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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds


physical senses. All that has been said in this book previous to the chapter concerning “Perception of the higher worlds,” should have been assimilated by the student in the course of his regular development, by means of his ordinary judgment, before he has any desire to seek entrance himself into the supersensible worlds. Where the training has been such as to pay little heed to firmness and surety of judgment, and to the life of feeling and character, it may happen that the student will approach the higher world before being possessed of the necessary inner capacities. The meeting with his double would in this case overwhelm him. But what might also happen is that the person introduced into the supersensible world then would be totally unable to recognize this world in its true form, for it would be impossible for him to differentiate between what he sees in the things, and what they really are. For this distinction becomes possible only when a person himself has beheld the image of his own being and becomes able to separate from his surroundings everything which proceeds from his inner being. In respect to life in the world of physical sense, man's double becomes at once visible through the already mentioned feeling of shame when man nears the psycho-spiritual world, and in so doing, it also conceals the whole of that world. The double stands before the entrance as a “guardian,” denying admission to all who are as yet unfit, and it is therefore designated in occult science as the “guardian of the threshold of the psycho-spiritual world.” However, we may call it the “lesser guardian,” for there is another, of whom we shall speak later. And besides this meeting with his double on entering the supersensible world as here described, man encounters the Guardian of the Threshold when he passes the portals of physical death, and it gradually reveals itself during that psycho-spiritual development which takes place between death and a new birth. However, the encounter can in no wise crush us, for we then know of other worlds of which we are ignorant during the life