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Excerpted from Walking in the Garden of Souls by George Anderson. Copyright 2001 by George Anderson. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 

"We are living at the dawn of the most spiritual age the earth has seen."

  George Anderson, Walking in the Garden of Souls, Part 3

The many years that followed were perhaps the darkest for our spirituality on the earth. Like so many insignificant rulers throughout history, we decided as a people that we were God, and life was all about us. Our existence on earth, flawed and damaged though it was, became our heaven, and the only reward for a life well spent was a life well spent. Those who were less than us, or weaker, or slower, were discarded. 

If tragedy found us, we were eliminated from the minds and hearts of others and forgotten. Like spoiled children, we threw away the things we could not easily understand, and embraced anything that would distract us from the discomfort of hopelessness. 

For a long time afterward, belief in any spirituality seemed silly and small-minded, and we cast ourselves adrift in a sea of self-gratification and lack of accountability. Things were easier that way, and it felt better -- no more having to worry about anyone else but ourselves, no reason to love and no reason to care. We could only create, at best, a makeshift reward of contentedness from our folly of self-indulgence. Like all unearned rewards, it was garish and hollow, and we found our only prize for this futile work to be a well-fed mind in a starved soul.

How patient the Infinite Light is with us. We had fallen so far from our purpose, and life had become unworthy of living. All our technology and miracles of science could not feed the hungry, or clothe the poor, or bring any sense of peace to our hearts. We were spiritually bankrupt in a world that had become more violent by the day, and more than once in our history were we in real danger of actually ceasing to exist. But the souls, who sent signals to us in earnest, only to watch them fall unheard and unnoticed, had never left us. They knew that with every blight comes a correction, and eventually, the pendulum that swung so far to one direction would eventually come back the other way.

In my more than forty years of listening to the souls in the hereafter and their incredible words of hope to their love ones here, I have found that the souls are patient to a fault. They know it must be our idea to listen to them, and they are willing to wait until their message of hope begins taking root in our hearts. The message of these kind and loving souls is as simple as this: we, each of us, must create a Garden on the earth while we are here.

IN A GARDEN PRESENT

We are living at the dawn of the most spiritual age the earth has seen. In my own lifetime I have noticed significant changes to people everywhere, in both heart and mind. Some of the seeds from the Garden have fallen in our path, and we are beginning to allow them to take root within us. Whether it is because we want to or because we have to, we are changing, and reckoning with the possibility that there may very well be a happy ending to the story of our life on earth. 

Whether or not we had intended it to be this way is of no consequence -- we now have nowhere else left to walk but forward, toward the light of hope. How pleased the souls must be-they have been watching us from a distant garden, and know we are beginning to listen with our hearts and not with our pride. Ideas in religion, belief in life hereafter, and firsthand accounts from people who have seen the Garden of Souls with their own eyes are not laughed at or ridiculed as they were as little as twenty-five years ago. More people want to believe than scoff, and it has been estimated that now nearly one third of the population of this planet believes without question in the existence of life hereafter. This must be very good news for the souls there -- to be considered to actually exist.

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