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The Unmanifest and the Manifest Absolute

(this section by Arvan Harvat

In virtually all traditions, from Sufism to Vedanta, you have the Unmanifest Absolute and the Manifest Absolute, as polar modes of (non)Being.

In Sufism, there are a few names for the Unmanifest : Amma( darkness), Ghayb-ul-Ghaib ( Secret of Secrets ), Dhat/Zat ( Essence ), Ahadiyyat ( Oneness ), Alam-i-Hahut ( the "world" of "He-ness", Hahut coming from Hu (He), the essential attributeless name of God ). In Vedanta, Nirguna Brahman or Parabrahman, in Kashmir Shaivism Mahabindu or Paramashiva etc.

The Manifest Absolute is God with attributes ( Allah, Lahut, Wahdah in Sufism, Saguna Brahman in Vedanta, Shiva ( with latent Shakti ) in Trika Shaivism etc. ) The best poetic modern rendition is in first 3 chapters of Jung's "Septem Sermones ad Mortuos", the Unmanifest being Pleroma, the Manifest Abraxas.

In a few traditions some other dimensions of Godhead are added ( varying from, say, 1 to 3-all prior to manifestation in creation ).  Sometimes, they are rendered as extratemporal modes of Godhead; sometimes as emanationist strata of Godhead, but prior to creation of "worlds".

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original material (AH) uploaded 20 December 1999
this page 21 December 2009