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 etheric body

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ladysilvervixen
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PostSubject: etheric body   Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:16 pm

What is the Etheric body?

The etheric body, ether-body, æther body, a name given by neo-Theosophy to a supposed vital body propounded in esoteric philosophies as the first or lowest layer in the "human energy field" or aura.[1] It is said to be in immediate contact with the physical body, to sustain it and connect it with "higher" bodies.

The English term "etheric" in this context seems to derive from the Theosophical writings of Madame Blavatsky, but its use was formalised by C.W. Leadbeater[2] and Annie Besant[3] due to the elimination of Hindu terminology from the system of seven planes and bodies. (Adyar School of Theosophy).

The term gained some general popularity after the 1914-18 war, Dr.Walter John Kilner having adopted it for a layer of the "human atmosphere" which, as he claimed in a popular book, could be rendered visible to the naked eye by means of certain exercises.[4]

The classical element Aether of Platonic and Aristotlean physics continued in VIctorian scientific proposals of a Luminiferous ether as well as the cognate chemical substance ether. According to Theosophists and Alice Bailey the etheric body inhabits an etheric plane which corresponds to the four higher subplanes of the physical plane. The intended reference is therefore to some extremely rarefied matter, analogous in usage to the word "spirit" (originally "breath"). In selecting it as the term for a clearly-defined concept in an Indian-derived metaphysical system, the Theosophists aligned it with ideas such as the prana-maya-kosha (sheath made of prana, subtle breath or life-force) of Vedantic thought.

In popular use it is often confounded with the related concept of the astral body as for example in the term astral projection - the early Theosophists had called it the "astral double". Others prefer to speak of the "lower and higher astral".





The Ether

Recognized since ancient times as the pervasive all-inclusive energy which permeates everything, the ether was recognized by Plato and Aristotle as one of the five essential elements (the other four being earth, air, fire and water). Since then, the term "ether" has come to be disused by science in this context, but there remains a sense that there is something which joins all things and flows through all things. While it can be seen as a type of energy, it is not the energy itself which acts upon us as much as it's the "information" carried by the medium.

Like the radio or television signals which travel through the sea of electro-magnetic energy in which we are submerged, the patterns and meanings conveyed by the energy around and between us is rich and diverse. Some believe that everything that has ever happened since the beginning of time remains impressed upon the etheric medium, and that knowledge can be tapped by those sensitive enough to perceive it. And every plant, animal, rock, or body of water -- every existing thing -- becomes a transmitter, receiver and vessel of etheric awareness.

Many different belief systems and theories mention either the ether or a force nearly identical to it as being integral to our existence. The fact that there are so many varied sources which seem to agree on the nature of this subtle energy only adds to the sense of its reality. And when a person learns to experience it firsthand through one's own senses, it becomes undeniable


The Etheric Body

Because each of us partakes of this world, we partake of the energy which constitutes its very substance. The world is our source and sustenance. And the boundary between each of us and the vastness which surrounds us is not as solid and impermeable as we sometimes believe. The energy which flows through and between us carries our feelings and reactions, creating an interactive climate which we've learned through conditioning to shut out and ignore. Because we've learned to think of ourselves as separate and centered in our individuality, we overlook the ways in which we partake of the unity of which we are only a fragment.

Recognizing and experiencing our own etheric bodies helps us to reawaken to our true nature -- our interconnectedness. We can in this way learn -- or relearn -- to sense the world with the wholeness of our being. Instead of relying only on the recognized physical senses which we've come to accept as the only valid avenues of apprehending the world, we can feel what's going on around us in the very depth of who and and what we are. Rather than depending on the narrow channels through which sensory information enters -- and is in turn filtered by our prejudices and predilections -- we can plunge headlong into the ocean of a greater reality from which we once sprung and to which we are destined to return.
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