A portion of unmanifested reality transforms itself into the world of names and forms. The world of names and forms exists in seven different lokas, or levels, which exist in an ascending scale.
These lokas mark the stages of evolution of the consciousness of the individual. As he evolves, so he moves and undergoes modifications in his nature. Through these planes the consciousness is able to realize its true nature.
Each of these lokas, or planes, is a definite region, marked off by the nature of the matter of which it is composed. (See square 42, plane of balance.)
These lokas form the spine of the game board. They are all in their definite order in the central row of vertical squares.
As it is in the macrocosm, so is it in the microcosm. The lokas are located in the human body along the spine, at the chakras, the psychic centers. With the evolution in the psyche from level to level comes evolution in the man himself.
The physical plane is located at the base of the spine, the site of the first chakra in the human body — and on earth in the phenomenal world. The name bhu-loka in Sanskrit explains it: him means earth and loka means plane. Earth is made of five elements, which exist in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms — as radiant, etheric, and superetheric matter — the various stages of existence of atoms of matter, whether defined as form or undefined. The earth element, under all conditions in all circumstances, is dominant in them, and they materialize as earth slowly and gradually.
Other planes mentioned in the game board each fall in a certain horizontal row and belong to these seven lokas. The lokas, other than the seven seated in the spine of the game board, are special regions situated within the seven — like cities in provinces, provinces in countries, and countries in continents.
The physical plane encompasses genesis, maya, anger, greed, delusion, conceit, avarice, and the sensual plane — its right and left sides, its positive and negative aspects.
When the player moves on to the physical plane he becomes trapped by the lower self. This is just one phase of the game. No one stays in the same place all the time. Each throw of the die is an opening to a new world.
On the physical plane the player is mostly concerned with material achievements. Money, house, vehicle, food, and physical power arc common themes. His recreation is bodily involvement, sports involving competition and physical contact. His fun can too often include violence. His major achievement is craft.
The physical plane is related to earth, matter, and mother. It is the storehouse of energy, the dwelling place of kundalini — the psychic energy the yogi seeks to raise up through the seven chakras. Without realization of the physical plane, realization of all other planes is impossible. There are no arrows leading from this plane, this horizontal level. All players must pass through it before reaching the other dimensions. Seven snakes lead here from other planes, demonstrating the primary importance of realizing the nature of the grossest level of manifestation.
The number of subtle elements is five — ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Five also are the work organs man employs in the creation of karmashands, feet, mouth, genitals, and anus. And there are five sensory organs for five sensations — ears for sound, skin for touch, eyes for sight of form and color, tongue for taste, and nose for smell. Five is the number of balance — 1 with 2 on each side. The ruling planet of number 5 is Mercury. Mercury is gentle, the high thinker, scholar, and lover of entertainment, and also is connected with business and physical comforts.