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Serial Lesson 179
From Course XX, The Next Life, Chapter 7
Original Copyright 1943, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2012, The Church of Light
Subheadings: Earthbound Souls Releasing the Earthbound Earth-Attracted Souls Influencing Those on Earth Criminal Promptings The Astral Hells Obsessing Entities
Birth Charts: Harry Houdini Chart Sylvan Muldoon Chart
Earthbound Souls and the Astral Hells
MY own impression of the next life, and the reports of practically all those who have visited the next-life planes, as well as the teachings emanating from those inner worlds, is that the next life is a joyous, glorious, exhilarating improvement over this one. The landscapes surpass in beauty, by far, anything seen or known upon the earth. The economic system, meaning here the system under which people serve one another, has done away completely with various features which make life so hard for some on earth. Social relations, while not to be considered perfect on any of the astral levels, are intensely more enjoyable. And even marriage offers exquisite pleasures of a transcendent nature only imperfectly shadowed by its grosser counterpart on earth.
It is true that in that after realm there is a small region where things are not so blessed. It is microscopically small when compared to the illimitable vastness of the next-life realms. But because it is so intimately associated with the earth, and the region just adjacent to, but below, the earth level, I feel I should give it attention and space all out of proportion to its actual size and cosmic importance. A mote is a very small thing compared to the size and importance of man, yet if it gets in his eye he may find it advantageous to give it considerable attention. And so also, this sordid region close to earth, although small and unimportant in comparison to the unmeasured realms of the blest, because it is right in the line of vision of many residing yet on earth, should be given plenty of consideration.
I trust that because in earlier chapters (Serial Lessons 173-178) of this course I have repeatedly mentioned earthbound souls, and also those who reside in the slums and astral hells, and here again go further into the details of their life and the conditions that have brought them to this pass, that no one will think that any considerable part of life after death is confined to such existences. Yet because some people now on earth are, through their obsessive attachment to earthly things, becoming earthbound, I feel that I should point out the principles more in detail; and should offer some suggestions as to how those still on earth sometimes are able to help break the earthbound condition of those who have passed to the other plane in that deplorable state.
Because considerable vice and crime on the earth is prompted by intelligences of the inner plane endeavoring vicariously to gratify their evil desires, some mention of their activities also should be made. And because it is sometimes possible to help them better their condition through ceasing their debasing activities and redirecting their desires, this phase of the matter likewise should be presented. They deserve attention, just as habitual criminals, although comprising only a small percentage of the population of this country, also need to have their problems carefully and intelligently studied.
So first we will discuss the condition of those who are earthbound. Why are they earthbound? Because, through long and intense thinking about something, through the persistent application of desire to some object, or through emotional shock, they suffer from a mental fixation upon something of the earth.
On the earth plane we have the mental aberration called paranoia; which is defined as systematic delusion. This delusion usually arises from some idea becoming so dominant that it cannot be displaced by reality. That is, every condition that is met, is made by the mind of the person to conform to this fixed idea. Impact from environment, or the persuasion of people, has no effect in dislodging the fixed idea. As in hypnosis, some idea is accepted, and all other ideas, experiences and conditions, are made to conform to this conception.
Now on earth very few people have their ideas so properly endowed with emotional energy that each has the comparative strength it should have. In practically all of us, due to emotional experiences or unduly stimulated desires, some ideas have a certain power to warp other ideas somewhat into conformity with them. But it is only when this warping power of an idea, or group of ideas, becomes so pronounced as noticeably to unfit the individual for the tasks and responsibilities of physical life that the individual is considered a paranoiac.
Earthbound souls are really those who, however normal in adjusting themselves to earth life, in the region where they now find themselves are suffering from paranoia. Others, who are not earthbound, also suffer from paranoia on the astral plane. This paranoia may give them fixed ideas about things as they should exist in the after life, and thus attract them into an artificial environment where things, thought built, appear as they deem they must be. But earthbound souls are suffering from a paranoia in which something yet on the earth plane assumes an importance it in nowise deserves. It is a condition in which something of earth so dominates the mind that all the experiences of astral life, all the conversations, perhaps, with others of the astral plane, are powerless to dislodge this fixed idea associated with the earth plane.
Paranoia on earth is often difficult to cure. But if the patient by some means is made to realize the true significance of the idea which dominates him, and comes to give it a proper place in his scheme of things, he is no longer a paranoiac; that is, he is no longer insane. When his mental conceptions are thus readjusted, he is quite fit to perform the functions of life and carry the responsibilities of the physical plane. And likewise, when the earthbound soul is made to realize the proper significance of the event or condition that holds him to earth, and thus comes to see the proper relative importance of the conditions that obtain in the plane where he now lives, he is no longer earth bound. His mental readjustment to conditions as they are in reality enables him to carry out the responsibilities of life on whatever plane he occupies.
Ideas of whatever character that become so powerfully emotionalized as to become fixed and obsessive in nature are inimical to the individual’s welfare, no matter what they are. But only ideas thus emotionalized in association with something of the physical plane bind the soul to earth until a mental readjustment is made.
It may perform a useful service to mention some of the commonest forms of earth-binding conditions: People sometimes become so attached to their home, or place of business, while on earth that this attachment assumes a dominative character. When they pass to the next life they are unable to adjust themselves to the fact that they have lost their physical possession. Everything of the astral life by which they are surrounded that does not fit in with continued possession of the home or business is warped to fit this notion. Under this, or similar mental fixation, two of the outstanding laws of the inner plane operate to cause them actually to continue to inhabit the environment to which they were so attached while on earth.
The first of these laws, which we have already considered in some detail in Chapter 3 (Serial Lesson 175), is that the dominant vibratory rate at any given time determines the inner-plane level to which the soul gravitates. I use the word gravitate advisedly; for this principle of dominant vibratory frequency supplants gravitation in those realms where high velocity no longer permits gravitation to operate. An individual, therefore, who through his thoughts and emotions, holds himself in the dominant vibration of a certain level, remains on that level, even when it is the level of his previous physical home or business.
The second of these laws relates also to the power of desire; but in this case not merely to influence the dominant vibratory rate and consequently the level on which a soul functions, but to take the soul to the particular place on the level contacted that is strongly thought about. As distance is determined by resonance instead of by our earthly conception of space, when an individual thinks strongly about a place on the level he occupies, this causes him to move into its environment. Thus does a fixation in thought and emotion on some earthly condition not only hold the individual to the planal level of that condition, but it also keeps him in the actual environment on which his thoughts are focused.
Thus is it that people who have passed from physical life are known still to move about the halls of European castles and manors. But it is not so commonly recognized that the streets and office buildings of our congested cities also still hold some of those whose dominant passion was business.
Not that business is inimical to spiritual welfare and progress. But it may so absorb the life and energies that there is room for little else in the thoughts and desires except to conduct business at the same old stand. With no conception of an after life, with no belief other than that when we pass out we are a long time dead, and a fanatical attachment to some place, or to some occupation, that has been conducted for years and years in a given locality, the individual may readily become earthbound.
The greed for gold may become obsessive, and bind the soul to earth. In fact, it would be difficult to catalogue the various attachments which may become intense enough to develop, through their emotional intensity, a fixation which holds the soul to earth. Great grief and distress may become, when sufficiently brooded over, strong enough mental factors to hold the soul to the earthly region which was the scene of such suffering. Or some great shock may fix an image in the mind that holds the individual to the earthly region where the shock was experienced. Thus murder of peculiar revolting character, or where the individual passing out is obsessed with the desire to tell someone something that to him seemed of great importance, sometimes holds the individual earthbound.
Such earthbound conditions are not normal, no more so than insanity is a normal condition of physical life. But due to the prevalence of great attachments formed for physical things, they are far more common than might be supposed. That is one reason why people should be better informed than they are about the conditions of the next life. Knowing that they will live in the after realm, and develop proper interests there, they will not become obsessed with the importance of some particular thing of earth. While on earth they will devote their energies to such interests as they think best; but when they pass to the next life they will be prepared to relinquish earthly things, and ready to find something on the new plane that will interest them quite as keenly.
We accomplish little worthwhile without strong desires and intense interests. But even in earthly life too strong attachments to things that are transient are fatal to success. There are still a few who use horses to haul freight long distances, who still travel with horse and buggy, who still use hand methods of manufacture in preference to modern machinery. They have been unable to relinquish the old. But for success on this plane or any other, it is essential to be able to break with past attachments and form new ones. Industrial development lags to keep step with no man’s antiquated notions, and the life wave permits the individual only a limited span on any plane. The universe is progressive, and any life form to persist indefinitely must keep pace with it.
I think it is a great mistake for people to cling too tenaciously to thoughts of earth life. I believe it hinders their progress noticeably if they pass to the next plane with the strong desire and determination to return to earth. We should desire to remain on earth so long as we can be useful here; for on earth we develop qualities which are much more difficult to cultivate after passing to the next plane. But once our time has arrived for passing, I believe it is a great error to continue the attachment to earth. It hinders adjustment to the next plane of living.
Even those who believe in human reincarnation, I am sure would do better to think very little about coming back to earth to reincarnate, and look forward to adjusting themselves to the new plane of life. If, as they believe, it is Nature’s law that they shall return repeatedly to go through earth life in human form, Nature will attend to that in her own time. For a period, at least, they will live in another realm, and this other realm has requirements. Their struggles to return and reincarnate merely keep them earthbound, or earth attached, and serves no good purpose.
This desire to reincarnate often holds people to earth, and unfits them for the duties of life in the next realm. They are attracted, by this obsessive passion to reincarnate, to any condition that offers them hope of its fulfillment. With no evil intent, they stimulate those with whom they can form sympathetic rapport, to enter into such relations as they hope will enable them to be born again into the flesh. It is not a happy condition for themselves, and is not conducive to the spiritual development of those still on earth whom they are able to impress and influence. If, therefore, there is a conviction that human reincarnation is true, it is much better for the individual to direct his mind to spiritual progress, and let Nature bring him back to earth to reincarnate at the proper time. For if he gets so that he talks and thinks about little else, he is very apt to be completely earthbound by this determination and desire.
Releasing the Earthbound
When, for any of the causes mentioned, a soul becomes earthbound, it may at times be seen by clairvoyant vision at the place where it lingers or visits. And if, due to the presence of a person of mediumistic qualifications, or due to other special conditions, there is a sufficient supply of electromagnetic energy available, the earthbound soul may become visible to those not clairvoyant. That is, it may, under those circumstances, draw about itself an electromagnetic material form quite visible to any person present.
It is very rare that such ghosts or spooks are dangerous to human beings. If they pass out of the body dominated by the thought to guard some treasure, or dominated by the idea to harm anyone who comes to the place, then, providing there is sufficient electromagnetic energy at their command to enable them to produce material effects, they may become exceedingly dangerous. Such hauntings are rare, but not entirely unknown. But ordinarily, even though the individual was vicious in physical life, he is so dominated by the idea that binds him to earth that he takes no notice of anything not directly associated with it. Thus most earthbound souls are quite harmless to those on earth except when through some sympathetic relation they are able to impress those still in the flesh to action.
Because they are so dominated by an idea they often are as hard to get conversation out of as is one who is walking in his sleep. The easiest method of getting their attention is through something relating to the dominant idea. They are more willing to discuss whatever it is that holds them to earth than anything else. And from this, leading by gradual steps to their present condition, it is possible sometimes to talk them into realizing that they are earthbound, and that they are perpetrating a grave mistake. If they can once realize this, the binding condition is broken, and they are born into the new life and take up their natural course of progression.
Although missionaries from the inner plane are constantly working to free earthbound souls, those still in the flesh can often do quite as much in this as the missionaries can. In such work, those who have developed clairvoyance, and those who in sleep have accustomed themselves to work on the astral plane, have an advantage. But any person who has enough extrasensory perception to feel the presence of someone from the inner plane and feel the condition that holds this presence to earth can render valuable service.
If such a presence is felt customarily in a certain vicinity, those who feel it, even though the astral person is not seen, should talk to it pleasantly and convincingly whenever it is felt to be present. No dramatics need enter into this, and nothing heroic. Talk to the invisible presence reasonably and forcefully, yet sympathetically, just as if it were someone in the flesh who had a wrong conception of things and needed kindly help to straighten him out and get him started on the right track. But when thus conversing with any aberrant entity, it is best all the time to keep the mind alert and positive. You are selling him the idea, and should not permit him opportunity, through your own negativeness, to sell his convictions to you, or in any way influence you. You would not, I am sure, permit even a harmless paranoiac on the physical plane to get you under his control; although you would probably be willing to talk to him and offer kindly advice if you thought it would help.
It should be understood that an earthbound soul is suffering from a delusion that he still inhabits the earth. As a result of this delusion he has never been completely born into the next life. His forces are still incompletely polarized to the inner plane, and he has consequently never adjusted himself to the requirements of his new environment. But if he can be awakened to a realization of where he is, and that his old attachment to earth is folly, he quickly completes his birth into the new realm and can take up his duties there.
Up to this point I have discussed earthbound souls as if they invariably were quite unconscious of their transition to, and environment on, the astral plane. But even as paranoia on earth may be very complete, or in varying degrees affect the sanity either more or less, so earthbound souls are bound in varying degrees. Some of them are only bound to earth environment to a small extent, and are pretty much aware of their astral condition, even though clinging stoutly to something in physical life. Such individuals, when communicated with, express considerable intelligence in regard to a variety of things that now affect them. Thus, while there are those who are completely earthbound, there are others who are only partially earthbound. But so long as they are even partially earthbound they have never been completely born into the next life. And only when completely born can they make the adjustments necessary for progression.
But in addition to these, there are others who have been completely born into the next life, who still, whenever they can make the proper contact, like to hang around the earth. They are quite aware that they have passed to the next life, and they have taken some steps to adjust themselves to it. It is not because they are ignorant of the relation between the earth and the plane they now occupy that they desire to make earth contacts, but because they know that through such means they can find some satisfaction for carnal desires.
These individuals are much more numerous than those earthbound. Their desires while on earth were sufficiently diversified that they suffered no fixation; but these desires were of a character that gave them a dominant vibratory rate no higher, and perhaps much lower, than the average of the earth plane. They possess a vibratory frequency similar to that associated with the grosser endeavors of those yet on earth. And they are glad enough to find any opportunity by which they can reexperience the old earthly sensations.
In the next life they have gravitated to levels, and to environments, corresponding to their dominant vibratory rate and their strongest desires. They have not forgotten their experiences of earth, and they have not changed their tendencies and desires. But without forming a sympathetic vibratory exchange with someone on earth, they are completely cut off from this earth life, and exert no influence upon it.
When, however, they are able to form the contact with some very negative person, they may be able to form a rapport with him, through which they are able to experience all that he does. And because of their own vicious tendencies, they may be able to impress him to do things that of his own initiative he would never think of doing.
Those in the flesh and those out of it can turn the dial of their consciousness to rates either higher or lower. In this manner aspirations may place them in touch with entities higher in the scale of life, and base desires may tune them in, temporarily, on a phase of existence far below their habitual level, and permit them to be impressed by the intelligences of a lower region.
When, however, an entity of a lower region turns the dial of his consciousness to a higher vibration, he has an influence upon the higher level only so long as he keeps the temporary vibratory rate of his thoughts tuned up to the rate of this higher plane. Should he, therefore, experience a desire more gross, or a thought more malicious than that customary to the level he has tuned in on, such desire or thought, because of a lower rate than this level, would cut him off from the level. An entity of a lower level cannot exert a detrimental influence upon entities of a higher level, except the entities of the higher level, through some artificial process of mediumship, or through tuning in on the lower level, establish the conditions that permit it.
But those of a higher level can turn the dial of their consciousness to a lower frequency rate, and thus tune in on a lower level. And while tuned in on the lower level, because the way is open for an exchange of energies, not only can the higher entities influence those of this lower level, but those of this lower level are placed in a position to influence the higher entity.
In the understanding of how one level can affect another it is very important clearly to comprehend that a low-vibration entity cannot exert any evil influence on a high-vibration entity so long as the high-vibration entity keeps his vibrations high. For instance, purity and high aspirations are a complete barrier against every inimical and low influence. This is true of those yet in the flesh, and it is true of those who have passed to the next life. Spirituality, either on earth or in the invisible world, keeps the vibrations on a level that evil forces cannot reach. If they tune up to reach this level, their forces are no longer evil; and if after tuning up, they begin to think evil thoughts, it cuts them off from the higher level and they no longer exert an influence there.
But an individual on a higher level can lower his dominant vibratory rate to an extent that enables him actually to live on some lower level. And while he is on this lower level he can influence those of this level, and he is subject to the influence of those on this level.
If he is not to be injured while on this lower level, he must have sufficient force at his command to resist those who dwell there. Missionaries who work in the lower regions undergo rigid training in the use of their mental forces. While working in these lower regions they are in actual danger; because the denizens of such regions strive to get them in their power. The fact that they are missionaries does not make them immune from harm. Such immunity as they have, which is not always complete, comes from the superior strength that has resulted from their special training.
Yet without lowering the dominant vibratory rate, and thus actually living on a lower level, an individual on one level can, by the directive power of his thoughts, tune his consciousness in on a lower level. He remains on his own level, but sees, hears, and feels temporarily, certain things of the lower level. During such partial contact he tunes in, perhaps, on the thoughts of certain persons of this lower level. And so long as his mind is positive, and directed to the accomplishments of some definite thing, he does most of the influencing. That is, he is the broadcasting station, and those of the lower level are the receiving set.
But, while his thoughts are of this level, if he becomes negative, or even puzzled for a solution of the ways and means to realize some desire that is of a quality corresponding to this lower level, this mental passivity enables someone on the lower level who is more positive to become the broadcaster, and the higher entity, for the moment, becomes the receiving set.
This principle of sending and receiving is not confined to a communication with the lower entities; it is applicable to all planes. A desire of a certain quality, if strong, tends to tune the consciousness in on the level and locality of corresponding quality. And, the mind becoming meditative and receptive while seeking a solution to the problem presented by the desire, some person of this level can then become the broadcaster, and send information that will be received by the unconscious mind of the person having the desire. People’s thoughts are not nearly as independent of the influence of other minds as they generally suppose.
Influencing Those on Earth
I do not here wish to convey the idea that most people are merely puppets moved about by entities on the astral plane. People who habitually direct their energies to the task at hand, who direct their minds resolutely to the problems with which they are confronted, who are not naturally hypersensitive or unduly negative, move about their physical lives quite unconscious of those of the inner plane. And while, in seeking the solution of their problems, and in forming opinions, they do unconsciously pick up, and are influenced by, ideas emanating from those of the inner plane, yet their lives are not unduly affected through such channels. Their minds are too actively engaged in broadcasting to become very receptive receiving sets.
But in the lower levels of human society, where depravity is the rule, and impulse, desire and passion supplant reason and intelligence, the broadcasting is intermittent and spasmodic. These people habitually are swayed by feelings engendered by slight suggestions coming from without. Instead of having characters built by long resistance to detrimental forces, and instead of commonly turning inimical desires into constructive channels of expression, they are used to being swayed by the slightest thought of base gratification.
Among such people the power of those on the inner plane to influence their actions is often very great. Accustomed to exercise very little self-control, it requires no very strong influence to deflect them from any predetermined path. Recurrent desires of a gross nature turn the dial of their consciousness to the lower rates of astral slums and dens of iniquity. The depraved individuals of such regions thus are made aware of their existence, and one of them may be able, over the wave of transmission thus organized, to establish enough rapport to be able both to influence the actions of the person on earth, and to share in the resulting experiences.
Such contacts may also be formed through the artificial process of developing the disintegrative form of mediumship, by a person who has no evil desires. In a seance room there may be those of the flesh present who have vicious desires that tune them in on the lower regions of the astral world. These may be positive enough not to be markedly influenced by any one of the unseen realm. But the medium, or some person present who becomes very negative, may have the vibratory rates of the consciousness lowered by this person’s thoughts, desires, or basic rate, to a point where contact is established with invisible entities of similar quality.
There are people who are carriers of typhoid and certain other diseases, although they themselves are not stricken. And there are those who may be contacted in a séance room who are not much influenced by those of the inner realm, but who, because of their own baseness, enable vicious individuals of the lower astral to form contacts with others present who are more negative. Purity and high aspirations are an effective bar against such low contacts; but this barrier can be destroyed through negativeness and passivity while in the presence of some evil minded person on the physical plane.
After rapport is established between two entities, whether of the same plane or of different planes, the one developing the higher voltage is the one which does the influencing. That is, traffic is not compelled to travel only one way. Which way the energy moves, who does the influencing and who is influenced, is determined by the contact potential.
And this also is the principle which permits an individual emanating a powerful electromagnetic force in a séance room to polarize the weaker electromagnetic force of some other person present, even though it is done unconsciously, so that this less powerful person, electromagnetically, temporarily has the dominant rate, or some part of his finer form is given the vibratory rate, of the other person. His own electromagnetic vibrations are forced to accommodate themselves temporarily to the vibrations of the more powerful person, because both are occupying the same electromagnetic field. And this may enable an inner-plane entity to make a contact that later is difficult to sever.
After the entity has once made the contact through the assistance of the electromagnetic energies of a medium or other person with powerful emanations, it is easier again for this same entity, through the lines of force established, to make the contact again.
But when contact has thus, or through voluntarily tuning to the dominant mood of those occupying a certain level, been established, who does the major part of the influencing is determined by the same principle that Volta discovered relative to different metals when placed in contact, but otherwise insulated. That is, tuning in and establishing rapport is analogous to placing two different, but otherwise insulated, metals in contact. There is then a potential difference, which varies between different metals, and between different individuals. And the energy flow, which in the case of individuals means the influencing power, always moves from the higher potential to the lower.
Yet positiveness and negativeness are relative. A metal which is positive to another metal, itself usually is negative to still some other metal. And a person who is positive to one person, may be negative to another. The so-called positive individual, whether he occupies the physical plane or the inner plane, is merely one who customarily has so high a potential that he strongly resists control by any outside energy, and the so-called negative individual is merely one who customarily has so low a potential that he easily is controlled by energies from without.
Thus for an individual on the physical plane to develop more resistance to the influence of inner-plane entities, in addition to cultivating those moods which tune his dominant vibratory rate to levels whose occupants are spiritual, he needs to cultivate a higher electrical potential. For so long as he has a physical body his electromagnetic frequencies impart their rates to his astral form.
Some of the astral regions occupied by those of little spirituality are fair duplicates of the cities of earth. Strife, bargaining, and cunning attempts to gain unfair advantage over others, occupy much of the time of their inhabitants. Such regions attract those who on earth were engrossed in business, and neglected to cultivate sympathy for their fellows. They are not compelled to remain in these uninviting conditions. But here they will remain until, through the desire for something better, they develop at least the rudiments of spirituality.
In a region still lower, are duplications, with inversive improvements, of the slums of earth. Sin and wickedness are here rampant. And whenever the denizens of this region can do so they form contacts with those yet on earth that they may gratify their base desires more fully through the flesh. Much of the ingenuity of criminals on earth, and untold crimes of impulse, are prompted by those in the astral slums.
And still lower are those of a cold and vindictive wickedness. They have built for themselves, by their thoughts and desires, a region of darkness in what may be described as the astral hells. These are not people of impulse, but of premeditated and coolly calculated wickedness of the most cruel type. And in this region, devoid of all light except such as they can supply by artificial means, they practice their cruelty upon one another.
The Astral Hells
In the astral hells force alone is the law of its denizens. The shrewdest and most unscrupulous reign supreme. They scoff at the existence of God, and look upon all religion as a sop fit only for weaklings. The surroundings are bleak rock in some localities, and swampy land given over to something resembling noxious fungi, which emits a dreadful odor, in others. The clothing of the inhabitants is merely rags and tatters, and their housing not better than the dens of wild beasts.
People on earth are not compelled to live in mosquito-breeding swamps, but some do so. Nor are these, who once inhabited earth, compelled to live in these awful regions. They go here because their dominant vibratory rate is of this level, and because their thoughts and desires are of a nature to attract them to a bleak or noxious surrounding. And in these regions are other than human forms of life; creatures of some intelligence, even as animals on earth have some intelligence, but more repulsive than our animals.
Into such realms, even to the very lowest, go specially trained missionaries. They talk to the denizens of these gloomy lands, tell them of better conditions on higher planes and explain how those higher planes can be reached. For their pains they are jeered, heckled and booed. They are told that they are mere dreamers, that no higher land exists, that God is a myth fit only for children, that might is the only right, and that they are trying to influence people merely from some selfish motive unusually well concealed.
Such missionaries are set upon by crowds in the astral hells, and must know how to protect themselves from such assault, and how to get away when the attack becomes too strong. This is important as part of their work. And they must be quick to recognize the faint light that results from the response of any individual to their teachings.
When thus they perceive that someone has faith in their doctrines and begins to long for the higher life they describe, they go quickly to him and give him personal instructions. In this they often are thwarted by others of the region in which they work, who take pains to advance to the aspiring one every reason and inducement for remaining just where he is. And when such a one begins to gain a little spiritual understanding, and attempts to leave the region, these others set upon him like wild beasts, bent on bringing him down. Sometimes he is successful in getting away, with the assistance of the missionary; and sometimes the onset is so strong that he is pulled back too discouraged for further effort.
Those who have reported their visits to these infernal regions have given vivid descriptions of their horrors. They have painted word pictures of human depravity, and they have made known the existence of creatures quite terrifying, recognized commonly as elementals. But this need cause no person an extra shudder; for in reality, on a slumming expedition, one may contact things almost as hideous and revolting. There is this difference, however, that in slumming on the physical plane one commonly does not see the desires, evil thought, and cruel selfishness. One only sees people. But in the astral slums and hells the thoughts, desires, and passions are represented in the quality and kind of environment, and in the creatures other than human that inhabit it.
No one needs to quail at thought of such regions. They are the result of ignorance and moral disease. But the human soul should have the courage to face any condition that exists, on any plane, knowing that it has the power to triumph over it. Fear is a deadly enemy to the human soul; and should be allowed to have no participation in our lives. On the streets of the physical world we pass vicious characters, and there are sometimes poisonous spiders, like the black widow, about our homes. We do not fear these, and we need not fear any condition or intelligence of the inner world. We can face the fact that such conditions exist, that effort should be made to correct them; and beyond such knowledge and rendering such aid as we can, we need think no further about them.
People on earth sometimes suffer from obsession by an idea. But some also become obsessed by discarnate persons, such as belong to some of the lower levels just partially described. The obsessive influence may be intermittent, and only manifest when the individual becomes unduly excited about some particular thing so that his mind tunes in on the level of the obsessing person. Or the obsession may become a permanent thing; the person losing mastery of himself to such an extent that the invisible entity has complete control of his thoughts and actions. Our insane asylums house many who are afflicted in this way.
Many who become hopelessly obsessed could prevent it if they but had a little knowledge and made the effort in time. They could free themselves from any such influence by the same means that the missionaries use to get away from the denizens of lower regions who attempt to drag them down. The missionaries turn their thoughts resolutely to something of a higher level. They ignore their present surroundings, and the higher thought vibration lifts them out of the lower level to a higher level where grosser creatures cannot follow. Their special training enables them to do this, and also makes them aware when, through prolonged contact with a lower level, their energy is weakened to a point of danger, that is, to a point that makes it difficult to develop a high potential and to focus their minds sufficiently on the things of higher levels.
Some who are yet in the flesh do quite valuable work talking to those in the lower astral regions, instructing them, and trying to arouse in them an incentive for life on a higher level. And almost anyone can talk to an earthbound soul, and if his attention can be gained, render him aid in realizing his condition and how to remedy it. But it is not advisable for the ordinary person, who has had no special training in such matters, to try to help those of the slums and hells of the astral world. It is altogether too dangerous.
It is made more dangerous because elementals and those depraved who no longer have physical bodies may still be in contact with the dense belt of electromagnetic energy surrounding the earth, and be able through its energies to exert considerable force, provided the individual on earth develops the conditions which establish contact. Such contact between entities on different planes strengthens with repetition. And once the thoughts form the habit of tuning in on a certain level, it is increasingly hard to keep them from this particular level. As in the approach to narcotics and opiates, the first experiences may be difficult; yet with repetitions there is a stronger and stronger attraction. And the danger lies in the possibility of some entity of such a lower level getting the individual of the earth plane into his power.
Thought and feeling, including the consciousness and feeling of animals as well as of men, of those on earth radiates both electromagnetic energy and astral energy; and thus about the earth is a belt of energy formed of both electromagnetic and astral vibrations. And the electromagnetic boundary-line energies of this belt can be used by entities of the inner plane, once contact is established, to exert force on those of the outer plane.
High and noble aspirations provide energy which those on the higher levels of the astral plane can use to impress those on the outer plane with valuable ideas. But so much of this purgatorial belt has the vibrations of the brute level that it is specially adapted to the use of creatures on the inner plane whose propensities are those of the animals.
Even on the lower astral levels whose denizens are still closely in contact with this electromagnetic belt, because on the astral plane space, time and gravitation do not limit as on earth, those who dwell there may be able through extrasensory perception to gain information of value relating to conditions and the affairs of earth. But those residing on such lower levels, even though their contact with the electromagnetic belt makes it easy for them to influence people on earth, are not to be trusted. Those on any such level, if they find it to their advantage, are too apt to deceive, and try to use the earth-plane individual for their own selfish ends.
Except through excessive negativeness while in the presence of some person on the physical plane whose thoughts are evil, people do not tune in on such low levels of the inner plane except through thinking the thoughts characteristic of such levels. Yet if, once having made the contact with a person on another plane, one thinks persistently of this person, it automatically tends to raise or lower the consciousness to his basic level, thus reestablishing the connection.
On the physical plane there are racketeers. And once an individual becomes a racketeer, the laws of gangdom never willingly permit him to leave the racket. Every effort is made by gangsters to prevent any of their members going straight. And when they get some victim in their clutch, they strive to keep him a victim, and to use him for their own purposes.
People on the physical plane who dabble unintelligently with things of the astral realm sometimes more or less voluntarily come in contact with the denizens of the astral slums or hells. And others, through poorly supervised public séance rooms, or through psychic development coupled with dominant base desires, sometimes contact people of the next life who are depraved. And these depraved individuals of the inner realm use just such means as we expect modern gangsters to use in holding their victims. They resort to threats, to curses, to abuse, and to anything that tends to arouse fear.
They really cannot harm the person in the flesh, except through his fear and his acceptance of their suggestions. And the person in the flesh can get rid of them for good by developing a high electrical potential and keeping his thoughts so busy with something else that any thought of them does not intrude into his consciousness.
But those who in the next life live in these slums and hells cannot turn to some other vibratory rate so easily; for it is their dominant vibratory rate. When the desire comes for a more unselfish kind of life, their vibratory rate rises, and they gradually acquire the power to move across the thought-built bridge to a higher realm. But when their associates perceive what they are trying to do, they clutch at them and do all in their power to hold them back. They leave only after a struggle. Even with the missionaries’ help, not infrequently they are drawn back by their fellows who set upon them like a pack of wolves. Yet if they continue to aspire, and do not give way to discouragement, in the end they will win.
And when they win to a higher level, what joy is there for all. Exhausted by the struggle, they are taken by guides to a place of rest. And after their vitality has been restored they are shown about this new and glorious land. The minute comer of the universe from which they have emerged was very real to them, however unimportant in the universal scheme. But now they have before them, as the result of their own efforts, a life of an intensity, interest, and enjoyment such as previously they could hardly have imagined.
Harry Houdini Chart
April 6, 1874, 2:24 a.m. LMT; 88:20W. 44:15N.
Data in Book of Notable Nativities.
1883, traveled with circus: Mercury semisextile Neptune r.
1895, worked at Tony Pastor’s theatre: Sun semisquare Mercury r.
1900, sensational tour of Europe doing daring stunts: Sun conjunction Mars r.
1913, mother died, he went to mediums to get in touch with her, was disappointed and turned the relentless enemy of spiritualism: Sun trine Jupiter r, Mercury square Saturn p.
1923, one of Scientific American Committee investigating “Margery:” Sun conjunction Mercury p, both opposition Moon r.
Sylvan Muldoon Chart
February 28, 1903, 2:10 p.m. LMT; 90:15W. 42:45N.
Data given by him personally.
1915, first conscious astral projection: Venus opposition Mars r.
1929, married, and book Projection of the Astral Body published: Mars inconjunct Jupiter p, Sun sextile Saturn r.
1933, he and his wife went into business: Mars trine Saturn p.
1937, his book The Case For Astral Projection published: Mercury in 9th sextile Saturn r.
1939, Projection of the Astral Body republished: Sun opposition Mars r, Mars trine Saturn r.
1941, collected and published, Sensational Psychic Experiences: Sun sextile Pluto r, Venus semisextile Pluto r.