Comments on Subtle Bodies
Oct 11, 1995 09:48 AM
by Jerry Schueler
Re: Re: Symbols and Bridges 1
Some comments to Rich and Eldon:
<HPB and William Q. Judge both speak of the psychic/astral
<as the ROOT of the physical senses. The physical organs
<do not sense OF THEMSELVES, but have their actual seats on
<the astral plane. On that plane, those senses are
<potentially unlimited, but when expressed through the veil
<of matter in a physical body, they are greatly curtailed
< because of the density of matter.
I am not at all sure of what the heck you mean here,
Rich. The physical senses and their relationship to the
brain (sensory and motor nerves, etc) are well documented.
Medical science needs no astral or mental causes for physical
sensations. However, there is a cause-effect relationship
from each higher body to the lower because each lower is an
expression of the higher. Perhaps this is what you mean
here? However, medical science also has documented a
reversed cause-effect relationship in that the state of the
body can effect how we feel (emote) and think. You
seem to be saying that the astral body has virtually
unlimited senses, which I rather doubt.
<When one awakens to one's astral self, those senses become
<activated there, and are greatly extended, since this is
<their natural place.
One "awakens to one's astral self" every time one
goes to sleep. Our "dream body" is usually our astral body.
<"Psychic" in HPB's and WQJ's terms means simply "astral" and
<has little or nothing to do with "mental" since lower manas
<is focused (in general in humanity (including us)) on the
It is unfortunate indeed, that the TS founders
chose a word to indicate the astral that actually means
the mental. My small paperback Webster's Dictionary says
that psychic means "pertaining to the mental and spiritual
life" and also "pertaining to mysterious mental forces." I
use the word daily in my writings on psychology and therapy
to indicate the mental. Do you see, Rich, how holding onto
such anachronisms gets us theosophist into so much trouble
with the outside, as well as with new (and sometimes
not so new) members? Should we keep using a word for
astral that means mental just because the founders did
so? (Sorry, but theosophical terminology gives me a
< We are not taught any "mansic" body by early writers, in
<fact they call it "arupa", formless or bodiless.
Depends on how you define "early." HPB mentions
just such a "mind body" and said that manas "in conjunction
with its vehicle becomes Kama-rupa and Mayavi-rupa--body of
desire or "illusion body." " (CW Vol VII, p 188).
<No where do I see HPB or WQJ teaching that we have "bodies"
<and "senses" on each plane. The three higher principles
<(Atma, Buddhi, Higher Manas) are absolutely formless, have
<no bodies, nothing that we could call senses, and
<experience "directly," or intuitively, without instruments
<(on their own planes). Only when they work in the lower
<realms do they require bodies.
I am tired of arguing with you on this one. Please
read the 1000+ books in any Adyar (or Wheaton) TS library.
You are not Adyar, and you admit to having read nothing from
this group. So I can't really argue with you. Let me just
say that simply because an idea is not found per se
in HPB or the MLs. doesn't mean that it is not true. Your
notion that atma, buddhi and higher manas are formless is
true only relative to the human mind. If you look at
Purucker's diagram on page 323 of FS of O, you will see that
atma, buddhi and manas do have form because they are all
within or below the "Rupa-Dhatu". BTW, there is really no
such thing as "higher manas." This is simply a convient way
of looking at the relationships between principles at times.
There is manas, Rich, and only manas - which means mind and
especially the human mind. Which, BTW, exists on the mental
plane and only on the mental plane.
<As for the Kama principle, we know that it too is "bodiless"
<in life except for being groudned in the physical body
I am sure that this is unconscious to you, and
probably is a result of your many years of teaching, but
please, while discussing with us on theos-l, I for one,
would like you to stop saying "we know." This comes
across as a very superior attitude. The problem is, Rich,
that I very much do NOT know any such a thing. Kama
does have a body, and it is called the astral body. And
this body is "grounded in the physical body" *only* when
consciousness is functioning in what we call the waking
<In all primary Theosophical sources (and Crosbie and
<Purucker stick to this) only 2 bodies are spoken of,
<physical and astral, and only 7 senses -- 5
<developed, 2 to go. I have never heard that Manas has a
<"body" on its own plane, with or without senses.
You haven't heard of it, because your reading
and studying has been rather limited (as you yourself
have admitted to us). Again, let me state, just because
something is not specifically mentioned by HPB or
by the MLs, does not mean that it is false. For example,
try and find something in your "Source Teachings" that
refutes the idea. You won't.
<"When a man visits another in his Astral Body, it is the
<goes, but this cannot happen at any great distance"
<[Note that Blavatsky equates astral with Linga-Sharira,
<whereas Leadbeater makes them two things and calls the
<Linga-Sharira the "etheric body".]
I think that HPB did not mean *only* the
Linga-Sharira here, although the way it comes out,
it does seem to imply this. Purucker calls the
Linga-Sarira "the Astral Form" in the sense of a
body or vehicle (FS of O, p 439), and as such it
would have to take with it a corresponding
subjectivity or of what use is a "visit?"
Anyway, Eldon touches on an interesting idea
here that has bothered me for years. In a sense
I can see the Linga-Sharira as the astral body,
but in another sense, especially in reference to
Enochian Magic, I agree with CWL. My problem
relates to the elements of Earth, Water, Air, and
Fire. Each refers to a cosmic plane, as well as
a "body" or vehicle of consciousness. Enochian
Magic gets into a lot of trouble if we equate
the element Earth to the physical plane - the
whole Watchtower of Earth becomes a quaint map
of our planet Earth (which is just how some Dee
"purists" see it). But if we address the etheric
and equate the element Earth to the etheric body,
then the whole scheme makes sense. This is what
I have done in my books. But it means siding with
CWL over HPB, which I really didn't want to happen.
<[Note that we are not aware of others in the sphere
<of effects until we're Adepts.]
Be careful with this Eldon. HPB means that
we can't be aware of anyone in their Mayavi-rupa while
we are in our physical. But, if we leave our physical
body and enter our astral or mental body, then we
can, indeed, be aware of others who are also in their
astral or mental bodies, without having to be an Adept.
JRC is not the only person to talk with angels. And
JRC is probably not an Adept. But the Adept can sense
the appearance of an astral or mental body even while
in the physical and this is the difference. BTW, we
all have this inherent ability, the Adept simply has
<"Dugpas use the Mayavi-Rupa and sorcerers also. Dugpas
<work on the Linga-sharira of other perople. ..."
I, for one, won't lose any sleep tonight
worrying about either Dugpas or Sorcerers. Is this
quote supposed to scare me? I often imagine HPB
chuckling to herself whenever she wrote or said these
kinds of things.
<"The Linga-Sharira may be hurt by a sharp instrument ...
<Nothing however can hurt the Mayavi-Rupa or thought-body,
<since it is purely subjective."
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. She says that the
mental body is "purely subjective." Well, it certainly
is from the perspective of us humans in the waking
state in our physical bodies. But, let me tell you,
from the perspective of one within his or her mental
body, it is objective as all heck.
<"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."
Quick, someone show this quote to Eldon. Oh,
thats right, Eldon put the quote on. Eldon, did you read
this? :-) Can you tell me how your intellectual/spiritual
approach "exercises" your Kriyasakti powers? I am interested
to hear this.
OK, so why does HPB say that out-of-body experiences
are OK in the mental body, but not in the astral body?
I think that we will all agree here that the manasic
element of the Mayavi-rupa helps to avert the danagers
associated with a purely astral experience. In other
words, our emotions need to be controlled or directed
by our mind. She gives us this same warning in several
places, and I would agree with her.
<The astral body is the image in the astral light that
<governs our physical form, and is the seat of our senses.
<The physical is really concreted astral, and not a separate
<plane or principle.
Where on earth did you find this idea, Eldon?
Just as the physical is "concreted astral" so the astral
is concreted mental. And the mental plane is concreted
causal, and so on, and so on. If the physical is not
a "separate plane" then none are. Technically, in the
Buddhist sense of maya, this is true. But why single out
the physical? While I agree that the astral body is
the image in the astral light (this assumes that astral
light equals astral plane) that governs our physical
form, I can also say that it is our astral body with
its own set of astral senses.
<Apart from the astral body, of which the physical is a
<precipitation, we can using the creative power of mind
<create a projected body or seat of awareness, the
<Mayavi-Rupa. This is not a "mental body" on "the mental
<plane", but rather a mind-created body. It also is in the
<astral light of our Globe D earth, as also is the
<nirmanakaya, yet another type of self-created seat or focus
Yes, and the astral is a precipitation of the
mental, which is a precipitation of the causal, and
so on. I don't believe for a minute that we "create"
our mental body, which I see as exactly the Mayavi-rupa.
Its already there, on the mental plane. We simply
learn to focus in it, thats all. This is not only
something I learned studying theosophy, but also in
Buddhism and occultism and in many other places. The
exoteric teaching is that we must create such a body
(and this can be found in many Taoist texts, for example)
but the esoteric teaching is that it already exists
and we simply learn to focus consciousness in it (the
Tibetans, for example, teach this). I certainly never
had to create my astral, or mental, or causal bodies,
and I don't think I am all that unique.
Any "mind-created body" or mind-created
anything soever MUST be on the mental plane, by definition
of "mind-created." You seem to be saying that thoughts
are physical things that we can see and weigh and
touch because thay are somehow not located on the
mental plane. I really can't follow your (or Rich,
who seems to agree with you) logic on this at all,
Eldon. I see all minds, and all thoughts, and all
mentally created things, existing on the mental plane.
Where else can such mental things be? Your confounding
the planes is certainly confusing me. And I have
asked you and Rich to explain what you mean many
many times. So far, I have not heard anything
except quoting of scripture or your own understanding
of such scripture; but what I need is how do you
logically explain such a thing. To my way of thinking
it is much more logical to put physical objects
on the physical plane, astral objects on the astral
plane, mental objects on the mental plane, and so on.
I can't understand why this simply idea seems so alien
to you, and once again I must ask you to explain.
Your quote above seems very confusing to me. You
talk about the Mayavi-rupa, a manasic product and
thus by definition mental, and then say its in the
"astral light" which is on the astral plane - not
the mental plane. You are either not coming through
very clearly, or it is all muddled up in your mind
and you can't do any better (which is likely *not*
the case). Anyway, I'll bet my money on the
Mayavi-rupa being on the mental plane, and not the
astral plane as your quote seems to indicate.
<The physical Globe D earth that we see is concreted astral,
<which is the real Globe D. It's sphere of effects consists
<of the -- to us -- subjective states as we are disembodied,
<yet in the atmosphere of Globe D. We are still with the
<earth, but in the after death states we give up the lower
<principles, and are no longer manifest and engaged in the
<karmic give-and-take of outer life.
Maybe its just me? Eldon, do me a favor, and
step back, relax, and quietly read over the above quote
and see if it makes any sense to you. If so, please
jot down where your logic lies, because I am missing it.
What do you mean by "atmosphere of Globe D?" I wonder
if you even know? Do you mean the surrounding air?
Do you mean the magnetosphere? Your quote above is
confusing to me. If you mean the astral and mental
planes, then I can agree with you. Know what happens
when we "give up the lower principles?" We drop our
lower bodies. Its two ways of saying the same thing.
With each drop, consciousness rises up to the next
plane and focuses in the next body. What do you mean
by "We are still with the earth?" How can we be, if
we have dropped the physical body and the Silver Chord
(sutratma) to it is severed? IMHO, the *only*
connection that we have with Earth is via the physical
senses of our physical body.
<I realize that all these ideas would sould strange in the
<context of the picture that I onced studied from
<Leadbeater's books, but seems both consistent with Blavatsky
<(and Purucker), and much more satisfying an explanation to
<me. I'm also open to further adjusting and refining the
<ideas with additional studies -- and also from learning from
<others in a give-and-take interchange of ideas.
I would appreciate your refining this for me. I
have no trouble at all taking from both AB/CWL and Purucker
having studied both. I also have no problem with your
leaving CWL and accepting HPB and Purucker. But I too
study Purucker, and I don't see the logic of much of
what you are saying, while on the other hand I have never
had any problem with Purucker's works. Either we
interpret him far differently, or you have interjected
some other teachings from other sources (?). While I
agree with everything Jerry HE and others have said
about AB/CWL and would discount his description of Mars
and so on, his descriptions of the four lower planes
seem to me to be right on, and I see nothing in HPB,
the MLs, or Purucker that would discount or conflict
in any way with it. Maybe you can show me something?
General Comment: As I see it, all of these opinions
or descriptions of planes and bodies and principles
are basically models. We need to find models that will
help us in our daily lives, to explain our experiences.
Probably all are limited and have holes. I have no
conception, particularly, of right or wrong here. If
a particular model works for you, then go with it (I
am very eclectic). My model works for me, and until
something comes along that makes me change it, I will
find it suitable and will stick with it. The same goes
for Eldon, and Rich, and everyone else. So please
remember folks, I am not flaming or trying to shoot
down anyone. I am trying to understand the models
of others, while trying to explain my own. That all
we are doing here.
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