The stages of spiritual rank are discussed on various spiritual sites, but I have not been able to find much that comes out in a neat and organized manner, so I will write on that topic this time.
I would also like to talk as concretely as possible about how to actually, you know, level up your spiritual rank.
Is spiritual rank different from personality?
To talk about the stages of spiritual rank, let’s begin by asking, “What is spiritual rank anyway?” I will start with this question.
The term “spiritual rank” has a very religious or spiritual sound to it, and we have the impression that it is somehow different from what we generally call “personality.
When you get right down to it, I believe that spiritual rank and personality are almost near-equal, but I might venture to explain the difference as follows.
As for “personality,” the emphasis is on how one maintains one’s character within the framework of one’s social fitness in this world (the phenomenal world).
On the other hand, “spiritual rank” refers to the world beyond this world, the so-called “other world,” which Neo Buddhism calls the ” Real World. I think it is best to understand it in the context of “the status of human beings as seen from the perspective of the values of the gods and Buddha.
And if this world (the phenomenal world) is a temporary life and the other world (the real world) is our original world, then, after all, “spiritual rank is the true measure of a person’s worth.
Therefore, I believe that “personality” can also be understood as converging with “spiritual rank” when we get right down to it.
Our essence is not the body, but the so-called “soul,” and it can be said that the soul is who you are.
The core of the soul is the “heart,” so in the end, “what you think is your own value.
In this light, the following words of Socrates come true.
Life without soul-searching is not worth living for man. (Socrates)
In short, the “stages of spiritual rank” can ultimately be paraphrased as “different levels of the soul.
Staging Theory of Spiritual Rank
There are various taxonomies for the stages of spiritual rank.
There are many different patterns, depending on the religion or spirituality, such as the nine levels of the soul hierarchy or the seven levels.
Christianity and Islam divide the heavens into seven levels. In this case, however, it seems to mean the different places where angels live, rather than the different stages of spiritual rank.
The classification is only for convenience, so in a sense, it can be said that “there are as many levels of hierarchy as there are people,” and conversely, the dichotomy of “only heaven and hell” is not necessarily wrong.
In this article, I will introduce the Theosophical classification and the Buddhist Ten Realms Theory, and also discuss their correspondence.
Classification by Theosophy
First of all, there is the famous “Theosophy” classification founded by Madame Blavatsky. Theosophy classifies the human “body” into eight levels according to wavelength and vibration.
Theosophy believes that where one’s “point of consciousness” is located determines the world to which one will go in the next life.
However, since the definition of Madame Blavatsky itself has changed, and since different organizations in the “theosophical lineage” have different ways of thinking and perceiving it, please understand that the following classification is just one type of classification.
The following classification is only one type of classification, and includes my (Takata’s) re-interpretation.
- Body: flesh
- Ether Body: life energy
- Astral Body: emotional energy
– Lower Astral Body: physical ego-consciousness
– Higher Astral Body: spiritual ego consciousness
- Mental Body: intellectual energy (analytical intelligence)
- Causal Body: intellectual energy ( integrated intelligence)
- Buddhi Body: Christ consciousness, Buddha consciousness
- Atma Body: Planetary Consciousness
- Monadic Body: Cosmic Consciousness (Oneness)
These are the eight levels. If the lower astral body and the higher astral body are classified separately, the hierarchy of the soul can also be seen as having nine levels.
The “world” can be roughly classified into the following three categories.
- Astral World: Physical Body ~ Lower Astral Body
- Spiritual World: Higher Astral Body ~ Causal Body
- Divine World: Buddhi Body ~ Monadic Body
The idea is that the human “body” is classified into eight categories as described above, and that the world to which we will go in the next life is determined by where our self-awareness (degree of awakening) is located.
For example, in the lower astral body stage, the body is still trapped in the physical ego-mind, so it becomes what is called a “ghost,” or a “floating spirit,” or a “hell spirit” (evil spirit).
From the higher astral body, we enter what religion calls the “heavenly realm.
Another characteristic of Theosophy is that it advocates the “theory of spiritual evolution,” which holds that the purpose of human life is to gradually reach an advanced stage through repeated reincarnation.
It is a concept that could be called “spiral spiritual evolution” that synthesizes the circular view of reincarnation in Indian philosophy and the linear theory of evolution in the West.
Incidentally, Rudolf Steiner, who left the Theosophical Society and founded ” Anthroposophy,” made the following classification.
- Physical Body
- Etheric Body
- Astral Soul
- Ego Soul
- Spirit Self Manas
- Life Spirit Buddhi
- Spirit Body Atma
Steiner set the earth as a three-dimensional field.
Steiner may have been the first to bring dimensional structure to the spiritual rank stage.
There are some spiritualisms and new religions that envision a stage where the soul follows its evolution, going up in dimension 4, 5, 6………………………..
Thus, the world structure theory of Theosophy and Anthroposophy has had a major influence on subsequent spiritualism, the New Age movement in the United States, and even new religions in Japan.
Buddhist theory of the Ten Realms
This is a taxonomy of the “world” as organized by the Tiantai Chih-hui, a high priest of the period between the Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Marrow Period in China.
Various English translations have been assigned to the Ten Realms, and the following is just one example (in order of decreasing hierarchy).
- Hell Realm
- Hungry Ghost Realm
- Beasts Realm
- Asuras Realm
- Humans Realm
- Lastly Heaven Realm
- Śrāvaka Realm
- Pratyekabuddha Realm
- Bodhisattva Realm
- Buddha Realm
The six realms from the Hell Realm to the Lastly Heaven Realm are called the Six Paths. This is a classification system that has existed since early Buddhism.
These Six Paths, plus the four realms of Śrāvaka Realm, Pratyekabuddha Realm, Bodhisattva Realm, and Buddha Realm, make up the Ten Realms.
The point is that the Ten Realms are not only “the world to which you will go in the next life” or “the spiritual world of your origin,” but also “your state of mind at this very moment.
For example, even a soul from the Bodhisattva Realm may, at times, give off thoughts of the “Hell Realm”. The reverse is also true.
Thus, a soul from ten different worlds can be in ten different states of mind, so the worlds are 10 x 10 = 100, that is, there are a total of 100 realms.
This idea is called “Mutual Possession of the Ten Realms”.
In Neo Buddhism, the Ten Realms Theory is mainly used to describe the state of mind in this life and the world to which one will go in the next life.
*This Ten Realms Theory has been reinterpreted in a Neo Buddhism manner.
Are soul age and spiritual rank true?
There seems to be a concept that divides the age (chronological age) of the soul into five levels.
Specifically, the soul age is divided into the following five categories
- Baby Age
- Infancy Age
- Youth Age
- Adult Age
- Old Age
In some cases, “Transcendent” and “Infinite” periods are added above Old Age.
I think this is also a rather interesting taxonomy.
The souls in the entire universe were not born all at once, but in various stages of development, from the oldest souls to those who have just been born.
I believe that sometimes a new soul is born through “energy differentiation” from the great soul of old origin, as in the Shinto term “Wakemitama (split soul)”.
But I guess the problem with this classification is that it gives the impression that the evolution of the soul goes in a straight line.
In fact, when I visited a website that adopted this classification, it said something to the effect that “the soul does not go backward.
However, as the example of the fallen angels shows, there are in fact examples of souls that are old in origin but degenerate after something happens to them.
Many souls can be said to be in the process of evolving from a very long-term perspective, but in reality, there are many cases of evolution and regression…over and over again.
However, it is true that all of these things become experiences for the soul, and these experiences will later turn out to be positive.
Formula for raising Spiritual Rank
The principle of spiritual rank improvement is discussed in the following reference article, but it is important enough to mention it here as well.
*Reference article. Meaning and Mission of Life – What is the Most Winning Theory of Success?
After all, human essence is not physical, but spiritual energy. Neo Buddhism also calls it “Existential Energy.
Existential energy emits a certain “vibration” according to its state of mind. You can think of it as a “wavelength” or “frequency.
Even after the death of the physical body, existential energy continues to exist. In a nutshell, “dead but not dead” or “there is an afterlife.
In the afterlife, those with similar properties of vibration are attracted to each other, creating a particular world.
This is roughly classified as “heaven and hell,” and if classified in detail, it becomes the classification of theosophy and the Ten Realms Theory, as mentioned above.
Therefore, the only principle to improve one’s spiritual rank is to “adjust one’s own vibration.
Bringing the quality and quantity of one’s vibration closer to that of the Gods and Buddhas, angels, and bodhisattvas is the very essence of spiritual rank improvement.
In a nutshell, it means “to make oneself more like God or Buddha.
The elements that make up vibration are, broadly speaking, the total amount of wisdom and compassion.
The amount of work in this world can also be expressed by the following simple formula.
Workload = Wisdom x Compassion
This “wisdom and compassion” is at the same time the very meaning and mission of life.
- Meaning of Life: Acquisition of Wisdom
- Mission of life: Practice of Compassion
Living on earth in a physical body, even souls of different vibrations can meet.
So in this way, we can gain new insights and experiences in the earthly world that we could not gain in the spirit world, where those with matching vibrations live together.
This is why the earthly world (material world/phenomenal world) was created.
When considered in this way, it is clear that the only true theory of success is to raise one’s Spiritual Rank.
This is because all worldly successes pass away, but the spiritual rank survives through the phenomenal world (earthly world) and the real world (spiritual world).
Depending on the “acquisition of wisdom and practice of compassion” in this life, it is possible to return to the Bodhisattva Realm in the broad sense of the word (which would correspond to the “Causal Realm” in Theosophy).
The Bodhisattva Realm can be referred to as the “Angelic Realm” in the Western sense.
And in short, “bodhisattvas” and “angels” are not alien to us, but rather should be the goal of our spiritual improvement.
Our website, Neo Buddhism, provides the core ideas for this purpose. We also offer free courses in our newsletter.
I hope that as many people as possible will become new Bodhisattva ( Angel) candidates.