Question: Do the people of the Desire World or Etheric Region see the Sun we see, and do not these regions go round with the world as its atmosphere? If so, why would it not make darkness and day there also? (Vol. II. #54)
Answer: The reason why we have day and night, light and darkness, is that the Earth is opaque to our physical sight. Therefore, when the Sun is on the opposite side of the Earth we cannot look through this physical globe and see the light, nor can we perceive the light rays which penetrate through it, by our physical sight, though there is such an invisible light by which psychometers and clairvoyants see just as well in that which we call darkness as in that which we call light. It is true that the atmosphere of the Earth revolves with it, and so does the desire stuff which constitutes the Desire World of our planet. However, those who have shed the mortal coil and are in the Desire World see through the Earth just as easily as we see through a pane of glass. Furthermore, the greater part of them are usually so far outside the physical Earth that even the direct rays of the Sun would not be obstructed by the mineral globe upon which we live in our physical bodies. For these reasons there is neither day nor night there. Neither are there seasons, which depend in a measure upon what we call day, but there is everlasting day and everlasting light in those worlds.
Question: During sleep does one actually come in contact with relatives and friends who have been out of the body for twenty years, or is it simply the working of memory? (Vol. II, #57)
Answer: The usual time of duration of one's stay in the Desire World, after leaving the body at death, is one third the length of the life lived in the body, but this measure is only a general guide. There are many cases in which the stay is shortened or lengthened. For instance, if a person performs the retrospection exercise in the evening, he may in this scientific manner, provided he is very earnest and sincere in the performance thereof, entirely obviate the necessity of a purgatorial experience. The pictures of scenes where he wronged someone would have been wiped away from the seed atom in his (or her) heart by contrition, and thus there would be, for him, no purgatorial expiation. Where he had done something commendable, that would be absorbed as pabulum for the soul, and this would materially shorten, if not entirely do away with, experience in the First Heaven. Thus such a person would be comparatively if not entirely free to devote himself to the service of humanity in the beyond, and as such he might remain in these lower regions. However, they would not, for him, constitute Purgatory or the First Heaven. Many of the most devout disciples do this humanitarian work for a number of years after passing over.
There are some, however, who go to the Second Heaven at once. The soul growth attained during the life of helpfulness which freed them from the purgatorial and First Heaven existence also enables them to carry on certain investigations there and go through a certain schooling which will fit them for a higher and better position as helpers of humanity in a future life. This class, therefore, could not be seen by any friend going out of the body during sleep.
There are other classes who, so to speak, become immortal in evil. Not quite that, but the interlocking of their vital and desire bodies forces them to stay in the lower regions of the invisible world nearest to the physical world in which we live.
This class may consequently be met with for a considerable number of years after they have passed away from the body. It is indeed a curious fact that sometimes these evil persons are sought by former friends who have passed out of the body and need help to contact the physical world. The writer (Max Heindel) remembers such an instance occurring a few years ago, when an aged relative was about to pass over to the other side. She looked forward very anxiously to seeing her mate who had gone on before her. But as he had already reached the First Heaven, his arms and body had passed away, and only the head remained. Therefore he would scarcely be able to show himself to her when she had passed over, much less influence conditions at the time of the passing, and these were far from being to his liking. Certain things were being done to retard the severance of the Spirit from the flesh and considerable distress was occasioned to the passing person thereby.
In his anxiety over this condition the husband of the lady secured assistance from a friend whose interlocking vital and desire body made it easy for him to manifest. This Spirit took a heavy cane standing in the room, and knocked a book out of the hand of the passing lady's daughter, which so frightened those present that they stopped their demonstration, allowing the mother to pass out. The poor man who performed this phenomenon had already been more than twenty years in the invisible world, and so far as the writer can perceive there seemed to be no sign of dissolution of the sin body wherein he had clothed himself; he may remain there for perhaps twice or three times as long.
Question: What is the nature of the grotesque and hideous things seen by persons suffering from delirium tremens? Are they only temporary creatures of the imagination, or have they actual existence in the lower part of the Desire World? And how comes it is that the alcoholic is endowed with spiritual sight? (Vol. II, #58)
Answer: We will take the latter part of the question first, for then it will also appear what the things which are seen in delirium tremens.
In the first place, let us realize that there are several kinds of Spirits. There is the Ego, a true spark from the Divine Fire, now hidden beneath a number of opaque coverings: mind, desire body, vital body, and last but not least, the most opaque of them all, the dense body — the veil of flesh, which most effectively shuts out the Spirit from the divine consciousness and confines it to the narrow limits of a brain and body.
By the process of evolution these vehicles are being spiritualized. Their vibrations are being raised, and by degrees the Ego is beginning to find itself, as the prodigal found himself, far away from the Father, and desirous of returning. Then by certain definite processes, he is gradually reawakening cosmic consciousness. The divine power of organs which have served him as spiritual media in the far past, are reawakened to a new activity. This is particularly the case with the pituitary body and pineal gland. When he has learned to vibrate these little organs, he has developed a new sense which we may call spiritual vision, for then he sees the Invisible World and the occupants thereof. There are other steps by which he may, after awhile, become a full-fledged citizen of these realms while still living in the physical body, which he can leave or re-enter at will. With this phase of the subject we are not at the present time concerned. Be it noted, however, that only a Spirit can set these little organs in vibration, or reawaken their latent activities.
Where there is coin there is usually an imitation in base metal. The Spirit also has its counterfeit. The true divine Spirit is an emanation in God — not from God, but in God. It is a Spirit of Life. But a spurious spirit is also obtained by fermentation and decay. This is a spirit of death. We name it alcohol. This drug, being spirit, also has the power to raise the vibrations of the little organs spoken of, but being the base product of a base process, it cannot but degrade the individual Spirit with whom it comes in contact. Therefore drunkards generate low thoughts which clothe themselves in hideous forms. Various sub-human classes of Spirits, also sometimes ensoul thought forms thus generated and keep them alive for a long time, feeding on the fumes of blood in slaughter houses, or the odor from the brewers' fermenting vats and the rum sellers' aging whiskey, not to speak of the despicable desires emanating from frequenters of such low places.
Therefore, when a person has so saturated himself with this spurious spirit of alcohol that the little organs of spiritual vision have had their vibratory rate accelerated to such a degree that the Spirit world can be perceived, he naturally sees that which is akin to him. As tuning forks, when struck, set other tuning forks of identical pitch into vibration, so also everyone is attracted to others of the same nature. These grotesque and hideous figures are really etheric or interetheric, between the Desire World and the ether, penetrating both. They are not a product of his imagination, but realities of a more or less lasting nature created by the drunkards and sensualists of the two worlds.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. II," by Max Heindel.