Mental plane

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(Mother:) “The mental space and time do not tally with what we observe here in the material universe. In the mind-world we can move forward and backward at our own will and pleasure. The moment you think of a person you are with him; and no matter how near you may be to somebody, you can still be far away if your thoughts are occupied with someone else. The movement is immediate, so very free are the spatio-temporal conditions there.”[1]

(Mother:) “The mental plane is so vast and so varied that one can go on and on in it and be lost in its wonders and surprises, its vista upon vista of search and discovery. Feeling at home in it, one may never turn to the true spiritual realm.
         It has also a certain watery nature. It easily flows into any channel, any mould. It is open to infinite diversity and does not have the inherent strength to hold on to one life-theme. Nor can it be firmly caught – it keeps slipping away.”[2]

(Mother:) “One can form a thought which then travels, goes out to someone, spreads the idea it contains. There is a mental substance just as there is a physical substance, and on this plane the mind can emanate innumerable forms. These forms can be objectivised and seen, and that is one of the most common explanations for dreams. For while you are active and while the physical eyes can see physically, some people can see mentally at the same time. But when you are asleep, your eyes are closed, the physical is asleep and the mind and vital become active.
         On the mental plane all the formations made by the mind — the actual ‘forms’ that it gives to the thoughts — return and appear to you as if they were coming from outside and give you dreams. Most dreams are like that. Some people have a very conscious mental life and are able to enter the mental plane and move about in it with the same independence they have in physical life; these people have mentally objective nights. But most people are incapable of doing this: it is their mental activity going on during sleep and assuming forms, and these forms give them what they call dreams.
         There is a very common example — it is amusing because it is rather vivid. If you have quarrelled with someone during the day, you may wish to hit him, to say very unpleasant things to him. You control yourself, you don’t do it, but your thought, your mind is at work and in your sleep you suddenly have a terrible dream. Someone approaches you with a stick and you hit each other and have a real fight. And when you wake up, if you don’t know, if you don’t understand what has happened, you say to yourself, “What an unpleasant dream I had!” But in fact it is your own thought which came back to you, like that. So be on your guard when you dream that someone is unkind to you! First of all, you should ask yourself, “But didn’t I have a bad thought against him?”.
         Thoughts are real entities which usually last until they are realised. Some people are obsessed by their own thoughts. They think of something and the thought returns and goes round and round in their heads as if it were something from outside. But it is their own formations returning again and again and striking the mind that has formed them. That is one aspect of the matter.
         Did you ever have the experience of a thought taking the form of words or a sentence in your mind and returning over and over again? But if you are clever enough to take a piece of paper and a pencil and write it down — that is the end of it, it won’t return any more, you have thrown it out of yourself. The thing has had its little satisfaction, it has manifested itself sufficiently and it won’t return.
         And there is something more interesting still: if you have a bad thought that annoys and disturbs you, write it down very attentively, very carefully, putting as much consciousness and will as you can. Then take the piece of paper and, with concentration, tear it up with the will that the thought will be torn up in the same way. That is how you will get rid of it.”[3]

“Why do bad thoughts come?”

(Mother:) Haven’t I told you why bad thoughts come?... For as many reasons as there are bad thoughts! Each one comes for its own special reason: it may be through affinity, it may be just to tease you, it may be because you call them, it may be because you expose yourself to attacks, it may be all this at once and many more things besides.
         Bad thoughts come because there is something corresponding somewhere within you; otherwise you might see something passing like that, but they would not come inside you. I suppose the question means: why do you suddenly think something bad?
         Because the stages are very different. I have already explained to you that the mental atmosphere is worse than any public place when a crowd is there: innumerable ideas, thoughts of all kinds and all forms criss-cross in such a complicated tangle that it is impossible to make out anything precise. Your head is in the midst of it, and your mind even more so: it bathes in it as one bathes in the sea. And all this comes and goes, passes, turns, collides, enters, goes out.... If you were conscious of the mental atmosphere in which you live, obviously it would be a little maddening! I think personal cerebral limits are quite necessary as a filter, for a very long time in life.
         To be able to get out of all that and live fully in the mental atmosphere as it is, seeing it as it is — it is the same for the vital atmosphere, by the way; that is perhaps yet uglier! — to live in it and see it as it is, one must be strong, one must have a very steady sense of inner direction. But in any case, whether you see it or not, whether you feel it or not, it is a fact, it is like that. So one cannot ask where bad thoughts come from — they are everywhere. Why do they come? — where would they go? You are right in the midst of them!”[4]

  1. Questions and Answers 1929-1931, p.165
  2. Quoted in Amal Kiran, Our Light and Delight: Recollections of Life with the Mother, p.197
  3. Words of the Mother – III, p.308
  4. Questions and Answers 1956, p.207

See also