Know thou, Oh man, that there are three great estates of being. That they may be known to thee this record is given. That they may be spoken of, they are named: the etherean state, the atmospherean state and the corporean state.
It may be asked: Why is it necessary that man should know of those estates of being which lie beyond him, when he has before him, as a mortal, the fullness of the corporean estate? The answer is that the estates of being which he knows not of are, nonetheless, potent upon him. In large measure they rule upon his life day by day. Save he knows of them, he cannot comprehend the nature, the power and the great extent of forces to which his life is subject, and which rule upon him in many cases to his detriment. By knowledge he is armed somewhat. The way is pointed to him by which he may begin to understand and thereby rise to overcome all that limits his true fulfilment of being as a corporean man and perpetuates conditions which are his to transcend and to transmute. Further it shall be said that were man to know only of the corporean estate in which his being is set, he would, in his present power and maturity, plunge himself the more deeply into the follies of materialism.
Man today stands as one upon the threshold of maturity; upon the threshold of an expanding mastery of all that, as a corporean he is able to reach, to analyse, to understand, and thus bend to his service. In times past there have been races of man who have attained to mastery over corporea, different in nature from man's present mastery, but in measure as great, as a result of which they turned in upon themselves in self-sufficiency. In pride of accomplishment they blinded themselves, and by their failure were they rescued in due time from the pit into which they descended.
In this day, man being grown more towards maturity, the danger is lessened; yet the need for balance is not less great. This balance, knowledge of the great estates of being, higher than man's, more interior than man's, more potent than man's estate, enables him to gain. This knowledge, therefore, is not a matter of curiosity or of speculation but a matter, which goes to the very root of man's knowledge of his own being and of the nature of the destiny before him.
Darkness is. Light is. Time is. Space is. Life is. Consciousness is. All of these are manifest in each of the three great realms of being; but in each realm they are manifest differently. It is as if the expression of them within each great realm of being is as the terms in a mathematical series progressing to infinity.
Of etherea, of the etherean estate of being, this may be said: First, that no words can express the magnitude, or the glory, or the wonder of that state of existence, in which, dimension upon dimension, consciousness expands continually, in never-ending expressions of wisdom, love and power. In that realm of being it is as if, for the first time, the man attaining to it becomes a complete being; knows his true nature; begins to reveal the fullness of his true greatness and glory as an individual person, son or daughter of the All Person, the Almighty.
In etherea man's real life begins to open in its fullness. The talents that are his expand in new employment, in realms where thought is potent and the Father's presence, the presence of the All One, the All Person, EOIH, stands within and before each being as an ever-present central sun.
No man nor angel can enter etherea until the capacity to dwell there has been attained by spiritual growth, for in such realms there is no other growth. Those who thus enter are they who have attained to oneness with the Father. The self that is their individual self, their person, flowers in all the fullness of the Father's presence acting directly within them and through them. They are those in whom no shadow lies, remaining from the past, who cast no shadow, and on whom no shadow can be cast. Before them stretches an endless roadway of fresh discovery in unending wonder and delight. As their consciousness expands by the fullness and the pressure of the All Light within, so does the universe of being expand before them also without end or limit, for the part cannot overtake the whole.
Of the majesty of the etherean worlds, in number countless, no two alike, moving and flowing in rhythms and orbits by virtue of the Father's Presence, Who moves the whole, comprising all within the ambit of His Person, no mortal words can speak with profit. Therein lies the destiny of every man born with the heritage of everlasting life, irrespective of whether he has been, as men say, good or bad. He is the Father's son and moves towards Him in the Father's time.
Of the atmospherean realm this shall be said: unlike the etherean realms, which are boundless, the atmospherean realm is bounded by the vortex of the earth, the planet, of which it is an integral part, travelling with it. In the case of this earth, its boundary extends somewhat beyond the moon's orbit and downwards it penetrates even to within the surface of the earth. It is, as it were, the spiritual counterpart of the corporeal, the material earth.
The difference between etherea and atmospherea is not one of place but of an order or dimension of being. One displaces not the other. For etherea interpenetrates, and is beyond, or more inward, than all other and lesser states of being. The earth and its atmospherea are borne within a roadway within the etherean realm, which rules upon it in all things. The atmospherean realm is the gateway to etherea; the place of overcoming; the place of purification; of redemption; in which man, following death, whereby he passes through the gate from mortal life, commences to work and accomplish all things needed for his emancipation; which, note well, requires, ever, the emancipation also of others than himself, with whom his life is linked.
To describe the atmospherean heavens to which man attains at death is not part of this record. Man shall attain in due time to travel in and learn it of himself. It is sufficient to say that they contain every gradation of density bridging the dimension, as it were, between corporea and etherea; every gradation that can be conceived as suited to every grade of man, who enters in spirit within them. Yet this dimension of existence, the atmospherean state of being, is neither that of corporea nor that of etherea. It is a bridge between them, wherefore it has been called the intermediate world. All must enter it who pass the gate of death. None can leave it until they have attained to rise to the etherean grade. Great indeed is the love which rules therein, the patience and the compassion, the wisdom and the power, through which all who live, no matter how dark their past, are presently washed clean: the living star of light revealed within each soul. No bondage so great which that love cannot, and does not overcome; no darkness so deep upon the individual soul that the power of All Light, the love of All Light, cannot dissipate and transmute it so that it is as if it had never been; so that all that remains of it, in the individual soul, is the gain that it gave: the knowledge, the strength, the humility, the compassion, even the love of All Light.
It may be understood therefore that atmospherea, the intermediate world, the, to mortals, unseen counterpart of the corporeal earth, holds within it all that is, and was, and will be, of the heritage of the earth, considered as one single unit is which life is made manifest.
Consider the beginnings of life on earth from the primal cell. The first forms, at first simple, then growing in complexity, multiplying, branching, the whole great, growing, unfolding process given form and motion, direction and change, by the presence of the All Person, the Father, the I AM, wielding His potency through the atmospherea of the earth, ruling upon corporea, shaping corporea, with and through its atmospherean counterpart.
Consider the millions upon millions, the myriads past counting, branching and changing, ceasing and continuing, which have expressed life, the Father's Presence in them, upon the corporeal earth. Consider how much there is, that has been gathered, that yet remains, of what man calls the animal nature, the heritage of the animal kingdom in all its diversity, within the atmospherea of the earth. Within it is held, and yet shall be held until the animal creations cease to be, all that they express, that holds them in being and in motion, fulfilling their lives and perpetuating their species. In this respect, therefore, man shares, and cannot escape until he transcends it, the impress of all past and present life upon the earth, save, and in so far as, it has been and is being continually transmuted.
Consider further the emergence of man, of a being capable of becoming the vessel of everlasting life. Consider the ages of man's history and all that has taken place therein as man has struggled upward on the path of overcoming, oft-times turning downward to plunge deeper, and then in due time be lifted up again, turn downward again and be lifted up again, age after age, cycle after cycle, in the vast traverse of man towards the threshold of maturity.
Consider the magnitude of all that has been carried by the living soul through the gate of death into the atmospherean realm. Consider what is being, and has been in all ages, poured therein by the man still in his corporeal state. The massive darkness of dark thoughts and acts, present and past, the sum, the record of man's whole struggling past as he mounts upward on the road of life. All this is held within atmospherea, to remain until it is transmuted, redeemed, become as if it had never been. Consider, in this, somewhat of the pressures, of the thought-forces, that press upon man in his mortal state. Consider also the magnitude of the love, wisdom and power held and delivered in atmospherea that man may not be crushed under the load, but may rise up under it, redeem it, as the Father's son.
Of corporea this may be said: of this realm man knows much. Nor is there aught within it which he cannot and will not in due time be inspired to discover, to comprehend, attaining to mastery over it for the upliftment and fulfilment of all the races of man.
Man cannot enter etherea save, having mounted in spirit, he attains to the grade thereof. Man must enter atmospherea when his time comes to pass the gate of death. Man enters corporea at birth, without his will and without his knowledge, for neither are then developed within his entity. Thus are there, as it were, three births to man. The first into manifest existence, into entity, into individuality. The second birth, when the first formative stage is completed, into atmospherea, where he overcomes all that, of the past, holds him back from ascension. All that is of the unreal must fall from him in that time, leaving only the Real shining in his soul. This attained, he enters the third birth, where his true life begins.
Though man cannot enter etherea while a corporean, he may enter atmospherea while still in mortal form. He may do this during sleep when his spirit is freed from his mortal body in part. He may also enter atmospherea subjectively, whereby he gains some measure of comprehension of both the light and the darkness contained therein. He may also enter atmosphea objectively, which required a state of transcendence, of adeptship, by which he is enabled to travel and see and know for himself in atmospherea, both of the darkness and of the light, within the limits of his own spiritual grade. In this manner, in a time which is not yet, will man be enabled to solve secrets of existence which now seem to him insoluble mysteries. His capacity to rule over and master the elements of corporea for the good of the whole will grow increasingly great. As he does this, so also will the dark heritage of the past be progressively overcome and the children of men shall emerge from bondage to growing freedom, from darkness towards light.
Man is wise, none the less, who does not strive, while still in mortal form, to enter atmospherea until the capacity to do so, under due safeguard, is his by right of constitutional growth and is safeguarded by the highest grade of being to which he can attain. Not least shall he be wise not to throw himself into atmospherea before his due time sets him free from mortal life. For he who does this robs himself of his corporeal body, but gains not his freedom in the atmospherean sphere. He remains as one locked within the darkness, with the anguish of his thought, until the time comes when, being free of the corporeal sphere, those who await to help him can bring release.
Yet this also may be said. In all that has been unfolded before thy mind, O man, as to the three great realms of life-expression, remember this: Etherea is forever; it moves and changes with the All Motion of the All Person, the All One, but it goes not out of being forever. State within state is to be found within it, in order endless. By contrast, atmospherea and corporea, twin counterparts of one whole, that which to mortals is unseen that which to mortals is the seen, have their beginning, their fulfilment, and their end, comprising between them the whole gamut of the purpose, the wisdom, and the love which brought them into being.
Though man attain to travel in his space-ships through atmospherea, even to the limit thereof, let him not think that thereby he enters or travels in the atmospherean state of being, for its dimension is different from his. Even if he gravels into inter-steller space, let him not think he enters or travels in etherea. All the realms in which man travels as a corporean by corporeal means, being, hearing, and recording by his corporeal senses and his machines--all this is of the same nature even as himself; it is part, in its place, albeit outside the vortex and orbit of the earth, of the corporeal state and order of being.