It seems that in the metaphysics of Genesis there are four quadrants, or realms, as it were: there is first the division of the upper (above the firmament) from the lower waters (below the firmament); only then are the lower waters gathered together such that the dry land appears. Since God calls the firmament Heaven, we have, in descending order: upper waters, heaven, lower waters (the seas), and dry land.
What could waters "above" heaven refer to? At first, before their division into upper and lower, God is hovering over them; they are dark and they are formless.
The creation of light goes to the first condition (darkness), the division into upper and lower to the second (formlessness). With light we have the possibility of vision ("the light of the body is the eye"), and with di-vision intelligibility (in other words, formlessness is the essence of unintelligibility).
The lower three worlds are spiritual, psychic, and material; or soul, mind and body; or nous, psyche and soma, respectively. What is the first, the "above heaven?" That must be the great beyond-being, i.e., the apophatic God we've heard so little about.
Now, we're just winging it here, but I see that Benoist identifies these three with verbum, lux, and vita, which, if my Latin is correct, are Word, Light, and Life.
Benoist goes on to say that the soul mediates between spirit and body; it is "the mediator between the higher and lower states of our being."
These three also sponsor three distinct forms of knowing, which are (starting with the lower), empirical-sensory, rational-imaginative, and noetic-intellection. The first two are relative, while the third approaches the absolute in an asymptotic way, i.e., always on the way without ever arriving.
Symbols -- such as the symbol of water -- act "as a bridge between the corporeal and the mental," giving us access to realities that are intelligible but immaterial: with them, it is as if we can have empirical knowledge of spiritual realities. Or just say the word can become enfleshed or the light in-formed.
One reason why these primordial symbols work is that nature is a reflection of heaven, rather than vice versa. In other words, oceans and light really do tell us something about the divine reality, since they are its reflections herebelow. Looked at this way, man is privileged to be the most adequate reflection of the divine person -- at least in potential.
In his Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism, Schuon breaks it all down for us in non-mythopoetic language. In my view, the creation story of Genesis is a symbolic expression of these same truths. Thus, In the beginning,
"[I]t is necessary to start from the idea that the Supreme Reality is absolute, and that being absolute it is infinite."
Or in other words, in the beginning is God, the Absolute-Infinite. He is All Possibility, such that with God we can literally say that "all things are possible." In other words, for anything to undergo the formality of existing it must first be possible for it to exist: a thing's principle is prior to its actuality.
What is the Principle of God? I would say creativity, which entails a love of communicating it. Think of a genuine artist: why does he create? It must be for the pure joy of communicating d'light. As it pertains to God,
"[I]t is in the nature of the Good to wish to communicate itself: to say Good is to say radiation, projection, unfolding, gift of self." There is Principle and manifestation, or God and world, absolute and relative, heaven and earth, image and reflection, etc.
Now, consistent with what was said above about the upper and lower waters, "the celestial order includes... two 'degrees' of the Principle itself," which I identify as the apophatic and cataphatic God; the first is the "God beyond God," i.e., the Eckhartian God of whom Nothing can be said.
How to understand this important orthoparadox? I see it as analogous to man's own situation, in which our consciousness floats on an infinitely more vast ocean of trans- or supra-consciousness. You might say we are two-thirds water.
In reality, the two (solid ego and watery ground) are one, such that what we call the self is the residue of a process of the infinite-implicate order congealing into a local-explicate order -- the way in which the ocean throws its waves upon the shore, or the nonlocal sea of quantum energy tosses local particles out of its womb. It is actually a circular motion, such that
"In my flowing-out I entered creation" and "in my Breakthrough I re-enter God.... Just as God breaks through me, so do I break through God in return." And God is this "great underground river that no one can dam up and no one can stop" (Eckhart).