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By - Apr 16, 2012 - Category Conceptbox - Print Print - Version française

In brief: a spiritual world where every soul goes provisionally after death.

At the basis of natural spirituality, there is a belief: death is not an end; it is a passage into a more subtle dimension of reality, into another world that Bahram Elahi calls the “interworld”.

For the author of Foundations of Natural Spirituality, the concept of interworld is not yet another way of designating the afterlife, thereby fulfilling the human need to believe in the survival of the soul after death. The word is a translation of the Arabic “barzakh” (the “in-between” where souls await the Last Judgment), which points to a necessity intrinsic to the system of successive lives.

The purpose of successive lives is to enable the soul to mature through the process of perfection. Since human beings are spiritually unaware of that fact while they are on Earth, it is hard to imagine how they could ever get out of that state if the transition from one life to the next was instantaneous. In all a likelihood, such a state of unawareness would perpetuate itself from life to life, so much so that the system of successive lives would be pointless. The interworld thus meets the need for an intermediary stage: it is a sort of airlock between two lives which enables human beings to assimilate certain spiritual truths and take them along into their new life so that they may influence their thought and behaviour, hence sustaining the process of perfection.

But there is more. The interworld by itself already fosters our process of spiritual perfection by allowing the soul—provided it has acquired a certain level of knowledge—to live in a space where it can pursue its development in conditions that are more favourable than those on Earth. As Bahram Elahi emphasizes, “remaining in the interworld to complete one’s process of perfection is a tremendous advantage. Since we are more awake and lucid there, we work more easily (individually or collectively) and, consequently, commit fewer errors.” (Spirituality is a Science, p. 136). Thus the interworld does not merely serve as an intermediary between two lives. It is also a privileged place for progress and a transitional stage between the physical world and Perfection.

The following succinct points can be drawn from the two chapters of Spirituality is a Science devoted to the interworld:

  • The interworld is a nonmaterial replica of the material world, yet it is more real for our soul than the material world is for our body. It is like the archetype of this world, which is merely a dim reflection of it.
  • It is a world where order and balance prevail and where the soul, in most cases, experiences a feeling of lightness and joy: “The joy of returning home and finding one’s loved ones, and the peace of finding a welcoming atmosphere and breathing in love and kindness.”
  • It is also a place where sensations are more vivid and more profound than on Earth and where the awareness one has of oneself and of others is more lucid and true. Freed from the body, which could rightly be compared to the heavy protective suit that firemen put on before heading to a fire, the soul not only experiences sharper sensations, it also appears there as it is in reality—thus, being and appearing are one and the same thing.
  • Everybody goes into that world just the way they were, and with the same thoughts they had on Earth. In other words, if some spiritual truth has not been assimilated in this world, the mere fact of reaching the interworld will not make any difference; unless, of course, that truth is instructed to us there.

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  1. Y Apr 16, 2012 10:13 pm 1

    Thank you so much for this informative article .

  2. niggi Apr 17, 2012 3:01 am 2

    “The interworld is a nonmaterial replica of the material world”…does this mean that it’s purely celestial?

  3. Emily Apr 17, 2012 3:21 pm 3

    “Everybody goes into that world just the way they were, and with the same thoughts they had on Earth.” What a great reminder of the importance of practicing spiritual truths every day.

    I find it often times that I trick myself into thinking that just because I am “aware” of what is the right or an ethical choice, that I think I am practicing it. It is only after deep reflection and analysis that I realize that knowing what is right and practicing are two very different things. Practice comes with great exertion of effort (similar to weight lifting and exercising) and going against my comfort zone, so whenever I get comfortable, I know I am not practicing.

  4. Saiid Apr 18, 2012 5:18 pm 4

    The notion of successive lives mentioned in this article is very valuable to me because it has helped me understand and accept the so called “unjust” situations in this world. Also, the concept of the “Interworld”, in my opinion, is a way of seeing the Creator’s kindness towards human beings. I am so grateful to the postings on this Web site.

  5. Saga Apr 19, 2012 1:29 am 5

    A few questions that would be great to hear reflections on:

    * If the awareness one has of oneself and of others is more lucid and true in the interworld, then how can one, in most cases, experience a feeling of lightness and joy and not shame? Since one must have made numerous sins and shameful acts throughout ones many lives.

    * “…it [the soul] also appears there as it is in reality—thus, being and appearing are one and the same thing.” What does being and appearing really mean? If each person only sees to their limited scope, then how can others appear to them as they truly are? Does this mean that everyone appears as they are, but may not be perceived as they truly are?

    * What can one do here on Earth, more than trying to work daily on ones imperious self, so “that truth is instructed to us there”? Since assimilating all truths on earth is an extremely difficult to do, are there any spicifc truths that one can acquire here that will help us to be guided better over there?

    Thank you!

  6. Pam Apr 21, 2012 1:46 am 6

    Great article!

    Saga, you pose very interesting questions.
    Your last two questions are above my pay grade (or perhaps above anyone’s who is not spiritually advanced and whose spiritual senses are not yet awakened enough to actually perceive the details of the Interworld).

    And I don’t presume to know the exact answer to your first question, but something did come to my mind that might help:
    Although we may be ashamed of our misdeeds in the Interworld, I would think that this truth will in a sense “set us free.” If I am suffering on earth, and I don’t understand why, that is surely very frustrating. But merely recognizing the origin of our suffering and exactly what we did wrong may perhaps cause us to be motivated to alleviate this pain and work on our faults with a new stead-fast vigor. Plus, I would think such a “welcoming atmosphere” filled with “love and kindness” would cause others to accept us as we are, and perhaps even encourage us and help us succeed in our endeavor of purging ourselves of our weak points. I could see feeling light and happy in such an encouraging and motivating atmosphere.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Jimmy Apr 23, 2012 4:05 pm 7

    If “Everybody goes into [the Interworld] just the way they were, and with the same thoughts they had on Earth” and the “sensations are more vivid and more profound than on Earth” two things come to mind: (1) You must have the requisite preparation (i.e., developed a certain degree of sound reason) before you reside in the Interworld, which necessitates fighting the imperious self here on earth; and (2) to some extent, the power and effect of the imperious is diminished when the veil of the body is removed. Based on this, due to the heightened sensations in the Interworld, I think we would also experience a heightened sense of shame based on mistakes that are made. How prepared do we have to be for the privilege of residing in the Interworld? and are there any self-reflection indicators that one could use to see if they are on the right track?

  8. Jimmy Apr 23, 2012 4:09 pm 8

    I neglected to add a BIG thank you for the thought provoking article, which essentially highlights one of the cornerstones of the goal of life of earth. Much appreciated

  9. Saga Apr 24, 2012 7:22 pm 9

    Thank you Pam for your reflection, it was very helpful!

  10. Juneone Apr 27, 2012 7:35 pm 10

    I hope this doesn’t sound like a repeat of@Saga’s question, but I wonder if anyone has an idea of any earthly experiences that might be even minutely reflective of the experience one might have in the inter world. Is this even possible? I ask because it seems it is human nature to need a tiny preview of things as a motivating factor. Like when you see how happy someone is for receiving acts of kindness, it kind of motivates you to want to want to do the same. So if our life here is an education, it would seem that there would be these small motivating instances. I am wondering if I am enough in tune to even be able to recognize these things….thoughts?

  11. 9 Apr 29, 2012 10:47 pm 11

    thanks a lot for this article.
    I’ve always thought that the interworld is material, but from a very fine material which can not be percieved by our bodily senses. What do you think ?

  12. adissam Apr 30, 2012 3:34 am 12

    The recent movie “Nosso Lar” or “Astral city” visually depicts what is mentioned in this article.

    For example, the main character goes into a particular “interworld” and at first does not understand the functioning of this place (very concrete, structured and even hierarchical).

    It is almost comical to see each character still in the same thoughts as before on earth (one is worried about her boyfriend and her wedding, the hero wants to practice medicine but it has no effect –since it is another type of help needed by new souls arriving,…).

    Or before being able to contact his family, he is asked: “how many spiritual bonus have you acquired ?”

  13. 921 Apr 30, 2012 9:43 am 13

    Thank you to the author/authors for the article. The questions/comments raised here also very interesting and I have similar questions.

    The interworld from what I know is extremly intense. A punishment there can be made to feel like it occured for an eternity. I am guessing it might be the same for good experiences. The interworld is still material (as user 9 has pointed to), because it is still governed by the laws and rules of cause & effect. I guess we need a term that is lies between material and absolutely immaterial, or a shade of meanings.

    From what I have read, the spiritual faculties have the potential to be more discerning since the veil of bodily emotions and imperious self are lifted.

    A motivating factor or question for me is that what should I do to maximize the benefit of the interworld for my spiritual progression (trying to bold this question) and what do I need to there? Or what should I know about the interworld before I go there? I am not even sure how many times I have been to the interworld. There seems to be some materials written on the interworld in classical Eastern philosophy by some mystics, but their versions of the interworld seems to confirm that “each person sees his own image”. It is discouraging and saddening how little a person like myself knows.

  14. HSH May 01, 2012 8:34 am 14

    Dear Saga and Dear Pam,

    regarding our situation in the interworld I am just expressing my feelings and hope God willing to be true; It seems to me that all of our previous lives are to be a streaming line for making us better and better, there is not any court (as we may suppose here in this world) in the Divine System. The only thing is that, “He” wants from us is to be perfect and in this way, we will gradually progress in different ways through different lives up to the present one and if we have the chance to continue our path of perfection there in the interworld (passing the primary stage of the path), then I think no one with an acceptable overall situation will suffer from his/her previous deeds in front of other souls. All of us know that “His” kindness surpasses our imagination; “He” only wants us to be good and there is never any form of shaming in the interworld.

    Pray for me / HSH

  15. Ilana Jun 02, 2012 9:27 pm 15

    On feeling that because we are “aware” of true divine ethical principles that we actually are practicing them:

    When I get criticized at work or on a personal level, I have very recently been so surprised and offended that I realized that perhaps, if I saw myself from above, as a spectator, I would not at all approve of the things I say to people, the tone of voice I use, the things I do. I hate being criticized and it always really breaks my moral, it makes me feel that I am not loved and all alone…but I realize that it is so important to use it as a means to try and step back and try and see what we could improve, or what we do automatically all the time without realizing it (putting people down, showing off, being an egotist). I am always seeing what others do wrong and have even been criticized for being oversensitive about ethical things…(I’ve gotten complaints at work) but maybe there is something wrong with my finding fault or cringing at the behavior of others.

    So, if I could see me from the Interworld, what kind of a person would I actually be observing?

    This is hard for me to accept. I like to think that I am at least partly a good person. But my vision is surely clouded in one way or the other.

    Maybe all I can do is pray. To ask God to help me because I am so blind and can’t see me. To beg to be guided and educated. So as to be better. From “His” perspective.

  16. JN Jul 02, 2023 10:55 pm 16

    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses.

    One thing that has been puzzling me for a while is what life is “actually really” like in the interworld, and I would appreciate it if anybody could shed some light on this:

    On the one hand, Dr. Elahi’s teachings describe the interworld as if it is an exact replica of life on earth and we are the same people there as we were on earth, minus the heavy burden of the body. This tells me that if we are not bound by the body there, then deficiency needs such as food, water, sex etc are also completely irrelevant there.

    On the other hand, from what I gather, our senses are heightened over there. In fact, I can recall Dr. Elahi’s most recent work (The Practical Guide) clearly state that for example, if a fruit tastes good on earth it will taste multiple times better in the interworld.

    So I am seeing a contradiction here; if we don’t have a body over there and only a corporeal replica of the body which is supposedly not burdensome and without needs, then why do fruits (or any other form of food and nutrition) exist there in the first place?

    So in a nutshell, do we or do we not have bodily needs over there? Do we eat in the interworld or not? Do we have sex or not? Do we have to exercise and keep the “corporeal body” healthy or not?

    Maybe I am missing something. Please share your thoughts.

    1. kbld Jan 08, 2024 6:25 am 16.1

      My understanding is that we don’t have bodily “needs”, but we can enjoy things, depending on our state. Perhaps even sex for exoteric-level Muslims whom have been promised that kind of paradise if they behave well on Earth. I think though that these kinds of things are for beginners and for people a bit more advanced they would not seek those kinds of pleasures if they have developed their sound reason a bit and understand what true pleasure is. That apple example appears to me as an example to understand with things that we know down here. Perhaps also there are “practice rooms” with those kinds of things to test and advance. In any case, there will be a whole book on “Worlds and Interworlds” according to the Practical Guide (page 167, footnote), perhaps there will be some answers to your question.

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