Many fervently believe in heaven, while simultaneously rejecting the idea of a hell, rationalizing that God is Love and wouldn’t allow such outright suffering to occur. What is missing is the realization that a type of purgatory exists precisely because God does love us.
When you have a child who has a mistaken attitude about something, do you just allow them to pursue their folly? Or do you take steps to correct their conduct? Whereas, you absolutely detest to make your child cry or be unhappy, you will do this for a time for their own benefit. What kind of parent would you be if you let your child think that by hitting people he or she could get anything they wanted? The answer is; you would be a failure as a parent. Because, it is your job to nurture and develop a child with the right character.
God has created the Lower Zones, or a type of Purgatory, to function as a time out. A time out where one can fully understand the logical extension of their behavior. Because, they will be sentenced to live with others who think and act just like they do. The time out ends when the unfortunate spirit figures out their previous set of values may be mistaken and they better make some changes.
The Reverend G. Vale Owen wrote a series of books, four of which are included in a compilation called, Life Beyond the Veil. In it are stories of heaven, different levels of heaven, how each higher stage has its own characteristics. Conversely, there are accounts of forays into the Lower Zones.
The Lower Zone is an area which begins at the boundary of the lowest level of heaven and reaches down, in successive stages to inside the Earth’s crust. Different sections are for spirits of varying degree of selfishness, materialism, and criminality. Where the guiding light of love and kindness is almost extinguished. But, where the outposts of angelic spirits exist to help poor lost souls who are ready and willing to modify their beliefs.
In a separate book, not part of the compilation, is the story of Paul. The title of the book is, Paul and Albert. The book was dictated by the spirit Kathleen and her spirit group to G. Vale Owen in 1919. It is a short book, sixty-eight pages.
Sixty-eight pages of some of the most powerful statements and visions I have ever read. Not because of the monsters or cruelty mentioned, but of the normal course of thinking and behavior of the denizens of the Lower Zones. Attitudes that would fit just fine within our current culture; although some may decry their lack of empathy and morals. Still, many of these poor souls were very successful in the physical world.
Consider the last memories of Paul before he died:
“He had been figuring out what he had made in that day, as he motored home in his comfortable car with his chauffeur in front. He had been idly gazing at the chauffeur’s back and the quaint thought had come into his mind that, if the man had about, say, thirty shillings in his pocket, and his watch had cost three pounds, and his underclothes, say, two pounds – the uniform had cost about five pounds ten shillings complete – well, he had made just about one and three-eighths of what would buy the man as he sat there. And it had not been an extra good day, so far as remuneration went.”[i]
Who can say they have not had similar thoughts. I know I have. After a month of consulting at a high (at least to me) billing rate, I added up my gains and how good it made me feel. Not just a warm inner glow but a sentiment of being superior to all of the people who weren’t smart enough to make as much as me.
Paul was a doctor, a physician in London, who had a profitable practice. Enough to have a house in London, maid, butler, and a chauffeur. With a wife and children well taken care of by the gift of his material wealth. All accoutrements that a successful man in a capital city required to demonstrate his social status.
What has changed in a hundred years since Paul went to the other side? I see the titans of Wall Street basking in their gold and the bright lights of the music and movie industry purchasing mansions and toys with their new-found wealth. Nothing wrong with spending what you have made honestly.
But what of their attitude. In our culture, to be rich, automatically means that you are smarter than anyone else. The money that has been amassed directly correlates to the status you are assigned.
I don’t mean to unfairly single out one class of people. We are all culpable. We all genuflect at the words of those more rich or famous than ourselves. We do so to absorb some of their fame and to place ourselves next to them so we too may be prosperous.
Paul Awakening After Death
The successful doctor, the man who was used to giving orders, woke up in a dingy room. He couldn’t understand why he was clothed in an old calico suit. His coat was too large and his pants were in tatters. What worried him the most was that he had actually shrunken in size. He was no longer slightly fat, but more skin and bones.
Still feeling groggy, he noticed three woman and one man in the room, all sitting on the floor saying nothing. His first thought that he had been drugged and kidnapped. The scene is described:
“The one-time doctor sat with his back against the angle and gazed on them in surprise and, presently, in horror. For the longer he looked at them the more hideous and malevolent did their faces, and even their attitudes, appear. There was, in some indefinable way, a sense, an atmosphere, of wickedness, hate and agony in the room; and this had become intensified as each had entered, so that it had now become intolerable. But the strange thing about this feeling was that the wickedness and malevolence seemed to be not so much theirs as his own, reflected back to him.”[ii]
Sitting there, weak and confused, he wasn’t sure what to do. Finally, he shouted at them to say something, anything. He wanted to know whose home he was in. What happened next was:
“Then the three women looked at the other man and he rose and went and stood a few feet away from the doctor and said, ‘There’s no hurry, my friend; plenty of time for everything here’: and he laughed in a mirthless way. Then he continued, waving his hand towards his companions, ‘We have come together here, but this is not our home. This is your home. Ours is not far away. But we were informed of your arrival and were sent to greet you. As I said before, there is plenty of time for everything and, therefore, we have not forced the pace.’”[iii]
Paul knew he was responsible for the shape of the nose. He had schemed to harm him because wanted his wife. Therefore, he attempted to make the man ugly. The man then told Paul:
“I see you remember me now. Well, you will also realize that you are no longer in a position to do to others as you did to me. You have quitted your body and, with it, your home and all that helped to make life comfortable for you. Now you have to start again, as I had to do when I came here; and you seem to have about as much chance as making it bearable as I had – less, I should judge.”[iv]
Then Paul began to recognize the women in the room. One lady was young when he took advantage of her and then he cast her aside to survive as well as she could. She became a prostitute and died, after a painful illness, in a hospital.
The next woman, he recognized as Madame Blescombe, who ran a gambling den in which the doctor was a frequent guest and often took part in some of her schemes. In the area of the Lower Zone where she now lived, she was known as the Countess. She had made herself the proprietor of an abandoned Chateau.
Here is the important realization of life after death. It goes on. There are people, houses, businesses, and in the place Paul had landed, schemes and cruelty.
Then Paul looked at the third woman. She was young and pretty, she appeared brighter than the others. She walked up to Paul and said:
“This man has called you doctor. That office is no longer yours; for you have not used it well. As to your medical skill, I will only say that it was not nearly so great as either you or your unfortunate patients considered it to be. For it was based on material science, and even the bodies of your patients are more than mere matter. You took no account of the fact that those bodies were permeated through and through with spirit; which being withdrawn animation ceased.”
“What made the affair so much worse – I still speak in a medical sense – was that your motive in chief was the making of money. The curing of your patient was not the aim, but only an aim; it was not the principal aim you had in view. It took a subordinate place. You would not have admitted this, even to yourself. You would have been shocked at the suggestion. That, however, is the first thing you have to recognize here, for until you have done so there is no hope of progress for you.”
“You do not accept my words now. They will come back to you in the midst of your agony and will be of help to you then. That is why I have spoken in this way to you.”[v]
Paul’s spirit guide, the only person who cared for him in that horrible place spoke the truth. She wished to give him the key, so he could change. She knew his current attitude wouldn’t budge. He was too proud, too sure of himself to listen to anyone.
She then tells Paul that his guide is Albert, the man he had disfigured. Albert promises to help Paul and even forgive Paul, since he has toiled in purgatory long enough to understand the futility of hate and vengeance.
Paul demands to know by what right he must follow Albert. His benevolent guide tells him:
“The question is not one of right, so much as of love. You do not understand that, for love has found little place in your heart, being crowded out by selfishness. I, therefore, reply as will best help you, thus: The first thing you had better do is to grapple with the fact that you are completely in the power of the evil rulers of these realms, except for the help of such as I. If you do not admit this of your own free will you will be ground down and crushed into submission – not by me, nor by any of my Order – by those same dark rulers and their subordinates. Under their power you must pass, for you paid your allegiance to them in your earth life, although you little realized that fact then. But, while you have this short respite, I advise you to cultivate the ability in yourself of accepting what help I and Albert are able to give you. For such a link made now will bind us to you when you are down there.”[vi]
Paul doesn’t believe his previous actions have actually brought him to his present situation. What Paul, and all of us should instill into our hearts, is that it is never too late to make amends, to repair what wrong a person has committed. Kathleen, the spirit communicating to G. Vale Owen, alerts him to the seriousness of what she is about to say:
“Listen. This is one of the most important lessons for people to learn while in the earth life. That qualification is emphatic. It is much more difficult to undo here any wrong committed, or wrong course taken, while on earth, than it is to do so in the earth life.”[vii]
What we are being told is that to take our opportunity now, as we live in our dense bodies, to improve, to ask for and to give forgiveness. We are sent to earth in a frail frame so our emotions and character could be more strongly molded by experiences. We aren’t sent to grow intellectually, but morally. To learn to follow our conscience, no matter what the consequences might be. Whether by missing a chance for fame or wealth, whenever you feel you are committing a wrong, the temporary prize is not worth what will be extracted from you after you leave your short life.
There are more details and explanations of the different places around, on, and below the earth in my book, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined.
Paul Goes His Own Way
Paul still seething at his feebleness in the face of a small woman giving him orders, walks outside with Albert. He couldn’t comprehend why he had no ability to disobey the slight girl. He didn’t yet understand the power of a high spirit.
On the road, outside, Paul sees just a single road, with shacks on either side. The air was putrid, owing to the ever-present bogs. He tried to use a fence to support his weak knees, but the fence broke and he fell into the mud.
He looked around him at the plants inside the garden fence. He saw no real greenery or flowers, only a type of fungus that grew. Disgusted with himself and Albert, he left Albert and started to walk alone.
Paul tried to walk up toward a feint light in the mountains but found that he wasn’t physically able to make the trek. Therefore, he journeyed lower and lower into the plains. He spent what seemed to him to be weeks or months.
Until he came to an area where two people, a man and a woman, were talking to a congregation on a stage. There was a crowd of about a thousand lost souls. Captivated by the dominate spirits speaking on the dais.
The two addressed Paul, and told him to come up on the stage. Paul hesitated, then the woman sternly commanded him, “Come hither and mount this platform. You have a public duty to perform for the benefit of the community into which you are to be initiated. Come and come quickly!”[viii]
Paul had no choice but to obey, their will was stronger than his. The crowd roughly pushed him onto the stage. The narrative continues:
“Paul was informed that he was to play the part of model in an anatomical lecture. That had been his line of interest in his earth life, and he would now, no doubt, be not the least interested among those who should listen to the wisdom of these two very learned idealistic scientists. This was explained to him by three assistants as they stripped him of every rag which had clothed him, and bound him naked to a stake which was fixed into the rock a little to the rear of the center of the stage.”[ix]
Notice the air of sarcasm, the use of his own past against him. Souls who have been in the Lower Zones for quite a long time are often quite intelligent and able to use their minds to read the thoughts of others and to control the actions of lesser spirits. The lecture begins:
“Then the lady proceeded to deliver her lecture, while the man illustrated her points, from time to time, on the body of Paul. In order to do this he used two tools. One was a sharply pointed lancet with a long handle. With this he indicated the precise spot in Paul’s anatomy of which the woman was speaking. He did this by plunging it deeply into the flesh.
When some internal organ was mentioned he used the other implement. This was an immense scalpel, with which he cut open the body and laid the flesh aside in order to exhibit the organ discoursed upon. In these operations the man and woman took turn and turn about.
But while the torture inflicted was terrible enough, the fact that, so far from his losing consciousness his intellect became more alert as his bodily suffering increased added agony to agony.”[x]
All through this ordeal, Paul was wide awake. What was more astonishing is that he did not bleed. Paul didn’t realize that in his spirit form, he could not die, no matter what they did to his body. But they didn’t only just torture his corpse, but his mind too.
“The like of it he had never heard before. Every sin in his life seemed to be known to them. One after another, they brought them forth and, with ribald words, couched in mock-scientific phrases, and with an assumed courtesy, laid bare his innermost thoughts, his secret deeds, sins long ago forgotten and, as he had thought, lost in the void of the past. These were now, with shameless relish, retailed in detail in his hearing before the public audience who cheered and howled.”[xi]
Finally, after the fun was concluded, he was thrown into a cave and left to recover.
Monica, the woman Paul used in his youth so roughly, met him when he woke up for the first time, stood next to him in the cave. She cried when she saw the suffering he went through.
Paul talked to Monica, saying that he could stay in that place, now that he had passed the torturing. Monica told him that would just be the beginning and that they had better move on.
Paul followed Monica for a ways. He couldn’t decipher where he was going and to what purpose, then his anger got the better of him:
“Here she paused, and Paul said roughly: ‘Now look you here, Monica, my girl. You’ve got to get me out of this. I don’t mind their way of life so much, if only I can insure myself against their cruelty. Now you seem to know the country fairly well. You’ve been here longer than I have. Show me where I may live without being bullied and tortured, and I’ll try to settle down till something better turns up.’
‘Albert still awaits you,’ she said.
A sudden fury seized him and, with a curse, he caught up a broken branch which lay near and rushed upon her, aiming a blow at her head which should have felled her to the ground. He was surprised, however, to feel an arm suddenly extended above his head from behind, while the hand grasped his wrist and held it immovable in the air; his left arm also being seized in a strong grasp, so that he was unable to stir.
He was held thus for some minutes, his captor preserving silence. At length, trembling with fear, he dropped the weapon. Still he was held in that irresistible grip. Then he felt himself being slowly turned about and, at last, released, face to face with the lady he had met in the hut on his arrival.”[xii]
Paul’s spirit guide, who had been watching the entire scene, made her presence felt to deter Paul from inflicting more harm. As a higher spirit than Paul, she was less dense and thereby invisible to any spirit in the Lower Zone. Only when she willed herself to become more solid, could others in that low plain see her.
“She looked upon him not unkindly, but sternly and steadily, as she said, ‘This poor lamb has fought the fight of a lion. You helped her headlong into this region of gloom and sorrow. But she has overcome the death which is the portion of those who dwell here, and has begun the ascent towards the Borderland, beyond which lies the Land of Lesser Gloom and, beyond that, the region of Twilight Brightening into the Dawn. She has a long way still to go, and the road is toilsome. But she who won in that hard battle is able for the journey.
She was given her choice to proceed, or to linger here. She knew you were coming over and, although she has no love for you above others, yet in pity she asked to be permitted to wait, if by any chance she might be of help to you, to save you from the worst. That help you have refused by your hardness and selfishness. It is but self you consider; you fear for self, and seek for self alone.
Monica has done what she could. She must now leave you lest ill befall her from contagion of your company; for she is not immune from temptation yet. Brave as her fight has been, and great her victory, it is not final, nor complete.
You now shall find, of your own leading, what way they go who go your way. There are those who may be purified only by fire. When you ae so purified I will show myself to you again.”[xiii]
The speech by his guardian angel didn’t move Paul in the least. He could only think of how he could become more dominant, so he too could reign over the lost souls beneath the earth.
Paul travel on and downwards, seeking his own level. For many months or years, Paul didn’t know how long, he toured the dark worlds. Always finding spirits who were superior to him in evil. Always playing the part of the slave, the fool, the mangy dog, who no one would touch or love.
At last, after his very will was laying in tatters, he began to see the effect of evil upon himself and others. This is precisely how God and Jesus, as the leader of humanity, combats evil. They use evil to cure evil. The Supreme Intelligence, who created all spirits, with free will, so they can choose their path, are provided a chance to live in a world where others think just like them. So these misguided souls can determine by themselves if living with cruelty, without love and kindness, is the type of world they want to inhabit.
The Road Upward
On the boundary between the regions of darkness and the beginning of twilight, there is a church. It is simple and it is for those souls who are trying to reach the next level. On this occasion, it was known throughout the district that several spirits from higher levels would come to speak to anyone who wanted to show up. The crowd is described thusly:
“Many in the crowd, when in the earth life, were men and women, not only of refined tastes, but of considerable culture. Let me tell you a few who may, or may not, have been there on that occasion, but whom I know as inhabitants of that region, and who have been from time to time, to one of the gatherings held in that Church. Some have now progressed; others are still there.
Here is a short list: A financier who dealt with millions sterling; a colonel of cavalry, with a country seat ancient and beautiful; a doctor of divinity; three doctors of medicine; a lady who had a fine mansion a few miles out of town, and whose town house was the center of politics and art; she was one of the leaders in a philanthropic effort to raise a fund for the building of a sanatorium for indigent society people; a millionaire who left many large bequests to charity; a number of lesser lights in earth life, but intelligent educated people. In addition to these, rulers and princes are there, and legislators, some still remembered and honored by the people of earth.
To such as these the Missioner spoke in simple terms such as would be suited to a Sunday School class of junior children, and yet keeping in mind ever as he spoke the experiences through which they had passed.”[xiv]
Kathleen, the narrator of the story, tells us that these people concentrated on what brought them status and accolades from others. Not what could improve their spiritual quotient. Hence, when they passed over, their accumulated experience counted for almost nothing. They knew not how care, love with compassion, or examine their heart and feelings with introspection.
At the end of the service, Paul discovered Albert was also there, waiting for his return after such a long period. They talked to the Missioner who told them they were ready to seek the light and leave their present level.
Together, a newly kind and humble Paul, and Albert made the long trek up the hill to the boundary. Paul discovered that he had grown taller, now just a few inches shorter than Albert. And Albert felt an appreciation for the new Paul. As they sat down to rest just before the gate their spirit guide approached them:
“As they lifted their eyes, she said, ‘So, I have found you as I had been hoping to find you, my two poor sufferers. But that is over now, and peace has followed hard upon the heels of reconciliation. You notice the results, do you not?’
They looked at her in surprise, not understanding her. Then she laughed gladly and right heartily, as she stepped forward and, taking each by the arm, raised them to their feet and turned them about to confront each other.
‘There,’ she said. ‘Now what do you think?’
They had both continued to gaze upon her in their surprise at her coming, and doubt as to her purpose. Still looking inquiringly into her face, Paul said, ‘Sister, I am thinking that, for a young woman, your grip is only equaled by the quality of your muscles.’
At this she laughed the more, and addressed this other:
‘Albert, my son, cannot you find something to say just a little more to the point than your friend’s remark?’
‘Well,’ replied Albert, ‘he is certainly right, Sister, and I can quite understand Paul’s surprise. You see, he interprets your age and experience by your appearance, which is that of quite a young girl. He is not aware how long you have been here, nor the fact that your proper Home is some spheres beyond. That is why he is surprised at your strength.’
‘My good friends,’ she answered, ‘what dullards you both are! Look at each other, and not at me, and tell me what – oh, at last you catch my meaning. Well?’
‘Sister,’ answered Albert, ‘I can scarcely put it into words, but certainly Paul’s dress has changed since we came from the Church yonder.’
‘Yes,’ she replied; ‘I was much amused that neither of you had noticed it. Let me explain to you. You did not imagine you could enter into respectable society in the rags you wore over there, did you? I want you to realize that beyond the Gate the people are quite different from those among whom you have lived hitherto. The dress you at present wear consorts with theirs, and you will be able to mix with them now on equal terms.’”[xv]
As Paul and Albert progressed, their outer garments and physical form began to take on the appearance of their inner selves. Whereas, on earth, rotted inner cores can be covered by grand garments and plastic surgery. In the spirit realm, you appear what you are inside. Your character, your capacity to love, your wisdom and inner strengths flow out and mold your body and clothing.
When they ventured into the next sphere, Paul was amazed.
“Paul was lost in admiration of the scene before him. There were islands dotted about the river’s course on which were kiosks and summer-houses, and on one large island a music pavilion. Here was an orchestra which made music that floated over the lawns and flower-gardens and houses, and bathed all in a flood of melody. It brought a sense of restful content to the two weary newcomers who stood there rapt in ecstasy. So great was the contrast, and so sudden had it been sprung upon Paul, that he forgot his companions and stood rapt in silent wonderment.
At last his lips moved, as to himself he murmured, ‘Yes, God lives.’
It was the first time that Name had been on his lips since he had left the earth life. He paused for a few moments, still in a deep rapture of solemn meditation; then added: ‘ – and loves.’”[xvi]
His and Albert’s guiding spirit told them, that this wasn’t even the beginning of heaven, but only a way station to rest and recuperate after a hard expedition. She then led them to a pavilion and asked them both to wait.
When she returned she had the wives of Paul and Albert on each arm. Both woman, who had waited for the betterment of their husbands took each to their bosom and gave them their long-awaited love.
Yes, purgatory, or hell, or the Lower Zone, by any name one wishes to call it, is a terrible, horrible, and shocking place to be. Full of misery, cruelty, sarcasm, and an utter lack of fraternity, where each is on their own. Given all that, there are still pools of good in each inhabitant in that dark zone. Exposure to their own behavior and time unlocks their heart to let the bad ooze out and be replaced with an acknowledgement that goodness is actually the answer to life. That what a person has in their heart, their spirituality, not their mass of material goods is what is vital.
If you wish to learn more about the cycle of spirit – physical self – spirit again, and what this means to your growth as a spirit, please read my book, The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection.
Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.
Vale Owen, G. (1924). Paul and Albert. London: The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association.
[i] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 3
[ii] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 2
[iii] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 4
[iv] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 5
[v] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, pp. 7-8
[vi] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, pp. 8-9
[vii] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 17
[viii] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 27
[ix] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 27
[x] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, pp. 27-28
[xi] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 28
[xii] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 35
[xiii] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 36
[xiv] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 53
[xv] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, pp. 63-64
[xvi] Owen, R. G., Paul and Albert, The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association, p. 67