This final post in the series of the sub-planes of the Buddhic Plane at last attempts to delineate the subtleties of what the various sub-planes might represent, while at the same time acknowledging how making distinctions on the Buddhic plane (which after all is the plane of unity) is paradoxical and perhaps erroneous at best.
In the previous post on the Buddhic plane, I proposed my notion that no understanding of the Buddhic plane can be comprehended unless we enter into the mystery of what I called the Great Sacrifice. Here, in this post, I try to demonstrate how each sub-plane allows us to incarnate into that Great Sacrifice more fully.
To begin with let me restate how in each post on this blog, I have described entry onto the 7th sub-plane of any of the main seven planes (see chart above) as a death of sorts. For example, the 7th sub-plane of the physical plane (which I have given the color prune) could be seen as a kind of death of Spirit, since our spiritual nature seems entirely buried within matter, leaving the eternal spark of Spirit hidden deep within it. Slowly as we climb our way up the various sub-planes of the physical plane, we gain some mastery over our physical vehicle, until the demands of the physical body are more easily met.
Then, at the 7th sub-plane of the emotional plane (magenta) since we are no longer absorbed with our grunting and primitive natures, we likewise “die” to just being focused on the basic coordination of our physical bodies and the need for basic survival. With these needs met we can wake up more to the realms of emotion and desire. Possessing the spark of desire (for money, sex/pleasure, and power) at last on the emotional or astral plane, we remain totally incapable of knowing how to fulfill these desires at this lower level. We simply do not possess enough e-motion (motion or animated mobility), and kama manas (desire mind) to give us the ability to bend the lower levels of our minds into obtaining the external things we may want. For this reason we remain in the hell realms (symbolically speaking) because we can see more and more things we desire, without having a clue as to how to get them. Eventually, however, this changes. As we move up the various sub-planes of the emotional/astral plane we eventually become “Masters of the Universe” (or at least of the emotional/astral realm). Until finally at the 1st sub-plane of the emotional/astral plane (correlating to Integral’s Orange level) we have become masters at fulfilling our desires (especially for money, sex/pleasure, and power), so much so we possess more access to money, sex/pleasure and power than we know what to do with.
As we get to the 7th sub-plane of the mental plane. There we realize that all these desires, even when satisfied, have not led us to the expected eternal happiness we thought it would get us. We remain discontent. What shall we seek now? And thus, we head onto the plane of mind. At first this is a relief to discover that the death of the constant demands of these lower desires no longer controls us. Still, though we feel free at one level, we have yet to fully understand the subtleties of mind. Only as we move up the sub-planes of the mental plane do we awaken to reason. Only then do we glimpse spiritual realms that are beyond the magical and mythical approaches to spirituality we had while on the emotional/astral plane. There we felt dominated by Gods and Goddesses who often on a whim would determine if we would be able to get the money, sex/pleasure, and power we so desired or not. At first we attempted to placate these Gods/Goddesses with various half-hearted promises or sacrifices (of the lower kind). Until arriving increasingly on the mental plane, we no longer attempt to placate these Deities to get what we want. Instead, we believe we can “think” our way out.
Now comforted by the mind we tend to reside within our own solitary worlds, even when surrounded by groups of other people. We meditate and we have various sorts of spiritual experiences. We philosophize, synthesize, come up with great mathematical abstractions, and so forth. Mind we feel is at last giving us a sense of order and peace. Until eventually, mind and its numerous games of separation and self (lower self) satisfaction itself becomes sterile. Slowly or suddenly we realize that there is something here that mind itself simply cannot comprehend or approach. Comprehending this more fully we move onto the 7th sub-plane of the Buddhic plane and recognize that mind itself must likewise be killed off.
Now when I say kill off, remember I am speaking symbolically. When we enter the 7th sub-plane of the emotional plane (where we “kill off” the physical level), we still have a physical body that needs to be clothed, sheltered, and fed. Likewise, on the 7th sub-plane of the mental plane (where we “kill off” the emotional/astral level) we still have minimal desires for money, sex/pleasure, and power. In fact, due to our increased spiritual capacity these may be thrown at our feet as never before. It is just as we move up the levels of the mental plane we increasingly demonstrate that our desire for these things becomes more and more minimal. Likewise, at the level of the 7th sub-plane of the Buddhic plane, we still have minds that can reason, think, and philosophize. However, the obsession with the realm of mind is likewise supplanted and absorbed by the demands of the Buddhic plane, which has as its primary quality — love.
For the Buddhic plane is the realm of love. This is not the sentimental love of the emotional/astral plane that loves others primarily because we hope they will fulfill our desires. Nor it is the abstract love of the mental plane (where the saying, “I love humanity, it’s just the people I can’t stand” might apply). It is also not a love absent of emotional sensation (where we are so sterile in our demonstration of love that it fails to move people). Nor it is an ignorant love where we have no idea how to love others. Mind remains, helping us to love others in an intelligent and wise way. Because of mind we possess the skillful means, which shows us how to love, how to liberate others into a greater realization of love itself. It is just as we move up the sub-planes of the Buddhic plane we increasingly BECOME love itself.
What does it mean to BE love? It means we no longer play the subtle or blatant game of finding ways to avoid the unity consciousness that IS. We avoid this on the emotional/astral plane by being too absorbed in our own needs for money, sex/pleasure, and power to care about how others may really think or feel. We avoid it on the mental plane by being too caught up in our own meditations or mental abstractions to really concern ourselves with what is going on around us. All of these are actually discarnate methods of trying to find some sort of heaven, pure land, and non-dual realm “out there” that in fact doesn’t really have to engage us, or draw us into the mess of the world around us.
NO! On the Buddhic plane we discover that we are not here to discarnate (get out of here and off the “wheel of rebirth” to somewhere else). Rather, we are here to fully incarnate ourselves into the very realm of Unity, which is LOVE itself. As I wrote in the previous post on the Buddhic plane, this means we becoming thoroughly a non-dual/dualist. In the Ageless Wisdom teachings this process of incarnating into the world (and no longer setting ourselves apart from it), starts at the 3rd initiation (third great enlightenment or expansion of consciousness). In the Christian tradition the 3rd initiation is represented by Jesus entering the Garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus stands between Elijah (the prophet who symbolizes the future, or the unknown), and Moses (who symbolizes the past and the mind’s tendency to fixate on “laws” learned from the known).
In short, past and future stand side by side with the Eternal Now. In that Eternal Now we see the whole. We glimpse or “get a taste” of that Eternal Now at the 1st initiation where the whole and a sense of Unity is also seen, but then fades from view. At the 3rd initiation, we are more anchored in the continually aware (continuity of consciousness) of that Eternal Now. But, unlike the glimpse given by grace to us at the 1st initiation, at the 3rd initiation we experience the Now (the non-dual realms beyond time and space), along side the realization that paradoxically the non-dual expresses as the dual, and therefore we must incarnate consciously and fully into time and space.
What does this mean? It means that like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane we too come to understand that what lies before is us is the cross. That cross symbolizes how we ourselves must become the Great Sacrifice. We can no longer look for Gods and Goddesses out there to save and redeem us. We can no longer protect ourselves from pain and sorrow as we separate from the world in mansions with gold toilet seats owning and dominating everything around us like Gods ourselves. We can no longer be saved by remaining in our intellectual and often secular havens where 1’s and 0’s and abstract ideas bubble all around, acting like a tantalizing champagne intoxicating us as we become more and more assured we understand how the universe works, while keeping ourselves separated from the realization that we are the Universe itself.
Rather, to our (at first) horror, we discover that we must stop acting as if we live in a unified field, whilst neatly allowing ourselves to stand outside of it. Instead, we are given a vision of what is to come as we choose to no longer discarnate, but to fully incarnate into the world. We see the cross (the Great Sacrifice) that lies before us. No, we cannot have the “cup taken away from us” as Jesus asked in the Garden of Gethsemane. We must drink it fully. That cup is the covenant that we too shall become an incarnate spark of love. We will willingly incarnate into a world full of brokenness and despair until as we mount the cross of incarnation and lie upon it, our hearts too are fully broken open by the mystery of love itself.
(Pictures of various crosses talked about in the previous post on the Buddhic plane, put up again on this post as well).
As we agree to drink that cup we step upon the 6th sub-plane of the Buddhic plane. Now we can no longer talk about Unity Consciousness, Non-Duality and Oneness, with devotion (the number 6 is connected to devotion) we wade into the darkness so that we might reveal some of the light of love, which alone contains truth.
Like Buddha leaving the palace, or Mother Teresa leaving the convent, or St. Francis stripping off his clothes to head off to serve the lepars, we no longer avoid the human condition by satiating ourselves with desire (money, sex/pleasure, power on the astral plane), or intellectual abstractions (on the mental plane). We incarnate ourselves into the thick of suffering agreeing to STAY THERE, crucified on the cross so to speak, until every bit of desire to separate from the totality of all that IS regarding the highs and lows of the human condition are completely removed from our cellular being.
Thus, on the 5th sub-plane fueled by this aspiration we take up the “science” of service (the number 5 being connected to the idea of methodology of approach). This is not the same as service found on the lower levels where on the emotional plane we hope to be good so that the Gods and Goddesses will favor us, or we get a tax write-off, or make it into heaven or Nirvana so we can be safe, or get glorified in the material realm as our names go on a plaque or building. Nor is it like service on the mental plane where we come up with great plans and schemes to solve the problems of the world such as heading up a philanthropic foundation, while at the same time we stay safely separated (physically, emotionally, mentally), hidden away from the sorrows of the world, giving only lip service to the notion of love. No, this is something much, much more.
So what must this actually feel like, look like, BE like at this level? Well, let me post again some of the pictures I put up in the previous post of various people I believe to be at least at this level.
(List in Order of Above: Mohatma Gandhi, St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Jesus, Dalai Lama, Ramana Marharshi, Mother Teresa, Meher Baba, Nikola Tesla, Amma, Buddha, Helena Petrovna Blavatshy, Paramahansa Yogananda, Beethovan, St Clare of Assisi, Thich Nhat Hahn, Rumi, Ramakrishna).
If you have studied the lives of any of these people (or perhaps been lucky enough to have even known some of them), you know they did not simply talk abstractly about Oneness or Love. They did not remain neatly cloistered away from the human condition while simply being absorbed in meditation or intellectual thought. Rather, each of them had a cross to bear. And, I am theorizing that as they fully crucified themselves on that cross in a willing way, they entered upon the 4th sub-plane of the Buddhic plane where even they at times wondered if that cross might be too much to bear.
Take for example, the puzzling comment by Jesus who we are told wondered on his own cross if he had been abandoned or forsaken by the Father (God/Spirit/Logos). Many people like to gloss over that comment as if it wasn’t real. Yet, to do so prevents us from understanding some of the mysteries of the very nature of love itself. It shows how at some point we love purely for the sake of love, regardless if we feel loved in return. Take for example, the life of Mother Teresa, who spoke frequently about the joy of service. Yet, after her death when her journals were realized we read pages and pages about her deep depression and how, similar to Jesus on the cross, she felt forsaken by God. Or, consider Beethovan, one of the greatest and most “human” composers of all time who was given a tremendous passion for music, while at the same time being crucified as he was forced to live with the increasing agony of going deaf. What does this all mean?
Perhaps we can look to other examples. Consider the life of Nikola Tesla, who was well ahead of his time not only in his inventions, but in his desire to have them benefit humanity by giving them free energy. By the end of his life he was nearly homeless and broke because he had refused to be corrupted or did not seek profit alone where if he had done so he could have become one of the wealthiest men on Earth.
Then there is the life of Yogananda. An Eastern Yogi sent by his guru to the Americans to reveal the true nature of Yoga. Yogananda faced a great deal of prejudice and even betrayal when he first arrived in the West. He was after all very much “foreign.” He was a brown man in a world where brown and black men (and women) had no real rights (this was mid way between the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement). Worse, Yogananda represented a different religion in a country that was for the most part still dominated by one main faith tradition — Christianity. And, he was betrayed by one of his closest life long friends and forced into a law suit that threatened to bring down his life long work. Desiring to escape he was wanting to go back to the safe haven of India where brown men were all around him and the Yoga tradition was even revered. Instead, he followed the inner demand he heard to remain in the Americas. Though difficult for him, it became a major gift, because shortly after he followed the dictates to remain in the United States, they closed the doors to immigrants from India into our country for decades to come. Had Yogananda not remained in the United States as he was called to do, one of the few lights that represented the wisdom of Yoga may have been snuffed out.
Look at other example. Ganhdi could easily have remained a successful lawyer and Brahmin. Yet, grappling with the massive prejudices of the British, he willingly entered into poverty, and even at the end of his life as he was being shot by a fellow Hindu, Gandhi reached out with compassion sending a Namaste and saying the word Ram as he was shot. Then there is Martin Luther King Jr. who gave his mountain top speech right after he had a revelation that within days after that speech he would most likely be shot. Instead of running in fear and going into some program where he and his family would be protected, he had the courage (a word that essentially means taking heart), to press forward. If you look at the life of Martin Luther King Jr. you know that numerous times he and his family had nearly been killed. Yet, he never ran from the human condition. He fully incarnated into it, even if it meant he would be killed, which in the end he was.
Or, think of Pope Francis, a man who never wanted to be Pope. Yet here he is, a man who fully understands the increasingly movement into poverty of humanity and the horrible rape and destruction of the Earth, being forced into a place where he is now surrounded by sycophants, a corrupt church, and even having to break bread with the likes of a Donald Trump (who represents someone on the 1st sub-pane of the emotional plane and its glorification of separatist money, sex/pleasure, power values).
You can also look at the life of Nelson Mandela who was forced into prison and from there learned to befriend and love his captors. Or, the Dalai Lama who was kicked out of his palace and forced to flee to India on foot where for years (before he became an international superstar) he and his fellow monks lived in horrible conditions for a time as they rebuilt there lives in exile.
Then there is the life of a woman not as many people recognize, though many esoterically inclined people do, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. An overweight, cigar smoking and some times emotionally volatile person. How could she be anywhere close to the Buddhic plane levels? Where is her physical and emotional discipline after all? Again let’s take a look at her cross. A woman in the 1880’s when women all over the world had no rights to vote, to property, to their own children even, traveling all over the world on her own, breaking down barriers that even today very few women (and even men) could ever hope to break through. Yet, here she is a woman alone traveling the world with ideas almost everyone in traditional society (now and even then) gladly made fun of. Until her dying breath she is dedicating herself to getting these ideas out to serve humanity, ideas that even today, 150 years later, are just beginning to be understood and acknowledged. Yet, fighting a gigantic amount of prejudice and coping the best as she could, she became the Mother of the New Age/New Thought movements, an international society that gave birth to others who influenced the world (including Alice Bailey and the Integral movement), and her dedication to her Great Sacrifice is benefiting in many ways all of us still and will for many centuries into the future.
Yes, I propose that by the 4th sub-plane of the Buddhic plane you are fully “kicked out” of the mind and its desire to sequester itself in a comfort of its own intellectual making that too often has allowed you to at least feel intellectually compensated for having to let go of the comforts of the astral/emotional plane (where money, sex/pleasure, and power over others at least gave you some relief). It is easy for the rest of us to look perplexed at how a woman like Mother Teresa could espouse joy, whilst writing journals that seemed so depressed. But, perhaps our inability to understand this paradox reveals more about our own arrogance. Who are we to say how we will feel when we are nailed onto our own crosses? If we can truly see and appreciate with full humility that at some point we will each have to “take up our cross and follow” perhaps we can be more inspired by the crosses those before us had to bear, making it at some point easier to embrace our own cross when we are asked to place ourselves upon it.
And, as we pass the test of remaining on that cross, hanging there as our hearts break open to the vast sorrows of the word, then I am theorizing we will pass from the 4th sub-plane of the Buddhic plane onto the 3rd. There are thirst on the cross is at last to some degree quenched as we are given some measure of bliss to help sustain us as that cross crucifies us ever more deeply allowing us to embrace ever more fully both lower and more heavenly realms. Like Amma, the day in and day out practice of hugging one person after the other in endless lines awaiting our blessing, becomes a blessing in itself. Like Buddha we break free from the heaviness of the what seems like the insurmountable suffering of humanity and touch the Earth. We know what it is like to be on the cross. We know that it would be easier to escape into the intellectual realms of the mental plane, or the desire realms of the astral/emotional plane. Instead, we consciously say we will not discarnate into intellectual or pleasure realms. Buddha touched the Earth to say quite clearly he would remain incarnated fully in the world, even though increasingly he was no longer of it.
Finally, what might it mean to head into the 2nd and 1st sub-planes of the Buddhic plane? Ah, I mostly guess! And, my guess is this. As we get closer and closer to the Atmic plane (also known as the plane of Nirvana or Heaven), we become more fully absorbed in true joy and bliss. Yes, we continue to serve the Oneness that we are. At the same time we are increasingly becoming Masters of the body, emotions, mind, and the heart. As we do this we are love fully incarnate no matter what our ray type is. Passing the 5th initiation we now see the way before us. The 6th initiation, known as the “Great Decision,” lies ahead. In short, we are finally able to get off the cross, since paradoxically we have become the cross. The cross is alive within us (which is the true reason the Gnostics used to treat the cross that Jesus was crucified on as a living thing to be revered in and of itself). The freedom of the Pure Lands, of the Kingdom of Heaven, of Nirvana is fully open to us. But, only because every last drop of blood within us, every last cell in our bodies, was purified by fully incarnating into the world and the realm of love.
In conclusion I leave you with this — a poem from Rumi.
Copyright ©2017 by Lisa Love. All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, computer, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.