Ghosts do exist and they can be categorized in several ways:
- The most frequent experience of ghosts come with the several weeks after someone dies. The time between departing the “mortal coil” into Heaven is short because once a person begins to live in the awareness of Heaven they become too rich and full of grace to be easily recognized by humanity alive on Earth. The transition time between that entering, as C. S. Lewis, “farther up and deeper in,” people can encounter and recognize the ghost of people they knew or loved. Some people are better at seeing it then others, some sense the presence, and others take comfort in the moment of feeling someone they love without really recognizing it as the final departure.
- Other ghosts are people who are in transition hoping to be able to grow in grace to be able to enter into life in Heaven. They were unable to live fully in goodness while they were alive and attempt after their death to make up for lost time. They usually have unfinished business. Jesus said of entering into Heaven, “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” This quote was from Jesus on a day when he was reminding people that they can’t take God’s love for granted, explaining that humanity had to work to get into Heaven. He, merciful always, left a loophole because he didn’t set a time limit like “before you die.”. He also purposely didn’t get into the fact that Heaven has a side gate where humans line up to try to find out how to get into Heaven. Again, let me reference C. S. Lewis, whose book “The Great Divorce” describes the complicated process of people who had died trying to embrace grace and how complicated the change needed to do that was for many. The process can’t be fully described because the challenge to each person comes in a form personal to them. Dante described the journey to find salvation after death in “Purgatorio” as the transition appeared to Western Europeans in the Middle Ages. That purgatory of ordered categories faded as human history changed, but the idea is still the same. Work needs to be done by individuals to let go of the faults and stubbornness that holds them back.
- Other ghosts become frozen in the limits of the world that they created to justify their point of view and their vices. Sometimes they can be glimpsed by living people but mainly they are seen fading from view because they cannot let go of their will and defenses and turn ever into their empty self. Since they are stuck in their own world, they don’t influence anything in ours, but they can sometimes be encountered like a fading spark slipping into a dark oblivion.
Lafayette was in transition and I was responsible for giving him feedback as he worked to relinquish his view of the world. Since he started out as a Science Fiction writer, who turned a crazy story into a religion, he had a great deal of work to do. He had become enamored by his own fantasy and enslaved people into it. He could easily turn into himself become a frozen memory, but he had an active imagination that found the potential of seeing something he didn’t know as intriguing. As I have come to find out, he is a tough case because when he sees something new he likes to think that he has discovered it, that he has a special perspective on the truth and can’t help but trying to make it into his own likeness.
Lafayette ended up working out his personal purgatory in Helena because he found that he couldn’t go too far from his childhood home on 7th Ave. Whenever I talk to him, I find myself standing in front that house, one of Helena’s Appleton houses. Appleton was a developer, who built a series of houses that each contained at least one turret, had a first floor outside of stone and second story outside of wood or shingle. They are quaint houses and Lafayette’s is one of the quaintest of them all. We stood in front of the house while Lafayette looked up a high hill longing to climb the stairs. Lafayette couldn’t walk past the first steps. I could feel his longing because he knew he was a long way from the door. That was path he needed to take to get to Heaven and something prevented him. Actually many things prevented him, but I sensed one major issue stopped him and would be the last problem he would have to solve to climb to his childhood door.
He was one of the glorious assignments I had been given. I stand at the side gate to Heaven. Although some days I had trouble seeing the glorious part of this. Mentoring people into Heaven after they didn’t succeed when they were alive was not any easy tasks. I was deeply appreciative of the fact that I had help. Taking a shift standing at the side gate was one of the jobs that saints and angels sometimes could do. Because it was heaven, the saints and angels took on the task with a joyful commitment, but like me they would become weary wrangling obstinate human beings and go joyfully to one of the other countless good works they could join into in Heaven. I was always looking for help, but some cases I couldn’t avoid. I got the unique cases that needed a practical historic perspective. At another time I will introduce you a very unique case, Helena’s famous theater ghost, John, actor and assassin.
Lafayette wanted to quibble today.
“Are you sure I have to identify ten righteous people? Can’t we reduce that number.”
“Sorry,” I responded, “that is as low as I can go.”
“I understand that you want me to help you find the righteous people, but identifying them is harder than I thought.”
“This task, Lafayette, is not for you to help me. You have to learn to see what is essentially good in a person to allow yourself to change. Be careful, you know self-aggrandizing yourself is one of your problems.”
He started to turn red with anger. When he got angry he reminded me of the weasel looking guy who now ran his religion whom I had seen on TV. Obviously Lafayette had taught him well.
The angrier he got, the path up the stair to his childhood home zoomed farther and farther back until it could only be seen at a great distance. I saw him reach out to embrace his old home and in doing so he began to calm down. The distance between us and the house diminished and once again we stood in front of it at the bottom of the long stairs up the hill.
He looked sheepishly at me, but he didn’t quite give up. “I hear what you are telling me and I will keep it in mind, but I’m sure it won’t hurt for you to know some righteous people when it comes.”
I nodded and gave him credit for shrewdly calling me on another reality that his task could benefit. I will need all the help I can get when it comes.