Dark matter is commonly thought of as something mysterious, part of the unknown, invisible and intangible. This essay is an attempt to give the subject of the etheric some structure to remove its cloak of mystery. In this discussion the nature of the etheric worlds is briefly outlined, and the relationship of etheric matter to the dense physical matter that we know is presented. The nature of man and his three subjective bodies are briefly described, and placed in their sub-plane context. Once the structural nature of the etheric, as well as the constitution of man has been described, the case for life to exist throughout our solar system and the universe is opened. Life, and human life in particular are then seen to exist mainly in the etheric where environmental concerns are not a factor. This essay will deal with a form of evolution that has not been formally considered, and will include many concepts foreign to most readers.
Key words: Dark matter, evolution, man, consciousness, life.
Probably the best way to get into a discussion about the etheric is to begin talking about “dark matter”. Dark matter has been a subject of increasing interest to the astronomical community for several years. Speculation as to what it is and its function in the universe has been just that – speculation. Never-the-less, various aspects seem to center about the following characteristics.
- Dark matter is invisible and apparent only by inference.
- Dark matter seems to hold galaxies and solar systems together.
- Dark matter is five times as prevalent as ordinary matter.
- Dark matter appears to move through ordinary matter.
While these points may seem unrelated they actually represent a starting point. One way of obtaining more pieces of the puzzle is through study and contemplation of the material compiled by A.A. Bailey during the first half of the last century. One finds her works to be a broad approach to the subject of evolution. They deal first with the nature of man, then extend those concepts to the nature of the solar system, and finally the universe.
Etheric matter is not even a new term, it has been around for centuries. Etheric (or ether or aether) applies to a substance that is known and recognized in certain disciplines. Unfortunately, many have been reluctant to recognize its existence apparently because it is invisible, and not sensed by instrumentation we have at present.
Clearly, modern physics does not know what to do with ether or the etheric. Even with an extensive collection of literature published over the last century and more, there does not seem to be any particular note of acceptance. Authors such as Blavatsky, Leadbeater, Besant, and A.P. Powell, have written numerous books on the subject, so, while the subject matter is often quite detailed, from the scientific perspective some will say it is largely about phenomena. This discussion will draw upon the Bailey material, and in this way a more orderly and structured presentation made.
Etheric Matter – The Real Name for Dark Matter:
The function of etheric matter is to provide a framework upon which to build a tree, a human being, a planet or a solar system. It provides a framework for form building that serves for everything in existence. Etheric matter is fundamental to the overall evolutionary plan, and as the evolutionary course proceeds, it builds upon finer and more energized states of matter. In this process the dense physical state is left behind.
There are four grades of the physical ether. The Fourth ether is the most coarse, then successively the Third and Second, the First ether is the finest grade of the ethers (Ref. 1, p-82, 910). All are part of the physical plane even though all four are normally invisible. All seem weightless – as we nearly are when immersed in water, but the effect of mass together with associated gravitational effects provides a telltale clue to its presence in the astrophysical worlds.
While the four ethers are part of our physical plane, the matter we know as solid, liquid and gas are also of the physical plane. Thus we may have a substance such as water in either the solid, liquid or gas state. These three states constitute the first three sub-planes of the physical plane while the four ethers constitute the next higher sub-planes.
There are seven sub-planes as a part of each plane, and the planes we know are the Physical, Astral, and Mental planes. From the point of view of our human consciousness they all represent a single continuum. The higher energy planes above these are the Buddhic, Atmic, Monadic, and Adi. (Ref. 1, p-817)
As we consider the first three sub-planes of solid, liquid and gas, it is apparent that while the substance might be the same (water for instance), what is different is the energy level involved. So, we should also look at the sub-planes as representing energy levels, with the physical plane as a “ground state”. When we go to the plane above, the astral plane, we are then dealing with the physical ethers in what we could consider an excited state. Any of the four ethers may be found on the astral plane at the characteristic energy level of the particular ether on a particular sub-plane. Similarly, any of the four ethers may be found on the mental plane just above.
Our Window into the Etheric: While etheric matter is essentially invisible to most people, there are a few who have the unusual gift of being able to see the 3rd and 4th ether through the physical eyes. These people have etheric vision or they have astral vision, meaning that they see through the capability of their astral body. They are seeing what is usually termed “the aura“.
A person with the gift of being able to see the human aura will see the etheric body as a bright scintillating band around the edges of the physical body, and outside that is a haze having a varying color. That haze is the astral body and the mental body; both interpenetrate the physical body as though it does not exist. There are differing degrees of this augmented visual ability, and with a more developed ability the individual will see much color as well as a variety of layers and concentric forms, all of which are unseen by the rest of us (Ref. 2, p – 49-53).
…all three are constructed entirely of etheric matter…
Man has three bodies aside from the dense physical body. These bodies are the etheric, astral, and mental bodies; all three are constructed entirely of etheric matter. The physical, astral, and mental bodies are his three bodies of consciousness, however, because all of our sensory apparatus is part of the physical body, and because we cannot see the other bodies, many tend to ignore the reality of the other bodies. We tend to identify with the physical body because that seems to be us.
While the physical body is a body of consciousness, it is a consciousness that lies below our normal waking consciousness. To us it is our subconscious, and is otherwise totally occupied with the task of controlling all body operational systems. It is on automatic control from our standpoint. The entire sensory and nervous system of the physical body supplies sensory input for our functioning on the astral plane. The developed astral body is what makes us “human and alive”, senses are energized or activated, and the astral or emotional part of us becomes a driving force, our desire nature. It is part of our waking state.
The mental plane is the level where our thinking consciousness resides. For practical purposes man is a mental creature, a thinking animal. While our desire nature originates in our astral body, it is acted upon by the mental body. The mental body is the seat of mind, and our mind integrates the astral consciousness. The excesses of life are, after much misery, trial and error, brought under control by thought processes on the mental plane. The working out of this process of development takes place over a vast span of time, millions of years.
THE COSMIC PHYSICAL PLANE: A full presentation of the collection of planes and sub-planes would reflect the total makeup of our solar system. For practical purposes, however, only the lowest three planes will be principally addressed in Table 1 because these represent the scope of our world, that part of the first phase of human evolution. This table will organize the information concerning bodies and planes that are relevant to a fundamental understanding of the three lower worlds that are that first phase of human evolution.
The table above is intended to be a point at which the reader may begin to relate these various new concepts. Starting at the bottom we have the matter aspect in its ground state. The Solid, Liquid, and Gas sub-planes are the objective world that we know. Everything above these three sub-planes represent the subjective worlds, so it is apparent how little we actually see. Our own physical body is about 70% water, which means that we belong – or think we belong to the liquid 6th sub-plane. The four ethers just above comprise the physical etheric, and our etheric body is constructed out of the matter of these four sub-planes. (Ref. 1, p-817)
The next seven sub-planes above the physical represent the astral plane, and our astral body is built out of matter of that plane. This is actually the four physical ethers in a higher state of activity. This is analogous to going from the liquid state to a gas on the plane below. The astral plane is a world unto itself, and average humanity at present is centered in the astral/emotional consciousness. (Ref. 1, page 1098)
The next seven sub-planes represent the mental plane, and our mental body is constructed out of matter of this plane. Man of our evolutionary status only functions on the lower four sub-planes, and the entire 18 sub-planes to this point constitute what is termed the three lower worlds. Notice the term instinct on the 7th sub-plane of the mental plane. This is the upper limit of consciousness in the animal kingdom. The characteristic of the animal kingdom is that all mental process is limited to the instinctual process characteristic of this sub-plane. The next three higher sub-planes constitute the world of our mind.
The upper three sub-planes, the abstract mental plane, is the realm of the soul. While there is no active communication across the boundary between the 3rd and 4th sub-planes for man, to a degree we are influenced by the soul. The buddhic plane is the next plane above the mental plane. It is the domain of the Triad, the world of the next phase of human evolution. Now it is a hidden world for we inhabitants of the three lower worlds. The asterisk above is intended to convey that the planes above simply repeat the format as shown.
The Etheric State: We could view the etheric matter states as a continuing refinement of the matter aspect that we know. The Hydrogen atom, the most simple example of the dense physical gaseous state, has become a benchmark of our physical world. The Hydrogen atom nucleus, a proton, is in turn a structure comprised of 18 individual subatomic particles. If that proton is examined clairvoyantly through a process whereby an investigator is able to view the structure of a subatomic state, the proton is discovered to consist of two groups of three triads, each of the three triads naturally consisting of three particles. Thus, this proton nucleus consists of 2 x 3 x 3 = 18 particles of the first ether. As the primary first ether particles combine with each other they morph into new different structures as well as the several grades of etheric substance. (Ref. 5, pages 5, 8-9)
Thus, starting with the primary etheric particle that is the first ether, the building process proceeds in steps involving first the combination of three primary particles to form a Triad. These triads can in and of themselves assume several different (energy) configurations, and they then combine in ones, twos, and threes to form the various etheric particles. The Fourth ether still contains the same 18 particles, but they are now split into two separate structures.
Research determining atomic weights through the clairvoyant approach was undertaken in the years between 1895 and 1907. The architecture of any particular atom is a collection of various standard forms that facilitate the counting of vast numbers of particles. The counting effort was conducted through a number of repetitions by the two investigators for comparison. While this approach might seem strange there was really no other way to quantify anything other than through a counting process. The standard of reference was the same Hydrogen atom that could be easily identified, and which conventional chemical research employs as a benchmark. On this basis the mass of the First ether particle is one-eighteenth that of the proton.
Results of this work were compared with the atomic weights found in the International List of 1905 compiled by Erdmann, with excellent agreement. Differences were typically in the third significant figure showing that the clairvoyant approach is accurate.
It is interesting to contemplate the results of this research group that found correct atomic weights by essentially a particle counting process because they must have been counting neutrons as well without knowing that they were neutrons. The neutron would not be conclusively identified for another twenty-five years. The logical explanation is that the proton and neutron are seen as the same from a clairvoyant perspective. The same research group, however, also recognized that there were actually two forms of the first ether particle. They observed that the “wall” of the particle might be wound in a right or left hand configuration, which seemingly has a quite different effect on the properties of the particle formed.
The Subjective Bodies of Man: Why engage in a discussion about the real nature of our own being, and about the subtle bodies. While the Greek aphorism “Man, know thyself” is to many a puzzle, it is clear from a careful reading of Reference (1), that the study of man is the key to understanding much that exists on a solar and cosmic scale. So, whether we are speaking of a human being or a planet they both have the same fundamentals. Thus, for example, a planet also has a physical, astral, and mental body. If it did not we would not exist, for we are but an extension of sorts built out of the material of our planetary world, and this is true of all our bodies. It might also be noted that in the final stage of manifestation, dense physical plane matter may precipitate on the etheric template, and in the case of man his “coat of skin” is produced.
So, by first knowing the real nature of ourselves we are then better able to see the universal plan revealed. Further, we are able to understand how our etheric makeup simply reflects the nature of the subjective worlds. The point is that human life, as with life in general, may be found in a number of different types of the matter aspect, and mostly that life lives in the etheric. While we as human beings with our dense physical body are subject to all manner of hostile environmental conditions and trauma, bodies built of etheric substance will be unaffected as they live in a different world. In short, life is everywhere, but it mostly lives in the etheric. Indeed, three-quarters of our own being is built with etheric matter, so the idea of looking for others like ourselves is certainly limiting if we consider only the physical body as relevant.
In our case our full waking consciousness resides in our mental body. This is also to say that our entire waking consciousness is not in our physical body. We see this clearly when circumstances dictate that we vacate the physical form. This might happen in a hospital when under anesthesia, or it likely happens during a near death experience (NDE). So, the out of body experience (OBE) can happen on occasion, and the reality of the matter then becomes incredibly real, it becomes a life changing experience.
One step beyond the OBE mentioned is to contemplate that after we pass through the change called death, we continue to exist in our astral/mental bodies for a period of time, usually many years. So, it should not be a stretch to contemplate that human consciousness may exist in a variety of material forms. Since the prevalent thinking is that our planet is the only planet in the solar system that has human inhabitants, it is only because, again, we consider the dense physical body as the only vehicle in which human consciousness may reside. As we have just discussed this is not the case.
Certainly we know at this point that no where else in our system do environmental conditions presently permit physical plane life to survive. However, once we acknowledge that life may be found in both physical and etheric forms, we open the door and find a whole new world out there.
LIFE IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM:
We are not the only human beings in this solar system, in fact there are some 60 billion of us. Our Earth scheme is presently home to about seven billion on the physical plane in incarnation, while at least twice that number inhabit our astral worlds. So, where are the other 40 billion?
Even before venturing out into our solar system we should look for all life right here at home on our Earth. We shall then find that after we pass through the first phase of human evolution we continue to exist in an etheric form on the buddhic plane. This is a completely different kind of existence where beings live in an etheric world, and will be in a body of buddhic plane matter. Refer to Table 1 for clarification. Moving on we will find that our neighboring planetary worlds are populated with beings that exist only in etheric bodies. Furthermore, the abhorrent conditions we find on those planetary surfaces are no problem to the inhabitants because they live in etheric matter states.
Mars has been a planet of interest to scientists for many years now, and it represents an exception. Many probes have been sent out to seek answers for many questions about the potential for life to exist there. Too date, however, answers have not been encouraging. In a recent paper listed as reference (3), the result of spectroscopic studies of Mars to date showed that the only hydrocarbon detected was methane. As for any other life markers in the survey, none showed any presence.
…in the past there was flowing water…
Clearly this is a puzzle when we find from another reference that Mars is involved in an evolutionary process, a life process. The photographic record returned by the Rovers, however, is of a planet in a dead, desiccated state, and seemingly has been for millions of years. We see only dry stream beds as well as evidence of water erosion. So at present the planet is in a state of what is termed pralaya. Because we can see evidence that in the past there was flowing water, this is an indication that Mars had, and will be developing, dense physical life forms at some point in the future (Ref. 1, p-390). The state of pralaya is simply a pause between world periods when life will not be present. For that matter, we have seen periods here on Earth when there was a general extinction of marine life for a time.
To explain this matter in other terms, the life aspect is in temporary abeyance on Mars. Looking at Table 1, the 3rd sub-plane (gas or atmosphere) has effectively disappeared. Also, the 2nd sub-plane (liquid or water) has also disappeared, so only the 1st sub-plane solid world remains.
…the planet will again come to life…
The planet Mars has not yet come to the evolutionary stage for development of the human kingdom such as we are engaged in at present. At some time in the future the period of pralaya will pass, a new world period will commence, and the planet will again come to life. After the life process is re-established a human kingdom will come into being, possibly along lines of what has transpired here on Earth. That will not happen for millions of years, and in this interval we should not leave any larger exploratory footprint than necessary.
Whether there is life elsewhere in the universe should not really be a puzzle, we should realize that life is everywhere, but it mostly lives in the etheric. We really do not need to go looking for life to know it is out there, it has already come to us. Records remain of beings that paid frequent visits to our world some thousands of years ago. These records are found as existing fragmentary foundation remains, legends, and even records on clay tablets. Some of these visitors were from the Sirius star system, and evidence of their visits remain in the oral traditions of several tribes in central Africa. One tribe, the Dogon, live in what is present day Mali (Ref. 4, pages 20-26, 206-209, Plate 6). Then there is also statuary from ancient Assyria depicting one of these beings. The ancient Babylonians also had contact with these visitors, and described them as repulsive abominations or such, yet they were in awe of them. Similarities of some anatomical details with those of our own human species reveal a certain commonality that is quite interesting.
…the egg of the world…
What is even more interesting is the storehouse of astronomical lore that these visitors left with the Dogon. The elders of this tribe are aware of Sirius A as well as Sirius B. Also that Sirius B is very heavy (a white dwarf), and very tiny. They term it “the egg of the world” meaning that despite what it is now it was the start of everything. Further that these two stars orbit with a period of 50 years, although they are aware that according to Keplers Law each star actually rotates around the other. Talk about splitting hairs. They also use the afore mentioned time as a sort of sacred calendar. It is approximate in that their accounting includes something like our leap year to correct time.
There is much more that does not bear repeating, but suffice to say this was all recounted to two French anthropologists during the period 1956 to 1960. This tells about these visitors from the Sirius system, and the matter is extraordinarily detailed. Nevertheless, the idea of beings from another world outside our own appears so threatening that some invent all manner of suppositions to dispute validity of the report. So the matter is known to many people, but is studiously ignored.
…we must resort to being told…
Discussion: Some of the most difficult concepts for man to accept are something new that is either completely unfamiliar or in direct contradiction to current beliefs. We went to school for years to be taught about the nature of man, the scientific method, and the way the world works. Such is the nature of our programming. When we open a discussion about the etheric, this is a subject about which little has been known. Further, most of the material involves completely new concepts, and these concepts generally differ completely from everything we have been taught. The state of development of our sensory system is also lacking for most of us. Humanity mostly does not yet have the gift of etheric vision, and in the end we cannot resort to science to tell us about the etheric, we must resort to being told – as in the days of Marco Polo.
Books from the various theosophical writers are mostly good material, but the kind of material that would be satisfactory for scientific purposes is lacking. The principle author found to be satisfactory in presenting material of suitable depth is A.A. Bailey. In the end, however, one must keep reading to discover just how all the scattered pieces fit together. Once enough of the puzzle is pieced together the true picture begins to emerge. The answers to many unanswerable questions suddenly become clear. Knowledge and acceptance of the etheric presents the researcher with a completely new view of man, our world, and of the universe. Knowing the full scope of what we really are is the key.
Readers who are interested in examining a more extensive treatment of this subject may visit my website www.rswhiteside.com. The website is intended to facilitate entry of the reader into this complex subject, as well as providing an outline of concepts in the book Evolution in Form and Consciousness.