Quotes from CW Leadbeater (author of these images and text)
To those who themselves can see, and are in the daily habit of exercising this higher vision in a hundred different ways, the
denial of the majority that such sight is possible naturally seems ridiculous. For the clairvoyant the question is not worth
arguing. If a blind man came up to us and assured us that there was no such thing as ordinary physical sight, and that we were
deluded into supposing that we possessed this faculty, we in our turn would probably not feel it worth while to argue at great
length in defence of our supposed delusion. We should simply say "I certainly do see, and it is useless to try to persuade me
that I do not; all the daily experiences of my life show me that I do; I decline to be argued out of my definite knowledge of
The characteristics of the Devotional man present themselves through the medium of his colours, and we see
that he possesses
the faint touch of violet which implies the possibility of his response to the presentment of a high ideal. His most prominent
feature is the unusual development of the blue, showing strong religious feeling; but unfortunately only a very small
proportion of this is the pure light blue of unselfish devotion, the majority being of a dark and somewhat muddy hue, suggesting
the admixture of a good deal of desire for personal gain.
The very small proportion of yellow tells us that he has very little intelligence to direct his devotion into reasonable
channels, or to save him from degenerating into senseless bigotry. He has a fair proportion of affection and adaptability, though
not of a very high order; but the amount of sensuality manifested is much above the average, and deceit and selfishness are also
Another point which attention should be paid is irregularity in the distribution of the colours and the vagueness of their outline;
they all melt into one another, and there are no clear lines of demarcation anywhere. This is also very expressive of the
vagueness of the devotional man's conceptions.
It will be understood that in this case, as in all the others of this chapter, we are dealing merely with variants of the ordinary
person. Consequently this is the astral body of an ordinary and non-intellectual religious man - not in the least that of the
developed religious man whose devotion is evoked by full comprehension and guided by reason.
Rush of Affection
This plate will be found to consist of four separate parts.
1. Certain coils or vortices of vivid colour are to be seen, well-defined and solid-looking, and glowing with an intense light from
within. Each of these is in reality a thought-form of intense affection, generated within the astral body, and about to be poured
from it to the object of the feeling. It will be observed that a certain modification of shape has been cased by the rapid motion,
so that the spiral has become a projectile, somewhat resembling the head of a comet. It is difficult to depict these whirling clouds
of living light, but their real appearance is indescribably lovely.
2. The whole astral body is crossed by horizontal pulsating lines of crimson light, more difficult to represent accurately even
than the thought-forms, by reason of the exceeding rapidity of their motion. The general effect, however, has been very happily
caught by the artist.
3. A kind of film of rose-colour covers the surface of the whole astral body, so that all within is seen through it, as through
tinted glass. In the drawing this shows only at the edges.
4. A sort of crimson flush filling the entire astral body, tinging to some extent all the other hues, and here and there condensing
itself into irregular floating wisps, like half-formed cirrus clouds.
This magnificent display of astral fireworks usually lasts only a few seconds, and then the body rapidly resumes its normal
condition. Transient though such an impulse may be, as it occurs again and again its effects are cumulative; and another point which
must not be forgotten is the good influence on others which is produced by the radiation of vivid vibrations of love and joy.
Rush of Devotion
Except that blue is everywhere substituted for crimson, this plate is almost identical to the above plate. It illustrates a sudden
accession of devotional impulse which surged over a nun while engaged in contemplation. All the four forms of manifestation which we
noted in connection with the impulse of affection are also observable here - the whirling, gleaming coils, the rapidly-vibrating
horizontal lines, the outer film and the wisps of cloud - and their signification is precisely the same, substituting everywhere
religious feeling for affection.
So perfect an outburst of devotion is somewhat rare - much less common than a similarly perfect outrush of love. A surge of feeling
of this nature, but generally without its definiteness or precision may sometimes be seen to occur in the case of one who offers an
act of adoration in front of an altar. Usually the parallel lines are less regular and less prominent, and the sharply defined
coils are altogether absent, their place being taken by shapeless clouds of blue vapour.
In the great majority of cases, devotion as a sentiment seems to be vague and ill-defined, and so fine a specimen as that given in
our illustration is indeed rare. In this instance, when the coils passed out from the astral body they did not assume the form of
round-headed projectiles, as in the case of the wave of affection, but instead became splendid upward-rushing spires.
Man in Love
Into a life cramped and limited there suddenly shines a gleam from above, and the divine spark within glows brighter in response.
Later, the man may lose it again, and descend once more into the murky light of common day; yet nothing can take away from him the
experience, and the glory of the higher life has been to some extent revealed. He has at least passed through a phase when for a
longer or shorter period self was dethroned, and another entity occupied the first place in his world; and thus he learns, for the
first time, one of the most valuable lessons in the whole course of his evolution. It will be aeons yet before that lesson is
perfectly assimilated, yet even this first glimpse of it is of enormous importance to the ego, and its effect on the astral body is
worthy of special notice.
It will be seen that certain qualities have altogether disappeared for the time, that others have been enormously increased, and
that their relative positions have considerably changed.
Selfishness, deceit and avarice have vanished, and the lowest part of the oval is now filled with a large development of animal
passions. The green of adaptability has been replaced by the peculiar brownish-green of jealousy, and the extreme activity of
this feeling is shown by the bright scarlet flashes of anger which permeate it.
But the undesirable changes are more than counter-balanced by the splendid band of crimson which fills so large a part of the
oval. This is for the time a dominant characteristic, and the whole astral body glows with its light. Under its influence the
general muddiness of the ordinary body has disappeared and the hues are all brilliant and clearly marked, good and bad alike.
an intensification of the life in various directions. The yellow of intellect, however, has entirely vanished for the time -
which may be considered by the cynical as characteristic of the condition!
The observer can hardly fail to be struck by the contrast between the body illustrated in 'Devotional type' and this plate. In the
former we see that the principal features are devotion (of a sort) and sensuality, and a very small modicum of intellect is shown;
in this plate we have no devotion at all, and far less than the average amount of sensuality, but the intellect is developed to a
very abnormal degree. Affection and adaptability are both somewhat small in quantity and poor in quality, being apparently
overshadowed by the intellectual development, as the man is not yet sufficiently advanced to possess all these qualities equally
in their higher forms. There is a good deal of selfishness and avarice, and a certain capability of jealousy is also apparent. But
the great feature of this man is the large proportion of golden-yellow, showing a well developed intelligence directed principally
to the attainment of knowledge. A huge cone of bright orange rising in the midst of it indicates the presence of much pride and
ambition in connection with that knowledge, but still the shade of the yellow precludes the idea that the intellect is debased to
merely selfish ends.
It should be noticed also that the scientific and orderly habit of mind has a distinct influence upon the arrangement of the astral
colours; they tend to fall into regular bands, and the lines of demarcation between them are decidedly more definite than in the
It is evident that the bodies pictured in both plates give us examples of two varieties of unequal development; and while each has
its good points, each also has decided disadvantages.
Another striking, but happily less common spectacle, is that which is imaged for us here. The background differs somewhat from the
ordinary astral body, for there is a total absence of devotion, and far less than the normal proportion of affection. Avarice,
deceit, and adaptability (or perhaps, rather, cunning) are all intensified, but, on the other hand, there is very little sensuality.
The most remarkable characteristic, however, is to be seen in the curious series of parallel lines which bar the oval, and give the
impression that the man within is confined in a cage. These bars are of a deep brown colour, almost burnt sienna, level and clearly
marked as to their upper edge, but shading off into a sort of cloud below.
This is an illustration of a confirmed miser, and naturally so extreme a case is not very common; but a large number of people
seem to have some of the elements of the miser in their nature, and show them by an intensification of the colour of avarice and by
one or two such bars in the upper part of the astral body, though few are so completely confined as is this specimen. It is obvious
that this man has shut himself away from the world, and that vibrations from without cannot readily affect him. Probably in this way
he escapes some of the ordinary temptations of life, but he also makes himself impervious to the love and sympathy of his friends,
and to all of the higher religious feelings. Above all, his prison bars prevent the passage of vibrations outward as well as inward,
and he himself can pour out neither affection nor devotion. He is wrapped absolutely in his own selfishness, and is doing no good to
any human being, and while that is his condition he can make no progress. The vice of avarice seems to have the effect of completely
arresting development for the time, and it is very difficult to shake off when once it has gained a firm hold upon the personality.
The astral body shown here is in many ways similar to the above plate. Here, however, we have dull grey lines instead of the brown,
and the whole effect is indescribably gloomy and depressing to the observer. It does not seem that in this case any qualities are
necessarily absent; we have simply the ordinary colours of the body as a background, but all are veiled by these heavy weeping lines.
Our picture represents a person during a period of extreme depression, when he is utterly isolated as was the miser, and naturally
there are very many intermediate stages between this and the healthy astral body. A man may have only a few bars of depression, and
even they may be but transient; or in slighter and less persistent cases, the heavy cloud may hardly have time to arrange itself in
lines at all.
Yet there are only too many who yield themselves to these feelings, and allow the fog of despair to close round them until all the
world looks black; not realising that in doing so they are not only seriously delaying their own evolution and loing manifold
opportunities, but are also causing unnecessary suffering and injury to all those near to them. No psychic condition is more
infectious than this feeling of depression; its vibrations radiate in all directions and introduce their slackening, deadening
effects into every astral body within reach.
The only man who is proof against such dire influences is he who understands something of the purpose of life, who regards it from
the philosophical and commonsense standpoint. Fortunataly good influences can be spread abroad just as readily as evil ones, and the
man who is wise enough to be happy will become a centre of happiness for others, a veritable sun, shedding light and joy on all
We turn now to the consideration of the manner in which certain types of character exhibit themselves in the bodies of the man.
The case of the irritable man is a good specimen of these. His astral body will usually show a broad band of scarlet as one
of its prominent features, as the plate shows. But what especially differentiates him from other men is the presence in all parts
of the astral body of little floating flecks of scarlet, somewhat like notes of exclamation. These are the result of little
accessions of vexation at the small worries which are constantly occurring in ordinary life. Every time any little trifle goes
wrong - when his coffee is cold, when he misses his train, the irascible man gives vent to an impatient or angry exclamation, and a
tiny scarlet flash shows the uncontrolled feeling. In some cases these little messengers of undisciplined temper fly outward toward
the person who is supposed to be responsible for whatever has gone wrong; but in many others they simply remain floating within him,
suspended in the matter of the astral body, and presenting the appearance shown in our illustration. These spots gradually fade
away, but their places are taken by others, for the irritable man is never at a loss for subjects of annoyance.
This plate is perhaps the most striking in appearance of the whole series, and even without any explanation, it would itself be
an eloquent warning against the folly of yielding to a fit of passion. As in the previous cases, the ordinary background of the
astral body is temporarily obscured by the rush of feeling, but now the strong and vivid thoughts are unfortunately those of malice
and ill-will. They express themselves once more as coils or vortices, but this time as heavy, thunderous masses of sooty blackness,
lit up from within by the lurid glow of active hatred. Less defined wisps of the same dark cloud are to be seen defiling the whole
astral body, while the fiery arrows of uncontrolled anger shoot among them like flashes of lightning.
A tremendous and truly awful spectacle; and the more it is understood the more terrible it appears. For this is the case of a man
who is absolutely transported and beside himself with rage - a man who for the time being has utterly lost control of himself. Those
terrible flashes are penetrating other astral bodies like swords, and the man is injuring those about him just as really as, though
less visibly than, if he assaulted them on the physical plane.
The case selected for illustration is of course an extreme one, and such a condition does not usually last more than a few minutes.
But everyone who falls into a passion exhibits these characteristics to some extent; and one cannot but feel that if men only knew
how they appeared in the eyes of those who can see, when they yield themselves to those outbursts of anger, they would surely take
far greater care to avoid them.
Shock of Fear
The effect of fear upon the astral body is very striking. A sudden shock of terror will in an instant suffuse the entire body with
a curious livid grey mist, while horizontal lines of the same hue appear, but vibrate with such violence as to be hardly recognisable
as separate lines. The result is indescribably ghastly, and it is impossible to convey an adequate idea of it by illustration. This
plate gives such suggestion of it as can be put on paper, but it can hardly depict the strange way in which all light fades out for
the time from the body, and the whole grey mass quivers helplessly like a jelly.
Such an appearance as this denotes deadly panic, and ordinarily soon passes away. A condition of permanent fear or extreme
nervousness expresses itself in a much modified form of the same phenomena, but the peculiar tinge of grey, and the characteristic
quiver, are invariable signs of this haunting presence.