Just as there are seven dimensions of reality we have seven bodies. Each body corresponds to the seven dimensions of reality. We have a physical body, etheric body, astral body, mental body, soul or causal body, buddhic body, and atmic body. There are other bodies beyond this level which I call the celestial bodies, which are beyond our comprehension at this level of evolution.
Each body also has a characteristic or quality of energy associated with it. The physical body has to do with instinct. The etheric body with the vital force and vital energy. The astral body with desires, feelings and emotions. The mental body with the concrete mind. The soul or causal body with the abstract mind. The buddhic body with intuition. The atmic body with spiritual will.
The Physical Body
An explanation of the physical body is not needed for we are all very familiar with this body. The only thing I would add would be to say that the physical body is the temple for the incarnating Soul. It is an instrument and vehicle for the exploration of the physical world. The physical body is the vehicle for the manifestation of Soul on this plane of existence, and the Soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of Spirit or the Monad.
A great many people don’t realize the importance of evolving the physical body along with the other bodies. For it is impossible for those with coarse, dense bodies to contact high vibrations. The refinement of the physical body is essential. Many spiritual aspirants work on evolving the other bodies and not the physical body, and end up getting sick because of the discrepancy in vibrational frequency.
It is not the purpose of this chapter to be a manual on how to care for the physical vehicle. However, it is suffice to say that the following simple suggestions would be extremely helpful.
- Physical fitness program.
- Eating of pure food.
- Proper sleep habits.
- Sunshine, at least ten to twenty minutes a day if possible. The sun kills all germs and frees one from disease, as well as vitalizes the etheric body.
- Cleanliness, much use of water both inwardly and outwardly.
- Stay away from sugar as much as possible and artificial stimulants (coffee and tea) and drugs.
- Make sure to create playtime.
The Etheric Body
The etheric body or the etheric double is an exact replica of the physical body. It is the archetype upon which the physical form is built. There is nothing in the manifested universe, solar, planetary or the various kingdoms of nature which does not possess an energy form or etheric body. This etheric body controls and governs and conditions the outer physical body.
The function of the etheric body is to store up the rays of radiatory light and heat which are secured from the sun, and to transmit them via the spleen chakra, to all parts of the physical body. The etheric body is a web or network of fine interlacing channels. These nerve channels are called “nadis”.This etheric web or network, during incarnation, forms a barrier between the physical and astral planes. People who have taken large amounts of drugs or psychedelics can cause this etheric webbing to be broken which can cause them to be unprotected from lower astral energies.
The etheric body can also be likened to the energy battery of the physical body. Etheric congestion in some part of the etheric body can lead to many forms of disease and mental unclarity. The etheric body is vitalized and controlled by thought, and can be brought into full functioning activity by right thinking.Most diseases that the physical body suffers from, have their roots in the etheric body, and astral bodies. The principal factors in establishing a healthy well flowing etheric body are sunshine, light diet, with emphasis upon proper proteins and vitamins, and the avoidance of fatigue and worry.
The astral body relates us to the astral plane and to our desires, feelings, and emotions. Most people in the world are run by their astral body. In other words they are run by their feelings, emotions and desires. The astral body ends up running the conscious mind, instead of the conscious mind having self mastery to the proper integration of their feelings and emotions.
Many people travel in this body when they “astral project”. We all do this when we sleep at night and often have dreams of flying in this body. Some people have developed the ability to travel in this body consciously. The limitation of this is that one is then limited to traveling only in the astral plane (which is not a very evolved place to be). If one would travel in their soul body or light body they would have greater range of dimensions in which to travel.
The great teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism emphasize the need to eliminate desire. What this means is to make one’s only desire the desire for liberation and God realization instead of all the material desires of the negative ego consciousness.
The astral body receives the impression of every passing desire it contacts in the environment. Every sound causes it to vibrate. The great need of the spiritual aspirant is to train the astral body to receive and register only those impressions which come from the level via the higher self.
The aim of the aspirant would be to so train the emotional body that it will become still and clear as a mirror, so that it reflects perfectly. The words that ideally describe the emotional body should be “still, serene, unruffled, quiet, at rest, clear.”
Ponder on This
Djwhal Khul, in the Alice Bailey books, has elucidated how this should be accomplished:
1. “By the constant watching of all desires, motives and wishes, that cross the horizon daily, and by the subsequent emphasizing of all those that are of a high order, and by inhibition of the lower.”
2. “By a constant daily attempt to contact the Higher Self, and to reflect its wishes in the life.”
3. “By definite periods of meditation daily, directed to the stilling of the emotional body… Each aspirant must discover for himself when he yields most easily to violent vibrations, such as fear, worry, personality desire of any kind, personality love of anything or anyone, discouragement, over sensitiveness to public opinion: Then he or she must overcome that vibration by imposing on it a new rhythm, definitely eliminating and reconstructing.”
4. “By work done on the emotional body at night, under the direction of more advanced souls, working under the guidance of a Master.”
When illusion and glamour have been overcome, the astral body fades out in the human consciousness. There is no desire left for the separated self. Ego disappears, and man is then regarded as consisting essentially of Soul, mind, and brain within the physical body nature.
The Mental Body
The mental body is associated with the mental plane and the concrete mind. The refinement and development of this body is the result of hard work and discrimination. There is a great need for clear thinking, not on subjects where interest is aroused, but on all matters affecting one’s life and humanity. It means the ability to make thought forms out of thought matter, and to utilize these thought forms for the helping of one’s fellow man.
One of the great needs in respect to the mental body is to learn to still the mental body so that thoughts from abstract levels and from the intuitional planes can find a receptive mind whereon they may inscribe themselves.
Two qualities should be developed above all else in respect to the mental body. First is an unshaken perseverance, and fortitude. The second being a progress that is made without undue self-analysis. Pull not your selves up by the roots to see if there is growth.
The capacity of perseverance explains why the non-spectacular man or woman often attains initiation before the genius.
The mental body remains clear because of keeping a good mental diet. Every thought that comes from your subconscious mind or from other people should be discerned and discriminated against to determine if it is of God or not of God, and if it is truth or illusion.
If it is positive and of God, the idea is to let it into your mind, like you would good food into the stomach. If it is negative and not of God, then the idea is to deny its entrance into your mind. It is the ongoing process of remaining conscious and vigilant and not going on automatic pilot that will keep your mental body clear. By keeping your mental body clear it will help to keep your emotional body, etheric body, and physical body clear, for it is your thoughts that create your reality. This last point cannot be emphasized enough!
The Soul and/or Causal Body
The Soul body or causal body is on the higher mental plane and the quality or characteristic of it is the abstract mind. The causal body is the temple of the Soul. The causal body is the storage house of all our good karma and virtue from all our past lives and our present life.
The causal body is a collection of three permanent atoms enclosed in an envelope of mental essence. The three permanent atoms are recording devices for our physical, astral, and mental bodies. These permanent atoms record our karma.
In our very first incarnations on earth our causal body was a colorless ovoid holding the Soul like a yolk within an egg shell. As we incarnated over and over again we began to build good karma and virtue into our causal body and it began to become a thing of rare beauty, containing within itself all the colors of the rainbow. Djwhal Khul has called this a form of “divine vampirism” where the Soul sucks the good out of the personal life, and stores it in the body of the Soul.
This building proceeds slowly at first, but towards the end of incarnation when one steps more firmly on the path of probation and initiation, the work proceeds rapidly. It is at the fourth initiation that the causal body is burned up and merges back into the monad, and the evolving Soul then receives guidance directly from the monad. This is a great marker point in the initiation of a Soul on the Spiritual path.
The Buddhic Body
The buddhic body is associated with the buddhic plane and the characteristic quality of it is intuition. After passing the fourth initiation one lives in the buddhic body.
The Atmic Body
The atmic body is associated with the atmic plane and the characteristic and quality of it is spiritual will. This is the body one inhabits upon passing the fifth initiation.
The Glorified Light Body
There is one other body which I have not mentioned, which bears great importance on the Spiritual path, and that is the importance of creating one’s “Light Body”.
The light body or body of light is the body we will inhabit at the time of our ascension. The ascension being the complete merger with the monad and/or I Am Presence on earth. It is at this time our entire being merges into light. It is the light body that we will officially step into. It is in a sense, the “wedding garment” that we are building day by day as we travel the path of initiation. It is created by the light that we are creating in our daily lives. This body is not fully complete until right before ascension itself.
Everything that has been created has an aura of some kind. In human beings the aura surrounds the central nucleus or soul fragment or extension of the Overshadowing Soul.
The aura is composed of four basic fields. These are the physical health aura, the astral or emotional aura, the mental aura and the etheric body aura. The astral aura is usually most dominant in most people on our planet although this is beginning to change as we move deeper into the Aryan root race which is a mental attunement.
The mental aura is usually very small in the average person, however, develops rapidly once the disciple becomes polarized in the mental body at the latter stages of the second and beginning of the third initiation. Djwhal Khul says in “Ponder on This”, that the “mental aura will eventually obliterate the emotional or astral aura and then the soul quality of love will create a substitute, that is of a higher nature.”
Every person lives and moves within their fourfold aura. This living, vital aura serves as a recording agent of all impressions of both an objective and subjective nature. It is the aura which creates the effects upon other people. Not so much the words as some people think. It is also the aura which the Master watches. Specifically, the Master is looking for the light of the Soul within the aura to determine whether the disciple is nearing the path of discipleship. As the emotional reactions lessen, and the mental apparatus clears, the progress of the aspirant is noted.
The aura is radiatory in nature and extends from all the bodies in every direction. The seven chakras also have a great effect on the nature of a person’s aura. A highly emotional person working through an overdeveloped and uncontrolled solar plexus chakra can wreck havoc in a home or office. On the other side of the coin, a disciple consciously using the heart or throat center can carry inspirations to hundreds and thousands and more.
The aura is brought into right radiatory condition by right living, high thinking, and loving activity. This leads the initiate to become a center of living light where all seven of the chakras are merged into one light. Each person looks out into the world through their aura.
The four words that best describe the human aura are color, light, quality, and sphere of influence. Most psychics or clairvoyants are just seeing the astral range of the aura. In reality there are seven layers to the aura.
Christ’s aura was so powerful that all people had to do was touch Him and the virtue would pour out of Him and heal. Every person’s aura either attracts or repels depending on the programming and patterning within the individual. Groups have an aura, countries have an aura, and the earth, as a whole, has an aura. A Master only has to look at the light reflected in a person’s aura to determine their level of evolution.