Kabalistic Prayer Part 2
by Jack Courtis
In part 1 of this series we defined prayer as the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. There are 3 elements in this definition that we must now examine:
- Deliberate setting into motion;
- Hidden processes;
The deliberate setting into motion, is the 6 step process that we have already examined. We begin from where we are in objective consciousness (1); generate desire (2); use our intellect to activate our belief system (3); act appropriately here and now (4); deal with the issues in our sub-conscious (5); connect with kosmic consciousness (6).
We are very efficient in the use of the above process. Not understanding it, we create our own particular, narrow reality, from the vast abundance that is rightfully ours. We then spend time and energy, complaining of the very circumstances that we have created.
The point is that we are always setting the process into motion. It is an automatic effect of our spiritual identity. What is required, is for us to focus on the processes of the kosmos in a deliberate way to achieve abundance. Why are the processes hidden and what is the kosmos? These questions are best answered together.
First, the kosmos is more than the physical universe of scientific materialism. It is all the levels of reality and their interaction. Let us look at the kabalistic view of this statement and its relationship to prayer:
|1||Atzilut||Emanation||Divine Spark||1 (10)||"The father and I are one"|
The part of the kosmos familiar to us as the physical universe, is that part called Assiah/Action. We function in it by our vehicle of consciousness that we know as our body. It relates to the Tree of Life by the 12 astrological bodily functions and the signs of the zodiac. If we obey the 10 Commandments, we set this part of the kosmic process into motion in a very powerful way. Understood in this way, the 10 Commandments are a prayer.
The rest of the kosmos is hidden because it is not perceived by our 5 senses, or our scientific instruments. Nevertheless, all parts interact because there is a Tree of Life on each level and all of the above prayers are structured according to the form of the Tree. This brings the hermetic axiom: as above so below.
At the level Yetzirah/Formation, we function through our vehicle of consciousness called soul. This is the level of dreams, myths, symbols, meditation, ritual, etc. It relates to the Tree of Life through the 7 planets. They are the agents of karma. That is the very point of the Lord’s Prayer. We set into motion the very forces that will liberate us from our karma. If we could understand this point clearly, we would not pray so weakly.
At the level Briah/Creation, we function through our vehicle of consciousness called spirit. This is a level so abstract, that we can only grasp it through numbers, pure mathematics, the suchness of things. Plato has spoken of this level and so has the Lord Buddha. It relates to the Tree of Life through the 3 alchemical principles of mercury, sulfur and salt. The Beatitudes are the closest description we have of this state of being. If we live and act according to the Beatitudes, our whole life becomes a prayer.
Finally at the level Atzilut/Emanation, we no longer function through a vehicle of consciousness - we are consciousness. We are the Divine spark. We are at one with God. Like Christ we too can say, "the Father and I are one". This is the most powerful prayer of all. It sweeps away obstacles, it moves mountains and does even greater things than these. It relates to the Tree of Life as unity. The 10 sefirot are seen as the completeness and fullness of the ONE.
Our true nature and spiritual identity, is the Divine spark. This is who we truly are. To know this is to achieve salvation. This is not intellectual knowledge. This is gnosis. This is a state of being. It is identical with Union and hence cannot be spoken about. The spark directs our vehicles of consciousness by providing the way, the truth and the life, so that we can use the processes of the kosmos. It functions through the Tree of Life on all 4 levels of reality. It is hidden from us simply because we do not know ourselves. That is the ultimate reason why the kosmos and its processes are withheld from our view. Using the above prayers with knowledge and intent, we can set into motion our own liberation.
Let us examine the structure of the first 3 prayers and compare them with the Tree:
|Tree||Sefirot||10 Commandments||Lord's Prayer||Beatitudes|
|1||Keter||Thou shalt have no other gods||Our Father who art in heaven||Blessed poor in spirit|
|2||Chakmah||Thou shalt not make idols||Hallowed by thy name||Blessed they that mourn|
|3||Binah||Thou shalt not use the Name...in vain||They kingdom come||Blessed are the meek|
|4||Chesed||Thou shalt keep holy the day of the Lord||Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven||Blessed they who hunger...after righteousness|
|5||Gevurah||Thou shalt honour thy father and thy mother||Give us this day our daily bread||Blessed the merciful|
|6||Tiferet||Thou shalt not kill||Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors||Blessed the pure in heart|
|7||Netzach||Thou shalt not commit adultery||Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil||Blessed are the peacemakers|
|8||Hod||Thou shalt not steal||For thine is the kingdom||Blessed are the persecuted|
|9||Yesod||Thou shalt not bear false witness||the power||Blessed are the reviled|
|10||Malkhut||Thou shalt not covet||and the glory for ever, Amen||Rejoice!|
Let us review. If prayer is truly the setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos, then properly considered, the 10 Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes, have precisely this consequence. Each is deliberate action on our part, at the 3 lower levels of reality, that operates upon each of our 3 vehicles of consciousness. If we act in this sequence, we are activating the process of liberation. Ultimately, liberation is about self-knowledge. Direct consciousness of who we are, that which drives the vehicles of consciousness - the Divine spark. Then we can utter the final and greatest prayer, "the Father and I are ONE".
In part 3 of this series, we shall look at the 10 Commandments as an expression of the Tree of Life.