(Continued from Part 3.)
Many of us are experiencing the reconvening of the soul group prior to Ascension. The members of the Nova Earth Foundation team are privileged to be able to ask Archangel Michael or our other guides about our connections.
We’ve found that we’ve been in all manner of connection and relationship together in other lifetimes – siblings, spouses, spiritual companions, etc., during lifetimes with Jesus, St. Francis, in Atlantis, and so on.
I’m sure the same will be found by others as their soul groups also coalesce.
Frances Banks and Donald Macleod encountered their soul group while still in the Astral Plane or on visits to the Mental Plane, but visits like these may be exceptional. Or they may prove the spur to arouse the individual from a happy life on the plane of desires, kindling the urge to progress.
Let’s listen to afterlife residents describe the coming together of their soul group. This section is so large that we’ll need to make two articles out of it.
Re-uniting with the Group Soul
Archdeacon Wilberforce describes the bonds that tie people together in groups on the other side of life.
“All who are in the sphere of love and light dwell in families, communities, groups, the binding force of which is love, love alone, sympathy, mutual affection. There you have less one-sidedness than on earth. It is a world of mutual loves and affections and pursuits.” (1)
Journalist William Stead tells us that personality subsides and impersonal love binds all on the first subplane of the Mental Plane. Notice the tie between impersonal love and unitive consciousness.
“Those who stand the tests … pass to another and altogether different and lighter land – and each becomes impersonal. Impersonal in the sense that they are no longer Jack Brown and Madge Black; they are now pure spirit people and their former love, which had been a personal and individual thing, is no longer for one but equally for all. All are alike to all. The purest tissue of God Love binds one and all.” (2)
Independence means less and less to us on the higher spirit planes, “Magnus,” a pseudonymous member of “Imperator’s” (Malachi’s) group, tells us.
“In spirit-life we do not talk of independence. That is a fallacy of earth. Spirits are in union and communion mutually interdependent. They are joined in rapport with those from whom they have learned, or to whom they have taught somewhat.” (3)
An anonymous teacher makes implicit reference to the Second Death, which we’ll look at in a later article (not necessarily in this series), as being an important factor in the drawing together of the group.
“Men will lose all the shells of unwanted matter accumulated around them … of a soul kind … and will become a spiritual and blessed company of brethren.” (4)
The Second Death is when “the shells of unwanted matter” will fall away, just as Ascension will see the remnants of our lower dimensionality fall away from us.
Donald Macleod was approached by members of his soul group while he lay relaxed on the Astral Plane:
“As I lay entranced, soaking in the reflected glory of the heavenly fields, I was approached by a number of souls. They greeted me kindly and told me that they were members of my group.” (5)
Frances Banks was also contacted while she was working in a rest home in the higher Astral and taken for a visit to her soul group on the lower Mental. Her description is of enough interest to cite at length.
“Do you recall that in the early communications from the Rest Home to which I first graduated for service, I recounted the story of a certain doctor, the surgeon who had, whilst in the earth body, fallen victim to drug addiction? You remember that, with him, I visited a Group and was in communication with a number of advanced Souls.
“On several visits I met and communed with these Minds which have reached high standards of consciousness and wisdom. Sometimes they patiently explained Group workings to me. One, a fine and illumined Soul instructed me: ‘Seek for your own place. Ask that Light may open your mind to that which is for you, that your vibratory rate may be increased to respond to the vibration of your Group, that you may become aware of them, for they are very close beside you.’ …
“Suddenly, as I looked upon my old friend, Father Joseph, when we were attending a patient in the Home, I beheld, not the usual brown habit with which I have always associated him, but a ‘surround’ of glorious blue which clothed him. It seemed that I looked right into him. My inner eyes were opened. I knew. His smile was gentle but all understanding as he said: ‘My child! Welcome home!’
“The words were sufficient, the contact was made. It had been necessary for me to await enlightenment, but he had always known. I found it difficult to leave the Home and Mother Florence where I had been so happy. But the prospect of progress was inspiring.
“Besides, I was comforted by learning that Mother Florence would be visiting the Group to which I was going from time to time, as she too was one with it, yet perforce chose to remain at her duties in the Home until all her ‘flock’ had been safely welcomed to this side of life.” (6)
Sometime after her visit, she joins her soul group permanently.
“I cannot make explicit to you the ‘mechanics’ of my move to the Group, partly because I yet am not entirely cognizant of all that occurred myself, and partly because there is no pocket of thought in your mind which could ‘receive’ such information.
“This I can offer for your consideration and that of the readers: whilst I was meditating in my golden garden, I found myself ‘transported’ back to that Temple of Learning where once before I dared to penetrate. Only this time, Father Joseph (I now know him by another name) was with me.
“Together we joined a cluster of entities about a Teacher. Immediately I experienced a rise of consciousness, an upsurge of joy, a mingling of unity and harmony which coloured my whole being. I cannot explain this in any other terms though I doubt whether they will have the same connotation for you.
“I knew this was right for me. I had come into my own. There was no definite acceptance, the entire operation was unobtrusive and simple, yet I had the conviction that all was well, that I was amidst my fellow-travellers on the Way.
“‘What is this Group called?’ I flashed silently to Father Joseph. He smiled.
“‘What have you always sought, my child – Reality!'” (7)
Psychic Research Society president Frederic Myers contrasts those who still cling to individuality with those who are drawing closer to their soul brethren. He predict that the group will draw closer and closer together until it functions as one.
“On the lower rungs of this ladder of consciousness dwell those souls who still cling to human habits of thought, to the earthly personality, to their own individual line of thought.
“The higher the ego climbs on the ladder of consciousness, the nearer it draws to other kindred souls. I have already told you that there may be a thousand, a hundred, or merely twenty souls all fed by one spirit. Their consciousness of comrade-souls increases on the higher levels of existence.
“In time they are able to enter into the other souls’ memories, perceive their experiences and be sensible of them as if they were theirs. Mind becomes communal in the last stages, for the spirit, the unifying principle, is tending all the time to produce greater harmony, and therefore greater unity. These various individuals are merging more and more, becoming one in experience and in mind, and thus attaining to undreamt-of levels of intellectual power.” (8)
Some people wedded to individuality may not accept Myers’ arguments, but the soul-group connection melts the selfishness we built up on Earth.
“Men and women may not care to accept these statements of mine. They long either for an indestructible individuality in the Hereafter or for a kind of spiritual swoon in the life of God. You will perceive in my analysis of the group-soul that we are individuals and members of one whole.
“And when you come to the Fourth [higher Astral], and more particularly to the Fifth stage [lower Mental], you will realize how fine and beautiful is this brotherhood within the one being; how it deepens and intensifies existence; how it destroys the cold selfishness so necessary to an earth life, where one living creature must continually destroy another’s manifestation in matter in order to maintain its physical life.” (9)
Myers describes how his life on Earth was spent half as an individual and half as member of his incarnated soul group.
“Here, in the After-death, we become more and more aware of this group-soul as we make progress. Eventually we enter into it and share the experiences of our brethren. You must understand, therefore, that existence for my soul — as separate and apart from my individual ego — is dual. I lived two lives, one in the world of form, and one subjective, in the community of which I am a member.” (10)
He introduces the notion that sometimes we may reincarnate and take on karma for the group.
“When I was on earth I belonged to a group-soul, but its branches and the spirit — which might be compared to the roots — were in the invisible. Now, if you would understand psychic evolution, this group-soul must be studied and understood. For instance, it explains many of the difficulties that people will assure you can be removed only by the doctrine of reincarnation.
“You may think my statement frivolous, but the fact that we do appear on earth to be paying for the sins of another life is, in a certain sense, true. It was our life, and yet not our life. In other words, a soul belonging to the group of which I am a part lived that previous life which built up for me the framework of my earthly life, lived it before I had passed through the gates of birth.” (11)
(Concluded in Part 5.)
(1) Philemon [Archdeacon Wilberforce] in Henry Thibault, Letters from the Other Side. [Letters from Archdeacon Wilberforce or “Philemon.”] London: 1919, 96-7.
(2) William Thomas Stead, The Blue Island. Experiences of a New Arrival Behind the Veil. Estelle W. Stead and Pardoe Woodman, eds. London: Rider, n.d., 147.
(3) Spirit communicator Magnus in Stainton Moses, More Spirit Teachings. Spirit Writings. Electronically published by Meilach.com. http://www.meilach.com/spiritual/books/morest/mst02.htm, n.p
(4) Anonymous teacher of the White Eagle Lodge in Paul Beard, Living On. How Consciousness Continues and Evolves After Death. New York: Continuum, 1981, 127.
(5) Donald Macleod in P.I. Phillips, Here and There. More Psychic Experiences. London; Corgi Books, 1975, 16.
(6) Frances Banks in Helen Graves, Testimony of Light. London: Churches Fellowship for Psychical & Spiritual Studies, 1975; c1969, 140.
(7) Ibid., 140-1.
(8) Frederic W.H. Myers through Geraldine Cummins, medium. The Road to Immortality. Being a description of the after-life purporting to be communicated by the late F. W. H. Myers [Frederic William Henry Myers, 1843-1901]. Located at http://www.trans4mind.com/spiritual/cummins/cummins1.html, n.p.
(9) Loc. cit. There is no consistent way of referring to the various planes of the afterlife, which is frustrating.
(10) Loc. cit.
(11) Loc. cit.