28. The Etheric Body

I consider the etheric body to be composed of stable and highly structured etheric matter, rather like a complex and detailed ice sculpture compared to the more fluid types of subtle matter generated during a projection.

In its contracted state (when the physical body is fully awake) the etheric body is surrounded by a dense sheath, commonly called the vitality sheath, which acts both as an energetic storage layer and as a protective barrier. It shields the sensitive interior from intrusive external energies, atmospheres, and influences. The etheric body will normally only loosen this dense shield-like structure when it expands during sleep or during the trance state (in varying degrees, depending on the depth of trance attained).

Fully expanded, it appears to begin absorbing fine energetic radiations - universal or cosmic energy? chi? prana? - from the universe around it. The energy exchange ports covering the skin of the physical body, especially in their expanded sleep state, seem to flower during this expansion and become able to absorb and condense subtle energy radiations, trickling them into the etheric body's vitality storage areas.

This process of etheric body expansion and refinement leaves neither the physical body nor the original copy of mind, memory, and consciousness energetically vulnerable during sleep or projection. In its expanded state, the etheric body seems to become far more sensitive to intrusive energies, and forms something like an energetic perimeter alarm around the sleeping physical body.

I believe the underlying purpose of all subtle bodies, including the very densest of them, the etheric body, is to allow the animating spirit consciousness to manifest through a living flesh-and-blood being. The subtle bodies hold the essential spirit firmly inside the physical body, thus binding it inside the dimension of matter and hard experience. Etheric matter can thus be thought of as a glue-like, bioenergetic vitality substance, binding and sustaining the animating spirit in its physical body.

 

This allows the spirit to manifest and express itself in the physical dimension, while still allowing it to maintain firm energetic links with all of its higher levels of existence through a spectrum of higher and progressively more refined subtle bodies.
 


Death and Etheric Matter
For interest's sake, and as this relates to energetic processes pertaining to projection, let's take a brief look at what seems to happen to the etheric body, etheric matter, and the projectable double during the death of the physical body.

Physical death can be considered the final projection out of body, the ultimate OBE. When physical death occurs, the real-time body is projected in its strongest possible form, far stronger than would be possible under any other circumstances.

 

In the case of sudden death, the real-time body contains most of the living bio-energetic and pure-energetic substances that were stored within the etheric body. In a way, the etheric body projects out of its physical body along with its real-time counterpart, forming what could be called the etheric-plus-real-time body. This is a far stronger and more stable version of the normally projected real-time double. It contains a full copy of consciousness and memory (now the sole original or base-level copy) held safely within it, along with the full spectrum of higher subtle bodies, in a now fully integrated, but out-of-body, waking state.

As one function of the etheric body is to safely store all memories in energetic form, when the physical body dies and the etheric body breaks free, it carries the memory of its recent physical incarnation with it.

To my way of thinking, when the physical body first dies, the etheric-plus-real-time body is promoted. It now rests at the bottom of the subtle body and dimensional scale, taking the place originally held by its now-defunct physical body. It takes over the holding and maintaining of the master copy of mind and memory. It holds itself fully integrated and in the full waking state, albeit now out of its physical body and existing in the real-time zone.

Because the etheric-plus-real-time body now maintains full integration in the awake state (previously an exclusive property of the physical body) there are none of the energetic conflicts or weakening mind-split effects normally associated with any other type of OBE. According to some recently deceased spirits I have communicated with during real-time projections, though, reality fluctuations can still be a problem, with other minds and energies continuing to affect the real-time environment.

During the final moments of death, most of the dying physical body's etheric matter is rapidly transferred into its newly forming etheric-plus/real-time body. A transfer of residual etheric matter also appears to continue, albeit far more slowly, for a few days after death has occurred, until everything left within the physical body has been transferred into its brand-new etheric-plus-real-time vehicle.

As a related side note: the destruction of the physical body by cremation, explosion, etc., at any time during or after physical death, does not appear to interfere with the transfer of residual etheric matter. Etheric matter cannot be destroyed by physical means, but the physical body can; therefore the destruction of the physical body should logically only serve to free up any residual etheric matter.

 

This would possibly have the effect of making residual etheric matter more readily available to the etheric-plus/real-time body of the recently deceased spirit.

The large amount of etheric matter (pure life energy or vitality) released during the death process sustains the integrity of the etheric-plus/real-time vehicle in the fully awake state. This holds it (plus the animating spirit) very close to the physical dimension (often) within the real-time zone. The actual duration of a spirit's real-time afterlife existence appears quite variable.

 

I believe this is greatly influenced by the physical and spiritual vitality of the deceased person concerned, as well as by his or her level of spiritual development, psychological makeup, desires, and emotional problems. Some spirits appear to skip this intermediary afterlife stage entirely, while others appear to have a prolonged existence there.

This whole process appears to give departing spirits much-needed time to stabilize and come to terms with their new state of existence - maybe even allowing for a few good-byes. Once a spirit's etheric matter and vitality are used up, it appears to experience something called the second death. It then passes out of the real-time zone for good, proceeding to the next natural stage of its existence. This is usually one of the spirit worlds, or one of the recovery or staging areas. The second death is gentle and totally painless - so I have been told by those who have experienced it - and is in no way distressing for a spirit. It is best thought of as being just another projection, brought on by further natural changes in the energetic qualities of the etheric-plus-real-time body, naturally shifting or projecting it up to the next level.

Another related side note: the second death can be delayed only if the spirit finds some way of replacing its steadily shrinking store of etheric matter. This can apparently only be done by close association (touching and hugging) with living beings with whom the spirit has an empathic relationship, leading to an efheric-matter transfer from the living into the deceased spirit's etheric-plus/real-time body.

 

This, in essence, can be thought of as an accidental type of etheric matter feeding. In most cases (earthbound spirits and ghosts, etc.) this causes no real problems for the living. It is also usually not an intentional act on the part of the deceased spirit - although I have come across some notable exceptions to this in my travels.

The sections dealing with death in this book are best thought of as showing some elements of the basic death process only. There appear to be many different ways death and the immediate afterlife process can happen. This depends greatly on the level of spiritual development and foundation belief system of the person concerned.

Many people experience a tunnel of light effect as they die. This tunnel or tube-type exit from the physical body indicates heavy crown center involvement in the dying process. While difficult to prove, this type of dying seems very closely related to the tunnel or tube-type projection exit, where projectors perceive themselves as exiting their physical body through their head.

 

The tunnel of light effect may therefore indicate a higher level of death experience.

 

Departing spirits may, in this case, be projecting directly into one of the spirit worlds, skipping the real-time zone and other intermediary stages of death, like rest and recovery areas within the astral planes, etc.
 


NDE
A large amount of etheric matter can also be generated and projected in response to temporary physical body death, or by severe trauma where there is the strong possibility of physical death occurring.

 

This type of event can cause a near-death experience, or NDE, to occur. An NDE happens when a person is, literally, ejected from their physical body as a result of some kind of massive trauma, e.g., car accident, bad fall, drowning, difficult childbirth, surgery, or heart attack. An NDE is similar to the death process: The real difference is that the out-of-body experience is temporary.

Persons experiencing an NDE usually find themselves existing very strongly in the real-time zone, often for a fairly lengthy period. As they are so close to the physical dimension, they are usually fully aware of events happening in the real world around them. Because of the nature of NDE's, these events are often centered on their traumatized physical body.

Many people, when they experience an NDE, are very scared and unsure of themselves and hence have some difficulty - quite understandably - in accepting and adjusting to what is happening to them. The sheer trauma of this type of event also ensures a strong shadow memory download during reintegration. In many cases they have accurately reported real-life events and actual conversations that occurred while the NDE projectors were clinically dead.

NDEs surpass any other type of OBE in power, clarity, and memorability, because of the sudden temporary generation and projection of the etheric/plus/real-time body, which is the ultimate real-time out-of-body vehicle. (An NDE can be as clear and memorable as the normal physical waking state.)

 

This indicates how the etheric body plays a part in OBE clarity, and memory in general.
 


Death, OBE, and Mental Coherence
These sections suggest that the base level of existence (normally the awake physical state, unless you happen to be dead) allows for the clearest and strongest manifestation of consciousness, as well as for the strongest memory retention.

 

I thus define the base state of existence as the level where full integration of all subtle bodies can be achieved during a full waking state. For living persons, the base level of consciousness is the normal waking state in their physical body. For recently deceased persons existing in the real-time zone, the base level of consciousness is that of their etheric/plus/real-time body.

Projecting away from the base level (any type of out-of-body projection) may explain the vagueness of thought that begins to plague most projectors soon after the projection exit. This can be thought of as something like progressive mental incoherence-cum-creeping amnesia. This increases in severity the farther away from the base state a projector travels, and is affected by the length of time away from the base state.

 

This may also explain why vividly remembered OBEs are usually of fairly short duration.


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