The solar bodies are sacred vehicles that the initiate must construct in order to ascend into the superior worlds. They include the physical, vital, astral, mental, and causal bodies that are created through the beginning stages of sexual alchemy (tantra) and that provide a basis for existence in their corresponding levels of nature, just as the physical body does in the physical world. These bodies or vehicles are superior due to being created out of solar (or Christic) energy, as opposed to the inferior, lunar bodies we receive from nature. They are also known as the Wedding Garment (Christianity), the Merkabah (Kabbalah), To Soma Heliakon (Greek), and Sahu (Egyptian).
“All flesh [is] not the same flesh: but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, [and] another of birds. [There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another. [There is] one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for [one] star differeth from [another] star in glory.” - Paul, from 1 Corinthians 15
The five bodies of the soul related to the Tree of Life (Kabbalah)
What is the difference between solar and lunar bodies?
All minerals, plants, animals and intellectual animals (that is, so-called "humans"; this term is used to emphasize that ordinary people lacking solar bodies have in actuality not yet become fully human) possess lunar bodies. These bodies are granted to everyone by Nature and do not die with the physical body. Solar bodies, on the other hand, must be earned with conscious willpower through initiation. Whereas lunar bodies are subject to Nature's mechanical laws, solar bodies are not, and thus are free to ascend to the Superior Worlds. Upon completion of the solar bodies, initiates must work very hard to eliminate both their egos and their lunar bodies.
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then saith he to his servants, the wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye find, bid to the marriage.
So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. - Matthew 22: 1-14
How does one create the solar bodies?
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." - King James Bible, Gospel of John 3: 5-6
"There are two types of flesh: One comes from Adam, and the other one does not come from Adam. The flesh that comes from Adam is vulgar and corruptible; the flesh that does not come from Adam is eternal and incorruptible." - Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose, p. 29
"The authentic and legitimate Astral, Mental and Causal Vehicles are born of Sexual Magic. It is obvious that during the copula between man and woman, the aura of the husband and wife is totally opened. Then, within our own depths, marvelous psychic fertilizations can be performed. The final outcome becomes precisely the birth of our legitimate Astral, and later the birth of the other bodies in successive order." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony, p. 169
Just as ordinary physical bodies are born of sex between a man and a woman, so the solar bodies can only be constructed by individuals practicing sexual magic (retaining and transmuting the sexual energy according to God's will during the sexual act) with a spouse. While single individuals practicing chastity, transmutation and meditation can embark upon the work of establishing psychological equilibrium, eliminating their ego and passing through the Minor Mysteries, sexual magic is required to awaken the Kundalini and enter into the Major Mysteries, during which the solar bodies are constructed. The gradual construction of these bodies is the true meaning of the phrase "to be born again."
Within the Major Mysteries, the initiate must pass over the Three Mountains in order to reach the Absolute and attain complete development as a human being. The solar bodies are constructed on the First Mountain, also called the Mountain of Initiation, which consist of two parts: the serpents of fire (in which the solar bodies are created) and the serpents of light (in which the solar bodies are perfected). Each of these serpents is raised, one at a time, through the spinal canal of the initiate (just as Moses raised the serpent on the staff in the wilderness) as he or she passes successive ordeals and tests.
This process is described in different ways in every religion, though it is often veiled in symbolic language. In his books, Samael Aun Weor describes it openly and in detail. His book The Three Mountains offers a particularly comprehensive description of the initiatic process, and his book The Narrow Way also discusses the solar bodies in detail in chapters 30-33.
"Any Mahatma knows very well that before entering into the Absolute, the Solar Bodies must be dissolved. The day in which we will be liberated we will leave, we will abandon all of the vehicles.
For what purpose do we build the Solar Bodies? With which purpose do we descend into the Ninth Sphere if we must abandon the Solar Bodies? With what purpose do we build something that we are not going to use? An atomic seed from each one of these Christic vehicles remains when they are dissolved. It is ostensible that in thesse vehicles four atomic seeds remain. It is indubitable that these atoms correspond to the physical, Astral, Mental and Causal Bodies.
It is obvious that the four atomic seeds are absorbed within the super divine atom, the Ain Soph Paranishpanna, along with the Essence, spiritual principles, laws and the three primary forces. Afterwards, the profound night of the Mahapralaya comes.
The Ain Soph without intimate Self-realization does not possess the four atomic seeds; it is just a simple atom of the Absolute Abstract Space with only the three primary forces, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, within.
The Paranishpanna atom of a Master that has been liberated is very distinct from the Ain Soph atom that is without Self-realization. In the aurora of a Mahamanvantara, a Self-realized Master unfolds his bodies by putting their germs into activity. He possesses his Solar Bodies; he can restore them at any moment that he wishes. The fact of having built these bodies gives him autonomous cognizance.
The Ain Soph that possesses the atomic seeds can reincarnate at the hour that It pleases, and It remains dressed with Its Solar Bodies. When the Ain Soph wishes to manifest itself, it emanates those solar atom seeds and appears at any given place in space.
"It is unquestionable that everything changes in the active field of the Prakriti due to the modifications of the Traigunamayashakti, and that we, the human beings, also modify ourselves in a positive or negative way. But, if we do not build the chariot, the Mercabah, the Ain Soph remains without Intimate Self-Realization." - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah, chapter 53
"If we have some crystals of salt and put them into a glass of water, they will quickly dissolve. More can be added over and over again, and they will still dissolve. But there comes a moment when the solution is saturated. Then the salt no longer dissolves and the crystals remain whole at the bottom.
"It is the same with the human organism. Even if materials which are required for the formation of a soul are being constantly produced in the organism, they are dispersed and dissolved in it. There must be a surfeit of such materials in the organism; only then is crystallization possible.
"The material crystallized after such a surfeit takes the form of the man's physical body, is a copy of it and may be separated from the physical body. Each body has a different life and each is subject to different orders of laws. The new, or second, body is called the astral body. In relation to the physical body it is what is called the soul." - G. I. Gurdjieff, Views from the Real World, p. 215