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RE: are there problems with information from the astral plane?

Mar 01, 2006 06:27 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

3/1/2006 6:21 AM3/1/2006 6:21 AM    ASTRAL and PHYSICAL BODIES  (  Ocean )


Wednesday, March 01, 2006


          Dear Friends:


THEOSOPHY teaches:



                          BODY AND ASTRAL BODY



The body, as a mass of flesh, bones, muscles, nerves, brain matter, bile,
mucous, blood, and skin is an object of exclusive care for too many people,
who make it their god because they have come to identify themselves with it,
meaning it only when they say "I." Left to itself it is devoid of sense, and
acts in such a case solely by reflex and automatic action. This we see in
sleep, for then the body assumes attitudes and makes motions which the
waking man does not permit. It is like mother earth in that it is made up of
an infinitesimal number of "lives." 






Each of these lives is a sensitive point. Not only are there microbes,
bacilli, and bacteria, but these are composed of others, and those others of
still more minute lives. These lives are not the cells of the body, but make
up the cells, keeping ever within the limits assigned by evolution to the
cell. They are forever whirling and moving together throughout the whole
body, being in certain apparently void spaces as well as where flesh,
membrane, bones, and blood are seen. They extend, too, beyond the actual
outer limits of the body to a measurable distance. 


One of the mysteries of physical life is hidden among these "lives." Their
action, forced forward by the Life energy -- called Prana or Jiva -- will
explain active existence and physical death. They are divided into two
classes, one the destroyers, the other the preservers, and these two war
upon each other from birth until the destroyers win. In this struggle the
Life Energy itself ends the contest because it is life that kills. This may
seem heterodox, but in Theosophical philosophy it is held to be the fact.
For, it is said, the infant lives because the combination of healthy organs
is able to absorb the life all around it in space, and is put to sleep each
day by the overpowering strength of the stream of life, since the preservers
among the cells of the youthful body are not yet mastered by the other





These processes of going to sleep and waking again are simply and solely the
restoring of the equilibrium in sleep and the action produced by disturbing
it when awake. It may be compared with the arc-electric light wherein the
brilliant arc of light at the point of resistance is the symbol of the
waking active man. So in sleep we are again absorbing and not resisting the
Life Energy; when we wake we are throwing it off. But as it exists around us
like an ocean in which we swim, our power to throw it off is necessarily
limited. Just when we wake we are in equilibrium as to our organs and life;
when we fall asleep we are yet more full of life than in the morning; it has
exhausted us; it finally kills the body. Such a contest could not be waged
forever, since the whole solar system's weight of life is pitted against the
power to resist focused in one small human frame. 






The body is considered by the Masters of Wisdom to be the most transitory,
impermanent, and illusionary of the whole series of constituents in man. Not
for a moment is it the same. Ever changing, in motion in every part, it is
in fact never complete or finished though tangible. The ancients clearly
perceived this, for they elaborated a doctrine called Naimittika [the
correct Sanskrit term is Nitya] Pralaya, or the continual change in material
things, the continual destruction. This is known now to science in the
doctrine that the body undergoes a complete alteration and renovation every
seven years. At the end of the first seven years it is not the same body it
was in the beginning. At the end of our days it has changed seven times,
perhaps more. And yet it presents the same general appearance from maturity
until death; and it is a human form from birth to maturity. This is a
mystery science explains not; it is a question pertaining to the cell and to
the means whereby the general human shape is preserved. 


          The "Cell" and its Molecular Components.


The "cell" is an illusion. It is merely a word. It has no existence as a
material thing, for any cell is composed of other cells. What, then, is a
cell? It is the ideal form within which the actual physical atoms -- made up
of the "lives" -- arrange themselves. As it is admitted that the physical
molecules are forever rushing away from the body, they must be leaving the
cells each moment. Hence there is no physical cell, but the privative limits
of one, the ideal walls and general shape. 


          The "Ideal" shape set by the Astral Body


The molecules assume position within the ideal shape according to the laws
of nature, and leave it again almost at once to give place to other atoms.
And as it is thus with the body, so is it with the earth and with the solar
system. Thus also is it, though in slower measure, with all material
objects. They are all in constant motion and change. This is modern and also
ancient wisdom. This is the physical explanation of clairvoyance,
clairaudience, telepathy, and mind-reading. It helps to show us what a
deluding and unsatisfactory thing our body is. 



          The "Life-Force" -- Prana (breath).


Although, strictly speaking, the second constituent of man is the Astral
Body -- called in Sanskrit Linga Sarira -- we will consider Life Energy --
or Prana and Jiva in Sanskrit -- together, because to our observation the
phenomenon of life is more plainly exhibited in connection with the body. 


Life is not the result of the operation of the organs, nor is it gone when
the body dissolves. It is a universally pervasive principle. It is the ocean
in which the earth floats; it permeates the globe and every being and object
on it. It works unceasingly on and around us, pulsating against and through
us forever. When we occupy a body we merely use a more specialized
instrument than any other for dealing with both Prana and Jiva. Strictly
speaking, Prana is breath; and as breath is necessary for continuance of
life in the human machine, that is the better word. Jiva means "life," and
also is applied to the living soul, for the life in general is derived from
the Supreme Life itself. Jiva is therefore capable of general application,
whereas Prana is more particular. It cannot be said that one has a definite
amount of this Life Energy which will fly back to its source should the body
be burned, but rather that it works with whatever be the mass of matter in
it. We, as it were, secrete or use it as we live. For whether we are alive
or dead, life-energy is still there; in life among our organs sustaining
them, in death among the innumerable creatures that arise from our
destruction. We can no more do away with this life than we can erase the air
in which the bird floats, and like the air it fills all the spaces on the
planet, so that nowhere can we lose the benefit of it nor escape its final
crushing power. But in working upon the physical body this life -- Prana --
needs a vehicle, means, or guide, and this vehicle is the astral body. 



          The "Astral Body" has many names:  "Linga Sarira" the "Design


There are many names for the Astral Body. Here are a few: Linga Sarira,
Sanskrit, meaning design body, and the best one of all; ethereal double;
phantom; wraith; apparition; doppelganger; personal man; perisprit;
irrational soul; animal soul; Bhuta; elementary; spook; devil; demon. Some
of these apply only to the astral body when devoid of the corpus after
death. Bhuta, devil, and elementary are nearly synonymous; the first
Sanskrit, the other English. With the Hindus the Bhuta is the Astral Body
when it is by death released from the body and the mind; and being thus
separated from conscience, is a devil in their estimation. They are not far
wrong, if we abolish the old notion that a devil is an angel fallen from
heaven, for this bodily devil is something which rises from the earth. 

It may be objected that the term Astral Body is not the right one for this
purpose. The objection is one which arises from the nature and genesis of
the English language, for as that has grown up in a struggle with nature and
among a commercial people it has not as yet coined the words needed for
designating the great range of faculties and organs of the unseen man. And
as its philosophers have not admitted the existence of these inner organs,
the right terms do not exist in the language. So in looking for words to
describe the inner body the only ones found in English were the "astral
body." This term comes near to the real fact, since the substance of this
form is derived from cosmic matter or star matter, roughly speaking. But the
old Sanskrit word describes it exactly -- Linga Sarira, the design body --
because it is the design or model for the physical body. This is better than
"ethereal body," as the latter might be said to be subsequent to the
physical, whereas in fact the astral body precedes the material one. 



          Astral Substance is a Finer Material and very Strong


The astral body is made of matter of very fine texture as compared with the
visible body, and has a great tensile strength, so that it changes but
little during a lifetime, while the physical alters every moment. And not
only has it this immense strength, but at the same time possesses an
elasticity permitting its extension to a considerable distance. It is
flexible, plastic, extensible, and strong. The matter of which it is
composed is electrical and magnetic in its essence, and is just what the
whole world was composed of in the dim past when the processes of evolution
had not yet arrived at the point of producing the material body for man. But
it is not raw or crude matter. Having been through a vast period of
evolution and undergone purifying processes of an incalculable number, its
nature has been refined to a degree far beyond the gross physical elements
we see and touch with the physical eye and hand. 



          The Astral Model is the prototype of the Physical.


The astral body is the guiding model for the physical one, and all the other
kingdoms have the same astral model. Vegetables, minerals, and animals have
the ethereal double, and this theory is the only one which will answer the
question how it is that the seed produces its own kind and all sentient
beings bring forth their like. Biologists can only say that the facts are as
we know them, but can give no reason why the acorn will never grow anything
but an oak except that no man ever knew it to be otherwise. But in the old
schools of the past the true doctrine was known, and it has been once again
brought out in the West through the efforts of H. P. Blavatsky and those who
have found inspiration in her works. 



          Astral substance and the Evolution of the Earth


This doctrine is, that in early times of the evolution of this globe the
various kingdoms of nature are outlined in plan or ideal form first, and
then the astral matter begins to work on this plan with the aid of the Life
principle, until after long ages the astral human form is evolved and
perfected. This is, then, the first form that the human race had, and
corresponds in a way with the allegory of man's state in the garden of Eden.
After another long period, during which the cycle of further descent into
matter is rolling forward, the astral form at last clothes itself with a
"coat of skin," and the present physical form is on the scene. This is the
explanation of the verse of the book of Genesis which describes the giving
of coats of skin to Adam and Eve. It is the final fall into matter, for from
that point on the man within strives to raise the whole mass of physical
substance up to a higher level, and to inform it all with a larger measure
of spiritual influence, so that it may be ready to go still further on
during the next great period of evolution after the present one is ended. 



          "Model of the Child" is first in Astral Substance.


So at the present time the model for the growing child in the womb is the
astral body already perfect in shape before the child is born. It is on this
the molecules arrange themselves until the child is complete, and the
presence of the ethereal design-body will explain how the form grows into
shape, how the eyes push themselves out from within to the surface of the
face, and many other mysterious matters in embryology which are passed over
by medical men with a description but with no explanation. This will also
explain, as nothing else can, the cases of marking of the child in the womb
sometimes denied by physicians but well-known by those who care to watch, to
be a fact of frequent occurrence. 


          The Astral Body sets the limits of growth for the Physical


The growing physical form is subject to the astral model; it is connected
with the imagination of the mother by physical and psychical organs; the
mother makes a strong picture from horror, fear, or otherwise, and the
astral model is then similarly affected. In the case of marking by being
born legless, the ideas and strong imagination of the mother act so as to
cut off or shrivel up the astral leg, and the result is that the molecules,
having no model of leg to work on, make no physical leg whatever; and
similarly in all such cases. But where we find a man who still feels the leg
which the surgeon has cut off, or perceives the fingers that were amputated,
then the astral member has not been interfered with, and hence the man feels
as if it were still on his person. For knife or acid will not injure the
astral model, but in the first stages of its growth ideas and imagination
have the power of acid and sharpened steel. 



          Can the "Astral Body" move out of the "Physical Body ?"


In the ordinary man who has not been trained in practical occultism or who
has not the faculty by birth, the astral body cannot go more than a few feet
from the physical one. It is a part of that physical, it sustains it and is
incorporated in it just as the fibers of the mango are all through that
fruit. But there are those who, by reason of practices pursued in former
lives on the earth, have a power born with them of unconsciously sending out
the astral body. These are mediums, some seers, and many hysterical,
cataleptic, and scrofulous people. Those who have trained themselves by a
long course of excessively hard discipline which reaches to the moral and
mental nature and quite beyond the power of the average man of the day, can
use the astral form at will, for they have gotten completely over the
delusion that the physical body is a permanent part of them, and, besides,
they have learned the chemical and electrical laws governing in this matter.
In their case they act with knowledge and consciously; in the other cases
the act is done without power to prevent it, or to bring it about at will,
or to avoid the risks attendant on such use of potencies in nature of a high



          The Astral Body contains the Real Senses of Perception


The astral body has in it the real organs of the outer sense organs. In it
are the sight, hearing, power to smell, and the sense of touch. It has a
complete system of nerves and arteries of its own for the conveyance of the
astral fluid which is to that body as our blood is to the physical. It is
the real personal man. There are located the subconscious perception and the
latent memory, which the hypnotizers of the day are dealing with and being
baffled by. 



          "Astral Form" is released at death from the "Physical"


So when the body dies the astral man is released, and as at death the
immortal man -- the Triad -- flies away to another state, the astral becomes
a shell of the once living man and requires time to dissipate. It retains
all the memories of the life lived by the man, and thus reflexly and
automatically can repeat what the dead man knew, said, thought, and saw. It
remains near the deserted physical body nearly all the time until that is
completely dissipated, for it has to go through its own process of dying. It
may become visible under certain conditions. It is the spook of the
spiritualistic seance-rooms, and is there made to masquerade as the real
spirit of this or that individual. Attracted by the thoughts of the medium
and the sitters, it vaguely flutters where they are, and then is galvanized
into a factitious life by a whole host of elemental forces and by the active
astral body of the medium who is holding the seance or of any other medium
in the audience. From it (as from a photograph) are then reflected into the
medium's brain all the boasted evidences which spiritualists claim go to
prove identity of deceased friend or relative. These evidences are accepted
as proof that the spirit of the deceased is present, because neither mediums
nor sitters are acquainted with the laws governing their own nature, nor
with the constitution, power, and function of astral matter and astral man. 


The Theosophical philosophy does not deny the facts proven in spiritualistic
seances, but it gives an explanation of them wholly opposed to that of the
spiritualists. And surely the utter absence of any logical scientific
explanation by these so-called spirits of the phenomena they are said to
produce supports the contention that they have no knowledge to impart. They
can merely cause certain phenomena; the examination of those and deductions
therefrom can only be properly carried on by a trained brain guided by a
living trinity of spirit, soul, and mind. And here another class of
spiritualistic phenomena requires brief notice. That is the appearance of
what is called a "materialized spirit." 




          The "Astral" forms the "Spook" after Death.


Three explanations are offered: 


First, that the astral body of the living medium detaches itself from its
corpus and assumes the appearance of the so-called spirit; for one of the
properties of the astral matter is capacity to reflect an image existing
unseen in ether. 


Second, the actual astral shell of the deceased -- wholly devoid of his or
her spirit and conscience -- becomes visible and tangible when the condition
of air and ether is such as to so alter the vibration of the molecules of
the astral shell that it may become visible. The phenomena of density and
apparent weight are explained by other laws. 


Third, an unseen mass of electrical and magnetic matter is collected, and
upon it is reflected out of the astral light a picture of any desired person
either dead or living. This is taken to be the "spirit" of such persons, but
it is not, and has been justly called by H. P. Blavatsky a "psychological
fraud," because it pretends to be what it is not. And, strange to say, this
very explanation of materializations has been given by a "spirit" at a
regular seance, but has never been accepted by the spiritualists just
because it upsets their notion of the return of the spirits of deceased



          The "Astral Body" and Psychic Phenomena.


Finally, the astral body will explain nearly all the strange psychical
things happening in daily life and in dealings with genuine mediums; it
shows what an apparition may be and the possibility of such being seen, and
thus prevents the scientific doubter from violating good sense by asserting
you did not see what you know you have seen; it removes superstition by
showing the real nature of these phenomena, and destroys the unreasonable
fear of the unknown which makes a man afraid to see a "ghost." By it also we
can explain the apportation of objects without physical contact, for the
astral hand may be extruded and made to take hold of an object, drawing it
in toward the body. When this is shown to be possible, then travelers will
not be laughed at who tell of seeing the Hindu yogee make coffee cups fly
through the air and distant objects approach apparently of their own accord
untouched by him or anyone else. All the instances of clairvoyance and
clairaudience are to be explained also by the astral body and astral light.
The astral -- which are the real -- organs do the seeing and the hearing,
and as all material objects are constantly in motion among their own atoms
the astral sight and hearing are not impeded, but work at a distance as
great as the extension of the astral light or matter around and about the
earth. Thus it was that the great seer Swedenborg saw houses burning in the
city of Stockholm when he was at another city many miles off, and by the
same means any clairvoyant of the day sees and hears at a distance.



Best wishes,





-----Original Message-----
From: Mauri [

Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:17 PM
Subject: re: are there problems with information from the astral plane?


If the astral plane is a plastic, dreamlike plane/medium, then wouldn't
mediums (like CWL?), who go to the astral for information, tend to in return
get an astral or symbolic version of whatever innate/latent mindset they
might have brought into their astral experience?


Eg, if a person has a certain kind of astral dream (one in which various
frustrations are expressed and/or worked with in symbolic terms), then how
is one to know whether one's dream content realistically connects with one's
waking experiences unless one can, while awake, demonstrate some kind of
what one might call "realistic conection" between the two?


Eg, I recently had an astral (frustrating) dream (if frustrating dreams
qualify as astral dreams ...) in which I couldn't find where I had parked my
car.  But when I woke up I realized it was just a dream because ... well, I
knew where my car was in my waking life.  But let's say I had a dream in
which I drove over to Mars,  talked with some Martians and drove back ...
(not that I have had such a dream).  I dont think I would readily proclaim
on waking that my visit was for real, regardless of how seemingly real that
dream might be.  I don't know how CWL acquired his info about Martians, but
if it was astrally, and if the astral plane is plastic, if the
experiences/info to be found on the astral plane are affected by one's
"waking initial assumptions,"  why would anybody want to offer such
information to anybody else except in the context of a dream?  Just
wondering.  Maybe I'm missing something.


Then there's what's called "scientific remote viewing."  Apparently that
technique (per Courtney Brown and his books, eg) has also come up with
Martians, among other things.  I'm wondering if SRV is really a form of
astral travel which might be no more reliable than dreams.  Not that some
dreams might not be seen to "more specifically" connect with or parallel
waking reality, for all I know, but in cases where there's an absence of
corroborating, waking-life evidence for such a connection, I think I might
tend to wonder how the motives, personality and initial assumptions of the
"scientific" or "astral" viewer might have affected the nature of their
"viewing" (ie, regardless of how "scientific" one might have supposed that
one's viewing and preparations might be).  In other wods, I wonder if
"viewing" within any kind of astral domain might be tantamount to
interpretation ("interpretation," really, as I tend to see it) of the kind
that would depend on initial assumptions, but initial assumptions that,
because they're "astral" (given the nature of the astral plane as we
"understand it"...), would be much more plastic and therefore much more
influenceable (who knows across what spectrums) than the initial assumptions
we have in waking life.


In other words,  if I have nightmares,  seems to me as if that might be an
indication that I might want to sort them out (by sorting out my waking
initial assumptions, etc) before thinking about any kind of "more
intentional" or "more awake" forms of astral travel (assuming I'd be
thinking that my dreams might represent "less intentional astral







PS  But what if dreams have some sort of intentional aspect to them, after
all, in some very basic or latent sense (that might not even seem
scientifically determinable), though they might seem "less intentional" or
"more automatic" than the content of what's generally understood to be
"waking life"...


PPS  But what if life in general is a dream, comparatively speaking?
Compared to what?  Isn't that the question that Theosophy and the EWT is
trying to answer, exoterize about (while apparently misleading no end of
people because exoterics aren't esoterics: because interpretations aren't
direct experiences?).


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