On the mental plane, in both its great divisions, exist numberless Intelligences, whose lowest bodies are formed of the luminous matter and elemental essence of the plane—Shining Ones who guide the processes of natural order, overlooking the hosts of lower entities before spoken of, and yielding submission in their several hierarchies to their great overlords of the seven Elements.
They are, as may readily be imagined, beings of vast knowledge, of great power, most splendid in appearance: radiant, flashing creatures, myriad-hued, like rainbows of changing supernal colours, of stateliest imperial mien, calm energy incarnate, embodiments of resistless strength. The description of the great Christian Seer leaps to the mind, when he wrote of a mighty angel, “a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.” ‘‘As the sound of many waters ” are their voices, as echoes from the music of the spheres.
They guide natural order, and rule the vast companies of the elementals of the astral world, so that -their cohorts carry on ceaselessly the processes of Nature with undeviating regularity and accuracy.
On the lower mental plane are seen many chelas at work in their mental bodies, freed for the time from their physical vestures. When the body is wrapped in deep sleep the true man, the Thinker, may escape from it, and work untrammelled by its weight in these higher regions. From here he can aid and comfort his fellow-men by acting directly on their minds, suggesting helpful thoughts, putting before them noble ideas, more effectively and speedily than he can do when encased in the body. He can see their needs more clearly and therefore can supply them more perfectly, and it is his highest privilege and joy thus to minister to his struggling brothers, without their knowledge of his service or any idea of theirs as to the strong arm that lifts their burden, or the soft voice that whispers solace in their pain.
Unseen, unrecognized, he works, serving his enemies as gladly and as freely as his friends, dispensing to individuals the stream of beneficent forces that are poured down from the great Helpers in higher spheres. Here also are sometimes seen the glorious figures of the Masters, though for the most part They reside on the highest level of the “Formless” division of the mental plane; and other Great Ones may also sometimes come hither on some mission of compassion requiring such lower manifestation.
Communication between intelligences functioning consciously on this plane, whether human or non-human, whether in or out of the body, is practically instantaneous, for it is with “the speed of thought.” Barriers of space have here no power to divide, and any soul can come into touch with any other by merely directing his attention to him. Not only is communication thus swift, but it is also complete, if the souls are at about the same stage of evolution; no words fetter and obstruct the communion, but the whole thought flashes from the one to the other, or perhaps, more exactly, each sees the thought souls are the differences of evolution; the less evolved can only know as much of the more highly evolved as he is able to respond to; the limitation can obviously only be felt by the higher one, as the lesser has all that he can contain.
The more evolved a soul, the more does he know of all around him, the nearer does he approach to realities; but the mental plane has also its veils of illusion, it must be remembered, though they be far fewer and thinner than those of the astral and the physical worlds. Each soul has its own mental atmosphere, and, as all impressions must come through this atmosphere, they are all distorted and coloured. The clearer and purer the atmosphere, and the less it is coloured by the personality, the less are the illusions that can befall it. The three highest subdivisions of the mental plane are the habitat of the Thinker himself, and he dwells on one or other of these according to the stage of his evolution.
The vast majority live on the lowest level, in various stages of evolution; a comparatively few of the highly intellectual dwell on the second level, the Thinker ascending thither— to use a phrase more suitable to the physical than to the mental plane—when the subtler matter of that region preponderates in him, and thus necessitates the change; there is, of course, no “ascending,” no change of place, but he receives the vibrations of that subtler matter, being able to respond to them, and he himself is able to send out forces that throw its rare particles into vibration.
***From Annie Besant – The Ancient Wisdom