background image
Chapter 6
Serial No. 178
Original Copyright 1942
Elbert Benjamine
Copyright
Church of Light
August 2002
Education and Progress
in the Next Life
background image
Chapter 6
Education and Progress in the N ext Life
AS SOON as you were born into physical life your education as to physical
requirements was commenced, and as soon as you are born into the next life your
education as to the requirements there will be taken up. Whether you desire it or not,
you must have some education on the plane where you dwell. In early childhood you
reach for something, and by getting it, or failing, you begin to acquire some
knowledge of distance. Or you reach for a bee, and get stung, and find that some
things are harmful and other things are beneficial. One thing is sure, whether you
desire it or not, when you enter any plane of existence, education there immediately
confronts you.
And on any plane--physical, astral or spiritual--to the extent that you are able to
acquire correct information and then apply it to the adjustment of your life and the
attainment of your ambitions, do you make satisfactory headway.
Yet even though the requirements of any new plane demand additional education, it
is not impossible to acquire a large measure of it before transference to that plane. We
do not enter physical life destitute of education. For the total of our past evolutiona1y
experiences in lower forms are stored in our finer body. The new-born child knows
how to breathe, requires no instruction in the assimilation of the food given it, and
moves at the prick of a pin or the shock of a violent noise. It Comes into this world,
not endowed with all the animal instincts, but a graduate from them; for their
continued and insistent presence would hamper the higher faculty it now develops;
the power of reason.
Thus also, when we pass to the next life, which we no doubt shall do in the
exceedingly short space of the next century, there will be the necessity of education.
Yet, because practically all the requirements of the next life can be practiced here, as
well as grasped theoretically, we need not await our passing to acquire a proper
education for the next plane. I do not mean that life is so similar that the common
requirements of the physical plane are sufficient for progress over there; for they are
not. But I mean that the requirements of life and progress in the next life may be put
into daily application while here, in spite of physical requirements and limitations.
background image
Now real education on any plane is something quite different from mere schooling. It
implies something more even than a theoretical knowledge of a subject. Education,
to be truly such, must rest upon a working knowledge, and this, in turn, usually
embraces some practical experience. People not only learn by thinking, but they also
learn by doing. And in this broader sense of the word, education goes hand in hand
with progress.
Three Phases of Education
--But progress in the next life is not made by acquiring vast stores of money, nor by
climbing rough-shod over those of superior ability into a position of prominence and
leadership. Instead, it has three chief divisions, all uniting, of course, to promote the
one thing of paramount importance; which is the cosmic welfare. That is, while the
one and only yard-stick with which values are measured in the next life is the amount
an individual contributes to the welfare of others, yet there are three separate phases
of individual development and education that assist him to render high service.
Because, on the inner planes, we can no longer speak of things as being physical, I
shall call these three separate, yet inter-blending lines of education upon which
progress depends, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. Yet these must be
understood to be quite relative terms, as that which we call spiritual has both a mental
and an emotional basis; that which is emotional is associated with thought and has a
determining effect upon the spiritual; and that which is mental is not free from
emotional elements and an influence over the spiritual qualities. Mental, emotional
and spiritual are not entities existing apart from one another. They are different ways
which, for simplicity's sake, we seek to view a single reality.
Mental Education
--That which I here call mental refers specifically to the amount of information at the
individual's command, and his ability to use it for some worthy end. If his
experiences have been harmoniously organized, or reorganized, there is no doubt
that, through this his power to assist others is increased. But under the heading of
mental progress I prefer to disregard these elements of harmony and discord and
consider the availability of information and the person's ability.
But before taking up adult education, a word about the children is not out of place.
Those who pass out in infancy or childhood do not remain in that state of
undevelopment. On the contrary they grow, very much as they grow on the physical
plane, to the adult form. And, according to their capacity to receive it, they are given
an education. There are schools on the astral plane, many of them of surpassing
beauty, where children are instructed. And these schools, in most respects, are far
superior to those on earth.
background image
At least I have never witnessed the harshness there that is sometimes attendant on
schooling in earth-life. And the teachers all seem to be so very fond of children, and
so patient with them, and always so considerate and kind. Nor are these youngsters of
the astral plane just little angels without wings. They are as full of fun and mischief as
the youngsters who attend school on the physical plane. But I do believe those who
have them in charge are selected for special ability to handle children and impart
information to them. One does not see there, at least I never have, some sour old
person who should have been running a factory, or giving legal advice, trying to
teach school. The teachers there gravitate to this work because they have special
ability, and because there is no other line of endeavor they like nearly so much.
Nor are all the youngsters crammed with the same instructions, and given the same
amount of it. The object is to provide for each the special education which will permit
him to get the fullest measure out of life. The child's experiences in earth-life, which
have added to the experiences in prehuman life-forms, have organized thought-cells
in its finer form. The degree of activity, harmony or discord, and the department of
life with which these thought-cells are associated, are the seat of the child's natural
aptitudes and luck-attracting ability. And even as in human life, the prominence of
certain planets, their aspects, and the houses they rule, indicate to those familiar with
astrology just what activities it should engage in to be most happy in its work, and to
contribute most to its own welfare and the welfare of others.
Even as at the commencement of human life on earth, the natural aptitudes with
which a child or an adult is born into the next life, to be of value there, must be given
special activity. The Mars experiences of earth life, or the Saturn experiences, or the
Jupiter experiences, if properly trained may be made to express through channels
highly beneficial to all on the inner plane. But until they are thus given special
training they have a very limited usefulness.
It is recognized by those who are in charge of instructions on the higher levels of the
inner plane that the universe is one great evolving organism in which each soul has its
own particular work to do, and that to the extent it performs this work is it able to
participate in the progress of the whole. Therefore they make an appraisal, through
astrology and other means of the function the individual has natural aptitudes best to
perform; and they select the kind of training that is best suited, not merely to give him
a liberal education, but also to develop the special abilities needed in the cosmic work
he later is to do. They recognize that on all planes there is but one yard-stick for the
measure of the value and fullness of life. That measure is how much it contributes to
universal welfare.
Thus in the training of youngsters more latitude is permitted individual
requirements, individual capacities, and individual leanings. It is not a
namby-pamby system of education; but throughout no pains seem to be spared,
either in environment or in method of presentation, to create a strong desire to learn.
Everything is done to cause the children to desire to attend school, and to desire to
learn. There is very little forcing of any kind.
background image
One of the things which struck me most forcibly is that so much of the instruction is
imparted either through field excursions or through avenues of play. The children are
called upon to do things in their games that give them practical experience with the
things they are being taught. Those who are backward, and those who are
specializing in something unusual, are assigned a special teacher, who studies the
child's individual requirements carefully, and acts in something of the capacity of a
private tutor.
These astral schools for children are efficient, and while not entirely without their
problems in handling refractory youths, they do not make the many mistakes
commonly made in the schooling of youngsters on earth.
Those Who Die Young
--Yet in one respect the failure to grow to maturity and experience the vicissitudes of
adult life on earth is apparently quite a handicap. For the impression is persistent that
almost no amount of astral training alone can give the stability, the rigid resistance to
forces, and the power to endure adversity, that is gained by more extensive
experience in earth-life. No doubt, the cosmic requirements do not demand that those
qualities be so strongly developed in some. I suppose, therefore, those who pass to
the next plane in infancy are being educated for some sphere of activity in the cosmic
scheme which does not call for a certain ruggedness. At least, in such progress as
follows the more strenuous lines in the next life, those who have had plenty of
experience on earth seem to have a decided advantage.
But whether child or adult, there is an effort made to fit each individual for the
particular kind of work to which he is best suited, and in which, consequently, he will
find the most joy. Not that people as soon as they pass to the next life start looking for
a job, or start training for some occupation; because many of them have no idea that
effort is necessary. They think when the earth is left behind that everything they need
will just come to them. They have no more inclination to work, and no more idea of
what they are fitted to do, than they had before passing.
But idleness becomes just as much of a bore on the inner planes as on the one
external. So, after a period given over to adjustment, and another period devoted to
sightseeing, the desire becomes insistent to do something. In the slums of the astral
region there are hoodlums who resist any idea of constructive effort, and they will
continue to occupy the slums until, stirred by a discontent with their lot, they aspire to
a better form of existence. When so moved, their thoughts for something better is
noted by missionaries who regularly visit such regions, and who give them advice on
what to do next to set their feet moving in the right direction.
background image
And in the astral hells there are criminals who have no desire to do anything except
live and satisfy base desires at the expense of others. I do not mean that merely
because an individual has been convicted of some crime on earth that he descends to
such a region. I refer here to those who sometimes are looked up to and respected
while on earth, yet who are dominated by cold and cruel selfishness to such an extent
that sympathy and kindliness have been blotted out in the determination to live and
thrive through the efforts of others. Such individuals do not change in their intent or
their inclination at physical death, and still try to prey upon others. And, when they
can establish some measure of communication with someone yet on earth whose
temporary vibratory frequency rate of thought tunes in to their dominant vibratory
rate, they not infrequently endeavor to gain a vicarious gratification for their criminal
wishes through influencing this individual to such evil acts as are prompted by their
desires. Through vibratory sympathy with the individual on earth they are able to
share his feelings and experiences.
Such vicious people have no desire to accomplish anything for the betterment of
others; and until they are awakened to realize the necessity of unselfish service they
have no chance of rising to higher planes or of bettering their condition very much
where they are. It is the function of the missionaries, as I call them, to give what aid
they can to these individuals in arousing them to the desire for a better kind of life.
And, after they have made sufficient progress to enable them to realize what kind of
work they are best fitted to do, and will, therefore, when accustomed to it, most like;
they are taken in hand by teachers who give them proper instructions.
Finding His Occupation
--More people than might be imagined find the kind of work, while they still reside
on earth, that they are best fitted to perform. They may, due to financial necessity, be
able to follow it only as a hobby, or they may be so fortunately situated as to make it
the main occupation of their earthly existence. But at least they have a pretty fair idea
of what they want to do, in so far as it can be arranged.
And when they pass to the next life, and become somewhat adjusted to it, they will
find that this same line of work is open to them there. As they ascend from lower to
higher levels, the conditions regulating the performance of it, and the demands made
by planal-level, will necessitate alterations in both material and technique; but it will
be the same type of work in its general function, and consequently in the interest it
arouses. When practically all is known about some work on one plane, there is still
plenty to learn about its performance on the next higher plane. Work, thus, like
everything imperishable, is eternally progressive; one step leading to another,
ascending throughout infinity.
background image
As I have implied, many need no particular guidance in finding their cosmic work.
But there are others on both planes who have at least made progress enough to feel
the desire to contribute to the social welfare, who blunder about without anything
definite in view. In fact, either in this life or the next, the individual who does not feel
impelled to undertake something that will benefit others has made no discernible
spiritual progress. He is still in the state where the teachings he most needs are not
technical, but those making plain the meaning and object of life. He is in need of
missionary help. And he can hope to make no progress in the next life, and may
expect a rather hard and dreary time of it, until he gets a different attitude, no matter
how learned he may be in other ways.
But when the desire is felt strongly to enter upon the cosmic work, and the individual
does not know what he should do, it is the function of the astrologer to indicate it to
him. It is much better, of course, if the person can find his real work while still on the
earth-plane, and make some headway with it. But if this is denied him, he will have
the opportunity of finding it in the next life; the first essential of locating it being a
strong desire to be of highest possible service.
Technical Training
--With it finally clear in his consciousness what it is in general that he wants to do,
even though only the first step is marked out in detail, he quite naturally moves into
association with those of similar aspirations, interests and desires for knowledge.
Even on the physical plane it is the common thing for those of similar interests to
arrange places of congregation where they have opportunity to exchange ideas. We
have various trade associations, clubs, fraternities and study groups; and in the next
life there are corresponding organizations.
And in addition to gatherings where ideas are exchanged, there are formal schools
devoted to every conceivable type of technical and general teaching. Chemists have
their laboratories, with competent instructors in charge. There are machine-shops in
the region close to earth where machinery is designed and built, that later on will find
its way to earthly construction through the impression of its thought-form filtering
into the consciousness of some machinist on earth. And there are machine-shops in
worlds of high spiritual level, where models are constructed and displayed, not
merely of physical planetary systems, but of systems of existence that if created, or
when created, in full proportions, would permit the development of still other
sentient, throbbing life.
background image
I have already made some mention of occult schools and astrological colleges
existing on the inner planes, so I will say no more about them here. Nor will I go into
further detail about the various technical schools of which I have been informed, but
which I have never seen. Whatever time one spends in the inner worlds is apt to be
spent, except for excursions of sight-seeing and exploration, mostly amid those
things that are of deep personal interest. Naturally, therefore, I know more about the
schools and processes devoted to teaching astrology, occultism, and nature subjects.
Methods In Teaching
--I should, perhaps, before passing from the subject, try to explain a very common
method used in teaching natural science. It is to cause the process, whatever it is, to
take place in miniature, yet in detail, before the eyes of the class. It is like a moving
picture, except that the thing is represented as a working model. If it is something,
like a flower or an animal, that possesses life, it appears for the time being to have that
life. If it is something that undergoes a change, those changes all take place in plain
view. Changes in vegetation or in animal development or in geological formations,
that have taken ages, are reproduced and speeded up so as to be witnessed in a
comparatively short space of time. And things that naturally move with great speed
are slowed down so that they may be observed at some length.
I am reminded of the moving pictures of flowers as they came into bud, opened and
closed, that Mr. Pillsbury took many years ago in Yosemite National Park. He has
since greatly perfected the process.
The movements of these flowers during several days were reproduced on the screen
in a few minutes of time. But in the process of which I speak, the things in miniature
are there, and may be examined. Their inside workings are quite as visible to the
consciousness of the observer as the outside. And the process can be applied to
showing the development of a civilization, the cause of the fall of an empire, and to
other vast subjects. One can witness the people, in miniature, rushing about the
streets of ancient Rome, and feel the general mental atmosphere they at that time
radiated.
And such processes can be projected of the future. A political system, showing its
chief executives in miniature, and depicting the effect of the system upon the minds
and activities of the people, may be made to run its course, to develop to its highest
peak and then fall into decline, before the eyes of students. But, of course, having no
actual astral records of the past to draw upon to give absolute accuracy, such
projections into the future are only as precise as the power of the teachers running this
kind of a show are to perceive, by their superior astral senses, what is going to
happen. That is, they portray, by this method of thought-form evolution, their idea of
what has taken place in the past, what will take place in the future, and what would
happen if influences were brought to bear in some certain way.
background image
Thus, because the movement of such thought-form representations may be stopped
at any point for thorough examination, in this super-visual-education, all the senses
can be appealed to in making clear technical processes or more general information.
And similar methods are used in some of the schools devoted specifically to
educating the emotional reactions. For, as lending itself not merely to the happiness
of the individual, but as giving them also greater power to do something valuable for
others, those who would make rapid advancement must undergo a training of their
emotional nature.
Emotional Education
--No less than here, discords within the finer body there attract misfortune in the
environment. At the time of a person's birth into physical life the degree of
thought-cell activity of each of the ten different types is indicated by the prominence
of the corresponding planet, the degree and kind of harmony or discord of the
thought-cells is shown by the aspects of the planets, and the departments of life
which they influence are plotted by the houses which the planets rule, in the
birth-chart. But the special channels through which these thought-cells have been
conditioned to express their energies after birth, and the degree in which they have
been conditioned by experiences after human birth or after inner-plane birth to be
more harmonious or more discordant, are not indicated by the chart of birth; nor are
just what specific events these thought-cells will desire and work for at a given time
fully shown by the progressed aspects that give them energy.
It is true that the thought-cells, either while the individual occupies the physical plane
or after he passes to the next life, work for the things they desire, and that what they
desire is influenced not merely by the experiences of the past which formed them, but
also by the planetary energy they at the time receive. And it is true that the events that
come into the individual's life either while on earth or after he has passed to the
higher-velocity plane, are chiefly determined by these thought-cells using such extra
physical power as they can acquire to exert pressure upon the environment. But this
does not imply predestination, because it is within the power of each individual to
alter both the degree of activity of any group of thought-cells and their desires, and to
select an environment which will offer either less or more resistance to the pressure
they exert in trying to bring the events they desire to pass.
It is the organization of thought-cells which we call the soul, or character, or
unconscious mind, which survives the tomb and persists on successive innerplane
levels, and may persist on various successively higher-velocity inner planes. And
whatever harmonies or discords have been built into it by attitudes toward
experiences determine within broad environmental limitations, not only the fortune
or misfortune experienced on earth, but also the fortune or misfortune after passing to
the inner plane.
background image
On no plane is Nature a respecter of persons. Even as our bodies are injured by
chemical imbalances when on earth we permit discordant emotions, so even in more
profound degree on any plane are our finer bodies affected by such emotions, and
groups of thought- cells are given both the energy and the desire to bring unfortunate
events into our lives. You can create as much good karma as you can imagine, and
you can live absolutely free from what is commonly known as sin; but if you permit
yourself to harbor discordant emotions you will suffer through the events which later
will come into your life.
Yet even if you know this, and make up your mind to cultivate only those thoughts
and feelings that will build harmony into the soul, there is still the item of how. And it
is one of the functions of the Religion of the Stars on earth, and of those who instruct
in emotional education on the inner plane, not only to point out the certain results that
follow given thoughts and feelings, but how to cultivate the recommended thoughts
and feelings.
Astrology will aid in the selection of the thoughts and emotions that should be
cultivated. They should be selected for the express purpose of rearranging the
thought-elements harmoniously within the discordant thought-cells which tend to
become active, or to supply these thought-cells with other mental elements which
give them harmony.
The object sought, either on the physical plane or in the next life, is to give the
thought-cells that otherwise would work to bring misfortune into the life, the desire
for events which are fortunate. Therefore when it is observed that a certain type of
discordant thinking tends to intrude into the consciousness, it should be classified
according to its planetary rulership so that both the destructive and constructive
thoughts which express the desires of the group of thought-cells responsible for these
thoughts can be recognized.
When the constructive thoughts which are always to be substituted for the discordant
ones have been selected, to give them the power to remain in consciousness and
displace the unwanted thoughts, they should at start be associated with as many
pleasant thoughts and experiences as possible.
The thoughts thus harmoniously substituted for those discordant will combine with
the thought-elements within the discordant thought-cells in the finer body and give
them the desire to work for those things which are beneficial to the individual. And
because he has better fortune from that time on in his undertakings, he can contribute
that much more to universal welfare.
background image
This is the principle of the thing, but those on the inner plane who know how can
make a miniature model of any individual, in which the lines of extra physical power
are all shown reaching out from the different groups of thought-cells and attracting
the particular circumstance or event. And to explain the operation of the principle of
reconditioning, as above roughly outlined, they can show by animating this puppet
just how a certain kind of thinking modifies the thought-cell activity and harmony or
discord within, and thus changes the direction and power of the extra physical lines,
so that they then exert an influence to attract events of a very different nature.
Thus is it illustrated by temporarily animated figures how, on all planes of being, the
events attracted to the individual are due to the organization of his thought-cells, how
these thought-cells were organized by experiences, and how they can be
reconditioned to give a different fortune. And this study is carried forward by
introducing thoughts of a predetermined type, to show just what effect a certain line
of habitual thinking would produce in the finer organization, and the consequent
destiny of individuals variously organized. The thought-cell organization of those
present is then examined, and by means of these puppets, or experimental miniatures,
which can be constructed closely to duplicate the thought-cell organization of any
individual, it can be shown, by laboratory methods, what the influence would be
upon any individual of certain types of experience when met by a given mental
attitude.
It is recognized that an individual cannot render his maximum services to society if
he continually attracts to himself misfortune in what he undertakes, or if he is
miserable and unhappy. Unfortunately for the effect upon society, it very frequently
occurs that greater ability is organized in association with discords derived from
hardships. This does not detract from the talent, but does detract from its useful
application.
A man may be greater as an inventive genius, for instance, who has the Sun in
opposition to Uranus in his birth-chart, than one who has the Sun trine Uranus. But
the discord within himself, mapped by the opposition in his birth-chart, may attract to
him so many catastrophes and separations that his energies are consumed by them,
and he is unable to bring forth into usefulness the many things he has the ability to
conceive. The man with Sun trine Uranus, even though usually it indicates less
ability, will attract less turmoil and disruption, and because his energies, such as they
are, can he directed into productive channels, he may be a much greater benefactor to
the race.
Now this same principle holds in regard to all ability. Yet in his cosmic work the
individual follows the line in which he has the most ability, rather than the line where
most harmony is indicated. His education in lower life-forms, as well as his human
experiences, fit him for the performance of a certain type of work. And he expands
this ability by further technical and general instructions after he reaches the astral
plane.
background image
But just because one passes to the next life the organization of the finer body is not
markedly altered. The birth-chart there shows, not the same organization with which
one was born into physical life, but whatever modifications, due to the experiences in
human form, have taken place. Whatever discords are within the thought- cells at the
time of physical death, either as unmodified from the time of physical birth, or as
acquired by attitudes toward experiences during human life, are still present. They do
not, in the next life, detract from the ability; but in much the same way as they do
here, they detract from the useful exercise of ability.
These discords are not the essentials of ability, they are merely incidentals of its
development. Yet before the abilities can be exercised to the greatest efficiency,
these discords must be changed into concords. And in these astral schools devoted to
emotional education the individual is shown just what kind of experiences he should
seek, and what mental attitude he should take toward them, in order to reorganize his
finer body so that he will not only be free from irritation and discontent, but also so he
can exercise his particular gifts to full advantage.
In his technical training, and in the exercise of his abilities, the individual may be
called upon to do things that, due to incidental conditioning in the past, he finds
disagreeable. But in these laboratories of emotional education he is taught how to
develop a liking for everything that the requirements of his progress demand him to
do. He thus works to reorganize, through induced emotion, his finer body to a state
where all its essential vibratory rates are harmonious, and he also works to maintain
this completely harmonious organization.
Yet it should not be thought that the next life, even on the highest planes, is free from
discords. Discords are present, and necessary, on every plane of being. They are
necessary to the progress of life even as they are necessary to music. Either life or
music free from any hint of dissonance would be tepid. It is not the entire absence of
harsh notes that is desired, but that all dissonances should be resolved into final
concord.
In the next life astrological forces play upon the finer bodies of people in a manner
not entirely dissimilar to the way they do here. On that plane are certain
astro-influences that well correspond to the progressed positions in the birth-charts
of those on earth. And these astro-influxes, in order, it seems, to give the kinds of
pressure that impel both individuals and stellar systems to struggle and evolve are,
like those we experience here, sometimes harmonious and at other times discordant.
In the next life these also stimulate thought-cell activity within the finer form of man
of corresponding nature. When discordant, they tend to set up discordant
thought-cell activity, and this in turn, if permitted, attracts discordant events. But do
not think of these discordant events as sickness, poverty, and crime; for as we know
them here, these have no existence in the higher realms.
background image
Yet in the emotional education it is taught how these thought-cell discords can be
reconditioned by induced emotion and how they can be diverted into harmonious
channels of expression. We attain to strength and ability only by meeting obstacles,
only by overcoming difficulties, only by solving problems. Discords, while they
persist within our finer form, by the very disagreeable, and often tragical, nature of
the circumstances they bring us, compel us to struggle and find solutions for these
problems of life. And in so far as we make intelligent effort to overcome these
circumstances, we are strengthened and grow in power.
But, for progress and advancement, after a comprehension of the nature and function
of discordant events is attained, there is no necessity for discords within. The
problem of directing the life and destiny is the problem of reconditioning
thought-cell discord and converting it into thought-cell harmony. With a re-educated
emotional nature, and harmoniously reconditioned thought-cells, conditions and
events are attracted of one's own choosing. This is true either on the physical or on
the astral plane.
However, because the individual now perceives his function in the cosmic scheme of
things, and because of his own desire to fulfill his mission, to make the utmost
progress, and to render the greatest service possible, he does not avoid obstacles and
difficult problems. Instead, he goes forth to meet them. They are not difficulties
forced upon him by the attractive powers within himself. They are conditions
existing on whatever plane he finds himself, that he enters of his own volition, and for
the purpose of doing some specific work of value to others, or of gaining some
information.
Events and circumstances, on any plane, do not bring us mental discords. It is only
our attitude toward them that determines whether they will add energies that are
harmonious or discordant to our thought-cells. Even the discordant influx of energies
either due to progressed aspects of the planets in earth life or to corresponding
astrological influences in the next life, that reach the finer body of man, need not be
permitted to stir up discords within. By his own mental attitude, resulting from the
emotional training to find some angle of pleasure with which to transform them into
harmonies, he can prevent any such environmental forces from building discords
into himself.
Of course, should he stagnate, environmental forces quickly would overwhelm him
to the extent of building into him new discords. But if, instead of being shoved about
by the forces and conditions of evolving nature, he takes the initiative as a
co-operator in the evolutionary processes, he has no need of discords within himself,
and can avoid their forming. The difficulties he meets, from thence forth, are those
that lie in the path of accomplishing a greater and greater work and of higher and
higher progress. They are all of his own choosing. He studies and works, not because
he is compelled to, but because he likes to. Instead of doing disagreeable things, he
background image
engages in those things which are of keenest interest, and therefore, afford the
greatest pleasure. The strengthening element of meeting problems and overcoming
obstacles is afforded by his effort to accomplish more and more, in his chosen line of
work, for the benefit of others, and by his effort to rise to higher and more useful
planes.
Emotional education, as carried out in the next life, does not make all difficulties
vanish; for these are naturally present, and are influenced by astrological forces, on
every plane. But it enables the individual to go about his affairs in the joyous spirit
that this new life is a fine game to be played; and it gives him the power to choose a
game to his liking; that is, a line of endeavor suited to his temperament.
Spiritual Education
--One may exercise intelligence and acquire a fund of information while a resident
of any plane. Mere information, as such, has no power to change the vibratory-level
of an individual's existence. Nor does the emotional reconditioning of the
thought-cells of his finer body of necessity convey the individual to a higher plane;
although on the lower levels, the slums and hells close to and below the physical
level, one of the chief characteristics is discord. No doubt, in these terrible regions,
the development of harmonious thought-cells within the astral form would
automatically raise its dominant rate to that of a higher level. But broadly considered,
the harmonies and discords within the finer body determine the kind of events and
conditions attracted on the plane where the individual dwells. They may, and as
indicated undoubtedly do, contribute something to the development of the dominant
vibratory rate of the form; but their chief characteristics is their power to attract
harmonious or inharmonious events.
Yet any real progress of importance carries the individual to a higher plane of
expression, to become the inhabitant of a new world. Each of these worlds, which the
individual occupies only by virtue of his dominant vibratory rates being tuned to it,
has its own schools, industries, and other conditions of existence. They all
correspond in their functions to, but differ in details from, the activities of the earth.
But, as higher levels, or worlds, are reached, these functions become more complex,
and of greater importance in the universal scheme of things. And only as an
individual becomes fitted by developing greater spirituality is he able to perform
these more important pre- requisites, and experience the more intense life and
superior enjoyments of these higher regions.
Progress from level to level is the result of increasing spirituality. Certain types of
experience tend to give the finer body a more intense vibratory rate. Certain mental
attitudes tend toward refinement of the astral form. Thoughts, purified and combined
in proper proportions, raise the general vibratory rate. Desires to give relief to others,
and aspirations for a more noble existence, tend to refine the form and raise the
background image
dominant rate. And when the dominant vibratory rate is sufficiently raised, the old
level seems stuffy, and a place where it is hard to breathe. The individual then,
usually accompanied by a missionary, or guide, ascends to the next higher level, and
there finds an atmosphere, so to speak, adapted to his powers, and greater freedom
for the development and exercise of his faculties.
Right close to the earth-plane he will find very few actual schools devoted to teaching
spiritual development. And below the earth- level he will find none. In these regions
the spiritual education is conducted almost exclusively by missionaries and by
preachers. Not that these are orthodox missionaries and preachers. They convey their
doctrines of spiritual progress, not after the manner of schools and colleges, but by
private conversations or by public discourses in which the advantage of a better life is
pointed out and the individual exhorted to endeavor to rise higher.
Even on the highest planes there are missionaries and preachers, although they there
do not resort to exhortation and the cruder methods of stimulating the aspirations that
are more prevalent at and below earth-level. Instead, on the higher levels they act
more in the capacity of kindly and benevolent advisers; the missionaries acting as
private guides and helpers, and those I call preachers, for want of a better name,
delivering inspiring talks about spiritual things to public gatherings.
But in addition to these, as higher planes are reached there will be found also schools
that devote their energy to imparting correct information about spiritual things, and
instructing individuals how they can make the greatest spiritual progress. These
schools are somewhat after the plan of those devoted to emotional education, except
that their chief aim is to explain the influence of thoughts, acts and environment in
reference to refining the organism and raising its dominant rate.
Here effigies of people may be found, to which have been imparted thought-rates of a
certain wave-length and frequency. Above and below these miniature
representations of people are what appear to be horizontal screens, each separated
from the next screen above or below, by a space of considerable extent. And above
these many horizontal screens is another space in which there are no screens; but
what appears to be other horizontal levels of some luminous force. This upper region
is to represent the still higher velocity, or spiritual, realm.
Then to these effigies are imparted, as the instruction requires, thought-vibrations of
a particular kind. To one may be given the thought-vibration arising from a desire for
vengeance; and after sufficient treatment with this thought-energy, because the
whole vibratory rate has been lowered, the effigy sinks to a lower screen. That is, its
coarsened rates permit it to drop through the screen which previously held it. Then,
perhaps, the rate of thought-energy engendered by mother-love is applied to it; and as
these energies are made visible, the mother-love energy can be seen mixing with the
vengeance energy, acting as a natural antidote, and raising the vibratory rate to what
it was before, the effigy now ascending, to stop at the screen where it was at first.
background image
In this manner, by means of laboratory demonstrations, it is taught to those interested
in these matters, just what effect thoughts, feelings, desires, and aspirations of any
particular quality and in any combination, have toward increasing or decreasing the
dominant vibratory rate of the form. The student is able to witness experiments that
show just how and just why an individual moves from one level of existence to
another. And he has no illusions, after viewing these experiments, that other levels
are less real than the one on which he now temporarily resides. He knows that any
world is real and tangible to those who vibrate to its frequencies.
I do not here wish to imply that all who make progress from one plane to another
higher plane in the next life attend such schools. I merely point out that such schools
exist, and that those so inclined can attend them, and through the aid of the superior
information and help there gained make better headway than they otherwise could.
Others, however, not so studiously inclined, depend on the missionaries and
preachers for instructions on how to live, what to think, and what to do to make
spiritual progress. And they, too, when aspiring, and energetic in the application of
the advice they receive, make quite satisfactory progress.
In the schools devoted to spiritual education the matter is gone into with great
thoroughness and with attention to details. Yet the advice and instructions
promulgated by the missionaries, in their broad outlines, follow the same essential
principles. In all spiritual instruction, wherever given, emphasis is placed upon the
desire to be helpful to others, upon the refinement of the desires and emotions, and
upon the necessity of building a more perfect character which when sufficiently
developed will enable the individual to function in a realm still above the astral.
The preachers and missionaries are content to pass out the general idea, and to give
concrete advice to individuals as applied to their particular problems in reference to
such advancement. But in the spiritual schools I have mentioned, the effigies, as well
as a variety of other means, are employed to give those interested in such matters a
thorough understanding of the whole process.
A great amount of ingenuity is employed to teach those interested just how it is, and
why it is, when the individual refines himself sufficiently, and increases his vibratory
rates through building a superior character, that he moves entirely free from the
various levels of the astral world, and henceforth lives, functions, and enjoys, the
glorious privileges of the spiritual realm.