28. The Etheric Body
I consider the etheric body to be composed of stable and highly
structured etheric matter, rather like a complex and detailed ice
sculpture compared to the more fluid types of subtle matter
generated during a projection.
In its contracted state (when the physical body is fully awake) the
etheric body is surrounded by a dense sheath, commonly called the
vitality sheath, which acts both as an energetic storage layer and
as a protective barrier. It shields the sensitive interior from
intrusive external energies, atmospheres, and influences. The
etheric body will normally only loosen this dense shield-like
structure when it expands during sleep or during the trance state
(in varying degrees, depending on the depth of trance attained).
Fully expanded, it appears to begin absorbing fine energetic
radiations - universal or cosmic energy? chi? prana? - from the
universe around it. The energy exchange ports covering the skin of
the physical body, especially in their expanded sleep state, seem to
flower during this expansion and become able to absorb and condense
subtle energy radiations, trickling them into the etheric body's
vitality storage areas.
This process of etheric body expansion and refinement leaves neither
the physical body nor the original copy of mind, memory, and
consciousness energetically vulnerable during sleep or projection.
In its expanded state, the etheric body seems to become far more
sensitive to intrusive energies, and forms something like an
energetic perimeter alarm around the sleeping physical body.
I believe the underlying purpose of all subtle bodies, including the
very densest of them, the etheric body, is to allow the animating
spirit consciousness to manifest through a living flesh-and-blood
being. The subtle bodies hold the essential spirit firmly inside the
physical body, thus binding it inside the dimension of matter and
hard experience. Etheric matter can thus be thought of as a
glue-like, bioenergetic vitality substance, binding and sustaining
the animating spirit in its physical body.
This allows the spirit to
manifest and express itself in the physical dimension, while still
allowing it to maintain firm energetic links with all of its higher
levels of existence through a spectrum of higher and progressively
more refined subtle bodies.
Death and Etheric Matter
For interest's sake, and as this relates to energetic processes
pertaining to projection, let's take a brief look at what seems to
happen to the etheric body, etheric matter, and the projectable
double during the death of the physical body.
Physical death can be considered the final projection out of body,
the ultimate OBE. When physical death occurs, the real-time body is
projected in its strongest possible form, far stronger than would be
possible under any other circumstances.
In the case of sudden death,
the real-time body contains most of the living bio-energetic and
pure-energetic substances that were stored within the etheric body.
In a way, the etheric body projects out of its physical body along
with its real-time counterpart, forming what could be called the
etheric-plus-real-time body. This is a far stronger and more stable
version of the normally projected real-time double. It contains a
full copy of consciousness and memory (now the sole original or
base-level copy) held safely within it, along with the full spectrum
of higher subtle bodies, in a now fully integrated, but out-of-body,
As one function of the etheric body is to safely store all memories
in energetic form, when the physical body dies and the etheric body
breaks free, it carries the memory of its recent physical
incarnation with it.
To my way of thinking, when the physical body first dies, the
etheric-plus-real-time body is promoted. It now rests at the bottom
of the subtle body and dimensional scale, taking the place
originally held by its now-defunct physical body. It takes over the
holding and maintaining of the master copy of mind and memory. It
holds itself fully integrated and in the full waking state, albeit
now out of its physical body and existing in the real-time zone.
Because the etheric-plus-real-time body now maintains full
integration in the awake state (previously an exclusive property of
the physical body) there are none of the energetic conflicts or
weakening mind-split effects normally associated with any other type
of OBE. According to some recently deceased spirits I have
communicated with during real-time projections, though, reality
fluctuations can still be a problem, with other minds and energies
continuing to affect the real-time environment.
During the final moments of death, most of the dying physical body's
etheric matter is rapidly transferred into its newly forming
etheric-plus/real-time body. A transfer of residual etheric matter
also appears to continue, albeit far more slowly, for a few days
after death has occurred, until everything left within the physical
body has been transferred into its brand-new etheric-plus-real-time
As a related side note: the destruction of the physical body by
cremation, explosion, etc., at any time during or after physical
death, does not appear to interfere with the transfer of residual
etheric matter. Etheric matter cannot be destroyed by physical
means, but the physical body can; therefore the destruction of the
physical body should logically only serve to free up any residual
This would possibly have the effect of making
residual etheric matter more readily available to the
etheric-plus/real-time body of the recently deceased spirit.
The large amount of etheric matter (pure life energy or vitality)
released during the death process sustains the integrity of the
etheric-plus/real-time vehicle in the fully awake state. This holds
it (plus the animating spirit) very close to the physical dimension
(often) within the real-time zone. The actual duration of a spirit's
real-time afterlife existence appears quite variable.
I believe this
is greatly influenced by the physical and spiritual vitality of the
deceased person concerned, as well as by his or her level of
spiritual development, psychological makeup, desires, and emotional
problems. Some spirits appear to skip this intermediary afterlife
stage entirely, while others appear to have a prolonged existence
This whole process appears to give departing spirits much-needed
time to stabilize and come to terms with their new state of
existence - maybe even allowing for a few good-byes. Once a spirit's
etheric matter and vitality are used up, it appears to experience
something called the second death. It then passes out of the
real-time zone for good, proceeding to the next natural stage of its
existence. This is usually one of the spirit worlds, or one of the
recovery or staging areas. The second death is gentle and totally
painless - so I have been told by those who have experienced it -
and is in no way distressing for a spirit. It is best thought of as
being just another projection, brought on by further natural changes
in the energetic qualities of the etheric-plus-real-time body,
naturally shifting or projecting it up to the next level.
Another related side note: the second death can be delayed only if
the spirit finds some way of replacing its steadily shrinking store
of etheric matter. This can apparently only be done by close
association (touching and hugging) with living beings with whom the
spirit has an empathic relationship, leading to an efheric-matter
transfer from the living into the deceased spirit's
This, in essence, can be thought of as
an accidental type of etheric matter feeding. In most cases
(earthbound spirits and ghosts, etc.) this causes no real problems
for the living. It is also usually not an intentional act on the
part of the deceased spirit - although I have come across some
notable exceptions to this in my travels.
The sections dealing with death in this book are best thought of as
showing some elements of the basic death process only. There appear
to be many different ways death and the immediate afterlife process
can happen. This depends greatly on the level of spiritual
development and foundation belief system of the person concerned.
Many people experience a tunnel of light effect as they die. This
tunnel or tube-type exit from the physical body indicates heavy
crown center involvement in the dying process. While difficult to
prove, this type of dying seems very closely related to the tunnel
or tube-type projection exit, where projectors perceive themselves
as exiting their physical body through their head.
The tunnel of
light effect may therefore indicate a higher level of death
Departing spirits may, in this case, be projecting
directly into one of the spirit worlds, skipping the real-time zone
and other intermediary stages of death, like rest and recovery areas
within the astral planes, etc.
A large amount of etheric matter can also be generated and projected
in response to temporary physical body death, or by severe trauma
where there is the strong possibility of physical death occurring.
This type of event can cause a near-death experience, or NDE, to
occur. An NDE happens when a person is, literally, ejected from
their physical body as a result of some kind of massive trauma,
e.g., car accident, bad fall, drowning, difficult childbirth,
surgery, or heart attack. An NDE is similar to the death process:
The real difference is that the out-of-body experience is temporary.
Persons experiencing an NDE usually find themselves existing very
strongly in the real-time zone, often for a fairly lengthy period.
As they are so close to the physical dimension, they are usually
fully aware of events happening in the real world around them.
Because of the nature of NDE's, these events are often centered on
their traumatized physical body.
Many people, when they experience an NDE, are very scared and unsure
of themselves and hence have some difficulty - quite understandably - in accepting and adjusting to what is happening to them. The sheer
trauma of this type of event also ensures a strong shadow memory
download during reintegration. In many cases they have accurately
reported real-life events and actual conversations that occurred
while the NDE projectors were clinically dead.
NDEs surpass any other type of OBE in power, clarity, and
memorability, because of the sudden temporary generation and
projection of the etheric/plus/real-time body, which is the ultimate
real-time out-of-body vehicle. (An NDE can be as clear and memorable
as the normal physical waking state.)
This indicates how the etheric
body plays a part in OBE clarity, and memory in general.
Death, OBE, and Mental Coherence
These sections suggest that the base level of existence (normally
the awake physical state, unless you happen to be dead) allows for
the clearest and strongest manifestation of consciousness, as well
as for the strongest memory retention.
I thus define the base state
of existence as the level where full integration of all subtle
bodies can be achieved during a full waking state. For living
persons, the base level of consciousness is the normal waking state
in their physical body. For recently deceased persons existing in
the real-time zone, the base level of consciousness is that of their etheric/plus/real-time body.
Projecting away from the base level (any type of out-of-body
projection) may explain the vagueness of thought that begins to
plague most projectors soon after the projection exit. This can be
thought of as something like progressive mental
incoherence-cum-creeping amnesia. This increases in severity the
farther away from the base state a projector travels, and is
affected by the length of time away from the base state.
also explain why vividly remembered OBEs are usually of fairly short