The Truth about Life after Death (Part 1). Ryuho Okawa’s Lecture: Equality in the Face of Death

Introducing Ryuho Okawa’s Teachings about Life after Death

In this three-part series on the theme of life after death, we would like to present to readers extracts from the lecture by Ryuho Okawa: Equality in the Face of Death.

Throughout history, human beings have always wondered about death. Is there life after death? Does our mind or consciousness continue to exist beyond the physical body as a soul or spirit? If so, where does this consciousness, soul or spirit go to and what is this place, or afterlife, like? Ryuho Okawa has published extensive experiences of what life is actually like in the other world, the spiritual world, with messages from various kinds of spiritual beings. Along with growing evidence in fields such as near-death experiences and the nature of consciousness, we hope readers will come to accept the reality of life after death, and to realize the importance of understanding this truth. Ryuho Okawa has been clearly teaching this truth since his own awakening to the truth of the spirit world.

In this first part, you can learn about death from a spiritual perspective, how to prepare for death, for which no one can avoid, and the journey to the afterlife that exists beyond this physical world.

What is the world after death actually like?

What is the River Styx and the silver cord?

Do humans review their whole life after death?

Extracts from Ryuho Okawa’s lecture:

Equality in the Face of Death

Dealing with the Issue of Death

I would like to start by dealing with the issue of death. Today, an increasing number of people die in hospitals so the issue of death is gradually becoming part of the doctor’s job, but fundamentally, it is clear that there are limits to what medicine can do. The medical criteria of death and what it means remain in a state of flux, and for someone who knows the truth of the spirit world, the arguments of doctors seem trivial in the extreme. I feel that the most important thing does not enter into their discussions at all and they seem to have no understanding of it.

Key Questions of Life: Why are We Born?

Why are people born? Why do we come into this world? These are questions that cannot be answered clearly by modern common knowledge. As we witness debate among the medical circle concerning the definition of death, whether it occurs when the heart stops or when the brain ceases to function, we also witness discussion over when life begins. Can it be said to start biologically when the sperm reaches the egg? Is it when the embryo takes on a human form inside the mother’s womb? When can it be? The origins of life remain hidden behind a haze of ambiguity.

Human Life is Like the Cycle of Seasons

Human beings are born into this world, grow, have children, die, then leave this world. Considering this, one life can be likened to a single leaf. These leaves eventually fall, but only to let new ones appear, and the new leaves will also fall in turn. Just as the leaves fall from the trees, people all die eventually. From the perspective of this world, it may be sad, but death is inevitable. However, what if we look at death from the perspective of the changing seasons on a tree? In autumn the leaves fall to the ground where they rot to create compost that remains in the earth as a source of nutrition. When spring comes again, the trees absorb this nutrition and use it to create buds and new leaves. In this way, the leaves fall to the ground in order to produce new strength the following year.

We are born, grow, get old and die and will be reborn in this world again in a different time. Life is much more enjoyable this way. All things in this world are meant to go through a cycle, developing in the process.

The world of spirit does exist – this is a simple truth. We live within the laws of reincarnation. This is a fact. Whether or not you accept it will make a major difference to the course of your life.


From the Book: “The Starting Point of Happiness” Chapter 2

Be Prepared for Your Inevitable Death

One day, death will come suddenly. On average, people live for about eighty years, but there is a large discrepancy depending on the individual. You never know when you may have to return to the other world. This is why you need to live your life in such a way that when you die, you will be able to say, “My life was of some help to people and the world. I want to do even better next time.” This is the way in which you must think.

The Journey to the Other Side

If they are Japanese, then the first barrier they are faced with is the famous River Styx. People who live in areas where there are no rivers do not have to cross a river after death. For instance, Native Americans are confronted with a swamp, but no river. You may be faced with mountains, lakes or even the sea. When crossing the river, some people wade through the water, while others float over the surface of the water. Sometimes a bridge may appear in front of the person and they are able to cross over that bridge. Different methods are employed for different people. So when a good person approaches the river, a bridge will appear or they will be able to float over the surface of the water, but if a bad person wants to cross, they will have to wade through the water. At the bottom of the river they will see people’s business cards, name tags, money, all kinds of things to which the people who had crossed the river before them had attachment to. They continue to the far bank where they are met by people who died before them. As I mentioned before, in most cases these will be their old school teachers, their grandfather or grandmother, their great grandfather or great grandmother, any children who may have died before them, or their brothers and sisters. Upon meeting, these people say, “Welcome, we have come to guide you.”

Separation from the Physical Body: The Silver Cord

It is when a person crosses the River Styx that the ‘silver cord’ breaks. The mortal body and the spiritual body are connected to each other by a silver cord that comes out of the back of the head and as a person crosses the River Styx, this breaks and falls away. Their consciousness is separated from their body and when this happens, quite a few people experience it as traveling through a dome of light. It can be said to be like passing through a tunnel and then suddenly emerging into the light.

Your Life Review: The Mirror of Truth

Ordinary people go to a place that lies between Heaven and Hell, a sort of extension of this world, where they stay while the record of their thoughts and deeds in life is tallied up. While they are there, they are able to see their past displayed on a screen. When I say screen, I am simply adopting the modern terminology. The word ‘screen’ did not exist in this context until the invention of the cinema or television. In olden times it was referred to as a mirror that shows past deeds. This mirror has the power to show all the evil, all the bad things that a person did while they were alive.

It shows all the main events in the person’s life, each of the turning points. It is like looking at slideshow of their life. It covers everything from the time they were born: their infancy, elementary school, junior high school, university, their graduation, marriage, and jobs, it shows divorce, bankruptcy, their children’s growth and their death, all kinds of things. After the person has seen their entire past, the next step is to decide where they deserve to be placed in the next world.

Live a Wonderful Life with No Regrets

No matter what their situation in this world, be they powerful, clever, rich, beautiful, plain, old or young, when they leave this world, everybody is treated equally under the certain given conditions. This is what is known of as ‘equality in the face of death’ and everything is exposed in the ‘Mirror of Truth’. Considered in this light, I think that it would be best if you were to live the kind of life in this world that you never feel ashamed of.

People who think that life is limited to their time on Earth and that everything ends at death will be constrained by their own thinking… It is not a choice of whether you believe or not; it is a fact that the Real World (spiritual world) exists and humans are eternal travelers.


From the Book: “The Golden Laws” Chapter 1

Summary of Key Points:

Misunderstanding of Death

Modern doctors do not understand the meaning of death.

The Cycles of Life

Human beings are born and die repeatedly like the cycles of seasons.

Death is Inevitable

We all have to die – so it is important how we use our time to live on earth.

The River Styx

There is a river which represents the border between this world and the next.

The Silver Cord

The real point of death is when the ‘silver cord’ is broken.

The Mirror of Truth

We have a life review – our life is reflected in the ‘Mirror of Truth’.

Equality in the Face of Death

Everyone is equal in the face of death regardless of who we are or status we have.

Extracts from: Monthly Messages (issues 149/150/152)
Ryuho Okawa’s Lecture: Equality in the Face of Death – a five-part series.
To read the full series, please contact your local Happy Science location.

For recommendations of further reading, please refer to these books:
The Philosophy of Progress
The Nine Dimensions
Spiritual World 101

For recommendations of further online reading, please click this link: Death and the Afterlife

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