I’d like to look a little at the notion of our “soul contract.” But before looking for the most part at Matthew Ward’s material, since he’s the teacher who predominantly uses the phrase, I’d like to spend a little time looking at the event in which each person takes their soul contract in one hand and their lives as lived in the other and compares them.
The event in which this occurs is called “the Judgment.” Yes, there is a Judgment. No, God doesn’t weigh our souls in a scale or send us to everlasting punishment or anything even remotely like that.
We judge ourselves. The very best way I can illustrate this is to offer psychologist Frances Banks’ own recitation of her Judgment, from her book Testimony of Light (Helen Greaves, medium), as recorded in New Maps of Heaven. Frances is one of the few people I know who underwent the Judgment while still on the Astral Planes. Most wait, again as far as I’m aware, until they reach the Mental Plane. (The Astral Plane is equivalent to the Fourth Dimension; the Mental Plane to the Fifth.)
She worked in a Rest Home on the other side, which means she helped the newly-arrived to rest from their illnesses and adjust to the new environment. She suggests that some of her patients in the Home also went through phases of the Judgment. I have never heard from anyone else the suggestion that numbers of people do it that soon after their transitions, but Frances has great integrity and so I don’t doubt her account.
Please don’t confuse the Judgment with the full-life review that happens immediately before or after “death.” The Judgment is a very deep experience; the full-life review, superficial in comparison. The difference might be similar to that of flipping a number of pictures to simulate a movie and watching a real, digitally-crisp film. The first is a mere shadow of the second.
So here is Frances Banks, working her way through her life assessment, with an unseen guide at her side.
“Somewhere in the deeps of my mind, two ‘blueprints’ are brought forward into my consciousness. These are so clear that I can (literally) take them out, materialize them and study them. One is the Perfect Idea [i.e., soul contract] with which my spirit went bravely into incarnation. The other is the resultant of only a partially-understood Plan … in fact my life as it was actually lived.
“It was a shock to me, and a very salutary experience, to find that these two plans differed exceedingly. And yet, one learns so much by facing the results….
“In a way the blueprints resemble maps, with coloured places, and light and dark patches, and a kind of glowing ‘sun’ for the high-lights. First of all the mind looks at the whole comparison and sets the blueprints side by side. This is the first shock; a true humbling of yourself to find that you did so little when you would have done so much; that you went wrong so often when you were sure that you were right.
“During this experience the whole cycle of your life-term unfolds before you in a kaleidoscopic series of pictures. During this crisis one seems to be entirely alone. Yours is the judgment. You stand at your own bar of judgment. You make your own decisions. You take your own blame…. You are the accused, the judge and the jury.
“This is where quite a few souls in this Rest Home have become immobilized. Their pictures were too searing in their exposures. So we try to help them along, but only when they have made the ‘inner desire’ to right their wrongs. Until that decision I do not know what happens to them, but I should think that they are ‘prisoners of the self.’
“Immediately they become ready to face themselves again, they are guided to these beautiful and peaceful homes. Here, the Sisters devote their love and thought, their skill and experience, to aiding the ‘stumblers.’
“The second stage of this recapitulation starts when the soul feels strong enough and calmed sufficiently to take the earth life, round by round (so to speak). Then the blueprints are brought into the mind again; only this time the start is made from the moment of departure from the body. The mind works slowly, oh! so slowly, backwards through one’s experiences. (I am not confessing where I have reached in this exercise!) But I will tell you that now you seem no longer alone.
“‘Someone’ is beside you. Whether it is your own High Spirit or a Great Helper I have yet to discover. Only now, as you ponder, work out, go over, tabulate and judge what you did and why and what were the results (good or bad) you are gloriously ‘aware’ of this great Being beside you, giving strength, peace, tranquility, and helping with constructive criticism. This is a wonderful experience, though harrowing at times. But very cleansing and bringing new hope.”
From Frances Banks, Testimony of Light, 34-5.