By Brian Foster
“The Lower Zone”, we have all been there, between lifetimes at one epoch or another. It’s a place where not horrible and not spiritual people go to after they leave their body. It’s meant to be a temporary location, a way station, for those who haven’t yet made up their minds to follow the ways of love, charity, fraternity, and honesty. When one finally realizes the benefits of the golden rule, and the overriding love of God, then the door is unlocked and you are assisted out and up to a higher level. A celestial city.
What exactly is the Lower Zone like? Andre Luiz, who woke up there after his death on the operating room table describes one small part of it;
“Actually, I felt like a prisoner trapped behind dark bars of horror. With my hair on end, my heart pounding, and scared stiff, I often cried out like a madman. I begged for mercy and clamored against the painful despondency that had taken hold of my spirit. But when the loud cries didn’t fall on an implacable silence, they were answered by lamenting voices even more pitiful than my own. At other times, sinister laughter rent the prevailing silence. I thought that some unknown companion out there was a prisoner of insanity. Diabolical forms, ghastly faces, animal-like countenances appeared from time to time, increasing my panic.”
Doesn’t seem like a great place does it? The Lower Zone is comprised of many areas. Not just a strange dark dimension that exists parallel to our own, but also right here, on the surface of the earth.
In the book, Memoirs of a Suicide, by Yvonne A. Pereira, the main protagonist of the book, Camilo Castelo Branco, who committed suicide when he was going blind because of syphilis, describes what it was like awaking in the graveyard where he was buried.
“Sobbing uncontrollably, I bent over the grave that held my wretched remains. Contorting myself in terrifying convulsions of pain and rage, wallowing in a crisis of diabolical fury, I understood that I had committed suicide, that I was in the grave, but that, nevertheless, I continued to live and suffer even more, so much more than before, superlatively, abysmally so much more than before my cowardly and thoughtless act!”
Hence, Camilo, while his body, six feet underground, was deteriorating, felt he was alive, with all of the loneliness, pain and suffering it entails. Walking on the face of the earth, while incarnate visitors to familial graves passed through him, oblivious to his sufferings.
Camilo then left the cemetery, trying to ascertain what was this world that he had died into?
“I continued to roam around aimlessly, feeling my way along the streets, unacknowledged by friends and admirers, a poor blind man humiliated in the afterlife thanks to the dishonor of having committed suicide; a beggar in the spirit world, famished in the darkness; a tortured, wandering ghost without a home, without shelter in the immense and infinite world of spirits; exposed to deplorable dangers; hounded by malefic entities, criminals of the spirit world, who love to use hateful traps to capture individuals going through tormenting situations like mine in order to enslave then and increase the obsessing hordes that destroy earth’s societies and ruin men and women, submitting them to the vilest temptations with their deadly influence.”
The Lower Zone is all around us, teeming with life, not of the benevolent kind. The type of life that we discarded as childish fears long ago. That our rational minds refused to consider, since we could neither touch nor see it. For even if there are multiple instances of unexplainable phenomena, unless we have positive proof, or see it on television or the internet, we are labeled fools to believe its existence.
Exists it does and it is there for a purpose. While we must go through trials in our physical life, in order to learn the valuable lessons assigned to us, once we end our studies, does everyone pass? No matter how pitiful our performance was? We aren’t in our local kindergarten class where each participant gets a ribbon. God is love, and love can be tough love, the love that holds us to a high standard. A raised bar that ensures only those who meet the minimum criteria are allowed to enter.
Does God decide for each of us what our grades were and where we go onto next? No, it is accomplished much more efficiently, the Law of Affinity, filters us out rather nicely. The law which combines like with like, reprobate with reprobate, selfishness with selfishness, dividing us by a thousand little gates into the group to where we precisely belong. If we have balanced our life with spirituality and materialism, so we are not bound by earthly objects we may rise above the Lower Zone. On the other hand, if we live a life of lusting after the newest gadget, the biggest house, stepping on others on our way to prosperity, then we get to stay with souls just like us. No wonder there are gangs of criminal spirits waiting for their next victim amongst the dead. For the place is full of those who gleefully took advantage of others whenever possible.
Your life has more meaning and complexities than you realize. There are levels of the spirit world that helps us and hinders us. To understand how your individual fate is determined, tracked, and evaluated please read my book, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined.
The Lower Zone or Umbral
The Brazilian Spiritist call the Lower Zone, the Umbral. A much better name, if a friend asked you, “Have you been to the Lower Zone?” wouldn’t you rather reply, “Me? No, but I have visited the Umbral for a time.” Sounds more exotic, with a splash of Italian architecture thrown in, hinting that the food must be prepared relatively well there.
In the book, Nosso Lar, psychographed by Chico Xavier and inspired by Andre Luiz; Andre, after being rescued from the Umbral by the kind spirits of the heavenly city, Nosso Lar, asks why must there be a place like the Lower Zone. He receives an answer from his friend Lisias;
“Imagine that when we reincarnate, each of us is wearing a dirty garment that must be washed in the waters of human life. This dirty garment is our casual body, woven by our own hands during our past lives. As we share in the blessings of a new earthly opportunity once more, we usually forget our essential purpose, and instead of purifying ourselves through the effort of the cleansing process, we become even more soiled by going deeper into debt and thus imprisoning ourselves in genuine slavery. Now if we return to the world seeking a way to rid ourselves of our impurities because they are out of harmony with a higher plane, how can we expect to enter the sphere of light in an even worse state than before? Therefore, the Umbral is a region intended for the flushing away of negative mental residues. It is a sort of purgatorial zone, where one gradually burns off the refuse of the bulk of illusions acquired after having degraded the sublime opportunity of an earthly life.”
Lisias explains to Andre, that the Umbral begins at the crust of the earth and continues higher until it reaches the boundaries of the celestial cities. A large area that contains all those who couldn’t successfully complete their mission, souls that retained their passions for material goods, hatred of their enemies, and a host of other obsessions that we are all better without.
Lisias emphasizes this point by describing the criticality of the zone.
“The Umbral is a region of profound importance for those still on earth, for it embodies everything that is useless to the more highly evolved life. Consider how wisely Divine Providence has acted in allowing the creation of such a zone around the planet. There are legions of irresolute and ignorant souls, who are not wicked enough to be relegated to the colonies of the most dolorous expiation, nor are they sufficiently virtuous to be admitted to the higher planes. They represent the ranks of the inhabitants in the Umbral, and they are close companions of incarnate human beings, separated from them only by vibratory laws.”
The phrase, “embodies everything that is useless”, is the key to all. Useless are material goods. Useless are the passions we retain, the revenge we are plotting even up to our untimely death. Useless is our quest for a lavish lifestyle that compromised our ideals and forced us to ignore our conscience in order to gain a moment of wealth. Wealth, that is no longer with us while we reside in the Umbral.
As if our life on earth isn’t difficult enough for us, there is another hurdle awaiting those who fail to absorb the message that we must improve our spiritual life while surviving the planned events that we have signed up for.
Organization of the Lower Zone
The Umbral is composed of unfortunate souls, who lacked the required faith to believe in life after death, people who were aimless in their physical existence, financial and petty criminals. When Andre was in the Umbral, he did notice groups of spirits, he asks how the Lower Zone is organized;
“Organization is an attribute of organized spirits. What do you expect? The lower zone to which we are referring is like a home where there is no food: Everyone whines and no one is reasonable. The absent-minded traveler misses the train; the farmer who does not sow cannot reap. However, there is only one thing I can say for sure: Even in the darkness and anguish of the Umbral, divine watch-care is never lacking. Each spirit remains there just as long as is absolutely necessary, and that is why the Lord has permitted the establishment of many colonies like this one, devoted to useful work and spiritual aid.”
Hence, there is no over-all structure commanding the Lower Zone. It is a collection of different geographical areas with an everlasting flow of souls in and out of the regions. As people die, those who do not have the capacity to rise above, remain in the Umbral, while those who have served enough time to readjust their thinking and discover the possibilities of a better life, and find a place in a spiritual colony to being their climb to spiritual health.
This is not to say, that there are not gangs of individual spirits who try and carve out their territories. For why should the Umbral be any different than on earth? The people who strived to take advantage of others find their kinsmen and quickly look to replicate their past deeds.
Sometimes they actively war to gain their terrain. In the book, Action and Reaction, Andre Luiz is visiting a small colony, more like a fort, located deep in the Umbral. Its purpose is to help those who desire to escape their time in that desolate region. The center’s name is “Mansao Paz”, which translates into “Mansion of Peace”.
Andre describes the weapons that defend the small colony, as a series of metallic poles which are charged to repel any attacks. Andre witnesses one such attack and asks;
“Are we being attacked by an army?” I asked, intrigued.
“Yes, we are,” Druso confirmed calmly. “These attacks are common, however. Our unfortunate brothers are trying to force us to move our building and render us powerless so that they can take over the region.”
The attackers are equipped with canons that discharge harmful vibrations that would cause terror and madness, if it wasn’t for the defenses of the fort. Which illustrates that indeed, some type of organized criminal groupings are present. Wherever, there is control by criminals, there exist the need for them to enslave the weak and feeble. There are always legions of henchmen ready to do their bidding in the hopes of rising to the top one day.
The presence of cannons, which are capable of spreading fear, indicates a sophisticated supply chain. There must be collectives within the Lower Zone which can manufacture weapons and probably other goods.
All of this is occurring right at our doorstep. As we walk, as we drive, as we work, we are swimming in the same space as the Lower Zone. Millions of forlorn and discarded creatures emanating negative thoughts and energy. We are living in an atmosphere charged with rays designed to bring us down, to their level. No wonder we must struggle daily with keeping our heads uplifted.
All of this is by design. We live on a planet of atonement, where we must pay for our past wrongs. We must expiate our mistakes. While doing so, we live in an atmosphere where at any time we can breathe in adverse forces to kick us off the right path. In order to succeed in our trials, we must demonstrate pure dedication, in our hearts and minds, to living a life deserving our entrance to a celestial city.
There is a plan for each one of us. To fully comprehend the process and planning of your reincarnations, read my book, The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection.
Also, see what other people saw in the Lower Zone and other regions of the spirit realm – The Spirit World Talks to Us.
Brian Foster has a BSCS degree and a MBA. He has worked in R&D for medical device corporations and in IT for large financial institutions. Brian Foster has a blog at http://www.nwspiritism.com.
Pereira, Y. A. (2012). Memoirs of a Suicide. Brasilia (DF), Brasil: International Spiritist Council (EDICEI).
Xavier, F. C. (2010). Action and Reaction. Brasilia (DF), Brazil: International Spiritist Council.
Xavier, F. C. (2010). Nosso Lar. Brasilia – (DF), Brazil: International Spiritist Council.
 Xavier, F.C. Nosso Lar, EDICEI, p. 17
 Pereira, Y. A. Memoirs of a Suicide, EDICEI, p. 46
Pereira, Y. A. Memoirs of a Suicide, EDICEI, p. 47
 Xavier, F.C. Nosso Lar, EDICEI, pp. 74-75
 Xavier, F.C. Nosso Lar, EDICEI, p. 75
 Xavier, F.C. Nosso Lar, EDICEI, p. 76
 Xavier, F.C. Action and Reaction, EDICEI, p. 33