With the Mental Plane - the Manas or Devachan of Theosophy, and the Mental Thinking Mind of Aurobindo - we are in the highest or sub-Spiritual planes of existence. And here we have a great deal of agreement among the various Western occult metaphysical systems, who all refer to a specific number of "planes" of reality; usually referred to as the physical, etheric, astral, and mental planes. If we agree with the Theosophical cosmology, which sees the physical and the etheric as the two subdivisions of the physical plane, we can then speak of the "three worlds" - the physical, astral, and mental - that determine mundane consciousness.
The Pure Mental is the plane of Pure Reasoning and conceptual idea-forms, the Mental Plane of Theosophy [see A. E. Powell, The Mental Body, for a summary of the Adyar-Theosophical conception of this], the region of the Ajna or Brow chakra. This, at least in its more subtle octaves, would also seem to be the region corresponding to the Rupa (Pure Form) and Arupa (Formless) lokas of Buddhist cosmology, the regions of pure Meditation-consciousness.
This Mental Plane can be divided into two (or more) sub-Planes, representing
grades of pure Intellect, from the finest to the coarsest (although even
the coarsest is still pretty elevated compared to the functioning of the
limited physical mind). These planes can be compared to the Theosophical
two-fold division of Causal and Mental planes, or Upper and Lower Devachan,
that figure prominently in the writings of Leadbeater, Steiner,
Bailey, and others. For want of a better terminology, we can call
these three divisions the Pure Mental, and the Lower or Emotional Mental
This is the highest region to which the inspired or genius-level (as opposed to the ordinary level) human consciousness normally attains; although even then only in flashes of intuition. An example of this is the way the Einstein figurered out relativity purely by an act of intuitive imagination.
Varying terms for this strata of existence are the Essence sub-degree of the Nervo degree of the Physical State of Theon's Tradition, the Higher Manas, Buddhi-Manas, Immortal Ego (in part) or Abstract Mind of Theosophy, and the Higher Thinking Mind of Sri Aurobindo, ].
Western reductionist psychology claims that it is the brain (or at most,
if you are a dualist, the individual mind) that creates thoughts, but according
to the occult perspective thoughts exist objectively from us, and it is
only when they interact with our individual consciousness that we experience
them; i.e., that we "think". This is shown by the fact that often
an idea or invention has been discovered independently more or less simultanoeusly
- e.g. the Theory
of Natural Selection, by Darwin
and Wallace. This is because the idea exists "in the air" at a certain
time, and is then "picked up" by individual minds or brains.
The Lower Mental can be just as expansive as the Pure Mental, but it
is tied up with the desires and ambitions of the Psychic or Astral being
below it, and hence less receptive to other truths and other points of
The Supercausal, Higher Causal, Causal,
and Lower Noeric Octaves
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