whole landscape in itself. We are so arrogant that we believe

only "seeing is believing." Yet the great Buddhist teachings

speak of innumerable worlds in different dimensions—there

may even be many worlds very like, or just like ours—and

several modern astrophysicists have developed theories about

the existence of parallel universes. How can we possibly say

definitively what does or does not exist beyond the bounds of

our limited vision?

Looking at the world around us, and into our own minds,

we can see that the six realms definitely do exist. They exist in

the way we unconsciously allow our negative emotions to project

and crystallize entire realms around us, and to define the

style, form, flavor, and context of our life in those realms. And

they exist also inwardly as the different seeds and tendencies of

the various negative emotions within our psychophysical system,

always ready to germinate and grow, depending on what

influences them and how we choose to live.

Let's look at how some of these realms are projected into

and crystallized in the world around us. The main feature of

the realm of the gods, for example, is that it is devoid of suffering,

a realm of changeless beauty and sensual ecstasy. Imagine

the gods: tall, blond surfers, lounging on beaches and in

gardens flooded by brilliant sunshine, listening to any kind of

music they choose, intoxicated by every kind of stimulant,

high on meditation, yoga, bodywork, and ways of improving

themselves, but never taxing their brains, never confronting

any complex or painful situation, never conscious of their true

nature, and so anesthetized that they are never aware of what

their condition really is.

If some parts of California and Australia spring to mind as

the realm of the gods, you can see the demigod realm being

acted out every day perhaps in the intrigue and rivalry of Wall

Street or in the seething corridors of Washington and Whitehall.

And the hungry ghost realms? They exist wherever people,

though immensely rich, are never satisfied, craving to take

over this company or that one, or endlessly playing out their

greed in court cases. Switch on any television channel and you

have entered immediately the world of demigods and hungry


The quality of life in the realm of the gods may look superior

to our own, yet the masters tell us that human life is infinitely

more valuable. Why? Because of the very fact that we have

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