All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it: everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the illuminati, Jacob Bœhme, Swedenborg, Saint-Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all the Masonic associations owe to it their Secrets and their Symbols.
The Kabalah alone consecrates the alliance of the Universal Reason and the Divine Word; it establishes, by the counterpoises of two forces apparently opposite, the eternal balance of being; it alone reconciles Reason with Faith, Power with Liberty, Science with Mystery; it has the keys of the Present, the Past, and the Future.
The Bible, with all the allegories it contains, expresses, in an incomplete and veiled manner only, the religious science of the Hebrews. The doctrine of Moses and the Prophets, identical at bottom with that of the ancient Egyptians, also had its outward meaning and its veils. The Hebrew books were written only to recall to memory the traditions; and they were written in Symbols unintelligible to the Profane. The Pentateuch and the prophetic poems were merely elementary books of doctrine, morals, or liturgy; and the hue secret and traditional philosophy was only written afterward, under veils still less transparent. Thus was a second Bible born, unknown to, or rather uncomprehended by, the Christians; a collection, they say, of monstrous absurdities; a monument, the adept says, wherein is everything that the genius of philosophy and that of religion have ever formed or imagined of the sublime; a treasure surrounded by thorns; a diamond concealed in a rough dark stone.
One is filled with admiration, on penetrating into the Sanctuary of the Kabalah, at seeing a doctrine so logical, so simple, and at the same time so absolute. The necessary union of ideas and signs, the consecration of the most fundamental realities by the primitive characters; the Trinity of Words, Letters, and Numbers; a philosophy simple as the alphabet, profound and infinite as the Word; theorems more complete and luminous than those of Pythagoras; a theology summed up by counting on one’s fingers; an Infinite which can be held in the hollow of an infant’s hand; ten ciphers, and twenty-two letters, a triangle, a square, and a circle,–these are all the elements of the Kabalah. These are the elementary principles of the written Word, reflection of that spoken Word that created the world!
This is the doctrine of the Kabalah, with which you will no doubt seek to make yourself acquainted, as to the Creation.
The Absolute Deity, with the Kabalists, has no name. The terms applied to Him are אור פּשוט, AOR PASOT, the Most Simple [or Pure] Light, “called, אין סוף, AYEN SOPH, or INFINITE, before any Emanation. For then there was no space or vacant place, but all was infinite Light.”
Before the Deity created any Ideal, any limited and intelligible Nature, or any form whatever, He was alone, and without form or similitude, and there could be no cognition or comprehension of Him in any wise. He was without Idea or Figure, and it is forbidden to form any Idea or Figure of Him, neither by the letter He (ה), nor by the letter Yōd (י), though these are contained in the Holy Name; nor by any other letter or point in the world.
But after He created this Idea [this limited and existing-in-intellection Nature, which the ten Numerations, SEPHIROTH or Rays are], of the Medium, the First Man ADAM KADMON, He descended therein, that, by means of this Idea, He might be called by the name TETRAGRAMMATON; that created things might have cognition of Him, in His own likeness.
When the Infinite God willed to emit what were to flow forth, He contracted Himself in the centre of His light, in such manner that that most intense light should recede to a certain circumference, and on all sides upon itself. And this is the first contraction, and termed צמצם Tsemsum.
אדם קדמון, ADAM KADMON, the Primal or First Man, is the first Aziluthic emanant from the Infinite Light, immitted into the evacuated Space, and from which, afterward, all the other degrees and systems had their beginnings. It is. called the Adam prior to all the first. In it are imparted ten spherical numerations; and thereafter issued forth the rectilinear figure of a man in his sephirothic decade, as it were the diameter of the said circles; as it were the axis of these spheres, reaching from their highest point to their lowest; and from it depend all the systems.
But now, as the Infinite Light would be too excellent and great to be borne and endured, except through the medium of this Adam Kadmon, its most Secret Nature preventing this, its illuminating light had again to emanate in streams out of itself, by certain apertures, as it were, like windows, and which are termed the ears, eyes, nostrils, and mouth.
The light proceeding from this Adam Kadmon is indeed but one; but in proportion to its remoteness from the place of out-flowing, and to the grades of its descent, it is more dense.
From the word אצל, ATSIL, to emanate or flow forth, comes the word אצילות, ATSILOTH or Aziluth, Emanation, or the System of Emanants. When the primal space was evacuated, the surrounding Light of the Infinite, and the Light immitted into the void, did not touch each other; but the Light of the Infinite flowed into that void through a line or certain slender canal; and that Light is the Emanative and emitting Principle, or the out-flow and origin of Emanation: but the Light within the void is the emanant subordinate; and the two cohere only by means of the aforesaid line.
Aziluth means specifically and principally the first system of the four Olamoth [עלמות], worlds or systems; which is thence called the Aziluthic World. The ten Sephiroth of the general Aziluthic system are ten Nekudoth or Points.
אינזף AINSOPH, AENSOPH, or AYENSOPH, is the title of the Cause of Causes, its meaning being “endless,” because there is no limit to Its loftiness, and nothing can comprehend it. Sometimes, also, the name is applied to KETHER, or the CROWN, the first emanation, because that is the Throne of the Infinite, that is, its first and highest Seat, than which none is higher, and because Ainsoph resides and is concealed therein: hence it rejoices in the same name.
Before that anything was, says the Emech Hammelech, He, of His mere will, proposed to Himself to make worlds . . . but at that time there was no vacant space for worlds; but all space was filled with the light of His Substance, which He had with fixed limits placed in the centre of Himself, and of the parts whereof, and wherein, He was thereafter to effect a folding together.
What then did the Lord of the Will, that most perfectly free Agent, do? By His own estimation, He measured off within His own Substance the width and length of a circular space to be made vacant, and wherein might be posited the worlds aforesaid; and of that Light which was included within the circle so measured, He compressed and folded over a certain portion . . . and that Light He lifted higher up, and so a place was left unoccupied by the Primal Light.
But yet was not this space left altogether empty of that Light; for the vestiges of the Primal Light still remained in the place where Itself had been; and they did not recede therefrom.
Before the Emanations out-flowed, and created things were created, the Supreme Light was infinitely extended, and filled the whole Where: nothing was, except that extended light, called AOR H’ AINSOPH, the Light of the non-finite.
When it came into the mind of the Extended to will to make worlds, and by forth-flowing to utter Emanations, and to emit as Light the perfection of His active powers, and of His aspects and attributes, which was the impelling cause of the creation of worlds; then that Light, in some measure compressed, receded in every direction from a particular central point, and on all sides of it drew back, and so a certain vacuum was left, called void space, its circumference everywhere equidistant from that point which was exactly in the centre of the space . . . a certain void place and space left in Mid-Infinite: a certain Where was thereby constituted wherein Emanations might BE, and the Created, the Fashioned and the Fabricated.
This world of the garmenting,–this circular vacant space, with the vestiges of the withdrawn light of the Infinite yet remaining, is the inmost garment, nearest to His substance; and to it belongs the name AOR PENAI-AL, Light of the Countenance of God.
An interspace surrounds this great circle, established between the light of the very substance, surrounding the circle on its outside, and the substance contained within the circle. This is called SPLENDOR EXCELSUS, in contradistinction to Simple Splendor.
This light “of the vestige of the garment,” is said to be, relatively to that of the vestige of the substance, like a point in the centre of a circle. This light, a point in the centre of the Great Light, is called Auir, Ether, or Space.
This Ether is somewhat more gross than the Light–not so Subtle–though not perceptible by the Senses–is termed the Primal Ether–extends everywhere; Philosophers call it the Soul of the World.
The Light so forth-shown from the Deity, cannot be said to be severed or diverse from Him. “It is flashed forth from Him, and yet all continues to be perfect unity . . . The Sephiroth, sometimes called the Persons of the Deity, are His rays, by which He is enabled most perfectly to manifest Himself.
The Introduction to the Book SONAR says:
The first compression was effected, in order that the Primal Light might be upraised, and a space become vacant. The second compression occurred when the vestiges of the removed Light remaining were compressed into points; and that compression was effected by means of the emotion of joy; the Deity rejoicing, it had already been said, on account of His Holy People, thereafter to come into being; and that joy being vehement, and a commotion and exhilaration in the Deity being caused by it, so that He flowed forth in His delight; and of this commotion an abstract power of judgment being generated, which is a collection of the letters generated by the points of the vestiges of Light left within the circle. For He writes the finite expressions, or limited manifestations of Himself upon the Book, in single letters.
Like as when water or fire, it had been said, is blown upon by the wind, it is wont to be greatly moved, and with flashes like lightning to smite the eyes, and gleam and coruscate hither and thither, even so The Infinite was moved within Himself, and shone and coruscated in that circle, from the centre outward and again to the centre: and that commotion we term exhilaration; and from that exhilaration, variously divided within Himself, was generated the potency of determining the fashioning of the letters.
Of that exhilaration, it had also been said, was generated the determination of forms, by which determination the Infinite determined them within Himself, as if by saying: “Let this Sphere be the appointed place, wherein let all worlds be created!”
He, by radiating and coruscating, effected the points, so that their sparkling should smite the eyes like lightning. Then He combined diversely the single points, until letters were fashioned thereof, in the similitude and image of those wherewith THE BLESSED had set forth the decrees of His Wisdom.
It is not possible to attain to an understanding of the creation of man, except by the mystery of letters; and in these worlds of The Infinite is nothing, except the letters of the Alphabet and their combinations. All the worlds are Letters and Names; but He Who is the Author of all, has no name.
This world of the covering [or garment--vestimenti], [that is, the circular vacant space, with the vestiges of the removed Light of The Infinite still remaining after the first contraction and compression], is the inmost covering, nearest to His substance; and to this covering belongs the general name AUR PENIAL, Light of the Countenance of God: by which we are to understand the Light of The Substance.
And after this covering was effected, He contracted it, so as to lift up the lower moiety; . . . and this is the third contraction; and in this manner He made vacant a space for the worlds, which had not the capacity to use the great Light of the covering, the end whereof was lucid and excellent as its beginning. And so [by drawing up the lower half and half the letters], are made the Male and Female, that is, the anterior and posterior adhering mutually to one another.
The vacant space effected by this retraction is called AUIR KADMON, the PRIMAL SPACE: for it was the first of all Spaces; nor was it allowable to call it covering, which is AUR PENI-BAL, the Light of the Countenance of God.
The vestiges of the Light of the Garment still remained there. And this world of the garment has a name that includes all things, which is the name IHUH. Before the world of the vacant space was created, HE was, and His Name, and they alone; that is, AINSOPH and His garmenting.
The EMECH HAMMELECH says again:
The lower half of the garment [by the third retraction], was left empty of the light of the garment. But the vestiges of that light remained in the place so vacated . . . and this garment is called SHEKINAH, God in-dwelling; that is, the place where יה Yōd He, of the anterior [or male], and וה Vav He, of the posterior [or female], combinations of letters dwelt.
This vacant space was square, and is called the Primal Space; and in Kabalah it is called Auira Kadmah, or Rasimu Ailah, The Primal Space, or The Sublime Vestige. It is the vestige of the Light of the Garment, with which is intermingled somewhat of the vestige of the Very Substance. It is called Primal Ether, but not void Space. . . The Light of the Vestige still remains in the place it occupied, and adheres there, like somewhat spiritual, of extreme tenuity.
In this Ether are two Lights; that is, the Light of the SUBSTANCE, which was taken away, and that of the Garment. There is a vast difference between the two; for that of the Vestige of the Garment is, relatively to that of the Vestige of the Substance, like a point in the centre of a circle. And as the only appropriate name for the Light of the Vestige of Ainsoph is AUR, Light, therefore the Light of the Vestige of the Garment could not be called by that name; and so we term it a point, that is, Yōd [’ or י], which is that point in the centre of Light . . . and this Light, a point in the centre of the Great Light, is called Auir, Ether, or Space.
This Ether is somewhat more gross than The Light . . . . not so subtle, though not perceptible by the senses . . . is termed the Primal Ether . . . extends everywhere; whence the Philosophers call it The Soul of the World . . . Light is visible, though not perceptible. This Ether is neither perceptible nor visible.
The Introduction to the Book Sohar continues, in the Section of the Letter Yōd, etc:
Worlds could not be framed in this Primal Ether, on account of its extreme tenuity and the excess of Light; and also because in it remained the vital Spirit of the Vestige of the Light Ainsoph, and that of the Vestige of the Light of the Garment; whereby such manifestation was prevented.
Wherefore HE directed the letter Yōd, since it was not so brilliant as the Primal Ether, to descend, and take to itself the light remaining in the Primal Ether, and return above, with that Vestige which so impeded the manifestation; which Yōd did.
It descended below five times, to remove the vital Spirit of the Vestige of the Light Ainsoph; and the Vestige of the Light and vital Spirit of the Garment from the Sphere of Splendor, so as to make of it ADAM, called KADMON. And by its return, manifestation is effected in the space below, and a Vestige of the Sublime Brilliance yet remains there, existing as a Spherical Shape, and termed in the Sohar simply Tehiru, that is, Splendor; and it is styled The First Matter. . . . it being, as it were, vapor, and, as it were, smoke. And as smoke is formless, not comprehended under any fixed definite form, so this Sphere is a formless somewhat, since it seems to be somewhat that is spherical, and yet is not limited.
The letter Yōd, while adhering to the Shekinah, had adhering to himself the Light of the Shekinah, though his light was not so great as that of the Shekinah. But when he descended, he left that light of his own below, and the Splendor consisted of it. After which there was left in Yōd only a vestige of that light, inasmuch as he could not re-ascend to the Shekinah and adhere to it. Wherefore The Holy and Blessed directed the letter He [ה, the female letter], to communicate to Yōd of her Light; and sent him forth, to descend and share with that light in the Splendor aforesaid . . . and when he re-descended into the Sphere of Splendor, he diffused abroad in it the Light communicated to him by the letter He.
And when he again ascended he left behind him the productive light of the letter He, and thereof was constituted another Sphere, within the Sphere of Splendor; which lesser Sphere is termed in the Sohar KETHER AILAH, CORONA SUMMA, The Supreme Crown, and also ATIKA DI ATIKIM, Antiquus Antiquum, The Ancient of Ancients, and even AILIT H’ AILIT, Causa Causarum, the Cause of Causes. But the Crown is very far smaller than the Sphere of Splendor, so that within the latter an immense unoccupied place and space is still left.
The BETH ALOHIM says:
Before the Infinite God, the Supreme and First Good, formed objectively within Himself a particular conception, definite, limited, and the object of intellection, and gave form and shape to an intellectual conception and image. HE was alone, companionless, without form or similitude, utterly without Ideal or Figure . . . It is forbidden to make of Him any figure whatever, by any image in the world, neither by the letter He nor by the letter Yōd, nor by any other letter or point in the world.
But after He had formed this Idea, the particular conception, limited and intelligible, which the Ten Numerations are, of the medium of transmission, Adam Kadmon, the Primal or Supreme Man, He by that medium descended, and may, through that Idea, be called by the name IHUH, and so created things have cognizance of Him, by means of His proper likeness.
Woe unto him who makes God to be like unto any mode or attribute whatever, even were it to one of His own; and still more if he make Him like unto the Sons of Men, whose elements are earthly, and so are consumed and perish!
There can be no conception had of Him, except in so far as He manifests Himself, in exercising dominion by and through some attribute . . . Abstracted from this, there can be no attribute, conception, or ideal of Him. He is comparable only to the Sea, filling some great reservoir, its bed in the earth, for example; wherein it fashions for itself a certain concavity, so that thereby we may begin to compute the dimensions of the Sea itself.
For example, the Spring and Source of the Ocean is a somewhat, which is one. If from this Source or Spring there issues forth a certain fountain, proportioned to the space occupied by the Sea in that hemispherical reservoir, such as is the letter Yōd, there the Source of Spring is the first somewhat, and the fountain that flows forth from it is the second. Then let there be made a great reservoir, as by excavation, and let this be called the Ocean, and we have the third thing, a vessel [Vas]. Now let this great reservoir be divided into seven beds of rivers, that is, into seven oblong reservoirs, so that from this ocean the waters may flow forth in- seven rivers; and the Source, Fountain, and Ocean thus make ten in all.
The Cause of Causes made ten Numerations, and called the Source of Spring KETHER, Corona, the Crown, in which the idea of circularity is involved, for there is no end to the out-flow of Light; and therefore He called this, like Himself, endless; for this also, like Him, has no similitude or configuration, nor hath it any vessel or receptacle wherein it may be contained, or by means whereof any possible cognizance can be had of it.
After thus forming the Crown, He constituted a certain smaller receptacle, the letter Yōd, and filled it from that source; and this is called “The Fountain gushing with Wisdom,” and, manifested in this, He called Himself WISE, and the vessel He called HAKEMAH, Wisdom, Sapientia.
Then He also constituted a great reservoir, which He called the Ocean; and to it He gave the name of BINAH, Understanding, Intelligentia. In this He characterized Himself as Intelligent or Conceiver. HE is indeed the Absolutely Wise and Intelligent, but Hakemah is not Absolute Wisdom of itself, but is wise by means of Binah, who fills Himself from it, and if this supply were taken from it, would be dry and unintelligent.
And thereupon seven precious vessels become, to which are given the following names: GEDULAH, Magnificence or Benignity [or KHASED, Mercy]; GEBURAH, Austerity, Rigor or Severity; TEPHARETH, Beauty; NETSAKH, Victory; HŌD, Glory; YESOD, Foundation or Basis; and MALAKOTH, Rule, Reign, Royalty, Dominion or Power. And in GEDULAH He took the character of Great and Benignant; in GEBURAH, of Severe; in TEPHARETH, of Beautiful; in NETSAKH, of Overcoming; in HŌD, of OUR GLORIOUS AUTHOR; in YESOD, of Just, by Yesod all vessels and worlds being upheld; and in MALAKOTH He applied to Himself the title of King.
These numerations or Sephiroths are held in the Kabala to have been originally contained in each other; that is, Kether contained the nine others, Hakemah contained Binah, and Binah contained the last seven.
For all things, says the commentary of Rabbi Jizchak Lorja, in a certain most abstruse manner, consist or reside and are contained in Binah, and it projects them, and sends them downward, species by species, into the several worlds of Emanation, Creation, Formation, and Fabrication; all whereof are derived from what are above them, and are termed their out-flowings; for, from the potency which was their state there, they descend into actuality.
The INTRODUCTION says:
It is said in many places in the Sohar, that all things that emanate or are created have their root above. Hence also the Ten Sephiroth have their root above, in the world of the garment, with the very Substance of HIM. And AINSOPH had full consciousness and appreciation, prior to their actual existence, of all the Grades and Impersonations contained unmanifested within Himself, with regard to the essence of each, and its domination then in potency . . . When He came to the Sephirah of the Impersonation Malakoth, which He then contained hidden within Himself, He concluded within Himself that therein worlds should be framed; since the scale of the first nine Sephiroths was so constituted, that it was neither fit nor necessary for worlds to be framed from them; for all the attributes of these nine Superior Sephiroth could be assigned to Himself, even if He should never operate outwardly; but Malakoth, which is Empire or Dominion, could not be attributed to Him, unless He ruled over other Existences; whence from the point Malakoth He produced all the worlds into actuality.
These circles are ten in number. Originated by points, they expanded in circular shape. Ten Circles, under the mystery of the ten Sephiroth, and between them ten Spaces; whence it appears that the sphere of Splendor is in the centre of the space Malakoth of the First Occult Adam.
The First Adam, in the ten circles above the Splendor, is called the First occult Adam; and in each of these spaces are formed many thousand worlds. The first Adam is involved in the Primal Ether, and is the analogue of the world Binah.
Again the Introduction repeats the first and second descent of Yōd into the vacated space, to make the light there less great and subtile; the constitution of the Tehiru, Splendor, from the light left behind there by him; the communication of Light to him by the female letter He; the emission by him of that Light, within the sphere of Splendor, and the formation thereof, within the sphere, “of a certain sphere called the Supreme Crown,” Corona Summa, KETHER, “wherein were contained, in potence, all the remaining Numerations, so that they were not distinguishable from it. Precisely as in man exist the four elements, in potence specifically undistinguishable, so in this Corona were in potence all the ten Numerations, specifically undistinguishable.” This Crown, it is added, was called, after the restoration, The Cause of Causes, and the Ancient of the Ancients.
The point, Kether, adds the Introduction, was the aggregate of all the Ten . . . when it first emanated, it consisted of all the Ten; and the Light which extended from the Emanative Principle simultaneously flowed into it; and beheld the two Universals [that is, the Unities out of which manifoldness flows; as, for example, the idea, within the Deity, of Humanity as a Unit, out of which the individuals were to flow], the Vessel or Receptacle containing this immitted Light, and the Light Itself within it. And this Light is the Substance of the point Kether; for the WILL of God is the Soul of all things that are.
The Ainsophic Light, it had said, was infinite in every direction, and without end or limit. To prevent it from flowing into and re-filling the quasi-vacant space, occupied by an infinitely less Splendor, a partition between the greater and lesser Splendor was necessary; and this partition, the boundary of the sphere of Splendor, and a like one bounding the sphere Kether, were called Vessels or Receptacles, containing, including, and enclosing within themselves the light of the sphere. Imagine a sea of pellucid water, and in the centre of it a spherical mass of denser and darker water. The outer surface of this sphere, or its limits every way, is the vessel containing it. The Kabalah regards the vessels “as by their nature somewhat opaque, and not so splendid as the light they enclose.”
The contained Light is the Soul of the vessels, and is active in them, like the Human Soul in the human body. The Light of the Emanative Principle [Ainsoph] inheres in the vessels, as their Life, internal Light, and Soul. . . Kether emanated, with its Very Substance, at the same time as Substance and Vessel, in like manner as the flame is annexed to the live coal, and as the Soul pervades, and is within, the body. All the Numerations were potentially contained in it.
And this potentiality is thus explained: When a woman conceives, a Soul is immediately sent into the embryo which is to become the infant, in which Soul are then, potentially, all the members and veins of the body, which afterward, from that potency of the Soul, become in the human body of the child to be born.
Then the wisdom of God commanded that these Numerations potentially in Kether, should be produced from potentiality into actuality, in order that worlds might consist; and HE directed Yōd again to descend, and to enter into and shine within Kether, and then to re-ascend: which was so done. From which illumination and re-ascension, all the other numerations, potentially in Kether, were manifested and disclosed; but they continued still compacted together, remaining within Kether in a circle.
When God willed to produce the other emanations or numerations from Kether, it is added, HE sent Yōd down again, to the upper part of Kether, one-half of him to remain without and one-half to penetrate within the sphere of Kether. Then HE sent the letter Vav into the Splendor, to pour out its light on Yōd: and thus,–
Yōd received light from Vav, and thereby so directed his countenance that it should illuminate and confer exceeding great energy on Hakemah, which yet remained in Kether; so giving it the faculty to proceed forth therefrom; and that it might collect and contain within itself, and there reveal, all the other eight numerations, until that time in Kether.
The sphere of Kether opened, and thereout issued Hakemah, to remain below Kether, containing in itself all the other numerations.
By a similar process, Binah, illuminated within Hakemah by a second Yōd, “issued forth out of Hakemah, having within itself the Seven lower Numerations.”
And since the vessel of Binah was excellent, and coruscated with rays of the color of sapphire, and was so nearly of the same color as the vessel of Hakemah that there was scarcely any difference between them, hence it would not quietly remain below Hakemah, but rose, and placed itself on his left side.
And because the light from above profusely flowed into and accumulated in the vessel of Hakemah, to so great an extent that it overflowed, and escaped, coruscating, outside of that vessel, and, flowing off to the left, communicated potency and increase to the vessel of Binah . . . . For Binah is female . . . .
Binah, therefore, by means of this energy that flowed into it from the left side of Hakemah, by virtue of the second Yōd, came to possess such virtue and potency, as to project beyond itself the Seven remaining vessels contained within itself, and so emitted them all, continuously, one after the other . . . all connected and linked one with the other, like the links of a chain.
Three points first emanated, one under the other; Kether, Hakemah, and Binah; and, so far, there was no copulation. But afterward the positions of Hakemah and Binah changed, so that they were side by side, Kether remaining above them; and then conjunction of the Male and Female, ABA and IMMA, Father and Mother, as points.
He, from Whom all emanated, created Adam Kadmon, consisting of all the worlds, so that in him should be somewhat from those above, and somewhat from those below. Hence in Him was NEPHESCH [PSYCHE, anima infima, the lowest spiritual part of man, Soul], from the world ASIAH, which is one letter He of the Tetragrammaton; RUACH [ SPIRITUS, anima media, the next higher spiritual part, or Spirit], from the world YEZIRAH, which is the Vav of the Tetragrammaton; NESCHAMAH [the highest spiritual part, mens or anima superior], from the world BRIAH, which is the other letter He; and NESCHAMAH LENESCHAMAH, from the world ATSILUTH, which is the YŌD of the Tetragrammaton.
And these letters [the Sephiroth] were changed from the spherical form into the form of a person, the symbol of which person is the BALANCE, it being Male and Female . . . Hakemah on one side, Binah on the other, and Kether over them: and so Gedulah on one side, Geburah on the other, and Tephareth under them.
The Book Omschim says: Some hold that the ten Sephiroth succeeded one another in ten degrees, one above the other, in regular gradation, one connected with the other in a direct line, from the highest to the lowest. Others hold that they issued forth in three lines, parallel with each other, one on the right hand, one on the left, and one in the middle; so that, beginning with the highest and going down to the lowest, Hakemah, Khased [or Gedulah], and Netsach are one over the other, in a perpendicular line, on the right hand; Binah, Geburah, and Hōd on the left; and Kether, Tephareth, Yesod, and Malakoth in the middle: and many hold that all the ten subsist in circles, one within the other, and all homocentric.
It is also to be noted, that the Sephirothic tables contain still another numeration, sometimes called also a Sephirah, which is called Daath, cognition. It is in the middle, below Hakemah and Binah, and is the result of the conjunction of these two.
To Adam Kadmon, the Idea of the Universe, the Kabalah assigns a human form. In this, Kether is the cranium, Hakemah and Binah the two lobes of the brain, Gedulah and Geburah the two arms, Tephareth the trunk, Netsach and Hōd the thighs, Yesod the male organ, and Malkuth the female organ, of generation.
Yōd is Hakemah, and He Dinah; Vav is Tephareth, and the last He, Malkuth.
The whole, say the Books Mysterii or of Occultation, is thus summed up: The intention of God The Blessed was to form Impersonations, in order to diminish the Light. Wherefore HE constituted, in Macroprosopos, Adam Kadmon, or Arik Anpin, three Heads. The first is called, “The Head whereof is no cognition”; the second, “The Head of that which is non-existent”; and the third, “The Very Head of Macroprosopos”; and these three are Corona, Sapientia, and Informatio, Kether, Hakemah, and Binah, existent in the Corona of the World of Emanation, or in Macroprosopos; and these three are called in the Sohar ATIKA KADISCHA, Senex Sanctissimus, The Most Holy Ancient. But the Seven inferior Royalties of the first Adam are called “The Ancient of Days”; and this Ancient of Days is the internal part, or Soul, of Macroprosopos.
The human mind has never struggled harder to understand and explain to itself the process of creation, and of Divine manifestation, and at the same time to conceal its thoughts from all but the initiated, than in the Kabalah. Hence, much of it seems at first like jargon. Macroprosopos or Adam Kadmon is, we have said, the idea or intellectual aggregate of the whole Universe, included and contained unevolved in the manifested Deity, Himself yet contained unmanifested in the Absolute. The Head, Kether, “whereof is no cognition,” is the Will of the Deity, or the Deity as Will. Hakemah, the head “of that which is non-existent,” is the Generative Power of begetting or producing Thought; yet in the Deity, not in action, and therefore non-existent. Binah, “the very or actual head” of Macroprosopos, is the productive intellectual capacity, which, impregnated by Hakemah, is to produce the Thought. This Thought is Daath; or rather, the result is Intellection, Thinking; the Unity, of which Thoughts are the manifold outflowings.
This may be illustrated by a comparison. Pain, in the human being, is a feeling or sensation. It must be produced. To produce it, there must be, not only the capacity to produce it, in the nerves, but also the power of generating it by means of that capacity.
This generative Power, the Passive Capacity which produces, and the pain produced, are like Hakemah, Dinah, and Daath.
The four Worlds or Universals, Aziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Asiah, of Emanation, Creation, Formation, and Fabrication, are another enigma of the Kabalah. The first three are wholly within the Deity. The first is the Universe, as it exists potentially in the Deity, determined and imagined, but as yet wholly formless and undeveloped, except so far as it is contained in His Emanations. The second is the Universe in idea, distinct within the Deity, but not invested with forms; a simple unity. The third is the same Universe in potence in the Deity, unmanifested, but invested with forms,–the idea developed into manifoldness and individuality, and succession of species and individuals; and the fourth is the potentiality become the Actuality, the Universe fabricated, and existing as it exists for us.
The Sephiroth, says the Porta Cælorum, by the virtue of their Infinite Emanator, who uses them as a workman uses his tools, and who operates with and through them, are the cause of existence of everything created, formed, and fashioned, employing in their production certain media. But these same Sephiroth, Persons and Lights, are not creatures per se, but ideas, and Rays of THE INFINITE, which, by different gradations, so descended from the Supreme Source as still not to be severed from It; but It, through them, is extended to the production and government of all Entities, and is the Single and Perfect Universal Cause of All, though becoming determinate for this or the other operation, through this or that Sephiroth or MODE.
God produced all things by His Intellect and Will and free Determination. He willed to produce them by the mediation of His Sephiroth, and Persons . . . . . by which He is enabled most perfectly to manifest Himself; and that the more perfectly, by producing the causes themselves, and the Causes of Causes, and not merely the viler effects.
God produced, in the first Originate, all the remaining causates. For, as He Himself is most simply One, and from One Simple Being One only can immediately proceed, hence it results that from the First Supreme Infinite Unity flowed forth at the same time All and One. One, that is, in so far as flowing from the Most Simple Unity, and being like unto It; but also All, in so far as, departing from that perfect Singleness which can be measured by no other Singleness, it became, to a certain extent, manifold, though still Absolute and Perfect.
Emanation, says the same, is the Resulting displayed from the Unresulting, the Finite from the Infinite, the Manifold and Composite from the Perfect Single and Simple, Potentiality from that which is Infinite Power and Act, the mobile from that which is perennially permanent; and therefore in a more imperfect and diminished mode than His Infinite Perfection is. As the First Cause is all things, in an unresulting and Infinite mode, so the Entities that flow from Him are the First Causes, in a resulting and finite mode.
THE NECESSARY ENTITY, subsisting of Itself, as It cannot be dissevered into the manifold, yet becomes, as it were, multiplied in the Causates, in respect of their Nature, or of the Subsistences, Vessels, and openings assigned to them; whereby the Single and Infinite Essence, being inclosed or comprehended in these limits, bounds, or externalnesses, takes on Itself Definiteness of dimension, and becomes Itself manifold, by the manifoldness of these envelopes.
As man [the unit of Humanity] is a microcosm, so Adam Kadmon is a macrocosm, containing all the Causates of the First Cause . . . . . as the Material Man is the end and completion of all creation, so in the Divine Man is the beginning thereof. As the inferior Adam receives all things from all, so the superior Adam supplies all things to all. As the former is the principle of reflected light, so the latter is of Direct Light. The former is the terminus of the Light, descending; the latter its terminus, ascending. As the Inferior man ascends from the lowest matter even to the First Cause, so the Superior Adam descends from the Simple and Infinite Act, even to the lowest and most attenuated Potence.
The Ternary is the bringing back of duality to unity.
The Ternary is the Principle of Number, because, bringing back the binary to unity, it restores to it the same quantity whereby it had departed from unity. It is the first odd number, containing in itself the first even number and the unit, which are the Father and Mother of all Numbers; and it has in itself the beginning, middle, and end.
Now, Adam Kadmon emanated from the Absolute Unity, and so is himself a unit; but he also descends and flows downward into his own Nature, and so is duality. Again, he returns to the Unity, which he hath in himself, and to The Highest, and so is the Ternary and Quaternary.
And this is why the Essential Name has four letters,–three different ones, and one of them once repeated; since the first He is the wife of the Yōd, and the second He is the wife of the Vav.
Those media which manifest the First Cause, in Himself profoundly hidden, are the Sephiroth, which emanate immediately from that First Cause, and by Its Nature have produced and do control all the rest.
These Sephiroth were put forth from the One First and Simple, manifesting His Infinite Goodness. They are the mirrors of His Truth, and the analogues of His Supremest Essence, the Ideas of His Wisdom, and the representations of His will; the receptacles of His Potency, and the instruments with which He operates; the Treasury of His Felicity, the dispensers of His Benignity, the Judges of His Kingdom, and reveal His Law; and finally, the Denominations, Attributes, and Names of Him Who is above all and the Cause of all . . . . . the ten categories, wherein all things are contained; the universal genera, which in themselves include all things, and utter them outwardly . . . . the Second Causes, whereby the First Cause effects, preserves, and governs all things; the rays of the Divinity, whereby all things are illumined and manifested; the Forms and Ideas and Species, out whereof all things issue forth; the Souls and Potencies, whereby essence, life, and movement are given to all things; the Standard of times, whereby all things are measured; the incorporeal Spaces which, in themselves, hold and inclose the Universe; the Supernal Monads to which all manifolds are referred, and through them to The One and Simple; and finally the Formal Perfections, flowing forth from and still connected with the One Eminent Limitless Perfection, are the Causes of all dependent Perfections, and so illuminate the elementary Intelligences, not adjoined to matter, and the intellectual Souls, and the Celestial, Elemental and Element-produced bodies.
The IDRA SUTA says:
HE, the Most Holy Hidden Eldest, separates Himself, and is ever more and more separated from all that are; nor yet does HE in very deed separate Himself; because all things cohere with Him and HE with All. HE is All that is, the Most Holy Eldest of All, the Occult by all possible occultations.
When HE takes shape, HE produces nine Lights, which shine forth from Him, from His outforming. And those Lights out-shine from Him and emit flames, and go forth and spread out on every side; as from one elevated Lamp the Rays are poured forth in every direction, and these Rays thus diverging, are found to be, when one approaching has cognizance of them, but a single Lamp.
The Space in which to create is fixed by THE MOST HOLY ANCIENT, and illuminated by His inflowing, which is the Light of Wisdom, and the Beginning from which manifestation flows.
And HE is conformed in three Heads, which are but one Head; and these three are extended into Microprosopos, and from them shines out all that is.
Then this Wisdom instituted investiture with form, whereby the unmanifested and informous became manifested, putting on form; and produced a certain outflow.
When this Wisdom is thus expanded by flowing forth, then it is called “Father of Fathers,” the whole Universe of Things being contained and comprehended in it. This Wisdom is the principle of all things, and in it beginning and end are found.
The Book of the Abstruse, says the Siphra de Zeniutha, is that which describes the equilibrium of the Balance. Before the Balance was, face did not look toward face.
And the Commentary on it says: The Scales of the Balance are designated as Male and Female. In the Spiritual world Evil and Good are in equilibrio, and it will be restored, when of the Evil Good becomes, until all is Good. Also this other world is called the World of the Balance. For, as in the Balance are two scales, one on either side and the beam and needle between them, so too in this world of restoration, the Numerations are arranged as distinct persons. For Hakemah is on the right hand, on the side of Gedulah, and Binah on the left, on the side of Geburah; and Kether is the beam of the Balance above them in the middle. So Gedulah or Khased is on one hand, and Geburah on the other, and under these Tephareth; and Netsach is on one side, and Hōd on the other, and under these Yesōd.
The Supreme Crown, which is the Ancient Most Holy, the most Hidden of the Hidden, is fashioned, within the occult Wisdom, of both sexes, Male and Female.
Hakemah, and Binah, the Mother, whom it impregnates, are quantitatively equal. Wisdom and the Mother of Intellection go forth at once and dwell together; for when the Intellectual Power emanates, the productive Source of intellection is included in Him.
Before Adam Kadmon was fashioned into Male and Female, and the state of equilibrium introduced, the Father and Mother did not look each other in the face; for the Father denotes most perfect Love, and the Mother most perfect Rigor; and she averted her face.
There is no left [female], says the Idra Rabba, in the Ancient and Hidden One; but His totality is Right [male]. The totality of things is HUA, HE, and HE is hidden on every side.
Macroprosopos [Adam Kadmon] is not so near unto us as to speak to us in the first person; but is designated in the third person, HUA, HE.
Of the letters it says:
Yōd is male, He is female, Vav is both.
In Yōd [י] are three Yōds, the upper and the lower apex, and Vav in the middle. By the upper apex is denoted the Supreme Kether; by Vav in the middle, Hakemah; and by the lower apex, Binah.
The IDRA SUTA says:
The Universe was out-formed in the form of Male and Female. Wisdom, pregnant with all that is, when it flowed and shone forth, shone altogether under the form of male and female. Hakemah is the Father, and Binah is the Mother; and so the two are in equilibrium as male and female, and for this reason, all things whatsoever are constituted in the form of male and female; and if it were not so they would not exist.
This Principle, Hakemah, is the Generator of all things; and He and Binah conjoin, and she shines within Him. When they thus conjoin, she conceives, and the out-flow is Truth.
Yōd impregnates the letter He and begets a son; and she, thus pregnant, brings forth. The Principle called Father [the Male or Generative Principle] is comprehended in Yōd, which itself flows downward from the energy of the Absolute Holy One.
Yōd is the beginning and the end of all things that are. The stream that flows forth is the Universe of things, which always becomes, having no cessation. And this becoming world is created by Yōd: for Yōd includes two letters. All things are included in Yōd; wherefore it is called the Father of all.
All Categories whatever go forth from Hakemah; and in it are contained all things, unmanifested; and the aggregate of all things, or the Unity in which the many are, and out of which all flow, is the Sacred Name IHUH.
In the view of the Kabalists, all individuals are contained in species, and all species in genera, and all particulars in a Universal, which is an idea, abstracted from all consideration of individuals; not an aggregate of individuals; but, as it were, an Ens, Entity or Being, ideal or intellectual, but none the less real; prior to any individual, containing them all, and out of which they are all in succession evolved.
If this discontents you, reflect that, supposing the theory correct, that all was originally in the Deity, and that the Universe has proceeded forth from Him, and not been created by Him out of nothing, the idea of the Universe, existing in the Deity before its out-flow, must have been as real as the Deity Himself. The whole Human race, or Humanity, for example, then existed in the Deity, not distinguished into individuals, but as a Unit, out of which the Manifold was to flow.
Everything actual must also first have been possible, before having actual existence; and this possibility or potentiality was to the Kabalists a real Ens. Before the evolvement of the Universe, it had to exist potentially, the whole of it, with all its individuals, included in a single Unity. This was the Idea or Plan of the Universe; and this had to be formed. It had to emanate from the Infinite Deity, and be of Himself, though not His Very Self.
Geburah, Severity, the Sephirah opposite to and conjoined sexually with Gedulah, to produce Tephareth, Harmony and Beauty, is also called in the Kabalah “Judgment,” in which term are included the ideas of limitation and conditioning, which often seems, indeed, to be its principal sense; while Benignity is as often styled Infinite. Thus it is obscurely taught that in everything that is, not only the Finite but also the Infinite is present; and that the rigor of the stern law of limitation, by which everything below or beside the Infinite Absolute is limited, bounded, and conditioned, is tempered and modified by the grace, which so relaxes it that the Infinite, Unlimited, Unconditioned, is also everywhere present; and that it is thus the Spiritual and Material Natures are in equilibrio, Good everywhere counterbalancing Evil, Light everywhere in equilibrium with Darkness: from which again results the Universal Harmony of things. In the vacant space effected for creation, there at last remained a faint vestige or trace of Ainsophic Light, of the Light of the Substance of the Infinite. Man is thus both human and divine: and the apparent antagonisms in his Nature are a real equilibrium, if he wills it shall be so; from which results the Harmony, not only of Life and Action, but of Virtue and Perfection.
To understand the Kabalistic idea of the Sephiroth, it must be borne in mind that they were assigned, not only to the world of Emanation, Aziluth, but also to each of the other worlds, Briah, Jezirah, and Asiah. They were not only attributes of the Unmanifested Deity, not only Himself in limitation, but His actual manifestations, or His qualities made apparent as modes; and they were also qualities of the Universal Nature–Spiritual, Mental, and Material, produced and made existent by the outflow of Himself.
In the view of the Kabalah, God and the Universe were One, and in the One General, as the type or source, were included and involved, and from it have been evolved and issued forth, the manifold and all particulars. Where, indeed, does individuality begin? Is it the Hidden Source and Spring alone that is the individual, the Unit, or is it the flowing fountain that fills the ocean, or the ocean itself, or its waves, or the drops, or the vaporous particles, that are the individuals? The Sea and the River–these are each One; but the drops of each are many. The tree is one; but its leaves are a multitude: they drop with the frosts, and fall upon his roots; but the tree still continues to grow, and new leaves come again in the Spring. Is the Human Race not the Tree, and are not individual men the leaves? How else explain the force of will and sympathy, and the dependence of one man at every instant of his life on others, except by the oneness of the race? The links that bind all created things together are the links of a single Unity, and the whole Universe is One, developing itself into the manifold.
Obtuse commentators have said that the Kabalah assigns sexual characteristics to the very Deity. There is no warrant for such an assertion, anywhere in the Sohar or in any commentary upon it. On the contrary, the whole doctrine of the Kabalah is based on the fundamental proposition, that the Very Deity is Infinite, everywhere extended, without limitation or determination, and therefore without any conformation whatever. In order to commence the process of creation, it was necessary for Him, first of all, to effect a vacant space within Himself. To this end the Deity, whose Nature is approximately expressed by describing Him as Light filling all space, formless, limitless, contracts Himself on all sides from a point within Himself, and thus effects a quasi-vacant space, in which only a vestige of His Light remains; and into this circular or spherical space He emits His Emanations, portions of His Light or Nature; and to some of these, sexual characteristics are symbolically assigned.
The Infinite first limits Himself by flowing forth in the shape of Will, of determination to act. This Will of the Deity, or the Deity as will, is Kether, or the Crown, the first Sephirah. In it are included all other Emanations. This is a philosophical necessity. The Infinite does not first will, and then, as a sequence to, or consequence of, that determination, subsequently perform. To will and to act must be, with Him, not only simultaneous, but in reality the same . . Nor does He, by His Omniscience, learn that a particular action will be wise, and then, in consequence of being so convinced, first determine to do the act, and then do it. His Wisdom and His Will, also, act simultaneously; and, with Him, to decide that it was wise to create, was to create. Thus His will contains in itself all the Sephiroth. This will, determining Him to the exercise of intellection, to thought, to frame the Idea of the Universe, caused the Power in Him to excite the intellectual Faculty to exercise, and was that Power. Its SELF, which had flowed forth from Ainsoph as Will, now flows forth as the Generative Power to beget intellectual action in the Intellectual Faculty, or Intelligence, Binah. The Act itself, the Thought, the Intellection, producing the Idea, is Daath; and as the text of the Siphra de Zeniutha says, The Power and Faculty, the Generative and Productive, the Active and Passive, the Will and Capacity, which unite to produce that Act of reflection or Thought or Intellection, are always in conjunction. As is elsewhere said in the Kabalah, both of them are contained and essentially involved in the result. And the Will, as Wisdom or Intellectual Power, and the Capacity or Faculty, are really the Father and Mother of all that is; for to the creation of anything, it was absolutely necessary that The Infinite should form for Himself and in Himself, an idea of what HE willed to produce or create: and, as there is no Time with Him, to will was to create, to plan was to will and to create; and in the Idea, the Universe in potence, the universal succession of things was included. Thenceforward all was merely evolution and development.
Netsach and Hōd, the Seventh and Eighth Sephiroth, are usually called in the Kabalah, Victory and Glory. Netsach is the perfect Success, which, with the Deity, to Whom the Future is present, attends, and to His creatures is to result, from the plan of Equilibrium everywhere adopted by Him. It is the reconciliation of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, Free-will and Necessity, God’s omnipotence and Man’s liberty; and the harmonious issue and result of all, without which the Universe would be a failure. It is the inherent Perfection of the Deity, manifested in His Idea of the Universe, and in all the departments or worlds, spiritual, mental, or material, of that Universe; but it is that Perfection regarded as the successful result, which it both causes or produces and is; the perfection of the plan being its success. It is the prevailing of Wisdom over Accident; and it, in turn, both produces and is the Glory and Laudation of the Great Infinite Contriver, whose plan is thus Successful and Victorious.
From these two, which are one,–from the excellence and perfection of the Divine Nature and Wisdom, considered as Success and Glory, as the opposites of Failure and Mortification, results what the Kabalah, styling it Yesod, Foundation or Basis, characterizes as the Generative member of the Symbolical human figure by which the ten Sephiroth are represented, and from this flows Malakoth, Empire, Dominion, or Rule. Yesod is the Stability and Permanence, which would, in ordinary language, be said to result from the perfection of the Idea or Intellectual Universal, out of which all particulars are evolved; from the success of that scheme, and the consequent Glory or Self-Satisfaction of the Deity; but which Stability and Permanence that Perfection, Success, and Glory really Is; since the Deity, infinitely Wise, and to Whom the Past, Present, and Future were and always will be one Now, and all space one HERE, had not to await the operation and evolution of His plan, as men do the result of an experiment, in order to see if it would succeed, and so to determine whether it should stand, and be stable and permanent, or fall and be temporary. Its Perfection was its Success; His Glory, its permanence and stability: and the Attributes of Permanence and Stability belong, like the others, to the Universe, material, mental, spiritual, and real, because and as they belong to the Infinite Himself.
This Stability and Permanence causes continuance and generates succession. It is Perpetuity, and continuity without solution; and by this continuous succession, whereby out of Death comes new Life, out of dissolution and resolution comes reconstruction, Necessity and Fatality result as a consequence: that is to say, the absolute control and dominion (Malakoth) of The Infinite Deity over all that He produces, and over chance and accident; and the absolute non-existence in the Universe, in Time and in Space, of any other powers or influences than those which, proceeding from Him, are and cannot not be perfectly submissive to His will. This results, humanly speaking; but in reality, the Perfection of the plan, which is its success, His glory, and its stability, is also His Absolute Autocracy, and the utter absence of Chance, Accident, or Antagonism. And, as the Infinite Wisdom or Absolute Reason rules in the Divine Nature itself, so also it does in its Emanations, and in the worlds or systems of Spirit, Soul, and Matter; in each of which there is as little Chance or Accident or Unreasoning Fate, as in the Divine Nature unmanifested.
This is the Kabalistic theory as to each of the four worlds;–1st, of the Divine Nature, or Divinity itself, quantitatively limited and determined, but not manifested into Entities, which is the world of Emanation, 2d, of the first Entities, that is, of Spirits and Angels, which is the world of Creation; 3d, of the first forms, souls, or psychical natures, which is the world of Formation or Fashioning; and, 4th, of Matter and Bodies, which is the world of Fabrication, or, as it were, of manufacture. In each of these the Deity is present, as, in, and through the Ten Sephiroth. First of these, in each, is Kether, the Crown, ring, or circlet, the HEAD. Next, in that Head, as the two Hemispheres of the Brain, are Hakemah and Binah, and their result and progeny, Daath. These three are found also in the Spiritual world, and are universals in the psychical and material world, producing the lower Sephiroth. Then follow, in perfect Equilibrium, Law and Equity, Justice and Mercy, the Divine Infinite Nature and the Human Finite Nature, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, Benignity and Severity, the Male and the Female again, as Hakemah and Binah are, mutually tempering each other, and by their intimate union producing the other Sephiroth.
The whole Universe, and all the succession of entities and events were present to The Infinite, before any act of creation; and His Benignity and Leniency, tempering and qualifying the law of rigorous Justice and inflexible Retribution, enabled Him to create: because, but for it, and if He could not but have administered the strict and stern law of justice, that would have compelled Him to destroy, immediately after its inception, the Universe He purposed to create, and so would have prevented its creation. This Leniency, therefore, was, as it were, the very essence and quintessence of the Permanence and Stability of the plan of Creation, and part of the Very Nature of the Deity. The Kabalah, therefore, designates it as Light and Whiteness, by which the Very Substance of Deity is symbolized. With this agree Paul’s ideas as to Law and Grace; for Paul had studied the Kabalah at the feet of Gamaliel the Rabbi.
With this Benignity, the Autocracy of the dominion and control of the Deity is imbued and interpenetrated. The former, poured, as it were, into the latter, is an integral and essential part of it, and causes it to give birth to the succession and continuance of the Universe. For Malakoth, in the Kabalah, is female, and the matrix or womb out of which all creation is born.
☞ The Sephiroth may be arranged as on page 770.
The Kabalah is the primitive tradition, and its entirety rests on the single dogma of Magism, “the visible is for us the proportional measure of the invisible.” The Ancients, observing that equilibrium is in physics the universal law, and that it results from the apparent opposition of two forces, concluded from the physical to the metaphysical equilibrium, and thought that in God, that is to say, in the first living and active cause, two properties necessary to each other, should be recognized; stability and movement, necessity and liberty, order dictated by reason and the self-rule of Supreme Will, Justice, and Love, and consequently Severity and Grace, Mercy or Benignity.
The idea of equilibrium among all the impersonations; of the male on one side, and the female on the other, with the Supreme Will, which is also the Absolute Reason, above each two, holding the balance, is, according to the Kabalah, the foundation of all religions and all sciences, the primary and immutable idea of things. The Sephiroth are a triple triangle and a circle, the idea of the Ternary explained by the balance and multiplied by itself in the
Chart of the Sephiroth domain of the Ideal; then the realization of this Idea in forms.
Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two.
The human unity is made complete by the right and left. The primitive man was of both sexes.
The Divinity, one in its essence, has two essential conditions as fundamental bases of its existence–Necessity and Liberty.
The laws of the Supreme Reason necessitate and regulate liberty in God, Who is necessarily reasonable and wise.
Knowledge supposes the binary. An object known is indispensable to the being that knows.
The binary is the generator of Society and the law. It is also the number of the gnosis, a word adopted in lieu of Science, and expressing only the idea of cognizance by intuition. It is Unity, multiplying itself by itself to create; and therefore it is that the Sacred Symbols make Eve issue from the very chest of Adam.
Adam is the human Tetragram, which is summed up in the mysterious Yōd of the Kabalah, image of the Kabalistic Phallus. Add to this Yōd [י] the ternary name of Eve, and you form the name of Jehova, the Divine Tetragram, the transcendent Kabalistic and magical word:
Thus it is that Unity, complete in the fecundity of the Ternary, forms, with it, the Quaternary, which is the key of all numbers, movements, and forms.
The Square, turning upon itself, produces the circle equal to itself, and the circular movement of four equal angles turning around one point, is the quadrature of the circle.
The Binary serves as a measure for Unity; and the relation of equality between the Above and the Below, forms with them the Ternary.
To us, Creation is Mechanism: to the Ancients it was Generation. The world-producing egg figures in all cosmogonies; and modern science has discovered that all animal production is oviparous. From this idea of generation came the reverence everywhere paid the image of generative power, which formed the Stauros of the Gnostics, and the philosophical Cross of the Masons.
Aleph is the man; Beth is the woman. One is the Principle; two is the Word. A∴ is the Active; B∴ is the Passive. Unity is Boaz, and the Binary is Jachin.
The two columns, Boaz and Jachin, explain in the Kabalah all the mysteries of natural, political, and religious antagonism.
Woman is man’s creation; and universal creation is the female of the First Principle. When the Principle of Existence made Himself Creator, He produced by emanation an ideal Yōd; and to make room for it in the plenitude of the uncreated Light, He had to hollow out a pit of shadow, equal to the dimension determined by His creative desire; and attributed by Him to the ideal Yōd of radiating Light.
The nature of the Active Principle is to diffuse: of the Passive Principle, to collect and make fruitful.
Creation is the habitation of the Creator-Word. To create, the Generative Power and Productive Capacity must unite, the Binary become Unity again by the conjunction. The WORD is the First-BEGOTTEN, not the first created Son of God.
SANCTA SANCTIS, we repeat again; the Holy things to the Holy, and to him who is so, the mysteries of the Kabalah will be holy. Seek and ye shall find, say the Scriptures: knock and it shall be opened unto you. If you desire to find and to gain admission to the Sanctuary, we have said enough to show you the way. If you do not, it is useless for us to say more, as it has been useless to say so much.Morals and Dogma – Knight of the Sun