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Serial Lesson 176

From Course XX, The Next Life, Chapter 4

Original Copyright 1942, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2012, The Church of Light

To purchase the print book The Next Life click here

Subheadings:   First Adjustment to Next Life    Visiting Loved Ones on Earth    Sorrowing for Those Who Have Passed    Help From Those Who Have Passed    Those Who Await Us    Those We Have Favored Or Injured on Earth    Judgment Day    Astral Light    Again Contacting the Earth    Under Spheres    Character Attracts Environment    Information Gives an Advantage    Astrological Influences    Trines and Sextiles    Oppositions and Squares    The Road to Progress

Birth Charts:  Montague Collet Norman Chart    Culbert L. Olson Chart

Chapter 4

Astrological Influences in the Next Life

AFTER birth on the next plane, and a certain preliminary experience of adjustment in some situation not too far removed from earth vibrations, the individual moves to the vibratory level that corresponds to his character, and assumes certain responsibilities. And just as in earth life his reactions to the events which he contacts form his character, and this character thus built attracts events of corresponding quality, so also in the next life, and with even greater rapidity, the thoughts, aspirations, and actions engendered by responses to conditions, through altering the character, attract the individual to conditions that in quality correspond to them.

On earth we are born with thought cells already organized by our impersonal experiences in lower forms of life. These thought cells, which are mapped by the planetary positions at our birth, are of certain families, or types, each possessing a different volume, and subject to either harmonious or discordant organization. The events of our physical life are those that have the same vibratory quality as these thought cells. These events are attracted by the inner-plane work of the thought cells within the finer forms that comprise the character; the sum total of all past experiences thus recorded in the finer forms, up to any particular time, being the soul.

But as events are attracted after physical birth, or as events are attracted after birth into the next life, the experiences with these events add their energy to the thought cells within the finer bodies, altering thus both the soul and the finer bodies. And as a result of this change in character, other events are attracted having the same vibratory quality as this new character; that is, corresponding to the new state of development of the soul. The same law holds on all planes: We attract conditions that correspond to our inner vibratory rates.

The thought cells within the finer forms that constitute his character, and therefore determine his new condition, when he is born into the next life, are derived from the sum total of an individual’s experiences up to the time of his physical death.

His new birth chart as calculated on the astral plane, but not represented accurately by any physical birth chart, may be much more fortunate, or much less fortunate, than the one with which he was born into physical life. This depends entirely upon what use he has made of his opportunities while on the material plane. And because there is here a higher velocity, the character qualities act far more quickly in determining his condition than they do on earth. Yet in spite of terrific discords that attract tragic events, the individual may possess a dominant rate that is highly spiritual. These discords are not dissipated merely through passing to the next plane. But in this next life there is a vertical dimension and, taking both his harmonies and discords with him, the spiritual individual will rise to a high level of life, to a level of vibratory rates that corresponds in frequency to his spiritual nature.

Children are with increasing frequency born into physical life in hospitals especially prepared for their arrival. Here they remain some days, with their mothers, under special medical care and attended by nurses. So also on the inner plane, there are many kinds of places prepared for taking care of the new arrivals until they become adjusted to the new life. Some of these places are fitted so elaborately that long descriptions would be required to give even a slight idea of them. And they vary greatly in their appointments.

Immediately after passing over, not only is the individual apt to be a little confused, unless he has a very thorough understanding of the after life before passing; but he may find himself somewhat weak.

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First Adjustment to Next Life

He may awaken from the sleep of passing on a fine grassy sward, in a balmy climate, surrounded by glorious beds of flowers, and with birds singing happily from the boughs overhead. This may be within grounds where are to be seen large buildings of magnificent architectural design, buildings which, as he grows stronger, he will visit museums where are displayed models of the things that exist on the levels of that inner life; and lecture halls where, if he desires, he can attend lectures.

He will find also dining rooms, and recreation grounds where he can engage in sport and, for the time being, follow almost any endeavor that he was interested in on earth. He can even go hunting, although the game he shoots will be merely dummies. And he can eat the things he was accustomed to eat on earth, except that what appears to be meat is not real flesh food, but an artificial preparation to simulate it. Such places, fitted up for the reception of new arrivals, are of great variety; but the chief end sought is to furnish the transient visitor with everything that will assist him to acclimate himself to the new condition without shock.

Nor must it be thought that all arrive on the next plane amid such luxurious conditions. Those who have lived low and vicious lives more frequently cannot be stopped in their vertical plunge to lower levels, even temporarily in such a hospitable realm. Instead, they drop through to another level below, where they are born and make the temporary adjustment; before losing the vibration of physical necessity to such an extent that they gravitate to a still lower plane that is of their own dominant vibratory rate.

But wherever the individual is born into the next life, either awaiting his arrival, or coming to him rather shortly after, there is sure to be someone who will help him in his readjustment if he will permit it. Furthermore, this place of birth, as a rule is merely a temporary place of residence; and as soon as the adjustment takes place he moves out of it, and goes to his own level, and to conditions such as are attracted by his habitual desires. He does not remain in the hospital and its surroundings where he had his birth. It has served its purpose, and he must strike out to accomplish his new destiny.

When he arrives in this next life, because his astral body is a duplicate of the physical, he has a heart, stomach, lungs, liver, and all the other organs which we associate with the physical life of man. And because of habit, he still requires food, and may even feel the need of sleep. Even when in the course of his development he moves to higher and higher levels, and finally out of the astral velocity realm into the spiritual higher velocity world, he does not lose the functions represented by these vital organs. Although the gross organs are no longer present in the more exalted body, nutrition, circulation, vitalization, continue to be performed even in that more exalted sphere of existence, but by means of spiritual functions that correspond to the physical organs of material existence.

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Visiting Loved Ones on Earth

During the period of adjustment right after birth into the new life there is not uncommonly felt a great longing to go back to visit the loved ones left on earth. The person, sometimes, will not accept the statement of the nurse in charge of him that he is physically dead. He still has hands and feet, still has a hearty appetite, still has all the desires of his previous life; and the things about him, while some seem strange, are nevertheless quite as solid to his touch, and quite as substantial when he moves them about, as such things on earth. So he retains a doubt that he has passed from physical life.

To enable him to realize his condition, and because his desires draw him in that direction so strongly, his nurse may go with him on a visit to his friends and relatives. He goes back to his old home, perhaps, and if his vibratory level as yet is not far removed from that of physical necessity, he may see his wife, his mother, or his sweetheart quite as plainly as he ever did. It is only when he speaks to such a loved one and no attention is paid to him, and when he touches someone and the other is unaware of his presence, and when he passes before the eyes of those there gathered and it is obvious that they do not see him, that he becomes completely convinced.

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Sorrowing for Those Who Have Passed

And this may be an exceedingly sorrowful experience to him, not merely because he cannot make his presence known: but because those who have been left behind may be grieving for him. They may weep and sorrow and, thinking thus strongly of him, their grief-stricken thoughts reach him with full intensity. He feels, because he is actually being given a mental treatment with these thoughts, all that they feel while they think of him. Their sorrow causes him agonies of distress, yet try as he may, he cannot relieve it.

Even after he gives up in despair, and goes to take up the duties of his new life, their recurring thoughts of sorrow are able to penetrate to him because of the bond of sympathy. They are mental treatments—as much so as if given by a Christian Scientist Practitioner, a Metaphysical Healer, or a New Thought Demonstrator, to one still in the flesh—and they do their work. They not only cause him to feel all the distress experienced by the loved ones in the flesh who are in this manner thinking of him, but they disturb him in performing his work on the inner plane, and if there is sufficient responsiveness between himself and the ones on earth who cannot reconcile themselves to his passing, they may hold him so close to earth as effectually to retard his progress.

If people only knew it, when the thought of a loved one who has passed over flashes, apparently without cause, into the mind, they have the power to give that loved one assistance. In the sense that the loved one has tuned in temporarily on the same station that their astral body is tuned to, the loved one, when such thoughts thus come, is usually close at hand. Not close physically, because closeness in the next life is that of radio closeness. Thoughts at these times especially, and to a somewhat less extent always, about the loved one reach and influence him.

Grief over the physical death of a loved one usually is mostly the expression of self-pity. The one grieving seldom believes that the loved one has gone to a region where he is worse off. He thinks principally of the effect upon himself of the parting. He grieves mostly because he is apparently worse off, through the going of the one he loved, to a foreign land. Yet were the love both unselfish and intelligent he would not grieve at the departure of the loved one to a foreign country if he were convinced the loved one would have much greater advantages there.

And if the love were both unselfish and intelligent, instead of sending the loved one messages, one after another, that would be sure to depress, discourage, and hinder him in his important work in that new land, the one left behind would be as courageous as possible, forget the selfish sentiment of personal loss, and put forth some effort to make the departed one’s life easier and brighter.

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Help From Those Who Have Passed

Friends and loved ones who go to the next phase of life frequently return, by way of across-level radio-like thought transference, to give us hints of helpfulness. Thoughts which envisage a person, have a singular power to reach that person, even across the levels. The thought raises or lowers the rate of the outward projected message to the vibratory level of the person thought about unless there is too great a difference in the levels occupied by the persons. Of course, only as the thought attains the proper level, does it penetrate a given plane. But such temporary tuning of the mind is capable of wide latitude. Thus, we often receive as slight impressions, information and impulses from those interested in us that now sojourn in that other land.

Not only unconsciously do they thus help us; and in some instances hinder; but we, by our thoughts, can cheer and assist them. Instead of mourning their going, and casting the shadow of gloom over their afterlife existence, we can think of them as happy in their new estate. We can offer them encouragement wherever they are. While on this earth, whether we are conscious of it or not, we give our associates mental treatments. And when we think of those who have passed on, and are now taking up new duties in another land, let us realize that we are sending them potent mental messages. And let us drop self-pity and self-interest, at least for the moment, and send them buoyant wishes for joyous living, for uplifting ambition, and for spiritual success.

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Those Who Await Us

In this adjustment period immediately after birth into the next life, either because he has a strong desire to see them, or because the nurse thinks this is the most effectual way of causing him to realize that he has now left the physical plane, the new arrival not infrequently is taken into the presence of those of his acquaintance who have passed to this plane before him. Of course, some loved one often awaits his arrival. But even otherwise he may be guided by his nurse into the presence of someone of whom he was particularly fond. From this one he may be much more ready to receive an explanation of where he is and what his new surroundings are like.

A mother may be led to where her child, who has passed over ahead of her, now attends school. And the child may take great joy in telling his mother all about the new surroundings. Or a mother may await her child, and take up his training here. Or a wife or a husband may be led to the marriage partner who has preceded, and find his explanations and guidance a pleasant introduction into this new condition of existence. It is not so different, in many respects, from the immigrants who come to our shore, speaking, perhaps, almost no words of our language, yet met by relatives who have preceded them from their own country, and who take joy in showing them the sights and telling them all about this land of America.

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Those We Have Favored Or Injured on Earth

And right here is the appropriate place to explain that in the after life there is a tendency for us to be brought again into contact with those whose lives on the earth plane we have markedly influenced, or who have markedly influenced our lives. This is not simply that because our paths once have crossed they must cross again. It is because there remains within our mind a potent thought image of such persons; and a thought image which is potently associated with desire, has a power to draw us into contact with the thing or person thus visualized.

Even though some person has influenced our life greatly, or we theirs, either through injury or favor, it may be before leaving the earth plane both feel that the matter is satisfactorily adjusted. This adjustment may not be entirely personal; for one may have made effort to be helpful to society at large in such a measure as enables him to feel that his personal debt has been discharged. The experience resulting from the contact with the other person thus may be drained of its emotional elements. A balance has been struck, the account between these two individuals has been closed. And both feeling this, they may never meet each other after passing from earth life.

But where, due to injury while on earth, one holds an attitude of deep resentment toward the other; or where, because of unjust actions, one feels that he has deeply wronged another; the potency of the thought image tends, sooner or later, to draw these two again together. Thus, not only love, but hate, remorse, great gratitude, or other strong emotion associated with the image of another, tends to cause the individual in that after life to come into the presence of the one so strongly thought about.

This is no new law. It is the operation of the same principle we constantly emphasize in regard to thinking on the earth. Whatever we think about strongly we tend to attract. If, near the edge of a cliff, we visualize strongly that we are falling over, we shall thus take the plunge. That is why some people feel an almost irresistible impulse to leap, when they find themselves on some very high place. It is because their imagination envisions the horror of falling.

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Judgment Day

But when we pass to the next life we stand before the judge, who is ourself. The records, not only of our actions, but our motives for these actions, are plainly before us. And they are plainly in view of others also. We cannot there hide our insincerity; for whatever goes on within is plain to be read by all who have made any degree of progress above the lowest levels. Yet others do not pass judgment upon us; it is we who pass judgment upon ourselves.

We perceive wherein we have erred, and why we have erred, and we realize that our progress, the level we are to occupy, and the environment we attract, depend upon the state of our character. And one way to remedy defects in character is through doing what we can to help those we have wronged. If they no longer need such help from us, we, at least, can balance the score by being helpful to someone who does need it.

It will be seen, therefore, that while it is not imperative that mistakes should be rectified through contact with those who suffered by them, yet because of the thought image of the wronged individual lingering in the consciousness, or even because of revenge thoughts linked to such an image, rather frequently such individuals are again, in time, on some plane brought together.

There is nothing here to suggest an “eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” doctrine. Nor is it parallel to the karma doctrine of some, by which one who suffers an injury from one person on earth, in another earth life is given the exquisite joy of committing the same injury against the first person, thus balancing scores.

On the other hand, if the one who was injured needs help, that help is given, providing it is within the power of the aggressor to give it. But in any case, if the injured one is to advance, he must lose all thought of revenge and desire for retaliation. He must feel that it is a privilege to forgive, and he must wish his injurer joy and happiness. He must help the one who injured him to discharge his obligation in such a way, and as quickly as possible, as will enable both to profit by the earlier error. The welfare and progress of the whole of creation is the motive behind all such balancing of accounts, and one who demands an “eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” must remain, because of the attractive power of such thoughts, within the dark foggy levels close to physical necessity until he gets a more enlightened and generous viewpoint.

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Astral Light

As we recede from earth, night and day, as we know it here, no longer have an existence. They are due to the rotation of the earth on its axis, and those not immediately associated with the material plane, are unaffected by it. Nor is there sunlight, which is a narrow band in the electromagnetic spectrum, because electromagnetism belongs to the Boundary-Line velocity region, between the velocities of the astral world and the velocities of the physical world.

In radio it is still customary to speak of ether waves as the carriers of the broadcasting energy. But there is a tendency on the part of scientists to consider such waves as properties of fields in space under certain conditions. There is no general agreement at present as to what electromagnetic waves, including those of light, are. We do now know that matter is energy concentrated in a certain manner, and that energy has mass. It appears, therefore, that as energy has mass, and mass is the common property which we think of as belonging to substance, even if we do away with the ether and think of electromagnetic waves as properties of space that develop under certain conditions, as these waves possess energy we are privileged to think of them as Boundary-Line substance.

But whether it is called substance or merely energy does not affect its observed properties; nor whether we speak of astral substance or call it astral energy, are the properties of the astral world changed, which derive from the higher-than-light velocities of that region. And the spiritual world possesses still other properties that are consistent with velocities which are still above the astral, whether we call it substance, or energy, or motions in space, or lines of force that constitute a field, or by some other designation derived from as yet to be developed conceptions of the nature of energy and form.

This astral light, which in some degree and color permeates the whole astral world, when not clouded with thought elements, is of a singular purity and beauty; soft, yet penetrating and brilliant, as anyone can testify who has seen it clairvoyantly. It is a pervasive light, but subject to an incredible amount of variation in shades of color. When unmodified it is a silvery white, somewhat like the light from the blue-white stars, except that it has no such quality of hardness.

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Again Contacting the Earth

Those who have passed to the next world and are accustomed to the astral light of a level even a little higher than that of physical necessity, when they reenter the plane, or vibratory level, of the astral environment of physical necessity, and come in contact with the electromagnetic-astral belt of earth feel as if they were entering a mist or fog. The turmoil, strife, selfishness, ignorance, and general thought quality immediately associated with our physical sphere creates an electromagnetic atmosphere that is almost like a dark miasmic wall to spiritual entities who come here. It is difficult for them to penetrate it, and they find breathing, that is, their vitalizing process, obstructed. Except to contact someone on the physical plane who has within himself a spiritual quality, spiritual beings can only penetrate to the earth after undergoing special preparation.

Where, however, there is a person yet in the flesh who has made considerable real spiritual advancement, there is a spiritual light which penetrates the darkness by which he is otherwise surrounded. To the extent he has built up a spiritual body, through the processes which are described in the courses on spiritual alchemy and cosmic alchemy, he affects spiritual substance. He thus radiates an energy of spiritual quality, and this is readily seen by those of the spiritual world. In spite, therefore, of the miasmic fog of his earthly surroundings, spiritual beings perceive him clearly by the radiance of his own light, and they are able to come close to him, in the radio sense of tuning in on his vibratory rate.

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Under Spheres

The physical necessity or earth level is by no means the lowest. There is no hell in the meaning of the word usually employed. There is no place where the wicked are condemned to spend an eternity in torture. But there are vibratory levels far below that commonly encountered on earth where by the inherent attractive power of their own viciousness those of especial depravity congregate. They descend to such regions because these regions have the same general quality as their thoughts and desires. Nor do they enjoy themselves there, no more so than people really enjoy themselves in great wickedness upon the earth. But they are not condemned to remain in these regions; for when their thoughts and desires turn toward better things they, by that token, begin the struggle upward.

In these lower levels even the ordinary astral light has little power to illuminate. They are cloudy, gloomy regions, lit in spots by the lurid flares artificially constructed by their benighted and sodden inhabitants. Such vegetation as exists seems to be obnoxious fungi. There are in some of these lands bleak stretches of smooth bare rock of a greenish-pink color. Other regions, in their desolation, look much like the pictures of shell-swept no man’s land. And such animal life as here may be found is of the most repulsive nature.

But people are not compelled to live in these regions. If they do so it is because they refuse to be guided higher. They prefer to remain in a domain where brute strength and animal desires constitute the general law. If there is torture, it is the inhabitants of these regions who perform it, not some higher being or infernal devil. If they gloat in the torture of others, perhaps they also, at times, shall be the victims. No one can compel them to abandon their hellish existence. But if they desire something more spiritual than this indescribable existence, that desire, beginning the reconstruction of their character, starts them on the gradual climb toward brighter things.

Those who visit these lower regions, these hell worlds of the astral plane, must undergo training for such missionary work. They must learn how, by various devices, to overcome the difficulty of breathing and seeing in these regions, and how to prevent injury from the malicious creatures that there dwell. The first strong wish for better things in one who has fallen so low, sets up a vibration of higher frequency than the region where he dwells, and penetrates it as a more or less faint light. These missionaries are ever alert to discern such lights that they may give helpful advice to those who would work their way out of these sordid lands.

But whether it is these lowly creatures of the under spheres, or an exalted spirit of the higher astral realm, whenever he tries to move to a level above his own dominant vibratory rate, he experiences a peculiar difficulty. There may even be a bridge thrown across the vibratory chasm by those living on the higher plane to make his approach easy and gradual. Yet when he begins to get into a vibratory atmosphere too high for him he commences to feel faint. It is as if he could not get sufficient oxygen. He feels very much like the mountain climber does who reaches an altitude above his lung power. Exertion, even in a small way, causes exhaustion. He feels dizzy. And if he gets too high he may lose consciousness.

By training, and through artificial means, one can visit temporarily a level either far above or far below one’s own vibratory rate. But to sustain life there any length of time is altogether too difficult. Automatically, when one’s forces are spent in such an effort, one drops back to one’s own basic level.

Remember that these levels are each as concrete, hard, real, and vivid as the low-velocity region now experienced on earth. In fact many are so much more so that one who has had experiences only on the physical plane cannot imagine it. Yet they are like radio programs each belonging to its own wavelength and frequency. The individual gets the program to which his dominant rate is tuned. Unless he can turn the dial of his consciousness to other basic rates he knows nothing of what is going on there. And unless he can tune up, or down, his own character rate, so that his body vibrates also to the higher or lower rate, he cannot move about and have his existence on such levels.

I have spoken here of a disagreeable side of the next life. This disagreeable side is minute in extent compared with the beautiful and pleasant side. Nor have I spoken of it to put the fear of hell into the mind of anyone. On the contrary, there is no hell except that created by the individual’s own character. If he is a devil right now, merely passing to the next plane does not change him into an angel. If he is a devil in his character, desires and disposition, no one can compel him to become anything different. When he passes to the next life he merely moves to a region suitable to the expression of the qualities which he has developed.

On earth he may be a devil, yet consort with those of angelic disposition. But not so on the next plane. Those of like character, like ambitions and desires, are attracted to a similar environment, and have the pleasure of each other’s company. There is no hell lower, more cruel, or more vicious than the thought quality of those who inhabit it. Such a lower region is not created by God or by the devil. It is created by the thought-building power of those who move into it. And if they do not like it, they have the privilege of moving out by the expedient of building characters that fit them for a different realm.

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Character Attracts Environment

While we are upon the earth, if we have within us powerful discordant thought cells that attract us to a similar environment, no amount of information will enable us to escape misery and perhaps disaster. Men of the highest intelligence and ability are overtaken by fire, by flood, by financial panics, by accidents and a variety of other misfortunes. Information alone if they enter environments that correspond to discords within themselves, is not sufficient to prevent catastrophe. Yet the intelligent man, who has abundant information about the place, or business, or industry wherein he finds himself, has a great advantage over one who is ignorant of the first principles of such phases of life.

If, in a man’s birth chart are found violent aspects such as indicate violent thought cells built within himself, he may not escape severe accident on a hazardous trip of exploration into the arctic even though he is unusually well informed on the conditions he must meet. But he certainly will get along better than another who has no knowledge of arctic conditions and how to meet them. Whatever foreign land we expect to travel in, we will get along far better if we have as complete information as possible about the climate, the laws, and the customs of the people of that land.

Nor will information about the land where man dwells after physical death prevent anyone from gravitating to the level corresponding to his dominant vibratory rate.

Nor will it prevent him from being attracted to environmental conditions in that world that correspond to his strong thoughts and desires. Furthermore, in spite of any amount of information he may have, his appearance to others will portray his true character. Even the clothing he wears, strange as it may seem, has a correspondence to his thoughts. In fact, it is really built by his thoughts.

People do not go about nude in the after life. At first they wear clothing very much the same as that worn on earth. But the person of vulgar tendencies will find himself vulgarly dressed. The one who is miserly and hard will find himself in shabby, even tattered, attire. And the licentious individual will be seen clad in soiled apparel. On the contrary, those of more kindly thought attract about them finer garments. Robes of dazzling beauty clothe those of spiritual worth, or their raiments are of different modes, blending colors and designs in the most exquisite way. Even here on earth the tastes of people are somewhat displayed in their choice of garments; and on the inner plane both the calling and the inner character are thus rather clearly symbolized.

Information about the conditions apt to be met on the inner planes will not change the astral environment in which one finds himself: but it does help him vastly to adjust himself to those conditions. If he finds himself in a place, or on a plane, that he does not like, he will have some idea of why he is there and how to get where he wants to go. Either high or low, it is a decided advantage to him to know before he reaches that land, what the inhabitants are like, and how he should treat them. If he knows beforehand that wherever he finds himself is due to his own inward character, he will not wander about in a daze because the place he finds himself is so different from the orthodox teachings. Nor is he apt to remain content long within the tepid thought-built regions of an artificial heaven. He will realize quickly, because his previous teachings have emphasized the necessity of the use of discrimination on every plane, that certain things he sees are artificial, and that others are in the path of natural progression.

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Information Gives an Advantage

One who passes to the next life with a rather clear idea of the conditions there to be encountered is fitted to take up his life there; but one who goes over without such knowledge must begin with the very kindergarten; and the most difficult task of all with some is to unlearn what they thought they knew. On that side, even as on this, if a person is determined to believe black is white, no one can compel him to alter his opinion. There are those on both sides who narrow their minds to some fixed idea, and then, instead of perceiving reality as normal individuals do, will see nothing that fails to conform fully to this idea.

We should understand, both in this life and in the next, that the conditions by which we are surrounded are due to the work of the thought cells within our finer body which have been thus organized by our past experiences. These organizations of energy are changed by our thoughts and desires, and as they are thus changed attract to us new and corresponding events. The same law runs through the physical existence, the astral existence, and the spiritual existence as an unbroken chain of action and reaction. Right now we are living under that law and we will still live in obedience to it in realms far above our present power to imagine.

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Astrological Influences

And in the next life, as well as in this one, an ever-changing part of our environment are astrological forces. Even after we have left the earth, tides of finer energy will beat against our new form, stimulating it to certain types of feeling and consequent action. There will be influxes of force that correspond to the oppositions and squares of our earthly progressed horoscope, and there will be at other times, influences that correspond to the sextiles and trines.

These astrological forces afford nature the assurance that there shall be no stagnation. They sweep the universe along in the direction contemplated in the divine plan. They are the expression of the deific will and the deific intelligence. They are not compelling forces. They are expressions of the tides of the omnipotent mind that reach poor lowly mortals struggling here on earth as planetary progressions, and reach angelic hierarchies in realms far above any spiritual state we can conceive, as signals of ineffable love and wisdom.

The squares and oppositions, and their corresponding influences in the next life, are testing forces that properly used enable us to build strength, initiative, resistance, determination and faith. Instead of permitting us to slumber peacefully wherever we may be, they bring a pressure to bear that arouses an inner thought-cell disturbance. Such thought-cell disturbance engenders a desire and determination to do something. We resolve to escape from the condition the discords within ourselves, thus stimulated, have attracted. Some pain may be necessary before we arouse to struggle; and even though we struggle, so long as the discords within last, it is unlikely we will much better our environment.

Yet even when pelted with discord from without by our own thoughts we have a power to engender harmony from within. And to the extent we are able to do this we will surely attract more pleasant conditions from without. Also, in spite of discords, by our attitudes toward events, as explained in spiritual alchemy, we can build within ourselves, either in earthly life or after physical death, more spiritual vibratory rates which will lift us to higher planes of existence.

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Trines and Sextiles

All life, however, is not a continuation of receiving harsh astrological influences. There comes a period when there are sextiles or trines here, or their equivalent in the life to come. These are the times when we move forward rapidly, not in the development of strength of character, but in using whatever strength, initiative, determination, and resistance we have developed in times of stress to take advantage of favorable opportunities. Under these influxes the harmonies which we have added to our characters are stimulated and intensified by similar influxes of energy from without. This attracts to us conditions that are unusually advantageous for accomplishing something in the world outside of ourselves. For effort expended, and for a given amount of character, the external results at such times compensate in full measure.

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Oppositions and Squares

The times of squares and oppositions of this life, and the similar influences in the next, are the times when, through the struggles they impose to hold one’s own physically, mentally, and spiritually, the greatest inward development may be had. When there is discord without, it is fine training to try to maintain harmony within. When all goes wrong, it is the best of discipline to endeavor strenuously to retain courage. When losses take place, there is opportunity to test one’s ability to carry on. Such buffets of fate are like the severe grillings given a training athlete. Without them the character tends to remain soft and weak.

But when the sextiles and trines come into this life, and the similar influences in the next, the environment outside oneself is more easily made to yield. Responsibilities are attracted that can be carried. There is a character development here also, but it is developed to a greater extent through outside accomplishment. The athlete who has undergone severe training now enters upon his more public performance. The grinding strain of his training may have been a far greater accomplishment to him; but as it affects the outside world, the environment where he now is, on this plane or some other, what he can do under these sextiles and trines seems more important. Where before he apparently stood still, now he moves forward in a manner to be marked by all.

Astrological harmonies and astrological discords influence the life of man in this life and the life of man in the next. Their somewhat alternate occurrence is some insurance against stagnation. They stimulate trains of thought; and these eventuate as action, and attract corresponding environments.

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The Road to Progress

Thus not only on earth, but in the next life, astrology, to one who knows what planetary positions map, and how they operate, affords the best possible road map to progress. But to be most effectively used there must be an understanding of just what the astrological positions indicate and what they do not indicate. As has been amply proven in reference to life on earth by the Brotherhood of Light Astrological Research Department in the analysis of Case Histories of Identical Twins, Natural Twins and Astrological Twins having almost identical birth charts, and what happened in their lives under practically identical progressed aspects, astrological positions in the birth chart do not map specific events. They do, however, map predispositions toward the types of conditions and events which will affect each of the twelve departments of the individual’s life. And this is what the positions in the chart of birth into the next life also map.

These case history studies also prove that progressed aspects do not map specific events. Instead they—and those astrological influxes on the inner plane that correspond in that region to progressed aspects on earth—map energy releases of definite types during limited periods of time which can be predetermined. These energies, during such periods of release, expend themselves in the work of bringing into the life conditions and events of their particular type, harmony or discord, and relating to one or more of the departments of life with which they are associated as revealed by the houses ruled by the planets mapping the energies released.

What the thought cells bring into the life when they receive additional energy from a progressed aspect, or what corresponds in the next life to a progressed aspect depends on the evolutionary level of the individual, the way the thought cells have been conditioned to act previous to birth as revealed by the birth chart, other planetary energies received at the time from progressed aspects, the additional conditioning the thought cells have received since birth, and the environment of the individual at the time.

In the next life, and in the earth life, astrological energies are only a part of the environment. They are environmental influences that, at definite times which can be predetermined, add energy to given groups of thought cells within the soul. But what these thought cells try to do when they get this additional energy is not determined by the planetary energies, but primarily by the way these thought cells have been conditioned. If they have been trained, through the individual’s proper attitude toward the events which happen to him, only to work for those events which are beneficial to the individual and forward his plans, no amount of discordant planetary energy added to them will change this habit.

Now on earth we consider that under a progressed aspect to any planet the life is sure to be affected in some measure by at least three things characteristic of that planet. Also that the department of life affected by the thought-cell activity is sure to be indicated by a house which one of the planets involved in the aspect rules.

But beyond this our case history studies show that what happens is determined not merely by the thought-cell organization mapped in the birth chart, but by this birth chart organization as modified by events and attitudes subsequent to birth, and as finding opportunity to express in the physical environment. That is, the same child raised under different conditions will have a markedly different fortune. And the same adult, in this life or the next, if he deliberately trains his thought cells to find pleasure in certain actions and to have a distaste for other actions, will have a markedly different fortune.

Furthermore, the same individual, if he deliberately selects a different environment, even though the thought cells have not been changed in their desires, will have quite different events than if he had remained in the original environment; for the events that happen are due not exclusively to the activity of the thought cells, but to these thought-cell activities operating upon the external environment. If the environment resists one kind of event and facilitates another kind, especially if both are of the general type related to the thought cells then active, the event that occurs will be much more likely to be the one for which the environment affords special facilities.

The thought-cell activity mapped either in the birth chart or by progressed aspects, in this life and in the next, influences the behavior through stimulating trains of thought which are characteristic of the planets involved, and it influences the events which are attracted through environmental factors which also are characteristic of the planets involved. But the individual who has the knowledge and intelligence to plan his life most effectively, can cultivate trains of thought related to each such group of thought cells that will tend to give these thought cells ample opportunity to express, but at the same time give them the desire to express their energy in attracting events which are beneficial to the individual. And to assist these thought cells thus to express in beneficial events instead of those detrimental, an environment may be selected which will afford special facilities for such beneficial events, and offer great resistance to events of the same planetary type which are detrimental.

On any plane the effective road to progress demands that the individual from a study of his chart shall learn what are his natural aptitudes, and how they may be utilized to get what he wants from life, not only to advance his own interests, but to contribute his utmost to society. And to accomplish what he wishes, he must integrate the various groups of thought cells within his finer form so that all the factors work, not at diverse purposes, but harmoniously together to bring about the things he has set his heart upon.

And to get these thought-cell groups, some of which contend with other groups and have desires at variance with his own, to work together for the purposes he desires, he must make them feel differently. This he accomplishes, whether he is still on earth or has passed to the next life, by cultivating, relative to the things they are associated with, harmonious emotions. Progressed aspects, of whatever nature, afford opportunity to determine how successful he has been in giving his thought cells the desires he has decided they should have.

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Birth Charts

Montague Collet Norman Chart

September 6, 1871; 1:56 a.m. 0W. 51:32N.
Time rectified by Norma Hammond.

1884, went to Eaton: Mercury sextile Mars p.

1890, joined grandfather’s banking firm: Sun semisquare Mars r.

1900, served with South Africa forces: Sun conjunction Venus r.

1907, director Bank of England: Mercury trine Moon r.

1917, managed third war loan: Mercury inconjunct Pluto r.

1920, Governor Bank of England: Mars inconjunct Pluto r.

1936, active in Bank of International Settlement: Sun semisquare Mars p.

1939, vainly tried economic appeasement of Germany: Sun opposition Pluto r.

Culbert L. Olson Chart

November 7, 1876, 3:40 a.m.; 112:15W. 39N.
Data given by his brother.

1890, student Brigham Young University: Mars sextile Uranus r.

1891, telegraph operator: Mercury square Uranus r.

1893, attended law school: Venus sextile Uranus r.

1895, city editor Ogden Standard: Mars square Moon r.

1897, Washington newspaper correspondent: Sun conjunction Jupiter r.

1916, State Senator in Utah: Mars trine M.C. r.

1934, State Senator in California: Mars opposition Pluto r.

1938, elected governor of California: Mercury sextile Jupiter r.

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