This is another tricky and in-depth subject which needs at least a summary exploration. Traditional occultists have noted the process of the gradual dissolving and letting go of the grosser bodies sequentially after death, to return to an identity essence apart from form, from where they begin the process of re-entry into another incarnation, rebuilding each body afresh.
That’s all fine and good observation-wise, however it must be noted (as it rarely is!) that it is a gross philosophical error to apply such a process while still in physical life. This confusion has lead many seekers to attempt ‘letting go of desire’ to ‘transcend the earth plane’ or other similar teachings. On a very basic level, this is a merely a result of the judgement of the Divine Creation.
The purpose of the incarnation of Spirit in Flesh is to fulfill itself, to make actual it’s unlimited potential within the limitations of Creation. Otherwise, why bother manifesting at all? Without desire there is no fulfillment. Desire is the engine that drives Life onwards to ever-expanding expression of the Source Itself – the external actualization of internal potential.
The mistake is somewhat bound up with the observation of manufactured desires or ‘wants’ – those grosser planes of desire which have become imbalanced and overly-concentrated in their search for fulfillment. Commonly we may even think of the so-called ‘seven deadly sins’ – Envy, Hate, Lust, Avarice, Sloth, Pride and Gluttony. Each of these extreme emotions – in it’s original natural unexaggerated form – has it’s place as part of the natural function of a balanced individual, but when accentuated to the exclusion of all else becomes an unfulfillable and thus tormenting experience.
It is interesting to note that this echoes the Buddhist maxim, ‘the cause of suffering is desire’. But without distinguishing between an internally born balanced desire and an externally planted imbalanced one, this can be misleading. Desire is there to be fulfilled in the joyousness of Creation! ‘All life is joy’ and ‘all life is suffering’ are the same truth from two polarized perspectives.
The best course then, is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater by judging desire as undesirable (a philosophical contradiction it shall be noted – desiring lack of desire!) or seeking to ‘let go of all desires’. Rather, the best course is to accept all desires in balance, and refine the means employed to achieve their fulfillment. It is the refinement and harnessing of desire – not the destruction – that engenders spiritual growth.
This is all very important when dealing with the Astral Plane and any experience therein. The astral body and astral world has been called the ‘desire body’ and ‘desire world’ for very good reasons after all. Learning how to consciously utilize desire is an important part of dreaming and projection. It is central to all Astral Experience.
If we have misunderstandings about desire, it will prevent or slow our progress down considerably. To make this completely clear we just consider: if there is no desire for growth, there will be no growth. Struggling against desire is swimming against the current of life that is drawing us ever onwards. Instead, we need to learn to swim with the current and to direct our course.