[53] ETHERIC BODY (Vital Body)



(1) The life of the occult student is consciously lived in the world of energies. Those energies have always been present, for the whole of existence in all the kingdoms of nature, is manifested energy, but men are not aware of this. They are not conscious, for instance, when they succumb to irritation, and find themselves voicing that irritation in loud words or in angry thought that they are taking astral energy and using it. The use of this energy admits them with ease to a level of astral living which is not suitable for them; continual use of this energy brings about what the Master Morya has called "habits of residence which imperil the resident". It is when the aspirant recognises that he himself is composed of energy units - held in coherent expression by a still stronger energy, that of integration - that he begins consciously to work in a world of forces similarly composed; he then begins to use energy of a certain kind, and selectively, and takes one of the initial steps towards becoming a true occultist. This world of energy in which he lives and moves, and has his being, is the living, organised vehicle of manifestation of the planetary Logos. Through it energies are circulating all the time, and are in constant movement, being directed and controlled by the head centre of the planetary Logos; they create great vortices of force, or major points of tension throughout His body of manifestation. The Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet is such a vortex; Humanity itself is another, and one which is today in a condition of almost violent activity, owing to its becoming a focus of divine attention. (18 - 549/50).

(2) The work of the occultist and of the aspirant is to arrive at an understanding of these forces, and so learn their nature and their use, their potency [Page 108] and vibratory rate. He has also to learn to recognise their source and be able to differentiate between forces, energies and rays. For the beginner a clear distinction can be made between forces and energies by appreciating the fact that personalities affect us through the forces emanating from their form aspect, but that these same personalities, purified and aligned, can be transmitters of the energies of the soul. (4 - 291).

(3) Aspirants must learn that they are working with, and in, forces, and that right and wrong activity on the physical plane is due simply to a right or wrong direction of the force currents, and not to anything inherently wrong or right in the energies themselves. (4 - 297).

(4) All that is occurring is an evidence of energy and is expressive of force. That is the factor never to be forgotten. It is essential that you recognise them as existing. There is little that you, as individuals or groups, can do about them beyond seeing to it that there is nothing in you which could make you - unimportant as you may be - a focal point of hate, separation, fear, pride and other characteristics, which feed the fires which threaten to bring disaster to the world. Each of you can aid more than you can guess, through the regulation of thought and ideas, through the cultivation of a loving spirit, and through the general use of the Great Invocation, whereby these forces and energies - so sorely needed - can be invoked. (9 - 26).

(5) The disciple learns eventually to know himself to be, above everything else (whilst in incarnation) the director of forces: these he directs from the altitude of the divine Observer, and through the attainment of detachment. . . . These truths are, for you, only the platitudes of occultism, and yet, if you could but grasp the full significance of detachment, and stand serene as the observing Director, there would be no more waste motion, no more mistaken moves, and no more false interpretations, no wandering down bypaths of daily living, no seeing others through distorted and prejudiced vision, and - above all - no more misuse of force.

Again and again, down the ages, the Masters have told Their disciples (as I have told you) that the occultist works in the world of forces. All human beings live and move and express themselves in and through that same world of ever-moving, ever-impacting, outgoing and incoming energies. The occultist, however, works there; he becomes a conscious directing agent; he creates upon the physical plane that which he desires, and that which he desires is the pattern of things, and the design laid down upon the trestle board of the spiritual consciousness by the great divine Architect. (10 - 243/4).

(6) Man moves . . . in a whirlpool of forces of all types and qualities. [Page 109] He is composed of energies in every part of his manifested and unmanifested expression; he is, therefore, related to all other energies. (10 - 246).

(7) Energies and forces are pouring upon our system and our planetary lives ceaselessly, potently, and cyclically. Yet they are only regarded today as existing when definite response is invoked. They come from all kinds of sources, extraneous to our system and planetary schemes, but until man responds and registers them, both scientists and astrologers, fail to recognise them, and they are as if they were not. This is a point to bear in mind as I continue to teach you, for I may indicate some sources of active energy, which may as yet be unknown to you as playing upon our system and its contents. The difficulty will not be because of my inaccuracies, but will be owing to the lack of sensitivity in the mechanism of response which mankind and disciples are at present utilising. (16 - 198).

(8) All diseases - except those due to accidents, wounds resulting in infections, and epidemics - can in the last analysis be traced to some condition of the centres, and therefore to energy running wild, to energy overactive and misdirected, or insufficient and lacking altogether, or retained instead of used and transmuted into a higher corresponding centre of energy. (17 - 240/1).

(9) The energy and the forces constitute the sumtotal of all that is. This is another basic truism or platitude upon which the science of occultism is built, and which the healing art must recognise. There is, in manifestation, nothing else of any kind whatsoever. Disease itself is a form of active energy, demonstrating in forces which destroy or produce death. Therefore, if our basic premise is correct, disease is also a form of divine expression, for what we know to be evil is also the reverse side of that which we call good. Shall we belittle the subject or cause a false impression if we regard evil (at least as far as disease is concerned) as misplaced or maladjusted good? Will you misunderstand if I say that disease is energy which is not functioning as desired or according to plan? Inpouring energies are brought into relation with forces, and good health, strong and adequate forms and vital activity result; the same inpouring energies can, however, be brought into relation with the same forces, and a point of friction be set up, producing a diseased area, pain, suffering, and perhaps death. The energies and the forces remain of the same essentially divine nature, but the relationship established has produced the problem. If this sentence is studied it will be obvious that a definition such as that can be used to cover all forms of difficulty, and that the ultimate producer of the situation (either good or evil), is the relation-[Page 110] ship aspect. This statement is of major importance in all your thinking. (17 - 587/8).

(10) It must increasingly be borne in mind that there is nothing in the created world but energy in motion, and that every thought directs some aspects of that energy, though always within the sphere of influence of some greater thinking, directing energy. (17 - 631).

(11) We are on the verge of entering a new era in scientific unfoldment, owing to the discovery of how to release the energy of the atom. Not even the scientists responsible for the discovery have the faintest idea of the far-reaching effects of this momentous happening. From the angle of our subject and the theme of this volume, an entirely new language related to energy and force is already in the making; the use of the discovery in the handling of disease will, in almost the immediate future (from the occult angle) be regarded as little short of miraculous. (17 - 713).

(12) The effect of the impact of energy is dependent upon the nature of the vehicle of response. According to his equipment and the nature of his bodies, so will man react to the inflowing energies. (13 - 85).

(13) Due to the effort of countless thousands of men and women everywhere, energies hitherto unable to penetrate deeper in to substance than the hierarchical substance, and the levels of the higher mental plane can now, for the first time, be successfully anchored on dense physical levels, or at least upon etheric levels. This is a fact, and is far more important than you are perhaps able to appreciate. (13 - 659).

See also: "Esotericism", and (6 - 132/3, 374/5).

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(1) Students would also do well to remember that the twelve constellations which constitute our particular zodiac, are themselves the recipients of many streams of energy coming to them from many sources. These blend and fuse with the energy of any particular constellation and - transmuted and "occultly refined" - eventually find their way into our solar system.

. . . The following is a list - incomplete but adequate for our purposes - of the major influences which find their way from far distant Sources into our planetary life, and produce definite effects upon individual man and humanity as a whole.

[Page 111]


1. The constellation of the Great Bear.

2. The Seven sisters of the Pleiades.

3. Sirius, the Dog Star.


1. The seven solar systems, of which ours is one.

2. the seven sacred planets, of which ours is not one.

3. The five non-sacred planets or "hidden" planets.


1. The seven planetary centres.

2. The seven centres of force in the human etheric body.

IV. 1. The twelve zodiacal constellations.

We thus have a ninefold energy impact. This is a major chart, but it should be remembered that there are other impacts of relative insignificance.

To these would be added other streams of energy, which definitely play upon and affect our planetary life, such as those coming from that great star, Betelgeuse, or from Antares and other stupendous suns and solar systems, which are related to the constellations of the zodiac, and whose force reaches us through these constellations and not directly.

Besides these, it should be remembered that technically we should also add the radiatory influence which comes direct to us from the planet, the Earth, upon which we live. Then, and only then, can you have a fairly complete analysis and picture of the energies to which the etheric body of man (conditioning the physical body which is pre-eminently automatic and negative in its reactions) must and does ever respond. An understanding of that response, and the conscious intelligent control of individual reactions, are supremely necessary to man, but only become possible at a fairly advanced stage of development, and as he nears the Path, (technically understood). (16 - 13/5).

(2) The zodiacal, the systemic, and the planetary energies, act either as hindering or as stimulating forces, according to the type of vehicle or body upon which they play; the nature of these vehicles and their capacity to attract, to respond, to reject, to absorb, and to transmute, is entirely dependent upon the point in evolution attained, and also upon the general planetary condition and psychology to be found in the human family at any given time. (16 - 19).

(3) All the energies - zodiacal, systemic, and planetary - have a definite effect upon all the lives, in all forms, in all kingdoms of nature. Nothing can escape these radiatory and magnetic influences. The goal of evolution for humanity, is to become consciously and livingly aware of the nature of these energies, and begin to know them and to use them. This is
the field of occultism. (16 - 22/3).

[Page 112]

(4) I am not writing a treatise upon astrology, but one upon the seven rays and their equivalent and corresponding energies, upon the effects of ray energy, and the interplay of these energies with, and their effect upon, the various planetary forces, particularly those of the Earth. (16 - 27).

(5) We have perhaps emphasised almost to the point of bewilderment, the vast aggregation of impelling energies which play throughout our cosmos; individual man may well be stunned by a sense of his helplessness and his unique futility. But this is only due to the relatively undeveloped state of his "receiving apparatus". When thus bewildered, let him remember that potentially he possesses the creative ability to build, and gradually to develop a better mechanism of reception, which will enable him finally to be responsive to all impacts, and to every type of divine energy. This capacity is indestructible, and is itself a divine focus of energy, which must and will without fail, carry forward the good undertaken under the inspiration of the Great Architect of the Universe. (16 - 403/4).

(6) Keep in mind some words out of the ancient Archives, which are as follows:

"Energy is all there is, O Chela in the Light, but is not known. It is the cause of knowledge and its application, and its comprehension lead to expanded understanding.

"Through energy the worlds were made, and through that energy they make progression; through energy the forms unfold and die; through energy the kingdoms manifest and disappear below the threshold of the world which ever is, and which will be for ever.

"Through energy the Cross is mounted, and from the vortex of the four uniting forces, the initiate passes through the door, and is propelled into the Light - a light which grows from cycle unto cycle, and is known as supernal Energy Itself." (18 - 556).

(7) The keynotes upon which the occult philosophy is built, are:

1. There is naught in manifestation except organised energy.

2. Energy follows or conforms itself to thought.

3. The occultist works in energy and with energies. (13 - 674).

(8) The physical plane areas or localities which constitute the present modern exits of energies, through which directed energies can pass to carry out the creative process, are five in number: New York, London, Geneva, Darjeeling and Tokyo. These five form a five-pointed star of interlocking energies, symbolic of the major divisions of our modern civilisation. . . . At each one of these five centres one of the Masters will be found present, with His Ashram, and a vortex of spiritual forces will there be organised to [Page 113] hasten and materialise the plans of the Christ for the new and coming world cycle. (13 - 675).

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(1) The basic approach for all who endeavour to grasp esotericism, or to teach esoteric students, is to lay the emphasis upon the world of energies and to recognise that behind all happenings in the world of phenomena (and by that I mean the three worlds of human evolution), exists the world of energies; these are of the greatest diversity and complexity, but all of them move and work under the Law of Cause and Effect . . .

The first task of the esotericist is to comprehend the nature of the energies which are seeking to condition him, and which work out into expression on the physical plane through the medium of his equipment, or his vehicle of manifestation. The esoteric student has, therefore, to grasp that:

(2) He is an aggregation of forces, inherited and conditioned by what he has been, plus a great antagonistic force which is not a principle, and which we call the physical body.

1. He is sensitive to and should be increasingly aware of certain energies, at present unknown and of no use to him; of these he must eventually become aware, if he is to move deeper into the world of hidden forces. They may be energies which, for him, would be evil were he to work with them, and these must be distinguished and discarded; there are others which he must learn to use, for they would prove beneficial and would increase his knowledge, and should therefore be regarded as good. Bear in mind, however, that energies per se are neither bad nor good. The Great White Lodge, our spiritual Hierarchy, and the Black Lodge employ the same universal energies, but with different motives and objectives; both groups are groups of trained esotericists.

The esotericist in training has, therefore:

1. To become aware of the nature of the forces which constitute his personality equipment, and which he himself magnetically brought into expression in the three worlds . . .

2. To become sensitive to the impelling energies of the soul, emanating from the higher mental levels. These seek to control the forces of the threefold man when a certain definite point in evolution is reached.

3. To recognise the conditioning energies in his environment, seeing them not as events or circumstances but as energy in action; by this means he learns [Page 114] to find his way behind the scene of outer happenings into the world of energies, seeking contact, and qualifying for the bringing about of certain activities. He thus acquires entrance into the world of meaning. Events, circumstances, happenings and physical phenomena of every kind, are simply symbols of what is occurring in the inner worlds, and it is into these worlds that the esotericist must enter as far as his perception permits; he will sequentially discover worlds which will call for his scientific penetration.

4. For the majority of aspirants, the Hierarchy itself remains an esoteric realm which demands discovery, and which will accept penetration. I am choosing my words with care in an effort to evoke esoteric response.

. . . The task is to train students in the recognition of energy and force; to discriminate between the various types of energy, both in relation to themselves and to world affairs, and to begin to relate that which is seen and experienced to that which is unseen, conditioning and determining. This is the esoteric task. (12 - 60/62).

Esotericism is the art of "bringing down to earth" those energies which emanate from the highest sources and there "grounding them" or anchoring them. (12 - 67).

(2) I would ask all esotericists to live redemptive lives, to unfold their innate mental sensitivity, and to work continuously with the meaning which is to be found behind all individual, community, national and world affairs. If this is done, then the light will suddenly and increasingly shine upon your ways. You can become light-bearers, knowing then that "in that light you will see Light" - and so will your fellowmen. (12 - 68).

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(Vital Body)

(1) In the etheric body, which is an exact replica of its denser counterpart, we have the organ of active radiatory fire, and . . . the vehicle of prana. Its function is to store up the rays of radiatory light and heat which are secured from the sun, and to transmit them, via the spleen, to all parts of the physical body. . . . When the physical furnace burns brightly and when the fuel of the body (pranic rays) is adequately assimilated, the human frame will function as desired. (3 - 57).

(2) The etheric body is the mould of the physical body. . . . The etheric body is the archetype upon which the dense physical form is built, whether [Page 115]it is the form of a solar system, or of a human body in any one incarnation. . . . The etheric body is a web or network of fine interlacing channels, formed of matter of the four ethers, and built into a specific form. . . . These pranic emanations when focalised and received, react upon the dense matter which is built upon the etheric scaffolding and framework . . . This etheric web, during incarnation, forms a barrier between the physical and astral planes, which can only be transcended when consciousness is sufficiently developed to permit escape. . . . When a man has, through meditation and concentration, expanded his consciousness to a certain point, he is enabled to include the subtler planes, and to escape beyond the limits of the dividing web. (3 - 81/82).

(3) The etheric body is really a network of fine channels, which are the component parts of one interlacing fine cord . . . the silver cord. . . . The etheric web is composed of the intricate weaving of this vitalised cord. (3 - 98).

(4) Etheric congestion may lead to many forms of disease and of mental incompetence . . . one portion of the etheric body being congested may lead to the entire physical condition being upset, resulting in diverse complaints. (3 - 109).

(5) Remember always that in dealing with the etheric body we are dealing with physical matter. (3 - 111).

(6) The etheric body is the next aspect of the world substance to be studied by scientists and investigators. (4 - 76).

(7) The etheric body is composed of force currents, and in it are vital centres linked by lines of force with each other and with the nervous system of the physical man. Through these lines of force, it is connected also with the etheric body of the environing system . . .

The etheric body is vitalised and controlled by thought, and can (through thought) be brought into full functioning activity. This is done by right thinking and not by breathing exercises and holding the nose. When this is grasped, much dangerous practice will be avoided and people will come into a normal and safe control of that most potent instrument, the vital body. That this end may rapidly be consummated is my earnest wish. (4 - 77).

(8) It is through the etheric body that all the energies flow, whether emanating from the soul, or from the sun, or from a planet. (4 - 105).

(9) One of the principal objects of endeavour at the present time on the part of those whom you call the Elder Brothers of the race, is to stimulate, purify and co-ordinate the etheric body. This etheric body is not only the [Page 116] transmitter of prana, but is the medium for all the energies which we are considering. Its importance also lies in other directions:

a. Being of physical plane matter, literally, etheric consciousness is the next step ahead for the race. This will demonstrate at first as the ability to see etherically and to cognise etheric matter.

b. It is the field of exploration immediately ahead of the modern scientist. In ten years time, many medical practitioners will be recognizing it as a fact of nature.

c. Most of the diseases that the physical body suffers from at present, have their roots in the etheric body. There are few, if any, purely physical diseases. Disease has its source in astral and etheric conditions.

d. The etheric emanations of people can be great contaminators. In the purification, therefore, of this body lies the secret of a sweeter and saner humanity.

e. The secret of safe and sane clairvoyance and clairaudience depends upon the purification of the etheric vehicle. (4 - 372).

(10) When the man is on the Path of Discipleship and, therefore, upon the reversed wheel, leading to initiation, the etheric body becomes the transmitter of soul energy and not of personality force. (16 - 352).

(11) The etheric body is fundamentally the most important response apparatus which man possesses, producing not only the right functioning of the five senses, and consequently providing five major points of contact with the tangible world, but it also enables a man to register sensitively the subtler worlds, and, when energised and controlled by the soul, the spiritual realms stand wide open also.

The etheric body is a potent receiver of impressions, which are conveyed to the human consciousness through the medium of the awakened centres. There is, for instance, no true clairvoyance until either the solar plexus or the ajna centre is awakened. These transmitted impressions and information become the incentive whereby conscious activity is initiated. There are many words used to describe these forces and their actuating effects: such as impulses, incentives, influences, potencies, desires, aspirations, and many such terms which are only synonyms for force or energy, and thus convey the same general idea. All of these words refer to forms of activity of the etheric body, but only as the physical body registers them, and acts under their impression. The whole theme of motivating force is one of great interest.

The vastness of the subject is, however, so real that only little by little can humanity grasp the situation and come to the realisation that man is [Page 117] essentially (through his etheric body) an integral part of a great vibrant Whole; only in time will he learn that, through the processes of evolution, can he hope to register all the different areas of divine expression. Only when the etheric body is swept into activity under the influence and through the "impressed forces" of the soul, the mind, and temporarily, of the astral body, can man become aware of all the worlds, all phenomena, and all states of consciousness, and so achieve that omniscience which is the birthright of all the sons of God. (17 - 83/4).

(12) You are right in your belief that one can be perfectly healthy, but have little resistance to fatigue.

The principal factors in re-establishing or making a better etheric control are:

1. Sunshine.

2. Careful diet, with the emphasis upon the proteins and vitamins.

3. The avoidance of fatigue and worry.

Against all the above, at this time, climate, world conditions, environment, and our civilisation militate, and the individual has therefore to resign himself to a state of affairs which lies outside his individual control.

A normal, sane, regulated life is the best means for establishing a better measure of vitality. . . . You need to remember, however, that where there is a devitalised etheric body, and conditions are such that a re-establishment of a vital control seems difficult or impossible, there must be recognition of karmic limitations, and a willingness to submit to them and leave affairs to work themselves out. This particular life is not the only one there is. Frequently, therefore, in any particular incarnation, conditions cannot be changed, and are prolonged by inner rebellion and revolt. A disciple has to learn the lesson of going on, as the expression is, in spite of and not because of circumstances. (17 - 326/7).

(13) There are six major propositions which govern all consideration of the etheric body, and I would like to present them to students as a first step:

1. There is nothing in the manifested universe - solar, planetary or the various kingdoms in nature - which does not possess an energy form, subtle and intangible, yet substantial, which controls, governs and conditions the outer physical body. This is the etheric body.

2. This energy form - underlying the solar system, the planets, and all forms within their specific rings-pass-not - is itself conditioned and governed by the dominant solar or planetary energy, which ceaselessly and without break in time, creates it, changes and qualifies it. The etheric body is subject to ceaseless change. This, being true of the Macrocosm, is equally [Page 118] true of man, the microcosm, and - through the agency of humanity - will eventually and mysteriously prove true of all the subhuman kingdoms in nature. Of this, the animal kingdom and the vegetable kingdom are already evidence.

3. The etheric body is composed of interlocking and circulating lines of force, emanating from one or other, or from one or many, of the seven planes or areas of consciousness of our planetary Life.

4. These lines of energy, and this closely interlocking system of streams of force, are related to seven focal points or centres, to be found within the etheric body. These centres are related, each of them, to certain types of incoming energy. When the energy reaching the etheric body is not related to a particular centre, then that centre remains quiescent and unawakened; when it is related, and the centre is sensitive to its impact, then that centre becomes vibrant and receptive, and develops as a controlling factor in the life of the man on the physical plane.

5. The dense physical body, composed of atoms - each with its own individual life, light and activity - is held together by, and is expressive of the energies which compose the etheric body. These, as will be apparent, are of two natures:

a. The energies which form (through interlocked "lines of forceful energy") the underlying etheric body, as a whole and in relation to all physical forms. This form is qualified then by the general life and vitality of the plane on which the Dweller in the body functions, and therefore where his consciousness is normally focussed.

b. The particularised or specialised energies by which the individual (at this particular point in evolution, through the circumstances of his daily life and his heredity) chooses to govern his daily activities.

6. The etheric body has many centres of force, responsive to the manifold energies of our planetary Life, but we shall consider only the seven major centres which respond to the inflowing energies of the seven rays. All lesser centres are conditioned by the seven major centres; this is a point which students are apt to forget. It is here that knowledge of the egoic and of the personality rays is of prime usefulness.

It can be seen, therefore, how exceedingly important this subject of energy becomes, because it controls and makes the man what he is at any given moment, and likewise indicates the plane on which he should function, and the method whereby he should govern his environment, circumstances and relationships. . . . He will realise also that as his attitude, attainment and comprehension shift to ever higher levels, his etheric body [Page 119] will be constantly changing and responding to the newer energies. (11 - 142/4).

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