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Death and the Beyond

A GATE OPENS - Part I, Chapter 14

   "SPIRIT" IS THE CORE - the true ego of man. “Soul” is the spirit with its fine coverings, without the physical body. All these various coverings of finer nature are present in the physical body of man.

The astral body is part of the physical cloak itself, and is an important link between it and the soul. That this astral body does in fact exist is quite clearly demonstrated in persons who have lost a limb. Though it is no longer there, they often experience pain long afterwards in the place where it was. The medical profession has concerned itself for some time with these socalled “phantom pains,” without finding their true cause. The cause lies in the astral body, whose limbs are not simultaneously severed, because they are of a finer earthly species than the coarse earthly body. Therefore the pains are not due to imagination, but are real.

We must bear in mind at this point that the spirit and all its coverings have human form. For the physical body has only been shaped in accordance with the spiritual prototype. The human form is a characteristic of the spirit. Hence when we see the soul of man represented in old pictures as a complete human figure, this corresponds to the actual form.

At his death man leaves behind his physical cloak, with the astral body, and enters the beyond in his ethereal body, which is now his outer covering. When it is said in the Revelation of John that the human spirits have washed their robes white, what is meant is not the earthly garments but the ethereal coverings of the human spirit in the beyond, which each can make light or heavy, bright or dark, according to his good or his evil volition.

With this ethereal body, the human spirit has the ability to penetrate all that is more dense and coarse. Therefore it happens not infrequently that deceased persons can suddenly appear in a locked room. This is the effect of a lawfulness existing in all Creation, whereby the finer species, in this case the soul, can always penetrate the coarser species, here physical matter, quite easily, as happens for instance every time a soul is incarnated in a physical body.

On the physical plane, these processes are quite familiar to us: We need only think of the radio waves passing through walls, or of the electric current running through cable. Exactly the same lawfulness holds true for the sphere that lies beyond the earth.

When the Bible relates of the resurrected Son of God, Christ Jesus: “. . . when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst . . .” (John 20, 19), the event described has also the same natural reason.

Only with His ethereal body was Jesus able to enter the locked room, after having to leave His physical body, which was broken on the cross. He could neither take this physical body with Him, even in a “transfigured” state, nor was it possible for His soul to be reunited after death with the perishable earthly cloak.

Although the core of Jesus’ body was Divine and not spiritual, through becoming man He was subject to the Laws working in Creation in exactly the same way as the human spirit. Jesus clearly emphasized this when He pointed out that He had come to fulfill the Laws of God. All that happens in Creation takes place according to the Holy Will of God in unyielding, strict order and adamantine perfection, and it admits of no exception or arbitrary acts, even for a Divine Envoy when He has left the Divine Kingdom and enters the Spheres of Creation.

Nonetheless, Jesus arose from the grave in full possession of His body: It was His ethereal body, whereas in exact accordance with the Laws of Creation He had to leave His physical body behind. It was this ethereal body of Jesus that the disciples and other blessed persons could see - being able to recognize it, however, only with their ethereal eyes. Therefore, as the Bible clearly states, their eyes had first to be opened for this; according to earthly conceptions therefore they became clairvoyant. All these are processes in accordance with the Laws of Creation, which would have developed in exactly the same way had the physical body of Jesus remained in the tomb.

However, all four Evangelists report unanimously that the physical body of Christ had disappeared from the tomb, and this they associate with the “resurrection” of the Son of God. But the empty tomb by no means proves the resurrection of the physical body of Jesus Christ, since according to the immutable Laws of Nature an earthly body cannot rise from the earth into a higher sphere of Creation. It stays behind when man dies, and goes the way of all perishable things - even in the case of a Divine Envoy! Hence for the empty tomb there remains only the assumption that Christ’s earthly vessel was taken from the tomb and buried elsewhere.

In this case, however, the traditional accounts of that time, according to which the disciples were accused by the Jewish authorities of “stealing” the body of Jesus, would have to be considered and assessed from a different standpoint than hitherto; yet with the unqualified reservation that if the disciples removed the physical body of Jesus from the tomb, no evil intent must be imputed to them. Presumably it was only a few of the disciples who took this precautionary measure, without the knowledge of the others, in order to preserve the earthly body of Christ from outside interference.

Thus considered, the secret of the empty tomb is clearly and openly revealed before our eyes, and the event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, just in its simple and natural greatness, bears impressive witness to the immutable and perfect Will of God - firmly anchored and eternally active in the Laws of the entire Creation!

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Excerpts are translated after the original German "Ein Tor öffnet sich" (A Gate Opens).
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