Originally created 10 July 2013; revised 6 May 2018
- WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL?
- KAMALOKA: THE DESIRE WORLD OF THEOSOPHY
- DEVACHAN: THE HEAVEN WORLDS ON THE HIGHER MENTAL PLANE
Here are references to teachings about the Afterlife from the School of Theosophy, along with comments by me to do with Ascension …
WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL?
The Theosophist William Walker Atkinson (aka Swami Panchadasi) describes how very different are the beliefs among the major religions of the world, regarding the afterlife. Some describe heaven, or hell, or purgatory, or limbo. Others speak of a great sleep, on passing, until the Day of Judgment at the end of the world …
LInk: “The Astral World: Its Scenes, Dwellers, and Phenomena,” by William Walker Atkinson, “Chapter VI. Disembodied Souls,” … from the fifth full paragraph beginning “Let us move …” through the second sentence in the seventh paragraph, ending “… all the truth.”
Theosophists have a different, and I feel, in some instances, a far more hopeful and heart-settling set of teachings. They feel that Souls do sort, on the astral plane, after passing from physical form. But all Souls eventually slip into sleep in the Heaven Worlds of the Afterlife after their Astral Work in the Afterlife is done.
KAMALOKA: THE DESIRE WORLD OF THEOSOPHY
The Astral Work referred to here is that in which Souls experience Kamaloka … the ‘Desire World’ … as it is termed in the School of Theosophy. The work that is done is to purify the astral body, removing the dross of dissonant energies. This may take only a little time, or very much longer.
The type of experience a Soul has during this Astral interval depends on the relative grossness or refinement of its Astral body. Or as we say in an Ascension context, the distortions in its body of light. Also referred to in Hindu texts as the samskaras, or by Judy Satori as karmic miasmic distortions.
In terms of the Christian faith, a person who has led a very sinful life on Earth, might well have experiences in Kamaloka that are like the Christian notion of Hell. A person who has led a reasonable life on Earth … though not particularly religious or spiritual … might experience what some Christian faiths term Purgatory. A child who passes on before the age of reason, or a person who has led a saintly or spiritual life, might experience only a little time in a state some Christian faiths term Limbo.
There is quite a good explanation of the Astral Afterlife, according to Theosophy, here …
Link: “The Astral Body and Other Astral Phenomena,” compiled by Arthur E. Powell, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL. Copyright The Theosophical Publishing House, London, Ltd. 1965. Available from Amazon, www.amazon.com … “Chapter XIII: After-Death Life: Principles,” pp. 112-119.
The following two chapters are also quite informative. These are “Chapter XIV: The After-Death Life: Particulars,” pp. 120-135, and “Chapter XV: The After-Death Life: Special Cases,” pp. 136-143.
Here is a brief overview of the Soul’s afterlife stay in Kamaloka, the Desire World:
Link: “The Astral Body: And Other Astral Phenomena,” compiled by Arthur E. Powell, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL. Copyright The Theosophical Publishing House, London, Ltd. 1965. Available from Amazon, www.amazon.com … See: “Chapter XXIII. Astral Death,” p 204, from paragraph 1, beginning “We have now …” through paragraph 4, ending: ” heaven-world.”
DEVACHAN: THE HEAVEN WORLDS ON THE HIGHER MENTAL PLANE
When, during the Astral interval, the astral body has been purified of impure feelings and desires, a residue of desire, or kama, is left behind in Kamaloka. The higher ego (the true ‘I’) becomes free to pass on to a very different form of Afterlife experience … that of the heaven worlds, which, in Theosophy, are termed Devachan.
The Theosophists feel that all Souls eventually rise from the Hellworlds, Purgatory Worlds, or Limbo they were experiencing on the Astral Plane, to Devachan, the Heaven Worlds. Theirs, then is a more hopeful notion than that professed by many major religions.
In Devachan, those who passed on with desires to accomplish creative work (such as to create a great piece of music) or to exist in a paradise, or to be in a congregation of Souls of their own religion, or to accomplish intellectual or scientific work, can live out their dreams, till their desires to do these things fades. In addition, the work these Souls do in Devachan can be carried forward with them into a new incarnation, and so may aid the development of humankind.
At times, too, disembodied Souls in Devachan may be may offer their creative work as a gift to aspiring creative artists on the physical plane … They become the ‘creative muses’ for these Earth-bound artists.
There’s a good, brief summary of the Devachan experience, from the Theosophical perspective, here …
Link: “The Astral World: Its Scenes, Dwellers, and Phenomena,” by William Walker Atkinson, published 20 January 2000 by Book Tree, “Chapter IX: Higher Planes and Beyond,” paragraph 11, beginning “I wish here …” through paragraph 13, ending “…follow the gleam!”
Here is a more detailed description of Devachan, from the Theosophical perspective …
Link: “The Mental Body,” by Lieut.-Colonel Arthur E. Powell, The Theosophical Publishing House Limited, London, Great Britain, 1927, available from www.amazon.com … “Chapter XX: Devachan: Principles,” pp 171-184.
These chapters in the same book are also well worth reading: “Chapter XXI: Devachan: Length and Intensity,” pp. 185-190, and “Chapter XXII: Devachan: Further Particulars,” pp. 191-205.
The 4 chapters following these … pp. 206-220 … describe the four lower levels (there are 7 in all) of the heaven planes. These are numbered ‘backwards’ … The first and lowest level is termed the ‘seventh sub-plane’. The second, which is a little higher, is termed the ‘sixth sub-plane’ … and so on.
In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars
afterlife, astral planes, myths, religions, Christianity, heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo, School of Theosophy, Judgment Day, William Walker Atkinson, Swami Panchadasi, Arthur E. Powell, devachan, kamaloka, Desire World, Heaven Worlds, astral body, mental body, mental plane, ego, Ascension, body of Light, samskaras, karmic miasmic distortions, creative muse, subtle bodies,