Occult cosmology typically centers around the seven planes of the Universe (see here). The Mother of the Aurobindo Ashram, Mira Alfassa, defined a finer gradation of twelve planes which she had learned from her spiritual teachers, Max and Madame Theon. Corresponding to these twelve planes, she also mentioned twelve Chakras, twelve subtle bodies and twelve aspects of the Magna Mater (i.e. Divine Mother) which are reflected in all creation.
What follows are various excerpts from her conversations on this topic:
Twelve dimensions of the Universe
Is there a limited number of dimensions?
Limited? Or unlimited? What are you asking? How many dimensions? Ah, should we ask the mathematicians or the occultists? The occultist !
Well, in a certain way the number is limited, but since in each dimension there is another limited number of subdivisions and since in these subdivisions there is again a considerable number of subdivisions, we can say that it is unlimited − and yet limited. So, if you understand anything, you are lucky !
If the number is limited, how many are there?
The Mother, Words of the Mother – III: 30 January 1951
What are these twelve dimensions?
Thus we have twelve worlds: violet, red, blue (the Mind’s three blues), yellow, then the Overmind’s prismatic colors, which makes five lower worlds, then finally the three golds of the Supermind and the four whites of the supreme creative Joy or Ananda.
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda: May 18, 1963
The five lower worlds are
- Vital or Life-Force
- Intuitive Mind
and the seven higher worlds are
- Supermind (three layers)
- Existence-Consciousness-Bliss (four layers)
The twelve Chakras
The tantrics recognize seven chakras,’ I believe. Theon said he knew of more, specifically two below the body and three above. That is my experience as well – I know of twelve chakras. And really, the contact with the Divine Consciousness is there (Mother motions above the head), not here (at the top of the head). One must surge up above.
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda: October 11, 1960
The Mother’s symbol has twelve petals
Mother, in your symbol the twelve petals signify the twelve inner planes, don’t they?
It signifies anything one wants, you see. Twelve: that’s the number of Aditi, of Mahashakti. So it applies to everything; all her action has twelve aspects. There are also her twelve virtues, her twelve powers, her twelve aspects, and then her twelve planes of manifestation and many other things that are twelve; and the symbol, the number twelve is in itself a symbol. It is the symbol of manifestation, double perfection, in essence and in manifestation, in the creation.
What are the twelve aspects, Sweet Mother?
Ah, my child, I have described this somewhere, but I don’t remember now. For it is always a choice, you see; according to what one wants to say, one can choose these twelve aspects or twelve others, or give them different names. The same aspect can be named in different ways. This does not have the fixity of a mental theory. (Silence)
According to the angle from which one sees the creation, one day I may describe twelve aspects to you; and then another day, because I have shifted my centre of observation, I may describe twelve others, and they will be equally true.
The Mother, Questions and Answers (1954): 10 November 1954
For more on the twelve aspects, see Symbolism of Mother’s symbol
Twelve sheaths of Man
Madame Theon had this experience and she gave me the indication (she didn’t actually teach me) of how it was to be done. She would go out of her body and become conscious in the vital world (there were many intermediary states, too, if one cared to explore them). After the vital came the mental: you consciously went out of the vital body, you left it behind (you could see it) and you entered the mental world. Then you left the mental body and entered into…. They used different words, another classification (I don’t remember it), but even so, the experience was identical. And like that, she successively left twelve different bodies, one after another.
The Mother, Mother’s Agenda: November 7, 1961