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The Astral Body - Arthur E. Powell

The Astral Body - Arthur E. Powell



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Published by: zo7661 on Feb 08, 2009
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by Arthur A.Powell 
The Theosophical Publishing House, London, England; Wheaton,Ill, U.S.A.;Adyar, Chennai, IndiaPublished in 1927, reprinted in 1954 and 1965DEDICATIONThis book is dedicated with gratitude and appreciation to all those whosepainstaking labour and researches have provided the materials out of which it has been compiled"To know man is to know God.To know God is to know man.To study the universe is to learn both God and man;for the universe is the expression of the Divine Thought,and the universe is mirrored in man.Knowledge is necessary if the SELF would become freeand know Itself as Itself alone."Annie Besant
THE author's purpose in compiling the books in this series was to save studentsmuch time and labour by providing a condensed synthesis of the considerableliterature on the respective subjects of each volume, coming mostly from thepens of Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater. The accompanying list shows thelarge number of books from which he drew. So far as possible, the methodadopted was to explain the form side first, before the life side: to describe theobjective mechanism of phenomena and then the activities of consciousness thatare expressed through the mechanism. There is no attempt to prove or even justify any of the statements. Marginal references give opportunity to refer to thesources.The works of H. P. Blavatsky were not used because the author said that thenecessary research in The Secret Doctrine and other writings would have beentoo vast a task for him to undertake. He added: "The debt to H. P. Blavatsky isgreater than could ever be indicated by quotations from her monumentalvolumes. Had she not shown the way in the first instance, later investigatorsmight never have found the trail at all."
THE purpose of this book is to present to the student of Theosophy a condensedsynthesis of the information at present available concerning the Astral Body of man, together with a description and explanation of the astral world and itsphenomena. The book is thus a natural sequel of The Etheric Double and AlliedPhenomena published in 1925.As in the case of The Etheric Double, the compiler has consolidated theinformation obtained from a large number of books, a list of which is given,arranging the material, which covers a vast field and is exceedingly complex, asmethodically as lay within his power. It is hoped that by this means present andfuture students of the subject will be saved much labour and research, being ablenot only to find the information they require presented in a comparatively smallcompass, but also, with the help of the marginal references, to refer, should theyso desire, to the original sources of information.In order that the book may fulfil its purpose by being kept within reasonabledimensions, the general plan followed has been to expound the principlesunderlying astral phenomena, omitting particular examples or instances.Lecturers and others who wish specific illustrations of the principles enunciated,will find the marginal references useful as a clue to the places where theexamples they seek may be found.Again, so far as the complexities and ramifications of the subject permit, themethod has been to explain the
side first, before the
side: i.e., todescribe first the objective mechanism of phenomena, and then the activities of consciousness which are expressed through that mechanism. The carefulstudent, bearing this in
[Page xiv ]
mind, will thus recognise many passages,which at first glance might appear to be repetitive, in which the samephenomenon is described first from the point of view of the outer material formand then again later from the point of view of the spirit or consciousness.It is hoped that the present volume may be followed by similar ones dealing withman's Mental and Causal bodies, thus completing the consolidation of allinformation so far available regarding man's constitution up to the Causal or Higher Mental level.There is today a great deal of information on these and similar subjects, but it isfor the most part scattered over large numbers of books. In order, therefore, tomake the whole of it available for the student, whose time for intensive study islimited, such books as the present is intended to be, are (in the writer's opinion)urgently needed. " The proper study of mankind is man : " and the subject is sovast, so absorbing, and so important that everything possible should be done tomake readily accessible to all who thirst for such knowledge the whole of theinformation which has so far been accumulated.

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