Am I El?

Elder Gideon
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Am I El?

#1 Postby Elder Gideon » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:13 am


Being that this Order is one of creatives and those who feel devotion through creativity, I wished to see in the meaning of its Patron Archangel's name any teachings of this way.

Unlike proper nouns of individuals or groups, the names of virtually all archangels are clauses. Tzadkiel is a clause, meaning "Righteousness of El"; Raphael means, "Weaving-Knitting of El," and so it goes for any archangelic presence. Clause-names for archangels fascinates me for many reasons, for they suggest that rather than a discrete, physical individual, archangel presences are forces, metaphysical structures, Divine movements personifying El-God.

When I consulted my Hebrew teacher about the wall I'd hit in the meaning of Haniel's name, we both considered many options, two of which are most fascinating. האניאל has inside it a possible clause when one removes the first א, deriving הנ which means yes and affirmation; by this, I'm hearing "Affirmation of El." The more provocative clause removing no letters at all is an interrogative, a question. Much like the interrogative clause of Archangel Michael's name, מיכאל, (who) מי + (like) כ + (God) אל asks, "Who is like El?" So also with Haniel: (Am) ה + (I) אני + (God) אל asks, "Am I God?"

This most fascinating name-clause is the foundation of the creative process. Certainly there's a skilled individual through whom a claim of reality is being so creatively proposed. Certainly there's a greater, circumferential reality to which the lesser, individual point is pointing. The emphasis—whether of the artist or of their context—is the changing history of all arts. In ancient times, creatives are anonymous; all that remains is their context speaking to us for itself across chasms of time. In modern life (say European Renaissance on), this shifts and the individual becomes as important as their work. In postmodern inquiry into creativity, the biography of the individual is so much the psychoanalytical focus that it has come to match the other extreme anonymity of the ancients. In other words, ancient arts are often transpersonal; contemporary arts are quite personal.

This brings us back to the name of Our Patron's namesake: Am I God?

I hear this Archangel's name as the humbled shock facing the One-Without-End: Am I God?

I thank you God, that my boat is so small and your sea is so large.

Elder Gideon

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Re: Am I El?

#2 Postby sheryl » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:48 am

Shalom Elder Gideon!

I am awed by this revelation regarding the meaning of Archangel Haniel's Name. Thank you for speaking it to us.

It comes to mind that this Sefirah - Netzach - is about creating, about the Human One's co-laboring with God to create in our worlds. It has expanded my thoughts on art - on the nature and essence of art!

With gratitude,


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Re: Am I El?

#3 Postby Bevan » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:52 pm

Shalom Elder Gideon and Sister Sheryl,

These are powerful contemplations on the Archangel Haniel and the co-labor of creativity. It makes me consider my own work when I hear references to the "personal" and "biography".

When I am identified with name and form, I go to self-conscious places and there is a wrestling with God. Phillip puts it well in another post:
We may actually be a bunch of characters and we are jumping around from character to character, changing "positions" while we "think" about our day. Funny, we can watch this in meditation and throughout our day!
Trapped in these identities, I have struggled in the dark night looking for hope in my stories, knowing that true hope could not be a cliche and needed to be earned.

Responding to Phillip and Elder Gideon, Sister Sheryl articulates the cultural process of individualization and the shattering that is resulting:
Such transformation does not come without much dying or suffering of the individual and the world, as it breaks free from the past, opening up possibilities for a greater potential - a potential beyond our imagination.
For me, once I saw some light, I realized that the struggle was against a constructed self that saw itself as separate from its Source. This is a story of ignorance.

And so as creatives struggle with their imaginative visions, they knowingly or unknowingly work within the foundation of Haniel attempting to answer the questions of name and form, struggling with identity. I would suggest that they are consciously or unconsciously wrestling with the question, "Am I God?" For when we are touched by artists who have struggled to communicate this, we receive a glimpse of the unity and integration with the One.

Tau Malachi writes about a narrative that reveals the fruition of this struggle:
Indeed, for Jacob was his name on earth, as he was in himself, and Israel was his name in heaven, as he was in God Almighty (El Shaddai). There at Peniel his heavenly soul, his neshamah, came into him, and his heavenly person and earthly person were united, the inner and outer person being aligned and in perfect harmony – one holy and righteous human being.

May we all deeply experience Divine Hope,

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Re: Am I El?

#4 Postby Anna » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:02 am

Blessings in the Light!

Ah, this is an intriguing contemplation! I have been looking into my own creative process as a musician, but also seeing that each of us is creating our lives with our thoughts, our expectations, our speech and our actions. So there is a microcosm within me, the musician, that relates powerfully to the macrocosm still within me as the "artist" or co-creator of my life.

I am seeing the self as a point in space-time where a confluence of energies gathers and manifests. I am co-creating in every moment, aware or not aware of what is happening. In the same way I co-create music with voice and instruments, aware in the moment or distracted. What I can experience in these acts is the happiness and peace that arise when I co-create for its own sake, for the joy of doing it--what in Hebrew I think is called lishma. But when there is any negativity present, I am not enjoying the creation and I am not even focused on what I am doing. I am noticing this in life and in art!

So, I was wondering if Haniel's name might be a reminder of the possibility of drawing ever-nearer to Holy One through every creative act. Is it a pure creative action or is it impure? Is there a doer or is there a unity in which no doer can be perceived? Does it give glory to El or does it draw us away from El and the life we are gifted from God? We hear in scriptures that "Yahweh is a fire consuming fire making all like unto Godself," and so is this creative action of art and life happening in a moment where we allow ourselves to be consumed by Yahweh, to be taken up into the greater potentials than we can even imagine in mental being?

The archangels correspond with the world of Beriyah, and so also it is the world of neshamot, the holy soul that is the meeting place between lower and higher parts of soul in each of us. I have to ask myself, in what consciousness am I creating? Am I creating in awareness of the Divine or am I creating in distraction, in admixture or even evil? Am I glorifying God or the ego?

So these are the thoughts and questions that arose with this contemplation. Praise God who gives us everything with which to create something to give back!


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Re: Am I El?

#5 Postby Marion » Sat May 23, 2015 8:03 am

Shalom All!

I am delighting in these questions and contemplations!

There was a question that came up regarding the spelling of the name Haniel. In the Cabbalistic Encyclobedia it is spelled: Haniel-האניאל.

In the Strongs Concordance it is spelled: Haniel-חניאל. meaning favor of God. This name shows up in two places: Number 34:23 "a leader, Hanniel the son" and 1Chronicles 7:39 "of Ulla; Arah, and Haniel, and Rezia."

Elder Gideon also just reminded me that the beginning of the Strongs spelling of Haniel, חנ means "yes" and "grace"

It dawned on me that perhaps one is a mystical spelling. Kind of like we see with the name of Yeshua. We spell it: יהשוה, and other sources spell it: ישוע.

I'm interested to see if anyone else has thoughts on these spellings?

Blessings and Shalom!

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