Sevenfold Nature Compared

Bruce Michael

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Dear Intrepidlover,
The link you posted to has a description of the Sevenfold nature of man as told by P. This is not exactly the same as HPB's system as far as I can see.
(Some theosophical authors were known for their "blinds".)
Sevenfold constitution of nature and man

Where does it agree with Dr. Steiner exposition? Firstly in the regard to the etheric: there is not another theosophical author who has examined this in such detail as Steiner and his followers have- with lab experiments, geometry etc.

Starting with the lower quaternary, the physical body- agreement.

The Linga Sharira is NOT the astral body. The 'framework' is etheric, not astral. The astral follows quite different laws to the etheric.

G. de P.'s Prana is the etheric body. "Kama Rupa" is the astral form.

For the rest Atma, Budhi & Manas- the nominations are the same as Steiner's.
You can read about the Sevenfold nature and the Lord's Prayer here:
Lecture: The Structure of the Lord's Prayer

" Sthula-Sarira

(Sanskrit) Sthula means "coarse," "gross," not refined, heavy, bulky, fat in the sense of bigness, therefore, conditioned and differentiated matter; sarira, "form," generally speaking. The lowest substance-principle of which man is composed, usually classified as the seventh in order - the physical body."

sharira: (Sanskrit) "Body; husk."

The physical body also contains the activities of the higher bodies so it is difficult to look at it in isolation.

Life Body/ Ether Body/Pranic Body = "Linga Sharira" (Linking Body)

I derived and edited the following from:
Article: The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy

Man has this etheric or life-body in common with the plants and animals. The life-body works in a formative way upon the substances and forces of the physical body, thus bringing about the phenomena of growth, reproduction, and inner movement of the saps and fluids. It is therefore the builder and moulder of the physical body, its inhabitant and architect. The physical body may even be spoken of as an image or expression of the life-body. In man the two are nearly, though by no means wholly, equal as to form and size. In the animals, however, and still more so in the plants, the etheric body is very different, both in form and in extension, from the physical.

ASTRAL BODY -KAMA RUPA- from kama "desire" rupa "shape or body". [Paracelus terms it the "Sidereal Body".]
The third member of the human body is what is called the Sentient or Astral Body. It is the vehicle of pain and pleasure, of impulse, craving, passion, and the like — all of which are absent in a creature consisting only of physical and etheric bodies. These things may all be included in the term: sentient feeling or sensation. The plant has no sensation. If in our time some learned men, seeing that plants will respond by movement or in some other way to external stimulus, conclude that plants have a certain power of sensation, they only show their ignorance of what sensation is. The point is not whether the creature responds to an external stimulus, but whether the stimulus is reflected in an inner process — as pain or pleasure, impulse, desire, or the like. Unless we held fast to this criterion, we should be justified in saying that blue litmus-paper has a sensation of certain substances, because it turns red by contact with them.

Man has therefore a sentient body in common with the animal kingdom only, and this sentient body is the vehicle of sensation or of sentient life.

The higher member of the Astral Soul is termed KAMA MANAS.

"We must not fall into the error of certain theosophical circles, and imagine the etheric and sentient bodies as consisting simply of finer substances than are present in the physical body. For that would be a materialistic conception of these higher members of man's nature. The etheric body is a force-form; it consists of active forces, and not of matter. The astral or sentient body is a figure of inwardly moving, coloured, luminous pictures. The astral body deviates, both in shape and size, from the physical body. In man it presents an elongated ovoid form, within which the physical and etheric bodies are embedded. It projects beyond them — a vivid, luminous figure — on every side. "

It is the vehicle of the human ‘ I ,’ of the human Ego. The little word ‘ I ’ — as used, for example, in the English language — is a name essentially different from all other names. To anyone who ponders rightly on the nature of this name, there is opened up at once a way of approach to a perception of man's real nature. The vehicle of this faculty of saying ‘ I ,’ of the Ego-faculty, is the ‘Body of the Ego,’ the fourth member of the human being.

This ‘Body of the Ego’ is the vehicle of the higher soul of man. Through it man is the crown of all earthly creation. Now in the human being of the present day the Ego is by no means simple in character.

This is what the growth and development of civilization means for man. It is a continual working of his Ego upon the lower members of his nature. The work penetrates right down into the physical body.

What we call ‘conscience’ is nothing else than the outcome of the work of the Ego on the life-body through incarnation after incarnation. When man begins to perceive that he ought not to do this or that, and when this perception makes so strong an impression on him that the impression passes on into his etheric body, ‘conscience’ arises.

The Ego may become so strong as to transform, by its very own power and strength, the astral/sentient body. What the Ego then makes of the Sentient or Astral Body is called ‘Spirit-Self’ (or by an Eastern expression, ‘Manas’). This transformation is wrought mainly through a process of learning, through an enriching of one's inner life with higher ideas and perceptions.....

In so far as he thus works into his life-body, he transforms it into what is called in anthroposophical terminology, ‘Life-Spirit’ (or, as the Eastern expression has it, ‘Budhi’).

At a still higher stage man comes to acquire forces whereby he is able to work upon his physical body and transform it (transforming, for example, the circulation of the blood, the pulse). As much of the physical body as is thus transformed is ‘Spirit-Man’ (or, in the Eastern term, ‘Atma’).

God Bless,