Etz Hhaim: The Tree of Life: Fundamental Powers: The Names of the Sephirot as Numbers




Fundamental Powers
 
What constitutes the special mythical structure of the Kabbaslistic complex of symbols is the restriction of the infinitely many aspects under which God can be known to ten fundamental categories, or whatever we may wish to call the conception underlying the notion of the sephiroth.   In the Book of Creation, where the term originates, it means the ten archetypal numbers (from safar=to count), taken as the fundamental powers of all being, though in this early work each sefirah is not yet correlated with a vast number of symbols relating it to other archetypal images to form a special structure. This step was first taken by the Bahir and the medieval theosophy of the Kabbalah, reviving gnostic exegeses concerning the world of the aeons and going far beyond them.
Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, Schocken, 1965,1995 p.100, emphasis added

See Formative Meanings of the Sephirot for an analysis of the Sephirot considered in their primary formative aspects as the alphanumeric/biological patterns or "fundamental powers" Aleph through Yod. Here we concentrate on the sephirotic/anatomical meanings of the numbers Ehhat through Esser. We have already commented on the derivative nature of the middoth Keter through Malkut, which are reflections of the fundamental powers described by the biological and anatomical letter-numbers used in the Sepher Yetsira. It is useful to consider the anatomical representations against the Cube or Tree because of the additional categories available for linking.

One would think that, when it comes to studying "fundamental powers," the only names given to the Sephirot before medieval times would be a focus of attention. Instead, the numbers themselves (not that they are alone, but they are primary) have largely been ignored. The Sepher Yetsira names the Sephirot only by number, which has been a source of confusion repaired with a proliferation of attributive descriptions. Once again, we can return to the source and read what was before our eyes all the time, but ignored because we thought we knew what we were reading. Who would have thought we could find a description of the inner nature of the "fundamental powers" in their most fundamental names: the numbers themselves?

As introduction, we can consider Aleph and Ehhat as complementary patterns describing the entry of the infinite into subjective being. Once again, we find the core of the Qabala in a simple pair of equations. We can use a very basic structural or formative vocabulary (appropriate to "fundamental powers") to "translate" the inner meanings of these terms.

With Aleph, Aleph-Lammed-Phay, the infinite intemporal (Aleph) creates organic movement (Lammed) in actual, unstructured, potentials (Phay) (how else could it begin?). Ehhat, Aleph-Hayt-Tav, on the other hand, is the consciousness (Hayt) found on every level of structuration, from the infinite intemporal (Aleph) to the cosmic resistance (Tav), the mirror and sanctuary of the intemporal. This consciousness is one and the whole is consciousness. Or, from Aleph to Tav, Aleph-Lammed-Phay is Hayt, unstructured energy, consciousness.


Aleph           Ah'at
111     1 30 80       400 8 1 409


The complete loop: Aleph-Ehhat: the infinite creates living movement in actual unstructured dark energy. Cosmic resistance reflects the intemporal back through the medium of unstructured potentials / consciousness. The complete Aleph-Tav circuit is established in the First Sephirot, Ehhat, where we find the Tav of Keter, a physical support for cosmic resistance in the universe. The end is established in the beginning, and the beginning will be found in the end, but more importantly, the vision of the two-way flow of the one dual energy evident in these equations allows us to escape both materialism and idealism, as well as emanative and contractive cosmologies.


         
Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
Gematria: 1118
Shema in Hebrew | The Unity Holograph


The Second Sephira's relationship to the initial manifestation of the intemporal in Ehhat/Keter is clear: containment. Bayt, archetypal container-existence-cosmic resistance, is the abstract equation of the energy needed to respond to Aleph: a container (Bayt) in existence/duration (Yod) with roots in cosmic resistance, Tav, Aleph's mirror. Aleph is beyond space-time and description. Bayt, the second letter and Sephira, introduces Aleph's partner in the game of life and death, Bayt-YOD-Tav, and is everything that can be thought.


Bayt         Shteyim
412     400 10 2     40/600 10 400 300 750/1310


Shteyim shows this process from the inside: Aleph's representative, Sheen, the cosmic breath, impacts infinite resistance to produce existence in biological patterns. Bayt-Yod-Tav: Sheen-Tav-Yod. Again, the double flow.


Ghimel           Shalosh
73     30 40 3       300 30 300 630


The Third Sephira, Shelosh/Ghimmel, after the containment of Bayt/Shteyim, is all movement: 3.40.30-300.30.300. The biological equation, Ghimmel, shows a biological pattern between an infinite uncontrolled movment, and a controlled, active balance. Movement is defined as innately double: inner and outer. The anatomical equation gives us the double cosmic breath/vibration which supports all movement. Binah, where the double life (Noun-Hay) is formed for the first time in the Sephirot, describes the purpose of this double movement.

1-2-3: Aleph-Bayt-Ghimmel, Ehhat-Shteyim-Shelosh, Keter-Hhokmah-Binah: the infinite intemporal (the life of the contained) - the return shock (the existence of the container) -- their relationship (an intense double vibration yielding a double life, one archetypal (Hay) and one existential (Noun).

With the first three, the relationship of the inner biological process to its anatomical supports becomes clearer. The biological equations bring the fundamental powers sequentially into creation. Their inner structures include only Yod (Bayt, Zayn, Hayt, Tayt) Mem (Ghimmel), Lammed (Ghimmel, Dallet), Waw (Waw), Noun (Zayn) and Tav (Bayt, Hayt and Tayt). The entry order of the autiot in the first ten are Aleph Lammed Phay Bayt Yod Tav Ghimmel Mem Dallet Hay Waw Zayn, Noun, Hayt Tayt. The first ten letter-numbers bring 15 into creation. Of these autiot, most are archetypal. Only Yod (5), Lammed (3), Mem (1), Noun (1) and Phay (1) from the existential level and Tav (4) from the cosmic are present.

Their anatomical counterparts, on the other hand, are dominated by letter-numbers from the other end of the alphabet, primarily Ayn (4), Sheen (10) and Tav (3). The order entry: Aleph Hayt Tav Sheen Yod Mem Lammed Waw Raysh Bayt Ayn Noun Hay: the ten are constructed from only twelve components, despite their longer spellings.

Sheen begins seven (of the first ten) numbers and is found ten times in the first ten. Ayn, also not found at all in the initial biological expansions, occurs four times in the first ten anatomical equations. Aleph through Yod shows the initial structuration of Aleph and its completion in existence of Aleph's partner, Yod. Ehhad through Esser show how this happens: the cosmic breath, Sheen, permeates the numbers and is realized in the four Ayn of the fourth, seventh, ninth and tenth Sephirot. The infinite is satisfied in the numbers and realized (Ayn) through the comic breath, Sheen.


Dallet         Arba
434     400 30 4     70 2 200 1 273


The Fourth Sephira, Dallet-Arba'-Gedolah introduces (for the first time in the Sephirot) the necessary resistance (Dallet) for the completion of Adam Qadmon's inner space. The Ayn of Arba' shows that a container (Bayt) for Aleph in the universe (Raysh) has been realized (Ayn). Arba' is the only number after Ehhat where Aleph appears.


The idea of assimilating the Sepher Yetsira to the Zoharic Sephirot has always been more popular than its reverse. Evil was always a sticky problem, and Oomq Raa has wandered the Tree of Life in various authoritative schemes.


Zoharic Sephirotic Assignments for the Ten Directions
SY # Ari Pree Yitzchak Raavad Isaac the Blind Ramak   WoC   Suares
Evil 4 Malkut Gevurah Gevurah Malkut Binah   Gevurah   Gedolah
 
Kaplan, SY,1995, p.46; Glotzer, Fundamentals of Jewish Mysticism, 1992, p.29; and other sources


The linked categories in the Cube of Space can help us understand the proper place of the Sephirot whose Depth is Evil. We saw in Binah, Depth of Good, that Adam Qadmon was not yet complete, because of the repetitious nature of Tov-Waw-Vayt, which characterized Breath of Waters, the third Sephira. There must be a resistance to this repetition, and it is found in the fourth Sephira of Dallet, Arba' and Ghimmel-Dallet-Waw-Lammed-Hay, where the fire of waters is born and two Ayn make their first appearance in the numbers and the qualities of the Sephirot with Arba' and Raa. The depth of the Aleph-Raysh-Bayt-Ayn is Raysh-Ayn: Aleph-Raysh-Ayn-Bayt: indetermination is realized in the universe, from the intemporal to its containers.


4 Arbaa G'dolah Oomq Raa Esch Memaim
   
Four Greatness Depth of Evil Fire of Waters


Without the freedom confered by Oomq Raa, the principle of indetermination in the Universe, the fifth Sephira of Life could not be and Adam Qadmon's existential space would be impossible. We can trace Ayn and its intwining with Sheen through the numbers of the Tree of Life, and find its logical development in Sheva, Tesha and Ayn-Sheen-Raysh, where the Breath of God in the Universe is finally realized in the last Sephirot.


Hay               H'amesh
5         5       300 40 8 348


With the Fifth Sephirot of Hay, H'amesh and Gevurah/Din, we can satisfy our curiousity about the depths of the semantic linkages in the categories of Sephirot, Formative, Planet, Direction , and Contary Quality, all having to do with life. Here, we can observe two things. First, life is one. Second, its inner structure is consciousness (Shem-Hayt).


Waw               Shesh
12       6 6         300 300 600



See Tipheret for the union of inner and outer movement which is completed at the Sixth Sephirot. Here we find the closest resemblance between the biological and anatomical equations. Waw/6 is the archetypal energy of union or copulation. Sheen/300 is the cosmic movement or breath. Waw is 3 + 3 = 6; Shesh is 300 + 300 = 600, cosmic fertility, the union of the breath from above and the breath from below. Each Waw is supported by a Shesh, an inner and outer movement from the archetypal (Waw) to the cosmic (Sheen). These equations are pure copulation/interpenetration and movement (energy transfer between two poles of structuration).


Zayn           Sheva
67     50 10 7       70 2 300 372



Netzach introduces the first Zayn of the Zoharic system at the Seventh Sephirot, formative archetype of the principle of indetermination, which appears here actualized in the Ayn of Sheva: Sheen-Vayt-Ayn: 300.2.70, which first appeared in 'Arba at the fourth Sephirot where Raysh-Ayn is achieved.

The anatomical numbers of the Sephirot (in the simplified spelling of the Yetsira) consist of thirty-three letters: one Hay, one Waw, one Yod, one Lammed, one Noun, two Aleph, two Bayt, two Hayt, two Raysh, three Mem, three Tav, four Ayn and ten Sheen. The presence of a particular letter in a Sephirotic number helps to specify that energy; Ayn and Sheen trace the primary theme of the external numbers: cosmic breath driving realized freedom in the Universe. We can now follow the energetic transformations of the last three Sephirot from the standpoint of their anatomical numbers.


Hayt       Shmona
418     400 10 8   5 50 6 40 300 401


Hayt is unstructured, undifferentiated energy on every level of structuration, the consciousness between Aleph and Tav (Ehhat). The anatomical or structural supports for the energy of Hayt is Shemona: the cosmic breath (Sheen) penetrating biological patterns (Mem) and fertilizing (Waw) a double life: Noun/50 and Hay/5. The two lives of Netzach (Noun, existential) and Hod (Hay, archetypal) are combined at the Eighth Sephirot in Shemona, Sheen-Mem-Waw-Noun-Hay, which is the Name (Shem) interpenetating the double life, with a gematria of 401: Aleph-Tav. See Formative Sephirot for a more complete discussion of the two lives in the Tree. There are three Mem in the first ten numbers: Schteyim, Hamesh and Shemona, one each in the first three worlds of Atziluth, Briah and Yetzirah.


Tayt           Tesha
419     400 10 9       70 300 400 770


At the Ninth Sephirot, Tayt/9 is the archetypal or fundamental formative energy of structuration: it forms a cell and replicates. It is the completion of the cycle of archetypal formative energies and is the last number before Yod/10 begins their existential projections; it completes a structure for the manifestation of Aleph-in-existence at the tenth Sephira in the sphere of 'Assiah. Tayt contains Yod and ends in Tav; Tesha begins with Tav, contains Sheen and ends with Ayn. These two equations go in opposite directions with the same purpose: the realization (Ayn) of existence (Yod).


Yod           Esser
20     4 6 10       200 300 70 570



Finally, at the Tenth Sephirot, we have the "Kingdom" of the Creation that is "Crowned" by Keter: Yod/10 is the projection of Aleph/1 into existence. The whole point of the first nine numbers is to achieve the tenth, which is all. Yod-Waw-Dallet: Yod (existence) fertilizes (Waw) resistance (Dallet) and Ayn-Sheen-Raysh: realized (Ayn) cosmic breath (Sheen) in the universe (Raysh).


Sheva     Shmona
372 300 2 70     5 50 6 40 300 401



We have tried to demonstrate that not only do the Hebrew letter-numbers have an inner, basic structural or formative quality, but that their mirrors in the first ten numbers have the same relationship as the life of the contained (the biological/alphabetic) and the life of the container (the anatomical/numerical). The Infinite is satisfied in the Numbers because of their response. Every scrap of true qabala must contain the key to the whole, which is the constant interplay and integration of energy in two directions, from Aleph-Ehhat to Yod-Esser, which contain the whole from beginning to end.

For these two sets of Sephirotic binomials (seven/eight, nine/ten) we reverse the directions so they meet in the middle, which they do, in 3-D.

We saw Sheva-Shemona as only the most recent example of energy going in opposite directions: towards the indeterminate (Sheva/7) or the indefinite (Shemona/8), or the building up or dissolving of structures. These equations must be permuted and combined and looped in order to be understood. They do not describe linear space-time sequences, but rather flows and patterns of energy with roots outside of space-time and duration. Tesha-Esser shows how the nine manifest together in the tenth. The cosmic breath (Sheen) springs forth from the cosmic resistance (Tav) and energizes real possibilites (Ayn): which in turn realize (Ayn) the breath of God (Sheen) in the universe (Raysh). These permutations are the equivalent to the Seals of YHWH on these Sephirot: Waw-Yod-Hay for Tesha and Waw-Hay-Yod for Esser, where existence alive (Tesha, Yod-Hay) and life-in-existence (Esser, Hay-Yod) interpenetrate and Waw and Hay are the third and fourth letter of YHWH's name in the central column of the Tree of Life. Also, the full Raysh-Sheen-Sheen-Tav in double realization.


Tesha     Esser
770 400 300 70     200 300 70 570


Alphabetic/Physiological 1 Sephirotic/Anatomical
Aleph           Ah'at
111     80 30 1       400 8 1 409
  2  
Bayt         Shteyim
412     400 10 2     40/600 10 400 300 750/1310
  3  
Ghimel           Shalosh
73     30 40 3       300 30 300 630
  4  
Dallet         Arba
434     400 30 4     70 2 200 1 273
  5  
Hay               H'amesh
5         5       300 40 8 348
  6  
Waw               Shesh
12       6 6         300 300 600
  7  
Zayn           Sheva
67     50 10 7       70 2 300 372
  8  
Hayt       Shmona
418     400 10 8   5 50 6 40 300 401
  9  
Tayt           Tesha
419     400 10 9       70 300 400 770
  10  
Yod           Esser
20     4 6 10       200 300 70 570