The characteristics of Earthbound spirits
Most of the spirits occupying the transitional plane are, in fact, bound to that plane because they are unable to free their minds from the problems they left behind on earth. Most earthbound spirits, especially the newly arrived and ignorant ones, find themselves semi blind. The blindness is because they no longer have physical eyes with which to see earthly light, and they are so spiritually unevolved that they do not have full use of their spiritual vision. In addition, they are unable to see or hear the higher spirits who have descended onto the transitional plane in order to help them because of their low vibrational state. This is a point driven home in Dr. Wickland’s book, 30 Years Among the Dead, and is one of the reasons why it is so difficult for a higher spirit to rescue an earthbound loved one.
One can ask why God would permit such poignant dramas to play out, but in fact, it is really just a matter of spiritual physics. All souls retain their free will, and no soul can cross into the mainstream spiritual world unless it desires to do so. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and some earthbounds will remain stuck until they are rescued, either by other more advanced spirits or intervention by living persons who make an effort to educate the earthbound soul about its spiritual status and to donate their spiritual energy to lift the earthbound spirit to a higher plane. Asking for divine help is the most powerful method of spirit redemption simply because by the time an earthbound soul has suffered enough on the transitional plane to ask for help, most of its misconceptions and addictions have vanished in the fire of its loneliness and misery, and the soul is now ready to advance spiritually.
Not all spirits that remain on the transitional plane after the death of the body appear to have all their mental faculties intact. Many seem to be less than fully conscious and operate in a sort of dream state. This state of confusion may be due to a very long self-imposed imprisonment in a spiritual form of solitary confinement. They often remain fixated on the circumstances surrounding their passing. It was not uncommon to see this form of dementia affecting living prison inmates who were kept in isolation for years on end in bygone eras.
These earthbounds remain on the transitional plane in such close proximity to the earth that they can exert quite a lot of influence on living people. While they can see the earth’s environment only dimly, they can see the brighter spiritual light given off by the aura of living persons, and therefore they tend to be drawn to them. They are especially drawn to living persons whose auras radiate frequencies that resonate with their own. Their influence on the living involves obsession and possession, subjects that will be enlarged upon later in this chapter.
Another characteristic of these confused spirits is that most of them seem to lack much short term memory. They may have little perception of passing time and could remain in their confused earthbound state for many years without any idea of how long they have been there. When they finally find their place in the spiritual structure within the planes of illusion, they regain their mental agility and a firmer grasp on time (see chapter 7), but until that happens, they remain in this in-between mental state.
And then there are the drunks and the druggies; the people who aren’t necessarily criminals, but have given up on life and have succumbed to their addictions. Some of them will die in a drug or alcohol induced haze and remain in that drugged or drunken condition after their death. Most of these souls don’t realize that they are dead. They may spend what seems to them like an eternity craving their drug or alcohol while existing on the transitional plane. Needless to say, this is not a pleasant way to spend an afterlife. Thus these spirits are attracted to the auras of living persons who share their old habits. Drug and alcohol addicted people have auras that radiate the vibrations of their intoxicants.
In addition to these “lost souls”, quite a few evil-minded spirits understand that they are dead, but refuse to make the transition into the spiritual mainstream because they fear retribution for the evil lives they have lead. Others are much less culpable but feel guilty because of various sexual transgressions or violations of religious doctrines, and remain earthbound because they fear divine judgement. They are “bound” to the transitional plane voluntarily simply because it is easier and less stressful to remain in their temporal (time) traps as ghosts rather than take a chance on what they believe will be eternal damnation.
As mentioned earlier, psychics from Swedenborg’s day right up to the present agree that the earth’s environment is virtually “swarming” with these unseen spirits, many of whom want to communicate with the living, but cannot make themselves heard. Not all the spirits that remain on the transitional plane are earthbound. Some are spiritual guides from higher planes who descend to the transitional plane in order to influence the living in positive ways, or to rescue some of the lost souls that don’t belong there. Others are simply relatives or friends who return to the earth sphere in order to comfort and guide their living friends and loved ones.
Both high and low order spirits can communicate with psychically sensitive living persons through parapsychological means such as telepathy. Unfortunately, many can influence the thought processes of virtually any living person in other subtle ways.
The lowest (malevolent) spirits, by virtue of their addictions, greed, avarice and their longing for revenge, remain on the transitional plane because their existence there isn’t much worse than their former daily routines. They expect all the dreariness and negativity they experienced during their lives. These are the spirits that cause the most violent hauntings. They are also the spirits that are most likely to get caught up in the aura of living criminals causing spiritual obsession leading to serious criminal activity in the material world.
When people think about earthbound spirits, they usually visualize malevolent ghosts whose only motivation is to horrify or harm us. In reality, the vast majority of these entities are just the spirits of people who died suddenly and are ignorant of their new spiritual condition. Some are spirits from the Summerlands who have come to the earth sphere for a good purpose. Unfortunately, there are also seriously malevolent, even demonic entities who intentionally do as much damage to the living as possible, but most earthbounds are much more benign.
Both high and low order spirits exist on the transitional plane. All of them can use earthly energy to manifest in the material world, however only the low order has an abiding incentive to do so. This is the reason that the bad guys like to swarm around living people, especially those whose habits are similar to their own when they were alive. They are looking for the energy they need to gain entry into the world of matter so they can indulge in their old pastimes.