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A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - Section One - Division C - The Etheric Body and Prana
V. Death and the Etheric Body

It is not our purpose to give facts for verification by science, or even to point the way to the next step onward for scientific investigators; that we may do so is but incidental and purely secondary. What we seek mainly is to give indications of the development and correspondence of the threefold whole that makes the solar system what it is - the vehicle through which a great cosmic ENTITY, the solar Logos, manifests active intelligence with the purpose in view of demonstrating perfectly the love side of His nature. Back of this design lies a yet more esoteric and ulterior purpose, hid in the Will Consciousness of the Supreme Being, which perforce will be later demonstrated when the present objective is attained. The dual alternation of objective manifestation and of subjective obscuration, the periodic outbreathing, followed by the inbreathing of all that has been carried forward through evolution embodies in the system one of the basic cosmic vibrations, and the keynote of that cosmic ENTITY whose body we are. The heart beats of the Logos (if it might be so inadequately expressed) are the source of all cyclic evolution, and hence the importance attached to that aspect of development called the "heart" or "love aspect," and the interest that is awakened by the study of rhythm. This is true, not only cosmically and macrocosmically, but likewise in the study of the human unit. Underlying all the physical sense attached to rhythm, vibration, cycles and heartbeat, lie their subjective analogies - love, feeling, emotion, desire, harmony, synthesis and ordered sequence, - and back of these analogies lies the source of all, the identity of that Supreme Being Who thus expresses Himself.

Therefore, the study of pralaya, or the withdrawal of the life from out of the etheric vehicle will be the same [129] whether one studies the withdrawal of the human etheric double, the withdrawal of the planetary etheric double, or the withdrawal of the etheric double of the solar system. The effect is the same and the consequences similar.

What is the result of this withdrawal, or rather what causes that something which we call death or pralaya? As we are strictly pursuing the textbook style in this treatise, we will continue our methods of tabulation. The withdrawal of the etheric double of a man, a planet, and a system is brought about by the following causes:

a. The cessation of desire. This should be the result of all evolutionary process. True death, under the law, is brought about by the attainment of the objective, and hence by the cessation of aspiration. This, as the perfected cycle draws to its close, will be true of the individual human being, of the Heavenly Man, and of the Logos Himself.

b. By the slowing down and gradual cessation of the cyclic rhythm, the adequate vibration is achieved, and the work accomplished. When the vibration or note is perfectly felt or sounded it causes (at the point of synthesis with other vibrations) the utter shattering of the forms.

Motion is characterized, as we know, by three qualities:

  1. Inertia,
  2. Mobility,
  3. Rhythm.

These three are experienced in just the above sequence and presuppose a period of slow activity, succeeded by one of extreme movement. This middle period produces incidentally (as the true note and rate is sought) cycles of chaos, of experiment, of experience and of comprehension. Following on these two degrees of motion (which are characteristic of the atom, Man, of the Heavenly Man [130] or group, and of the Logos or the Totality) comes a period of rhythm and of stabilization wherein the point of balance is achieved. By the force of balancing the pairs of opposites, and thus producing equilibrium, pralaya is the inevitable sequence.

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