“The secret doctrine teaches that man, if he wins immortality, will remain forever the trinity that he is in life, and will continue so throughout all the spheres. The astral body, which in this life is covered by a gross physical envelope, becomes – when relieved of that covering by the process of corporeal death – in its turn the shell of another and more ethereal body.
This begins developing from the moment of death, and becomes perfected when the astral body of the earthly form finally separates from it. This process, they say, is repeated at every new transition from sphere to sphere. But the immortal soul, “the silvery spark”, observed by Dr. Fenwick in Margrave’s brain, and not found by him in the animals, never changes, but remains indestructible “by aught that shatters its tabernacle.”
The description by Porphyry and Iamblichus and others, of the spirits of animals, which inhabit the astral light, are corroborated by those of many of the most trustworthy and intelligent clairvoyants. Sometimes the animal forms are even made visible to every person present at a spiritual circle, by being materialized.
In his People from the Other World, Colonel H. S. Olcott describes a materialized squirrel which followed a spirit-woman into the view of spectators, disappeared and reappeared before their eyes several times, and finally followed the spirit into the cabinet.
Let us advance another step in our argument. If there is such a thing as existence in the spiritual world after corporeal death, then it must occur in accordance with the law of evolution. It takes man from his place at the apex of the pyramid of matter, and lifts him into a sphere of existence where the same inexorable law follows him.
And if it follows him, why not everything else in nature? Why not animals and plants, which have all a life-principle, and whose gross forms decay like his, when that life-principle leaves them? If his astral body becomes more ethereal upon attaining the other sphere, why not theirs?
They, as well as he, have been evolved out of condensed cosmic matter, and our physicists cannot see the slightest difference between the molecules of the four kingdoms of nature, which are thus specified by Professor Le Conte:
4. Animal Kingdom. 3. Vegetable Kingdom. 2. Mineral Kingdom. 1. Elements.
The progress of matter from each of these planes to the plane above is continuous; and, according to Le Conte, there is no force in nature capable of raising matter at once from No. 1 to No. 3, or from No. 2 to No. 4, without stopping and receiving an accession of force of a different kind on the intermediate plane.”
H. P. Blavatsky