[This section is drawn on so much information based in the Kabbalah where all the notes given to it would flood the writing itself. Therefore, to reduce some of the notation I offer credit to the following authors. Aryeh Kaplan, for “The Bhair Illumination” (1979), “Inner Space” (1990/1991), and “Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation” (1997), along with Gershom Scholem, for “Kabbalah: A Definitive History of Jewish Mysticism” (1978), both being strong contemporary voices of Kabbalistic doctrine. Other interesting perspective and analysis is that of Gabriella Samuel from “The Kabbalah Handbook” (2007), and Rabbi Michael L. Munk from “The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet” (1983), except where otherwise noted. All biblical references are taken from the “Harper Study Bible” (RSV) with language references taken from the “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance”.]
In the earliest stages of Creative Awareness, the level of God-Force (Kabbalah; Ain-Sof) is viewed as being a ‘singularity’ of unified force, such that there is no division in God, and thus, no self defined Trinity. It is only by the division of God being drawn into the God-Self that we find the makings of an eternal Trinity, even though the Unified Trinity is not as eternal as God, such that the Trinity had to be formed and is the primal point of the actual Beginning. We find that the Christ disposition is the ‘first of creation’ [Colossians 1:15-20]; such that through this essence “all things were created, into heaven and onto earth, visible and invisible, whether Thrones or Dominions, Principalities or Authorities – all things were created through him and for him”.
The ‘him’ being named here is viewed best in the Kabbalah as the primeval consciousness of divine energy drawn from the “Ain” to fill a cosmic void, that is the resulting cause/effect of God drawing from the “One” the God-Self within the “One”. God has no room for Creation to exude due to the ‘less-than nature’ of creation being able to withstand the Superlative nature of God-Force; it would self-destruct in the same instance. God then sanctions a ‘reflection’ of himself as the God-Self that we will be discussing in this chapter, relative to the Adam Kadmon or Divine Son. This is the God-Self set in the supernal nature that is ‘above’ the cosmic physicality that we observe throughout the astral realms of this universe; it is the cosmic dimension that is archetypal of the astral dimensions. This is the Cosmic Triad defined from the Superlative, to the Supernal, to the Corporeal.
Note that all the realms of the visible and invisible that have ever been called into creation, regardless of their natures (Thrones, Dominions, Principalities or Authorities) in the Heavenly or the Earthly are then formed ‘through’ the Christ Nature, that the Kabbalic tradition refers to as the Logos or Christos, in the Adam Kadmon or Archetypal Man that instills Christ Consciousness. This is the ‘Word’ of the singularity (God-Force) of the God-Self becoming Triadic by dividing the single Superlative nature into partitions of three Supernal forces; the Father, as the original “Ain” nature that is the absolute stream of energetic God-Force; the Son, that is the definitive Spirit of creation established in the aforementioned Christos; and the essence of the Holy Spirit (Shekinah/Holy Ghost).
Oddly enough, the Holy Spirit isn’t considered biblically until Matthew 1:18, when Mary is touched by the Angel/Spirit and found with child. This is a ‘messenger’ spirit that is a partition of the final God-Self, what Christianity would refer to as the last of the Trinity, where all these forces emulate the Triadic state of God drawn into the God-Self. The same Holy Spirit is ‘given’ to physical man when the Christ Consciousness is ‘resurrected’ and ushers in the direct connection between earthly man and divine spirit. Thus, Karmic Law bred from Mosaic Law through Aaron is replaced by a sacrificed Messiah that offers Grace (New Law) instead of Judgment. [Hebrews 7-8]
The Christ Consciousness (Christos) is not to be confused as being that of Jesus – the man – as this is simply a human soul personified in the Flesh of earth, as we all are. The investiture of divine consciousness occurs at his baptism offered by John the Baptist, in such a way that a human being is paired with a supernal divine consciousness in similar response in yielding to the divine (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). It’s fair to conclude that the Christ Nature that entered with this Human Soul was prepared to usher in a greater age of human consciousness that had been rising for millennium – and has done so through repetition in the course of various incarnations since Adam. The Lion is of the Earth, and relates only to astral terms, whereas the Lamb is of the Supernal Consciousness emulated in the Adam Kadmon, the High Priest (Psalms 110:3-4; Hebrews 5:1-7) that is mentioned in the First and Last Adam of mankind (I Corinthians 15:42-50). From here we have to rationalize the essence of the Word as it ‘enters’ flesh, as a priest of dominion and servitude before all of mankind, age after age, life after life; a chosen condition in the essence of the Earthly.
The God-Force/Spirit is the foundation of the pre-creative dominion in the ‘superlative’ nature or Absolute God – as the highest complete nature that can be considered – cannot actually be defined or identified to anything physically specific; it is the Ain, or No-Thingness of force that ‘is’ before anything else conceived as Creation. This force can be said to be the ‘sleeping giant’ of creation, as the One God that is far beyond yet deep within all Creation. This force is first noted in Genesis I as “Yawheh” (that will become Yawheh Elohim – Lord of Hosts – in Genesis II exclusively), a natural force related to the ancient god of fire and war that is spoken of in certain Mesopotamian myths, as “Ea”, the ancient Lord of The Deep. This is a far more ancient namesake for the ‘Great I Am’ that is so deeply rooted in scripture up into the day of Abraham, as the father of the chosen people – the god of Abraham’s fathers. We can also note that this same ‘fathering’ nature is found in so many ancient legends that all mimic, to a certain degree, the same initiating creative force that is seen in pre-dawn creation; The Father (God-Force) of the Divine Trinity (God-Self). Much of this nature will be further considered as we delve deeper into tradition, but fair enough to say that the Unified essence noted here is only a part of what is necessary to instill Creation.
We are comparing apples and oranges to some extent, since the ancient Mesopotamian references will undergo thousands of years of change between what we consider as Adamic Man, to Enoch, Abraham and Melchizedek, to Elijah, and then David to Daniel, up to the Babylonian Exile and the Minor Prophets, with up to 400 years before a correction is manifested in humanity. And it is in Babylon that the so called ‘chosen people’ are ousted for embracing the elder ‘gods’ as an pollution to their ancient creed.
We then move on to the second partition rooted in The Christos, or the Spirit of The Son, that is firmly defined in the later Kabbalic traditions. In many ways, this ‘son’ aspect can be viewed as God birthing a force from ‘Himself’ – through the Shekinah, as a woman would bear a child – and is to become the ‘mediating’ force that instills Creation itself. It is only in Colossians (1:15-20) that we find a viable reference to this force, or entity as being the ‘first act of creation’, when a sleeping Superlative Spirit rises and births its own creative ‘progeny’.
This sibling-force is significant, as we must note that Creation has protocol to it. God cannot create anything that would be directly equivalent to God, such that ALL creation is therefore something less than its founding agent. This has no reductive effect on presence, as omnipresence, or power, as omnipotence, since the creative agent is derived from the originating source as an ‘agent’ of that source, and thus, the Superlative Father/Spirit appears as relevant as the Christ Consciousness that is the creative mediator. In basic terms, this conscious agent is a ‘filtering’ level of force that stabilizes creation from the absolute nature of the One, allowing creation to subsist at all; a relative mediator of Tzimtzum force in the Shattering of Vessels that first developed the Creative Void. In other words, Creation had to be practiced and layered in order to stabilize the forces of the superlative and supernal states of consciousness.
The Son Spirit is the core product or partition of God-Force that manifests the God-Self that will become the reflective agent of the One God; the characteristic expression that interprets creative design for the ultimate source as the Architect of Creation. This is akin to a lead architect placing a second in command over a project site, totally entrusting their power to be administered properly. This single facet of the Trinity is noted as the ‘go-between’ in the triadic aspect, and can then be defined as being placed between the ‘thought’ of God-Force and the ‘action’ of God-Self – as the Voice of God, the spoken ‘Word’ of God-Force that must ‘echo’ in the essence of Creation lest all of creation be destroyed by the Absolute force of a Superlative God.
The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that: In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word trias (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A.D. 180. He speaks of “the Trinity of God [the Father], His Word and His Wisdom (“Ad. Autol.”, II, 15). Theophilus used the word ’trinity’ as we might describe our own nature as a trinity of body, soul and spirit; where the trinity is God putting His own Wisdom into operation by speaking His own Words. Tertullian formulated the Godhead in Latin as tres personae, una substantia. Pope Damasus (c. 304-384) approved the use of persona and substantia as equivalent to hypostasis and ousia respectively. This meant that there was only one substance in God even though He “wore the mask” of even more than three personified beings. This, in like manner, is considered relative to the mirrored ‘reflective’ nature spoken about previously, where there may be up to six (in some cases, eight) individual relationships of mirrors supporting existence; a subject of even more diversity beyond this study.
The Catholic Encyclopedia then uses Theophilus and Tertullian to defend their fairly recent trinity of three “persons”, where person is analogous to a “people.” However, the universal view of the trinity by these early writers is that God is One God who expresses Himself in three or more human-like images, such that humanity can only interpret God in similar humanistic examination. In his Apology, Tertullian states the ‘nature’ of God determines the ‘nature’ of worship, endorsing the uniqueness of divine and universal design between creator and creation. In other words, Creation was worthless without a witness of it.
This partitioned “Son” essence serves as the manifesting power, or ‘arm of force’, that will initiate the creative extension, thus allowing the ‘architect’ (God-Force) to engage creation without ever having to relinquish its station. The Christos Son is the ‘right-hand’ of God-Spirit that is partitioned into God-Self or the Trinity as it is set in the Void formed by God-Force drawing out the God-Self. This partitioned nature of human and divine soul, both drawn from the same invariable waters, presents the major purpose of ‘joining’ between dimension and spirit, where creation is unified to creator. The loss or inability to recognize this need results in innumerable conditions of broken spirit and body.
The first essence(s) to ‘enter into’ this Void is the Trinity, or Superior Consciousness, that is the unified natures of God-Force partitioned into faceted natures that can exist just outside of The Absolute, and are sufficient to withstand the extension of Creation. This essence must occur and be sustained first as its presence is the ‘divine-lawyer’ that will handle all decisions made by the ‘divine-judge’ that is Superlative in nature, and completely beyond definition. This ‘first of creation’ as the Christos, or Logos (The Word), is the power of creation entrenched in the God-Self that ‘speaks’, as the Word, that creates vibrations in ‘utterances’ that extend energy into the ‘cause’ of creative ‘effect’. When God speaks, it is the God-Self nature ‘echoing’ through The Son that will bring divine essence into manifestation, regardless of it being spiritual or physical in nature.
It is here that we now find the root of ALL creation, in a Divine Son, inherently handed over to the God-nature that will ‘deliver’ the creative extension and restraint that will be necessary for Force to manifest. The nature of the Holy Spirit is the fusion then of the God-Spirit and the Divine Son, as the Son is the ‘voice’ of God-Self and the Holy Spirit is the viable ‘hand of God’ that can be extended into the physical, such that the actual Hand of God would blind, deafen, and thus obliterate anything in Creation that is drawn in forces ‘below’ the Superlative God nature.
As stated before, God cannot extend or create anything that is the equivalent or identical image of God as anything generated by him, after the drawing-out or indwelling of God-Self, must be a LESSER essence than its Creator. The act of God setting aside a portion of ‘himself’ to set the foundation of the Eternal Void is the simultaneous act of God-Force engineering the God-Self, and thus the Trinity is the ‘mirrored’ image of the fullness of an absolute God. The triadic-partition of God-Force includes the divine energy-field that will be used to incorporate Creation within it, as it is set ‘without’ and ‘within’ the singularity of the Absolute God.
In order to illustrate this we must imagine a sphere that is absolute and self contained, as the sphere itself is the best picture the human ‘brain’ can consider to represent this ideal. Within this one singularity – that is without space or form – transpires a second sphere from the depths of its vital core. This is the initial ‘Void’ of the God-Self rising within the superlative God-Force of the primal sphere. We equate this to the “Chinese Box” that illustrates a direct level of ‘cause’ breeding an ‘effect’ that is merely mirroring the image of the primal essence, yet manifests as less or smaller than the original essence. It is one level of force set aside to equal the other level of force, even though it manifests as something slightly less than its originating essence.
This is the First Cause, or First of Creation, that is setting up the divine cosmic stage for extension to unfold or take place in; with side halls (the angelic realms), staging (as the platform of the cosmic), lighting (the natures of Light and Darkness), curtains (the Veils that separate the realms) and the whole theatrical essence of Creation. And we, the human element of God-Self, that no angel or creature is given to, are the quintessence of God through God-Self that is going for a ‘walk’ to consider the God-Force that crosses-over the threshold as the audience and benefactor of the Cosmic Theater itself; as the Human Soul.
The Divine Son is classically referred to as the Adam Kadmon in Kabbalic Tradition, as the Archetypal Man, that is the personification of God that has been given to ‘revelation’, thus exposed to creation from beginning to end; initiated in the beginning, although uncertain of the end. As the Trinity is formed within God, generating God-Self, and the theater of the Eternal Void is placed, the extension begins – but it begins in the ethereal ‘supernal’ domain long before the physical domain is actually produced. Thus, the conception, or thought process of Creation is the primordial state of cosmic distillation; Thought into The Spoken set into Action. This is the course of Divine Consciousness that human consciousness shares with creation, noted in co-creation; the triadic root of all dimensional and substrata of creation that manifests any form or state of creation. As with ‘non-locality’ in physics, even though every individual atom is capable of its own thought and action, it is bred from a single, unique One, or source that initiates the root of all thought into individual thought. Still, it is Free-Will that distinguishes the individuality of that thought that is ‘influenced by a single ancient, cosmic and divine causality.
By this very notion we can only consider our side of Divine Extension through what exists in the ‘seen’, as the ‘unseen’ remains in the Ain force that is Superlative and beyond definition, and the ‘in-seen’ exudes in the Veils of Separation that divides the ‘waters’ of what is Eternal (without beginning or end) and what lies in Forever, or the Perpetual. Forever lies in what is created with a beginning, but remains everlasting in what cannot be destroyed by anything less than its own Creator. It is therefore not considered as Eternal as much as it is ‘forever’ from its point of conception, simulating the same level of consciousness as the Eternal, since it is equally ‘everlasting’ as the Eternal. In regard to consciousness – the Human Soul – fashioned through a single act of creation through angelic participation (Job 38, v. 7, 12-13, 21) is the inherent ‘thread’ of divine invention.
The partitions of human consciousness are then noted in the five levels of the Soul, by most Kaballistic teachers. The natures of these levels are distinct and resolute, yet interact when divine action is employed by the individual. Much of this is defined in the ‘reincarnative’ nature of man through divine recourse, yet for the basic idea to be noted we will discuss the root of each level. From the highest to the lowest, considering what is above and beyond the body that injects the body, they are as follows. Yechida and Chayah are related to the body but do not reside within it, nor do they directly affect the human mind, or brain. Nefesh, Neshama, and Ruach reside with the human body and have immediate effect on the mind. Each possesses specific external and internal relationships to intuitive and physical behavior.
Yechida, the fifth level of soul consciousness, is closely related to the Divine Spark that evolves into all the other levels of the soul as consciousness. It is therefore considered to be linked to the Key of Creation. Chokmah, the second Sephirot of the Tree of Life, flows into Yechida, where its presence illuminates every system of reality. This is the center-point of the soul, the “life-line”, the divine umbilical cord of life and consciousness, flowing from beyond the body between divine and physical realms. This is the consciousness of ‘miracles’ and ‘supernal-strength’.
Chaya, the fourth level, does not ‘embellish’ itself with any of the revealed aspects of the Soul. It is closely related to Keter, the first Sephirot of the Tree of Life, corresponds to world (universe) of Atzilut and is associated with the source of Chokmah; the wisdom that above intellect. This too, is coupled to the body by an etheric thread of divine vitality that connects all human beings and is the field through which souls communicate. This can be considered the internal ‘knowing’ of action that occurs externally, such as with a mother that senses her child is in trouble, or twin siblings sharing experiences of each other; a scientific paradigm that is as incomprehensible and mysterious as creating itself. This field is expressed by Carl Jung as the “collective unconscious” facilitating the transfer of spiritual merit, knowledge, and psychic communication.
Ruach is the third level of soul; the one mentioned in Genesis as the ‘breath of life’ engraved into Adam. Literally, this is the “spirit” or “wind” that offers life as it is infused into flesh beyond the organic animation of flesh. One could say that the body may subsist without the divine essence of the soul that is perceived as Neshamah. While the Nefesh (1st level) is the animator of the physical body, the Ruach animates the Middot (emotional faculties) and Sechel (intellectual faculties) of the human being that is drawn from the Divine Spark of Yechida. Human spirituality is enlivened by Ruach – that willfully responds to beauty in nature that in turn may develop the desire for Splendor, in moments of deep spiritual meditation. This consciousness corresponds to the realm of Yetzirah and is likened, by the Kabbalist, to the dark orange glow of a candle flame, where the flame itself is an instrument of creation.
Neshamah is the second level of soul, as the expression of human personality; an individuality that is also consistent with ‘oneness’. It is connected with Divine Source as well as Angelic beings (Malakhim) and higher realms, as a literal element of God (Mamash). Those who are driven to ‘seeking’ are drawn through this essence, while in those who do not strive toward divine interaction it may remain dormant. When the Ruach, that is of the earthly realm, joins with the Heshamah, that is divinely connected, they form a ‘celestial light’ that is akin to the Light of The World spoken of by The Christ [Matthew 5:13-16]. This is noted in Matthew 6: 22-23, where the ‘light’ of the body, that is of a divinely enhanced spirit force, is responsive to the ‘soundness’ or devotion of the spirit that drives the being.
Nefesh has a much more generalized meaning, in particular to that of human physical design. By nature, Nefesh (Nefesh Elokit) applies to all of the various levels of the Soul and the forces that establish the spiritual essence of the true human being. The Nefesh Elokit is ‘clothed’ in garments of thought, speech, and action – although it is important to note how it is literally disassociated from the human mind and thought. It is the Nefesh that literally animates the physical body. It is the communicative bridge and mediator between the Godly soul and the physical body. This can be viewed as representing two fundamental forms of existence; the spiritual and the physical.
The spiritual essence carries its own state of thought, speech and action, just as the physical states echoes the primary aspects of consciousness. This illuminates the Genesis ideal of being made in the ‘likeness’ of the creator to epitomize creation. The shared essence of creative logic and emotion, order and chaos, and every ideal in between is offered in microcosm and macrocosm of absolute order and conditional flux; the ebbs and tides of creative impression.
While the Nefesh is the densest of all levels of the soul it is a very complex dynamic entity, which instills intelligence, speech, preconceptions, aesthetics, cravings, and drives in human beings; where positive/negative aspects enter through Free Will. The conscious force of the Nefesh is neither positive nor negative as much as it allows one to distinguish between those forces as divergent applications of conscious thought. Still, this remains far from the ideal of what is wrong in resisting or attacking what is right. By practical means, it is merely a divine perception of what works and what doesn’t, removing the veil often set between rhyme and reason that distorts the intellect and emotions in so many situations. In other words, it attempts to breed balance of mind rather than distortion.
It is the emotion of passion that dominates the Nefesh conscious state, and the sechel (intellect) is secondary to the middot (emotions). Its origins lie in the material realm, founded in the four elements – fire, air, water, and earth – which give rise to all of a person’s evil characteristics. Fire gives rise to anger and pride, sharing similar attributes in ‘rising’; air gives rise to frivolous chatter and boasting; water is the source of lust for pleasure, mirroring the ability to cause ‘growth’; earth is the source of melancholy and sloth, mirroring the stationary and change-resistant characteristics of earth. On a more positive note, the soul originates in the Tree of Knowledge, in good and evil, and thus provides the capacity for comparison and charity innate to every individual.
A primary aspect of the Nefesh is that it distinguishes the human essence from that of creatures and other ‘things’, serving as the foundation for other higher dimensions of soul which cannot exist at all in the human being without it – it anchors the higher souls to the body. After death of the physical body, the Nefesh remains, purifying it for the ultimate reunification of body and soul when both are perfected.
As the consciousness of thought, speech and action are relative to the creative potential of consciousness so are the aspects of air and water relative to the creative potential of all things. The source of water as an element is said to be in the brain, such that Chokmah, the first of the Ten Sephirot of the Tree of Life, is referred to as the “the water of the Divine soul”. This has two possible states in human consciousness: ‘unstable’, in a constant state of flux, as capricious consciousness; or ‘stable, in a state of permanence, manifested as memory, thus, Cosmic Duality continues to feed the spirit, the mind, and the body.
It is prudent to note that for every state of order there is an echo of disorder, and vice versa. Consciousness is never constrained, nor is it flat in its view of order – since every state of chaos may well be comprised from states of absolute order waiting for objective realization that is better viewed as potential-consciousness that is then motivated through the human mind in exchange for kinetic-consciousness. Noting that individual signatures and conditions of human consciousness (two fundamental “reincarnating” states of the Soul, viewed in other works by this author) present a certain amount of question that desire to be answered by human interaction, such that divine levels of consciousness may flow from spirit to body and back again. Is this any different than considering how an absolute divine creator remains alone without creation? Can it be said that creation is dependent on a creator to exist for however long that creator desires the experience that comes from divine and cosmic individuality, all for the aspiration of knowing something more than its own heartbeat?