I’m weird about cosmologies. I constantly make use of them in the middle of things, as a way toward structuring a specific spiritual working, but I am suspicious of them and, to be honest, generally think of them as a bit twee and precious. When it comes down to it, though, in the grand scheme that is the shape of human endeavor. Our ideas make so much possible, but it is their fate to be dissolved in the labors of daily life, to be undone and remade.
And, if I am going to talk about Mohaveh, I have to accept that it comes wrapped in its own cosmology, even if it is the cosmology of a sea anemone, all ragged and hungry. So, let me get to that. The aim here is to provide a cosmology that is both complex and clear, instructive and useful.
Mohaveh’s cosmos can be visualized as unfolding between the hands of God, where God is all that ineffable and transcendent placeholder for the fact that everything is one, is connected, even if by our understanding that connection cannot be realized, or realized only partially through a circuitous path. I have been tempted to say the left and right hand of God, but Ibn al’Arabi persuades me to think otherwise, persuades me to step outside the valuations packed into that distinction. There is only God’s hand and God’s other hand.
The two hands begin together, as in prayer, and creation begins as the two hands are spread apart. The Sefer Yetzirah helps me here. One hand is Shin, the other is Mem, and as the hands spread, there is a dancing Alef between that preserves communication between the two hands. Mem is dark, heavy, difficult to penetrate, resonant, whereas Shin is bright and volatile, casting off sparks that will come to be the double letters. There is a court of Shin, a court of celestial beings in communications with each other.
There is Gimel among the court, a volatile figure among volatile forces, who turns toward the space between Shin and Gimel, leaps across it with a thunderous flash. Gimel is the Elohim of Justin’s Baruch, Mem Justin’s Eden. Conjoining with Mem, Gimel disrupts and transforms the resonant Mem, giving birth to a chorus of tones, angels. These angels gather to Eden and Elohim according to a secret sympathy such that there are 12 angelic powers around Elohim and 12 angelic powers around Eden. Between each of the 12 there is another play of secret sympathies that pairs each angel of Eden to an angel of Elohim.
In addition to the angels, there is another sort of being that is born in this fusion, the living witness of the sympathy between Elohim and Eden, the figure of Adam prior to Adam’s division into male and female. This sympathy is fragile and its collapse is realized by the natural sympathy of Elohim for the court of Shin, the court to which Elohim returns, disrupting and breaking the sympathy. Elohim returns to Shin’s court accompanied by his angels.
The diversity of creation unfolds in the collapsing of the sympathy between Elohim and Eden. As the angels move back and forth toward this collapse, they engage in complicated relationships with each other that shape the manifestation. Different forms of intelligence and consciousness take shape as angels interact with the collapsing sympathy of Eden and Elohim as well as each other. As the angels possess a profound sympathy with each other, so, too, do the forms of intelligence also share sympathies with each other.
These worlds within worlds define parallel spiritual kingdoms, the legions of the invisible children of Adam and Eve. They aren’t one sort of thing, though, and to appreciate them we need to come to terms with their specific angelic genealogy. There is a kingdom of spirits made possible by Babel, another by the interaction of Pharaoh and Sophia, and so on.
This is all a bit analogical, of course, because the world of manifestation is the world of time, the world of formation, and the relationships that take shape between the angels, the court of Shin, and Mem, take place prior to this, where ‘prior’ can’t be reduced to logical or temporal priority, though both sorts of priority are useful for conceiving of this more prior priority. When I talk about the destruction component of formation and destruction, both are related to this priority and relate to the way in which this prior world relates to itself through our posterior world.
Prior Adam exists both whole and fractured from this perspective. Whatever it is that we are, we are by virtue of a special relationship we have with prior Adam. Human being opens to prior Adam in a special way, one that makes us kin to the angels without being angelic. Following Ibn al’Arabi again, it makes sense to talk about left and right in prior Adam. The sympathy of Elohim and Eden that prior Adam is, manifests as a sympathy of human souls to either Elohim (the right hand) and Eden (the left hand).
So, individuals tend to have a sympathy to this or that angelic hierarchy, while possessing though a communion with prior Adam a connection to the totality of the angelic hierarchy and with the court of Shin. The communion of saints is specifically our connection to humanity through prior Adam, but more than a few things that go by the name of ‘saint’ seem to be angels in Mohaveh’s terms (to which we also have connection through prior Adam; same medium but different channels).
The communion of saints is…well, complicated, to say the least. To get at it properly, we need to begin with the notion that communion occurs in the intermediary zone between the world of formation and prior Adam. It is differentiated, structured, by the world of formation. The communion transpires in history, through the concrete connections between individuals in life and across time. It is entwined in genealogy and the broader circumstance of a lived life. There is definitely a kumbaya vibe here—sing out and welcome, see what comes around.
The idea that the tree of life also models the physiognomy of prior Adam is useful as a stepping stone toward this. While prior Adam is the child of Elohim and Eden, Elohim contains the trace of his siblings in the court of Shin. Within prior Adam, then, are the channels that remember the court of Shin (the doubles that also define the seven churches, the seven communions) as well as the channels that proceed from Elohim and Eden’s union (the elementals, the foreshadowing of the angels and their influence over specific elements of prior Adam’s heart and forms of communion, and the promise of a world in which prior Adam and the angels together rise up to meet Shin).
The invisible ones are in a similar place to us in this regard. They, too, develop as individuals within this world but possess an archetypal source beyond the world of formation that makes our mutual individualities possible. We can relate to each other in beneficial ways, supporting a deepening relationship to our respective archetypal parentages, but we can also confuse each other and become entangled in misunderstandings that lead us away from that.