The Creative Divine Reality

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The fourth Plane is the region of the Transcendent Creators; the Gods or Demiurgii that created and that oversee the cosmos.  Whereas the Godheads of the Higher Divine Plane were still in a  sense beyond creation and duality, absorbed instead in the unity of the One, here we have the Godheads manifesting as Gods or pure Archetypes; the pure Creative powers: the seven lower Sefirot of Atzilut in Kabbalah, and the Elohim or Dyan Chohans of Blavatsky and later Theosophists.  In the Sufi system of spiritual hierarchies, this is the Presence of Divine Acts or "Energies", or of "Lords" (Hadrat al-Rububiya), corresponding to the world of pure Intelligence or Jabarut [Corbin, Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi, pp.360-361, Princeton University Press)].  In Kashmir Shaivism this is the Sadvidya-tattwa, represented by activity (kriya), and in which the manifesting power of Shakti is predominant, and in which Shiva and Shakti poles are about to divide into the duality of purusha (individual consciousnesses) and prakriti (non-conscious nature).

In the spiritual cosmology of the Persian philosopher Avicenna, this ontocosm is represented by the last in the sequence of Cosmic Angels, the Tenth Intellect, also called the Active Intellect, which is the source of revelation and illumination in all the prophets, as well as being the illuminator of the mind of man in general.  The Tenth Intellect is also called the Giver of Forms, because it emanates the form that makes the existence of any created being possible, and after that being changes or dies it takes back that form into itself [Nasr, Three Muslim Sages, pp.29-30, 42-43].

In the series of Worlds and Godheads described in the Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati, the deity Sadashiva (not the same as the Kashmir Shaivite tattwa of the same name) rules over the plane of Dharma or Moral Order, of the Ideal of righteousness, the distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, and the natural evolution of things from lower to higher [Banerjea, pp.118-121, 132-3].  The Universe of Dharma can perhaps be identified with the Demiurgic plane, an over-ruling Almighty God in the exoteric religious sense.  Here we have the emergence of duality within the Godhead, and the origin of exoteric, as opposed to esoteric, religious revelation.

In the succession of partzufim central to Lurianic Kabbalah this ontocosm includes Ze'er Anpin, the personal God or "God of Israel", and Nukvah, the female polarity of God.  We have God the Creator, God the Person, as op-posed to the Absolute which is beyond all concep-tions such as personal and impersonal, creator and created.  Thus Rabbi Luria understood that the personal Creator God is a lower hypostasis than the transcendent Godheads; a realisation that was lost or denied by his successors.

Luria's identification of the "God of Israel" with Tifaret of Atzilut (rather than with, say, the En Sof) gives the key to understanding the place of religious revelation.  For, experienced monotheistically (i.e. through emphasis on one of these Gods to the exclusion of the others) we have here the purity of Yahweh or God of Judaism, Christ and/or God the Father of Christianity, Allah of Islam, Krishna of the Hare Krishnas (where Krishna is the supreme God, as opposed to the conventional Vaishvanite theology which understands Krishna to be one of the avatars of the transcendent Vishnu), and innumerable other religious deities.  I emphasise however that what is referred to here is the "purity" of the God, the actual mystical experience of the Creator.  Most religions however are stuck in a fundamentalistic miasma, and in their conceptions of deity they very rarely rise beyond the Psychic realms, and indeed, they actively persecute anyone among them (or even among others) who attempts to do so (regarding this, see the earlier discussion of esoteric and exoteric, sect. 6- ).

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page uploaded 18 April 1999