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..:: The Mental Plane ::..

By

Alan Schneider

                                                                                                                                       

              At the conclusion of our last essay, we had begun the illumination of the Third Plane of Ascension, the Mental Plane.  Once again, some preliminary remarks will be useful in understanding this level from the perspective of the reader presumably focused on the Physical Plane of manifestation in a human body.

            The key concept at work on the Mental Plane resides in understanding whose, or rather, which Mind is under consideration, and this is not the little physical ego-mind of the Initiate. At this level of psychic manifestation, we have begun to make definitive contact with the Lower Expression of the Mind of the Logos – of God. The level immediately beyond the Mental Plane is the Atmic Plane – the Seat of the Soul, which is a direct extension of the Logos, held in cosmic “place” by the physical body and the attendant Karma of that body. The Thought Forms of the Mental Plane are most correctly conceived of as the dynamic “Thought Fragments” of God, potently emerging into manifestation as the most Primary of the archetypal symbols – the Archangels, Heavenly Hosts, Ascended Masters, Saints, Yogis, Seers, and other symbolic manifestations of the Divine Light. Jung referred to the outstanding quality in the subconscious mind of the archetypal symbols as their numinosity – their inner, psychic luminosity – and the Thought Forms are supremely numinous indeed as the highest expressions of those symbols!

            Even the Golem, also noted in the previous essay, was considered by the Cabalist Rabbis of the time to be a Light Servant, doing the Light Work that was needed to preserve the Hebrew faith and the Torah and Zohar as the vehicles of that faith.  However, there have been instances of human Servants of Darkness attempting to create negative Thought Forms for negative purposes – the commission of assault and harm on the Physical Plane generally carried out for selfish personal gain, and assisted by the Demonic Entities of the Lower Astral Plane. In fact, no Thought Forms ever were or ever will be invoked by these Dark Practitioners – everything they do is augmented by the aforementioned Lower Astral Entities, whose spiritual emanations are always mistaken by the fallen consciousness of Dark Practitioners for the numinous Light of the Thought Forms they cannot, in fact, perceive. Why? Because their consciousness is functioning at such a low level that they literally cannot see the Love and Light of the Logos in any form. But they can see, and be deceived by, the malicious Lower Astral beings, including their leader, the collective Shadow.  Any negative emotional or motivational state will trap and hold the Initiate at the Lower Astral level until it is released through forgiveness, the universal cure for emotional wounds great and small. I dare say, this is yet another reason for including a course of therapy in one’s quest for Ascension...

            As opposed to the strictly Astral archetypal symbols, the Thought Forms occurring on the Mental Plane are, as was mentioned in the previous essay, volitional entities.  These can be conceived of as personality fragments, or sub-personalities, or sub-states of consciousness that may preexist conscious perception in some unconscious region of the Psyche. When the organism is subjected to the correct stimuli on the Physical Plane, these sub-identities may be invoked into conscious perception to serve the purposes of the Initiate, with the proviso that those purposes are spiritually positive and constructive in nature. The Lower Astral Entities also can masquerade as spiritual assistants, but will always tend to advise or augment fear or greed based negative action in the context of the “assistance” they propose, and this is the best way to recognize them. If the Initiate finds personal consciousness being preoccupied by such thoughts, the presence of the Lower Astral influence is to be suspected, and this can be verified by subsequent Astral investigation.  The Thought Forms may also be constructed from the “ground up” in consciousness on the Mental Plane, using appropriate positive symbolic constructs, and the personality-fragment type of entity may be modified through the application of symbolic constructs  as well.  This latter entity has the advantage of already containing a significant amount of libidinal power ready to be molded through the conscious effort of the Initiate. 

            Many elements of conscious experience or symbolism can be incorporated into the Thought Form, including appropriate colors, numbers, tonal characteristics (e.g. an Angelic Form way be invested with the ability to speak to and advise the Initiate, or sing the Holy Names of God, etc.), visual designs, architectural designs, movement, behavior, or anything else that creates an affective motivational form in personal consciousness. The Thought Forms represent a disembodied state of psychic power and manifestation that simultaneously creates a predisposition on the Physical plane for events to occur, and motivates and the consciousness of the individual to recognize and respond to those events. Once created, this Form can be invoked at will by the Initiate as needed – the lending of confidence in personal or social situations, extra energy during times of prolonged stress, creative inspiration for problem solving, enhanced self perception and self expression, and even simple psychic companionship are all examples of the utility of the Thought Form on the Physical Plane. One can interact with more than one Thought Form as needed – as many can be constructed as necessary within the limitation of positivity – the Initiate must be wary of the intrusion of egoism and personal advantage as motives for this activity. Additionally, a few Forms that are sufficiently potent are much better than many dilute ones.  Lower Astral Entities that have been “won over” to the Light through Jungian realization can also become Thought Forms – my realized Shadow has remained a faithful Light Servant ever after, converted by the Love I demonstrated by searching it out in the Astral subconscious realm where I had imprisoned it, and then subsequently enduring the painful and lengthy rehabilitation process required to bring it back into the Light of my personal consciousness. 

            The psychic activity on the Atmic Plane, the previously mentioned Fourth Plane of Ascension, is the source of the emanations that create the Thought Forms on the Mental Plane, even in cases where the Initiate has little or no awareness of this Fourth level of Initiation. The Soul, or Sanskrit Atman, is always calling out to the personal consciousness, whether that consciousness is that of an Initiate or not, advising the highest course of benevolent, moral living to be followed. As the Kundalini rises into the Mental Plane, and approaches the Atmic Plane, the Soul Presence is activated to produce more powerful Thought Form emanations in the consciousness of the Initiate, spurring the awareness of higher purpose and motivation in living. This is seen in the structure of the Thought Form(s) in question – although I have never again rejected my realized Shadow back into the Lower Astral Region, and continue to “visit” with It occasionally, my most effective current Thought Forms are the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, who are continually “seated” (i.e. psychically located) at my right and left “hands” (i.e. hemispheres of psychic influence), respectively, always present and active on the Physical Plane through my personal consciousness, and the collective influence of the Logos. This mode of manifestation has the additional advantage that these two entities do not require dedicated invocation for this reason. Now, to be sure, there are higher Angelic Influences than these – the Supreme Archangel is Metatron, seated before God in the Chakra Sahasrara, and the Sephira Kether – but Gabriel is the Archangel of Communication (remember the image of Gabriel sounding his horn?), and Michael is the Archangel of Protection, both from internal fallibility and external threat, truly a full time occupation in the Post-Modern Age! I am most grateful to The Logos for providing me with these two allies as I do the work of Ascension on the Physical Plane.

            There is a Leap of Faith required to pass from the Mental Plane into the Atmic Plane – on the Mental Plane there is still an implied level of personal interest and motivation for the involvement with, and use of, Thought Forms as spiritual instruments, however Enlightened this activity may be.  At the Atmic level, one is required to embrace the principles of Compassion and genuinely Selfless Love as the operators of consciousness on all of the previous Planes, completely negating ego involvement as a motivational factor, and this is a very hard “bill to fill” in consciousness. Yet, this level of perception and human involvement is both required and inevitable in the process of Spiritual Ascension, and the Kundalini will eventually spill over onto the Atmic Plane with the realization that Compassion is the highest and finest quality of consciousness to which human beings can attain. Frequently, much suffering and sacrifice on the Physical Plane is the price of this realization, but if this is the Karma of an individual, so it must and will be. Ascension is an ongoing, dynamic process that is the inherent meaning and purpose of all activity on all the Planes of Conscious Expression. The Initiate must maintain the perception in personal consciousness that the physical benefits of creating and using the Thought Forms are the byproducts of their real implications as stepping stones of Ascension, and not be seduced by them as material considerations.  In this vein of emphasis, let us consider the protective Thought Forms.

            One Thought Form of merit for special attention here is the Auric Shield. It is well known in the Mystery Theories that the physical organism observed in the senses is merely the locus of a many-layered Aura surrounding the human being for the term of incarnation. This Aura is roughly segmented into regions that correspond to the Planes of Ascension – Physical (the body itself), Astral, Mental, Atmic, and so on. In the Mysteries, the body is thought to condense out of the Aura onto the Physical Plane, being created by preexisting Auric conditions. The Aura in its native state is very permeable, and can be adversely affected by negative influences on any of the other Planes, although the most probable site of origin of those influences are the Physical and Lower Astral Planes, in particular the Physical Plane, where material stressors abound in great numbers, and continuously impinge the senses with all manner of distressing implications for the well being of the organism. For this reason, the Initiate will frequently find the creation of the Auric Shield to be of great personal importance, regardless of what other Thought Forms are present in personal consciousness.  Once put in place, this shield encompasses the total organism and Psyche on all of the Planes, including the problematic Physical one.

            The Auric Shield is symbolically conceived of as a sphere of translucent white and/or golden light that surrounds the individual either when activated, or (perhaps preferably) at all times. This sphere permeates and suffuses the body on the Physical Plane, and extends through the Astral and Mental Auras well into the Atmic Aura, where it melds with the Light of the Soul. Even if the Initiate has not yet attained the perception of the Soul and the Atmic Plane, this is of little consequence in the construction of the Auric Shield – the required Thought Form can still be created and implemented. However, the attainment of Atmic consciousness will greatly enhance the power of the Auric Shield to block negativity on all Auric levels through the practice of compassion. The technique to be used involves simple conceptualization – the Shield is conceived of as being first invoked (possibly in the presence of some internal or external threat), and then held in place thereafter. Although the Mental Plane is customarily accessed in an altered state of consciousness such as meditation, this Thought Form can be initiated in normal waking consciousness as well.  The invocation can be visualized as proceeding from outside in, inside out, or simply bursting into formation, and the shield can additionally be populated with protective Thought Forms of other varieties at the Initiate’s discretion, but the Bubble of Light is the basic structure to be used.

            The consistency of this structure can be adjusted to deflect even certain physical assaults, but this requires extensive, dedicated practice and concentration.  The more commonly attainable level of expression involves the neutralization of verbal and financial threats. The Auric Shield is weakened by the presence of internal psychological or external Lower Astral negativity – these types of perceptual constructs must be avoided by maintaining the spiritual focus on positivity at all times. Most perceived threats are transitory in nature, passing quickly after manifestation if no personal cues are present to sustain them for prolonged interaction.  The Initiate must be aware of anything present in consciousness that will attract or nourish threats or negativity and remove such things forthwith.  And, once again, this is an indication of the advantage of entering and completing a course of psychological therapy.  Such an action can greatly assist the practices of Ascension, including the creation and employment of the Auric Shield.

            The augmentation of a strong, healthy Auric Shield is seen in the concept of the Auric Guardian or Spiritual Guide.  Where the Shield is a simple, straight forward structure that can be erected without trance work and strengthened thereafter, the Guardian or Guide is a Thought Form that that may appear to the Initiate outside of trance, but can definitely be enhanced by the practice of mediation and related trance conditions.  The Guardian represents the case of a volitional, interactive entity, as opposed to the Shield, which is more like a protective mechanism – ergo, a personal relationship must be developed with this entity for it to function at maximal efficiency. This relationship can best be constructed in at least Astral, and preferably, Mental trance. For a long time, my Guardian/Guide image was the realized Shadow, eventually replaced by the Archangel Michael as my level of Ascension progressed, but whatever symbolic image presents itself will require the same vestment of time and emotion seen in any Physical Plane relationship. We all need our Guides and Guardians on both the Physical Plane and the Higher Planes – who would even think of navigating these deep and perilous waters without such assistance?

            The Form of the Guardian may change over the years (or may not, for that matter – Karma dictates these things), and the Initiate must be prepared for a “Changing of the Guard(!)” as Ascension progresses, just as I relinquished my realized Shadow, for the Archangel Michael Form. I eventually expect to have no Guardian,  simply existing in, of, and by Divine Grace directly given by the Logos as the Source of all Existence on every level, and I do not rely on Presence of Michael now, although I certainly find Him to be a source of comfort in stressful conditions. Protection is, after all, only one facet of Spiritual Ascension – the other is proactivity – we must go forth with our Spiritual practice and selflessly offer it to the world for the sake of human salvation. In my personal case, I perform this proactivity through the Dharma of extensive communication about the Supreme Absolute Truth, and how this Truth may be accessed by a struggling, challenged humanity.  This is the real motive for Spiritual living – salvation – everything else is secondary.  Every time we offer the Spiritual Truth to each other, Ascension takes place, and the Soul evolves another step along the Path back to the Logos.  This is why we are here

            Perhaps the highest function of the Thought Form is the promotion of Enlightenment, first for the Initiate, and subsequently for humanity, as that Enlightenment is offered to those in the surrounding social environment. The Thought Form is ultimately a Spiritual teaching modality that is transmitted from the Atmic Plane onto the Mental Plane to provide the necessary spiritual guidance for the Initiate at that level of involvement. Thereafter, a monumental choice must be made to approach, enter, and accept the Atmic Plane of Ascension with its requirements for selfless sacrifice and compassion as the price of the Realization of the Soul in human consciousness.  We will address this most important of Spiritual milestones in the next SYNERGY essay –  entitled The Atmic Manifestation. Namaste, All, and please return again to the Spiritual Ascension Series...

                                          - With Love, Alan -

                                  (CR2008, Alan Schneider)

 

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