Ten Utterances

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Ten Utterances

#1 Postby Elder Gideon » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:28 am

Kallah Shalom!

Asherah! Holy Tree! אשרה

Aserah! Ten! עֲשָׂרָה

I've longed to finally find and understand the many references to the significance of the "Ten Utterances." Moses Cordovero's Pardes Rimonim teaches me in Part II:3 how the Ten Utterances of Elohim speaking Creation into being align with the ten sefirot and the Ten Commandments. He does not contradict the general teaching of sefirot and days of Creation, for he emphasizes something more specific: the ten times Vayomer Elohim..., "And Elohim said." This to me is as exciting as how our oral tradition aligns the Ten Commandments with the Ten Beatitudes of the Perfect Master.

Cordovero draws upon many other voices, including Rabbi Shi'mon of the Zohar, who explicitly joins ten utterances for Creation with the ten commandments of Torah: "The world was created for sake of Torah, and as long as the elect of Israel are busy with the words of the Torah, the world stands." I will attempt to summarize this array as simply as possible and attach another post of Cordovero's essential commentary for accessibility and contributions from companions. Below are the sefirot as Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) mirrored by Elohim's Ten Utterances of Creation (Genesis 1).

Keter:
I am the Lord your God
Let there be light

Hokmah:
You shall not make for yourself an idol
Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters

Binah:
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God
Let the waters under the sky be gathered

Hesed:
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy
Let the earth put forth vegetation

Gevurah:
Honor your father and your mother
Let there be lights

Tiferet:
You shall not murder
Let the waters and skies be full of living creatures

Netzach:
You shall not commit adultery
Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind

Hod:
You shall not steal
I have given you every plant and tree yielding seed and fruit

Yesod:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
Let us make humankind in our image

Malkut:
You shall not covet
It is not good that the Human One should be alone

+

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Kavvanot of the Ten Utterances

#2 Postby Elder Gideon » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:58 am

Keter:
I am the Lord your God
Let there be light
"The faithfulness of the Holy One is called Light, as it is said, 'YHVH is my light' (Psalm 27:1)."

Hokmah:
You shall not make for yourself an idol
Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters
"'Let it be a firmament' refers to Israel who is the portion of the Holy One, for they hold to the place called heaven. [...] for 'In the midst of the water' means between the words of Torah, [...] between the well of living waters [the Holy One] and broken cisterns [idolatry]."


Binah:
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God
Let the waters under the sky be gathered
"Anyone who takes the name of God in vain separates the Mother from her place above, and the holy crowns are uprooted from their place, as is said, 'And a whisperer separates close friends' (Proverbs 16:28); and there is no friend like the Holy One. [...] One place: Do not cause separation through false swearing. 'To one place', to the place of truth, but not another place that is false, where waters do not belong."


Hesed:
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy
Let the earth put forth vegetation
"When is the holy land being fertilized? On the day of Shabbat; when the bride joins the king, it brings forth grass and blessings to the world."


Gevurah:
Honor your father and your mother
Let there be lights
"These lights are your mother and father. Your father is the sun and your mother the moon. The sun is no other than the Holy One, as is it said, 'YHVH is a sun and a shield' (Psalm 84:12). The moon is no other than the congregation of Israel, as it is said, 'Your moon shall not withdraw itself' (Isaiah 60:20)."


Tiferet:
You shall not murder
Let the waters and skies be full of living creatures
"You shall not kill another who is called so, as it is said, "And the human became a living soul. Do not be like the big fishes which devour the small ones."


Netzach:
You shall not commit adultery
Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind
"We learn that a man should not betray his wife with another woman, for she is not his mate. This is the meaning of 'after their kind,' that a woman should only give birth after her kind, [...] from her husband."


Hod:
You shall not steal
I have given you every plant and tree yielding seed and fruit
"Whatever I gave you and entrusted to you is yours, but do not steal what belongs to others."


Yesod:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
Let us make humankind in our image
"One should not bear false witnessing against [another] who is made in the king's image, but whoever does it, bears false witnessing on high."


Malkut:
You shall not covet
It is not good that the Human One should be alone
"Your mate is with you, so you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. These are the ten sayings of Creation, and the ten sayings of the giving of the Torah. [...] It is for this reason that the world stands and there is peace."


May You and Your Name be One on the face of the earth!

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Re: Ten Utterances

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:58 am

Grace and peace to you from Yahweh Elohim, Shaddai!

These are wonderful posts and good teachings you have shared, and they may lead to deep contemplations and insights into many secret mysteries. Joined with the outline you are provided I’m inclined to share some teachings, contemplating the unification of the Utterance and Commandments.

First, understand that the entirety of creation is within Adam ha-Rishon (First Human One), and so is in the generations of the Adam - humanity; the intention of the Ten Utterances, ultimately, is the generations of Adam that can act as co-creators with the Holy One, co-laboring for the perfection and completion of creation, and that can enter into conscious union with the Holy One and embody something of the Infinite and Eternal. The Ten Commandments corresponds with the revelation of how this may be accomplished, and as such they are the fulfillment of the Ten Utterances, the enacting of the Ten Commandments being the completion of the movement of creation initiated by the Holy One through the Ten Utterances, sealing them. This is the obvious interconnection of the Utterances and Commandments, but their interconnection, in fact, runs deeper still, venturing into subtle and sublime mysteries of the Works of Creation (Ma’aseh Bereshit); hence, knowledge of the metaphysics of creation.

According to the masters of the tradition creation is founded upon the Holy Torah, the Commandments, so that, in truth the Commandments are within and behind the Ten Utterance, and the Holy Torah and Gospel are woven into the very fabric or structure of creation and the entire reality of our experience and being. Therefore, apart from the revelation of the Commandments at Sinai, through the Spirit of God in creation manifest as Nature, the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of the Torah is revealed and made known to those who have faith, those who become aware of the Sacred Unity, the Holy One, within and behind all that arises and appears, and all that transpires, those who are open and sensitive to the Holy Shekinah and Spirit within and all around them. It is in this way that the righteous ones, the holy ones, such as Enoch and Noah, and the patriarchs and matriarchs, had knowledge and understanding of the Holy Torah long before the revelation on Mount Sinai, for cleaving to the Holy One and Shekinah, abiding in an intimate communion, aware of the Holy One within and beyond all things, through the Spirit of God they received great knowledge, understanding and wisdom of the Holy Torah, having knowledge of the Commandments.

More so, as Moses teaches in his last discourse with the children of Israel, in that creation, and our very being, is founded upon the Holy Torah, so the wisdom of the Holy Torah is “engraved upon our hearts,” woven into our soul, our being, and even before we are born there is knowledge of the Holy Torah and Gospel within the inmost part of our soul, our inmost being, so that going within, and going deeper still, apart from any exterior revelation we may experience interior knowledge of the Torah and Gospel. Praise God!

Thus, simply through the awareness of the Spirit of God within all things, and the contemplation of the presence and glory of God pervading creation, and indwelling us, we can acquire knowledge, understanding and wisdom of the Holy Torah and Gospel; and we may say this, contemplating the Holy Scriptures, the verification of our knowledge and understanding must be found in Nature and the Matrix of Creation, or Reality as It Is, for therein is the true knowledge of God (Da’at ha-Elohim). If and when religious doctrines are formed that contradict or oppose what we behold in Nature and the Matrix of Creation, or Reality as It Is, then those doctrines are false and are misconceptions of the revelation of the Divine and need to be discarded, the truth of Reality as It Is, and God as God Is, being honored rather than ignorance and falsehood.

In this regard consider the many parables of Adonai Yeshua founded upon the contemplation of spiritual truths in nature and daily life, most often teaching the people through parables rather than the recitation of the Holy Scriptures; in so doing he was restoring to them the spiritual essence of the Holy Torah, the Commandments, and revealing the way for a most intimate communion with the Holy One, a way of nearness and unification in this life and beyond.

Concerning the spiritual essence of all of the Commandments, and the essential truth of the Commandments “engraved upon our hearts,” he reflected this to us in the single commandment he gave to us, “Love one another as I have loved you,” for love is the way of the heart, faith and love the intelligence of the heart.

The spiritual essence of all of the Commandments is in the single commandment Yeshua Messiah gave, but through the Beatitudes, when “you are the salt of the earth” and “you are the light of the world” are counted among them, he gave teachings on the spiritual essence of each of the Commandments. Understanding the Utterances of Creation and the Ten Commandments as inseparable from one another, the expression of their corresponding Sefirah, and understanding the Beatitudes as the spiritual essences of the Commandments, so also they are the spiritual essences of the Ten Utterances of Creation, and joined with the Commandments they correspond with the tikkune of the Holy Vessels and Matrix of Creation, the realization of original intention of creation, the embodiment of God, the True Light.

This seems enough for one time, so here I will pause waiting upon the Spirit of the Lord.

Shalom Aleichem
!
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Keter as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#4 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:55 am

Shabbat Shalom!

The spiritual essence of all of the Commandments is in the single commandment Yeshua Messiah gave, but through the Beatitudes, when “you are the salt of the earth” and “you are the light of the world” are counted among them, he gave teachings on the spiritual essence of each of the Commandments. Understanding the Utterances of Creation and the Ten Commandments as inseparable from one another, the expression of their corresponding Sefirah, and understanding the Beatitudes as the spiritual essences of the Commandments, so also they are the spiritual essences of the Ten Utterances of Creation, and joined with the Commandments they correspond with the tikkune of the Holy Vessels and Matrix of Creation, the realization of original intention of creation, the embodiment of God, the True Light.

I'm very grateful not only that you've elucidated the Ten Utterances as the generations of Adam that can act as co-creators with the Holy One, co-laboring for the perfection and completion of creation but as well how the Ten Commandments correspond with the revelation of how this may be accomplished. What's entirely revelatory in our lineage was how you aligned the Commandments with Beatitudes; the resonances, which you've introduced in Living Gnosis, are exhaustless. To fold a third voice into this contemplation can be Elohim's utterance at each sefirotic point.

This said, I'd like to explore how each Commandment, Utterance, and Beatitude interact, starting with Keter:

I am the Lord your God
Let there be light
You are the light of the world.

We've been working with this contemplation in our Zohar continuum, how the First Commandment is a tremendous moment in itself; the Gnostic gospel Pistis Sophia even personifies the First Commandment. The Zohar says: "When I was uttered, all the commandments of Torah linked to this side were included in this word" (2:85b). This opened up many lines of contemplation, all the more when we considered Elohim's First Utterance, Let there be light! The nature of this light, as our oral tradition affirms, is not physical at all, but is clear, radiant awareness, the enlightened nature of all as it is in the Most High.

Integrating this Utterance with my own experiences of the personification of the First Commandment and Yeshua's final Beatitude, You are the light of the world, is to hear that there is nothing but the Holy One. There are no other gods. The Living Savior says as much in the Gospel of Mary: Sin and death have never substantially existed, but exist only in that you mingle, as in adultery. For the Savior to declare You are the light of the world now sounds synonymous with what he taught in the Gospel of Mary: You are free already, complete already, at-one already.

To recognize this Light is one thing; to realize this is another. From Rabbi Cordovero's citation of Psalm 27, 'faithfulness' is emunah אֱמוּנָה, holding in it a Divine Name attributed to Keter: Amen: So it is, so it shall come to be. For him to call 'faithfulness' Light affirms what seems to be most immediate and impressive about this cluster of Utterance, Commandment, and Beatitude, teaching something Supernally simple from St. Thomas: I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there (77).

May the Light from which we've come remember itself as our return.

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Hokmah as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#5 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:04 am

Shabbat Shalom!

You shall not make for yourself an idol
Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters
You are the salt of the earth


Rabbi Cordovero says that the Second CommandmentYou shall not make for yourself an idol and the corresponding Utterance Let it be a firmament "refers to Israel who is the portion of the Holy One, for they hold to the place called heaven. [...] for 'In the midst of the water' means between the words of Torah, [...] between the well of living waters [the Holy One] and broken cisterns [idolatry]." When we bring Adonai Yeshua's Ninth Beatitude You are the salt of the earth into this contemplation, all three describe the distinction of the faithful and elect from bestial humanity.

The sky separating the upper from the lower waters here may regarded as the need to discern and discriminate what is holy from what is unholy, what is of the light and what is of the darkness. Apart from the mastery of judging what is good from what is not, any principle of what is non-dual is conceptual, distorting, and even dangerous. If non-dual principles look easier or more permissive than dualistic principles, this exposes how unprepared as yet one is for the non-dual. Living into the non-dual truth is most rigorous and consequential of all. Many who feign an awareness of what is non-dual without having done the inner work of discernment and purification are faithless idolaters. One who walks with no fear of YHVH is a fool who will be consumed by foolishness.

Wisdom is non-dual. How one comes to wisdom either is by prayer and contemplation, by painful experience, or both. By wisdom one like Solomon knows there is a time for everything under the sun. What is right is in the moment and is too subtle in a context moving too swiftly to describe for all people all of the time. To recognize what is right requires disciplined training in "lesser mysteries;" only with the insights that come through consistency with basic teachings, such as the Six Essentials, can one become conscious of the wisdom of their structure. In Jewish tradition, this is why married, working fathers over forty years old could begin learning mysteries of Kabbalah; in Early Christian tradition, initiates had to learn wisdom of the Law before they could begin to learn mysteries of Grace.

Consider the famous Jewish midrash of the four rabbis who entered entered into Pardes. What they all encountered was non-dual but three cleaving to concepts devoid of faith fell away in madness, apostasy, or death. What is a concept and construct but an idol-t'munah substituting faith-emunah? Only one, Rabbi Akiva, entered and departed Pardes in peace. Of him, Tau Malachi wrote, If we consider Rabbi Akiva, very clearly he had great faith and love, and knowledge (da’at), and he relied on God’s power, God’s mercy and grace, to give him understanding and wisdom, and all of the blessings that God has to give, material and spiritual; in various ways it seems the other three were lacking in love and knowledge, and relied on their own power, rather than the Spirit of God. Rabbi Akiva engaged in a complete surrender or self-offering, but apparently the surrender of the three others was partial and incomplete – a partial love and knowledge, an imperfect faith.

Faith generates and preserves life, here and hereafter. This is hayyah, the force of life emanating from Hokmah. That the Perfect Master made a metaphor of the elect as salt has, more basic than seasoning, a life-sustaining, preserving necessity known to all in ancient life. To cleave in faith with wisdom that YHVH is good, to live from within, generates life and light-power for oneself and for others. To cleave instead to illusions, living in outwardness, takes life and light-power from oneself and others. Adonai Yeshua says something very mysterious of these elect who, like Rabbi Akiva, live humbly and deeply from within: They preserve the earth. It is consistent then, that where such individuals are found, communities are blessed, even the environment itself shines with harmony. Where this is not the case, sickness in every respect spreads. Yeshua's teaching here of these undistracted by idols of outwardness, who Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment (John 7:24), draw in, hold, and anchor sustaining influxes into this good earth. No other generation before us is seeing how literally this is so.

May we who are called to go within, and go deeper still, be vessels of life and sustenance for the earth.

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Binah as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#6 Postby Elder Gideon » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:07 pm

Shabbat Eve Shalom:

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God
Let the waters under the sky be gathered
Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness sake


Of the relationship between this commandment and utterance, Rabbi Cordovero teaches, ”Anyone who takes the name of God in vain separates the Mother from her place above, and the holy crowns are uprooted from their place, as is said, 'And a whisperer separates close friends' (Proverbs 16:28); and there is no friend like the Holy One. [...] One place: Do not cause separation through false swearing. 'To one place', to the place of truth, but not another place that is false, where waters do not belong.” When we fold in Adonai Yeshua’s eighth beatitude into this contemplation, all three derive a powerful message of drawing forth what is within oneself in response to accusations of outwardness.

Rabbi Cordovero associates wrongful use of the name with false swearing, as does Yeshua: Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.” But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be “Yes, Yes” or “No, No.” To engage such false swearing divides, comprises, and fragments one self, and consequently, one’s access to the Divine. Anything more than this comes from the evil one (5:33-37).

The way in which one commits to someone or something is a form of swearing. One’s word is swearing. ForYes to be sincerely beYes and No to be honestly No is a necessary boundary one draws in spiritual self-worth. To do this comes from the fullness of the spiritual life lived from inwardness: Let the waters under the sky be gathered. To contrast this, consider a superficial life lived from outwardness, how such a life overextends itself for myriad reasons of lack: SayingYes to please others or No just to withdraw. Both directions are from the same surface consciousness. Both lack self-worth.

It takes self-worth to commit. The greater the consequences of the commitment to others, the more self-worth will be necessary. The force necessary for greater commitments will require an equally greater gathering one’s interior waters. This is rich. The image of waters being gathered on the third day is contemplated by the rabbis as a stabilizing and equilibrating force. Following the chaos of the division on the second day, the third day is the new balance, synonymous with Elohim’s creation of the angels, who further stabilize creation, making it conducive for growth. I also hear the gathering of waters as our desire energy turned inward and upward. Let the waters be gathered to one place is the conscious consolidation of one’s energy.

This is all so simple until tested by persecution. The very redirection of desire energy inward and upward will cause one to stand out against herd consciousness. These bestial souls, who make wrongful use of The Name, are threatened and contradicted by those godly souls who make right use of The Name. The Perfect Master blesses such as these, whose intentions and commitments are authentic and true from the inside out, whose waters are gathered to one place. They are strong as Templars, who “do not fear in the face of the enemy.” Being so in-gathered by a single Yes or No resolves all accusers inside from the outside.

May your faithful and Elect stand strong who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.


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Hesed as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#7 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:58 am

Shabbat Shalom!

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy
Let the earth put forth vegetation
Blessed are the peacemakers; they will be called children of God.


Rabbi Cordovero joins the fourth commandment with the fourth utterance of Elohim by asking, "When is the holy land being fertilized? On the day of Shabbat; when the bride joins the king, it brings forth grass and blessings to the world." Judaism founds Shabbat literally and spiritually upon the sacred marriage of the King and Bride—Tiferet and Malkut. The World-to-Come is Shabbat. Yeshua associates these who remember (King) and keep (Bride) this day holy with peacemaking. To routinely rest, in every respect, brings peace and conceives Divine movements of maggidim, as I hope to explain, with Ma's help.

As I can give only what I have to give, I can make peace only by the peace I possess. For peace to be truly peaceful, it must be more than a concept, ideal, or projection. Peace in the fullest sense of the word is non-dual, able to assimilate the violent inclination into itself, for the essence of Supernal peace surrounds all opposites. It is from this space that a mysterious priest-king comes out to meet Abram after his victory over the Kings of Edom: His name, in the first place, means ‘king of righteousness’; next he is also king of Salem, that is, ‘king of peace’ (Hebrews 7:2). Shabbat is the practice of the awareness of this peace. When we greet each other on Shabbat, saying, "Shabbat Shalom," we are invoking the peace we remember and keep called Shabbat.

This Shabbat continuum generates tremendous merit, all the more in a time that fails to do so. The World-to-Come is Shabbat. What people do, either in remembrance or forgetfulness on a sanctioned day of rest, conceives the future. If the faithless complain of the "Sunday blues," they're lamenting the disconnectedness they feel in an identity with everything under the sun. For most, Sunday is Monday-eve. For the more zealous faithful and elect who remember and keep this day holy, they conceive something altogether different: deep enjoyment of being connected to the Eternal, to each other, their own bodies, and this good earth.

As we're all conceiving something, I hope here to emphasize something of the vegetation of Elohim's fourth utterance. Apart from Kabbalah, there's little sense in what kind of vegetation can grow before the creation of the sun, moon, and stars to mark the seasons. Because of Kabbalah, we understand vegetation as the maggidim-angels, the creation of whom, following the appearance of dry land on the third day, stabilized the matrix. The Zohar gives an exquisite image of the Living Creatures in Be-Reshit drawing the Chariot, scattering seed:

The throne, ascending, is inscribed with these four images [of Hayyot]. These four supernal names carry this throne—a throne comprised of them—as it grasps and gathers souls, delights, and yearnings. Having grasped and gathered those delights and yearnings it descends full, like a tree full of branches in every direction, filled with fruit. Once it descends, these four images emerge, traced in their tracings, engraved, radiant, sparkling, flashing, scattering seed upon the world. They are called seed-bearing plants, for they scatter seed upon the world (1:19a).

The Zohar affirms Rabbi Cordovero's contemplation of what fertilizes the Holy Land: the coupling of the King and Bride. Their sacred union is Shabbat, manifest by the faithful and elect who remember and keep this peace. As ruach and nefesh align by intention of neshamah, Divine beings-forces are drawn in, sown into the people and land, sustaining the World-to-Come.

May we reap the light stored up for the righteous.

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Gevurah as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#8 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Shabbat Shalom!

Honor your father and your mother
Let there be lights
Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God.


Moving forward into mysteries of Gevurah, Rabbi Cordovero joins Elohim's creation of the lights with "your mother and father. Your father is the sun and your mother the moon. The sun is no other than the Holy One, as is it said, 'YHVH is a sun and a shield' (Psalm 84:12). The moon is no other than the congregation of Israel, as it is said, 'Your moon shall not withdraw itself' (Isaiah 60:20)." Being the emanation of judgment and constriction, Gevurah's the work of honoring father and mother are the means by which the fullness of Hesed can be recognized and realized: Seeing God and living.

Mystically, Rabbi Cordovero amplifies father to contemplate the Holy One; mother is the k'nesset, the community. We can apply this by considering the Holy One as our orientation in faith and habad; the community is our womb and place in which we can grow, err, and come to viability. This echoes deep and intricate midrashim of the sun and moon created on the fourth day, where the rabbis explore how the moon chose to diminish herself. While "diminish" engenders connotations of "lesser" and "smaller," the greater point is how light itself must slow, cool, or stage itself down to sustain a habitat living beings can endure. We need only consider our planet ruled by a single sun and moon, to experience the changing relationships of light fostering our coming-into-being.

There is another contemplation of father and mother between this commandment and its utterance In Zoharic Kabbalah, where the sun is the six sefirot from Hesed to Yesod and the moon is Malkut. This is quite a powerful shift to regard the physical moon as an extension of the sun, emphasizing the earth as what moves from new to full phases, in out and out alignment with the sun. Where father is the sun and mother is the earth, we have an even more dynamic way of contemplating Saying 2 from the Secret Gospel of Mary: “There is glory of glory, and glory of light, and there is the True Light. Seek, therefore, the essence of the light, which is beyond all, and you shall know the Truth of Light.” Earth, Mother, and community, this is the glory of glory; Sun, Father, and Holy One, this is the glory of light; the Sacred Wedding of these draws in the True Light.

This is coming "to purity of heart" that prepares one to "see God." I'm always humbled by the greater severity of Hesed. Fools who might conceptualize bypassing Gevurah sentimentalize Mercy, failing to understand the need for Gevurah to prepare for Hesed. It is on account of these that the Perfect Master taught, The judgment is this: Light has come into the world (John 3:19). I know in my own experience that Light Transmission is more intense than any judgment or obstruction I used to believe was so powerful. How can shadows compare with the light casting them? To "see God" is something Elohim even denied Moses. Where we have examples of tzaddikim who were permitted to "see," such as with Enoch or Elijah, what happened? They left their bodies.

The blessing of this sefirah the Perfect Master is describing as "seeing God" transcends such episodes, approaching embodiment of the Divine. To "see God" then, is not as a vision outside of oneself, but is to embody the Divine. Given how Gevurah rules Malkut, this is consistent. To embody the Divine is to have dispelled all barriers that break or are mistaken for the heart. Beyond such conceptions of the heart is the True Light, the influx of which changes everything it touches, making it all like itself, as when

the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and
the light of the sun will be sevenfold,
like the light of seven days
(Isaiah 30:26).

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Tiferet as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#9 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:48 pm

Shabbat Shalom!

You shall not murder
Let the waters and skies be full of living creatures
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall have mercy.


Now that we've journeyed into the heart of the Tree of Life, we encounter Rabbi Cordovero's wisdom joining the Sixth Commandment with the Sixth Utterance: "You shall not kill another who is called so, as it is said, 'And the human became a living soul. Do not be like the big fishes which devour the small ones.'" Elohim here is blessing the skies above and the waters below to teem with all manner of living beings. If material images of hosts of thousands of swimming or flying beings is overwhelmingly beautiful, how much more for spiritual beings of even greater numbers!

Cordovero's drawing our attention to a unique capacity in the Human One. By citing And the human became a hayyah nefesh, he marks the unique ability in the human one for self-restraint, the awareness of consequences, and the interconnection of everything. When animals kill other animals, it is often for essential, literal, and primal reasons: To eat or defend young, mates, and territory. When harm seems to be needless, as has been observed with animals of amplified intelligence such as chimps, another more ambiguous force is manifest of self-cherishing and dominion. It is with this same spectrum of intelligence amplifying self-grasping, which distorts instinctual desire-fear, that the human one, a hayyah nefesh, must always contend materially and spiritually.

Speaking from this heart center of the Tree of Life, the Perfect Master preaches, Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy. While human kind still struggles unconsciously with the evil, self-serving inclination to receive, human ones are consciously struggling to choose the good, self-offering inclination to give. By degrees, the faithful restrain their will to receive for fear of God; the elect restrain themselves for the love of God. The experience of mercy is a choice to act mercifully. Remembering the rabbinical wisdom that the consequence is in every action itself, the mercy one receives for acting with mercy is not delayed by some conceptual, doctrinal reward in the afterlife, but is the immediate space of one's heart in the moment of acting mercifully. Energy never lies.

We have myriad examples of what living mercifully looks like. The entire Sermon on the Mount is a discourse of a way that is better than the Law: Reconcile swiftly, love and pray for enemies, give your cloak as well as a tunic, walk more than mile with a person. By reducing all six hundred and thirteen precepts of the laws to the one commandment to love the LORD God as one's neighbor, he's introduced something far more more essential and rigorous. By these greater restraints of living in mercy, the Perfect Master inaugurated a new rationality with which Western human kind is still wrestling. Nonviolence, a kingdom not of this world, and the mystery of Grace make no rational sense to our instinctual beginnings, yet their demands haunt relentlessly.

Indeed, let above and below thrive with life by the embodied mercy of the human one. To be merciful is to be most truly human.

Do not do what you hate.

Elder Gideon

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Netzach as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#10 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:31 pm

Shabbat Shalom!

You shall not commit adultery
Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice: They will be satisfied.


Having crossed beneath Tiferet, Cordovero's insights of Netzach add that, "We learn that a man should not betray his wife with another woman, for she is not his mate. This is the meaning of 'after their kind,' that a woman should only give birth after her kind, [...] from her husband." In the same vein as what the Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance have to say of integrity, here in Netzach we encounter how living with integrity begins with our most essential bonds. From our bonds come forth generations of living beings, material and spiritual.

In adult life, this is our spouse and family upon which quite literally everything in the matrix of society depends. The principle is here so immediate and direct: The mate we chose and who choses us is the one we're to love as our soulmate. This is the covenant of marriage, the first agreement two adults make to work out existence together. Any personal circumstances that challenge either would likely have come to challenge if married to another. Wherever our thoughts go, there we are; whomever we marry, there we are. Therefore, to grow—meaning to draw more deeply upon one's inner ruach and develop nefesh elokit—requires cultivating what one has started.

Esoterically, we also teach that 'husband' and 'wife' are ruach and nefesh, intelligence and speech, respectively. Divorcing these aspects of our soul leads to fragmentation and judgment. The Living Yeshua likens such fundamental ignorance in the Gospel of Mary to "mingling in sin as in adultery." In midrashim, we need only consider how Adam and Eve's adultery led to 'other' children born: Cain and Abel both were born of the 'serpent's slime.' Following Cain's fratricide, even harsher beings were conceived by Adam and Havvah with 'others' outside their union. Only after their reconciliation did they conceive Seth, who bore the image and likeness Adam.

A relationship with another begins with the relationship with oneself. It's from this attribute that one's interior life unfolds the beatitude Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice: They will be satisfied. Integrity with another is founded upon integrity with oneself, which has much to do with a deeper sense of interior freedom. How are we to live if structures will never achieve adequate justice for all? The most luminous voices of twentieth century nonviolence movements seem to emphasize looking through injustice, even into the bondage the oppressors experience in their oppression.

Looking through injustice is done by faith. One can be free inside, despite any misery from oppression outside by the capacity to see the bondage all are in, including the oppressors. If one's nefesh and ruach are aligned and open to greater depths of a life lived from within, even if outwardly marginalized, the One is with them in a particular way. We only have to consider generations of Hebrew prophets emphasizing justice for the poor, fatherless, and widow.

The Perfect Master is edifying such souls who will likely never know full justice in this world. By faith, their response will (hopefully) bring forth luminous living creatures of every kind. These are movements in the matrix that tighten and bind or open and release souls from circumstances that co-arise in a karmic continuum. From our interior lives, rightly joined or divorced, come forth living creatures that are Divine, admixed, or demonic. To be confused about injustice generates admixed beings-forces. To fall into hopelessness about injustice leads to the same wickedness of one's own oppression, generating demonic beings-forces. Heaven forfend.

We are wise to communicate openly and honestly with our soul, that we are aware of what living creatures we generate with our thoughts, words, and deeds.

May two agree in the house and say to the mountain, "Move!"

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Hod as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#11 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:00 pm

Shabbat Shalom!

You shall not steal
I have given you every plant and tree yielding seed and fruit
Blessed are the meek: They shall inherit the earth


So far, all of the utterances have unfolded in their written order. But here, Elohim's utterance of giving every plant and tree yielding seed fruit for the Human One is out of order. "I have given you every plant and tree yielding seed and fruit" is the climactic blessing in Genesis 1 that follows the ninth utterance attributed to Yesod ("Let us make humankind in our image") and precedes Genesis 2 in the tenth utterance attributed to Malkut ("It is not good that the Human One should be alone"). What can we make of this switch? Perhaps it foreshadows all that will belong to the Human One, nullifying any theft of what rightfully belongs to an individual.

Cordovero's wisdom commenting on the utterance attributed to Netzach overlaps largely with a similar principle here: "Whatever I gave you and entrusted to you is yours, but do not steal what belongs to others." What is rightly ours in this life is from The One. It is our portion, be it possessions, relations, or abilities. What is given to us to have is ultimately for the sake of the tikkune of souls. Spiritual and material bounty is shefa. The spiritual essence of anything becomes tangible and receivable as shefa in the form of basic needs and even many wants. HaShem is merciful and gracious, abounding in steadfast love manifest as all we receive.

A more esoteric understanding of how spiritual and material bounty—shefa—come to manifestation requires a subtle model of reality that bridges the invisible with the visible. Perhaps the most general way traditional Kabbalah describes manifestation is by way of universes. Oversimplified, material reality is the condensation of astral, spiritual, and Supernal light. What links these layers corresponds with Elohim's utterance of giving "every plant and tree yielding seed and fruit." By this figurative language, mekubalim mean all manner of permanent and temporary angels. By angels, HaShem sustains living beings. According to the Law, angels distribute shefa by which all lives, moves, and has its being.

If I see what another has and take it wrongfully, not only am I disrupting the merit due another soul, but I'm tearing the fabric of the matrix. Whatever I steal materially, emotionally, or spiritually from another I will have to replace now or in future exchange. Human laws pale compared with HaShem's justice, seated in the court of our heart. The conscience of taking what is not given will never rest until it admits to its ignorance and actively seeks restitution. One's own life display will continue out of balance until there's full settlement.

Theft that shatters a life display shatters collectives of souls as well. One need only observe the chronic destabilization of colonized cultures who were robbed by imperialists of their self-determination. If they fall to greater corruption, violence, and turmoil, it is ultimately the legacy of the West that is to blame. Not only do the consequences of theft pervade cultures, they are also found in biomes. For many of the same reasons, the imperial theft of natural resources and their natural habitats impact of all living beings struggling like exiles in their own land to survive. If unrestored and allowed to fall, the verdict of the Cree is irreversible: "Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish caught will we realize that we cannot eat money."

For those who left to lack in desperation, instincts could understandably take over and compel terrible acts. The restraint necessary to resist desperation comes from within the soul, which is exactly why Yeshua blesses "the meek". There are many more layers to this word family. The anavim (ענוים) connote meekness, humility, yes, but not in passivity or submission as it might seem. Quite the opposite. These anavim occur in many biblical contexts as those who are poor, oppressed, and desperate, but control their instincts to steal or harm others for what they lack. It seems Yeshua is quoting Psalm 37:11: But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. By blessing the desperate who resist taking, Yeshua promises them all of the earth.

What I've not earned is not mine to take.
What I've not paid for is not mine to take.
What is not given me is not mine to take.

As with Netzach and adultery, so with Hod and theft: Both establish the environment that Yesod will manifest as Malkut, according to our respect of what HaShem has given for others to have. This is HaShem's mercy for the liberation of all: What has been taken will be fully repaid under the Law.

From your hand, HaShem, is my life and salvation.

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Yesod as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#12 Postby Elder Gideon » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:58 pm

Shabbat Shalom!

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Let us make humankind in our image.
Blessed are those who mourn: They will be comforted.


We have arrived at last in Yesod. In Jewish traditions of the Tree of Life, this sefirah is a receptacle of all of the energy of the sefirot above, interfacing with one's consciousness as a display of experience in waking, dreaming, and transmigrating. Whether interior or exterior, the display is what we co-create with and as a quantum of the One, according with what we most privately identify and desire. As Tau Malachi often reminds, it is in this subtle respect that our experience mysteriously precedes us: Reality is a "radiant display of one's mind, consciousness, or soul." The display is Malkut; the structure is Yesod.

Anthropomorphic glyphs of the Great Name as a standing human silhouette show a simple and profound pattern that begins the complex contemplation of how the Human One is a model of the Holy One. Where Yod is the head and neck of the human, Heh forms the collar bones and arms, Vav the torso, and final Heh the hips and legs, all reveal how we have evolved according to an pre-existent image or pattern. It is this same principle of an image or pattern that great mekubalim like the Ari of Safed articulated a meta-narrative of the Human One as a cosmic body of Divine sparks that shattered repeatedly, becoming scattered throughout spiritual, astral, and material worlds. Awakening to faith in the Holy One, re-membering the Holy One 'back together' by righteous deeds, these sparks are recovered and returned, reconstituting and reintegrating the Human One into a true image and likeness of the Holy One. This great Human One is the 'me' speaking through the Perfect Master when he taught, Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. (Matthew 25:45).

It is the Human One hidden in everyone and everything that we serve or abuse, raise up or tear down. It is the Human One to whom we're speaking, even if apparently a spouse, child, neighbor, co-worker, or stranger. It is the Human One we're regarding as others with our thoughts. The most basic attributes of Asiyah, Yetzirah, and Beriyah with which we're all interacting manifest as all that we respectively do, say, and think. This is how we are quite literally co-creating with Elohim who speaks often in Creation in the first-person plural as 'we' and possessive as 'us.' It for this wisdom that Rabbi Cordovero teaches, "One should not bear false witnessing against [another] who is made in the king's image, but whoever does it, bears false witnessing on high." In fact, Adonai Yeshua's frames his entire teaching from Matthew 25:31-46 in the voice of the King who hid himself as "the least of these."

To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
(Isaiah 40:25)

These are eleh. Who is mi. When Isaiah asks in the Name of the LORD, Who created these? we must remember a formula: Mi created eleh are the words spelling Elohim in whose image all humankind are made. Most sublime, how mi hides as the least of eleh: Elohim is the common ground of all living beings in whom nothing is hidden that will not be revealed (Mark 4:22).

Our experience of Elohim hiding—the illusion of separation—is the cause of grief and suffering. The opacity of material existence conceals the truth of everything. Here, what outwardly appears great and powerful may inwardly be very small and fragile, like a wounded child inside a tyrant. The opposite is true. Those who outwardly appear most wretched and pitiable may inwardly know an unshakeable transcendence. The outside always changes. Appearances drift with impermanence. This causes us all to mourn and suffer. Perhaps the purpose of suffering is its demand of us all willingly chose to move inward. Learning to go within and live from within is to wait upon the Spirit of the LORD.

Those who are confidently waiting in the midst of severe circumstances are those whom the Perfect Master names in this second beatitude. The direct object often translated for 'those who mourn' in Aramaic is nearest Strong's H2442 for waiting—ha khokhim. Blessed are those who are longing, waiting, tarrying in what is concealed: They shall be conforted, consoled when it is revealed. For what are we waiting while we experience separation and longing? Is it not the disclosure of what is hidden? Is it not for the truth, despite all injustice, to reveal itself? Waiting in this way for redemption reminds of St. Paul in one of his most luminous teachings from Romans:

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (8:22-25).

This redemption for which we wait is the Light Transmission: the conscious experience of our image in Elohim. The truth upon which all is founded is the Human One of light, in whose image Elohim continually speaks us into being. As we speak the truth of others, we bring forward this image within ourselves and others. By this, Elohim unifies with Elohim, revealing what was concealed.

May we wait as a witness to the truth in whom we live, move, and have our being.

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Malkut as Beatitude, Commandment, and Utterance

#13 Postby Elder Gideon » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:10 am

Shalom!

You shall not covet.
It is not good that the Human One should be separate.
Blessed are the humble in spirit: There's is Malkut Shamaim.


Malkut is the display of the Shekinah. We find this in the experience of our own life-display. Throughout our journey, the times of ease, stress, and in-between are all a radiant display of our mind-consciousness-soul. No other can occupy the same life display. Even if we grow up with the same people, the uniqueness of our interior space might explain how siblings of the same parents and household can remember events so differently.

The life into which we're born has too many layers to attribute to any single cause. We are the combination of our mother and father's family narratives, our regional and national narratives. We are members of a generation that matter to the time and place in which we mature. We are here to learn, to resolve, and evolve. We simply cannot isolate where one's personal karmic continuum ends and the collective karmic continuum begins. The only certainty souls have is the future they're enacting today, the life they're choosing moment to moment, the destiny they're creating with their thoughts.

The material plane is far more fluid than its seems. Mother Sarah often taught Tau Malachi of the karmic continuum through poker. She relished a game where a losing hand can win, all according to the view one holds, the intention one remembers. Souls born into ideal circumstances of wealth, beauty, and power can do tremendous damage to their and others' souls. By the opposite, one can turn the privation and injustice of their experience into a great wealth of merit and sanctuary for others.

We are wise to step back often and reflect upon our life display. Is it matching our inside? What, if any, are there contradictions? For all mystics in whatever degree of their engagement with the world, their life display may be rightly called their spouse. There are many nuances in this. By concerning ourselves with our spouse as our interior life manifest as our life display, Rabbi Cordovero's wisdom of this final utterance of Elohim comes to greater nuance: "Your mate is with you, so you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. These are the ten sayings of Creation, and the ten sayings of the giving of the Torah. [...] It is for this reason that the world stands and there is peace." Clearly he's concluding his commentary on the utterances, but taken hyper-literally, he's also saying something radically profound: Our enlightenment depends upon the balance of our life display.

If I'm ever desiring, delighting, or even lusting after another's life display, I'm lacking. I'm separate. This brings great harm to me and others. To begin, I have no private faith in or communion with The One, for a relationship with The One depends upon an awareness of The One as my source and fulfillment. Yet we are bundles of desire, woven by desire, manifest by desire! When one confuses the source of their happiness with something another possesses, they've slipped into an illusion, a state of idolatry: coveting. This is subtle. Anything apparently outside does not constitute an illusion or idol, rather, it is one's lack that generates unreality. Desiring anything in this world is inevitable. Yet the place within from which one desires—in lack or fullness—is what determines a covetous or dynamic life display.

If through the spiritual life and practice I'm integrating more and more awareness of the One as the foundation of my life display, I recognize my dependence upon the One. Dependence is unconditional. If people who are struggling are more aware of their dependence, this is true wealth. This state of dependence and humility in Aramaic is shafal (Strongs H8217). Commonly translating Blessed are the poor in spirit clouds and complicates this unconditional mystery of humility. Let Blessed are the humble in spirit clarify the Perfect Master's opening words to his heart essence teaching.

Consider the tone of the first beatitude for its use of shafal echoing in Isaiah 57:15:

For thus says the high and lofty one
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Does the Holy One favor the contrite and humble in spirit over the cruel and arrogant? Or is this instead speaking of a state of awareness open to any who turns in dependence? While the Holy One indwells all living souls, those souls who are humble are particularly aware of this. Dependence is unconditional. To remember this dissolves separation. Being free of illusions of another's life display, we co-create our destiny from fullness with the One.

Blessed the One for completing this introduction on sefirot as Beatitudes, Commandments, and Utterances of Elohim. With Her help, we'll conclude in a final post on mysteries of utterance itself.

Smash our idols of lack.
Freedom is dependence on You.
Bless your humble ones, Holy One.


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Hearing is Utterance

#14 Postby Elder Gideon » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:58 am

Shabbat Shalom:

With the Mother's help, I hope to complete this discussion of beatitudes, commandments, and utterances with a Kabbalistic teaching on the principle of utterance. This word is layered with many meanings and more than one word, such as massa and omer. I wish to explore these two examples of the principle of utterance to posit that in our Christian Kabbalah, the commandments the Perfect Master evolved as beatitudes are both tied to a profound allusion to Spirit of God—Ruach Elohim—nesting upon the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).

I will begin with a prophetic context of the word massa, often translated as burden: An utterance concerning Dumah (Isaiah 21:11). It's rooted in the verb "to carry, life, or raise." Throughout the prophetic tradition, massa is one of five kinds of prophecies distinct from vision, appearance, sight, revelation, and word. Utterance is the most direct transmission between the Holy One and the prophet, unmediated by an angel or event. Rabbi Sh'mon suggests that such a grade of prophecy "arrives through great effort, troubling [the prophet], unrevealable, as is said: to lay massa, the burden of, this entire people upon me (Numbers 11:11). Therefore, massa" (Zohar 2:130b). There's something outstanding about massa, for it is spelled משא: all three of the Mother Letters of the Hebrew alef-bet. א is Keter, מ is Hokmah, and ש is Binah. We will return to this later, with the God's help.

To consider omer, another word meaning utterance, we must turn to a spectacular psalm.

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth utterance,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world
(19:1-4).

This magnificent psalm suggests that creation is founded on vibration. Everything is alive with the awareness of the One who spoke everything into being. To exist is to be word spoken by Elohim. The nature of these 'words' are not audible to the material ear but are perceived in deep hitbodedut and hitbonenut—meditation filled by the contemplation of the glory of God in Creation. Omer is the word translated as 'said,' as when "Vayomer Elohim": And Elohim said, Let there be—.

Again from Zohar, Rabbi Sh'mon draws out an exquisite teaching of the partzufim symbolized by letters spelling omer: "אמר (Omer), Utterance—totality of letters and paths issuing from Father and Mother, and the head emerging from them, firstborn Son. א—אבא (abba), Father, ascending and descending. Look, מ joins Him: אם (em), Mother! ר—רישה (reisha), head, firstborn. When all of them combine: אמר (Omer), Utterance—radiance of Father, Mother and firstborn Son, illumining one another in a single bond, reigning on Sabbath day. So all are included with each other to be one, and therefore אמר (Omer), Utterance—Supernal dominion—hastens to each other, so that all will be one" (2:137a).

Hear the mystery of the head, the firstborn Son as the same psalm goes on to personify the Spiritual Sun as a bridegroom and champion:

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hidden from its heat
(ibid. 5-6).

With Ma's help, we could equally add to Rabbi Sh'mon's contemplation of ר to stand for Ruach Elohim—the Wind of God—nesting upon the face of the waters, which classical Jewish mekubalim regard as the Spirit of Messiah. Let ר be the Spirit of Messiah speaking the ten utterances. Here is the marvel: From the Spirit of Messiah above, incarnate as the Word-Made-Flesh below, the Perfect Master restated the ten utterances of Elohim as the Beatitudes.

Beatitudes are the essence and tikkune of the utterances. What mediates these are the commandments. As the essence of the Law is the commandments, so the essence of the Gospel is the beatitudes. It is the intimate relationship between commandments and beatitudes taught by Tau Malachi that their foundation in the utterances comes forth.

To hear and live this is to perceive our soul as a vehicle of the rectification and evolution the One. This is the most intimate call that the Perfect Master repeats constantly: "Anyone with ears, listen!" The gospel as Gospel is entirely a matter of inner hearing, recognizing, what has been present all of the while. It is from this hearing and recognizing in oneness that can change the spelling of "Hear O Israel!" (Deuteronomy 6:4). In twoness, Shema— שמע; in oneness, Shema—שמא.

Layer this understanding of Shema with a mystical hearing of Name. Again, we're drawn back to another mystical spelling with the same Mother letters with which Rabbi Sh'mon taught: The heavens declare the glory of God, and His handiwork the sky proclaims (Psalm 19:2). Who are shamaim, heavens? The heavens in which the supernal שמא Name, appears, in which the Holy Name is traced (2:136b)."

To hear the beatitudes with inner ears is according to one's image and likeness spoken by Elohim: the Name. By living in the Beatitudes, we draw upon the spiritual essence of the commandments: the ten utterances Elohim. Our image and likeness in Elohim is our Name. The Name as us hears Elohim beyond us. With inner ears, we hear that we are not of this world, that we are a boundless potential. Speaking through the Perfect Master, the Spirit of Elohim has come and will come again until the End of Days to remind us that we are from the World to Come.

Hearing Elohim is the utterance of Elohim.

Al praise to the One and the Messiah who's come and comes again in Tzaddikim.

May we be wise to listen and hear and act.


Amen and amen

Elder Gideon

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Re: Ten Utterances

#15 Postby Marion » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:05 am

Shabbat Shalom!

I have been loving these contemplations set forth, thank you Elder Gideon! There has been a lot to chew on here, and lately I've been taken up by a contemplation of the Commandments, Utterances and Beatitudes of Binah and Hokmah together.

I heard that there was an association between the two commandments: “You shall not make for yourself an idol” and “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God” Exodus 20:4-7 and was delighted to learn that these are the commandments of Hokmah and Binah respectively. In order to not fashion idols, one must be discerning; that is, know what is true and what is false, and also turn towards the good, and away from evil. Because the commandment goes on to say “Neither of heaven nor of earth.” Which seems to suggest a movement away from religiosity. The belief that God is the cosmic mommy or daddy in the sky, would suggest a heavenly idol, likewise, our obsession with celebrities and material gain would suggest earthly idolatry. If I am not using my whole life, and everything in it to give back to the Holy One, then I am an idolator.

The commandment against the wrongful use of the name also suggests discernment. Because in order to use the name in the right context, don’t I first have to know the names of God? Don’t I have to know the difference between false names and true names? And If I am using the name of an idol in place of the name of God Most High, God help me! We are also told that this wrongful use of the name extends to things we say about ourselves. If I say “I am fat.” in a derogatory sense, then I am using the lord’s name in vain. Because I am an emanation of the One, and “I Am” is the name Eheieh.

I am loving how these commandments seem to build on each other, because if I am not creating idols then I will know and speak the name of God Most high in the proper context, that is in fear and love of the lord. I am hearing something else in these two commandments—knowing and seeing Yahweh. Because they both imply a constant turning to the One. If I am not creating any idols, that means nothing is more important than the One, I do not love anything or anyone more than I love God Most High, and I put the Holy One before all others. If I am not taking the name of the Lord in vain, I not only know the names of God, but all speech is for the One, and from the One. Therefore, in these commandments, I am hearing unity, and giving All.

As partzufim, Hokmah is Abba—Father, and Binah is Imma—Mother, and I am wondering if the intersection of these commandments is how Abba and Imma are joined? In this context, I am also wondering, when Imma is joined with Abba, is this upper or inner Shekinah? And when Imma is separated from Hokmah, is this lower or outer Shekinah?

There are several verses in Job that speak about the relationship of Hokmah and Binah: “Where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of Understanding?” and “Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is Wisdom (Hokmah); to depart from evil, is Understanding (Binah).”
Job 28:12 and 28.

I love the alignment of not making idols and fear of the Lord and right use of the name and departing from evil! There seems to be a practice implied here of really being ok in the experience of fear of the Lord, actually seeing it as a good thing. And, when one notices any kind of evil, to invoke the names of God.

I hope to expand on these thoughts regarding Utterances and Beatitudes in a later post, God willing!
May the Holy One smile upon us this day, Amen!

Marion


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