Articles From the May 1994 Unification News
WFWP Publishes First In A Series Of Booklets On Application Of Divine Principle To Everyday Life
by Lynn Mathers-NYC
Insights Into The Afterlife: Thirty Questions and Answers on What to Expect is the title of a new 30-page booklet published by Women's Federation for World Peace. Nora Spurgin, President of WFWP and author of the booklet, says it was a collaborative effort which was written for the purpose of applying the truths of the Divine Principle to life (and the afterlife). It is the first in a series of such booklets which she envisions. She states, "Such a series would be an excellent witnessing tool. I would like to find several people who would like to help me do them on other topics, for example, 30 questions and answers on Marriage and the Family; on Raising Children; on Choosing a Spouse; etc."
Insights Into The Afterlife begins and ends with the personal experience of the author and several close friends as they experienced the illness and the death of their friend and co-worker, Linna Rapkins. Between these personal accounts are the following 30 questions and their answers about death, dying, and the afterlife:
Is there life after death? How do we know? If life continues after physical death, where is such life lived? What is a near-death experience ? Is going to the spirit world automatic? What is the spirit world like? Can spiritual growth take place on the other side ? Are people on the spiritual side aware of our passing? Will we know and be with our relatives and friends who have passed on before us? What will we look like in the spiritual world? What will we do in the spiritual world? Do we have to be religious? If we are not religious, what happens? Does what we believe and practice in different religious traditions make a difference in terms of quality of life in the spiritual world? Will we meet God and other religious figures? Of what significance are repentance and making amends before we die? What about heaven and hell? What could we do while still living in the physical body to make a better transition at death? After entering the spirit world, can we return to loved ones on earth? Why can't people on earth see or hear the spirit if it is still alive and trying to make contact? Do our prayers for the deceased help? Is there time and space in the spiritual world? Can we still enjoy physical and sensual pleasure in the spirit world; for example, food, drink, and sex? What happens to one who commits suicide? Does suffering on earth have spiritual value? What about reincarnation? Are angels different from spirits of people who have lived on earth? Are there demonic spirits and angels? Do we pass through some kind of judgement on our earthly life? Are there marriages in the next life? If I'm married now, will our family be together? What are some guidelines for disposing of one's estate?
Mrs. Spurgin sees this as a piece of literature which can be used in door-to-door witnessing; an excellent piece to send to our parents and relatives; it could be used by doctors and in nursing homes; in AIDS programs, and by ministers. The booklet is written with simple, succinct answers to some of the great questions and mysteries of life. Hopefully, it will open a way to share many of the truths we have been taught in the Principle.
In the introduction, the author states, "My heart aches for the many who die without preparation without a sustaining philosophy of life, or death. This is the primary reason that I asked a few close friends of Linna's to help me in preparing this little booklet to share what we have learned through our experience with her, and through our own reading and searching. If there is life after death, and if our earthly life is preparation for that then we have come to believe the greatest thing we could do for humankind is to share this understanding.
"For the format for this informative booklet, I have chosen 30 commonly asked questions with answers that you will hopefully find simple and clear. These answers are presented without specific religious doctrine and dogma and are for the sole purpose of enhancing life both on earth and beyond. This booklet is for those who are in the full bloom of life; for there is still time to prepare. For those who are terminally ill, maybe it can make a difference in the quality of the final years or months and help the new arrival into the spiritual world.
In the conclusion, the author states, "Our life on earth is a precious growing opportunity. All of us, in living, are preparing to die. Some know that it will be soon, others will have many more years to prepare, and there will be those who die far sooner than they expect. It is a fact of life that everyone will pass on and no one of us knows exactly when. Many will not be given an opportunity to prepare to make their passing a new celebration of life.
"This booklet is to educate people about the next life in order to provide guidelines for a more meaningful life on earth, offer enlightenment and comfort, and dispel the fear of death and the next life."
Mrs. Spurgin would appreciate hearing from anyone who has an interest in helping to write more such booklets. For example, if given a list of questions on topics of family life, etc., would you like to try your hand at answers? If so, please contact the WFWP office. Maybe a small committee for each of the booklet topics could be formed.
The Insights Into the Afterlife booklet will be available by May 15. Orders can be placed through the WFWP Headquarters office, 4 West 43rd St.; New York, NY 10036. Single copies are $2.00 + .50 postage; orders of 10-99, $1.50 each; and 100+, $1.25 each (plus postage).
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