The Hierarchical Nature of Manifestation
The integrated dimension points to the hierarchical nature of manifestation, revealed in the hierarchy of the boundless dimensions of true nature. As we will see when we discuss the coemergence of complete nonduality, coemergence does not reveal such hierarchy, but shows all dimensions as equal and equidistant from the absolute. Even though this is ultimately accurate, there is a fundamental and important understanding implicit in the view of hierarchy that is not so evident in coemergent nonduality. We are referring to hierarchy in a sense that has nothing to do with dominance or control. It refers to the timeless truth that a deeper or higher dimension in the hierarchy is more fundamental than the one that comes after it. It forms its ground, core, and essence. In other words, as we investigate a particular dimension we can penetrate it to a dimension deeper than it, which both underlies and contains it. The deeper dimension is more fundamental and hence deeper or higher. It transcends the one below it. Furthermore, it means that experience or manifestation can continue without the lower one, for it can be on the deeper dimension on the hierarchy. For example, we can experience essential forms on the dimension of pure presence, where the presence and the knowing of presence are inseparable. Or we can go deeper to the nonconceptual dimension, where the essential forms are present, yet there is only awareness with no knowing of the presence. So pure awareness is deeper and more fundamental than direct or basic knowing. Our experience in most situations, however, needs and includes knowing.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 431
The Hierarchy of Manifestation is Not Temporal or Spatial but Ontological
This dimension of the journey of descent reveals the fundamental truth that Reality is composed of many dimensions, all necessary for manifest forms and our experience of them. It also reveals their hierarchic functioning, which in turn points to the absolute as the apex or center of the hierarchy. It reveals the objective relation of the absolute to manifest reality as the center of a hierarchy of manifestation, and shows us that by descending into manifestation the absolute descends into an increasing number of dimensions. It also shows that this hierarchy of manifestation is not temporal or spatial, but ontological. The integrated dimension reveals the manifest world as a Riemannian multidimensional manifold, and shows the hierarchical relationships of the functioning of its various dimensions. The experience of manifestation on this dimension is that it is multilayered, where the absolute forms its center and core, its inmost essence. We see a oneness of appearance, flowing and rich with colorful forms and qualities, but possessing several grounds all necessary for such experience. We experience ourselves as this multilayered Reality, a macrocosm whose ultimate ground and essence is the absolute mystery. We are all and everything, all dimensions and all forms. Or we may experience ourselves as the absolute, a vast luminous mystery that clothes itself with layers of manifestation, each of them clothing itself with the next layer, until we arrive at the physical dimension.