The subtle physical world is a junction between the involutionary and the evolutionary world. It is the background base and support of our gross physical world.
A brilliant roof
This brilliant roof of our descending plane,
Intercepting the free boon of heaven’s air,
Admits small inrushes of a mighty breath
Or fragrant circuits through gold lattices;
It shields our ceiling of terrestrial mind
From deathless suns and the streaming of God’s rain,
Yet canalises a strange irised glow,
And bright dews drip from the Immortal’s sky.
It is like an envelope or a shield that surrounds earthly matter and terrestrial mind. This shield prevents a free entry of higher worlds and their forces and energies. Yet it lets some light and glory of higher worlds pass through into the physical.
A passage for the Powers that move our days,
Occult behind this grosser Nature’s walls,
A gossamer marriage-hall of Mind with Form
Is hidden by a tapestry of dreams;
Heaven’s meanings steal through it as through a veil,
In the subtle physical are interwoven forces and energies of the physical and the other worlds. It is thus a rich tapestry, a meeting ground of the descending and ascending currents of life that we often see reflected in our dreams and visions.
Its inner sight sustains this outer scene.
The senses operate differently in the subtle physical world and yet they lean towards the physical and hence objects and beings have a strange resemblance to the physical world there. It is as if the real truth of outline of a given object is found there but here it is somewhat distorted.
The subtle physical layer wraps around the physical and surrounds it, letting only few things pass through it. In this sense it serves as a protective envelop around the body.