Astral Body
Mental Body
Emotional Body
Etheric Body
Physical Body

The Physical Body

The physical body needs no introduction.  It is of course the material body of flesh and blood; the only part of our being one whose existence is accepted by reductionist Materialism.  It is the outer you, the part that is obvious to all

From one perspective, the Physical body is an extraordinarily complex machine that allows all the higher levels of consciousness to manifest within the physical plane of existence, while at the same time not actually being those higher aspects of consciousness.  It is like a television set; a TV-set picks up electromagnetic signals and translates them into sound and pictures of people, scenary, etc on the screen.  Yet no-one believes that those people etc are actually inside the TV-set.  It is the same with the physical body and consciousness.

From another perspective though, the Physical body itself has its own consciousness, distinct from the mind and emotions.  This is the consciousness of the body as a whole.  Moreover, each organ in the body also has its own consciousness (see e.g. Itzhak Bentov, A Cosmic Book, p.19), and each tissue in each organ, each cell in each tissue, and so on.  So there is a whole hierarchy of physical consciousnesses, although these are usually beneath the level of the normal waking consciousness.

Thus, in the physical body, as everywhere else, there are varying degrees of consciousness.  You can go right down into the consciousness of the cells and even the atoms, which is a very constricted consciousness; what Sri Aurobindo calls the Inconscient.  This is the consciousness of inanimate matter itself.  On a level closer to our ordinary experience, there is the biological or Organic Physical Consciousness of the physical body; the automatic organic functioning and reflexes of the body.  Left to itself, the body follows its own instinctual wisdom, transmitted from the spiritual physical consciousness level.

Unfortunately, human neuroticism tends to interfer by imprinting negative emotions in the body, at the level of the Emotional Physical, thus producing muscle tension, bad posture, and disease.  Although permamnet cure requires going deep into the Spiritual Physical Psyche, techniques like rebirthing, body work, and primal screaming, can temporarily clear out emotional-physical blockages.  Hence their popularity in the New Age movement, which is very much orientated to a gentle sensation-feeling state of consciousness.

The next level further in is the Mental Physical, which involves habits and abilities the physical body learns to do by itself, without the need of supervision by the conscious ego.  An example of this is touch-typing, or, on the level of the whole body, martial arts.

The next level of consciousness - the Psychic Physical - is the subtle consciousness of each organ, cell, etc.  This is is a natural, wholesome consciousness; what could in New Age parlance be termed a "devic" consciousness.  This "devic" consciousness exists in all things, animate and inanimate.  It is possible to project love to the body's devic consciousness, via the Psychic Body.

The higher or Spiritual Physical consciousness frequencies are increasingly transpersonal and universal in nature.  They pertain to actualising spiritual and divine consciousness within the physical body itself.

In addition to the "outer" physical being, there is also an Inner and a Transpersonal Physical, which are experienced through a feeling of oneness with nature and with one's surroundings.  This is very much the consciousness of the modern New Age movement.  It is the same physical reality as is experienced ordinarily, but in a more expansive, holistic, and intuitive manner.  The attainment of Transpersonal mundane consciousness involves the extension of your consciousness (through empathy or guided meditation) until you becomes one with your surroundings, other people, creatures, and things around you, nature, planet Earth, even the whole universe.

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original content by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 20 July 1998, format upgraded 16 January 2009