by George McNamara
5. The Mental Plane.
The theosophical and spiritual writings
often describe the mind and the mental plane in a very
conventional way. However, when we consider Discourse,
this picture must be radically altered in the following
ways and for the following reasons
We always act as if we have a mind and
we are thinking. Sadly, this is not as true as we like
to think. It would be more accurate to say that we approach
all new stimuli on the basis of our previous discourse
positions and postures. We adapt our discourses (or
our inner map of the context) to encompass the new stimulus
so that our inner maps and processes remain coherent,
but we very seldom "think" something new.
In any case, most people seldom stray
from the discourses that they are "conditioned"
to use, at different life stages according to their
parents, education, social group, media such as TV radio
and newspapers, and the organisations which they belong
to or are aligned with
Discourse mediates everything we do.
Events, physical sensations and feelings are nearly
all always "knitted into" our inner discourses,
and communicated to others, and, we all knit along together.
We create our own realities. This is
"sort of" true - we use discourses about everything
we do, and we make decisions on the basis of the discourses
we use (or even choose). If we communicate these to
others, we may get help if our decision fits well with
their discourses and contexts. However, creating what
we want clearly also depends on how much we desire what
we want, as well as the clarity and accuracy of our
While there may be realms which are
NOT discourse, we always and automatically draw these
into the realm of discourse.
In theosophical terms, discourse seems
to be a useful way of dealing with the mental plane
- the ideas of discourse strands, discourse positions,
context analysis and the dispositive can help us to
evaluate our own thoughts and those of others, and clarify
"what are they really saying".
Esotericists often refer to sub-planes
of the mental plane (four sub-planes are considered
to form the lower mind, three in the higher mind). It
might be interesting to try and name these in relation
to levels of discourse.
If we are "trapped" in a realm
of discourse, this may present a difficulty for us
However, there is a beacon of light in the idea that ALL
sentences are composed of a situation and an evaluation
of the situation (and sometimes the basis for this evaluation
is also given).
||it is raining
|situation + evaluation
||it is raining heavily
|situation + evaluation + basis
||it is raining heavily because I can
hear the rain on the roof
It is very interesting to consider if this
system of evaluation relates to the nature of thought
- I am still considering if all communication follows
this pattern, and if that implies that all thought has
the same pattern too.
Next Page - A Discourse