Can the etheric and astral planes can be understood from the viewpoint of physics? What is the mathematical relationship between these and the physical realm? To take a shot at these questions, we must examine what physics says of the physical and see if that can be mathematically extended to produce predictions matching anecdotal observations of the etheric and astral.
To clear up semantic confusion, “etheric” can refer to either of two things: first is the “etheric realm” of occultism which is a luminescent mirror world interpenetrating the physical, and second is the “ether” of archaic science which is the medium in which everything exists. Perhaps the two are identical, but for this article I will be referring to the “etheric realm” of occultism since that is where we have empirical data.
What is the etheric? Minerals, plants, animals, and people have physical bodies, but what makes them alive is something beyond the physical. Without that extra factor, entropy would cause disintegration of the physical as happens after death. Tracing the physical processes of the body down to the smallest scales brings us into the quantum domain. Processes that seem mechanical and predictable on the large scale have their origins in quantum jumps that are neither predictable by physical science nor controllable by physical means.
So that extra factor is something that biases these quantum jumps at the small scale to offset the forces of entropy at the large scale. This is the etheric body, a subtle energy body interpenetrating the physical and shaping the quantum processes that give rise to its biological activities. In other words, the etheric body is an energy template that biases the probability of acausal biological events to produce ordered and intelligent life. It is a formative field made of coarse lifeforce energy. Using the terminology of chaos theory, it is an attractor field (a structured field made of strange attractors).
Since the physical body resides in a physical environment, the etheric body must reside in an etheric environment. And just as a physical body can exist without an etheric (as is the case with a corpse) so can the etheric exist without the physical. This means etheric lifeforms may exist around us who, because they lack physical bodies, are imperceptible to our physical senses.
Occult perception (known as second sight) lets one view the local etheric environment. For beginners this requires entering a trance state in between sleeping and waking, where the mind is decoupled from linear time and mechanized thoughts. It happens naturally in hypnagogic and hypnopompic states while going to sleep and waking up, although advanced occultists and shamans can switch into this while walking around and talking.
In this state, one can observe etheric lifeforms, the etheric field around living things, and also etheric thoughtforms which are produced by mental/emotional energy cast off by people throughout the day that continue in the ether like eddies in water until running out of energy and fading.
It is also known that alien / hyper-dimensional entities can hang around in the etheric, not fully materializing into the physical, in order to quietly observe. This is also true of time travelers who are unable or unwilling to fully lock phase with our particular time stream and thus can only observe us. All these can be seen with second sight, however. The etheric realm is therefore a superset of the physical, and the parts we can see through second sight is just the close halo of the physical extending into the etheric realm.
From a quantum viewpoint, the etheric state appears to involve partial delocalization of the wave function, as will be discussed below. And it takes delocalization of your own consciousness to view it through second sight. While the physical realm and our normal waking consciousness are both highly localized or collapsed into a single sharp focal point, the etheric plane is more diffuse, like the tranced consciousness needed to perceive it. That diffuseness is what allows the etheric body to shape quantum events, to bias probability, because it is a structure diffused across multiple possibilities instead of being localized to just one as our physical body is.
Other clairvoyants have described the etheric realm as a mirror world, not only in mirroring the physical when, say, the etheric body has similar morphology to the physical it enlivens, but that very often perception shows things as reversed — reversed in time, reversed in space. I’m getting ahead of myself, but that phenomenon appears to involve more the parts of the etheric that blend into the astral, complicated by the fact that what we see with second sight is what our mind decodes of the energy patterns constituting etheric lifeforms, and it is therefore biased by our own personal lexicon of symbolic visuals. Although relatively speaking, what you see of the etheric is closer to its actual reality than what you would see in the astral.
Another thing to notice is that if the etheric realm is indeed a mirror world in every sense of the term, where time intervals do run opposite those of the physical, then it sheds further light on how it can bias probability. Probabilities deal with probable futures and to shape quantum events means to have these be attracted toward certain probable futures and repelled from others. So it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this attraction and repulsion seems to come from those probable futures. Some type of resonant action between the current quantum system and the most strongly attracted probable future helps that future manifest. This resonance is encoded in the etheric field, and it acts upon the physical by pulling on it from the direction of the future — meaning it is an influence that originates in our perceived future and flows backward in time.
To illustrate this, if you are given five choices then you have five probable futures all sending their influences back in time and intersecting you in the present. The choice you most feel a tug toward is the probable future with the strongest reverse-time attraction force. You still have freewill and can choose one of the lesser alternatives, which is especially important if that strongest future is a bad one and willpower is needed to get you toward the healthier alternative. Etherically you are resonant with the strongest of your immediate probable futures.
In addition to being mere psychology, habit also has an etheric basis because repeated behaviors set up a type of momentum in the etheric that biases probability toward continuation of that behavior. And not only behavior, but for instance the type of activity that goes on in a house can imprint the etheric to attract similar activity in whoever moves in next. So a transfer of etheric patterns can take place. You could receive the pattern of illness or bad luck from someone else’s etheric field through close interaction and thus start attracting those. In fact, etheric entities (and devices built by aliens) can be latched onto you in order to alter your behavior, health, and probability of experience. Certain schools of occultism teach how to create your own etheric thoughtforms to accomplish tasks, and the darker of those schools teach how a thoughtform programmed to start a fire in your enemy’s home will do just that. Of course, it won’t start a fire by heating the carpet until it smolders, rather it heightens the probability that an accident causing a fire will occur. All this shows that the etheric is intimately involved in probability.
So the etheric is closely associated with the physical realm, loosely mirroring its shape and diffusing outward in all spatiotemporal directions. It is the seat of raw lifeforce energy and influencer of probability. In contrast, the astral is as far removed from the etheric as the etheric is from the physical, and is thus two orders different from the physical. It is more reflective of internal psychic space than an external physical space.
The astral body is the seat of soul-based emotions. Whereas the etheric pulls on physical quantum events, the astral seems to pull on mental and emotional events. The astral realm, instead of mirroring physical form, symbolically mirrors emotional and psychic energy patterns.
Second sight also allows perception of the astral when an astral entity blends into the etheric environment. But to fully enter an astral realm requires that consciousness shift completely out of the physical and etheric environment and enter into something that is more like shared mind-space rather than spacetime. Astral beings are not defined by structure and form, but by abstract symbolic meaning and conscious signature. An astral traveller can still decode all this into an internally recreated visual environment, but the real reality behind it isn’t comprehensible in terms of distance and time.
What Physics Says About Spacetime
To relate the physical to etheric and astral, we can examine what is known about the physical at its most fundamental level. That would be the structure of flat spacetime.
Brief background: the Theory of Special Relativity gives a mathematical framework describing how time stretches and length contracts depending on velocity relative to an observer. Space and time are shown to not be independent of each other, but part of a single structure called spacetime. Two observers traveling at different velocities perceive each other’s length and rate of time as different compared to when they were at rest. Why? Because each are rotated at different angles in spacetime.
To have two observers measure two different values of distance and time and both be right was thought impossible under the old physics. This comes with treating time as mere ticks on a clock. Relativity treats time as a fourth spatial dimension, however, where the separation between two events is measured between two points in the four-dimensional spacetime. That four dimensional separation stays constant no matter the velocity of the observers, and everything works out. Two observers are just looking at the same thing from two angles.
That interval of flat four dimensional spacetime is written like this:
`s^2=-c^2 t^2 + x^2 + y^2 + z^2`
`c` = speed of light
(I left out the `Delta` for the sake of simplicity)
This is just a four dimensional version of the Pythagorean Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem gives distance between two points in an orthogonal coordinate system (right-angled measuring grid). For instance, the two and three dimensional versions of the Pythagorean theorem are:
`s^2 = x^2 + y^2`
`s^2 = x^2 + y^2 + z^2`
(Where `x` and `y` are sides of a rectangle, and `z` is the height of a cube or rectangular prism)
The time component of spacetime can only be treated as a physical dimension if its squared value is `-c^2 t` meaning that the unsquared value is `i c t` where `i` is an imaginary number`i = sqrt(-1)`.
While space is real, time has an imaginary direction. Literally, the fourth dimension has units of “imaginary meters” or “imaginary light seconds”. The coordinate system of spacetime (physical realm) therefore looks like this:
Physical Realm: `(i c t, x, y, z)`
At low velocities where there is barely any rotation into the fourth dimension, we can get by doing all our physics with real time. But in truth, time is imaginary compared to space. What does this mean, that time is imaginary?
Quantum Physics and Time
Relativity treats time in a strange way. Quantum physics does as well. How the two relate, and how that ties into the etheric and astral realms, is the focus of the rest of this article.
In quantum physics, time is treated as the changing phase of a wave function. Phase is the alignment of a wave relative to some starting point, and the wave function is the diffuse set of probabilities of which one slice we perceive as a tangible manifested reality. The wave function is written like so:
`Psi = e^(i theta(t)) Psi(x,y,z)`
This definition states that the total wave function is simply a time-dependent phase factor multiplying a space-dependent wave function. If you compare this to Relativity, you’ll see that what in spacetime is imaginary (the time component) becomes here a phase factor, while what was real (the space component) becomes a wave function depending on that component only.
The phase factor is really important. What we observe as particles and atoms (and by that logic everything in the universe) is just a fuzzy wave of possibilities before observation. What happens upon observation is that we, as points of consciousness, lock phase with one “frame” of that wave function so that, with both now having the same wave alignment, both share the same reality, both are tangible to each other, and other possibilities not phase-locked get shut out. (As stated earlier, if you diffuse your consciousnesss to something other than a sharp point, you can likewise perceive things in their fuzzier probabilistic state). There is absolutely no way for science to mathematically predict what particular tangible state a wavefunction will collapse into; that is decided by consciousness and the etheric template, not the physical.
When two things (even two people) have the same quantum phase, their phase difference is zero and they are completely real to each other. The only reason you and I would be able to shake hands is because we have the same quantum phase, which in this case is the same time-dependent phase factor. This means we are both occupying the same moment in time. Upon meeting we would be near the same position in space as well, and this allows us to solidly interact. If our phase difference is slightly different, our interaction will be less tangible.
That time for us is a mere quantum phase factor, that it has an imaginary direction, goes hand in hand with our being pulled along the river of time collectively even against our wishes, while we retain total freedom to move around in space. What is real to us, we have complete freedom to move around within. What is imaginary, we can only navigate to the degree that our consciousness changes.
Etheric and Astral Physics
With this background in Relativity and quantum physics, we can now take a shot at interpreting how the etheric and astral realms relate to the physical. Whatever the relation, it should be simple and explain the empirical observations regarding these while still matching up with the physics of spacetime and quantum mechanics.
The major clue is that time is imaginary while space is real… interesting that time can be imaginary… could space become imaginary too? What about other imaginary numbers beside `i`? These were the questions I asked. And it leads straight into quaternions, which are an extension of imaginary numbers. Instead of just being the square root of minus one, the other imaginary numbers `j` and `k` relate to each other in similarly odd ways. The rules for quaternions are as follows:
`ij =k, ji=-k`
The difference between real and imaginary numbers is basically a ninety degree rotation into a dimension of impossibility. By that I mean, if you ask a fifth grader what is the square root of negative one, they’ll say it is impossible since no number times itself can give a negative value. But that is what `i` happens to be defined as, something that exists and can be worked with despite seeming impossible. The same goes for the etheric relative to the physical — tell any scientist of the etheric realm and he will find it impossible, yet the influence of the etheric hides right behind the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the unpredictable phase-locking of the wave functions. It exists and can be worked with, but is impossible under thinking of conventional physics which treats the intelligent and ordered biasing of phase-locks as mere “randomness” that can only be analyzed statistically like a game of Plinko. And for this same reason, science still does not know what time truly is — they know space very well, because it is real, but time is imaginary and we move along it mysteriously at a steady pace.
All the above points to the etheric having a relationship with the physical what imaginary numbers have with the real numbers. And to convert from real to imaginary, you just multiply by `i`. That is what must be done, to take the coordinates of spacetime times an `i` and thus “operate” upon it a virtual ninety degree rotation:
etheric: `i*physical = i (i c t, x, y, z)`
etheric: `(-ct, ix, iy, iz)`
So whereas the physical realm has imaginary time and real space, the etheric realm has real time and imaginary space. We can take it further and multiply by `j` to theoretically get the astral:
astral: `j*etheric = j (-ct, ix, iy, iz)`
astral: `(-jct, -kx, -ky, -kz)`
And if we operate upon the astral coordinates with the third imaginary number `k` we get back the physical:
physical: `k*astral = k(-jct, -kx, -ky, -kz)`
physical: `(i c t, x, y, z)`
Summarizing the structure of the coordinates:
Physical Realm: (imaginary time, real space)
Etheric Realm: (negative real time, imaginary space)
Astral Realm: (negative j-imaginary time, negative k-imaginary space)
These are the raw coordinates. The Pythagorean spacetime intervals are as follows:
`s_(physical)^2 = -c^2 t^2 +x^2 +y^2 +z^2`
`s_(etheric)^2 = c^2 t^2 -x^2 -y^2 -z^2`
These two are just opposite in sign. This implies that whereas events in spacetime progress from past to future along a path, etheric influences manifesting in spacetime progress from future to past backward along that same path. Of course, at moments of quantum choice multiple paths open up into the future, and thus multiple futures have paths tracing back to the present moment. This precisely matches what was stated earlier about probable futures exerting influences via the etheric that go backward in time and intersect the present. So the etheric is indeed associated with some kind of “reverse time” phenomenon, at least as far as its interactions with our physical realm is concerned.
As for the raw coordinates of the etheric, time is real instead of imaginary and space is imaginary instead of real. In that sense it is more like timespace instead of spacetime. I’m not sure how to interpret this exactly. But to make an educated guess, this implies that within the etheric, one has total freedom to move forward or backward in time just as we physical beings have total freedom to move around in space.
Inversely, our consciousness is quantum phase-locked into a collective rate of time and mobility in time is limited, while for the etheric entity it would be spatial geometry, form, path, and position would be the restrictors instead of time. Maybe that explains why etheric phenomena depend so much on geometry:
We can take a closer look at the quantum physics of the etheric plane, if that is even possible. Earlier it was shown how spacetime coordinates related to the wave function, where imaginary components became a phase factor multiplying another wave function depending only on the real components. Applying this to the etheric case:
`Psi_(etheric) = e^(i theta(x,y,z))*1/(Psi(t))`
And continuing onto the astral case:
`Psi_(astral) = e^(-j theta(t)) e^(-k theta (x,y,z)) = 1/e^(j theta(t)) * 1/e^(k theta (x,y,z))`
I’m not sure whether the etheric wave function should have the last part be `Psi(-t)` or `1/(Psi(t))` but in either case that wave function is a function of time, and if periodic would be a frequency. Therefore the etheric wave function is a spatial phase factor times a frequency factor. That may be where the resonance phenomenon of the etheric body comes into play.
I wrote of this in my article Ether Body and FRV where the resonance spectrum of your etheric body (aka aura) determines what probable futures you resonate with and are mutually attracted toward. The aura has spatial characteristics, not only localized to your body and varying in frequency over different regions of the body, but also extending outward a certain distance, which is why cities have certain vibes due to everyone’s auras contributing to the collective aura of the city. It is also why you can get bad reactions to people with bad vibes if you get too close to them, or say, why having a roommate of bad vibes can drag you down as well (aside from the psychological osmosis) including bringing you the same mishaps and misfortunes that are resonant with him or her.
I should also mention that the physical wave function shown earlier is, in realistic cases, just one of many wave functions comprising the totality of a particle, atom, molecule, substance. Likewise, there are many etheric frequencies making up a rich spectrum unique to each individual (unless the individual is not an individual but some artificial humanoid construct cast from the same mold and thus carrying identical energy signature as others like it — see my article Human Simulacra for more on that idea).
That sums up my interpretation of the etheric wave function. The astral case is interesting because all components of the astral coordinates are imaginary and thus the wave function consists purely of phase. This shows that, as required, the astral realm is completely different from the physical. Whereas the etheric somewhat mirrors the physical, the astral is perpendicular to both the physical and the etheric. Its wave function has no spatial or temporal wave function component, just pure phase. It is beyond spacetime and timespace.
From a Relativistic point of view, the astral realms would reside exactly on the event horizon of existence, on the light cone, in a timeless state of eternity and zero space. This is evident from the following Special Relativity equations:
`t = t_o/(sqrt(1-v^2/c^2))`
`l = l_o sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)`
Or the General Relativity equations, in terms of the gravitational potential `varphi`:
`t = t_o/(sqrt(1+2varphi/c^2))`
`l = l_o sqrt(1+2varphi/c^2)`
When `v = c` or `varphi = -1/2 c^2` then time goes to infinity and length goes to zero, both losing their meaning. Those conditions happen at the event horizon, at the speed of light, on the lightcone in spacetime diagrams. All quantum wave functions would, in that state, lose their real spatial and temporal dependence and the only thing left would be phase. And that is why existence in the true astral realms is so abstract, symbolic, timeless and spaceless. The astral is the phase space, phase time, within the bubble of eternity. And from this state, physical realms are accessible by simply rotating into them via transformation through `k`, though only in accordance with the phase pattern one holds in the astral state. This may very well be the process of incarnation. Reincarnation would involve consciousness first rotating out of the physical, then out of the etheric, and finally into the upper strata of the astral before doing the reverse and entering into a new fetus.
When `v > c` or `varphi < -1/2 c^2` then time and space return — with Real and Imaginary flipped. Talk about going through the looking glass! That is the multiplication of spacetime by `i` which is how the etheric realm was derived. The physical plane exists under the light barrier, etheric beyond the light barrier, and astral at the light barrier. This is another reason etheric processes act acausally instead of causally — they operate in a region of reality that are not causally connected to us (in the same way one domino knocking down another are causally connected) but rather acausally by “unpredictably” affecting the phase of the physical wave function.
We can combine the physical, etheric, and astral into one coordinate system if coordinates are made complex instead of purely real or purely imaginary. If so, it would look like this:
`(ict -ct -jt, x+ix-kx, y+iy-ky,z+iz-kz)`
This is to allow for entities occupying multiple realms. For instance, the coordinate (ic3 – c5, 2+4i, 0, 0) is located neither entirely in the physical nor in the etheric, but has projections onto each. We would observe this point located at 2 meters and 3 imaginary light-seconds, while in the etheric realm it appears to be at 4 imaginary meters and -5 light-seconds. But in truth this point is neither in the physical nor in the etheric, but in between.
The coordinate can also be represented in polar form with magnitude and phase, where a 45˚ phase angle means being halfway between physical and etheric, 0˚ fully physical, and 90˚ fully etheric. This is probably the same phase discussed earlier in connection with the quantum wave function:
`Psi_(physical) = e^(i theta(t)) Psi(x,y,z)`
As mentioned earler, 0˚ quantum phase difference means phase lock or full tangibility between two beings (or a system and its observer) and just now 0˚ polar phase was defined as the physical plane — the plane of tangibility.
This also suggests, however, that if another collective reality is at 23˚ and everyone in it were also at 23˚ then those people would be fully tangible to each other, yet phased out from us at 0˚ and thus imperceptible. Aliens who hang around invisibly to observe us are probably phased out in this manner to varying degrees, although that they can see us without us seeing them must then be due to our being focused on just one special phase while they can see multiple phases at once.
Aside from the phase angle associated with `i` there are also phases for `j` and `k` in the astral realm, though my interpretation of those is left for another research note.
What separates one timeline from another? Consider two moments in time, both occurring at noon on the same day but located in parallel timelines. In the first you have spaghetti for lunch, the other you have curry. Where are these two moments relative to each other? Well, they both have the same physical time `ict` since they both happen at noon. But if time is complex, then they must have different complex time values despite having the same imaginary one. One could be (.435c + ic12) and the other (.482c + ic12).
This shows that choices we face each split off into different complex time values. If ten minutes before lunch I can think of three places to go, then my timeline splits into three timelines with unique complex time values. The spacetime diagrams of Relativity (with light cones) only show `i c t` and not `-ct` – they don’t allow for real time and therefore parallel timelines. Although that could be easily added by layering lightcones or having them be joined at the axis with rotation from light cone to light cone signifying changing phase angles.
I would go so far as to say that, to represent all this more accurately, the light cone has to be folded up into a light bundle containing our reality similar to how a fiber optic cable can carry the video data of a movie, and that reality would thus consist of an intricate network of these light bundles intersecting and diverging at nodes, the nodes representing choice points where one can switch from one causal time segment to an array of others.
It should be clear that all these phase angles, realms, and the complex regions between them make for a vast and mind-boggling hyper-dimensional game board. The complex spaces may even have a fractal structure, which would make opportunities for experience and evolution of life truly infinite. That is assuming any of this math speculation is even correct, and given that I only received these ideas less than a week ago there is plenty of room for error. If nothing else, consider this research note an exercise in creative thinking.