Updated: Nov 24, 2020
In training for World War II, Robert Morrison was a young naval officer aboard the U.S. Wyoming. An exemplary serviceman, Robert excelled in the various aspects of military life. One day during an emergency training maneuver he was required to abandon ship, board a transport boat, jump over the side of the boat, and bolt toward a target on the beach. Robert completed the drill with his customary precision and speed. It wasn’t until after he reached the target and began to catch his breath that he looked down and noticed his left ring finger was missing. Later it was determined that in thrusting himself over the side of the boat his wedding ring had caught on the rail. The momentum of his thrust pulled his finger out, including a good part of the tendon.
After the incident Robert continued to feel sensations in his missing finger, as if it were still there. He expected these would go away when his body had a chance to heal and the hole that was left between his fingers completely closed. But that didn’t happen. He continued to feel heat, cold, and sometimes the missing finger would itch, an itch that Robert could never satisfy. He didn’t understand and wanted the phantom sensations to stop but they never did. Instead they got worse. As the years went by, the missing finger began to throb with pain. Thinking it a little crazy, Robert took aspirin to try to help it, but to no avail. The pain persisted. The doctors said there was nothing to be done about it. How can you treat a finger that isn’t there?
The only consolation Robert found was in knowing that he wasn’t alone. About 80% of amputees experience some kind of discomfort in their missing limbs. Sensations of shooting pain or electric shocks are common. Some experience their missing limbs curled up in impossibly contorted positions. Others feel their fingers clenched, painfully digging into their palms. Sometimes even the slightest movement in a limb or in the face can cause excruciating pain in the missing appendage. This phenomenon, documented in medical books since the 1700s, is referred to as phantom pain. To this day, modern medicine has no explanation for it.
Enter the vital body. Phantom pain and phantom limb sensations are easily understood once the vital body is brought into the picture. Every appendage of the physical body has a vital body counterpart, known as etheric body parts. Even though Robert’s physical finger was missing, his etheric finger was still intact, carrying messages of sensation and movement to his brain. Together these etheric parts comprise the vital body. Despite the loss of its physical replica, the vital body continues to interface with the world, relaying its energy and information content back to the bodymind system. For amputees, vital body messages are often uncomfortable or painful because their physical appendages were lost unexpectedly, through traumatic experiences.
The vital body consists of a complex network of energy/information lines that flow throughout your body. It is not to be confused with the aura, the spiritual, or the causal bodies. The vital body pervades and powers the physical body, providing the energy necessary for the physical body to function. The vital body interpenetrates the physical body and extends out beyond it for several inches. It is discernible and palpable on an ongoing basis to those who are finely attuned to its subtle frequency. The vital body can be felt by anyone with a little guidance and direction.
Sensing Your Vital Body
Try the following exercise to get a hands-on sense of your vital body. It will take about five minutes, total. It is important to go slow and not rush the exercise. You are invited to tune-in on a very subtle level and important details can be missed if you go too fast.
Find a quiet place in which you can focus without distraction.
Be in a seated position, as comfortable as possible.
Take a couple of deep breaths.
Gently close your eyes and intentionally shift your awareness away from an outer focus toward an inner focus, awakening your inner senses.
We’ll begin with your hands since they are easy to access. Start by gently rubbing your hands together to sensitize them.
Then, with your hands touching each other, begin very slowly moving your hands apart about two to three inches and do your best to sense what is happening inside your hands and in the space between your hands. Be very attuned to the slightest sensations. Remember we are dealing with subtle energies here.
Slowly and gently move your hands together and apart within a range from having your hands almost touching each other to holding them about 2-3 inches apart. Hold them close together for about 15 seconds, then apart for about 15 seconds.
Then move your hands further apart, out of the 2-3 inch range, and move them back to a close proximity again. Any sensations you feel will be intensified with your hands closer together and dissipate as you move your hands further apart, as you begin to lose contact with your vital body. Be keenly aware of any subtle sensations or changes.
If you are like many people, you will be able to feel one of three things as you slowly move your hands together and apart. You might feel a change in temperature (heat or coolness); a slight resistance or force as if there were two magnets on your hands either pulling toward each other or gently pushing away; or a mild tingling, "electrical" sensation. These are the most common ways people experience the vital body. But if you experience it in another way, that’s just fine. Everyone is different.
If you’re having trouble discerning any sensation, continue to move your hands further apart, out of the 2-3 inch range, and then move them back to a close proximity again to make the sensations more pronounced.