IN THE last three chapters we devoted much space to making plain the meaning of and the part that the soul plays in the unfolding of consciousness; and we hope that all have studied and meditated upon what was stated until it is perfectly clear.
Until you know yourself as a soul, and can distinguish yourself from your mind and its personality and know your identity with your Higher Self, you will not be able to grasp intelligently all that follows.
We will assume however that all can do this, and also that all have an intimate acquaintance with the teachings of "The Impersonal Life," so that if you are not yet conscious on the soul plane you will be more at home when we speak of and show you how to apply some of the Impersonal truths to what has been taught about the soul and about the Kingdom.
We have led all aspirants to the entrance to the Kingdom- at least we have told what is to be met along the way that leads to the entrance, and those who accompanied us should have gotten a clear glimpse of its reality. We do know that some have truly found the Kingdom and have entered it and are able to go in and out at will. Consequently we are very happy, and great joy reigns in the hearts of all Brothers within the realms of Spirit. For They have been watching and helping all steadfast travelers every step of the way with Their love and spiritual guidance. In order that you may better understand the realms through which we have passed, we will recapitulate a little; for it is necessary that all know just what is required before they can go further.
We started from the physical, or outer rim of consciousness, and began our journey inward toward the center of being, where lies the Kingdom.
Unconsciously we passed through the six inner planes of the physical world-the two planes of the chemical region and the four planes of the etheric region, which supply vitality to the physical organism.
Then all aspirants passed easily through the three lower planes of the Astral World or Emotional Realm, commonly known as Purgatory; for it is supposed that all have won past the enticements of their lower or animal natures, which express on these planes of consciousness. The next plane is the Borderland, that between the three lower and the three higher planes of the Desire, Emotional or Astral World, as they are variously called.
If any are still of a highly emotional type, it has been and will be most difficult to get beyond this realm, for their feelings and their reactions thereto will hold them so that they cannot free their soul consciousness to permit them to concentrate and thereby to penetrate the Mental World with its first four concrete planes constituting the first, second, third and fourth heavens. These planes comprise the realm of mental forms, as distinguished from the three higher planes-the fifth, sixth and seventh heavens, which comprise the realm of abstract thought, also called the Causal Realm.
Similarly until one has been able to free the consciousness from its interest in the form side of things, and can concentrate and meditate easily upon abstract ideas and gain light and understanding therefrom, one is held in the concrete realms; while those who become engrossed in the beauty of tones and ideas-as is the case with many musicians, artists, poets and other writers-and who cannot penetrate through to their spiritual realities, are held here, although they have reached the entrance to the Kingdom. We merely mention these different heavens or realms of consciousness, not giving any detailed description of them here, referring you to Theosophical or Rosicrucian teachings-whose terms we have purposely used because they are definite and explanative-for the relation each bears to the various stages of soul unfoldment.
On our journey inward, we have now reached the Causal Realm, consisting of the three planes of the abstract Mental World. Beyond the Causal Realm is the first Spiritual Realm; but the last of the three Causal planes, the one next to the Spiritual, is the virtual entrance to the Kingdom. It is the plane of purified souls, the natural soul home of all disciples and of members of the Great White Brotherhood- of Just Men Made Perfect.
Here dwell the purified and perfected souls of all things, the ideal state, all Spiritual realities made manifest in their purest soul forms. Which means that here everyone is perfect in his or her soul nature-young, beautiful, wise, powerful and all-loving, all manifesting that phase of soul their Higher Selves intend to express.