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A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - Section One - Division C - The Etheric Body and Prana
III. The Function of the Etheric Body

We will now continue with the discussion of the etheric body, and take up the consideration of its function and its relation to the physical body.

The two may wisely be considered together, for the interrelation is so close that it is not possible to discuss them separately. Primarily the functions of the etheric body are three in number:

  1. It is the receiver of prana.
  2. It is the assimilator of prana.
  3. It is the transmitter of prana.

1. The Receiver of Prana

The etheric body may therefore be described as negative or receptive in respect to the rays of the sun, and as [98] positive and expulsive in respect to the dense physical body. The second function - that of assimilation - is strictly balanced or internal. As stated earlier, the pranic emanations of the sun are absorbed by the etheric body, via certain centers which are found principally in the upper part of the body, from whence they are directed downwards to the center which is called the etheric spleen, as it is the counterpart in etheric matter of that organ. The main center for the reception of prana at present is a center between the shoulder blades. Another has been allowed to become partially dormant in man through the abuses of so-called civilization, and is situated slightly above the solar plexus. In the coming root-race, and increasingly in this, the necessity for the exposure of these two centers to the rays of the sun, will be appreciated, with a corresponding improvement in physical vitality and adaptability. These three centers,

  1. Between the shoulder blades,
  2. Above the diaphragm,
  3. And the spleen

make, if one could but see it, a radiant etheric triangle, which triangle is the originating impulse for the later pranic circulation throughout the entire system. The etheric body is really a network of fine channels, which are the component parts of one interlacing fine cord, - one portion of this cord being the magnetic link which unites the physical and the astral bodies and which is snapped or broken after the withdrawal of the etheric body from the dense physical body at the time of death. The silver cord is loosed, as the Bible expresses it, (Ecc: XII, 6.) and this is the basis of the legend of the fateful sister who cuts the thread of life with the dreaded shears.

The etheric web is composed of the intricate weaving of this vitalized cord, and apart from the seven centers [99] within the web (which correspond to the sacred centers, and of which the spleen is frequently counted as one) it has the two above mentioned, which make - with the spleen - a triangle of activity. The etheric web of the solar system is of an analogous nature, and likewise has its three receptive centers for cosmic prana. The mysterious band in the heavens, which we call the Milky Way, (S. D. II. 250) is closely connected with cosmic prana, or that cosmic vitality or nourishment which vitalizes the solar etheric system.

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