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Theosophical Encyclopedia


(Abhavā) A Sanskrit word meaning absence, non-existence, or non-being. Helena P. BLAVATSKY, in her article entitled The Septenary Principle in Esotericism (CWIV:580) refers to Abhava as, “Nonexistence or non-being . . . in the sense of, and as separate from, objectivity or substance — to the highest monad or Atman.” Some Indian philosophical systems (notably Nyaya-Vaisesika) hold that abhava or non-existence is a distinct category, with an existential import (that is, they claim that we actually perceive absences), whereas other systems (such as the Buddhist schools) deny the positive character of negation altogether.

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