Kabalistic Prayer Part 6
by Jack Courtis
What is the deepest prayer of our heart? Can it be other than a desire for union with God? All else is meaningless. How could such a prayer be expressed? We have already been given its words: The Father and I are ONE. It does not have 10 parts because it is an expression of unity. In any event, 10 is the fullness and completeness of ONE. What does this prayer mean? The Father is God. I: the Divine spark in its full potential and complete self-conscious awareness. This is the level of reality Atzilut/Emanation. Here, we do not have a vehicle of consciousness because we are consciousness. We are aware of our true identity; at-ONE with God. Nothing else can be said.
So is prayer merely a shopping list of demands? Four year olds demand things from their Daddy. However, we are spiritual forty year olds. We must act responsibly as co-workers with our Father. This duty to be responsible emerges from the very power of prayer. It is the deliberate setting into motion of the hidden processes of the kosmos. If it is done irresponsibly, the karmic consequences are inevitable. Of course, the severity of the consequences depends upon the level of reality upon which we act; the higher the level, the more extreme the karmic reaction.
It is time for us to see prayer in its full context. What is the relationship between the 12 astrological signs of the body and the 10 Commandments; the 7 planets of the soul and the 10 statements of the Lord’s Prayer; and the 3 alchemical principles of the spirit and the 10 steps of the Beatitudes? Unity is ONE and no more can be said.
In the level of reality here and now, Assiah/Action, the Divine spark acts through the body, but is conscious dimly, as through a glass darkly. The 12 signs are the esoteric cover for the disciplines that we must perform in order to develop this vehicle of consciousness so that it is fit to be used by the Divine spark in full self-awareness. The 12 disciplines rectify the vehicle. The power brought down by the 10 Commandments activates that vehicle. There is an interaction between the above (10 Commandments) and the below (12 disciplines). We must perform both together. There are 3 kinds of disciplines; inner, outer and group oriented:
Prayer at this level has the weak meaning that we usually attribute to it, a shopping list. But then, we are weak at this level. That is why we must study and meditate, as well as perform all the other disciplines, in order to understand what true prayer really is and what it can do. The full explanation of the 12 disciplines has already been given. The disciplines are our contribution to the work of spiritual evolution. We can choose to perform them, or we can choose to ignore them. They require deliberate action on our part. Since this is the era of fast food, easy credit and instant entertainment, we choose a theology to match - "no worries". Jesus did it all for us 2,000 years ago and we do not need to do anything for our liberation. Hence, we ignore our responsibility to the Divine spark. How can the Grace of God come to us through the practice of the 10 Commandments, if we do not create the fit vehicle to receive that Grace?
The next level of reality is Yetzirah/Formation. Here our vehicle of consciousness is the soul. It consists of the 7 psychic centers and the aura. The esoteric cover for its operation is the 7 planets. The work we must do to rectify this vehicle is the reconciliation of the 7 pairs of opposites. Between them, they cover the whole of human experience. They are:
We cannot choose to perform or ignore the opposites. Once we begin, there is no turning back. Since we are alive, we have already begun. We are already in the midst of them. An explanation of the 7 pairs of opposites has already been given. Successfully combined with the Lord’s Prayer, they liberate us from our karma. They overcome the 7 planets as agents of our fate. By consciously experiencing the opposites, we rectify our soul and make it a fit vehicle for the work of the Divine spark on this level of reality. The 10 statements of the Lord’s Prayer bring to us the Grace that energises our soul. This is not just a poetic cliche.
The final level of reality that requires a vehicle of consciousness, is Briah/Creation. We function in the spirit. Here, the esoteric cover is the 3 alchemical principles (mercury, sulfur, salt), also experienced as the 3 astrological qualities (cardinal, mutable, fixed). The work of rectification is to find our orientation to God by knowledge, love and sacrifice. As before, this makes the spirit a fit vehicle for the Divine spark. The 10 steps of the Beatitudes are a powerful combination of mantra and visualization, which generate a flow of Grace into our spirit.
Why are the 10 Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes, 10-fold? Because they correspond to the Tree of Life and there is a Tree on each of the levels of reality. Why is the Tree 10-fold? Because it conforms to the commands uttered by God, as recorded in Genesis Ch 1. Why 10 commands? Because ONE-ness is the nature of God, but 10 is the fullness and completion that we see in our present state of consciousness. It is our task to go from 10 to 1, by the rectification of our vehicles and the invocation of Grace.
Since the Divine spark is not a vehicle, because it is consciousness, there is no work of rectification. Rather, the point is for each of us to realize our divine nature, here and now. Thus the greatest prayer of all is also the simplest: "the Father and I are ONE". Its very simplicity makes it almost impossible to comprehend. This prayer can only be understood when the previous 3 prayers have been properly performed and the 3 vehicles of consciousness have been rectified. We have work to do.
Let us end as we began. How many times have we prayed for something and it has failed to materialize? Are we praying correctly? Are we deliberately setting into motion the hidden forces of the kosmos?