Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Astral Facts—The Awakening

Sweet friends—what the women lave
For the last sleep of the grave,
Is a hut which I am quitting,
Is a garment no mere fitting,
Is a cage from which at last,
Like a bird, my soul hath passed.
Love the inmate, not the room,
The wearer, not the garb—the plume
Of eagle, not the bars
That kept him from those splendid stars.

After Death in Arabia, Arnold

The Awakening

In the case of the majority of persons, the first emotion on awakening in the Astral World is an intense and weird loneliness, a confused consciousness of being surrounded by vague shadowy forms, and of being watched by innumerable eyes, yet without the ability fully to formulate their thoughts or understand by whom or what they are watched. For, at this stage, the awakened ones have not yet learned to use their astral senses or to discriminate among the strange sights, sounds and feelings. It must be remembered that in the Astral World, they are in the same relative position as is a newborn babe when it first opens its eyes to earth life. Could we enter into the babe's feelings, we would find vague memories of the life it had left, a sense of just awakening from a deep sleep (the period of gestation) and a newborn and uncomprehending wonder at the strange sights and sounds surrounding it. If, however, the ones passing over have studied or have had at least some understanding of what they are to expect, the confusion is but momentary. And if they have prepared for the change by having some wise Soul gather together their loved friends and relatives to meet them, it is a joyous reunion.

In the case of sudden death, either by accident or in war, when the mind is filled with the desire for life and the intense excitement of battle, the first awakening often brings the soldiers a sense of being suddenly awakened after having fallen asleep at their posts and they look around in amazement for the familiar battlefield. The great stillness after the roar of battle strikes terror to their Souls. Then, perhaps, a bird can be heard singing joyously near them, for physical sounds can be heard in the astral until its singing melts their hearts and perhaps a flood of tears brings relief. Even those who have passed out in hatred, with the lust for killing strong within them, awaken in this great silence and loneliness only to find no one near them. In both instances, this is purposely arranged, so that whatever is good in them may have a chance to awaken.

This is especially true in the case of those who pass out through an explosion or who have been victims of a bursting shell, in which case the astral, as well as the physical body, has been shattered. In such a case, it will take some time before the attractive and cohesive power of the life-principle can draw the astral atoms around it and reconstruct the bodily form. During this period, the Soul remains unconscious. In such a case, the feeling on first awakening will be quite similar to the sensations of returning consciousness after an anaesthetic, the same feeling of faintness and exhaustion, which, however, soon passes off.

Many, after passing through the first period of silence and great loneliness, when they first begin to recognise others around them, even one whom on earth they would have called an enemy, are so glad to find companionship that, be they on their side or the enemy's, they are eagerly sought, for, at this stage, it is the attitude of the real Inner Man that is apparent, hence those of similar natures and ideals are instinctively attracted, no matter what their positions may have been on earth. Only as they begin to identify themselves with their old earthly conditions, with the old personality, its uniform, equipment, last orders, etc., do they realise the difference in nationality. With some few, however, the force of the old hostilities and thoughts may for a time impel them to hunt out and attack the enemy. In such cases, they at once, through their strong thought-force, return to the battlefield on the physical plane, but once there, they find conditions greatly changed.

When in the flesh it was quite easy to know on which side they were fighting; friend and foe could be distinguished merely by their uniforms, but now all is different, for to the astral sight the real forces back of the war (good and evil) are plainly seen, and the aura of each man who is truly and heroically fighting for principle, even though mistaken, is illumined by the light of his ideals, the light varying in colour and brilliancy according to the strength and purity of these ideals. While over each one filled only with cruelty, hatred and the desire to killsort of blood madnesscan be seen hosts of the most malignant entitised forces, i. e., forces manifesting in forms which express the thoughts of evil which generated them. These forms are seen to surround their victims, sometimes like monstrous serpents, which writhe in and out of their bodies, emerging from the heart or solar plexus or again from the mouth or head. And over all may be seen clouds of evil faces; forms of unspeakable cruelty and lasciviousness horribly pictured in living but unearthly shapes. If the Soul belongs to the side of evil, he will join his forces wIth these monsters in orgies of horror and throw himself madly into the fray, becoming in turn because of his disembodiment, an obsessing demon. If, however, he has in him even a spark of better feeling (and how few are entirely without it) sooner or later he allies himself on the side of good.

But there are thousands of helpers on the battlefields and in the trenches trying to help all who will listen to realise their real condition and what they are really fighting against. They are thus gradually taught that it is not their fellow men they should attack, but the evil forces that are obsessing certain leaders of the Central Powers and trying to obsess the rank and file as well, playing upon and enlarging and driving to extreme expression every animal and brutal instinct and selfish desire which become like open doors through which such forces can manifest. All the lust-forms and demons which are the inciting causes of the war are there seen in their true and hideous form, the personified forms of lust, hate, greed, cruelty, ambition, desire for power, etc. These evil entities are seen to swarm around and mingle in among the fighters on both sides and urge them to give vent to cruelty and their baser passions. But they are successful only with those whose minds are open and receptive to such incitements. Therefore, hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the astral, gathered from both sides of the conflict, are fighting side by side to destroy the obsessing demons. In fact, many of the soldiers from the Central Powers, seeing how their former leaders and comrades are obsessed by these swirling vortices of evil force, are the most eager, energetic and courageous of all, for it takes courage of a high moral as well as physical quality to encounter these vaporous, clammy whirlpools of evilin their efforts to destroy them and free their people from their influence. 

Those in the astral who keep trying to fight are only those few who have made themselves channels through which the evil astral forces could express and who would be so filled with hatred and lust of battle that they would desire to continue after passing on, just as it is only the comparative few out of the great mass of mankind who desire to continue their habits of debauchery after passing on.

The real instigators of this war are the evil astral forces, the hosts of the accumulated thought-forms of lust, greed, envy, hate, selfishness and unbrotherliness engendered by the wrong-thinking of humanity from the beginning, as well as the results of their evil words and deeds, all of which are ever seeking expression through their creators. During this battle, all the stored up evil must have a focus through which it can pour itself out upon the lowest or physical plane where its precipitation will end the cycle of its manifestation, adjust the Karma and permit the good aspect of the forces involved to be extracted.

We might give this historic example

Germany, through ambition, pride and lust for power has opened the door to the hordes of evil astral forces which are seeking to obsess humanity and wreck their will upon it. Hence, through giving expression to these forces, Germany has become the instrument through which they are being poured out into the world to the testing of the other nations, just as Judas became the instrument of testing to the other disciples.

Excerpted and edited from Realms of the Living Dead—A Brief Description of Life After Death, Harriette Augusta Curtiss and F. Homer Curtiss, the Curtiss Philosophic Book Company, Washington D. C., 1926