46. The Regions Of Darkness And Damnation

When one looks at pictures representing life in the infernal regions, commonly called Hell, one shrugs one's shoulders and passes on with an ironical, half contemptuous smile, thinking that only morbid fancy, or the blind faith of a fanatic could imagine such scenes. Very rarely there may be one who will seek for a grain of truth in these pictures. And yet the most ghastly imagination can hardly paint a picture that would come anywhere near truly depicting the torments of life in Hell. Poor blind simpletons, who imagine they can dispose of the question with a careless shrug of the shoulders! When the appalling truth dawns upon them, they will bitterly rue their thoughtless levity; no struggling or turning away will help them then; they will be drawn into the whirlpool which awaits them, unless, acknowledging their ignorance, they change their narrow-minded views in time.

The ethereal body will have hardly detached itself from the physical vessel when the first great surprise awaits the released spirit, namely that its consciousness and life have not come to an end.* At first this puzzles and confuses it, then terrible apprehension seizes it which again gives place to a state of resignation or deep despair; resistance is vain; lamentations and even prayers are useless, for they must reap what they have sown during their life on earth.

If they derided the word God sent them, which told them of life after death and of responsibility for every serious thought and action, the best they can expect is to find themselves in utter darkness.

The organs of their ethereal bodies: eyes, ears, and mouths are closed by their own doing; they are deaf, dumb, and blind in their new surroundings. That is the least misfortune that can happen to them. A helper on the other side cannot make himself understood, because they themselves have shut out the possibility.
A change in this sad condition can only very gradually be brought about by the maturing of the individual in question and by his increasing despair. The growing longing for light, which rises, like an uninterrupted cry for help, from such oppressed and tormented souls, is answered by increasing light around them, till they can discern others in a similar plight. If such a one is fired by the desire to help another in still greater darkness and brings him light, this would uplift the helper, so that others, still further advanced, can approach him, and they in their turn will help him upwards towards the light.

Thus these pitiable spirits squat about dejectedly. Their negative attitude has so effectively weakened their ethereal bodies that, if they want to move, they can but crawl about in a painful and uncertain manner, and as for those who manage to get on their legs, they do but stumble and fall and bruise themselves painfully. The dense, dark, and heavy human soul finds itself in exactly corresponding surroundings of denseness, darkness, and heaviness.

Objects are just as tangible and impenetrable to them there as they were on earth, and they feel every knock, fall, and injury just as acutely as they did on earth. This is the invariable rule; because every departed spirit is straightway drawn to the region where all is of the same darkness and density as itself. Every higher and lighter region can penetrate unhindered all those regions that are lower and denser than it is, all ethereal matter can penetrate physical matter.

The case is different with those who have been guilty of some special personal wrong doing, for which they must make amends. Their burden will be lifted from them the moment they can obtain full and sincere forgiveness from the person they injured. The effect of a wrong action works independently of the general tendency of the character.

It is propensity, the usual, habitual impulse which has been the mainspring of its evil deeds, that shackles and holds back the human soul. Propensity lives on after the ethereal body is detached from the physical body, and then when the limitations and restraints of the physical body fall away, all sensations become more acute and are absolutely untrammelled and propensities manifest themselves more conspicuously. It is, therefore, propensity that will decide the level to which a man belongs and the sphere to which he will go when he is released from his physical body. There he will find himself in the society of those who have the same propensity as he. Their emanations will foster and encourage his, till he is quite mastered by it, and he will indulge in it like a raging maniac. The others naturally will do likewise.

It is evident that such uncontrolled raging madness is torment to all that surrounds it. As, in those regions, all happens on the mutual principle, each one of these madmen must himself suffer bitterly what he is nonintermittently trying to make others suffer. Thus life there becomes hell. Gradually such a lost soul becomes exhausted and disgusted; then, after a long spell, the desire awakens in him to come out of these surroundings. This desire and the disgust he feels is the beginning of improvement. Then his aversion culminates in an outcry, in a prayer. Not till then will a hand be held out to him, to help him to rise, and this may not happen till after decades or centuries have gone by.

Of all his burdens, it is his propensity that weighs on a human soul and encumbers it most. Hence one can see that it is much easier to make amends for an unintentional unpremeditated offence than to eradicate an evil propensity in a man's nature, no matter whether it has become active or not.

A man, who has an unclean sinful propensity, but who has never let it play a part, because his worldly circumstances have been favourable, will suffer more than a man, who has sinned without evil intent. The unpremeditated deed can be forgiven at once, without its developing evil Karma, but the evil propensity in a man must be thoroughly eradicated. Of these propensities there are many: avarice, covetousness, unclean sensuality, larceny, murder, fraud, perhaps only careless negligence; no matter, any of these will draw a man down to where those of his own kind are. It is unnecessary to give illustrations of life in these regions. There are often situations of such a terrible nature, that a human being on earth could not believe the descriptions to be true unless he saw them. He would take them for the fancies of a disordered brain.

A feeling of profound aversion to human depravity will suffice to free a man and remove the obstacles to ascend to the light.

These are the dark regions, the result of what Lucifer's principles strive to introduce generally. The eternal cycle of Creation rotates and comes in time to the point where decomposition sets in, and all matter loses its form to return to primordial seed, which rotating still further, forms new combinations with fresh powers and a virgin soil.

What up till then has not been able to detach itself from matter (either physical or ethereal) nor to cross the highest, finest and lightest boundary into spiritual substance, leaving all that belongs to matter behind, will unavoidably be drawn into the general dissolution, whereby its form and whatever else is personal about it will be destroyed.

This is eternal damnation: the extinguishing of all conscious personality.

* Lecture No. 40: Death