The Third and Fourth Subdivisions of the Astral Plane; The Lower Summerland
Ed: this is a collection of statements coming from people who died but were able to communicate their situations. The Lower Summerland astral plane is seen as the fourth and third sub division of the astral plane. Also known as the Grey World and the Misty Regions.
The Grey World
Those Who Usually End up on the Lower Summerlands: Descriptions
Those Who Usually End up on the Lower Summerlands: Examples
Transition and Rescue Work on the Lower Summerlands
Length of Stay
Briefly, the lower spheres are more or less interwoven with your earth. This includes Borderland, and the first and second spheres, with all their astral planes; also the Grey World, which is the first of those below Borderland on the downward grade. Below the Grey World there are lands of gloom and sadness, till you reach the land of total darkness. (John Heslop, FMABL, 7-8.)
There is a region which is still in the sunshine, but ends in a steep descent, where the bottom lies in darkness. As we stood there to view, we looked across the deep valley which seemed to be filled with gloom so gross that we could not penetrate it from our standpoint in the light. Above the murky ocean of mist and vapour a dull light rested from above but could no sink beneath the surface far, that ocean was so dense. And down into that we had to go. (Arnel in LBV3, 170, quoted in Dowding, MM, 60-1.)
Nobody hurts an animal here. If someone tried it would mean that person would have to go for the time to the empty place where there is nothing but greyness. It is awfully bad to be cruel. (Child Elizabeth B. to E.B. Gibbes in Geraldine Cummins, TS, 74.)
The lower astral … is full of illusions. (1) Some of it’s very glamorous; some of it’s quite frightening. The lower astral plane consists of the same kind of symbolism that is found in the subconscious mind because that is where the subconscious has the bulk of its existence. (Raymond Lodge in SOLR, 78.)
(1) All planes are more or less illusions. Only the Formless is, in the end, real.
The landing place (1) is highland as compared with those regions of darkness below. But, as a matter of fact, it is lowland, and the lowest land indeed, of the heavenly country. (The mother of G. Vale Owen in LBV1, 57.)
(1)Mrs. Owen is referring to the next realm above the Winterlands (the Stony Plane and the Dark Plane). She is seeing matters from the vantage point of the inhabitant of those planes escaping them.
In journeying to a lower realm one sees the terrain gradually degenerating. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s friend Edwin to Benson, LIWU, 131.)
When one draws near the boundaries of the lower realms, the pavements become heavy in appearance, they begin to lose their color until they look leaden and opaque, and they have the semblance of extreme solidity – almost like the granite of the earth-plane. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 108.)
The light steadily diminishes until we are in a grey land, and then comes the darkness. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 62.)
As we approach the dark regions, the soil, such as I have described to you, loses its granular quality and its color. It becomes thick, heavy, and moist, until it finally gives place entirely to stones, (1) and then rock. (2) Whatever grass there is looks yellow and seared. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 111.)
(1) Probably the Stony Plane.
(2) Probably the Dark Plane.
When we paid our visit to the boundary [between the Summerlands and the Lower Planes], we made our way there directly and rapidly, and we had no consciousness of the intermediate states through which we passed. … Had we made our progress slowly we should have perceived the gradual decline of all those pleasant and enjoyable features that constitute the heaven of this realm. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 62.)
As we proceed slowly from our own realm towards these dark lands, we shall find a gradual deterioration taking place in the countryside. The flowers become scanty and ill-nourished, giving the appearance of a struggle for existence. The grass is parched and yellow, until, with the last remnants of sickly flowers, it finally disappears altogether, to be superseded by barren rocks. The light steadily diminishes until we are in a grey land. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 62.)
We found ourselves upon a very wide expanse of grassland, but we both [Benson and Ruth] noticed that the turf felt less soft beneath our feet; it was, in fact, becoming hard as we walked along. The beautiful emerald green was fast vanishing, and the grass was taking on a dull yellow appearance, very similar to earthly grass that has been scorched by the sun and lacked water. We saw no flowers, no trees, no dwellings, and everywhere seemed bleak and barren. There was no sign of human life, and life seemed to be rapidly disappearing from beneath our feet, as by now the grass had ceased altogether, and we were upon hard ground. We noticed too that the temperature had fallen considerably. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 59.)
We began the descent [into the dark places] by passing through a belt of mist which we encountered as the ground became hard and barren. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 134.)
Before us we could see nothing but a great bank of mist that gathered in intensity as we advanced, until finally we were within it. It swirled round in heavy, damp clouds, and it seemed almost like a dead weight as it pressed upon us. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 80.)
Again we were on the borders of the lower realms. Edwin warned [Ruth and I] that we should feel that sense of chilling which we experienced before, but that by an effort of will we could throw it off. He placed himself in the middle of us, Ruth and I each taking one of his arms. He turned and looked at us, and was apparently satisfied with what he saw. I glanced at Ruth and I noticed that her robe, as had Edwin’s, had taken on a dull color, approaching almost grey. Looking at myself I discovered that my own dress had undergone a similar change. This was certainly perplexing, but our friend explained that this toning down of our natural colors was but the operation of a natural law, and did not mean that we had lost what we had already gained. The practical application of such a law meant that we should not be conspicuous in uncongenial surroundings, nor should we carry the light of our realm into those dark places to blind the vision of those who dwelt there.
The four of us returned to our journey. There were no paths to follow and the ground was becoming decidedly rocky in formation. The light was rapidly diminishing from a sky that was heavy and black. There was not a soul, not a house, nor any sign of life to be seen. The whole district seemed colorless and empty and we might have been wandering in another world. We could see dimly ahead of us, after the passage of some time, something which had the appearance of dwellings and we moved in that direction. …
At close view it became clear that these dwellings were nothing more than mere hovels. They were distressing to gaze upon, but it was infinitely more distressing to contemplate that these were the fruits of men’s lives upon earth. We did not enter any of the shacks – it was repulsive enough outside, and we could have served no useful purpose at present by going in. Edwin therefore gave us a few details instead.
Some of the inhabitants, he said, had lived here, or hereabouts, year after year – as time is reckoned upon earth. They themselves had no sense of time and their existence had been one interminable continuity of darkness through no one’s fault but their own. Many had been the good souls who had penetrated into these Stygian realms to try to effect a rescue out of the darkness. Some had been successful; others had not. Success depends not so much upon the rescuer as upon the rescued. If the latter shows no glimmer of light in his mind, mo desire to take a step forward on the spiritual road, then nothing, literally nothing, can be done. The urge must come from within the fallen soul himself. And how low some of them had fallen! Never must it be supposed that those who, in the earth’s judgment, had failed spiritually, are fallen low. Many such have not failed at all, but are, in point of fact, worthy souls whose fine reward awaits them here. But, on the other hand, there are those whose earthly lives have been spiritually hideous though outwardly sublime; whose religious profession designated by a Roman collar, has been taken for granted as being synonymous with spirituality of soul. Such people have been mocking God throughout their sanctimonious lives on earth where they lived with an empty show of holiness and goodness. Here they stand revealed for what they are. But the God they have mocked for so long does not punish. They punish themselves.
The people living within these hovels that we were passing were not necessarily those who upon earth had committed some crime in the eyes of the earth people. There were many people who, without doing any harm, had never, never done any good themselves, without a thought for others. Such souls constantly harped upon the theme that they had done no harm to anyone. But they had harmed themselves. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 83-4.)
We … decided that we should like now to return to our own realm [from the dark planes]. And so we made our way back again to the land of mist, passed quickly through, and once again we were in our own heavenly country with the warm, balmy air enveloping us. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 88.)
[The lower astral subplane] is for the uninstructed and the ignorant, those who are unaware of the existence of spiritual realities, who cannot visualise anything beyond the purely physical. (Silver Birch, SBA, 58.)
Being so near to your world, and peopled by men and women who are naturally still very material in their outlook on life, the expression of the thought is very gross and so, whatever they think is in terms of physical things. They cannot think of life apart from its physical aspects. There has never filtered into their consciousness any understanding of a life apart from the purely physical. They cannot visualise spiritual activities and, because they cannot visualise them, they have no place in their scheme of things.
But there are degrees of astral life, for gradually as awakening comes the grossness slowly but surely becomes more refined. And life, they begin to see, is something beyond its material aspect. (Silver Birch, SBA, 57.)
The first three spheres are near about your earth. They are filled thus. The first with those who, from many causes, are attracted to earth. Such are they who have made little progress in the earth sphere; not the wholly bad, but the vacillating, aimless souls who have frittered away their opportunities and made no use of them. (1) Those, again, whom the affections and affinity for pursuits of their friends restrain them from soaring, and who prefer to remain near the earth sphere, though they might progress. In addition, there are the imperfectly trained souls whose education is still young, and who are in course of elementary teaching; those who have been incarnated in imperfect bodies, and have to learn still what they should have learned on earth. Those, too, who have been prematurely withdrawn from earth, and, from no fault of their own, have still to learn before they can progress. (2) (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MST, 49.)
(1) If this “first” sphere is filled with “not the wholly bad,” then it is reasonable to assume there is a sphere below that filled with the wholly bad. That being the case, this first sphere would be the third sphere looking from highest to lowest.
(2) I am under the impression that all four groups that Imperator mentions are residents of this third sphere, nearest the Earth on the downward grade. The two spheres below it would be the Stony Plane and the Dark Plane. But I could be mistaken.
Average people, of an earthy, material, greedy type, find themselves – they don’t quite know how – with similar people, once they have worked out (and this in itself may take centuries because it is far easier to impress a record on the mind than to erase it) their strong earth impressions. It is all so difficult to explain. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 204.)
There seems to be an amorphous mass of entities of a ‘passive type,’ (1) not acutely ‘evil,’ but in no sense positively ‘good,’ and they just stick here in masses, still glued to their old conceptions. I don’t know what cosmic urge will, in due course, dislodge them. They’re not happy, yet not acutely miserable. The more intelligent try to communicate with their friends on earth, through mediums, and, by doing that, may get a glimmer of the Truth. But the others – who never felt deep emotion in their lives – just negatively selfish – are hopelessly bogged here, as far as I can see. And the helpers here are not specially interested in them. They like much more to go and help more actively-mistaken people. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 159.)
(1) Philip does not identify these discarnate beings as residents of the Lower Summerlands. It is a guess on my part to locate them here.
It is rather terrible. I avoid them; their eyes are dull, cod-like and stupid. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 160.)
I am amazed – not one percent of the people who come over here are capable of advancing in knowledge, yet. They stick around, living in their thought-images, just as people on earth do. It’s only if they happen to have been kindly, if stupid, that they can attract teaching and help. Otherwise they cling round in amorphous masses and often are pushed back into another incarnation because they begin to long so intensely for familiar surroundings and ‘solidity.’ They are incapable of conceiving their true reality or even that there is a reality beyond the wall of their illusion, Yes, I am now beginning to understand Myers’ plane of illusion. (1) Having missed it myself I couldn’t get what he meant, but in my work, I come up against it constantly. I don’t understand the Universe yet! Far from it! But it is a thrill. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 162.)
(1) Actually Myers includes the whole of the Astral Plane in his phrase “plane of illusion.” Philip did not in fact miss it since he did reside for a time on the Higher Summerlands – part of the Astral Plane.
If you have lived a deceitful life on earth, your soul vibrations will be very sluggish; you will go to a low plane here, on which your fellows will be similar to you in mind and deed. You can imagine the in-fighting which goes on among such people! (Mike Swain in FMW, 50.)
If there is not enough love in the heart of a new arrival here, his ability to adapt to a world that operates on love is … backward. Which is a good thing because the first thing he would do would be to create weapons and then use them to establish power over his fellow souls!
Not that they can hurt one another; their new bodies are indestructible; so when they finally realize the futility of picking up a club and bopping a neighbor over the head with it, they feel very hard done by. But they end up realizing that they’ll only win by living in peace with their fellows. Gradually (and you can watch the idea take hold), unselfish gestures emerge and finally the texture of the soul purifies itself enough to enable them to reach a clearer, more harmonious plane; and as things become clearer still, so do they advance to even more resolved planes. (Mike Swain in FMW, 52.)
People who have an orientation of hate … find themselves unable to appreciate a realm of love and harmony. Therefore, they continue in the state of bitterness and are ‘closed’ to the glory which exists around them. I am told by my spiritual inspirer that they have to wait. These people … gradually … appreciate the fact that it is very destructive to hate like that.
When they have had real hates and have been emotionally upset like that, or have had real bitterness toward someone, then it takes them quite a period of time to get the light and the power around them again, to be able to appreciate this place or that, or go to the Valley of Praise, or go and hear beautiful music. They just hear discords, and eventually the come to the realization that ‘this isn’t much of a life, is it?’
And the moment that happens, those who are dedicated to work with this sort of person come and they have their methods of easing them away from the state they are in. It is like taking a skin off an onion. They will gently peel off / this layer that is formed by hate – thus shutting-in, restricting coat that comes on them with their violent, negative emotions. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 55-6.)
Among others, the lower astral planes also contain people who have been alcoholics or drug addicts, who find these cravings still with them in the astral bodies. They stay near the earth to be near alcoholics or drug addicts who are still in the physical body in order to participate vicariously in the sensations which alcohol and drugs give. They can be helped in the world beyond to clear their astral bodies of these cravings so that they, too, may go on and progress. However, this is a long and tedious process.
We have to try to convey to people still in the physical body that they can’t expect a sudden change for the better. They must help themselves while they are on earth. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 59.)
There are many astral figures hovering around the drug users on earth. In this hovering around they vicariously participate with the drug user. They are linking in and, like leeches, they are experiencing what the earthly drug user is experiencing. If such a one attaches himself to a drug user, that drug user is in far worse condition afterward. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 60.)
Some persons on earth have difficulty in thinking of abstract subjects. Such spirits are longest in comprehending the use of spirit powers. They are not always to blame. Many times they have inherited dullness that can never be overcome there, and are always much slower here. It is not the same as being materially¬minded. Many bright, alert minds think only of a sensual material life. They are delayed seriously here. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 126.)
In the lower zones of the Illusory-world (1) the pretence of eating and drinking may be maintained as a part of the structure of each dream. But in this case the desired dinner appears through the man’s act of desire. The epicure will experience the old pleasures if such be his fancy. The ascetic will experience the delight of deprivation when, in accordance with practice, he lives on bread and water. But when the epicure wearies of the monotony of the rare foods so easily obtained, he desires novelty; his imagination is awakened and he becomes conscious of the fact that his etheric body assimilates light automatically if nourishment is required. (F.W.H. Myers, BHP, n.p.
(1) By “illusory world,” Myers means the Astral Planes.
In the first sphere below (1) you dwell those who have cultivated the animal part of their nature to excess; and who, in so doing, have crushed the spiritual. These are they who have no aspiration beyond the body; who have injured others by their animalism; and who still frequent the haunts of their former pleasures. Such are gluttons, gamblers, misers. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
(1) That is, on the downward grade below Earth.
Ed. It is guesswork on my part to locate these spirits in the Lower Summerland.
The scene as I approached it was so like any town I might have visited in earth that the ever-present thought that this was not earth but the country of the dead began to leave me. So ordinary, so drearily earth-like were the outskirts of the hamlet; rows of small, mean houses, shops, even the usually depressing chapel I passed and so went on towards the centre which might have belonged to any English market town. There were people going about their business. They were not prepossessing in appearance or manners. They took no particular notice of my unclothed condition, (1) but finding a shop where ready-made garments were on show I went in, forgetting for the moment that I lacked the wherewithal to pay. The man behind the counter grinned uncivilly but to my surprise simply pointed to his stock and said ‘help yourself’. I thought if better to comply without comment; in any case, what could I say? I picked out some serviceable light garments and put them on, thanked him and departed. He appeared to accept this as normal behaviour so I went on my way marveling. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 19.)
(1) Julia’s comment is, in this context, of interest: “When the soul leaves the body it is at the first moment quite unclothed as at birth. … When the thought of nakedness crosses the spirit there comes the clothing which you need. The idea with us is creative. We think, and the thing is. I do not remember putting on any garments. There is just the sense of need and the need is supplied.” (Julia Ames, AD, 66-7.) Evidently Lawrence was unaware of the capability of thought manifestation.
[Mitchell explains this region to Lawrence:] ‘They have not yet developed the power to live in any other way,’ he replied. ‘They make their own atmosphere by the emanations of their own rather horrid emotions and I see that you found it uncongenial enough to get free of it quickly. They are not very pleasant folk there and they might soon have sensed your difference and have resented it and then there might have been trouble. Not that they could have injured you in the physical way you are thinking of, but a lot of undesirable emotions would have been let loose and you would have suffered from these. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 22.)
[Lawrence leaves these domains and goes to the brighter region known as the Summerlands:] [Mitchell] took me quietly over an ever-brightening landscape. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 21.)
[Later in his later spirit life:] I have found out how to get back to the dreary regions where once I was lost and now and again I am able to guide a wanderer to a better place. Not that all souls have to pass through this Hades as I did; many are better prepared and come straight through to the light.
Toleration of these lower conditions is hard for me, however, and my endurance of them is short-lived. Living in the pure air and brightness of this sphere it is harder than ever to endure the murk and gloom. I have made a few returns and effected a few rescues, but now I have left this work to those who are more practiced in it. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 49.)
The border lands are probably unreal largely because we come upon them before our new senses are functioning properly; to those who make their homes there no doubt they appear quiet real. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 114.)
When I move down to our lower planes, I see people getting up to the most idiotic shenanigans. For example, I saw this one fellow surrounded by piles and piles of gold; he was literally buried under it! Yet he kept jealously counting every coin. He didn’t even pause to look up when I greeted him; he just grunted and kept on counting.
I thought that this miser was nuts to sit there counting his money as if he could still buy wealth and importance with it. So I asked one of the elder brothers about him, because they are always approachable when we go to them with a problem that is perplexing us.
The elder explained that on earth, this fellow had been an honest-to-goodness miser. Every night, when all his doors were locked and his curtains drawn, he used to haul out his gold and count it until he was cross-eyed with fatigue.
When he passed over, he was still the same man he had been on earth, of course, so he got so homesick for the gold he had left behind that finally piles of it appeared all round him! Thought had become fact as it always does on this plane. Well, there the gold was; so he sat down to count it as he had never counted before!
Then he discovered that just by thinking, he could turn it into twice the [amount] it was before. He must have been sitting there for over thirty years of earth time, just multiplying his wealth. And he’ll be perfectly happy doing just that – until he eventually realizes that gold is utterly useless to him here. We have no wealth or poverty here. And so it will finally dawn on him that he has been wasting his time. And no one will regret it more than the poor old fellow himself! (Mike Swain in FMW, 38.)
And there was this other fellow who had been a drunkard all his earthly life; when he passed over here, he began with a rabid desire to drink a whole case of good brandy. So, lo and behold, a case of brandy appeared under his nose! He pried open the lid, grabbed the nearest bottle by its neck, and drank it at one gulp. It tasted exactly like it had on earth; but here comes the snag, Dad; he couldn’t get drunk! You see, in order to get drunk, he would have to imagine himself drunk!
But, because his mind was now one with its creator, it refused to make itself drunk! Drink had only been an alibi on earth; a device to avoid facing reality; so when he drank to avoid facing reality here, he realized at long last that no matter how much / booze he poured down his gullet, it had left him stone cold sober!
What worse punishment could befall a miser or a drunk who had abused the fruits of the earth? But the beauty is that they themselves determined their own punishment. There is no Great Judge presiding over us here, handing out dry bread and water and solitary confinement! When a new soul comes to us there is no vindictive Confessor who says: “You have been good, go to Heaven!” or “You have been bad, go to Hell!” and then hurls you into the fiery pit! …
Again I tell you that our Father is one of infinite love and compassion. Any punishment brought about in your world, but accountable in ours, is paid for solely by the transgressor himself.
Conservation of energy is a prime law here. That really means moderation, We learn to be moderate in all things. The miser allowed his sense of balance to turn turtle because he lusted for gold and nothing but gold. The drunkard was so afraid to face life that he drank himself into insensibility, instead of using his alcohol as a reasonable pick-me-up at the end of a hard day’s work. (Mike Swain to his father, Jasper, FMW, 38-9.)
I told my brother I wanted news about events on earth. He took me to visit an old gentleman who had been editor of a newspaper. Why did I call him ‘old’? Because he died at eighty-one and has not thrown off earth conditions yet. He therefore surrounds himself with these conditions. His son on earth runs the paper, a French journal. The old man can read his son’s thoughts and so divines the world’s news through his son’s mind. He has built himself an office, full of telephones and tape machines. These machines are in a way illusory, but please the old gentleman.
He received me courteously and insisted on hearing the details of my crossing. He was disappointed that I did not know his paper by name and surprised that I knew so little about earthly affairs. ‘I want to get back. I cannot get along without my paper. My son often uses my ideas in his editorials without knowing it.’ (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 22.)
Yesterday, … I met a queer person in my work. He sat staring intensely at nothing, looking utterly forlorn. When I spoke to him he did not move so I looked into his thought-images. There was a great tractor occupying the whole of his mind. He was sitting in it, trying to sow gold-dust. He said at last that he knew he was dead and that he had been given the job of sowing the gold for the pavements of Heaven! But his tractor would not work unless he concentrated on it as there was a devil holding it back.
In life I found he had been an ignorant but fanatically religious ploughman, believing literally in the Heaven legend. So, afterwards, his thought-images were presenting a strange muddled picture of his life and convictions.
I took him to the allotment garden thought creation that I told you of before and left them to deal with him. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 210.)
S. M. asks about the future of a friend just passed on.
She was one of those who go unprepared to the life of the spheres. The life which her angels say she led was but a poor preparation for the harmony and peace and joy of the spheres. No more fruitful cause of delay in spiritual progress exists than a joyless, inharmonious life. It deadens and starves the spirit, blunts its aspirations.
The true life on earth is one of harmony, love and progress. In a loveless life the spirit is prisoned, cramped and injured. They who have missed and failed of harmony and progress in the earth-sphere do oft return and minister to those who are suffering, even as they once suffered.
She will, we think, return and minister to the dwarfed and chilled souls the balm of affection which they lack. She will soothe and cheer and instill a heavenly peace. She will be a ministering spirit of love. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Lists have been kept of all people who have died violently in any way, recently, and of those who are still “unsettled” here. If they are in “lower astral” … it means that I have … to “decrease my rate of vibration.” It was difficult to master the knack of it, but now it is easy – a matter of will, thought and rhythm. By doing this, I am able to see people on that “rate of vibration,” just as you on earth can see each other but not us. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 31.)
A difficult aspect [of working in the Lower Summerlands] is that the repressed “power” in me (1) which is “dammed up” when I “decrease my rate of vibration” is buzzing in me like a thudding dynamo and I can’t hold it in check for long so that (especially at first when I was not used to it) I was apt to “vanish” as far as the other person was concerned, which simply means that I have gone back to my real state. … Our “brakes” will only hold for a short period. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 32.)
(1) Philip Gilbert is speaking from the Mental Plane.
I have perfected a new technique for getting down to lower astral. I am learning to leave my second personality behind. (1) So far, I have found the whole process so difficult that this feat was too much for me! As it is, I must have my “Central Me” when I go to the lower: it needs all my power. The forces there are very strong and it is … a combined “thought block” of “evil” – but “evil” is really a negation and if you had completely undiluted “evil,” it would disintegrate because it would have no spark of creative force in it. But most “evil” entities have still a spark of life energy – of spirit – in them and when they combine, they can exert great power. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 36.)
(1) Philip is referring to the acquisition of the ability to subdivide consciousness, more or less being in two places at once. This occurrence happens on the Mental Plane. See here.
I do not go much to Borderland, nor to the first and second spheres, because my work does not lie there, except on the rare occasions when I am sent down for the special help of one, probably known to me in the earth life. This one, not being advanced in spiritual perception, may be dwelling down there in the twilight of those spheres, (1) or even in the darkness of spiritual ignorance. So the command comes to go and guide him into the light and give him comfort. Then, through prayer his eyes become opened to see the beauty of the great love which flows around him. (John Heslop, FMABL, 8.)
(1) “Twilight” indicates that it may be the Grey World or Misty Region.
But, you will naturally ask, having in mind orthodox religious teachings on the subject, are those who dwell in greyness or darkness confined to those regions for all eternity? No, no! Never for all eternity. They will remain there for just so long as they wish. Indeed, some of them have lived in the dark realms for thousands of years, but thousands of years is not eternity, although it may seem like it sometimes to some of the inhabitants of those regions. But every soul so situated in darkness is free to terminate his sojourn there whenever he sees fit. The choice rests with himself. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 18.)