The Astral World by Douglas Mackley Baker

The astral world is the world that we find ourselves in out of body. It is important to understand that it is partly created by us. We are forever producing an effusion, an effluence of material from our Astral Bodies. Even at this moment we are emotionally activated, and energy is flowing from us into the astral world.
Sometimes the astral energy that we produce may be of a high order. Sometimes, according to our attitudes, its vibratory rate drops remarkably – from a state of emotional creativity, from disciplined emotional activity for instance in appreciation of art, right down to acts of fear, hatred and other negative qualities. So the astral world is fed by energies of varying grades or qualities.
Similarly we could say that the kind of people that you find in these various Planes depends on the vibratory rate of the Planes. ‘Birds of a feather flock together.’ The artists love to come together and elaborate their intrinsic qualities, their aesthetic natures.
They can’t bear scientists – who tend always to be going on about the same old things, a slight Plane lower, though there are some of them (like an Einstein) with mystical insight or outlook. ‘Birds of a feather flock together.’
If you are an occultist, if you are to be a teacher of others, you have to plumb the depths of the astral world as well as the heights. The lowest depths are murky indeed. Men screaming in terror in battle generate emotional energy. They create fear, negativity, and hateful thoughts, generating the mud and filth and dirt of the lower subplanes of the astral world. Like the limbo or Hell of the Catholics or the Avici of the Buddhists, that negative energy is all there.
Similarly, the higher subplanes of the astral world also exist: the glorious planes which are strengthened by the opening bars of Handel’s Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus. The glorious subplanes of the upper world are known as the ‘Summer Lands,’ the happy hunting grounds of the Red Indians, the heaven world of the Catholics, and so on.
Ultimately, no man can escape from having to experience all of the subplanes, even Emmanuel Swedenborg who gave us a map like a spiritual Columbus of these seven subplanes. He had to plumb the depths as well as rise to the heights to sit upon the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.
It is important to understand that most people in the astral world are discarnate, i.e., they are in Astral Bodies which they will only inhabit for about twenty years, after which the Astral Body is discarded; it becomes a shell-like structure which now, not inhabited, slowly breaks up and descends to the deepest regions of the astral world. The individual who has left his astral shell behind moves into the mental world and on into the heaven structures.

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