Are you interested in near-death experiences, but don’t have hundreds of hours to wade through thousands of books and videos to get a solid idea of what they’re all about?
Garret Weeks has done the work for you in his ongoing YouTube video series, Journey of Desire.
Garret has watched over 4,000 videos of people recounting their near-death experiences, not to mention reading many books on the subject. He’s also read what Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) reports about the afterlife. This puts him in an ideal position to provide a short(ish) course summarizing what near-death experiences tell us about the afterlife and the spiritual realms, about the incredibly loving and wise nature of God, and about our relationship with God.
So far, Garret has posted eleven videos ranging from ten to thirty-five minutes in length. They start with a basic introduction to near-death experiences and the spiritual world. And they get better and better from there!
These are basic talking-head videos. Though they’re not packed with fancy graphics, Garret has a lively and enjoyable speaking style. And since the information is contained almost entirely in the audio, it’s possible to listen while doing other things, and get all of the beautiful information he has to offer.
The most recent video (at the time I am posting this), titled “8A-What is MISSING in ALL Near Death Experiences?” is my favorite so far. It provides a wonderful assurance, based on the reports of thousands of near-death experiencers, that God is love. God is not angry at us, and will not send us to hell or force us into anything against our will. Where we live to eternity is 100% our choice, based on what we truly love and desire.
For the full series, see the JourneyOfDesire channel on YouTube.
Hello Lee, Thank you for reviewing my YT Channel on your Spiritual Insights for EveryDay Life blog! Your summary of what my YT channel is all about is quite accurate – trying to help people learn from Near Death Experiencer’s quickly – saving them the hundreds of hours it would take to watch all those NDE videos themselves. A lot of visitors to my channel have also found my playlists helpful: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmVWy0K5xJgaAWbeapktjvA/playlists
These are the ‘best of the best’ NDE Testimonies on Youtube that people can listen to themselves – and decide for themselves whether the AfterLife is a scary place or a wonderful place to look forward to at the end of their time on the earth.
What is interesting about my story, is that I have come from a strongly conservative Evangelical Christian background, then I started to research all these Near Death Experiences, then I realized my theology had to change – because much of what I was taught in Sunday School could no longer be considered true now that I’ve heard from 1,000’s of eye-witnesses that have been to the next life and come back to tell us what it is like. So I had a major problem: What do I believe now?? In my search for answers, I came across Swedenborg and discovered, to my surprise, that pretty much everything Swedenborg says entirely agrees with the what the Near Death Experiencer’s tell us.
But that still left many questions about the Bible – and why was my original understanding of what the Bible said so badly mistaken. Was the Bible wrong and the Swedenborg & NDE Testimonies right? That’s when I discovered Lee Woofenden’s wonderful Spiritual Insights blog – with clear and logical arguments, Lee is demonstrating the biblical basis for Swedenborg’s theology, and showing us how and when the modern day ‘religion’ of Christianity got corrupted from the original meaning of the Scriptures. So now, for me, I’m happy to report that all 3 are in agreement: Near Death Testimonies = Swedenborg’s Teachings = what the Bible ACTUALLY says, NOT what we were TOLD it says (by my well-meaning, but equally lied-to, Sunday School teachers.)
The only thing left for us to do now is get Lee his own YouTube channel 😉 so that the biblical basis for Swedenborg’s teachings (and 1,000’s of NDE Testimonies) can reassure those of us who have begun to question whether the Bible got it wrong or if it was our religious teachers who taught us the Bible who got it wrong.
Thanks again, Lee, for reviewing my YT channel on your blog. You are doing some amazing work here – I know lot’s of people (myself included) who have had a “crisis of BELIEFS” – who need to hear how a correct understanding of the bible is actually in perfect agreement with what Swedenborg taught and what the NDE’ers are reporting to us everyday. -Garret
Thanks for stopping by, and for your good and kind comments.
As I was watching your video series, and enjoying your lucid explanations of the spiritual world based on the reports of near-death experiencers, and your occasional elucidation of various Bible passages, here’s what kept coming to mind:
Swedenborg himself, when he wrote his explanations of the Bible, often said that without knowing what the spiritual world is like, he would not have been able to understand the true, deeper meaning of the Bible. That deeper meaning, he often said, is the way that the angels understand the Bible. So when you reinterpreted (compared to traditional Christian views) various Bible passages in the light of NDEers experiences, it made perfect sense that the spiritual light from the other world would illuminate the real meaning of the Bible. In fact, for me this was one of the most exciting confirmations I received from your videos!
About getting my own YouTube channel, that is already part of the plan! It may take us a little longer to get there, but we do plan to move into video next year, and begin reaching out that way as well.
Meanwhile, on my personal YouTube channel I’ve already done readings for video of a couple of the articles here, and may add more for those who prefer listening over reading:
Once we start up a dedicated YouTube channel for Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life, we’ll start posting livelier videos that take better advantage of what video can do.
And about the Bible, if you haven’t yet, please take a look at this article, which I think you will find helpful:
How God Speaks in the Bible to Us Boneheads
Have there been any NDEs where a person absolutely rejected the embrace of the Light? Doesn’t Swedenborg say that there are those who reject God and cast themselves to hell; but I’ve never read any account of that (though, who would admit such a thing?).
Garret does talk about that in some of the videos. Not everyone wants to be near the light. And when they don’t, they tend to go to dark places.
Yes, that is the case – there is a continuum of receptivity that people have towards the Being of Light. Some just enter a wonderfully loved state and commune with the Being of Light for long time. Others feel His love, but stay at arm’s length. Still others completely change the subject. What’s interesting is this: As someone trained in counseling, I can almost predict what a person will do when they meet the Being of Light (most understand ‘It’ as ‘God’). See, each NDE story begins with about 5-10 minutes of introduction while they describe how the died. During that time, if you know what to look for, you can hear the condition of their heart, and what they pay attention too. Some are scientists and only want the facts. Others approach the Being of Light as innocent, pure-in-heart, trusting souls with eagerness and curiosity. Still others are daring and want to ‘dive into’ the Being of Light and ask if they can literally ‘come inside.’
The ones that mostly tend to ‘change the subject’ – quite literally – when they sense the intense love shining off the Being of Light – are usually the ‘just the facts’ type people. They show little interest in any experience the Being of Light would wish to show them. And they immediately start asking mundane and uninteresting questions about starlight and star dust and ape on planet earth and meteors (no joke). These are very disappointing NDE’s to listen too because then after they meet the Being of Light they quickly move off into visions of literally atoms and bosons and gluons and leptons (sub-atomic particles).
Many people get the chance to meet the Being of Light – He seems quite eager to meet us and smile upon us – and He delights seeing us like a Father would welcome a newborn child into His world. However, what happens next is ENTIRELY up to the person who is standing before Him. And God shows no disappointment if they ‘change the subject’ and want ‘out / away’ from Him. He just let’s the move on to their next focus of interest and He doesn’t show the slightest anger or hurt that they don’t ‘want Him.’ Never is this principle of absolute respect for a person’s expressed wishes ever violated. Except if they are ‘sucked back down the tunnel of Light’ back into their Body. That they don’t have any control over when they are on the other side.
So the answer is: Everyone responds / receives the Love shining off the Being of Light completely in their own unique ways. Some just bask in the warmth, others start to crack jokes with the Being of Light and share in God’s sense of humor, others ‘dive into’ the Light (literally – like a swan dive into a giant lake), many will argue with Him and blame Him and try to lie to Him. Others will just acknowledge that He appears as a Big Ball of Intense White Light, and then literally get interested in some minuscule detail off to the side – inquiring about meaningless jibberish. They come back with the least amount of transformation – and often live a reclusive life with few friends.
There are actually 2 questions that need to be answered – meeting the Being of Light takes place in a completely different place / realm than a person’s Life Review. The Being of Light doesn’t really appear at the Life Review – but His ‘wisdom and understanding does.’ The Life Review is conducted by our Spirit Guides (angels) who were (some believe) assigned to us since birth (or even before birth). People react to their Life Reviews in many ways. Some are exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to experience the ‘truth’ of their life, and others can remain rather stoic about it, not really being changed by the whole experience. However, those accounts are quite rare. The majority of people are massively and eternally transformed by their Life Review. But, you can also refuse to learn anything at your Life Review if you wish. It is hard to do – they make it REALLY hard to flunk the course. One could say that all of our 70+ years on the earth are just preparation for our Life Review – which is really where all the interesting stuff happens. The Life Review being the same as ‘the Biblical judgment’ – as I would understand it.
Everything I wrote above is a true and factual description of what is reported by Near Death Experiencers. It may or may not agree with what Swedenborg teaches on this matter. I’m not entirely sure what Swedenborg says about this. I do know this: Regardless of how a person responds to the Being of Light, and regardless of how they accept the lessons available in their Life Review, neither of these 2 common NDE events actually determines WHERE a person ends up. And we do not know where they end up because NDE’s are not ‘that extensive.’ NDE’s are very informative, fully transformative, mostly for learning and growing and enabling us to fulfill our Life Purpose when we return to the earth, but they do not describe our ‘final state’ – not at all. It is all ‘in flux’ still – too early to tell – the jury is not back yet on our life. We are just beginning the process of finding out who we are and what we are made of and where we will be most comfortable in the next life. So to ask a question like “Do we see anyone rejecting God (yes, I’ve seen that before) and casting themselves into Hell” is to mistake the whole Afterlife as a ‘once for all’ end-of-life event. The better way to see it is this: Hellish experiences often happen BEFORE a person can even approach the Being of Light or their Life Review (which comes after meeting the Being of Light). And those ‘hellish experiences’ are often people working something out that is problematic in their belief systems. Which lasts for a while, but then they move through it and make it to the next stop on their journey. Still, that isn’t the ‘ultimate destination’ – it is all the necessary steps in preparation for the Afterlife. People can grow and change and completely turn the direction of their Life around right in the middle of their NDE (this is very often the case).
This verse comes to mind: Malachi 3:2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap (laundry detergent). 3 He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Basically think of the NDE as the wash cycle on your washing machine. We don’t yet know whether the dirt and muck and grime will come out in the wash or if after the drying cycle, the clothes will still be full of stains and spots. So the final state can not yet be determined – too much is happening and everything is still in flux. God isn’t finished with us yet – and He’s still doing everything He can to redeem us and make us Holy throughout the entire NDE. Still, people can and do resist all the opportunities they are given, and like a perfect Gentleman, God and the angels respond with, “Let it be done unto you as you wish.” (They never violate this.) So yes, people will be able to cast themselves into hell at the end of the day, but generally that is not immediately apparent just by listening to their NDE testimonies alone. I hope this answered your question! -Garret
Seven years or so ago I had a dream where I was a small child, and I was flooded with golden light, pouring into me laterally. I felt an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love and bliss. I was disappointed to wake up. I can’t imagine myself ever turning away from that; it seemed like what my deepest heart yearned for. I can’t imagine anyone turning from that. And I have a lot of character flaws, including resentment and even hate.
Thanks for telling this story here. You were given a spiritual gift to hold onto.
Thanks for highlighting these videos! Lots of good and important information there. I will continue to watch.
You’re welcome. Glad you’re enjoying them!
It’s been a while since I posted anything on here. All I have to say is near-death experiences actually frighten me, even the so-called positive ones. I used to read about various near-death experiences on Kevin Williams website, and a common theme was if some people did not choose to return to some lousy life scenarios, like falling off of scaffolding and being crippled, they’d be forced in reincarnate again into the same scenario. Many also felt that life was a game, with soul contracts. Reincarnation appears to be a major theme with near-death experiences. Even if NDEs aren’t actual physical death because the silver chord isn’t severed, they have to be a glimpse of something.
Good to hear from you again. Sorry to hear that you’re still struggling with the depressing and frightening theory of bodily reincarnation. I know we’ve discussed this before, so I won’t go into any lengthy response. Here, once again, is my article on reincarnation:
The Bible, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Reincarnation
Bodily reincarnation and deterministic karma are the Eastern religion equivalents of Western Christian fundamentalism. They represent a low-level, materialistic misunderstanding of teachings in the Eastern scriptures that are really about spiritual rebirth and the spiritual consequences of our actions, not about physical reincarnation and material-world payback.
It is true that some people who have NDEs, or study them, think they support reincarnation. Years ago when I posted the above video review, I had a conversation with Garret Weeks about this. He knows a lot more about NDEs than I do. And he said that NDEs overall really don’t support reincarnation.
The problem is that if people get deep enough into an NDE to spend a bit of time in the spiritual world, they commonly come in contact with spirits in the world of spirits—the place between heaven and hell where people first arrive after they die—not with angels. And the spirits in the world of spirits have all the same mistaken beliefs that they did in the world. Plenty of them believe in reincarnation just as they did on earth, and they assure NDE visitors that reincarnation is a real thing, even though it does not, in fact, happen.
I recommend reading my reincarnation article once again to strengthen yourself against the false and materialistic idea that we are physically reincarnated. Also, do watch Mr. Weeks’s YouTube videos about NDEs. They are excellent. Perhaps they will help to allay some of your fears.
Meanwhile, Godspeed on your spiritual journey.
Hi Lee. There’s a part in the video where he sees people may choose to be in a darker place that isn’t necessarily in Hell. Do you agree with that cause it seems to contradict what Swedenborg has said.
As Mr. Weeks says in the video, there isn’t a clear, bright line in the sand between heaven and hell. Instead, there is a gradation from heaven to hell that happens through the world of spirits, which is the area between heaven and hell. In particular, there is a place called the “lower earth” that is not actually hell, but is just above hell.
However, people do not stay in the world of spirits indefinitely. People who spend time in the lower earth do so either as part of their preparation for their permanent abode in hell or to burn away evil and falsity that is still clinging to them before they travel upwards to their permanent abode in heaven.
When people are traveling around in the spiritual world, they don’t generally arrive at a signpost along the road saying, “Hell starts here.” In fact, especially if they are willingly going to hell because that’s where they want to be, they don’t think of themselves as entering hell or living in hell at all. They think of themselves as living the way they want to live, where they want to live.
So yes, heaven and hell are quite distinct from one another. But there isn’t a line like the border between two countries where on one side of the line you’re in heaven, and on the other side of the line you’re in hell. Rather, there’s a “no man’s land” between them. That no man’s land is the world of spirits, and it ranges all the way from almost heaven to almost hell, and everything in between.
I recently re-read Swedenborg’s stories of visiting the communities of people from the various ages of humankind (gold, silver, etc.) in the spiritual world to find out what their marriages are like. The stories are introduced in Marriage Love #73, and they are presented one after another in the sections that follow. As you move from bronze to iron to iron mixed with miry clay in the stories, you’re transitioning from very low levels of heaven to areas that are clearly in hell. However, there are no labels on these stories saying “This one is in heaven” and “This one is in hell.” What you’re getting instead is first-hand accounts of how the people in these places live, and what they said to Swedenborg and his angel guide in expressing their views and attitudes about marriage.
Okay, but aren’t Heaven and Hell clearly defined by the fact that if you are truly good, you go to Heaven and if you are truly evil, you go to Hell. Heaven is where all the good people are and Hell is where all the evil people. Heck, if you are destined for Hell, and had some genuine good in you, it is taken away so you are only an evil spirit by the time you enter Hell.
Yes, heaven and hell are indeed quite distinct from one another.
But what is not so often known about and appreciated is the vast gray area between them, which Swedenborg calls the world of spirits. Here people are still a mix of good and evil. This gray area fills the “chasm” between heaven and hell. It is a gradated gray area from very light toward heaven to very dark toward hell. And once again, for the people entering it, it is a temporary abode. After a few decades at most, all the people there move on to their permanent homes in either heaven or hell, while being continually replaced by new arrivals from the world.
Another thing that is indeed known in the wider Christian world, but not always fully appreciated, is that neither heaven nor hell is one big undifferentiated mass of people. There are levels of heaven, and there are also levels of hell. Some parts of hell are relatively mild in their evil. Others are utterly diabolical in their evil. The milder parts of hell would probably look quite ordinary to people who have lived in or visited some of the more run-down and corrupt areas of this world. The people who live there are just ordinary jerks who are always arguing and fighting with each other. Other parts of hell are more and more satanic and diabolical, right down to areas that are so horrifying that they are kept permanently closed so that their deadly stench cannot reach out and destroy innocent people’s souls.
And yes, in general, the evil is taken away from people who are headed to heaven, and the good is taken away from people who are headed to hell. Still, no angel in heaven is perfectly good, and no evil spirit in hell is perfectly evil. They all live along a continuum from somewhere below the absolute love and light of God high above all the way down to the coldest parts of hell that approach, but never actually reach, the spiritual analog of absolute zero. And the middle of that continuum, where good and evil mix, is occupied by the world of spirits, and by the communities of people who are still living on earth.
What do you mean by perfectly evil? I am aware that Hell has different levels and the lower areas are more tame compared to the higher areas. Maybe Gary was referring to people in Heaven where as in Hell, they are forced to associate with their kind.
Hell is an upside-down (and distorted) reflection of heaven. This means that unlike in heaven, the higher areas of hell are the milder areas, whereas the lower levels are the darker and more malevolent areas.
But to answer your question, even the worst demon in the lowest hell has an untouched innermost soul that beyond our human reach, and that we therefore cannot corrupt. This is where God flows directly into us, keeping us alive, and giving us the human capabilities of free will and rationality. For good people and angels in heaven, there is a more-or-less uninterrupted flow from that innermost soul out into the rest of their spirit, and from there into their body. For the devils and satans in hell, that flow is restricted and diverted, not by God, but by the evil spirits themselves, because they hate God and everything that comes from God, and turn their backs on God. However, if at least a little of the life from God did not get through, they could not remain alive.
Also, at least in the milder hells, where people live who had not opened and destroyed the deeper levels of their mind and heart, all the residents there must engage in some sort of useful work—as much as they hate to do anything for anyone else—or they receive no food and clothing. Therefore despite themselves, they do contribute to the overall economy of the spiritual world.
Finally, even evil and malevolent spirits are perfectly able to be rational, and to discuss and understand the truths of heaven if they have reason to do so. But when they do so, they are soon seized with their own evil desires, and they then reject everything they have just said because it conflicts with their ruling love.
So there is a speck of goodness in them because otherwise they couldn’t live? I know they have to work, but what I meant is they don’t enjoy other peoples company. Obviously in the spirit world, they can associate with each other but then as soon as they enter Hell, they would turn on each other.
Even in hell, most people live in communities, not alone. Humans are social animals whether we are in heaven or in hell. It’s just that in heaven everyone loves each other and wants to make other people happy, whereas in hell people get their pleasure by making other people miserable. If there were no one else around to torment, where would they get their enjoyment?
And yes, no person can live without at least a speck of goodness deep within their soul. To return to the analogy of absolute zero, we’ve gotten very, very close to it, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever actually reach absolute zero. At that point, all motion would cease, which would likely mean that any matter that reached absolute zero would cease to exist. Likewise, any evil spirit that had not even a speck of goodness in him or her would cease to exist. There would be no place into which God could flow in order to keep the person’s spirit alive.
I mean it does make sense, but it is hard to believe that technically there is still a bit of good in even the worse people in Hell. It just is so buried under all the evilness that it might as well not be there. And, just to be clear, there is no sin in Heaven, nothing good in Hell, and eventually we’ll be pulled one way or the other, but it will be our choice. Our choice with what we choose to keep and rid ourselves us is all our choice, and that also determines where we go.
Yes, it is entirely our choice which way we go.
But just to be clear, this is not a mere intellectual choice: “I think I like hell better than heaven. I guess I’ll go there.” Rather, it is a choice made in our heart and in our actions day after day and year after year throughout our lifetime on earth, and then forever to eternity. As long as we’re still living on earth, we still have the opportunity to change our mind. Once we die and move on to the spiritual world, though, we have made our choice. We no longer have any interest in or even possibility of changing what we have chosen. We are now a pot that has been fired. Any attempt to change its form would only break it.
And yes, there is no sin in heaven. Sin is intentionally doing what we know is wrong. Angels don’t do that. However, this doesn’t mean there’s absolutely no evil in heaven. Angels—especially angels of the lower heavens—sometimes do things that are not quite right. They don’t do it on purpose. But no human being has absolutely pure motives. Some little bit of selfishness and materialism still sticks to us, and occasionally comes out in our words and actions even in heaven. And when it does, angels do the work of cleansing that part of themselves just a little bit more. So angels are always growing and perfecting to all eternity. As it says in the book of Job:
And once again, there is at least a slight bit of good in every evil spirit in hell, or they could not continue to live. They choose not to live from that slight bit of good, but it is still there. And occasionally it seems to come out despite themselves. When it does, they quickly squash it. But they can’t touch or taint that deepest spark of goodness in their inmost soul, above the level of their conscious awareness.
I was referring to more losing the traits that are incompatible with our ruling love in the spirit world than the traits we lose on Earth. In some ways, it’s hard for me to relate to Swedenborg’s experiences and apply them to my own thinking because the world, as we know it, has drastically changed since his time. It’s sort of how we have a hard time relating to the times of the bible, so fundamentalists apply that thinking to our current life
For instance, I think I know where the idea of angles watching and enjoying people in Hell suffering came from. I stumbled on a video that said that, at one point, seeing people suffer horrifically for their crimes was a spectator sport. Not just executed, but killed in the slowest most painful way possible. So, it’s no surprise that the bible was interpreted in that way by the people living in that time, and that kind of thinking got passed down in those circles.
About the changes that happen to us after death while we’re in the world of spirits, I tend to think that only externally expressed character traits that are flatly incompatible with our ruling love will drop away. For example, someone who values honesty and integrity, but suffers from kleptomania, will have to lose the urge to steal before heading to heaven. Other traits that are not flatly incompatible with honesty and integrity, such as enjoying impersonating other people for comedic purposes, can probably remain intact. In other words, I think there’s broad latitude to keep our various character traits as long as they do not directly conflict with our ruling love, and with good morality and ethics generally.
I do think we have to adapt and update some of the things Swedenborg says to present times and cultures. It is unavoidable that some of what Swedenborg wrote was expressed in terms of the cultural patterns and scientific knowledge with which he was familiar. For my general view of Swedenborg and his writings, please see:
Do the Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg take Precedence over the Bible?
Interesting potential connection between the formerly common practice of public punishment, torture, and execution of criminals and the idea that one of the pleasures of the angels is to witness the tortures of the damned in hell. I hadn’t thought of that connection before.
I always thought if we had anything removed from us it wouldn’t make us us anymore. I remembered asking my grandfather how much I would change and he said he didn’t think I would change that much. I asked him if I would still have autism, and he said he thinks without it, I wouldn’t be me. But, it seems like the change is a slow one and not suddenly, you just change into wanting to go to Heaven or Hell.
If something were removed from us forcibly by outside powers, we wouldn’t be ourselves anymore. That is why God never forces us to change. However, we can choose to change ourselves from our own will and actions, and then the change becomes a permanent part of our character. Usually, as you say, the change is a slow one, built up over months and years of pushing ourselves in the direction we want to go.
About autism, as I’m sure you know, it is on a spectrum from being severely disabling on one end to being a particular set of character traits on the other end. I believe that people whose autism is severely disabling for them will have that disability removed in the spiritual world. But to the extent that autism is simply a set of character traits akin to introversion and being self-contained emotionally, I believe it will persist in the spiritual world. This, of course, is a major simplification of a very complex reality. Only God knows exactly what will happen for this or that person.
When we enter the spirit world, we become our ruling love slowly and over time completely of our own volition. There isn’t any forcefulness on the part of angels is there?
Right. There is no forcing. But really, we have already become our ruling love here on earth. All that happens in the world of spirits is that anything incompatible with it falls away. We then feel more like our own selves than we ever have before.
Hey Lee. I wanted to revisit this conversation and i have to wonder. What causes us to change in the spirit world. Like what happens that causes us to change.
You said, a person may be a kleptomaniac, but how will they lose that urge to steal. How will these less than desirable traits be removed from a person if they aren’t forced out of the person, and what would cause them not to make the choice in the world if spirits that they couldn’t make while alive.
It’s a good question.
The world of spirits is not some dream world. Life there is every bit as real as it is here on earth. People get up in the morning and do things with each other. They make mistakes. They do things that are wrong. They are exactly the same people as they were here on earth, and they continue their lives exactly as they lived them here on earth. Quite often this means learning things the hard way, just as we do on earth.
People who have a good heart, but are “addicted” to bad habits such as kleptomania, will commonly attach themselves to people who don’t have good hearts, and who actually do love, in this example, stealing, and think there is nothing wrong with it. These “friends” will drag the good-hearted person down with them toward, and sometimes even into, hell. There they will suffer hard things.
For example, every time they steal something, they get beaten up by the people from whom they stole. Unlike here on earth, in the spiritual world it is not possible to get away with anything. Every single time people there commit a crime, the punishment inevitably follows—not at the hand of God or the angels, but at the hands of evil spirits who love to punish and torture people, and who are allowed to do so only when people have committed some evil act.
In crude terms, a guy who has a good heart, but who keeps on stealing, will have that desire to steal beaten out of him—if the desire is so deeply rooted and stubborn as to resist the efforts of angel guides in the world of spirits to root it out of him by gentler means. If all else fails, good old Skinnerian behavior modification therapy will do the trick. Before long, the guy will lose his desire to steal because it will become associated with pain and suffering in his mind.
Women and girls who have become addicted to shoplifting in this world will also endure rough treatment every time they steal something, until they either give it up or make their bed in hell. Because they are female rather than male, their retribution will likely be somewhat different than what is meted out to men and boys. Punishment is adapted to the character of the people being punished. Men and women are not the same, and they never will be. Regardless, nobody gets away with anything in the spiritual world. Wrong behavior always results in punishment and pain of one kind or another.
People who have an evil heart, and in this example, whose ruling love is to steal, will keep right on stealing despite the inevitable pain and retribution that follows because that is where they get their greatest delight. However, people who have a good heart, but who have somehow become addicted to stealing, will give it up over time. As they suffer hard experiences because of it, they will move on to better things that express what is really in their heart.