Sunday, May 26, 2013

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Eye to the Infinite - Four levels within the Holy Name

We are pleased to offer Eye to the Infinite, a Torah Guide to Jewish Meditations for Divine Awareness, in a weekly serialized form.

Eye to the Infinite – A Torah Guide to Jewish Meditations to Increase Divine Awareness. Copyright © 2013 by Aharon Rubin – serialized on the Mystical Paths blog with permission.

The geome­try of the natu­ral world around us is holistic and fractal, which means it consists of geometrical patterns re­peated at all lev­els, with the parts resem­bling the whole. This unified struc­ture is present in all stages of crea­tion, [1] the signa­ture, as it were, of the One G-d. Upon studying the various strata within creation, it be­comes strikingly apparent that the afore-mentioned four stages of human experience and of the spiritual worlds is a pat­tern repeated at all lev­els and within every level. Often, each stage also sub con­sists of four strata and each subdi­vision sub­di­vides fur­ther into four, and so-on, ad in­fi­nitum.

The physi­cal world, for in­stance, con­sists of four groups, man, ani­mal, vegetable and mineral; these in turn cor­re­spond to four spiritual en­ergy levels discussed earlier, the G-dly, the Soul realm, [2] the An­gelic[3] and the physi­cal. Each of these have their own four lev­els, the G-dly spark that gives exis­tence,[4] the soul ( every­thing has a soul of some de­gree[5]), the an­gelic and astro­logi­cal influ­ences, and physi­cal mat­ter. Each level of each cate­gory can be further bro­ken down into four distinct groups,[6] for ex­am­ple, the category of vege­table is com­posed of plants, fungi, protoctists and bac­teria. And so on.

Physicists have also identified four main forces in the uni­verse: gravitation, electromagnetism, strong nuclear, and weak nu­clear. This universal fractal pattern points to the supreme ori­gin of all crea­tion, the most sa­cred of G-d’s names, the four-lettered Name, known as the Tetra­grammaton; [7] this Name is the blue­print of all exis­tence.

This Ineffable Name of G-d can be literally translated as “He Who brings into be­ing,” de­scribing G-d as the life force of all the worlds and His continu­ally bring­ing creation into be­ing ex ni­hilo. G-d’s crea­tive process also has four levels, the same modes of ex­pres­sion out­lined above: G-d’s Will, Thought, Word and Ac­tion, in­di­cated in the Name’s four letters. Since eve­ry­thing ema­nates from these let­ters[8], characterised by the four spiritual worlds, four dis­tinct lay­ers mani­fest through­out crea­tion. The en­tire cos­mos, from the large until the small­est detail, is made up of four dis­tinct strata[9] and as G-d is abso­lutely one, so too these myriad lev­els make one com­plete unit. Thus the proph­ets say,[10] “How mighty is Your Name in the whole world” and “G-d’s Name fills the whole world;”[11] the physi­cal and the spiri­tual, every­thing to­gether, is one con­stant manifestation of G-d’s Name.[12]


[1] Eits Chaim, Sha’ar Derush Abiyah; also N’har Sholom, 92a.

[2] Though the vegetable also has an element of soul, it is elementary and generic, with no cogni­tion or self-recognition; see though next note.

[3] Whereas the inanimate [e.g. metals, precious stones, minerals,] are recipients of astro­logical forces and thereby possess particular properties (Ramban and Rabbeinu Bachye, Genesis 1:15), the vege­table world is influenced by both astrological and angelic energies (ibid. 1:11, Midrash Rabboh Gene­sis 10:6) and may, in fact, have some semblance of in­telligence (- see “Swarm in­telligence in plant roots,” Trends in Ecology. Vol. 25, Dec. 2010, p. 682). Following this train of thought, it may well be dis­covered that the inani­mate too has some sort of energy con­scious­ness, per­haps on the quantum level. (See Ohr HaChaim Genesis 2:1.)

[4] See note 470.

[5] See Liqutei Amorim Tanya (Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi), Sha’ar Yichud VehoEmunah, chap. 1.

[6] See Chapter 8 for further examples.

[7] Each letter of this Name corresponds to one category (Eits Chaim, Sha’ar TaNT”O).

[8] Sha’arei Orah, Gate 1 and 10.

[9] Eits Chaim Sha’ar Kitsur Abiyah, Sha’arei Qedushah, ibid. See also Be’er Mayim Chaim, Bereishis, p. 10 (Chernovitz, 1836).

[10] Psalms ibid., Isaiah 6:3

[11] See Dover Tsedek, pg 150.

[12] Since G-d is continually ‘bringing into being’ and ‘making be’ all of creation, implicit in His Name.


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