Death - and After?
Death consists in a repeated process of unrobing, or unsheathing. The immortal part of man shakes off from itself, one after the other, its outer casings, and - as the snake from its skin, the butterfly from its chrysalis - emerges from one after another, passing into a higher state of consciousness. Now it is the fact that this escape from the body, and this dwelling of the conscious entity either in the vehicle called the body of desire, the kâmic or astral body, or in a yet more ethereal Thought Body, can be effected during earth-life; so that man may become familiar with the excarnated condition, and it may lose for him all the terrors that encircle the unknown. He can know himself as a conscious entity in either of these vehicles, and so prove to his own satisfaction that "life" does not depend on his functioning through the physical body. Why should a man who has thus repeatedly "shed" his lower bodies, and has found the process result, not in unconsciousness, but in a vastly extended freedom and vividness of life - why should he fear the final casting away of his fetters, and the freeing of his Immortal Self from what he realises as the prison of the flesh?
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Title: Death - and After?
Author: Annie Besant
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