Levels and Planes of Comprehension of The Life Divine

  • The Life Divine describes the descent of The Absolute and the ascent of Matter to it.
  • If something is explained, it must be intelligible.
  • Apart from the linguistic barrier, there is a genuine lack of comprehension even among those whose mother tongue is English. It is the barrier of intellectuality.
  • If intellectuality is a barrier to comprehend The Life Divine, below that there are a few levels of incomprehension of life.
  • Irrelevant though it is, considering them will make our gradation, if not scale, complete.
  • The true physical man who is a hulk can comprehend only physical movements. To him the life intensities are a closed book.
  • The energetic vital man, who is incapable of conceiving an idea, is truly vital. All ideas are non-existent to him.
  • Insight and intuition are lost to the intellectual.
  • It must be possible for us to see that for anyone in each of these categories the other three are inaccessible or at least unintelligible as the ones in each of these planes appreciate their own plane.
  • Before explaining all the other planes, I wish one sees the distinction between these four planes clearly.
  • The above deals with comprehension.
  • The distinctions between the gross, subtle, causal plane are not so much to be comprehended as to be felt or perceived, The Life Divine too can be fully received in these planes.


Plane of matter

Things must be presented not as ideas, but finished resultsthat are tangible and usable. The form must be precipitated in Matter.

Life Plane

Energetic emotional expression is needed for communication either as an inspiring message or vulgar abuse-Energy forcefully delivered.

Mind Intelligble idea
HigherMind Silent observation or reception of the situation.
IlluminatedMind Idea becomes vision.

Direct communication without the intermediaries of energy, idea, silence or light.

Supermind Has the knowledge, needs no communication.
  • The gross plane includes matter and life and partly mind as empirical facts are gross ideas.
  • The spiritual range belongs to the subtle plane.
  • The causal plane is of the Supermind.
    The Life Divine can be comprehended by the Mind, its intellectuality if it does not insist on being closed.
  • The Higher Mind is largely mind with a good dose of insights that can open up intuition.
  • The Illumined Mind comprehends the same thing as Mind or Higher mind, only that it will do so through visions. It has a greater opening to intuition.
  • The Intuitive Mind can fully comprehend The Life Divine if only it does not insist on its incomprehension.
  • Supermind needs no knowledge, as it possesses it.

The Three Poises:

Time takes the three poises of Time, Timelessness and the simultaneous integrality and Timeless eternity. This can be said of Form, Finite, Silence, Personal, The Many, The Multiple, Manifest, etc. Time is in the gross plane, Timelessness in the subtle plane and The Simultaneity in the causal plane.

  • The Book contains arguments at all the three levels of intellectuality, intuition and integral experience corresponding to the three planes of Time.

  • The eight planes of Matter, Psychic, Life, Mind, Supermind, Ananda, Consciousness and Existence split into consciousness and substance. We can assign facts, arguments, explanations, descriptions, formulas, laws, etc. to all these sixteen planes making our subdivisions clearer and precise. It all depends upon the patience of the student of yoga. He can aspire for a scholar-yogi or a yogi-scholar. Let us start with the three planes mentioned above and refer to arguments as they rise and assign them to various planes.

  • In the first chapter, His extending the Vedantic position on evolution to Supermind is logical and therefore will be self-evident to the mental intellect.

  • In the same chapter, His reference to the abandoned intellectual query coming back more vehemently cannot have the same intellectual relevance. It needs an insight to perceive particularly as the argument moves into the subtle plane.

  • Another argument in the end of the same chapter says the universal instinct will not endorse the attitude of the intellect. This is beyond subtlety and needs intuition bordering on integral experience to see its validity.

  • Reconciliation of Matter and Spirit in cosmic consciousness in the plane of energy is beyond mind and intellect. It lies in the subtle plane fully. Comprehension of this fact is a spiritual experience in the subtle plane, not to be had by reading.

  • Reading through the Book and allotting the arguments to different planes is eminently possible, but that will be interesting, it will not move us from where we are.

  • These are arguments limited to each plane and also in any arguments the three levels can be seen.

  • The several examples cited here must enable one to make a complete list of such arguments. That is a first useful step.

  • That reading by itself cannot move one from plane to plane is a cardinal fact. Moving to another plane is a spiritual experience brought about by concentration and consecration.

  • All-inclusive concentration

    • moves the centre of thinking above the head.

    • moves the centre of being behind the heart.

    • moves the mind on the surface to inner mind and finally to the subliminal.

    • opens the psychic in the mind.

    • fills the surface mind with Silence, pushing it a little towards the Higher Mind.

    • moves the past a little way, as figures before one’s mind.

    • moves subtle symptoms copiously.

    • moves Life Response.

    • dissolves problems on hand.

    • moves comprehension powerfully for a short while to intuition, fully opening the mind to insight, generating lightning flashes of the vision of Supermind.

    • weakens the ego rendering it less aggressive.

    • enables one to have a vague glimpse of God in everyone.

    • enables our mind to know another’s mind.

The part of it that must be well understood is experiences need practice. This article is about the levels of comprehension that may appear to be real experiences while it is not.

  • Having said ‘All is Brahman’, to say Maya creates illusion is untenable. His explanation that Brahman cannot be compelled by anything else is intellectual and can be so comprehended. The argument, rather the power of idea in that argument can give a perceptive or spiritually sensitive person the experience of the causal plane or at least the subtle plane for a split second. It all depends upon whether one insists on the ultimate value of the intellect or not.

  • The anthill and solar system are equal to Brahman, receive the full Brahman in them is a very clear mental argument. This too has the power to open us to the other two higher planes.

  • Contradictions are complements is an antithesis to mentality as it is a subtle truth. Insight helps us in comprehending it. .

  • Matter is Delight of existence fully belongs to the causal plane, but intellectually the argument on p.239 is not incomprehensible.

  • When the dividing Mind no longer can divide, it starts aggregation. This is certainly beyond the realm of human intelligence. The logic that division and aggregation are the same process in the opposite direction is beyond us. (p.166, The Life Divine).

  • One may start with the intellectual argument, but viewed against the argument of the whole chapter, it reveals more. Seen in the context of other chapters, especially in the wider context of the whole BOOK, more and more will reveal.

  • Discussing one’s favourite arguments in this light is a welcome beginning for this purpose.

  • Infinity is a clear concept in Mathematics and metaphysics. To understand infinity by perception and sensation is to know it in the vital and physical which means

    • The past is present.

    • The material resources are inexhaustible.
    • There is no enmity or failure etc.

    • The negative that is more organized as negative by attention can start growing positive by withdrawing attention.

    • In the subtle plane prayer now can accomplish what was completed a few days ago.

  • You become someone towards whom others do not feel competition or jealously. No two people who are normally rivals exhibit that rivalry with respect to their relations with you. In this occurrence, you see the translation of the idea of non-ego into vital reality. To study each idea as to how it translates into vital realism or physical fact and vice versa is a helpful necessary exercise here.

  • The first touches of the Spirit have been explained under all-inclusive concentration. One such is explained in Her Prayer on December 28, 1929. A peace that is not in death, a power which no king possessed, a joy no experience can give, is the Touch.


This is an essential concept for Mother. We are sincere to others, to ourselves. As we rise, sincerity is demanded to objectivity, to Silence, Light, Knowledge. At the Supermind, sincerity is to other souls in us and to God from whom we issue. Sincerity to Truth is best understood when we know Truth is the objective status of Existence. What is the sincerity to Truth we are now incapable of ? Not speaking one lie today is truth for us, but our whole consciousness in the vital is false. Our attachment to others, thus, is full of falsehood. When we detach ourselves from others, again, it does not become true, as a thief who does not steal does not cease to be a thief. His consciousness is one of stealing. In our present human condition to know the extent of our falsehood or insincerity is a measure of sincerity. A certain substantial endeavour towards sincerity shows itself,

  • by the sudden absence of many traits of our low consciousness such as clumsiness, lapses, employment of slang, coarse desires, etc.

  • Progress towards sincerity is shown by their permanent absence.

In the whole first book of 28 chapters where He explains the creation of Supermind, Mind, Life and Matter, He says there is no Ignorance. Ignorance is needed for this creation and therefore He shows how it is created. To follow that argument and SEE in practice where we are and how each of the seven ignorances expresses itself, is a step which will lead us on almost all the lines of progress so far laid out. There is no chapter where one such theme is not mooted.

I mention a few others below.

  • Absolute is relative.

  • One and the Man.
  • Quantity and Quality are illusions.
  • Non-Being is a word.
  • Matter is subconscien will.
  • Reality is a whole.
  • The occult process is unseen by us.
  • Nothing is undivine.
  • Mind rules Matter.
  • Mind is the result of division.
  • There is no pain, no karma.
  • Involution is in dualities.
  • Life responds to what you are, not what you do.