On Life After Death - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm reading a short book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 'On Live After Death' and there is a passage from this book that I remember reading (or think I did) from The Wave Series or something else from the Cass/Sott sites. The author talks about seeing a person that died 10 months earlier when she comes off an elevator and this person/ghost(?) basically tells her to stay at her job, makes her to promise to do so and writes her a note as proof that the exchange took place.
I searched the Cassiopaea sites (com and org) and the PDF books (except PP and Ultimate Truth) and the only mention of her I could find is below. She says some interesting things and I plan to do a review of the book if it hasn't been covered elsewhere.
Litman, the rabbinic student, then confesses that "I find [Elizabeth Kubler] Ross's model helpful when addressing sacred Jewish texts that are violent or xenophobic, that speak of child abuse, human slavery, or homophobia with gross insensitivity. Like so many of my colleagues and students, I often drift confusedly through denial, anger, grief, rationalization (a form of bargaining); sometimes reaching acceptance, sometimes not." [LITMAN, R., SEPT 2000]


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi Mike -- as you may know, Kubler-Ross, Ray Moody, Melvin Morse, et. al. have been doing life-after-death inquiry since the 70s, at least. The absence of mention in the Cass material is probably because the Cass material is well "beyond," in a sense, questions of life after death, reincarnation, astral travel, ESP and the like. Such is my guess.

I don't recall seeing that story mentioned among the Cass stuff, myself.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Adpop said:
The absence of mention in the Cass material is probably because the Cass material is well "beyond," in a sense, questions of life after death, reincarnation, astral travel, ESP and the like. Such is my guess.
Yeah, the book didn't add much per se, but a few similarities in this short book and the Cass material makes we wonder where she was getting her info.

A friend gave me this book after some discussion about religion, reincarnation, etc. I picked it up to read this weekend since it was short

This book contains four essays that she either wrote or gave as speeches. Some material is repeated in two or more of the essays. Seems that after a certain point in her life after being with and studying dying patients for a number of years, helping the patients and their families, and trying to figure out what death is that she became connected to what she called "Cosmic Consciousness." At the end of the third essay, that I quote below, she describes how she became connected, which has similarities with some of Laura's experiences described in Amazing Grace and she mentions one concept related to the Gurdjieff's teaching. What is concerning is that she seemed to be guided by spirit beings and thought these beings could only be good. She seems to confuse these beings with a possible connection with her higher self. I read the reviews of her auto-biography 'The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying' and I included one at the end. The last third of this book (as described in the review) is about experiences relating to her 'connection' and may provide more information and material for a better understanding of her experiences.

Essay One: Living and Dying - speech given December 1982 in German, in Switzerland.
In the first essay she talks about what happens during death that have many similarities with the C's material about the topic of death and 5th density. Also, mentions that life is a school to learn lessons. The analogy of the cocoon also brought to mind Castaneda's luminous egg and discussions of it in his books. The mention of a belief in Guardian Angels plays into quotes from another essay. The first stage is normal waking consciousness.
There are three stages to the moment of death. [...] [...] the death of the human body is identical to what happens when the butterfly emerges from the cocoon. The cocoon can be compared to the human body, but is not identical with your real self for it is only a house to live in for a while. [...] As soon as the cocoon is in an irreparable condition - be it from suicide, murder, heart attack, or chronic disease, it doesn't matter happened - it will release the butterfly, your soul so to speak. At this second stage, symolically speaking, after the butterfly leaves its material body, you will experience some important things which you simply ought to know in order not to be afraid of death anymore.

At this second stage you are supplied with psychic energy, while in the first stage you were supplied with physical energy. In the latter, you still need a functioning brain, an alert consciousness to communicate with your fellow beings. As soon as this brain, or this cocoon, is damaged, you do not have an alert consciousness any more. At the moment when the latter is lacking and when - so to speak - your cocoon is in such a condition that you could neither breathe nor could your pulse or brain waves be measured, your butterfly has already left the cocoon. This does not necessarily mean that you have died already, but rather that the cocoon doesn't function any more. On leaving the cocoon you reach the second stage, that which is supplied by psychic energy. Psychic and physical energy are the only two which man can manipulate.

The greatest gift God granted man is free will. Among living beings, free will is given only to man. As such, man has the choice to use this energy in a positive or negative way. As soon as your soul leaves your body, you will immediately realize that you can perceive everything happening at the place of dying, [...] You do not register these events with your earthly consciousness, but rather wih a new awareness.[...]

In this second stage you will also notice that nobody will die alone. When you leave the physical body, you are in a existence where there is no time. That simply means that time doesn't exist anymore. In the same way, one can no longer speak of space and distance in the usual sense because those are earthly phenomena. [...]

What the church tells little children about guardian angels is based on fact. There is proof that every human being, from his birth until his death, is guided by a spirit entity. Everyone has such a guide, whether you believe it or not. [...]

In the second stage, after you have perceived that your body is whole again and you have encountered your loved ones, you will realize that dying is only a transition to a different form of life.[...] It could be that you float through a tunnel, pass through a gate, or cross a bridge. [...]

After you have passed this tunnel, bridge, mountain pass, you are at its end embraced by light. [...]

After this, it is not possible to return to the earthly body. But you wouldn't want to return to it anyway, for after seeing the light nobody wants to go back. In this light, you will experience for the first time what man could have been. Here there is understanding without judging, and here you experience unconditional love. I this presence, which many people compare with Christ or God, with love or light, you will come to know that all your life on earth was nothing but a school that you had to go through in order to pass certain tests and learn special lessons. As soon as you have finished this school and mastered your lessons, you are allowed to go home, to graduate. [...]

In this light, in the presence of God, Christ, or whatever you want to name it, you look back on your entire life from the first day until the last. With this viewing of your own life you have reached the third stage. On this level you are no longer in the possession of the consciousness from the first stage, or of the awareness from the second. You are now in possession of knowledge. You know in minute detail every thought you had at any time during your life on earth. You remember every deed, and know every word that you ever spoke. This recapitulation is only a very small part of your knowing because at this moment you know all consequences resulting from your thoughts, and from every one of your words and deeds.
God is unconditional love. During this review of your earthly life you will not blame God for your fate, but you will know that you yourself were your own worst enemy since you are now accusing yourself of having neglected so many opportunites to grow. [...] [...] to grow in understanding, to grow in love, to grow in all those things which we still have to learn. [...]
Essay Two: Death Does Not Exist - Public lecture title "There is no Death", given in 1977

When I was a teenager, and the war [WWII] was over, I needed and wanted to do something for this world which was in such a terrible mess. I had promised myself that if the war ever ended, I would walk all the way to Poland [from Switzerland] and Russia and start first aid stations and help stations along the way. I kept my promise, and this was, I think, when my work on death and dying started.
I personally saw the concentration camps. I personally saw trainloads of baby shoes, [...] When you smell the concentration camps with your own nose, when you see the crematoriums when you are very young like I was, when you are really an adolescent in a way, you will never ever be the same again. What you see is the inhumanity of man, and you realize that each one of us is capable of becoming a Nazi monster. That part of you you have to acknowledge. But each one of us also has the ability to become a Mother Teresa. [...]

All the hardships that you face in life, all the trials and tribulations, all the nightmares and all the losses, most people view as a curse, as a punishment by God, as something negative. If you would only realize that nothing that comes to you is negative. I mean nothing. All the trials and tribulations, the greatest loses, things that make you say, "If I had known about this I would never have been able to make it throught," are gifts to you. It's like somebody has to temper the iron. It is an opportunity that you are given to grow. This is the sole purpose of existence on this planet earth. You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden and somebody brings you gorgeous food on a silver platter. But you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand but take the pain and learn to accept it not as a curse, or a punishment, but as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose. [...]

After working with dying patients for many years and learning from them what life is all about, what regrets they have at the end of their lives when it seems to be too late, I began to wonder what death is all about.
I found this encounter with this dead woman interesting in light of her comments on spiritual beings and Guardian Angels.
Approximately ten months after she [Mrs. Schwarz] was dead and buried, I was in trouble. I'm always in trouble, but at that time I was in bigger trouble. My seminar on Death and Dying had started to deteriorate. The minister I had worked with, who I loved very dearly, had left. The new minister was very conscious of publicity, and it became an accredited course. Every week we had to talk about the same stuff, and it was like the famous dating show. It wasn't worth it. It was like prolonging life when it's no longer worth living. It was something that was not me, and I decided that the only way that I could stop it was to physically leave the University. Naturally my heart was broken because I really loved this work, but not that way. So I make the heroic decision that: "I'm going to leave the University of Chicago. Today, immediately after my Death and Dying seminar, I'm going to give notice."
The minister and I had a ritual. After the seminar we would go to the elevator, I would wait for his elevator to come, we would finish business talk, he would leave, and I would go back to my office which was on the same floor at the end of a long hallway. The minister's biggest problem was that he couldn't listen; that was just another of my grievances. And so, between the classroom and the elevator, I tried three times to tell him that it's all his, that I'm leaving. He didn't hear me. He kept talking about something else. I got very desperate, and when I'm desperate I become very active. Before the elevator arrived - he was a huge guy - I grabbed his collar and said, "You are gonna stay right here. I have made a horribly important decision, and I want you to know what it is." I really felt like a hero to be able to do that. He didn't say anything.
At this moment a woman appeared in front of the elevator. I stared at this woman. I cannot tell you how this woman looked, but you can imagine what it's like when you see somebody that you know terribly well, but you suddenly block out who it is. I said to him, "God, who is that? I know that woman, and she's staring at me; she's just waiting until you go into the elevator, and then she'll come." I was so preoccuped with who she was I forgot that I tried to grab him. She stopped that. She was very transparent, but not transparent enough that you could see very much behind her. I asked him once more, but he didn't tell me who she was, so I gave up on him. The last thing I said to him was kind of, "To heck, I'm going over and tell her I just cannot remember bher name." That was my last thought before he left.
The moment he had entered the elevator, this woman walked straight towards me and said, "Dr. Ross, I had to come back. Do you mind if I walk you to your office? It will only take two minutes." Something like this. And because she knew where my office was, and she knew my name, I felt kind of safe, I didn't have to admit that I didn't know who she was. This was the longest walk of my life. I am a psychiatrist. I work with schizophrenic patients all the time, and I love them. When they would have visual hallucinations I would tell them, "I know you see that Madonna on the wall, but I don't see it." Now I said to myself, "Elisabeth, I know you see this woman, but that can't be."
All the way from the elevator to my office I did reality testing on myself. I said, "I'm tired, I need a vacation. I think I've seen too may schizophrenic patients. I'm beginning to see things. I have to touch her, to know if she's real." I even touched her skin to see if it was cold or warm, or if the skin would disappear when I touched it. It was the most incredible walk I have ever taken, not knowing why I was doing what I was doing. I was both an observing psychiatrist and a patient. I was everything at one time. I didn't know why I did what I did, or who I thought she was. I even repressed the thought that this could actually be Mrs. Schwarz, who had died and was buried months ago.
When we reached my door she opened it with this incredible kindness and tenderness and love, and she said, "Dr. Ross, I had to come back for two reasons. One, to thank you and Reverend Gaines..." (he was a beautiful black minister with whom I had a super, ideal symbiosis), "to thank you and him for what you did for me. But the other reason I had to come back is that you cannot stop this work on death and dying, not yet."
I looked at her, and I don't know if I thought by then, "It could be Mrs. Schwarz," I mean, this woman had been buried for ten months, and I didn't believe in all that stuff. I finally got to my desk. I touched everything that was real. I touched my pen, my desk, my chair, and it's real. I was hoping that she would disappear. But she didn't. She just stood there and stubbornly, but lovingly, said, "Dr. Ross, do you hear me? Your work is not finished. We will help you, you will know when the time is right, but do not stop now. Promise?"
I thought, "My God, nobody would ever believe me if I told them this, not even my dearest friend." Little did I know I would later tell this to several hundred people. Then the scientist in me won, and I said something very shrewd and a big fat lie. I said to her, "You know Reverend Gaines is in Urbana now." (This was true; he had taken over a church there.) I said, "He would just love to have a note from you. Would you mind?" And I gave a piece of paper and a pencil. You understand, I had no intention of sending this note to my friend, but I needed scientific proof. I mean, somebody who's buried can't write little love letters. And this woman, with the most human, no, not human, most loving smile, knowing every thought I had -- and I knew, it was thought transference if I've ever experienced it -- took the paper and wrote a note. Then she said (but without words), "Are you satisfied now?? I looked at her and thought, I will never be able to share this with anybody, but I am going to really hold onto this. Then she got up, read to leave, repeating: "Dr. Ross, you promise," implying not to give up this work yet. I said, "I promise." And the moment I said, " I promise," she disappeared.
We still have the note.
I was told a year a half ago that my work with dying patients is finished [...]
Essay Three: Life, Death, and Life After Death - Lecture recorded in 1980
So in midst of caring for dying patients and the teaching of medical and seminary students, we decided one day on the spur of the moment that we would try to come up with a new, updated, all-inclusive definition of death.
Talking to a mother of young boy that had a near death experience. The boy was told to go back after meeting Jesus and Mary to "save mommy from the fire."
I tried to convey to her that she did not understand the symbolic language, that this was a unique a beautiful gift of Mary who is, like all beings in the spiritual realm, a being of total and unconditional love, unable to condemn or to critcize. [...]

It is important to understand that from the moment of our existence until we return to God, we always maintain our own identity and our own energy pattern. In the billions of people in this universe, on this physical planet and in the unobstructed world, there are not two of the same energy patters, no two people alike (not even identical twins!). If anybody doubts the greatness of our creator, one should consider what genius it takes to create billions of energy patterns, no two alike. [...] I have had the great blessing of being able to see with my own physical eyes the presence of hundreds of those energy patterns in full daylight, and it is very similar to a fluttering, pulsating series of different snowflakes all with their different lights, their different colors and their different forms and shapes. This is what we are like after we die. This is also how we existed before we were born.
It takes up no space, no time, to go from one star to another, from planet earth to another galaxy. And those energy patterns of those beings are with us right here. If we only had the eyes to see it, we would be aware that we are never ever alone. We are surrounded by these beings who guide us, who love us, who protect us, who try to direct us, to help us follow the track that will fulfill our destiny. Maybe in times of great pain, of great sorrow and great loneliness, we can get tuned in and become aware of their presence. We can ask them questions before we are asleep, and we can ask them to give us an answer in our dreams. Those who have been tuned in to their sleep states, to their dreams, become aware that many of our questions are answered in this state. As we get more tuned in to our own inner entity, to our own inner spiritual part, it is very understandable that we can get help and guidance from our own all-knowing self, that immortal part we call the butterfly.
Below is similar to a very small part of what Gurdjieff taught.
I truly believe that every human being consists of a physical, an emotional, and intellectual and a spiritual quadrant. If we can learn to externalize our unnatural emotions, our hate, our anguish, our unresolved grief, our oceans of unshed tears, then we can get back, get tuned in to what we were meant to be: a human being consisting of four quadrants, all of which work together in total harmony and wholeness. [...]

And so I went about -- not looking for a guru, not trying to meditate, not trying to reach any state of higher consciousness. But each time a patient or a life situation made me aware of some negativity within me, I tried to externalize it so I would eventually reach that harmony between my physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual quadrants. As I did my homework and tried to practice what I go around teaching, I was blessed with more and more mystical experiences, getting in touch with my own intuitive spiritual all-knowing and all-understanding self. But I was also able to get in touch the guidance which comes from the unobstructed world, and which always surrounds us and waits for an occasion, an opportunity to not only impinge on us knowledge and directions, but also to help us understand what life, and especially our own personal destiny, is all about. This is so we can fulfill our destiny in one lifetime and do not have to return in order to learn the lessons we have not been able to pass in this existence.
Below is an experience she had that reminded me of a couple experiences Laura recounted in Amazing Grace.
One of my first lessons was during a research project where I had on out-of-body experience, induced by iatrogenic means, in a laboratory in Virginia, [...] During the second attempt at having an out-of-body experience, I was determined to circumvent this problem by giving myself a self-induction to go faster than the speed of light and further than any human being has ever gone during an out-of-body experience. The moment the induction was given I literally left my body at an incredible speed.
The only memory I had when I returned into my physical body were the words Shanti Nilaya. I had no idea about the meaning and significance of this, and had no concept of where I had been. The only awareness I had was that I was healed of an almost complete bowel obstruction... [...] Gradually, and not without trepidation, the awareness came to me that I had gone too far and that I now had to accept the consequences of my own choices. I tried to fight sleep during the night, having a vague, inner-knowledge that "it" would happen, but not knowing what "it" would mean. And the moment I let go I had probably the most painful, most agonizing experience any human being has ever lived through. I literally experienced the thousand deaths of my thousand patients. [...] In those agonizing hours I had only three reprieves. It was very similar to labor pains, [...] In those three brief moments when I was able to catch a breath, there were some significant symbolic occurrences which I understood only much later.
During the first reprieve, I begged for a shoulder to lean on. I literally expected a man's left shoulder to appear so I could put my head on it and bear the agony somewhat better. In the same instance that I asked for a shoulder to lean on, a deep, caring, compassionate and severe voice simply stated: "You shall not be given."
Endless time later, when I had another moment to catch a breath, I begged for a hand to hold [...] And the same voice spoke again: "You shall not be given."
The third and last time I was able to catch a breath, I contemplated asking for a fingertip. But, very much in character for me, I said: "No if I can't get the hand I don't want the fingertip either." The meaning of the fingertip was simply the awareness was simply the awareness of the presence of a human being, with the full knowledge that I could not hold onto that fingertip. It became, for the first time in my life, an issue of faith. And the faith had something to do with a deeper, inner knowledge that I had the strength and the courage to endure this agony by myself. But it also included the faith and the knowledge that we are never given more than we can bear. I suddenly became aware that all I needed to do was to stop my fight, stop my rebellion, to stop being a warrior and move from rebellion to a simple, peaceful, positive submission -- to an ability to simply say "yes" to it.
Once I did that, the agony stopped and my breathing was easier. My physical pain disappeared at the moment I uttered the word "yes," not in words but in thoughts. And instead of the thousand deaths, I lived through a rebirth beyond human description.
It started with a very fast vibration, or pulsation, of my abdominal area which spread through my entire body and then to anything that my eyes could see [...] It was as if the whole planet was in a very high speed vibration, every molecule vibrated. [...]
Approximately an hour and a half later I woke up, [...] I experienced probably the greatest ecstasy of existence that human beings can ever experience on this physical plane. I was in total love and awe of all life around me. I was in love with every leaf, every cloud, every piece of grass every living creature. [...]
The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying
I believe that anything Dr. Kubler-Ross has written is worthy of our attention, and this autobiographical book is no exception. I just finished it today... found it very thought-provoking overall. However, this particular one needs to be read more CRITICALLY than her others, and I don't mean "skeptically" in a negative sense so much as simply "requiring careful judgment"... especially the last third of the book. In this latter section, the author really gets specific about her experiences with "channeling the other side" and outlines her concept of her own "cosmic consciousness." I tried to be as enlightened and open as possible, and yet found that I could just not buy into everything she had experienced and was teaching others to experience. I am referring mainly to her ongoing relationships with disembodied spirits, her ability to conjure them up at will, and (maybe most remarkably) their apparent ability to physically manifest themselves (as in, writing things down on a piece of paper in response to her questions). She refers to these spirit-friends as her "spooks" and by her own admission at one point she even attributes the collapse of her otherwise successful marriage to her profound belief in these entities. Many people felt she had lost her marbles. She admits that a few of the experiences were proved to be the hoax of her Californian spiritual instructor, whom she calls "B". Also, throughout the last half of the book is an underlying allusion to her belief in re-incarnation.
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