The Higher or Gnostic Mental or Spiritual Mind is the plane of ideas in their purity, of spiritual principles, and of the striving for Truth unhindered by lower desires and egotistic justifications. This level of consciousness is transitional between the region of spiritual illumination, which transcends conceptual thought, and the "ordinary" spiritual Mental levels. It is the lowest region in which one still has access to the one universal truth, or gnosis, the state of higher spiritual inspiration, as opposed to the infinite number of possible partial truths of the lower worlds. In the subplanes beneath this, the intellect moves progressively further from its original spiritual ideals, and becomes more caught up in imagination or fixed ideas. With these lower Mental planes we reach the maximum point of diversity and multiplicity. But in the Higher Mental region there exists an infinite number of possible ideas and mental formations, each of which could appear equally valid (or equally invalid).
Varying terms for this strata of existence are the Essence State of Theon's Tradition, the fourth or Fohatic Prakriti plane in Blavatsky, the Nous (in part) of Proclus, the Angelic World of Beriah (in part) of Kabbalah, and so on. In the Gorakhnathian cosmology of the Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati, the Higher Mental Plane is represented by the Universe of Buddhi or Vijnana, presided over by the deity Ishwara (not the same as the Kashmir Shaivite tattwa of that name). Buddhi is principally manifested in the form of the ascertainment of truth, the discrimination between valid and invalid knowledge, and the rising above the physical, vital, and lower mental embodiments to union with the Supreme Truth. [Banerjea, pp.117-118].
This is the plane of Holistic Intuition and pure spiritual thought, which when active in man produces what we call genius. This is the region of pure undiminished thought. At this level one receives an intimation of all the higher spiritual and angelic planes of existence above. The influences - the truths, the gnoses - of these "filter down" into and pervade and shape the nature of the Higher Mental world. Thus one who attains the Higher Mental level gains higher psychic (supra-clairvoyant, so to speak) insight. The Higher Mental level is referred to in Hassidic psychology. According to Rabbi Shnuer Zalman, the soul is modelled after the arrangement of the Sefirot or Divine attributes. The three higher Sefirot constitute the Intellect. The first of these is Hokhmah (the first sefirot, Keter, is not here mentioned, as it constitutes the unknowable Source or Godhead). Hokhmah (Wisdom) "corresponds to an intuitive flash of intellectual illumination....It is the seminal idea...the details are not yet differentiated and externalised". [p.76]
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