Sefer ha-bahir – Para 85 - The Egg and Intelligence hierarchy
Type of Spiritual Experience
Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism
Toward 1180 the earliest Kabbalist document, the Book Bahir, assuredly one of the most astonishing, not to say incredible, books in the Hebrew literature of the Middle Ages, made its appearance in southern France. No one knows exactly where it came from. It is a wretchedly written and poorly organized collection of theosophical sayings in the form of Bible commentaries, for the most part imputed to imaginary authorities supposedly living in the Talmudic period. It is a very small book, consisting of only thirty to forty pages, but these few pages bear witness to a new force in Judaism
A description of the experience
Sefer ha-bahir – Para 14 and 85
And all admit that they were not created until the second day, lest anyone might say: Michael spread out [the universe] in the south of the vault, Gabriel in-the north, and the Holy One, blessed be He, measured in the middle; rather [as it is written in Isa. 44 : 24]: 'I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the Earth by myself -who would be with me'
Fragment 14 It is I who have planted this 'tree,' that all the world may delight in it, and with it I have spanned the All and called it 'All'; for on it depends the All, and from it emanates the All, all things need it, and look upon it, and yearn for it, and from it all souls go forth. I was alone when I made it, and no angel can raise himself over it and say: I was there before thee; for when I spanned my earth, when I planted and rooted this tree and caused them to take delight in each other and [myself] delighted in them-who could have been with me to whom I might have confided this secret?...............
Fragment 85 And what is [this] 'tree,' of which you have spoken? He said to him:
All powers of God are [disposed] in layers and they are like a tree: just as the tree produces its fruit through water, so God through Water increases the powers of the 'tree.' And what is God's Water? It is hokhmah [wisdom], and that [i.e., the fruit of the tree] is the soul of the righteous men who fly from the 'source' to the 'great channel,' and it rises up and clings to the tree. And by virtue of what does it flower?
By virtue of Israel: when they [the children of Israel] are good and righteous, the Shekhinah dwells among them, and by their works they dwell in the bosom of God, and He lets them be fruitful and multiply
The source of the experienceJudaism and Kabbalah
Concepts, symbols and science items
Intelligences and their synonyms
Map of the Egg