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Light after Death:
The Baha'i Faith and the Near-Death Experience

by Alan Bryson

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Chapter 5

The Reunion

Where is the effulgent light of Thy reunion, O Well-
Beloved of such as are wholly devoted to Thee?
Bahá'u'lláh

Thy Paradise is My love;
thy heavenly home, reunion with Me.
Bahá'u'lláh

Another important and reassuring aspect of the NDE is the reunion with friends, relatives and loved ones in the Realm of Light. Although they no longer have a physical body as we know it, they do possess a recognizable individuality. Their presence can be sensed as well as seen. They seem to be present to offer assurance and loving support during this transitional phase, or sometimes to counsel the "newcomer" about returning to "this life". In any case, it is generally a joyously loving reunion. This aspect of life after death is especially well documented in the Bahá'í Writings.

Many of those who have had a NDE report that in the spiritual dimension there is an astounding degree of interconnectedness and mutual awareness. Bahá'u'lláh taught that our associations will be so intimate that we will experience near total unity.

"And now concerning thy question whether human souls continue to be conscious one of another after their separation from the body. Know thou that the souls of the people of Baha ... shall associate and commune intimately one with another, and shall be so closely associated in their lives, their aspirations, their aims and strivings as to be even as one soul." 1

On another occasion He intimated some of the rewards awaiting the soul which has been faithful to God. Not only will such a soul encounter friends and loved-ones, but such souls will be sought out by the Prophets of God. Indeed, according to Bahá'u'lláh if we were aware of that which awaits such a soul we would be totally consumed with longing for such an exalted station.

"And now concerning thy question regarding the soul of man and its survival after death. Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving-kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station. The honor with which the Hand of Mercy will invest the soul is such as no tongue can adequately reveal, nor any other earthly agency describe. Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the people of the world. Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the all-highest Paradise. The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds. If any man be told that which hath been ordained for such a soul in the worlds of God, the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, his whole being will instantly blaze out in his great longing to attain that most exalted, that sanctified and resplendent station..." 2

'Abdu'l-Bahá explains that feelings of love and attraction are carried over into the spiritual world. There will be no separation in physical terms, even though two individuals occupy different spiritual stations. He explains that they will, however, be cognizant of their difference of station.

"As to the question whether the souls will recognize each other in the spiritual world: This fact is certain; for the Kingdom is the world of vision where all the concealed realities will become disclosed. How much more the well-known souls will become manifest. ... Likewise, will they find all the friends of God, both those of the former and recent times, present in the heavenly assemblage."

"The difference and distinction between men will naturally become realized after their departure from this mortal world. But this distinction is not in respect to place, but in respect to the soul and conscience. For the Kingdom of God is sanctified (or free) from time and place; it is another world and another universe. And know thou for a certainty that in the divine worlds the spiritual loved ones will recognize one another, and will seek union with each other, but a spiritual union. Likewise, a love that one may have entertained for anyone will not be forgotten in the world of the Kingdom, nor wilt thou forget there the life that thou hadst in the material world." 3

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    1 Gleanings From The Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 169
    2 ibid. p.155-156
    3 Bahá'í World Faith: Selected Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá p.367 and Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era: An Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith p.190
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