The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge/ Life
The word Cabala (or Caballa, Kabbalah, or Quabala, whichever you prefer), means "Tradition" in Hebrew.
Originally, it referred to the oral tradition passed down from generation to generation of Israelites and Jews. Gradually, the doctrines and practises of the oral tradition were developed into a system of Occult Philosophy by Jewish and, later, Christian mystics.
Cabala eventually evolved into the "science" of "Strange Accidents" ("Synchronicities", or "directed" coincidences). More than a few "seekers" of truth have spent lifetimes attempting to tame and control the ancient mystical "Tradition" of Cabala.
The Lord Yahshvah warns us against reliance on "tradition" (Mk. 7:8,9). The discovery and use of the power of Cabala can easily lead into the seduction of sorcery, or it can lead one into an endless search for "Forbidden" knowledge. Ultimately, the search becomes mere "striving after wind" (Eccl. 1:17) for most, including the modern Cabalists who today are using computers to aid them in their seeking.
The Author's present discussion of the power and mystery of Cabala is not meant to be an introduction to its complicated techniques. I strongly urge my readers to be careful, should they chose to explore the use of Cabala in their quest for "enlightenment". Cabala can be a useful tool to the spiritually well-grounded, especially as it relates to interpretation of biblical symbology, and the ineffable Names of God and Yahshvah. As stated above, it can also become a trap for the unwary.
The "Tradition" of Cabala began with the invention of the alphabet itself! With the "gift" of the alphabet came the alphabetical "encyclopedia" of knowledge, and shortly thereafter, the "fall" of man, with its accompanying explosion of the "knowledge of Good and Evil".
The earliest archealogical evidence for the use of alphabetical writing comes to us from the Semites, the oldest examples being found (significantly) near Mt. Sinai! This finding dates to circa 1500 B.C. The alphabet of those ancient Semites was the Cabala, little changed today. The 22 letters bear the same names, and similar form to the modern Hebrew alphabet.
Ancient Hebrew linguists were the pioneers of etymology (the study of word origins). In addition to supplying the form of all known alphabets, the ancient semitic languages supplied many word roots to other languages. Those ancient Hebrew etymologists were also invariably Cabalists, men who spent their lives manipulating the words of the Torah (without the aid of computers!) to form anagrams, charms, spells and meditative focii. They would also add up the "Numbers" of the words according to the numerological code of the Cabala, and use the Cabala as the basis of an "automatic oracle", the ancient precursor to the modern "Ouija" chart.
By using these systems, some disciples of Cabala have been said to have been able to devine some of the profoundest secrets of God, the Universe, and the nature of Life. Most, however, were eventually drawn into the darkest regions of the "spirit world", where they would eventually encounter the demon, "Mob" himself, that old serpent, in one of his most seductive guises: The Master of Sorcery!
According to the Numerological system of Cabala, some important numbers and their related words are:
23 - Death/Resurrection
26 - YHVH - the Tetragrammaton, in Cabala; said to be a combination of achad - "unity" (13) and Ahebah - "love" (13)
31 - La - "nothing", or Al - "the God", also Sht - the root of Satan.
56 - Nu - the ancient "Star Goddess"
65 - Adonai - Adonis, "the Lord", also, Nu backwards, a supposed proof that God is both male and female.
72 - The number of God's most Sacred Name, the thousandth name of Allah, which nobody knows! The pyramid on the U.S. dollar bill has 72 stones, and is said to refer to an ancient Cabalist/ Freemason secret "Tradition", along with the "Eye of Horus", and the thirteen stars, arrows, olive branches, etc.
93 - Thelema - "will", and Agape - "Love" - said by some Cabalists to be the most powerful number.
111 - Aleph, spelled out.
333 - Choronzon - the name of a powerful demon!
666 - The Sun; Baal ("Lord"); the Sun-Gods; the number of the "Beast"; Rome; and "Babylon the Great".
888 - Iesous Christos
3910 - Bereshith Elohim ("In the beginning God ...") a so-called "classic proof" of the "secret" code contained in the Torah, it is also the number of years from the fall of Adam to the Redemption through Christ.
The examples above really do little more than illustrate how Cabala can, and has become a trap for those seeking "secret" messages in the ancient Hebrew Bible. Far more significant than the number code, with its myriad interpretations, is the "strange accident" that the first word of the "Holy" Bible is "Bereshith" ("in the beginning"). This word, when pronounced for an English-speaking person, immediately calls to mind a rather common, crude, and irreverent question: "Does a bear sh*t in the woods?" (see also #31 above) To me the "secret" here is obvious: God has a marvelous sense of humor! If you doubt this, just look at an elephant, or a giraffe, or a platypus, or an infant of any species!
A far more powerful and difficult use of Cabala is the famous "Tree of Life" Glyph, which is used as a kind of ontological "periodic table of elements". Cabalists describe the Tree as a mnemonic system of psychology, used to train the will, and the imagination.
The Tree is made up of ten "Lights", the "Sephiroth", each a level of conciousness; and 22 pathways (one for each letter of the alphabet) which are the techniques for moving between the "Lights". The aim of Cabala, under this system, is to know where you are on the Tree at any given time, and to learn how to move between the "Lights" at will, hopefully ever upward towards higher awareness. As your awareness grows, you will discover that there are "strange accidents", that the scientific laws of probability can be, and are broken constantly! God (and the Demon) is communicating "secret" messages through Cabala virtually constantly! This is why some Cabalists look for His influence even in the seemingly random letter groupings of automobile license plates, for example; as well as in the pages of the Bible. Cabala teaches that His ways are indeed more mysterious than we imagine.
The Tree of Life is the most powerful symbol of Cabala. The ten Sephiroth and 22 pathways form the branches and roots of the Tree. It is said that God created the universe by merely uttering the Sephiroth. The Sephiroth are also said to be analogous to the "Ten Words" of the "Decalogue". Ancient commentators to the Torah have said that God first spoke the Ten Commandments as a single utterance (almost certainly the Name: "Yahshvah"!), and then repeated them one by one. The Tablets of Stone are said to have been encoded, in the form of the ten Sephiroth, rather than the written Commandments themselves.
From Genesis 2:9 we see that the Tree of Life, and also the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, stand in the midst of the Garden of God. " ... YHVH Elohim commanded the man (Ayish or Ish) saying, 'from any tree in the garden you may eat freely; but from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it, you shall surely die!'". At this point, there is no injunction against partaking of the Tree of Life, but the other Tree in the midst of the Garden has now become a Tree of Death to the immortal Ish.
In Genesis 2:22, we find YHVH Elohim making a woman (Ashah/Ishah) from the "side" (literal Hebrew) of the man. Ishah, being formed after the injunction, is not technically bound by it. Nevertheless, when the serpent (Nahash) asks: " ... Has Elohim said you shall not eat from every tree of the garden?", she replies: "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but from the fruit of the Tree which is in the middle of the garden, Elohim has said, 'you shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die!'". Nahash then beguiles Ishah with the temptation of mind expansion, and tells her the great lie: " ... You ... shall not die." - Rather; that she would become like Elohim in the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Now Ishah eats, and gives some of the forbidden fruit to Ish, and both are changed. They do not die immediately, but are reduced to mortality. They lose the innocence of ignorance, becoming like Elohim ("us", Gen. 3:22. Elohim is the plural of El, Eli, and Eloah, which are all singular forms of "The God". But, "Elohim" is also properly translated "God" in the singular.) In their now sinful condition, Ish and Ishah receive their new names: Adamah and Chevah ("Adam" and "Eve"), and are expelled from the garden. Before the end of a millenium (a Deific "Day") both did die, just as they had been warned.
Before the death of Adam and Eve, the Cherub and the spinning double-edged sword are set up to guard the way to the Tree of Life. The lesson of Cabala is this: There is but one Tree at the center of the garden! Only when YHVH Elohim places His injunction upon it does the Tree become a curse! This is primordial sin. The act of disobedience automatically brings death and enlightenment. At all times, the Tree remains the Tree of Life, except for the instant of man's disobedience! Thus, where immortality had been the free gift of God prior to disobedience, it can now be attained only by overcoming YHVH, who stands in the way to the Tree of Life! (It should be noted, again, that YHVH; The Angel of YHVH; YHSHVH; The Sword; and the Tree itself, are all manifestations of God the Father, Himself.)
Let the reader note that YHVH desires the victory of Adam (or Ben Adam, the Son of Man) over the obstacles in the path to Life that He has established. As a father is pleased when his son grows to be stronger than himself, so is YHVH pleased when Ben Adam reaches out past all obstacles and partakes of the fruit of the Tree of Life!
Notice that, although obstacles are established, and even YHVH himself (or, His "Angel") stands barring the path, no injunction is set against reaching for the Tree. Rather, a challenge and an invitation is issued: Partake if you can, and at your peril!
In Gen. 32:24-29, Jacob battles YHVH Elohim, and in prevailing, receives his new name: Israel, and a blessing: "Thus says YHVH, 'Israel is My Son, My first-born!'" (Ex. 4:22)
Moses also met the challenge and prevailed. (Ex. 4:24, He "tried" to kill him!)
The greatest victory came with the resurrection of the Messiah, Yahshvah Himself, who ascended the Tree of Death (the Cross) in obedience to the will of YHVH, while being blameless of sin. He received the wages (death) of the sins of Adam, Ben Adam, and Israel, and, by His death, removed the obstacle (YHVH) standing in the way to the Tree of Life. We can now share in His victory through the mighty weapon of His shed blood! Be sure that you possess this weapon, for you, yourself, must "wrestle with God", sooner or later. Only the free gift of the blood of Christ (The Lamb of God!) will enable you to survive your eventual encounter with YHVH Elohim; and no less than Everlasting Life will be your reward for victory!
The Spinning Two-Edged Sword
We have seen that the Obstacle to overcome in the way to the Tree of Life is YHVH (or Yahshvah, in His pre-existant form), symbolized by the flaming Two-Edged Sword. The Cabala represents the Sword of YHVH by the letter Yod, with the added dimension of motion; about its axis, and through space (revolution and trajectory). The addition of motion to the once static symbol necessarily imposes the question of time upon the imaginary model created by spinning the Yod through space. Let us examine the cosmic significance of the use of this device.
The Spinning Yod is the lowest common symbolic denominator for each of the following:
1. The Atom
2. The Hydrogen Molecule
3. The Nuclei of Living Cells
4. The motion of the Planets, Stars and Galaxies
5. The Collapsars, Singularities; or, "Black Holes of Space.
The Yod: "Life" and "Death"; multiplied by ten according to Cabala, is the very first letter created by man. In its earliest form, it was made by twisting a flat stick in wet clay. Later, an inked brush was dabbed on parchment with a twisting motion. All the other letters of ancient alphabets grew from forms of the Yod. First came the Vav; by the addition of a "Seriph", a sort of small, elongated, Yod-shaped "tail", added to the larger Yod. From these two letters (The roots of the Tetragrammaton), grew the entire alphabet. The Yod represents the letters: Y; I; and J, and the Vav was: V; U; W; and also B; P; and F, in the earliest forms.
" ... Until Heaven and Earth pass away, neither Yod nor Seriph shall pass away from the Law ... " (Mt. 5:17)
As you contemplate the forms of the Letter/ Numbers of Cabala in the Chart (click on the link below), you will note that all the letters are formed by adding Yods and Seriphs, some in elongated or forshortened form; and combining them in various configurations to form the individual symbols.
You will also note that the Archetypes represented by the symbols of the Cabala can actually be seen in the rough "pictographs" of the Letter/Number Chart. (With the "trained" imagination.)