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Chapter III. Sleep and Death


world which its three bodies crave. Man has higher enjoyments, because to the three principles of his bodily nature is added the fourth, the ego. But if the ego seeks a gratification which does not tend toward the maintenance and development of its nature but to its destruction, then such a craving can be neither the effect of its three bodies, nor that of its own nature, but can only be caused by beings, concealed from the senses in their true form, but able furtively to approach that higher nature of the ego, and excite in it desires which, though it is cut off from the senses, can still be satisfied only by means of sense-organs. For there are beings which feed on passions and desires of a worse kind than those of an animal nature, because they do not expend themselves on objects of the senses but seize upon the spiritual element and drag it down to a sensual level. Therefore the forms of such beings are more hideous, more horrible, to spiritual sight than are the forms of the fiercest animals, in which after all only passions rooted in the senses are incarnated. And the destructive forces of these beings immeasurably surpass any destructive rage existing in the animal world as perceived by the senses. Occult science must in this way enlarge man's view so as to include a world of beings standing, in a certain respect, lower than the visibly destructive animal world. When man has passed through the world of purification after death, he finds himself in a world the contents of which are spiritual, and which also creates in him longings which can be satisfied only by spiritual things. But even now man distinguishes between that which properly belongs to his ego and what forms the environment of that ego—one might say, its spiritual outer world. Only that, of which he becomes sensible in this environment, pours in upon him in the same way that the perception of his own ego poured in upon him during his sojourn in the body. Whereas man's environment in the life between birth and death speaks to him through his bodily organs, after death when all the bodies are laid aside the language of his new