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Re: Comments on Subtle Bodies RE:Jerry S, Rich T and Eldon T

Oct 11, 1995 08:42 AM

If any new students of Theosophy are reading the exchange between Eldon,
Rich and Jerry S., they may be thinking about how to find the closest exit and
get the hell out of the Theosophy building! Are you three guys talking in the
same language??

Rich speaks of the "astral" and Jerry S. speaks of the "astral" but are the
two of you referring to the same idea?

Rich writes:

"`Psychic' in HPB's and WQJ's terms means simply `astral' and has little or
nothing to do with `mental"....."

Rich, I don't know what you mean by `astral' but in HPB's writings and in
the letters of the Masters, `psychic' usually refers to the `kama-manas'

Jerry S. in replying to Rich writes:

"It is unfortunate indeed, that the TS founders chose a word to indicte
astral that actuallymeans the mental. My small paperback Webster's
Dictionary says that psychic means `pertaining to the mental and spiritual
life'......I use the word daily in my writings on psychology and therapy
to indicate the mental...."

Again, Jerry S. I don't exactly know how you are using the word "astral."
I expect you mean by that word "emotions" "emotional" etc.

But the word psychic or psyche can mean more than just mental and some
dictionaries will define it as involving both mind and emotions. The psyche
is mento-emotional personality or the kama-manas personality. And certainly
in one definition, psychology can be defined as the study of a human being's
thoughts and emotions. Agreed this is a simplistic definition.

Rich writes:

"We are not tuaght any `manasic' body by early writers....."

Again Rich writes:

"In all primary Theosophical sources (and Crosbie and Purucker stick to
this) only 2 bodies are spoke of, physical and astral......"

Rich, I don't mean to be unkind, but where are you getting this stuff from?

Turn to at last one source written by HPB: "Dialogue Between the Two Editors"
(Lucifer, Dec. 1888, pp. 328-333) in HPB's Collected Writings, Vol. X, pp.
218-219. I think this article is also printed in the Theosophy Company's
Theosophical Articles by HPB. Anyway, HPB speaks of three doubles or bodies:

(1) The Protean or Plastic Body (the linga-sarira);

(2) The Mayavi-Rupa or Thought or Dream body; and

(3) The true Ego, Casual Body or Karmic Body.

And in this article , HPB says (p. 219) that the Mayavi-Rupa (the Thought
Body) is the "vehicle both of thought and of the animal passions and desires,
drawing at one aand the same time from the lowest terrrestrial manas (mind) and
Kama, the element of desire.....

In other words, the Myaavi-Rupa is the same as what HPB says elsewhere is the
psyche. And since the word psychic comes from psyche, we see where we get
the phrase "psychic phenomena" since such phenomena and experiences originate
on the kama-manasic "plane" or "realm".

Eldon and Jerry S. both quote the following from HPB:

"When a man visits another in his Astral body, it is the Linga-sarira which
goes, but this cannot happen at any great distance....The Linga-Sarira may be
hurt by a sharp instrument...Nothing however can hurt the Mayavi-Rupa or
thought body, since it is purely subjective....The projection of the Astral
body should not be attempted, but the power of Kriyasakti should be exercised
in the projection of the Mayavi-Rupa...."

It is interesting that this distinction between the Linga-sarira and the
Mayavi-rupa as both vehicles of projection has been discovered (using different
terminlogy) by Dr. Robert Crookall in his dozen or more books on astral
projections, out-of the body experiences, etc. In one of his books (I forget
the title) his research of various people's experiences out of the body
clearly shows that there are these two basic types of out-of the body
experiences. Some projectors find that they cannot travel too far from the
physical body and are in fact captives of a "astral" or silver cord whereas
other projectors never see a silver cord and are not limited to the vicinity
of their physical body but in fact can travel great distances from the
physical body. The limited out of body travelers are using the linga-sarira
as their astral body of projection whereas the travelers who do not experience
limited travel are projecting in their mayavi-rupas.

Also we can correlate HPB's teaching above with studies of physical and
mental mediumship. Physical mediums like Eusapia Palladino "use" their
linga sarira to "move" objects and cause ectoplasmic manifestations. Mental
mediums like Mrs. Piper do not produce "physical" phenomena but instead
produce "mental" phenomena such as telepathic communications, etc. Whole
books could be written on the differences between the two kinds of mediumship.

Jerry S. writes:

"Here HPB clearly distinguishes the astral and mental bodies. Someone
please show this quote to Rich. He thinks that there is only an astral body.
This quote is a good example of how confusing words can be when we talk about
these things...."

yes, I agree that Rich should look at this quote, but at the same time, I
would caution Jerry S. to carefully define what he means by "astral" and
"mental bodies". Jerry, do you define "mental body" as "mayavi-rupa"? If so,
the "mayavi-rupa" is not only mental but also emotional. And as HPB uses
astral, the astral body is not the emotional body but the linga-sarira which
HPB says "play the part of materialized grandmothers and `John Kings." (see
C.W., X, p. 218.

Now of course the reality behind these words is more complex than what you
might expect from just reading what I have written but I believe the
correlations with Dr. Crookall's work and with a study of physical
and mental mediumship of HPB's teachings helps the Theosophical
student to understand all of this a little better.

On those few occasions when I have "astral projected" I have found myself
in an objective body yet within myself I was aware of my own thoughts and
emotions. On one of these excursions, I suspect I was in the linga-sarira
since it was difficult to go far from the body and I felt constrained. In
several other expeiences I experienced no constraining influences of my physical
body and in fact was able to travel a great distance with no thought of the
physical body. My projected body seemed quite energetic and light and
probably I was in the mayavi rupa. These projections whether in the
linga sarira or in the mayavi rupa are quite different (at least for me)
than being in the physical body and yet in deep thought or meditation and
all of the former three pale in comparison to mystical states of consciousness
that I have experienced whether in or out of the body. These mystical states
(to my perception at least) are totally superior to the former three. In these
mystical states I have experienced there are no bodies, no distinction between
inner and outer, just a consciousness of supreme bliss that flows through
your being. Your sense of self is merged with a greater self which includes
everything. Bliss, intense love and compassion wells up within "you" from
an inexhaustible source. These mystical experiences make projections in the
linga sarira or the mayavi rupa almost of no consequene whatsoever.

Sorry for getting sidetracked and relating some of my personal experiences
which I usually try to avoid doing.

Enough for now.

Daniel Caldwell

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