A highly respected Lutheran pastor and theologian, A.D. Mattson, who died in 1970, devoted his life on earth to working with and for the downtrodden. Always at the forefront in the struggle for civil rights, workers' rights, and social justice, he took very seriously the biblical injunction that we are our brother's keeper.

His deep and practical faith also led to an interest in the paranormal, and he promised his daughter, Ruth Mattson Taylor, that, if it was at all possible, he would communicate with her after his death. According to Taylor, it was possible.

Since 1971, A.D. has been communicating with Ruth through the distinguished British medium Margaret Flavell. His communications--on death and the life that follows, on the soul and the realms of the Beyond--were collected in two books, most recently "Evidence From Beyond" (Brett Books). Here, A.D. discusses how the dead adjust to their new state and continue to grow spiritually. He also explains why survivor grief is unhealthy.

A.D.'s Message About Grief

Often on the anniversary of the death of a loved one, people on earth spend the day literally agonizing in their grief. This is very counterproductive for the souls who have died. These souls are busy getting constructive lives established, and they are suddenly pulled back to those loved ones who are steeping in grief. This is very disruptive and upsetting to the one who is on the spiritual planes.

We want you to use the anniversary of our death as a remembrance of our life with you. We want you to have a sense of closeness and celebration with us on that day. You should concentrate on the fact that we have gone on to an even more wonderful life. We want you to know that, though unseen, we still continue to support you with our "presence" and love.

What Happens After Death

The astral world, where we go immediately after death, is almost a replica of your world, except that it is of a finer substance. That's why when we step out of our physical body and arrive on the astral plane, all is familiar--it's a reflection of the earth plane. This gives us a sense of continuity. When people who are fearful of death and who are closely tied to their own home die, the transition to this plane is made easy by the fact that there is a replica of their own home here. That helps them to feel comfortable in the beginning. The thread of familiarity is there. They can adjust and work from that place as long as they need to. After that, it disappears, just disintegrates, because they don't need it anymore. Nothing remains in creation here if it is not needed. It then goes into the great Whole, so that the material may be used again.

When we arrive here, we are not expected to rearrange ourselves on our own. We have trained souls who are dedicated to work with the new arrivals, for we are in some ways strangers in a strange land. Certainly it is governed by different vibratory laws from the physical world we have left. We are indeed in a new area of feeling, and we need help and tender loving care. And, my goodness, we get it--richly overflowing love and care.

After our joyful reunion with loved relatives and friends, we are led away by our helpers to a place of healing. My room was filled with sunlight, and I was enfolded in soft floating bands of various colors. I have since been told that different colors are used for different people, depending on what type of healing is needed. I was conscious of healing hands removing tension and strain, producing a gradual sense of being more and more relaxed. All sense of time and pressure leaves us.

Growth Continues

Growth is the aim and object of living, whether on earth or here in the heavenly planes. We are blessed because others who have traveled the road before us are ready to give us a helping hand.

Sometimes in the beginning, upon arrival here, a soul who has died from starvation needs to be fed, because his desire for food is so great. Such souls eat food, which we know is imaginary food, but they think it is tangible food. "Oh, how wonderful!" they say. "It's true then, that when you get to paradise there are feasts and we can be filled." This has to take place, and I've watched it happen. Eventually they will say, "Oh, we've eaten enough. Surely there must be something more to do besides this." They are then brought out and formed into groups and classes. Teachers and helpers teach them that the hunger is all in their mind, because they no longer have a physical body to feel hungry. This never impinged on me. As I functioned in my astral body, I was just very thankful that I didn't have to bother with food anymore. But there are souls who do need to go through this experience.

Those on earth who are bigoted or intolerant or self-absorbed find coming here to be a very painful and disturbing experience because they continue to think in their bigoted, intolerant, and self-centered way: They soon realize that they are quite uncomfortable and very lonely. It's almost as if they're encased in a hard shell or covering. They cannot begin to experience the joy and wonder of the life here until they learn to overcome these negative feelings that are retarding their spiritual growth.

When we are adjusted to the conditions on the astral plane, we generally prefer to continue with the life we have lived on earth, if we feel it has unfinished areas. That only applies to those who have enjoyed their careers. We know there are those who have faithfully earned a living in a trade or profession that was not satisfying. These persons absorb the knowledge gained, and then go on to become involved in studies or other areas of work they wish to explore. They are assisted in developing in new areas through the advice of others, by attending groups, or by going back to "college." Too easily, one might think that when we die we become clever, able to do anything we desire with ease. Not so. We work at it! Children who die young also grow and develop, just as they would on earth.

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