Entities of the astral plane: To describe every kind of entity belonging to the physical plane would not only be a formidable task but would also take up many volumes of work to cover the entire range of physical species living on earth.
So too describing every kind of astral entity would be an equally formidable and difficult task. However in this section a brief description of some of the common entities belonging to the astral plane has been undertaken.
The ordinary humans after death: This is a large class and consists of all grades of persons, in varying degrees and conditions of consciousness found in the various sub-planes of the astral plane, as described in some detail in the previous sections of this chapter.
The shade: When the astral life of a person is over, one dies on the astral plane and leaves behind the disintegrating astral body, precisely as when one dies physically one leaves behind the decaying physical corpse.
In most cases the higher ego is unable to withdraw from its lower principles the whole of its mental principles, consequently, a portion of its lower mental matter remains entangled with the astral corpse.
The portion of mental matter thus remaining behind consists of grosser kinds of each sub-plane. The astral corpse, which is a mere shadow of the original astral body is known as the shade. It is an entity which is not in any sense the real individual at all but it does bear an exact personal appearance, possesses a part of the memory, and all the little idiosyncrasies of the original astral body.
It is in reality merely a soul-less bundle of all its lowest qualities. The length of life of a shade varies according to the amount of the lower mental matter which animates it.
Though it may possess a great deal of a certain sort of animal cunningness, it is still able to communicate by borrowing temporary intelligence from a neighbouring astral medium.
By its very nature it is exceedingly liable to be swayed by all kinds of evil influences since it has nothing in its constitution capable of responding to good ones. The mental matter it possesses gradually disintegrates and returns to the general matter of its own plane.
Astral Shells: Astral shells are the worn out astral bodies of the souls who have awakened from the soul-slumber of the astral plane. A shell is the astral corpse in the later stages of its disintegration, every particle of mind having left it.
These astral shells may be galvanised into a semblance of life by coming in contact with the vitality of some astral medium and the subconscious mentality of the medium causing it to manifest signs of life and partial intelligence. They are astral corpses, just like the discarded physical body.
The article is taken from the book Life Beyond Death by Anil Sharma