Re: theos-l digest: December 08, 1999
Dec 09, 1999 11:47 AM
by Murray Stentiford
Responding to Kym,
My understanding is that the etheric body, in modern theosophical use of
the word, is involved in the construction as well as maintenance of the
physical body. Yes, the television set has an etheric counterpart or
aspect, but it didn't play much of a part in its construction. However, in
the growth of living things, the etheric level of energy/substance has an
important bridging role between subtler levels and the physical, in the
development of the form.
Several streams of influence and "memory" converge on the making of a new
human being; genetic and environmental, as commonly appreciated, plus the
bundle of spiritual and personal qualities of the being to be incarnated,
with its relevant karma.
Let me quote you a piece from "The Miracle of Birth" by the theosophical
writer Geoffrey Hodson. This little book is a report of his inner
perceptions at different stages of a pregnancy and makes a fascinating read.
The shape of the physical body is decided by that of the etheric mould into
which it is built by the nature-spirits. This mould is produced partly by
the formative power of the "sound" vibration emitted by the zygote and
permanent atom, and partly by the Lords of karma, who model it according to
the karma of the individual. It is endowed with a certain elemental life of
its own, and is a precipitation in human form of the physical karma of the
One possible function of the etheric mould is to ensure a safe passage by
the fetus through the repetitive evolutionary stages of the past to the
human form of today. The mould itself does not appear to go through those
stages, although it assumes only gradually the fully developed
child-appearance. ... In cases of shock to the mother, for example, it
would act as a cushion or buffer. Such influences as are within the karma
of the ego do pass through it, however, and it is modified by their
passage, as is also the growth of the fetus.
The mould in the case examined was situated within the womb and looked like
the outline of a baby picked out in white light. It was built of etheric
matter which, at the outer surface, was compressed into a covering or
"skin". The general effect was that of a shimmering white baby bathed in
moonlight with a slightly uneven degree of luminosity. The features were
faintly to be seen, but were not yet clearly defined.
The building of the physical body was seen proceeding within the womb. Many
streams of force converged upon it, and there was an intense activity of
the building nature-spirits at the physical, etheric and astral levels. The
fetus appeared to act as a magnet, towards which the particles of matter
were seen to be continually attracted. These particles could be followed
clairvoyantly in their passage to the point where they aggregated and
"settled" themselves into position in the body. ...
The ego [spiritual self or incarnating entity] was also affecting this
matter through the shaft of light previously described. Egoic force was
seen to be playing continually down the shaft, implanting its own specific
vibration upon the incoming particles. This matter, drawn from all sides,
rushed towards the mother's body, was caught in the currents of force
immediately surrounding the fetus, and was drawn by them into position in
the growing body. One such current attached itself to the etheric double of
the observer, with the result that such etheric matter in his body as
corresponded to the rate of vibration of that particular current was drawn
into the body of the embryo.
The end of the shaft from the ego to the mother formed an astro-etheric
"heart" within the fetus at a point roughly corresponding to the solar
plexus. Much of the vital energy of the body was also concentrated in this
centre, from which it was distributed to serve as a stimulus to physical
cell growth, to vitalise the body and to increase the original attractive
force which was drawing etheric matter into the womb.
-----end of quote-----
This, by the way, was at the 5th month of the pregnancy.
To your other questions, I don't think the etheric mould is necessarily
involved in shaping the chromosomes themselves. They are more like a
library of an enormous accumulated physical experience from which only a
fraction of the information is used in forming the new body. The question
is, what selects which genes are activated? Cross-plane vibratory
affinities? Perhaps this is where etheric energies come in, maybe by
influencing the quantum-mechanical level.
Mental retardation associated with an extra chromosome would be a
combination of influences at several levels such as the karma that leads to
a particular ego being attracted to particular parents and their
circumstances, and the bundle of qualities coming in with the ego. It's
two-way: karma could affect how genes combine and group themselves, and the
resulting brain structure affects the consciousness. All instances of the
big, big theosophical question of how karma precipitates out into the world
of events and forms.
There's a relevant saying that comes to mind just now - "Questions
answered, answers questioned" - a recipe for health, or madness. You get to
choose, and you can bet on gathering more questions than answers, as is the
way of this world.
I know of one other writer, Phoebe Payne-Bendit, who wrote about a birth as
viewed by subtle sight, in a striking and beautiful piece. Does anyone know
of others who are investigating in this field?
> Date: Wed, 08 Dec 1999 03:16:27 -0700
> From: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: theos-l digest: December 06, 1999
> While scientists have connected certain chromosones with statistical
>tendencies, they have yet to link any specific chromosone with any
>specific behavior. Also, we don't know what makes a person incarnate in
>a body, although Theosophical writings at least imply that the etheric
>body helps shape the physical body (including the chromosones).
In what way does the etheric body "shape" the physical body? I was under
the impression that the etheric body 'maintained' the physical body, but
not that it was involved in its construction or shaping. And if the
etheric body is responsible for shaping the chromosones, then is the
etheric body responsible for defects in chromosones as well? If a person
is born mentally retarded (possessed of an extra chromosone), did the
etheric body boo-boo?
It would seem to me that the etheric body works with what is already there
- such as in healing and as a sensor/monitor/reflector of what is going on
the body; but the etheric seems to enter AFTER the creation of a form. I
mean, even a television set, when turned on, has an etheric form - but did
the etheric create the television set?
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