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The Yogic Anatomy of Human Potentialities
Excerpt from Eros, Consciousness and Kundalini: Deepening Sensuality Through Tantric Celibacy and Spiritual Intimacy (pgs. 82-89) by Stuart Sovatsky
Through exceedingly detailed meditations over thousands of hours, the yogis determined that the human body is far more than a configuration of fleshy organs, bones, and fluids. Composed of five gradients or koshas, literally, "sheaths," with each one more interior and more subtle than the previous one, we are the actual "bridge" from the physical to the spiritual. Each sheath exerts a guiding intelligence over the next more dense sheath in the following order: the individual soul and causal body (jiva and anandamaya kosha), the reflective-intellectual body (vijnanamaya kosha), mental-emotional body (manomaya kosha), vital energy body (pranamaya kosha),and the physical body (annamaya kosha). Through this anatomy of increasingly interior bodies, yoga maps the emotionality and sentient capacities of the intimus itself and thus the way toward deepening our intimacy with one another and the world.    
The Subtle Bodies
The physical and vital sheaths operate together, forming the densest of our dimensions, the biological body. the erotic phenomena of sheer sensation, physical-emotional warmth, the various orgasmic reflexes, and hormonal rhythms are based primarily in these two interacting bodies. Erotic pleasures and intimacies of the physical and vital bodies operating together constitute the "realms of the senses," the ideal of pure sensuality.

The mental-emotional body holds the cognitive intelligence by which we identify and attribute a socially agreed-upon meaning to the events and sensations that occur in the two preceding bodies. People who thought they were going to "just have sex" who later feel emotionally involved with their sexual partner have aroused this more intimate sheath during the otherwise seemingly casual sex.
Here is where fantasies, desires, joys, jealousies, angers, hopes, and sorrows reside to be shared with those whom we trust.

The reflective-intellectual sheath takes the erotic sentiments and meanings of the mental body one step further. Here we grasp the value of the other and his or her emotions and thoughts, as well as our own. thus, the reflective-intellectual sheath provides the even longer-lasting erotic pleasures and intimacies of loving admiration, the feelings of sincerity and respect, the romanticisms of love, gratitude, apology, and forgiveness. thus, vijnanamaya kosha is the domain of human character, or integrity.
Continuous appreciation of these deeply human sentiments and capacities is a meditation that reveals the next underlying causal or bliss body, the most intimate abode of the individual soul, jiva, or atman. We have penetrated mundane concerns and changing ways; now we glimpse beyond body, emotion, and character into the eternal glow of the Self, the unconditional love of the Soul. the utter uniqueness of each individual has a sense of the remarkable to it, of being a singularly nuanced spark of the divine.  
Located in an etheric space within the heart, this bliss body is in intimate rapport with brahmarandhra, the subtle center of mind and intellect. Together and in balance, they manifest what the great Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza called "the intellectual love of God," thought and love combined.  
In anandamaya kosha, the Blakeian "fearful symmetry" emerges - the inexplicable original pulsations of life into all the bodies. Erotic pleasure is permanent, and, independent of efforts or stimulations, it feels of the "miraculous." fulfillment in the causal body can be so great that complete dispassion or nonattachment to sense-objects, desires, and thoughts results. One has attained a profound balancing of both the internal and external realms of "needs" and "needing." As the yogi Vyas Dev says, "This is an indescribable state, beyond the pairs of opposites...This is the highest limit of individual knowledge" (Science of Soul, p.225).  
Through "self-ishness," that is, the self's clinging to experience, the clarity of such knowledge diminishes, imbalance emerges, and the ego-self (known as ahamkara, also in the heart) gets confused. Using the reflective and mental-emotional bodies, it thinks and feels itself into a fictive separate identity.  
Cut off from anandamaya kosha, it becomes (falsely) convinced by the obviousness of the physical body that annamaya kosha is its only basis in reality. The solutions it then seeks is to dispel its confusions and satisfy its "needs" can become even more egoic, that is, cut off even further from the otherwise powerful spiritual resources, which now appear to exist only as impossible ideals or rarified abstractions.  
When the resources of all the bodies are functioning in balance and the ego-self is able to grasp its more modest place in relationship to the subtler bodies, sexual (and many other) desires arise like small waves upon the deep ocean of our being. They do not sway us but slip into our depths, gratifying us as they dissolve into simple joy and contentment of the remarkable.
Continues in The Chakras  

Cit-Sakti Inner and World Peace A Kundalini Awakening Kundalini Resource Guide Kundalini Glossary
   Cathy Woods Vancouver BC Canada