- The Fruits of the Tree of Life : The Cabbalistic Tradition (Complete Works : Vol 32)
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- The Fruits of the Tree of Life: The Cabbalistic Tradition
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The Dominations will give you generosity and mercy. The Thrones will give you stability and the understanding of the mysteries. The Cherubim will give you wisdom and harmony. The Seraphim will give you love, the love that surpasses all knowledge, the love that is fulfilment and total freedom. But how can I dare to speak about these entities, before whom it behoves us only to bow in reverent silence? I do so in order to inspire you with the desire to reject the ease of a prosaic, unconscious existence. A person who does not know that these sublime regions exist can be content with a mediocre life.
But those who know of their existence sense that all the worthless things most people value so highly are as nothing compared to what exists in this sublime world. Yes, even the most splendid achievements of science, art, and philosophy pale in comparison. We need, at the very least, to know of the existence of these regions inhabited by perfect beings before we can begin to understand how important it is to draw closer to them. If you do not begin this work while you are here on earth, you will not be able to go on with it in the next world.
You have to begin by blazing the trail in this world if you want to advance in the next. The fact that human beings are incarnated on earth gives them a certain superiority over all angels, even the most exalted, and their task is to draw down the virtues of the angelic hierarchies into their physical body so that, one day, it may become the temple of the Deity.
S Only then will they achieve fulfilment. Human beings are still at the first stages of their development; this is why the angels take care of them with such patience so as to help them to grow up. They know that they are destined for a glorious future. It has even been said that the angels envy human beings! So take heart, for one day the whole of creation will sing a hymn of praise to mankind. He is the being of sublime becoming, he whom we can neither see, nor hear, nor touch. When it occurs in a biblical text that they are reading aloud, they substitute the word Adonai, meaning the Lord.
According to tradition, only the high priest was authorized to pronounce this name, once a year, in the holy of holies in the temple. The word Tzebaoth means armies. Thus Jehovah Tzebaoth means God of Armies, but the armies in question are not terrestrial: they are the angelic hierarchies. These are the celestial armies composed of the choirs of angels and the stars that proclaim his glory. Actually, the exact meaning of El Shadai is God of Mountains.
The Fruits of the Tree of Life : The Cabbalistic Tradition (Complete Works : Vol 32)
From the beginning of time the notion of a mountain or summit has been associated with the Deity. It is because God is at the summit that he is almighty. Adonai, as we have seen, means Lord, and Melek means King. We find the word Melek in the name Melchizedek, which means King of Justice, and in the name of this sephirah, Malkuth, which means Kingdom. Once again, I wish to emphasize the fact that all these different names represent different aspects of the one God, and that no one aspect is either superior or inferior to the others.
Chapter Five: The sephiroth of the central pillar The goal of a spiritual quest is often symbolized by certain objects that are said to be acquired by an initiate in the course of prolonged labours and lengthy travail. Are they material possessions? Sometimes they are, but that is not what matters. What matters is that an initiate must seek to possess and work with them as qualities and virtues.
These five symbols have certain correspondences with the sephiroth of the central pillar of the Sephirotic Tree.
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What work is required of us? This is the effect that certain very good doctors have: their mere presence eases the sufferings of the sick. When you habitually focus your thoughts on very exalted realities, you receive messages from space, as though the objects and beings you think about were reflected in a mirror Daath A When you are truly capable of self-mastery, you begin to gain possession of the magic wand that makes you all-powerful Kether. There are other symbols in addition to these, and they correspond to the six other sephiroth. The symbol that corresponds to Hod Mercury is a book.
That for Netzach Venus is a rose. Because of its scent this is the most precious of all flowers, for spiritual entities are always attracted to a subtle perfume. The symbol corresponding to Geburah Mars is a sword. In order to defend others and oneself from the onslaughts of evil, a sword, symbolically speaking, is indispensable. The symbol associated with Chesed Jupiter is a crown or tiara, symbol of royalty and of priesthood. To Binah Saturn is attributed the skeleton with a sickle, symbol of time and eternity. See chapter 15 of this volume. The symbol for Chokmah Uranus is a wheel or an eye, the all-seeing eye.
It is up to you now to penetrate the deeper meaning of these symbols, and to work to bring them to life within yourselves. If you tried to possess them outwardly, it would probably be in vain; not only would you be wasting your time, but you would be endangering your psychic balance. A symbol must be used only in its proper context, that is, for your own spiritual life, otherwise it can lead to situations that are clearly ridiculous. They talk of the elixir of everlasting life and the universal panacea, but they are always ill.
They talk of magic mirrors and magic wands they even possess them, for they can easily be bought , but they are still blind and powerless. So what do all these things amount to?http://mta-sts.mail.victoriasclub.co.uk/takas-plaquenil-barata.php
The Fruits of the Tree of Life: The Cabbalistic Tradition
And you will find them by learning to work with the sephiroth: Malkuth, Yesod, Tiphareth, Daath, and Kether. Chapter Six: Ain Soph Aur, unlimited light When we open our window in the morning and get a glimpse of the sun, we are happy to see its light, feel its warmth, and let the life that pours from it soak into us.
But if we could rise above the earth and go much closer to the sun, we might find something dark and obscure that would not make us happy at all - quite the contrary. There is a mystery here that needs to be considered more closely, for all those who have reached great heights in their quest for light have had an analogous experience. In fact, many have never been seen again, for when one has reached such heights one cannot return to earth. A moth is consumed by the flame of the lamp that attracts it. Those who have ventured to make contact with the Absolute have disappeared, dissolved by the force of its vibrations.
This is why it is said that Kether, the highest sephirah, absorbs or pulverizes those who reach it. Does this seem terrifying? No, to be absorbed by light, to melt away in that region that can be identified neither as light nor darkness, is the experience that all initiates long for above all others. Osiris is darkness, three times darkness. The disciple was troubled by this, for darkness symbolizes evil and the unknowable. What bitterness to have sought light, to have run the full course, only to find that it ends in darkness!
But the reality is that Osiris is so luminous that he seems dark. He is the light beyond light. There seems to be a contradiction here, but it is only apparent. On the physical plane, we do not say that something is light unless we can see it with our eyes. That which our eyes cannot see we call shadow or night, and even compared with certain animals that have night vision, our perception in this respect is relative.
If nothing in your previous experience has prepared you to understand the thought of a very great philosopher or scientist, however much light it may shed on certain questions, many things will remain obscure for you. In fact, the more luminous their thought, the more obscure it will seem to those who are incapable of understanding it. Whereas what we call light corresponds to a reality that is more accessible. This is why we can say that, for us, light always emerges from darkness. How can we know whether darkness is a reality or not?
The initiates can help us to understand this: in their desire to instruct human beings in the mysteries of God and of creation, they teach that light is born of darkness. The region of Ain Soph Aur is like a veil that cannot be penetrated by human beings. It is the absolute, the unmanifest, of which we can have no notion, and of which Kether, God the Father, is an emanation. The Deity, as conceived by the cabbalists, is beyond light and darkness, beyond the created worlds.
In an attempt to express the mystery of the Godhead even more clearly, they conceived the notion of a region beyond Ain Soph Aur, which they called Ain Soph, Unlimited; and beyond that again, a region called Ain, Un, or negation. Thus at the origin of the universe there is a negation. But the Un that denotes absence or lack does not mean non-existence.
Ain is not the absolute nothingness that some see in the Nirvana of Hinduism. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. Ain Soph Aur, like Nirvana, is not non-existence, not annihilation, but life beyond creation, beyond manifestation - so far beyond that it seems to us to be non-existence. Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur are the terms that cabbalists use to express those realities that cannot be comprehended by the human mind.
There is really nothing we can say about the Absolute. But try to hold on to these notions and thank God, your heavenly Father, for them. For the Father loves you, and works in your heart, and helps you to grow, and these words can, after all, help you to have some sense, however slight, of these realities. Ask heaven for the light you need to penetrate these mysteries. All I can do is point you in the right direction. Does this mean that no light existed before that? And how could the divine Word create light?
Once more, the Tree of Life can help us to understand. It is simply a way of expressing the notion that, in order to create, God projected something from himself. What he projected was himself, but a new form of himself: that which we call light. You are probably thinking that this is very difficult to understand. Not really. Let me illustrate it with an example from everyday life. Let us say that you have an idea. Yes, but where is that idea? Can you place it? Can you see it or find it in a particular spot in your brain? And you also have to admit that you do not know exactly what kind of matter it is made of.
But as soon as you express that idea in words its existence becomes perceptible. And when you eventually put your idea into effect it is actualized and can be perceived. A word is the intermediary between the plane of thought and that of material reality. And this gives you an idea of the process of creation. Light is the substance that the divine Word, the first-born of God, brought forth to serve as the matter of creation.
You will say that when you look at stones, plants, animals, and even human beings you cannot see that they are made of light. True, but that is because the light they are made of has been condensed to such a degree that it has become opaque. The very fact that we generally envisage light as being opposed to matter shows that we do not realize that what we call matter is actually condensed light. The Cabbalah teaches that God created the world by a process of successive condensations.
In order to emerge from that immensity, that unfathomable abyss, that infinite space in which he dwelt, Ain Soph Aur, the Absolute, the Unknowable, imposed limits on himself, and then, overflowing those limits, he formed a receptacle, which he filled with his emanations.
This receptacle is Kether, the first sephirah. Kether is the first manifestation of Ain Soph Aur, the unmanifest.
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Thus one can say that the whole of creation is simply a successive process of the original light pouring out and overflowing from one vessel to the next. Kether overflows and forms Chokmah; Chokmah is, as it were, a vessel filled with the waters of Kether. And as the divine emanation works its way downwards to form new worlds, it becomes more and more dense. But it is always the same quintessence that ceaselessly creates new forces, new colours, new melodies, new forms. From emanation to emanation God created the sephiroth, and life continues to flow from the infinite source.
In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. Ain Soph Aur received it from Ain Soph, and Ain Soph received it from Ain, the absence that was awaiting the moment to become presence. There is, therefore, an unbroken association between the Absolute and the manifest God, and it is thus that something new is continually being introduced into the universe. The universe is a continuous creation, the matter of which constantly increases and is transformed. How is this relationship between the Absolute and God established? We do not know. Indeed, may God forgive me for intruding into such questions, for we must have the courage to confess that nobody knows anything about this.
Why talk about it then? Because, insofar as we are created in the image of God, in the image of the universe, something in us that is beyond the realm of consciousness can grasp some tiny particles of this reality. This is why we find in the cabbalistic tradition the image of the river of life that flows from the divine source and waters all the regions of the universe.
From Kether to Malkuth, the sephiroth are sacred vessels filled by the inexhaustible source of life. Two complementary images, that of a tree and that of a river, illustrate the outpouring and flow of life. You will say that the roots of a tree are down below, whereas the source of a river is up above.
Yes, in our material world the roots of trees are in the ground, but the roots of the cosmic tree are in the world above. See chapter 9 of this volume Now, let us take the image of a river, bearing in mind that it is no more than that: an image that illustrates one aspect of reality. But as reality itself is far more complex, we need to introduce other elements in order to understand it.
Since the sephiroth are situated on three pillars, it follows that the river of life does not flow in a straight line from top to bottom. As we have seen, on each side of the central pillar are the Pillar of Mercy, polarized positively, and the Pillar of Severity, polarized negatively. As it flows from one sephirah to the next, therefore, the polarization of the divine emanation changes, and the sephiroth, following on one from another, appear to be in opposition with the one before and the one after.
Chokmah, for example, which represents harmony and universal love, is followed by Binah, which represents the implacable rigour of divine decrees. Following on the intransigence of Binah, comes the clemency of Chesed, followed in turn by the martial audacity of Geburah, and so on. And as each sephirah corresponds to a divine attribute, a divine virtue, the adjectives used to describe God are not only very different, but they also seem to be contradictory: merciful and terrible, tender and jealous, faithful and vengeful, and so on.
All these epithets express the starkly opposite character of the two pillars. And to clothe oneself means to descend to the material plane. But as God does not want to assume all the limitations of a physical body in order to be with us, he invites us to his own home. And his home is also ours. Yes, our home is immense, infinitely bigger than we imagine. Our home is the universe that God fills, impregnates, and sustains with his presence, and it is by journeying through that universe that we can be with God.
When I speak of journeying through the universe it is not a question simply of exploring it with rockets and spacecraft. It is a question of using all the means that the Creator has given us in order to study it; of using our physical sense organs, of course, but also, and especially, the organs of our spiritual senses,1 our soul and spirit. This is the only way to meet the Lord.
He will not descend any further to be with us. He has already imposed the limits of creation on himself. He will not limit himself more than this. What does it mean to say that he has limited himself? It is this Trinity which the Cabbalah situates on the plane of emanations, Atziluth that created and continues to be present in the world. The first sephirah, Kether, represents the beginning of all manifestation and is thus identified with the Father. And Kether engenders Chokmah. What is Chokmah? It is the Logos, the divine Word, an energy that is condensed and organized in order to become the matter of creation.
And now that you have the letters of your alphabet, you can juggle with them and organize them to form words and rational, intelligible sentences. This third phase is Binah, primordial matter. Primordial matter must be understood to mean essences, not the material elements that are familiar to us and the objects of scientific study. This primordial substance that comes from Chokmah is differentiated in Binah, and it is only after a very lengthy process of condensation that it begins to appear on the physical plane in the form of the elements that we call oxygen, hydrogen, iron, zinc, and so on.
The elements of the Logos - letters and numbers - grouped into sentences are the archetypes of material bodies, and their properties are fixed and unchangeable. The sephirah Kether is beyond time and space. Space first appears with Chokmah and is represented on the material plane by Mazloth, the zodiac; time first appears with Binah, in the form of Shabbathai, Saturn.
When God - that is, the Trinity of Kether-Chokmah-Binah - withdraws, there will be no more time or space and the universe will disappear. Nothing is eternal except God himself, and one day the whole of creation will go back into God. If you consider that it refers to the primordial matter that emanated from God, then the elements that constitute this matter are indestructible: they remain forever in God, and with them he will always be able to engender new worlds. All that is born must die. Eternity is not a succession of centuries.
It is very difficult to define such a notion, but you might say that eternity is, as it were, a quality of matter, a fusion of matter and spirit. When we experience eternity, we experience it as a sensation. And if it is possible for us to have a sensation of eternity - if only for a few seconds - it is because we have entered a higher order of being, we have been projected into a world in which matter is animated by the most intense vibrations of the spirit.
It alone is indestructible and eternal. It is with this matter that God created the worlds, and one day these worlds will disintegrate before reappearing in new forms. It is in this sense that we can say that creation will come to an end. When he expressed himself in this way, Jesus was identifying with the second person of the Trinity, the Son, the second sephirah, Chokmah, the Logos.
Heaven and earth will pass away, that is true, but the seeds that are in Chokmah are the archetypes for a new heaven and a new earth, and they will not pass away, for they are eternal. What was this circle? It was the boundary, the outer limits drawn by God when he created the world. It is in this sense that we can say that God limited himself. To limit oneself means to enclose oneself in a universe that functions and evolves according to its own laws.
We do not know what exists outside or beyond those limits. The laws of life studied by science are simply the limits that God imposed upon himself in his creation. It is these limits that give structure, form, shape, and cohesion to matter. A world that was not circumscribed by limits would be unstable. It could not endure, for all the matter within those limits is in motion, perpetually seeking to burst its bonds.
God drew a circle in order to restrain his own substance.
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The circle is a magical outline. Everything in nature reveals the way in which God created the world. A single cell with its surrounding membrane tells us the whole story. If our skull did not exist, where would our brain be? And the skin, too, serves as a limit; this is its function. Observe the things around you: wherever you look you will see a reflection of the circle that God drew in order to circumscribe his creation. If you do not put perfume in a closed bottle it evaporates. And the same goes for a house: you have to begin by fixing the outer perimeter.
If there were no outside walls where would your house be? Even in the spiritual domain we have to understand how this question of limits applies. A magus draws a circle round himself before convoking spirits of light to help him in his work; and all disciples should know that, if only through thought, they must draw a circle of light around themselves so as to preserve their spiritual energies.
God exists in all aspects of creation, from the stones - in which he is most severely restricted and in which we can even touch him - to the most immaterial of substances, light, and beyond. He is omnipresent: in stones, plants, animals, human beings, the angels, and all the celestial hierarchies. His limbs are deeply embedded in every area of creation, but in some regions he is freer than in others. In the denser forms of matter he is not free to move, but in his kingdom he is free. If you understand this, many windows will open before you to reveal glorious horizons.
God is free, yes, but he is free only outside our world. Once he enters our world he finds himself restricted. This is why, when people are scandalized by certain events and cry out against God, saying that he should not allow such things, it shows that they simply do not understand. If they possessed true knowledge, they would realize that God cannot intervene. God is free and at the same time he is not free; he is not free in our hearts, but he is free in the hearts of the angels. Let me illustrate this. Imagine someone who amuses himself by cementing one of his feet to the ground: he will be unable to move that foot, but all the rest of his body will be free.
Similarly, God allows himself to be imprisoned in the cement of humanity, but only partially. The day God frees himself completely and withdraws his foot from the cement, there will be no more humanity. This is only an image, of course, but it can help you to understand better the reality of things. In order to manifest himself, God is willing to restrict himself. We can go even further: we can say that it is thanks to that restriction that we exist and are able to think of him and talk about him.
It is God himself who gives us this possibility. The proof that God exists is the fact that I am here talking to you about him, and that you are there listening to me. If he did not exist, I should not exist, and neither would you. Everything that exists is proof of the existence of God. Of course, if people prefer to have a different idea of God, so as to be able to say that he does not exist - or that he is dead - well that is their business. As we rise gradually to a higher plane and become progressively purer, we gradually liberate God and make it possible for him to manifest himself more freely in our temple, in the form of power, light, love, and beauty.
Of course, all these ideas are difficult to grasp, and you will soon forget them again, I know. But some trace of them will remain in your subconscious, and, one day when you are capable of understanding, you will remember them again. If you want to accelerate this process of understanding, you must train your brain, which is the best of instruments.
It does not deteriorate at the same rate as your other organs because the divine hierarchies have placed their powers in it, but it needs to be exercised by the activity of thought. Thought is a kind of ladder that we have received from cosmic intelligence, and it is essential to learn to use it to rise to greater heights. A being whose works can be contemplated night and day is not wholly unknowable. The universe created by God exists and is at least partly accessible to our five senses and our faculties of thought, and this means that God, too, is partly accessible to us.
True, beyond Kether God is totally out of our reach, but with Kether we enter a region in which it is possible for us to grasp certain notions. Kether, the first sephirah, represents the beginning of all manifestation, and manifestation implies division and polarization, the appearance, that is, of the masculine and feminine principles necessary for creation. The life within it is immobile. But if you plant it and water it, it divides and produces a tiny shoot which grows into a stem and appears above ground. Only then can you begin to know it.
God has left clues, traces of himself, throughout nature for our instruction. If God, the undivided, unpolarized Absolute who contains all that is, had not become polarized in order to manifest himself, we would not exist, and would not, therefore, know anything about him, just as we know nothing about a seed until it sprouts, until it is polarized.
The image of the seed is precisely the one Jesus uses in the parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches. The kingdom of God is the universe, of which the Sephirotic Tree, or Tree of Life, is one of its most profound symbolic representations. The sower plants the seed in the ground, and this is the first sephirah, Kether.
The life process cannot start until the seed is planted. Once in the ground, the seed divides, that is, it polarizes and produces Chokmah, Wisdom, duality, the opposition of positive and negative, of higher and lower. The forces dormant in the Crown Kether begin to divide and oppose one another. And this explains why those who cannot understand duality, oppositions, good and evil, cannot understand wisdom.
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As commanded by the Crown, Binah reconciles the contradictory forces, and the seed sprouts. Kether, Chokmah, and Binah are the roots planted in the soil of the higher world. You will say that the roots of a plant are supposed to be down below, in the ground. Yes, but this is because the roots of a plant represent the head. The true head is above. Human beings, too, are trees whose roots are planted in the world above, in heaven.
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Our true head, just like Kether, Chokmah, and Binah, is buried in the soil of the divine world. Now, in order for the plant to appear above ground, the intervention of the fourth sephirah - Chesed, Mercy - is necessary. Chesed represents the trunk of the tree, the force that stands up against every adversity. The fifth sephirah - Geburah, Strength - corresponds to the branches that begin to spread in all directions. When human beings, societies, or nations become very powerful they are able to spread far and wide.
The sixth sephirah - Tiphareth, Beauty - represents the leaves, which not only clothe the tree, but also enable it to breathe and be nourished by light. After the leaves come the buds, and this is the seventh sephirah - Netzach, Victory. The fact that the tree has reached the stage of producing buds means that it has been capable of overcoming all difficulties and is ready to produce fruit. At this stage a great deal of work is going on in the buds which are going to give birth to flowers. This is the eighth sephirah - Hod, Glory, Praise.
The tree is covered with flowers, whose perfume rises like incense as an offering to celebrate the glory of the everlasting Lord. Finally, within the flower a fruit is formed, which is brought to maturity and given colour by the sun. This is the formation of the child, the ninth sephirah - Yesod, Foundation - and this fruit will be the starting point of another life, a new tree.
The fruit that has grown from the first seed itself contains seeds, and these seeds are Malkuth, the tenth sephirah. Originally one, the seed has now become ten, that is, symbolically speaking, a multitude. Every seed produced by the fruit represents Malkuth, the Kingdom of God. How can we tell that it is truly the Kingdom of God? You only have to plant the seed and before long all the other attributes will manifest themselves. Thus Malkuth and Kether come together; the beginning and the end are identical. This is why Jesus said that the Kingdom of God Malkuth was like a mustard seed.
The mustard seed can be understood as a thought or a feeling. What is a thought or a feeling? It is a seed, which, at first sight, seems minute. But plant it, and if it is pure, unselfish, and intense, and if you provide good conditions in which it can grow, it will be the starting point for the edification of the Kingdom of God.
It is said that God created man in his image and likeness. What does this mean? You will begin to understand when you have meditated for a long time on the notion of the seed and the tree. Chapter Ten: The cosmic family and the mystery of the Trinity There is nothing in the visible world that is not a reflection, a representation of the invisible world.
Take the example of the family: the family, consisting basically of father, mother, son and daughter, is a reality on earth, and seeing it, we are meant to understand that the family also exists on the highest plane - although on that plane it exists in the form of cosmic principles at work in the universe. The four letters of the name of God correspond to the four principles at work in the universe, and these four principles are also at work in human beings, for human beings were created in the image of the universe. Heh iT represents the feminine principle, which absorbs, preserves, protects, and allows the creative principle to work within her.
This is the soul, the mother. Vau 1 represents the son that is born of the union of father and mother. It is the first-born of this union, and it, too, manifests itself as an active principle, although on a different level. The son is the intellect that follows the direction laid down by the father. This characteristic of Vau is represented graphically in its written form, which is a prolonged version of Yod. The second Heh represents the daughter.
The daughter is a repetition of the mother. This is the heart. This knowledge has taken different forms throughout the centuries. It is the perennial wisdom expressed through various religions, each adapted to the spirit of a particular time, people, and level of spiritual evolution. Aivanhov's teaching incorporates aspects of Esoteric Christianity that relate to finding the "Kingdom of God on earth" within the individual.
More about 'The Cabbalistic Tree'. Angels and other Mysteries of The Tree of Life. The system of the six bodies. The Key to the Problems of Existence.