I’ve been asked to explain a few topographical matters, which perhaps I can reproduce here in case anyone else has similar questions. I apologize for the density of this article.
First of all, there was some confusion about the difference between the Mental and Causal Planes. The matter is indeed a bit confusing because the Causal Planes are actually the top three subplanes of the Mental Planes.
Before developing that point from Charles Leadbeater and Annie Besant, a word on vocabulary if you’ll permit me: The term “Devachan” refers to “Heaven,” which is another name for the Mental Plane. “ Manas” is also another name for the Mental Plane.
“The upper part of the mental plane [i.e., the top three subplanes] … is inhabited by the ego in his causal body.” (1)
“In the same way the Rupadeva’s [angel in form] ordinary body is the mental, since his habitat is on the four lower or rupa levels of that plane; while the Arupadeva [formless angel] belongs to the three higher levels, and owns no nearer approach to a body than the causal.”(2)
“Students will be familiar with the distinction between the Higher and the Lower Manas [Mental Plane]; the causal body is that of the Higher Manas, the permanent body of the Ego, or man, lasting from life to life; the mind body is that of the Lower Manas, lasting after death and passing into Devachan, but disintegrating when the life on the rupa levels of Devachan [also Mental Plane] is over.” (3)
“The three highest subdivisions of the mental plane [i.e., the Causal Plane] are the habitat of the Thinker himself, and he dwells on one or other of these, according to the stage of his evolution.” (4)
“The time spent in the higher and lower regions of the mental plane respectively is proportionate to the amount of thought generated severally in the mental and causal bodies; All the thoughts belonging to the personal self, to the life just closed – with all its ambitions, interests, loves, hopes, and fears – all these have their fruition in the Devachan [Mental Plane] where forms are found; while those belonging to the higher mind, to the regions of abstract, impersonal thinking, have to be worked out in the “formless” devachanic region [Causal Plane]. (5)
As an additional proof of this topographical order, here Leadbeater lists the bodies in their order of ascendance: physical, astral, mental, and causal.
“A person can no more pass from planet to planet even of our own chain in his astral body or his mind-body, than he can in his physical body. In the causal body, when very highly developed, this achievement is possible, though even then by no means with the ease and rapidity with which it can be done upon the buddhic plane by those who have succeeded in raising their consciousness to that level.” (6)
Archangel Michael agrees with Leadbeater and Besant that the Causal Plane is the higher Mental Plane.
“The Causal Body is a facet of your Higher Self or Over Soul which resides in the Higher Mental Plane.” (7)
And here he stipulates that the causal body resides in the higher Mental Plane or Causal Plane.
“The Causal Body is a facet of your Higher Self or Over Soul which resides in the Higher Mental Plane.” (8)
I was also asked to substantiate that the Fifth Dimension is the Mental Plane. Keeping in mind that the term “Mental Plane” is only being used to refer to the lower four subplanes of the Mental Plane, here are some indications that the two terms refer to the same “territory.”
First, Archangel Michael confirms it.
Steve: Can I just confirm with you that the Fourth Dimension is the closest equivalent, not exactly equivalent obviously, of the Astral Planes, and the Fifth Dimension is the closest equivalent in the physical world (9) of the Mental Planes [in the spiritual world]. Is that correct?
Archangel Michael: Yes. (10)
And here he again specifies that the Mental Plane is at least the lower Fifth Dimension.
“You must … strive to establish emotional harmony and serenity within the illusionary world of the fourth dimension as you seek wisdom and endeavor to become acclimated to the mental plane of the lower fifth dimension.” (11)
The Arcturians through Hannah Beaconsfield also affirm that the Fourth Dimension is the Astral Plane. Although they don’t say that the Fifth Dimension is the Mental Plane, it follows in that the Mental Plane is next after the Astral.
“We will give you our view on your numerical designations. What you call 4D is what we see as the astral or etheric plane that surrounds you, the level to which you ascend after death.” (12)
SaLuSa also does not equate the Fifth Dimension with the Mental Plane but he does equate the Fourth Dimension with the Summerlands, which is a way of referring to the subplanes of the Astral. The next higher would be the Mental.
“Ask anyone who has been into the astral realms known as the Summerland what it is like, and they will inevitably tell you that you are surrounded by an energy that is peaceful and of love. Yet that is what you call the 4th. density, and when you ascend you are going even higher to the 5th. density.” (13)
I’ll take up other questions from this reader, such as whether we ascend to the Fourth or Fifth and whether we clear all karma before ascending to the Fifth or simply the karma associated with Third-Dimensional learning. I’ve also promised the Divine Mother that I’ll spell out the meaning and significance of saying that the three gunas of rajas, sattwa, and thamas, are equivalent to the Trimurthy of Brahma, Vishna and Shiva. This latter point may be of most interest to Hindus.
But these matters are dense and so it’s probably better to stop here, rather than cover them all.
(1) Charles Leadbeater, The Monad and Other Essays Upon the Higher Consciousness. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1929, 49.
“Devachan, the happy or bright state, is the Theosophical name for heaven.” (Annie Besant, The Ancient Wisdom. An Outline of Theosophical Teachings. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972; c189., 64n. [Hereafter AW.]
“The astral plane [is] the lower part of the vast unseen world in the midst of which we live and move unheeding. … The stage next above that [is] the mental plane or the heaven world, often spoken of in our Theosophical literature as that of the Devachan or Sukhavati.” (Charles Leadbeater, The Devachanic Plane or the Heaven World. Its Characteristics and Inhabitants. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1971; 1896, 1.) [Hereafter DP.]
(2) Charles Leadbeater, The Astral Plane. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1933; c1895, 120.
(3) Annie Besant, AW, 129.
Here is another instance of calling the higher Mental Planes the “Causal Plane.”
“Thus, for periods long in proportion to the materials gathered for consumption upon earth, dwell men in these heaven-worlds [Heaven = Mental Plane] of form, where all good that the last personal life had garnered finds its full fruition, its full working out into minutest detail. Then as we have seen, when everything is exhausted, when the last drop has been drained from the cup of joy, the last crumb eaten of the heavenly feast, all that has been worked up into faculty, that is of permanent value, is drawn within the causal body, and the Thinker shakes off him and the then disintegrating body through which he has found expression on the lower levels of the devachanic world [Devachanic = Heaven = Mental Plane]. Rid of this mental body, he is in his own world, to work up whatever of his harvest can find material suitable for it in that high realm.” (Annie Besant, AW, 169.)
(4) Annie Besant, Man and His Bodies. Hollywood: Theosophical Publishing House, 1918, 61-2.
(5) Annie Besant, AW, 152-3.
(6) Charles W. Leadbeater, DW, 5-6.
(7) Archangel Michael, “The Physical Vessel is a Wondrous Creation,” Nov. 2010, at http://stevebeckow.com/2010/11/04/archangel-michael-the-physical-vessel-is-a-wondrous-creation/ .
(8) Archangel Michael,”A Clarion Call for World Servers,” May 2010, through Ronna Herman, at http://www.ronnastar.com/latest.html .
(9) Strictly speaking all realms up to the transcendental could be called material or physical. The matter of which they are made is simply more and more refined. But I am referring here to our physical world, where we call the Mental Plane the “Fifth Dimension.”
(10) “Archangel Michael: Creating a World of Peace,” Sept. 15, 2011, at http://stevebeckow.com/2011/09/archangel-michael-creating-a-world-of-peace/ .
(11) Archangel Michael,”A Clarion Call for World Servers,” May 2010, through Ronna Herman, at http://www.ronnastar.com/latest.html .
(12) “The Pleiadian Light” through Hannah Beaconsfield, February 29, 2012, via email.
(13) SaLuSa, March 7, 2012, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm