53. The unfolding of man's life between death and a new birth takes place in successive stages. For a few days after passing through the gate of death the whole of the past earthly life is seen in living pictures. This experience reveals at the same time the gradual severance of the vehicle of the past life from the human soul-and-spirit.
54. In a time that comprises about a third of the past earthly life, the soul discovers in spiritual experiences the effect which this life must have in accordance with an ethically just World-order. During this experience the purpose is begotten in the soul to shape the next earthly life in a corresponding way, and thus to compensate for the past.
55. There follows a purely spiritual epoch of existence. During this epoch, which is of long duration, the soul of man — along with other human souls karmically connected with him, and with the beings of the hierarchies above — fashions the next life on Earth in the sense of karma.
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