This series of articles summarizes and explores the classic (1896) book, Wanderer in the Spirit Lands. I try to preserve the original meaning in the summary (which is regular type). My observations and comments are in italics. Ch29 is complicated. I think I understood and interpreted it pretty well, but any corrections or questions are welcome.
Ch28. Franchezzo moves from the big building in the Land of Dawn to a small cottage in the Morning Land… beyond the peaceful lake toward the perpetual sunset. (The Plain of Remorse was in the opposite direction, toward the darkness.) It’s a brighter land with the same soft grassy hills and golden meadows, and still no trees, shrubs or flowers… save a fragrant honeysuckle vine on the porch. He has a small bedroom and another small room containing his few personal items, where he can greet visitors. Having his own humble place in such a soft, sweet land is so breathtaking after his time wandering in darkness that even the sparkling splendor of his future won’t fill him with the happiness he feels now. He’s overjoyed when his father visits him and accompanies him to Earth, where he’s able to share the vision of his new life with her, his guiding star. Of the many, many people and spirits Franchezzo helps to cheer and inspire at this point along his journey, once case stands out. He often finds himself standing invisibly beside the man on Earth who’d ruined his life. Franchezzo struggles with his desire for vengeance. He knows he should forgive the fellow and wish him well, but it’s impossible. He always returns to his cottage after these sessions overwhelmed with bitterness, anguish, and anger, not only toward the fellow but also toward his own role in the conflict. Then, during one visit, he feels something new: empathy. That fellow, too, has a wounded spirit and regrets their conflict, Franchezzo finally realizes… and the hard wall of hatred slowly starts to soften and melt between them. Very soon comes an opportunity to help the man, who isn’t consciously aware of Franchezzo’s presence and influence,but somehow senses and knows that the hatred between them has died. Both feel a weight lifted off their shoulders, and the invisible bond of malice that has tied Franchezzo to his enemy and to Earth over the long months is finally broken. Franchezzo is free from that powerful, dark connection to Earth.
Ch29. Freeing himself from his earthly binds, Franchezzo feels a massive weight lifted off his soul and is now ready to learn more about the bigger picture of the grand plan. Hassein drops by to teach him: The “spheres” or “circles” discussed earlier refer to the many vast realms or dimensions of spirit that crosscut and overlap and superimpose each other throughout the inconceivably complex omniverse that revolves and flourishes around the central source, or God, whose brilliant emissions create and sustain everything. First of all, there are spheres that surround each inhabited, material planet (of which there are many). For Earth, these planetary spheres include the 7 levels of hell and the first 3 or 4 levels of heaven. These planetary spheres are divided not just into lighter and darker realms depending on how noble (moral) or how savage (evil) their inhabitants are, but also by their talents or skills or soul purpose, such as art or literature or philosophy or music or whatever. Spirits who resonate with the noble-savage nature of other spirits all find themselves in the same moral sphere such as level -3 of hell or level 3 of heaven, in this vast, multidimensional network of spirits who live around the planet. Those same spirits are further drawn like magnets into spirit communities of a common interest (art, music….) All of these spheres, the moral ones and the community ones, are associated with a physical planet, and the inhabitants all bear some resemblance (in terms of body and attitude) to the inhabitants of the planet. Second, beyond all of these crosscutting and overlapping planetary spheres and multidimensional networks, there are far more massive and more numerable spheres that fill the entire omniverse (these are presumably the heavenly levels 5 through 7). They are ethereal or celestial in nature—all noble (moral) and light—and complex beyond what we can understand. Their inhabitants are formless, brilliant, light and energy beings, like living quantum computers that exchange oceans of information instantly. Those celestial spheres, too, can be divided into ethereal communities or clusters of beings with common interest and purpose (art, music….). Getting back down to Earth and other planets, the structure of these worlds is also nested like networks in 3-dimensional space. The planets and their inhabitants are made of atoms and molecules, which are composed of still tinier elements (planet is to atom, what atom is to tinier element) that become so subtle that they begin to blend together with the spirit realms. One underlying purpose of all these spheres is soul growth. A physical being has a physical body, an astral body, and a soul, which is a piece of the central source. The ultimate goal of each soul, eventually, is to ascend to become one with the central sun, shedding the denser bodies along the way. Through it all, each soul is indestructible, and its individuality and memories remain indestructible. They become etched into God.
Ch30. Hassein (the student of guide Ahrinziman, who lived on Earth more than 2,000 years ago, around the time of Jesus) then explains the process of materialization, in which spirits can become dense enough to be perceived by carnal humans. The “tinier particles” mentioned earlier obey the same laws that govern the attraction and repulsion of larger bodies (atoms and planets). Spirits who know these laws can use them to materialize. They mentally collect the tinier particles from the air around them and from the carnal bodies of the spiritualists sitting in a circle, then through force of will they can sculpt, as quick as lightning, a living replica of their late carnal body (essentially making their spirit body denser), and holding it all together with a certain chemical substance (sometimes called ectoplasm, fluidic ether, silver light, or aura) that’s part of every living, physical being to a greater or lesser degree. The auras of all the humans sitting in the circle must be resonant enough to merge together. Two people whose auras bristle in each other’s presence and repel each other will prevent a materialization from happening, even if each individual sitting in a different, compatible group, without each other present, will experience good results. Humans on Earth will someday learn about this “elixir of life”… how to extract it, store it, and use it, the way they’ve learned to use electricity and nuclear energy. In fact there’s a big effort underway in the spirit worlds to educate spirits and physical humans alike in the art and science of materialization, even though it doesn’t seem to have much higher spiritual purpose other than spreading good will across the veil. Materialization is much more involved than parlor tricks like table-knocking and -rocking. Even most of the spirits who do the materializations don’t really know exactly how it’s done, as it involves the support of a much more powerful being from a much finer realm, as sort of “chief chemist” for the operation.
Ch31. Franchezzo wonders why most people can’t see spirits, since his astral body and astral home seem as solid and real to him now as his physical body and home seemed to him on Earth. Hassein laughs and says the best way to explain it is with the example of a spirit photograph in which the spirits appear transparent on film (like the Mumler photos, not like my luminator photos in which the spirits seem as solid and real as the human subjects, as I try to explain at the end of this article). The transparent looking spirits in spirit photos give a good sense of the fineness of the astral body, composed as it is of those “tinier particles” (explained in the previous chapter, above) that have a lot more space between them than the much bigger atoms in a physical body. Human eyes are geared for a world of atoms that reflect the sun’s light, and the tinier particles just don’t reflect enough light to be detected by the human eye. Nor by photographic film… unless the spirits make themselves dense enough in one of two ways. (Well, one of three ways if you include the luminator photos.) 1) The spirits can materialize as described in the preceding chapter, or 2) they can grab one of the soul-less astral shells described in Ch17 (article #4). They can take that astral shell, mentally sculpt it like a big wax doll so that it resembles the spirit’s old earthly body, and then don the astral shell like a full-body costume. Either of those two techniques requires the help of a finer ethereal being with the power and knowledge to make it happen. The same is true of clairvoyants, who have a spiritual sight as well as the material sight that the rest of us have. The spiritual things they see and the way they see them are choreographed by one of those finer ethereal beings, who facilitate that person’s mediumship.
My luminator photos always show the spirit face directly superimposed over the face of the human subject in the photo, which I’m fairly certain involves borrowing a lot of the subject’s bonding substance or “ectoplasm”… pulling that substance from the human subject into the spirit for just a few seconds… long enough for the camera shutter to click. Then the substance is returned to the human subject as though nothing happened. That’s probably why the spirit faces with the luminator seem so solid and life-like… all of that borrowed ectoplasm pulled into the face of the spirit for a moment.