The purpose of our physical body is to give us a perception of our more subtle bodies, but we never use it to this end. We remain fixed only at the physical level because of our sleepy identification with it. We are asleep, and so we live in the body in a very unconscious manner. If you become aware of each and every action of this body you will begin to feel the presence of the second body. The second body too has its own activity, but you will not know the etheric until you have become fully aware of the activities of the physical body; the etheric is more subtle. If you are fully aware of the activities of the physical body you will begin to feel the movements of the second body. Then you will be surprised that there are etheric vibrations within you that are active all the time.
A man becomes angry. Anger is born in the etheric body but it manifests in the first body. Basically, anger is the activity of the second body; the first body is used as a medium for expression. Therefore, you can stop anger from reaching the first body if you wish. This is what is done in repression. Suppose I am filled with anger: I feel like beating you with a stick but I can stop myself. Beating is an activity of the first plane. Basically, there is anger but now there is no manifestation of anger. I can withhold myself from the act of beating; I can even smile at you if I wish. But inside anger has spread throughout my second body. So in repression what happens is that we hold back on the plane of manifestation, but it is already present at its original source.
When you begin to be aware of the processes of the physical body you will begin to understand the movements of love, anger and hatred within you; you will become aware of their presence. Until you grasp the movements of these emotions that rise from the second body, all you can do is repress them. You cannot be free from them because you only become aware of them when they have reached the first body – and many times not even then. Often you only become aware of them when they have reached another person’s body. You are so insensitive that not until your slap reaches someone’s cheek do you realize what you have done. After the slap you come to know that something has happened.
All emotions rise from the etheric body. Therefore, I also call the second, etheric body the emotional body. It has its own momentum; it has its own movements for anger, love, hatred, restlessness. You will come to know these vibrations.
In fear the etheric body shrinks. The process of shrinking we feel in fear does not belong to the first body. The first body remains just the same; there is no change in it whatsoever. But the effect of this contraction of the etheric body becomes evident in the person’s walk, in the way he sits. He looks subdued all the time. He will not stand straight. When he speaks he will stammer. His legs will shake when he walks; his hands will tremble when he writes.
Now anyone can recognize the difference between the handwriting of a man and a woman; it is not at all difficult. A woman’s handwriting will never be straight. No matter how symmetrical and well formed, there will always be signs of trembling in it. This is a very feminine characteristic and it comes from a woman’s body. A woman is fearful all the time; her personality has become stricken with fear. So one can distinguish the handwriting of a woman from a man’s without any difficulty. Also, we can find out how fearful a man is from his handwriting. There is no difference between the fingers of a man or a woman, nor in the way they hold the pen. As far as the first body goes there is no difference between the two, but on the plane of the second body the woman is fearful.