Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
– Clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), from Amazing Grace (1772)
You were supremely brave to plan and actually enter yet another earth-lifetime. Give yourself a lot of credit for that! The vast astral plane where we spend nearly all of our blissful, golden eternity includes what we call the afterlife, which operates as a kind of foyer from which we launch into our earth-lives and to which we return when these bodies die. But the astral plane is far more than just that afterlife foyer! Evidence suggests that it is fifteen to twenty times the size of this material universe, and it is chock-full of earth-like amusements and also very much greater pleasures that never have been imagined on earth. It is brightly lit by a perfect love so palpable and so intense that even near-death experiencers, who of course never go near the afterlife but instead spend time in the astral plane, are often altogether transformed by that love. In comparison with the astral plane, even the most beautiful places on earth are dark, depressing, and grittily hopeless.
We have talked about why our coming to earth is necessary in order for us to grow spiritually. But we have not until now much considered the sacrifices that our coming to earth entails! We leave behind beauty, fun, a host of friends, and the joyous love and safety of the Godhead; and in our urge to elevate ourselves spiritually, we plunge into a welter of fear and despair where we have access to such a limited part of our vast, eternal minds that not even a memory of why we are here remains to us. No wonder babies cry!
But why must we submit to such complete amnesia when we enter these material bodies? In order to be born on earth, we must temporarily give up every memory of our pre-birth lives, and we even agree to submit to waking amnesia of the active lives that we lead every night while our bodies sleep. Many people have asked me why, if what I am teaching them is true, they have no memory of any of it! And the easy answer to that question is the fact that amnesia is part of what we agree to accept when we are granted approval to enter another life on earth. There are far more beings who want an earth-lifetime than there are available bodies being born! So we are in no position to negotiate the terms of this deal. The real question is, “Why is our amnesia important?” And the answer to that is pretty much the same kind of answer you will get if you ask why working out causes sore muscles. In order to grow spiritually, you must put yourself in a position to be emotionally and spiritually stressed by awful negativity.
Without that amnesia, you would spend your life here pining for the wonders of your astral home. You would know that you are here to grow spiritually, and you might put forth some effort to grow, but in truth you likely wouldn’t stress yourself much. You wouldn’t even try to preserve your body! Without amnesia, you would know that you could just hang out on earth for a lifetime without doing very much at all, let the body go as soon as it falters, and then gladly boogie on back home.
In order for you to grow spiritually while you are here, your life on earth must be designed to make you take this illusion seriously. Let’s consider just how stringent the restrictions on our earth-lives must be in order for this material reality to be maintained as a useful spiritual school:
So now let’s sum up the horrors of our present situation. In coming to earth, we have chosen to spend our earth-lives trapped in a negativity-based reality full of dangers to our existence and horrible sources of fear and pain that we have no choice but to fight to escape because the death of our bodies will be the death of our minds; and even with all that, we cannot see any purpose to our lives on earth, nor any goal beyond the alleviation of some of this suffering for one more day. We have willingly made this awful deal for numberless earth-lifetimes, and always in full awareness of the horrors that would plague each of those lives. We have submitted repeatedly to this charade because we so deeply crave spiritual growth. If you didn’t feel heroic when you first began reading, I hope you will give yourself some credit now!
Given how clueless we must remain if we are to make the most of our lives on earth, how is it that anyone has actually managed to grow spiritually? This system does work. But why does it work? The key to its success is the amazing depth and range of God’s grace.
According to Messrs. Merriam and Webster, “Grace is unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.” And God’s grace turns out to be all that we need! Each of us has a lifetime spirit guide who will call in other guides for specialized assistance when needed, and these divine teams are our connection to the Godhead. Even if we never are consciously aware of them, our guides meet with us on many nights, teaching us and strategizing with us and helping us to achieve the spiritual growth that is the purpose of this earthly adventure. Sometimes, when people in their ignorance go very deep into negativity, their guides must wait for the perfect time to help them make leaps of wisdom and growth; but they are patient. They know that their charges’ negative wanderings are building a base for spiritual growth to come.
The hymn that is quoted in part to begin and end this post is among the most popular songs ever sung. It has been estimated that it is sung ten million times each year, and it has been recorded tens of thousands of times. Its author’s epic personal tale is a lovely example of the ways in which God’s grace operates in our lives through the work of our guides.
John Newton was an adventurous young man who went to sea and soon was caught up in the Atlantic slave trade. His guides had to bide their time. Then while he was doing some of the most evil work ever undertaken by humankind, a violent storm overtook his ship off Ireland’s County Donegal. His guides managed to get his attention, and they inspired him to call to God for mercy. At once the storm began to abate. It was several years more before he quit the slave trade, but he later came to see that day when God calmed the wind and waves at his request as the moment of his spiritual conversion. He went on to become a minister.
Only read the words of this amazing hymn! Each of us carries God’s grace with us as part of the package that we take to earth. With the help of our spirit guides, that grace is sufficient to lead us through the horrors of each earth-lifetime to another leap in love and wisdom, and then to take us safely home.
Given how well this system has worked, and how important to the Godhead this planet is as a crackerjack spiritual school, afterlife researchers are astonished to find that those five points given above are now in part beginning to break down. Many of us began to notice around the turn of this century that searching out more of the evidence for the afterlife and the greater reality, and figuring out how it all fits together, suddenly had become amazingly easy! Then soon our guides were telling us that the consciousness vibrations of humankind had sunk so deep into fear and negativity that we could no longer raise them on our own, so there was a concerted effort being made at the highest levels of reality to raise the consciousness vibrations of all of humankind just enough to save us from the ultimate destruction that they said was just two hundred years away. And now we actually begin to see the results of these first divine efforts! My dear Thomas tells me that the changes being made won’t turn life on earth into a walk in the park, but they will make it possible for sufficient people to discover and internalize enough of the truth that we will be able to re-establish a healthier balance on earth between love and fear. Thomas now believes that soon we actually will be able to begin the process that Jesus gave us to bring the kingdom of God on earth.
God’s grace is the greatest of all gifts. It is the Godhead working directly in each of our lives through God’s servants, our spirit guides. And grace ties us to God so intimately and with such perfect eternal love that there is nothing that any of us can do to separate ourselves from the love of God. The God of the Christians is a judgmental tyrant, quick to anger and ready to condemn you to hell if you don’t pick the right denomination from among the forty thousand versions on offer. But the God that Jesus reveals to us is infinitely powerful and perfectly loving Spirit. And you, dear courageous human being, are the one true Godhead’s best-beloved child.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far,
And grace will lead us home.
– Clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), from Amazing Grace (1772)