[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Globes, Planes, and Principles (repost)

Sep 08, 1994 05:36 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Eldon Tucker

(I'm reposting it since it's been a day since I posted it
and a copy hasn't come back to me yet. Mail that I've
posted earlier today has already returned. Somehow this
posting got lost...)

               Globes, Planes, and Principles

    A discussion of the principles of consciousness--
including the physical body, senses, feelings, desires,
thoughts, and so forth--is incomplete unless it proceeds to
mention the Monads.
    In early theosophical literature, the Monads, or rather
Egos or centers of consciousness, were spoken of in
association with the principles. The spiritual Ego was
associated with Buddhi, the human Ego with Manas, the animal
life-nature, nephesh, with Kama-Prana. There were many more
    Yet another type of association made with the principles
was with the planes of consciousness, where our plane was
associated with the physical, the next with the astral, the
following with the mental, and so forth.
    A third type of association was made with the Globes or
worlds on which we can exist, where a particular Globe is on
such-and-such a plane, and because of being on that plane is
associated with the corresponding principle of consciousness.
    When we talk about principles, planes, and Globes, we are
talking about three quite different things. They are
interrelated, but are not the same thing. Let's try to
untangle our understanding of them a bit.
    Regardless of whatever  world we may come into existence
on, we have consciousness. That consciousness can be
understood as being composed of certain basic elements,
certain essential parts. The principles represent those parts,
those ingredients that go into making a fully-manifest being.
By understanding the principles, how they work, and how they
relate to each other, we understand the general pattern of the
workings of consciousness, and understand the magical process
by which the unseen is made manifest.
    Apart from the understanding of the workings of
consciousness, we may consider *where* we are coming into
being. There are definite localities where existence may
happen. These places are the "bodies" of great beings. By
existing, and having bodies, they play host to us, they
provide the worlds on which we may come into manifest
existence. These worlds, for us, are the Globes of our
planetary chain. (We call it a "chain" because each it linked
to the next in sequence; we pass from the first one to the
second, from that to the third, and continue to the last one,
where we start over again. It is a "planetary" chain because
it is composed of planets in space, although the only visible
planet in our chain is the earth.)
    When we come into birth, when we take on manifest
existence in one of these worlds, on one of the Globes of our
chain, we clothe ourselves in the principles of consciousness.
If we clothe ourselves in all the principles, through and
including the physical form, we are fully-manifest. If we but
partially clothe ourselves in the principles, we may not
participate in the activities of life on that world, we stay
somewhat out of existence.
    The principles are different than these globes. They
should not be pictured as being concrete, tangible, physical
objects of the substance of some other, higher world. A
thought, for instance, is not literally a rock or pencil on
some higher world; a thought is a way of experiencing life.
Regardless of how high a world we may manifest on, the
capacity of thought is part of the full experience of life.
    Using a term like "mental body" is misleading, since
thought is not physical substance of some higher world, and
our capacity of thought is not itself but a physical body on
that higher world. There is both a life and a form side to
each of the principles. Each principle has its associated
element. But this "substance" is the stuff that Skandhas are
made of. To draw an analogy to quantum physics: we are talking
about the wave-like and particle-like attributes of mind,
where the life-side is the wave-like quality and the form-side
is the particle-like quality. "Substance" is the tangible
nature, the crystallized side of thought, as contrasted to its
fluidic nature.
    When we come into existence in a world, we could say that
we take on thought, mental activity, if we sufficiently awaken
our consciousness and go that far into coming into existence;
e.g., if we clothe ourselves in Atman, Buddhi, and Manas. No
"bodies" are involved, though, until we reach the physical,
the Sthula-Sharira, or some substitute like the Mayavi-Rupa or
Nirmanakaya, depending upon our evolutionary status.
    Having now made a distinction between the principles and
the Globes or places of existence, we now need to further
distinguish the planes of consciousness from them.
Consciousness is an experience we have of living life; it is
not dependent on locality. We may have any consciousness
throughout a wide spectrum of possibilities, and yet be in the
physical body. We could be alive and awake and yet range in
our experience from the horror of Avitchi through Kamalokic
desire, ordinary waking consciousness, Devachanic spiritual
dream experiences, to near-Nirvanic beatitude.
    A plane of consciousness is measured by the range or
extent of its effects. The "plane" could be compared to a
magnetic field. Its extent is as far as any object over which
it can exert some force. A plane is not an abstract,
mathematical concept--not any more so than the Laws of Nature.
Each is caused by the actions of higher beings.
    The planes of consciousness that we are able to
experience on the earth could be compared to the "background
radiation" of the great Being whose life enables the earth to
exist. The qualities of consciousness of that Being are
organized along the same lines as ours; e.g. His Atman,
Buddhi, Manas, and so forth. We find, therefore, that the
planes we experience, while on the earth chain, correspond to
principles. There are, though, no planes in an abstract,
mathematical sense. (This holds true for anything that we may
consider in life: There are no absolute rules, laws,
structures to life; everything is from the action of living
    But when we leave our physical earth behind, our body
asleep or entranced, and go on to other worlds, don't we
travel to other planes? Not really. The qualities of
consciousness that those other planes represent can be
experienced just as well in this world as in the next. We are
not going to other planes, but rather to other globes, other
*places of existence.*
    The other globes are non-physical in the sense that they
are of different matter than our earth, globe D, is composed
of. And they could be subject to different physical "laws of
nature," based upon the behavior of the elemental and mineral
kingdoms on those other globes. But when we say that the other
globes are on other planes, we are really referring to the
fact that each globe has its own keynote consciousness,
centered in one of the principles. One globe is centered in
Prana, another in Kama, yet another in Kama-Manas. Because of
this association, a particular principle governs "how nature
works" on a globe, and we could say, in a loose sense, that a
globe was "on that plane," that it was on the plane associated
with that particular principle.
    How could we describe all this? We are "on a plane" when
we experience the corresponding consciousness, regardless of
what world, what globe we may be on at the time. We find it
easiest to experience a particular plane when on the globe on
which that quality of consciousness predominates. The globes,
and not the planes, are the places that we visit, when "out of
the body." The globes are limited in number, and visited
sequentially; we should not think of a "fourth dimension" with
an infinite number of places to visit in our out-of-the-body
experiences. We do not literally have "bodies" for each
quality of consciousness, except in a metaphorical sense, in
reference to the living bundle of attributes and qualities
that we acquire and carry with us; "bodies" in reference to
"physical" forms are created for our use on any globe we would
exist on.
    This takes us to where the Monads enter the picture. In
our constitution are various centers of consciousness,
somewhat associated with the various principles, but each with
its own sense of identity. We may focus in one center or the
next. We have the Divine Monad or Ego, then the Spiritual, the
Higher Human, the Human, the Animal, and so on. All these
centers of consciousness within us are entities in their own
right, yet paradoxically they also are all but facets of
ourselves. We are currently centered in the lower Human Ego,
but one day, as our evolution progresses, we will operate out
of a higher center within. These centers in us, these Egos, as
the Globes relate to us in our totality, might be compared to
the Globes, as they relate to the planetary chain in its
entirety--both are the different centers of consciousness,
associated with different principles, in which the life-
energies of a being operate.
    The early terminology of Theosophy was tangled, and I'm
not sure that simply using English terms for the Sanskrit
would help pull out the hidden meanings. I've found that
Purucker's writings help considerably in sorting things out.
The most important thing to do is to not crystallize in our
thinking, to continually strive to break the molds of mind, to
always think things afresh and breathe new life into them.
There is always something new to learn, even on the simplest
of truths, the most basic of our doctrines, if we'd just keep
looking. The core concepts of Theosophy are deep Koans
offering much to the hungry mind!

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application