Chapter 17: The Occult Mysteries of Religion
Thus, our second body that is etheric is much more influenced by the mind than the physical body. The latter too comes under the influence of the mind, but not to that extent. The more subtle the body, the more it is affected by the mind and the nearer it will be to the mind. The astral body is even more influenced by the mind. This is why astral traveling is possible. A man can be asleep in this room but he can reach any part of the world with his astral body. You must have heard stories of a man being seen in two or three places at the same time. This is possible. His physical body will be in one place and his astral body in another. It is a matter of a little practice and this can be achieved.
The powers of the mind develop more and more as we go inward and they dissipate as we go outward. Going outward is just like burning a lamp and then putting a glass shade over the flame. After covering it the flame will not appear very bright. Then we put another and yet another. In this way we place seven covers over it. After the seventh covering the light of the flame will be extremely dull and dim because it has to pass through seven layers.
In this way our life energy becomes very dim by the time it reaches the physical body. This is why we do not seem to have much control over the physical body. But if someone begins to travel within, his control over his physical body becomes greater and greater, exactly in proportion to the depth of his inner journey. The subtle form of the physical is the etheric and the still more subtle part of the etheric is the astral. Then comes the fourth body - the mental body.
Until now we have been under the impression that mind is one thing and matter another. Mind and matter were considered as two separate things. In fact, there was no way of defining them. If we were to ask, “What is mind?” we would be told, “That which is not matter,” and viceversa. If we were to ask, “What is matter?” there would be no other definition. And this is how we have always been thinking about them - as being different and apart. Now, however, we know that mind is a more subtle form of matter. Conversely, we can say that matter is the condensed form of mind.
When atoms of the astral are broken they become thought waves. There is a close proximity between quanta and thought waves, which has not been taken into consideration. So far, thoughts have not been considered to have a physical existence, but it is a fact that when you think a particular kind of thought the vibrations around you change accordingly. It is interesting to note that not only thoughts but even words have their own vibrations. If you spread sand particles on a glass top and chant aum loudly, under the glass the pattern caused by the vibration of the sound will be different from the pattern caused by chanting Rama. If you were to utter some abuse, the pattern would again change.
You will be surprised to know that the more foul the abuse, the more ugly the pattern that is formed, and the more beautiful a word is, the more beautiful the pattern of its vibration will be. The abuse will form a chaotic pattern, whereas the lines of beautiful words will be well formed and well balanced.