[THE TEN SEPHIROTH]
[The following is the draft of an essay in the handwriting of H. P. B. which is in the Archives of The Theosophical Society, Adyar, India. It is probable that it was left there by H. P. B. when she went to Europe in 1885, not to return to India. It has no title, and the one above has been provisionally supplied by C. Jinarâjadâsa when he published this essay in The Theosophist. December, 1925. The manuscript consists of four foolscap pages, and its continuation is missing. The original punctuation has been left unaltered, even though some of the sentences are exceedingly long and somewhat involved.—Compiler.]
Existence—in Existence as an Entity distinct from the Ain Soph in this he cannot be described by words, for there
is nothing that can grasp and depict them to us, and as the Ain Soph he is to us in a certain sense not existing, because, as far as our minds are concerned that which is perfectly incomprehensible does not exist. To make his Existence perceptible and to make himself comprehensible it, or the Ain Soph, or the Boundless, had to become active or creative— for there being nothing but himself, the Boundless, there was nothing to comprehend himself. But the Ain Soph cannot be the direct Creator, for he has neither will, intention, desire, thought, language nor action, as these properties imply limit, and belong to finite beings whereas the Ain Soph is boundless. Besides the circumscribed nature of Creation precludes the idea that the world was created or even designed by him, who can have no will nor produce any thing, but what is like himself boundless and perfect. On the other hand the design displayed in the mechanism, the order shown in the preservation=destruction and renewal of things forbid us to regard the world as the offspring of chance, and force us to recognize an intelligent design. We are thus compelled to view the Ain Soph as the Creator of the World in an indirect manner. Now the mediums, by which the Ain Soph made his Existence known in the Creation of the world, are ten Sephiroth or Intelligences, which emanated from the Boundless One in the following manner.
1. At first the Ain Soph or the Aged of the Aged, or the Holy Aged, sent forth from his Infinite Light, one Spiritual Substance or Intelligence. This first Sephira which existed in the Ain Soph from all Eternity and became a reality by an act, has seven appellations.
1. The Crown because it occupies the highest position.
2. The Aged because it is the oldest or the first Emanation (this name must not be confounded with the Aged of the Aged which is one of the appellations of Ain Soph).
3. The Primordial Point, or the Smooth Point, because the Zohar says, “When the Concealed of the Concealed
wished to reveal himself he first made a single point and diffused no light before this luminous point violently broke into vision.”
4. The White Head.
5. The Long Face or Macroprosopos—because the whole ten Sephiroth represent the Primordial or Heavenly man of which the first Sephira is the Head.
6. The Inscrutable Heighth, because it is the highest of the Sephiroth, proceeding immediately from the Ain Soph.
7. Eheieh or I Am, because it is absolute being, representing the Infinite as distinguished from the finite, in the Celestial beasts it is called Chayoth.
The first Sephira, contained the other nine Sephiroth and gave them forth as follows. At first a masculine or active potency proceeded from it called Wisdom. This Sephira is as a divine name called Jah and amongst the Angelic worlds is Ophanim and is symbolized by wheels, it sent forth or from it emanated an opposite, that is feminine, passive potency, called Intelligence as opposite to Wisdom, represented amongst the Divine names by Jehovah—the angelic name is Arelim—these two Sephiroth are also called Father and Mother—from these the remaining seven Sephiroth proceeded. The Zohar says “When the Holy Aged, the Concealed of the Concealed, assumed a form he produced every thing in the form of male and female, as form could not continue except as male and female. Hence, Wisdom which is the beginning of development when it proceeded from the Holy Aged Emanated in male and female for Wisdom expanded and Intelligence proceeded from it, and thus male and female were obtained that is, Wisdom and Intelligence. Wisdom the Father and Intelligence the Mother from whose union the other pairs of Sephiroth successively emanated.”
These two opposite (but not hostile) potencies namely Wisdom and Intelligence are joined together by the first
potency “the Crown” thus yielding the first triad ) of the Sephiroth . . .
From these two opposites emanated again the Masculine potency or active potency called Mercy, Love,—Greatness the fourth Sephira which amongst the divine names is represented by El and amongst the angelic hosts by Chashmalim, from this again emanated the feminine or passive Potency Justice, also called Judicial Power, the fifth Sephira which is represented by the Divine name Eloha and amongst the Angels by Seraphim and from this again the uniting Potency Beauty or Mildness the sixth Sephira represented by the Divine name Elohim.
……………………“the marvellous story”…………….Raymond Lully ………….……John Reuchlin……………..reriver……………..*John Picus de Mirandola
the philosopher scholar 1463-1494, Cornelius Henry Agrippa, the distinguished philosopher divine and physician 1486-1535, John Baptist Van Helmont a ‘celeb.’ physician-chemist 1577-1644, Robert Fludd, physician and philosopher 1574-1637, Henry More 1614-1687, and that these men after restlessly searching for a system which should
* [At this point in the original manuscript, there are seven lines in Russian script, with a few words, however, in Roman script, as indicated above. The translation of the Russian sentence is as follows:
“For all who wish to know about the Harmony existing between the internal and the external relations of things, among those who have taken for truth ‘the marvellous story,’ I will mention Raymond Lully, the well known philosopher, theologian and chemist, who died in 1315, John Reuchlin, the renowned scholar and reviver of Oriental literature in Europe, born in 1455, and who died in 1522, John Picus de Mirandola. . . . . .”
disclose to them the “deepest depths” of the Divine Nature and show them ...................... .................................................................................... *the real tie which binds
all things together found the cravings of their mind satisfied by this theosophy or religion is an additional reason why those who desire truth should learn the real claims of the Cabala upon all who enter on the pursuit of the Occult Science. This Theosophy born of God in Paradise was nursed and reared by the choicest of the Angelic Hosts of heaven and appears only to the holiest of men upon Earth—they who receive it are Priests and Kings—( ).† The angels who formed a theosophic school in Paradise received from God and communicated to men the knowledge that the protoplast might know of and aid destiny in returning to ;‡ from man to man, to Egypt to the East, to Judea, this doctrine passed. Moses, learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians was initiated and in the first four books of the Pentateuch laid down in symbols the principles of the Secret Doctrine, but withheld them from Deuteronomy=this constitutes the former Man=and the latter the Woman. Moses initiated the 70 Elders and they again from hand to hand taught the Marvellous Thought. Of all who formed the unbroken line David and Solomon were most initiated in the mysteries of the Cabala—No one however dared to write it down till Simon ben Jochai who lived at the time of the Second Temple’s
* [A series of numbers and symbols occurs at this point; they are by no means easy to decipher, and so the student is referred to the facsimile of the MSS appended herewith, for his own decipherment and conclusions.—Comp.]
† [Here occurs a word in parenthesis which is either “Klinca” or something similar to it.—Comp.]
‡ [At this point in the MSS., there is a peculiar symbol followed by what appears to be a fraction.—Comp.]
destruction, after his death his son Rabbi Eleazar and his secretary Rabbi Abbah took his treatises and out of them formed the celebrated work known under the name Zohar (that is splendor) the most famous book in the World and the Authority and storehouse of the Cabala—it has been handed down in unbroken line since its reception by the Patriarchs, the Prophets etc. and it is for this reason that it is called Cabala from two Hebrew words denoting “to receive” or a doctrine received by oral instruction or tradition, because also that it was handed down only by tradition through the initiated, and as indicated in the Hebrew Scriptures by signs which are hidden and unintelligible to those who have not been instructed in its mysteries—it is also called from certain initial letters grace — the difference between the word Cabala — and the term Masorah is that the former expresses the act of receiving, which in a technical sense could only be on the part of one who has reached a certain age of life—attained a certain State of Sanctity and has a certain Secrecy. Masorah signifies the act of giving over without promising any peculiar age Sanctity or degree of Secrecy. The design of the Cabala is to solve the following grand problems.
1. The nature of the Supreme Being.
2. The origin, Creation or Generation of the World or Universe.
3. The creation or generation or outflowing of Angels and Man.
4. The ultimate destiny of angels, man and the universe or the inflowing.
5. To point out the real Meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures.
You will observe that, in this is contained the transition from the Infinite to the Finite (that is our mode of taking cognizance of differences) the proceeding of Heterogeneity from Homogeneity or Multifariousness from Unity—of matter or form from pure Intelligence or Principle without form—the operation of pure intelligence upon matter, and
this in spite of the infinite gulf between them—the relationship of Creator to Creature or Creations, so as to be able to exercise supervision on what we call Providence or law, or Order. The examination of these magnificent problems demands the coolest state of mind—an utter abstraction from the cares and anxieties of life and so far as may be, an earnest desire or determination to know or receive (or come into rapport with the truth)—Heaven suffereth violence says St. John and the violent take it by force —and with this I will present the Heavenly Doctrine of the Supreme Being and the Doctrine of the Sephiroth or the Emanations.
Being boundless in His nature—which necessarily implies that he is an absolute Unity and inscrutable and that there is nothing without him, or that all is in him, he is called Aïn Soph that is Endless, Boundless.
In this state or as the Aïn Soph, he cannot be comprehended by the intellect—because the intellect was not at that point of
[MS. breaks off here]