A Wanderer in the Sprit Lands, by Franchezzo (A. Farnese), , at sacred-texts.com
I was now told that I had so far freed myself from the earth's attractions and overcome my desires for earthly things, that I was able to pass into the second sphere. The passing from the body of a lower sphere into that of a higher one is often, though not invariably, accomplished during a deep sleep which closely resembles the death-sleep of the spirit in leaving the earthly body. As a spirit grows more elevated, more etherealized, this change is accompanied by a greater degree of consciousness, till at last the passing from one high sphere to another is simply like changing one garb for another a little finer, discarding one spiritual envelope for a more ethereal one. Thus the soul passes onward, growing less and less earthly (or material) in its envelopment, till it passes beyond the limits of our earth spheres into those of the solar systems.
It happened, then, that upon my return from one of my visits to the earth, I felt overpowered by a strange unusual sense of drowsiness, which was more like paralysis of the brain than sleep.
I retired to my little room in the Twilight Land, and throwing myself upon my couch, sank at once into a profound dreamless slumber like unto the unconscious sleep of death.
In this state of unconsciousness I lay for about two weeks of earthly time, and during it my soul passed from the disfigured astral body and came forth like a newborn child, clothed in a brighter, purer spiritual envelope, which my efforts at overcoming the evil in myself had created for it. Only I was not born as an infant but as a full grown man, even as my experience and knowledge had been those of a mature spirit. There are some mortals whose knowledge of life is so limited, whose minds have been so little cultivated, and whose natures are so simple and childlike, that they are born into the spirit world as mere children, however many years of earth life they may have known, but it was not so with me, and in assuming my new condition I also possessed the development in age which my earth life had given me.
In a state of perfect unconsciousness my newborn soul was borne by the attendant spirit friends into the second sphere, where I lay sleeping my dreamless sleep till the time came for my awakening.
The discarded astral envelope I had left was by the power of attendant spirits dissolved into the elements of the earth plane, even as my earthly body left at my first death would decay into the earthly material from which it had been taken,--dust returning unto dust again, while the immortal soul passed on to a higher state.
Thus did I pass through my second death and awake to the resurrection of my higher self.