by Jack Courtis
We are familiar with Hebrew kabala
to such an extent, that we assume that this is the only kind of
kabala there is. Not so.
The basic point about kabala is that
in languages that have no symbols for numbers, letters stand for
numbers and numbers stand for letters. This was true of both the
Greek and Hebrew languages at the time of Christ. The significance
of this is that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the
New Testament was written in Greek. Therefore there was a Hebrew
kabala and there was a Greek kabala. Thus a word could be translated
into a number and a number could be translated into a word. The
classic example of Hebrew kabala is from the Old Testament:
- In Genesis we are told of the Serpent who is
called in Hebrew, Nachash. The total numerical value of
his name is 358.
- At the time of Christ, the Jews were expecting
the Messiah, whose numerical value is also 358.
- Thus the Serpent that brings the Fall is also
the Messiah who brings the Redemption.
- But there is more. The number 358 consists of
the 3rd, 4th and 5th numbers
in the Fibonacci series: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,
21, 34, 55, 89….. This series of numbers is related to the Greek
mystical number j also known as
the golden number. It is the way in which to calculate
and draw geometrically, the mean and extreme ratios. In turn,
this was one way in which the Greeks taught the abstract principle
of the Logos. Further, the numbers 3, 4 and 5, describe
the Pythagorean Triangle. Its internal angles are 900,
370 and 530. The Hebrew word mem
(water) has the value of 90. This is the "living water"
or "elixir of life", of the Rosicrucian Philosophers.
In the Confessio Fraternitatis, the Rosicrucians give 37
reasons for their existence. The Hebrew word ehben (stone)
has a value of 53. This is the "Stone" of the Rosicrucian
alchemists. Finally, the Hebrew name Moses has a value
of 345. These are random examples to give you an idea of what
is going on.
Now for the classic example of Greek
kabala in the New Testament, from the Apocalypse of John ch 13 v
18 (King James version): "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath
understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number
of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
In Greek, the key phrase: "
o ariqmoV autou cxV " (and his
number is 666). What does this mean? The Greek numerical value of
the entire key phrase is calculated as follows:
kai .....o ....
....ariqmoV ............autou ......... ..cxV
31 + 70
+ 430 + 1171
So what? It all depends on whether
2,368 has a specific meaning with theological significance. Try
Jesus Christ = IhsouV
CristoV = 888 + 1480 = 2,368
This is not the kind of theology that
either Jews or Christians are used to. However it points the way
to the valid use of kabala as a source of inspiration and revelation.
Put simply, both the Old and New Testaments are written in code
and it takes a great deal of effort to understand it. However cracking
the code brings Wisdom and Understanding in their kabalistic sense.
So much has been written about Hebrew kabala that it is not proposed
to repeat much of that here. Instead we shall concentrate on Greek
kabala in order to gain an appreciation of early Christianity.
The Greek and Hebrew alphabets have
a common origin and therefore it is not surprising that we shall
find similarities between the two forms of kabala. Thus the Greek
and Hebrew Trees of Life have a very similar structure but subtle
differences in their paths. First the Hebrew Tree. Its structure
is derived from Genesis Ch 1 where:
There are 10 references to "God
There are 3 references to "God
There are 7 references to "God
There are 12 single references
Thus there are 10 sefirot, 3
horizontal paths, 7 vertical paths and 12 diagonal paths. The Hebrew
Tree of Life is shown below.
The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters
and an internal structure of 3 Mothers, 7 Doubles and 12 Singles.
The Greek alphabet has 24 letters and an internal structure of 5
alchemical letters, 7 planetary letters and 12 zodiacal letters.
The correlation is very close. The difference is that the 3 Hebrew
Mothers consist of only 3 alchemical letters: alef (air),
mem (water) and shin (fire); whereas the 5 Greek
alchemical letters correlate to all 5 elements, aether, air, fire,
water, earth. Thus the Hebrew scheme lacks the activating principle
of aether and the grounding principle of earth.
Both the Greek and Hebrew Trees have
10 spheres: in Greek sferes (plural) and sfera (singular);
while in Hebrew sefirot (plural) and sefira (singular).
Notice the similarities? We have seen the derivation of the 10 sefirot
of the Hebrew Tree. How are the 10 spheres of the Greek Tree derived?
In the Apocalypse of John 1:8, Christ says:
to ... A kai . to .. W ..... arch ... kai
I am the Alfa and the
Omega beginning and ending
How many words do you see? There are
10. For reasons that we shall see in Part 2 of this series, arch
is more properly translated as "First Principle". Further,
teloV means "ending" in the
Aristotelian sense of "purpose". That is in the First
Principle there is the purpose for which the "I am" exists.
All of this becomes intelligible on the Greek Tree of Life.
Both Trees have 3 pillars with similar
meanings. We shall deal with that topic separately.
Let us now turn our attention to the
10 spheres of the Greek Tree of Life and its 24 paths. The names
of the spheres and pillars are adopted from the New Testament and
the Greek Orthodox liturgy written by St John Chrysostomos in the
5th century CE. The attributions of the paths are taken
from early Greek Christian and Gnostic sources. Hidden subtly in
the structure of the paths is the "ascent of the soul"
that is explained in great detail in the Gnostic Books of Ieou.
Look for the order of the planets. It is the Ptolemaic order and
is quite different from the order on the Hebrew Tree. This difference
points to a different theology and a different way to salvation.
There are three issues for us to consider
in our personal search for salvation, using the Greek Tree of Life:
The attribution of the Greek
letters to alchemy and astrology means that we can translate
the titles of the Greek spheres into our personal alchemical
and astrological functions. This is because of the Hermetic
principle of: as Above, so Below. The Tree of Life is a kosmic
blueprint for our internal spiritual structure.
The ascent of the soul that is
portrayed on the Tree, gives us a clue as to how to direct our
lives with the clear intention of influencing our future incarnations.
We can relate the spheres and
paths of the Greek Tree to the Gospels and derive a new appreciation
These issues will be taken up in the
following articles of this series.
Finally, the relationship between Greek
and Hebrew kabala is analogous to the relationship of the Fibonacci
spirals on a sunflower head. They are very similar, but different
and need to be seen together in order to be understood properly.
Observe the diagram below.
We shall get a true appreciation of
the subtle nature of the scriptures when we see how the two Trees
of Life interact.
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