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Lack of vitality and the common subnormal conditions with which we are so familiar, indicate the inertia of the Etheric body and its lack of vitality. The results of this inertness of the vital body can be both physical and psychological, because the glands in the physical body will not function normally and, as is well known, they condition the physical expression of man as well as his emotional and mental states, in so far as those are able or not able to find expression through the medium of the physical vehicle. The glands do not condition the inner man or his states of consciousness, but they can and do prevent those inner states finding manifestation outwardly. In the reverse situation, too powerful an Etheric body and the overstimulation of the centers concerned, may put too great a strain upon the nervous system and produce, as a consequence, definite nervous trouble, migraine, mental and emotional imbalance and, in some cases, lead to insanity.
I have elaborated this matter somewhat because the relation of the Etheric body to the physical body and its receptivity to the inner energies most decidedly condition the man. It will be necessary for us to have this ever in mind as we study the causes of the diseases arising in the mental body, or due to the activity of the Soul in the life of the disciple, or as we investigate the processes whereby a man is prepared for initiation. The Etheric body must always, and invariably does, act as the transmitting agent of the inner energies to the outer plane, and the physical body has to learn to respond to and recognise that which is transmitted.
The effectiveness of the transmission and the resultant physical activity depend always upon the centers, which, in their turn, condition the glands; these, later, determine the nature and the expressed consciousness of the man. If the centers are awakened and receptive, there will be found a physical apparatus which will be responsive to the forces flowing through. If the centers are asleep, and thus little force can be transmitted, you will find a physical apparatus which will be equally slow and unresponsive. If the centers below the diaphragm are awakened and those above are not, you will have a man whose consciousness will be focussed in the animal and the emotional natures, and much of his physical disease will lie below the diaphragm also.
CAUSES ARISING IN THE MENTAL BODY
I started this section of our study with the causes arising in the Astral and Etheric bodies because they are the major sources of trouble, owing to the fact that the bulk of humanity is Astrally focussed, just as the bulk of the forms in the animal kingdom are Etherically focussed. The forces pouring into the animal kingdom come predominantly from Etheric levels and from the dense physical levels of life. The higher animals, however, owing to the development brought about through their contact with human beings, are becoming susceptible to forces coming from the Astral plane, and they thus develop actions and reactions which are not purely instinctual.
Today, owing to the development of the mind in the Aryan race, certain difficulties may arise in the physical body. Their origin is not basically mental but primarily due to the fact that the mental body is the transmitter (when active and rightly aligned) of Soul energy and this Soul energy, pouring into the physical body, can produce certain conditions of overstimulation and difficulties connected with the nervous system. But it is the transmitted energy which causes the trouble and not the factor arising from the mind itself.
Wrong Mental Attitudes
I would like to deal, first of all, with the basic premise that disease and physical liabilities are not the result of wrong thought. They are far more likely to be the result of no thought at all, or are caused by the failure to follow those fundamental laws which govern the Mind of God. One interesting instance of this failure is the fact that man does not follow the basic Law of Rhythm, which governs all the processes of nature, and man is a part of nature. It is to this failure to work with the Law of Periodicity that we can trace much of the difficulty inherent in the use and the misuse of the sex urge.
It is in the modern world of today that there is beginning a widespread infringement of these mental laws, particularly of the Law of Cycles, which determines the tides, controls world events and should also condition the individual and so establish rhythmic life habits—one of the major predisposing incentives to good health.
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