I asked Coral to go back with me to the grim and frightening Camp of the Resisters to check on Terrance again, my companion for seven years up until a year before I passed. Once again I was frightened by the bank looks on the faces of the Resisters. I looked directly into the eyes or tried to of as many as I could until we came to the spot where we had last seen Terrance. To my surprise and fear Terrance was no where to be found. Had he managed to destroy himself completely resisting the gift of eternal life? But Coral shouted, "Hooray!" which somewhat reassured me. "Seeing you brought him out of his profound state of depression," she said. "I am sure of it. He has probably gone to the Alcoholics Hereafter. That's a step up from here."
"They have a hereafter for alcoholics?" I asked.
"Of course," said Coral. "They have got a hereafter for every kind of person. People create havens with the kind of people they feel comfortable with who might prove helpful in their struggle to accept the awesome burden of eternal life."
I knew that Terrance would have turned down eternal life if he could. He associated it with religion and anything connected to religion he was bound to reject. But the religious always tried to take the credit for there even being eternal life.
"Life itself is eternal," said Coral, as usual reading my mind. She had developed this wonderful gift to the point she could really startle me. "Life came first and then came religion."
"Hmm," I said. I didn't quite know what line to take with Coral as she seemed intensely devoted to the cause of the children in Paradise. Did that constitute religious in the hereafter or had the religious ruined their reputation in heaven with screwy ideas mixed with belief which had cause a lot of trouble on earth?
"I want to ask you right now, Coral," I said. "Does Jesus really exist? Have you seen him?"
"Of course, he exists," said Coral. "But we all get so tired of people complaining that Jesus has not shown himself as they were led to expect he would when they got to this place."
"Well, I know," I said. "I think people are a little unrealistic in their expectations of what Jesus could do, like he was a magician who could be all things to all people."
"Make no mistake," said Coral, "Some of the masters have developed great powers. But nobody has as great a power as the Christians think Jesus does."
"I got tired of arguing with Terrance about religion. His contempt for the religious knew no bounds. I thought he went overboard in his rebellion. He used it for an excuse to drink. The religious drove him to drink, make no mistake."
"I know,' said Coral, matter of factly. "I suppose you will have to argue with him again if you should happen to want to look him up, but since he is off the booze, progress might be quicker."
"Oh, yes," I said brightening at the very thought. "I am so glad there is no alcohol or no money in the hereafter. That ought to facilitate change as nothing else could."
"You will find as time goes by people still find ways to indulge themselves using tricks of the mind. That's what the Resisters are doing. They take pleasure flouting the religious by refusing eternal life."
"I believe that is exactly what Terrance would do. He did not indicate to me even by a flicker of an eyelash he recognized me. I wasn't sure he did. That is the stuff of nightmares. For Terrance really did have a brilliant mind, at one time, that is."
"A lot of the Resisters do," said Coral. "Which is why they frighten people. Now is there any place else you want to go in your attempt to run Terrance down?"
"Could I find him in the Hereafter for Alcoholics if that is where he is? I would like to pursue this matter to some kind of better conclusion. I don't think I can rest easy until I have found him. I want to know for sure that he has gone to a better place."
"Oh people sometimes jump around here like Paddy's fleas," said Coral. I was surprised to hear her use an old metaphor my mother used to say to us when we were kids. "You have seen them. Some are not satisfied until they have found the hell they think they deserve, but they usually don't spend too much time there before they are ready to climb right back out. I have seen people absolutely determined they were going to find the Lake of Fire so they could jump in it."
"No rehab for them, huh?" I asked. "They just wanted to burn?"
"It's another way of destroying yourself completely, burning in Hell's Fires. That sounds easier to a lot of sinners than repenting and trying to change themselves."
"Do you think Daddy tried to lose himself in Hell?"
"Oh, probably," said Coral, "And then he decided to go to the Alcoholics' Hereafter for rehab. I think that is where he has spent most of his time since he passed. He may have spent some time with the Gay Men in their paradise, but he doesn't feel entirely comfortable there, so he goes back and forth."
"Oh, then you did know all about Daddy?"
"I told you I was always seeing him, and Mother, too. After all, they were the only parents I had, so I was glad to be reunited with them. I found the children they lost, so I was happy to introduce them to their parents, too."
"I will never get used to all the people who have been saved in the hereafter," I said.
"Oh, if you add up all the people you know who have died, you will know there has been a passle come here during your life time. If one is saved all are saved. Life does not pick and choose."
"It just takes some getting used to. I recall Mother mourning over miscarrying her twins. She used to say that she sinned, which was the reason she lost the only boys she ever conceived."
"She was talking about the one she secretly aborted, whose name is Rose."
"I suppose there are doctors and nurses here who specialize in saving the babies who miscarry or are killed in an abortion."
"Yes, they are very skilled."
"But why would people be so sure that these babies would not survive death?"
"People who come to believe in abortion generally don't believe there is eternal life or that anyone survives death."
"Then it would seem that taking that life would be even more brutal, since they do not believe there is any other."
"I am not sure what they are thinking," said Coral, "or even if they are thinking really. There are plenty of signs of spirit life if people train their eyes to see. The spirits manifest as much as they can. It is the nature of the escape hatch that death provides when there is too much pain that makes it difficult to perceive life after death. If spirits were seen too easily, passing from this realm would not be an escape. Spirit life has to be somewhat hidden to protect those who have been tortured to death. When the tormented finally die of their pain, they know they are 'safe.' Their tormenter can no longer 'see' them in order to torture them further."
"Do the tormenters sometimes try to track down their former victims so they can try to hurt them more?"
"Oh yes, but it is more difficult for them to torture their victims here after they have passed, too. They may still have evil in their hearts but they don't have the kind of power they did on earth. You will see."
"I could listen to you all day, Coral. There is so much I need to know about this existence."
"There is plenty of time for you to learn," said Coral, "After all, you have forever!"