This page explores two different models of spiritual reality… my own model, and the one known as the Frederic Myers model. My model is simpler, the Myers model is a bit more detailed.
There are other models simpler than mine, and still others more complicated than the Myers model, and I suspect most of them are reasonably accurate… as these two are.
How can they be so different and still be accurate? The same way that we classify life on Earth in different ways…
- Plants, animals, and things in-between (such as fungus),
- Undersea life, land life, and things in-between (such as amphibians),
- Plants, animals, fungi, chromista, protozoa, and bacteria (the six kingdoms of earth life),
- Eukaryotes (made of cells, each with a nucleus) and prokaryotes (cells without nuclei), and
- Highly complex classifications of earth life by kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
The spirit realms are far more complex and diverse than life on Earth, and we humans are only beginning to understand them.
The two spirit models below are like the first two bullet items above… basic, simple, and reasonably accurate. As we learn more about our spiritual heritage in the future, models are bound to become more and more complex… but I suspect that much of what you find on this page (or in other models in use today) will always be a cornerstone of future models… as they are all essentially true.
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 webpage, 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… see below), 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.
The following diagram shows how my spirit world model (described above) correlates with the Frederic Myers model (explained after the diagram).
(Incidentally, the noble-savage, form and formlessness information in parentheses under the Myers levels are actually my own terms used to try to describe things more succinctly.)
For a more detailed look at the levels of the spirit worlds, it helps to understand the model presented by the late Frederick Myers. A synopsis and some bio information can be found here:
Here’s the Myers model in a nutshell, which seems to be popular among our spirit friends (I’ve adapted and edited the list from the above-mentioned website. I’ve supplemented the text with my own research observations, which are italicized in parentheses):
1. Stage one is the Earth realm. As soon as the Earth experience has been thoroughly comprehended – either through reincarnation, or through the exchange of experience with others on other realms – the candidate may proceed to realms beyond the reach of the Earth mind. After death a person enters Stage two, the Intermediate Realm.
2. 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 what is sometimes called the “Left Door” and enter into an abyss of empty, joyless existence for a brief period of time. After they have reflected upon their actions, they are reincarnated back to Earth. (Sometimes they are ‘redeemed’ by mission workers from finer levels who enter these dismal areas to accompany certain lost souls to third-level paradise communities, where they are rejuvenated.) People who commit suicide are sent to a place called the “Holding Place.” Here they must make a choice to either proceed through the “Left Door” or embrace God and move on to the Light.
3. After Stage two, a person enters a more stable world called “the realm of illusion”, Stage three. This is a dimension where things may be created with the mind and shaped by the direct action of the imagination… (but only to a degree. A person can’t move or bilocate by thought, but rely on walking and the use of earth-like vehicles. Greater manifestation powers are acquired at the fourth level). Though a person may linger in this third stage for generations, an eventual decision must be made. The individual either returns to Earth or progresses to Stage four.
4. Stage four, an indescribably lovely existence, is called “the realm of color.” 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 more highly energized intellect and spirit, (including an effective ability to manifest their detailed surroundings through intent and to move by thought).
5. In the fifth realm, the “realm of flame,” one acquires a body of flame, enabling him to tour the stellar universe without being harmed by its temperatures and turbulence and to return with a fuller experience of these cosmic reaches. (The energy body can descend in vibration to visit astral worlds of form, and also ascend in vibration to explore various formless worlds of pure consciousness across the vast stretches of the spiritual realm.)
6. The sixth realm is called by Myers, the “realm of light.” Some souls on this realm are “matured” spirits, having lived through, with conscious comprehension, all the aspects of the created universe. (Most of these light beings, though, have never experienced physical living… just as most humans have never experienced war from the front lines). They all live, without form, as white light in the pure thought of the Source. They are among the immortals.
7. The seventh stage, in which the soul enters full partnership with God, is beyond Myers’ verbal reach. Myers knew that the levels of consciousness in the upper ranges were beyond the insight of the average Earth dweller except for intuitive flashes. (The seventh stage, which Myers called “timelessness,” is even further beyond carnal-human understanding than the other spirit realms.)
Tying It Altogether Into the Bigger Picture
I got a comment from a reader named Jason in December 2013:
Hi Mark, I had a question about the astral planes…. You frequently mention Marduk and the third astral planes… are there many different 3rd level astral planes or is Marduk the only 3rd level astral plane where humans go when they die?… are there more 3rd level astral planes besides just Marduk and the River of Eternity??? Jason
Thanks to Jason’s comment I had to pull all of these terms from ITC contacts into some kind of an order… and here’s what I came up with:
That’s a good question, Jason. Since most of our ITC communications came from “Marduk” and “Timestream” and the “River of Eternity” and the “Third Level,” these concepts tend to get kind of jumbled.
Here’s the way I envision it, and if I find out someday I’m wrong I won’t be too surprised. But this is what makes the most sense to me from the information we received:
There are many, many levels or vibrationally discrete universes in the omniverse, all superimposed like radio signals that are all jumbled together in the air around us. I think it’s complex beyond what these material minds of ours can grasp, since we’re kind of locked-in to 5 senses streaming information about our material surroundings into our physical brain. It makes it hard to see the greater reality without some inner work that lifts us beyond the 5 senses and the brain.
In order for a good spirit group like Timestream to communicate with us on Earth through ITC, it’s important that we all share a common view of life on both sides… their reality and our reality. That’s a big challenge because of our limited view of the big picture here on our side. What is needed is some kind of model that simplifies infinity into something we can understand… and that’s where “third level” comes in.
Our spirit friends often refer to the model of the late Frederic Myers, and when they refer to “third level,” it’s the Myers model (above) that they’re referring to.
So, that’s how the “third level” fits into the big picture. It’s a section of the omniverse… kind of like the “VHF frequency band” is a section of the radio spectrum.
Now, within the “Third Level” frequency band of the vast omniverse, I’m sure that there are many, many, many worlds teeming with life of many kinds. Marduk is one of those worlds, and I believe it’s the astral template of a physical world Marduk (Eden) that used to have an orbit in our solar system between Mars and Jupiter. The physical planet was destroyed some 4 billion years ago, but the template remains…
… and the astral world Marduk (the spiritual template of the late physical planet) happens to be in the “Third Level” of the Myers model, and the third level is what people often call “the mid-astral realm”… a sort of synonym of “Third Level.” So, Marduk is one world at the third level.
The River of Eternity encircles the astral planet Marduk, like a snake biting its own tail. I suspect that there might have been a massive river on the physical planet Marduk that also circled the entire planet… but of course that’s just conjecture on my part. Structures in an astral world are sometimes templates or subtle copies of structures that exist in a corresponding material world… so it would make sense that the late planet Marduk had such a river.
Timestream is a sending station that sits along the banks of the River of Eternity on the astral world Marduk, a world at the third astral level.
To make matters a little more complicated, our spirit friends sometimes refer to the Timestream station as a “dispassing” point, or “dispassier” point, meaning it’s a place where dimensions cross or intersect. The station has to reside at the third level because the spirit people at that level are not far removed from us on Earth, in terms of understanding and attitude. Their similarity to us provides a resonance that makes ITC possible. However, being a dispassing point, more brilliant beings from finer realms (the fourth and fifth levels) can transduce themselves to a slower vibration so that they can also appear at Timestream to communicate with Earth from the third level.
That’s why our INIT group (our international ITC association) was able to get such wonderful, esoteric communications from “The Seven.” Timestream was established and maintained (largely by The Seven) to provide multi-level communications.
Thanks, Jason, for giving me the opportunity to put this all into clearer perspective. I’ve got the information scattered around this site, but it’s nice to wrap it all up neatly in one place.
Update (2015 March 1): The Shadow World
In recent days I’ve had some insights that I hope will shed some light on that dark, dismal realm of spirit blanketing our world. I’ve been under the assumption that Level 2 of the Myers model would include the dark, unsavory realm that stirs up problems in our world… the realm of ghosts and confused and troubled souls who move in and out of our lives, attracted to and adding to the savage thought-forms that reflect our fears, resentments and unhealthy cravings.
I think Level 2 is actually what Myers said it is: A holding place for troubled people-in-spirit… a place where they can gradually rise above their savage thoughts and motivations… before moving on to Level 3.
The bulk of the “dismal realm” that is inhabited by swarms of troubled spirits, is what our spirit friends in ITC refer to as a “shadow world.” They said this shadow world is not really a spirit realm, but they couldn’t define clearly what it is.
Well, I think it’s simply a blanket of spiritual residue around our planet. It consists of all the dark thoughts and feelings that spin out of human minds and are unsuitable for any of the finer spiritual realms, from Level 3 on up to the Source. All of these thought-forms of hatred and fear and lust (and the people-in-spirit who harbor them) have nowhere to go, literally, so they remain stuck hovering around our world, held here by our savage motivations as carnal humans on Earth.
So, the dismal realm in my model is mostly the same as the “shadow world” that we heard about through ITC contacts… a dark blanket of spiritual residue that was created from and is held here by our savage motivations.
The troubled, swarthy spirits in that realm do not look toward the light for answers because they don’t resonate with the light. They are oriented to the Earth, where savage motivations still abound.
The only thing that will clear out and heal that shadow world, or dismal realm, will be a spiritual renaissance here on Earth in which our savage side disappears. It would involve a cleansing of all human minds to a state of noble thinking, driven by love, trust, and good will.
THAT is why Christ came to Earth, and THAT is what the great sages and gurus and monks and masters of all the great, time-proven religions have been trying to accomplish. And THAT is why The Seven opened up the ITC bridge for our INIT group in the mid-1990s… at least, THAT is what I THINK is the case. 🙂
Only when the Earth is cleansed of its savage thought-forms will the vast legions of dark, troubled spirits in the shadow world be able to turn around. There will no longer be a need or an opportunity to face the Earth and its savagery. They’ll naturally turn around and see the light. Only then will the shadow world disappear…
… or not. 🙂 This is all conjecture on my part, based on lots of research over the past quarter century.