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What is the Etheric Plane?

The etheric plane (also known as the etheric body) is a concept coined by Charles Webster Leadbeater and Annie Besant in Theosophy to describe the subtle aspects of the lowest level of existence. It represents the fourth [upper] subplane of the physical plane (a hyperplane), with solid, liquid, and gaseous matter representing the lowest three states. Authors such as Alice Bailey, Rudolf Steiner, Walter John Kilner, and others subsequently exploited the concept. Madame Blavatsky used the word aether (sometimes spelled as “ether”) to equate to akasha, the fifth element (quintessence) of Hindu metaphysics, which was borrowed from ancient Greek philosophy and science and adapted into Victorian physics (see Luminiferous aether). The Indo-European root aith- is the source of the Greek word aither (“burn, shine”). The Hindu Prana principle, the vital, life-sustaining power of living creatures, is present in all natural processes of the world, according to Blavatsky. Prana was initially mentioned in the Upanishads, where it is described as an element of the physical universe that sustains the body and intellect. Blavatsky also had a habit of referring to these ostensibly delicate physical events as “astral.” The etheric plane is linked to the esoteric notions of Adi, the Buddhic plane, the causal plane, and the monadic level. The etheric plane, according to Leadbeater and Besant (both of the Adyar School of Theosophy), was divided into four higher subplanes of the physical plane. Leadbeater employed the phrase to characterise his clairvoyant examinations of sub-atomic physics, according to the Theosophist Geoffrey A. Farthing, because of its resonance in the physical sciences.

The term etheric plane is known to refer to a concept introduced in the understanding of Theosophy by Charles Webster Leadbeater and Annie Besant. This concept denotes the elegant parts of a comparatively higher plane of existence.

The term is used to elaborate upon a fourth or a higher sub-plane, also known as the hyperplane. This plane exists on a higher ground than the lower three — solid, liquid, and gaseous states. This notion of planes was used by several authors like Alice Bailey, Rudolf Steiner, Walter John Kilner, etc.

The terminology of the word aether, which can also be written as “ether,” was first taken from ancient Greek philosophy and science. As utilized by Madame Blavatsky, this word can also be used to parallel the meaning of Akasha, the fifth element of quintessence in Hindu metaphysics.

The Greek word is said to have its foundation in an Indo-European root word aith, which means to burn and shine. The term can also be related to the idea of the Hindu Prana principle. This principle acts as the instrumental life-sustaining force for living beings. It is present in all-natural processes of the universe. First mentioned in the Upanishads, this is a part of the worldly, physical realm known to sustain the body and the mind of an individual. Other concepts such as the Adi, the Buddha Plane, the Causal Plane, and the Monadic Plane are also associated with the notion of an etheric plane.

Christian Rosicrucians

In close parallelism, Max Heinde, an American occultist and mystic, denoted a finer grade of matter known as Ether, which permeates the earth’s atomic structure according to the Rosicrucian writings and its atmosphere.

This matter exists in addition to solids, liquids, and gases, which have been known to constitute the physical world’s chemical region. This matter has four density grades and is symbolized as a physical matter in various researches and studies—an example of its presence is in the blue haze of mountain canyons which several occult investigators have proved.

Ether is known to exist in four kinds or four grades of density on the planet. Their names concerning the type of equation they have with human beings are as follows –

  1. Chemical Ether - There are both positive and negative manifestations attached to this particular category. It can be associated with both assimilation and excretion processes.

  2. Life Ether - This form of Ether is also supposed to have both positive and negative roles. It is related to the force of propagation on this planet.

  3. Light Ether - in this particular role of Ether, the positive pole is associated with the forces that generate blood heat in a higher species of animals such as human beings. On the other hand, the negative role here is related to the forces which operate the senses in human beings. These senses are passive functions of sight, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling.

  4. Reflective Ether - This is the medium through which thought makes a lasting impression upon a human’s brain. This is the Ether that contains reflections that act as a memory of nature or the world of thought.


Rikbiel Angel
Ariel Angel
Spiritism