Sepher Yetsira/Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation): The Fourth Sephira

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Fourth Sephira: Arba'a/Gedolah: Esh Memaim: Fire of Waters
Oomq Raa: Depth of Evil


Fourth Sepherot: Arba'a/Gedolah: Esh M'Maim: Depth of Evil
1:12 Four: Esch Memaim. Hhaqaq Vehhatsav (legislates or organises and chisels or cuts) the glorious throne (with) (the) Seraphim and (the) wheels and the Hhaivoth (holy lives) auxiliary messengers (angels), and with these three founded his dwelling as it is said: he made of his messengers the breaths (winds) and (the) blazing fire of his servants.
The Sepherotic permutation of Esch Memamim shows that Iysch, the archetype of the perfect human, is born here. In fact, with the "Depth of Raa" he becomes one of us (Gen 3:22) says YHWH-Elohim: Ki Ahhad Mimenou through the consciousness of Tov and Raa. Mem, its substance, is trinitarian, and the central nucleus has gone. Cosmic unity is rediscovered.     SY p.80

Esch Memaim: Fire of Water. Fire (Esh: Aleph-Sheen) of (Mem) Water (Mayim: Mem-Yod-Mem) is permuted to Man (Iysch: Aleph-Yod-Sheen) interpenetrating with Mem-Mem-Mem, an amplification of the Waters.

Following the evolution and descent of infinite energy-consciousness through the first three Sephirot, we have seen the Aleph-Lammed of Rouahh Elohim Haim operate on simple combinations of unstructured energy (the Hhayts of Hhaim and Rouahh), existence (the Yods of Elohim, Hhaim and Mayim), and primary substance (the Mems of Hhaim, Merouah, and Mayim), through three cosmic containers (the Rayshs of Rouahh) in various conjunctions (the Waws of Rouahh), resulting in the formation of the medium for biological life (Water) and (as a result) (from Tohu-ve-Bohu) primary unstructured substance (mud and clay) in three dimensions.

It should be crystal-clear by now that we are dealing with an exact specification for the structuration of energy-consciousness out of the most unstructured, unconditioned, basic components. Here, at the Fourth Sephira, we find the necessary resistance for Adam Kadmon's interior consciousness to form, in the Depths of Uncertainty, and we find, for the first time, no unstructured energies at all: the structure of Iysch is complete and living in the Waters.

Here we see the centrality of human consciousness and Man, Adam Kadmon, in the Sepher Yetsira. The structure of creation is the structure of human consciousness and its environment, and the first four Sephirot create Man's interior space. Man is not a feature of creation, but both its instrument and completion. Instead of Elohim "making" man in our image almost as an afterthought at the end of Genesis 1, the Sepher Yetsira places Man at the center of creation and tells him to go deeply into this God business.
1:4   Ten Sephirot Belimah. Ten and not nine. Ten and not eleven. Understand with Hhokmah, Meditate with Binah. Examine them. Delve into them and experiment with them. And the one who is there (standing) speaks to his creator and puts the maker of form in his rightful place (or, his foundations).


    The 4th Sephira is Esch Memaim, translated by such phrases as "fire originating from water." Let us consider it.

    It may be asked why the second name of this Sephira, Hhessed (Mercy) is often preferred to G'dolah (Splendour), which is a better term for the birth of Adam Qadmon. (Hhessed: Hhayt-Sammekh-Dallet: 8.60.4 expresses a very primitive life.)

    As to the qualitative descrption of this Sephira, depth of Raa (Raysh-Ayn 200.70), we know that from the time of the famous tree in the Garden of Eden the schema 200.70, considered as evil, is the guardian of the spontaneous creation of life, because it expresses the destruction of badly constructed, or lapsed, or exhausted, organisations: the "dead" aspects of "life."    SY p.80

    We are now at the end of the description of the first 4 Sephirot, which readers can study at leisure. It is advisable to note, in particular, that the formation of three dimensional space occurs in the 3rd Sephira (Oomq Tov), from the rising of Tohou We-Bohou.

    The 4th Sephira transposes and magnifies the notion of space into "the sacred dwelling of the Ineffable." Hence the intervention of legions of angels (Seraphims who burn, Aufanims who whirl around) and "holy lives." Their Rohho (spirit) is messenger and Esch (fire) is servant of the Rouahh-Elohim-Hhaim, the first Sephira, of which the 4th (the whole man) is the projection.

    The angels have a shadowy role in Genesis. When Jacob returns to the country of his birth after a life of hard labour in exile he is "accosted" or "attacked" by angels (Genesis 32:2). The verb used here, Pagaa (80.3.70) has two meanings: to meet, to attack. In fact, it refers to an inner experience on the deepest level of the unconscious (80) and gives it an organic life (3) leading towards its fulfillment, 70. The magnified space of the 4th Sephira is still within, and "the angels" are its craftsmen. In short, the first four Sephirot give birth to Interior Space in Human Consciousness.     SY p.82