Primordial Seven

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The Primordial Seven is a phrase that refers to the first seven beings to appear on any particular plane during the process of manifestation. They are variously called Ah-hi and Dhyani-Buddhas. They are also referred to as the seven primordial rays from the Logos.

Primordial Seven on the different planes

The hierarchy of the primordial seven (as any other hierarchy) emanates a lower hierarchy on every plane:

Further, each of the Primordial Seven, the first Seven Rays forming the Manifested Logos, is again sevenfold. Thus, as the seven colors of the solar spectrum correspond to the seven Rays, or Hierarchies, so each of these latter has again its seven divisions corresponding to the same series of colors.[1]

In doing so, the emanated hierarchy retains the same characteristics of its parent one, although the expression is necessarily more limited as they descend into matter:

Now the first, the second, third or primordial seven or Lipika, are all one. When they emanate from one plane to another, it is a repetition of—“as above, so below.” They are all differentiated in matter or density, not in qualities; the same qualities descend onto the last plane, our own, where man is endowed with the same potentiality, if he but knew how to develop it, as the highest Dhyan-Chohans.[2]

This concept of "emanations" to lower planes is present in several systems of Western Esotericism such as Kabbalah and Gnosticism:

Q. What is the relation of the Lipika, the “Second Seven” to the “primordial Seven” end to the first “Sacred Four”?
A. If you believe that any, save the highest Initiates, can explain this to your satisfaction, then you are greatly mistaken. The relation can be better understood, or rather, shown to be above all understanding, by first studying the Gnostic systems of the early centuries of Christianity, from that of Simon Magus down to the highest and noblest of them, the so-called PISTIS-SOPHIA. All these systems are derived from the East. That which we call the “Primordial Seven” and the “Second Seven” are called by Simon Magus the Æons, the primeval, the second and the third series of Syzygies. They are the graduated emanations, ever descending lower and lower into matter, from that primordial principle which he calls Fire, and we, Svabhavat. Behind that Fire, the manifested but silent Deity, stands with him as it does with us, that “which is, was, and ever will be.”[3]

On the manifested planes, they were compared by Mme. Blavatsky with the lower sephiroth:

Q. What, then, are the stages of manifestation?
From this manifested Logos will proceed the Seven Rays, which in the Zohar are called the lower Sephiroth and in Eastern occultism the primordial seven rays. Thence will proceed the innumerable series of Hierarchies.[4]

Their qualities are even present on human beings, although in a latent state:

Every rational being––called Man on Earth––is of the same essence and possesses potentially all the attributes of the higher Aeôns, the primordial seven. It is for him to develop, “with the image before him of the highest,” by imitation in actu, the Potency with which the highest of his Parents, or Fathers, is endowed.[5]

In Blavatsky's writings there seem to be references to two main classes of "primordial seven": The ones that appear on the first unmanifested plane, and the one that are first manifested on the third plane.

Seven Ah-hi

When the universe is coming out of a maha-pralaya the primordial seven appear on the first manifested plane as the seven rays from which every being will be emanated:

Q. Are the “luminous sons of manvantaric dawn” perfected human spirits of the last Manvantara, or are they on their way to humanity in this or a subsequent Manvantara?
A. In this case, which is that of a Maha-manvantara after a Maha-pralaya, they are the latter. They are the primordial seven rays from which will emanate in their turn all the other luminous and non-luminous lives, whether Archangels, Devils, men or apes. Some have been and some will only now become human beings. It is only after the differentiation of the seven rays and after the seven forces of nature have taken them in hand and worked upon them, that they become cornerstones, or rejected pieces of clay. Everything, therefore, is in these seven rays, but it is impossible to say at this stage in which, because they are not yet differentiated and individualized.[6]

These seven rays are called Ah-hi in The Secret Doctrine:

The Ah-hi are the primordial seven rays, or Logoi, emanated from the first Logos, triple, yet one in its essence. . . . The Ah-hi are the highest Dhyanis, the Logoi as just said, those who begin the downward evolution, or emanation.[7]

The Ah-hi "descend" through the different planes manifesting on the third as Manasaputras:

Q. To what cosmic plane do the Ah-hi, here spoken of, belong?
A. They belong to the first, second, and third planes—the last plane being really the starting point of the primordial manifestation—-the objective reflection of the unmanifested.[8]
The “Ah-hi” pass through all the planes, beginning to manifest on the third. Like all other Hierarchies, on the highest plane they are arupa, i.e., formless, bodiless, without any substance, mere breaths. On the second plane, they first approach to Rupa, or form. On the third, they become Manasaputras, those who became incarnated in men.[9]

Seven Manasaputras

As the seven primordial rays (Ah-hi) descend through the first and second planes, they manifest on the third as Manasaputras, the "mind-born":

The first “Primordial” are the highest Beings on the Scale of Existence. They are the Archangels of Christianity, those who refuse—as Michael did in the latter system, and as did the eldest “Mind-born sons” of Brahmâ (Veddhas)—to create or rather to multiply.[10]

As to the origin of them, Mme. Blavatsky explains they proceed from the "Father-Mother" before spirit and matter were really separated:

The distinction between the “Primordial” and the subsequent seven Builders is this: The former are the Ray and direct emanation of the first “Sacred Four,” the Tetraktis, that is, the eternally Self-Existent One (Eternal in Essence note well, not in manifestation, and distinct from the universal ONE). Latent, during Pralaya, and active, during Manvantara, the “Primordial” proceed from “Father-Mother” (Spirit-Hyle, or Ilus); whereas the other manifested Quaternary and the Seven proceed from the Mother alone. It is the latter who is the immaculate Virgin-Mother, who is overshadowed, not impregnated, by the Universal MYSTERY—when she emerges from her state of Laya or undifferentiated condition. In reality, they are, of course, all one; but their aspects on the various planes of being are different.[11]

Mme. Blavatsky was asked what she meant by "Father-Mother" in this connection:

Q. Is Father-Mother here synonymous with the Third Logos?
A. The first primordial seven are born from the Third Logos. This is before it is differentiated into the Mother, when it becomes pure primordial matter in its first primitive essence, Father-Mother potentially. Mother becomes the immaculate mother only when the differentiation of spirit and matter is complete. Otherwise there would exist no such qualification. No one would speak of pure spirit as immaculate, for it cannot be otherwise. The mother is, therefore, the immaculate matter before it is differentiated under the breath of the pre-cosmic Fohat, when it becomes the “immaculate mother” of the “ Son” or the manifested Universe, in form. It is the latter which begins the hierarchy that will end with Humanity or man.[12]

Primordial Seven and Fohat

In Stanza V.1 the primordial seven as shown as directing Fohat in the process of manifestation:

The Primordial Seven, the first seven Breaths of the Dragon of Wisdom, produce in their turn from their holy circumgyrating Breaths the Fiery Whirlwind.[13]

The next sloka (Stanza V.2) says: "They make of him the messenger of their will." HPB explained:

This shows the “Primordial Seven” using for their Vahan (vehicle, or the manifested subject which becomes the symbol of the Power directing it), Fohat, called in consequence, the “Messenger of their will”—the fiery whirlwind.[14]

See also

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 567.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 405.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 403.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 352.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 555-556.
  6. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 347.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 317-318.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 320.
  9. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 321.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 88.
  11. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 88.
  12. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 397.
  13. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 106.
  14. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 108.