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Re: Astral/Etheric terms (JerryS.)

Jul 08, 1996 04:57 PM
by Jim Meier

Hi Jerry --
Short re-post (two day delay), with comments at end:

>>Are you sure about that?  I've always thought two of the biggest problems in
>>reading HPB were 1) the blinds, and 2) the often confusing use of the word
>>astral to refer to "that CWL term which indicates the higher subplanes of
>>the physical plane."
>Yes.  G de Purucker says that HPB's "astral" or "astral light" refers to
>the second cosmic plane (the one adjacent to the physical) which
>is typically called the astral plane.  As far as I know, the name of
>astral plane for the second cosmic plane is used alike by all of
>the early theosophical writers.  Astral light was a generic term for
>the astral, mental, and causal planes (in the same way as the
>Egyptian Tuat or Dwat) until HPB and Theosophy began using it 
>for the second plane only.  I don't recall HPB using the term etheric
>plane at all.  That name came from the ether that was supposed
>to fill the solar system, and was used a lot in neo-theosophy.
>Astral and etheric are not interchangable words as they name
>different regions of the Magical Universe.
>	Jerry S.
>	Member TI

  For, as Occultism teaches, if the Higher Mind-Entity -- the permanent and the
  immortal -- is of the divine homogenous essence of "Alaya-Akasa," or Mahat
  -- its reflection, the Personal Mind, is, as a temporary "Principle," of
  the substance of the Astral Light. As a pure ray of the "Son of the Universal
  Mind," it could perform no functions in the body, and would remain
  powerless over the turbulent organs of Matter.  Thus, while its inner
  constitution is Manasic, its "body," or rather the functioning essence, is
  heterogenous, and leavened with the Astral Light, the lowest element of
                                      -- Lucifer Vol. VII, 1890, p177-185
                                         quoted from CW Vol. XII, p371

So.. we just disagree on this one.  HPB's use of astral for etheric is
specifically addressed in some detail in the Bailey texts, which you do not
accept as valid theosophical teaching.  And I'm not a student of G.deP.
Those two aside, I don't see how the original posting on Magic from the SD
could be using Astral Light to refer to the astral plane, since I can't
imagine HPB referring to any astral aspect as "true essence," given the
nature of the fogs and miasmas that characterize the 2nd plane.  From the
quote above, it seems to me that HPB was still using Astral Light to refer
to more than just "astral" matters only, though you and I may just be
reading things differently.


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