In this article we will continue our discussion of death and the afterlife, moving away from the Seth and Law of One material and into a scientific investigation of these ideas.
Here we will discuss the work of Dr. Michael Newton and his model of the afterlife. It will be obvious how much his model corresponds to our previous information as we move along.
Dr. Michael Newton Builds a Model of the Afterlife
Dr. Michael Newton (1931-2016) began working as a hypnotist at age 15.
Later he became a specialist in treating various psychological disorders through hypnotic suggestion.
His website explains, Dr. Newton “held a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, was a certified Master Hypnotherapist and member of the American Counseling Association. He was on the faculty of higher educational institutions as a teacher and counselor while also active in private practice. In addition, Dr. Newton spent time as a corporate consultant and worked as a behavioral counselor and group therapy director for community mental centers and spiritual renewal organizations in cooperation with hospital and social service agencies. He was a hypnotherapist for over 50 years and a LBL therapist for over 40 years.”1
He began his work as an ardent skeptic and did not believe in reincarnation.
His experience began to change when he met a client who reported chronic pain on his right side, who said he had been stabbed by a bayonet and killed in France during WWI.
Through his continued work he was able to build up an overview of the journey through the afterlife by interviewing many different clients.
A great deal of clinical experience and research spanning over 40 years went into his overall model.1
Dr. Newton says, “Initially I was concerned that a subjects’ integration of current needs, beliefs, and fears would create fantasies of recollection. However, it didn’t take long before I realized our deep-seated memories offer a set of past experiences which are too real and connected to be ignored.”
He continues, “It did not matter if a person was an atheist, deeply religious, or believed in any philosophical persuasion in between – once they were in the proper superconsicous state of hypnosis, all were consistent in their reports.”
Journey of Souls – Ten Stages of the Afterlife
- Death and Departure
- Gateway to the Spirit World
- Life Selection
- Choosing a New Body
- Preparation and Embarkation
Stage One: Death and Departure
You find yourself floating over your body.
You see people around your body who are grieving your death. You often find yourself trying to convince them – without success – that you are still there, only in another form.
Soon you feel a pulling sensation that draws you away from your body.
There is an ecstatic feeling of freedom and brilliant light. Some people see the light all around them, while others see it in the distance and feel pulled toward it.
Some people are not interested in staying near their bodies after their physical death. They feel the strong pull of the afterlife and do not want to wait around to experience it.
Many others will stay around the earth for a few days of our time, until shortly after their funerals.
Dr. Newton’s participants have revealed that they have a greatly accelerated sense of time in the afterlife, and what we think of as days may take only minutes to pass by.
Most people are not interested in seeing themselves buried – as they do not experience emotions like we do – but they do appreciate the respect and tributes their friends pay them.
Stage Two: Gateway to the Spirit World
This is where we see the dark tunnel, enter it, and reach the light at the end. Some see the tunnel appear right over their bodies, while others have to fly high above the earth before they can enter it; in most cases the tunnel appears quickly after we leave the earth; some may not even experience the tunnel.
Only the most disturbed spirits attempt to stay near their bodies for any length of time.
Younger souls with fewer past lives may take a little longer to head out than more experienced souls, who tend to move on quickly.
The common stereotype, in which a person ends up in a flowing field of tall grass or wildflowers as soon as he or she leaves the tunnel, with all his or her friends and relatives there did happen in some cases but was by no means a standard.
However, everyone seems to experience a spectacularly inspiring set of visions at this point.
Most people are somewhat confused when they first emerge and are not sure how to interpret the forms, colors, and energies they are seeing.
Almost immediately after their death, most people do hear beautiful music or sound vibrations – which continue to be audible as they move through the early stages of their entry into the afterlife.
Others report seeing layers of energy in which different activities seem to be happening.
Although each of us may have a completely different vision, whatever we see is invariably a majestic sight.
Interestingly, these scenes seem to stay consistent over the course of many lifetimes for a soul.
We do not immediately become omniscient after death.
We may still be confused, sad, bewildered, and traumatized by what has happened. If we experience sadness and confusion at this point, we are generally approached by our main guide in the afterlife.
This is a very loving and supportive person who then helps us move through our initial greeting and orientation. Our guide helps us work through whatever emotions we are feeling with patience and expertise.
Younger souls are more apt to be greeted this way, whereas more experienced souls will remember where they are and know where they are going.
Stage Three: Homecoming
At this stage we are formally greeted into the spirit world, not just by our initial guide, but by others who are close to us.
These people often appear as masses of luminous energy, but they can project faces we are familiar with in order to help ease us into our new surroundings.
Our energetic bodies are completely thought responsive.
We will see people we know who are still alive on earth, even if their physical bodies are alive, they also have an energetic body that remains in the afterlife the entire time.
Again and again, Dr. Newton’s clients revealed that we project only a certain percentage of our total essence into the human form at any one time – the rest remains in the afterlife to guide and watch over what we are doing. The average, less-advanced soul will put between 50 and 75 of its energy into a physical body, whereas more advanced souls will never transfer more than 25 percent.
Some highly ambitious souls divide themselves into two or even three simultaneous incarnations on earth, in the hope of dramatically speeding up their evolution. Most souls quickly see the folly in this path, are warned not to do it by their guides, and will not attempt it more than once or twice.
There is a lot of hugging and crying and an incredible feeling of love, acceptance and belonging at this stage.
Also, at this point we begin very clearly remembering multiple lifetimes we have shared with each of these people. All our lifetimes start to blend together as we realize how many different times we’ve incarnated and interacted with the same folks.
However, if we have committed atrocities toward others, such as murders, or toward ourselves, such as suicide, then we may go off to be alone with our guide to rehabilitate and quickly plan out our next incarnation.
People who go through this process are always treated with patience and love, not the fiery world of torment and purgatory in which most people have been taught to believe.
However they do end up reviewing and reliving the ways in which they hurt others, and they experience it from the other side as a direct reliving of how they made others feel by their actions.
Suicide creates the need for a great deal of healing work and a renewed dedication to go through the same lessons again in a subsequent lifetime – hopefully without committing suicide the next time.
Violent, unethical acts require us to choose difficult life events that we hope will balance out our karma if we handle them lovingly. If we do come into the afterlife with this type of significant damage, we can spend quite an extended amount of time in isolation before getting the opportunity to again mix with our friends and loved ones.
Once we are allowed back into our group, we are then closely supervised.
No one is judged by their guides – in the afterlife, we are well aware of what our goals are in the physical plane. If we see that we have not learned the lessons we chose, we will cooperate with our guides to determine how we may best be restored to balance.
Once we move into the later stages, we are reacquainted with our “soul group” – a team of people sharing a similar level of spiritual development with us.
As we become more advanced souls, no welcoming committee is necessary at the Homecoming stage and we will quickly move on to rejoin our soul group. In these cases, we seem to be pulled quite naturally along wavelike bands of light.
Even though there is full thought sharing in the afterlife and telepathic communication occurs among everyone, it is still possible for two individuals to have a private conversation by touching each other.
Stage Four: Orientation
Next is an interesting series of experiences to help us reorient and re-familiarize ourselves with the afterlife. Our guide is often intimately involved with us at this stage.
The first and most important part of this process is an energetic form of healing in which the traumas we carried in from our physical lives are washed away.
Once we reach this hospital-like chamber, we go through what Dr. Newton calls “the shower of healing.” Our guide often directs this process. We move into a specific room of light and are bathed in a stream of liquid healing energy that appears like a beam coming toward us and moving through us.
Negative, traumatic memories, fears, and worries are washed away at this point. We again feel whole. We are inspired, renewed, and restored and are finally able to let go of the emotional bonds to our previous lifetime.
The second phase of Orientation is a substantial counseling process with our guide.
The guide asks us probing questions about how we lived our lives, and whether we lived up to our own expectations, as we had chosen them before birth.
This process is done with gentle grace – not a harsh, accusing tone or demeanor – but we are still expected to be honest, soul-searching, and thorough. Our guide already knows our strengths and weaknesses, our fears and fixations, and is willing to work with us as long as we keep trying. It is impossible for us to hide anything from our guides due to the inevitable reality of instant telepathy in the afterlife.
Some people have a much more difficult time with this counseling than others, and this is due to the overall maturity of the soul.
Great humility is required, and we still experience our waking personality, to varying degrees. We are not exalted beings who have reached a state of total soul perfection. We have wants, needs, and desires; we may feel embarrassed, awkward, fearful, and disappointed.
This process certainly is not easy, but it is often necessary.
We also discover the many different ways in which our guide attempted to influence us telepathically to make positive choices in our lives, such as through synchronicity.
In order to progress, we must honestly admit how we disregarded those messages and chose to act in weakness, ignorance, and fear instead.
The more advanced souls do not require any counseling at the Orientation stage and simply move on to their ultimate destination.
Stage Five: Transition
The visions we experience here can be some of the most breathtaking of our entire journey through the afterlife.
We move into an enormous area where we see souls coming and going, much like at a train or subway station, but on an utterly vast scale. Gravity does not apply in the afterlife, so there will often be a vast, interconnecting web of energetic tunnels leading souls to their eventual destinations.
People are typically very excited by what they see at this stage, and they find themselves traveling along “lines of light.”
We are usually well aware, by this point, that once we move through this tunnel to our eventual destination, we will be reacquainted with those we love the most.
As we think about these people, we telepathically connect with them and experience an initial meeting in that form before we actually leave the tunnel. These people are at the same relative level of soul evolution as we are, and we learn from one another’s experiences and compare notes in the afterlife, often with a great deal of humor.
Once we arrive at our own area and enter it, the scenery often becomes much more conventional looking, from the standpoint of our experiences on earth.
We will often see large areas that are familiar to us, including towns, schools, beloved homes, and landmarks that help us feel safe and secure.
We are now fully reacquainted with our soul group – people with whom we keep reincarnating, again and again, as they play different roles. They may appear as parents, romantic partners, siblings, teachers, coworkers, or friends in various lifetimes.
Members of our soul group who are incarnate in human forms on earth may seem to be half-asleep, radiating a dimmer light and staying fairly quiet. They may greet us briefly but tend to keep to themselves. Most of us at this stage are immediately aware of who is in a body and who is between lifetimes.
Once we’ve taken some time to reconnect with our friends and loved ones and enjoy these familiar surroundings, we are ready to meet with the Council of Elders. The process is similar to the initial counseling we went through with our guide – only now we are accountable to a group of highly evolved beings.
Stage Six: Placement
This is where we are reacquainted with familiar groups of various sizes.
At this stage, we experience a return to a school-type environment. The classrooms can be quite beautiful and will have scenery chosen from our favorite places on earth.
We study with our soul group – our closest friends, who enjoy a level of evolution similar to ours. This group can range between 3 and 25 souls, but the typical number is about 15.
This group will often be called the Inner Circle, and it stays consistent from lifetime to lifetime.
We also come into some degree of contact with a much larger secondary group of souls who incarnate with us to varying degrees. We see that entire towns, cities, nations or ethnic groups can keep moving, in clusters, through different locations and eras.
We perform real work in this school setting, which usually comes in the form of sitting down with a “life book”. Although this first appears to look more like a typical, large, bound leather book, it acts much more like an advanced holographic projection technology once we open it. Each “page” of this book represents a given period of time in our lives.
As we go through the book, we review all the different experiences we went through in our lives – in vividly realistic detail. This process is much like virtual reality, in the sense that we often end up directly projecting into the scenes we are reviewing.
Special emphasis is placed on projecting into the minds and hearts of those we interacted with, particularly if we caused them to feel hurt or pain in some way.
We now get to personally experience everything we put them through, including the most painful events.
This process can be significantly shortened if we remember events where we hurt others while we are still living in a physical body and forgive ourselves for what we did.
There are also periods of recreation, where souls of many different levels of evolution gather together for enjoyable activities. This may include forming circles with others to unify our thoughts and feelings more fully and to project energy.
Such interactions with others may involve singing, or the energetic equivalent of it. We also interact with our guides, who are on a higher level of evolution, and we feel a great sense of community.
In the Placement stage, souls may also project themselves into various natural settings or life-forms as a recreational or vacation-type activity. Rocks can give a feeling of density. Trees can convey a powerful sense of serenity. Water can give a feeling of flowing cohesiveness. Butterflies can help the soul feel beautiful and free, and whales can help the soul feel powerful and immense.
Seven Different Levels Souls Move Through in the Afterlife
- Level I was white
- Level II reddish yellow
- Level III yellow
- Level IV dark yellow with traces of blue
- Level V light blue
- Level VI dark bluish purple
- Level VII purple – which is very rare.
One client referred to Level VI beings as “the sages”.
Level VII beings are the “old ones,” who are rarely seen – and highly mysterious.
There is astonishing agreement between Dr. Newton’s independent, hard-earned observations and what we read in the Law of One series about the seven different densities corresponding to the colors of the rainbow and the evolutionary level of beings we find there.
As enjoyable as the Placement stage of our journey often is, sooner or later we have to get serious and plan out our next incarnation. In Dr. Newton’s experience, souls do not gain the opportunity to stop reincarnating in physical bodies until they have reached at least level V.
Stage Seven: Life Selection
Leaving the spirit world can be a horribly difficult process. You are knowingly turning your back on a world of love, peace, wisdom, and blissful happiness to return to a world that can often be filled with suffering, pain, betrayal, and disappointment.
Some souls resist this process for as long as they can and genuinely wish they did not have to return – but sooner or later, they must.
The main responsibility we have in the Life Selection stage is to reach a place that some of Dr. Newton’s clients called the “Ring of Destiny,” which often appears as a sphere of bright light.
Moving into this stage, we are full of bright hope and lofty expectations as we think positively about our next lifetime, and we are excited about the possibility of making real spiritual growth.
Once we move into this sphere, we often feel like we are stepping into a highly futuristic cockpit. Different screens float around us, giving us visual impressions of the different lifetimes we could choose for our next incarnation.
Each lifetime we can choose from has different events, and some could be challenging or difficult, such as debilitating injuries.
These events are ultimately intended to help us grow and evolve as souls.
We see that choices will be placed in front of us as these events occur, and we cannot be sure what decisions we will make once we reach those points. We are not allowed to see what the consequences of those decisions will be as we move into the future within these lifetimes.
We may try to make guesses, but the future reality of those choices is not made visible to us – for a very good reason. If we knew and could foresee the consequences of the events that will happen and the choices that we will make, there would be no real free will and learning experiences as we select a given lifetime.
A typical Life Selection process within the Ring of Destiny will involve a choice from among four different lifetimes. Our guides are not present to advise us at this stage – we run through the entire process by ourselves.
Stage Eight: Choosing a New Body
“Before physical birth then you form a mental concept of the body you will have. This image is impressed into matter in this way: You tune yourself into a highly specific dimension of reality. You form a physical structure that will have existence within that intensely concentrated area, that will have validity and actuality – that will come alive within those ‘frequencies’.”3
This process also occurs within the Ring of Destiny – Life Selection area.
In this stage, on the screens that float around in this cock-pit like area, we are presented with various bodies within which we can choose to incarnate.
We can see how the bodies will look and feel, how they function, and how they think – throughout the different levels of biological age we will experience.
Every human body we see around us, no matter how it looks, is the product of a careful soul choice. A great deal of time and attention is paid to the specifics of each body; there is usually no such thing as a hasty decision.
Dr. Newton found that most major injuries we go through in our lives are chosen at this stage, before we are born.
Choosing a body involves full awareness of what will happen to it throughout a given lifetime.
Again, we are prevented from seeing exactly how these events will shape our personality. Each body has difficulties that come along with it, and we take our time and choose carefully.
If we have recently come out of a life that was relatively easy and stress-free, we may well decide to come back into a body and a life that will present us with many more challenges.
Dr. Newton also reveals that an energetic handshake of sorts must be made between the soul and the physical body.
Without the influence of the soul, a person wouldn’t be very interesting – he or she would be fairly primal in nature and would be ruled by emotions.
The soul can determine whether someone is an extrovert or an introvert, whether the person is emotional or intellectual, and whether the person is rational or idealistic in nature.
Many of our personality attributes carry over from one life to the next, but there are also personality influences that are a direct result of the body itself, its heredity, and its experiences.
Stage Nine: Preparation and Embarkation
We leave the Ring of Destiny and have an intensive planning meeting with the people who will play key roles in our lives, usually from our soul group.
Many synchronicities we will experience are planned out at this point, in order to ensure that we take certain steps at certain times.
Higher-level guides help us plan out the symbols and events that will help steer us through these key moments.
If we choose to be in a relationship with someone, we may deliberately plan a symbol that will appear when we first see that person – a particular place, a particular object they are wearing, something funny they say, some specific music we hear in the background, and so on.
We struggle at this stage to memorize each of these cues, so that we will know what to do when we see them.
Once we have incarnated in a physical body and these signals appear, we generally will not remember the careful and deliberate planning that went into these events, but the memory trigger encourages us to make certain decisions.
After planning out these synchronicities to keep us on track, we often have another meeting with the Council of Elders before we head into the Rebirth stage.
This meeting is used to remind us of our goals and of how important it is that we stick to our ideals in our next lifetime. This meeting is akin to a last-minute pep talk encouraging us to have patience, to hold true to our values, to trust ourselves in the midst of difficult situations, and to avoid indulging in anger and negativity.
We may also receive an energetic boost from the Elders that appears as a burst of positive power helping inspire us and charge us with love.
Stage Ten: Rebirth
After meeting with the Council of Elders, some souls become quiet and introspective before they reincarnate, whereas others joke around with their friends and have a lighthearted attitude about the reincarnation.
Once we finally depart, we have a sense of plunging downward, through areas of luminous energy.
We may also see another dark tunnel, only this time we are returning to the earth in it, rather than leaving the earth through it.
As soon as we exit the tunnel, we find ourselves in the body of a baby within our new mother’s womb.
While we are in the baby’s body, we work to integrate our own soul energies with the brain of the physical body.
- Wilcock, David, The Synchronicity Key, Dutton, 2013
- Roberts, Jane, The Nature of Personal Reality, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1974