Kabbalah Metaphysics 137
ESSAYS ON THE TREE OF LIFE
|Some salient points concerning the Tree of Life.
PRONUNCIATION OF THE SPHERES
Kether is the first out-pouring of light-energy coming from the un-manifest side of God. In Kether there is no polarity; No division into pairs of opposites. Pairs of opposites comes into being with the sephirothic vessels of Chokmah and Binah. In Kether all opposites are united in a state that is referred to as the divine androgyny. That being a state in which there is neither male nor female. This is why it is pointless to refer to God (the light-source) as He.
If sexual identity is to be used at this level it might be more appropriate to use the terms father-mother God.
Kether is a perpetual state of formlessness and timelessness. This light-energy of kether is pure unlimited power of taking any form that is given to it. As an analogy; Think of plastic that is malleable or pliable and is capable of taking any shape or form. Think of water that can take the shape of whatever vessel it is poured into. This in a sense is the nature of the light-energy of Kether. This is why it is said that with God (the anthropomorphization of Kether) all things are possible.
The divine name that is traditionally assigned to God at this level in Hebrew is "Eheieh Asher Eheieh". This name is variously translated as I AM THAT I AM; I AM THAT WHICH WAS THAT WHICH IS THAT WHICH WILL BE. This is an affirmation of pure being-ness, eternal and unchanging, beyond shape and form yet capable of assuming any form it wants to or any form we can imagine if we can tap-into this level of being.
This light of Kether; The source of all things; God as Eheieh is what takes form in all things.
In other words, everything we can see or not see, everything we can imagine and is even beyond our imagination at this present time is or will be the crystallization of this light-energy.
This is the level where all things are possible; Time-travel, inter-dimensional travel, galactic-travel, instantaneous healing, immortality; All are realities at this level of being.
Kether represents the ultimate goal of all mystical and spiritual growth and development.
Kether is the uniting with the divine source of our being. According to the mystery teachings, it is the state or level of knowing that your true innermost self is the one same self as the source of all that is. Union with Kether is the point of being where we can say as Jesus "I and my father (the source) are one.
When we say we are striving to become at one with God this is what it really means.
Spiritually climbing the tree of life from Malkuth-consciousness to Kether-consciousness.
Climbing from the root-chakra to the crown-chakra. Climbing Jacob's ladder as it were.
At our present stage of human evolution Kether may be the great unknown but as one kabbalist says "It is not the great unknowable".
Kether is called the hidden intelligence; But even though this level of consciousness may not be known to the mass of humanity I believe it may be possible to access certain levels of Kether while yet in human form.
It is in this sphere, this level of consciousness that we have the perception or image of God as father. In terms of polarity Chokmah represents the active, positive, masculine, out-flowing force of God.
As Binah (Chokmah balancing sephirah) represents the archetypal feminine, divine mother principle; Chokmah represents the archetypal masculine divine father principle.
In terms of human sexuality, Chokmah represents the male phallus with its life-giving force(the spermatozoon) which impregnates the ovum of the mother(Binah) who holds and nurtures this life force and eventually gives birth to it on inner dimensional levels before it is made manifest on the physical plane.
This is why one of the mystical attributes of Chokmah is said to be "the seed of creation".
Be it noted that when God is referred to as male and as father it is not that this power is a man sitting on a throne up in the sky somewhere; but that this aspect of the force we call God is the primordial stimulator of the universal creative process just as the male is the initial stimulator in human reproduction.
Yes, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen all life physical and non-physical is a divine or human sexual activity. A co-mingling of the negative and positive polarity on inter-dimensional and physical levels.
Chokmah is pure unadulterated power functioning at the highest levels. It is the pure life-giving energy that is the archetypal energy stimulator of the universe.
Chokmah is the aspect of the God light that starts everything in motion. This includes the zodiac, the stars, planets and the various constellations.
Reference psalms 136:5 "to him that by wisdom (Chokmah) made the heavens".
Also psalms 104:24 "lord how manifold are thy works. In wisdom (Chokmah) hast thou made them all. The earth is full of thy riches".
Chokmah means wisdom. This wisdom of Chokmah is usually beyond the range of most human comprehension. few humans or those who were once in human form are said to have attained to this level of consciousness.
Wisdom is said to be the right application of knowledge. Knowledge that is used not only for the good of oneself but also for the highest good of the many.
The wisdom teachings says that if and when we attain this state of wisdom (Chokmah) which transcends both knowledge (death) and understanding (Binah) we shall not have to know things in order to be wise but being wise we shall know all things needful.
Chokmah is also called the illuminating intelligence. This means that Chokmah is God's channel for transmitting wisdom in the form of sudden bursts of insight and intuition.
In terms of polarity, Binah is the negative, feminine, form-giving aspect of the God force. Binah can be personified as the archetypal divine mother principle.
She is the archetypal womb through which the free flowing positive male life force of Chokmah comes into physical manifestation. As the archetypal mother she is the giver of life when we are born and the receiver of life when we die.
Whatever provides a form to act as a vehicle for the life force of the universe is of Binah.
All of the great goddesses of mythology and of the various religious systems are manifestations of and are channels for the Binah energy. Mary, Kwan-yin, Demeter, Persephone, Shakti, Oshun, Yemaya to name a few are all personifications of the divine feminine principle of Binah.
It is interesting to note that the name Mary comes from the root word Marah (one of the titles of Binah) meaning the great sea; It is also interesting that in Catholicism, Mary is called Stella-Maris meaning star of the sea.
Another interesting coincidence is that another of the titles of Binah is that of superior mother. This refers to fact that Binah represents the archetypal feminine principle. In the order of nuns what is the head nun called? You guess it mother-superior. What is the color of the nun's clothing? Black; one of the colors of Binah. Whoever designed the catholic construct had a knowledge of the kabbalistic tree of life.
Binah, the divine mother principle gives the vital life force soul energy of God form and structure so that this soul force can gain understanding of life's mysteries through practical experience. Hence the so-called fall of man.
Binah means understanding. It is the understanding of the inner secret mysteries of life and of creation. It is the understanding of how the universe works.
I believe it was on this level of the mystery teachings the writer of the book of proverbs was referring to when he said "the lord by wisdom (Chokmah) hath founded the earth; by understanding (Binah) hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge (Da"ath) the depths are broken up. Proverbs 3:19+20.
The virtue of Binah is silence. This silence of Binah is the ability to stop the mental chatter and to hear the sound of the silence. To hear the still small voice within. This silence means being receptive to the voice of God within us.
It is only in the silence where we can have a true dialogue between self and SELF. Between I and I.
In Psalm 23 of the Judeo-Christian bible, there is a line that says "surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life". This narrative epitomizes the nature of Chesed.
Indeed this entire psalm I believe is an affirmation of Chesed. On physical levels Chesed has a relationship to the clergy, the pope, bishop, priest, etc. The crook or crozier is the shepherd's tool of mercy; The pastoral staff of giving aid on spiritual levels.
Chesed means mercy, loving-kindness and compassion. Chesed is the all loving and benevolent aspect of God. It can be symbolized as the divine cosmic father providing for and protecting his children. Whereas Geburah symbolizes God as the spiritual warrior and the bringer of justice; Chesed is the merciful, compassionate and forgiving aspect of God. It is the source from where our spiritual blessings flow.
All expressions of order, law, organization and God's unconditional love towards humanity flows through this cosmic pipeline of Chesed. There are times in life we make mistakes and may find ourselves' in serious trouble. If we are conscious enough we ask for forgiveness, mercy and compassion. This merciful compassion comes from the realm of Chesed but there is a law connected with this process. It is the law of cause and effect. meaning that in order to receive the mercy of Chesed we must give the mercy of Chesed.
Imagine Chesed as a cosmic bank; The more you give loving-kindness to your fellow man or woman you automatically add loving-kindness to your cosmic bank account in Chesed.
Come that fateful time whether in this life or a future incarnation when you are in need of some serious mercy and compassion you can make a withdrawal from and receive the blessings of Chesed. As you sow, so shall you reap. What goes around, comes around.
The virtue of Chesed is obedience. This means that on this Chesedic level of consciousness we have spiritually grown and evolved to the point where we are in full comprehension of cosmic laws and are living in full accord with said laws. In other words, we are living in full obedience to Divine Mind. The vice of Chesed is bigotry and gluttony. Bigotry is defined as being fanatical to an idea or belief system that you are seeing from a certain perspective at this particular point in your understanding; Not realizing that say a year from now as you grow in consciousness your belief or perspective might change.
We see the results of this fanaticism today in the likes of certain religious fundamentalist or extremist who believe that only their ideas and limited in-the-box perspective is the panacea for humanity. Gluttony of course is wanting everything be it material or spiritual for oneself. This is another name for selfishness.
Some of the blessings of Chesed can be as follows;
Geburah-(Geh-boo-ra) Severity or Strength
Imagine for a moment this world having no prohibition against murder, stealing, the strong taking advantage of the weak. In other words a world devoid of law and order. This would be a very horrible world indeed. A world filled with destruction, cruelty, anarchy, chaos and dread much more so than at present.
Fortunately, there are built-in cosmic laws or principles which impose restrictions on these uncivilized conditions. These cosmic laws are symbolized on the tree of life as Geburah. Geburah is the universe's attempt to balance the ever-expanding merciful, compassionate, benevolent aspect of God with discipline, justice and the rule of law and order.
Justice from a metaphysical perspective is the balancing of the scales of libra. On this physical plane, it sometimes seems as though justice is many times denied.
This is however, a gross misconception or ignorance of cosmic law. There is the cosmic law of cause and effect "to every cause there is an effect. To every effect there is a cause". Though many times through corruption and venality this law is not always adhered to on mundane social levels, nevertheless from a cosmic standpoint this law is impersonal and is always in effect.
This is the biblical narrative which says "as you sow so shall you reap". This is the law of karma. This is the force of Geburah in action.
The energy of Geburah is catabolic; meaning that Geburah is that aspect of the God power that breaks down that which is outmoded and is no longer necessary in the grand scheme of things. Geburah breaks down outworn forms and structures to make way for new development. This breaking down process not only happens on physical levels but also on non-physical psycho-spiritual levels.
One of the titles of Geburah is severity. Severity is the imposing of stern, strict and harsh judgment. In times of great evil doing when a people is being trampled under the heavy boot of an oppressive and corrupt ruling power; when a people are savagely killed by murdering drug cartels who are in clandestine partnership with the same corrupt ruling powers; It is then time to invoke the severity of Geburah. An extension of this idea is the use of Geburah's energy to rid oneself of negative conditions and circumstances that might be causing problems in one's life.
The spiritual experience of Geburah is The Vision of Power. Power is defined as the ability to act. Power relates to strength, force and to have authority over one's life. The right use of power is one of the greatest test that can be imposed on us mortal beings; very few have succeeded in this test. With our human weaknesses it is very easy to misuse and abuse any power be it physical, psychic or spiritual power that might be bestowed upon us. One just has to review history and see the many monsters in human form who were murdering, tyrannical and despotic rulers who became drunk with power. This is the dark side of Geburah's energy.
The light side of Geburah's energy can be thought of as the spiritual warrior be it human or the angelic choir of seraphim with their sword of righteousness doing spiritual battle to procure justice for those who can't fight for themselves.
Just as the sun which sits at the center of our solar system, Tiphareth also sits at the center of the tree of life. And just as the sun receives its light-energy from higher sources and radiates this light-energy to the planets around it so too does the Tiphareth center within us radiates its life-energy through us to give us the sense of balance and equilibrium.
Tiphareth is the intermediary link between our higher divine self and our lower physical self. It is the meeting point of the human-man with the god-man. Tiphareth is the most elevated state of consciousness we are capable of attaining while we are still in human form.
Within the mystery teachings, this Tiphareth center or state of being is referred to as the Christ center. It is also called cosmic consciousness or Christ consciousness.
Now the word Christ is not a name. It is a title or office like the word president, king or queen. Each one of us has the potential spiritually speaking to attain cosmic consciousness or to become christed.
The master Jesus or Yeshuah was not the only one to attain to the level of Christ consciousness. They were other enlighten beings such as saint-germain, kuthumi, El morya, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria and many others.
The title Buddha is the Buddhist equivalent of the Christ. The title Krishna is the Hindu equivalent of the Christ.
The awakening of and expressing ourselves from this center of being is what we are all working towards in our spiritual-evolution.
When we have evolved into this level of being and are channels of expressions for this cosmic-Christ energy we are then given the spiritual title of being sons and daughters of God. This is the promise of the esoteric or secret teachings of all the great masters of this cosmic gnosis.
Even the bible made a coded reference to this when it says" as many as received him(the cosmic-Christ principle) to them gave he power to become the sons of God". John1:12.
Tiphareth means beauty or harmony. This beauty is not our usual physical connotation of beauty. Its beauty in a spiritual sense. This beauty comes when we attain this level of consciousness and begin to see that all the laws of nature, the cosmos and all creation are all working in harmony. In perfect equilibrium or balance. Tiphareth gives us the spiritual experience of the interrelatedness of all things.
The virtue of Tiphareth is devotion or dedication to the great work. This great work is the transformation of the self. The transforming of our lower nature which consists of egotism, vanity, arrogance, loftiness, etc
Devotion can also be seen as the love for God; The transcendental or that which is higher than us. That which evokes our idealism and which we aspire to become at one with.
This transformation or perfecting of the personality is what Jesus was referring to when he admonish his disciples to "be ye perfect even as your father in heaven is perfect" Mathew 5:48 This perfecting is referred to in the mystery teachings as the balancing of karma and the overcoming of the pull of the lower nature. Even Jesus had to do this overcoming when he said to John "to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne even as I also overcame and am set down with my father in his throne" Rev 3:21
When this energy-consciousness of Tiphareth is not in proper balance within us it can result in the vice of false-pride. We can become smug or overly prideful in the advanced knowledge or insight we have gleaned from this Tipharethic level of consciousness. This is a sort of spiritual arrogance that can regard others who have not yet attained to this level of awareness as somehow beneath us and less evolved.
Some of the blessings of Tiphareth can be as follows:
As Hod is the realm of the intellect, logic and reason Netzach (its balancing sephirah) is the realm of the emotions, passions, feelings, sensuality and other related human characteristics.
Netzach means victory. This victory of Netzach is the victory we gain over our human emotions, instincts and desires when we express these emotions in positive and beneficial ways.
Our emotional passions is symbolized by the element of fire. and just as fire can be unpredictable and devastating so too can our unbridled passions.
Unbridled emotional passions can quickly degenerate into moral and ethical degradation.
The victory of Netzach is expressed through ecstasy, joy, delight, fervor and pleasure. It is our artistic expression in music, song, dance, poetry, carnival, fashion and other creative channels.
The spiritual powers of Netzach is evoked through dance, sound, art, rhythm and movement. It is our human urge to connect whether with the divine or with each other through sensual expressions.
The aim of the spiritual work of Netzach is not to repress our emotions but to make them more alive and vibrant. However, it must always be under the control of our will and reason.Emotional passion is raw energy. It can be channeled creatively or destructively.
The vice of Netzach is selfishness. selfishness is defined as the desire to have personal advantage over others. being greedy at the expense of others.
In kabbalah, this is defined as "the desire to receive for the self alone". since we are talking about Netzach we can see this manifesting in romantic relationships
when each person is only concern about their own emotional gratification or sexual satisfaction at the expense of the other person's satisfaction.
The virtue of Netzach is unselfishness. This is the idea of thinking about and sharing with others. This is the higher form of expression of the emotional nature of Netzach. It is the expression of unconditional love.
kabbalah refers to this as "The desire to receive for the sake of sharing"
Some of the blessings of Netzach can be as follows:
In Malkuth we touch upon the physical plane and the realization that the physical plane is governed by what we term the laws of nature. In Yesod we learned about the astral and etheric plane and how it influences our physical world reality.
Now in Hod we investigate that aspect of our being that has to do with the mental plane. Hod represents the intellect, the faculty of reason, logic, language, esoteric & arcane knowledge, science and the various forms and means of communication.
This ability to think, analyze and reason is what puts us on a level above the animal kingdom. Though we have the nature of the animal within us in terms of the flight or fight for self-preservation, sex and reproduction, eating and sleeping etc. It is this Hod principle within us that gives us the impulse to rise above our lower instinctive animalistic responsive nature into our higher nature mercy, compassion, analysis, logic, inductive and deductive reasoning.
Hod means splendor or glory. Meaning it is the splendor of the mind and intellectual reasoning faculty over our animalistic, atavistic and reactionary nature.
Hod gives us the capacity to reason ourselves out of almost any predicament that may individually or collectively confront us.
When we are in tune with the energy-consciousness of Hod it gives us the virtue of truthfulness. This truthfulness can be seen in a couple of ways.
(1) Seeing the world as it is, not how we would prefer it to be. In a sense one can say we live in two worlds simultaneously. The world of the collective and the world of our individual personal life. Individually we have greater power to change the circumstances of our lives than we have in changing the conditions of the collective. The collective can only be redeemed or liberated by a mass awakening of the collective. History shows that this mass-awakening usually happens over long periods of time after great catastrophe and trauma.
(2) Truthfulness can also be exemplified by understanding the power of our words and intentions in manifesting practical change in our life conditions. The words we use must be true to our intentions and our desire. Truth and truthfulness is also learning about and moving in harmony with universal and natural law. (I will be saying more about the universal laws at a later date).
The vice of HOD is dishonesty and falsehood. of this I am immediately reminded of the ten commandments which says thou shall not steal and not bear false witness.
one might want to meditate on these two commandments for greater insight; especially in terms of how it relates to our present global social, political, economic, and military machinations.
Some of the blessings of Hod can be as follows:
Yesod represents the astral and etheric planes.it is the reality behind our physical Malkuth reality. it is this Yesodic energy functioning behind the scenes (so to speak) that gives rise to our physical earth plane reality.
Yesod means foundation, meaning it is foundational energy or structure upon which the physical world is built. It is the matrix of our physical five sense reality.
Everything that is physical has a non-physical counterpart or mental etheric blueprint to it. the bible made a coded reference to this phenomena when it says (that things that are seen are made out of things that do not appear or that is not seen) Hebrews 11:3.
Another way of saying this, is that matter and physicality is a crystallization of energy. To brake down this idea even further to a more practical and personal level we can say that our individual life conditions and experiences is a manifestation of our thoughts, beliefs and feelings we hold to be true especially when energized by strong emotions.
Yesod is the realm of the imagination, intuition, dreams, visions, psychic abilities and instincts.Yesod is the realm of the akashic records where we have access to time travel in consciousness,where we can investigate the past,present and future. it is the level of the collective-unconscious. Here is where we also begin to learn how to move in harmony with the cycles of time. The cycles of the sun, moon, and planets and the realization that indeed to everything there is a season.
When we attune with and are moving in harmony with this Yesodic-energy, it bestows on us the virtue of independence. this independence is the freedom to move within higher levels of consciousness unencumbered by the pull of the materialism and inertia of Malkuth.
When we are not in sync with this energy of Yesod we become subject to the vice of idleness. idleness in terms of becoming stuck in and wasting time in the lower psychism of Yesod. Psychic phenomena and abilities is an important part of one's spiritual progress in that it can help us to acquire information and intuitive insights from deeper levels of consciousness. as an extension of the five senses it can help us navigate our soul-travels into higher dimensions. However psychic abilities is basically an aid to our spiritual evolution, it is not the endgame but a means to an end. it is not indicative of being spiritually evolved.
When this Yesodic part of our psyche is not in balance we are also subjected to the negative qualities of dependency, inconsistency and melancholia.
Some of the blessings of Yesod can be as follows:
Malkuth represents the physical plane, not only this physical earth but all other physical planets throughout the vast expanse of the universe. It is where we begin our journey to achieve unity and oneness with the source.
Here is where if we desire to become enlighten beings we begin to understand the laws of nature which contrary to conventional religiosity is not separated from God but in essence is God in manifestation. Without becoming intimately acquainted with this realm in terms of learning its secrets we will not truly be able to move on to higher levels of being and states of consciousness.
The more we understand nature and its laws and principles and use these laws for sharing and the benefit of humankind is the more we become God enlighten. Here is where also we begin to realize that lying behind the outer forms of nature is a group of beings we refer to as the Devic Kingdom. Behind every blade of grass or plant is an energetic intelligence.
When we attune ourselves with this Malkuth aspect of the light-life-force of God and are moving in sync with this energy it gives us the virtue of discrimination. Discrimination is the ability to discern that which is good and positive and that which is negative and evil. When we are not in sync with this energy of Malkuth it is easy to acquire the vice of avarice, inertia or laziness and stubbornness.
Avarice or greed is when we become overly concerned with material gain at the expense of our moral, ethical and spiritual evolution. Stubbornness when we become so fixed in the allure of materialism that we ignore even the voice of conscience or the voice of God within us.
In various spiritual systems and traditions, this realm of Malkuth is personified as feminine. She is Gaia, Isis, Lakshmi, etc. In the Roman-Catholic system she is the Virgin Mary as queen of heaven and earth. In the African Orisha system she can be likened to Yemaya as the archetype of motherhood and maternity, nurturer, protector and caregiver. In the Hebrew tradition she is Shekinah or the divine feminine presence of God.
Some of the blessings of b can be as follows:
Some practical ways of connecting with the energy and influence of Malkuth are; walking bare feet on the earth, lying on the earth, hugging a tree, doing some gardening. These activities will bring about a sense of stability, solidity and grounding.