Understanding Soul Contracts – Part 4

When we pass over into the other realms of life, we reach a point where we feel the urge to examine how well we accomplished the purposes we set out for ourselves in our soul contract. This inquiry into the success of our efforts is not the rapid life review that occurs when we first transition. It is a much longer and more intense evaluation. It’s popularly known as the “Judgment.” SaLuSa refers to it here.

“Be assured that when you pass over and return to the astral planes, you will clearly understand all facets of your life. You will review your life, and this can be a sobering time when you find out how well you have done where your life plan was concerned. The vibrations of Earth dull your senses, and it is not until you rise up higher that you can fully grasp the purpose of life on Earth.” (1)

God will not preside over the life review from His Judgment Seat, An angel will not weigh our soul in a scale.  None of that is accurate. Instead we ourselves will compare what we accomplished in life with what we set out to accomplish.

We’ll have assistance if we wish and need it. Sometimes a single guide, sometimes a group of guides, in person or simply sensed as being around us, will assist us through the difficult patches.

I’d like to allow a person who actually passed through the Judgment to offer her account of it. Frances Banks was a 20th-Century psychologist who spent a portion of her life as a nun. Here is a short biographical note:

Frances Banks “was an outstanding woman in many fields of endeavour” and a deeply spiritual person. For twenty-five years she was a Sister in an Anglican Community in South Africa, during which time she was the principal of a teachers’ training college.

She was the author of many books on psychology and similar subjects. Eventually she left the community and, during the last eight years of her life, she and Helen Greaves worked together psychically and spiritually. Because of this close relationship, after her death in 1962 Frances Banks was able to communicate, “by telepathy and inspiration”, with Helen Greaves resulting in the series of scripts which have been published as The Testimony of Light.

In the scripts, transmitted over a period of two years, she recounts her experience of death “… and the change into a new conception of living, …”. As Helen Greaves says: “She gives us freely of her further knowledge of the progress of the soul outwards, upwards and forwards into Divinity.” This book is a classic of communication across the barrier of death. (2)

Frances does a wonderful job of describing her own Judgment and that of others with whom she worked at the astral hospital or rest home that she worked in for the first few years after her transition. Some are tormented by what they see; others are released from torment.

Lessons that escaped Frances on Earth become clear as she compares her blueprint with her life as she lived it, taking time to work her way through her self-examination. She starts by describing the “documents” she used in her review. This is a fascinating walk through the process, the most detailed description I’ve seen in the literature of life after death.


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 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. (3)

Again, I have been studying the ‘Blueprint’ of these last years in the light of this new understanding with which I am learning to review the past. This new angel of approach, which is a deeper understanding, has been fostered in my mind…, partly by this new freedom from the demands of the body, the emotions, and the pressing of others upon my will; but partly by the wise counsel of [dear friends and counsellors].

Sometimes we have a ‘round-table conference’ here (rather like a council meeting) and then I put all the questions that bother me to wiser minds than mine. Always I receive answers that fully explain, even though I sometimes have to rationalize the meanings to my own particular conception.

This is a slow process. I progress slowly. (4)

I struggled, fasted, sought for what was already present, perfect and everlasting within me. Like most of us in the body life I was in illusion; lost in glamour. I looked for the Spirit to reveal itself to me, when all that was necessary was ‘relaxation [into] God’ The Spirit was always with me, veiled because physical sight could not view it. The great secret of finding that Spirit was ‘letting go’ of self.

I, who longed so much for the touch of the divine, who dedicated my life to religious work, who read lives of the saints for their examples, who delved into the science of psychology, extrasensory perception, and all psychic phenomena, as well as into the occult sciences, who denied myself the usual sensual and reproductive life of a human being; who truly tried to obey the precepts of the Master, as related in the New Testament, I had not accepted the simple Reality of those word: “Behold, I am with you even unto the end.”

I had not been able to let go and let the Spirit absorb me. As I now see my thoughts, actions, aspirations from this angle, I am realizing that the very tenseness of my striving was my undoing and it barred the way to that very union for which my soul longed. (5)

Slowly I seemed to melt into an all-embracing meditation and contemplation such as I had never before known. It was a truly wonderful experience.

At last, it seemed, I had “broken through” that barrier which throughout the entire period of my earthly life, had barred my way. (6)

Light, Divinity, Reality … all-pervading consciousness … were there for my acceptance. Much greater progress would have been made by ‘letting go’ of all these human images and by allowing the spirit to absorb me. Relax and allow the Spirit to stream through you. Swim with the tide of the Spirit. That is the great lesson I am learning here as I review my mistakes.

Now I am ‘in the Spirit.” … There was no ‘break-through’ to Spirit, of which I once so glibly talked. There is only a gradual absorption of that amount or degree of Spirit which the openness of the soul can accept. This degree, as I appreciate now, must be governed by the Law of Progress, for the Spirit is never limited, only ourselves as receptacles govern the degree of its entrance.

This is indeed a salutary lesson. (7)

I am content to meditate upon past mistakes and to see how they can be reconciled into the Pattern as well as to learn lessons of incarnation from the stories of those who come to us here. … The essential remains. The unessentials are slowly being stripped away so that the joy of the Spirit remains and an abiding peace. (8)

I still have to go over and over again in my mind the possibilities I had when on earth, the failures and mistakes I made…. I still baulk at admitting much that was, perhaps, reprehensible and which could have been managed without my human bungling. (9)

You see how this purgatorial experience works? We don’t alter fundamentally. But, bit by bit, we move away from earth ideas and limitations and advance more into Light and Wisdom. (10)

The journey itself is compensation enough for the trials of earth existence and for the emotion of judgment in action of those trials and my individual response to them, from which judgement I am now emerging. (11)

Some of our patients here have got ‘stuck.’ And that is where I, who myself am undergoing this kind of mental and spiritual ‘psychiatry,’ am able to help them. That is partly why I have elected to stay on here [in the convalescent hospital] for a space. I shall stay until my own course has become clear (both past and possible future) and until I have been able to rectify the places in the chain where I have failed.

My experiences as a teacher, a religious, a psychologist and an earnest seeker after the spiritual life are of great value now. I have some background on which to draw and which might (and sometimes does) help those who are too timid, or frightened, or guilt-ridden, to attempt the work [of the Judgment] for themselves. (12)

Lots of those here have got ‘stuck’ on their ‘first picture.’ So we (the Sisters here in the Home) try to link up with these great ones and bring help and strength to the stumblers’ level. (13)

According to the reactions after the first shock of individual examinations of Blueprints of their earth lives, so is our method of helping them. With understanding, extreme gentleness and certainly no hint of censure, the Sisters explain the Rest Home and its purpose. The newcomers are then introduced to the idea of an expanding progress and are encouraged to right the wrongs they have done in their earth lives by concentrated thoughts of forgiveness and compassion. (14)

There was one man in the wards. He had been brutal and bitter to his wife and family. Now he is stuck. He has spent a long period of your earth time (though there is no time as such over here), since his changeover to this life, in being tied to the places and the people where his cruelty and his bitterness had been exercised.

Now he is here, and is trying to go on. But the film reel of his life appalled him; and he has become completely immobile. (15)

But now I must tell you of the wonderful experience which has ‘released’ [the surgeon who became a drug addict under the pressure of his work] from wrong judgment, blame, and remorse. I was allowed to participate in this experience. (16)

Suddenly, without preamble, [the] blue vista [of the surgeon’s Judgment] broke up and became a cinema or television screen. Pictures began to emerge on it. They were not superimposed as in a cinema, but seemed to ‘grow into it’ from the very ether itself. These pictures appeared to form themselves.

They showed moments of stress, moments of triumph, moments of failure in the earth life of Doctor X. We saw patients; we watched him in his diagnoses; we followed him to the theatre and witnessed his operations, and, as we watched, we became conscious (as he did) of the great Light that enfolded him as he worked. …

The pictures on the ‘screen’ went on and on. We were taken into the lives, families of those on whom the Doctor had performed his successful operations. We saw the benefit to humanity, the healings, the resumption of happy, useful lives which were the results of this man’s skill. Even when he was working under the influence of drugs (as he said) we were allowed to view the results of what he had accomplished.

I was more than moved; I felt wrung with compassion and a new understanding. Here was a man, standing before the bar of his own judgment, and the scales were showing the balancing up of his actions, and the resulting effects of his service. And when we were shown the skill and success with which he brought a great musician back to health and strength, the scales seemed almost to balance. That musician (now in the Halls of Music in the Spheres) was enabled to go on and leave the world the richer and more exalted by his performances, to add his portion to the beauty that penetrates the materialism of earth-thinking; to lighten, with glorious sound, that darkness into which men sink, and to uplift their spirits in thankfulness to the Creator.

As the film of his life unwound before us, the Doctor saw (though he could scarcely credit it) that he had indeed done his part. He had followed his Pattern, worked out his Blueprint, even though he had badly smudged it in the performance.

At the end he saw! He understood.

His fault had been a weakness in the soul’s contact with the personality which he had allowed to widen until it threatened to break completely. But he had been released before that had happened. His failure had been his refusal to delve into that Inner One whom he knew; to contact Him deliberately and reverently at times other than when the ‘Celestial Surgeon’s’ skill was needed. The Light had been within him and about him and he had comprehended it not.

If I should say that there were tears in his eyes when the revelation ended, I would be partly right. There were tears in his soul; tears for lost opportunities. But also tears of relief.

I am indeed learning that we must not judge from our very partial understanding. This man, failure as he had seemed, had achieved much. He had been a ‘channel of Light’ even though he had tried to ignore the implications of this and even despite the fact that his personality had sunk into a bog of illusions. (17)

[The doctor] confesses that the conviction that he had failed in this round haunted the last years of his time on earth. (18)


(1) SaLuSa, April 3, 2009, at


(3) All quotes are from Frances Banks, Testimony of Light through medium Helen Greaves. London: Churches Fellowship for Psychical & Spiritual Studies, 1975; c1969. 34-5.

(4) 36-7.

(5) 102-3.

(6) 52.

(7) 103.

(8) 105.

(9) 37.

(10) 41.

(11) 125.

(12) 33.

(13) 35.

(14) 86.

(15) 36.

(16) 44.

(17) 45-6.

(18) 47.

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