I continue my attempts to put together the two systems of the Ageless Wisdom vs. Integral. As I am doing so I am having to greatly expand the idea of levels over what Integral provides us with. In this post I will look at what the Ageless Wisdom teachings have said regarding the Seven Sub-Planes of the Mental Plane and will do my best to correlate them with what Integral has to say, though it is getting more difficult.
In the previous posts on the Emotional Plane levels, I conveyed how I was having to radically shift decades long ideas of what developmental and psycho-spiritual processes were taking place, due to a deeper understanding of what Theosophical texts were saying in the early 1900’s. Moving into the Mental plane I will continue to share my altered ideas drawing from both the Theosophical writings of Annie Besant, Charles Leadbetter, A.E. Powell, and from the later writings (1920’s to 1940’s) of Alice Bailey. What you will discover is how the levels of the mental plane are somewhat differently interpreted by older Theosophical texts pre-dating Alice Bailey’s. Though on a closer examination, I will attempt to reveal how in fact they may fit together. After doing so, I will then travel into what Integral has to say and start comparisons at that point.
When I first started learning about the Ageless Wisdom teachings in the mid 1980’s, I was shown the chart similar to the one below that comes from the Alice Bailey teachings. If you notice within the section of the mental plane, there is a dotted line just under the words “Cosmic Gaseous” and to the right the words “Third Subplane.”
I was taught that below the dotted line was the “lower concrete mind.” Above the dotted mind was the “higher abstract mind.” For this reason, I associated all concrete operations of the mind as being connected to the seventh, sixth, fifth and fourth sub-planes to some degree. When you throw in the chart from Integral it also made sense to associate certain of their levels like Amber, Orange, Green and even some Teal with the lower concrete mind. After all when you look at the words in the black boxes (in their first tier) you see things like the word Rational. And, as you read about these levels it appears as if in general they know how to think.
As I have shared in previous recent posts, after reading Theosophical texts from the early 1900’s my ideas have been totally altered. In those teachings you can be on the EMOTIONAL or ASTRAL planes (especially as of the 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st subplanes) and have what may come across in general as rational thought. You may appear to be able to do lower concrete mind operations that let you lead a reasonably rational life where you can make money, fit into the community, be a success, maybe even be a huge success in the eyes of the masses. The only problem is, this success and the levels of mental processes connected to it are ALL devoted to the DESIRE nature especially in regards to material success. And, in the early Theosophical texts this was not “mind.” This was not rational. Which means when we dive into the mental plane, I realized I needed to start to think differently about what these mental levels are really about. As I did with the levels of the emotional plane I will attempt to go one by one and talk about what early Theosophical writings have said, what Alice Bailey’s writings have said, and then related them to Integral as I am able to make connections there.
But, first, let me put up yet another new version of colors and levels.
For those of you who saw previous charts where I had more blue and purple colors on the mental plane (connected to the colors of Integral), I have changed them for the following reason. First, each of the main planes in the Ageless Wisdom teachings could be said to have their own predominant color. For now, I have connected those colors to the colors of the chakras. And, I have combined the Monadic and Divine planes for now calling them the “Beyond Human Spiritual Planes” and given them one color. Maybe in future versions I would break them apart and give the Divine plane the color of white. I haven’t gotten that far. Keep this in mind as you see the chart below.
As you can see the colors I picked for the sub-planes of Emotional Plane all have shades of red going to orange to yellow. The colors I picked for the sub-planes of the Mental Plane all have shades going from orange to yellow to green. Later I will tie in the Integral colors in a chart to come. But, for now I have gotten rid of the green, blue, purple and white colors of Integral to no longer create confusion when I tie them into the Ageless Wisdom system.
Next, I invite you to look at this chart again and as you do so notice the words listed there.You will see above the dotted line on the Mental Plane it says “Plane of the Solar Angel.” Below the dotted line it says “Plane of the Lower Mind.” I found this interesting and I had never really tuned into it before. Why it is important to me know is that these terms better fit with the Theosophical view of these levels, than the phrases “lower concrete mind” and “higher abstract mind” do. Keep this in mind and especially as we connect it to Integral, you will be less confused.
Finally, before I start to elaborate in the next post about the mental sub-planes and their psycho-spiritual development in more detail, I want to state the general Theosophical view. To restate what I mentioned in the posts on the Emotional Plane, that is the plane of desire! As we move up the sub-planes of the Emotional Plane we shift from the inability to get what we desire (the Hell Realms) to getting what we desire (the Heaven Realms) materially! Keep this very important word in mind, materially! Similar to the sacral center which is about pleasure, there is the need to get all the pleasure and sex you can get! Yes, money and power will help you with that, but again why do you want these things? To get all the material and sexual pleasure you can get.
When we move into the Mental Planes in Theosophical literature they talk about the “second death.” This is the death of the “astral” or emotional body. In many ways it starts the death of desire. Material desire! What do these desires include? The desire for money, food, feel good highs from adrenal rush activities or drugs, sex, gambling, addictions, looking like a beauty queen, being loved as a movie star or famous artist, being adored as a real estate tycoon or a “captain of industry” like a billionaire, being feared and also admired for being a “godfather” or on a lower level someone who can get away with indulging your material desire for awhile as you buck the system like Bonnie and Clyde could. All of this involves the astral plane in the Theosophical system. Some mind may be involved, even some logical and rational mind may be involved as you figure out how to get rich or learn how to get around in the material realms. But, as you shift onto the Mental Plane this “astral body” has to go! It has to die out.
Even if we are dead and live in an after life and exist on the astral plane, images of happy hunting grounds, a heaven with family and friends all around, 1000 virgins with rivers flowing like honey, images of heaven and hell that resemble the material/physical world we live in fade out, as the Mental Plane is penetrated. The Emotional or Astral plane is in many ways a lot like video games and motion pictures that create a virtual reality. But, that virtual reality looks a lot like we do. And, the things that go on there are also motivated a great deal by the heaven and hell of not getting our desires satisfied. It doesn’t matter if we are physically dead or alive. If we are vibrating to these Emotional or Astral planes things pretty much look and feel the same.
And, as we move onto the Mental Plane, it all has to go. The “astral body” or “astral sheath” is relinquished. It is simply a “shell” of what it used to be. Yes, if we live in the physical world we have to learn to get along using the emotional body to some degree in the same way we use the physical body to some degree. But, the motivations of desire are completely different. We will explore those differences now.