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Chapter III. Sleep and Death


whole of man's physical body is created out of the hidden forces of that of which he becomes conscious through his bodily organs. The physical body is built up by the forces of the physical world, the etheric body by those of the life-world, and the astral body is formed out of the astral world. Now when the ego is transferred to the spirit-world it is met by just those forces which remain hidden to physical perception. What appear to man's view in the first region of the spiritworld are the spiritual beings that are always surrounding him, and that have built up his physical body. Thus in the physical world man perceives nothing but the manifestations of those spiritual forces which have formed his own physical body. After death he is in the very midst of these moulding forces, which, previously hidden, now appear to him in their true forms. In the same way, in the second region, he is in the midst of the forces by which his etheric body was organized, and in the third region there pour in upon him the potencies out of which his astral body was formed. The higher regions of the spirit-world also direct toward him those forces from which he was built in the life between birth and death. These denizens of the spiritual world are at present working in co-operation with that which man has brought with him as the product of his last life, which now becomes a germ; and through this co-operation man is, first of all, built up anew as a spiritual being. The physical and etheric bodies are still joined in sleep; the astral body and the ego are, it is true, outside them, but still connected with them. Whatever influences the astral body and the ego receive, in such a state, from the spiritual world, can serve only to recuperate the forces exhausted during the waking state. But when the physical and etheric bodies have been laid aside, and, after the time of purification, also those parts of the astral body still bound by their desires to the physical world, then everything pouring in upon the ego from the spiritual world is