According to everything I’ve read and heard, death is painless.
One source of proof that probably all of us are familiar with is the near-death experience.
Have you ever read about a person who dies on the operating-room table, has a wonderful experience on the astral planes, only to be told that he or she must return?
Their experience is uplifting, inspiring, and magical. Not one that I’ve read has said the crossing involved pain. Usually they just lift up out of their body and that’s the end of it.
If you ever find an account that says the passage was difficult, perhaps let me know.
In the meantime, a second source of proof are the accounts of afterlife communicators. Let’s look at how they describe the transition from the physical to the astral.
American journalist Julia Ames, speaking from the turn of the Twentieth Century, reports that “with me the change [i.e., death] was perfectly painless.” (1)
Canadian Gorden Burdick asserted that “if people were to know that the actual moment of passing is not even noticeable, the fear of death that haunts so many people would vanish.” (2)
British Psychic Research Society president Frederick Myers confided that “death is … a mere episode which we regard with a certain tenderness and not with any pain. … There is contained in it a time of stillness, of sinking gloriously into rest.” (3)
The body can be writhing and still the dweller within the body has departed and feels no connection to the body or its pain, says communicator John Scott:
“They do not suffer, these people, in their passing. I think sometimes their friends suffer more, when they see the body writhing in apparent agony, while in reality the spirit is already tasting the first freedom from pain, or lies in a blessed insensibility.” (4)
“Sigwart” was a First World War soldier, killed in battle. He felt momentary pain and then it left.
“The last minute was terrible, but only for a moment and then it passed, which means the sleep of death relieved me of all pain.” (5)
Psychic Arthur Ford tells us that death is so brief that many scarcely notice it.
“Death is no more than the passage through a beckoning door. It is so brief, so transitory as scarcely to be noted for it is what lies beyond the door that counts. The body, let us say, is tired and weakened. At a certain point the heart stops, not merely because the body mechanism will not function, but also because the soul has slipped off through the opening door. Some go gladly, some reluctantly, but all in answer to the universal urge for peace and tranquility.” (6)
Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson calls “the whole process of transition, which is so much feared by the folk on Earth, … a natural, normal, and painless process. It is as natural and painless as removing your outer garment when you have no further use for it.” (7) He continued:
“Since my own advent into spirit lands, I have talked with many friends upon the matter and not one of them was aware by any internal or external incident that their magnetic cord had parted from their physical bodies. In this respect the actual process of dissolution is painless. Whatever suffering is endured by the person whose transition is imminent is purely physical.
“That is to say, it is the cause of physical death, from disease, for example, or accident, that may bring pain and not the actual death itself. If doctors can relieve the pain, and there is no reason why in all cases they should not, then the whole course of dissolution would be entirely painless. Why should the severance of the magnetic cord be a painful operation? If it were, it would surely suggest that there were some fault in the heavenly scheme of things. But there is no fault and ‘death’ is painless.” (8)
Finally Joy Snell, who had psychic vision, describes a woman leaving her body. She arose as a sort of mist and then formed her body while others simply sit up and walk out of their body. Joy reports:
“It was the first death that I had witnessed. Immediately after her heart had ceased to beat, I distinctly saw something in appearance like smoke, or steam as it rises from a kettle in which the water is boiling, ascend from her body. This emanation rose only a little distance and there resolved itself into a form like that of my friend who had just died. This form, shadowy at first, gradually changed until it became well defined and clad in a pearly-white, cloud-like robe, beneath which the outlines of the figure were distinctly visible. The face was that of my friend but glorified, with no trace upon it of the spasm of pain which had seized her just before she died.” (9)
So the belief that death is painful needs to join the belief that we’re born in sin and only live one life as beliefs which were created to control us, keep our thoughts Earthbound so to speak, and prevent us from realizing the true scope of life – that we are now and always have been eternal beings who go in and out of materiality on our journey back to the One Source.
(1) Julia [Julia T. Ames] through W.T. Stead, medium, After Death. A Personal Narrative. New York: George H. Doran, n.d.; c. 1914, 64.
(2) Gordon Burdick in Grace Rosher, medium. The Travellers’ Return. London: Psychic Press, 1968. , 60.
(3) F.W.H. Myers inPaul Beard, Living On. How Consciousness Continues and Evolves After Death. New York: Continuum, 1981, 57. [Hereafter LO.]
(4) John Scott in LO, 56.
(5) Sigwart, Joseph Wetzl, trans., The Bridge Over the River. Communications from the Life After Death of a Young Artist Who Died in World War One. Spring Valley: Anthroposophic Press, 1974, 10.
(6) Arthur Ford through Ruth Montgomery, medium. A World Beyond. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1971, 15.
(7) Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson through Anthony Borgia, medium, Here and Hereafter. San Francisco: H.G. White, 1968 (dictated in 1957). , 127.
(8) Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 16-7.
(9) Joy Snell, The Ministry of Angels. Secaucus: Citadel Press, 1977; c1959, 18.