My manifested nature (Prakriti) has an eightfold differentiation: earth, water, fire, air, ether, sensory mind (manas), intelligence (buddhi), and egoism (ahamkara).
—The Bhagavad Gita VII:4
Shadows of films and the beam of light in a cinema booth combine to manifest motion pictures of subjective beings acting with their egos, sense minds, and discriminative intelligences on an objective earthly stage.
God similarly uses the delusive films of relativity offered by Cosmic Nature to produce His dream motion-pictures of intelligently active sentient human individualities playing on a stage of matter: manifestations of the elements of
the invisible all-pervasive ether
—vibrant dynamic beings, and beautiful continents surrounded by oceans, illuminated by the sun and moon, and abounding in vital air.
This stanza of the Bhagavad Gita gives a summary of the eight elements or forces of cosmic material nature. The ancient scientists spoke loosely of nature as matter. The modern scientists think of matter as coordinated forces. They describe all mineral, plant, and animal substances as made of ninety-two elements,* which are further explained as nothing more than permutations and combinations of different atoms or wave-energies.
* Science has now named and defined over a hundred such elements.
Matter, according to Hindu philosophy, is made of the intelligent thoughtrons of God, which materialize into grosser forces of intelligent lifetrons (prana), electrons and protons, atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, and organic matter. Both inorganic and organic matter are composed of anu (atoms), paramanu (subatomic particles and energies), prana (lifetrons), and chaitanya ("consciousness," thoughtrons) of God. This is the constitution of physical cosmic nature or matter from the metaphysical standpoint.
The yogis maintain that matter—physical cosmic nature or Jada-Prakriti (gross nature) or Apara-Prakriti (the gross expression of God)— may be spoken of as the physical dream-body of the Lord. This cosmic physical dream-body is made of five objective elements (subtle vibratory forces) of earth, water, fire, air (life force), and ether; two perceptive cognitive processes, sensory mind and intelligence; and one perceiving entity, the ahamkara or egoistic consciousness of cosmic nature. The little body-dream of man, the copy of cosmic physical nature, is included in the latter's larger dream. Even as cosmic nature is the physical dream-body of God and is made of eight elementary forces, so the human body is also made of eight elementary forces and is the dream body of the human soul—the perfect image of God. ...
In the human body, the pure soul is the neutral witness of all its operations. The physical ego—the pseudo reflection of the soul—acts in conjunction with cosmic nature, Prakriti, to operate the workings of the physical body. The finer discriminative astral ego and causal ego (in attunement with the soul in advanced devotees) act, respectively, as the representatives of the finer cosmic astral and cosmic causal Nature to operate the workings of man's astral and causal bodies.
Similarly, God's Kutastha Intelligence (the Krishna or Christ Consciousness) is the neutral witness of cosmic creation. The Kutastha Intelligence manifests itself through the Holy Ghost or Aum Intelligence as Apara-Prakriti, the cosmic-dream physical entity, directing the cosmic-dream physical universe. The same Kutastha Intelligence, through the Holy Ghost or Aum as Para-Prakriti in the finer state, directs the subtler cosmic astral and cosmic causal universes. The two aspects of the Holy Ghost vibrations are thus the Apara-Prakriti (Impure Nature) and the Para-Prakriti (Pure Nature).
A dream has a threefold aspect: the dreamer, his perception, and the dream objects made of the five dream elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The complex cosmic triple dream universes are run by the intelligent Cosmic Mother Nature or intelligent Cosmic Holy Ghost in a finer and in a grosser way. The physical universe is guided by the external vibrations of the Holy Ghost—the impure Apara-Prakriti. The astral and causal universes are guided by the pure Holy Ghost—pure Nature, or Para-Prakriti. ...
After understanding the dream nature of the universe, the devotee should learn the dream nature of the human body, made of the five dream elements. The body exists in a sphere of dream ether; it inbreathes vital dream air; its chemical processes are carried on by the heat of fiery energies; it is composed of dream "water" or blood (which constitutes the greater part of the dream body) and of dream "earth" or so-called solid flesh. This dream body is perceived by the dream sense-mind and dream discriminative intelligence, and is guided by the dream entity of the little nature, ego. As the Spirit dreamed Itself into God beyond creation, God in creation, and God as the Cosmic Nature with a cosmic body, so God as the transcendental soul and the discriminating intelligence and the physical ego sustains the physical dream-body.
The five dream elements commingled together constitute the physical dream-body The sense-identified physical ego and the mind (the coordinator of the ten senses) are centered outside of the spiritual eye; the intelligence works through the inside of the spiritual eye; the seat of man's soul consciousness extends from the point between the eyebrows to the central top of the head, in the subtle spiritual centers of the Kutastha and thousand-petaled lotus. The advanced yogi, half awake in this cosmic dream, beholds this cosmic technicolored dream motion-picture of five dream elements, the human body, and observes its operations as directed by the triune divine entities. He is able to see the little body as it is operated by the soul, by the discriminative ego or intelligence, and by the physical ego. (p.669 Gita)