The multi-dimensional Greater Reality


In considering our own categorization for unitive experiences, we can begin by asking: In each of the various esoteric traditions, what exactly is the nature of the Subjective Substratum that is Revealed in the experience of unity, and how are we related to It? We find four different answers, depending on the tradition:

  • The animistic view and the psycho-physical dimensions (Chapters 2-4) – We arise as a psycho-physical being within “Nature”, which is not merely material, but rather, a psycho-physical plastic, populated by all manner of purely psychic forces and entities, in addition to the merely physical reality with which we are familiar.
  • The Emanationist view and the Spiritual dimension (Book 10) – We arise as a “spirit” within the all-pervading Divine Spirit.
  • The Transcendentalist view and the Transcendental dimension (Book 11) – We arise as a conditional being, along with all of conditional reality, in an Unconditional, Transcendental Reality. In some cases, the Transcendental Reality is also a Personal, Transcendental Consciousness, which is giving rise to conditional reality much as a dreamer dreams.
  • The Divine view: Reality altogether (Book 11) – We (and everything) arise within a Divine Being Who is simultaneously all-pervading Spirit, and the Transcendental Consciousness that is the source of every apparently individual being’s “consciousness”.

It is not merely that these four views account for all the different esoteric traditions. These views (or more precisely, the first three) reflect awareness of different dimensions of a single, multi-dimensional Greater Reality (i.e., greater-than-material Reality). Moreover, these dimensions are hierarchically organized in relation to each other – see Figure 1. Figure 1 does not depict the Divine view because, unlike the other views, which represent Realization of a particular dimension of the Greater Reality, the Divine view is the Complete Realization of the Greater Reality in its entirety, all dimensions simultaneously Realized, in the most perfect unity: “There is only God”.

In the rest of this chapter, we will study how the different dimensions relate to each other, and how we, ourselves, are a multi-dimensional composite of elements from these different dimensions (matter, spirit, and Consciousness), but primarily only conscious as the “material part” of ourselves, and hence, primarily only conscious of the material reality.

Esoteric anatomy and the seven stages of life: An inherently comprehensive framework