23. Passing through the gate of death, man goes out into the spiritual world, in that he feels falling away from him all the impressions and contents of soul which he received during earthly life through the bodily senses and the brain. His consciousness then has before it in an all-embracing picture-tableau the whole content of life which, during his earthly wanderings, entered as pictureless thoughts into his memory, or which — remaining unnoticed by the earthly consciousness — nevertheless made a subconscious impression on his soul. After a very few days these pictures grow faint and fade away. When they have altogether vanished, he knows that he has laid aside his etheric body too; for in the etheric body he can recognize the bearer of these pictures.
24. Having laid aside the etheric body, man has the astral body and the ego as the members of his being still remaining to him. The astral body, so long as it is with him, brings to his consciousness all that during earthly life was the unconscious content of the soul when at rest in sleep. This content includes the judgments instilled into the astral body by spirit-beings of a higher world during the periods of sleep — judgments which remain concealed from earthly consciousness. Man now lives through his earthly life a second time, yet so, that the content of his soul is now the judgment of his thought and action from the standpoint of the spirit-world. He lives it through in backward order: first the last night, then the last but one, and so on.
25. This judgment of his life, which man experiences in the astral body after passing through the gate of death, lasts as long as the sum-total of the times he spent during his earthly life in sleep.
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