From The Temptation of St. Anthony, Hieronymus Bosch
One might not, for example, understand that the organic sense of Being is directly connected to the development of the astral body.
Few develop any solid, durable connections to the astral body during a lifetime, although it isn’t unusual to develop ephemeral connections to the nascent entity. To add to the confusion over this inner entity, new age philosophies have taken hindu superstitions about it and corrupted them still more, until the astral body becomes a wonderful cosmic thing which fills a soul with wonder, beauty and a profound set of magical realizations. Above all, perhaps, hovers the mistaken perception that investment in the astral level will free a man or woman from the crass material level of pain and suffering. [Discrediting this perception, which in the Christian world had a root in Gnostic practices of early Christianity (who rather aggressively eschewed the material in favor of the energetic and spiritual), began early on with the establishment of orthodoxy in the Christian church.]
As we learn from Gurdjieff’s (and Dante’s) Purgatory, a very great deal of suffering is necessary in the development of the soul— a doctrinal position that is indeed consistent with both Christian and Buddhist theology. The difference between conventional theologies and Gurdjieff’s understanding (which is, based on my own experience, exactly correct) is that suffering must extend not just to one’s organic lifetime, but into the lifetimes that follow… and into the being-bodies, as Gurdjieff called them, which support those lifetimes.