Summary of the Foregoing
within him a soul-centre belonging to a spiritual world. This is the
permanent human entity, which passes through repeated earthly lives in
such a way that in one earthly life it is trained in normal consciousness
as a being independent of that consciousness, then experiences itself
in a purely spiritual world, after human physical death, and in due
time realises in a new earthly life the results of the preceding one.
This permanent entity acts as the inspirer of man's destiny in such
a way that one earthly life follows another as a consequence which is
based on the order of the cosmos.
is this permanent entity itself; he lives in it as though in his
other self. Inasmuch as he, as a being, is that other self, so he lives
in an astral body, in the same way as he is living in a physical and
etheric body. Just as the environment of the physical body is the physical
world and that of the etheric body the elemental world, so the environment
of the astral body is the world of the spirit. Beings of the same nature
and origin as man's other self are working in the physical and elemental
worlds as Ahrimanic and Luciferic powers. The way in which they work
makes the relation of the astral body to the etheric and physical bodies
original source of the etheric body is to be found in a long-past
period of the earth, its so-called Sun condition.
accordance with the foregoing, the following survey of man may be
I. The physical body in the environment of the physical world. By
means of this body man recognises himself as an independent individual
II. The subtle (etheric or vital) body in the elemental environment.
By means of this body man recognises himself as a member of the earth's
vital body, and hence indirectly as a member of three successive planetary
III. The astral body in a purely spiritual environment. Through this
body man is a member of a spiritual world of which the elemental and
physical worlds are reflections. In the astral body lives man's other
self, and this comes to expression in repeated earthly lives.