The Sevenfold Human Structure
The 21st century is a crucial period of human evolution, especially its first half. The reason for this is that with the advance of the Age of Aquarius the right time has come to sort out on a spiritual level all human souls into two major categories. This is to be done in accordance to all their deeds in previous lives, and according to the impulses that they imbued their souls with, through all their previous reincarnations until the present day. And indeed, if we look at the current reality around us, with unprejudiced and unbiased eyes, we will notice that the human population has already split by large into two very distinctive groups.
On one hand we have a group of people who I shall call materialistic – the people who allowed their spirits to immerse into the material reality extremely deep. This went so far, that these people nowadays recognise the external material reality as the only reality. For them, practically, soul and spirit do not exist. They only believe in their physical senses of perception, in other words the only things that are “real” to them are the things that they can see, touch, smell, feel etc. For this reason, most of them do not believe in reincarnation and the only life in which they really believe is their current, present life. Thus, it does not make a big difference for them if they live in sin, commit a crime (if they are sure that they are not going to get caught by authorities, of course) or do whatever it takes in order to establish for themselves a comfortable and pleasurable life on Earth here and now.
On the other hand, there is the group of people, which we may call with the general term spiritual, who seek to liberate their spirit of all material restrictions and strive to expand their consciousness over the material existence. They regard the material reality as a temporary background, as a necessary provisional limitation, the existence of which is justified only as a means through which the spirit expresses itself. Most people belonging to this, second group eventually ascend to the idea of reincarnation and realize that everything that happens in the physical planes has its roots into the spiritual world. They begin to understand that if the reasons for certain apparent injustices or sufferings cannot be found in this life, then they have to be sought in the previous reincarnations and the personal karma, associated with the particular individual. In this way, the people belonging to the spiritual group gradually became aware of the fact that there is no point to deceive, lie or cheat, because even if they get away without being caught by the authorities on the earth plane, there are “heavenly authorities”, from which there is no escape.
Although the “materialistic” group of people appears to be much stronger in numbers, it is important to understand that it is in fact the souls of the people, comprising the second group who will inherit the future Earth. It is also important to understand that the choices that we make today are crucial, because while today it is still possible to a degree to make the final switch into your group of preference, with the advance of time, (especially after the first century of the new millennium is over) it will be too late to make any changes. By that time, the “spiritual” group of people will be ascended so high, and the “materialistic” group of people will accumulate so much negative karma, that it will be nearly impossible to make any changes in the course of direction and to try to catch up. For most of us, this means that our last chance to decide which of these two major groups of people we will join is during this lifetime. Those people, who are at the dusk of their lives, may still have another chance in one more incarnation till the end of the century to make the decisive switch, but for the rest of us the time is right now.
This spiritual fact, inspired me to write this article in order to bring to the attention of the general public some esoteric, spiritual truths, and in this way to facilitate those people who are still vacillating in their choice. Most people believe that the human body is a complex system, made up from bones, muscles, flesh, blood and all sorts of other organs and human parts which work together to produce us as we are. Although this sounds logical, nothing can be further away from the truth. The reason for this is that observing the human body from this angle we are only regarding one single component of it – the physical body.
For the clairvoyant observer, the human organism appears to be made up from seven distinct components, which we will call “bodies” for simplicity in this article. From these, the only body that is visible and can be observed directly by people with a normal sight is the physical body. Although the other six are invisible to the vast majority of people, nevertheless they are also as real to the clairvoyant observer as are the pages of the magazine which you are reading right now. It is important to stress, however, that not all people with psychic abilities can spot the subtle human bodies. Most of them cannot do that. From those who can, not everybody can observe all six. In fact, this is a really rare privilege and it is accessible only to a small number of very high initiates. But those clairvoyants who are in a position to perceive some of the lower energy subtle bodies, such as the “etheric” and “astral” bodies, all report the same results.
This does not come as a surprise, since the observation of the subtle human bodies is similar to the observation of material objects. Several people, looking at the same object – for example a table – will report similar results. All of them will state that the table is – for example – round and white in colour. Provided that they all have normal sight, none of them will perceive the table as black or square. The same process applies to people who have developed their clairvoyant abilities to a point at which they are in a position to observe human auras. Given that they have developed their abilities in a completely natural manner, they all will have similar observations, independently of each other.
A lot of people fall into the temptation of developing such abilities without having the necessary preparation. We should stress here, that the normal way leading to developing such faculties is a long and slow process. It relates to inner spiritual growth, reading suitable spiritual literature and practising spiritual life, full of humility, love, and desire to help selflessly other people. Only very slowly and after many years of meditation, preparation and humbleness, the clairvoyant abilities should appear as a consequential product to complement a soul that is already highly evolved, enlightened and transformed. In other words, clairvoyance is the by-product of high spiritual development and it is not the other way round.
For example in some of the yoga practices, the disciples achieve a state of enlightenment and inner peace that they attain a state of levitation. However, if the disciple is exclusively preoccupied with achieving the levitation state (for example because it looks like it is a cool exercise, which has a smashing effect in front of all your mates!), then he or she will not be in a position to make any real progress, regardless of how hard they try. This is because highly evolved spiritual people can become such a powerful source of an omnipotent love that it overcomes the power of the earthly gravitation and as a consequence they become able to levitate. However, they do not become more loving and spiritual, simply because they do special exercises that raise them above the floor. The difference is huge!
The same principle applies to clairvoyance abilities to perceive other people’s auras. These abilities should come naturally as a completely normal consequence of an evolving soul. At the same time, there are people who aim to attain quick results, without the necessary spiritual and moral preparation. A good indicator for this is how these people are using the abilities, which they may have. One should be aware of clairvoyants who use their “gifts” exclusively for personal, egotistical purposes, such as making a profitable business out of it, without the due consideration of how such abilities can be put into really good use in order to help other people. In such cases, we should carefully ask ourselves: Do such “gifts” really come from the good and benevolent spirits or do they in fact come from somewhere else? Most importantly, if we have doubts, we should vote with our dollars and not spend them for such “New Age businessmen”, for essentially there is no difference between them and the “materialistic” group of people mentioned in the beginning of this article.
It is absolutely NOT obligatory to be clairvoyant in order to understand the concept of the sevenfold human structure. Anyone can understand it and begin to use it as a stepping stone in their everyday lives. It is in fact very beneficial for every ordinary man and woman to take advantage of the spiritual science, by reading about the subtle human bodies, studying the theory about the sevenfold human structure and then applying it in practice. This practical application affects initially only the way we think and the way we perceive mentally the reality around us since the concepts about the spiritual word arrive to us only through the analytical mind. However, through this process, the necessary spiritual impulses imbue the soul of the individual and sink deep down to his or her heart.
Through this process, the soul is getting prepared in a correct and natural way to process the necessary information, when the third eye begins to open. Thus, the proper preparation and training leading on the road to greater understanding about the (esoteric) reality around us can be achieved by initially simply reading suitable books or articles about the spiritual science. Such books have to be written by initiates, who have demonstrated their compassion and benevolence towards humanity. The reader has to exercise great discernment about selecting the type of literature that he or she reads, for there are many “masters” and “initiates” that claim that they will elevate your soul to the highest possible spiritual realms, while in fact they will drag it down to the Kingdom of Ahriman or Lucifer. More about it you can read in the next chapters of this article.
The safest and the most natural road to spiritual knowledge, known to me, are the two main bodies of spiritual science, namely theosophy and anthroposophy. Theosophy as known to the modern world was founded by the Russian born clairvoyant and initiate Helena Blavatsky in New York in 1875. By doing this, she made an attempt to spread some divine truth to the intellectually advanced part of humanity. Most of these truths have always existed in the world even before, but they were spread secretly as it was done in the past in Egypt, Greece or in the Middle Ages. In antiquity, the great temples and schools of spiritual wisdom were run by high initiates. In the Middle Ages the spiritual truths were spread amongst the alchemists, Rosicrucians and Freemasons. Again, the level of knowledge that the disciples of these orders possessed was determined by their level of initiation. The reason for this is that the great spiritual truths cannot be easily understood by everybody and that they can become even very dangerous, if they become a weapon in the hands of people, driven by egotistical or malevolent impulses. For similar reasons we don’t give a three year old safety matches to play with, do we?
With the advent of the Age of Aquarius, however, the established order of passing down the spiritual knowledge started changing. Globalization, Internet and greatly facilitated world travel require that most spiritual truths are made freely available to the general public, regardless of the risks involved. In fact this risk is well calculated and it all has to do with the division of humanity into two major groups as described by me in the beginning of this article. People will be given the opportunity to choose their teachers: some of them will chose white masters, some of them will chose black masters. Upon completion of this process the final division of the human souls can be carried out and their subsequent place in the future of the Earth will be determined.
When theosophy first appeared in the physical world, it combined in itself the most important spiritual truths, made available to man. However, later this science got infected from the Eastern teachings bug from which it suffers till today. Some of the principal figures of Theosophy have been: Madame Helena Blavatsky, Annie Besant, Helena Roerich, Charles. W. Leadbeater, Geoffrey Hodson, Alice A. Bailey, Corine Heline and Dion Fortune.
Theosophy can be described as “a synthesis of science, religion and philosophy”, and its motto is: “There is no religion higher than Truth”. Practically, Theosophy presents itself today as a vast spiritual and cosmological system which seeks to investigate and explain Cosmos and man’s role herein, on the basis of occult research (research based on extrasensory perception, be it clairvoyance, visions or telepathically received messages) which is taught by a number of Theosophical groups around the world. In Western Australia, the library of the theosophical society is located on 21 Glendower St (opposite Hyde Park), tel. 93288104. Borrowing books from the library is free and as far as I know they organize introductory 9 week courses for a $25 contribution on a regular basis.
Most Theosophical groups today base their understanding on the teachings which were given through Alice A. Bailey in the 1930’s and 1940’s from her Tibetan teacher, Dhjwal Khul. These books present a spiritual cosmology which describes the universe as a vast, living being, containing myriads of other living beings within it, all evolving towards higher and higher states of consciousness and experience.
On the other hand Anthroposophy is the spiritual science created by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. It originally stemmed from theosophy and Dr. Steiner was a secretary of the German section of the Theosophical Society for number of years. However, after the death of Madame Blavatsky, the eastern turn in the theosophical society became very evident especially under the rule of the new head of the theosophical society – Annie Besant. At one stage she even tried to put forth a young person called Krishnamurti as the new Christ, or Maitreya, or both.
The whole scheme collapsed some years later, when Krishnamutri disavowed his nomination due to loss of faith in his mission. But even before the occurrence of this event, it was becoming more and more apparent that Dr. Steiner disagreed with the direction in which the Theosophical society was turning. So this incident was used by him as a pretext to leave the Theosophical society and to establish his own Anthroposophical society. More about Dr. Steiner and anthroposophy you can read from the page Spiritual Science.
Both sciences are based on the same esoteric truths, which are depicting the human organism as comprising 7 bodies that make up the human structure, of which only the physical body is visible, while the rest are subtle and invisible. Both disciplines describe in similar manner the esoteric events that unfold to a man after his death and before his new rebirth and both of them portray the evolution of the Earth as a chain of consecutive, evolutionary ‘rebirths’ etc.
However, due to its strong eastern orientation, theosophy is not in a position to explain the most important events in the human history in the last 2000 years, starting with the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Eastern teachings are very old indeed and their roots can be found in an epoch, which was in many respects very different to what occurred thousands of years later. Thus, theosophy neither possesses the appropriate terminology, nor really understands the fundamental and pivotal role of the incarnation of the Christ being for the future evolution of humanity.
Let’s use the following example to illustrate this fact. When children grow, normally they progress at school from year 1, to year 2, 3 etc. Students in year 3, for example, do not invalidate everything that they studied at year 1, but they understand that they cannot study the alphabet forever. As they gain more understanding, they do not think about the alphabet itself, but they use it as a stepping stone to read books, write short stories etc. Similarly, if one is stuck in the eastern doctrines only, he or she would not be in a position to understand the fundamental changes, which occurred in the spiritual world and on earth, during and after the incarnation of the Christ being, 2000 years ago. Such a person will be in the position of a student who in three consecutive years continues to study the alphabet, repeating religiously A, B, C…
For this reason, Dr. Rudolf Steiner established the spiritual discipline of Anthroposophy, inspiring people to grow and develop, explaining the spiritual facts and impulses from the correct, spiritual-scientific perspective. Being educated as a scientist from early childhood, he was the first clairvoyant to translate his visions and observations of the spiritual reality into understandable, logical and scientific language. The great significance of his works lies also in the fact that he was the first one to implement a proper terminology and to develop a spiritual language, based not only on the Eastern teachings, but primarily borrowed from the esoteric Christianity. This was imperative in order to explain a good number of the most sacred spiritual processes and mysteries, which occurred during the epoch of the Christian mysticism in the Age of Pisces. In Western Australia Steiner’s books can be purchased from Southern Aurora Books and Gifts, shop 3, St.Paul’s Shopping Centre, crn Forest Rd & La Fayette Blvd, Bibra Lake, ph.08-94341944. Alternatively, some of the Steiner’s books can be read for free on the web or for example in my e-library.
For the purposes of this article, however, it is acceptable to state that it is based on the teachings of theosophy and anthroposophy (both of which for shortened we will call spiritual science), because both of them do not disagree about the sevenfold human structure. According to the spiritual science every human being that lives on this planet comprises seven distinct layers of energy, which for simplicity we will call “bodies”. Although we are largely accustomed to apply the term “body” only to the physical body, which all of us can see, touch, move etc. this is not entirely correct, because there are another six members present there, which although invisible are nonetheless very important for the functioning of the whole human organism. We should envisage these subtle bodies as distinct layers of energy that surround and encompass the physical body. These are:
- Physical body – the physical body is a summary, an outer expression and an end product of all the other subtle bodies that we cannot see. The physical body is visible and can be perceived by all, but its appearance is entirely determined by all the other “invisible” bodies. For example blushing is a direct physical consequence of spiritual processes of shyness or bashfulness that appear as high speed swirls and whirls in the astral body. The same can be said for most habits such as biting one’s nails or tapping nervously with one’s foot. The roots of such behaviour can be directly observed only in the higher, subtle human bodies. Thus, the whole physical expression of humans, starting with their face expression, height, forms and length of their hands, fingers, toes etc. and finishing with their eye expression is nothing more or less then outer expression of spiritual processes, which the clairvoyant observer can perceive directly in the subtle bodies of the individual in question.
- Etheric body – the life bearer, the body that keeps us alive. The rhythm of the heart, the breathing process, the function of all internal organs and so on, is in fact a direct consequence of the action exercised by the etheric body. All living entities on our planet posses etheric bodies. It is the life force which brings the otherwise dead minerals into living motion and which has also the capacity to make the living entities grow and reproduce themselves. All plants and animals also have etheric bodies.
- Astral body – the bearer of all emotions and feelings. Due to the astral body perceptions are also made possible, such as hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching etc. This privilege is given only to the representatives of the human and animal kingdom. Plants and minerals do not posses astral bodies. Thanks to our astral bodies we can be cold or hot, feel sad or happy or experience pleasure or pain. The astral body can sometimes also overwhelm us with emotions, which can be positive or negative. If these are not dealt with on time, very often they damage parts of the etheric body below and that is how we can get sick, develop ulcers, or have a headache. 90% of all diseases are caused by irregular function of the astral body, i.e. due to abnormal, uncontrolled or highly depressed emotions, passions or feelings.
- Mental body – at this level begins the differentiation between the animals and humans in general. Through the mental body a thinking process becomes possible. Some highly developed animals also possess mental bodies in an embryonic state. On the other side, many degraded representatives of the human race have extremely primitive mental bodies. People in general believe that the mental body (or the human intellect as they call it) is the crown of the creation and nothing exists above it. In reality nothing can be further away from the truth. Human mind is only the intermediary, the messenger, similar to the Greek and Roman Gods Hermes and Mercury – the Gods of Mind and Intellect. The mind is capable to translate partially some of the God’s reality into human language or a concept, but the origins of the idea or the concept itself reside in the divine, celestial realm above it, i.e. they reside high above the minuscular human intellect.
- Causal body (or the Higher Mind) – The three bodies above the mental body, starting with the Higher Mind cannot be directly perceived by the usual mind, which we use in our every day thinking process (the mental body). On the level of the Causal body we deal with abstract ideas, impulses and notions such as love for humanity, high aspirations and ideals or striving for self-perfection and purification. There is a huge difference between love of one or several particular individuals (such as a spouse, child, parent or friend) and love and sacrifice towards humanity and all human beings in general. There is also a big difference between the love and care towards one or several pets and the love and struggle towards the implementation of the idea of conservation and saving the Earth with all animals inhabiting it and so on. All this pertains to the realm of the Higher Mind or the Causal body.
- Buddhi body (or the Intuitional Self) – this is the part of us that is associated with wisdom, truth, intuition and compassion. In daily life we are largely unaware of it, because it is located at two levels above the mental body. Buddhi body determines the major periods of our lives (usually 3 or 4, but sometimes more). This is the power that inspires us for 4-5 years during our high school or University years for example, or which leads us during periods of relationship or marriage. If the marriage dissolves and another long-lasting relationship begins that means that the buddhi body has switched off from one source and switched on to another. The same rule applies for switching between long lasting trends in career or long lasting changes in the place of residence, etc.
- Athma body (or the Higher Self) – This is the only body that never really dies. In the esoteric Christianity this body is also called “the spirit”, or the part which reincarnates from one body to another, in order to reach higher perfection and purification. The Athmanic body determines the life path of the spirit through many of its reincarnations, thus where it is really leading us can be determined only if we compare the major patterns in at least several of our previous lives. The circumstances in various lives change all the time, but the general trends do not. In other words, it is not the circumstances, but the quality and the substance of the moral impulses that is carried over.
In the next parts of this article we will describe each one of these bodies in greater detail and we will examine the relationships that they have with each other. Then, we will be in a better position to understand the physical reality around us and all the external processes that we observe in our daily life will begin to make much more sense to us.