THE HIGHER PLANES
The terms "higher planes" or "spiritual planes" generally refer to all worlds above the
mental plane, from the
soul plane up to the God plane.  However, in this instance I'm
using these terms to describe only the worlds
between the soul plane and the God
plane, so I can collectively cover them on a single page.  Paul Twitchell lists these
planes by their Sanskrit names: Alakh Lok, Alaya Lok, Hukikat Lok, Agam Lok, and
 
Anami Lok.  I had to look up the names because I can never remember them, nor their
correct order, and I suspect most spiritual students can't, either.  As far as I can tell,
there is no need to memorize the Sanskrit names in order to visit these higher worlds.
One such visit occurred in the continuation of the
spiritual travel  mentioned on the soul plane page.  
After having been rowed across the dark river and
passing through a tunnel into a beautiful soul plane
valley, I wanted to explore its bounty but the master
held me back.  Instead, we flew over the meadows
and forests of the valley until we saw what
appeared like a large, round, glassy-looking hole in
the sky.  We continued towards it and then passed
through it.  On the other side we entered a world of
clouds -- heavy, billowing clouds that swirled in a great whirlpool.  The sound audible
here was a deep, throbbing hum, like a muted waterfall.
Here again the question might arise:  In a realm beyond duality, how can there be
different planes, and how can something exist that looks like a whirlpool of clouds?  To
the first part of the question I would answer that the spiritual worlds aren't actual
locations in space and time; rather, they're more like different states of consciousness.  
In the microcosm these different states of consciousness represent variances in the
awareness of one's own divine being, or degrees in one's exposure to the true God
state.

The image of the whirlpool of clouds that I saw was a symbolic translation by Soul of the
higher plane reality I was witnessing.  As noted on the
Other Planes page, I've quite
often come across whirlpools in my spiritual travels.  
to be much brighter, but since I find the lower worlds quite well illuminated when I'm in
them, it always comes as a surprise how dark they actually are.)

After encountering several of these whirlpool symbols I asked myself, why do they show
the flow of Divine Spirit spinning around instead of falling straight down?  What's the
meaning of the spin?  On earth many things spin -- a gyroscope, a bullet on its trajectory,
a top on a table, wheels, gears, propellers, and electrons.  In each case it appears that
force is applied with spin as a perpetuating and stabilizing factor. So my speculation is
that the symbol of the whirlpool is also meant to convey that Divine Spirit is a perpetual,
stable force, which it surely is.
During a further attempt in my spiritual quest to get
closer to the God plane, I emerged from a winding,
black tunnel into a world of subtle, shifting light.  I saw
a circle of greater light ahead and moved through it,
finding myself in another world of layered, gauzy light.  
There was a circle of greater light ahead and I glided
towards it and through it, encountering yet another
world of misty light . . .
This went on and on for I don't know how long.  At the
end I never did get to the God plane, but I think what
the experience was telling me was that there are many
steps toward God-Realization and that it's a gradual
process to get there.
Strangely, part of that process seems to be facing an aspect of the higher worlds that is
terrifying.  One wouldn't think there could be anything terrifying about the spiritual
planes, but they contain a tremendous amount of raw spiritual power, undiluted by any
matter.  This power can presumably do harm to a Soul exposed to it before It's ready,
which might make the spiritual power appear in the form of a frightening symbol when
encountered.
I experienced a bit of this in the continuation of the
spiritual travel described at the beginning of this page.
The master and I headed for the center of the vortex of
clouds and dove into it.  On the other side the world
was still cloudy, but the clouds were of a light orange
hue.  We began walking along on this plane.  Suddenly,
an enormous creature reared out of the mist ahead of
us -- a tall, fiery shape almost like a giant, glittering
Batman.  It moved toward me menacingly, ready to
pounce.  There was no doubt in me that it wanted to
rend me, burn me, and cast my ashes to the four winds.
I was fully prepared to be torn into little pieces, but the
master spared me by ending the experience at that
point.
Lucky for me, but what about that?  How can a Soul, which is eternal and indestructible,
be harmed or torn to shreds?  And what would be the purpose of that?

First of all, if the master had allowed me to be shredded by the creature, I would have in
all probability been put right back together again.  Second, I don't believe that Soul is
actually torn to bits.  I think this experience is a symbol for the renewal and change in
consciousness we experience on the way to God-Realization.  It can sometimes be
terrifying because it resembles the loss of one's current state of consciousness before
gaining another, greater state of consciousness.  Achieving this higher consciousness is
necessary for us to withstand the greater power in the spiritual worlds.
Several years later, I had an experience where I traveled in the
spiritual worlds in the company of two masters.  We came up to a
solitary frame in the misty light that looked to me suspiciously like
an airport metal detector.  One after the other, both masters
walked into it, disappeared, and then reappeared a few yards away
on the other side.  They invited me to do the same, and after some
hesitation I stepped into the frame.  I felt myself being completely
disassembled and then reassembled a moment later on the other
side.  It wasn't an unpleasant feeling, actually.  Maybe it was a more
humane form of the shredding experience, I don't know.  To be
honest, I didn't feel much different afterward, just relieved that I
had gotten through unscathed.  Which illustrates a point that is
sometimes overlooked:  Whenever we have a consciousness-
If you're wondering what the changes in daily life
are that might be effected by visiting the higher
worlds, some of the effects I believe are that one's
consciousness is spiritualized and one becomes
more disciplined in all aspects of life.  To be
entrusted with the greater spiritual power that
comes with being in the spiritual worlds, one must
be forever vigilant in regard to one's thoughts,
emotions, and actions.  A negative thought, for
instance, or an uncontrolled emotion sent out by
someone with great spiritual power can be
devastatingly harmful.  A spiritualized person
therefore acts from the viewpoint of Soul, meaning
that they respect all living beings as children of God
and don't get caught up in the thought patterns,
emotions and social circumstances that pull us
down from that viewpoint.  A good rule I try to follow
is to ask -- Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? --
before I think or say anything.
Water or liquid, in particular golden liquid, is a symbol I've also
frequently come across in the spiritual worlds.  In one experience I
met a spiritual master near a stream of golden liquid.  He stepped into
it and told me to follow him.  As I did so I found I sank into the fluid
only up to what I thought of as my ankles.  We walked on the liquid
along the course of the stream until we arrived at a vast, golden lake
where the "water" cascaded into the worlds below in a great cataract.
 Above the lake the sky shone like a uniform, purple-gold cloud
cover.  The master graciously allowed me to bathe in the lake for a
while.  In my memory it felt indescribably wonderful, like no bath I'd
ever had on earth.
As the master and I continued our journey through the spiritual worlds by walking on the
golden liquid, the surroundings became ever lighter and clearer.
 I could distinctly hear
the sounds of the higher planes as we moved through them.   (Paul Twitchell denotes
them as follows: Alakh Lok (Wind), Alaya Lok (Humming Sound), Hukikat Lok (Thousand
Violins), Agam Lok (Music of the Woodwinds), Anami Lok (HU).  These sounds are earthly
approximations, of course, but I've found them fairly accurate.)
First I heard the sound of the wind.  It
was like listening to a distant arctic
gale, with gusts of heavy wind
whipping over the tops of snow
covered mountains.  Next came the
heavy, throbbing hum I had
encountered at the whirlpool of
clouds.  Following that, the sound
described as a thousand violins
presented itself as a deep, harmonious
strumming, almost like a thousand
cellos playing behind a cascading
waterfall.  It was very powerful and
uplifting, yet also very subtle.
faint sun. The master took me by the hand and led me forward.  We walked on the clouds
towards the light, and as we drew closer it became brighter and larger until it resembled a
gigantic rising sun.  The sound audible here was a continuous HUUUU, as if the word were
sung by a million voice choir.  It was the sound of the Anami Lok, the highest of the
spiritual worlds and the "bottom," so to speak, of the God plane.

A further explanation of this light or "sun" is given on the next page, the
God plane page.
Learn more about the spiritual worlds in "Warriors of
the Sound Current."
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As we continued to walk along,
the sound changed to that of
the woodwinds - music that was
totally unstructured, almost
cacophonous, like an orchestra
tuning up.  Finally, we came to a
kind of precipice that
overlooked a sea of clouds.  In
the distance a yellow-white light
was visible in the mist, like a
In one such instance I found myself inside a dark blue
whirlpool that swirled majestically around me.  Sparks
and bolts of light emanated from me and were caught in
the blue whirlpool which sent the bolts out into the
galaxy.  Looking down, I saw the lower worlds beneath
me, illuminated by the sparks and streaks of light
absorbed from me by the whirlpool and scattered
outward.  Despite all the light that was carried down to
the lower worlds by the swirling current, I was struck by
how dark it was down there compared to where I was.  
(One would surely expect the light in the higher worlds
Sound Current Rider
transforming experience, we don't necessarily feel the effects right away.  In our normal
day-to-day lives it usually takes time before the changes filter down into our human
consciousness.