The spiritual life is then part of the human essence. It is a defining characteristic of human nature, without which human nature is not full human nature. It is part of the Real Self, of one’s identity, of one’s inner core, of one’s specieshood, of full humaneness.
Abraham Maslow, The Long Way Home, MANAS, 1963.
How does after-death contact with the returning deceased impact us? How do we change, and what is it that we become?
We become different. We become other than what we were before. We become more human perhaps because our values of what it means to be human change. Through the coming together of the embodied and the disembodied a conjunction between two realities, one material the other non-material, is created. It is within this space, and the stillness of reflection that can follow, that we are invited to become the living principle of a truth in action
In some way, unique to all who experience after-death contact, we know irrefutably that the dead do not die and this knowing changes our understanding and fills us with hope, wonder and awe at what it is that we are, and what it is that we are destined to become.
The occurrence of after-death contact indicates that something profound is not only occurring but being communicated as well. After-death contact, the lived experience of it, is an experiential allegory of potential psychospiritual growth and development. This potentiality can be utilised by the experient to re-evaluate the meaning of their existence as a human being, the meaning of life, and the meaning of their relationship with the sacred or the spiritually infinite. It invites the individual to consider life and one’s participation in life from a transpersonal perspective.
Death is the putting off of the physical body. It is an event that enables the individual to live as a spiritual being in the spiritual universe. After-death contact can be profoundly transformative because of its intersubjective nature with the experient.
One hundred years ago mystic Evelyn Underhill wrote, “We know a thing only by uniting with it, by assimilating it, by interpenetration of it and ourselves” (1915, Practical Mysticism). When the disembodied visit they leave a little of themselves behind, a footprint, an impression; there is an interpenetration of them with us, and it is in the shared space that is created by that interpenetration that we ‘know a thing’, and that we become.