Most world philosophies and for many centuries have held the belief in 5 basic elements. All of the world around us is made up from these elements. In ancient times, it helped to explain the world around those studying the elements.
In this week’s installment, Jennifer Dixon and Merritt Malouf Plumb discuss the Ether Element.
Ether, the first or last element, depending on the source of study has often been called “space.” However, space doesn’t exactly do the ether element justice, because it is more than just space. For example, in Ayurvedic studies, Ether is the source, the original element, from which all the other elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth are formed.
This same element was studied by the ancient philosophers like Aristotle who called this element Aether or “Quintessence.” The definition of quintessence was simply, spirit. The ancients believed that ether embodied the space between the heavens and earth. The Greeks believed Ether was what the Gods breathed. It was the source of life.
Interestingly, some bible scholars allude to this same space between, in the bible at Genesis 1:2, you can find that there was a void:
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.“
This is not a biblical blog or post, but the quote and link were added to show how even Judeo – Christian scholars talk about a void and darkness or space between, which could otherwise be named Ether.
Ether is said to be formless, and cold (since it is before fire.) Ayurvedic scholars believe that the season for ether is winter (the space between the life of spring and summer, and the harvest of fall.) Although it is formless, it can when out of balance, make a person feel ungrounded. Therefore, heavier foods are prescribed to help fill up your body and make you feel grounded.
Since each of our bodies have characteristics of the five elements, you even have ether in your body, according to the 5 element theory. Ether would be the space between areas. This could be very tiny.
The yogis believe you can experience the Ether element during meditation. When your mind is troubled, it’s like a whirlpool. The sanskrit word for that is Vritti. One of the fundamental goals of your yoga practice is to calm those vrittis or those whirlpools and return to Samahdi- the calm and peaceful state of mind. You can do this with meditation and with a physical yoga practice. In theory, we can find this Samahdi and live there. (with practice.)
If you’d like to learn more, check out this video! It’s a fun, short conversation about the Ether Element and hopefully entertains you as much as it educates you. We are super happy to have you watch our broadcast and hope that you’ll subscribe to be the first to learn about our newest releases!