LIFE BETWEEN DEATH AND A NEW BIRTH
Leipzig, 3 July, 1906
To-day we shall study man
from death to a new birth and follow how that which comes from a past
life implants itself in the next one. After death man leaves behind
his physical body and hands it over to the Earth as a corpse. If etheric
body, the astral body and Ego grow out of the physical body. Immediately
after death, the whole past life from birth to death stands before the
soul simultaneously, like a long series of pictures. But this memory-tableau
does not quite resembled experiences themselves which we had here on
Earth. There, our experiences were linked up with feelings and soul-impressions, the
soul was inwardly interested in them. Now however, all these experiences
confronts the soul in a collection of external, objective experiences. Every
pain, every joy once connected with them, are silent. This life picture
faces the soul as if it were quite estranged from it. The feelings
and moods are lacking. I see myself, my relatives and friends within
an objective tableau, a panorama of pictures.
This picture stands before
the soul until the etheric body separates from the astral body. The
etheric body then becomes the second corpse which the human being leaves
behind. The etheric body gradually dissolves in the universal ether of the
cosmos. A clairvoyant to observes a person with course feelings in this
condition, will observe that his etheric body needs a long time before
dissolves. In the case of an idealist it will dissolve very quickly.
But there will be hardly any dissolution after death in the case of
occult disciple, or even of an initiate.
After the dissolution of
the etheric body, the human being consists of astral body and Ego. The
images of his life-panorama are of great importance, for they now become
forces which impressed themselves upon the astral body. They transformed
themselves as if they were some kind of nourishment for the astral body.
The causal body or spirit
self, man's fifth member, grows out of this complex of forces. It is
the causal body which man keeps throughout the Devachan-period and through
all his incarnations. When man incarnated for the first time — at present,
we no longer live under the same conditions — he only consisted of four
parts: as physical, etheric body, astral body, and Ego. The causal body
only existed as a germ. He took it along until the next incarnation.
And with each incarnation the causal body grew. Each time the pictures
of memory are impressed on the causal body, thus enriching it and make
it more complex.
After passing through Kamaloca,
the human being has his Ego and his causal body and is enveloped by
his astral body. First you must live through his whole past life backwards,
experience every smallest action in all its details. He must halt before
each experience of his past life and live through it once more,
backwards. Only then may he enter Devachan.
The fact that we live through
every detail of our past life in reverse order, brings with it that
we can only now have a true knowledge of our own actions, for we experience
their effects on ourselves. In the case of every action we now experience
the soul-condition of the person against whom the action turned. We experience
the pains and joys which we caused to other people, we experience
them from within. In Kamaloca there is nothing which we did to others
which does not become our own experience. Here we must apply this sentence:
you will reap what you sowed.
Take one example which applies
to this retrogressive experience: vivisection. This is closely connected
with the materialistic direction of modern science. The position of
the Middle Ages would have thought it stupid to study life by cutting
of a living body and destroy in life. At that time many people, and
physicians in particular, were still clairvoyant and they could therefore
see through the physical body. But this power of vision was lost and
because we can no longer look into the inner depths of the human organism,
people began to cut it up and to dissect it. But vivisectors cut
into living life. After death Karma, the law of cause and effect, becomes
active. The intention that leads to vivisection comes less into consideration.
The vivisector must experience in himself the results of his deeds. In
kamaloka he must now endure and live through every pain which he inflicted
an animal. Later on the scientific intention which prompted him to vivisect
will be interwoven with his Karma.
Everything evil that claims
to man's personality is thus illuminated. This process is ended, the
human being abandons his astral body and leaves it behind as a third
corpse. He then continues to live with his Ego and his causal body.
The astral body which he has laid aside is now no longer needed for
his further states of existence.
Let us once more cast a
glance on the effect of Kamaloca life upon the soul. If we have injured
another person, we must experience this injury ourselves in Kamaloca;
we feel the effects which this injury produced on the other. By going
through this experience, we are warned for subsequent earthly life.
Our experiences at Kamaloca are of a lasting time and are great upon
the soul in the form of a strong writing. The clairvoyant can always perceive
the astral corpses on the astral plane, for the dissolve slowly.
The soul then enters the
Devachanic world. There, the human being can elaborate everything
which he took in during his Kamaloca existence, everything engraved upon
the soul. In the continental region of Devachan all our experiences
changed the forces. In the atmospheric region of Devachan we experience
once more all the feelings and moods which arose in us. The effects
of our own deeds, the feelings and moods which we experience, stream
into us and become capacities. In a subsequent earthly life all the
experiences which we had during our proceeding earthly life appear
in the form of capacities and talents. A feeling of unrestrained bliss
is contained in this process of transformation of experiences into capacities.
What thus streamed into us is the spiritual counterpart of the feeling
of a brooding hen.
When everything stored up
in the causal body has been transformed into capacities, man begins
to tread the path that leads him back to the Earth. It is very interesting
to observe clairvoyantly these souls that return to the Earth. The clairvoyant
can see in them shapes, which resemble bells shooting with incredible
speed through the astral plane in every direction. These forms arise through the
fact that a returning human being must surround himself with new astral
substance. It is new astral substance that gathers round man's nucleus
and this may be compared with the following process: There are iron
filings in a box a magnet underneath it. The filings arranged themselves
in accordance with the direction of the forces streaming out of the
magnet. The human being returning from Devachan, gathers astral substance
from the astral plane from many different directions, and the substance
arranges itself in a way which corresponds to his individual nature.
This condition of shooting about before entering a new incarnation only
last a short time, generally a few hours. The bell-shaped is a general
one containing every shade of color. In this condition the human being
consists of the Ego and of the causal body, and he must now form himself
a new astral body exactly corresponding to what he developed in Devachan;
US form and out of astral substance. His whole disposition thus obtains
a coloring which corresponds to his transformed experiences.
The new etheric body must
then be added. The astral substance seems to come shooting along of
its own accord in order to be incorporated with man's structure, but is
not the same in the case of the etheric substance. There are Beings
who, to begin with, have nothing to do with man's individuality. They
are called Mahadevas. Also outside Devachan they have a certain significance
in human life. Man does not master his own body to the extent he thinks.
Other beings dwell in his three bodies and are active within them. Man is completely
at home and soul master only in the fourth part of his being, in his
Ego. The mahadevas are among those Beings that live within man; they
influence his etheric body and are able to give man the right kind of
etheric body. Other beings then lead him to his parents and in accordance
with hereditary conditions to that family and human germ which are most
suited to the capacities and qualities of the reincarnated human being.
Very rarely indeed the new
incarnated human being completely fits into his physical body. Many disharmonies
are due to the fact that he does not entirely fit into it, many inner
disharmonies. In the present time it is only possible to find a physical
body which fits approximately.
When the suitable place
for the incarnation has been found, the Lipikas, elemental Beings, lead
the human being towards a suitable family and only at the moment of
conception the astral body becomes enveloped with the etheric body.
Even as the Mahadevas are connected with the etheric body, so the Lipikas
are connected with the physical body. All these processes generally last
only a few moments.
During the first months after conception,
only the causal body is active; around the seventh week the ether body begins
to be active and beginning with the seventh month the forces of the
astral body begin to approach the human being.