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Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle - The Nature of the Etheric Body

I. The Nature of the Etheric Body

Much that I may say here may be familiar to a certain extent, because there is a vast amount of information anent the etheric body scattered throughout my various books. It will have its value however if students can receive in a few pages a general idea and the basic concepts which underlie the teaching - or should I say, the fact? If they have the time, students would find it of profit to reread what I said; run their eyes rapidly through the books and papers in search of the word "etheric." They will never regret it. Life itself, the training to be given in the future, the conclusions of science and a new mode of civilization will all increasingly be focused on this unique substance which is the true form to which all physical bodies in every kingdom in nature conform. Note that phraseology.

The attitude of occultism is, at this time, relatively negative to the fact and the nature of the etheric body. People are ready to admit its existence, but the dominant factors in their consciousness are the fact of the physical body (around whose comfort, security and care all life seems woven) and the fact of the astral or emotional nature. Not one among them, or among occult students generally, pays any attention to the etheric body, and there is a great hiatus or gap in consciousness today (only this time normally and rightly) between the personality and the Spiritual Triad. This gap will be bridged by the building of the antahkarana, and this can only be built by advanced students. There is no such planned bridge for the gap in [140] consciousness between the physical body and the etheric counterpart. The etheric body exists in subtle etheric matter, and factually there is no true gap; there is simply the ignoring by humanity of an aspect of the physical body which is of far more importance than is the dense physical vehicle. The consciousness of men today is physical-astral, and the factor of conditioning energies is ignored, overlooked, and - from the angle of consciousness - non-existent.

One of the main obligations of occult students today is to testify to the fact of the etheric body; modern science is already thus testifying because its researches have now landed it in the realm of energy. Electro-therapy, the growing recognition that man is electrical in nature, and the realization that even the atom in apparently inanimate objects is a living vibrant entity substantiate this occult point of view. Generally speaking, science has preceded esotericism in its recognition of energy as a dominant factor in all form expression. Theosophists and others pride themselves on being ahead of human thinking, but such is not the case. H. P. B., an initiate of high standing, presented views ahead of science, but that does not apply to the exponents of the theosophical teaching. The fact of all manifested forms being forms of energy, and that the true human form is no exception, is the gift of science to humanity and not the gift of occultism. The demonstration that light and matter are synonymous terms is also a scientific conclusion. Esotericists have always known this, but their aggressive and foolish presentations of the truth have greatly handicapped the Hierarchy. Frequently the Masters have deplored the technique of the theosophists and other occult groups. When the new presentation of the occult teaching made its appearance through the inspired activity of H. P. B., a number (an increasing number as the years slipped by) of theosophical members presented the occult [141] teaching in such a manner that it travestied the true teaching and outraged the intellectual perception of the mass of inquiring and intelligent men. The teaching on the etheric body is an instance of this. H. P. B. was largely responsible, because of utilizing the word "astral" to cover a mass of information anent the etheric as well as the astral. This was due to the realization of the fact that the astral body was doomed in a few generations (relatively speaking) to disappear, and for H. P. B. in particular was already non-existent, owing to the advanced point in evolution reached by this disciple.

Realizing that the etheric body was an expression always of the dominant energy controlling mankind in any particular cycle, H. P. B. used the term "astral body" as interchangeable with the etheric body. The etheric body, in the vast majority of cases is the vehicle or the instrument of astral energy. The mass of men are still Atlantean or astral in their natures, and this means a far larger percentage than the average occultist is willing to admit. H. P. B. was, however, truthful and knew that at that time and for several hundred years afterwards (probably about three hundred years) the astral body would continue to govern the mass of human reactions and their consequent daily life expression. Hence the apparent confusion in the writings between these two "bodies."

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