WHEN discord prevailed between the elements, a preternatural and extraordinary degree of coldness predominated throughout the world and the waters below became congealed and arid, giving birth to two demons, one male, the other female, who engendered myriads of beings similar to themselves in order to add to and increase the forces of disorder and disruption. Herein consists the secret symbolism of circumcision.18a One of these demons is called Apheth (viper) and the other Nachash (serpent.) They are one and the same in their natures. After union with Nachash, and seven years of gestation, Apheth deposited offspring on the earth. Herein also is the mystery of the seven names of Gehenna, as also of the seven names of the tempter spirit. Thus everything emanating and proceeding from the sphere of darkness is a medley of good and evil. That the good, the pure and undefiled might subsist and continue as the base and foundation of the world, it was essential that from it should emanate the divine name of eighteen letters, the source and origin of all the benefactions and blessings by which the world is sustained and upheld.
"And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place" (Gen. i. 9). By the term waters is also meant the ten sephiroth, kether, hochma, bina, etc., whose origin is derived from the great Being who in himself is both male and female. And who is He? The eternal One, En Soph, the boundless One, from whom hath proceeded all life and breath and all things. The waters above the firmament designate these sephiroth, who came forth from H the fourth letter in the tetragrammaton, IHVH. In order, however, to arrive at and obtain some conception, though it be inadequate, of En Soph, through them, it was necessary that the sephiroth should be arranged and
posited in a certain order, or sequential series and relationship18a-18b to each other, and thus become a reflected image of the Eternal. This then is the meaning of the words "into one place," i. e, that by the union of the sephiroth we might be able to ascend to the supreme point of origin, the Eternal One, as saith the scripture, "Jehovah is One and his name One."Zech 14:9 One above and One below; above, the unity of the boundless One in whose essence is contained and concentrated all celestial and terrestrial existence; One below, yet the same unity needing the intermediary of the sephiroth in order to be apprehended and conceived of. When this takes place, it is perceived that there are not two gods, but one God; one in unity of essence, above all and in all. The visible reflection of the divine unity is referred to in scripture as follows: "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne" (Is. vi. 1), and, "they saw the God of Israel" (Ex. xxiv. 10), "The glory of the Lord appeared" (Num. xiv. 10), "As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain so was the appearance of the brightness around about" (Ex. i. 28). This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. That is, as the light of the rainbow, though refracted into different colors, is one and the same, so the divine light and splendor, though refracted and reflected by the sephiroth, is only one and the same. This mystery is also contained in the words: "Let the dry land appear" (Gen. i. 9), for by the word yabash (earth or dry land) is signified the eternal One, the life of the world, from whom come forth all creatures and existences, as from the earth spring forth all flowers, fruits and seeds. Furthermore, by the words "I do set my bow in the cloud" (Gen. ix. 14), is denoted and symbolized the sephiroth called Malcuth (kingdom ), since "I have established it from the creation of the world." Reverting to the conflict between the primal elements of light and darkness, it is written, "Rachel travailed and she had hard labor" (Gen. xxxv., 16), the esoteric meaning of which is this: When conflict commenced, the angel Michael took up a position on the right of Kether, the supreme sephiroth, Raphael on the left and Gabriel in the front, thus giving rise to the three different colors. So is the divine glory surrounded with circles of colors which are but reflections of it and connoted by the three words, Jehovah, Alohenu, Jehovah,Deut. 6:4 appellations of the divine One who, concealed and invisible to human vision, is but One, as are the colors of the rainbow; and whose unity is expressed in the verse: "Blessed be the name of his glorious and everlasting kingdom."
[paragraph continues] The beauty of the three colors in the verse: "Hear! oh, Israel, the Lord our God is one God" (Deut. vi. 4). The lower is copy or pattern of the higher. The unity above is expressed by a verse containing six words. Shema Israel, Jehovah, Alohenu, Jehovah, Achad.18b (Hear, Israel, Jehovah our God, Jehovah is one); the unity below, by the verse Mi, mdd, beshahuloi mim. "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand" (Is. xl. 12), both referring to one Being, the transcendently glorious equilibrator or adjustor, creator of the world, IHVH. Kadosh! Kadosh! Kadosh! (Holy! Holy! Holy!) "Let the waters be gathered together," or as it may be rendered: "let the waters become equilibrated and blended harmoniously together, then will the earth become filled with the glory of God and then will the dry land appear," i.e., the mystery of the divine unity expressed in the occult formula imparted to and made known only to initiated students and adepts of the secret doctrine, CHUZU BMUCHSO CHUZU.
And God said: "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed" (Gen. i. 11). When the waters had been thus brought into one place, or when the strife of the contending elements had subsided and ceased, then began the work of generation and procreation resulting in the appearance of created beings innumerable, delighting in the service of their Lord. This is expressed in the words: "He caused the grass to grow for the cattle" (Ps. civ. 14) on a thousand hills, for whose sustenance it shoots forth daily. By the word chatzir (grass) is denoted those angelic beings appointed and ordained to administer to the necessities of cattle and supply them with food. "And herb for the service of man" designates and refers to the ministering angels called Ophanim, Hayoth and Cherubim, whose special and peculiar mission and service is to aid and assist in the celebration of sacrifices and worship of the Creator, which constitutes the true service of man. Included under the sane terms are those spiritual beings whose study it is to supply the needs of those whose works are good and their worship acceptable to the divine Being, and also to look after their means and sustenance, as it is written: "To bring forth food out of the earth," which connotes the herb seeding seed (not seed of the grass) for the good and welfare of the world. All these various orders of spiritual beings by the divine prevision have been delegated for the service of humanity, that it may enjoy the greatest benefactions and blessings from on high.
"And the fruit tree yielding fruit" (Gen. i. 11). The word18b-19a fruit here repeated twice indicates the male and female sexes, for as one tree is fructified by another tree, so is the female made prolific by the male. Who amongst these angels then were male and female! They are those called cherubim and thimroth. Who and what are the thimroth? They are angelic beings who are present in the incense of burnt offerings and are therefore called thimroth aschan (columns of smoke) and are thus helpers to man in his worship. "Yielding fruit," that is to say, angels in male and female forms resembling human beings with this special difference, they are of majestic form and noble countenance, whilst the cherubim are smaller in stature and of frailer build. Scripture saith of them, "they have the figure of a man," which is the synthesis of all figures and forms, because bearing the impress of the Holy Name whose four letters correspond to and symbolize the four quarters of the world, North, South, East and West. Michael is stationed at the north and the faces of all the angelic hosts are directed towards him as being their chief. Scripture further states, they have the forms of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. By the face of a man is meant the face of the male and female blended into one. This form of the human figure is that which is graven on the heavenly chariot 1 surrounded with myriads of angelic beings, as it is written: "The chariot of God is encompassed about with thousands upon thousands of shinan (angelic beings)" (Ps. lxviii. 18), by which word is meant the four differing figures and features of the angels. The first letter of it, Sh, is the initial of the word shor or ox; the second letter, N, is the initial of nesher, an eagle; whilst the third letter, A, is the initial of aryeh, a lion; and the fourth letter is N, final; thus symbolizing the form of a man that stands erect and is always understood to include both the male and female figure. All the myriads upon myriads of angelic beings spoken of by
the Psalmist derive their particular forms from the mystery expressed by the Psalmist, each according to their group. Yet notwithstanding their diversity of form they have all one common character, so that whether they bear the form of the ox, eagle or lion, they all exhibit the trait of the human which is synthesized by the four sacred names graven and imprinted on the divine chariot. Those with the figure of an ox are endowed with special power which is called el (power). Those with the form of au eagle, with that degree of grandeur called gaddol (greatness); those with a lion's form, that degree of strength called ghibor (strength). As the supreme He, in the likeness of a man, regards them all, they look to Him and receive an impress, peculiar and belonging to man only, and called nora (fear) and which inspires the animals with a feeling of terror and fright. All these angelic forms thus synthesized in the human form reflect its traits and features, as it is written, "they had the face of a man" (Ez. i. 10). For this reason the Holy One (blessed be He) is called powerful, great, mighty and terrible, which four names are symbolized by the four letters of the tetragrammaton, IHVH, which includes all names.19a
These four forms are graven on the divine chariot, thus: on the right side, the face of a man; on the left, that of an eagle; on the front, of a lion; and behind, of an ox. These forms are likewise graven on the four quarters of the world. Like a great branched tree laden with fruit, the divine chariot marked with these forms sends forth all souls which are the seeds or germs of life to the world, as is implied in the words: "The herb yielding seed" (Gen. i. 11), that is, angels called "herb" who cast their seed into the world from which come human creatures. "Fruit tree bearing fruit after his kind whose seed is in itself." These words designate the man who conserves his seed to advantage. "Upon the earth" refer to him who lives a dissipated life, the which is therefore unlawful and forbidden. The angelic beings symbolized by the word grass are not fruitful, having no seed, and therefore vanish and fade away as they have not the signature of any of the letters of the divine name and become consumed by the primal fire out of which they came forth.
Human beings possess not the same stability and endurance of form as the higher angels in their classes, who have no need of a material covering which a man wears as long as his soul is bound and attached thereto. At night when man sleeps, his soul, quitting the body, ascends into the region of "the consuming
fire" 2 and returns thence at the moment of waking refreshed and strengthened, and enters again into the body. The reason of this is, that his soul has not the same powers of endurance and stability as higher and more exalted spiritual beings. To these refreshed souls the scripture alludes. "They are new (or rather renewed) every morning" and further adds, "great is thy faithfulness" (Lam. iii. 23), the import of which is that the divine faithfulness19a-19b is as illimitable as his goodness and like a mighty ocean into which all rivers and streams flow, yet it is not full, and which also sendeth them forth again to the place from whence they came. Eccl. 1:7 Oh! truly great is the beneficence and faithfulness of the divine Being who draweth up the souls of men into the great purifying fire and flame of his love and returneth them again and again until they have accomplished their destiny--final union with Himself.
"And God saw everything that it was good" (Gen. i. 13), because on the third day of creation harmony and peace between all contending elements and forces generally prevailed, which beholding, the sons of the morning or the first born children of light, the angels on high, sang their joyous song of "peace and concord throughout the universe." Only on this great day, is the word "vayomer" (and God said) repeated twice, an occult word containing the mystery of the twelve transformations of the letters of the sacred name IHVH, symbolizing the four cherubic forms graven on the divine chariot.
100:1 By this expression Is meant the divine humanity whose transcendent glory, majesty and splendor are beyond the powers of human comprehension and language to express. He is the Augoeides of the Platonists. By theologians and in Christian creeds, he is called the Unigenitus, Light of light. very find of very god, begotten, not made, the brightness and reflection of the great divine Father of Light and love and the express image of his person. In Kabbalistic philosophy, he is termed the heavenly man, Adam Kadmon, Merkava (the chariot). Few are they who have enjoyed the high privilege of beholding him. It is only the pure is heart that see him, and that only occasionally. The glory surrounding him is too overwhelming for human eyes to behold An ancient seer and prophet. Ezechiel, says: "And when I saw it, I fell upon my face." Another equally Illustrious seer relates: "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet, as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, 'Fear not; I am the first and the last.'" Another says of him: "To Him every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He most reign until all things become subject to Him, and then will He deliver up His Kingdom to the Father, and God shall be All and in all."
102:2 This expression is not to be taken in the vulgar and material sense as is common in Christendom. It Is rather to be considered as the great alchemical fire that transmutes the baser metals into silver and gold, or, in other words, that by its action upon our lower self, changes our evil and defiled human nature so that it becomes like unto the divine nature. It is described in the words of the great and saintly mediaeval Kabbalist, Count Pious do Mirandola: "There is the element of fire in the material world, the sun is the fire of heaven, and in the supersensual world is the fire of the divine Intelligence." The elementary fire burns, the heavenly fire vivifies, the Divine loves, that is, makes us lovable and loving so that we become, as one expresseth it, partakers of the divine nature. Happy and blessed is our destiny, the destiny of every created human soul.