When Souls Leave Their Earthly Bodies
by Dr. Leslie R. Stone
When souls leave their earthly bodies they enter the spirit world; and, as these souls--enveloped by their 'spirit bodies'--arrive in the spirit world, they are taken to a temporary place and are then helped by more advanced 'spirits' who guide them and inform them that they have left their earthly bodies forever. These newborn spirits are also shown how to overcome the confusion and terror that may be theirs without the help and encouragement that the spirit helpers give them.
Some of the newly born spirits, when they come into the spirit world, meet their guardian angels and also many of those whom they loved on earth and, for a certain length of time are very happy and rejoice because of uniting with those they loved so much when on earth. They all have a wonderful time together.
This meeting place, where loved ones wait to meet the new arrivals and welcome them into their new home in the spirit world with great joy and gladness, as well as love for the newborn soul from earth, could be compared to our Grand Central Station in New York, Chicago, or any other large city where trains come in from all over the country on many tracks, and planes come in from all over the world into many terminals. This joyful meeting helps to overcome the anxiety, and often fright, that may be theirs upon first entering the spirit world. But the love and protection console them.
After a while, the spirit is told that there is a law, which is that all spirits have to go to a plane corresponding to their soul condition. That means its purity or lack of purity. "For as he thinketh in his heart, so (is) he" (Prov. 23:7). This means, of course, his soul condition. Does he love things that are righteous and pure and holy, or does he love things that are evil and depraved.
When the spirit is conducted to its plane, according to its soul condition, the spirit finds itself in a place or environment that is in exact harmony with that condition.
Those spirits who find themselves in darkness and suffering because of the evils done on earth, find that etched in their memories are every act and deed and thought that they had when on earth. When the conscience becomes awakened, as it does to all spirits sooner or later, then comes the scourging of conscience, remorse and regrets. Until these spirits are willing to receive the help and instructions of spirits from a higher plane, they will continue in their deplorable condition.
Conscience then becomes the judge and executioner, and causes the suffering--not an angry God inflicting this condition, as some of the orthodox churches teach.
Conscience gradually becomes awakened and, with it, remorse and regret because of its evil life on earth that causes the darkness and suffering.
Now, you can readily see that the evil spirits, in order to make progress, must get rid of these evil creations that are the result of their own wills; and, until their consciences are satisfied by getting into harmony with the laws that have been violated, these spirits will continue to suffer.
When these spirits get rid of these sinful desires and memories of those things they had forgotten to forget, suffering will cease. As the soul progresses, these memories become fainter and fainter until all such memories and sinful desires will be removed sooner or later, and conscience ceases to cause suffering. Then these spirits can claim they have been forgiven and will find themselves in a beautiful sphere.
Forgiveness is, in effect, forgetfulness.
First, it must be understood that when a mortal passes into the spirit world it has the same beliefs that it had on earth, and does not come into all knowledge, as some think. To obtain knowledge, the spirit must receive knowledge of truths from a spirit who has progressed to a higher sphere.
There are many planes in each spirit sphere. But there are only seven spheres. The lower planes that exist in the first sphere, which is in contact with the earth plane, are called the hells.
There are many hells as well as many heavens. To make progress into higher spheres, or heavens, the soul must be qualified to go higher, as in different grades of school.
Many spirits are stagnating in their plane or sphere because they are not willing to give up their erroneous beliefs from earth that retard their progress.
But, if the spirit after it passes into the spirit world is in the soul condition of sufficient purity, it passes into the second sphere, which contains considerable light, and the spirits in this sphere have a good deal of happiness.
Because in the second sphere there are spirits who still have their orthodox beliefs much the same as they had on earth, the spirit does not come into all knowledge, as some think. To obtain greater knowledge the spirit must receive this knowledge of truths from a spirit who has progressed to a higher plane or sphere.
[This piece is continued with the paper, "Two Ways Souls Can Progress."]