Understanding The Soul, Astral Realms – Part 5 of 6
In this post we discuss the various astral realms, where the soul goes after death and the conditions that determine which realm a soul will go to.
If you haven’t done so already please read the previous post on understanding the soul
Do you ever wonder if there is truth to the heaven and hell concept?
Do you ever wonder why we are unable to see or experience people who have crossed over after death?
Many religions have espoused the concept of heaven and hell. To a great extent this teaching gave many religions a great deal of power. After all, if you believe you get one shot at your final retirement in either heaven or hell you might be inclined to figure out how to make it heaven. Unfortunately in traditional religion there is a great deal of misinformation and half truths about life after death. We create reality based upon our beliefs and the will of the mind, our experience of life after death is no different. The soul itself has a self-accountability attribute and this plays a part in where we go after death.
There are various levels to the spiritual world and these are commonly referred to as astral realms. These astral realms have been given many names such as:
- Physical plane
- Astral plane
- Etheric plane
- Causal plane
- First heaven
- Second heaven
- Mental plane
- Buddhic plane
- Atmic plane
- Monadic plane
- Spiritual plane
- Divine plane
- Logoic plane
There are a great variety of names given and a great variety of levels given but all sources have one thing in common, they exist as levels. To understand these levels let’s break down a general summary of the levels. Each realm has a vibratory attribute to it with the lower levels vibrating at a lower level and the upper levels vibrating at the highest levels.
Lower Astral Realms
Starting with the lowest levels, these would be considered hell like realms. The lowest of these levels are reserved for those having committed the most heinous acts against creation. Those that end up in these astral realms have used their free will to create great pain and suffering against other souls. When one experiences these realms they are made to suffer in what seems like an eternity of hopelessness. There have been many descriptions of these realms with hell being the most common. When a soul has committed atrocities they find themselves in this realm to reflect on their past deeds and suffer as they have made others suffer. One must suffer the anguish of their own actions until they come to terms with what they have done. Even a soul in this realm will eventually escape by coming to terms with what they have done. When one has fully accounted for their actions and seeks forgiveness they may rise to another level or reincarnate to a life in which more suffering is necessary due to karma. Cause and effect and Karma ensures that one must meet their own actions.
The higher astral realms of this hell like state are still devoid of light and these souls are meant to contemplate their actions in life. A soul in this realm may have been selfish or mean, thinking only of themselves, resulting in a realm of solitude and reflection. Again when one has come to terms with the life just led they can rise to another level and seek to learn. Intention during life plays a major role in determining what is experienced after death. It is possible to hurt others without the intention of doing so therefor they do not incur karma. In these cases a life review can shed light on one’s ignorance. Everything in the spiritual astral realms are meant to teach, just as a physical life experience is meant to teach. As above, so below.
Stratification of the various astral realms through vibrational differences
Recall that in order to maintain some semblance of order and unity and to prevent chaos among souls it was necessary to create levels. These astral realm levels are based on vibrational rates which keep the various souls at different levels. It is possible for those at higher levels to descend to lower levels but rising to higher levels can only be attained through one’s spiritual perfection. In other words a higher level soul can teach or help those at lower levels, but they cannot experience a higher level until they have reached that level themselves. We are all higher spiritual beings belonging to the spiritual levels above us. However when we choose a physical life for the advanced learning it provides, we are temporarily unable to access our higher level. Upon death of our physical body we are once again able to enter our previous higher realm.
Due to the nature of physical life, all things are born and then die. This material physical experience when coupled with free will can incur karmic consequences. Reincarnating to another physical life is the fastest way to rid ourselves of this karma. We think of ourselves as separate and alone while in the physical state. It seems the ultimate knowledge that can be gained from physical life is to realize our oneness with the creator while experiencing a physical life. This is a very challenging task and only those who are dedicated to this endeavor succeed or make rapid progress. Many go through their entire physical experience in this alone, selfish and separated state making little progress in their time here. It may take many hundreds of lives until one has spiritually matured to a point of seeking.
At some point during an incarnated life the soul is ready to reach for a higher level of consciousness during a physical life. It is difficult to say what triggers such a desire. Perhaps choosing an extremely difficult life accelerates our learning. Maybe choosing a life to be of service to others accelerates our consciousness. It would seem like anything else in life, effort and hard work is necessary to produce results. This means a relatively easy life does not provide much in the way of return, whereas continued compassion in the face of long suffering provides a bounty of learning. For more on accelerating consciousness click here
Physical life in the material world is considered one of these astral realms and is located somewhere just below the middle levels. The physical level has its own vibration which is why we are unable to perceive the other levels. There is a fair amount of evidence that access to levels above the physical plane may be reached through certain drugs such as DMT, LSD and Ketamine. By ingesting certain drugs, Shamans around the world have entered some of these different realms. In these realms they are shown what plants will cure certain physical illnesses, (more on this in another post.) This method of accessing astral realms however is only temporary in nature. Other than accessing information at these higher levels, we must still do the work required to achieve these levels permanently.
Entering the middle astral realms there is great unity and joy. A soul in this realm is met by loved ones, teachers, guides and members of their soul group. It is important to note that communication in the spiritual realms occurs differently, ideas and concepts are conveyed by mental thought processes exclusively. These middle realms are what many refer to as heaven. How we experience these realms depends on our state of mind prior to death along with our beliefs of life after death. For a person who has a strong conviction that death is the end of life it is necessary to ease them into their new existence. These people may need to be shown death of their physical body has occurred and they are still alive. Those with strong religious beliefs will be met by the religious figures of their religion. They will also be grouped with similar souls of the same religious beliefs.
Common to all souls is a life review in the presence of a elder council. The life review shows us how we lived our life and the effects we had on others. Nothing I have ever read suggest we view or judge the actions of others, we view only our own actions. We are made to see how we treated people in life. We are also given the ability to see ourselves through their eyes and feel their emotions. If we were mean, selfish, unloving or unkind, we will feel the effects it had on others. If we were loving, kind and generous, we will also see and feel the effects it had on others. During a life review the elders are there to point out things and question us. At no time does anyone judge us, we are the soul/sole judge of ourselves.
In these middle astral realms we learn to control our thoughts. Each soul can pick the environment, dwelling and even the time in history in which to call home. We create this reality by our thoughts alone. We can choose to recreate the house we grew up in or create something entirely out of our imagination. To feel a sense of familiarity we may recreate something we experienced in our previous life(s.) The ability to go anywhere by thinking or to create anything with our thoughts requires great discipline. It also teaches us to guard ourselves against harmful or negative thoughts.
The important point about going to any level is we continue to learn. Life is continuous and therefore staying stagnant is not an option. We communicate with different souls to learn from their experiences and insight. We learn from guides and teachers at higher levels. Our guides will help us in evaluating our growth encouraging us to always to move onward and upward. For instance if one believes that their concept of heaven is the eternal resting place, they will eventually learn there are many facets to existence and one narrow view limits their growth. Stagnation can easily turn into a hell like experience when one becomes bored with existence. We may explore musical talents or artistic talents, attend classes, review history, etc.. We may review previous lives to study past lessons. We may serve in the capacity of helping others. There are always levels below us which need the help of the upper level souls and there are always levels above us to reach.
Eventually in these middle astral realms we may decide to reincarnate. These desires may come through the persuasion of our guides or the desire to even out our karma or we may reincarnate to help others. A number of souls agree to reincarnate into a short life for the benefit of teaching others, these are souls who die as infants or children. When we decide the time is right we work with the council of elders in deciding on the lessons we wish to explore with another physical life. We may even pick a body with some deformity or handicap to gain insight from such an experience. As we raise our consciousness our soul history becomes a bigger part of our consciousness. In other words if we exist in a low level of consciousness, we will tend to keep that level in the spiritual realm. As a result we may keep the memories of the last life lived as if it was all that we know.
Prior to reincarnating we decide on our parents to learn certain attributes and/or experiences based on their personalities and life situation. We are also able to review the major events planned for our life with the intention of learning certain lessons. Once we are ready and the time is right we descend down into the subject body to await birth. Upon birth we may have some memory of goals and ideals picked for our life, but eventually the veil of forgetfulness falls upon us. If we are fortunate enough to remember our spiritual origins during a physical life and seek a state of complete enlightenment during a lifetime, we may end the need for reincarnation.
Eventually all souls will move beyond the need for reincarnation on earth. Once this occurs we may choose to reincarnate only for the purpose of teaching or helping others. The higher realms entail learning beyond what we can comprehend at the lower levels. Eventually we learn the subtleties of manipulating energy or perhaps experiencing higher life forms on other planets. Our ability to control our thoughts is critical to existing in these levels. Before we can exist at these levels we must purge all tendencies of selfishness, separation and focus on ones selfish desires. One thing is clear, as we rise to higher levels of consciousness and vibration our personalities diminish. In other words, our uniqueness diminishes as we take on a universal compassionate and loving unity. There is not much material or information that comes through from the higher levels. At the higher levels we merge into groups of consciousness. These groups of advanced souls use their influence and guidance in communicating with life on various planets helping to guide the evolution on those planets. Eventually we merge into the oneness of the creator becoming the companions and co-creators we were meant to be.
Applying the Idea:
Imagine two continents, let’s say land “A” and land “B.” Land “A” is a difficult place to live, it is filled with pain, loss, fighting and selfishness. Work there can be very difficult but necessary in order to survive. There are places in Land “A” where these conditions don’t exist, but they are very difficult to get to and not many people dedicate the effort to finding these areas. Therefor not many people go to live there. There are many laws and rules which seem very unfair, but little can be done to fight against them. People living in land “A” know very little about land “B.” There are only rumors that land “B” even exist. Once someone has gone to land “B” they don’t come back, therefor people think land “B” is where you are sent to die. Actually a few do come back from land “B” but since it is very few and the stories they tell are too fantastic, many don’t believe land “B” even exist.
Land “B” is a magical place where life is more of a playful learning experience. There is great love, peace and joy with no pain, suffering, fighting or selfishness. Everyone loves one another and it feels like one big happy family. Everyone in land “B” knows everything about land “A.” There are different laws and rules in land “B” but everyone happily follows them. While there is much that can be learned in land “B” there are some things that can only be learned in land “A” and learning is rapid in land “A.” As difficult as it is to live in Land “A” people want to go there in order to learn great things. Everyone who comes from land “A” is greeted with great celebration and many people are curious to know about the lessons learned in land “A.”
Imagine you currently live in land “A,” and at some point in the future you will be forced to go to land “B” People are very fearful of going to land “B.” In this land there are different laws and rules that apply and they are very different from what you experience now in Land “A”. You will not be told when you will go to Land “B” but you know for certain it will happen. After spending some time in Land “B” you would be allowed to come back to land “A” with several exceptions:
- You will lose almost all personal memory of Land “B.”
- You will lose almost all personal memory of your life in Land “A” before you went to land “B.”
- You will not go back to the same place you came from.
- You will not remember anyone you currently know.
- You will in essence start life all over.
- Where you go back to and the conditions of your living arrangements are partially determined by your experience in Land “B”, but also on your current experience in Land “A”.
Based on this scenario, ponder the following questions:
- Do you think you would be better off knowing something about land “B” before going there?
- How different might the experience be for one who studies up on the language and the laws of Land “B” compared to one who must learn only after they are dropped off?
- What if the rules and laws governing Land “B” were partially based on your current life experience in Land “A”?
- In other words what if you could change your experience in Land “B” by changing the experience of how you live currently in land “A”?
- Wouldn’t you at least be curious to know some of this information?
- What if you found out, you have been going back and forth between “A” and “B” for a very long time? What if there was a way in which you could start to remember this fact?
- What if there was a way in which you could stay in land “B” forever?
This is a very simple way of looking at spirituality and the soul. It allows us to contemplate how our physical life and our spiritual/soul life exist concurrently and how they are closely tied together.
In the final post on “Understanding The Soul – Part 6 of 6” we will bring it back down to earth and summarize life during this physical experience.
Please share if you found this post to be meaningful. I would love to hear your comments and thoughts… Thank you for reading : )