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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Eleven - Salvation from Death
It is interesting, though incidental to our subject, to bear in mind that in cases of imbecility and idiocy and in that stage of old age which we call senile decay, the thread which is anchored in the brain is withdrawn, whilst that which conveys the life impulse or urge remains still anchored in the heart. There is life but no intelligent awareness; there is movement but no intelligent direction; in the case of senile decay, when there has been a high grade apparatus utilized in life, there may be the appearance of intelligent functioning but that is an illusion due to old habit and to old established rhythm but not to coordinated coherent purpose.

It must be noted also that death is, therefore, undertaken at the direction of the ego, no matter how unaware a human being may be of that direction. The process works automatically with the majority, for when the soul withdraws its attention the inevitable reaction on the physical plane is death, either by the abstraction of the [498] dual threads of life and reason energy, or by the abstraction of the thread of energy which is qualified by mentality, leaving the life stream still functioning through the heart but no intelligent awareness. The soul is engaged elsewhere and occupied on its own plane with its own affairs.

In the case of highly developed human beings we often find a sense of prevision as to the death period; this is incident upon egoic contact and awareness of the wishes of the ego. It involves sometimes a knowledge of the very day of death, coupled to a preservation of self-determination up to the final moment of withdrawal. In the case of initiates there is much more than this. There is an intelligent understanding of the laws of abstraction and this enables the one who is making the transition to withdraw consciously and in full waking awareness out of the physical body and so to function on the astral plane. This involves the preservation of continuity of consciousness so that no hiatus occurs between the sense of awareness on the physical plane and that of the after death state. The man knows himself to be as he was before, though without an apparatus whereby he can contact the physical plane. He remains aware of the states of feeling and of the thoughts of those he loves, though he cannot perceive or contact the dense physical vehicle. He can communicate with them on the astral plane or telepathically through the mind if they and he are en rapport, but communication that involves the use of the five physical senses of perception lies necessarily out of his reach. It is useful to remember, however, that astrally and mentally the interplay can be closer and more sensitive than ever before for he is freed of the handicap of the physical body. Two things, however, militate against this interplay: one is the grief and violent emotional upset of those left behind and, in the case of the average human being, the other is the man's own ignorance [499] and bewilderment as he stands faced by what are to him new conditions, though they are really old conditions, if he could but realize it. Once men have lost the fear of death and have established an understanding of the after death world which is not based on hallucination and hysteria or on the conclusions (oft unintelligent) of the average medium, who speaks under the control of his own thought-form (built by himself and the circle of sitters), we shall have the process of death properly controlled. The condition of those left behind will be carefully handled so that there is no loss of relationship and no false expenditure of energy.

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