Thursday, December 31, 2015

As Above So Below

Sierpenski triangle fractal
The statement “as above so below” (or alternatively “as within so without”) is commonly encountered in philosophical and spiritual literature. Like many concepts, it reveals much depth and wisdom when more closely considered.
Fractal artwork is a nice demonstration of “as above so below”. A fractal is an image composed of smaller versions of itself. These smaller instances may be strictly identical, or merely similar. The fractal image above, called a Sierpenski triangle, is a triangle composed of three identical smaller triangles, in which each smaller triangle is in turn composed of three more triangles or copies of itself.
“As above so below” can be seen in many places in nature, on levels ranging from the macrocosmic to microscopic. The entire physical Universe is composed of a number of galactic clusters. Galactic clusters are composed of a number of individual galaxies. Galaxies are composed of star systems, which are composed of planetary bodies. The surface of a planet is composed of continents, which are composed of mountain ranges, which have layers of sediment, which form individual rocks. A rock is composed of different minerals, which are composed of molecules, which are composed of atoms, which are composed of subatomic particles. Note how an atom looks like a miniature solar system, in the classic Bohr model showing electrons orbiting the nucleus, for an example of how the microcosm resembles the macrocosm.
“As above so below” can also be seen in human organizations. Our world is composed of nations, each of which is composed of states or provinces, which are composed of counties, then cities, then districts or boroughs within the city, then streets, blocks or lots, buildings, floors within the building, and finally rooms, pieces of furniture, shelves or surfaces upon the furniture, and finally individual objects on the shelves.
“As above so below” can be discrete or vague. A discrete division is where something is always divided into the same number on all levels, such as the fractal example above. A vague division is where something is divided into an irregular number of subitems at each level, and the numbers can also change over time. For example, a forest contains a changing number of trees, each tree contains a different number of branches, each branch contains a different number of twigs, and each twig contains a different number of leaves.
Something can be part of multiple sequences at the same time, depending on the concept being considered. For example, an individual is a member of a family, which is a member of a clan, which is a member of a race, which is a member of humanity. An individual can also be a soldier in a squad, which is a member of a company, which is a member of a battalion, which is a member of a division, which is a member of an army. A solar system can be considered a division of physical space (e.g. composed of planets, with multiple solar systems composing a galaxy), and also a division of spiritual consciousness (e.g. composed of Planetary Logoi or the essence of planets, with multiple Solar Logoi composing a Cosmic Logos).
It’s important to realize that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, which can be seen in the following examples: A tree has many branches, but also a central trunk from which all branches radiate. A solar system is composed of planets, but also has the Sun at its center. A planetary system is composed of moons, but also has the main planet at its center. A galaxy is composed of many stars, but also has one or more black holes at its center. A biological cell is composed of many organic molecules, but also has a nucleus at its center. The United States is composed of 50 states, but it also has the District of Columbia at its “center” administering it. Even situations that don’t seem to have a central component at each level may have one when more closely considered. For example, the fractal triangle above has three upward triangles at each level, but also an invisible white downward pointing triangle in the middle.
Looking “up” from our individual selves, a person is a member of various families and groups. Looking “down” from ourselves, a person is composed of their different bodies on the different spiritual planes. Each body is composed of organs or chakric centers, which are composed of cells. An important example of “as above so below” relates to centers or chakras. The centers that exist within our own bodies correspond to the centers that exist within the body of our Planetary Logos. For example, the Human Kingdom as a whole can be considered the throat center of the planet, Venus can be considered the heart center of the solar system, and so on.
“As above so below” can be used to influence levels we are ordinary not a part of or aware of, through sympathic vibration. In other words, stimulation of one component can affect a corresponding component on a macrocosmic or microcosmic level. For example, performing our own individual development work can simultaneously help humanity as a whole in the same area, beyond just the direct improvement of one member and how that benefits the whole. Similarly, meditating on the evolution of Venus and its progression through the heavens can help open our individual heart centers.
The most important conclusion that can be drawn from the concept of “as above so below” is that of Oneness. Together we form One Being, which means selflessness and service is less a sacrifice, and more the One Being simply helping itself. We can be aware of and connect with different levels of Oneness. For example, many meditations have us connect “upward” with our own individual soul or Higher Self, our soul groups, and finally the one soul of Humanity. We can also look “downward” and generate personal healing and evolution by balancing the energies within the One Being of our individual bodies.
Another important conclusion is the value of diversity. Although we are all One, we have different roles, and more importantly need to play different roles. For example, organs in the body work with different energies and perform different functions. You can’t have blood in the lungs, or air in the bloodstream, without dying. Seekers earlier on the spiritual Path may resist the concept of Oneness, because they think it means one needs to be like everybody else, or give up personal power. In fact Oneness indicates the importance of each individual, and how they each have their own unique role and place in the Universe. ♥