A theosophical concept of hell, deriving from the Sanskrit
word for ‘‘isolation.’’ Although it is a place of torment, it differs
in great degree from the dominant conception of hell. Its torments
are the torments of fleshly cravings, which for want of a
physical body cannot be satisfied. People remain after death
exactly the same entity as before, and, if in life an individual has
been obsessed with strong desires or passions, such obsession
still continues, though in the astral plane the satisfaction of
these desires or passions is impossible. These torments are of
infinite scope, whether it be the confirmed sensualist who suffers
them, or more ordinary people who, without being bound
to the things of the flesh, have nevertheless allowed the affairs
of the world to loom too largely in their lives and are now
doomed to regret the small attention they have given to higher
Avichi is a place of regrets for things done and things undone.
Its torments are not, however, eternal, and with the passing
of time—of which there is no measure in the astral plane—
they are gradually discontinued at the cost of terrible suffering