Saturday, April 19, 2014

Divine Speech & the Foundation of Life

A very important point to consider when it comes to Hebrew Divine Names, is the fact that just as every letter of the Hebrew alphabet was, and still is, considered to be the “embodiment” of a Spirit Intelligence, each being an “Angel,” so to speak, so are Divine Names understood to be more than just personal identifications. It is believed that they actually are the respective qualities or aspects of Divinity hidden within their inner meanings, thus the incantation of “Divine Names” would release, as it were, the special powers they embody. These Names are considered to be “Words of Power,” since they are both expressions of the “nature” of Divinity, as well as “Angels” or Spirit Intelligences, who direct those aspects of the Divine Nature encapsulated within them into actual existence. Naturally such Divine Names would be of particular interest to many readers, however we first have to master some basic concepts and teachings before we can focus on practical applications. What is at present of primary importance to us, is to understand why “Divine Names” are so important in both speculative and practical Kabbalah, and here the primary factor is the Hebrew alphabet and its use as an “archetypal language,” so to speak.

In Hebrew the alphabet is referred to as the Otiot. This is the plural form of the word Ot meaning both a “letter” and a “sign,” since each letter implies a unique spiritual power. Another point that must be considered is that each Hebrew glyph is a word comprising letters, and that every letter has a specific meaning. Each letter also signifies an associated spiritual power through its form, sound and gematria, the latter referring to the fact that every Hebrew glyph is also a number and that words with the same numerical value are understood to relate to each other. This is indeed a most serious subject, since as mentioned earlier, every single sign of the Hebrew Alphabet is considered to be the embodiment of a “spirit intelligence,” and thus there are extremely strict rules as far as the construction and writing, the actual calligraphy, of each letter is concerned.

In fact, the written Hebrew glyphs themselves are understood to be “living intelligences” with bodies, minds and souls. The printed or written letter, including its vocal expression, comprises the physical part of its manifestation, that is its “body,” whereas in its essence it belongs to the subtle realm of Maggidim, the Angelic Messengers. In this subtle realm it multiplies, as it were, to create the manifested world of words, meanings and objects. In their primordial state of emanation the Otiot are the primordial frequencies of the Cosmos in that space (Makom) where all are one in the Eternal No-thing from whence all life emanates as Light.

So it is understood by some that the mere scanning of Hebrew glyphs, is enough to unleash powerful spiritual forces, which have remarkable effects on the psyche of the one who is doing the scanning. By this I mean that uttering a Divine Name, or even just reading it, causes an inner response in the reader or utterer, which is very important to know and acknowledge in a conscious manner. Furthermore, it is understood in Kabbalah that when the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, the Otiot, are spoken with a suitably associated godly stance or intention, the “Angels” corresponding to those letters are invoked. Hence, in order to align oneself in an appropriate manner with these “Spirit Intelligences” in the Hebrew glyphs, Kabbalists employ the three traditional methods of mivta—vocalising the letters and names, michtav—writing them, and mashav— contemplating their forms.

However, I believe one has to first change ones normal reasoning from being involved with the delineation of objects to perceiving the objects directly. If we discuss a perfume, sound, or anything experienced through the senses, we invoke reactions and images stored in the memory of the listener, that is, we stimulate the imagination of a person. Here then we have to alter our usual approach of describing something to actually experiencing it as if we are it, and it is believed that this awareness is imparted by the Hebrew alphabet as a universal power to the mind. As we know, Kabbalah teaches that if you wish to achieve a desired state of awareness, one related to a specific attitude, you could “program,” as it were, that desired state into yourself through the use of an appropriate associated Divine Name. Even an affiliated word (not necessarily a Divine Name) used as a Hagah (Hebrew mantra), can reconstruct the psyche one way or the other. Again, as mentioned in “The Book of Self Creation,” and reiterated in "The Book of Sacred Names," as the Hebrew letters are formed into words which are uttered in prayers, or even just written down, the powers of those “Spirit Intelligences” associated with the letters are actually powerfully focussed in those words.

It is believed that it is through the powers inherent in the Otiot that many great wonders are worked in manifestation. In fact, Kabbalists understand quite clearly that the whole of existence, all forms within it, are expressions of the Hebrew letters into a multitude of configurations or “words.” This is understood to be the fundamental meaning of Psalm 33:6 reading “By the word of God the heavens came into being, and all the host by the breath of his mouth.” It has been said that for Kabbalists the concepts of “name” and “form” equate, and that these are linked to the Hebrew alphabet, the fundamental essence of existence incorporating also “number” and “dimension.” Thus they have at their disposal a mighty instrument comprised of the glyphs of the Otiot, through which they do not only understand the workings of creation (Ma’aseh B’reishit), or manipulate material existence (Ma’aseh Merkavah), but can move into the “Inner Beingness” of the “Infinite Source,” through whom creation is continuously emanating into existence.

Kabbalists believe the universe continues to exist because its physical actuality is eternally reaffirmed in the “Now,” and it has been said that the sacred utterance which originated the heavens, abides within them forever. The cosmos perpetuates because the Divine utterance “Let there be a firmament” (Genesis 1:4) is enduringly reiterated in the “Now.” The same applies to every segment of manifestation in which the first Divine Utterance, “Let there be light,” is repeated endlessly. God’s original creative will is eternally present, if not, all would return to the “nothing” beyond manifestation. Thus the “word of God” gives being to all existence. The “word” literally “becomes flesh,” and in this regard the Torah plays a most major role for both Kabbalists and those mainstream religionists who view the Hebrew Bible to be an enormous Divine Name. Every word within it is a potent “Word of Power,” the utterance of which invokes extremely potent forces.

What is required and important in studying and working the techniques of practical Kabbalah, is the ability to recognise, read and utter the letters and Divine Names. In this regard, a general introduction to the mystical meaning of each letter, as well as gaining some ideas regarding certain Hebrew terms, is perfectly acceptable. Such knowledge can facilitate not only a deeper insight into the more profound interpretations of Sacred Scripture, but also a more profound perspective on the meaning of creation and all life within it. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to concentrate on the concept of the divine within the language, and how, through several methods, this knowledge is expanded into one of the most remarkable systems of God and self “realisation.” This I have attempted to address in as great as possible detail in the first three volumes of my "Shadow Tree Series," i.e. "The Book of Self Creation"; "The Book of Sacred Names"; and "The Book of Seals & Amulets."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm curious to know, is it okay for Gentiles to practice Jewish Kabbalah?

I've been searching for the answer and I've found a few pages/rabbis who say that if the 7 commandments of Noah are followed, then a gentile can practice.

Do you consider that a requirement for gentiles? And do Jews have to fulfill the 613 mizvot?