With the fourth there will be a difference that must be understood. If the fourth body is activated there is less possibility of acquiring a physical body again and more possibility of a bodiless being. But as I said, remember the difference between activation and consciousness. If the fourth body is merely activated and one is not conscious we call it the plane of the pretas, evil spirits; if it is activated as well as fully conscious we call it the plane of the devas, godly spirits. This is the only difference between pretas and devas. An evil spirit is not aware that its fourth body is activated whereas a godly one is. Therefore, the preta can cause a great deal of harm both to itself and to others with the activity of its fourth body, because unconsciousness can only bring harm. The deva will be the cause of many good deeds both to itself and to others, because awareness can only be beneficial.
He whose fifth body becomes active goes beyond the existence of devas. The fifth is the spiritual body. On the fifth plane activation and awareness are one and the same. No one can reach the fifth plane without awareness; therefore, activation and awareness take place simultaneously here. You can reach the fourth without awareness. If you awaken, the journey will take a different turn, it will go toward the devas, toward the plane of the gods. If you remain unaware, your journey will be in the realm of the evil spirits.
On the fifth plane activation and awareness are there simultaneously, because this is the spiritual body and unawareness is meaningless as far as self is concerned. Atman means consciousness; therefore, the other name of atman is consciousness. Unconsciousness has no meaning here.
So from the fifth body activation and awareness are one and the same thing, but before that the two paths are separate. The difference between male and female remains until the fourth; the difference between sleeping and waking remains until the fourth. As a matter of fact, duality and conflict only exist up to the fourth body. From the fifth the non-dual, the undivided begins. Unity starts from the fifth. Before this there is diversity, difference. The potential of the fifth comes neither from the plane of the pretas nor from the plane of the devas. This should be understood.
The fifth body is not a possibility for the pretas because theirs is an unconscious existence. They do not have that body which is necessary for awareness, and they do not have the first body which is the first step toward awareness. For this reason the preta has to return to a human form. Therefore, the human condition is, in a sense, at a crossroads. The plane of the devas is above it but not beyond it – because to go beyond it is necessary to come back to the human existence. The preta has to return in order to break its unawareness, because for this a human form is absolutely necessary. The devas have to return, because in their existence there is no suffering whatsoever. Actually it is an awakened existence. However, in such an existence there cannot be the pain and suffering that give birth to that longing for meditation. Where there is no suffering there is no thought of transformation or of attainment.
So the realm of devas is a static existence where there is no progress. This is a peculiarity of happiness: it blocks all further progress. In pain and suffering there is a longing for growth. Suffering stimulates us to find ways and means of freedom from pain and sorrow. In happiness all seeking stops. So this is indeed a very strange state of affairs, and people usually cannot understand this.