The Reality of Ascension the Spirit Planes – Part 2/4

I have in other articles described the Ascension from the spirit side of life of people like “Dr. G” and “Jeannie.” (1) One of the pieces of work I wanted this series to accomplish was to depict what happens to people if they temporarily ascend to a higher vibratory plane without being spiritually equipped to handle the vibrations permanently.

Such a situation occurs when a person approaches a higher plane more or less as tourists or visits a higher plane by invitation. Today we’ll look at spirits approaching the border of the next higher plane; tomorrow we’ll look at spirits visiting higher planes.

Even though an Ascension is in reality the passage from one dimension or plane to another, here we’ll look at passages from one subplane to another as well.

Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson undertook to travel widely about the Astral Plane and describe what he saw as a way of compensating for his earthly life. Even though a psychic, he chose to disavow what he knew and toe the line demanded by his church in denying spirit life. Now, having passed over into it, he made amends by dictating several books that corrected impressions his religious colleagues had spread about the spirit planes. In this article we’ll stay with Benson’s descriptions.

On one occasion, he traveled to the borders of his own Summerlands realm and looked out over the expanse into the next higher subplane.

“We traversed the distance [between our own realm and the one above ours] that we were unable to observe the gradual alteration in our surroundings. Otherwise we should have seen the country taking on a higher degree of etheralization, a greater intensification of color and brightness, observable not only in the physical features of the realm, but also in the spirit raiment of those whose homes approximated the more closely to the border.” (2)

Each succeeding plane is not different in the sense of having something different than grass, trees, lakes, etc. It is the character of these features that changes, as Benson suggests.

Msgr Robert Hugh Benson

“As we draw closer to the higher realms the particles of the soil become finer, the colors more delicate, with a hint of translucency. A greater degree of resilience is at once observable underfoot when walking upon the thresholds of these higher realms, but the resilience comes as well from the nature of the realm as from the distinct change in the ground.” (3)

“As one approaches the boundaries to the higher realms, the pavements become noticeably more translucent in character and they seem to lose some of their appearance of solidity, though, indeed, they are solid enough.” (4)

“We found ourselves upon grassland, but with a striking difference. The turf upon which we were walking was infinitely softer than that of the interior of [our] realm. The green of the verdure was even brighter than we had thought possible.

“The flowers were growing in still greater profusion, and the intensity of color, of perfume, and of health-giving power transcended anything we had encountered. The very air seemed to be imbued with rainbow tints. …

“Just as we had been heavy with chill and oppression at the borderline of the dark spheres [which he had visited earlier], so were we now warmed and filled with such an elation that we were almost silent in wonderment. As we moved along, bathed in radiance, we felt such a spiritual exaltation that Edwin’s description of the visitations of personages from the higher realms at once came to mind, and I almost knew what to expect when I should be fortunate enough to witness such a visitation.” (5)

But now one of the difficulties asserts itself – he cannot breathe in this more refined atmosphere.

“We walked a little way forward, but we could proceed no farther. There were no visible barriers, but we felt that we could not breathe if we went onward. The whole atmosphere was becoming so much the more rarified the farther we penetrated, that in the end we were bound to retrace our steps on to our own ground.” (6)

But Benson had seen what he wanted to see and took back with him welcome memories of the loving souls who inhabited that higher plane.

“I could see many souls dressed in the most tenuous of garments, the soft colors of which seemed hardly to belong to them but to float about the fabric of their robes – if fabric one could call it. Those of them who came sufficiently near smiled to us with such a friendly greeting that we knew we were not in any way intruding, and some waved their hands to us.

“My friend told us that they were aware of our purpose there, and for that reason they would not approach us. They would allow us to enjoy our experience by ourselves, and quietly to absorb the beauties and splendor of this wonderful borderland.” (7)

Seeing the beauties of the higher realms excites Benson’s desire to advance.

“Standing here, one had the overwhelming desire to strive for that progression that would entitle one to inhabit one of the lovely houses [I saw around me], and to qualify for the honor of serving one of the dwellers in this higher sphere at whose gateway we were standing.” (8)

Unlike embodied souls, people on the spirit planes know that advancement is what life is all about and work hard to ensure their own progress, as Benson reports.

“We in this beautiful realm of light are all working for our spiritual advancement. It is not restricted to those who live in the dark regions. The people who inhabit the magnificent spheres above this wherein I dwell are all moving forward and upward in their triumphant progressional march. It never ceases and spiritual progress is the birthright of every single soul.” (9)

Thus, what Benson has shown us is that souls on one subplane cannot advance to the next higher subplane until they are spiritually ready. If they try to do so, they encounter difficulties such as a feeling that they cannot breathe in the higher setting.

They can descend if they like without difficulty, and many do, as we shall see later, to serve. But they cannot ascend as easily. Tomorrow we’ll look at how people from lower realms are enabled to visit the higher realms with assistance from the beings who live there.


(1) See “The Reality of Ascension on the Spirit Planes,” Sept. 26, 2012, at ; “What is Ascension Like on the Spirit Side of Life?” at ; “The Second Death: The Process of Ascension from 4D to 5D on the Spirit Planes,” at ; “The Judgment and the Second Death Explained,” at

(2) Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson through Anthony Borgia, medium, Life in the World Unseen. M.A.P., 1993, 62.

(3) Ibid., 108.

(4) Loc. cit.

(5) Ibid., 61.

(6) Loc. cit.

(7) Loc. cit.

(8) Loc. cit.

(9) Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson through Anthony Borgia, medium, Here and Hereafter. San Francisco: H.G. White, 1968 (dictated in 1957), 19.

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