On the Cyclical Nature and Evolutionary Purpose of Death, Purgatory, and Other Afterlife Experiences … by C.W. Leadbeater

  • Death and the Laying Aside of the Physical Body
  • The Later Laying Aside of the Astral Body, and Then the Mental Body, to Dwell for a While in the Causal Body
  • The Continuous Stages of Evolution of the Human Soul
  • Will the Experience of Astral Life Be That of Hell, Purgatory or Heaven?
  • How Long Are We Likely to Experience the Astral World and the Mental World After Death?

Dear Ones,

Here are excerpts from the writings of the learned Theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, written  in the early 1900s: (1)

DEATH AS THE LAYING ASIDE OF THE PHYSICAL BODY

“Death is the laying aside of the physical body; but it makes no more difference to the ego than does the laying aside of an overcoat to the physical man. Having put off his physical body, the ego continues to live in his astral body until the force has become exhausted which has been generated by such emotions and passions as he has allowed himself to feel during earth-life.” (2)

THE LATER LAYING ASIDE OF THE ASTRAL BODY, AND THEN THE MENTAL BODY, TO DWELL FOR A WHILE IN THE CAUSAL BODY

“When that has happened, the second death takes place; the astral body also falls away from him, and he finds himself living in the mental body and in the lower mental world. In that condition he remains until the thought-forces generated during his physical and astral lives have worn themselves out; then he drops the third vehicle in its turn and remains once more an ego in his own world, inhabiting his causal body.” (2)

THE CONTINUOUS STAGES OF EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN SOUL

“There is, then, no such thing as death as it is ordinarily understood. There is only a succession of stages in a continuous life—stages lived in the three worlds one after another. The apportionment of time between these three worlds varies much as man advances. The primitive man lives almost exclusively in the physical world, spending only a few years in the astral at the end of each of his physical lives. As he develops, the astral life becomes longer, and as intellect: unfolds in him, and he becomes able to think, he begins to spend a little time in the mental world as well. The ordinary man of civilized races remains longer in the mental world than in the physical and astral; indeed, the more a man evolves the longer becomes his mental, life and the shorter his life in the astral world.” (2)

WILL THE EXPERIENCE OF ASTRAL LIFE BE THAT OF HEAVEN, PURGATORY OR HELL?

“The astral life is the result of all feelings which have in them the element of self. If they have been directly selfish, they bring him into conditions of great unpleasantness in the astral world; if, though tinged with thoughts of self, they have been good and kindly, they bring him a comparatively pleasant though still limited astral life. Such of his thoughts and feelings as have been entirely unselfish produce their results in his life in the mental world; therefore that life in the mental, world cannot be other than blissful.

“The astral life, which the man has made for himself either miserable or comparatively joyous, corresponds to what Christians call purgatory; the lower mental life, which is always entirely happy, is what is called heaven.

“Man makes for himself his own purgatory and heaven, and these are not planes, but states of consciousness. Hell does not exist; [by this I believe he means the concept of Hell as eternal damnation. –Alice] it is only a figment of the theological imagination; but a man who lives foolishly may make for himself a very unpleasant and long enduring purgatory.” [by this I believe he means, such a man will temporarily experience the hellworlds, until his astral matter has become refined enough for him to rise to higher levels of the astral world. –Alice] (2)

HOW LONG ARE WE LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE THE ASTRAL WORLD AND THE MENTAL WORLD AFTER DEATH?

“Neither purgatory nor heaven can ever be eternal, for a finite cause cannot produce an infinite result. The variations in individual cases are so wide that to give actual figures is somewhat misleading.

“If we take the average man of what is called the lower middle class, the typical specimen of which would be a small shopkeeper or shop-assistant, his average life in the astral world would be perhaps about forty years, and the life in the mental world about two hundred.

“The man of spirituality and culture, on the other hand, may have perhaps twenty years of life in the astral world and a thousand in the heaven life.

“One who is specially developed [a spiritual adept who was spend this life working for the good of all beings everywhere, for instance –Alice] may reduce the astral life to a few days or hours and spend fifteen hundred years in heaven.” (2)

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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FOOTNOTES

(1) Paragraphing and subheads in the above quoted text are mine. –Alice Clagett

(2) from the Project Gutenberg EBook of “A Textbook of Theosophy,” by C.W. Leadbeater, 1912 … http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12902/pg12902-images.html

At the top of the the above link: “This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net ”

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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afterlife, heaven, hell, purgatory, Soul evolution, C.W. Leadbeater, Leadbeater, Theosophy, causal body, astral body, mental body, subtle bodies,

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