Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism - Sefiroth
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism
Most if not all Kabbalistic doctrine is concerned with the realm of the divine emanations or sefiroth, in which God's creative power unfolds. Over a long period of years, Kabbalists devised many ways of describing this realm. But throughout their history it remained the principal content of their vision, and always they spoke of it in the language of symbols, since it is not accessible to the direct perception of the human mind.
Insofar as God reveals himself, He does so through the creative power of the sefiroth. The God of whom religion speaks is always conceived under one or more of these aspects of His Being, which the Kabbalists identified with stages in the process of divine emanation. This Kabbalistic world of the sefiroth encompasses what philosophers and theologians called the world of the divine attributes.
But to the mystics it was divine life itself, insofar as it moves toward Creation. The hidden dynamic of this life fascinated the Kabbalists, who found it reflected in every realm of Creation. But this life as such is not separate from, or subordinate to, the Godhead, rather, it is the revelation of the hidden root, concerning which, since it is never manifested, not even in symbols, nothing can be said, and which the Kabbalists called en-sof, the infinite. But this hidden root and the divine emanations are one.