Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, often referred to the etheric body (Ätherleib or “Life Body”) in association with the etheric formative forces and the evolution of man and the cosmos. According to him, it can be perceived by a person gifted with clairvoyance as being of “peach-blossom color”.
Steiner considered the etheric reality or life principle as quite distinct from the physical material reality, being intermediate between the physical world and the astral or soul world. The etheric body can be characterised as the life force also present in the plant kingdom. It maintains the physical body’s form until death. At that time, it separates from the physical body and the physical reverts to natural disintegration.
According to Max Heindel’s Rosicrucian writings, the etheric body, composed of four ethers, is called the “Vital Body” since the ether is the way of ingress for vital force from the Sun and the field of agencies in nature which promote such vital activities as assimilation, growth, and propagation. It is an exact counterpart of our physical body, molecule for molecule, and organ for organ, but it is of the opposite polarity. It is slightly larger, extending about one and one-half inches beyond the periphery of the physical body.