Description of the lower Planes

Mrs Annie Besant (1847–1933), a pupil of Madame Blavatsky, in her famous study 'The Ancient Wisdom,' has given a graphic description of the various sub-planes in what she calls Kam Lok, a lower sub-plane in the astral world. As the name indicates, it is a place of desires and is said to contain seven sub-divisions in it, each peopled by persons of varying natures and temperaments.

The scum of the society, the vilest of the vile, the murderers and marauders, ruffians and profligates and persons with bestial tastes and brutish appetites who, while living on earth, shaped for themselves bestial astral bodies, now appear, after death, in savage forms in their natural likenesses and native hideousnesses, in the lowest strata of the infernal region, roaming about, roaring, raving and raging, fiercely and furiously, pret-like wandering in search of means for the gratification of their insatiate desires.

In these gloomy and loathsome surroundings, they reap the harvest of their own sowing and learn the much-needed lesson which they failed to learn during their lifetime as they were whirled away on the tide of lusts and desires. Nature’s lessons are bitter and sharp but merciful in the long run, designed, as they are, for their ultimate good.

To the next sub-plane go such souls as quit their bodies with some deep anxiety weighing heavily on them or such who had implacable appetites or desires for self-enjoyment and gratification.

Then there are two sub-planes for those who are educated and thoughtful people chiefly occupied with worldly affairs during their lifetime on earth. Their attention is directed more onwards than backwards because they belong to the progressive types.

From the fifth sub-plane onwards the environ changes considerably becoming astral in the true sense of the word, i.e., truly starry, studded as it is with stars and the surroundings are cheerfully inspiring. These three sub-planes are euphemistically termed heavens – heavens of a lower type, sometimes spoken of, as by the later Jews, as infernal heavens, being situated in the infernal world as distinguished from supernal heavens.

The religious and the philosophic busybodies find their way to the materialised heavens in the fifth region which they desired and coveted while on earth: like the Happy Hunting Grounds, the Valhalla – the final resting place of the illustrious dead and the heroes slain in battles –, the joy-filled Bahisht or Paradise of the Muslims, the golden jewelled-gated New Jerusalem or the Lyceum-filled Heaven.

The souls of the more advanced type like artists find a place in the sixth sub-division. The seventh or the highest sub-division is entirely for the materialistically-oriented intellectuals like politicians and administrators and men of science who were pronouncedly materialistic on earth and wedded to the ways of the world in acquiring knowledge.

Life in Kam Lok is said to be more active, forms more plastic and the spirit-matter more highly charged and more subtle, and intangible and imperceptible though transparent or translucent. The thought-forms here appear and disappear with kaleidoscopic rapidity because of the great velocity of the vibrations generated by sensations, feelings and emotions.

A spiritually advanced person with a purified astral body merely passes through Kam Lok without delay. The pure and the temperate though less vapid in his plight, dreams away peacefully through it. Others, less developed still, awaken to consciousness in the region similar to the one in which they worked in their lifetime. Those whose animal passions still cling to them (prets) wake up, each literally and exactly to his own place in the appropriate region to which he belongs.

This plane is treacherous and tricky, and as such those who are initiated by a Perfect Master of the time into the Divine Mysteries of the beyond are not permitted to tarry lest they be bewitched here. On the contrary, they are quickly led under cover through it, to higher regions for gaining maturity and stability so as to be able at a later time to face it with confidence and to stand the tempting witchery and delusive and illusory charms of the place, and do not get stuck-up in their march upwards in the Spiritual Region.