ETHERIC VISION AND WHAT IT REVEALS
THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP
P.O. BOX 713
OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA, 92054, USA
The material in this booklet is a reprint
(with some revisions and additions) of monthly lessons sent out by The
Rosicrucian Fellowship to its members, and is a summary of studies and
researches conducted by the students in the Esoteric Section of the Fellowship.
The conclusions reached, as is often the case in scientific investigations, may
have to be revised in the light of future developments and work.
Although Max Heindel had not completed his
researches in the ethers at the time of his passing in January, 1919, he left a
substantial foundation and what he gave is standing up well under the impact of
even the latest scientific findings. He stated many times that the Brothers of
the Rose Cross work through scientists and with science; they do not limit their
activities to students and probationers of The Rosicrucian Fellowship, nor to
any other specific group. This is an endeavor for ALL humanity, pointing toward
the actual establishment of universal brotherhood on our earth.
The Western Wisdom Teachings were given in a
basic form through Max Heindel; a basic physical science come forth through
academic representatives. Mankind, consciously and unconsciously, are preparing
for the Aquarian Age, when science will be religious and religion scientific.
Meanwhile each aspirant must add his small bit to the ever-extending coral reef
Max Heindel has intimated that when the
Aquarian Age dawns, some six hundred years from now, or perhaps before that, a
new Teacher will appear who will sum up in himself and his Teachings the
composite wisdom of our entire past evolution. This great Teacher of the
Aquarian Age, he intimates again, will be the reappearance of that Ego who was
known in Europe as Christian Rosenkreuz, and again as the Count St. Germain who,
he believes, may have been one of his last public incarnations.
In addition to the Teacher of the Eon,
however, a messenger is also sent out once each century from the "Invisible
Government of the World," called in occultism "The Great White
Lodge." Occultists everywhere now agree that between the present year,
1965, and the year 2000, or shortly thereafter, one of these teachers will come
forward. The direction of his teachings we may know by the trends of our time:
universalism in science and religion, preparing for the "One World" of
Aquaria, under the banner of the Christ; and the thrust outward into
interstellar space and new cosmic adventures for the human Spirit, and a truly
cosmic philosophy to go with it.
Man's immediate Utopia is no mere city on
earth's surface, nor any of earth's lands, but the whole living universe,
through which the mystic hears the rushing of the Wings of God and the unceasing
Song of His Word.
PART I--THE CHEMICAL ETHER
PART II--THE LIFE ETHER
PART III--THE LIGHT ETHER
PART IV--THE REFLECTING ETHER
PART I--THE CHEMICAL ETHER
In 1918 Max Heindel wrote: "The process
of preparation for the Aquarian Age has already commenced; and as Aquarius is an
airy, scientific, intellectual sign, it is a foregone conclusion that the new
faith must be rooted in reason and able to solve the riddle of life and death in
a manner that will satisfy both the mind and the religious instinct." As we
have in the past evolved five senses by means of which we contact the present
visible world, so shall we in the far distant future evolve another sense which
will enable us to see the denizens of the Etheric Region, including those of our
dear ones who have left the physical body and inhabit the ether and lower Desire
World during the first stage of their career in the spiritual realms.
"Aquarius is an airy sign having
special rule over the ethers." The flood which sank the ancient continent
of Atlantis, which is the Noachian Deluge of the Bible, dried the air to a
degree "by depositing most of the moisture it held into the sea; but when
the Sun enters Aquarius by precession, still more of the moisture will be
eliminated and the visual vibrations which are most easily transmitted by the
dry etheric atmosphere will become more intense, and thus conditions will become
more intense, and thus conditions will be more particularly conducive to
production of the slight extension of our present sight necessary to open our
eyes to the etheric region. California's production of psychics is an instance
of this effect of a dry, electric atmosphere, although of course it is not
nearly so dry as the air of the Aquarian Age will be."
"But it is well to realize that through
ASPIRATION and MEDITATION those who are longingly looking for that day are
taking time by the forelock, and may quite easily outstrip their fellows who are
unaware of what is in store. The latter, on the other hand, may delay
development of the extended vision by the belief that they are suffering from
hallucinations when they begin to get their first glimpse of the etheric
entities, and the fear that if they tell others what they see they will be
"Therefore The Rosicrucian Fellowship
has been charged by the Elder Brothers with the mission of promulgating the
Gospel of the Aquarian Age, to conduct a campaign of education and enlightenment
so that the world may be prepared for what is in store. The world must be
leavened with these ideas:
"(1) Conditions in the land of the
living dead are not shrouded in mystery, but knowledge of them is as available
as knowledge concerning foreign countries from the tales of travelers. (2) We
stand close to the threshold were we shall know these truths; and (3), most
important of all, we shall hasten the day in our own case by acquiring knowledge
of the facts concerning the post-mortem existence and the things we may expect
to see; for then we shall know what to look for and will be neither frightened,
astonished, nor incredulous when we commence to obtain glimpses of these
However, wonderful as these developments
are--and because they are wonderful--a responsibility attends them.
"Students should realize that a serious responsibility goes with the
possession of knowledge, for to whom much is given, of him much shall be
required; and if we bury our talent, may we not expect a merited condemnation?
The Rosicrucian Fellowship can fulfill its mission only in so far as each member
does his duty in spreading the Teachings [AND IN LIVING THE LIFE], and therefore
it is to be hoped that this may serve to call attention of students to the fact
of their individual duty."
But let there be no misunderstanding on the
nature of this duty. We are not appointed to build up a powerful organization,
with great wealth, imposing buildings, and hundreds of thousands of dues-paying
members. Our duty is simply to spread the truths pertaining to the New Age, in
such wise as circumstances may determine. We do not have to mention the word
"Rosicrucian" nor "The Rosicrucian Fellowship;" but if we
are asked as to the source of our knowledge then it is our privilege, as well as
our duty, to speak the truth, and to give our spiritual background. And of
course we should not force our views upon unwilling ears.
Mental hospitals today are full of cases of
so-called nervous and mental breakdowns which are in fact nothing else than
persons suffering from exposure to psychic forces which they do not understand,
and as a result of which they are nervously and emotionally exhausted and go in
deadly fear. These conditions are caused by the over-stimulation of the great
nerve center of the solar plexus, before the higher centers in the brain have
come into play sufficiently to extend a measure of control.
We touch upon this issue only in passing, as
a symptom of the sensitization which occurs as the Aquarian Age approaches. It
is not only the solar plexus which receives such stimulation from cosmic forces,
but other nerve centers, also, including the optic nerve and the brain areas
having to do with vision, which in this case is the extended vision pertaining
to the etheric region.
Etheric sight ordinarily depends upon the
sensitiveness of the optic nerve, but even when the optic nerve is defective or
destroyed, it may be that etheric vision can be developed through the use of
substitute nerve channels. We are told that much of the defective vision found
among us today is due to the increasing densification of the ethers, which is
part of the over-all effect of the solar radiation when the Sun nears Aquarius
at the vernal equinox by precession.
By means of etheric sight it is possible to
see everything that exists in the Etheric Region of the physical world. When
this vision first develops it reveals the lowest, or Chemical Ether, which
varies from gray-blue, through blue, to violet, or a dark blue that is almost
black. Max Heindel speaks of the Chemical Ether as "dark, almost
black." Because of the interplay or intermingling of the other ethers in
the Chemical Ether, this ether may also seem to be reddish-blue, magenta,
violet, or purple, according to the density of the ethers.
When anyone views an object with etheric
sight he sees THROUGH the object in a manner similar to the way an X-ray
penetrates solid substance. It is therefore called X-ray vision, although this
is by no means an accurate description. In viewing an object with etheric vision
the seer sees first the outer part, then the next adjacent part, and finally on
through to the farther side of the object. One may have higher grades of sight
(Desire World vision, mental, etc.) and yet not have etheric sight. By means of
etheric sight one can see through books, papers, letters, wall, or anything else
for a short distance.
In the Aquarian Age when many will have
etheric sight it will be extremely easy to study anatomy and to detect a morbid
growth, a dislocation, or a pathological condition of the body, for with this
vision the doctor will be able to study directly both anatomical structures and
physiological processes without hindrance.
As the New Age advances, the masses will
develop etheric sight, and with this widespread development it will be largely
impossible for one to live a double life and to act differently in the home than
one does in public. Were we aware now of the invisible entities thronging our
houses, we should often feel ashamed of the things we do and say. The various
kinds of entities filling the air are attracted to people who are of like nature
with themselves, whether good or evil, and these entities are low on the path of
evolution and have not the intelligence to retain a disguise very long at a
time, but must, sooner or later, expose their true inner quality.
But whether seen or unseen, the invisible
etheric entities feed on the Life Ether of the person to whom they are
attracted, if they are permitted to linger in the aura. Consequently they not
only tend to influence such persons toward evil, but they also weaken their
vital body; and this leads to such cases of nerve exhaustion as result in
partial possession or obsession. It is as impossible to rid the aura of such
entities without a complete moral and emotional cleansing as to stamp out
malaria without draining the swamps and pools where the malaria mosquito breeds.
Where the atmosphere is full of such
entities, revealing unerringly the condition of psychic and mental uncleanness
of those who entertain them, and when in the New Age virtually everyone has the
power to see them, there will be no way of hiding what our prevailing character
may be. "There will be no privacy which may not be broken into by any one
who desires to see us. it will avail nothing that we send the office boy or maid
out to tell an unwelcome visitor that we are 'not in.' This means that in the
New Age honesty and straightforwardness will be the only worthwhile policy, for
we cannot then do wrong and hope to escape detection. There will be people whose
wickedness of character lead them in the ways of wickedness then as now, but
they will at least be marked so that they may be avoided."
Concerning etheric vision Max Heindel says
further: (MS 591-2): "Experience has proved that the afflicted stellar ray
from certain parts of the zodiac already mentioned interferes with the etheric
vibration sensed by the retina of the eye, and thus impairs the physical sight.
if, in the same figure, Neptune is focused through one of these places, the
so-called 'yellow spot,' which is BLIND because sensitized by the spiritual ray
of Neptune (i.e. the spinal spirit fire), and thus it may be that a person
physically nearsighted, or even blind, may view the spiritual worlds hidden from
people whose sight is focused by mercurial vibrations" (in the nerves ruled
And again (LETTERS TO STUDENTS p.82):
"We do not see physical objects OUTSIDE the eye:* they are reflected in the
retina, and we see only their 'image' INSIDE the eye. As light is the agent of
reflection, objects which resist the passage of light appear opaque; other
substances, like glass, seem clear because they admit light rays readily. When
the spiritual sight is used, light of superlative intensity is generated INSIDE
the body between the pituitary body and the pineal gland. It is focused
'through' the so-called blind spot in the eye directly upon the object to be
investigated. The scope of the direct ray is entirely different from the range
of the reflected physical ray. It penetrates a wall without difficulty."
*Recent findings seem to suggest that the
function of the retina is more analytical and selective than was formerly
believed, but this does not affect the correctness of the above in reference to
The etheric region of the earth's planetary
envelope is part and parcel of the physical Earth itself. It is no
"spiritual" except in the sense that the entire living universe is the
expression of God's beauty and wisdom. It is commonly called "the
lowest" of the invisible "spirit" regions, and etheric sight is
also called "the lowest" form of "spiritual" sight.
"Lowest" it may be, but it reveals a world lying just beyond the
borderline of physical sight, magical to those fortunate enough to gaze upon it.
There are several kinds of vision besides
the physical which belongs to the normal human eye. We have said that etheric
vision depends in part upon the sensitization of the optic nerve. It depends
also on a certain degree of looseness between the etheric body and the physical.
In primitive races this looseness of the etheric body results in entire
populations having a degree of etheric vision, so that the existence of fairies
and spirits is never doubted, and magic, both white and black, flourishes. Such
people are so responsive to psychic force projected at them by occult
practitioners that they have been known to lie down and die from no discernable
physical cause. This condition is due to the etheric body being pushed out, in
whole or in part, from the physical body, as occurs also in the process of
hypnosis. We know of one instance where one person, holding the hand of a girl
belonging to a more primitive race, by a little effort of concentration, and
without intending it, drove the etheric double out of the girl's hand and arm,
which became cold, clammy, and inert. This girl was highly intelligent, showing
that looseness of the etheric body does not infer weakness of intellect in these
primitive races. In fact they are often very bright mentally.
Hypnotism should not be confused with
mesmerism or magnetism; there are real magnetic currents which flow through the
vital body, visible as radiating lines of force, and which can be sensed as
electrical in nature. Concentrated by an effort of will, they become dense and
almost physically tangible. Many persons have seen what they call "magnetic
rain" in the atmosphere. This fall of magnetic force is not the same as the
"cosmic rays" of modern physics, however. It is susceptible to control
by the human will--which, so far as presently known, the cosmic rays are
not--and can be directed in various ways. The magnetic forces have some
connection with the biological life process; it is not MERELY electromagnetism,
although it is quite obviously capable of acting in that area; as shown in the
laboratory experiments where nerve currents have been proved to be a form of
Occult science has shown--long before
physical science entered the field-- that the forces which run through the
nervous system are electromagnetic in nature, and that their diminution or
blockage may result in paralysis. It is this magnetic aura which modern biology
is exploring, within which every organ of the body has its positive and negative
pole; and some, like the heart, having more than one set of poles. The heart has
been found to have twelve poles, alternating negative and positive.
Again, it is this magnetic aura which binds
the molecules of the body into their organic patterns; and the Invisible Helper
is sometimes aware of streams of magnetism flowing through the inner planes when
he awakens out of the body at night.
Many persons who have developed a small
degree of etheric sight have expressed astonishment when first beholding showers
of stars, pyramids, double pyramids, cubes and other geometrical forms issuing
from the body. Such figures are the cast-off molecules of which his body is
composed and which are being excreted through the action of the radiating vital
forces of the etheric body. Students who are interested in making an analysis of
these figures may consult scientific magazines and books in which the molecular
structure of matter is indicated. There they will find that each molecule has
its own characteristic atomic structure, which occult investigators have been
describing under another terminology.
Note that these microscopic crystals seem to
have actual size and shape to the etheric vision. (Sometimes they appear in
large clusters). We can understand from this why the seers were not at first
able to explain what they saw in terms of laboratory science. This has not been
possible until our own twentieth century, with its development of atomic and
In occult science, the Chemical, Life,
Light, and Reflecting Ethers correspond to the four classic elements: Fire,
Earth, Air, and Water, as mentioned before, No doubt a new table will have to be
constructed to accommodate the new science of our day, but for the layman the
old classification is still usable.
The Chemical Ether (corresponding to the
element Earth) is that ether through which forces act to sustain and nourish the
body. This process includes eliminating what is not good for the body, and the
elimination takes place by means of forces acting through the negative pole of
the Chemical Ether, as we read in the COSMO-CONCEPTION, whereas the upbuilding
and nourishing forces act through the positive pole. When food has been digested
and has entered the blood stream, it is visible to the etheric vision as a mass
of ether which flows along magnetic lines of force. Without this etheric
counterpart of the chemical elements found in the physical blood stream, the
food we eat would do no good to the body. There are points deep within the body
where to etheric vision the blood seems to be almost wholly gaseous, but
biological science of course has found no evidence of this at the present time,
partly because the biologist does not expect to find such a condition and partly
because his instruments are not adequate to its discovery. The gaseous aspect of
the blood could be discovered only in a living, unmutilated body. X-rays cannot
show it, nor can any of the other rays now in the hands of the physicist.
Poisons which build up in the blood stream
are visible to etheric sight as black miasma which hangs in curls from the
afflicted parts. To the etheric sense of touch, this black miasma feels heavy,
and in fact, the heavy feeling which accompanies illness is in part due to the
accumulation of large masses of black ether in the body. Water carries much of
it away, which is the reason that baths give a feeling of lightness and
resiliency; but when the body is sick it continues to generate these poisonous
ethers, which then obstruct the passage of the clean solar magnetism or
"solar ether" as it is called. This is particularly true of the center
at the root of the nose, which becomes clogged with miasma to a superlative
degree, and when through spiritual healing and the etheric manipulation of the
Invisible Helper this clogging is broken up, there is an immediate improvement.
The dense miasma in the vital body also has a part in obstructing the opening of
etheric vision by slowing down the action of etheric vision by slowing down the
action of the etheric force centers. Coincident with the densification of the
ethers into a black miasma, the rest of the vital body becomes attenuated, for
the physical body is drawing upon it just as in starvation the stored fat is
drawn upon, leaving the body to become emaciated. Actual "holes"
develop in the etheric structure, showing that energy is not being specialized
by the vital body.
It is at once apparent that the black miasma
belongs to the Chemical Ether, which normally, as indicated before, varies in
color from blue-gray, through blue-violet, to a blue so dark as to be almost
black, depending upon the density of the ethers.
Various persons have seen this ether lying
like a blue glove upon the hand, as a blue envelope in which the body is
embedded, and as blue fuzzy flames, like a low gas flame, appearing along wall
surfaces. Now physicists have shown photographs of free electrons, and these
free electrons have the appearance of blue flames--not perhaps exactly as
described by persons having etheric vision, but something similar, and
suggesting that the Chemical Ether does, in all probability, consist of atomic
particles existing in a state yet undiscovered by physical science; not
electrons alone, but an amalgam of particles. This Chemical Ether would be a
kind of life-plasma, as shown in Max Heindel's description of the etheric
"food stream" moving in or with the blood.*
A great many people see the "dots"
in the air, which seem to be gold or silver dust (or sometimes multicolored, and
which sometimes move in great cloud-like masses before the vision. Ancient seers
have described these clouds, out of which "the spirits of the
ancestors" would condense and materialize before the physical eyes. This is
again a view of the Chemical Ether, as it appears in materialization from
etheric to physical formation.
*The word "plasma" has several
definitions in today's science.
(1) Blood plasma, the liquid part of the
blood used in blood transfusions.
(2) A condition of matter in a molten state
at high temperatures in which it becomes abnormally conductive of electricity.
(3) A highly ionized gas, which produces a
rosy glow (as seen in a stellerator), and is a medium in which radio waves can
have a phase velocity greater than the speed of light in that medium. When
microwaves are sent through the plasma of ionized gas, the increase in velocity
is a measure of the density of the free electrons.
(4) Astronomers similarly to definition
three describe a sort of magnetic cloud in interplanetary space in which
positive and negative particles are suspended, but the cloud as a whole is
neutral in charge.
(3) and (4) approach states which the
occultist refers to as etheric.
Without entering upon a discussion of atomic
structure, which in any case demands specialized knowledge, it is evident that a
rough correlation can be worked out as between the four ethers and the various
atomic forces presently known. The greatest part of the mass of the atom resides
in the nucleus, which consists of a complex of forces or particles: the heaviest
are first the proton, weighing 1836 times as much as the electron, and then the
neutron, which as its name suggests is neither positive nor negative. Protons
and neutrons alike are called nucleons because they are part of the nucleus.
Still smaller particles have been discovered, some in the nucleus and some
falling through space. Scientists are searching among these for the
"binder" of the nucleus, which as we have seen is not wholly positive
as was originally believed, since it actually consists of more than just the
positively charged proton.
The first popularly accepted model of the
atom as compared with the Sun and planets is also now challenged. According to
this first concept, the proton stood in the place of the Sun, positively
charged, and the electrons circulated around the proton like planets around the
Sun. The electrons are negative in charge. Now it is suggested that quite
possibly, since the electron acts like a wave as well as a particle, and is
described as a bundle of energy, the electron may in reality be a wave which
completely encircles the central nucleus, with its complex of particles and
However, while there are several
diagrammatic schemes, or models to represent atomic structure, all stand in need
of verification. it may be that the old solar-system model may still have its
We note further that the physicist says that
the Earth's aura of electrons extends out to the Moon, which is therefore within
the Earth's electronic atmosphere. This is an obvious restating of the
occultist's maxim that the "etheric body" of the Earth extends to and
includes the Moon, and is the channel for continued magnetic interaction between
the Moon and the Earth, especially as impinging upon and influencing growth of
living organisms on the Earth.
The etheric vision reveals both molecules
and atoms and the forces locked up within the atoms, and other forces and
particles. Occult scientists have described them as best they could, but their
vocabulary is not the vocabulary of modern science, and until a nuclear
physicist develops the etheric vision or an occult scientist schools himself in
nuclear in nuclear physics, students will have a difficult time in equating
their occult knowledge with modern physics and chemistry. A few scientists have
admitted to the possession of extrasensory perception.
Kekule, the discoverer of the benzene ring,
saw the structure of molecules in a dream, or something he calls a dream. He
says: "The atoms began to play antics before mine eyes....I saw how two
smaller ones often united to form a pair, how the two larger ones seized two of
the smaller ones, and how the still larger held three or even four of the
smaller, and HOW THEY ALL MOVED IN VORTICES. I saw how the greater formed a row,
and how the smaller were drawn along at the side of the chain. I spent the night
transferring to paper at least sketches of each of these dream pictures. Thus
arose the structure theory....The benzene theory had a similar origin....The
atoms again played antics before mine eyes. Small groups kept themselves
modestly in the background. MY MIND'S EYE, TRAINED BY REPEATED SIGHTS OF A
SIMILAR KIND, now distinguished larger forms of various shapes. Long rows
united, becoming much thicker; all in a movement snake-like and turning. And
see, what was that? One of the snakes seizes his own tail....I awoke as by a
flash of lightning. This time also I spent the remainder of the night working
out the consequences of the hypothesis."
Max Heindel has said in many places that the
great Hierophants of the Mystery Schools are working with the modern scientist,
and that they have always worked with scientists in the past; with the
alchemists, for example, during the Middle Ages. here is a sample of inner-plane
help given to a modern scientist, whose standing is unchallenged.
Other scientists also have been helped by
their budding clairvoyance; usually it is purely intellectual in nature, an
illumined reason, but occasionally one does, for a brief moment, see with
etheric vision into the atomic structure of matter, but dares not publish this
to the world.
What is the relationship of molecules and
atoms to the magnetic aura of which the occultist speaks and which science is
now beginning to explore? Here we stand on the threshold of the second of the
four ethers: the Life Ether.
Before proceeding further, however, let us
review what we are taught in the Rosicrucian Philosophy about our planet's own
etheric envelope. The etheric envelope of the human organism is in fact a
miniature replica of the etheric envelope of the Earth globe, and is
representative of it in the way that a drop of sea water may be said to
represent the ocean.
The physical Earth is surrounded and
penetrated by an invisible globe which extends out into space a great distance
beyond the atmosphere, traditionally, to the Moon, which is included within the
etheric envelope of the Earth. This is the vital body of the Earth. This globe
is composed of ether, of which there are four grades: the densest is called the
Chemical Ether, and is closest to the Earth. The next is the Life Ether; then
comes the Light Ether; and finally, the fourth and rarest, most attenuated,
which is called the Reflecting Ether. Ether is substantial, but not physical in
the sense that matter as we know it is physical. However, to the trained
clairvoyant it is as tangible as the solids, liquids and gases of our common
experience. In these ethers the clairvoyant sees the vital forces which give
life to the mineral forms of plant, animal, and man. The etheric bodies of all
beings that exist on the earth partake of the cosmic forces which flow through
the planetary vital body.
The vital body has no power of itself; it is
the channel through which the solar life forces pout into the physical body, and
also it is the channel through which the dynamic energy of the desire body acts
upon the physical to stir it to activity. The vital body determines the
direction in which a given force is used, but that force must be supplied from
outside--or from "above," if we are thinking in terms of the higher
spiritual, mental, and psychic forces.
Just as the Earth's envelope has its
positive and negative poles in EACH sheath or layer from Chemical to Reflecting
Ether, reflected at the physical level as the magnetic poles of the earth globe,
so each sheath or level of man's etheric body has its positive and negative
pole, manifesting in opposite polarity in the two sexes. The Chemical Ether is
predominantly positive in the male structure, negative in the female. The organs
of the physical body have each their own magnetic field within the etheric body
in general, each with at least one pair of poles, and some with more than one.
We have shown that the Chemical Ether is the
medium of manifestation for the chemical forces which cause the formation of
crystals, poetically explained as the loves and hates of atoms. Other forces in
this ether promote assimilation, excretion, and growth. The color of the
Chemical Ether is deep purplish, or indigo; sometimes amethystine or bluish
violet, clear and transparent in its normal state, but dark to blackness when it
carries disease, and when it is called miasma. Miasma is so dense that it is
actually tangible even to persons without any particular occult development. Max
Heindel described a case of illness in which black miasma enclosed the throat of
the patient like a collar. He also described it as hanging in curls from the
body, in the form in which it exuded from the magnetic atomic vortices of the
vital body of the afflicted person.
The "forces" which act through and
in the Chemical Ether will be described in a future discourse. We may say in
passing, however, that these forces include living intelligences, a class of
Nature Spirits, generally called Gnomes in the fairy mythology of the peoples:
and other higher intelligences which direct their activities, among them Angels
and the human spirits of those whom we call "dead."*
*In common speech it is sometimes customary
to speak of "magnetism" when what is really meant is the ether of the
vital body itself. Magnetic healers speak of "throwing off magnetism"
when they mean that diseased ethers are drawn off from the vital body of the
patient and "thrown" down. This is not scientifically correct, as the
student will understand from our discussion of the two lower ethers; but it is a
common phrase and should be understood in its popular sense.
Thus Max Heindel says that this miasma, when
drawn from the patient's body, is subject to gravity and can be burned in a fire
or carried away by water. "To the spiritual vision it is a dark or black
jelly-like fluid. It lies shimmering and shivering on the floor. If now the
patient gets up relieved, and goes over the place where this magnetism has been
thrown away, then the miasma will re-enter the body and he or she will be in a
worse condition than before."
PART II--THE LIFE ETHER
The Life Ether is the avenue for the
operation of forces which have as their primary object the perpetuation of the
species--in terms of humankind, the building of new racial forms. The cosmic
force which works in the Life Ether is the third Principle of Deity, the
Creative Energy of God. The lesser forces working in this ether are, briefly,
the Solar-Lunar Race God Jehovah (who works with planets having moons, though
His cosmic focus is the solar orb); the Archangelic Race Spirit; the mother and
father of each reincarnating Ego; the incarnating Ego itself; Nature Spirits;
Angels and Archangels; and spirits belonging to the plant life wave, including
the plant Group Spirits. (Minerals generally do no possess a Life Ether).
Like the other Ethers, the Life Ether has
two poles, positive and negative. The positive pole predominates in the female
structure, the negative pole in the male structure, the reason for this being
that the female requires the extra portion of creative energy for the use of the
infant body of the Ego who comes to her for rebirth. The forces that work along
the positive pole are those which work in the female during gestation, enabling
her to do this positive, active work of bringing forth a new living form. The
forces which work along the negative pole of the Life Ether enable the male to
produce semen, in which the spermatozoon containing the seed atom of the dense
body of the incoming Ego is deposited by the Angels.
The Angels are the warders and keepers of
the propagative seed atoms of plant, animal, and man. When working with animals,
the Angels are assisted by the desire body of the mother. When working with
mankind they are further assisted by the desire body of the incarnating Ego
When the Ego is ready to seek rebirth, the
Recording Angels determine the sex of the body in which it shall function during
that particular earth life, and the archetype is formed accordingly. The factor
determining the sex is the Law of Alternation, unless this law is modified by
specific circumstances established by the Ego in previous earth existences. The
sex is therefore determined before the etheric matrix, made of Chemical and Life
Ether, is built.
The law is: When the Life Ether matrix of
the incarnating Ego is positive it attracts negative Chemical Ether and physical
atoms, through the agency of forces which work along the positive pole of the
Life Ether, and the dense body will be female. When the Life Ether matrix is
negative, it will attract positive Chemical Ether and physical atoms, through
the agency of the forces working along the negative pole of the Life Ether, and
the dense body will be male. This work begins in the uterus with the fertilized
ovum which is the body itself, at this stage.
The incarnating Ego hovers near its future
mother clothed in the embryonic sheath of mind and desire body, while the matrix
is placed in the womb of the mother by the Angels. After the seed atom has been
deposited in the body of the mother and conception takes place, the ovum being
fertilized, the incoming Ego remains outside for a period of from eighteen to
twenty-one days while the mother's desire body alone is working on the embryonic
To the occult scientist all elements of
heredity inhere in the Life Ether and are manipulated by unseen Intelligences,
though the human being assists. The secondary sex traits are also the product of
forces working through the positive and negative poles of the Life Ether. It is
to be noted that sex traits are not confined to the primary reproductive
functions of the body, but that EVERY CELL in the body shows a sex difference.
For example: EACH cell in the female body has 23 sets or pairs of chromosomes,
each pair identical twins; but in the male body EACH cell contains ONE PAIR that
is asymmetric; that is, different. We may say that the "23rd" pair of
chromosomes are the sex chromosomes, which in the female body are identical, and
described as the two X chromosomes; whereas the "23rd" pair of
chromosomes in the male body cell consists of two different chromosomes, X and
Y. It is the Y chromosome that determines the maleness of the body.
Until 1957 it was believed that there were
48 chromosomes (24 pairs) in the human body cell; but in that year a new kind of
microscope revealed that there were in fact only 46 (23 pairs).
We repeat: what we have said here relates to
every cell in the body, not to the "gametes" or "marrying
cells" alone. Certain cells are set aside in the reproductive organs at the
very outset of the incarnational process for the specific purpose of
perpetuating the species. Although these cells divide, they do so less often
than the other body cells, and are still fresh when the work of reproduction
begins. Their way of dividing is also different from that of other cells
(MEIOSIS versus MITOSIS) allowing for variety in transmission of hereditary
elements since these are drawn from two people instead of one alone, and many
mixtures are possible. When the reserve cell splits in two it forms the
"gametes," which are more commonly known as ova and spermatozoa, or
egg and sperm cells. The egg cells contain each one X-chromosome; the sperm
cells contain each one X-chromosome or one Y-chromosome. Also, each gamete
contains only one-half the number of chromosomes of the regular cell, but when
the two gametes unite the resulting cell (fertilized ovum) has once more the
full number of chromosomes.
The chromosomes carry minute formations
called "genes," which are the real agents of heredity. Since each
chromosome has as many as 1,000 genes, something like 46,000 genes are available
to the incarnating Ego from each of its parents. Thus the "genetic
die" or pattern is set in the original cell, which continues to divide in
the usual manner of body cells to form the new organism which is to house a
human Spirit. Femaleness seems to be the basic condition: the Y chromosome adds
the male element. (Compare COSMO-CONCEPTION diagram 13, page 364.)
Under the microscope the genes are seen
within the cell as little cross bands on the thread-like chromosomes, sometimes
compared to beads. It is said that they are "nature's molds, which make a
certain creature conform to the pattern of his forebears."
Of special interest to the occultist is the
statement (Gamow) that the gene is perhaps a sort of "missing link"
between living and non-living matter; hence it is also termed "the living
molecule." So we can perhaps start to draw the line at this point between
the common molecule which belongs to the field of the Chemical Ether and the
LIVING molecule which belongs to the field of the Life Ether.*
The gene is the smallest unit of LIVING
matter. Yet "it also possesses characteristics of the complex molecule
(like those of proteins) which are subject to all the familiar laws of
chemistry." (Gamow). It is estimated that the gene has about a million
atoms. Occultists say that the genes and chromosomes are DEPOSITED by forces
working in the Life Ether.
Therefore the two lower ethers do in fact
constitute a "vital" or "life" body which acts as a matrix,
in terms of a network or meshwork of force, into which the atoms of the body are
collected in a living pattern or organism. It is taught that the blood and
ductless (endocrine) glands are in a special sense the highest product of the
vital body; and among the ductless glands the pituitary body, located in the
head, is in the words of modern biophysicists the most powerful sex organ in the
body. Its secretions govern the fertility cycles in both men and women. It is
the focus of the Life Spirit (Macrocosmic Christ) in man, WHICH IS A FIRE.
(OCCULT PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH AND HEALING p. 127). The vital body AS A WHOLE is
the "reflection" or "emanation." (we might even say,
condensation) of the same Principle. (THE VITAL BODY pp. 52-53). All hormones
secreted and released into the blood stream by the ductless glands are
expressions of the Life Ether, but those like the pituitary body and gonads,
which secrete sex hormones are especially so; for these are the active
participants, with the genes and chromosomes, in the reproductive cycles of the
individual and the race. Eventually the Cosmic Christ Life must of necessity
supplant the Jehovistic Race Principle, in its entirety.
The number of chromosomes in each cell
differs from one species of life to another. Only the human body contains 46
chromosomes. The entire development and practically all properties of the adult
organism are determined by the set of genes hidden in each chromosome in every
body cell. Every animal or plant "grows around its genes."
This has been compared with the way a lump
of inorganic matter is formed. For example certain atomic nuclei carrying a
charge of six positive electric units will surround themselves with atomic
envelopes of six electrons each, which cause the atoms to tend to arrange
themselves in a regular hexagonal pattern, forming the crystals that we call
diamonds. It goes without saying that even the very simplest living organism is
far more complex than the diamond, "but in both cases we have the TYPICAL
PHENOMENA OF MACROCOSMIC ORGANIZATION BEING DETERMINED TO THE LAST DETAIL BY
MICROSCOPIC CENTERS OR ORGANIZING ACTIVITY." (Gamow).
* It is rightly said that the laws of
heredity show a mathematical simplicity and clearness which suggest that
"we are dealing with one of the fundamental phenomena of life."
It has been previously shown what physical
science has to say about the life forces in the human organism. We take note
again that the carbon atom is the crux of the chemical life process, in the
words of the scientist: "Whereas the structure of the universe depends upon
hydrogen, the structure of life depends upon carbon. Carbon is the essential
'building block' upon which all living things have been constructed. Why should
this be? Life requires atoms which have the ability to form themselves into
exceptionally large molecules....What gives the carbon atom this special
property of adhering to other atoms on so large a scale? It appears to be an
ordinary atom distinguished by having six planetary electrons: whereas boron and
nitrogen, its neighbors in the atomic table, have five and seven electrons
respectively- -yet the carbon atom is quite unique. This is due to its peculiar
structure. It is known as a quadrivalent atom because it has a power of four in
forming combinations of atoms, in comparison with others having more or less. it
is this quality that gives the carbon atom its tremendous potentiality of
creating more complex structures. In fact, the number of possible compounds,
based on this versatile atom, actually runs into millions." (THE LIVING
UNIVERSE, Gatland and Dempster).
For centuries occult science has spoken of
the "diamond body" of the Adept, or of the Adept himself as "the
Living Diamond." Here in modern biochemistry a hint of revelation shines
forth, for this carbon atom, which bulks so large in the life process, is the
same form which Nature long ago formed diamonds in the rocky strata of the
primordial earth globe. The diamond is the symbol of immortality; but it is more
than a symbol. It is a promise.
Behind the diamond lay the energy of
sunshine, the pressure of masses of rock, and the heat of the still young earth.
The same forces are present in the human organism, though in another form, and
shadow forth the ultimate destiny of the human being.
In popular thought "Fire" and
"Water" are taken as opposites; but in occult chemistry they are in
fact complimentaries. And so it is not surprising to discover that intimately
connected with the Life Ether is the "colorless solar ether" or
"solar fluid," which pours in through the spleen center of the etheric
body; for the Life Ether is the particular avenue for the specialization of this
solar fluid, Max Heindel states.
Now just as there is a universal or
macrocosmic Life Fire (called the Life Spirit, which is the Christ Principle),
so also there is a macrocosmic magnetism visible to etheric sight as a kind of
rain which seems to fall in slanting lines toward the earth. Many people have
seen this fall of cosmic force without knowing what they saw. It is not the same
as the "cosmic rays" of modern science, although, since the Sun is a
star and the stars are all suns, there is no reason to suppose that this
"solar ether" would not include forces emanating from distant stars
and nebulae, as well as from our Sun. Matter and light involve electromagnetic
phenomena; so too, does "life," as biologists are now discovering. The
"sex force" so-called, is "generated in" the Life Ether, as
the solar or cosmic force rushes in through the spleen.
The cosmic magnetic rain is colorless, like
water; and as rain consists of separate droplets of water, so too this magnetic
rain consists of separate units of force. Moreover, it has an affinity for
water, and Mesmer discovered that the oceans are charged with what he termed
solar magnetism, and so are lakes, rivers, and streams. And of course the highly
magnetic human body reveals its origin in primordial seas in the fact that it is
more than 80% water. Mesmer also said that the Sun was a great magnet--which
modern astronomy now verifies. (FRONTIERS OF ASTRONOMY, Hoyle).
Plants are rich in the Life Ether, and so
are certain animal products such as fresh cow's milk, still warm from the
milking. Most of the human needs are met through the ingestion of plant foods,
to which is added the magnetism pouring in through the spleen. Some day man will
not need to sustain himself on plant food, but will draw his sustenance directly
from the cosmic energy field itself.
The universal magnetism rushes through the
spleen to the seed atom of the vital body located in the solar plexus; thence it
fans out through the body, radiating through the nerves. Without these magnetic
currents the body could not function, but would be inert and motionless, like an
electric machine with the current turned off. The activity of the vital as it
separates the solar fluid is audible to etheric hearing as a steady drone, or
hum, and the vortices of force are clearly felt. The keynote of this activity is
set by the "Sounding Flame" which burns in the medulla oblongata,
which in turn sounds the keynote of the archetype. When the Ego wills action it
causes the brain to specialize great quantities of this energy, which pours out
to the muscles and compels action. It is the same force which the Ego used
earlier when building the body in the maternal womb.*
Max Heindel describes the "million
mouths" which in the positive (female) vital body suck in the solar energy
in far greater measure than the negative (male) vital body is able to do; and
this. he says, accounts for the great recuperative capacity of girls and women.
The excess force is supplied to the female vital body for the needs of
motherhood, but it is there for use in every day life as well.
Students sometimes see these
"mouths" as "circles," and it would seem that these circles
are the basic unit of the positive pole of the Life Ether, which determines the
shape of the overall magnetic matrix, which is a network, or meshwork, of force.
Within the magnetic meshwork are innumerable whirlpools
*Most physicists agree that an electric
charge in motion generates a magnetic field; but a few are researching the
possibility that magnetism and electricity are not in fact the same thing, and
they postulate the existence of "monopolies," which are to magnetism
what the electron is to electricity. According to this theory there are both
positive and negative "monopoles" just as there are positive and
negative electrons. The occult student speaks from the standpoint of etheric
EXPERIENCE, and therefore speaks of both electricity and magnetism of the body
in connection with the two lower ethers; but it is to be observed that the
"electrical forces" are most often referred to in connection with the
Chemical Ether and the "magnetic forces" with the Life Ether.
(or spirals of force), large and small,
some turning left-handed and some right-handed. This reminds us of the saying
that light is energy running in circles, running freely, whereas matter is
"bottled-up" energy. The Chemical Ether is the "bottle" for
non-living matter; the Life AND Chemical Ether TOGETHER are the
"bottle" for living matter.
The etheric atom and the physical atom are
as a rule tightly intertwined, but occult students (and some others) often feel
a sensation as of the etheric atom "unscrewing" from the physical
atom. Only recently has physical science come to realize that it does make a
difference in Nature whether a force runs right-handed or left-handed. Formerly
the "Law of Parity" expressed the common belief that it made no
difference in Nature which way the forces run. A whole new branch of science has
developed out of the discovery that it does definitely make a difference, both
to structure of matter and the development of life.
Everywhere in Nature one finds the Law of
the Spiral; from nebulae and galaxies in the heavens to the spiraling growth of
leaf and bud in plants, right down into the helix of chromosomes on which the
genes are strung like beads, and down still farther to ions--and to the atomic
bases of substances which live or once had life. There we discover again that
the carbon atom seems to be a special agent of the spiraling habit. For although
there are some non-living molecules and ions which also show the spiraling
habit, this characteristic is frequently the sign of the life forces. We quote:
"What started the right-handedness and left-handedness now so vital to
living things? If some life process must accompany the separation of
right-handed from left-handed materials, how could life begin in the first
place? If everything now right-handed were suddenly made left-handed, would life
proceed without interruption and without change? These are deeply studied
problems. Some good guesses have been made, but they have not produced the full
answer. The guesses have come--and perhaps the full answer will come--from
examining the symmetries of the forces acting on matter, along with the
symmetries of the matter on which they act. Crystals furnish one of the most
beautiful examples of order and symmetry. Thinking further, you will find that
order and symmetry have very far-reaching application in all the natural
sciences. Today physicists think of the symmetries of the fundamental particles
of which the universe is made, of the fields of force in which those particles
find themselves, and of the mathematical equations which describe the resulting
behavior of the world. Chemists think of the symmetries of the molecules, simple
and complicated, made of those particles. And biologists think of those
symmetries--that orderliness--in their effort to understand the origin and
behavior of life itself." (CRYSTALS AND CRYSTAL GROWING, Holden and Singer,
Although we may speak of the magnetic rain
as "solar ether," it is not a property of sunlight. It is seen falling
through space in dense darkness as well as in the light. This is why occult
science classifies it with the Life Ether is the particular avenue for its
specialization. Its fluidic magnetism is the source of what is commonly known as
"sex attraction," which occult science views as an activity of the
positive and negative poles of the Life Ether. Polarity, as such, however, is
not limited to the Life Ether or to the sexuality of organically propagating
creatures; it is found on higher spiritual planes as well, where it manifests in
a different way.
As evolution advances, the incarnating
entity (Ego) is able to specialize more and more of this cosmic magnetic fluid;
and therefore the human being specializes this energy in far greater quantities
than do plants and animals. Moreover, Max Heindel's investigations suggested
that the forces entering through the spleen show different colors according to
the various uses made of it by the different life waves. (TEACHINGS OF AN
INITIATE, p. 172).
This colorless ether is in fact the
original form of the "animal magnetism" or "organic
magnetism" traditionally assigned to all living creatures, but not to the
mineral kingdom. Sex and heredity are part of the function, but not the whole
function, which is, in general, the promotion of life in the entire organism.
Note that there is a "mineral" as
well as an "animal" magnetism. We may liken the difference between
these two kinds of magnetism to that between inorganic and organic iron. The
plant takes the mineral element iron and transmutes it into organic iron, which
is abundant, for example, in the green leaves of the plant; yet this organic
iron is outwardly not in the least like a lump of iron, or iron ore, from which
it is originally derived.
The magnetic field of the Life Ether, as we
have seen, builds the embryo in the womb beginning with the fertilized ovum, and
because the child body requires large quantities of this ether, the child's
etheric aura is larger in proportion to its body than is the adult's. This
reserve supply of ether in the child's aura consists of Chemical Ether atoms as
well as a reserve supply of the cosmic life force. (The "prismatic ether
atom" actually consists of both Life and Chemical Ether.)
Physical science has as yet discovered
neither the colorless solar fluid nor the fact that it is subject to the human
will; yet, if it were not subject to the human will, it could not be true that
the higher life forms specialize larger and larger quantities of it. The cosmic
magnetic rain does indeed respond to the human will, which is focused in the
frontal sinus as we know. A sense of heat often accompanies the down-pouring of
the cosmic rain. Max Heindel points out that in early epochs of our evolution
this cosmic force did enter the vital body at the will of the human being, and
in a different way from that by which it enters at present (through the spleen).
We can now begin to RECOVER the conscious use of the cosmic life forces.
Drawing the "inorganic" force
through the human magnetic aura converts it to "organic" magnetism,
which the human body needs for growth. hence the ancient practice of
"laying on of hands." The magnetic healer builds, in effect, an
artificial womb of force in which the body of his patient is able to reconstruct
itself. A case is reported of a child born with "buds" in the place of
fingers on one hand, and under months of work by a group of dedicated church
healers (members of an orthodox communion) these "buds" (which are
found in the embryo) unfolded and grew into normal fingers, just as if the child
had been placed back in the mother's womb and growth taken up where it left off.
Again Max Heindel has commented that
"when it (solar fluid) is sent out by the brain in particularly large
quantities it moves the muscles to which the nerves lead." But for the work
of body-building--which is what healing really is--still greater quantities of
the solar fluid are required, and unless these are called down from space by way
of the frontal sinus (human will), and thence directed by the brain, such
miracles as we have mentioned cannot be performed; and oftentimes more than one
healer must work on the case. The group of healers mentioned above knew nothing
of the modus operandi of the cosmic forces, but nevertheless successfully
invoked them through prayer to a Divinity whom they pictured as in Heaven. It is
noteworthy that most of the healers were women with their positive vital bodies.
The science called "mesmerism"
involves the use of these cosmic forces, but mesmerism is not the same as modern
hypnotism, which depends upon suggestion. "Suggestion" could not have
made the embryonic buds unfold into fingers for the child. neither could
"suggestion" delay corruption of a piece of meat, or a vegetable, as
the application of live magnetism has been reported to have done.
We have said that magnetic force is nearly
always allied with some form of moisture, like the sap of the tree in plants and
the blood of animals and humans, or other fluids. Trees cut down for Christmas
trees bleed their sap away; and as this bleeding goes on, the tree's vital
magnetism rushes out, a veritable hemorrhage of force, soon after cutting; then
more slowly until the tree is dead and its needles brown.
It is painful to any sensitive person to
sit in the room with a tree so palpably bleeding to death; and most occult
students prefer a living tree, or at least a tree culled by the forestry service
to make room for a healthier growth on mountain slopes; or an artificial tree,
of which there are many beautiful specimens.
The solar force flowing in through the
spleen is a cosmic force, but still "inorganic" from the human point
of view; which by the alchemy of the incarnating Spirit becomes an
"organic" force of life-magnetism. Iron is important to the creation
of human magnetism, and there are four atoms of iron in every normal hemoglobin
cell; and the presence of iron in the planet is undoubtedly concerned in the
planetary magnetism. But there are also great magnetic fields in interstellar
space--the matrices of future worlds.
We have been speaking of "life"
forces, but occult science also speaks of "death" forces, and as the
life force is associated with the Sun, so the death forces are associated with
the Moon. Max Heindel speaks of "the death-dealing Moon forces" and
also "the crystallizing Moon forces." The life-process is a balance
between the upbuilding solar forces and the down-tearing lunar forces. In some
ancient schools of occult science these currents are known as "upward
flowing" and "downward flowing" breaths.
The growth cycles of the vital body are set
in septenary periods derived from the crystallizing lunar forces. Seven years is
the span of maturation of the etheric sheath, the vital body being
"born" from its sheath at the age of seven, then the several ethers
maturing further, separately, in seven-year cycles; the Life Ether at fourteen
with the desire body; the Light Ether at twenty-one with the mind; the
Reflecting Ether at twenty-eight with the mind's full maturation. Max Heindel
also mentions an ancient tradition of "Moon beings" whose life span
from infancy to old age is but seven years. Such cases are known to medical
We have spoken heretofore of etheric sight
and etheric hearing; we must also take note of an etheric sense of touch. The
Life Ether is SENSED, for example, as a kind of heavy magnetic fluid. One may
call it syrupy, if it is understood that we mean by this that its magnetism
gives it this consistency. When the Invisible Helper dips his hands into the
etheric body of the patient and then withdraws them, the vital body of the
patient seems to cling to his hands. Ordinarily, of course, the patient does not
feel his own magnetism, but the Helper's magnetic aura in this instance is
exerting an outside attraction. This is the "cement" of assimilation
about which Max Heindel speaks (THE VITAL BODY, p. 71). Note that the
"cement" of assimilation belonging to the Life Ether is found BELOW
the molecular threshold of the body, whereas the "cement" of the
Chemical Ether is definitely molecular, as shown in the fact that the lines of
force of the vital body carry off these molecules, which many seers have
described. We have said that the molecule is the smallest portion of a substance
which can still be called "matter." When we break down the molecule we
have entered into the world of atoms, and when we break down the atoms we enter
the world of sub-atomic forces. And here on the borderline of matter we enter
the states known to occult science as the Life Ether.*
The Invisible Helper works directly within
and upon the molecular structure of the body in the Chemical Ether, though he
can materialize a hand physical enough to perform massage, make chiropractic
adjustments, or even perform surgery.
Biochemists naturally assume that all of
the electromagnetic phenomena of the body DERIVE FROM the body's chemistry; the
occultist claims that the vital body has an independent existence, that it
exists prior to the body and is its continuing matrix. No doubt biochemists will
one day take their instruments and test a dead body and, of course, find no
electromagnetic field; this, they will declare, proves that it emanates from the
body, which being dead, has no field. But if the occultist is right, the
*"All reactions, including those of
living matter, are linked to the nucleus." (1964-1965).
discover his electric field if he evolves
sensitive instruments capable of exploring the space a few feet above the
corpse, for there he will find that for a few days after death, a magnetic field
does exist, floating above the corpse. And even later, if he knew where to look,
and where to transport his instruments, and how to place them, he might discover
a human-shaped magnetic field which corresponded to the dead body but separated
from it in space as well as in time!
But if the theory of a floating magnetic
field seems strange, we may recall that astronomers now postulate that magnetic
fields exist in interstellar space which--if they do nothing else--speed the
cosmic rays on their way through the universe.
Mention has been made several times of the
"Life Fire" which burns in the Life Ether. It is not merely a physical
heat, but a Fire which denotes the presence of a living spirit. In the so-called
"Lost Sayings of Jesus" discovered in Egypt in 1904 (and again in
1945) the statement occurs: "Wherever there are two, they are not without
God, and wherever there is one I say I am with him. Raise the stone and there
thou shalt find me; cleave the rock and there I am." There is still in use
in certain churches an Easter Ceremonial in which part of the ritual consists of
striking a spark from a rock, and lighting the Easter candles from the flame
built from the spark; suggesting that the Cosmic Fire (Life Spirit) is meant in
Yet the Universal Fire is "cold"
while it sleeps in the rock and in cosmic space; it is still "cold" in
the plant kingdom, although to the etheric sight it has the appearance of a
delicate flame, not a flame which burns and leaps, but a steady glow of the
pink-orange which characterizes the Life Ether in the plant kingdom. In animals
and men it takes on a deeper rosy or red hue for just as the radiation of energy
and atomic particles are not visible to the human eye, although they exist, so
the "heat" of cold-blooded animals or of plants is not detectable to
human senses in the common range. Apropos of which we quote Dr. Donald H.
Andrews of Johns Hopkins University, who said in a speech: "If you turn out
the lights and stand in the dark, you do not appear to be glowing; yet if you
stand in front of an infrared television camera in complete darkness the
television screen will show you as a glowing form, beaming with light which
radiates out from you as a result of the vibrations of your atoms. This is an
established physical fact."
It is now some ten years since a professor
attached to Chicago University, Dr. Bernard Strehler, and another attached to
the national Laboratory at Oak Ridge, Dr. William Arnold, discovered that green
plants give off a faint red light, much as fireflies do, and then produced in
the laboratory a substance which seems to be the same as that which in the plant
emits the red glow. the red light cannot be seen with the naked eye, they
pointed out, but something producing it must be there. They added: "These
findings were made possible by the study of fireflies and luminous bacteria. it
is now thought that there is a close relationship between light emission which
releases energy and photosynthesis, which stores energy....Even more surprising
is the fact that the same chemical compounds which are responsible for light
emission in fireflies and the luminous bacteria often causing lighted fish at
night, are involved in photosynthesis."
Only in warm-blooded animals and in
humankind does the "cold" Fire of space tale on heat which is felt as
such to human sensory equipment.
The heat aspect of the Life Ether in the
human body is really a property conferred by the activity of forces operating in
the positive pole of the Light Ether, with which we are concerned in our next
set of lessons. For just as we have not been able wholly to separate the
Chemical Ether from the Life Ether, so wee cannot wholly separate the Life Ether
from the Light Ether. All of the ethers react and interact one with the other.
As color is associated with sunlight in the
common range of vision, so color is associated with the body magnetism to the
etheric vision. the five colors specialized by the ethers, which stand between
violet and red in a color circle, are not found in the solar spectrum as known
to ordinary vision; they do not occur in the rainbow, which is refracted
sunlight. These are the colors running from beyond-violet, through mid-purple,
to magenta or peach- blossom color, to below-red. But though these colors are
not found in the solar spectrum, they are true primary colors in the Desire
World, and the peach-blossom color is the color of the Life Force as seen in the
Life Ether in the human body. Max Heindel says that this color is not always
described in identical terms by those who see it. He himself calls it
pink-blue" or "pinkish-purple." It is the expression of the
Universal Life Spirit, as noted before, and since it is LIFE ether it appears
only in plants, animals, and man--not in the mineral kingdom. Ordinarily the
color of the vital body is called a "rosy hue."
The Chemical Ether is characterized by blue
or indigo, deepening to mid- purple or near-black.
Other colors may also appear in these two
lower ethers but those mentioned are basic.
When the solar ether pours through the
spleen and is refracted in the seed atom of the vital body in the solar plexus,
it pours through the body so that every atom of the body, both physical and
etheric, receives its stimulation. The excess force then radiates outward in
rose-colored lines. Mr. Heindel's first thought when studying the ethers was
that this force took on its rosy hue by refraction through each prismatic ether
atom: later he decided the change occurred in the solar plexus seed atom, and a
cluster of atoms around it. (COSMO-CONCEPTION, p. 10) He had not completed his
researches at the time of his sudden death in January, 1919.
Now let us turn once more to the view of
the vital body available to the etheric sight of the occult scientist.
Necessarily the vital body atom is seen in conjunction with the physical atom,
with which the etheric atom is tightly entwined. To picture the physical and
etheric atom of the body, imagine a pear-shaped wire basket having walls of
spirally curved wire running obliquely from pole to pole. This is the physical
part of the atom. It is shaped nearly like our Earth and the prismatic vital
body atom is inserted at the top, which is widest, and corresponds to the
positive pole of the earth. Since the vital prism is inserted at the top, the
point of the prism extends toward the bottom of the "basket," which is
termed the negative pole. The whole atom, thus interpenetrated, resembles a top
swinging, swaying, and vibrating, in a note which is set by the archetype and
the Sounding Flame in the medulla oblongata.
This suggests that the "prism" is
part of the atomic nucleus (of which little was known during Max Heindel's
lifetime), while the "wire basket" would be, perhaps, the spiraling
paths of electrons traveling in the magnetic vortices determined by the Life
Ether. Note that this atom is not disc-shaped but pear-shaped, as it is now
thought the Earth globe may really be, with the wide part at the South Pole.*
The etheric prisms expand when life force
is rushing through them; they contract ("shrivel up") in fatigue and
the lines of force are crumpled and bent, forcing the Ego to withdraw in sleep.
On page 138 of ROSICRUCIAN MYSTERIES Max Heindel comments that "when the
vital body collapses, as it were, the little streams of force which permeate
each atom seem to shrivel up, and the Ego is forced to abandon its body to the
restorative powers of sleep." He also mentions certain forces which circle
the atom and the earth from pole to equator. (THE VITAL BODY p. 42).
To the etheric vision, points of the
etheric prisms are seen sticking out in every direction. But just as physical
vision varies, so also etheric vision varies from person to person, and although
all see much the same thing, it is seen in varying degrees of sharpness and
clarity. Students should therefore
*Max Heindel specifically designates this as the common physical atom; but
modern occult writers point out that it is perhaps not the hydrogen atom, but an
"etheric" atom which is really sub-atomic.
Of the so-called "ultimate physical
atom" Max Heindel says: "If we are so far developed that we are able
to leave our dense physical body and take soul flight into interplanetary space,
we shall find that THE ULTIMATE PHYSICAL atom is spherical in shape like our
earth; it is a ball." (ROSICRUCIAN MYSTERIES p. 8-9).
Nineteenth century physics once held that
atoms were of various shapes; hence this comment that the true atom is round.
Modern physicists say that the atoms of matter are energy running in circles.
avoid arbitrary statements until they are
quite sure that their etheric sight is reasonably well developed. To one the
vital body may appear to be no more than a vaguely colored mist extending about
an inch and a half from the body. To another this mist resolves itself into a
multitude of rose-colored lines of force. The Chemical Ether may be seen lying
close to the body, and to some its dark blue color may seem to be an empty space
like the core of a gas flame. Many have seen crystals, molecules and particles,
streaming from the surface of the body. sparks of vital energy which shoot from
head, face, and hands are seen now and again by almost everyone. They are also
seen around plants and a blue spark which flies from a seed sometimes signals
the presence of a Nature Spirit which dwells in the seed.
We usually discover that when Max Heindel
says "vital body" he means specifically the Life Ether, rather more
than the Chemical Ether, for of course, "vital" means pertaining to
life, but it is the Chemical Ether which forms the actual etheric double of
every single molecule in the human body. However, each atom is also penetrated
and surrounded by a slight aura of the Light and Reflecting Ethers. (THE VITAL
BODY p. 43).
Death of the body occurs when the archetype
collapses, which is followed by the rupture of the seed-atom in the heart and
the collapse of the vital body (as before sleep), forcing the Ego to withdraw
from its vehicles. The vital body is then seen to rise like a twisting column of
smoke, which re-forms itself into the individual's likeness above the body, to
which it is still attached by the lower part of the Silver Cord, and with which
it decays synchronously. Folklore describes this phenomenon as the
corpse-candle, and although it is usually seen as a more or less luminous
blue-gray mist, it has been seen on occasion as green or blue-green in color,
changing color in the process of decomposition.
Death is often accompanied by the sensation
of a spiraling motion in the atoms of the body, but this sensation is not
necessarily an indication of death, and the student need feel no alarm if it
occurs. The pre--initiatory work "unscrews" the ether atoms in a safe
way, enabling the Initiate to rise out of the body, leaving the two lower ethers
with the physical body. Only a certain exercise given by true occult teachers
enables the individual to make the right cleavage in the ethers, between the two
lower and the two higher. Wrong exercises--especially such as taught in
mediumship classes--may cause a cleavage between the Chemical and Life Ethers,
or between the Chemical Ether atoms and the physical atoms, and when this
happens various diseases, such as tuberculosis, may result. (THE VITAL BODY, p.
71) But in any case, the "spiraling" of the atoms is a characteristic
It should also be observed here that when
the Chemical and Life Ethers are driven out of the dense body, deep
unconsciousness occurs, which is not sleep; and when consciousness returns upon
the vital atoms re-entering their physical counterparts, a prickling, tingling
sensation is felt. Physiologists say this is due to the circulation of the blood
being restored, for the same sensation occurs when the circulation is cut off
from a part of the body, as when a hand "goes to sleep." When this
happens, the occultist sees the etheric hand hanging below the physical.
Similarly, in hypnosis the etheric "head" is pushed down around the
shoulders of the subject, dividing from above. The circulation of the blood
slows down, too, under such conditions.
The atoms of the physical body have a very
slow vibration; the ether atom prods every physical atom into action and
vibration, (including the atoms of the blood). In the human body the rate of
vibration of the physical atom is NORMALLY an octave below the vibration of the
ether atom which ensouls it. (THE VITAL BODY p.191) The prickling sensation
which results from the ether atom is re-entering the physical atom from which it
has been driven out does not cease until the normal vibration of the body atom,
one octave below the etheric, has been reached. Then the discomfort stops, for
normal activity is once more established.
Occult science has not yet clarified the
relationship between the planetary, solar, and ether magnetism of living things
on Earth. Horoscopes for persons born in the southern hemisphere are
traditionally reversed, so that where a northern chart shows Aries rising, for
example, the southern chart would show Libra. Is this, perhaps, an effect of
planetary polarity? This is one of the many mysteries still to be solved by the
occult science of the future.
We have seen in an earlier chapter what
modern science has to say about the Spiral. It is a curious fact that the
five-pointed Star, always of great importance to esotericism, is also recognized
as a special feature of life on this planet, as we learn in the new biology. Let
us explore a little further into the part which this symbol plays in the world
On a certain Tarot card (designed by A. E.
Waite) is found this interesting design: a little flower growing which is shaped
like a true star with five points. There really is such a flower, shaped like a
five-pointed star, with the same star form repeated several times, at the heart
of the blossom and at its base. The star itself is a delicate mauve color, not
dissimilar to the pinkish blue of the vital body as Max Heindel describes it;
and its petals are like soft velvet to the touch. It grows principally in
Australia, but also occurs in parts of the Near East and Asia; and it has been
"discovered" recently by California gardeners, for it grows well in
Southern California. It is called the Hoya flower.
Now, among the six crystal systems known to
science, "there is no permissible form with an axis of fivefold symmetry,
and therefore no crystal can have such an axis," (CRYSTALS AND CRYSTAL
GROWING, Holden and Singer, p. 163). "It is interesting to reflect upon the
difference between crystals and living organisms in this respect. Starfish and
buttercups, for example, have axes of fivefold symmetry; but crystals
cannot." Therefore there is no star-- no pentangle--in the crystal domain
(which includes the largest part of our solid earth crust), but only in the
kingdom of life. The five-petalled wild rose, ancestor of all modern roses, may
also be mentioned with starfish and buttercups.
It can scarcely be doubted that ancient
scientists had observed this simple fact of Nature, for everywhere the
five-pointed Star is the symbol of the human being, as in Christianity it is the
symbol of the Christ Child and points to the birth of the Christ in every man.
Intimately associated with the esotericism
of the five-pointed Star is the Life Spiral observed throughout the universe. In
occult symbolism it is seen as the serpents entwining the Staff of Mercury, the
Caduceus, and as such it is the representative of the ascent of the threefold
spinal spirit fire, discussed in FREEMASONRY AND CATHOLICISM, and ANCIENT AND
MODERN INITIATION by Max Heindel.
Esotericists will understand at a glance
the supreme importance of this combination of symbols: the Star and the Spiral,
both intimately concerned in the most complicated life processes.
In Masonic symbolism, in the rites and
mysteries of the Rose Cross and Holy Grail, the Spiral is viewed in the stairway
once found in Solomon's Temple. Historians and archeologists have not been in
complete accord as to the kind of building Solomon's Temple really was, some
likening it to the temples of ancient Ur in Chaldea, Abraham's birth-place,
where the Temple of the Moon God crowned the uppermost of three great stages of
mountain-like masonry. Others have likened it to the ziggurats of Babylon,
seven-staged pyramids with a small domed cella, or sanctuary, on the top story
in which the god was said to appear to the priestess, or priest. We may look
upon this "upper room" of the Babylonian Temple as the PLACE OF THE
ORACLE, where the will of heaven was made known.
There were two ziggurats, or stepped
pyramids, within the walls of the greater Babylon: the Temple of Bel within the
central area, and the Temple of Nebo, or mercury, farther east in the suburb of
Borsippa, the two connected by a "sacred way," or walled street. The
Tower of Mercury at Borsippa was the more ancient and the more sacred, and one
may well believe that from its summit the priest-astronomers watched for the
tiny star near the Sun which was the planet Mercury.
The stepped pyramids of Chaldea and
Babylonia necessarily had stairways and inclines leading from one stage to
another, until the top story was reached. Doubtless they also had secret,
interior spiraling stairways, as short-cuts to the summit, known only to the
priests and their initiates, as the Great Pyramids of Gizeh in Egypt would
suggest. However, archeologists have never discovered any such interior
passageway in the Babylonian pyramids and towers. Assyria and Persia shared the
Chaldean civilization, and also had towers which were at the same time
observatories and temples. They also housed great libraries. More clearly,
perhaps, than anywhere else, China shows the true nature of the pyramids and
towers built in ancient times: as for example the famous Altar of Heaven at
Peking, with its three marble terraces and nine concentric circles, its
stairways at the four cardinal points; and the numerous "pagodas,"
some with as many as thirteen stories, each with its encircling roof, and
containing nothing but a spiraling staircase leading to the summit, obviously
designed for astronomical observatories as well as for worship of Heaven in a
nation where for a thousand years before Christ the official religion was a
purely astronomical one.
In recent times archeologists have
discovered in the ruins at Qumran, the Essene Headquarters on the Dead Sea,
traces of a tower, and in it the suggestion of an upright central pillar around
which a stairway once wound. Was this merely a storehouse? a watch tower?--or an
observatory? Perhaps all these, and more. It is notable that Mercury, and
Mercury's day of the week, were important to the Essenes. It is said that
Wednesday was their Sabbath.
Turning now to Christian Europe, we find
that in some accounts the legendary Temple of the Grail also had its high tower,
within which was the spiral stairway leading to the top level where the Grail
Chapel was found and the Grail Mysteries celebrated. What was shown in these
Mysteries at the top of the tower? Obviously the dome of heaven revolving around
the dragon-guarded Pole Star; and just before the dawn at certain times of the
year, the planet Mercury, sparkling like a diamond not far from the rising Sun.
For this is precisely what the earliest legends say: that the Mystery of the
Grail is revealed in the stars of heaven, especially the zodiac and its decans.
Other accounts say that the Temple
craftsmen pictured the heavens within the over-arching dome, with stars and
planets moving in their courses. Similarly, in the Temple of Healing at Mount
Ecclesia, the domed ceiling suggests the vault of heaven, around which the
twelve constellations of the zodiac are ranged, with Leo, the Lion of the
Mysteries, over the altar, and Aquarius, the Son of Man ("Whosoever wills
may come") over the door of entry.
In an era when illiteracy was common, it is
easy to see how the neophyte would be taught to visualize the winding stair, and
as his physical body relaxed into the "clear sleep" which is not
trance as commonly defined, the wakeful mind would climb the spiral staircase to
the place of Mystery at its summit, turning always toward the right hand, AND
THE NEOPHYTE AWOKE ON THE INNER PLANES WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF THE TEMPLE OF
INITIATION, or at its threshold, or in the anterooms, according to his merit.
For on the inner planes, space is no
consideration. The "stepping-off" at the top of the spiral staircase
takes the neophyte at once (without intermediate traveling) to his destination.
Today the philosophy of science recognizes this condition in what is termed
"the collapse of space" and its correlative, "the collapse of
time." It is as if all space intervening between one point and another
vanishes, and the step-over from "here" to "there" is
Sometimes meditation affords a hint of
this, for as the mind becomes spiritually lucid, the neophyte sees into a
crystal space, perhaps viewing some distant spot on Earth's surface. He has not
left the body, he has not gone anywhere; yet he senses the reality of the
distant place, and is sometimes seen, or even tangibly felt, or his mental voice
audibly heard by persons living there. He feels that he might put out a hand and
touch objects in that far-off place, for he is "there" and
"here" at the same moment.
This "collapse of space" accounts
for many strange dreams in which events and places seem to melt into one another
without rhyme or reason. It also explains why one and the same Mystery Temple
has been "discovered" in many different places: in the dense dark
forest, on mountain summit, in swamps and marshes, in palaces and courts, in the
seeker's own house.
When the neophyte does experience a sense
as of movement in inner space, it means that HIS ATTENTION IS TRACING OUT the
intervening distance, and in a manner of speaking, building a thought-trail or
bridge over which he seems to travel. This is, however, unnecessary. The travel
can be immediate, and with no sense of transition.
Thus to the student in the Mystery School,
THE STAR AND THE SPIRAL, in addition to their outer, exoteric scientific
significance, REVEAL SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE: the spiral ascent of the
mind in the tower of consciousness, and at its summit the bright and blazing
star which is the Invisible Helper himself, shining for the world.
With the dawn, the Helper returns to his
body, and as he hovers over it, feeling the magnetic pull of the vital body
drawing him down into the fleshly sheath, he is aware of the rotating of many
wheels of force in his aura; and while these wheels rotate, he settles gently,
with no shock or discomfort, into the dense physical instrument which lies upon
the bed. He there awakens, to take up anew the cross of the body in the world of
time and space.
PART III--THE LIGHT ETHER
In our chapter on the Life Ether we learned
something about what Max Heindel designated "the colorless solar
ether" and "solar fluid," and we noted that this solar fluid was
visible to etheric sight under several varying states or conditions: as a kind
of "rain" of cosmic force it rushes in through the etheric spleen, and
turns a rose color in the solar plexus. We noted further that this solar fluid
was magnetic, and was felt as such by the etheric senses, and that although it
is called a "solar" ether it is studied in connection with the Life
Ether rather than with the Light Ether, because the Life Ether is the particular
avenue through which it is specialized. As magnetism it belongs to the
"dark" spectrum which exists below and above the normal range of light
visible to the human eye. In cold-blooded creatures and in the plant kingdom,
the solar ether seems "colorless" and "cold" as viewed by
the etheric senses. We can draw a parallel with this condition if we take in our
hands an ordinary iron magnet. This magnet will have a north and a south pole,
or positive and negative, and will pick up iron filings; yet ordinarily we can
neither see light nor feel any sort of sensation emanating from the magnet. The
iron is cold and dark, despite its magnetic field which is so easily
Only when the Light Ether is acting in
conjunction with the Life Ether do we have the appearance of biological
magnetism and the life-fire of warm- blooded creatures. The colors associated
with the activities of the Life Ether, we observed, were those from ultraviolet
to infra-red, and other rays not yet familiar to the lay public. Perception of
these forces and colors, however, is something else again.
When the occult student begins his study of
the Light Ether, he enters into the range of light, heat, and color of the
normal senses, because the so- called "five senses" are the gift of
forces working through the negative pole of this ether.
We may say further, however, that the Light
Ether is the stronghold of the brain-mind, because it is the seat of all SENSORY
PERCEPTION, both within, below, and above the normal range of the sense organs.
Extra-sensory perception belongs to this Ether in its higher reaches where it
impinges upon and interacts with the Reflecting Ether.
The forces working along the negative pole
of the Light Ether are the ones that vitalize, and in the beginning create, the
SENSE organs, especially the eye, giving them the power to respond to and
recognize differences in rates of vibration, and to classify these vibrations
according to the effects they produce in Ego-awareness. The nervous system is
its special field of activity. We know, of course, that the nerves are in
reality part of the sensory- mechanism of the brain, which is made of the same
"gray matter" as the nerves, and the new biology knows that electrical
impulses travel through brain and nerves.
Vibrations ranging from 16 to 32 thousand
per second the Ego recognizes as sound. These are vibrations in the air, but
there is a super-sound (supersonic vibration) which is also audible to etheric
senses. Another range of vibrations the Ego recognizes as feelings (heat and
cold, soft and hard, etc.); another as seeing, another as smelling, another as
tasting, and so on. All of which are simply varying rates of vibration
recognized by the Ego, the speed of which produces the different sensations as
allocated to the five senses or kinds of receptors. There are also organs of
internal reception: receptors which report to the Ego such things as weight (the
weight sense), heat (the heat sense), balance or equilibrium (the balance
sense), the relationship of parts of the body to each other (the proprioceptor
sense-- essentially a muscle sense); while a "nearness sense," such as
blind people develop, gives the sensation of something near which cannot be seen
or felt-- an object which is being approached, or an invisible presence--at
which point the "nearness sense" tapes off into the extra-sensory
range of perception.
All of these sensory perceptions are
properties of the negative pole of the Light Ether as known to occult science.
It is of special interest to the esotericist to note that the "heat
sense" has finally been located by modern science in a special set of
nerves centered in the spinal cord itself, which send out long filaments
(nerves) to patches of skin, chiefly around the middle of the body. (Buttocks
and back are most sensitive to temperature.) (READER'S DIGEST September, 1963,
MYSTERIES OF OUR SIXTH SENSES.)
The heat control center of the body has
been generally assigned to the brain area of the cerebellum or to the medulla
oblongata, where occultists say that the Flame of Life burns.
It is this negative pole of the Light Ether
which acts with the Life Ether in the production of living creatures with a full
range of sensory perception, or physical and etheric consciousness. The
thalamus, a tiny organ in about the center of the head, and in front of the
pineal gland, is thought to be the original or primitive brain, in which the
primordial instincts reside; while the great mass of the brain is the seat of
sensory consciousness or awareness. (The pituitary body is lower down and
farther forward than the thalamus.) Perhaps these are the seats of the
subconscious and conscious minds, as defined by modern analytical psychology.
The so-called "sub-conscious" mind of modern psychology actually
includes what the occult scientists term the "super-conscious" mind,
and the forces operative in the Reflecting Ether.
Why is the range of the Light Ether defined
in terms of the solar spectrum? Because all human senses have evolved in a
system dominated by our Sun, the majority of whose rays are in this particular
range, from infrared to ultraviolet. Science had nothing to tell the occultists,
until quite recently, about the activities of the negative and positive poles of
the Light Ether. What the occultist saw with extended vision could not be
explained in terms of academic physics. The situation has changed. A correlation
is now possible, and also an explanation, for which Planck's Quantum Theory is
responsible. According to this theory the basic unit of radiation is the
Quantum--a packet of energy, called a "photon"--which is created
continuously in free space by the collisions of positrons and electrons, and are
also released from the interior of atoms when electronic changes occur. No law
has yet been discovered to show just how or when these sparks of energy are
created or liable to be created. There is an "uncertainty principle"
"Radiation is composed of individual
units, known as quanta. When there are enough of them these quanta arrange
themselves in wave patterns. Each pattern possesses a wave-length." (Hoyle)
Thus light is both "particles" (in the sense of quanta, or energy
packets) and waves. Both are visible as such to the etheric sight. We will
understand this better if we think of a few drops of water, which do not form a
wave; but when there are millions of drops of water, then a wave becomes
possible, given right conditions. But we note also that EACH unit
("PHOTON") IS AT THE SAME TIME BOTH PARTICLE AND WAVE.
"It is worth noting," says Hoyle,
"that the shorter the wave-length, the more energetic the individual quanta
(photons) become. it is because of this that gamma-rays, X-rays, and even
ultraviolet light are so destructive of animal tissue, and why radio waves are
He continues: "A further interesting
point is that of the vast range of wave-lengths from radio waves to gamma rays,
only the narrow band from four hundred-thousandths to eight hundred-thousandths
(of a centimeter) can be detected by the human senses." And he explains:
"This....is not an accident, however, because this is just the range in
which most of the Sun's radiation is emitted. It is true that the Sun does emit
some ultraviolet and even some X-rays, but the earth's atmosphere absorbs such
destructive radiation quite strongly, thereby preventing it from reaching the
ground. Consequently there has never been an opportunity for creatures on the
Earth to develop senses receptive to these wavelengths." (FRONTIERS OF
ASTRONOMY, Hoyle) However, occultists, can and do develop senses receptive to
these and other wave- lengths, by means of forces operative in the negative pole
of the Light Ether; although it is the scientific aspect of light itself that is
most easily observed by the budding occult scientist. All sensory perception
belongs to the negative, or passive, aspect of the Light Ether.
Hoyle goes on to say that more infrared
rays than other rays do reach the ground, due to droplets of water in the air
(not vapor) which absorb more visible light than infrared; but infrared does not
affect the human eye. "Clearly it would be a great advantage to possess
eyes that were sensitive to infrared, as indeed I suspect that birds may. This
would go far toward explaining the amazing sight that birds seem to
Astronomers say that our Sun is a
"yellow" or "orange" star, one of the class known as
"Orange" or "Yellow Dwarfs," among the most unstable of
stars. Sunlight is therefore not really "white," but tinged with
yellow or gold; and the Light Ether is also described by the scientist as golden
or yellow, although like sunlight again, it does possess a complete band of
colors, visible to ordinary eyesight as color or as light, but visible to
etheric sight as vibration and sparkling points of energy.
Although all of the four ethers have work
to do in every part of the living organism, each ether has one special work of
its very own. The Chemical Ether is the avenue for forces concerned with
upbuilding and nourishing the entire body; but its special field of action is
the bony structure, or skeleton. The Life Ether promotes growth activities and
the perpetuation of the species; its special area consists of the blood and
other liquids of the body, the generative system, and the endocrine glands. The
Light Ether is the avenue for the COSMIC forces related to sunlight, color, and
heat--all tremendously important in our evolution, but its special area is the
nervous system, both voluntary and sympathetic. The pineal gland and the brain
as a whole are the seat of the Human Spirit (Ego). The brain is the great
central receiving and coordinating center of the nervous system, organizing all
sensations as reported from the sense organs by way of the nerves. We noted in
our last chapter that the tiny thalamus body is thought to be the original
brain, and that instincts and psychic powers still have a focus there, while the
upper brain governs all later evolution of sensory powers.
Again we have seen that the Life Ether
specializes the "solar fluid" which acts as the electricity of the
nervous system. Mr. Heindel adds further that the LIGHT Ether TRANSMITS the
motive power along the various nerves which enables the Ego to move the body.
MOTIVE power is not the same thing as the life energy involved in growth and
perpetuation of the species, even though it may spring from the same primordial
root. Note that the solar fluid also circulates in plants, which already have a
rudimentary nervous system and therefore also the beginning of sensory
perception. Modern physics offers some clarification on these points in the
statement that the "photon," the unit of the electromagnetic spectrum,
is itself "charge-less," although it carries electromagnetic energy.
The photons discussed in these lessons on the Light Ether pertain only to that
band of the electromagnetic spectrum which we know as our Sun's light. The
electromagnetic spectrum extends both above and below this belt.
The cosmic Fire operative in the Light
Ether has been mentioned. The human Ego is part of this Fire, and its energies
play through the Light Ether, not as a part of the race complex but as an
individual, willing, and thinking Spirit, working out its destiny. Max Heindel
says that the Ego works particularly in the HEAT of the blood.
It is stated in the COSMO-CONCEPTION (p.
36): "....the forces that play along its positive pole (i.e. the Light
Ether) are the forces which generate blood heat in the higher species of animal
and in man, which makes them individual sources of heat." (These forces
also circulate the blood.) At the age of twenty-one, when the "mind"
is "born"--throws off its protective sheath--the Ego comes into full
control of its own bodies, and the blood heat, which during adolescence was
often overheated, now is held to some where near the norm of 98.6 Fahrenheit.
This blood heat is necessary to the Ego's consciousness in the body. If the
blood temperature falls too far below or rises too far above it, the Ego is
forced to withdraw from the body, which then falls into the states we recognize
as sleep, coma, or death. The egoic Fire is the Fire of the alchemist, which
eventually creates the "diamond body" of the Adept.
In the cold-blooded animals it is only the
circulation of the blood which is activated through the positive pole of the
Light Ether, the need for heat no being present.
In plants the forces operative in the
positive pole of the Light Ether circulate the juices, and these forces relate
to Sun heat rather than to sunlight. At the winter solstice--modern research has
shown this--in the northern hemisphere, even in those climes where ice and snow
cover the land, the slight change in the etheric forces when the Sun begins to
turn northward from its southernmost declination causes the trees to awaken, and
the sap begins to move in their roots and deep within their trunks. It is the
cosmic "heat," dormant in the positive pole of the Light Ether, that
triggers this awakening.
"The forces which work along the
negative pole of the Light Ether are those which operate through the senses,
manifesting as the passive functions of sight, hearing, feeling, tasting, and
smelling. They also build and nourish the eye." (COSMO, page 36)
To the etheric senses, the various colors
are actually tangible as well as visible, and some occult investigators declare
that all other sensations have a correlation to light and color. The different
wave-lengths of color in the beam of sunlight can be felt, and a difference in
quality noted. Blind children can sometimes differentiate between colors,
although they cannot see them as such. Some physicists speak of a "facial
vision" developed by these children; but about forty years ago, Dr. Jules
Romain demonstrated (and recounted in his book, EYELESS SIGHT, now out of print)
that most portions of the skin could be converted to the use of sight. He found
areas especially sensitive to light were the forehead, cheeks, temples, chest,
and hands. Embryologists also say that almost any part of the skin of the embryo
can be used to form eyes. Dr. Romain explained this by saying that the skin is
studded with small cells, called OCELLI, which do in fact resemble miniature
eyes. The occultist has always maintained that so long as the Light Ether is
present, any living organism will always develop sensory perception, and
especially the perception of light, in some sort of eye structure.
The force working along the negative pole
of the Light Ether are those which deposit the chlorophyll and the colors in
flowers. All color, in all kingdoms of Nature are "deposited," by
means of forces working through the negative pole of the Light Ether.
Since we now know that light is not merely
waves in an ether but consists also of actual particles, in "packets"
of energy, called the photon, we are in a position to see that there is a
definite and real substance which the Nature Forces can use and handle in this
work of depositing color. These Nature Forces include fairies, angelic beings,
and the human Ego.
Because the Light Ether is the avenue for
the forces which promote sensory perception, and especially the eye, it is
usually true that the student's early experience with etheric vision relates to
the phenomena of this ether. He generally sees first a sort bluish mist, or
cobweb, which seems to fill space, oftenest in a twilight, or in a dimly lit
room or hall, or when he is coming from a darker room into a lighted one, say
along a corridor. This bluish mist is observed to be in violent motion where the
light strikes into it, for it beats with a rapid motion like that of a
hummingbird's wings. Later he may see that the beating wings (or cobwebs) of
light are full of rainbow colors, in the midst of which innumerable points of
silvery light dash to and fro. The stronger the light the more of these
particles are seen, and the larger they appear to be. They dash about in the
atmosphere with great energy, appearing and disappearing continuously, but they
do not settle toward the ground. (Not all of them are basic sunlight,
however--some have another origin.)
On closer inspection the cobweb in space
seems to consist of small transparent flakes, with a comet-like nucleus--which
is the sparkle first observed, the flake as a whole being transparent and filmy.
Physicists speak of light as consisting of both waves and particles--that is,
the photon itself is both; and the occultist sees this photon in the range
belonging to our Sun's radiation as described here. The transparent flake would
seem to represent the wave aspect of the photon and the spark the particle
aspect; and the occultist suggests that the first is negative and the latter
positive, but this is tentative.
In the human body complex, the Light Ether
is said to be dominantly positive in men and negative in women. Let us see how
this works out. The senses and colors belong to the negative pole, and women's
sensory responses are often quicker than those of men; they see colors more
clearly, and they