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It is interesting to note then on this plane, and the one below, are to
be found groups of disembodied souls who persist in declaring that "there
is no hereafter for the soul;" "the soul perishes with the body;" etc.
These deluded souls believe that they are still on the material plane, in
spite of appearances, and they have built up quite a good counterfeit
earth-scenery to sustain them. They sneer and sniff at all talk of life
outside of the physical body, and bang their astral tables with their
astral fists, to prove how solid all real things are - they believe only
that which is solid and "real." This, indeed, is the very irony of astral

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Again, in this work-play of the Astral, the soul is always at work
using up old ideas, aspirations, etc., and discarding them finally. In
this way real progress is made, for after all even earth-life is seen to
be largely a matter of "living-out and out- living" - of mounting higher on
the steps of each mistake and each failure. In the work of the Astral
many old ideas are worked out and discarded: many old longings exhausted
and discarded; many old ambitions manifested and then left behind on the
trail. There is a certain "burning up, and burning out" of old mental
material, and a place made for new and better material in the new earth
life. Often, in this way, on the Astral there is accomplished as much in
the direction of improvement and progress, as would be possible only in
quite a number of earth- lives. Life on the Astral is very earnest and
intense - the vibrations are much higher than on the material plane.
Bearing this principle in mind, these Astral scenes which you are now
witnessing take on a great and new meaning. You recognize them as very
important schoolrooms in the great school of life. Work is being done
here that can not be accomplished elsewhere. Everything has its meaning.
There is no waste effort, or useless activity in the universe, no matter
what the careless observer may say to the contrary. The Astral is no joke
of the universe - it is one of its great, real workshops and laboratories
of the soul. It has its distinct place in the work of spiritual unfoldment
and evolution

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Even in these hells of the astral,
however, the degraded souls are "punished not for their sins, but by them"

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Now, student, we are entering the vibrations of the lower sub-planes of
the Astral. You must nerve yourself to witness some unpleasant sights,
but be not afraid for nothing can harm you here while I am with you. Were
you alone here, lacking the knowledge of self-protection, you might find
the experience very terrifying. But, even then, though you lacked the
higher knowledge, if you would but maintain a positive mental state, and
deny the power of the Astral inhabitants to harm you, you would still be
safe. A firm mental attitude, and the assertion of your own immunity will
act as a barrier through which these influences cannot penetrate.

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