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Chapter III. Sleep and Death


created by the ego during life in the sense-world, because it finds pleasure in that world, even when no spiritual element is revealed in it. The humblest pleasures may be manifestations of the spirit. The satisfaction afforded a starving creature by taking food is a manifestation of the spirit, for by taking food something is thereupon brought about without which, in a certain sense, the spiritual nature could not develop. But the ego can go beyond the pleasure, which in this case is the outcome of necessity. It may even long for the delicious food quite apart from the service rendered to the spirit by taking nourishment. It is the same with other things in the sense-world. Desires are created in this way which would never have appeared in the sense-world if the human ego had not been incorporated in it. Neither do such desires arise from the spiritual nature of the ego. The ego must have pleasures of the senses as long as it lives in the body, even though it be for the very reason that its own nature is spiritual. For the spirit manifests in material things, and the ego is enjoying nothing less than spirit when it surrenders itself to that element in the sense-world which is irradiated by the light of the spirit. Moreover, it will continue to enjoy this light even when the senses are no longer the medium through which the spiritual rays pass. But there is no fulfillment possible in the spiritual world for desires in which the spirit is not living even in the world of the senses. When death takes place, the possibility of gratifying desires of this description is cut off. Pleasure in good things to eat can be induced only by the presence of the physical organs required for their consumption,—the palate, tongue, and so forth; but when man has laid aside his physical body he no longer possesses these organs. If, however, the ego still craves that kind of pleasure the craving must remain unsatisfied. As long as this pleasure corresponds to the spiritual need, it is caused only by the presence of the physical organs; but should it happen that the ego has created the desire without serving the spirit in so doing,



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