A lot of Western Buddhists don't know of this particular discourse named the Sāmaññaphala Sutta. It is a conversation between the Buddha and King Ajāsattu of Magadha. It is about the rewards of the life of a renunciant. One interesting section (D. i. 77) is about creating a body consisting of spirit which in Pali is manomayā-kāya (this body is also described in the Lankavatara Sutra). This body is not the ātman but, nevertheless, it is of a spiritual quality; nor is it deprecated by the Budhda. Today we might call such a spiritual body an "astral body." It is important to underscore the implication of this in light to today's materialistic culture. It goes against the secular revision of Buddhism which treats Buddhism as if were altogether mundane in which, for example, nirvana is just the stopping of craving and nothing itself—certainly not immortal.
85. 'And he, with mind concentrated,. . .having gained imperturbability, applies and directs his mind to the production of a mind-made body. And out of this body he produces another body, having a form, mind-made, complete in allits limbs and faculties.
86.'It is just as if a man were to draw out a reed from its sheath. He might think: "This is the reed, this is the sheath, reed and sheath are different. Now the reed has been pulled from the sheath." Or as if a man were to draw a sword from the scabbard. He might think: "This is the sword, this is the scabbard, sword and scabbard are different. Now the sword has been drawn from the scabbard." Or as if a man were to draw a snake from its [old] skin. He might think: "This is the snake, this is the skin, snake and skin are different. Now the snake has been drawn from its skin." In the same way a monk with mind concentrated. ..directs his mind to the production of a mind-made body. He draws that body out of this body, having form, mind-made, complete with all its limbs and faculties. This is a fruit of the homeless life more excellent and perfect than the former ones.