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Chapter 2
Astral Substance
PHYSICAL science has now moved to a position where it fully endorses the dictum
of the old alchemists that all existence is composed of the "first matter." Mass and
energy are convertible, each into the other. To quote from The Evolution of Physics
(1938), by Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld: "Mass is energy and energy has mass.
The two conservation laws of mass and energy are combined by the relativity theory
into one, the conservation law of mass-energy." The conversion of matter into
energy provides a tremendous force which, as so-called atomic energy, may in the
future be used to destroy much of mankind, or harnessed by industry may provide
many necessities and luxuries of a new and higher civilization.
In addition to matter, which is one aspect of energy, physics also must deal with field.
There are, for instance, the gravitational field between material particles, and electric
fields and magnetic fields. To quote further from The Evolution of Physics:
"Field represents energy, matter represents mass. . . . We could therefore say: Matter is
where the concentration of energy is great, field where the concentration of energy is
small. But if this is the case, then the difference between matter and field is a
quantitative rather than a qualitative one. There is no sense in regarding matter and
field as two qualities quite different from each other. We cannot imagine a definite
surface separating distinctly field and matter. What impresses our senses as matter is
really a great concentration of energy into comparatively small space."
The energy thus concentrated has the properties of positive and negative charges of
electricity. The positive electric charge, or particle, having a mass equal to that of the
electron, and a charge of the same magnitude but differing in sign, is called a
positron. The negative electric charge, or particle, having a mass equal to that of the
positron, and a charge of the same magnitude but differing in sign, is called an
electron. These two electrical particles are the bricks from which all matter is built.
A positron and an electron when united have weight, but are electrically neutral. The
prevalent theory at the present time is that the nucleus of an atom contains heavy
neutral pieces of matter, formed by the union of positrons and electrons held together
by the interaction of the attraction between the negative electrons and the positive
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positrons--about 1848 units of weight--tied up closely with a positron whose
weight is one unit and whose electrical charge is plus one. Such a combination of
positive and negative charges constitute a proton. All atoms of matter have at their
core one or more proton.
In 1932, Chadwick discovered that in addition to protons at the nucleus of an atom,
there may be other particles built up of positrons and electrons much as are the
protons, but containing an additional electron, so that they are electrically neutral and
weigh 1849 units. These are neutrons, which because they bear no electrical charge,
when they are used to bombard other atoms easily penetrate to their nuclei. Atoms
having the same number of free electrons, and thus the same chemical properties,
may have in their nuclei a different number of neutrons, and thus a different atomic
mass. Such atomic twins are called isotopes.
The positive charge on the proton of an atom is balanced by the negative charge on an
electron which revolves in an elliptical orbit around the nucleus of which the proton
forms a part. Each atom has an equal number of protons and free revolving electrons,
and thus is electrically neutral.
The electrons that revolve around the nucleus of an atom--which contains protons
and may contain neutrons--much as the planets revolve around the sun, are arranged
in zones. There are not more than two electrons revolving in the zone next to the
nucleus, not more than eight in the second zone, and not more than eight in the third
zone. Zones farther out may have more than eight electrons. It is the arrangement of
these revolving electrons which determines the chemical properties of an atom.
Although two of the chemical elements had not been isolated until 1947, the atomic
table listed 92 different elements. Hydrogen, the lightest element, and number 1 in
the table, has 1 free electron revolving in an orbit about its nucleus. The next heaviest
element, helium, has 2 free electrons revolving around its nucleus; lithium, the third
heaviest has 3; beryllium, the fourth heaviest element has 4, and uranium, the
heaviest element found in a natural state, with an atomic weight of 238.5, has 92
electrons revolving in its outer region. The synthetically produced neptunium has 93,
the synthetically produced plutonium has 94, the synthetically produced americuim
has 95, and the synthetically produced curium has 96.
By bombarding ordinary uranium with neutrons it is possible to produce neptunium
and plutonium. Plutonium and the uranium isotope U235 have a tendency to fission.
Bombarding ordinary uranium (U238) gives the uranium isotope U239 plus energy.
This isotope is radioactive, and one-half the quantity thus obtained will change into
neptunium in 23 minutes. Neptunium is also radioactive, and one half of it will then
change into plutonium in 2.3 days. In the fission of either uranium 235 or plutonium,
a chain reaction results through the release of other neutrons which bombard other
nuclei. Once the process is started it continues until the whole mass is broken down
into other elements. The sum of the separate weights of the resulting particles is
different than the weight of the parent particle. This means that matter is converted
into energy. In the explosion of U235 or plutonium, only one-tenth of one per cent of
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matter is thus converted into what is commonly called atomic energy. The problem at
this writing is to find a method of controlling the fission of plutonium, so its energy
may be released slowly and provide power for the wheels of industry.
In addition to field, where energy concentration is so great that it is commonly called
matter, science has observed that energy moves across vast regions of space and
exerts an influence. Just how the sun holds the earth in its orbit, and with the moon
influences the tides, has so far not been explained. The law of gravitation discovered
by Newton states that any particle of matter attracts any other particle with a force
proportional inversely to the square of the distance between them, and directly to the
product of their masses. But the process by which one particle thus reaches out across
space, or through some material obstacle, to attract the other particle is as yet
unknown.
Not only do the sun, planets and stars reach across empty space to influence the earth
and other orbs through gravitational pull, but they radiate light and radiant heat and
other forms of electromagnetism which in some manner traverse vast space. How
does the sun reach across 93 million empty miles to light our days? How does its
warmth traverse 93 million miles to keep earth's temperature genial enough to
encourage vegetable and animal growth?
To account for these and other electromagnetic phenomena science invented the
ether. The ether was frictionless, it penetrated everything. It sheared into positive and
negative electrical particles. It carried, by means of its waves, radiant heat, light,
radio waves, and other electromagnetic energy across space, and in the case of radio
waves through the walls of your home where they are picked up and the modulations
they carry are amplified by your radio set to give you information and enjoyment.
The tendency of advanced physics now is to forget the ether and try to explain all
phenomena, including matter, gravitation and electromagnetic waves in terms of
field. All are supposed to be characteristic distortions of space. Space takes the place
of the ether. However, this new conception still holds unsolved problems. To quote
once more from The Evolution of Physics:
"The theory of relativity stresses the importance of the field concept in physics. But
we have not yet succeeded in formulating a pure field physics. For the present we
must still assume the existence of both: field and matter."
It is not unlikely that in due course of time radio waves will be commonly mentioned
as distortions of space. But in common parlance radio programs come over the ether.
Not only so, but recent text books on physics still refer to the ether. The most recent
such text book to which I have access is Simplified Physics, by Sidney Aylmer Small
and Charles Ramsey Clark, published in 1943. It gives the prevailing present view:
"When things take place in presumably empty space we must assume that empty space
is not empty, that a vacuum has something in it. To this material that our senses
cannot detect but that our intellects demand in order that we may think about light
and wireless we give the name of the ether or simply ether.
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The ether, then, is something pervading all materials and space, even that space
which to our senses seems empty. It transmits heat, light, chemical energy and
wireless waves. It when stressed or strained produces magnetism and when sheared
(sliced) forms positive and negative charges of electricity."
Because electromagnetism transmits energy from the outer-plane to the inner-plane,
and from the inner-plane to the outer-plane, the ether will repeatedly be referred to
throughout Brotherhood of Light lessons. It would be awkward each time to speak
instead of distortions of space, and confusing to most readers who are unfamiliar
with relativity and the field theory. But the reader who is familiar with relativity and
the field theory can substitute certain warpings of space when etheric energy is
mentioned, and different warpings of space when astral substance is mentioned. And
his conceptions will probably be more precise. But for most it is easier to think of
matter, not as space distorted in one way, radio waves as space distorted in another
way, and the mental image of a cow as space distorted in still another manner. It is
much easier for the ordinary individual to think of any existence in terms of
substance.
Even the relativists and those most enthusiastic about the field theory of existence
still sanction the use of the word ether as it will be employed in Brotherhood of Light
lessons. To quote once again from The Evolution of Physics:
"Our only way out seems to be to take for granted the fact that space has the physical
property of transmitting electromagnetic waves, and not to bother too much about the
meaning of this statement. We may still use the word ether, but only to express some
physical property of space. The word ether has changed its meanings many times in
the development of science. At the moment it no longer stands for a medium built up
of particles. Its story, by no means finished, is continued by the relativity theory."
The most essential difference between that which is commonly referred to as etheric
energy and physical energy is its velocity. Things having low velocities have the
properties of physical things. But as velocities increase these properties undergo
marked change. As velocities increase time slows down, the length of an object
decreases in the direction of its movement, and its mass increases. These results
postulated by the Special Theory of Relativity have been tested experimentally and
are now universally accepted by those highest in the ranks of physical science.
At the velocity of light an object or an energy acquires some remarkable properties.
Commonly, for instance, the walls of our homes keep objects out; but radio waves
having their origin a thousand miles away have no difficulty in coming into the room
in which we sit. In empty space they have the velocity of light, 186,284 miles per
second (1942).
But there is another group of commonly observed phenomena which cannot be
explained either by the properties of physical substance or by the properties of
electromagnetic energies. Scientists term these the psi phenomena. Psi phenomena
embrace all the phenomena covered by the terms extra-sensory perception and all the
phenomena covered by the term psychokinetic effect.
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Extra-sensory perception embraces all means of acquiring information in which the
physical senses or reason are not involved, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience,
telepathy, precognition and postcognition. The psychokinetic effect, or
psychokinesis, embraces those phenomena in which physical things are moved or
influenced without any physical or electromagnetic contact with them. The
influencing of mechanically released dice to come to rest with the faces up which had
been decided upon, which is the test commonly used in university experiments to
prove the existence of this phenomenon, and the influence of planetary energies over
human life and other life are examples of psychokinesis. All psi phenomena are due
to inner-plane energies.
It was the Special Theory of Relativity, followed to its practical and logical
conclusions which led to the discovery of releasing and utilizing atomic energy. And
it is this same Special Theory of Relativity followed to its practical and logical
conclusions which indicates both how inner-plane energies operate and what can be
done to cause them to work more to the individual's advantage.
This theory postulates that at the velocity of light an object loses all its length, time
stands still, and gravitation loses its power. Therefore, on the inner-plane where
velocity is greater than light, time, distance and gravitation are of a quite different
order than they are on the physical plane. And innumerable experiments carried out
in various universities prove that this is actually the case.
By 1947, Duke University Laboratory alone had conducted over one-million trials of
extra-sensory perception; other university laboratories, following similar methods
had reported over two-million trials, and there were something over a million trials,
with responses from over 46,000 subjects made by the Zenith radio program in the
winter of 1937-38.
These experiments indicate that, as the Special Theory of Relativity carried to its
logical conclusion indicates, on the inner-plane where velocities are greater than that
of light, not only the Now can be perceived, but consciousness can move either
forward or backward along world-lines. Moving backward, it can perceive
happenings of the past. Moving forward it can perceive happenings of the future.
One of the serious difficulties now confronting university experimenters is to devise
methods by which precognitive clairvoyance can be separated from pure telepathy. It
is recognized that perceiving things as they will exist in the future is relatively
common. Therefore, if a record is made of the sender's thought at the time the subject
makes his call, there is no proof that the information was not obtained through
clairvoyantly seeing this record, rather than through telepathy. And if any objective
record is ever made of the sender's thought after it is sent, there is no proof that the
information was not obtained through perceiving this record as it will exist in the
future.
The university experiments indicate also, as the Special Theory of Relativity carried
to its logical conclusion indicates, that distance has no effect upon inner-plane
perception. Both clairvoyance and telepathy experiments indicate that, other things
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being equal, it is as easy to get a telepathic message, or to witness an event
clairvoyantly, when the distance is a hundred miles or a thousand miles, as when the
distance is only that separating two rooms in the same building.
Furthermore, as the Special Theory of Relativity carried to its logical
conclusion indicates, on the inner-plane where velocities are greater than that of
light, gravitation loses its influence on things. Along with the experiments on
extra-sensory perception, various universities have been conducting experiments
also with the psychokinetic effect. And they have proved by exhaustive experiments
that the mind, operating through space, can influence physical objects, such as the
fall of mechanically released dice, in a predetermined way.
The mind and thoughts of the individual exerting this influence are not physical.
They belong to the inner, or astral, plane. If one thinks of a cloud or of a star, no effort
need be made to overcome the influence of gravitation on the thoughts. Nor does it
take longer to think of a star which is light-years away than to think of a cloud a few
hundred feet above the earth. Yet mind and thought have an existence, and possess
energy, or they could not influence physical objects, such as the fall of dice in the
psychokinetic tests.
Although the field conception of electromagnetic energies is making the old
conceptions of the ether obsolete, it is convenient to refer to ether waves in
connection with both light and radio. And if the field conception could be carried far
enough, it would probably reveal that mental images, astrological energies,
disembodied human beings, and the high velocity counterparts of all physical things,
are other elastic distortions of space. But because people are familiar with substance,
and are not familiar with elastic distortions of space, they will be able to grasp the
function of electromagnetism better if they think of it as lines of force or waves in
etheric substance. And they will be better able to grasp the functions and the
properties of the inner-plane, where velocities are greater than light, if they think of
that region as being composed of astral substance, which is frictionless and which
penetrates and moves freely through physical and etheric substances.
This brings us to an extremely important fact confirmed by ample observation. For
an inner-plane energy to influence a physical object, or for a physical energy to
influence inner-plane conditions, electromagnetic energies--which have
approximately the velocity of light--must be present to transmit the energies of one
plane to the other. Such electromagnetic energies are generated by every cell of the
body, especially by the nerve and brain cells, and constitute both the nerve currents
and the life of the human form. All psychic phenomena in which there are physical
manifestations are produced through the utilization of electromagnetic energies by
an intelligence operating from the inner-plane.
Even the most orthodox psychology now embraces the idea that man has a
subconscious, or unconscious mind. This unconscious mind, which exists and
functions on the inner-plane, is composed of the thoughts, emotions and other states
of consciousness which the individual has experienced in his past. These thoughts,
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energized by emotion, have been organized in the unconscious mind according to the
Law of Association. And, as modern psychiatry and psychoanalysis demonstrate, at
all times they exercise a powerful influence over the conscious thoughts, emotions
and behavior.
Not only do the desires of the thought-cells and thought-cell groups of the
unconscious mind largely determine the individual's thoughts, emotions and
actions, but they also exert psychokinetic power to mold his physical environment to
bring into his life the conditions and events they desire. The events and conditions
some of these thought-cell groups desire are beneficial to the individual, but
unfortunately the desires of other thought-cell groups are for conditions and events
which are detrimental to the individual.
So long as the individual is unaware of the desires of the various thought-cell groups
within his unconscious mind his power to direct his own destiny is sadly limited.
Even though he has a brilliant intellect and exercises excellent reasoning power, the
desires of certain groups of thought-cells within his unconscious mind, exercising
psychokinetic power may, and often do, attract into his life misfortune. Some of the
thought-cell groups may have been so organized in his unconscious mind that they
work for, and bring him unusual good fortune where business, or honor or
speculation is concerned, and other thought-cell groups may have been so organized
that they work for, and bring him miserable health, unhappiness in marriage, and
repeated difficulty with his friends.
All Physical Things Have an Astral
Counterpart
--Even as all physical objects possess mass, so also do they have an astral, or
inner-plane, counterpart. As material scientists are not agreed on the structure of
matter, it would be presumptuous to go further and describe in detail that of which
things on the inner, or astral, plane are composed. It is simpler merely to state they are
composed of astral substance, and to state the observed properties of this substance.
While all physical things have an astral counterpart, there are innumerable objects,
energies and intelligences on the astral plane which have no physical counterpart. So
long as the astral counterpart of any object is bound to it by etheric, or
electromagnetic, energies there is an exchange of energies between the physical
counterpart and the astral counterpart. The energies having approximately the
velocity of light make contact with the low velocities of physical substance and also
make contact with the high velocities of astral substance. Through them the physical
object transmits energy to, and influences, its astral counterpart, and the astral object
transmits energy to, and influences, its physical counterpart.
While the physical also tends to shape the astral counterpart, the most significant
relation which commonly exists between physical substance and its astral
counterpart is that the astral interpenetrates and has a molding power over the
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physical.
This astral counterpart also records and retains in its frictionless substance every
experience of a life-form. The most outstanding characteristic of astral substance is
its responsiveness to the molding power of thought. All life-forms react to
environment through an awareness which is recorded in their astral forms. And this
record of experiences not only persists and continues to influence the destiny of the
life-form, but the strongest such recorded energies impress the astral counterpart of
the germ cells, and through this association hand down to subsequent generations
racial memories which express as instinct and racial habits and racial physical
characteristics.
The astral counterpart exerts a formative influence over all life. It seems quite
certain, for instance, that the force which causes a seed to grow into an organism of a
certain form and with certain functions does not lie merely in its chemical properties.
Nor does it appear to lie in any particular arrangement of its cells; for two vegetable
seeds of the same size and apparently of the same chemical and molecular
composition, when planted in the same soil may produce plants whose forms and
properties are totally dissimilar. Likewise there is very little observable difference in
the chemical composition and molecular structure of sperms and germs that generate
animals of entirely different species. Though as yet beyond the view of physical
science, this formative power that molds every living thing to its proper shape and
structure must lie somewhere.
It is now commonly recognized by psychologists that all memory resides in the
subconscious, or unconscious mind. This means that memory is recorded in astral
substance, and to be recalled by physical consciousness it must utilize
electromagnetic energies to impress the physical cells of the brain.
Every theory based upon a material foundation that has so far been advanced to
account for memory has been found inadequate. But if we consider that
accompanying and interpenetrating the physical brain is another brain of finer
substance, an astral brain, the whole mechanism becomes explainable.
Anything Once Known is Never
Forgotten
--We know something of the way physical sensations are transmitted to the physical
brain, namely, by nerve currents that follow the nerves much as electricity follows a
wire. These nerve currents actually are electrical in nature and communicate
movements to the brain that result in setting up a state of consciousness. But such
motions in time die away; yet memory shows that in some manner they are
preserved. What preserves them, and how? The sensations thus recorded on the
physical brain may be entirely forgotten for years--showing that the motions in the
physical brain have ceased--and then be suddenly recalled. How does this happen?
Or sensations may be completely forgotten by the objective consciousness, and
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entirely beyond recall by any objective process, yet be recovered when the person is
in a state of hypnotic trance.
It is by experiments with subjects under such hypnotic influence that we know
nothing felt or known is ever forgotten. What substance is fine and strong enough to
preserve the most delicate impressions for an indefinite period? Scarcely the nerve
currents, which are constantly changing, rippling along the fine wires of the nerves
and hurrying one sensation on top of another as a telephone wire carries the sound of
voices. The telephone does not remember; the phonograph, in a way, does. Connect
the telephone to a phonographic blank disc and the impressions made are
comparatively permanent. What is the phonographic disc attached to the human
brain? It is evident that the motions transmitted through the nerves to the brain are
retained permanently in some substance which is capable under proper conditions of
again imparting them to the brain in something closely resembling their original
form and intensity. Whatever this substance may be, it certainly is something not
subject to physical or chemical change.
But if we consider that accompanying and interpenetrating the physical brain is an
astral brain, composed of frictionless substance with the property of permanently
recording impressions, the matter is cleared up. As every motion imparted to astral
substance is retained indefinitely, every sensation which imparts motion to the astral
brain is registered in a comparatively ineffaceable manner. It is not retained by the
physical brain, because the physical substance is constantly removed and
replenished, and any movement in its parts is retarded by friction, even its molecular
motion, which expresses as heat, being subject to retardation through cooling. But
even as space offers imperceptible resistance to rays of light, or to the planetary
bodies passing through it, so astral substance retains permanently, or practically so,
all motions imparted to it. Under proper conditions these motions residing in the
astral brain can be focused on the electromagnetism of the physical brain and impart
motions to it in such a manner that it is recognized objectively; and the resultant
consciousness is then called memory.
The astral brain in which memory resides is commonly called the Subjective Mind,
the Subliminal Mind, the Subconscious Mind, or the Unconscious Mind. The better
and more recent works on psychology call it the Unconscious Mind. It is constituted
of those motions derived from experience that reside--organized in a manner later to
be explained--in the astral form and do not at the time transmit their motions to the
physical brain, remaining below the threshold of objective consciousness; while the
Objective Mind, on the other hand, is constituted of those motions derived from
experiences that reside in the astral form which at the time are able to communicate
their energies to electromagnetism in sufficient power to transmit their motions to
the physical brain and thus impress Objective Consciousness.
As an iceberg largely remains submerged below the surface of the sea, so man has
one mind, or soul, but the major portion of it, the unconscious mind, remains below
the surface of objective consciousness. It is only that small, keen, bright clever
reasoning peak of his mind, or soul, which emerges above the surface of objective
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consciousness which is designated as the objective mind.
Psychologists recognize that comparatively few of the actions of man or of other
forms of life result from the direction of the objective mind. Many of the
physiological processes, for instance, such as assimilation, secretion and circulation,
are carried on during sleep. They are wholly directed by the unconscious mind. And
the unconscious mind in turn is influenced about equally by the physical
environment and the astral environment.
Man is About Equally
Influenced by Two Environments
--Man has a physical body, and he has an astral body. The physical body, and
through its nerve currents, which are electrical in nature, his mind, or soul, which
resides on the inner-plane--the small emergent part being the Objective Mind and
the submerged part the Unconscious Mind--are influenced by his outer-plane
environment. His astral body and his mind, or soul, are influenced by his inner-plane
environment; and the thought-cells so affected in turn influence his physical body.
Thus does man live in, and is influenced by, both an outer-plane world and an
inner-plane world.
From the outer world he is influenced by the objects and people he contacts, by what
people say--either vocally or through screen portrayal or the printed page--and by
the weather. Objects and people also influence him from the inner-plane, but instead
of through physical contact chiefly through their character vibrations. From the
inner-plane he is also influenced, not by what people say, but by their thoughts and
the thoughts of other life-forms. From the inner-plane he is also influenced by the
weather; but this weather is not physical, it is the impact of astrological energies.
As to the degree in which man while still on earth is influenced by each of his two
environments, there has been a vast amount of observation, carefully checked, which
indicates that if we consider man to consist of his physical body, his astral body, his
mind, or soul, and the thoughts he thinks, the inner-plane environment--which
includes objects, the actions and thoughts of intelligent entities, and astrological
energies--has as much influence over his thoughts, feelings and behavior as do all
outer-plane conditions and energies, including the influence of his associates.
This being true, it behooves people to gain as much knowledge as possible about
their inner-plane environment in addition to knowledge of the outer-plane
environment. While they usually think of it in different terms, almost everyone
realizes that his survival depends upon his ability to adapt himself to his
environment, and that the more perfectly he adapts himself to his environment the
more successful he becomes. His ability to adapt himself to his environment depends
upon his knowledge of himself and that environment and the extent to which he
makes application of that knowledge. Consequently, the individual ignorant of the
astral world and its energies can live only half as successfully as if he understood and
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used knowledge of both planes.
Inner-Plane Senses
--Relative to physical sensations, biologists hold that at first there was only one
diffused primal sensitivity or irritability in response to stimulus. It is assumed that
this diffused primal sensitivity was the sense of touch. In ameboid life, for instance, it
is assumed that there is only the world of tangible objects accessible through actual
physical contact which is apprehended through the sense of touch and possibly a
rudimentary sense of temperature. Then as evolution took place, through a vast
amount of trial and error, the other senses slowly and gradually developed from this
sense of touch. Taste is one specialization of this sense of touch. Smell is the sense of
touch developed in a slightly different direction so that things can be touched a bit
more remotely. Another canalization of this sense of touch is the ability to apprehend
and interpret vibrations of air by the faculty of hearing.
It is common also to include the sense of sight as one of the five physical senses. It is
the ability to sense and interpret waves of energy called light. But as light is not
material, strictly speaking the ability to reach out, not merely feet or miles as with the
sense of hearing, but also across light-years of empty space, as we do with sight, is
hardly physical unless we interpret all common perception as physical. In that case,
because animals commonly apprehend conditions through intuition, and telepathy is
a common means of communication among them, we are justified in adopting the
classification of the ancients and considering all seven as physical senses.
As already mentioned, university experiments have proved the existence also of an
inner-plane faculty of apprehending information. It is called the faculty of
extra-sensory perception. It embraces all inner-plane means of gaining information.
And undoubtedly animals other than man possess this faculty in some degree.
But even as the diffused primal sense of touch became canalized and specialized, so
extra-sensory perception by which the unconscious mind of creatures apprehends
things on the inner-plane, through exercise and effort at discrimination becomes
specialized and more serviceable. We may assume that this sensitivity to inner-plane
entities and their vibrations, to the thoughts of intelligent entities, and to astrological
energies is universal in some degree with life-forms. But ability in selection and
interpretation of inner-plane conditions by this universal sense varies widely.
An artist may take his dog to an art gallery. If it happens to be a greyhound, it has
keener sight than its master. The dog can see all the pictures in the gallery as easily as
can the artist. But the effect upon his consciousness is vastly different. The dog
simply sees flat surfaces daubed with color. If a bone is pictured, he pays no attention
to it. He has neither the power to select a picture which conveys information or
emotional appeal, nor the power to give it interpretation.
Nor is it because they cannot look about them on the inner-plane with the senses of
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the astral form that people fail to gain more information through extra-sensory
perception. In some degree at least all people have the faculty of extra-sensory
perception. But more often than not they cannot focus the attention of their
unconscious mind on the information sought, and even when they do they often are
unable to interpret it correctly. And in addition--the most formidable barrier of
all--when their unconscious mind perceives something important correctly, it is
unable to compete with cerebral activity and sense impressions which monopolize
the electrical energies of the brain and nervous system which must be used to impress
a thought or sensation on the brain and thus bring it into objective consciousness.
Even as on the physical plane the general sense of touch has been specialized into
different types of perception, so also on the inner-plane the general extra-sensory
faculty has been specialized. Corresponding to touch is the astral sense of
psychometry. Corresponding to taste is the astral sense of energy absorption.
Corresponding to smell is the astral sense of aroma detection. Corresponding to
hearing is the astral sense of clairaudience. Corresponding to sight is the astral sense
of clairvoyance. Corresponding to intuition is the astral faculty of inspiration.
Corresponding to telepathy is the astral faculty of spiritual communion.
On the inner-plane all things and thoughts in the universe seem to be related to each
other in precisely the same manner that all experiences and thoughts which the
individual has ever had persist and are related to each other in his own unconscious
mind. And for the individual to contact those he desires to contact with the
appropriate astral sense and bring them before the attention of objective
consciousness the same laws are operative and must be used that enable him to
contact and bring to the attention of objective consciousness the memory of thoughts
and experiences he has forgotten.
In Course 5, Esoteric Psychology, it is pointed out that all mental processes are
governed by the LAW OF ASSOCIATION. Among the most powerful associations
by Resemblance is that of identical or similar resonance. This is the key to making
contact with things or thoughts, past, present or future, on the inner-plane; for there
thoughts and things having the same vibration are together. Distance on the
inner-plane is of a different order than in the physical world; there it is measured by
disparity in vibratory rates.
On the physical plane the visibility of things and the audibility of sounds diminish
with distance, and thus the number of objects it is possible to see or the number of
sounds that can be heard is narrowly limited. But virtually all experimenters in ESP
are agreed that distance has no effect on extra-sensory perception. That which is on
the other side of the earth is as easily seen as that which is in the same room, and the
thought of a person on the other side of the earth is as easily apprehended as the
thought of a person in the same room. If the pronouncements of university scientists
who have experimented exhaustively with extra-sensory perception are to be taken
seriously, nothing in the universe is beyond the range of extra-sensory perception,
and thus the number of things which it is possible to see clairvoyantly is infinite.
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Furthermore, on the inner-plane time is of a different order, and consciousness can
direct its attention either forward or backward and by means of the appropriate astral
sense perceive objects, life-forms and thoughts as they existed in the past or as they
will exist in the future.
These are the potentialities of the astral senses; potentialities meagerly employed as
yet by man on earth. But for that matter man has only recently begun to utilize the
potentialities of his own outer-plane senses and reason. Potentially they make
accessible incalculable knowledge of physics, chemistry and electricity; yet it is only
in late years we have used them to acquire that knowledge on which is founded
modern science and industry.
Most people, however, at some time in their lives, have observed authentic instances
of the operation of one of the astral senses. Spontaneous information has come to
them, or to one of their acquaintances, in a manner that precludes its acquisition
through reason and the outer-plane senses. And there are others, usually unaware of
the source or manner of their inspiration, who employ their astral senses in making
contact with information on the inner-plane, and bring this information up into
objective consciousness in the course of their creative work. These are the people to
whom we apply the title genius.
All genius draws upon information acquired by its unconscious mind which is less
accessible to the objective minds of others. Whether it is the great poet, the great
artist, the musical prodigy, the mathematical wizard or the most outstanding
personalities in science and invention, they each and all, as their biographies reveal,
either in dreams, in states of exhaustion resulting from concentration on their
problems, while in semi-reverie, or other states which favor the unconscious
impressing the information it has gained on the brain, have experienced uprushes
from the unconscious mind which have given them knowledge or ability beyond that
of those to whom the term genius cannot be applied.
While those who train their psychic faculties, and those who have outstanding
spontaneous extra-sensory experiences, usually know the information is coming
through from the inner-plane, most people are unable to distinguish between their
normal thoughts and opinions and those derived from extra-sensory sources. In the
university experiments it is reported that those who give good performances are
unable to determine at the time whether extra-sensory perception is operating and
therefore whether or not what they are doing is directed by anything but chance. Even
of those who employ extra-sensory perception most successfully, it is only the rare
individual who can be sure when he is or is not using it.
But merely the ability to employ the astral senses does not confer genius. Genius
must have a brain which can, and does, utilize the information and power which
uprushes from the unconscious. It requires the harmonious co-operation of the
Unconscious Mind and the Objective Mind.
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Personal Survival After Death
--As demonstrated under hypnosis and in psychoanalysis, nothing known by the
individual is ever forgotten. His experiences, including his thoughts and the
expression of personal traits, are organized and retained in frictionless astral
substance. That this inner-plane organization, which expresses as an identifiable
personality, survives beyond the tomb is attested by a vast and steadily increasing
mass of evidence, as set forth in the writings of Dr. John King, Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle, Rev. G. Vale Owen, J. Arthur Hill, Horace Leaf, Ella Wheeler
Wilcox, W. T. Stead, Dr. A. D. Watson, William O. Stevens, Stewart Edward White,
and a score of others.
Those who have passed to the inner-plane may, or may not, have acquired
information of value. In psychic work, when information comes through in a
continuous stream of intelligence, one may be sure it is coming from some
inner-plane entity. It is the opinion of this inner-plane entity which is being received.
When information arrives in messages which are continuous, they are not merely the
conclusions of the individual himself derived from his own inner-plane
observations. Conclusions reached by the unconscious from its own inner-plane
observations, and information acquired through the independent use of its astral
senses, do not come through as a continuous stream of intelligence, or a well
formulated message, but as uprushes from the unconscious, as flash after flash of
relevant information, which only when pieced together gives complete knowledge of
the matter about which knowledge is sought.
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Editors Note:
Beyond the Speed of Light, By Marc Seifer PhD, is an excellent history of the ideas
surrounding the concepts presented in the Astral Substance and Astral Vibration chapters
of this book. This history includes the concepts of E=mc2 by Einstein and the ether from
1875 to the present time 2008. It covers the ideas of how physics and material science
are trying to promote a completely materialistic world view with no spiritual concepts. It
shows that the Idea of Consciousness cannot fit into the restrictions of a materialistic
philosophy that science tries to impose on the world, in the same way that religions try to
dominate the minds of people. It updates the ideas presented by many philosophers and
scientists who support the idea of "As above so below" of Hermetic philosophy and the
origin of Consciouness.
Linden Leisge August, 2012
Editor's Note:
In 2001 the Dutch cardiologist Dr. Pim Van Lommel published an article in The Lancet
358:2039-2045 titled Near death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest; a prospective
study in the Netherlands
. In this article he documents the experiences reported by
patients who were revived from a cardiac arrest. During the cardiac arrest there was a
complete stoppage of the heart, breathing and circulation. He shows by medical analysis
that the brain had completely ceased to function, having no blood circulation or eeg activity.
Yet during this period of brain inactivity a percentage of patients had memories and
consciousness along with other out-of-the-body experiences. See this internet site for Dr.
Van Lommel's reply to Shermer in Scientific American 2003 - trying to say Dr. Van
Lommel was incorrect in his data assesment. This is the most definitive evidence to date
showing that memory and personality are not part of the physical body as outlined in this
chapter on Astral Substance.
Linden Leisge June, 2012