Continuing with our discussion of the bliss that we’ll experience after Ascension, I’d like now to turn to afterlife communications on the subject from the compendium New Maps of Heaven. (1) My hope is that approaching the subject from three angles (5D, afterlife, and spirituality) will help overcome the lack of an actual experience of the bliss that’s being referred to.
First, let’s have a look at the bliss that’s immediately available to Fourth-Dimensional residents. Private Dowding has just arrived on the Astral Planes, killed in the First World War, has been shown to a rest hall and is lying down next to a fountain.
“My brother helped me into one of these Rest Halls. Confusion at once dropped away from me. Never shall I forget my happiness. I sat in the alcove of a splendid domed hall. The splashing of a fountain reached my tired being and soothed me. The fountain ‘played’ music, colour, harmony, bliss. All discordancies vanished and I was at peace.” (2)
We should be aware that the experience of bliss on the Fourth Dimension is nowhere near as fulsome as it is on the Fifth. It comes and goes and has its highs and lows. But it’s greater than it is for us on the Third Dimension.
Here’s Willis Coleman, who like Private Dowding, has just arrived in the Astral Plane and his first awareness is of bliss such as he had never imagined.
“I was ill for a time and left the old earth in an unconscious state. It seemed to me I was drifting, drifting slowly into the dark, but not a terrible dark; a time of rest in which I was content. Then into the darkness came a faint light, and the light grew stronger and brighter, and through all my being there ran a thrill of life, life in abundance. Then I awoke to a vision such as I had never dreamed. Beauty, love, all seemed blending in one beneficent power about me, and I felt enveloped and translated into a bliss I had never imagined. Such is heaven.” (3)
T.E. Lawrence has been told by his guide, Mitchell, to make the acquaintance of a woman on the Astral Plane, to address his lack of sexual experience, having led a celibate life. He sends him to an area of the plane where women also go who have the same deficit.
“‘These girls,’ he said, ‘are not prostitutes or anything like it; they are women who have missed sexual experiences during their earth life and need to work out this lack before they can progress, just as we do. So we are all in the same boat and start equal. You will find some lovely people here.’ “(4)
Lawrence explains the difference between sex on the physical plane and on the Astral. Anyone who has watched the movie Cocoon has an idea of the bliss that the mingling of auras brings. Lawrence describes his therapeutic liaison.
“Much of my reluctance had left me when Mitchell [Lawrence’s guide for the newly arrived] explained the differences between sexual relationships here and those known on earth. To understand them it is necessary to remember that there has been a total change in the body substance and that the basis of all relationships here is purely emotional.
“One does not think how handsome, nor how plain another person is but judges them entirely on the quality of their auras or emanations. When an attraction between the sexes is felt, it is a pure emotion of love and the urge is to draw near and share the warmth and beauty one desires. Lust as such is hardly possible in this plane. If union takes place it is an interfusion of the two bodies and an ecstatic and satisfying experience far more lovely than anything one could experience in an earthly body. There is no question of the procreation of children so that all the more sordid side of sexual relation is unnecessary.
“‘You know,’ said my friend, ‘You are wrong to try and minimise the importance of sexual life. It is one of the problems most men have to solve when they come here. We have to come to terms with a body compacted of emotion and far more highly charged than before. There are other regions where things are done just as on earth although no children are produced. I have known men who have been with us for a time but have been so obsessed with this business they hankered after the old ways. They will probably find them unsatisfying after a while and will come back to us again, but they have to work it out for themselves.’
“We entered a large and friendly gathering of young people and were made welcome. Groups formed and dispersed and there was an air of expectation and excitement about which had its effect on us all. I found a girl who pleased me and who was gracious enough to approve of my company and we were both glad to improve our knowledge of each other. She was small and slight, radiant yet veiled in her own tentativeness. We wandered away together absorbed in comparing our earth experiences and soon we became friendly and comfortable together. I was charmed by the ease of this feminine comradeship; we were both curious and expectant; we both admitted freely our lack of experience and our need to remedy it, yet we shared a great diffidence and a sensitive approach.
“I did not return to the home for a long while. We two have wandered happily in an enchanted land exploring the delights of an intimate companionship crowned by the magic of union. She is very lovely; at her heart is an innocence, joined to a flame-like ardour and between us we create a burning bliss of union. I am intoxicated with happiness and for a time have forgotten all my problems and difficulties. Without sorrow we both begin to feel the beginning of the inevitable withdrawal and we have discovered that neither of us had expected a permanent relationship. This has brought no disappointment but rather gratitude for a perfect experience shared. (5)
So far we’ve listened to people talk about moments of bliss on the Astral Plane or Fourth Dimension. Steady bliss is not our lot until we reach the Mental Plane or Fifth Dimension.
Now here’s Frances Banks, beginning to leave the Astral Planes or 4D and visit the Mental Planes or 5D. Again what she’s most aware of is the ecstacy, joy, or bliss.
“I cannot hope even to transmit the enveloping peace, the sense of tranquil being that envelopes one with this transition of consciousness. It is the breakthrough for which I longed when on earth and which I only experienced in infinitesimal moments of Union. It is the Reality of Being. It is joy beyond words. It is in truth an ecstacy of living, of being a live, alert Self in a world of Live and Glorious Selves within a consciousness of a Great Creative Self. I cannot express this feeling of Inner Spirit more clearly.
“And I must add that I am but a tyro yet in achieving even this measure of consciousness. Neither can I hold it indefinitely at my present stage of evolution. Perhaps the intensity of it would, so to speak, burn me up until I am attuned to this stepped-up frequency of vibration. It is intense joy, unqualified bliss, the aim and acme of all the struggles to discover the Spirit.” (6)
Julia Ames tells us that “the lowest heaven,” by which she means the first subplane of the Mental Plane or 5D, “is higher than the most wonderful vision of its bliss that you ever had.” (7) The experiences available in 5D, Frederic Myers tells us, are “mightier [in] their inspiration, more profound [in] the despair they arouse, inconceivable [in] the bliss they stir within the deeps of your being.” (8)
Now I’d like to move to the third spiritual context and look at discussions of bliss by Earth’s own spiritual teachers, taken from the compendium From Darkness Unto Light. (9) To begin with, let’s remember, as Ramana Maharshi says, that a good working definition of God (if such be possible, which it is not) is as “existence-consciousness-bliss.” (10) Since we and God are one, Ramana says, “one’s [own] true nature” is also “unbroken Awareness-Bliss.” (11)
When we realize ourselves, Shankara says, what we realize is “God dwelling within; as unending, unalloyed bliss.” (12) Ramana agrees and tells us that “your nature is Bliss.” (13) Da Free John also reminds us that our “basic nature is unqualified enjoyment or bliss.” (14) So bliss is who we are and what we find when we realize who we are.
Paramahansa Yogananda describes a stage of enlightenment in which the Holy Spirit touches the seeker. He says that touch “contains the all-coveted bliss of God. … On the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the new wine of joy coming from the touch of Aum [Aum/Amen is another name for the Holy Spirit], or the comforting Holy Vibration.” (15)
The great sages tell us that anyone who experiences unending bliss forgets about the world, which should answer the question of whether or not we’ll miss our 3D activities. Says Sri Ramakrishna:
“If a man enjoys the Bliss of God, he doesn’t enjoy the world. Having tasted divine bliss, he finds the world insipid. … Can worldly pleasures and sex pleasures be compared to the bliss of God? If a man once tastes that bliss, he runs after it ever afterwards. It matters very little to him then whether the world remains or disappears.” (16)
He’s even more graphic in this second comment: “After enjoying divine bliss, one looks on the world as cow-droppings.” (17) Those who knew Sri Ramakrishna, like Swami Shivananda, knew the master’s attitude: “His example and precepts deeply impressed on us the extreme insignificance of worldly joys before the ineffable bliss of God.” (18)
When she contemplated the difference between the bliss we received from possessions and experiences vs. the bliss that we get from spiritual elevation, Mata Amritananda told us: “The happiness that we get from worldly objects is only an infinitesimal fraction of the bliss that we get from within.” (19)
All the world’s sages have found themselves fulfilled by the bliss that we’ll be experiencing in 5D:
Anonymous Author of the Cloud of Unknowing: “This is the everlasting miracle of love. … To know it for oneself is endless bliss; its contrary is endless pain.” (20)
Bayazid of Bistun: “I drank glass after glass of love; Neither did the wine finish, nor my thirst.” (21)
Blessed Henry Suso: “[My] heart was hungry, yet satisfied, [my] soul was full of contentment and joy: [my] prayers and hopes were all fulfilled.” (22)
Maurice Bucke: “Upon his heart fell one drop of the Brahmic Bliss, leaving thenceforward for always an aftertaste of heaven.” (23)
Dante: “O joy! O ineffable gladness! O life entire of love and of peace! O riches secure without longing!” (24)
Walt Whitman: “The ocean filled with joy — the atmosphere all joy! Joy, joy, in freedom, worship, love! Joy in the ecstacy: Enough to merely be! Enough to breathe! Joy, Joy! All over joy.” (25)
This bliss will be ours.
What Swami Brahmananda tells his students exactly describes our situation upon Ascension: “The one purpose of life is to know God. Plunge deep into the sea of bliss and become immortals.” (26) We’ll do exactly that. We’ll plunge deep into the sea of bliss that awaits us on the Fifth Dimension and become immortals.
Now let’s pause. We’ve heard the Company of Light tell us that the reward for all our trials will be bliss after Ascension – pure, absolute and everlasting. We’ve heard the residents of the Fourth Dimension discuss the limited bliss they feel and some residents of the Mental Planes or Fifth Dimension discuss the much deeper bliss they feel. And we’ve heard some of the great sages and saints of Earth talk about bliss as the reward of all spiritual endeavors and voice their longing for that bliss which, so long as we live in a Third-Dimensional body, cannot be as complete an experience as it is to an ascended being.
That bliss will compensate us for any sense of loss and it’ll be the reward for our having chosen to ascend and for the work we do to ensure our Ascension. Bliss is what we need to remember if we ask ourselves why are we willing to give up so much. Bliss will prove to be ample reward for all our trials.
(1) New Maps of Heaven is to be found at http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/nmh/nmh-index1.html
(2) Private Thomas Dowding in Wellesley Tudor Pole, medium, Private Dowding. The Personal Story of a Soldier Killed in Battle. London: Neville Spearman, 1966; c1917, 20.
(3) Willis Coleman to Charlotte E. Dresser in Fred Rafferty, ed., Dresser, medium, Life Here and Hereafter. Author’s edition. Downloaded from http://www.harvestfields.ca/ebook/02/001/00.htm, 2 Feb. 2008, 61.
(4) T.E. Lawrence through Jane Sherwood, medium, Post-Mortem Journal. Communications from T.E. Lawrence. London: Spearman, 1964, 31.
(5) Lawrence, PMJ, ibid., 31-3.
(6) Frances Banks in Helen Graves, Testimony of Light. London: Churches Fellowship for Psychical & Spiritual Studies, 1975; c1969, 123.
(7) Julia [Julia T. Ames] through W.T. Stead, medium, After Death. A Personal Narrative. New York: George H. Doran, n.d.; c. 1914, 52.
(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) From Darkness Unto Light can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/fdl/index100.html
(10) Ramana Maharshi in Anon., Who Am I? The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sarasota, FL: Ramana Publications, 1990, 12. [Hereafter WHO.]
(11) Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 24-5.
(12) Shankara in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher lsherwood, Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1975; c1947., 56.
(13) Ramana Maharshi in Venkatramiah, Munagala. Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Downloaded from http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/books.htm, 31 August 2005 Question 197.
(14) Da Free John, The Knee of Listening. Original Edition. Clearlake, CA; Dawn Horse Press, 1984; c1973, 157.
(15) Paramahansa Yogananda, The Second Coming of Christ. Dallas: Amrita Foundation, 1979, 1, 19.
(16) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 756-7. [Hereafter GSR.]
(17) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 753.
(18) Swami Shivananda in Anon., A Bridge to Eternity. Sri Ramakrishna and His Monastic Order. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1986 , 12.
(19) Mata Amritanandamayi, Awaken, Children! Vallicakavu, India: Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust, 1, 8.
(20) Anon., The Cloud of Unknowing trans. Clifton Wolters. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1978; c1961, 55.
(21) Bayazid of Bistun in Muhyidden Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d., 16.
(22) Blessed Henry Suso in Laski, Marghanita. Ecstacy in Secular and Religious Experiences. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1961, 424.
(23) Bucke of himself in Maurice Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness. A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. New York: Dutton, 1969; c1901, 10. [Hereafter CC.]
(24) Dante in CC, 77.
(24) Walt Whitman in Bucke, CC, 78.
(26) Swami Brahmananda in Swami Prabhavananda, The Eternal Companion. Brahmananda. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1970; c1944, 54.