The astral body is made up of astral forces and as discussed earlier it is gathered before each incarnation and will be different each time. When incarnating into the etheric body various astral forces are attracted to certain parts of the physical body. The organs each attract a certain astral force so depending on the astral body's makeup the organs will receive differing amounts of required astrality. For example: if the incarnating astral body has an abundance of Venus astral force, the kidneys will be overflowing and so they are likely to be very strong. As the Venus force goes into the kidneys, the chi there will be transformed into kidney chi and will likely flow strongly throughout the meridians. If this astral body has very little Mars force the stomach will be weaker and so less Mars chi will be created to flow through the meridians. While young, the strong kidneys will likely be helping the weak stomach as it will draw energy from the kidneys to function properly, but as this person gets older, if no strengthening has been done, it will eventually put a strain on the kidneys and all other systems.
As the meridians are flowing with an excess of Venus and lack of Mars force they will become out of balance with some having very little flow and others very strong. As these two forces also relate to all the others, they will all be affected, leading to greater unbalance. The physical body will be affected by this unbalance leading to weakness in some areas and most definitely poor posture. Your mental and emotional aspects are situated in the astral body so any unbalance here will also show up in your psychology. The astral body is the main hindrance to spiritual awakening and is the most important body to be cleared before higher forces can be incarnated. If you have poor posture, a weakened etheric and weak physical parts as described above the only way for this to be cured at its root is by healing the astral body. You can work on your posture which will help, but as long as the imbalance resides in the astral body it will continually be reflected in the physical.
If you heal the astral body and do no work on the etheric which has been damaged by the years of unbalance, full healing of the physical and etheric are unlikely to occur. This is why work on all levels is essential for fast and steady progress. As the level of vibration of consciousness increases there is a corresponding need for the vibration of the etheric and physical to also increase so as to hold or maintain the higher consciousness. If not it becomes more difficult to stay at this new level of consciousness and will likely fluctuate between the higher states and lower ones.
Now that we are talking about the astral body it is important that we discuss Samskaras. Under Astral Substance I mentioned that due to emotional traumas the Astral Substance will crystallize. These crystallizations are called ‘Samskaras’.
An example: as a baby you were left alone and wanted your mother. She was not there and it left you feeling insecure and alone. You cried because of this feeling of aloneness and she still did not come. The feeling was very painful and felt very much like heartbreak. In the area of your heart the Astral Substance was pulsating with emotion and because of this going on for an extended period the Astral Substance began to crystallize. This helped to reduce the pain. The emotion was actually condensed into a small ball and became hard. This ball is full of the emotion of heartbreak and aloneness but has been condensed and enclosed. When mother finally came to the rescue it was too late. The ball of emotion had been formed and was now crystallized. Although her presence was able to release the emotions that had not been crystallized it was not able to release the ball. Now that this ball was within your astral body the feeling of merging with your mother could not be as complete as before. You felt different. It is now a dull sense of being alone which lies in the background of consciousness whether she is there or not. Now when a similar instance occurs the intense emotions within the ball are released a little which causes the emotions to intensify and a further crystallization to occur. You grow older and have this feeling of being alone. It is not huge but it is there. When you are in a relationship the feelings inside the ball may be activated leading to a fear of being abandoned by your partner. If your partner does leave you the ball may certainly become larger still and the underlying sense of being alone may increase. This is called a Samskara and it can last a very long time if nothing is done about it. What is important to note about the formation of Samskaras is the intensity of the emotions at the time. The more intense the emotions the more likely it is that a crystallization will occur.
Samskaras can be caused by any emotional trauma whatsoever. They do not have to be large but the larger the trauma the larger the Samskara created. After a while the astral body is full of these Samskaras and they are the very root of mental and emotional conditioning.
The feeling of love and peace that accompanied your mother’s presence before the Samskara's creation was due to your own light. Your light would shine through your astral body and give you the feeling of love and peace. This is one of the characteristics of your light body and higher consciousness. The problem is that as a baby this part of your light body has not fully incarnated yet and so without the mother’s presence the light cannot ground and shine through. It seems to the baby that the love and peace come from the mother but in truth it actually comes from its own Higher Self or light body. Now once the Samskara has been formed this same light cannot shine through as it did before. The crystallized Astral Substance blocks and distorts the light so the child can no longer feel it as it did before. Once the astral body is full of Samskaras, the light of the Higher Self may have trouble shining through at all.
Samskaras cause increased grasping of the etheric body which in turn leads to blockages in the etheric and tension in the physical body. So now we have a state where not only can the mix of astral forces affect the health of the etheric and physical, but Samskaras also affect this in very profound ways. The Samskaras formed will depend on the original astral body as well as the environment the child grows up in. The formation of the ego structure/astral crystallization is very complicated and has led to all the personalities and mental/emotional problems that the human race has seen.
Now with a little understanding of Samskaras we can explore what happens at death and how past lives can affect your present life. When someone dies with a crystallized astral body, most of it will shatter as mentioned in Astral Substance. The problem is that some of the very intense Samskaras have actually become attached to the light body of the individual. These Samskaras are like tiny seeds but they are very condensed and hold a huge amount of emotion. These seeds are stuck to the light body and so travel with it into the higher dimensions. While in these higher realms the Samskaras have little effect on the experience of bliss and love which is present in these dimensions. They are simply there but cannot really be felt. When the next incarnation on earth occurs, on the way through the astral dimensions the Samskaras do play a role in the collection of Astral Substance for the new astral body. This can be why an unbalanced astral body is formed in the first place.
Once on earth these Samskaras from previous lives gradually incarnate and begin to affect the new life just like they did in the past. As a baby not much of the astral body is incarnated (it takes 28 years for full incarnation) but if the baby has a trauma which resonates with one of these past life Samskaras it will be drawn in and activated. The present trauma will likely make the Samskara even more powerful. If this occurs the Samskara will have incarnated. It is much better that these large Samskaras are activated and incarnated later on, for if incarnated as a baby they will certainly cause much pain and many problems for the individual's entire life (unless cleared with the proper techniques). This is why a good upbringing with as much love and nurturance is so important. Think about a Samskara that was built over lifetimes, it is huge and full of intense emotions. Many of the emotions within the Samskara would have been crystallized as an adult in a past life so when activated in a baby you have a situation where some very powerful adult emotions are within a little innocent baby. If you think about some of the extreme hate, anger and violence that has occurred on this planet you will certainly see that some adult emotions do not belong in a young child. This is where the term "bad seed" comes from. It is not a bad soul but just a large Samskara (seed) which incarnates too early.
So the astral body becomes crystallized through emotional traumas creating Samskaras which affect every aspect of a person’s life. They are ever-present in the background of experience and are the root of the earthly ego. The light of the Higher Self is blocked and distorted by this structure of Samskaras. At death the astral body shatters but some of the large Samskaras stick to the light body and continue to the next life. They will then gradually incarnate with the rest of the astral body and most likely form a core part of the new ego structure in the next life.