Region of burning desire
The region of burning desire or glow of desire is the lowest region of the astral world, from which substantially the lowest desires of the human astral body are taken, through which it selfishly withdraws into itself and follows only its strongest egoistic drives. Of the two basic forces of the astral world - sympathy and antipathy - antipathy far outweighs sympathy here.
„One of the first things one must acquire for orientation in the psychic world is to distinguish between the different types of its formations in a similar way as one distinguishes between solid, liquid and aeriform or gaseous bodies in the physical world. In order to arrive at this, one must know the two basic forces which are of primary importance here. We can call them sympathy and antipathy. How these basic forces act in a mental entity determines its nature. Sympathy is the force with which a soul-form attracts others, seeks to merge with them, asserts its kinship with them. Antipathy, on the other hand, is the force with which soul-forms repel and exclude each other, with which they assert their individuality. The extent to which these basic forces are present in a soul structure depends on the role it plays in the soul world. Three types of soul formations must first be distinguished, depending on the workings of sympathy and antipathy in them. And these types differ from each other in that sympathy and antipathy stand in quite definite mutual relations in them. Both basic forces are present in all three. First take an entity of the first kind. It attracts other entities in its environment by virtue of the sympathy that prevails in it. But apart from this sympathy, antipathy is also present in it, through which it repels what is in its environment. To the outside, such an entity will appear as if it were only endowed with forces of antipathy. But this is not the case. There is sympathy and antipathy in it. Only the latter is predominant. It has the upper hand over the former. Such entities play a selfish role in the soul space. They repel much around them and draw only a few affectionately towards them. Therefore they move through the soul space as unchanging forms. Through the power of sympathy that is in them, they appear as greedy. But at the same time the greed appears insatiable, as if it could not be satisfied, because the prevailing antipathy repels so much that is accommodating that no satisfaction can occur. If one wants to compare the soul formations of this kind with something in the physical world, one can say: they correspond to the solid physical bodies. This region of the soul's materiality is to be called the glow of desire. - That which is mixed with the souls of animals and men from this ardour of desire determines that in them which is called the lower sensual instincts, their predominant selfish instincts.“ (Lit.:GA 9, p. 99)
In the life after death, when man passes through the kamaloka for purification, it is here that he must cast off his basest sensual desires.
„The lowest region of the soul world is that of the glow of desire. Through it, after death, everything is eradicated from the soul that it has of the grossest selfish desires connected with the lowest bodily life. For through such desires it can experience an effect from the powers of this region of the soul. The unsatisfied desires left over from the physical life form the point of attack. The sympathy of such souls extends only over that which can nourish their selfish nature; and it is far outweighed by the antipathy which pours out over everything else. But now the desires go to physical pleasures, which cannot be satisfied in the world of the soul. Through this impossibility of satisfaction, greed is increased to the highest. At the same time, however, this impossibility must gradually extinguish greed. The burning cravings gradually consume themselves; and the soul has experienced that in the extinction of such cravings lies the only means of preventing the suffering which must come from them. During physical life, satisfaction comes again and again. Thus the pain of burning greed is covered by a kind of illusion. After death, in the "purification fire", this pain appears completely undisguised. The corresponding experiences of deprivation are undergone. It is a dark state in which the souls find themselves. Only those people can naturally fall into this state whose desires in physical life were aimed at the grossest things. Natures with few desires pass through it without noticing it, for they have no kinship with it. It must be said that the longer the souls are influenced by the glow of desire, the more they have become related to this glow through their physical life; the more they therefore need to be purified in it. One must not call such purification suffering in the same sense as one would have to feel similar things in the world of the senses as suffering. For the soul, after death, longs for its purification, because only through this can an imperfection existing in it be eradicated.“ (Lit.:GA 9, p. 113)
Since the three uppermost regions of the physical-etheric world coincide with the lowest three regions of the astral world (Lit.:GA 101, p. 223), the region of the glow of desire is the other side of the light ether.
- Rudolf Steiner: Theosophie. Einführung in übersinnliche Welterkenntnis und Menschenbestimmung , GA 9 (2003), ISBN 3-7274-0090-0 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Mythen und Sagen. Okkulte Zeichen und Symbole, GA 101 (1992) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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