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An Outline of Occult Science

the organization of the body grew less and less, and the body disintegrated when the soul ascended to psycho-spiritual modes of existence. One can trace how the forces gradually acquired by man during the Saturn, Sun, and Moon evolutions take part more and more in the progress of man during the described formative periods of the earth. The first part to be kindled by the earth's fire is the astral body, still containing within it the etheric and physical bodies in a state of solution. Then the astral body is organized into a more subtle astral part, the sentient soul, and into a grosser etheric part, which henceforth is in contact with the earth-element; when this occurs, the etheric or vital body, already fore-shadowed, makes its appearance. And while the intellectual and consciousness-souls are being evolved in the astral man, there are incorporated into the etheric body those coarser parts which are susceptible to sound and light.

[205]

At the time when the etheric body still further densifies and changes from a light-body into a fire or heat-body, the stage of evolution has been reached at which, as described above, parts of the solid earth-element are incorporated into man. Because the etheric body has condensed to the consistency of fire, it is now able, by means of the forces of the physical body previously implanted in it, to combine with those substances of the physical earth attenuated as far as the fire-state. But by itself it would no longer be able to introduce air substances into the body which has meanwhile become more solidified. Then, as indicated above, the higher beings dwelling on the sun interpose, breathing air into the body. While man, by virtue of his past, is able of himself to become permeated with earthly fire, higher beings direct the breath of air into his body. Heretofore the etheric body of man, as a receiver of sound, had been the director of the air current. It permeated man's physical body with life. Now the physical body gets life from without. The result is that this life becomes independent of the soul part of man. On departing from the earth, the soul leaves behind not only the seed of its form, but also a

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