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Chapter IV. The Evolution of the World and Man


facts obtained by means of the physical senses. The connection in most cases comes about in such a way that an injury to the astral body does not cause manifestations of disease in the physical body in the same incarnation in which the injury takes place, but in a later one. Hence the laws now under consideration have a meaning only for one who is able to admit that human earth-life is repeated again and again. But even if deeper knowledge of this kind is rejected, ordinary observation of life makes it plain that human beings indulge in far too many pleasures and desires which undermine the harmony of the physical body. And the seat of pleasure, desire, passion, is not in the physical but in the astral body. The latter is still so imperfect, in many respects, that it is able to destroy the harmony of the physical body. It should also be mentioned here that such explanations as these are by no means intended as proofs of the assertions of occult science about the evolution of the four principles of man's being. The proofs are drawn from spiritual research, which shows that the physical body has behind it a transformation, enacted four times, into higher degrees of perfection, and that man's other principles have been perfected to a lesser degree, as has been described. It is desired merely to indicate here that these communications made by spiritual research relate to facts which are visible in their effects even to ordinary observation, in the degrees of perfection reached by the physical body, etheric body, and so forth. If we wish to draw an approximately true picture of the conditions prevailing during the Saturn evolution, we must take into account the fact that while it lasted, there were virtually, as yet, none of the things and creatures existing which now belong to the earth and are included in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. The beings of these three kingdoms were formed during later periods of evolution. Of all the earthly beings physically perceptible today, man alone existed at that



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