Living Kabbalah Wisdom
The 32 Paths of Wisdom
The Tree of Life is composed of 10 spheres connected by 22 paths. Combined, these represent what Kabbalah refers to as, "The 32 Paths of Wisdom".
The term "spheres" is derived from the Hebrew term sephiroth, which means "emanations". Each sphere, depicted by a circle on the diagram, represents one of the 10 emanations of divine creative energy radiating throughout existence. These emanations flow out in all directions, forming gradually dissipating spheres of Divine Radiance or Splendor (Zohar) the farther you go from their centers. The material plane is the farthest point that receives and transmits this radiance. We dwell on the outskirts.
Each sphere is assigned a name and a number. The name corresponds to the quality of the energy represented by the sphere. The number relates to its place in the sequence of creation. The higher the sphere, the lower the number, and the more potent and pristine its Divine Splendor.
In the creative process, we move from Sphere 1, which represents the will or intention behind creation, to Sphere 10, the final manifestation or material expression of that will. Whatever occurs to you is a manifestation of Divine Will. But your will also has the power to manifest, within the freedom granted to you. So that which you will (or desire) to be automatically begins occurring in manifestation.
In the spiritual growth or enlightenment process, we ascend from Sphere 10, which represents total materialism, up to Sphere 1, which represents totally conscious unity with Divine Will.
The 22 paths of the Tree are the straight lines that join the spheres. These represent conduits through which the energy of the spheres flows and mingles, as well as transitions in the creative and spiritual growth process.
In addition to names and numbers, the spheres are assigned 4 additional major correspondences. These include:
1.A Divine Name
3.An order of angels
4.An astrological association, consisting of a planet, the sun or the moon
The Divine Name provides a means of connecting with the Divine quality of power emanating from the sphere. The archangel refers to the archetypal level created by the directive of Divine Will which, in turn, gets transmitted to the angelic level. The order of angels represents the angelic forces and beings that carry out those directives in the service of Divine Will. The astrological associations represent the physical "transmitting stations" through which the influences of the higher spiritual planes flow into the material plane, influencing natural process and psychological conditions.
You do not have to fully understand or even believe in the existence of these correspondences to apply Kabbalah wisdom for a higher level of daily living. You can think of them as ancient terms for mysical insights into how the universe works at the deepest levels, or don't think of them at all. They are included in the Sphere and Path Meanings that follow for advanced meditation purposes, that they may trigger your subconscious through symbolism to awaken deeper intuitions.
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