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Chapter IV. The Evolution of the World and Man


from a germ brought over and only then could it be interpenetrated by an etheric body. By means of this incorporation of an etheric body, a change took place in the nature of the physical body; it was raised to a second stage of perfection. A similar thing took place during the Moon evolution. Man's ancestor, as he had developed himself when passing from the Sun to the Moon, incorporated in himself the astral body. As a result, the physical body was changed for the second time, and thus raised to its third stage of perfection; at the same time the etheric body was likewise changed, and passed to its second stage of perfection. On the earth the ego was incorporated in man's ancestor, now composed of the physical, etheric, and astral bodies. Thereby the physical body reached its fourth stage of perfection, the etheric body its third, and the astral body its second stage; the ego is only now at the first stage of its existence. If we give ourselves up to an unprejudiced examination of man's nature, there will be no difficulty in acquiring a correct idea of these different stages of perfection of his separate principles. For this purpose we have merely to compare the physical with the astral body. It is true, the astral body, as a psychic principle, stands on a higher level of evolution than the physical body. And in future ages, when the former has been perfected, it will be of very much more consequence to man's complete being than the present physical body. Yet, in its own way, the latter has reached a certain high degree of perfection. Consider the marvelous wisdom with which the structure of the heart is planned, the amazing structure of the brain—nay, even of part of a single bone, such as the upper end of the thigh bone. In the end of this bone we find a net-work or scaffolding, wonderfully constructed and composed of delicate spicules and lamellÌ. The whole is so arranged that with the least expenditure of material the most effective action on the joint-surfaces is obtained—hence the most efficient distribution of friction and a proper freedom of movement. Thus wise arrangements are found in the parts of



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