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Lesson 1: The Visible and Invisible Worlds
Lesson 2: The Desire World
Lesson 3: The World of Thought
Lesson 4: The Four Kingdoms
Lesson 5: The Four Kingdoms [continued]
Lesson 6: Man and His Bodies
Lesson 7: Man and His Bodies [continued]
Lesson 8: The Method of Evolution
Lesson 9: The Method of Evolution [continued]
Lesson 10: The Method of Evolution [continued]
Lesson 11: Rebirth and Consequence
Lesson 12: Acquiring First Hand Knowledge

The Western Wisdom Teachings
Preliminary Philosophy Course

Lesson No. 6
Man and His Bodies: The Dense and Vital Bodies

1] The Four Ethers:

   Many may not be aware of the fact that man possesses more bodies than the dense physical one which is visible to all. The Rosicrucian Philosophy reveals, however, that the physical body, as important an instrument as it is, could not exist alone. The dense body is not only alive but grows and develops, and when death overtakes the physical body it loses its vitality and life. That something which imparts vitality and makes growth possible is called the vital body. The vital body is composed of four ethers.

Question 1:

  You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include your e-mail address, full name, course name and lesson number in your e-mail to us.

Name the four ethers and state the function of each. (Review pages 34-38 of The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

2] Building of the Vital Body:

   When the Ego is on its way to rebirth through the Region of Concrete Thought, the Desire World, and the Etheric Region, it gathers a certain amount of material from each. The quality of this material is determined by the seed atom, on the principle that like attracts like. The quantity depends upon the amount of matter required by the archetype which has been built by the incoming Ego in the Second Heaven. From the quantity of prismatic ether atoms that are appropriated by any certain spirit, the Recording Angels and their agents (the nature spirits and the so-called dead) build an etheric matrix which is placed in the mother's womb and determines the form of the visible body of the new-born child. Only a small portion of the ether appropriated by a certain Ego is thus used; and the remainder of the child's vital body, or rather the material from which that vehicle will eventually be made is thus outside the dense body. For that reason the vital body of a child protrudes much farther beyond the periphery of the dense body than does that of the adult. This store of ether atoms is drawn upon to vitalize the growing body until, at the time when the adult age is reached, the vital body protrudes only from one to one-and-a-half inches beyond the periphery of the dense body.

Question 2:

Why does the vital body of a child protrude farther beyond the dense body than that of an adult?

3] Restoration During Sleep:

   During the daytime, when the solar fluid is being absorbed by the dense body in great quantities, the points of the vital body are blown out or distended, as it were, by the solar fluid, but as the day advances and poisons of decay clog the physical body more and more, the vital fluid flows less rapidly. In the evening there comes a time when the points in the vital body do not receive a full supply of the life-giving fluid; they shrivel up and the atoms of the body move more sluggishly in consequence. Thus the Ego feels the body to be heavy, dull, and tired. At last there comes a time when the vital body collapses and the vibrations of the dense atoms become so slow that the Ego can no longer move the body. Then we say the body has gone to sleep. During sleep the vital body rebuilds and restores the dense body through the medium of the solar energy and the chemical and life ethers. These first and second ethers work on the dense body to harmonize and revive it while the desire body is taken with the Ego and the sheath of mind into the Desire World. The healthier one is, the more easily this restoration process is accomplished.

Question 3:

Why is sleep necessary? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, pages 93-94.)

4] Arrangement of Chemical and Life Ether Atoms:

   The atoms of the chemical and life ethers are shaped like prisms. During life each prismatic vital atom penetrates a physical atom and causes it to vibrate. To form a picture of this combination, imagine a pearshaped wire basket having walls of spirally curved wire running obliquely from pole to pole. This is the physical atom; it is shaped nearly like our earth, and the prismatic vital atom is inserted from the top, which is the widest and corresponds to the north pole of the Earth. Thus the point of the prism penetrates the physical atom at the narrowest point, which corresponds to the south pole of our Earth, and the whole resembles a top swinging, swaying, and vibrating. In this manner our body is made alive and capable of motion.

Question 4:
How is our dense body made alive and capable of motion?

5] Nature of Light and Reflecting Ether Atoms:

   The light and reflecting ethers are of an exactly opposite nature to that of the stationary prismatic ether atoms. They are volatile and migratory. However much or little a man possesses of this material, it is an accumulation, derived from his finer experiences in life. When it grows by service and sacrifice in life's school it is seen on the outside as a soul body of gold and blue.

Question 5:

Compare the atoms of the higher ethers with those of the two lower.

6] The Soul Body:

   The part of the vital body formed of the two higher ethers, the light and reflecting ethers, is what we may term the soul body; that is to say, it is more closely linked with the desire body and the mind and also more amenable to the spirit's touch than are the two lower ethers. As the dense body assimilates particles of food and gains flesh, so the two higher ethers assimilate our good deeds during life and thus grow in volume as well. According to our action in this present life we thus increase or decrease that which we brought with us at birth.

Question 6:

What is the soul body?

7] The Invisible Helper:

   Those who have true spirituality have their religion rooted in the vital body, set and persistent in the path it has once chosen. As new forms are propagated through the second ether of the vital body, so the Higher Self, the Christ within, is formed through this same vehicle of generation, the vital body, in its higher aspects embodied in the two upper ethers. But as a child that is born into the world requires nourishment, so also the Christ that is born within is a babe and requires to be nourished by acts of loving service. As the Christ grows, the two higher ethers grow in volume and form a luminous cloud around the man or woman sufficiently discerning to set his or her face Heavenward. By the exercise of concentration it becomes possible in time to detach the two higher ethers, and the man may then step away from his physical body, leaving it for a time invested and vitalized only by the two lower ethers. He is then what we call an Invisible Helper, and his work may be done consciously. Probationers and Disciples, who live a pure life and are sincere and loyal, also work as Invisible Helpers, though their work may be done unconsciously, depending upon the degree of their development.

[Recommended reading: The Work of Invisible Helpers, by Amber M. Tuttle]

Question 7:

What is an Invisible Helper?

Course Study Resources Study Quiz #1 E-mail your answers to us.

Answers to Lesson No. 5:

1] The desire body enables animal and man to fell desire, emotion and passion.

2] Man's desire body is a luminous ovoid, extending from 12 to 16 inches beyond the dense body. In it are 7 sense centers which in the majority of people are mere eddies. In the negatively developed person they turn from right to left, or counter-clockwise. In the properly trained voluntary clair-voyant these centers turn from left to right, or clockwise.

3] Man becomes an individual when his own Spirit, freed from the Group Spirit, enters his body and begins to assume command of his thoughts and actions.

4] A Group Spirit is a Being of a higher life wave than man which guides the evolution of members of the lower kingdoms, thereby also furthering its own evolution.

5] The animal Group Spirit belongs to a higher life wave (the Archengelic) than man, and is therefore in closer touch with cosmic wisdom. It is not so enmeshed in the material world as man and is consequently capable of displaying greater wisdom than he. This animal Group Spirit guides the activities of the animal, the latter apparently showing a greater wisdom than man.

6] The lower limb of the cross indicates the plant with its roots in chemical mineral soil. The animal is symbolized by the horizontal limb. Man is represented by the upper limb.

7] An upright walk, an upright larynx, and warm blood are the requisites for the expression of an individual ego.

Lesson 1: The Visible and Invisible Worlds:
The Seven Worlds
The Seven Subdivisions
The Two General Classifications
The Chemical Ether
The Life Ether
The Light Ether
The Reflecting Ether
Lesson 2: The Desire World:
Nature of the Desire World
Forces Operative In The Desire World
Manner of Operation of The Twin Forces
The Principle of Emphasizing The Good
The Borderland
The First Heaven
Lesson 3: The World of Thought:
Nature of The Thought World Thought Force
The Archetype
Thought Forms
Matter a Reflection of Spirit
Relation of The Worlds
Correlation of The Earth to Other Planets and Other Solar Systems
Lesson 4: The Four Kingdoms:
Differences In The Kingdoms
The Basis of Growth
The Vital Body
Relation of Dense and Vital Bodies
Separation of Vital and Dense Bodies
The Source of Vital Force
The Vital Body and Health
Lesson 5: The Four Kingdoms [continued]:
Substance of the Desire World
Man's Desire Body
Differences Between Animal and Man
The Nature of Group Spirits
Wisdom of the Group Spirit
Relation of the Kingdoms to the Earth's Life Currents as Symbolized by the Cross
Requisites for the Expression of an Individual Ego
Lesson 6: Man and His Bodies:
The Four Ethers
Building of the Vital Body
Restoration During Sleep
Arrangement of Chemical and Life Ether Atoms
Nature of Light and Reflecting Ether Atoms
The Soul Body
The Invisible Helper
Lesson 7: Man and His Bodies [continued]:
The Purpose of Desire
Composition of the Desire Body
Centers of Perception
Results of Action of Desire Body
The Nature of the Mind
Importance of the Mind
The Dangers of Intellect
Lesson 8: The Method of Evolution:
Relation of Man to the Denser Worlds
Divisions of the Spirit
Formation of Ideas
Action of the Mind
Kinds of Memory
Activities During Sleep
The Work of the Spirit
Lesson 9: The Method of Evolution [continued]:
The Seed Atoms and the Silver Cord
The Panorama
The Borderland
The First Heaven
The Second Heaven
The Third Heaven
Lesson 10: The Method of Evolution [continued]:
Selection of Material for New Bodies
Formation of the New Bodies
Faculties of the Child
Birth of the Higher Vehicles
The Blood the Vehicle of the Ego
The Life Cycle
Lesson 11: Rebirth and Consequence:
Theories Regarding Life and Death
The Spiral Path of Evolution
Justice A Factor In the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence
Heredity and Genius
The Laws of Attraction and Association
Astrological Phase of the Twin Laws
Wine As a Factor in Evolution
Lesson 12: Acquiring First Hand Knowledge:
Instruments of the Ego
Methods of Spiritual Endeavor
The Value of Prayer
Spiritual Exercises
Spiritual Teachers

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