Mental World (in Theosophy)
Formerly known as the Manas Plane. In the theosophic
scheme of things, this is the third lowest of the seven worlds.
It is the world of thought into which man passes on the death
of the astral body, and it is composed of the seven divisions of
matter in common with the other worlds. It is observed that the
mental world is the world of thought, but it is necessary to realize
that it is the world of good thoughts only, for the base
thoughts have all been purged away during the soul’s stay in
the astral world.
Depending on these thoughts is the power to perceive the
mental world. The perfected individual would be free of the
whole of it, but the ordinary individual in past imperfect experience
has gathered only a comparatively small amount of
thought and is, therefore, unable to perceive more than a small
part of the surroundings. It follows from this that although the
individual’s bliss is inconceivably great, the sphere of action is
very limited. This limitation, however, becomes less and less
with the individual’s abode there after each fresh incarnation.
In the Heaven world-division into which we awake after
dying in the astral world, we find vast, unthought-of means of
pursuing what has seemed to us good—art, science, philosophy
and so forth. Here, all these come to a glorious fruition of
which we can have no conception, and at last the time arrives
when one casts aside the mental body and awakens in the causal
body to the still greater bliss of the higher division of the mental
At this stage, one has done with the bodies which form mortal
personality, and which form one’s home in successive incarnations,
and one is now truly whole, a spirit, immortal and unchangeable
except for increasing development and evolution.
Into this causal body is worked all that one has experienced in
the physical, astral, and mental bodies, and when one still finds
that experience insufficient for one’s needs, one descends
again into grosser matter in order to learn yet more and more.
These concepts derive from the Hindu religious classification
of three bodies or states of being gross (or physical), subtle,
and causal (known as sthula, sukshma, and karana shariras).
The causal body is pictured as surrounded by five sheaths (or
koshas) annamayakosha (food or physical sheath); pranamayakosha
(subtle energy sheath); manamayakosha (mental
sheath); vijnanamayakosha (wisdom sheath); and anandamayakosha
(bliss sheath of spiritual unity).
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Mental World
Jinarajadasa, C. The Early Teachings of the Masters, 1881–83.
Chicago Theosophical Press, 1923.
Powell, Arthur E. The Astral Body and Other Astral Phenomena.
London Theosophical Publishing House, 1927.

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