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Wicca And Kabbalah - Page 2


First Principle
of
/ Consciousness \
/ | \
/ | \
Capacity | Raw
to take _____________ Energy/Force
Form |
\ | /
\ | /
\ | /
Matter
The World

Figure 2
The glyph in Fig. 2 is the basis for the Tree of Life. The first
principle of consciousness is called Kether, which means Crown.
The raw energy of consciousness is called Chockhmah or Wisdom,
and the capacity to give form to the energy of consciousness is
called Binah, which is sometimes translated as Understanding, and
sometimes as Intelligence. The outcome of the interaction of
force and form, the physical world, called Malkuth or Kingdom.
This quaternery is a Kabbalistic representation of God-the-
Knowable, in the sense that it the most primitive representation
of God we are capable of comprehending; paradoxically, Kabbalah
also contains a notion of God-the-Unknowable which transcends
this glyph, and is called En Soph. There is not much I can say
about En Soph, and what I can say I will postpone for later.
God-the-Knowable has four aspects, two male and two female:
Kether and Chokhmah are both represented as male, and Binah and
Malkuth are represented as female. One of the titles of Chokhmah
is Abba, which means Father, and one of the titles of Binah is
Aima, which means Mother, so you can think of Chokhmah as God-
the-Father, and Binah as God-the-Mother. Malkuth is the
daughter, the female spirit of God-as-Matter, and it would not be
wildly wrong to think of her as Mother Earth. One of the more
pleasant things about Kabbalah is that its symbolism gives equal
place to both male and female.
And what of God-the-Son? Is there also a God-the-Son in
Kabbalah? There is, and this is the point where Kabbalah tackles
the interesting problem of thee and me. The glyph in Fig. 2 is a
model of consciousness, but not of self-consciousness, and self-
consciousness throws an interesting spanner in the works.

 

 

The Fall

Self-consciousness is like a mirror in which consciousness
sees itself reflected. Self-consciousness is modelled in Kabbalah
by making a copy of figure 2.

Consciousness
of
/ Consciousness \
/ | \
/ | \
Consciousness | Consciousness
of ________________ of
Form | Energy/Force
\ | /
\ | /
\ | /
Consciousness
of the
World
Figure 3

Figure 3. is Figure 2. reflected through self-consciousness. The
overall effect of self-consciousness is to add an additional
layer to Figure 2. as follows:

First Principle
of
/ Consciousness \
/ | \
/ | \
Capacity | Raw
to take _____________ Energy/Force
Form |
\ | /
\ | /
\ | /
Consciousness
of
/ Consciousness \
/ | \
/ | \
Consciousness | Consciousness
of ________________ of
Form | Energy/Force
\ | /
\ | /
\ | /
Consciousness
of the
World
|
|
|
Matter
The World

Figure 4

Fig. 2 is sometimes called "the Garden of Eden" because it
represents a primal state of consciousness. The effect of self-
consciousness as shown in Fig. 4 is to drive a wedge between the
First Principle of Consciousness (Kether) and that Consciousness
realised as matter and the physical world (Malkuth). This is
called "the Fall", after the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden
of Eden. From a Kabbalistic point of view the story of Eden, with
the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the serpent and the
temptation, and the casting out from the Garden has a great deal
of meaning in terms of understanding the evolution of
consciousness.
Self-consciousness introduces four new states of
consciousness: the Consciousness of Consciousness is called
Tipheret, which means Beauty; the Consciousness of Force/Energy
is called Netzach, which means Victory or Firmness; the
Consciousness of Form is called Hod, which means Splendour or
Glory, and the Consciousness of Matter is called Yesod, which
means Foundation. These four states have readily observable
manifestations, as shown below in Fig. 5:
The Self
Self-Importance
Self-Sacrifice
/ | \
/ | \
/ | \
Language | Emotions
Abstraction_______________Drives
Reason | Feelings
\ | /
\ | /
\ | /
\ Perception /
Imagination
Instinct
Reproduction

Figure 5

Figure 4. is almost the complete Tree of Life, but not quite -
there are still two states missing. The inherent capacity of
consciousness to take on structure and objectify itself (Binah,
God-the-Mother) is reflected through self-consciousness as a
perception of the limitedness and boundedness of things. We are
conscious of space and time, yesterday and today, here and there,
you and me, in and out, life and death, whole and broken,
together and apart. We see things as limited and bounded and we
have a perception of form as something "created" and "destroyed".
My car was built a year ago, but it was smashed yesterday. I
wrote an essay, but I lost it when my computer crashed. My granny
is dead. The river changed its course. A law has been repealed. I
broke my coffee mug. The world changes, and what was here
yesterday is not here today. This perception acts like an
"interface" between the quaternary of consciousness which
represents "God", and the quaternary which represents a living
self-conscious being, and two new states are introduced to
represent this interface. The state which represents the creation
of new forms is called Chesed, which means Mercy, and the state
which represents the destruction of forms is called Gevurah,
which means Strength. This is shown in Fig. 6. The
objectification of forms which takes place in a self-conscious
being, and the consequent tendency to view the world in terms of
limitations and dualities (time and space, here and there, you
and me, in and out, God and Man, good and evil...) produces a
barrier to perception which most people rarely overcome, and for
this reason it has come to be called the Abyss. The Abyss is also
marked on Figure 6.

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