constitution of man
and the seven planes
Evolution demands that all the seven planes be intelligently, lovingly and powerfully linked together — so that energy impulses may pass from the highest to the lowest and from the lowest to the highest. This is not yet the case, and what has been called the 'divine circulatory flow' is not yet fully achieved" - Michael Robbins
By gaining some knowledge of the Constitution of Man and the Seven Planes, you will greatly add to your understanding of the PIP II results. The Constitution of Man provides a kind of spiritual physiology, or a map of our inner, divine territory. The map, as we know, is not the territory and we should keep this in mind while realizing that having a layout of a new area is important if we want to travel about knowledgeably.
The Constitution of Man is a complex subject, presented in slightly different ways by different esoteric groups. We have attempted to be as generic as possible, although our background is with Alice Bailey and D.K. It should be noted that this is only an introduction to the Constitution of Man; if you wish more information then you should look at some of the other sources mentioned in the Frequently Asked Questions. Some of the following is from Michael Robbins' comments on:
A normal presentation of the constitution of man is by showing seven major horizontal levels or planes, divided into a further seven sub-planes, with each lower level representing the more dense — more material or physical — than the higher levels. However, we should think of the planes more in terms of interpenetrating frequencies of energies, and not as lighter and lighter material stacked one on top of the other. Each of the seven planes is divided into seven sub-planes, making a total of forty-nine planes in all. All of these planes and sub-planes have distinct qualities. Please review the following chart:
* Several of our translators have been kind enough to create translated versions of this chart. To see the various options for download please click here.
Man is composed of interpenetrating bodies or vehicles constructed of the matter of each plane. For example, the physical body of man is constituted of 7th plane, physical matter — that of dense, liquid and gaseous concrete matter and the four etheric subplanes. Interpenetrating and surrounding the physical-etheric dense body, is the astral or emotional body of man. The astral body is composed of Sixth plane or astral matter which has the particular quality of fluidity and charges the entire range of one's changing emotional states and predominating tendencies.
These numerical resonances (e.g., a 6th plane or sub-plane, a 6th vehicle, the 6th Ray) reinforce or conflict with the other rays that constitute the individual and this interaction of vibrations compose what is each man's incarnational tendencies in his physical, astral, mental, and higher bodies. While each of our bodies are composed of the plane's particular ray qualities, each individual brings his or her unique set of rays which interact with that of the plane's natural qualities and tendencies.
In the PIP II we deal with the rays of five bodies: the physical, astral, and mental, the personality as a whole, and the soul. These five bodies are composed of material of the three lower solar systemic planes. The permanent atoms, and mental unit, are a kind of nucleus around which the matter of each plane coheres to create a body from that level of material. These permanent atoms retain the memory from previous lives and so one may 'pick up' (at the stage of evolution achieved in a former life) where one left off.
THE FIRST PLANE - LOGOIC or DIVINE PLANE
- First Ray
- First Cosmic Etheric; Adi
- Divine Flames or Divine Lives
- The Logos
- Sun; Leo; Fire and Air: the "Sea of Fire"
- Parashakti or Supreme Energy
This plane is the atomic plane of the seven systemic planes. The Lord of the World (Sanat Kumara) has His principal focus on this plane and the Christ (the Lord Maitreya) is just attaining consciousness and effectiveness upon it. This plane is called the "Sea of Fire", and from it emanates the energy which animates the entire cosmic physical plane. The Council Chamber of Shamballa is found principally upon this plane. From it all dynamic, creative impulses go forth, inspiring life upon the lower six planes. Only a Master of the seventh initiation (such as the Christ) can begin to focus upon this plane.
THE SECOND PLANE - THE MONADIC PLANE
- Second Ray
- Second Cosmic Etheric: Anupadaka
- Divine Builders, Burning Sons of Desire
- Virgo; Jupiter; Ether
- Kriyashakti or the Materializing Ideal
The term Monad signifies the divine Spark that is projected from the Divine or Godhead, and again It projects a further projection of Itself into this second plane. This is the permanent home of this divine Spark, known among all occultists as the "Monad". It is on this Second Plane that the Monad is formed — a spark of divine consciousness whose process of involution and evolution leads to the development of the human soul and the heights of spiritual grandeur that lies beyond it. The Monad consists of three aspects on this plane: Will or Power, Love-Wisdom, and Active Intelligence. This spark of spiritual consciousness, this Monad, radiates further from itself a projection of Itself to the planes below. This is the soul, which builds a form about itself — a body built of the atoms of the plane of physical manifestation.
THE THIRD - THE ATMIC OR SPIRITUAL PLANE
- Third Ray
- Third Cosmic Etheric or Atmic Plane
- Lesser Builders Conferring Form; The Triple Flowers
- Saturn; Libra; Water; Atmic Plane
- World of Divine Spirit
- Jnanashakti or Force of Mind
This is the plane from which the Will of God — the Planetary Logos — is recognized and accessed. It is plane of Divine Law expressed through Divine Thought. All life in the lower five worlds (or planes) is controlled from this plane of Divine Will. The Divine Plan as it is intended by the Planetary Logos is held on a strict course as a result of the energy emanating from this plane — the highest of the three planes upon which the spiritual triad of man is found. The Atmic plane is the highest upon which the permanent atoms are found, and an atmic "body" is therefore proposed, but not addressed in the work of the PIP II.
THE FOURTH PLANE - THE BUDDHIC or INTUITIONAL PLANE
- Fourth Ray
- Fourth Cosmic Etheric of Buddhis Plane
- Human Hierarchy; the Initiates; Lords of Sacrifice
- Mercury; Scorpio, Solar Angels, Agnishvattas
- Mantrikashakti - the Word made flesh; speech
The term "buddh" in Sanskrit denotes wisdom; this is the plane of divine wisdom and divine love or intuition. This is the plane of harmony, unifying love and an intuition which reveals the whole. This plane is the middle aspect of the spiritual triad (atma-buddhi-manas), and is the vibratory level towards which humanity as a whole aspires. Upon this plane is found the "clear cold light" which reveals truth as it really is, unmediated by any thoughtforms. We see from the chart that there are three planes above the Intuitional, and three below, so the Intuitional Plane is the midway point.
The following three planes are called the three worlds of man.
THE FIFTH PLANE - THE MENTAL PLANE
- Fifth Ray
- Cosmic Gaseous: Manasic Plane
- Human Personality; Makara, the Mystery
- Venus; Capricorn; Solar Angel; Fire; Mental Plane
- Ichchhashakti; Will to Manifest
The Mental plane is composed of the Abstract and Concrete levels; the higher and lower mental planes. Remember in each of the planes there are seven sub-planes.
The three higher subplanes of the mental plane comprise the higher mental plane. Here the causal body or egoic lotus finds its place. On the highest of the subplanes of the higher mental plane is found the mental permanent atom, which is the seat of the abstract mind. The abstract mind allows us to generalize and think in patterns, so the mental design in which all concrete objects (including concrete thoughts) have their place can be discerned. The abstract mind is that which creates the patterns or the blueprints of ideas and thoughts; the abstract mind builds the blueprints and the concrete mind manifests. The lower four subplanes are the 'concrete mental'. Upon this vibratory level, thought-forms are subjected to lower reasoning and planning faculties, computations and logical analysis. Notice that the midway zone, the 4th subplane, is where the "mental unit" is located.
In addition to this duality of the mental plane, we recognize the third 'mind' as the causal field itself, the 'home' or Causal Body on the Higher Mental Plane, the Soul's body. This is the point of anchorage for the Solar Angel — the angelic Guide and Mentor who remains with us for millions of years aiding our evolution.
THE SIXTH PLANE - THE EMOTIONAL OR ASTRAL PLANE
- Sixth Ray
- Cosmic Liquid; Plane of Desire
- Mars; Sagittarius; Water; Astral Plane
- Lunar Lords; Sacrificial Fires
- Kundalinishakti; Energy of Form
This is the major plane of glamor and illusion. This vibratory level is related to the dynamics of feelings and emotions, or attraction and repulsion. The astral plane is the plane of desire, or of gravitation towards the not-self. At the present level of development, humanity as a whole is polarized in the astral body, meaning the mass of men are governed principally by feeling, emotions and desires, and not by the mind or will. Those on the spiritual path are endeavoring to free themselves from this body of glamour and move into the more purposeful and rational polarization of the mental body.
THE SEVENTH PLANE - THE PHYSICAL PLANE
- Seventh Ray
- Cosmic Dense Physical; plane of matter
- Moon; Aquarius; Earth
- Elemental Lives; Baskets of Nourishment, the Blinded Lives
The physical plane is divided into two major regions: The dense or concrete realm and the etheric vitalizing subplanes of the four higher physical ethers. This pattern is the same as that of the Cosmic Planes, with the four higher cosmic ethers and the three lower gaseous, liquid and dense expressions below. The term "as above, so below" will prove of good use in these studies.