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Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle - The Nature of the Etheric Body
It can be seen, therefore, how exceedingly important this subject of energy becomes, because it controls and makes the man what he is at any given moment, and likewise indicates the plane on which he should function, and the method whereby he should govern his environment, circumstances and relationships. If this is grasped by him, it will enable him to realize that he will have to shift his whole attention from the physical or the astral planes on to the etheric levels of awareness; his objective will then be to determine what energy should control his daily expression (or energies, if he is an advanced disciple). He will realize also that as his attitude, attainment and comprehension shift to ever higher levels, his etheric body will be constantly changing and responding to the newer energies. These energies he will be wilfuly bringing in; this is the right use of the word "wilful."

It is not easy for the average seer or clairvoyant to distinguish the etheric body from its environment or to isolate its particular type of energy or livingness, for the reason that its automaton, the physical body - being composed of vibrant energetic atoms - is itself in constant movement, and such movement involves a necessary radiation as a consequence; animal magnetism is an illustration of this radiation. This emanation from the dense physical body normally and naturally mingles with the energies of the etheric body, and thus only the trained seer can differentiate between the two, particularly within the physical body itself. [145]

From one point of view the etheric body can be looked at in two ways: first, as it interpenetrates, underlies and occupies the entire physical organism and, secondly, as it extends beyond the physical form and surrounds it like an aura. According to the point in evolution will be the extent of the area which the etheric body covers beyond the outside of the physical body. It may extend for a few or many inches. It is only in this area that the vital body can be studied with relative ease, once the emanatory activity of the physical atoms is offset or allowed for.

Within the physical body, the network of the etheric body is to be found permeating every single part. It is peculiarly associated at this time with the nervous system, which is fed, nourished, controlled and galvanized by its etheric counterpart. This counterpart is present in millions of tiny streams or lines of energy, to which the Eastern occultist has given the name "nadis." These nadis are the carriers of energy. They are in fact the energy itself and carry the quality of energy from some area of consciousness in which the "dweller in the body" may happen to be focused. This may be the astral plane or the planes of the Spiritual Triad, for none of the energies can control the physical body from any plane, no matter how high, except in this manner. According to the focus of the consciousness, the psychic state of awareness, the potency of aspiration or desire, and the point in evolution or the spiritual status, so will be the type of energy carried by the nadis, passing from them to the outer nervous system. This general proposition must be accepted, for the whole subject is as yet too intricate, and the mechanism of observation of the student too undeveloped, for me to enter into greater detail. This will suffice as an initial hypothesis upon which to work.

The amount of energy and the type of energy controlling any aspect of the nervous system is conditioned by the [146] center in its immediate area. A center is a distributing agency, in the last analysis. Even though that energy will affect the entire body, the center most responsive to the quality and type will potently affect the nadis, and therefore the nerves, in its immediate environment.

It must always be remembered that the seven centers are not within the dense physical body. They exist only in etheric matter and in the etheric so-called aura, outside the physical body. They are closely related to the dense physical body by the network of nadis. Five of the centers are to be found in the etheric counterpart of the spinal column, and the energy passes (through large and responsive nadis) through the vertebrae of the spine and circulates then throughout the etheric body as it is interiorly active within the physical vehicle. The three head centers exist, one just above the top of the head, another just in front of the eyes and forehead, and the third at the back of the head, just above where the spinal column ends. This makes eight centers but is in reality seven, as the center at the back of the head is not counted in the initiation process, any more than is the spleen.

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