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Subdivision of man



The above table shows information from spiritual writings, which deal with the subdivision of man. The information is presented in diagram form and summarizes matching details in suitable columns.

The table is a completion to those parts of this website, which deal with this ssubject, as for example 222 223 224 and gives examples how other publications approach this subject and which names they choose. Information of the table also goes into the connexion which exists between the spiritual side of man and the spiritual side of celestial bodies and is therefore also a completion of the previous webpage The Solar System.

Now follows a description of the subdivision of man from a theosophical work:

Theosophical Manuals. No 1

The Seven Principles of Man

by Annie Besant, 1909

Pages 2-4

This evolution, during the present cycle of human development, takes place on five out of seven planes of [Page 3 ] nature. The two higher planes – the sixth and seventh – will not be reached, save in the most exceptional cases, by men of this humanity in the present cycle, and they may therefore be left out of sight for our present purpose. As, however, some confusion has arisen as to the seven planes through differences of nomenclature, two diagrams are given at the end of this treatise showing the seven planes as they exist in our division of the universe, in correspondence with the vaster planes of the universe as a whole, and also the subdivision of the five into seven, as they are represented in some of our literature . A “plane” is merely a condition, a stage, a state; so that we might describe man as fitted by his nature, when that nature is fully developed, to exist consciously in seven different conditions, or seven different stages, in seven different states; or technically, on seven different planes of being. To take an easily verified illustration: a man may be conscious on the physical plane, that is, in his physical body, feeling hunger and thirst, and pain of a blow or cut. But let the man be a soldier in the heat of battle, and his consciousness will be centred in his passions and emotions, and he may suffer a wound without knowing it, his consciousness being away from the physical plane and acting on the plane of passions and emotions: when the excitement is over, consciousness will pass back to the physical, and he will “feel” the pain of his wound. Let the man be a philosopher, and as he ponders over some knotty problem he will lose all consciousness of bodily wants, of emotions, of love and hatred; his consciousness will have passed to the plane of intellect, he will be “abstracted”, i.e.., drawn away from considerations pertaining to his bodily life, and fixed on the plane [Page 4 ] of thought. Thus may a man live on these several planes, in these several conditions, one part or another of his nature being thrown into activity at any given time; and an understanding of what man is, of his nature, his powers, his possibilities, will be reached more easily and assimilated more usefully if he is studied along these clearly defined lines, that if he be left without analysis, a mere confused bundle of qualities and states.

It has also been found convenient, having regard to man’s mortal and immortal life, to put these seven principles into two groups – one containing the three higher principles and therefore called the Triad, the other containing the four lower, and therefore called the Quaternary. The Triad is the deathless part of man’s nature, the “spirit” and soul of Christian terminology; the Quaternary is the mortal part, the “body”, of Christianity. This division into body, soul and spirit is used by St. Paul, and is recognised in all careful Christian philosophy, although generally ignored by the mass of Christian people.


The Seven Planes and the principles functioning theron
7  x
5Atmâ. SpiritSpiritual
4Buddhi. Spiritual Soul.
3Manas. Human Soul.Mental
2Kâma. Astral or Desire-BodyAstral
1Prâna. Etheric Double. Dense Physical BodyPhysical


Another Division according to the Principles
7  AtmâSpiritual
5Higher ManasMental
Principles closely interwoven during earth life. Sometimes called high Psychic Plane4Lower Manas
2Prâna. Etheric DoublePhysical
1Dense Physical Body


Another Division also according the Principles
7  AtmâSpiritual
2Etheric Double
1Dense Physical Body


Annie Besant made this statement: »Let the man be a philosopher, and as he ponders over some knotty problem he will lose all consciousness of bodily wants, of emotions, of love and hatred; his consciousness will have passed to the plane of intellect, he will be “abstracted”, i.e.., drawn away from considerations pertaining to his bodily life, and fixed on the plane of thought.« When a man does not feel well in his body and he gets absorbed into a spiritual problem and formulates it into words and keys that into his computer, and he then interrupts his work to attend to some material errand then he suddenly feels the discomfort of his body again and realizes that this discomfort was absent while he was fixed on the plane of thought.

The two main states of consciousness of man are being awake and being asleep. But this example shows that there are many other states of consciousness and our aim should be to spend as much time as possible on the highest states, seeking the kingdom of God, fixing our eyes on what is unseen, living by faith and not be sight, because that will help filling our soul with the spirit and avoiding filling our soul with the influence of the body.

At this stage I would like to call to mind that all religions started with God visiting his children and instructed them himself how to live on this planet earth. But mankind degenerated, especially due to the influence of the clergy, and I now want to bring a good description of this situation as it applies to both parts of the world, to the East and to the West.

Now comes an extract from a book by Rafael Lefort with the title "The Teachers of Gurdjieff", 1966. It is a statement by Hassan Kerbali:

Man is basically greedy, lazy, and self-indulgent and seeks every opportunity to avoid tasks that need effort. Physical effort is less difficult than mental effort, and effort on a developmental level more difficult still. Mental discipline is a product of determined discipline. It is no accident that some have it and some not. If you are prepared to struggle with yourself, good; otherwise seek an easier way, which will lead you nowhere but give you an idea that life’s mysteries are open to you.

Pick Zen, Theosophy or Yoga, are all refuges for the incapable who want something to occupy their time and give them something both supernatural and seemingly rewarding to hold on to. If they would but use in directing their mental processes one quarter of the energy they use tying themselves in knots and in other curious activities, they would proceed further.

That was the first quote applying to the East, and now the second, from the same source, applying to the West, a quote from Pir Doud:

Western thought never recovered from the dead hand of the organized church although it had aided and abetted the monopoly of that church by never challenging its right. Any hint that the organized church did not contain the esoteric content one might have hoped for was met with the stake.

Now a quote from the book "Erregende Zeugnisse von Karma und Wiedergeburt" (Many Mansions, 1950) by Gina Cerminara:

Many Theosophists and Anthroposophists are so taken up through the study of cosmic laws, under which the spiritual development generally takes place, that they forget that their own spiritual progress does not automatically occur through the knowledge about the knowledge about the laws about this progress.

These were therefore critical remarks about people who deal with certain schools of thought and where this activity causes them to forget the important things in life, to develop the own soul, or who allow organizations to make slaves out of them.

But the negative should not stop us learning from spiritual advanced persons and their knowledge.

Now follows something from Rudolf Steiner's book "Theosophie - Einführung in übersinnliche Welterkenntnis und Menschenbestimmung" (Theosophy - An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man):

6. Thought Forms and the Human Aura

It has been said that the formations of any one of the three worlds can have reality for man only when he has the capacities or the organs for perceiving them. He perceives certain occurrences in space as light phenomena only because he has a correctly constructed eye. How much of what really exists reveals itself to a being depends upon his receptivity. A man, therefore, should never say that what is real is only what he can perceive. Much can be real that he cannot perceive for lack of organs.

Now, the soul world and the spirit world are just as real as the sensory world. Indeed, they are real in a much higher sense. No physical eye can see feelings and thoughts, yet they are real. Just as man by means of his outer senses has the corporeal world before him as an object of perception, so do feelings, instincts, and thoughts become objects of perception for his spiritual organs. Exactly as occurrences in space can be seen with the sensory eye as color phenomena, so can the above named soul and spiritual occurrences become, by means of the inner senses, perceptions that are analogous to the sensory color phenomena. To understand fully in what sense this is meant is only possible for one who has followed the path of knowledge described in the following chapter and has as a result developed his inner senses. For such a person the psychic phenomena in the soul region surrounding him, and the spiritual phenomena in the spiritual region, become supersensibly visible. The feelings of other beings that he experiences ray out to him from them like light phenomena, and thoughts to which he directs his attention surge through spiritual space. For him, the thought of one man about another is not something imperceptible but, on the contrary, is a perceptible occurrence. The content of a thought lives as such only in the soul of the thinker, but this content excites effects in the spirit world. They are the perceptible occurrence to the spiritual eye. The thought streams out as an actual reality from one man and flows to the other, and the way this thought acts on the other person is experienced as a perceptible occurrence in the spiritual world. Thus the physically perceptible man is only part of the whole man for the one whose spiritual senses are unfolded. This physical man becomes the center of soul and spiritual outpourings. It is impossible to do more than faintly indicate the richly varied world that discloses itself here to the seer. A human thought, which otherwise lives only in the understanding of the listener, appears, for example, as a spiritually perceptible color phenomenon. Its color corresponds with the character of the thought. A thought that springs forth from a sensual impulse in a person has a different color from a thought conceived in the service of pure knowledge, noble beauty or the eternally good. Thoughts that spring from the sensual life course through the soul world in shades of red. A thought by which the thinker rises to higher knowledge appears in beautiful light yellow. A thought that springs from devoted and unselfish love rays out in glorious rose red. Just as the content of a thought comes to expression in its supersensibly visible form, so also does the greater or lesser degree of its definiteness. The precise thought of the thinker shows itself as a formation with definite outlines; the confused idea appears as a wavering, cloudy formation.

In this way the soul and spirit nature of man appear as the supersensible part of the whole human being.

The color effects perceptible to the spirit eye that ray out around the physical man observed in his activity, and that envelop him like a somewhat egg-shaped cloud, are the human aura. The size of this aura varies in different people, but we may say that the entire man appears on the average twice as long and four times as wide as the physical man.

The most varied shades of color flood the aura. This color flooding is a true picture of the inner human life. As this changes, so do the shades of color change. Certain permanent qualities such as talents, habits and traits of character, however, express themselves also in permanent fundamental color shades.

Misunderstandings can arise in men who at present stand remote from the experiences of the path of knowledge described in a later chapter of this book — in regard to the nature of what is here described as the aura. We might imagine that what are here described as colors would stand before the soul just as the physical colors stand before the physical eye, but such a soul color would be nothing but hallucination. Spiritual science is not in the least concerned with hallucinatory impressions, and they are, in any case, not what is meant in the description now before us. We reach a correct conception if we keep the following in mind. With a physical color, the soul experiences not only the sense impression, but through it, it has a soul-experience. When through the eye the soul perceives a yellow surface, this soul-experience is different from what it is when it perceives a blue surface. One may call this experience “living in yellow” or “living in blue.” Now the soul that has followed the path of knowledge has a similar “experience in yellow” when observing the active soul-experience of other beings; an “experience in blue” when observing devotional soul-moods. The essential thing is not that the seer in visualization of another soul sees blue just as he sees this blue in the physical world, but that he has an experience that justifies his calling the visualization blue; just as the physical man calls a curtain blue, for instance. Further, it is essential that the seer should be conscious of standing in an experience free of the body so that he gains the possibility of speaking about the value and the meaning of the soul-life in a world whose perception is not mediated through the human body. Although this meaning of the description must be taken into account, yet it is altogether a matter of course for the seer to speak of blue, yellow, green, and so forth, in the aura. The aura varies greatly according to the different temperaments and dispositions of people. It likewise varies in accordance with the stages of spiritual development. A man who yields completely to his animal impulses has an entirely different aura from one who lives much in the world of thought. The aura of a religiously disposed nature differs essentially from one that loses itself in the trivial experiences of the day. In addition to this, all varying moods, all inclinations, joys and pains, find their expression in the aura.

We have to compare the auras of various soul-experiences with each other in order to learn to understand the meaning of the color shades. To begin with, take soul-experiences shot through with strongly marked emotions. They may be divided into two kinds — those in which the soul is impelled to these emotions chiefly by the animal nature, and those in which these passions take a more subtle form, in which they are, so to speak, strongly influenced by reflection. In the first kind of experiences brown and reddish-yellow streams of color surge through the aura in definite locations. In persons with more subtle passions there appear in the same locations brighter reddish-yellow and green shades. One can notice that as intelligence increases the green shades become more frequent. Persons who are very intelligent, but who give themselves over entirely to satisfying their animal impulses, show much green in their aura, but this green will always have an admixture more or less of brown or brownish-red. Unintelligent people show a great part of their aura permeated by brownish-red or even by dark blood-red currents.

The auras of quiet, meditative, thoughtful soul-moods are essentially different from those of such passionate conditions. The brownish and reddish tones become less prominent and various shades of green emerge. In strenuous thinking the aura shows a pleasing green undertone. This is to a special degree the appearance of those natures who know how to adapt themselves to every condition of life.

Shades of blue appear in soul-moods full of devotion. The more a man places his self in the service of a cause, the more pronounced become the blue shades. In this class also one finds two quite different kinds of people. There are natures who are not in the habit of exerting their power of thought — passive souls who, as it were, have nothing to throw into the streams of events in the world but their good nature. Their aura glimmers with beautiful blue. This is also the appearance of many religious and devotional natures. Compassionate souls and those who find pleasure in giving themselves up to a life of benevolence have a similar aura. If such people are intelligent in addition, green and blue currents alternate, or the blue itself perhaps takes on a greenish shade. It is the peculiarity of the active souls in contrast to the passive, that their blue saturates itself from within with bright shades of color. Inventive natures, having fruitful thoughts, radiate bright shades of color as if from an inner center. This is true to the highest degree in those persons whom we call wise, and especially in those full of fruitful ideas. Generally speaking, all that implies spiritual activity takes more the form of rays spreading out from within, while everything that arises from the animal nature has the form of irregular clouds surging through the aura.

The variations in color nuances showing themselves in the corresponding aura formations depend on whether thoughts, sprinting from the soul's activity, are at the service of the soul's animal nature or that of an ideal, objective interest. The inventive person who applies all his thoughts to the satisfaction of his sensual passions shows dark blue-red shades. He, on the contrary, who places his thoughts selflessly at the service of an interest outside himself shows light reddish-blue color tones. A spiritual life combined with noble devotion and capacity for sacrifice shows rose-pink or light violet colors.

Not only does the fundamental disposition of the soul show its color surgings in the aura, but also transient passions, moods and other inner experiences. A violent anger that breaks out suddenly creates red streams; feelings of injured dignity that expend themselves in a sudden welling up can be seen appearing in dark green clouds. Color phenomena, however, do not appear only in irregular cloud forms but also in distinctly defined, regularly shaped figures. If we observe a man under the influence of an attack of fear, we see this, for instance, in his aura from top to bottom as undulating stripes of blue color suffused with a bluish-red shimmer. When we observe a person who expects some particular event with anxiety, we can see red-blue stripes like rays constantly streaming through his aura from within outwards.

Every sensation received from without can be observed by the one who has developed the faculty of exact spiritual perception. Persons who are greatly excited by every external impression show a continuous flickering of small bluish-red spots and flecks in the aura. In people who do not feel intensely, these flecks have an orange-yellow or even a beautiful yellow coloring. So-called absent-mindedness shows bluish flecks playing over into green and more or less changing in form.

By means of a more highly developed spiritual vision three aspects of color phenomena can be distinguished within the aura radiating and surging round a person. Firstly, there are colors that bear more or less the character of opaqueness and dullness. Certainly, if we compare them with colors seen with our physical eyes, they appear fugitive and transparent in comparison. Within the supersensible world itself, however, they make the space that they fill, comparatively speaking, opaque. They fill it in the manner of mist formations. A second species of colors consists of those that are light itself, as it were. They light up the space they fill so that it becomes through them itself a space of light. Color phenomena of the third kind are quite different from the first two. They have a raying, sparkling, glittering character. They fill space not merely with light but with glistening, glittering rays. There is something active and inherently mobile in these colors. The others are somewhat quiet and lack brilliance. These, on the contrary, continuously produce themselves out of themselves, as it were. Space is filled by the first two species of colors with a subtle fluidity that remains quietly in it. By the third, space is filled with an ever self-enkindling life, with never resting activity.

These three species of colors, however, are not ranged alongside each other in the human aura. They are not each enclosed in a separate section of space, but they interpenetrate and suffuse each other in the most varied ways. All three species can be seen playing through each other in one region of the aura, just a physical body, such as a bell, can simultaneously be heard and seen. The aura thus becomes an exceedingly complicated phenomenon because we have to do with three auras within each other, interpenetrating each other. We can, however, overcome the difficulty by directing our attention to the three species alternately. In the supersensible world we then do something similar to what we do in the sensible, for example, when we close our eyes in order to give ourselves up fully to the impressions of a piece of music. The seer has three different organs for the three species of color, and in order to observe undisturbed, he can open or close any one of the organs to impressions. As a rule only one kind of organ can at first be developed by a seer, namely, the organ for the first species of color. A person at this stage can see only the one aura; the other two remain invisible to him. In the same way a person may be accessible to impressions from the first two but not from the third. The higher stage of the gift of seeing consists in a person's being able to see all three auras, and for the purpose of study to direct his attention to the one or the other.

The threefold aura is thus the supersensibly visible expression of the being of man. The three members, body, soul and spirit, come to expression in it.

The first aura is a mirror of the influence the body exercises on the human soul; the second characterizes the life of the soul itself, the soul that has raised itself above the direct influence of the senses, but is not yet devoted to the service of the eternal; the third mirrors the mastery the eternal spirit has won over the transitory man. When descriptions of the aura are given, as here, it must be emphasized that these things are not only difficult to observe but above all difficult to describe. No one, therefore, should see in a description like this anything more than a stimulus to thought.

Thus, for the seer, the peculiarity of the soul's life expresses itself in the constitution of the aura. When he encounters a soul life that is given up entirely to passing impulses, passions and momentary external incitements, he sees the first aura in loudest colors; the second, on the contrary is only slightly developed. He sees in it only scanty color formations, while the third is barely indicated. Only here and there a small glittering spark of color shows itself, indicating that even in such a soul-mood the eternal already lives in man as a germ, but that it is driven into the background by the action of the sensory nature as has been indicated. The more a man gets rid of his lower impulses, the less obtrusive becomes the first part of the aura. The second part then grows larger and larger, filling the color body within which the physical man lives ever more completely with its illuminating force. The more a man proves himself to be a servant of the eternal, the more does the wonderful third aura show itself to be the part that bears witness to the extent to which he has become a citizen of the spiritual world because the divine self radiates into the earthly life through this part of the human aura. Insofar as men show this aura, they are flames through whom the Godhead illumines this world. They show through this part of the aura how far they know how to live not for themselves, but for the eternally True, the nobly Beautiful and the Good. They show how far they have wrung from their narrower self the power to offer themselves up on the altar of cosmic world activity.

Thus there comes to expression in the aura what a man has made of himself in the course of his incarnation.

All three parts of the aura contain colors of the most varied shades, but the character of these shades changes with the stage of man's development. In the first part of the aura there can be seen the undeveloped life of impulse in all shades from red to blue. These shades have a dull, muddy character. The obtrusive red shades point to the sensual desires, to the fleshly lusts, to the passion for the enjoyments of the palate and the stomach. Green shades appear to be found especially in those lower natures that incline to obtuseness and indifference, greedily giving themselves over to each enjoyment, but nevertheless shunning the exertions necessary to bring them to satisfaction. Where the desires are passionately bent on some goal beyond the reach of the capacities already acquired, brownish-green and yellowish-green auric colors appear. Certain modern modes of life actually breed this kind of aura.

A personal conceit that is entirely rooted in low inclinations, thus representing the lowest stage of egotism, shows itself in tones of muddy yellow to brown. Now it is clear that the animal life of impulse can take on a pleasing character. There is a purely natural capacity for self-sacrifice, a high form of which is to be found even in the animal kingdom. This development of an animal impulse finds its most beautiful consummation in natural mother love. These selfless natural impulses come to expression in the first aura in light reddish to rose-red shades of color. Cowardly fear and timidity in the face of external causes show themselves in the aura in brown-blue and grey-blue colors.

The second aura again shows the most varied grades of colors. Brown and orange colored formations point to strongly developed conceit, pride and ambition. Inquisitiveness also announces its presence through red-yellow flecks. A bright yellow mirrors clear thinking and intelligence; green expresses understanding of life and the world. Children who learn easily have much green in this part of the aura. A green yellow in the second aura seems to betoken a good memory. Rose-red indicates a benevolent, affectionate nature; blue is the sign of piety. The more piety approaches religious fervor, the more does the blue pass over into violet. Idealism and an earnest view of life in a higher sense is to be seen as indigo blue.

The fundamental colors of the third aura are yellow, green and blue. Bright yellow appears here if the thinking is filled with lofty, comprehensive ideas that grasp the details as part of the whole of the divine world order. If the thinking is intuitive and also completely purified of all sensuous visualizations, the yellow has a golden brilliance. Green expresses love towards all beings; blue is the sign of a capacity for selfless sacrifice for all beings. If this capacity for sacrifice rises to the height of strong willing, devoting itself to the active service of the world, the blue brightens to light violet. If pride and desire for honor, as last remnants of personal egoism, are still present despite a more highly developed soul nature, others verging on orange appear beside the yellow shades. It must be remarked, however, that in this part of the aura the colors are quite different from the shades we are accustomed to see in the world of the senses. The seer beholds a beauty and an exaltedness with which nothing in the ordinary world can be compared.

This presentation of the aura cannot be rightly judged by anyone who does not attach the chief weight to the fact that the seeing of the aura implies an extension and enrichment of what is perceived in the physical world — an extension, indeed, that aims at knowing the form of the soul life that possesses spiritual reality apart from the world of the senses. This whole presentation has nothing whatever to do with reading character or a man's thoughts from an aura perceived in the manner of a hallucination. It seeks to expand knowledge in the direction of the spiritual world and has nothing in common with the questionable art of reading human souls from their auras.

Rudolf Steiner describes the second body as ether body or as life body. Rudolf Steiner was a seer and could see supernatural things and has also described these things and written down and published them, or described them in lectures.

Robert Monroe was a space traveller, or a man who carried out out-of-body-experiences. He was a real space traveller because he had the ability to adjust his state of consciousness according to circumstances and for example not to just visit other celestial bodies but to also perceive that life there that existed there. So he did not just find desolate worlds but was able to communicate with the beings living there. And that was possible because he could focus on the necessary state of consciousness.

Robert Monroe published his first book in the year 1971 under the title "Journeys out of the body".

In this first book of his Robert Monroe speaks of his second body, therefore of the body which he uses when he undertakes out-of-body travels, and leaves his first body, his physical body, at home in his bed. And when one reads that book and has dealt with the subdivision of man, then one assumes that this second body of Robert Monroe is just the soul body, the body in which the soul travels, the body that is also called the astral body by Rudolf Steiner and by many others.

Before I bring his report about this, I will first go into an important development which led to this discovery.

In his out-of-body travels Robert Monroe felt restricted and identified his consciousness as the limiting factor and then discovered that he controlled himself too much.

Out of our Christian view he was too much orientated towards his own will and now learned to be led by the spirit. And that meant to let spiritual beings lead oneself, who do God’s will and is therefore led by God.

Here now the corresponding extract from Robert Monroe‘s book "Far Journeys":

Pages 5-7

What have I been doing (out of body) since the publication of Journeys Out of the Body? The answer I usually give is this: Beginning in the seventies, I began to experience a frustration, a limitation in my out-of-body activities. It is hard for some people to believe, I suppose, but such travels actually became boring. The early excitement had long passed. It became an effort to participate in controlled tests, and because it was an effort, I began to sense that the particular theme of "proof" was not part of my mode of operation. Moreover, when free of such testing limitations, there didn't seem to be anything exciting to do.

My deliberate inducement of the second state also became tedious because I had found a simpler way to achieve it. I would wake up after two or possibly three sleep cycles, or approximately after three or four hours, and find myself already relaxed physically, rested, and completely wide awake. In that state, I found it ridiculously easy to "unhook" and flow freely out of the body. This, of course, posed the question of what to do. Everyone else was asleep at three or four-thirty in the morning. There seemed nothing to be gained by going and meeting people while they were asleep, not any easy prospect for validation because of the hour. So with no particular goal or attraction, I usually would drift around a bit, then slip back in, turn on the light, read until I was sleepy again, and that was it.

This compounded the frustration, as there was still the compulsion. All of the effort to work in the out-of-body state had to have some meaning or importance beyond what my conscious mind (or those of others) thought to be important.

In the spring of 1972, a decision was made that provided the answer. The limiting factor was my conscious mind. Therefore, if OOBE decisions were left up to that part of me, as they had been, I would remain just as I was. I was too much in control — this left-brain "I." What would happen if I turned this decision-making process over to my total self (soul?), who was purportedly conversant with such activities.

Believing this, I then put it into practice. The following night, I went to sleep, went through two sleep cycles (about three hours), woke up, and remembered the decision. I detached from the physical and floated free. I said in my conscious mind that the decision to do is to be made by my entire self. After waiting for what seemed only a few seconds, there was a tremendous surge, a movement, an energy in that familiar spatial blackness, and there began for me an entire new era in my out-of-body activities. Since that night, my nonphysical experiences have been almost totally due to this procedure.

The results have been of a nature so far removed from anything my conscious mind could conceive of that a new problem arose. Although my physical here-now consciousness is always a participant, better than 90 percent of such events seemed to me impossible to translate into the timespace medium.

Robert Monroe therefore consciously switched on his higher self in his process of decision making, his complete self, including the spiritual side of his life. He therefore did not just have out-of-body experiences, but he also started to take insight into the spiritual kingdom.

Now we come to his description, again from Robert Monroe‘s second book, how the linking of spiritual beings into the work of being out-of-body happened. It also was again a decision making process:

Pages 38-39

There was one "small" problem. Once our subjects passed through the light or achieved the out-of-body state, they were not particularly interested in hour after hour of dull searching for new effective sound frequency patterns. They would still perform the tasks, but beyond the tunnel and into the light was Paris! Keeping them on the farm was certainly no trivial problem. So we had to play a little.

And play we did. We sent our subjects to explore the moon, which they found a very dull place. We went to other parts of the solar system, the other planets, and found them, as far as we could determine, nothing but mile after mile of craters and mountains or simply layers of turbulent matter — no vegetation, no sign of life, nothing to truly attract our human attention. We did find that in such a state as the OOBE, a different kind of consciousness seemed to exist. The overview of the subject was different. For example, what to us in the control room was a minute could become hours or timeless to the volunteer in the booth. It was at this point that we began to call them our Explorer team.

Like most humans, we were possessed with the idea or hope that there had to be intelligent life somewhere among the billions of stars that we could perceive physically. So in our play we took to sending our Explorers out beyond the solar system at what appeared a near-instantaneous change of locale. The instruction was to keep going until he or she perceived something worthwhile. They passed by the other suns, found other planets, but no intelligent life. It seemed to us a sterile universe.

The change came in 1974. It took place in all of our Explorers within several weeks. Some had never met one another, so there was no crosscommunication. In looking back to examine the reason for this massive change, the only thing that we could find was: we had inserted the affirmation developed for the Gateway Program at the beginning of each experimental session in the lab. Other than that, we made no significant changes in Hemi-Sync frequencies, basic environment, or methods of presentation. It may have been the second part that was the catalyst:

. . . Also, I deeply desire the help and cooperation, the assistance, the understanding of those individuals whose wisdom, development, and experience are equal to or greater than my own. I ask their guidance and protection from any influence or any source that might provide me with less than my stated desires.

It was suddenly as if a curtain had been lifted. Almost every time one of our Explorers went into the out-of-body state or simply into an advanced Focus 12, they encountered intelligent beings who were more or less willing to communicate — and could do so. After several years of finding only barrenness, the effect upon us was overwhelming. We sometimes had difficulty knowing how to handle it.

Our whole progress in life, in our spiritual life, the only progress that counts, depends on our decision.

Every moment in life I can decide for or against God. This again and again turning towards God it is that makes up the final result.

We need God and intelligent spiritual beings doing his will to help us and really run our lives succesfully.

Robert Monroe and his team therefore had found a new method and this also led Robert Monroe to study more precisely the actual subdivision of man in the lower area. He discovered the life body, or the ether body. And he calls this newly discovered body the second body. And that body, which he had called the second body in his first book, he now calls the third body.

Here therefore comes the third excerpt from Robert Monroe’s second book "Far Journeys":

Pages 78-79

One of the earliest discoveries made in the new mode of Let-SomebodyElse-Do-the-Driving was that I had more than one nonphysical body. Upon return, I began to notice it took a small additional effort to get back into the physical. Initially, I assumed this to be nothing more than some minor misalignment as I tried to reenter. On one particularly difficult attempt, I pulled back slightly, stopped trying, and examined the problem. My physical body appeared to be not one, but two — much as when your vision is slightly impaired by astigmatism. They seemed very close together, no more than three or four inches apart, one slightly behind and fainter than the other. I approached the nearest of the two slowly, slid into it very easily. I held this position for several moments. It seemed as if I were partially interspersed with the physical, yet not quite in phase. The condition had a familiarity that took me all the way back to the vibration I first encountered and the physical paralysis that went with it. The sensation was near-identical — without the panic.

From there, it was easy to reenter the physical with a simple twitchlike movement, akin to a shrug of the shoulders. Thereafter, I began to take particular notice of physical reentry and found that I did indeed reenter a second form just prior to the physical body. In appearance, it was identical to the physical, only less dense. However, upon return this second body appeared more real, the more solid of the two. Upon entering the second, the actual physical then seemed more definite. Also, I began to observe more closely my separation process, presuming that if the premise were valid, I would be able to perceive the release from this near-second body. I found it was very real. I could stay in the second body, hovering near the physical, but could move no more than ten or fifteen feet away. It was reminiscent of my first limited out-of-body activities. It also brought back the memory of the many frustrative attempts in those early days to move away farther — and the moment I found the release point. Without being aware of the reason, I had provided subsequently to others in training the key to such release — the mental "security repository box," where one can place thoughts that get in the way.

Once I had become aware of the actual process, it became automatic, and both separation and return contained these elements — leaving the second body in "orbit" close to the physical, moving and being entirely apart and separate from the physical in a "third" body, or an energy essence (without form?). I no longer concerned myself with the details. Understanding it functionally — if not the reason — was enough for my purposes.

This report now reminds one of the silver cord, which was dealt with on this webpage, The Silver Cord – Part 1, and there also a report from Robert Monroe was given how he investigated this silver cord.

Only that this report comes from Robert Monroe‘s first book and there he did not yet know this ether body and therefore assumed that the silver cord was connected to his physical body, but the silver cord connects the ether body, the life body, with the soul body, or the astral body, therefore the second body with the third.

But this report of Robert Monroe, how he has discovered the ether body, and his description of this member of man, extends very much the understanding for reports about out-of-body experiences. And this also applies to reports about near-death experiences. So there are therefore two supernatural bodies in which one can move. The first only allows a very limited movement; the reach is very short. Only when one is in the second supernatural body and travels with it, one can go further away from the physical body.

So it always depends on the state of consiouness. The knowledge about different states of consciousness will bring progress to science. Only when science will really recognize the importance of different states of consciousness, therefore will really grasp the decisive matter in quantum theory, will they get on.

And we must be led by the spirit: Let-SomebodyElse-Do-the-Driving.

Now follows a statement of an advanced spiritual being describing what he sees when he looks at a human being. It comes from the book "The Personal Sessions, Book 1 of The Deleted Seth Material, Sessions 11/15/65-12/6/71," 2003, page 36.

Robert Butts asks Seth the question, "What do you see when you look at me?" Now Robert Butts is the husband of Jane Roberts and Jane Roberts is the medium through which Seth speaks, and Seth speaks to Robert Butts.

So now Seth, speaking in session 371, October 11, 1967:

When I look at you, I see a multidimensional form in motion, a geometrical collection of highly intensified energy, with a nucleus that is your whole self. The self that you know is only a small portion of that self, boxed in, so to speak, by its limited perception.

Now follow two excerpts from Lyall Watson's book "Earthworks," 1986, pages 110 and 112-113:

By 1970, the process had become highly sophisticated and was being used in several Russian laboratories interested in finding a mechanical way of pinpointing the energy flows said to be involved in acupuncture meridians. They found complex patterns of direct current potential on the skin which correlated remarkably well with traditional acupuncture points and were able to produce Kirlian pictures of these points that show them blazing like beacons in the night. But what really intrigued scientists in the West was a picture produced by one worker to show the "phantom" image of part of a leaf that had been cut away before the picture was taken. This, in one startling image, not only revealed the existence of a possible "energy body", but suggested that it was relatively independent and could continue to exist even after the destruction of the physical body. All at once, it seemed, we had scientific proof of the soul.

The sum of our present knowledge points to the conclusion that all biological processes are fundamentally electric, and that central nervous systems in particular generate and transmit minute currents which regulate development, growth and healing. We are electric creatures, living in an electromagnetic environment which may well have shaped our origins and continues to determine the direction of our evolution.

We will now have a look at two extracts from a book with the title "Strange Powers" by Colin Wilson, 1973, pages 78 and 88:

At this point, she explained the puzzling business of the ‘three bodies’. There is, apart from the physical body, an electromagnetic (or energy) body, and the ‘astral’ body (which she prefers to call the emotional or soul-body). The energy-body would seem to be what Harold Burr measures with his voltmeters, and what the Kirlian device detects. The astral body is the body that travels – perhaps Robert Leftwich’s superconscious. The energy body hovers above the physical body when it is unconscious – or anaesthetised. Mrs Beattie said she had often seen this in the operating theatre. (The psychic Phoebe Payne, quoted in The Occult, was also able to see the ‘auras’ of flowers and animals. The inference would seem to be that people like Mrs Beattie and Phoebe Payne have a sense that can detect the ‘energy body’ like the Kirlian device.) The aura, in a healthy person, spreads out about a foot beyond the physical body, and it radiates various colours – depending on the consciousness of the individual. When the individual is tired, the aura dims.

Human beings have three bodies: the physical body, the energy body and the astral (or soul-) body. All our memories are associated with the energy body. After death, the astral body is freed; the energy body remains in a state of quiescence or unconsciousness for three days. The energy body is joined to the physical body at the navel, and has its root in the liver. This body as also called the Ka, the Egyptian word for it. The Ka remains with the physical body to keep it alive when the astral body travels. After death, the Ka gradually disintegrates as the physical body decomposes; its memories are transferred to the astral body at death. In cases of violent death, the astral body finds itself in a grey, misty place and feels confused and lost. Mrs Beattie has also helped to ‘guide’ these lost souls out of this limbo state. ‘Ghosts’ are not lost souls, but fragments of the energy body which have not disintegrated. This happens in cases of violent death, when the memory has not had time to be transferred to the soul-body.

The astral body has awareness of the ‘subconscious’ mind. As human beings achieve extension of consciousness, they also achieve a closer relation to the subconscious mind. At a higher level still, the astral body is in contact with the whole race memory, which can become available to it. Interestingly enough, Mrs Beattie says that she disbelieves in reincarnation. People who think they have glimpsed themselves in previous existences are actually contacting fragments of the race memory.

There is actually nothing mystical or supernatural about the life body and the soul body. Here some thoughts about this.

When you want to experience your life body do the following. Fill the bathtub with warm water, get into it and clean your body under water with a brush, get out, dry your body, get into bed, lie on your back, cover yourself so that you are warm, close your eyes, relax, for example also your yaw, turn inwards and feel the life body. Feel this tingling sensation, these vibrations, and then start to move them into certain body parts or from certain body parts to others. One can cause them to move in waves from the soles of the feet up to top of the head and down again. Once one has discovered these vibrations they can be perceived without any preparations.

Here a second way to experience the life body. I quote from a book about a smart phone:

The touchscreen is sensitive to the tiny electrical charge in our bodies. This means you only have to tap the screen, not bang down hard with your finger. To activate items on the screen such as application and settings icons, to type letters and symbols using the onscreen keyboard, or to press onscreen buttons, you simply (gently) touch them with your finger.

So whenever you use a smartphone you are using this life body.

The touchscreen of a smartphone might not always react to a certain finger of your hand and that might be due to a lack of this electrical charge in that specific finger. So just us another finger.

Now we come to the soul body.

When you sleep at night and you are in the process of awakening you might experience a certain jerk in your body and this might be your soul body re-entering your physical body. This might also happen when you are only half asleep but the soul body has left already the physical body and now returns and you experience this jerk and wonder if you are or were awake or asleep.

In the process of awakening you might want to get up and you can’t get up, or you dream that you want to get up or move, and you can’t, then you are also in that phase where the soul body has not yet fully returned into the physical body.

But basically all dream experiences are experienced in the soul body and this includes out-of-body states, or all dream states are out-of-body states.


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