'When We Die ...' -
Chapter 4, The "Death Struggle" and "Gestation State"

Compiled by Geoffrey Farthing

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A comprehensive description, in outline, of the processes and subjective states in the period between lives, with some information about spiritualistic and psychic phenomena.

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Bearing in mind the Ego is unconscious at this stage, let us go on (p101:103). "Thenceforth it is a 'death' struggle between the Upper and Lower dualities." The sixth and seventh principles form the upper and the fourth and fifth the lower duality.

Continuing the quotation "If the upper wins, the sixth, having attracted to itself the quintessence of Good from the fifth - its nobler affections, its saintly (though they be earthly) aspirations, and the most Spiritualised portions of its mind - follows its divine elder (the 7th) into the 'Gestation' State; and the fifth and fourth remain in association as an empty shell (the expression is quite correct) - to roam in the earth's atmosphere, with half the personal memory gone, and the more brutal instincts fully alive for a certain period - an 'Elementary' in short. This is the 'angel guide' of the average medium."

This is the condition that applies in the great majority of cases. The same passage goes on to explain what happens if there is nothing suitable of the contents of the fifth principle to be assimilated by the upper duad. It says that such a life is as if it had never been. It is a page missing from the book of life. The sixth and seventh principles, in this case, are subsequently reborn in another personality which will manifest the "individual" characteristics of the Ego's lives prior to the last and whereas the memory of the "lost" life will be gone, the modifications to the skandhas [Note:  see later] as a result of it, will remain.


There is some amplification of the "death" struggle and the position of the "shells" (P168:171) ... "Until the struggle between the higher and middle duad begins - (with the exception of suicides who are not dead but have only killed their physical triad, [Note: 1st, 2nd and 3rd principles] and whose Elemental parasites, [Note: 4th and lower 5th principles ] therefore, are not naturally separated from the Ego as in real death) - until that struggle, I say, has not begun and ended, no shell can realise its position. When the sixth and seventh principles are gone, carrying off with them the finer, spiritual portions of that, which was once the personal consciousness of the fifth, then only does the shell gradually develop a kind of hazy consciousness of its own from what remains in the shadow of personality."

The above was in answer to a question (19, P144:147) as follows: "You say: 'And even the shells of those good men whose pages will not be found missing in the great book of lives:- even they will regain their remembrance and an appearance of self consciousness only after the sixth and seventh principles with the essence of the fifth have gone to their gestation period'."

This is followed by another question (20) for confirmation of the point that consciousness leaves "as suddenly as the flame leaves the wick - his perceptive faculties become extinct for ever". An answer is interposed here. "Well? Can a physical brain once dead retain its perceptive faculties: that which will perceive in the shell is something that perceives with a borrowed reflected light."

The question continues "Then what is the nature of the remembrance and self- consciousness of the shell? This touches on a matter I have often thought about wishing for a further explanation - the extent of personal identity in elementaries."


The answer (20, P168:171) :"All that which pertains to the materio- psychological attributes and sensations of the five lower skandhas; [Note: Skandhas are the "personality" predispositions and tendencies. See later] all that which will be thrown off as a refuse by the newly born Ego in the Devachan, as unworthy of, and not sufficiently related to the purely spiritual perceptions, emotions and feelings of the sixth, strengthened, and so to say, cemented by a portion of the fifth, that portion which is necessary in the Devachan for the retention of a divine spiritualised notion of the 'I' in the Monad - which would otherwise, have no consciousness in relation to object and subject at all - all this 'becomes extinct for ever' ; namely at the moment of physical death. ... " It is further explained that a memory of this "refuse" returns twice more, once at the entrance to Devachan and again after the completion of seven Rounds. [Note: i.e. the life period of a world.]

The subjective condition of the shell is further elaborated (P169:173): " ... But what then is the nature of the remembrance and self-consciousness of the shell?" " ... no better than a reflected or borrowed light." ... " 'Memory' is one thing, and 'perceptive faculties' quite another. ... " " ... Where is the scientific shell, that ever gave evidence of that, which is claimed on behalf of the 'disembodied Spirit' - namely, that a free Soul, the Spirit disenthralled from its body's fetters perceives and sees that which is concealed from living mortal eyes?"

There is also a further reference to the "death struggle" process (P101:103):" ... man's sixth principle, as something purely spiritual could not exist, or have conscious being in the Devachan, unless it assimilated some of the more abstract and pure of the


mental attributes of the fifth principle or animal Soul: its manas (mind) and memory."

Again (P102:104) there is a question (6): " ... how is a spiritual existence in which everything has merged into the sixth principle, compatible with that consciousness of individual and personal material life which must be attributed to the Ego in Devachan if he retains his earthly consciousness ... "?

The answer (P102:104): " ... the sixth and seventh principles apart from the rest constitute the eternal imperishable, but also unconscious 'Monad'. To awaken in it to life the latent consciousness, especially that of personal individuality, requires the monad plus the highest attributes of the fifth - the 'animal Soul' ; and it is that which makes the ethereal Ego that lives and enjoys bliss in the Devachan."

Next the transition from the gestation state to the return of consciousness in Devachan is described. First in a small reference (P197:199): "Reviving consciousness begins after the struggle in Kama-Loka at the door of Devachan, and only after the 'gestation period'." Another small reference to the awakening (P196:199) is as follows: "From Kama-Loka then in the great Chiliocosm [Note: Region of Kama-Loka], - once awakened from their post-mortem torpor, the newly translated 'Souls' go all (but the shells) according to their attractions, either to Devachan or Avitchi." [Note: A kind of Devachan state but for the very few, and very powerfully, evil.]

There is a further explanatory passage (P184:187) not only dealing with this reviving consciousness but with a second review of the life past and there is a further statement there that the Ego takes with it into Devachan nothing that was not spiritual.

"That remembrance will return slowly and gradually


toward the end of the gestation (to the entity or Ego), still more slowly but far more imperfectly and incompletely to the shell, and fully to the Ego at the moment of its entrance into the Devachan. And now the latter being a state determined and brought by its past life, the Ego does not fall headlong but sinks into it gradually and by easy stages. With the first dawn of that state appears that life ( or rather is once more lived over by the Ego) from its first day of consciousness to its last. From the most important down to the most trifling event, all are marshalled before the spiritual eye of the Ego; only, unlike the events of real life, those of them remain only that are chosen by the new liver (pardon the word) clinging to certain scenes and actors, these remain permanently - while all the others fade away to disappear for ever, or to return to their creator - the shell. Now try to understand this highly important, because so highly just and retributive law, in its effects. Out of the resurrected Past nothing remains but what the Ego has felt spiritually - that was evolved by and through, and lived over by his spiritual faculties - they be love or hatred."


When We Die ... > Next Page Chapter 5 The Subjective Heaven World, Devachan

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