The higher arupa jhanas are:
- fifth jhāna: infinite space (Pāḷi ākāsānañcāyatanaa),
- sixth jhāna: infinite consciousness (Pāḷi viññāṇañcāyatana),
- seventh jhāna: infinite nothingness (Pāḷi ākiñcaññāyatana),
- eighth jhāna: neither perception nor non-perception (Pāḷi nevasaññānāsaññāyatana)
Are these supernatural states?
Does the plane of infinite consciousness of the sixth jhana refer to the Universal Consciousness or Cosmic Consciousness of Advaita Vedanta?
Do the fifth, sixth and seventh jhana takes the meditator beyond his physical body and into infinite space, infinite consciousness and infinite nothingness?
Can the meditator now observe things in other galaxies by entering these states? Can they see what is happening in the deva or brahma worlds by entering these states? Can they sense through the senses of other living beings? Are they supernatural states of being?
Or are they simply different states of mind? That is, not supernatural.
I have also heard that they are related to compassion, loving kindness and other Brahmaviharas - how is this the case? Is there a clear connection?
Why are they described as formless (arupa)?
I would appreciate it, if canonical references (from the Pali Canon) are available to support this. Commentaries or secondary sources (e.g. Visuddhimagga, traditional commentaries, modern commentaries from scholar monks etc.) are also welcomed, in addition.