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Formation of the Tree of Life

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☩ 2010 Edition ☩

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AstroQab Publishing 2010 First Electronic Edition 2007 Date of Original Publication: 3rd April, 2007 2010 Edition First Published: 21st June, 2010 Author: Patrick Mulcahy Email: mallukh_ahi@yahoo.com Website: www.astroqab.co.nr

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Contents CONTENTS ............................................................................................... 4 ILLUSTRATIONS ......................................................................................................... 6 PREFACE 2010 ........................................................................................... 9 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................... 11 FORMATION OF THE TREE OF LIFE ............................................... 21 AIN SOF ...................................................................................................................21 KETER ......................................................................................................................27 HOCKMAH AND BINAH..........................................................................................31 DA窶連T.......................................................................................................................35 HESED......................................................................................................................41 GEBURAH ................................................................................................................43 HOD .........................................................................................................................45 TIFARET ...................................................................................................................47 YESOD......................................................................................................................49 NETZAH ...................................................................................................................53 DIVISION OF THE TREE OF LIFE .....................................................57 LIGHT AND DARKNESS ..........................................................................................57 DAY AND NIGHT ....................................................................................................61 TWO TREES OF LIFE .............................................................................65 TREE OF THE SOUL ................................................................................................65 THE TWELVE SIMPLE LETTERS.............................................................................79 TREE OF THE UNIVERSE ........................................................................................95 MALKUT.................................................................................................................103 THE TWELVE TRIBES ...........................................................................................107 THE SHEKINAH.....................................................................................................113 THE POLYHEX KEY TO THE PATHWAYS...................................... 121

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THE GEOMETRIC MODEL................................................................................... 121 THE ELEMENTS AND THE TREE ................................................... 143 ALEF ...................................................................................................................... 143 MAYM .................................................................................................................... 145 SHIN....................................................................................................................... 151 ALEF, MAYM, AND SHIN ..................................................................................... 163 SECRET PATHWAYS ............................................................................ 167 THE NOSE OF MACROPROSOPUS ....................................................................... 167 THE LIPS OF MICROPROSOPUS ........................................................................... 174 THE HIDDEN PATHWAYS OF QOF AND SAMECK............................................. 179 THE MYSTERY OF DA‘AT .................................................................................... 187 THE HOLY NAME: YHVH - HVHY ................................................... 193 INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................... 193 VH - HV ............................................................................................................... 194 YH - HY................................................................................................................ 199 BREATH FROM BREATH ....................................................................................... 205 CONCLUSION ....................................................................................... 213 APPENDIX ONE .................................................................................... 239 THE MYSTERY OF THE TEN SEFIROT ................................................................ 239 APPENDIX TWO.................................................................................... 251 SOME RELATED ESOTERIC COMMENTS ............................................................ 251 Mothers, Doubles, and Elementals ....................................................................... 251 Malkut - Twelve Simple Letter Pathways............................................................. 252 Thought, Understanding, Voice, Utterance ........................................................... 254 Joseph Represents Yesod ....................................................................................... 257 The Mystery of Da’at .......................................................................................... 259 The Mystery of Da’at - Part Two......................................................................... 261 The Community of Israel ..................................................................................... 263 The Great Voice ................................................................................................. 270 The Fall of Adam ............................................................................................... 272

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The Naming of Seth.............................................................................................274 The Holy Covenant ..............................................................................................277 The Four Hayyoth ...............................................................................................279 Esau Corresponds with Hod.................................................................................283 The ‘Well’ of Da’at - Part One ............................................................................287 The ‘Well’ of Da’at - Part Two ............................................................................291 Jacob Wrestles with Samael ..................................................................................295 Samael... A Further Elaboration .........................................................................298 The Four Sons of the Concubines ..........................................................................299 The Shekinah and the Twelve Tribes ....................................................................303 The Shekinah and the Twelve Tribes - Part Two ..................................................307 The Eight Firmaments .........................................................................................309 The Ways and Paths............................................................................................312 Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah ............................................................................316 ESOTERIC SERVICES .......................................................................... 319

Illustrations Figure 1 : Tree of Life (One of many variations) ...................................................13 Figure 2 : The Berashit Sequence of Sefirotic Unfoldment ..................................17 Figure 3 : Leadbeater‘s ‗Anu‘.....................................................................................18 Figure 4 : Ain Sof........................................................................................................25 Figure 5 : Keter ...........................................................................................................29 Figure 6 : Hockmah & Binah ....................................................................................32 Figure 7 : Da'at............................................................................................................36 Figure 8 : Hesed ..........................................................................................................42 Figure 9 : Geburah .....................................................................................................44 Figure 10 : Hod ...........................................................................................................46 Figure 11 : Tifaret .......................................................................................................48 Figure 12 : Yesod ........................................................................................................52 Figure 13 : Netzah ......................................................................................................54 Figure 14 : The Seven Double Letter Sefirot ..........................................................55 Figure 15 : Three Sefirot of Light; Three Sefirot of Darkness .............................59 Figure 16 : Three Sefirot of Day; Three Sefirot of Night .....................................63 Figure 17 : ―Four sides from one portion‖ .............................................................69 Figure 18 : ―Four sides from the part of His countenance‖ .................................73 pg. 6


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Figure 19 : ―Four sides from another part of the periphery‖ ............................... 73 Figure 20 : ―One above the skull‖ ........................................................................... 74 Figure 21 : The Seven Double Letter Facial Features and Major Bodily Attributes .................................................................................................................... 75 Figure 22 : The Four Compass Points .................................................................... 82 Figure 23 : Compass and Astrological Wheel ......................................................... 83 Figure 24 : The Three Eastern Boundaries ............................................................. 85 Figure 25 : The Three Southern Boundaries .......................................................... 86 Figure 26 : The Three Western Boundaries............................................................ 87 Figure 27 : The Three Northern Boundaries ......................................................... 88 Figure 28 : The Twelve Simple Letter Pathways .................................................... 90 Figure 29 : Tree of Life (Soul) ................................................................................. 93 Figure 30 : The Tree of Life (Universe) .................................................................. 95 Figure 31 : The Seven Lower Sefirot and the Zodiacal Circle ............................. 96 Figure 32 : The Astrological Pyramid ...................................................................... 97 Figure 33 : The Astrological Pyramid (Upright) .................................................... 98 Figure 34 : The Addition of Malkut ...................................................................... 104 Figure 35 : Malkut: Astrological and Hebrew Versions ...................................... 105 Figure 36 : Tree of the Universe : Twelve Tribes Version ................................ 112 Figure 37 : Aligning Consciousness with the Shekinah....................................... 118 Figure 38 : The Merging of Spirit & Form ........................................................... 122 Figure 39 : Tree of Life Polyhexagon .................................................................... 123 Figure 40 : The Genesis & Tree of Life Polyhexes ............................................. 124 Figure 41 : The Merging of the Spirit & Form Polyhexes .................................. 125 Figure 42 : The Tree of Life Polyhexagon ............................................................ 126 Figure 43 : The Soul Principle (Green) ................................................................. 127 Figure 44 : Polyhexagon Tree of Life — Hebrew ............................................... 129 Figure 45 : Tree of Life — Traditional & Polyhex Designs ............................... 131 Figure 46 : The Hierarchical Arrangement of the Hebrew Letters ................... 134 Figure 47 : Tree of Life : 3+7+12 Pathways ........................................................ 138 Figure 48 : The Polyhex Tree of Life (Revised) ................................................... 140 Figure 49 : The Path of Alef .................................................................................. 144 Figure 50 : The Path of Maym ............................................................................... 149 Figure 51 : The Path of Shin .................................................................................. 153 Figure 52 : The Astrological Pyramid (plus Shin) ................................................ 155 Figure 53 : The Lower Sefirot and Zodiac (plus Shin and Maym) .................... 157 Figure 54 : The Sefirot and the Chakras ............................................................... 158 Figure 55 : The Tree of Life (Full Hebrew Version) ........................................... 159 Figure 56 : The Tree of Life (Full Astrological Version) .................................... 160 Figure 57 : Tree of Life (Full Twelve Tribes Version) ........................................ 161

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Figure 58 : The Hidden Paths of Maym and Shin ................................................169 Figure 59 : The Qof and Sameck Pathways ..........................................................180 Figure 60 : The ShM Pillar.......................................................................................184 Figure 61 : The ShM Pillar & the Octahedron .....................................................185 Figure 62 : The Cup of Salvation............................................................................191 Figure 63 : The Astrological Pyramid ....................................................................197 Figure 64 The Reconfigured Tree of Life .............................................................210 Figure 65 : Edenic Consciousness ..........................................................................219 Figure 66 : Paths of Judgment ................................................................................222 Figure 67 : Elemental Fire and Water ....................................................................225 Figure 68 : Covenant and Circumcision ................................................................228 Figure 69 : The Shabbat and the Tree of Life .......................................................231 Figure 70 : The 42 Copulations & BRAShTh .......................................................268 Figure 71 : The Covenant – The Pathway of Shin ...............................................269 Figure 72 : The Four Mutable Pathways – Green ................................................302

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Preface 2010

T

his 2010 edition of my book Formation of the Tree of Life contains some minor editing of the original text as well as some cosmetic changes, but the Tree of Life ‗formation formula‘1 that I initially expounded in the 2007 edition remains unaltered and continues in its role as the central focus of this work. I have used a larger book format in this 2010 production (i.e. following a suggestion made to me a long time ago by one of my readers). The conversion turned out to require a lot of work, but hopefully it will make this edition easier to read. Please excuse the variant English spelling of some Hebrew word transliterations found in this book. They are mostly due to the personal spelling preferences of the translators whose passages I have quoted. I‘ve added a new chapter to this edition called ‗The Polyhex Key to the Pathways‘. This chapter was going to be included in my upcoming book Holy Temple of Magic, but its content relates so strongly to the theme of this book that I decided to include it here instead. I‘ve also added a concluding chapter that was originally going to serve as an introduction to my upcoming book Holy Temple of Magic. It too, seems to fit more comfortably in the present volume because it ties together a lot of the esoteric principles outlined in this book. In this new 2010 edition I have added a couple of appendices containing material that readers of my website and newsgroups might recognize. Appendix One contains an article that I wrote a while ago about the ten sefirot and the Sefer Yetzirah.

That is, the formula that determines the arrangement of the ten sefirot and twenty-two Hebrew letter pathways. 1

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Appendix Two is composed of a string of short esoteric comments and Zohar commentaries that I posted to my newsgroups over the last few years. They all deal with topics germane to the theme of this book. I also decided to add a new chapter that touches on the hidden (or ‗reconfigured‘) pathways of Qof and Sameck. I knew of the existence of these two hidden ‗Maym‘ and ‗Shin‘ pathways (i.e. extending to Da‘at) when I wrote the first edition of this book back in 2007, but I didn‘t know (back then) the identity of the two Hebrew Simple letters that are associated with them. Their identity was only revealed to me this year (2010) as an unexpected consequence of my discovery of the ‗polyhex key to the pathways‘. There are some other changes and additions that you‘ll discover as you peruse this book. The unlabeled plates that appear throughout are merely space-fillers, but interesting none-the-less. They‘re ‗artistically enhanced‘ photocopies from an old Latin manuscript of Kabbala Denudata. I don‘t know when my new book Holy Temple of Magic will be completed— perhaps in 2011. It will provide a practical kabbalah component that complements the theoretical principles described in this book. I also have a book on ‗astrological angel magic‘ due for release. I hope you enjoy this new 2010 edition of Formation of the Tree of Life. Patrick Mulcahy 19th June, 2010 & 25th May, 2011

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Introduction

W

hat follows is essentially an extended meditation on the kabbalistic Tree of Life mandala during which a new vision of the Tree of Life is formulated. Perhaps paradoxically, this new vision is derived from information encoded in several well-known ancient traditional kabbalistic sources: The Book of Creation (Sefer Berashit)2, The Book of Formation (Sefer Yetzirah)3, The Book of Concealed Mystery (Sefer Dtzenioutha), The Greater Holy Assembly (Ha Idra Rabba Qadisha), and The Lesser Holy Assembly (Ha Idra Zuta Qadisha)4. There is a common thread running through all of these classic texts. Formation of the Tree of Life seeks to follow that thread and by means of it to unify (to a certain extent) the knowledge contained in those five ancient books. This book is filled with hypotheses and speculations. I had originally planned to make it simply a picture book without any accompanying commentary, but I was asked by a friend: What is my personal interpretation of this series of Tree diagrams? So I decided to include my own interpretations, along with the diagrams, for those who might be interested. The diagrams however, can be usefully studied without reading my commentary at all. In fact, you will probably discover levels of meaning that I have altogether missed as you peruse them. Essentially, this book is meant to be a visual meditation on the Tree of Life mandala, and should be treated as such.

The first book of the Pentateuch. It‘s called the Book of Genesis in the English Bible. ―Berashit‖ literally translates as ―in the beginning‖. All quotes used in this book are from the King James version. 2

The Sefer Yetzirah is of unknown origin, but is considered to be ancient. It is one of the most revered books of the Kabbalah. All Sefer Yetzirah quotes used in this book are taken from Aryeh Kaplan‘s translation of the GRA version. See: Sefer Yetzirah, by Aryeh Kaplan. Weiser, 1990. Quotes can be identified by the abbreviation: SY. 3

These last three books belong to the larger work known as the Zohar. Quotes used in this book are from the Soncino Edition, and from Mathers‘ translation of Knorr von Rosenroth‘s Latin version. See: The Kabbalah Unveiled, by S. L. MacGregor Mathers. Weiser, 1968. Quotes from the Zohar can be identified by the abbreviations: BCM, GHA, and LHA. 4

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If you are already well-versed in the Kabbalah and familiar with the Tree of Life diagram, then as you delve into these pages it is probable that my new arrangement of the twenty-two Hebrew letter pathways will challenge your existing preconceptions about the Tree of Life. You may even think to yourself: ―Not another path arrangement!‖ Read on however, and you will soon realise that these placements are by no means arbitrary or superficial. On the contrary, there is a definite and profound reason and purpose for each and every placement. In fact, I think you will be surprised at the amazing simplicity and ‗obviousness‘ of the scheme‘s basic metaphysical premise. The formula is, in fact, so simple and so obvious that once you have grasped it there is no need to memorise the Hebrew letter pathway correspondences. You can easily determine the Hebrew letter attribution of any Tree of Life pathway merely by applying the formula to the Tree diagram.

The kabbalistic Tree of Life diagram consists of thirty-two organised and interdependent components. Its structure defines the basic metaphysical architecture that underlies, supports, and sustains the universe and everything in it. Kabbalists throughout the centuries have put forward many and various configurations of the ten sefirot and their twenty-two interconnecting pathways, and there have been many proposed arrangements of the twenty-two Hebrew letters upon the pathways. What I am presenting here is a new configuration that differs considerably to previous versions because it‘s based on the formula of Creation. As such, it demonstrates in a step-by-step process how the Tree unfolds into manifestation, and it reveals very plainly the fundamental dynamics operating within the kabbalistic Tree of Life.

In all my writings I have never sought to appeal to kabbalists of the traditionalist, ultra-orthodox5 variety. I believe the Kabbalah is a living tradition, and my work an exploration into new kabbalistic realms and possibilities. These new ideas have been received by me after years of studying the existing foundation of kabbalistic thought (and other metaphysical knowledge systems). Thus, although this book builds on the past it also offers some alternative

That is, those who adhere strictly to an old version of the Kabbalah and who refuse to believe that any useful innovation (or new interpretation) is possible or even desirable. 5

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interpretations of various primary source texts, and challenges some long-held present-day assumptions.

Figure 1 : Tree of Life (One of many variations)

In bygone days traditional commentators of the Kabbalah tended to distribute the Hebrew letters amongst the pathways so that the three Mother letters were given to three horizontal paths, the seven Double letters were assigned to seven vertical paths, and the twelve Simple letters were attributed to twelve diagonal pathways. (For example, see Figure 1.) That may be a valid numerically-based

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arrangement, but I have not yet found any deeper metaphysical explanation for those placements. The premise for the geometric arrangement is based on a particular way of interpreting the Sefer Yetzirah, but nowhere in the Sefer Yetzirah is it explicitly stated that the three Mother letters are assigned to three horizontal pathways, or that the seven Double letters are assigned to seven vertical pathways.

In Aryeh Kaplan‘s translation of the Sefer Yetzirah the twelve Simple letters are described as...

Twelve Elementals: h’w’z, x’j’y, l’n’o, e’u’q. Their foundation is the twelve diagonal boundaries [GBVLY ALKSVN, Nwokla ylwbg]...6

The Hebrew phrase ―g’vulei alakson‖ is somewhat ambiguous. The preferred translation of Saadia ben Joseph is ―limit of the angles‖7. Kaplan‘s translation ―diagonal boundaries‖ does not accurately describe the twelve diagonal pathways of the Tree of Life diagram. Yes they are sloping (or ‗diagonal‘), but in what sense are they ―boundaries‖?8 The Hebrew word ―alakson‖ actually refers to the side of a triangle9—a concept that (as you will see) resonates quite nicely with my newly discovered path arrangement.

6

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:2.

Saadia ben Joseph (al-Fayyumi). Commentaire sur le Séfer Yesira ou Livre de la Création par Le Gaon Saadya de Fayyoum, trans. & ed., M. Lambert, Paris, Emile Bouillon, Editeur, 1891); translated into English from the French & Hebrew by Scott Thompson and Dominique Marson, San Francisco, 1985. 7

Of course, the well-known ‗cube of space‘ provides one explanation for the term ‗boundaries‘, but the Tree of Life can also be shown to fulfil the ―diagonal boundary‖ requirement. 8

According to the mathematician C. P. Benton it specifically refers to the longest side of a triangle. See: An Introduction to the Sefer Yetzirah, by Christopher P. Benton. Published in: The Maqom Journal for Studies in Rabbinic Literature, Vol VII, Winter 2004. My feeling though, is that the author of the Sefer Yetzirah is being more general and is referring to any side of a triangle. 9

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In this new arrangement, every Simple letter pathway forms one side of a triangle whose other two sides are also occupied by Simple letters. Hence, it can be said that all the Simple letters are ―diagonal boundaries‖ (or ‗sides‘) of Simple letter triangles.

As you may know, the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alefbet are much more than simply elements of language. They symbolise the twenty-two primordial archetypes (or fundamental ideas) that are the ‗building-blocks‘ of Creation.

In chapter one of the Sefer Berashit, the Creator is described as manifesting His 10 Creation through speech. In other words, He combines and sounds forth the twenty-two archetypes (in the pattern of the Tree of Life) and in so doing brings the universe into being.

In its commentary on the Sefer Berashit the Zohar reminds us that the Creation is built upon the twenty-two universal archetypes:

He [the Creator] enfolded Himself in a covering of a supernal radiance of thought and created therefrom a world. He produced from the light of that supernal radiance mighty cedars of the upper world, and placed His chariot on twenty-two graven letters which were carved into ten utterances and infixed there.11

I have assigned the masculine gender to the Creator merely for the sake of convenience. It should be understood that the Creator is actually beyond the concept of gender as we conceive it. The Hebrew name used to define the Creator in the Sefer Berashit is Elohim (Myhla) which literally means: powers, rulers, judges, divine ones, angels, or gods. 10

11

Soncino Zohar. Vol I, Pg. 111. Bereshith, 29a. Bracketed text is my own.

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The following pages illustrate how the twenty-two Hebrew letter archetypes are progressively combined12 to produce the Tree of Life diagram. 13 In other words, this book reveals how the Creator is thought to combine the twenty-two primordial archetypes to produce the manifested universe.

The arrangement of the twenty-two Hebrew letters upon the Tree of Life diagram (i.e. as depicted in this book) is based on the universal kabbalistic formula: YHVH (Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh).

Table 1 : Mothers, Doubles, and Simples

y - Yud h - Heh w - Vav h - Heh

Father Mother Son Daughter

... ? ... 3 Mothers 7 Doubles 12 Simples

Ain Sof Keter-Hockmah-Binah Da‘at to Yesod Malkut

From the primal void (Ain Sof) emerge the three Mother letter archetypes. The three Mothers are inseminated by Ain Sof (the Father of All) and consequently they give birth to the seven Double letters archetypes (who are associated with the Son principle). The twelve Simple letters archetypes (representing the Daughter principle) emerge into manifestation after the seven Doubles, and form Malkut. The twelve Simples become illuminated by the masculine force of the seven Doubles. These esoteric concepts will become clearer as you study this book.

This process does, of course, occur outside the dimension we call Time, and therefore any ordered sequence is purely symbolic. 12

It is a mistake to think that the ten sefirot are divorced from the Hebrew letters, or that they are based solely on ‗number‘. The ten sefirot are called ―utterances‖ in the Zohar because they are ‗voiced‘ into existence by the Creator as He pronounces the Hebrew alefbet. The Hebrew letters also represent numbers, but the letters themselves are considered primary forces. 13

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The sequence of sefirotic unfoldment used in this book is the order suggested by the first chapter of the Book of Creation. Nine stages are identified as per Figure 2.

Figure 2 : The Berashit Sequence of Sefirotic Unfoldment

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This sequence especially emphasises the important vertical relationships that exist between the various sefirot. It reveals in its imagery the fact that the sefirah Hod (#6 in Figure 2) is derived from Geburah (#5b); that Tifaret (#7a) and Yesod (#7b) come from Da‘at (#4); and that Netzah (#8) is derived from Hesed (#5a). (See: Figure 2.)

Figure 3 : Leadbeater‘s ‗Anu‘

When the universe was created, the twenty-two primordial archetypes arranged themselves according to the symbolic structure of the Tree of Life and this design became the archetypal basis of the ultimate atomic unit (or ‗anu‘)14 of our universe. It could be said that the Tree‘s energy pattern describes the ‗DNA‘ of

See the book: Occult Chemistry, by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater. Theosophical Publishing House. 1919. The ‗anu‘ was clairvoyantly observed by Leadbeater. Like the Tree of Life, it has a 3 + 7 geometric structure. (See Figure 3.) 14

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Adam Kadmon15—the Universal Man. Every fundamental atom (physical, astral, and mental) of our universe is built according to that divine blueprint.

There are thirty-two components (i.e. ―thirty-two paths of wisdom‖)16 that constitute the kabbalistic Tree of Life, but there are only twenty-two Hebrew letter archetypes. Therefore, some of the twenty-two archetypes are used twice during its construction. Each archetype however, is only used once in relation to the ten sefirot, and once in relation to the twenty-two pathways. For example, there is a sefirah whose attribution is the Hebrew letter Gimel, and there is a pathway whose attribution is also Gimel. These two components represent different expressions of the Gimel archetype because one is a sefirah and the other is a pathway. A special relationship exists however, between the Gimel sefirah and the Gimel pathway—a relationship whose significance becomes self-evident when the Tree of Life structure is examined. (See below.)

Adam Kadmon is a kabbalistic representation (drawn in human form) of the macrocosm, or universe. 15

16

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:1.

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Formation of the Tree of Life Ain Sof 1. In the beginning God [ALHYM, Myhla] created the heaven and the earth. 2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God [RVCh ALHYM, Myhla xwr] moved upon the face of the waters [MYM, Mym].17

These verses from the Sefer Berashit describe the creative breath of the Elohim. This is the inhaled breath that precedes the exhalation (and divine utterance) that brings the universe into manifestation. It is therefore associated with Ain Sof18. It is also closely connected to what is termed the ―Holy Breath‖ and ―Breath of the Living God‖ in Sefer Yetzirah, 1:9.

17

Berashit, 1:1-2.

Ain Sof (AYN SVP, Pwo Nya) means ‗Limitless‘. It represents a state of being that exists prior to the formation of the Tree of Life. 18

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Ten Sefiroth of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God. Blessed and benedicted is the name of the Life of Worlds; The voice of breath and speech; And this is the Holy Breath. 19

The Spirit (or Breath) of God can be interpreted in these texts as kabbalistic code for the Hebrew letter Shin (s) because like Shin, the phrase RVCh ALHYM (Myhla xwr) is valued 300.20 In the Sefer Yetzirah the letter Shin is associated with the Fire element so the phrase ―Breath of God‖ can also be understood to be associated with the movement (or action) of divine elemental Fire.

You will discover as you read through the pages of this book that the Tree of Life mandala is fundamentally based on the interaction of three primary elements: Fire, Water, and Air. In this regard the Sefer Yetzirah will be our main guide and much information from that sacred text will be employed during the Tree building process.

Divine elemental Fire (s, Shin) and Water (m, Maym) exist within Ain Sof in a dormant unmixed state, but when Elohim chooses to actively combine Fire with Water divine elemental Air (a, Alef) is produced. Thus metaphorically speaking, divine elemental Air is like steam that is produced when physical fire and water are brought together, or the hot vaporous breath that issues from the mouth on a cold winter‘s day.

19

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:9.

The Hebrew letters each have a numerical value attached to them. For example, Shin, s = 300. When the Hebrew letters composing the term RVCh ALHYM are added together they also total 300. This traditional kabbalistic hermeneutic technique is called gematria and was sometimes employed by ancient kabbalists to veil the sacred mysteries. 20

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The Shin archetype (as occultly described in Sefer Berashit 1:1-2) can be symbolically understood as referring to the kundalini force located within the Creator‘s (―Elohim‖, Myhla) base chakra. Its movement is upwards towards the Maym archetype that is (metaphorically speaking) located in the Creator‘s crown chakra.21 As these two cosmic forces merge together and interact, a creative spark of divine Consciousness (i.e. AVR, rwa, Light) is awakened. (See below.) This awakening represents the initial point of emergence of the creative influence of the Elohim into a new dimension of being. 22 So when the Sefer Berashit states: ―the Breath of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters‖ it can be thought of as referring to the action of the Creator as He raises kundalini Fire (using ‗rhythmic breathing‘) and blends it with the Water element within His divine consciousness, thereby producing the Air element.23 As you will see (below) after the Air element appears it proceeds to separate back into its component elements Water and Fire, but as these two forces reappear they are stepped down so as to manifest within a denser level of being. This is the basic formula of Creation: Fire and Water combine to produce Air; Air then separates back into Water and Fire, and so on. As it is written in the Book of Formation...

...It comes out that all that is formed, and all that is spoken, emanates from one Name [ShM, Ms].24

It is well-known that the practice of ‗rhythmic breathing‘ is able to stimulate the movement of the ‗fiery serpent‘ through the chakra system. Sefer Berashit is describing the same principle, but in a cosmic sense. ―As below, so above.‖ 21

This principle is also reflected in the positioning of the Maym and Shin pathways above and below (and also contiguous with) the sefirah Tifaret. (See below.) 22

23

These elements are described more fully further on in this book.

24

Sefer Yetzirah, 2:5.

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The original Hebrew is: dxa Msm auwy (―emanates from one Name‖)25, and you will note that it contains the kabbalistic code sequence A-M-Sh-M-A (or, Air-WaterFire-Water-Air). This process reverberates and repeats down through all the lower worlds until the physical universe (as symbolised by the Earth element) comes into being.

The primacy of the divine elements Fire and Water is symbolised in the Hebrew word ‗Name‘ (ShM) which is comprised of the letters Shin (Fire) and Maym (Water). 25

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Figure 4 : Ain Sof

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Keter 3. And God said [AMR, rma], Let there be light [AVR, rwa]: and there was light.26

―Let there be light‖ (―Yehi Aur‖, rwa yhy). These are the first words spoken by the Creator. They represent the first vibration that arises in the primordial void. The Creator takes His breath in Ain Sof (i.e. as represented by the previous two verses of Sefer Berashit), but it is not until He exhales and speaks that the twentytwo letters of the divine alefbet become ‗audible‘ and the Creation begins to manifest. In this verse the creative Word is spoken, and its vocalisation marks the appearance of the first sefirah of the Tree of Life.

From Ain Sof comes Light (AVR, rwa) and its derivative: Air (AVYR, rywa).

Divine elemental Air is Light (AVR) expressing itself in the decad (Yud, Y, y).27 The insertion of Yud (Y) into AVR to form AVYR represents the implantation in AVR of the structural seed and essence of the ten sefirot (i.e. represented by the first sefirah Keter).

26

Berashit, 1:3.

27

Because Yud = 10.

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In the Book of Formation elemental Air is represented by the Hebrew letter Alef (A, a). It is assigned to the first sefirah called Keter and is described as ―Breath from Breath‖ (RVCh MRVCh, xwrm xwr)28 and ―Breath of Air‖ (AVYR RVCh, xwr rywa)29.

The sefirah Keter is still considered to be intimately attached to Ain Sof, and therefore it remains relatively ‗unintelligible‘, or ‗inaudible‘.30 The Creation does not become intelligible until the second and third sefirot appear.31 (See below.)

Thus, within Ain Sof (i.e. the ―Limitless‖) emerges Aur (the ―Limitless Light‖), and thus also Keter and Auir (elemental Air).

28

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:10.

29

Sefer Yetzirah, 2:1.

Similarly, Keter‘s associated Hebrew letter archetype Alef (an ‗aspirate‘) is relatively inaudible in its pronunciation. At this stage of the creative process there is nothing for the embryonic consciousness principle to attach itself to. 30

The universe is only able to be perceived after the concept of ‗subject‘ and ‗object‘ (or ‗opposites‘) has been implemented. This occurs in the next section. (See below.) 31

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Figure 5 : Keter

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Hockmah & Binah 4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light [AVR, rwa] from the darkness [ChShK, Kvx]. 5. And God called the light Day [YVM, Mwy], and the darkness he called Night [LYLH, hlyl]. And the evening and the morning were the first day.32

The Light (AVR, rwa) is revealed only after it is separated from (and contrasted to) the Darkness (ChShK, Kvx). In Keter the Light (AVR) is concealed because there is no separation of Light and Darkness in Keter. Light and Darkness are revealed when the sefirot Hockmah (Light) and Binah (Darkness) come into being (which they do simultaneously). As you will see, what makes the Light distinguishable from the Darkness (and thus what makes the universe intelligible) is represented by the path of Bayt (B, b)—the first letter of the Book of Creation (Sefer Berashit).33 Elemental Water (Maym, m) is associated with the Light of Hockmah, and elemental Fire (Shin, v) is associated with the Darkness of Binah. Day (YVM, Mwy) and Night (LYLH, hlyl) are also associated with Hockmah and Binah, but these terms refer more particularly to a special division of the lower sefirot. (See below.)

32

Berashit, 1:4-5.

In this sense Bayt represents the dividing line that demarcates between the known and the unknown. And note also that Bayt‘s astrological correspondence Saturn also expresses this concept. 33

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Figure 6 : Hockmah & Binah

Three: Each one stands alone; one acts as advocate, one acts as accuser, and one decides between them.34

34

Sefer Yetzirah, 6:5.

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The first three sefirot of the Tree of Life are described by the Sefer Yetzirah as ―standing alone‖ because they represent singular fundamental principles (i.e. Alef, Maym, and Shin) upon which the rest of the Tree is built. The pathways that subsequently arise between them represent secondary coalescences, and these (in turn) produce the seven lower sefirot.

Thus, the seven lower sefirot represent dynamic inter-relationships (or resonances) that are established between the higher sefirot. These resonances are projected downward in order to form the lower branches of the Tree of Creation (i.e. as seven lower sefirot). For example, the sefirah Da‘at represents a dynamic interaction that arises between the higher sefirot Hockmah and Binah, or in other words, between the fundamental principles Maym (Water) and Shin (Fire). Da‘at‘s appearance on the Tree of Life is the direct result of that dynamic relationship between Hockmah and Binah becoming established. (See below.)

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Da’at 6. And God said, Let there be a firmament [RQYO, eyqr] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8. And God called the firmament Heaven [ShMYM, Mymv]. And the evening and the morning were the second day.35 The Light (AVR, rwa) and Darkness (ChShK, Kvx) of Hockmah and Binah become reunited in Da‘at, and this recombination of the Water and Fire elements is named the Firmament of Heaven (ShMYM, Mymv).36

Da‘at thus represents the revelation of Light and Darkness. This distinguishes Da‘at from Keter because in Keter Light and Darkness are united, but concealed. The path of Bayt and its associated sefirah Da‘at make it possible for all created beings to differentiate between the Light and Darkness principles.

The Firmament is named Heaven (ShMYM, Mymv) because the Hebrew word for Heaven combines within itself both Fire (Shin, v) and Water (Maym, Mym).37

35

Berashit, 1:6-8.

This symbolism is most appropriate because the firmament consists of stars (light) as well as the darkness that is between them. 36

37

That is, as Sh + MYM where Maym is spelled in full as MYM. pg. 35


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Figure 7 : Da'at

Consequently, everything that exists beneath 38 (or within) the circular Firmament of Heaven is dominated by the interaction of the Fire and Water elements.39

38

Meaning everything below the sefirah Da‘at on the Tree of Life diagram.

Or in other words, between what the Zohar calls Judgement (Shin) and Mercy (Maym). You will see below that the pathways of Shin and Maym together form the vertical axis (or diameter) of the circle of the Heavens (ShMYM). 39

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The Air element (Alef, a) is concealed behind Fire (Shin) and Water (Maym). This is reflected by Keter‘s position behind Hockmah and Binah (on the Tree of Life diagram) and also by the position of the Alef pathway relative to the other two Mother letter pathways, Maym and Shin. (See below.)

The Firmament circumscribes and contains the seven lower sefirot of the Tree of Life. The lower sefirot also symbolise the seven visible planets of our solar system.40 Everything above Da‘at on the Tree of Life is invisible to the microcosm41 (i.e. because the higher sefirot exist above and beyond the Firmament of Heaven). In Sefer Berashit 1:7 (quoted above) the phrase ―waters which were above the firmament‖ refers to the sefirah Hockmah and its archetypal attribute Maym (Water). The phrase ―waters which were under the firmament‖ refers to the path of Maym that extends below Da‘at and links it with the sefirah Tifaret.42 (The esoteric inter-relationship between the Waters above and the Waters below will become clearer later in this book when the path of Maym is examined.)

The Book of Creation (Sefer Berashit) begins with the manifestation of the Bayt (B, b) archetype, and so too is Bayt the first pathway to manifest on the Tree of Life diagram.43 Bayt is the first of the seven Hebrew Double letters. The emergence of the seven Double letter pathways brings the seven lower sefirot also simultaneously into manifestation.

On the Tree of Life diagram the firmament encompasses the seven visible (i.e. to the naked eye) planets, as well as the ‗starry heaven‘, or circle of the zodiac. (See below.) 40

That is, invisible from the perspective of the seven lower sefirot (representing human consciousness). 41

42

And it also refers to the sefirah Hesed (as explained below).

The path of Bayt is the first to manifest because its appearance is required to bring the first of the lower sefirot (i.e. Da‘at) into manifestation. The first three sefirot derive their manifestation from the higher World. (Explained below.) The other six supernal Double letter pathways emerge after Bayt so as to bring the six lower sefirot into manifestation. (See below.) 43

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The seven Double letters are referred to esoterically as ‗Doubles‘ precisely for this reason. They play a critical role in erecting the sefirotic foundation of the kabbalistic Tree of Life, and they do so by manifesting in two basic forms—a ‗soft‘ form and a ‗hard‘ form. The soft forms of the Double letters are referred to the seven Double letter pathways. These pathways represent seven dynamic relationships that exist between the higher sefirot. They are called ‗soft‘ because of the necessary suppleness (or ‗hollowness‘) that enables them, as conduits, to blend the energies of the higher sefirot. The Double letters manifest their ‗hard‘ forms in the seven lower sefirot of the Tree of Life from Da‘at to Yesod. The sefirot represent relatively fixed (or consolidated) expressions of the Double letter archetypes while the pathways are more fluid in their expression. The Double letter pathways resemble the soul aspect whereas the Double letter sefirot (in relation to the pathways) are like the body aspect (i.e. they are a more material expression of the seven pathways). The hard forms of the seven Double letters are identified in the Hebrew language by a dagesh (small dot) that is located centrally within the form of each letter. (See my diagrams.)

The path of Bayt unites and separates Hockmah and Binah, and it is for this reason that the Lesser Holy Assembly states that the Creation technically begins in the sefirah Hockmah (Wisdom).

212. This Wisdom is the beginning of all things. Thencefrom are expanded the thirty-two paths: Nylybs, Shebilin, Paths, I say; and not Nyxra, Archin, Byways. 213. And in them is the Law comprehended, in the twenty-two letters and in the ten utterances. 44

44

LHA, § 212-213.

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You may wonder why Rabbi Schimeon emphatically states (in § 212 above) his preference for the Hebrew word ‗Shebilin‘. The reason may be that the word ‗shebil‘ (Heb: ShBYL, lybs, ‗path‘) is being used here as a kabbalistic key that ingeniously reveals the fact that the Bayt ( b) pathway extends between the sefirot Hockmah (Maym, m) and Binah (Shin, s). The final two letters of ShBYL—i.e. ‗YL‘ (10 + 30), equal 40. This is also the value of the Hebrew letter Maym. Thus, the letter sequence Sh-B-YL is equivalent to Sh-B-M or, Binah-Bayt-Hockmah. (See: Figure 7 above.)

The manifestation of the path of Bayt automatically and necessarily results in the simultaneous appearance of the sefirah Da‘at (lower down on the Tree). Like the path of Bayt, Da‘at also represents the special relationship that is established between the sefirot Hockmah and Binah, but unlike the path of Bayt, Da‘at is a sefirotic expression45 of the Bayt archetype. The Greater Holy Assembly has this to say about the sefirah Da‘at...

566. From the third cavity there go forth a thousand times a thousand conclaves and assemblies, wherein ted, Daath, Knowledge, is contained and dwelleth. 567. And the hollow place of this cavity is placed between the other two cavities and all those conclaves are filled from either side. 568. This is that which is written, Prov. ii. 4: ―And in knowledge shall the conclaves be filled.‖46

To put it simply, a sefirah is a stand-alone (or fixed) expression of an archetype, while a pathway represents the same archetype as an expression of relationship. This simple notion is complicated however, when it is remembered that the sefirot themselves are also expressive of relationships that exist higher up in the Tree of Life (i.e. in the chain of existence). It is all relative. 45

46

GHA, XXVIII: 566-568.

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The Lesser Holy Assembly describes the manifestation of Da‘at as follows:

192. But also this Wisdom instituteth another formation, and is extended and goeth into the head of Microprosopus, and formeth another brain. 193. That is the Light from which are produced those two rivulets which are associated together, carved out hollows in the One Head, which is called the depth of the fountain. 194. Concerning which it is written, Prov. iii. 20: ―In ted, Daath, Knowledge, the depths are broken up.‖ 195. And it entereth into the head of Microprosopus, and formeth another brain. 196. And thenceforth is it extended and goeth into the interior parts of His body, and filleth all those conclaves and assemblies of His body. 197. This is that same which is written, Prov. xxiv. 4: ―In Daath shall the secret places be filled.‖47

The ―secret places‖ (of § 197 above) and the ―conclaves and assemblies‖ (of § 196) refer especially to the sefirot Hesed and Geburah, and the paths of Maym and Shin on the Tree of Life diagram. These sefirot and pathways have a special relationship with Da‘at. (See below.) The ―interior parts of His body‖ is a reference to the twelve Simple letter pathways because they are associated with the internal organs of Adam Kadmon. (See below.)

47

LHA, § 192-197.

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Hesed 9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place...48

The paths of Gimel (G, g) and Dalet (D, d) are the next to manifest, and like Hockmah and Binah, they do so simultaneously. The appearance of Gimel coincides with the establishment of a special relationship between the sefirot Keter and Hockmah. The manifestation of the Gimel pathway also results in the emergence of the sefirah Hesed (lower down on the Tree diagram).

Hesed is called Seas (YMYM, Mymy) because it is the chief distributer of Water 49 (MYM, Mym) to the lower sefirot. Its association with Water is derived from its connection with the sefirah Hockmah.

Once manifested (and after it has been prepared as a suitable vessel), the sefirah Hesed continues to draw Water from the sefirah Da‘at. Thus, in Hesed are the Waters of Maym ―gathered together unto one place‖. (Further elucidated below.)

48

Berashit, 1:9.

49

This technical term will be explained later in this book.

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Figure 8 : Hesed

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Geburah 9. ...and let the dry land [YBShH, hsby] appear: and it was so. 10. And God called the dry land Earth [ARTz, Ura]; and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas [YMYM, Mymy]: and God saw that it was good.50

The path of Dalet (D, d) and its associated sefirah Geburah both appear as a relationship is established between the sefirot Keter and Binah.

In Sefer Berashit 1:10 Geburah is referred to as Earth 51 (ARTz, Ura). It is the principle distributor of Judgement 52 (Shin-Fire) to the lower sefirot. In Sefer Berashit 1:9 Earth (Geburah) and the Seas (Hesed) are said to manifest simultaneously as if to emulate the earlier manifestation of the Darkness and Light principles (i.e. of Binah and Hockmah). These analogies used by the Sefer Berashit to describe the Creation process are perfectly apposite because as Light becomes localised (and constrained) within space Darkness simultaneously encroaches upon it; and likewise, as the waters of the ocean are pulled back dry land simultaneously appears.

50

Berashit, 1:10.

51

Not to be confused with the Earth symbolism of the sefirah Malkut.

This technical term will be explained later in this book. The Hebrew word used in the Zohar is ―mishpat‖ (MShPT, jpsm). (See: The Lesser Holy Assembly, Chapter IX.) 52

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In the next verse (1:11) it will be shown that Earth (i.e. Geburah) produces ‗grass‘ (etc). This symbolises the emergence of the sefirah Hod from Geburah.

Figure 9 : Geburah

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Hod 11. And God said, Let the earth [ARTz, Ura] bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed [ZRO, erz], and the fruit tree yielding fruit [PRY, yrp] after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13. And the evening and the morning were the third day. 53

Following the manifestation of the sefirah Geburah, a special relationship becomes established between Binah and Geburah. This dynamic interaction is represented by the path of Raysh (R, r). The establishment of this relationship produces (lower down in the Tree) the simultaneous appearance of the sefirah Hod.

The sefirah Geburah was named Earth in verse 1:10 of the Book of Creation. (See quote above.) Now, from Geburah arises Hod, or in other words, from Earth comes ―grass and herb yielding seed‖ (etc). Significantly, the terms Seed (ZRO, erz) and Fruit (PRY, yrp) mentioned so prominently in Sefer Berashit 1:11-12 both emphasise the Raysh archetype.

53

Berashit, 1:11-13.

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Figure 10 : Hod

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Tifaret 14. And God said, Let there be lights [MARTh, tram] in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16. And God made two great lights; the greater light [MAVR GDL, ldg rwam] to rule the day [YVM, Mwy]...54

From the Firmament of Heaven (i.e. from the sefirah Da‘at) come the two Great Lights (i.e. the sefirot Tifaret and Yesod). They manifest together below Da‘at on the central column of the Tree of Life. The path of Kaf (K, k) represents a special relationship that is established between the sefirot Hockmah and Da‘at. The appearance of the path of Kaf also triggers the manifestation of the sefirah Tifaret (lower down on the Tree diagram). Tifaret represents the Greater Light (MAVR GDL, ldg rwam) and is said to rule the Day (YVM, Mwy). The term Day is a technical label given to the three sefirot: Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret. (See below.) These three sefirot will later be shown to be associated with the six signs of the natural zodiac that are located above the horizon (i.e. where symbolically it is ‗light‘).

54

Berashit, 1:14-16.

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Figure 11 : Tifaret

Earlier we saw the sefirah Keter become established as the anchor of the ‗middle pillar‘ of the Tree of Life. It did so as an expression of Light (AVR, rwa). Now we see the two ‗Lights‘ (MAVR, rwam) similarly manifesting on the middle pillar. In fact, the word MAVR can be interpreted as M-AVR, ‗from the Light‘ (i.e. ‗from Keter‘). Note also that the first two letters of the word Keter (KThR, rtk) are the Double letters Kaf (k, representing Tifaret) and Tav (t, representing Yesod).

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Because the second sefirah Hockmah is so closely bound to Keter we saw that it too is defined by the term Light (AVR), but as previously mentioned the Light in Hockmah has been separated from the Darkness—a quality that differentiates it from the Limitless Light of Keter.

Yesod 16. ...and the lesser light [MAVR QTN, Njq rwam] to rule the night [LYLH, hlyl]: he made the stars [KVKBYM, Mybkwk] also. 17. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.55

The path of Tav (Th, t) makes its appearance as a special relationship is established between the sefirot Binah and Da‘at. This also results in the simultaneous manifestation of the sefirah Yesod (lower down on the Tree diagram). It‘s quite significant that the blending of Binah (Shin, s) and Da'at (Bayt, b) via the pathway of Tav (t) brings the Moon (Tav/Yesod) into manifestion. The Tav sefirah is the final (i.e. 7th) double letter sefirah and the final (i.e. 22nd) letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its emergence as Yesod (the Moon) coincides with the appearance of the Hebrew word Shabbat (Shin-Bayt-Tav, tbs)

55

Berashit, 1:16-19.

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amongst the higher sefirot of the Tree. In fact, there is a link between the full moon and the Sabbat as stated in the Encyclopedia Judaica.

Speculation on the origin of the Sabbath has centered on the apparent Babylonian cognate, šapattu, the mid-month day of the full moon, called ―the day of calming [the god‘s] heart‖ – apparently an auspicious day. The biblical combination of ―New Moon and Sabbath‖ has been thought, accordingly, to reflect what were originally two holy days, one at the start, the other in the middle of the month. 56

And on the connection between the Sabbat and Yesod, it says…

Inverting the story in Genesis Rabbah 11:8, in which the Sabbath complains to God: ―You gave a mate to everyone, while I have none,‖ and was given *Keneset Yisrael as her mate, the kabbalists regarded Keneset Yisrael as the symbol of the Sefirah Malkhut, as the feminine mate of the Sabbath, which is the masculine principle in divinity (Yesod or Tiferet). Since according to the kabbalists the souls are the outcome of the union in the system of Sefirot, the idea of the holy union which takes place on the Sabbath is linked to the Sages‘ belief that on Sabbath additional souls are given. In the Sefer *ha-Bahir this word is expounded in connection with the Sefirah Yesod, which ―maintains all the souls‖ and from which the souls fly. Many sayings of the Sages and the diferent customs they initiated are given a mystical meaning in Kabbalah. The concept of ―family peace‖ (shelom bayit), which must be kept especially on the Sabbath, is interpreted in Kabbalah as ―peace, which is the Sefirah Yesod, is at home [bayit] in the Sefirah Malkhut‖ (ibid.).57

56

Encyclopedia Judaica. Vol. 17. Pg. 618. Keter Publishing House. 2007.

57

Ibid. Pg. 620.

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Yesod is called the Lesser Light (MAVR QTN, Njq rwam) and is said to rule the Night (LYLH, hlyl). The Night is represented by the three sefirot: Netzah, Hod, and Yesod. (See below.) These three sefirot will later be shown to be associated with the six signs of the natural zodiac that are located beneath the horizon (i.e. the symbolic place of ‗darkness‘).

The Greater and Lesser Lights (i.e. Tifaret and Yesod) are said (in verses 1:14 and 1:17 above) to be ―in the firmament of Heaven‖. The firmament of Heaven is, as we know, symbolised by the sefirah Da‘at. (See Sefer Berashit, verses 1:6-8 above.) The wording of these verses is very specific and emphasises the idea that both Tifaret and Yesod emerge into manifestation (along the central column of the Tree diagram) via Da‘at.

Like the earlier manifestation of Hesed and Geburah, the concurrent appearance of Tifaret and Yesod also emulates the original simultaneous emergence of the sefirot Hockmah and Binah. So appearing together in three stages we have...

1. Hockmah & Binah (Light & Darkness) 2. Hesed & Geburah (Seas & Earth) 3. Tifaret & Yesod (Greater Light & Lesser Light)

The Sefer Berashit sequence appears to intimate that (unlike those sefirot listed above) the other five sefirot: Keter, Da‘at, Netzah, Hod, and Malkut all arise singly during the process of Creation.

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Figure 12 : Yesod

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Netzah 20. And God said, Let the waters [MYM, Mym] bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life [NPSh ChYH, hyx vpn], and fowl [OVP, Pwe] that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21. And God created great whales [ThNYNM GDLYM, Myldg Mnynt] , and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl [OVP KNP, Pnk Pwe] after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22. And God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.58

According to the Sefer Berashit sequence, the last of the seven Double letter paths to manifest is Peh (P, p). It signifies a special relationship between the sefirot Hockmah and Hesed. As the Hockmah-Hesed relationship becomes established so too does the sefirah Netzah manifest (lower down on the Tree diagram).

The sefirah Hesed was named ‗Seas‘ in verse 1:10 of the Book of Creation. That was because Hesed represents ―the gathering together of the waters‖. (See: Sefer Berashit, 1:10 quoted above.) The sefirah Netzah arises from Hesed—an event symbolised in verse 1:20 by the Waters bringing forth ―the moving creature that hath life‖. This is another way of saying Hesed brings forth Netzah.

58

Berashit, 1:20-23.

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The Peh archetype is emphasised in Sefer Berashit 1:20-22 by the key-words Creature/Soul (NPSh, vpn) and Winged Fowl (OVP KNP, Pnk Pwe).59

Figure 13 : Netzah

Note that NPSh also means ‗emotion‘, ‗passion‘, and ‗appetite‘, which are all qualities ascribed to the sefirah Netzah (and its associated planet Venus). 59

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Figure 14 : The Seven Double Letter Sefirot

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Division of the Tree of Life Light and Darkness The three pathways we term the three paths of Light (AVR, rwa) are Gimel, Kaf, and Peh. That is because they stem from the sefirah of ‗Light‘ called Hockmah. Similarly, the three pathways we call the paths of Darkness (ChShK, Ksx) are Dalet, Raysh, and Tav. That is because they stem from the sefirah of ‗Darkness‘ called Binah. (See: Figure 15.) Consequently, the three sefirot that are emanations of the Light (i.e. Hockmah) principle are Hesed, Tifaret, and Netzah, while the three sefirot that are emanations of the Darkness (i.e. Binah) principle are Geburah, Hod, and Yesod.

The path of Bayt and the sefirah Da‘at unify, objectify, and differentiate between the Light and Darkness principles. Here is how The Greater Holy Assembly describes the emanation of the two groups of Light and Dark sefirot:

119. ―It is written, Ps. xxxiii. 18: ‗Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him;‘ and it is written, Zech. iv. 10: ‗They are the eyes of the Lord, running to and fro throughout the whole earth. 120. ―There is no contrariety (between these sayings); one is concerning Microprosopus, and the other concerning Macroprosopus.

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121. ―And further, although there be two eyes, yet they are converted into one eye. 122. ―This is pure in its whiteness, and so white that it includeth all whiteness. 123. ―The first whiteness shineth, and ascendeth and descendeth for the purpose of combining with that which is connected (with it) in connection. 124. ―This is the tradition: That whiteness darteth forth its rays, and igniteth three lights, which are called dwh, Hod, Glory; rdhw, Vehedar, Majesty; and hwdxw, Vachedoah, Joy; and they radiate in gladness and in perfection. 125. ―The second whiteness shineth and ascendeth and descendeth, and darteth forth its rays, and igniteth three other lights, which are called xun, Netzach, Victory; dox, Chesed, Benignity; and trapt, Tiphereth, Beauty; and they radiate in perfection and in gladness. 126. ―The third whiteness radiateth and shineth, and descendeth and ascendeth, and goeth forth from the part enclosing the brain, and darteth forth its rays toward the seventh middle light.60 127. ―And it formeth a path to the inferior brain, and formeth a path to the inferior, and all the inferior lights are thereby ignited.‖61

In the quote above, the ‗first whiteness‘ refers to the three Double letter pathways: Raysh, Dalet, and Tav. The ‗second whiteness‘ refers to the three Double letter pathways: Peh, Gimel, and Kaf. The ‗third whiteness‘ refers to the Double letter pathway Bayt (i.e. that produces the sefirah Da‘at).

60

The ―seventh middle light‖ is the sefirah Da‘at.

61

GHA, IX:119-127.

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130. The first whiteness [rwx] shineth and ascendeth and descendeth in three lights on the left-hand side, and they radiate and are bathed in that whiteness, like as when a man batheth his body in good unguents and odours, in better than he at first possessed. 62

Figure 15 : Three Sefirot of Light; Three Sefirot of Darkness

62

GHA, IX:130.

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The ‗first whiteness‘ ignites the three sefirot of Darkness. They are Hod, ‗Vehedar‘ (referring to Geburah), and ‗Vachedoah‘ (referring to Yesod).

131. The second whiteness descendeth and ascendeth and shineth in three lights on the right-hand side, and they radiate and are bathed in that whiteness, like as when a man batheth in good unguents and odours, in better than he at first possessed. 63

The ‗second whiteness‘ ignites the three sefirot of Light: Netzah, Hesed, and Tifaret.

132. The third whiteness shineth and ascendeth and descendeth, and goeth forth the light of the inner whiteness of the brain, and darteth forth its rays when necessary unto the black hair, and unto the head, and unto the brain of the head. 133. And it irradiateth the three crowns which remain, when it is needful, so that it may be uncovered, if that be pleasing unto the Most Ancient One hidden from all.64

The ‗third whiteness‘ refers to the Double letter pathway of Bayt. The ‗third whiteness‘65 ignites the sefirah Da‘at. Da‘at (not Malkut) is the ―seventh middle light‖ (of GHA, § 126 quoted above). The ―three crowns which remain‖ are the three sefirot Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret. The sefirah Da‘at only becomes

63

GHA, IX:131.

64

GHA, IX:132-3.

The Hebrew word translated here as ―whiteness‖ is rwx (ChVR). Interestingly, this word is xwr (RVCh), the word for ‗breath‘ (or ‗spirit‘) written in reverse. In fact, the descent of this ‗whiteness‘ establishes the six sefirot that kabbalists have traditionally labelled the Ruach (RVCh) portion of the Tree of Life—that is, the six sefirot from Hesed to Yesod. 65

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―uncovered‖ (or ‗revealed‘) to the lower sefirot at those special times when they receive an influx from it (i.e. at the behest of the ―Most Ancient One‖, or Keter).

Day and Night 14. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16. And God made two great lights; the greater light [MAVR GDL, ldg rwam] to rule the day, and the lesser light [MAVR QTN, Njq rwam] to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18. And to rule over the day [YVM, Mwy] and over the night [LYLH, hlyl], and to divide the light [AVR, rwa] from the darkness [ChShK, Kvx]: and God saw that it was good. 19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.66

The Day (YVM, Mwy) is represented by the sefirot Hesed (light), Geburah (dark), and Tifaret (light). The Day sefirot are ruled by Tifaret (Kaf, k, Sun).

66

Berashit, 1:14-19.

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The three sefirot of Night (LYLH, hlyl) are Netzah (light), Hod (dark), and Yesod (dark). The Night sefirot are ruled by Yesod (Tav, t, Moon). (See: Figure 16.) The Day does not consist of pure Light. Nor does the Night consist of pure Darkness. Below the firmament of Da‘at the Light and Darkness principles merge together to form Day and Night. There is however, a preponderance of Light in Day, and of Darkness in Night.67 The logic of this concept will be further explained (below) when we add the twelve Simple letter pathways to the Tree of Life diagram.

We will now turn to the enigmatic verse 6:5 of the Sefer Yetzirah:

Three: Each one stands alone; one acts as advocate, one acts as accuser, and one decides between them. Seven: Three opposite three, and one is the rule deciding between them. Twelve stand in war: Three love, three hate, three give life, and three kill. Three love: the heart and the ears. Three hate: the liver, the gall, and the tongue. Three give life: the two nostrils and the spleen. Three kill: the two orifices and the mouth. And God faithful King rules over them all from His holy habitation until eternity of eternities. One on three; three on seven; seven on twelve. And all are bound, one to another.68

A similar concept is symbolised by the Yin-Yang symbol of Taoism where the white coloured Yang portion has a small black dot of Yin within it, and the black coloured Yin portion contains a small white dot of Yang. 67

68

Sefer Yetzirah, 6:5.

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Figure 16 : Three Sefirot of Day; Three Sefirot of Night

The three who ―stand alone‖ are the three highest sefirot: Keter, Hockmah, and Binah, and their associated Hebrew letter archetypes: Alef (Air), Maym (Water), and Shin (Fire). They are said to stand alone because they represent three pure, primordial, unmixed principles upon which the rest of the Tree of Life is based. The seven lower sefirot, on the other hand, represent various admixtures of these three original fundamental archetypes. pg. 63


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Of the three who stand alone, Hockmah is the Advocate (who embodies Mercy), Binah is the Accuser (who characterises Judgment, or Severity), and Keter is the decider who chooses between them.

The seven Double letter pathways are arranged as ―three opposite three‖. On the right are three paths (of Light) associated with Hockmah (the Advocate), and on the left are three paths (of Darkness) associated with Binah (the Accuser). The path of Bayt is the ―rule deciding between them‖. In other words, the path of Bayt is the ‗rule‘ that Keter (the decider) uses when deciding between Hockmah and Binah. Similarly, the six lower sefirot are arranged as ―three opposite three‖ (i.e. three sefirot of Light opposed to three sefirot of Darkness), with Da‘at (Bayt) centrally positioned as the ―rule deciding between them‖.

When verse 6:5 says ―three on seven‖ it is describing the three highest ‗Mother letter‘ sefirot who over-shadow, support, and energise the seven supernal ‗Double Letter‘ pathways. Similarly, the statement ―seven on twelve‖ refers to the relationship between the seven lower ‗Double letter‘ sefirot and the twelve ‗Simple letter‘ pathways. (See below.) Verse 6:5 also mentions ―one on three‖ which refers to Ain Sof over-shadowing the three highest ‗Mother letter‘ sefirot: Keter, Hockmah, and Binah.

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Two Trees of Life Tree of the Soul The Book of Formation and the Book of Concealed Mystery also describe the various components of the Tree of Life diagram anthropomorphically—that is, as components of the physical body of Adam Kadmon, or the Universal Man.

From the Book of Formation:

Seven planets in the Universe: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon. Seven days in the Year: The seven days of the week. Seven gates in the Soul, male and female: Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and the mouth.69

From the Book of Concealed Mystery:

69

Sefer Yetzirah, 4:7.

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16. (When, therefore, the Divine law beginneth): Urah taw Mymsh ta Myhla arb tysarb (b‘Rashith Bera Elohim Ath h‘Shamaim v‘Ath h‘Aretz): ―In the beginning the Elohim created the substance of the heavens and the substance of the earth.‖ (The sense is: Six members were created, which are the six numerations of Microprosopus viz., benignity as His right arm; severity as His left arm; beauty as His body; victory as His right leg; glory as His left leg; and the foundation as reproductive.) For instead of tysarb, b‘Rashith, ―in the beginning,‖ it may be read, tys arb, Bera Shith, ―He created the six.‖ Upon these depend all things which are below (principally the Queen, who is the lowest path, or the bride of Microprosopus, and all the three inferior worlds.) … 18. And the second earth came not into the computation. (That is, the kingdom of the restored world, which elsewhere is called the Bride of Microprosopus, came not into the computation when the six members were said to be created.70

The Skull (GLGLTh, tlglg), or Head of Macroprosopus is represented by the three highest sefirot. It‘s not mentioned by name in the Book of Formation, but it is described in the Zohar.

In the Lesser Holy Assembly it is written...

78. He the Most Holy Ancient One is found to have three heads, which are contained in the one Head. 79. And He Himself is that only highest supreme Head. 71

70

BCM, I:16-18.

71

LHA, II:78-79.

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And in the Book of Concealed Mystery...

9. The head which is incomprehensible is secret in secret. 10. But it hath been formed and prepared in the likeness of a cranium, and is filled with the crystalline dew.72

And further on it states...

17. And the dignity of dignity hangeth from the seven conformations of the cranium. (This is the beard of the venerable and Ancient One, which is divided into thirteen portions).73

The ―seven conformations of the cranium‖ are associated with the seven Double letter pathways that join together the three highest sefirot (i.e. the three portions of the Skull), and that connect the Skull with the seven lower sefirot (representing the Body of Adam Kadmon). The ―beard‖ that hangs from the ―seven conformations‖ is a reference to the seven lower sefirot. As we know, the seven lower sefirot are emanations of (or ―hang down from‖) the seven Double letter pathways. In other words, the symbolism of the ―beard‖ refers to the sefirotic emanation that grows out of the ―head‖. Its ―thirteen portions‖ can be thought of as the twelve Simple letter pathways plus the path of Shin (located in their midst). (See below.)

72

BCM, I:9-10.

73

BCM, I:17.

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We must also alert you to the great secret, and this is the secret of the supernal embellishments (ha-tiqqunim ha-elyonim) that are called the ‗beard‘ (zaqan), and they are the secret of Tif‘eret. This matter is a great secret from the secrets of the chariot (sodot ha-merkavah)… The one who knows the secret of the hairs of the beard (se‘arot ha-zaqan) knows the secret of Tif‘eret, and from this secret are born all the parts of the chariot (pirqei ha-merkavah), for they spread forth from Tif‘eret to here and to there. This secret is hidden and sealed in what is said by Scripture, ‗It is the splendour of a man (tif‘eret adam) to dwell in a house‘ (Isa. 44: 13).74

In the Greater Holy Assembly the subject is elaborated upon in some detail, but there the Skull is described a little differently...

52. THE whiteness of this skull shineth in thirteen carved out sides: in four sides from one portion; in four sides from the part of His countenance; and in four sides from another part of the periphery; and in one above the skull, as if this last might be called the supernal side. 53. And thence is the Vastness of His Countenance extended into three hundred and seventy myriads of worlds; and hence Mypa Kra, Arikh Aphim, Vastness of Countenance is His name. 75

Here the Whiteness of the Skull is depicted as having ―thirteen carved out sides‖. These ‗sides‘ are associated with various combinations of the seven Double letter pathways (plus two others 76). Notice the reference to the Whiteness of the

From: Sha‘arei Orah, 1: 252–3. Joseph Gikatilla. Cited in: Venturing Beyond. Elliot Wolfson. Pg. 227. 74

75

GHA, § 52-53.

The two extra pathways are: 1. The relatively seamless connection that exists between the sefirah Keter and Ain Sof, and: 2. The path of Alef that extends below Keter to Da‘at. 76

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skull. We saw above (in the previous chapter) how the Whiteness is expressed as three Whitenesses77 (i.e. three groups of Double letter pathways) that descend to manifest the seven lower sefirot.

Figure 17 : ―Four sides from one portion‖

The ―thirteen carved out sides‖ are ―carved out‖ (i.e. opened up) between the three highest sefirot.

There is perhaps a special relationship between the ―thirteen carved out sides‖ of the skull and the ―thirteen portions‖ of the beard. It would seem that the latter may be a reflection of the former (i.e. on lower levels of the Tree of Life). Four pathways are carved out by Hockmah. They are Gimel, Bayt, Kaf, and Peh.

77

See: GHA, IX:119-127, and 130-133.

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In the Zohar the sefirah Hockmah is sometimes referred to as the Forehead of Macroprosopus because the supernal man is said to display only the right side of His face.78

90. And that forehead is called Nwur, Ratzon, Will-power, because it is the ruler of the whole head and of the skull, which is covered by four hundred and twenty worlds.79

The ―four hundred and twenty worlds‖ that are said to cover the Skull might refer to the paths of Kaf and Tav (i.e. 20 + 400). These two pathways connect the Skull (i.e. connect the three highest sefirot) to the sefirah Da‘at.

In the Lesser Holy Assembly the word Ratzon is also interpreted as meaning ‗Grace‘...

87. The Forehead, which is uncovered in the Most Holy Ancient One, is called Grace.80

It is a quality of the forehead that is referred to the path of Gimel (G, g)...

108. ―And when this Head, which is concealed in the Head of the Ancient One, which is not known, extendeth a certain frontal formation, That is because He is said to be ‗all-merciful‘, having no severity (which latter is associated with the left side). 78

79

GHA, § 90.

80

LHA, III:87.

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which is formed for brilliance, then flasheth forth the Lightning of His Brain. 109. And it is formed forth and illuminated with many Lights. 110. And it produceth and designeth (a certain effect) in this Light (otherwise, in this opening), in this Forehead, whereon is inscribed a certain Light, which is called Nwur, Ratzon, Grace. 111. ―And that Grace is extended backward into the beard, even unto that place where it can remain in the beard, and it is called the Supernal, dox, Chesed, Mercy.81

The path of Gimel is called the Supernal Hesed because it is the higher expression (and source) of the sefirah Hesed.

The energy of Grace (which is a quality of Hesed) represents the spiritual force (or, spiritual strength) that infuses every human soul. We become aware of this inner source of spiritual power when we are faithfully engaged in treading the special Path of the soul. It fosters an experiential awareness that we are a living part of the divine Creation, and it produces an inner knowing that we are fulfilling an essential role in the larger divine creative Purpose.

The pathways are repeated in the four groups to emphasise the fact that each one of the three supernal sefirot is involved in the process of carving them out. In other words, the energy flows both ways along each of the nine interconnecting pathways.

81

LHA, III:108-111.

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The path of Alef (A, a) is an important part of the skull‘s conformation. Of this path it is said...

70. One (path) which shineth in the midst of the hairs going forth from the Skull, is that path by whose light the just are led into the world to come. 71. Like as it is written, Prov. iv. 18: ―And the path of the just shineth as the light.‖82

Alef (and the Air element) is the mediator between Mercy and Judgement (or Severity) and therefore, it defines absolutely the concept of Justice. This notion is reflected in the position of the path of Alef on the Tree of Life diagram. The path of Alef extends vertically below Keter, and thus also stands vertically between the sefirot Hockmah (Mercy) and Binah (Judgement). (See below.)

Thus, the ―four sides from the part of His countenance‖ are Alef, Gimel, Dalet, and Ain Sof.

The ―four sides from another part of the periphery‖ are Bayt, Dalet, Raysh, and Tav. This group of four pathways emphasises the influence of the sefirah Binah in carving out the paths.

82

LHA, 2:70-71.

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Figure 18 : ―Four sides from the part of His countenance‖

Figure 19 : ―Four sides from another part of the periphery‖

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The ―one above the skull‖ is referred to Ain Sof. It emphasises the influence that Ain Sof has on the first sefirah Keter, and represents their connecting link.

Figure 20 : ―One above the skull‖

The Zohar tells us that the three highest sefirot—Keter, Hockmah, and Binah, represent the three hollows of the ‗cranium‘ (or ‗skull‘) of the Universal Adam, or in other words, they are said to collectively represent his head (and brain). In like manner, the Book of Formation describes the seven Double letter pathways as representing the seven principal features of his countenance (or, to put it another way, they signify the seven openings in his Skull). It seems most logical therefore, to position the seven Double letter ‗facial feature‘ correspondences (of the Sefer Yetzirah) upon the head of the Supernal Adam, at the top of the Tree of Life diagram. There is a simple logical/intuitive way to position these correspondences amongst the pathways that cover the skull—i.e. as illustrated in Figure 21.

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Figure 21 : The Seven Double Letter Facial Features and Major Bodily Attributes

This logical Zohar/Yetzirah-based arrangement of the seven Double letter pathways contrasts strongly with the numerically-based arrangement that was popularised by the original Order of the Golden Dawn. This is not to say that the Golden Dawn arrangement is ‗wrong‘. I am merely pointing out the variance that exists in the reasoning behind each system. They approach the Tree of Life diagram from totally different perspectives; however I believe that both systems are useful within their own domains.

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There is a profound depth of meaning in the positioning of the three groups of Hebrew letters (i.e. the Mothers, Doubles, and Simples) in the Zohar/Yetzirahbased system described in this book. That esoteric meaning will become clearer when we examine the placements of the twelve Simple Hebrew letters on the Tree of Life diagram.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Bayt : b : Mouth : Saturn ( ) Gimel : g : Right Eye : Jupiter ( ) Dalet : d : Left Eye : Mars ( ) Kaf : k : Right Nostril : Sun ( ) Peh : p : Right Ear : Venus ( ) Raysh : r : Left Ear : Mercury ( ) Tav : t : Left Nostril : Moon ( )

Table 2 : The Seven Facial Attributes

Letter 1. b 2. g 3. d 4. k 5. p 6. r 7. t

Long/Saadia Versions 1. Mouth 2. Right Eye 3. Left eye 4. Right Nostril 5. Left Nostril 6. Right Ear 7. Left Ear

Mulcahy Version 1. Mouth 2. Right Eye 3. Left Eye 4. Right Nostril 5. Right Ear 6. Left Ear 7. Left Nostril

This particular order of facial feature correspondences is my own. It is based on the logic of the Tree of Life formation methodology that I use in this book. They are not found in any version of the Sefer Yetzirah (that I am aware of).

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Unfortunately, the original Double letter correspondences are lost to us because of the corruption (or deliberate concealment) that has entered into the text of the Sefer Yetzirah over the centuries. The Saadia and Long versions approximate most closely my own arrangement.

The Double letter planetary attributions (also listed above) however, are quite commonly found in various versions of the Sefer Yetzirah.83

Specifically, they are found in the Short and Long versions of the Sefer Yetzirah, as well as in several other authoritative kabbalistic texts. 83

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The Twelve Simple Letters The twelve Simple letters represent twelve lower attributes of the Body of Adam Kadmon. Consequently they occupy the lower half of the Tree of Life diagram (i.e. below His Skull and facial features). They represent His hands, feet, and bodily organs, but these are difficult to position on the Tree diagram in any obviously symbolic way.84 Thankfully though, the Sefer Yetzirah also associates the twelve simple letters with the twelve signs of the zodiac so we can postulate an arrangement using the twelve signs.

Twelve constellations in the Universe: Aries (hlj, the Ram), Taurus (rwv, the Bull), Gemini (Mymwat, the Twins), Cancer (Njro, the Crab), Leo (hyra, the Lion), Virgo (hlwtb, the Virgin), Libra (Mynzam, the Scales), Scorpio (brqe, the Scorpion), Sagittarius (tvq, the Archer), Capricorn (ydg, the Kid), Aquarius (yld, the Water Drawer), Pisces (Mygd, the Fishes).85

The bodily attributes are given as:

The seven double letter facial attributes are located at the top of the Tree of Life diagram and are positioned roughly in accord with the natural features of a human face. The twelve simple letter bodily attributes however cannot be arranged on the Tree diagram in such an obviously symbolic manner. (See below.) 84

85

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:4.

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Twelve directors in the soul, male and female: The two hands, the two feet, the two kidneys, the gall bladder, the intestines, the liver, the korkeban, the kivah, the spleen. 86

We can assign the twelve Simple letters to the twelve astrological signs, and twelve bodily attributes as follows:87

1. Heh : h : Intestines : Aries ( ) 2. Vav : w : Right Kidney : Taurus ( ) 3. Zayn : z : Right Foot : Gemini ( ) 4. Het : x : Gall : Cancer ( ) 5. Tet : j : Liver : Leo ( ) 6. Yud : y : Left Foot : Virgo ( ) 7. Lamed : l : Left Stomach88 : Libra ( ) 8. Nun : n : Left Kidney : Scorpio ( ) 9. Sameck : o : Left Hand : Sagittarius ( ) 10. Ayin : e : Right Stomach89 : Capricorn ( ) 11. Tzaddie : u : Spleen : Aquarius ( ) 12. Qof : q : Right Hand : Pisces ( )

86

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:6.

87

The arrangement of these physical correspondences is my own.

The original Hebrew has Nbqrwq meaning the ‗gizzard‘ or ‗ventriculus‘ found in the anatomy of some birds and reptiles. In human anatomy it may refer to the pancreas which is part of the digestive system, but I have chosen to label it as the left stomach area. 88

The original Hebrew word is hbq. It also can be translated as ‗stomach‘ and might specifically refer to the human appendix (or perhaps the oesophagus) which is also part of the human digestive system. In any case, I have chosen to label it as the right stomach area. 89

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We are now able (using verse 5:2 of the Sefer Yetzirah) to intuitively determine some possibilities regarding the arrangement of the twelve Simple letters on the Tree of Life diagram.

Twelve Elementals: h‘w‘z, x‘j‘y, l‘n‘o, e‘u‘q, HVZ ChTY LNS OTzQ. Their foundation is the twelve diagonal boundaries [GBVLY ALKSVN, Nwokla ylwbg]: The east upper boundary; The east northern boundary; The east lower boundary. [h‘w‘z] The south upper boundary; The south eastern boundary; The south lower boundary. [x‘j‘y] The west upper boundary; The west southern boundary; The west lower boundary. [l‘n‘o] The north upper boundary; The north western boundary; The north lower boundary. [e‘u‘q] They extend continually until eternity of eternities, And it is they that are the boundaries90 of the Universe.91

Saadia ben Joseph states: ―I translate the words ―g‘vulei alakson‖ as ―limit of the angles‖ because this is the sense of the words frequently found in the Talmud.‖ [From Saadia ben Joseph (alFayyumi), Commentaire sur le Séfer Yesira ou Livre de la Création par Le Gaon Saadya de Fayyoum, trans. & ed., M. Lambert, Paris, Emile Bouillon, Editeur, 1891); translated into English from the French & Hebrew by Scott Thompson and Dominique Marson, San Francisco, 1985.] Kaplan‘s translation as ―diagonal boundaries‖ accurately describes the twelve Double letter diagonal sides of the eight adjacent triangles that combine together to form the Tree of Life‘s astrological pyramid. (See my diagrams below.) 90

91

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:2.

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Verse 5:2 divides the zodiacal circle (as represented by the twelve Simple Hebrew letters) into four directional quarters. Therefore, in order to arrange the twelve simple letter boundaries upon the Tree of Life diagram we need to superimpose a compass needle on the sefirot. This will help us to orientate the twelve simple letter pathways with the four directional sefirot: Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, and Hod.

Figure 22 : The Four Compass Points

The Sefer Yetzirah does not explicitly state how we should align these directions to the sefirot so some intuitive guess-work is required. I have explored the significance of various arrangements and have chosen to assign the Eastern direction to the sefirah Netzah, the Southern direction to Hod, the Western direction to Geburah, and the Northern direction to Hesed. 92

My rationale for these assignments is explained below. These directions are used to orientate the twelve Simple letter pathways. There is another important symbolic arrangement of the directions that emphasises the sefirotic polarities that are built into the Tree diagram. Its symbolism however, does not relate to the twelve pathways. 92

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Figure 23 : Compass and Astrological Wheel

Traditionally, in astrology the southern direction is symbolically placed at the top of a horoscope, and the eastern direction is towards the left 93, but in this arrangement North is at the top and East is on the right (as per a normal compass face).

That is because the science of astrology was developed in the northern hemisphere where astrologers looked towards the south to see the constellations on the ecliptic. Consequently, as they faced south the eastern direction was to the left. 93

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In esoteric theory, the spiritual world is said to be a mirror image of the physical world, so when the sefirah Malkut comes into manifestation this topsy-turvy arrangement changes to reflect our recognised astrological standard. (See below.)

The Upper direction corresponds to a point in the sky overhead that is called the Noon meridian in astrology. It is associated symbolically with the six astrological signs located in the upper half of the zodiacal circle (i.e. to the six signs symbolically placed above the horizon). The Lower direction represents the sky below the feet (i.e. below the earth) and therefore it is associated with the six signs occupying the lower half of the zodiacal circle (and that are symbolically placed below the horizon).

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Figure 24 : The Three Eastern Boundaries

The east upper boundary; The east northern boundary; The east lower boundary. [h‘w‘z]94

94

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:2.

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Figure 25 : The Three Southern Boundaries

The south upper boundary; The south eastern boundary; The south lower boundary. [x‘j‘y]95

95

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:2.

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Figure 26 : The Three Western Boundaries

The west upper boundary; The west southern boundary; The west lower boundary. [l‘n‘o]96

96

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:2.

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Figure 27 : The Three Northern Boundaries

The north upper boundary; The north western boundary; The north lower boundary. [e‘u‘q]97

97

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:2.

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The circle of the zodiac is converted into a square 98 on the Tree of Life diagram.

The three Eastern ―diagonal boundaries‖ define the Eastern corner (Netzah) of the zodiacal square. The three Southern ―diagonal boundaries‖ define the Southern corner of the zodiacal square (i.e. anchored at Hod). The three Western ―diagonal boundaries‖ define the Western corner of the zodiacal square (i.e. anchored at the sefirah Geburah). The three Northern ―diagonal boundaries‖ define the Northern corner of the zodiacal square (i.e. anchored at Hesed).

This arrangement of the twelve Simple letters on the Tree of Life diagram fulfils the ―seven on twelve‖ requirement of Sefer Yetzirah verse 6:5. That is because the seven double letter sefirot are seen here to be seated upon the twelve simple letter pathways. This conformation follows the principle originally established at the top of the Tree diagram where the three mother letter sefirot are seated upon the seven double letter pathways. Thus we have ―One on three99; three on seven; seven on twelve; and all are bound, one to another‖.

Twelve stand in war: Three love, three hate, three give life, and three kill. Three love: the heart and the ears. Three hate: the liver, the gall, and the tongue. Three give life: the two nostrils and the spleen. Three kill: the two orifices and the mouth.100

Or rather, a square-based pyramid in which the four corners of the base become the focus. See diagram below. 98

99

The phrase ‗one on three‘ refers to the position of Ain Sof in relation to the three highest sefirot.

100

Sefer Yetzirah, 6:5.

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Figure 28 : The Twelve Simple Letter Pathways

The twelve who ―stand in war‖ are the four groups of three Simple letter pathways who face off against each other from the four corners of the Tree of Life‘s zodiacal square. The three that love are the three pathways associated with the sefirah Netzah (coloured green in the diagram above) whose attributions are the Double letter Peh and the planet Venus ( ).

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The three that hate are associated with the sefirah Hod (coloured orange) whose attributions are Raysh and Mercury ( ). The three that give life are associated with the sefirah Hesed (coloured blue) whose attributions are Gimel and Jupiter ( ). The three that kill are associated with the sefirah Geburah (coloured magenta) whose attributions are Dalet and Mars ( ). As it is written in the Lesser Holy Assembly...

737. His arms are right and left. In the right arm is Chesed and Life; in the left is Geburah and Death.101

Curiously, the bodily attributes listed in Sefer Yetzirah 6:5 are different to those given here in verse 5:6. The only attributes that are common to both verses are: Liver, Gall, and Spleen. Also, some of the facial attributes listed in verse 6:5 were previously assigned in verse 4:7 to the seven Double letters, so their repeated assignment to the Simple letters is also something of a mystery. Here is how I assign them:

―Three love: the heart and the ears.‖ 1. Heh : h : Right Ear : Aries : 2. Vav : w : Heart : Taurus : 3. Zayn : z : Left Ear : Gemini :

101

LHA, 2:737.

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―Three hate: the liver, the gall, and the tongue.‖ 1. Het : x : Gall : Cancer : 2. Tet : j : Liver : Leo : 3. Yud : y : Tongue : Virgo : ―Three give life: the two nostrils and the spleen.‖ 1. Ayin : e : Right Nostril : Capricorn : 2. Tzaddie : u : Spleen : Aquarius : 3. Qof : q : Left Nostril : Pisces : ―Three kill: the two orifices and the mouth.‖ 1. Lamed : l : Sex Orifice : Libra : 2. Nun : n : Anus : Scorpio : 3. Sameck : o : Mouth : Sagittarius :

Table 3 : The Twelve Bodily Attributes

Hebrew 1. Heh : h 2. Vav : w 3. Zayn : z 4. Het : x 5. Tet : j 6. Yud : y 7. Lamed : l 8. Nun : n 9. Sameck : o 10. Ayin : e 11. Tzaddie : u 12. Qof : q

SY, Verse 5:6 Intestines Right Kidney Right Foot Gall Liver Left Foot Left Stomach Left Kidney Left Hand Right Stomach Spleen Right Hand

SY, Verse 6:5 Right Ear Heart Left Ear Gall Liver Tongue Sex Orifice Anus Mouth Right Nostril Spleen Left Nostril

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Astrological Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces


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We can now compile a table of correspondences for the twelve Simple letters. (See the table above.) Figure 29 reflects the bodily attributes of verse 5:6 of the Sefer Yetzirah. They are referred to as being ―in the Soul‖ (NPSh, spn). So we can call this version of the Tree diagram the Tree of the Soul.102

Figure 29 : Tree of Life (Soul)

102

Note however that the three Mother letter pathways and Malkut are yet to be added.

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Tree of the Universe

Figure 30 : The Tree of Life (Universe)

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The Sefer Yetzirah (in verse 5:4) states that these astrological correspondences are ―in the Universe‖ (OVLM, Mlwe) so we can call this version of the Tree diagram the Tree of the Universe.103 The six signs that are located above the horizon of the zodiacal circle are focused at the Hesed (Blue) and Geburah (Red) corners of the zodiacal square. The six signs below the horizon are focused at the Netzah (Green) and Hod (Orange) corners of the zodiacal square. 104

Figure 31 : The Seven Lower Sefirot and the Zodiacal Circle

Note however that the Tree diagram is incomplete because the three Mother letter pathways and the sefirah Malkut are still to be added. (See below.) 103

In regard to Ezekiel‘s vision of the divine chariot these four corner sefirot are associated with the four wheels of the chariot. (See Ezekiel, Chapter One.) 104

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The zodiacal circle as depicted in the Sefer Yetzirah is a mirror image (along the vertical axis)105 of the traditional zodiacal circle. When the sefirah Malkut manifests however, the circle of the zodiac flips around and assumes its normal outward expression.106 (See below.)

Figure 32 : The Astrological Pyramid

The twelve Simple letter pathways of the Tree of Life diagram can be seen to form a square-based pyramid. This image allows us to ponder the astrological significance of the relative positions of the pathways.

105

That is, left and right have exchanged their positions.

106

This accords with the principle that the material world is a mirror image of the spiritual world.

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Figure 33 : The Astrological Pyramid (Upright)

The Sefer Yetzirah concludes its chapter107 on the twelve Simple letters with the words:

He made them like a trough; He arranged them like a wall; He set them up like a battle.108

Similarly, in verse 1:11 it is written:109

107

That is, Chapter Five.

108

Sefer Yetzirah, 5:10.

109

This is written in special reference to the emergence of the Earth element. (See below.)

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He engraved them like a sort of garden; He carved them like a sort of wall; He covered them like a sort of ceiling... 110

These descriptions are suggestive of the astrological pyramid. The ―sort of garden‖ (or ―trough‖) can be thought of as consisting of the four Cardinal pathways that criss-cross the base of the pyramid (coloured yellow in the image). They are united by the Sun ( , Tifaret) at the centre. The ―sort of wall‖ would then refer to the four Fixed pathways (coloured blue) that constitute the square perimeter of the pyramid‘s base. Symbolically speaking, this wall of Fixed signs encloses the garden of Cardinal signs. Similarly, the ―sort of ceiling‖ can be imagined as referring to the four Mutable pathways (coloured green) that form the four sloping edges of the pyramid. They are united by the Moon ( , Yesod) at the apex of the pyramid. The ceiling of Mutable signs sits atop the Fixed wall and covers the Cardinal garden.

1. Four Cardinal signs (―Garden‖, ―trough‖) Aries ( , Heh, h) Cancer ( , Het, x) Libra ( , Lamed, l) Capricorn ( , Ayin, e)

2. Four Fixed signs (―Wall‖) Taurus ( , Vav, w) Leo ( , Tet, j) Scorpio ( , Nun, g) Aquarius ( , Tzaddie, u)

110

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:11.

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3. Four Mutable signs (―Ceiling‖) Gemini ( , Zayn, z) Virgo ( , Yud, y) Sagittarius ( , Sameck, o) Pisces ( , Qof, q)

One of the reasons why I like this particular assignment of the twelve Simple letters to the twelve zodiacal pathways (i.e. as illustrated in Figure 30, etc) is because of the way the four Fixed sign pathways are positioned.

Fixed Signs    

Taurus ( , Vav, w) Leo ( , Tet, j) Scorpio ( , Nun, g) Aquarius ( , Tzaddie, u)

The four Fixed signs have always held special significance in the esoteric literature of the ages. This includes various core texts of the Kabbalah, etc. Therefore I feel that it is important that these four signs (and their associated Hebrew Simple letters) are positioned on the Tree of Life diagram in a way that is symbolically meaningful. This is certainly the case regarding the Simple letter pathway arrangement I have presented here. The Sun ( , Tifaret) rules over the sign Leo ( , Tet, j) and you will notice (in Figure 30, etc) that the Sun is positioned directly above the path of Leo on the Tree of Life diagram. Similarly, because Saturn ( , Da‘at) traditionally rules over the sign Aquarius ( , Tzaddie, u) it is fitting that Saturn is located directly above the path of Aquarius.

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The planet Venus ( , Peh, p) rules the Fixed sign Taurus ( , Vav, w) and therefore, appropriately you will find it closely attached to the sefirah Netzah ( , Peh, p). Likewise, the traditional ruler of the Fixed sign Scorpio ( , Nun, g) is Mars ( , Dalet, d) and you will notice that the Scorpio pathway is closely attached to the sefirah Geburah ( , Dalet, d).

There are eight zodiacal triangles formed within the astrological pyramid. These are divided into two groups of four. The first group is unified by the Sun ( , Kaf, k) in Tifaret. The second group is unified by the Moon ( , Tav, t) in Yesod.

Sun    

Aries — Taurus — Capricorn Capricorn — Aquarius — Libra Libra — Scorpio — Cancer Cancer — Leo — Aries

Moon    

Gemini — Taurus — Pisces Pisces — Aquarius — Sagittarius Sagittarius — Scorpio — Virgo Virgo — Leo — Gemini

In the Solar group of triangles two Cardinal signs are bridged by one Fixed sign. In the Lunar group two Mutable signs are bridged by one Fixed sign.

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There is a third group of zodiacal triangles that unite the Sun ( ) and the Moon ( ) via the path of elemental Fire (Shin). This pathway is represented in Figure 33 by a red dotted line that extends between the Moon and the Sun. We will discuss it further in a later chapter of this book.

Sun & Moon    

Aries — Fire (Taurus) — Gemini Cancer — Fire (Leo) — Virgo Libra — Fire (Scorpio) — Sagittarius Capricorn — Fire (Aquarius) — Pisces

In this group one Cardinal and one Mutable sign are bridged by the path of Fire. You will notice that in each of these triangles the path of Fire substitutes for one of the four Fixed astrological signs (bracketed). The type of energy and influence that the path of Fire (Shin) might contribute to these four triangles is worth pondering. The Shin pathway is discussed in detail in a later chapter of this book.

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Malkut The sefirah Malkut is an appendage to the Tree of Life. It represents the physical expression of the universe. Malkut does not have a Hebrew letter (i.e. a primordial archetype) associated with it. The Book of Formation emphasises this idea when it states:

Seven Doubles: t‘r‘p‘k d‘g‘b, Seven and not six; Seven and not eight.111

As previously shown, the seven Double letters produce the seven lower sefirot from Da‘at to Yesod, and therefore there would need to be an eighth Double letter if Malkut was to be assigned one. Instead the fourth (missing 112) element ‗Earth‘ is assigned to Malkut. The appearance of Malkut is presaged in verse 1:11 of the Sefer Yetzirah.

He engraved them like a sort of garden; He carved them like a sort of wall; He covered them like a sort of ceiling; (And He poured snow [ShLG, gls] over them and it became dust [OPR, rpe], as it is written: ―For to snow He said, ‗Become earth [ARTz, Ura]‘‖ [Job 37:6].)113

111

Sefer Yetzirah, 4:5.

The Earth element is considered ‗missing‘ in the cosmology of the Sefer Yetzirah because it is not assigned a Hebrew letter as are the other three elements: Air, Water, and Fire. 112

113

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:11.

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Figure 34 : The Addition of Malkut

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Malkut is thus associated with the Earth element. It emerges as a result of the condensation of the twelve Simple letter pathways. These twelve are identified in the verse by the ‗garden‘, ‗wall‘, and ‗ceiling‘ symbolism (as previously explained). The process of condensation follows the same rule already established by the seven Double letters.

We saw previously how the seven Double letter pathways ‗condense‘ themselves to form the seven lower sefirot. In like manner the twelve Simple letter pathways condense themselves (and combine together) to form the sefirah Malkut. It is through this process that the material universe is born.

Figure 35 : Malkut: Astrological and Hebrew Versions

When Malkut comes into being the universe assumes its normal outward appearance because the physical world is a reflection (or mirror image) of the spiritual world.

On Day Six of the Sefer Berashit sequence of Creation Malkut (symbolically speaking) comes into manifestation. On that Day Mankind is made in the image of the Elohim...

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26. And God said, Let us make man [ADM, Mda] in our image [TzLM, Mlu], after our likeness [DMVTh, twmd]: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.114

Mankind (i.e. ADM, Mda) is associated with Malkut. Malkut embodies all the astrological forces of the zodiac—that is, the twelve Simple letter zodiacal pathways, and the seven Double letter planetary sefirot.

Symbolically then, in Malkut Aries shifts to the left side of the zodiacal circle where we are accustomed to seeing it, and the top of the circle is re-designated as South. Mankind stands in the midst of the circle surrounded by (and expressing within himself) the manifested reflection of the zodiacal pathways and planetary sefirot.

114

Berashit, 1:26.

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The Twelve Tribes The twelve Simple letter archetypes are also represented in the Zohar by the twelve ‗tribes of Israel‘.

The twelve tribes are the adornment of the Matron [Malkut]. When Jacob was about to depart from the world, and saw that he was perfected on every side, with Abraham at his right [Hesed], Isaac at his left [Geburah], himself in the centre [Tifaret], and the Shekinah [Malkut] in front of him, he called his sons round him in order that both the lower and the upper might be fitly adorned... The twelve tribes correspond to the twelve oxen which were under the sea [Binah] of bronze made by Solomon (I Kings vii, 23 sqq.), three for each of the cardinal points [directional sefirot]. Three of them representing the right Arm [Hesed], three the left Arm [Geburah], three the right Thigh [Netzah], and three the left Thigh [Hod]. There were three tribes for each, because in each of these limbs there are three joints [pathways]...115

We already know from our previous examination of the Zohar (in an earlier chapter) that the four ‗limbs‘ of the Universal Adam are associated with the four ‗directional‘ sefirot—i.e. Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, and Hod. Here we are told that each limb has three symbolical ‗joints‘ (i.e. corresponding to the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints of the arm, etc). These joints obviously correspond with the three Simple letter pathways that are attached to each of the four directional sefirot.

115

Soncino Zohar. Vol II, pp 366-7. Berashith 240b-241a. Bracketed notes are my own.

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The twelve tribes of Israel are also said (in the quote) to be associated with the twelve limb joints, and thus, also with the twelve Simple letter pathways. ―There were three tribes for each, because in each of these limbs there are three joints.‖ We can assign the twelve tribes of Israel to the twelve Simple letter pathways of the Tree of Life by using information obtained from the biblical Book of Numbers. In chapter two of the Book of Numbers we are given the following information...

Table 4 : The Twelve Tribes of Israel

EAST Judah 1. Judah 2. Issachar 3. Zebulun

SOUTH Reuben 4. Reuben 5. Simeon 6. Gad

WEST Ephraim 7. Ephraim 8. Mannaseh 9. Benjamin

NORTH Dan 10. Dan 11. Ashar 12. Naphtali

Here we see four tribal ‗camps‘ (in bold) each associated with a direction. Each camp accommodates three tribes of Israel. We need now to assign the four camps to the directional sefirot: Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, and Hod. In regard to this, the Zohar informs us of the following...

...Further, the river ―shall part from thence and become four heads‖ (Gen,II, 10). The first of these is Hesed (Kindness), which is the right arm. From this shall drink the camp of Michael, and with it the tribe of Judah and his two accompanying tribes.

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The second is Geburah (Force), and from it shall drink the camp of Gabriel, and with it the tribe of Dan and his two accompanying tribes. The third is Netzah (Victory), the right leg, and from it shall drink the camp of Nuriel, and with it the tribe of Reuben and his two accompanying tribes. The fourth is Hod (Majesty), the ―left leg‖ (referred to in what was said of Jacob, that ―he halted on his left thigh‖), and from it shall drink the camp of Raphael, whose mission is to heal the ills of the captivity, and with it the tribe of Ephraim and his two accompanying tribes. 116

So now we have determined...

Table 5 : The Four Camps and Sefirot

EAST Judah Hesed

SOUTH Reuben Netzah

WEST Ephraim Hod

NORTH Dan Geburah

This gives us an alternative arrangement of the four directions upon the Tree of Life, and will lead to a new set of Simple letter pathway correspondences. This shows that the student must use his/her own discrimination when it comes to the specific assignment of the twelve Simple letters to the twelve Simple letter pathways of the Tree of Life diagram. The basic ‗Cardinal-Fixed-Mutable‘ pathway structure (as I have drawn it) between the six Double letter sefirot remains fixed, but the Simple letter correspondences attached to the twelve pathways are uncertain and perhaps variable.

116

Soncino Zohar. Vol I, pp 102-3. Berashith 26b.

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Now we need to determine the zodiacal correspondences for the twelve tribes of Israel.

There is an ongoing debate in the kabbalistic community concerning the assignment of the twelve tribes of Israel to the twelve zodiacal signs. One proposal commonly put forward is that the four camps represent the four Cherubic (i.e. Fixed) signs. If this is true, then the camp/tribe of Judah would possibly have the sign Leo as its attribution. The proposition that Leo is assigned to Judah is based (in part) on the Book of Numbers, verse II:3... ―And on the east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies...‖ [Numbers, II:3.] The mention here of the Sun suggests Leo because in astrology the Sun is said to ‗rule‘ the cherubic sign Leo.117

So if we begin the circle of the zodiac with Judah as Leo then the rest of the correspondences fall naturally into line as follows:

East (Hesed/Camp of Judah): 1. Judah : Leo, (Tet, j) 2. Issachar : Cancer, (Het, x) 3. Zebulun : Gemini, (Zayn, z)

South (Netzah/Camp of Reuben): 4. Reuben : Taurus, (Vav, w) 5. Simeon : Aries, (Heh, h) 6. Gad : Pisces, (Qof, q)

117

In Genesis 49:9 Judah is also compared (by his father Jacob) to a ―lion‘s whelp‖.

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West (Hod/Camp of Ephraim): 7. Ephraim : Aquarius, (Tzaddie, u) 8. Manasseh : Capricorn, (Ayin, e) 9. Benjamin : Sagittarius, (Sameck, o)

North (Geburah/Camp of Dan): 10. Dan : Scorpio, (Nun, n) 11. Asher : Libra, (Lamed, l) 12. Naphtali : Virgo, (Yud, y)

In the above list, each tribal camp begins with its cherubic sign and is followed by a cardinal sign. This pattern derives the precessional sequence of zodiacal signs. The precessional sequence (i.e. referred to as the ‗Precession of the Equinoxes‘) follows the twelve great ‗Ages of Mankind‘ that together constitute a 26,000 year (approx.) evolutionary cycle.

The twelve Simple letter pathway correspondences as we have determined them using the twelve tribes of Israel produces an alternative version of the Tree of Life diagram. (See Figure 36.) Using the information we have gleaned from the Zohar and the Hebrew bible these twelve Adamic Ages can now be understood in terms of the Tree of Life diagram.118

Humanity is currently in process of transitioning out of the Age of Pisces ( ) and into the Age of Aquarius ( ). We can interpret this shift from Pisces to Aquarius (in terms of Figure 36) as a movement from the sefirah Yesod to Netzah to Hod. In making this transition Humanity moves along the Qof pathway (i.e. between Yesod and Netzah) through Netzah and onto the Tzaddie pathway (i.e. between Netzah and Hod). 118

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Figure 36 : Tree of the Universe : Twelve Tribes Version

So when (in our first quote above) the Zohar states: [Jacob] ―called his sons round him‖ it is symbolic of this particular Tree of Life configuration because Jacob/Israel represents the sefirah Tifaret, and Tifaret is clearly seen (in Figure 36) to be surrounded by his twelve sons—the twelve tribes of Israel as represented by the twelve Simple letter pathways of the Tree of Life.

It should be noted that our earlier Simple letter pathway configuration (see Figure 30) shares similar characteristics to the one depicted above because in

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both versions the four cardinal sign pathways are joined to Tifaret and form the ‗garden‘ that surrounds it. Similarly, in both versions the four fixed sign pathways form the square ‗wall‘ that encloses the garden of Tifaret, and the four mutable signs are positioned as the ‗ceiling‘ that covers the garden of Tifaret. This basic similarity effectively establishes a general rule that greatly reduces the number of possible Simple letter pathway configurations.

The Shekinah As you know, the sefirah Malkut incorporates and unifies within itself the twelve zodiacal influences (i.e. as expressions of the twelve Hebrew Simple letter pathways). In Malkut the Zodiac is understood as assuming a ‗physical‘ form because it is able to be physically defined (i.e. as twelve 30° longitudinal sectors of space that encompass and embrace planet Earth). The twelve-fold circle of Malkut provides a ‗physical‘ environment within which the seven Double letter planetary influences can exist, function, and evolve.

The seven astrological planets revolve within the circumference of the zodiacal circle of Malkut. The astrological planets are expressions of the seven Double letter sefirot that are stationed above Malkut on the Tree of Life. In other words, the seven sefirot send down their influences into Malkut wherein they manifest as the seven planetary spheres. The sefirah Malkut itself however, represents the twelve-fold environment that the seven planetary sefirot interact with. This interaction between the seven sefirot and the twelve-fold circle of Malkut is in the manner of a relationship between a man and a woman and is symbolised as such in the writings of the Zohar.

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Thus, what occurs in the sphere of Malkut is actually a reflection within the physical realm of a ‗higher‘ interaction that is occurring between the seven male Double letter sefirot and the twelve female Simple letter pathways (i.e. that extend between those sefirot).

The female (i.e. Malkut) is called in the Zohar the Shekinah (hnykv, ‗dwelling‘) while the male aspect is termed Israel (as personified by the patriarch Jacob). Israel represents the ‗consciousness‘ aspect of Humanity, while the Shekinah (i.e. Malkut) represents the materially-based environment in which he dwells. The male personage Israel (or Jacob) is identified with the sefirah Tifaret 119, but embodies within himself the totality of the seven sefirot above Malkut on the Tree of Life, while the Shekinah with whom Israel seeks to form a special relationship is represented by the sefirah Malkut.

In actuality, the Shekinah principle has two basic expressions and these are represented on the Tree of Life diagram by the sefirot Binah and Malkut. Binah represents the higher Shekinah, while Malkut represents the lower Shekinah. These two expressions of the Shekinah principle are also called Mother and Daughter, and are represented by the two Hebrew letter Hehs (H, h) of the divine Name YHVH (Heb: hwhy). In terms of divine Reality however, the Shekinah principle is One, and its two apparently separate expressions are only experienced as such by the Consciousness principle (or Son).

The Son (or Jacob/Israel) is represented by the Hebrew letter Vav (V, w). Vav subjectively separates the two Hehs (H, h) in the divine Name YHVH.

To be more precise, Jacob is associated with Tifaret, while Israel (representing Jacob‘s perfection) is associated with the sefirah Da‘at. More generally speaking however, Israel personifies all the seven Double letter sefirot (i.e. from Da‘at to Yesod). 119

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Outside the realm of Vav (i.e. the field microcosmic Consciousness) the two Hehs are actually one Heh and this supernal state of divine Being is represented by the holy Name YH (Yah, hy). It is extremely important to grasp this concept because it explains the greatest challenge of the human condition—that is, to unify within Consciousness (V) the two apparently separated expressions of the Shekinah principle (H and H). In order to begin to unify the two Hehs within us, the first thing we need to do is to intelligently recognise (from the perspective of microcosmic Consciousness) the difference between these two expressions of the Shekinah principle.

The Shekinah is feminine and therefore represents the receptive Form principle. It signifies the ‗container‘ that encapsulates and surrounds the masculine Israel principle. The Earth (and everything produced from it) is our container. When you look around you what do you see? When the Consciousness principle (i.e. the ‗soul‘) within you peers through your eyes it sees naught but the Shekinah principle. Everything that you can perceive around you is an expression of the Shekinah principle. Your interaction with the World represents an intimate relationship that is occurring between your Consciousness principle (Jacob/Israel) and the Shekinah (although you may not be aware of it).

If you look at the World around you and see nothing but a relatively random array of material objects then you are looking at the lower Shekinah (i.e. the second Heh of YHVH) without (at the same time) being conscious of the higher Shekinah (i.e. the first Heh of YHVH). This condition represents a state of darkness and is symbolised in the Zohar by the separation of Israel from the Shekinah.120

120

It is also symbolised in the Book of Genesis by Adam and Eve‘s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

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For as the sun, although his centre is in heaven, yet spreads his power and might throughout the earth, so that the whole earth is full of his glory, so, as long as the Temple was in existence, the whole earth, to wit, the Holy Land, was full of God‘s glory; but now that Israel is in exile, the Shekinah is on high, but still her might surrounds Israel so as to shield them, even when they are in a strange land. For the Shekinah is both here below and on high. The Shekinah on high [Binah] abides in the twelve holy chariots and the twelve supernal Hayyoth; the lower Shekinah [Malkut] is among the twelve holy tribes, and thus the upper Shekinah and the lower Shekinah are intertwined, and both operate together and simultaneously. Now, when Israel is in exile, the upper Shekinah [Binah] is not complete because the lower Shekinah [Malkut] is not complete, and that is what is meant by the Shekinah being in exile when Israel is in exile. 121

The higher Shekinah represents the divine blueprint of meaning (or Understanding, ‗Binah‘) that underlies and supports the physical surface appearance of our World. When we unify within our consciousness the higher and lower expressions of the Shekinah principle then our involvement in the World acquires a vastly deeper significance. That significance is based on the special intimate relationship that exists between our own Consciousness principle (the male aspect, Vav) and the Shekinah principle (the female aspect, Heh). The specific nature of this relationship is different for each individual human soul. It is something that must be discovered by each of us individually.

The esoteric mechanics of this process involves ‗clearing‘ (or ‗unblocking‘) the twelve Simple letter pathways in which the six Double letter sefirot (seven if we count the sefirah Da‘at) are embedded.

121

Soncino Zohar. Vol II, pp. 112-113. Vayeze, 159b. Bracketed text is my own.

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The conscious human ego, when it is looking out upon the World, must become able to simultaneously perceive both the higher and lower expressions of the Shekinah principle, and at the same time understand the deeper meaning that unifies them. Unenlightened consciousness blocks this mode of perception. Any resistance that blocks the pure ‗stream of conscious light‘ from being maintained between the higher Shekinah (upper Heh), the Son (Vav), and the lower Shekinah (lower Heh) must be eliminated. The Consciousness principle becomes increasingly luminous as the twelve Simple letter pathways are cleared of debris. I like to think of this as a process of tuning the twelve Simple letter components of the psyche in to the higher frequencies of Binah which then also has the effect of changing our perception and experience of Malkut.

Figure 37 illustrates how the human psyche must align (or harmonise) itself with the higher and lower aspects of the Shekinah. In the diagram, the pathway of Het (Cancer) in the psyche is becoming attuned with the same Het archetype as it exists within (the two expressions of) the Shekinah principle.

When I say that debris exists within the twelve simple letter pathways I am speaking of incongruities that exist in the relationships between the seven Double letter sefirot (i.e. the astrological planets) and the twelve Simple letter pathways (i.e. the zodiacal signs). The sefirot and pathways represent male and female forces respectively, and they need to establish ‗right relationship‘ in order for the energy to be able to flow harmoniously between them.

Another way of understanding this process is if you imagine the twelve Simple letter pathways as wiring on a circuit-board. The wiring needs to be properly connected for the instrument (i.e. the human psyche) to correctly function. The ‗electrical current‘ that powers the metaphorical circuit-board is generated by the Consciousness principle as represented by the seven Double letter sefirot. It radiates from the seven sefirot and flows into and through the twelve Simple letter pathways.

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Figure 37 : Aligning Consciousness with the Shekinah

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This brings us to a special association that exists between the higher sefirot of the Tree of Life and the lower sefirot and pathways.

Table 6 : Some Tree of Life Associations

Highest Sefirot Keter (Tip of Yud) Hockmah (Yud) Binah (Upper Heh)

Lower Correspondences Three Mother letter pathways (Tip of Yud) Seven Double letter sefirot (Vav) Twelve Simple letters pathways (Lower Heh)122

Just as there exists a special connection between the Mother principle (i.e. Binah) and the Daughter (i.e. the twelve Simple letter pathways and Malkut), so too there exists a special connection between the Father principle (i.e. Hockmah) and the Son (i.e. the seven Double letter sefirot). In the Zohar the Father principle is referred to as the ―God of Israel‖.

The seven sefirot of the Son inherit and receive from Hockmah (the Father) a particular kind of energy that they then channel into the twelve pathways of the Daughter. That special energy is represented by the Water element (Maym, m) and is often referred to as ‗Mercy‘ and ‗Blessings‘ in the Zohar. Similarly, the twelve pathways of the Daughter inherit and receive from Binah (the Mother) an influx of elemental Fire (Shin, v) which is often referred to in the Zohar as ‗Judgment‘.

The twelve Simple letter pathways are unified in the sefirah Malkut which is also represented by the lower Heh of YHVH. 122

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The Polyhex Key to the Pathways

S

upport for the Tree of Life pathway formula (as expounded in this book) was unexpectedly uncovered during my recent (circa 2010) research into sacred polyhex geometry. My new findings in the field of polyhex geometry demonstrate that the hierarchical 3:7:12 division of the pathways is a natural result of the polyhex geometric model of Creation.

The Geometric Model The manifestation of the kabbalistic Tree of Life involves the coming together of two primary principles called Spirit and Matter (or Form). The merging of these two principles produces a third middle principle called Consciousness (or more accurately, Soul). The merging process can be illustrated very simply using two overlapping circles. (See the figure below.)

Before the beginning of Time and Space the two circles are separated, but eventually they approach each other, intersect, and partly merge together. The area of their overlap forms the Soul/Consciousness principle.

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Figure 38 : The Merging of Spirit & Form

To build the complex form that is the Tree of Life diagram we must replace the Spirit and Form circles with polyhexagons.

The special polyhexagonal form upon which the Tree of Life is based is a structure that consists of nineteen individual hexagons arranged in a composite hexagonal shape. This special polyhexagon is characterized by two sub-groups of component hexagons. Firstly, a group of seven hexagons, six of which are located around the perimeter of the polyhex, and a seventh located precisely at its centre. The second sub-group consists of twelve individual hexagons that fill the main body of the polyhex construct.

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Figure 39 : Tree of Life Polyhexagon

You may recognize the significance of the figures seven and twelve as coinciding with the number of Hebrew Double and Simple letters respectively. This is a very important correspondence that we will examine more closely below.

The Tree of Life polyhexagon is a special modification of another 19-Hex polyhex that I call the Genesis polyhexagon. In my understanding, the Genesis polyhex is the natural organic form upon which the Tree of Life polyhexagon is based. The Tree of Life polyhexagon rearranges the nineteen hexes of the Genesis polyhex so that the inner dynamics of the Genesis polyhexagon are more easily perceived. The Tree of Life polyhex reveals the structure of the pathways of interconnection that exists between the various hexes of the Genesis polyhexagon.

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The Genesis polyhexagon resembles an organic cell. It has a nucleus and an outer membrane. Cosmically, we can understand the nucleus as composed of the seven astrological planets (or planetary gods/logoi) while the outer membrane consists of the twelve zodiacal signs (or major angelic/devic forces). The interaction between these two groups of divine Beings produces All-ThatIs. The Tree of Life polyhexagon reveals more clearly how the two groups energetically interact with each other.

Figure 40 : The Genesis & Tree of Life Polyhexes

There are two types of Genesis polyhexagons—a Spirit polyhex, and a Form polyhex. They both have a seven-fold nucleus surrounded by a twelve-fold membrane. Correspondingly, there are also two Tree of Life polyhexagons and it is these latter two polyhexes that we are considering in this chapter.

The merging of the two Tree of Life polyhexagons produces interesting results. The Tree of Life diagram is now clearly revealed in the composite hexagonal design (below right). The three white hexagons at the top of the yellow polyhexagon represent the three highest sefirot of the Tree of Life—Keter, Hockmah, and Binah. They remain wholly detached from the Form principle polyhexagon (shaded blue). pg. 124


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Only seven yellow hexagons remain visible in the main body of the Spirit polyhexagon. These represent the seven Hebrew Double letter pathways of the Tree (i.e. as I have delineated them in this book). The correspondence to my original pathway findings is precise as I will demonstrate shortly.

Figure 41 : The Merging of the Spirit & Form Polyhexes

In numbering the component hexagons (below) I have placed all of the even numbers on the right side of the polyhexagon and the odd numbers on the left. I have chosen to use this convention merely to identify the right side as ‗male‘ (even) and the left side as ‗female‘ (odd). But it is also interesting to note that this convention shows the natural sequence of the lower sefirotic hexagons (shaded grey) progressing from Tifaret (4) to Hod (5) which is contrary to the traditional numbering system which has Netzah (6) following numerically after Tifaret (4).

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Thus, this odd/even rule results in a more accurate presentation of the ‗hierarchy of the planes‘123 because Hod (as Mercury) represents the lower mental plane and therefore it should come before Netzah who as Venus symbolizes the astral plane.

Figure 42 : The Tree of Life Polyhexagon

The three highest sefirot represent the sacred trinity of divine Powers. The seven Double letter pathways symbolize the seven Heavens/Palaces 124, the seven planetary Spirits (or Logoi), the seven angels who attend the Throne of God, etc. They represent supernal powers guiding and administrating the lower

123

That is, as described in the teachings of Theosophy.

124

Hebrew: Shamayim (‫)שמים‬, and Hekhalot (‫)היכלות‬.

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worlds. Each of these seven Double letter pathways is the ensouling spiritual source of one of the seven lower sefirot (or ‗planetary spheres‘).

The Form principle polyhexagon includes the seven lower sefirot (i.e. corresponding to the seven grey shaded hexagons) and the twelve Simple letter pathways (corresponding to the twelve blue shaded hexagons above).

An important consequence of the polyhexagon merging and overlapping process is that five of the Spirit principle pathways become concealed beneath the upper portion of the Form principle polyhexagon—that is, they become hidden below the surface of the newly formed Soul principle. My thinking is that these five concealed pathways correspond to the five Final Hebrew letters—Kaf final (‫)ך‬, Maym final (‫)ם‬, Nun final (‫)ן‬, Peh final (‫)ף‬, and Tzaddie final (‫)ץ‬. The implication of this geometric symbolism is fascinating.

Figure 43 : The Soul Principle (Green)

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The Soul principle is formed as a result of the intersection, overlapping, and interaction of the Spirit and Form principles. This area of overlap is indicated in the diagram above by the five green hexagons and their four bounding grey hexagons (i.e. numbered with white numerals). The soul is thus seen to be an admixture of Spirit and Form. The Soul principle is also seen to be a relatively impermanent principle (or state of being). It manifests only when the Spirit principle merges with the Form principle. The significant implication of this is that when it comes time for the Spirit and Form principles to once again separate themselves the Soul principle dissolves (or disassembles). In terms of our geometric symbolism, the area of intersection between the Spirit and Form polyhexagons disappears. This process of separation occurs during what Theosophists call a period of ‗pralaya‘125.

Your first feelings on hearing this proposition may include some disappointment. You may feel that the dissolution of your soul will lead to the loss of your identity (or your existence as an individual). This is not truly the case however. The soul is merely a temporary vehicle that allows the Spirit to involve itself in the substance of matter.126 Your spirit (i.e. monad) remains in existence during the period of Pralaya. Before the soul‘s dissolution during Pralaya, its essence is absorbed into and stored in the monad. I believe this process is made possible by the existence of an occult mechanism involving the five Hebrew Final letter pathways.

Pralaya (Sanskrit) [from pra away + the verbal root li to dissolve] Dissolving away, death, dissolution, as when one pours water upon a cube of salt or sugar: the cube of salt or sugar vanishes in the water, dissolves, and changes its form. So during a pralaya, matter crumbles or vanishes away into something else which is yet in it, surrounds it, and interpenetrates it. Pralaya is often defined as the state of latency or rest between two manvantaras or great life cycles. [From: The Rakefet Theosophical Dictionary.] 125

In fact, human-beings are destined to evolve beyond soul-based consciousness. The soul becomes obsolete as a vehicle of consciousness at the 4th Initiation (called the Great Renunciation). It is then transcended and replaced with ‗monadic‘ consciousness. 126

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Figure 44 : Polyhexagon Tree of Life — Hebrew

The five Final letter pathways are concealed beneath the five visible Simple letter pathways of the Soul principle. The five Finals belong to the Spirit principle polyhexagon, but they are covered and concealed by the Simple letter ‗soul pathways‘ of the overlapping Form principle. My theory is that the esoteric function of the five Final letter pathways is to gather in and absorb the Knowledge that has been gained during the term of the soul‘s existence. By ‗Knowledge‘ is meant the combined Wisdom and Understanding (or ‗lovewisdom‘) that the soul has acquired during its term of existence. These qualities are collected and stored within the monad during each period of Pralaya.

Thus, when the Spirit polyhexagon detaches itself from the Form polyhexagon it carries with it the five concealed Final letter pathways because they are part of its fundamental structure. So, nothing of value is lost during a Pralaya. pg. 129


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The Hebrew letters are arranged on the Spirit and Form polyhexagons as per the diagram above.127

The seven Double letter pathways are shaded yellow. The twelve Simple letter pathways are shaded blue. The five Final letters (coloured blue) are positioned on five yellow hexagons near the base of the Spirit polyhexagon (above left). They are bounded by four hexagons containing the letters of the Tetragrammaton—YHVH (orange lettering). This small subset of hexagons bounded by YHVH (‫ )יהוה‬basically represents the monad (i.e. the monadic triad). The overlapping hexagons of the soul are merely a garment the monad wears when it descends into the realm of ‗physical existence‘. The twelve Simple letters are expressions of the Form principle, or Great Mother ‗Shekinah‘ principle.

The seven Double letters have two variant forms—a ‗soft‘ pathway form representing supernal spiritual forces, and a ‗hard‘ sefirotic form (i.e. identified by a dagesh, or dot) representing lower, more material projections of the supernal pathways.

The five Finals are differentiated as follows:  Maym Final (‫ = )ם‬Mother letter  Kaf Final (‫ )ך‬and Peh Final (‫ = )ף‬Double letters  Nun Final (‫ )ן‬and Tzaddie Final (‫ = )ץ‬Simple letters

Thus, all the three major Hebrew letter groups—Mothers, Doubles, and Simples, are represented in the five Finals.

127

But note that the arrangement of the twelve Simple letters is somewhat flexible.

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My current hypothesis is that Maym Final collects the essence of the two Mother letter pathways (i.e. the vertical pathways of Maym and Shin) that infuse the Form principle polyhexagon. Similarly, Kaf Final and Peh Final gather the essence of the seven Double letter sefirot of the Form principle polyhexagon. Lastly, Nun Final and Tzaddie Final collect the essence of the twelve Simple letter pathways of the Form principle polyhexagon. So when the Spirit principle polyhexagon detaches and separates from the Form principle the threefold essence of its experience within the substance of matter (i.e. as recorded by the soul) is taken with it via the five Hebrew Final letter pathways.

Figure 45 : Tree of Life — Traditional & Polyhex Designs

You may notice that there are only nineteen pathway hexagons included in the natural structure of the polyhex Tree of Life design. (See the diagram above.) Three of the twenty-two pathways of the Tree of Life appear to be missing. I have also omitted them from the traditional drawing of the Tree of Life (above left). The missing three are the three Mother letter pathways—Alef, Maym, and Shin.

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Most kabbalistic commentators assign the three Mother letters to the three horizontal pathways of the Tree diagram 128, but my findings indicate that their more metaphysically meaningful placements are with the three vertical pathways of the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. In my view the Double letter Bayt (‫ )ב‬is assigned to the highest horizontal pathway (i.e. joining Hockmah with Binah) because it is responsible for formulating the first of the seven lower sefirot—Da‘at. The sefirah Da‘at arises as a result of the interaction between Hockmah and Binah—an interaction facilitated by the horizontal Bayt pathway. The hard form of the letter Bayt consequently emerges as the distinguishing archetype of the sefirah Da‘at.

The Tree of Life formation formula (as described in this book) posits the location of the Hebrew letters on the sefirot and pathways of the Tree diagram in a descending hierarchy that follows the sequence 3:7:12—that is, MothersDoubles-Simples. For this reason, the formula cannot be reconciled with the traditional numeric method of assigning the letters to the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal pathways. The old method places the three Mother letters on the three horizontal pathways, the seven Double letters on the seven vertical pathways, and the twelve Simple letters on the twelve diagonal pathways of the Tree diagram.

The traditional methodology appears, at first glance, to be most agreeable, but I believe it is an erroneous correspondence. The geometric framework of the Tree diagram is built according to the fundamental esoteric ratio 3:7:12 because it represents a blueprint of the divine Creation. The Hebrew alphabet is also constructed according to the 3:7:12 ratio because it represents the twenty-two divine archetypes. It does not necessarily follow however, that the two are meant to be combined together purely on the numerical basis of this 3:7:12 ratio. In fact, the Sefer Yetzirah states:

128

Without much explanation besides the obvious numerically based correspondence.

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One on three, three on seven, seven on twelve, And all are bound, one to another. These are the twenty-two letters‌129

Obviously, a 3:7:12 hierarchical arrangement of the Hebrew letters is indicated by this statement. Clearly, it is a contradiction of the principles of the Sefer Yetzirah to widely intermingle the three classes of Hebrew letters on the Tree diagram (i.e. as does the orthodox numerical letter-pathway arrangement).

To put it simply, the Sefer Yetzirah is saying...

o o o o

One (All-encompassing Ain Sof) on three (supernal sefirot) Three (supernal sefirot) on seven (supernal pathways) Seven (lower sefirot) on twelve (lower pathways) And they are all interconnected

(See the figure below.)

The Zohar is similarly supportive of the hierarchical approach. In its anthropomorphosis of the Tree of Life the Zohar associates the three highest sefirot with the head of Adam, and the lower sefirot with his body. These correspondences combine well with the Sefer Yetzirah‘s assignment of the seven Double letters to the eyes, ears, nostrils, and mouth.

129

Sefer Yetzirah, 6:5-6.

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Figure 46 : The Hierarchical Arrangement of the Hebrew Letters

Logically, the seven Double letter pathways (symbolizing seven physical attributes of the human head) need to be arranged upon the head of Adam at the top of the Tree of Life diagram.

The Sefer Yetzirah assigns the twelve Simple letter pathways to the torso, limbs, and internal organs of the human body, and therefore logically these should be located within the lower portion of the anthropomorphic Tree diagram—that is, below the head.

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One of the key arguments for the old numerically-based arrangement is that the Sefer Yetzirah describes the twelve Simple letter pathways as ‗diagonal boundaries‘ (‫)גבולי אלכסון‬.130 It is true that twelve of the Tree of Life pathways are diagonal (or sloping), but the diagonal pathways do not resemble ‗boundaries‘ on the Tree diagram. In the hierarchical pathway arrangement however, the twelve Simple letter pathways do resemble diagonal boundaries (or ‗sloping sides‘) because they form the twelve bounding sides of six adjacent triangles that surround Tifaret in the lower portion of the Tree diagram. (See the diagram above left. The twelve Simple letter pathways are coloured blue.)

The three vertical Mother letter pathways unite the four sefirot of the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life, but they are not included in the polyhexagonal structure of the Tree. This reflects the mysterious nature of these three pathways. They represent the fluid essence of Being. Their movement, interaction, and intermingling produces the flowing stream of awareness that we call consciousness, and necessarily also the illusion of time and space. Because of this, they move within and beneath the surface of consciousness and are not directly perceived by it. Only their effects are perceptible. What is inferred is that consciousness is not a fixed enduring principle, but rather, is a fluid process.

Interestingly, in the polyhexagon Tree diagram, the Shin (Fire) pathway is invisibly located beneath the Tet (Leo) hexagon. The Fire of Shin is associated with Nachash—the ‗Kundalini Serpent‘. Tet also means serpent, and Leo (ruled by the Sun) is a fire sign that epitomizes the fiery principle of consciousness. The Maym (Water) pathway is invisibly located beneath the Tzaddie (Aquarius) hexagon. Of course, Aquarius is known as the ‗Water Carrier‘131, and is also strongly associated with the consciousness principle. These two signs, Leo and Aquarius, form the vertical axis of the Fixed zodiacal cross.

Sefer Yetzirah, 6:1. Note that it does not, however, describe the three Mother letter pathways as ‗horizontal‘, or the seven Double letter pathways as ‗vertical‘. 130

131

The Tzaddie pathway carries the Water of Maym from the sefirah Hesed to the sefirah Geburah.

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The Alef (Air) pathway is invisibly located beneath the Bayt (Saturn) pathway hexagon. This is appropriate because Bayt is chief of the seven Double letters, and Alef is chief of the three Mother letters. Also, Alef is thought to stand invisibly behind Bayt during the process of Creation (which is why Berashit 132 begins with a Bayt and not an Alef).

You may have noticed in the diagrams that the two Simple letter pathways Qof (Pisces) and Sameck (Sagittarius) are placed differently in this polyhex arrangement—i.e. compared to the arrangement I described in earlier chapters. The reason for this slight deviation is that although normally these two pathways extend from Hesed and Geburah to Yesod, they are also capable of extending to Da‘at (i.e. from Hesed and Geburah). This only occurs during the process of ‗divine inspiration‘ (i.e. conscious contact with the monad)—an experience that rarely happens in an average person‘s lifetime. In the polyhexagon Tree diagram these two pathways are placed in their elevated positions adjacent to Da‘at. Thus, this particular pathway configuration reflects the conscious alignment strived for by Disciples (or Tzadikim) on the Path. The state of consciousness that this configuration represents grows stronger and more stable as a disciple continues on his/her path of inner development. For disciples and initiates, the Fire (Shin, ‫ )ש‬of creative inspiration flows from Da‘at to Geburah (i.e. representing the Abstract Mind) along the Sameck (Sagittarius) pathway. The Water (Maym, ‫ )מ‬of spiritual intuition flows from Da‘at to Hesed (i.e. representing the Intuitive Mind) along the Qof (Pisces) pathway.

While the Sameck and Qof pathways remain exclusively attached to the sefirah Yesod they symbolize the presence in a person‘s mind of worldly illusions (Sagittarius) and glamours (Pisces). These illusions are fostered within, and perpetuated by the collective mindset of mundane human society. They effectively fill the pathways of Sameck and Qof with a darkness that blocks access to the higher sefirot Geburah and Hesed. But as a person frees themselves from the glamours and illusions of society they simultaneously

132

That is, the Book of Genesis.

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become consciously open to the higher sefirot and thus to divine impressions entering into and through the human soul (i.e. flowing from Da‘at to Hesed and Geburah). The divine inspiration that is received through the pathways of Sameck and Qof is expressed and applied (in the mundane world) via the lower and complementary pathways of Zayn (Gemini) and Yud (Virgo). Together these four pathways constitute the Mutable Cross of the Heavens (i.e. the cross of mutable zodiacal signs). On the Tree of Life, the primary creative-evolutionary purpose of the Mutable Cross is to positively transform the human expression of the psychic influence of the astrological Moon (i.e. as it is felt within the sefirah Yesod).

The main evolutionary function of the four signs (and pathways) of the Cardinal Cross is to stabilize the expression of the astrological Sun upon the Path of Righteousness. Thus, on the Tree of Life diagram we see the four cardinal sign pathways anchoring and holding the sefirah Tifaret (i.e. the Sun) upon the Middle Pillar of the Tree. Their role is to hold Tifaret steady so that it doesn‘t drift too far towards the left-hand Pillar of Severity, or conversely, too far towards the right-hand Pillar of Mercy. As long as Tifaret‘s central position upon the Middle Pillar is maintained then it retains direct access to ‗HaShem‘133—that is, to the forces of Shin (‫ )ש‬and Maym (‫ )מ‬flowing through the ‗invisible‘ Middle Pillar pathways. When this condition is fulfilled, a humanbeing becomes a Tzadik—i.e. one who is faithfully aligned upon his/her ‗path of righteousness‘.

The four signs (and pathways) of the Fixed, or Cherubic Cross are responsible for refining the four main faculties 134 of human consciousness as represented by the four ‗directional‘ sefirot—Hesed, Geburah, Hod, and Netzah. These faculties are associated with the four elements and the four magical implements—the Cup, the Wand, the Sword, and the Disk (or Pentacle). The 133

Hebrew – The ‗Name‘, spelled Shin-Maym, referring to the divine Name of God.

That is, the intuitive mind, the abstract mind, the rational mind, and the astral body (or desire mind). 134

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four cherubic ‗animals‘ represent active intelligent expressions of the four esoteric elements. They signify powerful forces that are responsible for the diversity of life and life experience on our planet. On the Tree diagram their four pathways form a square enclosure whose four walls intersect at the four ‗corner‘ sefirot—Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, and Hod.

Figure 47 : Tree of Life : 3+7+12 Pathways

The 3-7-12 hierarchical structure of the Tree of Life diagram inclines me to think that an update is needed to the original polyhex Tree model that I described in my book The Hexagonal Geometry of the Tree of Life. The model I depicted in that book was constructed as follows…

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 3-Hex (x3) = 3 supernal sefirot  4-Hex (x7) = 7 lower sefirot  5-Hex (x22) = 22 pathways

The above arrangement is useful as a basic model of the Tree of Life, but if a more metaphysically accurate presentation is desired then a change is needed because (as has been demonstrated) the seven supernal Double letter pathways (i.e. located in the upper part of the Tree diagram) manifest before the seven lower sefirot and the twelve Simple letter pathways. The seven Double letter pathways should therefore be associated with the seven tetrahexes (i.e. 4hexes). The revised model looks like this…

 3-Hex (x3) = 3 supernal sefirot  4-Hex (x7) = 7 supernal pathways (Doubles)  5-Hex (x22) = 7 lower sefirot (Doubles) + 12 lower pathways (Simples) + 3 Mother letter pathways

Although the original model appears simpler, the revised model represents a more accurate depiction of the Tree of Life manifestation process. The formation of the Tree of Life begins with the appearance of the three supernal sefirot. Then the seven supernal pathways emerge between them. And then finally the seven lower sefirot and twelve lower pathways manifest.

Thus, it is more logical to have the simpler polyhexes (i.e. those with fewer component hexagons) arranged upon the upper portion of the Tree, and the more complex polyhexes (i.e. the 5-Hexes) assigned to the lower section (coloured red in the diagram).

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Figure 48 : The Polyhex Tree of Life (Revised)

In the diagram135 the three trihexes are coloured yellow, the seven tetrahexes are coloured blue, and the twenty-two pentahexes are coloured red. The twelve pentahexes that I have ascribed to the twelve Simple letters are (as explained in my book136) geometrically different from the other ten pentahexes in the 5-hex group because they are able to ‗tile the plane‘ in the most simple manner possible. As shown in the diagram above, the remaining ten pentahexes (of the group) are assigned to the seven Double letters and the three Mother letters.

135

136

This arrangement of the polyhexes is only one of many possible variations. See: The Hexagonal Geometry of the Tree of Life.

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The three Mother letter pathways are displayed on the right-hand side of the diagram. They are concealed beneath the other pathways of the Tree. They flow into the Tree of Life in a manner similar to the entry of the soul into the confines of its prepared physical vehicle. The three Mother letter pathways galvanize and energize the sefirot of the Middle Pillar, and they trigger the commencement of the creative-evolutionary process that occurs within the branches of the Tree.

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pg. 142


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The Elements & the Tree Alef The three Mother letter pathways become carved out vertically along the middle pillar of the Tree of Life diagram 137 as the Tree unfolds into manifestation. They represent three major evolutionary and creative forces that are ever-present and constantly active in the world. The path of Alef (A, a) is located above the Firmament of Heaven 138 and is strongly associated with the influence of the sefirah Keter. It extends between Keter and Da‘at, and represents a particular energy dynamic that is established between those two sefirot.

The path of Alef represents the action of elemental Air. Its main function is to regulate the influx of (and balance between) elemental Water (Maym) and elemental Fire (Shin) within the Creation.

This arrangement is diametrically different to the usual interpretation that has them occupying the three horizontal pathways of the Tree of Life. 137

The usual interpretation puts the path of Alef in the middle of the Tree diagram between Shin (above) and Maym (below). That is because in the Sefer Yetzirah Alef is said to arbitrate between Maym and Shin. That logic is maintained here, but the concept is understood as referring to the three supernal sefirot where Alef (Keter) is positioned as arbiter between Maym (Hockmah) and Shin (Binah). In this new model the path of Alef also decides between the paths of Maym and Shin, but it does so from its position in the upper part of the Tree diagram. (See below.) 138

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Figure 49 : The Path of Alef

70. One (path) which shineth in the midst of the hairs going forth from the Skull, is that path by whose light the just are led into the world to come.

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71. Like as it is written, Prov. iv. 18: ―And the path of the just shineth as the light.‖139

From its position high up on the Tree of Life, the path of Alef oversees the delicate karmic balance between Mercy (as embodied in the path of Maym) and Judgment (as represented by the path of Shin).

Maym The path of Maym (M, m) is esoterically linked with the sefirah Hockmah and emerges in close association with the sefirah Tifaret. It represents a particular energy dynamic that unites the sefirot Tifaret and Da‘at. The path of Maym symbolises the action of elemental Water. Its primary function is to mitigate with Mercy 140 the severe Judgments that effect the lower sefirot and that are embodied by the sefirah Malkut. (See below.)

The Greater Holy Assembly speaks of the path of Maym when it says...

584. In the parting of the hair appeareth a certain slender path, which hath a certain connection with that path of the Ancient of Days, and from that path are divided six hundred and thirteen paths, which are distributed among the paths of the precepts of the law.

139

LHA, 2:70-71.

140

In Theosophy this force is called ‗Buddhi‘, or ‗Love Wisdom‘.

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585. Like as it is written, Ps. xxv. 6: ―All the paths of Tetragrammaton are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimony.‖141

Although the number six hundred and thirteen is obviously associated with the 613 commandments (Mitzvot) of Judaism, it is used here in a symbolic manner. In this context it alludes to the six lower sefirot (i.e. below Da‘at) and the thirteen pathways that join the six sefirot together. These consist of the twelve Simple letter pathways plus the path of Shin (in their midst) that connects Tifaret with Yesod. The path of Maym affixes all these six sefirot and thirteen pathways to Da‘at.

The Lesser Holy Assembly describes the manifestation of the path of Maym as coming from the sefirah Hockmah (Wisdom). 142

186. ...Three Heads, which One Head includeth. 187. And those three are extended into Microprosopus, and from them all things shine forth. 188. Thenceforth this Wisdom instituteth a formation, and produceth a certain river which floweth down and goeth forth to water the garden. 189. And it entereth into the head [Da’at]143 of Microprosopus, and formeth a certain other brain.

141

GHA, XXIX:584-585.

142

Hockmah is the second ‗Head‘ of Macroprosopus.

In the Zohar, the sefirah Da‘at is said to represent the Head/Brain of Microprosopus, while the three highest sefirot—Keter, Hockmah, and Binah, are said to collectively represent the Head/Brain of Macroprosopus. 143

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190. And thence it is extended and floweth forth into the whole body, and watereth all those plants (of the garden of Eden). 191. This is that which standeth written, Gen. ii, 9: ―And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, &c.‖144

The path of Maym symbolises the energy of Mercy (or what Theosophy calls ‗love-wisdom‘, or ‗buddhi‘), and it represents that portion of Mercy that has been implanted, and is now held within, the created universe. It has been provided to Microprosopus by Macroprosopus (i.e. by the Creator) to enable Microprosopus to mitigate the severities (or Judgments) inherent in the feminine principle145 of the universe (i.e. as represented especially by the sefirah Malkut). Many of these Judgments are left over from the previous Creation 146 and thus their vibrations are already infused within the primary material from which our universe is being built. Consequently, all created forms that manifest within the universe tend initially toward the expression of Judgment until they are mitigated by Microprosopus (i.e. using the Water of Maym).

The previous Creation is referred to in the Zohar as the domain of the seven Edomite Kings.

19. And it hath proceeded out of that which hath undergone the curse, as it is written in Genesis v., 29, ―From the earth which the Lord hath cursed.‖ (The meaning is: That the kingdom of the restored world was formed from the kingdom of the destroyed world, wherein seven kings had died and their possessions had been broken up. Or, the explanation

144

LHA, § 186-191. Bracketed notes are my own.

145

That is, the ‗form principle‘.

That is, what Master Djwhal Khul would call the ‗first solar system‘. See: A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, by Alice Bailey. Lucis Press, 1951. 146

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of the world, of which mention is made elsewhere, proceedeth from the kingdom of the destroyed world.)147

Thus, there is a natural tendency for the universe to manifest those inherited Judgments that are yet to be mitigated (or rectified).

It is the destined mission of Microprosopus to mitigate these Judgments during our current world evolutionary cycle using the available supply of Mercy (i.e. Maym) that is located symbolically in the path of Maym. This process of mitigation is called Tikkun Olam (‗rectification of the world‘) in traditional kabbalistic terminology.

In esoteric human anatomy the path of Maym corresponds to an influence that touches the upper half of (what is known in the East as) the ‗Shushumna nadi‘.148 The path of Maym represents an energy that is most readily accessible to the four highest chakras: the crown chakra, the ajna chakra, the throat chakra, and the heart chakra. On the Tree of Life diagram these four chakras are represented by the sefirot: Da‘at (Crown), Hesed (Ajna), Geburah (Throat), and Tifaret (Heart).

147

BCM, I:19.

The Shushumna nadi is an energy channel that occupies a region (on subtle levels) that is conterminous with the human spinal column, and along it are positioned the seven major chakras. 148

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Figure 50 : The Path of Maym

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Shin The path of Shin (Sh, s) is closely associated with the influence of the sefirah Binah. It comes into manifestation in conjunction with the sefirah Yesod. It is extended between the sefirot Yesod and Tifaret. The path of Shin represents the action of elemental Fire. It represents a powerful force of natural evolution that is pre-programmed into the ‗energy matrix‘ of the universe. Its action is purging and purifying. 149 The Shin archetype is associated with what the Zohar terms Judgment because part of Shin‘s function is to draw the innately buried Judgments (i.e. those inherited from the previous Creation) out of the depths of matter and into manifestation where they can be transformed (i.e. mitigated) by the action of Mercy (i.e. working through the microcosmic Consciousness principle, or Tifaret).

Here is how the Zohar describes the concept of Judgment...

25. ...And from the head is formed that great dragon which is in the sea, and is the sea-serpent, which is, however, not so harmful as the earthly one. And this dragon hath been castrated since his crest (or membrum genitale), together with his mate, have been repressed, and thence have been formed four hundred [Tav, t] desirable worlds. And this dragon hath in his head a nostril (after the manner of whales) in order that he may receive influence, and in himself he containeth all other dragons, concerning which it is said: ―Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons upon the waters‖ (Ps. lxxiv. 13). And here the idea or universal form of In Theosophy this element corresponds to ‗fire by friction‘. It is also associated with (and controlled by) the force of ‗Atma‘, or the ‗Active Intelligence‘ principle. 149

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all the shells is understood, which encompasseth the seven inferior emanations of the queen after the manner of a serpent, as well from the right as from the left and from every side.) 26. His tail is in his head (that is, he holdeth his tail in his mouth, in order that he may form a circle, since he is said to encompass holiness). He transferreth his head to behind the shoulders (that is, he raiseth his head at the back of the bride of Microprosopus, where is the place of most severe judgments), and he is despised (since in him is the extremity of judgments and severities, whence wrath is the attribute of his forms). He watcheth (that is, he accurately searcheth out and seeketh in what place he may gain an entry into holiness. And he is concealed (as if laying traps; since he insinuateth himself into the inferiors, by whose sins he hath access to the holy grades, where the carrying out of judgments is committed to him.)... 27. There are swellings in his scales (that is, like as in a crocodile; because great in him is the heaping together of judgments). His crest keepeth its own place (that is, there is in him no further power of hastening to things beyond in the Outer)... 28. But his head is broken by the waters of the great sea. (The great sea is wisdom [Hockmah], the fountain of mercy and loving-kindness; which, if it sendeth down its influence, judgments are pacified, and the hurtful power of the shells is restricted); like as it is written, Ps. lxxiv. 13: ―Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons by the waters.‖150

The ―great dragon‖ of Shin (s) is described (in the quote above) as a ―sea serpent‖, and as being ―in the sea‖ (i.e. as Binah is considered to be in the sefirah Hockmah). It is also said that from him have been formed ―four hundred desirable worlds‖ which is a reference to the path of Tav ( t)151. The Tav pathway extends from Binah to Da‘at and is responsible for forming the sefirah Yesod. The path

150

BCM, I:25-28. Bracketed notes are my own.

151

That is, because the Hebrew letter Tav is valued 400.

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of Shin (i.e. Judgment) comes into manifestation along with the sefirah Yesod. (See: Figure 50.)

Figure 51 : The Path of Shin

The two pathways, Shin and Maym, extend below the sefirah Da‘at along the central column of the Tree of Life. They are the two primary elements that

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bring Heaven (i.e. the Creation) into manifestation and sustain its existence. Da‘at is called (in the Book of Creation) the Firmament of Heaven (ShMYM, Myms) because the Hebrew word ShMYM is composed of Shin and Maym (i.e. where Maym is spelled in full as MYM, Mym).

Thus, the Creation (i.e. everything that is beneath the Heavens) is seen to be essentially governed by the interaction of elemental Fire (Judgment) and elemental Water (Mercy). Elemental Air represents the divine regulating influence that determines the appropriate measure and balance of Judgment and Mercy so that they are distributed in right proportion throughout the universe.

The path of Shin occupies a central place in the midst of the twelve Simple letter pathways. The Zohar refers to these twelve zodiacal pathways152 when (in describing the great Dragon of Judgment) it says: ―His tail is in his head (that is, he holdeth his tail in his mouth, in order that he may form a circle...)‖. The path of Shin extends between Yesod and Tifaret, and therefore it forms a hidden central vertical column within the astrological pyramid. Thus, it can also be said that Shin is located invisibly at the centre of the circle of the zodiac.

Shin represents the invisible influence of elemental Fire that flows between the Moon and the Sun. In terms of Eastern philosophy, the path of Shin represents the action of kundalini fire as it is (especially) applied to the lowest four chakras: the base chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar-plexus chakra, and the heart chakra. It is the goal of the path of Shin to purify and unify the four lower chakras so that energy can flow freely between them. The lowest four chakras are represented on the Tree of Life diagram by the sefirot: Yesod (Base), Netzah (Sacral), Hod (Solar Plexus), and Tifaret (Heart).

152

That is, that form the circle of the zodiac.

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Figure 52 : The Astrological Pyramid (plus Shin)

The influence of the path of Shin dominates the first part of human evolution. Its evolutionary force flows through the seven lower sefirot 153 (planets) and the twelve Simple letter pathways (zodiacal signs). The completion of the Shin phase of the evolutionary process is symbolised by the unification of the sefirah Yesod (i.e. the Moon) with the sefirah Tifaret (i.e. the Sun). In terms of human evolution this signals that the four lowest chakras have been unified, and that the basic challenges of the four Fixed zodiacal signs have been overcome.

That is, including the sefirah Da‘at—because Da‘at is the conduit through which the energy of Shin pours into the universe. 153

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These four basic evolutionary challenges are represented by the four Sun-Moon zodiacal triangles mentioned in a previous chapter.

Sun-Moon Triangles    

Aries — Shin (Taurus) — Gemini Cancer — Shin (Leo) — Virgo Libra — Shin (Scorpio) — Sagittarius Capricorn — Shin (Aquarius) — Pisces

And, because the path of Shin is situated amidst the three sefirot of Night, the Shin stage of evolution also especially requires the development and refinement154 of the six astrological signs situated below the horizon of the natural zodiac. They are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo. Correspondingly, it is the goal of the path of Maym (i.e. located above the path of Shin) to complete the unification of the sevenfold chakra system by uniting the four highest chakras so that creative energy can flow freely between Da‘at (i.e. Saturn, representing the crown chakra) and Tifaret (i.e. the Sun, and heart chakra), and through all the seven chakras. To accomplish this goal we are required to refine and develop our expression of the six astrological signs that are situated above the zodiacal horizon. They are: Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

The path of Shin can be thought of as representing a physically focused (and applied) aspect of the Will of the Creator. The Shin-based phase of our evolutionary program requires that we bring our own personal will into alignment with the higher will of our soul (i.e. which latter is also an expression of the Creator‘s divine Will). If our personal will is out of alignment with the higher will of our soul then Shin provides us with experiences designed to transform our consciousness, change our behaviour, and thus to move us into 154

That is, a refinement of the human expression of those zodiacal archetypes.

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closer soul alignment. When our personal will becomes perfectly aligned with the higher will of our soul (as represented by Tifaret) then kundalini fire is able to flow freely through the chakra system and we are able 155 to become involved in the divine process of Creation. (See below.)

Figure 53 : The Lower Sefirot and Zodiac (plus Shin and Maym)

155

That is, if the energy of Maym is also able to flow freely. (Explained below.)

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Figure 54 : The Sefirot and the Chakras

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Figure 55 : The Tree of Life (Full Hebrew Version)

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Figure 56 : The Tree of Life (Full Astrological Version)

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Figure 57 : Tree of Life (Full Twelve Tribes Version)

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Alef, Maym, and Shin The three Mother letter pathways follow the same procedure of ‗condensation‘ as the Double and Simple letter pathways. The condensation of the Mother letter pathways however differs to that of the other paths because the three Mother letter pathways condense to form the three highest sefirot of the Tree of Life of the lower World. The Double and Simple letter pathways, on the other hand, condense to form the seven lower sefirot of the Tree of Life of the same World in which they exist.

When the Creation is ready to extend itself into the World below, the path of Alef sends down its resonance and condenses within the primordial substance of that World to form the sefirah Keter. In other words, when the sefirah Keter manifests, it is as a result of the condensation of the path of Alef located in the World above. The mechanics of this process involves Alef combining its innate elemental Fire and Water within the primordial void to produce the Air of Keter. This process mirrors precisely the method of the original emergence of Keter out of Ain Sof as described in Sefer Berashit 1:1-3. Thus, for example, the path of Alef in the kabbalistic World of Beriah (or World of Creation) condenses to form the sefirah Keter of the World of Yetzirah (or World of Formation).156

The paths of Maym and Shin symbolise evolutionary and creative influences that are relatively fixed, stable, and naturally regulated 157 within the world (as represented by the Tree of Life diagram). They are centrally located directly

The four kabbalistic Worlds manifest in the following order from ‗above‘ to ‗below‘: Atzilut (Emanation), Beriah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation), and Assiah (Making). 156

157

That is, by the path of Alef.

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below and within the Firmament of Heaven (i.e. below Da‘at) and function automatically to bring about steady progress as the universe unfolds on its path of evolution and creation. It is, in fact, the interaction of these two primary pathways (and their associated elements: Water and Fire) beneath the Firmament of Heaven (i.e. below Da‘at) that sustains the existence of the Consciousness principle (or, Air) within the created universe. We saw this universal law in operation when the first sefirah Keter came into manifestation out of Ain Sof, and also when the sefirah Da‘at made its appearance upon the Tree of Life. The same law is now seen to also be applied in regard to the sustainment of the sefirah Tifaret because on either side of Tifaret, on the middle pillar of the Tree of Life, are found the paths of Maym (above Tifaret) and Shin (below Tifaret). The sefirah Tifaret symbolises the central principle of Consciousness (i.e. Air) that inhabits the created universe. The sefirah Yesod, unlike Tifaret, has direct access only to the path of Shin (i.e. Fire), and therefore Yesod must seek to cleave to Tifaret in order to receive the mitigating influence of the path of Maym (i.e. Water).

The process of divine Creation is ongoing. The universe is not a static creation, but rather it is in a constant state of unfoldment. The divine creative process occurs through the mechanism of the sefirah Da‘at, as Da‘at interacts with the two sefirot directly below it—that is, with Hesed and Geburah. It is through this interaction between Da‘at, Hesed, and Geburah that new influxes of the Water and Fire elements are able to enter, permeate, and influence the continuing unfoldment of our universe. This process is however, limited (or slowed) by the prevailing level of consciousness of Microprosopus 158. During the divine creative process two hidden pathways on the Tree of Life manifest to microcosmic consciousness and become temporarily active. 159 These two esoteric pathways provide special ingress for the energies of supernal Water and Fire, or Mercy and Judgment (i.e. towards the seven lower sefirot).

158

That is, the microcosmic human consciousness.

159

These are the two reconfigured pathways of Qof and Sameck.

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The creative influx of Mercy (i.e. Maym) enters via a special Qof pathway that opens up between the sefirot Da‘at and Hesed. The creative influx of Judgement (i.e. Shin) enters via a Sameck pathway that opens up between the sefirot Da‘at and Geburah. The path of Alef regulates the distribution of these Shin and Maym energies from its place above the sefirah Da‘at.

This special influx of additional Maym and Shin energies reconfigures the original Maym and Shin pathways (i.e. that extend below Da‘at) so that they reflect the Creator‘s ongoing creative-evolutionary program. The changes then reverberate through the seven lower sefirot and the twelve Simple letter pathways (and thus also through the seven astrological planets and the twelve zodiacal signs). This results in change to the current direction of universal evolution and creation (i.e. in accordance with divine Will and Purpose of the Creator). The changes also reverberate down into all the lower Worlds—from the path of Maym to the sefirah Hockmah in the lower World, and from the path of Shin to the sefirah Binah in the lower World. Then, consequently, the two esoteric pathways of Mercy (Qof) and Judgment (Sameck) open up from Da‘at in the lower World and the chain of influence continues down through all the Worlds from above to below.160

This macrocosmic process is analogous to the microcosmic process whereby, for example, a yogi asserts conscious control over the normally unconscious autonomic functions of his/her physical body. ―As above, so below.‖ 160

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Secret Pathways The Nose of Macroprosopus The Zohar alludes to the two esoteric paths of Qof (Maym) and Sameck (Shin) when it speaks of the Spirit rushing forth from the two ―nostrils‖ of Macroprosopus. The symbolism being used in the books of the Zohar expresses various aspects of the Tree of Life from different perspectives. Here 161 the perspective of the sefirah Da‘at is from that of the macrocosm (i.e. Macroprosopus). The ‗lips‘ symbolism (described further below) refers to the potential creative power of Microprosopus (i.e. microcosmic humanity) when he is rightly aligned with Macroprosopus. In the Zohar both the ―nose‖ and the ―mouth‖ are seen to be inlets and outlets for the ‗spiritual breath‘ of Ruach (RVCh, xwr). Thus, the ‗nose‘ symbolism we are discussing in this chapter refers specifically to the influence of the macrocosm upon the microcosm.

172. All things are awh, Hoa, He Himself, and He Himself is hidden on every side. So also is His nose. 173. From the nose is the face known. 174. And come see! What is the (difference) between the Ancient One and Microprosopus? Over these nostrils He ruleth; one of which is life, and the other is the life of life.

161

The Greater Holy Assembly. Chapter X. Concerning the Nose of Macroprosopus.

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175. This nose is as a mighty gallery, whence His spirit rusheth forth upon Microprosopus, and they call it the Giver [ hxylo]162.163

The nose is said to be ―hidden on every side‖ because it only becomes ‗visible‘ during the macrocosmic act of Creation. It is then that the nose causes the face to become ―known‖ (Da‘at means ‗knowledge‘). This knowledge is gained by Microprosopus when the microcosm is united with the Creator and becomes involved in the macrocosmic creative process.

From one nostril issues ―life‖ which refers to Shin. From the other nostril issues ―life of life‖ which refers to Maym.

176. And it is thus: The Spirit descendeth; and again the Spirit from hence proceedeth through those nostrils. 177. One is the Spirit; She goeth forth unto Microprosopus, so that he may be aroused in the Garden of Eden. 178. And one is She the Spirit of Life, through Whom in process of time the sons of David hope to know Wisdom. 164 The Fire of Shin (i.e. the ―Spirit‖) descends from the left hemisphere of the brain of Macroprosopus (i.e. Binah) and proceeds to move through the left nostril (Tav, t) of the nose (i.e. Da‘at). It then goes forth from the nose (i.e. Da‘at) to the sefirah Geburah and thus to Microprosopus so that he may be ―aroused in the Garden of Eden‖. The ―Garden of Eden‖ refers to six lower sefirot from Hesed to Yesod. The ‗arousal‘ occurs as a result of the evolutionary force

162

This Hebrew word is usually translated as ‗forgiveness‘.

163

GHA, § 172-175. Square bracketed text is my own.

164

GHA, § 176-178.

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of the Fire of Shin flowing down the hidden path of Sameck into the ‗body‘ of Microprosopus.

Figure 58 : The Hidden Paths of Maym and Shin

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―Wisdom‖ is gained from the Water of Maym (i.e. the ―Spirit of Life‖) as it descends from the right hemisphere of the brain of Macroprosopus (i.e. Hockmah) through the right nostril (i.e. Kaf, k) of the nose (i.e. Da‘at) to the sefirah Hesed. The phrase ―hope to know Wisdom‖ is used here because the influx of Maym only becomes conscious in the microcosm when the Hesed faculty has been integrated consciously in the human psyche. Thus the ―hope‖ exists that one day we may all ―know Wisdom‖.

179. And from that gallery ariseth the Spirit, and proceedeth from the concealed brain, and at length resteth upon King Messiach [MShYCh, xysm]. 180. Like as it is written, Isaiah xi. 2: ―And the Spirit of Tetragrammaton shall rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge, and of the Fear of Tetragrammaton.‖ 181. Apparently four spirits (are described) here. But we have already said that the Spirit is one; why, then, are three (others added unto it?). Arise, Rabbi Yosi, in thy place. 182. Rabbi Yosi arose and said: ―in the days of King Messiach, one shall not say unto the other, ‗Teach me this Wisdom.‘ 183. ―Because it is thus written, Jer. xxxi. 34: ‗A man shall no more teach his neighbour, &c., because all shall know Me, from the least of them even unto the greatest of them.‘165

Section 179 affirms for us that access is gained to the otherwise ―concealed‖ brain via the nostrils of the nose. This is a physiological truth as well as a metaphysical concept.

165

GHA, § 179-183.

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The term ―Messiach‖ is used here to denote a particular rank of human evolutionary achievement. Messiach (xysm) contains the Hebrew letters Maym (m, Water) and Shin (s, Fire) and also the word ‗Chi‘ (yx, Life-force)—the latter written in reverse, and representing the elemental Air of Alef ( a). These three primary elements are combined together within the human soul during the process of Creation.

Section 183 explains that the ‗knowledge‘ of Da‘at is not something that can be taught. It can only be personally experienced.

Chapter X of the Greater Holy Assembly ends by declaring...

206. This is the tradition. The size of this nose is so vast that three hundred and seventy−five worlds are supported by it, which all adhere unto Microprosopus. 207. This is the praise of the conformation of the nose. 208. And this, and all forms of the Ancient of Days, are seen, and are not seen; they are seen by the lords of lords viz., by pious men and they are not seen by any others.166

The number 375 is possibly a reference to ha-A‘ash (HOSh, seh) meaning ‗the creation‘. It would refer therefore, to the divine process of Creation initiated by Macroprosopus, and in which Microprosopus is also able to participate.

166

GHA, § 206-208.

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The Lesser Holy Assembly also tells us that 375 is a reference to the sefirah Hockmah (―the benignity of the Ancient of Days‖).

869. ―Also we have learned in Barietha that three hundred and seventyfive mercies are comprehended in the benignity of the Ancient of Days; which are all called primal benignities. 870. ―Like as it is said, Psalm lxxxix. 50: ‗Where are thy former mercies?‘ And they are all comprehended in the benignity of the Most Holy Ancient One, the most concealed of all.167

In other words, the nose is said to support Maym (the ‗waters of mercy‘) in Hockmah, and that through the nose all those ‗mercies‘ ―adhere unto Microprosopus‖. Thus it can be seen that the symbolism of the nose is extremely important in these books of the Zohar. This is especially due to the central role that the sefirah Da‘at plays in the process of Creation. It is through Da‘at that Microprosopus is able to become united with Macroprosopus. Da‘at represents an interface that exists between Microprosopus and Macroprosopus and that enables a conscious relationship to be established between them. In fact, this is the meaning of the well-known name ―Arikh Aphim‖ assigned to Macroprosopus by the Zohar.

572. The nose of the Most Holy Ancient One is long and extended, and He is called Arikh Aphim, Long of Nose.168

167

LHA, § 869-870.

168

LHA, § 572.

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The name ―Arikh Aphim‖ is also often translated as ―Vastness of Countenance‖.

52. THE whiteness of this skull shineth in thirteen carved out sides: in four sides from one portion; in four sides from the part of His countenance; and in four sides from another part of the periphery; and in one above the skull, as if this last might be called the supernal side. 53. And thence is the Vastness of His Countenance extended into three hundred and seventy myriads of worlds; and hence Mypa Kra, Arikh Aphim, Vastness of Countenance is His name. 54. And He Himself, the Most Ancient of the Most Ancient Ones, is called Nypnad Kyra, Arikh Da-Anpin, the Vast Countenance, or Macroprosopus; and He Who is more external is called Nypna ryez, Zauir Anpin, or Him Who hath the Lesser Countenance (Microprosopus) in opposition to the Ancient Eternal Holy One, the Holy of the Holy Ones. 55. And when Microprosopus looketh back upon Him, all the inferiors are restored in order, and His Countenance is extended, and is made more vast at that time, but not for all time (then only is it), vast like unto the (countenance) of the More Ancient one.169

The nature of the relationship that becomes established (in Da‘at) between the microcosm and the macrocosm is discussed in a later chapter of this book. To end our present chapter, here is an extract from the Lesser Holy Assembly...

447. And when His countenance (i.e., that of Microprosopus) looketh back upon the countenance of the Most Holy Ancient One, all things are called Mypa Kra, Arikh Aphim, Vastness of Countenance.

169

GHA, § 52-55.

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448. What is Mypa Kra, or Vastness of Countenance? Also it should rather be called Mypa Kwra, Arokh Aphim, Vast in Countenance. 449. Assuredly thus is the tradition, since also He prolongeth His wrath against the wicked. But the phrase Mypa Kra, Arikh Aphim, also implies the same as ―healing power of countenance.‖ 450. Seeing that health is never found in the world save when the countenances (of Macroprosopus and Microprosopus) mutually behold each other.170

The Lips of Microprosopus It appears that the esoteric paths of Maym (Qof) and Shin (Sameck) are also described in the Lesser Holy Assembly as the ―lips‖ of Microprosopus.

679. His lips murmur Geburah, Severity, but they also murmur Chokmah, Wisdom. 680. From those lips alike depend good and evil, life and death. 681. From these lips depend the Lords of Vigilance. For when those lips murmur, they all are excited to bring forth secret things, as well as the Lords of judgment in all the tribunals wherein they have their abidingplace.171

170

LHA, § 447-450.

171

LHA, § 679-681.

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The speaker (Rabbi Schimeon) emphasises that both Mercy and Judgment pass through the lips of Microprosopus...

696. And, nevertheless, in each case is there mercy and judgment. And therefore is it said, Dan. iv. 13: ―A watcher and a holy one;‖ judgment and mercy.172

An influx of Judgment173 is always accompanied by an equal and complementary influx of Mercy (and vice versa) in order to maintain the delicate balance of the universe.

We (and all inhabitants of the universe) are affected by these energies according to (symbolically speaking) the place where our consciousness is focused in terms of the Tree of Life schema. If we are primarily focused in the lower branches of the Tree then we will experience more predominantly the force of Judgment as it radiates from the path of Shin. Alternatively, if we are primarily focused in the Tree‘s upper branches then we will experience the force of Mercy as it radiates from the path of Maym. This is a general rule regarding the workings of the Tree of Life.

Rabbi Schimeon goes on to explain that the lips are closed (i.e. inactive) or opened (i.e. active), and that when they are opened the mouth is revealed.

687. And between those lips when they are opened is the mouth disclosed. 172

LHA, § 696.

The term Judgement when used in this context refers to the evolutionary force (i.e. elemental Fire) that stirs up existing Judgements in our universe (i.e. including those that were inherited from the previous Creation) so that they manifest and can be mitigated by Microprosopus. 173

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688. By that xwr, Ruach, breath, which goeth forth from His mouth, many thousands and myriads are enshrouded; and when it is extended by the same are the true prophets enfolded, and all are called the mouth of Tetragrammaton.174

We see here (in LHA, section 688) the same word ―Ruach‖ (RVCh, xwr) being used to describe the energy that issues from the ―mouth‖ of Microprosopus as was also used when describing the energy (i.e. ―Spirit‖) that issues through the ―nose‖ of Macroprosopus (i.e. in GHA, § 175-178 quoted in the previous chapter). ―Ruach‖ is a word that translates as both ―breath‖ and ―spirit‖. The ―breath‖ is said to pass through the ―mouth‖, while the ―spirit‖ is described as issuing through the ―nose‖. The former pertains to Microprosopus, while the latter is associated with Macroprosopus.

Thus, the hidden paths of Maym and Shin (i.e. Qof and Sameck) represent the lips of Microprosopus—either opened (revealed, active) or closed (concealed, inactive). When they are open they reveal the sefirah Da‘at. When they are closed they conceal Da‘at.

689. When forth from His mouth the words proceed through His lips, the same are muttered through the whole circuit of eighteen thousand worlds, until they are all bound together at once in the twelve paths and the known ways. And one thing ever expecteth another.175

The phrase ―eighteen thousand worlds‖ cryptically alludes to the six lower sefirot from Hesed to Yesod plus the twelve Double letter pathways. 176 The ―twelve 174

LHA, § 687-688.

175

LHA, § 689.

176

That is, because 6 + 12 = 18.

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paths‖ are the twelve Simple letter pathways that bind together the six sefirot below Da‘at. The ―known ways‖ are the middle pillar pathways of Maym and Shin. They are described as ―known‖ because they are especially associated with the sefirah Da‘at (Knowledge).

692. ―And He is altogether the desirablenesses (or delights)‖ (of the powers of) fire and (the powers of) water, because the fire and water are counter-changed with each other mutually (otherwise, are conformed together), and are beautiful in his conformation.177

Rabbi Schimeon explains (in the above) that elemental Fire and Water are ―conformed together‖ on either side of the sefirah Tifaret (Beauty). On the Tree of Life diagram the middle pillar pathways of Maym and Shin extend vertically below the sefirah Da‘at and are united by the sefirah Tifaret (which is situated between them).

177

LHA, § 692.

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The Hidden Pathways of Qof and Sameck The chapter entitled The Polyhex Key to the Pathways revealed to us the identity of the concealed pathways stemming from Da‘at as the reconfigured paths of Qof (‫ )ק‬and Sameck (‫)ס‬. As previously explained these pathways are also associated in the Zohar with the ‗nostrils‘ of Macroprosopus and the ‗lips‘ of Microprosopus. These pathways are considered initially concealed because they do not appear until after a certain stage of human evolution has been reached. That point in evolution corresponds to the period covering the third and fourth initiations. It is then that the abstract mind (i.e. Geburah) and the intuitive mind (i.e. Hesed) become consciously integrated within the psyche of the initiate (or ‗Tzadik‘ 178).

The influx of Shin (‗Fire‘ or ‗Judgment‘) flows into the evolved human psyche from the sefirah Binah via Da‘at to Geburah. It passes from Da‘at to Geburah along the reconfigured pathway of Sameck (‫)ס‬. This path is associated with the astrological Fire sign Sagittarius. The influx of Maym (‗Water‘ or ‗Mercy‘) flows into the evolved human psyche from the sefirah Hockmah via Da‘at to Hesed. It passes from Da‘at to Hesed along the reconfigured pathway of Qof (‫)ק‬. This path is associated with the astrological Water sign Pisces. The entry of these forces into the mind of a Tzadik produces what is esoterically termed divine ‗Knowledge‘ (DOTh, ‫)דעת‬.

Tzadik is a kabbalistic term that refers to a human-being who treads the ‗path of righteousness‘, and who therefore is necessarily a disciple/initiate of Earth‘s Spiritual Hierarchy. The ‗path of righteousness‘ is a special life-path that is unique for each Tzadik and to which he/she unfailingly adheres. 178

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Figure 59 : The Qof and Sameck Pathways

You will notice that with the addition of the reconfigured Qof and Sameck pathways there are now three paths that connect the sefirah Da‘at to Microprosopus—namely, Qof (‫)ק‬, Sameck (‫)ס‬, and Maym (‫)מ‬. Interestingly, these three letters spell out the Hebrew word Qesem (QSM, ‫ )קסם‬meaning:

1) divination, witchcraft 1a) of the nations, Balaam 1b) of false prophets 1c) in a good sense (king‘s lips as oracles)179

179

From: The Davar Hebrew Dictionary.

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This brings to mind the statement in The Lesser Holy Assembly...

681. From these lips180 depend the Lords of Vigilance. For when those lips murmur, they all are excited to bring forth secret things, as well as the Lords of judgment in all the tribunals wherein they have their abiding-place.181

The ‗Knowledge‘ (of ‗secret things‘) that flows from Da‘at into the higher mind of an evolved human-being can be described as a divine ‗oracle‘ or ‗revelation‘.

Proverbs, 16:10. An oracle [QSM, ‫ ]קסם‬is in the lips of the king: his mouth will not err in judgment.182

The cosmic elemental forces of Fire and Water flowing through the reconfigured paths of Sameck (Sagittarius) and Qof (Pisces) combine the abstract symbolic imagery of Sagittarius with the spiritual intuitive wisdom of Pisces. The result is divine inspiration that is useful not only to the receiver, but also to the larger group of human souls whom he is pledged to serve. When the Fire and Water flowing from Da‘at into Geburah and Hesed are consciously processed within the higher mind of an evolved human-being the Judgments that simultaneously arise within the path of Shin are able to be mitigated by the Wisdom received. This process has a positive effect upon the personal life of a Tzadik, and when the Wisdom is shared with others it can also have a mitigating effect on the collective Judgments being felt by the wider community.

180

That is, of Microprosopus.

181

LHA, § 681.

182

Darby Bible translation.

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If there were no evolved human-beings (i.e. Tzadikim) on planet Earth then nobody would be able to consciously process183 the Shin and Maym energies as they entered the Ruach (or soul triad) of Microprosopus (i.e. via Geburah and Hesed). This would mean that the Human kingdom would have no recourse but to react unconsciously (i.e. from the Nefesh) to the fiery evolutionary force that emanates from the middle pillar pathway of Shin.

The reconfigured pathways of Sameck and Qof fulfil only a temporary function during the course of human evolution—that is, during the period covering the third and fourth initiations. It is a time when a steady stream of divine Light manifests within and illuminates the illusory darkness of the Qof and Sameck pathways, and fills the mind and heart of the initiate (or Tzadik) with lovewisdom. This occurs as a result of the Tzadik‘s newly acquired contact with Da‘at (i.e. via the two reconfigured pathways). After the fourth initiation however, a new pathway configuration is established that reflects an even more advanced development within the consciousness of a Tzadik.

From the first to the fourth initiations the centre (or focal point) of human consciousness is symbolized by the sefirah Tifaret (‫כ‬, ).184 In terms of human esoteric anatomy Tifaret signifies the ‗causal body‘—an organ/engine of human evolution in the form of a ‗solar angel‘185 who plays a custodial role until the higher link (or bridge) to the sefirah Da‘at has become established.

The sefirah Tifaret is associated with the Son principle and exemplifies the lovewisdom aspect. Da‘at represents the human monad. It is associated with the

183

That is, in the Ruach or higher mind.

Before the path of initiation has been entered the centre of human consciousness is represented by the sefirah Yesod (‫ת‬, ). 184

185

Or, ‗Holy Guardian Angel‘.

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Father principle and is characterized by the will-purpose aspect.186 Da‘at is a higher organ of consciousness that transcends Tifaret after the fourth initiation. Another way of saying this is: Jacob becomes Israel.

Prior to the fourth initiation the four cardinal sign Simple letter pathways are attached to the sefirah Tifaret. Their function (during that time) is to help guide a human-being onto the ‗path of righteousness‘ 187 and to teach him/her to remain steadfastly upon that special path. By the time of the fourth initiation that preliminary function has been fulfilled and the four cardinal pathways then assume a higher creative function. As the focus of human consciousness rises from Tifaret (Jacob) to Da‘at (Israel) so too do the four cardinal Simple letter pathways rise up from Tifaret and become firmly attached to the sefirah Da‘at. 188 Tifaret then assumes a new form that is expressed by the kabbalistic formula ShM (‫שם‬, ‗name‘). (See Figure 59.)

The ShM-name that results as a consequence of this advanced evolutionary process reflects the true identity of the human monad—that is, as it is newly revealed and registered within the consciousness of the Tzadik. Thus Jacob, during his initiation (as described in the Hebrew bible) acquires his ShM (i.e. ‗name‘) ‗Israel‘. The ShM-name is symbolized by a new pathway that manifests upon the Tree of Life as a result of the dissolution (or transformation) of the sefirah Tifaret (i.e. the human causal body).

The sefirah Yesod is an expression of the Mother/Daughter principle. It embodies the active intelligence aspect. 186

187

As represented by the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life.

This evolutionary process corresponds with the Theosophical teaching on the dissolution of the causal body after the fourth initiation. 188

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Figure 60 : The ShM Pillar

Prior to the fourth initiation Tifaret is like a locked doorway within human consciousness that is faithfully guarded by each human-being‘s solar angel. This Tifaret doorway effectively divides and separates the two middle pillar pathways of Shin and Maym. When Tifaret dissolves189, the doorway opens and the two middle pathways become merged together as one—thereby forming a single vertical ‗ShM‘ pillar that extends from Yesod (below) to Da‘at (above).

189

That is, when the solar angel is dismissed from its duties.

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A further consequence of the formation of the ShM pillar is that the lower half (or microcosmic portion) of the Tree of Life diagram assumes the form of an octahedron. This is the magical structure that is cryptically described in the Sefer Yetzirah, although most commentators interpret the book as defining a cubic structure190. The octahedron forms the basis of the magical system of the Sefer Yetzirah. This system is revealed in my upcoming book: Holy Temple of Magic.

Figure 61 : The ShM Pillar & the Octahedron

190

It is usually termed ‗the Cube of Space‘.

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The Mystery of Da’at The mystery of the sefirah Da‘at is discussed in several places in the writings of the Zohar, but the information is veiled in kabbalistic symbolism that, without the requisite ‗knowledge key‘ is very difficult to fathom. For example:

R. Jose discoursed on the verse: ―Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened?‖ (Job XXXVIII, 6) He said: When God created the world, He established it on seven pillars, but upon what those pillars rest no one may know, since it is a recondite and inscrutable mystery. The world did not come into being until God took a certain stone, which is called the ―foundation stone‖, and cast it into the abyss so that it held fast there, and from it the world was planted. This is the central point of the universe, and on this point stands the holy of holies. This is the stone [Nba] referred to in the verses, ―Who laid the corner-stone thereof‖ (Ibid. 6), ―the stone of testing, the precious corner-stone‖ (Is. XXVIII, 16), and ―the stone that the builders despised became the head of the corner‖ (Ps. CXVIII, 22). This stone is compounded of fire, water, and air, and rests on the abyss. Sometimes water flows from it and fills the deep. This stone is set as a sign in the centre of the world. It is referred to in the words, ―And Jacob took a stone and set it as a pillar‖ (Gen. XXXI, 45). Not that he took this stone, which was created from the beginning, but he established it above and below, by making there a ―house of God‖. This stone has on it seven eyes, as it is written, ―On one stone seven eyes‖ (Zech. III, 9), and it is called ―foundation stone‖, for one thing

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because the world was planted from it, and for another because God set it as a source of blessing to the world...191

The created World is said here to be built upon seven ‗pillars‘. These correspond with the seven Double letter sefirot (i.e. from Da‘at to Yesod) of the Tree of Life. The seven pillars rest upon a ―recondite and inscrutable mystery‖ that cannot be known because it exists beyond the realm of Da‘at (‗Knowledge‘). That unknowable mystery is, in the Zohar extract above, referred to as the ―Holy of Holies‖. It is represented by the three highest sefirot (i.e. Keter, Hockmah, and Binah) of the Tree of Life.

The sefirah Da‘at is symbolised by a ‗stone‘ (eh‘-ben, Nba) that was cast by the Creator into the ‗Abyss‘ and from which were hewn the seven sefirotic ‗pillars‘. The ‗abyss‘ represents the apparent (i.e. to the microcosm) separation that occurs between the Creator and His creation. On the Tree of Life this sense of separation is symbolised by the natural division that exists between the two groups of sefirot: the three macrocosmic (Mother letter) sefirot and the seven microcosmic Double letter sefirot. The geometric position of the sefirah Da‘at within the ‗Abyss‘ of the Tree of Life reflects its role as an interface (mediator, or ‗bridge‘) that unites the higher three sefirot with the lower seven sefirot. The ―seven eyes‖ that are on the ‗stone‘ of Da‘at symbolise the seven Double letter archetypes of which the letter Bayt (representing Da‘at itself) is the first. The Da‘at ‗stone‘ is said (in the quote) to be ―compounded of fire, water, and air‖ which is a reference to the special connection that the sefirah Da‘at has with the three highest sefirot: Binah (Fire), Hockmah (Water), and Keter (Air). ‗Water‘ is said to sometimes flow from Da‘at to ‗fill the deep‘.192 This concept has already been discussed above (and is further elucidated in our next chapter).

191

Soncino Zohar, Vol. II, pg 339-340. Vayehi, 231a.

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It refers to the efflux of the Maym (m) archetype via the reconfigured Qof pathway. Whether it is consciously registered in Hesed or not by a humanbeing, this Water is ultimately stored within the Maym pathway that extends below Da‘at (i.e. from Da‘at to Tifaret) on the Tree of Life diagram. In regard to this motif, the seven sefirot below Da‘at are considered to symbolise a chalice—the ―cup of salvation‖—into which the ‗Water of Mercy‘ is poured. (See: Figure 59.)

The Zohar also describes ‗Fire‘ as issuing from Da‘at. For example:

R. Judah discoursed here on the text: ―The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High gave forth his voice; hailstones and coals of fire‖ (Ps. XVIII, 14). When God, he said, created the world, He constructed for it seven pillars by which it was to be upheld. So scripture says: ―Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars‖ (Prov. IX, 1). These in turn are upheld by one grade from among them called ―the Righteous One, the everlasting foundation‖ (Ibid. X, 25). Further, when the world was created, it was started from that spot which is the culmination and perfection of the world, the central point of the universe, which is identical with Zion, as it is written: ―A psalm of Asaph. God, God the Lord hath spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined forth‖ (ps. I, 2). That is to say, God started the earth from Zion, from that spot where faith culminates in its full perfection. Zion is thus the citadel and central point of the universe, from which it began to be fashioned and from which the whole world is nourished. This lesson is esoterically indicated in our text. For Zion and Jerusalem, while one, represent two degrees, the one being the channel of

192

Similarly, Da‘at is said to be ―a source of blessing to the world‖. (See Quote.)

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judgement, the other of mercy; first there issues from one the sound of mercy, and afterwards there comes forth from the other the voice of judgement, the two forming the source from which the paths of judgement and mercy issue and diverge. Hence, the expression ―And the Lord also thundered in the heavens‖ indicates judgement, while ―the Most High gave forth his voice‖ refers to mercy, and ―hailstones and coals of fire‖ signify water and fire, that is, mercy and judgement commingled.193

In the above quote, the sefirah Da‘at is given two aspects that are defined by the terms ―Zion‖ and ―Jerusalem‖. Da‘at as ‗Zion‘ is described as ―the perfection of beauty‖—a description alluding to the idea that the sefirah Da‘at represents the perfection (or higher expression) of the sefirah Tifaret (‗Beauty‘).194

An efflux of Mercy (also: Water) is said to issue from Da‘at in its Zion aspect, and likewise, an efflux of Judgment (also: Fire) is said to issue from Da‘at in its Jerusalem aspect. These metaphors echo and reinforce what has been set forth previously (concerning Da‘at) in earlier chapters of this book.

193

Soncino Zohar, Vol. II, pg. 210. Vayesheb, 186a.

194

This is identical to the notion that ‗Israel‘ (Da‘at) signifies the perfection of ‗Jacob‘ (Tifaret).

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Figure 62 : The Cup of Salvation

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The Holy Name: YHVH - HVHY Introduction The Tetragrammaton (i.e. YHVH, hwhy) is a kabbalistic formula that is revered as the Holy (or, Ineffable) Name (ShM, Ms) of the Creator of our world. It is a Name that legend credits with producing wonders 195 when it was pronounced in a certain way. The actual method of pronunciation of the Holy Name is thought to be a secret (or lost), but the extraordinary reality is that we are all pronouncing the Holy Name in every moment of our lives. Of course, most of us are unconscious of this fact, and the ‗wonders‘ that we unconsciously produce by means of the Holy Name often leave much to be desired. To be able to produce miracles 196 of a higher order, firstly we need to understand the mechanism involved in the pronunciation of YHVH, and then we are required to take a more conscious, more enlightened approach to its pronunciation. To put it symbolically, the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton involves combining the elements Water and Fire (within Air) to produce Earth. This simple statement represents the supreme formula of Creation.

For example: Moses‘ parting of the waters of the Red Sea. [Exodus, 14:21] Note that like the Hebrew word for Heaven (ShMYM, Myms), and the Hebrew word for Name (ShM, Ms), the name Moses (MShH, hsm) also is comprised of Maym (Water) and Shin (Fire). 195

The ‗miracles‘ of which I speak are not unnatural (or supernatural); they are the natural result of living a life in harmony with the spiritual force moving within and through the Self and the Universe. 196

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VH - HV There are two basic levels on which the YHVH formula operates. The first level is fundamental and preliminary. It involves combining the Water and Fire elements that pre-exist within the human soul and psyche. This is no simple task however, because although we have unavoidably easy access to the Fire element (i.e. Shin via Yesod), it is much more difficult for us to draw down elemental Water so that it can be blended with the Fire. That is why our lives are so often characterised by Judgment and Severity (or, in other words, suffering and hardship).

On the Tree of Life, the middle pillar path of Shin represents the innate Fire element that is present within the human psyche (and chakra system). It symbolises our basic evolutionary program and it has the power (and the purpose) to bring into manifestation all the challenges that we are required to face and overcome in our life-time. It is a relentless and indomitable creativeevolutionary force that continues to confront us with challenging life experiences that must and will be overcome as we tread our personal path of evolution. The only way we can gain relief from the scorching Fire of Shin is by applying to it the cooling Water of the path of Maym.

The Shin pathway extends between the sefirot Yesod (Moon) and Tifaret (Sun). These two sefirot basically symbolise the personality and soul aspects of a human-being.

The action of elemental Fire (i.e. emanating from the path of Shin) brings into our awareness any psychological blockages that are preventing our personality and soul aspects from coming into harmony with each other. It is the mitigating Water of the path of Maym that helps us to discover ways to remove those blockages.

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The evolutionary challenges that manifest within the realm of our personal life circumstances (i.e. due to the power of Shin) effectively mirror back to us the nature of our negative psychological complexes. These inner conflicts and blockages prevent us from achieving a state of harmony between the human personality and the soul. The external physical reflections (of those inner conflicts) that Shin causes to manifest around us give us something tangible to work with. Shin‘s goal is to force us to confront and eventually resolve our inner psycho-spiritual disharmonies so that we can rise to the next level of creative activity. For every evolutionary challenge presented to us by the force of the path of Shin there is a corresponding creative solution contained within the path of Maym. This is guaranteed to be so by the divine judicial influence of the path of Alef.

The path of Alef represents the mechanism of balance that underpins and permeates the fabric of the universe. Its omnipresence ensures that every aspect of Creation has within itself the ability (at some level) to connect with its equal, opposite, and complementary aspect. In other words, Alef (and the Air element) symbolises the divine invisible adjudicator that supervises the appropriate balance and distribution of the Fire and Water elements within the universe.

The Three Mothers are Alef, Mem, Shin. Their foundation is a pan of merit; a pan of liability; and the tongue of decree deciding between them. [Three Mothers, Alef, Mem, Shin. Mem hums, Shin hisses, and Alef is the Breath of air deciding between them.]197

The elemental Air of Alef also provides an environment within which the Fire and Water elements are able to co-exist. Symbolically speaking, if Air didn‘t provide the oxygen of its atmosphere then Fire simply could not ignite.

197

Sefer Yetzirah, 2:1.

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Similarly, if there were no oxygen atoms available to combine with hydrogen atoms then Water would not exist.

In order to gain access to the Water of the path of Maym we must raise our consciousness to the level of the soul triad (i.e. as represented by the sefirot Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret) and from there draw down the energy of ‗lovewisdom‘ (or Mercy) from Tifaret. 198 The sefirah Tifaret gives us access to the inherent love (or desire) and wisdom of the soul (i.e. as contained in the middle pillar path of Maym). It is through the sefirah Tifaret that we become aware of our deep soul desires, and conscious of the solutions to all of our major evolutionary challenges.

Contact with the path of Maym (via Tifaret) occurs only sporadically in the early stages of human evolution, but eventually our awareness becomes consistently focused within Tifaret and we become more conscious of, and more willing to follow our soul‘s desires. It is during this time that we also become able to resolve (perhaps in a series of few life-times) all of our remaining major evolutionary challenges. That is because we are then willing and able to take a more conscious approach to our personal evolution.

The major challenges that we face during this stage of evolution are basically symbolised by the four ‗Sun-Moon‘ zodiacal triangles. In each Sun-Moon triangle the path of Shin strongly focuses its evolutionary force through one of the four Fixed signs of the zodiac: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius. These four ‗cherubic‘ signs form the perimeter of the square base of the astrological pyramid.

The sefirah Hesed is also a source of Mercy, but Hesed provides access to Mercy of a higher order. (See below.) 198

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Here is a list of the four Sun-Moon triangles:

Sun-Moon Triangles    

Aries ( ) — Shin (Taurus, ) — Gemini ( ) Cancer ( ) — Shin (Leo, ) — Virgo ( ) Libra ( ) — Shin (Scorpio, ) — Sagittarius ( ) Capricorn ( ) — Shin (Aquarius, ) — Pisces ( )

Figure 63 : The Astrological Pyramid

In Figure 60 you can see that these four triangles all share the Shin pathway (i.e. drawn as a red dotted line) as one of their sides. The path of Shin substitutes in each triangle for one of the four Fixed signs. This is symbolic of the evolutionary influence of Shin as it applies itself through the Fixed sign it has replaced in each triangle. The square perimeter of the base of the astrological pyramid is thus seen to be a particular focus for the evolutionary force of the path of Shin.

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Because the refinement of the human personality is also a key part of Shin‘s evolutionary program, the six astrological signs below the zodiacal horizon (i.e. those attached to the three sefirot of Night) become especially developed. These six zodiacal signs are associated with six pathways that branch out from the sefirot Netzah and Hod—specifically, those that are assigned the six Simple letters: Heh (h, ), Vav (w, ), Zayn (z, ), Het (x, ), Tet (j, ), and Yud (y, ).

Our world has available to it (from the middle pillar pathways of Shin and Maym) an equal measure of Judgment and Mercy, but because the force of Judgment (i.e. Shin, Fire) is focused primarily within the lower sefirot of the Tree of Life199, it finds easy entry into the life and consciousness of most of humanity.200 The force of Mercy (i.e. Maym, Water) is equally available, but is only accessible by those members of the human race who have raised their consciousness to the sefirah Tifaret (i.e. because it adjoins the path of Maym). The forces of evolution and creation work through the interplay of these two primary elements (i.e. Fire and Water), and thus (at the collective level) also through the interplay between the masses of humanity, and those relative few who are more spiritually awakened. The masses of humanity (i.e. those people who embody the dominant human mind-set) have a tremendous influence in determining the physical and psychological environment of our planet. That is because the state of our environment precisely reflects the relative proportion of Judgment and Mercy that is able to be physically expressed in our collective reality. It is important therefore, that all spiritually-minded people seek to raise the level of awareness of the collective consciousness of Humanity to at least Tifaret in order to mitigate the severity of our world‘s current physical and psychological condition. In the world today (circa 2007-10) the experience of severe Judgment is widespread. If this ‗swelling of the scales of the Dragon‘ on our planet is not 199

As is indicated by the position of the path of Shin on the Tree of Life diagram.

That is, because the majority of humanity are focused consciously in the lower sefirot—Netzah, Hod, and Yesod—the three sefirot of Night, wherein Judgement predominates. 200

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mitigated soon by an effective expression of Mercy then we may effectively destroy our present civilisation—a collective experience that has been repeated many times throughout the history of our world. Another possibility however, is that the esoteric principle of Messiach (MShYCh, xysm)201 will become activated and a Great Soul (or group of souls) who embodies powerfully the archetype of Mercy 202 may choose to incarnate upon our planet in order to help mitigate the prevailing Judgments using the compelling power of His/Her spiritual force. 203 This esoteric principle provides a safety mechanism for humanity so that we have an opportunity to avoid annihilating ourselves. It is however, merely an evolutionary stopgap mechanism and does not automatically raise our collective spiritual awareness to a level that will prevent us from again manifesting severe Judgment on our planet at some time in the future.

YH - HY Up to this point I have mainly been describing level one of the pronunciation of the Holy Name. Level one involves combining the innate Water of the middle pillar path of Maym with the innate Fire of the middle pillar path of Shin in order to awaken soul consciousness (as represented by the sefirah Tifaret positioned between them). During this process Fire (Shin) becomes mitigated by Water (Maym) thereby unblocking the Shin pathway that extends between

The kabbalistic term MShYCh symbolises a living expression of Mercy (M) and Judgement (Sh), but where the quality of Mercy is pre-eminent and thus effectively mitigates the accompanying influx of Judgement. The Messiach principle can express itself in a single individual, or as a group experience. 201

Note that the modern astrological correspondence of Maym (Mercy, Water) is the planet Neptune. This planet is very strongly associated with the ‗saviour‘ archetype. 202

This has been prophesied, for example, in the Book of Revelation, and by Master Djwhal Khul in His book: The Reappearance of the Christ, by Alice Bailey. Lucis Press, 1948. 203

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Yesod and Tifaret. In terms of the Holy Name YHVH this represents the union of the final letter Heh (H, the Queen 204) with the penultimate letter Vav (V, the King).

Level One: YH—VH

The second level of pronunciation of the Holy Name becomes possible after we have completed level one—that is, after we have successfully blended the innate elements of Water and Fire within our personal consciousness, and thus have unified and harmonised the human ego (Yesod, Moon) with the soul (Tifaret, Sun). It is at this point on our evolutionary path that we begin to become invocative of the cosmic Water and Fire elements that are located above Da‘at on the Tree of Life. The influx of sefirah Da‘at, phase is to consciousness (Saturn).

these higher elemental forces enters into the Creation via the so symbolically speaking, the aim of this creative-evolutionary consciously integrate the Maym pathway so that human is able to rise from Tifaret (Sun) and become focused in Da‘at

In kabbalistic mysticism this is equivalent to what has become known as riding the ‗merkavah‘ (MRKBH, hbkrm) chariot to Heaven.205 However, it is not until all the four ‗wheels‘ of the chariot (i.e. the sefirot Netzah, Hod, Geburah, and Hesed)206 are spinning in unison, and all are moving in the same direction, that

204

The ―Queen‖ is referred here to the combined sefirot Yesod and Malkut.

Ma‘asei Merkavah (hbkrm hsem, ‗work of the chariot‘), appeared in the late Greco-Roman period. It is a form of pre-Kabbalah Jewish mysticism, which both teaches of the possibility of making a sublime journey to God and of the ability of man to draw down divine powers to earth. [From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.] 205

The axels of the four wheels of the metaphorical chariot are symbolised on the Tree of Life diagram by the four Fixed sign pathways that extend between the four sefirot Netzah, Hod, Geburah, and Hesed. The four Fixed zodiacal signs are also known as the Cherubic signs and are generally symbolised by creatures resembling a Bull (Taurus), a Lion (Leo), an Eagle (Scorpio), and a Man (Aquarius). It is interesting to note therefore (in light of this Tree of Life symbolism) that the four wheels of the chariot in Ezekiel‘s vision are also closely attended by these four Cherubic creatures. It 206

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we are able to fully participate in that higher form of creativity. It is then that we become ‗divinely inspired‘, or in other words, we become able to pronounce in full the Great and Holy Name YHVH.

Contact with Da‘at indicates that an individual has overcome their major Earthbased evolutionary challenges, and that they have developed to a high degree the soul faculties of Geburah and Hesed. This process especially involves the purification, balance, and integration of the six astrological archetypes that are above the zodiacal horizon. They are represented by six pathways that extend from the sefirot Geburah and Hesed. These pathways have assigned to them the six Simple letters: Lamed (l, ), Nun (n, ), Sameck (o, ), Ayin (e, ), Tzaddie (u, ), and Qof (q, ).

The supernal Water element is sourced from the sefirah Hockmah, while the supernal Fire element is sourced from the sefirah Binah. It was the blending of these two macrocosmic elements (at the beginning of Creation) that formed our embryonic universe, so when the second level of pronunciation of the Holy Name is reached a person becomes a consciously active participant in the ongoing macrocosmic process of Creation.207

The two sefirot, Hockmah and Binah, are the original cosmic source of all Water and Fire elemental energy that is contained within the vessel that is our universe. This includes those original portions of Fire and Water that are located within the soul and psyche of every human-being (as discussed above). The sefirot Hockmah and Binah stand ready, above the Heaven of Da‘at, to issue a further influx of elemental Fire and Water into the universe whenever a living entity (i.e. whenever a microcosmic unit) becomes invocative and receptive to that additional influx.

suggests that the four ―living creatures‖ of the Book of Ezekiel represent the four Fixed sign pathways of the Tree of Life. (See: Ezekiel, Chapter One.) 207

Or in other words, we become consciously able to contribute to the growth of the universe.

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The supernal Water element (and the sefirah Hockmah) is symbolised by the letter Yud (Y) of YHVH. The supernal Fire element (and the sefirah Binah) is symbolised by the first letter Heh (H) of YHVH. 208

Level Two: YHVH

Thus, the second level of pronunciation occurs when a person becomes invocative of the higher elements, and thereby gains conscious access (via Da‘at) to influences emanating from the supernal sefirot Hockmah and Binah.

Meditation and esoteric study are key disciplines that are critical to reaching the second level of pronunciation of the divine Name YHVH. Esoteric study helps us to develop and integrate into our consciousness the higher mental faculty of the sefirah Geburah. It helps us to instil in Geburah a foundation of knowledge and consequently to acquire a deep understanding of the universe. Geburah is then able to provide us with a higher perspective from which we can apply ourselves consciously and intelligently towards achieving our evolutionary and creative goals.

The abstract mental body (as represented by Geburah) must become enriched with the higher truths that come from intense metaphysical study and contemplation. This development in consciousness also results in the reprogramming of the lower-mental body (as symbolised by the sefirah Hod) such that our perception of the world is no longer clouded by the illusions of overly materialistic and rationalistic thinking.

Note that these elemental Water and Fire correspondences describe an aspect of Creation that is absolutely fundamental, and they should not be thought of as contradicting the more common Fire, Water, Air, and Earth correspondences of YHVH. 208

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The sefirah Geburah, when activated in consciousness, becomes invocative of the divine intelligence principle 209 (or Shin) that originates in Binah and enters the universe via the sefirah Da‘at. Shin issues from Da‘at, enters Geburah via the reconfigured path of Sameck (‫ס‬, ) and implants within the higher mental body an abstract mental seed-form. This seed-form is like a foetus that can (and should) be nurtured and fed by a parallel influx of Maym (i.e. love-wisdom) that issues from Da‘at via the reconfigured path of Qof (‫ק‬, ) into the sefirah Hesed. Of course, the Hesed faculty (i.e. the intuitive mind) must be sufficiently developed within the human psyche in order for an individual to be able to consciously receive and creatively utilise this complementary influx of Maym. Therefore, there must also occur in parallel to the development of the left-hand pillar of the Tree of Life (i.e. the Pillar of Severity, upon which are located Geburah and Hod) an equal and complementary development of the right-hand pillar (i.e. the Pillar of Mercy, upon which are located Hesed and Netzah). Thus as the lower-mental body (i.e. Hod) is developed, it must be accompanied by the purification and refinement of the astral body (i.e. as symbolised by the sefirah Netzah). The practice of meditation helps us to open the psychic channels (of Netzah) and eventually awaken the intuitive faculty of the soul (i.e. as represented by the sefirah Hesed). The sefirah Hesed, when awakened, gives us conscious access to the higher influx of love-wisdom (or Maym) that issues from the sefirah Da‘at via the hidden Qof pathway. Once received into Hesed, the creative wisdom of Maym naturally flows towards the abstract seed-form (of Shin) that has become implanted in Geburah (i.e. from Da‘at) and ‗waters‘ it. The effect of Maym when it enters Geburah is to nurture the abstract mental thought-form so that (over time) it grows to maturity in wisdom. Without the influence of Maym from Hesed the foetus in Geburah is likely (if it survives) to mutate and grow into an abomination.210

209

Called Atma, and the Active Intelligence principle in Theosophical terminology.

Therein lies the difference between (for example) a true dispensation of the Ageless Wisdom from a Master, and a false teaching that stimulates and captivates the intellectual mind, but lacks the deeper essence of wisdom. 210

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Similarly, if the Hesed faculty becomes developed in an individual without a complimentary development of Geburah, then (on receiving the Maym influx via Qof) he is likely to become entrapped (or lost) in his own inner world and be of little practical use to his fellow human-beings. He may also, as a sideeffect, develop what is known as a ‗messianic complex‘.

In order to sustain the existence of the emerging creation, the life principle (or ‗breath‘, RVCh, xwr) must also be provided, and this energy comes from the sefirah Tifaret. 211 This influence from Tifaret not only enables the new creation to survive, but it also infuses it with the ‗soul vibration‘ of its creator. Thus, as the creation grows to maturity it inevitably displays recognisable characteristics inherited from its parent soul. These characteristics are cosmetic qualities that are expressed in its physical nature and appearance. 212

In this sense, Tifaret is an expression of the Air element, and to use a scientific analogy, both Fire and Water (i.e. H20) require the oxygen of Air in order to exist. 211

Because Tifaret represents the life-force (or ‗ray‘ vibration) of the soul, it determines the particular realm of human activity into which the new creation will be born. This depends on the creator‘s field of world service, or in other words, where the soul of the creator is primarily focused. For example, his/her field of work could be science, politics, metaphysics, etc. 212

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Breath from Breath Two: Breath from Breath [RVCh MRVCh, xwrm xwr]. With it He engraved and carved 22 Foundation Letters: Three Mothers, Seven Doubles, and Twelve Elementals. And one Breath is from them.213

The life-sustaining Breath (RVCh, xwr) is a critical factor in any creative effort. It is an aspect of Air (i.e. Alef) and is naturally produced (as part of the Air element) when Fire and Water (i.e. Shin and Maym) are combined within the human psyche. The degree of potency of the Fire and Water elements determines the intensity of the resultant Breath of Air (AVYR RVCh, xwr rywa). The Book of Formation describes this Breath as ―Breath from Breath‖ because it represents the extension of the Breath of the Creator (i.e. of the ―Holy Breath‖) into His Creation. The Creator retains His own Holy Breath, but at the same time is able to bestow ―Breath from Breath‖ (i.e. life) unto the inhabitants of His created universe.214 A human-being is also a creator (i.e. made in the image of the Elohim) and as a consequence he is also able to breathe the life-force of his own soul into his creations. Early on in his evolution his creations are quite small (and mainly of an unconscious evolutionary nature), but eventually he becomes able to participate consciously in the divine process of Creation. In every case, the life-giving Breath of Air (Alef) is generated and sustained by the blending of the Fire (Shin) and Water (Maym) elements. This was the case when Maym and Shin combined in Ain Sof to produce Alef in Keter, and it is likewise the case when

213

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:10.

Similarly, with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation we are able to resuscitate a person who is clinically dead and give back to them the ‗breath of life‘. 214

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Maym and Shin (from Hesed and Geburah) combine in the soul of Adam to produce Alef in Tifaret.

As regards the human microcosm (i.e. Adam), the influx of Maym and Shin from Da‘at has the greatest potency (of Water and Fire) and therefore automatically generates a correspondingly intense radiation of life-force, or Breath in Tifaret. This is needed (and provided) to sustain the momentum of the creative process—that is, to sustain the major creative work being undertaken by the receiver of such a powerful influx. A creative project that results from a Shin/Maym influx from Da‘at may require years of Earth-time to complete and therefore the Holy Breath (in Tifaret) is provided in order to sustain the passion of the creator while he completes his work. The word ‗passion‘ is perhaps the best word we can use to describe the enlivening life-force that is the Breath.

Passion is the child of Will and Love.

An important attribute of Shin/Fire is will, while the corresponding attribute of Maym/Water is desire (or love). When these two attributes are combined together they produce the Alef/Air attribute of passion. The middle pillar pathways of Shin (Fire) and Maym (Water) combine to generate the soul‘s passion to live and to evolve. This is an innate passion that the human soul possesses from the moment of its inception at the beginning of Time. This Breath is the passion that holds the soul focused and centred within the realm of Creation. The Fire and Water that issue from Binah and Hockmah via Da‘at generates a new kind of passion. This is the passion to create. It‘s a passion that‘s acquired when the major trials of physical evolution are nearing completion. This passion strongly inflames the soul and supersedes the ‗lesser‘ Breath (i.e. that is fuelled in the soul by the middle pillar paths of Shin and Maym).

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The Will of Shin is not necessarily the same as what we call the personal will of a human-being. Similarly, the Desire of Maym is not necessarily the same as a human-being‘s personal desire. The Will of the original path of Shin is the Will of the macrocosmic Creator as it expresses itself in our personal lives. It permeates our soul and physical nature and is an irresistible evolutionary force that is more powerful than the will of the ego. Our personal will gradually aligns with the Will of the original path of Shin as we begin to intelligently cooperate with the evolutionary current that is flowing through our lives. The Will of Shin that is received into the sefirah Geburah (i.e. from Da‘at via Sameck) is also an aspect of the Will of the macrocosmic Creator. It represents the Will of the Creator to involve Himself in the ongoing process of Creation. He does so through the vehicle of the life of an individual whose psyche has become a vessel fitted to receive such a potent influx of creative energy.

The Desire of the middle pillar pathway of Maym represents the desire of the human soul. It is a deep desire that is able to guide us towards achieving our personal evolutionary goals. It is not necessarily the same as our personal desire because in the early stages of human evolution our personal desire is based mainly on the superficial values of materialism (i.e. as expressed within the unevolved Nefesh principle). When we follow the Desire of the middle pillar path of Maym (i.e. the true desires of the Heart) we are guided towards acquiring skills and attributes and other personal resources that enrich our soul, mind, and physical being and that ultimately become the tools that we can use later when we become qualified to be involved in the macrocosmic creative process. To be able to follow the desires of the soul requires that we overcome the fear, glamour, and illusion that initially permeate the human personality (i.e. Nefesh). These influences naturally arise within us because the human personality is submerged within the lowest three planes of the universe—i.e. the physical, astral, and mental planes. These three realms of physicality are dominated by the influence of the Great Mother principle, and like children growing to

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adulthood, we must eventually ween ourselves away from a naturally developed over-dependency upon Her. We are all required to overcome the materially based influences of the Form principle and as we do so we consequently rise in consciousness to the level of the soul. Fear, glamour, and illusion are like three heavy weights that anchor us to the ocean floor and that must be severed to enable us to float to the surface and there make contact with the soul.

The Desire of Maym received in the sefirah Hesed (i.e. from Da‘at via Qof) is a higher expression of desire than that of the middle pillar path of Maym. It is an expression of the Father‘s (i.e. Hockmah‘s) Desire for the divine Mother principle (i.e. Binah). Hockmah longs to unite with Binah so that He can sire His progeny within Her fertile womb. Human-beings become actively and consciously involved in facilitating that process of divine conception (and birth) after the faculties of Hesed and Geburah have been suitably prepared. Human consciousness then becomes the medium through which the Father and Mother are able to combine Their creative energies so as to bring something divine to birth within the universe. Thus, as an individual becomes involved in the macrocosmic creative process, he/she combines the energy of all three of the sefirot of Day—Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret. The Maym and Shin energies contributed by Hesed and Geburah are obtained from Da‘at. The Breath of life (Alef) provided by Tifaret arises as Maym and Shin combine together within the soul of the microcosmic creator. Thus we see the human soul triad combining the three primary elements of Creation...

1. Hesed : Water : ‫מ‬ 2. Geburah : Fire : ‫ש‬ 3. Tifaret : Air : ‫א‬

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Similarly, the higher ‗monadic‘ triad of sefirot (that includes Da‘at) also combines the cosmic elements...

1. Da‘at : Air : ‫א‬ 2. Hesed : Water : ‫מ‬ 3. Geburah : Fire : ‫ש‬

As you know, this triad is active within the consciousness of a Tzadik and the intermingling of the three divine elemental forces occurs within its interconnecting pathways. We have already discussed the nature of the Qof (Water) and Sameck (Fire) pathways. Now all that is left to examine is the third ‗unifying‘ pathway of Tzaddie (Air).

The pathway that extends between Hesed (‫ )ג‬and Geburah (‫ )ד‬is extremely important as an expression of the Air element within human consciousness. It is this Tzaddie (‫צ‬, ) pathway through which the Water of Hesed 215 is able to combine with the Fire of Geburah216. Thus, a special triad of pathways that unites the sefirot Da‘at, Hesed, and Geburah is fundamentally involved in the macrocosmic/microcosmic co-creative process.

o Da‘at to Geburah : Sameck (Sagittarius, Fire) o Da‘at to Hesed : Qof (Pisces, Water) o Hesed to Geburah : Tzaddie (Aquarius, Air)

215

That is, the energy of Maym that flowed from Da‘at to Hesed.

216

That is, the force of Shin that has been received in Geburah from Da‘at.

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Figure 64 The Reconfigured Tree of Life

The path of Tzaddie (‫צ‬, ) represents a creative communion of souls—that is, the creative group interaction that necessarily occurs (i.e. during the process of Creation) between a human-being‘s own soul and the other souls belonging to his ashramic group. This interaction occurs on the inner planes and is not usually registered in normal waking consciousness. A Tzadik becomes aware of this inner soul-based cooperative process when he is present within the Ashram of his Master on the inner planes, but he may not remember his psychic ashramic experience when refocused back upon the earth plane. pg. 210


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Work done during the inner plane co-creative process does however flow down into the personality vehicles of all those souls who are involved and (perhaps unconsciously) leads to the timely precipitation of the desired results in the physical world. It is the divine right and destiny of every individual (i.e. every microcosm) to eventually establish conscious contact (and become spiritually aligned) with the divine Father (Hockmah) and the divine Mother (Binah) principles and thus participate in the eternal macrocosmic process of Creation.

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Conclusion

217

―AND THE LORD APPEARED UNTO HIM. R. Hiya commenced to discourse on the verse: The flowers appear on the earth, the time of song is come, and the voice of the turtle[-dove] is heard in our land (S. S. II, 12). He said: 'When God created the world, He endowed the earth with all the energy requisite for it, but it did not put forth produce until man appeared. When, however, man was created, all the products that were latent in the earth appeared above ground. Similarly, the heaven did not impart strength to the earth until man came. So it is written. "All the plants of the earth were not yet on the earth, and the herbs of the field had not yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground" (Gen. II, 5), that is to say, all the products of the earth were still hidden in its bosom and had not yet shown themselves, and the heavens refrained from pouring rain upon the earth, because man had not yet been created. When, however, man appeared, forthwith "the flowers appeared on the earth", all its latent powers being revealed; "the time of song was come", the earth being now ripe to offer up praises to the Almighty, which it could not do before man was created. "And the voice of the turtle[-dove] is heard in our land": this is the word of God, which was not in the world till man was created. 'Thus when man was there, everything was there. When man sinned, the earth was cursed, and all these good things left it, as it is written, "cursed is the earth for thy sake" (Gen. III, 17), and again, "when thou tillest the ground it shall not give its strength to thee" (Ibid. IV, 12), and again, "thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to thee" (Ibid. III, 18). When Noah came, he invented spades and hoes, but afterwards he sinned through drunkenness, and the rest of the world also sinned before God, and the strength of the earth deserted it. So matters continued until

This chapter also serves as an introduction to the practical section of this book (i.e. that is soon to be added.) 217

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Abraham came. Then once more "the blossoms appeared in the earth", and all the powers of the earth were restored and displayed themselves. "The time of pruning (zamir) came", i.e. God told Abraham to circumcise himself. When at length the covenant existed in Abraham through the circumcision, then all this verse was fulfilled in him, the world was firmly established, and the word of the Lord came to him openly: hence it is written, AND THE LORD APPEARED UNTO HIM.‖ 218

T

HE above quote is part of a major occult leitmotif that echoes through the main body of writings of the Zohar (and beyond), but its inner meaning is well concealed from the uninitiated. The theme is repeated again and again in the Zohar using various episodes and characters from the Tanach. The esoteric concept it conceals is actually quite simple (once it is grasped), but paradoxically, is quite difficult to communicate. To understand this concept requires turning your normal mundane consciousness on its head, in the manner of the Hanged Man (Maym, ‫ )מ‬of the Tarot, so that your perspective of the world is fundamentally changed. This esoteric knowledge is extremely important, and the future of humanity depends on the eventual realization of its principles. It is based on the following three premises…

First Premise: Every individual human soul is carried to term within the spiritual womb of the Great Mother, and therefore bears a unique ‗umbilical‘ relationship with Her.

This statement appears simple and perhaps trite on the surface, but its implications are tremendous. The metaphor is of a mother pregnant with child. The child within the womb is intimately attached to the mother via an umbilical cord. The umbilical cord provides sustenance to the embryo as it grows and is carried to term. Similarly, each human soul (Ruach, ‫ )רוח‬is attached to the Celestial Mother (the Higher Shekinah, Binah) by a spiritual umbilical cord. This

218

Soncino Zohar. Vol. I. 97a-97b.

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connection is unique to each soul because each soul requires its own special kind of creative sustenance and nurture.

The first premise is complemented by a second one of equal importance…

Second Premise: Every incarnate human soul also has an outer expression (i.e. a personal ego) that is carried to term within the earthly womb of the Great Mother, and through it a second ‗umbilical‘ relationship is established with Her.

The soul‘s outer expression is the human personality (or ego, Nefesh, ‫)נפש‬. The incarnate human personality is encased within the womb of the physical world (i.e. Mother Earth)—a lower reflection of the condition of the human soul enclosed within the belly of the Celestial Mother. Just as there is an umbilical cord connecting the human soul to the Celestial Mother (Higher Shekinah) so too there is a invisible umbilical cord connecting the human personality to Mother Earth (i.e. the Lower Shekinah). Thus, the third premise is…

Third Premise: The outer umbilical cord joining the human personality to Mother Earth is a lower reflection of the inner umbilical cord that joins the human soul to the Celestial Mother.

The implications of the third premise are also great. The two umbilical cords represent narrow channels of creative sustenance and nurture that flow from two directions towards each human-being—i.e. from the Celestial Mother to the human soul, and from the Earth Mother to the human personality. Both the Celestial Mother and the Earth Mother are interconnected and intercoordinated expressions of the one Great Mother principle.

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The personality‘s umbilical cord is a reflection of (and dependent on) the umbilical cord of the soul. The human personality, however, is unaware of the higher spiritual link with the Great Mother until it becomes ‗soul conscious‘. When the human personality achieves soul consciousness it becomes increasingly aware of the nature of its unique spiritual relationship with the Great Mother. As a consequence it is able to use that inner knowledge to realign itself within the physical world so that it becomes open to receive the material sustenance of Mother Earth, and (at the same time) involve itself in the divine Plan of Creation. In other words, in becoming conscious of the inner ‗spiritual‘ umbilical cord the human personality is also able to perceive the outer ‗material‘ umbilical cord. As long as the human personality remains unconscious of the soul‘s umbilical cord it stumbles blindly in the world, sowing its seed on barren ground, and the earth brings forth naught but ―thorns and thistles‖. When however, the personality awakens to the higher connection (and thus also to the lower connection) then the earth brings forth ―blossoms‖, and ―flowers appear on the earth‖.

―AND THE LORD APPEARED UNTO HIM. R. Hiya commenced to discourse on the verse: The flowers appear on the earth, the time of song is come, and the voice of the turtle[-dove] is heard in our land (S. S. II, 12). He said: 'When God created the world, He endowed the earth with all the energy requisite for it, but it did not put forth produce until man appeared. When, however, man was created, all the products that were latent in the earth appeared above ground. Similarly, the heaven did not impart strength to the earth until man came. So it is written. "All the plants of the earth were not yet on the earth, and the herbs of the field had not yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground" (Gen. II, 5), that is to say, all the products of the earth were still hidden in its bosom and had not yet shown themselves, and the heavens refrained from pouring rain upon the earth, because man had not yet been created. When, however, man appeared, forthwith "the flowers appeared on the earth", all its latent powers being revealed; "the time of song was come", the earth being now ripe to offer up praises to the Almighty, which it could not do before man was created.‖219

219

Soncino Zohar. Vol. I. 97a.

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The biblical Adam in the Genesis narrative personifies the human soul. The Earth was created by God as a material resource packed full of a very specific potential, and it was provided as an environment for Adam to indwell and cultivate. Adam (i.e. the human soul) is the only entity that can unlock and bring forth the Earth‘s special potential (i.e. a potential that has been divinely ‗preprogrammed‘ within the Earth‘s substance by the Creator). In other words, only the human soul has the power to summon forth the ‗royal treasures‘ that God has concealed (i.e. in latency) deep within the Earth (i.e. His Kingdom— Malkut). Adam is able to draw forth this potential as a result of the passage of Water (Maym, ‫מ‬, symbolized by ‗rain‘ in the quote above) that flows to the human soul from the Creator (i.e. it falls upon the head of Adam). Then it further descends to soak into the denser lower levels of the Earth (i.e. ‫אדמה‬, Adamah, the ‗ground‘).

The concept of the Earth having a secret divine potential hidden within it awaiting emergence when the right conditions arise, can be understood in terms of human DNA.

―On the genetic level, it is interesting to note that human DNA is 173 centimetres long. Only 3 centimetres carry active genetic information. Modern biochemistry is puzzled at this seeming wastefulness of nature and calls the inactive parts of the DNA introns, useless waste material. This is a very questionable assumption, as nature does not produce waste anywhere. The introns are in my opinion (again I deviate from official science) equal to the latent spiritual potential of the human being.‖ 220

It is thought (in some circles) that the inactive DNA within the human organism represents latent abilities that are destined to become active at some future stage of human evolution. For the activation process to occur the right

Enlightenment & the Brain: A Scientific Commentary on the Teachings of Sri Bhagavan. Christian Opitz. From: DNA Monthly. May 2006 (Vol. 2, No. 5). 220

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conditions must be present to stimulate the inactive DNA material to come to life.

In like manner, the Earth has its own DNA, some strands of which have already been activated by the actions of humanity, but other portions of which remain dormant. These dormant components are destined to become active when collective humankind reaches a certain level of evolution. The right conditions for Earth DNA activation will occur as humanity individually and collectively steps forward on the ‗Path of Righteousness‘, 221 and in so doing triggers each stage of the divine Creation to unfold.

In the biblical narrative Eve is formed as an extension of Adam. 222 Eve represents the human personality that emerges as an outer stratum of matter that covers the soul. Eve (as the human ego) represents an interface (i.e. a sensory apparatus) through which Adam (i.e. the soul) is able to interact with the denser physical dimensions of the Creation (i.e. his physical environment).

Prior to the ‗Fall‘ (i.e. Adam and Eve‘s expulsion from the Garden of Eden) the human soul and its personality vehicle were in perfect harmony with each other, and with the Shekinah (i.e. the Great Mother principle).

In the diagram below, the small yellow circle represents human consciousness in the midst of the body of the Great Mother (i.e. the large blue circle). The upper half of the blue circle symbolizes the Celestial Mother (or Higher Shekinah) while the lower half represents Mother Earth (or the Lower Shekinah). They signify two expressions of one divine feminine principle. 223 The 221

See below.

222

That is, she was created from Adam‘s rib.

These two manifestations of the Great Mother are also symbolized by the two Hebrew letter Hehs (H) in the Holy Name YHVH. In this case, the Hebrew letter Vav (V) represents the human consciousness principle that separates and unites them. 223

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green line (in the diagram) abstractly represents the esoteric ‗umbilical cord‘— i.e. the primordial perfect relationship that was established between human consciousness and the Shekinah in the Garden of Eden (i.e. before the ‗Fall‘). At that time the human personality (i.e. Nefesh, or Eve) was in harmonious accord with the soul (i.e. Ruach, or Adam) and both were in mutual harmonious alignment with the Higher and Lower Shekinah.

Figure 65 : Edenic Consciousness

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Because every human soul is unique, the green line (as per the diagram above) should be imagined as being uniquely angled for each and every individual soul.224 This reflects the ancient concept that the feminine principle of Form is an ‗eternal virgin‘—i.e. her relationship with each human soul/personality is original, uniquely intimate, and singularly focused. In all cases, this ideal relationship (i.e. between human consciousness and the Shekinah) is represented by a straight line diameter passing through the centre of the circle.

Genesis, 2:16-17. ―And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‗Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die‘.‖

In the Genesis story, Eve‘s interaction with the Serpent (Samael) in the Garden of Eden symbolizes an interaction between human consciousness and the lowest physical dimensions of Earth. The seduction of Eve by the Serpent, and Eve‘s consequent interaction with Adam (wherein she effectively usurps God‘s divine authority) symbolizes the human personality‘s proclivity to stray from the Path of God‘s Will (i.e. His Path of intended Creation), and to selfishly indulge itself in its own superficial activities within the realm of matter.

The outer umbilical cord is a very narrow channel connecting the human personality to Mother Earth. Its purpose is for the provision of material resources that are required during the process of divine Creation. These resources are specifically tailored to facilitate the realization of the divine creative Purpose of each individual soul/personality. They emerge into manifestation (and thus are made available) as the personality takes steps in the right direction—i.e. towards the realization of its soul‘s creative Purpose. The soul/personality‘s progress on this narrow Path is termed walking the ‗Path of Note that there are an infinite number of these uniquely angled axes (i.e. diameter lines) present in the geometry of a circle. 224

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Righteousness‘ (or ‗Faithfulness‘), and a person who walks that Path is termed a Tzadik225 (‫)צדיק‬. On that special Path (which is unique for every soul/personality) there is no consciousness of good and/or evil (i.e. no ‗Judgment‘), there is only the Path.

The ‗tree of the knowledge of good and evil‘ is the ‗Tree of Judgment‘ (i.e. between Good and Evil). Eating of the fruit of this tree symbolizes a diversion from the Path of Unity (or ‗Faithfulness to YHVH‘). It represents a stepping off the Path of Righteousness, and a misuse of the human ego‘s physical energy (or ‗life force‘). To put it simply, it includes the human tendency to judge earthly phenomena (including other people) according to our own personally (and collectively) formulated opinions. But how can we reasonably do that when every human soul/personality is unique?

There are many and varied earthly activities in which the human personality can involve itself on planet Earth. There is however, only one activity (or direction of focus) that, in any given moment of time, represents a step forward on an individual‘s Path of Righteousness. Each step forward on this Path leads to an abundant influx of divine ‗blood‘226 (DM, ‫דם‬, of ADaM, ‫ )אדם‬through the earthly umbilical cord (i.e. from the Shekinah to the personality).

Eating of the ‗tree of the knowledge of good and evil‘ symbolizes the ‗path of materialism‘ (i.e. for its own superficial sake) and leads to the experience of Judgment—i.e. the need for the ego to choose between many greater and lesser evils, and between many greater and lesser goods. This is the path of illusion because in divine Reality there is no Good or Evil, only the Path of Righteousness that stretches before each individual human soul/personality. On that Path there is no requirement to choose because the Choice has already been made by the divine Creator. In other words, as we tread the Path of Righteousness our life decisions are not made on the basis of whether 225

226

Derived from ‗Tzedek‘ – Rightness, righteousness, justice. That is, ‗sustenance‘ from the Great Mother principle.

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something is good or evil, ‗right‘ or ‗wrong‘, but rather on whether or not we are effectively moving forward on our unique Path (i.e. as we intuitively know it to be in our Heart).

In the diagram below, the two brown lines represent examples of the human personality misdirecting the use of its physical energy in wayward material pursuits on various paths of judgment. The personality‘s quest for worldly riches, and/or to satisfy its material/physical desires (for example) stimulates a reaction from the Great Mother that is described in the Zohar as relating to the following biblical verse…

Figure 66 : Paths of Judgment

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Genesis, 3:17-18. ―And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife [i.e. personality], and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee...‖

As long as the human personality does not heed the Will of God and instead follows its own little will (and desire for personal gratification) then its experience on Earth is characterized to a large extent by harsh judgment (i.e. ‗negative‘ experiences). This, for the simple reason that the substance of the Earth has been pre-programmed by the Creator to react in certain ways that are dependent on whether or not the human personality is following its individual Path of Righteousness as it moves forward within the body of the Great Mother.

Experience on the path of judgment (that is, when the personality and soul are out of alignment) is characterized by the Earth‘s own inner elemental force—i.e. Fire (Shin, ‫)ש‬.227 This encounter with the purging Fire of Shin produces great discomfort, but ultimately has a positive transformative (i.e. evolutionary) effect on the human personality.228 When on the other hand, the human personality is aligned with the soul and moves forward on its individual Path of Righteousness, then it receives elemental Water (Maym, ‫ )מ‬flowing to it from the soul, which it uses to mitigate and creatively complement the latent inner Fire of the Shekinah. It is only on the Path of Righteousness that the personality gains access to the elemental Water of Maym. On the path of judgment the Water does not flow down from the soul, and only the Earth‘s inner purging heat of elemental Fire is experienced.

227

Of which the Earth‘s fiery molten/solid core is the symbol.

This Fire is associated with the concept of ‗Fire by Friction‘ that is described in the books of Alice Bailey. See: A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. 228

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When the elemental Water of Maym is combined with the elemental Fire of Shin (i.e. on the Path of Righteousness) an aspect of the divine Creation emerges into manifestation upon the Earth. ―The flowers appear on the earth, the time of song is come, and the voice of the turtle[-dove] is heard in our land.‖229

If every human soul/personality were to follow its own unique Path of Righteousness then a supreme effort of co-creation would occur on the Earth (involving all of humanity) leading to the realization of the divine Plan and the emergence of the Creation as it has existed in potential within the body of the Shekinah since the beginning of Time. 230 Right now however (circa 2010), most human-beings are treading a path of judgment and thereby contributing to the chaos, disharmony, and turmoil that exists in the world. This will change as the focus shifts within each personality, and we align ourselves towards the umbilical cord that represents our own individual Path of Righteousness.

Proverbs, 8:20-21. ―I lead in the way of righteousness [TzDQH, ‫]צדקה‬, in the midst of the paths of judgment [NThYBVTh MShPT, ‫]משפט נתיבות‬: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance [YSh, ‫ ;]יש‬and I will fill their treasures.‖ Proverbs, 10:2-3. ―Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. The LORD will not suffer the soul [NPhSh, ‫ ]נפש‬of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance [HVH, ‫ ]הוה‬of the wicked.‖

229

Song of Solomon. 2:12.

230

This is technically termed the ‗World to Come‘ in the symbolism of the Zohar, etc.

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Figure 67 : Elemental Fire and Water

The diagram above illustrates an encounter with the Fire of Shin (‫ )ש‬that occurs on the Path of Righteousness, and also, on the many paths of judgment. The Water of Maym (‫ )מ‬is made available to the human personality (Nefesh) to mitigate the Fire of Shin (‫ )ש‬when it is traversing the Path of Righteousness. The full unmitigated heat of the purging Fire of Shin however, is experienced on every path of judgment. A joyful creative experience is had on the Path of

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Righteousness as the Water of Maym flows into and combines creatively with the Fire of Shin.231

―And the voice of the turtle[dove] is heard in our land": this is the word of God, which was not in the world till man was created. 'Thus when man was there, everything was there. When man sinned, the earth was cursed, and all these good things left it, as it is written, "cursed is the earth for thy sake" (Gen. III, 17), and again, "when thou tillest the ground it shall not give its strength to thee" (Ibid. IV, 12), and again, "thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to thee" (Ibid. III, 18). When Noah came, he invented spades and hoes, but afterwards he sinned through drunkenness, and the rest of the world also sinned before God, and the strength of the earth deserted it. So matters continued until Abraham came. Then once more "the blossoms appeared in the earth", and all the powers of the earth were restored and displayed themselves. "The time of pruning (zamir) came", i.e. God told Abraham to circumcise himself. When at length the covenant existed in Abraham through the circumcision, then all this verse was fulfilled in him, the world was firmly established, and the word of the Lord came to him openly: hence it is written, AND THE LORD APPEARED UNTO HIM.‖232

The Holy Covenant that the Lord (YHVH) established with Abraham represents the divinely prescribed means by which humankind is able to resolve the dilemma of Adam‘s ‗Fall‘. This biblical episode adds a new layer of symbolism to the fundamental leitmotif that we are investigating.

In the diagram, elemental Air (i.e. Alef, ‫ )א‬is represented by the yellow circle of human consciousness. 231

232

Soncino Zohar. Vol. I. 97a-97b.

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During this important event, the biblical character Abram undergoes a namechange that results in him being called Abraham.233 Similarly, the name of Abram‘s wife is changed from Sarai to Sarah. 234 In both instances, the Hebrew letter Heh (‫ )ה‬is added to the spelling of their names. Like Adam before him, Abraham represents the human consciousness principle, while Sarah symbolizes the object of his desire.

Kabbalistically, the letter Heh symbolizes the Shekinah (or Great Mother principle)235 and its inclusion here indicates that a special relationship has been established between Abraham, Sarah, and the Shekinah. That special relationship forms the basis of the Path of Righteousness upon which Abraham had (by that time) become firmly focused. The physical aspect of the ‗covenant of circumcision‘ is essentially symbolic of ‗acquiring spiritual focus‘ as a result of the removal of the distraction and allure (or ‗excess‘) of materialism. The foreskin signifies that which prevents a humanbeing from treading the Path of Righteousness, and thus from joining himself creatively with the Shekinah.

There are, in fact, three ‗initiations of circumcision‘ that a human-being must undergo in order to become fully involved with the Shekinah and the divine creative process.

1. Circumcision of the Genitalia (Yesod – Physical) 2. Circumcision of the Heart (Tifaret – Astral) 3. Circumcision of the Tongue (Da‘at – Mental)

233

Genesis 17:5

234

Genesis 17:15

That is, in terms of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) the two Hehs signify the higher and lower Shekinah. 235

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The deeper meaning involves the removal of all impurities within the human psycho-physical organism that prevent a human-being from joining with the Shekinah in a destined ‗sacred marriage‘ (or ‗consummation‘)—a consummation that leads ultimately to the birth (or materialization) of a small facet of the divinely preordained Creation.

Figure 68 : Covenant and Circumcision

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The Lord declared to Abraham236 that the circumcision of the genitalia is required to be performed on the 8th day from birth, symbolizing the 8th sefirah (counting upwards from Malkut) which is Da‘at. The three circumcisions all lead to (and reinforce) Da‘at—i.e. Da‘at itself symbolizing the ‗Covenant of Abraham‘.

On the kabbalistic Tree of Life, the sefirah Yesod (Tav, ‫ת‬, Moon) represents the male sex organ because it is through the interface of Yesod that human consciousness interacts creatively with the external physical world (symbolized by the sefirah Malkut and the Lower Shekinah). In other words, it is through Yesod that the Consciousness principle is able to penetrate and impregnate the lower Form principle, and this is the case for both male and female humanbeings.

The deeper meaning of the circumcision applies to both men and women because every man and every woman has the same psycho-spiritual faculties (as symbolized by the sefirot of the kabbalistic Tree of Life). The male/female gender distinction does not apply except within the lowest material realm of existence. In parallel to Yesod, the sefirah Da‘at symbolizes the higher ‗sex organ‘ that is located in the head of Adam.237 Just as Yesod provides the faculty for communion with the Lower Shekinah (i.e. Malkut), so it is through the interface of Da‘at that human consciousness is able to maintain its creative union with the Higher Shekinah (or Binah, the Celestial Mother).

The fabled ‗exile‘ of the Shekinah symbolizes Humanity‘s disconnection in consciousness from the Celestial Mother. This sorry state was/is indicated by kabbalists by their omission of the sefirah Da‘at from the Tree of Life diagram (or by calling it a ‗non-sefirah‘). We are now however, at a point in human 236

Genesis 17:12.

237

Corresponding biologically to the pineal gland.

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evolution when we can restore Da‘at to its rightful position as a true sefirah of the Tree of Life. Thereby is the link to Binah (and Hockmah) symbolically reestablished in human consciousness and the divine process of Creation (i.e. through the agency of Humanity) is able to proceed.

Traditionally, it is thought that union with the (otherwise ‗exiled‘) Shekinah is best achieved on the Shabbat (i.e. Friday evening).

―Because medieval kabbalists believed all liturgical and ritual acts affect both the terrestrial and heavenly realms, halakhically sanctioned physical intercourse between a male mystic and his wife on earth could foster both divine and mystical union, for the act enables both Tiferet and the male mystic to unite with the Shekhinah. Wives thus became a conduit through which their husbands could attain divine union. Drawing from Talmudic tradition, medieval kabbalists deemed Friday night to be the most auspicious time to engage in sexual intercourse.‖ 238

This symbolism is reflected in our Tree of Life diagram. 239 (See below.) You will note (in the diagram below) that the sefirah Da‘at (‫ב‬, Bayt) is connected to Binah (‫ש‬, Shin) via the pathway of Tav (‫ת‬, Moon). This combination of Hebrew letters spells ShaBaTh (‫—)שבת‬the Shabbat, the ‗day‘ when Israel unites with the Shekinah, and the day when the coupling of a Jewish husband and his wife is blessed by the Shekinah. The pathway of Tav (‫)ת‬ represents the Ruach‘s (i.e. soul‘s) unique relationship with the Higher Shekinah (‫)ש‬. The sefirah of Tav (i.e. Yesod) is its projected lower correspondence and represents the relationship that is established between the Nefesh (i.e.

238

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 18. Pp. 443-444.

See my book: Formation of the Tree of Life. The sefirah Tifaret connects with the Higher Shekinah via Da‘at, and the Lower Shekinah via Yesod. 239

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personality) and the Lower Shekinah (Malkut).240 Ideally, the lower sefirotic expression of Tav should embody/reflect the nature and quality of the higher pathway expression of Tav.

Figure 69 : The Shabbat and the Tree of Life

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the structure and meaning of the Tree of Life diagram (as illustrated herein) because it forms the foundation of the system of practical kabbalah that will be outlined in Part Two of this book. In the present chapter, however, we are mainly concerned with some background concepts that are needed for a full appreciation of the practical system.

The sefirah Malkut is not shown in this diagram. Malkut, representing the ‗World of Assiah‘ (or ‗Action‘), is located immediately below Yesod and directly adjoined to it. 240

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The esoteric symbolism of the Shekinah principle is also woven into the ancient prophesy of the coming of the Jewish messiah at the ‗end times‘.

―And at the time when the Holy One will raise the dead to life He will cause dew to descend upon them from His head. By means of that dew all will rise from the dust, as it says, "for thy dew is as the dew of lights" (Is. XXVI, 19), these being the supernal lights through which the Almighty will in future pour forth life upon the world. For the tree of life exudes life unceasingly into the universe. Life in the present dispensation is cut short through the influence of the evil serpent, whose dominion is symbolized by the darkened moon. Under the same influence the celestial waters, as it were, fail, and life is not dispensed in the world in proper measure. At that time, however, the evil tempter, who is none other than the evil serpent, will be removed from the world by the Almighty and disappear, as it is written, "and I will cause the unclean spirit to pass out of the earth" (Zech. XIII, 2). After he disappears the moon will no more be obscured, and the waters of the celestial river will flow on perennially. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy, "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of the seven days, etc." (Is. XXX, 26).‖241

The Moon, in the writings of the Zohar (etc), symbolizes the Shekinah. Her exile from Israel is represented by the ‗darkened Moon‘ that is unable to reflect the light of the Sun. The ‗evil serpent‘ signifies the lure of ‗materialism‘ that causes the human personality to sow its seed in barren fields, or in ground that puts forth naught but ‗weeds‘.

The ‗dew of lights‘ that descends from the ‗Head of the Almighty‘ during the ‗end times‘ symbolizes the Water of Maym flowing from the divine Father (Hockmah, ‫ )מ‬to the Son (Tifaret/Ruach) and then to the faithfully aligned human personality (Yesod/Nefesh). This divine Water then flows from the

241

Soncino Zohar. Vol. 2. 130b-131a.

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human personality to the Lower Shekinah (Malkut) combining creatively with Her innate Fire of Shin. Thus it is written: ―the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun‖.

The enlightened state of consciousness that this imagery represents occurs towards the end of Human evolution within the Earth sphere, but evolved individuals are able to pre-empt that future collective event by passing individually through the three initiations of circumcision. In all three ‗circumcision‘ initiations there is required a curbing of excess, and a focusing of the spiritual Will through each of the three bodies of human manifestation—the physical, astral, and mental bodies. The ‗circumcision of the heart‘ is mentioned in a few places in the Hebrew Tanach. For example…

Jeremiah, 4:3-4. ―For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.‖242

Here Jeremiah alludes to the intense heat of the Fire of Shin being felt (without the relief of the Water of Maym) as a repercussion of not removing the ‗foreskin of the heart‘. The purification of the astral body is implied in this ritual of the ‗circumcision of the heart‘.

242

The ‗Circumcision of the Heart‘ is also mentioned in Deuteronomy, 10:16 and 30:6.

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The ‗circumcision of the tongue‘ is one of the highest mysteries of the Kabbalah. As such, it is mentioned only in the most occult of treatises—the most famous one being the Sefer Yetzirah.243

―He placed him in His bosom, and kissed him on his head, and He called him, "Abraham my beloved" (Isaiah 41:8). He made a covenant with him and with his children after him forever, as it is written, "And he believed in God, and He considered it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:6). He made with him a covenant between the ten fingers of his hands—this is the covenant of the tongue, and between the ten toes of his feet—this is the covenant of circumcision, And He bound the 22 letters of the Torah to his tongue and He revealed to him His mystery.‖ 244

The ‗circumcision of the tongue‘ is code for the purification and control of the mental body, and its consecration to fulfilling the sacred Purpose of the human soul. The means to achieve this third initiation of circumcision is given in the text of the Sefer Yetzirah, but it‘s cloaked in extremely opaque symbolism. One of the purposes of this book is to shine a light into the darkness of the Sefer Yetzirah and consequently, to provide a framework for understanding (and completing) the ‗circumcision of the tongue‘.

As mentioned briefly above, the story (in the Tanach) of the exile of Israel and the Shekinah adds yet another layer of symbolism to this important esoteric teaching. Like Adam, and Abraham, and many other male characters from the Tanach, the third patriarch Jacob also personifies the human soul. His name was changed to

243

Translated: Book of Formation.

244

Sefer Yetzirah. 6:7. Translated by Aryeh Kaplan.

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Israel after ―wrestling with a man (AYSh, ‫)איש‬245 until the breaking of the day‖,246 or in others words, after he underwent a major initiation.247

In the mundane world, the name Israel has come to collectively represent the Jewish race. Tradition has it that after the destruction of the two Temples of YHVH in the first millennium BCE, the people of Israel became alienated from the Shekinah, and were cursed to wander the Earth in exile from their God. This is a motif that is buried deeply within the religious psyche of the Jewish people, and in its most concrete and literal form is represented by the philosophy of Zionism.

The Temple of Solomon (and, its later replacement) symbolized a sacred house wherein dwelled the Shekinah (i.e. the divine Presence of YHVH). The Temple was thus able to provide a means through which the ancient Jewish priesthood could receive the blessing of YHVH for the people of Israel. In other words, the Temple provided a locus through which the sacred marriage between Israel and the Shekinah could be consummated. This was (and is) a very literal interpretation of a very esoteric doctrine that was received by the ancient Hebrews through their beloved prophets and patriarchs. It is time now, however, to complement, expand, and enhance the literal interpretation with the inner esoteric meaning of the Holy Torah. This new understanding brings with it the realization that there is no need to wait for the re-establishment of a physical Temple of YHVH on Mount Zion. Instead, we can focus towards building a Holy Temple within the human psyche—the building instructions for which are given in the Sefer Yetzirah, and (hopefully) translated into clearer language in Part Two of this book.

The ‗man‘ mentioned in the verse is generally interpreted as being an angel—usually the angelic representative of Esau, Jacob‘s twin brother. 245

246

Genesis 32:24-29.

247

That is, the second initiation—the Circumcision of the Heart.

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In the Temple of Solomon the Shekinah was said to rest upon the Ark of the Covenant within the Holy of Holies—the most sacred room in the Temple. On the Tree of Life diagram, the Ark of the Covenant is represented by Da‘at, and the ‗Most Holy Place‘ by the sefirah Geburah.248 The Shekinah is of course, symbolized by the sefirah Binah as it alights (via the Tav/Moon pathway) upon Da‘at ‗between the two wings of the Cherubim‘.

All these religious terms, images, and expressions are actually symbols for inner psycho-spiritual faculties and processes that are made manifest within the conscious mind as the inner Temple is constructed.

Like all the great temples of history, the architecture and construction of the historical Temple of Solomon was based on sacred geometry and the metaphysical symbolism of numbers. The most sacred numbers employed traditionally in temple construction are the numbers three, seven, and twelve. For example, with regard to the number seven...249

―I should like to draw attention to two texts that connect the creation of the world and the construction of the Temple which have not been remarked before. 1 Kings 6:38b tells us that it took Solomon seven years to build his Temple. According to 1 Kings 8, he dedicated it during the Feast of Booths (Sukkot), which occurs in the seventh month (verse 2) and which, in Deuteronomic tradition, is a festival of seven days duration (Deut. 16:13-15). Moreover, the speech in which Solomon dedicates his shrine, just completed, is structured around seven petitions (1 Kings 8:31-55). Can the significance of the number seven in this Temple dedication be coincidence? In light of the argument on other grounds that Temple building and creation were thought to be congeneric, this is improbable. It is more likely that the construction of the Temple is

248

This will be more clearly explained in Part Two of this book (entitled Holy Temple of Magic).

Among others, the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza was also based on the number seven. See Appendix II in my book: Esoteric Harmonics. 249

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presented here as a parallel to the construction of the world in seven days (Gen. 1:1-2:4).‖250

The Holy Temple that we will construct later during our course of practical kabbalah is also based in large part on the number seven, and like its physical counterpart—the Temple of Solomon—it will provide a holy sanctuary for the Higher Shekinah to indwell. The Holy Temple that we build within the human psyche will enable each individual to establish conscious communion with the Higher and Lower Shekinah. It will provide the means by which to draw down the ‗dew of lights‘ (i.e. the Water of Maym) from the Holy One, so as to blend it creatively with the Fire of Shin (i.e. of the Lower Shekinah).

The Temple and the World, by Jon D. Levenson. The Journal of Religion, Vol. 64, No. 3 (Jul., 1984), pp. 275-298. The University of Chicago Press. Pp. 288-289. 250

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Appendix One The Mystery of the Ten Sefirot An hypothesis suggesting how the ten sefirot of the Sefer Yetzirah might align with the sefirot of the kabbalistic Tree of Life.

There is a high degree of mystery and uncertainty surrounding the alignment of the ten sefirot of the Sefer Yetzirah to the ten sefirot of the kabbalistic Tree of Life. This is especially the case regarding the assignment of the highest sefirot. There are two main schools of thought...

1. Keter: (Alef, ‫ )א‬Breath 2. Hockmah: (Maym, ‫ )מ‬Water from Breath 3. Binah: (Shin, ‫ )ש‬Fire from Water And... 1. Keter: (Alef, ‫ )א‬Breath 2. Hockmah: (Shin, ‫ )ש‬Fire from Water 3. Binah: (Maym, ‫ )מ‬Water from Breath

As you can see, it is generally agreed that ‗Breath‘ (Alef, ‫ )א‬is associated with Keter, but some kabbalists associate ‗Water from Breath‘ (Maym, ‫ )מ‬with Hockmah, while others associate it with Binah. The former appears to be the more logical choice because the phrase ―Water from Breath‖ suggests that Water (Maym, ‫ )מ‬has to come after Breath (Alef, ‫)א‬, and the phrase ―Fire from Water‖ suggests that Fire (Shin, ‫ )ש‬follows after pg. 239


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Water (Maym, ‫)מ‬. (This is also the natural order in which the three Mother letters occur in the Hebrew alphabet.) Here is how I understand the meaning of the Sefer Yetzirah in this regard... The Sefer Yetzirah states:

These are the Ten Sefiroth of Nothingness [BLYMH, ‫]בלימה‬: The Breath of the Living God Breath from Breath Water from Breath Fire from Water Up down east west north south.251

The meaning of the curious word ‗belimah‘ [BLYMH, ‫ ]בלימה‬is ambiguous and uncertain. It is usually interpreted as BLY MH—meaning ‗without what?‘. This is generally translated into English as ‗nothingness‘. I interpret the word differently however.

In the early part of the book Zohar (where it discusses the Creation process of the first book of the Torah—i.e. Berashith) the Hebrew word MH (Mah, ‫ )מה‬is interpreted as referring to the tenth sefirah Malkut. Therefore, the word BLYMH can (I believe) be interpreted to mean ‗without Malkut‘. Therefore, the oftrepeated phrase of the Sefer Yetzirah ―ten sefirot belimah‖ can be interpreted to mean ―ten sefirot without Malkut‖.

So, if there are ten sefirot without the sefirah Malkut what are they?

251

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:14.

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Before we enumerate the ten sefirot, consider verse 1:4 of the Sefer Yetzirah:

Ten Sefirot of Nothingness ten and not nine ten and not eleven Understand with Wisdom Be wise with Understanding Examine with them and probe from them Make [each] thing stand on its essence And make the Creator sit on His base.252

Firstly, note in verse 1:4 the unusual phrase ―Understand with Wisdom; Be wise with Understanding‖. This phrase combines the names of the two sefirot Binah (‗Understanding‘) and Hockmah (‗Wisdom‘). This phrase is (I believe) a clue that tells us that we must include the sefirah Da‘at among the sefirot (even though it is not actually enumerated as one of the ten). My reasoning relates to the kabbalistic principle that when Hockmah combines with Binah, the sefirah Da‘at emerges within the Abyss of the Tree of Life. I believe that this is what verse 1:4 is hinting at. Da‘at is the ‗base‘ (referred to in verse 1:4 above) that the ‗Creator‘ must sit upon. The Creator (i.e. ‗Macroprosopus‘) is represented by the three supernal sefirot of the Tree of Life. The three supernals—Keter, Hockmah, and Binah, are supported by the sefirah Da‘at as they hover over the Abyss. The six ‗directional‘ sefirot (as described in the Sefer Yetzirah) are generally recognized as corresponding to the six sefirot directly below the Abyss of the Tree of Life—i.e. the sefirot from Hesed to Yesod. I also agree with this designation.

252

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:4.

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The first four sefirot mentioned in the Sefer Yetzirah however, do not so obviously align themselves with the (now) popular version of the Tree of Life diagram. To assign the first four sefirot to the Tree of Life diagram we must find and interpret the clues hidden within the text of the Sefer Yetzirah. The first four sefirot are specifically discussed in verses 1:9 to 1:12.

The first thing to notice is that verses 1:10 to 1:12 (i.e. enumerating the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sefirot) are distinctly different from verse 1:9 (i.e. which delineates the 1st sefirah). Verse 1:9 describes the first sefirah as ―the Breath of the Living God‖, ―The voice of breath and speech‖, and ―the Holy Breath‖.

Ten Sefiroth of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God Blessed and benedicted is the name of the Life of Worlds The voice of breath and speech And this is the Holy Breath.253

This ‗Holy Breath‘ is actually the divine force that is used by the Creator to ―engrave and carve‖ the next three sefirot. All three of the following verses (i.e. verses 1:10 to 1:12) contain the phrase ―With it He engraved and carved...‖. What does ―it‖ refer to in the phrase: ―With it He engraved and carved‖? It is the ‗Holy Breath‘.

253

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:9.

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In fact, it is stated openly in the Sefer Yetzirah that it is the Holy Breath (also called ―the Voice of Breath and Speech‖)...

Twenty-two Foundation Letters He engraved them with voice He carved them with breath...254

(See verse 1:10 quoted below.) In other words, the ‗Holy Breath‘ is used by the Creator to form the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sefirot.

The first sefirah, the Holy Breath, symbolizes the in-breath of the Creator Who subsequently breathes out the Holy Breath in order to manifest the Creation (i.e. by carving out the remaining sefirot). The Holy Breath corresponds to Ain Sof (the ‗Limitless‘)—the unknown realm into which the essence of the Creation will return when the Creator next inhales His divine Breath.

Two: Breath from Breath. With it [i.e. the Holy Breath] He engraved and carved 22 Foundation Letters Three Mothers Seven Doubles and Twelve Elementals And one Breath is from them.255

254

Sefer Yetzirah, 2:3.

255

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:10.

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Three: Water from Breath. With it [i.e. the Holy Breath] He engraved and carved [22 letters from] chaos and void mire and clay He engraved them like a sort of garden He carved them like a sort of wall He covered them like a sort of ceiling [And He poured snow over them and it became dust as it is written ―For to snow He said, ‗Become earth‘‖ (Job 37:6).]256

Four: Fire from Water With it [i.e. the Holy Breath] He engraved and carved the Throne of Glory Serafim, Ophanim, and holy Chayot and Ministering angels From these three He founded His dwelling as it is written: ―He makes His angels of breaths, His ministers of flaming fire‖ (Psalms 104:4).257

In all three of these verses the sefirot are firstly named... 2. Breath from Breath (―22 Foundation Letters‖) 3. Water from Breath (―22 Letters from Chaos and Void‖) 4. Fire from Water (―The Throne of Glory‖) ...and then their formation is described in terms of the exhalation of the Holy Breath as it ‗engraves and carves‘ their attributes. This is made clear in verse 1:10 where it states: ―With it He engraved and carved 22 Foundation letters...And one Breath 256

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:11.

257

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:12.

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is from them‖. The ‗Breath‘ that is ―from them‖ is ‗Breath from Breath‘ which emanates from this sefirah after the ‗22 Foundation Letters‖ have been ―engraved and carved‖ by the Holy Breath (i.e. of verse 1:9).

Notice in verse 1:12 (above) the inclusion of the phrase ―Throne of Glory‖—a well-known significator of the sefirah Binah. That is a big clue. Verse 1:12 also contains the phrase ―From these three He founded His dwelling‖. What does this mean—‖from these three‖? It means that the Creator built His dwelling (or ‗House‘) from the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sefirot (i.e. ‗the last three mentioned sefirot‘).

The phrase ―His dwelling‖ specifically refers to the sefirah Da‘at (and the six lowest sefirot of the Tree of Life). The seven lower sefirot (including Da‘at) are associated with the seven Double letters of the Hebrew alphabet, just as the three sefirot above them are associated with the three Mother letters. The sefirah Da‘at (which is not enumerated in the Sefer Yetzirah because it is ‗concealed‘) is associated with the first Double letter—i.e. the letter Bayt, ‫ב‬, meaning ‗House‘, or ‗dwelling‘. The lower six sefirot are associated with the other six Double letters. Thus, when it is stated in SY verse 1:12... ―From these three He founded His dwelling‖, it is actually saying: ‗From these last three mentioned sefirot He created the sefirah Da’at and the six sefirot below the Abyss‘. The phrase ―He founded His dwelling‖ refers to the ‗dwelling‘ (Bayt, ‫ )ב‬that extends from Da‘at through the next six ‗directional‘ sefirot of the Tree of Life. The letter Bayt (as Da‘at) is itself specifically referred to (in the Sefer Yetzirah) as the Holy Palace or Temple (HYKL HQVDSh, ‫)הקודש היכל‬. It represents the ‗inner sanctum‘—the most sacred ‗room‘ of the House. In my view, the term

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Holy Palace (or, Temple) as used in the Sefer Yetzirah, does not refer to the sefirah Malkut as most kabbalists appear to believe. As I mentioned above, the ten sefirot of the Sefer Yetzirah do not include the sefirah Malkut.

Seven Doubles: BGD KPRT Up and Down East and West North and South And the Holy Palace precisely in the center and it supports them all.258

The term ‗Holy Palace‘ does NOT refer to one of the ten enumerated sefirot of the Sefer Yetzirah, because as we know, the ten sefirot are comprised of the first four sefirot (as delineated in SY verses 1:9 to 1:12), and the six directional sefirot (as stated in verses 1:14 and 4:4 quoted above). Interestingly, when we total the Hebrew letter values of the term ‗holy palace‘ we derive: HYKL QVDSh = ‫ = קודש היכל‬475 ...while the value of the Hebrew word ―Da‘at‖ is: DOTh = ‫ = דעת‬474. The traditional rules of gematria allow a margin of error of 1 unit, so this result is quite significant. The Sefer Yetzirah describes the process of ‗formation‘ (or ‗creation‘) and the sefirah Malkut symbolizes the final result of the creative process. In other words, the sefirah Malkut (symbolizing the ‗world of Assiah‘) is an appendage to the Tree of Life that emerges only after the yetziratic processes are complete. That is why the creative formulae (i.e. the six ‗seals‘) given in Sefer Yetzirah 1:15

258

Sefer Yetzirah, 4:4.

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are derived from YHV (‫)יהו‬, and not YHVH (‫)יהוה‬. The final Heh (‫)ה‬ representing Malkut is not included in the formulae.

Bayt (as Da‘at) ―supports‖ the other six Double letters by holding them all together in structured formation as the House of the Creator. One can imagine it metaphorically as a hanging basket that contains within itself the six lower sefirot. It is located ―precisely in the centre‖259 of the yetziratic Tree of Life (i.e. when the first sefirah—the Holy Breath—is included). (See the diagram below.)

The six ‗directional‘ sefirot are the beams (the ‗mighty cedars‘ mentioned in the Zohar) that together construct the ‗cube of space‘ which is a symbol of the Creator‘s House. Da‘at symbolizes the House (i.e. the Universe) in its entirety and is therefore unable to be perceived except by the Creator who ‗sits‘ upon it.

Thus, the ten sefirot (as enumerated in the Sefer Yetzirah) are as follows:

These are the Ten Sefiroth Belimah (i.e. ‗without Malkut‘): The Breath of the Living God Breath from Breath Water from Breath Fire from Water Up down east west north south.260

259

Sefer Yetzirah, 4:4.

260

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:14.

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1. Ain Sof - The Breath of the Living God261 - Alef, ‫( א‬Air) 2. Keter - Breath from Breath - Alef, ‫( א‬Air) 3. Hockmah - Water from Breath - Maym, ‫( מ‬Water) 4. Binah - Fire from Water - Shin, ‫( ש‬Fire) Da‘at (‗concealed‘ and un-enumerated) - Bayt, ‫( ב‬Saturn) 5. Hesed - South - Gimel, ‫( ג‬Jupiter) 6. Geburah - East - Dalet, ‫( ד‬Mars) 7. Tifaret - Up - Kaf, ‫( כ‬Sun) 8. Netzah - West - Peh, ‫( פ‬Venus) 9. Hod - North - Raysh, ‫( ר‬Mercury) 10. Yesod - Down - Tav, ‫( ת‬Moon)

261

Also: ‗The Holy Breath‘.

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Appendix Two Some Related Esoteric Comments By: Patrick Mulcahy

Mothers, Doubles, and Elementals262 There is a very esoteric reason why the twenty-two Hebrew letters are called Mothers, Doubles, and Elementals. The three Mother letters, after having condensed themselves to form the three highest sefirot of the Tree of Life, then become pregnant with the Son. The divine impregnation of the Mother with the Son is symbolized by the seven Double letter pathways that manifest between (and connect together) the highest sefirot of the Tree. The birth of the Son from the Mother is symbolized by the emergence of the seven lower Double letter sefirot. These seven sefirot (from Da‘at to Yesod) are the direct result of the emanation of the seven Double letter pathways into a denser, more ‗fixed‘ form (i.e. lower down on the Tree diagram). This is an esoteric reason why the seven Double letters are called ‗Doubles‘. The seven Double letter supernal pathways are like the soul aspect of the Son (whose ‗body‘ is in turn represented by the seven Double letter sefirot).

262

The twelve ‗Elementals‘ are also often called ‗Simples‘.

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In the Hebrew language the seven Double letters have a soft and a hard form. The soft forms of these letters are attributed to the seven Double letter pathways (soul), while their hard forms (containing the dagesh) are associated with the seven Double letter sefirot (body). Thus it can be understood that the seven Double letters are called Doubles because they are responsible for manifesting (in a certain sense) the soul and body of the Tree of Life. The spirit aspect of the Tree is represented by the three Mother letters. The twelve Elemental letters combine together to form the final sefirah Malkut. They are associated with the Daughter, and the four Elements of the manifested Universe. The twelve Elemental pathways represent the soul of the Daughter while their combined conformation in Malkut represents her body. Thus we have: o o o o

Father = Ain Sof Mother = Keter-Hockmah-Binah (i.e. three Mother letters) Son = Seven lower sefirot (Da‘at to Yesod—i.e. seven Double letters) Daughter = Malkut (i.e. twelve Elemental letters)

Malkut - Twelve Simple Letter Pathways The sefirah Malkut manifests on the Tree of Life as a result of the merging together into one conformation of the twelve Simple letter pathways. This is hinted at in several places in the Zohar. For example:

...We see that Jacob [Tifaret] blessed Joseph along with his brothers, but when God arranged the tribes under four standards He omitted Joseph and put Ephraim in his place. This cannot have been for any sin of Joseph‘s, but the reason is this: Joseph [Yesod] was the impress of the male, and since all the adornments of the Shekinah [Malkut] are female, pg. 252


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Joseph was removed from the standards and Ephraim was appointed in his place. On this account he was stationed on the west, the side where the female abides, and the impress which is male [Joseph, Yesod] was removed from her adornments. We thus see that all the twelve tribes [twelve Simple letter pathways] are the adornment of the Shekinah [Malkut] after the supernal pattern, save for the grade of the Zaddik [Yesod], who makes all the limbs male263.264

JOSEPH IS A FRUITFUL BOUGH, A FRUITFUL BOUGH BY A FOUNTAIN. The words ―fruitful bough‖ are repeated to show that he is such both above and below. Observe that the holy kingdom [Malkut, second Heh of YHVH] does not attain its perfection as holy kingdom until it is joined with the patriarchs [referring to Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret]. Then its structure is completed from the upper world, which is the world of the male [i.e. Vav of YHVH, the sefirot Da’at to Yesod]. The upper world [i.e. Vav of YHVH] is called ―seven years‖ because all the ―seven years‖ [the seven sefirot Da’at to Yesod] are in it. The mnemonic of this is ―and he built it seven years‖ (I Kings VI, 38). By means of this the lower world [Malkut, second Heh of YHVH] was built, which also is alluded to as ―seven years‖. The mnemonic for this is ―Seven days and seven days, fourteen days‖ (I Kings VIII, 66), the first seven being male and the second female. It is written: ―Many daughters have done virtuously‖ (Prov. XXXI, 29). These are the twelve tribes who did valiantly. Hence it is written here: ―The daughters advanced upon the wall‖; that is to say, the daughters [twelve Simple letter pathways] took part in the adornment of the Shekinah, but not the sons [seven sefirot Da’at to Yesod].265

The seven sefirot (Da‘at to Yesod) are made male by Yesod because Yesod represents the male sexual organ. 263

264

Soncino Zohar, Vayehi, 246b. Vol. II, Pg 381. The notes in square brackets are my own.

265

Soncino Zohar, Vayehi, 246b-247a, Vol. II, Pg 382. The notes in square brackets are my own.

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Thought, Understanding, Voice, Utterance The following passage is from the Soncino Edition of the Zohar. It is found in Volume II, pg 382.

[NAPTHALI IS A HIND LET LOOSE] WHO GIVETH GOODLY WORDS. The Voice speaks to the Utterance, there being no voice without utterance. This Voice is sent from a deep recess above in order to guide the Utterance, the two being related as general and particular. The Voice issues from the south and speaks to the west, inheriting two sides, and therefore Moses said to Napthali: ―Possess thou the west and the south‖ (Deut. XXXIII, 23). Observe that Thought is the beginning of all. This Thought is recondite and inscrutable, but when it expands it reaches the place where spirit abides and is then called Understanding (binah), which is not so recondite as the preceding. This spirit expands and produces a Voice composed of fire, water, and air, which corresponds to north, south, and east. [Geburah, Hesed, and Tifaret—that is, the Ruach triad.] This Voice embraces in itself all forces, and speaks to Utterance [Malkut], and this shapes the word properly. When you examine the grades closely you find that Thought, Understanding, Voice, Utterance are all one and the same, and there is no

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separation between them, and this is what is meant by the words: ―The Lord is one and His Name is One.‖266

In Numbers, Chap. 2, the tribe Napthali is given to the north/Geburah (i.e. the Camp of Dan) and I have associated it with the sign Virgo. We see in this passage from the Zohar a different symbolism. The symbolism used in this passage relates the four directions to the sefirot as follows:

o o o o

South: Hesed North: Geburah East: Tifaret West: Malkut

The four technical terms: Thought, Understanding, Voice, and Utterance, refer to the following sefirot...

o Thought: Hockmah o Understanding: Binah o Voice: Hesed, Geburah, Tifaret (embracing the other Ruach ―forces‖: Netzah, Hod, and Yesod) o Utterance: Malkut

These terms are also associated with ―His Name‖ as follows:

266

Soncino Zohar, Vayehi, 246b, Vol. II, Pg 382. The notes in square brackets are my own.

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Y = Thought (Hockmah) H = Understanding (Binah) V = Voice (Hesed, Geburah, Tifaret, etc) H = Utterance (Malkut)

The Voice is said to expand from Binah as a spirit containing within itself fire, water, and air—corresponding to north, south, and east (i.e. the Ruach triad). Thus, these elemental constituents of the Voice arrange themselves on the Tree as follows:

o Fire – North – Geburah o Water – South – Hesed o Air – East – Tifaret

Of course, these elements refer specifically to energies emanating from the three Hebrew Mother letters: Shin, Maym, and Alef (i.e. and the supernal triad—Binah, Hockmah, and Keter).

So we have:

o Fire (Shin) – North – Geburah o Water (Maym) – South – Hesed o Air (Alef) – East – Tifaret

These correspondences mirror (and are emanations of) their higher correspondences...

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o Fire (Shin) – Binah o Water (Maym) – Hockmah o Air (Alef) – Keter

The Voice ―guides the Utterance‖. It issues from the south (Hesed) and speaks to the west (Malkut). In other words, it‘s transmitted through the seven lowest sefirot from Hesed (#4) to Malkut (#10).

In Malkut the Voice ‗materializes‘ as an Utterance. It becomes the ‗spoken word‘ of the Creator.

What is being cryptically described in this passage is an occult kabbalistic meditation, as well as the process of Creation (in general).

Joseph Represents Yesod Genesis 49:23. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: Genesis 49:24. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel...)267

267

King James Version.

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BUT HIS BOW ABODE IN STRENGTH. This means that the bow which was his mate [1] clothed him with strength and kept him firm, knowing that he would not go astray right or left in regard to his own proper grade of the sign of the covenant [2]. AND THE ARMS OF HIS HANDS WERE MADE STRONG. The word vayaphozu (were made strong) is akin to the word paz (fine gold), and indicates that his arms were adorned with precious jewels [3]. BY THE HANDS OF THE MIGHTY ONE OF JACOB. These are the two sides [4] to which Jacob held fast. FROM THENCE HE FED THE STONE OF ISRAEL. By him was supported that precious stone [5], as we have said. Or again, it may mean that that precious stone was sustained by these two sides which are north and south [6], and between which it was placed by the hands of the Righteous One.268

[1] Joseph represents the sefirah Yesod on the Tree of Life, and his ―mate‖ is the feminine sefirah Malkut (i.e. the Shekinah) to whom he is attached. The word for ‗strength‘ used here is ‫( איתן‬AYThN) meaning ‗constant, ever-flowing, enduring‘. His place is on the Middle Pillar where he remains ‗firm‘, not straying to the left-hand Pillar of Severity, or the right-hand Pillar of Mercy. [2] In one respect, the sefirah Yesod represents the ―sign of the covenant‖. The Hebrew letter Tav means ‗sign‘ and is the Double letter associated with Yesod. Another reason that the covenant of the ‗circumcision‘ is associated with Yesod is because Yesod represents the male sexual organ.

268

Soncino Zohar, Vayehi, 247a, Vol. II, Pg 383. The square bracketed notes are my own.

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[3] The ―precious jewels‖ symbolize the sefirot above Yesod on the Tree of Life—namely, Netzah and Hod. The word for ―strong‖ used here is ‫( פזז‬PZZ) meaning ‗supple, agile, nimble‘. [4] Jacob represents the sefirah Tifaret. The ―two sides to which Jacob held fast‖ are the sefirot Hesed and Geburah. [5] The ―precious stone‖ is symbolic of the sefirah Tifaret. Tifaret is supported by the sefirah Yesod. (Yesod means ‗foundation‘.) In this symbolism Tifaret is identified with the East direction, and is situated between North (Geburah) and South (Hesed).

The Mystery of Da’at R. Jose discoursed on the verse: ―Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened?‖ (Job XXXVIII, 6) He said: When God created the world, He established it on seven pillars, but upon what those pillars rest no one may know, since it is a recondite and inscrutable mystery. [1] The world did not come into being until God took a certain stone, which is called the ―foundation stone‖, and cast it into the abyss so that it held fast there, and from it the world was planted. [2] This is the central point of the universe, and on this point stands the holy of holies. [3] This is the stone referred to in the verses, ―Who laid the corner-stone thereof‖ (Ibid. 6), ―the stone of testing, the precious corner-stone‖ (Is. XXVIII, 16), and ―the stone that the builders despised became the head of the corner‖ (Ps. CXVIII, 22). [4] This stone is compounded of fire, water, and air, and rests on the abyss. Sometimes water flows from it and fills the deep. [5]

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This stone is set as a sign in the centre of the world. It is referred to in the words, ―And Jacob took a stone and set it as a pillar‖ (Gen. XXXI, 45). Not that he took this stone, which was created from the beginning, but he established it above and below, by making there a ―house of God‖. [6] This stone has on it seven eyes, as it is written, ―On one stone seven eyes‖ (Zech. III, 9), and it is called ―foundation stone‖, for one thing because the world was planted from it, and for another because God set it as a source of blessing to the world... [7]269

[1] The ―seven pillars‖ are, of course, the seven lower sefirot from Hesed to Malkut. Those seven sefirot rest upon the foundational sefirah of Da‘at. [2] The ―abyss‖ is the chasm that extends between the seven lower sefirot and the three highest sefirot. [3] The ―holy of holies‖ refers to the three highest sefirot. [4] The Hebrew word for ―stone‖ used here is eh‘-ben (ABN). It also means ‗wheel‘, or ‗disk‘. There is a connection with the Hebrew root baw-naw‘ (BNH) meaning ‗to build‘, and binah (BYNH) meaning ‗understanding‘—the third sefirah. The sefirah Da‘at is, in a sense, the Son (ben, BN) of Binah (BYNH). Da‘at is associated with the Hebrew Double letter Bayt (B) upon which the whole Creation (Berashit) is established. [5] Da‘at is a composite of Air (Alef/Keter), Water (Maym/Hockmah), and Fire (Shin/Binah). The ―water‖ that flows from Da‘at is the ―blessing to the world‖ mentioned further on in this extract. (See note 7.) [6] The ―house‖ is Bayt (meaning ‗house‘)—the Hebrew Double letter associated with Da‘at. Jacob represents the sefirah Tifaret. He ―established‖ it ―above‖ in Da‘at, and ―below‖ in ―Yesod‖. [7] The Zohar describes the sefirah Yesod (meaning ‗foundation‘) as the source of blessings for the ‗lower world‘ (meaning Malkut). Here Da‘at and Yesod are 269

Soncino Zohar, Vayehi, 231a, Vol. II, Pg 339-340. The square bracketed notes are my own.

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identified with each other. (Da‘at is the source of ‗blessings‘ for the ‗higher world‘—i.e. above Malkut.) Jacob/Tifaret is positioned on the Middle Pillar between the Da‘at ‗foundation‘ and the Yesod ‗foundation‘. Jacob (Tifaret) is said to have ―established‖ these two foundations.

The Mystery of Da’at - Part Two R. Judah discoursed here on the text: ―The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High gave forth his voice; hailstones and coals of fire‖ (Ps. XVIII, 14). When God, he said, created the world, He constructed for it seven pillars by which it was to be upheld. So scripture says: ―Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars‖ (Prov. IX, 1). These in turn are upheld by one grade from among them called ―the Righteous One, the everlasting foundation‖ (Ibid. X, 25). [1] Further, when the world was created, it was started from that spot which is the culmination and perfection of the world, the central point of the universe, which is identical with Zion, as it is written: ―A psalm of Asaph. God, God the Lord hath spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined forth‖ (ps. I, 2). That is to say, God started the earth from Zion, from that spot where faith culminates in its full perfection. Zion is thus the citadel and central point of the universe, from which it began to be fashioned and from which the whole world is nourished. [2] This lesson is esoterically indicated in our text. For Zion and Jerusalem, while one, represent two degrees, the one being the channel of judgement, the other of mercy; first there issues from one the sound of mercy, and afterwards there comes forth from the other the voice of judgement, the two forming the source from which the paths of judgement and mercy issue and diverge. Hence, the expression ―And the pg. 261


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Lord also thundered in the heavens‖ indicates judgement, while ―the Most High gave forth his voice‖ refers to mercy, and ―hailstones and coals of fire‖ signify water and fire, that is, mercy and judgement commingled. [3]270

[1] The word ―house‖ refers to the first Hebrew Double letter Bayt (B) (meaning literally ‗house‘). It is a reference to the sefirah Da‘at which stands upon the seven pillars. The word ―Wisdom‖ (in the quote) is a reference to the sefirah Hockmah. The three highest sefirot are associated with the three Hebrew Mother letters. Hockmah is associated with the Mother letter ‗Maym‘. The Mother letter Maym rules over the seven Hebrew Double letters. Here is the key...

Mother Letter/Sefirah Alef (Keter) Maym (Hockmah) Shin (Binah)

Rules Over Letters/Sefirot 3 Mothers (3 highest sefirot) 7 Doubles (7 lower sefirot) 12 Simples (10th sefirah)

This is one reason why the Zohar states that the Creation begins from Hockmah—i.e. because the seven Double letters bring it (i.e. the Creation) into being. The path of Bayt extends between Hockmah and Binah, and condenses to form the sefirah Da‘at. The seven pillars are the seven lower sefirot (and also the seven Hebrew Double letters). The letter Bayt represents their beginning point as represented by the sefirah Da‘at on the Tree of Life diagram. The ―grade‖ that upholds them, ―the Righteous One, the everlasting foundation‖, is the sefirah Yesod. Yesod is the lower ‗foundation‘ of the universe, the sefirah Da‘at is the higher ‗foundation‘ (and centre point) of the universe.

270

Soncino Zohar, Vayesheb, 186a, Vol. II, Pg. 210. The square bracketed notes are my own.

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[2] Here the name Zion is associated with the sefirah Da‘at. Da‘at (Zion) is the ―perfection of beauty‖, or in other words, Da‘at represents the perfection of the sefirah Tifaret (meaning literally ‗beauty‘). The word ―faith‖ is a reference to the divine ‗covenant‘ which is (according to the Zohar) a covenant of faith. The ‗perfection of faith‘ is thus experienced in Da‘at. This is the perfection that was achieved by Jacob (representing Tifaret). He is said (in the Zohar) to have achieved ‗perfection‘ by uniting the Left with the Right, Judgment with Mercy, Geburah and Hesed. Da‘at is the central point from which the universe began to be fashioned. Da‘at is Bayt, the first Double letter, the first letter of the word ‗berashit‘ (meaning ‗in the beginning‘). [3] Mercy (Water) and Judgment (Fire) issue from Da‘at towards the two lower sefirot Hesed and Geburah.

The Community of Israel Rabbi Hizkiah opened his discourse with the text: ―As a lily among thorns, etc‖ (S.S. II, 2). What, he said, does the lily symbolise? It symbolises the Community of Israel. [1] As the lily among thorns is tinged with red and white, so the Community of Israel is visited now with justice and now with mercy; [2] as the lily possesses thirteen leaves, so the Community of Israel is vouchsafed thirteen categories of mercy which surround it on every side. [3] For this reason, the term Elohim (God) mentioned here (in the first verse of Genesis) is separated by thirteen words from the next mention of Elohim, symbolising the thirteen categories of mercy which surround the Community of Israel to protect it. [4] The second mention of Elohim is separated from the third by five words, representing the five strong leaves that surround the lily, symbolic of the

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five ways of salvation which are the ―five gates‖. [5] This is alluded to in the verse ―I will lift up the cup of salvation‖ (Ps. CXVI, 13). This is the ―cup of benediction‖, which has to be raised by five fingers and no more, after the model of the lily, which rests on five strong leaves in the shape of five fingers. [6] Thus the lily is a symbol of the cup of benediction. Immediately after the third mention of Elohim appears the light which, so soon as created, was treasured up and enclosed in that b‘rith (covenant) which entered the lily and fructified it, [7] and this is what is called ―the tree bearing fruit wherein is the seed thereof‖: and this seed is preserved in the very sign of the covenant. And as the ideal covenant was formed through forty-two copulations, so the engraven ineffable name is formed of the forty-two letters of the work of creation. [8]271

[1] The ―Community of Israel‖ symbolizes the sefirah Tifaret (Jacob) on the Tree of Life, and includes the five sefirot that surround Tifaret (i.e. Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, Hod, and Yesod). The twelve tribes of Israel are included in this conformation because they are symbolized by the twelve pathways that extend between these six sefirot. [2] The terms ―justice‖ (―red‖) and ―mercy‖ (―white‖) refer to the sefirot Geburah and Hesed. Justice flows to the Community of Israel from Geburah, while Mercy flows to it from Hesed. [3] The Community of Israel is especially signified by Tifaret (Jacob/Israel), and thus also with the Double letter Kaf, and the Sun. On the Tree of Life, Tifaret is surrounded by thirteen pathways. These consist of the twelve Simple letter pathways symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve heavenly constellations (i.e. that surround the Sun/Tifaret). The thirteenth pathway is the path of the Mother letter Shin (Fire) which, like Tifaret/Sun, is positioned in the midst of all the twelve Simple letter pathways and (in a sense) rules over them. The path of Shin is an emanation of the sefirah Binah (Shin) who rules over all the twelve Simple letters (i.e. because they are Her adornment—the

271

Soncino Zohar, Prologue, Vol. I, Pg. 1. The square bracketed notes are my own.

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adornment of the Shekinah, as mentioned in my previous post). The path of Shin joins the Sun (Tifaret) with the Moon (Yesod) on the Tree of Life. Because all these thirteen pathways are associated with Binah/Shin/Fire, and therefore with ‗Judgment‘, the Community of Israel is provided with thirteen ―categories of mercy‖ to balance the ‗judgments‘ associated with the thirteen pathways. These thirteen ‗mercies‘ come originally from Hockmah/Maym/Water. [4] The name Elohim here refers to the sefirah Binah (and also Geburah) on the Tree of Life. [5] The ―five strong leaves‖ is a reference to the five sefirot that surround Tifaret (Kaf/Sun). They are: Hesed (Gimel/Jupiter), Geburah (Dalet/Mars), Netzah (Peh/Venus), Hod (Raysh/Mercury), and Yesod (Tav/Moon). (Note: The pathways are considered ‗soft‘, and the sefirot ‗hard‘.) These five sefirot form the five corners of an inverted pyramid, or cup (see diagram). Between these five corners are extended the twelve Simple letter (i.e. zodiacal) pathways. [6] Tifaret is associated with the Double letter Kaf (meaning ‗open palm of the hand‘, and also ‗cup‘). From Tifaret/Kaf (i.e. from the ‗palm‘) extend five fingers which once again is a reference to the five sefirot surrounding Tifaret. The five fingers raise the ―cup of benediction‖ referring also to Tifaret/Kaf as the ‗cup‘. [7] Thus, the lily is basically feminine, it having a close association with the sefirah Binah (i.e. because of Binah‘s rulership of the twelve Simple letter ‗leaves‘, and because of the path of Shin in their midst). The lily is fructified (and mitigated) by the male principle as represented by Hockmah/Maym (opposite Binah). The Mother letter pathway of Maym is an emanation of Hockmah (Maym). It enters the lily (i.e. water flows into the cup) and protrudes out of its top, joining Tifaret to Da‘at. There are two ‗covenants‘—the covenant of the ‗circumcision of the male member‘, and the covenant of the ‗circumcision of the tongue‘. These are associated with the sefirot, Yesod and Da‘at respectively. The feminine aspect of the covenant is basically symbolized by the Mother letter Shin (and Yesod), while the masculine aspect of the covenant is symbolized by the Mother letter Maym (and Da‘at). [8] The ―ideal covenant‖ is a reference to the sefirah Da‘at. In one sense, the number forty-two can be viewed as an oblique reference to Maym-Bayt (M-B, 42)—that is, to the path of Maym extending to Da‘at (Bayt) from Tifaret. The ―forty-two copulations‖ and the ―forty-two letters of the work of creation‖ are also, of course, references to the mysterious ‗Name of forty-two‘. pg. 265


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There are different ways of interpreting the meaning of the ―forty-two copulations‖ quoted in the above Zohar extract. Here are some more of my thoughts...

The divine 'Covenant' that has been established between God and Man is called ‗Brith‘ (BRYTh, bereeth, 'covenant'). Symbolically speaking, this covenant refers to a special relationship that exists between the Sun and the Moon, or between the Community of Israel (Sun) and the Shekinah (Moon). This special relationship was established during the Creation (BRAShYTh, ‗In the beginning‘) and is represented by the insertion of ASh (i.e. the Hebrew word for ‗Fire‘) into the middle of BRYTh (‗Covenant‘) to form BRAShYTh. Thus, the Covenant is a covenant of Fire (ASh).

2. ...―ELOHIM SAID...LET THERE BE LIGHT‖ (Beresheet 1:3). After this light was created, it was concealed and enclosed within that Brit (covenant) that entered the lily and fructified it. This is referred to as "a tree bearing fruit whose seed is within it" (Ibid. 11) and this seed is the Brit. 3. And just as the Brit is sown by forty-two matings from that same seed, so the engraved and holy name is sown by the forty-two letters that describe the act of creation.272

Consider this. When God created the world, it was created only through a covenant, as it is written, ―Bereshith (b'rith esh, covenant of fire), God created‖; and it is further written, ―If my covenant of day and night stand not, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth‖ (Jer.

272

Zohar, Kabbalah Center Edition, I,2-3.

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XXXIII, 25), since there is a covenant of union that day and night shall not be separated.273

The Covenant of Fire is established between the Sun and the ‗lower‘ Moon, or in other words, between Israel and the ‗lower‘ Shekinah. 274 This holy covenant has existed since the beginning of Creation.

The Creation process is symbolized by the movement and combination of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alefbet. Symbolically speaking, there are two separate, but conjoined streams of twentytwo Hebrew letters that flow in opposite directions to each other—that is, from Alef to Tav, and from Tav to Alef. This concept can also be understood in terms of a flow of creative energy from Male to Female, and from Female to Male. These two streams of twenty-two letters combine and interact with each other and thereby bring the Universe into manifestation. As the two opposite streams of twenty-two Hebrew letters interact they pair together and combine in ―forty-two copulations‖. You may be asking: If there are two streams of twenty-two letters why are there not forty-four ‗copulations‘ (i.e. 22 + 22)? It is because: When the twenty-two Hebrew letters align with each other only twenty-one letter pair combinations form. The twenty-first letter pairing combines four letters to form one pair (due to a doubling of the letters involved). Thus there are only 42 ‗copulations‘—that is, 21 + 21. This is best explained in a diagram. (See below.)

273

Soncino Zohar, Lech Lecha, 89a, v1, pp 295-6.

In terms of the Tree of Life diagram it is represented by the Shin pathway that extends between Tifaret (Sun) and Yesod/Malkut (Moon). 274

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The diagrams show the first of a series of mandalas. It represents the beginning (BRAShYTh) of the Creation. In the beginning the Sun (Kaf) and Moon (Tav) were brought into alignment with each other and the divine Covenant was established. In diagram one you will note five circled letters that form the word BRAShTh (‗He created a foundation‘, or ‗He created six‘). It spells BRAShYTh (‗In the beginning‘) without the Yud. This way of interpreting the word BRAShYTh is discussed at length in the Zohar. In the diagram the letters of BRAShTh are mirrored across the vertical axis of the mandala.

Figure 70 : The 42 Copulations & BRAShTh

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Diagram two enumerates the twenty-one letter pairings (i.e. the ―forty-two copulations‖). The final pairing (i.e. Kaf-Tav) unites the Sun (Day) and the Moon (Night) thus establishing the divine Covenant.

The ―forty-two copulations‖ are also represented in the Jacob's Wheel mandala system in which there are 21 x 21 (or 441) letter pairings in one complete cycle. I consider both of these interpretations—i.e. 21 + 21, and 21 x 21—to both be meaningful ways of understanding the "forty-two copulations" concept, and I'm sure there are others.

Figure 71 : The Covenant – The Pathway of Shin

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The Great Voice R. Simeon proceeded: ‗In the same way the Torah is situated between two houses, one recondite and on high, and the other more accessible. The one on high is the ―Great Voice‖ referred to in the verse, ―a great voice which did not cease‖ (Deut. v, 19). This Voice is in the recesses and is not heard or revealed, and when it issues from the throat it utters the aspirate without sound and it flows on without ceasing, though it is so tenuous as to be inaudible. [1] From this issues the Torah, which is the voice of Jacob. [2] The audible voice issues from the inaudible. In due course speech is attached to it, and through the force of that speech it emerges into the open. [3] The voice of Jacob, which is the Torah, is thus attached to two females, to this inner voice which is inaudible, and to this outer voice which is heard. [4] Strictly speaking, there are two which are inaudible and two which are heard. The two which are not heard are, first, the supernal Wisdom which is located in the Thought and is not disclosed or heard [5]; and secondly the same Wisdom when it issues and discloses itself a little in a whisper which cannot be heard, being then called the ―Great Voice‖, which is very tenuous and issues in a whisper. [6] The two which are heard are those which issue from this source--the voice of Jacob and the articulation which accompanies it. [7] This ―Great Voice‖ which cannot be heard is a ―house‖ to the supernal Wisdom (the female is always called ―house‖), and the articulation we have mentioned is a ―house‖ to the Voice of Jacob, which is the Torah, and therefore the Torah commences with the letter beth, which is, as it were, a ―house‖ to it.‘ [8]275

[1] The relevant section of Deuteronomy is as follows...

275

Soncino Zohar, Berashith, 50b, v1, Pg. 160-161. The square bracketed notes are my own.

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Deuteronomy, 5:22-26. These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?276

The ―great voice‖ referred to here is signified by the sefirah Binah on the Tree of Life. Binah is associated with the Hebrew Mother letter Shin and elemental Fire. It is not revealed or heard until it issues from the ―throat‖ which is identified with the sefirah Da‘at. [2] The ―voice of Jacob‖ and the ―Torah‖ are associated with the three combined sefirot Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret. (Y-H-V) The Zohar explains (elsewhere) that the ‗written‘ Torah is an expression of Hesed while the ‗oral‘ Torah is an expression of Geburah. Jacob himself is symbolized by the sefirah Tifaret. [3] The ―speech‖ that is eventually ―attached‖ to the ―voice‖ is represented by the sefirah Malkut (from where ―it emerges into the open‖). Thus YHV becomes YHV-H. [4] The ―two females‖ are Binah (―inner voice‖) and Malkut (―outer voice‖). The ―voice of Jacob‖ is between them. [5] The ―supernal Wisdom‖ and ―Thought‖ are references to the sefirah Hockmah.

276

King James Version.

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[6] When Hockmah combines with Binah a very tenuous ―whisper‖ is heard (i.e. from the sefirah Da‘at). [7] As described above, the ―voice of Jacob‖ is associated with the three sefirot Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret. [8] The Hebrew Double letter Bayt (or ‗Beth‘, meaning ‗house‘) extends as a pathway between Hockmah and Binah. It (i.e. ‗Bayt‘) effectively ‗houses‘ the supernal Wisdom within the sefirah Binah, and finally manifests (in a ‗whisper‘) as the sefirah Da‘at (i.e. Da‘at being the sefirotic expression of the Bayt archetype). Similarly, the sefirah Malkut is a ‗house‘ to the ―voice of Jacob‖ coming from Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret.

The Fall of Adam AND THEY HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD GOD WALKING IN THE GARDEN. (Note the form mithalech (walking) instead of the usual mehalech.) Until he sinned, man was gifted with the wisdom of celestial illumination, and he did not for an instant quit the Tree of Life. But when he was seduced by his desire to know what was below, he weakly followed it until he became separated from the Tree of Life, and knew evil and forsook good: hence the Scripture says ‗for thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness, evil shall not sojourn with thee‘ (Ps. v. 5). He who is drawn after evil may not abide with the Tree of Life. Before they sinned, the human pair used to hear a voice from above, and were endowed with the higher wisdom; they stood erect with heavenly radiance, and knew no fear. When they sinned, they were not able to stand up even before an earthly voice. A similar thing happened later with the Israelites. When Israel stood before Mount Sinai, the impurity of the serpent was removed from them, so that carnal passion was suppressed among them, and in consequence they were able to attach pg. 272


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themselves to the Tree of Life, and their thoughts were turned to higher things and not to lower. Hence they were vouchsafed heavenly illuminations and knowledge which filled them with joy and gladness. Further, God girt them with cinctures of the letters of the Holy Name, which prevented the serpent from gaining power over them or defiling them as before. When they sinned by worshiping the calf, they were degraded from their high estate and lost their illumination, they were deprived of the protective girdle of the Holy Name and became exposed to the attacks of the evil serpent as before, and so brought death into the world.277

This extract from the Zohar describes very clearly the true meaning of the ‗fall of Adam‘ from the ‗garden of Eden‘. Before God created Eve from Adam‘s ‗side‘ Adam was hermaphroditic—both male and female, perfectly balanced in one entity. His ‗male‘ side was/is symbolized by the sefirah Tifaret/Sun; his female side by the sefirah Yesod/Moon. God took Adam‘s female ‗side‘ (i.e. Yesod) and ‗covered it with flesh‘ (i.e. He attached the sefirah Malkut to Yesod).

The ‗serpent‘ that tempted Eve and then Adam is represented by the path of Shin (Fire) that extends between Tifaret and Yesod. This is the ‗kundalini‘ serpent that drew Eve‘s and Adam‘s attention towards the matter principle of Malkut (and the activity of the lower chakras that are so closely attached to the material world). This is the esoteric reason why the serpent was subsequently condemned to crawl upon the ground and live within the earth. It is symbolic of the descent of the kundalini force into the deepest levels of matter.

277

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, 52a-52b, v1, Pg. 164-165. The square bracketed notes are my own.

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Adam could no longer ―abide with the Tree of Life‖ because his immersion in the physical world of Malkut meant that he was required to clothe himself in a very transient body of flesh, thus requiring him to regularly die and be reborn. It is the task of Adam to raise the serpent above his head, or in other words, to raise kundalini up the spine, through the seven major chakras to the crown chakra.

The serpent (Shin) is actually an evolutionary force attached to the form principle (i.e. and therefore associated with the divine Mother Binah) that is urging us all to shift our focus away from the ‗illusory desires‘ of the material world. The serpent coils and weaves its way around and through the lower chakras, creating friction and igniting the transforming fire of Shin that ultimately burns away all the impurities of matter. Eventually, Adam‘s attention will once again rise to the higher spheres from where he will receive ―heavenly illuminations and knowledge‖ and be filled ―with joy and gladness‖.

The Naming of Seth R. Hizkiah said: ‗...See now when God created the world, He made this covenant and established the world upon it, as it is written bereshith, which we interpret as bara shith, ―he created the foundation‖, to wit, the covenant on which the world rests, and which is also called shith, because it is a trough from which blessings flow forth to the world. [1] Adam broke this covenant and removed it from its place. This covenant is symbolised by the small letter Yod, the root and foundation of the world. [2]

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When Adam begat a son, he confessed his guilt and called the child Seth; he did not venture to insert a Yod and call him ―Shith‖, because he had broken the covenant so symbolised. In recompense, God propagated mankind from Seth, and made him the forefather of all the righteous who have lived since. Note also this. When Israel stood before Mount Sinai, there entered between these two letters (shin and tau) a symbol of the covenant, to wit, the letter Beth, and God gave to Israel the word formed of all three letters, which is SaBbaTH, as it is said: ―And the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to make the Sabbath throughout their generations a perpetual covenant.‖ [3] In this way these two letters finally obtained their original potency, which had remained in suspense until the world was brought into its complete state and the holy covenant entered between them.‘ [4]278

[1] The world is established on the ‗higher‘ covenant as represented by the sefirah Da‘at. ―Blessings‖ (i.e. ‗Mercy‘, Maym, ‗Water‘) flow from Da‘at to the lower sefirot. The flow of these ―blessings‖ was continuous until the divine covenant was broken by Adam and the ‗fall‘ from the ‗garden of Eden‘ occurred. The flow is now only sporadic as evolving individuals raise their consciousness to Tifaret (Jacob/Israel) and thereby invoke the descent of ―blessings‖ from Da‘at. [2] The covenant was ―broken‖ and ―removed from its place‖. This is symbolized for us by the obscuration (or ‗veiling‘) of the sefirah Da‘at effected by the removal of the pathways from Da‘at to Hesed and Geburah. The ‗Yud‘ fell from Da‘at to the sefirah Yesod thereby establishing a new covenant. (Note that Yesod is spelled Yod, but with a Sameck inserted.) The ‗lower‘ covenant of Yesod (i.e. the covenant of ‗circumcision‘) was established to draw the consciousness of Adam back up from the depths of matter (as represented by Malkut). The circumcision is symbolic of the control and sublimation of the lower ‗material‘ desires. The sefirah Yesod was female when Adam was in his hermaphroditic state—that is, prior to the formation of Eve (during which

278

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, 56a, v1, Pg. 178-9. The square bracketed notes are my own.

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Malkut was attached to Yesod). After Malkut became attached to Yesod, it (i.e. Yesod) assumed a male role in relation to the feminine Malkut. Thus, it now symbolizes the male member of Adam and is turned toward Malkut. [3] ―Israel‖ represents a level of consciousness symbolized by Tifaret on the Tree of Life. The Hebrew letter Bayt (or ―Beth‖) is the first of the seven Double letters and is ascribed to the sefirah Da‘at (representing the ‗higher‘ covenant of the ‗tongue‘). (Note that the planetary attribution of Bayt is Saturn which in Hebrew is Shabatai (ShBThAY).) [4] The achievement by an individual to the grade of ‗Israel‘ means that the individual has established conscious contact with the sefirah Da‘at and thus reestablished the missing pathways from Geburah to Da‘at (i.e. Shin), and from Hesed to Da‘at (i.e. Maym). When these two pathways are opened the divine Name (ShM, Shem) becomes activated (or is once again able to be ‗pronounced‘).

In Adam‘s ‗pre-fall‘ state his attention was turned towards Binah (the ‗higher‘ Shekinah) and there was a continuous flow of Shin and Maym (SheM) from the supernal sefirot through Da‘at to Geburah and Hesed (i.e. and all the six lower sefirot). But when the ‗fall‘ occurred, Adam‘s attention was turned toward Malkut (the ‗lower‘ female principle) and the flow of Shin and Maym from Da‘at was interrupted. The pathways from Da‘at to Hesed and Geburah were removed and only a limited fixed quantity of Shin and Maym was retained by Adam after leaving the ‗garden of Eden‘. This is contained and stored in the paths of Shin and Maym that occupy the central column of the Tree of Life— from Da‘at to Tifaret (i.e. the path of Maym), and from Tifaret to Yesod (i.e. the path of Shin). This is all the Shin and Maym energy that Adam has available to him to work with as he struggles to free himself from his prison of matter. The ‗lower‘ covenant of ‗circumcision‘ has been provided to assist Adam in overcoming the ‗evil serpent‘ of materialism. Complementing the ‗lower‘ covenant is the ‗higher‘ covenant of the ‗tongue‘. It exists to enable Adam to restore the missing pathways from Geburah to Da‘at, and from Hesed to Da‘at, and thus, to learn how to once again pronounce the Name (ShM)—that is, to restore the flow of Shin and Maym from the supernal sefirot to the lower sefirot.

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Adam‘s attraction to Eve effectively replaced his awareness of, and devotion to, the Shekinah. In other words, Adam‘s strong attraction to the material expression of the female principle (i.e. Malkut) distracted him from the spiritual expression of the female principle (i.e. Binah). It is possible for Adam to regain his awareness of the Shekinah (i.e. Binah) while still clothed in the flesh, but it requires ‗reconnecting‘ Malkut to Binah. This is achieved through the agency of the twelve ‗adornments‘ of the Shekinah as represented by the twelve Simple letters of the Hebrew alefbet. Malkut becomes linked to Binah through a resonance that is ‗tuned in‘ via the twelve Simple letter pathways that extend between the six sefirot of the Son. Another way of putting this is that the final Heh of YHVH becomes connected to the initial Heh of YHVH through the Vav that is placed between them.

The Holy Covenant Ten Sefirot of Nothingness in the number of ten fingers five opposite five with a singular covenant precisely in the middle in the circumcision of the tongue and in the circumcision of the membrum.279 … And when Abraham our father, may he rest in peace, looked, saw, understood, probed, engraved and carved, He was successful in creation, as it is written, ―And the souls that they made in Haran‖ (Genesis 12:5).

279

Sefer Yetzirah, 1:3

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Immediately there was revealed to him the Master of all, may His name be blessed forever, He placed him in His bosom, and kissed him on his head, and He called him, ―Abraham my beloved‖ (Isaiah 41:8). He made a covenant with him and with his children after him forever, as it is written, ―And he believed in God, and He considered it to him for righteousness‖ (Genesis 15:6). He made with him a covenant between the ten fingers of his hands this is the covenant of the tongue, and between the ten toes of his feet this is the covenant of circumcision, And He bound the 22 letters of the Torah to his tongue and He revealed to him His mystery He drew them in water, He flamed them with fire, He agitated them with Breath, He burned them with the seven [planets] He directed them with the twelve constellations.280

As the Sefer Yetzirah states, the divine ‗covenant‘ is ―singular‖, but it has within it two levels. The ‗lower‘ level is known as the covenant of the ‗circumcision of the male member‘ and is referred to the sefirah Yesod. It symbolizes the control and sublimation of the material desires. As verse 6:7 states, it is placed ―between the ten toes of his feet‖. This has two basic meanings. The ‗legs/feet‘ of Adam are represented by the sefirot Netzah (right leg) and Hod (left leg), between which is located the sefirah Yesod (i.e. representing the

280

Sefer Yetzirah, 6:7

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‗male member‘). The ―ten toes‖ are a reference to the ten sefirot of the kabbalistic ‗world of Assiah‘ which is associated with the sefirah Malkut.

The ‗higher‘ level is called the covenant of the ‗circumcision of the tongue‘ and is associated with the sefirah Da‘at. It symbolizes the control and sublimation of the mental body, and the development of the spiritual intuition. The Sefer Yetzirah locates this level of the covenant ―between the ten fingers of his hands‖ referring to the position of the sefirah Da‘at between the right ‗arm/hand‘ (i.e. Hesed), and the left ‗arm/hand‘ (i.e. Geburah). The ―ten fingers‖ allude to the ten sefirot of the kabbalistic ‗world of Yetzirah‘ which is a level above the ‗world of Assiah‘ and which is associated with the seven Double letter sefirot of the Son (Vav).

Another way of interpreting verse 1:3 of the Sefer Yetzirah is as follows... The sefirot Da‘at (Bayt) and Yesod (Tav) are the first and last sefirot of the group of seven Double letter sefirot that constitute the body of the Son. On one side of the Son (i.e. Vav of YHVH) is the Mother (i.e. Binah, first Heh of YHVH) and on the lower side of him is the Daughter (i.e. Malkut, the second Heh of YHVH). Heh = 5. Thus ―five (Heh) opposite five (Heh) with a singular covenant (Vav) precisely in the middle‖ (i.e. this is because the ten sefirot can be understood in terms of the formula YHVH.) The ―middle‖ referred to in the quote is a reference to the ‗middle pillar‘ of the Tree of Life.

The Four Hayyoth AND GOD SAID TO NOAH... THIS IS THE TOKEN OF THE COVENANT WHICH I MAKE BETWEEN ME AND YOU... I HAVE SET MY RAINBOW IN THE CLOUD.

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In connection with this passage R. Simeon discoursed on the verse: And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone (Ezek. I, 26). ‗Before this verse,‘ he said, ‗we find the words, ―And when they went I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty‖ (Ibid. 24). These are the four sacred and mighty beings called Hayyoth (animals), by whom the firmament is upheld, and whose wings are usually joined together to cover their bodies. When, however, they spread out their wings, a volume of sound swells forth, and they break out into songs of praise, ―as the voice of the Almighty‖, which never becomes silent as it is written, ―so that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent‖ (PS. XXX, 13). The tenour of their praises is, ―The Lord hath made known his salvation, his righteousness hath he revealed in the sight of the nations‖ (PS. XCVIII, 2). It says further: ―A noise of tumult like the noise of a host‖ (Ezek. I, 24), i.e. like the sound of the holy camps when all the supernal armies assemble on high. What is it they declaim? ―Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory‖ (Is. VI, 3). They turn to the south and say ―holy‖, they turn to the north and say ―holy‖ they turn to the east and say ―holy‖, they turn to the west and say ―blessed‖. And that firmament rests upon their heads, and in whatever direction it turns, their faces turn also. They turn their faces to the four cardinal points, and all revolve in a circle. The firmament is imprinted, at the four corners of a square, with four figures, of a lion, an eagle, an ox, and a man; and the face of a man is traced in all of them, so that the face of Lion is of Man, the face of Eagle is of Man, and the face of Ox is of Man, all being comprehended in him. Hence it is written: ―As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man‖ (Ezek. I, 1O). Further, the firmament with its enclosed square contains the gamut of all the colours. Outstanding are four colours, each engraved with four

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translucent signs, both higher and lower. These when decomposed become twelve. They are green, red, white, and sapphire, which is made up of all these colours. Hence it is written, ―As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord‖ (Ibid. I, 28): containing, that is to say, all shades of all colours.281

Rabbi Simeon is here describing the organization of the Tree of Life diagram from the sefirah Da‘at (i.e. the ―firmament‖)to the sefirah Yesod. The ―firmament‖ of Da‘at surrounds and contains the six lower sefirot. Da‘at represents the outer limit of the ‗firmament, beyond which exist the supernal divine forces of the three highest sefirot. The ‗firmament‘ is upheld by the four ―Hayyoth‖ (―living creatures‖)—i.e. a Lion (Leo), an Eagle (Scorpio), an Ox (Taurus), and a Man (Aquarius). They symbolize the four ‗fixed‘ signs of the zodiac and are associated with the four directional sefirot: Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, and Hod. The ―Man‖ comprehends them all because he is Adam (as represented by the Tree of Life diagram).

The four directional sefirot form a square, at the four corners of which the firmament is ―imprinted‖. In other words, the twelve Simple letter signs of the zodiac are attached to the four corners of the square as pathways—i.e. three to each corner. They ―all revolve in a circle‖ because this entire square configuration of sefirot and pathways represents the ‗circle of the zodiac‘.

There are four colours associated with each of the four directional sefirot, that ―when decomposed become twelve‖...

281

Soncino Zohar, Noah, 71b, v1, Pp. 240-241.

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Four Green = Four Mutable Signs (pathways) Four Red = Four Fixed Signs (pathways) Four White = Four Cardinal Signs (pathways) Four Sapphire = Four Hayyoth (sefirot)

The four Hayyoth represent the four directional sefirot and therefore each one of them comprehends three pathways—i.e. a green pathway, a red pathway, and a white pathway. Because of this they are said to be coloured ―sapphire, which is made up of all these colours‖—note that the Hebrew word for ‗sapphire‘ is sap-peer‘ (SPYR) which is very close to the word ‗sefirah‘ (SPRH). In the same way the four ‗Holy Camps‘ (representing the four directional sefirot) are said to comprehend the twelve ‗tribes of Israel‘—i.e. three tribes (or ‗pathways‘) each. The symbolism is the same.

East Camp of Judah = Lion (Sapphire) = sefirah ‗Hesed‘ Judah = Leo (Fixed = Red) Issachar = Cancer (Cardinal = White) Zebulun = Gemini (Mutable = Green)

South Camp of Reuben = Ox (Sapphire) = sefirah ‗Netzah‘ Reuben = Taurus (Fixed = Red) Simeon = Aries (Cardinal = White) Gad = Pisces (Mutable = Green)

West Camp of Ephraim = Man (Sapphire) = sefirah ‗Hod‘ Ephraim = Aquarius (Fixed = Red) Manasseh = Capricorn (Cardinal = White) Benjamin = Sagittarius (Mutable = Green)

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North Camp of Dan = Eagle (Sapphire) = sefirah ‗Geburah‘ Dan = Scorpio (Fixed = Red) Asher = Libra (Cardinal = White) Naphtali = Virgo (Mutable = Green)

Esau Corresponds with Hod R. Issac said: ‗It is written: AND THE CHILDREN STRUGGLED TOGETHER WITHIN HER; AND SHE SAID, IF IT BE SO, WHEREFORE DO I LIVE? AND SHE WENT TO ENQUIRE OF THE LORD. Whither did she go? To The Academy of Shem and Eber. ―And the children struggled together within her‖, for there already Esau declared war against Jacob. The term vayithrozzu (and they struggled) is akin to a root meaning ―to break‖, and thus it implies that they broke asunder and drifted away from each other. Observe that the one was of the side of him who rides the serpent, whilst the other was of the side of Him who rides on the sacred and perfect throne; of the side of the sun that illumines the moon. And observe further that because Esau was drawn after that serpent, Jacob dealt with him crookedly like the serpent, who is cunning and goes crookedly, as we read: ―And the serpent was more cunning etc.‖ (Gen. III, 1). Jacob then dealt with him after the manner of the serpent in order to draw him further serpentward, so that he should separate further from himself and thus not have any share with him either in this world or in the world to come; and our teachers have said, ―When a man comes to kill you, kill him first.‖ It is written of Jacob: ―In the womb he took his brother by the heel‖ (Hos. XII, 4), that is, he drew him downwards by the heel [Translator‘s note: Al. ―to the heel‖, i.e. to the lower grades]. So it says: AND HIS

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HAND HAD HOLD ON ESAU‘S HEEL, i.e. he put his hand on Esau‘s heel in order thereby to force him down. According to another explanation, the words ―and his hand had hold‖ imply that he could not escape him entirely, but his hand was still clinging to his brother‘s heel. Esoterically speaking, the moon was obscured through the heel of Esau; hence it was necessary to deal with him cunningly, so as to thrust him downwards and make him adhere to the region assigned to him.‘282

After Abraham (Hesed) came Isaac (Geburah); and after Isaac (Geburah) came Jacob (Tifaret) and Esau (Hod).

Abraham = Hesed (Mercy) = Gimel = Jupiter Isaac = Geburah (Severity) = Dalet = Mars Jacob = Tifaret (Mildness) = Kaf = Sun Esau = Hod (Severity) = Raysh = Mercury

Esau is cunning like the serpent and therefore is associated with the sefirah Hod and the planet Mercury. Jacob (from his grade of Tifaret) grasped hold of Esau‘s heel and dragged him down to his (i.e. Esau‘s) appropriate grade (i.e. Hod) which is associated with the left leg and foot (‗heel‘) of Adam.

The sefirah Hod is ―of the side of him who rides the serpent‖, while Tifaret is ―of the side of Him who rides on the sacred and perfect throne‖.

Jacob (Sun) and Esau (Mercury) were twins, bringing to mind the old esoteric saying: ―Mercury and the Sun are one‖.

282

Soncino Zohar, Tol‘doth, 137b-138b, v2, Pp. 42-45.

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The sefirah Hod (and also Netzah) exist on a level that is located between the Moon (Yesod) below, and the Sun (Tifaret) above, and therefore it ―obscures the Moon‖ from the light of the Sun until it becomes purged and purified (i.e. within the consciousness of humanity).

AND HE CALLED HIS NAME JACOB. It was God who called him so. (So, too, it is written lower down, ―Hath he not rightly called his name Jacob?‖ (Gen. XXVII, 36) and not ―his name was called‖.) God saw that the primeval serpent was full of guile to do mischief, and so when Jacob appeared He said: ―Behold, here is one who can stand up to him‖, and therefore He called him Ya‘kob, akin to the term vaya‘kebeni (and he acted toward me with guile} (Gen. XXVII, 35). It has already been pointed out that the simple term vayikra (and he called), as when it says, ―and he called unto Moses‖, points to the lowest grade (of the Sephiroth). At no time did Jacob receive a name from a human being. So in another passage we find: ―And the God of Israel called him El (God)‖ (Gen. XXXIII, 20), signifying that the God of Israel called Jacob by the name of ―EL‖ (God) as though to say, ―I am the God of the supernal world and be thou the God of the world below‖. [1] Observe that Jacob knew that Esau was destined to ally himself to that tortuous serpent, and hence in all his dealings with him he conducted himself like another tortuous serpent, using all cunning devices; and so it was meet. The same idea was expressed by R. Simeon when, in expounding the verse, ―And God created the great fishes, and every living creature that creepeth‖ (Gen. I, 2I), he said: ‗The ―great fishes‖ are symbolic of Jacob and Esau, and ―every living creature that creepeth‖ symbolises all the intermediate grades.‘ Verily Jacob was endowed with cunning to enable him to hold his own with that other serpent; and so it was meet. [2] For the same reason at every New Moon a goat is to be offered up so as to draw the serpent to his own place and thus keep him away from the moon. The same applies to the Day of Atonement, when a goat is to be offered. All this is cunningly devised in order to gain dominion over him, and make him impotent to do mischief. So Scripture says: ―And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities into a land which is cut off‖ (Lev.

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XVI, 22), where the goat (sa‘ir = Seir), as already explained, symbolises Esau. [3] In all dealings with him cunning and craft are employed, in accordance with the words of the Scripture: ―And with the crooked thou dost show thyself subtle‖ (Ps. XVIII, 27); and as the evil serpent is resourceful and crafty, trying to mislead the heavenly as well as the earthly beings, Israel anticipate him and counter him with similar ruses and devices so as to prevent him from working his evil will; just as Jacob, who was endowed with the true faith, in all his actions towards Esau had no aim but to prevent the serpent from defiling the Sanctuary or even approaching it, and so achieving dominion over the world. [4] There was however, no need either for Abraham or for Isaac to use such tortuous ways, seeing that Esau, who was of the side of the serpent, had not yet appeared in the world. But Jacob, being the master of the household, had to counter the serpent, and to give him no chance to tarnish the Sanctuary of Jacob. Hence Jacob had need of such shifts more than any other person. Israel, therefore, was chosen as the portion of the heritage of the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written: ―For the portion of the Lord is his people, Jacob the lot of his inheritance‖ (Deut. XXXII, 9). 283 [5]

[1] The ―God of Israel‖ is represented by Keter on the Tree of Life diagram. Jacob is represented by the sefirah Tifaret, and his ‗perfection‘ (i.e. Israel) is represented by the sefirah Da‘at. Tifaret is the God of the ―world below‖, while Keter is the God of the ―supernal world‖.

[2] In my understanding of the Tree of Life diagram, both Hod and Tifaret represent differing aspects of the mental plane. The sefirah Hod represents the ‗lower mental plane‘ (i.e. within which resides the ‗rational mind‘) whereas Tifaret represents the ‗causal body‘ located within the ‗higher mental plane‘. Thus both Esau and Jacob are said to be ―endowed with cunning‖.

283

Soncino Zohar, Tol‘doth, 137b-138b, v2, Pp. 42-45.

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[3] The sacrificial ―goat‖ used to ―distract‖ Esau is symbolic of the mental body being given an earthly ‗project‘ to with which to occupy itself (i.e. the ‗goat‘ symbolizes the archetype of Capricorn). This ‗project‘ provides the ‗rational mind‘ (i.e. Hod) with a sense of purpose that, ultimately, becomes aligned with the will of the ‗causal body‘ (i.e. Tifaret).

[4] Jacob‘s actions towards Esau ―prevent the serpent from defiling the Sanctuary or even approaching it, and so achieving dominion over the world‖. In other words, the ‗causal body‘ (or ‗solar angel‘) works to prevent the ‗rational mind‘ from gaining dominion in the world. At our present stage of human evolution the ‗rational mind‘ does have ―dominion over the world‖ because we (as a collective) have not yet transcended the dominating influence of the rational mind, or integrated sufficiently the intuitive faculty of human consciousness (i.e. which exists at a level above the mental plane). (The sefirah Hesed symbolizes the ‗spiritual intuition‘.

[5] Abraham (i.e. Hesed) and Isaac (i.e. Geburah) emerged into existence before Esau (i.e. Hod) and therefore did not have to deal with him. It was only after the ‗lower mental‘ plane (i.e. Hod/Esau) materialized that it was required to be managed and that task was given to Jacob (i.e. Tifaret, the ‗causal body‘). The sefirah Tifaret is superior to Hod in that it exists within the layer of consciousness ‗above‘ Hod.

The ‘Well’ of Da’at - Part One AND HE REMOVED FROM THENCE, AND DIGGED ANOTHER WELL. R. Hiya discoursed on the verse: ―And the Lord will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in brightness, and make strong thy bones‖ (Is. LVIII, 11). pg. 287


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‗The true believers‘, he said, ‗have derived strength from this verse, where promise is made to them of the world to come, for the word ―continually‖ includes both this world and the world to come. Again, the term ―continually‖, which seems superfluous, is an allusion to the continual burnt-offering which is offered at dusk, and is held firm underneath the arm of Isaac and is symbolic of the world to come. [1] The term ―guiding‖ is similarly used by David in the verse: ―He guideth me in straight paths for his name‘s sake‖ (Ps. XXIII, 3). ―And satisfy thy soul in brightness‖; this is the ―clear mirror‖ from the contemplation of which all souls obtain delight and benefit. ―And make strong thy bones‖: these words do not seem to harmonise with what has gone before, which we have interpreted of the souls of the righteous ascending on high. We interpret them, therefore, to allude to the resurrection of the dead, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will reconstitute the bones and restore the body to its former state. The soul will then derive stronger illumination from the ―clear mirror‖, so as to illumine the body to the full extent of which it is capable. Hence: ―And thou shalt be like a watered garden‖ (Is. LVIII, 11), that is, like the celestial garden whose supernal waters never fail, but flow on for ever and ever; ―and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not‖ (ibid.), alluding to the river that issues from Eden and flows on for all eternity. [2] Observe that the ―well of living waters‖ is a symbol within a symbol for guiding faith. There is the well which is the very source of the waters, and there is the well which is fed by that source of water. There are thus two grades, which are, however, really one with two aspects, male and female, in fitting union. The well and the issue of waters are one, designated by the name of ―well‖, it being at once the supernal never-ceasing fountain and the well that is filled by it. And whoever gazes at that well gazes at the true object of faith. This is the symbol which the patriarchs transmitted in digging the well, in such a way as to indicate that the source and the well are indissoluble. [3] AND HE CALLED ITS NAME REHOBOTH (lit. streets, broad places). By this he intimated that his descendants would one day tend that well in the fitting manner through the mystical potency of offerings and burnt-offerings (like Adam, when God ―put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it‖ (Gen. II, 15), to wit, by offerings and burnt-

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offerings), so that its springs should flow forth on every side, as Scripture says: ―Let thy springs be dispersed abroad, and courses of water in the streets (rehoboth)‖ (Prov. V, 16). Hence here the name of Rehoboth (streets, broad places).‘284 [4]

[1] There is constant reference in the Zohar to what is called ―the world to come‖. In terms of the Tree of Life diagram, this concept is represented by the sefirah Binah. (It is elaborated upon by Rabbi Simeon in the next section.) The ―burnt-offering‖ is referred to Isaac (i.e. it symbolically occurs within the sefirah Geburah). It is the ‗fire‘ of Geburah that burns up the offering. (The ―smoke‖ of the burnt-offering rises from Geburah to Binah and evokes a response from Binah via Da‘at.) The statement: ―held firm underneath the arm of Isaac‖ is a reference to the ‗arm‘ symbolism of Geburah (i.e. because Geburah represents the ‗left arm‘ of Adam). The Zohar symbolism involving ―the world to come‖ is complex and represents the process through which the ‗future world‘ in Binah is made manifest in Malkut. In other words, the ‗future world‘ is held in potential in Binah and gradually manifests through a process of physical unfoldment in the ‗present‘ as represented by Malkut. The manifestation of our world (in Malkut) is also influenced negatively by the lower sefirot (i.e. Netzah, Hod, and Yesod)--that is, until those sefirot have been purged and purified and brought into alignment with Tifaret (embracing Geburah and Hesed). So Binah represents the manifestation of the ‗ideal‘ world as symbolized by the ‗garden of Eden‘, but it can only be brought into physical manifestation when humanity has aligned itself with Tifaret and developed the higher faculties of consciousness (as represented by the sefirot Geburah and Hesed).

284

Soncino Zohar, Tol‘doth, 141a-141b, v2, Pp. 51-52.

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[2] The ―clear mirror‖ is a reference to the sefirah Tifaret. Like the Sun, it will eventually ―illumine the body [of Adam] to the full extent of which it is capable‖. The sefirot from Hesed to Yesod also represent the ‗garden of Eden‘. The term ―Eden‖ refers specifically to the sefirah Da‘at. A ‗river‘ flows forth from Da‘at and ‗waters‘ the ‗garden‘ (i.e. the lower sefirot). (This is further explained below in the next section.)

[3] Da‘at symbolizes the ‗higher‘ expression of the covenant which latter is (according to the Zohar) a ‗covenant of faith‘. (The sefirah Yesod is the ‗lower‘ expression of the covenant.) It is only possible to reach the grade of Da‘at on the Tree of Life diagram by walking a ‗path of faith‘. This concept does not involve the kind of ‗blind faith‘ that is espoused by the various religions of our world. Rather, it involves a ‗living demonstration‘ of deep faith in the Divine (i.e. a conscious personal awareness, and experiential knowledge of the Divine) by each individual in their day-to-day existence. This ‗faith‘ (i.e. knowledge and personal awareness of the Divine) must become a strong influence that effects the life-decisions that each individual makes as their lives unfold. In other words, this deep ‗faith‘ must directly and strongly effect each individual‘s lifedirection. It is only through walking this ‗path of faith‘ that we will be guided back into the ‗garden of Eden‘, and thus achieve the grade of ‗Israel‘ (as symbolized by Da‘at). The ―well‖ that is the ―very source of the waters‖ and the ―supernal neverceasing fountain‖ is represented by the sefirah Hockmah on the Tree of Life diagram. It is associated with the Hebrew Mother letter Maym (i.e. Water). ―The well which is fed by that source of water‖ is symbolized by the sefirah Da‘at. Da‘at is ―the true object of faith‖. The patriarchs (i.e. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) ―dug‖ the well (of Da‘at). This symbolism especially refers to the opening of the pathways from Geburah (Isaac) to Da‘at, and from Hesed (Abraham) to Da‘at. The path from Tifaret (Jacob) to Da‘at is occupied by the Hebrew Mother letter Maym (i.e. Water) and represents the ―the river that issues from Eden and flows on for all eternity‖.

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[4] The ―descendants‖ of Isaac refer to every human-being who achieves the grade of Israel (i.e. in Da‘at). The ―offerings and burnt-offerings‖ are made in the sefirot Hesed and Geburah (respectively). Those offerings evoke energies (i.e. Water from Hockmah, and Fire from Binah) that flow to the lower sefirot from Da‘at--i.e. such that ―its springs should flow forth on every side‖ (i.e. from Da‘at to the side of Hesed, and from Da‘at to the side of Geburah).

The ‘Well’ of Da’at - Part Two R. Simeon here discoursed on the verse: WISDOM CRIETH ALOUD IN THE STREET, SHE UTTERETH HER VOICE IN THE BROAD PLACES (Prov. I, 20). ‗This verse‘, he said, ‗contains a deep mystical teaching. The term hokhmoth (lit. wisdoms) implies the superior Wisdom and the lesser Wisdom which is included in the superior Wisdom and abides therein. The superior Wisdom is an essence most recondite and concealed, unknown and unrevealed, as Scripture says: ―Man knoweth not the price thereof, etc.‖ (Job XXVIII, I3); and when it expands into a source of light, its illumination is that of the world to come, and that world is created by it: for so we have learned, that the world to come was created by the Yod, and there Wisdom remained hidden, the two being one. [1] When God was crowned, it was through the mystery of the future world, as already said. There was joy at this illumination, but all was in silence without a sound being heard abroad. Wisdom then willed it to expand further, so that from that space there issued fire and water and air, as already said, from which there sprang up a voice which issued forth abroad and was heard, as already said. [2] From that point onwards all is exterior (huz), whereas in the interior the voice is silent and not heard abroad. Once, however, the secret force has become audible, it is called ―without‖ (huz). [3]

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Hence it is incumbent on man to be zealous in searching after wisdom ―in the wide places‖ (ba-rehoboth). This refers to the firmament, which contains all the luminous stars, and which constitutes the fountain of perennial waters, referred to in the verse: ―And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden‖ (Gen. II, 10). And there ―she uttereth her voice‖, both the superior and the lower Wisdom, which in truth are one. [4] Solomon alluded to this in saying: ―Prepare thy work without‖ (ba-huz), and make it ready for thee in the field‖ (Prov. XXIV, 27), where the word ―without‖ is used as in the verse ―Wisdom crieth out without‖, indicating the point from which man can commence to inquire and investigate, as it is written: ―For ask now of the days past... and from one end of heaven unto another‖ (Deut. IV, 32). [5] The ―field‖ again is the ―field which the Lord hath blessed‖ (Gen. XXVII, 27). When a man has penetrated into the mystery of Wisdom and perfected himself therein, then Solomon tells him to ―build his house‖ (Prov. XXIV, 27), i.e. to cultivate his soul in his body, so as to attain perfection. Hence, when Isaac digged and prepared the well in peace he called it Rehoboth (wide places), and all was done in the right manner. Happy the righteous by whose works the Holy One sustains the world as it says: ―For the upright shall inhabit the land‖ (Prov. II, 21), where the term yishkenu (they will inhabit) may be read yashkinu (they shall cause to be inhabited).‘285 [6]

[1] ―The superior Wisdom‖ is represented by the sefirah Hockmah. It is also symbolized by the Yud (Y) in YHVH. When Hockmah ―expands into a source of light‖ its ―illumination‖ is the ―world to come‖ (or in other words, it illuminates the sefirah Binah). The sefirah Binah is symbolized by the first Heh (H) of YHVH. Hockmah is ‗clothed‘ by Binah; Wisdom (Yud) is embraced by Understanding (Heh).

285

Soncino Zohar, Tol‘doth, 141b, v2, Pp. 52-53.

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The statement: ―The world to come was created by the Yod‖ means that Binah was created by Hockmah. We can only experience the ―lesser Wisdom‖ which is ―hidden‖ in Binah via the sefirah Da‘at.

[2] The statement: ―Wisdom then willed it to expand further‖ means that Hockmah caused Binah to expand and consequently to manifest the sefirah Da‘at. There is only ‗silence‘ above the ‗Abyss‘. The unpronounced Thought becomes ‗verbalized‘ via the sefirah Da‘at. (In the Zohar, Da‘at is often symbolized by the ‗tongue‘ or ‗throat chakra‘ of Macroprosopus. In fact, Da‘at represents the ‗covenant of the tongue‘.) The ‗Voice‘ arises within the sefirot of the patriarchs--i.e. within Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret. From Da‘at issues ―fire and water and air‖ (or ‗Shin, Maym, and Alef). These are emanations of the supernal sefirot: Binah (Shin), Hockmah (Maym), and Keter (Alef). And from these three elements... ―there sprang up a voice which issued forth abroad‖. The ‗voice‘ refers to YHV, where Yud reflects Maym, Heh reflects Shin, and Vav reflects Alef.

Keter = Alef = Air = Vav = Tifaret Hockmah = Maym = Water = Yud = Hesed Binah = Shin = Fire = Heh = Geburah

Thus...

Hesed = Yud (Water) Geburah = Heh (Fire) Tifaret = Vav (Air)

Together these three sefirot pronounce the divine Name YHV which, when attached to Yesod/Malkut, produce the Name in its entirety: YHVH.

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Yesod/Malkut represents the final Heh—i.e. the Utterance of the divine Name. Thus, South (Yud), North (Heh), and East (Vav), eventually become attached to West (Heh). A sublime mystery of the Sefer Yetzirah is explained (to a certain extent) by this symbolism.

[3] The word ―huz‖ (‗outside‘) is spelled ‗heth-vav-tzaddie‘ and is pronounced ‗khoots‘. Everything below the sefirah Da‘at on the Tree of Life is considered ‗exterior‘ (i.e. to the ‗interior‘ supernal sefirot).

[4] The ―firmament‖ signifies the sefirah Da‘at as explained in previously in this book.

[5] It is only via the sefirah Da‘at (meaning ‗knowledge‘) that Man can know Wisdom.

[6] The ―house‖ symbolism has been explained in previous posts. The statement: ―Happy the righteous by whose works the Holy One sustains the world‖ refers to those individuals who have attained to the grade of Israel (i.e. Da‘at). These individuals (by definition) have ‗dug the well‘, or in other words, have opened up the channels between Hesed and Da‘at, and between Geburah and Da‘at. Their ―works‖ result as a natural consequence of opening up and establishing these channels. It is only through them (i.e. through the ―righteous‖) that the ‗future world‘ is able to come into manifestation.

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Jacob Wrestles with Samael R. Jose further discoursed as follows: ―And Esau was a cunning hunter... and Jacob was a perfect man, dwelling in tents‖ (Gen. XXV, 27). ‗In which way was he ―perfect‖? In that he was ―dwelling in tents‖, i.e. that he held fast to the two sides, to that of Abraham and that of Isaac. In dealing with Esau he advanced from the side of Isaac, as already said, and in the spirit of the passage: ―With the merciful thou dost show thyself merciful... and with the crooked thou dost show thyself subtle‖ (Ps. XVIII, 26-27). But when he came to receive the blessings, he came with help from on high, and with support from both Abraham and Isaac, and thus all was prescribed by wisdom, as already said above. For Jacob conquered the serpent with prudence and craft, but chiefly by means of the he-goat; and although the serpent and Samael are the same, yet he also conquered Samael by another method, as described in the passage, saying: ―and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him‖ (Gen. XXXII, 25-26). Observe how great Jacob‘s merit must have been. For as his adversary was intent on destroying him completely, and that night was the night when the moon was created, it was doubly unpropitious for Jacob, who remained behind all alone. For we have been taught that a man should not go out alone in the night time; how much less then in the night when the lights were created, since the moon is defective, and on such a night the evil serpent is specially powerful. Samael thus came and attacked him, in order to destroy him utterly. Jacob, however, had strong support on all sides, on the side of Isaac and on the side of Abraham, both of whom constituted the strength of Jacob. When Samael attacked Jacob‘s right he saw there Abraham equipped with the strength of day, being of the side of the Right, the same being Mercy (Hesed). When he attacked his left, he saw there Isaac with the strength of stern judgment. When he attacked in front, he found Jacob pg. 295


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strong on either side by reason of those surrounding him, and thus we read: ―And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh‖ (Gen. XXXII, 26), that is, a part that is outside of the trunk and one of its supports. Hence, ―the hollow of Jacob‘s thigh was strained‖ (Ibid.). When day appeared and night departed, Jacob‘s strength increased and Samael‘s waned, so that the latter said: ―Let me go, for the moment of the recital of the morning hymn had arrived‖, and it was therefore necessary for him to depart. He thus confirmed Jacob‘s blessings and added to them one blessing more, as it says: ―And he blessed him there‖ (Ibid. 30).286

The Zohar conceals in the symbolism of its Torah exegesis certain principles that govern human evolution, and that describe the special relationship that exists between humanity and the Divine. For example, in the Zohar, what is termed the ―object of true faith‖ refers to the Shekinah (often symbolized by the Moon). This is the ‗higher‘ Shekinah, or the sefirah Binah on the Tree of Life diagram. The ‗higher‘ Shekinah can only be experienced ‗consciously‘ through the ‗doorway‘ of the sefirah Da‘at. The ‗lower‘ Shekinah is represented by the sefirah Malkut. In essence these are two expressions of the one Shekinah, but this unity can only be consciously realized through Jacob achieving the grade of Israel. The ‗higher‘ Shekinah is represented by the first Heh, and the ‗lower‘ Shekinah by the second Heh, of YHVH. Jacob/Israel is represented by the Vav that is placed between them. Jacob/Israel unifies within consciousness the ‗higher world‘ (or the ‗world to come‘ of Beriah) with the ‗lower‘ world (or physical world of Assiah). This, in a nutshell, describes the evolutionary goal of humanity. It is a ‗bridgebuilding‘ process that occurs between humanity and the Divine, and human consciousness is the bridge that will eventually span the Abyss of ‗unknowing‘.

286

Soncino Zohar, Tol‘doth, 146a, v2, Pp. 70-71.

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During the evolutionary process Jacob must bring Esau under control. This means that Tifaret must gain dominion over Hod (i.e. at our physical level of consciousness). Hod represents the ‗rational mind‘ which is ‗cunning like a serpent‘, and it holds us prisoner until we are able to dispel its illusion of supremacy. As long as our conscious focus is firmly fixed in Hod then Hod has dominion over us. Eventually there must occur a shift in polarization to Tifaret, and thence to Geburah and Hesed. The esoteric sciences help us in that process. This process is symbolized for us in the story of Jacob ‗wrestling with a man (or ‗angel‘) during the night‘. That angel is called Samael (described as ―the chieftain of Esau‖ by the Zohar). The fight occurs during the ―night‖—i.e. within the realm of the lower sefirot of ‗night‘—when the ―moon is defective‖, and ―the evil serpent is specially powerful‖. The Moon is ‗defective‘ when it fails to reflect/receive the light of the Sun. In other words, when Yesod (Moon) is not receiving the illumination of Tifaret (Sun). Consequently, this lack of ‗light‘ causes fear in humanity because during that time we are unconscious of the presence of the soul, and therefore we feel completely at the mercy of material forces and the physical world (Malkut). We lose our faith in the power of our soul to redeem us from the illusory chaos of the material world. The rational mind (Hod) has dominion during that dark time. Jacob is wounded by Samael in the ―hollow of his thigh‖ which symbolically refers to the sefirah Hod of the Tree of Life. Hod represents the ‗left leg‘ (and ‗thigh‘) of Adam. As the ―day‖ dawns (i.e. as Tifaret/Sun asserts a stronger influence) Jacob (Tifaret) gains control of Samael (Hod). When polarization in consciousness shifts from Hod (Mercury) to Tifaret (Sun) the ‗light comes on‘. In other words, we become aware (in the true sense of the word) that we have a ‗soul‘. We realize that there exists an invisible benevolent force that will guide us out of negative circumstances if we choose to follow. This is only the first step however, on a journey out of ‗darkness‘ and into ‗Light‘. Tifaret is the ‗torch‘ that helps us find our way.

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Samael... A Further Elaboration As I mentioned in previously, Esau is referred symbolically to the sefirah Hod on the Tree of Life diagram. His ―chieftain‖ is the angel Samael who is referred to the sefirah Geburah. (I thought I should clarify this point.) The sefirah Geburah represents the ‗higher mind‘ (or ‗abstract mental body‘). Hod, on the other hand, represents the ‗lower mind‘ (or ‗rational mind‘). The angel Samael therefore represents the underlying philosophical seed-idea (i.e. a basic ‗world view‘) that holds Esau (i.e. Hod, the rational mind) in its grasp. The angel Samael represents a ‗central concept‘ which is at the core of a ‗belief system‘. It effects a human-being‘s basic perception and understanding of the world around him/her. The angel Samael represents a particularly negative ‗idea‘ that can poison (or delude) the mind of a human-being if we allow it too. If we succumb to the idea that Samael represents, then all of our day-to-day thoughts (that occur in Hod) become coloured by Samael‘s central underlying negative (or illusory) idea. The Western ‗scientific‘ world-view is one example of such a concept, and there are numerous other examples in the world today.

Thus, we are all influenced in our thinking at a very fundamental level within the sefirah Geburah. We expect the world to basically conform to Geburah‘s central, very deeply rooted, core idea. The angel Samael could not shake Jacob‘s spiritual beliefs (and faith/awareness of the Divine) with his materialism-based philosophy.

The battle between Jacob and Samael took place in Hod (i.e. within Esau‘s domain of the ‗rational mind‘). The ―straining‖ of Jacob‘s ―thigh‖ (Hod) by

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Samael is symbolic of the clash of ideas that occurs (at certain times) within the ‗lower mind‘ of every human-being. ―Jacob, however, had strong support on all sides, on the side of Isaac [Geburah] and on the side of Abraham [Hesed], both of whom constituted the strength of Jacob.‖ (See the Zohar extract.) In other words, Jacob had filled his consciousness with the Light of divine Knowledge (in Geburah), and had developed an intuitive ability to recognize Truth from falsity (in Hesed). He was thus unshakably united with the Divine (as represented by Da‘at‘s connection to the supernal sefirot. And so Jacob was confirmed in the name/grade of ‗Israel‘.

The Four Sons of the Concubines R. Eleazar said further:‘ What has been said about Leah having borne six sons and one daughter and Rachel having borne two sons is assuredly correct; but how do the sons of the concubines fit into the scheme? They constitute, as it were, the four joints, the so-called hinder parts, alluded to in the statement: ―and all their hinder parts were inward‖ (I Kings VII, 25). For the right arm contains three joints, the middle one of which is the largest and projects backwards, being as it were outside the body. There is a similar joint in the left arm, as well as in the right thigh and in the left thigh; and when the whole is properly arranged, all of them look inward, in fulfilment of the statement, ―all their hinder parts were inward‖. Now all the other joints are in the line of the body, but these protrude outside the arms and the thighs. Correspondingly, the sons of the handmaids, although they are within the number, yet are not of the same rank as the sons of Rachel and Leah, and thus remain outside. According to another explanation, these four are the joints by which all the others are moved.‘ R. Abba remarked: ‗So assuredly it is, and thus the whole is properly constructed.‘287

287

Soncino Zohar, Vayeze, 154a, v2, Pg. 95.

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Observe further that all the twelve tribes are the integral parts of the Community of Israel in this world, to give full strength to the supernal light, enveloped in blackness, and restore the root principle of the Whole to its place. All the worlds are built on the same pattern; and through this relation the lower world was completed on the pattern of the upper world. By the birth of Issachar and Zebulun there was made complete the number six, symbolic of the six directions of the world. Then again the four sons of the handmaids were associated with them, they being, as it were, the four joints that were linked with them, as already explained. So Scripture says of them: ―and their hinder parts were inward‖ (I Kings VII, 25), to wit, although they were the sons of the handmaids, yet they belonged inward.288

R. Jesse said: ‗The sons of the handmaids represented the four joints which were necessary for the perfecting of the whole.‘ R. Eleazar remarked: ‗It was for that reason that these joints project outwards, despite the fact that they are all organic parts of the body, which otherwise is perfectly straight; and thus all the tribes ascend as a testimony on high, as Scripture says: ―Whither the tribes went up, even the tribes of the Lord as a testimony unto Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord‖ (Ps. CXXII, 4).‘289

As explained previously, the twelve ‗tribes of Israel‘ are referred to the twelve Simple Hebrew letter pathways of the Tree of Life. In my arrangement, they are attached to the four ‗directional‘ sefirot: Hesed (East), Hod (West), Geburah (North), and Netzah (South). The other two directions (i.e. ‗Above‘ and ‗Below‘) are represented by the sefirot: Tifaret and Yesod respectively. These six directions are used by the Sefer Yetzirah, and the

288

Soncino Zohar, Vayeze, 155a, v2, Pg. 98.

289

Soncino Zohar, Vayeze, 158a, v2, Pg. 106.

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Torah, to align the twelve Simple Hebrew letters with the twelve pathways that extend between the six sefirot (i.e. from Hesed to Yesod).

In the Zohar (see the above extracts), the four sons of Jacob by his two concubines (i.e. Zilpah and Bilhah) are singled out as being of a different nature to the other eight sons. These four sons are named: Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

Jacob‘s Sons290 Two Wives: Rachel: (11) Joseph*, (12) Benjamin Leah: (1) Reuben, (2) Simeon, (3) Levi*, (4) Judah, (9) Issachar, (10) Zebulun Two Concubines: Zilpah: (7) Gad, (8) Asher Bilhah: (5) Dan, (6) Naphtali *In regard to the ‗Twelve Tribes of Israel‘, Joseph and Levi are replaced by... Joseph‘s Sons: (1) Manasseh, (2) Ephraim

When the Zohar describes the twelve ―joints‖ of the arms and legs of the body, it is my understanding that it is speaking of the twelve Simple letter pathways

290

The bracketed numbers indicate the order in which the sons were born.

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that are attached to the four sefirot that are the four ‗limbs‘ of Adam. There are three paths/joints attached to each limb. The Zohar states: ―Now all the other joints are in the line of the body, but these protrude outside the arms and the thighs.‖ (See the first Zohar extract above.) This suggests that the four ―middle‖ joints (i.e. ‗elbows‘ and ‗knees‘) extend into a different dimension than the other eight pathways. These four are said to be associated with the four sons of Zilpah and Bilhah (i.e. Jacob‘s two concubines).

Figure 72 : The Four Mutable Pathways – Green

The four pathways that conform (in my arrangement) to this qualification are the four ‗mutable‘ pathways that extend one from each of the four limbs of Adam (i.e. from the sefirot Hesed, Geburah, Hod, and Netzah) to the sefirah Yesod. These four pathways form the four sides of the ‗zodiacal pyramid‘ (or ‗chalice‘) whose apex is the sefirah Yesod. In other words, these four pathways create another dimension within the Tree of Life diagram (i.e. a third

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dimension), and therefore they are not ―in the line of the body‖, and they ―protrude outside the arms and the thighs‖. (See my diagram.) These four ‗mutable‘ pathways (coloured green) ―project outwards, despite the fact that they are all organic parts of the body‖. (See the third Zohar quote above.)

As you know, Jacob corresponds with the sefirah Tifaret (i.e. the masculine solar principle), and therefore we can associate his two concubines with the sefirah Yesod (i.e. the feminine lunar principle) to which these four son/pathways are attached. Similarly Jacob‘s two wives are associated with the feminine sefirot Binah and Malkut as follows:

Binah = Leah Malkut = Rachel

Leah gives birth to six sons and a daughter. The six sons represent the six ‗male‘ sefirot below Binah. They are Hesed, Geburah, Tifaret, Netzah, Hod, and Yesod. Leah‘s daughter symbolizes the female sefirah Malkut. (These correspondences are described elsewhere in the Zohar.)

The Shekinah and the Twelve Tribes AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN RACHEL HAD BORNE JOSEPH. ETC. R. Judah said: ‗Jacob, as a straightforward man, did not wish to leave save by the permission of Laban. In the end, it is true, he did depart without asking Laban‘s permission, but this was because he

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feared that Laban would not let him go, and in consequence the last of the twelve tribes would be born in an alien land. Hence, when he saw that the time had come for Benjamin to be born, he fled, as it is written: SO HE FLED WITH ALL THAT HE HAD. For as soon as Benjamin was born, the Shekinah attached herself to the company of the tribes and made her home with them. And Jacob, through his knowledge of the mystic symbolism, was aware that as soon as the twelve tribes should be complete the Shekinah would make them her adornment and attach herself to them, and that Rachel would die and the Shekinah would take possession of the House. Our tradition tells us that the lower world was assigned to Jacob in the same way as it was later to Moses, but this could not he accomplished until there were the full twelve tribes in the House to whom the Shekinah could attach herself. It was then that Rachel was removed, and the Shekinah took up her abode in the House with all the tribes, and became the foundation of the House. Assuredly, ―He sets in her place the foundation of the House‖ (Ps. CXIII, 9). Jacob thus said: ―The time has now arrived for the number of the twelve tribes to be completed, so that the upper world will be due to descend into the House to become attached to them, and this poor woman (Rachel) will be thrust out to make room for it. Should she die here, I shall never be able to get away. Moreover, this is not the land where it is fitting that the House should be made complete.‖ Hence AND IT CAME TO PASS, ETC.291

This Zohar extract gives me the opportunity to explain the nature and role of the Shekinah principle (as I understand it). I will use my version of the Tree of Life diagram to illustrate the concepts involved. The Shekinah represents the ‗Great Mother‘ principle of the universe and has two basic expressions...

291

Soncino Zohar, Vayeze, 158b, v2, Pp. 108-109.

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1. Binah (first Heh of YHVH) represents the ‗invisible‘ cosmic ocean of undifferentiated substance that is the source of all matter and form in the universe. This ethereal substance is infused with (and controlled by) a divine Intelligence (called Elohim) which basically represents the ‗mind of God‘. In the Zohar it is sometimes called ―The World to Come‖ because it represents the ultimate blueprint of the universe as the Creator has envisioned it. It is like an architect‘s blueprints of a house, but the house is still in process of being built. It is slowly being constructed within the domain of the sefirah Malkut. 2. Malkut (second Heh of YHVH) represents the ‗visible‘ manifestation of the ‗Great Mother‘ principle. It is like the ‗body‘ of the Mother principle whereas Binah is like the ‗soul‘ that inhabits and permeates the body. Malkut represents all perceptible energy, matter, and form within the universe. Forms appear separated and disparate in Malkut, but they all are unified into a perfect synthesis at the level of Binah.

One of our major goals as human-beings is to raise our consciousness so that we become aware of the oneness of Creation (as represented by Binah) and to learn to see, and feel, and become consciously involved in the movement of the feminine Great Mother principle as She goes about Her ‗household business‘. It is the Mother‘s divine purpose to provide the creative Father principle with the material resources that He needs as He designs and builds His House in accordance with His Will. The Father principle is represented by the sefirah Hockmah on the Tree of Life diagram.

We, as human-beings, become consciously involved in the divine process of the Father‘s Creation as we learn to sense, while attached to Malkut, the presence (‗Shekinah‘) and movement of the Great Mother principle.

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It is my understanding that the Shekinah principle is represented by the Twelve Tribes of Israel, or in other words, the twelve signs of the zodiac. The twelvefold circle of the zodiac symbolizes the embrace of the Mother as she encloses Herself around the creative impulse of the Father principle (as represented by the Sun at the centre of the zodiacal circle).

The ‗Sun‘ is symbolized by Jacob/Israel, and he is enclosed on all sides by the Mother (as represented by the twelve Simple Hebrew letter pathways that surround Tifaret). These twelve pathways ‗plug‘ Tifaret into Binah and Malkut. They represent the communication interface that connects Tifaret to Binah/Malkut. We can visualize the twelve pathways as constituting a twelvepronged adapter plug on the end of a cable that extends from Tifaret and plugs into Binah, and a similar cable that extends from Tifaret to Malkut. Tifaret (and the other five sefirot around it) is like a processor unit that sits between these two ‗separated‘ components—Binah and Malkut. Tifaret unites them through itself using the ‗cable‘. (I have put the word ‗separated‘ in quotes because Binah and Malkut are only experienced as being separated from the perspective of the Consciousness principle—i.e. the Son principle.)

Our task as human-beings therefore (in relation to this), is to open the twelve connections between Tifaret and Malkut, and between Tifaret and Binah. As we do so, the Consciousness principle (i.e. the Son) becomes perfectly attuned to the feminine principle of the universe—i.e. the Shekinah. (Note that when I say ‗Tifaret‘, I am also including in that designation the other five sefirot of the Son principle—i.e. Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, Hod, and Yesod.) As this process is achieved the Shekinah comes to ―take possession of the House‖. (See Zohar extract above.)

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The Shekinah and the Twelve Tribes - Part Two For as the sun, although his centre is in heaven, yet spreads his power and might throughout the earth, so that the whole earth is full of his glory, so, as long as the Temple was in existence, the whole earth, to wit, the Holy Land, was full of God‘s glory; but now that Israel is in exile, the Shekinah is on high, but still her might surrounds Israel so as to shield them, even when they are in a strange land. For the Shekinah is both here below and on high. The Shekinah on high abides in the twelve holy chariots and the twelve supernal Hayyoth; the lower Shekinah is among the twelve holy tribes, and thus the upper Shekinah and the lower Shekinah are intertwined, and both operate together and simultaneously. Now, when Israel is in exile, the upper Shekinah is not complete because the lower Shekinah is not complete, and that is what is meant by the Shekinah being in exile when Israel is in exile. 292

In the Zohar, the divine creative process is described in terms of a relationship that exists between four main protagonists...

1. The ―God of Israel‖ (YHVH) = Yud = Hockmah 2. The ―Upper Shekinah‖ (ALHYM) = Heh = Binah 3. ―Israel‖ = Vav = Six sefirot, Hesed to Yesod 4. The ―Lower Shekinah‖ (―Holy Land‖) = Heh = Malkut

292

Soncino Zohar, Vayeze, 159b, v2, Pp. 112-113.

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The universal Father principle is represented by Hockmah (i.e. the ―God of Israel‖), and He seeks to form a creative union with Binah (i.e. the ―Shekinah‖). The creative union is facilitated on Earth through the agency of Israel (i.e. the six sefirot of the Son) as he interacts with the Shekinah principle (both ‗above‘ and ‗below‘).

The sefirah Hockmah is the ‗Father‘ of the ‗Son‘. In other words, Hockmah governs, energizes, and empowers the six sefirot of the Son—i.e. from Hesed to Yesod. These six sefirot symbolize the masculine creative force that is operating below the Abyss of the Tree of Life. These sefirot represent ―Israel‖ who is the ‗ambassador‘ of the Father principle in the lower worlds.

The divine Mother (i.e. Binah) also has an ‗ambassador‘ below the Abyss of the Tree of Life. Just as Hockmah governs the six Double letter sefirot of the Son principle, so Binah governs the twelve Simple letter pathways that extend between them. These twelve pathways are associated with the Daughter principle whose *unified* expression is represented by the sefirah Malkut on the Tree of Life diagram.

Thus, the six sefirot of the Son principle are responsible for projecting the masculine force (inherited from the Father, Hockmah) into the twelve feminine pathways in which they are embedded. The twelve pathways embody the feminine energy of the Mother principle (Binah). It is the creative interaction between the six masculine sefirot of the Son and the twelve feminine pathways of the Daughter that carry the Creation forward below the Abyss (i.e. as it is envisioned and planned by the divine Father and Mother principles of Hockmah and Binah). The gradually unfolding manifestation of the Creation appears in Malkut.

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The Eight Firmaments Now the Righteous One holds fast to the upper world and also to the lower world. As for the words ―nor his seed begging bread‖, the meaning is that when the seed flows forward, he does not court the Female, since she abides with him and never parts from him, and hence is ever in a state of readiness for him. For the seed does not flow save when the Female is present, and their mutual desires are blended into one indissoluble ecstasy. Hence he has no need to ask for consent.‘ R. Jesse remarked: ‗This surely is not the case during the time of exile.‘ R. Simeon rejoined: ‗As regards the seed it is, since it is written ―his seed‖ but not he himself; that is, the outpouring of the blessings only occurs when there is close union of the female with the male. It may be asked then, does the assertion, ―and I have not seen a righteous forsaken‖ apply to the time of exile? The truth is that the Righteous One is always closely bound to the upper world and so far is never abandoned. Thus at one time, that is, at the time of exile, the Righteous One is not forsaken from the side of the upper world, to which he holds fast, whilst at another time he is not forsaken from the two sides, holding fast to both, the upper and the lower worlds, so that in fact he is never forsaken.‘ [1] This Zaddik is also called ―the firmament of the heaven‖ (Gen. I, 17). For there are two similar firmaments, one at the beginning and one at the end of the series of eight. [2] The top one is the eighth firmament, the one in which there are set all the lesser and the greater stars. It is the undisclosed upper firmament which upholds the totality of things and from which all existence flows. This is the eighth firmament counting from below, and is thus the top one and the starting-point from which all things receive their existence. [3]

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Correspondingly there is an eighth firmament counting from above, in which also are set all stars and lights and lamps. This firmament supports the whole and forms the end of the whole. Thus the top firmament and the end firmament are of the same pattern, forming together the river that flows on perennially so that the end is already enclosed in the beginning. Hence it says: ―And God set them in the firmament of heaven.‖ For what purpose? ―To give light upon the earth.‖ [4] There is, however, a difference between the two firmaments, for while the upper one sustains and nourishes the upper world in which it is set and all those upper sides, the lower firmament sustains and nurtures the lower world and all those lower sides. It may be asked, what is meant here by the ―upper world‖, seeing that the upper eighth firmament, which is hidden and undiscoverable, is itself the upper world and is so called? But the truth is that while it itself forms the upper world proper, all those that emanate from it are also designated by that name. [5] It is the same with those that emanate from the lower world, they also being designated by its name. Yet all of them form one unity. Blessed be He for ever and ever!293

[1] The ―Righteous One‖ (Zaddik) is a title given to any human-being who has succeeded in attaching him/herself consciously to the ―upper world‖ (i.e. to the ‗higher Shekinah‘). The ―upper world‖ is represented by Binah on the Tree of Life diagram, and we connect ourselves to Binah via the ‗interface‘ that joins the microcosmic Consciousness principle with the macrocosm. This interface is represented by the sefirah Da‘at. When we have attuned ourselves consciously to the ‗higher Shekinah‘ (i.e. Binah) She is always with us in Consciousness. When a Zaddik becomes incarnate in the physical world (i.e. the ―lower world‖) s/he is able to consciously perceive the presence of the ‗higher Shekinah‘ as She moves instinctively forward to embrace him/her in the divine act of Creation.

293

Soncino Zohar, Vol. 2, Pp. 121-122.

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Thus...

―when the seed flows forward, he [i.e. the Zaddik] does not court the Female [i.e. the Shekinah], since she abides with him and never parts from him, and hence is ever in a state of readiness for him. For the seed does not flow save when the Female is present, and their mutual desires are blended into one indissoluble ecstasy. Hence he has no need to ask for consent.‖ [See the Zohar extract above.]

In other words, there is no need for a Zaddik to consciously evoke the presence of the Shekinah because She constantly embraces him (i.e. whether s/he is incarnate on the physical plane, or not). The ‗divine act of Creation‘ occurs due to the special relationship that has become established between the Zaddik and the Shekinah principle.

[2] The ―series of eight‖ refers to the series of sefirot from Binah/Da‘at to Malkut on the Tree of Life diagram. [3] The ―eighth firmament‖ (counting from the bottom) refers to Binah/Da‘at. It is especially represented by the perfect union of the twelve Simple Hebrew letter archetypes. These twelve archetypes are the primordial source of the twelve-fold circle of the zodiac. [4] The ―eighth firmament‖ (counting from Binah at the top) is Malkut. The sefirah Malkut represents the ‗physical‘ manifestation of the twelve-fold circle of archetypes. We experience these archetypes, for example, as influences emanating from the twelve signs of the zodiac. As I have mentioned before, Malkut is constructed as a reflection (albeit dim and imperfect) of the divine twelve-fold paragon that is symbolized by Binah. [5] The ―upper world‖ is a term applied specifically to the sefirah Binah, but it includes within its ambit the six lower sefirot of the Son principle. This is due mainly to the fact that the twelve archetypes of Binah are spread amongst the

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six lower sefirot, forming thereby, their ‗field of influence‘. The sefirah Malkut is designated as the ―lower world‖.

The Ways and Paths R. Jose and R. Hizkiah were once travailing from Cappadocia to Lydda, and with them was a certain Judean driving an ass laden with clothes. Said R. Jose to R. Hizkiah: ‗Repeat one of those excellent expositions of Scripture which you are wont to deliver daily before the Sacred Lamp.‘ R. Hizkiah then began to hold forth on the verse: ―Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.‖ (Prov. III, 17.) ‗These ways‘, he said, ‗are the ways and paths of the Torah, as whoever walks in them is invested by the Holy One, blessed be He, with the grace of the Divine Presence as his constant accompaniment, and whoever follows her paths enjoys peace on high and below, peace in this world and in the world to come.‘ Said the Judean: ‗A deeper meaning lies in this verse, like a coin in the corner of a box.‘ ‗How do you know this?‘ they asked him. He said: ‗I have heard the recondite explanation of this verse from my father.‘ He then continued to discourse thus. ‗This verse contains a twofold idea, one suggested by the terms ―ways‖ and ―pleasantness‖, and the other by the terms ―paths‖ and ―peace‖. The ―ways‖ are those mentioned in the passage, ―who maketh a way in the sea‖ (Is. XLIII, 16). For the term ―way‖ everywhere in Scripture denotes an open road, accessible to all. So the words ―her ways are ways of pleasantness‖ allude to those ways which our patriarchs opened up and traversed on the great ocean, and which ramify in all directions to all quarters of the world; and by ―pleasantness‖ is meant that pleasantness which issues from the other world, the source whence radiate all lamps in

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all directions. That felicity, that light which our patriarchs absorbed and inherited, is thus called ―pleasantness‖. Or we can say that the world to come itself is called ―pleasantness‖, because when it is awakened there is a stirring of all joy, all felicity, all illumination, and all freedom. Hence tradition tells us that when the Sabbath comes in, the sinners in Gehinnom have a respite and are granted ease and rest; and that at the termination of the Sabbath we have to call down the supernal joy upon us so that we may be delivered from the punishment that the sinners undergo from that moment onward; and this we do by reciting the verse: ―And let the pleasantness of the Lord our God be upon us, etc.‖ (Ps. XC, 17), an allusion to the supernal pleasantness which brings universal freedom. Now, as for the ―paths‖, they denote the paths that proceed from on high and are all gathered into the single covenant which is named ―peace‖, meaning the peace of the household, and which carries those paths into the great ocean when it is agitated, and so gives it peace.‘ Observe that Joseph embodied the covenant of peace, and in consequence became ruler over the land of Egypt. 294

This passage is interesting because it appears to differentiate between two groups of pathways (i.e. from amongst the twenty-two pathways of the Tree of Life).

The ―Judean‖ defines the two groups as follows:

1. The ―ways‖ (DRK) that are associated with a quality defined as ―pleasantness‖ (NOM).

294

Soncino Zohar, Miqez, 197b, Vol. 2, Pp. 249-250.

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2. The ―paths‖ (NThYB) that are associated with a quality defined as ―peace‖ (ShLM).

It is my understanding that the speaker is referring to the following two groups of pathways:

1. The ―ways‖ refer to the twelve Simple letter pathways of the Tree of Life. 2. The ―paths‖ refer to the seven Double letter pathways of the Tree of Life.

The three patriarchs are said to have ―opened up‖ the ―ways‖ (DRK) and traversed them on the ―great ocean‖. The ‗great ocean‘ refers to the sefirah Binah, and especially to Her manifestation as Malkut (i.e. as the ‗lower world‘). The ―ways‖ are said to ―ramify in all directions to all quarters of the world‖ which is precisely what the twelve Simple letter pathways do. They are attached to the four directional sefirot: Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, and Hod, and spread out amongst the six lower sefirot from Hesed to Yesod. If it wasn‘t for these twelve ―ways‖ the ―lamps‖ would have nowhere to radiate their light, because these twelve form a ‗circle of dark space‘ around the lamps (and into which the lamps shine their light).

The term ‗pleasantness‘ is given two meanings by the Judean. The first is related to the sefirah Hockmah (of the ―other world‖--that is, the ‗upper world‘). The sefirah Hockmah is the ―source whence radiate all lamps in all directions‖. It is the source of ―light‖ for the seven Double letter sefirot, just as the sefirah Binah is the source of ―darkness‖ for the twelve Simple letter pathways that encompass and enfold the seven Double letter sefirot. (Similarly, the sefirah Keter is esoterically connected with the three Mother letter sefirot and pathways.) The three patriarchs (i.e. the sefirot: Hesed, Geburah, and Tifaret) ‗absorb‘ and ‗inherit‘ the ‗light‘ of ‗pleasantness‘ from Hockmah.

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The Judean also states that ―the world to come‖ (or, the sefirah Binah) can be identified with the term ―pleasantness‖. He says: ―...at the termination of the Sabbath we have to call down the supernal joy upon us so that we may be delivered from the punishment that the sinners undergo from that moment onward.‖ The ‗Sabbath‘ is associated with the seventh of the lower sefirot: Malkut, but also with the sefirah Hesed because Hesed is the seventh sefirah 295 counting from below to above.

When Malkut is reached (i.e. ―at the termination of the Sabbath‖) then ―we have to call down the supernal joy upon us‖ which descends from Binah to Hesed (via Da‘at). This is done in order to avoid the ―punishment that the sinners undergo from that moment onward‖. The ‗punishment‘ occurs because the ‗sinners‘ have no conscious awareness of the Shekinah (i.e. the ‗divine presence‘) in the material realm of Malkut. Without the awareness of the Shekinah principle mankind lives in darkness with no lamp to guide him along the special pathways that avoid the infliction of ‗punishment‘.

The ―paths‖ (NThYB) are said to ―proceed from on high and are all gathered into the single covenant which is named ‗peace‘...‖ This refers to the seven Double letter pathways that are located amongst the three highest sefirot of the Tree of Life (i.e. Keter, Hockmah, and Binah), and whose seven emanations are extended below the Abyss to form the seven lower sefirot of the Tree of Life (i.e. from Da‘at to Yesod).

There is a flow of energy that proceeds through these seven sefirot (acquiring the qualities of each as it does so) and that is gathered together in Yesod (which latter is referred to as the ―covenant of peace‖). ‗Joseph‘ personifies the sefirah Yesod in the Zohar writings. The composite energy that is gathered into Yesod is poured out upon the sefirah Malkut, thus raining ‗blessings‘ down upon the ‗lower world‘. Thus, 295

That is, when Malkut is included in the count.

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Yesod ―carries those paths into the great ocean [Malkut] when it is agitated, and so gives it peace‖. This is why Joseph is also mentioned by the Judean as being the ―ruler over the land of Egypt‖—‗Egypt‘ being symbolic of the sefirah Malkut.

Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah Observe that when the Holy One, blessed be He, created Adam, He gathered his earthly matter from the four corners of the world and fashioned him therefrom on the site of the Temple here below and drew to him a soul of life out of the Temple on high. [1] Now the soul is a compound of three grades, and hence it has three names, to wit, nefesh (vital principle), ruah (spirit), and neshamah (soul proper). Nefesh is the lowest of the three, ruah is a grade higher, whilst neshamah is the highest of all and dominates the others. [2] These three grades are harmoniously combined in those men who have the good fortune to render service to their Master. For at first man possesses nefesh, which is a holy preparative for a higher stage. After he has achieved purity in the grade of nefesh he becomes fit to be crowned by the holy grade that rests upon it, namely ruah. When he has thus attained to the indwelling of nefesh and ruah, and qualified himself for the worship of his Master in the requisite manner, the neshamah, the holy superior grade that dominates all the others, takes up its abode with him and crowns him, so that he becomes complete and perfected on all sides; he becomes worthy of the world to come and is beloved of the Holy One, blessed be He; of him Scripture says: ―To cause my beloved ones to inherit substance‖ (Prov. VIII, 21), the ―beloved ones‖ being those who have attained to the holy neshamah.‘ ... [3]

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... Observe that nefesh, ruah, and neshamah are an ascending series of grades. The lowest of them, nefesh, has its source in the perennial celestial stream, but it cannot exist permanently save with the help of ruah, which abides between fire and water. Ruah, in its turn, is sustained by neshamah, that higher grade above it, which is thus the source of both nefesh and ruah. When ruah receives its sustenance from neshamah, then nefesh receives it in turn through ruah, so that the three form a unity.‘296 [4]

[1] The physical form of Adam is constructed from ―earthly matter‖ that is gathered from ―the four corners of the world‖. In terms of the Tree of Life diagram this refers to the gathering together (into one conformation) of the twelve Simple letter pathways that are attached to the four ‗directional‘ (or ―corner‖) sefirot: Hesed, Geburah, Netzah, and Hod. These twelve pathways are then bound together in the sefirah Malkut forming thereby the ‗body‘ of Adam. The sefirah Malkut is ―the site of the Temple here below‖ referred to in the Zohar extract. A ―soul of life‖ is given to Adam by the Holy One. It is drawn from ―the Temple on high‖ which is a reference to the sefirah Binah. According to (my understanding of) the Zohar, ‗souls‘ are given to us by Binah as we enter into each incarnation upon the Earth.

[2] On the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life we have Malkut (at the very bottom) representing the physical body. Then above Malkut is Yesod basically representing the Nefesh (or ‗vital principle‘). Then above Yesod is Tifaret symbolizing the Ruach (or ‗spirit‘). Then above Tifaret is the sefirah Da‘at representing the Neshamah (or ‗soul proper‘). This later is closely bound to the sefirah Binah (i.e. the Source of all souls).

296

Soncino Zohar, Vol. 2, Pp 280-281, Vayigash, 205b-206a.

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[3] The Zohar delineates three basic spiritual conditions for Adam...

1. Nefesh. Involves the growth and development of the human personality as it learns to master the physical conditions in which it finds itself. 2. Ruach. Involves some detachment of the mind (Hod) and desire body (Netzah) from the realm of matter, and the development of ‗soulconsciousness‘. 3. Neshamah. The sefirah Da‘at ‗crowns‘ the lower grades and provides the Zaddik with the means whereby he (or she) is able to perform the ―worship of his Master in the requisite manner‖. The sefirah Da‘at gives the Zaddik access to the higher divine sefirot wherefrom he receives the ‗blessings‘ he must then re-distribute to the inhabitants of Earth. The sefirah Da‘at makes the Zaddik ―complete and perfected on all sides‖ meaning that he has brought Malkut into harmony with Binah via the perfecting of his own consciousness. This is achieved by building a bridge between Malkut and Binah--one that is constructed of the twelve Simple letter archetypes from Malkut through the consciousness of the Zaddik to Binah.

The ―substance‖ that is inherited (from the Holy One) by the Zaddik is YSh (Yesh, yud-shin), where ‗yud‘ signifies the sefirah Hockmah, and ‗shin‘ symbolizes the sefirah Binah.

[4] The Nefesh is impermanent (by itself) because it is formed of the matter of the lower ‗physical‘ planes. The Ruach is associated with the Air element which exists between Fire and Water.

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Formation of the Tree Of Life - 2010 Edition  

This book reveals the secret of how the kabbalistic Tree of Life diagram is systematically built in a series of steps from Ain Sof to Malkut...

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