The Sephiroth

Our examination of the sephiroth as they appear in Adam Kadmon will be more specific than in their appearances in the Crown Diamond, in which the unity of the spheres is revealed, and in which the intricacies of correlation make exposition difficult in these early days of its study on Earth. In Adam Kadmon are learned the foundational facets, or distinctions, of each sphere (1 Cor. 12). In the Crown Diamond is revealed their collective uniformity according to the Spirit, by which the many facets combine to display the perfect brilliance of the Foundation Stone (Eph. 4).

If these claims seem a little too grandiose to pursue, they are nevertheless not far from the creation parable of the flesh. Experience teaches us that, though distinct from the eye, the hand can function in the power of the elohim of sight, as sight in the power of the Elohim of touch: the ability to reach out and examine is common to both faculties. The outward differences of the bodily members are among our greatest blessings; for it is by the distinct delineation of each member that the fullness of Elohim is perceived, even as it is by the coordinated functioning of all members that the ineffable unity of Elohim is known.

The sephiroth of Adam Kadmon have been given many labels by many students of the scriptures over many centuries. We affirm the fruit of every sincere effort to understand their meanings: we therefore accept kabbalah-- the tradition-- in the main, though not always the letter of traditional writings: with reservations only for those branches of kabbalah that have concerned themselves with magical applications-- which, if valid, nevertheless exalt themselves above the will of YHWH, who can perform wonders without our aid.

There are some for whom the term "tradition" will be a stumbling block because of the literal teachings of Y'shúa and the prophets. It was not the traditions themselves, however, that caused offense, but their observances according to the letter. To walk in the understanding that comes in newness of the Spirit is to be free of the condemnation that comes by the letter. The fathers, as well as the sons, share access to the same Spirit, as the writings testify. One who believes he can safely scoff at tradition has not understood that, in Messiah, is the affirmation of all that belongs to the Father of Lights (John 1:1-5).

To wash cups and such by the Holy Spirit is to wash within, as the cups are understood to be found within. To designate something as korban in the Spirit is to know its proper use; for the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is able to communicate its use to us-- both implicitly, as we continue to walk in Ruach haQodesh, and also explicitly, should we begin to stray from the Spirit's constant and reliable guidance.

Traditional conceptions of the sephiroth are scattered throughout the religious writings of time. One interested in the mystical kabbalah might well begin with The Zohar ("The Splendor"), which is now available in its entirety in English translation, on the web as well as in print. An excellent primer for historical kabbalah can be found in Encyclopedia Judaica, available at most larger libraries. A good overview of basic concepts and approaches can be obtained in the reprint of Dion Fortune's book, The Mystical Qabalah. As every man must witness according to the measure of truth entrusted to him, however (Gal. 6:5), this presentation will largely confine itself to those understandings given to its author by HaShem, "who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not" (James 1:5).

The sephiroth are numbered from One to Ten. Some begin their conscious study of the spheres at Emanation One; others, at Ten; and still others, at Six. My conscious study of the sephiroth began with Sphere Nine, which is commonly rendered Yesod, or "Foundation": "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ"-- Jesu Christus, Khristos Iesous, Y'shúa haMashiyach/jycmh owchy: Joshua, son of Nun/None-- son of potentiality, of perpetuity; son of Noon (Acts 7:45): Yah's Shúa: the appearance of the Salvation/owc of Yah/Jah/hy manifested in the anointed One of YHWH/Unity (Is. 29:21). Having so begun, I will so proceed.

The Cross at Yesod
The Cross at Tipareth
The Door
When I first examined Adam Kadmon, then, my attention focused itself on Yesod (Prov. 9:12). I saw within the diagram an image of the body of a man, with bound feet extending below (Malkuth) and with arms outstretched above (Hod, Netsach). I saw an image suggestive of the earthly crucifixion of Messiah. Without instruction in the mysteries of kabbalah, I understood, by first seeing the cross of the Jesus of my youthful instruction in American protestantism, that the symbol belonged to "things Christian," whether or not it was very "Christian" to investigate further.

But look further I did-- higher, as it were: to discover, in the next court, what I took to be the cross of the resurrected Messiah, and which I later came to understand as being representative, also, of the spiritual cross borne by Messiah from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). What had appeared from the view below as outstretched arms (Hod, Netsach) became as liberated feet above. The new body mass became Tipareth (Beauty), and the new pair of outstretched arms (Din, Chesed) spoke no longer of surrender, but of power. In the two perceptions, I therefore recalled to my mind the death, burial, and the resurrection of Mashiyach.

Looking two courts higher, I saw a Trinitarian conception (Chokmah, Binah, Kether), and began to understand the meaning of the scripture, "No man cometh to the Father, but by me." I had not yet come to the Father, though He has been always with me (Ps. 139:8), nor yet to any real comprehension of the Unity of the concepts of Father, Son, and Spirit; but I found that my mind was now, somehow, more ordered for the approach. In growing faith that the Son would someday reveal the Unity to me (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 11:27), I turned my attention once again inward, and to those aspects of the sephiroth that speak of things familiar-- of the first Adam.

Not everyone, as I have said, will find themselves beginning this study as I began. We all walk the same path (James 2:10), but awareness of the journey comes at different points in the walk for different people (Rom. 5:8). Some may need to begin, consciously, at Malkuth, the tenth emanation, also known as "Kingdom."

In the simplified view of the meanings of Malkuth, this is the foot of the earthly cross of Messiah Y'shúa, as implied earlier. If you have yet to come to know Mashiyach as a personage-- as one like unto yourself-- you must begin at this parable, whether consciously or not; for HaShem opens only to His own (John 10:1-2, 11-14; Rev. 3:7), teaching by Y'shúa, "In all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matt. 7:12). If you would have HaShem open unto you, you must first open unto Him (Rev. 3:20).

Even so I began, before my first encounter with Adam Kadmon, having become disgusted with a worldly life of mixed success. As I looked forward into the various futures possible for me in the world of men, I concluded that the best of them could not satisfy my soul; and I gladly left everything, counting it as nothing, to wander here and there between pivotal locales of my empty life, having decided that nothing mattered to me more than a personal acquaintance with the illusive man called Jesus. Even in the contexts of my resolve and my religious preconditioning, however, I had but a dim awareness of what I was doing, and hardly an inkling of what it might possibly mean in my life, should I fulfill my quest.

I was so nearly a fool. I rather believed, subconsciously, that I would encounter Messiah-- literally-- on some street, somewhere! And so I did, after a fashion; but not on the street: just off of it, while taking a stolen rest on a poker table in New York City's Greenwich Village, at a place, now gone, called "Singapore Sam's Cafe Caricature." I remember thinking, through the confusion of drugs, "There must be some way to talk with God directly!"

And there is! I remember my head turning (I'm sure I didn't turn it), and seeing-- as it were-- a hole appear in the dilapidated wall to my right, providing a window to unknown regions through an ambient halo of green. "I wonder what that is?" I thought. "Maybe it's the Holy Spirit," came an answer.

A "dreamer" from my youth and now well into drugs, I was used to such things as voices that seem to come from nowhere and portions of the universe that appear and disappear, unexpectedly, without explanation. In consequence, I gave it all little serious thought, really expecting no answer to what I had not seriously recognized as a prayer: allowing the dimly measured and (I thought) somewhat sarcastic response to recede, quietly, into subconscious memory.

Immediately as the thought began to fade, however, it was as though a balloon filled with water had burst over my body: whoosh!...and I was no longer my own, although I had yet to realize it. Nothing had prepared me for the magnanimity of God's grace and the free gift of His salvation: the presence of His Holy Spirit within the hearts of His children.

Just minutes after baptism in the Holy Spirit, I heard a commotion on the street. "Guess I'll go see what's happening," I thought. Upon arriving at the front of the store, I saw a big black man walking down the street and waving his arms, saying, "Praise God! HalleluYah! You people don't know nothing, but I know! Praise God!" As I watched him near the corner of Bleecker Street, my conscious thought was, "There goes another nut!" The old man in me scoffed, but the still-subconscious mind of the babe now being born in me watched with eyes full of wonder.

The verbalized thought of dismissal had barely cleared the overcharged synapses of my simmering brain, when I spontaneously emptied everything from my pockets and headed Uptown: saying to everyone I met, "Jesus is coming!" without understanding why I was doing it. I wasn't confused beyond my norm, particularly-- just contentedly blank, and willing to go with the flow, which was good enough for me.

When I reached Central Park, I thought to follow bicycle trails I had walked before; but the City had, synchro-iconoclastically, begun excavations to lay sewage pipes down the center of my favorite paths. Not knowing what else to do, I headed back Downtown by the West Side Docks, a new experience for me. A day tripper way out of his element as night approached, I thought I needed help at one point; and I imagined that an angel came to walk beside me. One of the passers-by must have seen it there; for he jumped out of my way as though repelled by a magnetic charge. He was street-hip, no doubt.

I think it occurred to me that it was distinctly possible that things were now, somehow, somewhat different! I wandered around for a day or so in this deliberation, walking through familiar routines without the usual satisfaction, until I found myself in front of a big, imposing church. Upon arriving there, something in me stopped! I can't really say that I stopped. Not knowing why, I stood there, foolishly, waiting with some perplexity. A tiny voice said, "Go in and wait." I did.

Inside, I realized that I was inside a church without having been forced to go, and that I believed that I was actually supposed to be there! I had no idea why, beyond a vague memory of my instructions. I figured I might as well pray, or something, while waiting. I did my best. When closing time came, two men approached and said, "You'll have to leave, now; we're closing the doors for the night." They sounded a lot like funeral directors. "He told me to wait here!" I protested. It was, as I considered the problem, rather nice to have a place to sit.

"Oh! He did, did he!?" they sneered; whereupon, they picked me up (one burly man grabbing each arm), yanked me out of the pew, and threw me bodily back into the street. At last I was certain that what was happening to me was some kind of religious experience (John 16:2)! Remarkable, the verses that stick in the minds of those who have made no serious attempt to study scripture. But, bless those men, I deserved it: I was still stoned (2 Sam. 7:14)!

About a thousand mindless exclamations later, I concluded that I had probably received the Holy Spirit [I wasn't altogether sure, as I thought water baptism came first, or something (Acts 10 would have helped a lot)] and that I had better get myself to a real church somewhere to find out what ought to be done! After a few more days' lollygagging and marijuana smoking, I headed home-- well, that's where I intended to go; but where I actually went was to the city of my natural birth and to the church of my natural parents.

After settling in with relatives, I decided to go to a revival meeting and to obey whatever they said to do, no matter how difficult. I sat down in an inconspicuous place. The family was pleased to see me. As the singing began, it sounded more pleasant than I remembered it. I was nearly ready to enjoy myself-- my still-stoned self-- when a Great Force literally yanked me out of the pew...(Here I go again! But this time without hands: nobody ever told me about Leviticus 10:9, and I certainly hadn't read it!) and sent me on my way.

The church followed me out after no small confusion. I don't know how they found me; but when they caught up, I was firmly seated on a three-legged stool in my grandpa's abandoned workshop before a lighted candle I got from somewhere at some time I remember not at all. The garage was, otherwise, utterly dark; and I must have seemed spectral, certainly: perched there in the gloom, before the single light of the candle.

"Why don't you come to me where I am?" I pleaded. "Why must I first become pure, in order to be saved?" The doctrines I had learned from my youth taught me-- in part because of my naturally convoluted reasoning-- that salvation was rather like a pat on the back for "doing the right thing." Alone before the judgment of ministers, I had no idea that salvation is an ongoing process, and that the trappings belonging to the sinner that I had so long been would accompany me for so many more long years to come as I pursued perfection. Ignorant of the process of salvation, I saw my unworthiness reflected in gaping eyes that ought to have regarded me as a brother, wretch though I was. The disaster was shared by all.

Unprepared because of tradition, the family church had no choice but to begin casting out devils. No doubt I was wrestling with a few (Deut. 7:22), but my words of question to them came by the Holy Spirit; and the answer to those questions came little by little on a fantastic journey of thirteen years to my water baptism-- it's coming still today, little by little! Baruch HaShem: Praise The Name of Yahúwah, YHWH/hwhy! Glory belongs to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: unending majesty; because these three are operations of the one God. HaShem, He is El; and He is One; and all that we perceive of Him is but the glory of His faces-- of His countenance turned towards us as it shines with the full spectra of light upon the world of men. HalleluYah!

The First & Second Adam

Chapter 3