For the inexperienced, the astral world is a big jumble. He can experience all kinds of animal figures coming towards him, as well as frightening human figures and the like. There are people who tell of such experiences. They are really in a very deplorable state. Through illness the astral world becomes visible in an irregular manner. If one begins to meditate and seriously train oneself clairvoyance develops in the right way and then one knows what to expect in the astral world. When people enter the astral world because of a diseased brain or something similarly unusual terrible figures are seen to be coming towards them and throwing themselves upon them. These figures are in reality their own passions emanating from themselves and showing their own mirror images in the astral world. Because in the astral world everything is reversed and they cannot read the astral images everything rushes toward them. Everything appears in images in the astral world. Erupting anger for example may appear as a picture of a tiger, attacking them. So it is with all these wild figures. Because every desire, every passion becomes a demon. However, the untrained man does not know how to interpret this and assumes the perception to be fantasized imaginations which it certainly isn’t. It is an image, a mirror.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – Kosmogonie – Leipzig, June 29, 1906 (page 135)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger