The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
The Theory of the Etheric Body

In taking on density, energy takes on, or descends into, the seven degrees or planes. Man exemplifies three. He has his physical body, his emotional mechanism and his mind-body, and consequently functions on three planes, or is awake on three, the physical, the emotional and the mental. He is on the threshold of the recognition of a fourth and higher factor, the Soul, or Self, and will next awaken to that realization.

In addition to seven planes, each plane has seven subplanes.

Three subplanes of the physical are commonly known, - the solid, liquid and gaseous, for example, ice, water and steam. In addition there are four subtler planes, or rather four different types of ether. These four are coexistent with each of the three well known subplanes, and interpenetrate them.

The physical body of man is no exception. It, too, has its etheric counterpart, its etheric body. This is positive, while the dense physical body is negative. The etheric body is the cohesive factor, and maintains the physical body in life and being.

The etheric counterpart, whether of man or of any physical thing, is of the universal substance, of universal life, and of universal energy. It partakes of all of these. But it is not self-sufficient or independently existing. It draws upon the reservoir of universal energy, and in it the etheric counterpart lives and moves and has its being. Energy is thus functioning through the etheric.

This is true of man also. The universal energy functions through his etheric body. And as man exists on seven planes, so the etheric body has seven points of contact with energy, - but as only three planes are active, and four dormant, so only three force centers are fully developed and four as yet undeveloped.

In harmonizing the two schools, the question naturally arises, does Western Science corroborate this theory?

Sir Isaac Newton accepts the universal medium of ether without question. In the last paragraph of his Principia, he says:

"And now we might add something concerning a certain most subtle spirit which pervades and lies hid in all gross bodies; by the force and action of which spirit the particles of bodies mutually attract one another at near distances, and cohere if contiguous; and electric bodies operate to greater distances, as well repelling as attracting the neighboring corpuscles; and light is emitted, reflected, refracted, inflected, and heats bodies; and all sensation is excited, and the members of animal bodies move at the command of the will, namely by the vibrations of this spirit, mutually propagated along the solid firmaments of the nerves, from the outward organs of sense to the brain, and from the brain into the muscles. But these are things that cannot be explained in few words, nor are we furnished with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic spirit operates."

Thus it can be argued from the above that Newton recognized the facts of the etheric body, underlying all forms, including the human.

Behind the objective body lies a subjective form constituted of etheric matter and acting as a conductor of the life principle of energy, or prana. This life principle is the force aspect of the soul, and through the medium of the etheric body the soul animates the form, gives it its peculiar qualities and attributes, impresses upon it its desires and, eventually directs it through the activity of the mind. Through the medium of the brain the soul galvanizes the body into conscious activity and through the medium of the heart all parts of the body are pervaded by life.

This theory has a close correspondence to animistic theory. The term animism has sufficed up to the present, but is likely to be superseded by that of "dynamism," owing to the developments taking place within the human consciousness itself.

Man, being now a fully self-conscious entity and the personality being now integrated and functioning, the time has come when he can, for the first time, demonstrate conscious purpose and directive will.

The three states of man's nature, referred to as, - physical, sentient and mental, - form a coordinated unity for the first time in the history of the race. The directing self we can now take control, and, through the mind, acting on the vital or etheric body and having its point of contact in the brain, drive its instrument into fully controlled expression, and subsequent creative activity. Thus will emerge what Keyserling calls the "deeper Being," He says:

"The next question is whether and how it is possible to develop deeper Being. When we speak of the Being of a man in contradistinction to his ability, we mean his vital soul; and when we say that this Being decides, we mean that all his utterances are penetrated with individual life, that every single expression radiates personality, and that this personality is ultimately responsible. Now such a penetration can actually be achieved where it does not already exist. It is possible, thanks for the fact that man as a being possessing a mind and a soul represents a Sense connection within which his consciousness moves freely. He is free to lay the emphasis wherever he pleases; according to the 'place' thus stressed the psychic organism actually shifts its center, and thus actually obtains a new center of Being. Therefore, if theoretical inquiry shows that it depends upon the centering of consciousness, whether the center of a man lies in his Being or at the surface, then it must be practically possible to induce the necessary process of shifting. Hence in principle everybody can succeed in raising his Being; to this end he need only persistently lay the emphasis on his essential Being, persistently demand of himself that he should never utter anything but what is really consistent with his inner Being.'

The possibility of man functioning as a soul, as a synthesis of mechanism, life and purpose will be greatly hastened when the Essenic psychologies are merged and the relationship of the vital body, with its centers of force, studied, practiced and fully understood.

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