The Vision of Ezekiel: Hayyot Ha-Kodesh & the World of Angels
“In the middle of it was something like four Hayyot Ha-Kodesh” (Ezekiel 1:5)
Through the blessing and grace of God, in the Blessed Name of Adonai Yeshua Messiah, we can now continue our discourse, seeking to probe a bit further into the depths of the mysteries of the Hashmal and venturing further into the mysteries of Olam Ha-Yetzirah, the world of angels, and the order of the Hayyot Ha-Kodesh.
The Virtue of the Klippot
The Hayyot Ha-Kodesh, holy living creatures, appear within the four klippot of the storm wind, great cloud, fire and glow (Klippah Nogah), and within the Hashmal, which are as garments holding the light-power of the holy angels, generating the images and thoughts emerging in the calm waters of the prophet’s consciousness. Although, on one hand, we may speak of the dominion of the klippot as opposed to the Divine, or as adversarial to the Divine Will, on the other hand the dominion of the klippot also serve to guard the holiness of the Divine, specifically the Shekinah, or Divine Presence and Power, so that nothing impure or unholy can enter into the presence of God, and they serve to protect souls that might prematurely seek to draw too close to the Divine, preventing the experience of severe judgment that would occur in the Shekinah in an impure or unholy condition. As pointed out in our previous cycle of discourse, the Holy Light of God, which is the illumination of the heavens, is also the fire of the hells, and therefore, rather than the blissful and heavenly experience of the righteous, the impure or unholy would find a very painful and hellish experience if they were to draw near to God – not that God, the True Light, is judging them, but rather on account of the judgment that is in themselves and their own lack of resonance with the presence of God, the purity and holiness of God. Thus, while on one level appearing to oppose the Divine Intention (Ratzon Elyon), the klippot also serve to facilitate the Will of God, ensuring that souls draw near only in due season when they have developed and evolved sufficiently to begin their return, passing up in the Great Exodus, the Great Ascension.
The Angels of God
In a similar way, the Hashmalim, Hayyot Ha-Kodesh and various orders of angels serve to guard the purity and holiness of the Supernal Shekinah of God, as well as the Shekinah manifesting with us, and they serve to facilitate our development and evolution, and serve as intermediaries between us and the Shekinah of Elyon, the Supreme. Unlike the klippot, though, the orders of angels and archangels of God are true and holy vessels – emanations of the Holy Light of God, specifically emanations of the Holy Sefirot or the Names of God, and unlike the klippot who serve the Divine Will in ignorance, they serve with the awareness of God’s Will and actively labor to facilitate God’s Will; they are true servants of the Holy One and are the siblings of the Human One.
Again and again the navim speak of the holy angels in the worship of God, and the mekubalim teach us that their worship is amplified and increased, and brought to its peak and perfection through the worship of human beings below – such is their relationship to the Holy One, akin to our own. This is reflected in the Book of Apocalypse when the Christian navi, St. John (Yohanan) becomes overwhelmed with holy awe during his vision and bows down before an archangel, worshipping the angel, and the holy angel responds to him, saying, “You must not do that! I am your fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” (Revelation 22:9).
We also find this reflected in a term used for very lofty souls, or the tzaddikim that are perfectly pure and holy, or that are very otherworldly in their way and knowledge, the term “maggid,” which means “angel.” Indeed! Adonai Yeshua teaches us that in heaven the righteous ones resemble the holy angels of God, and in his ascension we know that Enoch was translated into a most holy angel, appearing in Body of Glory as Archangel Metatron, the archangel that holds dominion over the Hayyot Ha-Kodesh.
Resemblance of the Holy Angels
In this we may come to understand something in the ascent of the soul in the Holy Merkavah – in order to ascend and draw near to God we must resemble the angels of God, which reflect something akin to who and what a human soul is in God, though what a human soul is surpasses even the highest among the holy angels and archangels, being in its essence and nature the Human One of Light, the Messiah of God. Thus, to pass by the angelic guardians of the Holy Gates a soul must resemble the angels of those Gates, and to pass through the dominion of an archangel to enter into the Holy Sefirot or Holy Name, a soul must resemble the archangel, and likewise to become unified with a Holy Sefirah or Name, the soul must resemble that attribute of God, that aspect of the Holy Shekinah.
If you want to ride the Holy Merkavah, then you must live like an angel, resembling the holy angels, and if you want to ascend into higher gradations of the Merkavah experience, then you must live like the Messiah, resembling the Messiah, the One Anointed with the Supernal Light of Elyon, and who resembles Hayyah Abba, the Living Father.
The holy angels worship God and serve God – their entire orientation is the Holy One of Being and Ratzon Elyon, the Desire of the Most High; and specifically, they serve to facilitate the revelation and realization of the Divine, the generation of the Human One, which is to say they serve to facilitate the Continuum of Light Transmission. Thus, living like the holy angels of God, we worship and serve God, the Holy One and Ratzon Elyon becoming the orientation of our soul and our life.
As is said in the teachings of the holy masters, “When you make your will God’s Will, then God’s Will becomes your own” – this is the secret of prophecy and wonderworking, as we behold in Baal Yeshua (Master Yeshua).
This, of course, reveals a secret in the generation of the Body of Light, for in the Body of Glory we assume the images of holy angels and Partzufim, and assuming the image and likeness we bear the Divine Power of that holy and divine being – that assuming we have aligned our mind, heart and life with the Holy Shekinah of God, for a mere visualization apart from the generation of merit or energy in the spiritual life, the Life Divine, means nothing and has no power. Living in the Messiah, however, in this way we invoke various aspects of the Divine Presence and Power, ascending into the Holy Light and embodying the Holy Light, making the kingdom of heaven manifest upon earth.
As you might surmise, the Hashmalim are connected to the generation of the Body of Light in various images or forms, just as are the Hayyot Ha-Kodesh as we explain in Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ.
Gazing Again into Hashmalim
Now we have spoken of the mystery of Hashmalim as garments of the light-power of angels and archangels, the generation of the appearances of Pure Light Beings-Forces, and we have spoken of the mystery of them interfacing with the silent mind – the mental consciousness mastered, and here we may say that this is the secret of the verse, “Be still and know that I am God [Elohim]” (Psalm 46:11).
Here we may probe the mystery of the Hashmalim further. If we look into the Talmud we find that Hashmalim is explained as a mnemonic for Hayyot Ash-Memallot, “living angels of fire speaking [praises].” This is close to the order of the Ashim, “souls of fire” or “shining ones,” the holy angels that most commonly appear to navim, and a term for the most zealous, passionate and pious among the faithful – the mystic on fire with the Holy Spirit; angels of fire speaking, though, directly refers to prophecy or the speech of God, and also calls to mind the Tongues or Holy Fire that descend on the apostles in the Pentecost – the outpouring of the Baptism of Fire from the Ascension.
According to the mekubalim, the Het in Hashmal represents the Hayyot of Yetzirah, and the Shin represents Ash, the Holy Fire, the Holy Light, and Mal, as we know means speech or speaking. Het is the number eight, which as opposed to the six directions of physical space and the physical world, and the six days of creation or the week, represents the metaphysical or spiritual realm, the *transcendental realm* – you may recall the Het concluding Messiah, and also the number eight being associated with Christ in Greek. Likewise, you might recall the eighth heaven of the Christian Kabbalah – the heaven of true Divine Illumination and Liberation. Thus, Het in Hashmal implies speaking from the transcendental, or speaking with the transcendental – hence, speaking with God and from God.
Het literally means “fence” or “enclosure,” harkening to the correspondence of Hashmal and Malbush – this implies an interface between the transcendent and immanent, or between the infinite and finite; it may also imply a barrier, but at the same time a vehicle – hence the image of the “Chariot” in the Tarot representing the letter Het.
The eighth day, following the six days of creation and Holy Shabbat, implies the ascension or transcendence – in Hayyah Yeshua we behold the manifestation of the Eternal Shabbat, Eternal Life, the rectification of the Fall, which occurred on the first Holy Shabbat, preventing the dawn of the Eternal Shabbat. This mystery is reflected in the eight days of the celebration of Hanukah in Judaic tradition, as well as the ceremony of Milah-Circumcision performed on male children on the eighth day in Judaism.
Het beginning Hashmal and Hayyot alludes to the navi transcending ordinary space-time and the Olam Ha-Asiyah to enter into Olam Ha-Yetzirah, the world of angels.
We have spoken in great detail about the need to overcome the klippot to enter into true prophetic consciousness, and likewise we have spoken in great detail about the need to divest yourself of the corporeal or temporal, name and form, and personal history; this, exactly, is the talismanic intention of circumcision – the foreskin removed representing the husks of impurity or darkness, including the klippah of matter itself, which is generated by ignorance, dualism in consciousness.
Under the Old Covenant the Ot (Alef-Vau-Tau) Brit Kodesh, “sign of the holy covenant,” was on the male sexual organ, indicating the sublimation and mastery of desire-energy; the desire of a righteous human being in submission to God. In the New Covenant, of course, Ot Brit Kodesh is on the heart, for the circumcision is no longer an outward sign isolate to men, but is an inward sign of the covenant including men and women alike – the circumcision of the heart, the removal of the klippah encrusting the heart, which is rooted in Klippah Nogah. The holy sign of the covenant is the Sacred Heart of the Messiah – the love and compassion of the Messiah embodied in the faithful and elect.
In the tradition we speak of this holy sign as the Threefold Flame of faith, hope and love, which brings us into Supernal Habad, knowledge, understanding and wisdom, transcendental and divine; in order to ride the Holy Merkavah, you must have this holy sign of the covenant – as much as mastering the mind, you must master desire, transforming bestial and egoistic desire into the power of faith, hope and love (charity) through which you cleave to Hayyah Yeshua, the True and Holy Merkavah.
Indeed! The sign of initiation upon our brow, the holy chrism, and this holy sign of the covenant, are the “secret signs” through which we are able to pass by the angelic guardians of the Holy Gates, and through which we are empowered to pass through the dominions of the archangels to unify ourselves with Ha-Shem, The Name.
In this regard, the uncircumcised, the impure or unholy, cannot pass beyond the klippot, let alone pass by the guardians of the Gates. This is the secret of the verse, “Who shall ascend the hill of Yahweh? And who shall stand in his Holy Place [Makom]? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not uplift their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully – They will receive blessings from Yahweh and vindication from Elohim of their salvation” (Psalm 24:4-5). Likewise, it is the secret of the teaching of Adonai, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God [Elohim]” (Matthew 5:8).
Now here we may speak an open secret – the labor of preparation for prophecy itself is the Discipline of the Chariot, and yet more, the labor of preparation is riding in the Chariot; the very process of a vision quest itself is that which is sought, for when there is perfect performance, there is perfect success – prophecy transpires.
Indeed! As the holy masters of the tradition teach us, “There is no Goal but the Path”; which is to say, “The Path is the Goal.”
As we know and understand, as much as the circumcision of the heart ascending to prophesy, there is the circumcision of the mind – the silent mind is the “circumcised mind,” and it is this that brings us to Hashmal, the speaking of God; likewise, we may say that when the soul is divested of the body and puts on its Light Garment (the Blessed Name), the soul is circumcised, as we witness in the Risen Messiah. All of this, however, is predicated upon the circumcision of the heart, the mastery of desire-energy; hence, devekut (cleaving), which leads to hishtavut and hitbodedut.
The intimate connection between milah-circumcision and prophecy is most clearly made by the story of the Patriarch Abraham, to whom the revelation of the covenant was given – enacting it, on the third day following the ceremony, he was visited by three holy men, who according to Midrashim were emanations of the archangels Rafael, Michael and Gavriel, and in their visitation he experienced prophecy.
Understanding the principle of circumcision inwardly, as an internal self-purification, is most significant, however, for the reality of our experience is, in truth, a radiant display of our own mind or soul, and therefore so are the prophetic dreams and visions that arise – they are the arising of the elements of our own consciousness, and those elements arise more or less pure, depending upon the state of our consciousness. Essentially, elevated and expanded states of consciousness, and prophetic states of consciousness, arise naturally and spontaneously through the purification and sublimation of consciousness, for such is the nature of our consciousness on an inner and secret level; the spiritual world – the worlds of angels, archangels and Holy Sefirot, exists within and behind the material world, existing in the same space at the same time, all of the time, and on an inner level our consciousness or soul spans the heights, depths and breadths of the material and spiritual worlds. Thus, truly, it is simply a matter of learning to go within and live within – if you will, it is all a matter of “tuning in” to the more subtle and sublime dimensions of our own being and consciousness, which in essence and nature is inseparable from the Holy Light of God, and is inseparable from God and Godhead.
The Elements of Consciousness & Creation
Now, if we look and see, the four klippot and the Hashmal indicate the five elements of consciousness and creation – Hashmal represents the element of space, and then there are the elements of air, fire, water and earth arising from the element of space. Likewise, the four Hayyot Ha-Kodesh, which are within the Hashmal, also represent the elemental forces; the klippot are the elements of consciousness arising in impurity, in fundamental ignorance, and the Hayyot are the same elements arising according to their primordial purity, more or less.
Essentially, the degree of purity or impurity of the elements of consciousness determines the level at which we experience the Holy Merkavah, or determines the Olam-Universe to which our soul is able to ascend. In a completely impure condition or completely unenlightened condition, our consciousness is bound to the dominion of the klippot and Olam Ha-Asiyah, and we cannot gaze into the world of the spirits; remaining in the impure condition, but experiencing some degree of elevation, we cannot gaze beyond the dominion of Klippah Nogah – however, as we purify our consciousness or soul we become able to enter and gaze at the level of Yetzirah, the world of angels, as Ezekiel does. If and when we continue in the purification of consciousness, the dissolution of the dualism in consciousness, we may enter and gaze at the level of Beriyah, and if and when we are able to recognize and realize the non-dual truth, we may enter into the experience of Olam Ha-Atzilut, Supernal or Messianic Consciousness.
The Great Vision of Melchizedek
Previously, we spoke of the ultimate fruition of the Holy Merkavah experience in the state of Union with the Clear Light – the Simple Primordial Light, Or Ain Sof; if and when we are able to bring about this Holy Union, and are able to abide in the Clear Light of this Pure Radiant Awareness, we may experience what is called the Great Vision in the teachings of Melchizedek of the Christian Kabbalah – hence, we may perceive the arising of the primordial elements from the spaciousness of the Clear Light Foundation, and experience directly how the Realm of Yichud (Pleroma of Light) and Realm of Perud (Entirety) come into being from the Simple Primordial Light.
Abiding in the Clear Light, inseparable from it, we will experience the arising of Sound-Vibration, the essential expression of the Word of Yahweh, and that Holy Word will generate Five Essential Lights and Rays, and those Rays will generate Patterns, and those Patterns, in turn, will generate Light Images – and so the World of the Holy Sefirot, the Pleroma of Light, will appear in our “vision.” This is the arising of Yahweh from Eheieh, and the arising of Elohim from Yahweh, from which El, Elohim Givor, Yeshua, Yahweh Elohim Tzavaot, Shaddai and Adonai arise; in the midst of this experience we may look and see how Atzilut gives way to the generation of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Asiyah – in other words, we may look and see how the Holy Merkavah forms from the perspective of God and Godhead.
Thus, in a similar way, we can observe the arising of the holy archangels and the orders of angels, as well as the celestial spheres and impure elements, and the dominion of the klippot – all as a radiant display of the Mochin of El Elyon, from which, in its essence and nature, our mind or soul is inseparable, as are all mind or soul-streams.
This is the Vision of the Merkavah in Supernal or Messianic Consciousness.
The experience of Ezekiel and the prophets of the Old Covenant is the reverse of this – the Merkavah is viewed from the perspective of creature and creation, and the view of a journey from ordinary and unenlightened consciousness into progressively higher states of consciousness; nevertheless, however, when the Merkavah is formed in the mind of the navi, it forms in exactly the way we behold the arising in the Great Vision as described, it is just that unless a navi is in Supernal Habad, they will not be conscious or notice the more subtle and sublime dimensions of the Arising of the Body of Vision, the Holy Merkavah.
In the vision of Ezekiel there is a hint to this Arising of the Body of Vision by way of the Hayyot Ha-Kodesh, for at the level of Yetzirah the Hayyot are the expression of Eheieh and the arising of Yahweh from Eheieh – it is just that Ezekiel, as with virtually all of the navim of the Old Testament, views this arising through veils, some navim of the Old Testament experiencing fewer veils or garments, while others experience more of them, like Ezekiel.
The Holy Living Creatures
In Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ we have spoken of the Hayyot Ha-Kodesh extensively, but here, perhaps, through the blessing and grace of God we might speak further of their mysteries. As we know, Archangel Metatron presides over the Hayyot Ha-Kodesh, Metatron being the manifestation of Keter at the level of Beriyah, and the Hayyot Ha-Kodesh being the manifestation of Keter at the level of Yetzirah, and as we know, they are powers of the primordial elements and the primordial forces of creation and life, holding the potential of all life-forms in them, whether of the past, present or future, of this world and all worlds – this generation of life-forms on all levels intimately connecting them with the Hashmalim and their role in the generation of garments.
Thus, they are the presiding order of angels in the world of angels – Keter of the Sefirot of Yetzirah, and they are the force within and behind the gilgulim, the manifestation of Keter at the level of Asiyah. According to the Zohar, the Holy Serafim correspond with Atzilut, because of the guardianship and worship of the higher classes of Serafim in the interior presence of God or the Upper Shekinah, and the Kerubim correspond with Beriyah, because of the guardianship and worship of the higher classes of Kerubim in the exterior presence of God. The Hayyot Ha-Kodesh are attributed to Yetzirah and the Ofanim to Asiyah – the Hayyot serving as conduits and transmitters of the Divine Power of the interior and exterior presence of the Holy One, and the Ofanim serving as the interface of that transmission; hence, the Hayyot and Ofanim seen acting together in Ezekiel’s vision of the Holy Merkavah.
Interestingly enough, elsewhere, in chapter ten Ezekiel refers to the Hayyot as Kerubim, saying, “This is the Hayyah I saw under the God of Israel on the river Chebar and I knew that they were Kerubim (Ibid 10:20). This reflects the complete interdependence, interconnection, interpenetration, and interaction of the orders of angels, as well as the archangels – a profoundly non-linear and non-human reality of existence, one that is very difficult for the human imagination to conceive or the human mind to comprehend; but then, this non-linear and metadimensional quality of the angels, archangels and Holy Sefirot is, in fact, the true nature of all reality, including the physical or material dimension. This non-linear metadimensional reality is exactly the experience of the Holy Merkavah – the experience of prophets and wonderworkers, and it is exactly how prophecy and wonders are possible. Put very simply, reality is not as it seems to be in the unenlightened condition – reality is far more dream-like in its true nature, and how it appears to us in ordinary consciousness is fundamentally illusory, as every true mystic around the world can bear witness.
The Kerubim are mentioned in two other significant places – in Genesis, as the guardians of the Way to the Tree of Life and in Exodus as the images on the ark of covenant. According to Genesis, the Kerubim that stand as guardians bear a sword of flashing fire turning this way and that, rather like a sword formed from lightning; although their task is said to be to guard the way to the Tree of Life, according to masters of the tradition, they also may transmit a “thunderbolt illumination” to the righteous who sojourn in the Way, the Straight Path, so that while guarding, they may also serve to open the way and facilitate the mystical journey of the soul – all depending upon the holiness and purity of the soul approaching them. Something similar is also true of the Kerubim upon the ark of covenant, for it is well known that once upon a time navim of ancient Israel would enter into the holy of holies and stand gazing in the space between the wings of the Great Kerubim, and gazing in this way would receive prophecy; but it is also well known that if an impure or unclean person attempted to enter and gaze they might very well be struck dead – thus again, there is the role of guardianship and transmission associated with the Kerubim.
*Here it must also be said that the sword in the hands of the Kerubim is also known to be the power of the klippot, and a power akin to that of the self-taking fire; thus, these great Kerubim preside over the oath-bound wrathful guardians and direct their powers in the guardianship of the Tree of Life, much like the mekubalim do in guardianship of the Continuum of Light Transmission. These holy Kerubim, then, are integral to the invocation of the wrathful guardians or angels of wrath, which play a role in the protection of the navi in the Continuum of the Holy Merkavah. More than this, however, cannot be spoken, for there is no divine permission to speak openly of this deep secret; so we shall pass on, leaving the rest for Ruach Ha-Kodesh to reveal to you, if it is the will of Elohim.
As mentioned in Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ, Kerubim are guardians of gates, doors, thresholds and cross roads - hence, they facilitate shifts, transitions or change, and they are often invoked for this purpose in the Discipline of the Chariot, just as Hayyot are invoked for influxes of spiritual energy and transmissions.
Now, Ezekiel first speaks of the Hayyot, but later tells us that he “knew” there were Kerubim – thus, the Kerubim, which are Yesod of Yetzirah, become garments of the Hayyot by way of the Hashmalim; yet, also, this is a hint of the prophet gazing into Beriyah clothed in Yetzirah, and as we shall see there is even some glimpse into Atzilut, though also concealed and contained by the world of angels.
This mention of the Hayyot as Kerubim also alludes to the significant shift in the Continuum of Light Transmission at the time of Ezekiel – the conclusion of the succession of prophets until Yohanan the Baptist and the coming of the Messiah; but it also alludes to the guardianship and the transmission of the Discipline of the Chariot in this holy book – a spiritual discipline only detailed further by St. John in the Book of Revelation.
This concludes this cycle of our sacred discourse – if it is God’s will, in our next cycle we will explore mysteries of the Hayyot further, delving into the secrets of their appearance and movements, as well the mysteries of those secret angels in their midst – the “burning torches.” We will pray for God’s blessing and grace so that this might come to pass. Amen.
Holy One, may the mysteries of your beloved angels be revealed to us, so that calling upon your Name and invoking them, we might be empowered to bring forth blessings for the people and bring glory to your Holy Name; amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia
Last edited by Tau Malachi on Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.