Source: "Etheric Vision & What It Reveals" by students
The material in this booklet is a reprint (with some revisions and
additions) of monthly lessons sent out by The Rosicrucian Fellowship to its
members, and is a summary of studies and researches conducted by the students
in the Esoteric Section of the Fellowship. The conclusions reached, as is
often the case in scientific investigations, may have to be revised in the
light of future developments and work.
Although Max Heindel had not completed his researches in the ethers at the
time of his passing in January, 1919, he left a substantial foundation and
what he gave is standing up well under the impact of even the latest
scientific findings. He stated many times that the Brothers of the Rose Cross
work through scientists and with science; they do not limit their activities
to students and probationers of The Rosicrucian Fellowship, nor to any other
specific group. Their's is an endeavor for ALL humanity, pointing toward the
actual establishment of universal brotherhood on our earth.
The Western Wisdom Teachings were given in a basic form through Max
Heindel; a basic physical science come forth through academic representatives.
Mankind, consciously and unconsciously, are preparing for the Aquarian Age,
when science will be religious and religion scientific. Meanwhile each
aspirant must add his small bit to the ever-extending coral reef of knowledge.
Max Heindel has intimated that when the Aquarian Age dawns, some six
hundred years from now, or perhaps before that, a new Teacher will appear
who will sum up in himself and his Teachings the composite wisdom of our
entire past evolution. This great Teacher of the Aquarian Age, he intimates
again, will be the reappearance of that Ego who was known in Europe as
Christian Rosenkreutz, and again as the Count St. Germain who, he believes,
may have been one of his last public incarnations.
In addition to the Teacher of the Aeon, however, a messenger is also sent
out once each century from the "Invisible Government of the World," called in
occultism "The Great White Lodge." Occultists everywhere now agree that
between the present year, 1965, and the year 2000, or shortly thereafter, one
of these teachers will come forward. The direction of his teachings we may
know by the trends of our time: universalism in science and religion,
preparing for the "One World" of Aquaria, under the banner of the Christ; and
the thrust outward into interstellar space and new cosmic adventures for the
human Spirit, and a truly cosmic philosophy to go with it.
Man's immediate Utopia is no mere city on earth's surface, nor any of
earth's lands, but the whole living universe, through which the mystic hears
the rushing of the Wings of God and the unceasing Song of His Word.
THE CHEMICAL ETHER:
THE NATURE OF ETHERIC SIGHT:
In 1918 Max Heindel wrote: "The process of preparation for the Aquarian Age
has already commenced; and as Aquarius is an airy, scientific, intellectual
sign, it is a foregone conclusion that the new faith must be rooted in reason
and able to solve the riddle of life and death in a manner that will satsify
both the mind and the religious instinct." As we have in the past evolved five
senses by means of which we contact the present visible world, so shall we in
the far distant future evolve another sense which will enable us to see the
denizens of the Etheric Region, including those of our dear ones who have left
the physical body and inhabit the ether and lower Desire World during the
first stage of their career in the spiritual realms.
"Aquarius is an airy sign having special rule over the ethers." The flood
which sank the ancient continent of Atlantis, which is the Noachian Deluge of
the Bible, dried the air to a degree "by depositing most of the moisture it
held into the sea; but when the Sun enters Aquarius by precession, still more
of the moisture will be eliminated and the visual vibrations which are most
easily transmitted by the dry etheric atmosphere will become more intense, and
thus conditions will become more intense, and thus conditions will be more
particularly conducive to production of the slight extension of our present
sight necessary to open our eyes to the etheric region. California's
production of psychics is an instance of this effect of a dry, electric
atmosphere, although of course it is not nearly so dry as the air of the
Aquarian Age will be."
"But it is well to realize that through ASPIRATION and MEDITATION those who
are longingly looking for that day are taking time by the forelock, and may
quite easily outstrip their fellows who are unaware of what is in store. The
latter, on the other hand, may delay development of the extended vision by the
belief that they are suffering from hallucinations when they begin to get
their first glimpse of the etheric entities, and the fear that if they tell
others what they see they will be judged insane.
"Therefore The Rosicrucian Fellowship has been charged by the Elder
Brothers with the mission of promulgating the Gospel of the Aquarian Age, to
conduct a campaign of education and enlightenment so that the world may be
prepared for what is in store. The world must be leavened with these ideas:
"(1) Conditions in the land of the living dead are not shrouded in mystery,
but knowledge of them is as available as knowledge concerning foreign
countries from the tales of travelers. (2) We stand close to the threshold
were we shall know these truths; and (3), most important of all, we shall
hasten the day in our own case by acquiring knowledge of the facts concerning
the post-mortem existence and the things we may expect to see; for then we
shall know what to look for and will be neither frightened, astonished, nor
incredulous when we commence to obtain glimpses of these things."
However, wonderful as these developments are--and because they are
wonderful--a responsibility attends them. "Students should realize that a
serious responsibility goes with the possession of knowledge, for to whom much
is given, of him much shall be required; and if we bury our talent, may we not
expect a merited condemnation? The Rosicrucian Fellowship can fulfill its
mission only in so far as each member does his duty in spreading the Teachings
[AND IN LIVING THE LIFE], and therefore it is to be hoped that this may serve
to call attention of students to the fact of their individual duty."
But let there be no misunderstanding on the nature of this duty. We are not
appointed to build up a powerful organization, with great wealth, imposing
buildings, and hundreds of thousands of dues-paying members. Our duty is
simply to spread the truths pertaining to the New Age, in such wise as
circumstances may determine. We do not have to mention the word "Rosicrucian"
nor "The Rosicrucian Fellowship;" but if we are asked as to the source of our
knowledge then it is our privilege, as well as our duty, to speak the truth,
and to give our spiritual backgorund. And of course we should not force our
views upon unwilling ears.
Mental hospitals today are full of cases of so-called nervous and mental
breakdowns which are in fact nothing else than persons suffering from exposure
to psychic forces which they do not understand, and as a result of which they
are nervously and emotionally exhausted and go in deadly fear. These
conditions are caused by the over-stimulation of the great nerve center of the
solar plexus, before the higher centers in the brain have come into play
sufficiently to extend a measure of control.
We touch upon this issue only in passing, as a symptom of the sensitization
which occurs as the Aquarian Age approaches. It is not only the solar plexus
which receives such stimulation from cosmic forces, but other nerve centers,
also, including the optic nerve and the brain areas having to do with vision,
which in this case is the extended vision pertaining to the etheric region.
Etheric sight ordinarily depends upon the sensitiveness of the optic nerve,
but even when the optic nerve is defective or destroyed, it may be that
etheric vision can be developed through the use of substitute nerve channels.
We are told that much of the defective vision found among us today is due to
the increasing densification of the ethers, which is part of the over-all
effect of the solar radiation when the Sun nears Aquarius at the vernal
equinox by precession.
By means of etheric sight it is possible to see everything that exists in
the Etheric Region of the physical world. When this vision first develops it
reveals the lowest, or Chemical Ether, which varies from grey-blue, through
blue, to violet, or a dark blue that is almost black. Max Heindel speaks of
the Chemical Ether as "dark, almost black." Because of the interplay or
inermingling of the other ethers in the Chemical Ether, this ether may also
seem to be reddish-blue, magewnta, violet, or purple, according to the density
of the ethers.
When anyone views an object with etheric sight he sees THROUGH the object
in a manner similar to the way an X-ray penetrates solid substance. It is
therefore called X-ray vision, although this is by no means an accurate
description. In viewing an object with etheric vision the seer sees first the
outer part, then the next adjacent part, and finally on through to the farther
side of the object. One may have higher grades of sight (Desire World vision,
mental, etc.) and yet not have etheric sight. By means of etheric sight one
can see through books, papers, letters, wall, or anything else for a short
In the Aquarian Age when many will have etheric sight it will be extremely
easy to study anatomy and to detect a morbid growth, a dislocation, or a
pathological condition of the body, for with this vision the doctor will be
able to study directly both anatomical structures and physiological processes
As the New Age advances, the masses will develop etheric sight, and with
this widespread development it will be largely impossible for one to live a
double life and to act differently in the home than one does in public. Were
we aware now of the invisible entities thronging our houses, we should often
feel ashamed of the things we do and say. The various kinds of entities
filling the air are attracted to people who are of like nature with
themselves, whether good or evil, and these entities are low on the path of
evolution and have not the intelligence to retain a disguise very long at a
time, but must, sooner or later, expose their true inner quality.
But whether seen or unseen, the invisible etheric entities feed on the Life
Ether of the person to whom they are attracted, if they are permitted to
linger in the aura. Consequently they not only tend to influence such persons
toward evil, but they also weaken their vital body; and this leads to such
cases of nerve exhaustion as result in partial possession ot obsession. It is
as impossible to rid the aura of such entities without a complete moral and
emotional cleansing as to stamp out malaria without draining the swamps and
pools where the malaria mosquito breeds.
Where the atmosphere is full of such entities, revealing unerringly the
condition of psychic and mental uncleanness of those who entertain them, and
when in the New Age virtually everyone has the power to see them, there will
be no way of hiding what our prevailing character may be. "There will be no
privacy which may not be broken into by any one who desires to see us. it will
avail nothing that we send the office boy or maid out to tell an unwelcome
visitor that we are 'not in.' This means that in the New Age honesty and
straightforwardness will be the only worthwhile policy, for we cannot then do
wrong and hope to escape detection. There will be people whose wickedness of
character lead them in the ways of wickedness then as now, but they will at
least be marked so that they may be avoided."
Concerning etheric vision Max Heindel syas further: (MS 591-2): "Experience
has proved that the afflicted stellar ray from certain parts of the zodiac
already mentioned interferes with the etheric vibration sensed by the retina
of the eye, and thus imparis the physical sight. if, in the same figure,
Neptune is focused through one of these places, the so-called 'yellow spot,'
which is BLIND because sensitized by the spiritual ray of Neptune (i.e. the
spinal spirit fire), and thus it may be that a person physically nearsighted,
or even blind, may view the spiritual worlds hidden from people whose sight is
focused by mercurial vibrations" (in the nerves ruled by Mercury).
And again (LETTERS TO STUDENTS p.82): "We do not see physical objects
OUTSIDE the eye:* they are reflected in the retina, and we see only their
`image' INSIDE the eye. As light is the agent of reflection, objects which
resist the passage of light appear opaque; other substances, like glass, seem
clear because they admit light rays readily. When the spiritual sight is used,
light of superlative intensity is generated INSIDE the body between the
pituitary body and the pineal gland. It is focused 'through' the so-called
blind spot in the eye directly upon the object to be invertigated. The scope
of the direct ray is entirely different from the range of the reflected
physical ray. It penetrates a wall without difficulty."
*Recent findings seem to suggest that the function of the retina is more
analytical and selective than was formerly believed, but this does not affect
the correctness of the above in reference to etheric sight.
THE CHEMICAL ETHER IN THE HUMAN BODY:
The etheric region of the earth's planetary envelope is part and parcel of
the physical Earth itself. It is no "spiritual" except in the sense that the
entire living universe is the expression of God's beauty and wisdom. It is
commonly called "the lowest" of the invisible "spirit" regions, and etheric
sight is also called "the lowest" form of "spiritual" sight. "Lowest" it may
be, but it reveals a world lying just beyond the borderline of physical sight,
magical to those fortunate enough to gaze upon it.
There are several kinds of vision besides the physical which belongs to the
normal human eye. We have said that etheric vision depends in part upon the
sensitization of the optic nerve. It depends also on a certain degree of
looseness between the etheric body and the physical. In primitive races this
looseness of the etheric body results in entire populations having a degree of
etheric vision, so that the existence of fairies and spirits is never doubted,
and magic, both white and black, flourishes. Such people are so responsive to
psychic force projected at them by occult practitioners that they have been
known to lie down and die from no discernable physical cause. This condition
is due to the etheric body being pushed out, in whole or in part, from the
physical body, as occurs also in the process of hypnosis. We know of one
instance where one person, holding the hand of a girl belonging to a more
primitive race, by a little effort of concentration, and without intedning it,
drove the etheric double out of the girl's hand and arm, which became cold,
clammy, and inert. This girl was highly intelligent, showing that looseness of
the etheric body does not infer weakness of intellect in these primitive
races. In fact they are often very bright mentally.
Hypnotism should not be confused with mesmerism or magnetism; there are
real magnetic currents which flow through the vital body, visible as radiating
lines of force, and which can be sensed as electrical in nature. Concentrated
by an effort of will, they become dense and almost physically tangible. Many
persons have seen what they call "magnetic rain" in the atmosphere. This fall
of magnetic force is not the same as the "cosmic rays" of modern physics,
however. It is susceptible to control by the human will--which, so far as
presently known, the cosmic rays are not--and can be directed in various ways.
The magnetic forces have some connection with the biological life process; it
is not MERELY electromagnetism, although it is quite obviously capable of
acting in that area; as shown in the laboratory experiments where nerve
currents have been proved to be a form of electricity.
Occult science has shown--long before physical science entered the field--
that the forces which run through the nervous system are electromagnetic in
nature, and that their diminution or blockage may result in paralysis. It is
this magnetic aura which modern biology is exploring, within which every organ
of the body has its positive and negative pole; and some, like the heart,
having more than one set of poles. The heart has been found to have twelve
poles, alternating negative and positive.
Again, it is this magnetic aura which binds the molecules of the body into
their organic patterns; and the Invisible Helper is sometimes aware of streams
of magnetism flowing through the inner planes when he awakens out of the body
Many persons who have developed a small degree of etheric sight have
expressed astonishment when first beholding showers of stars, pyramids, double
pyramids, cubes and other geometrical forms issuing from the body. Such
figures are the cast-off molecules of which his body is composed and which are
being excreted through the action of the radiating vital forces of the etheric
body. Students who are interested in making an anlaysis of these figures may
consult scientific magazines and books in which the molecular structure of
matter is indicated. There they will find that each molecule has its own
characteristic atomic structure, which occult investigators have been
describing under another terminology.
Note that these microscopic crystals seem to have actual size and shape to
the etheric vision. (Sometimes they appear in large clusters). We can
understand from this why the seers were not at first able to explain what they
saw in terms of laboratopry science. This has not been possible until our own
twentieth century, with its development of atomic and nuclear physics.
In occult science, the Chemical, Life, Light, and Reflecting Ethers
correspond to the four classic elements: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, as
mentioned before, No doubt a new table will have to be constructed to
accomodate the new science of our day, but for the layman the old
classification is still usable.
The Chemical Ether (corresponding to the element Earth) is that ether
through which forces act to sustain and nourish the body. This process
includes eliminating what is not good for the body, and the elimination takes
place by means of forces acting through the negative pole of the Chemical
Ether, as we read in the COSMO-CONCEPTION, whereas the upbuilding and
nourishing forces act through the positive pole. When food has been digested
and has entered the blood stream, it is visible to the etheric vision as a
mass of ether which flows along magnetic lines of force. Without this etheric
counterpart of the chemical elements found in the physcial blood stream, the
food we eat would do no good to the body. There are points deep within the
body where to etheric vision the blood seems to be almost wholly gaseous, but
biological science of course has found no evidence of this at the present
time, partly because the biologist does not expect to find such a condition
and partly because his instruments are not adequate to its discovery. The
gaseous aspect of the blood could be discovered only in a living, unmutilated
body. X-rays cannot show it, nor can any of the other rays now in the hands of
Poisons which build up in the blood stream are visible to ettheric sight as
black miasma which hangs in curls from the afflicted parts. To the etheric
sense of touch, this black miasma feels heavy, and in fact, the heavy feeling
which accompanies illness is in part due to the accumulation of large masses
of black ether in the body. Water carries much of it away, which is the reason
that baths give a feeling of lightness and resiliency; but when the body is
sick it continues to generate these poisonous ethers, which then obstruct the
passage of the clean solar magnetism or "solar ether" as it is called. This is
particularly true of the center at the root of the nose, which becomes clogged
with miasma to a superlative degree, and when through spiritual healing and
the etheric manipulation of the Invisible Helper this clogging is broken up,
there is an immediate improvement. The dense miasma in the vital body also has
a part in obstructing the opening of etheric vision by slowing down the action
of etheric vision by slowing down the action of the etheric force centers.
Coincident with the densification of the ethers into a black miasma, the rest
of the vital body becomes attenuated, for the physical body is drawing upon it
just as in starvation the stored fat is drawn upon, leaving the body to become
emaciated. Actual "holes" develop in the etheric structure, showing that
energy is not being specialized by the vital body.
It is at once apparent that the black miasma belongs to the Chemical Ether,
which normally, as indicated before, varies in color from blue-grey, through
blue-violet, to a blue so dark as to be almost black, depending upon the
density of the ethers.
Various persons have seen this ether lying like a blue glove upon the hand,
as a blue envelope in which the body is embedded, and as blue fuzzy flames,
like a low gas flame, appearing along wall surfaces. Now physicists have shown
photographs of free electrons, and these free electrons have the appearance of
blue flames--not perhaps exactly as described by persons having etheric
vision, but something similar, and suggesting that the Chemical Ether does, in
all probability, consist of atomic particles existing in a state yet
undiscovered by physical science; not electrons alone, but an amalgam of
particles. This Chemical Ether would be a kind of life-plasma, as shown in Max
Heindel's description of the etheric "food stream" moving in or with the
A great many people see the "dots" in the air, which seem to be gold or
silver dust (or sometimes multicolored, and which sometimes move in great
cloud-like masses before the vision. Ancient seers have described these
clouds, out of which "the spirits of the ancestors" would condense and
materialize before the physical eyes. This is again a view of the Chemical
Ether, as it appears in materialization from etheric to physical formation.
*The word "plasma" has serveal definitions in today's science.
(1) Blood plasma, the liquid part of the blood used in blood transfusions.
(2) A condition of matter in a molten state at high temperatures in which
it becomes abnormally conductive of electricity.
(3) A highly ionized gas, which produces a rosy glow (as seen in a
stellerator), and is a medium in which radio waves can have a phase velocity
greater than the speed of light in that medium. When microwaves are sent
through the plasma of ionized gas, the increase in velocity is a measure of
the density of the free electrons.
(4) Astonomers similarly to definition three describe a sort of magnetic
cloud in interplanetary space in which positive and negative particles are
suspended, but the cloud as a whole is neutral in charge.
(3) and (4) approach states which the occultist refers to as etheric.
ATOMS AND MOLECULES:
Without entering upon a discussion of atomic structure, which in any case
demands specialized knowledge, it is evident that a rough correlation can be
worked out as between the four ethers and the various atomic forces presently
known. The greatest part of the mass of the atom resides in the nucleus, which
consists of a complex of forces or particles: the heaviest are first the
proton, weighing 1836 times as much as the electron, and then the neutron,
which as its name suggests is neither positive nor negative. Protons and
neutrons alike are called nucleons because they are part of the nucleus. Still
smaller particles have been discovered, some in the nucleus and some falling
through space. Scientists are searching among these for the "binder" of the
nucleus, which as we have seen is not wholly positive as was originally
believed, since it actually consists of more than just the positively charged
The first popularly accepted model of the atom as compared with the Sun and
planets is also now challenged. According to this first concept, the proton
stood in the place of the Sun, positively charged, and the electrons
circulated around the proton like planets around the Sun. The electrons are
negative in charge. Now it is suggetsed that quite possibly, since the lectron
acts like a wave as well as a particle, and is described as a bundle of
energy, the electron may in reality be a wave which completely encircles the
central nucleus, with its complex of particles and forces.
However, while there are several diagrammatic schemes, or models to
represent atomic structure, all stand in need of verification. it may be that
the old solar-system model may still have its use.
We note further that the physicist says that the Earth's aura of electrons
extends out to the Moon, which is therefore within the Earth's electronic
atmosphere. This is an obvious restating of the occultist's maxim that the
"etheric body" of the Earth extends to and includes the Moon, and is the
channel for continued magnetic interaction between the Moon and the Earth,
especially as impinging upon and influencing growth of living organisms on the
The etheric vision reveals both molecules and atoms and the forces locked
up within the atoms, and other forces and particles. Occult scientists have
described them as best they could, but their vocabulary is not the vocabulary
of modern science, and until a nuclear physicist develops the etheric vision
or an occult scientist schools himself in nuclear in nuclear physics, students
will have a difficult time in equating their occult knowledge with modern
physics and chemistry. A few scientists have admitted to the possession of
Kekule, the discoverer of the benzene ring, saw the structure of molecules
in a dream, or something he calles a dream. He says: "The atoms began to play
antics before mine yes....I saw how two smaller ones often united to form a
pair, how the two larger ones seized two of the smaller ones, and how the
still larger held three or even four of the smaller, and HOW THEY ALL MOVED IN
VORTICES. I saw how the greater formed a row, and how the smaller were drawn
along at the side of the chain. I spent the night transferring to paper at
least sketches of each of these dream pictures. Thus arose the structure
theory....The benzene theory had a similar origin....lThe atoms again played
antics before mine yes. Small groups kept themselves modestly in the
background. MY MIND'S EYE, TRAINED BY REPEATED SIGHTS OF A SIMILAR KIND, now
distinguished larger forms of various shapes. Long rows united, becoming much
thicker; all in a movement snake-like and turning. And see, what was that? One
of the snakes seizes his own tail....I awoke as by a flash of lightning. This
time also I spent the remainder of the night working out the consequences of
Max Heindel has said in many places that the great Hierophants of the
Mystery Schools are working with the modern scientist, and that they have
always worked with scientists in the past; with the alchemists, for example,
during the Middle Ages. here is a sample of inner-plane help given to a modern
scientist, whose standing is unchallenged.
Other scientists also have been helped by their budding clairvoyance;
usually it is purely intellectual in nature, an illumined reason, but
occasionally one does, for a brief moment, see with etheric vision into the
atomic structure of matter, but dares not publish this to the world.
What is the relationship of molecules and atoms to the magnetic aura of
which the occultist speaks and which science is now beginnning to explore?
Here we stand on the threshold of the second of the four ethers: the Life
Before proceeding further, however, let us review what we are taught in the
Rosicrucian Philosophy about our planet's own etheric envelope. The etheric
envelope of the human organism is in fact a miniature replica of the etheric
envelope of the Earth globe, and is representative of it in the way that a
drop of sea water may be said to represent the ocean.
The physical Earth is surrounded and penetrated by an invisible globe which
extends out into space a great distance beyond the atmosphere, traditionally,
to the Moon, which is included within the etheric envelope of the Earth. This
is the vital body of the Earth. This globe is composed of ether, of which
there are four grades: the densest is called the Chemical Ether, and is
closest to the Earth. The next is the Life Ether; then comes the Light Ether;
and finally, the fourth and rarest, most attenutated, which is called the
Reflecting Ether. Ether is substantial, but not physical in the sense that
matter as we know it is physical. However, to the trained clairvoyant it is as
tangible as the solids, liquids and gases of our common experience. In these
ethers the clairvoyant sees the vital forces which give life to the mineral
forms of plant, animal, and man. The etheric bodies of all beings that exist
on the earth partake of the cosmic forces which flow through the planetary
The vital body has no power of itself; it is the channel through which the
solar life forces pout into the physical body, and also it is the channel
through which the dynamic energy of the desire body acts upon the physical to
stir it to activity. The vital body determines the direction in which a given
force is used, but that force must be supplied from outside--or from "above,"
if we are thinking in terms of the higher spiritual, mental, and psychic
Just as the Earth's envelope has its positive and negative poles in EACH
sheath or layer from Chemical to Reflecting Ether, reflected at the physical
level as the magnetic poles of the earth globe, so each sheath or level of
man's etheric body has its positive and negative pole, manifesting in opposite
polarity in the two sexes. The Chemical Ether is predominantly positive in the
male structure, negative in the female. The organs of the physical body have
each their own magnetic field within the etheric body in general, each with at
least one pair of poles, and some with more than one.
We have shown that the Chemical Ether is the medium of manifestation for
the chemical forces which cause the formation of crystals, poetically
explained as the loves and hates of atoms. Other forces in this ether promote
assimilation, excretion, and growth. The color of the Chemical Ether is deep
purplish, or indigo; sometimes amethystine or bluish violet, clear and
transparent in its normal state, but dark to blackness when it carries
disease, and when it is called miasma. Miasma is so dense that it is actually
tangible even to persons without any particular occult development. Max
Heindel described a case of illness in which black miasma enclosed the throat
of the patient like a collar. He also described it as hangning in curls from
the body, in the form in which it exuded from the magnetic atomic vortices of
the vital body of the afflicted person.
The "forces" which act through and in the Chemical Ether will be described
in a future discourse. We may say in passingh, however, that these forces
include living intelligences, a class of Nature Spirits, generally called
Gnomes in the fairy mythology of the peoples: and other higher intelligences
which direct their activities, among them Angels and the human spirits of
those whom we call "dead."*
*In common speech it is sometimes customary to speak of "magnetism" when
what is really meant is the ether of the vital body itself. Magnetic healers
speak of "throwing off magnetism" when they mean that diseased ethers are
drawn off from the vital body of the patient and "thrown" down. This is not
scientifically correct, as the student will understand from our discussion of
the two lower ethers; but it is a common phrase and should be understood in
its popular sense.
Thus Max Heindel says that this miasma, when drawn from the patient's body,
is subject to gravity and can be burned in a fire or carried away by water.
"To the spiritual vision it is a dark or black jelly-like fluid. It lies
shimmering and shivering on thefloor. If now the patient gets up relieved, and
goes over the place where this magnetism has been thrown away, then the miasma
will re-enter the body and he or she will be in a worse condition than
THE LIFE ETHER:
THE LIFE ETHER AND GENETICS:
The Life Ether is the avenue for the operation of forces which have as
their primary object the perpetuation of the species--in terms of humankind,
the building of new racial forms. The cosmic force which works in the Life
Ether is the third Principle of Deity, the Creative Energy of God. The lesser
forces working in this ether are, briefly, the Solar-Lunar Race God Jehovah
(who works with planets having moons, though His cosmic focus is the solar
orb); the Archangelic Race Spirit; the mother and father of each reincarnating
Ego; the incarnating Ego itself; Nature Spirits; Angels and Archangels; and
spirits belonging to the plant life wave, including the plant Group Spirits.
(Minerals generally do no possess a Life Ether).
Like the other Ethers, the Life Ether has two poles, positive and negative.
The positive pole predominates in the female structure, the negative pole in
the male structure, the reason for this being that the female requires the
extra portion of creative energy for the use of the infant body of the Ego who
comes to her for rebirth. The forces that work along the positive pole are
those which work in the female during gestation, enabling her to do this
positive, active work of bringing forth a new living form. The forces which
work along the negative pole of the Life Ether enable the male to produce
semen, in which the spermatozoon containing the seed atom of the dense body of
the incoming Ego is deposited by the Angels.
The Angels are the warders and keepers of the propagative seed atoms of
plant, animal, and man. When working with animals, the Angels are assisted by
the desire body of the mother. When working with mankind they are further
assisted by the desire body of the incarnating Ego itself.
When the Ego is ready to seek rebirth, the Recording Angels determine the
sex of the body ihn which it shall function during that particular earth life,
and the archetype is formed accordingly. The factor determining the sex is the
Law of Alternation, unless this law is modified by specific circumstances
established by the Ego in previous earth existences. The sex is therefore
determined before the etheric matrix, made of Chemical and Life Ether, is
The law is: When the Life Ether matrix of the incarnating Ego is positive
it attracts negative Chemical Ether and physical atoms, through the agency of
forces which work along the positive pole of the Life Ether, and the dense
body will be female. When the Life Ether matrix is negative, it will attract
positive Chemical Ether and physical atoms, through the agency of the forces
working along the negative pole of the Life Ether, and the dense body will be
male. This work begins in the uterus with the fertilized ovum which is the
body itself, at this stage.
The incarnating Ego hovers near its future mother clothed in the embryonic
sheath of mind and desire body, while the matrix is placed in the womb of the
mother by the Angels. After the seed atom has been deposited in the body of
the mother and conception takes place, the ovum being fertilized, the incoming
Ego remains outside for a period of from eighteen to twenty-one days while the
mother's desire body alone is working on the embryonic dense body.
To the occult scientist all elements of heredity inhere in the Life Ether
and are manipulated by unseen Intelligences, though the human being assists.
The secondary sex traits are also the product of forces working through the
positive and negative poles of the Life Ether. It is to be noted that sex
traits are not confined to the primary reproductive functions of the body, but
that EVERY CELL in the body shows a sex difference. For example: EACH cell in
the female body has 23 sets or pairs of chromosomes, each pair identical
twins; but in the male body EACH cell contains ONE PAIR that is asymmetirc;
that is, different. We may say that the "23rd" pair of chromosomes are the sex
chromosomes, which in the female body are identical, and described as gthe two
X chromosomes; whereas the "23rd" pair of chromosomes in the male body cell
consists of two different chromosomes, X and Y. It is the Y chromosome that
detrrmines the maleness of the body.
Until 1957 it was believed that there were 48 chromosomes (24 pairs) in the
human body cell; but in that year a new kind of microscope revealed that there
were in fact only 46 (23 pairs).
We repeat: what we have said here relates to every cell in the body, not to
the "gametes" or "marrying cells" alone. Certain cells are set aside in the
reproductive organs at the very outset of the incarnational process for the
specific purpose of perpetuating the species. Although these cells divide,
they do so less often than the other body cells, and are still fresh when the
work of reproduction begins. Their way of dividing is also different from that
of other cells (MEIOSIS versus MITOSIS) allowing for variety in transmission
of hereditary elements since these are drawn from two people instead of one
alone, and many mixtures are possible. When the reserve cell splits in two it
forms the "gametes," which are more commonly known as ova and spermatozoa, or
egg and sperm cells. The egg cells contain each one X-chromosome; the sperm
cells contain each one X-chromosome or one Y-chromosome. Also, each gamete
contains only one-half the number of chromosomes of the regular cell, but when
the two gametes unite the resulting cell (fertilized ovum) has once more the
full number of chromosomes.
The chromosomes carry minute formations called "genes," which are the real
agents of heredity. Since each chromosome has as many as 1,000 genes,
something like 46,000 genes are available to the incarnating Ego from each of
its parents. Thus the "genetic die" or pattern is set in the original cell,
which continues to divide in the usual manner of body cells to form the new
organism which is to house a human Spirit. Femaleness seems to be the basic
condition: the Y chromosome adds the male element. (Compare COSMO-CONCEPTION
diagram 13, page 364.)
Under the microscope the genes are seen within the cell as little cross
bands on the thread-like chromosomes, sometimes compared to beads. It is said
that they are "nature's molds, which make a certain creature conform to the
pattern of his forebears."
Of special interest to the occultist is the statement (Gamow) that the gene
is perhaps a sort of "missing link" between living and non-living matter;
hence it is also termed "the living molecule." So we can perhaps start to draw
the line at this point between the common molecule which belongs to the field
of the Chemical Ether and the LIVING molecule which belongs to the field of
the Life Ether.*
The gene is the smallest unit of LIVING matter. Yet "it also possesses
characteristics of the complex molecule (like those of proteins) which are
subject to all the familiar laws of chemistry." (Gamow). It is estimated that
the gene has about a million atoms. Occultists say that the genes and
chromosomes are DEPOSITED by forces working in the Life Ether.
Therefore the two lower ethers do in fact constitute a "vital" or "life"
body which acts as a matrix, in terms of a network or meshwork of force, into
which the atoms of the body are collected in a living pattern or organism. It
is taught that the blood and ductless (endocrine) glands are in a special
sense the highest product of the vital body; and among the ductless glands the
pituitary body, located in the head, is in the words of modern biophysicists
the most powerful sex organ in the body. Its secretions govern the fertility
cycles in both men and women. It is the focus of the Life Spirit (Macrocosmic
Christ) in man, WHICH IS A FIRE. (OCCULT PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH AND HEALING p.
127). The vital body AS A WHOLE is the "reflection" or "emanation." (we might
even say, condensation) of the same Principle. (THE VITAL BODY pp. 52-53). All
hormones secreted and released into the blood stream by the ductless glands
are expressions of the Life Ether, but those like the pituitary body and
gonads, which secrete sex hormones are especially so; for these are the active
participants, with the genes and chromosomes, in the reproductive cycles of
the individual and the race. Eventually the Cosmic Christ Life must of
necessity supplant the Jehovistic Race Principle, in its entirety.
The number of chromosomes in each cell differs from one speicies of life to
another. Only the human body contains 46 chromosomes. The entire development
and practically all properties of the adult organism are determined by the set
of genes hidden in each chromosome in every body cell. Every animal or plant
"grows around its genes."
This has been compared with the way a lump of inorganic matter is formed.
For example certain atomic nuclei carrying a charge of six positive electric
units will surround themselves with atomic envelopes of six electrons each,
which cause the atoms to tend to arrange themselves in a regular hexagonal
pattern, forming the crystals that we call diamonds. It goes without saying
that even the very sinplest living organism is far more complex than the
diamond, "but in both cases we have the TYPICAL PHENOMENA OF MACROCOSMIC
ORGANIZATION BEING DETERMINED TO THE LAST DETAIL BY MICROSCOPIC CENTERS OR
ORGANIZING ACTIVITY." (Gamow).
It is rightly said that the laws of heredity show a mathematical
simplicity and clearness which suggest that "we are dealing with one of the
fundamental phenomena of life."
THE SPIRAL OF LIFE:
It has been previously shown what physical science has to say about the
life forces in the human organism. We take note again that the carbon atom is
the crux of the chemical life process, in the words of the scientist: "Whereas
the structure of the universe depends upon hydrogen, the structure of life
depends upon carbon. Carbon is the essential 'building block' upon which all
living things have been constructed. Why should this be? Life requires atoms
which have the ability to form themselves into exceptionally large
molecules....What gives the carbon atom this special property of adhering to
other atoms on so large a scale? It apperas to be an ordianry atom
distinguished by having six planetary alectrons: whereas boron and nitrogen,
its neighbors in the atomic table, have five and seven electrons respectively-
-yet the carbon atom is quite unique. This is due to its peculiar structure.
It is known as a quadrivalent atom because it has a power of four in forming
combinations of atoms, in comparison with others having more or less. it is
this quality that gives the carbon atom its tremendous potentiality of
creating more complex structures. In fact, the number of possible compounds,
based on this versatile atom, actually runs into millions." (THE LIVING
UNIVERSE, Gatland and Dempster).
For centuries occult science has spoken of the "diamond body" of the Adept,
or of the Adept himself as "the Living Diamond." Here in modern biochemistry a
hint of revelation shines forth, for this carbon atom, which bulks so large in
the life process, is the same form which Nature long ago formed diamonds in
the rocky strata of the primordial earth globe. The diamond is the symbol of
immortality; but it is more than a symbol. It is a promise.
Behind the diamond lay the energy of sunshine, the pressure of masses of
rock, and the heat of the still young earth. The same forces are present in
the human organism, though in another form, and shadow forth the ultimate
destiny of the human being.
In popular thought "Fire" and "Water" are taken as opposites; but in occult
chemistry they are in fact complimentaries. And so it is not surprising to
discover that intimately connected with the Life Ether is the "colorless solar
ether" or "solar fluid," which pours in through the spleen center of the
etheric body; for the Life Ether is the particular avenue for the
specialization of this solar fluid, Max Heindel states.
Now just as there is a universal or macrocosmic Life Fire (called the Life
Spirit, which is the Christ Principle), so also there is a macrocosmic
magnetism visible to etheric sight as a kind of rain which seems to fall in
slanting lines toward the earth. Many people have seen this fall of cosmic
force without knowing what they saw. It is not the same as the "cosmic rays"
of modern science, although, since the Sun is a star and the stars are all
suns, there is no reason to suppose that this "solar ether" would not include
forces emanating from distant stars and nebulae, as well as from our Sun.
Matter and light involve electromagnetic phenomena; so too, deos "life," as
biologists are now discovering. The "sex force" so-called, is "generated in"
the Life Ether, as the solar or cosmic force rushes in through the spleen.
The cosmic magnetic rain is colorless, like water; and as rain consists of
separate droplets of water, so too this magnetic rain consists of separate
units of force. Moreover, it has an affinity for water, and Mesmer discovered
that the oceans are charged with what he termed solar magnetism, and so are
lakes, rivers, and streams. And of course the highly magnetic human body
reveals its origin in primordial seas in the fact that it is more than 80%
water. Mesmer also said that the Sun was a great magnet--which modern
astronomy now verifies. (FRONTIERS OF ASTRONOMY, Hoyle).
Plants are rich in the Life Ether, and so are certain animal products such
as fresh cow's milk, still warm from the milking. Most of the human needs are
met through the ingestion of plant foods, to which is added the magnetism
pouring in through the spleen. Some day man will not need to sustain himself
on plant food, but will draw his sustenance directly from the cosmic energy
The universal magnetism rushes through the spleen to the seed atom of the
vital body located in the solar plexus; thnce it fans out through the body,
radiating through the nerves. Without these magnetic currents the body could
not function, but would be inert and motionless, like an electric machine with
the current turned off. The activity of the vital as it separates the solar
fluid is audible to etheric hearing as a steady drone, or hum, and the
vortices of force are clearly felt. The keynote of this activity is set by the
"Sounding Flame" which burns in the medulla oblongata, which in turn sounds
the keynote of the archetype. When the Ego wills action it causes the brain to
specialize great quantities of this energy, which pours out to the muscles and
compels action. It is the same force which the Ego used earlier when building
the body in the maternal womb.*
Max Heindel describes the "million mouths" which in the positive (female)
vital body suck in the solar energy in far greater measure than the negative
(male) vital body is able to do; and this. he says, accounts for the great
recuperative capacity of girls and women. The excess force is supplied to the
female vital body for the needs of motherhood, but it is there for use in
every day life as well.
Students sometimes see these "mouths" as "circles," and it would seem that
these circles are the basic unit of the positive pole of the Life Ether, which
determines the shape of the overall magnetic matrix, which is a network, or
meshwork, of force. Within the magnetic meshwork are innumerable whirlpools
*Most physicists agree that an electric charge in motion generates a
magnetic field; but a few are researching the possibility that magnetism and
electricity are not in fact the same thing, and they postulate the existence
of "monopolies," which are to magnetism what the electron is to electricity.
According to this theory there are both positive and negative "monopoles"
just as there are positive and negative electrons. The occult student speaks
from the standpoint of etheric EXPERIENCE, and therefore speaks of both
electricity and magnetism of the body in connection with the two lower ethers;
but it is to be observed that the "electrical forces" are most often referred
to in connection with the Chemical Ether and the "magnetic forces" with the
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