Some Preliminary Notes on the Four Planes of Life
The social plane
The social plane and the cultural plane make up what I called the “human hemisphere” in the harmony model. The social plane consists of the following sections:
1. The state
2. The community and
3. The family
These are sociological and economic categories, which need no detail elaboration in the context of the harmony model but are subjects of their corresponding branches of sciences.
Fields of sciences, which are at the service of this plane are:
Sociology, economics and all fields of engineering;
Political science as a derivative of other fields or similar areas of study covering other fields, which are common to other planes of life can serve this plane too.
The State and the social plane
The state is the section of the social plane whose purpose of existence can only be humanity. The state makes sense and deserves the right of existence at all, as far as it serves humanity, with which it can be qualitatively measured. Out of this inherent nature, which the state should assume, humanity is thus considered as the axis of the dimension of the state and its laws.
The State, the modern state, which history has brought about today, as the only form which can work in the sense of the high objectives of mankind, is I think the democratic state alone. The rest, which have come to the surface and tried to make it through life didn’t leave any positive experience. Most of them have brought mankind to the brink of collapse, with all sorts of social conflicts and – or a low level of intellectuality. In the aftermath, above all, the wars and revolutions which followed at the high cost of human life and material destruction are beyond a healthy human imagination.
Going to details on the State is a case for the sciences mentioned above. For the purpose of understanding the harmony model, it suffices here to mention the components of the modern democratic state, which as a whole takes its legitimacy from the people through its appropriate institutions and regulations. These are the well known three sources of state power:
1. The legislative
2. The executive and
3. The Judiciary.
Maintaining their functional autonomy, these are the sectors of the section, and must be in a harmonious relationship with each other, so that the state may function for the wellbeing of its members.
The section of laws on which basis the state functions belongs to the cultural plane and is necessarily in a horizontal harmonious relationship, like all the sections of the social plane with their corresponding components in the cultural plane are. The State and laws in the classification of the dimensions of the harmony model, make one of the eight dimensions of life. It is clear that, the State with its laws is not an end by itself and the purpose lies in serving mankind. The State and laws with mankind as one of the sections of the material plane, make a harmonious whole, with all their micro and macro interactions and interrelations.
The Community and the social plane:
The community is the section of the social plane, which is full of life and activity, without which the social plane as a whole would lose its existence. The very existence of the social plane depends on the harmonious functioning of the sectors of the community. This can only take place as far as the factor intelligence, which plays a central role in the dimension of the community and ethics, is sufficiently available. Intelligence is thus the qualitative scale of this section, which can as such be measured in its relation to the factors of humanity and the cultural development of the community in question. It is in this sense, be it individual or the sum total of the members, that intelligence or consciousness is the ultimate purpose of the community. Therefore intelligence is considered as the axis of the community and its ethics, whose nature of existence and wellbeing can be evaluated in how much and in which quality the social intelligence is attained – Social intelligence, which is essentially similar to the quintessence of the sum total of the intellectual level of the society, thereby elevating the role of education in the community.
The state cannot exist and doesn’t have any ground without the community, which it serves. Whatever the form of the state, the community is actually the main pillar of a society. Mankind has experienced a lot of models, which tried to show, how this plane would function at best. This plane is in history the most controversial part of life. This is because it is directly related to the peaceful and prosperous existence of mankind itself. This plane has been the battlefield of diverse ideas, where in times of history, reason didn’t prevail and these ideas have transformed themselves into violence, with the consequence of wars and revolutions. In this century, the fascist and nationalist states before World War II or after are instances of intellectual abyss. The recent socialist-communist experiment, which has degraded man to an instrument of social manipulation and has degenerated itself to the autocracy of a few individuals under a dogmatic ideology with all its variations, is still alive in the minds of a substantial section of mankind. It is even still a legacy in the active politics of several parts of the present world, either in a direct reference to the ideology in the form it has presented itself in history or de facto in the promotion of the ideas and the form of governance, camouflaged and packed for a political market which it could manoeuvre. The Ethiopian political scenery is also not free from this legacy, which makes the peaceful resolution of our political situation difficult. In the Ethiopian reality, this is true not only for those in state power but also for the opposition.
The sectors, which serve as components of the harmony of life in the interplay of community with the functions of the state, can be generalised in the following areas of human activity:
1. Education/ profession – in its high relevance to social intelligence, the central factor of the social plane as a whole.
2. Production /business – the practice of the available intelligence in the community to guarantee the well-being of the social being.
3. Distribution/market – in the attainment of social justice on the one side, which is highly significant for maintaining
the high objective – peace- of the social structure, and on the other in making sure that all the necessities of each and every individual is guaranteed on the ground of full individual freedom and liberty.
These sectors make a harmonious section. Every sector is autonomous in its function and all the sectors are related to each other.
For the purpose of showing the necessity of harmony in life, the details at this point of generalisation are irrelevant. However, it is of paramount importance, to mention the key role distribution plays for the peaceful existence of different social groups and classes in the community. This is a highly important factor for the objective of a high level harmony. For harmony at a higher level, distribution of wealth only through the mechanisms of the market is still highly controversial but at this level of social reality, there is no other alternative. Market forces are nevertheless not magical forces and they are especially not appropriate to solve social problems. One should not therefore make a fetish out them. The legitimate controversy on the market is due to the missing underlying sense of justice, given the difference in opportunities, which nature or society renders to the members of life today. Many philosophical and economical approaches for solving this dilemma have come and gone and can at any time again revive, as long as there is inequality – Human and natural inequality, disturbs the intellectual mind and threatens the peace of mankind, if it runs contrary to the harmony of life, whose prerequisite is also social justice among others. The intellectual mind should always try to bring the best possible justice one can attain at a given time, space and human substance. The solution can always be, only an approach to the best condition. And this can be best achieved when the intellectual level of mankind arrives at the conception of humanity and wisdom, with which the human mind may grasp the truth about true good life. In my truth, as long as the most basic cultural and existential necessities are fulfilled, the real pleasure of life does not depend on the accumulation of wealth. It is at least a good beginning if the mind internally feels the insignificant role accumulation of wealth plays for real pleasure. Real pleasure is an abstract substance incorporating love, solidarity, a sense of justice and above all the knowledge about the delighting truth of eternity with mankind and the enlightened individual as a subject in the harmony of life.
Community is related to Ethics from the cultural plane and to nature from the material plane to make a harmonious whole. The relations, interactions and the reciprocal inspiring effects between these sections is a case for investigation, which I don’t intend to deal with here.
The family and the social plane
Family and love is the dimension of life, through which the real source of pleasure could have been sensed, if only True Love, as high as it is, the spirit of family’s existence, were abundant. This is unfortunately not always the case. “If music be the food of love give me excess of it” is the sound of Shakespeare. It is this music which is the ultimate purpose and essence of the family. In this sense music or culture at large is the factor which would qualify the family in the social plane. It is the essential and fundamental substance of the social plane in the sense that it is the source of all spiritual and material activities, whose purpose of life is pleasure. Music is thus the axis of the dimension of family and love in the harmony of life.
The family as the lower organ of community is the collective where the genuine feelings of the society will be expressed and the social reality makes its abstract nature concrete. The passion in the family is more or less the genuine spiritual expression of the social reality.
The family which is based on love and harmony is mostly successful in life. This is not only because of the good opportunity and the influential position it may have in society but mainly due to the fact that the factors of intelligence from the individual members of the family are accordingly cultivated from childhood to maturity.
The family can be classified into the following three sectors of socially relevant categories:
1. Intelligence – the Individual
2. Social activity/ Labour
3. Necessity – Income
These sectors make up the harmonious section. These are economic categories which are subjects of the relevant sciences.
In their relevance to harmony, it is worth noting that,
The family is the source of intelligence;
Labour/social activity and necessity are instances through which the interaction with the community takes place;
Labour and intelligence flow into the sectors of production and education in the community; and
The sector of necessity will be covered by means of distribution through the income achieved by the activity of labour and intelligence.
The family is related to love from the cultural plane and to the universe from the material plane to make a harmonious whole. The relation with the universe is due to the spiritual nature of love in its true form, reaching out for the universal substance, which true love and solidarity may consist of; godly virtue.
The sections of the social plane get their essential contents and their guiding spirits in the sections of the cultural plane.
The cultural plane
The cultural plane consists of the following sections:
1. The Laws and constitution of the state
2. Ethics in relation to the community
3. Love and solidarity in relation to the family as the lower organ of the social reality.
Fields of sciences, which are at the service of this plane are:
Laws, History, philology, literature and arts; pedagogy, music and related fields with relations to one or more of these fields of science
Laws and the cultural plane
The State lives with its laws; the community with its ethics; the family with its love and solidarity. In the cultural plane the effects and the validity of the laws reach down to the section of love and solidarity and there is also a reciprocal dynamic interaction between all the sections from top to down and vice versa, which can easily and practically be witnessed by every one in life. The horizontal, vertical and diagonal interactions of all these sections and their sectors with each other fill the corresponding sections with real life. The point is, in the final analysis, to find out and make a harmonious whole out of these sections and a harmonious sphere consisting of the social and cultural planes.
The best form of state, which mankind has so far attained is Democracy. This form of state lives and manifests its high spirits, when it is filled up with the democratic and basic human rights and laws it deserves. The details are for the jurist. To imagine the necessity of the harmony of the cultural plane, within its own sections and with the social plane, it suffices to mention the three general sectors of laws:
1. Basic human rights, including the right of work and basic necessities
2. Civil and all forms of democratic rights without any limitations; in the sense of liberating man from all sorts of human and natural constraints
3. Penal laws, the practice of care taking and responsibility in all spheres of life.
The State and laws in the classification of the dimensions of the harmony model, make the first of the eight dimensions of life as presented in the graphic model. The Axis of this dimension is humanity with history as its scale and its high objective as the maximum possible peace in life. History is a witness that humanity, even in its lowest form of manifestation i.e. in the respect of basic human rights is not universal; and the high objective peace is still a far fetched dream. Mankind is still full of violent conflicts like a thousand years back, with the only difference that the means of violence are now, supported by scientific progress, much more sophisticated than the old arrows and bows of Robin Hood.
Ethics and the cultural plane
Every community in every society has its traditions, history and culture. Every section of mankind has certainly developed until today its own code of ethics and moral mutual understanding, which has either made its way up to the sector of the laws of the state or in effect is accepted in the community without explicit critic and serves as the underlying moral and ethical norms or codes of the community. These Norms and codes independent of their access to the laws of the state are always in harmony with the prevailing universal laws of the society, without which the community will be in contradiction to the laws. Otherwise the peaceful existence of the society is not guaranteed and the consent of the community for the functioning of the state cannot be taken for granted. Without going to the details of Ethics and community, which is a case for the sociologist and similar expert on the micro-level, it suffices to mention the three sectors relevant to the harmony of the social plane:
1. Historically conditioned Ethics
2. Culturally developed Ethics
3. Traditionally accepted Ethics
Community and ethics make the 2nd dimension of life in the Harmony model. Intelligence or social consciousness is the Axis of this dimension and Intelligence as the sum total development of culture and the intellectual capacity of the community, is the scale with which the nature of the community and its ethics can be determined.
Love and the cultural plane
The culture of love in the family is perhaps as old as mankind itself and in whatever form practiced, it is the first cultural formation of a human collective. Love as a cultural component of life essentially manifested and carried by the family is a crucial factor of the harmony. Any society and human social instance whose basis is deficient with love is tantamount for conflict. Harmony and peaceful culture cannot be realised.
Be it in a family or other social group, love is a human attribute, which can only be experienced in a human social environment, without which any society can never be free of conflict. The experience and reality of love in the family can manifest itself in society as human solidarity. Love in the family and human solidarity or any social relation can be the fundament of a welfare society, which incorporates harmonious human individuals free of any constraints and full of freedom.
Love can be conceived through three different aspects:
1. Spiritually initiated and motivated love resulting in an extraordinary sense of feeling
2. Love with a cultural touch bringing about a strong cultural attachment
3. Love biologically motivated and resulting in reproduction
Family and love make up the 3rd dimension of the harmony of life. The axis of this dimension is music, the quality of sound, conceived and scaled as the development of culture in a reciprocal relation to the development of production which, if contrary to a high human cultural progress, has a negative impact on the quality of culture.
The Human plane
The 4th dimension of the harmony, the Human being and his spiritual Hope belongs to the transcendental plane. It consists of the sovereign and fully autonomous individual with limitless freedom and the human virtues becoming congruent to that of the godly nature, when the individual attains harmony in life. This is an area, which is not a point of elaboration here. It is mentioned just to indicate its appropriate position in the harmony model. It is a point of spiritual investigation, left for the peaceful, cultured and scientifically inclined individual personality. The ultimate purpose of life is that the whole mankind attains such sublimity. Can you imagine the protagonists of the so-called “Terror and anti-terror” on one boat abandoning all their wealth in favour of the destitute children of Africa, Asia or Latin America. May be when they come out of Age and are confronted with the ultimate question of existence just before their last sigh on their death thrones.
The material plane:
In the Hemisphere which I called Godly, we, as humans don’t have much influence except investigation and scientific enquiry to find out the governing laws and their constants, which were at work before mankind has stepped into nature. This is divided according to my model of harmony into the material and the spiritual planes. The material plane can be classified into the following sections:
2. Nature and
3. The universe.
Fields of sciences, which are at the service of this plane are :
Physics, Biology, Chemistry, mathematics, medicine and fields constituting more of these or other fields from other planes.
Mankind and the material plane
Mankind is distinct from the rest of nature through the fact that it has learnt to make a conscious use of mass for the purpose of its wellbeing and further existence – thereby unequivocally making sure its high participation in determining its own destiny; in the best case in accordance with the harmony of nature. Mass is at the service of mankind as far as it is activated consciously and intelligently to be the source of energy, which is the vital substance of mankind’s further existence. Energy can either be destructive or constructive depending on, how qualitative the conscious and intelligent substance, ultimately how human the conscience applied to it is. The purpose of the development of production and scientific progress should be seen in this light – i.e. in its promotion of human existence as a whole. Mass, as the significant factor of Energy, which is the central and vital substance of the existence of mankind is seen in this sense as a qualifying axis of the dimension of mankind and conscience. The development of mankind and its conscience is therefore qualified in how consciously and reasonably mass, as abstract as it may be, is applied to attain Energy for the purpose of the wellbeing of the human and nature at large.
The study of mankind can be divided in :
1. Ontology as the study of being /not being and the philosophical inquiry of Existence at large; the question of harmony in nature.
2. Anthropology as the study of the development of mankind alongside nature and its social and cultural interaction with the latter – Including the role of evolution and the relation of the human species to other species; the question of harmony in relation to the rest of nature.
3. Genealogy – enlightening the meaning of genetic and ethnical relation in the formation of the human intelligence factor – consciousness; the role of genealogy in social relations and a historical analysis with its relevance to cultural development and civilization or barbarism and social decadence.
How is the propensity of people for hierarchy, even in cultured areas, to be explained?
The whole part of this section can more or less be considered as the study of all living things with emphasis on
Mankind as an essential component of harmony.
Nature and the material plane
Nature is the source of Energy. The abstraction of Energy as the central axis of nature, as expressed by the statement of relativity in relation to mass and light is not difficult to imagine. Nature, in light of the existence of mankind or the purpose of life in general can thus be qualified in as much as nature is the source of energy. Energy, as the central significant component of harmony, is thus posited as the axis of the dimension of nature and religion (by the way the fact that religion is a source of energy too, spiritual though, cannot be simply dismissed).
Nature in its abstract and concrete meaning as an object of knowledge interfacing mankind as its subject, is the second section of the material plane. Nature as an object of knowledge is in particular relevant to the harmony model in order to understand the role and the relation of energy to mass and light as expressed in the Einstein’s theory of relativity. Here, the fields of science, biology, chemistry and in particular physics in all its variations from mechanical physics to astro and quantum physics are highly relevant.
Though not in direct relevance to the theory, the general sectors which could be mentioned in the study of nature here are :
1. Geology: – as the study of Earth, in the sense of thoroughly understanding its history, actual substance and its development in its influence on the achievement of harmony in life.
2. Geography – is meant here as the study of the world in all forms of its existence at the surface, including the
actuality, development and change of climate (meteorology) and its role as a determinant factor in the movement
of mankind on Earth.
3. Archaeology as the study of the relics of civilisation and its role in the development of the intellectual capacity
of mankind; Enlightening periods of mankind and their archaeological remains. The civilization and wisdom of
the Antic – the Greek… The Roman….The Ethiopian… (This is I think not exaggerated!) And that before…Egypt
– China – India …Inca …
This section is the study of all parts of nature and its derivatives as differed from mankind and the anthropological
The Universe and the material plane
Can we imagine the purpose of the existence of the universe without light ? Light is as such the significant substance of the universe or it is even the whole essence of existence. It is beyond human dimension to imagine life without light. Without being a physics student, the legitimacy of the postulation of light, in the form of the speed of light, as the most significant factor of energy can easily be conceived in this way too. With this understanding and insight one can abstract light – the speed of light -to be the axis of the universe as the component of the harmony model. At the speed of light mass can be transformed into energy. I would try to imagine an intelligent instance at the speed of light, whose form of existence is Energy (out of the theory of relativity), which would inquire, discover and acquire the universe. What could this instance be? This is light as the axis of the dimension of the universe and faith in the harmony model.
The universe as the sum total of all celestial bodies beyond nature is an epistemological issue, which has to be discovered in order to understand its governing rule behind. This is significant in the validity of the theory of relativity.
The trouble of elaborating this theory belongs to the scientist in the field of physics. For me this is relevant as far as the factors of Energy are concerned in their relations to the harmony hypothesis I posit. It is important to the extent of putting these elements in their appropriate relations. With out the study of these sectors it is of course impossible to understand the theory.
The universe as the study of all celestial bodies as far as the human can stretch its experimental and logical arms, is divided into:-
1. Cosmology – the study of its origin in relation with the abstract inquiry of being and not being and its
epistemological approach. Including the study of all the newly discovered micro-particles in the field of quantum
physics; the so called wimps, machos, axion and so on;
2. Astronomy – the study of all celestial bodies in the universe and their governing laws and the substances they
are composed of, along the relation of space and time to the bodies in question. Including the study of the newly
discovered or postulated immeasurable anti-material content of the universe; machos, neutrinos, photino-
photon, axion and so on;
3. Astrology – the critical study of human fate in relation to celestial bodies and its relevance to the laws of harmony:
-The scientific investigation of the role of astrology along the determinist philosophical and conceptual
understanding of life: – And the investigation of its interface to astronomy, which was fluid and has only
changed in due course of the recent scientific progress. The relation of the truth to mythology has to be soberly
and objectively analysed, especially with its relevance to the harmony of life.
The spiritual plane –
This plane is in effect the soul of the material plane. The material plane gets its inspiration from the spiritual plane.
The spiritual plane with its sections of
2. Religion and
is strictly speaking, actually an area of concern for the sovereign individual, if the pre-requisite of the scientific approach, cultural maturity and peaceful social environment were available. However, since the human development of mankind is not historically that far to presuppose these attributes of perfection, high culture and peaceful existence, these sections are still socially relevant factors.
Fields of sciences, which are at the service of this plane, are:
Philosophy, theology, psychology, psychiatry, pedagogy, medicine and fields related to more than one of these fields and beyond this plane; like mathematics & physics.
Conscience and the spiritual plane
If they are grasped in their spiritual depth and meaning, the relations of the universe with faith, nature with religion, mankind with conscience are such that one is the inspiration of the other.
In the promotion of humanity to attain harmony in life, mankind and its conscience can be inquired through the following light;
1. Human conscience and consciousness, as a responsible citizen in the sense of the wellbeing of the society at
2. Social conscience and moral awareness in the sense of solidarity with once neighbour in the human family at
3. Individual conscience and integrity in the sense of responsibility for the family and the community to which one
Mankind and Conscience make the 5the dimension of the Harmony. Mass is the Axis and Science the scale of the dimension, by which the development of mankind in his scientific perfection would be evaluated. Mass as the factor of Energy which is the significant component of the Godly Hemisphere in the harmony of Life expressed by the theory of relativity, is difficult to interpret. Mass and Energy in their relations and constant attributes are crucial for the existence of mankind and its scientific progress. The factor Energy has for example a qualitatively different form of being after the discovery of the theory of relativity in contrast to that before. This discovery like much of the scientific progress and discoveries in the last two centuries has changed the perspective of mankind, nature and the question of existence; e.g. Atomic Energy and its consequences.
Religion and the spiritual plane
History has showed that religion and nature are interrelated. Religion is influenced by nature as far as humanity has developed in understanding nature.. According to the development of understanding nature and human culture, religion has taken its abstraction to a higher level.. The religion of the primitive man is clearly attached to nature and its surroundings. The religion of the modern man is on the other hand accordingly modelled to the reality of his day to day life. The religious ritual it may celebrate is mostly intended to give its religion a legitimate ground for the social role it plays in society rather than the actual purpose of religion itself. No wonder for instance that the celebration of religious holidays in a developing nation is more intensive and time consuming than that of the same practices in a developed country, which is sometimes even limited to exchanging presents and not more.
Religion can be conceptually divided into the following sectors, with the diverse understanding of their meanings and strict roles they may play in a society:
1. Philosophical conception and understanding of religion as a philosophical foundation for one`s own life. E.g. the
modern man of art or the leader of a developed nation without any religious affiliation or even the Atheist
2. Theological conception as understood by the actual relevant religions in their corresponding institutions and its
followers. E.g. the Catholic Church or Islam
3. Cultural based religion and derived conception with out any relevant limits and understood simply as a favoured
way of life art; e.g. Christianity in the west as conceived by the average man or all sorts of esoteric tendencies
Nature and Religion in their intrinsic relations and in the conception of their development make the 6th dimension of the harmony model. Energy is the axis and the scale of the dimension as well. Energy as the most significant component of the whole godly hemisphere in the harmony model has steadily changed mankind and nature. Nature has changed as manifested by the content of life; and mankind as well, in the maturity and development of its intellect as a whole; though it is accompanied with substantial periods of disharmony, with all its hard consequences.
Faith and the spiritual plane
My conception of faith, the universe and that beyond is as vast as one can imagine these substances and as abstract as the intellect can allow grasping. Therefore while I limit the inspiration of religion to nature to make my distinction clear, I posit Faith in relation to the universe. Therefore irrespective of the fact how tolerant a particular religion may seem, it is always exclusive and limited, in the worst case dogmatic. Faith on the contrary is an open philosophy, with all the tolerance the intellectual mind can imagine and manage.
Faith is essentially intellectual and the system of belief which would result out of it is never in contradiction to reason and logic. There is no faith devoid of Reason and logic. And there is no genuine Reason and logic devoid of Faith. When reason can’t do further, faith will take over the command of life and the mind will experience miracles, wondering on itself for what potential it is made of ; the heart will be engulfed with love and passion for nature composed of all its elements to discover that the source of the pleasure lies in the moment of conceiving the unity of the mind, body and soul, which expresses itself with the experience of the universal and the particular pleasure at a timeless time, to give the person involved the sense of pleasure in the sense of eternity and infinity; and in their coincidence. One would ask at such moments: Oh Wealth – the source of pleasure – the source of all human conflicts! Where is your faceless mask in the presence of this moment?
Faith in this sense can be classified in the following sectors-
1. Spiritually inspired and based on a spiritual experience, logically and intellectually accommodated with a possible touch of a certain religion.
2. Intellectually conceived, after the necessary philosophical inquiry with the possible abstraction is made.
3. Historically determined and conditioned under the philosophy of enlightenment and any high concept of philosophy which promotes a highly human cultural development, depending on the intellectual capacity of the relevant subject.
Faith and the universe make the 7th dimension of the harmony of life. The Axis of this sublime dimension is light- speed of light and the scale is the space stretching its wings up to and across the non-space, which is beyond human dimension, where all dimensions lose their dimensions and meanings as far as we humans are concerned. The non-dimension, what today modern physics scientists’ à la Hawkings would call the state of singularity!
The Absolute plane
The Absolute plane – God and Deliverance make the 8th dimension of the harmony. This is like the Human plane an area of the transcendental sphere relevant for the sovereign individual and therefore not a point of discussion in this contribution. But to complete the harmony model, this is mentioned just for interpretation in its relations to the factors involved. The Absolute plane and God are the counter instances of the human plane and the Individual free of all constraints and whose purpose of existence is the voluntary work for the higher objectives of Life; peace, culture, perfection and faith as discussed below. When the human humbles his strength with Hope, the absolute would reach out the arms of deliverance, to complete the art of harmony in life. This art of harmony can be graphically visualized in the way I have attempted. What are the concrete higher objectives of the four planes of Life, whose total ultimate purpose is harmony at large – a property of the absolute?