The Fravartis pt.7

Henri Corbin continues:

“For man to
undertake such a work,is primarely for his own being what
the Pahlavi texts call Spendarmatikih (an abstract
noun derived from Spendarmat, the Pahlavi form of the
name Spenta Armaiti), and which we can translate as
Sophianity, the Sophianic nature of Spenta Armaiti considered as Sophia (Plutarch translated the Pahlavi concept
thus)..By assuming this nature, the human being is then, in
the true sense, the son of the Angel of the Earth, and so able to have a mental vision of her. The soul then awakens also to consciousness of its celestial kinship.”


pp.37 Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth.
The Soul awakens to its function as co-redeemer – on each
of its side it has the host of Sophian and Christic angels (to translate it into western terms) – who ocillate between their functions; from unions into individual quests.Corbin here suggests the specific Xvarnah/Spendarmat relationship as one of Sophianity, which is interesting, since quite a lot of our “gnostisizing” and
mystical orienations actually encompass a recognition of the ensouled life as a specific compartment of human identity; this Sophianity presents Man with a duty ; first to become re-acquianted with his initial kinship, secondly to participate in the mystery of restoriation, which he already endeavoured, although at first
semi-consciously.
In other lore the Archangel Gabriel is consigned as both “Angel of the Earth” and “Angel of Mankind”; this dual image is what this concept of Sophianity contains. The sharing of predicament, on a deeper level – is also part of the plight of this “Knighthood of
Sophia
” (especially described in Arthur Versluis: Theosophia:
The Hidden Dimensions of Christianity
“).

———————-
I read an interview with Jose Saramago, the
Portuguese Nobel´s Literary Award winner of 98- where he
basically denied the existence of acollectively
verifyable and humanly normative”reality”; I do not
remember precisely what his argument where, but he would
need some kind of distance from so-called
“objectivity” even to be narrator/story-teller with good
conscience. He´s a contemporary disciple of Plato and quoted
the Republic quite a lot.A true poet needs to
believe that the soul needs liberation, he must truelly
be interested in how the cage feels and looks like
for the nightingale.. if he says “Oh, what a nice
song that bird produces”.. he belongs among the
spectators, not in blindfolded at the firing range, which is
the place of every true adventurer in life… In
this nightmare of counterfeits, produced of
convenience and the attempt to calm the mind, still the
senses and numb the feelings..it is important to
remember why we ask questions about the veracity of any
thing or being or concept: it is because we need to
know the direct relevance of these things presented to
us. If we awake in the middle of that night which is
the world in its sleep, we must move beyond the
safehouse of the collective dream – and commune with
another reality. And why is that? We awoke because we
were touched..we were embraced..we were aroused by its
perfumes, moved by the beauty of its song.But then,
alas, we become lost to the world.. no more can we
become devalued,degraded and prostitute to its false
glories…

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The Fravartis pt.6

Henry Corbin:


“The victory of the soul incarnated in terrestrial existence is measured by the degree of this restoration /transfiguration of the world and the expulsion of the powers of darkness from the existencial
sphere human,natural and angelic- restoring the
“paradisical purity”,that is, by the degree of the soul´s
Xvarnah (Light-of-glory, “substance of superessential
luminousity”), of its growth toward its celestial existence to
come, of it´s resurrection body, the substance of which, reciprocally, is made of that celestial Earth
which is its action and its work.”
pp.37 Spiritual
Body and Celestial Earth
.


This course is what Corbin´s book Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth – map through his writing as well as a compilation of several representative voices of the “tradition” – not the least among them being the “Oriental” Yahya Suhrawardi.
Here Man cannot help but be
implicated and responsible in the reintegration of being,
and a progressive “redemption” – his past obligates
him, his future beckons and begs him..

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The Fravartis pt.5

Henri Corbin:

“The filial relationship with

the Archangel Spenta Armaiti extends from the pre-existencial celestial “I” to that celestial “I” by and for whom She will engender the man. It is the consummation of a form of existence preluded in Heaven at the dramatic moment when the Fravartis accept to descend to the material Earth and there wage battle on the side

of the Powers of Light against all the human-faced demons. For the human soul, it is the moment of choosing to come to Earth and answer there for the Powers of Light, as the latter will answer for it post mortem..”

(TdB:reminding me of the persian legend of the Advocate.);
“Therefore the choice of the soul will also be its judge.Participating at each moment of the Aeon in the final work of the Saoshyants, each soul of light must fight for the Transfiguration of the Earth, for the expulsion of the demonic Powers from the Ohrmazdian creation..”
pp.37 of Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth.

Participatory eschatology is evident in near all the Gnoses east and west, this is what makes them controversial to certain Orthodoxies, who nevertheless cannot endorse their system of order by way of filiation and fealty, since the adherents of the former actually have fealty only to a pre-incarnation and manifestly interior Lordship.

However, the man of light and the Fravarti (in Pistis Sophia a

similar interior syzygy is referred to, as interchangeably – “power of Barbelo“(fem.) and “man of light/christ“(masc.))are each defenders of a world of light, obscured, yet through vision delineated, within the material realm of

existence.They represents a celestial and mortal Knighthood

against the “world of darkness”. As such, we find a definite “dualism” represented in this philosophy, and

also in the consideration of the role of the Fravarti.

But only so in reference to the intermediate condition of Man and Earth; neither of them are dark, or source of evil, rather – they can be thought of as besieged at all sides by the powers of darkness..A similar “militarism of the spirit” can be found in the apocryphal and apocalyptic material found at Qumran, the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls.

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The Fravartis pt.4

Henri Corbin:speaking of “Geosophy“(he begins by a description of the “transfigured earth

experienced by the `Urafa (Gnostics in terms of devotees of

the Spenta Armaiti/Sophia) as a bounty won by their “choosing” in emulation of the Fravarti (“choosers”))

“The very term geosophy suggested is merely a

translation of the name Spenta Armaiti, the Sophia and the Feminine Angel of the Earth. What this term makes apparent from the start is the striking difference between a

vague feeling (and the commonplace notion) of being a “son of the earth” on the one hand and on the other the feeling and knowledge characteristically expressed in the Mazdean profession of faith, and impressed on the adept in that context, of being a human

individual who is the son of Spenta Armaiti, the feminine Archangel of the Earth.The second term in the filial relationship is now no longer a man imprisoned between the boundaries of terrestrial birth and death, but a human being in his totality, including the past of his pre-existence and the future of his superexistence.”

The Gnostic notion of direct filiation with Sophia and the Pleroma is here expressed in a different context; in the Barbeloite system Spenta Armaiti would correspond to Eleleth, one of the Four Lights/Luminaries..they are also

specified as female – and in conjunction with five “Male offspring” of Monogenes..

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The Fravartis Pt.3

The nature and person of the individual entity,whether Yazata or Fravarti, or among the tutelary angels/servants/messengers – are understood in Mazdean ontology to be discernable in one of two ways;
a getik(material,earthly,”ordinary”) way and a mentok (imaginal,visionary,”suprasensual”) way;
unlike some speculations of like kind,to the Mazdean the getik state is not accorded as being a “degradation” of the splendour and glory of spiritual beings; but that this aspect of its being, once it is

comprehended and accorded attention – actually lifts up the

sensory appreciation of the “seer” into another world, one which does not consist of shadow and minor lights, but only supernatural and primordial Light.

Every being can be considered and “perceived” in one of

two ways; so also for the Fravarti of Earth (zam) the

Spenta Armaiti.Through these one might arrive at a

understanding, no longer only of what these beings are – but

who they are, and what relationship each have with

the other and with ones own.

H.Corbin:

“It is quite evident that the mental vision of the Angel of

the Earth, for example, is not a sensory experience.If, by logical habit, we classify this fact (of the vision) as imaginary, the question nonetheless remains as to what can justify an identification of what is imaginary with what is arbitrary and unreal, the question

as to whether representations, deriving from physical perception are the only ones to be considered as real knowledge, whether physically verifable events alone can be evaluated as facts. We must ask ourselves whether the invisible action of forces that have their

purely physical expression in natural processes may not bring into play psychic energies that have been neglected or paralyzed by our (mental) habits, and directly touch an Imagination which, far from being arbitrary invention, corresponds to the Imagination which the

alchemists called Imaginatio vera which is the astrum

in homine.”
H.Corbin :Spiritual

Body and Celestial Earth.pp.10-11.

The world of the Fravartis are “known” through events

which does not accord explanation or exegesis purely

and simply within the regime of logical or normative

analysis. These events, because of this quality are known

to disturb the psychological equilibrium of those who experience them. This mainly because they are at loss in justifying the contents of their consciousness at a time immediately after such an

“encounter”.

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The Fravatis pt.2

The Kyrios Soter – the Lord Saviour – of the Zervanite Persian tradition, has three male and three female Archangels.

Ohrmazd along with his three male archangels are called “Yezatas“- each of these four are accorded a formal liturgy, a Yasna, and assigned a quarter of the liturgical year for observances.
Whereas the four male “Powers” of the Heptad are accorded especial attention and festivals,the three single female Archangels are considered as the consecrating “Powers” which oversee the liturgies and spiritualize the worshippers with gifts (like the Muses do in Greek and Roman formal and mystery religions).
The three “archetypes” or “ideal figures” of all the other Fravartis are

the following:


1. Spenta Armaiti (Isfandarmuz),

whose representative symbolical image is that of the

Earth, and who is sometimes referred to as “Image of

Wisdom”, and representation of a “Woman clothed with

Light”.
2.Haarvata (meaning integrity, variant. Pers: Khurdad) – which is connected to the Waters, with her is

associated all kinds of aquatic images – she is possibly the

origin of the “Mermaid”.

3.Amertat (meaning immortality, variant Pers: Murdad) -connected to the plants, with her is associated all kinds of vegetative imagry.

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The Fravartis pt.1

Within the Mazdean cosmology one encounter a multitude of Celestials such as Ohrmazd and the Amahraspands.Every physical or moral entity, every complete being or group of beings belonging to the world of Light, including Ohrmazd – has its own Fravarti. In reverse of an occidental attitude -the “male” Celestials are referred to as being Yazata (Pers. Izad) which means “Adorable ones”, so the Fravarti of these are lovers/adorers.
Fravarti means “those who are chosen,” those who have in
themselves decided to fight in order to come to the help of Ohrmazd, the individual “Savior” of not only human souls, the worlds, the universes(dimensions) – but also of the angelic hosts and all the other Yazatas.
In short, one gets the impression they consist in a vast and complex Knighthood.The Fravartis are considered to be feminine, and sometimes depicted in the iconography of Persian and Parthian illuminated manuscripts of the Mazdean/Zervanite (2nd and 3rd generation
“Zoroastrianism” – beginning in the persian hellenistic area ca.
200 BC, ending at the time of continental dominance in the middle east of Islamic Sunnah orthodoxy ca. 900CE) tradition – as young girls. In comparison with the internal symbology of Dante Alighieri´s Divina Commedia – one is reminded of the character of the virgin Beatrice who meets the young Dante at the gate of a garden. The description the Poet and his later
“disciples” make of Beatrice is evocative of the character of
the Fravarti.

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The Fravartis: Introduction

Some years ago, I began a series of meditations on the Yahoo Club Philosophia, which is devoted to the traditions of the Fedeli
d`Amore,Courtly Love and Chivalric Ideal – especially seen in context with Gnostic spirituality. It concerned the Zoroastrian concept of the “Fravashi” – as well as a central one among these, Daena – who is alternatively called “the Celestial I”, “the daughter of Sophia” and even “the Sophia of the Souls”. It was prompted by this quotation from Henri Corbin, in his book
THE VOYAGE AND THE MESSENGER (pp.223):

Upon The Longing of God

“…Consider the idea of a God who is essentially sadness and
longing, yearning to reveal himself, to know himself through a being
who knows him, thereby depending on that being who is still himself,
Yet who in this sense *creates* him. Here we have a vision which has never been professed outside of a few errant knights of mysticism.
To profess this essential bipolarity of the divine essence is not to
confuse creator and created, creature and creation. It is to
experience the irrevocable solidarity between the Fravarti and its
Soul, in the battle they undertake for each other`s sake.”

I received the question: But what does he intend with the word
Fravarti and what is it´s relationship to the Soul, and to the relationship between Earth and Heaven?
Much of the answer, in a sense, on the exterior – can be glanced from
Henri Corbin´s study of the Image and Ideal of the Celestial Earth in
the metaphysical traditions of Iran : SPIRITUAL BODY AND CELESTIAL
EARTH
: From Mazdean Iran to Shi`ite Iran.

Consequent of this, were also a similar post from the same chapter of
VOYAGE AND THE MESSENGER, called The Sophia of the Sufis: (pp.222)

Upon Meeting the “Other”
“The two are eternal companions who answer to each other – this is
the metaphysical idea of a single essence which is also
a couple
. This idea was as present in Manicheism as it was in
Zoroastrianism. All hope and lightness of heart in the face of
death resided in this: The encounter with my own being which
created me in its Image, as a part of itself.”

” For us it is otherwise. It is more in fear that one enters into
confrontation with one´s true self, at once oneself and yet Other.
Furthermore, we are virtually incapable of conceiving of a God
(Whether in belief or disbelief) which
is not the same, identical lord for everyone. Hence the Iranian idea
of the Fravarti angel may currenlty be the most alien of ideas to our
will. Yet, is it not true that every mystical marriage has secretly
undergone such an experience? But official theology is easily
secularized into sociology, which has no use for such an idea.
Certainly it has no use for a God who, like Ormazd, the Lord of
Wisdom, could also have his own Fravarti, and be drawn by Her towards
that which is unforceable. Beyond the immutability which all our
theodicies have postulated, thereby indulging themselves in a
demonstration of it.”

Fravarti – its creation and creator..It is
the Soul refracted through Being,but specifically
– before the Soul forgets it is Born, not
made, not an object,but a subject. Now currently
its “tendrils” or beams, reach from one end of the
multiverse to theother.. reminding itself.We may
know God´s longing to be known, to be received, to be
appreciated.. fulfilled.. as our own, but I feel Corbin
contributed something very important in daring to suggest
this.. Especially since he were saying this in a lecture
about the “Sophia of the sufis” in Teheran,
1974..Why would the God of faith not need a consort?The
mystery beyond all revelations and discoveries is the
essential essence which upholds every thing and their
absence.. no words describe it sufficiently, no name is
named, no presence is known..However, if Love
needs the Two…then the purpouse of this is crystal
clear..
I get the sense that the Fravarti, and especially
the Archangel of the Earth, Spenta Armaiti, Sophia (I
now saw that Plutarch translated Her persian name
into the greek Sophia..so “historically” we are a
little safe with he use of Sophia.. moreover, now we
could even use an alchemical illustration of the Anima
Mundi/Sophia to point towards Her mystery) represents
Consciousness in the Soul which is specific – Daimon would
indeed be something I am reminded of when studying this
Archetype..

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