56. The epoch of existence between death and a new birth, when the karma of man is fashioned, can be described only by the results of spiritual research. But it must always be borne in mind that such description appeals to our intelligence. We need only consider with open mind the realities of the world of the senses, and we become aware that it points to a spiritual reality — as the form of a corpse points to the life that indwelt it.
57. The results of spiritual science show that between death and birth man belongs to Spirit-kingdoms, even as he belongs between birth and death to the three kingdoms of Nature: the mineral, the plant, and the animal.
58. The mineral kingdom is recognizable in the form of the human being at any given moment; the plant kingdom, as the etheric body, is the basis of his growth, his becoming; the animal kingdom, as the astral body, is the impulse for his unfolding of sensation and volition. The crowning of the conscious life of sensation and volition in the self-conscious spiritual life makes the connection of man with the spiritual world straightway apparent.
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