The Worlds of Spirit
While the worlds of spirit are unimaginably numerous and complex, there are many ways to break it all down into models that our minds can more easily grasp. I think this model fits well with our five physical senses and our sense of duality (good vs bad, light vs dark, hot vs cold, etc).
The central source emits consciousness (light) that streams away (not outward into space nor forward in time, but “out-beyond” into many, superimposed dimensions), manifesting as everything everywhere… and every world and universe remains distinct by the vibration of its light.
The Earth and physical universe are at the fringes of the omniverse, where light grows dim and vibrates slowly… so pockets of darkness form.
So out here in the fringes, love and order from the source reside uneasily with dark pockets of fear and chaos. It’s that mixture of spiritual light and darkness in our material world that makes reality seem dualistic.
When we die and exit the physical body, our outermost spirit body holds onto the physical pattern for awhile. If, while on Earth, we had resonated more with the light and order, our spirit body is a light, beaming astral body. If we had resonated more with the dark pockets of fear and chaos, our spirit body is darker and more dismal in appearance for awhile, as we refine our attitudes and raise our vibration.
It’s the paradise existence in the astral planes where most of us awaken after we die. Through ITC systems we’ve been sent vivid descriptions and actual pictures of the paradise world, which is a perfect, loving version of the Earth.
The dismal realm is where some people get stuck, if during lifetime they’d become stuck in such dark feelings as fear and loathing.
We might spend many lifetimes moving among the physical, dismal, and astral realms as we pursue our many lifetime missions (the goals that we and many other finer spirits have agreed that we’ll try to get accomplished in this lifetime) and our soul purpose (to do our part to spread light from the source as far out into the omniverse as possible, through our thoughts, words, and actions).
In no time at all (literally), after many lifetimes, we’ll move out of this illusory world of form altogether and enter the ethereal realms of pure love, wisdom, and bliss, as we move back home toward the source with a rich collection of adventures and experiences.
Our Spiritual Make-Up
Our spirit bodies can be compared to radio waves:
- they’re normally imperceptible,
- they each have a unique frequency or vibration that keeps them distinct from each other,
- the different frequencies let them coexist independently in the same space, and
- we can learn to tune in to the various bodies separately with certain techniques and technologies.
In other words, we are made up of several bodies that are superimposed over each other. The physical body is the densest, and it’s the one that our physical mind (the mind of the brain and five senses) is most familiar with. Our spirit bodies become subtler and finer as we move toward the central self—the true self—the soul.
That subtlest of bodies is the eternal flame—the source of inspiration for the Olympic torch—a small ray of undying light, a glowing fragment of the source that is often called “God.” For centuries, mystics have called the heart “the seat of the soul,” because typically that subtlest of bodies resides in the chest, glowing at the fastest and finest vibration imaginable, far beyond the perception of our senses. Hindu teachings describe the soul as a brilliant living light about the size of a thumb residing in the heart.
Between the soul (our true, eternal self) and the physical body (our here-and-now, temporary self) there are two spirit bodies—the astral body and the ethereal body. The astral body is in the form of a subtle human body, and the ethereal body is a formless being of light. The astral body resides in the astral realm, and the ethereal body resides in the ethereal realm.
Now, that’s all true, according to my research, but it’s simplistic. Saying that we have two spirit bodies is like saying there are two life forms on Earth—plants and animals. It’s essentially true, but just as there many kinds of plants and animals on Earth, our spirit bodies manifest in many ways. For the sake of this book, though, let’s keep it simple.
Let’s just say that the ethereal body—our ethereal self, or higher self—is brilliant, timeless, and a source of tremendous inspiration and insight…once we know how to open up communication channels between it and our conscious mind. It has a very fine and subtle vibration.
Our astral body can be a light, brilliant, blissful being when it flourishes on the noble human attitudes of love, trust, good will, and knowledge. Or it can be a dark and dismal being with sunken eyes and scruffy features when it’s motivated by savage attitudes of fear, resentment, doubts, envy, and so on. In its blissful state it resonates at a fine vibration and resides in a paradise world, but in its dismal state it has a dense vibration and finds itself in dark surroundings. I call this version of the astral body the “dismal body.”
During our lifetime on Earth we help shape our astral body by the attitudes we foster or fester in our day-to-day lives, and when we die, we settle into a spiritual realm appropriate to our astral body. There are many beautiful paradise worlds, and there are many dark, dismal worlds, and after we die our spirit moves automatically to the world of compatible vibration.
That’s why religions and esoteric schools throughout history have encouraged people to make good, moral choices in life; moral living helps to raise the vibration of our astral body. That’s the meaning of spiritual purification.
The diagram above simply lists four realms—physical, dismal, astral, and ethereal—but these are just arbitrary divisions. Each of those realms consists of many worlds and universes. Other researchers might refer to seven or eleven or 21 different levels or realms of spirit (one popular model was provided by Frederic Myers after he died), but the numbers don’t really matter, since they’re all arbitrary anyway. It’s just a question of how you prefer to divide up this infinitely complex omniverse. I like the model pictured above because it jives with how we normally think of the worlds of spirit nowadays. The dismal realm is where ghosts and lost souls get stuck for awhile, and when they go “to the light,” it’s the astral realm they go to. The astral realm is the paradise where most of us awaken after we die. The ethereal realms contain countless worlds beyond form and structure inhabited by angels and light beings.
Incidentally, most dreams are out-of-body experiences (OBEs) that we experience several times throughout the night while our physical body and mind are asleep, and our spiritual bodies and minds are awake and active.
Frederic Myers Model
For a more detailed look at the levels of the spirit worlds, please view the model presented by the late Frederick Myers, which seems to be popular among our spirit friends: