Zabdiel, the spirit who resides in the tenth level of heaven, was given a task by the Chief Angel Lord of the tenth sphere. He was told only to journey, with three other spirits to the capital city of the fifth sphere. Upon arrival he was to present himself to the Chief of the city.
There are many recollections by the spirit Zabdiel in the book Life Beyond the Veil, in The Highlands of Heaven section. Zabdiel communicated this experience to the Rev G. Vale Owen over several days in December 1913. Zabdiel’s exploits while in service to his angelic superiors are varied, interesting, and always revealing. They tell us about the real heaven. How everything operates. How we shall live, work, and progress.
On earth we are like teenagers in High School, talking about the real adult world, but not actually knowing what it entails. As naïve grown children, never having to actually fend for themselves, not having to earn money to survive, never working for long in a detested job because one must, and never dealing with arguing children or dealing with ignorant bureaucrats or dealing with life in general. All of these mundane future events are lost in the haze of great expectations. Of dreams of fame and conquest in a battlefield they are completely ignorant of.
Our view of heaven is the same (for those who believe in anything beyond our material existence). It is a hoped for, but little understood destination. We wish to go, but our concrete knowledge of the territory is lacking. Spiritism is here … Spiritism has drawn back the curtain of doubt, to expose what your life will be like once you graduate from the campus of Earth. Zabdiel is but one spirit, out of many, who have been sent to educate us, to allay our fears and reinforce our determination to follow our conscience.
Zabdiel’s tale of testing a group of women who desire to ascend together is simple in its narrative, but complex in its meaning. Read his description and keep in mind the absolute humbleness that is ever-present.
Zabdiel, still not sure what his task would be, describes what occurred when met with the Chief of the City:
“Word was given, and a company of women came into the Hall, and greeted us with courtesy. And then the Chief expounded the nature of my visit to me and to my companions, while the women stood before us in their pretty white and blue robes; but their jewels they had left behind, for this occasion. Yet they were very sweet in their simplicity of attire, which was, moreover, becoming to them in demure demeanor which was upon them in the company of us who were some few spheres removed from them.
It amused me much, and so I asked that he would permit me awhile before he continued. So, descending to the floor, I went and blessed each one, my hand severally upon the head of each, and added kindly words. Whereupon their shyness was abashed instead of them; and they looked up and smiled at us, and were altogether at their ease.”[i]
Zabdiel attempted to decipher his mission, but could not. Therefore he asked the Chief why these women were presented to him and his companions. He was told that all fifteen women had stayed together for the last three spheres. And they had advanced as a group from each level. The ones making rapid progress, would stay to help the rest. Now, the group was ready to climb up to the next level, but knowing that a premature promotion is unwise, wanted to have a higher judge to decide if they were fit to ascend.
Zabdiel was intrigued. His mission was actually two-fold, he was to determine if the women were to be promoted and he would be watched in the management of the task. Zabdiel was quite happy; joyful because he knew the more difficult the task assigned the greater the confidence his superiors had in him.
The Test of the Women
Zabdiel quickly resolved his course of action:
“So I thought a little space, and rapidly, and this is how I measured it. There were in all fifteen of these faithful, loving souls, who had so come their long road together. So I divided them by three, and send five each way into the City. I bade them each bring me a little child, one to each party of five; and the child should tell me the lesson which they should impart to him, as being what most he should have needed to know.”[ii]
Zabdiel’s test strikes at the heart of the philosophy of the spirit realm. First he didn’t force each woman to stand alone to determine if each individual was ready. He respected their mutual love and dedication toward each other. He provided them the benefit of the doubt that they knew best how to insure all of them, as a collective, had learned enough to earn the right to proceed to the next level.
Secondly, he spread them out in three groups, so he could examine the quality of the three results. If the group was as harmonious as it needed to be, the differences in the level of responses of each child would be minimal.
Thirdly, asking them to teach the child what they should know, to prepare them for later life, would determine the philosophical outlook of the group as a whole. Using three data points Zabdiel would be able to triangulate to what the women thought was most important. Knowing that, Zabdiel would be able to decide if the women were aligned with aim of the fifth and the sixth sphere.
In this manner, Zabdiel would know if the group attuned themselves, by their free will, to the directives of the spirit realm and to gauge the accumulated knowledge of the coterie of dedicated friends.
Zabdiel didn’t have to wait long, each group returned with a child, two boys and one girl. Zabdiel asked the three children to stand before him. He went to the first in line and asked the boy what he had learned, to which the child answered:
“If it please you, bright sir, I came hither without knowing God’s earth, for my mother gave up my spirit into the heavenly land before she gave my body to earth. These lady-sisters, therefore, instructed me, on the way, that I must know that God’s earth is the cradle of these brighter spheres. In it are little boys fostered by much rocking to and fro; and no peace is known, as we know it here, until the earth is left behind. Nevertheless, it is of the same Kingdom of our Father’s Love, and we must pray for those who are being rocked about unkindly, and for those who rock them too hardly.”[iii]
Zabdiel thought this was an excellent lesson. The analogy of our life on earth as in constant movement, without peace is apt. Only when we are removed from the cradle, by death, do we find (if we have achieved it through our actions) true peace. Zabdiel then moved on to the next child:
“Then I called the other little mite, and he came to my feet and touched them with his soft little hand and, looking up to me very sweetly, he said, ‘May it please you, kindly-looking sir – ‘ But at this I could forebear no longer. So I stooped down, and caught him up to my lap, and kissed him, tearfully for the joy of love, and he gazing at me in submissive wonder and pleasure mingled. Then I told him to proceed, and he replied he could not with ease and perfection were I not pleased to set him down on the steps again. This I did, I wondering now, and he continued.
He had his hand again upon my foot exposed from beneath my robe, and said very solemnly, taking up exactly where I had broken him off so short, ‘that the feet of an angel are beautiful to the sight and to the touch – to the sight, because the angel is good, not of the head and heart alone, but in the way he goes on the service of our Father; to the touch, for they tread softly ever; softly where men feel their weight in rebuking for wrongdoing, and softly when he takes up in his arms the sorrowful, to bear him away to these brighter lands of comfort and joy. We shall be angels one day, not little boys any more, but big and strong and bright, and having much wisdom. And then we must remember this, for in that day some one of great degree will send us also to earth to learn and teach at one time; for there are many there who will need us as we do not need who came away so soon. Thus the lady-sisters instructed me, sir angel, and I know it is as they have said since I have seen you here.’”[iv]
The small boy was taught the duty of a spirit is to help, to demonstrate fully, Jesus’ exhortations of charity, fraternity, and love for all. In these spheres around and on the earth, all are teachers. The earth is a school and the goal of the spirit realm circling our planet is to graduate spirits up one more notch. Nothing would be better that to have the entire planet full of humanity, turn the corner and realize love and forgiveness is the answer, so each and every one of us would ascend immediately after death.
Zabdiel, touched by the sublime sentiments of the child describes his feelings:
“Now, the love of little children is always so very sweet to me, it unmettles me in a way, and I do admit to you I lowered awhile my head, and looked within the folds of my lap, while my breast uplifted and sank in its almost painful ecstasy. Then I called all three, and they came – very gladly by their faces, but warily by their feet – and knelt one on either side of my thighs, and the little girl before my knees. And I blessed them very earnestly and lovingly, and kissed their sweet bended heads of curls, and then sat the lads on the step beside me and taking the little maid upon my lap, bade her to tell me her story.
‘May – it – please – you, – sir,’ she began, and she said each word so carefully separated from its fellows that I laughed right out; for I knew she had omitted the ‘kind’ or ‘kindly-looking,’ or other such endearing adjective, fearing further disaster, and wishing, in her maidenly modestly, to avoid all such.
‘Young lady,’ I said to her, ‘you are more in wisdom than your years or size, and bid fair to become a very able woman some day, who will govern well where you are set.’
She looked at me doubtfully, and then round at the company, who were all enjoying this interview in no common measure. So I bade her, speaking softly, to continue. This she also did, as the boy had done, taking up where she had left off, ‘that girls are God’s dams to nurture His lambs in their bosom, not until they have grown in love and wisdom, as their bodies grow in statue and in beauty. So we must ever keep in mind the motherhood that is in us, for our Father put it there when we slept in our own mother’s womb, before our angel awoke us, and bought us away into these blessed Homes. And our motherhood is very sacred from many causes, and the best cause of all is this: that our Savior, the Christ Lord (here she crossed her little dimpled hands upon her breast and, with fingers interlaced, bowed very reverently, and straightway continued so), was born of a woman, whom He loved, and she loved Him. When I am grown into a woman I will be told of those who have no mothers as we have here but know no tender love of mother like ours. And then I shall be asked if I would wish to be mother to some of those not borne by me, but needing some such as I very sorely. Then I must stand up straight and strong, and answer, ‘Send me forth of these bright places into those that are more dim for I am wishful to suffer with them, if I may perchance help and foster those poor little ones; for they are lambs of our good Shepard Who loves them; and I will love them for His sake as also for their own.’
I was much moved by these three answers. Long before they were complete I had come at several points which showed me that these women must go onward, and together, into higher places; for they were worthy.”[v]
The marvelous group of women were told they were allowed to move on to the next sphere. Zabdiel spotted one weakness in their teaching of the children. By the children’s speeches, the sister taught them their main duty would be to return to earth on a mission to help others. Zabdiel knows that only a small percentage of children raised in the higher spheres are destined to return to earth.
The children raised on the higher levels are those who were stillborn. These spirits were placed in a womb for a small amount of time for a purpose. And brought back to the spirit world, as still young, not a mature spirit. This is done for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it is to complete the maturation process, to help the spirit cast off negative tendencies. Therefore, they relearn, as a child would on earth, how to behave, act, and think. Other times, because of a difficult death that wounded their perispirit; they would require a short sojourn in a physical body to repair the damage.
What I had not read before is Zabdiel’s statement, talking about the sister’s decision to teach the children, “They had altogether lost sight of all the other manifold duties allotted to such as these; and further fact that but a small proportion of those who come hither in the manner they did are ever sent back to do mission work on earth, for the reason that the very refinement of their natures fits them for other work the better.”[vi] I do not know and Zabdiel doesn’t elaborate on what “other work” fully entails.
One can only imagine the types of careers which are present in the spirit world. From taking care of the physical aspects of our planet, to the plants and animals, not to mention the grand task of shepherding humans on earth, the categories and sub-categories of job descriptions would be a sight to see!
Arrival on the Sixth Sphere
Zabdiel accompanied the women to their new home; he describes the welcoming scene:
“When we had arrived at a town where was to be their home for awhile, the citizens came forth in bright attire, both men and women and some few children. They came along the lane, where we were at that time, to meet us. The trees which grew on either side met overhead in some places and, choosing one spot, the oncoming company came to a halt and awaited our coming. The scene was very like the inside parts of some cathedral, with leafy roof studded with gems of light and the people were the choir and worshippers.
They brought garlands of plants and flowers, and beautiful raiment and jewels for their new sisters. These they arrayed them with, and their less radiant garments melted away and vanished before the new robes proper to the Sphere into which they were now come. Then, each amidst her friends, all happy to welcome and be welcomed as to home, they who had come turned about and struck up a sweet marching air, with instruments of melody, and sang as we went forward towards the town. Here the townspeople thronged the walls and towers and gates, and cried greetings of welcome to add joy to joy already great.”[vii]
After the women walked into the town, they were gathered in the middle of a Sanctuary. There, they were placed in the middle and immersed in a cloud of mist, which altered their compositions to place them in the correct state for life in the sixth sphere.
Graduation from one sphere to the next isn’t just an intellectual exercise, where you are given a certificate and sent on. On the contrary; your very being is transformed. Little by little as one rises, the ratio of material to energy is decreased. As you ascend you become more energy and less matter, whereupon at some future state, you become pure energy.
Not only this, but there are powers and forces which have either been gifted to you or unlocked at your disposal. As you rise, you are given more responsibilities and hence, more tools at your disposal.
Our time on earth is all part of preparing us for great duties, each dramatic episode of our life, or time of sorrow is meant as a learning experience. It is up to us to take the lesson to heart and to change what must be reformed in our character, so we too, may one day have the privilege of climbing up to the next sphere of heaven.
Learn more about the spirit realm and what it means to us. The first place is to learn what the basic tenets of Spiritism are and how your life is planned so you can improve. You can begin by reading The Spirits Book, by Allan Kardec, or you can read my books, one on reincarnation, The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection, the other about the spirit realm, and how we fit into it, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined. You will find out why you are on this planet and where you are destined to be.
Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.
[i] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, p. 283
[ii] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, p. 284
[iii] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, p. 284
[iv] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 285-286
[v] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 286-287
[vi] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, p. 288
[vii] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 290-291