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.

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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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Re: Am I El?

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:00 am

Grace and peace to you in the Holy Light of the Messiah!

These two interpretations of the name Haniel are lovely and both speak something of the knowledge and power of this archangel of God.

First, concerning ‘affirmation,’ understand the very inspiration to create has its root in the Eternal God (Yahweh Elohim), the Creator, and the intention, desire, to create has its root in the inmost Sefirah, Keter - the Supernal Crown. As we know, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God (Ruach Elohim) is a Creative Spirit - a Living Spirit, and it is this Living Spirit that generates our capacity to imagine, speak and create, empowering us as co-creators with God. Aside from arts and crafts, quite literally all of us together are weaving the reality of our experience, co-creating the great matrix of creation with God, the earth and heavens, and so on, and becoming conscious co-creators with God, co-creators in conscious union with God, is the very message of the Holy Gospel. ‘Affirmation of God,’ affirming God’s will, affirming God’s love, completing the intention of God in creation, co-laboring to complete and perfect creation. God is affirmed in this, but also the very action of creativity affirms a Power Greater Than Us, the existence of God, the One Being-Consciousness-Force, which is the source and foundation for all inspiration, all innovation and creativity. Profoundly, though, when there is a true flow of inspiration, the manifestation of the greater intelligence that is in us, the creation that becomes manifest seems to come from a very deep hidden place, or from ‘beyond us,’ as though from heaven and God; it is as though a revelation of God within us, hidden in the depths of our being, suddenly becoming revealed, known. This leads to the second interpretation of the name of Haniel.

‘Am I God?’ This is an expression of an experience of nearness, oneness, with God - knowledge of God. Indeed, all souls emanate from God, the souls of humans, angels, and all creatures, spiritual, astral and material, and in their spiritual essence souls are God and God is them, God (Elohim) is manifest as all souls, the One Soul, and yet God, the Infinite and Eternal, is ever beyond creation, souls; hence this question as an expression of the experience of oneness, the awareness of ones spiritual essence being inseparable from God, and yet the awareness of God ever beyond - God within and ever beyond, so that it is known and understood that ‘God is God.’

This is the wisdom of Haniel who teaches perfect devekut (cleaving), the perfection of devekut being reaching oneness - conscious union with the Messiah and Holy One. If understood, the practice, performance, of sacred art becomes a vehicle for the reaching, realization, of oneness - experiences of conscious union with the Eternal One. Who is inspiring? Who is creating?

Haniel, of course, has everything to do with art, creativity, and mystical realization - the experience of nearness, oneness with the Holy One.

Understand, in the play of of nearness and oneness there are countless gradations of nearness, oneness, as the soul expands into the One-Without-End and merges with the One-Without-End; however deep the experience of oneness, still in holy awe and reverence, and wonder, there is this question, ‘Am I God (El)?’

In closing I can share an open secret. El, this corresponds with Hesed (Mercy, Loving-Kindness); if we wish to experience nearness, oneness, with the Holy One first and foremost this is the quality of the Holy One we must cultivate - kindness, politeness, forgiveness, mercy, love, and it is love that is the perfection of devekut.

These were a few thoughts I was inclined to share this morning.

Shalom Aleichem!
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Re: Am I El?

#7 Postby Marion » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:04 am

Thank you for this wonderful interpretation Beloved Tau!

A few thoughts come to mind in contemplation. The first is that of a mirror; as Netzach is associated with the clear mirror of Prophesy.

" is as though a revelation of God within us, hidden in the depths of our being, suddenly becoming revealed, known."

When creativity happens, can we say that we are mirroring God? I loved too, how you said that creativity is a much broader spectrum than just arts and crafts; truly it is our experience, and all of creation! This leads to a contemplation of creativity as a spiritual principle versus tied to any "thing" in this world. It seems to be a powerful contemplation to conceive of our life as a creative expression of God, the Holy One.

The power of a mirror is not only to reflect, and also to enhance. I remember years ago, Elder Gideon teaching how to reflect the light of the sun through a mirror, in order to burn wood away. So given the right source, a mirror can even start fires! As Yeshua says: "I have set the world on fire and I am tending it until it blazes!" Yeshua was the Sun of God, reflecting God on the world; Praise God!

Netzach is the base of the Pillar of Mercy, and Haniel is Netzach of Beriyah. Given what you've said:

" El, this corresponds with Hesed (Mercy, Loving-Kindness); if we wish to experience nearness, oneness, with the Holy One first and foremost this is the quality of the Holy One we must cultivate - kindness, politeness, forgiveness, mercy, love, and it is love that is the perfection of devekut."

I was contemplating the name associated with Netzach: Yahweh Tzavaot. This is the Great Name, associated with Hokmah, with Tzavaot—which means Hosts, added to it. I was wondering if we can see in this, the fullness of the pillar of mercy, as it encompasses the head and the base?

I was also curious is we could say that Yahweh Tzavaot is "little Yahweh", that is, implying a mirror to Hokmah?

Along with this, I was contemplating the name of God that was recently talked about in discourse: Yahweh Yahweh El. And was wondering is an interpretation of this name could be: Yahweh, little Yahweh, of Mercy. And if so, it the name Yahweh Yahweh El would invoke the fullness of the pillar of Mercy?

Praise be to God for your Maggidim and Tzadikim, who are messengers!


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