by Robert Wilkinson
Today's offering from The Magic of Space, may help to clarify what is the true nature of the 7 Planes of Consciousness. From Chapter V, “The Enigma of Matter,” this explanation:
The ancient occult teachings have always insisted upon the presence of numerous planes of existence, of which our own particular plane is only one. And all of these numerous planes are equally within the realms of Nature – none is supernatural. There exists always a correspondence between these several planes of manifestation, and, under supernormal conditions, a certain degree of communication is possible between them.
Each of these planes has numerous subdivisions and subplanes, the divisions being according to the rule of “sevens.” In other words, there are seven grand planes, and each of these is divided into seven secondary planes – and each of these is subdivided into seven tertiary planes, and so on, until the division has been made seven times.
The student of occultism, particularly at the beginning of his studies, usually has difficulty in understanding just what is meant by the term “plane,” as employed in occult teachings. His first impression, usually encouraged by the use of a dictionary, is that each “plane” is one of a series of strata, or layers, above and below which are other layers or strata. Even after the student has progressed in his understanding of the subject, this original picture of material layers and strata seems to persist in his thought on the subject. The error, of course, arises from his original conception of the planes, layers or strata being composed of gross material matter, whereas, actually, only one of the many planes is so composed. When one stops to think that even the grossest form of matter is itself composed of vibrations of energy (for science itself teaches us that all matter is energy), and that all other forms of material substance are likewise composed of vibrations of energy, then one is on the road to discovery of the real state of affairs.
He then begins to realize that, instead of the planes of being rising one above the other in the scale of their fineness, they are graded according to their degree of vibration energy, and each may actually occupy the same space as all the others. The “planes,” then, are not strata, or layers of matter at all, but are simply different states of vibration or energy, and that which we know as “matter” is simply one (and a very low one, at that) of the many forms of such vibrations. From this it can be seen that the various planes of being are not distinguished by their position in space; they do not lie one superimposed upon the other, like layers of matter. Instead, they interpenetrate each other in the same limits of space.
A single point of space may accommodate the manifestations of each of the seven great planes of being, and all of the subdivisions and sub-planes (seven-fold in division) at the same time. The old occultists impressed this, and the other facts, upon the minds of their pupils by constantly reminding them that a plane is not a place of being, but a state of being. And the “state of being” is simply a certain manifestation of vibratory energy. With these ideas firmly fixed in the mind, the student is less apt to wander astray from the facts.
To those who may be disposed to regard the above statements concerning the “planes of being” as somewhat visionary, imaginary, or theoretical, we can say, “go to modern science for the verification of these statements.” We are apt to think that we are familiar with every kind of matter in existence, but such is not the case at all. We are familiar with only a few forms of matter. Spectrum analysis shows us that on certain fixed stars there are forms of matter far different from matter as we know it on this planet. On some stars, this unknown matter appears to be of a much lower form of vibration than that manifested by terrestrial matter; while on others there appears to be a much higher vibratory rate than even that manifested by the most subtle form of ultra-gaseous matter known to us here. Even on our own planet we can distinguish between several classes of matter. In addition to the forms known as “solid,” “liquid,” and “gaseous,” science now recognizes a fourth plane of matter known as “ultra-gaseous” matter, and there are indications of seven even finer states of matter, known under the general term of “radiant matter.” In fact, the radiant matter spoken of now fades away into “radiant energy.”