Upon entry into the mental plane each individual soul shuts itself up in its own shell of mental matter. During the initial stages of its life on the mental plane, the soul does not actively participate in the life of the mental plane at all. It does not move about freely and interact with other entities as one does on the astral plane. The final separation of the mental body from the astral does not involve any pain or suffering; one simply feels one to be sinking gently into a delightful repose. There is however a period of blank unconsciousness, similar to that which usually follows physical death. This period may vary within wide limits and from it one awakens gradually. It appears that this period of unconsciousness corresponding to the pre-natal physical life is necessary for the building up of the devachan ego for the life on the mental plane. Part of it appears to be occupied in the recording and absorption of all events, characteristics developed and activities carried out on the astral plane. They are recorded into the memory banks, which are required to be carried forward to the future. Also part of this period of unconsciousness is involved in vivifying the matter of the mental body for its coming separate life.
During one’s purgatorial life on the astral plane the lower part of one’s nature burns itself away. Now only the higher and more refined thoughts, the noble and unselfish aspirations which one entertained during one’s life on the physical plane remain. On the astral plane one may have a comparatively pleasant life though distinctly limited as compared to the mental plane. However on the mental plane one reaps the result only of such thoughts and feelings which have been entirely unselfish; hence the life on the mental plane is blissful.
As a spiritual master described the mental plane - ‘It is the land where there are no tears, no sighs, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, and where the just realise their full perfection.’ The thoughts which cluster around the soul make a sort of shell through the medium of which it is able to respond to certain types of vibrations in this refined matter. These thoughts are the power by which it draws on the infinite wealth of the mental plane. They serve as windows through which the soul can look out upon the glory and beauty of the mental plane. Every human must have had some touch of pure unselfish feelings, even if they were only once in one’s life time and these will now serve as a window for the soul on the mental plane. It will be an error to regard the shell of thought which surrounds the soul upon entry into the mental plane as a limitation. Its function is not to shut the individual life force from the vibrations of the plane, but rather to enable it to respond to such influences. The mental plane is a reflection of the divine mind from which the person enjoying it is able to draw in accordance to the power of one’s own thoughts and aspirations generated during one’s physical and astral life.
Each individual is able to draw upon the mental plane and to cognize only so much of it as one has by previous effort prepared oneself to take. As the Eastern saying goes, everyone brings a cup; some of the cups are large while some are small. Whether large or small, every cup is filled to its utmost capacity; the sea of bliss is far more than enough for all.
This article has been taken from the book Life Beyond Death by Anil Sharma