Sunday, 8 January 2017


As a rule, references to what are called earth-bound souls are to the lower order of souls, which refuse to lift their mental gaze beyond the things and scenes of earth, and which haunt their old scenes of activity and life, finding therein the only pleasure that is possible to them in their degraded condition. But, in this consideration, we must not neglect a mention of a higher order of souls who, unfortunately, are slow to break their earthly bonds, and who cling closely to those who have been left behind them. Let us consider this last class for a moment.

It sometimes happens that a soul who is naturally fitted for normal life on the higher Astral Planes is so tied and attached to matters concerning earth-life that after its awakening from the soul-slumber it at first refuses to participate in normal Astral existence but, instead, busies itself with the affairs of earth-life which it should have left behind it. This unfortunate condition arises generally from some sense of unperformed duty, remorse, or anxiety about the welfare of some loved one left behind. In such cases, it actually hovers in space around the presence of the person or place in which it is interested and, under extraordinary psychic conditions, it may actually make itself visible to the senses of persons in the flesh.

To this class belong the poor afflicted souls which wander about, haunting the scene of their earthly misdeeds, their remorse causing them to make vain endeavours to undo or atone for their misdeeds. Of course, these unfortunate souls are not fully wide-awake on the Astral Plane, neither are they wide-awake on the earth-life plane. Instead, they act like somnambulists, on either plane, failing to partake of normal life of either phase of existence. Akin to these are those worried and tormented souls who feel that they have left some duty or task unfulfilled and who in a somnambulistic condition hover around their former scenes of life, endeavouring dreamily to set matters right. A third class is composed of a few who are so attached personally to souls left behind in the flesh that they brood over the loved persons, impotently striving to aid and guide them.

However, in time, the attraction of the higher spheres will prevail and the soul will rise to its rightful place on the Astral. 

The lower class of earth-bound souls belong to an entirely different category from those just mentioned. This lower class is composed of souls of a very low degree of spiritual development—those in which animality is predominant, and brutish materiality the characteristic emotional attribute. These souls are considered as earth-bound by reason of the fact that the attraction of the material earth-plane so overbalances the urge of the upward attraction that the latter is more than neutralised, and the soul lives on a plane as near the material plane as is possible to it. In fact, the lower planes of the Astral inhabited by this class of souls is so little removed from the material plane that it may be spoken of as almost a transition stage between the material and the astral plane—a blending of the two. It is as if a very thin veil were placed between this plane and the scenes of material life—a tantalisingly thin veil to these low souls—so that while these souls may not actually participate in earthly affairs, they may yet be dimly conscious of them.

As a rule, these low earth-bound souls confine their earth visitations and brooding to the actual scenes which have attracted them in earth-life. And these souls take a fiendish delight in trying to influence those of their own kind still in the flesh, when in a muddled condition, urging them to fresh infamies and often to actual crimes. In some extreme cases, these low souls have been known actually to seek their own discarded Astral shell or even that of another of their kind, and by a great effort cause it to materialise for a short time in objective form as a ghost. The nature of these entities changes but little by their transition to the Astral, and they take the same delight in rough-house performances, practical jokes, etc., as in their days in the flesh. Many instances of ghostly appearances, the throwing about of physical objects, etc., have been due to this class of disembodied earth-bound souls. They always may be dismissed and caused to disappear by the person in the flesh showing them that he understands their real nature and bidding them begone. A bold front, and authoritative command, coupled with words showing that their pretences are seen through will always rout these creatures, and send them back where they belong, crestfallen and abashed.

Another favourite amusement of a certain class of this kind of low disembodied souls is that of appearing in Astral form, by taking advantage of an Astral shell, in spiritualistic seances, or other gatherings in which the psychic conditions are so sufficiently strong and favourable as to aid in the materialisation. In such cases, these creatures often impudently strive to impersonate other souls, either of some friend or relative of someone present or else of some historical character. 

These lower class souls, however, spend but a short term on the Astral Plane, and very soon pass on to reincarnation in surroundings corresponding with their natures, and to which they are attracted by spiritual laws. Their whole attraction being toward the physical and the material, there is nothing to hold them on the Astral Plane and their abode there is of very brief duration in the majority of cases. And, yet, even in the very worst and most brutal person, there is always a little of the good and a spark of spiritual glow, which brightens a little during each visit to the Astral Plane. And, in the course of time, this little spark is sufficiently kindled to manifest a tiny blaze, which lights the way of the poor soul and illumines the road toward higher things. So that even among these poor entities there is at least a certain degree of hope and promise. But the majority are degenerated and fallen souls—descended from a once higher state—who, if they fail to profit by the pains of the material life, are apt to tend still further downward until Nature wipes them out as independent entities, and resolves them back to their original spiritual elements.

There are sub-planes of the Astral so low and degraded that we hesitate to mention them. They are inhabited by the very lowest and most degraded and degenerate souls—souls which are on the sure descent to annihilation, being unfit to serve as carriers of the sacred plane. 

What manner of place is this I see? It hath no water. It hath no air. It hath no light. It hath no foundation. It is unfathomably deep. It is as black as the blackest night.

Most students find the investigation of this section an extremely unpleasant task for there appears to be a sense of density and gross materiality about it which is indescribably loathsome to the liberated Astral body, causing the sense of pushing its way through some black viscous fluid, while the inhabitants and influences there are unusually undesirable.

Life Beyond Death, Yogi Ramacharaka, Yogi Publication Society, Chicago, 1912