From the very use of the term “sheath” it will be noted that we are considering those fires which manifest through the medium of those externalities, of those veils of substance which hide and conceal the inner Reality. We shall not here take up the subject of the sheaths on the higher planes, but simply deal with the fires that animate the three lower vehicles – the physical body in its two divisions (etheric and dense), the emotional or astral body, and the mental sheath. 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, and also that the substance of which they are composed is animated by a triple fire, as is the physical.
In the physical body we have the fires of the lower nature (the animal plane) centralized at the base of the spine. They are situated at a spot which stands in relation to the physical body as the physical sun to the solar system. This central point of heat radiates in all directions, using the spinal column as its main artery, but working in close connection with certain central ganglia, wherever located, and having a special association with the spleen.
In the etheric body, which is an exact replica of its denser counterpart, we have the organ of active or radiatory fire, and, as is well known, the vehicle of prana. Its function is to store up the rays of radiatory light and heat which are secured from the sun, and to transmit them, via the spleen, to all parts of the physical body. Hence in the future it will come to be recognized that the spine and the spleen are of the utmost importance to the physical well-being of man, and that when the spinal column is duly adjusted and aligned, and when the spleen is freed from congestion and in a healthy condition, there will be little trouble in the dense physical body. When the physical furnace burns brightly and when the fuel of the body (pranic rays) is adequately assimilated, the human frame will function as desired.
The subject of the blending of these two fires, which is complete in a normal and healthy person, should engross the attention of the modern physician. He will then concern himself with the removal of nerve congestion or material congestion, so as to leave a free channel for the inner warmth. This blending, which is now a natural and usual growth in every human being, was one of the signs of attainment or of initiation in an earlier solar system. Just as initiation and liberation are marked in this solar system by the blending of the fires of the body, of the mind and of the Spirit, so in an earlier cycle attainment was marked by the blending of the latent fires of matter with the radiatory or active fires, and then their union with the fires of mind. In the earlier period the effects in manifestation of the divine Flame were so remote and deeply hidden as to be scarcely recognizable, though dimly there. Its correspondence can be seen in the animal kingdom, in which instinct holds the intuition in latency, and the Spirit dimly over-shadows. Yet all is part of a divine whole.
The subject of the radiatory heat of the macrocosmic and microcosmic systems will be dealt with in detail in a later subdivision. Here we will only deal with the latent interior fire of the
We must remember that in both the astral and the mental sheaths there exist the counterparts of the centers as found in the physical body. These centers concern matter and its evolution. One fundamental statement can be laid down anent the internal fires of all these four (sun, planet, man, and atom):
There exists in the Sun, in the planet, in man, and in the atom, a central point of heat, or (if I might use so limiting and inappropriate a term) a central cavern of fire, or nucleus of heat, and this central nucleus reaches the bounds of its sphere of influence, its ring-pass-not by means of a threefold channel. 17
17 “The divine essence that, pervading the entire universe of millions of solar systems, is caught up by our sun and passed out in a manifested form to the utmost boundaries of our solar system, so that this manifested essence may be the basic soil of the growth, preservation and destruction of our worlds, that divine essence is simple Nadam of our yogic philosophy and that Nadam or OM subsequently manifests itself as seven streams. The unmanifested is manifested by or borne by the subsequent ramifications. These streams are the seven vowels or seven notes. These seven vowels and notes must have special correlations with the seven vedic metres, since in the Vishnu Purana, Parasara describes the vedic metres as the coursers of the solar essence.” – Some Thoughts on the Gita, p. 74.