Posted by: samandal | July 9, 2010

The Universe of Signs

Martyrdom of the Báb

“The eyes which regard God are also the eyes through which God regards the world.” (Traditional)

The Bahá’í revelation postulates the existence of a threefold differentiation of ultimate reality (Haq): the world of the divine essence (‘álam-i haqq) or sphere of the Godhead (Alláh), the pre-existent cause of existence, the source of emanated reality; the world of the divine command (‘álam-i amr) or sphere of the Logos (Shekhínáh), the ultimate cause of creation, in which the divine attributes are mirrored; the world of the divine creation (‘álam-i khalq) or sphere of the Cosmos, the emanation of divine causation. A Manifestation of God is an appearance of the Shekhínáh, the Daughter of the Voice, in the physical world. The virtuous aspects of the Shekhínáh are valenced as feminine and the legalist as masculine: in the execution of judgment, the prophet assumes a masculine persona, rational and linear; in the administration of mercy, the prophet assumes a feminine persona, intuitive and relational. The Shekhínáh is the luminous splendor of Alláh, the “yá bahá’u’l-abhá” of God, whose mercy predominates and prevails over her judgment.

“Whatever you imagine, God is the opposite of that.”                                 (Dhú’l-Nún)

The Bahá’í revelation also distinguishes five realms of existence: háhút, the realm of the hidden and eternally unmanifest essence of God, related to ‘álam-i haqq; láhút, the realm of the divine names and attributes manifest as archetypes within the divine consciousness, also related to ‘álam-i haqq; jabarút, the realm of the divine decrees and archangelic intelligences manifest as the acts of God within creation, related to ‘álam-i amr; malakút, the realm of the angelic intelligences manifest as húrqalyá, the world of archetypal images (mundus imaginalis) and its mystical cities of Jabúlqá and Jabúlsá, related to ‘álam-i khalq; násút, the realm of the physical formative forces inherent in lifeless matter manifest as the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms (the material products of nature), also related to ‘álam-i khalq. There is a correlation between the realm of ideas (malakút) and the created world (násút); the former has its likeness in the latter, where it is rendered subject to change and divisibility. All humans exist at the interface or interstice between the angelic and physical realms.

“For by Jabúlqá is meant none other than the treasure-houses of eternity in the all-highest heaven and the cities of the unseen in the supernal realm.”      (Bahá’u’lláh: Gems of Divine Mysteries, page 36)