This slim volume is the account of a veteran Washington correspondent's search for answers after his wife of 56 years died. If there is life after death, he asked, what is it like? His search caused him to revise his thoughts about many familiar issues, including life after death, heaven, hell and purgatory and even time and eternity. What he learned may be helpful to anyone who has lost a loved one or who just wonders, "where do I go from here?"


      Q. What's your conclusion: Is there life after death?

     A. No one knows the answer to that question. What I did was to ask myself a different question:  if, as Christians and many others believe, there is some kind of life after death, how do we get there and what is it like?

    Q. You have written a number of books on military subjects. What are you doing now in the field of theology?
    A. After my wife, Mary, died in 2006, I believed, as a Christian, that she had entered a new life. But where is she and what is that life like? I read a number of theologians--Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox. You would be amazed at the different, often contradictory, views they held on the subject of life after death. One said we would end up on another planet. But others objected that, if people survived on other planets and had children, at some point the universe would have an overpopulation problem. Another suggested we would survive in a kind of viridical halucination. It took me a while to figure that one out.

    Q. So you decided to do it yourself?

    A. Well, I thought I would try. Using my skills as a reporter and common sense, I thought I could do at least as good as the so-called experts.

    Q. You refer to your book as controversial. Why is that?

     A. I certainly didn't set out to be controversial, but I think that was almost inevitable. Most of the concepts and the language we use in trying to answer such basic questions as our relationship to God or, in this case, life after death, were formed in the first two-thirds of the Christian era and in the thousands of years of Jewish thought before that. All of this was before the dawn of the scientific age in the Rennaisance. Science has given us a whole new view of the reality in which we live. We now know the universe does not revolve around the earth. We know hell is not at the bottom of a volcano on Sicily and that purgtory is not deep in a cave in Ireland. Only within the lifetimes of some of us have we learned that our galaxy is only one of billions of galaxies. And yet we still habitually use the old, familiar pre-scientific language.

     Q. Give me an example.

     A. Well, a good example is our casual use of the term, "immortal soul." If, by that, we mean a kind of free-standing or free-floating spirit, that makes no sense. In order to think and have a memory of its life on earth, that spirit would need some kind of brain. It would have  to have some way to transmit and receive information.  It would need somewhere to attach its wings. All of those things add up to what we call a body. Perhaps that's what St. Paul meant when he used the phrase, "spiritual body." I believe a human is a body-soul unity. As Thomas Aquinas said,  "My soul is not I, and if only souls are saved, I am not saved, nor is any man."

     Q. That seems to pose a real problem. When a person dies and his or her "spirit" or "soul" departs, doesn't it immediately need a new body to remain a body-soul unity? How can that be?
     A. That is of  course a real stickler. But I think science offers us some  clues to how that transition might be carried out. I've tried to deal with that in Chapter Seven.

     Q. After all this, do you still think there is some kind of life after death?

     A. Yes, but that is a matter of faith, not of scientific certitude. I believe that we are bound together by that mysterious power called love and that death does not break those bonds with those we love.

     Where Do We Go From Here?  is available from Lulu.Com in a print edition for $15 and a Kindle edition at $2.99.