The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 22

The twelve stages of the doer, from one earth life to the next. After death the doer leads a composite life. The judgment. Hell is made by desires. The devil.

There are twelve states, stages, or conditions constituting one round which each doer portion passes through from one life to its next life on earth, (Fig. V-D).

When the doer eventually becomes conscious that its body has died, it awakens as after sleep. If the fourfold physical body has not yet been dissipated by cremation or by the decay of the flesh body, the doer may be held by its desires on the form plane of the physical world. If the body has been dissipated, the doer when it awakens is in its psychic atmosphere on the physical or the form plane of the physical or the form world. The doer does not know any more of these planes than it knew of them in life.

In either case the doer is with its breath-form and its four senses. It can see, hear, taste, smell and feel, and it is conscious in its breath-form. It lives over its past life, not from childhood to the time of death, but its entire life is made a composite and it lives that composite. It is in its own world, in its psychic atmosphere. Its acts, its events and its environments are those they were on earth and as real as it perceived and felt them to be in life. It is dressed in a favorite dress as in dreams, or with the composite dress. It meets the people it met on earth and speaks and acts with them and they with it, similarly as in a dream on earth. These are not the earth people or doers, but a reproduction of them as impressed on the breath-form, by thoughts of them during life. The doer does not in this state go through extreme sorrow or extreme joy. Some doers go through this state for an hour, and others for many years of earth time before going to judgment. Some receive their judgment as soon as they awaken. Nothing more is there known about the after death states than was known during life.

Sooner or later in this way the doer becomes aware that it is to be judged for its thoughts and deeds on earth. It goes through what impresses it to be a passage, and emerges in what seems to be a hall of Light, which is present in every part of the doer. The doer would retreat into the passage to escape the Light, but the passage has disappeared. It seeks a way to escape from the Light; it seeks something to shield it from the Light; but the Light is everywhere; there is nowhere for the doer to go and nothing that can intercept the Light. It tries to call upon God, as it thought of God during life, to save it, but it cannot pronounce his name. It calls upon its friends, its protectors, its dependents, its money, its power, its good works, but none can enter the Light. It would accept the help of the very devil, if it believed in a devil, to get out of that Light; if its bad works would convict it and damn it into hell it would summon them, but it is conscious that not even these would take it out of the Light. It feels that this Light, the Conscious Light of Intelligence, is conscious of everything, and that it is now alone in this. Gradually the Light makes the doer aware that it does not even own the form it is in. Then the doer and the breath-form separate.

The doer feels naked, stripped of its very breath-form, but is conscious. The breath-form with its four senses stands before it. There is silence. The doer cannot see or hear. The Light which is through the breath-form brings out all the thoughts that were invisibly impressed upon it during the life which has passed. The deeds in life, the objects with which the doer and the body were concerned, the persons and the places and the settings, are brought out by the Light and shut off from the doer. They appear with the thoughts which the doer issued about them during life. These thoughts in their stages toward exteriorization are shown through the breath-form. The doer feels as though it saw and heard all that appears upon the breath-form that was its own. The entire life passes and is felt by the doer.

The Conscious Light is Truth. It reveals and makes the doer conscious of what the Light is conscious of. As each thought, act and event is brought out, the doer is aware of the Judgment of the Light and that the judgment is true, without favor or ill-will, and is the judgment of the doer itself. This, too, is impressed upon the breath-form. It is as though judgment were pronounced and recorded—and the doer feels naked, in the Light, and without its breath-form.

The Light withdraws. The doer reenters its breath-form and is in darkness and unconscious of the judgment through which it has passed, though it feels that it has been judged. All that the doer had or did in its past life and that was made invisible and inaudible by the Light in the Hall of Judgment, rushes in and makes the world in which the doer then is. The world changes at once and instead of being the physical world as it appeared to the doer on earth, becomes the world in which it really was, but which the doer did not then know. A period of suffering begins as the doer now enters the first stage of hell.

There are in hell no torturers, no fire, no brimstone, no foul smelling waters, nor any of the infernal agonies which theologians of various religions have fabricated for a multitude whom they have damned to suffer them. Nor is there a cloven-hoofed, fork-tailed devil. Yet there is suffering in hell for sinful thoughts and acts while on earth; there is also a devil, its own devil.

The breath-form, on which all thoughts, their exteriorizations, and their effects had left their marks, which were illuminated and adjudged by the Light at the time of judgment, now shows the pictures one by one. As they come the doer lives through the desires it then had. The persons and objects connected with the desires are there, but there is no physical body and no means of satisfying the desires. Desires can never be satisfied; they can be weakened for the time by the exhaustion of the physical means of gratification. The more desires are fed, the stronger they get and the more the means of gratification are weakened. That was so in the physical world, but now on the form plane of the physical or the form world, the doer has the desires again and no means of gratifying them. They rage.

The ordinary person with his desires for food, for sexual intercourse, for drink and for comfort, in their various forms, suffers by having these desires without any means of gratifying them. There is a hunger, a burning desire for satisfaction which eats into the doer without destroying it. Normal and moderate appetites do not produce this suffering in hell, but only the inordinate, intemperate, vicious desires which the doer felt to be wrong. Selfishness and covetousness in the past life, the desire to possess the things of others and to hold them for oneself, return to the doer in hell, but all physical things have been swept away together with the means of getting them. The doer longs and this longing pains like the pangs of hunger. Arrogance in life will come back to the doer after death and then the doer has the arrogant desires, but where there is no wealth, power or station, there is an emptiness which consumes the doer itself. These feelings of hunger, of burning, of being consumed, are similar to the physical states. The difference is that the fleshly body is not there, but the doer has its breath-form with its four senses, and it feels and yet it is not destroyed by the feeling.

The devil that accompanies the doer through hell is its ruling and chief desire, which was its evil genius in life and is its devil after death. The lesser desires are the little devils under the chief. None of the devils has form here; they cry, they pull on the doer; they goad, strain and burn, each according to its own appetite, longing or lust.

Of the sins against one’s own body and against itself the doer lives over only the desires in this psychic state. The sins against the bodies and doers of others produce a different effect. The doer lives over not only the desires which were involved in those sinful thoughts and acts, it is accused by the people whom it wronged. Those who inflicted injuries or death by violence, by criminal negligence or by adulterated food; landlords or employers who caused the degradation of their tenants’ or workers’ bodies; the rulers, statesmen and party politicians who connived at such wrongs; cruel prison keepers, hard or indifferent judges, and those who sinned against the doers of others by encouragement to acts of indulgence: these hear again the accusations and the things they knew of in life; they see their victims, sacrificed to their greed, selfishness, corruption and indifference; they see them and they feel what the victims felt—pain, disease, shame, degradation and despair. This phase of hell is worse than the sufferings of those who wronged only themselves.

All the doers in hell suffer, but they do not learn anything there, they do not repent, they have no remorse. The opportunity for learning can come only on earth in the next life. The suffering is not for the sake of punishment but to purify the breath-form. Punishment also is reserved for the next life on earth.

After the doer has suffered from its desires it remains on the form plane of the physical world or of the form world. The doer so far has experienced only its feelings and desires—its psychic destiny. It now begins to exercise one of its phases of thinking, which is mental destiny. The doer feels itself; it is conscious of itself as the human. Thoughts it had in the past life come to it, of the stifling of conscience, of mental laziness, of clinging to ancient creeds when outgrown, of bigotry, of lying, of perjury, of denial of a life after death, of time-serving, of treason and of ingratitude, all thoughts by which it sinned against itself and thoughts by which it sinned against the doers of others, by which it kept other doers in darkness and delusion. The doer feels the presence of its conscience. Its thoughts which conscience in life told it were wrong, cry out against it. It feels anguish, remorse, a mental agony. In that state of hell the doer feels that it must make reparation for these sins. It only suffers; it does not learn anything. Life in a physical body on earth is the time for learning.

In both of these states, those of living over again the feelings and the desires and the thoughts the doer has had, it has its breath-form and its four senses. The anguish, remorse and suffering from its feelings and desires and from its thoughts, loosen the doer from its breath-form. During the loosening process the elemental beings which built up the scenes made by the feelings and desires and thoughts are perceived by the doer. These elementals are the various colors, forms, movements and actions in the scenes. Now as the doer is loosening from its breath-form and everything is breaking up, separating and vanishing, the doer perceives that the things which seemed to be real in life and in hell were made up of these elementals. The doer fears; things seem unreal; it passes through another after death stage.

The doer may try to hold on to its breath-form or to any of the objects in the dissolving scenes, but it cannot grasp or hold. The forms change into other forms even while it tries to hold them. Then the breath-form itself seems to dissolve into the other forms and disappears. At the time of parting and disappearance those feelings and desires which were associated with the four senses and are attached to outward things, assume a few or numerous animal forms, of beasts, birds, fishes or reptiles, of ever changing types. The doer feels at the same time that it is, and that it is not, these feelings and these desires. The doer struggles with itself. This continues until the doer distinguishes and refuses to identify itself as these animal forms. Then the forms of the feelings and desires disappear and the doer is free from them.

The desire forms coalesce. There is usually one dominating desire form, into which the multitude of lesser desires merge. There are other desire forms which remain separate. Now that the conscious doer has withdrawn, these desires no longer change the forms they have become. These forms, few or many, are now ready to leave the radiant state whenever there is a time and place for the physical animals of which they are types, to be conceived. At the birth of the animals they go into the bodies and are the animals.

The doer, now without the breath-form and the senses, is in its psychic atmosphere, on the form plane of the form or of the physical world. It is no longer conscious as the past human. It is conscious as the doer portion that was in the body. It goes through the feelings and desires and acts which engaged its thoughts during life. Only the feelings and desires come, without the persons, objects and events that caused them. The doer cannot see, hear, taste, smell or touch, but it feels the feelings unmixed and apart from the things which produced them. The feelings are affection, passion, anger, need, envy, hate or greed. The feelings and desires only are there, turbulent and strong. They move and fluctuate, they rise and fall, they turn and whirl and simmer. The doer is in this state with itself and only feels and desires.

Gradually another kind of feeling comes. This is the feeling of right and wrong. The doer is conscious of the righteousness or wrongfulness of these feelings and desires, and this starts the turmoil again. Now feelings of remorse, repentance and sorrow are added; feelings of duties not done or violated are felt.

Gradually a different feeling comes—the feeling of I-ness. First there was only the raging desire without objects or form, then came the feeling of remorse, now the third is the feeling that identifies the raging passions and weighty sorrows with the doer itself. The doer feels then that the passions and the sorrow are itself, and it suffers.

The fires of the raging desires and the sorrow for the duties violated, purify the doer and separate the feelings and desires, the sinful from the righteous. The sinful roll away when the righteous part refuses to identify itself as these desires; and they form the basis for the desire body of the doer, to haunt the earth or to lie in wait to be re-embodied with the doer. These feelings and desires are not attached to outward things, but seek an interior gratification and want to absorb, to hold or to control. They are the selfish attitude of the doer, which is gratified by the “outward” desires that went into animal forms. Throughout all the stages in hell, that which is now the desire body or cloak of vices, was the cause of its chief suffering. This was the devil, the ruling desire of the doer. Those feelings that conform to the standard of duty, being now purified and free from dross and slag, rise to the light plane of the form or the physical world. They are the doer that has passed through hell and is purified.