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|Esoteric Healing - Chapter V - The Process of Restitution|
|3. Next, the organized etheric body, loosened from all
nervous relationship through the action of the nadis, begins to gather itself together for
the final departure. It withdraws from the extremities towards the required "door of
exit" and focuses itself in the area around that door for the final "pull"
of the directing soul. All has been proceeding under the Law of Attraction up to this
point - the magnetic, attractive will of the soul. Now another "pull" or
attractive impulse makes itself felt. The dense physical body, the sumtotal of organs,
cells and atoms, is steadily being released from the integrating potency of the vital body
by the action of the nadis; it begins to respond to the attractive pull of matter itself.
This has been called the "earth" pull and is exerted by that mysterious entity
whom we call the "spirit of the earth"; this entity is on the involutionary arc,
and is to our planet what the physical elemental is to the physical body of man. This
physical plane life force is essentially the life and light of atomic substance - the
matter of which all forms are made. It is to this reservoir of involutionary and material
life that the substance of all forms is restored. Restitution of  the commandeered
matter of the form occupied by the soul during a life cycle consists in returning to this
"Caesar" of the involutionary world what is his, whilst the soul returns to the
God Who sent it forth.
It will therefore be apparent that a dual attractive process is at this stage going on:
It might be added that a third activity is also present. It is that of the conscious man, withdrawing his consciousness, steadily and gradually, into the astral and mental vehicles, preparatory to the complete abstraction of the etheric body when the right time comes. The man is becoming less and less attached to the physical plane and more withdrawn within himself. In the case of an advanced person, this process is consciously undertaken, and the man retains his vital interests and his awareness of relationship to others even whilst losing his grip on physical existence. In old age this detachment can be more easily noted than in death through disease, and frequently the soul or the living, interested, inner man can be seen losing his grip on physical and, therefore, illusory reality.
4. Again a pause ensues. This is the point where the physical elemental can at times regain its hold upon the etheric body, if that is deemed desirable by the soul, if death is not part of the inner plan, or if the physical elemental is so powerful that it can prolong the process of dying. This elemental life will sometimes fight a battle lasting for days and weeks. When, however, death is inevitable, the pause at this point will be exceedingly brief, sometimes only for a matter of seconds. The physical elemental has lost its hold, and the etheric  body awaits the final "tug" from the soul, acting under the Law of Attraction.
5. The etheric body emerges from the dense physical body in gradual stages and at the chosen point of exit. When this emergence is complete, the vital body then assumes the vague outline of the form that it energized, and this under the influence of the thought-form of himself which the man has built up over the years. This thought-form exists in the case of every human being, and must be destroyed before the second stage of elimination is finally complete. We will touch upon this later. Though freed from the prison of the physical body, the etheric body is not yet freed from its influence. There is still a slight rapport between the two, and this keeps the spiritual man still close to the body just vacated. That is why clairvoyants often claim to see the etheric body hovering around the death bed or the coffin. Still interpenetrating the etheric body are the integrated energies which we call the astral body and the mental vehicle, and at the center there is a point of light which indicates the presence of the soul.
6. The etheric body is gradually dispersed as the energies of which it is composed are reorganized and withdrawn, leaving only the pranic substance which is identified with the etheric vehicle of the planet itself. This process of dispersal is, as I have earlier said, greatly aided by cremation. In the case of the undeveloped person, the etheric body can linger for a long time in the neighborhood of its outer disintegrating shell because the pull of the soul is not potent and the material aspect is. Where the person is advanced, and therefore detached in his thinking from the physical plane, the dissolution of the vital body can be exceedingly rapid. Once it is accomplished, the process of restitution is over; the man  is freed, temporarily at least, from all reaction to the attractive pull of physical matter; he stands in his subtle bodies, ready for the great act to which I have given the name "The Art of Elimination."
One thought emerges as we conclude this inadequate consideration of the death of the physical body in its two aspects: that thought is the integrity of the inner man. He remains himself. He is untouched and untrammelled; he is a free agent as far as the physical plane is concerned, and is responsive now to only three predisposing factors:
Individuality is not lost; the same person is still present upon the planet. Only that has disappeared which was an integral part of the tangible appearance of our planet. That which has been loved or hated, which has been useful to humanity or a liability, which has served the race or been an ineffectual member of it, still persists, is still in touch with the qualitative and mental processes of existence, and will forever remain - individual, qualified by ray type, part of the kingdom of souls, and a high initiate in his own right.
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