AGNI YOGA WEB TV
„INTRODUCTION TO AGNI YOGA“
The Supermundane World
Ladies and Gentlemen,
today, we are presenting a real highlight: We will describe in detail how the Supermundane World looks like; the world in which your soul lived before you were born; the world to which your soul will return after the death of your body.
Here, we are revealing really new knowledge. There is no teaching and no scripture that describes as accurately, as clearly and as vividly as the Agni Yoga the conditions that prevail "in heaven".
Above there is your true homeland. There, you live for a much longer time than on the material plane. In many respects, the earthly life is just a preparation for the life in the Upper World. Many of the skills you need up there, you must first acquire below down here. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you know what will await you there after the death of the body.
Also, it will help you to overcome the fear of death, if you become aware that you only change to a different, higher level of existence that offers new, immense possibilities.
Let us read together a paragraph from Agni Yoga:
A high spirit does not resist moving naturally into a new life. It rejoices at the possibility of improving a new aspect of its life. (Supermundane 83)
In order to understand the circumstances in the higher, or, as Agni Yoga says, in the Subtle World, you need to know: "matter" and "spirit" are in fact physical states of different density of one and the same substance, namely the so-called "spirit-matter". The higher matter stands, the finer, the more spiritual it is. Matter is spirit-matter with lower, and spirit is spirit-matter with higher vibrations. Helena Roerich says:
The placing of spirit and matter into diametrically opposing positions bred in the ignorant consciousness a fanatical conception of matter as something inferior, whereas in reality spirit and matter are one. Spirit without matter is nothing, and matter is but the crystallization of spirit. (Letter of 09.01.1935)
You can compare spirit-matter with ice: It is rough and firm, but through heating (i.e. in case of a higher vibration, or of spiritualization), it turns into the finer states of water and steam - without changing its essence.
Examples of higher physical states are light, sounds and scents, which are, on the one hand, physical, but, on the other hand, not tangible.
Therefore, when we speak of a "higher, spiritual" world, that means only that matter in this world is much finer than on earth.
2. The Nature of Thoughts and Feelings
The Subtle Level is a world of thoughts and ideas, of wishes and feelings. To understand it, you must first familiarize yourself with the nature of thought. This has not yet been sufficiently inquired into scientifically.
Thoughts and feelings are physical forms. They consist of particularly fine matter, comparable to gas. They are measurable, ponderable and may even be visible. To demonstrate this, Agni Yoga suggests the experiment to weigh a person with different thoughts (AY 599). One day there will be machines that can capture and record thoughts.
Thoughts and feelings are creatures of the spiritual world.
One has to regard thought as a self-acting creation. Thought is a newborn creature of the spiritual plane. Notice, thought is not an abstraction, not a substance, but a creature with all the signs of a self-sufficient existence. As a creature of the spiritual plane, thought cannot be annihilated. (Hierarchy 211)
Like all other creatures, they grow. Thoughts dominate our life. Ideas are born, they evolve, spread and fight one another, and they conquer and transform the world. We nurture them, they nourish each other and they nourish us.
These creatures do not perish, but continue to exist indestructibly in space. Hence the special responsibility not to put any bad thoughts into the world: they are irreversible.
For the thinker it is a comfort to know that his thought-creations are indestructible, that they may one day be picked up and can still become a physical reality in the future.
3. World of Thoughts and Feelings
In the Subtle World, matter no longer exists in the coarse, earthly, but in much finer forms: namely as thoughts and feelings. These form the reality there. Wishes, dreams, ideas, ideals, beliefs, fantasies, thoughts, words and feelings take in the world beyond a form which is visible only there.
The spirit lives in the material world in material forms such as stones, plants, animals and human beings. The spirit lives in the Subtle World in finer bodies such as thoughts and feelings. As the earthly world consists of material bodies, so the world beyond is constructed of buildings made of thoughts and wishes.
Even emotional states such as ambition, pride, joy, sorrow, irritability or indulgence consist of the extremely fine substance of the Subtle World.
These higher forms live there as naturally as the material bodies of plants, animals and human beings live on earth.
4. Familiar Forms of the Upper World
This is not as fantastic as it may sound at first sight: Much of what influences our earthly life significantly, is a pure mental construction:
Take for example the State: Materially it does not exist. You can neither see it nor touch it. Tangibly, people exist, who inhabit certain parts of the earth, as well as organs of the State such as government, army or police, acting on its behalf, and movable and immovable property of the State. The State itself, however, is no more than a mere thought-construction.
Nevertheless, it is a mighty power which unites together millions of human beings and material resources of an enormous extent over thousands of kilometres, and which can lead to tremendous achievements and sacrifices.
Thought rules everything. (AUM 140
The same is true for other human organizations such as communities, associations, religious orders or business enterprises: Although they do not exist physically, but only on the mental plane, they are very real: they are in competition with each other: States wage war against each other, sports clubs are fighting for the championship and businesses compete for market shares. Millions of people train, work and suffer for their advancement.
More subtle thought-buildings are the various mental worlds in which we live, as for example those created by the churches, the enlightenment, communism, capitalism and the evolution- and relativity theories.
They are undeniable realities, but not physical ones like a stone or a tree, but mental ones - that is, those of the Subtle World. They determine our lives more than the tangible things!
Also an ideal, as erected by Christianity or Buddhism, is a reality of a higher order. It has a great power over us humans, who are striving to embody it on the material plane.
Because there are no gross material forms in the Supermundane World, we do not work there, as on earth, with our physical strength, but with the power of our thoughts and wishes:
You dress by imagining a dress; you move to another place by flying there in spirit (as we know it from our dreams); you are erecting thought-buildings, etc. There is no obstruction due to the gross matter anymore.
In the Subtle World, everything is moved by thought. (Fiery World III, 501)
The higher spheres are a relative, a subjective world: Everyone there creates the conditions in which he lives himself by his own thoughts and feelings. We had already said in Broadcasting 2 "The significance of consciousness": Every man creates himself the world in which he lives. This is true in the upper world even more than on earth, because there no conflicting material circumstances exist.
This is a paradise for a creative mind: Up there, whatever he thinks will immediately become reality. He can create anything he could ever imagine. He is no longer bound to physical limitations.
Existential worries of the earthly kind do not exist: you just have to wish what you need, and it will appear.
You feed yourself there with spiritual food: With light, sounds, smells and ideas. As it says in the Bible:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4, 4).
Man populates the Subtle World with a myriad of thought-buildings. The whole grandeur, but also the whole chaos of human thinking becomes (finest) material reality there. All your dreams, high and low, come true.
Alongside an imagined Olympus, one may encounter a monstrous factory, unrealized during the earthly life. There exist harmonious oases, but in general there prevails a fantastic cemetery of human experiences. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 158 [Part Two V 10])
Do not just trust me - remember! You come from this world! You know the circumstances prevailing there from your own personal experience!
Why do small children, to the amazement of us adults, live so touchingly and so wonderfully in a dream world of their own, which they create from their own imagination? Because they have only just arrived from the Subtle World. Because they first continue their usual behaviour from there and have to learn painfully again that on the material plane other laws apply.
6. No Light
In the Supermundane World, there is no light in the earthly sense. The only light sources are the creatures living there: Their nature, their thoughts, their intentions and desires – that is their radiations form a visible aura that more or less illuminates the environment.
The entire perceptibility of the Subtle World is relative, depending upon the development of the consciousness. One can be enraptured by the light, or one may find oneself in fog. (Fiery World I, 322)
The true nature of a man is revealed there relentlessly and with a clarity no longer to be concealed. Every intention, every thought and every feeling produces a visible emanation. You can actually see whether someone is lying or saying the truth, whether he is pure or unclean, jealous, fearful, hostile or friendly: His aura, nobody can hide behind beautiful words, as this is possible on earth.
On the earthly plane people try to hide their fear, but in the other world it cannot be concealed. (Fiery World III, 553)
Some have a bright, warming, luminous nature and spread light around them. Other swallow like vampires even the little light that is near them.
People feel in their essence that in the Subtle World every intention is accompanied by an obvious radiation, but man himself does not see his own radiations. If he were fully convinced of the good quality of his thoughts, he would fear nothing. Therefore I reiterate so much about the necessity of clear thinking. (Fiery World II, 20)
A spiritual person creates through its achievements, through the imperishable accumulations of his eternal being, through his inner light a shining aura around him. With his own spiritual emanations, he lights his surroundings. Without this own inner light he could not see anything there.
As one's own light illumines the surroundings, so too does one's own darkness choke all space. (Fiery World III, 135)
It is the clarity of thought, of consciousness that creates a bright light! He who did not learn on earth how to think and to see clearly, his light will not be sufficient to recognize his surroundings. He will grope in the dark and wander around as if in the fog.
This is a terrible state. He who has only little of spiritual radiance, must live in the higher world in darkness, mentally in the night. Let us hear a quotation from Agni Yoga:
Blindness in the Subtle World is dreadful. Imagine yourself entering a half-darkened house, in the corners of which lurk indistinguishable images, all intermingled, and surrounded by indistinct spots. Even where no particular monsters exist, he who is blind and malicious will see horrible shapes. (Fiery World I, 390)
In the lower layers of the other world, there is darkness, because there are gathered souls with underdeveloped consciousness. What is needed here most, is light.
Certain strata of the Subtle World dwell in twilight, because the light of their dwellers is faint. (Fiery World I, 615)
The higher you get, the brighter it is. However, you can climb up there only according to the level of your consciousness, to the extent of your achievements.
Light bearers with a bright radiance defeat the darkness and help those wandering around therein.
7. Orientation through Consciousness
Without light, you cannot see anything there. In the absence of gross physicality in this world, we cannot use our earthly five senses. The physical eyes are useless to us.
We perceive the conditions in the Higher World with our heart-knowledge. You can orient yourself only with a clear consciousness, already trained on earth. He who has not developed his inner perception of the spiritual content, of the essence of the things, living beings and situations he encounters, will not be able to find his way in the other world.
You have to be able to recognize the creatures who approach you, and the situation in which you find yourself, according to their nature, and that means above there: according to their spiritual emanations.
Good clear sight is due to clarity of consciousness. (AUM 279)
The conditions there are so new and unusual that only a broad consciousness, not limited by prejudice, can grasp them.
Is it not a wonderful, an elevating idea how important is the light within ourselves in the higher spheres? Here, justice is given to everyone. Is it not a dignified, a proper order, that on a higher level, both our cognitive faculties and our creative forces depend upon our spiritual powers? Does not just this reveal the truly higher, namely, the more spiritual world?
8. No language
We do not need a language in the Subtle World. The higher vibrations there are not physically visible or audible.
We communicate mentally, directly from being to being, through the feeling of the heart. The procedure is similar to understanding the message of a piece of music: We receive the essence of the utterance directly, without it having to be put into words.
Feelings are being transmitted and received directly, without the need of even one word.
Communication in the Subtle World is mental, and there is no need for different languages. It is wonderful to be able to think in one's own language and at the same time be understood by those from other countries. (Supermundane 304)
Thus, finally, a full, direct, undisturbed and above all accurate communication becomes possible - even with people who speak different languages, or with other creatures, such as animals, with whom many saints were able to communicate.
You can practice the language of the heart already in the material world: Try to read from the eyes of your partner his thoughts, wishes and moods; then soon no more words will be necessary. Or learn to understand the message that a piece of classical music wishes to convey to you.
9. Preparation for the Afterlife during the earthly Life
You would do well to prepare yourself already on earth for the afterlife by expanding your consciousness and developing your capacity for knowledge, sensitivity and clarity of thought, for thought-creation and imagination.
Only what you can imagine, you will be able to produce above there. There, the width of your imagination determines the size of your possibilities. He who develops only little imagination, limits his own possibilities.
The more beautiful the imagination, the better are the possibilities engendered there where thought rules. (Fiery World III, 567)
If you have already learned on the material plane to control your thoughts and emotions and to cherish good thoughts only, you will be a good builder. The others will create pointless or terrible forms.
How many people are there who are unable to think clearly, to develop an idea or a vision coherently and consistently? They will cause only chaos in the other world, where everything they think immediately becomes a reality.
Even the satisfaction of simple needs such as procuring suitable clothing will be difficult if clarity of thought is missing: An undisciplined imagination will accumulate only a few shreds from a variety of models, but will be unable to produce a meaningful, as a whole practical and beautiful garment.
The mind can function clearly in the Subtle World only if it was sufficiently exercised in the physical world. You remember how someone who had just entered the Subtle World was helpless, and could not even fashion a garment for himself because he had lost the clarity of his thinking. (Supermundane 223)
You know how difficult it is in meditation to focus your thoughts and to allow them no digressions. If all you think will instantly become reality, your thoughts will drive you back and forth, from one place and from one project to the other – a state of mind from which nothing meaningful can result.
Even wishing you will have to learn. It is not so easy to act meaningfully in a world in which every wish immediately comes true. Let us hear a paragraph from Agni Yoga:
Express your wishes cautiously. Every one knows many parables and fairy tales which describe the ugly consequences of careless wishes. Remember about the rajah who wished to receive a beautiful palace, and did receive it, but who, on entering it, thought about an attacking tiger, which then appeared and tore him to pieces. (Community 168)
He who does not know how to work mentally, will wander around unemployed and purposeless in the world beyond. You will have to find already here on earth tasks, which exceed the earthly, the material, and on which you can continue to work above there after the change of existence. The mental workers will be a great power there.
It makes sense for you to prepare for your place and your role in the higher world already here on earth. It says:
We must concentrate our free will so that our thought like a messenger prepares our place in the Subtle World. Let your thoughts fly ahead of you and prepare new, beautiful dwellings. (Supermundane 220)
Or another quotation:
Even in moving into a better apartment people select their best possessions, and no one takes his dirty rags with him. Just as carefully and worthily must man prepare for his dwelling in the Subtle World. (AUM 535)
Also over there you can find instructions from above - but only if you have already learned in this life to follow spiritual, mental leadership by a not incarnated teacher.
It will not be possible to develop all these skills only in the other world. You need to bring them with you upon transition. If you want to live in the afterlife in clear and pure spheres, you will have to earn the right to do so on earth.
10. No Time and no Space
Time and space are relative, earthly standards. In the Subtle World, there is no time and no space in the material sense. The bodies of the other world - feelings and thoughts - are not bound by time and space: They overcome distances in an instant and can penetrate into the past, just as into the future.
For thought there exists neither space nor time. (Hierarchy 172)
It is obvious that in eternity time does not matter. The earthly concept of time is meaningless for a body, made of thoughts, which moves freely in time and is able to participate in past and future events just as well as in present ones.
Time has no meaning in Infinity. (Supermundane 577)
Nor is the earthly concept of space applicable to a body, made of thoughts, that moves freely in space and can shift, through the power of thought, in just a moment to any other place.
The feeling of distance certainly does not exist for the spirit. (Fiery World II, 163)
This condition is known to you from your dreams, in which long stories are crowded together in moments without time. In dream, your soul lives in the Subtle World and overcomes the limitations of time and space.
You also know of dreams in which there are seen patches from the future. This proves that the earthly concept of time as an absolute, linear dimension is incorrect.
In the timeless Subtle World you will meet again souls from all eras of world history, including the so-called "dead".
The material world is the level of the created, the Supermundane World is the sphere of the creative: The world of ideas, visions and imaginations, of ideals and resolutions.
The Subtle World is a school in which you receive higher instructions, classify experiences and gather information. Here you are taught the higher, absolute, eternal and universally recognized principles of truth, justice, beauty and love. Here, your idealism is renewed.
People should recall how they were instructed in the Subtle World, how the Luminous Beings approached them, and how the growth of their consciousness permitted these Teachers to come close. (Supermundane 433)
Heaven is a sphere of higher understanding, where you can recognize the true meaning of the many events of your life.
In the Supermundane World, the spiritual foundations for your earthly existence are being laid. Here you learn how you can live with dignity, in accordance with the higher principles, and with your mission.
It says: Courage is developed in the Supermundane World. With this firm armor the hero proceeds in his earthly life. (Supermundane 840)
We all come from this school. May we remember during our earthly existence the high teachings which we received there. Because of this training, we know very well what is good and right, what is wrong and unworthy, what we have to do and from what we should refrain.
12. World of Ideas and Implementation
In the physical state we must affirm what we have learned by implementing it into action.
Therefore, young people who just come from the school of the Subtle World, often make special efforts to improve the situation on earth.
Only during the life on earth, we can turn into full reality, into the flesh all our thoughts and intentions, because in the Subtle World, the lowest, the material level is missing. Man is only complete on the physical plane. Only in this world it shows whether one is strong and determined enough to realize the high ideals he has absorbed in the higher world. The place of growth is the earth.
Indeed, it is easy for the spirit to strive upon the higher planes, but the earthly, the lowest pole, is established as the place of decision. (Infinity II, 538 )
We often live, while in the flesh, in a world of ideas; we dream and design concepts for a better future. This is relatively easy. But decisive is the implementation against the resistance of matter. The weak-minded enthusiast who thinks, speaks or writes a lot, but does not realize one of his ideas, does not perform the more difficult part of his task, which reads:
To embody the ideal which inspires you, to realize your dream! We should not only build castles in the air, but really erect a new world in which the spirit rules.
Weak souls try to enjoy as long as possible the amenities of the Upper World and save themselves the troubles of reincarnation. The strong, in contrast, longs for trials, probations and new tasks. He knows that he must go down again and again to the undignified, joyless and restless earthly plane - until his and its salvation is achieved.
13. Stay in the Subtle World during Sleep
Your soul visits the Subtle World not only after the death of the body, but regularly already during the earthly incarnation, namely while the body is asleep. In this respect, it is rightly said that sleep is the brother of death.
Most people are not even aware of the fact that they are spending, even on earth, almost half of their lives in the higher world.
Sleep is more than just rest. It is more important than food: Man can get along without food for quite a long time, but not without sleep. This proves the vital importance of the higher connection. In it we renew our spiritual strength.
Night brings communion with the Subtle World and a renewal of energies. (Supermundane 138)
Night is given for the upliftment of the spirit. One must reiterate from childhood on that sleep is communion with Angels. (Fiery World II, 96)
We cannot remember our stay on the higher level, because the difference of vibrations between the two spheres is too large. However, with increasing expansion of consciousness, man will stop dreaming chaotically. He will learn to live as consciously and to act as purposefully in the other world as on earth.
14. Conscious Transition and Continuation of Work
The transition to the higher world can proceed, when falling asleep as when dying, in full consciousness. You can keep your consciousness uninterrupted.
Depending upon the development of his spiritual nature, man will, in his sleep or after death, wander around aimlessly or carry out meaningful work in the Supermundane World.
For the immortal, the stay in the Subtle World - in sleep or after death – is nothing more than the continuation of his usual activities on another level.
We will discuss in more detail in later Broadcastings, how this can be practiced and implemented.
15. Spheres of the Subtle World
We now come to a point that is crucial for the new understanding of the world beyond:
The invisible world is a level of higher justice. The Subtle World is a "higher" world exactly because - unlike on earth - the higher principles - truth, justice, beauty and love – actually rule life there.
This means: The spiritual world is divided into many different, higher and lower spheres. These are conventionally pretty grossly called "heaven" and "hell".
"A level of higher justice" means further: Souls are separated more clearly there than on earth. According to the law of correspondence, everyone reaches the sphere that corresponds to the height of his spiritual development. Underestimated geniuses who do not reach the position due to them, cannot exist there.
Therefore I cannot agree with the statement that after death and passing into the Subtle World people will immediately find there satisfaction, happiness, and the whole meaning of all they sought on Earth. This would be contradictory to the basic cosmic law just mentioned. Undoubtedly, those who sincerely seek for the meaning of earthly existence and who strive after the highest ideals will find them there, in full accordance with their striving and thoughts. There is no scale of justice more precise than that which man carries within himself; for his own aura, which is woven out of energies, motives, and thoughts, is that true scale. Precisely these energies carry his spirit to the level which he himself has built. (Helena Roerich, letter of 17.10.1935)
A "heaven" is a community of souls! Everyone finds himself among those other souls, with whom he is spiritually related, the hopes, joys, wishes and aspirations of whom he shares. Everyone lives there with his peers, among his true spiritual relatives. Soulmates attract each other beyond the boundaries of space and time.
He who has already on earth become a disciple of the Mahatmas and has loyally served the world government, will in the afterlife be admitted to their illustrious circle. On the other hand, anyone who has visited the arena in ancient Rome for gladiatorial contests and today for football matches, will find himself in the other world on a correspondingly lower level and in a community of like-minded people.
16. Heaven not for everyone
The idea that everyone will be admitted to heaven just like that only because of the sacrifice of Christ, is childish. It is incompatible with the teaching of Jesus, where it is often pointed out that many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 20, 16):
Thus, in the parable of the foolish virgins, when they knock on heaven’s door and pray, "Lord, open to us", the Lord answers, "I know you not", and throws them out of heaven (Matthew 25, 1-13; Luke 13, 22-30).
It says in the Bible: I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. (Luke 17, 34).
It states further: Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7, 14)
Everyone gets to that level of the Upper World which he deserves, which corresponds to his nature, and on which he already lived on earth. He who has lead down here a rough life and has remained unrefined, cannot expect to be able to penetrate into the more subtle spheres of the Supermundane World.
With the selfish desires still adhering to it, the undeveloped soul does not fit in the highest world, among the loftiest souls who have left behind the material pleasures long ago. Or do you seriously think that libertines and criminals could live in communion with great beings like Jesus or Buddha? He whose heaven down here has been the beer tent and whose God was the belly (Philippians 3, 19), will find himself in the other world in corresponding areas.
But can one expect that a man sunk in crime and possessed of an animal mentality could find happiness and satisfaction there? Inasmuch as an effect is the exact development of a cause, how can an evil-minded murderer, a seducer, or an idiot experience a condition of well-being in the higher spheres, which would be unbearable for him owing to their subtle vibrations! (Helena Roerich, letter of 17.10.1935)
In addition, a coarse consciousness will not feel comfortable at all in a high, spiritual atmosphere. It is truly unbearable to him. Paradise would actually be a hell for him! Even if St. Peter would turn a blind eye and let him in: As he will not get the coarse pleasures for which he longs and without which he would not want to live, he would voluntarily leave this highest place and return to the lower strata to which he belongs and where he can continue to sin as before. He would not have to be expelled - he himself would turn his back on heaven.
17. How do I get to Heaven?
The right question is not, as the children put it: "Will I get to heaven?", but: "Do I already live, here on earth, in the same way as I wish to live later, after death, in the other world?"
People create their fate in the Subtle World themselves. Everyone creates his own heaven or his own hell, because in the spiritual world, our thoughts and desires form the world that surrounds us. Only he who knows already here on earth how to live "as in heaven", will also over there be able to create a paradise of his own.
A well-known Atheist has said: “Every man makes his own God.” In one sense this is true, but it is even more true that every man makes his own Devachan [Heaven]. The results of his kindest acts, his highest and purest ideals and desires, form the basis of his realizations in the Devachanic Interludes. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. II, “Reality”)
If you have lived before birth already on a high level of the Supermundane World, you will have to confirm your membership by living on earth by the same customs and laws. If you want to reach a high level after death, you must prove your worthiness by living on earth according to the customs and laws of this level.
Specifically this means: You have to form yourself the most accurate picture of how the heaven looks like from where you came or to which you want to go after the death of the body. For the spiritual student, for example, the picture that he forms of heaven is the ashram of his teacher.
And then you have to live on earth in such a way as it is proper for a member of such an illustrious community. If you succeed to accomplish this, then, after death, this particular heaven will be open to you.
We will talk about the details of this spiritual exercise later in one of our subsequent Broadcastings.
18. The lower Strata ("Hell")
It is a terribly wrong belief that which death even the coarsest and most discarded soul will automatically - for example through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross – become a pure little angel: The universe is not designed so arbitrarily. Impure remains impure. Only he becomes a higher being who cleans himself from all dirt through arduous work.
If we fail to liberate ourselves on earth from our animal qualities, we take them after death with us to the Upper World. There, they make life difficult, restrict us to the lower spheres and hinder our ascent. These negative accumulations adhere to the soul like ulcers which do not disappear at all by the death of the body.
Gross earthly desires produce their ugly ulcers, which the spirit must heal in the subtle body. Ulcers of the spirit are carried over into the Subtle World if they are not gotten rid of on the Earth. Liberation from the physical vehicle does not mean deliverance from spiritual ulcers. (Fiery World III, 103)
One suffers there from the physical desires that one cannot outlive or satisfy in this non-corporeal world: In vain the drunkard requires alcohol, the glutton food, the libertine whores - this torment is their hell. Let us hear them:
When one listens to the lower superearthly sphere, one may be staggered by the tortured groans, wails, and cries of terror. (Brotherhood 480)
The term "higher world" only refers to the state of the spirit-matter there: it is much finer in the Subtle World than in the gross material earthly sphere. Besides that, life over there is not necessarily more spiritual than on earth. On the contrary, the lower spheres of the Subtle World are an even more horrible location than the earth.
The lower astral strata are much more oppressive than even the basest earthly state. (Supermundane 261)
The chaotic, the evil and the ugly in man is allowed an unadorned expression there. The true essence is revealed even clearer there, where no material restrictions prevent the lower consciousnesses to create, with their thoughts and wishes alone, the terrible environment which is appropriate for their nature.
The spirit continues its activities in the hereafter with the state of consciousness attained on earth. Accordingly, lower souls will meet each other again on the other side and continue to create mischief and even to wage wars.
Even those who know about the supermundane life cannot reconcile themselves to the thought that there can be wars in the Subtle World. Simple logic should make clear to us that battle in the Supermundane World is inevitable. People taken from Earth before their time, filled with almost identical thoughts, gather in one particular sphere and are bound to continue their earthly activities. And their cruelty, although becoming more subtle, does not lose its force. (Supermundane 782)
So hell does really exist. The ancient wisdom teaches rightly that people build their hell themselves. One can only regret these ignorants who prepare for themselves, by a sloppy life on earth, a terrible fate in the afterlife.
The idea of hellfire (purgatory) has a scientific basis: Spirit is fire. The spiritual world is a fiery world. Fire is painful for matter, but beneficial for the spirit. He who passes over burdened with the remains of material accumulations, will suffer in a world in which fire burns away these ulcers.
The manifestation of fire is destructive for the physical body, but the fiery element is quite natural for the fiery body. The higher strata that have been purified of coarse physical motivations are already experiencing the fiery grace, while the lower cellars of the Subtle World are still subject to the physical sensation of the flame. In addition, the more there remains of the physical husk, the more painful the action of the fire may be. That is where the idea of hellfire comes from. (Heart 304)
Contacting creatures of these lower spheres, as it happens at occult séances and through media, must be strongly discouraged. They can only lead people astray.
19. Ascent after the Death of the Body
A spiritual person will seek, at transition into the Subtle World, not to stay too long in the lower spheres, but to fly as quickly as possible through them and reach the higher realms.
Only the accumulations of the earthly life allow the ascent to the heights. Of crucial importance is further the firm intention to rise as high as possible, which you need to form in the moment of transition.
The liberated spirit always aspires into the higher spheres, but the spirit attached to Earth remains for a long time enchained in the lower strata of the Astral World. (Fiery World III, 296)
Everyone, if not burdened by offences against morality, can fly through the darkened strata and reach the sphere of Harmony. (Supermundane 813)
Since the higher world is spaceless and timeless, it is here for the spirit easier to ascend. Freed from the physical limitations, our true, eternal, spiritual being can unfold better. It depends only upon ourselves whether we reach the highest spheres. An enlightened spirit can easily approach an Ashram of the Brotherhood after transition - which is almost impossible on earth for the time being.
The expectation of the high honour and the unspeakable joy to meet his master and the governors of the world, should inspire the disciple to live an earthly life justifying this privilege.
20. The higher Strata ("Heaven")
Heaven is the world in which your highest thoughts, wishes, hopes and ideals actually become reality. There are no failures or disappointments. Here your finest dreams come true. Everything you could not achieve on earth due to adverse conditions becomes a reality there: A true paradise!
Very important: The higher souls can no longer be troubled by the lower ones. Those do not get beyond the lower spheres. They have no access to the top. The finer spheres are not accessible to rough consciousnesses.
This is a worthy order, because there is no paradise where you can still be disturbed by the rudeness of undeveloped consciousnesses.
Where there is open access to the Light, thither the darkness cannot penetrate. For those refined, fiery strata are inaccessible to the dark ones. (Fiery World III, 267)
The higher spheres of the Subtle World are a place of recreation and re-filling of the spiritual forces. Here, the soul enjoys a moment of rest from the worldly struggles, before returning sooner or later to the earth.
Weak souls are naturally inclined to rest at such a pleasant place as long as possible. The strong, in contrast, require only a short resting period between the incarnations. They are driven forward soon to further achievements.
Devachan [Heaven] is a place of pleasant realizations. But at the same time it is dangerous, because a weak spirit is reluctant to leave so pleasant a station. This station yields the greatest unwillingness to return for more labor. And when the time comes to leave this Valhalla, while the mental body impels one to achievement, the astral body finds the place most comfortable. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 160 [Part Two V 12])
Eternal rest, however, does not exist, not even in the Supermundane World. There, too, work - spiritual work - is indispensable. There, too, we strive on to higher achievements. Only someone who has no ideals will remain unemployed there.
Only a consciousness that is still caught in the lower self will imagine his heaven as a place of laziness and sensual pleasures - and that means at the same time at this level: create for himself such a “heaven”. The heaven of the spiritual warrior is a sphere of undisturbed contemplation, spiritual discipline, strained spiritual work and continuing struggle.
Agni Yoga says: They will ask: "What kind of heaven is yours?" Answer: "The heaven of toil and struggle." Out of toil is born invincibility; out of struggle, beauty. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 269 [272; Part Three II 2])
The fight consists of high souls descending down to the lower layers to help those dwelling there to free themselves. Therefore, even in the other world, everyone has the opportunity to get out of his predicament and to ascend to brighter realms - if only he really wishes to do so.
21 Unity of the Worlds
When looking at the higher worlds, we must not forget that the material and the spiritual world are one. They are the two sides of one and the same reality.
There is in fact no separation between them: they exist simultaneously and side by side. The transitions are fluid. There is a variety of levels and graduations of coarse and coarsest to subtle and finest spheres which merge imperceptibly into one another.
The earthly and the higher worlds are a permeable unity with spheres of different density of matter and spirituality merging into one another. Already here on earth can you be close to heaven and make it a reality. The highest earthly beings reach close to the spiritual world. On the other hand, the souls of the lower layers of the Subtle World are drifting near the earth, creating mischief and troubling those incarnated human beings who do not protect themselves adequately.
22. Overcome the Separation of the Worlds
The refusal of man to see reality in the face, is the main reason for the current separation of the worlds. Anyone who denies the very existence of the Supermundane World cannot interact with it.
In earlier, purer and more spiritual epochs the earthly and the higher world were not so sharply separated. Heaven was not so far away from earth as it is today.
We need to restore the unity of the worlds. We need the earth to re-approach to heaven. This will happen when we transform down here into material reality the principles of the Higher World - truth, beauty, justice and love.
The Supermundane World is needed in each human action. We do not speak about abstract morality, but about the actual building of life. The realization of the Supermundane World must be applied to every action. Only thus can one become a co-worker of the Supermundane World and properly prepare oneself for life. (Supermundane 788)
One of the key messages of Agni Yoga is: Heaven is everywhere - even on the material plane, even on this planet - were the supremacy of these principles is enforced.
The awareness of the inseparability of physical and spiritual world will change our way of life fundamentally. It will lead to a collaboration with the higher worlds. It is the mission of man to be a collaborator of the higher powers. Unlike in the animal kingdom, the further evolution of man and of the earth as a whole cannot be achieved without our participation.
23. Effect of the spiritual on the physical Plane
Unity of the worlds primarily means that the spiritual spheres exercise a concrete and transparent influence on the physical world.
It is time that humanity frees itself from the error that reads: The observance or non-observance of the principles of the higher world is a luxury you can afford in some situations but not in others; and which is in any case without any impact on the "real life" on earth.
The opposite is true. The physical sphere cannot be separated from the spiritual. The observance or breach of the laws of the higher world has a tangible impact on the material plane.
According to the law of correspondence we attract with every act of good or evil the corresponding beings and energies from the Subtle World.
There is a continuous contact of the Subtle World with earthly life. Not a single earthly action remains unanswered on the part of the Subtle World. Each earthly thought arouses either joy and assistance, or malevolence and destructive sendings from the Subtle World. Such communion attracts a multitude of listeners—co-workers, as it were. (AUM 105)
He who investigates deeper, will find out that ethics are not a phantasy of the imagination, but the very basis exactly of our everyday life. If ethics are out of operation, the material life collapses as well. All human life, even on the lowest level of organization, is based on the respect of certain spiritual principles. Not even a band of robbers can exist without their own particular style of leadership, justice and peace.
Let us hear Hermann Hesse: People know, or dimly feel, that if thinking is not kept pure and keen, and if respect for the world of the spirit is no longer operative, ships and automobiles will soon cease to run right, the engineer’s slide rule and the computations of banks and stock exchanges will forfeit validity and authority, and chaos will ensue. It took long enough in all conscience for realization to come that the externals of civilization – technology, industry, commerce, and so on – also require a common basis of spiritual morality and honesty. (The Glass Bead Game)
The terrible conditions on earth today result more from the infringement of the spiritual laws than from physical causes.
The reason for this is that, ultimately, the spiritual world determines the material life as well. The spirit governs all worlds. What is happening on the lowest material plane, the earth, is only a reflection and embodiment of spiritual causes.
An ethical life is nothing more than an existence in accordance with the laws of the universe. Any violation of these laws must sooner or later necessarily produce consequences on the material plane as well.
To complete this Broadcasting, a very last word: Did we not show you a picture of the Supermundane World that is breath-taking in its beauty? From this beauty you can deduct the truth of what we have said: At least on the spiritual plane, the rule is: Nothing untrue can be so beautiful. The highest beauty is the highest truth.