“The Soul is working steadily upward, from higher to higher, from gross to finer forms and manifestations. And is will steadily work for ages to come, always progressing, always advancing, always unfolding. The universe contains many worlds for the soul to inhabit, and then after it has passed on to other universes, there will still be infinitude before it. The destiny of the Soul of Man is of wondrous promise and possibilities—the mind today cannot began to even dream of what is before the soul. Those who have already advanced many steps beyond you—those Elder Brethren—are constantly extending to you aid in many directions.” ~William Walker Atkinson
The soul is immortal, yet few stop to wonder what it is going to do after their physical body dies and the soul leaves it. It is a standard practice to say Rest in Peace to those who have left the physical body, and I am just as guilty of it as anyone else because it is the conventional thing to say. To one who has a better understanding of the structure of the universe, including the spiritual dimensions, to say R. I. P. regarding a dead friend or relative is actually a curse. It’s a curse because the departed soul should not rest, but continue its journey upward.
Mr. Atkinson says the soul will “work for ages” to reach it’s ultimate goal that we generally call heaven. When he says, however, that the universe contains many worlds for the soul to inhabit, that can be misleading. He is not (I hope) saying that a human soul will spend time on Earth, then on Mars, then on Saturn and so on. It would be more accurate to say the universe has many levels, many dimensions, and the soul must pass through many of them before it gets back to heaven.
If you step on a plane in New York that is bound for Paris, and you immediately step off again, you will not find yourself in Paris. The plane doesn’t go to Paris instantly and the soul doesn’t go to heaven instantly. It must travel through all the intermediate levels between here and there. This is why those who have studies spiritual development wince when some average Joe drops dead and all his friends and relatives start saying that Joe is in heaven. No, sorry, he isn’t. Even if he was a nice guy who paid his bills on time and took out the trash before it overflowed, he still did not go directly to heaven. At best, he went to the next level up from us, the next higher dimension, which is still far below heaven. But he only goes there if he prepared himself to do so while here on the third level. Once he is in that next higher level, he must work hard to get to the next level, and then the next, and the next.
You might be thinking at this point that maybe Joe should just give up and stay where he is. That isn’t an option for Joe or anyone else. If you are fortunate enough to move up a level when you die (we wont get into those who head in the other direction), your awakened soul wants desperately to continue the great climb all the way to heaven. Like the dedicated mountain climber who would never say, “that climb is just too hard, I’m sitting this one out,” the soul will never quite climbing until it reaches the top.
Fortunately, as Atkinson notes, there are those who are devoted to helping us on that journey. He calls them the Elder Brethren, we prefer the Beings of Light. Those advanced beings, along with the angels, work hard to help others on lower levels move up. You can think of it as a ladder with many steps and whatever step you are on, it is your duty and our desire to help pull up those on the step below you at the same time that you are trying to move up to the next step. You could even think of it as a chain of heaven-bound souls and no soul wants to be the broken link that stops that chains forward movement.
So for now, keep on saying, “Rest in Peace,” when someone leaves the physical plane because it is the polite thing to say, but think instead, “Good luck on the long journey ahead!”