Myers calls his second plane Hades. By this he doesn’t mean Hell. Rather, he speaks of it as just a staging ground where those who have recently died wake into the spiritual world. Myers described it as a resting place in very close proximity to the plane of matter (Earth). Swedenborg saw it as “the sphere of spirits” which lies between the heavens and the hells. The Catholics call this plane “Purgatory”. This plane is also called the plane of the earthbound spirits, the Earth Sphere or the Earth Plane. It is represented by the blue line that bisects the earth in the diagram below. “The plane of the earthbound spirits” and the “earth plane” are the most common names for this spiritual zone, but I will use my own term, “the transitional plane” to avoid the confusion and the connotations associated with the terms Purgatory, earth and “earthbound”.
The transitional plane is a spiritual plane. It is the first plane a soul enters immediately upon death but, as I stressed above, it is not part of the mainstream sequence of the spiritual realm. It invisibly interpenetrates the material world and functions as the GATEWAY to the mainstream sequence. It is meant to be a temporary spiritual residence, but huge numbers of ignorant and mentally ill spirits along with minor criminal and “homeless” souls tend to accumulate there on a more or less permanent basis. These spirits are called “earthbound” and they are the ghosts most often experienced in haunted houses. They are said to be “grounded” there.
Since the transitional plane is the only spiritual plane in close approximation with the earth itself, many Summerland spirits (who are not earthbound residents) voluntarily return to the transitional plane on a regular basis. These spirits come and go as they please. They return for various personal reasons including simple longing to re-experience their old earthly environments. They are often encountered as ghosts in old haunted properties and are said to be “in visitation” because they are not “grounded” there.
Earthbound spirits who are actually grounded on the transitional plane exist in a static state which is best described as being between living and spirit. They cannot begin spiritual evolution until they have made the decision to transit through the doorway and enter into the mainstream spiritual structure (i.e. crossed over into the “light”). The mainstream sequence on the other side of the doorway contains all the heavenly and Hellish planes that are represented in the diagram above.
Note: While the transitional plane may be entirely separate from the mainstream spiritual world, it may also be seen as the “top layer” of the hells below. The conditions there are certainly unpleasant for the earthbound spirits who are trapped there, but remember that some Summerland spirits visit the transitional plane for a variety of reasons which will be elaborated on in future chapters. That’s why I have decided to view it as a plane entirely separate from the mainstream world of spirit, and why it is discussed in such detail on the next three pages of this website.