During life in the physical world, the human Ego works through its four vehicles: namely, the physical, vital, desire, and mental bodies, all of which are connected to one another by the silver cord. At night the Ego withdraws into the inner worlds taking with it the physical body, together with the vital body, lying on the bed. The Ego first brings about harmonious rhythm of the mind and desire bodies. These bodies work upon the vital body; the vital body then commences to restore the tired and worn out physical atoms to health and vitality.
This restoration can only be done during the time the desire body and mind are removed, for it is their activities which use up the physical energy during the day, and in order that the vital body may be freed to rebuild this exhausted physical vehicle, the Ego and the two higher vehicles (the desire and mental bodies) separate from the two lower vehicles, but remain tied by the silver cord. At death, when the physical body can no longer hold on to its higher vehicles, when disintegration must ensue, the Ego is forced to vacate its house, made of clay, which it has built and used for an allotted length of time, and in which it has learned many helpful and soul-building lessons. It has now reached a period on the path of evolution where the Ego must take time for the assimilation of the lessons which were learned while functioning in the world of matter. Death is to the soul what sleep is to the physical body: a time of rest and recuperation so that the spirit may draw from these experiences greater soul power.
At death, the Ego leaves the physical body by way of the parietal-occipital sutures, but instead of the vital body remaining with the physical body as is the case during sleep, it also leaves the physical body, together with the desire and mental bodies, for the spirit's work in the physical body is finished for this Earth life. The vital body has now a different work to do; it is no longer called upon to keep the physical atoms in health.
At death, the vital, desire, and mental bodies are seen to leave the physical body through the head. The spirit, which is leaving its earthly prison house to decay, takes with it its most cherished belonging, the seed atom, the only part of the physical which cannot die and which it brings back with it at each Earth life. During Earth life, there is a tiny atom in the apex of the left ventricle of the heart which is called the permanent seed atom. This seed atom of the physical vehicle has been used as a nucleus for a physical body ever since the spirit possessed a physical vehicle. When we speak of a permanent seed atom, we do not mean that the physical atom is used, but the forces which flow through it. These forces remain with the Ego through rebirth after rebirth, or until this particular spirit has finished its evolution in the physical world. Then these forces will be transferred to the seed atom of the vital body which will become the permanent seed atom of the next period.
Going back to our discussion of the Ego as it leaves its physical body at what is termed death, we find that the spirit is passing through a very vital and extremely important period. Friends and relatives should be most careful that their loved one is left free from excitement, grief, and disturbances of any kind: the body should not be mutilated and embalming fluids should not be used until 84 hours after the spirit has ceased functioning in the body. The reason for this is as follows:
At death there is a rupturing of the silver cord which the Bible speaks of in the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes. This cord holds the higher and lower vehicles together and, at death, the rupture takes place in the heart, which causes this organ to cease beating. When this occurs, the Ego with its three bodies, namely, the vital, desire, and mental bodies, is seen by the clairvoyant floating above the head of the physical body for three and one- half days. During this period, the spirit is engaged in reviewing the scenes of its past life which have been impressed on the permanent seed atom in the heart. These impressions have been left on this seed atom by the blood. We are also taught from the Bible that the spirit is in the blood. The blood is the direct vehicle of the spirit.
The heart and lungs are the only organs through which all the blood in man's body passes in every cycle and the heart is the stronghold of the human Ego. As the blood courses through the heart, the scenes of every passing moment are carried in the blood and engraved on the tiny seed atom. This seed atom is also impregnated with the experiences of all past lives, and from it many impressions come to man. These teach him the difference between good and evil, and thus they become his conscience.
Now the reason we hold it is necessary that quuietness reign in the house of death is as follows: The vital body is the vehicle used immediately after death to transfer the impressions of the seed atom in the heart to the seed atom of the desire body. During this work the silver cord is ruptured, but not broken. The Ego is still conscious of its vehicles, feeling and suffering to some extent, when the body is mutilated. When the spirit is disturbed during the transfer, the impressions are dimly etched, and the spirit in returning to rebirth in the next embodiment does not bring with it as keen a sense of conscience as it would have done if the etching had been clearcut, because in the Desire World it was not able to feel remorse for wrong doings nor joy over good actions as keenly as it would have if it had not been disturbed.
When the panorama has been fully etched into the desire body, the silver cord breaks and the Ego is free of its earthly house. The body should then be cremated since cremation frees the spirit quickly. It also offers a more sanitary method of body disposal.
Let us hope that humanity will soon be awake to the proper care of its dead, and that we will have a science of death as well as a science of birth. It is important that the person who is aware of the damage ensuing from improper handling of the body in the event of death should have in writing the intsructions he or she desires to have carried out for him- or herself.
A form is available, explaining the Rosicrucian methods for the care of the body immediately following death. It gives the procedure which the follower of the Western Wisdom Teachings accepts as necessary for the proper transition to the afterlife.