“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.
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”