A Foundational Lesson on Jewish Mysticism
Inherent in everyone’s conception of True Divine Reality is the question of “Who am I?” and “How was I, Man, created as the Apex of Creation not just on Planet Earth but the whole universe? How we understand this to be, also affects how, we, as children of G-d comprehend our role and relationship with the Divine, now and in our future.
According to our Sages, to comprehend the Creation of Planet Earth and our Sun’s solar system, we have to comprehend it on the spiritual planes, for until the Creation of Adam on the 6th day of Creation, this world and our solar system was in an embryonic stage of development; not yet physical, and not yet connected with time and space.
According to the writings of the Midrashim, where the mystical teachings (Sod) of the Torah were archived, the world was not yet in its full physical form which we know today as Planet Earth. The Master of the Universe’s Creative Energies brought physical reality into real physical 3rd dimension existence on Planet Earth with stages of Creation; processes of unknown periods of time called “days”. Not until the creation of man in HaGan Eden (The Garden of Eden) on “Day Six” was the Planet Earth fully created. At that time the sun and the moon were given their order to mark the times of the day and the night and the Era of Time came into existence.
Also the soul of Adam, the “Sparks of the Divine” were also present at every stage of the Creation of Earth. Since our human soul came from Adam, we were also the molecules of the Big Bang as well as we were part of the parts of the fruits of the trees in the Garden, and as the Zohar, the mystical traditions penetrating into Divine Reality, we were the sheep of Abraham’s and Jacob’s flocks. If you have ever had the inner sense that you were “there” or a participant in some moment of time in the ancient past, consider that it may have been true.
As Rabbi Abba wrote in his discourse on Genesis 1:27 – “Elokim (G-d) created Adam in His image. Come see! When the Blessed Holy One created Adam, He made him in the image of the upper and the lower dimensions [in such a way that] he is a microcosm of all of them.
In the Zohar Naso, titled the Idra Rabba, we read:
“Above the firmament….like the appearance of sapphire, was the likeness of a Throne; and over the likeness of the Throne, was a likeness that was like the Appearance of a Man, on it from above.” (Ezekiel 1:26). Like the Appearance of Man that contains all forms. Like the Appearance of Man in which all the upper and lower dimensions are concealed. Like the Appearance of Man which contains all the mysteries that were spoken and rectified before the world was created.”
Inherent also within this creative process were the creations of four universes (worlds) by the Ein Sof (Without End, Infinite), the Creative Source of all Life, who was called the “Hidden One”, the “Ehyem” the “Unfathomable Father in Heaven”. Each world or universe was on a different spiritual plane or energy Level of Creation. The Master of the Universe was known as Adam Kadman, the Archetype of Adam and Eve or the “Divine Image of G-d” and from whom their “Image of G-d” was created. Here was the Primordial Source of all life, with the infinite Energy Source from whom the Worlds of Creation called “Universes” came into being.
The First Universe of Creation (White Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was called The Atzilut. This was the Realm called the ‘World of the Divine’ where the Eternal One, the Almighty G-d of Israel, blessed be his Name, dwelled. Within this realm, known as the 7th Heaven, is where Adam was able to watch the Supernal Fiery Light of G-d being manifested within and throughout all of the universes. The first letter of the secret Name of G-d called the Tetragrammaton, Yod, was attributed to this universe. Here was the World of the Divine, the Great primordial Fire.
Here were the three supernal Emanations of Keter (Kether); the 1st of the Ten Sefirots called the “Crown of the King”, the 2nd of the Ten Sefirots called Chokmah “Divine Wisdom” known as Left Hand of G-d, or the “Pillar of Mercy” and then the 3rd of the Ten Sefirots called Binah, or the (“Understanding” of Divine Reality that was known as the “Right Hand of G-d” or the “Pillar of Justice”.
The Second Universe of Creation (White and Purple Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was Briyah, the World of Creation. This was the first of the created worlds where the exalted spiritual beings called the Archangels and the Great Primordial Fire, the Supernal Light of G-d dwelled. This universal realm encircling the Da’at, known as the Source of Divine Knowledge just as the Archangels surrounded the Throne of the Holy One of Israel.
“The Sefirot by Rabbi Isaac Luria” – Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi,
Kabbalah –Tradition of hidden knowledge, Thames and Hudson, 1979
Within this world, the Archangels were created as “Spirit Beings” and did their assigned tasks as “Messengers for the Divine” or representing the Authority of the Divine Reality in performing the tasks of running the universe. The second letter of the Tetragammation, Hey, was attributed to this universe called Briyah.
The Keter or Crown of this “World of the Spirit Beings” is connected directly with the Tiferet, the “Beauty” of the World of the Divine. Here is the world where the 4th divine emanations of the Sefirot called of Chesed (“Loving Kindness”), the 5th emanation of the Sefirot called Gevurah known as Judgment (Strength), plus the Tiferet known as “Beauty” resided in the Divine Archetype of Reality.
Within Briyah, the Creative Energies of G-d became a vortex that flowed or were funneled through the “Tiferet” and then sent throughout for the continuous creations as the universes and galaxies are formed, destroyed and recreated.
Here is where the most exalted archangel known as the “Angel Before the Presence” and called Metatron, who stood in the Presence of the G-d of Israel at the Level of the Tiferet of the World of the Divine. This exalted angelic Being would someday represent Divine Reality in the Messianic “Kingdom to Come” as YHVH’s Moshiach. This will be the Era in which we will once again be restored to the exalted position of Adam and Chavah (Eve) when they were created on the 6th Day of Creation on Planet Earth. Though created below the angelic hosts, they were capable of perceiving through their universal mental powers (the“Keter of their Image of the Divine”), the entire World of the Divine and the functional economy of the civilizations governed by the Ein Sof, the Eternal One of Israel in “Heaven”.
3. The Third Universe of Creation (Purple and Red Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was Yetzirah, called the World of Formation. The 3rd letter of the Secret Name of G-d called the Tetragrammaton, Vav, was attributed to this universe called Yetzirah. In this exalted realm was the “Heavenly Garden of Eden” where Adam and Chavah were created and dwelled on the 6th Day of Creation plus the world of the angels and the Primordial Air.
There in this exalted realm, Adam and Chavah were created as “Light Beings”. The best representation of this higher dimensional state was when Moses came down from Har Sinai, he glowed with the invigoration of being in the Presence of the Radiance of G-d‘s Majesty. As such when he came back into the presence of the Children of Israel, they could not directly behold his presence so he had to shield his body within a tent while he was communicating with them.
So also Adam and Chavah irradiated the Majesty of G-d as the human blood today contaminated by the coagulation or the lower energy level of existence as it flows within the arteries and veins of our bodies, so also Adam and Chavah internally glowed with the High Energies they received by being able to dwell in the Presence of the Almighty G-d. This “Light” that was radiated from within their beings surrounded their bodies as clothed in a garment of light. In several instances in the Tanakh, we read of this same spiritual phenomenon that is called a “garment of white” which we will receive in our new Creation as we will once again be returned to the exalted realms as “Light Beings” in the World to Come.
The Keter or Crown of this “World of Formation” was connected directly with the Tiferet, the “Beauty” located at the center of the World of the Divine. The exalted mental capacities of Adam resided in the Tiferet of the World of the Divine, where Metatron, the “Angel before the Presence” stood and resided before the Throne of the One G-d of Israel.
Here is the World where the Divine Emanations of G-d are roughly represented to the astral planes. Here is where the Creation of a new human soul is spiritually formed, but before they can gain a physical body, it requires lowering them down into our three dimensional world from the universe of formation where all things are spiritually formed and before they gain a physical existence called “physicality”. This suggests that all humans have a higher and more elevated spiritual plane of existence in a human body that is shielded and protected by our physical skin and gives us our outward appearance. Redemption is where we will finally be connected with our real existence, a Spiritual Light Being, presently occluded and shielded by a covering of physical skin.
Here also within the Universe called the World of Formation is located Netzach (“Eternity”, “Perpetuity”, “Victory”, or “Endurance”), the 7th of the Ten Sefirot is located on the “Left Hand of G-d” called the “Pillar of Mercy” below the higher Emanations of Chokhmah (“Wisdom”) and Chesed (“Loving Kindness”).
Then we come to the Divine Emanation called Hod (“Reverberations and HaShem’s Glory”) on the Right Hand of G-d below and then is completed on the Yesod (“Foundation”) where the spiritual realms of G-d, the Archangels, and the Heavenly Hosts of Spirit Beings called angels settle upon the Yesod or the “Foundation” of the World of the Divine. Below this Level is our physical world, who unknown except by those with “eyes that can see” and “ears that can hear” that this is the lowest of Creation not the highest, and not able to perceive or behold the Spiritual Places where G-d and the angelic hosts dwell.
The Sefirot by Rabbi Isaac Luria” – Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi,
Kabbalah – Tradition of hidden knowledge, Thames and Hudson, 1979
Why then was the World of Adam and Chavah called the Heavenly Garden of Eden? Adam and Chavah in their collective pure state of existence were created on a higher and more exalted plane of existence. They later devolved to a lower state of existence after Adam and Chavah failed to obey G-d’s Command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and in a mistake or a lapse of judgment were convinced by one of the most beautiful of G-d’s lower creations, the Flying Serpent that independence from G-d was “good.”
At the time of his Creation, the “Image of G-d” in which Adam was created gave him the sensory system in which he could see and perceive behind the veil which clouds our spiritual sensory system from perceiving the Spiritual Universes today.
There from one end of the universe to another, Adam and Chavah could observe the myriads of angels as they were flying from one part of the Universes to another. Adam observed their defined missions or planetary responsibilities. He observed that they kept the Divine Spiritual Forces or the Divine Energies called “Emanations” flowing down from G-d to the physical world on Planet Earth and to every other inhabited planet in the universe.
Adam’s “Keter” or the Crown of his existence that mirrored the “Image” of his Divine Father in Heaven, resided in the same dimension as the archangels and the angelic hosts of Heaven. Yet, his being was created in the World of Formation and his lower extremities or feet resided on Terra Firma, Planet Earth where the lower forms of creation came into being. We might now begin to understand the exalted Image of Adam and Chavah, who as Rabbi Abba wrote in his discourse on Genesis 1:27 quoted above:
“When the Blessed Holy One created Adam, He made him in the image of the upper and the lower dimensions [in such a way that] he is a microcosm of all of them.
It is important to notice that Adam and Chavah were created in the same created universe as the heavenly hosts of angels, yet they were different. The “Angels” were created as Spirit Beings, but their realms of responsibility were in the higher “Heavens” called the World of the Spirit Beings.
Adam and Chavah were created in the same universe as the heavenly angels, yet they through their immense mental powers were capable of “walking and talking with G-d”, for they were given their own Sefirot, the “Image of G-d”. They were capable to observe the running of the organizational complexity of Heaven, yet they alone of all the creations could effective change and care for animals, birds, and lower creation of species in the Garden of Eden created on Planet Earth. Here we begin to witness the awesome and wonderful Creation of G-d called “Adam” our forefather who in his own being linked all the four Creations of the Universes and the Five Worlds of Reality.
4. The Fourth Universe of Creation (Red on Red Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was Assiyah that was called the World of Action. This universe surrounded the Emanation of the Divine called the “Yesod” known as the “Foundation” of the Sefirot (Image) of G-d and all Divine Reality. The Fourth letter of the Tetragammation, Hey, was attributed to this Fourth Universe of Creation called Assiyah.
This was the “World of Animal Beings”, many of whom still have the ability to communicate with man such as the chimpanzees, cats, dogs, birds, fish and dolphins; even in ours and their degenerate physical state today. This was also the world of Adam’s lower physical body with all the biological and anabolic processes, the cyclical and monitoring systems plus man’s ego, central nervous system, automatic nervous system, and the skeletal, skin and all the sense organs, plus the vitamins, minerals and elements that compose all living creatures.
This was also the physical world upon which we live, where the vibrations of the flowing electrons are very slow, such as the rocks, minerals, coral depositions, plus the microorganisms, germs, and plankton that provide the elemental food substance that give substance to higher organisms and become the elemental particles of life for recreation new life within our bodies and regeneration. These low level vibrations included also the marble granite boulders and the sedimentary deposits that formed the matrix of our earth’s crust and mantle. Here at the bottom or the base of the Sefirot of G-d (“Image”) was the Malkhut called the Kingdom and it leaves us a very sobering thought; at the bottom of all Creations, we as scientists and researchers of the Grand Order of Things have to conceive; we are at the bottom of all the worlds of the Divine, yet we think we are so exalted in our sinful and degradated state.
The Vortex of G-d’s Glory over the Wilderness Tabernacle
Let us now relook at the Sefirot of the One G-d of Israel, for it is there where the primary channels of Divine Energy and Power flows down from King of the Universe or the (Keter) Crown of the Divine Sefirot of G-d. Yes, the Crown is where the Ein Sof, the One G-d of Israel reigns. G-d’s unlimited Energy Emanations flow through Hokhmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) and from there, like a cascade or an energy vortex, it flows down “through” the Tiferet, called Beauty. Through this vortex of Divine Emanations is the funnel where the Creation of the four Universes flowed through the “Central Pole of Mercy” to the Yesod, the “Foundation of the Divine Sefirot of G-d” and below to sin-contaminated Planet Earth, where the spiritual dimensions of Reality cannot today normally be perceived.
At the bottom of the Sefirot of the World of the Divine is the Malkhut called “Kingdom”. Here is where happens the revelation of the Almighty as He manifests Himself in the created worlds and universes. The Almighty One of Israel is the One G-d of Creation and the Source of the infinite Energy of Creation. The Malkhut, the Kingdom of G-d is at the bottom of the Sefirot, and where G-d plants His Presence on earth and sends His Divine Energy to the lowest of created life. Yet, all are sustained by the same G-d.
Even so, the visual imagery of the Presence of the G-d of Israel was seen in the everyday life of the Henrews who met their G-d at Mount Sinai. The Malkhut was where the Presence of the L-rd of Hosts dwelled in the Shekinah. When the Glory of the L-rd was revealed over the Most Holy Place in the Sanctuary as the Pillar of Fire, our forefathers were assured that their G-d was dwelling within their midst.
The diagram model of the Sefirot is but a two dimensional view, yet let your mind envision it as a vortex of a tornado and you might comprehend the picture of the flow of the vast Power of Energy of the Divine as it enters the point of manifestation in our three-dimensional world. As the vortex of Energy descended and dwelled upon the Ark of the Covenant we could now envision that the Shekinah of G-d and the Ruach HaKodesh were One and the same. It is because of this that we can assuredly say:
“Shemah Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad!”
( “Listen Israel, the L-ord is our G-d, the L-rd is One!” )
The mystical traditions of our nation have given us the deepest understanding of the Mysteries of the Divine. Since all life began at creation, so this is the entry point of comprehending who is the Creator of the Universe. Not only was the G-d of Israel the Creator of the Universe, so also He was the Creator of the Nation of Israel, and the Creator of the Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the forefathers of the Chosen People.