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  • The Human Culture Zone (Causal Body, Lower Mental Plane)

The Human Culture Zone (Causal Body, Lower Mental Plane)

AC 263: February 12, 2007 (Boston)

This adventure began from a dream. I was in Chicago, heading west, away from Lake Michigan. When I got to Broadway, one of the diagonals that breaks the north-south grid, running southeast-northwest, I picked up a bus that took me northward. The bus disappeared and I found myself in a large enclosed park.

It was quiet in the park, compared to the bustle of the city–almost deserted. There were roundabout pathways, semi-enclosed gardens, even some simple amusement park rides. A Guide who looked like the famous Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges met and greeted me, offering to give me a tour. He led me around the perimeter of the park so that I could get a sense of its extent.

We passed what looked like a big indoor pool and waterslide complex several stories high. It dwarfed the park we were walking through, which looked like a kiddie park in comparison. The complex was pale green in color and oriented so that its back wall abutted the park. I could hear screams from within, as if the building was full of kids playing in the water.

“That’s the astral plane Dream Zone,” my Guide explained. “You’re now in the lower mental plane Dream Zone. Growth over there pales [pale green] in comparison to what you can accomplish here. But so few people know how to get here that the lower mental plane can seem more or less deserted.

“Most people are like kids: they want to be entertained with thrills of various kinds. Even the astral plane Dream Zone is too tame for them, though it’s just as possible–perhaps more so–to experience high adventure there as it is on Earth. But people would rather have violent earthly amusement park rides to thrill the body and virtual reality computer games to thrill the mind.

“The astral plane Dream Zone can seem boring to those who don’t know how to use it because they just keep sliding through dreams with identical emotional contours, based on their unresolved problems in physical reality [waterslides]. They have no idea how much more real and satisfying the thrills of the lower mental plane Dream Zone can be.

“Here it’s possible to enter the world view of a famous person or the plot of a novel, play, or opera and experience it as real–at least as real as anything you’ve personally lived through on Earth. Verbal descriptions can’t convey the vividness, the depth of immersion, possible when you enter a world view or novel plot here. Unlike a virtual reality game, it’s indistinguishable from life, and satisfies a hunger to know anything you may care to know about that person or novel so thoroughly that mere thrill seeking seems like a waste of time.

“People seek thrills because they’re bored on the physical plane. They generally have no orientation toward spiritual growth or the idea of getting closer to Source. They often play with the hormonal states of their bodies through thrill seeking or creating emotional drama to keep themselves interested in life and provide themselves with a sense of reality–since any powerfully experienced state of consciousness, such as anger, seems more real than an office cubicle or laundry room. But the real thrills, the real sense of reality, only develop when you’re driven inward to explore the astral and mental planes.

“Even so, boredom can become a powerful incentive to spiritual growth. You were bored with physical reality when you were in high school, so you turned to your dreams, allowing you to explore the astral plane. Eventually, you got bored with the astral plane Dream Zone and moved from there to the mental plane Dream Zone. That change of locus for your explorations of nonphysical reality took place about ten years later. And the adventure continues.

“The difference between you and others is that as you get bored with one step, you take another, which brings you closer to Source. There’s real satisfaction in taking such a step–meaning bliss–not the artificial satisfaction that results from thrill seeking on the physical plane and the boredom that ensues when the body’s hormonal balance returns to normal.”

“When the drugs wear off, you mean,” I interjected.

“In a manner of speaking, yes,” my Guide replied. “Some people seek thrills with alcohol, pot, or illicit drugs. Others use their body to manufacture the drugs–stress hormones in extreme sports, adrenalin in watching horror films or riding a roller coaster, sex hormones with pornography. Whether you’re dealing with a state of consciousness sustained by an inwardly or outwardly produced drug, the drug wears off. Boredom caused you to produce that state. Boredom results when that state dissolves. It’s easy to become addicted to inner or outer drugs as a way to deal with boredom.

“But your experiences in Otherwhere lead to ever greater levels of inner peace and happiness, not to greater boredom, restlessness, and the tendency to seek ever more intense and dangerous physical and emotional thrills on the physical plane. That inner peace lasts for days at a time–and sometimes for weeks.”

I looked around at the park and its simple amusement rides. It was old-fashioned, charmingly low key. “I’m afraid this place would be a hard sell for most people, based on its appearance,” I said.

“Appearances in Otherwhere are almost always deceiving,” my Guide said. “Let’s start with my own appearance, for example. How do you see me?”

“You look like Jorge Luis Borges,” I replied.

“The Argentinian fantasiste,” the Guide said. “Good choice. I’m honored. Now, let’s look into why you chose that garb for me–or to be more accurate, why the energetic function at the core of my being wants to register on your inner senses in that way.

“Some years ago, in the 1990s, you went through a phase of reading everything you could get your hands on by Borges. Some of his best-loved stories, published in Fictions and The Aleph were mental plane adventures.

“The story ‘The Aleph,’ for example, was about a point that contains every other point in the world, which cane be viewed through it. That’s a description of perception in the causal body–the causal body is the point, and when you’re in the causal body, you can summon into your awareness any point on the mental, astral, or physical plane.

“Another story was about a man named Funes who could remember everything he ever experienced in incredible detail. That story was about reading the Akashic Records, another ability of the causal body.

“‘The Library of Babel’ is about the library of human wisdom that exists on the lower mental plane. That library is accessible through the mental plane Dream Zone.

“People who read Borges’ speculative fiction are introduced to the abilities of the mental and the causal body–and to the possibility that such abilities exist–in a way that’s less challenging than the emphatic statements made in theosophical books. In writing these stories, Borges was trying these ideas on for size. But you’re experiencing them directly–not as concepts, but as actual inner sense abilities.

“The same possibility exists for everyone willing to explore this plane. Personal identity must be strong, however, so that people don’t lose themselves in the vividness of the realities experienced here.

“Thus the amusement park rides you see here are designed to uplift and educate rather than to overwhelm with thrills. For most people, the fear of loss of identity is the most potent fear after that of loss of life. So these kiddy rides you see are designed gradually to build the identity of those who are brave enough to explore the mental plane. They grow in vividness and intensity as the fear of loss of identity diminishes.

“These rides are actually simulations, arranged in a graded series of challenges as a lower mental plane training program for projectors. Each ride is an initiatory test that has to be completed appropriately before a projector can move on to the next.

“Similar training programs exist on each plane to orient people to the inner senses and vehicle of consciousness required to perceive and move about on that plane. There’s a clearly laid out path of progress. On the lower mental plane, that path leads projectors through the cultural areas of the lower mental plane (including areas devoted to art, literature, and music) as well as the initial phases of the mental plane Afterdeath Zone (including the Deep Life Review Zone). The focus at this stage is on developing the information sense.

“Then you move on to develop the communication sense by visiting the world views of the recent dead and of the living. The purpose of such visits is to test the strength of your identity as you enter ever more deeply into these world views. Can you maintain that sense of identity even as you seem to merge with the consciousness of the person whose world view you’ve entered?

“While you’re exploring the cultural areas you may experience the lower mental plane as an amusement park. Here, you get your first lessons in shape perception, the fifth level of the perception sense. You learn to move through an energy dynamic– or shape–by feeling your way, as in a maze.

“Many of Borges’ early short stories involve mazes–another sign of their origin on the mental plane. If you were to look at this training area for mental plane abilities from a higher perspective, you would see it as a park made up of many small formal gardens connected by a maze-like pathway.

“During this phase of the training program, you learn to experience art works through the enhanced perceptions of the mental body. Even without being a projector, you can have these experiences any time you’re deeply engrossed in reading a novel or listening to music. The more visionary the literary work, and the more vividly you imagine it, the more you’re developing the inner senses of the mental body.

“Other inner senses develop from exposure to music, especially shape perception, as you allow yourself to be led through the musical labyrinth created by the composer. Shape perception requires some sense of how that musical structure was created in notes, chords, keys, melodies, harmonies, form, and the states of consciousness targeted by the composer.

“There’s no need to know a lot of music theory to develop shape perception. All that’s required is a sensitivity to how musical shapes (such as rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic progressions), colors (such as modulations from one key to another), and states of consciousness (such as emotions, moods, and atmospheres) are introduced and transformed–led into, away from, and back to.

“When you can experience the shape of a novel or piece of music internally, through memory, with great vividness, you may be ready to venture into a lower mental plane version of some work of art. That’s what happened when you entered what looked like an Opera House on the mental plane and experienced the plot of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu from the vantage point of several characters [AC 114: March 22, 1992, described in The Unanswered Question, 184-96].

“The second stage of training in the use of the mental body involves experiencing what goes on in the Deep Life Review Zone, but from outside. I don’t mean from outside the zone itself, but rather from outside the consciousness of the Shade undergoing that review. You watch events of that person’s life unfold as a witness, without yet experiencing them as if they were your own. You’re moving from developing the information sense (which provides you with information about the cultural or afterdeath areas you’re visiting) to developing the communication sense (which allows you to interact with Shades instead of merely observing them).

“You underwent this transitional stage in several visits to the world views of the recent dead, starting with your first to the poet James Merrill [AC 149: February 7, 1996, described in The Unanswered Question, 212-23]. In that visit, you located him in the mental plane Afterdeath Zone, but maintained a certain degree of psychological distance.

On the next occasion, you observed the progress of a German woman through the Afterlife [AC 157: May 10, 1996, described in The Unanswered Question, 420-25]. You were picking up information from her world view and witnessing it as if it were happening in the present. That represented a more advanced stage of immersion in a world view than you experienced with James Merrill.

When you visited the Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski in the Deep Life Review Zone, you had an actual conversation with him. [AC 158: August 6, 1996, unpublished]. That was a somewhat deeper experience of the same lesson, now involving the communication sense.

The next event in this learning sequence occurred about a year and a half later, when you visited your friend Linde’s mother in the Deep Life Review Zone as she prepared to receive Linde’s father, who was on the verge of dying [AC 173: March 14, 1998, described in The Unanswered Question, 411-20]. You were still witnessing the world view from outside, but the information and communication senses were both active.

With your client Merle, however, you progressed to the stage of directly experiencing a Shade’s world view from inside–and you balked [AC 186: September 11, 1999, described in The Unanswered Question, 322-35]. This was an expression of the permeation sense. You weren’t ready for it.

“This encounter was too heavy for you, in part because Louis had for all intents and purposes committed suicide. It was also too intimate–you were afraid of losing your identity when you made direct contact with his through the permeation sense.

“You were now on the threshold of the next major stage of training in the use of the mental body. This stage involves experiencing the deep life review process from within the consciousness of a Shade. You enter completely into the Shade’s world view.

“The challenge is to maintain your identity while witnessing events in that Shade’s last life on Earth as something more than a mere spectator. You’re not exactly a participant, nor are you experiencing that person’s life vicariously. The connection between your consciousness and that of the Shade is extremely intimate. You think and feel what that Shade thought and felt about events in that lifetime as they occurred and with the dawning awareness of what was learned from them that comes in the Deep Life Review Zone. You must develop the permeation sense in order to achieve this goal.

“You passed this test about eighteen months later, with your second visit to James Merrill [AC 199: March 24, 2001, unpublished]. You had some help from a Facilitator, who prevented your consciousness from merging with Merrill’s in a way that would have been frightening or overwhelming.

“Having successfully addressed this initiatory challenge, you had mastered the mental body. Nine months later, you transferred your focus of consciousness to the causal body. Only in the causal body can you perfect the permeation sense.

“Your initial explorations of the upper mental plane corresponded to those in the mental body on the lower mental plane–you were getting the lay of the land. You made visits to the portions of the Afterdeath Zone associated with the upper mental plane to learn what happens as people prepare to reincarnate. You were especially interested in tracing the transition Shades undergo in moving their focus of consciousness from the lower to the upper mental plane.

“This line of development paralleled that of mastering the permeation sense. At the causal body level, you had access to the world views of living people. The next test involved visiting such world views in an out-of-body state. This was an even more intimate experience than entering the world view of a Shade.

“Your first experience of this kind came when your best friend's ex-wife was dying and you visited her world view to help her release some of the negative feelings she’d built up about you AC 215: October 19, 2002, unpublished].

“You visited her world view again on the one year anniversary of her death [AC 231: March 12, 2004, unpublished]. This was not a new lesson, but you had an opportunity to see how much more vividly the causal body experiences interactions with Shades in the Deep Life Review process.

“Something similar happened when you witnessed a moment in your Uncle Gerry’s afterlife experience, when you encountered him in the Future Life Screening Room on the upper mental plane [AC 242: February 27, 2005, published in Astral Projection Log]. This is a higher level of the Life Review process, in which you see the karma of your past life reflected forward in the situation you’re choosing for your next life.

“Both adventures involved the other line of training, which promotes the development of the kinesthetic and environmental senses through exploration of the upper mental plane. In terms of intimacy of connection, your visit with your uncle was no more intense than your mental body experiences in the world views of Shades. But the causal body allowed you to enter a stage of planning for the next life that’s not available to the mental body because it takes place on a much higher level.”

“Just as the mental body training program involves areas that represent the cultural history of humanity, so does the causal body training program involve the Akashic Records. This is a less personalized, more universal, perspective on the events of the past than you get in an art work. As with the mental body, where you had an overview of the cultural areas in the Lulu adventure, so in the causal body you had a similar overview in your visit to the Keeper of the Akashic Records [AC 227: August 14, 2003, published in Astral Projection Log].

“Then you picked up a lesson that you could have learned in the mental body–not an essential part of the training program there, but nevertheless an interesting and useful ability: visiting the world view of a famous dead person. Some instruction on the nature of identity was necessary to make sure that you would fully understand the value of such experiences. That came in the encounter with Athena in which you first recognized her, along with the awakening of the permeation sense, which develops along with the causal body [AC 237: August 15, 2004, published in Astral Projection Log].

“The visit to the composer Béla Bartók’s world view came along just less than a year and a half later. [AC 250: January 7, 2006, published in Astral Projection Log]. You don’t have anything to compare it to, but a mental body visit to a famous person’s world view is much less vivid and intimate than a visit in the causal body, as you might guess.

“You were now ready to brave the world views of living people. You successfully passed through this stage of training in the use of the causal body in two important adventures of 2006, your Invisible Helpers Class adventure [AC 254: March 23, 2006, published in The Multidimensional Human, 3-7] and your visit to the world view of one of your students [AC 258: October 2, 2006, unpublished]. In the former adventure, you also got some practice in using the inner senses of the causal body to gather past life information on a client, an ability that is not available to the mental body.  

“The next stage in this training program is yet more intimate: experiencing the world view of a living person while you’re awake. You have yet to encounter this challenge. [It occurred a month later, with a new friend met at a house concert we played on (AC 265: March 11, 2007, unpublished)].

“A related test involves experiencing the world view of a deceased person while awake. This also has not yet occurred. The challenge here is not so much the intimacy level of the experience: you’ll experience causal contact with a living or a dead person as equally intense and intimate. The reason is that all souls–those of the living and the dead–are present in the upper mental plane and are accessible with the inner senses of the causal body. [I had this experience about ten weeks later (AC 268: April 24, 2007, unpublished)].

“The most usual use of the lower mental plane is as a library of cultural history with access to the world views of the living, those of the dead in Deep Life Review, and those of the famous dead, as well as works of art, literature, music, philosophy, science, and history, and the belief systems of the world’s religions. In short, any collection of thoughts, beliefs, and values organized and charged by one or more persons as a way of perceiving, understanding, and guiding the choices of life will be found on the lower mental plane.

“This Human Culture Zone remains open to you when you’re mastering the causal body. But your use of it becomes more fluent and profound.”

“Why do I sometimes see this library of cultural history as a used bookstore and sometimes as an amusement park?” I asked.

“Those are each valid ways of reading the energy here,” my Guide explained. “When you’re not clear about why you’re here or what you’re looking for, the organization of the lower mental plane can seem unsystematic, like that of a used bookstore where the books are grouped into subject areas without being alphabetized.

“When you see a library, you have a stronger sense of purpose in being here, which causes the information collections to rearrange themselves with a higher degree of organization.

“To navigate between and within collections of information on the lower mental plane, you must use your sense of shape. When you’re navigating between collections of information, you see it as a library or bookstore. When you’re navigating within a particular collection, you may experience it as a maze.

“When your need to know something is particularly strong, you may feel as if you’re being pulled into and through the maze, rather than tentatively sensing your way through it. That’s when you’re likely to experience a world view as an amusement park ride. A fun house ride is a kind of maze. But you get through it by running on wheels along a track. In this analogy, your need is the motive force that moves you along that track.”

“Even though I saw this area as a park when I first arrived, overall I have this ‘Ye Olde Curiosity Shop’ feeling,” I said.

“That’s an important clue–quite aside from the reference to the novel by Charles Dickens, which is a reminder that the great works of the world’s literature may be encountered here,” my Guide said. “As in a curiosity shop, just about anything a human being has made at any point in the world’s history is here somewhere. Without your curiosity, however, there’s no organization.

“A disorganized antique store or junk shop can be repellant, because the sheer amount of stuff and the apparently random relations between individual items is overwhelming. The mind is unable to process the experience. That’s the main reason why people aren’t allowed to enter the mental plane without having a valid reason or mission to be there.

“Furthermore, if the contents of your own mind–your beliefs and values–are random and chaotic, you would be denied access to the mental plane or confined to your own world view. Long before you’re allowed to explore the mental plane freely, you must have undergone a process of emptying out and organizing your beliefs and values into a workable system, one that creates a well-balanced mind and a degree of peaceful interaction with the outer world.

“If your world view holds too many negative beliefs that damage your perceptions of yourself and your possibilities and your perceptions of others and the world around you, you’ll be denied free access to the mental plane. Periodic nightmares of the destruction of the world would reflect the darkness of your world view, indicating that you’ve achieved the mental plane, but have been quarantined, as it were, in your world view. Such quarantining lasts until you’re able to clean up your world view through dream work, therapy, or spiritual practices that enable you to sort out the chaos and expunge the darkness in your beliefs and values.

“Keep in mind that you live from your world view all the time. It represents the mental body, an essential aspect of your personality. In dreams, meditation, or other altered states of consciousness, it may be possible to explore the mental plane beyond the tiny territory your world view occupies. But you’re not allowed beyond that territory without having fulfilled two criteria of safety.

“The first is that you must have overcome mental chaos by having established a belief and value system that supports a calm and clear mental state. The second is that you must have eliminated dark beliefs and values–those based on fear, distrust, and bigoted judgment, resulting in tendencies to assume the worst about people and the state of the world and to create paranoid conspiracy theories to explain whatever you don’t like or understand.

“With these criteria fulfilled, you’re allowed to use your world view as the gateway to the mental plane. It’s like the shell you’ve created on that plane as a home for your mental body.

“When the mental body is sufficiently developed, you can temporarily leave it behind to explore the lower mental plane. It helps to have a reason to do so–an important question to answer. Otherwise, the contents of the lower mental plane can seem overwhelmingly random and chaotic.

“You may recall a visit to the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife, which you recounted in Otherwhere [AC 108: September 6, 1991, described in Otherwhere, 240-51]. You were on the lower mental plane, which is one of the reasons why the elevator that took you there seemed to be moving down.

“Upon your arrival, you were impressed by the disorganized state of the museum-like room where the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife world view was stored. But the curiosity with which you entered began to rearrange it. At the time, you didn’t know what was happening. You became frightened as you witnessed the tomb and temple furniture flying around as it assumed an orderly set of relationships that could have answered your longstanding questions about how the ancient Egyptians experienced the Afterlife. You cleared out before that assembly process was complete and a Guide could show up to explain things.

“Ordinarily, when you enter the lower mental plane, you end up seeing something between a highly disorganized junk shop and a highly organized library. The image of a used bookstore with unalphabetized subject areas lies somewhere between these extremes–and that’s the usual image you perceive. The presence of books in just about any dream is one indication that the dream is taking place on the mental plane and not the astral plane.

“The important thing to remember on the lower mental plane is that your level of curiosity makes the organization. It links together subject areas of interest by bringing them closer together, making them easier to access. The subjects you have no interest in or do not resonate with recede, like the closing of convertible book stacks in a warehouse or the graduate library at the University of Illinois, stretching off endlessly into dark corridors.

“If there’s a particular subject you need to know about, or that a Teacher of Guide wants to put in front of you, it becomes more and more attractive. You’re pulled toward it–and it seems that the library or bookstore shelves rearrange themselves to accommodate you, bringing related topics together. That’s how you could get the Blavatsky information yesterday and then follow it up on the present visit with an awareness of Borges’ connection to theosophy.”

“I never would have made that connection on my own,” I said. “But now I recognize how Borges’ love of obscure lore and strange cults and his random way of citing sources, some of which were invented, is very like Blavatsky’s. They both seemed to have prodigious memories for everything they read.”

“It’s easier to feel affinities of shape between subjects when you have access to the lower mental plane and the inner sense of shape perception sense has been developed,” my Guide said. “Then you’ll find that hidden meanings and connections you missed in ordinary waking consciousness become instantly clear.”

“It’s like learning how to use a library in graduate school,” I mused, remembering a course I took during my first year at the University of Illinois called “Problems and Methods.” The course involved learning our way around the reference stacks and critical editions of the works of the great composers.

“Not a bad analogy,” my Guide replied. “Speaking of the great composers, another of your early visits to the lower mental plane was the Lulu adventure, described in The Unanswered Question. That visit took place a few months after your encounter with the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife [AC 114: March 22, 1992, The Unanswered Question, 184-96, as noted above].

“You were just beginning to acquaint yourself with how to use the mental body when you undertook those visits. In the present visit, operating from the causal body, you’ve been able to get some idea of the layout of the Human Culture Zone.

“Two nights ago, your questions about Blavatsky drew you to the Human Culture Zone, where they could be answered. On the present visit, you wanted to see how you got here and to get an overview of the structure of this area of nonphysical reality.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever traveled to the same location in nonphysical reality on two nights in a row,” I remarked.

“You’ve been here more often than you think, though without being fully aware of your location. Not knowing that the presence of books is a clue to being in the Human Culture Zone, you interpreted your experiences as mundane astral plane dreams.

“Furthermore, you often feel the desire to come here and can’t find your way to the lower mental plane from the astral plane Dream Zone. That explains your frequent dreams of wanting to go to a certain used bookstore and not remembering how to get there.

“On the occasions when you locate and enter the used bookstore you were aiming for, you’ve arrived in the Human Culture Zone. When you’re puzzled about how different it is from the bookstore on the physical plane you thought you were visiting, you’re not yet sufficiently lucid to recognize that you’re on the lower mental plane. You’re behaving as if the events in the dream were no different from events in physical reality by taking them literally. You’re not likely to learn much from such a visit to the lower mental plane and in all probability will drift back into ordinary astral lane dreams.

“Two nights ago, you were more lucid and got a clearer read on the ident of this area. This time, also being lucid, you wanted to make conscious use of that ident to see if you could return here.

“The used bookstore that you’re usually trying to get to in dreams is one you frequented when you lived in Chicago, and often went back to when visiting the area from Boston. This  bookstore was in Evanston, north of Chicago. It was called Bookman’s Alley.

“The bookstore consisted of a one-story maze-like series of rooms full of books, artwork, and curiosities, wandering along an alley between taller buildings and somewhat hidden by them, so you had to know where to look in order to find it. How’s that for a summary of many of the characteristics of the lower mental plane Cultural Zone? The tall buildings represent the astral plane on one side and the upper reaches of the mental plane on the other.

“In such dreams, you’re often aware of the need to travel northward to get to the bookstore. On the map, the northern suburbs of Chicago seem to be stacked on top of each another, rising from one to the next along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. That’s a symbol of rising planes and subplanes. Since Evanston is the next suburb north of Chicago, it’s the next plane beyond the far north Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park, where you used to live in the early 1980s.

“In this metaphorical map, the center of Chicago, the Loop, represents physical reality. The near north neighborhoods, such as Lincoln Park, are the etheric subplanes of physical reality. The far north neighborhoods are the astral plane, with Rogers Park representing its highest subplane.

“Then comes the boundary between Chicago and Evanston, representing the boundary between the astral and mental planes. Evanston itself is the lower mental plane and the wealthier suburbs beyond it, such as Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Waukegan represent ascending subplanes of the mental plane. The Wisconsin state line, though you never actually travel that far in your dream adventures, would be the buddhic plane.”

“The farther north you go, the more spread out these suburbs become,” I commented. It’s as if the distances between the subplanes somehow increases.”

“That’s a sign of how much learning and growth must be accomplished before you can move from one subplane to the next,” my Guide explained. “The etheric subplanes of the physical and the astral subplanes are relatively easy to master. The lower mental subplanes are moderately difficult and the upper subplanes, associated with the causal body, are extremely challenging.

“In most of your Chicago dreams, you decide you want to go to that bookstore in Evanston, but you can’t get there. You’re having trouble moving from the astral plane to the lower mental plane.

“This time you decided to take a dependable route out of your previous dream. You traveled due west for a while, indicating that you wanted to get away as far as you could from familiar areas of the astral plane Dream Zone–like the unfamiliar western suburbs of Chicago. These areas are in some respects less congested than those nearest the lake. The symbolism here is that you developed a strong intention to clear your head of astral plane dream clutter and distractions. It was easier for you to sense the right direction from way out there because there was less interference from your familiar dream subjects.

“Then you turned north, toward the mental plane. In your dreams, this direction is usually a symbol of magnetic north, and the Source is what you’re drawn to, what you set your internal compass by. When you head toward the Source, you’re automatically rising through subplanes to the next higher plane.

“The problem was finding the right angle of consciousness to follow, a particular slant, hence the diagonal direction of the road. You were honing in on the ident of this zone and becoming aware of the psychological distance you would need to go through to get here.

“The bus you boarded at this point was not a public transit bus, but a school bus. You became aware that there was something you needed to learn that could only be learned on the lower mental plane. You saw the road the bus was traveling down as Broadway, a pun for the easiest (broadest) route to the lower mental plane. Having something to learn there is always the most direct route to the lower mental plane.

“You could probably have transported yourself here instantly with such a realization. But you didn’t trust yourself–you wanted to be clear about the process, hence the slow-going bus.

“You often don’t know how you get somewhere in these nonphysical realms–you simply find yourself there. This time, for the sake of your readers, you wanted to be as clear as possible about how you moved from the astral plane Dream Zone to this are of the lower mental plane.

“Once you have access to the mental body as a vehicle of consciousness, all you need to get here is your need to know something. That’s what you experienced yesterday with Blavatsky.

“Today you slowed the process down so that you could see the steps involved and get a clearer sense of what you did yesterday.”

[The original account of this adventure in my dream journal was brief, sketchy, and unclear. I recorded it at a time when I was resisting an uptick in the frequency of adventures in consciousness and didn’t type it up at the time. Ordinarily, I type up my adventures within a few days of the handwritten account. With the longer ones, I skip writing them out longhand and go directly to typing them.

During the typing process many details that weren’t clear to me when I awoke from the adventure begin to emerge. I’m unpacking the contents of an energy information packet, seeking to empty it entirely, which can take many hours.

I typed up the present adventure three years after it occurred. At first, the notes in my dream journal hardly made sense. In trying to figure them out, I began to remember more. The energy information packet was still there. Once I tapped into it, I was able to see the importance of this neglected adventure. It was a tour of the lower mental plane training program similar to a tour of the buddhic plane training program I experienced several weeks ago [AC 398A: March 16, 2010, unpublished].

I’m writing this on April 21, 2010. I’ve spent the last two weeks working on this account. The original had spelled out a series of steps for moving through this training program, based on the idea of exposure to world views in a sequence of increasing vividness and intimacy with the creator of the world view. The challenge was to maintain one’s sense of identity throughout.

As I worked on this portion of the adventure, I wondered how it had played out in my case. I looked for examples of each stage in my master list of adventures in consciousness. Doing so allowed me to expand and refine the original material and provide examples of each stage from personal experience.

While writing this portion of the adventure, I felt that I was channeling the information about the steps and how they applied to my development. The original contained a reference to shape perception. But I now saw that other inner senses were being developed, along two distinct lines.

The relational senses of information, communication, and permeation were traced in my moving through the sequence of increasingly intimate world view experiences. Meanwhile, the kinesthetic and environmental senses were getting a workout in a separate strand of adventures that involved exploring the lay of the land in the lower mental plane from the perspective of the mental body and later of the upper and lower mental plane from the perspective of the causal body.

Though these perceptions were not part of my original adventure, they placed that adventure in context, and showed me how about ten years’ worth of other adventures fit together. I realized as I was typing this material that I was getting the outline for a new book that would allow me to trace out the process I went through to develop the mental and causal bodies.

The line between remembering the details of an adventure and channeling new information becoming available while I type is often blurred when I’m typing my adventures. I just go with the flow of images and information, figuring it’s all helpful.

Sometimes it feels as if the adventure exists outside of space and time and I can tune into it at any point, days or weeks later, and there it will be in all its freshness. I can resume recording it after a break with no fear of having lost any of the details. I’m just unpacking the energy information packet
I brought back with me.

But writing down the present adventure is the first time I’ve tuned into such an energy information packet after several years. It’s almost as if I couldn’t have understood my visit to the lower mental plane training program without having first visited the equivalent on the buddhic plane. In the process, what seemed like a lesser adventure at the time, has revealed its full stature as one of the more important ones for understanding how we learn and grow and the mental plane.]