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Chapter 3
Serial No. 175
Original Copyright 1942
Elbert Benjamine
Copyright
Church of Light
August 2002
Birth into the Next Life
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Chapter 3
Birth Into the Next Life
THE circumstances attendant upon passing to the next life are quite as varied and
lacking in uniformity as those attendant upon birth into this life. In fact, the death of
the physical body is really the birth into that new existence.
Births upon the earth take place amid widely different surroundings, and birth into
the after-life may be such that the individual awakens amid attractive conditions,
attended by friends who minister to and welcome him; amid the harsh conditions of
an isolated and rugged region, or in a hovel where all is dirt and squalor. Just vision
the circumstances that attend births on the physical plane; those in the igloos of the
arctic, those of the savage in the jungle, those of the journeying American Indian at
the side of a trail, those of the tenement regions of our cities, those in the better class
homes, and those, increasingly common, in lying-in hospitals where the surgical care
and the appointments are of the best. Entry into the astral region has even more scope
by reason of a wider range of environments.
Births on the physical plane, whatever the environmental circumstances, may,
however, be broadly divided into natural deliveries, accidental deliveries, and
surgical deliveries. Those into the next life do not run exactly parallel, perhaps, but
they also may be classified into three broad and general categories that have certain
points of correspondence with those mentioned as of earth.
Corresponding to the natural deliveries on earth, we have those passages to the next
life in which there is continued consciousness during the transition and, perhaps, a
will to go. Some of the northern Indian tribes are reputed commonly to die in this
manner. When they get old they have an inner feeling that the time is at hand, and
they set the day of their passing. On that date they merely lie down and pass
consciously to the next plane. Among those advanced in occult knowledge such a
method of going over, without losing consciousness, is far more frequent than people
suppose. And by one who has practiced travel on the astral plane without losing
consciousness while leaving and returning to the physical body, or who has used the
Transition Technique of astral exploration, the passing at death is not accompanied
by sleep. We may say then, not because it is the most common method of physical
death, but because the natural evolution of the higher states of consciousness makes
it spontaneous, that the passing to the next plane of existence in full consciousness is
the natural method.
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Then there is the accidental method. Physical death arrives, even as does child-birth
at times, with no warning. It comes suddenly and with a great shock. An explosion
may blow the body to atoms. A sudden stroke may sever the bond between the two
bodies. Suicide, even though premeditated, may abruptly usher the individual into
the next world in a sadly unprepared condition. And a variety of other circumstances,
in which there has been no gradual separation of the astral consciousness from the
physical, may come under the heading of the accidental method.
But, even as in this country it is far more common to have the attendance of a doctor
or midwife at the birth of a child, so far more frequently the individual passes to the
next plane through an illness of some duration, and is taken in charge immediately
after his passing either by friends who have gone before him, or by those whose
regular business it is to greet and take care of those newly arrived from the earth
plane. Because of the presence there of those who help us to enter, and get adjusted
to, this new world, let us call this the surgical method.
Now, from olden times down to Helen Willman and Harry Gaze, there have been
those who preached immortality in the flesh. And I am confident that physical life
should be, and can be greatly lengthened. Yet I can hardly imagine a more horrible
penalty than being compelled to live forever on the earth. The spiritual man revolts at
so gross an avenue of expression, and comes to long for a finer, higher region, where
his developing potentialities can find a glorious freedom of action. Nor, out of all
those who have taught immortality in the flesh, have any lived much beyond the
customary limits of physical life. Therefore, both you and I, in a time that will seem
unusually short, are sure to make this change, and it behooves us to learn something
about it.
When we pass over, as we surely must at no far date it will be by means of one of the
three methods mentioned: the accidental, the natural, or the surgical. But by
whatever means we pass over, the circumstances in which we shall find ourselves on
that plane depend entirely upon our knowledge of after-world conditions, our
desires, and our spirituality.
The dominant vibratory rate at any given time determines the inner-plane level to
which we gravitate. Although we may be un- aware of it objectively, and although
our attention may be so focused on external life that we are almost completely
unaware, even in our souls, of the inner-plane condition which surrounds us,
nevertheless even while we occupy physical bodies, our astral forms exist upon the
vibratory level of the inner plane whose basic rate is similar to our dominant rate.
And while due to our preoccupation with external affairs we may be oblivious of
such life-forms, our astral bodies can be seen by any inner-plane entities occupying
the same basic vibratory level. And our thoughts may be perceived by inner-plane
entities not belonging to the same basic level, but who are able to extend their
consciousness temporarily to the vibratory level of these thoughts.
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Within the finer form of man on earth often there are strong vibratory trends which
would quickly become dominant were it not that the necessities of physical life so
continuously chain the thoughts and feelings to the struggle for physical existence.
We all know people who are in essence kind, who love refinement, who desire above
all things to be helpful to others, who have love for their fellowman, and who spend
some effort in relieving the distress of others with no thought of recompense; but on
whose shoulders also falls the burden of providing the physical necessities for
themselves and their families. There are powerful spiritual trends present. But the
struggle for physical subsistence is so strenuous that most of their attention must be
directed toward making a living, toward getting a job and keeping a job, toward
preventing aggressive and un- scrupulous persons from gaining undue business
advantage, and the thousand and one other things that must be done to be physically
successful in a world which is as yet far from altruistic.
Thus for most who have strong spiritual inclinations the intervals in which spiritual
vibrations are dominant are intermittent and far more rare than the intervals in which
the dominant vibration is determined by work for physical necessities and physical
comforts. For most who have some aspiration for a spiritual life there are daily
periods of devotion in which the vibratory rates are temporarily raised, there are
intervals in which affection and tender love are dominant, and other intervals when
the glow of some fine deed increases the rate. But in the longer intervals the vibration
returns to that which is developed in the struggle for physical survival.
While living in the physical it is not expedient to ignore the physical necessities. But I
am sure people in general would spend more time and energy in cultivating the more
spiritual moods and acts if they realized that their souls exist now upon the astral
plane, and that at any given time it functions on the particular astral level of the inner
world which has approximately as its basic vibratory rate the dominant vibratory rate
which the individual has at the time. Did they but realize this I am sure they would be
more careful as much as possible to maintain a mood which would insure that the
astral level thus contacted was one whose influence upon their lives would be
physically, mentally and spiritually beneficial.
Merely to contact a given level sufficiently to get information from it through
extra-sensory perception does not require that the dominant rate of the astral form as
a whole shall be adjusted to that basic level, although it is easier to get the information
when it is. If the consciousness centered in but a local area of the astral form is able to
adjust its vibratory rate to the region, the level and locality on it may be reached
merely through extension of consciousness, just as one on the physical plane can
examine things at a distance without actually going to them through using sight and
smell and hearing. But whatever the dominant rate of the astral form is, that is, the
most powerful vibratory rate in it, determines the actual level on which that astral
form resides.
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Now a particular physical environment is not the cause of the vibratory rate of people
residing in it; for under the same external circumstances the dominant vibratory rate,
as well as the reactions in general of people differ. Under specific conditions of
hardship some people become morose and bitter, some become mild and subdued,
some become irritable and antagonistic, and some become kind and sympathetic. But
we cannot ignore that the physical environment does have an influence upon the
character, and therefore upon the dominant vibratory rate. It is most difficult, for
instance, to maintain a harmonious mood of any kind amid clash and discord. It is
difficult not to feel anger when attacked, and resentment at injustice. These are
emotions which while they last powerfully influence the vibratory rate.
And thus it is that when most people are born into the next life their dominant
vibratory rate for a time is powerfully influenced by their habit of meeting the
demands of physical environment. Their thought processes for the term of their
physical lives have been directed mostly to the things and conditions of the earth
plane. And so long as their thoughts are chiefly of these things of earth to which they
have become accustomed they tend to maintain the dominant rate which was
customary on earth.
Thus in spite of being very good, very bad, or merely indifferent, people when they
move out of their physical bodies permanently do not at once gravitate to the realm
which later they will occupy. There is a transition period in which, as a rule, they
remain rather close to the level corresponding to their previous struggle for physical
necessities, and gradually become accustomed to their new condition.
But as they become accustomed to the fact they are no longer inhabiting the earth,
and no longer compelled to struggle for physical survival, their desires may
relinquish the attachments to physical things and permit those aspirations and
yearnings which the physical struggle has held in abeyance to gain the dominance
they have so often longed for. And as these vibratory rates become dominant they
move up or down to levels of the astral realm having similar frequencies.
Desire is the mainspring of action, not only on the outer plane, but also on the inner;
and people do not immediately change their desires when they pass to the next life.
Instead, for a time their habitual interests and habitual desires remain, and these hold
them from moving too far from the vibratory condition customary to them on earth.
And these desires also often keep them for a short time sufficiently in contact with the
electromagnetic Boundary-Line energy associated with the environments or people
they knew on earth, or with the electromagnetic-astral belt surrounding the earth, to
enable them to use it.
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About the earth there is a dense belt of electromagnetic energy derived from the
thoughts of people on earth and the feelings of both men and animals. And even as
people in sleep can move from the no-man's-land of that condition out to perceive
conditions on the slow-velocity material plane, or in to perceive conditions on the
high-velocity inner plane, so the vibratory rate of physical necessity which people
retain in varying degrees immediately after death, and their desires and habits of
physical life, keep them somewhat in contact for a time with this
electromagnetic-astral belt, which is referred to in the Bible and in ancient ritual as
the River Jordan, or the River Styx.
When we think intently of a condition or region, this tends for a time to tune us to the
vibratory rate of that region or condition. And, regardless of spirituality or lack of it,
the habitual thoughts of earth things, and the habitual vibration of physical necessity,
together with the habit of utilizing electromagnetic energies in thinking, keeps
considerable contact with the electromagnetic astral belt about the earth. And thus it
is, because they can so readily utilize the energies of this belt, and make the contact
with other electromagnetic energies of earth, those who pass to the next life for a time
after passing have no great difficulty in making their presence felt by those in whom
they are interested who are yet in the flesh. But after that period of time has elapsed
that permits adjustment, they move to their own level, and if this level is a highly
spiritualized one, it becomes difficult for them to manifest their presence, except
through those who utilize extra-sensory perception or are unusually mediumistic.
In his book, At the Moment of Death, Camille Flammarion has collected a large array
of well authenticated instances of the power of those who are passing, or who have
just passed, to manifest themselves to their loved ones who are at a distance from the
body of the deceased.
Furthermore, if the attachment to some particular environment, or some material
activity has built a thought-form so powerful as to be, at least for a time, obsessive in
character, the power of this thought-form may be sufficient to hold the person bound
to the physical environment, or performing in pantomime close to the earth, this
particular activity. With suitable electromagnetic emanations at hand to draw upon,
such an earth-bound soul may produce a haunting. In any case he will linger near the
earth in a somewhat dazed condition, interested in the things that are related to the
dominating thought-form.
Such a soul has lost his physical body, but he is unaware that he has passed from
physical life. His thoughts are as yet so focused on some earth condition, or some
idea of earthly purport, that he has not yet awakened to a consciousness of his present
conditions and surroundings. Except he is approached through his interest in the
absorbing idea that dominates him, neither those on the physical plane nor those on
the inner plane can get intelligent conversation from him. He is more like one
walking in his sleep, performing, perhaps, very difficult feats, but devoid of his
normal awareness. While he has passed from the physical, he is still in the boundary
realm, and has not as yet awakened into consciousness of the next life.
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When such an earth-bound soul finally is born into the life of the inner plane, his
method of birth, and his after surroundings, are precisely those common to other
souls who pass from physical life into the next life almost immediately. In the one
instance the birth is accomplished almost at once, and in the case of the earthbound
soul the period of labor is greatly prolonged. But when birth finally comes, the
circumstances by which the arrival is surrounded are determined precisely by the
same laws that determine those of the more quickly born individual. Knowing this,
we can treat all births as belonging to the three previously mentioned categories.
The Time of Next Life Birth
--Of course, viewing the matter in one way, the moment the umbilical cord is
severed may be considered the time of birth into the physical world. And on the same
ground, it might be considered that the time of birth into the astral world is the
moment when the silver cord that connects the astral form to the physical form is
severed. But astrologers have found that, in certain instances, it may be sometime
after the severance of the umbilical cord before the child draws its first breath and
utters it first cry. And they have further found that the chart erected for this first
breath, for this first independent act, is, in such cases, the correct chart of birth.
Therefore, while customarily the child has its birth when the umbilical cord is
severed, the moment of true birth may be delayed until somewhat later. And in like
manner, while the moment of birth into the next life might be considered the moment
when the silver cord is snapped; in a stricter sense, it seems to me, it should be
considered as the moment when the individual awakens to a consciousness of his
new life.
Natural Birth
--When the individual passes to the next life in full consciousness by the natural
method, the astral form merely moves out from the physical form in precisely the
same manner it does when the individual leaves the physical body voluntarily to
make a temporary visit on the astral plane. On such a visit there is always a cord of
astral substance connecting the astral body with the physical. The further the astral
moves from the physical the thinner this white astral line appears. But in the case of
permanent transition to the inner plane, by the natural method of passing, the
individual purposely severs this astral cord connecting him with the physical body.
If he is aged, or the physical body is feeble, or if he has carried the refining process to
an advanced degree, this line is already quite frail. But whether frail or not, it must be
severed to break the connection with the physical form. The advanced soul breaks
this line merely by the determination to do so, that is, by thought-power. When
desirable and necessary, help in this can be obtained from those attending the birth on
the other side. .
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Accidental Birth
--In the accidental method of birth into the life hereafter, the transition from the
physical is apt to be more abrupt. A soldier running across noman's-land may be
blown to bits by a bursting shell. He has had no pain and does not know he is
physically dead. He keeps on running, reaches the enemy, perhaps, and seeing their
astral forms, does not realize that these are not physical, and attacks them. Then he
begins to wonder why his bayonet thrusts produce no apparent effect. Others may
have passed over about the same time, and they also are unaware of the transition.
They talk together, and act in concert against the enemy. They may be joined by a
comrade or two who are not dead, but merely stunned, and while lost to physical
consciousness are out of their bodies on the battle-field. Or even some pal who has
been thinking intently of the battle, and desiring to participate in it, and has gone to
sleep with this in his mind, may come along and recognize and talk to them.
Being so close, as yet, to the earth and the activities in which they have been
participating, they can see both the astral forms of those I who have just passed from
the physical and the astral forms of those yet in the physical. If a horse has just been
killed, one of them may jump on its back and ride it, without knowing it has passed
over. He sees it stumble and fall, and then arise. He cannot as yet realize that it is only
the astral body of the horse that has arisen.
But when he tries to talk to those still in the flesh he will begin to realize that
something is unusual. He does not realize that he sees merely the astral forms, which
are duplicates of the physical, even to every item of equipment and clothing. But
because the attention of these astral friends is focused on the low-velocity region of
the external world, which he is unable to see, they neither perceive him nor hear his
voice. Their attention is held to a region of which he is oblivious. Not knowing this he
is puzzled.
Yet this condition, as a rule, is only of temporary duration. On the astral plane there
are organizations of people who have once lived on earth who take an active part in
Red Cross work from that side. One of the functions of this organization is, in time of
war, to help those who have been shocked out of their bodies, but are not too badly
maimed, and the silver cord remains yet unsevered, to get back into and animate their
physical bodies. And another function is to help those who are wandering around,
after the cord has been severed, dazed by their condition, to complete their births.
And a third important function is to reconcile them to the fact that they have been cut
off from all physical activity.
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Suicides, and violent deaths occurring while the individual is participating in some
revolting crime, commonly live for a more or less protracted period amid the
distressing thought-forms they have created. The period of labor accompanying their
birth into the after life is both prolonged and painful. But in the end some skillful
physician of the astral cohorts is able to reach their consciousness and bring them
through into a consciousness of where they are. So, in the long run they, as well as
those more worthy, are awakened into a realization of their true condition and its
environment.
Surgical Birth
--But before speaking further of the surroundings of this new birth, we should take
some consideration of those who pass by means of the surgical method, that is, the
more common method of so-called death.
No two deaths, of course, are exactly alike and, therefore, no two births on the inner
plane. Ordinarily, however, the person who passes out by illness or old age lies in
bed. Usually the astral form moves toward, and gradually out of, the top of the head.
Thus, the feet and hands become cold first, and then the coldness moves upward to
the knees. Then, as the astral body gradually moves out through the head the coldness
extends to the stomach, chest and vital organs, and finally to the throat.
Because, in such separation of the astral from the physical, the last remnant of the
connection between the two bodies is in the region of the brain, the brain may remain
clear, to the end; or even when there has been unconsciousness, just before the
complete departure of the last remnant, the person, now occupying the astral form
which hovers over the physical, may vitalize the physical brain for a moment to
permit one last glance in full consciousness at friends in the flesh, the saying of
farewell to dear ones, or the delivery of some last message. Then the cord snaps, and
the person is no longer a denizen of the flesh.
But so strong is habit that the one so released, while quite capable of moving from the
room through the walls or through the ceiling and roof, not infrequently awaits the
opening of a door through which he now passes to the outside world, where he is met,
if they do not already accompany him, by those who guide him to a place of rest.
Concrete examples are usually better than generalizations. So I will relate very
briefly, not the actual death, but a scene that occurred immediately following
physical death, that I witnessed as a youngster.
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A Lady Who Drowned
--A young man, with his fianc� and his fianc�e's mother, went up river in a motor
boat. The river was swollen with recent rains, the current very swift, and partly or
wholly submerged trees were occasionally to be encountered, as they were carried
down by the water. Along in the afternoon the motor boat struck one of these snags
and upset, throwing all three into the water. Neither of the women could swim, but
the young man was an excellent swimmer. Probably trying to be save the mother,
both he and the mother were drowned, but the girl, in spite of being unable to swim,
and without knowing exactly how, got ashore.
So exhausted was she, by the time she regained consciousness, night was at hand.
And it was around nine o'clock before she, in her wandering search for help, reached
a farmhouse about a mile from the accident. There they immediately telephoned to
town for help, and a searching party was quickly organized.
It was decided, and subsequently verified, that the young man was lodged in an
exceptionally deep hole close below the scene of the accident. And it was the opinion
of those familiar with the river that the body of the lady was also there; that, in fact, he
had been drawn down in the locked embrace of the drowning woman, other- wise so
good a swimmer would have saved himself.
The leader of the searching party, who was the most experienced in river-work, had
on previous occasions had some experience with my "hunches," as he called them.
Therefore, when just about mid- night I informed them the body of the woman was
half a mile below, lodged against a sand-bar, he asked no questions, but commanded
two other men to follow in a rowboat, and in the only launch at our disposal, we set
off to the designated sand-bar with every confidence we should find the body.
The body was at the designated spot, and by the light of the lanterns we carried, was
easily located in the shallow water. It was then decided to put it in the skiff, and that
one of us should row this skiff down to the village, some two and a half miles below;
while the launch should return with the others and the lanterns to try to locate the
young man's body. I was the one chosen to take the body to the village.
There was no moon, but the night was cloudless, and the stars shone clearly; so that I
had no difficulty, without artificial light, in keeping the channel and locating the
familiar landing. The body lay in the bottom of the skiff, but although the silver cord
apparently was severed--at least I did not notice it--the astral form of the woman,
standing erect as in life, floated immediately above her head. This astral body
accompanied the skiff thus until after I had made the landing.
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Although, in physical life, I had not known her well, yet we had been acquainted; and
the young man who had also drowned had attended the same school while I was
there. I also had a speaking acquaintance with the daughter, who thus had lost her
mother and her sweetheart.
It was this daughter about whom the mother was now so concerned. She realized the
nature of the accident, and she had the impression that the young man had drowned.
This latter distressed her greatly; but the thing that was dominant in her mind was her
daughter. She was as yet dazed by the occurrence, and had made no adjustment to her
new condition. She feared that the daughter also had been drowned, and was
worrying about this, because of the cutting short of the life of one so dear to her who
had every bright prospect. And if the daughter had not drowned, the loss of mother
and sweetheart, as she thought, would be too much for her to bear.
Feeling, rather than actually hearing, these thoughts, as they revolved over and over
confusedly in her mind, I spent the time while we were moving down stream to the
village in explaining the whole situation to her, as I understood it, and in reassuring
her that everything possible was being done for her daughter, and that worrying over
the occurrence would only help to distress her daughter, as well as make her own new
condition harder.
I do not know whether or not there were others present from the astral plane, as I
rowed down the stream through the night, talking to this astral form of a departed
mother. But I do know that when I tied the boat at the landing and went into the
village to find the undertaker, that two other faint forms were with her. To me then
they seemed spirits from some higher world, come to guide this good woman to her
celestial home. And through our conversations she apparently had become
reconciled, so that she now also could perceive them. They were talking to her, and
she was listening, and as I climbed the bank and left them, I had the impression that
very quickly she would relinquish the attractions of the physical body and go
whithersoever they should guide her.
I relate this very vivid experience of my youth, not because it is in any way
remarkable; but because it illustrates two things very clearly. It indicates that those
who have just passed from the flesh have an unusually strong power to impress those
remaining behind. This woman showed me where her body was. It happened that I
was the one most easy thus to impress. And it illustrates the confusion people may be
under who pass out amid unusual circumstances, and how talking to them earnestly,
by some one who can contact them, may relieve the worry and bring a speedy
adjustment to the new condition.
Perhaps a still more recent experience will be useful in indicating these same
principles, and also how those just passed over may still do things for those
remaining in the flesh.
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A Man Who Had Heart Failure
--This was following 1929, during a year of great financial depression and unusual
lack of employment. The head of a family who are close neighbors of ours passed out
suddenly in the night of heart failure.
This man, who had a wife and two children, was a carpenter. We knew that he had not
had steady work, but as he had been working some, and the family always previously
had seemed well-to-do, we had no thought that they might be very hard pressed for
money.
Yet about four o'clock of the second morning after his passing, my wife was
awakened out of a sound sleep. This man stood before her, and when she spoke to
him he said, "I want you to do me a favor. I want you to see that M._____and the kids
have money to eat on."
He not only seemed anxious, but worried. So my wife at once replied, "I will go over
to your house the first thing in the morning, and we will see they do not want for
anything."
Upon hearing this, he seemed both relieved and pleased, and without saying more,
disappeared.
Next morning, as promised, she went over to his home. His wife, when informed of
what had transpired said when he died they had only fifty cents; but that her father,
receiving a telegram announcing the death had thought she might need funds, and
had at once telegraphed her money, so that she was really not at all in need.
There is no doubt that this man's thoughts of the evening preceding his sudden
passing were largely occupied by how, with the meager sum at his disposal, he was
going to provide for his family's welfare. He awakened in the night, in distress, and
passed out in his wife's arms before help could be summoned.
After passing, he continued to worry about the circumstances of his family.
Evidently he had been unable to get close enough to his wife, perhaps because of her
grief, to know she had received financial assistance from her father. He was quite
unaware that the family had been provided for. And being acquainted with us, it was
quite natural for him to seek our aid. He was well aware of our occult beliefs, and
shared some of them. And it was quite characteristic that he should come to my wife
rather than to me; for in any little borrowing of tools or utensils, such as occurs
among friendly neighbors, he never disturbed me at my writing, but all such
transactions were with my wife.
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The Actual Astral Birth
--Yet the incidents here related cannot be considered actual births into the next life.
As far as related, they were deliveries, but full birth was not accomplished until
somewhat later. For commonly, except in the natural method where consciousness is
retained throughout, the individual after passing from the physical body falls asleep.
In the case of the earth-bound soul this sleep does not take place until after the
binding condition has been broken. With some the sleep may be of long duration, and
with others of short duration. It may be only a momentary loss of consciousness. But
in any case the individual moves in his astral form to the level and place where his
new birth is to take place. This is not his later level and environment, but a point
somewhere toward it, in a transitional region somewhat influenced by physical
necessity vibrations and his still strong physical desires.
The moment when he awakens into consciousness after this sleep, or if sleep has not
intervened, the moment when as a result of a conscious realization of what has
happened the vibratory rates of his astral form cease sympathetic response to
physical conditions and adjust themselves to the astral world, is the moment of his
birth into the new life.
This birth into the next life is under astrological law, quite as much so as the birth into
physical life. He does not awaken into this consciousness of the new plane and does
not accomplish that complete adjustment to it which constitutes this birth, until the
astrological vibratory rates correspond in their quality, harmony and discord with the
various energies of the astral form he has built in human life. That is, even as at birth
into the physical form, the planets map by their positions the organizations of energy
of his total previous experiences that constitute his character at physical birth, so also
other astrological forces map quite as fully his character, as organized within his
finer form, as it has been constructed up to the time of his physical demise. He will
not be born completely into the new life until this astrological relationship obtains.
Now I do not wish to imply that a map of the heavens set up for the moment of the
person's physical death tells anything about his condition in the after-life; for, in the
first place, this moment is not, as a rule, the same as his birth on the inner plane. Nor
do I wish to imply that the progressed aspects as calculated from physical birth still
continue to influence the individual even after he has passed to the next life. Nor is
the birth-chart of the next-life such as can be calculated using the surface of the earth
as a center, and the revolution of the earth on its axis as the measure of progressions,
as we do in calculating progressions as influencing us on the physical plane.
As soon as we get any considerable distance from the earth plane we are
uninfluenced by the rotation of the earth, and while throughout nature there are
alternate periods of activity and rest, day and night as known on earth do not there
exist.
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Astrological Energies
--What I mean is that astrological forces continue to influence us in the next life just
about as they do here. Only those who are astrological students know anything about
this on the levels close to earth, just as only astrological students know anything
about it on the earth. Nevertheless, on the entrance to the next life, the astral form
under- goes an adjustment in which whatever experiences and thoughts have been
added to it since physical birth are more markedly discernible in that form.
The person, according to the thoughts he has held and the deeds he has performed
may, immediately after his new birth appear much younger or much older, better
proportioned or worse proportioned, more beautiful or more ugly, larger or smaller,
nicely attired or merely wrapped in rags. These manifestations of his outward
appearance represent his character as developed to date and are mapped by the
astrological conditions at the time of his new birth.
Furthermore, because astrological energies carry the throb of cosmic forces urging
all toward evolution and progress, other energies of an astrological nature that
correspond in their affect to the influence of progressed aspects in a physical
birth-chart, are operative as environmental forces, and thus influence his life on the
inner plane quite as much as the more familiar progressed aspects do on the physical
plane.
This does not mean that they bring to him events such as are brought to him by
progressed aspects on earth. On the higher levels the discords do not manifest in the
sordid way they do on earth. They do not bring the loss, illness and sorrow; because
these conditions have been left behind. But they do exert a pressure at times that is
discordant. It is one of the great lessons both here and there to learn how to transmute
discords into harmony. Discords do not have the same affect on the inner plane; but
throughout nature there are both harmonies and discords as alternating influences.
Yet they manifest differently on different levels.
For instance, what corresponds to a very adverse progressed planetary aspect in the
astral birth-chart of a rather highly evolved soul may cause him to consider it his duty
to descend on missionary work into the hells that are even below the level of the
ordinary earth plane. He does not permit his sympathies to cause him suffering; but
nevertheless, he contacts, of his own free desire, sordid and to him repulsive
conditions, that he may lift others to a happier state.
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Conditions of Next Life Birth
--Nowadays it is very seldom a child is born into physical life without there being
someone present besides the mother to give assistance. Nor is the next plane less well
provided in this respect. There are those whose occupation it is to assist in the birth of
those who pass into that life, and who also assist the newborn individual to get his
proper bearings. There are large organizations for doing this work, with well
developed resources. There are other individuals who are free-lance workers. And
some there are who travel unfrequented paths, go into the slums or into the
wilderness, and give aid to those who enter this life there. Because of these various
ones who engage in this work, it is really less likely for anyone to be born into the
next life without attendance than it is into this one.
And the environments in which such births take place are quite as varied as those
possible to imagine on earth. Whether high or low in the vertical scale depends
largely upon the dominant vibration of the individual; and the kind of environment is
largely determined by the stronger thoughts and desires. Yet when, as in the case of
some great disaster, many individuals of varied tastes and moral qualities pass to the
next plane together, or in the case of a whole company of soldiers wiped out at once in
a war; it sometimes happens that the hospital corps, or emergency relief, of the other
side, is able to use the collective vibratory rates and energy of the whole group to
keep them together for awhile and usher them all to certain quarters that are prepared
for them.
In such a case, these quarters with their appointments are on a level close to that of
physical necessity, which is usually referred to as being close to earth, and the group
vibration sustains all in them until after their birth, and until after they have grown
somewhat accustomed to the changed conditions. Then each gravitates to his own
level and the environment where his thoughts take him. That is, he moves as guided
by his desires.
But the birth of those of mean disposition may not be in a nicely furnished sanatorium
with fine buildings and elegant grounds and everything provided for the relaxation,
comfort and amusement of those becoming adjusted to the new life. Instead, it may
take place in the corner of a hovel, on a pile of rags. It may even take place in a forest,
or out on barren slopes of rock. Such environments have an affinity for certain types
of sordid thoughts. The individual is not compelled by anyone to be born in such a
place, he determines the place of his birth by his own character. This law of affinity
and correspondences is apparent even on the physical plane, and is inexorable on the
inner ones.
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Furthermore, in obedience to this same law, his features, his form, and even the garb
in which he is thus born, express his inward characteristics. If he has, on earth,
developed miserly traits, he will probably be smaller and shriveled. If he has been
very licentious, this will show in the hideous leer of his countenance. If he has been
vicious enough, he may even be crippled. But if his character as developed on earth is
fine, his body will appear beautifully proportioned and his face may have the
radiance ascribed commonly to an angel. If his thoughts have been somewhat sour he
may appear older than when last seen on earth, but if his thoughts have retained
elasticity and enthusiastic expectancy, even though the physical body was aged, he
will have the appearance of being much younger than when he passed out.
Children, when born into astral life, are of the same size and usually not much
changed in appearance, as when on earth. But they grow to maturity after their astral
birth, and then present a mature form which corresponds in its lineaments with the
inward character. On the inner plane the character shines through the outward form
in a way that is unmistakable.
But wherever and whenever the individual is born into astral life, it is but a short time
usually until someone comes along, if not already there, who is willing to help him.
Not that anyone can bear his burdens for him. Or make a vicarious spiritual progress.
Each is the arbiter of his own destiny. But there are those on the inner plane who
make it their business to act as guides and to give advice to the newly arrived. Usually
such are present at the new birth to assist in it and in the subsequent adjustment.
The individual who thus awakens into astral life may, or may not, be willing to take
the advice or even listen to, these guides. If he has a fixed idea that he is going to a
heaven paved with gold, about as soon as he is born on the inner plane he moves in
search of such a place and is quickly attracted to such a thought-form environment
built by others of like faith. Here he may reside for a long time, if his faith is
unwavering, before some missionary of the real truth is able to reach his
consciousness and jar him into a realization that this is merely an artificially created
erroneous environment. Then his real advancement begins.
Those without such fixed convictions of how things must be, start their progression
sooner. But this progression, if they have been very wicked in the real sense of
finding joy in the suffering of others, and being viciously selfish, must begin at a
basic level even below the common level of earth, and in environments that are
distressing, indeed.
After birth on the next plane and the transitory period of adjustment has been finished
in a temporary realm, rest home, or other environment, the individual is pulled down
by the grossness of his essential vibratory rates to a level below, or is lifted up by
them to a spiritual level above. He finds his own real moral level as surely as the
surface of water seeks its level on the face of the earth.
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The strong thoughts and desires, further, attract him to an environment
corresponding to their nature. If they are warlike, he is attracted to a place where
there is strife. If they are greedy, he moves among greedy companions, where the
weight of his body and possessions seem unbearable. The after-life is quite dissimilar
to earth life in that those of like tastes herd together, and those of different
inclinations do not intermingle.
Nothing other than his own inclinations keeps the individual on the level where he
thus finds himself, or amid the surroundings. He is not ordered to go there by any
person, or by any supernatural being. He goes there because of the law of affinity.
And he can move himself to any environment that he can cultivate a strong enough
desire for, that will offset the desires and thoughts already organized that hold him
where he now is.
Nor does he have to remain on the level, or plane, where he now finds himself. But he
cannot ascend to any level that has a vibratory rate higher than his own. If he would
live on a spiritual level he must cultivate spiritual qualities, so that his dominant
vibratory rates will be spiritual. And there are ministers, or teachers, who visit all
realms, more than willing to instruct the inhabitants how to raise their vibratory rates,
how to live better lives, and rise into better conditions.
But even as on earth, teachers of spiritual things cannot force their great truths down
the unwilling throats of all they meet. They are ever ready to dispense wisdom; but
they cannot compel others to accept it. Advancement in the astral realm after death of
the physical body, even as here, depends upon willingness and effort.