I mentioned earlier that I would post an extract from New Maps of Heaven offering Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s descriptions of the ruler of the Summerlands, the higher levels of the Astral Planes, who himself resides in a much higher and more exalted spirit realm.
I include a picture of the ruler’s own realm and of the Summerlands.
This passage is designed to illustrate how Ellie’s father Haiton probably rules the Pleiades. Obviously specific procedures may be different but it’s more attitudes that I wish to illustrate.
Roger is a young man who recently transitioned whom Benson is shepherding around. Undoubtedly Roger is highly developed to have merited a visit to the ruler of the spirit planes.
There is no need to read this to “keep up.” I know many of you are busy and working. It’s simply here if you have the spare time some day and want to get a sense of how hierarchy functions on the other side of life and possibly as well on the Pleiades. I’ll send this to Ellie to see if she agrees that it resembles her home planet.
A bibliography appears at the end of Part 2.
Each Realm has a Ruler
The natural laws are not the only means of what might be called government here. We have rulers. … Each realm has its ruler. That’s not a strictly accurate term, though we do use it. … He doesn’t [strictly rule]. He presides, and that is very different. I’m talking about the realms of light now. You can see for yourself how much pleasanter and easier it makes life.
No falling of one government merely to make way for another equally bad or stupid or ineffective. No political fanatics with insane and inane ideas and, what is most important, no individuals holding office who are totally unfitted for it. If the people of earth would like to settle some of their worst problems, the spirit world could give them a hint or two on how to do it. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson to new arrival Roger in MALIWU, 147.)
Although each realm has its own resident ruler, all the rulers belong to a higher sphere than that over which they preside. The position is such that it calls for high attributes on the part of its holder, and the office is held only by those who have had long residence in the spirit world. Many of them have been here thousands of years. Great spirituality is not alone sufficient; if it were, there are many wonderful souls who could hold such office with distinction.
A ruler must possess a great deal of knowledge and experience of humanity, and in addition he must always be able to exercise wise discretion in dealing with the various matters that come before him. And all the ruler’s experience and knowledge, all his sympathy and understanding, are ever at the disposal of the inhabitants of his realm, while his kindness and infinite patience are always in evidence. This great soul is ever accessible to any who wish to consult him or who bring him their problems for solution. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 130.)
A ruler’s knowledge of the people over whom he presides is vast. Lest it should be thought that it is humanly impossible for one mind to carry so much knowledge of the affairs of so many people as there must be in one realm, it must be understood that the mind of the incarnate is limited in its range of action by the physical brain. In the spirit world we have no physical brain to hamper us, and our minds are fully and completely retentive of all knowledge that comes to us. We do not forget things we have learned in the spirit world, whether they be spiritual lessons or plain facts. But it takes time, as you would say, to learn, and that is why the rulers of realms have spent many thousands of earthly years in the spirit world because they are placed in charge of so many people.
For the rulers have to guide and direct them, help them in their work, and unite with them in their recreation, to be an inspiration to them, and to act towards them, in every sense of the word, as a devoted father. There is no such thing as unhappiness in this realm – if for no other reason than that it would be impossible with such a grand soul to smooth away the troubles. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 131.)
Many of [the rulers who preside over the realms here] have been living here thousands of years. It requires the highest attributes to become one: for example, knowledge of humanity and sympathy, understanding, and discretion; patience, kindness, and spirituality. Those are a few that are demanded. A ruler’s knowledge is prodigious. At least that is how it would appear to earthly eyes. But you know … how memories work here. It’s safe to say that the ruler of a realm has a vast knowledge of the people under his care and that is what makes him so very different from other folk. For one thing, the rulers belong / to realms higher than those over which they preside. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 148-9.)
Monsignor Benson Visits the Ruler of the Spirit Realms
But over and above the rulers is one who is the greatest of them all, and he is the ruler of the spirit world.
[Ruth and I] have … visited the high abode of the greatest of them all. … Omar is himself in personal attendance upon him; is, in fact, his right hand. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 90.)
[The Chaldean, Omar] came, he said, with an invitation from the great soul whom we had assembled to honor upon that memorable day in the temple for us to visit him at his own home in the high realm in which he lived. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 190.)
The illustrious personage, towards whose home in the high realms we were making our way, was known by sight to every soul in the realms of light. His wish was always treated as a command and his word was law. The blue, white and gold in his robe, evidence in such enormous proportions, revealed the stupendous degree of his knowledge, spirituality, and wisdom. There were thousands who named Him as their ‘beloved master,’ the principal among whom being the Chaldean [Omar], who was His ‘right hand.’ As to his special function, he was the ruler of all the realms of the spirit world (1) and he exercised collectively that function which the particular ruler of a realm exercises individually. All other rulers, therefore, were responsible to him and he, as it were, united the realms and welded them into one, making them one vast universe, created and upheld by the Great Father of all.
To attempt to define the immense magnitude of his powers in the spirit world would be to essay the impossible. Even were it possible, understanding would fail. Such powers have no counterpart, no comparison, even, with any administrative powers upon the earth-plane. Earthly minds can only conjure up those individuals who ruled great kingdoms upon earth, who held sway over vast territories, it may be, but who did so through fear alone, and where all who lived under him lived as serfs and slaves.
No earthly king throughout the whole narrative of the history of the earth world ever presided over a state so vast as that presided over by this illustrious personage of whom I am speaking. And his kingdom is ruled by the great universal law of true affection. Fear does not, could not, exist in the minutest, tiniest fraction because there is not, and cannot be, the slightest cause for it. Nor will there ever be. He is the great living visible link between the Father, the Creator of the Universe, and His children. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 192.)
(1) My surmise is that by “all the realms of the spirit world” Msgr Benson means all the subplanes of the Astral Plane. Otherwise, if the exalted spirit were ruler over all the spirit world, I am hard-pressed to know how Msgr Benson could even see him.
But notwithstanding the supreme elevation of his spiritual position, he descends from his celestial home to visit us here in these realms, as I have to describe to you in a former occasion. And it is permissible for others of incomparably lesser degree to visit him in his own home.
There is nothing unsubstantial, vague or unreal about this regal being. We have beheld him on those great festival days that we have in the spirit world. He is not some ‘spiritual experience,’ some grand upliftment of the soul produced within us by some invisible means from some invisible source. He is a real living person, as firm as reality as we are ourselves – and we are more real than are you upon the earth-plane, though you are not conscious of it yet! …
There are mistaken notions that the beings of the highest realms are so ethereal as to be practically invisible except to others of their kind and that they are utterly and completely unapproachable; that no mortal of lesser degree could possibly view them and survive. (1) It is commonly held that these beings are so immeasurably higher than the rest of us that it will be countless eons of time before we shall ever be permitted to cast our eyes upon them even from a remote distance.
That is sheer nonsense. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 192-3.)
(1) Certainly many orders of angels are completely unapproachable and we could not view them and remain unaffected. I do not think Msgr Benson is correct in his statements here.
[The Chaldean, Omar] came behind us and allowed his hands to rest upon our heads for a brief moment. … The Chaldean told us that by placing his hands upon our heads … would … have the effect, in addition to giving us power to travel, of adjusting our vision to the extra intensity of light that we should encounter in the high realm. … The Chaldean asked us to make ourselves completely passive and to remember that we were upon a journey for our enjoyment and not as a test of our spiritual endurance. ‘And now, my friends,’ said he, ‘our arrival is awaited. So let us be off.’
We immediately felt ourselves to be floating, but this sensation ceased abruptly after what seemed but a second of time, and thereafter we had no sense of movement whatever. A light flashed before our eyes. It was extremely bright, but it was by no means startling. It vanished as quickly as it came and coincidental with its disappearance I could feel the solid ground under my feet. And then the first vision of this high realm opened before our eyes.
We were in a dimension of unparalleled beauty. There is no imagination upon the earth-plane that can visualize such inexpressible beauty and I can give you only some meager details of what we saw in the limited terms of the earth-plane.
We were standing within the realm of a king – that was evident to us at once. We stood upon an elevation some height above the city; our good friends had taken us to this particular location to present us with this superb view. It would not be possible, they said, to spend more than a limited period here, and so it was the wish of the Chaldean’s master that we should see as much as possible within that period.
Stretching before us was the wide stream of a river, looking calm, peaceful, and overwhelmingly lovely as the heavenly sun touched every tiny wave with a myriad tints and tones. Occupying a central position in the view, and upon the right bank of the river, was a spacious terrace built to the water’s edge. It seemed to be composed of the most delicate alabaster. A broad flight of steps led up to the most magnificent building that the mind could ever contemplate.
It was several stories high, each of them being arranged in a series of orders, so that each occupied a gradually diminishing area until the topmost was reached. Its exterior appearance was, if anything, almost plain and unadorned, and it was obvious why this should be so. The whole edifice was exclusively composed of sapphire, diamond, and topaz, or, at least, their celestial equivalent. These three precious stones constituted the crystalline embodiment of the three colours blue, white and gold, and they corresponded with the colors which we had seen in the robe of our celestial visitor as we had seen him in the temple and which he carried in such an immense degree.
The blue, white and gold of the jeweled palace, touched by the pure rays of the great central sun, were intensified and magnified a thousandfold and flashed forth in every direction their beams of the purest light. Indeed, the whole edifice presented to our bewildered gaze one vast volume of sparkling irradiation. …
The precious stones [the Chaldean informed us] were proper to the realm which we were now visiting. In our own realm the buildings are opaque, albeit they have a certain translucence of surface. But they are ponderous and heavy by comparison with the upper realms. We had journeyed through many other spheres to reach this present one, but had we paused to observe the land through which we had passed, we should have seen a gradual transformation taking place until the relatively heavy-looking materials of our realm became transmuted into the crystalline substance upon which our gaze was now fastened. …
We could see, surrounding the palace, many acres of the most enchanting gardens laid out in such fashion that, from the distant and elevated viewpoint which we occupied, they presented a huge and intricate pattern as in some superbly-wrought eastern carpet. …
Though we could scarcely remove our eyes from the superlative glory of the palace and its grounds, yet the Chaldean gently drew our attention to the remainder of our prospect.
It extended for miles upon countless miles – or so it seemed to us. The range of our vision was increased in these rarified regions beyond all human conception and so it seemed that literally an unending vista spread before us of more earthly miles than it is possible to contemplate. And all through this wide expanse we could see other magnificent buildings built of still more precious stones – of emerald and amethyst, to name but two, and, far away, what looked like pearl. Each of the different buildings was set amid the most entrancing gardens, where trees were growing of unimaginable richness of color and grandeur of form. Wherever we cast our eyes, there we could see the flashing of jeweled buildings, reflecting back the rays of the central sun, the myriad colors from the flowers, and the scintillations from the waters of the river that flowed before us far away into the distance.
As we were gazing spellbound upon the scene, a sudden flash of light seemed to come from the palace directly to the Chaldean and it was acknowledged by an answering flash which he sent back to the palace. Our presence in the realm was known, and as soon as we had feasted our eyes upon the view, we were asked to walk within the palace where our host would be waiting to receive us. … We therefore proceeded at once towards the palace.
By the same means of locomotion that had brought us into the sphere, we quickly found ourselves walking upon the terrace beside the river and up a broad flight of steps that led to the main entrance of the palace. The stonework of the terrace and the steps was pure white, but we were much surprised by its apparent softness underfoot for it was like walking upon the velvet softness of a well-tended lawn. Our footsteps made no sound, but our garments rustled as we walked along, otherwise our progress would have been a silent one except for our conversation. There were, of course, many other sounds to be heard. We had not stepped into a realm of silence! …
Our stay could not be prolonged beyond our capacity to resist the rarity of the atmosphere and the intensity of light, notwithstanding the charge of spiritual force that the Chaldean and the Egyptian had give us. As we passed through, therefore, we had but a fleeting glimpse of the grandeur that encompassed us. …
As we walked down the corridors we met and were greeted by the most friendly and gracious beings, who thus added to our welcome. Welcome, indeed, was the overmastering feeling that enveloped us as we first put foot within the palace. There was no coldness, but everywhere the warmth of friendliness and affection.
At last we paused before a small chamber, and the Chaldean told us that we had reached the highest point of our journey. I did not feel exactly nervous, but I wondered what formalities were to be observed…. The Chaldean … immediately reassured us by telling us to follow him and merely to observe those rules dictated by good taste.
We entered. Our host was seated by a window. As soon as he saw us he rose and came forward to greet us. First he thanked the Chaldean and the Egyptian for bringing us to him. Then he took us each by the hand and bade us welcome to his home. There were several vacant chairs close to that in which he had been seated and he suggested that we might like to sit with him there and enjoy the view. It was, he explained, his favorite view.
We drew close to the window and we could see beneath us a bed of the most magnificent white roses, as pure white as a field of snow, and which exhaled an aroma as exalting as the blooms from which it came. White roses, our host told us, were flowers he preferred above all others.
We seated ourselves, and I had an opportunity, as our host spoke to us, of observing him at close quarters where before I had but seen him from a distance. Seeing him thus, in his own home and surroundings, his facial appearance was, in general, similar to that which he had presented when he visited us in the temple in our own realm. There were differences, however, as we saw him here; differences that were largely a matter of light intensity. His hair, for example, seemed to be golden when he came to us. Here it seemed to be as of bright golden light, rather than of the color of gold. He looked to be young, to be of eternal youthfulness, but we could feel the countless eons of time, as it is known on earth, that lay behind him.
When he spoke his voice was sheer music, his laugh as a rippling of the waters, but never did I think it possible for one to breathe forth such affection, such kindliness, such thoughtfulness and consideration; and never did I think it possible for one individual to possess such an immensity of knowledge as is possessed by this celestial king. One felt that, under the Father of Heaven, he held the key to all knowledge and wisdom.
But, strange as it may sound, though we had been transported unfathomable distances to the presence of this transcendingly wonderful being, yet here in his very presence, we felt perfectly at home, perfectly as ease with him. He laughed with us, he joked with us, he asked us what we thought of his roses, and had the Chaldean managed to keep us merry upon our way thither. He spoke to each of us individually, displaying an exact acquaintance with all our concerns, collectively and personally. Then finally he came to the reason for his invitation to us to visit him.
In company with my friends, he said, I had visited the dark realms and I had recounted what I had seen there. He thought that it would be in the nature of a pleasant contrast if we were to visit the highest realm and see for ourselves some of its beauties; to show that the inhabitants of such high realms are not shadowy, unreal people, but, on the contrary, they are like ourselves, capable of feeling and exhibiting the emotions of their fine natures, capable of human understanding, of human thought, and as easily susceptible to laughter and free-hearted merriment as were we ourselves.
And he had asked us to visit him in order to tell us himself that these realms, wherein we were now visiting, were within the reach of every soul that is born upon the earth-plane, that no one can deprive us of that right; and that although it may take countless years of time to reach those realms, yet there is all eternity in which to achieve that end, and that there are unlimited means to help us upon our way. That, he said, is the simple, great fact of spirit life. There are no mysteries attached to it; all is perfectly straightforward, plain, and unrestricted by complicated beliefs, religious or otherwise. It requires no adherence to any particular form of orthodox religion, which, of itself, has no authority to assure any single soul of its powers to secure the soul’s ‘salvation.’ No religious body that ever existed can do that.
And so this realm of incomparable beauty was free and open to all to work they way thither from the very lowest and foulest realm. It may take eons of time to accomplish, but that is the great and superb finale of the lives of the earth world’s millions of souls.
Our good friend, the Chaldean, then mentioned to his ‘master’ that our stay had almost reached its limit. The latter said he was sorry to observe that it was so, but that such powers as had been invoked for us had their limitations, and, so, for our comfort, we must work within them. However, he added, there are other occasions and thus he extended further invitations to us.
We now rose and I could not resist the lure of the view of the roses from the window. I gazed out once more, then we made ready to depart.
Our gracious host said he would accompany us to the hill from which we had had our first glimpse of his kingdom. We followed a different route from that by which we had reached the palace. And what was our delight when it led us directly to the rose bed. Stooping, our host culled three of the most choice blooms that mortal eyes have ever beheld and presented one to each of us. Our joy was still further heightened by the knowledge that with the affection that we should shower upon them, the blooms would never fade and die. My one anxiety was that in taking them to our own realm we should see them crushed, perhaps, by the unaccustomed density of our heavier atmosphere. But our host assured us that they would not, for they would be borne up by our thoughts of them and of the giver, and between the one and the other they would be amply supported, and would so remain.
At length we reached our point of departure. Words would not express our feelings, but our thoughts passed unfailingly to him who had brought us this supreme happiness, this foretaste of our destiny – and of the destiny of the whole earth world and the whole spirit world. And with a blessing upon us all, and with a smile of such affection, of such ineffable benignity, he bade us God-speed, and found ourselves once more in our own realm.
I have tried to tell you something of what we saw, but words cannot be found to describe it because I cannot translate the purely spiritual into earthly terms. My account must therefore fall far, far short. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 194-201.)
(Continued in Part 2.)