The Planes of ExistenceBy SHEPHERD HOODWIN
Learn about the seven spiritual planes: the physical, astral, causal, akashic, mental, messianic and buddhaic planes
The Michael Teachings
Just as there are seven colors in the rainbow and seven tones in a musical scale, each with a different vibratory rate, there are seven planes of existence on the spectrum of creation. The slowest speed of vibration occurs on the physical plane; the highest, on the buddhaic plane. From the buddhaic plane, energy returns to its source, the Tao.
Physical plane: The densest of the seven planes of existence; where we presently reside.
Astral plane: The second plane of existence. Its medium is concrete emotional energy. It is where our consciousness is focused between lifetimes and when we're finished with the physical plane.
Causal plane: The third plane of existence. Its medium is concrete intellectual energy. It is Michael's plane of existence.
Akashic plane: The central, neutral plane of existence that interconnects the other six. The distilled knowledge of the universe is recorded there. This is the records generated of everything that happens in the universe as it occurs. The appearance is that all matter and energy have a sort of built-in digital recording device, storing its entire history in a photographic code, but the records are actually windows into the past. The records show events exactly as they were experienced, so the information in them begins raw-it is not clarified, understood, and assimilated until a consciousness takes responsibility for doing so. Once it is fully assimilated, it is stored on the akashic plane.
Mental plane: The fifth plane of existence. Its medium is abstract intellectual energy, emphasizing truth. The infinite soul who incarnated as Lao-tzu taught from this plane.
Messianic plane: The sixth plane of existence. Its medium is abstract emotional energy, emphasizing love. The infinite soul who incarnated as Jesus taught from this plane.
Buddhaic plane: The highest plane of existence. Its medium is pure or abstract kinetic energy. We experience the buddhaic plane just before fully refocusing our awareness in the Tao. The infinite soul who incarnated as Buddha taught from this plane.
SEVEN PLANES OF EXISTENCE
The Tao has created many universes, or overall experiments. (I am not speaking here of parallel universes.) Our universe is based in part on the law of seven. It permeates the Michael teachings and many other teachings, as well as being applicable to musical scales, colors of the rainbow, and so forth. Seven consists of two sets of three connected by one.
Twelve is another significant number in this universe, and it relates to seven. For example, the seven-note musical scale is a series of whole and half steps. It is drawn from the twelve-note chromatic scale, which is all half steps.
Apparently, other universes are based on different mathematical ideas. Some of our previous grand cycles may have been in other universes, especially if we have had a high number of them, since this universe is relatively young.
Michael brought up the topic of other universal schemes in relationship to the seven soul types (or roles):
In this universe, the Tao fragments into the seven roles, like white light bent into the seven rainbow colors through the particular prism that this universe offers. A different universe might have a different prism that results in something that cannot be understood in this universe. Our system of seven is only one way a perfect whole can be differentiated.
This universe has seven planes, or dimensions. (A diagram later in this chapter illustrates them.) Three are ordinal (concrete), three are cardinal (abstract), and one is neutral, providing connection. The most ordinal plane is the physical, which is concrete energy. Its position is mirrored by the most cardinal plane, the buddhaic, which is abstract energy. The astral plane (concrete emotion) is the middle ordinal plane. It is mirrored in position by the middle cardinal plane, the messianic (abstract emotion). The causal plane (concrete thought) is the highest ordinal plane. It is mirrored in position by the lowest cardinal plane, the mental. This mirroring balances the universe. The higher planes are about pure energy, love, and truth; the lower planes are about manifesting them. The fulcrum of the balance is the neutral akashic plane. It connects all the others through the akashic or record-keeping aspect of each plane, which feed into it.
There are etheric, nonsolid levels of the physical plane both lower and higher in frequency than our physical bodies. Some people with psychic skills can see them. The fact that they can be physically seen indicates that they are part of the physical plane. We cannot physically see what is nonphysical, although we may translate our nonphysical perceptions into physical images. The etheric substance lower in vibration than the solid physical connects it with the Tao. This is the realm of devas, or nature spirits; it could be called the “lower physical plane.” The etheric substance higher in vibration than the solid physical connects it with the astral; it is in the realm of what could be called the “upper physical plane.” It is the domain of “ghosts,” and some extraterrestrials. The ethereal life form of the “higher sentients” who lived on earth before the “fall of man” was also of the upper physical plane. What we consider solid substance, as well as other vibrations that we can directly perceive such as light and sound, exist in the “middle physical plane.”
It might be more accurate to view the planes as being in a circle rather than a line. This is illustrated in the following diagram. Each spiral loop is a plane of existence. The six spiral loops that make one big loop, like a “Slinky” toy with the beginning and end connected, are the planes we experience in a progression. The loop in the middle is the akashic plane; it is not directly part of the progression because we do not actually have a cycle of experience there—it is a resource for the universe as a whole, and provides the Tao with a distillation of all that has been accomplished in this universe. The point of beginning (“Entrance”) and end (“Exit”) is in the Tao, the undimensional ground of all being—this is where we start and finish the game. The pattern filling each loop representing a plane matches that of the plane on the same axis; for example, both the astral and messianic planes are on the inspiration axis, and both are filled with a checkerboard design. The fill of the loop representing the akashic plane is a darker version of the neutral gray pattern that fills the circle representing the universe as a whole, signifying the akashic records that extend from the akashic plane and interpenetrate all the planes of existence. The akashic plane is directly accessible from the causal and mental planes, illustrated on the diagram with straight lines.
Although this model demonstrates the progression of sentient consciousness, it should not be construed as meaning that only the physical and buddhaic planes have direct contact with the Tao. The diagram illustrates this by showing the universe (the inner circle) as being contained within the Tao (the outer circle).
Since the Tao is the ground of all being, every plane has a direct connection with it. The Tao is inherent in any vibrational frequency; those on any plane can “arrive” at it “coming or going” through either increasing their frequency to “all frequency” or decreasing it to “no frequency.”
On the physical plane, by transcending the material illusions round about and entering into a space of no space and a time of no time, you experience the Tao. You can get there by descending through the earth vibration or ascending through the heaven vibration. The solid roles generally find the former to be easier. The fluid roles find the latter to be easier. However, any role can do both. This is available only when balance and nonattachment are achieved.
Incidentally, Michael normally uses the word Tao in place of God (depending on the beliefs of those listening) because God is usually personified as a judgmental and hierarchical male figure. They may also use the word God to signify the overall consciousness of the manifest universe, as opposed to its source in the dimensionless Tao. In that case, we are each part of both the Tao and God. As microcosmic individuals, we are sparks or units of the Tao experiencing this universe as separate essences. God could be seen as the macrocosmic individual, the larger “chunk” of the Tao who, as a whole, inhabits this universe and experiences the overall expansion and lessons the Tao seeks.
Can we hear more about planes?
You understand that this is an extensive subject. The time in planes is presently misunderstood. The planes of existence are different levels, as in ladders, though your time concepts are being misinterpreted.
You are now living in your time, and yesterday and tomorrow are all the same, going on now, as with today. Planes are ladders, steps, graduations. This is unclear because you cannot see above you.
As you see yesterday, it is somewhat clearer to you how you are misusing energies. And yet, if in the right place, you can see tomorrow, as it is all happening now.
The planes are a way to step up and see better — a reward, as such, for growth. You can be where you are or in yesterday or in tomorrow, all at the same time.
Your growth and work places you where you can understand. There is much difficulty seeing even today and yet the truth is that to grow and learn, you must stop seeing today and be able to see yesterday, now and tomorrow all as one, and develop yourself according to your needs.
On the higher planes, you can see yesterday and today and tomorrow, and yet cannot see higher than you are.
Michael Teachings Transcripts
Origin of the Seven Planes
The planes of existence are also well documented in other spiritual teachings and traditions. In some iterations, the terminology and order of the planes differs.
The concept of the planes of existence can be traced back to various religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions throughout history. The idea of multiple realms or dimensions has been present in numerous cultures and belief systems worldwide. Here are a few examples:
Ancient Mythology: Many ancient mythologies and cosmologies incorporated the concept of different realms or planes of existence. For instance, in Norse mythology, there were different realms like Asgard (home of the gods), Midgard (the human realm), and Helheim (the realm of the dead). Similarly, ancient Egyptian mythology described various planes, including the earthly plane, the Duat (realm of the dead), and the celestial realms.
Hinduism: Hindu philosophy and scriptures, such as the Upanishads and Vedas, describe a multidimensional cosmology with multiple planes of existence. These planes, known as "loka," include realms like Bhuloka (earthly realm), Svargaloka (heavenly realm), and Brahmaloka (realm of the supreme deity, Brahma).
Buddhism: In Buddhist teachings, the concept of planes of existence is central to the understanding of samsara, the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The Buddhist cosmology includes various realms or planes, ranging from lower realms of suffering (hell realms, animal realms) to higher realms of celestial beings (devas) and ultimately to the state of enlightenment or Nirvana.
Theosophy: The Theosophical Society, founded in the 19th century, popularized the concept of planes of existence in the Western esoteric tradition. According to Theosophy, there are seven planes of existence, including the physical, astral, mental, and spiritual planes. Each plane is seen as a distinct level of reality with its own characteristics and inhabitants.
New Age and Metaphysical Beliefs: In contemporary New Age and metaphysical beliefs, the concept of planes of existence is often explored in terms of higher consciousness, spiritual growth, and multidimensional realities. It is often associated with concepts like astral projection, interdimensional travel, and the exploration of parallel universes or alternate realities.
How the Planes Exist Independently
The separation or distinction between planes of existence varies depending on the belief system or philosophical perspective. Here are a few common ways in which the planes of existence are often described as being separated or distinct:
Vibrational Frequencies: One way to conceptualize the separation between planes of existence is through vibrational frequencies. Each plane is believed to have its own unique frequency or level of vibration. The higher planes are associated with higher frequencies, while the lower planes are associated with lower frequencies. Beings or consciousness that resonate with a particular frequency can access and experience the corresponding plane.
Consciousness and Awareness: Another perspective is that the separation between planes of existence is based on levels of consciousness or awareness. Each plane represents a different state of consciousness, ranging from more limited and mundane states on the physical plane to expanded and transcendent states on the spiritual or divine planes. The ability to perceive and interact with a particular plane depends on the level of consciousness or awareness attained by an individual or entity.
Filters or Veils: Some belief systems suggest that there are filters or veils that prevent direct perception or interaction between different planes of existence. These filters act as a barrier, limiting our awareness to the physical plane and obstructing our access to higher or non-physical realms. Practices such as meditation, spiritual development, or mystical experiences are often seen as ways to temporarily lift these filters and gain glimpses of other planes.
Spatial or Dimensional Separation: The planes of existence are sometimes described as existing in different spatial or dimensional dimensions. They may be seen as parallel dimensions or layers of reality that coexist alongside each other, but are separated by different dimensions or spaces. Traveling or shifting between these dimensions may require specific techniques or spiritual practices.
It's important to note that these explanations are based on various belief systems, and the nature of the separation or distinction between planes of existence remains a subject of philosophical and metaphysical exploration. Different traditions and individuals may have their own unique perspectives on how these planes are separated or made distinct.
A Deeper Look at Each of the Planes of Existence
The physical plane, of course,corresponds to our ordinary physical reality, where we experience life through a physical body and interact with the material world. From the perspective of the Michael teachings, the physical plane is the lowest and most dense plane of existence in the seven-plane system. Here's an overview of what is known or believed about the physical plane from a Michael teachings perspective:
Nature and Characteristics:
• The physical plane is the realm of tangible, material reality that we experience through our physical senses. It includes the physical universe, the Earth, and all physical matter.
• It is characterized by a sense of solidity, separation, and the limitations of time and space. The physical plane is governed by physical laws and operates within the framework of cause and effect.
• Souls incarnate into physical bodies on the physical plane to have sensory experiences, learn lessons, and evolve spiritually. During this reincarnation cycle, they progress through 5 soul age stages known in the teachings as infant soul, baby soul, young soul, mature soul, and old soul. For a quick overview, see The Essence of Old Souls.
Diversity and Learning:• The physical plane offers a rich tapestry of experiences, challenges, and opportunities for growth. Souls come to the physical plane to explore a wide range of emotions, relationships, and life situations.
• Individuality and diversity are prominent on the physical plane, with each person having a unique personality, background, and life path. These differences provide opportunities for self-discovery, self-expression, and the development of empathy and understanding.
Polarity and Duality:• The physical plane is characterized by the interplay of polarities and dualities. This includes concepts such as light and dark, love and fear, joy and sorrow. Souls on the physical plane navigate these dualities to learn and expand their consciousness.
• The experience of duality and contrast on the physical plane allows for the exploration of choices, the understanding of consequences, and the development of personal preferences and values.
Opportunities for Evolution:• The physical plane is viewed as a school or a learning ground for souls. It offers the opportunity for spiritual growth, self-discovery, and the evolution of consciousness.
• Lessons and challenges on the physical plane are often related to themes such as self-identity, relationships, personal power, and the integration of spiritual principles into physical existence.
Interconnection with Higher Planes:• While the physical plane is the densest and most limited in terms of consciousness, it is not disconnected from the higher planes. Souls on the physical plane have the potential to access higher levels of consciousness and align with the wisdom and guidance available from the astral, causal, and other planes.
Limitations and Subjectivity:
Overall, within the Michael teachings, the physical plane is seen as the realm of tangible, material reality where souls incarnate to have sensory experiences and learn lessons. It provides opportunities for growth, exploration of polarities and dualities, and the evolution of consciousness through the challenges and experiences of physical existence.
The astral plane is a concept that has been explored in various mystical, occult, and esoteric traditions. It is often described as a non-physical dimension or realm that exists parallel to the physical plane. Here's an overview of what is known or believed about the astral plane:
Nature and Characteristics:• The astral plane is considered to be a realm of energy, consciousness, and emotions. It is believed to be more fluid and malleable compared to the physical plane, with thoughts and emotions having a more immediate and tangible effect on the environment.
• It is often described as a realm of heightened sensory perception, where experiences can be vivid, intense, and immersive. Sight, sound, touch, and other senses may operate differently or be enhanced in the astral plane.
• The laws of physics that govern the physical world may not apply in the same way in the astral plane, allowing for a greater range of possibilities and experiences.
• It is believed that the astral plane can be accessed through altered states of consciousness, such as during astral projection, lucid dreaming, or deep meditation.
Inhabitants and Entities:• The astral plane is believed to be populated by various entities and beings. These may include spirits, guides, astral travelers, and other consciousness forms that exist primarily or exclusively on the astral plane (or the afterlife).
• Some traditions suggest that the astral plane is also inhabited by thought forms or constructs created by human consciousness. These thought forms can take on temporary or semi-permanent existence and interact with astral travelers or each other.
Purpose and Exploration:• Exploring the astral plane is often seen as a means of spiritual growth, personal development, and expanded consciousness. It can provide opportunities for self-discovery, learning, and exploration beyond the limitations of the physical world.
• Astral projection, which is the intentional detachment of consciousness from the physical body to explore the astral plane, is considered a practice that allows individuals to gain firsthand experiences of the astral realm and its possibilities.
• The astral plane is also associated with the concept of the "silver cord," which is believed to connect the astral body to the physical body during out-of-body experiences, ensuring a safe return to the physical form.
The causal plane is one of the seven primary planes of existence that souls progress through on their evolutionary journey. The Michael teachings are a metaphysical system channeled by medium Sarah Chambers in the 1970s, where the teachings are attributed to a collective consciousness entity known as Michael. Here's an overview of what is known or believed about the causal plane from a Michael teachings perspective:
Nature and Characteristics:• The causal plane is described as a realm of pure intellect, abstract thought, and the formation of belief systems. It represents a higher mental realm beyond the astral and mental planes.
• It is seen as a realm where the underlying causes and motivations behind events are explored. It is associated with the examination of choices, intentions, and the impact of beliefs on individual and collective experiences.
• The causal plane is considered a realm of higher vibration and subtler energies compared to the lower planes. It is seen as a realm of heightened clarity, understanding, and self-awareness.
Development of Belief Systems:• The causal plane is believed to be where souls develop belief systems that shape their perceptions and experiences across lifetimes. Beliefs formed on the causal plane are seen as fundamental to the choices, values, and lessons that souls explore in subsequent lifetimes.
• Souls on the causal plane engage in intellectual exploration, seeking to understand the interplay between beliefs, choices, and the consequences of actions. They may examine the causes and effects of events, seeking deeper insights into the nature of reality.
Expansion of Consciousness:• Accessing or aligning with the causal plane is viewed as a stage of spiritual evolution and expansion of consciousness within the Michael teachings. It involves transcending identification with physical and emotional aspects to connect with the deeper levels of the mind.
• Exploring the causal plane is associated with developing greater self-awareness, understanding one's belief systems, and examining the underlying motivations and intentions behind actions. It allows individuals to gain clarity and insight into the interconnectedness of experiences and choices.
Limitations and Subjectivity:
• It's important to note that the understanding of the causal plane within the Michael teachings is specific to that particular channeled system. Other metaphysical and spiritual traditions may have different interpretations and perspectives on the causal plane and its nature.
• Overall, within the Michael teachings, the causal plane is seen as a higher realm of intellect, beliefs, and self-awareness. It represents a stage of spiritual growth where souls delve into the underlying causes and motivations that shape their experiences across lifetimes.
The Akashic Plane
The Akashic plane, (also known as the Akashic records or the "Book of Life,") is a concept found in various spiritual and metaphysical traditions. It is believed to be a realm of knowledge and information that holds the collective memories, experiences, and wisdom of all beings and events throughout existence. Here's an overview of what is known or believed about the Akashic plane:
Nature and Characteristics:
• The Akashic plane is often described as an ethereal realm or field of consciousness that transcends time and space. It is believed to exist beyond the limitations of the physical and mental planes, representing a higher level of reality.
• It is thought to be a vibrational or energetic realm that stores and records every thought, action, and experience of all beings, across all lifetimes and dimensions. It is often described as an infinite library or repository of information.
• The Akashic plane is considered to be a realm of pure consciousness and interconnectedness, where the past, present, and potential future events are accessible and available for exploration.
Access and Exploration:
• The Akashic plane is believed to be accessible through expanded states of consciousness, deep meditation, or specific practices and techniques. It requires an attunement or connection to the higher frequencies of awareness to access the information contained within.
• Some individuals claim to be able to access the Akashic records through psychic abilities, intuitive insights, or spiritual guidance. They may receive visions, insights, or direct experiences of the information stored within the records.
Purpose and Benefits:
• Exploring the Akashic plane is often seen as a means of gaining insight, wisdom, and spiritual growth. It allows individuals to access information and experiences beyond their current lifetime, gaining a broader perspective on their soul's journey and purpose.
• Accessing the Akashic records is believed to provide information about past lives, karmic patterns, soul contracts, and spiritual lessons. It can offer guidance, healing, and clarity on one's life path and choices.
Subjectivity and Interpretation:
Overall, the Akashic plane is considered a realm of universal knowledge and consciousness, holding the collective memories and experiences of all beings. Exploring the Akashic records is believed to provide profound insights and spiritual growth by accessing the vast wisdom and information stored within this realm.
The mental plane is one of the seven primary planes of existence that souls progress through on their evolutionary journey. Here's an overview of what is known or believed about the mental plane from a Michael teachings perspective:
Nature and Characteristics:• The mental plane is described as a realm of higher mind, intuition, and spiritual insight. It represents a higher level of consciousness beyond the astral and causal planes.
• It is seen as a realm where expanded awareness and understanding of universal truths are explored. Souls on the mental plane delve into the deeper aspects of consciousness and seek to transcend limited perspectives.
• The mental plane is associated with the exploration of concepts such as oneness, interconnectedness, and the underlying patterns that govern the universe.
Development of Higher Mind:• Souls on the mental plane focus on the development of higher intellectual faculties and intuitive abilities. They seek to refine their capacity for abstract thinking, logic, and intuitive insights.
• The mental plane is believed to be a realm of expanded consciousness and spiritual understanding. Souls explore concepts beyond personal beliefs and preferences and strive to align with universal principles.
Expansion of Consciousness:• Accessing or aligning with the mental plane is viewed as a stage of spiritual evolution and expansion of consciousness within the Michael teachings. It involves transcending identification with lower planes and connecting with the higher frequencies of the mind.
• Exploring the mental plane allows individuals to gain deeper insights into the nature of reality, the interconnectedness of all beings, and the fundamental principles that govern existence.
• Souls on the mental plane may engage in activities such as philosophical inquiry, scientific exploration, and the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge.
Limitations and Subjectivity:• Overall, within the Michael teachings, the mental plane is seen as a realm of higher mind, spiritual insight, and expanded consciousness. It represents a stage of spiritual growth where souls explore universal truths, intuitive wisdom, and the underlying patterns that govern existence.
The messianic plane is one of the seven primary planes of existence that souls progress through on their evolutionary journey. Here's an overview of what is known or believed about the messianic plane from a Michael teachings perspective:
Nature and Characteristics:• The messianic plane is described as a realm of transcendence and divine consciousness. It represents a higher level of spiritual attainment beyond the astral, causal, and mental planes.
• Souls on the messianic plane are believed to have achieved a high level of enlightenment and unity with the divine. They embody qualities such as unconditional love, compassion, and wisdom.
• It is seen as a realm of profound spiritual guidance and teaching, where souls serve as messengers or guides for those on lower planes.
Enlightened Consciousness:• Souls on the messianic plane have transcended the limitations of the lower planes and attained a state of expanded consciousness and oneness with the divine.
• They have a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings and the underlying spiritual principles that govern existence. Their consciousness is characterized by unconditional love, compassion, and a desire to assist others on their spiritual journeys.
Spiritual Guidance and Teaching:• Souls on the messianic plane are believed to take on roles as spiritual guides, teachers, or messengers. They offer guidance, wisdom, and support to those on lower planes who seek spiritual growth and enlightenment.
• Their teachings may focus on universal truths, spiritual principles, and practices for personal and collective transformation. They inspire and uplift others, facilitating their evolution towards higher levels of consciousness.
Transcendence and Unity:• The messianic plane is associated with the realization of unity consciousness, where the boundaries between self and others dissolve, and all beings are recognized as interconnected and divine.
• Souls on the messianic plane embody and radiate a deep sense of peace, love, and oneness. They serve as beacons of spiritual illumination, inviting others to recognize their own divine nature.
Limitations and Subjectivity:• Overall, within the Michael teachings, the messianic plane is seen as a realm of transcendence, divine consciousness, and spiritual guidance. Souls on this plane have achieved enlightenment and serve as guides and teachers for those seeking spiritual growth and evolution. They embody qualities of love, compassion, and wisdom, inspiring others towards their own spiritual awakening.
Buddhaic plane is the highest plane of existence.
Nature and Characteristics:• According to the Michael teachings, the Buddhaic plane is the highest plane of existence, indicating a state of elevated spiritual consciousness and attainment.
• The medium of the Buddhaic plane is said to be pure or abstract kinetic energy. This suggests a realm of dynamic and transformative energy, devoid of physical or material limitations.
• The Buddhaic plane is associated with the experience that occurs just before fully refocusing one's awareness in the Tao. The Tao, in this context, refers to the ultimate reality or the source from which all things arise.
Connection to Buddha and Teaching:• It is mentioned that the infinite soul who incarnated as Buddha taught from the Buddhaic plane. This implies that the teachings attributed to Buddha were channeled or brought forth from this elevated plane of consciousness.
• The Buddhaic plane, in this context, can be understood as the realm of profound enlightenment and spiritual realization from which Buddha imparted his wisdom and teachings to humanity.
Understanding and Significance:
• The mention of the Buddhaic plane in the Michael teachings suggests a recognition of the highest level of spiritual evolution and consciousness attainable by souls.
• It implies that the Buddhaic plane is a realm of immense spiritual power, where the teachings and guidance offered have a transformative and profound impact on individuals and collective consciousness.
Overall, within the context of the Michael teachings, the Buddhaic plane is described as the highest plane of existence, associated with pure kinetic energy and the realm just before fully refocusing awareness in the Tao. It is also linked to the teachings and influence of the infinite soul who incarnated as Buddha.
- MT Site Editor
About Shepherd Hoodwin
Shepherd has been channeling since 1986. He also does intuitive readings, mediumship, past-life regression, healing, counseling, and channeling coaching, where he teaches others to channel. He has conducted workshops on the Michael teachings throughout the United States. His other books include Enlightenment for Nitwits, Loving from Your Soul: Creating Powerful Relationships, Meditations for Self-Discovery, Opening to Healing, Growing Through Joy, Being in the World, and more to come.
Visit his website at ShepherdHoodwin.com
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