From the back cover of
Cipher of Genesis, Samuel Weiser, first published in English in 1970:
This work offers a fundamental new look at the Book of Genesis and contains profound implications
for those faiths which are rooted in the Old Testament -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It
also has something to offer to those who dismiss Genesis as a simplistic story.
The author's case is that the original ideas in the Book of Genesis represents a tradition that has
been lost. It is possible that Jesus knew it and tried in vain to expound it. From this perspective,
Suares interprets the Gospels of Matthew and John in a new and thought-provoking way.
The first five chapters of Genesis are of far greater significance than a literal reading would suggest.
These words cannot be translated into any ordinary language. They were written in a qabalistic code
that cannot be understood without knowledge of the code. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet represents
a specific number that in turn signifies the living archetypal forces moving within the Universe.
Reading this text can project these forces into our very being and bring the experience of Revelation.
See: The Cipher of Genesis: Introduction |
For purposes of general orientation, these selected passages focus on Qabala and are drawn from
The Cipher of Genesis and Suares' translation and commentary on The Sepher Yetsira.
Carlo Suares (1892-1976) has left his Revived Qabala as a spiritual legacy to the third millennium.
Suares' work presents us with a completely new formulation of Qabala, alive for our times, and represents both
the continuation and revivification of an ancient tradition, and a complete break from past understandings.
It fits into none of primary current preconceptions of Qabala -- popular Westernized or Hermeticized
Qabalah with its Tree of Life, Sepherot and path-working, Hasidic and Rabbinic formulations based on the Zohar
and Lurianic Kabbalah, or the academic study of Jewish Mysticism with its themes and trends of theosophical-theurgical
and ecstatic-prophetic Kabbalah.
If it can be categorized in these terms at at all, Suares' work appears to be a radical
reformulation of Ma'aseh Bereshyt, the Work of (the letters of) Creation, and in the very sparse
tradition of alphabetic, rather than sepherotic, Qabala.
We have repeatedly stated that the letters of the Hebrew alphabet have always been, throughout the centuries,
the foundation of the true tradition and the only key to the knowledge of the Hebrew Revelation.
Carlo Suares, Cipher of Genesis, p.32
Suares reformulates Qabala in totally modern terminolgy, using concepts of energy and
structure and states of consciousness, and his work is devoid of the familiar structures of
medieval and post-medieval kabblalistic thought.
It is presented not as knowledge or exegesis but rather as a new way of thinking -- based on "unitive postulates
and analogical developments" -- and understanding the universe. This understanding is subject to experimental
verification and has nothing to do with belief. Suares' Qabala is not a system of Jewish or other mysticism,
or for that matter, a system of any kind at all.
Instead, it's a key.
There is nothing to believe and nothing to practice, only a key to try in a door you may not have realized was there.
Behind the door (the sign on it says:)
is the answer to the fundamental question: "How is it that anything at all exists, rather than
... the very existence of a speck of dust is in very truth the first and the last mystery.
No mystery is greater than any other: the Qabala has always known it, and has therefore never
raised the question as to whether God exists. For those of the Qabala, for Abraham, Moses or Jesus, the
unknowable unknown is a presence. The knowing of that presence is the unknown. There is no other
revelation. It is therefore and above all necessary to reject all interpretations, explanations, creeds
and dogmas, all faiths and moral laws, all traditions, philosophies and theologies, so as to allow the
unknown to operate directly in our minds. Then thought is free to observe the interplay of life and
death and existence because it moves along with it, having shattered its fetters. The Qabala postulates
that knowledge is not a formulation but a cosmic energy imparted to the mind by the letter-numbers.
Suares, The Cipher of Genesis, p.58
There is no knowledge to be acquired or teachings to be absorbed. If we use the key (or dictionary)
and perform the act of decoding (translating), we can verify the existence of the text and understand
the meaning for ourselves. The act of de-coding is witnessing the revelation and opening oneself up
to the unknown. That's all there is to it.
Suares centers his revelation in the Autiot -- the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, rather than the
familiar Sepherot, the transformers of energy or "countenances of God" -- and defines Qabala as
the science of the structure of energy: a completely-generalized semantically-accurate
projective language dealing with biologically structured energies in different states
This is the key. With it, you can re-read and translate/decode (for instance)
the beginning of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible and verify for yourself the existence, or not,
of another language hidden inside the Biblical Hebrew -- and another meaning, which is totally
different from (and often the reverse of!) the translations we are used to.
This is not a search for Rabbis' names or esoteric number patterns but rather a direct letter-by-letter
and word-by-word translation yielding a "text" written in another language and in another mode of thought.
The challenge is to spend about as much time as you would to read the front page
of a foreign-language newspaper with a dictionary to refute that claim.
As long as we are not in direct contact with that which transcends the human mind, the fundamental
signficiance of life escapes us. But that primordiality invades us as soon as we decipher the
first letter of the first schema of the Revelation, and the witnessing of it is the part of having
it revealed, because, after all, the revelation is always there but for its being witnessed.
There is no transcendence other than our intimacy with the unknown. Seeking it is avoiding it.
It is everlastingly present in an ever present genesis. Let us therefore re-read that Book, not
as an archaic attempt to descibe an unwitnessed creation of the world by a soliloquizing deity but
as a penetration of vital energies at work in ourselves.
Suares, The Cipher of Genesis, p.59
Suares "formulates" Qabala in terms best suited for modern scientific, rational and objective
minds, as an analogical/ontological language of the structure of consciousness and energy. This is his "Revived" Qabala,
adapted to and in tune with contemporary modes of thought and scientific languages.
Suares contrasts the continuity of the Eastern tradition (repetition of ancient wisdoms)
with the discontinuity (eternal death and rebirth) and adaptation of the Qabala.
We have already stated that in the perception of the fact that existence is a total mystery
lies the foundation of any true religious awareness. The mystery, the realization that
the fact of existence cannot be explained in words or in any other way, has always been deeply
alive in the minds of the men of the Qabala.
This does not mean that their writings correspond adequately to the needs of our time.
If they said in symbols what can be set forth today clearly in words, it is because is was thus
that they understood and felt. But when we want to understand and feel, we must break through those images
and expressions which served them, but which no longer serve. We do not see Abraham and Mosheh as did the
ancient cabalists. We see them with our own eyes and judgement. We can and must see them directly. We
can penetrate their legendary existences, and so discern that they were not what they are said to have been.
We can do this because the historical process functions on a certain sensorial level, whereas the mythical
process concerns the psyche, and whether yesterday or today, the Qabala is always in touch, through the
psyche with the great unknown.
... Certain Asiatic myths carry through the centuries the continuity of their religious
and social structures. They can be compared to very old trees of knowledge whose fruits have dried on their
branches for lack of any renewed sap. Contrarily, the Qabala has died and has resurrected many, many times
amidst spectacular displays, on each occasion accomplishing and then burying its pasts.
Suares, The Cipher of Genesis, p.26-27
To return to the key:
We have not the time to spend in the consideration of antiquated approximations
to knowledge. Therefore no mere student of Qabala will ever understand the Qabala
from within. Were he to read and re-read the Zohar, learn all about Simeon-Bar-Yohai,
Moses of Leon, Abraham Abulafia or Knorr von Rosenroth's Kabbala Denudata, he
would be trying to see by looking through the wrong end of a telescope.
Nothing is important except the knowledge that the key to that Revelation is to be found
in the letter-numbers. When once we grasp that, we can grope our way through them, and our
very first step will already have been taken inside their cosmic life.
The Revelation is timeless and is therefore of all time. One cannot contact it if it
is imagined to have happened in the past. It is of now when we accept it to be of now.
Unless we are fully of our time we are seeking it in its tracks on the sands of time.
Suares, The Cipher of Genesis, p.47
The knowledge that is called Qabala must no longer be reduced
to a mere subject of study for seekers of recondite mysteries. It must now come to full
light and penetrate serious minds.
The synagogues can only ignore it because they have repudiated intelligence. They keep on
reading and commenting on an archaic law which has no reality. The real knowledge of the
Qabala recedes further and further every day because of the foolish teachings of amateur
scholars who, having learned a few tricks which can be played with the letter-numbers, amuse
the public with their speculations, or entertain their readers with strange stories
concerning some ancient Rabbi.
Suares, The Cipher of Genesis, p.49
Suares asserts that the Qabala is independent of any people or religion or system of beliefs
and existed before the Revelation of Abraham that was the entry of Qabala into the historical
In particular, the majority of cabalists are Jews enslaved to the Torah, and they have
always asserted that one cannot know how to be a cabalist without practising the
Mosaic law. In this way Mosaism both annexed and rejected the Qabala and made
But the Qabala is not a derivative from, or a superstructure of, of a Heresy of Mosaism.
The contrary is true: Moses was directed to give out this very ancient knowledge antedating
Judaism in an historical sequence (and it is undeniable that the people who received it
became its protective shell).
The Sepher Yetsira leaves no doubt as to its anteriority and its cabalistic method: it never
refers to Moses, or to his laws or to the historical Jewish people. It is outside the flow of
time. Its only contact with history -- in language that has nothing anecdotal about it --
is the legendary Abraham. Suares, Sepher Yetsira, p.113
In brief, the Qabala today can be reborn neither in the Synagogue nor in the State that calls itself Israel.
Both ignore it, so it ignores them. It has no valid motive for conforming to the very few Mosaic prescriptions
which still survive and which every conforming Jew interprets according to his fancy.
It must offer itself freely to minds which are free. It is no longer mysterious and occult. On the contrary, it
is intelligible and marvellously intelligent. It is the very souce of the civilizations that have gravitated around
the Mediterranean which are today spreading all over our planet.
It states the religious problem as it has to be stated in a time which the further the horizon recedes, the
nearer we come to the Mystery.
For such minds as are no longer bounded by ancient horizons and have thus become a mystery unto themselves,
the totality of life is present in action. It is the Soliloguy of the One.
This is the true Revelation, plainly visible to all.
Suares, Sepher Yetsira, p.50
Une autre figure
singulière, qui se détache dans la nébuleuse des penseurs
cabalisants, est celle de Carlo Suarés. Détaché du
judaïsme de ses pères, ce peintre et intellectuel d'origine
égyptienne établi en France, qui a été par ailleurs
l'un des premiers traducteurs de Krishnamurti en français, a écrit
plusieurs livres consacrés à la cabale, dont notamment une
traduction commentée du Livre de la Création (Sefer
Yetsirah) et de nombreux écrits où il se propose de retrouver
la cabale authentique qui aurait été, selon sa thèse,
déformée par l'idéologie religieuse rabbinique (27).
L'influence de la pensée originale de Carlo Suarés a
été à peu près insignifiante sur le judaïsme
français mais elle s'est exercée sur divers milieux d'origine
chrétienne, aspirant à découvrir de nouveaux horizons
spirituels. Une fondation qui porte son nom et qui se consacre à diffuser
son uvre picturale est toujours active.
Les formes multiples de la cabale en France au vingtième
Carlo Suares (d.1976) was of a very old Sephardi family that arrived in Spain probably with the Arab conquest.
They emigrated during the Inquisition to Tuscany, and settled in Egypt in the 18th century. Expelled from Egypt and dispossessed,
he settled in Paris and became a French citizen. He had a diploma in architecture from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts,
and he painted a great deal, having "in true Kabbalistic spirit" sought to discover - and found - a synthesis of light.
Duversity.org: Cipher of Genesis (PDF)