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  • Foto del escritorPythagoras Teachings


By A. E. Powell

At death, the consciousness withdraws from the dense physical body into the etheric double for a short time, usually for a few hours, and then passes into the astral body.

Death thus consists of a process of unrobing or unsheathing. The ego, the immortal part of man, shakes off from itself, one after the other, its outer casings. First, the dense physical, then the etheric double: then even the astral body, as we shall later see.

In almost every case, the actual passing appears to be painless, even after a long illness involving terrible suffering. The peaceful look on the face of the dead is strong evidence in favor of this statement, and it is also borne out by the direct testimony of most of those who have been questioned on the point immediately after death.

At the actual moment of death, even when death is sudden, a man sees the whole of his past life marshaled before him in its minutest detail. In a moment, he sees the whole chain of causes at work during his life. He sees and now understands himself as he is, unadorned by flattery or self-deception. He reads his life, remaining as a spectator, looking down upon the arena he is quitting.

The condition of consciousness immediately after the moment of death is usually a dreamy and peaceful one. There will also be a certain period of unconsciousness, which may last only for a moment, though often it is a few minutes or several hours, and sometimes even days or weeks.

The natural attraction between the astral counterpart and the physical body is such that, after death, the astral counterpart retains its accustomed form from the force of habit and retains its accustomed shape. Consequently, a man's physical appearance will remain unchanged after death. Almost-- because astral matter is very readily molded by thought, a man who habitually thinks of himself after death as younger than he actually was at the time of death will probably assume a somewhat younger appearance.

Very soon after death, in most cases, an important change occurs in the astral body's structure, owing to the action of the dense elemental. This essence is living, though not intelligent: and for a time, it is cut off from the general mass of astral essence. Blindly, instinctively and without reason, it seeks its own ends and shows great ingenuity in obtaining its desires and furthering its evolution.

Evolution for it is a descent into matter, its aim being to become a mineral monad. Therefore, Its object in life is to get as near to the physical plane as possible and experience as many of the coarser vibrations as possible. It neither does nor could know anything of the man in whose astral body it is for the time living.

It desires to preserve its separate life and feels it can only do so through its connection with man. It is conscious of the man's lower mind and realizes that the more mental matter it can entangle with itself, the longer will be its astral life.

On the death of the physical body, knowing that the term of its separated life is limited and that the man's astral death will more or less quickly follow, to make the man's astral body last as long as possible, it arranges its matter in concentric rings or shells, the coarsest outside. From the point of view of the desired elemental, this is a good policy because the coarsest matter can hold together longest and best stand friction.

The rearranged astral body is called the YATANA, or suffering body. In the case of a very evil man whose astral body there is a preponderance of the coarsest matter, it is called the DHRUVAM or strong body.

The rearrangement takes place over the surface of the counterpart of the physical body, not over the surface of the ovoid which surrounds it.

The effect prevents the free and full circulation of astral matter, which usually takes place in the astral body. In addition, man can respond only to those vibrations received by the outermost layer of his astral body. The man is thus shut up, as it were, in a box of cosmic matter, being able to see and hear things of the lowest and coarsest plane only.

Although living amid strong influences and beautiful thought-forms, he would be almost entirely unconscious of their existence, because the particles of his astral body, which could respond to those vibrations, are shut in where they cannot be reached.

Consequently, being able to sense only the coarsest matter in the astral bodies of other people and being entirely unconscious of his limitations, he would assume that the person he was looking at possessed only the unsatisfactory characteristics he could perceive.

Since he can see and feel only what is lowest and coarsest, the men around him appear to be monsters of vice. Under these circumstances, it is little wonder that he considers the astral world hell.

The rearrangement of the astral body by the desired elemental does not affect the recognizability of the form within the ovoid. However, the natural changes which take place tend, on the whole, to make the form grow somewhat fainter and more spiritual in appearance as time passes on -- for reasons which will presently be made clear.

Over time, the outermost shell or ring disintegrates: the man then becomes able to respond to the vibrations of the next higher level of the astral plane and thus "rises to the next sub-plane." And so on from one sub-plane to another. His stay on each sub-plane corresponds to the amount and activity of the matter in his astral body belonging to that sub-plane.

When we speak of a man "rising" from one sub-plane to another, he need not necessarily move in space: He transfers his consciousness from one level to another. In the case of a man with a rearranged astral body, the focus of his consciousness shifts from the outer shell to the one next to it. The man thus gradually becomes unresponsive to the vibrations of one order of matter and answers instead to those of a higher order. Therefore, one world with its scenery and inhabitants would seem to fade slowly away from his view, while another would dawn upon him.

As the shell usually disintegrates gradually, the man thus finds the counterparts of physical objects growing dimmer and dimmer while thought forms become more and more vivid to him. If, during this process, he meets another man at intervals, he will imagine that the man's character is steadily improving merely because he is himself becoming able to appreciate the higher vibration of that character. There-arrangement of the astral body, in fact, constantly interferes with man's true and full vision of his friends at all stages of their astral life.

This process of rearrangement of the astral body, which takes place with most people, can be prevented by the man setting his WILL to oppose it. In fact, anyone who understands the astral plane's conditions should all DECLINE TO PERMIT THE REARRANGEMENT of the astral body by the desire-elemental. The particles of the astral body will then be kept intermingled as in life. In consequence, instead of being confined to one astral sub-plane at a time, the man will be free of all the sub-planes, according to the constitution of his astral body.

The elemental, being afraid in its curious semi-conscious way, will endeavor to transfer its fear to the man who is jolting him out of there-arrangement to deter him from doing so. Hence one reason why it is so useful to have knowledge of these matters before death.

If the rearrangement or shelling has already occurred, it is still possible for the condition to be broken up by someone who wishes to help the man and to be thus set free to work on the whole astral plane instead of being confined to one level.

Relevant Questions:

  1. How is death characterized as a transition in the realm of existence?

  2. Can you explain the process that the consciousness undergoes at the moment of death?

  3. What is the role of the ego in the transformation process during death?

  4. How is the experience of dying described, particularly in the context of physical suffering?

  5. What is the significance of the individual seeing their past life flash before their eyes at the moment of death?

  6. Can you describe the state of consciousness immediately following death?

  7. How does the relationship between the astral counterpart and the physical body affect post-death appearance?

  8. What transformation occurs within the astral body shortly after death due to the dense elemental essence?

  9. What are the goals of the dense elemental essence and how does it attempt to achieve them?

  10. How does the arrangement of astral matter in concentric shells affect the man's perception in the astral plane?

  11. Why does the man perceive the astral world as a hellish realm, despite being surrounded by higher influences and beautiful thought-forms?

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