The Physical Body

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Summary: A collection of statements by the Tibetan

"Each human life period sees a man taking a more evolved physical body of greater responsiveness, tuned to a higher key, of more adequate refinement, and vibrating to a different measure. . . . We have seen how the aim of each life . . . should be the effecting and the carrying out of a definite purpose. This purpose is the development of a more adequate form for the use of the spirit; and when this purpose is achieved then the Indweller turns his attention away, and the form disintegrates, having served his need." (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 132/3)

"Man is essentially mental man, and astral man; then the two take to themselves an etheric sheath for purposes of objective work. That is the true lower man, these two in the etheric body. But later -- in order to know even on the lowest plane of all -- man takes to himself a coat of skin, as the Bible expresses it, and puts on (over his etheric body) that outer illusory form we know so well. It is the lowest point of objectivity and his direct "imprisoning"." (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 788)

"On this (his physical condition) I cannot enlarge, beyond begging all disciples to act with wisdom, to give themselves sufficient sleep, right food (which must vary for each individual), and those surroundings, if possible, which will enable them to work with the greatest facility. The penalty for the infringing of these suggestions, works out in lack of power in service, and in the growing thralldom of the physical body. Where the physical body is in poor condition, the disciple has to add the liabilities incident upon the bringing in of force which he finds himself unable to handle." (A Treatise on White Magic, p. 636/7)

"There is a tendency among students to identify the centres with the physical body in their thinking, and not so clearly with the etheric body. This concerns location in the majority of cases, and is a mistake. Aspirants would do well to avoid any concentration at all upon the physical body, and learn gradually to shift their focus of attention into the etheric body. Necessarily the physical body is active and potent, but increasingly it should be regarded as an automaton, influenced and directed by:

     1. The vital body and the forces of maya; or by inspiration, emanating from points of spiritual tension.
     2. The astral vehicle, and the forces of glamour; or sentient, conscious love, emanating from the soul.
     3. The mind and the forces of illusion; or by illumination, coming from higher sources than the life in the three worlds.
     4. The soul, as the vehicle of monadic expression, until such time as the antahkarana is built -- that bridge in mental matter which will eventually link the Monad and the personality." (Glamour: A World Problem, p. 260/1)

"It is frequently overlooked by the casual student, that both the astral and the mental bodies are material, and just as material in their own way, as is the dense physical body. . . ." (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 55)

"The Training of the Physical Body:
     This involves certain definite requirements:
     The building in of matter of the higher sub-planes, and the elimination of the lower and coarser matter. This is needed because it is impossible for those with coarse bodies to contact high vibration. It is impossible for the Ego to transmit the higher knowledge and guidance through a coarse physical body. It is impossible for the loftier currents of thought to impact the little evolved physical brain. Hence the refinement of the physical body is an essential. It is effected in various ways, all of them reasonable and utilitarian.
     By pure food. This involves a vegetarian diet, chosen with discrimination; it requires the eating of only those vegetables and fruits that vitalise. Careful judgment shown in the choice of food, wise refraining from too heavy eating, and a little pure good food, perfectly assimilated, are all that a disciple requires. You ask what foods? Milk, honey, whole wheat bread, all vegetables that contact the sun, oranges (above all, oranges), bananas, raisins, nuts, some potatoes, unpolished rice, and may I again reiterate, just as much of all the above as to insure activity.
     By cleanliness. Much use of water, externally and internally, is vitally required.
     By sleep. This should be always between the hours of ten in the evening, and five in the morning, and as much as possible out of doors.
     By sunshine. Contact with the sun should be much sought after, and the vitalisation that comes through its rays. The sun kills all germs, and frees from disease.
     When these four requirements are attended to adequately, a definite process of elimination proceeds, and in the course of a few years, the whole physical body shifts its polarisation gradually up, until you will have a body composed of atomic subplane matter. . . . This may take several incarnations, but it should be borne in mind that at each fresh incarnation, a body is taken of exact quality (if I may so put it) as the one previously discarded at death. Hence time is never lost in building." (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 334/5)

"The dense physical body . . . is the sumtotal of all the organisms which compose it; these posses the varying functions which enable the soul to express itself on the physical or objective plane as part of a greater and more inclusive organism. The physical body is the response apparatus of the indwelling spiritual man, and serves to put that spiritual entity en rapport with the response apparatus of the planetary Logos, the Life in which we live and move and have our being." (Esoteric Healing, p. 2)

"To sum up:  the physical body is not a principle; it is not a main object of attention of the aspirant; it automatically responds to the slowly unfolding consciousness in all the kingdoms of nature; it constantly remains that which is worked upon, and not that which has an innate influence of its own; it is not important in the active process, for it is a recipient and not that which initiates activity. That which is important is the unfolding consciousness, the response of the indwelling spiritual man to life, circumstances, events and environment. The physical body responds. When the physical body becomes, in error, the object of attention, retrogression is indicated; and this is why all profound attention to the physical disciplines, to vegetarianism, to diet and to fasting, and to the present modes of (so-called) mental and divine healing, are undesirable, and not in line with the projected plan. Therefore undue consideration, and excessive emphasis upon the physical body, is reactionary and is like the worship of the golden calf by the children of Israel; it is reversion to that which at one time was of importance, but today should be relegated to a minor position and below the threshold of the consciousness." (Esoteric Healing, p. 613/4)

"One of the problems which all sincere disciples have to solve, is to learn to live as if the physical body did not exist. By that I mean that its limitations and the hindrances which it imposes upon the expression of the free, spiritual consciousness, are negated by an inner attitude of mind." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 433)

"Pay not undue attention to the physical vehicle. Its preservation is of no moment and can -- in your case -- become of too prominent importance. The time of your liberation is set by karmic law; this ever determines the demise of the real man within the body, but if the physical body is unduly nurtured, and if it becomes the recipient of undue care, it can hold that real man in prison in defiance to karmic law. That is a sorry spectacle to watch, for it means that the physical elemental is assuming power." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 697)

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