Cosmological Qabala Primer

This website cannot possibly explain all of qabala, especially when it comes to qabalistic cosmology -- the creation and ordering of the Universe, and the creation of Man. Cosmological Qabala is like a massive theological hologram: When you look at it, it's relatively simple to see the picture, but when you cut it up, you realize that each individual piece contains the whole of qabala. Thus, cursory examinations tend to make little sense and can appear full of contradictions. For that, I apologize, but can only suggest you consult the recommended sources to remedy the situation.

Furthermore, I suggest you read this page all the way through at least once before following the links to Qabalistic Man or The Sephiroth, both of which will serve to illuminate in detail the most salient points of Cosmological Qabala contained below.

In the beginning...

there was AIN, a complete void and vacuum. Not simply "nothing," but not even the existence of "nothing" itself -- absolute, incomprehensible nada. For convenience, AIN is God.

At some point AIN began to "concentrate" (since we can't even conceive of it, we can't say exactly what happened or why) and "created" AIN SOPH, which is infinity in existence, which is to say something forever, even if that something is nothing (confused?). AIN is the idea of infinity, while AIN SOPH is infinity. For convenience, AIN SOPH is the Waters.

Then AIN SOPH "moved" and created AIN SOPH AUR, "the limitless light." This is not only "...and God said, 'Let there be Light'," but is also the Holy Triad of qabala represented by the letter sheen, which means "the Spirit or Breath of God." For convenience, AIN SOPH AUR is the Light.

Now we must chop up the hologram. AIN, AIN SOPH, and AIN SOPH AUR are also the letters Aleph, Bayt, and Ghimmel -- abstract infinity, abstract space, and abstract action (movement), also referred to as Mother (AIN), Father (AIN SOPH), and Crown (AIN SOPH AUR; Kether; Light).

The continued motion of AIN (/SOPH) (/AUR) produced the nine Sephiroth -- the "shining sapphires " -- which are the first nine letters of the Hebrew alphabet, held within the Auric Egg, or Universe. For those paying attention, this means that the Holy Triad not only created the Sephiroth but also, then, created themselves, since Aleph, Bayt, and Ghimmel are the Holy Triad.

When AIN created AIN SOPH AUR it left behind the Abyss, which was then filled in with Four Spheres, each sphere representing (and containing) increasingly more concrete forms of the nine Sephiroth plus AIN SOPH AUR. Thus, there are 40 spheres total, plus the original nine Sepherioth and AIN SOPH AUR. Between each emanation is a Gate -- these are the 50 Gates of the Tree of Life through which we all must travel, starting in our own Sphere.

The Four Spheres before reaching the root Sephiroth and AIN SOPH AUR (and from there, theoretically, AIN SOPH and AIN) are:

Assiah: the Sphere of Substance (material existence)
Yetzirah: the Sphere of Formations (classifications)
Briah: the Sphere of Creations (archetypes)
Atziluth: the Sphere of Divine Names (abstract concepts)

In terms of the Hebrew letter-numbers, these relate to following groupings:

1-9: (abstract concepts)
10-90: (archetypes)
100-900: (classifications)
language: the literal Hebrew alphabet (material existence)

All of this relates to Man, for just as the Universe is an Auric Egg -- containing the Spheres in the Abyss, with AIN SOPH AUR at the center -- so is each and every human, with AIN SOPH AUR represented by the Ego (consciousness and the ability to learn and know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad).

The goal of humans is to "rise above" the Sphere of Substance -- our material existence -- and travel through the Four Spheres until we have become reunited with AIN -- God. However, not even Moses was able to travel beyond AIN SOPH, and so AIN SOPH -- as Infinity in existence -- became "God" and was given anthropomorphic features.

This means that each person has the potential to pass through the 50 Gates of the Tree of Life and become equal to God. This is where Gnosticism -- the earliest form of Christianity -- meshes exactly with the True Qabala, the Gnostics claiming Jesus was the only other person since Moses to achieve union with AIN SOPH. This is also why Jesus was against any sort of priest or rabbi or bishop: Union with AIN SOPH is attainable only after a private, personal -- and completely unique -- journey through the 50 Gates of the Tree of Life.

It is believed that through studying sacred texts -- some of which are in the Bible -- using both Literal and Philosophical Qabala, the 50 Gates can be revealed and thus traversed, with each person's degree of Enlightenment (or Gnosis) depending on how far they make it.

For point of reference, Heaven is only the secondof the Four Spheres -- that of classifications (gods, angels, demons, people, etc.). It's your choice whether or not you take your spiritual growth any further.