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What's the difference?

One of the things which often confuses people on a spiritual journey is the jargon encountered along the way.

Bliss and epiphany experiences are fine as far as they go, but at some point we grapple with language to describe what is happening so that we may communicate it to others. The two terms, physical plane and metaphysical plane, often crop up without an explanation. Yet they are central to understanding the mechanics of what is happening and where in a journey of personal or spiritual growth.

We'll start with the easy definitions. First, the physical plane. If you can describe something in terms of one or more the five senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, sound), then it is part of the material plane.

Secondly, then, you won't be surprised that the definition of the metaphysical plane is the flip side of the coin. If something exists and it can NOT be described in terms of one or more of the five senses, then it is part of the metaphysical plane. For scientific and left-brain dominant individuals, this second definition is a bit of a stretch.

In fact, what quantum physicists call the "field" is simply the boundary between the physical and metaphysical planes. This gets to be a bit of a conundrum for the scientists. For on the one hand, their thinking is culturally programmed to accept that nothing exists other than the material world, yet on the other hand they are staring evidence in the eye from the "field" which suggests otherwise. The apparent contradiction is, in fact, perfectly logical.

Okay, I confess it. I actually enjoy watching scientists squirm in the face of something bigger than their ego-based intellects. It looks good on them. Maybe they'll even grow a little beyond their rather silly self-imposed boundaries. There is hope for these people, you know.

Admittedly the above thumbnail definitions are a bit glib and simplistic, and do beg for a more expanded treatment. So let's look at this statue from a different side of the gallery and see it from a new angle.

We'll start with the speed of light, some 300,000 km/sec (186,000 miles/sec). While alive Einstein maintained that nothing could go faster than speed of light. However, just a few years after his passing, the mathematics for existence in a dimension where all speeds are faster than the speed of light was published. The door had opened. 20th Century scientific thinking was catching up to the millennia-old spiritual thinking.

The speed of light turns out to be dividing line between two different but related sets of existence. Let's try a second definition for the physical/metaphysical planes. That which vibrates slower than the speed of light is what we call the material plane. That which vibrates faster than the speed of light we call the metaphysical plane. Kabbalah scholars and Sanskrit pundits, amongst others, have written of this in the poetic language of mysticism going back scores of centuries.

Those vibrations just faster than the speed of light are often known as the astral plane. (It gets pretty weird--in fact, it's a zoo.) The astral plane is also the realm of emotions. Move the vibrations up higher and you get the mental planes. The lower to middle mental planes are where our conscious minds function. Raise the vibration rate up higher and you are in the spiritual realm. Raise the vibrational level in spiritual plane high enough, and voila, you've got Source.

We can layer the concept of duality upon this. Duality is simple enough. Newton's laws of motion express duality. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Day, night. Left, right. Up, down. Night, day. North, south. Male, female; etc, etc. In the East, they talk of yin-yang. The concept is that in the manifestation of the material world there are polar opposites, that we know one thing because we can define it in terms of its opposite.

In metaphysical terms duality not only exists in the material planes, but it also exists in the astral planes (emotions) and the mental planes. Note that people can have conflicting feelings (emotional opposites), and people can also be grappling with conflicting ideas (mental opposites). But by the time we look at vibrations going up into the spiritual plane, duality ceases. For as we get closer to Source, there is unity not division. Division, or duality is part of what Easterners call maya, or illusion.

Each of us, as incarnate human beings, have dimensions in all of these planes, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Our conscious awareness of this multi-dimensionality varies widely from one person to the next. Part of the great spiritual journey which eventually we all take is to become more consciously aware of this multi-dimensionality.

The aura and chakras are part of our emotional or astral being. Clairvoyants tell us they can see our mental and spiritual "bodies" as well as the astral bodies. We routinely teach people in our courses how to feel these bodies with their hands. This is called "astral touch", and it is no big deal. Everyone has this ability. It's just that some people haven't had the chance to learn how to use it. The clearing protocol is based on this innate ability we all have.

One of the interesting features of the multi-dimensionality is the idea that the higher vibrational planes are causal to the lower vibration. This means that the spiritual plane causes things to happen in the mental plane; the mental plane causes things to happen in the emotional plane; and the emotional plane causes things to happen in the material plane. The Jewish mystical tradition, Kabbalah, studies this process at great length.

In more worldly Western terms for example, medical doctors have long had a saying about stomach ulcers: "It's not what you're eating. It's what's eating you." In other words high tension negative mental and emotional states can cause an ulcer. Conversely, relaxation and constructive positive thought are key components to an ulcer cure in addition to any professional health care.

In the alternative health field, which is where I spend a lot of my time, we understand that no cure is complete unless the higher dimensional cause(s) also have been addressed in addition to the physical problem itself.

Reiki, for instance, can access any of the physical or metaphysical planes depending on the needs of the client. The whole premise of holistic health is that the whole person, higher metaphysical dimensions included, must participate in the cure.

Since the physical (lowest vibration) is the manifestation of the metaphysical (higher vibration), health or disease ultimately has as its cause the activities of the metaphysical dimensions. Happily, the concept of homeostasis says that the human body moves toward health if we give ourselves the chance. The concept of matter continually trying to ascend while spirit descends is part of this.

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