Edgar Cayce Paranormal

John Van Auken’s Research of Edgar Cayce on Soul and Spirit

The following discussion of Edgar Cayce’s understanding of the soul and spirit comes from the great Cayce scholar, John Van Auken ( Van Auken is a former director of the Association of Research and Enlightenment, the Edgar Cayce research foundation. He is editor of Living in the Light and author of books, audio tapes, and videos. He’s an expert in Egyptian, Hebrew, and Christian mysticism, and is a skillful teacher of meditation from Kundalini to his unique passage in consciousness. He practices the techniques he teaches and has become a popular speaker, leading retreats, workshops, and tours, and writes regularly as a columnist.

John Van Auken is the author of many outstanding books on the Cayce readings including: Born Again & Again (1996), Spiritual Breakthrough: Handbook to God-Consciousness (1996), Ancient Egyptian Mysticism and Its Relevance Today (1999), Ancient South America (2002), Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis (2006), From Karma to Grace (2010), Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah (2010), Toward a Deeper Meditation (2007), Edgar Cayce’s Tales of Egypt (2011), 2038: The Great Pyramid Timeline Prophecy (2012), Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces Within You (2014), Edgar Cayce’s Amazing Interpretation of The Revelation (2015), Hidden Teachings of Jesus (2015), Reincarnation & Karma (2015), A Broader View of Jesus Christ (2015), Edgar Cayce on the Mysterious Essenes (2016), Passage in Consciousness (2016), Prophecies Converging in Our Times (2017), Ancient Egyptian Visions of Our Soul Life (2018), and Edgar Cayce and the Secret of the Golden Flower (2020).

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The spirit
  3. The soul
  4. Experiencing soul
  5. Experiencing spirit
  6. Understanding the mind
  7. The ideal is the mind’s navigator
  8. Thoughts are things
  9. Watch self pass by
  10. The subliminal mind
  11. Subconscious: the police
  12. Levels of Consciousness

1. Introduction

Edgar Cayce Readings @ 1971, 1993-2017
by the Edgar Cayce Foundation
All Rights Reserved

From Edgar Cayce’s deep attunement to the Universal Consciousness, he saw a clear distinction between spirit and soul; something most of us do not see. Cayce felt that it would:

“… be best that these be classified, that these be not misunderstood in their relations one to another.” [Edgar Cayce reading 5756-4]

Let’s consider these two aspects of our being, which are so often overshadowed by our physical aspect.

2. The spirit

According to Cayce, spirit is the life force, the vital spark that animates life. He said:

“Spirit is the spark, or portion of the Divine that is in every entity.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-5]

But spirit is not just a force. It is a consciousness with individualness, though not nearly as individual as we are in our physical condition. Jesus tells the woman at the well that:

“God is a spirit, and seeks same to worship Him.” (Jesus Christ, John 4:23)

[This is] a call for us to get into our spirit if we would really connect with God. According to Cayce, our spirit self is, has been, and always will be before the throne of God. It is perfect, unblemished, made in the image of Elohim, as recorded in Genesis 1. Cayce says that it is a thing apart from anything earthy, and does not descend into the realms of Earth unless we lift ourselves up to it and connect with it. Even then, it remains shielded from earthly influences.

That spark Cayce spoke of is the light and life of mind, or consciousness. Within the one, universal, collective mind of God are infinite points of consciousness, spirits like the Great Spirit. The consciousness of our spirit is the superconscious, a level of consciousness that is nearly indistinguishable from God’s consciousness. Psalm 82 expresses the situation in the spirit realm this way:

“God stands in the congregation of God; He judges among the gods; and later, You are gods, sons of the Most High.” (Psalms 82:1-6)

It’s important to realize that these sons are spirits, not bodies; male and female energies are combined. As Jesus explained:

“In heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage.” (Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:30)

The phrase the congregation of God reflects how intimately connected the godlings are to their Creator. This collective nature of the Creator is also expressed in the use of the plural word Elohim for the name of God. The Creator includes all of life; nothing exists outside of the Whole. Fascinatingly, the author of Genesis changes the name of God in the second chapter to Yahweh Elohim, which most English Bibles translate as Lord God. It is this aspect of God that creates our soul self, different from the spirit self that Elohim made in Genesis 1:26. Yahweh Elohim forms us from the dust of the ground and breathes the breath of life into us, and we become living souls (Genesis 2:7).

3. The soul

Cayce sees soul as the developing portion of our whole nature. It is ever changing, growing, and learning, and uses free will to explore, create, test, discover, and more. Soul is the ultimate companion to the Creator; a true companion, because it has the free will to choose to be a companion or not. The soul is also uniquely able to bridge the gulf between the spirit realms and the physical realms, between our divine, godly self and our earthly self. The mind of the soul is the subconscious. It may operate independently of the Collective Consciousness of the Creator. (At least, it is allowed to think it does. After all, there is no way to actually be outside of the Whole.) Or, it may act in harmony and conscious at-onement with the Collective Consciousness.

Question: “Mr. Cayce, what is the soul of a body?” Cayce: “That which the Maker gave to every entity or individual in the beginning, and which is seeking the home again or place of the Maker.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-1]

Cayce: “All souls were created in the beginning, and are finding their way back to whence they came.” Question: “Where does the soul go when fully developed?” Cayce: “To its Maker.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-5]

From Cayce’s perspective:

“The study of subconscious, subliminal, psychic, soul forces, is and should be the great study for the human family. Through self, man will understand his Maker when he understands his relationship to his Maker. He will only understand that through himself. What one thinks continually, they become; what one cherishes in their heart and mind they make a part of the pulsation of their heart, through their own blood cells, and build in their own physical, that which his spirit and soul must feed upon.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-5]

I found Cayce’s comments on death and communicating with the dead to be helpful in understanding spirit and soul. For example, consider this reading:

“When the soul passes from the physical body, the subconscious mind, which never forgets, is then as the sensuous mind of the soul body; the spirit or superconscious mind becomes the subconscious of the soul. While incarnate, the sensuous mind is what we call the conscious mind. But after death or, for that matter, even during sleep (for Cayce says, sleep is a shadow of death), the active mind becomes the soul’s mind, the subconscious.” [Edgar Cayce reading 5756-4]

Question: “Is it possible for this body, Edgar Cayce, in this state to communicate with anyone who has passed into the spirit world?” Cayce: “The spirit of all that have passed from the physical realm remain about the realm until their development carries them onward or are returned [reincarnated] for their development here. When they are in the realm of communication or remain within this sphere, any may be communicated with. There are thousands about us here at present.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-1]

That’s an unsettling thought, isn’t it? But the key point here is the phases of development that may lead us back into incarnate life or on beyond this sphere altogether and out of the reach of communication. I remember a reading he gave to Mort Blumenthal in which Mort was regularly communicating with his deceased father through his dreams. On one occasion, Cayce informed Mort that his father had actually moved beyond this world, but Mort could still use the dream image of his father as a symbol for good advice. In another reading for Mort, Cayce explained that the waxen figures Mort had seen in one of his deeper dreams were the remnant casings left behind by entities that had moved beyond this world and the realms around it.

4. Experiencing soul

A few years ago I decided to follow Cayce’s example and try to get into a deep attunement to the Universal Consciousness to better understand the difference between my soul and me. Over a period of a month I came to feel (that’s the best word I can use to describe how the knowing or understanding came to me) what the difference was. It was paradoxically a significant difference, and yet these two aspects of myself were very, very close to one another. One morning as I was awaking from a dream, I experienced firsthand the difference between my outer self and my soul self. I’ve shared this many times, but it seems appropriate to repeat here.

I was dreaming a fascinating dream. As I came closer to waking consciousness, I realized how full my bladder was and decided to go empty it, then come back to bed and process the dream. Of course, when I returned to bed, the dream was gone. I had absolutely no recollection of its content. As I lay there, wondering how this could be possible, the dream content returned! At that very moment I knew I had slipped back into my soul-self, my subconscious, and there was the dream. So subtle was the veil between my inner and outer self that I did not notice when I moved from one to the other. Yet, so opaque was the veil that I could not see back through it to my dreaming soul-mind. That was a great breakthrough for me. From that day on I worked at developing my ability to distinguish when I was shifting from conscious self to subconscious self, from earthly person to soul. But I also wanted to know firsthand the difference between my soul self and my spirit.

5. Experiencing spirit

A Cayce reading explaining the Biblical Book of the Revelation helped me understand the nature of our spirit. In his explanation Cayce noted that twice in the revelation the disciple John saw an angel appear, whom he bowed down to worship. But the angel would have none of this, saying:

“Do not do that. I am one of your brothers in this work. Worship God.” (Revelation 19:10; 22:9)

Cayce explained that the godly-looking being, that angel, was in fact the spirit-self of Peter, who had promised John that he would endeavor to contact him after his demise. If we could see one another in our true spirit-self, we would appear so godly that we would bow down and worship. Yet, our spirit-self would retain enough of its individualness to speak to and guide us, as Peter did to John. Amazing, isn’t it? Of course, it is just this kind of talk that gets the evangelical Christians upset with us. We are saying that some aspect of us is in the image and likeness of God and is a godling within the one Most High God. The subtle but key point here is that we are not saying that we are God. Rather, we are a portion of God, our Creator. Cayce put it this way for Mort:

“Know that not only God is God… but self is a part of that Oneness.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-181]

In my effort to personally experience my spirit self, I used the methods and maps that Cayce gave for going from physical consciousness through dimensions of consciousness to spiritual consciousness. I published an article on this in Venture Inward several years ago, subsequently wrote a book about it (Spiritual Breakthrough), and later wrote an illustrated manual (Passage in Consciousness). By practicing these methods I did experience what I perceived to be superconsciousness, a level of consciousness in proximity to or in oneness with God’s Universal Consciousness. During these sessions, which can be compared to deep meditation, I at times retained a sense of individualness while in the collective, universal condition. But at other times, I lost all sense of individualness and only after attempting to regain a sense of myself did I realize that I had lost individual consciousness, which caused me some concern about this practice. However, Cayce reassuringly explained to the practitioners he guided that they would indeed lose consciousness at times but that if they kept practicing, they would ultimately maintain semi-consciousness or even full consciousness during the transitions into the higher states of consciousness.

For me, it was as if my consciousness turned off a gravitational force that somehow maintained selfness, allowing my mind to slip into an infinite vacuum much like the difference between a contained planetary atmosphere and infinite, airless outer space. I assume this is what the Eastern seekers mean by entering the Void.

Miraculously, I was somehow able to turn the gravitational force of self-consciousness back on and recompose myself in a relatively sane and Earth-relevant condition. But, as so many near-death experience people report, once having touched the dimensions beyond this world, you are never quite the same.

Some sessions contained imagery beautiful, ethereal imagery. But some sessions were simply a matter of feeling a shift from individual, finite perception to universal, infinite awareness. Some sessions were quite energizing, invigorating, and inspiring; while other sessions were as still, quiet, and lifeless as death. Coming out of one of these death-like sessions required long transition times before normal consciousness and physical activity could be regained. It could take me from twenty minutes to two days to get back to my normal self again, depending, I suppose, on many factors, including how much I really wanted or needed to get back to my normal self.

The effects of these practice sessions were profound. Though I still had my daily personal issues to deal with my weaknesses and strengths, and certainly my karma I always felt that I had seen the other side of the mountain. Therefore, nothing could keep me from knowing that all was going to work out well in the end, despite how hard or disappointing the journey might be now. Paradise did exist. I knew it firsthand.

Stuart Dean, the manager of A.R.E.’s Study Group department, had a similar experience. He explained that he simply wanted to attune to the Source, had about ten different ways to describe that, but decided to just ask God to do it for him. And He did. Dean described what happened:

“I immediately found myself in a beautiful place, right next to the Light and Presence of God, where we are all living traces of His movement, yet still Him in essence. We are ourselves, yet also Him. I could feel it! All unique, but still Him. We all were open both to God and to connecting with each other, and there was nothing else except this! This was prior to inner and outer worlds, prior to space and time, prior to existence itself! This is the place where there are no limits, where peace is not yet disturbed, where surrender is natural, and where our life is wholly our relatedness to each other and to God. Then it came to me that these are our spirits, as opposed to our souls, which grow and develop. As spirits, we are eternally young, perfect, innocent, and happy. We are completely light and completely love. I felt like the first generation of the Sons of God, and that we still are, at our core, these spirits around the Throne. Creative energies before creation; with feelings of perfect willingness to cooperate with every other spirit, knowing that we are all units of One Love. I have always felt fairly close to my soul, but I never thought I would actually connect with my spirit. Now that I have, I can hardly get over how childlike and unafraid my spirit is, and how perfectly open it is to other people, recognizing them as Pure Selves, like itself. This is like having a little piece of God with me all the time.” (Stuart Dean, the manager of A.R.E.’s Study Group department)

I think this is the distinctive difference between the spirit and the soul. The soul is on a journey with many twists and turns in the road of life. But the spirit is high above the road, overarching it from beginning to end, and knows the peace that passes understanding, the contentment that is never shaken, the Paradise that is ours to enjoy forever. The great thing about this is that we may experience the Paradise while still on the road! The flesh is heavy and weak, but the spirit is willing and waiting. With a few simple techniques, a longing heart, and trust in God’s promise to meet us if we seek Him/Her, we can take a break from the often lonesome road and enter into the congregation of God.

6. Understanding the mind

From his deep attunement to the Mind of God, that Universal Consciousness, Edgar Cayce stated that mind is the light, the builder, and the bridge to liberation and enlightenment. Here is his perspective on the mind:

“The Spirit moved … and there was Light – Mind. The Light became the light of men.” [Edgar Cayce reading 1947-3]

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. How? The Mind of God moved, and matter, form, came into being. Mind, then, in God the Father, is the builder. How much more, then, would or should Mind be the builder in the experience of those that have put on Christ or God, in Him, in His coming into the Earth?” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-78]

“Each entity finds itself in a three-dimensional phase of existence or experience: the world without, the world within, and the mind that may span or bridge the two.” [Edgar Cayce reading 1100-26]

He explained that life, all life, begins in the spirit, which is the creative force that brings all into existence. Then mind takes this life essence, and builds with it. Finally, the physical is the result:

“Mind the builder, the spirit the creator, the material [is] that created. Great truth! Keep it before you.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-374]

It certainly is a powerful concept to keep before us. All outer things have their origin in the unseen spiritual forces, then find expression in the mind, and ultimately appear out here in the physical. So often we physical beings think that the outer, physical forces are the more powerful. But Cayce frequently encouraged us to accept that:

“… the unseen forces are greater than the seen.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

If we want to change something, it must begin in the spirit and the mind.

“That you think, that you put your Mind to work upon, to live upon, to feed upon, to live with, to abide with, to associate with in the mind, that your soul-body becomes! That is the law. That is the destiny.” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-78]

He expands upon this:

“Mind [is] the builder, the appreciator, the paralleler, the drawer of conclusions, the chooser…” – Edgar Cayce

And, Cayce says, mind is driven by the ideal.

7. The ideal is the mind’s navigator

“As you contemplate, as you meditate, as you look upon the Mind, know the Mind has many windows. And as you look out of your inner self, know where you are looking, [where] you are seeking. What is your ideal? What would you have your mind-body to become?” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-78]

In a deep contemplation session on this teaching, my deeper mind saw the ancient boat of Pharaoh, with its twenty-four oarsmen and the navigator’s hut on the bow. As I sought to know the meaning of this imagery, Cayce’s teaching about the twelve nobles before the Throne of God in the Book of the Revelation came to mind. He said that they represent the twelve paired cranial nerves (24) in our own heads! As these nerves turn their attention away from worldly pursuits and toward heavenly ones, they bring a new heaven and a new Earth, meaning a new mind, a new body. As I reflected on this, I realized that the twenty-four oarsmen on Pharaoh’s boat represented these same nerves and their ability to bring us across the barrier that the Nile River represented, that barrier between what the Egyptians called the land of the living, which is the place of the physically incarnate, and the land of the dead, the realm of the spiritually living. I realized that the navigator was indeed the ideal held as we sought to cross the barrier between this world and the spiritual.

“That upon which it [the mind] feeds it becomes. The most important experience of this or any individual entity is to first know what is the ideal — spiritually. Who and what is your pattern?” [Edgar Cayce reading 357-13]

Cayce frequently said that Christ is the consciousness and Jesus is the pattern. Jesus, for Cayce, is the ideal pattern for humans to use to build their own mind — just as one would use a pattern to make clothes from new fabric. Jesus exemplified a human at-one-with God and making that oneness manifest in his life among others. Cayce often noted that Jesus simply went around doing good according to God’s inner guidance to Him. An ideal way for all of us to live.

We have covered the topic of ideals in detail in a previous issue, but for our purposes here, consider this from Cayce:

“What, then, is an ideal? As concerning your fellow man, He gave, ‘As you would that others do to you, do you even so to them’; take no thought, worry not, be not overanxious about the body. For He knows what you have need of. In the place you are, in the consciousness in which you find yourself, is that which is needed today, now, for your greater, your better, your more wonderful unfoldment. This is that attitude of mind that puts away hates, malice, anxiety, jealousy. And it creates in their stead the fruits of the spirit: love, patience, mercy, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness. Against these there is no law. They break down barriers; they bring peace and harmony; they bring the outlook upon life of not finding fault because someone forgot, someone’s judgment was bad, someone was selfish today. These you can over-look, for so did He.” [Edgar Cayce reading 357-13]

Such a state of attitude, of mind, toward life sets up a powerful map for navigating oneself through the day’s challenges and opportunities. This is an ideal, a navigational star by which to guide oneself each day. With this ideal, the mind approaches every obstacle, every crosscurrent, every undertow, and winds its way through them by holding to the ideal, the map set before us as the best way. This is the power of an ideal held by mind as we live life. Yet, as we grow and learn, we may see the need to adjust our ideal. Cayce encouraged us to write our ideals down, but to do so in pencil. As we gain a greater understanding we see over the next mountain, we gain an increasingly better perspective of the whole truth, the way, and we adjust our ideal accordingly.

8. Thoughts are things

Another fundamental Cayce teaching is:

“Thoughts are things, and as their currents run they become miracles or crimes in the experiences of individual life.” [Edgar Cayce reading 906-3]

For the deeply attuned Cayce, thoughts were as real as actions. In fact, during his readings from the Book of Life, he had to strain to determine whether the person he was reading for had actually done something or had just thought about doing it!

“Thoughts are things; just as the Mind is as concrete as a post or tree … and the Akashic Record, the Book of Life, records them as such.” [Edgar Cayce reading 1581-1]

This is a hard one to hear. The first time I read it, it pained me to think how many times my thoughts had done harm to another and placed a negative influence in the Collective Mind. Watching our thoughts is important.

9. Watch self pass by

Cayce was once asked: How may I learn to know self as I am known? He answered:

“Being able to literally stand aside and watch self pass by! Take the time to occasionally be sufficiently introspective of that, that may happen in self’s relation to others, to see the reactions of others as to that as was done by self; for no man lives to himself, no man dies to himself … Be able, then, to see self as others see you. Stand aside and watch self pass by!” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-9]

This is a powerful learning tool. For Cayce, this was not just good mental advice, it was good physical advice:

“If the body will watch self and the reactions of the various foods or preparations, and draw a comparison from what may be termed a combination of all the various authorities, then the body will find what is best for self. See?” [Edgar Cayce reading 278-2]

Want to know the best diet for yourself? Watch how the various foods and cooking methods affect you. This information will be better than anyone else can give you, because it is revealed in your own body.

10. The subliminal mind

Dreams and meditations are two of Cayce most recommended means for fully engaging the power of our minds. According to Cayce, our subliminal mind will engage with our outer mind to review and discuss all influences:

“In this there is seen both the action of the subconscious and subliminal mind and the physical mind, reasoning together, as it were, of the past, present, and future conditions as relating to the mental attitude of the entity; for, as is seen in the final analysis of the real Mind, the Builder, and as this is presented in the view of the dreams, the meditations of the entity in those days when the inner consciousness of the entity built in the mental forces those conditions as would bring the great joy, peace, and happiness to the entity, these, as we see, took on physical forms in the mental aspirations of the entity.” – Edgar Cayce

Seek within ourselves through dreams, meditations, and deep reflections, and our subliminal mind will convey the insights.

Even God will help, as seen in this Cayce reading:

“Thus the individual entity finds … that the first creation of God, the mind, is the way; or the way through which light may come to the entity from the Father. Even as He brought to remembrance the promise, for memory brought in the light of consciousness is the outpouring of spirit. (Memory is the mind of the soul.) Keep not only the body clean, the mind pure, but in the light of the spiritual forces as aid — keep in at-onement with same.” – Edgar Cayce (Note: The parenthetical statement about memory is Cayce’s.)

11. Subconscious: the police

“The only real guide that may be relied upon is that subconscious force that is as the police to the entity, both in the physical, material, and in the spiritual realms. And, as this [the subconscious] will guide and direct the entity, in that same way and manner as the police in their regular capacity … in the physical life.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

What a fascinating concept. Our subconscious is our conscience, our policing power.

“That is, the police, the subconscious mind, represent the law that guides, directs, and that way upon which the entity, which any entity, may rely for the enforcement of that which will keep in peace, in war, in any condition, that straight way for the best interest of each and every individual.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

However, even as physical police departments can become corrupt, so can our subconscious police become misdirected by powerful suggestions of self-doubt, self-condemnation.

“In the same way and manner as these (the police) may become subject to all of the vicissitudes that are ever present within the conditions in life, so may the subconscious forces, misdirected, misguided, or seeking to belittle the self … through its experience in the Earth’s realm.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

The only way to protect against this misdirection is to hold to a higher ideal that lifts us beyond our self-doubt, self-condemnation. God does not condemn us. God has erected no barrier. Self is the only obstacle to full enlightenment and reunion.

12. Levels of Consciousness

Cayce identifies three levels of consciousness or dimensions of mind: (1) conscious, (2) subconscious, and (3) superconscious.

Conscious mind is the level that we are most familiar with. It is the level within which our personality and three-dimensional self develops and has much of its activity.

The subconscious is that part of our minds that bridges the outer self with the spiritual self. According to Cayce, the subconscious is both in the body, through the autonomic system, and beyond the body, in the soul realms of telepathy, non-physical life, and timelessness. This mind is the mind of the soul, says Cayce. As the mind of our outer self is the conscious mind and that portion containing our personality, so the subconscious mind contains our developing individuality, which Cayce identifies as our true self.

The superconscious level is the portion made in the image of the Creator, as recorded in Genesis. It is that portion of us that is a god or godling, as the ancient Egyptians termed it. Cayce explained that the superconscious is a thing apart from anything earthly, and only makes its presence known or is knowable when the soul-self lifts itself and portions of the conscious mind up into the vast, expansive level that is the superconscious. This is the portion of our being that Cayce referred to when he said that:

“… not only God is God, but self is a part of that oneness.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-181]

To know the superconscious, Cayce says one must learn to achieve deep levels of meditation. He said that if a dream feels more like a vision than a dream, then it most likely originated from this highest level of consciousness.

At death, the conscious mind is gradually absorbed into the subconscious (the mind of the surviving soul), and the subconscious becomes the operative mind, with the superconscious now in the position the subconscious held while we were incarnate. Later, upon reincarnation, the subconscious projects another portion of itself into the newly developing outer, three-dimensional mind. Intuitions, knowings, and psychic perceptions come from the projected subconscious. Cayce explains that not all of the subconscious is projected; some of it remains in very high levels of perception and activity. But the portion that is in the body maintains the autonomic systems of the body (respiration, circulation, digestion, etc.) and the seven spiritual centers or chakras, which correspond with the seven endocrine glands.

We may feel that we do not know our subconscious soul-self, but we do, and we are comfortable with it. For example, when we are waking with a dream, but notice that our bladder is full and go empty it, only to return to the bed with no recall of the dream, then we have just experienced our two selves. One is the dreaming mind, the subconscious soul-mind, and the other is in charge of the bladder and the central nervous system that moves the body to the bathroom (somatic system). Yet, notice how comfortable we were in the dream state. Notice how we felt that WE were dreaming. That is because this is the true self, and we know it well. Yet, there is a veil that drops when we move outward, a veil that is opaque. The outer self cannot see back through that veil, cannot recall the contents of the dream, because it never had the dream and was only awakened when the physical body needed to move. Now you can see how we can die to this body and this world, and still live, still be active. Sleep, the shadow of death, is that condition in miniature each night.

Mind is our true nature. It is that portion of us that lives forever. What would it be like to live our lives as minds in bodies, rather than bodies with minds? Surprisingly, Cayce considered the mind to be a savior, a redeemer. It is that portion of our being that can mend and restore us. Let’s engage our minds and fully awaken to our spiritual selves.

Edgar Cayce Paranormal

Harvey Green’s Research of Edgar Cayce on Spirit Realms

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series of articles by longtime Edgar Cayce researcher and an A.R.E. Board member, Harvey A. Green, on the afterlife realms as revealed by Edgar Cayce. Harvey Green has written several books including: (1) Life and Death: The Pilgrimage of the Soul, (2) Voyage through Eternity, and (3) Letters to His Beloved. The following is an excerpt of his book, Life and Death: The Pilgrimage of the Soul which is his analysis of what happens after death using the important metaphysical knowledge of Cayce and others.

Table of Contents

  1. The first spirit region
  2. The second spirit region
  3. The third spirit region
  4. The fourth spirit region
  5. The fifth spirit region
  6. The sixth and seventh spirit region
  7. Returning to materiality

1. The first spirit region

In the First Region of the Spirit Land we are surrounded by archetypes of material things. From this realm matter is transformed from the mental to the material. There is life and activity everywhere in this, the lowest region of the Spirit Land. Here in the First Region all activity is heard as music and all of the music blends together in magnificent harmonies. The physical forms created here appear more as a presence than as fixed. Gradually the presence is seen as a distortion and finally as dark outlines against the colors which emanate from the harmonies.

Steiner commented that what is considered to be just thoughts in lower realms become reality in this First Region. Here we move among the thoughts and we experience their essence. The thoughts have form, and as we pass through them we experience the full potential of each one. We now have the opportunity to see how reality arises in the Earth and how our thoughts work upon the fabric of reality. Although we live in community, we no longer have a sense of personality. We have a much greater sense of membership than we do of self. We feel a growing unity with our community, our society, and the entire region. We feel an inseparable union with the archetypes, all that they transform into reality, and one with the primordial spirit.

Those in the Earth who eventually feel one with nature and one with the material region draw this awareness from the First Region of the Spirit Land. It is in this First Region we have the opportunity to see and experience our thoughts as ultimate reality.

In the Earth we experience thought on a continuum of time and space. This means that our experience takes place gradually and in measured amounts. In this First Region of the Spirit Land we experience primal creative thought in its fullest sense from origin through manifestation.

In the Earth what sets clairvoyants apart from others is the ability to perceive and understand potentials which arise from thought. From this First Region and onward we experience and are fully aware of just such potential.

As in the regions of the Soul Land, there are those in the Spirit Land who are permanent residents in each realm we pass through. As we work in each region we are as unaware of their presence as they are of ours. Those souls that we commune with in each region are part of our eternal family with whom we have always been connected. Many souls that we encounter are those we have lived with in most of our earthly incarnations, while others have moved with us through successive realms, and many are members of our soul family with whom we have never lost touch throughout creation.

2. The second spirit region

In the Second Region of the Spirit Land we find the archetypes of life. Steiner noted that these archetypes transform thought matter into living things in the Earth. Here in this region we see the relationship of life in the human family and all other living creatures. We develop an appreciation and respect for the oneness of all life and how any one life affects all other life. Unity takes on a whole new meaning for us in the Second Region where we experience not only the commonness of all life but the interdependence of all forms of it. We mix with the life forms as they flow, and we gain our understanding in part from personal experience. Our communities are now becoming wider, and we are more likely to live with members of our larger soul family than only those with whom we shared earthly experiences. The capacity to know ourselves as one with all living things arises from this Second Region.

It should be born in mind that as we move from region to region we do not go anywhere in a time and space sense of the words. All of life interpenetrates, as all realms do. Our movement takes place in consciousness rather than in a time and space perspective.

We have noted that as we grow in awareness we embody more and more of a single region and eventually all of the region. This does not crowd out anyone or anything else and ultimately all of creation occupies the same space but not the same consciousness of proximity. If this is difficult to understand let us look at two individuals in the same automobile. One is driving and the other is not. The longer one drives the car, the more opportunity one has to use all of one’s driving skills, the more familiar one becomes with how the automobile reacts to one’s skills, the more intimate a part of the machine one will feel. Likewise, the longer one remains a passenger in the automobile, the more comfortable one gets, the more one enjoys the experience, the more a part of the purpose of the auto one feels he or she has become. Further, each occupant is approximately in the same area but because of the focus each views differently all that is within and all that each passes through. By virtue of each individual focus each rider of the automobile can be said to occupy the same point but differ in proximity to the reality of the journey. In reality our awareness can occupy the same time and space as some one else but each individual awareness would exist in its unfettered purity.

3. The third spirit region

As we enter the Third Region we experience the archetypes who are transforming mental substance into soul qualities as used in the Earth. Passions, instincts, desires, wishes, sensations, and feelings within the incarnate soul all arise in the Third Region of the Spirit Land. These soul qualities not only arise from this region but their expression in the Earth can be seen here in their true essence. One may be startled by light storms here which give off discordant sounds and disrupt the harmony of the archetype’s creation. This is the counterpart of sorrow, vengeance, and jealousy, when soul qualities are lifted up in the expressions to the Third Region.

Here in the Third Region we learn how to use the pulls on our souls. We learn to direct our instincts and desires of every kind in a totally unselfish manner. Those who have used their aspirations as benefactors in the Earth have drawn this knowledge from the Third Region of the Spirit Land. Ultimately anything of a selfish nature will be lost in the Third Region, transformed by the archetypes and sent into the Earth to be used for good.

4. The fourth spirit region

When we leave the Third Region and have rid ourselves of our last traces of any self-centeredness, we are now prepared for what Steiner described as the Fourth Region of the Spirit Land. Here we no longer participate directly in the affairs of materiality but in the care and maintenance of the archetypes in other realms. At the same time spirit from higher realms is drawn into the Fourth Region and transformed into usable substance for archetypes to work on in other lower regions. In the transformed spirit sent from the Fourth Region the very creative forces of the archetypes may be found, and even within those forces exists the pattern for creativity.

In the material world each creation is imbued with the pattern for its perfect manifestation. The pattern may be found as a fiber in the life which emanates from higher realms. It is not fed once into each living thing or even renewed periodically.

As spirit, life is permanently flowing new into all living things; so too is the pattern for its perfect manifestation. As creatures in the Earth we draw upon this spirit and use it to meet the daily challenges of material manifestation, as well as to build creatively in the many realms intimately connected with materiality. It must be borne in mind here that the Earth is not an inferior realm. It is in fact where all realms representatively come together. There is nothing in any of the realms we experience that cannot be compared to its representation in materiality, and that includes life in the Fourth Region of the Spirit Land and beyond.

Here in the Fourth Region we find an opportunity, previously unequaled, to selflessly devote our lives to the care and maintenance of all living things that do not owe their existence to us. Those gifts for genius in arts, science, and government are drawn from the Fourth Region; one who manifests any of these talents well in the Earth has previously worked in this region. If we did not pass through the Fourth Region between incarnations, we would have no interest in things common to all of humanity.

5. The fifth spirit region

The Fifth Region of the Spirit Land is bound up mostly in intentions and purposes. Having discarded all earthly imperfections, we exercise judgment differently than we formerly had imagined possible. Now we truly fill the spirit region with our lives, loves, and hopes. In the Fifth Region prophecy is an integral, inseparable part of life; we are free to view as many of our future incarnations as we wish. If one does not experience this region between material incarnations, the person will be found to be lacking direction in the next Earth life.

6. The sixth and seventh spirit regions

The Sixth and Seventh Regions of the Spirit Land are also intimately involved in creation by drawing spirit from higher realms and transforming it so it can be used by the archetypes for an infinite variety of manifestations in the lower realms. In the Seventh Region of the Spirit Land we reach the very center of the three realities of Spirit Land, Soul Land, and Materiality. Here we live in the presence of the seeds of life which Steiner and Swedenborg called “life kernels” (or “soul-seeds”). We now recognize ourselves as our own life kernel. From the Seventh Region we have a complete view of life unfolding in each successive realm; the Spirit Land, Soul Land, and Materiality.

7. Returning to materiality

As we discussed, there is a certain order in which we move through realms and that order is dictated by sympathetic resonance as well as proximity. Sympathetic resonance is the overriding factor in our journey through reality, and proximity is the shading influence. The timing for our return is first and foremost a personal choice, while the influence which makes this a longer or shorter, a more difficult or easier journey is proximity. All throughout our spiritual journey between earthly incarnations we live and grow in communities with those we consider to be our soul family, with whom we have shared experiences. There is no level of reality where we do not have members of this soul family of ours, and we commune with them wherever in creation we go. We even plan together for our next incarnation and this, of course, greatly influences our return. We do not plan our return with certain members of our soul family simply because we like them or they like us. Such plans are conceived because of karmic considerations and because such a relationship is vital to what we hope will be accomplished in our next earthly life.

We do not sit down at a certain point in creation, take a view of what is in Earth, assisted or otherwise, with the options, and make an instant decision regarding our next incarnation. We do not make informed decisions in the Earth that way nor do we do so outside of the Earth. We take into consideration relationships with those who have preceded us into materiality as well as those who will follow us. It would be foolish to think that decisions of such magnitude for each of us would be so poorly planned. Such a choice is made little by little as one grows in reality, and the final step is a small one indeed. Gradual planning to be part of a family unit, a community, and a nation takes place over what we would conceive of as time from an earthly perspective. The Edgar Cayce discourses make a very strong case by insisting that we choose our families, our parents, and even make agreements, where possible, to choose our spouses and children. This is not to infer that changes in plans will not occur, but we should be aware of the vast amount of planning that is done before our earthly incarnation.

When we are making most of our plans and agreements for our next incarnation, we do not have physical details before us. Instead we have before us relationships to others, to situations, and to those forces which have prepared us.

In our decision-making process about our next material incarnation we deal largely with two factors. First we work with motivation, then with potential, and all the rest is the great adventure we call life. Let us not think that we incarnate for the adventure alone. For life and its living can be just as exciting for all who incarnate, whatever their goals may be. For life to be truly constructive we must deal with the motivation and potentials which are best for us at the time; thus we not only experience the adventure our God has prepared for us, but we do so for our greatest good. As we move through the realms around the Earth, motivation is laid bare before us. Soon it is the most obvious condition and the framer of all experience. We learn to identify motivation very easily and accept it as the creative essence of the soul. Respect for this primal motivational cause becomes inescapable early on in our journey between Earth lives, and we learn that motivation is the first condition in reality. In the realm ruled by cause and effect, motivation is the fulcrum through whose action all things come into being.

So here we have it; we made plans bit by bit, as we traveled through reality, regarding our next material incarnation, and we were drawn to the proper timing just as we were drawn by correspondence to the realms in which we resonate. When the proximity is correct, when conditions are best, we then make a final decision and in so doing we gain immeasurably. Half the gain in life is “showing up”; consequently, according to Edgar Cayce, half the gain in an earthly incarnation is in deciding to do it. Throughout the whole of the experience the angels of grace are there to give us all that we have need for at any time. They are likewise ever present to help us in our decisions regarding our next material incarnation.

There are those of us who have so squandered our opportunities that we do not have the fullness of freedom as do others. In such situations our route through spiritual realms is not full enough for us to enjoy the lessons which would be learned by a slower, more wholesome period of recovery. As a result, some of us cannot clearly see motivation and potential while others may not even care. There are those of the angelic ministry who guide such myopic souls toward their next incarnation, but it is always the decision of the individual to incarnate or not.

Edgar Cayce Paranormal

Harvey Green’s Research of Edgar Cayce on Soul Realms

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series of articles by longtime Edgar Cayce researcher and an A.R.E. Board member, Harvey A. Green, on the afterlife realms as revealed by Edgar Cayce. Harvey Green has written several books including: (1) Life and Death: The Pilgrimage of the Soul, (2) Voyage through Eternity, and (3) Letters to His Beloved. The following is an excerpt of his book, Life and Death: The Pilgrimage of the Soul which is his analysis of what happens after death using the important metaphysical knowledge of Cayce and others.

Table of Contents

  1. The first soul region
  2. The second soul region
  3. The third soul region
  4. The fourth soul region
  5. The fifth soul region
  6. The sixth soul region
  7. The seventh soul region
  8. From the soul land to the spirit land

1. The first soul region

As we move further from the review process, we become more fixed in the mental realms. We leave the mental-material overlap and move more into that part of the mental which we will call the First Region of reality after death. Rudolf Steiner, in his book Theosophy, discussed at great lengths successive realms he called the First Region, Second Region, and so forth. Now, we are fully invested in reality beyond physical materiality, and those periods of rest in which we approximate sleep are behind us. We will, from here and throughout the spiritual realms, now experience ceaseless activity, since life, like the spirit which it animates, is continuous. This region is ruled by those things which comprise such emotions as our urges, passions, sensual love, and all that is connected with them. Here in the First Region we begin to deal with our unfinished emotional business left over from our past incarnation. Those who lived by and were ruled mostly by their emotions will have more difficulty in this realm than those who were not. Those who are still fixated on Earthly desires will feel an expansion of those yearnings and will suffer by virtue of the inability to satisfy them directly. In any event, the souls will not move on until all of their material fixations are laid aside. Some of the desires, Steiner notes, will be purged permanently and others will be left aside in “safe keeping” to be dealt with at a more appropriate time.

This laying aside is a concept which may be alien to some because we think of spiritual progression as an overcoming rather than a continuous experience. In the First Region, as in others, we deal with those parts of ourselves which are ruled by forces which emanate throughout that realm. We are not required to deal successfully with all of those things; we will pass this way more than once, so we can set aside those things that can better be dealt with some other time and return later to deal with it. We may not pass from the First Region carrying our emotional ties to materiality; so we will deal with what we can and move on. We cannot choose to set aside that which we are able to successfully deal with simply because the challenges are difficult; our soul forces united with this region will not permit us to delude ourselves in such a way. Here in the First Region we live in communities with those with whom we share a like sympathy.

Helen Greaves, Ruth Montgomery, Edgar Cayce, Rudolf Steiner, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Ruth Matteson Taylor all discuss these groups, communities, or societies at length. We share relationships with souls with whom we have done so throughout our travels through reality. There are those in every realm who are part of our soul group, those with whom we have shared experiences, and those who will remain our soul family throughout our experiences.

Our communities in the First Region appear to us much the same as they did in the Earth realm. But they appear slightly different to each inhabitant. As we grow in a region, its appearance changes, but this is so gradual it goes largely unnoticed. All experiences are for learning; here we deal largely with our choices in our most recent Earth incarnation. We do not merely deal with observation but we actually inhabit the experience in all of its potential. This may be difficult to understand, so let us again explain by illustration. In the Earth realm we may have had an experience of helping another to grow. This choice may have caused us difficulty to a varying degree and may have opened the door to countless choices along our journey. The experience could have been complicated and spread over a long period of time. In the First Region we may experience the glory of growing fields of magnificently beautiful flowers. Such flowers would not only be attractive in appearance but beautiful beyond explanation to our soul. We may experience the radiance, the peace, the glorious symphony of creation at play in the fields and then we may find ourselves the keeper of those fields. The flowers, whose beauty we now experience on every level, find their growth and nourishment at our hand. We are the gardeners of the fields, the symphonic conductors of beauty; we share an exclusive relationship with what they represent. Likewise, we deal with our not so glorious choices by having the opportunity to be changed by their true essence.

For those who chose to experience materiality more passively, the First Region is more difficult than for those who made inappropriate choices. As much can be learned from unsuitable choices as from correct ones; but nothing can be learned from making no choice. If we lived a life of indifference in the Earth realm, Steiner notes that in the First Region we experience a helpless and useless state of being where we cannot participate in life around us. We have a burning desire to associate, to experience, but we are not guided by impelling forces that draw us into such experiences. We experience our own indifference and then see the possibilities all around us from which we may make choices. The desire to participate in any of our possible choices wells up inside of us because we see the full potential of those options never taken. We may not see the earthly potential of the choices not made, instead we see the emotional, mental, and spiritual possibilities. For a while, or what may seem like a thousand years, we find our experience very difficult. Then finally, when we have fully experienced our indifference, we begin to set it aside to be combated after we have gained more protective light for the task.

As we deal with our earthly experiences, good and bad, unfolding in their full potential, we glean the best and overcome or set aside the worst. All with whom we associate help us in our relationships to reality. We meet those with whom we feel close and others with whom we feel distant. Our clarity of vision and our relationships are in proportion to our affection; we have only the most limited use of the laws of cause and effect at this time. Life here is accented by the fact that we cannot change one aspect of our relationships with others. The lack of the full force of cause and effect seems so natural that we do not question it or even lament its absence. As in the Earth realm, we are surrounded by angels and other spirits. But their presence is somewhat more discernible to the senses in this dimension. Swedenborg and Steiner agree that as we rise into finer dimensions, those permeating from yet higher dimensions are more apparent to us. We all work together to experience the spiritual potential of our activities and are protected, guided, and healed by the angels of mercy.

From the First Region we take trips, as described by Helen Greaves, into higher dimensions and return again to use those experiences in our communities. This is not so unusual when one realizes that the same things are experienced in our sleep state in the Earth realm. Frequently we move out of our earthly bodies in sleep and travel to spiritual realms. This is accomplished under the guidance and protection of souls and spirits who have taken this as their ministry. The only difference is that after death, we do not sleep and we vividly recall the experience of having traveled to another dimension. Greaves notes that, when appropriate, those who minister to us always come to us; they change their own vibrations to be sympathetic with the realm to which we are to travel. Like two tuning forks, we are drawn to their resonance and eventually vibrate at the same rate. This process transports us to that realm with which we have been helped to develop a sympathy, where we are ultimately instructed and refreshed. When our experience is complete, we return to the First Region where we once again resonate to this dimension. Such a form of travel is not limited to the First Region and, in fact, exists in almost all dimensions of reality. It may seem hard to conceive of, but before we leave we expand to fill out all of the First Region. Each individual in the region occupies the same time and space but interacts only in accord to those with whom each has had a relationship.

2. The second soul region

Passing on from one region to another is not as traumatic as the exit from the physical Earth. It is not as outwardly abrupt nor are we as likely to become as fixed in these regions as we did in materiality. When our experiences in the First Region are complete we leave behind those karmic memories we will again reclaim and move to the Second Region. Here we now find ourselves in a balanced state of sympathy and antipathy. In such a balanced state we no longer are gripped by regrets of unfulfilled potential and are much more objective in our experiences. Here in the Second Region we are also divided into communities but are as unaware of those outside of our community as we were in the First Region. Swedenborg mentioned that those who led indifferent lives in the Earth are still relatively isolated from others; but their need for being part of the soul family is no longer as burning as it may have been in the First Region, nor does it last as long. Here, in this region, sympathy and antipathy are general laws and do not attach themselves to things as they do in the Earth, the lower realms, or the First Region. Because of this, emotions triggered by situations and things pass very quickly. We have now begun to move away from the relationship of experiences and the emotions they arouse, and likewise we have begun to deal with creation in a more balanced fashion. Here in the Second Region we begin to appear much younger if we lived past middle age in the Earth. This is not a physical youth but an internal youth. If we were to appear to others in materiality at this time we would project that image we had at the height of our physical vitality. The further we move through the regions outward from materiality, the younger and more vital we appear internally. We are illumined by those great ministers of mercy, and we receive life, light, and wisdom through this irradiation. In this region we are much more aware than ever before of those influences which work upon us; life becomes much more instructive for us. We still deal largely with our Earth choices and potentials, but because sympathy and antipathy are in balance, we do so much more objectively.

Rudolf Steiner noted that in the Second Region we interact more with spirits, souls, and angels from higher realms, and our travels to other dimensions continue at the same rate as they did in the First Region. Like before, our travels are to give us that which we need to better grow in the Second Region as we continue to work with the elevation and true nature of our lives just lived in the Earth. We feel just as close to those in our communities as we did in the First Region and we find that we possess a striking familiarity with all of those we contact.

All activity in the Second Region is mental and we are present by force of our mental energy. We can easily find ourselves anywhere we wish just by thought and can even be in more than one place at a time. Omnipresence is a concept we find difficult to relate to in materiality, but it is far more natural a state in other regions. We have shadows of omnipresence in the Earth, where we can be several places by force of our influence. We are aware of how mechanical communication devices can lend an aura of omnipresence to our being in the Earth, but these are only the poorest reflections of the true omnipresence which is a normal attribute in other regions ruled by mental or spiritual energy. Helen Greaves wrote that in the Second Region we have just to think of something and it is reality. However, we cannot change things as they exist; we can only experience them. Essentially reality works on us rather than us on it, and although we can move into any or all aspects of reality, we cannot in any way modify what we experience.

The pattern is the same; as we grow in experience, we expand to fill more and more of the region we occupy, until we embody it all. Nonetheless, we do not crowd out the countless others who occupy the same time and space as we do, for we have left time and space far behind us in the Earth.

When leaving the Second Region we leave behind those illusions created by our mental activities in the Earth. But by contrast with the First Region, we do not return to pick up anything left behind in this realm. Anything of a karmic nature is left in the First Region, and all that we shed thereafter is totally discarded.

3. The third soul region

The Third Region is that from which our desires emanated and one in which Rudolf Steiner notes we experience all of our earthly wishes. This includes our ambitions, our yearnings, our hopes, and all else connected with them. Here in this realm we work with the unfoldment of all we had aspired to in the Earth and see these aspirations blossom in their full purity. We are relatively unaffected emotionally, because we have left such a capacity behind in the First Region. We experience not what we had aspired to, but rather the combination of our earthly motivation and our expectation, raised to their ultimate expression.

Those who were particularly religious in the Earth spend the longest time or experience more in the Third Region than others, as also do those with very strong faith. Those whose lives were more mental in their attitudes spend far less time in this region than those who were not. As in other realms, we live in community in the Third Region and work together as well as with the angelic kingdom as described by Emanuel Swedenborg. Also, we cannot change what we experience in the Third Region. We travel out of this region from time to time as in the others which preceded it. There are striking similarities between the First, Second, and Third Regions. One deals with the mental, another the emotional, and another with the aspirations.

4. The fourth soul region

The Fourth Region is the region of attraction and repulsion. When passing through this region we have the opportunity to deal with our earthly likes, dislikes, and our attachment to them. Steiner notes that here, in the Fourth Region, growing souls complete purging themselves of remaining earthly attachments before moving on. Community is especially important because of the help and support it can give in the overcoming of those last great material weights we still carry. Because we are digging deep into our consciousness, this process can make for a difficult journey. Both the angels of grace and mercy are present in abundance to protect us from being overcome by more than we can deal with.

As in other realms we are not resident but transient in the Fourth Region, and we also take leave of this region occasionally to visit others. We never travel alone but are guided and helped by spirit guides in our journeys. When visiting another realm we take on the form of that realm, or we could not exist fully within it.

As an example, if we were to visit the physical Earth we would probably go as far as what we earlier called the outer fringes of the borderland. Here we would take on the form we had just after leaving material life, only it would be modified by our interior changes which have since taken place. We would probably look younger, healthier, more vibrant, and remarkably like we would have looked under such conditions in a physical body. Our exteriors would be comprised of finer matter which we have conformed to our interior reflection. One of the functions of our guardian would be to adjust our vibratory patterns so that we could attract and take on the matter of the borderland. The adjustment would come about your guardian’s establishing and drawing us into a sympathetic resonance to this region as described by Helen Greaves in her work. The same process holds true when we visit any realm in which we are not currently anchored.

As in the Second and Third Realms, we discard what we leave behind in the Fourth Region without returning to reclaim any of it. It cannot be repeated frequently enough that our transition from one level of reality to another is gradual and without the trauma we may have suffered in leaving the Earth. The reason separation from the Earth is so traumatic is because of our fixation resulting from such an extremely narrow focus.

5. The fifth soul region

In the Fifth Region we find that our sympathy with our community and all of those who inhabit it reaches its highest point. Here, Steiner notes, one grows from a stage similar to attachment to earthly things for their sensory values to attachment to them because they are representative here of God and life in higher realms. We work largely on our sympathy here, so that before we leave it will resonate to all here that is representative of what is holy. From the Fifth Region we begin to perceive life being resonated and held together by the harmonies which the Pythagoreans called the Music of the Spheres. This becomes the first region since leaving the material Earth where we begin to appreciate the creative force of harmonies. At first we are overwhelmed by the magnificence of the harmonies, the awesomeness of the “music“; then when we gradually overcome our initial wonder, we begin to work with the harmonies. As part of our learning process we witness symphonies of life unlike anything we could ever have imagined. With the help of our more experienced fellow souls as well as the ministers of grace, we mix with the harmonies; we vibrate to their resonance and become almost as one with them.

We are not allowed to go too deeply into mixing with the “music” because we are not yet ready to do so. If we were not kept toward the outer edges of the harmonies, we would risk becoming spiritually paralyzed and being permanently lost at this stage of our growth. All reality is the result of the combined activity of seemingly countless sources, acting together, transforming spirit to give it form. In this way manifest spirit can be said to have compound form, which we do not even begin to understand until we blend with the musical harmonies where we find the combined creative process, or compounding, in a much more primal state of existence. Subsequently, the benefit gained from our experience with the harmonies is that we learn through experience more of how compound reality is manifest. The experience in this region is to move ever closer to our awareness of oneness with our surroundings and to renew this attribute within ourselves. As in the other regions discussed, we cannot cause anything to happen to ourselves or our surroundings. We are changed as is our relationship with our surroundings by being acted upon by the realm and all whom we encounter there.

6. The sixth soul region

In the Sixth Region we find those impulses which move us into material action. Void of those things which were acquired in and tied us to the Earth, we are able to use this impulse in truly creative fashion. Steiner observed that former artists, musicians, poets, and scientists are especially at home in the Sixth Region where they learn how to move their creative focus from materiality to spirituality. In the Sixth Region we are active, but active only with experience. Our experience is transforming but has no external effect. Consequently, we still cannot change anything we find about us, because we left cause and effect a long, long way behind. From here on we are less likely to visit lower regions or the physical Earth. In the Sixth Region we have now moved so far from physical manifestation that we have little interest in the affairs of the Earth. We have learned by experience in all of the realms since leaving the Earth, but here is where we learn of the blessings of continuous activity for God’s sake.

7. The seventh soul region

In the Seventh Region where we complete the first stage of growth after a material life lived in the Earth, we finally become free of all earthly impulses. Here we find ourselves in a community with all of those who are on the same level as ourselves. We find ourselves in surroundings which are entirely of our own true nature. There are no emblems of materiality here nor are there any resemblances between the forces we encounter and materiality. Here in this final level of growth in this first series of regions, we no longer have any desire to visit the Earth nor any preceding realm through which we have traveled. When we first arrived in the Seventh Region we were certain that we had reached our eternal home. So in tune were we with it that there was not even a hint of internal conflict. We could not conceive of any higher order of life than here, from where we were certain the Music of the Spheres originated. Gradually we learn that there are higher realms of life, and we are in yet another stage of growth.

After the Seventh Region we will reverse the flow to which we have grown accustomed. Instead of releasing, we will begin acquiring. In the first six regions we had to release our fixations to become refreshed and allow for the influx of spiritual gifts. Now, as Swedenborg observed, we will experience influx continually.

Here in the Seventh Region we are prepared for such a condition by the harmonies and every energy which embraces us. We are modified so that we may again receive internal energies more continually. We no longer live in the result of our earthly activities. We live in a region made up of that which is sympathetic to our soul essence.

8. From the soul land to the spirit land

When we have been sufficiently prepared, we leave the entire set of regions in which we released our earthly ties. Rudolf Steiner called the first group of seven regions the Soul Land and the next seven regions the Spirit Land. The next seven regions are made up of the same substance of which thought consists. This is not thought as we had in the material body but a truer, unadulterated, and primal thought. In the Spirit Land there is ceaseless creating which takes place. Rest, immobility, and stillness do not exist in these regions, nor are they necessary. In these regions are found the archetypes which are creative beings and the builders of all that comes into being in the material and soul realms. They draw upon spirit from yet higher realms and transform it into a seemingly endless variety of forms which take shape in other realms. Shapes of infinite variety flow from the archetypes and no sooner does one end than a completely different one begins. The archetypes work together in unison and share a very close relationship. They cannot operate alone and even though each appears to be creating separately, the archetypes are totally dependent one on the other.

Steiner wrote that each archetype is visible to the senses of the realm in which it resides and it emits a sound as it creates. The sound of each archetype mixes with the sounds of the others, as they interact, expressing themselves in a variety of harmonies and spiritual music. The melodies and rhythms which result are not only the byproduct of creation but they are creative in themselves. All that is seen here can be heard as well. The lights and colors correspond to the harmonies and melodies which likewise correspond to the creative process. All is creative, all is in motion, visible, audible, and all can be perceived by the senses of that realm. The Spirit Land is one of brilliant lights, colors, harmonies, and melodies, all in concert with one another.

As we enter the regions of the Spirit Land we lose ourselves in the life of these realms. We lose our sense of personal identity, but not our individuality, and take on the characteristics of each of the Spirit Regions we pass through. Our being is permeated with the life in each sphere, and we will use as faculties in our next earthly incarnation what we experience here. Unlike the regions of the Soul Land, here we do not work on or even experience ourselves. We are however worked on by the forces of each region, and we experience the essence of each dimension in which we find ourselves.

Edgar Cayce Paranormal

Harvey Green’s Research of Edgar Cayce on Afterlife Realms

This is Part 1 of a 3-part series of articles by longtime Edgar Cayce researcher and an A.R.E. Board member, Harvey A. Green, who looks at the broad spectrum of the soul’s existence using the Cayce readings, as well as references from Rudolf Steiner, Emanuel Swedenborg, and others to describe the realms after death and the transcendency of the soul and spirit. As the author presents this awesome sweep of the soul’s experience after death, he covers the movement of the soul through death and into the higher levels of the afterlife. Harvey Green has been involved with the Cayce material since the early 1970s. Harvey Green has written several books including: (1) Life and Death: The Pilgrimage of the Soul, (2) Voyage through Eternity, and (3) Letters to His Beloved. The following is an excerpt of his book, Life and Death: The Pilgrimage of the Soul which is his analysis of what happens after death using the important metaphysical knowledge of Cayce and others.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The material land
  3. Immediately after death
  4. The earthbound realm
  5. Outer darkness
  6. The borderland

1. Introduction

It cannot be stated too often that the spiritual perspective is inward and not outward. Once we leave the physical realm we will view reality inwardly and not outwardly. All that we have placed inside ourselves will act as a lens, a filter. All that we see will be seen through and be distorted by these things we have stored within ourselves. This is why it is important to remove as much clutter as possible so as not to obscure our reality. The dimensions which immediately surround the earth have been called the mental realms by both Edgar Cayce and Rudolf Steiner. It is here we face, we inhabit, we experience what we have built into our minds as a result of our activities. It is in the mental realms where our minds embody our souls. In this reality we do not leave behind the attitudes we held in the earth but we inhabit them. This was illustrated many times in the Cayce discourses when he said that we not only take our attitudes with us into death, but we inhabit them. They will, however, become much, much larger in death, much harder to bear, with no way to set them aside easily.

In essence, after death, Steiner said we expand into the planetary spheres. The moral disposition we carry over with us allows or prevents us from moving on in a conscious manner. After this experience, we fall asleep and the cosmic forces act directly upon us preparing us for the next earthly experience. Our cosmic sleep regenerates us. There comes a time when the desire to reincarnate starts to work on us. When that happens, we begin the process of going back through the planetary spheres picking up what we will need from each in order to fulfill our purpose in the next earth life. The “soul kernel” is carried in to the embryo, forgets the whole trip and is born again on earth.

In the end, our transition after death is like stepping into our own thoughts where we have existed all along. This is an inward step, so small, so natural; yet from a material perspective it is so abrupt, and so extreme. At the moment of change some of us are completely aware of what is happening, some of us only partly aware, and yet others totally unaware. Ultimately we meet and greet our own death with the same awareness and attention to detail we gave to our experiences in life.

Since taking leave of the earth realm, we have been traveling throughout many realms of reality. In each dimension we experienced that which was helpful, in some we reviewed and evaluated our experiences, but in all we were resuscitated. The realms in which we made our temporary homes and the order in which we experienced them were exactly what we needed to complete our earthly experience, to be refreshed, renewed, and prepared for our next material adventure. Each of the realms we visited were focal points from which certain basic qualities of our being emanate. We not only worked in the unique surroundings, but we mixed with the essence of each quality of which each realm was comprised. These qualities are not external things to which we responded, but they are what we are.

The following discussion is not meant to promote an attachment to the wonder or splendor of any particular dimension of reality. All that will be given is for the better understanding of who we really are. We are the sum total of all of our experiences from the very foundations of our beginning up until this moment.

Each experience is but another thread woven into that fabric of which we are composed. No realm is any more important than another, nor is our habitation or incarnation into any realm more important than any other. Our experiences in reality are continuous and although certain happenings may seem more momentous than others, it is the accumulation of what we do with creation which is our quest. For it is only in that accumulation of experiencing the various expressions of our God that we truly fulfill our destiny. It is important to note that we carry all of our experiences into each dimension because we are the focal point of their accumulation. Further, although each dimension operates under different sets of basic laws, they are but variations of laws we already know. There is one Creator, one set of principles of life we call laws, and one direction in which to grow. The infinite variety in creation is largely due to the limitless ways in which the same things may be manifest. If we would just watch the patterns of what we know unfold before us, we would see ever so clearly the most important aspects of what seems both behind and ahead of us.

2. The material land

When in the earth, we live simultaneously in all regions of the soul and spirit lands. We are not aware of our presence in other realms at the same time as we are embodied in the earth, but our lack of cognizance does not in any way inhibit our multi-presence. It is from the earth that our desires, our ambitions, and what we do about them sends waves of life resonating through all regions of the soul and spirit lands. As there is no time and space outside of the material universe, we have ample opportunity to experience these waves of our own soulness when we arrive in the regions where they are manifest. From the soul and spirit regions we draw life as well as send it; here we experience ourselves as well as all of life.

Life in the earth is not only experiencing ourselves, within the confines of universal laws, but it is done in a much more focused fashion. As we live in the earth realm we are at the same time building conditions in succeeding realms. The building process in materiality is therefore multidimensional. The Edgar Cayce source expressed it best in discourse 5749-3 when the entranced psychic stated:

“.. with error entered that as called death, which is only a transition or through God’s other door into that realm where the entity has built, in its manifestations as related to the knowledge and activity respecting the law of the universal influence.” [Edgar Cayce reading 5749-3]

As all of life is a gradual metamorphosis, so is that period of transition we call dying. From a physical perspective we might say one was alive one moment and gone the next. We may comment that death came without warning. Because we see only those external happenings which are perceptible to the physical senses, we often assume there was no activity outside of this perspective. As we grow in stages from infancy to maturity, we likewise grow from life in material realms to life in spiritual dimensions. The pattern here is ever the same: We do not instantly arrive at, occupy, or depart from any condition in reality.

Dying is a process which begins before the soul takes leave of the body and in fact begins before any illness, accident, or happening which may cause physical death. In that rest we call sleep, the soul departs and prepares for the transition it is moving toward. How far in advance of our departure do we begin our preparations? In a sense, one is preparing for death through all of life. Again, let us refer to the Cayce work and psychic discourse 5488-1 which states:

“.. in the midst of life one is in the midst of death, for death is but the beginning of life, as life is but the beginning of an opportunity to manifest that as is innately built within the soul of an individual itself.” [Edgar Cayce reading 5488-1]

3. Immediately after death

There is a definite happening at that point we call death, the least of which is the falling away of the physical body. Our awareness, emotions, memories, likes, dislikes, desires, and fears all live on within us. We have tried to make a case thus far to illustrate that our consciousness more than our physical senses is what we are. We have used materiality but we are not material.

Our material experiences are to our soul what food is to our bodies. The memories, the relationships, the tastes of life are all carried over unadulterated in the first stage of death but as the digestive process continues they lose their prominence and our attention turns to other things.

In the first stage following physical death we find ourselves in the realm which is made of and held together by the mental activity of life in materiality. Here, in what we will call the nearest reaches of what Cayce termed the borderland, life is bigger than life. It is a narrow reality bordered on one side by a gradual density and on the other by a likewise gradual quickening or elevation. It is the state occupied by Dr. George Ritchie, which he describes in his book, My Life After Dying. Further, it is the divide between life in the earth and life in the mental realms. This divide is in fact that part of the mental realm completely overlapped by the material realm. One can move into closer proximity to the earth and become so fixed by desire, as Ritchie observed, that one is unable to extricate oneself. One may move toward a quickening into finer realms or one may slide into one of the densest realms we call “outer darkness.”

4. The earthbound realm

Many people who die surely do not do so willingly. For some, their deaths, like their lives, are rebellious and their minds are fixed on materiality. Before gaining a cognizance of what and where they are, they try to fly on the wings of their misguided values back into the density of materiality. One thing, however, is amiss; they are not material. As they go about trying to function, the newly discarnate entities do not understand why they cannot communicate with others; as a result, they are gripped by fear. The Cayce discourses contain much material on this state of confusion. Some think they have lost their minds, others think those around them have gone mad, and others adapt in the world of semi-reality. They do encounter objects that are manifestations of thought but they have no way of separating those objects from denser ones with which they cannot interact. This extreme edge of the mental realm is so close to materiality that it intertwines with it at every turn. The fact is that interaction with mental counterparts of material activity that exist in this stage of consciousness is so like materiality, so closely conjoined to the physical, that the lost soul cannot tell where one stops and the other begins. This confusion, or blurring of divisions, lends credence to the perception that the troubled soul is in the same physical state it held while embodied in the earth.

It is natural to ask why these souls who make their home at the edge of the borderland do not realize they have died and passed on to another reality. How often do dreamers realize they are dreaming even though their activities are not what one would consider consistent with waking reality?

Some souls adjust to this confusion and as a consequence, are tied to the earth for years. They derive their satisfaction by mingling with those forces, those energies which are given off from life in material realms. They live vicariously, as Dr. Ritchie noted, in the emotions and mental activities of those who are in the earth realm.

Those souls who have trapped themselves in this region endlessly try to influence matters in the earth realm. Some are from time to time successful as they mix with thought patterns emanating from the earth realm and some are not. Some souls have even become self-destructive enough as to occupy or possess the body of a material human being who has, by its own uncoordinated activities, separated its mental from its physical forces.

God and all of creation personify patience and await those souls turning back to the road they began to travel after awakening in the borderland. To assist their return, there are countless ministers of mercy all about them in their existence in the borderland. These who would help them need only for them to will that help, for us to let go of their fixation on materiality; then they will set their shaky feet on the path they must follow.

5. Outer darkness

Let us now take a detour into a yet denser reality so we can better understand another of our options upon awakening in the borderland. There are some of us who have lived our lives in such a way that we have turned completely within ourselves. We have blocked out all love, all warmth, and all spirit from our daily doings; we have created a void within and around ourselves. We chose to deny our responsibilities to others and to ourselves; we choose ourselves at all cost. Upon passing on, before we become conscious that we have entered the borderland, we swiftly move on to that realm to which our life choices in the earth resonate. This region is void of love, life, and light, void of all of those things we cast out from our lives in the earth. The region in which we find ourselves is approximately our wish come true. We are truly alone, with ourselves, within ourselves; it is pain beyond pain for us. Edgar Cayce described this region of void as “outer darkness.” The name of this dimension describes it very accurately, as we find no love, hope, friendship, kindness, benevolence, or any of what we have come to know as human qualities. Instead there is nothing but ourselves, and it is unbearable. In the absence of that which we term “fruits of the spirit” truth, love, patience, gentleness, kindness, long-suffering, and brotherly love we fill the void with an irrational and unbelievable amount of pain and fear. It is so dark in the realm of outer darkness that the dark hurts and panic grips us without our knowing why. Like our material universe, outer darkness seems endless and without any meaningful boundaries. There is nowhere we can go to escape the agony and horror which fills almost every part of our being, and the desire to flee consumes us. The farther and faster we travel through this realm the greater the feeling that it is endless. Even outer darkness has degrees, and it is darker and denser at the center than at its outer fringes. Helen Greaves describes these degrees as hells. Likewise, this is the hell described by Emanuel Swedenborg in his classic book Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell From Things Heard and Seen. The closer we are to the outer edges, the more interaction there is with others in the realm, while the closer to the center we find ourselves, the darker and more painful we find the solitude. One who finds himself in outer darkness cannot move toward the center by force of his own motion. The center represents levels of reality and are not linear. One cannot travel across this dimension; one must grow through the levels of this realm.

Outer darkness is not one of those realms which must be overcome in stages, although we can choose that method of growth. One may find himself on a particular level after death that most closely corresponds to his activity and the degree of absence of those fruits of the spirit in his life, and there is no need to experience other levels here. No level of outer darkness is without pain and fear, but, as we have noted, the very center is the most agonizing. In the reality we call outer darkness, we have very little memory of our earthly lives. We remember little, if anything, of our earthly relationships, and we are so absorbed in pain and fear that our suffering exacts every last ounce of our attention.

This lower region of outer darkness is not a punishment. It is a region which operates lawfully for the benefit of those agonized souls. This region is not a realm which was created for any soul to experience, but one which came about as a consequence of the negative activity of souls in creation. So great has been the desire for self, so monumental across time and space has been the selfishness of some of God’s creatures, that this realm is the creation or manifestation of their own collective activities. Outer darkness and the reality with which it is associated were created and are held in place by collective self-interest.

As noted previously, universal law is perfect and works for the benefit of all, all of the time. An excellent example of the law of grace is that no evil, no negativity, whether single or collective in nature, exists without a way of redemption being simultaneously imprinted by the Creative Forces throughout its fiber.

Nowhere is it more obvious than in the realm of outer darkness that no one needs to remain here beyond one’s own will to do so. We might conjecture that no one wishes to suffer such misery but that simply is not so. We constantly do things on the earth realm that cause us difficulty, unhappiness, pain, and illness. We do not wish to suffer the discomfort of our actions, but this does not keep us from those activities. In the earth realm, as in spiritual realms, until we turn our attention from ourselves, we cannot in any way change our estate.

The occupants of outer darkness are there for various lengths of earth time. It is peculiar to discuss length of residence by a measure which does not exist in that dimension. For most of us it is very difficult to relate to a timeless condition, so the use of finite terms helps us to better understand. Some residents feel they have been in outer darkness for weeks or months, others for eons. No doubt, all are correct in their assessment of length of time spent in this realm. In a reality of pain and torment, even a moment can seem like an eternity and there is no way to judge length of stay until after one has long departed. Doubtless, some souls have occupied outer darkness for what we would measure as hundreds, even thousands of years. But it is more likely that most stay for a considerably shorter period. It is not possible for souls to be forever confined to outer darkness since, in such a case, there would be no hope of redemption. Further, Swedenborg noted in his book, Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell from Things Heard and Seen, that it is God who keeps the balance in the realm of outer darkness so that all things would not be destroyed. Again, outer darkness is not a punishment, rather it is the ultimate manifestation of our own undoing, and he who is Mercy would never abandon us to such spiritual agony.

6. The borderland

Let us return our attention to the realm that we call the “borderland“. The borderland is the outer edge of the mental realms overlapping materiality. All that we experience in materiality is manifest in its purity in the mental realms. When one is in any of the mental realms, reality seems so much purer, so much more real. One arriving here would become aware that there has definitely been a change, an awakening. What we would perceive as our senses in this realm would seem infinitely sharper, and we would be much more sensitive. All that is material is but an expression of what is manifest in the mental realms. So here we find ourselves with the authentic original and not the copy. As we look around and absorb our surroundings, we feel as though we have just emerged from a haze. We do not see anything we did not see on earth and everything is quite familiar. There are those around us that we know. Some may have been friends or relatives who passed on before us, and others may be souls that do not incarnate with us but with whom we shared a genuine connection. We do not notice all of the souls around us, only those for whom we have sympathy or have shared experiences.

We notice that sleeping and waking seem to be faculties still with us, as Ruth Mattson Taylor noted. We feel that we have just wakened, and we go through periods of what appear to us to be states of awake and asleep. Certainly, we do not need sleep outside of the earth realm. But we are accustomed to periods of rest and seize the opportunity when first entering the mental realms. Gradually this cycle of sleep and work leaves us. But we do find periods of refreshment akin to rest. We have a major adjustment to make and all of those we meet in the borderland are there to help us. In every realm in which we find ourselves between lives on earth, there are those who are resident in those dimensions, except for those in the borderland. This state of reality is unique in that it is a transient state for all who inhabit it. There are those souls and beings who choose to work for the betterment of souls in the borderland, but they are visitors there, not residents.

In the borderland is where we review in detail the life just lived in the earth realm. We see our lives with a clarity obscured from us when we were in the earth realm. We see the potential, the ultimate possibilities of all the choices we didn’t make. Although this is an emotional experience, Steiner notes that we are protected by those beings around us from immersion in our own emotions and from becoming lost. There is not one review, but several; each exacts yet another focus. Although we are free from the fetters of time and space, we still take this review process gradually so that we are not overcome and immobilized. Part and parcel to this review, a healing takes place. As the scars left on the mind become evident, a healing takes place so that the soul will be able to move on. Now we take note of great Beings of Light for the first time, and we are struck by how we recognize them. There is total familiarity and the realization of their always having been with us, whether before, during, or after our earth life.


Various Descriptions of the Afterlife Realms

The following article contains summaries of afterlife realms from a variety of sources profiled on this website. Having them all in one article allows you to compare and analyze them for yourself. Note that everyone’s experience in the afterlife is not the same. What one experiences after death is based on a wide variety of factors including religious beliefs (or lack thereof), cultural influences, personal experiences and perspectives, education, etc.

Table of Contents

  1. Tibetan Book of the Dead
  2. Timothy Leary
  3. Emanuel Swedenborg
  4. Frederick W. H. Myers
  5. Kabbalah
  6. Spiritualism
  7. Rudolf Steiner
  8. Edgar Cayce
  9. George W. Meek
  10. Michael Newton
  11. Sylvia Browne

1. Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol), composed in the 8th century by the guru Padmasambhava, identifies six realms (bardos) of existence, namely three good realms (heavenly, demi-god, human) and three evil realms (animal, ghosts, hellish). The first period after death called the “first bardo.” At the very moment of death, there dawns the “Clear Light of Ultimate Reality” which is the soul’s own mind and self. If the soul recognizes this fact and acts in a way to remain in this state, it has been liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth on Earth and can stay in this condition in the highest dimension for eternity called Nirvana. If the soul does not recognize the Clear Light as one’s own mind and self, it is pulled down by the weight of its karma into the second stage of the first bardo, called the “Secondary Clear Light“. If the soul is not liberated at this stage, it will descend to the second bardo.

The second bardo is divided into two stages. In the first stage, the soul encounters a number of great peaceful light beings one at a time along with lights from the six dimensions of the Buddhist universe. When the soul encounters one of these light beings, if the soul is attracted to the light of one of these beings, it will inhabit the dimension associated with that light being. If at any time, the soul realizes the light is from the soul’s own mind and self, it will be liberated.

In the final stage, if the soul has not attained liberation, it encounters a number of great angry light beings. If the soul realizes these lights stem from the soul’s own mind and self, it will be liberated. If not, it will descend to the third bardo.

In the third bardo, the soul is judged by the “Lord of Death” who holds up to the soul the “Mirror of Karma” which reflects all the soul’s deeds. The soul can attain liberation here, as well, if it recognizes its oneness with the light. If not, the lights of the six dimensions of the universe appear again and into one of these dimensions the soul is reborn into the world.

2. Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary‘s psychedelic pattern was based on the use of LSD to reach these higher states of consciousness and was based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Leary divides the psychedelic experience into three periods as does the Book of the Dead. For the initiated, the first period lasts longer. For most persons the second period is the longest. For the unprepared, the heavy role players, those who anxiously cling to their egos, the struggle to regain reality begins early and usually lasts all the way to the end.

During the first period, the soul undergoes complete transcendence – beyond words, beyond space-time, beyond self. There are no visions, no sense of self, no thoughts. There are only pure awareness and ecstatic freedom from all role playing and biological involvements.

During the second period, the soul engages in external role playing – in sharp exquisite clarity or in the form of karmic apparitions.

During the third period the soul returns to routine role playing.

3. Emanuel Swedenborg

According to Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), immediately following death, there is a period of self-discovery in which the social masks worn on Earth dissolve away and the true self is revealed. Each person then shapes their own eternity to correspond with their real inner nature. Some become irrational, driven by fear and greed and they are in the state called “hell.”

Hell is a psychological condition which corresponds to the suffering we experience on Earth when we allow ourselves to be driven by the blind greed of our own egos. In hell, each person acts out of their own malice by tormenting others.

Others find themselves in “heaven“, a joyous condition and a state of expanded awareness, of perceiving more and more of the grand plan of creation.

The first stage after death involves a soul’s more outward aspects: face, speech, manner, and personality. Here the soul meets family and friends, and is instructed about the afterlife state, and then it may be taken around to different locations, such as cities, gardens, parks, etc. Then, the soul is connected either with a particular community in heaven or a particular community in hell.

The second stage after death involves a soul’s more inward aspects: mind, intent and resultant thought. Here, it communicates with higher beings.

A separation of evil souls from good souls occurs here in various ways. Generally, it happens by taking the evil soul around to those communities it was in touch with through its good thoughts and affections during the first stage. In this way, it is taken to those communities which were persuaded by the soul’s outward appearance that it is not evil. Normally, it is taken on an extensive circuit, and everywhere it is exposed as it really is to good souls. Good souls turn away from evil souls upon seeing them and as they turn away, the evil souls go toward the hellish dimension that better suits them.

The final stage after death is a state of preparation by means of instruction. Afterward, the souls are taken to higher spiritual dimensions and are committed to guardians.

4. Frederick W. H. Myers

According to Frederick W. H. Myers (1843-1901), stage one is the Earth dimension. As soon as the Earth experience has been thoroughly comprehended – either through reincarnation, or through the exchange of experiences with others in other dimensions – the soul may proceed to dimensions beyond the reach of the material dimension.

Stage two is called the Intermediate Realm or Hades. This is the spiritual condition which is referred to in the ancient religious traditions as “hell.” This is the realm where all must go upon experiencing the Earth realm. Here, memories of our entire past lives flash before us. Whether or not this experience is “hellish” depends upon the memory of the particular person. If it contains sinister episodes and terrifying experiences, these will drift by the person’s vision along with the more joyful happenings.

Some persons begin at this stage to feel what is called “the Earth pull, the birth pull” and the person may decide to return to stage one, the Earth realm. For others, stage two is brief and is followed by entry into a more stable world which is stage three, the Realm of illusion.

The Realm of Illusion is a dimension where things may be created with the mind and shaped by the direct action of the imagination. Though a person may linger in this stage for undeterminable period of time, an eventual decision must be made. The soul either returns to Earth or progresses to stage four. Before leaving, however, the more enterprising souls may have an opportunity to experience one of the great wonders of this dimension of consciousness – a tour through some section of “The Great Memory.” Just as on Earth, one may go to a library and see newsreels of important Earth events of history, so, in stage three, one may witness any event that occurred from the beginning of human experience. Everything that has ever happened has been recorded by the Cosmic Memory.

Stage four is the Realm of Color. This dimension is an indescribably lovely existence. Here one must leave behind all rigid intellectual structures and dogmas, be they scientific, religious, or philosophical. An infinite variety of new sounds, colors and feelings are experienced here and souls find a much wider freedom to function with highly energized intellect and spirit. If, in this dimension, the soul becomes free from the Earth pull, it is qualified to experience cosmic ranges beyond Earth’s confines, such as the next dimension.

Stage five is the Realm of Flame. In this dimension, the soul acquires a body of flame, enabling it to tour the stellar universe without being harmed by its temperatures and turbulence and to return with a fuller experience of these cosmic reaches.

Stage six is the Realm of Light. Souls in this dimension are matured spirits, having lived through, with conscious comprehension, all the aspects of the created universe. They are capable of living now without form, of existing as white light in the pure thought of the Creator. They have joined the immortals, thus fulfilling their final purpose of the evolution of consciousness.

Stage seven is the Realm of Timelessness. In this dimension, souls enter full partnership with God. This dimension is of an advanced spiritual nature, so close to the ultimate essence of creativity that no adequate vocabulary has yet been evolved to describe it, and hence it is difficult to communicate to Earth-level beings.

5. Kabbalah

The Kabbalah are books of Jewish mysticism which have been around for many centuries and has been revered by Jewish people and Gentile alike. According to the Kabbalah, the cosmos is divided into ten dimensions associated with the Tree of Life in the astral planes. The first dimension is the Earth. The second dimension is astral plane associated with the moon. The third dimension is the astral plane associated with the planet Mercury. The fourth dimension is the astral plane associated with the planet Venus. The fifth dimension is the astral plane associated with the Sun. The sixth dimension is the astral plane associated with the planet Mars. The seventh dimension is the astral plane associated with the planet Jupiter. The eighth dimension is the astral plane associated with the planet Saturn. The ninth dimension is the astral plane associated with zodiac. The tenth dimension is the dimension represented by fixed stars.

6. Spiritualism

Spiritualism developed and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s. According to Spiritualism, the first realm after death is called the first heaven or the lower astral realm. This is a hell-like realm of purgatory and self-recrimination from which escape is very slow and difficult. It may take hundreds of years of Earth time for its inhabitants to accept their misdeeds, put them right and move upward. Here you would certainly find criminals and materially-obsessed individuals. We are told that the demons and poltergeists, which readily interfere with life on Earth, originate here. The “bad” parts of heaven are the closest to Earth, which explains why religion wrongly equates the occult as a pact with the devil. Messages on Ouija boards, for instance, often come from troubled “earthbound” souls in these near-Earth realms.

The next dimension, according to spiritualists, is called the second heaven. Most people who die initially find themselves in the second heaven or intermediate astral dimensions. Viewed as a sort of resting point on the way from Earth to the more rarified upper dimensions, it is a thought-created universe that closely resembles an idealized Earth. It’s inhabitants seem to live in physical bodies, wear clothes and so forth – but of an etheric kind that would be invisible to those living on Earth. Most attempts to communicate from heaven stem from here; but because the inhabitants of Earth are as yet unfamiliar with the afterlife these communications can be confusing or wrong.

The next dimension is called by many names, such as the third heaven, The Summerland, or “Marduk”. This dimension is the closest thing to the Christian concept of paradise. The most inspired and pure souls from Earth pass directly here after death; most people, however, must strive to reach it after a sojourn in the second heaven, where they assess their life on Earth and try to understand what they did wrong. It is from the third heaven that rebirth back on Earth supposedly occurs – although the decision to go back and try again is allegedly an individual one, and some may opt to forsake material life altogether and move into the higher spiritual dimensions. Some of the most accurate and most inspirational messages received via mediums are said to originate here.

The fourth heaven is the mental and causal realms. Here, most of the trappings of materialism have gone. It is here that selfless individuals work together to bring spiritual enlightenment to the lower dimensions and Earth. Supposedly all great inventions, religious and moral progressions, spiritual leadership and so on come from here, inspired by beings who were once on Earth but have had the opportunity to increase their talents in the afterlife. A few rebirths to Earth do take place from this higher place: great teachers are sent back for special reasons. Spirit guides who talk through mediums are often in this dimension as well, bringing their enhanced knowledge to Earth.

The fifth heaven is the next dimension. Reaching this dimension is difficult, for it is devoid of a physical state and aspired to by great religious figures, from Jesus to Buddha. Even those in lower dimensions view it as most of us still on Earth imagine heaven – a distant, magical, unknown place.

The sixth heaven is the next dimension. This dimension is cosmic consciousness, where the unity of souls is perfected and a kind of universal being exists. This may be close to what we think of as God, but it is even less understood by those in the lower dimensions.

The seventh heaven is the next dimension. To reach the seventh heaven one has to step not only beyond material and physical reality but beyond mental and individual reality as well. It is simply not possible to define what this ultimate level may be, but it is supposedly the goal of all individual souls. Everything we do, on Earth and in the higher dimensions, is directed toward that final transformation. For there is evolution of the soul in just the same way as there is evolution of the body, or indeed of all life, back on Earth.

7. Rudolf Steiner

In essence, after death, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) said we expand into the planetary spheres. The moral disposition we carry over with us allows or prevents us from moving on in a conscious manner. After this experience, we fall asleep and the cosmic forces act directly upon us preparing us for the next earthly experience. Our cosmic sleep regenerates us. There comes a time when the desire to reincarnate starts to work on us. When that happens, we begin the process of going back through the planetary spheres picking up what we will need from each in order to fulfill our purpose in the next Earth life. The soul “germ” is carried in to the embryo, forgets the whole trip and is born again on Earth.

The first stage after death is the dimension represented by the moon. Here the soul reflects upon the life just lived on Earth. The second stage is the dimension represented by the planet Mercury. Here the soul reflects upon moral issues. The third stage is the dimension represented by the planet Venus. Here the soul reflects upon religious beliefs. The fourth stage is the dimension represented by the Sun. Here the soul is given the opportunity to reconcile the “true and false” aspects of the Earth dimension. The fifth stage is the dimension represented by the planet Mars. Here the soul experiences cosmic reality. The sixth stage after death is the dimension represented by the planet Jupiter. Here the harmony of the spheres increases in volume. The seventh stage after death is the dimension represented by the planet Saturn. Here the soul is shown the sum total of the last incarnation as it formed itself karmically during that life. We behold our last earthly life from a cosmic viewpoint. As mentioned earlier, as the soul travels through these realms, the soul sheds karma. After the soul expands into the planetary spheres, it begins to contract. The soul then moves through these planetary spheres again only this time picking up the karma it left behind. The soul then enters the Earth realm again for another soul experience.

8. Edgar Cayce

According to the Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) revelations, our experience relates more to the entire solar system and not just three-dimensional life on Earth. Cayce stated that each solar system is like a “university” with many dimensions of learning available and through which we must travel. Our solar system has nine planets which are physical representations of nine afterlife realms of which Earth represents the third.

The afterlife realms are associated with the planets of our solar system. This does not mean souls actually live on the surface of planets as we do on Earth, but rather, souls live in fourth and fifth level afterlife realms represented physically by the planets.

These afterlife realms that are associated with the planets are realms that souls can experience when not active in the physical body on Earth (such as deep sleep, meditation, or other altered states that free the subconscious from its normal physical constraints).

Reincarnation takes place not only in the Earth realm, but souls also reenter other realms between Earth incarnations. If a soul incarnates to Earth from one of afterlife realms associated with our solar system, the soul will manifest a personality based on the influence of the afterlife realm they came from. These influences are defined in astrological terms and are related to the afterlife realm represented by the planet. Each planet in our solar system exerts a particular influence on us which certain lessons can be learned and for which we are tested on Earth.

The first afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Saturn. This is a realm that is equivalent to the Catholic concept of purgatory, a place for the purification of souls that have not kept their ways clean on Earth. It is the realm for starting over. Cayce called this realm to be of “earthly woes” and a place where “all inadequate flesh goes to be redone.” This realm is the “Great Changer”, the great force for starting over. It is a realm where “the Lord loves those who are willing to start over.”

The second afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Mercury, the astrological realm of the mind. This realm gives us the ability to consider problems as a whole and has the influence to develop a keenness of perception in mental things. From this realm comes mental insight into the operative elements of ennobling, of virtues, of good, of beautiful, with the mysteries of the universal forces, given understanding, brings the development to the soul’s forces.

The third afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Earth, the astrological realm of “testing of the flesh.” If souls believe something and they really want to test it out, they can come to Earth to be tested and apply themselves. By actually going through the experience themselves on Earth, souls can realize if what they believe is true or not for themselves. Earth is a place for souls to overcome certain weaknesses by applying themselves to see that those weaknesses are truly overcome. Here they can learn for certain whether they have really changed.

The fourth afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Venus, the astrological realm of love. In this realm is the beauty, the joy, and the ability to write. This afterlife realm is where love is dominant and where souls find the expressions in activities in which there is the beauty seen in love, in companionship, in association, in music, in art, in all the things that bespeak of the loveliness even of nature and material things, rather than the expression of same in the earthly form or manner.

Cayce did not identify which planet is the physical representation of the fifth afterlife realm but it is probably Mars, the astrological realm of anger. This is the realm where souls learn how to control the warrior-like power, aggressions and urges that each soul has the ability to project. This realm is were we learn to control our ability to hate as well as to love.

Cayce did not identify which planet is the physical representation of the sixth afterlife realm, but it is probably Neptune, the astrological realm of mysticism. This realm is where souls have the ability to have direct experience with the Creator and perceive the Creator. It is the realm were souls find mystical, mysterious, and spiritual insight.

The seventh afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Jupiter, the astrological realm of strength. This realm brings the bigness of vision, the nobleness of purpose, the patience with self as well as with others. Here, souls find the Universal Consciousness, that longing for the knowledge of something outside of self, the universal desire or the desire to be of help to many irrespective of the cost to self. This realm is where souls find abilities in a helpful, universal way and manner. This realm strengths the souls ability to depict situations, to analyze people and places, things and conditions. Here, the soul may become gifted in writing, lecturing, and in group direction.

The eighth afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Uranus, the astrological realm of the psyche. This realm is where the soul develops psychic ability. This realm can develop extremes and extremism within a soul. Also, a soul can develop an interest in the occult and the mystic forces; as visions, hearings, seeing and knowing without having the physical contact with experiences in the mental body. This realm influences an interest in the spiritual things. All psychics on Earth had a sojourn within this afterlife realm before incarnating to the Earth.

The ninth afterlife realm is physically represented by the planet Pluto, the astrological realm of the subconscious. Here, souls can attain the final development of full consciousness. This realm has spiritual-minded influences outside of self. It influences demonstrative activity in the future affairs or developments of humanity.

The tenth afterlife realm according to Cayce is physically represented not by a planet but by the star system Arcturus, the astrological realm of developing. This afterlife realm is a kind of weigh station, a transient place where souls choose to travel to other realms and other solar systems. It is the door in and out of our solar system. This realm is the junction between the spheres of activity as related to the cosmic force. This is both a usual and an unusual step in soul evolution.

9. George W. Meek

The late George W. Meek‘s research describes the first realm as the Earth realm. Here a person exists in a physical, etheric and astral body. It is the astral body that survives death and travels to other realms. The second realm is called the Lowest Astral Realm. This realm is the equivalent of emotional excesses, demonic possession, and hell. The third realm is called the Intermediate Astral Realm. Rest and rehabilitation await the soul here. This realm is similar to Earth except lovelier, with many opportunities to learn. On this realm, the soul decides to progress to higher realms or to reincarnate to Earth. The fourth realm is called the Highest Astral Realm or “The Summerland.” Here the soul finds angelic assistance and unconditional love. Wider perspectives about life are gained and greater vistas to creation are revealed. Here the astral body can be shed (the so-called “second death“) and the spirit can be reborn into a higher realm for which it has become qualified. The fifth and sixth realms are the Mental and Causal Realms. These realms offer the person unlimited realms for the development of the mind and soul. Access to all accumulated wisdom is here and one can have a final opportunity for rebirth into the Earth before ascending to higher realms. Most of man’s inventions and inspirations are passed down to Earth from this realm. The seventh realm is called the Celestial Realm or the “Third Heaven.” On this realm, one can have contact with the Godhead and learn the secrets of miracles and of all creation. The eighth realm is called the First Cosmic Realm. This is the last realm of our solar system and the one where the soul can reach “at-onement” with the Godhead. The ninth realm is called the Second Cosmic Realm. This realm is the end of manifest, vibratory creation. The tenth realm is called the Third Cosmic Realm. This realm is the so-called “Void“, a realm of non-vibratory, pure consciousness. The eleventh and final realm is the Fourth Cosmic Realm. This is the realm of full “at-onement” with the Godhead and the entry into states of consciousness beyond human comprehension.

10. Michael Newton

According to the late Dr. Michael Newton (1931-2016), the hypnotherapist and author of Journey of Souls, the first realm after death is the so-called “earthbound dimension.” Those who do not accept the fact their physical body is dead and fight returning to the spirit world for reasons of personal anguish go to this dimension. These souls are often called “ghosts” or falsely called “demons.” These souls refuse to go to the spirit home after physical death and often have unpleasant influences on those of us who would like to finish out our human lives in peace.

Another dimension might be called seclusion. Those who have been subverted by, or had complicity with, criminal abnormalities in a human body go to this dimension. After death, they are separated from others in the spirit world. This happens at the time of their orientation with their guides. They are not activated along the same travel routes as other souls and will go into seclusion upon reentering the spirit world.

All souls, regardless of experience, eventually arrive at a central port in the spirit world that is like a staging area. A large number of souls are conveyed in a spiritual form of mass transit. Souls are brought in, collected, and then projected out to their proper final destinations similar to a central terminal of a metropolitan airport that has the capacity to fly people out in any direction. The most outstanding characteristic of this world is a continuous feeling of a powerful mental force directing everything in uncanny harmony. People say this is a place of pure thought.

Souls travel to the soul group level which depends upon the souls’ development.

After souls arrive into their soul groups, they are summoned to appear before a “Council of Elders.” While the Council is not prosecutorial, they do engage in direct examination of each soul’s activities before returning them to the groups. Should they decide to reincarnate to Earth, they must meet again with this “Council of Elders” to aid in their reincarnation.

11. Sylvia Browne

Psychic and near-death experiencer Sylvia Browne (1936-2013) described how upon death, most people go through a heavenly process before entering into heaven. Evil people, instead of experiencing the tunnel and bright light upon death, are sent through the “left door” and enter into an abyss of empty, joyless, nothingness for a brief period of time. After they have reflected upon their actions, they are reincarnated back to Earth.

People who commit suicide are sent to a “holding place” which is purgatory. Here they must make a choice to either proceed through the “left door” or embrace God and move on to the light. People in purgatory shuffle slowly around in despair in a gray fog with their heads down until they make their decision.

Most people, who go through the heavenly process, go through a tunnel and towards the light of God. They return home to the place they came from on the other side. Here, they have a reunion with family and friends who have departed before them. After the reunion, most of us are lead by our spirit guide to a building on the other side called the “Hall of Wisdom.” In a sacred room, we see our lives flash before us on a “scanning machine.” This device is a domed screen where our lives are placed out in three-dimensional holographic form. Once we have fully evaluated our lives, we are debriefed in an orientation process. This is when we discuss the lifetime previously lived and reviewed in the scanning machine. We meet with guides who are trained orientators who discuss ways of amending for previous mistakes. We receive help if we were unprepared for our crossing over into the spirit realm.

If those whose transition is especially difficult, the orientation process is preceded by another process called “cocooning.” This is when the person is put into a restful, healing sleep for as long as it takes for them to feel healthy. In extreme cases, people are taken to a structure called the “Towers” where extremely confused people undergo a “deprogramming” process.

Once a person has adjusted to the transition, they can visit a heavenly place called the “Hall of Records” where historical data is stored such as the records of everyone’s past lives. Another beautiful structure is the “Hall of Justice” where people go before a “Council of Elders” who are highly advanced spokespersons of God who help us decide how we are to progress further into the spirit realm.

At some point, people recognize the need for even further advancement and therefore choose to return to Earth to gain this spiritual advancement. With the help of a spirit guide, they decide on an incarnation which will meet their goals. They then proceed to the Hall of Justice where they meet once again with the Council of Elders. Here, the Council prepares people for their next incarnation. When they are ready to incarnate, their family and friends are gathered together to bid farewell. Once they have said their goodbyes, they can meet with a Spiritual Teacher, such as Buddha or Jesus, to embrace them in their divine light. People are then taken to the Towers and are eased into a deep sleep. The descent into the womb begins and a new life is born on Earth.

Research Conclusions Science

Afterlife Realms and the Near-Death Experience

If you want to know what the afterlife is like, pay close attention to your dreams. There is a wealth of evidence suggesting a connection to the levels of consciousness with the afterlife realms as described in near-death testimonies. The dream realm and the afterlife realms both are realms of the mind, soul, and spirit. In the realms of the mind, all thoughts and things are possible. Death is merely a process of freeing your true essence from all physical limitations and fully inhabiting the realms of thought and spirit. In the afterlife realms, what one thinks is what matters most; because thoughts are deeds in those realms. There, we are what we think and there is no hiding from who we really are. One NDE experiencer, St. Teresa of Avila, described it perfectly, “After you die, you wear what you are.” And if a person reads enough NDE testimonies, it becomes possible to create a “map” describing the soul’s journey after death — at least from the NDE perspective. This article will attempt to give the reader such a map based upon the numerous NDE testimonies on this website.

Table of Contents

  1. The case for ten or more afterlife realms
  2. The nature of the afterlife realms
  3. The six major afterlife realms
  4. The many NDE pathways through the afterlife realms
  5. NDE insights concerning the various afterlife realms

1. The case for ten or more afterlife realms

The following is a list from science and religion which makes the case for ten or more dimensions of reality.

(1) Quantum physicists, using Superstring Theory, theorize a cosmology consisting of 10 dimensions. The goal of theoretical physics is to find the “holy grail” of physics– the so-called “Theory of Everything” (TOE) — a theory that explains all phenomena of reality. Superstring Theory is widely believed to be the closest TOE candidate. M-Theory is a unification of all consistent versions of Superstring Theory and adds one more dimension — a “Membrane” or “Matrix” dimension — for a total of 11 dimensions. Surprisingly, neuroscientists have recently discovered the human brain is full of multi-dimensional geometrical structures operating in as many as 11 dimensions.

(2) Pythagoras, perhaps the first great mathematician, believed the cosmos is divided into 10 heavens based on the perfect number 10.

(3) In Jewish mysticism, God’s entire creation is composed of 10 emanations of Light from the 10 utterances of God “Let there be” to create the world by the perfect order of 10 along with a hierarchy of 10 angelic realms and the law of the 10 commandments.

(4) In Buddhism, there are 10 levels of realization toward enlightenment and 10 directions of the Buddha’s light to 10 Buddha-realms.

(5) Christian Gnostics believed in a cosmology of 10 heavens which they based on information from the death experience of the Apostle Paul which they recorded in their scriptures (Apocalypse of Paul).

(6) In Islam, a legend exists where Muhammad journeyed through 10 heavens which was probably a near-death experience.

(7) The Biblical prophet Enoch in his writings (2 Enoch) mentions he ascended through the 10 heavens.

(8) The Bible describes an angelic hierarchy of 10 celestial powers [1] [2].

(9) Edgar Cayce learned from his out-of-body travels how our solar system’s 10 major spheres (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are three-dimensional physical representations of the invisible 10 afterlife realms. Cayce also revealed how the human body is a microcosm of the solar system. This cosmology was also taught by Plato and Aristotle, and was included in the doctrines of Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and all cosmologies where astrology was dominate.[1]

(10) The Apostle Paul equated the different degrees of glory of resurrected bodies with the sun, moon and stars. Throughout the Bible, there are references to multiple realms: third heaven, the highest heavens, heavens, and many dwelling places.

(11) During Lynnclaire Dennis‘ NDE, she entered into the light and saw the Universal Pattern and Source of all life which was in a shape that resembles an atom with electrons revolving around it. Her pattern eventually caught the eye of scientists because of its compatibility with the knotted pattern of 10-dimensional space in physics.

(12) Other experiencers, such as George Ritchie and Betty Eadie, as well as the Swedish scientist Emanuel Swedenborg, each observed multiple levels in the hereafter. Howard Storm had an extensive experience in which he also observed multiple levels in the afterlife. Dr. PMH Atwater describes these multiple dimensions as existing here within the same space much like boxes within a box. Metaphysical sources also describe a multi-dimensional reality.

There are several conclusions to make here:

a. Heaven is not up and hell is not below. The various afterlife realms are like various frequencies on the light spectrum – most of which is invisible to the naked eye.

b. We are already living in the “afterlife” right now. This is because our experience in this physical, three-dimensional universe is just one of many realms we have experienced.

c. We do not have to die to experience the afterlife and eternity. Eternity is not something that begins after death. We are already in eternity now – the “eternal now.”

2. The nature of the afterlife realms

P.M.H. Atwater uses a good analogy when describing death and the various afterlife realms: “There is a step-up of energy at the moment of death, an increase in speed as if you are suddenly vibrating faster than before. Using radio as an analogy, this speed-up is comparable to having lived all your life at a certain radio frequency when all of a sudden someone or something comes along and flips the dial. That flip shifts you to different frequency. The original frequency where you once existed is still there. It did not change. Everything is still just the same as it was. Only you changed, only you speeded up to allow entry into the next radio frequency on the dial. You fit your particular spot on the dial by your speed of vibration. You cannot coexist forever where you do not belong. You shift frequencies in dying. You switch over to life on another wavelength. You are still a spot on the dial but you move up or down a notch or two. You don’t die when you die. You shift your consciousness and speed of vibration. That’s all death is … a shift.” (P.M.H. Atwater)

3. The six major afterlife realms

The graph below represents a map through the major afterlife realms which experiencers have encountered during their near-death experiences. No experiencer that I am aware of has encountered every afterlife realm depicted on the graph. Most experiencers have experienced three or four realms. Looking at the graph, one can see how the afterlife journey begins with the death of the physical body in the physical realm (Realm 1) which is the physical universe — planet Earth for humans. After death, humans travel through various afterlife realms with the ultimate goal of becoming a permanent citizen of the God Realm (Realm 6). This is accomplished through the process of reincarnation — “trial and error” — through multiple lifetimes in which we gradually become “perfected”. A good analogy of humanity’s journey through the afterlife realms, as represented by the graph below, is to think of the afterlife realms as God’s “Corporate Ladder” of success. We begin employment at the ground level (Realm 1) the physical universe. Through hard work and on-the-job education, humanity is gradually climbing God’s corporate ladder with the goal of becoming a “full partner” with the “Boss” — God — at the “corporate level” (Realm 6). However, this analogy only works from our current life’s point-of-view and gives the erroneous suggestion that the earth realm in Physical Realm 1 is an inferior realm. The fact is we are soul/spirit beings who have had a multitude of past life experiences on earth and perhaps even in the Soul and Spirit Realms — through the process of reincarnation.

According to the previous Case for Ten or More Afterlife Realms, the planets of our solar system are three-dimensional physical representations of invisible other-dimensional afterlife realms inhabiting the same space. As a whole, these afterlife realms represent the dimensions of consciousness of our solar system as part of the vast system of Universal Mind. Each solar system is analogous to a “university” and a single expression of the divine with its planets and planes of consciousness acting as integral parts each at a different vibratory level. The planet Earth is the third planet from the sun and is where three-dimensional life is represented in the solar system. There are other intelligent three-dimensional life forms living in other solar systems experiencing their own soul evolution. Each solar system in the universe is also analogous to an atom in a universe of atoms. Each solar system represents an opportunity for development, advancement, and growth toward the ideal of complete companionship with God — the position of co-creator. The idea of the soul existing as a “speck” in a seemingly endless universe is only an illusion. After death, the soul expands and transcends the physical universe. Also, the human body is a microcosm of the solar system with the endocrine glands acting as energy centers (chakras) with each planetary afterlife realm having some astrological influence over a particular energy center. After death, the soul travels through the various dimensions of the Soul Realms associated with the solar system. If the soul has learned all the lessons necessary to progress further, the soul meets with spirit guides and enters the Spirit Realms as spirit. The soul, which is the subconscious mind, is no longer needed, and the individual enters the Spirit Realms as pure superconsciousness — spirit.

A Brief Description of the Six Major Afterlife Realms

(a) Realm 1: The Physical Realm — In the universe, the planet Earth is where humanity experiences birth, life, and death. Religion, science, and war play dominant roles here. This is the realm of “cause and effect” (karma) where we come to be tested in ways only a physical experience can. The universe is inhabited by other intelligent beings according to a combination of the Drake Equation and the multitude of credible UFO sightings which have been documented [1] [2] [3] [4].

(b) Realm 2: The Earthbound Realm — After death, a person may immediately find themself out-of-body and inhabiting a soul/spirit body while observing their physical body from below. Some people have observed a silver cord connecting their physical body to their spirit body. This is the earthbound realm because it exists in the same dimension as the physical realm except that its inhabitants are invisible to those living in the physical realm. However, psychics living in the physical realm are able to contact inhabitants of the earthbound realm through mental telepathy. The earthbound realm is also known by other names such as the astral plane, the dream realm, the world of “hungry ghosts,” and hell.

(c) Realm 3: The Void — This is a timeless realm of complete and profound darkness – empty of everything except for the thought and emotional patterns of those who enter it. It is a perfect place for its inhabitants to examine themselves, contemplate their recent earth experience, and decide where to go next. For some people, the Void is a heavenly experience because, in the absence of everything else, they are able to see perfectly the love and light within themselves. For others, the Void can be terrifying or confusing because of an inability or unwillingness to see the love and light within. There is no judgment by God in the Void. There is only the possibility of self-judgment – a harsher form of self-understanding. The Void is where people undergo “ego death” where the “mask” of the personality is dissolved to allow the individuality of the soul to be experienced in relation to the Whole which is God. Many NDE experiencers find themselves immediately in the Void upon clinical death; and for many, the Void is as far as they go in their NDE as well.

(d) Portal: The Tunnel — Near-death experiencers report being drawn into and through a “tunnel” at an extremely high speed toward a radiant light. Some experiencers have seen other souls with them in the tunnel in the form of orbs. Some experiencers have seen other souls around the edges of the tunnel calling out to them or trying to grab the experiencer.

(e) The Receiving Station — This temporary transit area is a kind of heavenly sorting area where the destination of souls is decided. It has been described as a kind of heavenly way station, a heavenly amphitheater, or a heavenly airport terminal. Here is where the experiencer may have a homecoming with deceased loved ones, meet with spirit guides, meet a religious leader they admired such as Jesus, have a life review, and receive forgotten knowledge of both the past and the future. The NDE experiencer is then sent back to life on earth — usually after being told they are not ready to die. Examples of the Receiving Station in NDEs can be found here: [1] [2] [3] [4].

(f ) Realm 4: The Soul Realms — The Soul Realms are composed of seven invisible planetary afterlife realms associated with seven planets in our solar system not including earth – which is itself a living organism called “Gaia“. Our three-dimensional sun, in another-dimensional afterlife realm, is a itself a Being of Light. After death, souls usually incarnate to a number of Soul Realms between earth lifetimes until the soul has attained its proper level of soul growth and is ready for advancement to the Spirit Realms. When a soul incarnates into an earth life from a number of Soul Realms, the soul will manifest the influences of those realms from which it came. In each realm we deal mostly with our choices made in our most recent earth incarnation. We do this by focusing mostly on a single aspect of our soul development associated with that realm. For example, in one particular Soul Realm we deal mostly with our unfinished emotional business left over from our past incarnation. In another realm, a mental realm, we deal mostly with karmic memories. In another realm, we deal mostly with our desires and passions. Souls live in communities with those whom share a like sympathy such as with family and friends. Souls occasionally take trips into other realms and return again to use those experiences in their soul communities — just as people on earth do during dreams and NDEs. This is accomplished under the guidance and protection of souls and spirits who have taken this as their ministry. The only difference is that after death, souls do not sleep and they vividly recall the experience of having traveled to another realm.

(g) Realm 5: The Spirit Realms — After all the Soul Realms associated with our solar system have been fully experienced and all the lessons have been fully learned and the proper level of soul growth has been attained, the soul can move on to Spirit Realms associated with constellations and star systems around the spiritual universe. Some NDE experiencers have met their “Higher Self” in this realm. Some experiencers have described seeing a City of Light or a “galaxy” of light.

(h) Realm 6: The God Realm — The highest realm is completely outside of the universe. This is the “God Realm” and it is the ultimate destination of every spirit. NDE experiencers have described becoming completely absorbed into — or at-one-with — God — in this Realm. The God Realm is also known by various religious traditions as “Vaikuntha” (Hinduism), “Tian” (Taoism and Confucianism), “Akanishtha” (Buddhism), “Shamayim” (Judaism), the “Kingdom of God” (Christianity), and “Jannah” (Islam). It is possible that there are a multitude of these realms as well.

4. The many NDE pathways through the afterlife realms

There is one particular aspect to near-death testimonies that varies greatly from each other and it is the path by which experiencers travel to reach various afterlife realms. By analyzing the various NDE testimonies on this website, a diagram of the numerous pathways to these various afterlife realms has been created.

There are very likely other paths but these are the ones I have encountered most often. Lets go through each path one at a time.

a. Path A: Earth to Earthbound Realm

The Earthbound Realm (ER) consists of hell realms located in the same space as the Physical Realm (PR) except the ER and its inhabitants are invisible to those inhabiting the PR except, of course, by those who are psychic enough to sense them. The transition to the ER after death is so subtle that many souls who travel there are not even aware they have died. Several cases in point are Dr. George Ritchie and Dr. Dianne Morrissey. Both of these experiencers dwelt in the ER for extended periods of time until they saw their dead body and realized they were dead. Any NDE where the experiencer is out-of-body and can observe their dead body from a distance is an experience in the ER. The ER is a temporary state of mind and soul after death of having earthly, physical desires that can no longer be satisfied. It is also a condition resulting from living a hellish lifetime with little or no soul growth. The condition is neither condemnation, judgment, nor punishment. It is the natural consequences (karma) of living such a life. It is a painful condition similar to “withdrawal symptoms.” It is a purification process much like the Catholic concept of purgatory. It ends when those in such a condition are willing to see the light and love within themselves and others which is God.

Other great ER experiences can be found in the NDEs of Howard Storm, Howard Pittman, Josiane Antonette, David Oakford, Don Brubaker, Angie Fenimore, Lorraine Tutmarc, and Mellen-Thomas Benedict.

Other earthbound descriptions are from: Dr. Dianne Morrissey (the complete account in her book), Josiane Antonette, Howard Pittman, Emanuel Swedenborg and Ruth Montgomery.” (Kevin Williams)

b. Path B: Earth to Void

“Some people report entering the void immediately after death without having to go through the tunnel. Others do report entering the void through the tunnel. Some people, such as Dr. George Ritchie, do not go through a tunnel but are led from one realm to the other by a Being of Light.” (Kevin Williams)

“One of the best descriptions of the void comes from the near-death account of Mellen-Thomas Benedict. It is also one of the best and profound near-death accounts you will read. Other excellent void descriptions can be found in the NDEs of: Guenter Wagner, Dr. George Ritchie, Howard Storm, Angie Fenimore, RaNelle Wallace, and Don Brubaker.” (Kevin Williams)

c. Path C: Earth to Void to Heaven

“Some people describe entering the Void either through the tunnel or not through the tunnel. Once in the void, some people immediately return to their body and their NDE is over. Other people, such as Guenter Wagner, have an extended experience in the void and then return to their bodies. But in the map above, you can see that some people leave the void then enter heaven. Once in the void, the only way out of it is through the love you have cultivated within you during life. In the void, once a person begins to think, remember, feel and realize love, the tunnel opens and you enter toward the light. Some people, such as Linda Stewart, leave the void with the help of a Being of Light. The void is totally devoid of love and light and the only way you can be attracted to the light is by realizing the love within you.

“One of the best descriptions concerning the transition from the earth to void to heaven is the near-death account of Howard Storm. Another near-death account involving a trip through the void on the way to heaven is the near-death account of Linda Stewart. (Kevin Williams)

d. Path D: Earth to Heaven

“Some people do not report an experience with the earthbound realm or the Void. The travel to heaven directly my means of the tunnel. For example, Edgar Cayce traveled through the tunnel literally thousands of times and during each time, he would be able to see all the levels of the afterlife passing by him as he went straight to heaven to get his information. Why some people enter heaven by different methods is anyone’s guess. Perhaps people travel to afterlife realms according to how much they have earned it in life and in past lives. This would explain how some children have experiences in heaven without having to earn it in their current life and this suggests to me that they have earned it in a previous life. That is just my 2 cents worth.” (Kevin Williams)

“One of the best descriptions concerning the transition from the earth directly to heaven is the near-death account of Betty Eadie. Other NDEs involving a direct trip to heaven are from: Dannion Brinkley, Jayne Smith, David Goines, Jan Price, May Eulitt, Carl Jung, Edgar Cayce, and John Star.” (Kevin Williams)

e. Path E: Earth to Earthbound Realm to Void to Heaven

“An interesting aspect of near-death accounts is that if one reads enough of them, one begins to understand the various transitions from the earth to heaven. The map above represents near-death accounts that involve all the first three levels (earthbound, void, heaven). Some of these reports, such as Dr. George Ritchie‘s, are virtually guided tours by a Being of Light. Often, these kind of experiences are the most transcendental.” (Kevin Williams)

“Those cases who came closest to death, or were clinically dead, just as Moody’s cases reported, told of being outside of their bodies, of moving through a Void or dark tunnel toward a luminous light, of meeting with departed relatives and friends, of having a feeling of great comfort and bliss and of being surrounded by compassionate love, a feeling so beautiful they longed to remain, and when they returned to the earthly realm, they were affected by this feeling the rest of their lives.” (Dr. Kenneth Ring)

Edgar Cayce would leave his body and become oppressed by the darkness. He would then experience a tremendous feeling of loneliness. He would then see a white beam of light and know that he must follow it or be lost. Whenever he would move through the tunnel toward the light, he would travel through various afterlife levels where unusual beings dwelled. On the first afterlife level, there were vague, horrible, grotesque forms such as one would see in a nightmare. Moving on, he would see on either side of the tunnel, misshapen forms of human beings with some part of the body magnified. He would also see people on both sides of the tunnel calling out to him for help and trying to get his attention. But Cayce knew that any deviation from the tunnel would mean that he wouldn’t be able to return to his body. As he moved farther up the tunnel, the darkness would become lighter and the realm more colorful. At the end of the tunnel, he would then enter the Hall of Records, the heavenly source for the information he obtains. (Edgar Cayce)

Howard Pittman entered the second realm (the Void) where no love existed and where “demons” (earthbound human souls) there were participating in their area of expertise in tormenting souls. Pittman was then taken to the first realm (the earthbound realm) which he learned was in a spirit realm near the earth where demons stalk the living. It was in this realm that he saw demons in all shapes and forms. He was then led back to the second realm and to the entrance to a tunnel where angels were leading souls to the third realm (identified as one of the heavenly realms). (Howard Pittman)

Jan Price saw the skyline of a great city with three different dimensions. The first had a dinginess pervading the atmosphere. There was a gloominess, and everything was gray, even the inhabitants, but she sensed that somewhere beneath the discoloration pulsed life and beauty. It brought to her mind the lowest levels of existence in the world from which she came. Evil walked the squalid streets with malevolent bearing. No one there was up to, or expected, any good. From that dark dimension, each succeeding higher dimension became more colorful and more light. (Jan Price)

According to psychic George Anderson, after death we work our way up through the various levels of consciousness. We go through the tunnel and are able to go through the darker levels, which can represent a form of hell or purgatory, because these are the two negative levels, or the darker ones. But if we’ve been a good person, we generally just seem to pass through them very quickly and then we go on through the third and fourth levels of consciousness. When we go through these levels we meet our relatives and friends greeting us at the end of the tunnel where they’re waiting and lead us into the light.” (George Anderson)

As Mellen-Thomas Benedict passed into the second light [the Void], he expanded beyond the first light. He found himself in a profound stillness, beyond all silence. He could see or perceive FOREVER, beyond Infinity. He realized that he was in the Void. He realized he was in pre-creation, before the Big Bang. He had crossed over the beginning of time and into the Eye of Creation. He felt as if he was touching the Face of God and was at one with Absolute Life and Consciousness. Mellen-Thomas described the void this way:

“The void is less than nothing, yet more than everything that is! The void is absolute zero; chaos forming all possibilities. It is much more than even Universal Intelligence. The void is inside and outside everything. You, right now even while you live, are always inside and outside the void simultaneously. You don’t have to go anywhere or die to get there. The void is the vacuum or nothingness between all physical manifestations. The SPACE between atoms and their components. Modern science calls it zero-point. The Void is completely out of time and space as we know it. The Void itself is devoid of experience. It is pre-life, before the first vibration. While Mellen-Thomas was in the Void, he was aware of everything that had ever been created. It was like he was looking through the eyes of God. Suddenly he wasn’t him anymore; he had become God.” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

f. Path F: Earth to Void to Receiving Station to Heaven

“Some people on the way to heaven first enter a heavenly receiving station where other souls are seen entering into as well. This receiving station is a place where people can meet deceased relatives and friends, have a life review, and/or move on to other structures within heaven. Some of these other structures that have been seen is a heavenly temple, a heavenly library, or a temple of knowledge. At this point, there are other higher heavens to go and it is my opinion that these are beyond the reach of people having an NDE. Often, it is in this first heavenly realm where people are told they must return. The following are experiences with this heavenly receiving stations.” (Kevin Williams)

Diego Valencia entered a dim, colorless, train station-like realm where grayish entities were being helped by guides from a foggy realm near earth. He was then given the decision to either return to his body or stay. (Diego Valencia)

George Ritchie entered the earthbound realm where he observed souls stalking the living because of some earthly desire. In the second realm (the Void), he observed angry spirits locked into hand to hand combat, trying in vain to hurt each other. In the third realm, he observed souls being led into a heavenly weigh station. After visiting a heavenly library, he is shown a distant city made of brilliant light. Its description resembled the city described in the Book of Revelation. (Dr. George Ritchie)

Dr. Michael Newton‘s research of afterlife experiencers yielded the following conclusions: All souls, regardless of experience, eventually arrive at a central port in the spirit world that is like a staging area for orientation. Once past this station there seems to be no further detour. A large number of returning souls are transported in a kind of spiritual form of mass transit. Souls are brought in, collected, and then projected out to their proper final destinations similar to a central terminal of a metropolitan airport that has the capacity to fly people out in any direction. The most outstanding characteristic of this place is a continuous feeling of a powerful mental force directing everything in uncanny harmony. Some have said that this is a realm of pure thought. (Dr. Michael Newton)

David Oakford was taken to a great city in the shadow and clouds above earth which he discovered was heaven. He observed the souls of humans and animals flying to and from the great city and back to the earth. He observed many souls coming to the city with guides. Some of the souls were sad, beaten and scared. In the city, David entered a large building where he had a life review. (David Oakford)

Ned Dougherty was in the deepest void of space feeling comfortable and at home. Ned then entered into a magnificent ethereal structure. This heavenly structure resembled an amphitheater made of a brilliant, crystal-like substance. The amphitheater was suspended in the void of space in the same fashion that a space station might hover in space. The amphitheater was similar in size to a sports stadium and conveyed a great majesty. It was here that Ned experienced a life review. (Ned Dougherty)

One woman, Pamela Anderson, went through a black tunnel and entered a black void of absolute nothingness. She discovered that the darkness existed in every direction. She sensed an entity in the darkness with her and she asked it, “What happened?” Through telepathy, the entity replied, “You’re dead.” The entities reply was as if it enjoyed telling her this. As soon as she realized this, a clear white bright light brought her into a huge, wonderful, stadium or amphitheater where love and music emanated from it. (Pamela Anderson)

An accountant described his account: “As we walked along together to find Jesus, I noticed there was one building larger than all the others. It looked like a football stadium with an open end to the building where a blinding light radiated from it. I tried to look up at the light but I couldn’t. It was too brilliant. Many people seemed to be bowed in front of this building in adoration and prayer. I said to my parents, ‘What is that?’ They said, ‘In there is God.'” (An accountant)

Lisa described her experience: “There was no tunnel or light. I ‘awoke’ standing upright in the back of what looked like a large auditorium-type place, without the chairs. The wall were gold and had jewels embedded in them. I was far in the back at first and couldn’t figure out where I was. There were horns playing loud classical-type music and it was a very formal-type ceremony. There were dancers with beautifully colored flags dancing in a supernatural sort of way. I felt my presence coming in closer, but I didn’t feel legs moving underneath me.” (Lisa)

Lynnclaire Dennis described her experience: “In luxuriant warmth we moved on, drawn higher into the valley, moving toward the Source of the light. I made a single turn, and the meadow suddenly became an amphitheater. On a stage that seemed to be suspended in front of me, I witnessed, with my grandmother, what seemed to be an encore performance of my life.” (Lynnclaire Dennis)

Edgar Cayce mentioned there exists a kind of weigh station in the spirit realm which is a transient place where souls decide their next destination. This transient place is the junction between various cosmic realms. It is both a usual and an unusual place related to the soul’s evolution. (Edgar Cayce)

Berkley Carter Mills was taken to a suspended platform where he met a being so powerful that he thought it was God. The angels bowed and took their places with two others at the platform’s four corners. Carter learned that the powerful being was Jesus. Carter is then led through a life review. (Berkley Carter Mills)

5. The connection between the body and afterlife realms

According to Edgar Cayce, Eastern mysticism, and NDE studies, the human body is a receiver of cosmic energy (like a radio) for which we are able to connect with spiritual realms in the afterlife. This “receiver” aspect of the human body is made up of a system of endocrine glands within our body which are points of contact to an associated system of spiritual energy centers (called “chakras” in the East) which are collectively called the “subtle” or “astral body” (or simply the “soul“). The soul body is the “vehicle” by which people have near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, and lucid dreams for example. Near-death experiencers such as Edgar Cayce and Mellen-Thomas Benedict have described how our solar system is actually a physical representation of our higher spirit body. This revelation explains how planetary-astrological forces can influence us here on earth.

The soul body is also the energetic form of the physical body. The spiritual centers of the soul body are points of contact where the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the body come together. Each spiritual center associated with an endocrine gland is also a point of contact to a particular invisible afterlife realm represented physically by one of the planets of our solar system (see the chart below). Cayce identified a particular afterlife realm by giving it the same name as its corresponding planets in our solar system. For example, the planet Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun and is the physical manifestation of an invisible afterlife realm that is 7th in the afterlife hierarchy. The pituitary gland – the “master” gland of the body – is associated with the “third eye” chakra in Eastern religions and is the point of contact connecting our physical body to 7th afterlife realm represented physically by the planet Jupiter.

Each spiritual energy center corresponds to one of the seven notes on a musical scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Each spiritual center also corresponds to a color on the light spectrum of which there are seven: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (or white). The positive and negative “vibes” a person is outwardly exposed to in life can influence the inward functioning of the endocrine glands and their corresponding spiritual center. The dominant vibration – positive or negative – within a person’s body reflects which spiritual center is dominant within a person’s life. It is the dominant vibration of a person’s life – body and spirit – which determines the level of the corresponding afterlife realm they have attained. Certain yoga meditation techniques (such as chanting mantras) have been used in the East to raise the quality of the spiritual energy vibration to help heal the mind, body and spirit.

6. NDE insights concerning the various afterlife realms

Dr. George Ritchie stated, “In the afterlife, our thoughts are no longer private, but become known to all around us. People of the same kind of thoughts are drawn to each other because it is too threatening to be with others with whom we disagree when they know it.” (Dr. George Ritchie)

Arthur Yensen stated, “After death, people gravitate into homogeneous groups according to the rate of their soul’s vibrations. If the percentage of discord in a person is small, it can be eliminated by the Master-Vibration of God; then the remaining good can live there. However, if there is more discord within a soul’s vibrations than good, this cannot be done and the person must gravitate to a lower afterlife level and live with people of their kind. Each person lives in the kind of a heaven or hell which they prepared for themselves while on earth. Nobody sends us anywhere. We are sorted by the high or low vibrations of our soul. Everyone goes where they fit in.” (Arthur Yensen)

According to Edgar Cayce, “After death, the dimension of the afterlife we travel to is determined by the level of spiritual development we have attained while on earth.” (Edgar Cayce)

Jan Price stated, “In the afterlife, everyone is free to visit the various afterlife realms and nothing is restricted. The only governor is the state of the conscious mind. Deeply held beliefs come into visible expression there. Not everyone has the same experience because everyone creates his or her own experience. Subtle energies slowly open restrictive, closed minds in order to accept greater understanding.” (Jan Price)

“We can not dwell in the higher spiritual realms until we have perfectly qualified for it by a change of heart and mind, a significant amount of preparation, and by completing our mission.” (Dr. Craig Lundahl)

“Those living in the higher realms radiate the brightest light and their glory must be cloaked when people in the lower realms look at them. It is possible for people in the lower realms to visit higher realms, but they must be prepared or covered so they can stand in the presence of greater glory.” (Dr. Craig Lundahl)

“Our earth experience determines our afterlife destiny, but no one is locked there, and each can progress to higher and higher levels of being.” (Jan Price)

“How does a person get ahead of others in the afterlife? They don’t. There is no place in heaven for discontent or personal ambition. Some people may not be able to change at all after they arrive in the afterlife. On earth, we can change ourselves quite easily and should use this life to make ourselves into the kind of people we want to be in the afterlife.” (Arthur Yensen)

“Death is merely the doorway to the next level of soul growth and evolution.” (Edgar Cayce)

“In the afterlife, death on earth is considered a graduation.” (Howard Storm)

“Infants who die are taken in spirit to a place where they are nurtured, taught and mature.” (Dr. Craig Lundahl)

“There are heavenly hospitals full of injured and crippled souls – the result of their hard faring on earth – who are nursed back to health so that they can begin their work in heaven.” (Dr. Craig Lundahl)

“To travel from one point to another in the afterlife, all one has to do is think about it.” (Dr. Dianne Morrissey)

“Those on the other side can observe what is happening on earth whenever they choose to do so.” (Jan Price)

“Each afterlife realm has a theme for learning. The physical realm exists for us to test our ideals and learn from them.” (David Oakford)

“How we lived our life on earth determines which heavenly realm we have earned and travel to after death. We choose our own pace through the afterlife realms.” (Betty Bethards)

“The afterlife realms are experiences of enjoyment and recreation. People do things they enjoy and keep company with people they enjoy in a realm of joyful activity. The skills, interests, and abilities developed on earth may be reflected in the roles chosen in eternity. We contribute uniquely toward the goodness and beauty in the realm we inhabit which is vast and of transcendent beauty. Our quality of life in spirit is directly affected by our heart and activities on earth. Opportunities for practicing love continues.” (Nora Spurgin)

“The most difficult thing for a person who has been deeply steeped in a particular religious tradition is to realize that the form alone is not what elevates a person; it is the heart. Still, those who cling to an external form of religion will be most comfortable with others who practice the same rituals, whatever they may be. In this sense, congregations may continue centered around the particular religious traditions they practiced while on earth.” (Nora Spurgin)

“Our moral obligation to help others continues after death. Death does not eliminate our obligations. We are still given opportunities in spirit realms to freely serve others.” (Margaret Tweddell)

“In heaven, we can remember our real identity and know what possibilities exist for soul growth. We do not move forward until we choose to.” (Dr. PMH Atwater)

“After death, we can choose to observe people on earth to see how they deal with situations. Our behavior on earth provides a teaching ground for those in spirit.” (Betty Bethards)

“When a soul incarnates to earth, they will be more influenced by the afterlife realm they just came from, the planet it represents, and the astrological configuration at the time of their birth. These planetary influences allow us to receive certain lessons and tests related to our karma. Our free will has absolute power over any planetary or heavenly realm – even God.” (Edgar Cayce)

“A heavenly computer exists in the spirit realm that is designed to help us choose our destiny.” (Dr. Allen Kellehear’s research)

Articles Science

Lessons From Near-Death Experiences About the Fourth Dimension

The following article is by Jody A. Long, J.D., from the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, webmaster of :;;; P.O. Box 23367, Tacoma, WA, 98093, (253) 568-7777 home; (253) 831-3008 cell; or (253) 572-1330 work email:

Reprint requests may be sent to Jody A. Long, J.D. at the above address.

ABSTRACT:  From near-death experience research, a model that fits the data is that consciousness (synonymous to soul) is a fourth dimensional construct. This concept necessarily affects the way we view time and how we integrate consciousness with our three dimensional, Earth reality. Our science, religion, and society are all affected by how we perceive our Earth reality. This paper attempts to explain the fourth dimension by analogizing to one, two, and three dimensional concepts to what experiencers are telling us about their fourth dimensional experiences.

KEYWORDS: fourth dimension, third dimension, time, soul, consciousness

As I sit here on this windy, rainy day, I have much to think about after reading the book by A.T. Schofield, M.D. published in 1888. Dr. Schofield takes the analogies of one, two and three-dimensional worlds and then theorizes on how to conceive of a fourth dimension. Interestingly, he also draws analogies on how entities living in the first, second and third dimensions would religiously view entities from other dimensions. Ultimately, the discussion is a scientific glimpse of the fourth dimension through the eyes of spirit. One can easily see that NDEs, typically described as profoundly spiritual experiences, are glimpses of the fourth dimension and perhaps not so far removed from science as we normally think.

What this paper will do is to delve into the fourth dimension by using examples from one, two, and three-dimensional worlds. Altered states of consciousness are explored as a possible avenue to understanding the different dimensions. Social and religious implications of the different scenarios are discussed. Lastly, the fourth dimension is reviewed in terms of what we observe from studying the near death experience (NDE) and the out of body experience (OBE). Of necessity, a new paradigm is presented that uses observations from the fourth-dimensional medium.

Physical Constructs From One, Two, and Three Dimensional Worlds

One of the most helpful things to understanding the fourth dimension is to visualize other dimensions using common, every day items. It then makes it easier to understand the analogy between the third dimensional world and the fourth by using this method. For me, common items consisted of office supplies. An unfolded paper clip could represent a line. A pencil is also a good representation of a line. A piece of paper can be used to represent a two-dimensional realm. The paper I used was initially part of a sticky-note pad. The third dimension can be easily represented by using the sticky-note pad because the two dimensional paper then has the added dimension of thickness. A ream of paper or a tablet of paper can serve the same function. Now, visualize yourself as a being inside of the paper clip. You are free to move back and forth, but can only see others in the line as a point. Next, take the piece of paper and imagine yourself as being on that paper. You can see four lines. But, then if you view the piece of paper as a three-dimensional being, the piece of paper has two sides (a top and a bottom) that are not necessarily realized when viewing the note from a two-dimensional perspective.

Another way to look at this would be to imagine that the two-dimensional being resided on the surface (plane) of the water in a tub or a sink; Then imagine moving a ball closer to the surface of the water. At first, there would be intersection in the form of a point when the ball first touched the water. The point would then turn into a circle, necessarily changing size as the ball started to submerge beneath the surface of the water.

A two-dimensional being might be able to conceive of a third-dimension. However, most in the two-dimensional world would find it futile unless they had a construct such as mathematics. Although the mathematical proof would be there, it is still hard to conceive of other dimensions since there is no visual imagery or verbal language constructs within our three dimensional world to fit other, higher dimensional models.

The two-dimensional being would never be able to comprehend the existence of the sphere by viewing it from the two-dimensional realm because all that could be perceived is a curved line. However, if the being abstracted the thought process and understood mathematics, he might be able to extrapolate that the line forms a circle. He could walk around the circle to understand its existence, but would never be able to view the whole circle at once.

There are two ways that the two dimensional being could understand the total reality of the piece of paper in relation to other dimensions of existence. One, is to be taken out of the two-dimensional world so that the piece of paper could be viewed from all angles, including the top and the bottom of the paper; Or two, the sphere could try to communicate with the two-dimensional being and explain the greater reality. For the two-dimensional being to advance in personal understanding, communication would necessarily imply that the two-dimensional being is open enough to hear of other worlds, or had the ability to alter his state of consciousness to experience the three-dimensional world on a first-hand basis.

In my mind, I conceptualize another dimension in terms of the sticky-note pad. I can take the piece of paper on the top and wrap it around until it touches the bottom of the last piece of paper. I then have a circular slice of what could be a smaller portion of a cone or a sphere shape. I can imagine an infinite number of two dimensional pieces of paper within this circular slice as they radiate from the center where the glue attaches the individual papers together.

To convert the image to a three dimensional concept, I make the square pieces of paper into a round shape so it resembles a sphere. Then I can imagine an infinite number of three dimensional slices of paper aligned in an infinite number of angles or different axis radiating from the center. Each alignment of the paper would represent a different three dimensional reality. In order to convert the third dimensional representation into a fourth dimensional reality, you would string an infinite number of three dimensional spheres together. Conventional wisdom tells us that the fourth dimension represents time. So, instead of the spherical three dimensional balls being strung together in a spatial alignment using depth as the common denominator; we would use the backdrop of time to string the three dimensional balls together.

Social and Communication Constructs of Other Dimensions

There are many aspects to social constructs that arise from physically understanding other dimensions. What we observe in our third dimensional world is that ideology changed as the religious dogma incorporated new ideas of our relationship to the universe around us. At certain times in our three-dimensional history, it was a novel concept that Earth was not the center of the universe, that the Earth was not flat, or that other larger galaxies and smaller worlds consisting of microbes and viruses exist. The church, after realizing that it couldn’t suppress the new discoveries, backed down on denouncing and persecuting the heretic individuals. The world of established science had also ridiculed people such great thinkers as Galileo, Kelvin, Pasteur, Lister, Jenner, Edison and Einstein (Schmicker, 2000). They said that it was ludicrous to say that creatures, forces, or particles existed that we couldn’t see, or to think that whole cities could be lit with electricity. Our world has been revolutionized by the inventions promulgated by these discoveries. We can now conceive of possible other worlds in other galaxies, fight diseases, and travel the seven seas without falling off the edge of the world.

Consider what would happen if a person shaped as a three-dimensional sphere wanted to become visible to the two-dimensional being. The three-dimensional sphere would necessarily be invisible until she placed herself into the exact plane where the two-dimensional can see her. It goes without saying that, from our third-dimensional viewpoint, we would consider it closed-minded for the two-dimensional being to say that we or the sphere-being do not exist because we are invisible to the two dimensional being.

Another concept is that the two-dimensional being would not have scientific proof unless one from the three-dimension directly intersects with the two-dimensional field of vision. This would be an arbitrary process unless the third-dimensional being was willing to cooperate in being studied or the two-dimensional being had reliable mastery over transcending the limitations of the two-dimensional world. Partial mastery would score as misses because the two-dimensional being could end up on other pieces of paper in the sticky-note stack; analogous to entering other two-dimensional realities. It would be far easier for a two- dimensional being to talk about other two-dimensional planes and relate that experience to other two-dimensional beings, than it would be to enter and explain the third-dimensional reality to two-dimensional beings.

It is interesting that Dr. Schofield speculated that communication would come from hearing those in the fourth dimension, not with physical ears, but from within the self. Communication as described in NDEs is virtually always telepathic. Another wonderful insight was that the reaction of the person residing in the paperclip or pencil line would not believe the communication with the person on the paper plane.

Another important concept is that ideological beliefs of the line person may have pre-existing religious boundaries incompatible with two-dimensional reality. For instance, there might be a pre-existing belief system that reinforces the status quo by saying it is a sin or it is work of the devil to believe anything other than what is taught by the line church. Another example could be a religious-based misconception of the nature of the extra dimension. Here, a religious belief of the line person may be that God created the line person in his own image. Thereby, all types of moral constraints are attached to God based on the fact that he intended us to be like him. However, as three-dimensional beings, we can see that the line person’s conception of God leaves out the third dimension of depth of what God’s image would look like to us. The moral constraints are independent social constructs to maintain order in the line person’s world, yet attributed to God as the ultimate authority.

Just as the preceding section discusses aspects of dimensions between one, two, and three dimensional worlds, we can analogize our three dimensional world to that of the fourth (or greater) dimensions. Mathematically, we can prove many other dimensions and computer extrapolate what they might look like.

Because of the lack of understanding of the two-dimensional world, the line person would consider the experience mystical and attribute it to religious figures. From there, the line person could:

  1. Shut the experience out and pretend it didn’t happen,
  2. Privately continue to learn from the plane person, or
  3. Try to communicate the experience to other line persons and risk ridicule and/or suppression of the newly discovered reality.

In summary, the way we physically construct our world has profound implications as to how we order society. We perceive our reality based upon time-honored ideologies that may not be valid when viewed from a different paradigm. What science and religion may demand as proof of the fourth dimension may be skewed according to social norms and social constructs. Only by thinking outside of the three-dimensional box will be able to advance in consciousness and to understand our true nature. That being said, let us turn our attention to what a fourth dimension might look like to three dimensional beings, like ourselves.

The Fourth Dimension

We become aware of the fourth (or greater) dimensions, first by what we can mathematically abstract: secondly, by anomalies we observe on Earth when those of other dimensions choose to intersect with our particular three dimensional Earth reality: and thirdly by the observation and personal experiences of others who talk of the particular ability of the soul to transcend across the various dimensions.

The mathematical extrapolations have been done and there are many good articles on the internet and some even have pictures. We know that the fourth dimension exists in theory, just as the two dimensional person could theorize about the lines of a circle.

There is a wide range of human experiences that fit into the category of spiritually transformative events. Many attribute this to genuine religious experiences, while many others discount the experiences as work of the devil or a medically sick mind. Given the way that a one or two dimensional being would react to us, it is understandable how three dimensional beings would view an interaction from a fourth (or greater) dimensional being. Furthermore, we would hear a fourth dimensional being in our mind and would not necessarily be aware of their existence unless that being chose to interact with us. Interaction could only occur by intersecting our world in our waking or a state of altered consciousness. That does not mean that failure to intersect with us means the fourth dimensional being does not exist. It also may be part of the reason why many clinical studies fail. There could be a component co-creation that is necessary with the other side’s cooperation in order for us to be able to understand the fourth dimension.

We have observed that humans can enter into altered states of consciousness. The near death experience (NDE) is defined as, the reported memory of all impressions during the special state of consciousness, including specific elements such as out-of-body experience, pleasant feelings, and seeing a tunnel, a light, deceased relatives, or a life review (Pim von Lommel, 2001). Although there is no clear consensus of what constitutes an NDE, there are specific patterns of events that a person lucidly recalls that happened at or near the time of clinical death (Long, 2002).

Moreover, out of body experiences (OBE) are common during NDE. An OBE can be defined as an experience in which a person seems to perceive the world from a location outside of the physical body (French, 2001, p. 2010). A person is in an altered state of consciousness during an OBE. The one thing that is missing from this definition, distinguishing OBEs from psychotic events, is the lucid nature of the OBE (Long, 2002). The out of body experience is a fairly common phenomenon since it occurs in 14-34% of the population depending on which study you look at. It would be ludicrous to say that up to one third of the human population are mental illness deviants: When in fact, this is such a common phenomena.

NDEs and OBEs are analogous to the changing states of consciousness that enabled the two dimensional being to transcend and be able to comprehend our three dimensional world. By changing the state of consciousness, the being was free to see the top or the bottom of the piece of paper instead of just lines in a plane.

What is commonly reported during NDEs and OBEs is that sense perception is vivid and enhanced, colors vibrant, sounds are alive, time is very different on the other side, there is unconditional love, communication is all-knowing, and we are all interconnected with one another (Long, 2002). One cannot help but wonder if the common scientific explanation of time as the fourth dimension variable is a misconception. In reality, the fourth dimension may be spatially related to us through our interconnections with each other. Near-death experiencers and some out-of-body experiencers are able to glimpse a world held together by unconditional love as a matrix for communication, a way of life, and total knowledge. Time may only represent a small part of the connection matrix of the fourth dimension.

Crucial to our understanding of the fourth dimension would be an open mind to the communication we receive from the fourth dimension. As with our communication with a two dimensional being, it would be necessary for us to distinguish between social constraints and concepts as presented from the fourth dimension. This means that religious dogma, and scientific obstinacy would need to be temporarily suspended for true understanding to occur.

When the mind is in altered states of consciousness, near-death experiencers and out-of-body experiencers report that there is a part of the body that is capable of experiencing other dimensions. The most extreme observation is the NDE where consciousness survives death. The fact that consciousness can transcend our earthly reality, may mean that consciousness itself is not confined to this particular three dimensional reality which is unlike our physical bodies. If consciousness were actually part of a fourth (or greater) dimension, then our social structure would change based upon the truths of the greater reality.

For instance, our individual consciousness could be described analogous to the fourth dimensional sphere that intersects our earthly plane. That fourth dimensional sphere only has one slice of itself that intersects with the water surface at one instance in time. Therefore, it would not be unreasonable to assume that a fourth dimensional soul would also have the same capability analogous to the sphere.

From our earthly viewpoint, we could see the phenomena in terms similar to reincarnation. However, from the fourth dimensional view, it would look like one soul intersecting with several slices of paper at the same time. What the soul personifies as one being intersecting at one point in time in our physical reality, can essentially be several beings intersecting at different points in time. Yet, all the beings are part of the same soul experience. What one being necessarily does at any point along that time line, would affect the other beings backwards and forwards in time because they are all interconnected as part of the same stream of consciousness.

The observed pattern of NDEs is that unconditional love is the universal language in the third and fourth (or greater) dimensions. This also appears to be part of the universal matrix that ties dimensions together. Many people who read the NDE accounts to conceptualize what the fourth dimension holds are likely to be frustrated. It would be hard to understand what the fourth dimension is about until we truly understand the common language of unconditional love. This requires tolerance, patience, and teaching others in their own language so they truly understand unconditional love. We can then develop the interconnected language to understand what is next in our evolution as one of God’s cherished creations. We also need the wisdom and humility to understand that no single person will have the answer, be it a scientist or a spiritualist.


— French, C. (2001) Commentary, The Lancet, 358, 2010.

— Long, J. and Long, J. (2002),,

— Schmicker, M. (2000) Best Evidence, Writers Club Press, Lincoln NE, pp.32-34.

— van Lommel, P. et al. (2001) Near Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands, The Lancet, 358, 2039-2042.