When looking at stars that are so far away it is almost unbelievable that the Universe has boundaries, that it is finite and limited. Laws of physics confirm that, where there is time and space, there must be boundaries. Although it is very hard for us to imagine how far they are, they nevertheless exist. In certain periods the Universe expands within these boundaries, it grows and then later diminishes until there is only an invisible primordial seed left, which gradually takes on more coverings and grows.
From the perspective of a human being the Universe consists of two basic parts - the visible and the invisible. Despite this distinct difference, both parts are material, but each one is of a different kind. To simplify, we will call the visible part the Gross Material Universe and the invisible part the Ethereal Universe. They are two different worlds, connected by the same origin - matter. Matter is subject to endless change - it grows, becomes dense, and disintegrates, because it is imperfect, unstable. Both parts of the Universe are also subject to the same process, as they are both of matter.
The Gross Material Universe consists only of the material, visible bodies of the Universe - the stars and planets. The Ethereal Universe is the so-called shadow of the Gross Material Universe. It has the same, but larger, form, not visible to the human eye.
Above the Universe there are other worlds, which are non-material, we shall talk about them later. They will not be classified under the expression Universe, but under the term Creation. Although the whole of Creation is suffused with the same laws, their effects are different, depending on the planes in which they work. This is caused, but not exclusively, by different temperatures in the individual worlds.
The Gross Material Universe is divided into seven planes one above the other, according to the Law of Gravity. The most dense, coldest planes rotate on the bottom, the higher planes are more permeable and finer. Due to higher temperatures the upper planes move faster, the lower ones move slower. Faster movement and higher temperatures result in an increased longevity of the planes. Higher worlds are therefore more durable, finer and also larger. Lower planes are denser and smaller. Because less light penetrates them, the rotations are slower and they disintegrate and decline sooner.
The Ethereal Universe is also divided into seven planes according to the Law of Gravity. Thus, both parts of the Universe have seven levels. At the boundaries of the planes the matter becomes finer making it possible for them to unite and permeate each other due to the Law of Homogeneity. The difference between the Gross Material and Ethereal Universe is so vast that without this stratification the uniting of all planes could not be achieved.
The whole of the Universe consists of seven basic parts, the names of which are mentioned in the Bible, The Book of Revelation: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. The Earth is in the Ephesus part. According to the Law of Gravity it belongs to the plane of the lower planets, though not the lowest ones.
The whole of the Universe is suffused with an invisible energy - the principal power. It manifests itself as light and warmth and, in conjunction with Eternal Laws, it maintains the individual levels of Creation. Although matter is motionless and has no inherent warmth, every body of the Universe individually, and the Universe as a whole, rotates. The principal power warms and rotates it, with the intercession of a higher world, which will be talked about later.
Man is also in contact with the principal power that exists apart from him. He connects to it through his intuitive perception and its activity. Because this power is neutral it can be used positively or negatively, depending on the quality of the intuitive perception. The principal power is a conduit that makes it possible for good, but also bad, to happen, brings good or bad fortune. If man was not able to use the principal power he would be restricted in his existence and development on Earth. This power is called principal because besides it other energies also flow through the Universe - from lower worlds, to which we do not connect through intuitive perception but through our mental ability and activity.
The Universe is not quiet and dark, as it seems from observing the night sky. All bodies of the Universe sparkle like diamonds and the shades of colour give us a clue to the kind of life on them. In the higher spheres colour is united with sound and this union resounds as the most beautiful music, called the heavenly harmony. Every change in the chords changes the colour and intensity of the shining rays.
The ethereal part of the Earth - the Ethereal World, also called the afterworld, the beyond, the Astral, is older than the gross material part - the Gross Material World. Our soul has developed in the Ethereal World, as it emerged earlier than the physical body. We will explain its creation later.
As has been scientifically confirmed, an invisible energy- the soul, leaves the body after death. It has a certain weight, although it is negligible compared to the weight of the body. Scientists have been able to measure it and prove that the soul is also made of matter. In death our material body perishes, disintegrates into original elements, which become more perfect with every owner. This is how matter is being spiritualized. Due to the Law of Homogeneity the soul cannot remain on Earth after the body has died, as its ethereal basis cannot be active or influence its surroundings here. According to the Law of Reciprocal Action and the Law of Homogeneity it returns to the place of its origin - into the Ethereal World where it continues, on a different plane, in its conscious existence.
Death, therefore, is the end of life on Earth and the beginning of life in the Astral World. This is an important event and many dead relatives and acquaintances come to welcome the new inhabitant of the world beyond. The dying person perceives them with his ethereal senses, because after death the body no longer perceives with material senses. When the soul leaves the body it stays close to the living people around it and experiences all they are doing and saying. It talks to them, touches them, tries to persuade them that it has not died, but no one listens. The Law of Homogeneity disallows the perception of impulses that are not homogeneous and the living are not able to see the soul or hear its voice. They also do not feel its touch on their body.
After death the advanced soul very quickly separates from the physical body with which it is connected through an ethereal astral thread during life. As a rule, it does not feel pain before the mortal struggle, although the body sighs heavily, because it slips out of the body quickly and easily. It is different with a not sufficiently developed soul that, due to its heavier weight, stays connected to the body longer and so experiences a painful mortal struggle. It is not rare for it also to perceive its funeral and frequently also the dissection and disintegration of the body. The Law of Homogeneity keeps it with the body for a long time, while the mature, light and fine soul separates from it quickly due to the great difference in substance.
Relatives can sometimes inadvertently harm the dead. If the soul quickly leaves its body and the thread, which connects the soul to the body is not severed yet, it comes back voluntarily because of the heavy lamenting and desperate cries of the relatives. It wants to tell them not to suffer, because it lives, but in a different plane. But they do not hear or see it anyway. By returning to the body the soul experiences mortal torture, which it could have been spared.
How do we recognize a mature soul? It does not necessarily have to be a spiritually knowledgeable or religiously oriented person. Many people professing to have a deep faith do not have an advanced soul. To the contrary, not a few atheists may have a developed soul, if their motives and deeds are pure and unselfish. Sometimes a person with a mature soul is not recognized by the people around him, as this quality is not apparent externally.
Death should be seen as something given by law, unavoidable and often already determined before birth. Even an untimely death is mostly planned. That's why revenge and injustice is best left to be taken care of by Eternal Laws. Death does not end anything, it just brings about a change in the environment and in the form of life. From the gross material Earth man moves into the ethereal Earth where he continues to develop.
The only possession which one takes to eternity after death is the soul. Everything else is finished by death. Even intellectual knowledge, because the intellect is only a finer part of the brain - matter.
So far we have called the Ethereal World the Astral, but in reality the Astral forms the central part of the Gross Material World already. After death, according to the Law of Reciprocal Action, the soul of man must experience everything in the Astral for which no amends were made on Earth. A pure, advanced soul, not weighted down by guilt and low character, moves quickly through this threshold into higher spheres of the Ethereal World. In the Astral life is much more varied than on Earth. Countries, buildings, and everything that man has created or invented on Earth is more beautiful but also worse here because it is easier to shape matter in the Ethereal World.
In a different part of the Astral there are prototypes of all things and activities from higher worlds, according to which people on Earth create their works. If you think of something, you will attract it, due to the Law of Homogeneity, because it literally hangs above your head. Whoever adapts the prototype to his own ideas and time period thinks he is the source of it. The masterpiece, however, was created with the help of other people on Earth and higher planes as well, who have delved in similar activities.
The Astral and the Ethereal World are not the final destination in the journey of the soul. Here it only "waits" for a further incarnation, it does not sleep the eternal sleep. The more advanced souls live an active life here as conscious persons and also educate themselves. The soul takes the form of a human being, which is even nicer than a material body. Being of finer matter it has the ability to expand but also to contract. That's why it grows with the body. Souls in the lower Astral are not as beautiful and neither is their environment, as it was created from negative thought forms and emotional motives. Low souls are improving in the Astral through suffering, which they experience here due to the Law of Reciprocal Action.
After leaving the dead body the soul either ascends or sinks down to a certain level, as a result of the Law of Gravity. Thereafter it continues to travel on this plane to the appropriate part, into which, according to the Law of Homogeneity, it belongs. Christianity correctly states that after death souls go either to "heaven" - the higher planes, or to "hell" - the lower planes. It is a figurative expression of the quality of each of the Gross Material and Ethereal Worlds.
Let's show an example of what the not so pure souls experience in the world beyond, in the Astral. If, on Earth, they achieved their status or property dishonourably or at the expense of others, after death they will suffer from similar injustices themselves. Many of the souls do not even realize that they have died, as they end up in an environment similar to the one on Earth - in a factory, an office, jail, etc., where their lifestyle continues. Due to similar traits all in this plane are the ones who punish as well as the punished. Only when they "wake up" and recognize their mistakes and faults do they desire to redeem the evil which they have caused on Earth. When suitable conditions develop they will be given the opportunity to reincarnate - to be born again.
In the beyond souls are classified according to the Law of Gravity into individual spheres and according to the Law of Homogeneity and quality of souls into parts. Souls of various levels of development live together only on Earth. This way conditions are created for their faster development, although this frequently causes suffering and harm to the developed souls. However, the lower individual finds an example for his behaviour and a greater opportunity for spiritual growth. That is no longer possible in the Astral, as there only souls of the same level of development live together. Only satiation, rejection and opposition to evil or perversion bring development, the desire to change and escape from this environment.
More advanced individuals suffer on Earth because of the negative impact of their less developed surroundings. If their character is not distorted by this, they become better and stronger in their virtues. The goal of development is not only perfection but also to gain spiritual strength.