From: PAUL RUDYK Refer#: NONE
To: ALL Recvd: NO
Subj: THE ASTRAL WORLD Conf: (80) Paranormal
There is a little book I found a number of years ago at a local
meta-physical book store. It is called "The Astral World - Its Scenes,
Dwellers and Phenomena." - by Swami Panchadasi - When I went back to find
another copy for somebody who was interested I could not find it...and
have never seen it since.
It has no date saying when it was written, and it has no copyright notice.
I assumed then that it would be OK to "duplicate" it which I have done, so
now I can hand out little books at will. I am sure the author would not
mind at all that his words be transmitted across the BBS world. If someone
happens to know Swami, you can ask him for me...
It is possibly one of the best accounts I have found on the subject of
what to expect in the Astral World - even though I have read only about 4
books on the subject. So turn your capture mode on, or save each message
linked into a file and print it out with your favorite Word Processor:
THE SEVEN PLANES.
Every student of occultism, from the humblest beginner to the most
advanced pupil, has a full realization of the wonders of that strange
plane of being known as The Astral World. The beginner, of course, has
not the privilege of actually viewing life on this plane, except, perhaps,
in exceptional cases, or under extraordinary circumstances. But even he
finds constant reference to the subject in the treatise his studies, and
soon discovers that that particular plane is the scene and field of some
very strange phenomena.
As he advances, and learns more of the occult laws and principles, he
develops still greater interest in the subject. And, when he reaches the
stage in which he is able to actually sense (by astral vision) on this
plane, he finds that a new world of experience has opened out before
The oldest occult teachings, as well as the latest, inform the student
that there are Seven Planes of Being. The lowest of these planes is that
which is known as the Material Plane. Second in order is that which is
known as the Plane of Forces. The third is that which is known as the
Astral Plane. The fourth is that which is known as the Mental Plane.
Above these four planes are three higher planes, known to occultists,
but which have no names that can be understood by those developing only on
the lower planes, and which are incapable of explanation to those on the
lower planes. I shall refer to some of these higher planes, in this
little book, as we proceed, but shall make no attempt to describe them for
the reasons just given. Our subject for the present consideration is
merely the Astral Plane, and we shall find sufficient interesting facts in
considering the phenomena of that plane without attempting to penetrate
the veils of those still higher.
It should be mentioned at this point, that each of the Seven Planes has
seven sub-planes and that each of these sub-planes has its own seven
subdivisions; and so on to the seventh degree of subdivision. So, you
see, there is a most minute classification in the occult teachings.
The student of occultism, at the beginning, usually experiences
difficulty in forming a clear conception of the meaning of the word
"plane" as used in the occult teachings. Consulting the dictionary, he is
apt to get the idea of a plane as one of a series of straight layers - one
part of a great strata - above and below which are other layers or strata.
It usually is quite difficult for the occult teacher to eradicate this
erroneous idea from the mind of his pupils, and to substitute the correct
This error arises from thinking of these planes of being as composed of
matter, or material substance, which, of course, is incorrect. When it is
remembered that even the densest form of matter itself is composed of
vibrations of energy (as recognized by modern science), and that the
Forces of Nature are but manifestations of vibrations of energy, one
begins to find the key. Instead of the planes rising one above the other
in the scale of the fineness, of matter, they are graded according to
their respective degrees of vibration of energy. In short, they are
planes of vibrations of energy, and not planes of matter at all. Matter
is simply the lowest degree of vibrations of energy, that is all.
The second common source of error, on the part of the beginner in
occultism, is that of picturing the planes as lying one above the other in
space. This conception, of course, naturally follows upon the error of
thinking of the planes as a series of layers or strata of fine matter; but
it also often persists even after the student has grasped the idea that
the planes are grades of vibration, rather than of matter. But, finally,
the student is impressed with the idea that the planes are not "layers" or
"strata" at all.
The planes do not lie one above the other, in space. They have not
spatial distinction or degree. They interpenetrate each other in the same
point of space. A single point of space may have its manifestations of
each and all of the seven planes of being.
Some of the old occultists sought to explain this condition of things
to their students in the words of a very celebrated ancient teacher, who
originated the aphorism: "A plane of being is not a place, but a
state of being." No words can give a better explanation of, or aid, to,
the correct mental conception of the idea of a "plane" in the occult sense
of the term.
To those students who may find it difficult to form the idea of a
number of manifestations, each having its own rate of vibration, occupying
the same point of space at the same time, I would say that a little
consideration of the phenomena of the physical world will perhaps serve as
an aid in the matter. For instance, every student of physics knows that a
single point of space may contain vibrations of heat, light of many
shades, magnetism, electricity, X-rays, etc., etc., each manifesting its
own rate of vibration, and yet not interfering with the others.
Every beam of sunlight Contains many different colors, each with its
own rate of vibration, and yet none crowding out the others. By the
proper laboratory apparatus each kind of light may be separated from the
others, and the ray thus split up. The difference in the colors arise
simply from the different rate of etheric vibrations.
Again it is possible to send many telegrams along the same wire, at the
same time, by using senders and receivers of different vibratory
keynotes." The same thing has its corresponding analogy in the case of
wireless telegraphy. So, you see, even on the physical planes we find
many forms of vibratory manifestation occupying the same point of space at
the same time.
The Material Plane, with which we are all familiar, has, of course, its
seven sub-planes, and likewise its seven-times-seven series of
subdivisions, as have all the seven planes. At first we are apt to think
that we are perfectly familiar with every form of matter, but this is far
from being the case, for we are familiar with only a few forms. The
occult teachings show us that on certain of the fixed stars, and some of
the planets of our own chain, there are forms and kinds of matter as much
lower in vibration than the densest form of matter known to us, as these
dense forms are lower than the highest ultra-gaseous forms of matter
recognized by us. And, on the other hand, the same teachings inform us
that there are in existence, in other worlds, and even (to an extent) in
our own, forms and kinds of matter as much higher than these highest forms
of ultra-gaseous matter known to us, as the said known forms are higher
than the densest form of matter now known to us. This is a startling
statement, but every advanced occultist knows it to be true.
Physical science formerly classified matter as follows: (1) solids; (2)
liquids; (3) gaseous. But modern science has found many forms of matter
far more tenuous and rarer than even the finest gas. It now calls this
fourth class "ultra-gaseous matter." But occultists know that beyond this
fourth sub-plane of matter which science is just now discovering, there
lie three other, and still finer, sub-planes, of which science at present
has no conception.
Next higher in the scale of manifested being, we find what is known as
the Plane of Forces, of which very little is known outside of occult
science, although, of later years, physical science has been breaking into
this field. In the next twenty years physical science will proceed
further in this direction. The research into radioactivity is leading
toward further knowledge regarding this plane of manifestation.
On the Plane of Forces, we find the seven sub-planes, and likewise the
seven-times-seven subdivision. There are forces far below the scale of
the ordinary forces of Nature known to man. And, likewise, there are
great series of Nature's Finer Forces at the other end of the scale, of
which the ordinary man - even the scientist - knows nothing. It is these
finer forces which account for many of the wonders of occult science. In
particular, the fine force called "prana" or "vital force," plays an
important part in all occult phenomena.
Next above the scale of the Plane of Forces, we find the great Astral
Plane, the consideration of which is the purpose of this little book.
In the occult teachings we find frequent references to what are called
"the astral regions," and the inhabitants and phenomena of said regions.
Like the term "plane," this term "region" has caused much
misunderstanding. The old occultists used it in a loose sense, knowing
that their pupils clearly understood the real significance. They did not
care whether or not other persons understood. But the modern
investigator, without the benefit of a teacher, often finds himself
confused by this mention of "regions" of the Astral Plane, and frequently
finds himself thinking of them in the sense of the "heavens and hells" of
the old theology - as definite places in space. But these astral regions
are nothing more than vibrational manifestations on the Astral Plane,
which have no special reference to any set-aside portion of space, and
which manifestations may, and do, occur at almost any point of space. The
astral regions occupy the same space as the material regions, neither
interfering with the other.
The term "astral" is derived from the Greek word meaning "related to a
star," and was originally used in describing the heavens of the Greeks -
the abodes of their gods. From this sense and usage the term widened in
application, until it was employed to indicate what might be called the
"ghostland" of the ancient people. This ghostland was believed to be
inhabited by beings of an etheral nature, not only disembodied spirits,
but also angelic beings of a higher order.
The ancient occultists of Greece, and other Western lands, thus
naturally fell into the custom of using the familiar term to indicate that
which we know as the Astral Plane in modern occultism. Of course, the
Oriental occultists had their own terms for this plane of manifestation,
which terms were derived from old Sanskrit roots, and which were much
older than the Greek terms. But, as the use of Sanskrit terms has a
tendency to confuse Western students, the best Oriental teachers, today,
in teaching Western students, almost always use the old Greek occult
At this point, I must answer a question which usually presents itself
to the mind of the intelligent student at about this particular stage of
the teaching. It is probably in the mind of the student who is reading
these words, at this particular moment. The Question may be stated as
follows: "How is it possible for anyone to speak intelligently of the
phenomena of the Astral Plane, if that plane is on a higher vibratory
scale than the physical senses. How can one visit, and perceive things on,
the Astral Plane, without his body being dematerialized?"
This question is a natural and perfectly fair one, and evidences the
inquiring mind which the true occultist always possesses. And no true
occult teacher will hesitate for a moment in frankly answering it. For,
remember this always, my students, the occult teaching is not based merely
on the principles laid down as "gospel" by the old occultists. Respect,
yes! Great respect is paid to these old teachings, of course, but every
advanced occultist knows that he must actually experience the
manifestation of occult phenomena before he can positively pronounce the
same to be an occult truth. Such experience comes to every advanced
occultist, when he reaches the necessary stage of development which alone
renders such experience safe for him. Like the scientist, the true
occultist learns by his own experience, built upon the recorded previous
experience of others. To the advanced occultist the phenomena of the
Astral Plane is just as real - just as readily sensed - as is the
phenomena of the material plane to those functioning upon it.
But, to answer the question: One does not have to disintegrate or
dematerialize his physical body in order to visit or sense the Astral
Plane and its phenomena. There are two avenues of approach to the Astral
Plane, as follows: (1) by the employment of the astral senses; and (2) by
visiting in the so-called "astral body." Let us consider each of these
avenues in turn.
By the term "the astral senses," occultists indicate that wonderful
secondary set of senses, corresponding in office to the five physical
senses, by means of which man is able to receive impressions on the Astral
Each of the physical senses of man has its astral counterpart, which
functions on the astral plane just as the physical senses do upon the
material plane. Thus every man has, in latency, the power of seeing,
hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, on the astral plane, by means of
these five astral senses. Nay more, as all advanced occultists know, man
really has seven physical senses instead of five, though these additional
two senses are not sufficiently developed for use in the average person
(though the occultist of fair attainment generally unfolds them into use).
And even these two extra physical senses also have their astral
In the cases of persons who, accidentally or through cartful training,
have developed the power of astral vision - perception through astral
sight - the scenes of the Astral Plane are perceived just as clearly as
are those of the material plane perceived by the physical sense of sight.
The ordinary clairvoyant has flashes of this astral vision, as a rule,
and is not able to sense astrally by an act of will. The trained
occultist, on the other hand, is able to shift from one set of senses to
another, by an act of will, whenever he wishes to do so. In fact, such
occultists may function on both planes at the same time, in this way, if
they so desire.
In cases of clairvoyance, or astral visioning, the occultist remains in
his physical body, and senses the phenomena of the Astral Plane quite
naturally or easily. It is not necessary for him even to enter into a
trance condition, or any abnormal mental state or condition. And still
less is it necessary for him to leave his physical body in such cases. In
the instance of the higher form of clairvoyance, he may even sense events
both on the physical plane, as well as the astral planes, at a distance -
though, strictly speaking, this belongs to a somewhat different order of
occult phenomena. To vision astrally, the occultist has merely to shift
his sensory mechanism, just as the operator of the typewriter shifts from
the small letter type to the capitals by a shift-key. This, then, is the
simplest and most common way of occult sensing on the Astral Plane. It is
possible to many to whom the second method is impossible.
The second avenue of approach to the Astral Plane is that in which the
individual leaves his physical body, and actually travels on the Astral
Plane in his astral body. The astral body is composed of an etheral
substance of a very high degree of vibration. It is not mere matter, and
yet is not mere force - it is composed of astral substance which resembles
very fine matter, but which is far more tenuous than anything that is
known as matter. Ordinarily the astral body can be sensed only by means of
the astral vision, but under certain other conditions it takes on the
semblance of a vapory form of matter, and is perceptible to the ordinary
physical senses as a "ghost" or "apparition," even when the person is in
physical life. The astral body is an exact counterpart of the physical
body, but survives the latter by a number of years. It is not immortal,
however, and finally disintegrates and is resolved into its original
elements just as is the physical body.
The advanced occultist, in his astral body, is able to leave his
physical body (which remains in a state of sleep trance) and to visit at
will on the Astral Plane, even at points in space far removed from his
He, however, is always connected with the physical body by a thin,
cobweb-like, filament of etheral substance, which extends or contracts as
he travels away from, or toward, the sleeping physical body. l[f this
filament is broken by an accident on the Astral Plane, his physical body
"dies" and he is never able to return to it. Such accidents are rare, but
occult history has records showing their occasional occurrence.
Many persons are able to travel in the astral body, during ordinary
sleep, but usually have no recollection of the same upon reawakening. The
occultist, on the other hand, travels consciously, and with a purpose, and
always is wide-awake on such journeys. He is as much at home on the
Astral Plane as on the physical one.
And so, student, you see how the occult teaching regarding the Astral
Plane has been obtained; and how such teaching has as firm a basis in
actual experience as have those based upon physical observation,
experiment, and experience. Moreover, every occultist may verify the
teaching for himself - in fact actually does so.
REALITY OF THE ASTRAL.
It is customary among occultists to speak of the Astral Plane, simply
as "the Astral" as for instance "out in the Astral;" "visiting the
Astral;" "phenomena of the Astral;" "inhabitants of the Astral," etc.,
etc. The student may as well familiarize himself with this use of the
term "the Astral," in order to understand, and be understood by, others
interested in occult study. Accordingly, I shall from now on use this
term, "the Astral," as indicating the Astral Regions, - the Astral Plane -
without further explanation.
One of the hardest things for the elementary student to realize is that
the Astral is just as real, abiding, and fixed as is the material world.
Just as steam is actually as real as water, or even as ice, so is the
Astral just as real as the world of the physical senses. For that matter,
if we could see our world of matter placed under a sufficiently strong
magnifying glass, we should perceive it not as a great body of solid fixed
matter, but rather as an aggregation of an infinite number of the tiniest
particles themselves built into atoms; these built into molecules; and
these built into solid masses.
The space between the ions of the material atom is as comparatively
great as the space between the planets of our solar system. And every
ion, atom and molecule is in constant and intense motion. Under a glass
of sufficient power, there would seem to be nothing solid in the material
world. If the magnifying glass were to be raised to an infinite power,
even the ions would melt into seething nothingness, and there would be
nothing left but the ether which has no weight and which is imperceptible
to the senses even when aided by the strongest instruments of the
laboratory. So you see, the solidity of things is merely relative and
comparative. The vibration of substance on the Astral is higher than
those of the material plane; but even the Astral vibrations are far slower
than those of the next higher plane, and so on.
To the traveller on the Astral the scenery, and everything connected
therewith, seems as solid as the most solid material does to the physical
eye. It really is just as solid as is the astral body in which you visit
it, for that matter. As for reality, the Astral is just as real as is the
material, in every respect.
The Forces of Nature are not perceptible to the physical eye, except as
manifesting through matter - but they are very real as all of us know by
experience. you cannot see electricity, but when you receive its shock
you realize its reality. You cannot see the force of gravity, but you
become painfully aware of its reality when it drops an apple on your head
; or causes you to fall suddenly when you make a misstep on the curb of
the street. In fact, it is realized by all advanced occultists, that if
there really can be said to be any degrees in reality between things, the
balance is in favor of the finer forms of substance and forces, and
against the less fine.
So, student, never permit yourself to think of the Astral as something
comparatively unreal, or as only relatively existent. I, of course, am
not speaking of Reality in the metaphysical sense of the term, for in such
sense the entire manifested universe, including all of its planes, is
unreal as compared to the One Reality. And, again, do not permit yourself
to think of the astral senses as being one whit less real, reliable and
important than those of the physical body. Each class of sense perception
has its own proper field in which it is king. Each is master in its own
realm. And there should be no attempt to draw distinctions of reality
between them At the last, they are all but the mechanism of consciousness,
or "awareness" each adapted to the peculiar requirements of its
The Astral has its scenery, geography (!), and "things," just as has
the material world. These things are just as real as are England, the
Vatican, St. Paul's, the Capitol at Washington, Broadway, Picadilly, or
the Rue de la Paix; the Great Redwood Trees of California, the Grand
Canyon, the Alps, or the Black Forest. Its inhabitants are just as real
as any of the great men of the country in which you live, or those of any
other country, whose names I hesitate to call, lest they pass from this
material plane and thus become "unreal" even before these printed words
pass before your eye, so impermanent are the inhabitants and things of
even this real (!) material world.
The law of constant change operates on the Astral just as on the
material plane. There, things come and go, just as they do here on the
material plane. Stop a moment and concentrate on the gist - the matter,
and you will see that the difference between the things of the two planes
is simply like the difference between red and blue - simply a difference
in the rate of vibration of substance. And, this again, is the cause of
the difference between steel and hydrogen gas, between electricity and
light, between magnetism and heat - simply a difference of vibrations of
Moreover, and this is quite important to the student, the Astral has
its laws just as has the material world. These laws must be learned and
observed, otherwise the inhabitants of the Astral, as well as the visitor
thereto, will reap the result which always comes from broken natural laws.
Again, there exists what may be called the "geography" of the Astral,
if this material- plane word is permitted in this connection. There are
regions, points of space, places, kingdoms; countries, etc., on the
Astral, just as on the material plane. Sometimes these Astral regions
have no connection with any on the material plane, while in other cases
they have a very direct connection with and relation to, material places
and the inhabitants thereof.
One may travel from one region of the Astral to another, by simply an
act of will which raises the vibration of the astral body, without it
moving a point in space. Again, one may travel in space from one point to
another on the Astral, in cases where these points have some relation to
points on the material plane.
As an instance of this latter form of travel, I would say that one may
travel in the Astral from Berlin to Bombay - in but the twinkle of an eye,
as regards time, - by merely wishing or willing to do so. Yes! Time and
space have their manifestation on the Astral. But, nevertheless, certain
Astral manifestations, on its seven-times-seven sub-planes, may be, and
likely are, present THERE in, at, and on, the exact point of space which
you are occupying at this moment on the material plane - and this very
moment of time, NOW!
If you have the knowledge and power, you, without leaving your seat,
may traverse all of these sub-planes, one after the other, witnessing
their scenery and inhabitants, their phenomena and activity, and then
return to the material plane - all in a moment of time, and without
changing a single point in space.
Or, if you prefer, you may travel to any of these sub-planes of the
Astral, at your point space, and then travel in space on the Astral to
some other place on that sub-plane, and then have the choice of returning
either the same way by which you came, or else descending to the material
plane and travelling on it, in your astral body, back to where your
physical body is resting. Read over these last two paragraphs, until you
get the idea clearly fixed in your mind, for by so doing you will be able
to comprehend more easily that which I shall have to say to you in the
following chapters of this book.
In travelling on the Astral, one meets with many strange inhabitants of
that wonderful realm of Nature - some pleasant and others unpleasant.
Some of these inhabitants have passed on from the material plane, while
others have never dwelt there, these latter forms being natives of the
Astral and peculiar to itself.
In my personal class instruction, I have found it advantageous to my
students for me to describe the phenomena of the Astral to them in my
lectures, in the form of the story of a trip in the Astral, rather than as
a dry, technical description. In such lectures, I assume that the
students are present on the Astral with me, and that I am acting as their
guide. In this way, a much clearer conception of the subject seems to be
gained by them. After careful consideration, I have decided to follow this
same plan - in part, at least - in some of the following chapters. I need
scarcely add that the descriptions given are based upon the actual
experiences of advanced occultists, including myself, and are not dogmatic
statements of theory, conjectures, or speculations of mere "book
occultists." Every fact herein stated may be verified by the experience
of any advanced occultist.
PASSING THE BORDER.
I do not deem it advisable to enter into a description of the technical
details attendant upon the process of passing out of the physical body
into the astral body of finer substance. Any description of this kind,
even though it be but merely a suggestion of the facts, might give an
untrained person at least a hint of the process, which might lead him to
experiment, and which might bring upon him very undesirable results. I
shall pass over this stage, for the reasons stated, which will meet with
the approval of every advanced occultist and careful student of occultism.
Now, student, you find yourself outside of your physical form or body,
and clad in your astral form alone. You probably think that I am joking
with you, for as you glance at your body you find that it appears not
different from your ordinary one. Even your clothing is the same, to the
most minute detail - this occurs through perfectly natural laws on the
Astral plane, which I cannot take time to explain at this time.
You realize, however, that you are indeed out of the physical body,
when you turn your head and perceive your own physical form, as well as
mine, seemingly sunk in sleep in the arm chairs in which we seated
ourselves a few moments ago.
Looking a little closer, you will see that your astral form as well as
mine, is connected with its physical counterpart by a tiny, thin, tenuous
filament of ethereal substance, resembling a rope of shining spider-web
silk. This filament is capable of expansion, and contraction, and enables
you to move about freely.
Now concentrate your attention as you have been taught to do, and will
that your vibrations increase in rate, but in perfect harmony with mine,
so that you will keep in my company instead of moving on to other
sub-planes or sub-visions, parting with my company. You would not find it
exactly safe or pleasant to leave my presence, until you have learned to
pilot yourself in these strange waters.
You will find yourself with me in a strange atmosphere, although you
have not moved an inch in space. Behind you, so to speak, you perceive
dimly the room in which we were just living; and ahead of you, so to
speak, you perceive strange flashes and streaks of phosphorescent light of
different hues and tints. These are the vibrations and waves of force,
for you are now passing through the Plane of Forces. That vivid, bluish
streak is the passage of some electric current - probably a wireless
message flashing through space. Back of you, on my table, you see the
magnetic ore, or lodestone, paper-weight, which always lies there. But
now you see the peculiar phosphorescence around its poles, which is not
visible on the material plane.
You also notice a peculiar faint vibratory glow around every physical
object - this is the force of atomic and molecular attraction, etc. Still
fainter, you find a peculiar radiance permeating the entire atmosphere -
this is the outward sign of the force of gravitation. These things are
all very interesting, and if you were a learned physicist, or great
physical scientist, you could scarcely be dragged from this plane, so
interesting would be the study of force made visible. But, as you are not
such a person, you will see more interesting sights ahead of you.
Now, you feel your life force vibrating at a higher rate, and realize
that the sense of weight seems to be dropping from you. You feel as light
as a feather, and feel as though you could move without an effort. Well,
you may begin to walk. Yes, "walk," I said! You are still on earth, and
the floor of the room is still there under your feet.
Let us walk through the wall of the room, and out into the street.
Don't be afraid, step through the wall as if it were made of fog. There,
you see how easy it is. Odd thing, really stepping through a brick and
stone wall, isn't it. But it's still more odd when you stop to consider
that as we moved the wall really passed through our thin substance,
instead of the latter passing through the wall - that's the real secret of
Now let us walk down the street. Step out just as if you were in the
flesh - stop a moment! There you let that man walk right through you!
And he never even saw you! Do you realize that we are ghosts? Just as
much a ghost as was Hamlet's father, except that his physical body was
mouldering in the ground, while ours are asleep awaiting our return to
them. There! That dog saw you. And that horse vaguely feels your
presence! See how nervous he is! Animals possess very keen psychic
senses, compared to those of man.
But cease thinking of yourself, and look closely at the persons passing
by you. You notice that each one is surrounded by an egg-shaped aura
extending on all sides of him to the distance of about two or three feet.
Do you notice the kaleidoscopic play of blending colors in the aura?
Notice the difference in the shades and tints of these colors, and also
observe the predominance of special colors in each case! You know what
these colors mean, for I have instructed you regarding them in my teaching
on "The Human Aura, and Astral Colors."
Notice that beautiful spiritual blue around that woman's head! And see
that ugly muddy red around that man passing her! Here comes an
intellectual giant - see that beautiful golden yellow around his head,
like a nimbus! But I don't exactly like that shade of red around his body
- and there is too marked an absence of blue in his aura! He lacks
Do you notice those great clouds of semi-luminous substance, which are
slowly floating along? - notice how the colors vary in them. Those are
clouds of thought vibrations, representing the composite thought of a
multitude of people. Also notice how each body of thought is drawing to
itself little fragments of similar thought forms and energy. You see here
the tendency of thought forces to attract others of their kind - how like
the proverbial birds of a feather, they flock together - how thoughts come
home, bringing their friends with them - how each man creates his own
Speaking of atmospheres, do you notice that each shop we pass has its
own peculiar thought atmosphere? If you look into the houses on either
side of the street, you will see that the same thing is true. The very
street itself has its own atmosphere, created by the composite thought of
those inhabiting and frequenting it. No! Do not pass down that side
street - its astral atmosphere is too depressing, and its colors too
horrible and disgusting for you to witness just now - you might get
discouraged and fly back to your physical body for relief!
Look at those thought forms flying through the atmosphere! What a
variety of form and coloring! Some most beautiful, the majority quite
neutral in tint, and occasionally a fierce, fiery one tearing its way
along toward its mark. Observe those whirling and swirling tiny cyclonic
thought-forms as they are thrown off from that business house. Across the
street, notice that great octopus monster of a thought-form, with its
great tentacles striving to wind around passing persons and draw them into
that flashy dance-hall and dram-shop. A devilish monster which we would
do well to destroy. Turn your concentrated thought upon it, and will it
out of existence - there, that's the right way; watch it sicken and
shrivel! But alas, more of its kind will come forth from that place.
Here, will yourself up above the level of the housetops - you can do it
easily, if you only realize that you can - there, I have helped you to do
it this time, it's quite easy when you once gain confidence. However, if
you lose confidence, and grow afraid, down you will tumble to the ground,
and will bruise your astral body.
From this height look down around you. You will see a great multitude
of tiny candle-like lights - each represents a human soul. Here or there
you will see a few much brighter lights, and far apart you will see some
that shine like a brilliant electric spark - these last are the auric
symbols of an advanced soul. "Let your light so shine!" Behold the
radiance emerging from that humble house of religious worship, and
contrast it with the unpleasant auric atmosphere of that magnificent
church structure next door to it - can you not read the story of
spirituality and the lack of it in the cases of these churches?
But these sights, interesting though they be, and as useful as they are
in illustrating the lessons you have learned in the class, or from the
manual, are far less in the scale than those which we shall witness in a
moment. Come, take my hand. Our vibrations are raising. Come!
SOME LOWER SUB-PLANES.
Now, student, we are entering the vibrations of the lower sub-planes of
the Astral. You must nerve yourself to witness some unpleasant sights,
but be not afraid for nothing can harm you here while I am with you. Were
you alone here, lacking the knowledge of self-protection, you might find
the experience very terrifying. But, even then, though you lacked the
higher knowledge, if you would but maintain a positive mental state, and
deny the power of the Astral inhabitants to harm you, you would still be
safe. A firm mental attitude, and the assertion of your own immunity will
act as a barrier through which these influences cannot penetrate.
Your first impression is that the material world is still around you,
with all its scenes plainly visible. But, as you look you will find that
there seems to be a peculiar veil between the scenes and the plane upon
which you are temporarily dwelling. This veil, while at least
semi-transparent, nevertheless seems to have a peculiar appearance of
resistant solidity and you find yourself instinctively realizing that it
would be a barrier to the passage of the astral entities back to the
I now change our vibrations, for a moment, to those of a very
unpleasant subdivision of the lowest sub-plane. This is the subdivision
which the old occultists were wont to call "the Astral cemetery." We
shall stay on this plane of vibrations but for a moment, for it furnishes
a ghastly sight, and its atmosphere is most depressing. Now, hold tight
to me, and press close up to me, for you will instinctively feel the need
of protection. Gazing around you on all sides, you will see what appear
to be the disintegrating forms of human beings, and even some animals.
These forms seem to be floating in space. They seem real, and yet, some
way, not real. You realize that they are not physical bodies, but still
they bear too close a resemblance to physical corpses to be pleasant.
Take one good look around you, for I shall change our vibrations in a
There, we have left that scene behind us! But before proceeding
further, we shall pause a moment and consider what we have just witnessed.
These disintegrating astral forms are what occultists know as the
"astral shells." The astral shell is really an astral corpse, just as the
physical body in the grave is the material corpse. For, as we shall
presently see, the disembodied soul eventually leaves the Astral and moves
an to what the occultists know as the mental or spiritual planes of being,
which are symbolized by the race conception of "the heavens," of which all
religions teach. When the soul so passes. on, it leaves behind it the
astral body it has inhabited while on the Astral. This astral body, or
form, then begins to disintegrate, and in time disappears altogether,
being resolved to its original elements. During this process, it dwells
on this particular division of one of the lower subdivisions of the lowest
Astral sub-plane. This particular division has no other purpose, and is
separate and apart from the other subdivisions.
There is a great difference between the astral shells of different
individuals, so far as is concerned the duration of the shells in this
particular place of disintegration. For instance, the astral of a person
of high spirituality and ideals will disintegrate very rapidly indeed, as
its atoms have little or no cohesive attraction when once ie is discarded.
But, on the other hand, the astral shell of a person of earthly ideals and
material tendencies will hold together for a comparatively long time, so
strong is the attractive force generated while the shell is occupied by
Those astral bodies are "dead" and have no consciousness or
intelligence, and as a rule cannot even be galvanized into appearing a
life as can the class of astral forms known as the "spectres," or
"shades," which belong to a slightly different category, and which we
shall now glance at for a moment. There! Gaze on the scene for a moment,
before I change the vibrations again.
Our momentary glimpse of the subdivision of the Astral upon which the
spectral forms abide, was not a pleasant one, but it is interesting
because it explains some peculiar features of psychic or occult phenomena
which is often misinterpreted. You noticed that instead of floating about
in astral space, as did the shells which we saw a few moments back, these
spectres acted like shadowy human beings in a dazed or dreamlike
condition. You saw them walking dreamily about, without set object or
purpose - a weird, unpleasant sight.
These spectres are really astral shells from which the souls have
departed, but which have left in them sufficient power, arising from the
former thought and will vibrations of their owners, to give them a
temporary semblance of life and action, This power gradually wears away,
and the shell then sinks to the subdivision which we saw a little further
back. In the meantime, it dwells on this particular subdivision.
In the case of the soul with high ideals and spiritual aspirations,
there are practically no material thought vibrations remaining to
"galvanize" the astral body after the soul has withdrawn itself. Its
higher nature has neutralized these lower, but strong, vibrations. But in
the case of the soul retaining strong material thoughts and desires, the
power is much stranger. In the latter class, even after the higher nature
of the soul has drawn it upward, above the Astral, these lower mental
vibrations may persist in the deserted astral form, and thus give to the
latter a semblance of life and activity which, though a counterfeit, may
manifest considerable power for a time.
The counterfeit power of these spectral forms steadily decreases, but
in some cases it persists for a comparatively long time. As a rule, the
power disappears in the way stated, but in certain other cases it is used
up, as a spark is rendered bright by blowing upon it, by means of a
psychic stimulus from persons living on the material plane. I am now
alluding to the power generated in "circles," and through mediumistic
persons, on the our plane or earth life. The psychic power so generated,
coupled with the strong mental attraction set up between persons in earth
life and the spectral form, may cause the latter to manifest itself to the
former, either by more or less complete materialization, or by partial
manifestation through the physical organism of the medium, or mediums,
In such a case, the spectre, reanimated and "galvanized" into seeming
life by means of the psychic power of the medium, or those composing the
psychic circle, will strive to manifest itself by speech, automatic
writing, raps, or otherwise. But, at the best, its efforts will be feeble
and faulty, and the persons witnessing the phenomena will always remember
the same with the dim idea that "there was something wrong about it" -
something was found to be lacking. In some cases, the vibration of old
memories will survive in the spectral form, which will enable it to answer
questions fairly well, and to allude to past experiences. But even then,
in these cases there will be a shadow of unreality which will impress the
Remember, there are many other forms of "spirit return" partial or
complete, but much that passes for the real phenomena is really but a
manifestation of the presence of these spectral forms of whose real nature
we have been made acquainted by our glimpse into their region of abode.
Moreover, these entities (if they may be called by that name) borrow ideas
and impressions from the minds of the mediums or persons in the circle, in
addition to their own shadowy memories, and thus doubly become reflections
These spectres have really no soul. The soul which formerly occupied
the form has departed to a higher plane, and is in ignorance of the
performance of its discarded shell. It is pathetic to witness cases where
these counterfeit spectral form are accepted as the departed soul of the
individual, by those who loved him in earth rife. A lack of knowledge of
true occultism often permits of deplorable mistakes of this kind. The
true occultist is never deceived in this manner. These spectres are no
more "departed souls" or "spirits" than a galvanized physical corpse is
the individual which once inhabited it, though the current may cause it to
move its muscles and go through the motions of life. It remains a corpse
and discarded shell - and that is just what the spectral form is, plus the
remaining vibratory echoes of its old mental life.
You very naturally inquire: "But where are the disembodied souls,
themselves? I expected to see them as soon as we crossed the border of
the Astral!" Yes! That is the general expectation of the neophyte in
occultism, when he gets his first glimpse into the Astral scenes. But,
unless he happens to stumble at once upon certain sub-planes, he is apt to
be disappointed. But, the better way ' is to let you learn the story by
viewing the various sub-planes, at the same time listening to my
explanation of that which you witness on them.
You will notice that our vibrations are now changing, and growing more
intense. We are now entering upon a very wonderful sub-plane, or rather,
upon one of the subdivisions of such a plane.
This region, I ask you to remember, is one the entry to which is
strictly guarded by the law of the Astral, and watched over by certain
very high spiritual influences. It is a sacred place. No one is admitted
here as a visitor, unless he be of high spirituality and pure heart. Even
a trained occultist, unless he possess these qualifications, finds it
impossible to enter these vibrations. This region is the resting place of
the disembodied souls for some time after they have left the physical
body. In it they dwell in peaceful slumber, until Nature performs certain
work in them for their new plane of life. This stage has been compared to
the cocoon-stage, between the stage of the caterpillar and that of the
butterfly, In which stage a complete transformation is effected, and the
wings of the new life are developed to take the place of the old crawling
We are now on this particular sub-plane. Enter upon a contemplation of
its wonders, with all reverence and love of all mankind. On all sides,
stretching away as far as the eye can see, you perceive the slumbering
forms of disembodied souls, each astral form resting in dreamless sleep.
And, yet, even if you were not so informed, you would recognize that these
forms are not dead, but are merely sleeping. There is none of the
atmosphere of death or corpses about this region. Nothing depressing, you
notice. Nothing but a sense of infinite calm and peace. Being
spiritually developed yourself, you doubtless feel the presence of certain
great spiritual entities - though you see them not, because their
vibrations are too high for you to see them even by astral vision - these
are the great spiritual guardians of this realm, who protect the slumber
of the souls at rest herein the Great Watchers of the Sleeping Souls.
If you will watch carefully, you will notice here and there a movement
indicating the awakening of some of these resting forms. A moment later
the form disappears from the scene - it seemingly melts into nothingness.
But it still is existent - its vibrations simply have changed, and it has
moved on to another sub-plane, or division thereof, without having been
aware of the scenes of this place. It has begun its real life after
death. Let us move on, leaving this scene behind us, while I explain to
you some of the phenomena of this period of existence of the disembodied
soul. Let us pause here, on the quiet sub-plane, until the matter is made
plain to you.
It is a common teaching of many religions that the disembodied soul
enters at once upon its heaven or hell. The Roman Catholic Church, and
some branches of Buddhism, however, teach of an intermediate state called
Purgatory, or a similar name. Some denominations of the Christian Church
hold that all souls slumber in unconsciousness, until the call of the
great trumpet of Judgment Day, when all awaken from their long sleep and
are judged and sent to the place of reward or punishment, as their cases
may deserve. You see on the Astral some things which show you that all of
these views have a basis in fact, and yet how imperfect are these
conceptions of the theologies!
All occultists know, however, that nearly all of the original religious
teachers had a very complete knowledge of the real facts of the Astral,
and higher planes, and merely handed down to their followers such
fragments of the truth as they thought could be assimilated at the time.
All of the theological teachings regarding the Life after Death - heavens
and hells - contain some truth, but none contain all the truth.
In the majority of cases, the mind of the dying person sinks into the
slumber of so-called death, and awakens only after a period of restful,
transforming slumber upon the Astral, in the region we have just seen. In
some cases, however, there is a brief waking, like a semi-awakening from
a dream, shortly after the departure from the physical body, in which case
the astral body may appear, visibly, to some friend, associate or loved
one - or even in the scenes in which the person usually spent much of his
time, as, for instance, his office, shop, study, etc. This accounts for
the occasional instances of the disembodied person so appearing, of which
there are many well authenticated cases. But even in such event, the
disembodied soul soon becomes drowsy, and sinks into the preliminary sleep
of the Astral, moving on to the region we have just left.
There is a great difference in the time in which the disembodied soul
slumbers in this state. Strange and paradoxical as it may appear, the
highest and lowest souls in the scale of development, awaken first. The
average soul slumbers far longer than either. I will explain the reason
of this to you in a moment.
The highly spiritual person, needing but comparatively little
transformation to fit him for the higher planes, may slumber here only a
very short time, and then passes on to some of the higher astral planes;
or, in cases of high development, may omit these higher astral planes, and
pass on at once to the plane or planes above the Astral - into what
occultists know as the "heavens," which, technically, are regions of the
mental plane, and the ones still higher. The average soul, however,
slumbers a much longer time, many years, perhaps, and then awakens upon a
higher astral plane suited to its requirements.
The low, material soul, as a rule, awakens very speedily, and passes at
once to the low plane for which it has an affinity. But, note this
difference: the highly developed soul awakens speedily, for the reason
that it has less to slough off and be transformed into higher attributes -
the work is already partially performed.
The average soul, on the other hand, requires a much greater
transformation for its scenes of higher activities, and so remains much
longer in the transforming sleep; and, last (note the seeming paradox, and
its explanation), the low, material soul awakens speedily, not because it
has been transformed easily for the higher scenes, but, on the contrary,
because it is not destined for these higher scenes - it never reaches
them, but descends to a low plane of the Astral, where it lives out its
low inclinations and ideals, until it finally sickens of them, at least to
an extent, and then is ready for further transformation.
All souls, however, high or low, eventually move off the Astral and
enter into the place, or rather the state, of the Mental Plane, or the
regions of the "heavens," leaving their astral shells behind them. Some
of the highest, as I have said, mount to these planes without any
intervening stay on the higher Astral, but the majority have their share
of Astral life, higher and lower.
On the "heaven" planes, the spiritual souls spend great periods of time
enjoying the well-earned bliss. Souls lower in development spend less
time there. The low, material souls, scarcely taste the experience of
those high regions. I shall speak further regarding this, as we proceed.
As a general rule, I would remind you, the higher the advancement of a
soul, the greater the time between its incarnations; and vice versa.
There are special cases, however, such as the call to duty on the part of
a high soul, or a strong attraction to another, or others, approaching
reincarnation, which may bring back a high soul in a shorter time than it
really deserves - this is simply renunciation. however, on the part of
the high soul, and is not a violation of the general rule as stated a
Let us now change our vibrations, and visit some of the scenes of
Astral life, in which the awakened souls are living, moving, and having
their being. A few actual illustrations of life on these planes will
teach you more regarding this great subject, than would volumes of books,
or years of verbal teaching. Let us begin at some of the lowest
sub-planes, and their divisions - the sight is not pleasant, but you will
gain a valuable lesson.
SCENES OF THE ASTRAL.
We are now vibrating on a very low subdivision of the lowest sub-plane
of the Astral. You are conscious of a very unpleasant feeling, and an
almost physical repulsion to the atmosphere around you. Some very
sensitive natures experience a feeling of being surrounded by a dense,
sticky, foul, foggy atmosphere, through which they must almost force their
way, when they visit these regions. It is akin to the feelings
experienced by a high-minded spiritual person on the earth plane, if he
happens to enter a place inhabited by persons of a lewd, vulgar, depraved
nature and character - this magnified many degrees by reason of the astral
It is no wonder that one of the old Egyptian writers, whose work
survives on graven stone, said, some four thousand years ago: "What manner
of foul region is this into which I have foolishly come? It is without
water; without air; it is unfathomably deep; it has the darkness of the
blackest night, when the sky is overcast with dense clouds, and no ray of
light penetrates their curtain. Souls wander hopelessly and helplessly
about herein; in it there is no peace, no calm, no rest, no quiet of the
heart or mind. It is an abomination and desolation. Woe is the soul that
Looking around you, in the dim, ghastly light of this region, you
perceive countless human forms, of the most repulsive appearance. Some of
them are so low in the scale as to seem almost beast-like, rather than
human. There are still lower forms on the subdivisions just below this
one, but I shall spare you the disgusting sight. These creatures are
disembodied souls, in the astral body, living on the low plane to which
they descended when awakening from their very brief astral sleep.
If you will peer through the enveloping fog, you will become conscious
of the presence of the material world as a sort of background. To you it
appears detached, and removed in space, but to these creatures - these low
souls - the two planes seem to be blended. To them, they appear actually
to be abiding in the scenes and among the persons of the lowest phases of
earth life. Even you find that you can see only the very low earth-scenes
in the background - the higher scenes appear blotted out with great
smears, like a censored newspaper page in war times. To these poor souls
there is no earth world except these scenes which accord with their old
But while apparently living amid these old familiar and congenial low
earth-scenes, these souls are really suffering the fate of Tantalus. For
while they plainly see these scenes, and all that is going on in them,
they cannot otherwise participate in the revels and debaucheries which
they perceive plainly - they can SEE only - as for the rest they
participate only vicariously. This renders the place a veritable hell for
them, for they are constantly tantalized and tormented by sights of scenes
in which they cannot participate. They can exercise simply "the lust of
the eye," which is but as a thorn in the flesh to them. On all sides, on
earth-life, they see their kind (in the flesh) eating, drinking, gambling,
engaging in all forms of debauchery and brutality - and while they eagerly
cluster around, they cannot make their presence felt (under ordinary
circumstances) nor can they participate in the scenes which they witness.
The lack of the physical body is indeed a very hell to them, under such
The astral atmosphere of low dram-shops, pool rooms, gambling halls,
race tracks, "free-and-easies," brothels, "red-light" districts - and
their more fashionable counterparts - are filled with these low astral
forms of souls across the astral border. Occasionally, they are able to
influence some earth companion, who is so saturated with liquor, or
overcome by drugs, that he is physically open to such influences. When
they so influence him, they strive to lead him into further degradation
and debauchery, for, in so doing, they obtain a reflex gratification, as
it were. But I shall not dwell upon this subject - it is too loathsome.
In some instances, the sojourn on this low astral sub-plane sets up
such a strong desire for rebirth in the flesh, among similar scenes, that
the poor soul eagerly presses forward toward reincarnation on a similar
low plane. In other cases, I am glad to say, the experience so sickens and
disgusts the poor soul that it experiences a revulsion and disgust for
such things, in which case the current of its desires naturally carries it
in the opposite direction, and it is given the opportunity to rise in the
scale of the Astral, where its better tendencies are encouraged, and a
better rebirth finally results.
At the end, however, in nearly all cases "living-out" results in
"out-living," and even the lowest rises in time. Some few souls, however,
sink so low as to be incapable of rising, and they meet the final fate
(not of damnation) of annihilation. Even in these hells of the astral,
however, the degraded souls are "punished not for their sins, but by them"
as an old writer once forcibly stated it.
But this particular scene is not the only one on this sub-plane of the
Astral - it has many counterparts. I cannot take time to show them all to
you, or to describe them in detail. I can illustrate the idea, however,
by stating that close to the scene you have just witnessed, is another in
which the actors are those miserly, money-loving souls, who have sold all
their better nature for the mess of pottage of worldly gain. The
punishment, by the sin rather than for it, is similar to that of the low
souls in the preceding scene. They are tormented by the sight, but are
tantalized by not being able to participate. The result is practically
similar to that mentioned in the last case - some find desire increased,
and others find disgust and nausea and thus seek the way to higher things.
There are hundreds of similar regions on the lower Astral, some of
which are much higher, however, than those we have just considered. All
of them serve as a Purgatory, or place of the burning-out of desires of a
low kind - not the burning of material flames, but by the fire of the
desire itself, as we have seen. This idea of burning away, or purging, of
the low desires, is found to permeate nearly all religions, and has its
basis in the facts of the Astral.
Changing our vibrations, and mounting to higher sub-planes, we pass
rapidly from scene to scene. You appear astonished to notice that many of
these scenes seem to be set to scenery, like a great theatre. You notice
with wonder the artificial nature of this astral scenery, and wonder at
the fact that the people on these scenes seem to regard this scenery as
natural and real, instead of make-believe. It all seems very shadowy and
imperfect to you, but very real to them. The secret is that the scenery
is the creation of the minds of those taking part in the scenes, and those
who have preceded them on this plane. It is all make-believe - a mirage,
so to speak - but very real to those taking part in the scenes.
It is not the purpose of this little book to describe the chemistry of
the Astral by means of which it is possible for the mind to build up
scenery, etc., from the astral substance. To the advanced occultist, who
has studied deeply the occult chemistry, the matter is as simple as is the
formation of ice from water, which in turn was once steam - and at the
same time as wonderful. The traveller on the Astral always will bear
witness to the wonders of that plane, the scenery of which is all built up
in this way, though he may not be able to explain the chemistry of its
In this way, on the various higher planes of the Astral, including some
of the comparatively lower planes, we find beautiful mountains and
valleys, rivers and lakes, cities, towns, villages and country land - in
fact, all forms of scenery known in earth life. We also see buildings of
all kinds, and all varieties of household utensils, implements, furniture,
etc. All are built from the astral substance by means of the imaginative
minds of the dwellers on those planes. To the visitor they seem most
unreal - one can actually see through them, and on all sides of them at
one time, as in the case of a transparent crystal. But to the dwellers on
the Astral they are as solid and real as are their material counterparts -
and no doubt regarding their solidity ever enters the mind of the Astral
And what is the purpose of all this theatrical make-believe of the
Astral you well ask. You will see in a moment, when I give you the key
that unlocks the secret doors of the Astral life and its meaning.
LIFE AND WORK ON THE ASTRAL.
What I have just said regarding the nature of the astral scenery must
not be taken as indicating that the Astral, itself, is merely imaginary or
unreal in any sense. Nor is the substance of which the scenery is
composed any less real than the substance of which the material world is
composed. On the material plane, substance manifests as matter; while on
the astral plane it manifests in a finer form of "stuff" or material.
Again, on the material plane, the material, or matter, is shaped by the
physical forces of nature, or, perhaps, by the mind of man using the
original material in order to build "artificial" structures or forms.
On the Astral, on the other hand the astral material is not thrown into
shape by physical forces, but is shaped and formed only by the thought and
imaginative power of the minds of those inhabiting that plane. But these
shapes, forms and structures of the astral material are not to be thought
of as existing merely in the mind of the astral dwellers. They have an
independent existence of their own, being composed of astral material,
though shaped, formed and built up directly by the mind-power of the
astral dwellers, instead of by the physical forces of nature.
The astral scenery, etc., survives the passing away of the mind which
built it up, and disintegrates only after the passage of considerable
time, just as do the material things on the earth plane. As for the power
of the imagination of man, do not be deceived for a moment - for this is
one of the most efficient powers in nature, and operates strongly even on
the material plane, though on the Astral its power is more easily
recognized by the senses. To the dwellers on the Astral, their scenery,
buildings, etc., are as solid as are those of the material plane to the
Passing through the various sub-planes, and their divisions, on the
Astral you notice a great variety of scenery, and a great difference in
the character and occupations of the inhabitants. But, you notice one
general characteristic underlying all of the differences, namely, the fact
that all of these persons (astral dwellers) seem to be filled with an
intense earnestness, and manifest a degree of concentration which gives to
them an appearance of being preoccupied. This, often, to such an extent
that they seem to be oblivious to our presence and passage through their
midst, unless we address them directly. Again, everyone seems to be busy,
even when their tasks are those of sport or play.
The key to the occupation and pursuits of the dwellers on the Astral is
found in the principle that the life of the soul on the comparatively
higher divisions of the Astral consists in a working out of the
intellectual desires, and ordinary tendencies, tastes, likes, and
aspirations which they were unable to manifest fully in earth-life. I do
not mean the low sensual desires, or purely animal tastes, but rather the
"ambitions" and similar forms of desires of strong inclinations. Many of
these inclinations may be very creditable and praise-worthy, rather than
otherwise, but they are all concerned with physical manifestations, rather
than with spiritual unfoldment and evolution in the strict sense of these
terms. The higher planes are those in which the spiritual forces bud and
flower, and bear fruit - the Astral, even on its highest planes, is the
scene of the living-out, and working-out, of earthly intellectual and
similar ambitions and aspirations.
The higher the plane of the Astral world, the less are the old earth
scenes in evidence, even in the shape of the dim background we saw as we
progressed on our journey. As we mounted on the scale, these old earth
scenes grew very dim, and where we are standing now, on the fourth
sub-plane, they are practically out of sight. This particular sub-plane
is not particularly elevating, but nevertheless is interesting to the
As we pass from scene to scene, we see the "happy hunting grounds" of
the American Indians, thickly settled with these old aborigines who have
been dwelling there for quite a period of time. They are busy, and happy
hunting their astral buffaloes, and other game (all artificially created
by their imagination, from the astral substance, and having no real
existence as living, feeling animals). A little further on, we witness
similar forms of the "Spirit-land" of other primitive people, in some of
which the disembodied warriors fight and conquer great hosts of artificial
foes, and then have great feasts according to their old customs.
Valhalla is here, as well as the other imaginary Paradises of the old
races of men. But their inhabitants are dwindling in number, being caught
up in the current bearing them on to reincarnation. But, note this, that
while there is nothing elevating in the pursuits followed in these scenes,
there is nothing degrading or lowering, from a strictly spiritual point of
view. But, there is in evidence always a living-out, and wearing-out, of
the old desires of this kind, to make room for higher ones - all tends
toward spiritual evolution.
Raising our vibrations rapidly, and passing over many degrees of scenes
of this kind, we find ourselves on a considerably higher plane. Here we
see men engaged in what would be called "useful work" in earth life. But
they are performing it not as labor, but rather as a joyous recreation.
Observing closely, you will see that the work is all of an inventive and
constructive nature. The men and women are perfecting that in which their
interest was engaged while on earth life. They are improving on their
work, and are filled with the joy of creation. They remind one forcibly
of Kipling's mention of the future state when: "...no one shall work for
money, and no one shall work for fame; but each for the joy of the
working." On some of these sub-divisions we see the artist busily at
work, turning out wonderful masterpieces; also musicians creating great
compositions, of which they had vainly dreamt while in earth-life. The
architect builds great structures - the inventor discovers great things.
And all are filled with the joy of work, and the ecstacy of creative
But, make not the mistake, student, of regarding this as merely play,
or as possibly a form of reward for well-done world work, though, of
course, both of these elements play their part in the general working of
the Law. The main thing to remember is that in this work on the Astral,
there is an actual mental advance and progress.
Moreover, in many cases, here on these very planes of the Astral there
is being built the mould from which will actually pour great inventive and
creative achievements, on the material plane, in the future incarnations
of these souls now doing work on this plane. The Astral is the great
pattern shop of the world. Its patterns are reproduced in matter when the
soul revisits the earth scenes. Many a work of art, musical composition,
great piece of literature, or great invention, has been but a reproduction
of an Astral pattern. This will help to explain the feeling common to all
great performers of creative, imaginative or intellectual work - the
strange feeling that their work is but a completion of something at which
they had previously wrought - a re-discovery, as it were.
Again, in this work-play of the Astral, the soul is always at work
using up old ideas, aspirations, etc., and discarding them finally. In
this way real progress is made, for after all even earth-life is seen to
be largely a matter of "living-out and out-living" - of mounting higher on
the steps of each mistake and each failure. In the work of the Astral
many old ideas are worked out and discarded: many old longings exhausted
and discarded; many old ambitions manifested and then left behind on the
trail. There is a certain "burning up, and burning out" of old mental
material, and a place made for new and better material in the new earth
life. Often, in this way, on the Astral there is accomplished as much in
the direction of improvement and progress, as would be possible only in
quite a number of earth-lives. Life on the Astral is very earnest and
intense - the vibrations are much higher than on the material plane.
Bearing this principle in mind, these Astral scenes which you are now
witnessing take on a great and new meaning. You recognize them as very
important schoolrooms in the great school of life. Work is being done
here that can not be accomplished elsewhere. Everything has its meaning.
There is no waste effort, or useless activity in the universe, no matter
what the careless observer may say to the contrary. The Astral is no joke
of the universe - it is one of its great, real workshops and laboratories
of the soul. It has its distinct place in the work of spiritual unfoldment
HIGHER PLANES AND BEYOND.
Raising our vibrations a little, we now enter upon the great second
sub-plane of the Astral, with its seven subdivisions and its many minor
divisions and regions. Almost before I tell you, you will feel the
religious atmosphere pervading this region, For this is the plane upon
which the religious aspirations and emotions find full power of
expression. On this sub-plane are many souls who have spent some time on
the other sub-planes of the Astral, doing their work there and then
passing on to these scenes in order to manifest this part of their
But, I wish to call your attention to the occult distinction between
"spirituality" and "religion." Spirituality is the recognition of the
divine spark within the soul, and the unfoldment of the same into
consciousness; while religion, in the occult sense, consists of observance
of certain forms of worship, rites, ceremonies, etc., the holding to
certain forms of theology, and the manifestation of what may be called the
religious emotions. The religious instinct is deeply implanted in the
hearts of men, and may be called the stepping-stone toward true
spirituality - but it is not spirituality itself. In its higher forms, it
is a beautiful thing, but in its lower ones it leads to narrowness and
bigotry - but it is a necessary step on the Path, and all must mount it in
order to reach higher things.
This second sub-plane of the Astral is filled with a multitude of souls
each of whom is endeavoring to manifest and express his own particular
shade of religious conception. It may be said to contain all the heavens
that have ever been dreamed of in theology, and taught in the churches -
each filled with devotees of the various creeds. Each of the great
religions has its own particular region, in which its disciples gather,
worship, and rejoice. In each region the religious soul finds "just what
he had expected" and hoped to find on "the other shore." Some remain
content in their own place, while others growing dissatisfied drift toward
some sub-region, or group, which comes nearer to their newly awakened
conception of truth.
In passing rapidly through these regions, you will find that each has
its own particular environment in exact accordance with the beliefs of the
persons inhabiting it. Some have the appearance of a plain, old-fashioned
meeting house, on an immense scale; while others resemble a gigantic
cathedral, filled with gorgeous decorations and paraphernalia, and echoing
with the sound of glorious litanies and other ritualistic forms of
worship. Each has its officiating priests or preachers, according to its
regulations. You see at a glance that the environment, scenery, buildings,
decorations, etc., are built up from the astral substance by the
imaginative power of the minds of those congregating at each point. All
the stage-setting and properties are found fully in evidence (I say this
in all seriousness, and with no attempt to be frivolous or flippant) - you
may even see the golden crowns, harps, and stiff haloes, in some cases,
and hear the sound of "the eternal chant of praise."
I regret to be compelled to call your attention to the regions of some
lower forms of religion, in which there is a background picture of a
burning hell, at which the devotees gaze with satisfaction, feeling the
joy of heaven intensified by the sight of the suffering souls in hell. It
is a satisfaction to tell you that the suffering souls, and their hell,
are but fictitious things created by the imagination from the astral
substance - a mere stage setting as it were. Dante's Inferno has its
adequate counterparts on the Astral Plane.
I ask you, particularly to gaze upon this most horrible scene before
us. A large severely furnished edifice is shown, with seated congregation
wearing stern, hard, cruel faces. They gaze toward the top of a smoking
bottomless pit, from which rises a sort of great, endless chain, each link
having a huge sharp hook upon which is impaled a doomed soul. This soul
is supposed to rise to the top of the pit once in a thousand years, and as
each appears it is heard to cry in mournful accents: "How long - how
long?" To this agonized question, a deep stern voice is heard replying:
"Forever! Forever!" I am glad to tell you that this congregation is
dwindling, many evolving to higher conceptions, and practically no new
recruits arriving from the earth-plane to fill the depleting ranks. In
time, this congregation will disappear entirely, and the ghastly stage
scenery and properties will gradually dissolve into astral dust and fade
from sight forever.
All forms of religion, high and low, oriental and occidental, ancient
and modern, are represented on this plane. Each has its own particular
abode. It would delight the heart of a student of comparative religion to
visit these scenes. There are some beautiful and inspiring scenes and
regions on this plane, filled with advanced souls and beautiful
characters. But, alas, there are some repulsive ones also. It is
marvellous, in viewing these scenes, to realize how many forms human
religion and theology has taken in its evolution. Every form of deity has
its region, with its worshippers. It is interesting to visit the scenes
once filled with the worshippers of the most ancient religions. Many have
only a handful of worshippers remaining on this plane; while in some
cases, the worshippers have entirely disappeared, and the astral scenery
of the region, its temples and shrines, are crumbling away and
disappearing just as have the old temples disappeared on the material
On the highest of the sub-planes of the Astral we find many regions
inhabited by the philosophers, scientists, metaphysicians, and higher
theologians of the race - those who used their intellectual power in
striving to solve the Riddle of the Universe, and to peer Behind the Veil,
by the use of intellect alone. High and low are met with here. There are
as many schools of philosophy and metaphysics here, as there were
religious sects on the plane below. Some are pitifully weak, crude and
childish in their conceptions - others have advanced so far that they seem
like demi-gods of intellect. But even this is not true "spirituality,"
any more than is the religious formalism and dogmas of the plane below.
All has its place, however, and everything is evolving and unfolding.
It is interesting to note then on this plane, and the one below, are to
be found groups of disembodied souls who persist in declaring that "there
is no hereafter for the soul;" "the soul perishes with the body;" etc.
These deluded souls believe that they are still on the material plane, in
spite of appearances, and they have built up quite a good counterfeit
earth-scenery to sustain them. They sneer and sniff at all talk of life
outside of the physical body, and bang their astral tables with their
astral fists, to prove how solid all real things are - they believe only
that which is solid and "real." This, indeed, is the very irony of astral
You have noticed certain glorious forms on these regions, student, as
we have passed through these scenes, and I have promised to inform you as
to their character. These were those highly evolved beings, once men like
ourselves, who have voluntarily returned from higher spheres to teach and
instruct along the lines of religion and philosophy, combining the best of
both, and leading upward toward Truth those souls who have arrived at a
possible understanding of these things. It is verily true, on the Astral
as well as on the earth plane, that "when the pupil is ready, the Master
appears." The Astral has many, very many of these Elder Brothers of the
Race, working diligently and earnestly for the uplift of those struggling
on the Path.
I may say here, that an understanding of the nature of the various
regions of the Astral, and the scenes thereof, will throw light upon the
fact that the reports of "the other side" given by disembodied souls at
spiritualistic seances, etc., are so full of contradictions and
discrepancies, no two seeming to agree. The secret is that each is
telling the truth as he sees it in the Astral, without realizing the
nature of what they have seen, or the fact that it is, at the best, merely
one aspect among millions of others. Contrast the varying "heavens" just
mentioned, and see how different the reports would be coming from some of
their inhabitants. When the nature of astral phenomena is once
understood, the difficulty vanishes, and each report is recognized as
being an attempt to describe the Astral picture upon which the disembodied
entity has gazed, believing it to be actual and real.
I wish here to tell you, student, some little about the planes higher
than the Astral. These planes transcend adequate description. Enough to
say, here, that each soul on the Astral, even the very lowest, finally
sinks into an astral slumber when it has completed its work on that plane.
Before passing on to rebirth, however, it awakens for a time upon one of
the subdivisions of the next highest plane above the Astral. It may
remain awake on this plane, in its appropriate subdivision, for merely a
moment of time, or for many centuries even, depending upon its state of
spiritual unfoldment. During this stay on these higher planes, the soul
communes with the higher phase of itself - the divine fragment of Spirit -
and is strengthened and invigorated thereby. In this period of communion,
much dross of the nature is burnt out and dissolved into nothingness, and
the higher part of the nature is nourished and encouraged.
These higher planes of Being constitute the real "heaven world" of the
soul. The more highly advanced the soul, the longer does it abide between
incarnations on these planes. Just as the mind is developed and enabled
to express its longings and ambitions, on the Astral, so is the higher
portions of the soul strengthened and developed on these higher planes.
The joy, happiness and spiritual blessedness of these higher planes are
beyond ordinary words. So wonderful are they, that even long after the
soul has been born again on earth, there will arise within it memories of
its experiences upon those higher planes, and it will sigh for a return to
them, as a dove sighs for its far-off home towards which its weary wings
urge its flight. Once heard, the harmony of the heaven-world is never
forgotten - its memories remain to strengthen us in moments of trial and
These, then, are the real "heaven worlds" of the occult teachings -
something far different from even the highest Astral planes. The reports
of the mystics are based on experiences on these planes, not upon those of
the Astral. Your soul has truly informed you regarding the reality of the
existence of these wonderful regions and scenes - it has not deceived you.
Therefore, hold fast to the ideal and the vision - follow the gleam,
follow the gleam!
THE ASTRAL LIGHT.
It must not be supposed for a moment that the Astral is simply a plane
of Nature created for a place of temporary abode and development for souls
which have passed out of the physical body - a mere stopping place between
reincarnations. Important as are the planes of the Astral in the progress
of the disembodied souls, they form but one phase of the activities of
this great plane of Nature.Indeed, even eliminating the disembodied souls
from the Astral, there would be enough strange and wonderful phenomena on
that plane, as well as enough wonderful inhabitants and dwellers on some
of its sub planes, to still render it the place and region of interest
that it always has been to occultists. Before we finish out astral
journey, and return to earth life, let us take a hasty glance at these
wonderful phases of astral phenomena and life.
THE ASTRAL LIGHT. Changing our vibrations, we find ourselves entering
a strange region, the nature of which at first you fail to discern.
Pausing a moment until your astral vision becomes attuned to the peculiar
vibrations of this region, you find that you are becoming gradually aware
of what may be called an immense picture gallery, spreading out in all
directions, and apparently bearing a direct relation to every point of
space on the surface of the earth.
At first you find it difficult to decipher the meaning of this great
array of pictures. The trouble arises from the fact that they are
arranged not one after the other in sequence on a flat plane, but rather
in sequence, one after another in a peculiar order which may be called the
order of "X-ness in space," because it is neither the dimension of length,
breadth, or depth - it is practically the order of the fourth dimension of
space, which cannot be described in terms of ordinary spatial dimension.
Again, you find, upon closely examining the pictures that they are very
minute - practically microscopic in size - and require the use of the
peculiar magnifying power of astral vision to bring them up to a size
capable of being recognized by your faculty of visual recognition.
The astral vision, when developed, is capable of magnifying any object,
material or astral, to an enormous degree - for instance, the trained
occultist is able to perceive the whirling atoms and corpuscles of matter,
by means of this peculiarity of astral vision. Likewise, he is able to
plainly perceive many fine vibrations of light which are invisible to the
ordinary sight, In fact, the peculiar Astral Light which pervades this
region is due to the power of the astral vision to receive and register
these fine vibrations of light.
Bring this power of magnifying into operation, you will see that each
of the little points and detail of the great world picture so spread
before you in the Astral Light, is really a complete scene of a certain
place on earth, at a certain period in the history of the earth. It
resembles one of the small views in - a series of moving pictures - a
single view on the roll of film. It is fixed and not in motion, and yet.
We can move forward along the fourth dimension, and thus obtain a moving
picture of the history of any point on the surface of the earth, or even
combine the various points into a larger moving picture, in the same way.
Let us prove this by actual experiment.
Close your eyes for a moment, while we travel back in time (so to
speak) along the series of these astral records - for, indeed, they travel
back to the beginning of the history of the earth. Now open your eyes!
Looking around you, you perceive the pictured representation of strange
scenes filled with persons wearing a peculiar garb - but all is still, no
life, no motion.
Now, let us move forward in time, at a much higher rate than that in
which the astral views were registered. You now see flying before you the
great movement of life on a certain point of space, in a far distant age.
From birth to death you see the life of these strange people, all in the
space of a few moments. Great battles are fought, and cities rise before
your eyes, all In a great moving picture flying at a tremendous speed.
Now stop, and then let us move backward in time, still gazing at the
moving pictures. You see a strange sight, like that of "reversing the
film" in a moving picture. You see everything moving backward - cities
crumbling into nothingness, men rising from their graves, and growing
younger each second until they are finally born as babes - everything
moving backward in time, instead of forward.
You can thus witness any great historical event, or follow the career
of any great personage from birth to death - or backward. You will
notice, moreover, that everything is semi-transparent, and that
accordingly, you can see the picture of what is going on inside of
buildings as well as outside of them. Nothing escapes the Astral Light
Records. Nothing can be concealed from it.
You have gazed at the great World Picture in the Records of the Astral
Light - the great Akashic Records, as we Hindus call it. In these records
are to be found pictures of every single event, without exception, that
has ever happened in the history of the earth - recorded just exactly as
it really happened, moreover, the record being ultra-photographic and
including the smallest detail.
By travelling to a point in time, on the fourth dimension, you may
begin at that point, and see a moving picture of the history of any part
of the earth from that time on to the present - or you may reverse the
sequence by travelling backward, as we have seen. You may also travel in
the Astral, on ordinary space dimensions, and thus see what happened
simultaneously all over the earth, at any special moment of time, if you
As a matter of strict truth, however, I must inform you that the real
records of the past - the great Akashic Records - really exist on a much
higher plane than the Astral, and that which you have witnessed is but a
reflection (practically perfect, however) of the original records.
It requires a high degree of occult development in order to perceive
even this reflection in the Astral Light, and unaided by my own power you
could not perceive these sights at this time. An ordinary clairvoyant,
however, is often able to catch occasional glimpses of these astral
pictures, and may thus describe fairly well the happenings of the past.
In the same way, the psychometrist, given an object, may be able to give
the past history of the object, including a description of the persons
Without intending to go deeply into this subject - for the same is
reserved for the sole teaching of the advanced pupil, and must not be
carelessly spread before others - I think it well to call your attention
to the fact that on certain planes of the Astral, there exist certain
entities, or living beings, which never were human, and never will be, for
they belong to an entirely different order of nature.
These strange entities are ordinarily invisible to human beings, but
under certain conditions they may be sensed by the astral vision.
Strictly speaking, these strange beings do not dwell upon the Astral at
all - that is, not in the sense of the Astral as a part of space, or a
place. We call them Astral entities simply because they become visible
for the first time to man, when he is able to vision on the Astral, or by
means of the Astral senses and for no other reason.
So far as place, or space, is concerned these entities or being dwell
upon the earth, just as do the human beings. They vibrate differently
from us, that is all. They are also usually of but a microscopic size,
and would be invisible to the human eye even if they vibrated on the same
plane as do we. The astral vision not only senses their vibrations, under
certain conditions, but also, under certain other conditions, it magnifies
their forms into perceptible size.
Some of these astral entities are known as Nature Spirits, and inhabit
streams, rocks, mountains, forests, etc. Their occasional appearance to
persons of psychic temperament, or in whom a degree of astral vision has
been awakened, has given rise to the numerous tales and legends in the
folk-lore of all nations regarding a strange order of beings, to which
various names have been given, as for instance: fairies, pixies, elves,
brownies, peris, djinns, trolls, satyrs, fauns, kobolds, imps, goblins,
little folk, tiny people, etc., etc., and similar names found in the
mythologies and legends of all people. The old occultists called the
earth entities of this class by the name of "gnomes;" the air entities as
"sylphs;" the water beings as "undines;" and the fire, or ether, beings as
This class of astral entities, as a rule, avoid the presence of man,
and fly from places in which he dwells - for instance they avoid large
cities as men avoid a cemetery. They prefer the solitudes of nature, and
resent the onward march of men which drives them further and further into
new regions. They do not object to the physical presence of man, so much
as they do his mental vibrations which are plainly felt by them, and which
are very distasteful to them.
A certain class of them are what may be called "good fellows," and
these, once in a while, seem to find pleasure in helping and aiding human
beings to whom they have formed an attachment. Many such cases are
related in the folk lore of the older countries, but modern life has
driven these friendly helpers from the scene, in most places.
Another class, now also very uncommon, seems to find delight in playing
elfish, childish pranks, particularly in the nature of practical jokes
upon peasants, etc. At spiritualistic seances, and similar places, these
elfish pranks are sometimes in evidence.
The ancient magicians and wonder workers were often assisted by
creatures of this class. And, even today in India, Persia, China, and
other Oriental lands, such assistance is not unknown; and many of the
wonderful feats of these magicians are attributable only to such aid.
As a rule, as I have said, these creatures are not unfriendly to man,
though they may play a prank with him occasionally, under some
circumstances. They stem particularly apt to play tricks upon neophytes
in psychic research, who seek to penetrate the Astral without proper
instruction, and without taking the proper precautions. To such a one
they may appear as hideous forms, monsters, etc., and thus drive him away
from the plane in which their presence may become apparent to him.
However, they usually pay no attention to the advanced occultist, and
either severely let him alone, or else flee his presence - though cases
are not unknown, in the experience of the majority of advanced occultists,
when some of these little folk seem anxious and willing to be of aid to
the earnest, conscientious inquirer, who recognizes them as a part of
nature's great manifestation, and not as an "unnatural" creature, or vile
ARTIFICIAL ENTITIES. In addition to the nonhuman entities which are
perceived by astral vision, or on the Astral plane - including a number of
varieties and classes other than those mentioned by me, and to which I
purposely have omitted reference for reasons which will be recognized as
valid by all true occultists - there are to be found on the Astral or on
the earth plane by means of astral vision, a great class of entities, or
semi-entities, which occultists know as "artificial entities".
These artificial entities were not born in the natural manner, nor
created by the ordinary creative forces of nature. They are the creations
of the minds of men, and are really a highly concentrated class of
thought-forms. They are not entities, in the strict sense of the term,
having no life or vitality except that which they borrow from, or have
been given by their creators. The student of occultism who has grasped the
principle of the creation of thought-forms, will readily grasp the nature,
power, and limitations of this class of dwellers in the Astral.
The majority of these artificial entities, or thought-forms, are
created unconsciously by persons who manifest strong desire-force,
accompanied by definite mental pictures of that which they desire. But
many have learned the art of creating them consciously, in an elementary
form of magic, white or black. Much of the effect of thought-force, or
mind-power, is due to the creation of these thought-forms. Strong wishes
for good, as well as strong curses for evil, tend to manifest form and a
semblance of vitality in the shape of these artificial entities. These
entities, however, are under the law of thought-attraction, and go only
where they are attracted. Moreover, they may be neutralized, and even
destroyed, by positive thought properly directed in the way known to all
advanced students along these lines.
Another, and quite a large, class of these artificial Astral entities,
consist of thought-forms of supernatural (!) beings, sent out by the
strong mental pictures, oft repeated, of the persons creating them - the
creator usually being unconscious of the result. For instance, a strongly
religious mother, who prays for the protective influence of the angels
around and about her children, and whose strong religious imagination
pictures these heavenly visitors as present by the side of the children,
frequently actually creates thought-forms of such angel guardians around
her children, who are given a degree of life and mind vibrations from the
soul of the mother. In this way, such guardian angels, so created, serve
to protect the children and warn them from evil and against temptation.
Many a pious mother has accomplished more than she realized by her prayers
and earnest desires. The early fathers of the churches, occidental and
oriental; were aware of this fact, and consequently bade their followers
to use this form of prayer and thought; though they did not explain the
true underlying reason. Even after the mother has passed on to higher
planes, her loving memory may serve to keep alive these thought-form
entities, and thus serve to guard her loved ones.
In a similar way, many "family ghosts" have been created and kept in
being in the same way, by the constantly repeated tale and belief in their
reality, on the part of generation after generation. In this class belong
the celebrated historic ghosts who warn royal or noble families of
approaching death or sorrow. The familiar family ghosts walking the walls
of old castles on certain anniversaries, are usually found to belong to
this class (though not always so).
Many haunted houses are explained in this way, also the ghost may be
"laid" by anyone familiar with the laws of thought-forms. It must be
remembered that these artificial entities are of purely human creation,
and obtain and their apparent and mind from the action of the
thought-force of their creators. Repeated thought, and repeated belief,
will serve to keep alive and to strengthen these entities otherwise they
will disappear in time.
Many supernatural visitors, saints, semi-divine beings, etc., of all
religions have been formed in this way, and, in many cases, are kept In
being by the faith of the devotees of the church, chapel, or shrine. In
many temples in oriental countries, there have been created, and kept
alive for many centuries, the thought-form entities of the minor gods and
saints, endowed in thought with great power of response to prayer,
offering, and ceremonies. Those accepting the belief in these powers, are
brought into harmony with its vibrations, and are effected thereby, for
good or evil.
The power of the devils of savage races (some of whom practically are
devil-worshippers, arise in the same way. Even in the early history of
the western religions, we find many references to the appearance of the
Devil, and of his evil work; witchcraft diabolical presences, etc., all of
which were created thought-form entities of this kind. Many of the
effects of sorcery, black-magic, etc., were produced in this way - the
element of belief, of course, adding greatly to the effect. The Voodoo
practices of Africa, and later, of Martinique; and the Kahuna practices of
Hawaii, are based on these same principles. The effect of "charms," etc.,
depend on the same laws, including the effect of faith.
Even certain forms of "spirits," so-called, of certain forms of
spiritualistic seances arise from this principle, and have never been
human beings, at all. An understanding of this principle will aid in the
interpretation of many puzzling phases of psychic phenomena.
"SPIRIT RETURN." Nothing that I have said must be taken as denying the
reality and validity of what the western world knows as "spirit return."
On the other hand, I am fully familiar with very many instances of the
real return to earth-life of disembodied souls. But at the same time, I,
as well as all other advanced occultists, are equally aware of the many
chances of mistake in this class of psychic phenomena. Shades, and even
astral shells, too often are mistaken for departed loved ones. Again,
many apparently real "spirit forms" are nothing more or less than
semi-vitalized thought-form artificial entities such as I have just
Again, many mediums are really clairvoyant, and are able to
unconsciously draw to some extent upon the Astral Records for their
information regarding the past, instead of receiving the communication
from a disembodied soul - in all honesty and in good faith, in many cases.
Occultism does not deny the phenomena of modern western spiritualism - it
merely seeks to explain its true nature, and to verify some of it while
pointing out the real nature of others. It should be welcomed as an ally,
by all true spiritualists.
ASTRAL VISION. It must not be supposed that the astral vision dawns
suddenly upon anyone, in full force. Rather is it a matter of slow
gradual development in the majority of cases. Many persons possess it to
a faint degree, and fail to develop it further, for want of proper
instruction. Many persons have occasional flashes of it, and are entirely
without it at other times. Many "feel" the astral vibrations, rather than
seeing with the astral vision. Others, gain a degree of astral vision by
means of crystal gazing, etc. That which is frequently referred to as
"psychic sight," or "psychic sensing," is a form of astral visioning or
sensing. Psychism is bound up with astral phenomena, in all cases.
In this little manual, I have sought to give you, in a few lines, the
great underlying facts of the Astral Plane. I have crowded very much into
a very small space, so that you will have to read and study my words very
carefully, in order to get the full meaning. In fact, this is not a book
to be read on and then laid aside - rather, it should be re-read and
re-studied, until all the essence is extracted.
The glimpses of a number of the sub-planes of the Astral should give
you a general, clear idea of many other scenes on that great plane.
Remember, these scenes are typical of those witnessed by any advanced
occultist who is able to travel on those planes - as you, yourself, may
verify when you are able to vision on these planes. They are under-drawn,
rather than overdrawn. Some of the more startling and "sensational"
scenes have been omitted altogether, as I have no desire to attract, or
cater to, those seeking sensation - my work is for the earnest student,
Use this manual as a key to unlock many mysteries not as a book to
while away an idle hour. Do not have any "idle hours." Do not try to
"kill time." Be an earnest, thoughtful, occultist, ever unfolding and
evolving as you progress along The Path! Look Forward, not Backward!
Look Upward, not Downward! Have Faith, not Fear! For, within your soul
is a Spark of the Divine Flame, which cannot be extinguished!