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An Outline of Occult Science

processes just as behind physical perceptions we have physical entities and material facts. And yet this similarity, apparent between the world of imagination and the physical world, is modified by one important difference. There is something present in the physical world which, when met in the imaginative world, bears quite another appearance. In the former we are aware of a perpetual ebb and flow, an alternation between birth and death. But in the imaginative world there appears, in place of this phenomenon, a continual metamorphosis of the one into the other. In the physical world we see, for instance, how a plant fades away, but in the imaginative world there emerges, in proportion as the plant fades, another form, not physically discernible, into which the withering plant is gradually transformed. When once the plant has faded away completely, this form will have become fully developed in its place. Birth and death are conceptions which lose their value in the imaginative world, making way for a comprehension of the transmutation of the one into the other. This being the case, those truths concerning which we have already made certain communications in an earlier chapter of this book (see Chapter II, “The Nature of Man”) become accessible to the imaginative perception. Physical sense-perception is able to perceive only what takes place in the physical body, processes which are enacted within the “domain of birth and death.” The other principles of man's being, namely, the etheric or vital body, the sentient body, and the ego, are subject to the law of transmutation, and the perception of them is unlocked by imaginative cognition. Any one who has advanced this far will observe that that which lives on under other conditions of being after death, detaches itself from the physical body. But development does not come to a standstill within the imaginative world. Anyone who would like to remain stationary in it, would, it is true, be able to note the entities in process of transmutation, but he would be unable to interpret the meaning of