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Chapter III. Sleep and Death


physical world. Occult science, therefore, recognizes three corpses,—the physical, etheric, and astral. The period at which the last is cast off by man is marked by the time of purification, which amounts to about one third of the time elapsed between birth and death. The reason why this is so can only be explained later, when the course of human life is examined from the standpoint of occult science. To clairvoyant observation, astral corpses, which have been cast off by human beings passing from the state of purification into a higher existence, are constantly visible in the world surrounding man, in exactly the same way that physical corpses, in places inhabited by men, are apparent to physical observation.6 After purification an entirely new state of consciousness begins for the ego. Whereas before death the outer perceptions must flow to the ego, in order that upon these perceptions the light of consciousness might be able to fall, so now in like manner from within, streams a world which attains consciousness. The ego is living in this world also between birth and death; only then this world is clothed in the manifestations of the senses. It is only when the ego, freed from all the ties of sense, turns inward to behold its own “holy of holies,” that its true innermost nature, which had hitherto been obscured by the senses, is revealed to it. In the same way that the ego is recognized inwardly before death, so, after death and purification, is the spiritual life inwardly revealed to it in all its fulness. This revelation really takes place immediately after the etheric body is laid aside; but it is obscured by the dark cloud of desires turned toward the outer world. It is as though a world of spiritual bliss were invaded by black demoniacal phantoms, caused by those desires which are being destroyed by the “consuming fire.” Indeed, these desires are not mere phantoms, but real entities, which become apparent 6

In current theosophical literature, the condition of the ego from death to the end of purification is called “Kamaloca.”


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