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CHAPTER VII

THE AURAS AND THE ETHERS

The radio-active halo which Professor Joly describes as existing in minerals, is also spirit-matter, but of a finer substance than the dense matter visible to ordinary sight. Radio-active halos, when seen surrounding and interpenetrating the physical bodies of human beings, are known as auras.

In the earliest pictures of the Buddha and the Christ, the halo is always seen; it is not a mere fanciful finish to the picture, but a record of an actual fact. The clairvoyant artist would see the life radiance shining through the etheric image of his creation. The radiance of such an image appears, and is, as real to the clairvoyant observer, as is the more solid outline of its physical counterpart, especially if the one thought of is highly spiritual and is greatly reserved by the thinker.

The etheric physical aura is spoken of in ancient medical works as the health aura, and its condition and appearance depend on the health of the body from which it emanates: It is of a faintly gray-blue color, and "when in health, is composed of an infinitude of straight lines radiating evenly in all directions from the pores of the body."
(Man, Visible and Invisible, by C. W. Leadbeater, p. 132.)
They are separate, firm and parallel, as nearly as their radiation allows. These straight lines are caused by the constant radiation of life force from the healthy body; but in disease, there is a distinct change. The lines in the neighborhood of the part affected, or in the whole body, if the disease is general, become erratic, drooping and in a state of wild confusion. As health is again secured, these lines are combined into order once more. The use and the care of this aura in protecting against disease cannot be overestimated.

A still finer aura, much less dense than the etheric physical, is built of etheric astral matter, and is used by the "I am" Self as its vehicle for desire, for feeling and sensation. Astral matter is moved by vibrations started under the force of desire-emotion, and the astral in the human being is often spoken as the desire or emotion body; it also has definite sense centers corresponding to those in the physical body. That it has its separate activities, however, is provided by the fact within the knowledge of most people, that a great emotion or desire, a passion of anger or of love, may be surging through it, and yet the outer physical show no sign.

The elemental essence which uses this astral matter for its evolution is of a subtler type; it springs instantly into action with each vibration of desire, and its influence over the unfolding Self is very great during the earlier stages of man's evolution. Through many re-births man succeeds in permanently changing the desire emotion from gross to fine by steady self-control. If the astral body be made to vibrate long to a feeling of gloom, or of even so-called righteous anger, the elemental essence answering to that low rate of vibratory color, will build itself quite definitely into the substance of the finer bodies. As evolution advances this coarser matter will not be in rhythmical accord with the finer matter, and pain and disease will result. But again, if the individual should deliberately substitute a steadily continued feeling of devotion or of unselfish love, holding it there by will-power, the lower type of desire would be crowded out by the finer class of essence, the vibrations of the three bodies would be harmonious and rhythmical, and the aura would be seen by the trained clairvoyant to be glowing, radiating - if the feeling were one of devotion - the purest colors of etheric blue, or - if of love - of daintiest silvery pink. And as, under one of the laws of matter, these vibrations radiate out to all other bodies around, such a body becomes in time not only full of abounding health, but a channel, a health radiator.

The mental body of the evolving human being is built of still finer, more radiant etheric matter, and the classes of elemental essence which use it are gaining evolution by means of thought-vibrations. That a body exists in which consciousness can travel at will, scarcely needs proof among thinking people. Who has not, while the physical body was quietly seated in the arm chair at home, gone in thought to some place, carried on it thought various transactions there, and returned to the physical body which, seated in the arm chair, has been quite ignorant of all that has been taken place. In innumerable instances such as visits have been verified by those so visited.

The consciousness, the Self, must needs have this etheric mind-vehicle in which to travel and act; the occultist sees it clairvoyantly - by means of his mental body vision - as composed of etheric matter of an exceeding rare and subtle kind. As the intellectual growth increases, this aura becomes a very beautiful and glorious object. It is not visible to physical or astral sight, but is clearly seen by the higher vision which belongs to the world of mind.
(Man and his Bodies, by Annie Besant, p. 66.)
There are types of mental disease which can affect the appearance of this aura also, but a man of clean life, pure heart and calm, open mind, will not suffer from them unless he still needs to complete the payment of some ancient karmic debt.

The time is at hand when in the Western world the study of these etheric auras, and of ether itself, must have a definite place in Therapeutics. Ether, as a whole, has been accepted by science as a fact; but owing to a lack of suitable instruments for its investigation, little progress has so far been made in the study. It has been availed of in a few re-discoveries, as in the Macroni waves, the X and N Rays and the ultra-violet ray, but without a definite knowledge of the material manipulated.

Occultism has for ages been teaching that Akasha - of which Ether is the grosses form - is a universal cosmic Principle, a radiant, cool, diathermanous, plastic matter, creative in its physical nature, but immutable in its higher aspects. In conjunction with radiant heat, it recalls dead worlds to life. Esoterically, Akasha is Divine Space, yet down on the earth plane in its negative aspect, or modified transformation, it becomes known in its exoteric manifestation as Ether. This Ether is said to contain in itself all the germs of universal creation; it is the spiritual hidden mother of every existing form and being; of matter and life. Force and action come forth through it, and electricity, magnetism, heat, light and chemical action are its outer physical manifestation.

Occultism recognizes seven cosmical Elements, four entirely physical - earth, water, fire, air - and the fifth, ether, is semi-material. It will become visible toward the end of this Fourth Round, and will be dominant over the above named four during the whole of the Fifth Round.
(The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. I., pp. 40-1.)
Akasha, the parent or highest aspect of Ether, is the mother of every existing form. In it will be found the prototypes of all things; from this they come, and to it they return.

Ether contains the whole of curative power and is the one chief agent in all so-called "miracles" and supernatural phenomena in all ages and every clime. This essence, being universal, its effects are innumerable and its possibilities endless.

The ancient Greeks knew this mysterious all-pervading cause as Archeus, the Egyptians as Phtha-Ra.

From these brief quotations from ancient Hindu and other ancient literature it will be seen that we are not undertaking to deal with an, until recently, unknown chimerical substance, but that in all ages the existence of Ether and its curative powers have been recognized.

Whether Ether falls under the law of atomic weight and must be examined from that standpoint, or must be measured by wave-length, as with light vibrations, or whatever it has some law especially its own through which its various properties may be known, has yet to be determined. At the present time that which offers the greatest help in fuller investigation of the several grades of etheric matter and the various phenomena they present, is sense-extension, clairvoyance, through the development of the sense centers in our own finer bodies.

We are only at the threshold of all this great discovery, of knowledge concerning the Self and its powers, the planetary intelligences, the elemental essence, the nature of matter dense and etheric, health and disease and the Healing Intelligence. But evolution is rapidly forcing the development of these finer bodies, and the opening of these sense centers, for definite use in super-physical investigations; even now many physician are satisfactorily diagnosing diseases by means of their own or others' clairvoyant powers. We may hope that within a comparatively few years sick people the world over may have the humaner treatment which the clairvoyant vision of their etheric bodies and their ailments will bring.

It will be seen that the elements entering into any given case may be many, and yet each must be considered if therapeutics is to keep pace with the evolution of the finer bodies. In establishing a working hypothesis for a truer science of therapeutics, the existence of the super-physical matter-built bodies must needs be admitted, and diagnosis and treatment must include a recognition of the nature of the body or bodies in which the disease exists, and also of the super-physical and sub-physical agencies entering into their restoration to health.

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