You have said we have seven bodies: an etheric body, a mental body and so on. Sometimes it is difficult to adjust the Indian language to the terms of Western psychology. We have no theories for this in Western thought, but I recognized and have experienced some of these bodies as you explained yesterday.
How we can translate these different bodies into our own language? The spiritual is no problem; but the etheric, the astral?
You can translate them. The West has not searched in that direction, but Western mysticism has words, terms for it. Jung is better than Freud as far as the search beyond the superficial consciousness is concerned. But Jung too is just a beginning. You can have a glimpse from Steiner’s Anthroposophy – a German thinker – and a glimpse from the Theosophical writings. That is, Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled and others. Something, too, can be glimpsed from Annie Besant, Leadbeater, Colonel Alcott; then from the Rosicrucian doctrines; then there is a great tradition in the West of Hermes, the thrice-great Hermetic doctrines. There is another secret tradition concerned with the ancient Essenes – that is the teachers of Christ; from there Christ was initiated. And recently, Gurdjieff can be of help, P. D. Ouspensky. …Something in fragments, and those fragments can be put together.
And your own experience can be of much help. I have also spoken in your terminology. I have only used one word which is not in Western languages: the seventh, the nirvanic body. The other six – the physical, the etheric, the astral, the mental, the spiritual and the cosmic – these six words are not Indian. Only one, the seventh, nirvanic, is Indian, because in the West the seventh has never been talked about. It is not because there were not persons who knew about it, but because the seventh is something which is impossible to communicate.
If you find it difficult, then you can simply use “the first body,” “the second,” “the third,” “the fourth,” “the fifth,” “the seventh.” Don’t use any term. Just use first, second, third, fourth – and describe them. The description will be the right thing, terminology is of no consequence.
These seven bodies can be approached from so many directions. And as far as dreaming is concerned, Freudian, Jungian and Adlerian terms can be used. What they know as the conscious, what they designate as the conscious, is the first body. The unconscious is the second – not exactly the same, but nearer to it. What they call the “collective unconscious” is the third body – not exactly the same, but something approximating to it.
And if there are no common terms in usage, new terms can be coined. That is always better because new terms have no old connotations. So when a newly-coined term is used, because of no previous association, it becomes more significant and is understood more deeply. One is not in the state of mind which already knows. When something unknown, esoteric in meaning, is used then it penetrates our habitual mind much more deeply. So you can coin new words.