[RSArchive Icon]
Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive and e.Lib



Initiation and Its Results

On-line since: 8th March, 2013

I

THE ASTRAL CENTERS
(CHAKRAS)

IT is one of the essential principles of genuine occultism that he who devotes himself to a study of it should only do so with a complete understanding; should neither undertake nor practise anything of which he does not realize the results. An occult teacher giving a person either instruction or counsel will invariably begin with an explanation of those changes in body, in soul, and in spirit, which will occur to him who seeks for the higher knowledge.

We shall consider here some of these effects upon the soul of the occult student, for only he who is cognisant of what is now to be said can undertake with a full understanding the practises which will lead to a knowledge of the superphysical worlds. Indeed, one may say that it is only such who are genuine occult students. By true occultism all experimenting in the dark is very strongly discouraged. He who will not undergo with open eyes the period of schooling, may become a medium, but all such efforts cannot bring him to clairvoyance as it is understood by the occultist.

To those who, in the right way, have practised the methods (concerning the acquisition of superphysical knowledge) which were indicated in my book, entitled The Way of Initiation, [ Note 1 ] certain changes occur in what is called “the astral body” (the organism of the soul). This organism is only perceptible to the clairvoyant. One may compare it to a more or less luminous cloud which is discerned in the midst of the physical body, and in this astral body the impulses, desires, passions, and ideas become visible. Sensual appetites, for example, are manifested as dark-red outpourings of a particular shape; a pure and noble thought is expressed in an outpouring of reddish-violet color; the clear-cut conception of a logical thinker will appear as a yellow figure with quite sharp outlines; while the confused thought of a cloudy brain is manifested as a figure with vague outlines. The thoughts of people with views that are one-sided and firmly fixed will appear sharp in their outlines, but immobile; while those of people who remain accessible to other points of view are seen to be in motion, with varying outlines.

The further the student now advances in his psychic development, the more will his astral body become regularly organized; in the case of a person whose psychic life is undeveloped, it remains ill-organized and confused. Yet in such an unorganized astral body the clairvoyant can perceive a form which stands out clearly from its environment. It extends from the interior of the head to the middle of the physical body. It appears as, in a certain sense, an independent body possessed of special organs. These organs, which are now to be considered, are seen to exist in the following parts of the physical body: the first between the eyes; the second at the larynx; the third in the region of the heart; the fourth in what is called the pit of the stomach; while the fifth and sixth are situated in the abdomen. Such forms are technically known as “wheels” (chakras) or “lotus-flowers.” They are so called an account o