For Indian spiritual master
is the inner path of the human soul to the Self. Charles Haynes, in describing Meher Baba's sense of involution writes, "The old and new impressions, both of which create a veil over consciousness, gradually wear away, revealing an increasingly clearer experience of God; that is, the soul wearies of the world and is ready to begin the third phase of the journey, involution, which may be seen as the 'ascent' back to God."
Meher Baba states that evolution is the soul's gathering of full consciousness, reincarnation is the state of ordinary people caught up in karma, and involution is the inner journey of the spiritual pilgrim back to its origin through higher planes of consciousness. According to Meher Baba, there are seven inner planes of consciousness beyond the state of ordinary human experience. Ordinary consciousness he calls "gross consciousness" and is entirely of the gross physical world. Planes one through four are of the subtle world (pran, or energy); planes five and six are of the mental world (mana, or mind); and plane seven is of the Self.
According to Meher Baba reincarnation is a necessary part of the process of the advancement of consciousness, but that consciousness more or less comes to a stalemate in the human form due to the impressions acquired during evolution. These, Meher Baba says, must be worked out in human form through the experience of diverse opposites in reincarnation before involution begins. It is due to the fading of these impressions and the awareness that one is in stalemate that one's attention is eventually turned inwards and one begins the path of involution. Meher Baba writes,
This process of involution of consciousness gradually takes place as the gross impressions of the opposites gradually become fainter and less concentrated. At this stage the consciousness of the gross-conscious human soul gradually gets dissociated from the gross world, as the involution of consciousness infolds, and gradually dissociates from experiencing the impressions of the gross world.
Meher Baba describes his view of the planes of involution in detail in his principle book God Speaks.