Growth Online

The Course of Human Evolution

Articles

The makeup of the individual, our current status,
and our evolutionary possibilities

by Roy Posner, MSS

[We would like to acknowledge the teachings of the Indian sage and seer Sri Aurobindo for providing the foundation for the material below. We would also like to acknowledge the groundbreaking work of The Mother's Service Society who have extended these foundation principles into various fields of life, as expressed in the many ideas that follow.]


Introduction
In this
extended article we trace the course of human evolution; including our makeup, our current status, and our evolutionary possibility. First, we will discover the principles of consciousness that have emerged since the birth of the universe. Then we will discuss the makeup of the individual human being who emerged in the universe. There we will discover that the makeup of the individual human consists of planes that closely parallel the original principles of the universe. Then we will more closely examine these planes of the person, breaking them down into their more subtle sub-components. Finally, we will discuss how an individual human grows, develop, and evolve amongst these levels; and we will address the issue of where humanity is headed in the future. Along the way we will also introduce the spiritual planes of life for the individual; the key to his ultimate progress, accomplishment, fulfillment, and joy in life.

Let's then begin with an understanding of the four major principles of existence in the universe; which will help us understand the basis of who we are.


THE FOUR PLANES OF THE UNIVERSE  
(top)

The evolution of humanity began far before we appeared on earth. It really begins with the creation of the universe. From some Conscious Force, perhaps we can call it a spiritual Reality, an essential Energy emerged completely at rest. When that essential energy began to move, and then coagulated into forms of existence, the universe was born. In that universe, the first essential forms of existence took shape. Though there are unseen forms of existence -- including subtle forces and powers --the first forms we come to physically know are the forms of Matter.

Gradually, we see from within a proper mixture of the elements of matter, a second aspect emerging out of the inconscient matter. It is the animation of matter, which we can call the Vital (or Life) aspect or development. These vitalized forms, or 'life forms" range from the simplest (e.g. plants, amoebae, paramecium, fungus) all the way up through the complex animals in the primate family to humans.

A further evolutionary development in animate forms takes place. First in very rudimentary and later in more and more complex arrangements we see the birth of self-consciousness. In the earliest forms of animate life, consciousness appears to be based in chemical responses to impacts from internal or external sources. We see initial signs of life trying to defend, adapt, protect, hunt, etc. Gradually as higher forms of life with greater complexity emerged on earth we observe that consciousness, in fact, becomes different from the nervous response to chemical reactions. As thought, inspiration and creativity slowly emerge in the lower animals, and then in the higher primates, and finally in humans, we can clearly see more than just the mechanics, animus, and responses of the organism at work. Thus, we see the third aspect, mentality or Mind emerging in the evolution of creation.  Mind is the next building block of nature that is the basis of a more fully self-conscious species capable of self-choice and direction. It is most fully developed in humans, especially in the past ten thousand years, and its influence is rapidly accelerating, especially in the past 100 years.

Recently in what might be called modern times, say a few thousand years ago, we see another development emerging in the self-conscious species we call man. The evolutionary development of spiritual awakening or spiritual consciousness has appeared. Though rare, this experience has repeatedly occurred not just in ancient mystical societies but throughout modern times. In fact, when we scan life today, we find a small cross-section of individuals with a growing aspiration to exceed mind and find union and harmony in a higher universal consciousness. Thus Spirit is the fourth evolutionary development of existence in the universe. This principle is likely to expand in man after he has more successfully realized the full power of his mental consciousness.

Four Successive, Ascending Evolutionary
Developments in the Universe

^ Spirit
Mind
Vital
(Animated Life)
Matter
[Universe begins here]
(from moving Energy)


Involution and Evolution
We should point out that three of the four evolutionary developments in the universe actually existed before the universe existed. It is actually because they existed as plane of consciousness before creation that they exist in creation. Before creation there was Spirit from which in the "Involution" emerged a plane of Mind (unseen, hidden, unmanifest), which enabled a plane of Life, which is really an unseen essential Energy at rest. The universe essentially begins at the point where the unmoving energy of the Involution begins to move and coagulate in into the forms of existence. As these forms take shape, as subtle forces, plasma, matter, etc. the universe takes shape.

For more on this relationship between the involution (i.e. all that led up to creation) and the evolution (i.e. from the creation of the universe forward), click here. This is diagrammed below:

Planes in the Involution and Evolution

V

D
E
S
C
E
N
T

V
Involution
(all that led up to creation)
Evolution
(the creation, universe forward)
^

A
S
C
E
N
T

^

Spirit
(Conscious Force)
Spirit
(Conscious Force)
Plane of Mind Mind
Plane of Life
(i.e. Energy at rest)
Vital
(Animated Life)
(from moving Energy)
[Universe begins here]

Matter
Matter
[Universe begins here]
(from moving Energy)


Notes:
-The universe as we know it essentially begins at the point where the unseen Energy at rest begins to move and coagulate into forms.)



-Together what is before creation and the creation itself, i.e. the involution and the evolution, before and including the universe, i.e. the One and the Many, is what is called The Absolute in the West, and Brahman in the East. (To have a vision of the oneness of Brahman is to see the perfect relation between spirit and life; to see that they are really the same things in different formation of substance and consciousness. Such a vision is to have an ultimate spiritual realization of life.)

Now that we have discovered the four evolutionary developments in creation  -- Matter, Vital (animated life), Mind, and Spirit, -- let us turn our attention to the human being, and understand what we are made up of.


THE VERTICAL PLANES OF THE INDIVIDUAL
(top)

As a result of the development of the universe, including life on earth, mankind has evolved to his present status. Over time the individual human has developed a range of qualities, capacities, and planes that in many ways parallels the principles that occur in the unfolding of the universe and life on earth. Matter of the universe takes shape as the physical body in the individual; Life in the universe has become the life force and vital consciousness in the individual; Mind in the universe has manifest as the mental consciousness in the individual; and the Spirit in the universe is a spiritual plane of consciousness that the individual can rise to through the spiritualized mind, and deep within through one's evolving soul.

The physical, vital, and mental planes all exist and are simultaneously active in each person, though the extent of their relative development and the preponderance of the influence they exercise on the personality differs from person to person. Also, the physical, vital, and mental exist and function interdependently among one another. (The fourth plane, the spiritual occurs in only a very few individuals.)

Looking at the four planes of individual consciousness, in an ascending scale from the physical body, to the vital, to the mind to the spirit, we can summarize each of these planes in the individual as follows:

Four Planes of Consciousness of the Human Individual



^

A
S
C
E
N
T

^

 

Spiritual The consciousness beyond mind that connects to the underlying spiritual reality of the universe and the transcendent Divine.
Mental The facts, thoughts, sentiments, opinions, beliefs, values, ideals, ideas, and concepts that guide our conscious thinking, conceptualizing and decision-making processes.
Vital/Emotional
Definition: The semi-conscious sensations, urges, desires, feelings, emotions, and attitudes. The vital provides the energy for human action and expresses itself through attraction, liking, desire and enthusiasm.

Functioning: It (1) is where we experience the vital sensation of the central nervous system, our primal urges, desires, and fears; (2) where we experience our feelings, emotions, and passions of life; and (3) is where the emotions are processed into emotional thought, i.e. into the emotions' perception of knowledge, and it is where our attitudes, our life intelligence, and higher emotions reside.*

Physical Definition: The subconscious awareness and impulses of the body expressed in animal instincts, basic drives of human nature, and inherited character traits. The primary drives of the physical are for self-preservation and reproduction. 

Functioning: It is (1) that which gives us material form, our raw physical existence, consisting of matter; (2) it is where our movements originate; (3) it is the seat of our physical urges and sensations, and (4) it is where the body learns how to act, i.e. where it learns the primary skills needed for existence.

*The vital also includes our association and connections with others around us. I.e. our relationship at the social plane.


(Society's 4 Stages/Planes of Evolution -- We should also point out that society itself has also developed down through time in three successive ages (physical, vital, mental, and potentially spiritual), which also parallels our principles and makeup of the creation of the universe and the makeup of the individual. For more on this, click here.) 


Breakdown of Planes of Human Consciousness into Sub Levels
Each of the planes of human consciousness -- physical, vital and mental (we will leave out spiritual for the time being, since it exists only rarely in humans at this point in our evolution) -- can be further subdivided into three sub-levels, bringing the total to at least nine distinct, identifiable levels of human consciousness. (This model we can call the vertical scale of human consciousness, and is presented below. It is based primarily on the works of the seer and sage Sri Aurobindo and further developed by members of the Mother's Service Society and Growth Online.) This model shows an ascending consciousness (i.e. from the bottom up) that goes from the most physical plane (at the bottom) and its related sublevels 9, 8, and 7, to the vital plane and its sub-levels 6, 5, and 4, to the mental plane (at the top) and its sublevels, 3, 2, and 1. Level 1 is the highest sublevel
in terms of consciousness and subtlety of substance.

Three (of the Four) Planes of the Human Individual Further Broken down into SubPlanes

#

Name Description
M
E
N
T
A
L

1

Pure Mental This is where pure thinking, conceptual thinking takes place; where ideas are organized; concepts, ideas, possibilities are developed. There is no connection here to the senses of the body here as perceived in the sense mind below. It is pure thought. It is the center of our mental skills.
2 Vital in the Mental This is where we gain a knowledge of life's workings; where the practical organized knowledge and comprehension of facts of level 3 is imbued with the emotions and feelings that turn organized comprehension into our interests, opinions, beliefs, sentiments, values, and ideals.
3 Physical in the Mental The processing, organizing, systemizing of physical, natural, practical facts of information from the senses into understanding, comprehension, and knowledge, used for decision-making, action, and accomplishment.
V
I
T
A
L
4 Mental in Vital This is where emotions (of the next level) are processed into emotional thought, the emotions' perception of knowledge. It is where our attitudes, life intelligence, and higher emotions lie. It is the center of our vital skills.
5 Pure Vital This is where our feelings, emotions, passion, enthusiasm reside.
6 Physical in Vital This is where we experience the vital sensation of the nerves, the central nervous system, where we experience urge, desire, and fear.
P
H
Y
S
I
C
A
L
7 Mental in Physical This is the consciousness of the body, where it learns how to act, where it learns the primary skills needed for existence and action from movement. It is the center of our physical skills.
8 Vital in Physical This is the seat of our physical urges and sensations. It is where nervous sensation, pain, physical urge, hunger, lust, craving, physical possessiveness, and territoriality are rooted.
9 Pure Physical This is the pure physical, the body itself, our raw physical existence, consisting of matter. It is also where our movements originate.

For an even more powerful chart of how these nine levels express in terms of function, traits, works in life, skills, etc. please click here.  
 

Examining the Nine Levels
If we look at our table of nine levels we would notice a few interesting things. For one, if we look at one of the planes, say the mental planes we will see that it consists of three items, which have aspects of the other three planes. That is within the mental plane, there is a physical mental level, a vital mental level, and a mental mental level. 

Remember our earlier idea that in the creation, that the vital emerged out of the physical, and the mental evolved out of the mental. That each emerging plane had the seed of the next plane. In a way this is also brought out in our table of nine levels (as e.g. in the physical plane there is a vital aspect of it, and in the mental there is a vital aspect to it.)

Let's then break down the nine levels. At level 1, mental mental, the highest, or most evolved level, the mind is used for pure thought and to conceive new ideas and possibilities. At level 2, vital in the mental, the mind is engaged in interpreting the inputs form the five senses. That's why we call it vital mental; vital having to do with sensation. At level 3, the physical in the mental, we have the physical processing of data by the brain. 

Now we come down to the vital level. At level 4, the mental vital, we experience the emotions' perception of knowledge. It is where our attitudes are expressed. At level 5, vital vital, or vital proper, we experience our feelings, emotions, passion. At level 5, physical vital, or vital proper, we experience the physical aspect of our feelings and emotions; that is we experience the physical aspect of our feelings, emotions, and passions.

Now we come down to the physical level. At level 7,the mental physical, we experience the consciousness of the body. For example, when we walk there is an automatic inward, physical knowledge that knows what to do. This is the consciousness of the physical body. At level 8, we experience our physical urges and sensations, such as nervous sensation, comfort, pain, physical urge, hunger, lust, craving, physical possessiveness, territoriality, and sexuality. At level 9, the physical physical, or the physical proper, we encounter the actual physical matter that the body is made up of. There is no consciousness or sensation here; it is the material substance itself.



The greatest change that is occurring in human development is at the mental level, a levels 3, 2, and 1 in the chart above. Even within the mental plane there is a movement to higher manifestations (e.g. from just understanding, fact and thought gathering of level1 to the sentiments, ideals, values at level 2 to the pure thought and rationality of level 1.)

It is also interesting to observe how one plane impacts the next highest one up. For example, there is a vital element in the mental plane as we see at level 2, where sentiments, values, and ideals express. These are mixtures of mental facts and thoughts to our emotional propensities form the vital realm. A sentiment is a highly developed thought mixed with a tinge of emotion. The same with a value or an ideal at level 2. We see this tendency of planes to be effected by lower planes. That effect is essentially why there are sublevels expressing within each of the physical, vital, and mental planes.


Current State of Human Evolution

At this point in human evolution most individual's lives are primarily focused and centered primarily at the vital
plane (of desire, wants, feelings, which fall within levels 6, 5, and 4), with a degree of touching on the mental plane. A significant but smaller group of humans also live at the mental level. For most of these individuals the development is predominantly in the lower parts of the mental plane as opposed to the higher. The focus is on processing information and thought gathering rather than the pure thinking, reasoning, and conceptualizing new ideas and possibilities (as in level 1). Only a small number of individuals live at this higher level of conceptual mind (level 1) of pure, rational thinking. Finally, only a very few also live at the higher planes of life, spiritualized mind where one is able to perceive information in silence, illumination, intuition; gaining more of, the full essence of the integral, perfect truth in the pursuit of the object of knowledge

Moving Away from the Impact of the Five Senses on Mind
We should also point out that one of the key reasons that humans do not have a developed consciousness in life is because when the mind functions at the mental level it is too much affected by the input of the five senses. When we are living at the surface of life, the mind is too affected by the senses, which distorts its capacity to know in life. It is only when we live in a deeper consciousness that we move away from the bombardment of the senses, which enables mind to be able to perceive the greater truths around it, giving us greater effectivity and efficiency in life. This is one of the great themes of the Growth Online site. (For more on living in the depths, click here.)

 

Personal Growth Through the Planes and Sublevels
As an individual grows and evolves, he ascends the scale of human consciousness. Ascending the scale may happen in many different ways. An individual may grow by developing higher capacities and tendencies at the current level, or by evolving to the next level or higher levels. (The former would be a considerable growth for the individual; the latter would be an unusual and dramatic evolution of the individual.) Each of these movements indicates some form of growth, development, and evolution for the person. 

In the film Educating Rita we witness how one woman ascends the vertical scale of consciousness. A likable, uneducated and somewhat crude woman she aspires to become educated. Through her collaboration with a professor in England she learns to read, write, and understand. As a result of this accomplishment she ascended from the vital plane to the mental plane. More specifically she moved from the vital plane into the next highest level, level 3, of the mental plane, the center where one acquires practical knowledge and information. She also slightly entered level 2 (where one develops emotional/mental sentiments such as poetry and one understands the workings of life itself), and perhaps even level 1 (where one conceptualizes completely original ideas). 

When a person grows and ascends the scale, the effect can be on many if not all the levels. That's because all of the levels are tied into one another, reflecting the fact that all the parts of our being (mental, vital, psychological, mental, spiritual) are tied together. Moreover, as we evolve up into and through a higher level we don't necessarily leave the "lower" levels behind, but uplift and purify them. For example, as a person gains more awareness of the causes of a physical problem or illness (a higher mental movement upward), it can in turn have an affect downward through his emotional and physical being. Let's say a person acquires the knowledge (level 3) that stress is an important factor in physical well-being. This bit of knowledge (i.e. a thought) can then be applied to his emotions by learning to control ones emotional reactions to strain by learning to become more calm, which in turn has the effect of reducing stress which in turn makes the body more healthy. Thus the movement upward into a higher awareness of thought had a movement downward through his emotions and physical well being.

To see the complete table describing all nine levels, along with definitions, expressions in life, etc. as well as a detailed analysis of the makeup of human consciousness among these levels, please click here.

Levels of Love at Four Planes
Every idea expresses through related ideas that offer shadings of it at the physical, vital, mental, and spiritual levels. Take the notion of love. At the physical level it is pure attachment. At the vital level it is intensity of need and desire. At the mental level it is admiration for another's character or ideal. At the spiritual level, it is pure self-givingness. As we see when we move up the scale there is a reversal from taking to giving.


THE FOURTH VERTICAL PLANE: THE SPIRITUAL
(continued --the vertical scale of human consciousness
 -- physical, vital, mental)

(top)

We have suggested that there is a plane beyond the physical, vital, and mental levels of the human. That plane we call the spiritual plane. This is the plane which the human race is slowly embracing in its evolution. Based on the teachings of the Indian sage and seer Sri Aurobindo and the work of The Mother's Service Society in this area, we have developed a schema for the spiritual plane. The Spiritual plane consists of spiritual qualities and capacities of mind that are above even the highest mental qualities, which we identify as Higher mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, Overmind, and Supermind, in an ascending scale upwards to greater and greater capacity (culminating in Supermind). The Supramental spiritual level is the ultimate dynamic spirit of the universe with its infinite powers, which can interact with the individual through the mind. The Absolute is pure spirit; the source of all. Below we list the levels relative to the other levels. 

Four Planes and SubPlanes Available to the Human Individual

PLANE LEVEL
Spiritual The Absolute
  Pure Spirit
  Supermind
  Overmind
Spiritual Mind Intuitive Mind
  Illumined Mind
  Higher Mind
Mental Pure Mind
  Vitalized Mind
  Physical in the Mind
Vital Mental Vital
  Pure Vital
  Physical Vital
Physical Mental Physical
  Vital Physical
  Pure Physical


The spiritual plane for the individual is defined as the higher powers of mind beyond our normal functioning of, plus levels beyond that. The higher levels of mind are Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, and Intuitive Mind. Beyond the higher levels of mind are Overmind and Supermind. Whereas the mind understands through the thinking process, the higher mind understands and "thinks" in Silence without thoughts, where the thought, understanding appears from within the framework of silence. Illumined Mind does not work primarily by thought but by vision. It is Mind no longer of higher thought/silence, but of spiritual light, an illumination of Spirit. Intuitive mind directly perceives the object, and does not need the medium even of light. 

Whereas mind proper comprehends the object of a knowledge via an intelligible idea, Higher Mind comprehends by silent observation or reception of the situation, Illumined Mind comprehends the object of knowledge when the idea becomes a vision or light, Intuitive Mind comprehends the object of knowledge through direct communication without the intermediaries of energy, idea, silence or light, and Supermind the object of knowledge by having the object of knowledge within as soon as it wishes to comprehend the knowledge, without the need for any communication from the object of knowledge. 

LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL MIND, & SUPERMIND

Supermind
(Truth consciousness)

The object of integral, unified knowledge just appears inside one's mind; one is also a creator of that knowledge from out of nothing; i.e. one is the knowledge. Knower, knowledge, and knowing are one.

Intuitive Mind
(Spiritual Mind)

The object of knowledge just descends into the mind, without any thought.

Illumined Mind
(Spiritual Mind)

Knowledge comes as descents of light and illumination. Thought is replaced in those moments through vision.

Higher Mind
(Spiritual Mind)

Heightened thought occurs in the framework of inner silence.

(One can connect more often to these spiritual realms of mind by making the effort of transformation. That effort begins with a movement within, and then extends out to the spiritual forces and powers in life. To learn how to make an evolutionary change, i.e. to rise to and transform one's self to these level of spiritual mind, click here. For an explanation of transformation to the level of Supermind, click here.)

 For additional thoughts on mind and spiritual mind, click here.


The Evolution of Human Consciousness Summarized


Table
of the Evolution of Human Consciousness



^

A
S
C
E
N
T

^

 

Spiritual Mind and Pure Spirit The Absolute, Brahman The Absolute, Brahman, the Divine Consciousness
(integral vision of all planes)
E, C-F, D Existence (Pure Spirit), Conscious Force, Delight
Supermind Knowledge by Identity (Truth Consciousness)
(object of knowledge sought created within)
Intuitive Mind Intuition, revelations
(of total object of knowledge, w/o thought)
Illumined Mind Light and Illumination
(descents of knowledge, w/o thought)
Higher Mind Silence of mind
(enabling better thought, greater knowledge)
Mental Pure Mental
(The mind proper)
Ideas, Concepts, Rational Thinking, Logical, Rational Thinking, Pure Thought, Conscious Self-conception
Vital in the Mental
(The vital part of the mental plane)
Knowledge of Life's Workings;
Knowledge Imbued with Feeling, Emotion
(interests, opinions, sentiments, beliefs, values, and ideals)
Physical in the Mental
(The physical part of the mental plane)
Input, Processing, Organizing, Storage of Sense Data
(for understanding, comprehension;
practical knowledge; used for decision making)
Vital Mental Vital
(The mental part of the vital plane)
 Emotional Thought as Attitudes, Life Intelligence, Higher Emotions
(including conduct, social norms, conscience)
Pure Vital
(Vital proper)
Emotions, Feelings, Passions, Intense Human Relationships
Physical Vital
(The physical part of the vital plane)
Sensation of the Nerves
(urge, desire, fear; seeks action, relationship, expansion,
adventure, acquisition, conquest, and enjoyment
)
Physical (Body) Mental Physical
(The mental part of the physical plane)
Body Knowledge of How to Act, Primary Skills of Existence
Vital Physical
(The vital part of the physical plane)
Physical Urges and Sensation
(pain, hunger, lust, craving,  possessiveness, territoriality, attraction/repulsion, etc.)
Pure Physical
(The physical proper)
-Origins of Physical Movement, Instinct for Survival
-Inconscient (i.e. unconscious) Physical Matter


Explanation:
Above
is a hierarchy of human functioning within the four planes of consciousness. Each plane shows a movement to ever-higher functionings in that plane. This is in essence the evolution of higher consciousness within that plane. E.g. (shown at the bottom of the table) within the plane of the Physical (body) there is a beginning of inconscient matter (inherited from the animal ancestor and before to the plant, which emerged out of the inconscient, non-conscious physical matter, gas, mineral, born of creation), the origins of physical movement, and the instinct for survival. This is at the Pure Physical level. At the next level, the Vital Physical (the vital part of the physical plane), we see the emergence of the physical urges and sensations, as indicated through pain, hunger, craving, possessiveness, attraction and repulsion. etc. which in turn evolves to the Mental Physical where the body knowledge of how to act, and the primary skills of existence develops.

The physical/body plane then evolves a Vital plane. It begins in the Physical Vital with the development of the sensations of the nerves as urge, desire, and fear. There is a seeking of action, relationship, adventure, conquest, et al at this subplane. From this emerges the Pure Vital where there is the development of emotions, feelings, passions, including the emergence of intense human relationships. That evolves the Mental Vital, where there is the development of emotional thought in the form of attitudes, life intelligence, and higher emotions.

The vital plane then evolves a Mental plane. This emerges with the Physical in the Mental where there is the processing of thoughts gathered through the inputs of the five senses. This data is processed, organized, and stored for understanding and comprehension which becomes practical knowledge which is used for decision making. From there evolves the subplane of the Vital in the Mental, where there is further developed a knowledge of life's workings, where knowledge is imbued with feelings and emotions, which takes the form of interests, sentiments, values, and ideals. Out of the evolves the Pure Mental, devoid of sense input and influence, where there is the development of pure ideas, concepts, the activity of rational thinking and the use of logic. Pure thought emerges, as does the individual's ability to self-conceive his existence, such as what he wishes to become.

The mental plane then evolves to the Spiritual plane, which begins with the subplanes of the spiritual Mind, including the Higher, the Illumined, and the Intuitive planes of the spiritual mind, and beyond to the unitary consciousness of Supermind, and above that still to pure spirit and Being of the Absolute. In Higher Mind one reaches an inner silence from which thought and knowledge more readily emerge on their own. Beyond that is Illumined Mind where descents of light and knowledge come into the mind without thought. Further still there is a descent of intuitions and revelation of complete object of knowledge at the subplane of Intuitive Mind, again without thought. Beyond that is Supermind where the object of knowledge appears and is born within, created inside one's self. It is the knowledge by identity, the ultimate truth consciousness of Knowledge. It is also a Force of spirit that we can open that can dynamically change our existence. Beyond that is the Existence, Consciousness-Force, Delight (i.e. the pure spirit/Being, that is conscious of itself and delights in that fact). It is known as Satchitananda in the East. Ultimately there is the Absolute (Brahman in the East) which is to have the integral vision of the relation and oneness of all planes below it.

Note: It should be mentioned that this evolution did not take place in a perfect sequence. E.g. there may be the basic sense-input of functioning at the mental plane before attitudes at the lower vital plane were more fully developed.
 

 For additional thoughts and references to the vertical scale of human consciousness from matter to spirit, click here.


THE HORIZONTAL PLANES OF THE INDIVIDUAL
(from the surface to the inner consciousness)
(top)

(Click here to go directly to a chart of the horizontal scale)

INTRODUCTION
It is then not too difficult to comprehend that we essentially consist of distinct aspects or centers of consciousness; a physical, a vital, a mental, and a spiritual plane. We can call this grouping the "vertical scale of human consciousness." However, there is another scale of human consciousness that is also part of our human makeup, though it is far less understood or even perceived as real. This other scale ranges from our outer surface consciousness to an inner consciousness in the depths of our being. One way to imagine this is a series of concentric circles expanding out from the center of our being to the outer surface. The outer circle would be the surface of life we experience at the most material level, the inner circle would be our deepest parts within. We can choose to live on the surface of life or be centered in the depths of our being. The more we are influenced by the positive elements of the depths there are also negative elements), the higher our consciousness; the more we live on the surface, i.e. the outer rings, the less conscious we are of the world. As we bring the higher consciousness of the depths to our surface life, replacing the current surface occupations of the outer material world experienced through our sense, the more we evolve. This movement is a  key to our future growth and development as a species.

The inner consciousness (or being) consists of unconscious parts and very conscious parts. The unconscious parts include the inconscient and the subconscient (subconscious), while the conscious parts consist of the subliminal, or subtle physical, vital, and mental parts, and more conscious still, the personal evolving soul, the True Self behind the subliminal being.

As we move our consciousness away from the surface of life and more towards the inner positive Subliminal being and even greater still to the Personal Evolving Soul (the Psychic Being) we break the bonds of our limited nature. We begin to come in contact with greater forces and powers within, which enable us to have greater control of the outer live; which breaks down our limiting, separative ego-sense, which overcomes our fundamental Ignorance which prevents us from having true, integral Knowledge, open us up to universal forces and powers, and enables us to experience the greatest Delight of existence.

Let's consider the limited and greater parts of our inner being. The bedrock of all matter in the universe is unconsciousness, which we can call the Inconscient realm. That unconsciousness, inconscience of matter lives inside the human in the mostly negative Subconscient realm within. However, sitting atop the Subconscient is the very positive Subliminal, which throws up positive influences to our surface being. Within the Subliminal is the Personal Evolving Soul (the Psychic Being), which is the great aspect of our being that enables us to discover our true evolutionary nature. As we make contact with the Subliminal and Psychic Being, we evolve. We begin to do this in life by moving from living on the surface of life to moving into these depths. Ultimately we must also evolve the unevolved subconscient realms within, which we do by opening to the Superconscient realm, which is essentially the spiritual domain. When the spiritual domain evolves the subconscient, and we are firmly living in the depths of our being in the Subliminal and Personal Evolving Soul, the human individual will have begun the process of being transformed into his ultimate evolutionary possibility.


-We can then say that the
horizontal scale of consciousness ranges from the inner consciousness that we are not aware of to our ordinary, mostly aware of surface consciousness to a superconscient of higher realms of universal and transcended consciousness that we are no normally cognizant of. Here is a diagram:

THE HORIZONTAL SCALE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS
(surface to depths)
The Inner Consciousness
(The depths within)
The Outer Consciousness
(Our surface existence)
Superconscient
The Inconscient
(Core foundation of unconsciousness)

The Subconscient
(Subconscious)

The Subliminal
-Inner Physical
-
Inner Vital
-
Inner Mental

The Psychic Being
(
The Personal Evolving Soul)

 

-Outer Physical
-
Outer Vital
-
Outer Mental

-Where humans normally function from.


The universal and transcendent realms

-which we can connect to and evolve our inner & outer consciousness

(for an even more detailed view of the Inner Consciousness, click here)

(It can also be diagrammed where the outer consciousness is a ring just outside, and perpendicular ourselves; and the inner rings within ourselves are the parts of the inner being.)

Re: the Superconscient -- The ultimate consciousness, aside from the psychic being within is the superconscient which are the truths, powers, forces of the universal and transcendent planes. In the evolution and transformation of the individual, achieved through conscious evolution/yoga -- we open to the superconscient, which comes into us and transforms the subconscient and the inconscient elements within to evolve them, which in turn evolves our normal, surface consciousness, knowledge, awareness, and capacities.

 

PARTS/PLANES OF THE INNER CONSCIOUSNESS

Here is a breakdown of each of the inner parts of our being:

The Subconscient (Subconscious)
Consider the realm of our psyche Freud called the "subconscious." On analysis we see that he has given us a rather narrow interpretation of this inner realm of the individual. Our own interpretation is that the subconscious (which we actually refer to as the "subconscient") is an unevolved realm of our consciousness that is constantly throwing up influences to our surface being in the form of subtle sensations, emotions, feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Unfortunately, most of the influences that originate from the subconscient are quite negative. That's the case because the subconscient is an unconscious and unevolved part of our inner being; a kind of vestige of our primitive heritage. For example, a good deal of the fear we experience in life wells up from this realm. Or, when we sleep and wake up tired and exhausted in the morning as a result of incessant, draining dreams, we know we have spent time traveling in this unconscious realm. Also, in the course of our days when we feel pessimistic, or things seem hopeless, or we sense that there is no way out of a situation or a difficulty, you know that the subconscient is sending up its negative impression to our surface thoughts and feelings. Perhaps most negatively the subconscient is the part of our being that reinforces our physical illnesses. Have you ever felt a cold coming on, and suddenly you think to yourself "oh no, not a cold?" Well that's the subconscient influence of fear and pessimism at work, reinforcing and solidifying the possibility of the illness. The subconscient has this overall negative nature because it has built in memory of millennia of human suffering, disease, and death. It sends up pessimistic, negative, fear-laden messages intent on overcoming the positives that occur on the surface. Its message is that anything positive on the surface is but a temporary distraction and waste of time because we will all end in disease, death, and destruction.

Needless to say the subconscient part needs to be changed and transformed into something greater if the human individual is to emerge out of his current limited consciousness. It would certainly be a big step in human evolution if we could learn to recognize the influences of the subconscient in our lives, and then take conscious actions to transform this unconscious part of our inner being. That would certainly be an admirable goal for those pioneer individuals who wish to be forerunners of a new evolved human race.

(For additional thoughts on the subconscient/subconscious, click here.)


The Inner Being (the Subliminal)
But take heart; it is not all doom and gloom within! There are parts of the inner being that are quite positive and helpful. Sitting at the surface of the unevolved, dark subconscient is the "subliminal being," also called the "inner being." Like the subconscient we are continually feeling the influence of the subliminal in our thoughts and feelings. And like the subconscient we are pretty much unaware of the influence on us. The difference between the two is that the subliminal's effect on us is quite positive. The realms of the inner mind and the inner vital that make up the subliminal have a larger, subtler, freer consciousness than the outer mental and vital nature that we normally experience. When we experience life on the surface, the inner mind and vital have a deeper perception of what is going on at that moment. It sends these messages to our surface consciousness, which we can utilize for right understanding, perception, insight, and decision making. The subliminal has such powers because it itself is connected and related to universal forces and powers that have a vast insight and power to comprehend life.

Unfortunately however, most of the time we are not in touch with these positive subliminal influences because our consciousness is too centered on the surface of life; too distracted and overcome by what our senses are absorbing, which in turn cloud our thoughts and perception, blocking our ability to comprehend the full and integral knowledge of what is unfolding around us. Instead of a poise of calm concentrated observation of life, we are caught up in the surface movements and perturbations. However, as we rise in consciousness, i.e. as we consciously make movements to center our consciousness more in the depths of our being, we begin to recognize these subtle influences more often. We recognize the subtle signals that rise up from the depths, allowing them to guide us in what to do and what not to do; in how to act and what to avoid, enabling us to have more penetrating understanding and insight, leading to right behaviors, right decisions, and perfect outcomes to our actions. In that sense the subliminal is continually influencing us to move in the right direction, in the direction of our greatest possibilities and potentials. If we can learn to clear the pathways of this influence, we can begin to truly manifest our infinite potential.

(For additional thoughts on the subliminal, click here.)


The Personal Evolving Soul (the Psychic Being)
And yet there is a greater region still within us. Located in the heart of the subliminal being is our most profound part; what we recognize as our "personal evolving soul." Each person has a spark of the divine consciousness. This is his soul; an inlet and spark of the universal soul, the divine spirit. The personal evolving soul, however, is an extension of this divine soul spark; an individualization of the divine soul spark. It is a distinct formed soul entity that forms a mutual bond with the growth and development of our own personal being. Moreover, it is called an evolving soul because it is continually changing and evolving through time, as it moves through the universe from one body to the next in its search for higher consciousness and being. In that sense it really is a personal evolving soul.

If we make contact with the personal evolving soul, its influence on our day-to-day lives is immense. When we connect with it, it becomes our Inner Guide in life, helping us overcome the deficiencies in our outer character and consciousness; helping us overcome our limiting and negative behaviors, actions, habits, and attitudes. By making this contact we also connect to the universal and transcendent forces and powers in the universe, including vast openings to true, full, integral knowledge, and to the Divine Source and spirit of creation. Also, as a result of connecting to the personal evolving soul we experience a vast, never-ending joy and delight of being; a spiritual bliss, rooted in our new found association with the spiritual Divine Reality. Ultimately, connecting to the personal evolving soul is the single key to any attempt to evolve beyond our current limited human nature to a future higher consciousness and nature.

(For more on the Psychic Being, the personal evolving soul, click here.)
 

Breakdown of the Inner Consciousness

Inconscient
(Core Foundation of Unconsciousness)

-It is the original unconsciousness of creation.
-It is unconscious bedrock of matter, that is there in our physical bodies.
-
The core unevolved, unconscious part of the inner being.
-In the creation the consciousness of the Creator became the Inconscient of Matter in the Universe.
-The inconscient can change when the evolving subconscient evolves.

Subconscient
(Subconscious)

-Fundamental part of our inner consciousness.
-Has limited consciousness. First break out of the total Inconscience.
-We are not conscious of its workings.
-Is influenced by the unconsciousness of the Inconscient of matter and outer bodies that it rests on.
-It is mostly negative. Is support of our fear, pessimism, fixed habits, illness, decay, and death.
-It is
evolving.
-We need to make it conscious, i.e. evolve it.
If it evolves,
many negative aspects of life can be overcome (e.g. illness, pessimism, repeating habits, illness, even death itself). It evolves when we make contact more with the Subliminal, which sits atop it. When we bring the Superconscient (the forces and power of the universal, spiritual planes) into the Subliminal it enables the Subconscient to evolve out of its negative qualities, overcoming its shackles on the human race.

Subliminal
(
Inner Physical, Inner Vital, Inner Mental)

-It is situated on the surface of Subconscient
-We are not conscious of its workings.
-It is positive. It is in touch with and affected by the Superconscience.
-It contains the inner/subtle mind, vital, and physic
al, which are of a higher consciousness and substance then their outer manifestations.
-It sends up positive influences to our surface consciousness, which we are unconscious of.
-It is continually impacted by the Superconscient (the forces and powers of universal, spiritual planes).
-When we move within to the depths of our being, we move into this region, become more conscious of its working, enabling greater powers over life.

-We need to move within into this region to truly grow, develop, and evolve.
-When we go here, it also enables the negative Subconscient to evolve, since the Subliminal sits on top of the Subconscient. (Thus through our connection within we can transform the negative influences of the Subconscient.)

Psychic Being
(The Personal Evolving Soul)

-Most conscious part of our being. Most people have no conscious contact with it.
-Resides
inside the Subliminal; actually in a cave of the subliminal.
-Each individual has a soul, a spark of the Divine. The psychic being is the deputy of or an extension of the soul.
-The psychic being moves from body to body through time evolving itself to its ultimate possibility. When we die, the psychic leaves the body and rests, or enters another person who can provide the experiences that will enable its further evolution.
-It is an evolving entity absorbing those aspects of the individual it inhabits; it absorbs those aspects of an individual's emerging consciousness that are useful for its own growth. When it can no longer absorb soul insight from the current host, it moves to another host through death and rebirth.
-The psychic becomes formulated in us as we grow and reach a threshold of growth, which puts us in contact with it.

-Going within and connecting to it enables great progress for the individual.
-When we connect to it, vast change in the individual's consciousness begins. (Ego, separateness, Ignorance are overcome; one experiences a great Delight of Being; one connects to and can utilize universal forces and powers; it becomes our Personal Guide showing us what and what not to do, what aspects of ourselves need improvements; it enables descents of direct light and intuitions of knowledge into our minds; we reach Sri Aurobindo's Third Way of 'Simultaneous Time", we bring the Being into the Becomings of our lives, enabling the infinite to inhabit the current finite, enable the Psychic transformation, which is followed by the spiritual transformation, and supramental transformation.
-The more we consecrate acts to the Force, the more we can penetrate into the depths enabling us to connect with the psychic being. When we connect there, we are ready to surrender to the Divine.

Subliminal
(Inner Physical, Inner Vital, Inner Mental)

Subconscient
(Subconscious)

Inconscient
(Unconscious Bedrock of Matter, the body)

 

Here is another representation of the same thing:

 

 For additional thoughts and references to the horizontal scale of human consciousness from the surface to the depths, click here.

 


ASCENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL
(top)


Growth and Evolution on The Vertical and Horizontal Scale
An individual can grow, develop,
or evolve in two directions; a movement upward along the vertical scale of consciousness from physical to vital to metal to spiritual, or along the horizontal scale, from living on the surface of life to living in the depths of one's being. Vertical progress is an ascent; horizontal progress is a movement within. For example, in the vertical scale if one makes improvements in one attitudes (at level 4 of the vital of that scale), one becomes purified at that level. Or if one changes from an emotional person to more of a mental person, one's center of consciousness would tend to embrace more of the mental planes. (This indeed would be a substantial growth for the individual.) One can also move deeper within in the horizontal scale, away from the surface of life to a deeper center within. This would likewise be a spiritual development within.

One can make a spiritual development either by rising to the planes above mind to spiritual mind, such as when we have more continuous descents of illuminations and intuitions of knowledge, or we can develop spiritually by moving within to the deeper parts of our being, i.e. to the subliminal mind, and further still to the personal evolving soul within, i.e. the psychic being.

One also develops spiritually through an interaction of the vertical and horizontal planes. For example, as one moves more often to the depths of one's being, one begins to have experiences of spiritual mind, including illuminations, and revelations of knowledge, and even descents of the entire object of knowledge as intuitions devoid of thought. In other words as one goes deeper within, there is a movement up into spiritual mind (or perhaps we can say that spiritual mind descends into the person.)

Where Human Are on the Vertical Scale
On the vertical scale of consciousness most individuals are centered at the vital level, though many are also centered at the physical level, and some at the mental level. Only a handful on earth are centered at the spiritual level. As for the surface to the depths, the horizontal scale, virtually everyone lives on the surface of life. Just as few live in the realm of spiritual mind or pure spirit above mind, very few live within in the depths of one's being down to the personal evolving soul.

On the vertical scale each individual tends to be centered in one of the four planes; the physical, the vital/emotional, the mental, and the spiritual plane. For example X is a physical type person, i.e. very limited and fixated in her nature; while Y is an emotional-centered person of passions, feelings, and intense desires; while Z is a mental person, living more in the world of thoughts, ideas, logical thought, and self-conception of what he can become. Here's a little table showing four types of individual types and the expressions of each type.

We should point out that a person doesn't simply live on the plane that represents the type he is centered in. For example, though an individual is predominantly an emotional person, he still of course has a physical body, and so exists at the physical plane, and he has thoughts and ideas at the mental plane.

General Typing of Individuals
Type Expression
Spiritual Feels oneness with others and life, values truth, experiences delight of being, perceives integral knowledge, has inner force and power
Mental Thoughtful, willing to learn, moved by ideas, logical, rational, plans and self-conceives one's future or other possibilities, acts when ideas are understood
Vital Emotional, passionate, deep feelings, attachments, changeable, mercurial, acts when emotionally moved
Physical Single minded, fixated, unchangeable, doesn't learn, doesn't change, oblivious to others

Additional Thoughts on Types of Individuals

How We Rise on the Vertical Scale
By changing one's nature one can rise higher on the vertical scale of consciousness. For example, X can move from being a physical brute to an emotional, compassionate person. Or Y can move from being an overly emotional and passionate individual to become a more centered, balanced, and self-aware, rational, logical mental person. Rita in the film Educating Rita rises from a physical and vital based consciousness upward to a mental consciousness as she discovers the wonders of education, thought, and rationality. She has clearly evolved. 

However, these cases of human evolution are very rare cases. Most people do not change their center of consciousness from one whole plane to another, even when they grow in life. They may possibly move up one level of 1-9 levels in their lifetime, or change their proportions and preponderances at a few levels; or perfect themselves a bit more at their current level, and rise a bit to the next level. E.g. a passionate man who dissipates his energy may change to a passionate teacher, who now uses his mind a bit more. He retains the intensity of his vital-centerdness, but also gains more powers of mentality.

Such gentle movements are the result of personal growth or what we call personal development Movements to entire other levels or planes is a pretty radical change, and is the result of personal evolution.

Ascent and Descent
We should point also out that whether from personal growth, development, or evolution a person does not simply perfect or rise to higher levels on the vertical scale. There is also a movement downward, which we call a descent, as a result of the movement upward, the descent. That is, as the person perfects the current level or rises higher,
it also has a reverse effect of uplifting and purifying the lower. An example of this is the individual who has gained the new knowledge to live a healthier life. This is an understanding of mind, the mental plane, a mental movement upward, though it may only be a tiny movement upward. The individual now has the opportunity to implement this new knowledge in his life. If he does so, he will be taking physical actions that have the effect of improving his health; an improvement at this lower plane. As a result of the mental movement upward, there is the possibility of an improvement at a lower plane, in this case the new vitality and health at the lower physical plane. That in turn can make the person feel happier and more joyous at the vital planes. So as we ascend upward, there is also a corresponding descent back down among the planes, that perfects these lower planes to a certain degree. When we grow and develop as people, there is this movement upward, an ascent, and a corresponding descent of purification at the lower planes of consciousness as a result of the ascent.

Changing our Nature and Movement Among the Planes
Then how to we grow and evolve among the planes? Well if we overcome our negative attitudes, then we are essentially overcoming limitations at the vital plane, specifically level 4 (of 9) where our emotions are. perhaps as we do this there is an upward moment of rationality towards the mental planes of 1-3. Or if for example, we organized ourselves a bit better we would be perfecting aspects of
the physical plane, perfecting ourselves there. On the other hand we can also organize our thoughts, and ideas, which would be an improvement or upward movement at the mental planes. When we improve ourselves in such ways it has an impact on the planes that we live in. As we become more organized, more energized, have better attitudes, develop more skills and knowledge, gain psychological strength, have direction, it has an effect on corresponding planes.


How We Go Deeper on the Horizontal Scale
As previously discussed there
is also a horizontal scale of consciousness which spans on one side the most outer surface consciousness, to the other side in the inner, deeper consciousness. On the horizontal scale we can be centered at the surface or the depths of our being; from an outer, superficial consciousness driven by the pushes and pulls of our senses and Nature, to an inner consciousness where we perceive the world in its unity, harmony and multiplicity. If we are lucky we can also go so far within that we find our spiritual soul and being, the great guide in our lives, and the doorway to the infinite spiritual existence. 

One can learn to move from the surface of life to the depths of life in the horizontal scale. As we go deeper we experience, a peace and calm, we view the world around us in terms of unity and oneness of purpose. We are also able to see our weaknesses in our outer consciousness, which can enable us to change limitations like our limiting attitudes, opinions, etc.
 

Main Points

-Individuals tend to show predominance at one of the physical, vital, mental, and spiritual planes. Most live at the physical and vital; fewer at the mental; and only a handful at the spiritual.

-Humans live at all of 1-9 planes, though in different proportion at each plane along this vertical scale of consciousness.

-When a person grows he perfects one of more of the 1-9 planes. When a person evolves he moves upward to a whole other plane. Development is somewhere in between. Growth is much more common than evolution.

-When an individual ascends through growth, development, or evolution, there is a corresponding descent of perfection at lower planes.

-We grow, develop, and evolve among the planes by improving our human attributes, such as our psychological strength, energy, organization, attitudes, values, level of knowledge, skills, direction, drive, by being more giving, etc.

-A person also grows, develops, and evolves by moving from the surface to the depths within (the horizontal scale of consciousness)


Our Limited Human Nature
At Growth Online we have developed a Theory of Creation which describes how through a process of involution the universe emerged as ignorant, divided forms; and through a process of evolution evolves from matter, to life, to mind, and finally to spirit to rediscover the source that enables the manifestation in the first place. We state that in order to create the greatest multiplicity and diversity of forms in the universe, the Absolute manifest forms in the universe in duality and division; as pairs of opposites. Through opposites the greatest possibilities and diversity of quantity and quality of forms can emerge.

When translated into our known universe we see these opposites manifest as darkness and light, good and evil, knowledge and ignorance, and other dualities and divisions. Likewise, in human society it shows up as war and peace, wealth and poverty, and power and oppression, amongst others. Also, in the individual it shows up as pleasure and pain, knowledge and ignorance, truth and falsehood, pleasure and pain, and so forth. 

We have earlier described how the individual consists of three primary planes; the physical, the vital/emotional, and the mental. In the evolution of the humans down through time the opposites that take form in the universe show up in the physical (body), in the vital (i.e. in sensations, feelings, and desires), and in the mind. In each of these planes we can identify how divisions and dualities manifest.

For example, the physical plane of the human reveals itself negatively as inertia, obscurity, and other limitations. We are subject to illness, pain, and death. The vital plane shows itself negatively as unbridled desire and passions, and ego, and following the social ways blindly, amongst others. Likewise the plane of mind shows itself negatively through limited or missing information (ignorance), or by accepting wrong information or beliefs (falsehood). Mind proper can only perceive life in a linear fashion, one thought at a time, in a cause and effect manner. It tends to accepts one truth, or partial truths, and denies or is ignorant of all the truths in a thing. It tends to divide, exclude, and particularize. The exclusive tendency to accept one thing but not other parts of a truth or knowledge is the cause of our fundamental Ignorance. Falsehood is the emotional belief in this Ignorance, and Evil is acting on this Ignorance and Falsehood. These negative qualities of the physical, vital, and mental plane of the human are the result of the division and duality from which the universe emerged as the Many from the One. 

Not only do humans have these "generic" divisions and dualities shared by all members of the human race, but we each have our unique divisions and dualities. We each deal with our individual infirmities, limitation of capacities and character, not to mention the difficulties, problems, and situations of life. One man may be stubborn, another hostile to others, yet another filled with intense hate, jealousy, or anger. 

[Editing point]

As an individual then we each must work within the context of our generic and our unique divisions and dualities. We can consider these to be the involution of our lives, i.e. it is what is given to us by the creation and the universal unfolding. Our attempt to overcome our generic and unique  limitations, as well as overcome the difficulties of life's circumstances we are confronted with is our evolution. The falsehood and ignorance of the mental, vital, and physical planes that we each inherit; the falsehoods and ignorance that are unique to each of us, and the unique circumstance of life we confront are the hands we are dealt. Our ascent to overcome the generic and unique involutionary limitations, falsehood, and ignorance that we start with and the involutionary life circumstance we come up against is the basis of our individual evolutionary struggles. As we unconsciously deal with the negative circumstances of life or as we consciously attempt to deal with the factors that create the difficulties in our lives (one is unconscious growth; the other is conscious growth) we grow, develop, and evolve in life. We are given the opportunity to turn opposites, dualities into truths, harmonies, and perfections. This in turn enables us to accomplish, succeed, and be happy in life at ever increasing levels. 

Our Essential Divided Nature
-What is our essential nature?
We are divided beings who need to find their wholeness. And we need to discover the methods that will enable us move us toward that wholeness.

-Why is our nature divided? All sentient beings are born of the division and duality of creation. The Absolute, the Omnipresent Reality, in order to extend its Spiritual essence and delight into ultimate quantities and diversities of forms, enabled a universe of divided forms and beings. In order to extend spirit and delight, the Absolute, i.e. God manifested a universe of forms into which that spirit and delight could flow in ever new and dynamic ways. In order to create the greatest quantity and variety of these forms, they were created flawed and incomplete.

How does our divided nature express practically in our being? We need to overcome that which is divided and dual in our own nature. We need to overcome our limiting habits, attitudes, opinions, judgments, behaviors, and false actions. We need to overcome our physical, vital, and mental deficiencies, including our dead habits, our fixidity, our unchanging nature in the physical; our blind passions, desires, negative emotions, ego and separateness in the vital/emotional center; and our vast ignorance, our partial understandings, limited perceptions, and false observations and conclusions of the mind.

Transformation of Physical, Vital, and Mental Planes   (top)
We can overcome the limitation of the mental, vital, and physical realm through various approaches. Utilizing all of these approaches together will end in the best integral change and transformation for the individual. This leads to the greatest accomplishment, achievement, success, peace, joy and happiness in life.

The first approach is simply control. We can determine whenever we exhibit these tendencies in our nature and make the effort to stop them. At the vital level it is the clearest. Our negative attitudes, habits, expressions, feelings, ego-sense, passions, and attachments can be recognized without too much difficulty, and an effort to control through our mental will is nothing less than the fundamental way to transform our nature. This same approach can be done at the physical level and the mental level as well.

A closely related approach to uplifting the physical, vital, and mental is to follow a number of the techniques we have outlined at Growth Online. They include overcoming our weakest attitudes, making our attitudes as positive as possible, organizing ourselves, increasing our knowledge and skills, increasing our efforts, increasing our energy, become more giving and less-ego centric, implementing our most positive attitudes in life, understanding the hidden patterns of life, understanding and acting on the keys to accomplishment, giving up our reluctances, taking up what life offers rather than avoiding it, understanding the psychological keys to good health, living from our deepest personal values, living form the depths instead of the surface, and many others. Taking up these techniques will surely uplift us at each of the physical, vital, and mental levels.

The most dramatic technique to help us overcome our negative qualities, i.e. enable us to go through a process of personal growth, evolution, and transformation is to utilize the force of consciousness, the Truth Consciousness, that we have described in various places at the site. (we describe this force as the Supramental or Truth Consciousness and we describe how it played a role in the creation of the universe and the role it plays in the evolution and destiny of humanity. For more on this, click here.) One example of this is utilizing the technique of consecration, where we open to the force before commencing any activity. A more comprehensive approach is to keep ourselves open to this force on an on-going basis. By opening to this force it works on the nature and transforms the physical, vital, and mental planes of our being, even as it begins to bring in the spiritual nature and the Supramental nature into our being. Some individuals are able to open themselves to this force through a constant aspiration for the force to descend into their being. Others feel the spirit or soul in their own being, and focus on the inner spiritual Self so that it can be a conduit for the Truth Consciousness to descend through the portal of the inner Self. 

The integral approach is to make the conscious personal effort to overcome our limitations, as well as open to the higher force to work its action on the being. Both approaches together will surely transform the physical, vital, and mental planes of the being. beyond that there is the possibility that the individual goes beyond the current functioning of the mental, vital, and physical being and starts functioning in a whole new way based on this spiritual Truth Consciousness force. This is the beginning of the Supramental transformation. It is this type of individual, perhaps we can call it a new type of human or a new type of species that may represent the ultimate destiny of human life on earth. He plays a role not only in the transformation of himself, but of the human race, thereby in turn playing a role in the evolution, purpose, and destiny of the cosmos. We then may witness a new divine life on earth.


Measuring Up Our Consciousness at Each Plane
The following list
describes the planes of life we come in contact with and an indicator of a high relation to that plane. Thus it can serve to help us determine where each of are at each of these planes

Physical - how orderly the things we use- are kept.
Vital - how self-restrained are we in not interrupting another person's talk.
Mental - how mercenary are we in having an opinion that decides.
Spiritual - how prone are we in expressing or not expressing.
Drishti - how careful we are in taking note of visions and
realizing what they indicate..
Intuition - how much we honour our inner promptings.
Overmind - how strong we are in preventing the interference of ignorance.
Supermind - how much we are able to see the other man's point of view.
Consciousness - how united our will is with our knowledge (Consciousness-Force)
Being -- how much we are above being conscious.
(MSS, with additional intro)

Personal, Inner (Psychic), Spiritual and Supramental Transformation
Individual who are consciously making the effort to improve themselves among the three plane of the physical, vital, and mental are said to be going through a process of personal transformation. For those who have found a spiritual center in their inner being, their Soul, and who functi9n from this poise are said to be making the Inner of psychic transformation.  For those few individuals who are endeavoring to make the movement upwards among the spiritual levels (except the Supramental) are said to be making the spiritual transformation. For those who attempt to make the movement upwards through the highest level of the spiritual plane to the Supramental are said to be making the Supramental transformation


Future Evolution of the Individual   (top)
Mental man, as opposed to most lower animal species, is a more clearly self-aware being. This self-awareness enables him to conceive the world as it is now and what it could be, including his own future and the future of the world. Part of that conception is an awareness that he is capable of perfecting himself at the physical, vital, and mental planes; as well as at the spiritual plane.

In fact, man in his current form may not be the highest rung on the evolutionary scale. An evolved, higher man, or even the emergence of a new species out of the current human is not an impossibility. The higher man (or new species from out of the current man) will not only perfect the physical, vital/emotional, and mental aspects of his being, but will become the master of the spiritual skills of life. In particular it is through his mastery of the spiritual plane and its skills that he can create the possibility of a supramental (i.e. beyond-mental) new man, or perhaps even a new species. 

Attributes of this new man is his identity and oneness with others around him, and the events and circumstances of the world around him. For example, one perceives that other individuals are not separate from himself (i.e. one is in complete "identity" with others); and one perceives that circumstance around us are not separate form one's self (i.e. one has complete control and responsibility in his interactions with events and circumstances around him.). In addition, evolved man opens to and utilizes the higher inner, spiritual powers to guide his actions, rather than operating from his ego sense, desires, and limited capacities. This new (or Supramentalized) existence leads in turn to the perfection of and a higher order of the collective life, an order and functioning inconceivable to our current thought processes. The flowering of a new divine life on earth is brought about by this new evolved man.

(For more on the qualities of a new evolutionary, spiritualized individual, click here.)

The Process of Evolution that Humans Can Accelerate
Sri Aurobindo, the Indian sage and seer spent decades trying to fathom the true nature of existence. He came to see that the universe came about through an involution of the Spirit; i.e. through a conscious decision of the Divine Will, there emerged a Force and then an Energy out of which all forms in the universe were created. At the point where the Force/Energy emerged form a Divine Source and coagulated into the first forms of creation, there began the evolution of the universe, which began as unconscious matter, evolved an animus of life, including life forms, and the development of mentality expressed predominantly through primate and especially man.

While philosophers and seers like Sri Aurobindo have attempted to explain the involution part, scientists like Darwin have tried to explain the evolution part; the movement from matter to life to intelligence. Unfortunately, these explanation have focused on the surface realities, and the outer material processes of evolution, as explained in such concepts as survival of the fittest, natural selection, spontaneous mutation, and so forth. Though there is considerable truth in these conclusions, especially at the material level, Sri Aurobindo believed that they elicit only a superficial understanding of the processes that enable evolution to move forward. He instead focused on the inner processes of evolution that enabled life to emerge from matter, and mind to emerge from life. His interest was to try to explain why these successive planes emerged from out of one another.

Sri Aurobindo explains it this way: There is a process of unfolding that occurs from one plane to the next plane; e.g. from matter to life to mind. The reason one plane emerges from the previous because it is already involved there as potential in the previous plane, not unlike a seed that has the potential to develop into a tree. W
hen the existing plane becomes fully organized at its level, then the next plane emerges out of it. So the animus/life (in plant, lower life, animal, humans) that emerged from pure matter (material rock, gasses, et al.) were involved as potential to begin with, and emerged when the material level was organized enough to move to the next level. The same with the emergence of mentality from out of animus/life. (There are actually many subplanes and stratas in between.)

Sri Aurobindo goes on to say that what really compels the emergence of the next plane is the underlying (original) spirit that is embedded in each plane, pushing that plane's potential to emerge from its current plane into the next plane. (In the involution the Spirit was self-absorbed and hidden beginning in the Force and Energy and then the matter that emerged in the universe.) Since spirit, which is really the same spirit that created the universe in the first place, i.e. the Divine spirit, is infinitely creative, what emerges in the next plane is always dynamically new and creative; it is always an unexpected manifestation of new forms of consciousness. After all who could have conceived a thinking being from the plant, or perhaps a future spiritual being from the current mental-based man?

You might ask at this point, how does this all relate to me? Well Sri Aurobindo goes on to say that from time immemorial Nature has led this process of ascendance upward from matter to animus/life to mind. It is the slow and painful method by which life normally progresses. Now however the human being, the self-conscious, self-determining mental human can now take the evolution further. By connecting to his inner being, to his spiritual soul within, or to the Divine above, he comes in contact with the very spiritual powers and forces that enabled the current planes of matter, life, and mind to emerge. He then has the capacity to collaborate with spirit to enable further planes or sub planes to emerge, as well as the perfection of the current planes.

Thus man, through his conscious collaboration with the dynamic spiritual essence, becomes the enabler for the further evolution of the species. He enables new possibilities to rise in life; such as new perceptions, insights, and ideas; new inventions, products, and services; and new ways of living and acting and interacting. Ultimately through an individual's connection to consciousness and spirit, he becomes an instrument of human evolution. In that way, rather than Nature being the leader of our evolution, the self-conscious human individual becomes the pioneer and leader of our future evolution, further releasing the infinite potential and further (spiritual) planes of life.


RELATED TOPICS:

  • Theory of Creation (Involution & Evolution) -- To see our theory of creation, including how the universe came into being as well as our evolutionary destiny, please click here.

  • Factors that Make up Human Consciousness --To see a table that shows various factors that make up human consciousness, including an individual's (1) attitudes, (2) attributes, (3) endowments, and (4) skills, please click here.

  • For Stages of Society's Evolution -- For a discussion on how society as a whole has evolved and continues to evolve on earth through four stages, click here


See Growth Online's Knowledge Base of thoughts on human evolution,
the
makeup of the individualindividual capacity, and keys to achievement.


THE G/M-S-C Scale
(top)

How the Vertical and Horizontal Express Across the Gross/Material, Subtle, and Causal Planes
We have spoken of a vertical scale of consciousness for the individual human that goes from the physical to the vital to the mental, and beyond to the spiritual mind and the supramental planes. We have also identified a horizontal scale that ranges from living on the surface of life to living in the depths in the Subliminal Being, and within that to the Psychic Being, the personal evolving soul. We have also identified in the horizontal scale and inconscience and subconscience range within, and a spiritual superconscience beyond us.

We can now identify a third scale, that takes three forms -- gross/material, subtle, and causal. Any plane of the vertical or horizontal scale can express at this third scale. For example, my physical body is of gross/material substance. My thoughts on the other hand are far less gross/material, they cannot be touched nor perceived through the five senses. In fact they are invisible, not material. Thus they are subtle. Subtle also indicates that it can move easily across space, whereas a gross/material object, like the physical body is encumbered by space. E.g. when I think something, someone half way around the world can pick up that thought instantaneously. Thus, my thoughts are subtle in nature. My emotions and feelings too are mostly subtle.

Thus we can say that the higher in the vertical scale, the more we move from the gross/material to the subtle planes. At the highest spiritual planes we reach the causal plane. At this plane, life is not only subtle, in that the element cannot be viewed and travels easily through space time, but something new, not currently existing in the world, suddenly takes shape as a result. if I move to the spiritual/supramental plane by opening to the (Supramental) Force, then not only is its substance invisible and unperceived by the senses, but it instantly causes (hence "causal") something new to be created just by invoking it. E.g. an instance of sudden good fortune can suddenly come my way, a solution that never existed in the world can suddenly arrive at my doorstep.

The various horizontal planes can express gross/material, subtle, and causal as well. What we do on the surface of life is gross/material. Even as we relate to life through our five sense, it is mostly gross/material with a degree of subtlety, for after all we cannot touch what we are seeing in our mind's eye. As we go deeper within, to the inner being, what occurs is subtle. At the level of the soul, the experience is not only subtle, but causal; it has a power to create something that never exists before. It is the spiritual power of the soul, not unlike the spiritual power of the supramental force.

In general we can say that anything that is physical is gross/material; anything that cannot be seen and has a power to readily across space-time is subtle, and anything that is subtle and has the capacity to create the new, fresh, and dynamic out of nothing is the causal.

 For additional thoughts and references to the G/M,S,C scale , click here.


Additional Thoughts

Measuring the Individual on the Vertical Scale   (top)
From our previous discussion we can then conclude that an individual has his unique capacities at each of the nine levels within the three planes of the human. (We will restrict our discussion here to the physical, vital, and mental planes; not the spiritual. The capacities can be expressed as an intensity of capacity. In addition, that intensity of capacity (low or high) can be expressed negatively or positively. When Rita in the film Educating Rita developed her learning skills she was developing greater intensity at level 3. In addition, she was utilizing that intensity for a positive good (as opposed to a negative purpose). Thus at level 3 she had developed greater, positive capacity. On the other hand, a treacherous politician may have developed great intensity at level 4, Mental Vital (the level at which leadership is developed), but expresses the intensity negatively as a doer of bad deeds. Thus at level 4 he had developed greater, but negative capacity.

Therefore, at each level a person can be measured in terms of a) the degree of intensity he operates at that level, and b) whether he operates in positive and negative manner at that level. (A person can express himself both positively and negatively at a level. For example, a politician may be a great inspirer to action (positive), but an instigator of treacherous legislation (negative). At each level one can measure the intensity that the person has attained at that level (e.g. on a scale of 1-100), and indicate how that person is operating positively and negatively at that level. In our example of the politician, at level 4, Mental Vital, he has a 90 (out of 100) intensity of fulfillment (i.e. capacity) at that level; and he expresses it 60 basis points in a positive way, and 30 in a negative way. 

Using this approach we can conceivably take any individual and measure him across all nine levels in the vertical scale of human consciousness. From that point we can see that as he evolves through the many techniques outlined at Growth Online, at various levels in the scale he gains a greater intensity (i.e. higher score out of 100), and/or develops more positive characteristics at that level. Individually each person has his own propensities relative to the scale, reflecting his current state of evolution. (This same approach can conceivably be used to analyze a business or social institution, or society itself.)

Sample Individual
In the table below we show the intensity (i.e. capacity) at each level for a hypothetical individual. We then show how that intensity expresses itself negatively and positively. We could say that the evolution of a person is the long-term movement of the individual to have a full positive 100 score at every level. For example, a person at level 4 (Mental Vital) a person has an ultimate capacity of 100, has a current capacity of 80 (out of 100), which translates to an unrealized potential of 20 (100-80). This 80 current capacity is expressed as 20 points (out of 80) negative and 60 points (out of 80) positive.  This individual has not only the ability to develop more capacity (i.e. go from 80 to 100), but also has the ability to turn all negative expressions into positive expression. Then a 100 positive would indicate ultimate capacity and perfect expression at this level.

  # Name Expressed as Action Ultimate Capacity

Current Capacity

Unrealized Potential - +
M
e
n
t
a
l
1 Mental Mental
Conceptual Mind
conception, pure ideas and philosophy 100 3 97 1 2
2

Vital Mental
Emotional Mind

mental sentiments, opinions, beliefs emotions, values sentiments 100 12 88 2 10
3 Physical Mental
Physical in the Mind
thoughts (e.g. organized facts), plans, processes physical information 100 25 75 5 20
V
i
t
a
l
4 Mental Vital attitudes, life intelligence, higher emotions 100 80 20 60 20
5 Pure Vital emotions and feelings (e.g. courage, enthusiasm), passions 100 60 40 30 30
6 Physical Vital nervous sensations (e.g. desire, fear), responses, and social behavior 100 70 30 20 50
P
h
y
s
i
c
a
l
7 Mental Physical physical skills, knowledge of the body 100 75 25 25 50
8 Vital Physical physical sensations and urges (e.g. hunger, thirst) 100 70 30 35 35
9 Pure Physical pure physical matter of the body, physical movement 100 80 20 40 40

From this table we can see what type of person he is. Is he mostly physical, but not emotional, very emotional but expresses it negatively, emotional but not mental, mental but with little emotional intensity, and so forth. That person could then follow a process to develop themselves,  within any level by increasing capacity, by turning negative expressions positive. This can be done at any level. for example at level 4 one could develop better attitudes; at level 3 calm very intense, out of control emotions, etc. Ultimately we use this scale as a current snapshot of the individual. He can use any of the techniques outlined at Growth Online to improve himself which will ultimately help him develop greater capacity at each level and more positive expressions at each level. The development of capacity at each level and the more positive expression of capacity is what we mean by personal growth, development, and evolution. For example, a person can ascend the scale by improving their attitudes, developing their skills, focusing their direction, applying their personal values in life, by increasing their energy, by making a greater effort, by utilizing spiritual values, skills, and techniques, by understanding how life works at a deeper level, and many others.

Remember that the purpose of this approach is to merely provide a guide and method of measuring the current state of individuals. It is not however in any way a direct method to help individuals and society evolve. The method of individual and social growth, development, and evolution still requires the applications of the ideas and techniques outlined throughout Growth Online.

(In addition, just as an individual can be measures at each level of the scale, institutions and society itself could be analyzed at each level, and see where it currently stands and where it is going.)


Relative Evolution of Individuals
What is evolution for one man may be regression for another, and vice versa. For example, a non-married intensely sexual man may evolve by marrying and taking a lifelong mate. (His lower vital, i.e. the intense sexual activity is brought under control through marriage, a vital activity higher than the only sexual previous existence, though still vital.) On the other hand a man who lives a very mundane, humdrum middle class existence that stifles his creativity and expansive desires may evolve by breaking out of the mode, perhaps even seeking a way out of marriage. Thus the "good" of marriage for one bad is the "lack of good" for another man. Incidentally this analysis would cause us to reevaluate what we believe is good and not good (i.e. morals, ethics, values) in our society. There are endless other examples where we might see that is what is good for one person's evolution is a disaster for another's.


Our Weaknesses Are Greater Than Our Strengths
Each individual has strengths and weaknesses, i.e. our defects. However, we can say that our weaknesses are greater than our strengths because once these weaknesses are transformed, then they become greater strengths than our current strengths. 


Limitations of Physical, Vital, and Mental Planes   (top)
In the topic The Theory of Creation we explain that the universe unfolded within three principles of existence-- the principle of the Physical, the principal of the Vital/Life, and the principle of Mind. Existence on earth developed in a parallel way for plant, animals, and human life. The human being, the crown of creation, is in fact made up of the same three components -- the physical, the vital/emotional, and the mental. 

In addition, in our theory we state that in order for the Absolute (i.e. the divine, the spirit) to have created the greatest quantity and diversity of forms, the creation unfolded in duality and division -- positive and negative, good and evil, truth and falsehood, and so forth. Correspondingly the three planes of human existence, physical, vital, mental each exhibit their own unique dualities and divisions. The negative aspect of each duality reveals itself in each of the three planes of the individual. Here are examples of negative expressions of each of these three planes:

Limitations of the Mind

  • The mind does not have all of the knowledge that exists, so it's conclusions may be faulty and limited. 

  • The mental activity is often restless and on the surface, preventing a truer knowledge from welling up from within, or from being acquired from the outside. 

  • There are the usual vices of the intellect such as sterile doubt, its arrogance, its attempt to explain things beyond itself based on its limited perceptions, and so forth. 

  • Most of the conclusions of the intellect are hasty, ill-founded and erroneous. 

  • The mind does not record things as they are, but as they appear to it. It catches parts, omits others; afterwards the memory and imagination mix together and makes a quite different representation of it.

  • The mind at its best is incomplete and usually one-sided in its perceptions without the guidance of a higher Truth and Light. It gets the real truth only when something else puts a higher light into it -- e.g. when the psychic or the intuition touches it and makes it feel and see. 

  • The mental knowledge is blinded by the tricks (desires, passions, needs) of the vital plane. The ordinary mind is governed by the vital desires and its own mental formations, and thus cannot truly comprehend and understand. 

  • The outward "physical mind" deals with the outward external things of life. It tends to always want to busy itself with them, which can obscure the deeper mental awareness of what is really happening around us. The physical mind is full of ordinary habitual and constantly recurrent thoughts and is busy with external objects and activities. 

There is the possibility of bringing these mental falsehood under our control. Control can be brought about by the actions and will of our minds, and through various spiritual powers and techniques.


Limitations of the Vital

  • Most people live in the vital. That means that they live in their desires, sensations, emotional feelings, vital imaginations and see and experience and judge everything from that point of view. It is the vital that moves them, the mind being at its service, not its master. It leads to short-lived reactions, wrong actions, misdirections, suffering, pain, and anguish. 

  • For every action at the vital/emotional level there is often an opposite and equal reaction. For each pleasure gained, an ensuing pain. For each satisfaction, an ensuing dissatisfaction. For each true action based on the vital, a false action. 

  • When any vital element is disappointed, dissatisfied, called or compelled to change but not yet willing, it has the tendency to create non-response or non-cooperation of the vital, leaving the physical dull or insensible without the vital push, i.e. inertia, tamas, dryness, and resistance takes over the personality. 

  • The "lower vital" part of the vital has its own unique negative qualities. It is foremost locked into its own petty and obscure egotism. It affirms and follows its own crude and egoistic ideas, desires, fancies, impulses and conveniences. It has a certain vanity and arrogance, and vehemence. It is unwilling to accept the imposition on it of any order and discipline other than its own ideas and impulses. 

  • There can be a dissimulation and falsity of speech, with exaggeration or a false use of the imagination, denial, distortion, or concealment of the facts. There is the habit of self-justification, a rush to maintain one's own ideas, one's own position, one's own course of action. 

  • There is ambition, pride, and vanity. There is revolt, doubt, despondency, depression, groaning, complaining, gloominess, sexual indulgence, restlessness, instability, bitterness, anxiety, fear, unhappiness, self-hate, anger, jealousy, vanity, self-justification, over-sensitivity, desire, egotism, egoism, and dozens of other faux pas stemming from the vital action or reaction.

Again there is the possibility of bringing these vital/emotional falsehoods under our control. Control can be brought about by the actions and will of our minds, and through various spiritual powers and techniques.


Limitations of the Physical

  • The most obvious are its inevitable tendencies towards illness, pain, decay, and death itself.

  • The physical consciousness wants to repeat the same unintelligent and unenlightened movements. It is attached to the routine of what already exists, it is unwilling to change, unwilling to obey the higher mental thoughts and controls, let alone a higher spiritual plane. It is obscure, intolerant, full of ignorance, and tends toward inertia. 

  • The physical plane of the universe, the bedrock of material reality, which is the first form of the universe, is devoid of consciousness; that is its nature is inconscient, devoid of consciousness. Therefore by its association with this bedrock physicality which it has inherited through evolution of the cosmos, the physical consciousness of the individual is inert, conservative, does not want to move or change. It clings to its habits, or its habits cling to it and repeat themselves like clockwork. The physical consciousness is restless, rebellious, full of inertia and tamas, and is loathsome to do anything. It does not want to change, as a stone does not change of its own will.

Again there is the possibility of bringing these physical plane falsehoods under our control. Control can be brought about to some degree by the actions and will of our minds. It is more likely that the transformation of the limitations of the physical consciousness can ultimately only come about by bringing the higher consciousness and Force into it. 


Difficulty of Change at Different Planes
Though humans are evolving at the physical, the vital/emotional, and the mental planes of existence, we can see that it is easiest to change any weakness, falsehood at the higher plane and more difficult to change a limitation at the lower plane. For example, it is easiest to change a false or wrong thought in the mind, the highest plane. One can get new information from the brain or the outside to correct the mistaken thought. 

It is harder to change the emotions, feelings, and attitudes of the vital though than changing a mistaken thought. One is caught in the emotion, attached to the object of desire, etc. which is harder to move out of than the limiting thought. (Most of our great literature, and perhaps most of the tragedies of life are rooted in the limitations and falsehoods of the vital/emotional plane.) However, with greater knowledge and effort we can learn to understand our vital nature and gain control of it (e.g. become more aware of our anger, not get so attached to the objects of our desire, release ourselves from our limiting attitudes towards ourselves, others, and life, overcome our ego sense, and so forth.) 

It is hardest to change the inertia, lethargy, resistance, and fixed nature of the physical (e.g. overcoming illness, the body's propensities for ailments, lack of strength, and death itself). When the body is ill normally any of our thoughts and feelings have no effect on the body. It gets well when "it wants to."

Though the physical makeup of our being is the least of the planes under the control of our will, it can be made to obey. If we learn the deepest secrets of our inner will then we could conceivably overcome any ailment, infirmity, rigidity, inertia of the physical plane. Even the physical transformation beyond our current human physical makeup is a possibility for humanity if we learn to exercise the inner (spiritual?) will.

In fact, the "pioneers of consciousness" are learning to gain control over the ailments, lethargy, and fixed nature of the body. Some are learning to master the power of their own inner psychological, spiritual consciousness to bring the body under control. A few claim they have opened to the higher consciousness and penetrated the cells of the body with spirit to bring about an improvement or greater flexibility and durability in the body. Perhaps as humans we will one day develop the ability to extend life as long as one wishes though these inner powers, perhaps even leading to the evolution of the very physical characteristics of the body, such as its organs and tissues. For example, through physical evolution humans may be able to evolve more subtle aspects of the body than the current lungs to control breathing; perhaps the same for hearing, site, eating and digesting, and so forth.

This also suggests that another approach to our evolutions can come from the spirit down. For example, a person practicing an integral evolution, yoga can open himself to his own spiritual soul, his psychic, which in turn puts one in touch with the spirit of the universe, the Divine, God. Then by aspiration the individual can bring in the higher spirit consciousness and force into the being to purify it; first into the mind to purify and perfect its limitations; then into the vital to overcome its attachments, desires, and egos, and then finally into the body itself. (For more on living a life dedicated to opening to this higher force to perfect one's nature, click here.)


Ascending From the Vital/Life to the Mental Plane 
"Man lives in the life [Vital] plane till his experience fills his strength, knowledge, effectivity, alertness, keenness, satisfaction and when he feels there is nothing more for him to acquire at that plane, his higher part begins to show itself, i.e. his Mind. From then onwards his primary motive would be to KNOW in great detail the things that present themselves to him. 

This shift takes a long time.... When man decides to complete his existence in the life plane, he does so more quickly than usual. The movement to a higher plane is best made when all is over in the lower plane. It can also be made by an effort of will, by an attitude, or by Grace before the right time. If so made, the arrears in the previous plane get completed much quicker because the central will is now active. ... The lower plane moves to the higher by fulfilling itself and this process is slow. The higher plane brings up the lower by fulfilling the lower from above and this process is quicker." (MSS)


The Evolution of Mind
Among the qualities that indicate an evolving mind are high intellectuality, purposefulness and direction, developed personal values, idealism, higher ethical turn, moral purity and austerity, belief, and creed of faith.


Working of the Mind: From Sense Information to Concept
Here is the process by which sense information becomes a mental concept in an individual. The individual has sense impressions of the world through his senses. The senses give us information that is factual (e.g. "This is a big house or a small house"). Multiple facts of information gather ("This is a big house, this is a small house, there is a rich man, there is a poor man, the rich man is in the big house, the poor man is in the small house, etc."). The information is processed by the mind for its acceptance as a thought ("A rich man lives in a big house, a poor man lives in a small house"). Several thoughts collect their essence into an idea ("wealth offers abundance and poverty suffering"). When the mind validates the idea as its own it becomes a mental concept (acceptance of "wealth offers abundance and poverty suffering"). This internalization of the idea into a mental concept is based on past experiences related to the idea, or is inherited from one's parents, or it is saturated in the environment around him. If another has developed a mental concept, and the first person concedes its validity, it becomes a mental concept for him. Beyond these the mental concept can be developed into a practical concept that can be used in the world. (Just developing the clear practical concept, will 50% enable it to end in success.) 

 

Example Expression of Six Powers of
Consciousness in Each Plane of Existence

 

Mental Negative

Mental Positive

Unity

narrow minded

open minded

Truth

deceitful

truthful

Goodness

evil

righteous

Knowledge

irrational

rational

Power

tentative

decisive

Delight

hateful

loving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vital Negative

Vital Positive

Unity

selfish

Self-giving

Truth

unreliable

reliable

Goodness

dishonest

honest

Knowledge

uneducated

educated

Power

incapable

competent

Delight

sad

cheerful

 

 

 

 

Physical Negative

Physical Positive

Unity

possessiveness

generous

Truth

erroneous

factual

Goodness

cruel

helpful

Knowledge

unconscious

aware, alert

Power

weak

strong

Delight

unpleasant

pleasant

 
Internet and Emergence of Mind

Mind is essentially a power of organization. In humans we use our minds to organize our lives, and the world we come in contact with. Society uses the power of mind to organize life through its institutions, rules, values, etc. In the emerging society the power of thought and mind will continue to accelerate. Currently the Internet is the perfect example of the further emergence of organization of life through the power of mind and thought. (To read an interview on the topic of how the Internet mirrors human evolution, click here.)


Ignorance, Falsehood, and Evil
To read an article on what causes, and how we can overcome Ignorance, Falsehood, and Evil in life, click here.


Definitions of Terms Related to Mind's Activity
A Fact -- An individualisation, particularization of existence. To us it comes at the physical, material plane. [There is a rose (one fact), the rose is healthy, water sustains.]

A Thought -- A mental perception of a fact. [One is thinking that the rose is healthy.] Note: Thought is possible when the influences of the senses is withdrawn from mind.

An Idea -- An organization of groups of facts, through the organizing capacities of mind, which brings out the spiritual or higher essence in the lower planes. [The rose is healthy because it gets adequate water.]

Thinking -- The activity of the mind that relates two facts. [One is engaged in the activity of thinking that since the rose is healthy and that water sustains, that the rose is healthy because of water.]

Logic -- The right relation of things. [The rose is healthy because of the water, rather than because it is white or red.]

Logical Thinking -- Thinking that arrives at logic. [Coming to the conclusion that the rose is healthy because of the water, rather than the rose is healthy because it is white or red.]

Rationality -- Thinking, devoid of sense input, based on premises. [We are having the problem of our white roses turning a bit yellow, causing lower price in market. Irrationality: As I think it through I blame others, I get upset, I impulsively believe it's the insects on the plants which are actually needed for its development.  Rationality: I think that since the rose should be white, and it is yellow, and that yellow means too much water, then I need to water less.]

Real Idea -- Result arrived at by the process of Being converting into Becoming. [I want to have a successful planting that ends in 10 acres of hybrid roses. I offer it to the higher consciousness, and perfect results come about in 2/3 the time with 50% less cost.]

Genius -- Mind drawing from higher knowledge. Higher knowledge coming from connection to other planes, such as plane of universal Mind. [As an expert in horticulture one comes to many profound conclusions, which is genius, such as that roses are healthy when they are planted at the perfect time, in coordination with other plants, with certain soil content, in tandem with certain seasonal movements of animals, etc. etc. Some ideas comes as light and intuition.]


Up From Our Animal Nature
If you study human behavior you can clearly see similarities between human needs and behaviors and animal needs and behaviors, especially of the higher primates. For example, among a number of species, including the higher primates, we witness a social hierarchy that reflects our own social structure. Likewise the preoccupation of animals with survival, hunting, dominance/power, sex, procreation, and the rearing and nurturing of offspring is reflected in nearly identical functionality in humans. Humans may not show the obvious physical "animal-like" qualities of animals in their behavior, yet still function through a more sophisticated, mentalized version of the very same animal behaviors. In other words, are still very much influenced by the same biological needs and passions as animals, but do so at a more evolved level.

Over time, as we become more mentalized and sophisticated beings, we have developed even more subtle variations of our animal heritage, even as we simultaneously move away from these animal biological structures and urges. Slowly our animal nature has become more refined, an example being the emergence of romantic love as the basis of marriage within the last thousand years. Yet even such developments are still based on our biological needs that we inherit from our primordial animal ancestors, which in turn are based on the physical and vital/emotional planes of animal existence.

Beyond the mentalized animal-influenced stage that we are now moving through, there is the possibility of shedding the animal nature completely. Some have suggested that the ultimate destiny of humanity is to completely shed the animal tendencies. Some have even suggested that a new human-like species would emerge from the human, as the human emerged from the animal. That would surely require a movement of humanity beyond the physical and vital influences, and likely even beyond the mental plane and sublevels, into emerging spiritual qualities and capacities. This new spiritualized, evolutionary individual would indicate the emergence of stage beyond our current human consciousness.


Human Relationships in the Three Stages of Social Development
Man and society are in the process of transition from the physical/vital to a more vital/mental stage of evolution. Human relationships during the physical stage are determined by blood and physical proximity centered around the family and the local community. Attitudes, ideas, opinions, sentiments, feelings, and emotions toward others derive from this basis and are extremely narrow. Those from a different location are looked on as strangers or foreigners, those of different ethnic background as inferior, those of different religious persuasion as infidels. The most important social value is loyalty to the family and intense emotions of affection and attachment are restricted to members of the family.  

As society evolves, human relationships become less dependent on physical factors. Man associates more with people of other communities, nationalities, races, castes, classes and religions. The importance of family ties declines, the importance of social relations and occupational associations increases. The joint family gives way to the nuclear family, social institutions like the company and government offer security and companionship formerly derived from the family. Man offers his loyalty to larger social units -- the company, the class, the nation. His attitudes, sentiments and emotions widen considerably to embrace a much larger segment of humanity beyond his family and locale. He comes to smile at the stranger instead of eyeing him suspiciously. He enquires with curiosity about others' beliefs and cultural traditions, rather than maintaining an aloof sense of superiority.

These changes represent a development in human consciousness from the physical to the vital and mental planes. Relationship at the physical level is mere physical attachment to others who are felt as part of oneself, i.e. of the same body. At the vital stage, relationship is based on feeling and sensation, nervous stimulation, the intensity and pleasure of food and sex and companionship with those around. Only when man goes beyond this level can pure emotions and sentiments develop which are not confined and restricted to physical circumstances. Communities have attained this level of cultured relationship in the past, but it has been confined to a small section of the population, usually an aristocratic class freed from the preoccupation with material concerns by generations of wealth and comfort. Today society as a whole is making the transition to this higher level. The spread of education, the extension of social freedom to women and minorities, the dissolution of rigid class barriers, increased social mobility, are aspects of this process which we have described earlier.


Evolution, Mutations, and the Involved Consciousness
Though society and individuals are evolving from the physical to the vital/emotional/life to the mental to the spiritual plane, the plane of spirit and consciousness was really there from the beginning, "involved" in the physical and all succeeding planes. If fact, it is this latent, involved consciousness in these planes, that causes that plane to evolve to a higher aspect of itself and then on to the next highest plane.

What traditional evolutionists call "mutations" in any species is actually the awakening of the involved consciousness in the plane to move to the next highest level in that plane or to the next plane. If we agree that the involved consciousness on all the planes is really an extension of the Divine consciousness, the original principle of the universe, then we can say that this Divine consciousness (we can call it God or the Absolute or Brahman) is a force behind human evolution.

Only humans, however, through their consciousness and acts, can bring out the latent, involved consciousness to enable the "mutation" to the next rung of growth, development, and evolution in human life.

(For more information, click here.)


The Whole World/Universe is Evolving
The whole world is a manifestation of the Divine Consciousness and that consciousness lies immanent and hidden within all animate and inanimate things, behind every circumstance and event. The whole world is undergoing a process of progressive spiritual evolution in which the Divine consciousness gradually manifests itself through higher and higher forms of life until it can eventually manifest its own true spiritual nature. Out of the inanimate matter emerge various forms of living plants and animals. Out of animal life, it manifests as mind and evolves into thinking humanity. And above the mind of ordinary man, the divine manifests as higher levels of consciousness and spiritual being.


Internet as Indicator of Infinite Potential
From one point of view we can say that when a newer physical forms comes into being, (or new forms of emotions and life arise, or new types of ideas or thinking arise), it is because the hidden, inner divine aspect of the thing, which was formerly "involved" in the thing as latent potential, has been released. Furthermore, if spirit is infinite and is the basis for infinite potential, then it suggests that there is no end to the possibilities of new manifestation of physical things, new types of emotions and aspects of life, and new types of ideas and thoughts. In other words, the involved spirit in matter/life/mind enables infinite potential in their manifestation.

The Internet is an example of how the infinite potential involved in matter, life, and mind has manifest in life. We can say that the Internet at one point was latent in matter and life and mind in the form of spirit, and then manifest. The Internet indicates an evolution in life, i.e. the "involved" potential as spirit, released as form and content.

It is thus staggering to think of this concept of infinite potential of matter/life/mind when we consider that the Internet is but one trillionth of the possibilities that can occur in life if the inner spirit that is involved in matter/life/mind is released!

-To go to a topic that describes the role of the Internet in social evolution, click here.

-To go to a topic discussing the infinite potential of existence, click here.


Inner Consciousness as Final Frontier
Though we explore the outer regions of space, it is still the inner space of human consciousness that is the final frontier.


Beyond Ego
Through human evolution we have developed our own individual sense of self, distinguishing ourselves from the pack. That sense of individuality creates our sense of freedom and identity. In the new age, a kind of a reversal begins to take shape. Even as we further develop our own individual capacities and find our individual fulfillment, we begin to give up our limiting ego (i.e. our focus on ourselves), and turn our attention to the needs, aspirations, and action of others, of the society around us, and even of the spiritual, divine will. 
(For info on a future spiritualized individual who no longer lives from a poise of self/ego, click here.)


Growth, Evolution as a Way Of Life
Taking any initiative to improve our lives is a great endeavor, and will surely bring wonderful results in the lives of anyone who takes it up. Normally we take up this effort when we are ready to move to a next level of achievement, success, happiness, knowledge, etc. This effort is normally sporadic and intermittent. There are however a very few individuals who completely dedicate their lives to this effort of ascension. Those who make their own growth and evolution the central focus of their lives are said to be practicing lifelong evolution, or yoga, the Indian term for union with all. One form of yoga proposed by the Indian author and sage Sri Aurobindo is an integral yoga, where all aspects of life become an opportunity for growth, development, and evolution. 

(For more on how one evolves as a way of life, click here.)


Mind in the Body Learns, is Transformed Directly with The Force
The hierarchy of the individual person is body, vital, mind, and Spirit. Body is the lowest and the Spirit the highest. Today when we want the body to learn a new skill -- driving, typing, learning a new language, etc. -- we use the instrumentation of the mind. The mind learns first all that the body needs to learn. The learning is then transferred to the body by training through the mind's knowledge and understanding. 

Therefore we can conclude that if the mind were not available, the body would never fully learn. However Sri Aurobindo and The Mother brought a new perspective; that the body could learn directly, that there is within the body itself its own center of mind. Then the body, instead of receiving through the mind, is able to receive directly through the mind center within itself. This reception is infinitely greater. Thus the body is capable of learning and being transformed, (e.g. healing, infinite life, new organs, change in cell constituents, etc.) directly through its mind center from the Force directly, rather than having to go through the mind and vital centers of the being.

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