7 Planes in the vs community:
If you’ve been in the Versus Community a while you’ve probably heard of the concept of verse equalization. This is why common arguments like “Bleach/Madoka characters are invisible if the opponent doesn’t have reiatsu/magic” are not applicable in common versus debates and why we assume characters can protect against certain haxes from another verse if they have shown a resistance to something like it. This is because these ideas are based on the same ideas, ideas formalized initially in Medieval Europe with the conception of the 7 planes. It is this idea, developed with modern Occultism and Mysticism (which frequently mix with high-end physics and metaphysics) that most haxes are based on. This blog will illustrate from the classical standpoint what it means to have powers on the plane, what those haxes and what should be expected to happen from their usage
Note however that the Rule 0 of debating occurs, an author can override any of this merely by stating “it works like this in my verse”. This is merely an analysis of the default nature of these planes based on their traditional conception, not meant to bind all fictions if they use these concepts differently.
Plane 1: Physical Plane
Associated Heavenly Sphere: Lunar Sphere
The Densest plane is the so-called “physical plane”, the plane of all that we observe with the 5 physical senses: Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, and Touch. To the materialist, this is all that exists, and everything on the higher planes are merely metaphors or analogies for physical existence.
It is this plane that our attention is drawn to, and what the vast majority of fiction is concerned with primarily. On each plane, save potentially the last one, each plane is divided into 2; The “Yang” Principle, which is Warmer, Masculine, Active and the “Yin” Principle which is Cooler, Feminine, Passive. However while these are seemingly opposite halves they really flow into one in separate whole, each giving meaning and definition to each other. On the Physical Plane, these Masculine and Feminine halves are Energy and Matter respectively. Matter is the Passive Phenomena, the series of interlocking atoms and molecular and chemicals that warps spacetime towards it with its cosmic gravitational field. Energy is the Active Phenomena, the waves of energy whose motions, quicker or slower, shape all the matter in the universe and create the charges of the powerful electromagnetic fields that penetrate through gravitational fields to bring change and possibility to an otherwise deterministic universe.
The truth of the matter is you can’t have matter or energy without the other in the same way that you can’t have a noun or an adjective without each other. Matter without energy is doing nothing. It’s not moving which is kinetic energy, it’s emanating heat which is thermal energy, it does not even ever have the potential to exist or take action as that would be potential energy. IT is similar to a noun that no adjective gives any description to (including opposite adjectives like existence and nonexistent), it’s similar an absurd concept. Likewise Energy without matter is describing the action of N/A. It is trying to describe the action of…..not even nothing/the void, it is an action without a subject, a metaphysical impossibility. It is like an adjective without a noun, it is simply not describing something.
In versus debating, controlling the physical plane means matter manipulation or energy manipulation. To control matter generally mean things like causing matter to shift at your will, or changing matter from one form to another. A Classic Example would be King Midas’s Golden Touch, where anything he touched to matter. Energy Manipulation generally means things like reflection energy back at the opponent, absorbing energy, or sometimes more exotic things like turning into energy (Although “pure” energy without matter as mentioned above is an impossibility) etc. An example of an energy manipulation in fiction is Queen Metallia from Sailor Moon who absorbs and drains the energy of the environment, rending it cold, dark and lifeless. However Matter-Energy Manipulation should theoretically be far more powerful then just this. If someone is a high enough level Matter-Energy manipulator, it should theoretically give them control of the 4 Fundamental Forces. These 4 Fundamental Forces:
Gravity: The Distortion of Spacetime caused by objects with Mass. Think of a heavy object on a bed and how the bed sinks down in the shape of the object….that is what objects with mass do to spacetime. Extremely Weak as a Fundamental Forces (By jumping you can overcome the gravity of the whole Earth) but makes up for it with Infinite Range. You are giving off a gravitational force on every object in the entire universe right now, though it is extremely small on distant galaxies.
Electromagnetism: Governs the Energy Charges of Matter. Two Positive Charges Repel, Two Negative Charges Repel, One of Each will attract. Always moves at lightspeed (light is an electromagnetic wave). The Range and Strength are determined by the amount of energy. Even the movements of atoms are governed by electromagnetic charges, and these atoms and the sub-atomic phase space they govern, control probability of events.
Strong Nuclear Force: The Binding Force of the Atom. It is the reason that Protons, all positively charged, can be packed together in the nucleus of an atom against the will of Electromagnetism, the Strong Nuclear Force holds them there. It’s range is only that of the Atomic Nucleus but it is ridiculously strong, the strongest fundamental force. It is by the manipulation of this force that humanity accomplished splitting the atom…the immense power being released being the force of the atomic explosion. It is also this power that fuels nuclear factories.
Weak Nuclear Force: This is the hardest to explain. The Weak Nuclear Force causes a radioactive decay of components of the sub-atomic particles. This allows it to do something no other force can do, which is convert one form of particle into another. It is this decay and conversion that allows the Sun to shine and produce light/heat, since the production of these things in a star comes from this force. This force is also notable in that it was observed that it is was the only force that violated CP symmetry. What this means is essentially this is the reason that the “arrow of time” flies one way, why Entropy exists….the other 3 Fundamental Forces are all Time-Reversible while if the Weak Force does something, in a closed system, it is not reversible. It is the two nuclear forces used together that allows for the process of Atomic Fusion, the theoretical power source for the next decade which will supply the Earth with immense useable energy.
These Forces rule the Physical World and are in turned ruled by Matter and Energy.
A High-Level Gravity Manipulator could create miniature or full-size black holes, draw whatever wanted, even the whole universe, into a giant singularity, distort relative spacetime to give superspeed and reflexes or time travel into the future, repel all threats at the speed of light, or increase the mass of their fists to arbitrarily high mass.
A High-Level Electromagnetism Manipulator can move infinitely close to lightspeed, accelerate their punches to the same level to hit with arbitrary energy, shut down or reprogram peoples’ brains by manipulating the electro-magnetic currents, cause any two objects to repel or attract at lightspeed, or control the probability of an event by manipulating the energy of the atoms determining the event.
A High-Level Strong Force User can cause atomic explosions, or if they want cause every atom in an opponent’s body to spontaneously turn into their own atomic explosion, can form whole atoms by binding a bunch of floating protons together with the electrons automatically forming around them, which could be used to drain the energy of an environment in exchange for new mass or creating new objects…money, houses, people, worlds….they can be made by binding enough floating loose void protons together…and in a fight they can just restructure every atomic bond in the person’s bond, shifting every atom into something new.
A High-Level Weak Force User could do the most unpredictable thing in the world….by manipulating beta decay, they could form entirely new atoms. What this means is speculative but it would involve without question whole new elements and entirely new forms of matter. A Weak Force User with enough precision could also transmute matter from one form to another, although this would still need to obey the laws of entropy, that within a closed system, some energy would become unusable in the process meaning things could only change to certain other things.
To have full control of the Physical Plane, is to be a high-level energy-matter manipulator and consequently able to do ALL of these.
Before we move on from the Physical Plane I must discuss one more hax that seem related to the physical plane….spacetime manipulation. Spacetime are their own form of Yin-Yang Principle but relate strongly to the nature of planes themselves.
Let me start by saying a Dimension is simply a degree of separation between two things when they would otherwise be in the same place. If two points both exist, they are separate due to a line, a singular dimension. If two points would exist at the same place as each other on a line they are separated by a plane, a second dimension. If two points would exist at the same place on a plane, they are separated by a sphere, a third dimension. If two points would exist in the same place in spatial sphere, they are separated by the time they were there, a fourth dimension. If two points have no degree of separation, they are the same thing. What we call “Space” is a dimension we can move more or less freely in. What we call “Time” is a dimension we can’t move freely in. However they are effectively the same thing, which is why they merge together at c (the speed of light in a vacuum). Physical Dimensions represent degrees of separation of physical matter and energy. These Dimensions are the same spacetime as Higher Planes, but are experienced differently. Manipulations of spacetime mean different things on different planes, but on the physical plane, manipulations of spacetime means altering the separation between two or more bodies of mass-energy. Even Stopping Time entirely, is essentially just making the distance between all the bodies of mass-energy in one moment (the present moment) and the bodies of mass-energy in the next moment, and making that distinct infinite (or however long the Time Stop lasts)
Plane 1.5: Aether
While often considered along the planes, The Aether is not a proper plane. I should properly explain what a “plane” is. A Plane is a state of existence characterized by a certain level of consciousness. Aether is not in fact a state of counciousness or a form of existence. There is no classical Aetheric Body, well sorta but we’ll get into that. Also it is not an energy, though many in the New Age Culture will describe it as an energy if only because it is convenient to understand it’s effects.
What the Aether actually is, is that it is the effects of the Higher Planes on our plane…it is how we measure and know the higher planes. In a way, we do have Aetheric Body….however this body is really the physical body with the effects of the higher plane noted on it.
The most common way of studying aether’s effect on the body is via the system of the 7 chakras developed in India, which links the 7 Planes to 7 places of body in order from the Groin chakra connected to the Physical Plane to the Crown chakra connected to the Monadic Plane.
Aether’s effect on the external world is also claimed to be measured in concepts like “leylines” “vortexes” and other such phenomena of the land.
Manipulation of Aether in Fiction is essentially the fictionalized version of “pressure points” and the like. More broadly, it would allow for a form of death manipulation, severing one’s body from all higher bodies. One could use Harry Potter’s “Avada Kevada” and Sailor Saturn’s “Power of Death” as examples of this.
Aether actually forms around oneself based on the position of one’s higher bodies, this flow creates what is called an “aura”.
Plane 2: Astral Plane:
Associated Heavenly Sphere: Mercurial Sphere
The Astral Body we have is what is commonly called “The Soul”. It is formed not from matter and energy, but from emotions, as is all the Astral Plane. The Astral Plane’s duality is the duality of the Masculine Will and The Feminine Desire.
Desire is the wanted things, the desire to attract things, which draws the Will which wants to actively attain them. Just as energy acts on matter, and the two are inseparable, Will acts on Desire and the two are inseparable. The Union of these two is generally what is referred to when fiction refers to someone’s Heart in some kind of symbolic way. While an Astral Being would inhabit the same spacetime as we do, to them this separation would be different. “Astral Space” is a separation of desire, two beings that have a separation of what is wanted to happen to them…they would inhabit different “places”, these places being the desires of each. “Astral Time” is a separation of will, two beings that have a separation of what they want to do. They act at a different “moment”, this moment being their individual wills. To share a Soul with someone, is to be of the same Desire and Will, the same emotive feeling and “Heart”.
From a versus standpoint, someone with astral plane manipulation is someone who has soul manipulation on a higher level. To manipulate just an individual’s astral plane correspondence would be direct soul manipulation.
To cut someone’s astral body away from their physical body….or “soul-stealing” would be to render their body as an inanimate object and leave the individual unable to interact with the physical plane. If one destroyed someone’s soul, it would cause one’s body to disappear, since the mass-energy that makes one’s physical body is merely an emanation of one’s will and desire to exist in the physical realm.
You could also be able to manipulate a specific section. Will Manipulation would be a manipulation of one’s Ability to Will themselves into active. Desire Manipulation would be a manipulation of one’s passive wants (including to survive for instance).
Plane 3: The Mental Plane
Associated Heavenly Sphere: Venusian Sphere
The Mental body is what we commonly call “The Mind”. It is not formed from matter and energy, but from thoughts. It is divided into the Masculine Logos and the Feminine Dream.
The Active Logos is the Rational Component of the Mind which divides things into sections and sub-sections. It is this section which helps us understand “possible” “impossible” “probable” “Improbable” and so forth.
The Passive Dream is the Emotional Component of the Mind that makes free associations between concepts that the structured Logos can’t make. It does not shape it’s externality, but is instead shaped by it, but manipulates it through being shaped. One’s Dream is the psychological associations one makes between two concepts.
In this way “Mental Space” would represent a separation of Dreams. Two Mental Beings inhabit “places” that represent the web of free associations they make. Conversely “Mental Time” would represent a degree of separation of Logos. Two Mental Beings would act at a different “moment” that moment being what they divide the world into. To be of the same mind as someone is to share
Both Logos and Dream with them.
From a versus standpoint, someone who has mental plane manipulation has mind manipulation on a higher level. To manipulate someone’s mental body only, is mental manipulation.
To cut someone’s mind away from their lower bodies, would leave their bodies inert and their souls unguided, acting it’s will and feeling desire at complete random. If one destroyed the mind of another, it would cause body and soul to cease to exist. If one could control Logos, one could manipulate someone’s ability to logically divide things into categories and leave them in a passive state. If one could control Dream, one could wreck an opponent’s ability to perceive connections or consider possible futures.
Plane 4: Unity/Buddhic/Ego Plane
Associated Heavenly Sphere: Solar Sphere
Very rarely used in fiction, this many-named plane is possibly so rare because it’s easy to confuse with the Mental Plane. The Unity Plane is the plane of pure consciousness, without thought, feeling, or form. This plane is the center plane and acts as the nexus between the higher planes and the lower planes. This is the plane where one realizes the illusory nature of the separation of self and other. Below are the planes of the Conscious and above are the planes of the Unconscious. The Body of this plane is called the “Ego”. This plane is divided into the Masculine Projection and the Feminine Shadow.
The Active Projection is the viewing of the internal psyche in the external cosmos. The Passive Shadow is the viewing of the external cosmos in the internal psyche.
“Ego Space” is a degree of separation between two Ego-counciousnesses with different shadows, effected differently by the external cosmos. “Ego Time” is the degree of separation of different Ego-consciousness seeing different parts of the internal world in the external cosmos. Two Beings who share Shadow and Projection are the same being.
From a versus standpoint, Manipulation on this plane is exceedingly rare. I know personally of only two examples of attacks on this plane. The first is the “Rikudo Rinne” of Virgo Shaka from Saint Seiya. This attack forces the affected to experience the 6 Worlds of Buddhist Reincarnation and forcing the victim to fall into one of them. The second is the “Omega Sanction” of Darkseid. This attack causes the victim to experience lifetime after lifetime, each progressively more drained of light and hope until the victim experiences nothing but despair and willingly serves Darkseid. An attack on this plane is an attack directly on the affected’s consciousness.
To cut someone’s ego away from their lower bodies, would leave their bodies inert, their souls unguided, acting it’s will and feeling desire at complete random, and their minds utterly lost in confusion, thinking thoughts without direction. If you destroyed the ego-consciousness of an individual, their mind, soul, and body would cease to exist. If one could manipulate the Projection, then one could manipulate another’s projection, causing them to see their own psyche in their external cosmos….this may be the “see your worst fear” cliché power. If one could manipulate the Shadow, then one could manipulate another’s psychological reaction to the cosmos, causing dread, misery, anger, horror, disgust, or any other reaction at any level to any external stimuli.
Plane 5: Spiritual Plane
Associated Heavenly Sphere: Martian Sphere
The Spiritual Body is what we commonly call The Spirit. The Spirit is the presence of the individual and all its effects. This is why speak of the spirit of the deceased with us. Everything has a Spirit, “The Spirit of the Era”, “The Spirit of the Land”, “The Spirit of the Law”, etc. A Spirit refers to that thing’s presence and influence.
Spirit is formed of two elements, the Masculine Levitas, and the Feminine Gravitas. Levitas refers to the lightness of spirit, while Gravitas refers to the Heaviness of Spirit.
The Active Levitas refers to the active spirit, the presence that is constantly growing in scope. The Passive Gravitas refers to the passive spirit, the presence that is constantly growing deeper.
From a versus standpoint, spiritual attacks are attacks on one’s presence in the universe. To actually destroy one’s spirit is an almost unthinkably hard action, requiring one to destroy all of the opponent’s presence on the universe, including on oneself. If two enemies affect each other at all, which they must by nature of being in the same universe, then one needs to remove the influences of the enemy from oneself in order to destroy all of the enemies’ presence, their spirit. Essentially this kind of attack would require one to “Un-make” them, wiping them from cause-and-effect and leave not a single memory of them. Universal Reality-Warping at least.
Manipulation of just Levitas, can be used to make the target’s spirit unbearably light….basically make everyone act super super high. More seriously what it would do is make their spirit appear anywhere, even in places they don’t want it to be, such as associating it with evil things or painful things. Manipulation of just Gravitas can be used to make the target’s spirit unbearably heavy….sending them into a crippling depression…to the Medieval Occultists, “Depression” was a supreme excess of Gravitas in the spirit. One could use this to cause one’s spirit to become so deep that they no longer care about anything (or observe anything) or can affect anything exterior (making someone’s spirit TOO deep is the equivalent of putting their physical body in an extremely deep hole with no way to get out).
Plane 6: The Abstract/Divine Plane
Associated Heavenly Body: The Jupiterian Sphere
The Abstract Body or Divine Body is what we call the “Concept”. It is one’s original concept, one’s Star Seed, one’s True Name, one’s Divine Spark, etc. The division is present at this plane, between Masculine Signifier and Feminine Signified but at this level it’s no longer REALLY relevant to speak of.
Abstract Concepts are referred to in what we call “WFFs” or “Well-Formed Formulations”. These can be anything you can possibly conjure up in your brain. Concepts fall into three categories, Contradictory (Are False in every Set), Tautological (Are True in every Set), and Contingent (True in at least 1 set and False in at least on Set).
Almost every concept you can think of is contingent. Love, War, Humanity, Death, etc. all are contingent. Contradictory Concepts, are generally paradoxical concepts like “Blue and Not-Blue” which can never be true and do not as of such exist. Tautological….we’ll get to.
From a versus standpoint, destroy one’s concept is essentially to destroy one completely. Abstract Plane Warfare essentially involves making the enemy “False” in as many sets as possible. Each Universe is 1 Set, though a Set can be more or less then a universe.
One such Universe is the Empty Universe, the Empty Set. If you reduce your opponent to “nothing”, they their concept will be “True” in the empty set since nothing “exists” in the empty set. To destroy an opponent conceptually counter-intuitively requires “ADDING” to them, forcing their concept to be paradoxical such as adding the clause “Cannot be in any set” to their concept. To imagine Abstract Warfare, imagine both of your sides are wooden ships trying to cause the other ship to sink. Most clauses are like throwing wadded up pieces of paper on the other ship, while clauses that are like getting a cannonball into their hull.
Generally to destroy someone conceptually requires multiversal reality-warping. It may seem that conceptual manipulation is the most powerful form of manipulation possible since it can alter any possible rule of how things work, but there is one plane higher.
Plane 6.5: The Absolute
At the Boundary of the Sixth and Seventh Plane there exists the Tautologies. Concepts true in every universe. One example of this is “Blue or Not-Blue”. That is true. Everything is Blue or Not-Blue. Even the empty set is Not-Blue. Logically there cannot be something that is not blue and not Not-Blue since Not-Blue is anything not blue.
Many great philosophers have quarreled over whether numbers are tautologies. Does 2+2=4 in a universe with less than 4 things?
At this level we have something called the Absolute Properties. An Absolute Property is when the property “Absolute” is added to any other property creating “The Form” of that thing. If something is absolute that means it acts ad axiom as that thing.
From a versus standpoint, essentially EVERY NLF is a misapplied “Absolute” Property. Let me take a classic example… “Perfect Attack” and “Perfect Defense” from Exalted. Perfect Defense blocks any attack, Perfect Attack automatically hits past any defense except Perfect Defense. Now Perfect Attack is OBVIOUSLY not absolute since Perfect Defense protects against it.
However neither are actually absolute since both are only in the context of one set (Exalted). An actual Absolute Property is true regardless of context, meaning it is nigh-impossible to use in a versus community though there is one way which I will explain later.
THEOLOGICAL WARNING: The following is going to go into very deep mystical metaphysical knowledge rooted in Kabbalah. In Jewish Tradition one should not study Kabbalah until the age of 40 and in the past it was even forbidden too. The knowledge below can supposedly bring depression, meaningless, mania, obsessiveness, and a host of other problems if one is not prepared. It can also cause spontaneous enlightenment.
Plane 7: The Monadic/Logoic/Absolute Plane
Associated Heavenly Sphere: Saturnian Sphere
This plane is also not used much, though more than the Ego Plane. To even describe this plane is difficult, but as best as can be explained this plane is about the relation of the final duality which does not really exist, that of one-ness and zero-ness. Keter and Ein Sof.
To understand these two concepts you must consider the ideas of one-ness and zero-ness for a moment, supposed Tao and Nirvana.
From the perspective of one-ness there is 1 without division. There can be no traits of this one-ness because that would be an additional THING for there to be more than one. There is 1, nothing else.
From the perspective of zero-ness there can be not even that. There can’t even be a zero-ness, it is a paradoxical concept that cannot be for it would cause itself to not be.
Imagine if Zero-ness was and be being there was one-ness, and because there was Zero and 1, there was 2, and because there was 0, 1 and 2, there was 3. This process applied to all numbers until there were so many that all existence was spelled out in their relations. That is creation from the divine perspective.
This plane is called the Hyperplane for it defines the natures of all the lower planes….on this plane the infinitely active 1 acts upon the infinite passive 0 to create all the infinities and finites and everything else forming all things.
It is the revelation of this plane that shows we are paradoxically part of 1 and 0 at the same time, every action infinitely meaningful and meaningless. In 1 and 0 there is nothing distinct of us from everything else. We are part of the self-contemplation of the being of paradoxical nothing-ness.
From a versus standpoint, there actually is a hax that sort of sums up absolute-ness and the Monadic Plane….Metafictional Manipulation. Manipulating one’s own fictional medium is a pretty good representation of the nature of the Hyperplane, for it is a control of the layer of reality that is truly is supreme and also encapsulates all the other planes.