Question about Ain

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Brooke

#1 Postby Brooke » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:31 am

Shalom, Renee.

It seems to me that you're both on the same page, although it may not look like it at first. The tzimzum, for instance, refers to pulling back the Infinite Light from the entirety. That leaves an empty space that may then be filled with infinite potential and energy; some might characterize that space as nothingness or emptiness. Nevertheless, it serves a very useful purpose because it's the space where potential may be actualized. It's really all semantics, isn't it? Is this space negative? Well, if a negative charge attracts a positive charge, one might say that all that negative space is attracting us to fill it with our own energy -- and the Light of the Messiah...

Shabbat Shalom!
Brooke

Leslie Kaneel

No = Not

#2 Postby Leslie Kaneel » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:14 am

Shabbat Shalom!

This is quite an interesting query for it gets to the very Heart of the Goal as the Path in Recognizing that everything manifest in Creation has no substantial self existence. Everything is something else, where something else is everything and no-thing - Sacred Unity.

Just describing this as "negativity" is somewhat deceptive due to multiple meanings of words in language. To say, for instance, no-thing, no-self, or no-image.....would be a fairly good attempt to describe a negation of things, self & image, respectively, where 'no' means 'not'. Like a taking away as in mathematical processes.

When this 'taking away' is applied to our experience in shedding our personal history, name & form, most effectively through Primordial Meditation, we may come to understand and know in wisdom the Bornless Nature of the Divine - Ain, Ain Sof, Ain Sof Or (Being- Consciousness- Force). Perhaps words are like "veils" for such profound Reality-Truth-Continuum! The Pleroma of Light 'no' different than the Entirety....

May we rest in our Bornless Nature, this being Christ Melchizedek! amen.

A very good reminder Sister Renee, thank you :)

Blessings!
Leslie

Tau Malachi
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A Lot of Nothingness

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:41 pm

Salutations in the Light of the Messiah!

Yes, indeed, the term the “three negative veils of existence” is used in some schools of thought – it is a term made popular by the works of late nineteenth and early twentieth century occultists venturing into studies of the Kabbalah. Myself, personally speaking, I find this phrase for Ain, Ain Sof and Ain Sof Or somewhat clumsy and misleading, and I’m rarely, if ever, inclined to use it; but of course, when we speak about these principles in the Holy Kabbalah we are speaking about what cannot be spoken, so virtually everything that might be said may lead to false concepts – or shall I say partial truths.

Basically, the intention of these “Names of God” is to indicate that God is unknowable and unspeakable to us as God is in Godself – they are words indicating the transcendental nature of God and Godhead. Essentially, Ain says that God is no thing so as to be known and understood by the finite reason or mental consciousness, however intelligent a person might be – God cannot be limited, bound, measured or defined in any way by any concepts we might engender; God is “God,” and only God knows God as God is in Godself. Ain Sof says that God is infinite, without end, without beginning, and that God is the infinite primordial potential from which all comes into being – a potential that can never be changed, diminished or exhausted. Ain Sof Or says that that the nature of this Ain Sof or infinite potential is self-radiant, self-expressive (creative), and implies a dynamic consciousness-force or energy-intelligence, hence the word Or, “light.”

Now Ain in Hebrew by definition literally means “nothingness” – we see this, for example, in the works of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, but this nothingness is not as we would conceive of it, not like any concepts we might form of it; it is a nothingness, emptiness or void from which all arises, and which is the primordial ground or foundation of all, an emptiness or void infinite and self-radiant. Thus, attempting to speak of this unspeakable “nothingness” in order to indicate a far more subtle and sublime truth of Ain we must speak of it as no-thingness, not as nothing or something.

What indeed shall we say of a “nothingness” from which everything arises, a nothingness that is at one and the same time fullness – is it “nothingness” as we would conceive of it?

If I were to choose a phrase for Ain, I suppose I’d call it a dynamic emptiness or pregnant nothingness…

As Rabbi Kaplan points out in his works on Kabbalah, insight into what might actually meant by Ain is a product of deep meditation – it is not going to come by way of reading books about the Kabbalah and the concepts we generate surrounding the terms we encounter outside of direct spiritual and mystical experience of what’s being spoken about.

The great difficulty I have with the phrase “three negative veils of existence” is that it implies a kind of multiplicity inherent to dualistic consciousness, as though in some way Ain, Ain Sof and Ain Sof Or are “something” separate and apart from one another, when, in fact, they are completely unified qualities of the One Being-Consciousness-Force (the Divine) that are inseparable. Indeed, when popular occultists, such as Dion Fortune, explain this term, often they use the analogy of the “three veils of negative existence” as some sort of “backdrop” to the Sefirot, as though to infer Ain Sof is completely distinct from them, and yet when we study the Sefer Yetzirah and other source works of the Kabbalah we are taught that Ain Sof is the Sefirot and the Sefirot are Ain Sof, like a “coal and the flame,” as the traditional analogy is put – the Sefirot are Or Ain Sof, the self-radiance of the Infinite, the nature of which is Ain, nothingness, or more truly, no-thingness.

In other words, the Holy Sefirot are qualities or attributes of Ain Sof – emanations of the Infinite, and at the level of the World of Yichud (Adam Kadmon and Atzilut) they are infinite; however, although we may speak of the qualities or attributes of Ain Sof, and speak of their inseparability from Ain Sof, Ain Sof is in no way limited or defined by them – although inseparable from the Sefirot-Netivot, immanent in them and manifest as them, Ain Sof is transcendent of them.

This is a holy and supreme mystery.

Essentially, what we may experience, know and understand of Ain Sof is the Holy Sefirot – the qualities or attributes of Ain Sof, the manifestation of the presence and power of Ain Sof, the Infinite; whatever we may know and understand of Ain Sof, of course, Ain Sof will always transcend – such is the nature of the Infinite Radiant No-Thingness we call “God.”

Now, this Infinite Radiant No-Thingness, am I inclined to call it “three negative veils of existence,” does that communicate something of my experience of this Spacious Luminous Beingness? No, I’m afraid that this phrase does not speak to my experience at all – that’s not to say that this phrase might not speak to the experience of others, but it does not speak to my experience, so I’m not inclined to use it.

However, all of this is a figure of speech and is a provisional explanation - it is the experiential dimension of all of this that matters, not the conceptual or the terminology employed; we meditate upon the Holy Sefirot and join our soul to them to acquire knowledge of Ain Sof (God) and to experience union with Ain Sof (God) – this direct experience of the Holy One is the aim of the Kabbalah, whether Jewish or Christian Kabbalah.

May we know the holy root of our life and being in Ain Sof, the One-Without-End, recognizing and realizing the indwelling Messiah; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi
Sophia Fellowship
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Susan

Belimah and No-thingness

#4 Postby Susan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:55 pm

Greetings!


When speaking on the concept of No-thingness Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan reminds us that the word is used only once in scripture, Job 26:7:-

"He stretches the North on Chaos, He hangs the earth on Nothingness."

The word for no-thingness used in this quote is in fact Belimah which has two proposed meanings, both of which culminate beautifully in a consensus of meaning.

The first states belimah means "without anything", ie. no-thingness. And as +Malachi has explained above, this reflects the interpretation of the Job verse as "He hangs the earth on the ineffable," that is to say, the forces which uphold creation cannot be described in any way.

Now the second interpretation of belimah is derived from the root "balam" which means "to bridle". This is found in Psalms 32:9;

"Do not be like a horse or mule, who do not understand, whose mouth must be bridled with bit and rein."

Further, "balom" is also found in the Sefer Yetzirah which states:-

"Bridle your mouth from speaking of them." (1:18)

In this context, as Rabbi Kaplan states, "belimah" would be translated as "ineffable" again, this time specifically referring to the Ten Ineffable Sefirot.

Therefore, using both or either of these meanings for "belimah," we glean understandings for Ain, Ain Sof and Ain Sof Aur which certainly lift us well beyond any interpretations based on a reductionist view of a simple play of opposites, such as negative and positive; or even more distracting for our good intentions in spiritual study and discourse, the emotionally loaded language of positivity and its perceived antithesis, negativity! Phew, easy to feel where that comes from.

And a final reflection of +Malachi's shared understandings perhaps is found in the gematria of Belimah (87) and Elohim (86). As Rabbi Isaac Acco points out, Belimah being 87 therefore represents the stage immediately following the pure essence of the Divine, God's name, Elohim.

How expanded now is Moses cry in Exodus 32:32, "If Belimah, erase me!" Much food for thought here or rather, as I now hear more clearly, much food for meditating upon!

Shalom to all,

Sister Susan

Renee

#5 Postby Renee » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:10 pm

na
Last edited by Renee on Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Merlin
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#6 Postby Merlin » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:45 pm

I do not claim to be the wisest of the Wise and am new to this forum, but here is my own personal take on this matter is explained by the following image:

Picture a Luminous Sea, completely composed of Light energy (I refer to this substance as "Lux" to distinguish It from ordinary light). Within that Sea, multiple areas (universes) exist where the Light/Lux is patterned, molded into beams and rays (lines of Force which shift to structure the more static elements) and into more "solid" condensations, which form the Stars and Suns and Planets of a particular Universe. Within a particular Universe, the lines of Force and the Angels/Archangels which tend them form patterns such as constellations in the Heavens, solar systems around Stars, lay lines within the bodies of Planets, and Nadi/Chakras in the physical bodies of humans. These are the organizers, the builders, the architects acting in accordance with God's Will....Although the "God" of a single Universe is, of course, a Demiurge. The whole of all Universes and the unorganized regions between and around them is the Supreme God.

The "Negative Veils", I believe, are those unformed, unstructured, uncondensed, and unorganized regions between and around the Universes. The Universes are fashioned from the Lux obtained from the Negative Veils, and, I would think, the Lux given off by the slow decay of Universes is reabsorbed into the En Soph. Thus, while things such as individuality, independent existence, identity, and "I AM" consciousness do not exist in this realm, the very substance of those things is born of this realm. "Nothing" or "No-Thing" is really the underlying ground substance for All Things.

This idea is akin to bubbles in a good pint of Guinness....The bubbles are the universes.....The pint contains all these, though.

Blessings of Awen be with you all.

Most sincerely and with love,

Merlin
Deus Lux Solis


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