The Ascension of Planet Earth

Book I: The
[4th Edition – February 1999]

Chapter One: CREATION
Chapter Two: EVOLUTION
Chapter Seven: DEATH & REVIEW
Chapter Eight: BIRTH & GROWTH

Chapter One:

Creation in the sense of our present phase of evolution, that is to say, our ‘part’ of the Creative process, may be viewed in three stages, which might be termed mental, physical, and spiritual. The first stage is Thought, or Plan. The second involves the manifestation of solid matter. And in the third stage, Life-force is added, so that, ‘based’ and residing upon created matter, individual ‘sparks’ of Life-force may evolve, interact, and contribute to the creative process.

The origin of all creation is the pure energy of thought. Nothing can exist or be created or manifested without having its prime origination in thought form. This we can see in our everyday lives and activities, from social plans and work schedules to the design of a product or a building. Nothing can be brought into physical manifestation without first being conceptualized in thought form. First we plan; then we create. Thought is a force, a power which precedes all action, all creation at whatever level. And the Origination of all Thought within our present Cosmos, is the Being whom we call God, our Prime Creator.

Our Prime Creator is the source of the original ‘Force of Thought’. He manifested at some point unknown to us within the great surrounding ‘Void’ of our known Cosmos, though Himself possibly part of a yet greater surrounding Cosmos or Cosmic Entity. He initiated His first phase of creation by projecting His ‘force of thought’ into the surrounding Great Dark Void, creating a matrix around Himself of expanding ‘Worlds of Matter’. These were made initially out of the energy of Light, itself a stepping-down in frequency of the original Force of Creative Thought. This Light-force energy was then able to be further lowered in frequency for the creation of more solid matter and worlds.

Finally, into these newly created worlds of matter He projected units of His own cells of Consciousness which would themselves grow and evolve outside of Himself, adding a spiritual element to the worlds of Created Matter. Through their multiple interactions and experiences of life in worlds of matter, they would greatly grow in knowledge and awareness. Their evolving consciousness could then be added to His own continuously evolving consciousness, allowing Himself to expand into yet an even greater Entity .

"The Creator, at a certain point in Its evolution, said, "I want to explore everything; I want to learn; I want to grow; I want to understand everything." And potentially It does understand everything, but It also wants to expand. The Creator is expanding Itself – always there is a spiraling, an unfolding, a discovery process at the highest level. And It set up a system, and that system thrusts what has been already integrated - into yet another level, so that It can explore that new level and learn from it."

[The Master Vywamus - Channeled by Janet McClure in "Prelude To Ascension", published 1996 by Light Technology Publishing, P.O.Box 1526, Sedona, Az 86339.]

Before commencing this new phase of Creation around about Himself of Worlds of Matter, the Creator established an encircling ‘Barrier of Limitation’, known in esoteric knowledge as the ‘Ring-Pass-Not’. Without this Barrier of Limitation, His Force of Thought projected into the surrounding Void would have been totally dissipated, its energy lost in the vastness of space, and therefore no effective Creation would have been possible.

The continuing outward projection of the Creator’s Thought-energy against the Ring-Pass-Not sets up a constant cycle of outgoing and returning though energy-flow. This manifests as a rapidly alternating cycle of force, a wave of positive-negative vibratory frequency. This is the "driving force" of all our known Creation; all life and ‘matter’ within our known created Cosmos vibrates to a particular frequency, or responds to a specific vibration rate.

The outgoing and returning energy of the Creator’s thought-force is the origin of the two opposing polarities that exist throughout Creation: the positive and the negative. These two polarities are a basic fundamental component of all Creation and everything manifests within this duality of energy: a positive force opposed by a negative force. The negative force itself acts as a ‘thrusting-block’ against which the positive force can then become manifest as ‘matter’.

The second stage of Creation, the manifestation of what we call "matter", arises from the interaction between the outgoing and the incoming waves of vibrating Thought, which by now are slowed down by their outgoing and incoming to the vibrational frequency of Light.

Where these outgoing and returning cycles of positive and negative force meet each other, they interact at their point of intersection and thus cause a ‘locking-up’ of force, a ‘standing wave’ of two opposing-directional light-forces which neutralize each other’s passage through space. This ‘locked-up’ force then allows, through a combination of attraction and repulsion, the accretion of stationary material ‘matter’ known to us as atoms. These atoms themselves attract further atoms by establishing ‘locked-up’ orbits of magnetic attraction-repulsion. Larger accretions of atoms are then attracted into building up further ‘matter’ and so the process continues. It is this basic "growth on growth" process which is responsible for the existence and continuing growth of all the more solid material worlds around us.

As the out- and in-flowing vibration of Thought with its resultant creation of matter develops into an ever-increasing accumulation of complex materiality, expanding Creation further and further away from its Source Center, so its vibration rate is progressively slowed down. These progressive reductions in vibratory rate in turn causes Pure-Thought to manifest in an ever-greater density and solidity of material form, depending on its ‘range’ or distance from the Thought-Center.

Thus, looking at or visualizing the Thought-Center with its life-and energy-creating Thought Vibrations going out and returning, we may further visualize these Vibration rates weakening in strength as they get farther and farther from the Center. We may conveniently ‘draw’ three circles of widening radius, like ripples on the pool, representing the three major vibration/density levels, or Planes of Creation which have over time developed between the Thought Center and the outer Ring-Pass-Not. These three circles, levels or planes of existence may be identified as: the Spiritual Light Plane nearest the Center, then the Etheric Plane, and farthest from the Center, the dense Physical Plane.

The first ‘range’ of expansion of the Creator’s Thought-Force outwards into increasing complexity of Creation, has lowered the vibratory frequency of thought-energy to that of Pure Light. At this still high spiritual level, it is expressed as a golden-white luminance radiating from the Center of Thought, the ‘Central Sun’ of our known Cosmos. Thus Pure Thought is now transmuted down into the vibration of Light and manifests itself as a vibratory positive-negative electromagnetic Light-Force. This vibrating electro-magnetic Light Force expresses the same pattern found throughout lower Creation: electrons and protons oscillating around a nucleus to create an atom, the atoms themselves grouping to form larger molecules.

The next major step down from the high spiritual planes of Pure Light into worlds of increasing complexity is the ‘Etheric Plane’. The lowered vibratory thought-energy of Pure Light is now slowed down to the ‘etheric’ vibration level, the coalesced ‘matter’ which would seem to our dense physical senses as a spaced-out and tenuous form of material, capable of interpenetrating our own physical matter. Etheric matter is also known by our Earth’s occult scientists as the Ether, an electro-magnetic fluid or continuum which interpenetrates all celestial bodies and outer space, as well as all physical matter.

Finally comes the lowest-density plane of all, with the greatest solidity of created matter: the dense Physical Plane with which we here on Earth are well acquainted. This plane exhibits all the fundamental patterns of created matter at its most basic level, demonstrating the true ‘building-blocks’ of Creation. It thus provides an environment for those who wish to explore the very depths of the creative process, to examine the intricate pattern of matter in the very greatest of detail.

Thus from the outgoing and returning cycles of Pure Thought and the interaction between them we have the Creation of Matter, varying in density as it gets farther from the Center. Three major levels of density have been identified; these in turn provide different "levels" of matter, each suited to a different level or phase of evolution.

This basic pattern of a Pure-Light Center with outward radiation is repeated many times over. The Great Central Sun radiates intense Light force throughout the Cosmos. Around this Great Central Sun orbit a known dozen total Universes, each one also with its own Central Sun around which then orbit a further system of Galaxies. And around each Galaxy’s Central Galactic Sun there are millions of further orbiting solar systems, each again with its own Central Sun around which also orbit its inhabited planets. The same order of varying planes of density also surrounds and interpenetrates each focal point of intersecting locked-up thought energy, that is, each planet, sun and any other celestial sphere.

The third stage of the basic creative process involves the spiritual ‘breath of life’, the manifesting of spiritualized life-forms which can themselves grow, create, interact, experience, and contribute to the Universal Creative Force and Flow.

The Creator’s great ‘Divine Plan’ has been to introduce into His surrounding matrix of created Worlds of Matter, ‘Spiritual’ elements of His own Being, parts of His own Spirit-Consciousness projected outside of Himself. He has therefore birthed parts of His very own cells as evolving ‘Sparks of Spirit’ and sent them out on a long evolutionary ‘arc’, down through worlds of created 'matter' to learn from its complexity and become fully developed separately-aware Beings. By observing their various interactions with each other and with their surroundings in the worlds of materiality, and from their subsequent experiences and lessons learnt, He thus is able to further expand His own knowledge and growth of new possibilities "outside" of Himself.

Launched into the as-yet-undeveloped matrix of matter, the first created ‘Sparks of Spirit’, starting out from the highest Light Plane as the original Light Beings or 'Elohim', began with the Creator's impulse and guidance to co-create the first lower evolutionary material worlds of liquid and solid form.

These original Light Beings were then encouraged, after first co-creating material worlds, to give birth to further spirit/soul extensions of themselves. Thus was created a descending and growing hierarchy of souls which were then to embark on a great cycle of Evolution, away from the unity of the Creator, down through worlds of matter and then eventually to return back up to the unity of the Creator as fully conscious and aware individuals. These evolving soul/spirits were themselves to further create during their long descent, more and more complex and dense material worlds to inhabit and experience the richness of life, and also to give birth to even more soul-extensions of themselves as children of their own spirit. And so it was over time that great Universes were developed, each one containing millions of Galaxies, and within each Galaxy itself, vast numbers of Solar Systems with their surrounding complement of inhabited Planets and individualized souls.

From the start, the Creator also birthed a special hierarchy of Angels and Archangels as a separate evolving stream of ‘Servants of Creation’. These were to act as Heavenly Messengers and to ensure the vital maintenance, nurturing, and growth of all forms of created matter in the various Universes. Serving as dedicated and unswerving Servants of Creation, they have not been given the same the latitude of ‘free will’ to deviate and explore outside of the Creator's Great Evolutionary Plan, such as we evolving souls are allowed to do through our learning from the duality of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

On Earth, we have many lower orders of this Angelic Realm working invisibly on our behalf; they are known here as the Devic Evolution. For example, one of the main groups within the world of nature is the Elemental Kingdom, whose main duty is to assist the growth and maintenance of the Mineral and Plant Kingdoms. These are the Nature Spirits, Elementals and Fairies visible only to those humans with ‘psychic’ sight.

After a long period of evolution, the first wave of Elohim spirit/souls, descending on their exploratory and evolutionary path down from the original high Spiritual Planes of Light, created the lower level Etheric Plane. Here, over eons of time they also created the Etheric kingdoms of mineral, plant, animal and human life on etheric planets, where life was still relatively spiritual, peaceful and easy to live. However, these elder spirit/souls felt a further impulse to delve further down into greater complexity and matter in their exploration of life on the downward arc of evolution. And so, over a long period of time they created an even more complex and dense form of matter at a lower vibration rate and with further inhabited worlds to go with it. Thus was developed the dense Physical Plane, which we on Earth and a few other physical planets live presently live on.

When these pioneering Co-Creators first began to create a physical planet such as Earth, they had to start from the very fundamental patterns of creation, involving greater atomic complexity. They had to start from the basics of Creation by creating primitive evolving ‘blobs’ of matter, such as amoebas and simple plant life. Over millions of years they were gradually able to build upon this with more developed plant and mineral life, developing into greater complexity, detail and refinement. The results can now be seen in the amazing variety, color and beauty of mineral, plant and animal life surrounding us here on Earth. Though we may thoughtlessly imagine that they ‘just happened’, each tree, flower, butterfly, animal, and human Earth embodiment has at some time been lovingly ‘designed’ and given a method to propagate and grow by those original Creator Elohim originating from higher spiritual levels.

Into these new lower worlds of matter, capable of sustaining more and more complex lifeforms, the Elder spirits then birthed further waves of younger soul-extensions of themselves, destined to eventually carry on the process of their creation at these new lower levels. The Elder souls would thus be able to further learn from the experiences of their spirit offspring. Through this long process of living and creating in denser physical worlds, all souls, young and old, were developing an ever increasing awareness of a separated individual-self from the Creator's own consciousness. Through this learning of new and conflicting alternatives, the difficult choices and painful lessons of the lower planes, they were to all eventually evolve into ultimately aware and wise Beings, worthy to become co-creators at the side of the Creator.

And so, as the later waves of souls continued to descend into these lower worlds of matter, experiencing and being affected by the increasing vibrational density and complexity around them, they were developing a growing stronger sense of separate individuality from the Creator, a stronger developing sense of self, separated and detached from the Creator's own Consciousness.

This sense of individual identity, of individualized self, over time developed into a great conflict between Self and the Unity of the Creator, between Matter and Spirit. This conflict is at present the dominant stage of evolution experienced here and now on Earth.

This conflict has arisen as a result of, or an expression of, the Creator's gift of free choice or free will, in which He has allowed the outgoing, exploring souls to take their own evolutionary path, to experiment, explore their own evolutionary directions and to consequently make their own mistakes and take evolutionary 'dead end' paths. The intention was always that they were to find their own evolutionary direction as much as possible uninfluenced by the Creator's own pre-determined Will and Consciousness.

Only through this process are we truly able to gain deep wisdom; we have to make our own choices ourselves and learn from our own mistakes and the attendant effects, good or bad. At the same time the Creator's own awareness and knowledge is being greatly expanded as our multiple experiences are fed back to Him. These acts of co-creation help to expand and develop our Creator's Cosmos further, into a yet greater combined Entity within the surrounding deep Void.

This ‘gift’ of free choice may nevertheless at times be seen here on Earth as a curse, when we view the damage we have done with it. But we must also see the positive side of its potential, as we recognize and develop man's individual Earth-bound creativity in the fields of architecture, art, music, literature and ideas. And even the ‘bad’ that we do; the wars, conflicts and environmental destruction, will teach us valuable lessons, resulting in an ever-deepening wisdom. Ultimately we must come to see free choice and our creative potential as those on higher levels already see it: a Cosmic gift, given to us as an experiment in Divine Creation.

As we learn to discriminate between the Path of Self-interest and the Path of the Universal Law, so we grow in the wisdom of experience. With that wisdom we will ultimately become ‘qualified’ to co-create on higher levels, with the power, the privilege and the responsibility of independent judgment. Though this state of wisdom may as yet be a long way off, we may nevertheless hold it before us as an inspiration and a shining objective.

"This Earth is a very special place. You have been given the supreme gifts of the God-Head: divinity, creativity, and free choice. You are, in essence, Gods in the making and this Earth is a school for Gods. You are highly privileged to incarnate on Her, to be a part of the school of Earth and to advance your spiritual consciousness through the exercise of those Cosmic talents. There are many Beings on other planets who are not permitted to achieve consciousness in this way. You may now see why Earth is looked upon with envy by the other planets in the Solar System, for they do not all possess that potential. You have, in fact, the potential and the destiny to outstrip every other plane of consciousness within this Solar Body if only you could but harness your being and direct it with wisdom and love."

[The Master ZEN TAO, channeled through the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

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Chapter Two:

Creation itself is an expansion of our Creator's thought and self-awareness. Evolution of soul entities is another aspect of this expansion. Through the process of Evolution, individual souls, each a ‘Spark’ of the Creator's Consciousness, embark on a journey of exploration and growth, ultimately returning to unity with the Creator, endowed with the fullness of wisdom and experience.

Through its evolutionary descent into the worlds of materiality the Soul first develops a growing of awareness of self as an individual entity. The ego-self gradually becomes more assertive, gaining strength and widening its field of exploration. As it descends into the worlds of density and matter, self-awareness becomes ego-centeredness, developing a desire for personal-gain and superiority, often acquired through aggression, and sometimes, even violence. When all the possibilities of its separate ego-development have been fully explored, the soul can then begin its return journey back up through higher planes to unity, learning the gentler arts of co-operation and sharing with others. The eventual culmination will be its eventual re-unification with the Unity of the Creator as an evolved, compassionate and fully ‘aware’ soul.

And so it is that we set out on the great Cycle of Evolution. As the soul or spirit descends into worlds of increasing density and matter, we develop this correspondingly increased sense of individuality.

"During the descent of Spirit, often called the downward arc, there is not only a tendency towards greater materiality, the Spirit in-volving itself in Matter in order to learn to receive impressions through it, but there is also a tendency towards differentiation, the stream of Divine Life dividing and sub-dividing itself into an ever-increasing number of streamlets and units of consciousness."

[‘The Solar System’ by Arthur E. Powell - Theosophical Publishing House London Ltd.]

By descending into progressively denser and denser matter, the soul experiences an increasing detachment and loss of contact with the Higher Spheres. At the same time the soul is experiencing a sense of developing separation from other souls and a corresponding increase in the awareness of self, which in turn leads to ego-centeredness. This increasing sensation of self is reinforced by the need to satisfy the requirements of a physical body in a world of dense matter, where food and protection from the elements are essential to survival. Thus the soul-plus-body combination is forced to focus on self-preservation, which can easily become competitive and exploitive in relationships with others pursuing similar objectives.

This potent combination of the effects of physical matter, ego-centeredness and bodily demands, first creates, then enhances to an extreme degree, the conflict between Ego and Unity: between Self and the Flow of Creation. This inherent conflict in turn provides the many complex opportunities for the exercise of our Creator's gift of free choice (or free will) which allows the evolving soul to explore paths and directions of evolution alternative to the Highest Wisdom, and therefore to experience and learn from their effects.

Indeed we are forced to confront, and to learn from the results of all our actions; this ‘Law’ is expressed in the Occult Wisdom and Oriental philosophies as the ‘Law of Karma’: namely that we must experience, fully comprehend and assimilate the effects of all our actions, both good and bad, before we can continue on to our next lesson or experience. Every thought, every action has its effect, which we must ultimately experience and learn from. Similarly everything that happens to us has its cause, and that cause can ultimately be seen to originate from our own past actions, or thought. Cause and effect. Everything existing now is the result of past actions, good or bad; and the future will be the result of present actions.

By experiencing the effects of its actions, the evolving soul learns to discriminate between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in the sense of those actions pursuing, and those actions opposing the path of Highest Wisdom; those actions promoting self and ego versus those actions reflecting the greatest universal collective good; those actions which are positive and creative, versus those actions which are negative and anti-creative, or destructive.

The soul thus gains a greater depth of wisdom than would otherwise be obtained by following the ‘straight and narrow path’. It is only through a knowledge of ‘bad’, both its causes and its effects, that the evolving soul can comprehend ‘good’ in the full and genuine knowing which comes of physical and emotional experience. For learning to avoid "evil" does not come without suffering its results; indeed experiencing the ill-effects of inappropriate actions is the essential key to learning, and thus an important element of evolution.

The concentration by the ego on self-motivation and self-interest, which is the dominant feature of the downward part of the evolutionary arc, leads inevitably to competitive mutual conflict, as each ego-individual tries to profit from and ‘get the better of’ others. This explains why political and social relationships on Earth have tended to dominate human thought and group activity. It also explains why we have thus far failed so abysmally to live at peace with one another. The simple rule of correct political behavior, namely: that we do nothing which is harmful to others, is accepted on almost all other more developed worlds.

This self-centered concentration on developing an individuality at the expense of others has led to most of the problems experienced by Humanity throughout Earth's history. And it has also caused many souls to ‘fall’ even further. Through negative deeds and thoughts manifested in various forms of oppression, murder, torture and perversion, these souls ultimately find themselves enmeshed in the darker, denser Astral worlds of what we call the ‘Underworld’ or ‘Hell’ when they exit the Earth plane.

In addition, some particularly strong-willed ‘rebel’ souls, or those who have not developed an emotional capability, have created within our Galaxy groups of planetary worlds totally separated from the Evolutionary Plan of the Creator. These are indeed Dark Worlds and from where they have sought, through conquest and galactic wars, to gain power and advancement throughout the Galaxy, using enslavement and perversion of those weaker than themselves.

These ‘dark’ and ‘negative’ souls, collectively known in the occult world as the ‘Forces of Darkness’, have in the distant past been partially successful in taking over Planet Earth at various times. Elements of these Dark Forces have subsequently remained in the background of our world, constantly seeking to become the power behind various oppressive regimes and self-willed leaders; promoting wars, conflict and oppression. Fortunately however their influence is presently being cleansed from Earth by the Spiritual Hierarchy in time for our Planet's upcoming Ascension in the new Millennium. In fact, the Forces of Darkness are having their powers curtailed throughout our Galaxy in preparation for the approaching Cycle of the great Galactic-wide Ascension which coincides with our own.

Within our Galaxy, these Dark Forces have generally been physically held in check by the stronger and more numerous Intergalactic Forces of Light. This has not been without drama however, and there have in the past been some major interstellar battles in our Galaxy between the Forces of Light and the Forces of Darkness. Ultimately however, the Forces of Light must and always do triumph, for the positive upward path of love and awareness of others has to be the final destiny of all evolutionary Creation.

Even these rebellious souls, having 'fallen' into worlds of darkness, are also learning from their experience of evil. Eventually they have to tire of the constant competitive conflict; they finally feel moved to start looking upwards towards the Realms of Light for salvation. When they do genuinely begin to seek the Light, they are always readily assisted to move up to the higher planes by their Spiritual Guides.

And so these ‘errant’ souls will eventually rediscover for themselves, the hard way, the true direction of evolution. They will be returning to the Path of Wisdom, not only much the wiser, but indeed much stronger souls than many of us, with a much deeper depth of understanding between 'right' and 'wrong'. Thus even the most extreme expressions of ‘evil’ can contribute to the knowledge, learning and experience which forms the very essence of evolution.

As we experience Earth's wars and conflicts in all their many manifestations, between nations and ethnic or religious groups across the world, in politics and commerce at national or community level, and in our own families or within ourselves, we eventually come to a true understanding of the nature and fruitlessness of self-motivated aggression, of actions based purely on individual self-interest exercised at the expense of others.

In the growth of this realization, be it individually or collectively, we on Earth are at last coming to the end of the long downward Arc of Evolution, the phase of competitive individuality.

This is the critical turning point, the point of balance, where downward movement into separateness and away from the Creator makes a turn, becoming the upward path to Unity with all other forms of life. From this point we begin to see the advantages of collaboration and cooperation, of mutual respect and mutual assistance.

This point of turn is, not surprisingly, the point of major conflict within each soul and also collectively in societies and nations. At this critical time on Earth - and this is why many of us have chosen to be here at this time - the choices inherent in our world of duality are magnified: Self versus Unity, and Spirit versus Matter. Here too the Forces of Darkness, seeing the way we are now going, are trying desperately hard to keep a ‘last-ditch’ control on Earth, redoubling their efforts to deflect us from our return path to Unity.

"This is the great battle of the Universe, the tremendous conflict between Spirit and Matter. In this part of the Field is the point of balance. The Spirit, coming into innumerable relations with Matter, is at first over-powered; then comes the point of balance, when neither has the advantage over the other. Then slowly the Spirit begins to triumph over Matter, so that, at the end of this stage, Spirit is the master of Matter, and is ready for the ascent."

[‘The Solar System’ - Arthur E. Powell - Theosophical Publishing House London Ltd.]

We now have to make a shift of consciousness away from the perception of self as an individual self-contained unit responsible only to itself. We need to develop a perception of self as a component of a wider grouping: harmonizing within the family and community, collaborating rather than competing in the productive service of our ‘work’, respecting all of human life and ultimately all of Creation. We must learn to transmute our self-interest into care and concern for others, working together cooperatively with our fellow humans as well as the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, not seeking to take advantage of another for one's own benefit.

This ‘return to unity’ does not imply that the individual becomes ‘a cog in a wheel’, but rather a wise, experienced, compassionate, thinking, contributing component of a wider, ultimately universal grouping. Though we are joining, not separating, unifying not compartmentalizing, each Soul remains nevertheless forever throughout Unified Creation as still an ‘individual consciousness’, each enriched with its own personal accumulation of experience and wisdom.

On the returning upward Arc of Evolution, when the soul returns to its Source, it is now endowed with a fully developed consciousness and awareness of life in all its myriad aspects. Above all, we have learnt the understanding of both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ which allows us to make informed decisions in accordance with the true direction of evolution. Although we are returning to Unity, each of us is now part of that Unity as a fully individualized consciousness.

"During the upward arc, when differentiation has been finally accomplished by the division of the Divine Life into separate human entities, the tendency is towards unity, as well as towards greater spirituality. In this stage the Spirit, having learnt perfectly how to receive impressions through matter, and how to express itself through it, and having awakened its dormant powers, learns to use these powers rightly in the service of the Logos."

[‘The Solar System’ - Arthur E. Powell - Theosophical Publishing House London Ltd.]

Our Creator’s Thought Force that is continually going forth as a ‘River of Thought’ in the creation and sustenance of the Universe, also has the inherent magnetic Light-force qualities which we know of as Love. Love is an energy of cohesive and magnetic force of attraction, being the cohesive Light-force behind all manifested matter as well as being the magnetic force drawing all of Creation back into the center of His Unity. When this Force of Love is transmuted down through the life experience of individuals, it finds expression at lower levels as the feelings of emotion. Emotion can either manifest itself as a positive force, or take an opposite form as a negative force: love and hate, attraction and repulsion.

It is this positive-negative emotional experience which provides the strongest impetus for our evolution and learning. Through our feelings and emotions, we experience the pain of wrongdoing, and the joy of helping others and contributing to the flow. Likewise it is through our emotions that we take pride in our personal achievements, yet at the same time experience a continuous longing for unity, be it unity with a loved one, with a community in shared activities, or the ultimate Unity with the Source of Creation.

It is through the emotions that we are ever eager to move forward, and as a result we also experience and learn from the joys and the sorrows of our actions. It is through the emotions that we feel sympathy with others, gained through our own experiences of pain and distress. We become more sensitive and aware within ourselves; we also experience the kindness as well as the thoughtlessness of others. It is through the emotions, as well as the intellect, that we feel anger at perceived injustice, or approval of right conduct, and thus we learn how to behave more correctly towards others.

While the development of individuality is a necessary part of the process of evolution as we are currently experiencing it, we may also wish to remind ourselves from time to time that fundamentally we are all a part of, and at one with all of Creation. This great truth is something we can easily forget, enmeshed as we are in a world of individuality and separateness. But the recollection of our true underlying unity with all of Creation can give comfort in times of stress, providing a sense of context and reality as well as reassurance and guidance.

We are all inter-linked, both through a shared origin, and through the Creator’s continuous River of Creative Thought. We are linked, not only as humans with humans, but with every particle, rock, plant, animal and insect. And we are all intimately linked with our Creator, for we are a part of His Life-substance, and through us He is always in touch with our every experience. We are ourselves an extension of our Creator, experiencing and learning together with Him on our long journey of evolution.

"Know that you are not - and never have been separate from your Source. You truly have never been separate from each other. You have never really been separate from all of the brothers and sisters you have on countless planets throughout your galaxies. You have never been separate from any creature of your planet. Not separate from your Sun and your Moon; not separate from any leaf, or blade of grass, or flower that blossoms in your garden. You have forgotten, that is all, and in your pain and in your judgment of who you are, you have closed down. You have forgotten that who you are is God/Goddess smelling the rose of the vibrancy and excitement of this dimension of reality."

[The Master P'TAAH of The Pleiades, channeled by Jani King, in The P'taah Tapes: An Act of Faith - Triad Publishers Pty Ltd, Cairns, Queensland, Australia – 1991]

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Chapter Three:

The illusion of separateness, which appears as an integral part of present human experience, arises from our Earthly pre-occupation with self, and the density of the Earth environment in which we live. Both these factors tend to close us off from one another and from the higher worlds of Creation. An opening of awareness to the unseen worlds around us is an important element in our spiritual development; this requires that we draw from Occult science more detailed information on the nature of vibrations and densities, so that we may understand in turn the different levels or planes of existence.

Occult science explains that matter is made up of various groupings and combinations of atoms with their orbiting electrons and protons, all of which oscillate about each other in a positive-negative vibratory movement, maintaining a fixed magnetic spacing from each other.

All atoms, and the ‘matter’ that they constitute through their cohesive groupings, are vibrating at different frequency rates dependent on their complexity and density; a low frequency allows a dense grouping of atoms, a higher frequency creates a less dense, more spaced-out and refined matter. This in turn reflects their distance from the Creative Thought-Center; the refined matter of higher frequency vibration is nearer the high spiritual level of the Source, while the denser matter of lower frequency exists at the ‘outer edges’ of the evolutionary range farthest from the Source. Within this continuous spectrum, it is convenient to identify the three major divisions of vibratory frequency.

At the outer extremity of the range farthest from the Thought-Center is the dense Physical Realm, which is our present Earth level. Moving in towards the Center we find the next major vibration level, less dense and more tenuous in the spacing of its atoms; this is the Etheric Realm (also known as the Mental level), on which most of our neighboring planets in our solar system at present reside. Nearer to the Central Godhead of Pure Thought we find the Higher Spiritual Realms of Light, which are home to the more spiritually developed souls as well as the higher Ascended Masters and Angelic Beings.

Within these three broad density levels of Physical, Etheric and Spiritual, occult science identifies seven subdivisions, or intermediate levels. It is also explained that while our conscious Earthly experience manifests at the densest level, all of the different densities co-exist and find expression in our bodies and the world around us.

"The occultist finds that physical matter exists in seven sub-grades or orders of density: Solid; Liquid; Gaseous; Etheric; Super Etheric; Sub Atomic; Atomic. Particles of all these grades enter into the composition of the body, the physical vehicle. The physical body however, has two well-marked divisions; the Dense Body, composed of solids, liquids and gases, and the Etheric Body, or Etheric Double as it is frequently called, consisting of the four finer grades of physical matter. Every solid, liquid and gaseous particle of the physical body is surrounded with an etheric envelope: hence the Etheric Double, as its name implies, is a perfect duplicate of the dense form. In size it projects about one quarter of an inch beyond the skin."

[‘The Etheric Double’ by A.E. Powell, Theosophical Publishing House, London]

Between the physical and the etheric vibration densities there is an important intermediate level: the Astral Realm, composed of lower-vibration etheric matter. This is the seat of our emotions, senses and memory, and the level on which our subconscious mind works, recording all our thoughts and experiences into the ether where it is stored in a celestial memory-bank (the Akashic Records) for our later retrieval and review. The subconscious on the Astral level also acts as an inner voice, conscience, or agent of intuition as a guide for our Earthly consciousness. The Astral Plane is usually the first level on which we arrive after the transition we call ‘death’.

Since most illnesses originate in mental or emotional disorder, they first manifest at the etheric level before transmitting themselves to the physical body. Many New Age healing therapies and practices such as ‘Radionics’ and spiritual healing are applied at the etheric level, and can thus be conducted from a distance without any physical contact between healer and patient. Healing is effected by transmission through the finer etheric matter that interpenetrates the physical and which is not subject to the same physical limitations of time and space.

What is known to New Age thought as the ‘Higher Knowledge’ exists as freely available knowledge on the higher Etheric and Spiritual planes, but cannot be accessed by most of us at the physical level due to a blocking "Veil of Forgetfulness" which has been placed for our protection between us and the higher worlds. Instead, this higher knowledge is mostly communicated down to Earth by those teachers and Masters who are able to transmit their thoughts directly to a trained Earth mind known as a ‘channel’. This process is made possible on Earth through ‘channelers’ who have themselves undertaken training over long periods during past lives in opening up their higher spiritual centers. However, it is important for the Earth channeler to be able to set aside any Earthly emotions and preconceptions which might otherwise color and distort the communication. Channelers are usually able to receive channeling either by going into a state of trance, or in more developed cases, directly into the conscious mind in the form of words, thoughts, or automatic writing.

Down here on planet Earth we live within the dense physical level at a relatively low rate of vibration, restricted to the limited perception range extending from the low frequencies of sound (16 to 20,000 cycles per second), to the higher visible light-frequency spectrum. The light-frequency spectrum ranges from the lowest color of red, moving up through orange, yellow, green, blue and violet to the point where our vision ceases at the ultra-violet level. As our visible sight ceases above this range, we are unable to see higher-vibration ‘matter’, it being totally invisible to us, even though it is in fact surrounding and interpenetrating our physical matter. In order to see higher vibrational worlds and matter, we have to be able to raise our own vibration levels up to that same level. Similarly, with our physical vision we are unable see life on other non-physical planets, nor are we able to see their visiting space craft in our skies, except in those cases where they themselves choose to lower their vibration levels down to our own dense physical perception level.

"The Spirit World has as many distinct planes of existence as an onion has skins, each forming an outer protecting skin to the previous one and providing a means of contacting the experiences which that particular plane has to offer. These planes are co-existent with our physical world, invisible to our slow reacting sense of sight, yet as real as the invisible waves which carry our radio programs.

"As a Spirit descends, plane by plane, into the depths of experience, a body, complete with the organs of sense suitable for manifestation in that particular sphere, has to be donned in order that those senses may respond to the vibration of things comprising that sphere.

"Without such a garment it would not be found possible either to express oneself or to receive impressions in local surroundings, and the experiences in that particular plane would be fruitless."

[‘Full Cycle’ by Ripley Webb - Marcus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada]

And so, unseen by us at our Earthly physical level, there are in fact entire worlds existing at higher vibration rates, inhabited by Beings we can neither see, hear, nor touch. And since their higher vibration rates cause their bodies to be less dense than ours, they are easily able to interpenetrate us on Earth without our even being aware of their presence. This often-puzzling idea can be readily understood if we bear in mind that all ‘solid’ matter is in fact composed of atoms with ‘spaces’ around them.

"It is of course, well known that even in the hardest substance no two atoms ever touch one another, the space between two adjacent atoms being in fact enormously larger than the two atoms themselves. Orthodox physical science long ago has posited an Ether which interpenetrates all known substances, the densest solid as well as the most rarefied gas; and just as this Ether moves with perfect freedom between the particles of densest matter, so does Etheric matter interpenetrate it in turn, and moves with perfect freedom among its particles. Thus a Being in the etheric world might be occupying the same space as a Being living in the physical world; yet each would be entirely unconscious of the other, and would in no way impede the free movement of the other."

[‘The Etheric Double’ by A.E. Powell, The Theosophical Publishing House, London]

Though most of us cannot see the manifestations of higher vibration rates, they are often experienced by those who have developed, over many lives, a psychic sensitivity. Those with heightened extrasensory perception can often see such nebulous apparitions as ‘ghosts’ which exhibit the ability to pass right through the observer and other solid objects. Even those of us without a highly developed extrasensory perception may sometimes be aware of a person or place having good or bad ‘vibes’. We are all able to sense subconsciously on our higher more intuitive levels those vibrations being given out around us.

The great differences in density and vibrational levels also explains why we are unable to see any forms of sentient life when we send Earth space probes down onto our neighboring planets. All our Solar System’s inhabited planets, together with their surrounding vegetation and lifeforms, no longer exist on the dense physical vibratory level. They at present exist on the 4th or 5th dimension/density on the Etheric plane, a surrounding plane of life and matter existing at a higher and more tenuous vibratory level not visible to us, even though it is perfectly solid to themselves. When we send our exploratory space-probes to our neighboring planets, our spacecraft unknowingly passes right down through these higher vibrational planes and continues to descend down to the planet's previously inhabited physical crust, long since abandoned and which is now totally lifeless. From this we assume that there are no other inhabited worlds.

We nonetheless have had many communications and visits from our interplanetary Space Brothers over the years since the end of World War II, these having been published in numerous books by some of the lesser-known esoteric publishers. One well-known ‘contactee’ out of many, is Tuella, whose published communications from our Space Brothers include messages from the large group of interplanetary spaceships on station within our solar system, known as the 'Ashtar Command'.

Amongst the many communications Tuella has had from the Ashtar Command, she at one point attempts in her book 'Ashtar - A Tribute', to clarify the nature of the different vibratory levels by inquiring of Space Commander Ashtar about the higher ‘Etheric’ vibration level on which all our neighboring Space Brothers live:

Tuella: "From your statement that you are etheric, am I to presume that you have evolved beyond the stage of a physical body?"

Ashtar: "Correct. I do not possess a physical casing of the dense type such as yours. I am definitely etheric, as are all people on other planets in this solar system. However, this does not mean that we are invisible to each other, as we are to you under normal circumstances. We see each other and live much as you do, but we do not have this dense physical casing which you possess. The advantages, benefits and comforts of this living are enormous, and the irritations of the fleshly envelope are most uncomfortable. Unless we choose to convert the vibrational frequency of our bodies to one which is visible to your optics, we remain invisible to your people. Nevertheless, highly evolved people, with a good psychic eye as you call it, can sometimes see us in vaporous form, although we may be invisible to other Earthlings in the same location. When your clairvoyants travel in their spiritual bodies to our civilizations on other planets, they see and are able to interpret our lives because they are not using their physical eyes but their astral or psychic sight, to which we are visible just as though we were physical."

Tuella: "I am curious about the nature of etheric matter. For example, there is one case on record where one of our jet aircraft flew right through a space ship, without hitting anything solid whatever. Are your ships made of a vaporous substance, or are they a different form of Earthly matter?"

Ashtar: "We have all the elements you know on Earth, and many more. The etheric form of metals differs in its atomic and molecular structure from Earth made metals. For example, the distance between the nucleus and the orbiting electrons of the etheric iron is much greater than in physical iron, as you know it on Earth. This permits the atoms of Earthly steel to pass right through the atoms of etheric steel in such a way that nothing happens to either form of steel. The etheric form of steel enjoys a higher vibratory rate than Earthly steel and therefore is not apparent to Earthly vision or, if you prefer, physical eyesight.

"Because of our knowledge of Universal Law, our very being consists of a higher level of vibration than you people of Earth. You see, every particle of the Universe consists of molecules whose center contains an atom around which electrons and protons revolve. Each molecule of a different molecular structure vibrates at a different frequency. The inside of a molecule is identical in makeup to the Universe. Planets revolve around central suns; solar systems around galaxies; galaxies, around a central universal sun. Each molecule vibrates at whatever frequency seems appropriate for our existence.

"As one becomes more spiritual in nature, thinking only of the welfare of others and not of power and greed, the higher the molecules of one's being will vibrate. As we know in our dimension, it is possible for these molecules to vibrate so rapidly that the frequency becomes pure light. This is why we call ourselves the Forces of Light. We depend on the light from The Source -The Creator, God, for our existence."

[‘Ashtar: A Tribute’ - compiled by Tuella - Guardian Action Publications - 1985. Republished 1995 by Inner Light Publications, New Brunswick NJ, USA.]

Thus the student of New Age Thought, though perhaps unable to see or to sense the presence of Beings existing on other vibratory levels, can now at least comprehend their existence. As our evolution progresses, as we move to higher levels of being, a wider range of perception will open up to us. But even now, indeed particularly now as we struggle through the denser realms of our evolutionary journey, an expanding awareness of higher realms can open our intuition to the many sources of guidance and wisdom available to us.

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Chapter Four:

As already explained, we begin our long evolutionary journey as evolving ‘Sparks of Spirit’, created out of and as a part of our Creator's own Being, particles of His own Spirit and Thought Force. Each newly created Spark of Spirit near the Godhead in fact in time also becomes the "Father/Mother" of an extension soul of themselves, and thus the originator of an extended "family" of closely inter-related soul units. This "family" relationship with its original "Higher-Self" soul allows a close inter-connection and intuitive inter-communication between the higher planes and the lower planes of existence. There is also a continuous sharing of experience, not only from lower levels up to the highest, but also from the higher level down to the lowest. The higher level intuitive advice passed down to the physical level helps prevent individual souls from becoming enmeshed in any one particular area of evolution and thus losing an overall sense of direction. The "Higher Self" continually tries to keep them on their correct path of evolution.

And so we have the establishment of an elevated group of ‘High Oversouls’, also known to us as our ‘Higher Self" or the ‘I Am Presence’. Each of these Higher-Selves is then allowed to create or birth a further group of 12 ‘Prime Soul-Extensions’ so as to extend the experience life on worlds nearest to the Spiritual Light Plane. Then these 12 Prime Soul-Extensions are themselves each allowed to create a further group of twelve souls, or ‘lower soul-extensions’, for experience on yet denser worlds. Thus there can finally arise a total 'Family Soul Group' of up to 144 closely related ‘Soul Mates’, all linked to the same "Higher Self".

This Soul Group of 144 will not all be incarnating together at the same time, or on a particular vibration-level or dimension, but instead may be manifested throughout a Galaxy on many other dimensional levels or planets. However, all the individual members of these groups, under their collective ‘Higher-Self’, will remain linked throughout their long evolutionary journeys as a group of related Soul-Mates, often incarnating in a particular world with one another as life-partners or friends, or as members of an extended family.

The Higher-Self ‘oversoul’ must nonetheless always observe the fundamental Laws of Karma which require that we should all ourselves fully experience the cause-effect relationship between each of our actions and its results. Thus the Higher Self will always respect the self-determination or free choice (free will) of each of the separately individualized lower soul-extensions. The High Self will only help when directly asked for assistance, and will never interfere karmaically to alleviate those hard lessons that each soul must learn for itself.

As the soul-extensions then descend into the lower worlds of materiality, they further develop their inherent split into the two major polarities of positive and negative; each expressing more and more forcibly the male (positive, outgoing active force) or the female (negative, returning/in-going, nurturing force) polarity. This is part of the Creator’s Plan to provide the soul with a deeper balance between the two major polarities of Creation, and provides a strong impetus for each soul to return to the Unity of the Godhead. Thus, two ‘Twin Souls’ or ‘Twin Flames’, are created as part of one spirit at the highest level, and remain forever as eternally joined parts of one soul-extension. After descending and ascending through the Cycle of Evolution together, they are eventually destined to re-unite at the end of their long evolutionary journey, as one complete and androgynous (that is to say, united male/female) Being, and yet they shall forever also be two souls-in-one and even retain an element of their two polarities as well as their individualities.

Each individual Twin-Soul, endowed during its descent into matter with a predominantly male or female polarity, thus acts as a balancing force to the other; one featuring an inherently forceful male and worldly-active, positive, outgoing characteristic, the other with a more receptive, nurturing and spiritualized in-going female characteristic. This inherent division into two opposite, but magnetically attractive polarities, not only provides the necessary impetus towards a later re-unification of these two souls, but also promotes a desire within all individualized souls to seek unity with all other souls, and thus their eventual return to the collective Unity of the Godhead.

As their evolution progresses, the Twin-Souls gradually learn to develop a greater balance between their two polarities or genders. Sometimes a Twin-Soul will switch gender for one particular incarnation in a physical world in order to learn from the inherent qualities of the other gender polarity. This explains the varying difficulties of sexual identity which many people experience down here on Earth, after they have in fact chosen on the spiritual planes to incarnate into an Earth body of an opposite and ‘unaccustomed’ gender. For instance, a soul of predominately female characteristics, when incarnating into a male body, will by nature be more attracted to the opposite sex, that is, another male. Likewise, a predominately male soul incarnating as a female, will most likely be seeking the close intimacy of the opposite polarity of attraction, another female. The sex-changes that many people have felt a strong urge to make through an operation, exhibit a more extreme example of this unaccustomed position of opposite gender.

Thus the Twin-Souls learn to balance the positive (male), out-going/forceful, with the negative (female), receptive/nurturing quality of their polarities. They will then eventually be in a position to become totally re-united as balanced parts of a united androgynous (male/female) soul, although they will each, part of a greater united being, still retain a certain individually and an element of their original polarity.

When one Twin-Soul incarnates on a lower physical-level planet such as Earth, the other usually remains behind on a higher plane in order to provide a nearby spiritual connection with the higher world. There are occasions, however, when Twin-Souls do arrange to meet and share together an incarnation at the physical level, such as whilst undertaking an important joint mission on Earth. At such times, unless they have chosen to be born as close relatives or twins in the same household, the time and place of their first meeting on the dense physical level is always pre-viewed and pre-arranged on the Spiritual Plane. And so when they first meet on Earth, they often experience a feeling of instant and deep ‘love at first sight’, intuitively remembering their old love connection as well as recognizing their meeting place pre-arranged on the spiritual level. Such a ‘coming together’ forever touches a fundamental note of human longing amongst all of us, and is frequently featured in many of our great romantic Earthly love stories.

Even when we may not be destined to meet our Twin Soul or Twin Flame down here on Earth, it is possible that we may instead experience a very close association with one of our own Spiritual-Family Soul-Mates, a member of our larger Soul Group. We may also quite likely have been closely associated with that particular Soul-Mate in a past incarnation, either as a former family member or as a close friend during a previous Earth experience.

During the long evolutionary cycle, when souls descend into the lower worlds of 'matter' and then rise up again, the Higher-Self, remains on the highest spiritual level, constantly accumulating and recording all the evolutionary experiences gained by those evolving soul-extensions on lower levels. This accumulated knowledge is then accessible back to them via the Higher-Self as an inner voice of conscience, always there to assist them in taking the correct course appropriate for their further development.

We can, therefore, with intent and suitable training, obtain access to all this accumulated spiritual knowledge via our Higher-Self, simply by turning our thoughts inwards in quiet contemplation and seeking a connection with our ‘I Am Presence’.

This store of evolutionary knowledge and abilities accumulated by the Higher Self also provides each of the lower incarnated souls with a background of traits, talents and abilities acquired during previous lives. This continuity of development and attainment explains why some people are born on Earth with unusually exceptional natural talents, such as in the field of healing or science, or perhaps as a scientific genius or musical child-prodigy.

In trying the visualize the nature and appearance of a ‘Higher Self’, we have a very good description of a meeting for the first time by Shirley MacLaine with her own Higher Self, conducted through a psychic exploration with her friend Chris Griscom. She writes in her book ‘Dancing In The Light’ [Bantam 1985]:

"I breathed deeply into the center of myself as though I were getting my psychic balance. Then a picture swam into my mind, at first diffused, but then very clear. It was absolutely astonishing. I saw the form of a very tall, overpoweringly confident, almost androgynous Human Being. A graceful, folded cream-colored garment flowed over a figure seven feet tall, with long arms resting calmly at its side. Even longer fingers extended from the arms. The energy of the form seemed more masculine than feminine to me. The skin of the Being was ruddy and its hair was long to the shoulders and auburn colored. The face had high cheekbones and a straight, chiseled nose. The eyes were deep, deep blue and the expression was supremely kind, yet strong. It raised its arms in outstretched welcome. I got an Oriental feeling from it, more Oriental than Western. And I had the intuitive feeling that it was extremely protective, full of patience, yet capable of great wrath. It was simple, but so powerful that it seemed to ‘know’ all there was to know. I was flabbergasted at what I saw, and what I felt about it.

"Who are you?" I asked, hardly daring to hear what it would say, nor what to make of this kind of dimensional experience. The Being smiled at me and embraced me!

"I am your Higher Unlimited Self," it said.
"Oh, my goodness," I heard myself say stupidly to it. "Are you really there?"

It smiled again.
"Yes," it said, "I have always been here. I've been here with you since the beginning of time. I am never away from you. I am you. I am your unlimited soul. I am the unlimited you that guides and teaches you through each incarnation."

"Listen, " I said, "why do you have a form and why does it look like this?"

It smiled again.
"Because," it said, "you need to see me in the form of an Earth-plane dimension. The form of the soul is the form of the human body, in any case. The only difference is that the soul is a form without mass. But if you could see the Light-form of a soul, you would see a head, two arms, a body, and two legs. The soul is high-frequency light without mass. That is the only difference."

"Well, why do you seem so masculine to me?" I asked.

"I only seem more masculine than feminine because I am powerful. The energy of the soul is powerful, but it is androgynous. That is to say there is a perfect balance between the positive energy, which is male, and the negative energy which is female, or yin (feminine) and yang (masculine). The masculine positive energy is thrusting and active. The feminine negative energy is receiving and acceptive. Both are equally necessary to achieve life. One cannot operate without the other."

The image of Higher Self stood calm and centered. I had the impression that it wouldn't assert itself unless I motivated it to do so. I looked out of the window at a tree outside. It was swaying in the breeze.

"Listen," I said, "if I asked you to help me stop the movement of a tree, could we do it?"
"Try me," said Higher Self.

"Okay," I said. "That tree outside. Let's stop it from swaying."
"Very well," said Higher Self. "Feel my power become your power. Know that together we can accomplish anything."

I tuned in to this energy of my image of Higher Self and melded with it.

"Now," it said, "ask the tree for permission to control its movement."
"Ask the tree for permission?" I asked, suddenly becoming aware of the more refined subtleties of karmic interaction.

"Why, certainly," said Higher Self. "All life must work in harmony, balance, and respect for all other life. There can be no abuse of power without reaping consequence. You will hear the tree respond to you. You will know how it feels about it."

"Trees can feel?" I asked.

"Of course," said Higher Self. "All life vibrates with feeling. And the natural state of feeling is love. The state of love is achieved by simply being. Nature is a manifestation of the state of simple beingness. It just is. And that which is, in its purest sense, is perfect balance."

Shirley, having then successfully stopped the tree swaying with the help of her Higher Self, continues:

I looked up at Higher Self in my mind. The arms came down gently. "You see?" it said. "You did that. You can use your energy for anything. But you need to recognize me in order to do it."

"Then what is the difference between you and God?" I asked.

"None," it said. "I am God, because all energy is plugged into the same source. We are each aspects of that Source. We are all part of God. We are all individualized reflections of the God Source. God is us and we are God."

"And you are me."


"Then does everyone have a Higher Unlimited Self of their own?"

"Exactly," said Higher Self. "And each Higher Self is in touch with every other Higher Self. All unlimited souls resonate in harmony with each other. The reason you do not recognize that truth on the Earth plane is because you are not in touch with the individual soul energy of your Higher Selves. But you will get there because there is no other place to go to achieve peace. Peace on the outside comes from peace on the inside. Peace on the inside comes from understanding that we are all God".

[‘Dancing in the Light’, by Shirley MacLaine - Bantam Books, Inc., 1985]

To further guide and watch over us during our incarnations here on Earth, each of us has various Guides and Guardian Angels working from the Spiritual Worlds. At birth, our Guardian Angels keep a particularly close watch over us when we first incarnate into the physical body, especially up to the age of seven. Young children, whose etheric sight is usually still functioning, are indeed often able to see their Guardian Angels as they stand over them, protecting and guiding them.

In addition to our Guardian Angels, there are other Beings on the Spiritual Plane with whom we usually have had some past connection, also acting as our Guides, guiding and protecting us as we follow our life's path. Such a Guide is usually an ‘older brother’, a soul of some considerable evolution, one who has probably lived many previous lives down here on Earth and who can therefore well understand the nature and the difficulties of life at the physical level. Our Guide may also himself or herself be gaining some useful additional evolutionary learning experiences by watching our life and learning from our lessons.

However, whilst our Guardian Angels and our Guides are ready to advise and assist us at all times, there are two fundamental qualifications to this help. Firstly: they will not normally interfere unless we ask directly for their help; they must always respect our free choice and thus not deprive us of the important lessons we have to learn ourselves. Secondly: we should not assume that ‘whatever we ask will be given’, for we must remember that Higher Beings have a higher, wider vision, and they will not help us to do something which is not for our ‘highest good’. It could be so easy for us to feel, when our fervent prayers for help do not appear to be answered, that we have been 'let down' by our Heavenly Guides. But we should understand that the links between us and our Guides were formed and exist on the higher Soul level. At this level they know, and indeed we too recognize when we are visiting the higher planes in our sleep-time, what is best for our ‘highest good’.

Apart from the personal help and advice we may receive as individuals, wisdom and guidance is also made available in its wider context to the Earth world by other Higher Beings, known as 'Masters'.

"A Master may give his counsel unseen, perhaps guiding the voice or the hand of a prophet; or a Master may incarnate on Earth, giving through his life an example to mankind. A Master incarnate on Earth may even be "overshadowed" by a yet greater Master who, with his "junior's" consent, acts and speaks through him. The Master Jesus-Sananda was himself overshadowed in this way during the last years of his ministry by The Christ, the highest embodiment of the Creator. Thus "Jesus Christ" should not be thought of or referred to as one single "person", but rather as the Master Jesus-Sananda, for a time overshadowed by The Christ.

Masters, such as are part of Earth’s Spiritual Hierarchy, are highly evolved Beings with a fully developed degree of wisdom and consciousness. They fulfil Universal Service. They are not usually linked to any one individual soul on the Earth as are your Guardian Angels and your Guides. They serve a far greater cause, and when they come to this Earth they come, not so much for the individual, but for Humanity as a whole. They often speak through trained and inspired channels to give messages to Humanity. When they do incarnate on the Earth, they come in order to serve Humanity and to bring wisdom and knowledge to the Earth as a whole. They are not so much concerned with the individual as with the Greater Plan. It is through the Masters that Knowledge for this Earth is thus revealed and given to Mankind, and that the Divine Plan for this Earth is revealed and carried out."

[The Master RAMALA - channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

There is indeed a wealth of advice and assistance available to those who seek it in peace of mind and humility of spirit. Spiritual knowledge teaches that through a process of bodily lightening, detachment from ego-centeredness, and a developing awareness of the Universal Unity, we can open to worlds beyond our present limited perception of ‘reality’ and learn to receive the ‘Higher Knowledge’, the wisdom of our Guides and the great Masters. And it may be said without exaggeration that ‘we need all the advice and assistance we can get’, for the incarnations we experience here on Earth at the physical level are the most difficult and testing in all of our evolutionary journey.

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Chapter Five:

Many people living on Earth believe it erroneously to be a place of perfection. They complain when things are difficult or go wrong, often becoming angry, cursing Creation, even threatening suicide. But Earth is not a place of perfection; it is a planet of accelerated deep learning. Moreover its lessons and the conditions in which its people must confront them are among the most demanding and testing in the entire scheme of evolution. Acceptance of this fact reinforced by an understanding of its divine purpose can make life much easier, and help to ensure that we gain the most evolutionary benefit from Earth's lessons.

Evolution in the first half of its cycle is movement away from the Creator's Unity. The farther we journey away from that Unity, the Creative Center, the denser the level on which we have to live and function. This has the multiple effect of weakening our connection with the Highest Wisdom, whilst at the same time enhancing the sensation of self with its concentration on worldly wealth, power and influence. In the denser atmosphere, actions become slower and heavier, and the body creates its own demands for an easy life, or in frustration, the bodily gratification through various forms of sensation-motivated excesses. It is well-known on higher levels that Planet Earth represents one of the farthest points from the Spiritual Center, with some of the harshest lessons and one of the levels of greatest density-related difficulties.

The extreme density surrounding this phase of our evolution on Planet Earth has also created over time a "Veil of Forgetfulness" surrounding and dividing us from the higher spiritual worlds, constricting our present field of vision and awareness, rather like a dense fog. We are unable to contact or perceive life on higher spiritual levels, and we have over time even lost the ability to communicate telepathically with the animal and bird lifeforms who share our planet at the physical level. This "Veil" between us and the spiritual worlds also conceals from us both knowledge of our preceding incarnations and our potential future, our lives before birth and our future beyond death. Not only can we not recall past lives or review our future path, but we cannot contact those who have recently "passed over" or any of the billions of other spiritual Beings living on higher vibrational levels.

The "Veil" was established over a long time around our particular world as a vital protection in learning the difficult and painful lessons of the dense physical plane. It was in fact requested by us ourselves on higher levels, through our collective Human joint-consciousness, for our own "peace of mind", as Tendor, a Spirit Guide from the Higher Spheres of Earth, explains.

If incarnating spirits on Earth could carry with them even a faint recollection of the joys and beauties of the Spiritual Sphere it would make it impossible for them to remain in tenancy of a physical body. To drink deep from the cup of experience it is necessary to contact life in its lowest form of manifestation. In order to do this you have to slow down your vibrations to a very slow rate and come under the cumbersome laws which govern that form of matter. To one who remembered what life really is, the ache to return would be so intolerable that no spirit could hold down an Earthly body. It is a merciful provision of God that such memories are temporarily veiled.

[Full Cycle by Ripley Webb - Marcus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada]

The "Veil" and the sensation of separation, while essential to the "Earth Experience", is in fact an Earth-born illusion, not a spiritual reality. We are forever spiritually linked to the Creator, to our past and future, and to those above who stand always ready to help and guide us. It is important to remember, especially during our more difficult periods of Earth incarnation, that we have never been, nor can ever be separate from our Creator, or from all of the rest of Creation, above or below us.

Yet this "forgetfulness" of reality is a necessary part of our evolution and our learning experience. Our world of individuality, separateness and strife may well be an "illusion" as Buddhism and many occult philosophies tell us; but it is an illusion which must appear real to us if we are to learn from it.

As we watch a drama unfold on television we may well remain detached, reminding ourselves that "it's only a story"; but by maintaining such detachment we will gain no benefit from it. It is possible to learn by reading stories or observing enactments of the lives of others, but we can only do this through full emotional involvement with the story, its characters and their predicaments, their hopes and their failures. Similarly in "real life" it is the very collective act of turning illusion into reality, which makes learning possible on the physical and emotional plane.

This apparent "contradiction" between illusion and reality is paralleled by another contradiction often argued here on Earth: the nature of Good and Evil.

In the sense that all is learning, all is evolution, there is no evil, for it is precisely through the experience of alternatives that we learn to choose the Highest Wisdom through our own volition, understanding and motivation. In this sense there can be no good or evil, only evolution, and the learning, experience and wisdom which it imparts.

But to us here on Earth, 'Evil' is the path of self, of ego, of separation from the rest of Creation, a separateness leading us into exploitation and conflict in our relationships with one another, and the abuse of the planet and the animal kingdom which we consider to exist purely for our personal exploitation and gratification.

In contrast, the path of 'Good' is found in placing the self not above, nor below others, but among them, respecting them as we would have them respect us. And this applies equally to all life-forms. The worm's life may be unimportant to you, just as your life is incomprehensible to the worm; but the worm's life is important to the worm, just as yours is to you. From this basis of equality we can then develop the concept of respect of others and service to others, graduating ultimately to the total radiation of unconditional love which is the mark of Higher Beings.

'Good' and 'Evil' are very real to us here on Earth, and must remain so. Thus we need to maintain a difficult 'balancing act'.

On the one hand we must strive to comprehend and remain constantly aware of the ultimate objectives for which we must aim: namely the Universal Laws of Right Conduct and Highest Wisdom. As we do so we attempt to avoid and reject the opposites of self-centeredness and ego-motivated aggression.

On the other hand as we inevitably "fall" into wrong thought and wrong actions we can at least learn from them by making ourselves fully aware of their effects upon ourselves and the other life-forms around us, and ultimately rejecting such actions in full understanding. In this way we are enriched by the experience of "evil" and its consequences.

Throughout the journey of evolution we are faced with choices. Indeed without free will/free choice the very concept of evolution could not come into being. We cannot become individuals following the path of Highest Wisdom through personal conscious choice until we have experienced the alternatives and their effects. Free choice allows the individual to choose between the path of Highest Wisdom and the path of Self, then having done so, to experience, to the full, the consequences of each decision.

Many of the great Masters, Teachers, and Occult traditions confirm that here on Planet Earth free choice is put to its greatest test under the most difficult conditions.

When you come to look at the Earth and, in particular, at the actions of Humanity on its surface, here you witness only disorder. Why should this be so? It is because Humanity has been given the Divine gift of free choice and so can create the nature of its own world. Obviously, this must fall within the evolutionary cycle and the destiny of the God or Lord of this solar system; but within those broad restrictions Humanity can choose the nature of its own evolutionary path.

[RAMALA - channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury - The C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., Saffron Walden, Essex]

Through free choice we create for good or evil, and having done so we must then experience the results of our creation. This is a continuing process and exists throughout the spectrum of life. We make choices and create the results from moment to moment and from life to life, both as individuals and collectively as communities, nations, races, and religious groupings. We can escape neither choice nor the results of it. We can only observe, experience, assimilate, and learn from our choices and the effects which they have on ourselves, on other living beings and on our planetary home, then having learned and gained in wisdom, amend our future conduct accordingly.

As we experience the trials and tribulations of Earth we are often moved to ask why we are undergoing such misfortunes. In reality it is we who have chosen both our Earth incarnation and its specific circumstances. All the difficult confrontations in our lives have been pre-planned by us with the help of our Guides on the Higher Planes and with our total agreement, so that we may confront, overcome and learn from them down here. All the unexpected, difficult and painful experiences we encounter in our Earthly lives do not come as some form of 'Heavenly retribution', but are pre-planned by our spiritual selves as a vital lesson to overcome and learn from whilst the opportunity exists on the physical plane. Down here it is much easier to make rapid progress in evolutionary learning than on the 'easier' Higher Spheres. Rejecting, opposing or failing to fully embrace these lessons we have come down here to learn will only delay the process and cause unnecessary pain. By recognizing and contemplating our errors and assimilating the lessons to be learned from them, we can then flow with the learning process and derive the maximum benefit from what is universally regarded on other levels as a unique learning environment.

Earth is a planet of learning, not a planet of perfection. But its imperfections are of our own making and it is therefore within our power, individually and collectively, to rectify them.

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Chapter Six:

Evolution involves learning through choice, and to this end we have been granted free choice by our Creator. Here on Earth, free choice is exercised, and its consequences learned, in the most extreme form and under the most difficult conditions.

On higher levels of being it is possible to see in a single moment the probable outcomes of various alternative paths. Thus it is a simple matter to make the right choice. But the Earth phase of evolution is clouded by the "Veil of Forgetfulness", hence it is not possible for us to look into the future. We on Earth must learn by the more arduous process of physical experience; we must make choices, weigh up the perceived advantages to self and to others, then experience the consequences of our choices.

Central to the concept of free choice is the Law of Karma, or the Law of Cause and Effect.

The Law of Karma is also known as the Law of Balance. In the process of living, evolving, experimenting and learning, our actions affect others either harmfully or beneficially, thus incurring numerous and often complex debts on our own evolutionary balance sheet of progress. The Law of Karma requires that the effects which our actions have on others, including all other life forms, the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms, must always be balanced. When we harm others we incur a debt to ourselves as well as to them. When others harm us they incur a debt to themselves as well as to us. Debts for good or evil, by ourselves or by someone else, must be balanced by both parties. Similarly, when you injure yourself, perhaps through misuse of the physical body, you create an imbalance, a debt to yourself that must be repaid by your comprehension and rejection of such actions. All, in the end, must balance.

Through this Law of Balance, or Cause and Effect, we experience and learn from the results of our chosen actions and those of others.

From wrong actions taken in specific sets of circumstances, wrong effects follow; we must then revisit and recreate those sets of circumstances again and again until, having learnt from the ill effects of taking the wrong path, we choose the right path. This is the Law of Karma. Tests will be instigated by our Higher Spiritual Self and repeated until they are ‘passed’ by our own acknowledgment, acceptance and assimilation of the lesson to be learnt. Challenges will be planned by us and repeated until they are overcome. This process can take place as a short lesson lasting one moment or one day; or it can take place over a lifetime, or several lives, or even over several incarnations. But we ourselves, and only ourselves, require that our lessons must, in the end, be learned thoroughly.

Similarly our ‘good’ actions, actions which show respect for other lifeforms, those ‘random acts of kindness’ which benefit others, set in motion a positive chain reaction.

The Law of Karma works ‘automatically’. We magnetically attract to ourselves ‘bad’ experiences when we have a need to learn from them. Likewise when we do not need to learn a particular lesson, we will not be touched by any danger or evil. We resonate magnetically towards good and bad experiences, drawing them only to us when we have a need to learn from them.

"Do not see karma only as a plus or minus column in a Divine Accountant's book in which is recorded what you owe to someone because of the wrong that you have done them! It does not work in that way. It is rather a teaching process in which you learn from what you have done. It is you that has created those ripples on the pond of life and they will in turn affect you. The purpose of karma is not punishment. It is rather a process of balance and education."

[The Master ZEN TAO, channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury]

We have to also understand that what we give in the form of energy, creativity or effort (power) to the Universe, we will eventually have returned to us. Likewise, that which we take from the Universe in the form of the energy or creativity of others, is a debit, which must ultimately be balanced by our further giving.

"The Universe is run by a plan, and that plan has divided the power, or the creativity, proportionately. If you demand of the Universe more than your portion, it will dish out your portion and then that’s it, because there isn’t more of it for you. If you try to take it from other people, it might seem to work for a while because some people don’t know how to hold on to their power and they’ll give it away. But the Universe is a great equalizer, and if you give away your power, the Universe is going to redistribute it – not necessarily among people on the physical level, but it may use it to build new universes, or another kind of use."

[The master VYWAMUS, a Higher aspect of Sanat Kumara. Channeled by Janet McClure in "Prelude To Ascension", published 1996 by Light Technology Publishing, P.O.Box 1526, Sedona, Az 86339]

On higher levels the process of evolution takes place as an unbroken continuity of conscious awareness. At Earth level however, the difficulties of Earth life and the physical aging of the dense Earthly body place limitations on the length of Earth time-span during which we can tolerate life. This in turn necessitates that we ‘die’, review our life from a higher level, and then, after obtaining some much needed spiritual refreshment, return for another cycle of birth and life on Earth. This cycle of birth and re-birth is known as reincarnation.

Reincarnation is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth in which we pass from spiritual realms down through the ‘Veil’ to an incarnation on the of dense physical level of Earth, cut off from direct contact with the Higher Realms. We do this in order to learn ‘in isolation’ the type of lessons which can only be learned in such worlds. Each lesson must be thoroughly learnt, and the Law of Karma requires that we repeat this process of reincarnation until we have mastered the particular lessons involved at this level.

"Earth is a school, and you learn even when making mistakes. If you face a test and fail, you push yourself to take it again. So if you have lessons to learn in one life which you fail to learn, then in another life you will present yourself with those lessons again; for you cannot progress - and all life is an upward progression, an upward spiral - until you have learned those lessons.

"You have a test to pass, one which you have set yourself to accomplish. When you pass depends upon the effort you make. If you do not pass the test in one experience you will have other chances of doing so. You will always find fresh opportunities opening out before you. In time you will accomplish what you set out to do, however many distractions may deter you from your object. The power of the Spirit can and will win in the end. It is like a powerful magnet drawing you on. It is the effort that counts; the responsibility is yours, no other can accomplish your mission for you. The scales of Divine Justice are accurately balanced, there must be nothing owing if you are to progress."

[The Spirit Guide TENDOR, in ‘Full Cycle’ by Ripley Webb - Marcus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada]

Each new incarnation is planned in advance with the help of one's Spiritual Guides and Masters. A review of past faults and weaknesses is made in conjunction with their close consultation, and plans are made for major opportunities to occur during the forthcoming lifetime for testing and overcoming those various weaknesses. These events can appear to occur during that lifetime quite arbitrarily and unexpectedly, and some of them may even be quite traumatic, causing the personality to roundly blame the ‘fates’ for its ‘misfortune’. And yet all these events will have been previously planned on higher levels to manifest at some time during the soul's Earthly lifetime, by the soul itself. They are not, as might appear to us at the time of the unfortunate event, the result of an arbitrary whim of an uncaring Fate or of our Creator.

When incarnating on Earth the soul also makes a ‘contract’ with itself and with its Spiritual Guides and with the Spiritual Hierarchy to undertake an Earth life of a certain duration in order to learn specific lessons.

If the incarnated soul subsequently finds the lessons too difficult and decides to terminate that life prematurely, such as by suicide, the lessons are not thereby avoided, only postponed. The soul will require itself to go through the lengthy process of death and rebirth yet again, in order to live out those remaining years and learn those lessons previously avoided. This is why most of us at the Earth consciousness level have a deep-rooted instinct that suicide is fundamentally wrong. In fact it is not only a betrayal of one's Higher-Self's evolutionary plan, but is also a misuse of the facilities and opportunities given to us by our Creator and His Angelic and Spiritual Hierarchy.

A wider understanding of the multiple concepts of ‘free choice’, karma and re-incarnation will make it easier for us to understand in turn the ‘drama of life’ and the fundamental nature of suffering:

"The drama of life has a purpose: It is to teach, to evolve our consciousness. Everything that happens on the plane of Earth happens not by chance, but because we have attracted it to ourselves through our behavior in this or in past lives, and have consciously accepted the challenge it represents. It is widely understood that the concept of ‘free will’ allows us to choose how we will react to given circumstances; it is important to realize however, that we also exercise ‘free will’ in our choice of the challenges we agree to undertake during each incarnation. Through ‘free will’ we choose our challenges and lessons; through ‘free will’ we choose how we react to them.

"It is difficult for those who do not accept the concept of reincarnation, of life after life after life, to see how suffering can be regarded as an evolutionary process. But when reincarnation is accepted as an integral part of one’s view of evolution, it is easy to understand that we bring into being with each new physical body all that we have created in other Earth lives, and on other levels of existence beyond the physical plane of Earth. We bring with us not only our spiritual wisdom, but also the sins of the past, the lessons we have not learnt, the karma we owe both to ourselves and to others. So as we advance through the life which we now lead, we will automatically attract to ourselves the lessons we have chosen to learn, the karma we have chosen to transmute.

"Thus there is no such thing as a tragedy by chance. Everything that happens on the plane of Earth has reason, has purpose. We live in a world in which many people apparently experience great tragedies. Tragedy comes to people either because they chose it for their destiny path or because it will present them with a lesson in life they have yet to learn. Tragedy is the working-out of cause and effect; as we experience the effects, so we learn to change the cause. The experience of tragedy also teaches sympathy and compassion, the ability to accept and absorb the minor imperfections others, that they may in turn do the same for us.

"If there is one point which I would like to emphasize now, it is this: that suffering is chosen by yourself. It is not given to you by your Creator as a punishment. It is chosen by you, willingly, as a lesson to learn, as a lesson which your soul needs at this particular point in its evolution."

[The Master ZEN TAO channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

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Chapter Seven:

Death is an integral part of evolution in our present Earthly phase. It is important that we develop an understanding of its function and significance so that when the time comes the process can take place smoothly, and indeed joyfully.

Many accounts of ‘having died’ have been given by persons still living, those who have undergone certified clinical death, then returned to life. These are known as ‘near-death experiences’ and many have been documented in recent years. The experiences recounted show a remarkable consistency in certain fundamental respects: the sense of passing through a very bright tunnel, the presence of a great light at the end of it, and the emergence into the ‘Light’ with strong feelings of being greeted with great spiritual warmth and love. Many also report experiencing ‘panoramic memory’, a remarkable clarity of thought, and seeing a moving recollection of their entire life story. A large number of these individual cases of ‘near-death experiences’ are recounted in Raymond Moody's book ‘Life After Life’, and clearly goes to prove that ‘death’ is not the ‘eternal blackout’ which many people assume to be their lot at the end of life.

There are indeed numerous sources of teaching which describe the spiritual process on Earth of ‘death’ and the various paths which may be taken thereafter, from ancient Tibetan manuscripts to the many contemporary accounts given through channeled transmission handed down into books by those who have ‘passed over’.

Those who are already mentally prepared for the ‘after life’, and therefore ‘die in peace’, are likely to leave the dead physical body in full consciousness, able to observe the soul-self's departure as it rises gently above the now discarded physical ‘casing’. It is usual for a Spiritual Guide to be on hand to greet the arriving soul, leading him or her to the Higher Spheres. Alternatively, the departing soul may travel alone rapidly through a bright tunnel towards an ‘intense light’, to emerge in a world full of brilliant colors and scenes of great beauty.

The time and place of death is always known well beforehand by the Spiritual Hierarchy, as well as by the incarnated soul's own Higher Self. This is part of the agreement made with one’s spiritual self and one's Guides and the Spiritual Hierarchy before incarnation. Relatives and former friends who have already passed over to the Spiritual world are alerted to an impending ‘transition’, and will be on hand to greet the arrival on the new plane.

At the critical moment of death we are usually assisted by an Angelic Being, known as an ‘Angel of Mercy’, who has been charged with the special responsibility of cutting the silvery life-cord, an etheric cord of light that connects our physical body with our higher spiritual bodies.

Ripley Webb’s channeled book ‘Full Cycle’, gives us a good description of an Angel of Mercy attending the passing of an elderly lady, in this case named Martha, at her death-bed on Earth. This is described as witnessed by the recently ‘passed-over’ Michael and his Spiritual Guide, Raphael, after they had descended together from the Higher Spiritual Realms to view the event:

"The centre of the room was occupied by a bed on which lay the figure of a woman of about seventy years. Round the bed were a doctor, a nurse, and a man and woman who were presumably relatives of the dying woman. The occupant of the bed would sometimes murmur a few words and the light of her eyes showed that there was little wrong with her brain. Her busy fingers were fumbling at the counterpane.

As if sensing Michael's thoughts Raphael spoke. "She is not really ill, it is just old age. Her time has come. Look, see who has entered the door." Michael glanced at the doorway and saw a Being standing there so dignified and stately that he guessed it could not be an ordinary spirit. "This is an Angel of Mercy," explained Raphael. "He comes personally to perform the cutting of the life-cord which keeps a spirit chained to its Earthly body. It is a duty which God only entrusts to advanced Beings such as he. He knows God's will and how and when to perform the function." Then he added, "See, the old lady has sensed his arrival."

As if she were indeed aware of the entrance of the Angel, the old lady raised her head slightly and gazed fixedly at the door. Then her face creased and tears began to pour down her cheeks. "I don't want to die, doctor, I don't want to die. Don't let me die." The querulous voice ended in a wail of self-pity. The doctor took her hand in his and murmured the things he would be expected to say at such a time. He knew that nothing could be done and the end was approaching.

Reassured by the gesture she looked again at the door. Following her gaze Michael saw the features of the Angel change and become transfigured, as a glow of love was projected like a beam of light towards the bed. The old lady's lips began to move as she tried to tell the others of what she saw, but the life-force was ebbing fast from the frail body. The Angel held out his hand to her. As if obeying the call the woman in a sudden access of strength raised herself into a sitting position, her eyes suddenly alight. In the distance could be heard music from a spiritual source, relayed from the Higher Realms.

"Look behind the Angel" said Raphael. There behind the radiant figure was a little crowd of spirits, all with welcoming smiles. They were friends or relatives of the woman making the transition, who had come to aid her arrival and greet her in the new world.

Something attracted Michael's attention to the bed once more. A thin wisp of vapour began to weave its way out of the top of the dying woman's head and hung there in a little cloud. Then the body dropped back suddenly and the hands dropped lifelessly upon the coverlet. Very soon after, a form, a replica of the mortal body, was elevated to a position horizontally extended above the physical body and facing downwards. This wraith-like form gradually assumed a denser condition as the etheric forces were released from the physical body and built themselves into the spirit body.

When the process was completed, the etheric body assumed an upright posture at the foot of the bed. Here the Angel advanced and placed his hands upon the eyes of the etheric form, then stepped aside. The life-cord still connected physical and etheric bodies but it was attenuated and was scarcely visible. Martha was free and in her new freedom was advancing to meet those who had come to fetch her. Exclamations of pleased surprise came from her lips. She began to respond to the greeting of these friends, the existence of some of whom she had almost forgotten. The little group began to move away.

"The Angel has not cut the life-cord yet," observed Michael.

"No," replied Raphael. "He will not do that yet, it would be a shock to the spirit. He will guard the remains for a little time before he performs that last office."

The Angel now turned towards the retreating group and stretched out his arms towards them, obviously concentrating his thoughts upon them. Instantly the Earthly room vanished and after a momentary period of darkness, they all found themselves in the grounds of the hospital on the Etheric/Astral level. There ahead of them were the old lady and her friends now approaching the entrance to the main building. She gave a yawn. Meeting friends had tired her for some time past and she felt that this strange experience must also prove tiring. So she was tired. Raphael stepped forward and spoke to the visitors. They seemed to respect his authority and made their excuses. A nurse came out of the building and to her Raphael gave charge of the new arrival."

[‘Full Cycle’ by Ripley Webb - Marcus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada]

The vibratory level on which we first arrive after ‘death’ depends on the spiritual progress and attainment made whilst on Earth. Most Earth incarnates of moderate spiritual development arrive on the Astral/Emotional plane, the next vibrational level above the physical. Though this largely reproduces conditions as they appeared on Earth, there are some differences, reflecting the higher vibratory rate. The colors of nature are more brilliant, the scents of flowers stronger, while the senses of the soul in its now higher manifestation are sharper and more alert to the surrounding beauty. The body feels lighter, for there is not the heavy gravitational pull of Earth, and with experience one will soon be able to transport oneself through the air or eventually mold matter to any desired shape by the power of thought alone.

The newly arriving soul may be surprised to be conducted to his or her personal ‘dream home’. By constantly imagining an ideal whilst on Earth, we are unconsciously creating a ‘counterpart’ of thought material on higher Mental or Astral levels, where it registers as a concrete thought-form. Using this thought-form as a guide, spiritual assistants on the higher plane can shape the less dense and more malleable matter on that plane by mental power, reconstructing the ideal home in time for the newly arriving soul's ‘homecoming’.

One of many after-death experiences related through subsequently channeled transmission is given by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson shortly after his death in 1914, to his former friend on Earth, Anthony Borgia. Monsignor Benson recounts that after his ‘death’, and whilst still in his Earth body, he was joined by an old colleague, a priest, who greeted him warmly:

"He told me to take hold of his arm firmly, and to have no fear whatever. I could if I wished, close my eyes. I at once experienced a sensation of floating such as one has in physical dreams, though this was very real and quite unattended by any doubts of personal security.

After a short while our progress seemed to slacken somewhat, and I could feel that there was something very solid under my feet. I was told to open my eyes. I did so. What I saw was my old home that I had lived in on the Earth-plane; my old home - but with a difference. It was improved in a way that I had not been able to do to its Earthly counterpart. The house itself was rejuvenated, as it seemed to me from a first glance, rather than restored; but it was the gardens around it that attracted my attention more fully.

They appeared to be quite extensive, and they were in a state of the most perfect order and arrangement. By this I do not mean the regular orderliness that one is accustomed to see in public gardens on the Earth-plane, but that they were beautifully kept and tended. There were no wild growths or masses of tangled foliage and weeds, but the most glorious profusion of beautiful flowers so arranged as to show themselves to absolute perfection.

Of the flowers themselves, when I was able to examine them more closely, I must say that I never saw either their like or their counterpart, upon the Earth, of many that were there in full bloom. Numbers were to be found, of course, of the old familiar blossoms, but by far the greater number seemed to be something entirely new to my rather small knowledge of flowers. It was not merely the flowers themselves and their unbelievable range of superb colorings that caught my attention, but the vital atmosphere of eternal life that they threw out, as it were, in every direction. And as one approached any particular group of flowers, or even a single bloom, there seemed to pour out great streams of energising power which uplifted the soul spiritually and gave it strength, while the heavenly perfumes they exhaled were such as no soul clothed in its mantle of flesh has ever experienced. All these flowers were living and breathing, and they were, so my friend informed me, incorruptible."

[‘Life in the World Unseen’, channeled by Anthony Borgia - Psychic Press Ltd, London, and M.A.P. Midway, Utah]

Those who were not aware of, or did not believe in an afterlife whilst on Earth may need some convincing that they are in fact ‘dead’; after all, they do not appear to feel so very different. It can take quite some time for them to accept that they are really ‘dead’ in Earth terms, despite the slightly strange difference in the qualities of light and color in their new surroundings. Because such people are slow to accept change, they usually choose, upon death, to move into a vibrational level nearest to that of Earth. Here they can pursue a life in surroundings related as closely as possible to their previous environment. Eventually, through the help of Guides from higher spheres, they will come to recognize their new ‘reality’ and free themselves to move up to higher planes.

Those who have considerably lowered their vibrational rates whilst living on Earth, such as through uncaring or damaging behavior towards others, or abuse of their own bodies through lack of bodily care and drug-use, may find themselves descending to the lower dark Astral regions, the traditional Biblical ‘Hell’. There they will encounter a dark and gloomy world of bleak surroundings, the result of a collective creation by others of a similar nature. These bleak and grim planes range downwards from cold, gray foggy wastelands, to the lowest dark pits of depravity where evil deeds are constantly re-enacted over and over again. The soul, on higher levels, may decide that its lower personality needs to dwell in these conditions for some time, until it has fully assimilated the relevant lessons through a constant repetition of former evil deeds and is finally forced to see the wrong path it has taken. Eventually the errant soul will begin to ‘see the Light’ and feel the need to rise up again to higher vibrational planes. Once the soul has made this commitment, Spiritual Guides will immediately be on hand to gently assist it to the Higher levels.

The lower Astral plane also contains many other less dark but nonetheless low-level areas, where people of little spiritual development or aspiration live in their own subjectively re-created conditions, similar to the less inspiring urban areas of Earth. Many of these souls continue to remain unaware or unwilling to believe they are dead. They relive life as on Earth in relatively grim conditions, going through the same motions as before, eating food which they no longer need, going to ‘work’ every day, and using ‘money’ which is now no longer necessary. They also find that everything around them seems to decay rather rapidly and constantly needs replacement; this experience is to teach them to eventually relinquish their attachment to material possessions and encourage them to seek an upward move to more spiritual spheres. Eventually they too seek help from above and are subsequently taken up to the higher Mental and Spiritual planes surrounding Earth.

When the fact of death has been thoroughly assimilated, the newly arrived soul is then given access to the Akashic Records, a form of universal memory-bank which records all events that have ever taken place anywhere in the universe as well as every thought and action of every individual. Through this medium the soul can then review, in multi-dimensional sight and sound, significant episodes of the Earth incarnation recently completed. By reviewing the mistakes, personality faults and unkindnesses to others made whilst still on Earth, the various lessons still remaining unlearnt can be identified.

This process is described in Ripley Webb's channeled book ‘Full Cycle’, as Michael returns to the Spiritual World after his death on Earth and begins, through the medium of the Akashic Records, to review his recently completed lifespan. He is taken by his Spiritual Guide to a special building on the Spiritual Plane somewhat similar to a small cinema, and where a screen at one end now becomes illuminated:

"The picture assumed movement and resolved itself into a form of symbolism quite impossible to translate into words. The mind of Spirit however found it easier to attach a meaning to the symbols and Michael was able to grasp the inner meaning of all the major events which built up the sequence of his existence. Little events of seemingly small importance now assumed a larger character by reason of their effect on himself or others.

He became aware of a voice that provided a running commentary on the portrayal. At first he thought it must be a part of the picture, an accompanying sound track, giving in thought-language the symbology of the events. The voice was critical beyond measure; he began to wonder who this person was who took it upon himself to judge him in such forthright terms. No one had warned him of this. His heart smote him suddenly. The awesome thought came to him that this might be some manifestation of God's anger with him...

He summoned his courage and faced the picturisation of his past in a spirit of determination. To his astonishment he discovered that the voice was not external to himself but was coming from within his own being. As if following his train of thought the voice broke in, "It is the voice of Conscience, your Conscience." The thought stunned him. It was not God who spoke, not some superior accusing Being judging him from the lofty seat of omnipotence. It was his own Self, his own Spirit speaking from the highest pinnacle of its consciousness, from the pure essence of his being. He shrank into his seat as the terrible significance of the fact burst into his mind. Never in his wildest dreams had he envisioned his ultimate judge as himself. Not the easy-going self-excusing mind of the human makeup, but the most implacable part of his being, the all-knowing Centre of his own super-consciousness. How could he excuse himself before the terrible indictment of his own Spirit?

In no uncertain terms the voice went on to emphasize his weaknesses and to mark the points in his career where his foolishness or ignorance or lack of effort had influenced other lives to their detriment. Again it would indicate where his failure to seize an opportunity had resulted in some unhappy consequence to others, which he might have aided them to avoid had he been less wrapped up in himself. The voice was fair, it gave him credit for what he had accomplished. But there was no doubt which way the Scales of Justice were balanced."

[‘Full Cycle’, by Ripley Webb - Marcus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada]

Having reviewed our past life and seen all our faults with the clearer and more objective spiritual vision available on higher dimensions, we are now able, with the help of our Spiritual Guides, to assess which failed lessons need to be re-learnt, and to review those further lessons remaining to be learnt.

But unless Karma requires an immediate return to Earth, as after a life prematurely interrupted by suicide, most souls spend a considerable time residing on the Spiritual levels. This is usually up to two hundred years or more, and can sometimes be over a thousand years or more of Earth time.

During this period of spiritual refurbishment we can explore the vast Spiritual Worlds or attend the numerous Halls of Learning to acquire new knowledge and skills. There is also ample opportunity, for those of us ready to do so, to serve others such as by helping those who have recently arrived from the Earth plane to adjust to their new dimension, or by passing down spiritual strength to those on Earth who are lonely or in distress.

Following this period of spiritual refreshment, learning and service on higher planes, the soul, recognizing that further basic lessons have still to be mastered or learnt, feels the need to reincarnate yet once again on the dense physical Earth level. Here, through the hard and demanding lessons of physical Earth life, further useful evolutionary progress can be made at a much faster rate than possible on the Spiritual Plane. This then initiates a process of detailed planning with one’s Guides for the new incarnation ahead.

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Chapter Eight:

Before each incarnation, careful preparations have to be made in close consultation with one's Spiritual Guides. Firstly, the choice is made of a suitable location on Earth in terms of the country and community, which will provide the right economic and social background conditions for the particular lessons to be learned.

Secondly, parents are likewise carefully chosen to provide the right environment for learning and soul growth; they may well be ‘old friends’ with whom one has had a close connection in past lives, perhaps members of one's Soul-Group.

And thirdly, essential events and ‘meeting points’ are planned to occur at various points along the path of one's life, providing the necessary learning opportunities for the specific lessons to be mastered. And finally, the exact time of birth is chosen astrologically to provide the correct planetary influences in the life to come.

"Not only do you choose the body into which you are to incarnate, the parents who are to conceive you, the planetary influences under which you are to be born, the country in which you are to live, your way of life and the partner you are to marry, but you also choose your moment of death and the manner in which you are to die."

[The Master RAMALA, channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

The basic principles of preparation for incarnation, namely that we review and choose our lives beforehand, based on lessons to be learnt and tests to be accomplished, are confirmed by many teachers and masters with broad consistency. This process is described, again by Ripley Webb in ‘Full Cycle’, as Michael, assisted by his Spirit Guide, Tendor, is preparing for a forthcoming Earth incarnation:

"Tendor introduced Michael to a Spiritual Counsellor who had come to greet them. The Counsellor looked Michael over keenly then produced strange-looking charts which appeared to record Michael's progress somewhat on the lines of a horoscope. It was all quite meaningless to Michael, nevertheless from the charts the Counsellor was able to give him a clear and lucid statement of his abilities and weaknesses, the conquests and the defeats which made up his progress to date.

From the same source the Counsellor worked out the type of problem that was likely to face Michael in accordance with his destiny and explained the course of an incarnation that would be likely to provide the lessons he most needed.

"Your destiny is recorded in our archives and by process of selection we will abstract an incarnation which, according to destiny, follows a line that promises to provide what you require. When you see that record presently you will be able to judge whether you think you are ready to face the difficulties it offers; if your are not, why then we will find something easier."

A moment later a screen at the other end of the room became diffused with rays. As Michael watched, enthralled, he saw a number of threads of different colours moving endlessly across the screen into what might be a loom or weaving machine. On the other side of the loom appeared a piece of finished material woven in an intricate pattern from the coloured threads.

The Spiritual Counsellor kept up a running commentary as the picture unrolled itself. He showed Michael the thread representing the incarnation suggested for him. "This shows you what you should aim to accomplish during your incarnation. Though what you actually attain may be something quite different. You cannot escape your destiny, but you are master of the manner in which you handle that destiny and the time you take to accomplish it."

[‘Full Cycle’ by Ripley Webb - Marcus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada]

Following the review of past failures and accomplishments, and pre-planning for the next incarnation, preparation then begins for the complex process of physical birth, as the soul begins to form a spiritual contact with the aura of Earth and in particular with its new parents.

"The soul which has decided to incarnate has already asked and been accepted by the souls of its intended parents. Before the time of conception, because it knows when it is to be conceived, it draws close through its Astral body to the aura of the Earth, and in particular the auras of its parents. It awaits in its Astral form its moment of conception. It watches its intended parents as they live their lives on the Physical Plane.

At the moment of conception, the three souls unite on the Astral Plane. It is rather like a reunion, a time of celebration. But there are very few persons on Earth consciously aware of this.

A very small fraction of the soul that is to be born thereafter resides within the seed of that union. During the following months, as the body of the unborn child grows within the mother's womb, so that small fraction of the soul begins to increase until, at the moment of birth, one seventh of the soul is in the child's body."

[The Master RAMALA, channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

The soul now commences its own careful preparation for the physical process of birth, as the continuing story of Michael, channeled by Ripley Webb, relates: Michael is at this point about to be born onto the physical level of Earth, and his own spirit guide, Tendor, has taken him to the spiritual counterpart of the Earthly birth clinic…

"Michael was allowed to wander at will through the wards and grounds, and he was surprised to find what a complicated business was this approach to physical birth. There were lectures to attend where much was explained to him. He learned that a successful culmination was dependent on several factors. Chief among these was the fact that it is a co-operative business between mother and child. It is essential for the expectant mother to keep in as fine a state of health as is possible and to care for her body at this time. He also found to his surprise that he himself could exercise a considerable effect on the embryo body which was being built for his use. He was required to concentrate at stated periods on this aspect alone, to direct his thought on the perfection of physique and the correct assimilation of atomic substance into the tiny form.

Examples were shown of the difficulties encountered where the mother-to-be was careless of her role, or who resisted the idea of motherhood either through fear or lack of desire. Even worse was the situation to be dealt with where there was severe illness or a body whose etheric envelope was distorted by narcotics or other abuses. In these cases the incarnating spirit had a very trying experience, usually being prostrated throughout the period of gestation. Sometimes the attempt had to be abandoned because the mother-to-be so ill-used her mortal body. The unfortunate spirit struggled to the last to incarnate with the object of establishing even a brief acquaintanceship with physical life; in the event of failure it was forced to relinquish its hold upon the embryo body and slip back into Spirit life once more. The whole process of selection and preparation then had to be repeated. It was usually the case, where difficulties were most severe, that the spirit had deliberately accepted the risks, knowing that by overcoming them he would progress so much the faster.

As time went on Michael began to feel the magnetic pull of Earth. It began to manifest as a downward attraction from the feet, much the same as the pull of gravity, except that he was more conscious of it. It was hardly perceptible at first, but as time went on it increased to an uncomfortable extent. He realized that the use of such a clinic as this was almost imperative if distress was to be avoided. He was relieved to hear from his Spiritual doctor that in his case a perfectly normal birth was anticipated, for his mother was a spiritually minded woman and the thought of his coming was a source of delight to both parents. Michael thought sympathetically of the unfortunate spirits around him, many of whom were already aware that they were unwelcome visitors in the family circle awaiting them, that they had a poor chance of experiencing the love they so longed to feel."

[‘Full Cycle’ by Ripley Webb - Marcus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada]

"At the moment of birth, as the child leaves the aura of the mother and its cord is cut, through the ether to that child comes the Divine Spark of the Soul which energizes the child and starts it on its path. The soul has begun to fulfil its destiny and the lessons which have to be learned are now set in motion."

[The Master RAMALA, channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

Each incarnating soul will now follow his or her unique path through life, based on the broad outline as pre-agreed and pre-destined, though the detail and the outcome will depend upon the soul's reactions and responses to the challenges encountered.

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Chapter Nine:

The central purpose unifying all of life's experiences is evolution and its inherent learning process.

More specifically, at this particular time, Humanity on Earth has now reached the point of turning upwards on the Great Arc of Evolution, the point where we can begin to work towards unity with all other lifeforms and our ultimate Source of Creation. This is a turn around from the descending involutionary development of the soul towards separateness from the Creator, of the individuality, of self-centeredness and ego-motivation, a turning back to co-operation and unity with all others.

Mankind's collective evolutionary position at this present time on Earth is manifesting as a slow but highly significant swing in the balance as the scales begin, almost imperceptibly, to tip towards the side of Spirit as opposed to Matter, towards Unity as opposed to Self.

Thus the individual effort we must all make of learning compassion and an awareness of the needs of others, balanced by a developing self-discipline and efficiency, all major requirements in the normal evolutionary process, gains particular significance at this time.

Causing injury or harm to others, exploiting others as we seek to gain through their disadvantagement, such actions formed a major element in past Human history as we journeyed towards greater ego-centeredness. Now, as we begin to change direction, our new orientation turns to cooperation, mutual respect, and ultimately the ‘unconditional love’ that is universally expressed on higher levels.

In particular we must seek to develop a new awareness of, and respect for, the other forms of life which share our planet, particularly the Animal Kingdom which has suffered so much in our hands in the past, and also not forgetting our great Earth Planetary Being, her body thoughtlessly ravaged and polluted down through the ages by Humanity.

The return path to Unity demands a progressively closer attunement to the Natural Laws of the Universe, particularly at this point of evolutionary turning, when the habits of our ego-centered physical past are still so active. A change of direction is always difficult, particularly when we are weighed down by that residue of our ego-centered past and that which is inappropriate to our new upward movement towards higher vibrational levels.

"Each of you, according to your point of consciousness and soul evolution, should attune to the great Natural Laws of the Cosmos and should lead your life according to those Laws, no matter what the physical or material temptations that are put before you. You will be tested on your observance of the Laws.

Today it is mainly the Animal, the Vegetable and the Mineral Kingdoms that are being enslaved and exploited. Humanity feels that it has the right to buy and to sell the many aspects of these Kingdoms. How are you going to respond to this test? It does not matter what all the people around you are doing. You have to make your own choice, based on your own understanding of the Natural Laws. Everything that you do in relationship with the three Kingdoms of Matter should be in attunement with the highest Law, the Law of the Cosmos, the Law of Harmony and Balance, the Law of Natural Order."

[The Master RAMALA, channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

For centuries man has concentrated on relationships with fellow man. At first the Strong, those with the greatest power and influence, held domination; then those perceiving themselves as the underprivileged Weak began to fight back for their rights through superior force of numbers, at times turning the tables on their former masters. In both cases the fight was, and still is, purely self-interest motivated on both sides. Now that the two sides are rapidly reaching a stalemate position of near-equality in strength, a whole new moral basis for social interaction, based on fairness and respect, has to be established for the future. More difficult however, and requiring an even more elevated moral view, is the granting of rights and justice by those in superior positions to others who are not in a position to fight or even to demand. Neither animals nor plants, the ‘environment’ or the unborn child can fight or demand; if they are to receive justice it must be given to them voluntarily. This is our present challenge, one of our major collective tests in the future.

As we gradually become more aware of the need to demonstrate a greater respect for our environment and the Animal Kingdom, many people are making the practical choice of becoming vegetarian: rejecting meat as a food, rejecting the flesh of birds, fishes and animals and turning instead to the vegetarian approach of not killing sentient life.

Those wishing to advance yet further may then become ‘Fruitarians’, living on a diet of fruits, nuts and grains, the ‘fruits of the Earth’ which are freely 'given' to us in order to procreate themselves more efficiently. A lettuce, cabbage or carrot that is already in the process of growing and experiencing life, however limited a lifestyle that may seem to us, has nonetheless to be killed, and its experiences of incarnated life curtailed, before you can eat it! Seeds and grains are themselves potential life, but until they have germinated, they have not yet embarked on a course with their evolving-spirit of experiencing physical life. Fruit, in contrast, is freely offered to man, to animals and birds so that they may spread far and wide the seeds which the fruit contains.

If we can learn to practise a greater respect for the Animal Kingdom we will in fact be returning, though now more consciously, to a condition existing much earlier in Earth's evolution:

"Man, living in perfection, did not own or control the animals, the birds of the air or the fishes of the sea. He recognized them as sparks of creation which were not so evolved as him, and therefore he was aware of his responsibility towards them. He realized that in no way should he set an example for the Animal Kingdom which could degrade or mislead it. In no way should he harm the animals, for one does not harm a less evolved soul: one helps it at its point of consciousness. Man did not need to kill any species of the Animal Kingdom for food, for he was a fruitarian and lived entirely on the fruits of the Earth."

[The Master RAMALA, channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

Respect for other life-forms is wholly in attunement with the raising of our own individual and group consciousness. Exercise, a healthful diet of fruit with no fats or animal products, a disciplined routine in life and living a 'clean life', combine to raise our vibration rate and our whole level of being. We are greatly dependent on the physical body, which is our vehicle of manifestation on this dense plane of Earth. An unhealthy and ill-used body can quickly become a burden and serious detriment to evolutionary progress; it has long been recognized that a pure spirit resides more comfortably in a pure and healthy body.

Through a process of lighter eating and healthy living, of quiet reflection, of tuning into and listening to our Higher Selves, we can deepen our understanding of ourselves, our universe and our evolutionary plan. We can also develop a greater awareness of and respect for other life-forms and our planet; we can establish, then gradually strengthen, that vital contact between the Earth Self and the Higher-self; we can begin to align ourselves with 'the flow', serving others as well as self, and conducting our lives in accordance with the Highest Wisdom and the Natural Laws of the Universe.

In this way individuals and Humanity collectively can seize the challenge of our present point of evolution as we make the turn from Self towards Unity. The teaching and guidance is there in abundance; it is for us to seek it out and put it into practice.

Many great Masters have incarnated on the physical plane of Earth and both through their lives and their work have demonstrated their understanding of the great Natural Laws of the Universe. This is reflected in teachings such as: ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you’; ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’; and ‘That which you give freely to the Creator of all Life will always be returned to you tenfold’.

"If you attune to the Natural Laws, then you will live in peace. The state of peace is not the absence of war but is, rather, a state of alignment with the Natural Laws. If you abide by these Laws on any level - individually, nationally or globally - you will be at peace, for you will be living according to the Laws of Infinite Spirit."

[The Master ZEN TAO, channeled by the Ramala Centre, Glastonbury.]

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