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An Outline of Occult Science

immediately after the ego is deprived of physical organs, and is thus able to discern those things which are of a spiritual nature. These entities have the appearance of distorted caricatures of the objects with which the individual had formerly become acquainted through his senses. Clairvoyant observation shows that this place of purging fire is peopled by beings whose appearance may well seem horrifying and painful to spiritual vision, whose pleasure seems to consist in destruction, and whose passions impel them to evildoing of such a description that the evil of the physical world seems insignificant in comparison. Whatever desires of the kind described above are brought into that world by man, are looked upon by these beings as food, by means of which their powers are continually strengthened and invigorated. The picture thus sketched of a world imperceptible to the senses may seem less incredible if we look with an unprejudiced eye on part of the animal world. What is a fierce, devouring wolf, from a spiritual point of view? What does it reveal to us through that which our senses perceive? Nothing else than a soul that lives in desires, and acts by desire. The external form of the wolf may be called an embodiment of those desires; and if man had no organs with which to perceive that form, if its desires appeared invisibly in their effects,—if, therefore, a force invisible to the eye were prowling about, and might be the cause of all that happened through the visible wolf,—he would still be forced to recognize the existence of a creature corresponding to it. Now the beings of the region of purifying fire are not visible to the physical eye, but to clairvoyant sight only; but their effects are clearly apparent. They bring about the destruction of the ego when it gives them nourishment. These effects are clearly visible if what began as a pleasure leads to excess and debauchery. For even what is perceptible to the senses would attract the ego only in so far as the pleasure had its root in the ego's own nature. The animal is prompted by desire for that in the outer