The Sephirot – A Blueprint of The Universe And Ourselves
“You are the highest of the high, the secrets of all secrets; You are altogether beyond the reach of thought. You are he that produced ten tikkunim, which we call ten sephirot so that through them You might guide the secret worlds that are not revealed, and the worlds that are revealed”. And through them You are concealed from mankind, and You bind them and unite them. Since You are within, whoever separates one of the ten from its fellow is thought of as making a separation of You.”
“As for all the sephirot, each one has a known name, and the angels are designated by them, but You have no known name, for You fill all names, and You are the perfect completion of them all. And when You remove Yourself from them, all the names are left like a body without a soul.”
“Sepher Yetzirah” by Aryeh Kaplan:
“The most primary relationship possible is that which exists between Creator and creation. This is the ‘cause and effect’ relationship. Cause is Keter, while effect is Malkuth. Once the concepts pf Cause and Effect exist, another concept comes into being, namely that of opposites. If opposites exist, similarities must also exist. Two new concepts therefore come into being. These are Similarity and Oppositeness. In our terminology, Similarity is Chochmah, while Oppositeness is Binah. These are the Yud and Heh of The Tetragrammaton.”
“Guide For The Perplexed” by Maimonides (circa 1170 CE):
“There exists in the Universe a certain force which controls the whole, which sets in motion the chief and principal parts, and gives them the motive power for governing the rest. Without this force, the existence of the existence of this sphere, with its principal and secondary parts, would be impossible. It is the source of the Universe in all its parts. That force is God! Blessed be his name! It is on account of this force that man is called microcosm; for he likewise possess a certain principle which governs all the forces of the body, and on account of this comparison God is called, the life of the Universe” (“and he swore by the life of the Universe” – Dan. xii 7).
From “Questions & Answers On Genesis, I” by Philo Judaeus (circa 50 CE):
“There are those that assert that what is meant by the tree of life is the center between the seven circles of heaven; but some affirm it is the sun that is meant, as that is nearly in the center, between the different planets, and is likewise the cause of the four seasons, and it owing to him that everything which exists is called into existence. Others understand by the tree of life as the direction of the soul, for this it is which renders the sense of nervous and solid, so as to produce actions corresponding to its nature, and to the community of the parts of the body. But whatever is in the middle is in a manner the primary cause and beginning of things, like the leader of a chorus. But still, the best and wisest authorities have considered that by the tree of life is indicated the best of all the virtues of man, piety, by which alone the mind attains to immortality.”
Progress-Happiness-Love by Robert Waxman
The teachings of Jewish Mysticism (JM) clearly point to the knowledge of the great teachers of the medieval period, such as Moses Cordovero. From this vast body of wisdom each of us seeks answers to our most important questions. Thus, we will acquire new knowledge by an extension of our old knowledge. The student of JM draws out that knowledge from within his own heart.
However, sometimes the student of JM is apt to lose himself in collecting detailed information and acquiring only theoretical knowledge. He may overlook the spiritual attributes of the heart such as love, compassion and selflessness.
The work of a mystic is to nourish all, morally, intellectually and compassionately. It will transform those who allow the divine wisdom (Chochmah) to penetrate their being. Men and women who believe in the possibility of mental and moral regeneration through Ruach-Chesed Consciousness are the ones who will benefit the most by the teachings of JM.
Sometimes, the words ‘progress, happiness and love’ are bandied about thoughtlessly. Many promises are made in books and rah-rah programs about how to be happy, but only a rare few carefully examine the sustainability of these qualities in an intelligent manner.
First, there are numerous kinds of progress. There’s economic progress measured by the size of one’s bank account and standard of living. There is biological progress of bodily sensitivity through environment and heredity. There is the psychological progress of the subconscious and unconscious. However, not one branch of modern knowledge has a satisfying and complete answer about how one may progress spiritually. But, the day will come, however, when we understand whatever unique nugget of wisdom is our own. This divine gift will enable us to progress spiritually and bring with it a loving life filled with happiness.
Anytime Neshamah is able to increase our ability to give and receive love through its connectivity with Daath, it creates an inner satisfaction born of understanding. Neshamah, itself, is defined as ‘understanding’ of the divine wisdom (Chochmah), which is ‘humanized’ into love through the Sephira Chesed (love, compassion and mercy).
Our ‘progress-happiness-love’ connection depends upon our own ability to see our small place in the huge cosmos of an expanding Universe. BUT, however tiny that place may be, it is still our own special and unique place. A single small cog is as necessary to the smooth running of a complicated machine as the largest part is.
This perception of Oneness (Keter) engenders within us a reverence for the unified progression of life in this world of Assiah. This leads us to the understanding that we all have the potential to become divine loving beings when we choose to express the truthful nature of who we really are. And let us remember, we do not progress to higher levels of spiritual illumination through Ruach-Mind Consciousness alone, but rather through our Ruach-Chesed Consciousness of the heart.
The Messianic Idea in Jewish Mysticism
A human being is a Soul; it's an evolving life which has reached a state of equilibrium between Ruach-Nephesh consciousness and Ruach-Neshamah consciousness. On the Tree of Life this can be explained by the center column alignment of Malkuth-Yesod-Lower/Tiphereth (as the physical form) in conjunction with Higher/Tiphereth-Daath-Keter (as a form of mind). The correspondence here is the equal balance between spirit and matter.
Matter represents complete unconsciousness and spirit represents complete consciousness. As human beings we are evolving life forms or minds that have reached equilibrium between the lowest and the highest Sephirot.
What does it mean to reach equilibrium? It means that once we are aware of these two opposing conditions, we can choose for ourselves between these two states. The higher state of pure spirit represents our 'messianic consciousness' which is our spark of Ain-Soph, or the Neschamah within. In the Hebrew Bible, Isaiah speaks of a coming messiah whose name will be Immanuel. The definition of this name from Hebrew into English is, "The God with us". Mystically, the name Immanuel is defined with one slight modification to mean, "The God with-IN us". These two letters make all the difference in the interpretation of how to live one's life. There are those who are waiting for a liberating person of flesh and blood to do all the work by 'saving' them personally, along with the rest of humanity. Then, there are others who believe the ‘messiah of Neshamah’ has always been with them, and it is they who must do the work of tikkun to repair their Souls, and thus 'save' themselves.
What we must grasp is the idea that we are now Life, that we were never anything but Life, and that man in any sense means a life which has reached a given degree of spiritual, intellectual and physical evolution. This can be illustrated by the ascending nature of the Sephirot. Specifically, the Sephira Tiphereth represents the 'messiah-within' (our own ‘Immanuel') who wants to spread the divine light of wisdom in each one of us, and thus 'save' a lifetime which otherwise may have gone to waste.
Manifestly, we have not reached this highest degree of Tiphereth-Daath-Keter consciousness. Even Moses, was not allowed by God to crossover the River Jordan to Tiphereth-Israel due to a small degree of Yesod-ego consciousness associated with a miracle of God which he took credit for. The point is, we should never lose sight of our messianic-consciousness of Tiphereth, no matter where our body may take us.
Remember, from the Zohar, "a spirit becomes a stone, the stone becomes a plant, the plant becomes an animal, the animal becomes a man, and the man becomes a god." This divine aspect of our pure spiritual Selves is called Atziluth-Keter-Yechidah consciousness and when IT descends through the world of Briah to Yetzirah, IT can only manifest ITSELF through the Sephira Tiphereth. There, IT will always be our inner messiah who is just waiting to be heard and experienced.
It is not the mystic who is waiting for ‘the coming’ or ‘the second-coming’ of any messiah, rather it is the messiah-within (Immanuel) who is waiting for each one of us to wake-up, evolve spiritually, and thus experience the divine illumination from within. And, as common sense tells us, we must all earn our own way – inch by inch - as we climb this steep ladder seen by Jacob and Enoch. Eventually, this ladder will lead us to the higher Worlds of consciousness and our own Promised Land of spiritual deliverance.
Was Charles Dickens A Mystic?
“It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death.” - Jacob Marley
Scrooge – Malkuth; greed; selfishness; hard-hearted. (screw+gouge).
Jacob Marley – Yesod; walks in the world of shadows or Tzelem; the foundations of mankind’s conscience.
Bob Crachit – Netzach; the emotional ups and downs of ordinary people;
their expectations and disappointments.
Fezzywig - Hod; a man of reason who understands how to treat his employees fairly and still earn a profit. He has the power to cause sadness or happiness among his employees and uses his power wisely.
Tiny Tim – Tiphereth; trust; piety; unconditional love and inner beauty even when physically incapacitated.
Scrooge’s Father - Gevurah; strict; cold; unloving; severe.
Belle – Chesed; the only source of love, devotion and compassion for Scrooge – all of which, he destroys.
Christmas Past – Neshamah; the experiences that make us who we are by our understanding (or lack of understanding) of divine wisdom. The higher mind principle that judges how far we’ve strayed from the path of illumination. Scrooge begins to understand where his life began to take a turn for the worse due to his ego, greed and lack of compassion for others.
Christmas Present – Chochmah; the many opportunities we have in every moment to tap into our divine wisdom and alter the course of our future by planting seeds of kindness, goodness and love. Scrooge begins to understand the importance of the present moment and the deep suffering that afflicts mankind. This is represented by illness of Tiny Tim, who will die unless his father can afford the operation he needs.
Christmas Future – Keter; as Scrooge faces his own mortality, his divine nature awakens and the eternal spark of his soul shines brightly. He has experienced the tikkun of the soul and now he can perform only mitzvot and live the rest of his life as a Tzaddik (a righteousness one). After seeing his own grave, he understands that the physical body and all his worldly possessions will eventually perish, and his most priceless ‘possession’ is truly the eternal, divine nature of his own soul.
The Scholars View On Good and Evil
From “The Mystical Shape of The Godhead”
“Love, grace and charity are found in the term Chesed (Sephira #4). Its opposite number on the Sephirothal Tree is the quality of severity, judgment and therefore a restricting power; in the words of the Kabbalists, this is known as Gevurah (Sephira #5).
“The most important thinking on the position of evil focused on the function of Gevurah itself. Here the Spanish Jewish Mystics returned to earlier texts, particularly The Sepher ha-Bahir, where at least one stratum explicitly identifies evil with Gevurah (Middath ha-Din). This idea goes so far as to personify God’s power of punishment, ‘The Quality of Severity spoke before God’. It is clear that Gevurah plays the role of a prosecuting angel or, to put it tersely, Satan, who tries to arouse God’s punitive power by accusations and virtually represents it himself. In any event, the solution to the problem of evil and its effects was primarily linked to the Sephira of Gevurah (Din).”
From “The Wisdom of The Zohar”
“One of the solutions that The Zohar offers is that evil by earlier, imperfect emanations, which emanated from the first Sephira before the whole structure of emanation from Chochmah downward had been completed. They were called ‘worlds that were destroyed’ or ‘the kings that died’. These early judgments, which existed in the depth of divine thought before they were emanated, contained the root of evil in the form, as it were, of refuse. And the properly ordered system of emanation could not be established until the refuse had been removed from the divine realm. This removal was effected when the worlds were destroyed. The fragments of these destroyed worlds that were beyond repair were left mutilated and covered in darkness outside the divine system. It is from these fragments that sitra ahra (or the Other Side) was constructed.
“The source of evil according to most of the passages in The Zohar however, is the attribute of Judgment, that is, the Sephira Gevurah.”
From "The Path of The Upright"
“The evil that befalls the sluggard comes not at once, but gradually and unawares. He is drawn into one evil after another until he finds himself steeped in wrongdoing. He begins by not exerting himself sufficiently.
He is bound to misinterpret the words of The Torah, pervert the truth and transgress the ordinances. When King Solomon said, “Then I saw and considered well”, he was truly saying that he considered this matter and realized the great evil that was in it, which is like a poison that spreads gradually, and the effect of which is not evident until death.
Chanukah - Hanukkah - The Festival of Lights - Jewish Mysticsm
I) Deity - The Universal Infinite Light; incomprehensible etc.; has no name; has no religion; has no image.What was happening before the beginning?
Enoch visits the tenth heaven & chats with God;
God says: he found no peace being by himself; he needed to start over again.
Light springs from the belly of Adoil - or Greeks called Logos; The Adam Kadmon - The Universal Over-Soul or The Word. The word is Wisdom and it's a feminine principle - wisdom gives birth to Understanding > and the six rays of light called Elohim that form the foundations of the universe;
The Menorah are the roots are Adoil or Wisdom; the
base is Elohim (male & female);
The shared message of the solstice festivals of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa--that life will go on--is more universal than their Jewish, Christian, or African origins would lead you to believe. And as long as there is a Winter Solstice there is the promise of life renewed. The Winter Solstice festival is the world's greatest holiday, a celestial celebration.
What is a solstice?
First, let me explain the solstice; From June to December, the number of daylight hours gradually decreases. In June, we get 13 hours and 30 minutes of daylight. By December 21st, it is down to 9 hours, 45 minutes of daylight. Today, we know this decrease has to do with the angle of the Earth in relation to the Sun. Not to get too technical, but the Earth's axis has a 23-degree tilt--it's not level like a toy top. As the planet revolves in its year-long cycle, that tilt causes parts of the globe to be closer to or farther from the Sun. This distance and the way the sunlight covers the Earth creates our seasons, so winter in the Northern hemisphere is summer in the Southern hemisphere and vice versa. To modern man, armed with this scientific knowledge, the Winter Solstice isn’t much, but it used to be a very big deal.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurs every December 21st. It marks the beginning of winter and is the shortest day of the year, but more importantly, it marks the point where the number of daylight hours begins to increase. The re-birth of the Sun:
Some 4,000 years ago, the Egyptians and Syrians celebrated the Winter Solstice as the “birth of the Sun.” The Egyptians even depicted the new-born Sun as an infant whose mother was the great goddess called the Heavenly Virgin. The priests would emerge from shrines at midnight on the Solstice to shout, “The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!” Two thousand years later, this story was adapted as the birth of Christ, with Jesus replacing the very similar Persian Sun god, Mithras.
The pagans also placed candles in the branches of their trees, similar to the Hanukkah menorah and hearkening back to the Solstice bonfires and Yule logs of everyone from the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, to the Druids and the Norsemen. The Christmas tree is far more pagan than Christian and directly tied to the Solstice--although it also echoes the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden, and the Cross, but those interpretations came later, as justifications for these obviously pagan symbols. The use of holly and mistletoe are similar borrowings from pagan Solstice festivals.
3) Evolution of the soul - The light within - your divine consciousness;
It's waiting for you - it's the light inside of you - it's been called the divine spark, the kingdom of heaven within, the soul, the spirit and the eternal flame.
The menorah symbolizes 7 levels of consciousness - physical, breath, astral, personality, higher mind, divine wisdom and eternal spark. The spark lights all the other candles and we evolve from within to without; just like the seed becomes the fruit. The inner spark expands when out personality stops lying to the out divine consciousness and we begin to live our own truth - and there's no religion that's higher than the truth.
Why should I be interested in the universal celebration of light? (Jung’s Universal Consciousness)
Why is the Menorah such an important symbol of light?
What was going on before ‘The beginning’? How does light descend into matter?
Does any Biblical Book speak of the beginning of light?
How does light affect my life?
How can bring more into my life?
How do I know who filling my life with darkness?
What should I do to eliminate dark influences that bring me down?
When I meet people for the first time – how do I know if they will bring light or darkness into my life?
How can I experience light?
The Universal Festival of Lights – why is the yearly celebration of life a universal phenomenon?