The Judgment

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Last revised: 14 Apr. 2011

Contents

The Judgment: Does it Occur on the Astral Plane, the Mental Plane – or Both?

Taking Stock of the Irrevocable Past

Matthew Ward's General Discussion of the “Lifeprint Review”
Intimations of the Judgment without Reference to Plane
Asserting Residency on the Astral
Some Descriptions of the Judgment Occurring on the Astral Plane
Some Descriptions of the Judgment Occurring on the Mental Plane
Intimations that a Judgment Occurs on Many Planes
Frances Banks Recalls Past Lives while Still on the Astral Plane
The “Recording Angel”
Examples of Penance
Examples of “Karmic Puzzles”


The Judgment: Does it Occur on the Astral Plane, the Mental Plane – or Both?
A book that I consider one of the best on the conditions of life after death – Paul Beard’s Living On - holds that a personal examination of one’s own life, called the “Judgment,” occurs in the First Heaven or first subplane of the Mental Plane. Beard expresses his awareness that trying to locate an experience exclusively in one plane or subplane can lead to a “necessarily oversimplified structure.”

Schematic statements … are bound to be faulty or misleading, however honourably constructed. These maps are incomplete. Hence it can become confusing if they are laid, like tracings, one upon the other. (1)

In dealing with the experience called the Judgment, we run into precisely the problem that Beard anticipated. Instances of it can be found happening, not only on the Mental Plane, but on the Astral Plane as well.

Beard has designed his book to cover three stages of early postmortem life.

The purposes of the early, or comparatively early, stages of the next life are first to enable a man to recognize and shake off his illusions, often by continuing to live within them until their illusion becomes clear to him; second, to come to recognize himself in a far more objective way; and, third, to discover how to reach and live more fully within those parts of his nature which he had not expressed whilst on earth.

These three stages can roughly be equated with [1] the illusory state known as the Summerland, [2] the judgement, and [3] life in the First, Second, and Third Heaven. (2)

In Beard’s scheme, the Judgment occurs after the traveler has left the Summerlands, which are the highest subplanes in the Astral Plane, and acclimatized him or herself to the First Heaven. The Judgment is represented as the prelude to the Second Death, itself, I believe, the passage to the Second Heaven.

Once he has put the Summerland behind him, the traveler, as we have seen, has thereby made himself more ready to meet experience at a deeper level. What he next finds is likely to bring him certain surprises. (3)

The traveler is now able to face the process of finding how he has become what he is as a result of how he dealt with the experiences he underwent on earth, which have gradually made up his present feeling-thinking being. (4)

In due course, everybody meets the experience known as the judgement. (5)

However, credible accounts exist that suggest that travelers in the Astral Plane may go through all or part of the Judgment there as well. Frances Banks describes not only her own experience of the Judgment while still in the Astral Plane, but also the experiences of many of the residents of the Astral-Plane recuperation centre in which she works. A.D. Mattson also reports that the Judgment occurs for many people on the Astral Plane. Ethel McLean gives her experience of the judgment, which for her occurs within a very short time after her transition and upon the first “day” of her arrival on the Astral Plane.

Banks acknowledges that her rest home, at which she is a psychologist, is founded specifically to help afflicted spirits, who are having trouble going through the Judgment, handle that experience and that rest home is on the Astral Plane.

Mattson’s work as a theologian also brought him into counselling others on matters like our faults and failings and the expiation of sin. It’s from this perspective that he discusses the Judgment. McLean simply seems to have been a spiritually-developed person, strong enough to take the Judgment right away.

Beard anticipated the need for revision in the early treatments of this field. All connections drawn must be considered tentative and subject to revision.

As a working hypothesis, I suggest that the Judgment may occur whenever the individual is ready for it and that it may even begin and stop and begin and stop, as the individual shows some readiness and then is overwhelmed by the emotional impact of what is seen. Banks’ descriptions of others going through the Judgment (below) illustrates this stop-and-start movement.

In light of this, I have divided examples of the Judgment into instances that appear to have taken place on the Astral Plane from those that appear to have taken place on the Mental. In the rest of the chapter, I have merged the accounts.

Wherever the Judgment occurs, we must be careful to distinguish it from the instantaneous “full-life review” that happens immediately before or after death. The full-life review is seen alone, and proceeds quickly and objectively whereas the judgment is seen with one’s teacher and is experienced slowly and subjectively. On the full-life review, see here .

References

For full details on these sources, see Bibliography

(1)Paul Beard, LO, 180.
(2)Ibid., 73.
(3)Ibid., 95.
(4)Ibid., 96.
(5)Ibid., 97.

Taking Stock of the Irrevocable Past

Matthew Ward's General Discussion of the “Lifeprint Review”

Akashic Records contain complete, accurate, trustworthy accounts of all universe-wide happenings within eternity and All That Is. Lifeprints, which are as unique as your fingerprints and more impervious to alteration, form each soul's records, and each lifeprint is a separate file in the Akashic Records.

A lifeprint is like a lifelong movie, omitting not a single aspect or instant. The information it contains, which automatically and indelibly is registered in energy form, is every thought, every action, and the consequences of every action throughout the lifetime of the person.

Every action is registered as the deed itself plus the intent and all feelings associated with it. Not only are the person's feelings about every action and its results recorded, but the feelings of all the people whose lives were affected by those actions.

After the soul has recovered stability from the previous lifetime and is nourished spiritually and psychically, (1) it is completely aware of its cumulative soul. It is this cumulative soul, with its collective wisdom and knowledge and spiritual growth of all personage lifetimes, that reviews the lifeprint.

The reviewing process is felt exactly as those feelings were experienced not only by the person, but all the people who were affected by his every action. So you can see that it is quite an experience!

The cumulative soul's judgment of its previous lifetime is the ONLY judgment of it. You have heard that only God is your judge and you have heard that even God does not judge. Either way, this refers to the lifeprint review.

Because we all are fragments of God and therefore inextricably connected, it is accurate to say that only God, in each personage, judges. And it is just as accurate to say that He doesn't judge at all, because only the cumulative soul whose last personage lifetime is under review judges it.

In this intimate review the soul evaluates how well it learned the lessons presented during the previous lifetime. A lax assessment of which lessons were thoroughly learned and which were not may be addressed by the Council or other highly evolved beings whose recommendations are meant to assist that soul's preparation for the next incarnation.

The lifeprint review also identifies lessons remaining, thus enabling the soul to choose those it wishes to experience in its next lifetime. This entails examining karmic connections and selecting a family to be born into for the genetic and beginning environmental influences.

There is another of aspect of the lifeprint records that is relevant when the soul discusses the next life and lessons with advisers. Lifeprints are not cast in marble by the physical death of the individual. Their elastic form permits alteration of the record if another soul interfered with the soul's chosen experiencing.

If that interference seriously diverted the soul from its chosen pathway, by divine grace the lifeprint may be altered to reflect that. The affected soul may incur "positive" karma or may pass altogether if remaining lessons do not include that unplanned experiencing. The soul who caused the diversion incurs "negative" karma, which is registered in his lifeprint.

Suzy: With so many entries, how can the lifeprint be safeguarded from either honest error or tampering?

Matthew: The lifeprint's continuous and automatic updating throughout each lifetime of the soul is done only by that soul. Since the record is energy registrations entered simultaneously with the soul's every vthought, action and feeling, there simply is no room for error. If a soul even thought about manipulating entries to its favor, that unscrupulous thought would also be registered.

The energy of the lifeprint is compatible only with its soul's energy, and therefore it can be changed only by an infusion of identical energy. If tampering were attempted, a signal would alert the record keepers and the would-be infiltrator would be recognized through his own unique energy coding. With this foolproof safeguard system, no soul would be so foolish as to try to alter another's lifeprint.

Furthermore, lifeprints cannot be accessed easily for examination, and never merely out of curiosity, For the sanctity of each soul's experiences, permission to enter frivolously is denied by means of that energy encoding.

As a transition assister, I have valid reason for entering the records of the souls whose lifetime information I need for maximum help to them.

The needs of each arrival I assist and my function carry reciprocal energy that constitutes his implied consent to my entering his record, and our energy meshing is my automatic access code to it.

Part of the intergalactic warring has been to gain dominance over the records, for either annihilation or to establish a new coding system that would allow the visitors to manipulate the records. Ashtar is the oversoul energy commanding the forces that operate and protect the records. I cannot imagine the mechanics involved in their responsibility for an awesome mass of energy in its countless forms, all the way from each soul's records up to the coalescence of All That Is. (Matthew Ward, MTMAH,191-4.)

Intimations of the Judgment without Reference to Plane

As he has made those on earth suffer, so he himself suffers. (1) (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 53.)

(1) In the Judgment.

You on earth cannot judge a man’s life. We dare not judge it. (1) (Unnamed discarnate teacher in Paul Beard, LO, 191.)

(1) No spirt judges another; we judge ourselves.

Your own conscience is your judge: you judge yourself and far more harshly than any tribunal of judges could. (Donald Macleod in HT, 12.)

No two souls are judged in exactly the same way, as no two people have reacted in the same way to their life experiences as you can readily understand. Each can speak only of his individual experience and reaction; for this, of course, is a personal assessment, a self-judging and self-assessing of his spiritual advancement. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 34.)

With the realization of what you are, what you did in previous experiences and incarnations, comes remorse and repentance. Then you come into contact with the full flood of forgiveness from the higher powers and know what mercy, pity and love are. Heaven is the realization of how much good you have done to others and how much happiness you have brought them. (1) (Donald Macleod in HT, 12.)

(1) By “heaven,” Donald means the Mental Plane.
When I saw myself - saw the mistakes, the wrong thinking and wrong doing of my earthly life - the revelation filled me with dismay. It is this last discerning of our own earthly lives that fulfills the old teaching of the 'judgment day.'

Remember that every good act, every loving, unselfish service, is registered upon the spirit and helps to prepare a brighter future for the soul when it arrives here. Why will the earth people be so blind? How can we emphasize more strongly the truth, that mortals are preparing their future lives now, and that their heavenly state is for them to choose? (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 9-10.)

You see that the evil which men do lives after them and it is this evil which is the scourge and punishment of all. We have all sinned and we have all things to put right and to undo. But the joy of those who love is to be able to set about doing this and to know that it can be done. (Julia Ames, AD, 184.)

[Knowledge of this past life] is shown to you by a group of people. There is no term for this group that you would understand fully. Let us say a loving board of directors. They include your guidance and those who have walked with you and worked with you during this incarnation from the other side. In other words, people who were out of the body during your life, walking through the experiences with you, are the only ones who would be allowed to see some of your akashic record. (Unnamed spiritual teacher to Betty Bethards in TIND, 12-3.)

Something you should know is that, when we pass over to the astral world and review our life, we grieve more over the sins of omission than the sins of commission. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 76.)

What we are trying to do and what you are trying to do is to become balanced on all levels – to become whole persons endeavoring to learn from mistakes made and from right actions done and to build all this into a unified whole. This is a continuing process. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 78.)

Is it nothing that we teach you that each act in this, the seed-time of your life, will bear its own fruit; that the results of conscious and deliberate sin must be remedied in sorrow and shame at the cost of painful toil in far distant ages; that the erring spirit must gather up the tangled thread and unravel the evil of which it was long ages the perpetrator?

Is it nothing that we tell you that words and deeds are as the pebble thrown into the stream which causes an ever-widening ripple, ceaselessly enlarging in its effects, and that for such influence you are accountable; that every word, every act, is of incalculable import in its results and influence; that the good which your influence produces is to you a source of gratification hereafter, while of the ill you must view the baleful effects in agony and remorse?

Is it nothing that we tell you that reward and punishment are not delayed till a far-off day faintly imagined, after a period of torpor, almost of death, but are instant, immediate, supervening upon sin by the action of an invariable law, and acting ceaselessly until the cause which produced it is removed? Is this no incentive to a life of sanctity and holiness? (Spirit leader Imperator in ST, 92.)

Sin carries with it its own punishment. Nor will you find a convenient substitute on whose shoulders you may bind the burdens which you have prepared. (1) Your own back must bear them, and your own spirit groan under their weight. Neither will you find encouragement to live a life of animal sensuality and brutish selfishness, in the hope that an orthodox belief will hide your debased life, and that faith will throw a veil over impurity. You will find the creed taught by us is that acts and habits are of more moment than creeds and faith; and you will discover that that flimsy veil is rent aside with stern hand, leaving the foul life laid bare, and the poor spirit naked and open to the eye of all who gaze upon it.

Nor will you find any hope that after all you may get a cheap reprieve—that God is merciful, and will not be severe to mark your sins. Those human imaginings pale in the light of truth. You will gain mercy when you have deserved it; or rather, repentance and amendment, purity and sincerity, truth and progress will bring their own reward. You will not then require either mercy or pity. This is the religion of body and spirit which we proclaim. It is of God and the days draw nigh when man shall know it. (Spirit leader Imperator in SRE, 23.)

(1) I.e., Jesus.

Though there be no formal judgment such as has been imagined, at a far-distant day, in [the] presence of an assembled universe, when the Recording Angel shall produce the Books of Doom, and the Christ shall sit in judgment, and shall condemn the sinner to an everlasting hell; though there be none of this, yet … every act is registered, every thought recorded, every habit known as a factor in the future character.

We would show you that the judgment of condemnation needs no paraphernalia of assize, but is conducted in the silent recesses of the soul itself. No judge is there but the voice of Spirit communing with itself, and reading its own doom. No books but the records of conscience; no hell but the flame of remorse that shall eat into the soul and purge it as by fire.

And this, not in a far-off future when the arisen myriads of humanity shall all have been gathered up, but instant on death, quick as consciousness awakes, sure as the soul stirs in the new life. (1) This too, not subject to a faint perhaps, in a dim and hazy light seen far off down the vista of the future, but sure and certain, instant and inevitable. We would teach you this.

For it has been said of us that our Gospel (2) removes the terror from religion, by which motive alone the most of men may be governed and restrained, and substitutes for it a faith which teaches salvation for all, whatever their deeds may be, whatever creed they may profess. We do not teach any such insensate creed. You know it; but you need to have repeated again and again the truth on which we have been insisting: Man makes his own future, stamps his own character, suffers for his own sins, and must work out his own salvation. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 185.)

(1) Some Judgments occur very soon after death, such as those of T.E. Lawrence, Ethel McLean and Frances Banks. Imperator is speaking from the vantage point of several thousands years in the spirit world so that his temporal perspective may be a bit telescoped. He may also be including the full-life review, which happens around the time of death (sometimes before, sometimes after) in the scope of his statement.

(2)I.e., the Christian gospel that says all one must do to be saved is acknowledge Christ as his or her personal saviour. Imperator’s “New Revelation” denies this.

(3) Akashic Records contain complete, accurate, trustworthy accounts of all universe-wide happenings within eternity and All That Is. Lifeprints, which are as unique as your fingerprints and more impervious to alteration, form each soul's records, and each lifeprint is a separate file in the Akashic Records.

A lifeprint is like a lifelong movie, omitting not a single aspect or instant. The information it contains, which automatically and indelibly is registered in energy form, is every thought, every action, and the consequences of every action throughout the lifetime of the person.

Every action is registered as the deed itself plus the intent and all feelings associated with it. Not only are the person's feelings about every action and its results recorded, but the feelings of all the people whose lives were affected by those actions.

After the soul has recovered stability from the previous lifetime and is nourished spiritually and psychically, (1) it is completely aware of its cumulative soul. It is this cumulative soul, with its collective wisdom and knowledge and spiritual growth of all personage lifetimes, that reviews the lifeprint.

The reviewing process is felt exactly as those feelings were experienced not only by the person, but all the people who were affected by his every action. So you can see that it is quite an experience!

The cumulative soul's judgment of its previous lifetime is the ONLY judgment of it. You have heard that only God is your judge and you have heard that even God does not judge. Either way, this refers to the lifeprint review.

Because we all are fragments of God and therefore inextricably connected, it is accurate to say that only God, in each personage, judges. And it is just as accurate to say that He doesn't judge at all, because only the cumulative soul whose last prrsonage lifetime is under review judges it.

In this intimate review the soul evaluates how well it learned the lessons presented during the previous lifetime. A lax assessment of which lessons were thoroughly learned and which were not may be addressed by the Council or other highly evolved beings whose recommendations are meant to assist that soul's preparation for the next incarnation.

The lifeprint review also identifies lessons remaining, thus enabling the soul to choose those it wishes to experience in its next lifetime. This entails examining karmic connections and selecting a family to be born into for the genetic and beginning environmental influences.

There is another of aspect of the lifeprint records that is relevant when the soul discusses the next life and lessons with advisers. Lifeprints are not cast in marble by the physical death of the individual. Their elastic form permits alteration of the record if another soul interfered with the soul's chosen experiencing.

If that interference seriously diverted the soul from its chosen pathway, by divine grace the lifeprint may be altered to reflect that. The affected soul may incur "positive" karma or may pass altogether if remaining lessons do not include that unplanned experiencing. The soul who caused the diversion incurs "negative" karma, which is registered in his lifeprint.

Suzy: With so many entries, how can the lifeprint be safeguarded from either honest error or tampering?

Matthew: The lifeprint's continuous and automatic updating throughout each lifetime of the soul is done only by that soul. Since the record is energy registrations entered simultaneously with the soul's every thought, action and feeling, there simply is no room for error. If a soul even thought about manipulating entries to its favor, that unscrupulous thought would also be registered.

The energy of the lifeprint is compatible only with its soul's energy, and therefore it can be changed only by an infusion of identical energy. If tampering were attempted, a signal would alert the record keepers and the would-be infiltrator would be recognized through his own unique energy coding. With this foolproof safeguard system, no soul would be so foolish as to try to alter another's lifeprint.

Furthermore, lifeprints cannot be accessed easily for examination, and never merely out of curiosity, For the sanctity of each soul's experiences, permission to enter frivolously is denied by means of that energy encoding.

As a transition assister, I have valid reason for entering the records of the souls whose lifetime information I need for maximum help to them.

The needs of each arrival I assist and my function carry reciprocal energy that constitutes his implied consent to my entering his record, and our energy meshing is my automatic access code to it.

Part of the intergalactic warring has been to gain dominance over the records, for either annihilation or to establish a new coding system that would allow the visitors to manipulate the records. Ashtar is the oversoul energy commanding the forces that operate and protect the records. I cannot imagine the mechanics involved in their responsibility for an awesome mass of energy in its countless forms, all the way from each soul's records up to the coalescence of All That Is. (Matthew Ward, MTMAH,191-4.)

Asserting Residency on the Astral

When people step out of the physical body, (1) they ponder … their lives as a sort of self-judgment. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 74.)

(1) “When people step out of the body” places the person on the Astral, the Borderlands being a time of recuperation, with no trials expected of the newly-transitioned.

Something you should know is that, when we pass over to the astral world and review our life, (1) we grieve more over the sins of omission than the sins of commission. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 76.)

(1) Mattson establishes his residency on the Astral Plane.

Cause and effect is still the Law on this plane of astral matter, (1) as it is on earth. (Frances Banks, TOL, 97.)

(1) Banks acknowledges that she resides on the astral plane.

There is no compulsion, of course, to review one’s past life on earth as soon as one arrives and the new life here begins. (1) Some take a long while to tackle the problem. They dread to see the effects of mistakes and failures. (Frances Banks, TOL, 33.)

(1) “As soon as one arrives” places Banks on the Astral Plane. She did not arrive in the Mental Plane until much later in the course of her description of her journey.

One has only to have a glimpse of the Planes of Mind, (1) where emotions have been conquered and transmuted into aspiration, to realize the wonder of Creation and the Love of God for His creatures. (Frances Banks, TOL, 88.)

(1) If Banks has only glimpses of the Mental Plane, she must reside on the Astral.

I’m not really Real here! (1) This too is merely the shadow which is but a shell, or covering, of something else. I’m on a journey still … perhaps to the centre, certainly to a higher point, but what this is I scarcely dare imagine. I’ve only peeled off the outer shadow yet, the outer skin … rather like peeling skins from an onion. One goes on shedding; it seems an eternal process. (Frances Banks, TOL, 59.)

(1) Here is the Astral Plane.

I know that I have to remain where I am and do just what I am doing until I have shed more of the shadow-covering. (Frances Banks, TOL, 59.)

Some Descriptions of the Judgment Occurring on the Astral Plane

Ed. For a description of self-judgment on the dark plane, see here.

When people step out of the physical body, they ponder … their lives as a sort of self-judgment. They go back in retrospect and this pondering weaves itself into a web. They are bothered by feelings that they have transgressed. They must eventually come to the realization that all can be forgiven and wiped out. In my own life I have made some mistakes which I regretted and which I held in my mind for a while. When I suddenly realized that holding onto guilt feelings wasn’t doing me any good whatsoever, it was as though a wind came and absorbed this web of regrets. As I watched, it disappeared into nothing.

The web of guilt stays with some people a long time on the astral. However, many others work through it within three, / four, or five days of death, and they come forth like shining souls without it. People who have pondered over their lives in their old age or during a long illness, before death, are steps ahead. They do not have to go through as much retrospection to shed their web of guilt after they pass over to the astral world. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 74-5.)

I am trying to shed some of the clutter of the personality. We all have to do that…. And there are three ways in which to carry it out here. By self-judgment and true assessment of experiences; by service to one’s fellows; and by aspiration. (Frances Banks, TOL, 60.)

Somewhere in the deeps of my mind, two ‘blueprints’ are brought forward into my consciousness. (1) 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. (2) 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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 34-5.)

(1) There follows one of the best descriptions of the Judgment known to me.
(2) The “stumblers,” as she calls them, stop the Judgment and start it and stop it and start it.

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 36-7.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 102-3.)

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. (1) (Frances Banks, TOL, 52.)

(1) Banks had said that she had tried to storm the walls of Heaven and that this had been her major failing on earth. Now she relaxes into the experience and finds the peace she failed to realize on earth.

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 103.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 105.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 37.)

I am free, as far as my progress will allow, and believe me the barriers are in one’s own consciousness, to pursue my explorations into the nature of Eternity. The only hindrances to progress are from one’s limited reception of Light. (Frances Banks, TOL, 105.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 41.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 125.)

Here I dwell temporarily amongst my fellow religious in a community which is entirely dedicated to helping souls to awaken to greater freedom before they proceed onwards to their ‘rightful places’ and to the extent in which I am allowed to participate, I am learning more and more of the true values of each soul’s / experience in all the worlds through which it is destined to pass in its progress towards Divinity. (Frances Banks, TOL, 107-8.)

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 (1) for themselves. (Frances Banks, TOL, 33.)

(1) The work Banks points to is enduring the Judgment.

Here [in the Rest Home] no one is kept against his will or desire. Mostly the patients are happy enough and wish to stay in this temporary security. They cannot move on until they have (literally) seen the Light, or at least as much of the Light as they can assimilate at their present stages. (Frances Banks, TOL, 37.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 35.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 86.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 36.)

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…. (Frances Banks, TOL, 44.)

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. (Frances Banks, TOL, 45-6.)

[The doctor] confesses that the conviction that he had failed in this round haunted the last years of his time on earth. (Frances Banks, TOL, 47.)

Dad had taken me to the beautiful home that all the family had helped prepare for me. … You, girls, would love my present home. Well, I still had this unaccountable feeling of unrest, so [I] felt I must have a period alone to adjust myself. / Thought takes immediate effect here. It is, at times, quite disconcerting. Everyone simply vanished. I felt myself quite alone and not a little frightened. The whole landscape, too, seemed to fade away and it was as though I was standing on the top of a mountain, looking down on a sea of mist. Then pictures began to form (1) and I found myself reviewing every event in my earthly life in detail, feeling all the emotions of love, or hate, or indifference, in an intensified form, which accompanied each detail of living. But this vision was, somewhat, expanded.

Above and surrounding the vision of my own life, I beheld the pattern I had created in the lives of others through my reaction to each situation. I, too, felt emotions of those who had been influenced by my thoughts or actions for either good or evil. The terrible reactions of hate and bitterness appalled me, for in this I seemed to have been particularly guilty, especially against the Germans. You, girls, will understand this, for you know how bitterly I resented the boys’ deaths in the 1914-18 war.

A vast black cloud seemed to build up around me, with searing flames of terrible intensity. It was as if I were experiencing all the suffering and heartbreak of all humanity. Particularly did I feel the despair of mothers of all nations, who had lost their sons in battle. I realized the cosmic unity of all those who grieve. Below were the black clouds of despair, from which leapt upwards the searing flames of hatred. I saw the grey smouldering corruption of the battle-fields throughout the ages and I beheld the multitudes of bewildered souls, struggling for release from their shattered bodies.

In this way I realized the full horror of war in all its implications; the sufferings of all humanity, torn by fear and hate. This, I felt, is the pit of everlasting flame. It seemed I was, indeed, in hell. I knelt and prayed aloud / for deliverance, not only for myself, but for all mankind, for I had seen that all are one in the pattern of the whole, yet that each individual holds a personal responsibility in the Great Scheme. I longed to do something, anything, to eradicate my personal guilt.

The blackness faded and the flames died down. All about me became a whirling impenetrable grey mist in which I was groping. I was conscious of others near me, yet they did not seem to see me. I was in a lost world of indecision, yet I felt there was a guiding voice that was leading me on, if I would but pause to listen. The words of the 23rd Psalm, always my favourite, as you all know, came to my mind.

’I shall fear no evil for thou art with me.

I kept repeating the verses to myself and, presently, I saw a shaft of light penetrating the mist. I made my way towards it. As I drew nearer, I found the light was given out by a radiant being, an angel in very truth. He stretched forth his hands towards me and said: “Come with me.”

I cannot describe to you the wisdom and compassionate understanding of that radiant presence. I felt awed and elated, humbled, yet exalted. He led me to the brink of what I shall always think of as the Mount of Revelation. Again, I experienced my earth life in relation to others. (2) This time I was shown what one might term the credit side; the unfolding of light generation by love, the small kindly actions and the power of positive thoughts.

This vision, also, faded and I was reviewing the pattern as a whole, patches of darkness shading imperceptibly into light. This was the progression of my soul. The purpose of seemingly tragic events as experienced on earth, was revealed to me, together with the subtle process of build/ing of individual character; through adversity came the gradual awakening of the soul.

I realized the purpose of my life. It was a tremendous revelation! I was granted a glimmer of the perception of the wonderful underlying and enveloping perfection of God in all creation. Oh, my darlings, if only I could pass on this understanding to each one of you! But I am so grateful that I am allowed to tell you of my experience. If my feeble efforts to describe it give you any measure of understanding, I shall be so happy.

It was told me that I would be brought into contact with all those others whose influence had, in any measure, affected my earth life, or that I, in turn, had influenced by my thoughts, words or deeds, whether on the credit or the debit side.

It is, in this way, that one’s status of service is determined on this plane of life and one is given the opportunity to right past wrongs, if one has the desire to do so. There is no compulsion, for one is free to do exactly as one likes about one’s individual progress.

I am told that there are many who refuse to accept responsibility and that these sink back into the grey spheres of inertia and indecision, until they are prepared to face up to their own realities. It has not been easy to convey to you this description – to put a poignant spiritual experience into words – but there are many, I am sure, who will receive a certain measure of understanding from it all. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 30-3.)

(1) The first phase of the Judgment – the debit side - begins.
(2) The second phase – the credit side - begins.

Some Descriptions of the Judgment Occurring on the Mental Plane

I have had the wonderful illumination of being transported by thought, temporarily, to a Plane (1) where I was in contact with a great Soul, a Sage, and Advanced One, a Teacher of Wisdom Who is of the Divine Company. (2) His Face flashed into sight before me. I knew Him. There was no need for speech.

In the manner of this new dimension to which I am becoming accustomed, I understood in silence all that He was communicating to me. It was as if my journeys were unrolled be/fore me on a screen of colour and movement, yet without sound. I was entranced and at times joyful, sad, proud and ashamed.

Yet He never uttered a word of blame. He smiled with infinite understanding as once again, only this time on a vaster and more detailed scale, the Blueprint (3) showed with definite markings, the little triumphs as well as the failures of my endeavours.

“I am, I was, I always shall be” – I recall thinking. As if in answer I saw Him – in flashes – as He was when I contacted Him in my various states of Being, for He had played a part in many experiences and always as the Brother, the Mentor, the Inspirer.

“And I knew Him not,” I thought with sadness. “I remembered Him not.”

As I looked again at Him I saw that His Face was the Face of infinite, limitless Love. In my inner ‘ear’ sounded the words “Neither do I condemn thee.” … I was suffused with new joy, great hope and a deep strength of consciousness. I was so moved that I found myself weeping inwardly. And when I recovered myself, the vision was gone and I was back in my garden, contemplating the glory of Life Eternal and the Way of endless possibilities. (Frances Banks, TOL, 112-3.)

(1) The next plane above the Astral would be the Mental Plane.
(2) The one who assists Banks to benefit from the Judgment.
(3) Banks’ word for the instrument by which the Judgment proceeds.

At first there is nothing done but what is both helpful and comforting – later there is a refining process to be gone through. …

On being established here, in the Real World, (1) each one is interviewed by one of the Advanced Spirit Instructors and the whole record of earth is discussed and analyzed. Reason, motive and result. The full and detailed record contains everything, there is nothing overlooked, and this is the time for paying the bill. Each is interviewed alone, and there is a minute analysis of all events, acts and thoughts. Then there is the making good to be gone through, the sum total to be paid ...for all our thoughtlessness and our unkind acts and words — all that have had direct results must be paid for.

We have then to spend time in close touch with earth, in order, by influence, to make good for our past misdoings; make good as far as possible. Also we have the knowledge and full sight of the results of these earlier acts, and they do not bring happiness; but after that state is passed and we can bring all these things into proper perspective and form a table of work, which will gradually and continually be working out the results and troubles we have caused, then we can each one settle down to live here in freedom. (W.T. Stead, BI, 131.)

(1) I.e., the Mental Plane.

Once in this Real World, and once [past] the first initiation and payments of debts, we are free to do as we wish, (1) but we have to progress or we ourselves curtail our liberties. It is not an enforced progress, we can take our own time about everything, but we must not allow any of earth's instincts to increase in their power over us. We have to learn the new conditions and live for them entirely. (W.T. Stead, BI, 133-4.)

(1) This freedom is a feature, as far as I am aware, of the Second Heaven.

When coming to this land, that whole record has to be dealt with. (1) Not by a judge in wig and gown, but by our own spirit selves. In spirit life we have a full and clear remembrance of all these things and, according to the quality of these individual thoughts, so we are brought into a state of regret, happiness or unhappiness, despair or satisfaction. It is here that we meet with the desire to make return, to put right all the discomfort and distress, minor or major, as it may be, caused by thoughtless mind action whilst on earth. (W.T. Stead, BI, 96.)

(1) In the Judgment.

I want you all to try and realize the results you are making, the unhappiness you are causing others, and the regret and sorrow you are laying up for yourselves in the next world when you have to face the conditions you have made. Remember that your minds are the generating houses. You are building up whatever is to be your next condition, precisely and exactly by the lives you are leading on earth, by your thoughts and by the degree to which your body controls your mind instead of your mind ruling supreme.

So long as you are upon earth you are Body (Physical) and Soul (Mind) and Spirit (Self). When you come here you are Mind (Soul) and Self (Spirit) only. Therefore for your own future happiness it is essential that your Mind should rule during earth life. It is for you to say whether it shall do so.

If you are willing to pay your bill when you come over, carry on as you are, but there is no further credit given, you have to settle it here. If you are a quarter as practical as you each and all think you are, you will see to it that the mind leads. It can lead very delightfully, although you may think it leads only to religious restriction—it does not only lead there; it leads to all earth's pleasures, all earth's enjoyments, but it always holds the ruling hand, and can stop at the right time, whereas the body cannot, and so it runs up debts which have to be paid, and paid sometimes very dearly and bitterly. (W.T. Stead, BI, 97-8.)

I have overcome most of the hardships now. I have passed a test. (1) It was not easy but then the feeling of success is glorious. … The period of self-contemplation has ended. Part of my ego is still occupied with it, but for a few hours I may enjoy again the pleasures of sublime existence. (Sigwart, BOTR, 35.)

(1) Probably the Judgment.

How can I tell you or describe my sensations during that frightful ordeal? Imagine yourself drenched with cold perspiration and feeling that horrible sensation that fear brings. So, I think, would most people be affected. Everything was shown to me and I saw how easily I could have avoided this or that, how simple it would have been if I had made myself find time for that! I wanted to weep and could not. I had no means of expressing my most frightful anguish or the terrible feeling with which I watched my crimes, for they looked like crimes in that intensified appreciation that is relative to spiritual wholeness. I watched and I watched! You do not get any mitigation. (Unnamed spiritual teacher to Ivy Northage quoted in LO, 100-1.)

Every one of us, no matter who he may be, has at the bottom of his being a layer of dregs, of which he is not aware. I did not know how true that was until I came here. ‘Purgatory’ is not a fancy, it is a reality. We are good people, you and I, and when coming here I expected to find only glory and delight, but after the first feeling of liberation has passed we are brought … directly face to face with the various departments of our I. … I assure you it is then – and then only – that one learns what self-knowledge means and it is not difficult to draw the conclusions. You cannot even imagine all the revelations that result from such objective encounters with our ‘I’ when seen under … different aspects. There are some very unpleasant moments to pass through, I can assure you. (Albert Pauchard quoted in LO, 101.)

Intimations that a Judgment Occurs on Many Planes

You know well that the whole existence is steadily progressive or retrogressive. The spirit incarnated in your world settles for itself its position after it has been freed from the body, by the deeds done in the body. According as they have been good or evil, they cause it to gravitate to a higher or lower sphere, or to a higher or lower state in the sphere for which it is fitted. When the place is settled it comes to pass that those who are entrusted with the mission educate it, and purge away false notions, and lead it to ponder on former sins, and so to desire to remedy their consequences. This is the first step in progress.

The purification continues until the spirit has been so far cleansed as to rise into a higher state, and there again the process is continued until the spheres of purification are passed, and the spirit, refined and purified, rises into the spheres of education. There further knowledge is instilled; the soul is refined and made fit to shake off still more of the material, and to undergo a further process of sublimation. And this continues until the material is entirely purged away, and the spirit is fitted to enter into the spheres of contemplation. (1) Then we lose sight of it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

(1) The implication of what Imperator says here is that the process of purgation appears to go on well past the Mental Plane.

The spirit-body, after leaving the earth-spheres, enters upon a course of purification, in process of which it passes through many changes analogous to death. Even as from the earth-body is eliminated a body more refined than it, but not dissimilar from it: so, from it again when the spirit has advanced sufficiently, is eliminated a more refined body; and so on, till the process of refinement has fitted it to enter the spheres of contemplation.

At each successive stage the spirit accretes to itself a similar body, and throws aside one which has become unsuited to it. Hence each change of state is accompanied by one somewhat analogous to death. (1)

Immediately on its release from the body, the spirit gathers a new body from its new surroundings, and is clothed with a refined substance like to the flesh it has cast off. The spirit is always encased in a body of matter, as you would say; but matter impalpable to your senses, though as perceptible to us as is the grossest material substance to yours. (Doctor [Athenodorus] in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

(1) Athenodorus as well implies that purgation is an ongoing process, possibly beyond the Mental Plane.

The judgment is complete when the spirit gravitates to the home which it has made for itself. There can be no error. It is placed by the eternal law of fitness. That judgment is complete, until the spirit is fitted to pass to a higher sphere, when the same process is repeated, and so on and on until the purgatorial spheres of work are done with, and the soul passes within the inner heaven of contemplation.

Then, in fact, there are many judgments?

Yes and no. Many and none. Judgment is ceaseless, (1) for the soul is ever fitting itself for its change. No such arraignment before the assembled universe as is in your mind. That is an allegory. In each stage of probation the spirit builds up a character by its constant acts, which fits it for a certain position. To that position it goes of necessity, without what you mean as judgment. Sentence results at once; just as the total of a number of items is ascertained without argument or judgment. There is no need for the process of a court of justice as you understand it on earth. The soul is the arbiter of its own destiny; its own judge. This is so in all cases of progress or retrogression. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 156.)

(1) Observing the process of the natural law producing a result from each action could be seen as a continuous Judgment.

Frances Banks Recalls Past Lives while Still on the Astral Plane

As the chief actor in my own particular drama, I had become, as it were, so immersed in the last act or chapter that the incidents, tragedies, lessons of the previous scenes had tended to grow misty. But now I am beginning slowly and laboriously to piece together these scenes into a whole, into a serialized effort at living. Many of the incidents which have been jogged back into my memory by the confrontation of its co-actors long obscured in my consciousness came as a shock to me. Could this have been how I thought, spoke, acted? What great similarity there is in all the acts, yet how different. The Essence is steady and serene; the persona changing and elusive.

As I meditate upon some flash of memory, some bead on the chain of experiences either on this plane, the earth plane or some other plane, the Plan unfolds itself, only partially of course, to my fascinated gaze. Did I pass up this great chance? Did I respond in such a puerile way? Did I not learn to listen to those vague memory flashes that spoke to me from time to time during all the experiences which ‘separatist’ thinking often turned into escapades? Had I sunk so far into matter that I had forgotten lessons already learned, philosophies so often established as Real to my mind?

Truly I must have. The comparisons filled me with dismay. (Frances Banks, TOL, 112.)

The “Recording Angel”

You all know that mind is the generating house for all your acts and deeds, but you do not fully appreciate the fact that every act and every thought is "booked"—is recorded. (W.T. Stead, BI, 73.)

Many people find it impossible to believe that every direct thought they have is registered … but this is so. (W.T. Stead, BI, 95.)

You do not see the elaborate scheme of work which goes on in any of your large business houses, when you buy something and do not pay at once. It is booked and passes through many hands before the bill is sent to you a little later, and having paid the bill you forget it all, but the record of that business house has it still. So with the brain; an act or a thought, no matter what the quality, is recorded for all time. Settling will come after life, and when paid the "book" is finished with and troubles no more, though the record is still there. (W.T. Stead, BI, 73-4.)

You know, the only recording angel you are answerable to is your own inner spirit. He’s the one who really keeps the books; it’s he that knows when you’ve been bad and good – not Santa Claus. (Spirit communicator “Stephen” in PP, 243.)

Bear in mind that your own inner being is really the “recording angel” you have to worry about. (Edgar Cayce, PP, 75.)

Every thought and action of man is reported in the heavens, and may, by those competent to do so, be read from time to time. These records are real and permanent, but the aspect of them and their method of construction it is not possible for us to explain. Words have been very strained to serve in the first two descriptions. Here they fail in total. I will say but this, that every thought of every man has a universal application and effect. Call it ether, or what you will, the fluid which fills these spheres is of so sensitive and so compact and continuous a substance that if you touch it with a sigh at one end of the universe the effect is registered at the other end. (1)

Here, again, "end" is not a proper word to use, for in the sense you use it, there is no significance here. But that of which I now try so lamely to come at, so that I may show somewhat of its wonder to you, is that which the Saviour Christ had in mind when, wiser than I, He did not name it with any name, / but spoke of it only as it is found to be in operation thus: "Not a hair of your head is hurt, not a fledgling falls from its nest, but the Father of All is notified." (Arnel in G. Vale Owen, LBV3, 87-8.)

(1) It is often called the Akasha and the records are called the Akashic Records.

The law is perfect / in its operation. Effect always follows cause with mathematical precision. No individual has the power to alter by one hairbreadth the sequence of cause and effect. That which is reaped must be that which is sown and the soul of every individual registers indelibly all the results of earthly life. He who has sinned against the law bears on his own soul the results of his earthly action, and there will be no progress until reparation has been made for every sinful deed. (Silver Birch, SBA, 20-1.)

You are what you are because of what you have done and you will be what you will be because of what you are now. The law of cause and effect operates in unbroken, perfect sequence, and the law of the Great Spirit is so perfect in its operation that it never fails. Though the children of the Great Spirit may cheat the laws of state, none can evade the operations of natural law, for the soul carries with it its eternal registration of what it has accomplished and you are known for what you are, not for what you are not or what you pretend to be. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

The soul is eternal and carries with it the result of every thought, of every spoken word, of every deed, and you are what you have made yourself - second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

The soul will register just that stage of attainment that it has reached by its life in your world - no higher, no lower. Just what you have made yourself to be, that you will be when death calls you to another life. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

That is why all is known. That is why nothing can be omitted. That is why every facet of life finds its place in the universal scheme. (Silver Birch, SBA, 21.)

Selfishness and sin bring misery and remorse before they can be purged away. It is not we who laid down that law, but the Eternal and All-wise. We have but pointed out to you again the operation of a law the working of which you may see all around you. We desired to point out what men are apt to forget, that though there be no formal judgment such as has been imagined, at a far-distant day, in presence of an assembled universe, when the Recording Angel shall produce the Books of Doom, and the Christ shall sit in judgment, and shall condemn the sinner to an everlasting hell; though there be none of this, yet that every act is registered, every thought recorded, every habit known as a factor in the future character. We would show you that the judgment of condemnation need no paraphernalia of assize, but is conducted in the silent recesses of the soul itself. No judge is there but the voice of Spirit communing with itself, and reading its own doom. No books but the records of conscience; no hell but the flame of remorse that shall eat into the soul and purge it as by fire. (Spirit leader in Moses, ST, 185.)

Examples of Penance

My dear, dear Alexander,

It is my urgent need to write to you on a private matter that concerns us two. I have a humiliating confession to make and must cast away all pride. … I have been a witness of the film of memory, the record of my life. … There are, as you may know, underground chambers of the mind. … I have … had a dismaying revelation of one of them. I feel I must share it with you or in future I shall have no peace of mind. …

The year before you were born … my little girl Daphne died. Then … came the lovely hope of another baby-girl to replace Daphne. Oh, I was so bitterly disappointed when I learnt this happy dream was a deluding fancy. … I repulsed my baby-son, visited any bitterness on his tiny innocent self. It was more in thought than in act. But at that very early age the babe is subconsciously acutely sensible of the mother’s emotions towards himself. … It produce in you a certain shyness and caution in regard to your apparently capricious mother.

Later … I felt remorseful and went from one extreme to the other and became devoted…. But it was too late. My tiny boy, just beginning to walk, was independent, withdrew from my kisses, rejected my impulsive, violent affection. He was deep down alarmed by it. So eventually that primitive mother became hurt and annoyed and turned away from him just when she might have won by her persistence and gentleness. Thus a psychological barrier began to grow between us. …

I see now that I was a possessive mother. … You, a sturdy little boy, refused to be owned. … Quite often I have thought evilly of you … because you were completely independent of me. … I have even in these posthumous messages written, I believe, false things about you. But these were all derived from my baffled emotional vanity because I failed in any sense to possess you.

In this life when studying our past memories we assume the mood of the time in which these memories were happening. So I beg of you to remove from your mind any cruel, false thing I wrote of you in a posthumous message. … Mine has been the initial offence all along. If you have felt a barrier between us, I beg you to forgive me my grievous fault. … Dear sons, I send you from the hither world my true love in equal shares. (The medium ‘Mrs. Willett,’ whose real name was Mrs. Winifred Coombe Tennant communicating through Geraldine Cummins in SBS, 141-3.)

One feels after the reviewing of one’s life how little one has done with all the opportunities that came one’s way. (Wellesley Tudor-Pole in AL, 76.)

We have then to spend time in close touch with earth, in order, by influence, to make good for our past misdoings; make good, as far as possible. Also we have the knowledge and full sight of the results of these earlier acts and they do not bring happiness; but after that state has passed and we can bring all things into proper perspective and form a table of work, which will gradually and continually be working out the results and troubles we have caused, then we can each one settle down to live here in freedom. (W.T. Stead in Paul Beard, LO, 112.)

Our “inner eyes” are opened gradually or swiftly to the errors of our old patterns of thinking and acting. We are allowed to progress into such experiences as will help us to put right these errors. In some this means remaining in one state until the effects of the disasters of their earth lives have been resolved and love and harmony have healed the hurts. For others, this means joining a Group where the omissions in their thinking and feeling can be remedied. Yet still for others there is service to their fellows, whilst to those happy few advanced souls there is swift progress to other and higher spheres. (Frances Banks, TOL, 108.)

Then a new beginning [occurs] as the knowledge is turned into wisdom, an effort to right those wrongs [is made], to help by love and concentrated direct thought to help where help is needed.

Some of the souls who come to our side and who have perpetrated much evil, take a great deal of advising and helping on this point. Remorse overwhelms them and often they choose to live in the gloom of regret. This is rightly termed ‘gloom’ … because, even here [on the Astral Plane], by their sadness and remorse, they are shutting themselves away from the very Light which could illumine their minds, dissolve their guilts and bring a constructive ray to bear on their problems. (Frances Banks, TOL, 81.)

The desire [for progress] originates in the entity itself after reparation has been made for wrongs done and existing lower passions have been cleansed, healed and released. When partial cleansing has been affected, the next step towards Light is Service and many dear souls spend their transition stages in service to those still living in the hells of their own creation. Such service, voluntary and compassionate, strengths the link with the waiting Self. (Frances Banks, TOL, 135.)

If you consider some wrong you feel you have done, you may grieve over it. Circumstances may be such that you cannot directly make amends with the person you have offended. Instead of feeling guilty about it, bring it out and take a look at it in your meditation. Say to yourself, “Well, I can’t do anything about that now because the time has passed, but I will pray never to repeat that again against anybody else. I will now, in my thinking, go back to the person I have offended. I will ask to be forgiven and ask that the incident be forgotten. I will approach that person, soul to soul, in my thinking, in my meditation.” Know that, through the power of prayer and meditation, you actually have made amends with the person / you had offended. In a short while, you will feel the relief that comes. This web of guilt will actually be taken away from you. It will go. Therefore, it is very foolish to hold onto guilt. It retards you and holds you back and sometimes even brings on actual illness. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 74.)

Grief over the death of a loved one is a very selfish emotion. If I can but convince one person on earth that their dear ones are never lost to them and that death is not the end, I will have atoned for much of the havoc I caused. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 47.)

Examples of “Karmic Puzzles”

Ed. “Karmic puzzles” is the editor’s name for lessons which are uniquely ours to be learned in the present lifetime, the learning of which frees us from an unwanted condition or set of conditions.

I saw that through the whole course of my evolution, comparison was the attitude of mind which had led to my undoing again and again, or had weakened the good of the work I was able to do. I do ask you, never allow yourself to compare: never think to yourself, ‘why was I given this and another that, what was the difference?’ If you could see, you would probably realize that there was no difference under the surface, it was simply a case of adjusting the gift to fit in with your evolution. … The larger self knows the reality behind, it is only the small personal self, the mind, which makes you compare. … I saw that often I could have developed several gifts which seemed to me easier than the one I had developed; but the Divinity within … saw that it was for my good to develop a gift which might appear to me inferior. I even saw that sometimes, when I had developed a gift and was in danger of being proud of my success and taking too much to myself, the gift was veiled over. (Frances Banks in LO, 132-3.)

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