More Papus on Reincarnation
To continue a little further with Papus’ book Reincarnation: Physical, Astral and Spiritual Evolution – the Spirit before Birth and after Death.
Those he considers to have studied reincarnation most were the ancient Egyptians, who claimed that during life the spirit controlled all acts of the body by means of forces emanating from the region of heaven where the pole star was found; which is why entry to the Pyramids always faced that direction.
After death, the Egyptians conserved the physical body by salting it for three months, then injecting spices, thus preventing by mummification the dispersal of the physical cells, and fixing all round the body the astral force that would preside over the decomposition of these cells. They went further than that with a complicated magical ceremony by which they evoked the astral forces around the pole star, infusing them in the double of the reincarnated mummy, either in the mummy itself or in little statuettes placed around the mummy.
They thus built veritable underground towns of astral lives and were able to act directly on the earthly astral, fixing for a very long time the pole of civilisation on their country, and retarding the reincarnation of human beings by employing science against the forces of destiny. It would be amazing to realise today the extent of the science of ancient Egypt.
But leaving these exceptions aside and returning to the normal processes of death, at this moment the astral splits into two parts. One section forms the ‘chariot of the soul’ enveloping the spirit, with the other enveloping the physical body that is about to decompose.
If the human being has built its ‘chariot of the soul’ well, so that images (or ‘clichés) of good, or devotion, form luminous stars in the astral matrix, then evolution of the future astral body will be assured.
Here he considers an extremely important problem. Experts have remarked that the series of living organisms on earth form a sort of well characterised hierarchy; the bodies of some living beings being little different from the bodies of immediate inferior or superior beings. This idea presides over the question of evolution of animated beings so dear to Darwinists.
It is impossible to describe the existence of this evolution, in its general conditions, on Earth. There is certainly a transformation of organs, adaptations to the environment, but not the evolution of the body of a dog into the body of a monkey, or the body of a monkey into the body of a man. The reason is simple, it is that evolution works not during physical incarnation but during the astral state that immediately follows physical death.
This, he claims, is the moment when the astral body evolves, or transforms, and becomes the origin of the astral body of an immediately superior being. In its turn this astral body forms the physical organs, which is how a physical being of an order immediately superior comes about on Earth, incarnating on a higher level of the spiral of development. All physical bodies in nature evolve, constituting the physical body of a human being, but this process happens on the astral plane.
Thus, when after an astral repose more or less prolonged according to the individual about to reincarnate, the moment of reincarnation arrives, the future astral body differs from the preceding one according to the conduct of the anterior life of the incarnated spirit. This is the origin of beauty or ugliness of the future physical body, of the strength or weakness of future organs, of the power of elevation of the astral forces, of the sign of the zodiac by which the forces surround the spirit, along with all the secret laws of spiritual reincarnation.
Popular stories have presented this astral influence in the form of good or bad fairies around the cradle.
At the moment of conception, the force of attraction of the future parents will be at their most intense, that is to say, the astral forces which determine the physical, moral and spiritual health. It is thus that parents protected by heaven, uniting their forces with that of the sun, will incarnate spirits with the most evolved astral bodies. Conception is thus an extremely serious act from the point of view of astral forces, so it is not surprising that social customs and laws have developed around the regulation of love, marriage and its social consequences.
Those who fall short of the high ideals so associated are likely to attract and be surrounded by inferior astral forces. And another social problem is presented due to a lack of regard to the reincarnation of spiritual principles.