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
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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.