The Earth is but one of a countless number of preparatory worlds, having its beginning in time and its ending in time. The earth is but one of the many schools, which have been from time to time formed in the Cosmos and which, at the best, are but mere lower grade abodes. The soul of man will persist aeons after this earth and millions of others like it will have vanished into the ether of space from which it originally emerged.
Even though the majority of the race must undergo many earthly incarnations before freedom and liberation is found, still, it is equally true that when a soul reaches the stage of spiritual development in which the ties of earth life no longer bind it, then it is impossible that such a soul can be held to the round of earthly incarnation for even a moment of time.
There are many souls which are now on the Astral Plane, undergoing the final stages of the casting off of the earthly bonds. And there are many souls now in earth-life which will never again return to earth, but which, after their next sojourn on the Astral Plane, will rise to the Higher planes of existence, leaving the earth and all earthly things behind forever. Moreover, there are today, on earth, thousands of souls which are well on the way to freedom and which will have but one more earth-life to undergo—and that one life will be passed in an exalted state of understanding and wisdom. At the present time, we are nearing the end of a cycle in which a very great number of souls are preparing for their upward flight and many who read these lines may be well advanced in that cyclic movement.
It would be the veriest folly for human pen to attempt to picture the nature of the existence on the higher spheres—even those spheres only one grade higher than the earth. For there are no words which would convey the meaning—no mental concepts which would embody the idea. No, more, the majority of the race do not even have the mental machinery which would enable them to even think of the nature of such a life. The average human mind cannot begin to think even of the middle planes of the Astral, and the concept of the higher Astral is far beyond them. What then must be their position regarding the thought of realms of being to which even the highest Astral planes are but as dung-hills compared with the world's greatest palaces? Enough to know that there exists an infinite scale of being, composed of realm after realm, ever rising higher and higher and higher—and that the soul is destined to move on and on and on toward the Infinite.
Escape from the round of earthly reincarnation is possible when the soul learns the truth regarding its own nature and its relation to the Whole. When it perceives the illusory nature of the phenomenal universe and realises that the spiritual world is the only real one, then do the ties of the material life begin to slip away and the soul begins to struggle from its confining bonds. When the nature of earthly things is realised, they lose their hold upon the human soul. Desire then dies away and the soul is liberated and attains spiritual freedom. Loosened from the attraction of earth, the soul takes higher flights and soars to the higher regions of being.
Seek out the Way of Liberation and Peace—
Kill out ambition.
Kill out desire of life.
Kill out desire of comfort.
Kill out all sense of separateness.
Kill out desire for sensation.
Kill out the hunger for growth.
Desire only that which is within you.
Desire only that which is beyond you.
Desire only that which is unattainable.
Desire power ardently.
Desire peace fervently.
Desire possessions above all.
Seek out the way.
Seek the way by retreating within.
Seek the way by advancing boldly without.
Stand aside in the coming battle; and though thou fightest, be not thou the warrior.
Look for the warrior, and let him fight in thee.
Take his orders for battle, and obey him.
Listen to the song of life.
Store in your memory the melody you hear.
Learn from it the lesson of harmony.
Regard earnestly all the life that surrounds you.
Learn to look intelligently into the hearts of men.
Regard most earnestly your own heart.
Inquire of the earth, the air, and the water, of the secrets they hold for you.
Inquire of the holy ones of the earth, of the secrets they hold for you.
Inquire of the inmost, the one, of its final secret, which it holds for you throughout the ages.
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
Listen only to the voice which is soundless.
Look only on that which is invisible alike to the inner and the outer sense.
These axioms have seven several and distinct meanings, superimposed one upon the other, and which are uncovered only by the unveiling of the eyes of the soul as it unfolds. Blessed is he who is able to comprehend even the first set of meanings, for he is on the Way.
Life Beyond Death, Yogi Ramacharaka, Yogi Publication Society, Chicago, 1912