If Sant Mat/Radhasoami (five (or more) higher worlds and associated phenomena) and Theon teachings (the four major worlds) also pertain to this ontocline / axis / parameter, then these levels refer to occult and cosmological levels of emanation, just as do the "vertical" hierarchy of planes of existence.
In the Sant Mat worlds, the terms Subtle, and Causal are taken from Vedanta, although Theosophical ideas such as the Astral Plane have also been incorporated. If we assume that Sri Aurobindo's cosmology with increasing levels oof integrality and unification of opposites the further one ascends to Supermind (Noetic Absolute) is correct, then the Sant Mat cosmology cannot be describing the same thing, because with the higher heaven regions it goes from Form to Formless. So it would seem that the lower two levels, the Physical and Astral, pertain to the "vertical" sequence of planes, while the higher worlds might refer to stages of increasing inwardness and soul and godhood, rather than greater levels of "vertical" "gnostic" ascent.
Comparing the two shows that Theon's primary parameter (the four worlds and four veils) seem to nicely align with the Radhasoami worlds. First there are the gross, subtle, and causal material worlds, the region of creation, then beyond that a series of progressively more spiritual worlds. In both the highest regions are inconceivable, while there is an intermediate (but still transcendent) region of God or Soul (Sant Mat), or Divine Empathy (Theon). Of course there are also many differences as well, and the equivalences between Radhasoami and Theonic cosmology should not be taken as definitive; not all the levels precisely match up. But the similarities are intriguing enough to suggest that both were or are attuning to the same reality. In contrast, it is not possible to match these levels with those of Sri Aurobindo, although Theon's other parameter - the 7 or 8 states, can be matched up in that manner. This indicates that there are several distinct dimensions of existence being referred to (although these are often confused or combined into a single paremeter or dimension)
The following table is a suggested list of emanational hypostases according to Vedanta, Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, Kashmir Shaivism, Kabbalah, Sant Mat, and Theon Note that the same or similar series in Neoplatonism and Kabbalah have also been described in the "vertical" dimension; in these cases the same terms are used by different individuals (or sometimes by the same - Steiner's many lectures are a good example of the same jargon used to pigeonhole different occult realities) to describe the different parameters of being, and these are all collpased intoa single hierarchy. In the case Theon and Sri Aurobindo on the other hand, two different axii or dimensions are referred to; one of which can be considered "vertical" and the other "emanational". In the case of Theon the "emanational" dimension is primary and the "vertical" one secondary (note - Theon never used these terms), but with Sri Aurobindo the reverse would seem to be the case.
|Level||Universe or Region||Vedanta: Taittiriya Upanishad||Neoplatonism and Sethian Gnosticism||Kashmir Shaivism||
(the four major worlds)
|Sant Mat/Radhasoami cosmology|
|enl.4||Infinite Consciousness-Force||Brahman / Ananda||The One (in part)||Paramashiva||En Sof (in part)||Causeless Cause (in part)||Radha Soami||
|enl.3||Hidden Existence||Existence / Kalyptos||Shantita Kala||Keter of Adam Kadmon||Occultisms||Anami, Agam, Sach Khand, etc|
|enl.2||Pathotic||Life / Protophanes||Shanti Kala||Abba and Imma of Adam Kadmon||Pathotisms||Bhanwar Gupha (also Sach Khand in some?)|
|enl.1||Supracausal||Vijnana||Mind / Autogenes||Ze'er Anpin and Nukvah of Adam Kadmon||Etherisms||Daswan Dwar|
|3||Causal Being||Manas (mind, and Vedas)||(lower hypostases - varies)||Vidya kala (Maya)||World of Atzilut||Fourth Veil / Causal||Trikuti / Brahman / Causal|
|Materialisms||Sahans-dal-Kanwal / Anda / Subtle|
|Matter / body||Asiyah||Pinda|
The following is a brief description of each of these hypostases
Infinite Consciousness-Force that aspect of the Supreme which is infinite Copnsciousness and its power of manifestation, in Tantra Shiva and Shakti.
Hidden Existence is the first emanation of the Supreme (in this ontocline), the first movement of existence to a state of individuality (albeit ineffable and concealed Source of all that follows.
Pathotic / Divine Love - the principle of Divine Love, the Innermost Spiritual Center or Heart, Divine Manifestation and Joy, Transcendenty Heaven, Eternal Life
Supracausal Being - the transcendent archetypes (in Kabbalah sefirot) of all subsequent creation, pure Spirit beyond matter, eternal and infinite. Divine Mind or higher superconscious, Transcendent heaven realm beyond all lower states
Causal Being - the source and origin and dynamics of creation, the Gods and Godheads that oversee and determine the phenomenal creation; the archetypal dynamics of things, the root of subtle and gross matter, the dramaturgic creation, higher heavens that are very elevated from our perspective, superconscious.
Subtle Being - the subtle or occult reality behind the surfaces; the collective unconscious, the intermediate zone, the inner planes, higher and expanded consciousness. Many deities and religions are inspired from here
"Gross" Existence - the surface being, the mundane consensus reality, ordinary consciousness, the conscious and personal unconscious
Klippotic - the "husks" or "dross" of creation, repressed or frozen psychic contents, elements of the lower unconscious and inconscient, resistence to spiritualisation
Presenting things cosmologically, and hence following the process of cosmic creation and unfolding, this sequence runs from the highest Divine source "outwards" or "downwards" , or in Kabbalah where the diagram shows the reverse arrangement, the outermost (highest Divine world) inwards. In the case of the spiritual ascent and spiritual practice however, the reverse order is followed, moving from the outermost or most surface consciousness inwards to the essence of the being. For an example of this, see the Sant Mat teachings (Surat Shabd Yoga), where the soul's ascent through the various spiritual regions is described in detail.
A detailed formulation of the "emanational" dimension (although not referred to as such) somewhat similar to that given here is provided by the Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies - The Great Continuum Of Consciousness. Here a number of stages and paths of Spiritual Development are presented, clasisfied according to Bands of the Mind (the most complex classification), of of ensoulment, and of the spirit. The Mudrashram teaching is both visionary and syncretic (incorporating all other psychologies and spiritual paths), and without more detailed material I would not want to make too dogmatic a correlation. However, the following might tentatively be suggested.
|This System||Mudrashram Institute|
|Supracausal (and beyond)||Superconscious Mind||Transcendental Sphere|
|Causal Being||Supracosmic Sphere|
|"Subtle" Existence||The Cosmic Sphere (Astral Soul)
The Metaconscious Mind
The Subconscious Mind
The Conscious Mind
Stan Gooch, Total Man
John Lilly Eye of the Cyclone
Jacob Immanuel Schochet, (1979) Major Concepts in Hassidism.
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