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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Larva

(pl. Larvae) (L.). A term used by Latin writers like Apuleius in the 2nd century to refer to the astral shell of dead people. Helena P. Blavatsky quotes Apuleius as follows:

“The human soul” . . . “is an immortal God” [Buddhi] which nevertheless has his beginning. When death rids it [the Soul], from its earthly corporeal organism, it is called lemure. There are among the latter not a few which are beneficent, and which become the gods or demons of the family, i.e., its domestic gods: in which case they are called lares. But they are vilified and spoken of as larvae when, sentenced by fate to wander about, they spread around them evil and plagues (Inane terriculamentum bonis hominibus, ceterum noxium malis); or if their real nature is doubtful they are referred to as simply manes (Apuleis Du Dieu de Socrate, pp. 142-143, edit. Nizard; cited in CW VII: 191-192).

H. P. Blavatsky states that the larvae are the “shadows of those who have lived on earth, have refused all spiritual light, remained and died deeply immersed in the mire of matter, and from whose sinful souls the immortal spirit has gradually separated” (IU I:310). They belong to the highest of three classes of beings which Kabbalists call “elementaries.” 

See DEATH AND AFTER DEATH STATES.

V.H.C.

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