In this last part of this series, I have a difficult task ahead of me. I’d like to furnish us with instances of Ascension on the spirit planes. I grant that these examples have appeared in these pages before.
And I also grant that these Ascensions are of the old variety, which our present Ascension is designed to supplant. They require a person to die to their astral forms and shed them, coming alive again, so to speak, in their mental bodies.
Our Ascension does not require us to die to our physical bodies. Instead our bodies change from a carbon base to a crystalline base, which can withstand the higher vibrations.
The Astral is the Fourth Dimension; the Mental is the Fifth. (The Mental Plane is a misnomer and does not mean a “plane of the mind.”)
Theologian Archie Mattson discusses the prospect of advancement from 4D to 5D on the inner planes.
“When a person has fulfilled his purpose and development on the astral plane, he may then proceed permanently to enter the mental plane and the higher planes, in succession, to work and develop more fully there. In that case, the astral body is cast off, as is the physical body at death, and its particles disintegrate to be reused in the creative processes.
“However, a person who has gone into the higher planes in this way can still communicate through to earth and can still manifest himself in the astral plane through materialization.” (1)
The unnamed teacher who speaks through Betty Bethards also describes this “second death.”
“When one advances through the various levels of the higher planes, there is an initiation which takes place which allows the soul to shed his ‘outer layer’ (as when he shed the physical body). The heavier matter which makes up your coat for one level is shed for a lighter coat when you move to the next. You shed your old beliefs and lessons and attune to your new body, a little like a snake shedding its skin.” (2)
American philosopher William James intuits that his second death is going to happen. He felt premonitions of becoming too small for his psychological quarters.
“I feel myself growing out of myself in a certain fashion. My adopted characteristics are becoming too small and cramped to contain my new growth and development, and I will move on most certainly to larger psychological quarters. It is not only the physical body we outlive, but the psychological house we have chosen. First after death we add new rooms and suites to accommodate our greater experience, but it is soon obvious that the entire structure has had its day. We must move out of it completely.” (3)
Her work finished in 4D, Frances Banks considers leaving the rest home she has been attached to and entering 5D.
“I am like a creature hibernating and yet, at the same time, sloughing off a skin which I no longer will be needing. I feel, sometimes, like a snake gradually shedding its skin. These coils of lower density are slipping away from me. I am emerging from regrets of earth memories, from disillusions, from idealizations which become illusions, ephemeral and of no true worth.
“I am viewing each piece of skin which peels off from me in its right connection with the true Self which it served to obscure. And more and more I become thankful for the Reality which, God be praised, was there beneath the skin, all the time.” (4)
She continues to observe the dissolution of her astral body. Most people lie down and go to sleep, so to speak, during this process, but not psychologist Frances. She observes the whole process.
“I realize that what is passing from me, like sloughing a skin, is insubstantial, impermanent, decomposing, as it drops from me into a dusty nothingness. What is left is essentially Light, is Reality, is permanent and is true. I call this my new Body of Light and that, indeed, is what it truly is. A Body of Light, not dense and material and dull and heavy as the physical body, not insubstantial, shadowy and unreal as the astral body in which I have been sheltering, but brilliant, ‘encelled’ with Light, ethereal in that there is no weight, no dragging down into matter but is enmeshed with colour and beauty and form and substance.
“Is that a difficult conception? You must remember that I am forming this, my spiritual Body, or should I be more correct in saying I am merging into it. That sounds a paradox but then much to which I am becoming adjusted here is paradoxical when viewed in the light of the restricted thinking of the human mind. I still have a mind, I still have a body, but both are inevitably changing and because of that I feel as if I am emerging, like a grub from a chrysalis, to a butterfly. Gradually I can function more readily and for deeper periods in my Body of Light, and, in it, can commune with more advanced Souls and imbibe their wisdom.” (5)
And finally Dr. G., who is sensing that his time for transitioning is drawing near, tells T.E. Lawrence (the post-mortem Lawrence of Arabia):
“‘The timelessness of our life,’ he said, ‘misleads us into thinking that there is no longer any period to our happiness. We have no lengthening shadow of old age to put a natural limit to our activities and so, when we are happy and easy, we think it can continue indefinitely.
“‘But I know there are natural period in our time here and that I am approaching one of them. I could perhaps disregard the intimations and stay on here [in the Astral Plane], but, if I did so, I should be perverting the pattern. So you see, even this paradise may be enjoyed for too long lest it thwart one’s proper growth. …
“‘I am growing old in this [astral] body and shall soon be done with it. Then I shall go on to explore this wonderful universe on another level [i.e., the Mental Plane].’” (6)
As Dr. G. spoke, “the illumination of his wise spirit made a glory around him and was more convincing than many words.” (7)
Lawrence comments: “I had heard about this second death and transition to the next sphere…. Now it seems that I may be privileged to watch it happening to another.” (8) In fact Lawrence does watch it.
Lawrence describes here the Ascension of Dr. G. from the Astral Plane to the Mental Plane:
“The end came suddenly. I called on him and was told that he was sleeping. We stood around and watched his still form and the light which waxed and waned there. In a breathtaking second the change came. The light gathered itself together and burnt itself to a keen thought of light so intense and inward that we gasped and turned aside. Then it had gone and only a wraith of our friend remained which shrank away and disappeared as we watched.
“We sat speechless, absorbed in the beauty and meaning of the transition. It was long before anyone broke the silence and then one said: ‘I have heard that some time is needed for a spirit yto get sued to the new conditions, just as we needed time to adjust when we first came here, so we must not expect our friend to come to us yet. I suggest that when an interval has elapsed we should meet here again and wait and hope for his coming.’ We agreed to do this and went off full of thought to our various occupations.” (9)
Later Dr. G. descended to pay Lawrence and his friends a visit. Lawrence describes it:
“Dr. G. has kept his promise to come to us but he appeared when we were least expecting him. Some few of us were sitting quietly talking when his voice suddenly took up the parable and as we looked up, startled, we saw the outlinbes of a form which speedily filled in and took substance and there he was among us again.
“He brought with him an exalted air and we felt his presence as a spiritual baptism, a stream of pure joy absorbed hungrily by our thirsty beings. Light and happiness glowed up in us too with the pleasure of heightened being. He stayed only a short while … and left us again.” (10)
So, in this series, we’ve seen that going higher up the spirit planes can only be done once one has progressed sufficiently to tolerate the higher vibrations. Those who cannot tolerate them must return to their alloted place. Once one is ready to ascend, one experiences what is often called on the other side “the second death,” letting go of the astral body and awaking in the mental body.
However our Ascension will not be like this. For the first time in history, we’ll ascend in our physical bodies which will have changed from a carbon to a crystalline base.
(1) A.D. Mattson in Ruth Mattson Taylor, ed., Witness from Beyond. New Cosmic Concepts on Death and Survival from the Late A.D. Mattson, S.T.D., through the Clairvoyant Margaret Flavell Tweddell. Portland, ME: Foreword Books, 1975, 45.
(2) Unnamed spiritual teacher in Betty Bethards, medium, There is No Death. Novato, CA: Inner Light Foundation, 1976; c1975, 17.
(3) William James through Jane Roberts, medium, The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher: The World View of William James. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1978, 159.
(4) Frances Banks in Helen Graves, Testimony of Light. London: Churches Fellowship for Psychical & Spiritual Studies, 1975; c1969, 124.
(5) Loc. cit.
(6) T.E. Lawrence through Jane Sherwood, medium, Post-Mortem Journal. Communications from T.E. Lawrence. London: Spearman, 1964, 76.
(7) Loc. cit.
(8) Ibid., 77.
(9) Ibid., 78-9.
(10) Ibid., 83.