7 planes of consciousness
The 7 Words System is based on the traditional Sufi teaching that describes the nature of reality as having 7 clearly described aspects. These are called planes of consciousness, said to be different qualities of light that arise according to its vibrational rate. In Sufism, light is a term used as a metaphor; it equates exactly with what scientists measure as energy. Both scientists and mystics acknowledge that everything is energy, even physical matter, which is the expression of energy in its slowest form.
A study of the 7 Planes is typically carried out during silent retreats and can take years to complete – because, in order to fully grasp them, the ideas themselves need to be embodied as states. This makes the wisdom of this teaching rather inaccessible to most people. So there has been developed a more intuitively obvious approach that employs 7 of the simplest words we all know. This is pleasing to the part of us that wants our spiritual nature and our material nature to be clearly integrated. Often a seeker will find sacred text offers something of importance – a golden nugget that offers inspiration and comfort – yet the student will not make the connection that explains how that has anything to do with raising children or getting a good job: hence the 7 Words, which tries to bridge that divide.
Each of the planes will be described as a Sufi teaching. In summary – the Earth Plane is to do with physical existence and its challenges and lessons; its essential mystery is abundance. The Astral Plane relates to our ability to find solutions, to use intuition, to focus emotions and thought towards creative outcomes. Next, the Plane of Love, Harmony and Beauty is where we awaken our experience of the joy and the power of love through the expression of compassion. The 4th Plane is called the Heroic, its main theme is authenticity and it engages us fully with the shadow nature of our psychological imperfections, frequently externalising inner conflicts. The higher planes are less self-centred. We learn all about sacredness on the 5th, the Plane of Splendour, and the purpose and qualities of sacredness. We become aware of those aspects of our being that can only be explained with the further study of what we call angels. The Immaculate State, 6th Plane, is close to purity itself; beyond that is Unity, which is all but unimaginable. These 7 planes form a cosmology, so that they can be used to form a complete perception of the nature of reality and therefore, of course, oneself.