What is Heaven Like?
What is Heaven Like? (According to Spiritism)
By Brian Foster
Everyone wants to know what Heaven is like. Spiritism was brought to us so you would know. The answers are in Allan Kardec’s The Spirits Book and in books psychographed by Francisco C. Xavier. This article will explain Heaven and its different levels and what spirits do there. Hint: It’s not eternal leisure.
The quest to begin the search for what is heaven like, starts with Allan Kardec’s The Spirits Book. Allan Kardec organized a series of questions designed to discern the exact nature and wishes of the spirits. He did not accept information from just one medium, but verified the response to a question from multiple mediums throughout Europe. Some well-known people have been Spiritist, such as Thomas Edison and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The questions and answers about Heaven is way in the back of the book. The idea of heaven is not a major preoccupation of the Spirits. They take it matter-of-fact, as a place where they still work and learn and hope to improve themselves. Although, even the lowest rung of heaven is much superior to our planet. And yes, there are many levels, how many is not known to us. Therefore, we will concentrate on just the first level, where if I am lucky, I will get to see. Let’s start at that question at the end of the book;
1016. In what sense is the word heaven to be understood?
“Do you suppose it to be a place like the Elysian Fields of the ancients, where all good spirits are crowded together pell-mell, with no other care than that of enjoying, throughout eternity, a passive felicity? No; it is universal space; it is the planets, the stars, and all the worlds of high degree, in which spirits are in the enjoyment of all their faculties, without having the tribulations of material life, or the sufferings inherent in the state of inferiority.”
Not the Elysian Fields, not the place where you leisurely waste away your days until infinity. For a description of one of the higher levels of heaven, we can go to the book, Renunciation, written by the spirit Emmanuel and psychographed by Francisco C. Xavier in Brazil in 1944, it is a story set in the 17th century earth, but in the beginning pages the high level spirit Alcyone is planning on returning to earth to help her love. The passage describes a high level heaven;
“Soon thereafter, she was in a wonderful sphere, indescribable in its magnificence and grandeur. The splendorous sight of it exceeded anything that could ever characterize beauty in the human sense. The sacred vision of its entirety was far beyond the famous city of the saints as idealized by the thinkers of Christianity. Three blazing suns poured oceans of magnificent light onto the ermine ground in unique changes of color, like celestial lamps lighted for the paradisiacal feast of immortal spirits. Exquisite building, surrounded with indescribable flowers, took the form of castles carved with golden filigree, radiating multi-color effects. Winged beings came and went in pursuits of sanctified purposes, in an endeavor of a superior nature, inaccessible to the understanding of earthlings.
Dominated by inexpressible thoughts, Alcyone entered a temple of majestic proportions. High above the radiant sanctuary rose a translucent tower made of a solid, transparent substance similar to crystal. Harmonious melodies pointed forth from within it.
The majestic shrine was a colossal hive of work and prayer.”
Doesn’t this sound marvelous? Well, don’t get too excited, you probably aren’t going there, I know I’m not. This is a description of a heaven for high and purified spirits. For the overwhelming majority of us, we will need to set our sights lower. This is not to say that someday many of us won’t attain such an exalted level.
A Heaven above Earth
Another book psychographed by Francisco C. Xavier, is Nossa Lar, which means our home. The book was dictated by the spirit Andre Luiz, who was a doctor in Rio de Janeiro, probably in the early 1900’s. This was his first book, written in 1944, Andre Luiz dictated more books to Xavier, one of his books And Life Goes On, was written in 1968. The story of Nossa Lar is the journey of Andre from his death to his arrival at the celestial city of Nossa Lar. He describes his first impression upon being outside of the shelter he was taken to during his recovery;
“The spectacle of the streets impressed me. Wide avenues bordered with trees. Pure air – an atmosphere of profound spiritual tranquility. However, there was no sign of inactivity or idleness, for the city streets were crowded. Countless individuals were coming and going. Some seemed to be thinking of far-off places, but others looked at me warmly.”
In all descriptions we have read so far, there exists a sense of organization. Structures representing our organizations, such as well-planned roads, houses, people going about in a logical manner. Or should I say, that we here on earth are a poor reflection of heaven, we try to organize as our spirit guided intuition tells us, but our efforts fall short of perfection.
The first level of heaven actually has a system of governance. And why shouldn’t it, in heaven would we all be a chaotic mixture of souls with no purpose? The civil structure is described as follows;
“During our collective prayers, haven’t you seen our spirit Governor, surrounded by his seventy-two assistants? Well they are the Ministers of Nossa Lar. The colony’s purpose is essentially labor and production, and is divided into six Ministries, each under the direction of twelve Ministers. There are the Ministries of Regeneration, Assistance, Communication, Elucidation, Elevation and Divine Union. The first four connect us with the terrestrial spheres, the remaining two link us with the higher planes; thus, our spirit city is a transition zone. The Ministry of Regeneration carries out the most ordinary services, whereas the most sublime ones belong to the Ministry of Divine Union.”
You may ask, why the name Nossa Lar, am I going to a place where I must speak Portuguese? No, for the cities that represent the first level of heaven are located above numerous geographical areas on earth. If you live in London, for instance, you would probably rise up to a celestial city somewhere above England. Nossa Lar wasn’t founded until the sixteen century, after the first Portuguese settlers arrived in the Rio de Janeiro area. Once there, they found the spirits of the native inhabitants and worked building the city as it stands today.
Therefore, when we lose our physical bodies, we lose the matter clothing us on earth, but we still have the form of our human existence. Our thoughts create our form in the manner that we think of ourselves, which is usually in our twenties and thirties in heaven. We appear to have a physical form, but made of less dense material. Material that we on earth have no ability to perceive.
Heaven is a beautiful place to live, as Andre Luiz describes the countryside;
“The scenery in front of me was of sublime beauty. The forest was in full bloom and the fresh air was embalmed with an intoxication fragrance. It was all an extraordinary gift of color and mellow light. A large river wound its way leisurely between luxuriant grassy banks sprinkled with blue flowers. The water ran by so peacefully, so crystalline that it seemed tinted in sky blue, mirroring the color of the firmament. Wide pathways cut through the green landscape. Leafy trees were planted at regular intervals along them, offering friendly shade like pleasant shelters in the light of the comforting sun. Fancifully-shaped benches invited one to rest.”
The description of the vividness of the colors and the natural beauty parallels other descriptions of heaven by people who have had near death experiences.
Occupations in Heaven
So, what do people do in this heaven? Prepare yourself for bad news, it’s not all leisure and fun all of the time. But think carefully, which of us could stand that? Don’t we wish to be useful beings, contributing to a cause greater than our own? Led by people who have the position based entirely on merit, with centuries of experience behind them. A description of the types of work is given to Andre Luiz;
“We are no longer on the sphere of the globe, where discarnate spirits are compulsorily promoted to ghost status. No, we live in an environment of hard work. The jobs in the Ministry of Assistance are laborious and complex; the duties in the Ministry of Regeneration require strenuous effort; those in Communication demand a high standard of individual responsibility; in Elucidation, they require a great capacity for work and profound intellectual values; those in the Ministry of Elevation require self-denial and spiritual enlightenment; lastly, the activities in the Ministry of Divine Union require right wisdom and the application of sincere universal love. The Government Center, in its turn, is the busy seat of all the administrative activities, and numerous services are under its direct control, such as nutrition, electric energy, traffic and transportation, among others. Actually, the law of rest is strictly observed here, so that certain workers do not become overburdened that others. But the law of labor is also strictly adhered to. As for rest and relaxation, the only exception is the Governor himself, who never uses what he is entitled to in this respect.” 
There is a wide range of occupations in heaven, something for everyone who wishes to contribute. Although, with my resume, I will be lucky to get a job painting the white lines in the center of the roads.
What about those who don’t wish to work? What happens to them? Do they starve? Andre Luiz describes a woman who is requesting permission to return to earth, in spirit form, to look after her family. She goes to the Minister of Assistance, Clarencio, to make her request;
“I would like to be granted the means of watching over my children myself in the physical sphere!” replied the afflicted mother.
“I am sorry, my friend,” said the loving benefactor, “but only in the spirit of humility and service are we able to watch over someone. What would you say about an earthly father who wanted to provide for his children, but then remained idle in the comfort of his home? The Father has created labor and cooperation as laws that no one may break without causing damage to himself. What does your conscience have to say on the matter? How many hour-bonuses can you present for your request?”
The woman answered hesitantly; “Three hundred and four.”
“It’s a pity,” continued Clarencio, smiling, “that you have lived here for over six years but have given the colony only three hundred and four hours of work. However, as soon as you recovered from the struggles you had suffered in the lower regions, I offered you a praiseworthy job on the Vigilance Team of the Ministry of Communication…”
“But that was intolerable work,” she interrupted, “a constant struggle with malevolent entities! Of course I couldn’t adapt to it.”
Let’s do the calculation, she has worked three hundred and four hours over a six year period. Hence, she has worked a little less than eight forty hour weeks. Not bad, to be clothed and fed, over six years for only working a total of two months. In Nossa Lar, everyone receives their required provisions and clothing, but for extras, such as enjoying entertainment centers, or taking in lectures at different schools, one needs the hour-bonus credit. All receive, no matter what level of work, the same amount per hour. There are exceptions for sacrificial services where the hour-bonus is doubled or tripled.
Her dialogue with the Minister continued through a whole litany of jobs the woman attempted but abandoned after a few furtive days of effort. One can determine that she has no urge to perform any meaningful service. Therefore, most probably she will be reincarnated into a position where she will learn the value of hard work. After all, while God has infinite love, God does not allow infinite leisure, for how else will we be incented to improve ourselves and others.
Families in Heaven
As in many NDE’s and movies, when people go to heaven, they reunite with family members. Often families live in the same house, just as it was on earth. Some members leave for a reincarnation experience, with their house and family members waiting for them on their return. Given the variety of life on earth, and the fact of multiple lives, there are some unusual circumstances which occur. Andre Luiz is invited into the home of his friend Tobias, and he meets Hilda and Luciana. Tobias tells him about his family situation;
“I believe I should tell you about my two wives; what do you think?”
“Oh, well, yes,” I murmured, extremely confused. “You mean that both Hilda and Luciana shared your earth experience?”
“That’s right,” he answered calmly.
Hilda cut in and said: “Please, excuse our Tobias, brother Andre. He is always eager to talk about the past whenever we meet with someone newly arrived from earth.”
“Shouldn’t it be a cause for joy,” added Tobias with good humor, “to have defeated the monster of jealousy, and to have gained at least a small degree of fraternity?”
Just as on earth there are a multitude of families and relationships. The one important difference is that families in heaven are together based on affinity, their love and longing to be with one another, binds them. Those who have no wish to be part of a particular family, will find their own group, where shared principles and interests create a strong loving bond.
Given all of the above, isn’t heaven a bit familiar to you, similar to earth, only better? Without the hate, envy, selfishness or crime of any sort. A place where your own effort is rewarded, not leveraged by someone for personal gain. Heaven, at least the first level, is a stepping stone to an even more elevated existence, a place where through our desire to learn, not only intellectually, but also the joy of fraternity and unconditional love will result in your ascendance into a higher plane. A place where once you arrive, I would appreciate it, if you could tell me about it.
More about Spiritism
The basic tenants of Spiritism are:
1. Love God.
2. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
3. Practice justice.
4. Forgive all who offend you.
5. Make amends for our own wrong doing.
The spirits revealed to us the basic facts of our existence:
1. Your soul is immortal.
2. You travel through multiple lives as a process to learn to love, be fraternal, and be selfless.
3. The goal of God is for every spirit to one day be pure.
4. There is no eternal hell, it is a station for souls who are materialistic and have an excessive love of self. Eventually, every spirit in hell realizes the need to throw off their material instincts.
5. There are many levels of heaven. Heaven is not a place where we have eternal leisure, but one of on-going work to help others.
6. Life on earth is like a school. You are assigned events in your life and how you react and behave will determine your spiritual progress.
In the 1930’s in Brazil, the medium Chico Xavier began psychographing (the process of a medium writing under the direction of a spirit) messages and books sent by spirits. From the very beginning he was told to always follow the doctrines of Allan Kardec. Chico wrote more than 400 books by the time of his death in 2002. All profits from his books went to charity. Within these books, the Spirits revealed information about Allan Kardec and the Spirit world’s plan for our future;
1. When Jesus referred to the “Great Consoler”, he was foretelling the arrival of Allan Kardec.
2. For the earth to progress, the human race needs to understand that every action they do here on earth will have consequences in their next life.
3. The Bible was written by men under the influence of their beliefs and culture at their time. While the central spiritual message of love is eternal, the stories of the Bible, such as the Earth being made in 6 days are allegories and not meant to be taken literally.
4. We are being told this now because the human race is culturally and technically advanced to be able to accept these messages.
5. Spiritism is not meant to replace religions, but to supplement them with the knowledge of the basic doctrine of reincarnation and its purpose.
6. The spreading and acceptance of Spiritism will enable to world to begin a new age, where war is a thing of the past.
7. The Spirit world has planned these events and is guiding the earth through subtle interventions.
8. At some time in the future, science will definitely prove the existence of a soul and an afterlife.
For those who are interested in learning more about Spiritism, please visit the blog I have created, which explains in more detail the concepts of Spiritism. The address is www.nwspiritism.com. You can also search using the keywords, Spiritism, Allan Kardec, Francisco C. Xavier using a search engine or in Amazon to find many books on the subject.
Brian Foster has a BSCS degree and a MBA. He has worked in R&D for medical device corporations and in IT for large financial institutions. Brian Foster has a blog at www.nwspiritism.com.
Kardec, A. (2010). The Spirits Book. Guildford, UK: White Crow Books.
Wikipedia. (2014, March 7). Allan Kardec. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Kardec
Wikipedia. (2014, March 7). Chico Xavier. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_Xavier
Xavier, F. C. (1944). Nossa Lar. Brasilia - (DF), Brazil: International Spiritist Council.
Xavier, F. C. (2012). Renunciation. Brasilia (DF), Brazil: International Spiritist Council.