High School in Heaven

There are spirits in heaven, who after passing away in physical form at a very early age are selected to “grow-up” once again in the spirit realm. This is done to give them a new start, to re-build their educational and moral foundation with an improved character and attitude. So that they may renew their quest for spiritual ascension.

As one may guess, just like on earth, they are full of mischief and merriment. The spirit Arnel supplies a short interlude about his encounter with a group of young spirits at a fountain in the seventh level of heaven.

On a Tuesday, January 13, 1920, the spirit Arnel told the Rev. G. Vale Owen, about his walk with a group of fellow spirits about a set of gardens in a location in the seventh level of heaven that he was not yet familiar:

“The cross-way was walled on the left side as we went. On the right hand, when we had gone some little way, it was open to the gardens. The roof was supported by slight pillars of bronze and was of lattice work. About this Pergola climbed and blossomed beautiful climbing plants. But in the gardens were stretches of grass, flower-borders, canals and fountains.

On our left the wall continued and was of bronze, like the pillars, but paneled and embossed with beautiful designs. One large panel I noted especially. It was about eight feet high and twenty long. It was a metal-work picture of a fountain in the Sphere Eight. The picture was not still, as your pictures be, but all in motion. The waters flowed white from the fountain and thence went four ways. These four streams were severally blue, yellow, red and green; and the country to which each flowed took on the character of its own fertilizing stream. The green river watered a country wherein the chief lands were given to pasturage. Here were cottages, and shepherds and farmers and their sheep and horses and cattle and all that goes to make up an ideal agricultural region. All these, you will note, had a semblance of life and motion. The apple orchards swayed to the breeze and, as I gazed upon the woodlands, I could hear the voices of the birds. Even the fleecy clouds moved across the sky and cast their shadows below upon the meadows.

The blue stream fell from a high plateau into the ocean; and here were ships of all countries and of many periods, coracles, canoes, galleons, frigates and liners. All these were in movement, as was the sea upon whose bosom they rode.

The red stream went to a region of labor where men forged their engines of locomotion and of commerce, and also other metal instruments by which mankind had extended the use of his two hands by artificial substitutes of metal work. Even this was beautiful for the dominant note was light and fire, and the artist had treated the subject only from the viewpoint of progress. No instrument of war and destruction was here in the making. No drear ash-hills, no uncomely wastes of debris. In the picture the idea was not self-interest, but the motive inherent throughout was the desire to serve the race. And because this was so the artist was able to make this scene very beautiful also.

The yellow stream went forth in space. Now you will wonder how that was pictured, and I fear I can give you but a poor idea of it. I repeat, all was not still but in movement in these pictures. Now this stream as it went forth became transmuted first into spray and then into mist and then into light. But this was light in essence, its principle. It included within itself what you call night as night is suffused with sun-rays, only they be not luminous to you as you look at them from the rear of them as they stream out into space. You are looking in the same direction in which they are travelling. Only when you oppose your line of vision to the direction of their passage, when you stand on that side of earth which faces sunward do you say these rays are light-giving.

In that picture the light-rays were portrayed in all their aspects. The result was that we saw here the universe as we do, in fact, see it from our spirit side of life. There is no darkness but only light in its different aspects and phases. And through these great depths of light and radiance I could see the suns and their worlds upon their heavenly courses moving in the majesty of their steady grace. It was very informing as were all of the themes in that picture; and I paused for some time than I might assimilate its meaning.”[i]

The large panel with the wondrous moveable artwork foreshadows our future on earth. Arnel tells us:

“If men were adequately attuned to us then the various activities of earth would work out as here portrayed, even as the heavens do declare God His glory; which was the motive of the yellow, or golden river of the panel. Mankind is coming that way, but is far off the ideal yet.”[ii]

At every step there is art and beauty in the heavenly spirit realms, each is meant to soothe as well as educate. Perfection in form and function serves to remind each spirit of their potential and the latent goodness waiting to emerge from all spirits in inferior planes.

We are told, through many channels, of what may come, if only we all work together for the well-being of all. Arnel revealed the symbolism and edifying scenes which await us on our ascension.

The Fountain

Arnel, taking his time to study the vast metal work, fell behind his friends. He began to walk onwards, along a pathway whereupon he heard voices and laughter. He came to view a secluded enclosure through the hedges.

He spotted a lush green oval area, with a fountain in the middle, about forty-five yards in diameter. Well-trimmed grass surrounded the fountain, level with its pool of water.

He saw his friends talking with some women. He heard the voices of men and women, which was natural, but he also detected the laughter and voices of children. He looked around and didn’t see anyone who wasn’t an adult.

Arnel’s friend cried out to him:

“’Arnel, my brother,’ said one of my friends, ‘here is a pretty to-do. These young ladies have been guilty of a serious lapse from their duties. Maybe you have come to help them to amendment.’

‘Joseph,’ I answered him – he was one of our younger brothers – ‘you give to me, out of your own good heart, so pleasant task as yourself, I warrant you would very eagerly essay. That you do not gives you much merit for self-denial. Albeit, Joseph, my son, these young ladies seem to me to be facing their troubles very bravely withal. What is your crime, my fair young sinners, which even Joseph cannot remedy, and of which also you show such unusual signs of penance?’

Then one of the maids ran forward and, placing her hand upon my arm, turned her pretty face to me full of mischief, and said, with a show of tearfulness, ‘Please you, sir, it is a very grievous plight we be fallen into. We have lost the children.’

‘Which children be they?’ I said with mock severity.

‘The children we had in charge, sir,’ she said. ‘They were playing hereabout after lessons. They are good children and do not disobey. So when we made their bounds this Pleasance we knew they would not wander forth. Yet we have come and do not find them.’

‘Yet, as I came hither I heard their voices very plain,’ I said.

‘That is true, sir’ she replied, ‘and so did we. But where be the children?’

Now since we began our talk no child’s laughter had broken in upon us. Yet I knew they were at hand and were listening to all we said. Indeed, I was not slow to note that, from time to time, a subdued whisper came from the direction of the Fountain and, now and again, a child’s laugh, low and irresistible and quickly suppressed.

So I said, ‘By your leave, good maid, this problem pleases me and I feel somewhat wishful to try my tilt at it. So give me pause to think awhile and I will do my best, for I shall have shame to my greater years if I am not able to fathom this mystery, as I rather think yourselves have done.’

So, while she went back to her companions, I approached the basin’s rim to try my fortune in the game. The Fountain, you must know, was designed in keeping with the institution of which this enclosure was part. One of the departments was occupied in the teaching of children somewhat advanced. It was what you would call a mixed High School. The design of the Fountain, therefore, expressed one phase of their studies. It was made to represent a miniature hill clad in undergrowth and little forest trees among which were ensconced groups of animals and birds.

As I drew nearer I was led to examine this statuary more closely. It was well grouped, but the execution lacked finish. Truly I could put a name to most of the animals which the sculptor had endeavored to express: but they were rudely done, and some were no less than grotesque, and the likeness to the original rather pitiable.

But I was cautious in forming my conclusion. I knew such faulty work in the Sphere Seven to be at least most unusual. There must be some reason in it.

Just as I was getting very deep into my thinking there came from the mouth of an alligator, right in front of me across the water, a loud and terrible roar. But the voice was not that of any lizard ever created. It was a very passable imitation of the roar of a tiger.

‘Aye, there be five in that one, they tell me, and by the din they raise I can quite believe it,’ said Joseph at my elbow.

Before he had spoken I had spotted my quarry. The children were inside those stone monsters. I turned to the speaker with a smile. ‘Joseph, my young friend,’ I said, ‘you dissemble but ill. They who told you this, I take it, are they who so sadly mourn the loss of their young charges. So there be five young tigers inside that poor alligator? So? Well now, and about what number, think you, does that ostrich hold?’

Well, that was all satisfactory, but it did not solve my riddle for me. Also I here make my confession that I was worsted in that bout; for I had not the data to work upon. That was supplied anon when the group returned to me with Joseph and, taking pity upon my perplexity, explained the affair from its inception.

It seemed, these children, a party of between one hundred and fifty, were, as their years would be reckoned on earth, from the ages of ten to sixteen or thereabouts, boys and girls together. At this age, if children have exceptional ability, they are advanced enough to begin the more intricate creative course of study. In other words, having been taught in the lower schools the creative principles relative to the grasses, trees and, last, flowers and fruits, they proceed to apply their learning to the animal world.

This party of scholars had worked up to the Mammalia and had just been having a lesson on practical creative methods, before they had been sent to their play in the Pleasance.”[iii]

The excerpt I used from the communication of Arnel to G. Vale Owen was quite long. But, I believe it was important to convey the entire scene. The happiness, the tone, the love and kindness in the interplay between two groups of strangers is vital to examine.

Like a close family, where mutual support is a given, the heavenly spheres in the spirit world consistently demonstrates respect and comradery amongst its denizens. Admiration and politeness between all is the rule, not the exception.

The Law of Affinity, where people of like-mindedness are gathered together, showers those who have invested their time and effort in their personal ascension with untold benefits. They are able to live with the same love and fraternity that they themselves practice. They are given the pleasure to reside in a location of harmony and love. Heaven could not be better defined.

On the other hand, think of the opposite locations. The levels below heaven, which reach down to the core of the earth. Whereas in the higher planes love is pervasive, in the Dark Abyss, the absence of love dims and hardens everything; manner of speech, relations between strangers, between friends, and expectations when meeting strangers – all fraught with danger.

The Children

Children – it sounds incongruent in heaven. If we are immortal souls, how can there be children in heaven? I believe the answer lies in the spirit realms quest to give us opportunities for improvement. While I have not yet read any certain description of why there are children in heaven – I have discerned, through the literature that has been published from the spirit realm – that resetting a spirit back to a previous starting point is one more tool that is used to allow each of us to find our path to the light.

If a soul has traveled through multiple lives accumulating worse instead of better characteristics, then, like rebooting your laptop or device, it frees the core to become functioning again while discarding accumulated unwanted attributes.

The basic foundation of character is still present. The potential for intelligence, sense of humor, playfulness, and capacity for love all still remains. Only the years of built up grievances, tormenting experiences, and plans for revenge against false enemies are deleted, never to arise again.

Hence, souls who were sent to earth, who were destined to live short lives, with the aim to reshape their character … were given the gift of rebirth in the spirit world. Where we see tragedy in the short life of a child on earth, there may actually be a divine gift. A chance to begin again, to relive and rebrand as a more capable and complete individual.

There is one more benefit – the joy of seeing children in heaven. The immense pleasure of feeling the newness, wonderment, and love of a child. In our human experience, where we look upon children as joys to behold (most of the time!), imagine life in the spirit realm without that delight.

Creative Methods

In the last two paragraphs where Arnel described the children learning, he referenced “creative methods” and “creative course of study”, he was actually describing the on-going discovery of every spirit in heaven of how to harness their minds to build, to construct, and to conjure. To make, what is in their minds, by the force of their wills and intellect, via manipulation of Universal Fluids, into the object of their desire.

Arnel describes how they put what they had learned into action:

“Here they had formed a bold grand scheme and had immediately put it into execution. It was no less than the dematerialization of the whole fountain and the recreation of it with themselves inside the animals.

The first part went off grandly, for they were well skilled and practiced. But when the task of reconstruction came they found they had forgotten one difficulty. They would have to recreate these animals, themselves being in the animals’ interiors. This is what had bothered them. They had persevered, however, and were evidently very proud of their achievement. For the noises they had continued to send forth from the mouths of these poor beasts, whatever might be said in respect of verisimilitude, lacked not in vigor nor in a note of complete satisfaction that all was well, and also of pride in their achievement. You see, my son, being inside they had no notion that each animal was not as perfect a piece of work as they had willed it to be.

Which, however, added greatly to the mirth of us their seniors and was also adopted and used later in their own studies to add to their knowledge and skill therein.”[iv]

Therefore, gathering together in a group, the young spirits hatched a complex plan. They temporarily dispersed the fountain, back into its basic building blocks, and recreated it, with their own personalities concealed within the material veneer of the fountain.

The Unveiling

Seeing that the time was right, the children inside began to mimic the sounds of the animals they were entrapped within. After each small group demonstrated their ferocious, or sweet sounds, they all at once gave a last finale of animal noises.

Then Arnel tells us how the children exited the fountain:

“This being ended to their, but not to our, regret, there ensured their next act. This was to dematerialize the whole menageries, to come ashore, so to say it, and then to replace the group upon the island by re-materialization. The first part they managed quite easily. The animals began to melt and to fade away into invisibility.

The first to go was the alligator. There were five within him concerned in his destruction, and they happened to be of the older ones, and so, more advanced in the science. So they very quickly dissolved in obedience to their wills. We all stood round the Fountain at the basin’s rim awaiting the emergence of these young scientists. Well, as I say, the alligator was the first to go. But when the children stood up free – two boys and three girls they were – we all gazed agape for astonishment for a moment. Then realizing the reason of their plight we fell to laughter. For they were all naked with no rag or stitch upon their bonny forms.

At first they surveyed us with some hesitance, doubting what was amiss. But when they looked on one another they understood the source of our surprise. Yet, although they were perplexed at their appearance, they took heart from our laughter to know that what had come to pass could soon be remedied. They therefore joined their laughter to our own, and so, they having now supplanted us their elders in the role of victim, we were quite well content.”[v]

The onlookers, the teachers, and the students were amused. There was no shame in their naked purity. The beautiful form of the human body has no wrong inherent in it.

In the spirit world, clothes are a part of a person’s character. Each spirit wills the garments they desire. Arnel tells us that if the children and teachers were just playing in the garden, then not having any clothing would be perfectly fine. Arnel states that clothes are desired when performing work or leaving your own area. Clothes in the spirit world are a matter of comfort and personal preference.

As an example, in the book Memoirs of a Suicide, the spirit Camilo Branco, told us, as interpreted by the medium Yvonne Pereira, about the time he encountered a beautiful young woman:

“The first of the two women, the one that had touched my shoulder, was a charming young blonde who looked to be about fifteen years old, radiating an irresistible gracefulness, However, she was oddly dressed: a white tunic cinched at the waist, a blue robe worn in the ancient Greek style, and a small garland of tiny roses decorating on her ivory brow. At first I thought I was the victim of a new type of hallucination, that passing from the Valley of the Reprobates to Hope City, I had acquired the gift of creating the opposite of ugly, that is, pleasant and beautiful. The young woman had the poetic and imposing name Rita Cassia de Forjaz Frazao, a name that would have put her in the circle of an aristocratic family in her last existence on the soil of Portugal. I was unable to contain my desire to find out about her interesting garments, and after a few days I noticed she was becoming increasingly bothered by my indiscretion. Finally, she answered my question:

‘I was buried like this, that is, they dressed my corpse like this when I left it the last time I was incarnate. The return to the Invisible was so dear to my heart, in spite of the grief it meant for someone I had loved very much, that I have retained in my mind the remembrance of my last earthly ’garb’.”[vi]

Therefore, you wear what you feel you should wear. The appearance of clothes is a function of your mind. When, in the spirit world, you take away the thought of clothes, your outer garments simply vanish. Leaving you in your natural form.

There is No Sin Here

The spirit Arnel, knowing that he was talking to an English Anglican Reverend, and that what he told G. Vale Owen would be published in the 1920s, wished to clarify the episode at the fountain:

“Let me reproduce the scene for you. Here was a Fountain in the middle of a Pleasance. Around the waters’ rim were gathered a goodly number of young men and maidens with some elders among them. Upon the island stood five children in age about sixteen or seventeen years, And they were naked.

Now probably the first word which such a situation would bring to the mind of the ordinary reader in your earth-life would be the word ‘Shame.’ Of this I wish to speak quite clearly and emphatically. There was no blush or thought of shame in the whole company of us on either side of the water. There is no sin here in the Sphere Seven. Where sin is not shame has no basis and is not found. We have no prides in the Sphere Seven. No; when those five saw what had come of their daring experiment in a newly acquired science, they were at the first astonished and a little startled, then they were greatly amused. And then, seeing they were the first to become free of their prison, they smiled and made signs each to other to be silent. Thus they watched for the others to emerge into the light of day as, one by one, the animals melted into nothingness. And as each party arrived, each child in the same unadorned state, they waited expectant for the look of blank dismay which should betray the minds of their companions in this misfortune that they might pass on our own raillery to their fellows. Nor were they disappointed. As group after group came forth there awaited them, first a pause, and then a burst of merry laughter, each louder than the last, as the ranks of the emancipated were reinforced by those more laggard from time to time.

At last they were all free, some fifty or more of them. Then the elder children took the little ones by the hand and all waded the water, and so came to our side.”[vii]

Arnel explained that the effort to dematerialize out of the fountain was so strenuous for the children, that they did not have enough residual mental facilities to spare one thought to retain their outer garments.

Arnel wanted to stress the point that our earthly prudishness has no place in heaven. Our guilt over naked bodies, or embarrassment of showing flesh is not a factor for a mature spirit. The spirit realm, and most certainly God, desires each of us to be kind, gentle, and loving creatures. Feeling shameful with our bodies or the unclothed bodies of others is a sentiment to be left behind. It is basically unimportant and has no bearing of who a person is and the goodness and love which is present in an individual’s soul.

Life is love, compassion, and understanding in the spirit realm. We are on earth to learn to feel the same in our physical state. It is difficult given the conditions we must work and live in, but it can be done. With mental training and discipline. We should strive to take to heart the touching and amusing scene supplied to us by the spirit Arnel. A place where souls support each other, are amused and not critical of trivial outward appearances.

Arnel afforded us one more small glimpse of the life awaiting us in the heavenly spheres. To walk amongst vibrant gardens with exotic displays of movable sculptures and frescoes; to interact with good friends; to laugh with all around us; to always feel unashamed and protected – that vision should be what drives us to work hard to repair the blemishes in our character.

Explore the Spirit Universe by reading my book Heaven and Below – Book 1 of Spiritism. It is the first in a series of three books revealing the full extent of the spirit realm, what heaven is like, what we do  there, how we continue our education, even as spirits. Understanding what is awaiting us after we shed our dense body will make your sojourn on earth easier and you will be able to decipher why we must travels through the trials that have been assigned to us. Click here to buy the book.

Understand the trials you encounter are there for a reason. Learn from hard knocks and use them to hasten your spiritual health. Read my book The Problem is the Solution – 7 Life Complications Sent to Test and Teach You, to determine what debts you are paying and what lessons you must acquire.


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 www.nwspiritism.com.

Works Cited

Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.

Pereira, Y. A. (2012). Memoirs of a Suicide. Brasilia (DF), Brasil: International Spiritist Council (EDICEI).

[i] Owen, G. Vale, The Outlands of Heaven, Greater World Association Trust, pp. 37-39

[ii] Owen, G. Vale, The Outlands of Heaven, Greater World Association Trust, p. 39

[iii] Owen, G. Vale, The Outlands of Heaven, Greater World Association Trust, pp. 40-43

[iv] Owen, G. Vale, The Outlands of Heaven, Greater World Association Trust, p. 43

[v] Owen, G. Vale, The Outlands of Heaven, Greater World Association Trust, p. 44

[vi] Pereira, Y. A., Memoirs of a Suicide, EDICEI, pp. 447-448

[vii] Owen, G. Vale, The Outlands of Heaven, Greater World Association Trust, pp. 44-45


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