THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM OF THE SEPHER YETZIRAH
(Translated from the Hebrew Text of Joannes Stephanus Rittangelius. 1642.)
The First Path is called the Admirable or the Hidden Intelligence (the Highest crown): for it is the Light giving the power of comprehension of that First Principle which has no beginning; and it is the Primal Glory, for no created being can attain to its essence.
The Second Path is that of the Illuminating Intelligence: it is the Crown of Creation, the Splendour of the Unity, equalling it, and it is exalted above every head, and named by the Kabalists the Second Glory,
The Third Path is the Sanctifying Intelligence, and is the basis of foundation of Primordial Wisdom, which is called the Former of Faith, and its roots, Amen; and it is the parent of Faith, from whose virtues doth Faith emanate.
The Fourth Path is named Measuring, Cohesive or Receptacular; and is so called because it contains all the holy powers, and, from it emanate all the spiritual virtues with the most exalted essences; they emanate one from the other by the power of the primordial emanation. (The Highest Crown.)
The Fifth Path is called the Radical Intelligence, because it is itself the essence equal to the Unity, uniting itself to the Binah, or Intelligence which emanates from the Primordial depths of Wisdom or Chokmah.
The Sixth Path is called the Intelligence of the Mediating Influence, because in it are multiplied the influxes of the emanations, for it causes that influence to flow into all the reservoirs of the Blessings, with which these themselves are united.
The Seventh Path is the Occult Intelligence, because it is the Refulgent Splendour of all the Intellectual virtues which are perceived by the eyes of intellect, and by the contemplation of faith.
The-Eighth Path is called the Absolute or Perfect Intelligence because it is the means of the primordial, which has no root by which'it can cleave, nor rest, except in the hidden places of Gedulah, Magnificence, from which emanate from its own proper essence.
The Ninth Path is the Pure Intelligence, so-called because it purifies the Numerations, it proves and, corrects the designing of their representation, and disposes their unity with which they are combined without diminution or division.
The Tenth,Path is the Resplendent Intelligence, because it is exalted above every head and sits on the throne of Binah, (the Intelligence spoken of in the Third Path). It illuminates the splendour of all the lights, and causes a supply of influence to emanate from the Prince of countenances.
The Eleventh Path is the Scintillhting Intelligence, because it is the essence of that curtain which is placed close to the order of the disposition, and this is a special dignity given to it that it may be able to stand before the Face of the Cause of Causes.
The Twelfth Path is the Intelligence of Transparency because it is that species of magnificence called Chazchazit, which is named the place whence issues the vision of those seeing in apparitions. (That-is the. prophecies by seers in a vision.)
The Thirteenth Path is named the Uniting Intelligence, and so-caIled because it is itself the Essence of Glory. it is the Consummation of the Truth of individual spirititthings.
The Fourteenth Path is the Illuminating Intelligence, and is so-called because it is that Chashmal which is, the founder of the concealed and fundamental ideas of holiness and of their stages of preparation.
The Fifteenth Path is the Constituting Intelligences so-called because it constitutes the substance of creation in pure darkness, and men have spoken of these contemplations; it is that darkness spoken of in Scripture Job xxxviii. 9, "and thick darkness a swaddling band for it".
The Sixteenth Path is the Triumphal or 'Eternal Intelligence, so-called because it is-the pleasure of the Glory, beyond which is no other Glory like to it, and it is called also the Paradise prepared for the Righteous.
The Seventeenth Path is the Disposing Intelligence, which provides Faith to the Righteous, and they are clothed with the Holy Spirit by it, and it is called the Foundation of Excellence in the state of higher things.
The Eighteenth Path is called the House of Influence (by the greatness of: whose abundance the influx of good things upon created beings in increased), and from the midst of the investigation the arcana and-hidden senses are drawn forth, which dwell in its shade and which cling to it, from the cause of all causes.
The Nineteenth Path is the intelligence of all the activities of the spiritual beings, and is so-called, because of the affluence diffused by it from the most high blessing and most exalted sublime glory.
The Twentieth Path is the Intelligence of Will, and is so-called because it is the means of preparation of all and each created being, and by this intelligence the existence of the Primordial Wisdom becomes known.
The Twenty-first Path is the Intelligence of Conciliation, and is socalled because it receives the divine influence which flows into it from its benediction upon all and each existence.
The Twenty-second Path is the Faithful Intelligence and is so-called because by it spiritual virtues are increased, and all dwellers on earth are nearly under its shadow.
The Twenty-third Path is the Stable Intelligence, and it is so-called because it has the virtue of consistence among all numerations.
The Twenty-fourth Path is the Imaginative Intelligence, and it is so-called because it gives a likeness to all the similitudes which are created in the like manner similar to its harmonious elegencies.
The Twenty-fifth Path is the Intelligence of Probation, or is Tentative, and it is so-called because it is the primary temptation, by which the Creator trieth all righteous persons.
The Twenty-sixth Path is the Renovating Intelligence, because the Holy God renews by it all the changing things which are renewed by the creation of the world.
The Twenty-seventh Path is the Exciting Intelligence, and it is socalled because through it is consummated and perfected the nature of every being under the orb of the Sun, in perfection.
The Twenty-eight Path is the Natural Intelligence; by it is completed and perfected the nature of all that exists beneath the Sun.
The Twenty-ninth Path is the Corporeal Intelligence, socalled because it form every body which is formed beneath the whole set of worlds and the increment of them.
The Thirtieth Path is the Collective Intelligence, and is so-called because Astrologers deduce from it the judgment of the Stars, and of the celestial signs and the perfections of their science, according to the rules of their resolutions.
The Thirty-first Path is the Perpetual Intelligence; but why is it so-called? Because it regulates the motions of the Sun and Moon in their proper order, each in an orbit convenient for it.
The Thirty-second Path is the Administrative Intelligence, and it is socalled because it directs and associates in all their operations the seven planets, even all of them in their own due courses.
The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution
P. D. Ouspensky (Vintage Books, 1974) 128 pages
This reissued book by the author of "In Search of
the Miraculous", "A New Model of the Universe",
etc., represents essentially a summary of the main ideas of his
teacher, the controversial Russian master G.I. Gurdjieff. Therefore, this book serves as an introduction to many of Gurdjieff's teachings, condensed into 5 lectures by Ouspensky. The interesting point about Gurdjieff's teachings is his definite,
clear and radical views on the State and potentials of Man compared with the vast bulk of other, mainly Eastern views which only take the seeker a certain distance through the mists and leave him to meditate
and chant the rest of his way through. Another point is the close parallel and line of teaching one keeps observing with that of the
PRS and Gurdjieff's so-called Fourth Way School.
A sample of some of Gurdjieff's concepts follows:
The State of Man is incomplete. Nature develops him only up to a certain point and then leaves him, to develop further, by his own efforts and devices, or to live and die such as he was born,
or to degenerate and lose capacity for development.
That Man is actually a machine, an automation having no independent movements, inside or outside of himself. That he is brought into motion by external influences and impacts only. That most men die while physically remaining still alive.
Although they still move and act, their evolution in this life has ceased. BUT that Man can come to know that he is a machine,
and having fully realised this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine.
Evolution of man in this case will mean the development of certain inner qualities and features which usually remain undeveloped, and cannot develop by themselves.
This development means man must become a different being in quality and ability. The question is asked - why cannot all men develop and become different beings? The answer is very simple. Because they do not want it. Because they do not know about it and will not understand without a long preparation what it means, even if they are told. Man to a large extent is happy in his ignorance.
Now, what are the conditions necessary for development? There are several. First of all, Man must want to become a different being
strongly enough, and make the necessary effort. A passing or vague desire for change based on dissatisfaction with external conditions will not create a sufficient impulse. He must understand his position, his difficulties, and his possibilities. He must be either very strongly repelled by his present state or very strongly attracted by the future state that may be attained.
It is impossible to enumerate all the conditions necessary. But they include among other things "a school" and the conditions necessary for the existence of a School.
The School principles can be transferred only by word of mouth or orally, by direct instruction, explanation, and demonstration.
To answer the question, what makes a man desire to acquire new knowledge and to change himself? Ouspensky speaks of man living under 2 kinds of influences:
Influence A consists,of interests and attractions created by life-itself; interests of one's health, safety, wealth, pleasures, amusements, security, vanity, pride, fame, etc. The second kind of influence, influence B consists of interests of a different
order aroused by ideas which are not created in life but come originally from Schools.
These influences do not reach man directly. They are thrown into the general turnover of life, pass through many different minds and reach man through philosophy, science, religion and art, always mixed with influences of the first kind, A, and generally very little resembling
what they were in their beginning.
In most cases men do not realise the different origin of Influences B and often explain them as having the same origin as influence A. Although man does not know of the existence of 2 kinds of, influences, they both act on him and in one way or another he responds to them.
He can be more identified with one or some, of the
influences of A and not feel influences of B at all.
Or he can be attracted and affected by one or another
of influences B. The result is different in each case. If a man is fully in the power of influence A, or of one particular influence A, and quite indifferent to influence B, nothing happens to him, and his possibility, of development diminishes with every year of his life; and at a certain age, sometimes quite an early age, it disappears completely. This means that man dies while physically remaining still alive, like grain that cannot germinate and produce a plant. But if, on the other hand, man is not completely in the power of influence A, and if influences B attract him and make him feel and think, results of the impressions they produce in him collect together, attract other influences of the same kind, and grow, occupying a more important place in his mind and life. If the results: produced by influence B become sufficiently strong, they fuse together and form in man what is called a magnetic centre.
The magnetic centre is in personality it is simply a group of interests which, when they become sufficiently strong, serve, to a certain degree, as a guiding and controlling factor.
The magnetic centre turns one's interests in a certain direction and helps to keep them there. At the same time it cannot do much by itself. A school is necessary.
The magnetic centre cannot replace a school, but it can help to realize the need of a school; it can help in beginning to look for a school, or if one meets a school by chance, the magnetic centre can help to recognize a school and try not to lose it. Because nothing is easier to lose than a school.
Possession of a magnetic centre is the first,
although quite unspoken,
demand of a school. If a man without a magnetic
centre, or a small or weak magnetic centre, or with
magnetic centres, that is, interested in many
incompatible things at the
same time, meets a school,
he does not become interested in it, or he becomes
critical at once before he
can know anything, or his interest disappears very
quickly when he meets with the first difficulties of
school work. This is the
chief safeguard of a school. Without it the school would
be filled with quite the wrong kind of people who
would immediately distort
the school teaching. A right magnetic centre not only helps one to recognize a school, it also helps to absorb the school teaching, which is different from both influences A and influences B and may be called influence C. As said before, this influence C can be transferred only
directly and orally.
When a man meets with influence C and is able to absorb it, it is said about him that in one point of himself - that is, in his
magnetic centre - he becomes free from the law of accident (that which
makes him an automaton).
From this moment the magnetic centre has actually played its part.
It brought man to a school or helped in his first
steps there. From then on the ideas and the teaching
of the school take the place of the magnetic
centre and slowly begin to penetrate into the
different parts, of personality and with time into essence.
Ouspensky goes on to explain that one of the most important principles one learns is that real school work must proceed by three lines simultaneously.
The first line is study of oneself and the system, or the "language". Working on this line one certainly works for one-self and must manifest in one's work a certain amount of initiative in relationship to oneself.
The second line is work with other people in the schooL and working with them, one works not only with them but for them. So in the second line one learns to work with people and for people. The chief point is this is discipline and following exactly what one is told, without bringing any of one's own ideas even if they appear better than those that have been given. Here no initiative is required or admitted. This is why the second line is particularly difficult for some people.
In the third line one works for the school. In order to work for the school, one must first understand the work of the school, understand its aims and needs, and this usually requires time.
Here again one can manifest more initiative, but one must always verify oneself and not let oneself make decisions against rules and principles, or against what one has been told.