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Serial Lesson 173

From Course XX, The Next Life, Chapter 1

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:   Sources of Information    Inner-Plane Properties Are Consistent With Relativity    There Are Innumerable Levels of The Inner-Plane World    Astral Levels    Moving Across the Planes

Birth Charts:  Elizabeth D. Benjamine Chart    Nine-Point Plan For a New Civilization Chart

Chapter 1

Turning the Dial to Inner Planes

IF the span of physical existence were the sum total of an individual’s life, he would be warranted in making all his adjustments in living on the basis that death is the end. But with an overwhelming, and constantly accumulating amount of positive proof at hand that there is a continuation of life and conscious personality after the dissolution of the physical, his adjustments in living should all be made, not on the foundation of this one experience in the chain of his existence, but with reference to the requirements of the whole scope of his living.

If the squirrels lived ever so successfully throughout the summer months, made the fruitful period of the year a time of joy, and yet neglected every preparation for approaching winter, they would excite our admiration far less than they do. We know, in spite of warmer days, that winter with its dearth of food will overtake them; and we know, quite as certainly, that the winter of physical dissolution will overtake every human being.

Squirrels of the year have had no experience with winter, yet they have an instinctive apprehension of its approach, and how to prepare to survive it. And humanity the world over, both past and present—as witnessed by the universal belief in a life after death—has an instinctive knowledge that man survives the tomb. The same type of intelligence displayed by young birds, when unerringly they set out ahead of the older ones on long migratory flights, also informs man that there is a future life. These birds have never traveled the route before, nor are leaders with them who have. But something within assures them that there is a fairer region across the trackless stretches to the south, and obeying this impulse they set out and reach that welcome land.

The squirrels store up food; the birds migrate to more hospitable climes. Some animals grow a luxurious coat of fur long before the weather becomes really cold. Still others provide their bodies with excess fat and go to sleep, that they may use but a minimum of fuel, until returning spring makes available other forms of food. Such creatures have not been educated by materialistic philosophy to neglect their futures. The use of reason, working with incomplete or prejudiced data, has not convinced them of the folly of preparing for something that the materialist deems is but wishful thinking to survive. A certain condition is ahead. Winter will come to these creatures, and so-called death will come to man. This we know.

Many animals and countless plants make adequate preparation to survive approaching cold. And the man who is so short sighted that he makes no preparations to adjust himself to other than the physical plane is just about on the level of intelligence of some houseflies who, because it is pleasant out of doors when they are born, fail to seek the warmth and shelter of an artificially heated room before the arrival of frost. For man is now no longer dependent upon instinct for a knowledge of the existence of a future life. Day by day proof accumulates as the result of the painstaking work of some of the world’s greatest scientists. But it is no part of the present discussion to present that proof, some of which is set forth in Course I, Laws of Occultism. Instead, the present work is devoted to describing the various conditions and circumstances of that life to come.

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Sources of Information

Abundant and convincing proof can be offered that there is a realm in which the human soul survives after the passing of the physical body. And there is ample proof at hand that souls, when they pass to this region, maintain their familiar characteristics and identities. But, up to the present time, all our information concerning the environments in that land and the activities of the souls there residing, comes to most people as hearsay evidence, and consequently by them may not be considered incontrovertible proof.

Tests have been devised by which it is possible for a discarnate soul to reveal his identity with certainty. But up to the present no tests have been devised by which it can be proven that there are gardens and lakes in that after land; or that a beloved friend who has passed to that region continues to occupy his time by attending schools devoted to science and philosophy. Our knowledge that there is a life beyond so-called death, and that the personality survives, is positive. But the conditions and circumstances of that life to come must reach mankind through those who have developed, or naturally possess, one of the three forms of what science now calls extrasensory perception.

Extension of consciousness on the astral plane may occur to any extent represented by a complete gradation from ordinary reasoning by objective consciousness to the awareness and thinking on the astral plane by entities no longer having physical bodies. In what is called the Third and Second State of astral travel the electromagnetic energy has been very largely withdrawn from the physical body and converted into energies with a velocity greater than that of light, and used to sustain the very completely withdrawn astral body in its journeys on the inner plane. In that state but a single elastic astral thread connects the individual with his physical body. This is one form of Intellectual ESP. And those using it are able to visit, in person, the realms where those who have passed from the physical world now abide. They are able to talk with departed loved ones, are able to view the surroundings where these live, and to observe something, in their brief visits, of the laws and types of life that are there to be found.

To those able to do this, such experiences are convincing first hand evidence. But to the world at large they are only credible to the extent faith is placed in the genuineness of the experiences and the veracity of their narrator. And even when both are beyond suspicion, there must always be taken into account the bias of the objective mind, which ever tends to warp what passes through it into conformity with its preconceptions.

Then there are those far more numerous individuals who naturally, or by cultivating it, have the senses of their souls so active that they are able, without leaving the physical body, to see, smell, hear, taste and feel the things of the inner world. Some of these, who have had proper training, use Intellectual ESP to extend their consciousness. Instead of becoming a receiving set, the electrical energies of the nervous system radiate high-frequency vibrations which afford the senses and faculties of the unconscious mind the energies with which to perform this work. Feeling or hypersensitivity plays no more part in such examination of inner-plane conditions by the soul than it does in a similar examination on the physical plane, nor are the emotions more active.

Others who use ESP (extrasensory perception) employ the Feeling type. They make use of the hypersensitivity of their nerves to tune in on the astral counterpart of the inner-plane person or environment to be examined. The nervous system, or some part of it, becomes a receiving set through which the electrical energies and astral energies closely associated with it pick up, radio fashion, the astral vibrations radiated by whatever is tuned in on. The individual then feels the condition of that which he has thus contacted.

Those who are thus able to use their Intellectual ESP or Feeling ESP to gain first hand evidence of inner-plane conditions find the evidence most convincing. But to the world at large such experiences are only credible to the extent faith is placed in the genuineness of the experiences and the veracity of their narrator. And even when both are beyond suspicion, in these experiences also there must always be taken into account the bias of the objective mind, which ever tends to warp what passes through it into conformity with its preconceptions.

The objective mind of the seer has a tendency to shut out the astral picture of what the soul perceives if that picture is contrary to its fixed opinions. And in bringing this picture through it may substitute in its stead something that to it is more acceptable. That is, even in clairvoyance, to some extent, the same process is at work which causes the puritanical individual in his dreams and reveries to substitute visions of a very different character for those which more adequately picture the fulfillment of his fundamental desires. Such a dreamer believes, until the psychoanalyst uncovers the real cause of some illness through analyzing these images, that he has no such thoughts or desires. But it is only that the very firmly entrenched idea in his objective mind will not permit something contrary to it to come through. To get through at all it must assume a dress acceptable to the objective opinions. And thus also in the use of extrasensory perception. The faculties of the soul may perceive accurately, and the soul may make a correct report: but if some religious or other notion is strongly entrenched in the objective mind, this report of the soul senses is not permitted to come through until it is dressed in a manner pleasing to this religious conviction or other notion.

Finally, there are descriptions of the next life and its environment that come through spirit mediums from those actually occupying that land. Those who have passed through the tomb and live in that world should know something about it. We must not expect, however, that as soon as they get there they shall know all about the region. If a man dropped in on us from Mars, any immediate description he might make of the earth would be quite inadequate. If he landed in a city he might describe the vehicles and the buildings. If he alighted in a forest his description would be quite different. And no matter where he sojourned, it would take him considerable time and effort to learn enough about the very complex relations that exist in this world to make any coherent report to his fellows still residing on the planet Mars. Also the objective mind, and the influence of the sitters, have the tendency already described in relation to the use either of Intellectual ESP or Feeling ESP, to exercise a censorship over such messages as are permitted to come through.

When we consider this tendency of the objective mind to suppress and distort such information arising from the unconscious mind as does violence to stalwart objective opinions, we cannot but be amazed that the reports of the great seers and mediums are so consistent with each other. Swedenborg, considering the period in which he lived, and the powerful bias of his objective mind toward Christianity, was one of these great seers. Andrew Jackson Davis, sometimes called the founder of modern spiritualism, was another. One who relied upon mediumship to get reports and descriptions, whose works appeared immediately following World War I, and should be classed as great, is Rev. G. Vale Owen. And now, with World War II under way, another series entitled to be called great, the Betty Books, is being issued by Stewart Edward White.

But these descriptions of the next life, by whomsoever given, are merely the narration of what someone in that realm, or in this one, has observed. They are not what the physicists demand as proof. Proof, such as laboratory experimenters demand as to the detailed correctness of these descriptions, is not yet at hand.

Yet the urgencies of the present demand a science of the after life. We know there is an after life, and we desire to live out adequately our present phase of existence in such a manner that we shall be able to meet the demands of that future condition. If certain mental qualifications developed here will aid us more quickly to enter into a condition of joy and greater usefulness over there, we wish to know about it. If certain traits of character common to this life shall act as inhibiting agents presently in that newer land, we want to know about it now, so that we can take time by the forelock and substitute other and more beneficial traits and get them well established before the change is at hand. We want to know the details and requirements of the present life, and we want to know the details and the requirements of the future life, so that our daily effort may be directed toward a success that shall embrace something wider than this short earthly span.

And while the proof of all the details that the atheistic I materialists demand is not yet at hand, I believe there is a body of personal experience now available that is of sufficient authenticity that it may be considered in its broader essentials quite reliable. That is, the reports of those who have traveled, while out of the physical, body, in the homes of the so-called dead; the reports of a multitude of accomplished seers; and the communications from departed ones through the purest type of spirit mediums; all agree so well in the fundamentals of their descriptions, that we are fully warranted in accepting them as a basis for life’s endeavor.

In this course, therefore, I shall try to give a picture of the next life, making it as precise and accurate as I can. And I shall endeavor to indicate the qualifications and attributes which when developed enable an individual to function joyfully and abundantly on the next plane.

In this account I shall draw very widely on my own personal experience; but reinforced by the similar experiences of many others who are qualified to speak with authority in such matters. But because such experiences of others also constitute personal, or hearsay evidence, no point is to be gained by citing the various persons whose reports substantiate experiences of my own. Rather than citing specific experiences, what I am attempting is to give a precise account of the next life according to the Hermetic Teachings and the experiences of the Brethren of Light.

Yet in setting forth this account I am well aware that the time will ultimately arrive when all I have said will be subjected to laboratory tests to determine its truth. For while just at present such mechanical tests have not been contrived, not only are they possible, but somewhat later, I am convinced, they will be at hand.

I have seen the contrivances on the inner plane by which the velocities of the inner plane can be stepped down to transmit their vibratory rates to the slower-velocity electromagnetic waves. Already, in radio, we possess instruments that step down electromagnetic waves with a velocity approximately that of light, so that they communicate their vibratory rates to that slow velocity physical substance we call air, and thus enable us to hear sounds made thousands of miles distant.

In other words, just as radio waves of high velocity are made to communicate the programs they carry by means of a receiving set to the slow velocity air, so will the time come when the much higher velocity inner-plane vibrations will be made to communicate the programs they carry by means of a receiving set to the much slower velocity electromagnetic waves used in radio reception. Thus received they will be projected on a television screen, and still further stepped down by a radio receiving set to affect the much slower velocity air, so that what is happening on the inner plane not only can be seen, but heard.

This apparatus utilizes the same principle to cause inner-plane vibratory rates to modulate the electromagnetic waves of radio, as radio waves now employ to vibrate the air in a loud speaker. The principle of the radio set is merely carried forward one more step. But until someone has sufficient ingenuity and interest in this problem actually to build such a super receiving set, all our information concerning the details of life after death, and of existence on the inner plane, must come to us through that group of faculties which scientists now embrace in the term extrasensory perception, usually abbreviated merely ESP.

As these phases of the matter have been given thorough discussion elsewhere, it would be redundant to give instructions in this course on cultivating extrasensory perception. It should be pointed out, however, that there are three quite distinct methods of acquiring information from the inner plane. All three employ electromagnetic Boundary-Line energy to make the contact and bring the information through. All three at times give results which are quite reliable. But the dangers to the individual in using each are markedly different.

In mediumship, in which there is partial or complete control of the medium by some inner-plane entity, the dangers to the medium are so great that The Church of Light does not advise anyone to become a medium. The reasons for this attitude are given in Course I, Laws of Occultism.

In Feeling ESP, in which hypersensitivity of the nervous system is cultivated to the end of picking up with the electrical energies flowing over it the vibratory rates radiated by people and things on the inner plane, or radiated by the astral vibrations of those yet occupying the physical plane, difficulty may arise from inability not to pick up vibrations and messages that are disagreeable. The Church of Light, for reasons more fully set forth in the Award MS., believes this method of psychic development should be approached with caution.

In Intellectual ESP, in which, instead of becoming a hypersensitive receiving set, the energies of the nervous system radiate high-frequency vibrations which afford the faculties of the soul the energies with which to perform their work, there is no danger. Such examination of inner-plane conditions, or such conversation with those of the inner plane, when handled through extension of consciousness—the technique of which is explained in full detail in the Award MS.—is no more dangerous than a similar examination of outer-plane conditions, or conversation with those of the outer plane, by means of the eyes, ears and mouth. The Church of Light believes that the cultivation of Intellectual ESP is highly desirable, not only so that through it valuable information concerning the practical affairs of physical life may be obtained, but so that the individual may also gain first hand knowledge of the all-pervading presence of Deity, and of life beyond the tomb.

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Inner-Plane Properties Are Consistent With Relativity

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which he broadened into his Unified Field Theory, in which there is a single mathematical equation of eight characters for light, gravitation and electromagnetism has not worked out due to the Principle of Indeterminacy where the Quantum of Action of particles is involved. This, in turn, is due to the energies of these particles being too close to the borderline where they partake of astral properties. But Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity has now become almost universally accepted by physicists the world over and has become the foundation of the physics as taught at present in our universities.

To quote from an article by H. P. Robertson, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematical Physics, Princeton University, which appeared in the June 1939 issue of Scientific American Magazine:

“In view of these developments one may say that at present the special theory of relativity is one of the most thoroughly accepted and most firmly established doctrines of modem physics. It has permeated the field of mechanics, electromagnetism (including optics) and atomic physics; while it may appear desirable to have further direct checks on the validity of its mechanical aspects, a deviation from the predicted effects would constitute a most puzzling—and, at least temporarily distressing—jolt for modern physics.”

The most essential conception of this special theory of relativity, which is now so widely employed to explain the behavior of high-velocity particles, is the interrelationship between velocity and time. It is held that there is no such thing as absolute time, but that as velocity increases, time slows down, until, at the velocity of light time comes to a standstill. Nor is this just a theory, as the experiments of Dr. Herbert E. Ives demonstrate. He reported that observing the Doppler shift in an incoming hydrogen beam, and at the same time the shift due to recession of the same beam, shows that as relativity predicts, a moving clock keeps slower time than one standing still.

Now in the outer plane time is rapid and velocities are comparatively slow. But man’s soul, or unconscious mind, at all times habitually lives in a realm where velocities are greater than the 186,284 miles (1942) per second which light, radiation and electromagnetic waves travel when unimpeded. This is the realm where the soul continues to dwell after the dissolution of the physical body. It is not a physical realm, because Einstein and the mathematicians hold that anything moving with the velocity of light no longer possesses length, has infinite mass and so is impervious to the pull of gravitation, and that for it time has come to a standstill.

The great difficulty in explaining and describing life after physical death lies in the fact that, due to the velocities of that region, there is a different order of distance, there is a different order of time, and there is a different order of gravitation. That is, ordinary time, ordinary distance, and ordinary gravitation do not there exist, but properties with which we on earth are not familiar take their place; which, to us on the physical plane makes the next life seem full of contradictions.

But these contradictions are no more perplexing to the layman than those of the Boundary-Line forces within the electromagnetic spectrum are to the physicist. How, for instance, can something be a particle and at the same time be a wave? To quote from the summary on the last page of The Evolution of Physics (1938) by Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld: “Is light a wave or a shower of photons? Is a beam of electrons a shower of elementary particles or a wave? These fundamental questions are forced upon physics by experiment.”

The significance of these questions as yet unanswered by science lies in the fact that light usually has been considered nonmaterial; and the electrons, as a portion of each atom of matter, have usually been considered material. Yet with velocities high enough to approach those of the inner world they exhibit properties akin to both realms. They then are on the borderline between two worlds, and thus their behavior is paradoxical.

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There Are Innumerable Levels of The Inner-Plane World

On the outer plane where velocities are slow the levels inhabited by life are few. The surface of the earth affords one level birds and men and insects which travel through the air are in another level and fishes and submarines below the surface of the sea occupy a third. But when even Boundary-Line velocities are reached the levels of activity, even if not actually occupied by life, vastly increase. Thus with your radio you can tune in on a large number of broadcasting stations, each operating on its own carrier wave. These stations do not so much differ one from another in the type of program it is possible for them to broadcast but they differ in the vibratory rate of the carrier wave that carries their program.

Now the inner-plane world has similar vibratory levels, a great many of them, on each of which life exists. And each level is characterized by its own basic vibratory rate, even as each radio station operates on its own carrier wave rate. Up and down on the physical earth are directions away from or toward the gravitational center of the earth. But up and down in a realm where gravitation no longer obtains is different. Even in radio waves, up is toward high frequency, and down is toward low frequency, and not toward or away from the broadcasting station or the earth.

Everything has a dominant vibratory rate, that is, one rate which is more powerful than the others. And on the inner plane the principle of resonance—the principle that causes a piano string to vibrate when its tone is sounded by an instrument in some other part of the room—supersedes the law of gravitation. Instead of the attraction of gravitation there is the affinity of anything’s dominant vibratory rate o for the level of inner-plane existence whose basic vibratory rate is similar. Up, on the inner plane, is increasing the dominant vibratory rate and thus moving above the basic rate of a certain level, and down is decreasing the dominant vibratory rate and moving below the basic rate of that level. But whether the thing or individual is above or below the basic vibratory rate of the inner-plane level having its own dominant rate, it is pulled toward that level much as gravitation operates on earth. The apparent contradiction is that it is pulled up as readily as it is pulled down; although in fact people on opposite sides of the earth are pulled toward the same point physically by gravitation.

Now consciousness can be extended temporarily to a level not occupied by the individual, even as an individual can see distant mountain tops or distant ships at sea without actually going to the mountains or on the ocean. Such extensions of consciousness are exercises of the soul senses in what science now calls ESP. But whether merely the soul senses are involved, or the individual develops the dominant vibratory rate that enables him actually to occupy a certain inner-plane level, he utilizes the same general principle you use when you turn the dial of your radio to some station whose program you wish to hear.

Commonly the attention of the soul, or unconscious mind, is so completely chained to the affairs of the physical life that it has formed the habit of paying no attention to the conditions and happenings of the inner plane. In sleep, which is no man’s land between consciousness of the external world and consciousness of the inner world, there often is some recognition of the reports of the soul senses. This recognition comes in the form of dreams; but most dreams are badly distorted by partial consciousness of the external world, by the thoughts which previous to sleep filled the mind, and by the desires. But from this no man’s land of sleep, or near sleep, the consciousness can either move out to become fully aware of the outer-plane world, or in to become fully aware of the inner-plane world.

The dial of consciousness is turned either to the ordinary frequencies of everyday outer-plane life, or it is rotated to tune in on some level of the inner plane. What level depends upon the vibratory rate of consciousness at the time. But one does not need to hold the consciousness to the basic level first tuned in on, no more than one must listen to the program contacted when the radio is first turned on. If the frequencies first tuned in on happen to be those of the lower astral region, corresponding to our slums, or worse, the program received may be annoying or even terrifying. But if the dial of consciousness is rotated to a high-frequency program, the program will be both helpful and enjoyable.

It is true that some people do lose the power to turn the dial and determine what inner station—basic vibratory level—they will get. They delegate this function entirely to invisible entities. They are then merely instruments of transmission without choice as to the programs they transmit. Such are irresponsible mediums.

Sometimes, too, people get into trouble by rotating the dial of their consciousness habitually to frequencies other than those of the physical plane without at the same time taking pains to cultivate the ability to rotate it back when they so desire. This is the one danger in developing Feeling ESP. The dial may then get over a frequency that brings in an astral program that is objectionable, and the victim is unable to shut the harassing intrusion off.

If the ordinary radio of the physical plane were to be tuned in on frequencies over which were broadcast threats, vulgarities, and an ingenious collection of things picked for their ability to annoy; and one were compelled to listen to this without surcease, or even intermittently except when one were asleep, it would drive almost anyone to distraction. And occasionally we find an individual who in cultivating Feeling ESP does just this in regard to the astral world. But if through the advice of others he strives for directed thinking and the development of a high electrical potential, and resolutely turns his attention to physical things, he escapes the psychopathic ward. Otherwise he is in serious trouble.

As this is not the place to give instructions about such matters, let us consider that if we turn the dial of a radio receiving set to a particular carrier frequency we receive with distinctness whatever is being broadcast over that particular wavelength, and with diminishing clearness that which is being sent over wavelengths of quite different frequency. When we turn the dial to a certain frequency we get what is coming over that and closely allied wavelengths, and when we turn the dial elsewhere we no longer get these impressions. But that does not mean nothing is happening on the frequencies we no longer contact; merely that we no longer are able to perceive what is going on relative to this basic level, or carrier wave vibration.

Now the fact that we can tune in on electromagnetic waves with a radio and pick up a program being broadcast from a certain building in New York does not prove that people are not physically engaged in producing the program we hear. Nor does the fact that we can tune in on the astral counterparts of persons in New York, or on certain levels of the astral world, prove that people do not live on earth in physical bodies or prove that they do not live on the inner plane in astral bodies.

We cannot deny the reality of the physical universe just because it is possible to tune in on some other realm. Nor should we deny the reality of the astral universe because at the moment we are tuned in on some physical station. While we are receiving from KFI we are unconscious of KHJ and KNX; but that does not prove that KHJ and KNX are nonexistent. Nor because we receive all our news at present through KHJ does it signify that KFI and KNX have ceased to broadcast. We can only know what these other stations are doing by turning the dial to their frequencies.

Because we are accustomed, through long experience, to observe objects behave in a certain way, it is quite disconcerting to observe them, at the high velocities of the astral world, behave in a manner quite contradicting our past experience. But nothing we witness in the astral world is more disconcerting than the accepted tenet of relativity that: “The velocity of light in empty space always has its standard value, independent of the motion of the source or receiver of light.” This means that if a light signal is emitted from the center of a moving room, the light beams will reach the forward wall and the rear wall simultaneously for an observer on the inside of the room; but to an observer on the outside the beams will reach the escaping wall a little later than the approaching wall. That is, due to time-velocity relations, two observers moving at different velocities would give a contradictory report of the same event.

Even with radio and television it is difficult for us to believe a person can be here and yet a thousand miles away. In our ordinary distance conception he cannot; but distance on the inner plane is not measured in miles but in vibratory difference. How can Arthur Conan Doyle, for instance, be present and give messages from the inner plane in New York and in London at the same identical moment, seen and heard in both places? Your atheistic materialist says it is impossible. Yet about the same date this was reported, George Bernard Shaw was present in thousands of American and thousands of British homes at the same time while giving a radio address. You may say, of course, that his body was in London. Yes, but his personality was felt simultaneously throughout the United States and the British Isles.

When objects attain velocities greater than 186,284 miles per second they lose their physical properties and gain the characteristics of the astral plane. They are not different objects in the sense that they have lost their identities; but they have lost some properties and gained others. Because a man loses weight and gains a new suit of clothes and learns to speak also in a different language he does not also lose his identity. He has lost something, and he has gained something, but he is nevertheless essentially the same man. Thus also when an object or a man loses the physical body, new properties are made available, but the identity remains.

The physical properties with which we are familiar, such as impenetrability, temperature, permanence, weight, etc., are made possible by the low velocities of physical things. Other properties, some of which will be mentioned, are made possible by the higher velocities of the astral world which, unlike the physical world, has an extensive vertical range of life. Not vertical in the sense of three-dimensional space; but vertical in the sense of increasing vibratory rates.

Vegetable and animal life on the earth is limited to a region about five miles above and five miles below the earth’s surface. But on the astral plane there are various strata, or spheres, of vibratory frequencies, in which life moves and has a conscious existence. And on all of these basic vibratory levels of the astral world, due to the similarity of velocities, the properties of existence are practically the same.

But when still higher velocities are reached than those of the astral world the astral properties give way to still others, to those of the spiritual world. Entrance into the spiritual velocities brings a loss of many characteristics of astral things, and the acquisition of other properties that endow things with as much additional freedom as was attained by moving from earth velocities to those of the astral region. But whether an entity remains in the velocities that chain it to the physical, moves into velocities that make it an astral entity, or gains those still higher which enable it to have the freedom of the spiritual spheres, even though the properties with which it is endowed are different in each of these three realms, it still retains its essential identity.

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Astral Levels

Because the lowest levels of the astral realm are commonly associated with loathsome creatures and disagreeable experiences it is not uncommon for people to refer to these lower levels as the astral world, and to refer to the levels inhabited by more highly endowed intelligences as the spiritual world. So prevalent is this terminology that it is almost unwise to use the term astral to embrace more than these lower levels of the astral realm. But after all, the so-called spiritual realm of those who use this common terminology, on the levels of which kindly disembodied human souls dwell, really has the properties that are present when velocities are greater than that of light, but not so great as those of the spiritual realm.

Psychics who report experiences on the etheric plane, the emotional plane, the astral plane, the mental plane and the spiritual plane, are correctly describing conditions they have contacted: but are using a terminology descriptive of certain common characteristics of the regions contacted, rather than differentiating between the essential characteristics of the regions. These essential characteristics derive from the velocities of the realms encountered, and are thus consistent with the principles of relativity.

Therefore when I explain about these regions I am not discounting the experiences of psychics who have given them a variety of labels; merely describing them from the point of view of their essential properties and characteristics, rather than from the point of view of their responsiveness to emotion or less emotionally charged mental activity.

About the earth is a dense belt of electromagnetic energy the vibrations of which have been set in motion by the feelings of animals, and the thoughts and feelings of men when they were prompted by animal propensities. The men who have set these vibrations in motion may have a much higher customary dominant vibratory rate, and when they pass to the next life will occupy a much higher level. But men’s temporary bursts of anger, their moments of intense greed, their temporary periods of base selfishness, radiate electromagnetic waves of a correspondingly coarse vibratory rate.

And astral entities that permanently live, due to their habitual low dominant vibratory rates, on similar Lower Pluto levels of the astral world where motives are still those of the beasts, find it easy to use the energies of this dense electromagnetic belt to influence those on earth whose morals are not high and who become negative. Some of the electromagnetic vibrations are much higher than those described. But the whole of this electromagnetic-lower-astral belt, where it is best not to tarry, is so responsive to those electrical discharges of the nervous system called emotion that there is little wonder some call it the emotional plane.

The higher astral levels are not so responsive to the grosser and more violent emotions. Even though action there is dependent on feeling or emotion, the emotion to which there is ready response on these higher astral levels is subtle and refined, and closely associated with directed thinking. While it is impossible to separate thought and feeling completely, the impression is easily gained that action on these levels is a response not to feeling—and certainly not to the violent and coarse feelings which are common in the lower levels—but to thought. And thus it is not surprising or unnatural to find many who have contacted these higher astral levels referring to them as the mental plane.

We have already seen that even in the Boundary-Line region of velocities things behave so differently that physicists cannot reconcile the apparently contradictory behavior. Distance, for instance, while not obliterated by radio waves as it is on the inner plane, is certainly abridged by them. Impenetrability also is attacked by radio programs which enter our houses through their walls. Identical light may be considered either as corpuscles or as waves; yet by ordinary physical standards it cannot at the same time be both. Yet this is only the Boundary-Line region; and when we move our consciousness to the astral plane we find still more amazing phenomena. We find, for instance, we can look down the world lines of an object or a person and see not only its past but its probable future.

Unless you are actually on the astral plane your mind cannot grasp how certain forces and conditions can there obtain. The best that can be done is through observation to know that things happen there as they do. And if we have so much difficulty grasping the principles and phenomena of the astral world, of what value is it to try to understand those still more amazing of the spiritual world? Therefore in these lessons I shall have very little to say about the spiritual world. One needs to master the astral plane while living there to be ready to make much of a study of the spiritual plane. But in speaking of the astral it should be borne in mind that I use the term to embrace the higher astral levels which it is customary to refer to as the spiritual world.

In this astral world there are seven main spheres or vibratory regions; and each of these is divided into numerous vibratory levels. There is a vertical relation between these levels, one being above the other, not in three-dimensional space, but in vibratory rate. If you can turn the dial of your consciousness to the rates of some level of the astral world, inhibit cerebral thinking except to retain a spark of objective consciousness, and turn your attention to the level thus reached, you can get in touch with what is going on there.

Not only so but if, through withdrawing much of the electromagnetic energy of the body and converting it into the higher-velocity astral energies, you move out of the physical body and adjust the vibratory rates of your astral body to this level, you are at once actually in this realm and taking part in its happenings. You can then move about in this sphere and communicate with its denizens. It is an entire world, and so long as you hold this vibratory rate firmly you have no more consciousness of what is going on in other astral spheres, or on earth, than you now know what is being broadcast from other stations while your radio is dialed to some particular one.

The most important thing to keep clearly in mind in reference to these inner-plane levels of existence is that even as either a station broadcasting on a high-frequency carrier wave or one broadcasting on a low-frequency carrier wave can handle a wide variety of programs, so the diversity of conditions and the variety and number of life forms on a certain level may far exceed anything known on earth; and that when a life form tunes in on a certain basic level that life form then lives and performs all its functions on that frequency level. Its existence in the low-velocity realm of earth is no more and no less real than its existence on any frequency level of the high-velocity inner plane; except that on the higher basic levels there is opportunity for more intense activity and more vivid consciousness. Even in radio high frequencies permit a range of influence not open to low frequencies. But, after all, a program coming over a low-frequency carrier wave is just as real as one coming over a high-frequency carrier wave.

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Moving Across the Planes

Whatever your dominant vibratory rate may be, you customarily occupy the astral level having approximately this basic rate. Through extension of consciousness you can temporarily contact other levels, and enable entities on the levels thus temporarily contacted to get in touch with you. But if you develop the power, through mood control, not merely to dial your consciousness to another plane, but to adjust your dominant rate to desired frequencies, you can move from one plane to another. And regardless of the material locality of your physical body, the real you, the soul, or unconscious mind, will then be actually living on the astral level to which you have adjusted your dominant vibrations. How much consciousness you would then have of the level you inhabited would depend on the extent of your ESP.

There are certain highly developed discarnate individuals who have acquired the power thus to raise or lower their dominant vibratory rate at will. They are commonly called angels, or exalted spirits. Normally living on a level of high frequency—perhaps, let us say, in the seventh astral state, just on the boundary of the spiritual realm—for purposes of service they lower their dominant vibratory rate through mood control. They dial down from high frequency to low frequency, and as they do so they pass the various levels and enter successively the worlds corresponding to these levels. They are thus seen by those who permanently, or more temporarily, occupy these realms.

As such a one moves through a world with a basic vibratory level he is glimpsed, even as when you turn the radio dial past a certain carrier wave you for an instant pick up the program being broadcast over that frequency. Thus the angel disappears also because he moves out of vibratory range into a different one. And he has the power, through mood control, to stop on any one of these levels and teach or minister to its inhabitants.

Conscious life is being lived on each and every one of these numerous levels. On the lower ones the forms and processes are not very dissimilar in detail to those of the life forms yet on earth. Yet even on these lower strata things have properties they do not possess on the physical plane. Gravitation, as already mentioned, is supplanted by the pull of the basic level. People walk about, it is true; and their feet move over the ground of a level after the manner, seemingly, that people move in their travels here. Yet without moving their feet, if they think very intently and concentratedly about some environment, they move, as it were by aerial travel, into it.

Building also takes place in the astral world much after the manner it is performed here. Yet those properly trained can group around an area and erect an edifice by strongly visualizing it alone, and without the work of their hands. This responsiveness of materials on the inner plane to thought is as much a common property of astral objects as weight and volume are properties of objects on the physical plane.

And again, on the astral plane, there is eating, drinking, breathing, and the common activities of physical life. Yet as we rise to higher vibratory levels, such gross activities are supplanted by others that perform the same functions but with which in detail we are unfamiliar. And as there is no language available accurately to describe these conditions, we do the best we can by seeking something as nearly parallel as possible in the physical world with which to give at least a glimpse of the principle involved.

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Birth Charts

Elizabeth D. Benjamine Chart

May 13, 1874, 6:25 a.m. 120:30W. 41:30N.

1892, moved to Los Angeles: Sun semisextile Mercury r.

1919, Jan. 1, started working for B. of L.: Venus conjunction Uranus r.

1919, May 27, married Elbert Benjamine: Asc. sextile Jupiter p, Venus semisquare Jupiter r.

1930, first tour of U. S. for B. of L.: Venus in 3rd trine Moon r.

1932, Secretary-Treasurer Church of Light: Mercury conjunction Uranus p.

1933, second tour of U. S. for Church: Mercury conjunction Uranus p.

1937, May 13, started Church Building Fund: Sun sextile Sun r, Pluto p

1941, highly successful lecture trip East: Sun sextile Jupiter p.

Nine-Point Plan For a New Civilization Chart

January 5, 1941, 8:00 p.m., Los Angeles, California
Crusade for Universal Acceptance

1. That men should be familiar with the facts of astrology.

2. That men should have freedom from want.

3. That men should be familiar with the facts of extrasensory perception.

4. That men should have freedom from fear.

5. That men should be familiar with the facts of induced emotion.

6. That men should have freedom of expression.

7. That men should be familiar with the facts of directed thinking.

8. That men should have freedom of worship.

9. That men should adopt as the constant and dominant motives of their lives that they should Contribute Their Utmost to Universal Welfare.

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