I have spoken before about how in heaven, our own attitudes and perceptions create our reality. This should not be hard to believe, since the same is essentially true in mortality. Two individuals may go through the same experience, and yet have completely different attitudes, memories, interpretations and such. Color blindness is only one example of how even our senses skew perceptions. One could say that it was two different experiences, because each perceives their own reality vastly different.
I recently read something which took this concept a step further. I have at times been quite confused as I read many ‘life after death’ or clairvoyant experiences in which the individual meets a historical figure such as Moses or Abraham or Buddha and the different experiences seem incompatible. One must then come to the conclusion that either the individuals are lying about their experience or they are just dreaming about their experience. I have since read much about the conclusion mentioned above that I believe is the correct view; that the Spirit World or life after death is a bit more dream-like, at least in the way our own perceptions deeply influence our reality (much as in the case in this life, only much greater).
The next step has to do with the specifics of how our view of others influences their behavior and our view of them. We’ve all heard the idiom “As a man thinketh, so he is”. But let us expand this to “As people think of a man, so he becomes”. In other words, the view of society, family and perhaps MOST importantly, parents highly influences that individuals behavior. If you view your child as a good kid, chances are they might grow into that ‘mold’ or projection you created for them. Likewise, if parents or families view someone as a criminal, history shows it may likely come true. Now, there are many nuances to the way in which this works because of laws of reciprocity, where our thoughts and projections on others actually cause them to become polarized in the opposite direction, but the point is that the behavior of others (especially children) is highly influenced by those closest to them.
I have often wondered why different children coming from the same parents and gene pool can turn out so differently. I certainly don’t buy the idea that it is predominately genetic chance (within limits), nor does the existing differences in the pre-mortal personality of the inhabiting spirit seem to account for all differences. Instead it seems logical that it is a combination of many factors, the most influential of which (at least for a less evolved spirit) being the image projected onto the child from the parents.
Read this excerpt from ____ by ____ and apply it to the way the same thing happens on earth.
In most instances observed on this level [the spirit world] the images of the loved ones are very far from perfect, and consequently the true egos or souls of the friends who are loved can express themselves but poorly through them ; though even at the worst that expression is much fuller and more satisfying than it ever was in physical life. In earth-life we see our friends so partially; we know only those parts of them which are congenial to us, and the other sides of their characters are practically non-existent for us. Our communion with them and our knowledge of them down here mean very much to us, and are often to us among the greatest things in life; yet in reality this communion and this knowledge must always be exceedingly defective, for even in the very rare cases where we can think that we know a man thoroughly and all through, body and soul, it is still only the part of him which is in manifestation on these lower planes while in incarnation that we can know, and there is far more behind in the real ego which we cannot reach at all. Indeed, if it were possible for us, with the direct and perfect vision of the mental plane, to see for the first time the whole of our friend when we met him after death, the probability is that he would be quite unrecognizable ; certainly he would not be at all the dear one whom we thought we had known before.
It must be understood that the keen affection which alone brings one man into the heaven-life of another is a very powerful force upon these higher planes — a force which reaches up to the soul of the man who is loved, and evokes a response from it. Naturally the vividness of that response, the amount of life and energy in it, depends on the development of the soul of the loved one, but there is no case in which the response is not a perfectly real one as far as it goes.
Of course the soul or ego can be fully reached only upon his own level — one of the arûpa subdivisions of this mental plane — but at least we are very much nearer to that in any stage of the heaven-world than we are here, and therefore under favourable conditions we could there know enormously more of our friend than would ever be possible here, while even under the most unfavourable of conditions we are at any rate far closer to the reality there than we have ever been before.
Two factors have to be taken into account in our consideration of this subject — the degree of development of each of the persons concerned. If the man in the heaven-life has strong affection and some development in spirituality he will form a clear and fairly perfect thought-image of his friend as he knew him — an image through which at that level the soul of the friend could express himself to a very considerable extent. But in order to take full advantage of that opportunity it is necessary that that soul should himself be very fairly advanced in evolution.
We see, therefore, that there are two reasons for which the manifestation may be imperfect. The image made by the dead man may be so vague and inefficient that the friend, even though well-evolved, may be able to make very little use of it; and on the other hand, even when a good image is made, there may not be sufficient development [page 47] on the friend’s part to enable him to take due advantage of it.
But in any and every case the soul of the friend is reached by the feeling of affection, and whatever may be its stage of development it at once responds by pouring itself forth into the image which has been made. The extent to which the true man can express himself through it depends on the two factors above mentioned — the kind of image which is made in the first place, and how much soul there is to express in the second; but even the feeblest image that can be made is at any rate on the mental plane, and, therefore, far easier for the ego to reach than is a physical body two-whole planes lower down.
If the friend who is loved is still alive he will of course be entirely unaware down here on the physical plane that his true self is enjoying this additional manifestation, but this in no way affects the fact that that manifestation is a more real one and contains a nearer approximation to his true self than this lower one, which is all that most of us can as yet see.