What Happens to the Soul after Death?

What Happens to the Soul after Death? March 21, 2024

life after death
Johannes Plenio via Unsplash

If you believe in life after death, where do we go when we die? Much has been written about the afterlife, and you’ve probably heard some of the numerous accounts of near-death experiences where people move to a light and are greeted by loved ones. But is this just wishful thinking?

In The Place We Call Home: Exploring the Soul’s Existence after Death, the late writer Robert J. Grant explores the afterlife topic via the teachings of the famed clairvoyant Edgar Cayce (pronounced kay-see). Cayce lived from 1877 to 1945 and has been called “the most documented psychic of the 20th century.”

According to his Wikipedia profile, Cayce has an interesting backstory:

  • At the age of 10, he read the Bible from cover to cover, twelve times over a two-year period.
  • At the age of 12, he was visited by “a woman with wings” who would appear to him at various other times in his life.
  • As a young adult, he began to see auras around people and hear the voices of departed relatives.

By the time he was in his 20s, Cayce had become a full-fledged clairvoyant, a person with “a supernatural ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact.”  For more than forty years, he gave psychic “readings” while in what he described as an “intuitive sleep.” A stenographer would record what he said during these sessions, and it is reported that Cayce seemed to have no idea what he had said until it was read back to him.

Cayce’s readings included an ability to diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments for the sick and ill (even when they weren’t present), uncover past lives, explain the meaning of dreams, and even access the Akashic records. But perhaps most fascinating were Cayce’s readings on the afterlife.

Cayce saw death as a transition from the physical world to a spiritual realm.

Cayce did not see death as an ending, but as a transitional period—that, through reincarnation, eventually led back to life. He saw death and life as interconnected, one leading to the other, our souls returning to earth over many lifetimes to learn and evolve.

Through his readings, Cayce provided descriptions of the various realms the soul traveled to after death. He had the seeming ability to travel to these realms himself and offered detailed descriptions of what he found there. Author Grant spoke with Cayce’s son who explained it like this:

He could withdraw from the physical body just as one withdraws at death … he was then free to move through many levels of consciousness … to touch the aspirations, purposes, and development of the soul.

It should be noted that there were (and are still) people skeptical of Cayce’s readings. Was he making it all up?  It’s impossible to say, but Cayce’s “readings” don’t seem too far removed from what many with near-death experiences have said.

The Place We Call Home includes extended excerpts of what Cayce experienced in the other levels beyond physical death. I’ve lightly edited these excerpts and placed them in the narrative below.

Edgar Cayce: On the Soul after Death

  • Upon death, the transition involves a change of body. But this transition is as easy as walking through a door.
  • If a person is free from earthly attachments and desires, the soul awakens in a light-filled realm where they experience great joy, peace, and contentment.
  • But if a person is still attached to their earthly desires and longings, they are held in an earthbound state, inhibiting their ability to move on after death.
  • You will not pass through the death transition alone. You’ll gather with loved ones and souls of a like mind, just as you gather with friends and family during your physical life.
  • You’ll continue doing the things you started doing on this side, just in another dimension. You’ll carry with you what you have planned, what you desired, what you thought about.
  • The most important lessons you learned in life—your ability to love, to forgive, to grow in patience and grace—go with your soul after your physical death. These lessons are not physical, they are spiritual.
  • If a person has lived a life of malice, selfishness, and hate, they will be met with these things at death. But if it has been a life of love and self-sacrifice, then love will be the reward.
  • Your ability to love or not to love creates the fabric of your after-death environment. You create heaven or hell for yourself, based upon how you applied these spiritual laws during your earthly life.
  • The earth is a necessary school for learning and growth—but the unseen realm is the true home of the soul.
  • Physical death is, in many ways, a return “home” with the lessons you learned while on earth.
  • Each person is “rewarded” with the sum total of what they have built during their physical lives.
  • If your thoughts and intentions in the physical world were to act from a place of compassion, love, forgiveness, and patience, these virtues will create a light-filled existence after death. This is heaven.
  • If you have spent your life holding grudges and resentments, being prejudiced in your thinking, acting out of jealousy or malice or hate, these thoughts form the building blocks of a home in the shadowlands, the hellish realms.
  • It is your earthly accomplishments that move you to high realms after death, it is from loving and acting from the heart in all facets of your life.
  • It is a universal law. Your inner life during your waking hours creates the outer world of your existence after death. What you have cherished in your heart will have a great deal to do with where you find yourself after death.
  • How can you best find your way to the light after death? You need to find and recognize the light here and now, during your time on earth. If you don’t find it here, you will not find it after death. But find it here and there is no mistaking it after death.

For more stories on the soul and other spiritual topics, check out my new book Wake Up Call: Daily Insights for the Spiritually Curious, now available at Amazon.

"Young and the young at heart marvel at his levels of energy, stamina, strength, faith, ..."

How Jorge Bergoglio Met God and ..."
"I am searching for a quote about the inner manifestation of Christmas. It compares the ..."

The Joys of a Magical, Mystical ..."
"Religion should never be based on fear.Our old religions are built on fear because humans ..."

The One Vital Lesson All Religions ..."
"The Gnostics, who were thoroughly discredited by St Irenaeus among many others, and you feel ..."

The Untold Stories of the Resurrection ..."

Browse Our Archives