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 taxed the greatest minds of every generation and has made the God hypothesis irresistible for almost everyone who thinks about it deeply enough.

The Ray of Creation is a map of the evolution of the universe from the seemingly inauspicious beginnings in Amun through the Big Bang, Ra, the formation of the atomic elements, Atum, the arrival of cellular life, Ka, the development of intelligent soul-life, Ba, and the emergence of planetary consciousness, Gaia, and 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. Embedded within the human organism, they correspond to the ancient chakra system discovered by the Indian yogis: 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. This correspondence powerfully illustrates the fact that the Ray literally passes through us, and that each one of us is a microcosm of the whole universe.

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. We exist as individual souls, but also as parts of a collective entity, Humanity. One cannot exist without the other. I cannot exist without the other, in a hierarchical network of family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, compatriots, citizens of the world. This social network of communal soul-life can be pictured as a horizontal line, which, superimposed onto the Ray of Creation at Ba forms a traditional Christian cross.

Ba is the intersection point of the horizontal line of humanity that marks you out as an individual. Look down through the vertical hierarchy of existence and you will see Ka (your life-force) arising from the trillions of living cells of which you are composed, and then 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.

Since Amun-Ra transcends the limits of the physical universe, let’s put this Nothingness and Energy to one side for the moment. We now have Atum-Ka-Ba-Gaia-Jah. You will notice that there is symmetry between the levels above and below us. At the centre of the hierarchy is the soul, Ba. Immediately below and above this are Ka and Gaia, life-force and world-soul. This makes sense if we conceive of the integrated totality of the planet as depending on the synthesis of its living, biological substrate, the biosphere. The larger whole that encompasses and embraces out little Ba is Ka-Gaia, stretching from organic cellular life below us all the way up to the Anima Mundi above.

One step lower and one step higher reveals a natural affinity between atomic matter, Atum, and the universe in its entirety, Jah. Ka-Gaia is only possible in the context of this larger reality, which spans the whole breadth of existence, from atoms and electrons to universal consciousness. But the enormity of Atum-Jah is itself necessarily contained within two further shells, Ra and Amun, Energy and Nothingness.

At the lower end of the hierarchy, Ra is simply the E in Einstein’s E=mc2. A the higher end, it is the pure uncreated energy of a Creator God. Let’s call this pairing Ra-Shiva. Finally, 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, Amun-Parashiva.

As well as expressing a linear hierarchy, 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. Therefore, there is always the danger that we forget the vertical dimension altogether, forget the life-force that sustains us, our Mother Earth, Pachamama, that embraces us, and the deeper and higher layers beyond these, in which we live and move and have our being.

When I forget the vertical, I live as though the only thing of any significance were people and society, that is, the horizontal. When this happens, society, divorced from the vertical dimension, becomes a kind of mental prison, a Matrix, a Babylon. Ba-Babylon is the pairing of lost human souls and the man-made world of culture cut off from nature and spirit. There is no longer a Cosmic Tree (or Cross) reaching from Earth to Heaven and back again, just a flat line, fittingly representing the flat-lining of spiritual death.

It is impossible to wake up from this slumber, to rise again from this grave, to heal this sickness unto death, without realizing and embodying 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