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The Seven Bodies In Wicca

 



The Psychology of Dreams We have seven bodies: the physical, the etheric, the astral, the mental, the spiritual, the cosmic, and the nirvanic. Each body has its own type of dream.


The Physical

The physical body is known in Western psychology as the conscious, the etheric body as the unconscious, and the astral body as the collective unconscious. The physical body creates its own dreams. If your stomach is upset, a particular type of dream is created. If you are unhealthy, feverish, the physical body creates its own type of dream. One thing is certain: the dream is created out of some dis-ease. Physical discomfort, physical dis-ease, creates its own realm of dreams, so a physical dream can even be stimulated from the outside. You are sleeping. If a wet cloth is put around your legs, you will begin to dream. You may dream you are crossing a river. If a pillow is put on your chest, you will begin to dream. You may dream that someone is sitting on you, or a stone has fallen on you. These are dreams that come through the physical body.


The Etheric

The etheric body -- the second body -- dreams in its own way. These etheric dreams have created much confusion in Western psychology. Freud misunderstood etheric dreams for dreams caused by suppressed desires. There are dreams that are caused by suppressed desires, but these dreams belong to the first body, the physical. If you have suppressed physical desires -- if you have fasted for instance -- then there is every possibility that you will dream of breakfast. Or, if you have suppressed sex, then there is every possibility that you will have sexual fantasies. But these dreams belong to the first body. The etheric body is left out of psychological investigation, so its dreams are interpreted as belonging to the first body, the physical. Then, much confusion is created. The etheric body can travel in dreams. There is every possibility of it leaving your body. When you remember it, it is remembered as a dream, but it is not a dream in the same sense as the dreams of the physical body. The etheric body can go out of you when you are asleep. Your physical body will be there, but your etheric body can go out and travel in space. There is no space limiting it; there is no question of distance for it. Those who do not understand this, who do not recognize the existence of the etheric body, may interpret this as the realm of the unconscious. They divide man's mind into conscious and unconscious. Then physiological dreaming is called "conscious" and etheric dreaming is called "unconscious." It is not unconscious. It is as conscious as physiological dreaming, but conscious on another level. If you become conscious of your etheric body, the dreaming concerned with that realm becomes conscious. Just as physiological dreams can be created from the outside, so too can etheric dreams be created, stimulated. A mantra is one of the methods to create etheric visions, etheric dreams. A particular mantra or a particular nada -- a particular word, sounding repeatedly in the etheric center -- can create etheric dreams. There are so many methods. Sound is one of them. Sufis have used perfume to create etheric visions. Mohammed himself was very fond of perfume. A particular perfume can create a particular dream. Colors can also be of help. Leadbeater once had an etheric dream of blueness -- just blueness, but of a particular shade. He began to search for that particular blue all over the markets of the world. After several years of search, it was finally found in an Italian shop -- a velvet of that particular shade. The velvet was then used to create etheric dreams in others as well.

 

 

So when someone goes deep in meditation and sees colors, and experiences perfumes and sounds and music absolutely unknown, these too are dreams, dreams of the etheric body. So-called spiritual visions belong to the etheric body; they are etheric dreams. Gurus revealing themselves before their disciples is nothing but etheric travel, etheric dreaming. But because we have only searched the mind at one level of existence, the physiological, these dreams have either been interpreted in the language of the physiological or discarded, neglected. Or, put into the unconscious. To say that anything is part of the unconscious is really just to admit that we do not know anything about it. It is a technicality, a trick. Nothing is unconscious, but everything that is conscious on a deeper level is unconscious on the previous level. So for the physical, the etheric is unconscious; for the etheric, the astral is unconscious; for the astral, the mental is unconscious. Conscious means that which is known. Unconscious means that which is still not known, the unknown.




The Astral

There are also astral dreams. In astral dreaming you go into your previous births. That is your third dimension of dreaming. Sometimes in an ordinary dream, part of the etheric or part of the astral may be there. Then the dream becomes a muddle, a mess; you cannot understand it. Because your seven bodies are in existence simultaneously, something from one realm can pass into another, can penetrate it. So sometimes, even in ordinary dreams, there are fragments of the etheric or astral. In the first body, the physical, you can travel in neither time nor space. You are confined to your physical state and to the particular time it is -- say, ten o'clock at night. Your physical body can dream in this particular time and space, but not beyond it. In the etheric body you can travel in space but not in time. You can go anywhere, but the time is still ten o'clock at night. In the astral realm, in the third body, you can travel not only in space but also in time. The astral body can trespass the barrier of time -- but only toward the past, not toward the future. The astral mind can go into the whole infinite series of the past, from amoeba to man. In Jungian psychology, the astral mind has been called the collective unconscious. It is your individual history of births. Sometimes it penetrates into ordinary dreams, but more often in pathological states than in healthy ones. In a man who is mentally diseased, the first three bodies lose their usual distinction from one another. A person who is mentally ill may dream about his previous births, but no one will believe him. He himself will not believe it. He will say it is just a dream. This is not dreaming on the physical plane. It is astral dreaming. And astral dreaming has much meaning, much significance. But the third body can dream only about the past, not about what is to be.


The Mental

The fourth body is the mental. It can travel into the past and into the future. In an acute emergency, sometimes even an ordinary person can have a glimpse of the future. If someone near and dear to you is dying, the message may be delivered to you in an ordinary dream. Because you do not know any other dimension of dreaming, because you do not know the other possibilities, the message will penetrate your ordinary dreaming. But the dream will not be clear because of barriers that have to be crossed before the message can become a part of your ordinary dreaming state. Each barrier eliminates something, transforms something. Each body has its own symbology so every time a dream passes from one body to another it is translated into the symbology of that body. Then, everything becomes confused. If you dream in the fourth body in a clear-cut way -- not through another body but through the fourth body itself -- then you can penetrate into the future, but only into your own future. It is still individual; you cannot penetrate into another person's future. For the fourth body, the past is as much the present as the future is the present. Past, future and present become one. Everything becomes a now: now penetrating backward, now penetrating forward. There is no past and no future, but there is still time. Time, even as "the present," is still a flowing of time. You will still have to focus your mind. You can see toward the past, but you will have to focus your mind in that direction. Then the future and the present will be held in abeyance. When you focus toward the future, the other two -- past and present -- will be absent. You will be able to see past, present and future, but not as one. And you will be able to see only your own individual dreams, dreams that belong to you as an individual.


The Spiritual

The fifth body, the spiritual body, crosses the realm of the individual and the realm of time. Now you are in eternity. The dreaming is not concerned with you as such, but with the consciousness of the whole. Now you know the entire past of the whole existence, but not the future. Through this fifth body, all myths of creation have been developed. They are all the same. The symbols differ, the stories differ a little bit, but whether they are Christian or Hindu or Jewish or Egyptian, the myths of creation -- how the world was created, how it came into existence -- are all parallel; they all have an undercurrent of similarity. For example, similar stories of the great flood exist all over the world. There is no historical record of them but, still, there is a record. That record belongs to the fifth mind, the spiritual body. The fifth mind can dream about them. The more you penetrate inward, the more the dream comes nearer and nearer to reality. Physiological dreaming is not so real. It has its own reality, but it is not so real. The etheric is much more real, the astral is even more real, the mental approximates the real and finally, in the fifth body, you become authentically realistic in your dreaming. This is the way to know reality. To call it dreaming is not adequate. But in a way it is dreaming, because the real is not objectively present. It has its own objectivity, but it comes as a subjective experience. Two persons who have realized the fifth body can dream simultaneously, which is not possible before this. Ordinarily there is no way of dreaming a common dream, but from the fifth body onward, a dream can be dreamt by many persons simultaneously. That is why the dreams are objective in a way. We can compare notes. That is how so many persons, dreaming in the fifth body, came to know the same myths. These myths were not created by single individuals. They were created by particular schools, particular traditions working together. So the fifth type of dreaming becomes much more real. The four preceding types are unreal in a sense because they are individual. There is no possibility of another person sharing the experience; there is no way to judge the validity of it -- whether it is a fantasy or not. A fantasy is something you have projected; a dream is something that is not in existence as such, but which you have come to know. As you go inward, the dreaming becomes less fantastic, less imaginary -- more objective, more real, more authentic. All theological concepts are created by the fifth body. They differ in their language, their terminology, their conceptualization, but they are basically the same. They are dreams of the fifth body.


The Cosmic

In the sixth body, the cosmic body, you cross the threshold of conscious/unconscious, matter/mind. You lose all distinctions. The sixth body dreams about the cosmos. You cross the threshold of consciousness and the unconscious world also becomes conscious. Now everything is alive and conscious. Even what we call matter is now part of consciousness. In the sixth body, dreams of cosmic myths have been realized. You have transcended the individual, you have transcended the conscious, you have transcended time and space, but language is still possible. It points toward something; it indicates something. Theories of Brahma, maya, theories of oneness, of the infinite, have all been realized in the sixth type of dreaming. Those who have dreamt in the cosmic dimension have been the creators of the great systems, the great religions. Through the sixth type of mind, dreams are in terms of being, not in terms of nonbeing; in terms of positive existence, not in terms of non-existence. There is still a clinging to existence and a fear of non-existence. Matter and mind have become one, but not existence and non-existence, not being and nonbeing. They are still separate. This is the last barrier.


The Nirvanic

The seventh body, the nirvanic, crosses the boundary of the positive and jumps into nothingness. It has its own dreams: dreams of non-existence, dreams of nothingness, dreams of the void. The yes has been left behind, and even the no is not a no now; the nothingness is not nothing. Rather, the nothing is even more infinite. The positive must have boundaries; it cannot be infinite. Only the negative has no boundaries. So the seventh body has its own dreams. Now there are no symbols, no forms. Only the formless is. Now there is no sound but the soundless; there is absolute silence. These dreams of silence are total, unending.

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