The Etheric Region
In addition to the solids, liquids and gases which compose the Chemical
Region of the Physical World there is also a finer grade of matter called
Ether, which permeates the atomic structure of the earth and its
atmosphere substantially as science teaches. Scientists have never seen,
nor have they weighed, measured or analyzed this substance, but they infer
that it must exist in order to account for transmission of light and
various other phenomena. If it were possible for us to live in a room from
which the air had been exhausted we might speak at the top of our voices,
we might ring the largest bell or we might even discharge a cannon close
to our ear and we should hear no sound, for air is the medium which
transmits sound vibrations to the tympanum of our ear, and that would be
lacking. But if an electric light were lighted, we should at once perceive
its rays; it would illumine the room despite the lack of air. Hence there
must be a substance, capable of being set into vibration, between the
electric light and our eyes. That medium scientists call ether, but it is
so subtile that no instrument has been devised whereby it may be measured
or analyzed and therefore the scientists are without much information
concerning it, though forced to postulate its existence.
We do not seek to belittle the achievements of modern scientists, we have
the greatest admiration for them and we entertain high expectations of
what ambitions they may yet realize, but we perceive a limitation in the
fact, that all discoveries of the past have been made by the invention of
wonderful instruments applied in a most ingenious manner to solve
seemingly insoluble and baffling problems. The strength of science lies
vested in its instruments, for the scientist may say to anyone: Go,
procure a number of glasses ground in a certain manner, insert them in a
tube, direct that tube toward a certain point in the sky where now nothing
appears to your naked eye. You will then see a beautiful star called
Uranus. If his directions are followed, anyone is quickly and without
preparation, able to demonstrate for himself the truth of the scientist's
assertion. But while the instruments of science are its tower of strength
they also mark the end of its field of investigation, for it is impossible
to contact the spirit world with physical instruments, so the research
of occultists begins where the physical scientist finds his limit and are
carried on by spiritual means.
These investigations are as thorough and as reliable as researches by
material scientists, but not as easily demonstrable to the general public.
Spiritual powers lie dormant within every human being, and when awakened,
they compensate for both telescope and microscope, they enable their
possessor to investigate, instanter, things beyond the veil of matter,
but they are only developed by a patient application and continuance in
well doing extended over years, and few are they who have faith to start
upon the path to attainment or perseverance to go through with the ordeal.
Therefore the occultist's assertions are not generally credited.
We can readily see that long probation must precede attainment, for a
person equipped with spiritual sight is able to penetrate walls of houses
as easily as we walk through the atmosphere, able to read at will the
innermost thoughts of those about him; if not actuated by the most pure
and unselfish motives, he would be a scourge to humanity. Therefore that
power is safeguarded as we would withhold the dynamite bomb from an
anarchist and from the well-intentioned but ignorant person, or, as we
withhold match and powder barrel from a child.
In the hands of an experienced engineer the dynamite bomb may be used to
open a highway of commerce, and an intelligent farmer may use gunpowder to
good account in clearing his field of tree-stumps, but in the hands of an
ill-intentioned criminal or ignorant child an explosive may wreck much
property and end many lives. The force is the same, but used differently,
according to the ability or intention of the user, it may produce results
of a diametrically opposite nature. So it is also with spiritual powers,
there is a time-lock upon them, as upon a bank safe, which keeps out all
until they have earned the privilege and the time is ripe for its
As already said, the ether is physical matter and responsive to the same
laws which govern other physical substances upon this plane of existence.
Therefore it requires but a slight extension of physical sight to see
ether, (which is disposed in four grades of density), the blue haze seen
in mountain canyons is in fact ether of the kind known to occult
investigators as "chemical ether." Many people who see this ether, are
unaware that they are possessed of a faculty not enjoyed by all. Others,
who have developed spiritual sight are not endowed with etheric vision, a
fact which seems an anomaly until the subject of clairvoyance is
The reason is, that as ether is physical matter, etheric sight depends
upon the sensitiveness of the optic nerve while spiritual sight is
acquired by developing latent vibratory powers in two little organs
situated in the brain: the Pituitary body and the Pineal gland.
Nearsighted people even, may have etheric vision. Though unable to read
the print in a book, they may be able to "see through a wall," owing to
the fact that their optic nerve responds more rapidly to fine than to
When anyone views an object with etheric sight he sees through that
object in a manner similar to the way an x-ray penetrates opaque
substances. If he looks at a sewing machine, he will perceive, first an
outer casing; then, the works within, and behind both, the casing furthest
away from him.
If he has developed the grade of spiritual vision which opens the Desire
World to him and he looks at the same object, he will see it both inside
and out. If he looks closely, he will perceive every little atom spinning
upon its axis and no part or particle will be excluded from his
But if his spiritual sight has been developed in such a measure that he is
capable of viewing the sewing machine with the vision peculiar to the
World of Thought, he will behold a cavity where he had previously seen the
Things seen with etheric vision are very much alike in color, they are
nearly reddish-blue, purple or violet, according to the density of the
ether, but when we view any object with the spiritual sight pertaining to
the Desire World, it scintillates and coruscates in a thousand ever
changing colors so indescribably beautiful that they can only be compared
to living fire, and the writer therefore calls this grade of vision color
sight, but when the spiritual vision of the World of Thought is the
medium of perception, the seer finds that in addition to still more
beautiful colors, there issues from the cavity described a constant flow
of a certain harmonious tone. Thus this world wherein we now consciously
live and which we perceive by means of our physical senses is preeminently
the world of form, the Desire World is particularly the world of color
and the World of Thought is the realm of tone.
Because of the relative proximity or distance of these worlds, a statue, a
form, withstands the ravages of time for millenniums, but the colors
upon a painting fade in far shorter time, for they come from the Desire
World, and music which is native to the World furthest removed from us,
the World of Thought, is like a will-o-the-wisp which none may catch or
hold, it is gone again as soon as it has made its appearance. But there is
in color and music a compensation for this increasing evanescence.
The statue is cold and dead as the mineral of which it is composed and has
attractions for but few though its form is a tangible reality.
The forms upon a painting are illusory yet they express life, on account
of the color which has come from a region where nothing is inert and
lifeless. Therefore the painting is enjoyed by many.
Music is intangible and ephemeral, but it comes from the home world of the
spirit and though so fleeting it is recognized by the spirit as a
soul-speech fresh from the celestial realms, an echo from the home
whence we are now exiled, and therefore it touches a cord in our being,
regardless of whether we realize the true cause or not.
Thus we see that there are various grades of spiritual sight, each suited
to the superphysical realm which it opens to our perception: Etheric
vision, color vision and tonal vision.
The occult investigator finds that ether is of four kinds, or grades of
The Chemical Ether,
The Life Ether,
The Light Ether,
The Reflecting Ether.
The Chemical Ether is the avenue of expression for forces promoting
assimilation, growth and the maintenance of form.
The Life Ether is the vantage ground of forces active in propagation, or
the building of new forms.
The Light Ether transmits the motive power of the sun along the various
nerves of living bodies and makes motion possible.
The Reflecting Ether receives an impression of all that is, lives and
moves. It also records each change, in a similar manner as the film upon a
moving picture machine. In this record mediums and psychometrists may read
the past, upon the same principle as, under proper conditions, moving
pictures are reproduced time and again.
We have been speaking of ether as an avenue of forces, a word which
conveys no meaning to the average mind, because force is invisible. But to
an occult investigator the forces are not merely names such as steam,
electricity, etc. He finds them to be intelligent beings of varying
grades, both sub and superhuman. What we call "laws of nature," are great
intelligences which guide more elemental beings in accordance with certain
rules designed to further their evolution.
In the Middle Ages, when many people were still endowed with a remnant of
negative clairvoyance, they spoke of Gnomes and Elves or Fairies, which
roamed about the mountains and forests. These were the earth spirits.
They also told of the Undine or water-sprite, which inhabited rivers and
streams, of Sylphs which were said to dwell in the mists above moat and
moor, as air spirits, but not much was said of the Salamanders, as they
are, fire spirits, and therefore not so easily detected, or so readily
accessible to the majority of people.
The old folk stories are now regarded as superstitions, but as a matter of
fact, one endowed with etheric vision may yet perceive the little gnomes
building green chlorophyll into the leaves of plants and giving to flowers
the multiplicity of delicate tints which delight our eyes.
Scientists have attempted time and again to offer an adequate explanation
of the phenomenon of wind and storm but have failed signally, nor can they
succeed while they seek a mechanical solution to what is really a
manifestation of life. Could they see the hosts of sylphs winging their
way hither and thither, they would know who and what is responsible for
the fickleness of the wind; could they watch a storm at sea from the
etheric view-point they would perceive that the saying "the war of the
elements" is not an empty phrase, for the heaving sea is truly then a
battlefield of sylphs and undines and the howling tempest is the war cry
of spirits in the air.
Also the salamanders are found everywhere and no fire is lighted without
their help, but they are mostly active underground. They are responsible
for explosions and volcanic eruptions.
The classes of beings which we have mentioned are still sub-human, but
will all at some time reach a stage in evolution corresponding to the
human, though under different circumstances from those under which we
evolve. But at present the wonderful intelligences we speak of as the laws
of nature, marshall the armies of less evolved entities mentioned.
To arrive at a better understanding of what these various beings are, and
their relation to us, we may take an illustration: Let us suppose that a
mechanic is making an engine, and meanwhile a dog is watching him. It
sees the man at his labor, and how he uses various tools to shape his
materials, also how, from the crude iron, steel, brass and other metals
the engine slowly takes shape. The dog is a being from a lower evolution
and does not comprehend the purpose of the mechanic but it sees both the
workman, his labor and the result thereof, which manifests as an engine.
Let us now suppose that the dog were able to see the materials which
slowly change their shape, assemble and become an engine but that it is
unable to perceive the workman and to see the work he does. The dog would
then be in the same relation to the mechanic as we are to the great
intelligences we call laws of nature, and their assistants, the nature
spirits, for we behold the manifestations of their work as force moving
matter in various ways but always under immutable conditions.
In the ether we may also observe the angels, whose densest body is made of
that material, as our dense body is formed of gases, liquids and solids.
These beings are one step beyond the human stage, as we are a degree in
advance of the animal evolution. We have never been animals like our
present fauna, however, but at a previous stage in the development of our
planet we had an animal-like constitution. Then the angels were human,
though they have never possessed a dense body such as ours, nor ever
functioned in any material denser than ether. At some time, in a future
condition, the earth will again become ethereal. Then man will be like
the angels. Therefore the Bible tells us that man was made a little
while lower than the angels (Paul's letter to the Hebrews, second
chapter, seventh verse; see marginal reading.)
As ether is the avenue of vital, creative forces, and as angels are such
expert builders of ether, we may readily understand that they are
eminently fitted to be warders of the propagative forces in plant, animal
and man. All through the Bible we find them thus engaged: Two angels
came to Abraham and announced the birth of Isaac, they promised a child
to the man who had obeyed God. Later these same angels destroyed Sodom
for abuse of the creative force. Angels foretold to the parents of
Samuel and Samson, the birth of these giants of brain and brawn. To
Elizabeth came the angel (not archangel) Gabriel and announced the birth
of John, later he appeared also to Mary with the message that she was
chosen to bear Jesus.