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Chapter 5
Serial No. 177
Original Copyright 1942
Elbert Benjamine
Copyright
Church of Light
August 2002
Occupations of the Next
Life
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Chapter 5
Occupations of the Next Life
WHEN you pass to the next life, as you surely will at the appointed time, it will be
greatly to your advantage to have a clear conception of what is there required to
enable you to lead a successful and happy existence. With such information arranged
in orderly fashion in your mind before the day of passing, you will not go about, for
some time, in the next state in a muddled condition. A certain amount of preliminary
education is necessary before you can take up active duties in a world which, while in
so many respects resembling the physical, due to its high velocities possesses a
different order of time and is unaffected by gravitation, in which distances are
measured by vibratory frequency, where thought is a chief source of power, and
where money has no value. And it facilitates adjustment to that world if that
preliminary education is acquired before leaving the physical realm.
Although you will find people, and houses, and trees, and animals much the same in
that after-world as you find them here; you will find many customs that are distinctly
different. And you should be informed about these customs, so that you will not make
things difficult for yourself by disregarding them.
Currency In the Next Life
--The first of these customs I should discuss, because life on earth as now lived is so
inseparably bound up with it, is the use of money. There are regions, to be sure, in the
after life, where money exists. But not in the realms where you will desire to go. It
exists only in those lower realms where the miserly and greedy gravitate, and even
there it possesses no real value. On the contrary, it merely binds these poor souls, who
are dominated by the image of it, to those dull and dreary nether worlds. So long as
they are unable to perceive the value of motives other than profit, they are chained by
their own desires to this astral gold. They fight and scramble and struggle among
themselves, in what might be termed financial hells, for possessions that have no real
purchasing power whatever.
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Therefore, one of the first things to realize about the after-life is that money has no
power to buy anything there, and the next thing of importance is to realize that any
action prompted solely by a selfish motive is not rewarded by real gain. Because the
profit motive is so customary in the transactions of life on earth, it may be a little
difficult to realize that the interchanges of the next life, except in the lower regions
where the grossly selfish move, are entirely separated from this motive of profit and
personal gain.
People are just as ambitious after they pass to the new existence as they were while on
earth, but that ambition, except in the darker spheres, is not to gain something at the
expense of another. They still desire to "be somebody," still desire, and quite as
strongly, to do something worth while. Noteworthy performance is not, by any
manner of means, frowned upon. But the only kind of performance that gains honor
is doing something that benefits, in some real manner, someone else. There is only
one kind of currency that is good in the next life, and that is the currency of
constructive service.
In this, also, the conditions differ from those that obtain in earth life; because, due to
transparency of motives and visibility of thoughts, people are not evaluated falsely.
On earth, to be sure, an individual while working for a secret selfish motive, can
hoodwink the public into the belief he is a great and public-minded man. But not so
over there. Every motive is in plain view of everyone who contacts him; and his
mental and spiritual development are apparent in the plane he occupies, in his
countenance, and in the structure of his form. Both what he is and what he has done
go with him as a part of himself for all who desire to do so to read.
Yet because money has no value it should not be supposed that all one needs to do is
merely to wish for something and, presto, it happens. On the contrary, the truly
desirable things of the next life must be paid for quite as dearly as the things men most
desire must be paid for dearly in this one. The difference is not that there is no
payment; but that the currency is different. The only currency that will purchase you
anything wanted in the after-life, so far as I have been able to ascertain, is the
currency of constructive service.
Such a statement sounds like an abstraction, but in reality it is very concrete. The
things you will desire most in the next life, just as most of the things of this life, must
come to you through the aid of others. Over here, the farmer raises what you eat, the
textile industry furnishes you with clothes, the building trades erect your house and
office, the electrician brings you light, and someone else affords you fuel. But you do
not get these things merely by asking for them. You are required to pay.
And there are a multitude of services that may be performed for your benefit on the
other side by people. Not furnishing material food, fuel, or clothing, of course, but
other services that are quite as essential for your higher welfare, that correspond to
these material functions. But these functions are not rendered unless you pay for
them. And to get them you must pay in terms of constructive service to others.
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It is not that people over there are unwilling to render you a service without
compensating pay; it is because you are unable to receive it. The individual who
renders the service receives nothing and wants nothing from you. He is glad to render
you all the assistance you are capable of receiving. But unless through your own
efforts you try to be of assistance to others you have not opened the channel to
receiving help.
So long as you are self-centered, you radiate no light that attracts those more
advanced, and you effectually encase yourself against their help. They cannot reach
you. But when you do something that is an aid to someone else, and do it without
thought of recompense, you radiate a different vibration. And to the extent that you
show the ability and desire to use whatever you receive for the good of others less
fortunate, those who can aid you will feel attracted to you, and strengthened in their
desire to give you help.
Attracting Assistance
--This currency of constructive service obtains also with those yet in the flesh, in so
far as help and assistance from the inner plane are concerned. Higher intelligences
from the inner plane are attracted by the use of ability for the common good. But even
though attracted by zealous service rendered others, they are powerless, on any
plane, to impart knowledge and instructions above the capacity of the person to
receive.
Yet you may be sure that whosoever, even on the earth, uses whatever powers are
within his command for the benefit of his fellowman, attracts helpful intelligences
from the inner plane. And he will be given, by them, whatever assistance, little or
much, he is capable of receiving and assimilating. These helpful ones from the other
side often are not able to change some grossly erroneous notion, because such ideas
become too strongly entrenched to be displaced by any subtle impression wafted
from the inner plane. But they will send the individual such help as he can receive; as
is well illustrated in the lives of a great many ardent humanitarians who have
accomplished wonders in the face of seemingly insuperable obstacles.
Bearing this in mind, that the only currency that will get you anything after you pass
from the physical life is constructive service, when you reach that after land, instead
of expecting to be babied, pampered, and taken care of forever, you will, as soon as
somewhat adjusted, set out to see what you can do that will benefit others.
And just to get into the right habit, it might be well to do a little practicing beforehand.
You cannot, of course, renounce the money of the physical plane while you are still in
physical life. But you can do a little something for somebody every day without
considering what you are paid for it.
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So essential do we consider this habit to all who seek spiritual progress that we made
it obligatory on those who join The Church of Light that they take a pledge to devote
some time and energy to the assistance of others without thought of recompense.
Thus if they are true to their pledge they accustom themselves, before passing, to the
use of the only currency that is legal tender in the land where they shall next reside.
Something For Nothing
--One of the things of which you should permanently disabuse your mind is the
desire to receive something for nothing, or that, on the next plane you will get
something worth while without effort. Effort is the mainspring of individual
existence and the power behind all progression. Life does not come to a standstill so
soon as it passes to the next plane. It moves on, and the amount of this movement is in
proportion to intelligently directed effort
Either on the physical plane or on the inner plane, life is like a bank. If we accept the
loan of opportunities to develop spirituality, we are expected to pay back that loan by
using the spirituality developed for the advancement of all. And whatever talents we
have, as indicated by our charts of birth, we are not supposed to permit them to lie
idle, but to put them to use in such a manner that not only ourselves, but others, will
be benefitted.
I know, to be sure, that the very idea of work is obnoxious to many. They are "fed up"
with it here, and desire to go some place where there is nothing to do but rest. Yet
these very over-worked individuals when they are given a forced vacation find doing
nothing, after a time, worse than doing disagreeable work. Soon they find idleness
intolerable, and become active in seeking pleasures, in sport, in travel, or in
something that appeals to their fancy. Their distaste for work was really a distaste for
some particular kind of work, or with too much activity. They imagined they wished
to do nothing, when in reality their desire was to cease doing the things they were
compelled to do, that they might do the things they desired to do.
The climate endured by a considerable of the population of India is such as to make
physical activity a great strain on their vital forces. Such activity, therefore, in certain
regions is greatly loathed. And from this loathing of effort, due to temperament and
climate, has arisen, I believe, that particular conception of Nirvana that regards it as a
state either of complete rest, or as annihilation. To an ill-nourished people, in a
terrifically hot and humid climate, nothing seems more inviting than just to be able to
rest forever.
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But even these people, when once their vitality has been recuperated, would find the
lack of something to do boring. Activity is life, and lack of it is death, to any organism
on any plane. And activity is only disagreeable on any plane when we are compelled
to do something contrary to our desires, or in excess of our easily available strength.
Except for the purpose of recuperating his energies, no one finds any real joy in doing
nothing. The only pleasure to be had from lack of activity comes from the feeling of
recapturing energy for new activity. In this life our pleasures come from amusement,
from sport, from certain types of achievement, all of which imply considerable
mental, emotional or physical activity. The joys on any plane arise from activities.
Talents Must Be Used To Avoid
Atrophy
--We find little inherent joy, however, in performing functions on any plane for
which we are ill-fitted. People are temperamentally adapted to certain pursuits. Their
experiences in lower life-forms before human birth, as well as their experiences after
birth into human form, give them certain abilities which they find joy in exercising,
and also lack of ability in certain other lines which make these lines distasteful.
It is possible, of course, to cultivate a liking for anything that life demands us to do,
whether we have ability for it or not. And the incidental circumstances sometimes
cultivate a repugnance for something we have natural ability to do. That is, artificial
associations cause us to become conditioned toward some activity in a way
diametrically opposite to the tendency that otherwise would have developed. These,
however, are mere artificially created exceptions to the rule that we like to do what
we can do best.
Back of this ability is the cosmic need for it. Each soul starts its cyclic journey to
develop the ability to perform a specific function in the cosmic scheme of things. Its
experiences, which are different from the experiences of any other soul, and may be
quite unlike the experiences of most other souls, are all undergone to give it the
education and ability ultimately to perform this work. And, because of this, when a
soul is performing its proper function in the cosmic scheme, is doing the kind of work
it is best fitted for and most likes to do, it experiences a joy and happiness in this work
that can be obtained in no other way.
As a small boy whenever I heard the sermon based on the 25th chapter of Matthew, I
reflected that the master in the parable of the talents was an unreasonably harsh
fellow. The story goes, as you will recollect, that this master traveled to a far country,
and on leaving delivered to his servants his goods, each according to his ability. To
one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to the third but one talent. The
fellow who had been given five talents went into business and made five more. The
two-talent man likewise doubled his money. But the poor one-talent man merely hid
what had been given him.
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When the master returned for a reckoning, because they had used their talents for the
master's benefit, the five-talent man and the two-talent man were highly
commended. But when the one-talent man revealed that he had let this talent lie idle,
it was taken from him and given to the servant who had already acquired five
additional talents. To me that seemed harsh enough; but in addition his master had
the unused-talent man cast into outer darkness.
Later in life, when I became a naturalist, I found this parable verified by Nature. A
talent or organ not used is taken away. It atrophies. Fish living in Mammoth Cave
where they cannot use their eyes, have lost their sight. Whales and porpoises through
being constantly in the water have lost such legs as once enabled their ancestors to
walk about the land. And man has lost many an organ which still is discernible as a
vestigial structure, the most troublesome one being the vermiform appendix, the
rudiments of an extra chamber to the stomach which enabled his non-human
forebears to digest cellulose.
In these losses of talents through disuse there is no hint of being cast into outer
darkness; but in parasites, both vegetable and animal, there is; for the loss of
functions through disuse is commonly so great that when their host dies, or gets rid of
them, they are quite unable to provide for themselves and perish.
Now it is true, as in the parable, that each person is given custody of something. It is
also true that talents are not equally distributed. The birth-chart of this life or of the
next life of one person may indicate he was born with five talents, or as we commonly
call them, natural aptitudes. The birth-chart of another may show he was born with
two talents. And the birth-chart of a third may reveal he has but one outstanding
talent. Everyone, however, has at least one natural aptitude, in the use of which he
can accomplish more than in trying to employ others which he does not possess.
Divine Providence, the master of the parable, does not demand that the man
possessing only one natural aptitude should employ five in contributing to universal
welfare. Divine Providence requires only that the individual should use such
aptitudes as he has. But should he fail to use these, whether they be one, two, or five,
they will be taken away, they will atrophy; and because the individual thus fails to
meet the demands of Nature, fails to evolve and develop according to the Progressive
Plan, he is left behind. In a progressing cosmos which depends for its advancement
on the contributions made by its specializing parts, whether on the outer plane or the
inner plane the lot of the parasite is hard.
The talents which the individual is given by Nature are the result of the soul ` s
experiences. These experiences are of ten different types, each associated with one of
the twelve departments of life. The intensity and volume of a given type of
experience is mapped by the prominence of its corresponding planet in the chart of
birth. The department of life with which it is associated is mapped by the houses ruled
by this planet in the chart of birth. And the harmony or discord of the given type of
experience is mapped by this planet's aspects. Thus does the chart of birth into this
life or into the next life correctly map the talents with which a person there is born.
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The thought-cells built by prehuman experiences are correctly mapped by the
birth-chart of the human form on earth, and these determine whether the individual is
a five-talent, a two-talent or a one-talent person. The experiences thus indicated were
of the Mars type, the Saturn type, or of some other planetary type, and they were
brought together in certain intensities of harmony or discord, and relate to definite
departments of life. But they have not been human experiences. They have not been
experiences in bookkeeping, in financing, in trading, in conventional relations, in
driving automobiles, in cooking, in studying books, in writing, lecturing or science.
To be of value in human life, these natural aptitudes, like the talents of the parable,
must be given specialized activity. The Mars experiences may have been such that
given a proper human environment they are easily developed into mechanical
ability, or ability as a surgeon or a soldier. The Saturn experiences may be such that
given a proper human environment, they readily give aptitude in organizing and
buying. The Jupiter experiences may have been such that given a proper human
environment they develop salesmanship ability. But until they are thus conditioned
by exercise amid an appropriate environment they remain like the talent hidden
away; not abilities ready for exercise, but merely natural aptitudes.
In like manner, all experiences up to the time of making the transition to the next life,
including those of using specialized abilities on earth, afford the natural aptitudes
with which people are born on the inner plane. But before they are of real value on
this inner plane, they usually must be adapted to inner-plane existence through
developing them for the specialized activities which there are in demand.
In prehuman life-forms the soul has had experiences in caring for the young, and the
Domestic thought-cells thus organized provide one of the natural aptitudes required
in human life to become a successful store clerk. In like manner experience as a store
clerk in human life provides the still more complex organization of the Domestic
thought-cells which gives the natural aptitude for a valuable function in the
inner-plane life. But store clerks do not function as store clerks in the next life, no
more than the plants and birds which in the care of their young on earth so strongly
exhibit the thought-cell activity mapped by the Moon, when human life is reached
depend on the whims of the wind to carry their offspring to a proper environment, or
feed them with insects. It is not feasible to explain the details of functions exercised
in the high-velocity region of the inner plane, because certain properties of existence
there are so at variance with those on the outer plane. But we can speak of the work
done there in terms of those physical activities which provide the aptitudes for
similar inner-plane jobs.
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And in doing so we can draw still another important inference from the parable of the
talents. For whether in outer-plane life or inner-plane life, we may assume that had
the servants increased their talents as two of them did, but used the gain merely for
brutal and selfish purposes such as materialism encourages, that the master would
not have been pleased. Natural abilities, which the birth-chart maps, not only should
be developed to do such work as they best fit the individual to perform, but they
should be used in such a manner that they benefit both the individual and the society
of which he forms a part. For the true measure of a life is how much it contributes to
universal welfare.
Next Life Economic System
--One of the points in the Nine-Point Plan For the New Civilization sponsored by
The Church of Light is that men should have Freedom of Expression. This does not
mean merely freedom to express honest convictions, but also that they should be
given opportunity to develop whatever natural aptitudes their birth-charts show they
possess, and use them to the advantage not only of themselves, but also to the
advantage of society as a whole.
Such conditions already exist on the inner plane. People do not work for money in the
next life; therefore, there is no compulsion for them to follow a trade for which
ill-fitted and which to them is distasteful. On the contrary, the economic system there
encourages them to find and take up the work for which they have been fitted by
education and inclination.
I do not wish to convey the idea that so soon as you get on the other side that you will
never be required to do anything that seems disagreeable. If you have not found your
cosmic work while still on the physical plane-which you can do if you make proper
effort- there may be considerable education and adjustment required before you
finally get into it. Furthermore, aside from this work, there may be certain obligations
to be met, incurred through error and wrong- doing in earth-life, that for the time will
not be pleasant. The record of your earth-doings must be faced, and you, yourself,
will pass judgment and pronounce sentence. And aside from this, the unlearning of
preconceived ideas, and getting yourself properly adjusted to the new life, may not be
unaccompanied by some disagreeable circumstances; or, according to your own life,
they may be free from them. But when you get into your own work on the inner plane
you will experience nothing but joy in doing it. Blessed is he, on either plane, who has
found his real work.
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You can, if you make proper effort, find this cosmic work while still in the flesh. But
while still in the flesh, because there is no financial demand for it, you may be able to
follow it only as an avocation, and may be compelled to make your living doing
something else. But you may be assured that the economic system of the inner planes
is not so inefficient and wasteful as to demand of you that you do something else.
Every encouragement and assistance will be rendered you, by those more advanced
there, to enable you to find and follow your own work. And in it you will experience a
great joy.
And now let us consider some of the inner-plane jobs, bearing in mind that in this
incomplete description no attempt is made to show how these employments are there
influenced by the different time order, or other freedoms from restrictions commonly
encountered on the outer plane.
Doctors and Nurses
--If you have read the literature of spiritualism, and the reports of others who have
traveled on short trips into the astral region and returned to their physical bodies, the
impression may have been received that in the next life everyone worthwhile is
engaged in one of two occupations; they are either missionaries lending assistance to
those who are making an effort to rise to higher planes, or they are members of the
medical profession, doctors and nurses, spending their time assisting at the birth and
adjustment of those from the earth-plane who enter this new life.
That by far the majority of recitals of the next life have to do with accounts of these
two professional activities is to be expected. People when they first pass over need
doctors and nurses, even as they need them when first born into physical life. Hence,
about the first impression of the new arrival is that of these activities. And so soon as
the nurses feel that the late arrival is sufficiently adjusted to the new world that they
can relinquish their care of him, he usually is turned over to a guide, or missionary,
who instructs him, in so far as he is willing to receive it, on the conditions of the new
life, and how he should live to make upward progress.
Nor are the activities of doctors and nurses confined to these regions immediately
surrounding the earth. So high, at least, as any I have information about, they still
perform a useful function. Man still possesses a form, not only on the astral levels,
but on those spiritual. And this form, for the individual to perform at highest
efficiency, must be kept in proper condition. I do not mean that it is subject to such
illnesses as we have on earth; but that the coordination of its vibratory organization to
give the highest results requires that care be given it.
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Astrological discords, excessive endeavors in some single direction, and other
conditions may upset the harmonious relation between the functions of this higher
form, depleting the vital reservoir, or disturbing the inner coordination. The doctors
and nurses specialize in helping those who need such help on every plane. They make
a study of the thought requirements of individuals following various occupations,
and how to restore through thought-treatments, any who have exhausted themselves
in their endeavors. And on the higher astral levels they specialize not so much in
correcting discords, as in how those who there work can acquire and use the vital
forces necessary to carry out their self-imposed tasks.
On the spiritual plane, too, they perform a useful function. After passing from the
astral, although this passing is usually not so abrupt as the passing from the physical
to the astral, people are born into the spiritual world. To be finally and completely
born into the spiritual world requires the construction, through such processes as are
considered in detail in Course 3 and Course 17, of a spiritual form in which there to
function. Every person who lives in the physical world possesses an astral body, and
when he passes from physical life he spontaneously functions in this astral body. But
not everyone who has a physical body, or who functions on the astral plane in an
astral body, has a spiritual body. The spiritual body must be built.
But before there is complete birth into the spiritual world, every shred of the astral
body must be discarded. This sloughing off of the astral body is a rather gradual
process of refinement. But in the final change from the velocities of the astral world
to permanent residence in a world of still higher velocities, the last vestiges of the
astral must be left behind. And the doctors and nurses of the spiritual world are fitted
to advise and help in this. They also, in that higher velocity region, perform a further
useful function, which because it pertains to high velocity properties, it is useless to
try to explain in any detail.
Those who have special ability to lead people into a higher life perform the duties of
missionaries, or guides. These guides do a great variety of work. They take the newly
arrived person about, explaining to him as much about the new conditions in which
he finds himself as he is able to receive. They endeavor to inspire him with the desire
to live a more spiritual life, quickly to atone for the mistakes made on earth, and to
rise to a position of constructive usefulness.
Devotional Exercises
--Not only are some missionaries, but some also who have special powers of
oratory, through thought-broadcasting, talk regularly to large congregations.
Devotional exercises are not confined to earth, but are a part of the life also of higher
levels. People who follow various other occupations gather together at given times to
listen to those of special spiritual understanding expound their knowledge of the
higher truths.
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Sometimes these devotional exercises are held in immense cathedrals of wondrous
architecture; and sometimes they are held in the open, the chief speaker delivering
his thought-message from some grassy eminence. At such gatherings there is music
of a rapturous nature far surpassing anything known to earth. On earth we are moved
by music; but in these interior regions the finer body is far more responsive, and the
exquisite harmonies pervade it in a most ecstatic manner. Tones are heard that
physical sound can scarcely suggest, and the finer senses of this inner world give a
keener thrill of responsive pleasure.
At these meetings, especially at some of the open-air meetings, where there are trees
and flowers and soft murmuring brooks; those gathered rather commonly expect, in
addition to the music and the discourse, to witness some manifestation from regions
above. These more spiritual manifestations are made possible by the soul upliftment
of the gathered congregation. Their vibrations are raised and intensified,
temporarily, through the music and the devotional exercises; and thus can be used to
enable great beings from still higher spheres to descend amid spiritual splendors into
their midst.
A group from some higher hierarchy may thus descend upon the hill around which
the congregation is assembled; and the main speaker, or preacher, may step to one
side to permit one of these exalted guests to address them. Or the descending great
ones may bring with them some tremendous musical composition which is rendered
before the awe-inspired audience. Or they may bring with them a miniature life-like
and moving representation of the conditions that obtain in the higher sphere from
whence they come; something like a moving picture, except that it appears to have all
the dimensions of actual life. Or the manifestation may be that of building and
dissolving scenery of most magnificent contour and gorgeous colors.
Just what takes place at these devotional gatherings depends upon various
conditions; but it is always uplifting and inspiring. And if visitors from higher realms
have taken part, at the close of the meeting, these ascend, are lost to view, and return
to their own higher estate.
Guides and Missionaries
--But the more familiar form of ministry is that of the missionaries. Not that all of
them consider themselves by this term, but it seems to express the nearest approach
to their kind of work that we have on earth. Welfare work might be nearly as good a
term for their endeavors. But it is a kind of work that not only applies to the slums of
the lower astral, but is carried out, with such variations as is required by planal level,
on every level, as high as I have any knowledge.
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It cannot be considered mere teaching, because the instructions given are mostly
confined to soul-advancement, and not the imparting of technical information about
any single occupation. And, more often than not, the missionary descends from a
plane higher than the one occupied by the person to whom he ministers. He has
studied the process of moving across the planes, and has developed at least some
slight ability to enter a lower plane than he normally occupies and reside there
temporarily, while he encourages those who need such encouragement, and imparts
to them counsel as to what they should do as the next step in their progress.
Because in the region close to the earth there is so great a need of such missionaries to
put those who have passed from the earth with minds full of misconceptions on the
right path, and because such missionaries are rather prominently in evidence in the
regions where those who visit the astral realms temporarily travel, the impression
might get abroad that the next life is a place where no one does much of anything but
explain to someone else how to live a better life. But this would be erroneous;
because life's activities are quite as varied over there as on the earth.
Yet this work of spiritual instruction is well organized in the astral slums. Yes, there
are brave souls who, after special training and preparation, descend into the very
lowest regions, that wherever a single spark of light can be seen, manifesting even the
faintest desire toward betterment, specific instructions may be given that will enable
the proper step to be taken by the aspiring one. To do such missionary work requires a
knowledge of the broad principles of spiritual progress, and a sympathetic
understanding of the disposition, nature, and needs of those approached.
Even on the highest levels of astral life, the knowledge of the spiritual existence, and
how the individual best can reach it, is brought by missionaries from that realm, who
have been able to communicate with those needing such encouragement or
information. For while it is a law of spiritual progress that everyone should give all
the aid he can to his fellows, some can be of much greater aid in other ways. Thus
only those who are especially adapted to this kind of work are missionaries. Yet in the
sense that it is their business to give direct aid to those seeking spiritual advancement,
showing them how to direct their energies for that purpose, these missionaries, or
ministers, have a valuable function on all planes.
Astrologers
--But I can assure you from my own personal experience that astrologers also have a
very important work to perform in the next life. As they ascend higher the work they
perform becomes more difficult, in conformity with their expanding powers.
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Those not too far from earth continue their researches into the astrological conditions
that affect the lives of people still on earth. Whatever of astrological knowledge I
may possess has first been shown me in the astral realms. Not that because I saw it in
the astral realms I accepted it. But because I saw it in the astral realms I started out in
my search for it on earth, and after finding it on earth more or less complete in theory
then devised means to check its accuracy. Such was the process with the Hermetic
System of Astrology.
I have waded through immense books, books probably with leaves larger than any
astrological book on earth, where huge page after huge page was devoted to charts,
with explanations of them. I have watched the astrologers of the inner plane make
calculations, and followed their processes. Then I also have tried to make such
calculations, and whenever I made an error was corrected.
Nor have I found all the astrologers over there infallible, either in method or in
prediction. Some of them still hold to notions that I think are fantastic. Some of them
delight in intricate mathematical processes which seem to me too much involved for
practical use. But, also, I have observed the computations of certain others, of those
who gave me information and methods that I have amply proved. And these I have
followed in their work, finding it accurate and provable as far as I could go; but
quickly reaching a point beyond which my puny mind could not grasp what to them
seemed so plain and simple.
I refer here merely to the calculation of astrological problems affecting the physical
earth and its inhabitants. To calculations that gave them information about what was
going to happen, and when it was going to happen, which was verified subsequently;
but which, because of insufficient brain power I was unable fully to follow.
Nor is this all; for I have witnessed them working with the problems, and charting the
forces operating in higher velocity realms, such as exert their influence on the lives
and destinies of those in the next life. Their charts were not plain surfaces; nor was
their zodiac round, but more like a transparent sphere, with the lines inside as well as
outside of it. And it seemed to me that the astrological forces were calculated as
coming from the inside, from the center, as well as the outside. I did not understand
how this could be; nor did I understand anything about the process they were
following, but I enjoyed it immensely.
People come to our astrological classes in Los Angeles for the first time, and sit
through the meeting without knowing even the meaning of the simplest astrological
term we use. They say that they are not bored because at least we seem to get fun out
of it. And thus I have attended astrological meetings on the astral plane, where they
talked about things quite incomprehensible to me, and had a lively time of it
discussing how certain astrological influences would operate upon certain people or
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groups in the astral world; also about which I knew nothing. But in spite of my
ignorance, I felt they knew what they were talking about, and it certainly was
astrological, and the atmosphere of the place and those in it made me feel that it was
important. So, in spite of my lack of comprehension, the mere feeling that something
astrologically important was being discussed gave me pleasure and interest.
Halls of Learning
--And I might take up, at some length, a description of the halls of learning, in which
discourses are held on other occult subjects. But it is enough to say that many still on
earth who are deeply interested in occult studies rather regularly visit these astral
schools during sleep. The person conversant with the occult forces of nature, as well
as the person conversant with astrology, has an important function to play in the life
after physical death.
Farmers and Miners
--But do not think that the occupations so far mentioned are the only useful ones.
Even the person who has cultivated the ability to be a successful farmer, or a
successful miner, has a vital part to play in the after-life economy.
Basic materials and energies are equally necessary for construction and for activity
on the inner planes as they are here. In the regions not remote from earth there are
forests, and gardens of flowers. Even these do not assume their pleasing distribution
and forms without intelligent supervision. And while thought intensely held brings
things into form, thought consumes energy, and the astral substance used may be of
grades and qualities.
From the universal substance of the level occupied, those with aptitude for it furnish
the proper quality of energy and substance to be used in thought-construction, even
as our miners and farmers here furnish the basic commodities of life. I shall not
attempt to explain this process. Farming and mining as we know it here do not exist
after leaving the region close to the earth. But the abilities of those who specialize in
such work here are not lost. They perform a useful function, and an interesting one,
changing the materials used as higher levels are reached, yet continuing active all the
way up the ascending scale of existence.
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Teachers and Writers
--I suppose I hardly need to mention the function of teachers, writers, publishers,
and accountants in the realms above, because these are people frequently contacted
by those yet of earth. They install the various systems of communication with the
earth plane that are in vogue; including the supervision of seances where messages
and information are given as well as those higher class systems of communication
between the planes by means of voluntary thought- transference. But seances
devoted to materialization are commonly presided over by chemists, and those
where physical force is the chief manifestation usually require the presence of a
physicist.
But either teaching those on the earth-plane, or establishing communications
between loved ones on different planes, is the work of but certain groups. Teaching,
and the dissemination of information, is quite as important a function in the inner
realms as on the outer plane. Children who pass through the portal of physical death,
of course, must take up their schooling on the inner plane. And adults require
technical training to become more proficient with the particular line they have
chosen to follow. I have already mentioned astrological and occult schools; but there
are also schools devoted to every variety of technical education, and other places
where lectures are delivered on subjects of more general interest.
I have already made mention of books in connection with astrology. These books
give way, as the earth recedes, to records of a more direct character kept in the
archives of astral substance. But to be available with facility to a wide public these
records need to be clear cut thought impressions. And it is the function of publishers
to see to it that such are made, and that the vibratory avenues are kept open, so that
anyone desiring any particular information can tune in on it instantly.
Mechanics and Engineers
--This universe is not such a self-starting, unalterable, predestined concern as
materialists conceive it to be. A few years ago five great scientists met to discuss their
divergent views. Jeans maintained that the universe is running down. Millikan
believed that the cosmic rays indicate that it is being wound up as fast as it runs down.
Eddington thought in time it is bound to explode. The papers did not say what Milne
and Lodge thought; but the latter, no doubt, took a more spiritual view.
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As seen from the inner levels the physical orbs are machines just as the materialists
conceive them, except that back of them is an intelligent driving power. That is, they
are machines built and operated by vast intelligences occupying the inner realms of
being. And even as a machine once built and started by a human on earth must
operate according to its plan, so the physical orbs and manifestations run according
to the laws imparted to them by their designers.
This is not an attempt to explain how the material universe came into existence. It is
merely a hint that inventors and machinists and engineers need not despair of finding
something upon which to use their skill and utmost ingenuity, not only in the astral
but also in the highest spheres of spiritual being.
Artists
--Entertainment, through the drama, through fiction, and by means of music and
dancing, finds a place in the after-life. It is not a region of all work, or of all play. It has
its variety of interests. And the beautiful, approached through every avenue, plays a
most important part.
If I had the gift of transcendent description I should try to give a pen-picture of the
beautiful creations you will see in that future realm. But such is entirely beyond my
power. Yet the work of the artist in that realm, whatever the medium of his
expression, is only partly expressed in the external creations of his music, his
painting, his sculpture, his dancing, his fiction, or whatever he uses to give form to
his work. The important thing to him, and to others, is the direct way in which he
conveys the sense of beauty to the very interior nature of others. Operating with
high-velocities, through the avenue of thought-forms he imparts to others and
cultivates in them his own joyous appreciation of the symmetrical, the harmonious,
the beautiful, and all that seems most elevating in life.
Leaders
--In higher realms there is quite as much need of competent organization and a
capable centralized authority as there is here. People strive in the after life to be
leaders, that is, those whose abilities fit them for such service. But they do not, in
higher realms, strive to be leaders while incapable of efficient work. Instead, because
the ability of people, as well as their motives, stand out clearly for all to see, they
strive for ability, well knowing that when they are sufficiently fitted they will be
called upon to act in executive capacity.
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In this we have something that is truly democratic and yet has the seeming of
autocratic government. Leaders are given autocratic authority and full
responsibility. They gain their leadership, not through popular vote in which
appearances often count more than real ability, but because those working under
them, as well as those working over them, perceive their special fitness for the post
they occupy. Their authority is exercised, not through compulsion against rebellious
subjects, but through a common recognition of their ability thus to serve in maximum
degree.