THE ETHERIC DOUBLE
The two outermost electron rings possible for an atom each have 32 electrons they can hold. This is much more than any of the previous inner electron rings or shells. That means it takes 32 bits of awareness or soul fragments to complete each of these astral bodies. For most of us this is the work of a lifetime or it may never happen.
The inner of these two shells creates what is called the etheric body and the outer final shell creates what is called the elemental body.
The etheric body contains bits of awareness and reflects a full range of sensory abilities within dreams like reading, writing and smell, hearing and texture.
Sensations like taste and pain are still absent for the most part. They belong to the elemental body and the etheric double.
The etheric planes are the classic astral planes of magickal workings. Most magick takes place on the etheric planes and alters them in some way that will affect physical events before they happen.
In the process of developing our astral bodies there are two paths to follow. The magickal path works to develop the 32 bits of awareness that create the etheric body and then integrate it with the etheric double. This means trying to develop 32 bits of awareness through the generation and accumulation of physical energy for the etheric body and then 32 bits more to free the elemental body and integrate the etheric double.
The most common means of developing these bodies is through hard physical exercise and sexual activity. This path works from the bottom upwards and has much in common with the martial arts. It’s strength is the ability to manifest physical events.
Its weakness is the extremes of both pain and pleasure must be physically experienced. You will experience that which you fear the most as well as that which you desire the most. Because everything operates at such near physical levels many toxic or negative factors can not be safely neutralized. This is why magickal adepts seek to develop the higher astral bodies as well.
The mystical path works from the top downward activating the innermost spiritual shell first. This shell has only two bits of awareness as mentioned before. Then the second and third shells or mental bodies are created. Each of those has 8 bits of awareness or soul fragments. In this manner the higher astral bodies are developed before the lower ones are. The fourth and fifth astral bodies or emotional bodies each are created out of sixteen bits of awareness or soul fragments. This can take a life time or more as well to achieve. Physical effort and vitality are channeled upwards to activate these astral bodies.
The strength of this path is an invulnerability that neutralizes the worst toxins and negative factors long before they manifest physically. Nothing can hurt this adept significantly. They are able to transmute negative energy and make it work in positive ways. The weakness of this path is an inability to physically manifest desires in real life. The lower astral levels govern physical events before they happen and this adept is not strong at these levels. That is why these adepts constantly try to become stronger at the earth levels.
What we call our physical body is really the elemental body and only separates from the physical body at death or in rare circumstances. These bits of awareness form our physical senses as we understand them. As these bits of awareness are developed and become free to leave the physical body they form what is called the etheric double or “evil twin”.
The integration and mastery of this etheric double grants us the ability to have normal physical perceptions at the lowest levels of the astral planes and travel the physical earth in out of body experiences. We do this when we integrate our “shadow”. There have been many instances recorded of this type of classic astral projection. In reality we can project with any of the seven astral bodies if they have been developed correctly.