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Serial Lesson 181

From Course XX, The Next Life, Chapter 9

Original Copyright 1943, 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:   Origin of The Human Form    Exploration    Acquaintances    Stations for Communicating With the Earth    Prayer    Entertainment    Work and Play    Initiation Ceremonies

Birth Charts:  Eleanora Duse Chart    Edith Mary Corns Chart

Chapter 9

Social Contacts and Amusements in the Next Life

IF you have made some mental and spiritual progress while here, you will find yourself, not long after passing over, amid conditions that in many respects resemble those left on earth. The objects you contact will possess certain new and rather startling properties by virtue of the greater-than-light velocity of this realm. But there will be administration buildings, laboratory buildings, industrial buildings, and houses that are used as homes. There will be plants and flowers that resemble those of earth, and others with which you are unfamiliar. Animal life is abundant on the levels close to earth, but as you reach higher levels you will find other bright creatures of considerable intelligence that have no earthly counterpart. And there will be people representing a wide variation in race and color.

If you are of the incurious, stay-at-home type, the races of people you normally will contact in the duties of your new existence will be quite numerous enough to be satisfying. But if you have a temperament that delights in exploration and in unusual discoveries, this tendency can find full and thrilling scope for operation. And in the journeys you can take, accompanied at first by a competent guide, you will be able, if you desire, to contact people who have had their evolution on other planets than the earth; not merely on other planets of the solar system, but on planets belonging to other systems.

I do not wish to imply that the only highly developed beings that are evolved within this galaxy we call the Milky Way are of the human form. In fact, from what I have seen, I am confident there are orders of beings and intelligences of which man has scarcely dreamed, and of whose functions his intellect is too puny even to guess. But I do have reason to believe that the human form is evolved on other planets of our system, and on other planets belonging to other systems. And when you pass to the next life, if you are sufficiently interested in adventure and travel, you can pay a visit to the astral regions that form the abode of certain of these other planetary-system people.

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Origin of The Human Form

If you take such a trip you will encounter many quaint customs. And you will be struck by many minor divergences from our habits of life. But even more you will be surprised to find how closely all these people are to the well-recognized human form. Their proportions are sometimes markedly different; but they are real human beings, and not distorted caricatures. The queer antenna, birdlike feet, and beetlelike head, so attractive to the writers of the Sunday Supplement of the daily newspapers in picturing the denizens of other planets, are noticeable only by their absence. These people may be tall or short, slim or chunky, with long limbs or those more moderate, with rather large heads or rather small heads, but, in so far as I am aware, they are all distinctly and emphatically human.

The explanation given to me was that this human form is the natural product of evolution in the planetary streams of systems resembling our own. What other kinds of systems bring forth, at the present time I have not the slightest idea. But it seems that our solar system is a definite type that, with some variation, occurs elsewhere in the stellar galaxy. And in all systems of this type the astrological energies beat upon the finer bodies of organisms there evolved very much in the same way. That is, they all have a similar astral environment.

It is generally believed by naturalists on earth that the linear form, which is the common characteristic of fish that live in swift streams, was developed through the pressure of the water of such streams on organisms that previously were neither linear nor flexible. This particular form was developed because it offered less resistance to the current by which it was surrounded. If the fish were to live in swift-running water, they were compelled to develop a form which would offer as little resistance as possible to water movement. This subject is considered in more detail in Chapter 4 (Serial Lesson 128), Course XII-I, Evolution of Life.

As it was explained to me, a thought-cell form in which every section and function of the universe is present in miniature offers less resistance to the astral currents by which it is surrounded than any other possible form. As life evolves on the earth, or on other planets, the pressure of these astrological currents make thought-cell expression easier the more closely the form approaches that of normal man. Because man, of all the creatures, is a complete microcosm, or miniature duplicate of the universe, there is less resistance to his mental activities than to those of any other creature. He is man not just because his remote ancestors learned to walk on their hind legs, but because, as man, his thought-cell form can move through the invisible currents with a mental freedom that would be impossible to some other form.

It is not for me to say what forms may, or may not, be assumed by those now human in the illimitable future; but in so far as I have been able to peer, the human form, although much perfected in detail, continues to persist. At least the human shape is that common to man in all levels of both the astral and the spiritual worlds. And it is the shape of those you will meet even in distant travel.

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Exploration

I cannot say, because I do not know, how many and how extensive are the territories it is possible to visit after you pass to the next life. I do know that the opportunities for exploration are immensely greater than those limited by the sphere called earth. There are depths of space into which no one with whom I have talked has ever gone, or even knows anything definitely about. Within the familiar limits of the astral levels where most people continue to live, life moves forward serenely and with little hazard. But off, apparently beyond the boundaries of the inhabited regions, perhaps even beyond the edge of our own stellar galaxy, are other, and unexplored regions.

No one is compelled to take trips beyond the region where dwell his own kind of people. But if you are adventurously inclined, and demand action and hazard, you will find plenty of opportunity to test your ability and courage. If you seek them out, there are real dangers to be encountered in exploring the boundary lands.

And although in the next life you pass beyond the influence of the physical world, and therefore beyond the rotation of the earth, there are still directions which correspond to north, south, east and west. The sun does not rise and set, but, except in the hells, there is always light of some degree of intensity. This light apparently is diffusive, but a little attention indicates that the vibratory waves thus manifesting as light have a direction of travel. That is, instead of beating down from above, they move across the country, and the general direction of movement, although not perceptible unless attention is closely directed to it, can be sensed.

The direction from which this light comes corresponds to east, and if you face this direction, north will be at your left hand, south at your right hand, and west at your back. This is not all together an accurate description of the directions in the after realm; but it is as close as I can give it in slower-than-light velocity terms. In reality you do not analyze as I have done, you just have a sense of direction.

I suppose that our ancestors of several hundred years ago, if they had been told about the modern automobile and airplane, would have jumped at once to the conclusion that a people possessed of these conveniences of travel would never deign to move about on foot. Yet about our streets, as well as on health-developing trips into the country or through the mountains, it is still customary to meet pedestrians. In spite of possessing other methods of locomotion, people still find it advantageous to do some walking.

Thus in the next life, while for long trips from one region to another, and for movement between the levels, aerial travel is the customary method of transport, you will find that walking is no less popular there for going on short excursions, and about the everyday affairs, than it is here. People walk about the gardens and parks, walk through the buildings, and take walks through the country, very much as they do on earth. But when there is a demand for a quicker mode of travel, they can generate a thought power such as we call extraphysical power, that carries them almost instantly to their destination.

One cannot speak of chance meetings and be entirely accurate. The contacts with other people that we form in the present life, and in the next one, are not brought about by chance, but because we have within our finer form thought cells that attract to us, when they are given additional activity by thought or by astrological releases, people that have an influence similar to their desires. Yet just such meetings as on earth we commonly term chance meetings also occur on the inner planes. And in that life, also, people so met may exert a profound influence upon our lives.

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Acquaintances

I need not here go into the detail of how, in the next life, we can attract others to us; because the method there is precisely the same as the method here, as explained in Chapters 5, 6 and 10 (Serial Lessons 155, 156 and 160), Course XIV, Occultism Applied. The only thing that needs to be added is that in the next life as well as in this one, if there is a strong, persistent and devout desire to accomplish some definite thing for the benefit of humanity this desire radiates an energy which is felt, consciously or unconsciously, by those who are best fitted to give instructions and assistance in this work. Such aspiration is a powerful force to attract both people and things into the life that can aid in its realization.

But it is not merely those who help us who have an influence on our lives. There are others whom we meet here, and some whom we meet in the after life, who are not attracted through our desire to accomplish some constructive work. Yet if the contact is once made and if some degree of association results, it carries with it also some degree of responsibility. It is a responsibility that requires the finest powers of discrimination properly to fulfill. We should never permit these people to detract from our larger usefulness to society through their demands upon our time, sympathy, and energy, nor cause us to deviate from the high path of spirituality we have outlined for ourselves. Yet on the other hand, every person closely contacted in this life and in the next affords a possible opportunity for real helpfulness; and to the extent we can give real assistance to each without detracting from our larger usefulness to society as a whole, are we called upon to render this assistance.

I mention this rather obvious doctrine here because the lines of association we form while still on earth often are instrumental in bringing the same people into our lives again in the next world. Not only our relatives, but others whose lives in some manner we have contacted and influenced here, are very apt, through the memory images retained in our minds, to be again contacted on the inner plane. Yet if it can be seen clearly that no constructive purpose would be served by such a renewal of acquaintance, it can be avoided.

If an injustice has been done, however, the memory of it in the mind of one or both usually has enough power, sooner or later to bring the two together, and then a proper adjustment can be made. And even when no injustice has transpired, if one has through personal contact exerted considerable influence in the life of another, this commonly brings them together again. I do not mean they necessarily have a further influence over each other’s lives; but that, even as people from the same village, after they have taken up residence in some large city, have annual picnics where they once more meet and discuss old-time acquaintanceship, so in the after life people are apt to look up their earth-time acquaintances. And these renewed contacts not infrequently offer the opportunity for much helpful service.

People, when they pass to the next life, take up their own particular work; but they do not become so engrossed in it and in their own progress that they forget their old friends. Even when they pass to much higher planes they retain an interest in loved ones in worlds below, and as opportunity offers communicate with them.

The most approved method by which those of considerable spiritual advancement communicate with their loved ones on earth, or with those who have made the thought contact with them through kindred interests is by extrasensory impression. Voluntary and directed thought transference, when the one on earth is sufficiently trained in intellectual extrasensory perception, is also to be commended. But, unfortunately, not all of those who pass to the next plane are very wise. And even among those wise, it may, under certain circumstances, be deemed expedient to use various other methods, simply because there is the necessity to get a message through, and other avenues are closed.

Regarding the destructive and disintegrative forms of mediumship, I have had much to say in the last three chapters of Course I, Laws of Occultism (Serial Lessons 43-45). It is quite natural that those who pass to the next plane should wish to give assurance of their welfare to the loved ones still on earth. They are still quite as eager to be of help as they were while here. But up to the present time the lines of communication between the two worlds have not reached as high a degree of perfection as might be desired.

When a message is being given through the channels of a public medium it is often possible for some other entity to cut in on the line, or due to other reasons, for the message to come through in garbled form. But, unable to impress them more directly, those wishing to communicate with loved ones here use whatever means they can best command.

It must not be thought that there is but a single method of inter-world communication. There are many engineers and signal experts who, on the inner planes, are devoting their time exclusively to perfecting various means of communication. We cannot say what discoveries in this field may not be made in the near future. And in chapter 1 (Serial Lesson 173), I have already mentioned a strictly mechanical device that I feel confident, in time, will come into use to make communication with the earth easy, accurate, and fully reliable.

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Stations for Communicating With the Earth

But at the present time there are many well-organized stations in the astral world, with skilled operators in charge, where people who have passed on may go and undertake to communicate with those left in the flesh. These stations do not all operate on the same plan, as different methods are constantly being experimented with. At some of the more popular ones there is always a crowd of people, each awaiting his turn to try to get a message through to some loved one on the earth.

And aside from these well-established stations, there are numerous ingenious individuals living on various levels, and in various sections of each level, who delight in experiments of their own. They construct devices, and try out many plans by which they hope to get into contact with those of earth. The work of some of these amateurs is highly gratifying, and is making communication with those of the next life increasingly popular.

Quite aside from this public aspect of communication between the planes is the more satisfying thought-transference method of spirit communion. This requires that the one on earth, or lower level, shall have a keenly developed sense of awareness to words and images having their origin in the mind of another.

If you practice this sort of sending and receiving messages, you first visualize as clearly as possible the image of the person on the other plane you wish to contact. This puts in the call, and if the thought has the proper quality and force to reach him, he feels it as a force coming from you. He then thinks as clearly as possible of your image, and attempts to modulate his thoughts to the same vibratory frequency as those coming from you. He does not need to leave the level where he resides. The two of you merely try to tune in on the same wavelength. And if you are successful in this, both of you feel it as a sense of nearness. In your consciousness it will feel as if he were right by your side, just as the voice from your radio seems to come right from the room where the receiving set is located.

Spirit communion as here described is accomplished through what is now termed Intellectual Extrasensory Perception. The unconscious mind of an individual on earth continually resides on the astral plane and has faculties which, given sufficient energy with which to work, and the right kind of impetus, can on this inner plane communicate with the intelligences dwelling there. In such communicating mediumship or control plays no more part than it does when one individual exchanges information with another on the physical plane. Nor in such work, if worthy of being called spirit communion, does hypersensitivity play more of an important part than it does in the exchange of information between two persons talking to each other both of whom are in the flesh.

What happens is that the unconscious mind, or soul, is given instructions by the objective mind what information or question it is to convey to the inner-plane person tuned in on, and that it is to bring back the answer. The soul conveys the image or message to the inner-plane person and brings back the reply. The interval between visualizing the message and thus getting the answer may be so short as to seem instantaneous, and the inner-plane individual, whatever level he may occupy, may seem present in person.

The reason the images or words received are perceived in your own mind, even though you are aware they come from the other person, is that in reality they first are recognized by your unconscious mind, and it projects them up into the region of your objective consciousness. Also, the thoughts that are transferred to the inner-plane person exist first in your objective mind, then are forced down into the unconscious mind, and on the plane it normally occupies are delivered by it to the mind of the inner-plane person.

This process when carried out between two persons both of whom occupy the physical plane is called telepathy, but when carried out between persons occupying different planes is called spirit communion.

For either the successful use of telepathy or spirit communion there must be suitable electromagnetic energy present to give energy to the soul, to direct its activities, and to enable it after it has acquired the thought of the other person to project the thought into the objective mind with sufficient force and clarity that it is able to overcome competing trains of thought, and register there.

Volume of electrical energy is not all that is required for quick and effective thinking. While all objective thinking is carried out through electrical processes within the brain, to be effective there must be generated by the nervous system wavelengths suitable for this purpose. Nor is volume of electrical energy all that is required to furnish energy for telepathy or spirit communion. The electrical energy must be of a high frequency suitable for such work. Breathing and tensing exercises may be used to generate such electrical energy; and even as most persons are aware when they are in fit shape to do good thinking, so with a little practice one may learn to recognize when electrical conditions are present suitable for spirit communion.

However much suitable electrical energy is present, if highly charged thoughts about everyday problems and worries keep flocking through the brain the unconscious mind is unable to use it to make an impression on the brain vivid enough to be objectively recognized. Therefore those who strive for spirit communion must cultivate the ability to inhibit cerebral thinking.

The actual tuning in is done through mood control and holding the image in the mind of the one to be reached with the thoughts. And with some practice it is possible to recognize when the soul is sufficiently giving its attention to inner-plane things and has made the contact with the person with whom it is instructed to communicate.

Usually it takes long and persistent practice deliberately to move one’s consciousness and thought processes out on the inner plane. But when you have thus moved your consciousness to the inner plane, it only takes practice in directing the desires to learn to hold spirit communion, or to do a variety of work there. The recognition of what the soul is doing is similar to that of knowing when one musical instrument is in tune with another musical instrument. To gain this ability the musician undergoes practice in discriminating the similarities and dissimilarities between tones. And even as after a time he quickly recognizes the slightest difference in tones, so the individual who applies himself can learn to discriminate between his inner vibrations sufficiently to recognize whether or not his soul is active, what it is doing, and whether it has made the contact it has been sent to establish.

All inner-plane experiences, including those involved in spirit communion, must exist first in the soul as a memory before they are recognized by objective consciousness. And when raised, at once or after some delay, into the region of objective consciousness, there is the problem of recognizing them. Due to the electrical energies which move through the brain having established easy channels of flow, the habitual movement of these energies and the thoughts they charge may so seriously compete with the weak electrical charges with which the soul can endow the information it has received that no recognizable impression is made on the brain.

This difficulty is partly overcome through cultivating the ability to inhibit cerebral thinking. But even after some progress has been made in this, some training in discrimination may be necessary to sort out the images and impressions which the unconscious mind, or soul, brings from the inner-plane person, and not confuse them, or mix them, with one’s own thoughts given energy by thought-cell activity, which may gain considerable power through the energy fed the thought cells by the progressed aspects of the planets.

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Prayer

This tuning in on higher planes brings us to the subject of prayer. Prayer, of its own dynamic force, due to the images formulated by desire and vitalized with emotional energy, has extrasensory power to bring its own answer. Prayers, however, are of various grades and categories. Some are pure and quite unselfish, wishing for the welfare of all mankind. Others, equally unselfish, ask help for certain individuals. Still others which in essence are really prayers, are not so considered by those who feel them.

All, however, are either vague or clear-cut thoughts that have been endowed with emotional quality. This emotional quality gives them a certain vitality; but more frequently than not the motive is somewhat mixed, and has vibratory elements of several levels. Thus it is that prayers frequently can be seen as thought forms on several different levels. The grosser elements affect only the substance of the levels closer to earth, but the more spiritual elements reach and can be seen even in the levels above the astral, in the spiritual world. That is, prayer, or thought vitalized by emotional elements can reach and have an influence only on levels that are of no higher frequency than the highest frequency embraced within the thought.

But in this connection there is a factor of sufficient importance that it should be noted. It is that by visualizing a person, that is, having his image in the mind, the range of accommodation to thought frequencies is considerably increased. The image affords a definite tone to which the thought frequency attempts to reach. Even should no actual person be represented by this image, if the image as held in the mind is of a character indicating a very exalted level, the thoughts tend to tune up, as nearly as possible, to this frequency level. Those, therefore, who have lifted their souls in prayers to saints and angels, as well as to Omnific Deity, have reached a level with their thoughts, and there builded somewhat, which otherwise to them would have been entirely impossible.

Those who have ascended in their progress entirely above the astral world can have no direct communication with those on earth, except with those who have already in some measure built for themselves a spiritual form. Everyone on earth has an astral form and, therefore, under proper conditions can reach, and be reached by, those who have passed to the next life who are not too highly advanced in the astral realms. But man is not born with a spiritual form. It is built up through thoughts, emotions and experiences which are refined enough to affect the substance of the spiritual world. Thus only the most advanced of those on earth have developed a spiritual form of sufficient texture that it affords a means of contact with those exalted beings of the real high-frequency spiritual world.

Nor, if we have not developed a spiritual form while on earth, do we immediately get one when we pass to the next life. If it is not built up here, it must be built up through effort and long training in the after life. And in this after life, until we have built up something of a spiritual body, those in the spiritual world cannot contact us directly. Of course, while in the flesh or after passing to the astral plane, if we can turn the dial of our consciousness even temporarily to the frequencies of the still higher velocity realm of spirit we can see the events of that world and converse with those who there dwell. But unless one has made some spiritual development he will find it hard to tune in on the high frequencies with sufficient persistence to receive messages from such sources clearly. Answers to prayers for guidance, however, sometimes come from these exalted spheres.

This does not mean that information from the spiritual spheres seldom reaches the earth. On the contrary, accepted neophytes who have been given some specific work to do on earth, and who already have built up spiritual bodies of considerable strength, are frequently instructed and advised directly by those in the spiritual world. And much more of information and instruction is conveyed to the physical world through the relay system. The communication is given from those in the spiritual levels to someone in the astral world who has succeeded in building up a spiritual body of sufficient density to make it easy for him to contact spiritual frequencies. Then this individual of the astral world makes whatever contact he can with someone in the flesh, and thus the message finds its way into the physical world.

You will understand this from your radio set, which may not be able to pick up the high-frequency waves used to transmit a program from England to Los Angeles. The National Broadcasting System, however, has a receiving set that registers this program, and as it comes from the loud speaker it goes into another microphone and is rebroadcast on some other frequency that is easily registered by your set.

This is analogous to the common method by which information from the spiritual levels is relayed to earth. But when the mechanical devices which I mentioned in chapter one (Serial Lesson 173) are perfected and brought into use on the earth, rebroadcasting will be unnecessary. In this process of the future there is a transformer, or a series of them which steps the velocities down, so that a message or program broadcast on any level of either the spiritual world or astral world can be made to set up vibrations of similar significance on any particular level in a lower-velocity realm, reproducing themselves perfectly in lower octaves in the slower moving substance of the realm contacted, and thus be made recognizable even on earth.

The relay principle is also brought into play when some manifestation of substance takes place. A person of high astral level can so change his vibratory rates as to pass down to any lower astral level and there perform some work or service. To do this, of course, requires special training. But an astral entity cannot move physical substance unless some physical organic life is present to furnish the electromagnetic energy to be used in the physical manifestation. Nor can someone in the spiritual world move the substance of any of the astral levels, or do any work there, except someone of the astral or physical world who has already developed something of a spiritual form is present. But those of the spiritual levels, through the aid of a spiritual person there located, can manifest themselves, and do so, in the worlds of lower velocities.

Yet I should not state positively what can and what cannot be done. Rather, I should say that up to the present time certain things have apparently not been done. Because, either on the astral levels, or on those spiritual, things are not fixed and stationary. Progress is constantly striven after. On all planes there is a continued and energetic search for new things and for new ways of doing old things.

Forty years ago we might have said that man cannot fly; yet today he does fly. So what I have said about communication between the worlds is merely an observation on what seems at present customary. Some discovery of tomorrow may entirely upset this; for one of the things those on the inner levels are seeking is to find a method by which the life of the different worlds and different levels of each world may better be coordinated. In the spiritual world and in the astral world inter-planal communication has been developed to a rather high degree of efficiency. But much is yet to be desired in the facility and completeness of communication between the spiritual world levels and the astral world levels, and between the astral world levels and the realm of physical life on other planets and the earth.

Not only is there a very complete system of communication between the various levels of the astral world, by which those who voluntarily descend from upper levels to work on those lower keep in touch with the level to which they belong, but definite programs are arranged by those on higher levels, which are sent to lower levels, where they are witnessed and heard by multitudes.

But do not think that these programs are all in the nature of lectures, sermons, and profound discourses. Instead, more of them are devoted to music, art, the drama, and other types of entertainment. That such entertainments have an inspiring quality is not to be wondered, as even on earth any entertainment that has not some uplifting quality is popularly frowned upon. Yet I suppose to many it will seem surprising that so much time in the next life is devoted to entertainment.

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Entertainment

From what I have seen, and the reports of others, it would seem that entertainment is given more importance there than here. With some twenty million people attending the movies in the U. S. every day, in addition to football games, baseball games, and the consumption of radio music, it might be rash to say that more time is given to entertainment there than here, although even that seems to be the case. But at least the entertainments seem to be somewhat better organized, and quite as well attended.

Occasionally we hear it asserted by someone who has a little knowledge of the astral plane that not only are people bound to earth by their pleasures, but that even after passing to the next life they may become entangled in the joys of the “Summerland.” And it is true that an absorption in the grosser pleasures, either on earth or in the next life, may develop a callous selfishness and coarsen the character, and thus make progress impossible.

But we must realize, from our studies of psychology, that man voluntarily moves only in the direction of his pleasures. He moves away from pain. When he does something it is because doing it is more pleasurable to him than not doing it, or less painful to him than not doing it. He may have conditioned himself to find pleasure in things that most people find painful; but whenever there is a struggle between doing and not doing, the movement is always in the direction of the strongest image in the mind, and this, unless he is dominated against his will, is away from pain and toward pleasure.

In the next life, and in this one, one may cultivate pleasure in antisocial acts, in gross conduct, and in vileness of various kinds. Thus it is possible to become entangled in the grosser pleasures of the “Summerland.” But this is no indictment of pleasure or of joy; it merely indicates that the wrong kinds of pleasure are degrading.

On the other hand, either on earth or in the next life, the strongest force for progress, in fact, almost the only force, is that derived from finding pleasure in experiences that are beneficial to others, that refine the form, and that lift the soul in aspiration to more noble endeavors. It is probably due to a recognition of this principle that we find music, pageants, glorious displays of lights and colors, thought-built scenic grandeurs, dramatic presentations, and splendid tableaus so common on all these higher astral levels.

In these higher levels we find people planning their activities so as to get the utmost from their lives. And the common method of doing this is to divide the activities into four separate phases: Work, study, domestic life and rest, and amusement. The proportionate amount of time spent in any one of these phases in relation to the amount spent in each of the other three is not constant, but varies with the individual, and also with the same individual’s requirements at different stages of his advancement. Yet, through the counsel of those who specialize in such research, and through personal observation, it is more common than otherwise to find people in these higher levels dividing their time among those four interests after a manner that will give the greatest all around value to their lives.

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Work and Play

Some types of work require much reading, attending lectures, and personal instruction for the highest effectiveness. Other types require very little of such methods, and that which should be learned is derived largely from doing it and through conversations with others who are following the same line. Thus just how much time and energy are allotted to gaining information is determined by individual needs.

No one, however, is considered too old, or too wise, to require further education, so that while book knowledge and formal schooling may play a very small part in the lives of some, everyone seems to recognize that any degree of progress calls for an effort to increase his knowledge. Some educational effort, therefore, is common to the life of practically everyone. In addition to other avenues of gaining information, there are vast public libraries to which all have access. And I may add, in passing, that these libraries are not totally inaccessible to those yet on earth.

When I speak of domestic life I do not mean that everyone is married and has a separate and individual home, although this is more common than otherwise. Yet everyone, after a period of strenuous activity, feels the need of rest, relaxation and revitalization. On earth, people eat and sleep to recuperate their strength. In the higher astral levels eating as we know it is not practiced, nor sleep. Yet periods of rest and revitalization are required and, while some live in more congested quarters and in conformity to their temperamental leanings, domestic ties and a home seem to find favor with most as the ideal means to this end.

Because most of the accounts of the next life come to us through those especially concerned with communicating with someone on earth, the impression might easily be gained that the chief concern of those on the inner plane is the earth and what happens to its people. After many years in a metropolis, one writing, or telephoning, to the old hometown might just as readily convey the impression that the most important thing in life was what was happening in the village of his birth. But in reality he might be living a varied and quite intense life in his present surroundings and gives thought to the village only on special occasions. And in reality those of the next life, while not forgetful of earth ties, are so actively engaged in their after-life affairs that what happens on earth assumes no great importance.

Among these activities, and at least far better organized than on earth, are the amusements. There are public pageants of vast splendor, which are presented at times when the astrological forces correspond to the purpose of the pageant. In fact, the periods not only devoted to amusement, but also to serious work, are coordinated with astrological forces, and thus greater effectiveness for energy expended is secured. Building activities, for instance, are timed to periods when the astrological influences correspond to those represented by our planet Mars; activities involving special leadership to influences which correspond to those represented by our Sun, etc. The pageants, likewise, and other types of public amusement, are set for periods that have a corresponding astrological quality.

The gorgeousness of these displays cannot be conceived by one who has never left the earth. Not infrequently those of higher levels are in charge of affairs. Thought-molded substances are shaped into amazing and beautiful designs. Colors of infinite harmony are blended to produce most exquisite effects. And as these artistic arrays move forward like vehicles, various lights from a distance are played upon them in such a manner as to produce a symphony of color combinations. Visual music, as well as that auditory, thus lends an added enchantment.

In such pageants, people in splendid costumes take part; and along with them, and trained to their part, are other bright creatures, pert and intelligent, with grace of movement, beauty and charm, which have no counterpart on earth. They are not fairies, for they seem to have developed in the realm where they now are; but they exceed in their delightfulness even the wee folk of earthly forest glens.

Then there are festivals and various ceremonial occasions. These also occur under special astrological influences and, as any high class entertainment should, they carry a message of importance. The intellectual aspect, however, is quite subordinate, and the chief end sought seems to be the arousing of beneficial emotional responses. And the most striking thing about such affairs, to one who has had no previous contact with these higher astral levels, is the number of people who attend them.

If there were no other types of amusement, this would not seem so surprising, but there are public exhibitions of art, public musical recitals, public exhibitions of dancing, public initiation ceremonies, and public reception, with appropriate music, color and tableau, of those who have made enough progress on the next lower astral level to be ready to take up their life permanently on this particular one.

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Initiation Ceremonies

When a large group is brought to a level, from some other and lower region, the whole community seems to turn out to greet them. Banners fly, colored lights play visual melodies, music resounds a welcome, and everyone makes it an occasion for being both happy and gay. There are speeches of congratulation, and ceremonies of initiation, all in full public view. Afterwards there is more music and dancing and places where various kinds of dramatic entertainments may be witnessed.

In such public initiations, which are not to be confused with the initiations given by certain fraternities and orders, on occasions there is someone from earth, out of the body during sleep, who has succeeded permanently in raising the dominant vibration of his astral form to the plane level where the ceremony is taking place. Thus, because he has made the same advancement as the others who are now just taking up their existence on this particular astral level, he joins them and forms a part of their group.

Even though everyone recognizes that he still has a physical body on the earth, he is quite as welcome as the others. He is conducted through the same ceremony, and cheered quite as royally.

When he awakens in his physical body he may remember considerable of the ceremony, or only a very little of it; but usually he is at least conscious that he has been away, has passed certain tests, and has been formally initiated somewhere. And he may even remember that he was rather clumsy in this other environment; for those fresh from earth show their ineptitude, and what they do often excites hilarious though friendly merriment from the crowd. They laugh at his little blunders, and he takes it all in good part and laughs with them, but they also make it plain that they esteem him highly for, while still hampered with a physical body, making such marked advancement.

Brotherhoods and societies of importance on the earth have their counterparts in the next life. And it is not uncommon to find a brother who yet resides on earth attending the meetings of his fraternity on the astral plane.

Of necessity, I have had to treat of the amusements and social activities of the next life as if they were identical on all levels. As a matter of fact, the work of certain lodges, for instance, is not just the same on different astral levels, but grows in complexity as the levels are ascended. Nor is the type of amusement entirely similar as found on various levels. I have, however, tried to give an accurate impression—as an accurate description is beyond the written word—of conditions as you will encounter them after you move your residence from physical earth to the astral world.

If I have conveyed the impression that things are just stereotyped over there, that it is a place of monotonous routine, and that everything is accepted with a serious countenance, I have failed. But if I have conveyed to you that life there is brilliantly and pleasingly active, that interests are varied and thrilling, that there is more real romance in the after life than has ever been thought of on earth, that social relations are given plenty of attention, and that amusement and entertainment, instead of being considered a waste of time, are deemed important in every well-regulated life, I have not failed. And if, in addition, you can feel that this next life is going to be intensely more alluring, happy and vital than this one, I will consider this discourse a success.

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Birth Charts

Eleanora Duse Chart

October 3, 1859, 6:00 a.m. LMT; 9E 45:30N.
Data given in December, 1937 “Die Astrologie.”

1863, name first appeared on theatre bills: Saturn semisextile Jupiter r, Mercury conjunction Venus r.

1865, played for first time on stage of Compagnia Duse: Sun semisextile Mars r, Jupiter semisextile Saturn r.

1873, October 3, played Juliet for first time: Sun sesquisquare Uranus r.

1874, while giving performance received news mother was dead: Sun square Jupiter p.

1880, unfortunate love affair: Mercury opposition Pluto r, inconjunct Uranus r.

1883, great stage success: Sun sextile Moon r.

Edith Mary Corns Chart

November 10, 1913 noon CST; 83W. 41N.
Data given by mother.

1918, with family moved to Los Angeles: Sun trine Mars r.

1933, graduated from high school: Mercury trine Mars r.

1933, started training as nurse: Sun conjunction Mercury r, Mercury trine Mars r.

1936, became graduate nurse: Venus trine Mars p.

1937, became army nurse: Mercury trine Mars r.

1941, October 4, sailed for Philippines: Sun opposition Saturn r.

1942, midnight, April 29: after heroically caring for wounded in four months’ Battle of Bataan, ordered to Australia, but in escaping was reported “missing in action”: Sun opposition Saturn r, Mars conjunction Mars r, Mercury semisextile Venus r.

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