible at times to some mental anxiety; that a painful death is 'absolutely unknown,' that religious beliefs make no difference whatever in the after-state, and that their life altogether is intensely happy, and no one having ever realised it could wish to return here.
I got no reference to 'work' by that word, but much to the various interests that were said to occupy them. That is probably only another way of saying the same thing. 'Work' with us has come usually to mean 'work to live,' and that, I was emphatically informed, was not the case with them--that all the requirements of life were somehow mysteriously 'provided.' Neither did I get any reference to a definite 'temporary penal state,' but I gathered that people begin there at the point of intellectual and moral development where they leave off here; and since their state of happiness was based mainly upon sympathy, those who came over in a low moral condition, failed at first for various lengths of time to have the capacity to appreciate and enjoy it."
There are a lot of free e-books at spiritwritings.com that describe the afterlife. Scroll down to the section: Future Life in the Spirit World
The following are excerpts from near-death.com that describe what near-death experiencers learned about the afterlife. More information about the afterlife can be found at that site.
Just a little ways off I could see a bridge with someone standing on it. Beyond the bridge, I saw a golden city with towers like European castles. The whole city seemed to be shining with light that shot up into the sky like a giant searchlight. I could see that some of the domes of the city were red, others were gold, and a few were blue. The gates and walls of the city seemed to be made of bright blue, red, and violet lights. (Randy Gehling)
Like wingless birds, we swept into a city of cathedrals. These cathedrals were made entirely of a crystalline substance that glowed with a light that shone powerfully from within. I was awestruck. This place had a power that seemed to pulsate through the air. I knew that I was in a place of learning. I wasn't there to witness my life or to see what value it had had, I was there to be instructed. (Dannion Brinkley)
In the distance I saw a sight so magnificent and astounding - a city made up of what seemed to be glass or crystal! The lights were of many colors that radiated from it. Never have I ever seen such a sight! I began walking toward the city in a daze of unbelief! So many questions raced through my mind. I had to know where I was. What was happening to me? I reached the front of the city and saw a double door that looked to be about thirty feet or so in height and width! (Ricky Randolph)
Dr. George Ritchie's temple experience:
I began to perceive a whole new realm! Enormous buildings stood in a beautiful sunny park that reminded me somewhat of a well-planned university. As we entered one of the buildings and doorways, the air was so hushed that I was actually startled to see people in the passageway.
I could not tell if they were men or women, old or young, for all were covered from head to foot in loose-flowing hooded cloaks which made me think vaguely of monks. But the atmosphere of the place was not at all as I imagined a monastery. It was more like some tremendous study center, humming with the excitement of great discovery. Everyone we passed in the wide halls and on the curving staircases seemed caught up in some all-engrossing activity; not many words were exchanged among them. And yet I sensed no unfriendliness between these beings, rather an aloofness of total concentration.
Dr. Allen Kellehear's temple experience:
Kellehear published an interesting near-death account where a person sees Albert Einstein in heaven operating a computer in a heavenly library. This account has similarities to George Ritchie's heavenly temple/library accounts described on this web page. Here is an excerpt of the account from Dr. Kellehear's book Experiences Near Death:
This time we were audience to a choir of angels singing. Angels were totally outside my reality at the time, yet somehow I knew these beautiful beings to be angelic. They sang the most lovely and extraordinary music I had ever heard. They were identical, each equally beautiful. When their song was over, one of their number came forward to greet me. She was exquisite and I was mightily attracted, but I then realized my admiration could only be expressed in a wholly nonphysical manner, as to a little child. I was embarrassed by my error, but it did not matter. All was forgiven in this wonderful place.
Instantly we arrived in an art gallery. It contained the work of the great masters of all time and all places. The display was both classical and modern. Some of the great works seemed familiar. Others were unlike anything I had ever seen, indescribable. The beauty and form of the sculpture and paintings on display were beyond words. A lifetime could be spent in this place, but to see everything I needed to see during this visit, we must move on.
Next we materialized in a computer room. It was a place of great activity, yet peace prevailed. None of the stress of business was present, but prodigious work was accomplished. The people seemed familiar to me, like old friends. This was confusing, because I knew there to be present those who lived on Earth still, and those who had passed on. Some of them I knew by name, others by reputation; and all had time for me, to teach me if ever I need help understanding.
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