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INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER










INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER











INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER






Meetings With Remarkable People   Mephisto & Pheles    Intrusion   The Kabbalah  
 The Čapek Brothers    Struggle of the Magicians    
The Fools' Pilgrimage  Contact 




7. THE SEPHIROTIC TREE OF LIFE

 

The tree of life appears in some form as an important symbol practically with all the nations and in all historical epochs. Why is it so? From the earliest times, the humans were always aware of the presence of tree. They may not have to climb them as apes, which some evolutionists might think, but trees certainly played an important role in their lives. In any case, in most places on earth people were always surrounded by trees. The tree branches reach high into the skies, while the roots go deep into the ground — a tree thus symbolically lives in the heavens as well as on earth, while providing a link between the two realms.

Like the tree in picture above, trees could also resemble human bodies; the trunk is like human torso, the branches can look like outstretched arms, the roots might appear like feet firmly planted into the ground. In many mythological stories and fairy tales, trees appear that can act, talk to people, usually very wisely, even walk, and generally be of use to those seekers after truth whose minds are not closed like those of other people. As happens in the Tolkien fantasy trilogy Lord of the Rings.

On the right we have a crystal-like shape – it could also look to you like an image of atomic or molecular structure. It is the scheme we will be using as we move up and down the Sephirotic Tree of Life. Above the tree we can imagine having a veil, which to a human eye and mind is impenetrable. Behind this veil there is the ineffable, the impregnable, omnipotent and omniscient God, who to us is completely incomprehensible. Then, at some point, as if the play was about to commence, the curtain begins to open, and through this small opening out comes a burst of pure white light, the vital energy. This energy is going to come through different steps, it will be emanating in different realms, depending on which of the Creator’s attributes of the Creator it came from. They all are going to be extrapolated into the final creation, the man, the being that is going to be like a mirror reflection of God. After all, the Bible says that God created man in his image and in his likeness. 

In Hebrew, these steps, or emanations of the Creator, are called sephiroth, which is the plural to the singular sephira. The word has the same meaning as the English “sphere”. The first of these emanations is called Kether, the Crown. In this sephira the Creator still remains concealed, at least as far as we are concerned. It is the highest sephira, and on its highest side it still faces the veil from behind which it came. Kether is also the purest of all the sephiroth, because it is close to the ineffable.

Having created the first sephira, Kether, God decided to materialise. I’m using this expression for lack of any other, and only because this is the end result of the whole process. To understand this difficult concept it might help us if we imagine the Creator as pure energy in a state of total unity. In that first sephira there is an embryo, the mere beginning of what is eventually going to become the ‘ten thousand things’, as the Chinese call the whole of Creation. To achieve this God has to polarise the as yet undifferentiated pure energy, and to come to this multiplicity of things, he has to ensure that there is some breaking down of unity into multiplicity. In other words, the Creator needs to have the energy on one side, and the form on the other side, so that the energy, thus far clean and unused, can become formalised. In succession other sephiroth are being created, each of which represents one of the attributes of the Creator.

The entire tree of life consists of ten sephiroth and twenty-two paths that connect them. This corresponds with the ten cardinal numerals and with the twenty-two sounds, or letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

THE UNITY AND THE POLARITY


The path that the future initiate has to follow leads through the centre of the tree. It may not be entirely without obstacles. In certain temples and places of worship, where rituals that depict this journey are being conducted, there are two columns at the entrance to the temple. The passage between the columns is not free however, and the candidate for initiation is in some way interrogated, before being allowed to enter. The Tarot card trump No2, portraying the High Priestess. She sits on a cube, holding a scroll. This card represents polarity, duality, revealed through the presence of the two pillars, usually marked with the letters Yod and Beth. When a candidate enters such a temple, he or she must pass between the two columns of polarity. Symbolically the neophyte thus leaves our profane world, the world of multiplicity, and enters the realm of unity, a sanctum. The two columns of polarity mark the end of the profane world and the entrance to the spiritual world. On passing through the two columns there is a tension that is created, which sucks the person who follows this path into the sanctum, into the field where one can spiritualise oneself. When passing out again from the unity to multiplicity, there is a relief from tension that was previously created. Most people do not feel this consciously, but those who happen to be sensitive can experience it in quite a profound way.

The Sephirotic tree on the diagram (right) has three pillars. To the two pillars of polarity added is the centre pillar of balance, equilibrium. The other two pillars are named after the dominant (from our point of view) sephiroth Chesed and Geburah as pillars of Mercy and Severity.

Only in the relatively recent time have the scientists noticed, and eventually began to take seriously, what was known in the hermetic societies for a long time. Our brain and nervous system works along similar lines; it has its right and its left side, each working more or less independently on each other. Through the middle then goes the spinal chord, which distributes the impulses throughout the body. These signals have to have some balance — if everything would be guided by only one side of the brain, for instance the left side ruled by the sephira Hod, and without any contribution by Netzah, we would be rather uncoordinated. The logical side would prevail over the side of imagination. We could, for instance as an accountant, make some calculations, get the numbers, but then we wouldn’t know what to do with them. At least not until Netzah from the other side of the tree would come in, and tell us what we should tell our clients about investing, so that they could avoid being hit hard by the tax office.

We would be coming back to the Tree of Life again and again, throughout this book, looking at the individual sephiroth, their characteristics, and what they mean to us. The tree is without a doubt the most important glyph the Kabbalah has, and practically everything that we meet with in our lives, could be in some way illustrated, analysed and explained with its help.

TO: THE FOUR WORLDS

 Below various depictions of the Tree, from different times and cultures.

 

             

        

     


Meetings With Remarkable People   Mephisto & Pheles    Intrusion   The Kabbalah  
 The Čapek Brothers    Struggle of the Magicians    
The Fools' Pilgrimage  Contact 



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