воскресенье, 27 декабря 2015 г.

291. A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - 09. DIVISION C - THE ETHERIC BODY AND PRANA - Part 2 - A. BAILEY

DIVISION C - THE ETHERIC BODY AND PRANA - Part 2

a. Man, the Microcosm,
b. The Heavenly Man, the planetary Logos,
c. The Grand Man of the Heavens, the solar Logos.
Second. In this fourth chain and fourth round, the fourth ether is beginning to be studied, and—viewed as a separating web—it permits occasional exit to those of suitable vibration.
3. The Transmitter of Prana.
We have touched but little on the subject of the fire, the purpose of the etheric body being to convey it and distribute it to all parts of its system. We have dwelt on facts which might stimulate interest and emphasise the utility of this pranic vehicle. Certain facts need emphasis and consideration as we study this static ring and its circulating fires. Let me briefly recapitulate for the sake of clarity:
The System receives prana from cosmic sources via three centres, and redistributes it to all parts of its extended influence, or to the bounds of the solar etheric web. This cosmic prana becomes colored by solar quality and reaches the furthest confines of the system. Its mission might be described as the vitalisation of the vehicle which is the physical material expression of the solar Logos.
The Planet receives prana from the solar centre, and redistributes it via the three receiving centres to all parts of its sphere of influence. This solar prana becomes colored by the planetary quality and is absorbed by all evolutions found within the planetary ring-pass-not. Its mission might be described as the vitalisation of the vehicle which is the physical material expression of one or other of the seven Heavenly Men.
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The Microcosm receives prana from the sun after it has permeated the planetary etheric vehicle, so that it is solar prana, plus planetary quality. Each planet is the embodiment of some one ray aspect, and its quality is marked predominantly on all its evolution.
Prana, therefore, which is active radiatory heat, varies in vibration and quality according to the receiving Entity. Man passes the prana through his etheric vehicle, colors it with his own peculiar quality, and so transmits it to the lesser lives that make up his little system. Thus, the great interaction goes on, and all parts blend, merge and are interdependent; and all parts receive, color, qualify and transmit. An endless circulation goes on that has neither a conceivable beginning nor possible end from the point of view of finite man, for its source and end are hid in the unknown cosmic fount. Were conditions everywhere perfected this circulation would proceed unimpeded and might result in a condition of almost endless duration, but limitation and termination result as the effects of imperfection giving place to a gradual perfection. Every cycle originates from another cycle of a relative completeness, and will give place ever to a higher spiral; thus eventuate periods of apparent relative perfection leading to those which are still greater.
The aim for this greater cycle is the blending, as we know, of the two fires of matter, latent and active, and their merging with the fires of mind and spirit till they are lost from sight in the general flame; the fires of mind and spirit burn up matter and thereby bring about liberation from the confining vehicles. The altar of earth is the birthplace of spirit, its liberator from the mother (matter), and its entrance into higher realms.
Hence, when the pranic vehicle is working perfectly in all three groups, human, planetary and solar, the union with latent fire will be accomplished. Here lies [103] the reason for the emphasis laid on the necessity for building pure, refined physical vehicles. The more refined and rarefied the form, the better a receiver of prana will it be, and the less will be the resistance found to the uprising of kundalini at the appointed time. Coarse matter and crude immature physical bodies are a menace to the occultist, and no true seer will be found with a body of a gross quality. The dangers of disruption are too great, and the menace of disintegration by fire too awful. Once in the history of the race (in Lemurian days) this was seen in the destruction of the race and the continents by means of fire. [xlvi]45 The Guides of the race at that time availed Themselves of just this very thing to bring about the finish of an inadequate form. The latent fire of matter (as seen in volcanic display, for instance) and the radiatory fire of the system were combined. Planetary kundalini and solar emanation rushed into conjunction, and the work of destruction was accomplished. The same thing may again be seen, only in matter of the second ether, and the effects therefore will be less severe owing to the rarity of this ether and the comparatively greater refinement of the vehicles.
We might here note a fact of interest, though of a mystery insoluble as yet to most of us, and that is, that these destructions by fire are part of the tests by fire of an initiation of that one of the Heavenly Men Whose karma is bound up with our earth.
Each destruction of a portion of the web results in a greater facility of exit, and is in reality (when seen from the higher planes) a step forward and an expansion. A repetition of this takes place likewise in the system at the stated cycles.
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4. Disorders of the etheric body.
We will now study the etheric body, and its ills and also its after death condition. This matter can be only briefly touched upon. All that may now be indicated is a general idea of the fundamental ailments to which the etheric may be subject, and the trend which applied medicine may later take when occult laws are better understood. One fact must here be brought out—a fact but little comprehended or even apprehended. This is the significant fact that the ills of the etheric vehicle, in the case of the microcosm, will be found likewise in the Macrocosm. Herein lies the knowledge that ofttimes explains the apparent miseries of nature. Some of the great world evils have their source in etheric ills, extending the idea of the etheric to planetary conditions and even to solar. As we touch upon the causes of etheric distress in man, their planetary and solar correspondences and reactions may perhaps be realised. We will need to bear carefully in mind when studying this matter, that all the diseases of the etheric body will appertain to its threefold purpose and be either:
aFunctional and thereby affecting its apprehension of prana,
bOrganic, and thereby affecting its distribution of prana,
cStatic, and thereby affecting the web, when viewed solely from the angle of providing a physical ring-pass-not, and acting as a separator between the physical and the astral.
These three different groups of functions or purposes are each of paramount interest, lead to totally different results, and react in a different manner both outwardly and inwardly.
Viewed from the planetary standpoint the same conditions will be perceived, and the etheric planetary body [105](which is fundamentally the body in the case of the sacred planets, of which the Earth is not one) will have its functional disorders, which will affect its reception of prana, will suffer its organic troubles which may affect its distribution, and those disorders which permit of trouble in the etheric web, which forms the ring-pass-not for the involved planetary Spirit. Here I would point out that in the case of the planetary Spirits Who are on the divine evolutionary arc, the Heavenly Men Whose bodies are planets, the etheric web does not form a barrier, but (like the Karmic Lords on a higher plane) They have freedom of movement outside the bounds of the planetary web within the circumference of the solar ring-pass-not. [xlvii]46
Again from the systemic standpoint, these same effects may be observed, functionally, this time in connection with the cosmic centre; organically, in connection with the sum total of the planetary systems; and statically, in connection with the solar or logoic ring-pass-not.
We might now, for purposes of clarity, take up these three groups separately and briefly touch upon them and hint (for more will not be possible) at methods of cure and of adjustment.
a. Microcosmic functional disorders. These have to do with the reception by man, via the necessary centres, of the pranic fluids. We must always bear in mind, and thus keep the distinction clear, that these emanations of prana have to do with the heat latent in matter; when received and functioning through the etheric body correctly, they co-operate with the natural latent bodily [106] warmth, and (merging therewith) hold the body in a vitalised condition, imposing upon the matter of the body a certain rate of vibratory action that leads to the necessary activity of the physical vehicle, and the right functioning of its organs. It will, therefore, be apparent that the A. B. C. of bodily health is wrapped up in the right reception of prana, and that one of the basic changes that must be made in the life of the human animal (which is the aspect we are dealing with now) will be in the ordinary conditions of living.
The three fundamental centres whereby reception is brought about must be allowed to function with greater freedom, and with less restriction. Now, owing to centuries of wrong living, and to basic mistakes (originating in Lemurian days) man's three pranic centres are not in good working order. The centre between the shoulder blades is in the best receptive condition, though owing to the poor condition of the spinal column (which in so many is out of accurate alignment), its position in the back is apt to be misplaced. The splenic centre near the diaphragm is sub-normal in size and its vibration is not correct. In the case of the aboriginal dwellers in such localities as the South Seas, better etheric conditions will be found; the life they lead is more normal (from the animal standpoint) than in any other portion of the world.
The race suffers from certain incapacities, which may be described as follows:
First. Inability to tap pranic currents, owing to the unhealthy lives passed by so many. This involves the cutting off of the source of supply, and the consequent atrophying and shrinkage of the receptive centres. This is seen in an exaggerated form in the children of the congested quarters of any great city, and in the vitiated anemic dwellers of the slums. The cure is apparent—the bringing about of better living conditions, the employment [107] of more appropriate clothing, and the adoption of a freer and more salubrious mode of living. When the pranic rays can find free access to the shoulders, and to the diaphragm, the subnormal state of the average spleen will adjust itself automatically.
Second. Over-ability to tap pranic currents. The first type of functional disorder is common and widespread. Its reverse can be found where conditions of life are such that the centres (through too direct and prolonged submittal to solar emanation) become overdeveloped, vibrate too rapidly, and receive prana in too great an amount. This is rarer, but is found in some tropical countries, and is responsible for much of the troublesome debility that attacks dwellers in these lands. The etheric body receives prana or solar rays too rapidly, passes it through and out of the system with too much force, and this leaves the victim a prey to inertia and devitalisation. Putting it otherwise, the etheric body becomes lazy, is like an unstrung web, or (to use a very homely illustration) it resembles a tennis racket which has become too soft, and has lost its resilience. The inner triangle transmits the pranic emanations with too great rapidity, giving no time for the subsidiary absorption, and the whole system is thereby the loser. Later it will be found that many of the ills that Europeans, living in India, fall heir to, originate in this way; and by attention, therefore, to the spleen, and by wise control of living conditions, some of the trouble may be obviated.
In touching upon similar conditions in the planet, both these types of trouble will be found. More cannot be said, but in the wise study of solar radiation upon the surface of the planet in connection with its rotary action, some of the group rules of health may be comprehended and followed. The spirit of the planet (or the planetary entity) likewise has his cycles, and in the absorption of [108] planetary prana, and in its correct distribution, lies the secret of fertility and equable vegetation. Much of this is hidden in the fabled story of the war between fire and water, which has its basis in the reaction of the fire latent in matter, to the fire emanating outside of matter, and playing upon it. In the interval that has to elapse while the two are in process of blending, come those periods where, through karmic inheritance, reception is unstable and distribution inequable. As the point of race equilibrium is reached, so planetary equilibrium will likewise be attained, and in planetary attainment will come the equilibrium that must mutually take place between the solar planets. When they attain a mutual balance and interaction then the system is stabilised and perfection reached. The even distribution of prana will parallel this balancing in the man, in the race, in the planet and in the system. This is but another way of saying that uniform vibration will be achieved.
b. Microcosmic organic disorders. These are basically two in number:
Troubles due to congestion.
Destruction of tissue due to over-absorption of prana, or its too rapid blending with latent physical fire.
We have a curious illustration of both of these forms of trouble in sun stroke and in heat stroke. Though supposedly understood by physicians, they are nevertheless altogether etheric disorders. When the nature of the etheric body is better understood, and its wise care followed both these types of disease will be prevented. They are due to solar pranic emanation; in one case the effect of the emanation is to bring about death or serious illness through the congestion of an etheric channel, while in the other the same result is brought about by destruction of etheric matter.
The above illustration has been used with definite intent, [109] but it should be pointed out that etheric congestion may lead to many forms of disease and of mental incompetence. Etheric congestion leads to the thickening of the web to an abnormal extent, and this thickening may prevent, for instance, contact with the higher Self or principles and its resultants, idiocy and mental unbalance. It may lead to abnormal fleshy development, to the thickening of some internal organ, and consequent undue pressure; one portion of the etheric body being congested may lead to the entire physical condition being upset, resulting in diverse complaints.
Destruction of tissue may lead to insanity of many kinds, especially those kinds deemed incurable. The burning of the web may let in extraneous astral currents against which man is helpless; the brain tissue may be literally destroyed by this pressure, and serious trouble be caused through the etheric ring-pass-not having been destroyed in some one place.
In connection with the planet a similar state of affairs may be found. Later information may be forthcoming, which is at present withheld; this will show that whole races have been influenced, and certain kingdoms of nature troubled by planetary etheric congestion, or the destruction of planetary etheric tissue.
We have dealt with the functional and organic ills of the etheric, giving certain indications for the extension of the concept to other realms than the purely human. In the human kingdom lies the key, but the turning of that key opens up a door to a wider interpretation as it admits one into the mysteries of nature. Though that key has to be turned seven times, yet even one turn reveals untold avenues of eventual comprehension. [xlviii]47, [xlix]48
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We have considered the reception and distribution of pranic emanations in man, the planet, and the system, and have seen what produces temporary disorders, and the devitalisation or the over-vitalisation of the organic form. Now we can look at the subject from a third angle and therefore study:
c. Microcosmic static disorders, or a consideration of the etheric body in connection with its work of providing a ring-pass-not from the purely physical to the astral. As has been said, both here and in the books of H. P. B., the ring-pass-not [l]48a is that confining barrier which acts as a separator or a division between a system and that which is external to that system. This, as may well be seen, has its interesting correlations when the subject is viewed (as we must consistently endeavour to view it) from the point of view of a human being, a planet and a system, remembering always that in dealing with the [111] etheric body we are dealing with physical matter. This must ever be borne carefully in mind. Therefore, one paramount factor will be found in all groups and formations, and this is the fact that the ring-pass-not acts only as a hindrance to that which is of small attainment in evolution, but forms no barrier to the more progressed. The whole question depends upon two things, which are the karma of the man, the planetary Logos, and the solar Logos, and the dominance of the spiritual indwelling entity over its vehicle.

IV. MACROCOSMIC AND MICROCOSMIC ETHERS

1. The Planetary Logos and the Ethers
Man, the indwelling thinker, passes at night from out of his etheric ring-pass-not and functions elsewhere. Therefore, under the law, the planetary Logos likewise can pass His ring-pass-not at stated seasons which correspond in the planet to the hours of man's temporary repose, or pralaya.
The solar Logos likewise does the same during stated cycles, which are not the cycles succeeding those which we term solar pralaya, but lesser cycles succeeding the 'days of Brahma' or periods of lesser activity, periodically viewed. All these are governed by karma, and just as the true Man himself applies the law of karma to his vehicles, and in his tiny system is the correspondence to that fourth group of karmic entities whom we call the Lipika Lords; He applies the law to his threefold lower nature. The fourth group of extra-cosmic Entities Who have Their place subsidiary to the three cosmic Logoi Who are the threefold sumtotal of the logoic nature, can pass the bounds of the solar ring-pass-not in Their stated cycles. This is a profound mystery and its complexity is increased by the recollection that the fourth Creative Hierarchy of human Monads, and the Lipika Lords in Their three groups (the first [112] group, the second, and the four Maharajahs, making the totality of the threefold karmic rulers who stand between the solar Logos and the seven planetary Logoi), are more closely allied than the other Hierarchies, and their destinies are intimately interwoven.
A further link in this chain which is offered for consideration lies in the fact that the four rays of mind (which concern the karma of the four planetary Logoi) in their totality hold in their keeping the present evolutionary process for Man, viewing him as the Thinker. These four, with the karmic four, work in the closest co-operation. Therefore, we have the following groups interacting:
First. The four Maharajahs, the lesser Lipika Lords, [li]49 who apply past karma and work it out in the present.
Second. The four Lipikas of the second group, referred to by H. P. B. as occupied in applying future karma, and wielding the future destiny of the races. The work of the first group of four cosmic Lipika Lords is occult and is only revealed somewhat at the fourth Initiation (and even then but slightly) so it will not be touched upon here.
Third. The fourth Creative Hierarchy of human Monads, held by a fourfold karmic law under the guidance of the Lipikas.
Fourth. The four planetary Logoi [lii]50 of Harmony, Knowledge, Abstract Thought and Ceremonial, who [113] are in Their totality the Quaternary of Manas while in process of evolution, and who pass under Their influence all the sons of men.
Fifth. The Deva Lords of the four planes of Buddhi, or the plane of spiritual Intuition, Manas, or the mental plane, Desire, and the Physical, who are likewise allied to the human evolution in a closer sense than the higher three.
A further interesting correspondence is found in the following facts that are even now in process of development:
The fourth plane of Buddhi is the one on which the planetary Logoi begin to make Their escape from Their planetary ring-pass-not, or from the etheric web that has its counterpart on all the planes.
When man begins in a small sense to co-ordinate the buddhic vehicle or, to express it otherwise, when he has developed the power to contact ever so slightly the buddhic plane, then he begins simultaneously and consciously to achieve the ability to escape from the etheric web on the physical plane. Later he escapes from its correspondence on the astral plane, and finally from the correspondence on the fourth subplane of the mental plane this time via the mental unit. This leads eventually to causal functioning, or to the ability to dwell, and to be active in, the vehicle of the Ego, who is the embodiment of the love and wisdom aspect of the Monad. Note here the correspondence to that proved fact, that many can even now escape from the etheric body, and function in their[114] astral sheath, which is the personality reflection of that same second aspect.
When a man takes the fourth Initiation, he functions in the fourth plane vehicle, the buddhic, and has escaped permanently from the personality ring-pass-not, on the fourth subplane of the mental. There is naught to hold him to the three worlds. At the first Initiation he escapes from the ring-pass-not in a more temporary sense, but he has yet to escape from the three higher mental levels, which are the mental correspondences to the higher ethers, and to develop full consciousness on these three higher subplanes. We have here a correspondence to the work to be done by the initiate after he has achieved the fourth solar plane, the buddhic. There yet remains the development of full consciousness on the three higher planes of spirit before he can escape from the solar ring-pass-not, which is achieved at the seventh Initiation, taken somewhere in the system, or in its cosmic correspondence reached by the cosmic sutratma, or cosmic thread of life [liii]51
This fourth earth chain is in this connection one of the most important, for it is the appointed place for the domination of the etheric body by the human monad, with the aim in view of both human and planetary escape from limitations. This earth chain, though not one of the seven sacred planetary chains, is of vital importance at this time to the planetary Logos, who temporarily employs it as a medium of incarnation, and of expression. This fourth round finds the solution of its strenuous and chaotic life in the very simple fact of the shattering of [115] the etheric web in order to effect liberation, and permit a later and more adequate form to be employed.
A further chain of ideas may be followed up in the remembrance that the fourth ether is even now being studied and developed by the average scientist, and is already somewhat harnessed to the service of man; that the fourth subplane of the astral plane is the normal functioning ground of the average man and that in this round escape from the etheric vehicle is being achieved; that the fourth subplane of the mental plane is the present goal of endeavor of one-fourth of the human family; that the fourth manvantara will see the solar ring-pass-not offering avenues of escape to those who have reached the necessary point; that the four planetary Logoi will perfect Their escape from Their planetary environment, and will function with greater ease on the cosmic astral plane, paralleling on cosmic levels the achievement of the human units who are the cells in Their bodies.
Our solar Logos, being a Logos of the fourth order, will begin to co-ordinate His cosmic buddhic body, and as He develops cosmic mind He will gradually achieve, by the aid of that mind, the ability to touch the cosmic buddhic plane.
These possibilities and correspondences have been somewhat dwelt upon, as it is necessary for us to realise the work to be done in connection with the etheric web before we take up the matter of the various causes which may hinder the desired progress, and prevent the appointed escape and destined liberation. Later we will take up the consideration of the etheric web, and its static condition. This will entail the recollection of two things:
First, that this static condition is only so when viewed from the standpoint of man at the present time, and is [116]only termed so in order to make plainer the changes that must be effected and the dangers that must be offset. Evolution moves so slowly from man's point of view that it seems to be almost stationary, especially where etheric evolution is concerned.
Second, that we are only concerning ourselves with the physical etheric body and not with its correspondences on all planes. This is because our system is on the cosmic etheric levels, and hence is of prime importance to us.
2. Cosmic and Systemic Ethers
For the sake of those who read this treatise, and because the sequential repetition of fact makes for clarity, let us here briefly tabulate certain fundamental hypotheses that have a definite bearing upon the matter in hand, and which may serve to clear up the present existing confusion concerning the matter of the solar system. Some of the facts stated are already well known, others are inferential, while some are the expression of old and true correspondences couched in a more modern form.
a. The lowest cosmic plane is the cosmic physical, and it is the only one which the finite mind of man can in any way comprehend.
b. This cosmic physical plane exists in matter differentiated into seven qualities, groups, grades, or vibrations.
c. These seven differentiations are the seven major planes of our solar system.
For purposes of clarity, we might here tabulate under the headings physical, systemic, and cosmic, so that the relationship and the correspondences may be apparent, and the connection to that which is above, and to that which is below, or included, may be plainly seen.
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THE PLANES





Physical Plane
Systemic Planes
Cosmic Planes




1.
Atomic plane
Divine. Adi.
Atomic plane

1st ether
Primordial matter
1st ether
2.
Sub-atomic
Monadic. Anupadaka
Sub-atomic


The Akasha
2nd ether
3.
Super-etheric
Spiritual. Atmic
3rd ether


Ether


PLANE OF UNION OR AT-ONE-MENT
4.
Etheric
Intuitional. Buddhic
4th Cosmic ether


Air


THE LOWER THREE WORLDS
5.
Gaseous
Mental. Fire
Gaseous Sub-etheric
6.
Liquid
Astral. Emotional
Liquid
7.
Dense physical
Physical plane
Dense physical

d. These major seven planes of our solar system being but the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, we can consequently see the reason for the emphasis laid by H. P. B. [liv]52, [lv]53 upon the fact that matter and ether are synonymous terms and that this ether is found in some form or other on all the planes, and is but a gradation of cosmic atomic matter, called when undifferentiated mulaprakriti or primordial pre-genetic substance, and when differentiated by Fohat (or the energising Life, the third Logos or Brahma) it is termed prakriti, or matter. [lvi]54
e. Our solar system is what is called a system of the fourth order; that is, it has its location on the fourth cosmic etheric plane, counting, as always, from above downwards.
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f. Hence this fourth cosmic etheric plane forms the meeting ground for the past and the future, and is the present.
g. Therefore, also, the buddhic or intuitional plane (the correspondence in the system of this fourth cosmic ether) is the meeting ground, or plane of union, for that which is man and for that which will be superman, and links the past with that which is to be.
h. The following correspondences in time would repay careful meditation. They are based on a realisation of the relationship between this fourth cosmic ether, the buddhic plane, and the fourth physical etheric subplane.
The fourth subplane of mind, the correspondence on the mental plane of the physical etheric, is likewise a point of transition from out of a lower into a higher, and is the transferring locality into a higher body.
The fourth subplane of the monadic plane is in a very real sense the place of transition from off the egoic ray (whichever that ray may be) on to the monadic ray; these three major rays are organised on the three higher subplanes of the monadic plane in the same way that the three abstract subplanes of the mental are the group of transference from off the personality ray on to the egoic.
The four lesser rays blend with the third major ray of active intelligence on the mental plane and on the atmic plane. The four Logoi or planetary Spirits work as one, on the atmic plane.
i. Another synthesis takes place on the synthetic second ray on the second subplane of the buddhic plane and the monadic plane, while the comparatively few Monads of will or power are synthesised on the atomic subplane of the atmic. All three groups of Monads work in triple form on the mental plane under the Mahachohan, the Manu, and the Bodhisattva, or the Christ; on the second or monadic plane they work as a unit, only demonstrating [120] their dual work on the atmic plane, and their essential triplicity on the buddhic plane. [lvii]55
The fourth etheric plane holds the key to the dominance of matter, and it might be noted that:
On the fourth physical ether man begins to co-ordinate his astral, or emotional body, and to escape at ever more frequent intervals into that vehicle. Continuity of consciousness is achieved when a man has mastered the four ethers.
On the fourth subplane of the mental plane, man begins to control his causal or egoic body, and to polarise his consciousness therein until the polarisation is complete. He functions then consciously on it when he has mastered the correspondences to the ethers on the mental plane.
On the buddhic plane (the fourth cosmic ether) the Heavenly Men (or the grouped consciousness of the human and deva Monads) begin to function, and to escape eventually from the cosmic etheric planes. When these three cosmic ethers are mastered, the functioning is perfected, polarisation is centred in the monadic vehicles, and the seven Heavenly Men have achieved Their goal.
j. On these etheric levels, therefore, the Logos of our [121] system repeats, as a grand totality, the experiences of His tiny reflections on the physical planes; He co-ordinates His cosmic astral body, and attains continuity of consciousness when He has mastered the three cosmic ethers.
k. It is to be observed that just as in man the dense physical body in its three grades—dense, liquid and gaseous—is not recognised as a principle, so in the cosmic sense the physical (dense) astral (liquid) and mental (gaseous) levels are likewise regarded as non-existing, and the solar system has its location on the fourth ether. The seven sacred planets are composed of matter of this fourth ether, and the seven Heavenly Men, whose bodies they are, function normally on the fourth plane of the system, the buddhic or the fourth cosmic ether. When man has attained the consciousness of the buddhic plane, he has raised his consciousness to that of the Heavenly Man in whose body he is a cell. This is achieved at the fourth Initiation, the liberating initiation. At the fifth Initiation he ascends with the Heavenly Man on to the fifth plane (from the human standpoint), the atmic, and at the sixth he has dominated the second cosmic ether and has monadic consciousness and continuity of function. At the seventh Initiation he dominates the entire sphere of matter contained in the lowest cosmic plane, escapes from all etheric contact, and functions on the cosmic astral plane.
The past solar system saw the surmounting of the three lowest cosmic physical planes viewed from the matter standpoint and the co-ordination of the dense threefold physical form in which all life is found, dense matter, liquid matter, gaseous matter. A correspondence may be seen here in the work achieved in the first three rootraces. [lviii]56, [lix]57
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3. The Protective Purpose of the Etheric Body.
Now let us, after this somewhat lengthy digression, leave things cosmic and incomprehensible, and come down to practical evolution, and to the study of the matter of man's etheric body, and of the harm that may ensue to him should that body (through the breaking of the law) no longer perform its protective function. Let us see first of all what those protective functions are:
First. The etheric web acts as a separator or a dividing web between the astral and the dense physical body.
Second. It circulates the inflowing vitality or pranic fluid and carries on its work in three stages.
The first stage is that wherein the pranic fluid and [123] solar radiations are received, and circulated three times around the triangle, thence being distributed to the periphery of the body, animating and vitalising all the physical organs and conducing to the automatic subconscious workings of the body of dense matter. When perfectly accomplishing its object it protects from disease, and the ills of the flesh are unknown to the man who absorbs and distributes prana with accuracy. This hint is recommended to all physicians, and when properly comprehended, will result in a basic change in medicine, from a curative to a preventive foundation.

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