The universe is too large to be expressed by a single religion, philosophy or science, yet many of the greatest mysteries of the universe can be unveiled when placed within the context of Emanationism, humanity's oldest and most widespread religious philosophy with the exception of Bull Worship and Dualism. Because it approaches spiritual knowledge from a scientific philosophic orientation, Emanationism offers a description of the universe's rational order that is based upon a comprehensible intellectual structure. An even more comprehensive approach may be Bronze Age Planeism.

When we examine our religious beliefs, we discover that most of us are Emanationists to some degree, although we do not think of it that way. We say we are Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Moslems. We also are Sufis, Alchemists, Kabalists, Hermeticists, Gnostics, Shamans and Feng Shui masters. All these, with their own unique perspectives, owe some part of their theology to the Emanationist philosophical system, and some of these are very useful in revealing life's remarkable puzzle of human consciousness. When we recognize that religion is unified under a diversity of creeds, we can take the Ancient Road to the Mysteries upon which these theologies are based and unveil the invisible structure behind the Invisible.

Polarity Realities

Underlying all the historical religions is Emanationism, which perhaps began (historically) in archaic Egypt as a parallel tradition with Sumer in Mesopotamia (ca. 3000 BCE.). Both were derived from an even more archaic source. In Egypt, and particularly in Sumer, Emanationism was expressed as the Three Primordial Principles, part of a number philosophy widespread during that time throughout Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia and most of the Mediterranean world. The Three Primordial Principles were said to be the cause of the creation of the universe that came into being as a result of the interplay between the two opposing principles and the intermediate principle of unity. The two opposing principles, found in philosophy as Dualism and as the Doctrine of Two Contraries (Yin-Yang), usually were expressed in antiquity as male and female, as light and dark and, biblically, as good and evil.

The Three Primordial Principles represents civilization's first speculations regarding electromagnetism and positive-negative polarity and the role that they play in the creation of Matter. The ancients deified the number three, the original Holy Trinity of historical religion, because the number three represents the getting back to oneness or unity through relationship. In Christianity, the formula of two tangibles and an intangible is expressed as Father-Son-Holy Ghost or the Holy Trinity as a conjecture of the intelligence behind the universe.

ShamashBull god The Three Primordial Principles of Light, Darkness-the Abyss, and Intermediate Spirit were portrayed as Shamash (ca. 2500 BCE, color added.), Sumerian god of fire (left), who is bounded by two seven-pointed (Hermetic) Stars. (Illus. 1) Mystical polarity and unity are seen symbolized in the marriage of the bull-god and goddess of Susa (1500 BCE, left), with the Intermediate principle represented as the Tree of Life, (Illus. 2) a gift from the groom to the bride. It looks more like a Palm tree but still it probably represents the beginning of the idea of the Tree of Life. The image also represents an early stage in humanity's transition from the old religion of bull-worship (25,000 BCE.) to that of goddess recognition and Emanationism.

This transition occurred over a long period of time--many thousand years--when humanity moved from a primitive, idolatrous religion to a scientific-philosophic understanding. This evolution is consciousness is captured ancient art as well as the Phaistos Disk (top of page).

A Flowing, Creative Force

Emanationism is a religious philosophy that attempts an explanation of the origin of the universe and our place within it by postulating a perfect, inexhaustible Source--a Creator--from which everything flows or emanates. The Creator is expressed in terms of The Boundless Light that is the infinite and eternal ocean of the brilliant Light of Creation. In Egypt, this Boundless Light was "Light, Great Creator" in what was essentially the Religion of the Light/the Religion of the Mind. Light, Great Creator speaks:

"I am the Fount of Light. I pierce the Darkness. I make clear the Path for all; the lord of Joy." (Ptah-Hotep) (1)

The Emanationists' idea of God as the Boundless Light, as the ultimate, matrixed, metaphysical Energy-Intelligence-Creator expressed in terms of light, is challenging to conceptualize because it is such a long way from the common, simple idea of God as a gaseous vertebrate. But because we all originate with this same Source, according to Emanationism, we find reflected in our inner selves the proof of it--the Boundless Light is perceived by us as the psychic Inner Light. In our modern age, this light may be the Shambhala Buddhist's Great Eastern Sun. We need this inner sun because, if without light we cannot see, then by what light do we see when we dream? The Inner Light. In mysticism this idea is often expressed as "As Above, So Below" and "As Within, So Without." These express a central theme of Emanationism--microcosm-macrocosm--that probably was further, even fully developed by the mystical science of Alchemy.

In Emanationism, the outer cosmos resulted when the Creator began a series of emanations from which the material universe eventually evolved. The first emanation, Mind and Idea, was created by a reflection of God, like a reflection in a mirror. The relationship of One (Mind) and Two (Idea/Reflection) expresses both bondedness and individuation. This is the first archetype in our world of extreme duality. Simultaneous bondedness and individuation is our primal Form, our essential paradox of existence.

The universal force of movement, actually spin, becomes a god in Hinduism as Shiva, who is not the god of movement but is the movement itself. This concept and that of the relationship of Mind and idea, and the real world as being a reflection of a higher reality, can be seen on the Phaistos Disk with the addition of Spin, suggested by the spirals on the disk, to the hidden pattern Diameter. One becomes two.

Circle Cross

But the Two is not physically real, though it seems very real to the eyes, only the One is real, hence the Hindu concept of Maya. (Sanskrit: “magic” or “illusion”, a fundamental concept in Hindu philosophy, originally denoting the magic power with which a god can make human beings believe in what turns out to be an illusion.) And since we live in the realm of Two where thus exists polarity, then it becomes easy to see why Hinduism and Buddhism postulate our world is not real, but dreamlike in nature, because it is an idea, the moving Dream of Brahman, while the real world is an unseen reality, the only reality, an absolutely still and thus unchanging world.

And though it is real, this unchanging realm of Diameter or Mind that generates Idea, it finds a way to change via spin (basic physical science) so it appears to blink on and off. Later on in time, this accounts for some theories about the nature of God and his/her ability to withdraw from creation or, in other words, turn Itself off and then back on again, like Osiris, an ancient Egyptian god who was said to be like the Nile River because its water evaporated and disappeared but always returned. Thus does the unchangeable change but it is an illusion. Nevertheless, it works.

According to Emanationism, these two images, representing the Creator and the newly Created via Spin, are empowered to participate in the give and take of the ultimate Creation--the World Soul. This is the ideal eternal universe, the archetype of all universes, within which are contained the individual souls of the universe, expressed as the entire universe. It is the Ka of the real unseen world and the Ba of unreal physical world, together creating a Spirit-Soul perfection, a complexity of reality, and thus a domain for living. (Thanks be to thee, Great Creator!)

Lightmatrix Reality

World Soul, Planetary Matrix With 13 spinning spheres, the world soul (my version of Kabala Tree of Life) is the abstract, invisible, supportive plane behind the Invisible plane, the Idea upon which is constructed the material universe. This is Nature Entire--the created world and the creating world--conceptualized as an abstract, holographic lightmatrix. In its Language of Light, the world soul holds the archetypal patterns--the ideal Forms for all physical life--expressed as plane geometry and moving, thanks to the virtue of Spin, the physical science phenomenon that, when spinning clockwise, enables the emanation of an entire physical universe. (This ancient religious idea is in direct conflict with the atheistic modern idea of Big Bang explosion universe.) When spinning counterclockwise, the spin mechanism functions as a path back to Source of the emanations.

Therefore, the Sufis spin.

Sufi Spinning

In support of ideal Forms and archetypes are the occult Forces of the universe that exist outside the window of space-time, such as Spin/Shiva, but which have impact in our realm of Idea. These forces, with Nature (Nature being us), are said to emanate energy-matter as the physical universe, an activity in which we consciously and unconsciously participate as partners or Co-creators. Think "ground crew reproducing and dreaming."

"... Nature is ever the World-Soul, the spouse of Mind; through Darkness she is the spouse of Light." (2)

In the ancient Egyptian religion, the basics of which lay the forgotten groundwork of modern historical religions, the world soul is Isis, sister of Osiris, mother and Nurse of Horus. As Nature she is empowered to re-­member Osiris after his murderous brother Typhon had scattered the parts of him throughout Egypt. The Gnostics of the early Common Era considered Egypt to figuratively mean matter or the physical world because it involved Energy-Matter, a much lesser form of the Divine. Energy-Matter is symbolized as a serpent and is perhaps another Bible transformation in which an archetypal symbol comes to represent "evil" as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. This serpent is the End of the emanations. Typhon was espoused to End, his sister Nephthys whose name means End. Matter is the end of emanations and emanates nothing but continuously reproduces physical life to be perfected by Soul, the earthly twin of Spirit. In mystical alchemy, matter is the alchemical furnace in which lead, perfected by Soul, is transformed into gold.

Energy-matter, engaged in the ceaseless flux of life and death, passes away but Soul and the ideal Forms persist, just as Typhon destroys Osiris but Osiris never really dies. In the ceaseless flux of life and death, hurricanes and tornadoes come and go, continents shift and explode, but the earth persists. In a human being, the cells of the body die and are replaced, the old is discarded and the new emerges, but the individual persists. In time, all human beings die but the species persists. Through the DNA the great ideas of Mind and Idea are carried forward through the centuries from generation to generation and expanded by the individual and collective mind of humanity. And when the human chain is threatened, as it sometimes is, when Typhon dismembers Osiris and scatters him too far abroad, it is Isis (Nature) in her papyrus skiff who re-members him. Mind and Idea never cease to exist because Mind always has the power to "re-member" Idea.

Another ancient idea is the analogy of light as illustrating Emanation. Another is overflow, the idea of the cosmos as a fountain with the psychic energy of the upper levels spilling over into those below, creating as it goes. In the Middle Ages, the fountain is the Cup, Grail or Crater, and in antiquity it is the great Mixing Bowl of the Creator:

"...he who surrounds the spheres and spins them with his whirl, set turning his formations and let them turn from a beginning boundless unto an endless end." (3)

The Cup is the Holy Grail (meaning Crater) in which the Creator mixes the elements of the cosmos in a vortex-whorl, spinning them round and round like a spiral galaxy and creating a vortex and a funnel through which passes the overflow from itself to itself at the next level of being. This "crater of the whorl" is illustrated by the Phaistos Disk (ca 1,600 BCE) wave spirals. The bottom disk overlapping the top at the matching line segments demonstrates the flow from top to bottom and back in a spiraling, figure 8 movment which, horizontally, is the symbol for infinity.

Beginning at the center of the top disk, the spin is counterclockwise until it crosses over to the bottom disk and becomes clockwise. From the center of the bottom disk, the spin is counterclockwise until it crosses over to the top disk and becomes clockwise. From this phi spiral movement the Ancients extrapolated profound ideas about the origin and purpose of the Universe. (The Phaistos Disk might be the renown Maze of Daedalus.)

Phaistos Disk
Phaistos Disk
Phaistos Disk

In this wordplay, Grail is the word for Crater Creator, the Thing that creates itself so that what is Holy is That Which Contains/That Which Is Contained. What is contained is distribution of Matter as affected by Spin, the Whorl World. Here you see the Crater of the Whorl - Creator of the World, not an individual objectified as God but a Divine Principle in operation as Servant to existence, a Mechanism more powerful and everlasting than any individual identity could ever be. In Its philosophy of existence is our elevation to beings of infinity because the Cup or Crater is Holy but is not Holier than the Water or Whorl it contains and neither is the Water holier than the Cup. They are equal as World Soul, and thus we are indiginous to the Divine Principle or Mechanism of existence rather than, at worst, sinful subjects of a wrathful God or, at best, mini-saints-in-training of an all-powerful creator. It is what it is, a Mighty Machine that stops for no one. (Thank God :)

The psychic energy flowing from the Source moves through us because our individual physical world is bonded with the parallel dimension of the nonphysical world. With our feet firmly planted on earth in objective-ordinary reality and with our heads and our hearts in spirit, we are duality's finest hour, affording an expansive view of the world both within and without, both above and below.

Standing at the balance of worlds, we explore the outer cosmos while we discover the mysteries of the inner world. The Curtain of space-time and energy-matter cloaks the spiritual realms of the nonphysical orders. If we can fuse the physical with the spiritual by alchemy, we can lift the Curtain and gain a privileged position vis-a-vis the universe from which we can continue to co-create. Our co-creative design might become even more intelligent.

"A veil exists between the world above and the realms that are below." (4)

Barrier to the Higher Realms

This natural barrier or boundary of the worlds is the dissimilarity of form between the eternal creating world and the temporal created world. This barrier, called Limit-Cross (Horos-Stauros) in Gnosticism, is symbolized by the intersection of the horizontal bar (Horos-Limit) and vertical bar (Stauros-Cross). Limit-Cross is the frontier of separation between the realm of the timeless world and the temporal realm of the visible universe. The vertical bar of Limit-Cross is individuated extension (Space) and the horizontal bar is individuated duration (Time), together Space-Time. In antiquity, Limit-Cross and Mind and Idea were sometimes merged, producing the concept of the Mighty Power and also the definition of an angel.

"And on His angel-ruling and most ancient Reason, the Father who created all, hath bestowed a special gift--that standing between them as Horos, he may distinguish creature from Creator...And He exulteth in his gift, and doth majestically insist thereon, declaring: 'Yea, have I stood between the Lord and you--not increate as God, nor yet create as ye, but in the midst between the [two] extremes...'" (5)

Circle Cross

Limit-Cross variances are a physical gauge like a barometer that self-adjusts throughout the centuries. It is a barometer of our rise toward Limit, gauging how close we are to transcending our local laws of Space-Time and abolishing the Limit. Jesus high up on the cross is a profound symbol with Limit-Cross barometer in mind. The Limit of the abyss between the spatial and the nonspatial worlds is symbolized by the Greek Tau cross, the Equal Arms cross, the Latin cross and the Coptic cross all showing different limits. The Limit can be abolished, as represented by the Maltese cross and the Pyramidal cross. These ideas are connected to the ancient Egyptian religion and the god Horus (Horos, Cosmos), who could regenerate the human being to an eternal Soul or Spirit-Soul.

"He is not manifest, but invisible to those of the Limit. And he possesses four powers: a separator and a confirmer, a form-provider and a substance­-producer." (6)

We can lift the Curtain, abolish the Limit of Limit-Cross, see both within and without, above and below. We have Keys to all levels of existence. Made of light, these keys grant enlightenment and the power to travel through the interdimensional portals (Illus. 6) that connect the emanations of the World Soul. And for the Lighted Path, we give thanks to thee, Light, Great Creator!

Phaistos Disk

In this illusion created by spin, the triangle in the center of side 1 of the Phaistos Disk spins clockwise but appears to spin counterclockwise.

Footnotes: 1. G.R.S. Mead, Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol.. 2, p. 5; 2. Ibid.., p. 23; 3. Poimandres, Ibid.., P. 5; 4. "Hypostasis of the Archons," the Nag Hammadi Papyri; 5. Philo/Yedidyah ha ­Alakhsanderi, c. 30 BCE.-45 CE.; 6."A Valentinian Exposition," the Nag Hammadi Papyri; 7. Fence of Fire of the Gnostic Ophites, as recorded by Origen; 8. Gareth Knight, A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism, p. 54

Illustrations: All Illustrations in this book are by the author. Most are tracings with color and black and white enhancements added. Where the original artist is known, acknowledgement is given. Not all the images are footnoted. 1. After Sumerian art, color added; 2. After Sumerian art, color added; 3. Formation of the Vortex, after Pamela Eakins, color added; 4. The World Soul glyph created by Claire Grace Watson, MST; 5. After Dion Fortune, color added; 6. After Christopher Byrd, color added



Page 1 - Three Primordial Principles | Emanationism
      The World Soul | Limit-Cross
Page 2 - The Sarcophagus | Form or Archetype | Two Universes
Page 3 - 16th Century Gentleman | Jesse Tree | Negative Space
     The House
Page 4 - The Stonehenge Portal | The Rock Eagle Portal
     The Forbidden City | Deposition from the Cross
     Invisible Parallel Plane | Four Levels of Consciousness
Page 5 - Chartres Cathedral | The Ark of the Covenant
      The Holy Grail
Page 6 - Perfect Source
Page 7 - Light and Dark Polarities | The Image on the Shroud
     Shrouded World Soul | Coptic Magic | Faces on the Shroud
Part 8 - Red Mass of the Great Work | Dante's Universe
     Hermetic Vessels | Surat Shabd Yoga
Part 9 - Glossary

Copyright Notice - Disk of the World - Text and images copyrighted March 21, 1993-2023, Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T., U.S. Copyright and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, All rights reserved.