three bodies

Three Bodies: Physical, Psychic, and Spiritual

“Just as the physical body falls into decay if the etheric body does not keep it together, and as the etheric body sinks into unconsciousness if not illuminated by the astral body, so the astral body would necessarily allow the past to be lost in oblivion unless the ego rescued the past by carrying it over into the present. What death is to the physical body and sleep to the etheric, the power of forgetting is to the astral. We may put this in another way, and say that life is the special characteristic of the etheric body, consciousness that of the astral body, and memory that of the ego.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Three Bodies of Man

Yes, man actually has three bodies. Steiner calls them the physical, etheric, and astral. In Cosolargy, we call them the physical, the psychic, and the spiritual. The names are not that important, it is the fact that we have three bodies and what each one represents that is.

The first thing we have to realize is that because we have three bodies, we function in three different worlds or dimensions. The physical body operates only on the physical level. The psychic body exists on the physical level, but is really only functional on the mental and psychic level of reality. Likewise, the spiritual body is mostly useful in the higher dimensions of spirit. While each body can effect the others, it is primarily a downward movement. A healthy spirit makes the psychic body stronger and healthier. But the health of the psychic body has little affect on the spirit. Similarly, the health of the psychic and spiritual bodies can affect the physical health, yet diseases of the physical body do not contaminate the psychic or spiritual, other than to block access to them.

Physical Body

The physical body is the one all of us are familiar with. Some would say it is the only body we have. Others say simply that it is the most important body and the other two are mere appendages of the physical. Neither of those opinions is correct.

Of the three bodies, the physical is the newest, not the oldest. The physical body descended from the psychic, which descended from the spiritual. The spiritual body is ageless and existed before the others. The Great fall resulted in the generation of the other two.

Nonetheless, the physical body is important. It came into existence to allow us to function in a realm of matter. It is the only body that lets us survive and operate on this level. Yet eventually it will end. This happens usually when it dies. It is also possible that as the world itself transform back into spirit, the physical body will do the same. In either case, the physical body will no longer exist as such once that transition has happened. Continue reading “Three Bodies: Physical, Psychic, and Spiritual”

Magic vs Mystic

Magic of Matter, Mysticism of Spirit, Psychic Between

“The mere transcending of phenomena does not entail the attainment of the Absolute. Magic, even at its best, extends rather than escapes the boundaries of the phenomenal world. It stands, where genuine, for that form of transcendentalism which does abnormal things, but does not lead anywhere. … The true ‘Science of Ultimates’ must be a science of pure Being. … But magic is merely a system whereby the self tries to assuage the transcendental curiosity by extending the activities of the will beyond their usual limits: sometimes, according to its own account, obtaining by this means a knowledge of planes of existence usually—but inaccurately—regarded as ‘supernatural.’” Evelyn Underhill

Magic and Mysticism

Ms. Underhill is clearly not a fan of magic. She is particular not fond of the idea that magic is a path to spiritual growth and enlightenment. She is also not a fan of the ancient mystery schools, Hermeticism, or Gnosticism. Yet, what she says here is true.

To put it in more understandable terms as they are used today, Underhill is saying that psychic and spiritual are not the same thing. She is 100% correct in saying that. Where she errors is in the belief that the mystery schools of Egypt and Greece, and Gnostics everywhere, are practicing magic rather than mysticism, psychism rather than spirituality.

The Psychic World of Magic

Let’s get clear on one thing immediately. When Underhill speaks of magic, she is not talking about the trickery of stage magicians. She means the real thing, better known today as psychic phenomena. While there is nothing wrong with learning such things—up to a point—they are not “being spiritual”. As Underhill notes, the psychic is concerned with manipulating the material world. He does that primarily for his own benefit, often with little regard for what harm it may do to others. It is true that sometimes such people travel to another plane of reality which they generally call “Astral”. This plane is higher than the one we are usually in, but just barely. It is a plane the wise spiritual student will pass through quickly and move on to even higher ones. This “magic” world is the dwelling place of demons and fallen angels (or devils). Magic spells and psychic phenomena such as seeing the future usually happen on this level. Yet it is not a spiritual world and staying there to long may leave you trapped on that level, and the lower ones. Continue reading “Magic of Matter, Mysticism of Spirit, Psychic Between”

highest state, expanded abilities

Expanded Abilities from Expanded Consciousness

“Expanded abilities can develop in people who’ve had a near-death experience, a traumatic accident, or major surgery. It is as though the dramatic shock to the energy body and the mind cracks them open so more of the soul can flood in, bringing heightened consciousness-and-energy. … The traumatic event acts as an excuse to be new—a sort of shortcut to expanded consciousness. … You’ll find, too, that as one ability opens, it’s tied closely to other abilities, and several may occur in rapid sequence.” ~Penney Peirce

Expanded Abilities

What Ms. Peirce calls “expanded abilities” is mostly expanded consciousness. We can think of consciousness as having many layers like an onion. Reaching a new level doesn’t mean we have learned everything. There are probably even higher levels after that until we finally reach the highest called Cosmic Consciousness or Christ Consciousness.

Traumatic Events

Traumatic events can help us awaken a higher level of consciousness. It may be a close brush with death, a severe illness, or even being under anesthesia for surgery. This doesn’t mean you need to have such an experience to reach higher levels of consciousness. There is no need to run out into traffic or jump off a cliff.

Sometimes the traumatic experience is mental rather than physical. The trauma of seeing men dying in a war helped trigger St. Francis’ awakening. Nostradamus was changed by the death of his wife and two children during the plague.

Some are fortunate enough that the triggering event, while traumatic, is not undesirable. They may be triggered by meeting a famous holy man, or even reading about one. Continue reading “Expanded Abilities from Expanded Consciousness”

afterthought, manifest, twofold constitution, Creation

Creation of Man, Body and Spirit

“Here we are to consider the creation of man. Moses saith, God created man in His Image, in the Image of god created he him. … And out of the Substance of the inward and outward World Man was created; out of, and in the likeness of the birth of all substances. … The image was in the inward and spiritual element from whence the four elements proceed and are produced. … Into this created image God breathed Spirit and Breath of Understanding out of the three worlds, as one only Soul.” ~Jacob Boehme

Creation of Man

There is a great deal of debate and confusion over the creation of man. A lot of it depends on how you define “creation” and how you define “man”. Some argue that there is no spiritual man, just the physical. They, of course, have no proof of that; it is simply a theory that comforts them for some reason. Even among those who believe man has a spirit and soul, there remains the “chicken or egg” question of which came first.

Some say the physical came first, then the mind, then the spirit and soul developed last. Their evidence of this is that the more primitive life forms, the plants and animals, do not have a spirit and soul, therefore they must have developed at a late stage, and only in man. They are wrong on both counts. Continue reading “Creation of Man, Body and Spirit”