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Annie Besant

(1847 -1933)





The Ancient Wisdom


Annie Besant


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KÂMALOKA, literally the place or habitat of desire, is, as has already been intimated, a part of the astral plane, not divided from it as a distinct locality, but separated off by the conditions of consciousness of the entities belonging to it. (The Hindus call this state Pretaloka, the habitat of Pretas. A Preta is a human being who has lost his physical body, but is still encumbered

with the vesture of his animal nature. He cannot carry this on with him, and until it is disintegrated he is kept imprisoned by it.)


These are human beings who have lost their physical bodies by the stroke of death, and have to undergo certain purifying changes before they can pass on to the happy and peaceful life which belongs to the man proper, to the human soul.

(The soul is the human intellect, the link between the Divine Spirit in man and his lower personality. It is the Ego, the individual, the " I ", which develops by evolution. In Theosophical parlance, it is Manas, the Thinker. The mind is

the energy of this, working within the limitations of the physical brain, or the astral and mental bodies).


This region represents and includes the conditions described as existing in the various hells, purgatories, and intermediate states, one or other of which is alleged by all the great religions to be the temporary dwelling-place of man after he leaves the body and before he reaches "heaven." It does not include any

place of eternal torture, the endless hell still believed in by some narrow religionists being only a nightmare dream of ignorance, hate and fear. But it does include conditions of suffering, temporary and purificatory in their nature, the working out of causes set going in his earth-life by the man who experiences them. These are as natural and inevitable as any effects caused in this world by wrongdoing, for we live in a world of law and every seed must grow up after its own kind. Death makes no sort of difference in a man’s moral and mental nature, and the change of state caused by passing from one world to another takes away his physical body, but leaves the man as he was.


The Kâmalokic condition is found on each subdivision of the astral plane, so that we may speak of it as having seven regions, calling them the first, second, third, up to the seventh, beginning from the lowest and counting upwards. (Often these regions are reckoned the other way, taking the first as the highest and the seventh as the lowest. It does not matter from which end we count ; and I am reckoning upwards to keep them in accord with the planes and principles.).


We have already seen that materials from each subdivision of the astral plane enter into the composition of the astral body, and it is a peculiar rearrangement of these materials, to be explained in a moment, which separates the people dwelling in one region from those dwelling in another, although those in the same region are able to intercommunicate. The regions, being each a subdivision of the astral plane, differ in density, and the density of the external form of the Kâmalokic entity determines the region to which he is limited ; these differences of matter are the barriers that prevent passage from one region to another ; the people dwelling in one can no more come into touch with people dwelling in another than a deep-sea fish can hold a conversation with an eagle – the medium necessary to the life of the one would be destructive to the life of the other.


When the physical body is struck down by death, the etheric body, carrying Prâna with it and accompanied by the remaining principles – that is, the whole man, except the dense body – withdraws from the "tabernacle of flesh," as the outer body is appropriately called. All the outgoing life-energies draw themselves inwards, and are "gathered up by Prâna," their departure being manifested by the dullness that creeps over the physical organs of the senses.


They are there, uninjured, physically complete, ready to act as they have always been ; but the "inner Ruler," is going, he who through them saw, heard, felt, smelt, tasted, and by themselves they are mere aggregations of matter, living indeed but without power of perceptive action. Slowly the lord of the body draws himself away, enwrapped in the violet-grey etheric body, and absorbed in the contemplation of the panorama of his past life, which in the death hour rolls

before him, complete in every detail.


In that life-picture are all the events of his life, small and great ; he sees his ambitions with their success or frustration, his efforts, his triumphs, his failures, his loves, his hatreds ; the predominant tendency of the whole comes clearly out, the ruling thought of the life asserts itself, and stamps itself deeply into the soul, marking the region in which the chief part of his post-mortem existence will be spent.


Solemn the moment when the man stands face to face with his life, and from the

lips of his past hears the presage of his future. For a brief space he sees himself as he is, recognises the purpose of life, knows that the Law is strong and just and good. Then the magnetic tie breaks between the dense and etheric bodies, the comrades of a lifetime are disjoined, and – save in exceptional cases – the man sinks into peaceful unconsciousness.


Quietness and devotion should mark the conduct of all who are gathered round a dying body, in order that a solemn silence may leave uninterrupted this review of the past by the departing man. Clamorous weeping, loud lamentations, can but jar and disturb the concentrated attention of the soul, and to break with the

grief of a personal loss into the stillness which aids and soothes him, is at once selfish and impertinent. Religion has wisely commanded prayers for the dying, for these preserve calm and stimulate unselfish aspirations directed to his helping, and these, like all loving thoughts, protect and shield.


Some hours after death – generally not more than thirty-six, it is said – the man draws himself out of the etheric body, leaving it in turn as a senseless corpse, and the latter, remaining near its dense counterpart, shares its fate.


If the dense body be buried, the etheric double floats over the grave, slowly disintegrating, and the unpleasant feelings many experience in a churchyard are largely due to the presence of these decaying etheric corpses. If the body is burned, the etheric double breaks up quickly, having lost its nidus, its physical centre of attraction, and this is one among many reasons why cremation is preferable to burial, as a way of disposing of corpses.


The withdrawal of the man from the etheric double is accompanied by the withdrawal from it of Prâna, which thereupon returns to the great reservoir of life universal, while the man, ready now to pass into Kâmaloka, undergoes a

rearrangement of his astral body, fitting it for submission to the purificatory changes which are necessary for the freeing of the man himself. (These changes result in the formation of what is called by Hindus the Yâtanâ, or the suffering body, or in the case of very wicked men, in whose astral bodies there is a

preponderance of the coarser matter, the Dhruvam, or strong body).


During earth life the various kinds of astral matter intermingle in the formation of the body, as do the solids, liquids, gases, and ethers in the physical. The change in the arrangement of the astral body after death consists in the separation of these materials, according to their respective densities, into a series of concentric shells – the finest within, the densest without –

each shell being made of the materials drawn from one subdivision only of the astral plane. The astral body thus becomes a set of seven superimposed layers, or a seven-shelled encasement of astral matter, in which the man may not inaptly

be said to be imprisoned, as only the breaking of these can set him free. Now will be seen the immense importance of the purification of the astral body during earth-life; the man is retained in each subdivision of Kâmaloka so long as the shell of matter pertaining to that subdivision is not sufficiently

disintegrated to allow of his escape into the next.


Moreover, the extent to which his consciousness has worked in each kind of matter determines whether he will be awake and conscious in any given region, or will pass though it in unconsciousness, "wrapped" in rosy dreams," and merely detained during the time necessary for the process of mechanical disintegration.


A spiritually advanced man, who has so purified his astral body that its constituents are drawn only from the finest grade of each division of astral matter, merely passes through Kâmaloka without delay, the astral body disintegrating with extreme swiftness, and he goes on to whatever may be his bourne, according to the point he has reached in evolution. A less developed man, but one whose life has been pure and temperate and who has sat loosely on the things of the earth, will wing a less rapid flight through Kâmaloka, but will dream peacefully, unconscious of his surroundings, as his mental body

disentangles itself from the astral shells, one after the other, to awaken only when he reaches the heavenly places.


Others, less developed still, will awaken after passing out of the lower regions, becoming conscious in the division which is connected with the active working of the consciousness during the earth-life, for this will be aroused on receiving familiar impacts, although these be received now directly through the

astral body, without the help of the physical. Those who have lived in the animal passions will awake in their appropriate region, each man literally going "to his own place."


The case of men struck suddenly out of physical life by accident, suicide, murder, or sudden death in any form, differs from those of persons who pass away by failure of the life-energies through disease or old age. If they are pure and spiritually minded they are specially guarded, and sleep out happily the term of their natural life. But in other cases they remain conscious – often entangled in the final scene of earth-life for a time, and unaware that they have lost the physical body – held in whatever region they are related to by the outermost layer of the astral body: their normal Kâmalokic life does not begin until the natural web of earth-life is out-spun, and they are vividly conscious of both

their astral and physical surroundings.


One man who had committed an assassination and had been executed for his crime was said, by one of H.P.Blavatsky’s Teachers, to be living through the scenes of the murder and the subsequent events over and over again in Kâmaloka, ever repeating his diabolical act and going through the terrors of his arrest and execution.


A suicide will repeat automatically the feelings of despair and fear which preceded his self-murder, and go through the act and the death-struggle time after time with ghastly persistence. A woman who perished in the flames in a wild condition of terror and with frantic efforts to escape, created such a whirls of passions that, five days afterwards, she was still struggling

desperately, fancying herself still in the fire and wildly repulsing all efforts to soothe her: while another woman who, with her baby on her breast, went down beneath the whirl of waters in a raging storm, with her heart calm and full of love, slept peacefully on the other side of death, dreaming of husband and

children in happy lifelike visions.


In more ordinary cases, death by accident is still a disadvantage, brought on a person by some serious fault, (Not necessarily a fault committed in the present life. The law of cause and effect will be explained in Chapter IX, "Karma"), for the possession of full consciousness in the lower Kâmalokic regions, which are

closely related to the earth, is attended by many inconveniences and perils. The man is full of all the plans and interests that made up his life, and is conscious of the presence of people and things connected with them.


He is almost irresistibly impelled by his longings to try and influence the affairs to which his passions and feelings still cling, and is bound to the earth while he has lost all his accustomed organs of activity ; his only hope of peace lies in resolutely turning away from earth and fixing his mind on higher

things, but comparatively few are strong enough to make this effort, even with the help always offered them by workers on the astral plane, whose sphere of duty lies in helping and guiding those who have left his world. (These workers are disciples of some of the great Teachers who guide and help humanity, and

they are employed in this special duty of succouring souls in need of such assistance.)


Too often such sufferers impatient in their helpless inactivity, seek the assistance of sensitives, with whom they can communicate and so mix themselves up once more in terrestrial affairs ; they sometimes seek even to obsess convenient mediums and thus to utilise the bodies of others for their own

purposes, so incurring many responsibilities in the future. Not without occult reason have English churchmen been taught to pray: "From battle, murder, and from sudden death, Good Lord, deliver us."


We may now consider the divisions of Kâmaloka one by one, and so gain some idea of the conditions which the man has made for himself in the intermediate state by the desires which he has cultivated during physical life ; it being kept in mind that the amount of vitality in any given "shell" – and therefore his

imprisonment in that shell – depends on the amount of energy thrown during earth-life into the kind of matter of which that shell consists.


If the lowest passions have been active, the coarsest matter will be strongly vitalised and its amount will also be relatively large. This principle rules through all Kâmalokic regions, so that a man during earth-life can judge very fairly as to the future for himself that he is preparing immediately on the other side of death.


The first or lowest, division is the one that contains the conditions described in so many Hindu and Buddhist Scriptures under the name of "hells" of various kinds. It must be understood that a man, in passing into one of these states, is

not getting rid of the passions and vile desires that have led him thither ; these remain, as part of his character, lying latent in the mind in a germinal state, to be thrown outwards again to form his passional nature when he is returning to birth in the physical world. (See chapter VII, on "Reincarnation").


His presence in the lowest region of Kâmaloka is due to the existence in his kâmic body of matter belonging to that region, and he is held prisoner there until the greater part of that matter has dropped away, until the shell composed of it is sufficiently disintegrated to allow the man to come into contact with

the region next above.


The atmosphere of this place is gloomy, heavy, dreary, depressing to an inconceivable extent. It seems to reek with all the influences most inimical to good, as in truth it does, being caused by the persons whose evil passions have led them to this dreary place. All the desires and feelings at which we shudder,

find here the materials for their expression ; it is, in fact, the lowest slum, with all the horrors veiled from physical sight parading their naked hideousness. Its repulsiveness is much increased by the fact that in the astral world character expresses itself in form, and the man who is full of evil passions looks the whole of them ; bestial appetites shape the astral body into

bestial forms, and repulsively human animal shapes are the appropriate clothing of brutalised human souls.


No man can be a hypocrite in the astral world, and cloak foul thoughts with a veil of virtuous seeming ; whatever a man is that he appears to be in outward form and semblance, radiant in beauty if his mind be noble, repulsive in hideousness if his nature be foul. It will readily be understood, then, how such

Teachers as the Buddha – to whose unerring vision all worlds lay open – should describe what was seen in these hells in vivid language of terrible imagery, that seems incredible to modern readers only because people forget that, once escaped from the heavy and unplastic matter of the physical world, all souls

appear in their proper likenesses and look just what they are.


Even in this world a degraded and besotted ruffian moulds his face into most repellent aspect ; what then can be expected when the plastic astral matter takes shape with every impulse of his criminal desires, but that such a man should wear a

horrifying form, taking on changing elements of hideousness?


For it must be remembered that the population – if that word may be allowed – of this lowest region consists of the very scum of humanity, murderers, ruffians, violent criminals of all types, drunkards, profligates, the vilest of mankind.


None is here, with consciousness awake to its surroundings, save those guilty of brutal crimes, or of deliberate persistent cruelty, or possessed by some vile appetite. The only persons who may be of a better general type, and yet for a while be held here, are suicides, men who have sought by self-murder to escape

from the earthly penalties of crimes they had committed, and who have but worsened their position by the exchange. Not all suicides, be it understood , for self-murder is committed from many motives, but only such as are led up to by crime and are then committed in order to avoid the consequences.


Save for the gloomy surroundings and the loathsomeness of a man’s associates, every man here is the immediate creator of his own miseries. Unchanged, except for the loss of the bodily veil, men here show out their passions in all their native hideousness, their naked brutality ; full of fierce unsatiated appetites,

seething with revenge, hatred, longings after physical indulgences which the loss of physical organs incapacitates them for enjoying, they roam, raging and ravening, through this gloomy region, crowding round all foul resorts on earth,

round brothels and gin-palaces, stimulating their occupants to deeds of shame and violence, seeking opportunities to obsess them, and so to drive them into worse excesses.


The sickening atmosphere felt round such places comes largely from these earthbound astral entities, reeking with foul passions and unclean desires. Mediums – unless of very pure and noble character – are special objects of attack, and too often the weaker ones, weakened still further by the passive

yielding of their bodies for the temporary habitation of other excarnate souls are obsessed by these creatures, and are driven into intemperance or madness.


Executed murderers, furious with terror and passionate revengeful hatred, acting over again, as we have said, their crime and recreating mentally its terrible results, surround themselves with an atmosphere of savage thought-forms, and, attracted to any one harbouring revengeful and violent designs, they egg him on into the actual commission of the deed over which he broods.


Sometimes a man may be seen constantly followed by his murdered victim, never able to escape from his haunting presence, which hunts him with a dull persistency , try he ever so eagerly to escape. The murdered person, unless himself of a very base type, is wrapped in unconsciousness, and this very unconsciousness seems to add a new horror to its mechanical pursuit.


Here also is the hell of the vivisector, for cruelty draws into the astral body the coarsest materials and the most repulsive combinations of the astral matter, and he lives amid the crowding forms of his mutilated victims – moaning,

quivering, howling (they are vivified, not by the animal souls but by elemental life) pulsing with hatred to the tormentor – rehearsing his worst experiments with automatic regularity, conscious of all the horror, and yet imperiously impelled to the self-torment by the habit set up during earth-life.


It is well once again, to remember, ere quitting this dreary region, that we have no arbitrary punishments inflicted from outside, but only the inevitable working out of the causes set going by each person. During physical life they yielded to the vilest impulses and drew into, built into, their astral bodies

the materials which alone could vibrate in answer to those impulses ; this self-built body becomes the prison house of the soul, and must fall into ruins ere the soul can escape from it.


As inevitably as a drunkard must live in his repulsive soddened physical body here, so must he live in his equally repulsive astral body there. The harvest sown is reaped after its kind. Such is the law in all the worlds, and it may not be escaped. Nor indeed is the astral body there more revolting and horrible than it was when the man was living upon earth and made the atmosphere around him fetid with his astral emanations. But people on earth do not generally recognise its ugliness, being astrally blind.


Further, we may cheer ourselves in contemplating these unhappy brothers of ours by remembering that their sufferings are but temporary, and are giving a much-needed lesson in the life of the soul. By the tremendous pressure of nature’s disregarded laws they are learning the existence of those laws, and the misery that accrues from ignoring them in life and conduct. The lesson they

would not learn during earth-life, whirled away on the torrent of lusts and desires, is pressed on them here, and will be pressed on them in their succeeding lives, until the evils are eradicated and the man has risen into a better life. Nature’s lessons are sharp, but in the long run they are merciful, for they lead to the evolution of the soul and guide it to the winning of its



Let us pass to a more cheerful region. The second division of the astral world may be said to be the astral double of the physical, for the astral bodies of all things and of many people are largely composed of the matter belonging to this division of the astral plane, and it is therefore more closely in touch with the physical world than any other part of the astral. The great majority of

people make some stay here, and a very large proportion of these are consciously awake in it. These latter are folk whose interests were bound up in the trivial and petty objects of life, who set their hearts on trifles, as well as those who allowed their lower natures to rule them, and who died with the appetites still active and desirous of physical enjoyment.


Having largely sent their life outwards in these directions, thus building their astral bodies largely of the materials that responded very readily to material impacts, they are held by these bodies in the neighbourhood of their physical attractions. They are mostly dissatisfied, uneasy, restless, with more or less

suffering according to the vigour of the wishes they cannot gratify ; some even undergo positive pain from this cause, and are long delayed ere these earthly longings are exhausted.


Many unnecessarily lengthen their stay by seeking to communicate with the earth, in whose interests they are entangled, by means of mediums, who allow them to use their physical bodies for this purpose, thus supplying the loss of their own. From them comes most of the mere twaddle with which every one is familiar who has had experience of public spiritualistic séances, the gossip and trite morality of the petty lodging-house and small shop – feminine, for the most

part. As these earth bound souls are generally of small intelligence, their communications are of no more interest- (to those already convinced of the existence of the soul after death) –than was their conversation when they were in the body, and – just as on earth – they are positive in proportion to their

ignorance, representing the whole astral world as identical with their own very limited area. There as here: They think the rustic cackle of their burgh The murmur of the world.


It is from this region that people who have died with some anxiety on their minds will sometimes seek to communicate with their friends in order to arrange the earthly matter that troubles them ; if they cannot succeed in showing themselves, or in impressing their wishes by a dream on some friend, they will

often cause much annoyance by knockings and other noises directly intended to draw attention or caused unconsciously by their restless efforts.


It is a charity in such cases for some competent person to communicate with the distressed entity and learn his wishes, as he may thus be freed from the anxiety which prevents him from passing onwards. Souls, while in this region, may also

very easily have their attention drawn to the earth, even although they would not spontaneously have turned back to it, and this disservice is too often done to them by the passionate grief and craving for their beloved presence by friends left behind on earth.


The thought-forms set up by these longings throng round them, and oftentimes arouse them if they are peacefully sleeping, or violently draw their thoughts to earth if they are already conscious. It is especially in the former case that this unwitting selfishness on the part of friends on earth does mischief to

their dear ones that they would themselves be the first to regret ; and it may that the knowledge of the unnecessary suffering thus caused to those who have passed through death may, with some, strengthen the binding force of the religious precepts which enjoin submission to the divine law and the checking of

excessive and rebellious grief.


The third and fourth regions of the Kâmalokic world differ but little from the second, and might also be described as etherialised copies of it, the fourth being more refined than the third, but the general characteristics of the three subdivisions being very similar. Souls of somewhat more progressed types are

found there, and although they are held there by the encasement built by the activity of their earthly interests, their attention is for the most part directed onwards rather than backwards, and, if they are not forcibly recalled to the concerns of earth-life, they will pass on without very much delay.


Still, they are susceptible to earthly stimuli, and the weakening interest in terrestrial affairs may be reawakened by cries from below. Large numbers of educated and thoughtful people, who were chiefly occupied with worldly affairs during their physical lives, are conscious in these regions, and may be induced

to communicate through mediums, and, more rarely, seek such communication themselves. Their statements are naturally of a higher type than those spoken of as coming from the second division, but are not marked by any characteristics

that render them more valuable than similar statements made by persons still in the body. Spiritual illumination does not come from Kâmaloka.


The fifth subdivision of Kâmaloka offers many new characteristics. It presents a distinctly luminous and radiant appearance, eminently attractive to those accustomed only to the dull hues of the earth, and justifying the epithet astral, starry, given to the whole plane. Here are situated all the materialised

heavens which play so large a part in popular religions all the world over.


The happy hunting grounds of the Red Indian, the Valhalla of the Norsemen, the houri-filled paradise of the Muslim, the golden jewelled-gated New Jerusalem of the Christian, the lyceum-filled heaven of the materialistic reformer, all have

their places here. Men and women who clung desperately to every "letter that killeth" have here the literal satisfaction of their cravings, unconsciously creating in astral matter by their powers of imagination, fed on the mere husks of the world’s Scriptures, the cloud-built palaces whereof they dreamed.


The crudest religious beliefs find here their temporary cloud-land realisation, and literalists of every faith, who were filled with selfish longings for their own salvation in the most materialistic of heavens, here find an appropriate, and to them enjoyable, home, surrounded by the very conditions in which they believed. The religious and philanthropic busybodies, who cared more to carry out their own fads and impose their own ways on their neighbours than to work unselfishly for the increase of human virtue and happiness, are here much to the

fore, carrying on reformatories, refuges, schools, to their own great satisfaction, and much delighted are they still to push an astral finger into an earthly pie with the help of a subservient medium whom they patronise with lofty condescension.


They build astral churches and schools and houses, reproducing the materialistic heavens they coveted ; and though to keener vision their erections are imperfect, even pathetically grotesque, they find them all-sufficing. People of the same religions flock together and co-operate with each other in various ways, so that communities are formed, differing as widely from each other as do similar communities on earth.


When they are attracted to the earth they seek, for the most part, people of their own faith and country, chiefly by natural affinity, doubtless, but also because barriers of language still exist in Kâmaloka ; as may be noticed occasionally in messages received in spiritualistic circles. Souls from this region often take the most vivid interest in attempts to establish communication

between this and the next world, and the "spirit guides" of average mediums come, for the most part, from this and from the region next above. They are generally aware that there are many possibilities of higher life before them, and that they will, sooner or later, pass away into worlds whence communication

with this earth will not be possible.


The sixth Kâmalokic region resembles the fifth, but is far more refined, and is largely inhabited by souls of a more advanced type, wearing out the astral vesture in which much of their mental energies had worked while they were in the physical body. Their delay is here due to the large part played by selfishness in their artistic and intellectual life, and to the prostitution of their talents to the gratification of the desire-nature in a refined and delicate way.


Their surroundings are the best that are found in Kâmaloka, as their creative thoughts fashion the luminous materials of their temporary home into fair landscapes and rippling oceans, snow-clad mountains and fertile plains, scenes that are of fairy-like beauty compared with even the most exquisite that earth

can show. Religionists also are found here, of a slightly more progressed kind than those in the division immediately below, and with more definite views of their own limitations. They look forward more clearly to passing out of their present sphere, and reaching a higher state.


The seventh, the highest, subdivision of Kâmaloka, is occupied almost entirely by intellectual men and women who were either pronouncedly materialistic while on earth, or who are so wedded to the ways in which knowledge is gained by the lower mind in the physical body that they continue its pursuit in the old ways,

though with enlarged faculties. One recalls Charles Lamb’s dislike of the idea that in heaven knowledge would have to be gained "by some awkward process of intuition" instead of through his beloved books. Many a student lives for long

years, sometimes for centuries – according to H.P.Blavatsky – literally in the astral library, conning eagerly all books that deal with his favourite subject, and perfectly contented with his lot.


Men who have been keenly set on some line of intellectual investigation, and have thrown off the physical body, with their thirst for knowledge unslaked, pursue their object still with unwearied persistence, fettered by their clinging to the physical modes of study. Often such men are still sceptical as to the

higher possibilities that lie before them, and shrink from the prospect of what is practically a second death – the sinking into unconsciousness ere the soul is born into the higher life of heaven. Politicians, statesmen, men of science, dwell for a while in this region, slowly disentangling themselves from the

astral body, still held to the lower life by their keen and vivid interest in the movements in which they have played so large a part, and in the effort to work out astrally some of the schemes from which Death snatched them ere yet they had reached fruition.


To all, however, sooner or later – save to that small minority who during earth-life never felt one touch of unselfish love, of intellectual aspiration, of recognition of something or some one higher than themselves – there comes a time when the bonds of the astral body are finally shaken off, while the soul sinks into brief unconsciousness of its surroundings, like the unconsciousness that follows the dropping off of the physical body, to be awakened by a sense of bliss, intense, immense, fathomless, undreamed of, the bliss of the heaven-world, of the world to which by its own nature it belongs.


Low and vile may have been many of its passions, trivial and sordid many of its longings, but it had gleams of a higher nature, broken lights now and then from a purer region, and these must ripen as seeds to the time of their harvest, and however poor and few must yield their fair return. The man passes on to reap

this harvest, and to eat and assimilate its fruit. (See Chapter V, on Devachan).


The astral corpse, as it is sometimes called, or the "shell" of the departed entity, consists of the fragments of the seven concentric shells before described, held together by the remaining magnetism of the soul. Each shell in turn has disintegrated, until the point is reached when mere scattered fragments of it remain ; these cling by magnetic attraction to the remaining shells, and

when one after another has been reduced to this condition, until the seventh or innermost is reached and itself disintegrates, the man himself escapes, leaving behind him these remains.


The shell drifts about vaguely in the kâmalokic world, automatically and feebly repeating its accustomed vibrations, and as the remaining magnetism gradually disperses, it falls into a more and more decayed condition, and finally disintegrates completely, restoring its materials to the general mass of astral

matter, exactly as does the physical body to the physical world.


This shell drifts wherever the astral currents may carry it, and may be vitalised, if not too far gone, by the magnetism of embodied souls on earth, and so restored to some amount of activity. It will suck up magnetism as a sponge sucks up water, and will then take on an illusory appearance of vitality, repeating more vigorously and vibration to which it was accustomed ; these are often set up by the stimulus of thoughts common to the departed soul and friends and relations on earth, and such a vitalised shell may play quite respectably the part of a communicating intelligence; it is however, distinguishable – apart from the use of astral vision – by its automatic repetitions of familiar thoughts, and by the total absence of all originality and of any traces of knowledge not possessed during physical life.


Just as souls may be delayed in their progress by foolish and inconsiderate friends, so may they be aided in it by wise and well-directed efforts. Hence all religions, which retain any traces of the occult wisdom of their Founders, enjoin the use of "prayers for the dead." These prayers with their accompanying

ceremonies are more or less useful according to the knowledge, the love, and the willpower by which they were ensouled.


They rest on that universal truth of vibration by which the universe is built, modified, and maintained. Vibrations are set up by the uttered sounds, arranging astral matter into definite forms, ensouled by the thought enshrined in the words. These are directed towards the Kâmalokic entity, and, striking against

the astral body, hasten its disintegration. With the decay of occult knowledge these ceremonies have become less and less potent, until their usefulness has almost reached a vanishing point.


Nevertheless they are still sometimes performed by a man of knowledge, and then exert their rightful influence. Moreover, every one can help his beloved departed by sending to them thoughts of love and peace and longing for their swift progress through the Kâmalokic world and their liberation from astral

fetters. No one should leave his "dead" to go on a lonely way, unattended by loving hosts of these guardian angel thought-forms, helping them forward with joy.




Return to Homepage






Writings of Annie Besant


Annie Besant Visits Cardiff 1924







A “G” reg  Aug 1968 – July 1969  Wolseley Hornet MK III


The 1960s Wolseley Hornet was produced by the British Motor Corporation

(BMC) from 1961 to 1969 and was upgraded thro’ MKI, II & III models

although the outward design remained the same.

The Wolseley Hornet was similar to the more expensive Riley Elf which ran

for the same period with only the Riley grill and badge to distinguish

it to the casual observer.




More Theosophy Stuff

with these links




Cardiff Theosophical Society meetings are informal

and there’s always a cup of tea afterwards





The Cardiff Theosophical Society Website





The National Wales Theosophy Website

Links to groups in

Bangor, Cardiff, Conwy & Swansea


Cardiff Blavatsky Archive

Life & Work of H P Blavatsky

A Theosophy Study Resource




A 1931 Wolseley Hornet saloon style convertible


The Wolseley Hornet was a lightweight saloon car produced by the Wolseley Motor Company from 1930 to 1935.


It had a six cylinder (1271cc) engine with a single overhead cam, and hydraulic brakes. The engine was modified in 1932 to make it shorter and it was moved forwards on the chassis. In 1935 the engine size was increased to 1378 cc.


Wolseley supplied the firsts cars as either an enclosed saloon with steel or fabric body or open two seater. From 1931 it was available without the saloon body, and was used as the basis for a number of sporting specials for which the customer could choose a styling from a range of coachbuilders. In 1932 Wolsley added two and four seat coupés to the range. For its final year of production the range was rationalised to a standard saloon and coupé.


A three speed gearbox was fitted to the earliest cars but this was upgraded to a four speed in 1932 and fitted with synchromesh from 1933. A freewheel mechanism could be ordered in 1934.The engine was also used in a range of MG cars.



Dave’s Streetwise 

Theosophy Boards

The Theosophy Website that

Welcomes Absolute Beginners

If you run a Theosophy Group, please feel free

to use any of the material on this site



1930s Wolseley Hornet racing car circuiting the track in modern times




The Most Basic Theosophy

 Website in the Universe

A quick overview of Theosophy 

and the Theosophical Society

If you run a Theosophy Group you 

can use this as an introductory handout.


Theosophy Cardiff’s Instant Guide

to Theosophy


Cardiff Theosophy Start-Up

A Free Intro to Theosophy


Theosophy Cardiff Burn-Up



Wolseley Hornet on a rally circa 1963




Theosophy Wales Burn-Up


Cardiff Theosophical Archive




Theosophy Wales 2008 Changes

A new structure for the

Theosophical Movement in Wales

as it separates into independent

groups that run do their own show


Early 1930s Wolseley Hornet customized roadster design

Basic front mudguards not extending to runner boards.

Only the driver gets a windscreen wiper


Blavatsky Blogger

Independent Theosophy Blog


Patriotic Wolseley Hornet on the race track in 1965



Quick Blasts of Theosophy

One liners and quick explanations

About aspects of Theosophy


Great Theosophists

The Big Names of Theosophy

H P Blavatsky is usually the only

Theosophist that most people have ever

heard of. Let’s put that right


The Blavatsky Blogger’s

Instant Guide To

Death & The Afterlife


Blavatsky Calling

The Voice of the Silence Website




The Blavatsky Free State

An Independent Theosophical Republic

Links to Free Online Theosophy 

Study Resources; Courses, Writings, 

Commentaries, Forums, Blogs


Early 1930s Customized Wolseley Hornet with integrated front mudguards

and runner boards. Two windscreen wipers on this one.





Visit the Feelgood Lodge

The main criteria for the inclusion of

links on this site is that they have some

relationship (however tenuous) to Theosophy

and are lightweight, amusing or entertaining.

Topics include Quantum Theory and Socks,

Dick Dastardly and Legendary Blues Singers.


Four views of the car in the picture above




Theosophy and Reincarnation

A selection of articles on Reincarnation

by Theosophical writers

Provided in response to the large 

number of enquiries we receive at 

Cardiff Theosophical Society on this subject


Nothing answers questions

like Theosophy can!

The Key to Theosophy


Applied Theosophy

Henry Steel Olcott


Blavatsky Calling

and I Don’t Wanna Shout

The Voice of the Silence Website


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Devachan


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Dreams


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Angels


Theosophy and Help From

The Universe



Swallow Wolseley Hornet 1932



Hey Look!

Theosophy in Wales


Theosophy Wales Vanguard


A leaflet promoting the new hydrolastic suspension introduced in the mid sixties.

This became standard on many BMC models including the Mini, 1100, 1300

& 1800 models. Suspension was maintained by means of a sealed fluid system

which was claimed to be very comfortable but appeared to make some people

seasick in the larger cars. As the cars got older, the suspension might burst

causing the car’s suspension to collapse on one side meaning a difficult

drive home or to a garage.




Wales! Wales! Theosophy Wales

The All Wales Guide to

Getting Started in Theosophy

This is for everyone, you don’t have to live

in Wales to make good use of this Website


Hey Look!

Theosophy in Cardiff


Theosophy in Wales

The Grand Tour


Theosophy Avalon

The Theosophy Wales

King Arthur Pages


1930s Corsica Wolseley Hornet






Theosophy Wales



Ernest Egerton Wood





Theosophy Starts Here






No Aardvarks were harmed in the

preparation of this Website




Heavy Metal Overview




Rock ‘n Roll Chronology




A 1966 Wolseley Hornet convertible by Crayford Engineering

Convertible 1960s Hornets were not standard and were very rare as

were all convertibles in the Mini range.

Crayford did a run of 57 Hornet convertibles for Heinz to be given

as prizes in a competition



Theosophy in the UK



Within the British Isles, The Adyar Theosophical Society has Groups in;




Folkstone*Glasgow*Grimsby*Inverness*Isle of Man*Lancaster*Leeds*Leicester

Letchworth*London*Manchester*Merseyside*Middlesborough*Newcastle upon Tyne

North Devon*Northampton*Northern Ireland*Norwich*Nottingham

Perth*Republic of Ireland*Sidmouth*Southport*Sussex*Swansea*Torbay

Tunbridge Wells*Wallasey*Warrington*Wembley*Winchester*Worthing


The Tooting Broadway

Underground Theosophy Website

The Spiritual Home of Urban Theosophy


The Mornington Crescent

Underground Theosophy Website

The Earth Base for Evolutionary Theosophy


H P Blavatsky’s Heavy Duty

Theosophical Glossary

Published 1892



Complete Theosophical Glossary in Plain Text Format





Theosophy Wales Group Start

The Theosophy Wales Guide to

Starting a Theosophy Group

& of course you don’t need to live in Wales

to take advantage of this guide



Tekels Park

Camberley, Surrey, England GU15 - 2LF


Tekels Park to be Sold to a Developer

Concerns are raised about the fate of the wildlife as

The Spiritual Retreat, Tekels Park in Camberley,

Surrey, England is to be sold to a developer


Tekels Park is a 50 acre woodland park, purchased

 for the Adyar Theosophical Society in England in 1929.

In addition to concern about the park, many are

 worried about the future of the Tekels Park Deer

as they are not a protected species.


Many feel that the sale of a sanctuary 

for wildlife to a developer can only mean 

disaster for the park’s animals


In addition to concern about the park, 

many are worried about the future 

of the Tekels Park Deer as they 

are not a protected species.


Confusion as the Theoversity moves out of 

Tekels Park to Southampton, Glastonbury & 

Chorley in Lancashire while the leadership claim

that the Theosophical Society will carry on using 

Tekels Park despite its sale to a developer


Anyone planning a “Spiritual” stay at the

Tekels Park Guest House should be aware of the sale.


Theosophy talks of a compassionate attitude

to animals and the sale of the Tekels Park

sanctuary for wildlife to a developer has

dismayed many Theosophists



Future of Tekels Park Badgers in Doubt


Party On! Tekels Park Theosophy NOT


St Francis Church at Tekels Park


Tekels Park & the Loch Ness Monster

A Satirical view of the sale of Tekels Park

in Camberley, Surrey to a developer


The Toff’s Guide to the Sale of Tekels Park

What the men in top hats have to

say about the sale of Tekels Park

to a developer



The Theosophy Cardiff Guide to

Pendle Hill, Lancashire, England.




Instant Guide to Theosophy

Quick Explanations with Links to More Detailed Info


What is Theosophy ? Theosophy Defined (More Detail)


Three Fundamental Propositions  Key Concepts of Theosophy


Cosmogenesis  Anthropogenesis  Root Races  Karma


Ascended Masters  After Death States  Reincarnation


The Seven Principles of Man  Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


Colonel Henry Steel Olcott William Quan Judge


The Start of the Theosophical Society


History of the Theosophical Society


Theosophical Society Presidents


History of the Theosophical Society in Wales


The Three Objectives of the Theosophical Society


Explanation of the Theosophical Society Emblem


Glossaries of Theosophical Terms



Another good example of a 1930s Wolseley Hornet



Elementary Theosophy

An Outstanding Introduction to Theosophy

By a student of Katherine Tingley


Elementary Theosophy Who is the Man?  Body and Soul


Body, Soul and Spirit  Reincarnation  Karma


The Seven in Man and Nature


The Meaning of Death



1960s Riley Elf

Outwardly the same as the Wolseley Hornet except for the badge & grill

A bit more expensive




A Text Book of Theosophy

Charles Webster Leadbeater


What Theosophy Is  From the Absolute to Man


The Formation of a Solar System  The Evolution of Life


The Constitution of Man  After Death  Reincarnation


The Purpose of Life  The Planetary Chains


The Result of Theosophical Study


1930’s Wolseley Hornet on a hill climb trial



An Outline of Theosophy

Charles Webster Leadbeater


Theosophy - What it is  How is it Known?  The Method of Observation


General Principles  The Three Great Truths  The Deity


Advantage Gained from this Knowledge  The Divine Scheme


The Constitution of Man  The True Man  Reincarnation


The Wider Outlook  Death  Man’s Past and Future


Cause and Effect  What Theosophy does for us



Side and rear view of a 1960s Wolseley Hornet




Try these if you are looking for a local

Theosophy Group or Centre



UK Listing of Theosophical Groups

Please tell us about your UK Theosophy Group


Worldwide Directory of 

Theosophical Links


International Directory of 

Theosophical Societies



1960s Wolseley Hornet promotional leaflet







DMOZ Open Directory Project

Theosophy Links



Link Exchange Web & Blog Directory of Top Sites
SEO friendly web directory of top sites & blogs organized by topic

into categories and presented according to relevance of website.

Submit your website free.



Web Directory - Add Link - Submit Article - Online Store - Forum



The So Much Directory










Pages about Wales

General pages about Wales, Welsh History

and The History of Theosophy in Wales


Wales is a Principality within the United Kingdom and has an eastern

border with England. The land area is just over 8,000 square miles.

Snowdon in North Wales is the highest mountain at 3,650 feet.

The coastline is almost 750 miles long. The population of Wales

as at the 2001 census is 2,946,200.





Hey Look!

Theosophy in Cardiff


Theosophy Wales


Theosophy UK



Bangor Conwy & Swansea Lodges are members

of the Welsh Regional Association (Formed 1993).

Theosophy Cardiff separated from the Welsh Regional

Association in March 2008 and became an independent

body within the Theosophical Movement in March 2010



High Drama & Worldwide Confusion

as Theosophy Cardiff Separates from the

Welsh Regional Association (formed 1993)


Theosophy Cardiff cancels its Affiliation

to the Adyar Based Theosophical Society




National Wales UK Theosophy

Theosophy House

206 Newport Road,

Cardiff, Wales, UK, CF24 – 1DL