A few days ago, whilst being interviewed on the public airwaves about channeling, a caller derided my vision of the afterlife as much too materialistic and hoped that his afterlife would be substantially different.  He didn’t mention angels playing harps amidst the clouds and I doubt he was imagining that.  But he was reacting with a shocked indignance familiar to psychic practitioners the world over.  For at least a hundred years the communications of spiritualism have portrayed, with varying degrees of accuracy, the appearance, characteristics and communities of the astral planes around the planet.

Notice I use the plural, planes.  Because there are several levels, and several sub-levels within those parameters.  Ultimately the landscapes, seascapes and urbanscapes of the planes are not much more complex than they are here in earth, but at first contact the variety can appear bewildering.  Partly because, due to the power of focused creative thought, the energetic driver behind all manifestation on the planes, you can mix and match at will, ie a chunk of Amazon rain forest in astral Colorado, or a half acre of Arizona by a Norwegian fiord.

On the lower, hellish and purgatorial levels, for example, there are urban ghettos as depressing and decayed as their counterparts here, with the inhabitants displaying mindsets and attitudes which are all too familiar to the conscious citizen turned astral explorer.  On the paradise levels, where souls discover their situations are responsive to thought and desire, and almost every dream can be realized with small effort and focus.  For example, I, as an obe explorer, have attended more back garden barbeques beside stunning homes discussing the earthly careers of grandchildren than I care to recall.  There are heavens aplenty, where religionists of all stripes settle amongst their own to continue their devotions and worthy community activities.  And there are heavens beyond heaven, where divinity manifests as radiant light and landscapes, communities, structures and people fade to insignificance as the bliss of liberation from all form becomes the norm.

Most psychic communications come from the paradise levels, so we hear of dreams realized, fantasies fulfilled, families reunited, and goals achieved.  We hear of love, joy and pleasure.  We hear of fences mended and friendships renewed.  We hear of homes, fabulous dwellings always unaffordable whilst on earth.  We hear of design and decoration undreamed of.  We hear of sumptuous gardens, sculpture and paintings.  We hear of classic cars in mint condition.  We hear of public buildings, libraries, concert halls, museums and arenas so wonderful descriptions fall short.  We hear of flying for fun and instant teleportation.  We hear of effortless telepathy.  We hear of intimate relations without guilt, disease or punishment.

It all sounds too good to be true.  But the dead assure:  Just wait till you get here.  They’ve been assuring thusly for the last hundred years and more.  Sir Oliver Lodge’s book “Raymond”, a best seller in its day, 1915-25, spoke glowingly of the afterlife of his much missed son.  It also spoke of whisky and cigars, and drew much annoyance and befuddlement from those who expected more spirituality and less materialism.

But the fact is, as all us psychics know, vast swathes of the afterlife are dedicated to making people feel comfortable by allowing them to fulfill their dreams and desires, most of which were frustrated on earth.  For once those dreams and desires are met and experienced at length, souls will tire of their pleasures and luxuries and investigate further the mystery of their being, the eternity of which can no longer be denied.  And that, really, is where the spiritual growth begins.