THE Qabbalists conceive of the
Supreme Deity as an Incomprehensible Principle to be discovered only through
the process of eliminating, in order, all its cognizable attributes. That
which remains--when every knowable thing has been removed--is AIN SOPH, the
eternal state of Being. Although indefinable, the Absolute permeates
all space. Abstract to the degree of inconceivability, AIN SOPH is the
unconditioned state of all things. Substances, essences, and intelligences
are manifested out of the inscrutability of AIN SOPH, but the Absolute itself
is without substance, essence, or intelligence. AIN SOPH may be likened to a
great field of rich earth out of which rises a myriad of plants, each
different in color, formation, and fragrance, yet each with its roots in the
same dark loam--which, however, is unlike any of the forms nurtured by it. The
"plants" are universes, gods, and man, all nourished by AIN SOPH and all with
their source in one definitionless essence; all with their spirits, souls, and
bodies fashioned from this essence, and doomed, like the plant, to return to
the black ground--AIN SOPH, the only Immortal--whence they came.
AIN SOPH was referred to by the
Qabbalists as The Most Ancient of all the Ancients. It was always
considered as sexless. Its symbol was a closed eye. While it may be truly said
of AIN SOPH that to define It is to defile It, the Rabbis postulated certain
theories regarding the manner in which AIN SOPH projected creations out of
Itself, and they also assigned to this Absolute Not-Being certain symbols as
being descriptive, in part at least, of Its powers. The nature of AIN SOPH
they symbolize by a circle, itself emblematic of eternity. This hypothetical
circle encloses a dimensionless area of incomprehensible life, and the
circular boundary of this life is abstract and measureless infinity.
According to this concept, God
is not only a Center but also Area. Centralization is the first step towards
limitation. Therefore, centers which form in the substances of AIN SOPH are
finite because they are predestined to dissolution back into the Cause of
themselves, while AIN SOPH Itself is infinite because It is the ultimate
condition of all things. The circular shape given to AIN SOPH signifies that
space is hypothetically enclosed within a great crystal-like globe, outside of
which there is nothing, not even a vacuum. Within this globe--symbolic of AIN
SOPH--creation and dissolution take place. Every element and principle that
will ever be used in the eternities of Kosmic birth, growth, and decay is
within the transparent substances of this intangible sphere. It is the Kosmic
Egg which is not broken till the great day "Be With Us," which is the end of
the Cycle of Necessity, when all things return to their ultimate cause.
In the process of creation the
diffused life of AIN SOPH retires from the circumference to the center of the
circle and establishes a point, which is the first manifesting One--the
primitive limitation of the all-pervading O. When the Divine Essence thus
retires from the circular boundary to the center, It leaves behind the Abyss,
or, as the Qabbalists term it, the Great Privation. Thus, in AIN SOPH is
established a twofold condition where previously had existed but one. The
first condition is the central point--the primitive objectified radiance of
the eternal, subjectified life. About this radiance is darkness caused by the
deprivation of the life which is drawn to the center to create the first
point, or universal germ. The universal AIN SOPH, therefore, no longer shines
through space, but rather upon space from an established first point. Isaac
Myer describes this process as follows: "The Ain Soph at first was filling All
and then made an absolute concentration into Itself which produced the Abyss,
Deep, or Space, the Aveer Qadmon or Primitive Air, the Azoth; but this is not
considered in the Qabbalah as a perfect void or vacuum, a perfectly empty
Space, but is thought of as the Waters or Crystalline Chaotic Sea, in which
was a certain degree of Light inferior to that by which all the created
[worlds and hierarchies] were made." (See The Qabbalah.)
In the secret teachings of the
Qabbalah it is taught that man's body is enveloped in an ovoid of bubble-like
iridescence, which is called the Auric Egg. This is the causal sphere of man.
It bears the same relationship to man's physical body that the globe of AIN
SOPH bears to Its created universes. In fact, this Auric Egg is the AIN SOPH
sphere of the entity called man. In reality, therefore, the supreme
consciousness of man is in this aura, which extends in all directions and
completely encircles his lower bodies. As the consciousness in the Kosmic Egg
is withdrawn into a central point, which is then called God--the Supreme
One--so the consciousness in the Auric Egg of man is concentrated, thereby
causing the establishment of a point of consciousness called the Ego. As the
universes in Nature are formed from powers latent in the Kosmic Egg, so
everything used by man in all his incarnations throughout the kingdoms of
Nature is drawn from the latent powers within his Auric Egg. Man never passes
from this egg; it remains even after death. His births, deaths, and rebirths
all take place within it, and it cannot be broken until the lesser day "Be
With Us," when mankind--like the universe--is liberated from the Wheel of
THE QABBALISTIC SYSTEM
On the accompanying circular
chart, the concentric rings represent diagrammatically the forty rates of
vibration (called by the Qabbalists Spheres) which emanate from AIN SOPH. The
circle X 1 is the outer boundary of space. It circumscribes the area of AIN
SOPH. The nature of AIN SOPH Itself is divided into three parts, represented
by the spaces respectively between X 1 and X 2, X 2 and X 3, X 3 and A 1;
X 1 to X 2,
vacuum of pure spirit.
X 2 to X 3,
the Limitless and Boundless.
X 3 to A 1,
אין סוף אור,
AUR, the Limitless Light.
It should be borne in mind that
in the beginning the Supreme Substance, AIN, alone permeated the area of the
circle; the inner rings had not yet come into manifestation. As the Divine
Essence concentrated Itself, the rings X 2 and X 3 became apprehensible, for
AIN SOPH is a limitation of AIN, and AIN SOPH AUR, or Light, is a still
greater limitation. Thus the nature of the Supreme One is considered to be
threefold, and from this threefold nature the powers and elements of creation
were reflected into the Abyss left by the motion of AIN SOPH towards the
center of Itself. The continual motion of AIN SOPH towards the center of
Itself resulted in the establishment of the dot in the circle. The dot was
called God, as being the supreme individualization of the Universal Essence.
Concerning this the Zohar says:
"When the concealed of the
Concealed wished to reveal Himself He first made a single point: the Infinite
was entirely unknown, and diffused no light before this luminous point
violently broke through into vision."
The name of this point is I AM,
called by the Hebrews Eheieh. The Qabbalists gave many names to this
dot. On this subject Christian D. Ginsberg writes, in substance: The dot is
called the first crown, because it occupies the highest position. It is called
the aged, because it is the first emanation. It is called the primordial or
smooth point. It is called the white head, the Long Face--Macroprosophus--and
the inscrutable height, because it controls and governs all the other
When the white shining point
had appeared, it was called Kether, which means the Crown, and
out of it radiated nine great globes, which arranged themselves in the form of
a tree. These nine together with the first crown constituted the first system
of Sephiroth. These ten were the first limitation of ten abstract
points within the nature of AIN SOPH Itself. The power of AIN SOPH did not
descend into these globes but rather was reflected upon them as the light of
the sun is reflected upon the earth and planets. These ten globes were called
the shining sapphires, and it is believed by many Rabbins that the word
sapphire is the basis of the word Sephira (the singular of
Sephiroth). The great area which had been privated by the withdrawal of AIN
SOPH into the central point, Kether, was now filled by four concentric
globes called worlds, or spheres, and the light of the ten Sephiroth was
reflected down through each of these in turn. This resulted in the
establishment of four symbolical
THE HEBREW TRIAD.
The Qabbalists used the letter
ש, Shin, to signify the trinity of the first three Sephiroth. The central
circle slightly above the other two is the first Sephira--Kether, the
White Head, the Crown. The other two circles represent Chochmah, the
Father, and Binah, the Mother. From the union of the Divine Father and
the Divine Mother are produced the worlds and the generations of living
things. The three flame-like points of the letter ש have long been used to
conceal this Creative Triad of the Qabbalists.
trees, each hearing the
reflections of the ten Sephirothic globes. The 40 spheres of creation out of
AIN SOPH are divided into four great world chains, as follows:
A 1 to A 10, Atziluth,
the Boundless World of Divine Names.
B 1 to B 10, Briah, the
Archangelic World of Creations.
C 1 to C 10, Yetzirah,
the Hierarchal World of Formations.
D 1 to D 10, Assiah, the
Elemental World of Substances.
Each of these worlds has ten
powers, or spheres--a parent globe and nine others which conic out of it as
emanations, each globe born out of the one preceding. On the plane of
Atziluth (A 1 to A 10), the highest and most divine of all the created
worlds, the unmanifested AIN SOPH established His first point or dot in the
Divine Sea--the three spheres of X. This dot--A 1--contains all creation
within it, but in this first divine and uncontaminated state the dot, or first
manifested. God, was not considered as a personality by the Qabbalists but
rather as a divine establishment or foundation. It was called the First
Crown and from it issued the other circles of the Atziluthic World:
A 2, A 3, A 4, A 5, A 6, A 7, A 8, A 9, and A 10. In the three lower worlds
these circles are intelligences, planers, and elements, but in this first
divine world they are called the Rings of the Sacred Names.
The first ten great circles (or
globes) of light which were manifested out of AIN SOPH and the ten names of
God assigned to them by the Qabbalists are as follows:
From AIN SOPH came A 1, the
First Crown, and the name of the first power of God was Eheieh, which
means I Am [That I Am].
From A 1 came A 2, the first
Wisdom, and the name of the second power of God was Jehovah, which
means Essence of Being.
From A 2 came A 3, the first
Understanding, and the name of the third power of God was Jehovah Elohim,
which means God of Gods.
From A 3 came A 4, the first
Mercy, and the name of the fourth power of God was El, which means
God the Creator.
From A 4 came A 5, the first
Severity, and the name of the fifth power of God was Elohim Gibor,
which means God the Potent.
From A 5 came A 6, the first
Beauty, and the name of the sixth power of God was Eloah Vadaath, which
means God the Strong.
From A 6 came A 7, the first
Victory, and the name of the seventh power of God was Jehovah Tzaboath,
which means God of Hosts.
From A 7 came A 8, the first
Glory, and the name of the eighth power of God was Elohim Tzaboath,
which means Lord God of Hosts.
From A 8 came A 9, the first
Foundation, and the name of the ninth power of God was Shaddai, El
Chai, which means Omnipotent.
From A 9 came A 10, the first
Kingdom, and the name of the tenth power of God was Adonai Melekh,
which means God.
From A 10 came B 1, the Second
Crown, and the World of Briah was established.
The ten emanations from A 1 to
A 10 inclusive are called the foundations of all creations. The Qabbalists
designate them the ten roots of the Tree of Life. They are arranged in the
form of a great human figure called Adam Qadmon--the man made from the fire
mist (red dirt), the prototypic Universal Man. In the Atziluthic World,
the powers of God are most purely manifested. These ten pure and perfect
radiations do not descend into the lower worlds and take upon themselves
forms, but are reflected upon the substances of the inferior spheres. From the
first, or Atziluthic, World they are reflected into the second, or
Briatic, World. As the reflection always lacks some of the brilliancy of
the original image, so in the Briatic World the ten radiations lose
part of their infinite power. A reflection is always like the thing reflected,
but smaller and fainter.
In the second world, B 1 to B
10, the order of the spheres is the Name as in the Atziluthic World,
but the ten circles of light are less brilliant and more tangible, and are
here referred to as ten great Spirits--divine creatures who assist in the
establishment of order and intelligence in the universe. As already noted, B 1
is born out of A 10 and is included within all the spheres superior to itself.
Out of B 1 are taken nine globes--B 2, B 3, B 4, B 5, B 6, B 7, B 8, B 9, and
B 10--which constitute the World of Briah. These ten subdivisions,
however, are really the ten Atziluthic powers reflected into the substance of
the Briatic World. B 1 is the ruler of this world, for it contains all
the other rings of its own world and also the rings of the third and fourth
worlds, C and D. In the World of Briah the ten spheres of light are
called the Archangels of Briah. Their order and powers are as follows:
From A 10 came B 1, the Second
Crown; it is called Metatron, the Angel of the Presence.
From B 1 came B 2, the second
Wisdom; it is called Raziel, the Herald of Deity who revealed the
mysteries of Qabbalah to Adam.
From B 2 carne B 3, the second
Understanding; it is called Tsaphkiel, the Contemplation of God.
From B 3 came B 4 ' the second
Mercy; it is called Tsadkiel, the justice of God.
From B 4 came B 5, the second
Severity; it is called Samael, the Severity of God.
From B 5 came B 6, the second
Beauty; it is called Michael, Like Unto God.
From B 6 came B 7, the second
Victory; it is called Haniel, the Grace of God.
From B 7 came B 8, the second
Glory; it is called Raphael, the Divine Physician.
From B 8 came B 9, the second
Foundation; it is called Gabriel, the Man-God.
From B 9 came B 10, the second
Kingdom; it is called Sandalphon, the Messias.
From B 10 came C 1, the Third
Crown, and the World of Yetzirah was established.
The ten Archangels of Briah
are conceived to be ten great spiritual beings, whose duty is to manifest the
ten powers of the Great Name of God existent in the Atziluthic World,
which surrounds and interpenetrates the entire world of creation. All things
manifesting in the lower worlds exist first in the intangible rings of the
upper spheres, so that creation is, in truth, the process of making tangible
the intangible by extending the intangible into various vibratory rates. The
ten globes of Briatic power, while themselves reflections, are mirrored
downward into the third or Yetziratic World, where still more limited
in their expression they become the spiritual and invisible zodiac which is
behind the visible band of constellations. In this third world the ten globes
of the original Atziluthic World are greatly limited and dimmed, but they are
still infinitely powerful in comparison with the state of substance in which
man dwells. In the third world, C 1 to C 10, the globes become hierarchies of
celestial creatures, called the Choirs of Yetzirah. Here again, all are
included within the ring C 1, the power which controls the Yetziratic World
and which includes within itself and controls the entire world D. The order of
the globes and the names of the hierarchies composing them are as follows:
From B 10 came C 1, the Third
Crown; the Hierarchy is the Cherubim, Chaioth Ha Kadosh, the Holy
From C 1 came C 2, the third
Wisdom; the Hierarchy is the Cherubim, Orphanim, the Wheels.
From C 2 came C 3, the third
Understanding; the Hierarchy is the Thrones, Aralim, the Mighty Ones.
From C 3 came C 4, the third
Mercy; the Hierarchy is the Dominations, Chashmalim, the Brilliant
From C 4 came C 5, the third
Severity; the Hierarchy is the Powers, Seraphim, the Flaming Serpents.
From C 5 came C 6, the third
Beauty; the Hierarchy is the Virtues, Melachim, the Kings.
From C 6 came C 7, the third
Victory; the Hierarchy is the Principalities, Elohim, the Gods.
From C 7 came C 8, the third
Glory; the Hierarchy is the Archangels, Ben Elohim, the Sons of God.
From C 8 came C 9, the third
Foundation; the Hierarchy is the Angels, Cherubim, the Scat of the
From C 9 came C 10, the third
Kingdom; the Hierarchy is Humanity, the Ishim, the Souls of Just Men.
From C 10 came D 1, the Fourth
Crown, and the World of Assiah was established.
From the Yetziratic
World the light of the ten spheres is reflected into the World of Assiah,
the lowest of the four. The ten globes of the original Atziluthic World
here take upon themselves forms of physical matter and the sidereal system is
the result. The World of Assiah, or the elemental world of substance,
is the one into which humanity descended at the time of Adam's fall. The
Garden of Eden is the three upper worlds, and for his sins man was forced into
the sphere of substance and assumed coats of skin (bodies). All of the
spiritual forces of the upper worlds, A, B, C, when they strike against the
elements of the lower world, D, are distorted and perverted, resulting in the
creation of hierarchies of demons to correspond with the good spirits in each
of the higher worlds. In all the ancient Mysteries, matter was regarded as the
source of all evil and spirit the source of all good, for matter inhibits and
limits, often so clogging the inner perceptions that man is unable to
recognize his own divine potentialities. Since matter thus prevents humanity
from claiming its birthright, it is called the Adversary, the power of evil.
The fourth world, D, is the world of solar systems,
THE PLAN OF DIVINE ACTIVITY.
According to the Qabbalists,
the life of the Supreme Creator permeates all substance, all space, and all
time, but for diagrammatic purposes the Supreme, All-Inclusive Life is limited
by Circle 3, which may be called "the boundary line of Divine existence." The
Divine Life permeating the area bounded by Circle 3 is focused at Point 1,
which thus becomes the personification of the impersonal life and is termed
"the First Crown." The creative forces pouring through Point 1 come into
manifestation as the objective universe in the intermediate space, Circle 2.
comprising not only the one of
which the earth is a part but all the solar systems in the universe.
Opinions differ as to the
arrangement of the globes of this last world, D 1 to D 10 inclusive. The ruler
of the fourth world is D 1, called by some the Fiery Heaven; by others
the Primum Mobile, or the First Motion. From this whirling fire
emanates the material starry zodiac, D 2, in contradistinction to the
invisible spiritual zodiac of the Yetziratic World. From the zodiac, D
2, are differentiated the spheres of the planets in concatenate order. The ten
spheres of the World of Assiah are as follows:
From C 10 came D 1, the Fourth
Crown; Rashith Ha-Galagalum, the Primum Mobile, the fiery mist
which is the beginning of the material universe.
From D 1 came D 2, the fourth
Wisdom; Masloth, the Zodiac, the Firmament of the Fixed Stars.
From D 2 came D 3, the fourth
Understanding; Shabbathai, the sphere of Saturn.
From D 3 came D 4, the fourth
Mercy; Tzedeg, the sphere of Jupiter.
From D 4 came D 5, the fourth
Severity; Madim, the sphere of Mars.
From D 5 came D 6, the fourth
Beauty; Shemesh, the sphere of the Sun.
From D 6 came D 7, the fourth
Victory; Nogah, the sphere of Venus.
From D 7 came D 8, the fourth
Glory; Kokab, the sphere of Mercury.
From D 8 came D 9, the fourth
Foundation; Levanah, the sphere of the Moon.
From D 9 came D 10, the Fourth
Kingdom; Cholom Yosodoth, the sphere of the Four Elements.
By inserting a sphere (which he
calls the Empyrean) before the Primum Mobile, Kircher moves each of the other
spheres down one, resulting in the elimination of the sphere of the elements
and making D 10 the sphere of the Moon.
In the World of Assiah
are to be found the demons and tempters. These are likewise reflections of the
ten great globes of Atziluth, but because of the distortion of the
images resulting from the base substances of the World of Assiah upon
which they are reflected, they become evil creatures, called shells by
the Qabbalists. There are ten hierarchies of these demons to correlate with
the ten hierarchies of good spirits composing the Yetziratic World.
THE QABBALISTIC SCHEME OF THE FOUR WORLDS.
In the above chart the dark
line between X 3 and A 1 constitutes the boundary of the original dot, while
the concentric circles within this heavier line symbolize the emanations and
the worlds which came forth from the dot. As this dot is contained within the
outer rings X 1, X 2, and X 3, and represents the first establishment of an
individualized existence, so the lower universe symbolized by the forty
concentric circles within the dot represents the lower creation evolved out of
and yet contained within the nature of the first Crown, which may be called
God, within whom the divine powers, the celestial beings the sidereal worlds,
and man, live and move and have their being. It is highly important that all
the rings within A 1 be considered as being enclosed by the primitive dot,
which is itself encircled by the great ring X 1, or the Auric Egg of AIN SOPH.
Each ring includes with in its
own nature all the rings within itself and is included within the natures of
all the rings outside of itself. Thus, A 1--the primitive dot--controls and
contains the thirty-nine rings which it encloses, all of these partaking of
its nature in varying degrees according to their respective dignities.
Consequently, the entire area from A 1 to D 10 inclusive is the original dot,
and the rings symbolize the divisions which took place with in it and the
emanations which poured out from it after its establishment in the midst of
the abstract nature of AIN SOPH. The powers of the rings decrease towards the
center of the diagram, for Power is measured by the number of things
controlled, and each ring controls the rings within it and is controlled by
the rings outside of it. Thus, while A 1 controls thirty-nine rings besides
itself, B 1 controls only twenty-nine rings besides its own. Therefore, A 1 is
more powerful than B 1. As the greatest spiritual solidity, or permanence, is
at the circumference and the greatest material density, or impermanence, is at
the center of the diagram, the rings as they decrease in Power become more
material and substantial until the center sphere, D 10, symbolizes the actual
chemical elements of the earth. The rates of vibration are also lower as the
rings approach the center. Thus, the vibration of A 2 is lower than A 1 but
higher than A 3, and so on in decreasing scale towards the center, A 1 being
the highest and D 10 the lowest sphere of creation. While A 1, the ruler of
creation, controls the circles marked A, B, C, and D, it is less than the
three rings of AIN SOPH--X 1, X2, and X3--and therefore bows before the throne
of the ineffable Creator from whose substances it was individualized.
also ten Archdemons,
corresponding to the ten Archangels of Briah. The black magicians use
these inverted spirits in their efforts to attain their nefarious ends, but in
time the demon destroys those who bind themselves to it. The ten orders of
demons and the ten Archdemons of the World of Assiah are as follows:
D 1, the evil Crown; the
hierarchy is called Thaumiel, the doubles of God, the Two-headed; the
Archdemons are Satan and Moloch.
From D 1 came D 2, the evil
Wisdom; the hierarchy is called Chaigidiel, those who obstruct; the
Archdemon is Adam Belial.
From D 2 came D 3, the evil
Understanding; the hierarchy is called Satharial, the concealment of
God, the Archdemon is Lucifuge.
From D 3 came D 4, the evil
Mercy; the hierarchy is called Gamchicoth, the disturber of things; the
Archdemon is Astaroth.
From D 4 came D 5, the evil
Severity; the hierarchy is called Golab, incendiarism and burning; the
Archdemon is Asmodeus.
From D 5 came D 6, the evil
Beauty; the hierarchy is called Togarini, the wranglers; the Archdemon
From D 6 came D 7, the evil
Victory; the hierarchy is called Harab Serap, the dispensing Raven; the
Archdemon is Baal Chanan.
From D 7 came D 8, the evil
Glory; the hierarchy is called Samael, the embroiler; the Archdemon is
From D 8 came D 9, the evil
Foundation; the hierarchy is called Gamaliel, the obscene; the
Archdemon is Lilith.
From D 9 came D 10, the evil
Kingdom; the hierarchy is called Nahemoth, the impure; the Archdemon is
The Qabbalists declare that the
worlds, intelligences, and hierarchies were established according to the
vision of Ezekiel. By the man of Ezekiel's vision is symbolized the World of
Atziluth; by the throne, the World of Briah; by the firmament,
the World of Yetzirah; and by the living creatures the World of
Assiah. These spheres are the wheels within wheels of the prophet. The
Qabbalists next established a human figure in each of the four worlds: A 1 was
the head and A 10 the feet of the man of Atziluth; B 1 was the head and
B 10 the feet of the man of Briah; C 1 was the head and C 10 the feet
of the man of Yetzirah; D 1 was the head and D 10 the feet of the man
of Assiah. These four are called the World Men. They are
considered androgynous and are the prototypes of humanity.
The human body, like that of
the universe, is considered to be a material expression of ten globes or
spheres of light. Therefore man is called the Microcosm--the little world,
built in the image of the great world of which he is a part. The Qabbalists
also established a mysterious universal man with his head at A 1 and his feet
at D 10. This is probably the secret significance of the great figure of
Nebuchadnezzar's dream, with its head in the World of Atziluth, its
arms and hands in the World of Briah, its generative system in the
World of Yetzirah, and its legs and feet in the World of Assiah.
This is the Grand Man of the Zohar, of whom Eliphas Levi writes:
"It is not less astonishing to
observe at the beginning of the Zohar the profundity of its notions and the
sublime simplicity of its images. It is said as follows: 'The science of
equilibrium is the key of occult science. Unbalanced forces perish in the
void. So passed the kings of the elder world, the princes of the giants. They
have fallen like trees without roots, and their place is found no more.
Through the conflict of unbalanced forces, the devastated earth was void and
formless, until the Spirit of God made for itself a place in heaven and
reduced the mass of waters. All the aspirations of Nature were directed then
towards unity of form, towards the living synthesis (if equilibrated forces;
the face of God, crowned with light, rose over the vast sea and was reflected
in the waters thereof. His two eyes were manifested, radiating with splendour,
darting two beams of light which crossed with those of the reflection. The
brow of God and His eyes formed a triangle in heaven, and its reflection
formed a second triangle in the waters. So was revealed the number six, being
that of universal creation.' The text, which would be unintelligible in a
literal version, is translated here by way of interpretation. The author makes
it plain that the human form which he ascribes to Deity is only an image of
his meaning and that God is beyond expression by human thought or
representation by any figure. Pascal said that God is a circle, of which the
center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere. But how is one to imagine
a circle apart from its circumference? The Zohar adopts the antithesis of this
paradoxical image and in respect of the circle of Pascal would say rather that
the circumference is everywhere, while that which is nowhere is the center. It
is however to a balance and not to a circle that it compares the universal
equilibrium of things. It affirms that equilibrium is everywhere and so also
is the central point where the balance hangs in suspension. We find that the
Zohar is thus more forcible and more profound than Pascal. * * * The Zohar is
a genesis of light; the Sepher Yetzirah is a ladder of truth. Therein are
expounded the two-and-thirty absolute symbols of speech--being numbers and
letters. Each letter produces a number, an idea and a form, so that
mathematics are applicable to forms and ideas, even as to numbers, in virtue
of an exact proportion, and a perfect correspondence. By the science of the
Sepher Yetzirah, the human mind is rooted in truth and in reason; it accounts
for all progress possible to intelligence by means of the evolution of
numbers. Thus does the Zohar represent absolute truth, while the Sepher
Yetzirah furnishes the method of its acquisition, its discernment and
application." (History of Magic.)
By placing man himself at the
point D 10, his true constitution is revealed. He exists upon four worlds,
only one of which is visible. It is then made evident that his parts and
members upon the material plane are, by analogy, hierarchies and intelligences
in the higher worlds. Here, again, the law of interpenetration is evidenced.
Although within man is the entire universe (the 43 spheres interpenetrating D
10), he is ignorant of its existence because he cannot exercise control over
that which is superior to or greater than himself. Nevertheless, all these
higher spheres exercise control over him, as his functions and activities
demonstrate. If they did not, he would be an inert mass of substance. Death is
merely the result of deflecting the life impulses of the higher rings away
from the lower body.
The control of the
transubstantial rings over their own material reflection is called life,
and the spirit of man is, in reality, a name given to this great host of
intelligences, which are focused upon substance through a point called the
ego, established in the midst of themselves. X 1 is the outside boundary
of the human Auric Egg, and the entire diagram becomes a cross section of the
constitution of man, or a cross section of the Kosmic constitution, if
correlated with the universe. By the secret culture of the Qabbalistic School,
man is taught how to climb the rings (unfold his consciousness) until at last
he returns to AIN SOPH. The process by which this is accomplished is called
the Fifty Gates of Light. Kircher, the Jesuit Qabbalist, declares that
Moses passed through forty-nine of the gates, but that Christ alone passed the
To the third edition of the
Sepher Yetzirah translated from the Hebrew by Wm. Wynn Westcott are
appended the Fifty Gates of Intelligence emanating from Binah, the
second Sephira. The source of this information is Kircher's dipus
Ægyptiacus. The gates are divided into six orders, of which the first four
have each ten subdivisions, the fifth nine, and the sixth only one.
The first order of gates is
termed Elementary and its divisions areas follows: (1) Chaos, Hyle, the
First Matter; (2) Formless, void, lifeless; (3) The Abyss; (4) Origin of the
Elements; (5) Earth (no seed germs); (6) Water;(7) Air;(8) Fire;(9)
Differentiation of qualities; (10) Mixture and combination.
The second order of gates is
termed Decad of Evolution and its divisions areas follows: (11)
Minerals differentiate; (12) Vegetable principles appear; (13) Seeds germinate
in moisture; (14) Herbs and Trees; (15) Fructification in vegetable life; (16)
Origin of low forms of animal life; (17) Insects and Reptiles appear; (18)
Fishes, vertebrate life in the waters; (19) Birds, vertebrate life in the air;
(20) Quadrupeds, vertebrate earth animals.
The third order of gates is
termed Decad of Humanity and its divisions are as follows: (21)
Appearance of Man; (22) Material human body; (23) Human Soul conferred; (24)
Mystery of Adam and Eve; (25) Complete Man as the Microcosm; (26) Gift of five
human faces acting exteriorly; (27) Gift of five powers to the soul; (28) Adam
Kadmon, the Heavenly Man; (29) Angelic beings, (30) Man in the image of God.
The fourth order of gates is
termed World of Spheres and its divisions are as follows: (31) The
Heaven of the Moon; (32) The Heaven of Mercury, (33) The Heaven of Venus; (34)
The Heaven of the Sun; (35) The Heaven of Mars; (36) The Heaven of Jupiter;
(37) The Heaven of Saturn; (38) The Firmament; (39) The Primum Mobile; (40)
The Empyrean Heaven.
The fifth order of gates is
termed The Angelic World and its divisions are as follows: (41) Ishim--Sons
of Fire; (42) Orphanim--Cherubim; (43) Aralim--Thrones; (44) Chashmalim--Dominions;
(45) Seraphim--Virtues; (46) Melachim--Powers; (47) Elohim--Principalities;
(48) Ben Elohim--Angels; (49) Cherubim--Archangels. [The order of the Angels
is a matter of controversy, the arrangement above differing from that accepted
in other sections of this volume. The Rabbins disagree fundamentally as to the
proper sequence of the Angelic names.]
The sixth order is termed
The Archetype and consists of but one gate: (50) God, AIN SOPH, He whom no
mortal eye hath seen. The fiftieth gate leads from creation into the Creative
Principle and he who passes through it returns into the unlimited and
undifferentiated condition of ALL. The fifty gates reveal a certain
evolutionary process and it was declared by the Rabbins that he who would
attain to the highest degree of understanding must pass sequentially through
all of these orders of life, each of which constituted a gate in that the
spirit, passing from the lower to the higher, found in each more responsive
organism new avenues of self-expression.
Next: The Tree of the Sephiroth