Levels of Existence

Levels of Existence

One of the things I’ve found fascinating is how the basic truths of reality can be found throughout the history of human thought: in religions, philosophies, and writings of old.

Often they are encumbered with a little too much person – either by the author or worse, the translator. For example, they see the perspective as “ultimate” and thus the only truth. They fail to see reality is so vast, our perception tends to be of one aspect, one way of looking. A series of experiences can give us some sense of the wholeness, but there is always more that can be included.

Some put an artificial upward limit on things, either because of a sense this has to be the highest truth or because of a feeling anything higher can’t be known. They forget that because we are That, higher can be known. But it may take more deepening and refinement.

In fact, there is no real upward limit on our perspective, simply because of the vastness and depth of it. Especially relative to the “special case” perception of humans. Even a cognition includes only everything from that one overview. One can experience the entire universe at once, yet still only know the baby fingernail of God.

Because we tend to open our perception in stages, we end up describing states and levels. Reality remains a continuum though. Also, the mind likes things in conceptual chunks, so comprehending and explaining things reinforces ideas like levels. We just need to keep in mind such divisions are broadly arbitrary. We could divide it any number of ways but what remains is one.

An example I ran into recently was in an interdisciplinary review of faiths. In this, the Baha’i are said to describe 4 “spiritual” levels.

1) hahut – unknowable God or essence “The way is barred and to seek it is impiety”
2) lahut – names and attributes of divine, the tongue of grandeur, the Word
3) jabarut – higher angelic order, all highest paradise, revealed God.
4) malakut – lower angelic order, concourse on high.
Man sits in the middle, body in the physical, soul in malakut
5) nasut – physical universe, mineral, plant, and animal realms

There was also some confusion in the presentation such as equating “central Orb of the Universe” and “hidden treasure” with hahut, the unknowable. The orb of the universe, what they call Hiranya Garbha in the Vedas, is far more expressed than hahut. Revealing any of the expressed spiritual levels could be considered finding a hidden treasure.

The difference I would observe is that the unmanifest hahut can be known because we are That. But it cannot be seen because it has no qualities. Hence:
“He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence,
and will remain in His reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men.”

Hidden but knowable, be-able, but only in higher states of consciousness, beyond basic unity.

Using terminology I use, we can compare the levels similarly:
1) Brahman, pure existence and preexistence
2) Creation: first impulse, divine love
3) Celebration, God in form, saints & sages. What Dante called Primum Mobile in Paradisio.
4) Universe construct – sometimes confused with creation due to similarities – as above, so below. Deva lokas.
5) expressed world

I typically break this down to correspond with the higher states of consciousness (what we awaken to) or the higher levels reflected in the chakras (ie: in 7).

It should be noted that we’re not talking about debated philosophical constructs, theories, and beliefs. We’re talking about experiencable values of existence. Subtler values of reality seen in different ways.
Secondarily, I was surprised to know that Baha’u’llah spoke of Hermes and said he was also called Idris and by special names in other cultures like Enoch of the Bible. You may have heard of the Emerald Tablet Hermes wrote. It was illustrated in the film The Secret, for example.

It was also suggested that Hermes was three different people. His “last” name “Trimegistus” means “thrice born“. This can also suggest what others call “twice reborn” or twice awakened, a way of describing someone in Unity.

I suggest this because awakenings can be experienced like being reborn or born anew. (permanently) In Self Realization, for example, there is a complete change in who one experiences one “is”. God Realization is a waking to an external reality, Thou art That, so is less a change in who one is. But it may also be experienced as being ‘born into God’ if it happens post unity. Unity itself is the typical second rebirth, awakening from creation into oneness. Of course, these are generalizations. Some experience only one or even all three as ‘rebirths’. As I’ve spoken prior, Awakening is without Rules. As product conditions suggest, “your experience may vary.” (laughs)

He also said “Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet it own creatures, whose number no man can compute.” They’ve recently figured at least 80% of stars have planets. Science is still catching up with what seers have seen for eons.

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  1. Davidya

    Hi “this fella”
    I see your second illustration is similar to the one described above. Your comment suggests lahut and hahut are the same, while they’re differentiated here. It’s often that newer traditions draw from the older and update the descriptions. And it’s common for the mystical side of all traditions to describe layers of creation in some way or another.

    I’m only generally aware of some of the middle eastern faiths so can’t go into much discussion here. But I am familiar with my own experiences of the levels and use that as a reference point to explore other ways of modelling such things.

  2. Pingback: The Worlds and Gayatri – part 1 | In 2 Deep

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