Space is no barrier, as one can come into contact with any other soul merely by directing one’s attention to that soul. The real barriers between souls are caused by their varying degrees of evolution. The less evolved can know only as much of the more evolved as one is able to respond to and such limitation can obviously be felt only by the more evolved.
An ordinary soul is not capable of any great activity in the mental world, its condition is chiefly receptive, and its vision of anything outside its own shell of thoughts is of a very limited nature.
It cannot suddenly form new thoughts, as a result it can profit very little from the living forces which surround it, or the angelic inhabitants of the mental world despite the fact that many of them readily respond to certain aspirations of that particular soul.
Hence one, who during earth-life has given great importance only to physical things, has made only a few windows through which one may contact the world in which one now finds oneself. However, one whose interest lay in art, music or philosophy will find measureless enjoyment and unlimited instructions awaiting on the mental plane.
The extent to which one can benefit from these depends solely upon one’s own power of perception. During the devachanic period the ego reviews its store of experiences, separating and classifying them. Thus devachan except for a very few is an absolute necessity in the scheme of things. An important point of difference to be noted between the astral and the mental life is that on the mental plane one does not pass through the various levels in a certain order but is drawn directly to the level which best corresponds to one’s degree of development. On that level one spends the whole of one’s life in the mental body. The varieties of that life are infinite, as each individual life force makes its own for itself.
An ordinary individual life force on the mental plane is filled with bliss to the very utmost of which it is capable, and there can be no greater joy than what it is experiencing. It surrounds itself with images of its friends, and through those images it is actually in closer contact with its friends than it has ever been on any other plane.
The individual life force on the mental plane by no means forgets that there is such a thing as suffering, because it remembers clearly its past life. It now understands many things that were not clear when it was on the physical plane, and the bliss of the present is so great that sorrow seems to be almost a dream.
The shell on the mental plane may be compared to the shell of an egg on the physical plane. The only way to get anything into the shell of the egg, without breaking it, would be to pour it from a higher dimension, or find a force whose vibrations are sufficiently fine to penetrate between the particles of the shell without disturbing them.
The same is true of the mental shell; it cannot be penetrated by any other vibrations of matter of its own level, but the finer vibrations from higher levels.
The mental body is the vehicle through which the individual life force manifests and expresses itself as the concrete intellect. The senses of the mental body differ greatly from the senses of the physical body. The mental body comes into contact with the things of the mental world as it were directly, becoming conscious of everything which it is able to impress.
—This article has been taken from the book Life Beyond Death by Anil Sharma