Fatal Accident in the Mountains
When someone is torn from life by an accident, this is especially difficult for their relatives. But what about the deceased person themselves? How do they come to terms with this abrupt departure from their loved ones and responsibilities? The following personal account comes from a deceased man called Philip. Through the medium Beatrice Brunner, he describes how he was received in the world beyond after a fatal accident in the mountains and how help was provided to those he had left behind.
This lecture was given on the evening of 4 September 1963, on the same day that a Swissair flight crashed in Dürrenäsch, Switzerland. Of the 80 fatalities, 43 men and women were from the small farming village of Humlikon, and 39 children were orphaned by their deaths. It was against the backdrop of this disaster that Philip gave this comforting account of his own experiences.
Philip: God bless you. Dear brothers and sisters, my name is Philip. I will just touch briefly on my previous life. I lived with my wife and children and parents. I had to take care of my parents, to see to their daily needs. I did this willingly, I loved my parents. We all lived together in a beautiful, harmonious way.
I used to guide tourists, accompanying them up the mountains. On one occasion I had climbed a high mountain all by myself, and I fell – fell to my death, as you would say.
I would now like to speak about my life in God’s spirit kingdom. The first thing I heard was: “He is dead; we must look after him.” Those were the first words I took in: “He is dead.” And I thought it over: “Am I really dead? If so, how am I able to hear this?” It was not yet clear to me what life after death would be like. I also felt rather dazed. At that moment a hand passed over my forehead, over my eyes, and someone said to me, “Philip, don’t you recognize me? It’s me, Franz.”
It felt as though I were waking from a deep sleep. Yes, I saw this Franz – but I was simply too tired. I could neither think nor talk. But Franz then said to me, “I’m going to stay nice and close to you, and I will accompany and guide you. Listen, you have now departed from the earthly realm, you are now in the kingdom of God. Life goes on, Philip. Look at me, you know me.” And as he spoke, he continued stroking my forehead with his hand, back and forth.
Then it suddenly became clear to me: Franz really was standing beside me. And I said to him, “What? You’re here as well?” Oh yes, I recalled that he had also died. He shook me and said, “Of course I’m here, and the others are also here. Granddad is here; you’ll see him soon. And you’ll meet many others whom you know – just wait. Lean on my arm, I will lead you.”
I looked down at myself and thought: “So, haven’t I broken my legs, my arms, and my spine? But I slipped and fell” – I was sure of that – “but how can I still stand upright?” Such were my thoughts, and Franz noticed and said, “Oh, you’ve broken neither your legs nor your hands nor your back. You are healthy; your spirit is healthy – Philip, wake up.”
Oh yes, I truly wanted to wake up, and I looked around me. It was as if I were being carried away. I looked at my feet, and it was as if the ground under my feet were running away. True, I was making walking movements, but I simply wasn’t that quick, yet I had the feeling that the ground was rushing past. And it was in this manner that Franz and I entered the new world.
He told me, “Look a little to your right!” And there I saw three beautifully-dressed figures. I did not know them, and I asked Franz, “Who are they? I don’t know them.” – “Yes, of course, there are many here whom you don’t know. They will speak with you later.” And so I asked him, “Should I be afraid of them?” – “Well, you know, they are judges. They will judge you, just as they do everyone else. They are the judges, but you needn’t be afraid. Come, go and greet them.” Well, at Franz’s instigation, I dared to go and greet them. I also offered them my hand, which they took, but their expressions did not change. They stood there like pillars, and yet they were so beautiful. They did not, however, enter into conversation with me.
Then, all of a sudden, I was actually very awake. I looked all around me, and suddenly I heard various voices, and one of them shouted, “Take him straight to the hospital, take him to the hospital. I know this – it’s not good if someone like him isn’t taken immediately to the hospital. He fell, he belongs in the hospital.” And someone else had already come up to me and said, “It’s best if you go to the hospital right away.” – “To the hospital?” I asked Franz. “Why should I go to the hospital? I haven’t broken my hands or my arms; I really don’t belong in hospital.” – “Oh, but you do,” said Franz, “it will certainly be better for you if we take you to the hospital.”
Others then came up to me and offered their assistance. They also offered to accompany me, and they were ready to be of service – if I needed anything, I should simply call on them, they did not live far from the hospital. I only had to visit them and they would do anything I asked of them. Yes, they were all so obliging. But they urged me to go to the hospital. Franz left my side briefly to exchange a few words with one of the three beautifully-dressed figures, but I could not understand what was said. He wanted to establish whether or not I truly belonged in the hospital. These three then gave their approval, I saw it: I should go to the hospital. Well, I allowed everything to happen to me – I was a stranger after all, a new world had suddenly opened up for me. And so I was led to the hospital, even though I had the feeling that it really was not necessary to take me there. Once again, we very quickly arrived at our destination.
I had expected the hospital to look as it would on earth – that was my idea of a hospital – but it did not look like that at all. Instead, it was a magnificent, wide building with many pillars and a beautiful, long pathway. I thought: “This is a lovely place to stroll around” – on either side of the pathway there were glorious flowerbeds. “No hospital has anything like this,” I thought. And these magnificent windows – they shone with every color! “Why,” I thought, “if this is what they call a hospital, then my assumptions are not accurate at all.” Well, I was ready to see and experience all that was to be found there.
These three figures, whom I had silently feared, now came up behind me and opened the building’s large gate for me. Their first words were, “Enter. Enter this house, and recuperate.”
I had scarcely taken a few steps in this glorious garden when several beings hurried toward me. They asked whether they should carry something for me, whether I had any luggage or excess clothing. “No,” I thought, “what kind of luggage could I have? When one enters the beyond, one doesn’t bring any luggage.” I did not know what they meant by luggage and clothes – I only had what was hanging on my spiritual body, nothing else. What could they possibly carry? Franz said, “You will find out soon enough, but don’t worry about it now.”
And as he said these words, someone else came up to me. I did not even have a chance to enter the building – I was mobbed, so to speak. Someone then brought me something to drink, saying, “Brother, you will surely be hungry or thirsty; come, we will give you some refreshment,” and they offered me something. Franz nodded to me and said, “Have some, it will do you good.” And I thought to myself: “Does one still have to eat and drink here, in the kingdom of God? I had imagined things rather differently.” I took this drink. It was a little tangy, but I found it pleasant. I had the feeling that it would strengthen and perk me up.
Suddenly I thought to myself: “I have entered the kingdom of God so abruptly! How am I going to be judged?” I still had a secret fear of these three distinguished figures behind me, and I thought: “They know everything about my life! I can’t deceive them, they know about it all.” And I began to worry. But Franz cheered me up, “Don’t worry! Everything will be fine, everything will be fine. After all, you were a good human being, you really were a good person, so don’t worry.” – “Well, that’s what you say, Franz. But how are those left behind getting on? What are they saying? How are they making ends meet? And my elderly parents?” And I suddenly felt troubled.
“Come now, come now!” he said. “Keep moving.” And I was shown around the house, and I saw beautiful halls; at that time I did not know how they would be used. But I was then led into a room that was flooded with light. There were two beds inside, upon which two spirit beings slept, and beside them someone was watching over them. Franz said, “Do you see the third, empty bed? You can lie down here – come now.”
And I looked behind me to check whether these three figures had also followed, and, indeed, they were standing behind me. I found it unsettling that they did not speak to me. I would have preferred it had they said to me, “Philip, you have done so much wrong! God will punish you.” I would have preferred to hear that instead of constantly being followed by them, this uncertainty.
But Franz comforted me and said, “I will stay beside you. Just as the others are being watched over, I will keep watch over you. You know me after all, I am the Franz you used to know.” – “Oh yes,” I said, “you were also a good fellow.” And I lay down.
One after the other, the three distinguished beings now came and took my hands. They folded my hands in theirs and prayed with me. I listened to the wonderful words they spoke. Such a warmth emanated from these prayers, from these words of intercession spoken on my behalf to God, that I longed for them to guide me once again, to accompany once more in prayer. By the time the last of them had folded my hands and prayed with me, I felt so blissful: all fear had left me, no worries pressed down on me anymore. Yes, I had left my loved ones behind, and I knew they wept for me. Yes, I knew it; but the three who had prayed with me promised to look after my loved ones. As they took their leave, they told me that they would visit them. They would make sure they had their daily bread. I was to rest.
So, I was ready, I just surrendered. It was clear to me: “Those were spirits of God, angels of God. They folded my hands and prayed with me – things could no longer go badly for me.” I had come to trust them, for their faces were not stern anymore; I saw their expressions, so full of goodness and love, and I felt that I could be free of worries.
Franz then said to me, “Try to sleep now; but before you sleep, you still need a tonic.” Once again I was given something to drink; but it was something entirely different from the first drink – it was somewhat bitter. But Franz said, “It will do you good to drink this; you will sleep beautifully. And should this not be enough, if you are unable to fall asleep after this drink, then you will be given something else. You must sleep, Philip, you must. You can now recover; I will watch over you, and the angels will check on you.”
I felt that I would sleep well. After this somewhat bitter drink, a tiredness came over me, and I fell asleep. I do not know how long I slept. Franz woke me up some time later and said, “That’s enough now. You slept well, you slept long, and I stayed faithfully by your side throughout.” And when I looked around me, I found that I was alone with Franz in this room. The two whom I had seen earlier when I entered the room were gone, their beds empty. Franz explained to me, “Soon others in need of rest will come and take their places.”
I wanted Franz to explain to me why I had to sleep. “You know,” he said, “for the most part, such a sudden departure always leaves something behind: such beings suddenly have pangs of remorse, they are worried about those left behind. Out of sheer sorrow and worry they cannot fulfill the tasks they are given – too often and too strongly they are pulled back by the tears of those left behind. And now, time has passed: those left behind have wept for the departed, and after a certain time they picked themselves up again, they found their way again. And those in the world beyond are no longer pulled back by the tears and sadness of those left behind, and they are more able to attend to their tasks.”
“Yes,” I said, “but surely I am allowed to know how my relatives are getting on?” – “They have found their way,” Franz told me, “they have all found their way. You know, you were promised as much, and the three angels have made sure that your elderly parents continue to have their needs met and that a little sunshine returns to their home again. Everything is going well. When we have a chance, we will take you to see them. But for now, be free of troubles and try to fulfill your tasks.”
“Well, what kind of tasks lie before me?” And I also wanted to know, “Is this house called a ‘hospital’ just because people come here to sleep?” – “Yes,” said Franz, “this is called a hospital. But, you know, it’s like this: in your case the tonic was enough, but that is not so for everyone. Many drink it and are still unable to sleep: they are still full of fear, they are still worried about those they left behind and cannot come to terms with the fact that they are now in God’s kingdom. And in such cases it requires those helpers who work in this hospital: there are doctors here.” – “Doctors,” I said, “what do you need doctors for? There is surely no need for doctors here with God?” – “But there is,” he replied, “even here they are needed – precisely for those who have experienced a sudden death; for the soul must be able to orient itself, and that is not always a matter of course. It depends,” he continued, “on the kind of relationship a person had with God and his world during their earthly life: whether they had a trusting relationship or whether all this is unfamiliar to them and they are unwilling to accept it.”
I wanted to know, “What happens when someone can’t sleep because of their sorrow and worry?” And Franz explained, “These doctors are trained for that. What they are able to do, I cannot do for you. I am unable to offer you such service. A doctor is appointed for such a task, an angel of God, and they have their helpers. And they will then put such an individual to sleep by applying gentle force, so to speak.” – “Gentle force – what do you mean by that?” I wanted to know.
“We have other means at our disposal for those who cannot be calmed but who are nevertheless worthy of being given this treatment. There are remedies with which they can be put to sleep. Just as human beings have substances to anesthetize those who are ill, we in the spiritual realm have something similar: they are put to sleep with gentle force, because they absolutely must rest. And during this time of sleep, there is someone beside them watching over them, and angels of God frequently come and check. When it is necessary, these angels will stroke the forehead of this sleeping spirit with their precious oils, they will rub balm into their hands. That is what the angels of God do,” Franz explained to me. “You know, this is the kingdom of heaven: here we look after each other, here we must serve the other, and together we must stride upward, level by level, toward God. But one can only come closer to God if one has this harmonious voice in one’s innermost, this balance, this peace, and this longing for nothing other than God, for Christ, to serve them, to work for them – one must have the deepest trust in them. One must be able to live in this feeling, then one’s upward progress goes ever faster.”
And he continued, “The more attached one is to earth, the further away one is from God, and the harder it becomes to enter into his service. One is then occupied with the concerns of human beings, and one does not help oneself. One must, however, enter into God’s service, one must enter into the great family, into community with Jesus Christ.” Well, I listened astonished; I had the feeling that I still needed to be told infinitely much about this new world.
One of the three angels then said to me, “Philip, stand up, and leave this house. Your friend from earth” – referring to Franz – “will guide you.” And so we left. I thanked all those around me – I felt as though I were indebted to everyone I met.
I had hardly left the room when others were led into it. I was allowed to see how someone lay down on my bed, weeping with immense grief, truly weeping because he could not accept that he was now in a new world, far from his family, having left everything behind. But he, too, was being comforted by a good friend and had to lie down to sleep. I was allowed to witness this.
It was now clear to me that this tranquility and this glorious atmosphere could only be found in this house. For I still remembered the journey I had made to get here: there had also been a hustle and bustle on the way to this hospital, I had heard voices all around me, calling to me, and I had seen a hive of activity.
I, too, was now to be given work, and Franz said, “First come to my home; I have a house to myself.” I then asked him, “What do you actually do here? I really have no idea about life in the beyond.” And Franz answered, “It is just as varied as the life of human beings on earth. You can take up activities here that are just as varied as those undertaken by human beings on earth.” But I still wanted to know what he actually did. And he explained, “Well, I have just been looking after you, and I was called away from my other work to do that. You know, during my earthly life I used to do a lot of carving – you surely remember, it was how we earned a little extra money. And here in the spirit realm I also have that opportunity; but I now carve stone instead of wood, and I’m able to shape these stones by hammering and hewing, so to speak, and I make forms out of them. I have teachers who instruct me. You already know, this is something I’m good at.” That was Franz’s reply.
“So, what kind of work am I to do?” And Franz said, “Well, you have a choice. You can choose how you want to occupy yourself – perhaps in a way similar to myself? Or do you perhaps wish to place yourself entirely in service to others?”
And Franz explained to me, “You see, while I was busy working” – and he showed me a large piece of stone that he had been shaping, but I was not really able to imagine what it would become – “those three angels you were so afraid of came to me, and they said, ‘Get ready – a friend of yours is coming.’ I didn’t yet know who it might be, but I had to get myself ready. I stopped working and I waited, so to speak, ready to be collected. I had not been told exactly when I would be needed. And then they took me away and led me near the mountains. Together with these three angels of God, I was led to you. We arrived at your home, and from there we accompanied you all the way up that steep path. We were ever at the ready to hold you, to lift you up – that is, to lead you [into God’s spirit realm].” At this point I wanted to know, “Well, couldn’t you have prevented the accident?” – “No,” he said, “it was predestined. We weren’t allowed to prevent it; we knew that you would take this route and that you were coming, and so we were simply ready – ready to take you up and guide you here.”
I had been fortunate indeed: they had accompanied me, and I was given a wonderful reception. So I actually decided that I would much rather work in the way that Franz had worked with me. I, too, wanted to place myself in service to a being in the spiritual world or, should I receive permission from the higher spirit world, perhaps in service to a human being. And so I came into conversation with these three angels, because they were my guiding spirits, so to speak.
They suggested that I go to those human beings who were lying sick in bed, who were spending their final hours on earth. I could sit beside them and pray with the spirit of the sick person, or simply pray for them and ask for God’s grace and mercy on their behalf. The angels said I should do so in a way similar to how they had prayed with me when I was lying on that bed in the world beyond. Yes, that had been such a delight, such a blessing for me.
I had made up my mind: I wanted to pray with those who were dying, to the extent that I could. I wanted to pray alone, with my own strength. I wanted to make contact with the spirit of the dying person and pray with them, as best I could. I also wanted to stand at the ready – if I was permitted – when someone, somewhere, was to die a sudden death; I, too, would guide them. Indeed, if I were to be told that their time was near, I also wanted to pray for such a person in the last days of their earthly life. I had the desire to be allowed to accompany these human beings in their daily life and to draw their attention to the higher life, to guide them, so to speak, to pray with them. I wanted to pray for them and to make contact with the spirit that was still in the human body and to make it clear to them: “Soon we will be standing together, hand in hand, in the kingdom of God.”
I was given permission to do so, and I now fulfill my task in this manner. My work is very varied: sometimes I find my place alongside a lonely human being. I pray for them, I ask God for mercy. I pray in the name of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and in his name I pray that God may have mercy on them, that he may receive them, forgive them. At other times I try to converse with the spirit of the person, to make them aware that these are the last hours of their life, and to pray with them.
Thus, I have many opportunities to fulfill my task. It is a task I still do to this day, and it makes me happy. I stand in God’s order and fulfill my task in service to others. And just as I was guided, just as I was treated with grace and mercy, I also wish to guide others and desire to pray for them.
But there is still one thing I would like to tell you: sometimes it is hard – sometimes a human being has not led a good life, and they are not pleasing in the sight of God. I am then made aware of the purification, the suffering that awaits them. But through my prayers, through my self-sacrifice, I am permitted to give them guidance and consolation. I am allowed to comfort them in their place of suffering, to draw their attention time and again to the love and glory of God and to the mercy that will receive them – that they just have to wait until this grace comes to them. This is how I fulfill my task.
And as is commonly said among us: human beings living on earth cling to their lives, to their surroundings, to what they perhaps created themselves. They do not want to leave this earthly world, they do not want to leave! They would like to be human forever. Only when they are older and their bodies become burdensome – only then will they think differently. Then they are willing to leave; but it takes a long time to reach that stage. Those who are in the prime of their lives, for whom things are going well, they do not want to die, they do not. And in the initial stages of their life in the world beyond, they refuse to be happy; that is why they need this care. Human beings do not want to die. And how is it in the beyond? When they have integrated themselves and feel happy in this vast, beautiful, harmonious family – then they no longer want to leave. But they are told, “It is soon time. You still have more to achieve. Your current standing is not adequate – you must now enter a new life on earth.” And they reply, “No, not yet, not yet! Let me stay here, let me stay here, don’t make me go. I don’t want to return to earth. Please let me stay here.”
Many of them have to be put back to sleep with the use of gentle force [to prepare them] for a new earthly life. This is because they have adapted to the spiritual world, because they like this world, and because the other world is uncertain and they do not know how things will be. After all, those in the world beyond know about the dangers, about the temptations that exist on earth, and they know how easy it is to fall and how quickly things can be lost. And their life in the spiritual realm may have been very nice. So they fear losing what they have gained, perhaps because they fail as a human being, because they do not live their earthly life correctly – because nothing of what they experienced in God’s kingdom, in his family, has permeated them. For nothing will be remembered when they are human again, because they have to start afresh, because they once again have to prove the nature of their longing: whether they are truly strengthened in the depths of their soul; whether they truly and fervently yearn for God, for his holy world, for the King of the spirit world, for Jesus Christ.
That is how it is, dear brothers and sisters. Neither here nor over there do they want to leave the world in which they live. So, a force is often used that compels them to leave their world in order to enter a higher life, to reach a higher level, and to ascend more quickly.
It may well cause human beings sorrow when something happens in the way that it did today [Philip is referring here to the airplane crash mentioned above]. In the kingdom of God it is not so – those concerned will come more quickly to God, they will be taken in and guided. They will be led into hospitals and put to sleep; and then, when those left behind have regained their peace, and when tears no longer roll down their cheeks, it will be time for these sleeping beings to awaken. And they will then judge everything from a different point of view and have a different attitude toward their new life.
So, I was allowed to speak these words to you, and I would now like to invoke God’s blessing for you all, that you may be protected from every plight, from all distress, from harm. May God’s strong hand guide you so that you may sense his blessing, may that which is harmful to you be driven off, and may that which is good for you be brought to you. May God’s holy will be done in heaven and on earth – everywhere. God bless you.
Personal account given by ascending spirit Philip, received in German through the medium Beatrice Brunner in the hall on Münchhaldenstrasse in Zurich, 4 September 1963