Subtle bodies and chakras: what they are

Subtle bodies and chakras: what they are

When we think of the human being, our mind tends to imagine a physical body, neglecting what the subtle bodies and chakras are.
The conception we have of the human being influences in an important way the idea we have of ourselves and of our functioning. Who we are, how we are made, what we can do.
What seems obvious in our eyes, and which we are taught in school, is not so for other cultures and philosophical traditions. In fact, in the Indian tradition, the human being is seen as the set of several subtle bodies and chakras , of which the physical body, the visible one, is only one and certainly not the most important. The set of these subtle bodies is called ” Aura ”, And it is correct to give a name to this whole, as the various bodies work in unison and are interdependent, without however being separated.

The physical body

Everyone has a clear perception of their physical body, it is the set of organs, bones, skin and muscles . What is included in the physical body does not differentiate us in a quantitative way from animals, towards which we have the advantage of knowing how to use the cerebral part in a more complex way, with which they too are provided.
What we can perceive with the senses is matter, if instead of the eyes we use the microscope or telescope, we immediately realize that matter exceeds our sensory perception. The distance between the atoms makes matter less compact than it seems, and what is not composed of atoms escapes more and more the instruments that man over the centuries has built to observe and measure the world.

The etheric body

Beyond the physical body, there is a body made of very dense life energy (prana), the shape of this subtle body is identical to that of the physical body but its size is a few millimeters higher. This subtle body is usually called the etheric double, or etheric body, and it is very easy to see even with the naked eye, using good light conditions and a little practice.
Visually, the etheric body looks like a luminous halo emanating from the physical body , as if our body were a low intensity lamp. The external subtle bodies are less and less visible to the naked eye, the more one proceeds from the physical body towards the spiritual one, the more the energies become rarefied.

The layers of energy are therefore more and more extended and are more rounded, therefore they follow the outline of the human body much less. The health of this energy body is directly related to quantity and quality of life energy of the individual : at this level, areas of blockages (energy deficiency) or areas of accumulation (usually visible around wounds or trauma, where energy thickens to facilitate healing) are immediately identifiable.

The emotional body

Around the etheric double we find the emotional body (or astral body), this is more extended and more rounded and contains the emotional energies of the human being. It is also called body of desire , to describe more simply the type of frequencies that are organized in this subtle body.
The emotions we feel emit a frequency , a vibration, this is emitted and transmitted around us and has a density, a rarefaction, greater than the prana that surrounds us and less than our thoughts. From the beginning it is important not to imagine the layers of the aura as immobile barriers: these are instead permeable and their boundaries increase and decrease dynamically.

There is interaction between all energy systems, a thought can be assimilated to a feeling that can generate emotions which in turn can heat or cool certain areas of the body, causing discomfort or well-being. This perception in turn can generate other thoughts and other emotions.

Outside the emotional body we find the mental body. Like emotions, thoughts also have a frequency, even more rarefied than emotions.

The mental body

The mental body is therefore even more distant from the confines of the human body. In this energy field are contained the functions and energies of the psychic sphere . Each thought transmits a vibrational frequency and we are always surrounded by the energy field created by our thoughts. By interacting with others, i fields of each intersect and these vibrations can be felt. It is not about reading thoughts, but about the perception of frequencies. Sometimes we realize that someone is watching us even if we are turned away , we realize that something strange happens in the mind of the other, even if we do not know it well. Our mental energies are not only transmitted outward, but the mental body is able to process the mental energies of others.

The spiritual body

Even more extensive is the spiritual body (or causal body). Thanks to this subtle body we are able to access the connection with the whole, to overcome abstract ideas and forms of identification. As a consequence of the evolutionary stage of the person there will be a lesser or greater awareness of these energies, which are however present in everyone. In some classifications this is called the Buddhic body, a term that could be misleading and suggest that this kind of high frequency energy sphere is only reached by a select few.
This is absolutely false: every human being has a spiritual, immortal body in which he is transcribed all its evolutionary path and its karma .
This energy field is connected to our primary nature (or higher Self) and remains between the various incarnations, it does not dissolve with the death of the physical body (unlike other subtle bodies that exist for a limited time). The human being through his spiritual body it can relate to the universe and the Divine .

Other classifications

In various traditions and theoretical classifications there are other subtle bodies, and related spheres of interaction. There are treatises which describe other levels besides the spiritual body (such as the Atmic body for example). Still others divide the subtle bodies listed above into several parts, so we will find a lower mental body for rational thinking and a higher mental body for abstract thinking, and so on.

We must always remember that all classifications are a simplification and a schematization of a reality that is too complex to be translated into simple words, and that has aspects that vary from person to person.
Often in trying to make these concepts available to everyone, fundamental aspects are neglected that lead to the creation of myths and completely wrong images, first of all the idea that the physical body is the source of subtle bodies and chakras.

The path of energy

In the anthropocentric vision we are led to think that it is the physical body that emanates the energies that form the aura. The depictions of the human aura are very common, where the subtle bodies are represented as less and less precise contours of the body. It is therefore natural to think that all the energies of the energy bodies come out of the body, right? Things are exactly the opposite.

Every human being is part of the whole , and in the whole there is the greatest rarefaction of energy and the greatest frequency. Origin is the starting point and matter is the end point, not the other way around. From the union the energy thickens up to the soul bodies, which proceeding the solidification process reaches the layers of the spiritual, mental, emotional, etheric and then, only at the end, physical bodies. We are first of all beings of light , and only at the end of the cycle, beings of flesh and blood.

That physical envelope that we can observe and touch is not the first and it will not be the last, while our higher energy matrix will continue its journey through this and other temporal and physical dimensions.

Subtle energy centers

To confuse the readers’ ideas, a scheme of chakras (the energy centers of the human body) has been introduced which is represented with the design of colored spheres connected to various points of the body. In the literary tradition, the chakras are described as vortices of energy that deal with a certain part of the body, certain glands, certain functions. Each chakra is connected to the others by some main and other secondary energy channels.

We can therefore find the first chakra, Muladhara, located in the perineum, combined with the brick red color, which manages the adrenal glands and sexual activities in the aspect linked to reproduction and the functions connected to rooting, to exist and to belong to the world, survival and material sustenance.

Through a direct connection the first chakra connects to the second, which in turn connects to the third etc. Analyzing the images that depict the chakras we see these colored wheels, connected by a central tube, and two other channels that intersect like snakes along opposite paths.

The functioning of the chakras

The reality is that the chakras do not reside in one area or area of the physical body : they are energy motors connected with all subtle bodies, energies that interact with each other in a dynamic way. Thinking that the fourth chakra is like a green light bulb inside the heart, which lights up when we have feelings or when the area of the lungs or ventricles has problems, is not just a simplification, but a distortion of the functioning of subtle energies, which it leads people to create a bioenergetic model that does not facilitate daily familiarization with one’s own nature of light, making it more difficult to start perceiving and being aware of oneself and others.

Overcoming the legends and classifications of the various traditions is today important to achieve one awareness of one’s energies that is more natural , less imaginative, more useful to begin to gain confidence and experiment, learning to use one’s energy, through the balance of subtle bodies and chakras, in everyday life.


The time has come for a long time to get out of the myth, accepting the daily use of one’s body of light and more, but a series of theoretical concepts that are not helpful for those who have awakened from identification with their own body. (I am what I see), it has overcome identification with emotions (I live because I feel, because I love), it has won the battle with identification with the mind (I think therefore I am and are my thoughts). Identification with the spirit is also something that can be overcome (I am therefore I am), but not all steps have to be overcome in a single life, which is why we do many rides.

Leave a Reply