The astral plane is the first plane
above the physical world and the
place where we go when we die.   
Heaven is sometimes portrayed as
a realm of clouds, but in reality this
area of fluffy substance is a sub-
region of the astral plane that lies
between the physical and astral
worlds.  Many souls transition
through this region while their
actual place of residence on the
astral plane is being prepared for
them.  I was once taken by my
master to witness a scene in this
area where souls came shooting up
from the physical world below after
the death of their physical bodies.
The souls were formless and pale as the proverbial ghosts and showed no animation
or consciousness.   My assumption was that they had died suddenly or with great fear,
and that they were unconscious with shock during this transition.  One by one they
were lined up in a long queue; when their time came they were processed through to
the next world by astral officials, much like immigrants at an immigration office.  
Admittedly, this may sound far-fetched, but
at the same time I saw other souls come
climbing up to this cloud region through a
tunnel or by use of a spiral staircase.  Unlike
the unconscious souls they were in color,
with fully formed bodies of light.  They were
met either by deceased relatives or friends
or a spiritual guide, greeted joyously, and
after a brief waiting period led to their new
residence without the bureaucratic
processing endured by the unconscious
souls.  I think it's it possible that the initial
experience of the afterworld can vary for
different souls.  Much would depend on the
circumstances of one's death, one's faith,
the loving support of friends or relatives
before death, and on the spiritual maturity
of the soul involved.
Before my father died a few years ago, I
was shown in a spiritual exercise where
he would live in the astral world.  It was in
a white mansion in a park setting similar
to this one.  The next night I decided to
visit him in his dreamstate and take him
there to give him a preview.  However, in
his dream he was afraid to come with me
and refused.   Shortly after he died I
visited him at this place, but he didn't
want to see me.  Life's hardships had
turned him from a gentle, humorous
father into a cranky old man, and we
I've met other old people after they died, and in each
case it seemed that they turned from old people into
young people as time went by on the astral plane.  My
interpretation is that when we die we carry an imprint
of our personality or self-image with us, which shapes
the way we look on the astral plane.  After time away
from our old physical body and the circumstances of
our physical life, the imprint fades and our appearance
reflects how we feel in the afterworld, which is
generally happier and more youthful.   On the astral
plane imagination becomes reality much faster than on
the physical plane, due to the lesser inertia in the
higher, finer vibrations of this world.
When traveling to the astral
plane in the soul body,
another entry point is a region
that looks like stars and
planets packed tightly
together in a brilliant field of
light.  Paul Twitchell called
this the sun, moon, and
lightning worlds.   I've seen it
many times in my travels; in
fact, it must be a fairly
common transitional
experience to the astral
plane, for "astral" literally
means "starry."  Perhaps the
star field symbolizes the
The astral plane holds many wonders, including
one  which is a great repository of knowledge
and learning collected over the ages by
spiritual masters.  Paul calls it a Golden Temple
of Wisdom.   Golden Wisdom Temples exist on
all planes, and spiritual travelers can go there
in the soul body to attend classes on any
subject imaginable, or to study in the vast
library.  Many of the great thinkers and
inventors of earth's history have come to the
astral temple, for anything invented on the
physical plane first exists on the astral plane.
In some ways I've found the
wisdom temples look quite old-
fashioned inside, with enormous
shelves of books and old
scrolls.  If you're wondering why
they don't have modern tech-
nology, they actually do.  How-
ever, much of the knowledge
was gathered before the advent
of computers, and apparently
there is no need to digitize
everything. Students usually
find what they need quite easily.
Just as on the physical plane, there are
areas of very low vibrations on the
astral plane.  For one, Twitchell writes
about a region where souls are sent that
have perpetrated heinous acts in their
physical incarnation.  They go there for
purification from the negative energy by
suffering great hardships.  Contrary to
what some religions believe, Twitchell
says, the souls don't stay there forever.  
Once they have been cleansed they are
allowed to return to the higher regions
of the astral world to be prepared for
their next incarnation.
Another way I like to look at the different planes of reality is that they are different
states of energy.   Moreover, each plane contains many different states of energy
within itself.  As we live and have experiences in the lower worlds in our physical,
astral, causal, and mental bodies, we are actually dealing with a multitude of energy
fields.  For instance, the feelings of love and sadness are both energy fields.  
Thoughts are fields of higher, finer energy than feelings or physical objects, yet there
are negative thoughts and positive thoughts, each with its own state of energy.
On the astral plane the energy fields we are connected to are
visible in the colors of our aura.  There are many books on the
meaning of the various colors, so I won't  go into them here.

What I would like to mention is that a strong, healthy aura acts
as an energy field that protects us from negative influences
on the astral plane.  If our aura is weak or charged with
negativity, we attract energy forms, or "entities," that
influence our thoughts and emotions toward the negative to
feed off our energy.  A weak aura also opens us up to psychic
attacks from others.

That's why it's important to maintain a healthy aura by thinking
and feeling positive and practicing spiritual exercises, such
as chanting HU or other charged words, on a daily basis.
Learn more about the spiritual worlds in "Warriors of the
Sound Current."
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hadn't spoken in something like 14  years before he died.  Immediately after his death,
his personality and appearance hadn't really changed.  However, six months later I
visited him again, and this time his appearance was that of a young man full of good
cheer.   We had a lovely conversation and all the old differences were ironed out.   For
both of us it seemed like a wonderful closure on the misunderstandings and hard
feelings we had in life.  I felt much better afterwards.
greater brightness of the astral world, allowing the traveler who passes through it to
adjust to its higher light intensity before he gets to the actual plane.

In many ways, the astral plane most closely resembles the physical plane in
appearance, since of course the physical plane is a reflection of the plane above it.  
Most of us have had dreams of flying over landscapes such as forests and meadows,
lakes and rivers, valleys and mountains, villages and cities, etc.  Traveling in the soul
body on the astral plane is very similar, except that one has a bit more control.  The
atmosphere has a sparkly luminescence to it, and often my experiences on this plane
are accompanied by a sound like the roar of surf or many church bells ringing.
Sound Current Rider