Exploring the Macrocosm and Microcosm

I thought I’d put together a little primer on esoteric Christian anthropology and cosmology.

Christian Anthropology

In Christian theology, there are two competing views regarding the nature of humanity. The “tripartite view” holds that humanity is a composite of three distinct components: body, soul, and spirit. In contrast the “bipartite view” holds that the soul and spirit are different terms for the same thing. What follows assumes the former, but for those who care to look it up the scriptural basis for the tripartite view is 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12. Psychologically, the soul is said to correspond to the self or ego and the spirit to the higher self. Alchemically the body, soul, and spirit correspond to the three principles of salt, mercury, and sulfur.

Christian Cosmology

In Christian theology, a threefold view of cosmology is also quite common. Between the material realm, which humans inhabit, and the eternal realm, which God inhabits, is the unseen realm which intermediary spirits, often referred to as angels, inhabit. A common feature of esoteric Christianity is recognition of a correspondence between these threefold views of cosmology and anthropology, in terms of a macrocosm and microcosm.

macrocosm and microcosm

Further Subdivisions

The middle level is often further subdivided. On an anthropological level, the soul may be subdivided into the intellect, emotions, and the will. On a cosmological level, the angelic realm may be subdivided into three hierarchies. It is worth noting that the resultant fivefold system corresponds well with both the alchemical elements of earth, air, water, fire, and spirit, and the kabbalistic worlds of Asiyah, Yetzirah, Beriah, Atziluth, and Adam Kadmon.

Each of the above angelic hierarchies may be further subdivided into three orders each. Pseudo-Dionysius lists these nine orders as: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Authorities, Rulers, Archangels, and Angels. The scriptural inspiration for this is primarily Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16. This of course is a lot more speculative but it is worth noting that the resultant elevenfold system also corresponds with the ten sephirot of the Kabbalah with the Ein Sof.

Those with esoteric interests might find these correspondences offer much food for thought.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s