Q. Are we punished for our evil acts?
A. There is in the universe neither reward nor punishment. All is the result of invariable law.
Q. How does this law operate?
A. In the Desire World it operates in purging man of the baser desires and the correction of the weaknesses and vices which hinder his progress, by making him suffer in the manner best adapted to that purpose.
Q. How is this related to the wrongs he has done to others?
A. If he has made others suffer, or has dealt unjustly with them, he wi11 be made to suffer in that identical way.
Q. Is there a way to avoid such retribution?
A. Yes. If a person has been subject to vices, or has done wrong to others but has overcome his vices or has repented and, as far as possible, made right the wrong done, such repentance, restitution, and reform have purged him of those special vices and evil acts.
Q. How does this affect his after-death state?
A. The equilibrium has been restored and the lesson learned during that embodiment and therefore will not be a cause of suffering after death.
Q. What is the approximate stay in the Desire World?
A. In the Desire World life is lived about three times as rapidly as in the Physical World. A man who has lived to be fifty years of age in the Physical World would live through the same life events in the Desire World in about sixteen years.
Q. Is this an inflexible rule?
A. No, only a general gauge. There are persons who remain in the Desire World much longer than their term of physical life. Others again, who have led lives with few gross desires, pass through in a much shorter period, but the measure above given is very nearly correct for the average man of the present day.
Q. Does a man review his past life again in Purgatory?
A. Yes. Although his past life passes before him when he leaves his dense body at death, he experiences no feeling in relation to what he sees. During his life in the Physical World, however, these life pictures again roll backwards, as before; but now the man has all the feelings that it is possible for him to have as, one by one, the scenes pass before him.
Q. Does he actually experience what he sees?
A. Yes, every incident in his past life is lived over again. When he comes to a point where he has injured someone, he himself feels the pain as the injured person felt it.
Q. What does this teach him?
A. When he lives through all the sorrow and suffering he has caused others, he learns just how painful is the hurt and how hard to bear is the sorrow he has caused.
Q. How keenly does he feel this?
A. As already mentioned, the suffering is much keener because the man has no dense body to dull the pain. Perhaps that is why the speed of life there is tripled --that the suffering may lose in duration what it gains in sharpness. Nature's measures are wonderfully just and true.
--Ref: Cosmo, 107-108
--Rays from the Rose Cross Magazine, April, 1980, p. 163