Họp Thông Thiên Học ngày 6 tháng 7 năm 2013
[7/6/2013 6:01:11 PM] *** Group call ***
[7/6/2013 6:06:00 PM] Thuan Thi Do:
THE ASTRAL PLANE
THIS chapter will be confined, so far as the complexities of the subject permit, to a description of the nature, appearance, properties, etc., of the astral plane or world. A later chapter will be devoted to an enumeration and description of the
entities which live in the astral world. The intelligent student will recognise the extreme difficulty of giving in physical language an adequate description of the astral world. The task has been compared to that of an explorer of some unknown tropical forest being asked to give a full account of the country through which he has passed. The difficulties of describing the astral world are further complicated by two factors: (i) the difficulty of correctly translating from the astral to the physical plane the recollection of what has been seen: and (2) the inadequacy of physical plane language to express much of what has to be reported. One of the most prominent characteristics of the astral world is that it is full of continually changing shapes: we find there not only thought-forms, composed of elemental essence and animated by a thought, but also vast masses of elemental essence from which continually shapes emerge and into which they again disappear. The elemental essence exists in hundreds of varieties on every sub-plane, as though the air were visible and were in constant undulating motion with changing colours like mother-of-pearl. Currents of thought are continually thrilling through this astral matter, strong thoughts persisting as entities for a long time, weak ones clothing themselves in elemental essence and wavering out again. [Page 147] We have already seen that astral matter exists in seven orders of fineness, corresponding to the seven physical grades of solid, liquid, gaseous, etc. Each of these seven orders of matter is the basis of one of the seven levels, sub-divisions, or sub-planes (as they are variously called) of the astral plane. It has become customary to speak of these seven levels as being ranged one above the other, the densest at the bottom and the finest at the top: and in many diagrams they are actually drawn in this manner. There is a basis of truth in this method of representation, but it is not the whole truth. The matter of each sub-plane interpenetrates that of the sub-plane below it: consequently, at the surface of the earth, all seven sub-planes exist together in the same space. Nevertheless, it is also true that the higher astral sub-planes extend further away from the physical earth than the lower sub-planes. A very fair analogy of the relation between the astral sub-planes exists in the physical world. To a considerable extent liquids interpenetrate solids, e.g., water is found in soil, gases interpenetrate liquids (water usually contains considerable volumes of air), and so on. Nevertheless it is substantially true that the bulk of the liquid matter of the earth lies in seas, rivers, etc., above the solid earth. Similarly the bulk of gaseous matter rests above the surface of the water, and reaches much further out into space than either solid or liquid. Similarly with astral matter. By far the densest aggregation of astral matter lies
within the limits of the physical sphere. In this connection it should be noted that astral matter obeys the same general laws as physical matter, and gravitates towards the centre of the earth. The seventh or lowest astral sub-plane penetrates some distance into the interior of the earth, so that the entities living on it may find themselves actually within the crust of the earth. The sixth sub-plane is partially coincident with the surface of the earth. [Page 148] The third sub-plane, which the Spiritualists call the “Summerland”, extends many miles up into the atmosphere. The outer limit of the astral world extends nearly to the mean distance of the moon's orbit, so that at perigee the astral planes of the earth and moon usually touch one another, but not at apogee. (N.B.—The earth and moon are nearly 240,000 miles apart.) Hence the name the Greeks gave to the astral plane— the sub-lunar world. It follows that at certain times of the month astral communication with the moon is possible, but not at certain other times. A case, in fact, is recorded where a man reached the moon, but had to wait till communication was re-established by the approach of the satellite to its primary before he could return. The seven sub-divisions fall naturally into three groups: (angel) the seventh or lowest: (beer) the sixth, fifth and fourth: and (coffee) the third, second and first. The difference between members of one group may be compared to that between two solids, e.g., steel and sand, the difference between the groups may be compared to that between a solid and a liquid. Sub-plane 7 has the physical world as its background, though only a distorted and partial view of it is visible, since all that is light and good and beautiful seems invisible. Four thousand years ago the Scribe Ani described it in an Egyptian papyrus thus: “ What manner of place is this unto which I have come ? It hath no water, it hath no air; it is deep, unfathomable; it is black as the blackest night, and men wander helplessly about therein; in it a man may not live in quietness of heart.” For the unfortunate human being on that level it is indeed true that “all the earth is full of darkness and cruel habitation”, but it is darkness which radiates from within himself and causes his existence to be passed in a perpetual night of evil and horror — a very real hell, though, like all other hells, entirely of man's own creation. [Page 149] Most students find the investigation of this section an extremely unpleasant task, for there appears to be a sense of density and gross materiality about it which is indescribably loathsome to the liberated astral body, causing it the sense of
pushing its way through some black, viscous fluid, while the inhabitants and the influences encountered there are also usually exceedingly undesirable. The ordinary decent man would probably have little to detain him on the seventh sub-plane, the only persons who would normally awake to consciousness on that sub-plane being those whose desires are gross and brutal — drunkards, sensualists, violent criminals, and the like. Sub-planes 6, 5 and 4 have for their background the physical world with which we are familiar. Life on No. 6 is like ordinary physical life, minus the physical body and its necessities. Nos. 5 and 4 are less material and more withdrawn from the lower world and its interests. As in the case of the physical, the densest astral matter is far too dense for the ordinary forms of astral life: but the astral world has other forms of its own which are quite unknown to students of the surface. On the fifth and fourth sub-planes, merely earthly associations appear to become of less and less importance, and the people there tend more and more to mould their surroundings into agreement with the more persistent of their thoughts. Sub-planes 3, 2 and 1, though occupying the same space, give the impression of being further removed from the physical world and correspondingly less material. At these levels entities lose sight of the earth and its affairs: they are usually deeply self-absorbed, and to a large extent create their own surroundings, though these are sufficiently objective to be perceptible to other entities. They are thus little awake to the realities of the plane, but live instead in imaginary cities of their own, partly creating them entirely by their own thoughts, [Page 150] and partly inheriting and adding to the structures created by their predecessors. Here are found the happy hunting-grounds of the Red Indian, the Valhalla of the Norseman, the houri-filled paradise of the Muslim, the golden and jewelled-gated New Jerusalem of the Christian, the lyceum-filled heaven of the materialistic reformer. Here is also the “Summerland” of the Spiritualists, in which exist houses, schools, cities, etc., which, real enough as they are for a time, to a clearer sight are sometimes pitiably unlike what their delighted creators suppose them to be. Nevertheless, many of the creations are of real though temporary beauty, and a visitor who knew of nothing higher might wander contentedly among the natural scenery provided, which at any rate is much superior to anything in the physical world: or he might, of course, prefer to construct his scenery to suit his own fancies. The second sub-plane is especially the habitat of the selfish or unspiritual religionist. Here he wears his golden crown and worships his own grossly
material representation of the particular deity of his country and time. The first sub-plane is specially appropriated to those who during earth-life have devoted themselves to materialistic but intellectual pursuits, following them not for the sake of benefiting their fellow-men, but either from motives of selfish ambition or simply for the sake of intellectual exercise. Such persons may remain on this sub-plane for many years, happy in working out their intellectual problems, but doing no good to any one, and making but little progress on their way towards the heaven-world. On this, the atomic sub-plane, men do not build themselves imaginary conceptions, as they do at lower levels. Thinkers and men of science often utilise for purposes of their study almost all the powers of the entire astral plane, for they are able to descend almost to the physical along certain limited lines. Thus they can swoop down upon the astral counterpart of a [Page 151] physical book and extract from it the information they require. They readily touch the mind of an author, impress their ideas upon him, and receive his in return. Sometimes they seriously delay their departure for the heaven-world by the avidity with which they prosecute lines of study and experiment on the astral plane. Although we speak of astral matter as solid, it is never really, but only relatively solid. One of the reasons why mediaeval alchemists symbolised astral matter by water was because of its fluidity and penetrability. The particles in the densest astral matter are further apart, relatively to their size, than even gaseous particles. Hence it is easier for two of the densest astral bodies to pass through each other than it would be for the lightest gas to diffuse itself in the air. People on the astral plane can and do pass through one another constantly, and through fixed astral objects. There can never be anything like what we mean by a collision, and under ordinary circumstances two bodies which interpenetrate are not even appreciably affected. If, however, the interpenetration lasts for some time, as when two persons sit side by side in a church or theatre, a considerable effect may be produced. If a man thought of a mountain as an obstacle, he could not pass through it. To learn that it is not an obstacle is precisely the object of one part of what is called the “test of earth”. An explosion on the astral plane might be temporarily as disastrous as an explosion of gunpowder on the physical plane, but the astral fragments would quickly collect themselves again. Thus there cannot be an accident on the astral plane in our sense of the word, because the astral body, being fluidic, cannot be destroyed or permanently injured, as the physical can. A purely astral object could be moved by means of an astral hand, if one wished, but not the astral counterpart of a physical object. In order to move an astral
[Page 152] counterpart it would be necessary to materialise a hand and move the physical object, then the astral counterpart would, of course, accompany it. The astral counterpart is there because the physical object is there, just as the scent of a rose fills a room because the rose is there. One could no more move a physical object by moving its astral counterpart than one could move the rose by moving its perfume. On the astral plane one never touches the surface of anything, so as to feel it hard or soft, rough or smooth, hot or cold: but on coming into contact with the interpenetrating substance one would be conscious of a different rate of vibration, which might, of course, be pleasant or unpleasant, stimulating or depressing. Thus if one is standing on the ground, part of one's astral body interpenetrates the ground under one's feet: but the astral body would not be conscious of the fact by anything corresponding to a sense of hardness or by any difference in the power of movement. On the astral plane one has not the sense of jumping over a precipice, but simply of floating over it. Although the light of all planes comes from the sun, yet the effect which it produces on the astral plane is entirely different from that on the physical. In the astral world there is a diffused luminosity, not obviously coming from any special direction. All astral matter is in itself luminous, though an astral body is not like a painted sphere, but rather a sphere of living fire. It is never dark in the astral world. The passing of a physical cloud in front of the sun makes no difference whatever to the astral plane, nor, of course, does the shadow of the earth which we call night. As astral bodies are transparent, there are no shadows. Atmospheric and climatic conditions make practically no difference to work on the astral and mental planes. But being in a big city makes a great difference, on account of the masses of thought-forms. On the astral plane there are many currents which tend to carry about persons who are lacking in will, [Page 153] and even those who have will but do not know how to use it. There is no such thing as sleep in the astral world. It is possible to forget upon the astral plane just as it is on the physical. It is perhaps even easier to forget on the astral plane than on the physical because that world is so busy and so populous. Knowledge of a person in the astral world does not necessarily mean knowledge of him in the physical world.
The astral plane has often been called the realm of illusion — not that it is itself any more illusory than the physical world, but because of the extreme unreliability of the impressions brought back from it by the untrained seer. This can be accounted for mainly by two remarkable characteristics of the astral world: (1) many of its inhabitants have a marvellous power of changing their forms with protean rapidity, and also of casting practically unlimited glamour over those with whom they choose to sport: and (2) astral sight is very different from and much more extended than physical vision. Thus with astral vision an object is seen, as it were, from all sides at once, every particle in the interior of a solid being as plainly open to the view as those on the outside, and everything entirely free from the distortion of perspective. If one looked at a watch astrally, one would see the face and all the wheels lying separately, but nothing on the top of anything else. Looking at a closed book one would see each page, not through all the other pages before or behind it, but looking straight down upon it as though it were the only page to be seen. It is easy to see that under such conditions even the most familiar objects may at first be totally unrecognizable, and that an inexperienced visitor may well find considerable difficulty in understanding what he really does see, and still more in translating his vision into the very inadequate language of ordinary speech. Yet a moment's consideration will show that astral [Page 154] vision approximates much more closely to true perception than does physical sight, which is subject to the distortions of perspective. In addition to these possible sources of error, matters are still further complicated by the fact that this astral sight cognizes forms of matter which, while still purely physical, are nevertheless invisible under ordinary conditions.
[7/6/2013 6:49:59 PM] Thuan Thi Do: Phuc co do khong sao khong len tieng ?
[7/6/2013 7:27:11 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://blavatskyarchives.com/inner/innerno15.htm
[7/6/2013 8:46:00 PM] TrúcLâm: Dạ, xin chào cả nhà
[7/6/2013 8:46:54 PM] TrúcLâm: Rất vui khi được nghe những chia sẻ từ chư vị.
[7/6/2013 9:06:44 PM] TrúcLâm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XI5xd0UdMk
[7/6/2013 9:46:51 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://thongthienhoc.net/truongbigiao/DaiCuongTiengVoThinh.htm
[7/6/2013 9:56:45 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://www.thegioivohinh.com/diendan/register.php?do=checkdate
[7/6/2013 10:41:53 PM] *** Call ended, duration 1:55:54 ***