Christianity · Kabbalah

Word of the Lord

There is a known passage from Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

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Probably this is the most common quote from the New Testament.. I pondered about it many many times, what all these mean? What is the spiritual meaning of this “Word”? In the Book of Zohar with Sulam commentary (of Yehuda Ashlag) we have the answer:

11) Rabbi Shimon said, “Elazar my son, cease talking, and you will discover the concealing of the uppermost secret that the people of the world do not know.” Rabbi Elazar went silent. Rabbi Shimon wept and said, “Elazar, what is ELEH [these]? If you say that it is the stars and the signs, are they always visible? And in MA [what], which is Malchut, were they created? It is written, ‘The heavens were made by the word of the Lord.’ The heavens were made by Malchut, who is called ‘The word of the Lord.’ And if ELEH was said about the hidden things, it should not have written ELEH, since they are disclosed stars and signs.

— Hakdama Zohar, MI Bara ELE deEliahu

Many times I thought that “the word” is about light of the Creator, we could say light of hochma. But here it’s written that “word of the Lord” is malchut! And malchut is kli, container of light, a vessel. We also know that it’s written in the Talmud Eser Sfirot: “In the world of Ein Sof, He and His name are one”. And “His name” is malchut, so in the olam (world) Ein Sof there is actually no difference between light and kli, because there is no duality here.

We know also that “there is no light without kli”, so in order to receive light, to be conscious of it, there must be something to receive this light, because light without kli can’t be known.

So light can be known only in a vessel (kli), in emptiness or darkness. There is emptiness in us because we made tzimtzum (restriction) in ourselves. And this darkness is already awareness of light. This is the space in which we are aware of God, but from the side of darkness/emptiness. And this emptiness is created in us by light of God. There is a reshimo in it, trace about the light that was before, but now is gone. The kli was full of it and now it is empty. But neverthless it shines, we are aware of his boundaries, possiblity of being filled completely once again, etc. And this is why it’s written that “light shines in the darkness”.
We can abide our mind in this space, in “her”, because darkness has feminine qualities, it’s “she”. So this darkness is very precious thing, it’s a gift from God.

In other words we could say that this is our “new heart”, above mundane things, thoughts, etc. There is a second heart, with old habits, uncorrected wishes, etc. But new heart is a holy space, it’s above it, it is in inner man, second heart is in outer man.

The divine darkness is not the kind of blackness we experience stumbling into an underground room with no lights. This darkness is a positive reality that helps us to discover God, and hence is called “luminous.” Although it sounds like a contradiction in terms, a luminous darkness is one filled with God’s presence, and by faith, the soul can begin to perceive God in darkness. In fact, the closer that God comes to the soul, the more intense the darkness becomes; it is then that all other things of this world are cleared away. The soul looks up to the Lord and never ceases to desire him.

— St. Gregory of Nyssa

In this darkness there is a part of us that don’t want to stay in this dark room, this part want the light of day and not darkness. Raising above this with faith (strengthening masach/screen in our kli) is a correction and brings change in consciousness, it gives light of faith (hasadim), it may actually mark a new day for us (light of hochma dressed in the light of hasadim), new revelation, because now we have strength to receive it.

This emptiness is created by four levels of light expansion in the mystery of the name HaVaYaH, as is explained in the first chapter of the “Pticha le hochma de kabbalah”

4) The reason why the will to receive must cascade by the four above-mentioned discernments in ABYA (Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, Assiya) is that there is a great rule concerning the Kelim (plural for Kli): the expansion of the Light and its departure make the Kli fit for its task. This means that as long as the Kli has not been separated from its Light, it is included in the Light and is annulled within it like a candle in a torch.

This annulment is because they are completely opposite from one another, on opposite ends. This is so because the Light extends from His Essence existence from existence. From the perspective of the Thought of Creation in Ein Sof, it is all towards bestowal and there is no trace of will to receive in it. Its opposite is the Kli, the great will to receive that abundance, which is the root of the initiated creature, in which there is no bestowal whatsoever.

Hence, when they are bound together, the will to receive is annulled in the Light within it, and can determine its form only once the Light has departed thence once. This is so because following the departure of the Light from it, it begins to crave it, and this craving properly determines and sets the shape of the will to receive. Subsequently, when the Light dresses in it once more, it is regarded as two separate matters: Kli and Light, or Guf and Life. Observe closely, for this is most profound.

— Pticha, Yehuda Ashlag

This quote above is one of my favourite from Pticha, and these parts from book of Zohar which I quoted above for me are the most important. They are the key. All the Hakdama Zohar, but this maamar (article) “MI Bara ELE” and the next “MI Bara ELE Elyahu” are essence of the wisdom of kabbalah.

In kabbalah there is a rosh (head) and guf (body) and together they are called “partzuf”. Of course these are pure spiritual terms, there is nothing here about physical body or head, it should be obvious. This is our inner being.
Rosh is the light of pure consciousness and guf is a vessel. This vessel has two parts: toch and sof.

So word of God is malchut. There is no creation without malchut, without the wish to receive light. And actually this creation is unfolding in us. Now. The more light of consciousness we can receive in our vessels, the greater spectrum of reality we perceive. Even in mundane things there is a infinite depth. Why? Because God is infinite, and our spiritual vessel has no boundaries, no limits, etc. I every sfirah there is another 10 sfirot and another 10 and so on..  You don’t believe in angels or heavenly beings? You think that they don’t exist? You have right, because you don’t perceive it yet, for you they don’t exist, because today you have limited awareness. But still there is possibility to perceive it tomorrow by expanding your awareness, this is the only way.  And by raising vibrations, because there is law of similarity between spiritual objects. You can’t perceive angels unless you have similar qualities.. And remember, there is no light without a kli and there are spiritual laws of  receiving the light correctly  (laws of tzimtzum, masach, or hozer, three lines, etc.). But this is another story..

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