Aether theories in physics propose the existence of a medium, the aether (also spelled ether, from the Greek word (αἰθήρ), meaning “upper air” or “pure, fresh air”, a space-filling substance or field, thought to be necessary as a transmission medium for the propagation of electromagnetic or gravitational forces. The assorted aether theories embody the various conceptions of this “medium” and “substance”. This early modern aether has little in common with the aether of classical elements from which the name was borrowed. Since the development of special relativity, theories using a substantial aether fell out of use in modern physics, and were replaced by more abstract models.
Akasha (or Akash, Ākāśa IPA: [aːkaːʃə], आकाश) is the Sanskrit word meaning “æther“ in both its elemental and metaphysical senses.
In Hinduism, Akasha means the basis and essence of all things in the material world; the first material element created from the astral world, (Akasha (Ether), Earth,Water,Fire,Air,) in sequence). It is one of the Panchamahabhuta, or “five elements”; its main characteristic is Shabda (sound). In Sanskrit the word means “space”, the first element in creation. In Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, bengali and many other Indian languages, the meaning of Akasha has been accepted as sky.
The Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools of Hindu philosophy state that Akasha or aether is the fifth physical substance, which is the substratum of the quality of sound. It is the One, Eternal, and All Pervading physical substance, which is imperceptible.
According to the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, Akasha is one of the five Mahābhūtas (grand physical elements) having the specific property of sound.
Main article: Dravya (Jainism)
Akasha is space in the Jain conception of the cosmos. It falls into the Ajiva category, divided into two parts: Loakasa (the part occupied by the material world) and Aloakasa (the space beyond it which is absolutely void and empty). In Loakasa the universe forms only a part. Akasha is that which gives space and makes room for the existence of all extended substances.
In Buddhist phenomenology Akasha is divided into limited space (ākāsa-dhātu) and endless space (ajatākasā).
The Vaibhashika, an early school of Buddhist philosophy, hold Akasha’s existence to be real.
Ākāsa is identified as the first arūpa jhāna (arūpajhāna), but usually translates as “infinite space.
Main article: Akashic records
The Western religious philosophy called Theosophy has popularized the word Akasha as an adjective, through the use of the term “Akashic records” or “Akashic library”, referring to an ethereal compendium of all knowledge and history.
It is believed by some modern Pagans that the Akasha, Spirit, is the Fifth Element. Scott Cunningham describes the Akasha as the spiritual force that Earth, Air, Fire, and Water descend from.
In the book series The Vampire Chronicles, the first vampire is Akasha, Queen of Kemet. She was killed by a group of angry subjects and as her spirit was about to leave her body, a powerful, malevolent spirit named Amel bonded with it and returned to her body, effectively granting her the powers vampires are shown to possess.
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