November, 28, 2010
When one writes a book introducing an entirely new paradigm or synthesis of information given in the area of something as obscure as Kabbalah, an element of risk enters the picture as new revelations or discovery of equally obscure authoritative texts emerge. This is certainly the case for me as I digest and process Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto’s (‘Ramchal”) Mishkney Elyon or “Secrets of the Future Temple."
Let’s begin with the Ramchal’s key distinguishing factor between the 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem with what we are told will be distinct to the 3rd Temple as is presented in Ezekiel. The first and second temples are said to take physical representation on earth in the city of Jerusalem based on an architecture that symbolizes the heavenly temple or the Tree of Life, their Sefirot (spheres of light) and the channels of light as represented by the Hebrew Aleph-Bet as it weaves the paths through the Tree. He like myself, views cubits as measures of Gematria contained in letters and the words they form (numerological value of each). I’ve characterized cubits as being Q-bits as in quantum bits – the stuff we are learning about that underlies our entire universe which reinforces the notion that in the beginning was the “Word."
The Sefer Yetzirah, the oldest Kabbalistic text known, begins with the declaration “And He created His universe by three signs: by border and letter and number.
The cubits also are translated into physical measurements using finger widths that are either five digits or six digits wide. This is because the letter Hey has a gematria value of 5 and Vav has a value of 6. The two letters from the Name of God YHVH – with these physical cubits representing the heavenly Q-bits in a feminine or masculine context (Hey is feminine and Vav is masculine). Even the cover of Ramchal’s book shows the hands used by the Priesthood and made famous by Star Trek’s peaceful Mr. Spock. Curiously enough the drawing used on the cover features the same geometric formations claimed to have been viewed on the evening March 13, 1997 in Phoenix, the triangle, the V and the arc. While this may be neither here nor there, the next piece of the puzzle and how it relates to our time, symbolized by the building of the Third Temple is uncovered in how Luzzatto keys into the God names and their associative Sefirot.
In the thesis I presented in Oracle of the Phoenix, I assigned the God Name that was uttered to Moses in the desert, Ayeh Asher Ayeh to the first Sefirot in the Tree of Life, Kether, meaning Crown. Ayeh Asher Ayeh is commonly translated into meaning “I AM that I AM” giving the Beginning a quality of manifestation initiated from an explosion of self-awareness and desire to create. The name has also been translated into “I Am that I Will Become” or similar types of interpretations that stay within the notion of awareness and becoming. I also associated the first Sefirah Kether to the First Commandment given to Moses, “I AM the God that led you out of Egypt”. Rabbi Luzzatto associates the God Name El to Kether using gematria related to the letter Yud which is part of the crown. See the text for a detailed explanation (please try to ignore the Jewish bias in the material and focus on the Kabbalistic elements). The Rachmal associates Ayeh to the Sefirah Binah (Understanding), where I had El and keeps the same association of YHVH with Chockhmah (Wisdom) that I had. What’s of most importance to me concerning the reassignments of these positions is that the Third Temple will supposedly be built with Kether (Crown) as its foundation whereas the previous Temples were built from Chockhmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding).
Luzzatto alludes to the first temple as having been constructed with an architecture that leans towards Wisdom since the designer was King Solomon himself. This puts the right pillar of the Tree of Life known as the Pillar of Loving Kindness or Mercy into the prominent position. The second temple is said to have leaned to the left pillar which contains Binah and is known as the Pillar of Severity or Judgment that is represented by its destruction. The remaining Western Wall symbolizes the western pillar of the TOL.
With the new Temple comes the remaining Pillar which stands between left and right and between west and east. This the Pillar of Integration or Harmony as its been given various names, because of it’s importance in balancing the qualities of giving without limit to judging without mercy. This Pillar and the middle position up the Tree of Life sits the Sefirah of Tiferet which means beauty. It is considered the messianic position because it sits between heaven above and earth below thus creating the Spirit/Man template that Jews associate with the mystical Adam Kadmon and Christians associate with Jesus. It can also be linked to the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree. It is the true middle point of harmonization and integration – the ability to hold both opposites at the same time which has been almost impossible to do within the dualistic world we live in.
This takes the Temple into a higher dimensional construct (even its proportions as laid out in Ezekiel are much larger than the original two) thus supporting a position that the Third Temple steps up our perspective to recognize the physical representation on Earth is already contained within and upon the Earth already. The quantum experience of understanding the construction of this Tree of Life will universalize the meanings contained within all the earlier textual readings across all the major religions. Kether is the place where the spiritual content of the religions formed and where they split off in the following Sefirot of Chockhmah and Binah.
It is best understood by reading into the Hopi myth concerning the Rainbow Clan and brotherhood that split up to be reunited once again by the great white (with light) brother Pahana. A tablet was broken into four pieces and given to the brothers with the instructions that each would take a certain direction symbolized by a color and settle there until the Pahana would reunite them to return to the Four Corners region of the Hopi lands. North was Blue, East was Yellow, South was Black and the Hopi represented the West or Red. Each of these colors also match up with the color film that make up our 3 dimensional perspective – Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black. Each of these areas in our world developed their ways of life and religious concepts that appeared to other areas of the world as one-sided and distorted since they only focused on limited areas or preferences for what God is (if there was a God) and processes and purposes associated with life itself. The word El, as I presented in my book had been found all over the world using an ancient Negev script language similar to Sumerian but contained an early form of Hebrew letters.
Placing El (written by Luzzatto as EL EL) brings the Elohim much earlier into the picture of our creation. The Torah begins with Bereshite which most have translated as “In the beginning”. The fist letter is Bet, meaning house or dwelling place of god, but also has the Gematria value of 2, thus Rachmal’s EL EL. Others hypothesize the word Bereshite means “With the beginning” or “With the beginning of our housing in this space). With the newer assignment of EL to Kether we could read this as With the Beginning of the Creation of the Seven days (the seven levels of the Sefirot in the Tree of Life), division occurred as it would be imagined by Chockhma’s Wisdom and Manifested through Binah’s Understanding. Together (EL EL) + (YHVH) they created ADaM which through gematria is exactly equal to the God names above him. This is also explained in Luzzatto’s treatise.
Placing Ayeh with Binah fortifies the archetype I laid out in the book that Binah is connected with the Planet Saturn in that it gives us the physical world and the limits we need to coexist with the undefined YHVH and limitless loving kindness found on the opposite pillar of the Tree of Life. The 3rd Commandment associated with Binah is to Honor thy Mother and thy Father which fits perfectly here as well. The utterance of I AM now connotes an awareness of or Understanding of our individuality within the overall universal blueprint or plan. It is this same God that provides us with the “10 Commandments” which I’ve adopted the alternate translation, referring to them as the “10 Principles” as played out within the 10 Sefirot of the Tree of Life. It is also the same God who reminded Moses to take off his shoes to walk in this holy space upon the earth which infers the feminine perspective already associated with Binah as the “great mother”.
Appreciating the opportunity to revise some important concepts in the book we now turn to EL. What does EL mean? Why is it significant to this new 3rd Temple? I’ve already laid out a case for El connecting with YHVH to form, or in this case re-form the word LOVE. I’ve played with English, Hebrew and Arabic and Aramaic to show this to be a potential pronunciation of LOVE or TO LOVE as the result of the union. Adding the Ayeh God name to this Primary and Secondary force we end up with TO LOVE I AM or LOVE I AM. YHVY has always been the mysterious God name which we substitute with the name Adonai in prayer which is another discussion in itself comparing convenience with esoteric understanding of upper YH and the lower VH as represented in the Tree of Life. The convenience thesis holds that we say Adonai because YHVH is unpronounceable since in essence all the letters of YHVH could be viewed as consonants or vowels depending on how they are used in words. They can be anything and mean anything. This is why the second commandment associated with Chockhmah and YHVH prohibits idolatry. We are asked to keep YHVH undefined, uncarved so that we may eventually get the point of its purpose (Wisdom) or to allow ourselves into its mystery. (Others have said Adonai has the root ADN which means to elevate).
As far as LOVE being a great mystery contained within the God Names or within the Tree of Life itself, it does not conceptually remove itself from the accepted construct of most Kabbalists that the further down one goes towards our own physicality, the further the Light of the highest Sefirot are dimmed. Our collective mission in the Kabbalist view is to rectify the blockages within our lower Sefirot so that we can restore the brilliance promised from above. The corrections needed are found within the “10 Principles” when studied with the traditional PaRDeS approach of Pe (literal or face of it), Remez (hint or allegorical method), Derash (midrashic meaning as told through learning stories and comparisons) or Sod (the secret or mystical hidden meaning frequently found in the gematria system).
EL, according to Rabbi Luzzatto comes from the upper part of the Yud (Y) within the YHVH name. The Lamed (L) is always a consonant. It is the consonant which contains and shapes the vowels. It is the space that Isaac Luria claims was carved out so that God could perceive itself. The Lamed itself is said to have the esoteric meaning of “Aspiration – Contemplation of the Heart." The Aleph of course is associated with the beginning but esoterically means “The Paradox between God and Man”. This captures the idea of the Temple in a nutshell. Given the association of the 1st Commandment that I am the GOD that led you out of Egypt speaks to the paradox of God coming down to Man or Man rising up to God as was the case with Moses. Every phase of the various temples have been used to teach us about the nature of the universe and its aspects or forces presented as Gods within our religious and mythological traditions. The core truths are there should we be inclined to view them.
It takes the ability to see things from a different perspective than what we’ve grown to depend on for our survival the last few thousand years. It takes more right brain and less left brain functionality to see symbols, metaphors and language in ways we could never have imagined. It requires new visions and new ways of understanding the underlying unities and nature of our universe. As Einstein said, “God does not play dice with the universe” but quantum theory teaches us that the universe is allowed to play dice with itself in terms of probabilities and possibilities as it sees fit to manifest. The Third Temple affords all people, all cultures, all traditions, an opportunity to consciously co-create our experience because at the heart of it, the Temple symbolizes our own spiritual maturity and focus on self-mastery. The trick is that it’s a Temple that must be sensed or visualized before it can be seen and known. The Rachmal helps us take a major step in that direction.