The Afterlife and the Silver Cord

silver-cord-afterlifeBy Wes Annac, Editor, Culture of Awareness & Openhearted Rebel

This is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Enlightened Afterlife, my new ebook centered on Spiritualist philosophy on life after death. You can purchase a PDF file of the book at the bottom of this post, or you can check out the Kindle version by clicking on the book cover below.

Enlightened Afterlife cover-photoNow, we’ll learn about the psychic “silver cord”, the snapping of which signals the spirit’s departure from the body and entry into the afterlife. Death is inevitable once the silver cord detaches, because it’s the link that keeps the soul connected with the body.

After we learn about the silver cord, we’ll check out some of the reported differences in each transition into the afterlife.

Mike Swain tells us that the silver cord’s severance signifies the spirit’s permanent separation from the body.

“When the soul detaches itself from the body, the silver cord is severed completely. This is the beginning and the end of the mechanics of death.” (1)

Spirit teacher Silver Birch agrees with Mike.

“Those who have clairvoyance will see that the parting is finally accomplished when the cord connecting the spirit body to the physical one, after being extended as the spirit body gradually moves away, is cut.

“When that severance takes place, death occurs. There is nothing and nobody in your world who can by any means enable the physical body to live again.” (2)

Betty Bethard’s spirit teacher tells us that the silver cord is attached to the body when we dream at night but will be disconnected when we pass on.

“The only difference between the death state and the dream state is that the silver cord, which is much like an umbilical cord connecting the soul with the body, is severed in death.

“This cord allows the spirit to travel in the various realms and planes beyond the physical at night, and to receive higher teachings. In the state of so-called death, the energy – your spirit – leaves the body and does not return.” (3)

Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson gives a detailed explanation of the silver cord that we’ll read in segments. In the first, he describes the connection between the body and spirit maintained by the silver cord during sleep:

“The spirit body exactly coincides with the physical body, and during waking hours the two are inseparable. When sleep takes place the spirit body withdraws from the physical body, but the former is attached to the latter by a magnetic cord.

“I call it a magnetic cord for want of a better name. It is a veritable life-line. Its elasticity is enormous since the spirit body can travel either throughout the earth during sleeping hours or throughout the spirit world subject to special conditions and limitations.” (4)

No matter how far the spirit ventures from the body during sleep, the silver cord keeps them connected. Since it can be stretched so far as to look “hair-like”, it can take you anywhere.

“However vast the distance between the sleeping physical body and the temporarily released spirit body, the magnetic cord can span the distance easily and perfectly and without any diminution of its active agency, which is to sustain life in the earthly body.

“The life-line will, as its length increases, become exceedingly fine and almost hair-like in appearance.” (5)

Connection with the silver cord determines whether the spirit can give the body life.

“Just so long as the magnetic cord is joined to the earthly body, just so long will earthly life remain in the physical body.

“But the moment that dissolution takes place the life-line is severed, the spirit is free to live in its own element, while the physical body will decay in the manner which is perfectly familiar to you upon earth.

“The death of the physical body, then, is simply the severance of the magnetic cord, and, as far as the physical body is concerned, it is closely akin to ordinary sleep. There does not seem anything very dreadful about this straightforward process if a little thought is given to it.” (6)

Even from the perspective of the body we leave behind, death doesn’t have to be scary. For the body, it represents little more than permanent sleep. If you’re willing to believe what the Spiritualist movement has to say about it, you’re probably thankful the spirit doesn’t experience it the same way.

As the body enters this sleep, the spirit is free to roam and explore familiar territory beyond the reach of the physical senses to which it was confined. This sounds like a pretty good deal, and the only unfortunate part is that loved ones are left behind with no way to communicate unless they want to go to a medium.

Silver Cord Separation & Loss of Sensation Always Involved

Julia Ames distinguishes the “loss of sensation” as a sign of the beginning of the death of the body.

“When sensation ends, death of the body begins.” (7)

This might not be true for everyone; some might notice the silver cord’s severance, while others might feel too blissful as they begin to slip away to notice or care. Some might remain in pain until the moment of separation, while others experience the loss of physical sensation described by Julia.

She tells us in the passage below that that while the process of death is unique for everyone, many agree that it involves this loss of sensation:

“The snapping of consciousness between the soul and the tenement, if I may so speak of it, is usually not felt by the soul. With some it is different.

“They feel as if it were the slow breaking, one by one, of the threads which connect the soul with its tenement; but the process is not painful, even when it is protracted.

“I have spoken to many on the subject and the majority tell me that their experience agrees with mine. They could not even say that they could remember the exact moment when the body parted company with their soul.” (8)

H.W. Engholm describes the passing of a woman who was awoken by her “watching friends” after the silver cord separated from her body.

“‘She fell asleep,’ says one of the messages which describe the passing of such a spirit: ‘she fell asleep, and the cord of life was severed by our watching friends, and then softly they awoke her, and she looked up and smiled very sweetly into the face of one who leaned over her.’” (9)

Wellesley Tudor Pole mentions the silver cord in this passage:

“The earth cords … evidently play an important part at the time of death.” (10)

He describes what he witnessed from the other side during the death of “Major P.”:

“3.15 p.m. Two figures have appeared and stand one on either side of [Major P.’s] bed against the wall. …

“3.55 p.m. The two figures swoop down over the bed and seem to break off the ‘cords’ at points close to the physical body. Immediately I see that the form or double [of Major P.] rises about two feet from its original position, but remains horizontal, and at this same moment Major P.’s heart stops beating. (11)

From what we’ve learned, the silver cord is the all-important link between the spirit and the body.

As long as it keeps us tethered to the body, the spirit will give it life and ensure we can be a part of this world for what will seem like eternity but in reality is less than a hundred years. If you think about it, that’s no time at all.

As soon as the cord snaps, the spirit is either sent back to its natural abode or, in the case of what we know as ghosts, lingers around due to worldly attachments it can’t let go of. Either way, the body loses the soul that gave it life and assumes its deepest sleep.

In its new and potentially familiar home, the soul doesn’t wither like the body. It might undergo a deep sleep at first, but after that, it soars.

End of snippet. To read the rest of this chapter, purchase ebook in PDF form below or Kindle form above.

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Purchase PDF version of Enlightened Afterlife for $7.99


  1. Jasper Swain, From My World to Yours: A Young Man’s Account of the Afterlife. Ibid., 50.
  2. Silver Birch, Light from Silver Birch. Comp. Pam Riva. London: Psychic Press, 1983, 30-1.
  3. Betty Bethards, medium, There is No Death. Ibid., 3.
  4. Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson through Anthony Borgia, medium, Here and Hereafter. Ibid. 14.
  5. Loc. Cit.
  6. Loc. Cit.
  7. Julia [Julia T. Ames] through W.T. Stead, medium, After Death., 156.
  8. Ibid, 162.
  9. Vale Owen, medium, The Life Beyond the Veil. London: Thornton Butterfield, June 1920. E-book downloaded from, 21 Jan. 2008, 5-6.
  10. Private Thomas Dowding in Wellesley Tudor Pole, medium, Private Dowding. The Personal Story of a Soldier Killed in Battle. Ibid., 90.
  11. Ibid, 84.

About the author: 

wesannacI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love.

I run The Culture of Awareness, a daily news blog dedicated to raising social and spiritual awareness and supporting the evolution of the planet.

I also have a personal blog, Openhearted Rebel, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

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