Categories: Spirituality

Sefirot basic principles of human life

Sefirot are the origin of entire sectors of human existence, both in the physical and in the psychological world, as well as in the spiritual one. The Tree of Life is the synthesis of the most famous and important teachings of Kabbalah. It is an abstract and symbolic diagram, consisting of ten entities, called sefirot, arranged along three parallel vertical pillars: three on the left, three on the right and four in the center. The central pillar is longer than the other two. The sefirot correspond to important metaphysical concepts to real levels within the divinity. Furthermore, they are also associated with the practical and emotional situations that each of us goes through in our daily lives. They are ten basic principles recognizable in the disordered and complex multiplicity of human life, capable of unifying it and giving it meaning and fullness.

They are connected by twenty-two channels, three horizontal, seven vertical and twelve diagonal. Each channel corresponds to one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew Alef Bet. The Tree of Life is the program according to which the creation of the worlds took place; it is the path of descent along which souls and creatures have reached their present form. It is also the path of ascent through which the whole creation can return to the goal to which everything yearns. It is also the ladder of Jacob (Genesis 28), whose base rests on the earth and whose top touches the sky.

Along it the angels, that is the multiple forms of awareness that animate the creation, rise and fall continuously. Along it also the awareness of human beings rises and falls. Through the Tree of Life comes the energetic nourishment present in the fields of divine light that surround the creation. This nourishment flows and descends along the series of the channels of the sefirot, thinning and breaking up, until it reaches the creatures, which need it to sustain itself in life. Finally, the prayers and thoughts of those who seek God are rising along the Tree of Life, and they wish to explore ever wider and more perfect realms of Being.

The three pillars of the Tree of Life correspond to the three ways that every human being has before him: love (right), strength (left), and compassion (center). Only the middle way, also called the royal road, has in itself the ability to unify opposites. Without the central pillar, the Tree of Life becomes that of the knowledge of good and evil. The pillars on the right and left also represent the two basic polarities of all reality: the masculine on the right and the feminine on the left, from which arise all the other opposite pairs present in the creation.

The main teaching contained in the kabbalistic doctrine of the Tree of Life is that of the integration of the male and female components, to be carried out both within human awareness and in couple relationships. The Tree of Life is the project followed by God to create the world. The sefirot are the origin of the entire sectors of existence, both in the physical and in the spiritual world.

An example of this, in the physical world, comes from the very structure of the solar system. At its center is the Sun, which represents the sefirah Keter or Corona, the highest of the tree, from which comes the light that fills and vitalizes all the others. The nine planets that revolve around it represent the other nine sefirot, according to a simple linear correspondence. On the psychological level, the ten sefirot are ten states of the human psyche.

After the first three sefirot there are six emotional states of the psyche, three more intimate and three more revealed, closer to the physical experience. All six are generated by the fundamental opposition between Chesed (Love) and Geburah (Force), which can also be understood as attraction and repulsion. Finally the last Sefirah Malkhut (Kingdom), corresponds to a psychological state addressed above all to the contingencies of the physical world and its needs. On the most spiritual plane the ten sefirot become the ten powers of the soul, ten lights sources of energy that know how to connect with them, on their way back to the Tree of Life.

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