Life After Death by Mr. C.W. Leadbeater (AnandGholap.Net-Online Theosophy)
Aug 17, 2008 02:56 AM
by ANAND GHOLAP
" We have considered the case of the ordinary man, and of the man who differs from the ordinary because of his gross and selfish desires. Now let us examine the case of the man who differs from the ordinary in the other direction, who has some interests of a rational nature. In order to understand how the after-life appears to him, we must bear in mind that the majority of men spend the greater part of their waking life and most of their strength in work that they do not really like, that they would not do at all if it were not necessary in order to earn their living, or support those who are dependent upon them. Realize the condition of the man when all necessity for this grinding toil is over, when it is no longer necessary to earn a living, since the astral body requires no food nor clothing nor lodging. Then for the first time since earliest childhood that man is free to do precisely what he likes, and can devote his whole time to whatever may be his chosen occupation - so long, that is, as it is of such a nature as to be capable of realization without physical matter. Suppose that a man's greatest delight is in music; upon the astral plane he has the opportunity of listening to all the grandest music that earth can produce, and is even able under these new conditions to hear far more in it than before, since here, other and fuller harmonies than our dull ears can grasp are now within his reach. The person whose delight is in art, who loves beauty in form and colour, has all the loveliness of this higher world before him from which to choose. If his delight is in beauty in Nature, he has unequalled possibilities for indulging in it; for he can readily and rapidly move from place to place, and enjoy in quick succession wonders of Nature which the physical man would need years to visit. If his fancy turns towards science or history, the libraries and the laboratories of the world are at his disposal, and his comprehension of processes in chemistry and biology would be far fuller than ever before, for now he could see the inner as well as the outer workings, and many of the causes as well as the effects. And in all the cases there is the wonderful additional delight that no fatigue is possible. Here we know how constantly, when we are making some progress in our studies or our experiments, we are unable to carry them on because the brain will bear no more than a certain amount of strain; outside of the physical no fatigue seems to exist, for it is in reality the brain and not the mind that tires.
All this time I have been speaking of mere selfish gratification, even though it be of the rational and intellectual kind. But there are those among us who would not be satisfied without something higher than this - whose greatest joy in any life would consist in serving their fellowmen. What has the astral life in store for them? They will pursue their philanthropy more vigorously than ever, and under better conditions than on this lower plane. There are thousands whom they can help, and with far greater certainty of really being able to do good than is usually possible in this life. Some devote themselves thus to the general good; some are especially occupied with cases among their own family or friends, either living or dead. It is a strange inversion of the facts, this employment of those words living and dead; for surely we are the dead, we who are buried in these gross cramping physical bodies; and they are truly the living, who are so much freer and more capable, because less hampered."
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