Book Reviews  --  Spiritual Exploration  --  Afterlife, Spirit World, Near Death Experiences (NDE's)

Author: P.H.Landmann

Title: How the Dead People Live

Book Review 18.11.2008

(c) 2008 by Heidrun Beer

This book review was originally published on a mailing list for oldtime Scientologists. It therefore contains special words from the Scientology universe, marked in italic print. Please look them up in a Scientology dictionary.


P.H.Landmann: How the Dead People Live


This book by P.H.Landmann, "Wie die Toten leben", exists only in German, so I will translate some passages along with giving a general review.

Published by a Dr. Rudolf Schwarz in 1979, it consists of channeled messages from residents of the afterlife, recorded from 1947 to 1949. The deceased "communicators" are all people who have been personal relatives or friends of P.H.Landmann while still alive.

P.H.Landmann is the pen name of a german medium, at that time already an old man in a rather high social position, who has never read the english literature about the afterlife that existed at the time.

The editor Rudolf Schwarz adds many footnotes to the text which create cross-links to this english literature. They mention many similarities to these other books that P.H.Landmann cannot have known.


P.H. Landmann's contactees are all living in the "paradise", also called "summerland", which in modern terminology corresponds to the higher astral plane. The scene there is similar to the one described by most NDE'ers (people who had a near death experience).

It is a rather Earth-like environment but much more beautiful, where no disease or decay exists. Lots of nature, all in perfect condition. People who died with diseases or disfigured are now healthy and whole. Their bodies can still be recognized, but typically look younger than when they died. There is a vivid social life and great friendship between all people who populate this plane.

Everything emits a light of its own, and the colors are of an overwhelming beauty. Matter reacts to thought. A general concept of this plane is that the beauty and refinement of people's houses and clothes reflect their spiritual development - in other words, the degree to which they have learned the heavenly law of love.

The amount of light they emit also reflects their degree of spiritual development: People whose levels of love and closeness to God are highest, emit the most light; love-less and God-less people (not found on this plane but described too) emit low to nearly no light.

The words "Love" and "God" are repeated many times on every single page, but we also learn that the afterlife is NOT a religious environment. Several contactees have been Christians while alive and their surprise was great when they learned that while God is universally present and active, the church teachings that they learned on Earth are not at all relevant "there".

Reincarnation is DENIED!! But mentioned in footnotes. Also a remarkable paragraph says that the spirits who give the answers are not free of error. Losing their body didn't make them instantly enlightened, they have to learn gradually just like on Earth, they still have their individuality, and as individuals they may have kept some of their misconceptions.

The planes above and below the "paradise", as described in other books, are briefly mentioned but not detailed. An interesting principle - we have heard it before - is that people from higher planes can visit the lower ones, but not vice versa!


P.H. Landmann asks some rather refreshing questions. Beside typical themes like "How did you experience your death?" or "How does the afterlife look?",  we read the answers to questions like "Does the spirit body have racial characteristics?", "How does literature from Earth arrive on your plane?", "How do you see in the dark?" or "What is the purpose of Earth life?", and many more very specific and interesting questions, even whether or not it is morally OK to eat meat!


- "Who didn't have love on Earth, has to learn it here. But learning is much more difficult here than on Earth. (Footnote from another book: On Earth, you can learn more in one year than in 100 years in the afterlife.) These difficulties exist in many degrees, depending on the degree of lovelessness. They sometimes intensify to extreme darkness in the outside life and a tortured conscience of unbearable ferocity in the inner life."

- The question how much the churches' teachings are corroborated by the afterlife, is answered by a former theologian (who as the very first thing refuses to be called by his former holy title): "I always believed strictly in the Bible. My theology saw God more as a judge than as love, but this theology has been shipwrecked entirely. Now I am happy that this is so. My heart can only thank and praise. The only thing that counts here is LOVE. Nobody asks for denominations. My earlier opinion about denominations has been found to be completely in error."

- "Work is the spice of life here. The tedious kind of work we don't know anymore. It is no longer necessary to work for food and clothes. All of our work is done out of love, for the sake of the next, not for our own interest."

- About the purpose of physical existence: "God's world has two sides. One is the physical, where you live. It has many dark features that God doesn't like. They have come about because humans have turned away from God. Just like the light is only appreciated when we also know darkness, humans must first go their way through the physical, dark, suffering world, so that they can thankfully appreciate the perfect spiritual world. The spiritual world is the other side of God's creation. It is the total opposite of the physical. It is light, just like God is light. There is no lovelessness inside its borders."

- Asked to describe his work in more detail, the author's brother answers that he mainly works the darker planes. A footnote explains: People who have been callous and and egocentric on Earth, sit around lethargically in the afterlife, until they are visited and enlightened by advanced spirits. Not all of them will cooperate though.

Most touching is the report of a spirit who did NOT find himself in paradise after his death, but in the lower and darker planes (call them "hell" if you want). He was one of those described in the previous paragraph, materialistic and selfish during his Earth life, only interested in his own well-being and hard of heart - but not completely obdurate like others of a similar character, for whom nothing can be done but intercessions.

He had a hard time going through the withdrawal of physical pleasures that he loved so much during his Earth life. But, he says, "God's love radiated like a heavenly light into this darkness. It made my heart firm, so that the mates of my darkness could no longer hold me in their grip." [...]

"I know the darkness. I know the life of those who have broken away from God. I know how terrible it is, so terrible that no phantasy can imagine it. But I also know that God is love that never gives up, and that there is NO ETERNAL DARKNESS for those who realize their errors and regret them. I am one of these people."


Now I am curious. Did we look into a book about an implant station, or a book about the actual afterlife, the natural next stage after Earth life?



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