The Astral World is not a place but a state. A condition of existence (Steiner). It surrounds us and we are immersed in it while we live on Earth.
At death: The Etheric Body (which holds the imprint of all memories of the life lived), the Astral Body (which contains all the desires generated by life) and the Ego all leave the body: All that’s left is the corpse which stays in the physical world. The Etheric and Astral bodies unite on the lower Astral Plane.
Over time the Etheric body dissolves – and the Astral Body moves to the higher Astral Planes alone. But: Everything on the Astral plane comes back to the physical plane. All the negativity ends up coming back to earth.
Lower Astral worlds resemble life on earth. There are buildings, apartments, weather. In the higher worlds things become more unvarying and communication becomes non-verbal. Structures can be malleable.
There are wars in the astral plane. They use Mantric Power vs Bombs. Mantric Power is a charged religious symbol made manifest. Like a wave that can be ridden. Mantras can be used as vehicles. They can also be used for destruction. In the lower realms of the Astral Plane, pockets of darkness/resistance have been created by humanity’s spiritual ignorance and misunderstand (failure of the patriarchy). Negativity boils over and spills back to Earth. Wars on the plane are experienced by people on Earth as nightmares. The world is so chaotic because there is continual war on the astral plane.
On the Astral Plane every feeling, every idea is given a visible form – a living force. An astral lie can cause death. Thoughts can create reality.
Per Occult thinking: Materialism emboldens the force of Ahriman (who rules the force of logic). When given too much power Ahriman seeks to stamp out individuality.
In turn, as people grow more and more disillusioned (because of economic hardship or lack of options, for e.g.) this emboldens the forces of Lucifer (who rules imagination). Imagination is good but not when it descends into fantasy and decadence.
Materialism perverts logic and dulls feelings.
Rudolf Steiner believed in the “Christ Impulse/Christ Consciousness” – A force meant to keep the pendulum between Logic and Imagination in check. (See also Mystery of Golgatha). In his opinion World War 1 was materialism confronting its Karma.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) Philosopher – God has many names, depending on the beliefs/religion of the individual; the Holy Spirit is not God; the Trinity does not exist; Jesus Christ’s death did not atone for our sin; salvation comes by practicing what you believe, whatever religion it might be; the afterlife is spiritual, but dependent on how well you lived in your physical body.
The Secret Doctrine (pub 1888) Helena Blavatsky – Deals with origin and evolution of the Universe: Hindu concept of cyclical development.
Annie Besant (1847-1933) – Founder of Theosophy – mystical philosophy seeking direct knowledge of the presumed mysteries of life and nature, particularly of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe.
Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) founded Anthroposophy – stems from believes of reincarnation and and Karma. Belief that the forces of ‘bad/darkness’ can be beneficial as long as the ego remains strong enough to keep them from becoming too powerful. The EGO is a citizen of the Spiritual World, not merely the inhabitant of a human body. You must break out of yourself to find yourself.
The purpose on Earth is to learn and enrich the collective store of knowledge. Self-knowledge leads to world peace.