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The Rainbow Aura according to Ronald Beesley

A more complicated account of the aura is described by Ronald P. Beesley, who founded The College of Psycho-therapeutics in London in 1953, in a readable little book, The Robe of Many Colours (first published in 1968).  Mr Beesley refers to six distinct auras around the physical body, coloured in successive rainbow hues:

The first auric layer is the Nature Body Substance, which pertains to the veolution of the physical body.  It is of a whitish greyish colour with a low constant magnetic field.  It shows healthy body tissue as bright and clear, and diseased tissue as turgid or dark brown [p.11].

The second evolutionary stage in the aura is The Emotional or Desire Form.  Heart red in colour, it is responsible for our ability to feel pain and joy, love and hate, and to create art, music and culture [pp.11-12]

The mandarin yellow Mental Body reveals much of the early life history, and shows changes of thought and various levels of a person's thinking life [p.13]

With The Astral Body we pass the dimensional boundary.  The first three bodies or zones of consciousness are limited by three-dimensional laws, the elements, gravity, and the need for long hours of sleep.  The astral body, the first of the disincarnate or spiritual bodies, is indicated by a strong green colour, and the indwelling source of energy for the physical being. [pp.14-16].

Levels Of Self And Planes Of Existence

The interesting thing about Ronald Beesley's interpretation of the aura is that the emotional and mental bodies are placed beneath the astral, in contradiction to the Adyar-Theosophical scheme which locates the mental above the astral.  But this sequence is probably more in agreement with Rudolph Steiner's distinction between the Astral and the Spiritual Devachanic worlds, or Ann Ree Colton's distinction between "Maya" and the "Kingdom of God".  Likewise the Adyar-Theosophical clairvoyant Leadbeater, although very perceptive of the various astral plane phenomena, had little or no intimation of the higher spiritual (the Devachanic or Yetzirahic) realms.  Hence it would be better to refer to these other spiritual clairvoyants on that matter.

In view of the locating of the Emotional and the Mental principles in the physical plane (i.e. beneath the Astral and Spiritual), it seems that what is being indicated here is the first and lowest (i.e. the physical) of a series of "octaves"; a periodic repetition of planes.  This is certainly how the Kabbalists, Shaikhis, Theosophists, and Gurdjieff describe the various levels of being.  You have the primary planes, and these are each divided into sub-planes, octaves, sefirot, or whatever, with the same basic configoration repeating itself each time.  e.g. the Lurian Kabbalists speak of ten sefirot in each of the five worlds, or fifty sefirot in all.

This particular ontology allows us to see how the mental body can be both lower (Beesley, etc) and higher (as claimed by Leadbeater, Bailey, etc) than the astral body.  It may be that there is a mental sub-plane on the physical, a mental sub-plane on the psychic or astral, a mental sub-plane on the spiritual, and so on.

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original content by M.Alan Kazlev
page created 16 December 1998, format upgraded 16 January 2009