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Chapter 17: The Occult Mysteries of Religion

In yesterday’s talk you said that it is possible for science to enter the fifth or spiritual body. Then you talked of the possibilities of science in the fourth body. Kindly tell us about the possibilities of science in the fifth body.

What we call the physical body and what we call the soul are not two separate, different things. There is no break between them; there are links. We have always thought that the body is separate and the soul is separate, and that there is nothing to connect them. Also, we have not only been thinking that they are apart but that they are the opposite of one another. This idea separated religion from science. Religion was supposed to search for that which is other than the body, whereas science was that which discovered everything about the body - all except the atman, the soul. So it is only natural that each should deny the other.

Science was engrossed in the physical body and so it asked: “The body is real, but where is the soul?” Religion searched for the inner and called it the soul. It said: “The spirit is real but the physical is an illusion.” Therefore, when religion reached its peak it described the body as an illusion, a fantasy, maya, and said that it did not really exist. It proclaimed the atman as truth and the body as illusion. When science reached its heights it disclaimed the atman. It said: “The concept of the soul is false; it is a lie. The body is everything.” This error is the reason behind the concept that the body and the atman are two opposite things.

I have talked about the seven bodies. If the first body is the physical and the last is the spiritual, then if we do not consider the five bodies in between there will be no bridge between these two. It would be just as if you were to climb a ladder and then discard all the intervening rungs between the last and the first. Then there is no connection between the first and the last steps.

If you see the full ladder you will find that the first rung is connected with the last. And if you examine it more closely you will find that the last rung is the last part of the first rung, and the first rung is the first part of the last one. Similarly, if we take all the seven bodies together we will find a connection between the first and the second bodies. The first body is the physical body; the second is the etheric body - the emotional body. It is only the subtle form of the physical and it is not nonmaterial. It is just that it is so subtle that it has not yet been fully grasped by physical means. But now the physicists do not deny the fact that physical matter becomes more and more rarified and non-physical in its subtle form.

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