(The following intro was added 2018 October 19)
(Intro: The spirit worlds are far too vast and complex, I believe, to be fully understood through our carnal, conscious minds here on Earth. My own understanding of the afterlife is always evolving… getting better and clearer… but I’ll never pretend I have the complete picture during this lifetime. Since writing this article years ago, I’ve been patching it up periodically. Well, now it might be nice to start writing a series of updates–separate articles in which I try to pull things together into a neat, cohesive, simplified package from time to time, which you can access with the following list of links:
It might be helpful to read the above-linked update(s) before reading the main article below. — Mark Macy)
After we die, most of us awaken in what is called the mid-astral realm, or the third level of the spirit worlds. It also goes by various other names. Let’s put that into perspective with the bigger picture of omniversal life… that is, all life everywhere.
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 spirit world 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),
- Marine 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 elaborate… 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.
My Very Simple Spirit World Model
The first model (mine) fits well with our five physical senses, our world of structure, and our sense of duality (good vs bad, light vs dark, hot vs cold, etc). It breaks reality down very simply into:
- Our material world and universe of dense structures,
- The astral world of subtle structure (consisting of both dark, dismal regions and light, paradise regions),
- The ethereal realm beyond structure, flourishing with brilliant consciousness of countless, formless beings, and
- The central source of all life everywhere (sometimes called God or Allah or Brahman).
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.
As pure, nonvibrating light leaves the source, it starts to vibrate very fast… then it vibrates more and more slowly as it moves farther and farther from the source.
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 a while. 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 a while, 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 brilliant, loving version of the Earth. Injuries heal quickly, and bodies typically remain at the prime of life indefinitely
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 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.
So, 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.
Hindu teachings describe the soul as a brilliant living light about the size of a thumb residing in the heart. It glows at the fastest and finest vibration imaginable, far beyond the perception of our senses.
Between the soul and the physical body 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.
Again, the “dismal” body is just a dark variation of the astral 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.
Comparing the Two Models
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 my own terms used in an effort to help clarify.)
Here’s the Myers model in a nutshell, which seems to be popular among our spirit friends (I’ve adapted the list below from another 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 All Together
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:
Third level. 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 vast, multidimensional omniverse… kind of like the “VHF frequency band” is a section of the radio spectrum. (Read more about the radio spectrum table…) The third level is sometimes called the mid-astral realm, whereas the “fourth level” is sometimes called the higher astral realm or the Summerland.
ITC receiving stations are located on the third level, since humans there are most like us humans on Earth in terms of disposition. We can resonate with each other.
Marduk. Within the “third level” frequency band of the vast omniverse, I’m sure that there are many, many, many worlds or planets teeming with life of many kinds. Marduk is one of those world or planets, and I believe it’s the astral template of a physical planet 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 astral template remains…
So, Marduk is one spiritual planet or 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 planet are sometimes templates or subtle copies of structures that exist in a corresponding material planet… so it would make sense that the late pyhsical planet Marduk had such a river.)
Timestream is a sending station that sits along the banks of the River of Eternity on the astral planet Marduk, one of many spiritual planets or worlds within the third astral level.
Dispassing points. 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.
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’s why Christ came to Earth, and that’s what the great sages and gurus and monks and masters of all the great, time-proven religions have been trying to accomplish. And that’s why The Seven opened up the ITC bridge for our INIT group in the mid-1990s… at least, that’s 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 unsavory shadow world information is largely conjecture on my part, based on lots of research over the past quarter century.