Sunday, 26 March 2017

Astral Facts—The Astral Double

The Astral Double

In man and animals, the astral pattern is not directly related to the physical body, but projects from itself a shadowy counterpart called the astral double. This double is capable of infinite contraction so as to be contained in the foetus and become the basis of the physical manifestation. The growth of the foetus simply abstracts the physical elements from the mother and builds them into the meshes of the astral double, thus materialising it. This double is not only the model into the meshes of which the physical is built, but it is also the vehicle by means of which the currents of life-force from the astral body, which is always in the Astral World, as well as the life-force liberated by the digestion of food and derived from the water and air, reaches and supports the physical body. It is the reservoir or sponge of life, gathering it up from all the natural kingdoms around, and is the intermediary between the kingdoms of Pranic and physical life. Life cannot come immediately from the subjective to the objective, for Nature goes gradually through each sphere. Therefore, the astral body is the intermediary between the vital world and our physical body and pumps in the life. It is also the vehicle by which the vibrations of the Physical World reach our consciousness as sensations. The lower kingdoms, whose evolution has not as yet built up the body of sensation, or only in a rudimentary way, are more directly connected with the astral double.

All forms of life cease to grow in size when the astral double has been materialised to its full size, for then no further increase in size can take place.

Death is, therefore, simply the withdrawal of this finer astral double and its contained life-force from the physical shell. It is the withdrawal of this definite body that gives to the outer body that is left behind the shrunken and cadaverous appearance seen in so-called death. This also accounts for the loss in weight of the physical body immediately after death and before evaporation could account for such loss. This astral double is attached to the physical body by an astral cord (something like an umbilical cord), which does not permit it to withdraw very far from the physical, although in some mediums it can be extruded to a considerable distance and be used as the basis for materialisations. Normally, at death, it should be indrawn into the astral body proper, although it is often left floating near the physical corpse, and in certain atmospheric conditions, it can be seen objectively by the physical sight as a wraith or ghost.

Since the astral body is the counterpart of the physical when it is withdrawn from the physical, it bears the exact likeness of the individual, with all the distinguishing marks, moles, etc., it possessed at the time of transition. Those who have passed on into the astral are, therefore, as easily recognised and identified as they would be on earth. For, after leaving the physical body, there is little more change of appearance than there is in removing an overcoat, except that when a physical limb or part is lost, the astral part will not be lost, unless so shown for purposes of identification.

After passing on from a long and exhausting illness, and especially in the case of an old person who is tired of life and no longer clings to it by either thought or desire, it is common for such to pass into a deep and restful sleep varying in duration according to individual needs, previous ideas, etc. We know, of course, that thought and desire rule the Physical World, but in the Astral World, they rule to a far greater degree and far more quickly, for the plastic matter of that World yields very rapidly to the creative and moulding power of thought and will. Therefore, a person who for years held the thought that leaving the Physical World ended all or one who believed that he would sleep until Gabriel blew his trumpet would naturally pass into a comatose or dense sleeping condition after passing on. This condition would perhaps last for years or even centuries until the desire or thought force put into the idea was exhausted and he was released from its effects.

All these types of sleepers float aimlessly in the Astral World, swept hither and thither by astral currents which, much like the winds of earth, are continually flowing in various directions. In this Realm, we can see as well as feel these astral winds and  as the astral is the World of Desire and Sensation, we can here see that many of these winds are but the forces generated by humanity's restless and disquieting thoughts, which form mighty currents plainly seen to be made up of living elementals, tenuous forms even in this Realm, yet passing in great streams and with a moaning crymuch as the wind moans on earth. Again, there can be seen mighty storm-winds made up of the embodied evil and malignant thought forces generated by mankind, here seen entitised as demons of destruction sweeping on with tremendous power. Yet always there is blowing here a steady wind from the East, which is the force of blessing sent forth into all the world from the Heart of the Universe. This appears as made up of Angelic Beings who float on with faces radiant, unseeing and unheeding anything through which they pass, intent only on their mission, which is to carry the divine creative love-forces and pour them out on all creation. The sleeping and floating forms are, therefore, in danger as well as very much in the way, quite as much so as would one be on earth who lay down in a busy thoroughfare and went to sleep. Therefore, special attention is given to such, very much as special policemen would prevent a like occurrence on earth; there are those whose business it is to look alter such Souls and to convey them to specially prepared retreats where they are tenderly cared for and protected.

Those who wake up immediately or soon after passing on usually have a short period of confusion while they are getting their bearings, much as one is sometimes confused on awaking in a dimly lighted room, which seems full of vague shadows until one is fully awake and recognises things as they are. To many, this transitory condition inspires fear, especially if they passed on with a fear of death. But with the help of their loved ones or others duly appointed by the Masters, this fear soon passes and they realise what the change is that has taken place. The thing to impress upon the minds of all is that the moment a Soul cries out for Light and help, at that moment help is sent. And when one is passing through the change called death, if the friends and relatives send up the prayer of faith that the Soul shall be met on the threshold of the other world, it will be done. 

Many, however, are not welcomed owing to the fear inspired by their false earthly teaching. Those who are not thus met naturally do not know where they are or why they are surrounded by such unfamiliar conditions, or they may for a time think they are dreaming. They may remember that they have been sick but think they have just awakened from a night's sleep. 

Others, when they awaken to the fact that they are not really dead but are as much alive as ever, cannot believe they have crossed the great river and entered another state of existence. As they have considerable physical force and magnetism clinging to them, they are naturally in very close relation with the friends they have left behind; can still see them moving about preparing for the funeral of the body of flesh they have so recently quitted, but refusing to speak or pay attention to them. While in this sphere of attraction, they are acutely sensitive to the emotions of those to whom they are so closely connected, magnetically, as well as mentally. Hence, the weeping and display of grief so often indulged in by the mourners causes the departed ones great anguish and suffering, as emotions of grief, sorrow or inharmony cause greater suffering and have a far more depleting and exhausting effect upon the astral body than upon the physical body, great as we know that to be. This is especially so when the departed ones are unable to make the loved ones understand that they are not dead, only gone on before; cannot make them realise their presence, their love and their solicitude over the conditions and changes transpiring on earth. Therefore, as little emotion as possible should be displayed over the passing of a loved one, especially at the time of the passing when everything should be peaceful and calm, and for the first few days afterwards while the loved one is still closely enmeshed in earth conditions. This is particularly true of those who pass out through accident while in the full vigour of life. Such persons still have so much physical life-force and magnetism in their auras that they remain in close touch with earth conditions for long periods, at least as long as they would normally have lived but for the accident.

We should say farewell to our loved ones with no more grief than would be natural were they starting on a long journey on which they would be absent a number of years, for we will see them again, when we follow them, just as surely as on earth if we journeyed to their new home. Instead of spending time and force in useless grief and mourning, the time should be spent in quiet meditation and in an effort to correlate our consciousness with theirs and assure them of our love and understanding. Mourning clothing should not be worn, nor should constant visits be paid to the grave, for all such acts and thoughts tend to hold the departed one down to the discarded body through the law of attraction.

The recently deceased is often strongly, even morbidly attracted to the discarded physical body for some time, hence haunts its burial place. But it is thus held only as a result of thought or desire, the desire to see what becomes of the former outer garment it wore while on earth. Cremation is, therefore, always desirable, not only because more sanitary and less revolting to think of but because it consumes the physical magnetism and this releases the deceased at once from that source of attraction to the Physical World. But great care should be taken to see that cremation is not carried out until the astral body has had time to withdraw completely from the physical body or considerable suffering to the departed one may result. The best indication as to the proper time for cremation is when definite signs of physical disintegration appear. 

Excerpted and edited from Realms of the Living Dead—A Brief Description of Life After Death, Harriette Augusta Curtiss and F. Homer Curtiss, the Curtiss Philosophic Book Company, Washington D. C., 1926