Friday, March 30, 2012

The "Name of Seventy-two Names": A Biblical Spin-off - Part 6

To fully comprehend the intimate relationship between the Tetragrammaton and the “Shem Vayisa Vayet,” we have to consider the kabbalistic “Four Worlds” concept, each “World” being, as it were, a single letter of the Ultimate Word represented by the four letters of the Ineffable Name. In this regard, it is worth noting again the four expanded versions, i.e. full spellings of the individual letters, of the Tetragrammaton [addressed in chapter 1 of "The Book of Sacred Names"]. These four expansions are said to pertain to the “Four Worlds” in the following manner:
Kabbalists use the acrostic ASMaB in reference to these four expansions, and it is understood that the “Four Worlds” came into being as expressions of these expansions of the Tetragrammaton. However, it should be kept in mind that the extended Name termed (AV) does not only correspond to Olam ha-Atzilut, but it is understood the “World of Emanation” actually emanated out of this Name. The same applies to the other three expansions of the Ineffable Name.
However, there are further aspects regarding the “Four Worlds” which need to be considered. We are taught that from the powerful rays of light streaming from the forehead of Adam Kadmon, the primordial human prototype, marvelous forms were emanated into manifestation. These are said to comprise Te’amim (cantillation notes), Nekudot (vowel points), Tagim (crowns), and the Otiot (Hebrew glyphs). Regarding this Gershom Scholem wrote “Thus, two essentially different symbolisms—that of light, and that of language and writing—are here joined. Every constellation of light has its particular linguistic expression, though the latter is not directed toward the lower worlds but rather inward toward its own hidden being. These lights combine to form ‘names’ whose concealed potencies become active and are made manifest through concealed ‘configurations’ (millu’im) where each letter is fully written out by its name in the alphabet. This primordial world described by linguistic symbols was precipitated from the lights of Adam Kadmon’s forehead.....”
Again it should be noted that the listed forms, collectively known by the acrostic TaNTA (Te’amim, Nekudot, Tagim, Otiot), are understood to pre-exist within the inner being of primordial man prior to their radiation into manifestation. Furthermore, they are considered to correlate exactly with the ASMaB, the four expansions of the Ineffable Name, as indicated in the following table:
Both the ASMaB and the TaNTA refer to the manner in which the light of Ayn Sof became inhibited and focussed into forms. However this process is further facilitated in a most meaningful way, because each aspect of the ASMaB and the TaNTA are conjoined with a single letter of the Ineffable Name, as well as with the Sefirot, and finally with a Partzuf (an archetypal image). Thus we have:
Briefly the “cantillation” refers to a style of liturgical chanting indicated by the small chanting pointers in Hebrew scripture. The “vowel points” refer to ten types of markings placed underneath, inside, or on top of the Hebrew letters, in order to indicate which vowels are to be used in the pronunciation of a Hebrew word. The “crowns” refer to the little decorative lines which are placed on top of certain letters in some Hebrew sacred writings:
In this regard, there are also illustrations of the Ineffable Name adorned with twenty-four “crowns,” each of which comprises three apexes or “rays” resulting again in the combination 24 x 3 = 72, as indicated in the following highly decorative illustration:
These “triple-rayed crowns” are understood to align with the “Name of Seventy-Two” Names. Simpler versions of the same image can be found in primary Kabbalistic writings:
In the latter instance the author ensured the four letters comprising the Ineffable Name are clearly distinguishable, in contrast to the more elaborate version in which the letter Heh is represented as a Chet . Be that as it may, such illustrations are particularly popular amongst Hermetic Kabbalists, especially with those who marvel at the “mysteries” of the “Shemhamforash” referred to in works like the “The Key of Solomon” in which the author, purportedly King Solomon, tells us that he had “done great things by the virtue of the Schema Hamphorasch, and by the Thirty-two Paths of Yetzirah. Number, weight, and measure determine the form of things; the substance is one, and God createth it eternally.
Happy is he who comprehendeth the Letters and the Numbers. The Letters are from the Numbers, and the Numbers from the Ideas, and the Ideas from the Forces, and the Forces from the Elohim. The Synthesis of the Elohim is the Schema. The Schema is one, its columns are two, its power is three, its form is four, its reflection giveth eight, which multiplied by three giveth unto thee the twenty-four Thrones of Wisdom.
Upon each Throne reposeth a Crown with three Rays, each Ray beareth a Name, each Name is an Absolute Idea. There are Seventy-two Names upon the Twenty-four Crowns of the Schema. Thou shalt write these Names upon Thirty-six Talismans, two upon each Talisman, one on each side. Thou shalt divide these Talismans into four series of nine each, according to the number of the Letters of the Schema.
Upon the first Series thou shalt engrave the Letter Yod, symbolised by the Flowering Rod of Aaron. Upon the second the Letter HE, symbolised by the Cup of Joseph. Upon the third the Letter Vau, symbolised by the Sword of David my father. And upon the fourth the HE final, symbolised by the Shekel of Gold. These thirty-six Talismans will be a Book which will contain all the Secrets of Nature. And by their diverse combinations thou shalt make the Genii and Angels speak.” These and similar notions found in other writings, have been expanded upon by “adepts” of “Hermetic Magical Orders.”
(More to follow)

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