Subtle bodies , according to some religious , mystical and occult teachings ( yoga , Sufism , Kabbalah , Tibetan Buddhism , etc.) are “psycho-spiritual” components of all living beings . In accordance with these ideas, people consist not only of the physical form of matter , but also of “vital energy” (see prana , qi , ojas , aura , etc.) that exists around the body like nested dolls , each of which has its own metaphysical meaning  . Such a view was formed in ancient Indian spiritual culture , and at the end of the XIX century spread through the Theosophical Society to the West  .
Modern science denies the existence of physical structures that could be identified with “subtle bodies”  , and explains near-death experiences and out-of-body experience , as a stream of information (ideas) that does not go beyond the human brain, but not some non-material substance [3 ] .
- 1 In Hinduism
- 2 In Western Esoterism
- 2.1 The teachings of the Rosicrucians Max Handel.
- 2.2 Theosophy of E.P. Blavatsky.
- 2.3 Barbara Brennan
- 3 “The Rose of the World” by Daniil Andreev
- 4 See also
- 5 notes
- 6 Literature
In Hinduism, the subtle body ( sukshma sharira ) is defined as the triad of the pranic, mental body and body of consciousness (Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya). Together with the causal (causal or karmic) subtle body reincarnates from one life to another.
In Vedanta, subtle bodies are called cats :   [ specify ]
- Annamaya-kosha, a shell formed by food (body);
- Pranamaya-kosha, the shell of prana, as a life force;
- Manomaya-kosha, the sheath or “receptacle of the mind” (manas);
- Vijnanamaya-kosha, the sheath of intelligence and pure knowledge;
- Anandamaya-kosha, the sheath of bliss.
The yoga systems of India ( Tantra ), Tibet ( Tantra ), China ( Taoism , Tao , Yin and Yang , Feng Shui ) describe the subtle anatomy in terms of energy channels ( ida , pingala, sushumna, nadi , meridians ) that transmit the energy of life to prana ( Chi ) and have energy centers ( chakras ). These invisible channels, chakras and aura determine the functioning of the visible physical form. The common thing in these spiritual traditions is that the characteristics of each level of manifestation are determined in accordance with the characteristics of a more subtle (high ) level, the form of which is determined by an even more subtle level of manifestation. Ultimately, everything is determined at the level of an immortal spirit ( Brahman ). Understanding the most subtle levels of reality, a person begins to develop, first of all, through self-knowledge, self-realization, through the practice of various respiratory and physical exercises, through meditation and visualization. Everyone can learn to control and direct the flows of life force, to achieve unusual abilities (for example, in martial arts), or to achieve a higher level of consciousness, to provide immortality or liberation of the soul ( moksha ). These recommendations are not always clearly described; there are many contradictions in the symbolism and interpretation of the terms of various schools.
In Kabbalah, the question of subtle bodies is considered in the system of five worlds , which are understood as the degree of concealment of the full volume of nature, the levels of consciousness of the subject.
In Western Esoterism
According to modern concepts of Western esotericism and its founders (such as Max Handel and others), a person after physical death continues to live in subtle bodies, then the Soul or Spirit returns to the “true home” to rest before reincarnating again (however, the details sequences may vary).
The teachings of the Rosicrucians Max Handel.
The teachings of the Rosicrucians teach that man is a complex being, consisting of the following bodies:
- A dense body , which is a visible tool, by what is used in this world to move;
- A vital body made of ether and impregnating the visible body. This body is a tool for assimilating the vital energy of the sun;
- The desire body , which is our emotional essence and permeating both the vital and dense body;
- The body of thought , which functions as a mirror reflecting the outside world and allowing the Ego to transmit its commands in the form of thoughts, words and actions;
Ego - is considered as a triple Spirit , possessing the Mind, with the help of which it controls the threefold Body, which it transmutes into the threefold Soul : The Aspect of the Human Spirit created from itself the body of desire, which must be transformed into an Emotional Soul; the aspect of the Spirit of Life created from itself a vital body that must be transformed into an Intellectual Soul; the aspect of the Divine Spirit created from itself a dense body, which must be transformed into the Conscious Soul.
Theosophy of E.P. Blavatsky.
Theosophy of E.P. Blavatsky is based on ancient philosophical and religious teachings, mainly Vedanta, Buddhism, and also early Christianity. It classifies the principles of man, including the physical body, many subtle bodies or means of movement (okhema) of consciousness and the immortal spirit.
- Sthula Sharira ( English Sthula Sharira ) - gross physical body;
- Linga Sharira ( English Linga Sharira ) - a double or astral body;
- Prana ( Eng. Prana ) - a life principle;
- Kama Rupa ( English Kama Rupa ) - a form of desire;
- Manas ( Eng. Manas ) - thinking, consisting of a lower, higher - Manas, and the last spiritual being - the Ego;
- Buddhi ( born Buddhi ) - spirit soul (means of moving the spirit);
- Atman ( Eng. Atma ) - spirit, ray of the Absolute;
Blavatsky's ideas were further popularized in articles by A. Besant , who described these seven bodies in detail. The sequence of bodies is as follows:
- Dense physical body ;
- Etheric body ;
- Astral body or emotional body;
- Mental body (concrete mind);
- Causal body (causal, karmic or abstract mind);
- Buddhic ( soul , divine love);
- Atmic ( spirit , divine omnipotence);
Beyond the causal level are: buddhic and atmic bodies. In this worldview, the physical body is the most dense, with various subtle progressively more refined bodies or spiritual. Subtle bodies have various features and symptoms. Each “body” has its own color and its connections with the chakras, and corresponds to a specific plan. Thus, the astral body is composed of the substance of the astral plane , just as the physical body is composed of the elements of the physical plane, and so on.
The ideas of Theosophy were transformed by A. Bailey , and already with its changes entered the New Age worldview.
Some supporters of esotericism believe that Barbara Brennan had the ability to see subtle bodies as a medium , and that this ability allowed her to describe them and present them in the book “Hands of Light”. She calls the subtle bodies as “layers” in the “Energy of the surrounding human being” or aura , and represents the following sequence of bodies  :
- Physical body
- Etheric body
- Emotional body
- Mental body
- Astral body
- Ethereal pattern
- Astronomical body
- Keteric (causal or karmic ) body (highest mental aspect).
It is assumed that the causal relationships of the Keteric (karmic) body pattern go to the lower layers, and each of the layers has its own characteristics, its own types of diseases that require an individual approach to treatment, as well as to higher bodies. Each body has its own additions in the form of chakras, which are interconnected with the chakras of other layers. The first four bodies correspond to the Physical plane. The Astral body corresponds to the Astral plane, and the three higher bodies belong to the layers of the Spiritual plane (Spiritual World). Two more higher layers that are connected by a karmic body are outside the Keter Body Template  .
The Rose of the World by Daniil Andreev
The book “The Rose of the World ” by the Russian mystic, writer and poet Daniil Andreev (1906-1959) has a section devoted to the “heterogeneous structure of man” (Book II, chapter 3). Andreev lists five bodies (strictly speaking, four bodies and spirit):
- Physical body;
- The etheric body, consisting of prana;
- The astral body, in which the abilities of spiritual vision, hearing, smell, deep memory, flight, etc. are concentrated;
- Monad, spirit, higher self.
- Human aura
- A look at Christian esotericism
- Life after life
- Reincarnation Studies
- Max Handel
- Robert Monroe
- Near-death experiences
- Emanuel Swedenborg
- Past Life Regression
- Rudolph Steiner
- Astral Body in Theosophy and Neo-Theosophy (A comparison)
- Carroll RT Astral body // The Skeptic's dictionary
- Metzinger T. Why are out-of-body experiences interesting for philosophers? The theoretical relevance of OBE research // Cortex 45, 2009. pp.256—258
- Feuerstein G. The Deep Dimension of Yoga / Per. from English I.A. Zabelina. - M .: RIPOL classic, 2006 .-- 432 p. - ISBN 5-7905-4315-4 .
- Hinduism. Jainism. Sikhism: Dictionary / Ed. ed. M.F. Albedil and A.M. Dubyansky . - M .: Republic , 1996 .-- 576 p. - ISBN 5-250-02557-9 .
- Brennan, Barbara Ann, Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field , Bantam Books, 1987
- See the System of Subtle Bodies and the System of Chakras in Barbara Brennan's Views .
- Eliade M. Yoga: Immortality and Freedom ; transl. by WR Trask, Princeton University Press , 1969
- occult and esoteric
- Brennan, Barbara Ann, Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field , Bantam Books, 1987
- Brennan B. Ann , Hands of the World - M.: Publishing House AST 2000. ISBN 5-17-003833-X
- -, Light Emerging: The Journey of Personal Healing , Bantam Books, 1993
- A. Besant “Man and his bodies”
- CW Leadbeater, Man, Visible and Invisible
- C. Leadbeater “Man Visible and Invisible”
- Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain , Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1970.
- Poortman, JJ Vehicles of Consciousness; The Concept of Hylic Pluralism (Ochema) , vol I — IV, The Theosophical Society in Netherlands, 1978
- Powell, Arthur E. The Astral Body and other Astral Phenomena
- -, The Causal Body and the Ego
- -, The Etheric Double
- -, The Mental Body
- A. Powell “Astral body and other astral phenomena”
- Samael Aun Weor, The Esoteric Course of Alchemical Kabbalah . Thelema Press. (1969) 2007.
- Steiner, Rudolph, Theosophy: An introduction to the supersensible knowledge of the world and the destination of man . London: Rudolf Steiner Press. (1904) 1970
- -, Occult science - An Outline . Trans. George and Mary Adams. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1909, 1969
- Heindel, Max, The Rosicrucian Mysteries (Chapter IV: The Constitution of Man: Vital Body - Desire Body - Mind ) , 1911, ISBN 0-911274-86-3
- Blavatsky E.P.
- " From the caves and wilds of Hindustan "
- Isis Exposed ( 1877 )
- The Secret Doctrine (The Secret Doctrine, Vols. 1-2, 1888 )
- “Conversations with Blavatsky” - a shorthand record of Blavatsky’s answers to students' questions ( 1889 ).
- Voice of Silence (Voice of silence) ( 1889 )
- “The Key to Theosophy ” - a book for those who want to get acquainted with Theosophy ( 1889 )
- Theosophical Dictionary - Posthumous Edition ( 1892 )