Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Light: Connecting Principle of Creation

In Kabbalah, the 10 Sephirot are the emanations of the Divine attributes of God. The Ein Sof (limitless) is the unknowable, undifferentiated, infinite Divine essence. The 10 emanations of the Sephirot enable the Creation to know God, and become God's attributes that reveal divinity. They are also channels through which all of Creation is continu0us and God is the only true existence. A "Chain of Progression" (Seder hishtalshelsus) of interpenetrating "Worlds", including the Four Worlds (Atziluth, Beri'ah, Yetzirah, and Assiah-more on these in next article) links the Ein Sof with the physical world.

Each of the Sephirot consists of a "light" (an "ohr") that is vested in a "vessel" (a "kli"; plural keilim). This light is simple, pure and undifferentiated, as it originally flows from the Ohr Ein Sof ("The Light of the Ein Sof"), God's infinite light. It represents Divine revelation in the world. It is associated with the Kabbalistic Divine name of Ban. The differentiation between the 10 Sephirot, each with its own particular characteristic, arises from each of their different spiritual vessels. The light adapts itself to each vessel, to express the particular nature of each vessel.

Kabbalists read their mystical teachings into exegetical interpretations of scripture and Rabbinic literature. This arose from their belief that Kabbalah forms part of the Oral Torah inherent in the revelation at Mount Sinai. Consequently, in Jewish tradition, each verse and concept can be interpreted in the fourfold Jewish method of Pardes , with the metaphysical interpretations of Kabbalah and Hasidic philosophy forming the Sod (secret) level of meaning. In this way, Kabbalah interprets a second meaning in Talmudic legislation and use of the term for "vessel" (kli).

In the Hasidic sense a vessel is an object that can serve a useful purpose, even if it may not resemble a physical receptacle. This term is used frequently in discussion of the laws of Shabbat . In Jewish mysticism, typically, these narratives are given metaphysical interpretations, which relate "kli" to its Kabbalistic meaning.

In Hasidic philosophy, the plural fourfold levels of meaning are viewed as uniting in a higher essential source of explanation that describes Divinity. Jewish mysticism views such alternative, spiritual interpretations of Torah as stemming from more revealed Divine realms in the Chain of Worlds.


X. Dell said...

Forgive me for saying this, but when you wrote "vessel," what immediately came to my mind was the legendary accounts of extraterrestrials who constantly refer to the human body as a vehicle. Some cite the "higher spirituality" of EBEs as a facet of their intellectual superiority. Maybe they (assuming they exist) would see us very differently from how we see ourelves?

Just letting you know that my work is winding down, and I 'll be catching up with all your posts soon.

Devin said...

Nothing to forgive X- for that is what came into my mind also !!
I am almost one hundred percent convinced these intelligences exist - what I am not at all sure of is "where" they come from - ie dont know if it is other physical planets or some dimension orthagonal to ours
I am so glad you are getting some breathing room finally from work!!
and there is never any hurry as far as I am concerned for folks to comment and read posts of mine- I have been "slouching" lately getting around the net to friends myself- have done a lot of research and printing stuff off - and now I am not even sure if I will use 10 percent of it- a lot of blind alleys!!
all the best to you !!