Exploring Life After Life

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What We Know About Life After Death

by Cheryl A Chatfield, Ph.D.

This nonjudgmental, non-sectarian and non-fear-based discussion of the afterlife is based on research, ancient wisdoms and recorded individual experiences. The seven assurances below allow us to view death more objectively and incorporate new beliefs into our lives as we face our next great journey.

What We Know:

  1. We know the soul does not experience pain during the dying process. While the body does feel pain, medication can help alleviate any discomfort.
  1. We know, from near death experiences or NDEs, that souls are greeted by loved ones or guides and are directed into the light. The image of a tunnel of light or an opening of light seems to be consistent in all accounts. Books and movies, based on actual experiences, describe an all-encompassing loving feeling. Dying is a wonderful adventure.
  1. We know that letting go is necessary. We must release loved ones so they can die and move on. If not, they may get stuck with the energy or concerns holding them back. The same is true for us. We must allow ourselves to die and move on, not letting any negative energy from ourselves or family members restrict us. We can prepare by releasing fear now in order to be ready and by embracing the transition when death approaches.
  1. We know we are never alone during our passing. Someone is always there to help. Souls are not left by themselves, unless by choice. We never die in isolation.  We can call upon religious figures, such as Buddha, Jesus or Mary, or we can call upon a spiritual guide, guru, teacher, or loved ones. Most of us have died before, so the process is more of a remembering than a learning.
  1. We know that free will does not disappear after death. There are always choices. What we experience on the other side is related to our spiritual awareness or consciousness while on earth. What matters is what we have done during life and our state of mind or expectations at the moment of death. We carry everything with us, even regrets, addictions and obsessions. Knowing this, we are wise to heal these issues before dying.

All paths are different. A soul’s progression depends on choices, with more options available as we advance spiritually. We should not expect our experiences to be the same as others. We are unique beings in life and in afterlife.

  1. We know that there is usually a life review after death. There is no judgement, however,  except from ourselves.  One question is “Did we do what we set out to do in this lifetime?” If we died today, what would we say in our Life Review? How would we judge ourselves? If there are issues of concern, there is time to change any deficiencies now. If we accept our lives because we tried, we can move forward and do even better. Our intentions are what we judge, not results. We are not expected to be perfect; we are expected to be the best we can be and to learn from our mistakes. A life review done now can help that process.

During this time, we usually meet our soul group, which may be small or large. These are souls with whom we have lived and worked previously. Reuniting is like going to a reunion and meeting old friends and is one of the joys of the afterlife. Not only are we not alone, but also we are again part of a close family of souls, many of whom we spent lifetimes with on earth in various relationships and all of whom we knew from our previous lives between lives.

  1. We know there are many possibilities for us in the afterlife. We decide where to go and what to do, based on progress from our most recent incarnation. We always have choices about resting for a while, training for our next incarnation, or staying in a life between lives to learn, teach or experience new ideas.

Michael Newton, Ph.D. in Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives mentions five main specialties for souls beyond this life. He documents his use of hypnosis to study what participants experienced during their time between lives on earth. There are probably more than the five, but each provides many layers and opportunities.

Which one would you choose and/or which one is similar or related to work you are already doing? We usually have a sense of the future that feels appropriate. Knowing possible choices might allow us to begin preparing now.

Nursery Teachers

Nursery teachers are the caretakers of young souls. There are three possibilities: helping young souls who have not yet begun their incarnations on earth or elsewhere,  teaching new teachers, or researching ways to best help the young. Maybe everyone starts here since many of us end up, eventually, as guides or teachers. Either way, this is important work, assisting new souls before they begin their first journey.


These souls deal with moral codes and principles related to objective values which are essential to human development on earth and in other intelligent societies. Some who make this choice will be teaching guides to help souls between lives and also those on earth. There are different roles: teaching others to be ethicists in classes, being an ethicist guide to souls on earth or elsewhere, or being an ethicist researcher behind the scenes in ways we probably can’t even imagine.

As described by Newton, we tend to emphasize personal status and elitism because that seems to be our misplaced definition of “happiness” on earth. A lesson related to morality and ethics is for souls to be self-reliant while wanting happiness for society as a whole. The problem we encounter on earth is that we can get caught in the density of this planet and lose what we know and feel. Ethicists help with that struggle.


Harmonizers is a broad category with many groups and subgroups. These people usually incarnate as communicators, inspirational people, negotiators, artists, musicians and writers. In-between lives, they work on restoring disrupted energy on earth. They are not healers on an individual level but on a larger scale. Harmonizers help maintain positive energy around calmer heads who can make a difference, but harmonizers cannot orchestrate resolutions. They can help people who ask for assistance. Guides never interfere with free will.

No one can influence the activities of humans without the express request for such help. Harmonizers do, however, send calming energy or hold steady energy for changes taking place. Harmonizers help with winds, fire, earthquakes and human-created disasters to soften any destructive aftermath. They can’t stop or interrupt catastrophes, only assist afterwards.

Masters of Designs

These people work in the physical universe to design the planetary surface features on uninhabited planets. They also create life forms. Understanding this work requires being open to the possibilities of many other planets in varying degrees of civilizations and development with new ones being added continually.

Master Designers do landscaping with new plants, create new animals and/or change evolution to help plants and animals on existing planets. If the thought of designing a new home or office is exciting, can we even imagine the thrill of constructing an entire planet?


Explorers do exactly what the title suggests: travel to new areas. Explorers find possible new worlds in their travels that the Master Designers will then design. There are physical worlds, mental worlds and worlds in other dimensions. The work of the Explorers is also to find suitable training sites for less-experienced explorers. These seem to be the adventurous souls who like travel, the challenges of different environments and new forms of self-expression.

Most of us resonate with one of the five specialities. Isn’t it fun to think of these potential new lives that await us after we leave this lifetime?

What we know about the afterlife assures us not to fear death. The experience of leaving this life is a painless passing for our souls, a joyful experience of reuniting with loved ones, and a need to let go and release ourselves and close family. Loved ones or spiritual guides assist our passing, free will and assuming responsibilities for our actions continue, a life review assesses our success as we meet old friends, and new unimaginable, opportunities await us. An awareness of all of these encourage us to be prepared for our eventual passing and, perhaps, to be more at peace in the remainder of this lifetime.