Margaret Flavell Tweddell was born with a clairvoyant ability that is so unique, during World War II she was commissioned by Lord Hugh Dowding, Marshal of the British Royal Air Force to use her ability to successfully trace missing RAF pilots. She is well known and respected for her accomplishments in the realm of paranormal psychology. Unlike Edgar Cayce, Margaret is one of those rare positive mediums who receives telepathic messages while in full control of her senses and not as a result of out-of-body experiences. As a Methodist, she is a deeply religious person, a spiritual counselor and a healer. As a friend of Margaret, Ruth Taylor asked Margaret to use her unique ability to contact Ruth’s deceased father, the Reverend A.D. Mattson. Mattson was a highly respected Lutheran theologian who, before he died, promised his daughter Ruth that, if it was possible, he would communicate with her from the Other Side. Ruth’s father fulfilled that promise when Margaret successfully received messages from him. The messages were long and detailed of what life on the other side is like. This information had such an impact on people that the messages were published in 1975 and became a classic. The book is entitled, Witness From Beyond, and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross remarked that this is “an important book to help in the understanding of life and the transition we call death – which is not the end of life but a new beginning with continued growth and challenges.” The following excerpts from this book will show you how unique this spiritual information from the other side really is.
Table of Contents
- Where is Heaven and Hell?
- Is There a Devil?
- What is Jesus Like?
- What is Eternity Like?
- Is Heaven Limited Only to Christians?
- What are the Afterlife Realms?
- What is Hell About?
- What Happens to Dogmatically Religious People?
1. Where is Heaven and Hell?
Concerning heaven and hell, it is not true that when we die we wait for a judgment day. Heaven and hell are not places – they are spiritual states of being. They are not static states but are states in which there can be growth and progress toward ultimate wholeness of being.
As there are degrees of heaven or hell on Earth, so there are degrees of heaven or hell in the spiritual world. The spiritual state of being you have on Earth is the spiritual state you take with you to the world beyond when you die.
There is no sudden metamorphosis from an idle person into an active person, from a nonreligious person into a religious person, from a money-centered person into a God-centered person. This is not an automatic thing. Your personality – your likes and dislikes, your hopes, your fears – are still attached to you, although in a more nebulous form than when you are on Earth in a physical body.
I see people come over. They arrive and have high hopes that everything is going to be different for them. However, nothing can be different for them because they have brought with them what they are. There is so much harmony here, and if they have brought a disharmonious personality with them, they find it very difficult to link in with the harmonious existence that we have. This is something that grieves me when I see it.
It is not true, as some people think, that if we only give verbal assent to belief in God, well, that’s fine – that is our passport to heaven and everything will be all right. What we have to remember is that Jesus showed us the path by which it will be all right. He doesn’t say, “It’s all right, brother, come along in. Sit down now and relax and do nothing.” He says, “It’s all right. You are on my way. There are a lot of stones in it, but you are on my way. If you ask me, I’ll help you over the stones.” The old teachings that “as you strive, so you’ll be helped” are right. The Lord helps those who help themselves.
If you truly try to follow the laws of the Kingdom which the Lord has revealed, and ask for his help, he will aid you in becoming a whole person. As I see it from here, there is a rod of light – a pulsating power, the vital force of the Holy Spirit – right down through you. It is the self-centeredness of the personality which erects blocks and disturbances which make it impossible for the Holy Spirit to function through you. If you ask for help from the great physician, the Lord Jesus, he will help you to unlock the inner, healing power of the Holy Spirit which is within you so that it can be diffused and can spread throughout your being. The Lord will help you to achieve the attunement, the shalom, the peace, the wholeness which is heaven.
Heaven is not sitting down and “casting down your golden crowns” and singing “Hallelujah.” However, I did notice that there is a tendency among certain sects or religious people over here to congregate in their little groups and have their little sessions of what they feel are “heaven.” This is an interesting fact. I am told by my teacher here that eventually they become very bored with this narrowness, and then their own helpers and teachers here try to give them another thought and another idea and help them to break away from this narrow approach.
We tend to feel that when we die, heaven is as we thought it – and it certainly is. As I’ve said, you can be received exactly the same way you always thought you would be received. You may remain in that narrowness if you want – you need never change unless you wish. God gives us perfect freedom in spirit.
The old notions are that you go “up to heaven,” and you go “down to hell.” We have not understood that it is merely a matter of vibration. The finer the vibration is, the nearer we are to heaven. Heaven is a state of being joyous, light, loving, harmonious, vibrant, God-centered and others-centered. The heavier the vibration, the nearer we are to hell. Hell is a state of being heavy, dull, dismal, gray, and glum – as when you are heavily depressed and self-centered.
People who have an orientation of hate, for instance, find themselves unable to appreciate a realm of love and harmony. Therefore, they continue in their state of bitterness and are “closed” to the glory which exists around them. I am told by my spiritual inspirer that they have to wait. These people wait and gradually they appreciate the fact that it is very destructive to hate like that. When they have had real hates and have been emotionally upset like that, or have had a real bitterness toward someone, then it takes them quite a period of time to get the light and the power around them again, to be able to appreciate this place or that, or go to the Valley of Praise, or go and hear beautiful music. They just hear discords, and eventually they come to the realization that ‘this isn’t much of a life, is it?’ And the moment that happens, those who are dedicated to work with this sort of person come and they have their methods of easing them away from the state they are in. It is like taking a skin off an onion. They will gently peel off this layer that is formed by hate – this shutting-in, restricting coat that comes on them with their violent, negative emotion.
2. Is There a Devil?
Just knowing the bad mistakes you made through your carelessness or your selfishness is a hell. You don’t need a devil prodding you with a fork. Believe me, your own anguished mind is a prod that is more hurtful than any prodding with a devil’s fork.
I met a man over here who said that he would gladly exchange good old Dante’s Inferno for the mental anguish he was experiencing over guilt feelings from wrong actions he had taken on Earth in certain business matters.
In Dante’s Inferno he would be able to complain that the devil was doing this to him, whereas now he had no devil to complain of because the devil was himself.
Whether there is a negative personal being who can be called the devil I cannot say. I have not seen anyone personified as the devil. There certainly is an evil force which builds up from the negative aspects of life and has a tremendous influence. Thought forms which are evil certainly play a part, but I don’t think they are the whole answer.
3. What is Jesus Like?
I have seen the Lord Jesus in all his radiance, in all his glory, but not immediately on arrival because then you are still with the dust and vibrations of your own thinking.
When I first saw him, the light and the glory and the surging of power was so tremendous. It was like an avalanche of feeling over me. At the present time I just don’t feel that I have found a way in which to describe what it was like – an indescribable contentment and uplifting, a tremendous ecstasy of feeling on all realms, being completely out of yourself, an unusually vivid knowledge of the intense, sympathetic love around you – the warmth of it, the light of it – something that is not external but is part of you. It is like a sunrise on a mountain that is covered with snow, when the colors come down and reflect on you – a dazzling brilliance that would make you close your eyes and yet feel it in every pore of your body. This is the feeling that you have as you come toward the LIGHT.
And then suddenly to hear the voice that says, ‘Look at me.’ And when you look – there, just as you’ve always imagined – you see him. He shows himself to us according to our own understanding. If I want to think of him as a man who walked by the lake and a man who looked as the Jews looked at that time, then I’ll see him that way. If in my thought I think he’s modern and bright, then I’ll see him that way. We do not see him as the medieval painters made him. We see him as we, in our own selves, have pictured him, because otherwise we wouldn’t recognize him. How would we know unless we have the picture already in our own being – in our own minds, in our own hearts.
To me he came walking across the air – across the tops of the buildings, the trees. I’d always known he’d come toward me with his arms and hands outstretched. He said, “Come, let me show you” – because I have an insatiable curiosity and I must see and I must know. But there was no “falling asleep in the arms of Jesus.” There was the knowing warmth of BEING that I’ve always known would be. It was so much beyond what words can tell.
It is true that the Lord Jesus can take a form so solid that those who are in the body may see him – those who are in the dream state may see him and be called by him. But when I saw him transcendent, I was days and days just marveling and sensing and knowing. This was my rebirth. The body in which I now function was strengthened – made resilient, firm, aware. When I first came over here, I only knew what I had known and seen, shall we say, in a vision. But that was to see and not to experience. Until you have experienced it and been caught up without the ties and the cord that keep you with the physical body, it is very difficult to comprehend.
Until you are released from the bondage of the physical body, you have no way of knowing the feeling and the uplifting and the thoughts that come into your head. The body is so much heavier than the personality which goes on. But even in your personality, there are times when you are completely detached – we call it a mystical ecstasy. Every time I turn my mind toward him now, I am engulfed in the power and time has no limits or meaning. It may be a flash, it may be hours – I know not. It is just a great knowing. I ask and he’s there. He says, “Follow me,” and we follow. But we don’t follow with our feet. The whole being of you follows him because he is everywhere – in and through and around and everywhere. He is a manifestation of God.
4. What is Eternity Like?
We don’t talk about time here. We talk about opportunity. We cannot think about time here because it is not measured off in days and nights and months and years.
I want to put on record that I find life here more interesting than one could dream possible, but it does detract from quiet thinking periods. I am slowly realizing that there is a greater need for self-discipline than when a physical body made its demands known. Then I had time divided up into sleep and waking, and the latter part divided into eating, talking, studying, teaching, walking, thinking, etc. Here there is so much to see, so much to hear, so much to do. One has to learn to set aside some “time” for one’s own personal self-discipline, because if the mind doesn’t control the body you can be in the same state of utter discord as you are when you are in the physical body. Discipline brings order, and it is absolutely imperative to have orderliness.
Here there is an overall awareness of what is going to happen on Earth six weeks, six months, or perhaps two years ahead. At times it is rather like being in an airplane looking down, and we get an overview or prevision of what is going to happen, due to our being able to see things in broader perspective. However, do not for one moment imagine that, now that we are here, we automatically have completely extended vision and have become seers. That is not true. However, we do have some who are seers here. They are souls who, through much trial, tribulation, and service, have been permitted to see in a more extended way.
Humanity has to think of life everlasting, manifested now in the present. This is very important. Life has been held very cheaply. Millions of people have been killed through devastation, torture, war, and man’s inhumanity to man. This has brought spiritual pollution on all levels.
We are just as much morally obligated to help our brothers on Earth when we are without a physical body as we were within a physical body. This is an aspect of truth that few people want to face. They think, “Oh, when I’m dead everything will sort itself out. There will be no troubles, and that will be that.” That is not true. God still gives us the opportunity and responsibility in the spiritual world to observe and to choose and to serve.
It is not going to be pleasant for a lot of people to know that, whether they like it or not, they are their brother’s keeper. We are each other’s keeper. We are each other’s deterrent. We are each other’s goad and help, because we are all part of the ONE pulsating, living, glorious WHOLE.
I say glorious in spite of the terrible things that are still happening in the world, because humanity is progressing up the spiral of evolution. From here we know that there is no problem, there is no pain, there is no ill, there is no disharmony in the whole of the created universe that eventually will not be made into harmony. This is an awareness that one gets here which is harder to achieve on Earth. It is something I want you to try to remember.
5. Is Heaven Limited Only to Christians?
Jesus reveals the way, the truth, and the life. However, unless we can give someone the true Christian experience of the Christ, it is not right for us to say to them, ‘You must not be a Buddhist – you must be a Christian.’ Unless we can give the true Christian experience of the Christ, then it is far better for us to leave them with the Buddha and that approach to God and to the word. It is wrong for us to say to a Hindu, “Oh, no, all that is wrong. You must be a Christian.” Unless we can give that person a true and deep understanding of the meaning behind the words that Jesus said – the sense of the knowing of the power of the meaning behind the word – then we have no right to take away their faith because there is an old saying that nature abhors a vacuum.
I am still utterly amazed at what I find here. Utterly amazed! There is love and there is harmony. There is music that transcends all thought. There is color, light, belonging, and there is being. It isn’t only in the one path of Christianity. You find it in many, many other faiths. All faiths which stress love have this focus. It is like reaching out to a sun and light comes down along different rays.
We are all walking. We Christians walk here, the Hindus walk there, the Buddhists walk in another place, and so forth. All have their own paradise, goals, aims, and objectives for so long. Then suddenly they are into the tremendous experience of knowing that all is one under God and that there is no division in purpose. There is one God of us all.
6. What are the Afterlife Realms?
The world in which we find ourselves immediately after death we call the “astral world.” From this point we can progress to higher realms – to higher levels of consciousness. By “higher” realms I do not mean spatially higher but rather those realms which have a finer vibration.
All of the various realms of consciousness have different frequencies of vibration. For instance, you assume that the matter of Earth is composed of atoms and that these atoms are composed of energy which vibrates. This matter of Earth is denser than the matter of the higher realms. As you can see light waves which vibrate at a “visual observing” rate, so you can see the matter of Earth. However, as you cannot see radio or television waves which vibrate at too fast a rate to be seen, so you cannot see the matter of the world beyond, unless you are clairvoyant.
The spiritual bodies of those who have died vibrate at a rate too fast for your physical eyes to see. However, they can be viewed by clairvoyants whose sight has been opened to receive this faster vibration.
You know, the world beyond is not up there somewhere. It’s here – a change of condition. It is all in one space like a big sponge, containing all the different frequencies of vibration – like soapy water, salt water, clear water, the different densities of water – you can relate it to the different densities or vibrations that I have here.
The astral world is almost a replica of your world, except that it is of a finer substance and we are not “bound” by our objective reality as you are.
On the astral realm we are conscious of our personalities and the modes of life we carried out on Earth. Therefore, we have denominations on this realm and we continue to practice the rites of our respective churches.
On numerous occasions since I arrived here, I have been permitted to go into the higher realms where there is a unity of God-praise, not a segregation of the praise of God. However, I feel very strongly that there is work for me to do here, helping to break down the barriers which segregate the churches. Therefore, I shall be a sojourner on this astral realm but the higher realms, where there is a unity of God-praise, will be my spiritual home.”
7. What is Hell About?
There is a condition which could be termed the “depths of hell.” People who have deliberately chosen to live debased or cruel lives and have turned their backs on the light of God find themselves in a state similar to groping in a dark and depressing fog. Everyone there is wrapped up in his own cruel thinking. These souls wander around in this lost state until they, of their own volition, make an attempt to turn toward the light of God. Some may be lost for eons of time.
There are souls called the “shining ones” who dedicate themselves to going into this dark realm and bringing spiritual light. The souls who are dedicated to this work of rehabilitation are clothed in protective garments so that they are not harmed or pierced by the dagger-like thoughts of hatred which those in the dark realms are throwing out. The shining ones are not allowed to go and talk to these people, but they stand nearby and call to them through thought – prayer, if you like. The moment the souls in this dark area respond in a positive way, the ones who have come to help are able to bring them out into a less dense, foggy world and eventually out into the realm of light.
Some people find themselves earthbound after death. This is a lower astral state. For example, people who die suddenly by accident, perhaps when they are young, are often loathe to leave the Earth as they feel a sense of incompletion of their earthly life. They stay close to the Earth, “haunting” the homes and places they have left. It is only through a process of education that they can be urged away from this unhealthy condition and helped to progress and grow in the new state in which they find themselves. Prayers made on behalf of these people from those still on Earth can be a great support and help. These prayers help release them to go on and partake of the ever-expanding life in the world beyond.
Persons who commit suicide before the time they are meant to die find themselves in a state of heavier vibration and closer to the Earth than those of us who died natural deaths. They remain in this state of density until the time when they would have normally died. They then may pass into the planes of finer vibration. People who have experienced death through suicide are greatly helped by the prayers and supportive thoughts from those still on Earth. They are also aided by those from the higher planes who are dedicated to help them grow spiritually during the period of waiting.
Among others, the lower astral planes also contain people who have been alcoholics or drug addicts, who find these cravings still with them in the astral bodies. They stay near the Earth to be near alcoholics or drug addicts who are still in the physical body, in order to participate vicariously in the sensations which alcohol and drugs give. They can be helped in the world beyond to clear their astral bodies of these cravings so that they, too, may go on and progress. However, this is a long and tedious process.
We have to try to convey to people still in the physical body that they can’t expect a sudden change for the better. They must help themselves while they are on Earth.
8. What Happens to Dogmatically Religious People?
Many people, when they come to the astral world, experience a great deal of turmoil and distress because they have been too positive and too dogmatic in their earthly lives and have tried to impose that dogmatism on other people. I think you can find, if you will think about it and look back at your own lives, that there are times when you wish you hadn’t been so forceful in persuading someone to do something. When one does this he is cutting across a divinely given attribute of each person, which is free will.
Dogmatic people who always “tell you the truth” are very uncomfortable people. They don’t understand how uncomfortable they are. When you watch it from here, you see the body blow that “truth” can be to people sometimes. If something is said too bluntly to a sensitive person who is seeking to improve himself, it can be such a damaging blow that he can retreat and give up.
People who go around “telling the truth” and bluntly dogmatizing on what they believe have fewer converts than they think they should have. They mistakenly believe that putting energy and force into what they say will produce converts. Actually, more converts come from demonstrating the law than ever come by dictating the law. This is something worth pondering about.