Harvey Green's Research of
Edgar Cayce on Soul Realms
1. The First Region
we move further from the review process, we become more
fixed in the mental realms. We leave the mental-material
overlap and move more into that part of the mental which
we will call the First Region of reality after death.
Rudolf Steiner, in his book
Theosophy, discussed at great lengths successive
realms he called the First Region, Second Region, and so
forth. Now, we are fully invested in reality beyond physical
materiality, and those periods of rest in which we approximate
sleep are behind us. We will, from here and throughout the
spiritual realms, now experience ceaseless activity, since
life, like the spirit which it animates, is continuous.
This region is ruled by those things which comprise such
emotions as our urges, passions, sensual love, and all that
is connected with them. Here in the First Region we begin
to deal with our unfinished emotional business left over
from our past incarnation. Those who lived by and were ruled
mostly by their emotions will have more difficulty in this
realm than those who were not. Those who are still fixated
on Earthly desires will feel an expansion of those yearnings
and will suffer by virtue of the inability to satisfy them
directly. In any event, the souls will not move on until
all of their material fixations are laid aside. Some of
the desires, Steiner notes, will be purged permanently and
others will be left aside in "safe keeping" to
be dealt with at a more appropriate time.
This laying aside
is a concept which may be alien to some because we think
of spiritual progression as an overcoming rather than a
continuous experience. In the First Region, as in others,
we deal with those parts of ourselves which are ruled by
forces which emanate throughout that realm. We are not required
to deal successfully with all of those things; we will pass
this way more than once, so we can set aside those things
that can better be dealt with some other time and return
later to deal with it. We may not pass from the First Region
carrying our emotional ties to materiality; so we will deal
with what we can and move on. We cannot choose to set aside
that which we are able to successfully deal with simply
because the challenges are difficult; our soul forces united
with this region will not permit us to delude ourselves
in such a way. Here in the First Region we live in communities
with those with whom we share a like sympathy.
Matteson Taylor all discuss these groups, communities,
or societies at length. We share relationships with souls
with whom we have done so throughout our travels through
reality. There are those in every realm who are part of
our soul group, those with whom we have shared experiences,
and those who will remain our soul family throughout our
Our communities in
the First Region appear to us much the same as they did
in the Earth realm. But they appear slightly different to
each inhabitant. As we grow in a region, its appearance
changes, but this is so gradual it goes largely unnoticed.
All experiences are for learning; here we deal largely with
our choices in our most recent Earth incarnation. We do
not merely deal with observation but we actually inhabit
the experience in all of its potential. This may be difficult
to understand, so let us again explain by illustration.
In the Earth realm we may have had an experience of helping
another to grow. This choice may have caused us difficulty
to a varying degree and may have opened the door to countless
choices along our journey. The experience could have been
complicated and spread over a long period of time. In the
First Region we may experience the glory of growing fields
of magnificently beautiful flowers. Such flowers would not
only be attractive in appearance but beautiful beyond explanation
to our soul. We may experience the radiance, the peace,
the glorious symphony of creation at play in the fields
and then we may find ourselves the keeper of those fields.
The flowers, whose beauty we now experience on every level,
find their growth and nourishment at our hand. We are the
gardeners of the fields, the symphonic conductors of beauty;
we share an exclusive relationship with what they represent.
Likewise, we deal with our not so glorious choices by having
the opportunity to be changed by their true essence.
For those who chose
to experience materiality more passively, the First Region
is more difficult than for those who made inappropriate
choices. As much can be learned from unsuitable choices
as from correct ones; but nothing can be learned from making
no choice. If we lived a life of indifference in the Earth
realm, Steiner notes that in the First Region we experience
a helpless and useless state of being where we cannot participate
in life around us. We have a burning desire to associate,
to experience, but we are not guided by impelling forces
that draw us into such experiences. We experience our own
indifference and then see the possibilities all around us
from which we may make choices. The desire to participate
in any of our possible choices wells up inside of us because
we see the full potential of those options never taken.
We may not see the earthly potential of the choices not
made, instead we see the emotional, mental, and spiritual
possibilities. For a while, or what may seem like a thousand
years, we find our experience very difficult. Then finally,
when we have fully experienced our indifference, we begin
to set it aside to be combated after we have gained more
protective light for the task.
As we deal with our
earthly experiences, good and bad, unfolding in their full
potential, we glean the best and overcome or set aside the
worst. All with whom we associate help us in our relationships
to reality. We meet those with whom we feel close and others
with whom we feel distant. Our clarity of vision and our
relationships are in proportion to our affection; we have
only the most limited use of the laws of cause and effect
at this time. Life here is accented by the fact that we
cannot change one aspect of our relationships with others.
The lack of the full force of cause and effect seems so
natural that we do not question it or even lament its absence.
As in the Earth realm, we are surrounded by angels and other
spirits. But their presence is somewhat more discernible
to the senses in this dimension. Swedenborg and Steiner
agree that as we rise into finer dimensions, those permeating
from yet higher dimensions are more apparent to us. We all
work together to experience the spiritual potential of our
activities and are protected, guided, and healed by the
angels of mercy.
From the First Region
we take trips, as described by Helen Greaves, into higher
dimensions and return again to use those experiences in
our communities. This is not so unusual when one realizes
that the same things are experienced in our sleep state
in the Earth realm. Frequently we move out of our earthly
bodies in sleep and travel to spiritual realms. This is
accomplished under the guidance and protection of souls
and spirits who have taken this as their ministry. The only
difference is that after death, we do not sleep and we vividly
recall the experience of having traveled to another dimension.
Greaves notes that, when appropriate, those who minister
to us always come to us; they change their own vibrations
to be sympathetic with the realm to which we are to travel.
Like two tuning forks, we are drawn to their resonance and
eventually vibrate at the same rate. This process transports
us to that realm with which we have been helped to develop
a sympathy, where we are ultimately instructed and refreshed.
When our experience is complete, we return to the First
Region where we once again resonate to this dimension. Such
a form of travel is not limited to the First Region and,
in fact, exists in almost all dimensions of reality. It
may seem hard to conceive of, but before we leave we expand
to fill out all of the First Region. Each individual in
the region occupies the same time and space but interacts
only in accord to those with whom each has had a relationship.
2. The Second
on from one region to another is not as traumatic as the
exit from the physical Earth. It is not as outwardly abrupt
nor are we as likely to become as fixed in these regions
as we did in materiality. When our experiences in the First
Region are complete we leave behind those karmic memories
we will again reclaim and move to the Second. Here we now
find ourselves in a balanced state of sympathy and antipathy.
In such a balanced state we no longer are gripped by regrets
of unfulfilled potential and are much more objective in
our experiences. Here in the Second Region we are also divided
into communities but are as unaware of those outside of
our community as we were in the First Region. Swedenborg
mentioned that those who led indifferent lives in the Earth
are still relatively isolated from others; but their need
for being part of the soul family is no longer as burning
as it may have been in the First Region, nor does it last
as long. Here, in this region, sympathy and antipathy are
general laws and do not attach themselves to things as they
do in the Earth, the lower realms, or the First Region.
Because of this, emotions triggered by situations and things
pass very quickly. We have now begun to move away from the
relationship of experiences and the emotions they arouse,
and likewise we have begun to deal with creation in a more
balanced fashion. Here in the Second Region we begin to
appear much younger if we lived past middle age in the Earth.
This is not a physical youth but an internal youth. If we
were to appear to others in materiality at this time we
would project that image we had at the height of our physical
vitality. The further we move through the regions outward
from materiality, the younger and more vital we appear internally.
We are illumined by those great ministers of mercy, and
we receive life, light, and wisdom through this irradiation.
In this region we are much more aware than ever before of
those influences which work upon us; life becomes much more
instructive for us. We still deal largely with our Earth
choices and potentials, but because sympathy and antipathy
are in balance, we do so much more objectively.
Rudolf Steiner noted
that in the Second Region we interact more with spirits,
souls, and angels from higher realms, and our travels to
other dimensions continue at the same rate as they did in
the First Region. Like before, our travels are to give us
that which we need to better grow in the Second Region as
we continue to work with the elevation and true nature of
our lives just lived in the Earth. We feel just as close
to those in our communities as we did in the First Region
and we find that we possess a striking familiarity with
all of those we contact.
All activity in the
Second Region is mental and we are present by force of our
mental energy. We can easily find ourselves anywhere we
wish just by thought and can even be in more than one place
at a time. Omnipresence is a concept we find difficult to
relate to in materiality, but it is far more natural a state
in other regions. We have shadows of omnipresence in the
Earth, where we can be several places by force of our influence.
We are aware of how mechanical communication devices can
lend an aura of omnipresence to our being in the Earth,
but these are only the poorest reflections of the true omnipresence
which is a normal attribute in other regions ruled by mental
or spiritual energy. Helen Greaves wrote that in the Second
Region we have just to think of something and it is reality.
However, we cannot change things as they exist; we can only
experience them. Essentially reality works on us rather
than us on it, and although we can move into any or all
aspects of reality, we cannot in any way modify what we
The pattern is the
same; as we grow in experience, we expand to fill more and
more of the region we occupy, until we embody it all. Nonetheless,
we do not crowd out the countless others who occupy the
same time and space as we do, for we have left time and
space far behind us in the Earth.
When leaving the Second Region
we leave behind those illusions created by our mental activities
in the Earth. But by contrast with the First Region, we
do not return to pick up anything left behind in this realm.
Anything of a karmic nature is left in the First Region,
and all that we shed thereafter is totally discarded.
3. The Third
Third Region is that from which our desires emanated and
one in which Rudolf Steiner notes we experience all of our
earthly wishes. This includes our ambitions, our yearnings,
our hopes, and all else connected with them. Here in this
realm we work with the unfoldment of all we had aspired
to in the Earth and see these aspirations blossom in their
full purity. We are relatively unaffected emotionally, because
we have left such a capacity behind in the First Region.
We experience not what we had aspired to, but rather the
combination of our earthly motivation and our expectation,
raised to their ultimate expression.
who were particularly religious in the Earth spend the longest
time or experience more in the Third Region than others,
as also do those with very strong faith. Those whose lives
were more mental in their attitudes spend far less time
in this region than those who were not. As in other realms,
we live in community in the Third Region and work together
as well as with the
kingdom as described by
Also, we cannot change what we experience in the Third Region.
We travel out of this region from time to time as in the
others which preceded it. There are striking similarities
between the First, Second, and Third Regions. One deals
with the mental, another the emotional, and another with
4. The Fourth
The Fourth Region
is the region of attraction and repulsion. When passing
through this region we have the opportunity to deal with
our earthly likes, dislikes, and our attachment to them.
Steiner notes that here, in the Fourth Region, growing souls
complete purging themselves of remaining earthly attachments
before moving on. Community is especially important because
of the help and support it can give in the overcoming of
those last great material weights we still carry. Because
we are digging deep into our consciousness, this process
can make for a difficult journey. Both the angels of grace
and mercy are present in abundance to protect us from being
overcome by more than we can deal with.
As in other realms
we are not resident but transient in the Fourth Region,
and we also take leave of this region occasionally to visit
others. We never travel alone but are guided and helped
by spirit guides in our journeys. When visiting another
realm we take on the form of that realm, or we could not
exist fully within it.
As an example, if
we were to visit the physical Earth we would probably go
as far as what we earlier called the outer fringes of the
borderland. Here we would take on the form we had just after
leaving material life, only it would be modified by our
interior changes which have since taken place. We would
probably look younger, healthier, more vibrant, and remarkably
like we would have looked under such conditions in a physical
body. Our exteriors would be comprised of finer matter which
we have conformed to our interior reflection. One of the
functions of our guardian would be to adjust our vibratory
patterns so that we could attract and take on the matter
of the borderland. The adjustment would come about your
guardian's establishing and drawing us into a sympathetic
resonance to this region as described by Helen Greaves in
her work. The same process holds true when we visit any
realm in which we are not currently anchored.
As in the Second
and Third Realms, we discard what we leave behind in the
Fourth Region without returning to reclaim any of it. It
cannot be repeated frequently enough that our transition
from one level of reality to another is gradual and without
the trauma we may have suffered in leaving the Earth. The
reason separation from the Earth is so traumatic is because
of our fixation resulting from such an extremely narrow
5. The Fifth Region
the Fifth Region we find that our sympathy with our community
and all of those who inhabit it reaches its highest point.
Here, Steiner notes, one grows from a stage similar to attachment
to earthly things for their sensory values to attachment
to them because they are representative here of God and
life in higher realms. We work largely on our sympathy here,
so that before we leave it will resonate to all here that
is representative of what is holy. From the Fifth Region
we begin to perceive life being resonated and held together
by the harmonies which the Pythagoreans called the
the Spheres. This becomes the first region since leaving
the material Earth where we begin to appreciate the creative
force of harmonies. At first we are overwhelmed by the magnificence
of the harmonies, the awesomeness of the "music"; then when
we gradually overcome our initial wonder, we begin to work
with the harmonies. As part of our learning process we witness
symphonies of life unlike anything we could ever have imagined.
With the help of our more experienced fellow souls as well
as the ministers of grace, we mix with the harmonies; we
vibrate to their resonance and become almost as one with
We are not allowed
to go too deeply into mixing with the "music" because we
are not yet ready to do so. If we were not kept toward the
outer edges of the harmonies, we would risk becoming spiritually
paralyzed and being permanently lost at this stage of our
growth. All reality is the result of the combined activity
of seemingly countless sources, acting together, transforming
spirit to give it form. In this way manifest spirit can
be said to have compound form, which we do not even begin
to understand until we blend with the musical harmonies
where we find the combined creative process, or compounding,
in a much more primal state of existence. Subsequently,
the benefit gained from our experience with the harmonies
is that we learn through experience more of how compound
reality is manifest. The experience in this region is to
move ever closer to our awareness of oneness with our surroundings
and to renew this attribute within ourselves. As in the
other regions discussed, we cannot cause anything to happen
to ourselves or our surroundings. We are changed as is our
relationship with our surroundings by being acted upon by
the realm and all whom we encounter there.
6. The Sixth
In the Sixth Region we find those
impulses which move us into material action. Void of those
things which were acquired in and tied us to the Earth,
we are able to use this impulse in truly creative fashion.
Steiner observed that former artists, musicians, poets,
and scientists are especially at home in the Sixth Region
where they learn how to move their creative focus from materiality
to spirituality. In the Sixth Region we are active, but
active only with experience. Our experience is transforming
but has no external effect. Consequently, we still cannot
change anything we find about us, because we left cause
and effect a long, long way behind. From here on we are
less likely to visit lower regions or the physical Earth.
In the Sixth Region we have now moved so far from physical
manifestation that we have little interest in the affairs
of the Earth. We have learned by experience in all of the
realms since leaving the Earth, but here is where we learn
of the blessings of continuous activity for God's sake.
7. The Seventh
the Seventh Region where we complete the first stage of
growth after a material life lived in the Earth, we finally
become free of all earthly impulses. Here we find ourselves
in a community with all of those who are on the same level
as ourselves. We find ourselves in surroundings which are
entirely of our own true nature. There are no emblems of
materiality here nor are there any resemblances between
the forces we encounter and materiality. Here in this final
level of growth in this first series of regions, we no longer
have any desire to visit the Earth nor any preceding realm
through which we have traveled. When we first arrived in
the Seventh Region we were certain that we had reached our
eternal home. So in tune were we with it that there was
not even a hint of internal conflict. We could not conceive
of any higher order of life than here, from where we were
certain the Music of the Spheres originated. Gradually we
learn that there are higher realms of life, and we are in
yet another stage of growth.
After the Seventh
Region we will reverse the flow to which we have grown accustomed.
Instead of releasing, we will begin acquiring. In the first
six regions we had to release our fixations to become refreshed
and allow for the influx of spiritual gifts. Now, as Swedenborg
observed, we will experience influx continually.
Here in the Seventh
Region we are prepared for such a condition by the harmonies
and every energy which embraces us. We are modified so that
we may again receive internal energies more continually.
We no longer live in the result of our earthly activities.
We live in a region made up of that which is sympathetic
to our soul essence.
8. From the Soul
Land to the Spirit Land
When we have been
sufficiently prepared, we leave the entire set of regions
in which we released our earthly ties. Rudolf Steiner called
the first group of seven regions the Soul Land and the next
seven regions the Spirit Land. The next seven regions are
made up of the same substance of which thought consists.
This is not thought as we had in the material body but a
truer, unadulterated, and primal thought. In the Spirit
Land there is ceaseless creating which takes place. Rest,
immobility, and stillness do not exist in these regions,
nor are they necessary. In these regions are found the archetypes
which are creative beings and the builders of all that comes
into being in the material and soul realms. They draw upon
spirit from yet higher realms and transform it into a seemingly
endless variety of forms which take shape in other realms.
Shapes of infinite variety flow from the archetypes and
no sooner does one end than a completely different one begins.
The archetypes work together in unison and share a very
close relationship. They cannot operate alone and even though
each appears to be creating separately, the archetypes are
totally dependent one on the other.
Steiner wrote that each
archetype is visible to the senses of the realm in which
it resides and it emits a sound as it creates. The sound
of each archetype mixes with the sounds of the others, as
they interact, expressing themselves in a variety of harmonies
and spiritual music. The melodies and rhythms which result
are not only the byproduct of creation but they are creative
in themselves. All that is seen here can be heard as well.
The lights and colors correspond to the harmonies and melodies
which likewise correspond to the creative process. All is
creative, all is in motion, visible, audible, and all can
be perceived by the senses of that realm. The Spirit Land
is one of brilliant lights, colors, harmonies, and melodies,
all in concert with one another.
As we enter the regions
of the Spirit Land we lose ourselves in the life of these
realms. We lose our sense of personal identity, but not
our individuality, and take on the characteristics of each
of the Spirit Regions we pass through. Our being is permeated
with the life in each sphere, and we will use as faculties
in our next earthly incarnation what we experience here.
Unlike the regions of the Soul Land, here we do not work
on or even experience ourselves. We are however worked on
by the forces of each region, and we experience the essence
of each dimension in which we find ourselves.