Kheper Home | Subtle Body Index Page | Topics | Esotericism | New | Search

The Etheric Body

Image Removed by request of Barbara Brennan School of Healing
The Etheric Body, according to Barbara Brennan
(from her book Hands of Light)
Augoeides
Astral Body
Mental Body
Emotional Body
Etheric Body
Physical Body

The first of the levels of being beyond the physical body is the formative-field body or what the Theosophists call the "Etheric" body.  This "Etheric Body" is the subtle life-force body, which sustains the life of the physical body, and serves as the mould or matrix for physical metabolic functions.

The term "etheric body" can have several different possible meainings.  Quiote apart from the fact that with some New Age/theosophical/esoteric belief systems the "etheric" is used to define a high or even the highest spiritual body, there is the fact that even as the body of formative force or auric energy there is

  1. the etheric body in the sense of any or all of the vayu (prana/ch'i/life-force) bodies
  2. the etheric body (as defined on the present page) in the sense of any of the dense or obvious prana / ch'i / life-force bodies (exclusive of the emotional, mental, spiritual, etc)
  3. the etheric body in the sense of only the lowest of the prana / ch'i / life-force bodies (the "lower etheric" in other words)

In any case the Etheric body is the repository of the life-force or vitality principle (variously called ch'i, ki, prana, vayu, pneuma, orgone, libido, etc) for the entire psycho-physical organism.  Hence we can speak of an energy flow between the different levels of one's being.  This life-force is often identified with the breath, and hence we find the term for the "soul" or "spirit" (in this case, actually the Etheric body) in many cultures having "breath" or "wind" as their primary meaning: e.g. ruah, psuche, pneuma, anima, spirtus, atma, etc etc.

This vital-energy flows through the various channels or nadis or meridians, and is processed in the energy-centres or chakras.  The Etheric body is also the locus of the "subtle anatomy" of chakras, nadis, meridians, etc, that form a central part of Indian and Tibetan Tantra and Chinese Yoga and Medicine.  This vital force or ch'i-energy flows through the various channels or nadis or meridians, and is processed in the energy-centres or chakras

Alternative Medicine, whether Chinese, Tibetan, homoeopathic, Reiki, etc etc, likewise works on the level of the Etheric or subtle body.  These practices are "alternative" only relative to Western Materialistic medical science, which treats the Physical body.  Criticism of alternative medicine is due to conventional medicine's inability to recognise the existence of a more subtle body in or upon which these therapies do work.

Although Theosophical and New Age writers often speak of  every subtle body or vehicle of consciousness possessing chakras, and describe these chakras as energy vortexes or whatever, it is really only the Etheric body that is so endowed.  This is because any higher bodies, being non-physical, do not have a specific form, but take on or imitate the form of the Etheric and/or the Physical bodies.  Hence the Astral and higher bodies may appear to possess chakras, but they only have them through association with the Etheric body, and not as an innate part of their being.  Often what is described as the supra-etheric bodies are actually higher octaves or "resonances" of the etheric body (these are for the most part the "vehicles" of the Adyar school of Theosophy, and the human energy fields Barbara Brennan refers to).

Dynamics of the Etheric body
Cosmic Ch'i Energy
arrow
arrow arrowPsychic Universe
arrow
Noetic Universe
arrow
Etheric body
arrow
arrow
arrow
Emotional Body
arrow
arrow
arrow
Mental Body
arrow
Physical body
arrow
arrow
arrow
Physical Emotions
arrow
arrow
arrow
Physical Mind
arrow
Instinctual self arrow
arrow
Emotional Subconscious arrow
arrow
Mental Subconscious

Energy (thick arrows) and Information/Consciousness (fine arrows) flow between the different faculties.  Note: this very simplistic diagram does not take into account energy or consciousness from the chthonic or other such planes.

Barbara Brennan indicates there are two grades of Etheric Body

The lower and higher etheric body

The Etheric Body The Etheric Template

There is no reason why there cannot be others though.  Such higher grades of Etheric body would pertain to totally transpersonal states of consciousness.

Web links Links Web links

Web SiteThe Body Etheric - a small site (only a few pages), but nicely presented - good introduction to the topic

web pageAuras - the Etheric Body - what auras are and how to see them - by external linkRiverWind

web pageThe Etheric Body - by S.G.J. Ouseley - a page from this guy's book


bar

| Cosmic Ch'i Energy | The Etheric Plane | Formative Causation | Etheric Formative Forces in living beings |


physical body emotional body


Kheper index page
Esotericism Topics
Subtle Body



Kheper Home | Subtle Body Index Page | Topics | Esotericism | New | Search



images not loading? | error messages? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?

contact me


original content by M.Alan Kazlev
Magic Captions javascript © Simply Magic Web Effects - mirror
Arrow Links free javascript provided by The JavaScript Source
etheric body artwork © Bantam Books
page uploaded 20 July 1998, format upgraded 16 January 2009