It is doubly sad, yes even ten-fold so, for those who spend this time of mercy which every earth-life represents in frivolous deception, as if it were a drunken revel.
Many there are who have every reason for alarm and apprehension!
The case is quite different with those who have not wasted their existence on earth but who, although at a late hour yet still in time and not impelled by fear and anxiety, have set out on the road to spiritual ascent.
They will take their serious seeking over with them as a staff and support in the Ethereal World.
Without fear and anxiety they can venture to take the step from the Gross Material World into the Ethereal World which is inevitable for everyone, because all that is transient, such as the physical body, must sooner or later perish again!
They may welcome the hour of this release, for it means definite progress for them, no matter what they have to experience in the ethereal life!
Their good experiences will then bring them happiness and the evil ones will be made surprisingly easy, for their good volition will help them in this far more powerfully than they ever dreamed.
The process of dying in itself is nothing but birth into the Ethereal World, similar to the process of birth into the Gross Material World.
After the separation the ethereal body remains attached to the physical body for a time as if with a navel cord.
The higher the soul now born into the Ethereal World has already developed itself towards this Ethereal World during its life on earth, the looser this cord will become.
The more a man’s volition has chained him to this earth, i.e., to gross matter, indicating thereby a refusal to acknowledge any continuation of life in the Ethereal World, the more firmly will this volition bind him with this cord to his physical body and consequently also bind the ethereal body, which he needs as a garment for his spirit in the Ethereal World.
The denser his ethereal body is the heavier it becomes according to the prevailing laws, and the darker it must appear.
Such great resemblance and close relation to matter makes it very hard for the ethereal body to detach itself from the physical body, so that it happens in such cases that it must still undergo and feel the last physical pains as well as the whole process of decay.
Neither does it remain insensible with cremation.
After the final severance of this connecting cord, the ethereal body sinks to that level in the Ethereal World where its surroundings are of corresponding density and weight.
There, in this environment of equal weight, it will find only those of similar tendencies.
It is understandable that conditions there are worse than when on earth in the physical body, because in the Ethereal World all intuitive feelings express themselves in full force and without restraint.
It is different with those people who during their life on earth have begun to strive for all that is noble.
Because they bear within themselves a living conviction about the step into the Ethereal World, the severance is much easier.
The ethereal body of such a person and its connecting cord are not dense.
Their texture is alien to that of the physical body, and this permits the severance to be very quickly effected.
Thus during the entire so-called death struggle or the last muscular twitching’s of the physical body, the ethereal body is already standing beside the latter, if indeed one can speak of a death struggle at the normal death of such a person.
The loose and slender condition of the connecting cord prevents the ethereal being standing beside the body from feeling any pain because, being so frail and light in substance, this cord cannot transmit pain from the physical body to the ethereal body.
Owing to its finer nature such a strand severs the connection more quickly, setting the ethereal body completely free in a shorter space of time to soar to the region consisting of this finer and lighter substance.
There it can only find kindred souls and gain peace and happiness through the increasingly high quality of the intuitive life.
Such a light and less dense ethereal body naturally appears brighter and more luminous, until finally it becomes so transparent that the inner spiritual core begins to break through radiantly before it enters the spiritual sphere as a completely luminous radiant spirit.
Those, however, who are present at a death bed should take warning not to break out into loud lamentations!
When the grief at parting is too strongly expressed, the person in the process of detaching himself, or who is perhaps already standing beside his body in ethereal form, may hear or feel it and be emotionally disturbed by it.
If then pity awakens in him, together with the wish to say a few words of consolation, this again binds him more strongly to his physical body through the desire to make himself understood by the grief-stricken mourners.
He can only make himself understood on earth by the use of his brain.
This effort, however, makes for a closer connection with the physical body, and indeed this is a necessary condition.
The result is that not only does an ethereal body still in the process of detaching itself re-unite itself more closely to the physical body but, if it is already standing detached beside the physical body, it will be drawn back into it once more.
The final result is that he will once again feel all the pains from which he had already been delivered.
When the process of detachment is renewed it is much more difficult, and may even last for some days.
This brings about the so-called prolonged death struggle, which becomes really painful and difficult for the soul wanting to depart.
The blame lies with those who, through their selfish grief, have called it back from its natural course of development.
Through this interruption of the normal course, be it only the weak attempt at concentrating on making itself understood, a new and forced connection has taken place.
To dissolve this unnatural connection again is not so easy for one who is completely inexperienced in this matter.
And, because it desired this reconnection itself, no help can be afforded.
Such a connection can easily be effected as long as the physical body is not yet completely cold and the connecting strand, which often does not tear till after many weeks, is still in existence.
It is unnecessary suffering for the dying man, a rudeness and want of consideration on the part of the bystanders.
Therefore absolute quiet should reign in the chamber of death, a dignity and seriousness corresponding to the importance of the hour!
People who cannot control themselves should be forcibly removed, even if they be the nearest relatives.
* * *
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