"G-d's Absolute Essence"
The Ultimate SELF
There was only SPIRIT.
OMNISCENT, ALL-WISE, BRILLIANT, GLORIOUS
S P I R I T.
THE VERY ESSENCE?
And in "Him", around "Him", with "Him", WAS/IS.....Pure, Pristine, Self-knowing, Piercingly sweet.....Spirit. And Boundless, Changeless, Unsullied, Unfettered, Unselfish, Holy.....Love.
U L T I M A T E I N F I N I T E F U L L S U S T A I N E D I N T I M A T E
Atzmut means "Self" (and derives from the root etzem, which means "bone").
The first word of the giving of the Torah to Israel--the Ten Commandments--is
"I", the revelation to Israel of G-d's Absolute
Essence, His ultimate "Self". The experience of this revelation impresses on the soul the sense of G-d's being "the Paradox of paradoxes", as mentioned above.
Of G-d's Absolute Essence it is said: "no thought can grasp You at all". He is neither "something" nor is He "nothing", for He is the "Absolute Something" as well as the "Absolute Nothing" as one.
we refer to this and other related phenomena with regard to G-d as His
being "the Paradox of paradoxes", this phrase itself is not meant to define
G-d but only to describe the nature of man's experience of
Even the primordial thought of Adam Kadmon--that thought which conceives all of Creation at once--cannot know the essence of G-d, the Creator.
the intellectual faculty of the Divine soul cannot know G-d, the inner
essence of the Divine soul of Israel--"an actual part of G-d Above" --connects
to G-d's Essence intuitively and directly (in the
second person), as evident from the above statement itself: "no thought can grasp You at all".
When a simple
Jew says "G-d," as in the phrase "blessed be G-d" or "by the will of G-d",
he is referring to Atzmut--G-d's Absolute Essence.
The term Ein Sof is sometimes taken in Kabbalah to refer to G-d's very essence (in which case, of course, it precedes the above).
When more precisely used, however, Ein Sof refers to G-d's infinite light, before the beginning of the creative process. Ein Sof--literally "no end"--meant to refer to the essence of G-d, it would be more appropriate to call Him "no beginning" ("no end" implies a "beginning" which precedes it, but, certainly, nothing precedes G-d). The infinite light which emanates from G-d's very essence does in fact possess a beginning (G-d's essence) but does not possess an end.
Even more precisely, Ein Sof refers to the infinite light generated by the Kingdom of "Oneness". The thought and desire of God's primordial will to be king resulted, spontaneously, in a "surge" of infinite energy and light to enact the creative process (just as the heart of a mortal king becomes full of "infinite" energy and light to materialize his will to rule).
The relation between Infinity and the power of Kingdom is indicated by the fact that Ein Sof = "the Master of the universe". In the beginning of our daily prayers we praise G-d as: "The Master of the universe [Adon Olam] who ruled before any being was created".
of infinite energy and light, Ein Sof, is referred to in the Zohar as
the "higher brilliance" (in contrast to the "lower brilliance", which
appears after the initial contraction of G-d's infinite light, as will
"The Delights of SELF"
Also called "The Delights of the King in Himself", this is the first level of the revelation of G-d's inner light, His "innate ability", to Himself, as it were: "the light which shines to Himself" (in contrast to "the light which shines to the other").
The idiom "the delights of SELF" is based upon the verse in Proverbs, in which the Torah (G-d's Infinite light, at all levels of its revelation, from Yachid until its giving to Israel in this lowest of all worlds) is speaking in the first person: "...and I was sha'ashuim ["the delights of G-d"] day by day".
The two "days" alluded to in the phrase "day by day" refer to two levels of the "delights in SELF". The higher level is that of the "delights" that G-d takes, as it were, in the revelation of His very existence and essence to Himself. The second level is that of the "delights" that G-d takes, as it were, in the revelation, to Himself, of His "innate ability" to do (and not do) all.
The "DELIGHTS", before the contractions which began creation, are the ultimate origin of G-d's all-encompassing light to become manifest, uniformly throughout creation, after the creation contractions.
At this level one often speaks of "infinitely many sefirot [characteristics]" (not just ten). Surely it is within G-d's "innate ability" to do all to emanate infinitely many powers and attributes each of which is absolutely unique and different from the known ten sefirot of Creation.
"delights" in Hebrew, in the plural, implies a dual dynamic of back and
forth motion (like "chuckling" with back and forth head movement). In Kabbalah
we are taught that the very notion of "movement" or "motion"
derives from the experience of delights.
is "delights" in the plural, but even the singular term sha'ashuah possesses
a dual grammatical form. The twice repeated syllable sha (shin ayin) represents
in Kabbalah the number (370) of lights that radiate from the
countenance of G-d. When they shine out of and then back into the consciousness of the Divine countenance a "delight" is born.
of the Divine Countenance is referred to as "the light of the face of the
king" (as it is said: "for in the light of the face of the king is life").
This is the level of the king experiencing the essence of his own exalted
being before he begins to consciously relate to his people and their needs.
His subjects, nonetheless, long to witness the radiance of the king's countenance
when delighting in himself. For them this is the source of eternal
"The "ascent" of G-d's will to create the world"
Just as a king takes counsel with his closest advisors, so did G-d, as it were, before deciding to create the world, take counsel with the souls of His children (who are an actual part of Himself), the righteous souls of Israel.
The power which motivates G-d's will to create is His sense of identity with the souls of Israel as they will become "separate", in appearance, upon descending into this world and entering physical bodies.
G-d's very essence is referred to as "the essence of good". As it is "the nature of good is to do good [to others]", G-d is motivated to create others in order to bestow upon them His Divine good. His own delights "demand", as it were, to be shared with others.
Just as it is said that "Israel 'ascended' in [G-d's] thought" so is the revelation of G-d's will to create expressed by the idiom "to ascend" (in the words of the Zohar: "when it ascended in His will to create the world"). G-d's innate sense of the other-to-be (before its actual creation) "ascends" in His will. This is the original "arousal from below" as present within G-d's own "arousal from above".
to create is the expression of His essential lovingkindness at the level
of "Oneness", before the initial contraction of His infinite light which
began the creative process. This level is identified with the soul-root
of Abraham, the first Jew and the archetypal soul of lovingkindness, mercy
[chesed]. The letters of Abraham's name permute to spell hebaram (Genesis
2:4), "when they [all] were created". The origin of the Jewish soul is
G-d's will to create in order to bestow upon creation His infinite good.
The primordial "thought" of "I shall rule";
G-d's primordial will to be "king"
In the beginning of the book of Kings (1:5) we find: "And Adoniah the son of Chagit boasted saying 'I shall rule'". This is the source in the Bible of the expression referred to extensively in Kabbalah of "I shall rule". Here, in reference to Adoniah (whose name means "master", the expression is one of pride and pretension, reflecting the unrectified state of the soul.
We find in Kabbalah as well that the primordial "kings of Edom" (who appeared in the vacuum created by the initial contraction of G-d's infinite light, the tzimtzum) fell and broke ("died") for each presumptuously said "I shall rule" [just as Lucifer said "I will ascend to The Most High" - above his fellows].
From all of this we learn that the only one who can say "I shall rule" is -G-d.
of "I shall rule" is in fact the motivating power which directly precedes
the beginning of the actual creative process. As will be explained, it
is the power to reveal that level of G-d's infinite light which subsequently
become contracted in order to bridge the infinite to become finite.
The true, Divine "rule" is a means to realize G-d's inherent goodness and desire to be the source of infinite benevolence to His finite creation [ if HE rules, He knows He shall share Himself - His SELF of Love, His Divinity, His Good, His Holiness - with ALL THAT IS HE ALONE WOULD DO THUSLY!
Divine Will to create (the expression of G-d's essential goodness and lovingkindness
to all, as explained above) "understood", as it were, that in order for
the Divine good to be integrated in creation, the Divine "order"
of "the kingdom of heaven on earth" must be established. The Divine will to rule, to be "king", is for the sake of truly manifesting the Divine good to the world and IN ALL .
recognition, that to realize one's innate desire to be good to all
it is necessary to establish an order of "kingdom", is the origin of the
union of the "male" and "female" principles (the kingdom of "remembering"
and "expressing") at the level of "Oneness (before the initial creation
contraction resulting in separation of Himself from Himself, yes, but also
in sharing Himself - outside Himself'; giving OUT rather than KEEPING IN
"The Single One"
There are three general levels of G-d's Infinite light before the beginning of the actualization of the creative process: Yachid ("The Single One"); Echad ("The One"); Kadmon ("The Primordial").
Yachid refers to the essence of G-d's Infinite light as it is concealed within SELF, before it becomes revealed even to Himself, as it were. Yachid is thus understood to be the absolute omnipotence - THE DIVINE GREATNESS of G-d, the fact that G-d Himself is able to do all. Just as He is able to do so is He, equally, able not to do. This is the ultimate origin of the two lines, right and left, Lovingkindess (Mercy) and gevurot Justice (Law), as they exist, as it were, in THE DIVINE ABSOLUTE SELF.
Just as the duality of Lovingkindness (Mercy) and Justice (Law) is present (though absolutely concealed) at the level of UNIFIED,WHOLE SELF, so are all of the ten (FULL, COMPLETE) Divine sefirotic characteristics present here in a state of the totally abstract "ability" (He is able to be wise; He is able to be kind etc.). The ten sefirot are here seen to be "innate," as it were, in G-d, BELONGING IN GOD, BELONGING TO GOD, RESIDENT.
before the creation of separateness, corresponds to the level of
the inner - Celestial - Face (inmost nature) of Keter, highest Manifestation
of God after the creative contractions began.
One in Plurality, Whole
It is here G-d and His "innate ability" becomes revealed.
In general, there are two levels of this revelation: "the light that shines to Himself" and "the light that shines to the other".
that shines to Himself" refers to knowledge of that which gives HIGHEST
Pleasure, FULLEST JOY, DEEPEST PLEASURE AND FULFILLMENT: Holy, Divine
Attributes, nothing less. TRUE meekness and humbleness is ALWAYS
delighted by The Highest, no matter where IT manifests! "The light
that shines to the other" refers to the "arousal" within G-d's infinite
light (as revealed to Himself) to shine and bestow goodness to
others. The meaning of "the light that shines to the other" is thus "...for the sake of the other", for no other is yet in existence. DIVINE Love must have an object with which to share, to which to give, for which to SACRIFICE. And so He does sacrifice: HIMSELF - from the Beginning.
Herein lies the secret of Oneness. Even before the beginning of the creative process, from the moment, as it were, that G-d desired to shine His infinite light to an other there is, in truth, an other, though absolutely void of any state of "existence" whatsoever. G-d and His desire to create (with the implied presence of Creation itself) is here truly One.
In general, the level of Echad is the secret of G-d's Essential Name " havayah"--the Name that reveals (to Himself) His very Essence--before the beginning of Creation.
"Hear O' Israel Havayah is our G-d Havayah is One." Our sages teach us that "One" refers to G-d's true and absolute unity within His Creation. HE is the ultimate origin of unity. May it reign throughout Creation.
In Kabbalah we are taught that the four words "Havayah is our G-d Havayah is One" correspond to the four letters of G-d's Essential Name Havayah. The first two words, "Havayah is our G-d," correspond to the higher union of the first two letters of Havayah--yud hei--"the concealed things are to Havayah our G-d." The following two words, "Havayah is One", correspond to the lower union of the second two letters of Havayah--vav hei--the revealed things are to us and our children". Union meant to be from first to last, from high to low, above and below, near and far. But this can only be IF HE IS KING. For He ALONE IS "ONE".
The higher union is that of "the SELF Delights", which possess in themselves two levels corresponding to the "concealed - hidden, mystical, arcane- things". The lower union is that of the two levels of aliat ha'ratzon and ana emloch corresponding to the "revealed - manifested, seen, understood - things").
As it is
the lower union that reflects in particular the secret of "Havayah
is One [Echad]", often the level of Echad refers to the union of "God's
will to create the world and His will to be King - in order FOR ALL TO
SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE WITH NONE INFERIOR - in particular.
"The Primordial One"
*Not to be mistaken for Adam Kadmon - The Revealed.
Kadmon is the third of the three general levels of Divine essence in life which precede the actual beginning of the creative process (the tzimtzum): Yachid, Echad, Kadmon.
This level is an immediate consequence of the two previous stages of Ana Emloch - The Kingship - and Ein Sof - The ABSOLUTE ESSENCE - described above. In the words of (the opening passage of) the Zohar: "In the beginning of the 'decree' of the King, He engraved an engravement in the higher brilliance". "The beginning of the decree of the King" refers to the thought and desire of The King. "The higher brilliance" (tehiru ela'ah) is the level of Ein Sof described above. The "engravement" within the higher brilliance refers to the level of Kadmon - The Primordial One, FIRST SPIRIT BEING [I would say CHRIST- The CELESTIAL].
This is the level referred to in the writings of the disciples of the Arizal as Olam Hamalbush ("The World of the Garment"). Olam Hamalbush - The Divine Superplan - is a figurative idiom (alluding to Psalms 104:2: "He enclothes His light as a garment") - the Divine "superplan" for all Creation before the creation of G-d's infinite light. G-d's desire to rule is seen to be "enclothed" (as by a "garment") by this Divine "superplan" (just as the innermost desire in the heart of man is enclothed by his conscious plan of how to realize his will).
This "superplan" of creation is referred to in Sefer Yetzirah - one of the Four Worlds - as Rela Shearim ("231 Gates"):
Rela Shearim are the 231 possible two (non-identical) letter combinations generated by the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each combination ("gate") possesses two permutations, its "face" and its "back". These 462 permutations (2 x 231 - 231 "faces" and 231 "backs") constitute the entirety of two-letter subroots found in the Hebrew language. Every "gate", every letter, every word reveals what is hidden: HIM - for those with eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to seek and search to find.
"to fix the gaze upon".
the level of Kadmon is elucidated by the phrase: "He conceived within
Himself in potentia [potentially] all that was destined to become actual".
IN HIM EVERY THING LIVES, IN HIM EVERY THING MOVES AND IN HIM EVERY THING
HAS ITS ACTUAL BEING. In Him, but not WITH Him. Where HE is.
Where He wants ALL to be....
He can be KNOWN. NOW He can be approached. NOW He can be....WITH.
To be WITH Him is to be AS Him. "Study to show thyself APPROVED."
NOW.....He can be what He ALWAYS WANTED/WANTS:
ONE WITH HIS CREATED - KNOWN BY HIS CREATED.
LOVING AND LOVED.
ADORING AND ADORED.
ALL WORSHIPPING PURITY, FIDELITY, HUMILITY AND HOLINESS: HIM