The doctrine of emanation also regards the world as a process of particularization.
A still more remarkable parallel to the later Neoplatonism is afforded by the Christian Gnostics of Alexandria, especially Valentinus and the followers of Basilides.2 Like the Neoplatonists, the Basilidians believed, not in an emanation from the Godhead, but in a dynamic manifestation of its activity.
The completest type of Gnosticism, the Valentinian, regarded Wisdom as the last of the series of aeons that emanated from the original Being or Father, and the Logos as an emanation from the first two principles that issued from God, Reason (vas) and Truth.
Passing from mythology to speculation properly so called, we find in the early systems of philosophy of India theories of emanation which approach in some respects the idea of evolution.
Caesalpinus had his attention directed to the subject, and he speaks of a halitus or emanation from the male plants causing fertility in the female.
The God of Judaism and Christianity is essentially a person in close personal relation to his creatures; emanation is the denial of personality both for God and for man.
They differ, however, fundamentally in this respect, that, whereas evolution regards the process as from the indeterminate lower towards the determinate higher, emanation regards it as from the highest to the indefinitely lower.
A similar doctrine of emanation is to be found in the writings of Bernhard of Chartres, who conceives the process of the unfolding of the world as a movement in a circle from the most general to the individual, and from this back to the most general.
In the rational creatures - man and the gods - Pneuma is manifested in a high degree of purity and intensity as an emanation from the world-soul, itself an emanation from the primary substance of purest ether - a spark of the celestial fire, or, more accurately, fiery breath, which is a mean between fire and air, characterized by vital warmth more than by dryness.
Hereupon follows the first differentiation of primitive substance - the separation of force from matter, the emanation of the world from God.