Visions of the Spirit World: Sang Hun Lee's Life in the Spirit World
and On Earth Compared with Other Spiritualists' Accounts
1. The Predisposing Influence of Religious Belief
2. A Common Spiritual Philosophy of Life
3. The Monsignor's Pleasant Paradise
4. Eadie's Near-Death Experience
5. Teachings on the Pre-existence of the Soul
6. Visions of Time and Destiny in Realms beyond Time
7 Encounters with Jesus
8. Franchezzo's Path of Repentance and the Power of Love
9. Evil Dominions and Spiritual Influence
10. Victims Enchained by Hate
11. Swedenborg's Pioneering Vision
12. Marriage in Heaven
13. The Liberation of Hell
14. The Highest Heaven, the Realm of God's Love
15. Sang Hun Lee, Heaven's Representative
Publication of Dr. Sang
Hun Lee's messages from the other side, Life in the Spirit World and on
Earth,' comes at a moment when the salvation of the spirit world is at the
forefront of Rev. Moon's concern. Each stage of the Blessing of 360 million
couples on earth is reportedly accompanied by the blessings of billions of
spirits.' In this context, Lee's book has nearly scriptural status. Rev. Moon
endorsed it as suitable for Hoon Dok Hoe readings. Moreover, the book's
reports were integral to a providential event: The fifth chapter is a record of
Lee's interviews, at Rev. Moon's request, with mostly infamous personages-Lenin,
Stalin, Hitler, etc. Within a month of that communication, at the Blessing of
120 million couples on June 13, 1998, these same personages were blessed as the
representatives of all wicked people, thereby opening the gate for the
liberation of hell.
Nevertheless, we will
essay to better understand the vision of the spirit world reported in Life in
the Spirit World and on Earth. For this purpose it is helpful to locate
Lee's book within the genre of reports on the spirit world and compare its
vision with other such visions. For this study, we will compare it with four
other books in the genre. Two are channeled books familiar to many
Unificationists. Life in the World Unseen has long been a popular spirit
world primer for Western members of the Unification Church. It is an account of
a bright, busy and pleasant realm narrated by a former Anglican monsignor. A
Wanderer in the Spirit Lands was recovered from obscurity and republished
by Philip Burley. 4 Its vivid and passionate description of one soul's journey
on the path of atonement reveals much about the course of restoration through
indemnity for spirits. The other two books in this study were authored by
earthly people who journeyed into the spirit world and returned. Embraced by
the Light, a recent best-seller, is an account of a near-death experience
that includes a meeting with Jesus and a journey through several locations in
the spirit world before the narrator returns to her physical body.' Heaven
and Hell is a classic of reporting on the spirit world by Emanuel Swedenborg,
who was the pioneer in this field.
Lee's book stands squarely
within this genre. Like both Life in the World Unseen and A Wanderer
in the Spirit Lands, it includes visits with people who were famous on earth.
Like Heaven and Hell also, it describes various realms of graded quality
and brightness, from the dark hells to the bright realms of heaven. It extols
the natural beauty of the higher realms and describes the atmosphere of light
and love which pours into these realms from the divine Source. Like Betty Eadie
in Embraced by the Light, Sang Hun Lee meets Jesus. Like Franchezzo in Wanderer
in the Spirit Lands, Lee serves heaven by acting as an emissary to the lower
The Predisposing Influence of Religious Belief
All five books convey a
message to readers on this side of the grave; indeed that is their main purpose.
They are more than just travelogues; they have teachings to impart. Yet there
are differences between their teachings, some of which can be attributed to the
authors' or mediums' differing religious beliefs. Whether he or she is male or
female, from East or West, also affects the tone and mood of the revelations.
For a critical evaluation of these accounts, it is necessary to be aware of
beliefs and predispositions that might color these messages.
Revelation, we know, is
never received in a pure state. The human heart upon which it is impressed is
not a blank slate. The reception of revelation is colored by the character and
beliefs of its human recipients. Since the quality of life in the spirit world
itself is so greatly governed by thought, the very experiences of its
inhabitants are likewise colored. Two visitors to the same spirit world might
see and hear different things. Exposition of the Divine Principle states,
"Although spiritually sensitive people are in contact with the same spirit
world, because their circumstances and positions vary and their character,
intellect and spirituality are at different levels, they will perceive the
spirit world in different ways."
In determining how the
authors' religious beliefs might have influenced their accounts, we find that
some have a connection with Spiritualism or the psychic sciences. From
Swedenborg to modem Spiritualism, people drawn to this form of faith have
distrusted conventional church teachings. They are often eclectic, drawing their
understanding of reality from sources East and West. Could that be one reason
why the protagonists of Life in the World Unseen and A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands meet teachers from the East with names like "Ahrinziman"
and "the Chaldean" but do not encounter Jesus or the Christian saints?
On the other hand, Lee is by confession a Unificationist. In addition to
teaching what is recognizably Unification theology, he meets people who are
important for the Unification story: biblical figures like Adam and Eve, Noah,
Abraham, Jesus and Mary, as well as leaders of the Communist world and of the
Korean Christians who directly opposed Rev. Moon's ministry. What of Embraced
by the Light? Eadie claims to have no connection to Spiritualism and few
preconceived ideas about the hereafter. She describes herself as a Christian who
has been searching for the correct understanding of God through experiences in
many different churches. However, from outside sources we learn of her
affiliation with the Latter-Day Saints,' and Mormon theology colors many of its
A Common Spirit ual Philosophy of Life
ual Philosophy of Life
A seeker for clarity would
want to adjust for differences in religious belief or background by focusing on
the teachings that these accounts hold in common. All of them affirm in clear
tones that love is the essence of life in the spirit world. God is a God of love,
who wants nothing else than to love each of His children as fully as possible.
Nevertheless, most people enter the spirit world burdened with sin. It is not
for God to judge or punish; rather, one's situation in the spirit world is
self-made. The spirit world is where the internal fruits of one's earthly life
become manifest. One brings to the spirit world the quality of character and
love that one has manifested in earthly life, as well as the accumulated
kindnesses and wrongs one has done to others. Earthly position, fame or
reputation count for nothing. Love is all that matters.
Therefore, one should
repent of attachment to material things, of the pursuit of power, or of selfish
gratification of one's lusts. One should prepare for heaven by living a
lifestyle that is fit for heaven, by cultivating genuine love while disciplining
the desires of the flesh. The love and light of heaven emanate from God;
therefore, to prepare for heaven one should cultivate a spiritual life of faith
and charity such that one can receive God's love. However one cannot simply rely
upon conventional religious dogmas, as their descriptions of what is needful to
gain heaven and avoid hell are full of errors, misleading countless numbers of
This is a rough sketch of
the philosophy of life held in common by all the books in our study. It may be
termed the philosophy of the spiritual life. We need not be surprised that this
thought is largely in agreement with Unification teachings. We should also not
be surprised that this philosophy is also widely shared by sincere believers of
many faiths who have found these and similar spiritual texts to be valuable
guides for their spiritual life. We live in an age when God's truth is rapidly
becoming known in all quarters.
An exhaustive list of the
points of agreement and points of difference between these five accounts could
fill many pages. Rather than enumerating them, I will give a brief assessment of
each book's unique character and discuss in passing how its vision of the spirit
world can help us better understand and appreciate Sang Hun Lee's special
The Monsignor's Pleasant Paradise
Life in the World
Unseen opens with
the narrator, who on earth went by the name Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson but in
the spirit world is known simply as "the Monsignor," giving a rather
typical account of the passage to the hereafter. He rises from his body, feels
the lightness and freedom of his spiritual body, and is surprised and pleased to
know that he is still whole and possessed of his faculties of perception and
speech. He meets a friend and guide, and then journeys up and away from the
earth plane to the spirit realm where he will make his home. It is a rather
beautiful place, a slice of heaven that resembles the English countryside.
What makes Life in the
World Unseen stand out as an exceptional work is the details with which he
describes the comings and goings of spirit life. Whether a description of spirit
clothing, an account of the creation of flowers or a description of inventors at
work, no fine point is omitted. It answers many questions that any curious
person might have: What do people wear? What do they eat? Do they need to sleep?
Can you take a swim? How do you travel about? Can you travel between realms?
Life in the World
especially its sequel More About Life in the World Unseen, contain
meetings with famous people. Since Lee also met with many famous people, it is
worth examining these accounts. First, they do not trade on their names or
titles, nor does their earthly position have any meaning to their social life in
the spirit world. A member of the royalty becomes just another citizen. A great
composer or scientist puts himself or herself at the disposal of all. The
Monsignor remarks, "The great, who have gained their greatness through the
various expressions of their genius, consider themselves but the lowly units of
a vast whole, the immense organization of the spirit world. They are all
striving-as we are too-for the same purpose, and that is spiritual progression
and development. They are grateful for any help towards that end, and they are
glad to give it whenever possible." 9 A meeting with Haydn and Tschaikovsky
found them to be simple and unassuming, living in a small house, and happily
composing new scores. Avoiding the distractions of worldly fame, these great men
of music went about calling each other by their first names." Although the
purpose of the visit was only to introduce a young newcomer, they did not, as
one might expect, regard the youth (who on earth would be nothing but a tourist)
as a bothersome distraction, but rather showed him warm hospitality. In
comparison to some of Lee's interviewees, they seem quite happy and
well-adjusted. They seem to have little to be ashamed about and can easily
converse with friends and guests.
The famous people whom
Sang Hun Lee interviewed in hell were tormented; some lived alone and avoided
all contact with others. However, many of the personages whom he met living in
the good spirit world also spoke of regrets and shame over their earthly life.
Their demeanor was due, I presume, to the exceptional nature of their visitor.
They could not be at ease with him as they would be with an ordinary guest. As a
messenger of God, Lee carried the authority and the purpose to connect to their
deepest past and their highest hopes. His authority from True Parents also meant
that he came bearing words of judgment. Presumably, a visit from the Monsignor
need not have elicited such painful honesty.
The Monsignor does not
dwell in the highest spheres, nor can he easily enter and see their abundance of
jewels and other sights of incomparable beauty. Now and then heavenly emissaries
visit his realm, where they are received with deep respect. He is given a
mission by one of these emissaries, one which will help in some way to atone for
his mistakes in his earthly lifechiefly that in his books and sermons he had
perpetuated ignorance about the true nature of life in the hereafter.
Can we better pinpoint
where the Monsignor was dwelling? Lee describes the realms of Paradise as
divided into nations: Japan Town, Chinatown, etc." This was certainly the
case for the Monsignor, who lives in a place that bears striking resemblance to
the English countryside. He confirms that such national distinctions disappear
in the highest spheres, for, "this dividing of the nations extends only to
a certain number of realms. Beyond that, nationality, as such, ceases to be...
We shall cease to be nationally conscious such as we are upon the earth-plane
and during our sojourn in the realms of less degree."" The fact that
he was being guided by a Chaldean who came from those higher spheres suggests
that a true estimation of Paradise should include realms that are beyond
nationality." The Monsignor's experience suggests that he may be within the
lower spheres of Paradise, among the realms that still maintained such
distinctions yet not far from the border of those that do not.
Lee also says that people
in the middle realms must work hard, yet they are passive and lazy, with little
hope or desire. The Monsignor lives in a place where the people are working,
though they seem to be happy and content. Still, I wonder whether he or his
friends have much aspiration to better themselves; they rather expect to remain
in their tolerably pleasant surroundings for a long time. Sure, there's plenty
of work to do, people to help, music to write and perform, inventions to create.
Yet, I sense that after a few years, it might seem rather boring and dull.
Something is missing, some spark... What is it? There are no marriages, no
families! Everyone is single, living as friends with one another. Can that be
For this reason, Life
in the World Unseen, despite its recounting the beauties of the spirit world,
ultimately doesn't satisfy our taste for life. It is rather like a society of
angels, or of monks who are required to be celibate. Furthermore, there is no
account of any personal relationship with God among the dwellers of the
Monsignor's realm. They live removed from the Source, only receiving
communications indirectly, through emissaries. One can conclude that the love
there, though full of brotherly and neighborly affection, is not quite true love.
Neither is there full and complete knowledge, either of a personal God, or of
Satan, whose existence is denied." This latter feature of his world could
be a reflection of his liberal Anglican or Spiritualist beliefs. Swedenborg
before him also denied the existence of a personal Satan." Can we accept
these denials at face value, given Jesus' many sayings about Satan scattered
throughout the Gospels?
Eadie's Near-Death Experience
In Betty Eadie's much
briefer account of the spirit world, Embraced by the Light, she has a
foretaste of this same spirit world. She marvels at its flowers, its halls of
knowledge and invention, its music and colors so vivid and full of life. Its
theme is a message of comfort and hope that there is indeed life beyond the
For nineteen years after
returning to life-for it was not yet her time to die-Eadie kept her experiences
to herself and shared them only with those she loved. Finally, she set them down
in a book. Embraced by the Light is significant for being a best-seller
that has popularized the idea of life beyond the grave to millions of readers
and spawned numerous similar titles.
Eadie's near death
experience begins in the typical manner: rising from the sick-bed, meeting
friendly spirit-beings, traveling for a while on the earth plane to see her
family one last time, and then a long journey upward. But in her case, the
person she meets at the end of her journey is none other than Jesus Christ.
When Jesus speaks to her,
she nestles herself in his arms as a child. He fills her mind with knowledge
about God and spiritual reality, answering her many questions. Eadie's questions
have a distinctly theological bent. What is death? How was the universe created?
Why are there so many religions? What is the purpose of life? What are the
spiritual laws by which we should live? Betty had always been a seeker for truth,
with a mind full of such questions. Compare the cleric who narrates Life in
the World Unseen, who probably had pretty definite opinions about most
matters of faith. We never read that he sought the answers to great theological
questions; his first queries were about practical matters pertaining to his new
life in heaven.
As a result, Embraced
by the Light is as theological as Lee's book, though we would more likely
expect it from Lee, who in life was a philosopher and systematizer of
Unification teachings. Perhaps Eadie shared with Lee a burning desire to know
the answers to ultimate questions; hence her thoughts naturally turned in that
direction. This sort of revealed theology however, claiming as it does to come
from the highest spiritual source, still must be taken with several grains of
salt, as it is inevitably mixed with the author's religious background.
Teachings on the Pre-existence of the Soul
In one of her visions,
Eadie sees mature spirits who are about to be incarnated in their earthly bodies.
She learns these pre-existent spirits are created in the spirit world and then
incarnate to experience life in the physical body. They incarnate in families
and in situations that reflect the friendships and bonds which they formed in
their pre-existence. There they experience a lesson which is valuable for their
The preexistence of the
soul is not part of the teachings of the other accounts of the spirit world
considered here. We don't find this idea in Life in the World Unseen, where
on the contrary, the Monsignor reports, "In my travels through these realms
of light I have yet to find a single solitary individual who would willingly
exchange this grand, free life in the spirit world for the old life upon the
earth-plane."" Moreover, one of the truths Eadie learns is that
pre-existence is not reincarnation: "I also learned that we do not have
repeated lives on this earth."" Pre-existence, however, is a pillar of
Mormon theology. How much the author's own mind has conditioned this scene can
be discerned from her own question to Jesus, "I wanted to learn the purpose
of life on the earth. Why are we here? As I basked in the love of Jesus, I
couldn't imagine why any spirit would voluntarily leave this wonderful paradise
and all it offered... to come here."" When on her sick-bed she first
met her spirit guides, she said that she knew they had known each other for
"eternities" 9 a Mormon term for pre-existence. While the idea of the
pre-existence of souls is foreign to most of us, Eadie already took it for
This reader would have
appreciated knowing in advance that the author was of the Mormon faith. To be
fair, Eadie claims to have good reasons to avoid bringing up mention of her
particular religion. She believes that the core of her experience is universal
and can be had by a person of any faith. Therefore, she doesn't want to
prejudice people of other faiths against hearing a universal message. Moreover,
she teaches that the state of one's heart, not membership in a particular faith,
is most important for deciding one's eternal life. She therefore says that she
does not want people who are moved by her account to run and convert to the
Spiritual cognition, even
of the highest beings, may be more or less true. Swedenborg recounts how the
angels sometimes set up seemingly realistic scenes for troops of spirits, who do
not question their veracity until they are revealed to be performances designed
to teach a lesson." In A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, Franchezzo is
instructed about astral shells which result from the magnetic emanations thrown
off by earthly humans and spirit persons. They persist, though devoid of soul,
and can be molded into various likenesses by the power of thought. He learns
that spirits who wish to disguise themselves make use of this astral matter, as
do spirits who wished to be photographed by earthly cameras." Thus there is
room for much theater and pretense in spiritual experience. Still, regardless of
their content, experiences of the bright realms of heaven are given in love and
for the sake of love.
In a visit to the spirit
world that would last only a few hours, it was not time to challenge Eadie's
cherished beliefs. Swedenborg points out that instruction in the truths of
heaven occurs only after several stages of adjustment." In Life in the
World Unseen, the Monsignor states, "adherents to any particular
religious body will continue to practice their religion in the spirit world
until such time as their minds become spiritually enlightened."" Eadie
herself said in an interview, "I was told that God is so loving that he
would not shock anyone out of their current belief system.""
Furthermore, Eadie's belief that mature spirits take on earthly bodies to learn
life lessons may have been a useful vehicle for impressing upon her the
directive to return to the earth-plane to finish out her own life-mission.
Visions of Time and Destiny in Realms beyond Time
Questions of destiny and
knowledge of the future do, however, loom large in many spiritual books.
Psychically gifted people undoubtedly do see glimpses of the future, and time in
the spirit world is not like earth time. In A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, Franchezzo
is twice instructed by his teacher, Ahrinziman, on how the future
interpenetrates the present. The first is a description reminiscent of
Einstein's theory of relativistic space-time:
the spirit world, where time is not reckoned by days or weeks or counted by
hours, we judge of how long an event will take to accomplish or when an
occurrence will happen by seeing how near or how far away they appear, and also
by observing whether the shadow cast by the coming event touches the earth or is
yet distant from it-we then try to judge as nearly as possible of what will be
its corresponding time as measured by earthly standards... [M]any things may
intervene to delay it and thus make the date incorrect. An event may be shown to
be very near, yet instead of continuing to travel to the mortal at the same
speed it may be delayed or held in suspense, and sometimes even turned aside
altogether by a stronger power than the one which set it in motion."
In a second teaching,
Franchezzo has a vision of a person's "star of destiny" whose path
marks a person's life-course as long as they follow the ways of truth and right,
but, "If the soul cease[s] to be pure, if it develop[s] its lower instead
of its higher attributes, the star of that soul's destiny will grow pale and
faint... die out and expire. . ."'I In both these teachings, the earthly
person's destiny is predetermined in the spirit world, yet the individual has
yet the free will to turn aside from destiny's path and thus delay its
realization or even void it altogether.
This teaching of A Wanderer
in the Spirit Worlds is clearly in agreement with Unification theology's
doctrine of predestination contingent on human responsibility. What of the
doctrine of pre-existence as presented in Eadie's vision? Perhaps in her vision
Eadie had a glimpse of the distant land that is the future, and the mature
spirits that she saw there were in fact from the predestined future kingdom in
which all souls will achieve their God-ordained perfection. Or, maybe these
spirits were astral manifestations symbolizing their future destinies. This
could explain her sick-bed vision of the young child standing in the ballerina
pose," which was realized years later in the person of her adopted daughter
Betty Jean." On the other hand, when her mind was illuminated by the
thought that she was one of countless spirits who were present from the
beginning of time and assisted in the creation of the world,'o we can surmise
that she might have glimpsed her origin as one of the countless individual
images within God as posited by Unification Thought."
Eadie is predisposed to
believe in Satan and the Fall, and so on these matters she receives wisdom."
She learns that Adam was too satisfied with himself, while Eve was restless and
"she wanted to become a mother so much that she risked death to obtain
it." She recognized how women have an emotional structure that allows them
to have an especially close relationship with God. Although in one sentence she
reports the standard Mormon dogma that Eve chose to fall as "a conscious
decision to bring about conditions necessary for her progression," a kind
offelix culpa, two paragraphs later she describes how Satan tempts women and
breaks up families:
saw that he would use the same process of temptation in the world that had been
used in the Garden. He would try to destroy families, and therefore
humanity, by tempting women. This unsettled me, but I knew it was true. He would
attack women through their restlessness, using the strength of their
emotions-the same emotions that gave Eve the power to move when Adam was too
satisfied with his situation. I understood that he would attack the relationship
between husband and wife, distancing them from each other, using the attractions
of sex and greed to destroy their home... I was told that once Satan had the
women, the men would easily follow.
It is difficult to
reconcile this truth with the doctrine that Eve chose to fall "to bring
about conditions necessary for her progression." Is Satan, the destroyer of
humanity, at the same time a divine agent whose temptation makes it possible for
Eve to progress? Is evil, therefore, good? Is lust, which smothers the spirit
and stunts its growth, at the same time necessary for growth? The Fall resulted
in an enormous weight of human suffering; how could it then be welcomed as part
of God's original plan? Yet by itself, the second revelation, which goes beyond
Mormon doctrine, is uncannily accurate. This can be surmised by comparing it
with Lee's interview with Adam and Eve.
Encounters with Jesus
Certainly, Betty Eadie
experienced Paradise. Just how high a realm she witnessed is evident when she
describes that at her decision to return to earth "thousands of angels
surrounded me."" In her humility, she knew that the Paradise she saw
was "only a tiny vestibule of heaven."" But the most striking
thing about her experience was her intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, whose
commanding and loving presence was ever her source of love, joy and guidance.
We are naturally led to
the question of how Eadie's encounter with Jesus can square with Lee's encounter
with Jesus-assuming that they were the same person. Lee states, "Even
though Christians serve Jesus, fulfilling the highest goal of their earthly
lives, Jesus feels lonely."" What a surprising statement! Jesus has
loneliness in his heart despite being surrounded by countless Christians. This
is because they don't understand Jesus' mission or God's will. They spurn the
True Parents, in whose advent lies the key to God's hopes and Jesus' hopes.
Instead they only want to stay with Jesus and praise Jesus. They "beg
Jesus... 'Oh! Our Lord! We want to go together with you! ... 11
From Lee's perspective,
when Eadie asked Jesus not to send her back to earth, saying, "No, no. I
can't go back. I belong here. This is my home...,"" she was acting
like a typical Christian with whom Jesus could hardly begin to share his heart.
In Eadie's case, however, Jesus could take pleasure in the fact that she
accepted her mission and left him to return to the earth-plane. She could accept
that she had to leave him because she knew her time on earth was not yet over.
But of those Christian spirits who have finished their course on earth, how many
understand Jesus' heart well enough to go forth from his presence and labor for
God's will? Jesus' love is so all-embracing. It must be difficult to leave Jesus
and return to the battlefield of life without a strong understanding that there
is much more to do to establish the Kingdom.
Although as a divine
spirit Jesus should be fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, he stays in Paradise out
of affinity and love for his sheep. It is the same principle for any elevated
spirit, as the Monsignor relates in More About Life in the World Unseen:
may transpire that two people, between whom there is a strong bond, might belong
to different planes of progression, and therefore inhabit different realms. In
such cases it is not uncommon for the one entitled to live in the higher realm
to remain with the one who is not yet advanced, until such time as the latter
has progressed, and then, together, the two mount to their new realm, and so
Jesus is lonely indeed,
because there are so few followers with whom he can confide his hopes and dreams.
He has to treat them like little children of slight understanding, as he does
Eadie. But when he meets Lee, Jesus can share from a deeper part of himself. In
his letter to Rev. Moon, Jesus declares, "The name 'Jesus' is always being
made to stand out on earth, and no words can describe how ashamed I feel before
you, Father, because of this.... Christians on earth will begin to have dreams
about the wretched appearance of Jesus in the spiritual world."" In
other words, Jesus wants to reveal himself more fully to Christians, that they
might view him not as an all-powerful king or all-knowing parent, but as God's
son who still grieves that his work, and God's plan, is yet unfinished. In this
way, his followers may be able to relate with him in a more adult manner. If one
doubts whether this view of Jesus is correct, or rather is simply a projection
of Unification teaching, here is a testable prediction: Jesus will begin to
manifest himself to sensitive Christians in a new way.
Franchezzo's Path of Repentance and the Power of Love
A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands is a
richly detailed and moving account of a young man's awakening to life in the
spirit world, his gut-wrenching realization of his vile and sinful life, and his
efforts to do penance and rise to the higher spheres. Franchezzo's story is in
many ways the most gripping and soul-stirring of all the accounts discussed here.
There's little theology-our protagonist had rejected the church-but rather
through a series of narratives we are introduced to people in many situations of
blessedness and (mostly) suffering. Dante's inferno was never more graphic than
this account of the hells and the sufferings of its denizens. Yet the overall
theme is hope that God has for even the most miserable sinner to repent and rise
to the higher realms.
Another feature of this
book is its advanced discussion of spiritual substance and spiritual phenomena.
Through his teachers, Franchezzo learns many lessons about the principles of
mediumship, the deceptive abilities of spirits, the baneful effects of evil
spirits on earthly people, the nature of astral matter, the methods of spirit
photography, and the arts of foretelling the future. This communication was
given during the heyday of spiritualism. Evidently an aspect of Franchezzo's
mission, in addition to giving hope to sinners, was to instruct spiritualists on
some of the finer points of spiritual communication so as to avoid being
deceived by evil spirits.
In Life in the World
Unseen, despite its picture of a bright world where most people are content with
their lot, we also learn of spirits who, by dint of sincere remorse and penance,
are able to rise up from the lower realms. We learn that one occupation for
spirits of the bright realms is to minister to the spirits in the hells and
bring them to repentance.' In A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, the entire
story is about repentance and the upward struggle. Franchezzo, buoyed by the
love of his earthly companion, is a champion among those who strive to go on the
course of restoration through indemnity. At death, he arises as a frightened,
ugly, deformed spirit, which was a reflection of his dissolute life, his love of
self, and his deceit towards even the one he most loved. He wanders in the
darkness of the earth-plane for a time, until he is invited to join what appears
to be a monastic order, the "Brotherhood of Hope," which exists for
the purpose of guiding spirits on their path of penance. From his
sparsely-fumished cell, he goes out on missions to rescue others, along the way
confronting situations and temptations that challenge him to personal growth. He
must learn elementary lessons about selfcontrol, followed by lessons about
temptation and its causes, until he can finally learn the greatest lesson-to
forgive and love his enemy.
The gray block building
which housed the Brotherhood of Hope "was like a huge prison.""
Perhaps it is a model for the prison which Lee describes' for residents in the
Unification spirit world who committed grave sins, a place likewise devoted to
indemnifying sin-not a cruel prison, but more of a reformatory. Living in the
Brotherhood, Franchezzo's life is structured and guided as he takes on various
tasks. As he grows stronger and more committed to the course of restoration, he
is given more challenging missions. Stage by stage, his spirit-and his
circumstances-improve. By the end of the book he is living in a beautiful villa
in a bright realm, and he has taken his place as one of the angels of light in
the providential struggle against the forces of darkness.
A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands is
not least about romance and the power of love. Franchezzd gains the power to go
forward only from the constant devotion of a pure-spirited woman whom he had
left behind. She is his constant support and stay; the hope of eventually
reuniting with her in the bright spheres motivates him to strive onward and
endure any hardship in the course of indemnifying his many sins. She is the
reason that he can advance so rapidly, while others around him backslide again
and again and must labor for centuries before overcoming their lower natures.
This is in agreement with the principle that resurrection requires a physical
body. Lee also states, "If descendants sincerely offer their hearts for the
sinners in the Spirit World, then such spirit people can come to the point of
understanding themselves and how they must change."" How much more
effective are the prayers and devotion of a spouse or a fiancee? Many times, the
effect of Franchezzo's beloved's prayers was to help him understand himself,
draw him away from temptation, and show him the way forward.
Evil Dominions and Spiritual Influence
Sang Hun Lee, like
Franchezzo, visited the inmates of hell, so it is instructive to compare their
accounts. When Lee visited Stalin, he found that Stalin still lived like a king.
Although the houses were like hovels and the atmosphere was oppressive, his
followers still honored him as their lord. His guards kept tight security around
him. Yet for all that, Stalin was miserable and spent much of his time in
seclusion." On one of Franchezzo's journeys to hell, he met an Italian
prince, his most illustrious ancestor, who had once ruled over the city of Rome
with absolute power. In hell he was still enthroned, in a moldering castle, with
servants and minions at his command.' While Stalin was humble before Lee's
purity and divine love, this prince still gloried in his schemes to control the
earth and sought to ensnare Franchezzo in his plans. Still, the effects of hell
were to display his scheming as nothing but evil. Given this comparison, we see
that kings on earth can sometimes still command a certain mock authority in the
spirit world. Franchezzo's account of his meeting with the Roman prince gives
verisimilitude to Lee's encounter with Stalin. What remains surprising about $talin,
in my view, is that he so readily opened his mind to Lee and became humble and
While Lee visited Stalin,
some of Stalin's guards held him and threatened him, saying that if he returned
he would face "serious danger." How can a spirit, which is eternal and
incorruptible, be subject to danger? We can learn from Franchezzo's account of
his journeys to the hells, where he is indeed many times in danger. On visiting
the prince, he is almost captured and thrown into a deep pit, and would have
been imprisoned there if not for the help of a companion who threw him a
life-line. Apparently, if heavenly visitors to a lower realm take on some of the
realm's low magnetic energy, they can be trapped by the powerful beings of that
realm. As Franchezzo learns through experience, even if a heavenly visitor has
strong will, he can face danger if he has any give and take with hellish
elements, either by partaking of its food and drink, or joining in its pastimes,
or by the connection of lineage. Most damaging of all are the memories of the
visitor's own sins; when these are called to mind by the hell-being, they can
weaken even the strongest resolve. Lee describes how sinful spirits send signals
to people on earth who are related to them by blood or otherwise, causing
mishaps, illnesses or criminal activity. Bad fortune assails them, without them
ever being aware of its spiritual cause.' Such ancestral influence can be varied
and subtle. When Franchezzo met the Roman prince, he became aware of the many
occasions in which this evil ancestor had influenced his own earthly
life-chiefly towards pride, arrogance and thirst for power. He relates how his
ancestor had sought to mold him in his own arrogant image:
When I had felt most of
ambition and a proud desire to rise and be again one with the great ones of the
earth as had been my ancestors in the past, then had he been drawn up to me and
had fed and fostered my pride and my haughty spirit, that was in a sense akin to
his own. And he it was, he told me, who had prompted those acts of my life of
which I felt now the most ashamed-acts that I would have given all my life to
undo, after I had done them. And it was he, he said, who had from time to time
sought to raise me in the world till I should be able to grasp power of some
This is but one of many
insights that A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands gives into the nature of the
spiritual chains of sin that bind people and drag them downwards.
Victims Enchained by Hate
In several episodes,
Franchezzo meets a tyrant and his victims in the same hell, bound together by
chains of hate as strong as any love on earth. In one scene that plays out the
consequences of oppression on the earth,' he sees a man is chained to a dungeon
wall while a crowd of people throw knives and rocks and curses at the wretch;
these people were his victims on earth. They continue to attack him interminably
but are unable to kill him. The man was a cruel judge in a city in South America
acting in the name of the Spanish Inquisition. He coveted the beautiful wife of
a local merchant; and finding a pretext to bind the merchant in prison, he
seized the woman, who refused his advances and died. The wronged merchant nursed
such a strong desire for revenge that once he entered the spirit world, he
plotted the judge's death.
When the judge awoke in
hell, chained to the dungeon wall as he had chained so many others, the merchant
stood as foremost among the crowd throwing rocks and knives at the judge.
Meanwhile, far away in heaven, the merchant's wife longed for him to give up his
vengeful passion and join her. Yet until the softer feelings of love could
weaken the thirst for revenge, this poor merchant remained in hell, tied to the
villain who had destroyed his family. When Franchezzo comes with a message of
hope from his wife, the poor merchant's gaze finally turns to higher things, and
he begins the journey out of hell.
The scene is reminiscent
of Lee's account of meeting Hitler.' He found him stripped naked and tied to a
tree. A numberless throng of people shouting, "Kill him! Kill him!"
pelted him with rocks and threw curses at him continually. They were Jews,
victims of the Holocaust. The Jews were also bound in chains, some were covered
with blood, some had fallen to the ground. Yet they cared about nothing except
the opportunity to take revenge on their enemy. Lee wondered: between Hitler and
the crowd of Jews, whom he should ask to repent first? Whom should he teach
first about God and True Parents? One might think that these poor victims of
Nazi cruelty deserve a better fate than to be bound in chains and living in
hell, but such is the spiritual power of resentment and hate that it can
overcome all other desires of the heart. Lee came to meet Hitler, but he could
not help but pray with a heart of love for these victims, that they might cool
their vengeful passions and resume their own spiritual progress.
Franchezzo confirms Lee's
statement that each person is punished according to his crime." The
murderer is continually murdered; the evil judge finds himself in jail; the
taskmaster finds himself a slave. Yet everywhere God and His agents are working
to bring souls to repentance; in that sense, hope is never lacking even in the
deepest hell. I have found no account more accurate, and certainly none more
graphic, of the plight of spirits in the lower realms and the indemnity course
they must walk for restoration, than is presented by A Wanderer in the Spirit
Swedenborg's Pioneering Vision
pioneered the scientific description of the spirit world. Being gifted with
exceptional clarity, he was able to separate much of the wheat from the chaff. Exposition
of the Divine Principle mentions him by name 51 and cites him for three
significant contributions: First, his teachings have had widespread influence on
modem religious thought despite the disapprobation of the established churches.
Second, his teaching, which revealed many hitherto unknown secrets of the
afterlife, is largely truthful." Third, he had a significant role in God's
historical providence to elevate the Christian faith from the stage of rational
adherence to doctrine to the higher stage of inner, experiential relationship
with God and the Spirit. Millions of ordinary people have followed in his
footsteps, gaining knowledge of the spirit world through personal experience.
differs significantly from Unificationism as regards several core teachings. He
lacked any understanding of God's providence of restoration. He had no concept
of the human Fall, and he denied the existence of Satan. He looked for the New
Jerusalem to be established in heaven while Unificationism teaches that the
Kingdom of Heaven must first be established on earth. Yet as regards his
teachings on the spiritual world, the amount of agreement is striking.
In common with the other
spiritual accounts we are discussing here, Swedenborg emphasized the
substantiality of the spirit. After death, a person is possessed of all his
senses, and of every memory and affection. He said that the angels in heaven (by
"angels" he meant mainly good spirits) are handsome in appearance and
stature, reflecting their inner wisdom and love, while the denizens of hell
appear as monsters." He taught that the quality of life on earth decides
one's destiny in the next life, "To the extent that a man wills goodness
and truth and does them... to that extent he has heaven in himself.""
heaven as constituted by two kingdoms, each with three levels. Within each level
are heavenly societies marked off by religion, nationality and other common
factors which distinguished people on earth. There are also many levels and
realms in hell. He declared that God does not cast anyone into hell. After
death, a spirit chooses to live in heaven or hell according to his or her own
will. An evil spirit finds love of God uncomfortable to bear; he prefers to be
among other spirits with whom he finds affinity. Thus he journeys to hell of his
Heaven is filled with
people of all faiths; and so is hell." In an earlier account of the spirit
world written before his passing, Lee gave a similar view:
good Christians reside [in Paradise], as well as many non-Christians of
comparable goodness, truthfulness and compassion... Just as the devout Christian
lives by faith in Jesus Christ, there are believers of every religion who devote
themselves to God with comparable sincerity, though they call Him by other
names, including Allah, Krishna, Buddha, the Essential Self or the Unmanifest
Source. Seekers and righteous non-believers also, who place dedication to the
truth and right above worldly affairs, can attain this high level of
spirituality and merit Paradise."
on the particular receptivity of Africans" is surprisingly apt; in the
recent Holy Blessings of 360,000 couples and 39.6 million couples conducted by
the FFWPU, the largest number of participating couples were from Africa.
Swedenborg pinpointed the
dividing line between heaven and hell in this way: those who direct the mind
towards heaven's precepts and live for the sake of others go to heaven; on the
other hand, those who pay attention to the world and live self-centered lives go
to hell. Piety and charity must go together. He criticized those who gave only
lip-service to Christianity, who thought that by attending church and believing
in Christ they could automatically go to heaven while their minds were consumed
with love of self. 59
Swedenborg also taught
about spirit influence. Earthly men are influenced by both good angels and evil
spirits, who can invade their bodies and minds and turn them according to their
own desires. We are ever responsible to reject the evil and cleave to the
good." In that light, he regarded the doctrine of reincarnation as a
mistaken view, a misinterpretation of the work of possessing spirits." He
thus comes down on the Christian (and Unificationist) side of what has been a
point of division and controversy within the new age and spiritualist
Marriage in Heaven
Swedenborg agrees with Lee
in affirming heavenly marriage and its rootedness in the divine polarity. Here
we find several distinctive teachings that cohere with basic tenets of the
Divine Principle. We enumerate several of them:
First, Swedenborg regarded
God's fundamental nature as the duality of love (character) and wisdom (form). A
corresponding duality of male and female fills all creation." In marriage,
husband and wife take after the divine polarity as distinguished by the relative
proportion of love and wisdom. This corresponds to the Divine Principle's
teaching of the divine polarity of internal character and external form,
masculine and feminine.
Second, Swedenborg taught
that heaven is the macrocosmic expansion of Christ, the Divine Human." It
is constituted by all the elements of man's mind." The Divine Principle
likewise teaches that a human being is the microcosm of the cosmos. The cosmos
consists of dual realms: the physical world and the spirit world, corresponding
to the human body and mind.
Third, Swedenborg taught
that the family is grounded in the image of God. As God is the conjunction of
love and wisdom, of good and truth, so marriage is the opportunity for this
divine polarity to be expressed in a reciprocal union. For this purpose, men and
women are born. Each family that is centered on God completes the divine image
by instantiating the divine polarity. Each becomes the receptacle of divine
love. Furthermore, the pattern of the family is mirrored throughout the
creation. Thus, Swedenborg gave ontological grounding for marriage in the divine
life and remedied a weakness in traditional Christian doctrine, which had no
clear understanding of marriage, given the fact that Christ did not marry and
the church knew only His example. This compares well with the Four Position
Foundation in the Divine Principle.
Fourth, Swedenborg taught
that the family is the seminary of the human race." There our lower nature
is gradually transformed and spiritualized into the purity of true conjugal
love, which is the essence of heaven. Rev. Moon likewise teaches that the family
is the school of love and the basic unit of the Kingdom of Heaven.
regarded conjugal love as the highest joy of heaven." He admitted that
among Christians no conjugal relations are totally pure 6' and prophesied that
at the Second Advent, "conjugial love will be raised up anew by the
Lord."' Here we recognize a prophecy of the Blessing, arriving some 200
years later to elevate marriage to its true ideal as the fulfillment of the
purpose of creation.
In this regard, Swedenborg
declared that marriage is a higher state than celibacy. He denied that the
affections of priests, monks and nuns are necessarily chaste. On entering the
spirit world, each is tried as to his or her purity of heart. Those full of
inward lust are led away to hell. Those who truly and chastely loved the Lord
will receive a marriage in heaven. Many who feel uncomfortable with the conjugal
love which pervades heaven will depart and dwell in an outlying area.
The Liberation of Hell
error as regards his spiritual teachings lies in his assertion that "those
who are in the hells cannot be saved." It is the testimony of several of
the spiritual books in this study that the angels and spirits of heaven have
been laboring constantly to bring the spirits of hell to repentance. It is not
an easy task, for most of them are ignorant. Lee writes, "spirit persons in
the low levels don't know how their present, terrifying world of punishment will
change. For them there is no hope and nothing to wait for. Only continual pain
and suffering."" Nevertheless, as Franchezzo declares to the poor
merchant, "There is hope even here [in hell], for hope is eternal and God
in his mercy shuts none out from it.""
Ultimately, the liberation
of hell is part of the Good News that will precede the establishment of the
Kingdom of God on earth and in the spirit world. After all, how can the Kingdom
of God be established on earth as long as the hells continue their baneful
influence on the living? Lee relates that all his spiritual activities are alive
with this gospel: "Now we lecture that the door of hell will be opened and
hell will be liberated.""
This hope became a reality
just on the eve of the publication of Life in the Spirit World and on Earth, when
on June 13, 1998, Rev. Moon gave the blessing to the Communist leaders, the war
criminals and the Korean Christian leaders who opposed God's providence whom Lee
interviewed for the book. Now through the Blessing, the spirits imprisoned in
hell are being liberated and shown the way they can ascend to heaven. Though the
burden of their sins is still heavy and their indemnity course may be long, they
can all see the light of blessing and respond to the hope of resurrection.
Ultimately, hell will disappear and all spirits will become heavenly beings, to
the joy of God who loves the prodigal and wishes only for his salvation. Then
the omnipotent God will be all in all.
14. The Highest Heaven, the Realm of God's Love
Throughout this study we
have been remarking on the contents of Life in the Spirit World and on Earth.
Although it lacks the descriptive detail of Life in the World Unseen or
the narrative power of A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, it has its own
special quality that makes it unparalleled as a work of spiritual literature.
Its quality derives from the fact that Sang Hun Lee goes to the spirit world
representing the True Parents. He has a mission to assist the True Parents in
the liberation of the spirit world and the establishment of the Kingdom of
Heaven. Stemming from this background and purpose, Life in the Spirit World
and on Earth has several unique aspects.
For the first time in this
book, one can glimpse life in the Kingdom of Heaven itself. Heaven is a world of
love. Everything about it exudes love God's love and human love. These are the
two most notable features of Lee's experience, which signify that he is at a
higher level then the other reporters we have encountered.
Lee describes his personal
relationship with God, who calls him by name, in the intimate form used in
addressing a close family member, "Sang Hun-ah." He says,
hear his voice clearly with my own ears. Then a brilliant, glittering, radiating
and reflecting light appears in front of, behind and above my head. Amid the
light, a streak of light, unidentified, captures my heart... my feeling is like
the peacefulness when a baby in its mother's bosom meets the mother's eyes while
listening to her heartbeat. Even this description cannot fully capture my
experience. Then, as God's calling voice changes, the brightness of the
beautiful light changes, and I go into an ecstatic state. My whole body seems to
be melting. Then, suddenly, I am standing by myself: I cannot see God.
God's essence is love; his
feeling is peace and rapture and joy; his appearance is as light. Swedenborg
described God as the Sun of the spirit world, whose light and heat radiate as
love in gradations from the higher spheres to the lower spheres.' But he did not
experience God speaking to him or directly shining upon him, lifting him up into
a rapturous state. Neither did the Monsignor in Life in the World Unseen experience
anything like it; he and his friends could at best have a visitation from God's
representatives, coming down periodically from the higher spheres. When these
visitors come down, they are accompanied by beams of light, beautiful music and
wonderful sensations which fill the meeting hall for all to see and hear and
touch .71 Franchezzo occasionally hears mysterious voices, which always guide
and instruct him. He never mistakes them for the voice of God, but knows them to
be directions and guidance coming from the higher spirits who preside over his
We can conclude, with Lee,
that only in the highest heaven do people live with God on an intimate basis.
This, Lee asserts. is the unique privilege of Unification Church members:
thing that is hugely different is the position in relation to God. Limits exist
which determine how well people belonging to another religion can hear, feel or
talk to God. But Unification Church members by all means reside in a position
where they may breathe together with God.
Is this just a
triumphalist theology? No. It is consistent with spiritual laws, as Lee goes on
to describe the shame and punishment endured by even Unification Church members
who commit sin. It is consistent with the meaning and value of the Blessing for
cutting off the satanic lineage and bringing human beings into God's family.
Thus, by opening the gate of the Blessing to the whole world, the opportunity to
live in the complete love of God has become available to all humankind.
The second dimension of
love, human love, is dramatically experienced in heaven as nowhere else. When
Lee arrived at his home in the spirit world, he and his wife had a new marriage.
In heaven, husbands and wives make love out in the open air, with the grass and
flowers swaying in rhythm, the birds singing accompaniment, and all nature
rejoicing. God answers their love with rays of brilliant light pouring down upon
the couple and with strains of beautiful music; He embraces them and adds His
love to theirs. On earth people hide their love-making in the bedroom and would
feel shame and embarrassment should anyone else happen to look in, but love in
heaven is regarded as beautiful to behold.
Swedenborg also taught
that the pinnacle of heavenly love is marriage. Yet not even he could describe
fully from direct experience what heavenly love is like. He knew in general that
intercourse between husband and wife in the spirit world is similar to that on
earth, though more interior and purer." But he did not know that it
involved such a beautiful conjunction with the creation, nor that God Himself
embraced the couple, nor that it is looked upon as a beautiful act which others
can view without shame.
Yet Swedenborg did
understand some things about conjugal love in heaven. He knew it had nothing to
do with fornication or adultery, but must be chaste love for one spouse."
He knew that it is guided and governed by spiritual love, conjoined with God's
love. Hence he would assert what Lee experienced, that only those couples who
had matured in their inner selves and who lived in accordance with God's will
and desire can love each other in the true sense. There can be no deception or
falsity. There must be genuine trust, compassion and forgiveness between husband
and wife for their love to be comfortable and harmonious, able to receive the
fullness of God's love.
Sang Hun Lee, Heaven's Representative
In Lee's journeying and
interviews with other spirits we can see another unique aspect of Life in the
Spirit World and on Earth. While in the other accounts the narrators receive
visitations from heaven's representatives who descend from the higher realms,
Lee himself is heaven's representative, descending to other spirits from what
may be the highest realm. He always comes in the position to teach Divine
Principle; he always comes with the heart to help the others to advance towards
In Life in the World
Unseen and especially in A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, the
protagonists do sometimes act the part of ministering spirits to people in the
dark realms below them. As Franchezzo describes it, the spirit world contains a
vast hierarchical organization, with the higher spirits helping those on the
next several rungs beneath them; and they in turn ministering to those beneath
them, and so on down to the spirits who are close enough to the earth plane to
be of direct service to its inhabitants and to those who dwell in the hells.
Every repentant spirit takes his place in the work of helping others who
committed similar sins, in order that he may atone for his own mistakes. Thus he
has a place in the "great system of help for sinners ever being carried on
in the name of the Eternal Father of all, who dooms none of his children to an
eternity of misery.""
Yet nowhere else but in
Lee's book do we travel with a heavenly messenger whose visits are so
comprehensive, from Jesus in the highest level of Paradise to Hitler and other
war criminals deep in the darkest hell. In comparison, the other narrators can
visit but a small part of the spirit world.
We noted that most of the
people whom Lee interviewed, even those living in the good spirit world, felt
some remorse for their failures in life. We cannot assume that they would reveal
this to just anyone. For example, when the Christians come to attend Jesus, or
the Buddhists venerate Shakyamuni, they only bask in their sage's glory, never
thinking that within his heart might be grief and worry. When Lee met Jesus and
Buddha, their attitude was different. Lee came as the messenger from God and the
representative of the True Parents. He could act as their confessor, their
minister and their teacher.
What does Lee's exalted
position teach us about the True Parents? Surely, if his narrative is true, then
the True Parents are the most precious and most exalted beings in the cosmos.
The True Parents' teaching is the highest teaching, above that of any religion.
The True Parents alone can open the Kingdom of Heaven and make it possible for
all people to experience God's original love. By attending the True Parents,
their followers can share the glory of God and serve God together with them.
The True Parents show
God's love to all people. From the greatest saints to the worst sinners, they
show no partiality. Who else would have the overflowing love to want to save
Hitler and Stalin? Attending True Parents is no different, no matter who one is.
When Tojo began to repent, he asked Lee what he could do to be saved. Lee
replied, "Let's work together to spread [True Parents'] words." When
Lee met Hwal Lan Kim, the former president of Ehwa Women's University who was
responsible for expelling many Unificationist students, he told her the same
thing: "Go to all Christian women and bear witness that Rev. Sun Myung Moon
is the Lord... the True Parents and the Savior."" Jesus wrote the same
thing in his letter: "I will... offer my prayers and hard work for the sake
of the direction of the True Parents and the providence of
restoration."" Is that not also the very thing we who call ourselves
Unification Church members must do on earth?
The road of restoration
centers on the True Parents, and it is the same for everyone. Heaven is open,
and centering on the True Parents it is welcoming everyone. Its delights are
worth every effort, so dwellers on earth should strive to make themselves fit
for life in the spirit world. That is the kerygma of Life in the Spirit World
and on Earth. Readers who are members of the Unification Church will be
confirmed in their faith and motivated both to improve their own spiritual
standard and to work hard for the sake of God's will. Strangers to the church
who pick up this book at a bookstore or in a library, particularly those who are
already familiar with spiritual literature, should feel at once that they are on
familiar ground, yet also be pleasantly surprised.
1. Sang Hun Lee, Life in
the Spirit World and on Earth, recorded by Young-soon Kim (New York: Family
Federation for World Peace & Unification, 1998). For consistency in
citations of channeled works, we credit the spirit narrator as the author and
list the earthly medium as the recorder.
2. On Blessings in the
spirit world, see Taek-yong Oh, "Gate Opened for Blessing in Spirit
World," Today's World 19/3 (March 1998): 16; Chung Hwan Kwak,
"PreBlessing Prayer ai the 120 Million Couples Blessing,"
Today's World 19/6 (June 1998): 2.
3. [Robert Hugh Benson], Life
in the World Unseen, recorded by Anthony Borgia (London: Psychic Press, 1981).
4. Franchezzo, A
Wanderer in the Spirit Lands, recorded by A. Famese (West Grove, PA:
Association for Internal Mastery, 1993).
5. Betty J. Eadie, Embraced
by the Light (New York: Bantam, 1994).
Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell (London: Swedenborg Society, 1958).
7. Exposition of the
Divine Principle (New York: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of
World Christianity, 1996), p. 142.
8. Eadie's Mormon
affiliation is an issue for hard-line Christian apologists who reject the
theology of her near-death experience and even regard NDE's as such as
counterfeit religion. Cf. Richard Albanes, Embraced by the Light and the
Bible: NearDeath Experiences in Light ofScripture (Horizon Books, 1995).
9. Life in the World
Unseen, p. 167.
10. [Robert Hugh Benson], More
About Life in the World Unseen, recorded by Anthony Borgia (London: Psychic
Press, 1984), pp. 125-36.
11. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, pp. 20-2 1.
12. Life in the World
Unseen, p. 124.
13. Cf. More About Life
in the World Unseen, pp. 119-24.
14. Life in the World
Unseen, p. 84.
15. Heaven and Hell,
16. Life in the World
Unseen, p. 148.
17. Embraced by the
Light, p. 93.
18. Life in the World
Unseen, p. 46.
19. Embraced by the
Light, p. 3 1.
20. From transcripts of
AOL and Prodigy discussion forums, June - July, 1996.
21. Emanuel Swedenborg, Conjugial
Love (London: Swedenborg Society, 1989), pp. 6-18.
22. A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands, pp. 10 1 -07, 244-45.
23. Heaven and Hell,
24. Life in the World
Unseen, p. 19.
25. Betty Eadie,
transcript of Prodigy discussion forum, July 9, 1996.
26. A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands, pp. 209- 10.
27. Ibid., p. 267.
28. Embraced by the
Light, p. 129.
29. Ibid., p. 145.
30. Ibid., p. 47.
31. [Sang Hun Lee], Essentials
of Unification Thought: The Head-Wing Thought (Tokyo: Unification Thought
Institute, 1992), pp. 14-16.
32. Embraced by the
Light, pp. 109-11.
33. Ibid., p. 120.
34. Ibid, p. 122.
35. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, p. 79.
36. Loc. cit.
37. Embraced by the
Light, p. 117.
38. More About Life in
the World Unseen, p. 125.
39. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, p. 142.
40. Their visit to a
resentful businessman (Life in the World Unseen, pp. 76-78) evidently
bore fruit some years later. Cf. More About Life in the World Unseen, pp.
41. A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands, p. 26.
42. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, p. 25.
43. Ibid., p. 27.
44. Ibid., pp. 117-20.
45. A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands, pp. 170-75.
46. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, pp. 37-38.
47. A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands, p. 172.
48. Ibid., pp. 139-42.
49. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, pp. 121-24.
50. Ibid., pp. 36-37.
51. Exposition of the
Divine Principle, p. 357.
52. There is an apocryphal
story that Young-oon Kim once had occasion to sit with Rev. Moon and relate
Swedenborg's teachings, whereupon Rev. Moon remarked that his understanding of
the spirit world was 80% correct.
53. Heaven and Hell,
pp. 44-48, 50-51, 327-28, 336-37.
54. Ibid., p. 313.
55. Ibid., pp. 420-23.
56. Ibid, pp. 220-29.
57. Sang Hun Lee,
"Theory of the Spirit World in Unification Thought" (Korean), Unification
Thought Quarterly 33 (Summer 1995): 28-36; excerpted in Joonghyun Pak
and Andrew Wilson, True Family Values (New York: HSA-UWC, 1996), p.
58. Heaven and Hell,
59. Ibid., pp. 411-415.
60. Ibid., pp. 447-49.
61. Ibid., p. 165.
62. Conjugial Love, pp.
63. Heaven and Hell, p.
64. Ibid., pp. 328-29.
65. Ibid., p. 281.
66. Conjugial Love. pp.
67. Ibid., p. 134.
68. Ibid., p. 88.
69. Ibid., pp. 138-40.
70. Heaven and Hell, p.
71. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, p. 57.
72. A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands, p. 142.
73. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, p. 3.
74. Ibid., p. 17.
75. Ibid, p. 43.
76. Heaven and Hell,
77. Life in the World
Unseen, pp. 95-96.
78. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, p. 24.
79. Ibid., p. 14.
80. Ibid., pp. 34,
81. Heaven and Hell,
pp. 269, 273; Conjugial Love, p. 53.
82. Heaven and Hell,
83. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, pp. 34-36, 54.
84. A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands, p. 86, cf pp. 263-65.
85. Life in the Spirit
World and on Earth, p. 13 1.
86. Ibid, p. 135.
87. Ibid, pp. 14142.