• jgill
    797
    Have you read any Carlos Castenada?Metaphysician Undercover

    His description of the art of dreaming may take one into a truly astounding alternate reality. One of sharp and colorful imagery and experience, where one becomes pure will. But cannot read a printed form. I consider this a mystical experience devoid of a god or supernatural entity. In my opinion, no philosopher could have provided a meaningful interpretation, but a neuroscientist might have. No drugs were used.

    This was not a "typical" mystical journey, where one achieves an understanding that one's "I" is an artifice or that "form is substance and substance is form". From that perspective this adventure would be considered a hindrance to jettison on the way to Enlightenment.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Now, this is not the first time you've referenced "the divine", and "eternity", so we really need to broach this subject "eternity", to validate claims such as this. We've really avoided what constitutes "divinity" up to this point.
    Well eternity is reality which from our perspective is all things to all men. It is heaven, or nirvana, for example. This I think is described as the classical interpretation of eternity. I will be more specific and define it as that realm embodied by the three higher planes of our existence. The atmic, monadic and logoic, in this realm the divine logos, or God is manifest together with the various divine beings and immortals which form the hierarchy of being. All things are born out of this realm and worlds like ours are like pearls on Ishvaras necklace.
    By divinity I mean beings who dwell in eternity and their nature.

    These three higher planes of our existence of the seven, in which our incarnate world is the lower three planes. In this link the seven planes are laid out. My preference is for the last passage taken from The works of Alice Bailey. I left the other references for comparison.
    http://frcmh.tripod.com/sevenplanesofconsciousnes.htm
    IMG-9224.jpg

    So when someone says something like "lifted up and hosted in the body of a divine being", I realize that it is impossible for a divine being to have a body, and so you are speaking metaphorically. What I can imagine is you taking a place in another human body, or even a body which is very much superior to the human body.
    A subtle body, I don't think we can say that these beings do, or don't have a body, or what form it takes. But in line with the cosmology of the the three higher planes there will be a body constituted of the forms found on the lower of the three planes, the atmic. Something which we probably can't comprehend.

    I would say that you've had a glimpse into eternity. It is experiences like this which open our eyes to the extremely befuddling nature of time and existence.
    I have a rich narrative which I use in contemplation on this issue. What I have experienced is not that clear, but I have had a number of experiences in the form of a presence of eternity, or divinity in some way. Rather like sitting in a room and eternity is in the next room and there is frosted glass between them and I can feel the presence and dimly make out the forms. I have had experiences like soma, but not in a formal setting. Although in a heightened state in puja, there was formal orchestration of revelation, or ceremony, to a degree.

    I haven't read Castaneda, but have heard of him on ocassion. During my youth I did get involved a lot in New Age groups which was more to do with channeling than soma. I have used hallucinogens in the past, which resulted in many of the more lucid revelations. Most of my interest though was with more formal texts.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    Well eternity is reality which from our perspective is all things to all men. It is heaven, or nirvana, for example. This I think is described as the classical interpretation of eternity. I will be more specific and define it as that realm embodied by the three higher planes of our existence. The atmic, monadic and logoic, in this realm the divine logos, or God is manifest together with the various divine beings and immortals which form the hierarchy of being. All things are born out of this realm and worlds like ours are like pearls on Ishvaras necklace.
    By divinity I mean beings who dwell in eternity and their nature.
    Punshhh

    That's the first time I've seen "eternity" described without reference to temporal concepts. So I don't really think it's the classical interpretation. Even the ancient Greeks described it through relation to time.

    In this link the seven planes are laid out.Punshhh

    Why is it called the seven planes of our solar system?

    A subtle body, I don't think we can say that these beings do, or don't have a body, or what form it takes. But in line with the cosmology of the the three higher planes there will be a body constituted of the forms found on the lower of the three planes, the atmic. Something which we probably can't comprehend.Punshhh

    Are you sure there would be a body composed of the third etheric? Doesn't "etheric" imply without any body? The diagram shows will there. How can there be a body composed of will?

    I have a rich narrative which I use in contemplation on this issue. What I have experienced is not that clear, but I have had a number of experiences in the form of a presence of eternity, or divinity in some way. Rather like sitting in a room and eternity is in the next room and there is frosted glass between them and I can feel the presence and dimly make out the forms. I have had experiences like soma, but not in a formal setting. Although in a heightened state in puja, there was formal orchestration of revelation, or ceremony, to a degree.Punshhh

    I'm really having difficulty with your use of "eternity"..
  • Punshhh
    2k
    That's the first time I've seen "eternity" described without reference to temporal concepts. So I don't really think it's the classical interpretation. Even the ancient Greeks described it through relation to time.
    Forgive me, I am not trained in classical philosophy, I simply looked for a definition and this seemed to fit.

    Wiki, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternity
    "Eternity in common parlance means infinite time (or the quality, condition or fact of being eternal).[1] In classical philosophy, however, it is defined as what exists outside time as describing supranatural beings and forces, whereas sempiternity corresponds to the infinitely temporal, non-metaphoric definitions, as recited in requiem prayers for the dead. Thomas Hobbes and many others in the Age of Enlightenment drew on the classical distinction to put forward metaphysical hypotheses such as "eternity is a permanent Now".

    I think where I stray from the philosophical definition is that I tend to use the word eternity as a substitute for divine realm. I will happily change to that if you would prefer. Naturally for me the divine realm is outside time, atemporal in relation to our word. Also I tend not to delve into that realm in discussion because we would be trying to discus things we don't understand, perhaps can't understand, which are not like our world and about which we don't have means of finding out (other than through revelation).

    As such, I don't think we are in a position to say whether, or not there is time in the divine realm, or what form it might take, likewise extension and whether divine beings have bodies, or what form those might take. I tend to defer to spiritual systems of describing such things, not on the assumption that those descriptions are accurate, or specific, but that they convey the appropriate relation in the hierarchy of being.

    Why is it called the seven planes of our solar system?
    This is theosophy, in the cosmogony it refers to, it is specifically discussing the beings represented by humanity, their role in the being of the planet Earth and likewise in the being of the Sun.

    Are you sure there would be a body composed of the third etheric? Doesn't "etheric" imply without any body? The diagram shows will there. How can there be a body composed of will?
    The usage of the terminology is different to other uses. Etheric in theosophy refers to a level of being, and is often used as in the etheric body. The form this takes is not known in the sense that science currently understands the physical body. It is largely undefined, some people might know it as the astral body. It is a body in a system that describes a human being as having 7 bodies, or vehicles of expression.

    Regarding the usage of will, I was not considering that there would be a body composed of will, but rather a body composed of Atman in which will is expressed.
    So the divine being has a body, or vehicle of expression on the atmic plane, this would necessarily be a subtle body, which is undefined on the assumption that it is beyond our comprehension. That the divine being would have a mind on the monadic plane, again undefined on the assumption that it is beyond our comprehension and that the divine being has the equivalent of a soul on the logic plane, which would be beyond our comprehension. So trying to understand the detail of these planes, or bodies etc is futile, pointless, as they are manifestations in a divine realm, for which we as humans are unequiped to understand.

    I'm really having difficulty with your use of "eternity"..
    I appreciate this and am happy to try to find a way through here. Perhaps if you were to define your use of the word? We might find there is not much difference in our understanding of the underlying issues, but that I use the word in an unconventional sense.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    I think where I stray from the philosophical definition is that I tend to use the word eternity as a substitute for divine realm. I will happily change to that if you would prefer. Naturally for me the divine realm is outside time, atemporal in relation to our word. Also I tend not to delve into that realm in discussion because we would be trying to discus things we don't understand, perhaps can't understand, which are not like our world and about which we don't have means of finding out (other than through revelation).Punshhh

    Are you familiar with Aristotle's cosmological argument? This is the argument which is used to refute both materialism and Platonic realism, and give intelligibility to "outside time", "eternal". First we might look at the nature of sensible, or material objects and see that the potential for the object is prior in time to the actual existence of the object. In later philosophy material existence is called contingent existence. Prior to the existence of the a material thing there is the potential for it, but its actual existence is contingent on the appropriate cause, or causes. However, Aristotle argues that potential cannot be prior in an absolute sense, because if the potential for existence was prior to all actual existence, there would be nothing to act as a cause, to actualize that potential, and there would be forever, for an infinite amount of time, pure potential without any actual existence. Since we do have actual existence right now, he excludes this eternal potential as impossible, and concludes that anything eternal must be actual.

    Platonism is excluded when he argues that ideas are actualize by the human mind which discovers them. Ideas are given actual existence by the human mind, and if they exist prior to being discovered they must exist as potential. But the cosmological argument, above, denies the possibility of eternal potential. Therefore ideas cannot be eternal. So now we are left with very little guidance as to how to comprehend that actuality which is necessarily prior to the actual existence of material objects. The common notion of "time" is to understand it as a feature of the changing material world. Therefore the actuality which is prior to the material world must be "outside time", eternal.

    For me, this creates a problem in understanding this "actuality". If it is truly actual, therefore active, then we must allow for some sort of time to account for this activity. This implies that the common notion of "time", which ties time to material existence, is incorrect, and must be adjusted to allow for this time in which the supposed eternal actuality is active, prior to material existence. Once the concept of time is adjusted, then the so-called eternal actuality can be brought into relationship with material actualities so that this actuality is no longer "outside time".

    This is theosophy, in the cosmogony it refers to, it is specifically discussing the beings represented by humanity, their role in the being of the planet Earth and likewise in the being of the Sun.Punshhh

    OK, so it's a sort of analogy?

    So the divine being has a body, or vehicle of expression on the atmic plane, this would necessarily be a subtle body, which is undefined on the assumption that it is beyond our comprehension. That the divine being would have a mind on the monadic plane, again undefined on the assumption that it is beyond our comprehension and that the divine being has the equivalent of a soul on the logic plane, which would be beyond our comprehension. So trying to understand the detail of these planes, or bodies etc is futile, pointless, as they are manifestations in a divine realm, for which we as humans are unequiped to understand.Punshhh

    I see that there is a sort of understanding possible through comparison or analogy. The parts of the higher three can be compared to the parts of the lower three. This is similar to what Augustine does with Plato's tripartite soul. In Plato's trinity there is body and mind, with spirit or passion as the intermediary. Then Augustine takes the mind itself and divides it three ways as memory, reason, and will. So memory in Augustine's trinity is comparable to body in Plato's. Reason is comparable to Plato's mind. And will is comparable to spirit. So we have the same type of tripartite division, but at a different level.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Are you familiar with Aristotle's cosmological argument?
    Yes, I haven't given it all that much significance for two reasons, firstly that it is a human invention and as such cannot be verified. Which is fine and secondly that I had already reached the point where you end up here;
    Once the concept of time is adjusted, then the so-called eternal actuality can be brought into relationship with material actualities so that this actuality is no longer "outside time".
    You see I had already arrived at these conclusions before I encountered academic philosophy, so it is more a case of marrying up academic philosophy with my own philosophy, (or more correctly a marriage of theosophy with Hinduism).

    This implies that the common notion of "time", which ties time to material existence, is incorrect, and must be adjusted to allow for this time in which the supposed eternal actuality is active, prior to material existence.
    Yes, which is why I said before that our material world is a construct, conceived by, constructed by, maintained by and animated by a being who is a priori, external to this world.

    The way I view it is that divine beings came up with a system of generating a realm of manifestation, a place of extension, of extension of space and time, spacetime. As this extends the space inflates along with the window of time, like blowing bubbles. Or as the Hindu's describe it spun from the tips of Ishvara's fingers like silk, creating the fabric of our world.

    This spinning is similar by analogy to the spinning generated by gravity around a black hole, or worm hole. I like to imagine a way in which each atom in our world is held and maintained on a thread of silk from its own point of connection with eternity. So eternity is actual, active, imminent via every atom and vibrationally expressed through the energy between them. But that we do not have apprehension of this reality because we are still in the early stages of embryonic development.

    So the mystic is concerned with the practice of developing this embryonic development within themselves.

    I see that there is a sort of understanding possible through comparison or analogy. The parts of the higher three can be compared to the parts of the lower three.
    Yes, very much so, there is a correspondence between the higher and lower. Which is understandable, as we are told we are made in the image of God. We are baby gods, I suppose.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    The way I view it is that divine beings came up with a system of generating a realm of manifestation, a place of extension, of extension of space and time, spacetime. As this extends the space inflates along with the window of time, like blowing bubbles. Or as the Hindu's describe it spun from the tips of Ishvara's fingers like silk, creating the fabric of our world.Punshhh

    For the reasons alluded to in my last post, and mentioned earlier in the thread, I really think it is necessary to separate space and time conceptually. Space is the primary concept by which we measure material things, sensible things. Principally, this is geometry. The problem described in the last post is that there is an actuality which is prior to the existence of material things. Since space is a concept used for measuring material things, and this activity does not involve material things, being prior to them, we have no reason to believe that space is an applicable concept when we are speaking about this activity which is prior to material existence. Time is the primary concept by which we measure activity. So we must unchain the concept of time from the material world, such that we can apply it to the activity of the eternal, which for now is outside of time because the currently applied concept of time is tied to the spatial activity of material things.

    Remember the principle we agreed upon earlier, that the entire material world must be created anew at each passing moment. So if there is a bubble which is blown at each moment (to use your analogy), each of these bubbles must expand from nothing, or near nothing, to extremely big, in a time period which is so short that we do not even notice it. This would be space itself expanding at an extremely fast rate, at each moment, in order to present us with what we see as spatial distance. Our conceptions of space do not allow for anything like this, having been derived from the illusion of continuity of spatial existence and distances, rather than from this idea, that spatial existence must be recreated (therefore expanded from near nothing), at each moment.

    This is why I was unhappy with your use of "body", which to me implies a material form, whereas western mysticism, such as Neo-Platonism has turned to a hierarchy of immaterial Forms which are separate, free from bodies. The immaterial Forms have providence over the changing material forms, bodies, which we may observe.

    Suppose a material body consists of parts, and each part could be considered as a material body itself. Each little part, as a body itself, must have an immaterial Form which governs its continued existence through temporal extension. But a bigger body, a unity of which the smaller body is just a part, requires a Form with more governing capacity then the smaller one, because it also exercises some control over the smaller body, robbing the smaller body's Form of some degree of freedom by virtue of the smaller body being within the unity of the larger. So the Neo-Platonists start with the One, which would be the Form that corresponds with the entire universe, and they proceed from there. A Christian theologian such as Aquinas would start with God, as the One, and have a hierarchy of angels, each exercising providence over a lessor massive body.

    So the mystic is concerned with the practice of developing this embryonic development within themselves.Punshhh

    I think that's a good way of putting it.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    For the reasons alluded to in my last post, and mentioned earlier in the thread, I really think it is necessary to separate space and time conceptually.
    I don't see the need myself, but I would like you to explain it some more so that I can understand what you are getting at.
    Also, as I said initially the mysticism of the creation and maintaining of the physical world is complex with some deep mysteries and spiritual cosmology which will probably be difficult to correlate with metaphysics. It would be better to stick to the more obvious correlations around being and what Mystics are actually concerned with, as the physical world is regarded merely as a tool for the development of the expression of being.
    If you insist on delving into the creation of physical matter and it's attendant time we can go there, but I expect we will quite rapidly hit an impasse. However provided when the impasse is reached we can get back to the topic in hand then that's ok with me.

    The problem described in the last post is that there is an actuality which is prior to the existence of material things. Since space is a concept used for measuring material things, and this activity does not involve material things, being prior to them, we have no reason to believe that space is an applicable concept when we are speaking about this activity which is prior to material existence.
    But surely the prior state is external to (separate from) the physical universe we are discussing. So it can have its own separate space? Remember I said the physical world we find ourselves in is a construct. So the prior actual, genuinely real state then constructed an artificial world which isn't real in the same, actual, way, which is the our physical world*.

    So we must unchain the concept of time from the material world, such that we can apply it to the activity of the eternal, which for now is outside of time because the currently applied concept of time is tied to the spatial activity of material things.
    Ok, that's fine and how does that look?

    Remember the principle we agreed upon earlier, that the entire material world must be created anew at each passing moment.
    I don't see it that way myself, but I am happy to go with that concept and see where it leads.

    So if there is a bubble which is blown at each moment (to use your analogy), each of these bubbles must expand from nothing, or near nothing, to extremely big, in a time period which is so short that we do not even notice it.
    My bubble analogy was for the creation of the physical world, not its maintenance. Although I am happy to look at the idea of it renewing every moment for now, as I said.

    Our conceptions of space do not allow for anything like this, having been derived from the illusion of continuity of spatial existence and distances, rather than from this idea, that spatial existence must be recreated (therefore expanded from near nothing), at each moment.
    Well this would not be an issue provided the recreation occurred at the level of the sub atomic particle, temporally on the Planck scale.

    whereas western mysticism, such as Neo-Platonism has turned to a hierarchy of immaterial Forms which are separate, free from bodies
    For me all is material, but this is not the material known to science, or philosophy, but rather a constellation of subtle bodies. The only physical material in this schema is on the physical plane. So if by immaterial, we can agree on some kind of subtle body, immaterial in terms of any material we are aware of, then that's fine. I can also go along with immaterial too, but at some point I would ask the nature of these immaterial forms and how they become expressed in worlds of material.

    But a bigger body, a unity of which the smaller body is just a part, requires a Form with more governing capacity then the smaller one, because it also exercises some control over the smaller body, robbing the smaller body's Form of some degree of freedom by virtue of the smaller body being within the unity of the larger. So the Neo-Platonists start with the One, which would be the Form that corresponds with the entire universe, and they proceed from there.
    Yes, for me these forms are subtle bodies, there are numerous kinds of subtle bodies, or ethers (ethereal bodies).

    I think that's a good way of putting it.
    Yes, the mystic is practicing activities tailored to their individual spiritual development, directed by the intuition.

    *remember Ishvara spun the physical world from his fingertips. This is alluding to artifice, composition, weaving.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.5k
    I don't see the need myself, but I would like you to explain it some more so that I can understand what you are getting at.
    Also, as I said initially the mysticism of the creation and maintaining of the physical world is complex with some deep mysteries and spiritual cosmology which will probably be difficult to correlate with metaphysics. It would be better to stick to the more obvious correlations around being and what Mystics are actually concerned with, as the physical world is regarded merely as a tool for the development of the expression of being.
    If you insist on delving into the creation of physical matter and it's attendant time we can go there, but I expect we will quite rapidly hit an impasse. However provided when the impasse is reached we can get back to the topic in hand then that's ok with me.
    Punshhh

    Maybe this is evidence of that difference between metaphysics and mysticism which you have been describing. Metaphysics, in the tradition of philosophy involves the desire to know. As I explained in the prior post, the reason for separating space from time is to bring the eternal, or what you called eternity, into the realm of intelligible. What separates the forms which we know and sense, from the Forms of eternity, is matter. So we have to get through matter in one way or another if we want to properly understand the existence of the divine, immaterial Forms.

    Perhaps the mystic is satisfied with simply coming into contact with the divine, and does not feel the need to understand this realm. In metaphysics there has been proposed a division between aesthetics and ethics. This division is consistent with the division of passive and active. One might passively enjoy the beauty of the natural world, up to and including the divine reality, without any desire to act. But the nature of the human being, as I described earlier is to be inclined to act. So one can only enjoy the aesthetic beauty for so long without feeling the need to act. When we go to act, we want to understand what we are doing, and why we are doing it, and this makes us consider purpose and therefore ethics. We need to bridge that gap between the passive enjoyment of the divine beauty (aesthetics), and the ethical principles which guide us in our actions. This means that we need to understand what it means to act, and this includes all forms of activity, including that divine activity which is prior to material existence (the eternal). And since space is a concept based in observations of material existence, we must allow a conception of time which is free from space, in order to understand this activity, which is necessary for an inclusive ethics..

    But surely the prior state is external to (separate from) the physical universe we are discussing. So it can have its own separate space? Remember I said the physical world we find ourselves in is a construct. So the prior actual, genuinely real state then constructed an artificial world which isn't real in the same, actual, way, which is the our physical world*.Punshhh

    If there is space in this eternal realm, we have no reason to believe that it is in any way even similar to the space we are familiar with. The logic which has been used by the metaphysicians before us has directed us toward the actuality or activity of that eternal realm. And "act" is a temporal term. As an example, consider the ancient distinction between locomotion (change of place), and simple change (when a thing changes due to differences within. Change of place requires a conception of space to understand it. But change within a thing only requires the capacity to describe a thing's properties or qualities.

    As you describe, the external world, which is our physical world, isn't real or genuine. But our conceptions of space are validated by observations of this artificial world. This makes our conceptions of space inadequate in the first place. Furthermore, our conceptions of time are derived from, and dependent on these conceptions of space. But we see that the internal is much closer to the real, so the internal activity, internal changes, are the activities which the concept of time ought to be based in, not conceptions of space. The internal time is based in the distinction between past and future, not in spatial relations.

    For me all is material, but this is not the material known to science, or philosophy, but rather a constellation of subtle bodies. The only physical material in this schema is on the physical plane. So if by immaterial, we can agree on some kind of subtle body, immaterial in terms of any material we are aware of, then that's fine. I can also go along with immaterial too, but at some point I would ask the nature of these immaterial forms and how they become expressed in worlds of material.Punshhh

    It seems like I need to ask what you mean by a "plane". I take "plane" as a spatial term, it signifies two dimensions. Two dimensions puts us somewhere in between non-dimensional, and the classic three dimensional space. No body, no matter, can exist on a plane, being just two dimensional.. This is one of the difficulties with spatial concepts. We construct spatial concepts through the addition of multiple dimensions. But in reality, when a body, a material object, comes into existence, it must partake in all three spatial dimensions. Further, there is a certain incompatibility between different dimensions, as demonstrated by the irrational nature of the diagonal of a square, and pi. So it seems to me that to say that this type of body is on this plane, and another type on another plane, would create a certain incommensurability between these different types of bodies.

    I can also go along with immaterial too, but at some point I would ask the nature of these immaterial forms and how they become expressed in worlds of material.Punshhh

    This is the opposite of what I described, and is the key principle of Plato's cave allegory. In reality, the material world is an expression of the immaterial Forms.

    Yes, for me these forms are subtle bodies, there are numerous kinds of subtle bodies, or ethers (ethereal bodies).Punshhh

    So the question then is are these kinds of bodies separated by planes of existence such that there would be no commensurability between them? In other words, would these different types of bodies each need to be measured by different principles. If so, do you think that an adequate conception of time could establish a relation between them?
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Maybe this is evidence of that difference between metaphysics and mysticism which you have been describing. Metaphysics, in the tradition of philosophy involves the desire to know.
    Mystics may also have the desire to know, however realise that there are necessarily things which are unknown, or can't be known. Also that the process of finding out something might be a distraction from a more important, or pressing goal. Let's say for example that it would take a Herculean effort to find out how the world we find ourselves in came to be. While in fact that knowledge is not of importance and that effort was either inefficient, or sideshow. When in reality the goal of the mystic is to allow her natural inclinations of the her higher self to shine through and further down the path such truths about existence might be revealed in an instant. Or more importantly they would be revealed via the appropriate route and not through an overdevelopment of the intellect.
    As I explained in the prior post, the reason for separating space from time is to bring the eternal, or what you called eternity, into the realm of intelligible. What separates the forms which we know and sense, from the Forms of eternity, is matter. So we have to get through matter in one way or another if we want to properly understand the existence of the divine, immaterial Forms.
    Yes I would agree with this, I would be interested in what metaphysics can say about this?

    without any desire to act. But the nature of the human being, as I described earlier is to be inclined to act.
    I would disagree with this from the point of view of a mystic, although I recognise the need for the mystic to want, to have the desire, to embark on the mystical path. Once on the path, the intellectual direction of one's actions are seeded to the higher self via the intuition to a degree.

    and this makes us consider purpose and therefore ethics. We need to bridge that gap between the passive enjoyment of the divine beauty (aesthetics), and the ethical principles which guide us in our actions. This means that we need to understand what it means to act, and this includes all forms of activity, including that divine activity which is prior to material existence (the eternal). And since space is a concept based in observations of material existence, we must allow a conception of time which is free from space, in order to understand this activity, which is necessary for an inclusive ethics..
    I don't see the requirement for a knowledge of an intellectual understanding of ethics in this endeavour, although I am interested in the role this will play, please continue.

    But we see that the internal is much closer to the real, so the internal activity, internal changes, are the activities which the concept of time ought to be based in, not conceptions of space. The internal time is based in the distinction between past and future, not in spatial relations.
    I follow you, although it would be useful to take a look at this distinction you make between past and future, and possibly the present again?

    Regarding planes, we all understand what the physical plane is, it is not restricted to two dimensions. As we experience it there are a minimum of 3 dimensions. Perhaps if I were to substitute the word, realm, for plane that would give a better idea. So the mental plane is a realm in which mental stuff is the equivalent of physical material on the physical plane. So a being on that plane would be expressed through a mental body, or vehicle, but instead of emotion would have Atman* (Bhuddi) and except for mind would have Monadic consciousness.

    So it seems to me that to say that this type of body is on this plane, and another type on another plane, would create a certain incommensurability between these different types of bodies.
    but the planes are like nodes on a scale of frequency, the higher planes being at a higher frequency. We only hear sounds within the range of frequency that our ears are attuned to detect. All the other frequencies are present, but we can't detect them. Through incarnation a being becomes embedded in a plane of activity and is able to detect what the apparatus which naturally occur on that plane, in reference to the being in question, detects. Were that being to be more developed, she might detect higher frequency notes due to having a suitable apparatus. Mystical practice is about developing and using this apparatus for some kind of constructive purpose.

    This is the opposite of what I described, and is the key principle of Plato's cave allegory. In reality, the material world is an expression of the immaterial Forms.
    Substitute subtle (can be undefined) for immaterial and we are in agreement.

    If so, do you think that an adequate conception of time could establish a relation between them?
    Well they would all be bound to an extent to the time, the present of our world, certainly if part of our being. I think if there were a disconnect in time it would be between the lower three and the higher three. Although I see no reason to regard them as not present in the same moment of time.

    * I put Bhuddi because some theosophists use different terminology for the planes and Bhuddi can be seen as equivalent to the consciousness of the Bhudda for example.
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