His beliefs supply the necessary environment and his conscience condemns him to the punishment he believes in. Even if he has sought to disbelieve these things by use of his reason, and still retains the subconscious memories of the traditions of his race, he will find himself in the same condition.
He will undergo the traditional tortures and sufferings (all in his imagination of-course) until he receives a valuable disciplinary lesson, the dim memories of which will haunt him in his next incarnation. This of-course is an extreme case.
There are many other degrees and grades of ‘hells’ carried over to the astral plane by souls of various shades of religious belief. Each has the punishment which is best adapted to exert a deterring influence and effect over its next life.
Those who in earth-life have deliberately brought themselves to the conviction that there is no life after physical death have a peculiar experience.
They meet with their kind on a plane in which they imagine that they have been transplanted to another planet and are still in the flesh. There they are made participants in a great drama of karma, being made to suffer for the miseries which they have wrought upon others, and to enjoy the blessings which they have bestowed upon others.
They are not punished for their incorrect belief but they learn the lesson of right and wrong in their own way. This experience likewise, is purely mental, and arises merely from the expression in astral manifestation of the memories of their earth-life. It must be noted that both the heaven and the hell of each and every soul, abides in the soul itself. Each soul creates its own heaven and hell, for neither has any objective existence.
The heaven and hell of each soul is the result of its karma, and is purely a mental creation of its own being. However, the phenomena seem real to the soul. There is nothing in its earth-life which ever seemed more real to it. Also it must be remembered, that heaven and hell, on the astral plane, are not given as reward or punishment respectively, but merely as a natural means of developing and unfolding the higher qualities and restraining the lower, to the end that the soul may advance on the path. Hence once again we see that each individual life force is its own absolute law-giver; the one who gives its own reward and its punishment on the astral plane.
The lower class of earth-bound souls are composed of souls of a very low degree of spiritual development and are predominantly driven by their animal nature. These souls are considered as earth-bound by reason of the fact that the attraction to the physical plane far outweighs the urge to reach higher planes.
Thus the soul lives on a plane as near the physical plane as possible.
In fact, the lower planes of the astral inhabited by this class of souls are so little removed from the material plane that it may be spoken of as almost a transitional stage between the material and the astral plane. These are sub-planes of the astral plane so low and degraded that one hesitates to describe them.
They are inhabited by the most degraded and degenerate souls, which are on the sure descent to annihilation, being unfit to serve as carriers of the sacred plan.
There is no need to go into the details of these sub-planes.
The latter-day investigator says, ‘Most students find the investigation of this section an extremely unpleasant task for there appears to be a sense of density and gross materiality about it which is indescribably loathsome to the liberated astral body, causing the sense of pushing its way through some black viscous fluid, while the inhabitants and influences there are unusually undesirable.’
It should scarcely be necessary to warn persons not to dabble in psychic phenomena of a material character, which brings them more or less into contact with these lower planes of the astral.
The article is taken from the book Life Beyond Death by Anil Sharma