Composition of the Human Aura


The Physical Body:
State of Being - solid
Element - earth

The Physical body is composed of the three subforms of life. Animal, plant, and mineral.

The Spirit enters life at the moment when the fetus is fertilized by the sperm. Spirit is the force that initiates the unraveling of DNA. The Spirit is the force that initiates the molecular construction of a human body.

Without the presence of spirit, the physical body can only go into decay, as it is only the raw components used to create physical life. The individual Spirit is creator.




The Etheric Body:
State of Being - liquid
Element - water

Every part of the physical body has a corresponding etheric part underlying it. The ehtric body is not only responsible for building the physical parts into a cooplex whole: it also maintains them, constantly repairing and restructuring them. It strives to keep us in good health and is the source of our natural tendency to recover from serious illness in time. This self-healing is the result of the ehteric body's constant opposition to death and decay in the physical body.

The nature of the etheric world is such that it can only be described in physical terminology as infinite space. The etheric body originates in this boundless realm but, when it connects with the physical body at conception, it takes on a bounded quality which relates to the finite nature of the physical world.

The etheric body is particularly active during the embryonic stage of development, when the human form arises out of a plate of cells called the embryonic disc.  It is also particularly active in the processes of nutrition, in which food is used for both growth and continual renewal of the physical body.  This constant upbuilding quality of the etheric body is most dramatically expressed in plants which, in conjunction with sunlight, transform water and carbon dioxide into the sugars without which none of the other substances of living organisms could be created.  The physical bodies of plants are thus the primary source of nutrition for human and animal life.

The etheric body can be seen as a body of formative forces which builds up the physical body and supplies a rich but not limitless supply of creative potential.  In less differentiated tissues, such as the metabolic and nutritive organs, the creative potential remains available for growth and regeneration.  But in highly differentiated tissues such as the nervous system, once a certain degree of maturity has been reached, the capacity for growth and regeneration is limited and, in accordance with the principle of biological compensation, etheric forces are released to be used insome other way.  They become forces of thought and mental energy serving the higher function of consciousness, and are then associated with the soul element rather than the life element.

The qualities of the etheric realm are in many ways the opposite of those of the physical world, where order degenerates into disorder.  Wherever the etheric principle enters the physical world, it brings about order and form out of disorder and chaos.  In the dead physical realm, it makes sense to gain an understanding of an object in terms of its constituent parts.  Where physical matter is brought to life by the etheric body of a plant, animal or human, the parts of the organism are better understood in terms of their relationships within the whole.




The Astral Body:
State of Being - gas
Element - air

In addition to having physical and etheric bodies, humans and animals are conscious of the physical world and have 'Inner experiences of instinctive drives.  These characteristics are derived from the soul element, or astral body which, working through the etheric body, exerts a formative influence on physical development.  This gives rise to internal organs, enclosed cavities within the body and other physical characteristics which distinguish humans and animals from plants.  These physical differences may be clearly observed, but the most striking characteristic of the soul element, consciousness, can be more difficult to grasp.  Through our consciousness of the physical world, we can be aware of pain when the physical body is damaged, but we are also aware of an inner pain when our feelings are hurt.  Unlike the physical pain, these hurt feelings cannot be related to a particular area of the physical body, but they can be every bit as real and, in some circumstances, even harder to endure.

The Soul element cannot be reduced to chemical or biological processes in the physical body.  It is strongly coloured by the instincts, which have their roots in the unconscious physical and etheric bodies, and is also influenced by the higher element, the spirit, from which is derived a striving for a true understanding of the world and a need to find and fulfil aims in life that go beyond mere bodily needs. Life is a process of soul and spiritual development, and crises in the soul, such as emotional problems, can therefore be seen as critical phases in a person's inner development.

The soul element is where consciousness arises, where feelings and thoughts reside.  It is also where the impressions of the senses for example, sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, balance and temperature are experienced.  The physical sense organs make it possible for us to perceive the physical world, but they are just the windows through which physical reality is revealed to the soul.  For example, the eye is an instrument which is understood to receive visual images in a similar way to a camera.  But it could no more make sense of the light patterns playing on the retina than a camera could understand the photographs it produces.

Contemporary natural science looks to the brain for this centre of consciousness and, certainly, all the electrochemical signals associated with the sense organs are transmitted to it.  But there is nothing about the physical brain to make it any more capable of conscious experience of sight than the eyes.  It, like them, is an organ consisting of a highly organized arrangement of cells, but neither the organ nor the cells are themselves conscious.  The brain and sense organs are instruments of the soul, without which life in the physical world would be impossible.

It has already been said that the etheric body is primarily involved with building up the physical body and constantly working to keep it healthy.  The astral body, has, in a sense, an opposite effect.  It has a breaking-down, or catabolic, effect on the physical body, and thereby imbues a constant tendency towards illness.  This contrasting effect comes about because, whereas the etheric body is the basis of life, the astral body is the seat of consciousness, and consciousness in the physical world is bought at the cost of breaking down, or burning, physical matter.

One aspect of the destructive effect of the astral body is that consciousness is always accompanied by the breaking down of glucose in the nervous system.  This can only happen with the aid of oxygen and is rather like the burning of a flame.  Although this burning process takes place in all the cells of the body, the brain and nervous system are the most sensitive, requiring a constant supply of glucose and oxygen from the blood.  It is well-known that brain-death occurs within a few minutes if the supply is cut off, whereas the tissues of the limbs, which burn glucose during muscular activity, can survive for as long as an hour.  This destructive process, brought about by the astral body, has a proper place within the healthy physical body, as long as it is balanced by the healing effect of the blood, brought about by the etheric body. 

The astral body can also work in harmony with the etheric body in a forming capacity.  It does so particularly during embryonic development, by imposing a human form on the pattern of growth as the etheric body builds up the physical body. In the physical world, order tends to degenerate into disorder, and it is only the intervention of the etheric body which reverses this process, bringing order out of chaos.  The astral body takes the physical development created by the life element to a higher level, introducing greater differentiation and specialization into the physical body. The contrast between the anabolic, or upbuilding, influence of the etheric body and the catabolic, or breaking-down, influence of the astral body can be seen in a comparison of animal and plant life.  Plants have physical bodies and, as living things, also have etheric bodies.  Animals have physical and etheric bodies and, as conscious creatures, also have astral bodies.  A comparison therefore offers clear examples of the functional differences introduced by the addition of an astral body.

The awakening effect of the soul can also be traced chemically in the nervous system.  Much information has come to light within the last thirty years concerning, particularly, the neurotransmitter substances, which are released by one nerve cell and affect another.  They are mainly amines, which are derived from, and closely related to, amino acids, the constituents of proteins.  One of the main amines is noradrenaline. Its effect is very similar to that of the hommone adrenaline, which is understood to be released into the blood following nervous stimulation of the adrenal gland.  Both adrenaline and noradrenaline heighten alertness and awareness.  The pulse and metabolic rate are raised, glycogen (the form in which the sugar, glucose, is stored) is broken down, and the concentration of sugar in the blood rises, allowing the cells to burn more glucose to provide more energy. 




The Spirit:
State of Being - warmth
Element - fire

At the dawn of the "Age of Humanity", the Titans raged in heaven. Prometheus, or Lucifer, the son of light, stole the fire of consciousness from mount Olympus, and gave it to humanity. This fire is the human spirit that dwells within each of us today. The metaphor that Lucifer stole the fire from the gods, is pretty literal, in relation to humanity. It is this divine fire that makes humanity possible. Without it we would have never stood upright, or evolved beyond our animal stage. 

The Spirit is a passenger in the human body. Sort of like a tourist drifting from one body to another, lifetime after lifetime. A different body everytime, a different experience everytime. Learning as it goes, growing into a deeper sense of itself. The Spirit is what gives us our individuality, the sense of individuation, being separate from, but still a part of the whole that is the universe we live in. As parts, we share in the creation of the universe, and the world we see around us. We are currently at the threshhold of a deeper understanding of how we actually create our reality, and how to create correctly for health and happiness.

Humans are aware that they are independent conscious beings and, through this self-consciousness, are able to distinguish themselves from, and reflect on, the rest of the world.  Thinking about the world brings with it the possibility of going beyond the animal's instinctive reactions to events.  Humans are able to refrain from instinctive behaviour if their thoughts lead them to consider that it might be better to act in some other way.  While animals act out of instinct modified by external conditioning, humans are able to form mental pictures of the consequences of their actions and other considerations, and allow these to influence their decisions.

The ego also bestows a sense of continuity and permanence from one hour, day or year to the next, which is made possible by the faculty of memory.  Only humans have a true memory.  When people wake up, they remember what happened the day before and what they intended to do on the new day.  They remember who they are and where they live, and these retained concepts maintain a sense of identity. People's ability to think for themselves - to the extent to which they use it - can free them from instinctive behaviour.  In so far as freedom 'Is achieved, it is the ego which makes it possible.  Only humans have the choice between instinctive behaviour - essentially the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain and higher motives, such as concern for the well-being of others.  The ability to choose cannot be separated from responsibility for the consequences of the chosen action.  However, not only does the ego give people the ability to think for themselves, it also makes it possible for them to transform their own natures. 

This idea of karma is not a concept of retribution, or of being rewarded and punished by a higher authority for good and bad deeds. It is the principle that responsibility goes hand-inhand with self-determination. When we are preparing to incarnate, our karma influences when and where we are born, to whom, and the circumstances in which we will live.  It shapes our constitutions and personalities, and provides the hard lessons in life, which hurt but also stimulate development.

The Ego expresses itself in the physical world as warmth. The independant warmth element acts as the physical medium through which the ego works into the body, creating self-awareness.