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Chapter III. Sleep and Death


hostile to life; but this certainly does not spring from genuine occult science. The real fact of the matter is this, that just as a man cannot always be awake, so neither is he sufficiently equipped for the actual conditions of life, in its entire range, without that which occult science has to offer him. Life continues during sleep, and the forces which work and labour during the waking state draw their strength and refreshment from that which sleep gives them. It is thus with the things under our observation in the manifested world. The boundaries of the world are wider than the field of this observation; and what man recognizes in the visible must be supplemented and fertilized by what he is able to know of the invisible world. A man who did not continually renew his exhausted forces by sleep, would bring his life to destruction; and in the same way a view of the world which is not fertilized by a knowledge of the unseen, must lead to a feeling of desolation. It is similarly so with regard to death. Living creatures fall a prey to death in order that new life may arise. It is occult science which throws light on Goethe's beautiful phrase: “Nature invented Death in order to have much Life.� Just as in the ordinary sense there could be no life without death, so can there be no real knowledge of the visible world without insight into the invisible. All discernment of the visible must plunge again and again into the invisible in order to develop. Thus it is evident that occult science alone makes the life of revealed knowledge possible. When it emerges in its true form it never enfeebles life, but strengthens it and ever renews its freshness and health, when, left to its own resources, it has become weak and diseased. When a man sinks into sleep the connection between his principles changes, as described earlier in this work. The part of the sleeping man which lies upon his couch comprises the physical and etheric bodies, but not the astral body and not the ego. It is because the etheric body remains bound to the physical body in sleep that the life-activities continue. For the moment