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An Outline of Occult Science

are working only on the physical body. When the latter has progressed far enough in its evolution, all beings must first again pass into a higher form of existence before the etheric body can also progress. The physical body must, as it were, be recast, in order to be able, in its remodeled state, to receive the more highly constituted etheric body. After this interval devoted to a higher form of existence, a kind of recapitulation of the Sun evolution on a higher level, occurs for the purpose of shaping the etheric body. And after another interval, a similar thing occurs for the astral body, by means of a recapitulation of the Moon evolution. Let us now turn our attention to the evolutionary processes taking place after the close of the third recapitulation described. All beings and forces have passed again into a state of spiritualization. During that state they ascended into higher worlds. The lowest of the worlds, in which something of them is still to be perceived during this spiritualizing epoch, are the same in which contemporary man sojourns between death and a new birth. These are the regions of the spirit-world. Thence the beings and forces gradually descend again into lower worlds. Before the physical Earth evolution begins they have so far descended that their lowest manifestations are to be seen in the astral or psychic world. Everything human existing at that period is still in its astral form. In order to understand this condition of humanity, attention should be paid especially to the fact that though man has within him the physical, etheric and astral bodies, yet the physical and etheric bodies are not present in their own forms but in astral form. It is not physical form that makes the physical body physical, but the fact that it embodies physical laws, although possessing an astral form. It is a being in a psychic form with a physical law of existence. The etheric body is in a similar position. To spiritual vision the Earth at this stage of evolution appears at first as a heavenly body all soul and spirit, in which, therefore,