The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth

The Ray of Creation presents us with a schematic picture of the hierarchy of Heaven and Earth. It has its origin in Amun, “the Hidden One”, which is absolute vacancy, nothingness, nada. How something can come from nothing is an intractable mystery, which has wound up the greatest minds of every generation, but there you are. The subsequent levels of the Ray trace the evolution of the universe from these inauspicious beginnings via the Big Bang and the homogeneous energy of the early universe approximately 13.8 billion years ago, Ra, through the formation of the periodic table of elements in the star-furnaces, Atum, to the origins of cellular life on this little blue planet, Ka, to the arrival of intelligent soul-life, Ba, and the emergence of planetary consciousness, Gaia, and finally universal consciousness, Jah.

This is the Ray of Creation: seven discrete yet interpenetrating levels spanning the entire hierarchy of existence from Absolutely Nothing to Ultimate Whole. Since there are clearly seven of them, no more, no less, it seems churlish not to associate them with the seven chakras: Amun at the base, Ra at the sacral, Atum at the solar plexus, Ka at the heart, Ba at the throat, Gaia at the third eye and Jah at the crown chakra. This nicely depicts the way in which this Ray literally passes through us. We embody all these levels and, as such, exist as cosmic universe-trees, uniting all the levels within us.

However elastic our consciousness, scaling the heights and plumbing the depths of the hierarchy, our natural resting place is the human soul, Ba. This is located at the throat chakra, about three-quarters of the way up the cosmic tree. Interestingly enough, we exist both as individual souls, but also as a collective entity, called Humanity. One cannot exist without the other. Our existence in relation to others, to partners, family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, compatriots, fellow citizens of the world, can be envisaged as proceeding along a horizontal line of communal soul-life. If we were to draw this horizontal line onto the Ray of Creation passing through the spinal column, the shushumna, we would end up with a crude depiction of the Cross.

Ba is at the particular intersection of the horizontal line of Humanity that marks you out as an individual. If you then look below you in the vertical hierarchy of existence, you will see first of all your Ka (life-force) arising from the trillions of living cells of which you are composed, and then your Atum (the All), comprising the atoms of which your living cells are composed, of which there are estimated to be around 100 trillion per cell.

Now, if we concede that Amun-Ra is in fact a transcendent god above and beyond the limits of the extant universe, and put Nothingness and Uncreated Energy to one side for the moment, we will notice that there is a curious symmetry between the levels above and below us. At the centre of the hierarchy is Ba. Immediately below and above us are Ka and Gaia, respectively. This makes perfect sense if we conceive of the integrated totality of Planet Earth as depending on some kind of unification of its living, biological substrate, or “biosphere”. Thus the larger whole that encompasses out little life is Ka-Gaia, which stretches from organic cellular life below us all the way up to the Anima Mundi or “World Soul” above.

One step lower and one step higher reveals a natural affinity between atomic matter, Atum, and the entire universe, Jah. Ka-Gaia is only possible in the context of this larger reality, which spans the whole breadth of existence, from the atomic elements to Universal Consciousness (bear with me). But the enormity of Atum-Jah is itself necessarily contained within two further shells: first that of Ra and finally, Amun. At the lower end of the hierarchy, the microcosm, Ra is the E in Einstein’s famous E=mc2. A the higher end, it is the pure transcendental potential of a divine Creator. We might call this pairing Ra-Shiva.

Finally, then, we have the ultimate pairing of the inner, immanent emptiness at the centre of everything, Amun, and the outer, transcendent emptiness beyond everything, Parashiva. This is the coincidence of the Centre-Whole, or Amun-Parashiva.

As well as expressing a linear hierarchy, therefore, the Ray of Creation also describes a series of nested pairings, Amun-Parashiva, Ra-Shiva, Atum-Jah, Ka-Gaia, at the centre of which lies the human soul, Ba. If you recall, Ba also exists on the horizontal dimension of collective Humanity. However, there is always the danger that we forget the vertical dimension altogether, forget the life that sustains us, forget our Mother Earth that embraces us, and forget the deeper and higher layers beyond these, and live as if the only thing of any significance was us and our place in society, in other words, the horizontal. When this happens, the human society to which we belong, divorced from its vertical dimensions through individual souls, becomes a kind of mental prison, a Matrix, “Babylon”.

Ba-Babylon is thus the infernal pairing of lost human souls cut off from the Ray of Creation. There is no longer a Cross or Cosmic Tree reaching from Earth to Heaven and back again, just a flat line, fittingly representing the flat-lining of spiritual death.

Instead, we should recognize our unique place at the juncture of Heaven and Earth:

“As man I bisect all the Pairs and their linking processes, for I include inferior members of every Pair, but am included in the superior member. I am at home in the upper half of the hierarchy because I am the lower half. To use more familiar language, man the microcosm reflects the macrocosm – a doctrine which, in its many forms, is as ancient as it is universal. And it is generally implied that man’s business is to recognize and restore the links between what is above and what is below, between the universe without and the universe within. That is to say, while man is man because he cuts the hierarchy in half, his office is to heal that wound, to restore the unity of the Pairs, and so to realize himself as much more and much less than man. His task is to re-seat the suprahuman rider on the infrahuman horse, to join ruler and ruled, to realize the ancestral cave and the ancestral mountain imply each other, to link the nine circles of Hell with the nine circles of Heaven, to reunite the rising branches of the universe-tree with its deepening roots – and so to regain his own balance. The common-sensible part-man who is only human, and the scientific part-man who finds himself only in the bottom half of the hierarchy, and the religious part-man who finds himself only in the top half – all three need to be conjoined in the symmetrical and vertical man who is whole because his universe is whole. Such, more or less, is the suggestion of a long esoteric tradition, of the experience of mystics and poets in every time and country, and of much psychological analysis.”

D.E. Harding