The First Heaven

In the first heaven, which is located in the higher regions of the Desire

World, the panorama of life again unrolls and reveals every scene where we

aimed to help or benefit others. They were not felt at the time the spirit

was in the lower regions, for higher desires cannot express themselves in

the coarse matter composing the lower regions of the Desire World, but

when the spirit ascends to the first heaven it reaps from each sce
e all

the good which it expressed in life. It will feel the gratitude poured out

by those whom it helped; if it comes to a scene where itself received a

favor from others and was grateful, it will experience the gratitude

anew. The sum of all these feelings is there amalgamated into the spirit

to serve in a future life as incentives to good.

Thus, the soul is purged from evil in purgatory, and strengthened in good

in the first heaven. In one region the extract of sufferings become

conscience to deter us from doing wrong, in the other region the

quintessence of good is transmuted to benevolence and altruism which are

the basis of all true progress. Moreover, purgatory is far from being a

place of punishment, it is perhaps the most beneficent realm in nature,

for because of purgation we are born innocent life after life. The

tendencies to commit the same evil for which we suffered remain with us

and temptations to commit the same wrongs will be placed in our path until

we have consciously overcome the evil here; temptation is not sin,

however, the sin is in yielding.

Among the inhabitants of the invisible world there is one class which

lives a particularly painful life, sometimes for a great many years,

namely, the suicide who tried to play truant from the school of life. Yet

it is not an angry God or a malevolent devil who administers punishment,

but an immutable law which proportions the sufferings differently to each

individual suicide.

We learned previously, when considering the World of Thought, that each

form in this visible world has its archetype there,--a vibrating hollow

mold which emits a certain harmonious sound; that sound attracts and forms

physical matter into the shape we behold, much in the same manner as when

we place a little sand upon a glass plate and rub the edge with a violin

bow, the sand is shaped into different geometrical figures which change as

the sound changes.

The little atom in the heart is the sample and the center around which the

atoms in our body gather. When that is removed at death, the center is

lacking, and although the archetype keeps on vibrating until the limit of

the life has been reached--as also previously explained,--no matter can be

drawn into the hollow shape of the archetype and therefore the suicide

feels a dreadful gnawing pain as if he were hollowed out, a torture which

can only be likened to the pangs of hunger. In his case, the intense

suffering will continue for exactly as many years as he should have lived

in the body. At the expiration of that time, the archetype collapses as it

does when death comes naturally. Then the pain of the suicide ceases, and

he commences his period of purgation as do those who die a natural death.

But the memory of sufferings experienced in consequence of the act of

suicide will remain with him in future lives and deter him from a similar


In the first heaven there is a class who have not had any purgatorial

existence and who lead a particularly joyous life: the children. Our homes

may be saddened almost beyond endurance when the little flower is broken

and the sunshine it brought has gone. But could we see the beautiful

existence which these little ones lead, and did we understand the great

benefits which accrue to a child from its limited stay there, our sorrow

would be at least ameliorated in a great measure, and the wound upon our

heart would heal more quickly. Besides, as nothing else in the world

happens without a cause, so there is also a much deeper cause for infant

mortality than we are usually aware of, and as we awake to the facts of

the case, we shall be able to avoid in future the sorrow incident to loss

of our little ones.

To understand the case properly we must revert to the experiences of the

dying in the death hour. We remember that the panorama of the past life is

etched upon the desire body during a period varying from a few hours to

three and one-half days, just subsequent to demise. We recall also, that

upon the depth of this etching depends the clearness of the picture, and

that the more vivid this panorama of life, the more intensely will the

spirit suffer in purgatory and feel the joys of heaven; also, that the

greater the suffering in purgatory the stronger the conscience in the next


It was explained how the horrors of death upon the battlefield, in an

accident or other untoward circumstances would prevent the spirit from

giving all its attention to the panorama of life with the result that

there would be a light etching in the desire body, followed by a vague and

insipid existence in purgatory and the first heaven. It was also stated

that hysterical lamentations in the death chamber would produce the same


A spirit which had thus escaped suffering proportionate to its misdeeds,

and which had not experienced the pleasure commensurate with the good it

had done, would not in a future life have as well developed a conscience

as it ought to have, nor would it be as benevolent as it ought to be, and

therefore the life, terminated under conditions over which the spirit had

no control, would be partly wasted. The Great Leaders of humanity

therefore take steps to counteract such a calamity and prevent an

injustice. The spirit is brought to birth, caused to die in childhood, it

re-enters the Desire World and in the first heaven it is taught the

lessons of which it was deprived previously.

As the first heaven is located in the Desire World,--which is the realm of

light and color,--where matter is shaped most readily by thought, the

little ones are given wonderful toys impossible of construction here. They

are taught to play with colors which work upon their moral character in

exactly the manner each child requires. Anyone who is at all sensitive is

affected by the color of his clothing and surroundings. Some colors have a

depressing effect, while others inspire us with energy, and others again

soothe and comfort us. In the Desire World the effect of colors is much

more intense, they are much more potent factors of good and evil there

than here, and in this color play, the child imbibes unconsciously the

qualities which it did not acquire on account of accident or lamentations

of relatives. Often it also falls to the lot of such relatives to care for

a child in the invisible world, or perhaps to give it birth and see it

die. Thus they receive just retribution for the wrong committed. As wars

cease, and man learns to be more careful of life, and also how to care for

the dying, infant mortality, which now is so appalling, will decrease.