All of us go through loss and grief. The people we love today could be gone tomorrow. Sometimes, we yearn to see them again. To see them in our dreams, or maybe, just maybe, catch a glimpse of their soul lurking in the house, watching over us as we go about our day.

Some people, especially those in Asian cultures, believe that they can see the soul of their loved ones after they passed away, or at least seven days after they die. Well, they are not entirely wrong.

When I was 13, my great-grandmother taught me that there are four parts to our bodies: the astral body, mental body, causal body (soul), and the physical body. The physical body is what we see and care for every day; it is made up of our limbs, our skin, and all the other organs. The mental body is made up of the memories we accumulate throughout our life; the causal body refers to our soul; and the astral body, which I think is the most interesting one of them all, is made up of all the things that we are attached to on Earth, like feelings of love and compassion.

When our loved ones die, it is their astral bodies that stick around, not their souls. They might not recognize you since all of their memories have disappeared along with the mental body. But just know that they are attached to you, and love and care for you.

Astral bodies can linger for a long time, even up to 100 years, or until they are sure that the people they leave behind will be OK.

Humans have many attachments. They can be attached to their family, lovers, friends, their job, their passion. But when we die, we leave all of them behind. When our physical bodies decay or turn to ashes, our mental and causal bodies will cross over to the next phase in life to meet with the creator, go through judgment, and reincarnate (born again) into a new human being with a new astral body. We all have new astral bodies when we are born. But before that, the past astral body will linger around on Earth for a little while longer before they can move on, evaporate into thin air, and disappear.

Let’s say that a man suddenly died due to an accident, therefore leaving his young children behind. After his burial or cremation, the man’s astral body will remain to look after the kids for a while. The same goes for someone who died and left behind family members with disabilities. That person’s astral body would want to linger on Earth to check on the family. When everything seems fine, the astral body can move on.

After some time, astral bodies can forget about their attachments because they don’t have memories. Unless we try to contact them.

Sometimes, we love the people who left us so much that we want to communicate with their souls again to see whether they are OK. One of the ways to do so is to meet a seance, of course. But I would not recommend doing that because it’s not fair to them.

When we meet a seance, we might think that they could connect us to our dead family’s souls. But what actually happens is that it is the astral bodies that come to communicate. This opens them up to issues that could hold them back from moving on.

Astral bodies don’t have memories. But if we speak to them, we risk feeding them with memories of us that could potentially make them want to stay and not move on. Can you imagine worrying about your family for 100 years as an astral body? Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our loved ones is to let them go.

When astral bodies are held back on Earth for a very long time, it could also affect the life of the next person that the soul is being reincarnated as. If someone feels like there’s something missing in their life but can’t quite place a finger on what that is, it could be that their past astral body was still stuck in the past life.

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