I am sure you will agree that we humans are very complex beings indeed. I come face-to-face with these complexities on a daily basis both in my personal and my professional life.
One thing I’ve noticed is that most of us are conditioned to pay a lot of attention to certain aspects of our being, to the detriment of other parts of ourselves. And, that this single tendency can lead to a lot of personal distress.
Some of us keep our attention purely on our physical self; our material existence and physical needs.
More of us live primarily in our heads; incessantly thinking, planning, organising, analysing, labeling and judging.
I’ve met a few people whose primary focus is the spiritual self.
But, very rarely do I come across someone who pays adequate heed to his or her emotional self. By this I mean someone who:
• acknowledges their emotions
• who accepts their emotions
• who respects their emotions
• who feels comfortable about all their emotions and,
• who expresses their emotions in a healthy, balanced way.
The emotional self is very often neglected; ignored, suppressed, denied and even vilified (‘It is bad/wrong to feel like this’).
Ironically, it is our emotional self that causes virtually all our suffering. It is very rarely what happens to us that is the issue; it is always how we feel about it that determines our happiness.
Leading a healthy, balanced life starts with an awareness and acceptance of all aspects of us.
So What Are The Different Parts Of Us?
Let’s take a look at the human energy field.
From an energy perspective, the human energy field can be perceived as being like an egg-shaped structure around the body, made up of many different layers, with each vibrating at a higher frequency than the previous one.
We may think we are one undifferentiated being but we are much more than that. Once we start viewing ourselves in terms of energy we soon realise that we are made up of many energetic layers.
Russian nesting dolls are a great way to illustrate this point. To start with you have one but as you open them up another one, and another one, and another one appears.
The Physical Body
We all know we have a physical body. There is no disputing that. This is the densest part of us; the part we are consciously aware of. This is where physical sensations are experienced.
The Etheric/Vital Body
At the next level of vibration is what is called the Etheric Body. It has the same shape as the physical body and is an energy field that penetrates the physical body into the organs, nerves, muscles, bones etc.
This energy field is commonly acknowledged and worked on by alternative/complementary therapists. It is made up of numerous energy channels called nadis or meridians, and concentrated pockets of energy called the chakras.
If you have had any reflexology, acupuncture, shiatsu, energy work or done any yoga or martial arts you have been working with/on your etheric body.
The energies operating in this part of us have been referred to by a variety of names: ki, chi, prana, electromagnetic.
The Emotional Body
At the next vibrational level up is our emotional body. As the name suggests, this energy field is made up of our emotions.
We all know we experience emotions but they are less tangible than our physical body. When we experience anger for example, we feel energy moving inside us but we can’t grab hold of our anger; we merely feel it. The collective energy of all our emotions makes up an energy field around us.
People who carry around a lot of unresolved emotional ‘baggage’ can often feel heavy and lethargic. This is because negative emotional energy can stagnate around a person and literally weigh them down. You can sometimes see this in a person’s posture.
Negative emotions are heavy and positive emotions, such as peace and love, are light and airy.
The Mental/Intellectual Body
At the next vibrational level up is our mental body. This energy field is made up of the collective energy of our thoughts. It represents the mental concepts that we hold in our conscious minds. This energy field is less tangible than the ones preceding it. We all know we have thoughts but we can’t touch them. All we can do is be aware of them.
Again, the density and appearance of this field depends on the habitual nature of our thinking patterns. Negative thought patterns produce a darker, cloudier, heavier mental body, and positive thoughts produce a lighter, brighter, clearer mental body.
It is interesting to note that most people can ‘feel’ the emotional and mental energy bodies around other people. For example, can you sense what mood someone is in without them having to tell you? Do you find yourself naturally gravitating towards positive, happy people and unconsciously avoiding negative, pessimitic people? You are ‘sensing’ their energy.
The Soul Body
Upto now there is no denying that the fields mentioned above exist. We can all perceive them in ourselves. The next three fields go into the realms of spirituality. You may need to take a leap of faith here!
The energy field above the mental body is the soul body. It is the originating source of our unique personalities.
A good way to think about this field is by considering the differences between siblings.
Would you agree that your children or your siblings are different from you/each other in terms of their personalities, even though they have had the same parents, live in the same environment and been brought up in the same way?
We all have our own very unique personalities; ones we are born with. This is because we have all come into this incarnation with different soul bodies i.e. different energy patterns.
Many spiritualist and eastern religious traditions believe in reincarnation i.e. the idea that a soul continues to return to earth, each time being born into a new body with the intention to evolve by experiencing specific things. It is believed that the soul body is the depository for all consciousness and virtues cultivated in each personality lifetime and is built out of all the learning experiences of all its past lives.
Different soul’s have had different experiences, are at different levels of evolution, have learnt different lessons. Therefore we each start off life with a different personality.
The Spiritual/Higher Self Body
There is another energy body above the soul body and that is the Higher Self. This is like a ‘senior partner’ who knows everything there is ever to know about our unique soul and its journey.
Have you ever had a strong gut feeling about something when making important decisions?
Or a flash of inspiration out of nowhere?
- Or a deep knowing about some aspect of your life?
These things come from the deepest parts of us i.e. our Higher Self. This is the source of pure intuition.
The Higher Self is the vehicle of contact with the Universal Mind. Through it we have the ability to directly comprehend vast reservoirs of knowledge and truth about our reality and existence. It gives us the ability to become conscious of the divine plan as it is working out in our lives.
Most of the great thinkers of our age, scientists, artists, musicians say that their inspiration just comes out of nowhere, and particluarly when they are not thinking about their work (ie. not in their mental body!). These are all prompts by the Higher Self.
Albert Einstein was asked about the origins of his great ideas and he said:
“A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. That means it is not reached by conscious, logical conclusions.”
The Atmic Body/True Self
The last energy body represents the highest part of our being. It is our true, spiritual Self. A part of Spirit that has no ties to the images, thoughts, ideas of our mind, our emotions, or our body.
This is the residing place of the pure essence of who we are; the “I am” presence spoken about by every one of the great spiritual masters.
This energy body is the vehicle of identification with the One-Life that enlivens, as well as observes and acts, through every living being in the world.
It is the place of pure love, joy and bliss. It is the part of us that is at one with all other things in the universe.
By becoming aware of all the different parts of us we are:
• able to heighten our self awareness
• able to gain some clarity about where the root causes of issues lie
• able to bring some order and structure to our self-reflection
• able to gain a sense of perspective
• able to tailor our healing strategy to meet our unique individual needs.
If you are struggling with an issue in your life ask yourself where this issue may be stemming from:
• Is it rooted in your phsyical existence? Are you agitated all the time because you consume too much caffeine? Are you lethargic because your nutrition is compromised?
• Is it rooted in your etheric body? Are you experiencing lethargy or physical pain and discomfort because your energy channels are blocked?
• Is it rooted in your emotional body? Are you feeling depressed, drained and heavy because for too long you have denied a healthy outlet for your emotions? Maybe you push your real feelings down deep inside yourself because you want to keep the peace, or because you have been brought up to be respectful of others?
• Is it rooted in your mental body? Maybe your life experiences have resulted in you expecting the worst all the time? Maybe your self-talk is very critical and judgmental?
• Is it rooted in your soul body? Maybe the issues and relationships you are struggling with have their dynamics in a past existence?
Regularly taking time out to reflect on what may be going on inside us is a good nurturing and self-care practice. We often seek happiness and answers outside of ourselves when, in fact, all the answers we could ever need actually lie deep within ourselves.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues in this post or talk through any issues you are dealing with at the moment, then give me a call. Maybe I can help.