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IN the year 1902 I endeavoured in The Doctrine and 
Literature of the Kabalah to offer a consideration in 
detail of the chief texts which embody the Secret 
Tradition in Israel, together with some account of the 
manner in which it influenced Christian scholarship in 
Europe during the i6th, iyth and i8th centuries, or 
broadly speaking, from the period of Picus de Mirandula 
until the eve of the French Revolution. The publication 
of Sepher Ha Zohar, or The Book of Splendour, which is 
the palmary Kabalistic text, for the first time in another 
language than the original Chaldaic, took place in France 
between the years 1906 and I9H, 1 thus putting into the 
hands of modern students the best means of judgment 
concerning the tradition at large. If there be not at the 
present day much that remains for our agreement in the 
very interesting literary monograph of Adolphe Franck, 
entitled La Kabbale* published in 1843 an< ^ reprinted 
more recently, with some corrections, in 1892, I believe 
that I shall be in accord with all scholarship that deserves 
the name if I express my concurrence when he says that 
the later Kabalists, like Isaac de Loria, Abraham Cohen 
Irira et hoc genus omne, added mainly their personal 
reveries to that great text and enfeebled it precisely in 
proportion as they sought to develop and reduce it into 

1 SEPHER HA ZOHAR (Le Ltvre de la Splendeur): Doctrine 
soterique des Israelites. Tradnit pour la premiere fois sur le texte 
Chalda ique et accompagni de notes, par JEAN DE PAULY. (Euvre 
posthume entierement revue, corrigee et completee. Publiee par les soins de 

1 La Kabbale, ou La Philosophic Religieuse des Hbreux. Par 
Ad. Franck. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

a system of the conventional kind. I am concerned 
in the present study with few questions belonging to 
purely critical scholarship, but in these prefatory remarks 
a word must be said upon the Zohar in respect of its 
authority or otherwise on the question of date not 
indeed with the view of discussing, much less of deter 
mining so difficult a question, but to shew in the 
interests of clearness that such a question exists. 

The text itself belongs to a period in literature which 
knew nothing of chronological importance and still less 
of the values attaching to personalities in authorship. 
It is anonymous in respect of its redaction and it is 
silent as to the circumstances under which and the 
imputed time of the world when it came into the ever 
growing circle of Jewish records. By its hypothesis, 
however, it is an account of discourses between Rabbi 
Simeon Ben Jochai and other masters of the mystic 
understanding of the Law and the Prophets, of whom 
he was leader and chief. 1 This is the first point of the 
hypothesis. In respect of the second and last point, 
it is a record of the debates which took place between 
certain immediate successors of Rabbi Simeon, who 
belongs by tradition to the first century of the Christian 
era, or the period of the destruction of Jerusalem by 
Vespasian, A.D. 70. I put aside in this connection 
various texts and extracts or fragments of texts which 
are, as one may say, imbedded in the Zohar, introduced 
for the most part at arbitrary points, where they have 
little or no relation to that which precedes and comes 
after. It is to this that we owe the preservation of 
certain parts of a work entitled Sepher Ha Bahir, or 
Book of Brightness. Their authority has been disputed, 
but there seems good ground for believing (i) that if 
the Zohar proper is a work of the early Christian 

1 It should be observed that he is the traditional author of the text 
itself, subject, I suppose, to exceptions in respect of those parts which 
either give account of his death or of what transpired among his 
successors after that event. 



centuries, then these items are approximately of similar 
antiquity ; or (2) if we suppose for a moment that the 
text major was invented at a late period being at or 
about the end of the I3th century whether by a certain 
Moses de Leon or another, then it seems probable, from 
the positions assigned to the extracts, that they were 
brought in from another source. Speaking generally of 
all the additamenta, their introduction is so apart from 
design that they might have been attached by a tran 
scriber where they suited his convenience, or when he 
happened to come across some of them. The Book of 
Concealment, The Greater Holy Synod and The Lesser Holy 
Synod, which have been made available for some years 
by more or less pretentious and unsatisfactory translations 
into French and English, from the Latin version of 
Rosenroth, are particular instances to the point in this 
connection. There seems no reason whatsoever why the 
first should follow one of the closing sections of the 
Commentary on Exodus, why the second should intervene 
at an early stage of the Commentary on Numbers, or the 
third appear at the end of the Zohar, amidst the frag 
ments of a Commentary on Deuteronomy. It may be said 
indeed that the last is that which recounts the death of 
Simeon Ben Jochai, and that hence it is an appropriate 
conclusion to the work ; but there is no chronological 
order to be found in the text as a whole, and in the 
course of many early discussions between the Sons of the 
Doctrine, it is evident that the great master of Kabalistic 
sentences has already passed away. 

The present study is in no sense a sequel to The 
Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah ; it approaches the 
whole question of Zoharic tradition from another point 
of view ; but as I do not wish it to cover the same 
ground when occasion might prompt this, it will be 
sufficient at this point to refer those who are concerned 
to the consideration which I have given therein upon 
the questions of date and authority in respect of the 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Zohar. 1 It represents the views of scholarship at the 
period, under all reserves that are necessary concerning 
my own knowledge. 

The French translation of the Zohar is the work of 
Jean de Pauly and it has been published posthumously 
by Emile Lafuma-Giraud, who has completed and 
corrected it with the assistance of other Rabbinical 
scholars. The personal views of Jean de Pauly on the 
whole question of Zoharic antiquity are represented 
sufficiently by his opinion that the three Idras being 
The Assembly of the Sanctuary and the Greater and Lesser 
Holy Assemblies or Synods already named are referable 
to the second or third century before Christ. M. 
Lafuma-Giraud says justly that this is rejected by all 
critical learning. His personal conclusion is that the 
Zohar as a whole embodies very old materials combined 
with much that is of modern authorship, which is pre 
cisely my own opinion, as stated in 1902, while this in 
its turn was merely the sum of preceding scholarly 
judgment, or a reasonable mean between various con 
flicting views. 

I should add that the Zohar is a literary document 
in the sense that it bears the marks of its making. It is 
for the most part, as already indicated, a record of 
Rabbinical debates, and I suppose that there has been 
never a champion of its authenticity who dared to say 
that it was compiled from notes taken on the spot by 
ear and eye witnesses. Within its own hypothesis it is 
such of course, but an occasional lapsus memorice deter 
mines the value of the implied claim in the negative 
sense, just as we should expect antecedently, and the 
unknown editor is found on these occasions reminding 

1 A. E. WAITE: The Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah. 
Demy 8vo, pp. xx, 508. 1902. See Book III : Source and Authority 
of the Kabalah. 



his readers of that which has been written or said 
previously. 1 

The Zohar is de omnibus rebus, if not as it is indeed 
and certainly de quibusdam aliis being phantasies as 
well as ideas, many inventions as well as great realities. 
I do not know whether I was the first to call it a medley, 
but there is no nearer description of the things therein, 
regarded as they are. It represents not only the con 
flicting views developed in the course of a symposium 
and the occasional harmonies established subsequently 
between them, as this or another discussion drew to its 
term, but at different stages of the text many irreconcile- 
able points emerge into prominence, and it cannot be said 
that the Sons of the Doctrine are left at the close of all 
in exact unanimity with themselves, much less with one 
another. The fact does not signify, and this statement 
might obtain on the simple ground (i) that the Zohar 
embodies many independent texts and (2) does not repre 
sent an ordered system ; but it may be justified more especi 
ally from my own standpoint, which can be formulated 
briefly thus. The work is a development of Secret 
Doctrine, but the root-matter of that doctrine is presumed 
to be familiar throughout, as we can understand readily 
when the interlocutors are ex hypothesi initiated therein, 
are talking among themselves and not for the elucidation 
of the subject before an assembly unversed therein. 
While the whole Secret Doctrine may be therefore found 
in the Zohar, it is accidentally rather than systematically. 
There may be some indeed who will question whether the 
complete system can be adduced therefrom, and for its 
warrants no one will look. At all points there is much 
that goes before and does not pass into expression, to 
say nothing of what may come after. In any case, the 

1 See, for example, Z., Pt. I, fol. lib; DE PAULY, I, 65, where the 
scribe forgets as I have mentioned in the text above that Rabbi 
Simeon is speaking" to his intimate disciples and co-heirs and not writing 
a book which may be used by the unprepared and the hostile. See also 
ib., fol. 2ooa ; II, 393. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

teaching of Zoharic Kabalism upon a given doctrinal 
matter can only be ascertained by the codification of every 
reference thereto, occurring throughout the texts. This is 
the task which I have set before me. I could have wished 
to have added some consideration of the doctrine, so expli 
cated and harmonised, in the light of more general secret 
tradition in Christian times, as I understand this and have 
dealt with it in other writings : but it has been impossible 
within the limits assigned to the present undertaking. I 
have not, however, omitted the application, if any, of 
Theosophical Doctrine in Israel to the mind of Chris 
tian mysticism in the modern world, which is everywhere 
and always my real concern and that which I have taken 
for my province. I said long ago that the Rabbinical 
doctors in the chairs of the Holy Assemblies are men 
who are our brothers, and as such it is important to 
know the kind of message which they communicate to 
us at the present day. 

In the decade and more than a decade which has 
intervened since the publication of my previous study, I 
have travelled if I may venture so tb say very far in 
the search after Secret Doctrine, its symbolism and its liter 
ature. There is naturally something to correct in that 
which has preceded within the measures of Kabalism, 
something on points of fact, something in points of view, 
and these things will be seen to when and if an oppor 
tunity arises in the future. Meanwhile The Doctrine and 
Literature of the Kabalah may continue to serve its purpose, 
as the corrections here intimated are not vital in their 
nature, more especially for the unadvanced student. So 
far as concerns the Secret Tradition in Israel, I have 
reached my term here. Several departments belonging 
to the same subject in other places and times have been 
dealt with in earlier works ; that which remains is the 
Hermetic side of transmission, properly so called, by 
which I mean the great texts of alchemy. The decoding 
of this symbolism in any complete sense presents extra- 


ordinary difficulties, and it may well be that several years 
will elapse before the task is finished. I am therefore 
indicating only that which is my next concern. I mention 
these personal matters, asking to be forgiven beforehand 
for what seems extraneous to my subject here and now. 
It is not so in reality. The Secret Doctrine in Israel is 
part of a long series undertaken with one object in view, 
being the demonstration of a great experiment which has 
been always in the world but has assumed particular forms 
during the Christian centuries the literature of the Holy 
Graal, the texts of Hermetic Art, the pageant of the Rosy 
Cross, the symbolism and ceremonies of Masonry. I have 
intimated elsewhere that the books of Zoharic Kabalism 
are to some extent a witness apart, if only for the obvious 
reason that they are not Christian evidence, though they 
arose in Christian times. The witness in the open world 
throughout the whole period has been that of Christian 
mystic literature. 

There is one point more which it seems desirable to 
mention, so that there may be no misconception as to the 
nature of the present study ; it does not pretend to con 
tain direct translation anywhere, save and except in those 
rare instances which are marked as such by means of 
quotation commas ; it is a work of critical analysis and 
collation for the, exposition of Zoharic doctrine on the 
several subjects indicated by the teachings of its sections, 
and this has been attempted for the specific purpose of 
proving that behind each and all there lies a single 
radical and essential thesis which is spoken of in general 
terms as the Mystery of Faith. It is this thesis which 
constitutes the vital part of the Secret Doctrine in Israel. 




















The Secret Doctrine in Israel 






INDEX 325 




Shewing the emanation of the Divine Principles through 
the Four Worlds of Kabalism from their Hidden Source 
in Ai N-SopH. This diagram establishes a harmony be 
tween the text of the Zohar proper, The Secret Book, The 
Great and Holy Assembly, and The Little Holy Assembly. 
In its fundamental understanding, the full length Human 
Figure represents created or generated intelligence on 
the male side, from which is produced the female side, 
originally latent therein, according to the Legend of 
Paradise and the Zohar. The female side is shewn in 
Malknthi because the He final of the Sacred Name, or 
Shekinah, came down into manifestation on earth. She 
is the Path of Liberation for those who are born under 
the Written Law, and she symbolises that which is within 
it, namely, the Traditional or Oral Law, through which 
man returns into Divine Union. 




Reproduced from ATHANASIUS KIRCHER : CEdipus 
&gyptiacus, Tomus Secundus, section Cabala Hebrceorum, 
It is described as Iconismus totius Cabala summam con- 



Coodum Sephiroticum, Mayence 1679, and described as 
Schema antiquum C<zli Sephirotici. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 




Reproduced from HEINRICH KHUNRATH : Amphithe- 
atrum Sapienticz sEterncz, Hanover 1609. It exhibits 
the Cosmic Christ encompassed by the Ten Sephiroth 
and the Divine Names. 





THE rumour of a great literature which had subsisted 
from time immemorial in Jewry may not have been 
heard of first through a signal piece of good fortune 
which befell Picus de Mirandula when he purchased, 
from an unknown Israelite, certain strange codices in 
manuscript, but nothing which came into his hands and 
proved to be a treasure of the past was likely to lie 
unnoticed on his own part, while this artist of the 
schools was a trumpet of fame for anything announced 
by his voice during the brilliant, too few years that he 
carried the quest of learning and the proof of his attain 
ments from place to place in Europe. He was himself 
the pupil in Jewish philosophy of Elias del Medigo, 
who filled a chair at Padua and wrote two treatises at 
the instance of Picus, one being on the Intellect and on 
Prophecy, in 1481-82, which seems to have remained 
unprinted and was written in Hebrew, like its com 
panion De Substantia Orbis, the work of 1485, but this 
appeared at Basle in 1629. It was also edited with a 
commentary by Isaac Reggio and so republished at 
Vienna in 1833. 

Picus de Mirandula was in some sense a critic of his 
day, for he wrote upon the vanity of astrology ; but it 
was by no means a period which debated the authority 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of works referred to antiquity, either by repute or by the 
simple audacity of claim, while it was still less concerned 
with polemics on questions of authorship. I believe that 
I have mentioned elsewhere how perilous it would have 
seemed then to have entered such a field of research. 
To deny in the particular case that the Zohar embodies 
the actual discourses of Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai might 
have been tantamount to suspecting the authorship of 
the Pentateuch by which I mean that it would have 
opened a vast speculative horizon, so that one might 
have suggested the other. 

There came a time, and it was not far away, when 
the treasure of Picus was questioned, when people began 
to distinguish between a false and a true Zohar, the first 
as the work of one Moses de Leon, belonging to the 
late 1 3th century, and the second as something un- 
demonstrable in respect of age and value. The distinc 
tion remains at a high point in the world of speculation, 
because no one has heard of the, second ; it might not be 
worth while to mention it in the present place save that 
it gives the opportunity of stating that the manuscript 
purchased by Picus represented the identical work which 
has been known for six centuries and over under the 
name of Sepher Ha Zohar. An index of the codices 
acquired by him was published in 1651 by the French 
bibliographer Gaffarel, 1 and in the recent translation of 
the Zohar its instalments are appended to the various 
sections. There are innumerable mistaken references, 
but the index reflects the text ; what is missing in items 
referred to one section may be found sometimes in another, 
and though the pains of Gaffarel can in no wise be called 
representative as an attempted summary it is not even 
the shadow there is no question that the treasures of 
Picus are those which we know under the distinctive 

1 JACOBUS GAFFAREL : Codicum Cabbalisticorum manuscriptorum 
quibus est usus JOANNES Picus, COMES MIRANDULANUS, Index, 


The Early Students of Kabalism 

name of Zohar. There is no alternative text and the 
differentiation given above is a mendacity which can 
deceive no one. 1 

The contribution of Picus de Mirandula to the know 
ledge of the Zohar in Europe does not exceed to any 
considerable extent the simple fact of its existence. His 
short Latin theses, translated in my previous work, cannot 
be termed representative, nor can anything else from his 
pen. It remains that he was the first Christian into 
whose hands the work came in any form whatsoever, and 
it seems to have been that authoritative form which was 
represented later on by the Cremona and Mantua edi 
tions. 2 We shall never know under what circumstances 
these appeared at their several dates, 3 and so far as I 
have been able to trace the bibliography of Kabalism, it 
does not appear that there is any earlier codex in manu 
script. As he was the first to see the volumes, so Picus 
was the first to postulate that the Zohar incorporated 
many elements which are capable of a Christian con 
struction. 4 I shall deal with this at the close of the 
present study, when there will be something to say 
on the fact that the Christian predisposition of which 

1 Curiously enough, the report has reached us through Richard 
Simon, the well-known author of Hist. Critique du Vieux Testament. 
See G. C. SOMMER : Specimen Theologies Soharica. It is of course 
within possibility that the statement mentioned above does not question 
the claims of the work published long after at Mantua and Cremona, 
but indicates that there was a false Zohar circulated by Moses de Leon 
and presumably now unknown. 

2 The edition of Mantua appeared in 1558 and that of Cremona 
almost coincidentally 1558-60. The latter is called bibliographically 
the Great Zohar because it contains certain tracts and fragments which 
are not found in the Mantua edition, whence the latter has been named 
the Little Zohar. Other editions are those of Dublin, 1623 ; Amsterdam, 
1714 and 1805 ; Constantinople, 1736; and Venice, with the date of 
which I am unacquainted. 

3 The Mantua edition appeared under the auspices of R. Meir ben 
Ephraim de Patavio and R. Jacob ben Napthali de Gazulo. See JULIUS 
BARTOLOCCI : Magna Bibliotheca Rabbinica, vol. iv, p. 416, col. 2, Rome, 
1693. They were, however, the printers merely. See /., p. 15, col. 2. 

* See his Heptaplum, a sevenfold exposition concerning the six days 
of Genesis. Opera, 1572. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Mirandula may be called the prototype has been almost 
without exception the predisposition, the dedication 
indeed, of the literati who came after him, up to and 
including those who have translated and edited the 
French text. Picus passed away in his youth, 1 or there 
are indications which lend colour to the possible realisa 
tion of his great dream that the Latin pontificate itself, 
in the person of Pope Julius, might have lent an ear 
to his eloquence and done something to approach Israel 
from the standpoint of Christianity in Kabalism. 2 

Well, it was after this manner that the work began 
to be known in Europe, and there passed something like 
a century away, after which the next name to our pur 
pose is that of William Postel. It was he who translated 
The Sepher Tetzirah for the first time into Latin, and thus 
introduced to the curious and learned of Europe the 
root of all Kabalism concerning the doctrine of the 
Sephiroth, the powers and virtues of the twenty-two 
Hebrew letters and the mystery which resides in numbers. 
I must not say that The Book of Formation is like that 
legendary grain of mustard which grows into a vast tree, 
because the Zohar is in no sense its development except 
in so far as letters and numerations are concerned ; but 
it ranks as the primitive text of theosophical doctrine in 
Israel, and the contribution of Postel to our knowledge 
minute as it is seems much more to our purpose than 
the detached and almost sporadic Conclusions! Kabba- 
fistic* of Picus. Postel is credited by tradition with a 
translation of the Sepher Ha Zohar which would be a rare 

1 He died at Florence in 1492. 

2 The points of correspondence observed by Picus de Mirandula led 
him to infer that the Zohar contains : (i) The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, 
(2) The Fall of the Angels, (3) Original sin, understood as the Fall of 
Man, (4) The necessity of redemption, (5) The incarnation of the Divine 
Word. With certain reserves in respect of the Trinity, and what is to 
be understood by Divine Incarnation, these doctrines are not only to 
be found in the text, but are of continual recurrence therein, and yet 
the most surprising thing about the work, having regard to the period 
of its origin, is the very slight tincture that it has received from the 
Christianity in the midst of which it originated and developed. 

The Early Students of Kabalism 

treasure had it ever come into existence or been main 
tained therein. 1 I do not know how or with whom the 
attractive story arose, but some years since it took a very 
strong hold on the mind of French students and there 
was a great research after it, terminating as might have 
been expected. There is, however, rather more basis 
for the attempt than mere legend, as it is impossible to 
read PosteTs most memorable work, or Claris Abscondi- 
sorum, without inferring that he must have been acquainted 
with the text, and might, therefore, by bare possibility, 
have undertaken such a task. 2 It speaks of the soul of 
the Mediator as the first creature of God and the Law, 
the reconciler of the universe, referred to the Sephira 
Binah^ which titles and which local habitation are those 
of Shekinah, according to the Zohar. 3 It is too early in 
our inquiry to dwell upon this point, for much attaches 
thereto which will be considered at later stages. This is 
by no means the only direction in which Postel connects 
with the chief text of the Secret Tradition in Israel, but 
it is sufficient on my part to have established the fact 
without enlarging thereon. 

Between the period of Mirandula and that of William 
Postel I have given some space in my previous work 
to the names of Cornelius Agrippa and Paracelsus, but 
it has been only to shew that the first connects more 
especially with the practical Kabalah so called, powers of 
Divine Names, mysteries of numbers, doctrines of angels 
and demons, drawn for the most part from sources 
other than the Zohar ; while in respect of the second his 

1 Picus de Mirandula is said to have caused the Zohar to be translated 
into Latin, or alternatively a Latin version was one of the manuscripts 
which came into his possession by purchase from the unknown Jew. 

2 The legend of a Latin version is recurrent. A French gentleman 
of Lyons is supposed to have purchased a copy in 1890, paying many 
thousands of francs, and a translation is also ascribed to Gui de Viterbi. 
There is nothing improbable in the notion that it may have been so 
rendered, and may be in hiding somewhere, though I do not put much 
value on the Lyons story. 

3 Later Kabalism regarded Adam Kadmon, the Great Countenance 
as the pre-existent soul of Messiah. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

use of the word Kabalah has no connection with any 
theosophy of Jewry. 

Contemporary with Postel there was John Reuchlin 
or Capnion, who dedicated his three books entitled De 
Arte Cab alls tica to Leo X. His work may be best de 
scribed as a study of Messianic doctrine, the object of 
which was to shew that He who was expected by Israel 
had already come. I am not actually certain, but I believe 
that he was the first to point out that the Hebrew name of 
Jesus was formed of the consonants of Jehovah = mir with 
the addition of the second letter fo # = mOT i.e. Jehos- 
huah. He quotes a large number of post-Zoharic writers 
on Kabalism, but does not mention the Zohar, at least by 
name. 1 Reuchlin wrote also De Verbo Mirtfico. Be 
longing to the same period as Reuchlin, there was Petrus 
Galatinus, an Italian convert from Jewry, the author of 
De Arcanis Catholics Veritatis? drawn from the texts of 
Kabalism into twelve great books in the form of a debate 
between himself, a certain Hogostratus of whom I know 
little otherwise and Reuchlin. It is a work of much 
greater extent and more considerable learning than the 
books of the last writer and it does mention the Zohar, 

1 There are several editions of both these works, and they are in 
cluded in the collection of Pistorius entitled, Artis Cabalistica Scrip- 
tores^ Tomus Primus, but the second volume if that was the limit 
intended never appeared. This publication belongs to the year 1587. 

2 PETRI GALATINI : De Arcanis Catholiccc Veritatis, Libri XII, 
1672. The text in this edition is followed by REUCHLIN : De Arte 
Cabalistica. It is of course a reprint, the work itself having been com 
pleted in 1516, according to its colophon. Those who can suffer its 
prolixity will not be unrepaid by its reading, even at this day. The 
analysis of contents in respect of the twelve books is worth giving : (i) 
Tracts of the Talmud ; (2) The Trinity of Divine Persons ; (3) The In 
carnation of the Son of God ; (4) The First Advent of Messiah ; (5) The 
Jewish Argument that the Messiah has not come is confuted; (6) The 
Redemption of Mankind ; (7) The Blessed Virgin ; (8) Mysteries con 
cerning the Messiah ; (9) Rejection of the Jews and Call of the Gentiles ; 
(10) The Institution of the New Law; (u) The Passing of the Old Law ; 
(12) The Second Advent. Galatinus is supposed to have possessed a 
copy of the lost Targum or chaldaic paraphrase of Jonathan Ben Huziel 
on the hagiographical books of the Old Testament i.e. prophets, &c. 
Op. tit., Book I., c. 3. 


The Early Students of Kabalism 

but not shewing much first-hand acquaintance. This 
also is a study of Messianic doctrine and is masterly after 
its own kind. 

A third name of importance is Paulus Riccius, who 
was another Jewish convert to Christianity, but his work 
on Celestial Agriculture 1 did not exercise any considerable 
influence. He wrote also Statera Prudentum on the Law 
of Moses, Christ and the Gospel, but the work was con 
demned, and a number of other treatises, including one 
on the dogmas of the Kabalists, which appeared at Nurem 
berg in 1523. 

It would be of some bibliographical interest to make 
a complete list of these early students of Alabaster, Gas- 
parellus, Athanasius Kircher, and above all of Knorr 
von Rosenroth. The rabbinical bibliographies of Wolf, 
Bartolocci and Imbonatus, his editor and successor in 
research, offer materials for the purpose : but it is en 
tirely outside our subject. I must hold it sufficient to 
have established the fact that there was a succession of 
scholarship, and that its chief or early concern was to 
unfold the Christian elements which it discerned in the 
Secret Doctrine of Israel, above all in the Zohar and in 
the Jewish literature which arose therefrom. 

1 This is the first text given in the collection of Pistorius, 



A STUDY of the Secret Doctrine or Theosophy in Israel, 
as it is embodied in the great Book of the Zohar, might be 
made assuredly on any one of several plans, and while 
there can be no object in particularising at length those 
which it is not intended to adopt, I feel it right to men 
tion that which may seem to be the most natural course 
of all, so that I may explain why it is set aside. A 
simple and unpretending analysis of the salient points in 
respect of doctrine, designed to throw a light of Secret 
Tradition on the faith of the Old Covenant, as this is 
found in the Hebrew canonical Scriptures, might be re 
garded as preferable before any other design. To some 
extent along my own lines, it would take, for example, 
the myth of the Earthly Paradise and shew how this is 
interpreted by the mind of the Zohar; it would take the 
story of creation as recited in Genesis and, whether by 
quotation or analysis, would ascertain what manner of 
light is cast thereon ; and so forward in respect of the 
Law promulgated on Mount Sinai, the building of the 
First and Second Temples and the Messianic expectation. 
But seeing that the Zohar is by its own arrangement a 
long succession of studies in the five books of the Penta 
teuch, it would treat these texts point by point under the 
heads which I have indicated, and present a digest of the 
commentaries, maintaining the aspect of commentary. 
As I wish to deal honestly with my readers, I may as 
well state that such a design would be considered very 
sensible and practical by a number of serious persons. 
This notwithstanding, if it had been possible, I should 
have neglected to earn the kind of commendation which 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

they would have been in a position to bestow, were the 
task performed to their satisfaction. Had it been the 
only course open, I should not have undertaken the pre 
sent study, because it would have been none of my busi 
ness. It so happens, however, that it is not possible, 
firstly, because the Zohar is much too loose and elusive 
as a commentary on the Pentateuch to present it in an 
intelligible manner under this guise ; and, secondly, be 
cause the peculiar nature of its exegesis would prove an 
insuperable rock of offence for those to whom the work 
would in such case have been addressed. I have there 
fore approached the subject from the one point of view 
which is important to my own mind and in the one way 
that is possible, having regard to the nature of the work. 
I have taken it as it is essentially, namely, a store-house of 
Secret Doctrine, and for the use of students of Secret 
Doctrine I propose to present it, so to speak, at first 
hand in all its important aspects for the purpose of 
ascertaining as already mentioned what light it casts 
if indeed any upon other forms of the Secret Tradi 
tion, as these have been presented in earlier and more 
ambitious writings with which I have been concerned in 
the past. Here is the keynote in respect of my whole 
research, and if there be another which is second only 
thereto it is to learn whether the Secret Doctrine in 
Israel must remain with us merely as an historical land 
mark, or whether it conveys an understanding of things 
which, when considered in its true light, is of moment to 
us as mystics here and now. To complete the circle of 
these preliminary remarks, I will add that the plan thus 
outlined will be found in the outcome to include all that 
is of importance in the alternative scheme that I have 
mentioned, for by the nature of the case there is no para 
mount doctrine under the aegis of the Old Covenant, no 
vital phase of scriptural tradition and no large event in 
the history of Israel about which we shall not learn in 
due course, and fully, the mind of the Zohar. There 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

is one thing more which it may seem well to make clear 
as a point of fact : I shall neither assume hereafter an 
acquaintance in my readers with the Secret Tradition in 
Israel on which account I have reduced technical expres 
sions to a minimum nor am 1 producing a kind of pro 
legomenon to the Book of the Zohar which is intended 
primarily to facilitate research when they have recourse 
to that work itself. After due allowance has been made 
for the predilection and enthusiasms of a mystic who has 
taken the business of the Secret Tradition into his heart 
of hearts, I shall be glad if those whom I address will be 
content to believe on my testimony that the Zohar is one 
of the great books of the world, one also which stands 
alone and is comparable to nothing save itself; but I 
have no intention of recommending it to their particular 
and earnest consideration at full length. In the French 
translation it contains, roughly speaking, about 1,250,000 
words, distributed throughout six very large volumes, 
and in the absence of a special dedication it will prove 
frankly unreadable, vexatious even and irritating per 
haps to the last degree. I am giving an account of its 
essence on the great subjects of its concern things which 
a careful collation has lifted out of the mass of material. 
Beyond these there is all the drift and scattermeal of its 
speculation, like a vast waste beyond the garden of the 
wise, arid as a field of quest, arbitrary beyond words as 
exegesis, out of all reason as thesis and ridiculous at every 
turn and corner of the streets of thought. I am confus 
ing images or mixing metaphors rather of set purpose, to 
produce the kind of effect which is fitting to the kind of 
subject. If the Zohar may be likened otherwise to a 
temple of learning, then for all ordinary critical minds 
the words inscribed on its porch are : " Abandon hope, 
all ye who enter here." In justice to myself I am, how 
ever, furnishing the necessary references, firstly, to the 
Aramaic text which is paged identically in the epoch- 
making editions, and, secondly, to the French transla- 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

tion, so that those who wish to check my statements may 
have full opportunities in their hands. 

In attempting to educe from the Zohar the root- 
matter of the Secret Doctrine which it claims to embody, 
we are brought very quickly to a pause by the fact not 
merely of many inconsistencies characteristic of the text 
at large in a variety of lesser respects, but of the ob 
vious manner in which the great record seems contin 
ually at issue with itself over matters of prime importance. 
It is easy to allow for those cases and they are com 
paratively few in which the doctors correct one another, 
whether or not they reach an agreement subsequently ; 
but one seems to be dealing continually with irreme 
diable variation over clear issues, though in establishing 
the simple fact at this early stage there will be no occasion 
to cite instances. I mention it only to indicate my in 
tention to find as we move forward in our research 
a middle way, wherever possible, between statements that 
exclude one another. There are two things, however, 
for which allowance must be made from the beginning : 
one is the distinction of aspects, and then a reconciliation 
may be possible not so much in the middle way as by 
means of checking and counterchecking allowing for 
the point of view ; another arises from the fact that the 
content of the Zohar is made up of materials belonging 
to different dates, and this is much more difficult to deal 
with, because the Secret Doctrine of Israel should be in 
harmony with itself whatever the period. 1 Where either 
arises we must deal with cases individually, and it is this 
necessity which will tend to swell the annotations much 
beyond any limit that I could have desired on my own part. 
In the last resource we must recognise that the Secret 
Doctrine issues in a mystery in all directions because 

1 Here, as in other cryptic literatures and especially that of alchemy 
if we can find something which will serve as a key, the house of 
mystery will give up its treasures, which does not mean that every point 
of symbolism will be placed of necessity in our hands, but we shall find 
the principle at work and the true subject. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

there is no place at which it enters into expression fully, 
so that the adequate materials are never in our hands. 
When things appear mutually or commonly exclusive, 
it will be little to our purpose if we decide that one of 
them seems to have a preferential claim, but we may get 
to our term if we can find a point of coincidence between 
the things which they tend to intimate, though they are 
scarcely expressed by any. 1 

According to the form of another school of sym 
bolism, I will proceed now to open the Lodge of Research 
by affirming that I am approaching The Book of the Zohar 
from a standpoint heretofore unattempted in the whole 
history of Kabalistic literature and criticism, so that I 
am as usual without precedents, while I am also without 
any specific intention of creating them. The remark is 
in a sense helpful, because those who are in favour of 
established ways and notions can take their proper warn 
ing before they go further. And again, in so far as it 
is possible, I should wish to exclude from the auditorium 
all those who understand the Scientia Kabalistica as an art 
of making, consecrating and using talismans and amulets, 
as a magical mystery concerning the power of Divine 
Names, or as the root matter of grimoires and ceremonial 
rituals of evocation. 2 I can at least tell them that they 
will be saved from disappointment if they go elsewhere 
for enlightenment : this is no guide to the perplexed in 
the paths of occult arts. I mention this matter because 
there is a debased Kabalism, improperly so called, which 

1 To give almost a frivolous example of disparities which arise in 
this way, the Zohar proper everywhere condemns astrology, but The 
Faithful Shepherd, a tract inserted at different points of the text, acknow 
ledges one of its root principles. Z., Pt. II, fol. 42a ; DE PAULY, III, 191. 

a I do not refer here to what is sometimes called the Practical Kabala, 
in which are included the artificial methods of Gematria, Notaricon and 
Temura, which are principles of exegetical interpretation. I have said all 
that is necessary on this subject in my earlier study, and they are apart 
from the present concern. The reader may consult also DR. W. WYNN 
WESTCOTT : An Introduction to the Kabalah, 1910. These methods are 
old ; about the Magical Kabalah, the antiquity must be left unsettled : 
regarding its folly and iniquity there is no question. 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

deals in these putative mysteries and claims some roots 
in the past, as if it belonged to the old tradition of Israel 
when it is not even a reflection. The mind of the Zohar 
on the subject of the occult sciences will be shewn 
towards the end of this study, so that there may be no 
mistake hereon at the term of quest. I mention it at 
this initial stage, so that there may be no mistake now. 

I have termed the present chapter The Hidden Church 
of Israel^ but it is not in the sense of suggesting that 
there was any formal incorporation, 1 much less that there 
were secret religious rites and ceremonies in use among 
a company of adepts ; it was an entirely inward, spiritual 
and mystic church, for all purposes of which the official 
forms of the external Holy Assembly would have been 
held to be of sufficient efficacy, had the Temple, during 
the period when the Zoharic records came into existence, 
stood at Jerusalem, as it did in the days of old. One 
reason is 2 that the Secret Doctrine was judged to be 
inseparable from the literal or written word ; it was 
developed sometimes as if to deepen its meaning and 
extend its office, never to make it void within its own 
measures or in the place to which it belonged. 3 Our 

1 At the same time we do meet with a number of occasional instances, 
the suggestion of which is almost as if the colleagues formed a College 
of Initiates. Sometimes it even looks as if there were almost a cere 
monial manner of imparting mysteries. See, for example, Z., Pt. I, fol. 
I33a; DE PAULY, II, 124. Again, it is said that the mysteries were 
guarded secretly in the hearts of those who possessed them and com 
municated secretly to each other. /., fol. 960 ; I, 550 For further 
allusions, see ib., fol. I33a; II, 124 ; ib., fol. I55b; II, 212, shewing that 
what was known by one of the adepts was not always familiar to 
another; ib., Pt. II, fol. 8b ; III, 3b ; ib., I4a; III, 61 ; ib., fol. i68a; 
IV, 116 ; ib., Pt. Ill, fol. i8;a ; V, 490. 

2 In illustration of this, there is one similitude which says that the 
Written Doctrine is the candle or lamp, while the flame is the Oral Law. 
Z., Pt. II, fol. i66a ; DE PAULY, IV, 112. 

8 The thesis was that the written word of Scripture, in every passage 
and syllable, was the word of the living God. The meanings, however, 
were many, but they are usually reduced to three : (i) the historical 
sense, which corresponds to the Court of the Temple ; (2) the moral 
sense, which answers to the Holy Place ; and (3) the mystical sense, 
which is in analogy with the Holy of Holies. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

first task is therefore to ascertain what is established in 
the Zohar concerning the fact of the Secret Doctrine; 
we must then take in succession the chief points of 
intimation on external doctrine and religion in Jewry, so as 
to elicit the sense of that tradition respecting each and all. 
Lastly, we must find if this indeed be possible * 
whether the tradition has a central root from which 
the great tree of the concealed knowledge has grown 
up ; whether also as I have said and how far we 
are concerned or perhaps even should be integrated 
therein as mystics of this day. I must add that while 
the last point is obviously the most important and vital, 
it can only be reached by the mediation of the two 

The question is therefore as to the fact of the Secret 
Doctrine and under what terms it is mentioned in the 
records. It is of course, broadly and generally, a method 
of interpreting Scripture, 2 but so far as this expression 
is to be understood in an ordinary sense as an actual 
and logical construction of the letter the interpretation, 
as I have indicated already, is of no value, for the most 
part. It is, however, to be understood after a mode of 
its own, and in the light of this it signifies little that 
the Doctrine, in respect of exegesis, is often arbitrary 

1 It is perhaps just to myself if I add in this place that, since I am 
not concerned with compilations as such, there would have been no 
excuse for the present work if I had not satisfied myself: (i) that such 
a root exists, and (2) that its nature can be set forth clearly. This has 
been implied already in several places. 

2 The symbolism of the Secret Doctrine is also extracted from 
Scriptural words and phrases which antecedently seem far from the 
mark. The word " waters," as it is used sometimes in the Talmud, is 
said to signify the Secret Doctrine, and when David cried : " Create 
in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Ps. ii, 
12), he was praying for his heart to be opened by the study of divine 
mysteries. So also it is said : " Let the waters under the heaven be 
gathered together into one place" (Gen. i, 9). The waters refer to the 
Secret Doctrine, and the one place designates Israel, whose soul 
depends from that region to which Scripture alludes in the words, 
" Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place" (Ezek. ii, 12). The 
"glory of the Lord" signifies the Shekinah below and "from His place " 
signifies the Shekinah above. 


"The Hidden Church of Israel 

to the last degree ; one would scarcely expect it to be 
otherwise, having regard to the Rabbinical mind. And 
the great point is that the mills of those lesser gods who 
are called Sons of the Doctrine ground out great things 
in their processes pure and precious jewels of the spirit 
as well as much dust and many rough stones from the 
matter which they passed through their mills. It is only 
as if casually that the word interpretation x can be held 
to apply in any solid sense : the Secret Doctrine is rather 
the sense below the sense which is found in the literal 
word as if one story were written on the obverse side 
of the parchment and another on the reverse side. This 
is not an exact comparison, but it gives my meaning 
clearly enough for the purpose. There are hard things 
said from time to time about the outward sense and 
they must not be taken too seriously, for the letter was 
always precious, if only as a vesture ; but the difference 
between that which was within and without is well 
illustrated 2 by a similitude which says that those who 
interpret Scripture according to the literal sense set the 
Sacred King and His Bride upon an ass, while those who 
understand it according to a mystic sense mount them 
nobly on a horse. 3 This notwithstanding, the two belong 
to one another, because the Written Law is completed by 
that which is traditional, 4 and the latter issues from the 

1 The canon of interpretation is often exceedingly simple : for example, 
any reference to vegetation coming up out of the ground is explicable by 
symbolical vegetation, the one and the other being confused together, 
and either taken to explain the other. In Ps. Ixxxv, u, it is said that 
"truth shall spring out of the earth," and literal grass is held therefore 
to signify truth. 

2 The Zohar gives another illustration when it says that the Oral 
Law enlightens the Written Law. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 23a ; DE PAULY, 
V, 61. 

Z.,Pt. III,275b; VI, 47- 

* The Written Law is designated in another place under the name 
of heaven, while the Oral Law is called earth. On the surface this 
appears somewhat against the more obvious sense and intention, but 
what is signified may be an obscure counterchange in virtue of corre 
spondences between things above and below, and this is a recurring 
Zoharic doctrine. /&, Pt. I, fol. 247b ; II, 578. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

former as woman was brought forth from man : it can 
exist only in union with the Written Law, and this it 
serves to enlighten by the hypothesis at least. We 
shall see at the proper time that chief among the root 
doctrines is that Jehovah is one with Elohim in a sense 
which is very far from the theological understanding 
of Scripture ; but it is held also that the Written Law 
is the image of Jehovah, as the Oral Law is of Elohim, 
meaning the Holy Shekinah, from which it would follow 
that at heart they are two aspects of one and the same 
Law. That which is oral is called the voice of the 
turtle, 1 and it comes from the side of mercy ; it is 
also the green wood, while the literal Law is the dry, 2 
coming from the side of judgment. But as a further 
instance of the unity in both it is laid down that there 
are three things which are at once hidden and concealed 
being God, the Law and Israel itself. The vulgar 
man sees only the material side, but the initiate discerns 
also that which is buried within it. In virtue of this 
bond of union, we meet with intimations occasionally in 
which terms are applied to the one that seem referable 
rather 3 to the other. It is said, for example, that the 
Written Law is above and that which is Oral below, as 
also that the former penetrates and fructifies the latter. 4 
That which is without seems, however, to be clearly 
a manifestation of that which is within, though there 
is a sense also in which the Law was regarded as written 
on high ; but this I should understand to signify that 
the Oral Law passes into expression here and into 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 4b. ; DE PAULY, V, 9. 
1 /., fol. 27b, and V, 76. 

3 According to the rabbi in Longfellow s Golden Legend, all Bible 
lore is water and Mishna is a strong wine ; but according to the Zohar, 
it is the Written Law which is wine ; the Oral, however, is not water 
but milk. I conclude that the one is the lesser, the other is the greater 
salvation, according to the voice of the Doctrine. See Z., Pt. I, fol. 
24oa; II, 549. 

4 Z., Pt. II, fol. 2ooa ; DE PAULY, IV, 200 ; also Z., Pt. II, fol. 2o6a 
and IV, 208. 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

realisation there. To conclude upon these analogies: 
the manifested part bears no comparison with that which 
is contained within ; that which is essential is called the 
Soul of Scripture ; the commandments are its body and 
the tales are the garments thereof. This is in the world 
below, while in that which is above the Ancient of Days 
is the soul of soul in the Law ; the soul is that mystery 
which is called the Beauty of Israel ; the body is the 
Community of the Elect ; while the vesture is heaven 
and its region. Cursed be he, says the text, 1 who pre 
tends that the recitals of Scripture have no other meaning 
than that which appears on the surface. Scripture, if 
this were the case, would not be the Law of Truth, the 
Holy Law and the Perfect Witness, more precious than 
gold and jewels. If it contained only simple stories and 
such vulgar elements as of Esau, Hagar, Laban and 
Balaam s ass it would be possible to produce something 
better, apart from all inspiration, after the manner of 
profane books ; but the truth is that every word of 
Scripture enshrines a supreme mystery, and is capable 
of sixty methods of interpretation. 2 This is a character 
istic extravagance, but every one who has followed the 
quest of the mystic sense knows how manifold it is, and 
hence no doubt it has been testified that the original 
Zohar was a load for seven camels. That is like St. 
John saying : " I suppose that even the world itself could 
not contain the books that should be written/ if all the 
acts of Jesus were reduced into a complete memorial. 3 
I am very sure that the beloved disciple was guilty herein 
of no extravagant utterance, because Christ has been 
always in the world ; and I am not less certain that the 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, i49b; DE PAULY, V, 386, 387. 

8 lb., Pt. I, fol. 26a; DE PAULY, I, 161. It is said otherwise that 
there are sixty sections, which are the sixty queens of the Song oj 
Solomon. The "young maids" without number are the Halakhoth. 
lb., Pt. Ill, fol. 2i6a ; V, 548. Another statement concerns seventy 
modes of interpreting Scripture, all of which are true in their results. 
lb.. Pt. I, fol. 54a ; I, 310. 

3 St. John xxi, 25. 

17 B 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

extent of the Zohar has been understated, for the varia 
tions of inward meanings are numberless as the Sons 
of the Doctrine, and they are all true analogically, 
though some of them are brighter jewels and the pearls 
of greatest price may be few enough. Whatever belongs 
to man belongs also to Christ : so too the Divine Sayings 
are like the Divine Acts, and from the first time of 
manifestation until that moment when God shall be all 
in all, there is no end to either. 

Now, it is said that the inner sense of the Law is not 
less concealed than the world from which it emanates, 1 
wherefore the mysteries known to the Sons of the 
Doctrine are guarded secretly in their hearts. Those 
who apply themselves to its study receive as their in 
heritance the world to come as well as that of Jacob, 
for it is the path of the life to come. 2 He who is so 
dedicated and so consecrated is accounted as if he had 
received its sweet and heavenly words on Mount Sinai 
itself. 3 It is the way of the Garden of the Sacred King 
and the way of the King Himself. 4 A certain price has 
to be paid however, for it is said hyperbolically that the 
study of the Law succeeds only in the case of him who 
kills himself for the Law, meaning that it is a path of 
poverty, and a poor man is considered as one who is dead. 6 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. i56b ; DE PAULY, II, 215. 

2 /<., fol. i s8a ; 1 1, 220. I should perhaps mention here that consecra 
tion to the study of the Sacred Doctrine brings down what is called the 
Supplementary Soul which Zoharic Kabalism attributes frequently to all 
pious children of Israel who observe the Sabbath in the plenary sense. 
It remains with them during that day and returns whence it came. But 
it would seem that the Sons of the Doctrine are in permanent enjoyment 
of this added part. He who does not cultivate the mystic science is 
therefore in a state of deprivation. The soul is brought down by the 
voice of him who studies the Secret Doctrine and it comes from the land 
of the living, making him whom it overshadows equal to the angels. 
When it is said in Ps. ciii, 20, " Bless the Lord, ye His angels," the 
reference is to those who study the Doctrine and are called God s angels on 
earth. In the world to come they will have wings like those of the eagle. 

3 /, Pt. Ill, fol. I79b ; V, 471. * /., Pt. I, 224b ; II, 485. 

6 /., Pt. II, fol. i58b ; IV, 95. But against this, he who is dedicated 
to the study of the Law opens the 50 gates of Binah y corresponding to 
the letter Yod multiplied by the letter, Ill, fol. 2i6a; V, 548. 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

I have dealt so far with preliminaries, and if the next 
question be how did the Secret Doctrine originate, the 
answer seems that it was before the world was with God. 
The sense of this must be that it was implied in Elohim, 
whose image it is, as we have seen. Another explanation 
is that it is on the side of mercy, and by mercy the world 
was made : it is the beneplacitum termino carens. We find, 
moreover, that God created the world by joining thereto 
the Secret Doctrine. The world was founded thereon, 
and it is added that so long as Israel is consecrated to its 
study, so long will the world be stable. When the lovers 
of truth 1 rise for its study at midnight 2 the Holy One 
and all the just who are with Him in the Garden of Eden 
listen to their voices. 3 The versicle appertaining hereto 
is : " Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions 
hearken to thy voice : cause me to hear it." 4 We may 
understand by this that those who work below are really 
listening to the Voice which is above and that when they 
hear it, it is the mystery of doctrine which they hear. 
There is no need to add that the Voice is speaking in the 
heart. The word Bereshith with which Genesis opens, 
and which has been rendered sometimes " in wisdom," 
not " in the beginning," is said to signify the Secret 
Doctrine and its joining to the work of creation. The 
Scriptural allusion is: " The Lord possessed me in the 
beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was 
set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the 
earth was." 5 It will be observed that this is personified 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 77b ; DE PAULY, I, 454. 

2 I may mention at its value that the annotator of the French version 
distinguishes between that which the Zohar designates mysteries of 
doctrine and that which it calls mysteries of tradition. The first is the 
spiritual sense of Scripture and the second that of tradition. 

3 The study of the Doctrine is held to call for adornment of body as 
well as attention of mind. It was needful for the doctors who rose at 
midnight to clothe themselves for the purpose of study, out of respect to 
the Shekinah, who accompanies students of the Doctrine. Moreover, the 
study calls for serenity of mind, and it was held difficult to ensure this in 
a reclining posture. Z., Pt. I, fol. 72a ; I, 426. 

4 Song of Solomon , viii, 13. Z., Pt. I, fol. 77b ; I, 455. 
6 Prov. viii, 22, 23. Z., Pt. I, fol. 24b ; I, 153. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Wisdom testifying on her own part, and the application of 
the text by the Zohar in connection with the beginning of 
things is, under the circumstances, rather subtle. It goes 
on to affirm that this was the kind of beginning in which 
God created the heaven and earth, the basis of which is 
His Covenant. Hence it is said also : " If the Covenant 
which I have made existed not, there would be neither 
day nor night, neither heaven nor earth." 1 All accepted 
renderings of this passage from the Vulgate downward 
are quite different, but the point to be remembered is the 
allusion made to the Covenant in the particular con 
nection, for we shall find at a much later stage that it 
is the sign manual or visible of one of the Divine 
Hypostases and it is also one of the keys to the whole 
mystery of the Zohar. We are not, however, dealing with 
the question of creation at this point of our debate, and it 
has been mentioned only to indicate the seemingly eternal 
pre-existence of the Secret Doctrine. After what manner 
was the latter brought down to earth, so that it came to 
the knowledge of the elect ? The thesis of possession 
and successive custody depends from a legend of Paradise, 
and this in its turn arises from the Scriptural reference 
to a " book of the generations of Adam." 2 It is supposed 
by the Zohar to signify that there was a secret and supreme 
book, the source of all, including the Hebrew letters 3 
presumably in that form under which they are manifested 
below. It expounded the holy mystery of wisdom and 
the efficiency resident in the Divine Name of seventy-two 
letters. 4 It was sent down from heaven by the hands of 

1 This is the rendering of the Zohar, but the Authorised Version reads : 
" If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed 
the ordinances of heaven and earth ; then I will cast awav the seed of 
Jacob, and David my servant," &c. Jer. xxxiii, 25, 26. Compare the 
Vulgate : Si pact urn meum inter diem et noctem, et leges ccelo et terra 
non posui, equidem et semen Jacob et David, servi mei, projiciam^ &c. 

2 Gen. v, r. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 3?a etseq. ; DE PAULY, I, 231, 233. 

4 There are said to be three books which are opened in heaven on the 
first day of the year. The first is that which was transmitted to Adam, 
and this is the book of the just who are perfect. The second has a part 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

the angel Raziel 1 and Adam was entrusted therewith. 
Raziel is said to be the angel of the sacred regions and 
chief of the supreme mysteries. The gift placed Adam 
in a superior position to that of any celestial being 
presumably with the exception of the messenger, though 
indeed he may have carried that which he was not per 
mitted to understand. Adam became acquainted in this 
manner with Supernal Wisdom, 2 and the celestial choirs 
came down to be present when he read the book. He 
was cautioned, however, to conceal it, and he seems there 
fore to have studied it in silence with recollection of the 
heart. The book proved later on to be like the Lthet 
Gradalis or fundamental record concerning the Holy 
Graal, for it took unto itself wings at need when Adam 
his advantages notwithstanding fell ultimately into sin. 
It was clasped in his hands when he was driven out of 
the Garden of Eden, but thereafter it vanished, and for 
long and long he lamented the loss of his treasure. 
Ultimately it was given back to him, in answer to his 
tears and prayers, 3 by the angel Raphael ; he returned to 
its study and bequeathed it to his son Seth, who entrusted 
it to later messengers, so that the Secret Doctrine might 
be spread through the world. It became known as the 
Book of Enoch after passing through the hands of that 
patriarch, 4 and it is said that Abraham penetrated the 

in heaven and a part on earth, but it is not otherwise described. The 
third is the Written Law, which was designed for the first man and was 
presumably known of the heart, for it is not said that it was manifested 
at that time on earth. Ib. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 55b; I, 319,320. 

2 The Sacred Name of 72 letters was explained in the Genesis of Man 
by means of the 670 mysteries which it contains. The mystery of 
Chokntah discovered the 1500 keys which are not entrusted to any 
celestial being. 

3 The variant account in fol. 55b says that he smote his forehead 
when the work vanished and plunged up to his neck in the river Gihon, 
being the sacred river which flowed out from the " garden eastward in 
Eden." Gen. ii, 13. The result was that all his body was covered with 
wrinkles, so that he was no longer recognisable. 

4 There are several Enochian legends which offer curious points in 
themselves, but seldom connect with our subject. According to one 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

glory of his Master by means of its mysteries. Moses, 
however, was the first man who attained perfection in its 
fulness and perhaps on this account it is not suggested 
that he derived his knowledge from a book, so that after 
Abraham we hear nothing of the secret text : it was a 
treasure of the patriarchal age. The External Law and 
the Secret Doctrine were both revealed on Mount Sinai, 
and as Moses transmitted the one to his nation at large 
so he communicated the other to certain elders, by whom 
it was handed on. But there are two remarkable passages 
designed to shew that the whole secret knowledge came 
down to the Zoharic period under the darkening of suc 
cessive clouds. It is said that at the death of Moses the 
sun was eclipsed and that the Written Law lost its 
splendour. At the hour of King David s death the light 
of the moon diminished and the radiance of the Oral 
Law was tarnished. The consequence was that dis 
cussions and controversies began among the sages of the 
Mishna, so that the joy in the study of the Law has 
ceased for all future generations. 1 It was pursued pre 
viously in clear and full light, so that there was the 
union which comes from certitude among the Sons of 
the Doctrine, but afterwards it was followed from afar 
in a state of doubt and separation, amidst the wrangling 
of the schools, who saw only as in a glass and darkly. 
This state of things is sometimes symbolised by a division 
in the Divine Name, by the loss of the true method of 
pronouncing the Tetragram in conformity with its 
proper vowels, and so forth. Occasionally there are 
intimations of a new breaking of light, as when it is said 
that Ezekiel was less faithful than Moses, for he divulged 
all the treasures of the king, 2 but apparently those 

account, Enoch became the great archangel Metatron ; according to 
another, he was exalted to the high heavens and made guardian of their 
treasures, including the 45 keys to the combinations of graven letters. 
Z., Pt. I, fol. $6b ; DE PAULY, I, 326. 

1 Z M Pt. 1 1, fol. is6a, b; IV, 88. 

/*.,PtII,fol.5a; IH,i9. 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

treasures were not cast before doctors who whatever 
their zeal and sincerity were unable to value them in 
understanding at their proper worth. It was otherwise 
in the days of Rabbi Simeon, for the glory of the mystic 
light was at its zenith in him, according to the Zohar, 
which, considering that he was the revealer in chief of its 
doctrines, naturally exalts that master of wisdom above all 
the stars of heaven. It is added that from the day when 
Rabbi Simeon came out of his cavern 1 the mysteries were 
secrets no longer for the colleagues, because the Hidden 
Doctrine had become no less familiar to them than it was 
to their precursors in that day when it was revealed on 
Mount Sinai. But the time came when this great sun 
set in the hour of the master s death ; and when after 
wards his disciples and successors sought to reproduce 
the words which they heard from his lips, the attempt 
proved a failure. 2 The withdrawal of the Secret Doctrine 
is also mentioned, but with vestiges remaining over : these 
are to be concealed, as much perhaps because of their in 
completeness as because the Doctrine itself was secret. 3 

The last point which calls for our consideration here 
is whether the general references to the Secret Doctrine 
as a whole, apart from its various branches, offer any 
ground of presumption concerning its radical nature. 
Now, it is said that the Supreme Mystery is concealed 
in the Law, 4 that it is the secret of the Law, meaning 
the secret of the King Sacramentum Regis quod abscond ere 

1 The reference is to the Tract Sabbath, which contains the history 
of Rabbi Simeon, the reasons which led him to find refuge in a cave for 
twelve years and the circumstances under which he came out. See 
MICHAEL RODKINSON : Babylonian Talmud, vol. i, c. 2. 

2 This disposes of the ridiculous tradition that R. Simeon wrote 
anything in the cavern where he found a refuge from Roman imperial 

8 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2i6b, 2i7a; DE PAULY, II, 453-455. See also /., 
fol. 9a ; I, 50, from which it follows that the Secret Doctrine is the 
explanation and unfoldment of all. This is founded on Ps. xix, 6 : " There 
is nothing hid from the heat thereof." But this was the Doctrine in its 

/fc,fol.236b; 11,533- 

2 3 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

bonum est revealed only to those who fear sin, and that 
as to its nature, this is bodied forth by the sacred covenant 
concerning circumcision. 1 In other words, it is a mystery 
of sex. It was on account of this that Rabbi Simeon 
consecrated to the study of the Secret Doctrine the entire 
night in which the Heavenly Bride is united to her 
Heavenly Spouse, being the night of that day when the 
Law was revealed to the Israelites and the Covenant 
contracted between God and His people. The reason 
was that the mystic Knowledge constitutes the jewels of 
the Heavenly Bride. We can only understand this on 
the hypothesis that the science in question is concerned 
at some stage or under some aspect with a most holy 
mystery of sex, as if some unknown path of splendour 
and path to the height might open therefrom. It is 
said that "the King s daughter is all glorious within/ 
and the Zohar explains that there is glory and glory, a 
glory of the male and a glory of the female principle. 2 
It is said also, as if in connection with the pursuit of 
this path, that whosoever follows in the train of the 
Heavenly Bride on the night of union 3 shall be preserved 
from all evil for ever in heaven and on earth as if death 
and the second death had no power. He will enjoy 
celestial peace to the end of time. The counsel in this 
respect is : " Taste and see that the Lord is sweet." 

If the study of the doctrine adorns the Bride of 
Heaven with jewels, as we have just seen, it seems that it 
also adorns the soul of the student with all manner of 
graces and sanctities. When the Zohar affirms that 
his desert is far above anything which follows on 
mere works, there is no doubt that it gives expression 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 237 ; DE PAULY, II. 535. 

2 This is based on Ps. xlv. 13 : "The King s daughter is all glorious 
within," which the Zohar renders : "All the glory of the daughter of the 
King is within" ; and the Vulgate : Omnis gloria ejus filicz regis ab intus. 
The words are held to designate the Community of Israel. 

3 Z.,Pt. I, 9 a; I,5i. 

4 Ps. xxxiv, 8. 


The Hidden Church of Israel 

to a great truth, though it may be one that is reserved 
only for the understanding of the elect. But in the 
ordinary sense the explanation is that it enables good 
works to be fulfilled with knowledge, under the opera 
tion of Divine Will. Those who study the Doctrine are 
set free from fear whether of things in heaven or 
things on earth, whether of evils which may overwhelm 
mankind for they are grafted on the Tree of Life and 
are taught daily thereby. As regards things in heaven, 
the meaning is that the fear of God, which is the 
beginning of wisdom, has been absorbed by the love of 
God, which is wisdom in realisation, and the Divine 
Doctrine cannot be studied without imparting love for 
the Divine. To walk in the path of the Doctrine is 
therefore to follow the path of love ; it is said other 
wise to lead into the way of truth, so that we learn how 
the soul may return to its Master. It is not the work 
of a certain day, nor of a certain hour, but one of the 
day and the night. We come to understand in this 
manner that the study is a question of life, of living 
with the face towards Jerusalem, having the aware 
ness of God in the heart, and herein is the moyen de 
paruenir, the counsel of real living. We shall understand 
also why it is added that he who neglects or forsakes 
the study of the doctrine is not less guilty than if he 
separated himself from the Tree of Life, for he is leading 
the life of separation. 1 

The last considerations follow, as it seems to me, the 
ordinary course of thought in the direction to which they 
belong ; but the extracts out of which they arise are a 
counsel to those who would study the Secret Doctrine 
that there is needed a conscious union by intention, con 
templation, and the art of finding in the heart, so that 
the heart and mind of the student may concur in an 
ineffable union which is said to be consummated above. 
As to its nature we know enough to be certain that the 
1 Z., Pt. I., fol. i ia ; DE PAULY, I, 62. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

night thereof is not of a festival below but of the eternal 
oneness in that Divine Darkness which is called other 
wise in the records siin-Soph, the limitless and undif- 
ferentiated light. The festival of the Paschal Lamb in 
the calendar of Jewry is only a specific memorial on 
earth, so that what it is held to signify may be kept 
in the soul of Israel ; and this is not really an act of 
unreason ; on the contrary the intention is so to proceed 
here as if that which is remembered below is in particular 
remembrance above, yet the union there is in the still 
rest and the changeless simplicity, being infinite and 
eternal therein. Lastly, the extracts out of which these 
things arise would be worse than idle words if the quest 
concerning their meaning could be carried no further. 

It will be seen as we move forward on the strange 
path of our research that the Sons of the Doctrine were 
only from time to time, and as if by accident, concerned 
with reserving any common, or indeed any merely remote 
and arbitrary understanding of the Written Word in 
Israel ; that in short there was something, on the contrary, 
which at least from their point of view imposed a 
reasonable and even a zealous reserve, because it was pre 
eminently one of those matters which the unprepared 
and sensual mind would wrest to its own destruction. 



I SUPPOSE that there would be no more interesting study 
than the antecedents of Zoharic doctrine in the systems 
of the past. I speak of the more formal and if I may 
so put it more exoteric part, of that also which is not 
after its own order and manner within the measures of 
the mind of Israel. Such an undertaking is outside my 
whole proposition and would demand qualifications to 
which 1 make no claim, for it is somewhat late on my 
part to serve another apprenticeship. Special proficiency 
is not of course required to recognise in how many quar 
ters the great vistas open, and I suppose that in such a 
connection the discourse would begin as this chapter 
begins that is to say, on the nature of God in the trans 
cendence. I will reaffirm at the outset that I am con 
cerned here, as I shall be concerned throughout, with an 
attempt to ascertain whether there is anything which 
leads to some central point of all ; and I believe that we 
shall find it almost ready to our hands, as we did in dis 
cussing the nature of the Secret Doctrine. This point 
will recur continually, and so shall I look to reach in 
fine a culmination or term of quest, from which we shall 
be able to look back over the whole journey and survey 
it under one light. 

Speaking generally of God in the transcendence, we 
learn that the glory of the Holy One is so sublime and 
exalted so highly above all human understanding, that 
it remains eternally secret ; no man can penetrate the 
depths of the Divine Wisdom. The place of its exalta- 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

tion is unknown to men and angels, 1 and this is held to 
be intimated by the prophet when he said : " Blessed be 
the glory of the Lord from His place," or as the Zohar 
renders it, " in the place wherein He resides." I suppose 
that this may be regarded as a short introduction to the 
Doctrine of the Infinite, as this finds expression in the 
Zohar under the name of Ain-Soph, or the Divine Essence 
abiding in the simplicity and undifferentiation of perfect 
unity. The Latin equivalent \sfine carens, that is to say, 
without end, and it is customary to translate Ain Soph 
Aour as Limitless Light, that which is without end being 
held to be without beginning. Ain-Soph is, however, 
understood in the Zohar as the limitless mystery of 
Divine Thought, the centre of all and the secret of all 
secrets God unknown and unknowable in respect of 
His Essence. 2 The references to this state of Deity are 
comparatively few in the Zohar, 3 and it was unknown to 
the Book of Formation which preceded it. There are im 
portant developments concerning it in later Kabalism, 
which located it above Kether in the Sephirotic Tree and 
regarded this first Sephira sphere or numeration as the 
Throne of the Infinite, adding that Ain-Soph dwells in 
the hiddenness thereof. 4 

The Zohar testifies: (i) That God is essentially 
without form, 5 but in His manifestation He is seen 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. io3a ; DE PAULY, II, 18. See also Ezek. iii, 12. 

8 /., , fol. 2ia ; I, 129. 

3 It is important to establish this point because some confusion has 
been created on the subject by modern writers. In those portions of the 
Zohar which were rendered into Latin by Rosenroth he has introduced 
an interlinear commentary which gives a false impression as to the re 
currence of the doctrine throughout the text. M. Franck (La Kabbale, 
1843, pp. 173-176) introduces the term Ain-Soph in the course of a long 
Zoharic excerpt which is difficult to follow on the assumption that it is 
direct translation. Lastly, Mr. Mathers (The Kabbalah Unveiled^ 1887), 
who failed to render even Rosenroth s Latin correctly, produces the latter s 
commentary with additions of his own and increases the confusion further. 

* See Kabbala Denudata : Apparatus in Librum Sohar, Pars Prima, 
p. 81. 

6 Z., Pt. I, 27$a; DE PAULY, II, 644. The text derives its autho 
rity in the usual amazing manner from the Son* of Solomon, vii, n, 12: 
u Come, my belovod, let us go forth into the field ; let us lodge in the 


The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

or discerned under different aspects, according to a scale 
of degrees extending to 32 and constituting the Paths of 
Wisdom, which will be mentioned hereafter in connection 
with the Book of Formation. (2) That the most secret of 
all mysteries is that which is called Nothing, 1 being the 
Most Holy Ancient, from Whom the light flows forth. 2 
This notwithstanding, it is affirmed (3) that in the essence 
of the Infinite there are neither intentions nor lights, nor 
brightness, 3 and the explanation is that although all lights 
emanate therefrom they are not in that state of clear 
shining which would enable man to grasp the nature of 
the Infinite. It is a Supreme Will. (4) That again 
this fact notwithstanding, the holocaust which has for its 
object to effect an union with the Holy of Holies ascends 
to din-Soph^ because all union and all perfection must 
tend to fusion with the Mysterious Unknown 4 Who is 
the object of all desires, though in d tn-Soph there are 
no desires, even while they subsist thanks only to Him. 
(5) That A in-Soph is symbolised by the letter Aleph* It 
seems to follow that later Kabalism was well within the 
measures of the symbolism when it posited A in-Soph as a 
hidden light above Kether at the head of the Sephirotic 

By a kind of flowing forth or emanation, which is 
distinct as such from pantheism, there were produced 
four worlds in succession, and as again the developments 

villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards ; let us see if the vine 
flourish." This is contrasted with a Talmudic story concerning the son 
of Zoma, one of the four persons who penetrated into the Mysterious 
Garden ; but he remained on the hither side of the vineyard, which is 
taken to mean that he did not enter the 32 Paths of Supreme Wisdom. 

1 Z., Pt. II, 64b; DE PAULY, III, 283. It is founded on Ex. xvii, 7: 
"They tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?" 
which is supposed to contain a distinction between the Ancient and 
Jehovah, contrary to the unity of God in all degrees, and whether 
manifest or unmanifest. 

2 Ib., 43b; III, 194. 

3 Ib., Pt. II, 239a; IV, 267. 

7J.,Pt. III,26b; V, 74,75- 
8 /., 257a ; V, 597. 

2 9 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of these are chiefly in later Kabalism, being very elabo 
rate therein, it is desirable to see exactly what is said upon 
the subject in the fountain text. The references are in 
summary form as follows: (i) there is a Sephirotic 
degree entitled Malkuth, and it seems clear that to what 
world soever this name is allocated, one Sephira alone is 
signified, being that which is tenth in numeration and is 
actually called Malkuth^ signifying the Kingdom. (2) 
It is testified that Scripture makes use of the three ex 
pressions " to create, to form and to make " 2 in allusion 
to the three worlds which are below the world of emana 
tion. It follows that the four worlds are those of Emana 
tion, Creation, Formation and Manifestation, Action, the 
material universe, or as it is called by Rosenroth Mundus 
Factionis? The Hebrew equivalents are Atziluth, Briah, 
Tetzlrah and Assiah. (3) The union of God and His 
Shekinah takes place, as we shall see, in Atziluth* the 
world of Emanation, where there is no separateness ; the 
angels of Brtah form the body of Shekinah, 5 when she 
descends therein, and this world is called the region of 
the Throne. It is said that the princes of Israel, the 
wise, the intelligent, the zealous, heroes, men of truth, 
prophets, just men and kings are all from the world of 
Emanation, but there are others from the world of Crea 
tion, whereof Shekinah is the sacrifice. But this is not to 
be taken literally. (4) There is also a reference to three 
worlds of divine hiddenness. 6 The first can be neither 
seen nor discerned and is known only to Him Who is 
concealed therein ; I suppose that this refers to A in-Soph. 
The second is attached to the first and the Holy One is 
manifested therein : it is presumably Atziluth. The third 
is the beginning of division, signifying created intelligence, 

1 Z., Pt. I, i8a; DE PAULY, I, 112. Malkuth is supposed to be 
designated by the word " bow," when it is said : " I do set my bow in 
the cloud." Gen. ix, 13. 

2 7&.,fol. i79b; 11,298. 

3 Kabbala DC mt data : Apparatus, Pars Prima, p. 12. 

4 Z., Pt. III,fol. lOQb; V, 276. 

Ib. /., fol. I59a; ,411,412. 


The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

and is the world of the superior angels : it is therefore 
Briah, according to later Kabalism. 

For the Sons of the Doctrine the four worlds of their 
conception were understood not only in their first or 
universal sense but in a manner particular to themselves, 
from which point of view the worlds in their synthesis 
are symbolised in later Kabalism by the Hebrew word 
Pardes, signifying a Garden and understood as that of 
Paradise, the consonants of which are the initial letters of 
four words signifying (a) the literal sense of the word 
of Scripture, (b) the symbolical sense, (c) the allegorical 
sense, and (d) the mystical or Kabalistic sense. 1 It was a 
question of correspondence and went to shew in the 
eloquent manner of symbolism that the Divine Word 
is truly Divine in all its stages and that its study is an 
ascent from the world of manifested things to that of 
Deity. So also it was out of the literal sense of Scripture 
that the doctors derived their exalted notion of things 
unseen and of Him Who reigns not alone in the world to 
come but in this which we see with our eyes, Who fills 
them both and by Whom the soul is replenished on all the 
planes of being. 

Now it follows from the Kabalism of every period that 
these four worlds are subdivided into ten spheres, which 
are called Sephiroth or Numerations, and they are con 
ventionally described thus : 

1. KETHER^the Crown. 

2. CHOKMAH = Wisdom. 

3. BINAH = Understanding. 

4. CHESED = Mercy. 

5. GEBURAH =Severity or Judgment. 

6. TIPHERETH = Beauty. 

7. NETZACH = Victory. 

8. HOD -Glory. 

9. YESOD = Foundation. 

10. MALKUTH =The Kingdom. 

1 Kabbala Demi data : Apparatus Pars Prima, p. 12. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Their further consideration will follow, but we are 
concerned at the moment with the way in which these 
spheres are allocated to the worlds of Kabalism. Now 
the Zohar speaks of three Supernal Degrees or Divine 
Hypostases, and the first of them is called Kether. 1 It is 
said also that when the world of manifest things was in 
the state of Tohu, God revealed Himself therein under 
the Hypostasis Shaddai ; when it had proceeded to the 
condition called Bohu He manifested as the Hypostasis 
Sabbaoth ; but when the darkness had disappeared from 
the face of things He appeared as Elohim. Hereto 
appertain the words: "And the spirit of God moved 
upon the face of the waters," 11 understood as a reference 
to the sweet and harmonious voice heard by Elijah and 
termed : "The Voice of the Lord is upon the waters." 3 
This signifies the completion of the Sacred Name 
Jehovah. Hence in the vision of Elijah it is said that 
" the Lord (Jehovah) was not in the earthquake :" it was 
Shaddai. He was not in the fire ; this was Sabbaoth ; 
but He was in the still small voice, being that of the 
Spirit of Elohim, and the name of Jehovah was complete. 4 
It is said also that this name is composed of four letters, 5 
the relation of which to the Divine Essence is like that of 
the limbs to the human body ; 6 but this notwithstanding, 
the Hypostases are three only. Now, as Kether is the 
first, it is to be inferred that Chokmah and Binah consti 
tute the other two, and the world of Atziluth or Emana 
tion will be completed in these. They are symbolised by 
the three bars of the Hebrew letter Shin, 1 which also 
exhibits their essential unity. We may regard the point 
as determined by one further statement, according to 
which the First Light is symbolised by the Crown and 
the Second Light or Hypostasis forms the second Sephira. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 22b; DE PAULY, I, 139. z Gen. 1, 2. 

3 Ps. xxix, 3. 

4 I Kings xix. 11, 12. 6 Z., Pt. I, fol. i6a ; I, 97. 
Ib. 7 16., Pt. Ill, I94a; V, 502. 


The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

These lights appeared to Abraham, 1 and the third, which 
was seen by Jacob, 2 proceeds from the two first. 3 

It has been necessary to enter at some length into 
this involved subject because later Kabalism has compli 
cated almost inextricably the worlds of the Zohar. I 
now proceed to establish the following Sephirotic division 
as that which best represents the mind of the original 
text. To the first world of Alziluth are referred Kether, 
Chokmah and Einah ; to the second world of Eriah are 
allocated Chesed, Geburah and Tip here th ; Tetzirah com 
prises Netzach) Hod and Tesod ; while Assiah is Malkuth, 
as I have said at the beginning of this study. The ten 
Sephiroth are therefore contained within the four worlds. 

According to the Zohar, the Sephiroth are comparable 
to chariots for the degrees of the Divine Essence, and the 
word degrees, which is used very frequently in the text, 
illustrates after a simple manner the idea of gradations in 
the nature of the Presence as the spheres of manifestation 
proceed further from the centre. The supernal world 
contains the highest degrees of which the human mind 
can conceive by the intellection of faith, and Kether, 
Chofonah, Einah form an unity therein. It will be seen 
from previous extracts that Eriah is the world of created 
intelligence, though it would seem that its content flows 
over into Tetzirah. The third and the fourth world are 
not described in the Zohar, but their names indicate that 
as in Eriah God created the forms of consciousness to 
which He could manifest Himself by divine modes, so in 
Tetzirah He produced the pattern, idea or archetype of 
the visible and material cosmos, referred to Assiah. The 
names allocated to the ten Sephiroth are on their surface 
conventional and arbitrary at least in certain cases. 
We can recognise that Malkuth is appropriate in respect 
of the visible world, and that Kether is the crown or 
summit of the entire Sephirotic system. Mercy and 

1 Gen. xviii, I. 2 Gen. xxxii, 31. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2ia, b; DE PAULY, I, 130, 131. 

33 c 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

severity will be found to explain the reason why they are 
ascribed to certain Sephiroth when arranged as what is 
called the Tree of Life in Kabalism. Tesod has a deep 
significance which* we shall come to understand later; 
but the names of Victory and Glory are without inter 
pretation, even in later Kabalism, which can be said to be 
of moment. 

The source of Zoharic information respecting the 
ten Sephiroth or Numberings is in the Sephcr Tetzirah or 
Book of Formation. 1 It is a work which is assigned to 
several periods by scholarship, and if we take the middle 
view we should place it very early in post-Talmudic 
times let us say roughly, the fourth century of the 
Christian era. A summary of what is found concerning 
the Sephiroth in this tract is necessary as a point of de 
parture. They are termed ineffable, without beginning 
and without end ; they are an abyss of good, but one 
also of evil ; they are height and depth unmeasured, 
illimitable on the right and on the left, in each of the 
four quarters. They are said to give forth the ten 
numbers, and the correspondences established respecting 
the latter must apply presumably to the sources from 
which they emanate. The sequence however seems arbi 
trary to the last degree, and I have found nothing in the 
Zohar which can be held to connect therewith. They 
are briefly as follows : I. The Spirit of God. II. The 
element of air, meaning the air which is set in motion 
by the utterance of the voice and which produces in this 
manner the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. 
III. Water, from which is condensed the element of 
earth. IV. Fire, in connection with which is the Throne 
of Glory ; there are also the angelic Orders of Auphamm, 

1 The English reader may consult DR. WYNN WESTCOTT S trans 
lation of The Sephcr Yetzirah, of which two editions have appeared. 
The little text is mentioned twice in the Zohar. See Ft. II, fol. iSyb, 
where it is quoted to prove that the Sephiroth are not eleven but ten, 
and lb,, fol. 3153, where its authorship is referred to the patriarch 
Abraham, in accordance with tradition. 


The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

Seraphim and Kerubim. V. The Height. VI. The 
Depth. VII. The East. VIII. The West. IX. The 
North. X. The South. From this point of view, the ten 
Sephiroth represent doctrines of extension in space and of 
the Divine manifesting therein. It is said that the Faith 
ful King rules all these from His Holy Seat, for ever 
and ever. It will be observed that the names allocated 
to the SephirotJi are wanting in this description, nor do 
I pretend to say when or in what work they are met 
with for the first time. Something will depend on the 
date to which we assign the Zohar itself: if it is earlier 
than the commentaries on the Sepher Tetzirah by Judah 
Halevi and by Eben Ezra, it may have been for all that 
I know to the contrary the authority for the ten names. 
It should be noted further that the Sephiroth are repre 
sented as good and evil equally, which seems reasonable 
in respect of that world of dimensions wherein both 
principles manifest. The Zohar has developments of its 
own on this subject and something must be said of them 
later. The diagrams which represent the Sephiroth in 
the form of the Tree of Life are unknown to The Book 
of Formation, nor can they be deduced therefrom. Here 
also the origin is doubtful, but a certain form is met 
with in the Zohar, or perhaps it would be more accurate 
to say that it is implied continually therein. Passing 
to this work, I will give the indications suggesting the 
arrangement mentioned. There is firstly the Middle 
Pillar and there are the Right and Left sides, correspond 
ing to Mercy and Severity. Chokmah is on the right of 
Kether and Binah on the left. 1 Chesed is the right and 
Geburah the left arm. Netzach and Hod are the right 
and left hips. The right side is life and the left is 
death. 2 The pillars of Mercy and Severity are thus 
completed, according to the scheme of the Tree. The 
Middle Pillar is one of the Hypostases in the Divine 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 26b ; DE PAULY, I, 164, 165. 

2 /., Pt. I, fol. 22b; I, 139. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Essence, and it is called the Perfect Pillar. 1 The light 
of the right side, which is active, enters therein, and so 
does the passive light of the left. The Word issues 
from this union. Elohim forms the Middle Pillar and 
therein are the union and fecundity of the waters above 
and below, meaning Sephirotic degrees. 2 Children, life 
and the means of existence come therefrom : 3 it is 
" mine eldest son, Israel." 4 The four rivers of Eden 
seem to be Chesed, Geburah, Netzach and Hod? The 
Middle Pillar is the Tree of Life, and perhaps the two 
other pillars are together the Tree of Knowledge of 
Good and Evil but it is all speculation and all is high 
convention. There is no evil when these are united 
with the central pillar, which is called the seventh day, 6 
the Sabbath and the tent of peace. 7 It is the peace in 
particular between the light of the right side and thi.t 
which in another place is called the darkness of the left. 8 
The Talmud and the Mishnah come from the Middle 
Pillar. 9 There are many contradictory allocations, as 
for example, when the Middle Pillar is called the son 
of Tod but also the He, which is Binah. The Middle 
Pillar is also the master of the house. 11 It is said of the 
right arm that it draws the immensity of space in love, 
like the arm of the male drawing the female. 12 The law 
of faith is on the right side. 13 The left arm draws the 
immensity of space in rigour. 14 The serpent constitutes 
the left arm and thence emanates the impure spirit. It 
is the side of water and the side of sadness. These en 
gender darkness and the way of escape is by the harmony 

I Z., Pt. I, fol. i6b; DE PAULY, I, 101. a Ib., fol. i;a; I, 103. 
3 Ik., fol. 24a ; I, 149. * Exodus iv, 22. 

5 Z., Pt. I, fol. 28a; I, 178. 

6 Ib., fol. 47b ; I, 276. 7 /., fol. 48a ; I, 279. 

8 Ib., fol. 254a; II, 599. a /., fol. 2553; II, 601. 

10 Ib., Pt. II, fol. ii5b ; III, 445. We shall see that from one point 
of view this is supported by an independent text imbedded in the Zohar, 
but the text general presents a different aspect. 

II /., Pt. III,272a; VI, 37. 
12 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 64a; 1,375. 

18 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 8 2 a ; III, 343. 14 /<*., Pt. I, fol. 64a ; I, 375- 


"The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

which can be instituted between the Mercy or Grace of 
Chesed and the Severity of Geburah^ The left side is 
without pity in the state of separation, 2 yet she who is 
Matrona according to another allocation is the left side 
and it is known that she is the mother of Mercy. 3 A 
day will come when the evil, that is the left, side shall 
disappear and good will obtain only. 4 It is said further 
that the Mercy and Severity of Chesed and Geburah are 
united in Tiphereth? The holy degrees are declared to 
emanate from the holy side and the impure degrees from 
the impure side. 6 It follows that the Zohar bears out 
the thesis of the Sepher Tetzirah when this work describes 
the Sephiroth as the abyss of good and evil. It gives no 
explanation which will help us to understand this, though 
it speaks in one place of the union between good and 
evil 7 as a secret or mystery and indicates in another that 
there is a sense in which the left side is on the way of 
attainment. 8 It was possibly the difficulties arising from 
the allocation of evil to spheres in which God was present 
everywhere 9 that led the later Kabalists to suppose that 
the ten Sephiroth were repeated in each of the four 
worlds ; but this development does not really deal with 
the point at issue, and as there is no further light thereon 
we must be content to pass over it, remembering that, 
almost in the words of the text, the Middle Pillar draws 
the right and left sides, the good and the evil together, 
in which union evil dissolves as such and the good obtains 
entirely under the name of Benignity which is that of 
the Middle Pillar. It is a question of transmutation. 
The conventional Tree of Life connects the Sephiroth 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. io3b; DE PAULY, II, 21. 2 /., fol. igSb; II, 387. 
3 /., fol. 25oa ; II, 584. * Ib., Pt. II, fol. I9oa ; IV, 175. 

5 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 23 3 a ; V, 563. 6 Ib., I, 203!) ; II, 409. 

7 Ib., Pt. 1 1, fol. 34a; IV, 166. 

8 /., 6ob; III, 268; and i I4b; 111,443- 

The mystery deepens when it is affirmed that there is no other God 
comprised outside the ten Sephiroth, and that the Shekinah, who is a 
Divine Hypostasis, dwells in each Sephira. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 
V, 276. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

together by means of lines which are called paths, being 
twenty-two in number, and these in connection with the 
Sephiroth themselves constitute the thirty-two paths of the 
Sepher Telzirah. As there are several forms of the Tree, 
according to different commentators, I have reproduced 
those which are regarded as of authority. They do not 
represent adequately the mind of the Zohar, and I have 
therefore added one which seems to be more in conson 
ance, especially regarding the Tetragram. Serving as it 
does to reconcile statements to which considerable conse 
quence attaches, I am of opinion that it is a proper 
supplement to the accepted forms. We must remember, 
however, that late Kabalism arose to account for the 
difficulties, omissions and discrepancies which prevail in 
the fountain text, and though I have had occasion to 
make various strictures, these are without prejudice to the 
fact that the work as a whole was done with sincerity 
and zeal, whence it is helpful in respect of occasional 
conciliation and from time to time as reasonable extension 
and inference. This notwithstanding, I believe that my 
diagram is more within the logic of the symbolism than 
are its alternatives in the printed text-books. It follows 
the two Idras, or Holy Assemblies, and it gives another 
aspect of the right and the left sides, which are always 
presented from the observer s standpoint, so that Chokmah 
is on the right of him when he is looking at the figure, 
while Geburah is on his left. On the contrary, what 
seems intended obviously in the Zohar is right and left 
in the order of procession on the Tree, or en the path of 
descent into manifestation. The distinction may seem 
unimportant at first sight, but it has enabled me to rectify 
the position of the consonants belonging to the Sacred 
Name in respect of certain Sephiroth, so that it is justified 
by a particular allocation, as well as by the reason of things. 
I will now summarise the correspondences of the ten 
Sephiroth in succession. Kether is the crown or head of 






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Facing page 38 

The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

the Tree. 1 It is the first Hypostasis but not apparently 
the First Cause or Cause of causes. 2 The meaning seems 
to be that the First Cause is A in-Soph. Kether contains 
within itself two Hypostases, presumably male and female. 3 
Jehovah manifests with Shekinah in the degree of Kef her.* 
In contradiction hereto it is said that the first and third 
Sephiroth are united as male and female. 5 It is said also 
that Kether and Chokmah are never in separation. 6 

As regards Chokmah, it is by the sublime and im 
penetrable mystery of this Sephira that the world exists 7 
and all other mysteries depend therefrom. 8 It is the 
second Sephira or Hypostasis and is called Man. 9 The 
house is built by Chokmah; it was concealed like the 
Supreme Point before the creation, 11 and it is called Tod) 1 
It is eternal wisdom, 13 and therein is concealed the eternal 
thought, which is the Great Voice, 14 or otherwise the still 
small voice which is the house of Eternal Wisdom. In 
contradiction to these indications it is said to be the sister, 
meaning thereby Shekinah. 15 It is also daughter and 
mother. It is the beginning of all. 16 

Binah is intelligence or understanding, 17 and its 
number is said to be fifty because of the Gates of Under 
standing. 18 It is the concealed world, 19 and motherhood 
is its image. 20 It is also penitence, 21 the degree of the 
moon, 22 the mystery of the supreme world, 23 and the com 
munity of Israel. 24 The letter He is allocated to Binah, and 
it is then described as the only daughter ; 25 it is the throne 

Z., Pt. I, 2ib; DE PAULY, I, 131. 2 Ib., fol. 22b ; I, 138. 

Ib., fol. 22b ; I, 139. 4 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 242b, 243a ; V, 581. 

Ib., Pt. I, fol. 3ib; I, 196 6 Ib., Pt. II, fol. lib; III, 51. 

Ib., Pt. I, fol. 3b ; I, 1 8. 8 Ib., fol. 7 ; I, 38. 

Ib., fol. 2ib ; I, 131. 10 Ib., fol. 29a ; I, 183. 

11 Ib., fol. 3oa ; I, 188. 12 Ib., fol. 3ia ; I, 194. 

11 /*., fol. 3 ib ; I, 195- 14 /A, fol. 5ob ; 1, 293. 

15 /., fol. i lib, H2a; II, 50, 51. 

lft Ib., Pt. I, Appendices III, Secrets of the Law; II, 732. 
17 Ib., fol. 7ia ; I, 420 J8 Ib., fol. io6a ; II, 34. 

19 Ib., fol. I54a ; II, 206. *> Ib., fol. is8a ; II, 220. 

21 Ib., Appendices II, Secrets of the Law; II, 662. 
11 Ib., Pt. II, fol. lib ; III, 51. " Ib., fol. 43b ; III, 194. 

" Ib., fol. 8sa ; III, 349. Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 27b ; V, 76. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of Mercy and the celestial fire which descends, as Mai- 
ktith is the throne of Justice and the fire which goes up. 1 
It is the sweetness of God 2 and constitutes the mystery 
of the Levirate. 3 The house is built by Chokmah and is 
established by Email* 

Chesed is the male side 5 and the patriarch Abraham 
is referred thereto. 6 The Divine Name Jehovah is attri 
buted to Chesed 1 and it is even called in one place the first 
degree of the Divine Essence. It is merit, as demerit is 
Geburah.* It is the place of revelations 9 and it is the twin 
sister who came into the world with the Vau which is 
contrary to the general trend of the symbolism. The 
Van is the son of Yod and He; it unites to the 
He, symbolising Chokmah and itself represents Binah. 11 
What, however, it represents really is the seven lower 

Geburah or Pachad is sometimes used in a good and 
sometimes in an evil sense ; 12 the world is based thereon 
in the sense that severity is indispensable but it could 
not subsist without Mercy. 13 It is said also to be the re 
pentance of God u and it seems even to connect with 
Samael. 15 It was by Geburah that Jerusalem was de 
stroyed. 16 

Tiphereth is beauty ; 17 it is the heart of the Sephirotic 
Tree and is called heaven. 18 It is also glory. 19 Netzach 
and Hod come from the celestial river. 20 In one place 
Netzach is placed in correspondence with the covenant. 21 

Z., Pt. Ill, fol. ^(Faithful Shepherd) ; DE PAULY, V, 89. 
7.,fol. 2i5b (Faithful Shepherd] ; V, 547. 3 Ib., fol. i6ib ; V, 416. 
Ib., Pt. I, fol. 32b ; I, 203. 6 Ib., fol. 94a ; I, 537. 

/., fol. i32b; II, 123. * 7 Ib., fol. i73b, i74a ; II, 282. 

Ib., Pt. I, Appendices I, fol. 2653 (Secrets of the Law) ; II, 626. 
/., Pt. II, fol. iiQb; III,46o. 10 /.Pt. III,fol. 77b; V, 210,211. 

11 Ib., fol. 247b (Faithful Shepherd) \ V, 585. 

12 Ib., Pt. I, fol. i6oa ; II, 228. 13 Ib., fol. i8ob ; II, 311. 
14 Ib., fol. 163,1 ; II, 237. 15 Ib., fol. 36a ; I, 223. 

16 Ib., fol. isia; II, 196. J7 Ib., fol. 34a ; I, 211. 

18 /A,fol.3ia; I, 195- " /.,Pt.II,fol.79b;III,332- 

20 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 68a ; V. 186. 21 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 24b ; I, 152. 


The Majesty oj God in Kabalism 

Netzach and Hod also represent the two Messiahs 1 men 
tioned by the Talmud. In the macrocosmic human figure 
Tesod is the organ of generation, and it receives light from 
the supreme Sephiroth." It is said to issue from the right 
and left sides meaning that it draws from both as 
Malkuth issues from Tesod. Malkuth is connected with 
Israel, regarded as the son of the king. 3 It is the rainbow, 
or at least the arch thereof. 4 It is also the lower firma 
ment. 5 

The following points may be drawn together in con 
clusion. All supreme degrees and all Sephiroth are one, 
and God embraces all the Sephiroth. The Law is Chesed. 
Binah is repentance, 6 and Malkuth is confession. God 
and the ten crowns are one. 7 To ascend to the Paradise 
above, it is necessary that souls should cleave to the 
Middle Pillar. 8 There is an unity of the ten Sephiroth, 
and 9 there is joy in the world when order reigns among 
them. 10 Finally the Holy One manifests in the Sephiroth 
for those who comprehend Him. 11 

The doctrine concerning the three Divine Hypostases 
is obviously that of a Trinity in Kabalism, and the heads 
of this subject must be considered in the next place in 
view of developments towards the end of my study, not 
to speak of the Christian implicits suggested by the 
simple expression. There are three that bear testimony 
in Atziluth, and these three are one. They are described 
after many manners, as, for example, when it is said that 
they are three lights, which form a single light. 12 But 
the chief symbolism is drawn from the Sacred Name, being 
Tod, He, Van, He, = Jehovah. Tod is the Father, He is the 

Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 243a, 243b (Faithful Shepherd) ; DE PAULY, V, 581. 

Ib., Pt. I, fol. 3ob; I, 191. 

Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 2233 (Faithful Shepherd} ; V, 563. 

/., Pt. I, fol. iSa ; I, 112. 5 Ib., fol. 33b; I, 209. 

Ib., fol. 286a (Secrets of the Law) ; II, 662. 

Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 7oa; V, 190. 8 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 21 ra ; IV, 219. 

Ib., fol. 673. ; III, 298. See also Pt. Ill, fol. 28a ; V, 80. 

10 Ib., Pt. II, fol. ;8b; III, 329. u Ib., Pt. I, fol. 24ia ; II, 554. 

11 Ib., Pt. I, fol. i;b; I, 103. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Mother and fait the begotten Son. 1 At the moment we 
will not affirm that these ineffable personalities are referable 
to Kether, Chokmah and Einah as might seem probable 
because later considerations may intervene to correct this 
view. Let us remember only that the Zoharic Trinity 
constitutes a Divine family in the world of heaven. Like 
the Christian Trinity, the letters which are their symbols 
are called one on account of the unity of God. 

We will now proceed one step further. Tod and He 
are the Supreme Mystery, 2 for ever impenetrable. 3 On 
the Tod are all things based, 4 and it is never in separation 
from the He. 5 As the prototypical male principle, it has 
man for another symbol. 6 He is the female principle, 7 
and it has woman therefore as its emblem ; it signifies 
many mysteries, 8 and its true name is Shekinah. Because 
the letter He is duplicated in the Sacred Name it is said 
to terminate both the first and second parts thereof. 9 
The world was created by the He, 10 or alternatively by the 
Tod and He in the perfection of their concurrence. 11 The 
Vau is the " free Son," 12 and it is this which diffuses all 
blessings. 13 The Tod unites with the He, as male with 
female, and gives birth to the Vau as Son. 14 The three 
dwell together in unity. 15 Vau is the eternal world. 16 

So far in respect of the three Divine Hypostases ; but 
there is the He final which completes the Sacred Name, 

I An important analogous intimation occurs early in the Zohar. The 
Scriptural reference is " Let there be light" (Gen. i, 3), which in Hebrew 
is Titf VP, the first word being the verb in the imperative. It should be 
remembered here that Hebrew is read from left to right. This word, 
Yod, He, Yod, is regarded as a symbol of the three Divine Hypostases 
occurring at the opening of Genesis and designed to shew that the three 
are one. The first Yod is the Heavenly Father, the He is the Divine 
Mother, while the third Hypostasis is indicated by the second Yod and 
proceeds from the first two. Z., I, i6b ; DE PAULY, I, 99, 100. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. I59a ; II, 225. 3 Ib., fol. 232b ; II, 517. 

4 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. lob ; V, 31. 6 Ib., fol. 2ygb ; VI, 54. 

6 Ib., fol. 34a; V, 89. Ib. 8 Ib., Pt. II, fol. i8ob; IV, 152. 

9 Ib., Pt. Ill, 8 9 b ; V, 240. 10 Ib., fol. 298a ; VI, 125. 

II Ib., Pt. II, 22b ; III, 113. 12 Eccles. x, 17. 

13 Z., Pt. I, I2 4 b ; II, 98. ^ " Z., Pt. II, I2 3 b ; III, 478. 

15 Ib., Pt Ill, 92a ; V, 245. 16 Ib., fol. 2520 ; V, 591. 


The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

and this is called the Daughter. 1 It is said of this 
Daughter 2 that the He came down to earth. 3 The first He 
is liberty above and the second is liberty below. 4 The 
High Priest depends from the He which is above but 
the ordinary priest from that He which is below. 5 It 
follows that two letters of the Name belong to the male 
principle namely, 2Wand Vau two also to the female, 
being He primal and final. The engendering of the whole 
world depends on these two principles. 6 The second He 
will rise from the earth, meaning that it will be united 
with the Divine Hypostases in the world of transcen 
dence. 7 The Van will be united to the He* and when 
the Van is thus attached, as a bridegroom to the Bride, 
there will be union everywhere between the Tod and 
the He above, between the Van and the He final. 9 

The location of these symbolic personalities is our 
next question. Now, it is said that the Tod is Chokmah^ 
while the He is "Bin ah this being repeated in another place, 
where it is added that they sustain the Vau, but without 
intimating the location of this letter or of the second He 
which is represented as in union therewith. 11 For informa- 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2;b ; DE PAULY, I, 174. 

2 Ib., fol. 354b ; II, 600. There is another symbolism as follows. 
When the letter Yod is written at length in Hebrew it is composed of 
Yod, Van and Daleth. Yod is the Father of all, Vau as seen already 
is the begotten Son, and Dalelh is the Daughter that is, the Daughter 
of Matrona. The imagery is exceedingly mixed as this Daughter is said 
to proceed from the Father and the Son, whereas it is certain in the 
sense of things and is plain from the text elsewhere that the He primal 
of the Sacred Name produces in union with the Yod not only the Son, 
being Vau, but his Sister, who is also her daughter and in the natural 
succession of the Divine Name is therefore the He final. Here however 
the Yod as Father is probably implied as abiding with the Divine Mother. 
Ib., Pt. Ill, lob ; V, 31. It is not of much consequence to the purpose 
in view whether it is possible or not to harmonise distinct symbolisms 
on this subject : it is sufficient that they help to formulate the Kabalistic 
notion of the Trinity in the supernal world. 

3 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 354b ; II, 600. * Ib., Pt. II, fol. i83a ; IV, 109. 
5 Ib.. Pt. Ill, fol. 8gb ; V, 240. 6 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 223a ; IV, 250. 
7 Ib., Pt. I, fol. u6b; 11,66. 8 Jb., fol. nga ; 11,76. 

9 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 267b; VI, 23. 10 /*., Pt. II, fo). 123!); 111,478. 
11 Ib., Pt. 1 1 1, fol. 153; V, 394- 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

tion on these points we must transfer our attention from 
the Zohar proper to some of the additional materials 
connected therewith and mentioned briefly in my preface. 
There are four texts incorporated at wide intervals which 
have been held to offer a macrocosmic and microcosmic 
scheme of a very different nature to anything that appears 
in the Zohar itself, though the latter has certain references 
unimportant indeed comparatively and again at wide 
intervals which recognise the authority of the incre 
ments. 1 These texts contain further strange revelations 
of Rabbi Simeon, in the form of disquisitions at length 
on his part and occasional remarks elicited by his pupils 
from him. It is held, or tends to be held, that these are 
the most ancient parts of the whole collection ; but as on 
the one hand the Zohar proper refers occasionally to these, 
so do the latter draw from the body of the work. While 
their symbolism is not only anthropomorphic of set pur 
pose but is what would be called monstrous so far as 
modern taste is concerned, they contain in certain direc 
tions the most important intimations to our subject 
considered as a whole. I should perhaps add at this 
point that three out of the four tracts are those which 
were rendered into Latin by Rosenroth, 2 imperfectly 
enough from the standpoint of scholarship, though his 
version serves practical purposes for the Latin-reading 
student. Unfortunately he added a considerable amount 
of commentary and explanation drawn from the later 
Kabalists, with the result that the issues are confused 

1 For references to what is called the Divine Head, see Z., Pt. I, 
fol. 6sa; DE PAULY, I, 381. Ib., fol. 232* ; 11,515. Ib., fol. 25 ib; II, 
591, 592. Ib., Appendices III, fol. 6a ; 11,689. Ib., Pt. II, fol. 192!) ; 
IV, 79, quoted from a Book of Enoch. Ib., fol. 268!) ; IV, 302. Ib., 
Pt. Ill, fol. 7b; V, 21. Ib., fol. lob ; V, 30. Ib., fol. 48b ; V, 135. 
Ib., fol. 66b; V, 183. Ib., fol. ii9b; V, 306. For the Doctrine of 
Countenances, see /., Pt. II, fol. Gib; 111.271. /&.,fol.64b; 111,283. 
For the Great Adam, see Ib., Pt. I, fol. I34b ; II, 132. Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 
48a; V, 132. 

2 See Kabbalcs Denudata Tomus Secundus, Pars Secunda, pp. 


"The Majesty of Goa in Kabalism 

and the unversed reader can only obtain with difficulty a 
notion of the Zoharic teaching as apart from its develop 
ments. The tracts in question are The Assembly of the 
Sanctuary, The Secret Book, The Great and Holy Assembly 
and The Lesser Holy Assembly} We can pass over the 
first of these, as Rosenroth was guided wisely in omitting 
it ; it seems contradictory and inextricable in its symbolism 
and is, speaking roughly, a sort of summary of a good 
deal that follows afterwards in a better and fuller form 
The Secret Book comprises a discourse concerning The 
White Head, the Ancient, or the Great Countenance. 
The same subject is continued in The Great and Holy 
Assembly^ and therein the White Head is described as 
Ancient of Ancients, concealed of all concealed, and 
only imperfectly definable. 2 He who is symbolised 
thereby is the Master with the white mantle and resplen 
dent visage, and he is also called Holy of Holies. The 
Countenance is described at great length, the hair and 
the beard of snow which depend therefrom. We learn 
that the eyes are without lids because the eyes never 
close in slumber, 3 as their sacred and beautiful light 
shines on the worlds for ever. It has been supposed 
by some modern students who have followed transla 
tions only that there is no body attached to the White 
Head, but this is an error, as the navel is mentioned 

1 The Assembly of the Sanctuary is inserted towards the end of 
Part II, 6, and occupies folios 1220 to 1230. The Secret Book, called 
sometimes in translation The Book of Concealed Mystery, follows Part II, 
7, and occupies folios 1760 to I79a. The Great and Holy Assembly is 
placed early in The Commentary on Numbers, i, Z., Pt. Ill, folios 
1270 to 1453. The Little Holy Assembly follows The Commentary on 
Deuteronomy, 10, Z., Pt. Ill, folios 2870 to 2960. 

2 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. I28a; DE PAULY, V, 334. The White Head was also 
without beginning and without end before its reign was established and the 
Crown, that is, Kether was assumed. The reference would seem there 
fore to Ain-Soph Aour, which pours down into Kether, and we shall see 
that the White Head is called Ain. At this point the Zohar and the 
mystical theology of pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite join hands. It 
should be understood, however, that the White Head is not Ain-Soph, 
but the first procession therefrom. 

3 Ib., fol. I29b; V, 339. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

twice in the text. 1 There is, however, no further 
allusion to parts of the personality below the head and 
beard. It would appear that the Face is turned in a 
peculiar manner, for though its eyes are mentioned in 
the plural, as if it would confront the observer in a full 
aspect, we are assured that it has no left side, 2 which 
would be that of severity, whereas mercy only and all the 
attributes of longanimity abide therein. 

Connected by means of a white thread 3 or bond of 
union with the Great Countenance, there is that which 
is called the Lesser Countenance, Little Form or Figure, 
which presents, however, a complete aspect of humanity 
and is extended through three symbolical worlds. The 
distinction between the two heads is that in this case the 
hair and beard are black. 4 The Lesser Countenance has 
eyelids, because it has periods of sleep, 5 a complete 
visage in manifestation because severity is one of its 
attributes, and a distinctive name, being Lord, whereas 
the Great Countenance is called Am, 6 or Nothing. 
These points notwithstanding, it is laid down (i) that 
the Lesser Countenance emanates from the Greater, 7 

(2) that the Greater metamorphoses into the Lesser, 8 

(3) that the latter is actually the former, as if seen 
through a curtain, 9 and more specifically that they are 
one and the same. 10 The body of this Sacred Form is 
described fully and is that of the male perfect in all its 

Of this Form there is a counterpart of perfect woman- 

1 Z Pt. Ill, fol. nia ; DE PAULY, V, 344. and fol. 134^ ; V, 353. 

* /* ., fol. i 3 oa ; V, 341. a // , fol. i28b ; V 335, 336. 

4 Z Pt III fol I32a; V, 346. The authorities are The Song of 
Solomon, v, II : "His locks are bushy, and black as a raven," and 
Dan vii 9- "The hair of his head like the pure wool, or as the 
Zohar gives it, "whitest and purest wool." It is to be noted, however, 
that when severity operates the hair of the White Head becomes black. 

6 //>., fol. i36b ; V, 359. 6 /*, fo1 - I2 9a ; V, 337- 

7 /#., fol. I3ib ; V, 345- 8 ^-, foL 35a ; V, 354. 

10 7<C Pt. Ill, fol. uia ; V, 365. See also The Little Holy Assembly, 
tf., fol. 288a; VI, 82, and fol. 292* ; VI, 99. 


The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

hood, and these two were primordially side by side, till 
the Ancient of Days put the Lesser Form to sleep and 
detached the female principle, 1 whose name is Matrona, 
Bride, Daughter, Betrothed and Twin-Sister for the 
Zoharic allegories institute strange marriages in the world 
above. The object of separation was that the Bride 
might come to the Bridegroom and, in the great sacra 
ment of matrimonial union, that they might become one 
body and one flesh. 2 All is mercy in this union ; 3 it 
constitutes the true Sabbath ; and it is this that God 
blessed and sanctified. 4 The sacred organ of intercourse 
is called Yesod* on the male side, and it has access to the 
concealed and mysterious region on the female side which 
is called Zion* Jt is a holy place and all the holiness of 
the male enters therein. 7 

The reference to Tesod shows that the Lesser Form 
is extended through the Lower Sephiroth. It is the 
Begotten Son or Van? whose place we have been seek 
ing on the Tree ; and as its name is Daath 9 or Knowledge, 
being a semi-Sephira which represents the junction point 
of the influences flowing from Chokmah and Binah, the 
inference is that the Lesser Countenance or Head is 
located there, while the feet are situated in Malkuth, as 
later Kabalism affirms. We have learned also where the 
Daughter and Bride dwells, being side by side or face to 
face in union with her Celestial Spouse. But she is the 
He final of the Divine Name and we shall learn at a later 
stage that her present dwelling is in Malkuth. 

We are now in a position to establish the Doctrine 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. i42b; DE PAULY, V, 368. 

2 /., fol. I 43 b ; V, 369. a Ib. t fol. i 4 3a ; V, 368. 

4 It is said that Matrona dwells in the Supernal Sanctuary that is 
to say, in Binah and in the Jerusalem which is manifested on earth 
that is to say, in Malkuth; and it is because she is united to the male in 
the unseen world that she is joined in manifestation with man. This is 
defined as the quintessence of all faith, for all faith is comprised in this 
mystery. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. I43b ; V, 370. 

6 Ib., fol. 296a ; VI, 118. Ib., fol. 2Q6b ; VI, 119. 

7 Ib. 8 /&, fol. 2900; VI, 92. 
Ib., fol. 29 la; VI, 94. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

concerning the Tree with as much clearness as is possible 
considering the subject. According to the symbolism of the 
Idras, the Great Countenance is in Atziluth, abode of the 
three Supreme Sephiroth, which are Kether, Chokmah and 
Binah. It is located more especially in Kether. Below this 
there is the Lesser Countenance and Form, the head of 
which is in Daath, while the body is extended through 
Briah, Tetzirah and Assiah, the male being not without the 
female. I have indicated, however, that the Great Counte 
nance has a body attached thereto, so that the Holy Ancient 
is complete as a type of humanity, like the manifestation that 
is below. But, according to The Great and Holy Assembly, 
everything save the head is in concealment. 1 It is stated 
also that there are three heads, 2 and this enables us to 
harmonise the symbolism of the Idras with that of the 
Zohar proper. The Great Countenance is more especi 
ally in Kether, as Franck also has intimated. 3 The other 
heads are those of Abba and Alma, the Father and the 
Mother, the Tod and the He of the Divine Name. They 
seem to be in one form of symbolism the curtain which 
is drawn before the Great Countenance 4 and in another 
the throne on which the Most Holy Ancient is said to be 
seated. 5 We have therefore in the Sephirotic Tree: (i) 
The first Divine Manifestation proceeding from A in- 
Soph and so interpenetrated thereby that it bears some 
times the same name. In so far as it is postulated in 
Kether it is not differentiated into male and female, but 
these are implied, and according to other testimony the 
Shekinah is certainly there. (2) But when the Sacred 
Ancient wished to establish all things, He constituted 
male and female in the supreme region, 6 namely, the 
Father and Mother, owing to whom all is made male 
and female. These are the second Divine manifestation 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 288a ; DE PAULY, VI, 83. 2 Ib. 

3 La Kabbale, p. 187. 
* Z.,Pt. Ill, fol. i28b; V, 335. 
6 Ib., fol. 1303 ; V, 341. 
6 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 29oa; VI, 90. 

The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

in Chokmah and Binah. 1 (3) The third is in the seven 
lower Sephiroth, as Son and Daughter, Brother and Sister, 
King and Queen. According to later Kabalism, the 
Great Countenance is Macroprosopus, the soul of the 
greater world, while the Lesser Countenance or Figure 
is Microprosopus, the soul of the lesser world, and Adam 
Protoplastes, his Bride being the archetypal Eve. They 
form together the habitaculum of all created intelligences, 
the hierarchies of consciousness ; and we can therefore 
sum up the whole subject by saying that The Book of 
Mystery and the Idras are a great allegory of man and 
his analogues coming forth from God. Male and female 
they were implied and conceived in Him ; male and 
female He manifested Himself on account of them ; 
male and female they came forth in Him and from Him ; 
male and female they abide above and below ; male and 
female they return in fine to Him, as we shall see fully 
and clearly in its proper place. 

In conclusion as to the Majesty of God in Kabalism, 
I must add that there is a Zoharic theosophy of the 
Word, but how the term should be referred in respect of 
the Divine Hypostases is not easy to determine. The 
name of Elohim is allocated thereto, 2 but this is a title of 
Shekinah. Again, it is said that the Word was mani 
fested in the Sanctuary, because it was indispensable to 
the existence of the latter on earth that the Divine should 
be present therein ; 3 but that which we know to have 
appeared between the Kerubim on the Mercy Seat was 
the Presence in the form of Shekinah. In the paraphrase 
of Onkelos the term Meimra was substituted for Jehovah, 
Who is thus identified with the Word ; but in the Zohar 
it is held that the Word in Scripture is designated under 
the term Eereshilh^ because in order to fulfil the work of 
creation this term was engraven " under the form of a 
turnstile," 4 representing the six great celestial directions, 

1 Z.,Pt. III,fol.29ob; DEPAULY,VI,92. 2 /., Pt. I, fol. i6b ; 1,99. 
3 Ib., fol. 7 4 a ; I, 439. * lb., fol. 3b ; I, 18. 

49 D 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

being the four cardinal points, together with height and 
depth. The Word seems also to be specified under the 
name Sabbath ; * it had birth by the union of the active 
and the passive light, the latter being called darkness, 
and it discovers to us the supreme mysteries. 

The Supreme Principle and the Word are distinguished 
as two, though at the root they harmonise as one. 2 It is 
said : " While the King sitteth at his table, my spikenard 
sendeth forth the smell thereof." It is to be understood 
here that the king means the Supreme Principle while 
the spikenard signifies the Word, Who is king below 
and has formed the world below on the model of the 
world above. Thought and word are held to be of the 
same essence ; seen through the medium of one region, 
this essence appears as thought, but through another as 
the Word. The doctrine of Israel is placed between 
two voices, 3 one of which constitutes the Supreme 
Mystery, but the other is more accessible. The first 
is the Great Voice, " the voice out of the midst of the 
darkness." It is interior, imperceptible, without cessa 
tion or interruption. Thence cometh the Secret Doc 
trine, which in its manifestation is called the Voice of 
Jacob, and this voice is heard. The Voice of Jacob is 
placed between the interior, imperceptible voice and 
that Word which resounds abroad and which I should 
identify with the Written Law. The Great Voice is the 
house of the Eternal Wisdom and is female, as a house 
always is. The Word is the house of the Voice of 
Jacob, that being apparently the literal and this the 
esoteric doctrine. When -the Song of Solomon testifies 
that the voice of the turtle is heard in our land, the 
reference is to that voice which emanates from Him 
Who is the inward essence of all. 4 It is the Voice which 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 32a ; DE PAULY, I, 199. 

2 Ib., fol. 74a ; #., 439. 

3 7#., fol. sob ; I, 292, 293. 
/A,fol.97b,98a; 11,5- 


The Majesty of God in Kabalism 

utters the Word as for example, the Word which 
ordained circumcision for Abraham so that he might 
be made perfect. The Voice is added or joined to 
the Word, and this is held to be indicated by the 
appearance of the Lord to Abraham, when that tent 
before the door of which the patriarch was seated 
signified the Supreme World, on the threshold of which 
he rested, to receive the light thereof. 

One of the chief purposes of this chapter has been 
to introduce, almost at the inception of our subject, 
some intimations concerning that which will prove to 
be the foundation of the whole mystery concerning 
the Secret Doctrine, as this has been enshrined in the 
Tradition of Israel. It is that, as intimated more than 
once already, which inheres in the distinction, relation 
and union of male and female ; but as there should 
be no need to say the principle which inheres is far 
removed from anything that belongs in the public ways 
of life to the idea of sex. 



IF the four worlds of Kabalism are held in a very true 
sense to correspond with a path in consciousness by 
which the mind of the dedicated seeker after Divine 
things may pass from the " sacred and beautiful King 
dom " of the literal sense on the surface of the Word 
of God, and through world on world of experience may 
attain at last that place or state of realisation where all 
meanings are unified in the light of the Eternal Word, 
we shall find no difficulty in understanding those who 
devised this analogy when they go on to tell us not 
only that Deus non pars est sed totum as Raymund 
Lully expressed it but that all whatsoever of the 
realms in which He is immanent or is held to have 
revealed Himself are part of that law of election in 
virtue of which those who are drawn by God are 
journeying in Him for ever. So is the spiritual history 
of Israel the sole concern of Scripture, from the moment 
when Elohim said " Let there be light/ that the 
minds of the chosen might be enlightened. The same 
motive manifests, as a fact, through all the Zoharic story 
of creation, nor was there other reason needed for the 
Kabalist to account for God passing from the withdrawn 
state of srtn-Soph to the manifestation which begins in 
Kether and reaches its limit in Malkuth. 

The thesis of creation is as follows, but I should 
explain that I am drawing from many quarters of the 
text and simplifying at every point, so that no remediable 
difficulties may be left in respect of expression. We 
are not concerned at the moment with the respective 

5 2 

The Doctrine of Cosmology 

share in the work taken by any or all of the three 
Divine Hypostases. It will be more intelligible at 
this point to speak of the cosmos, in a general sense, 
as created by the Holy One, which is indeed a recur 
ring term of the Zohar. When therefore the Holy 
One, Who is the mystery of all mysteries, willed to 
manifest Himself, He constituted in the first place a 
point of light, which became the Divine Thought 1 
that is to say, in its application to the purpose then 
in view. Within this point he designed and engraved 
all things, but especially that which is termed the 
Sacred and Mysterious Lamp, being an image represent 
ing the most holy mystery. 2 About the nature of this 
mystery, situated if one may so speak at the heart 
of all the manifested world, we may derive some light 
of speculation at a later stage. Here indeed is one 
of those allusions through which a vista opens into 
the unwritten Secret Doctrine. It follows in the mean 
time that the universe was created by and from thought. 3 
The authority for this revelation is the prophet Elijah, 
and the development is an excursus on the words : 
"Behold Who hath created these things." 4 In the 
beginning, however, that is to say, in the point of 
Divine Thought, the creation was only in the subject 
of the Divine Mind, or as the text says it existed, 
yet existed not. In other words, it was hidden in the 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2a ; DE PAULY, I, 8. See //;., II, 98,1; III, 395, 
where it is said that the words "Lord my God" (Prov. iii, 27) are the 
foundation of the mystery concerning the unity and indivisibility of the 
world at the moment when it was conceived in the Supreme Thought. 

* We shall see that this is identical with what is called so frequently 
the Mystery of Faith, and it is to be distinguished therefore from what 
is called otherwise the Lamp of God, being simply the general notion of 
merit. 7^., Ill, 28b; V, 80. 

3 It may be noted here though the statement belongs to another 
part of the text that thought and the word by which it is formulated 
are of the same essence : seen under one aspect, this essence appears as 
thought and under another as the word, which may really mean that, 
for the processes of the human mind, they are inseparable. Z., Pt. I, fol. 
74a ; DE PAULY, I, 439. 

4 Isaiah xl, 26. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Divine Name, and it would seem to follow that this 
also was hidden. The symbolism of the thesis is very 
curious and deep withal herein. The Sacred Name of 
God presupposes those who can pronounce, or at least 
conceive it. 1 In this sense the Name exists for man 
and as antecedent of necessity thereto are the letters 
which are images of the Word. Now the world is 
said to have been created by the help of the Hebrew 
letters, 2 whence it follows that these were produced 
in the first place or rather their archetypes. They 
are said to have emanated from one another, 3 presum 
ably on account of the fact that it is possible to reduce 
them to a few primitive simple forms. After their 
emanation, the sacred letters, the Great Letters the 
letters that are above, of which those on earth are a 
reflection remained in concealment for a period which 
is specified as 2000 years before the Holy One pro 
ceeded further in His work. 4 When He willed so to 
do the letters came successively before Him, to shew 
cause why each one of them should be utilised as an 
instrument in the task. This is mere comedy in the 
literal understanding and is one of the curiosities of 
literature in its form of expression, as it is easy to 
say ; but let us mark what issues therefrom. The 
letter Beth was chosen, but not because it is the initial 
of the word Bara, meaning to create, nor yet because 
it is that of Bereshith, or " In the beginning/ with 
which the Book of Genesis opens, but because it is the 
initial letter of the word Barach, which signifies to 
bless. It serves therefore to illustrate the ineradicable 
optimism of Jewish philosophical thought, which main 
tains that in the root-sense all is "right with the 
world," because for ever and ever God is "in His 

1 In other words, it is recognised that manifestation can be only to 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2o4a; DE PAULY, II, 411. 

3 /., fol. 2a; 1,9. 

* /., fol. 2b ; I, 12 et seq. 


"The Doctrine of Cosmology 

heaven." It is indeed something more than optimism, 
which is often a characteristic rather than a ground in 
reason ; it is something more than instinct ; it is an 
apprehension in consciousness, the beginning of a work 
in knowledge. It is so permeating and so paramou-nt 
that there are moments when the catholic sense of 
goodness seems to cast down the last barrier, and one 
or another rabbi thinks in his zeal that even the punish 
ment of the Gentile in the world to come shall be for 
this or that period or season, but not world without 
end. It is in virtue of the benepladtum termino carens 
that the letter Beth was used in creation, and I care 
not by what devious or grotesque path of thought 
such a truth is reached, so long as it emerges at last 
on the Pisgah height with such a sun shining in the 

The Zohar is like the Hebrew Scriptures, canonical 
and sub-canonical ; it is sealed with sanctity. The 
writers had passed that sacred initiatory degree in which 
the soul looks for " good things of the Lord in the land 
of the living " : * they had come to see with their own 
eyes. Amidst the sorrows and rogations of the Greater 
Exile, their hearts never faltered nor failed over that 
faith which opens into sight, or in that hope which 
begins already to realise itself in participation. The 
Zohar is therefore like Osiris : it is " true of voice," and 
is inspired on every page, not only with the sense of 
immortality but with that of a conscious communion 
subsisting ever and continually between the Holy 
Assembly that is above and the Assembly which has 
attained holiness below. There is hence a consolation 
throughout it which seems for the most part to be 
implied only under veils by the Law and the Prophets. 

The Divine intention to make use of the letter Beth, 
for the reason stated, does not concern further the mind 

1 Ps. xxvii, 13. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of the Zohar, 1 because it has done its work in delineating 
the motive of the worlds, shewing that the instrument 
of creation was the power to bless all things. The in 
tention was further to manifest the Divine Name therein 
as .an indwelling presence of the universe and as a glory 
standing about the four quarters thereof. The pro 
cedure is symbolised by reciting that the Holy One 
engraved in the ineffable world those letters which 
represent the Mystery of Faith, being Yod, He, Vau, 
He, the synthesis of all worlds above and below. 2 Tod 
represents the central point and the cause of all things, 
concealed and unknown for ever, being the Supreme 
Mystery of the Infinite. 3 It is that point of Divine 
Thought which has been mentioned previously, and from 
it there issues a slender thread of light which is itself 
concealed but contains all lights, receiving vibrations from 
Him Who does not vibrate and reflecting light from Him 
Who dbes not diffuse light that is, the mysterious 
point, or God centralised in thought on the world about 
to be produced. The slender light lumen exile gives 
birth to a world of light, which enlightens the other 
worlds. It is affirmed that when the central point, the 
thread of light and the light-world are united, then is 
union perfect. This is the office of the Great Name 
shadowed forth in part, but the primordial elements 
which were produced at the beginning of creation were 
without feature as it is said that " the earth was with 
out form and void," 4 like " the sign drawn by a pen 
overcharged with ink," and it was by the grace of the 
Sacred Name of forty-two letters that the world assumed 

1 I ought to say that there is one instance of recurrence to the 
general notion when the slory of the letters and their pleading is again 
mentioned, with variations respecting the letters Resh and 7>///, but 
they do not now concern us. Z., Pt. I, fol. 2O4a ; DE PAULY, II, 411. 

2 The Mystery of Faith is once more the hidden doctrine that there 
is male and female above as there is male and female below. 

3 Z., Pt. II, fols. I26b, I2;a j IV, 5, 6. 

4 Gen. i, 2. 


The Doctrine of Cosmology 

shape. 1 All forms emanate from these letters, whicn 
in a manner are the crown of Tetragrammaton that 
is to say, the Sacred Name of four letters already 
enumerated. By their combinations, their superposition, 
and by the figures thus obtained above and below, the 
four cardinal points had birth, with all other images. 
The letters of the Sacred Name were the moulds of the 
work of formation, and as such they were arranged in 
a reverse order to that which obtains here. 

Many things, however, were united or drawn to 
gether in the mind of the Holy One for the perfect 
purpose of His providence in respect of all that which 
was to come into being. He contemplated in His fore 
sight the mystery of the Law, and because it was im 
possible for the world to subsist without it, 2 He created 
that Law to rule in all things above and below, and to 
sustain them. But because of the Law, in which the 
possibility of transgression is implied, He created also 
repentance 3 as a path of refuge in Himself, of return at 
need to Him. But the Law is said to be contained in 
the Sacred Name and to be summarised by the Decalogue, 
the ten sections of which correspond to ten other Names. 
These appear to be described alternatively as ten creative 
words, 4 which are reducible to three, for it is said : 
" With the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in under- 

1 Z., Pt. I, fols. 3oa, 3ob ; DE PAULY, I, 189. The name of forty-two 
letters is an expansion of Tetragrammaton, for if the consonants of that 
Name are written at length thus Yod, He, Vau Vau, He=T(, 11, PI, "11% 
their sum in numbers is forty-two. After what manner the letters them 
selves are extracted to make up the expanded Name it is scarcely worth 
while to consider, being not only outside our subject but of no conse 
quence in itself. I will refer, however, to ATHANASIUS KiRCHER : 
(Edipus sEgyptiacus, Tomus III, p. 261 et seq. 

2 Jb., fol. 20/a ; DE PAULY, II, 429. 
7^., fol. 2903; 11,670. 

4 Jb., Pt. II, fol. I4b; III, 66, 67. It is said, however, elsewhere 
that the words by the help of which the world was made were not 
established until it pleased God to create man. The intention was that 
he should be dedicated to the study of the Law, by which the world 
subsists. In this study man is said to sustain creation. 7&, Pt. II, 
fol. i6ia, b; IV, 101. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

standing." 1 The end in view was that God might 
manifest Himself and be called by His Divine Name. 2 

It is easy to say that all this is arbitrary in the 
extreme, and certainly many developments, which I for 
bear to cite, represent the casuistry of words pushed into 
a region of distraction ; yet I incline to think that any 
peg will serve to hang a discourse of Divine Things 
upon though some devices are to be preferred before 
others and if it be found to answer the purpose it is 
then a good peg. Whether it so does depends upon the 
quality of thought which is extracted in such strange 
manners as these, and of course it has to be realised that 
the peg is only a pretext whether Jewish theosophy 
understood it as such or not. From the manner in which 
the Secret Doctrine is externalised in the Zohar one can 
not help feeling that some of its authors knew this in 
their day, and in no very different manner from that in 
which I realise it now. The changes are rung after many 
manners by the great bells of tradition when they peal 
out the work of creation. The truth which emerges 
from the far-spreading tissue of reveries is the operating 
efficacy of the Divine Will in all the manifest universe, 
together with that which may be held to lie within the 
measures of the Doctrine of Correspondences, which 
obtains everywhere in the Secret Doctrine whatever 
the schools thereof and has been reflected thence into 
systems which cannot be included in the same category. 
It would seem further to have been discovered at first 
hand by a few seers as, for example, Jacob Bohme * and 

1 Exodus xxxi, 3. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2a ; DE PAULY, 1,8. It is to be noted in this con 
nection that this Name was not revealed to the angels, which is one 
instance only of a recurring pretension that man was in a position of 
superiority to all other hierarchies of being. /#., Pt. Ill, 78b ; V, 214. 
See also lb., Pt. I, fol. 253 ; I, 157. 

3 A comparison between Bohme s Mystcrium Magnum, which is a 
commentary on Genesis, and the Zohar on the same text would bring out 
some extraordinary parallels and would increase the zeal of speculation 
concerning that glass of vision into which the German mystic looked. It 


"The Doctrine of Cosmology 

perhaps Swedenborg. It is the erection of an inevitable 
anthropomorphism into a philosophical doctrine, and 
when I say this I may be sanctifying the seeming limita 
tion. It is at least true that man is, for all concern of 
man, the measure of the whole creation, and if the testi 
mony of creation is true as Leibnitz would have held 
then that which we discern intellectually is in the like 
ness of the truth of things. But this the Doctrine of 

Nature, according to the Zohar, is the garment of 
God ; x it is that in which He appears and wherein He 
is veiled, so that we can look upon Him and know Him 
in His vestured aspect ; but it is not the body of God 
which is more properly Shekinah, at least in one of her 
aspects and it is still less God manifest. It is that which 
He took upon Himself for the purpose of appearing. 
Prior to the period when the Divine Name was formulated 
for the ends of creation He was apart from the kind of 
definition implied therein and this non-defined state is 
termed " Who " by the Zohar, as in the words : " Behold 
Who hath created," 2 while the product of creation is 
called " That " : " Behold Who hath created That "or 
these things. The Hebrew words are respectively Mi 
and Elah. The product specified was not, however, for 
the Zohar, that which we understand by creation but the 
Elohim below, 3 who thus came into being when the 
letters emanated from each other. The explanation is 
that by the pairing of Elah and Mi the Sons of the 
Doctrine contrived to obtain the word Elohim, and out 

was assuredly a glass which was common in several respects to other 
seers besides himself. His intimations on the first estate of man, on the 
making of woman, on Paradise and the mystery of the Fall offer recurring 
analogies with Jewish theosophy. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2a ; DE PAULY, I, 8. 

2 Isaiah xl, 26. 

3 It is not difficult to follow the reverie, though it seems involved at 
first sight. In the transcendence God and Elohim are inseparable, being 
male and female, and the first movement towards the production of a 
manifested universe was to send forth their living images below. That 
which was of the nature of God became of the nature of the Cosmos. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of this verbal juggle arise the following conclusions : 
(i) Even as in creation Ml, or Who, the Unnamed, 
remains always attached to Elah : That, so (2) in God 
these two descriptions are inseparable, and (3) it is thanks 
to this mystery, that the world exists. We have here at 
the very inception of the Zohar that identification of 
Jehovah and Elohim which we shall find of such capital 
importance at the term of our research. At the moment 
we have only to observe that what I have called the juggle 
educes a doctrine of Divine Immanence in the cosmos of 
manifested things. Apart from this there could be neither 
the things themselves nor the harmony which produces 
the music, the accord, the grace, the beauty of creation. 
It was to make known this doctrine that Elijah once 
shewed himself to Rabbi Simeon on the sea-shore, after 
which he took flight, as the text says, and the Master of 
Kabalism saw him no more, leastwise at that time. 1 

The passage of Isaiah which I have quoted twice 
already is affirmed elsewhere to express the whole work 
of creation. By " Who " above and " That " below has 
all been made. 2 When we read in yet another place that 
Scripture was the Architect under God, 3 the reference is 
also to Elohim, either in the vesture of the Written Law 
or in that of the Secret Tradition. But I have spoken 
of the word Bereshith and how it is rendered sometimes 
"in Wisdom ," which is recognised by the Zohar on the 
authority of the Chaldaic paraphrase of Onkelos. But 
Wisdom is regarded more correctly as the analogical in 
terpretation of the word, 4 and it is added that the world 
exists owing to the " sublime and impenetrable mystery 
of Chokmah" It follows that qreation is a work of 
wisdom, operating by means of benediction. He Who is 
ineffable, according to the Secret Doctrine, He Who is 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2a ; DE PAULY, I, 9. 

2 /, fol. 2Qb, 3oa ; I, 186. 

8 Ib., Pt. II, fol. i6ia, i6ib; IV, 100, 101. 
* Ib., Pt. I, fol. 30; I, 1 8. 

The Doctrine of Cosmology 

mysterious and unknown, 1 delineates Himself in vesture, 
as a priest assuming pontifical clothing. He unfolds 
Himself in the voice of blessing and passes continually 
from the unknown into the range of apprehension by 
means of this voice, uttering the speech of wisdom. 

But God said : " Let there be light," and it is affirmed 
that all celestial legions and powers emanate therefrom. 
When first manifested, its brilliance filled the world from 
end to end ; but when God foresaw the number of the 
guilty He concealed and rendered it inaccessible. 2 The 
sweet smell of the spikenard in the Song of Solomon 
signifies the celestial light, 3 while it is said elsewhere that 
it is designated by the word goodness. 4 This is an illus 
tration of the way in which from many ingenuities of 
interpretation some appealing lesson is educed. Again, 
it does not signify that the methods are artificial in 
their nature ; Zoharic theosophy is in a very marked and 
particular sense an illustration beforehand of Matthew 
Arnold s idea that God has put " a heap of letters " into 
the hands of man and has bade him make with them 
"what word he would." The distinction between 
Arnold s hypothetical case and the one now under notice 
is that in place of a painful consciousness on the part of 
humanity through the ages that the true Word has never 
been formed with the letters, the rabbinical masters 
believed that their sacred ciphers produced true words 
invariably and could be used in any manner which would 
extract a refulgent and Divine idea. Eereshith has served 
on more than a single occasion in this manner, but its 
capacities are not exhausted, and so also in respect of the 
first created light. If that word signifies goodness, it 
means also perfect love, 5 the grand and divine love, that 
love of man for God, the correspondence of which is 
God s perfect love for man. This love of the Divine is 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 3b ; DE PAULY, I, 18. 2 //;., fol. sob ; I, 190, 191. 
3 76., fol. 3oa ; I, 188, 189. 7&, fol. ;a ; I, 38. 

6 74., fol. lib; 1,66. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

not grounded on the self-questing hope of personal 
benefit, but is something constant in affliction and in joy, 
rooted in the perfection of God. Hereof is the ground 
of union between the Divine Creator and the creature 
divinely fashioned by the hands of Him. 1 And because 
of this union the word light is said also to be the symbol 
of unity. 2 It is in the sense of all these considerations 
that our world is held truly to form the centre of that 
which is celestial and to be surrounded by doors which 
open thereon. 3 Like all the streets of thought, all paths 
and vistas of the cosmos, the portals in their tens of 
thousand open on God. 

I must append hereto the symbolism of a certain 
myth which connects with the primeval formulation of 
the Divine Name and has its origin in the Talmud. As 
developed in the Zohar, it presents another aspect of 
that point of Divine Thought about which we heard at 
the beginning of this chapter. It concerns a mysterious 
stone called Schethiyd 4 which was originally in the Throne 
of God 5 that is to say, it was a precious stone or jewel 

and was cast by Him into the abyss, so to form the 

basis of the world and give birth thereto. One might 
say otherwise that it was like a cubical stone or ^ altar, 
for its extremity was concealed in the depth, while its 
surface or summit rose above the chaos. It was the 
central point in the immensity of the world, the corner 
stone, 6 the tried stone, the sure foundation, but also that 
stone which the builders rejected. 7 The last allocation, 

1 The authority is The Song of Solomon, i, 2 : " Let him kiss me with 
the kisses of his mouth ; and these words are held to express the perfect 
and eternal joy which all worlds shall experience in their union with 
the Supreme Spirit. The condition of this union is said to be the prayer 
of man. Z., Pt. I, fol. 44b ; DE PAULY, I, 262. 

2 7^., fol. I2b; I, 70. 

This ?s mentioned m the Talmud. See the tracts called Yoma and 

6 Z., Pt. II, fol. 222a, 222b ; IV, 243. 

6 Ib , Pt. I, fol. 23ia ; II, 51 1. See also Job xxxvni, 6. 

7 Ps. cxviii, 22. See also Z., Ill, i$2b ; V, 392. 


The Doctrine of Cosmology 

however, passes understanding, as by the hypothesis of 
the legend it was used in the building from the beginning. 
Finally but this is not less inscrutable it was that 
stone which served Jacob as a pillow and thereafter for 
an altar. 1 It was the good stone, the precious stone and 
the foundation of Zion. 2 The Tables of the Law were 
made from it, 3 and it is destined for the salvation of the 
world. 4 Jacob called it the House of the Elohim, 5 mean 
ing that the Hypostasis to which this name is attributed 
transfers her residence from the world above to that 
which is below. 6 It is like the lapis exilis of the German 
Graal legend, for it appears to be a slight stone ; it 
is supposed to have been carried by Aaron 7 when he 
entered the Holy Place, and it was held in the hands 
of David when he desired to contemplate close at hand 
the glory of his Master. 8 In a sense it fell from heaven, 
like the stone from the crown of Lucifer, and again it 
was overturned by the iniquity of man, until Jacob re 
stored it to an upright position. Solomon was also one 
of those who restored it, and thereon he built the sanc 
tuary. 9 We may not know how to harmonise these re 
ferences which seem to exhaust all that is said of the 
stone in the Old Testament, but its connection with 
other and less fabulous elements belonging to the Zoharic 
myth of creation resides in the fact that this stone was 
inscribed with the Divine Name before it was cast into 
the abyss. 10 For the rest it seems part of the inherent 
notion that the world was created for Israel and that the 
story of its making is a part of the story of election. 
So is it said in one place that the world did not obtain 
stability until Israel received the Law on Mount Sinai ; u 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 72b ; DE PAULY, I, 429. 2 ///., fol. 23ia ; II, 512. 

3 /., fol. 23ib; 11,514. 4 // ., fol. 2 3 ia; II, 512. 

5 Genesis xxviii, 22. 6 Z., Pt. I, fol. 23ia ; DE PAULY, II, 512. 

7 Leviticus xvi, 3. The reference is merely to Aaron s entry, and 
does not carry the suggestion indicated. 

8 Z..Pt. I, fol. 7 2a; 1,427. 

9 7^., fol. 9ib ; I, 429. 

10 7, Pt. II, fol. Qib; 111,370. " 7&,Pt. I,fol.89a; 1,511. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

that God created the worlds after He had delivered the 
Law ; that He ended his work in the Traditional Law, 
which is the basis of the world, and is therefore that 
legendary stone with which we have been dealing, for 
the Secret Doctrine is a Sabbath ; and that Abraham is 
also the foundation, the one just being on whom it rests, 
by whom it is made permanent, and who nourishes all 
creatures. 1 It would be not less idle work to try and 
harmonise these references than to shew that they are 
not to be taken blindly. They are things that stand by 
themselves, unrelated one to another, and they serve 
their purpose as such, being loose lines of thought turn 
ing the student s attention in one direction. If we look 
in this direction and read with the heart therein, I think 
that we may come to understand how the mystic stone 
is the central point of the world and how at this point 
there is the Holy of Holies. 2 

I have spoken of the Word in its relation to the 
Divine Transcendence. It is said that the six days were 
created thereby, being lights emanating from the Word 
and illuminating the world. It is also the Divine Seed 
from which manifest things came forth. The specific 
affirmation is, however, that the- world was created by 
the Word united to the Spirit, 3 that which operated being 
the sound of the Word, as a voice which spoke and it was 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 86b ; DE PAULY, I, 498. 

2 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 23ia; II, 511. There is also the stone "cut out 
without hands" of Dan. ii, 34, and it is said in the Zohar to 
represent Him Who is "the shepherd, the stone of Israel" (Gen. xlix, 
24). It is the Community of Israel that which shall be called the 
House of God (//->., xxviii, 22). The stone of Jacob is that stone which 
forms the bond of union between the Divine Essences blessed on the 
right, blessed on the left, blessed above and below. According to The 
Faithful Shepherd, Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 279b, the stone of Daniel was en 
graved with the letters of Tetragrainmaton^ and it is not to be identified 
with the stone of Moses, being that rock which he smote twice. Num. 
xxx, 8-1 1. 

3 It is taught that the one is not without the other, and the authority 
is Ps. xxxiii, 6 : "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made and 
all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth." Z., Pt. I, fol. is6a ; 
II, 213,214. 


The Doctrine of Cosmology 

done. For the dispensation of the light this Word was 
joined with the Father, the light itself proceeding from 
the Father and being as such incompatible with matter. 1 
In the union of the Father and the Word it became ac 
cessible thereto, seeing that henceforward it proceeded 
from both. Before the manifestation of the Word the 
light proceeding from the Father formed seven letters, 
which in some inscrutable sense were without body 
and for this reason were inaccessible to matter. When 
the sacred, nebulous, clouded fire which is called " dark 
ness upon the face of the deep " 2 appeared for the trans 
mutation of matter, seven other letters were formed, also 
from pure light and hence inaccessible to matter, like the 
first seven. When the Word manifested, the remaining 
eight letters were formed, and then the whole alphabet 
was rendered accessible by the casting down of that 
barrier which separated matter from the celestial rays. 
It is for this reason that, according to Scripture, Elohim 
said : " Let there be light." 3 The firmament was made 
likewise and the waters were separated from the waters, 
or the light above from the light below. 4 It was subject 
to this separation that matter became susceptible of light, 
and I infer that a spiritual mystery is here indicated which 
might be comparable to the distinction between material 
light of reason and that of the higher mind. Now, the 
Word is said to be designated by the name Elohim. 5 The 
firmament constituted the line of division : thereunto 
matter could ascend and thereunto could the light come 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i6b ; DE PAULY, I, 98 et seq. 

2 Gen. i, 2. 3 Ib., I, 3. 4 Z., Pt. I, i6b ; I, 100. 

6 The greater light which God made to rule the day is a symbol of 
Jehovah, while the lesser which rules the night is the Word, regarded 
as the end of thought. /., fol. 2oa ; I, 123. It is said elsewhere that if 
the world had been the work of the Divine Essence called Jehovah, 
everything would have been indestructible therein, but being the work 
of the Divine Essence called Elohim, it is all subject to discussion. 
This curious statement arises from Ps. xlvi, 9, but it has been pointed out 
that in this Psalm the Divine Name used is not Elohim but Jehovah. 
In the text itself a discussion follows and there is a divided view. /$., 
fol. 59b; I, 337. 

65 E 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

down ; but while it is thus a limit in both directions, the 
firmament is also a bond of union between the one and 
the other, so that both are united thereby in Elohim. 
It is said also that the Word assumed the form of the 
alphabetical signs, presumably because it is in ^ this form 
that thought passes into expression. 1 The six days of 
creation are lights emanating from the Word for the 
illumination of the world. 2 It is thanks, in fine, to the 
Word that the waters of the celestial river flow for ever 
to irrigate the worlds that are below. 3 

So far therefore concerning the work of God in 
creation and the instruments appertaining thereto. But 
there are certain final intimations which belong more 
especially to our subject and lead therein. When the 
Holy One created the world He engraved the Mystery 
of Faith in letters of sparkling light ; He engraved it 
above and below, because it is the same mystery and 
because the world below is the mirror of that which is 
above. By means of the Mystery of Faith He created 
the worlds. Now, in another place it is asked : What 
worlds ? The answer is matrimonial unions. 4 These 
are the worlds which God does not cease from creating. 
It follows that creation, as the story is told, is a veil of 
the sex mystery ; it follows also that something is under 
stood of which physical union is the shadow as this is 
known here : the intimations concern union as the result of 
a law, which law is literal on the plane of expression and 
mystical on a higher plane. Another key is given in 
these words : The union of the male and female prin 
ciple engendered the world 5 as indeed it was impossible 
that it should do otherwise within the measures of Zoharic 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2ia ; DE PAULY, I, 129. 

2 Ib., fol. 3ib ; I, 196. The Zohar is sometimes like scholastic philo 
sophy in its lighter moments and seeing that the six days of creation 
are mentioned by Genesis but not the six nights which are implied 
therein, it inquires what has become of the latter and concludes that 
God holds them in concealment for some good purpose of His own. 

3 //>., fol. 33b ; I, 208. 4 Ib., fol. 8ga ; I, 511. 
5 7.,Pt. 1 1, fol. 228a; IV, 250. 



Facing page 66 

The Doctrine of Cosmology 

symbolism. So also in the emanation of the letters, 
Aleph and Beth are postulated, from which two come 
forth the rest of the alphabet, and hence it is said that 
these two are male and female. 1 Here is a further reason 
why Beth was the instrument of creation, as already ex 
plained. Another story intimates that God took the 
" heap of letters " in His hands and began to make worlds 
therewith over and over, but they had no consistence, 
the reason being that the covenant had not yet been 
made. 2 The world under the law of circumcision must 
be understood as a specific dispensation within the mani 
fest order, and the destroyed worlds are previous dispen 
sations which arose and decayed unceasingly. This is 
illustrated when it is said that their destruction was 
because those who dwelt therein did not accept the 
commandments of the Doctrine. It is not that God 
undoes His works, but the works undo themselves 
by refusing salvation. Why, it is asked, should God 
put an end to those children whom, according to 
tradition, He created by the Second Hypostasis, called 

It is only under the Law and the Doctrine, or in 
virtue of that inward covenant of which circumcision 
was once the shadow, that man is hereby made male and 
female by the Elohim, which is another manner of saying 
that the cosmic harmony is established in him. We shall 
see in the next chapter that he was created prototypically 
in the likeness of the world below and in that of the 
world above. He was also so made that he represents 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 3oa ; DE PAULY, I, 187. It is said elsewhere that the 
letters expressing the male principle are not susceptible of transforma 
tion, while those expressing the female principle can be counterchanged 
by means of certain combinations Ib., Pt. II, fol. 1343; IV, 29. 
Which letters are male and which are female, we are not told. A note 
to the French version suggests that the uneven are masculine and the 
even feminine, which is theoretically probable but is not borne out in 
fact because it is certain that He, the fifth letter, is female in the Zohar, 
while the sixth or Vau is masculine. 

3 7.,fol. 2$a; I, 154. 3 Ib. 

6 7 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the celestial Lover and Beloved, who are symbolised by 
the letfers Tod and He, and are united by Van? In 
another form of symbolism he was designed to be the 
Spouse or Beloved of God who was never to be separated 
from the Lover. So proceeds the mystery with which 
we are concerned from stage to stage of unfoldment ; 
but we are at present concerned only in seeing how it 
belongs to all. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 26a ; DE PAULY, I, 161, 162. 




IN the previous chapters I have been content to lead up 
as I could to certain intimations which have formed part 
of each concerning that mystery of sex which is called 
Mystery of Faith and Supreme Mystery in the Zohar ; 
but in the present consideration it will be with us even 
from the beginning. It is a matter of some difficulty to 
disassociate the subject from that Divine personality 
the Indwelling Glory which is the central figure of the 
Aramaic text and the full discussion of which I have de 
cided for good reasons to postpone till the end of our 
study. It must be explained in the first place that there 
are two Gardens of Eden which are in communication 
one with another, while the one leads to the other. 1 The 
one is the mystery of sex as it was established or rather 
formulated originally on this lower earth by the hypo 
thesis of the Secret Doctrine, but this Garden was 
ravished ; the other is a mystery in transcendence as it 
subsists in the eternal world, the world of the supernals. 
In the symbolism of the whole subject, the word of both 
is womanhood; she is the Garden in transcendence and 

1 According to later Kabalism, the Superior Paradise is referable to 
Briah in respect of souls and to Yetzirah in respect of angels, but this is 
manifestly opposed to Zoharic teaching, by which it is allocated to Binah 
and is therefore in the supernal world of Atziluth. The Inferior Para 
dise is in Assiah according to both forms of Kabalism. We shall see in 
its proper place that the Higher Eden is probably the abode of souls 
awaiting incarnation and that the Lower Eden is, so to speak, the threshold 
of entrance into the life of earth. So also on the return journey through 
the gate of death the Lower Paradise is a tarrying-place for the souls of 
the just before they ascend higher, that is to say, into the Supernal Eden, 
where perfect liberation is enjoyed. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. ig6b: DE PAULY, 
V, 506. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

she is also the Garden 1 below, or alternatively their 
mystery is she ; and their image amidst the exile and 
penitence of this present order is also woman woman 
in her betrothals, woman in her espousals, woman as wife, 
mother, daughter and sister. We shall see at a later 
stage that all these designations are titles of Shekinah 
as the Divine Personality which I have mentioned and 
she can be regarded from two points of view, being (i) 
as woman in the archetype and (2) as the mystery of sex. 
Speaking essentially, these two are reducible to one. But 
the male is not without the female, nor is the woman 
apart from the man in respect of this mystery, which 
includes all. It is that of God in His concealment, of 
God also as He is manifested in the Secret Doctrine, and 
of prototypical humanity. It is the mystery of the 
traditional fall of man and of all the banishments which 
the elect are postulated as having suffered ; but as it is 
owing to this mystery that each one of us is incarnate 
here so is it also through this that we return homeward 
into the refuge whose name is Shekinah ; it is with us at 
this day in the bondage of our mortality, but it is also 
the law of our liberation. The Zoharic legend of the 
Earthly Paradise may be held to formulate the mystery, 
but it does not expound it. The Paradise above is called 
" the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have estab 
lished." 2 The Paradise below has the Holy of Holies 
for its image and both are at the centre of the earth, 
called Zion and Jerusalem the place and house of 
peace. 3 As regards the making of man we know 

1 According to Franck, Paradise is always termed by the Kabalists 
either fijj p = the Garden of Eden or &on D^15J = the World to Come and 
never D*nB=*/*w#kr= :: Garden) this being the word of the modern Kaba 
lists. La Kabbale, p. 57. It is not their word exclusively. Can Eden 
is applied in the Zohar both to Kinah and Malkulh, as the Sephirotic 
locations respectively of the Superior and Inferior Eden. 

2 Isaiah xv, 17. Z., Pt. I, fol. 7* J DE PAULY, I, 38. 

3 See Chapter III, p. 47. The Palace or Paradise below is modelled 
on the pattern of that which is above, for the Divine Presence in Malkuth, 
as the Kingdom of this world, does not differ from the Divine Hypostasis 
in Binah) which is the world to come. The Lower Garden was formed 


The Myth of the Earthly Paradise 

that there are two accounts in Genesis, one dovetailed 
into the other, a fact which the Zoharic doctors did not 
realise, and with the difficulties which thus arose they 
dealt as they could. According to the Elohistic text 
man was made in the likeness of the Elohim that is to 
say, male and female for which reason we shall see that 
Shekinah whose title is Elohim is now male, and 
female at another time. In so far as she represents the 
mystery of sex, it is obvious that she is of both sexes, or 
male on the right side of the Tree of Life which is the 
masculine side and female on the left side. But the 
myth of the Earthly Paradise is a Jehovistic text, and by 
its hypothesis Adam, being the male in distinction from 
the female, or having the female latent within him, was 
made in the first place. Now, it is said that when the 
Holy One created Adam He exhorted him to walk in 
the way of goodness and revealed to him the Mystery of 
Wisdom, by aid of which he could attain even to the 
supreme degree. 1 He also gave him the Law and taught 
him His ways. 2 This is not, however, Adam in distinc 
tion from Eve but refers to humanity in its two primor 
dial forms : so also in respect of what follows. Man 
was crowned with celestial crowns and was so endowed 
that he could rule over the six directions of space ; he 
was perfect in all things and bore the seal of the heights 
on his countenance. The angels encompassed him and 
honoured him, revealing mysteries relating to the know 
ledge of their Master. But he on his part beheld all 
supreme mysteries and all wisdom exceeding, as we 
have seen already, the science of the angels and he 
knew the glory of God. The intention was that he 
should remain united in heart and mind to Him Who 

and planted by the Holy One, that He might have joy with the souls of 
the just who dwell therein ; but the Garden which is planted in the tran 
scendence, under the Wings of Shekinah, is the place of contemplation 
for souls in the sweetness of the Lord, and herein is the Blessed Vision. 
Z., Pt. II, fol. i2;a ; DE PAULY, IV, 8. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i4ob ; II, 147. 2 /&, fol. i99a ; II, 388. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

was his model, thus being preserved unchanged, like 
Him Who is the synthesis of all things and in Whom 
all is unified. 1 If it be said that this is mere fantasy in 
distraction because man, by the hypothesis of the legend, 
did not know good or evil and much less one from 
another, I can only point out that authorised Christian 
doctrine on the same subject is in the same case precisely, 
for it is obvious (a) that in this state no person can be 
accountable for disobedience, or (b) if he be so account 
able he is at least aware that obedience is on the side of 
goodness and its opposite on that of evil : but this spoils 
the postulate. The unreason is of course to treat a pure 
myth as if it were literal history. By so much, however, 
as we elect to exalt the state of man in Paradise, by so 
much our construction crucifies further the story with 
which it professes to deal. 2 

In respect of the Garden itself, we learn that the 
whole world is watered by that mysterious river which 
went forth out of Eden meaning the Paradise that is 
above. 3 It came from a secret place on high, and brought 
life to things below. 4 This place is symbolised by the 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 22 ia, 22 ib ; DE PAULY, II, 470. It is said also that 
God encompassed Adam with glory from on high (ib.}, meaning the 
resplendent vesture or vehicle in which he was manifested before he 
was clothed with skins as one consequence of his fall. 

2 We are told in Gen. ii, 15 that "the Lord God took the man, and 
put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." With this 
it is interesting to contrast the Zoharic ideas of those duties which fell to 
Adam in his original state of radiance. He was set to offer sacrifices in 
the Garden, and for this purpose an altar is postulated therein, which he 
profaned by his fall, and so became a tiller of the ground. Z., Pt. I, fol. 
57b ; DE PAULY, I, 331. It is said in another place that he was set to 
grow roses. These things occurred by the hypothesis before the institu 
tion of blood offerings ; we can infer therefore that the sacrifices of Adam 
were offerings of aspiration, and I think that what is indicated is part of 
the mystery of union. We shall see otherwise the kind of altar that was 
profaned by the fall ; it is simply another variant of the mystery of woman 
hood that Garden which man was given to cultivate. Ib., Pt. II, fol. 
loga ; 111,430. The roses were children of Shekinah, because she is the 
rose of the world, and under another aspect is herself the Garden. 

3 76., fol. 3 ob; I, 192. 

4 In other terms, it brought the celestial waters, and thus gave birth 
to the plants and fruits which flourished in the Garden. /., fol. sgb ; 
I, 348. 


The Myth of the Earthly Paradise 

letter Beth when it appears for the first time in Genesis. 
The meaning is that this letter contains all letters in its 
womb, even as the river vivifies all things else. The 
secret place resembles a narrow path along which it is 
difficult to travel, but there the treasures of the world 
are hidden. The river brings sanctity from on high ; 
and when the Kingdom of Heaven shall have come under 
the form of first-fruits of the earth, the latter will be 
raised and made equal with Heaven. One might call 
this a keynote for the whole doctrine of cosmology, 
except that a keynote of one or another kind seems to 
transpire everywhere. Holiness is life, and the world 
subsists by holiness. If this, its correspondences and 
analogues, were not the beginning, middle and end of 
Zoharic theosophy, I should have no cause to write 
about it, because it would not belong to the Secret 
Doctrine of God, which is my concern in the old litera 

As regards the formation of Eve from the side of 
Adam, we meet in the Zohar with another presentation 
of a tradition which is found in many places of legend. 1 
Adam and Eve were joined side by side originally. The 
explanation which is given in one place only, or perhaps 
I should say rather that there is no alternative is after 
the most inscrutable manner of the text i.e., that they 
were not face to face because as yet "the Lord God had 
not caused it to rain upon the earth." 2 This is on the 
authority of Rabbi Simeon, who forgot, as one might 
think, for a moment that the same verse adds: "And 
there was not a man to till the ground." Too much 
attention must not be given to inconsistencies of this 
kind whether or not some means of escape happens to 
be found subsequently as the purpose of the Zohar is 
always to make known a point of its Secret Doctrine 
which can be hooked on to a text, and the context for 

1 7., Pt. I, fol. ssa ; DE PAULY, I, 216. 

2 Gen. ii, 5. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

this purpose is seldom held to signify. 1 The point in 
this case is (a) that man being superior to all the works 
of creation, 2 the union of man and woman must be 
modelled on that of Nature meaning, however, the 
Arch-Nature that is above ; but (b) their union face to 
face could not be accomplished till after that of heaven 
and earth, which was manifested by rain. It is obvious 
that a spiritual mystery is here indicated, and one that is 
part of the intercourse which constitutes the transcen 
dental unions. The physical basis is of course that the 
sex-union of humanity takes place in an opposite position 
to that of all the animals, which was certain to suggest 
deep symbolism to the Zoharic doctors, though they do 
not make the contrast. Another intimation is that in 
their original state not only was Adam made male and 
female but so also was the woman attached to his side. 3 
I suppose that this notion is the antechamber or threshold 
of that "supreme mystery * which is believed to be 
expressed in the words : " Male and female created He 
them." 4 It is said to constitute the glory of God and to 
be the object of faith. In the root-nature it is regarded 
as inaccessible to human reason, perhaps in the sense that 
it has not entered into the heart of man to understand 
what God has prepared for those who love Him, or, from 
another standpoint, it is a matter of experience and not 
of dissertation. By this mystery was man created as 
well as the heaven and the earth. It is inferred that 
every figure which does not represent male and female 
has no likeness to the heavenly figure. 5 We shall see in 

1 As a matter of fact, the discrepancy is recognised speedily, and the 
same master of doctrine explains that there was no man because Eve 
had not yet been created, and man was as if non-existent because he was 
incomplete in her absence. The last point is not a subtlety of the 
moment, but a doctrine which obtains everywhere regarding our human 
nature. Z., Pt. I, fol. 3$a; DE PAULY, I, 217. 

2 /&., fol. 34b ; I, 216. 

3 Z., Pt. 1 1 1, fol. n;a; V, 301. 

4 Gen. i, 27. 

5 Meaning Adam Protoplastes, the Cosmic Son, himself a reflection 
of what subsists but is not explicated in Adam Kadmon. 


The Myth of the Earthly Paradise 

due course that the Holy One does not make His dwell 
ing except where male and female are united, and there 
only His benedictions are disposed. This is why Scripture 
says : And God " blessed them and called their name 
Adam, on the day when they were created." * 

It is recognised by the Zohar in no uncertain manner 
that the condition of side to side was one of imperfection 
because it was not a true union in the likeness of heaven ; 
the latter is eye to eye and beyond it there is another 
state, in which heaven and earth pass away, like all the 
former things, because the distinctions of this and that 
are at an end. Eve was joined to Adam until he was 
put to sleep, 2 and here the text dwells especially on the 
fact that the place of his entrancement was that place 
where the Temple was built subsequently. 3 As regards 
the formation of Eve, it is said that " He took one of his 
ribs," and here the Zohar develops a great subtlety, 
inferring that the second pronoun alludes, like the first, 
to Jehovah Elohim. It says, further, that the plural 
"ribs" signify the virgins of Matrona, meaning her 
maids of honour, one of whom was taken to be the 
" help meet " for Adam. 4 However this story is for 
gotten soon afterwards and yet others are substituted, 
but I do not think that we need attach importance to 

When the time came for man and woman to be 
joined face to face the text which here follows is applied 
to the intercourse : " They stand fast for ever and 
ever, and are done in truth and uprightness." 5 The 
reference is to the state of true nuptials, ineffable in 

1 Gen. v, 2. 

z Z., Ft. I, fol. 3 4 b ; DE PAULY, I, 215. 

3 /., fol. sib; 1,215. 

4 //?., fol. 28a, b; I, 176-178. It is even said that "bone of my 
bones and flesh of my flesh" (Gen. ii, 23) are words that signify 
Shekinah, so close is the connection recognised between the Cohabiting 
Glory who is the guide of man on earth and the womanhood which is 
part of him. 

5 Ps. cxi, 8. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the holy transcendence, when between the male and 
the female, as between the wings of the two cherubim, 
the glory of Shekinah manifests, when within and 
without are over and there is neither marrying nor 
giving in marriage because those which were once in 
separation have entered into the heaven of union. The 
words " stand fast" are said to designate male and 
female, whose union here below will subsist through 
all eternity in the world that is above. 1 It consists in 
a sacred union face to face, for Zoharic similitudes 
seldom transcend this, though it is only the court of 
the Temple, where the Lover and Beloved are still clothed 
in their vestments. The words : a There went up a 
mist from the earth, and watered the whole, face of the 
ground " 2 signify the desire of the female for the male, 
and here it is added cryptically that man was taken from 
his place and transplanted, or changed about, that man 
and woman might attain perfection. Now, it is claimed 
in one place that the sleep of Adam signifies the cap 
tivity, so that it is another episode in the long history 
of creation ; but I do not know that these scattered 
intimations can be drawn into a true memorial. 

A word must be added concerning the Trees of the 
Garden, though I scarcely feel that the Secret Doctrine 
offers lights of the first magnitude on this subject. The 
Tree of Life is identified with the Doctrine, 3 presumably 
in its inward form, not that which is inculcated by 
the surface sense but by the sense within : it is the 
Holy Law, which offers aspects of truth in all its 
interpretations. The fruits of this Tree subsist for 
ever and give life to all ; 4 it gave life in particular to 
the twelve tribes who issued therefrom. 5 It covers thpse 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 35a; DE PAULY, I, 217. 2 Gen. ii, 6. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. io6b, loya; 11,36. 

4 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 2a ; III, 3. They are sweeter than honey. //A, Pt. I, 
Appendix 3 ; II, 730. 

6 At the end of time the purified Israel will depend from this Tree 
only. Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 1245 ; V, 322. 

7 6 

The Myth of the Earthly Paradise 

vessels which are pure souls with its wings. It is know 
ledge in the true sense, which is supernal, the knowledge 
that is above reason : those who are attached thereto 
possess life in the world to come as well as life in 
this world. 1 

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is 
reputed to have been a vine and the forbidden fruit 
was the grape, 2 whence it is added elsewhere that Scrip 
ture interdicts wine and fermented drink. It is said also 
to be the female principle, 3 which I suppose to mean 
when it is unsanctified in the state of separation. 4 
Among the fables concerning it there is that which 
relates how it invited many spirits to revolt before 
they were furnished with bodies, meaning possibly in 
the state of pre-existence about which we shall hear 
in its season. When so furnished, these spirits con 
ceived a plan to descend on earth and assume possession 
thereof. God classed therefore the spirits in two cate 
gories, the good being placed on the side of the Tree 
of Life and the evil on that of mixed knowledge. He 
provided the first with bodies, but when the time had 
come to do likewise in respect of the second, the 
Sabbath interrupted the work of creation 5 otherwise 
there would have been wreck and ruin from end to 
end of the world. By this intervention the Holy One 
provided the remedy before the evil, advancing that 
is to say the hour of the Sabbath, so that the evil 
spirits had the mortification of seeing good spirits 
invested with desirable bodies, whilst they in their 
deprivation were impotent. It would seem to follow 

1 It is the centre of all life. Z., Ft. II, fol. iia ; DE PAULY, III, 48. 

2 /., Pt. Ill, 1580 ; V, 410 : fol. I2ya ; V. 327. 

3 /., Pt. I, fol. 36a; 1,223. 

4 As a matter of fact, the passage referred to, which is curious in all 
respects, seems to suggest that the Tree of Knowledge is that evil woman 
who is the wife of Samae l and intercourse with whom is incest, idolatry 
and murder. It is the averse side of the sex mystery. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. I4a; I, 82. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

that the desire of the evil side is towards sex,^ but in 
the iniquity to which it may be debased. The infernal 
hosts are therefore in a state of inhibition, arrestation 
and unsatisfied longing. 

Generally as regards both trees, the Secret Doctrine 
looks forward not only towards that time and because 
of it is glad in all its aspects when the elect will 
depend no longer on the Tree of Good and Evil, but 
when they will not be subject longer to that Law which 
legislates on things permitted and forbidden, on clean 
and unclean things. 1 Our entire nature will be drawn 
in that day from the Tree of Life and there will be 
no further debates about the evil and impure, for con 
cerning this time it is written : " I will cause . . . the 
impure spirit to pass out of the land." Herein is 
the rest which remains for the people of God and 
the fruition is herein of those good things of the Lord 
which are gathered into the Land of the Living. 3 Now, 
there is a strange thing said in another place which 
seems to connect with the subject and to issue there 
from in a mystery that seems yet like a path of light. 
Between the spirit of good and the spirit of evil " she 
must stand who is called woman" and they shall then 
abide in harmony or in the turning of the evil to 
account on the part of goodness. It is by the help 
of the woman that the spirit of good preponderates 
over that of evil. After this manner does the Mystery 
of Faith proceed from more to more in the law of its 

In conclusion, I infer that the Tree of Life is also 
the female principle in the state of sacramentum ineffa- 
bile, preserving all who are attached to it from death 

i Z., Ft. Ill, fol. i24b ; DE PAULY, V, 322. 

3 Iht Tree of Knowledge being the Tree of Death, in contrast to 
the Tree of Life. Z., Ft. Ill, fol. i5?a ; V, 405. 

7 8 

The Myth of the Earthly Paradise 

for ever. 1 My reason is that when it is said of the 
other Tree that those who are attached to it cleave 
also to death, the text quoted is : " Her feet go down 
to death ; her steps take hold on hell." 2 As this is 
woman on the side of the devil, so is the other woman 
hood also, but on the side of God. 

1 Here it is fair to mention that in one place the letter Vau is said 
to be the Tree of Life. Z., Pt. I, fol. I2ia ; V, 309. But the point is that 
Vau in the perfect state which I have called sacramentum ineffabile 
is in union with the second He of the Sacred Name, as we have seen 

2 Prov. v, 5. 




AN adequate study of the Zohar on the subject of 
angelology, the fall of the angels, the hierarchy of 
demons which came about as a consequence, would 
begin in Talmudic literature and would be itself an 
undertaking of no inconsiderable magnitude, for behind 
that literature lies all oriental belief. I do not pretend 
to know what remains to be said on the subject when 
I recall the vast histories which have been written already, 
counting only from the days of Van Dale at the end of 
the 1 7th century. 1 It is fortunate that such an inquiry 
does not belong to our subject, for there is very little 
in the Zohar which is important hereon from the stand 
point of Secret Doctrine, though there is a mass of curious 
speculation and ingarnering of bizarre superstition. It 
would be arid and wearisome to collect it without com 
mentary of any kind, and I shall confine my remarks 
under a few general heads, to elucidate things which 
led up to the Fall of Man and some which followed 
therefrom. I suppose that in the first place a word must 
be said upon the subject of evil and how it is regarded 
in the text. 

It seems to follow expressly or by implication from 
certain statements that there is at least a sense in which 

1 ANTONIO VAN DALE : Dissertationes de Origine ac Progressu Idol 
atries . . . et de Divinationibus Idolatricis Jud&orum. Quarto, pp. 762. 
Amsterdam, 1696. It offers a mass of information on angels and demons 
according to Jewish ideas, on false Messiahs and on the magical side of 


The Serpent and Fall of the *Angeh 

God is the author of evil ; 1 a system being given in which 
not only do all things come from God, but He is present 
immanently in all, it is not unnatural to accept the direct 
consequences without debate or refinements, and in this 
particular respect no difficulty is created thus in the 
Zoharic mind. The Pauline consciousness that all 
Nature groaneth and travaileth, the sense of suffering 
in all animate beings had never entered therein, though 
there was a very keen sense of the burdens on election 
in Israel. It is admitted quite freely, and indeed the 
notion is implied in several places, that the Holy One 
has created both the just and the unjust, 2 or still more 
plainly that He formed man of a spirit of good and a 
spirit of evil. The exoneration resides in the fact that 
evil is of service to good, because good turns evil to 
account. 3 Moreover, God created that Tree the eating 
of which meant that the full understanding of the evil 
side of things entered into the life of humanity ; but the 
saving clause is that it imparted also the knowledge of 
good. There can be no question and we have seen 
already that from this point of view the Tree of the 
Trespass is a synonym or image of the Written Law, 
for this is prohibition above all things, which defines 
evil and separates that which is so imputed from what is 
recognised as good It is understood, however, that the 
definition is on the formal side and stands therein at its 
value, without reference to essentials. 4 

1 We have seen that there is also no difficulty in the Sepher Yetzirah on 
the subject, and it is this primitive text which is responsible for Sephirotic 
theology throughout the Zohar proper. The evil which is created by God 
is to be distinguished, however, from that which man works on his own 
part. It is woe to those who make themselves wicked. This is on the 
authority of Is. iii, n. It is ruled, however, that " He hath made every 
thing beautiful in His time" (Eccles. iii, u), because He is glorified by the 
works of the just and the occasional good acts of the wicked. Z., Pt. II, 
fol. iia ; DE PAULY, III, 47. 

2 Ib. 3 /., Pt. I, fol. 49a ; I, 283. 

* The exoneration in chief is, however, in a discourse of R. Simeon, 
who maintains that merit and demerit would have been equally impossible 
for man if God had not (i) created the Spirit of Good and the Spirit of 

8l F 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

There is no tabulated account of the Hierarchy of the 
Blessed Angels in the Zohar, but we hear generically of 
great hosts and cohorts, battalions of guardians, usually 
for purposes of honour as when angels accompany 
Shekinah on some of her missions. 1 and there are also 
clouds of messengers. It is specified, that Metatron is 
the leader of the Invisible Host and that his place is 
immediately beneath the throne of God ; 2 but we hear 
nothing of legions like those of the Nine Choirs of 
Dionysius, 3 though there are divisions and subdivisions 
with correspondences of this kind in late Kabalism. As 
regards the Infernal Hierarchy there are various categories 
consisting of angels who kept not their first estate and of 
demons generated in several ways. 4 

They are specified as comprising ten degrees or ten 
crowns below 5 and corresponding as such to numerous 

Evil, and if He had not (2) composed our nature of both. Z., Pt. I, fol. 233; 
DE PAULY, I, 142. The Spirit of Good and the Spirit of Evil are on the 
right and left of man. If the last lives in purity, the first acquires an 
ascendency over the second, so that both combine to protect him in all 
his ways. /., fol. i65b ; II, 250. The Spirit of Evil is in a state of 
incompleteness unless man nourishes him by sin. /#., fol. 2Oia ; II, 398. 
Apparently, those who thus nourish their master are maintained in turn 
by him, whence the happiness and prosperity of the Gentiles is a fruit of 
the union between Samael and his prostituted wife. Ib. t Pt. II, iia; 
III, 47. It is admitted, on the other hand, that evil is stronger than 
good. /^., Pt. Ill, fol. 2&3b ; VI, 24. But even the demon contains a 
particle of sanctity, without which he could not exist. /^., Pt. II, 
fol. 203b ; IV, 205. 

1 It is mentioned, for example, that 42 sacred angels, commissioned 
for her service, came down with Shekinah when she accompanied Israel 
into Egypt. Each bore a letter of the Divine Name of 42 letters. 
Id., fol. 4b; HI, 15. 

2 Ib., fol. 294b ; IV, 318. It is here that Metatron is said to be the 
name assumed by Enoch when he was raised to heaven. 

3 It is just, however, to say that Picusde Mirandula, in his Conclusiones 
Cabbalisticce manages to extract nine hierarchies in the following order : 
Kerubim, Seraphim, Chasmalim, Aralim, Tarsisim, Ophanim, Js/iim, 
Malachim and Elo/iun, but it is a purely arbitrary classification. 

4 Speaking generally, the Empire of the Demon is supposed to be 
under the presidency of three chiefs or princes, who are described as 
three impure branches, from which depend seventy minor branches, and 
these are the leaders or angels of the seventy Gentile nations. Z., 
Pt. Ill, fol. I94a; V, 503. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. i6;a; 11,256. 


The Serpent and Fall of the ^Angels 

hierarchic grades, 1 separated in appearance yet communi 
cating one with another, being ramifications of a single 
tree. There are ten crowns to the right and ten also to 
the left, 2 for there is a right and there is a left side in 
the empire of the demons, this being modelled through 
out on that of God. 3 There is even an infernal triad in 
correspondence as such with the Sacred Triad that is 
above, and the observance of the Paschal Lamb was 
instituted to break its bonds. 4 There are averse Seraphim 
in the form of serpents, emanating from the evil serpent. 5 
There are finally seven averse palaces corresponding, on 
the one hand, to the palaces that are above 6 and on the 
other to the seven names which are attributed to the 
tempting spirit : Satan, Impure, Enemy, Stumbling-block, 
the Uncircumcised, Wicked, Crafty. 7 

What I may call the metaphysical account is as follows : 
When the passive light, designated as darkness in 
Scripture, was joined to the active light on the right side, 8 
following the ordinary arrangement of the Sephirotic 
Tree, many celestial legions concluding that there was 
antagonism between the modes in place of harmony or 
equilibrium by virtue of the Middle Pillar declared 
themselves for the light of the left side and made ready 
to revolt against the other. When the Middle Pillar 
manifested the Perfect Unity of God, the good legions 
renounced the struggle and submitted, but those which 
were evil 9 persisted and gave birth as a consequence to hell. 
In this manner discord was introduced into the world 

1 Z., Pt. I, i7;a ; DE PAULY, II, 296. 

/., Pt. Ill, fol. 2o;a; V, 527. 3 /., Pt. II, fol. 37b ; III, 179. 

lb., Pt. II, fol. 4ob ; III, 189. 6 /&, fol. 247b ; IV, 281. 

//;., fol. 245a ; IV, 278. 7 Ib., fol. 36 3a ; IV, 295, 296. 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 170 ; I, 105. 

The inference seems to be that, belonging to the passive side, their 
potentiality for evil was greater than that of the active side, though it 
subsisted also in this, or the imputed conspiracy could not have been 
shared by the intelligences of both sides, as the case was apparently. 
It is said also elsewhere that the " Sons of God" (Gen. vi, 2) were angels 
of the evil side who were in a state of perversity from the beginning. 
74., fol. 27oa; 11,638. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

on both sides, and the sense of the text seems to suggest 
that its vibrations remained on that of the good powers, 
though apart from any spirit of rebellion. The Scriptural 
allusion is : " And God made the firmament, and divided 
the waters which were under the firmament from the 
waters which were above the firmament," 1 a text which 
does duty on many sides of interpretation and meaning 
in this case that He separated the discord which had its 
source in the angels who kept not their first estate from 
that which was introduced into the world by those who 
were cast into the abyss. Both disruptions had, how 
ever, their result below, but that which belonged to the 
first class redounded to the glory of heaven, had this as 
its end in view and disappeared apparently when the end 
in question was reached. This is so far concerning one 
category of souls rejected from heaven and enchained 
below. There was another class, the downfall of which 
was consequent on the Holy One assembling several 
legions of superior angels and advising them that He 
intended to create man. 2 They appear to have replied 
by quoting the Psalmist when he said : " Nevertheless 
man being in honour abideth not : he is like the beasts 
that perish." 3 Thereupon the Holy One stretched forth 
a finger and burned these blessed legions, after which He 
called others into His presence and made the same state 
ment, to which they answered on their part : " What is 
man that Thou art mindful of him and the son of man 
that Thou visitest him." 4 The Lord explained that man 
should be made in His image and would be superior 
to those whom He addressed. It does not appear what 
happened to these legions. There were, moreover, those 
Sons of God who " saw the daughters of men that they 
were fair," 5 and they included Aza and Azael, who entered 
into a dispute with Shekinah on the advisability of creating 
Adam, 6 seeing that he would end by sinning with his wife, 

1 Gen. i, 7. 2 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 2oyb, 2o8a ; DE PAULY, V, 529. 

3 Vs.xlix, 12. 4 Ps. viii,4. 8 Gen. vi, 2. 6 Z., Pt. I, fol. 233 ; 1, 141. 

8 4 

The Serpent and Fall of the <Angels 

to which Shekinah replied that before they could make 
accusations of this kind it must be postulated that they 
would prove more chaste in their own persons. 1 This 
was the conclusion for the moment, but the children of 
God had recourse to the daughters of men and " took 
them wives of all that they chose." 2 The result was 
that Shekinah stripped them of their sanctity and of all 
part in eternal beatitude, 3 which had been the case also 
with the rebellious angels belonging to the first category : 
these are burnt eternally in Sheol. 4 According to one 
version, Aza and Azael became enamoured of the evil 
daughters of Cain, 5 but the text says also that the sons 
of Elohim or of God were actually sons of Cain. We 
can take our choice among alternatives over matters of 
no consequence. Elsewhere it is affirmed that before 
the corruption of the world all men were called sons of 
Elohim. 6 When Aza and Azael were cast down, they 
assumed bodies on earth and were imprisoned therein. 7 
It was subsequently according to this version that they 
were seduced by women and are alive at this day, still 
instructing men in the art of magic, which they had begun 
to teach soon after their descent. They were chained on 
certain black mountains, which Laban and Balaam fre 
quented for instruction in the forbidden art. 8 There 

1 Certain codices of the Zohar cause the Shekinah to intimate at this 
point that Adam will indeed end by sinning with a single woman, but it will 
prove also with her that he will be able to repair the fault, while the lost 
angels will sin with many women and will be deprived of all reparation. 

2 Gen. vi, 2. 3 Z., Ft. I, fol. 25b ; DE PAULY, I, 157. 
4 lb., fol. i;b ; I, 108. 6 Id., fol. 3?a ; I, 230. 6 lb. 

7 /., fol. 58a ; I, 334. They belonged to that class who appeared 
under the form of men, and it was possible therefore for them to exist on 
earth. They assumed bodies to come down and because of their revolt 
they could not unclothe to reascend. By their union with women they 
engendered giants, the "mighty men of old," and "men of renown," 
mentioned in Gen. vi, 4. 

8 Z., Ft. Ill, fol. 2o8a; V, 530. According to another version, 
Naamah, the sister of Tubal Cain, was from the side of Cain the 
murderer ; she was a seducer of men and spirits, including Aza and Azael, 
who again were of the children of God mentioned in Genesis. She became 
the mother of demons and is still abroad in the world, exciting the desires 
of men, more especially in dreams of the night. She is associated with 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

were in all five orders of intelligence which seem to have 
been cast out of heaven, and some of them were in 
carnated as men. 1 These were the Giants of Genesis, 
the Nephi/im, the descendants of Amalec, the Intruders 
of the Talmud, and so forth. It is on record that they 
caused the destruction of the Temple. 

There is a distinction made in the Zohar between the 
serpent mentioned in Genesis and him who rode thereon. 
It is said that the serpent was female and was she who is 
called the Prostituted Woman. 2 She was the wife of him 
who rode upon her back, 3 and this was Samael the death- 
angel. It comes about in this manner that there is male 
and female on the evil, even as on the sacred side 4 
though in a rough and general sense the right side is 
sometimes said to be masculine and the left feminine. 
Samael is the tempter-spirit whose purpose is to put man 
to the test, and his other name is the End of Darkness, 
which is equivalent to the end of all flesh." 5 But when 
the Zohar speaks of the spirit of evil generically, it affirms 
that this is an old and insensate thing 6 much as European 
folk-lore was accustomed to represent Satan as a poor 

Lilith, of whom we shall hear shortly in connection with the fall of Adam. 
It is testified by this tradition that demons are subject to death in the 
same way as human beings, but this must apply to the progeny and not 
to the first parents, as Samael, Lilith and Naamah are still in activity. 
Z., Ft. Ill, fol. ssa; DE PAULY, I, 317. 

1 Ib., fol. 25a; I, 156. 

2 /., Appendices, Ft. Ill, Secrets of the Law; II, 727. See also 
Additamenta (Toss eft a}; II, 734. It is she whose "feet go down to 
death." Prov. v, 5. 

8 It is. said also that the adulterous woman by whom the world is 
seduced is the sword of the destroying angel. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 23ib ; 

V, 57L 

4 Ib.j Pt. I, I53a ; II, 201. They are impurity taking shape as such ; 
and from their union issue powerful spiritual leaders who are spread 
abroad in the world and defile it. Samael mounted on the serpent s 
back is a symbol of the evil side of sexual intercourse that is to say, 
after the manner of the beasts. 

5 /., fol. i$2b; I, 201. 

6 Ib., fol. I79a; II, 307. The reference is to the "old and foolish 
King" of Eccles. iv, 13. See also Z., Pt. II, fol. 33b ; III, 163, and 
Pt. Ill, fol. 2i9a, The Faithful Shepherd; V, 553, from which it seems to 
follow that the demon is a fool. 


"The Serpent and Fall of the ^Angels 

and witless creature who is cheated easily in the end. 
When the serpent was condemned to go upon her belly 
this means that God took away those feet which are the 
support of the body, and here the text affords one of its 
profound intimations when it goes on to say : But Israel, 
who would not be supported by the Law which was 
built up to encompass it, as the hills stand round Jeru 
salem has lent feet to the serpent for the support of 

As there is a serpent below which is still at work in 
the world, so there is a sacred serpent above which 
watches over mankind in all the roads and pathways and 
restrains the power of the impure serpent. 1 It is one of 
the adornments of the heavenly throne. From the kind 
of union which is predicated concerning Samael and the 
evil serpent, they seem to pass easily one into another, 
and it is presumably in this way that we hear of a great 
serpent the dragon of later Kabalism which was cast 
into the abyss with his legions when the Sacred Name of 
forty-two letters was first graven upon the seal of God. 
But the abyss subsequently gave up the demons and the 
surface of the earth was covered with darkness till 
celestial light illuminated the world. 2 This spirit of evil 
has chiefs and messengers under his orders, intervening in 
all acts of man ; yet the serpent can only defile the soul 
by special authorisation therefrom. 3 Therefore Israel 
still suffers on account of the impurities which came from 
the side of the first serpent ; from the impurities of ill- 
doing spirits ; and from those of demons ; but especially 
from the impurities of that particular reptile which is 
called "the other god" and is identified with Amalec. 4 
He is said to be the cause of all uncleanliness in the 
world, in all the degrees thereof. He is apparently on 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 243b ; DE PAULY, II, 563. This is Metatron. 

2 /., fol. sob ; I, 190. 

3 /., fol. 1525, i53a ; II, 200, 201. 

4 /., fol. 28b, 2ga ; I, 181, 182. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the male side and as such is an assassin, while his wife is 
a mortal poison, because she incites to idolatry. Now, 
the word 4< poison " is Sam in Hebrew and " God " is 
El y whence the two words make up the name Samael, or 
the God-empoisoner, so that Amalec is apparently a 
synonym. There are said, however, to be two demons 
of this name and the Divine malediction of the first 
serpent applies to both. 

For the rest, demons are the excrement of the earth 
and are designated by the word Tohou, while Bohou 
signifies that part of the world which is free from demons. 1 
It follows that the first state is that of the infernal 
cohorts so confused with matter that they formed one 
body therewith. A separation was accomplished by the 
fire which is referred to under the name of darkness, 
when it is said that " darkness was upon the face of the 
deep." 2 But to make the clarification complete, the 
Holy Spirit brooded upon the face of the waters. 3 It is 
added that so long as the purification was unfinished, the 
spirit of the demon still interposed between heaven and 
matter, to deprive man of the pure vision of God 4 
another suggestion that the history of creation is one of 
states of the soul. Unfortunately the Zohar amidst all 
its casual information of this kind does not furnish one 
per cent, of the materials necessary to elucidate it at 
length, and the same remark applies to the general 
history of election of which it is a part, so that this 
phase of the Secret Doctrine cannot be developed. 

We shall meet with the Serpent and Samae"! again in 
the next chapter and shall ascertain after what manner 
they enter into the mystery of sex. As a conclusion 
to this part, it seems desirable to say that the Zoharic 
prince of demons is never compared to the morning star 
or to any other luminary in heaven. I do not remember 

1 There is apparently a light of the world below which is in separa 
tion from the world above, and this is said to generate demons without 
number. Z., Pt. I, fol. 15613 ; DE PAULY, II, 214. 2 Gen. i, 2. 

3 Ib. 4 Z., : t. I, fol. i6a ; I, 94-96. 


The Serpent and Fall of the ^Angels 

that the word Lucifer occurs anywhere in the text and 
not certainly as a synonym of Satan. Finally, the world 
will not be set free from the serpent until the coming of 
Messiah the King, who will cast down death for ever. 1 
As to what may happen thereafter, the mind of the 
doctors is divided, which it seems to have been invariably 
on all matters that concern eschatology. We shall have 
to take back into our hearts every primitive form of 
thought before we shall consent to believe that the Holy 
One, blessed be He, created the tempter-spirit so that He 
might put man to the test ; 2 but this is one of the 
theses, as we have seen, and it follows in such case that " he 
is also God s minister." Perhaps it is for this reason that 
there is a counsel not to affront the demon, since in virtue 
of such an imposed office he would be sacred, like the 
executioner. Moreover, as the infernal male and female 
principles symbolise the sex mystery in the deeps of 
corruption, we have to remember that even in these deeps 
it is a reflection of the mystery that is on high, and to say 
that it may not be without an inward element of redemp 
tion seems to connect with the truth of things, working 
towards a justification of the Divine Ways in all the 
quarters of the universe. 3 Si descendero ad infernum, 
ades. One of the fragmentary texts incorporated with 
the Zohar affirms therefore that even the evil spirit will 
be restored at the end of days. 4 The inference is ex- 
tracted with an all too common perversity out of the 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. ii3b, ii4a; DE PAULY, II, 58, 59. The authority is 
Is. xxv, 8 ; Zach. xiii. 2. The point is that Samael is the death-angel, 
and it is one of those places in the Zohar where he and the serpent on 
which he rides are identified on account of their union. 

2 /., Appendix III, The Secret Midrash, fol. 2b ; DE PAULY, II, 686. 

3 Between good and evil the mediating and reconciling principle is 
held to be womanhood, and hence, as we have seen, it is said in rather 
cryptic language that the Spirit of Good and the Spirit of Evil can only 
abide in harmony so far as the female is between them, she having part 
in both. It is then only that the Spirit of Good, which constitutes true 
joy, attracts the female and thus preponderates over the Spirit of Evil. 
/<., fol. 49a ; I, 284. 

4 /., I t. I, fol. 28;b; 11,664. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

words : " He brought back all the goods, and also brought 
again his brother Lot." x The imputed authority matters 
nothing and the idea which has begotten the interpreta 
tion signifies everything. I have indicated that the 
Zohar as exegesis was conceived and born in a house 
of distraction. 

1 Gen. xiv, 16. 




MATTHEW ARNOLD was of opinion that it was impossible 
to dispense with Christianity or to be satisfied with it in 
the current and accepted forms. A similar impression 
has been created through all the Christian centuries by 
the myth of Paradise, and especially that part of it which 
concerns the Fall of Man ; l but it will be understood 
that I am not alluding to persons for whom it is folk-lore 
or fable. As to these there is no difficulty: it is only 
among those who regard it as in some sense a veil of 
man s spiritual history that the problems offered by this 
myth are of real consequence, and it is these naturally 
who have expended their skill in seeking to construct it 
rationally. Very few have done otherwise than distort 
the materials placed in their hands, so that if it is hard 
to be satisfied with the plain story, it is impossible to 
accept the attempts by which the literal body has been 
buried, so that it might be raised a spiritual body. The 
resurrections are worse than the form which used to move 
among us in some manner of the life of faith. I believe 
that at this day the Latin Church imposes on its mem 
bers an acceptance of the simple story, exactly as it is 

1 There is a feeling at the present day in certain schools of interpre 
tation that the idea of a generic difference between man in the first estate 
of Paradise and in the exile of the world beyond has no authority in 
Scripture and that it was adopted by the Church early in the Christian 
centuries as a working hypothesis of doctrine. However this may be, 
the Zohar has very plain instruction on the subject, and the present 
section of our research, taken in connection with that on the Myth of 
Paradise, will shew that a life of glory and divinity was followed by a 
life of shame. The word fall is of course technical and as such parti 
cular to Christian theology, with all its cloud of developments, but about 
that which is meant thereby no question will be found in the Zohar. 

9 1 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

given in Genesis, so that it is a clear issue and deserving 
of our respect as such. 1 It is to be taken or left ; those 
in the fold take it amidst silence in the heaven of faith, 
though there may be many wry faces turned to the wall 
for concealment ; the rest leave it no doubt. I have 
spent many years among the mystics who have made 
excursions into this subject and have produced their vari 
ous versions, " to perplex the sages " and others. The 
versions stand at their value, and I do not know that 
there is much to choose between them, from those of St. 
Augustine to Saint-Martin. Readers who are acquainted 
with the theses of Jacob Btfhme on the Paradisaical state 
will remember that Adam, in his system, began to de 
generate before the specific occasion of his Fall is sup 
posed to have arisen and, as part of his declension, that a 
state of inactivity supervened. 2 One consequence was 
that Eve had to be removed from within him and mani 
fested in a state of separation. I do not know how this 
is harmonised with the Lord God s statement that " it is 
not good that the man should be alone," 3 nor does it 
perhaps signify. In any case the provision of a helpmate 
did not save him, for in the obscure providence of those 
dealings the woman was the occasion of his literal fall. 
The Zohar also recognises a gradual degeneration of 
Adam, 4 because apparently the workings of the beast 
" more subtle than any " were in process prior to 
the manifest temptation of Eve. I do not know why 
a time - limit should be drawn about the story so 

1 It makes a clean sweep of the whole fantastic mass of private inter 
pretations and throws us back on the first principles of the story, forbid 
ding us to exercise our personal and putative wisdom above that which 
is written. While it is not possible to accept the asylum offered, there 
is no desire on my part to make salvage in respect of the baggage which 
has been "heaved over among the rubbish." 

2 It is said that the "tincture" of Adam was quite wearied, The 
Three Principles, c. 13. The reason is given at length in Mysterium 
Magnum, c. 18, being his hunger to eat of good and evil, not indeed 
in the mouth but with the imagination. 

3 Gen. ii, 18. 

4 Z., Pt. II, fol. 262b ; DE PAULY, IV, 295. 

9 2 

The Fall of Man 

closely, but it is stated more than once that Adam fell 
on the very day of his creation, 1 the notion being drawn 
in the usual inscrutable manner from this text of Isaiah : 
" In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in 
the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish," 
though the reading is quite different in the Zohar. 

It appears that the original union of man, male and 
female, was apart from fleshly sensation, and it was 
therefore an union in modesty. 3 When Adam said : 
" This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh " 4 
he was seeking to dispose Eve in favour of this inter 
course, because they were one only. It was out of 
this that the temptation is represented as having arisen, 
for immediately after these words of tenderness the 
spirit of evil awoke, to substitute carnal pleasures for 
its own profit in place of pure affection. 5 The object 
was also to sully the sanctity above by defiling man 
below in the first place. 6 As regards what theology 
would call the matter of the sin, there is no need to 
add that the apple is not understood literally. It is 
called sometimes the fruit of the vine, that is to say, 
grapes ; but this is a veil also and is to be understood 
as the explanation of a certain mystery of knowledge, 
which knowledge belongs to the domain of sex. These 
are the fruits which are said elsewhere to be agree 
able, on the authority of Genesis, but they trouble 
the spirits of those who make bad use of them, as 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 35b ; DE PAULY, I, 219. According to Jacob Bohme, 
the period was forty days. We shall see elsewhere that the First Sabbath 
followed the decree of his expulsion. 

2 Is. xvii, n. The Zoharic rendering is "The day that you have 
planted, your seed shall produce only wild fruits." 

3 There is an obscure suggestion that children were born to Adam 
in the Garden of Eden, that is to say, souls, and if they had come with 
him out of the Garden, man would have had eternal life. He was 
expelled, however, to engender children outside. Z., Pt. I, 6ob, 6ia ; 

I, 356. 

* Gen. li, 23. 5 Z., Pt. I, fol. 49b ; I, 287. 

6 11)., fol. 52a; I, 301. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Noah did in the case of his own vine. 1 He who rode 
upon the serpent, the Tempter-Spirit or Samael, who 
is said also to have descended from heaven so mounted, 2 
as if he were an accredited messenger, approached Eve 
and testified that the Holy One created the world by 
help of the Tree of Knowledge ; B that by eating thereof, 
and so only, was He able to create the world ; and that 
if the woman ate of it, on her own part, she would 
attain the same power. 4 In a work so multifarious as 
the Zohar and so free of all responsibility created by 
the precedents of its own sections, it \vill be understood 
how there are alternative accounts as to the kind of 
temptation. In another case it is said that Eve was 
seduced by the peculiar atmosphere of the demon which 
encompassed the mythical fruit, as if it lay in a hot 
bed; 5 but this is additional detail rather than alternative. 
In a third there is exactly the kind of intimation which 
we should expect in relation to the mystery which the 
text reads into the myth : it was a seduction arising 
from the bewrayment of love, which had not appeared 
in the world till Adam and Eve were set toward one 
another face to face ; fi it was also an outcome of the 
blind turning towards conception and generation ; so 
that in this sense Eve was made victim as a result of 
her own womanhood. By reason of one or another 
cause, she decided to taste the fruit, which had the 
faculty of opening the eyes, in those who approached 

1 Z., I t. I, fol. 192.1: DK FAULY, II, 356. See also Deut. xxxii, 32: 
"Their grapes are grapes of" gall, their clusters are bitter." And see Z., 
Ft. I, fol. 36a; I, 225. 

2 //;., fol. 35!) ; I, 221. It is said that all creatures took fright when 
he appeared. 

3 The allusion is to the Mystery of Faith and Sex ; the universe was 
a work of generation, and in this sense therefore the testimony of 
Samael was true, but that to which it was a preface proved by the 
hypothesis of the legend -a lying travesty of the true practice. 

4 Z., Ft. I, fol. 36a ; I, 222. 5 Jb., Ft. II, fol. 203!} ; IV, 205. 

//>., fol. 23ia; IV, 253. It is suggested again in this place that 
Adam and Eve began to engender children from the moment that they 
were put face to face. f 


The Fall of Man 

it, in respect of things concerning the Tree itself. 1 The 
result was a division between life and death, 2 as if the 
peace-insuring Middle Pillar had been removed from 
the Sephirotic Tree and the Shekinah had ascended to 
Kether^ leaving the Sephira Malkuth without God in 
the world. There was division also between the Voice 
and the Word, so that the Voice spoke yet the Word 
was not uttered. 3 God was asleep therefore in the 
heart of man. To speak of events like these in what 
ever immemorial past is of course to remind the Sons 
of the Secret Doctrine how it fares with them in the 
actual present ; and so it is added that since Israel 
has been in captivity the Voice has been divided from 
it, whence the Word is audible no longer. 4 The in 
ference is that the Word remains in the heart, but the 
lips which should speak are paralysed. 

Recurring to the substitution of a mystical vine for 
the apple-tree, another tradition certifies that Eve pressed 
grapes and gave the juice to her husband. The opening 
of their eyes was to behold all the ills of the world. 5 
I suppose that I need not specify in what sense these 
grapes are to be understood as a sex-symbol, and it 
follows that she shewed Adam how they might be 
enjoyed. Obviously, according to this version Traditum 
es t ge nit ales paries Ad<e exist ere, in some sense at that 
period, though neither he nor his wife had as yet been 
clothed with skins, which are understood mystically as 
material bodies. They discerned also their nakedness, 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 36a ; DE PAULY, I, 224. 2 Ib., fol. 36.1; I, 225. 

3 //A, fol. 36a ; I, 225. It was the consequence of separating 
life from death, the analogy of which is separation between man and 
woman by the chastisement of the menses, so that she is in hiding 
like the moon, which is taken away from the heaven of stars for a 
week from month to month. But I question whether the symbolism 
is true in this case, for as the phenomenon concerned is a line of 
demarcation in sex between woman and the world of animals, it is 
in the proper sense a dignity rather than a punishment. 

4 The suggestion comes from Ps. xxxix, 2 : "I was dumb with 
silence. I held my peace, even from good." 

a Z., Pt. I, fol. 36b; I, 226. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

and of this fact there are several explanations, the most 
important of which must be cited. In the act which 
constituted the trespass they lost that celestial lustre 
which had covered them previously and they clothed 
themselves with leaves of the same Tree of which they 
had eaten that is to say, with leaves of the vine or 
fig ! 1 They knew now all secrets of the lower world 
vel infra cingulum and seeing that the leaves of the 
tree were the most pleasurable of that region, they 
sought to acquire force therein by the means thereof. 
Another account renounces symbolism utterly, so 
that he who runs may read. " And when the woman 
saw that the tree was good for food and pleasant to 
the eyes . . . she took of the fruit thereof, and did 
eat." These words are held to designate the first 
union of Adam and Eve. 3 She consented originally 
to union " as a result of her reflections on the values 
of conjugal relations and by reason of that pure affec 
tion and tenderness which united her to Adam." But 
the intervention of the serpent had as its result that 
Eve " gave also to her husband with her/ which means 
that their conjugal relations changed and that she 
filled him with carnal desires. 5 Henceforth desire was 
first on the part of the woman, she alluring the man. 
This evil notwithstanding, the acts performed hence 
forth between them were in correspondence with those 
which obtain above, for the Spirit of Evil imitates the 
Spirit of Good, and that which it occasions below in 
malice the spirit of good fulfils in holiness above. This 

1 These leaves are said in more than one place to signify demons, 
meaning probably the evil side of fleshly desires. It is difficult not to 
think that the Doctors of the Secret Law, who invented a cloud of 
parables to explain the parables of Scripture in its literal sense, had a 
meaning behind this grotesque woof of symbolism, and sometimes it 
shines through the texture. 

2 Gen. iii, 6. 3 Z., Ft. I, fol. 49!:) ; I, 287. 

4 I have put this sentence literally, to shew that the early Victorian 
accent existed prior to the congeries of motives and manners belonging 
to that period. 5 Z., Pt. I, fol. 49b ; I, 287, 288. 

9 6 

The Fall of Man 

correspondence implies, however, a sublime mystery, 
which is said to exceed the capacity of most men. 1 
When Adam and Eve had sinned the Holy One 
stripped off the cuirass formed by the light of the 
sacred letters with which they had been invested : it was 
then they saw that they were naked. 2 Previously the 
cuirass had shielded them from all attacks, whilst they 
were free therein. " And they sewed fig-leaves together 
and made themselves aprons." 3 This means that they 
betook themselves to the delights of the lower and 
material world, leaves of the Tree of Good and Evil, 
fleshly pleasures and the consequences thereof. 4 But it 
is to be observed that the evil is not without the good 
in the Tree of Knowledge : it was the profanation of 
a great mystery, but the seeds of redemption remained. 
It is for this reason that the Zohar discerns a promise of 
salvation hidden in the words : " And the Lord God 
commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the 
garden thou mayest freely eat : but of the Tree of 
the Knowledge of. Good and Evil, thou shalt not eat 
of it : for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou 
shalt surely die." 5 The interpretation itself is extracted 
against all simple sense and reason ; but the fact remains 
that the Sons of the Doctrine recognised a way of 
escape. 6 

A third version affirms that the forbidden fruit 
signifies woman herself, 7 and the versicle appertaining 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 49b ; DE PAULY, I, 288. It is obvious ex hypothesi that 
the correspondence existed previously in the putative spiritual intercourse 
already mentioned and the fact that the likeness remained in the alleged 
grosser union constituted its title to redemption. That the sons of the 
Doctrine practised that which they regarded as the path of its trans 
mutation we shall see later. 

2 /., fol. 53a ; I, 307. 3 Gen. iii, 7. * Z., Pt. I, fol. 53b ; I, 307. 
5 Gen. ii, 16, 17. This was prior to the creation of Eve, according 

to the literal account in Genesis and therefore, as a technical point, it is 
to be noticed that he alone was commanded and he alone forbidden. 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 35b ; 1,219. 

7 lb., fol. 35b ; I, 220. The Tree is said, moreover, to signify man. 
/., fol. 3$b ; I, 222. It must follow in the sense of things that, in this 

97 c 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

hereto is : " Her feet go down to death ; her steps take 
hold on hell." 1 Qut we know that the extract applies 
only to a " strange woman," and the application must 
have reference to intercourse in unredeemed bonds of 
the body of death, as if the ficus religiosus of the Tree 
of Life had become the barren fig-tree which Christ 
cursed, or as if the letter of the Law remained without 
one vestige of its spirit. Woman is also signified by the 
Garden, 2 when it is said : " And a river went out of 
Eden to water the Garden." 3 Prior to the trespass this 
river penetrated into the woman and irrigated her waters. 
It is added obscurely enough that when men are in 
such a degree of sanctity there is perfect unity, and of 
this unity it is said : " In that day there shall be one 
Lord, and His Name one." 4 Subsequently to their sin 
the Holy One clothed Adam and Eve with vestments 
belonging to flesh alone. 5 The suggestion is that pre 
viously the flesh was glorified by light of the spirit ; but 
what is stated otherwise is that they had garments of 
light, thanks to which they were raised above the higher 
angels who had recourse to them in order to enjoy 

case, the forbidden fruit is an act common to man and woman. It is 
not less certain that in the logic of such symbolism the Tree of Life is 
another postulated act performed by male and female according to a law 
and life of perfection. I must add that after weighing very carefully all 
the counter-symbolism, we must be on our guard how we accept in all its 
literal bearings the somewhat casual and certainly isolated suggestion 
that the forbidden fruit was woman. It is true in a certain sense, but 
that sense postulates the kind of relations between the woman and the 
serpent, between the man and Lilith, of which we hear otherwise, and 
which is the recurring symbolism. I think, in conclusion as to this 
matter, that woman was the forbidden fruit in the same way that she 
is said to be the Garden of Eden. Here again there is a sense in which 
the statement is true assuredly : she is the Garden in the Kingdom of 
Malkuth and she is meant to become the Garden in Binah when man 
has been redeemed in her and she in man ; but this is high mysticism 
and would be nonsense according to the letter, if it were so taken. 

1 Prov. v, 5. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 35b ; DE PAULY, I, 221. 

3 Gen. ii, 10. 

* Zech. xiv, 9. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. 36b ; I, 226, 227. 

9 8 

The Fall of Man 

light. 1 A non-Zoharic tradition declares that the beauty 
of Adam was reflected from the glorious Throne, while 
the beauty of Eve was such that no creature could look 
on her. Even Adam could not do so till after the 
trespass, when both lost their supernatural loveliness. 2 

According to yet another account, the sin of Eve 
was one of separation, and this would no doubt have 
been endorsed by the Bohme school of Christian Mysti 
cism. Separation, on the other hand, according to the 
Zohar, designates death. 3 This is on the one side, and 
on the correlative it is said elsewhere that when Adam 
ate of the Tree of Good and Evil he provoked the 
separation of woman from man. 4 On the day of trans 
gression both heaven and earth sought to flee away, 
because they were established only on the covenant of 
God with man, as it is written : " If my covenant be not 
with day and night, and if I have not appointed the 
ordinances of heaven and earth," 5 &c. When Adam 
forsook the way of faith and the Tree which is the 
synthesis of all trees, he lapsed from a region of stability 
into one susceptible of variation, abandoning life for 
death. 6 The Tree of Life preserves all who are attached 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 36b ; DE PAULY, I, 226, 227. Towards the close of the 
Zohar, Rabbi Eleazar, in the course of a discussion with another doctor of 
the Secret Law, allows that Adam and Eve were clothed with garments of. 
skin before the Fall, but they were then glorious vestments which became 
gross subsequently. He adds that their eyes were opened by the trespass 
to the material form of this world, whereas previously they had beheld 
in all things only the celestial side. /., Pt. Ill, fol. 2<5ib; VI, n. 

2 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 83b; V, 227. The physical beauty was theirs 
afterwards and is the subject of several allusions. 

3 Ib., Pt. I, fol. I2b; I,7o,7i. 

4 /<., fol. 53a; I, 306. The intention may be to signify that the 
union of physical intercourse is of times and seasons only, but above 
it there is a spiritual union, once enjoyed by man, and this is unceasing, 
like that of Jehovah and Elohim. When we come to consider the 
question of the soul in Kabalism, we shall find that this union is postu 
lated in a pre-natal state, and it may well be that the myth of the 
Earthly Paradise is an allegory thereof, embodying a delineation of 
things which led up to the life of earth. 

6 Ib., fol. 56a; I, 321, 322. Jer. xxxiii, 25. 
6 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. I07a, b ; V, 269, 270. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

to it from death for ever. Man was made originally in 
the likeness of the Elohim, which likeness was obscured 
by the Fall, so that the faces of men were transformed, 
with the result that they began to fear the beasts who 
had been afraid previously of them. 1 

I will put separately another intimation which is 
distinct from these and belongs to a different order of 
symbolism, though it seems to me a moral consideration 
rather than a secret doctrine. It depends from the 
reverie that innumerable pleasant odours are diffused 
for ever throughout the Garden of Eden to perfume the 
precious vestments of the soul which are formed from 
the good days spent by man on earth. 2 " And they knew 
that they were naked." 3 This means, according to 
tradition, that they were aware of being without the 
precious vestures which are formed of stainless days. 4 
As a result of the trespass, no such day was left to 
Adam, and it is in this sense that he was naked. 5 When 
he repented, the Holy One clothed him with other 
garments, but they were not garments of days. 6 If, 
however, the garments of skin are on the whole to be 
understood as vehicles of manifestation, material in place 
of spiritual bodies, the question of nakedness remains 
in the absence of a covering belonging to the region of 
artifice. Alternatively, if the bodies were not already 
of flesh, in what sense did the trespass open the eyes 
of Adam and Eve to the fact that they were naked ? 
There are two places in which the garments of skin are 
said to be robes of glory with which they were clothed 
by God, in which they left Paradise, in virtue of which 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 7ia ; DE PAULY, I, 419. 

2 For the Earthly Paradise is a place of sojourn for the departed on 
the return whence they came. 

3 Gen. iii, 7. 

. 4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2243, b ; II, 482, 483. 

6 It is rather an unhappy similitude, for so long as he had not eaten 
of the Tree of Knowledge, he was incapable of good days, and further 
more that which was stripped from him was a robe of glory, wherein 
he had no need for the vesture of stainless days. 
Z., Pt. I, fol. 224a; 11,483- 


The Fall of Man 

they resembled those who are on high, and wherein they 
were ultimately buried. 1 

There is one more point of view before I come to the 
suggestion in chief of the story. It is said that when 
Adam sinned the evil serpent cleaved to him and defiled 
him, as well as all future generations. 2 The serpent was 
able to penetrate secretly into man s interior, and Adam 
submitted to this so that he might know the mysteries 
of things below. The serpent showed him all the 
pleasures of the world 3 presumably as Satan took 
Christ into a high mountain whence He beheld all the 
Kingdoms. These intimations depend from a thesis 
which recurs many times in the Zohar. It is testified 
by the colleagues that the fall of man was one of sin 
with a woman 4 in the normal sense which attaches to 
this expression. It is added almost immediately that 
sexual desires have caused all evils, the correction or 
modification assigned to which in the course of debate 
is that in themselves they are good or evil according 
to the spirit which inspires them. Now, seeing that it is 
to Eve that sin of a sexual order was first imputed, the 
question is who instructed or initiated her ? The answer 
is that the serpent meaning Samael had " criminal 
relations " with her and injected his defilement into her, 5 
Adam not being affected until she communicated in turn 
to him. 6 She cohabited with Samael, who corrupted her 
and by whom she became with child, bringing forth 
Cain. 7 It is obvious that this is in clear contradiction 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 39a, 39b; DE PAULY, III, 184, 185. They were 
permeated with the odours of Paradise. See also ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 2610 ; 
VI, 1 1, already quoted. 

2 /&, Pt. I, fol. 53b ; I, 309. 3 /&, fol. 52a ; I, 301. 

* Ib., Pt. I, fol. 23a ; I, 142. This transpires in the course of a con 
versation, already mentioned, between Shekinah and the two fallen angels 
Aza and Azael. Some of the codices add, as we have seen, that with 
woman he will repair his fault, which is a very important statement 
from the standpoint of the Mystery of Faith, and involves the reintegra- 
tion of nuptial union in the order of Divine things. 

5 7^., fol. 54a; 1,311. 6 /., fol. I26a ; II, 101. 

7 /., fol. 37a ; I, 230. The story of this cohabitation is of Talmudic 
origin and will be found in the Tract Sabbath, among other places. It 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

to the text of Scripture, which says : " And Adam knew 
his wife Eve ; and she conceived, and bare Cain." 1 But 
the anomaly is so glaring that it must be assuredly of 
set purpose, or, in other words, that to develop the 
sexual nature of the Fall the history on which it is 
founded is ignored at need. The Zohar is content 
equally to contradict itself, for it affirms in another 
place that Adam was defiled by the impure spirit before 
his union with Eve, and the son whom he begot in this 
state of impurity was from the left side : so was Cain 
born. But when Adam repented he engendered a son 
from the right side : so was Abel born. 2 It is of course 
arbitrary to postulate such repentance between the two 
nativities rather than before or after. All that we know 
from the text of Genesis is that at the birth of Cain Eve 
was of opinion that she had " gotten a man from God." 
Another account, on the authority of Rabbi Eleazar, 
recurs to the earlier thesis, specifying that Cain was 
begotten from the serpent but that after intercourse 
with Adam, Eve conceived again, and so brought two 
sons into the world one of the works of the serpent 
and one of the works of Adam. The image of Abel 
was from on high and that of Cain from below. 4 

We have not finished, however, with the complications 

is also of general rabbinical authority otherwise, and is stated by R. 
Abraham de Seba in his commentary on the Pentateuch. The Midrash 
Ruth affirms that both Adam and Eve were defiled by the serpent. 
Finally, it is mentioned categorically in the Paraphrase of Jonathan ben 
Uziel (Gen. iv, i) that when Adam knew Eve his wife she had conceived 
already of the angel Samael. Apparently as a r result of the dual inter 
course, she brought forth Cain, who is said to have resembled the beings 
who are above, not those who are below. Eve is also recorded to have 
said : " I have gotten a man, an angel of Jehovah," and not : " I have 
gotten a man from the Lord" (Gen. iv, i). 

1 Gen. iv, 5. Z., Pt. I, fol. 54a ; DE PAULY, I, 311. 

3 Gen. iv, i. 

* Ib. It will be seen that this is at issue with the Paraphrase of 
Jonathan. According to Zohar Ha Hadash, Yithro, the seduction of 
Adam by Lilith and of Eve by her companion Samael caused our 
mortal condition. This is the sense in which death was brought into 
the world, "and all our woe." Ex hypothcsi^ the springs of generation 
were tainted. 


The Fall of Man 

of this subject, for another story recites that the relations 
of Samae l continued for a long time with Eve, who bore 
him many children presumably after the expulsion from 
Paradise. 1 They were not in human likeness. So also, 
after the death of Abel, 2 Adam separated from his wife 
and began to receive visits from two female demons, with 
whom he had relations, and engendered those evil spirits 
and demons which infest the world. 3 It is pointed out that 
there is no need for surprise at this, because every man in 
his dreams sees such women occasionally, observes them 
smiling at him, and if they excite his concupiscence they 
conceive and bear demons. I suppose that one of these 
demons was the black Lilith and the other Naamah, who 
are both mentioned in the Zohar, though not actually 
in this connection. We shall see shortly that Lilith was 
the wife of Adam in Paradise. Adam remained separated 
from his wife for one hundred and thirty years, continuing 
to engender, and so long as he was defiled by the infection 
of the impure spirit, he had no desire for union with Eve. 
It returned, however, when he purified himself, and he 
begot "a son in his own likeness, after his image " that 
is to say, Seth. 4 Dwelling still upon the mystery behind 
sex, the Zohar generalises on this matter, saying that so 
long as man follows the path which leads to the left side, 
his desire is towards the impure only, but the just who 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 55a ; DE PAULY, I, 315, 316. 

2 It is taught, much after the manner of Christian theology, that if 
Adam had never sinned man would nev,r have tasted death as the con 
dition of his entrance into the world beyond. But Christian theology 
does not encourage us to suppose that in such case the union of Adam 
and Eve would have produced children so far at least as I am aware. 
On the other hand, the separation of the sexes was primarily for this 
purpose. See ib. t Pt. Ill, 1590 ; V, 412. I should add that in a later 
place one of the doctors maintains that Adam and Eve would have re 
mained alone in the world in the unfallen state, but another answers him 
that they would have engendered children emanating from the Holy Spirit. 
/., Pt. I,fol.6ia, I, 356, 357. See also Pt. Ill, fol. i8ga ; V, 495, 496. 

8 Z., Pt. I, fol. 54b ; I, 314. The Talmudic story is different in this 
sense, that the sin of Adam in eating of the forbidden fruit was punished 
by an excommunication which lasted 130 years, and it was thereafter that 
he began to engender children in his own image. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

walk in the right way have children worthy of themselves. 
The important point to fix in our minds is that the fall 
of man was not the result of human intercourse taking 
place between Adam and Eve but of some aberration in 
sex variously described, most accounts being exclusive one 
of another. There is an alternative not mentioned pre 
viously which balances the copulation of Eve and Samae l 
by the relations subsisting for a long period of time be 
tween Adam and Lilith amidst all the splendours and 
perfections of Paradise, prior to the creation of the help 
mate. It was to substitute human for infernal pleasures 
that Eve was taken ultimately from the side of Adam, 
and from this point of view we discern another sense in 
which it was " not good that the man should be alone." 

To illustrate further that, from the first page of 
Genesis to the last of the prophets, the importance of 

1 Z.,Pt. I,fol. 34b ; 1, 216. There are a number of scattered references 
to this female demon, who appears to have been of the Melusine and mer 
maid type, for when it is said that " God created great whales" (Gen. i, 
20), the reference is to Leviathan and his wife Lilith. Ib., fol. 346 ; I, 
213. She is a negotium perambulans in tenebris, for she goes abroad in 
the night. Ib., fol. 34b ; I, 214. She is the instigator of punishments, 
clamouring daily for their infliction. Ib., fol. io6a ; II, 33. She is said 
to preside over all fish who are charged with missions to this world 
presumably other amphibious demons, though the Zohar says that they 
are called " the first-born in the land of Egypt " (Ex. xii, -29). The 
sacred angels of the waters that are above were separated by God from 
the emissaries of Lilith in the waters below. It may be noted here that 
she is distinct from the " adulterous woman " who was the wife of Samael, 
as the latter is to be distinguished from Leviathan. Ib., Pt. II, fol. 35a, 
b; III, 169, 170. She is termed "servant" in one place, which is in op 
position to that servant who is Shekinah. The latter is like the conjugal 
Venus and presides over the birth of children, but Lilith devours them. 
Ib., fol. 96a, b; III, 387. Also ib., fol. in a, b ; III, 435. She is the 
mother of demons. Ib., fol. 267b ; IV, 301. She is the most terrible of 
all evil spirits, but she took refuge in the deep when God created and 
adorned Eve. Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. iga ; V, 51, 52. See also ib., Pt. I, fol. 
i6gb; II, 266. Pt. II, fol. H4b; III, 442. Pt. Ill, fol. 222b ; V, 562. 
A Talmudic legend relates that Lilith was created from the same earth 
as Adam and refused in the end to serve him through pride respecting 
her origin. I should mention that the word which the Authorised Version 
renders "screech-owl" in Is. xxxiv. 14, and the Vulgate lamia, is Lilith 
in the original Hebrew, the root of which is a word signifying night. 
Rabbi Elias recognised four mothers of demons, namely, Lilith, Naa- 
mah, Ogeret, and Machalath. 


The Fall of Man 

Holy Writ is in its adaptation to the history and election 
of Israel, it is said that when the Tables of the Law were 
broken, it was then man perceived that he was naked 1 
as he was literally, according to the account in Exodus. 
It is said further that the words: "They heard the 
voice of the Lord Go.l " is an allusion to the voice of God 
on Mount Sinai. And finally : since the day when 
Adam fell the world was in a condition of poverty 2 until 
the arrival of Noah, who having offered a sacrifice 
restored it to the normal state. Now, it is obvious that 
there had been sacrifices previously e.g., the acceptable 
offering of Abel. There must have been therefore some 
thing particular about that of Noah I mean, in the mind 
of the Zohar and we shall see in the next chapter that 
there was something particular also about his drunken 
ness, which was an exploration of Divine Mysteries. We 
know the indignity which befell him, and I shall shew 
presently the kind of sin which led ex hypothesi, to the 
Deluge. I believe that all these allusions touch upon 
the same mystery. 

The Zohar contains no suggestion of importance in 
respect of the expulsion from Eden or the Flaming 
Sword. 3 Adam is said to have chanted the 92nd Psalm 
in his flight, and the Sabbath intervened to protect him, 
so that he was not entirely driven out until the end of 
that day. I do not know what purpose this version is 
supposed to serve, but the secret lamp of Israel did not 
diffuse always the same light. The way of return 
to the Garden was barred, lest worst evils might be 
brought upon the world. 4 The " Flaming Sword which 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 28b ; DE PAULY, I, 181. 

1 /.,fol.6 3 b; 1,371. 

3 A certain supposed contusion of pronouns in the Hebrew text of 
Gen. iii, 24 enables the Zohar to suggest that it was not the Lord God 
who drove out Adam but rather that the latter expelled the Divine Being, 
presumably from his own heart and also, as a manifest Presence, from 
that world which man had ravaged by his trespass. Z., Pt. I, fol. 53b ; 
I 37- 

* Z.,Pt. I, fol. 53b; I, 308. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

turned every way" 1 signifies the angels set over the 
chastisement of man in this world. 2 There is no true 
grace herein and there is no mystery ; but if the temp 
tation and the Fall signify an aberration of sex, a de 
clension or a materialisation therein, there is no question 
that the Tree of Life is the perfect way of nuptials ; 
and the ascent of the Sephirotic Tree, which accord 
ing to the secret schools is a return into union, we shall 
find at the proper time to be a journey in the graces and 
glories of the Sacred Shekinah, who presides over the 
intercourse which, if begun on earth, is completed in the 
world of the Supernals. For there is a grade of per 
fection attainable in these mysteries which was known to 
the Sons of the Doctrine, and in view of it they said that 
a day should come when the world will be avenged of 
the serpent ; 3 this will be the day of the coming of the 
Tree of Life, which will obtain the remission of sins and 
will enchain the serpent. The male and female will be 
united in the Garden of Eden as they were before the 
Fall. But now as then the nakedness of the natural 
Adam is a nakedness of good works and of obedience 
to the commandments of the Law understood as that 
Secret Doctrine which is concerned with the Mystery 
of Faith. 4 

1 Gen. iii, 25. 

2 It is said also to have symbolised the trials with which God over 
whelms man, that he may be restored to the way of goodness. Z., Pt. II, 
fol. i6ya ; DE PAULV, IV, 114. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 1450; II, 173, 174. It is an exceedingly suggestive 
intimation, and its seeming Christian implicits are plain, almost on 
the surface. The world will remain in the toils of the serpent until 
that day shall come when a woman who is comparable to Eve and a 
man corresponding to Adam shall vanquish not only the serpent but 
the angel of death and destruction who rides thereon. 

* It is quite extrinsic to my subject at this point, but as there will be 
occasion for a subsequent reference, I may add here that Adam and Eve 
were interred together in a cave having a door which opened on the 
Garden of Eden ; and there also some of the patriarchs were buried. 
Z., Pt. Ill, fol. i64a ; V, 423. There are several other references. 

1 06 



THE way of human generation 1 had replaced the higher 
intercourse which is outlined faintly and at a far distance 
by the Secret Tradition, and so outlined only in deference 
to all the covenants expressed and implied, because it is 
admittedly a mystery that cannot be revealed to the 
world. The way of humanity had become a sacred way, 
a sacrament in virtue of its correspondence with things 
above, in virtue also of its reflections from that which 
was the design of Nature when it came forth resplendent 
at its first birth. 2 Had this been maintained there would 
have been no path of regeneration, for men would have 
walked in union, as Enoch walked with God. It is 
implied more especially that in the birth of Seth 3 human 
generation was uplifted into the sacramental world, and 
the path of nuptials was followed by the saints of old 
in accordance with a practice of wisdom which will be 
indicated hereafter towards the end of the present 
study. But it was not the way of the world, and we 

1 It should not be inferred that the way of human generation is ever 
reduced in its importance or tampered with in its high symbolism. This 
is why I have termed it important to observe that the fall of man was 
not a sin of natural intercourse with a woman. Under certain prescribed 
conditions, that is rather the way of his return into the true likeness of 
God though not so much for what it is in itself as for that which it 

2 The point is that the Zohar postulates a mystery of spiritual inter 
course belonging to the state of Paradise and in the body of our present 
life a natural intercourse which can be raised into a sacrament of things 
Divine : between these was a sexual iniquity described in the language 
of earthly lust and constituting the fall of man. 

3 Because he only according to the Zohar was in the image and 
likeness of his father, who was in the likeness and image of God. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

have next to consider those stages of the downward path 
which led up to the Deluge, as this is understood in 
Zoharic theosophy. It will be found that the mystery 
of sex belongs thereto, but it is here on the averse side. 

In the explanation of this cataclysm the text dwells 
naturally on the wickedness of man and has the authority 
of Scripture that it was very great over the whole world. 
The particular mystery of iniquity indicated by the Zohar 
is peculiar thereto. The patience of God was extended 
until the evil began to take that form which is described 
as the spilling of blood vainly on the earth. 1 The sex 
aberration here designated will be understood by the 
expression used. It is the crime attributed to Onan, and 
the Zoharic doctrine affirms that no man who is sullied 
in this manner shall enter the heavenly palace nor behold 
the face of Shekinah. 2 The Shekinah is driven away 
thereby, and because of its prevalence the world fell into 
corruption, in part through the sin itself and for the 
rest by the absence of Shekinah. It was as if the 
principle of life had been withdrawn or that the loss of 
the head caused the body to decay. The world had 
become like an unclean woman who has to hide in the 
presence of her husband. 3 Yet this was not the last 
state, for a time came when corruption reached such a 
point that there was neither shame nor concealment 
longer. The sin of Onan is held to have corrupted the 
earth as well as man, 4 quia semen fundebat in terram. 
Now, the waters above represent the male principle, 
while those of the female are the waters below, which is 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 56b ; DE PAULY, I, 326. 

2 /., fol. 5?a ; I, 327. I believe that the Theologia Moralis ot t 
Latin Church is not in agreement with the Zohar respecting the nature 
of the offence recorded in Gen. xxxviii, 9, and offers a particular alter 
native which there is no need to specify. I mention the matter because 
the alternative probably represents an old understanding of the subject. 

3 Ib.j fol. 6ia ; I, 359, 36- 

* /., fol. 6ia,6ib; I, 359, 360. This is, however, qualified later on 
when it is said that the earth is called corrupt when man is in a state of 
decadence. /., fol. 62a ; I, 363. 

1 08 

The Legend of the Deluge 

a very simple allegory of posture in the act of inter 
course. The sin postulated was concerned with the 
waters of the male principle and it was necessary there 
fore that the whole contaminated earth should be purified 
by those of the Deluge. 1 But the waters above, which 
are spiritual, and the spiritual waters below both con 
curred therein, for the floodgates of heaven were opened 
and the fountains of the great deep were broken up. 

One explanation of the vicious state of the world is that 
at the Deluge period it had as yet not been purified fully 
from the infection of the serpent. 2 The generation was 
also without faith more especially concerning the secret 
subject matter of that which is called the Mystery of 
Faith. Men were attached to the leaves of the Tree of 
Good and Evil, meaning the spirit of the demon. 

There is something very strange implied in the symbo 
lism of the Ark, and one is inclined to ask : What was 
this Ark or who? It is a symbol of the Ark of the 
Covenant, and Noah had to be shut up in such a vessel 
here below because this comes to pass also in respect of 
the mystery which is on high. 3 He could not be so in 
closed until God had entered into a covenant with him. 4 
He was then able to save the world, and this corresponds 
with the supreme mystery. It is said that Noah walked 
with Elohim, who is the covenant of peace in the world : 
he was predestined from the day of creation to be shut 
up in the Ark. But it is unbecoming for a wife to re 
ceive any one as a guest at her house without the consent 
of her husband, so when Noah proposed to enter the 
Ark, it was necessary that Jehovah, the Spouse or Master 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 62a ; DE PAULY, I, 363, 364. 

2 II)., fol. 635 ; 1,371. The complete purification took place for a 
moment at the foot of Mount Sinai. 

3 It is obvious that the meaning of this passage is not on the surface. 
It will be seen from what follows that the Noetic Ark was feminine, 
because it was a house for those who were saved from the waters of the 
Deluge, and we know otherwise that a house is always feminine. 

4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 59 b; 1,349- 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of the house, should authorise his union therewith. 1 It 
was therefore at the invitation of God that he so entered. 
The reason is found in the words : " For thee have I seen 
righteous before me in this generation." But Elohim 
is the celestial Bride, who is Shekinah, and it was by her 
permission, as Bride, Wife and Mistress of the house, that 
he had a license to leave the Ark when the Deluge was 
over. After leaving those hospitable quarters, Noah 
made a present to the lady of the house, but it reached 
her by the mediation of her spouse, because Scripture 
tells us that it was to Jehovah and not to Elohim that 
Noah erected an altar and offered sacrifice thereon. It 
was direct, however, from the lady of the house that 
Noah received his reward, because it is said that Elohim 
blessed Noah and his children, saying: "Increase and 
multiply and fill the earth." 3 It follows, as we shall 
see otherwise, that Shekinah presides over the fruit of 
nuptials, as well as over the nuptials themselves. In 
respect of the altar itself, it may be remembered that the 
Zohar has occasional references to an offering made by 
Adam and to that on which he sacrificed. The Deluge 
either destroyed or overturned everything, and when the 
time came for Noah to sacrifice on his part he is sup 
posed to have raised up for this purpose the overthrown 
altar of Adam. 4 We see that his sacrifice is connected, 
though obscurely enough, with that mystery of sex which 
is the subject of allusion throughout. This would seem 
to be the case with every kind of burnt-offering, and it 
is even said that Leviticus i, 17, should be translated to 
signify that the holocaust is a woman and as such an 
agreeable odour to God. 5 The Authorised Version 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 6;a; DE PAULY, I, 394 ; and #., fol. 7ob, yia ; I, 418. 

2 Gen. vii, i. 

3 Gen. iv, i. The name which the Authorised Version and the Vul 
gate translate "God" is "Elohim" in the Hebrew. But the name in 
Gen. viii, 20, 21, which is translated " Lord" in the Authorised Version 
and Vulgate is Jehovah in the original. 

4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 6Qb, ?oa; 1,412. 

5 The translators point out that the Zohar in this passage alters the 


The Legend of the Deluge 

reads : " A burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of 
a sweet savour unto the Lord." It is admitted at the 
same time that the victim of the holocaust is male, 
according to the text, a male without blemish. It is 
admitted also that the word translated burnt is correct 
according to the literal sense, but if this were its true 
meaning it is argued that the orthography would have 
been different. The real purpose of the holocaust was 
the union of the male and female principles, as these 
should never be in separation. Noah offered a sacrifice 
because he represented the male principle which the 
Holy One united to the Ark, the latter representing 
the female principle. 1 

There are two other points which may be mentioned 
for the sake of completeness, and the first of these is that 
the Holy Land was not covered by the waters of the 
Deluge. 2 An authority is found in the words : " Thou 
art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the 
day of indignation." ; The second is that the Deluge 
came to be called the waters of Noah, because he prayed 
for himself only and not for the world. I believe that 
this idea attaches to a Talmudic story, for there is no 
indication in Genesis of especial prayer on the part of 
Noah. The thesis is, however, that, had he chosen, he 
could have prevailed with God to spare the whole creation. 4 

We know from Genesis that Noah planted a vine 
yard, and according to one Zoharic opinion he trans 
planted the vine which had grown in the Garden of 
Eden, but whether this signifies the Tree of Knowledge 
does not transpire except by inference from the legends. 

sense of Scripture by substituting other vowel-points. But the question 
for us is whether it succeeds in conveying its own designed intimation. 
We shall see in due course that Shekinah, the Divine Woman, is termed 
more than once the sacrifice of the Holy One. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. yoa ; DE PAULY, I, 413. 

2 /., Pt. II, fol. I97a ; IV, 192. 3 Ezek. xxii, 24. 

4 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. I4b, I5a; V, 43. The manner in which he saved 
the world, as we have seen that he is supposed to do, was wanting there 
fore in the seals and characters of perfection. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

According to another view, he moved an ordinary vine of 
earth to a more favourable place. The fact that Noah 
pressed the grapes as Eve is said also to have done par 
took of the juice and so became drunken, is held to contain 
a mystery of wisdom. 1 We have seen that ex hypothesi the 
lady of all our race was making an experiment of know 
ledge, and we shall understand further that what followed 
was an intoxication after its own kind. So also Noah 
was concerned with an experiment, having set himseli 
to fathom that sin which had caused the fall of the first 
man. His intention was to find a cure for the world, 
"in place of Eve and her poison"; 2 but he became 
drunken by laying bare the Divine Essence without 
having the intellectual strength to fathom it. This is 
why Scripture says that he was drunken and was un 
covered within his tent. The meaning is that he raised 
a corner of the veil concerning that breach of the world 
which ought always to remain secret. The physical 
symbolism is obvious in this place. Moreover, the tent 
of Noah was really the tent of the vine. 3 

I do not pretend that the last sentences are intelligible 
from any point of view, nor that the materials as a whole 
of this section convey anything of especial importance, 
beyond the postulated experiment made by Noah for 
the purpose of restoring the mystery of sex to its proper 
place in the spiritual life of man. The rest only con 
tinues the tale of lapse and degradation from the perfect 
union signified by the state of Paradise. I will add here 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 73* ; DE PAULY, I, 433- 

2 But not of course Eve apart from the serpent s poison. I cannot 
help feeling that it would have been a great relief to the Sons of the 
Doctrine and a material simplification of their system, if they had not 
been compelled to follow the legend of Genesis which ascribes the fall 

t e Z/ > Pt* n i fol. 73b; I, 434. The Ark was the means of trans 
mitting the true knowledge concerning the mystery of sex from one 
epoch of the world to the other. Certain literati of the early nine 
teenth century, like Jacob Bryant, the Rev. G. S. Faber, Godfry Higgms 
and Edward Davies seem to have recognised that it conveyed somehow 
the mysteries of knowledge, but of what nature they had no conception. 


The Legend of the Deluge 

a few vestiges of symbolism on the subject of the con 
fusion of tongues, which was the next event of importance 
after the Deluge. The builders of Babel are said to have 
found a book containing certain mysteries of wisdom, 
which book had belonged to the generation destroyed 
by the Deluge. 1 The text is very loosely worded and 
it may seem at first sight that it was the primeval memo 
rial of secret knowledge which, as we have seen, was 
transmitted to Adam and thence to the chiefs of the 
people, leaders of sanctity in the early generations. I 
do not think that this is the case, but that it was rather 
a record of magical art as this was attained by Enos, 
according to another Zoharic account. 2 It is said that 
his knowledge and ability in occult science exceeded that 
of his predecessors from Adam downward, and this is 
the sense in which we are to understand the scriptural 
statement that he, Enos, began to " call upon the name 
of the Lord" 3 that is to say, he used the Divine Name 
to compel spirits in accordance with the recognised pro 
cedure of magical operations. The progress of this 
science ended by assuming such proportions that the 
wicked generation of the Deluge expected to escape the 
Divine chastisement by recourse thereto. With the help 
of its mysteries they prepared even to make war on the 
Holy One, which was also the intention of those who 
planned the tower of Babel. 4 Like their predecessors, 
they had great skill in magic : it was enough for them 
to pronounce words and things were accomplished. But 
the project had its source in a limited knowledge con- 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. ;6a, b ; DE PAULY, I, 449, 450. 

2 Ib., fol. s6a; 1,323. 

3 Gen. iv, 26. The Authorised Version reads: "Then began men 
to call upon the Name of the Lord" apparently at the time of the birth 
of Enos, or soon after. The Revised Version agrees, but the Vulgate 
translates the verse in the sense of the Zohar : Iste (id est, Enos) cccpit 
invocare nomen Domini, I should mention that the Zohar always recog 
nises the claim of magic as the art of a secret power, but, as we shall 
see more fully, it is condemned in all its branches and all its modes. 

4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 7$b et seq.; I, 445, n. 

113 H 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

cerning the Mystery of Ancient Wisdom, 1 and I conclude 
therefore that there were two primeval ^books recognised 
in the legend one that of Adam and *the other one of 
knowledge which was either evil in itself or^ could be 
converted readily to evil. 2 At the dispersion which 
arrested the building those concerned therein lost even 
their partial knowledge. The confusion of tongues was 
of course a punishment adjudged; 3 but the apocryphal 
prophecy of Sophonias assures us that at the end of days 
the Lord will change the tongues of all people into a 
pure tongue, so that all may invoke His name and all 
pass under His yoke in one spirit. 4 This is ^quoted by 
the Zohar and is, I think, the only instance in which it 
cites a text outside the greater canon. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. ?6a ; DE PAULY, I, 447- 

2 It must be admitted that this does not agree with a statement in 
fol. 76a ; I, 446, where it is said that the celestial book containing the 
Mystery of Wisdom was transmitted by Adam to other men who pene 
trated this Mystery, and seem to have irritated God thereby ; but this is 
not in agreement with the succession of the keepers of the treasure, 
already enumerated. . 

3 The union between the thought and the word already mentioned 
seems to have been symbolised by the original existence of one language 
only. When men became separated from God, unity was no longer 
possible among themselves. The plan of Babel was elaborated with 
ingenious perversity, as the builders desired to quit the celestial domain 
for that of Satan and so substitute a strange glory for the glory of God. 

4 But the Vulgate rendering of the Prophetia Sophmia reads, Qwa 
tune reiidam populis labium election, ut innocent omnes in nomine 
Domini, et serinant ei humero uno. This is rendered by the revised 
Douay version : " Because then I will restore to the people a chosen lip, 
that all may call on the name of the Lord, and may serve Him with one 



THE considerations arising in the Zohar out of the history 
of Abraham fall into two sections for our purpose in 
connection therewith. The first is consecutive, coherent 
in a certain sense and of great length, but it is not of our 
especial concern ; the second, on account of its content, 
is scattered throughout the text and is of prime import 
ance to the subject of this study. The first may be said 
to open with an interpretation of the call which came 
to the patriarch, in answer to which he left "the land 
of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees " * and entered into 
the land of Canaan. The journey was literal no doubt 
for the doctors in Kabalism and stood as such at its 
value, but it was also a mystic travelling and in this 
respect it belongs to a higher currency. Abraham had 
been endowed with a spirit of wisdom 2 and by the use 
of its talents had attained a knowledge of the celestial 
chiefs 3 who govern the various divisions of the habitable 
world. 4 He had also gone further than this, having dis 
covered that Palestine was the centre of the earth, and 
the point of departure in its creation. He had not 
as yet ascertained by what chief it was ruled but con 
cluded that such a president must be head over all the 
cohort. The study of the Holy Land was therefore the 

1 Gen. xi, 31 ; xv, 7. 

8 Z., Pt. I, 77b, ?8a ; DE PAULY, I, 457- 

3 It is not quite certain whether this carries the implicit that he was 
addicted to the kind of magic which is an art of dealing with spirits and 
is usually called ceremonial because it follows a ritual and prescribed 
verbal formulae. If so, the sequel shews that he was held exonerated in 
virtue of his intention. 

4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 78b; 1,458. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

intent of his journey and he drew for the purpose on all 
his stores of astrological knowledge, but still was unable 
to penetrate the essence and importance of that Supreme 
Power which ruled the worlds innumerable and was 
postulated in his mind as the spiritual chief of Palestine. 
When at the end of his resources, however, the Holy 
One manifested on His own part, counselling that he 
should enter into himself, learn how to know himself 
and forsake all the false occult sciences to which he had 
had recourse previously. This is another sense in which he 
was to come out of his own country. The words : " Go 
into a land that I will shew thee " * mean that Abraham 
was to be occupied henceforth only by those things which 
God would make known to him, though the essential 
nature of the Supreme Power which rules the world 
could not be included in the revelation, being above 
human understanding. It was therefore a journey in the 
Divine obedience rather than one of the soul in God ; 
but this path of conformity is itself a ladder of sanctity, 
by which man can be united to the Holy One and is 
indeed the one way of our ascent. Abraham went up 
this ladder stage by stage 2 until he attained that point 
which was designed in his case, as it is written : ^And 
Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South" 
being the Holy Land, wherein he was to reach the highest 
degree of holiness. But it is said that there was famine 
therein, which means that the country was not as yet 
consecrated, and he proceeded therefore to Egypt which 
is assimilated to the spiritual Garden of the Lord, 4 for 
it is written: " As the garden of the Lord, as the land 
of Egypt." 5 Abraham knew the mystery of this Garden, 6 

1 Gen xii i The direction to leave his country signified that he 
should abandon his studies of the moral influences connected with 
different countries ; to leave his kindred was to abandon the science 
of astrologv : to leave the house of his father was to cease from the 
manner oflU observed therein.-Z., Pt. I, fol. 7 8b ; DE PAULY, I, 458- 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 8oa; I, 468. 

Gen xii Q 4 Z., Pt. I, fol. ib ; I, 469- 6 Gen xm. 10. 

6 The knowledge of Abraham was the consequence of his absolti 
faith in God. 


The Covenant with ^Abraham 

the degrees of which are in correspondence with those 
that are below that is to say, with Egypt, which is there 
fore said to be assimilated. But the nearer that he 
drew to Egypt the more did he cleave unto God. This 
notwithstanding, as the journey had not been authorised 
divinely, he was destined to suffer therein in respect of 
Sarah. 1 It is stated iruthis connection that Abraham had 
lived so modestly with his wife, and in such holiness, that 
he had never looked upon her face previously. Only as 
they drew near to Egypt did she raise a corner of her 
veil, and then he saw that she was fair. 2 In Egypt he 
found a great centre of the occult arts and again betook 
himself to their study, but this time he penetrated the 
secret of evil without being led away thereby. He re 
turned thence to his own grade or degree, which is indi 
cated by the words: 3 "And Abram went up out of 
Egypt . . . into the South " 4 meaning the inward 
height of his sanctity. From this time forward he 
knew the Mystery of Supreme Wisdom and became 
the right hand of the world. This is indicated by the 
words: " From the South even to Beth-el," 5 which is 
the integral stone that stone of the world and Jacob 
about which we have heard already. Abraham in other 
words had attained what the Zohar understands by 
perfect faith. But he was yet to proceed further, 
" going on still toward the South," 6 rising from grade 

1 Gen. xii, 14-20. It is said that the Holy one was seeking to prove 
Abraham and for this reason allowed him to act on his own initiative in 
visiting Egypt. Z., Pt. I, fol. 8za ; DE PAULY, I, 474. 

2 Sarah was under the protection of Shekinah, and during the night 
that *she passed in the palace of Pharaoh she was accompanied by 
angels belonging to the superior degrees, who gave thanks to God. 
Z., Pt. I, fol. 82b; I, 476. See also *#., fol. 8ib ; I, 470, by which it 
appears that the beauty of Sarah was a reflection of the Divine Presence. 
I may mention here that the verbal economy or subterfuge to which 
Abraham had recourse in respect of his wife and sister occasions no 
comment in the Zohar, although it enlarges on the account and adds 
miraculous elements. It is actually affirmed that the description of Sarah 
as Abraham s sister was a description of Shekinah, who was with her. 

3 /., fol. 83a; I, 478. * Gen. xiii, i. 
5 Gen. xiii, 3. 6 Gen. xii, 9. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

to grade, as one exploring the infinite and winning his 
aureole. 1 So did the Holy One become his patrimony, 
and after Abraham was parted from Lot he c< dwelled in 
the land of Canaan," a which is the place of faith. 

When the time comes for the Zohar to speak of 
Melchizedek, King of Salem, it says that his offering of 
bread and wine symbolised the worid above and the world 
below. 3 The sense in which he was " priest of the Most 
High God " is that in the sanctification of himself he 
raised the world below to the height of that which is 
above. For once, as it seems to me, the Zohar has 
exceeded its own measures at this point and has announced 
a spiritual truth the full purport of which it did not realise. 
Concerning the mission of the priesthood it gives, how 
ever, a proper definition when it says that this conjoins 
the world below to that which is above by an indissoluble 

bond. 4 

I believe that I have indicated sufficiently the qualities 
of interpretation which appertain to the first section in 
the history of Abraham; but the second covers that 
period which opens with the making of the covenant 
between God and the patriarch, or the whole of his later 
history. The subject at this point passes from personal 
narration to the " token" or sign of the covenant and 
the mystery foreshewn thereby. 5 

The characteristic physical sign of all Israel on the 
male side has issued in the Zohar from the region of 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 835; DE PAULY, I, 482. 

2 Gen. xiii, 12. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 87a ; I, 502. It seems to follow that, according to 
another manner of Zoharic symbolism, bread and wine signify male and 
female. The bread and wine of Melchizedek were also symbols of nutri 
ment and blessings for the world. /., fol. 8;b ; I, 505. 

4 /., fol. Sya ; I, 502. 

6 I have called Abraham throughout by his name in its later form, 
but it is said that the addition of the letter He, by which Abram was 
transformed, was not added until he had suffered circumcision and it was 
thereafter that the Shekinah became attached to him. Z., Pt. I, fol. 93a ; 
I, 529. The letter He was added also to the name of Sara, as a symbol 
of the female principle. /&, fol. 9^a; I, 54^, 547- 


"The Covenant with ^Abraham 

arbitrary ordinance into that of most sacred symbolism. 
If at first it was a hygienic observance or one that might 
act as an aid to continence, it has become in the Secret 
Tradition a seal of purity, and though it is not expressed 
it is implied indubitably by the text that it had reference 
also to the purity of womanhood, because her protection 
was therein. The proof is that, according to the Zohar, 
the male side of humanity in its separation from the 
female had no true title to the name and prerogative of 
man. There is little need to add that the woman was 
not without the man, but this is not discussed in the 
Zohar, for, with all its illuminations and its strong 
tendencies towards the liberal side, it represents the last 
development of a purely oriental religion. 1 It remains 
that while the masculine shares in humanity, it is man 
only in union with womanhood. 

When Abraham was circumcised 2 he separated himself 
from the impure world and entered into the Sacred 
Covenant, into that covenant on which the world is 
based ; and seeing that he so entered, it follows that the 
world is founded on him. Expanding this fantasy, it is 
sometimes affirmed that Genesis opens with the words : 
" By Abraham God created, * &c., and therefore the 
covenant of circumcision is the origin of heaven and 
earth. 3 The He added to the name of Abram after he 
had fulfilled the ordinance is said to symbolise the five 
books of the Law, which are the records at length of the 
covenant. But that which begins on earth is raised 
gloriously into heaven and prolonged through all the 
worlds. The Sign of the Covenant constitutes the 
foundation of the Sacred Name and of the Mystery of 
Faith the root of the notion being probably the shape 
of t}ie letter Tod with which the Name commences, or 
this at least is the material root. It is said further that 

1 It is said, however, that the Covenant implies the union of the two 
principles. Z., Pt. II, fol. 26a ; DE PAULY, III, 127. 

2 /., fol. 9 ib; I, 519- 3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 93 a; I, 529. 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the Sacred Sign of the Covenant is fixed at the base of 
the Throne, between the two thighs and the trunk 1 a 
reference to the Sephira Tesod, when this is placed on the 
Tree. 2 As the sun enlightens the world, so the sacred 
sign enlightens the body; as a buckler protects man, so 
does this : no evil spirit can approach him who preserves 
it in purity. 3 By the fact of circumcision man enters 
under the wings of the Shekinah. 4 He who preserves the 
Sign as 1 have just said, and fulfils the commandments of 
the Law, is righteous from head to foot, and his life in con 
tinence is his title to a part in the world to come. It is 
said also that so long as a man is uncircumcised, he can 
not unite himself to the Name of the Holy One ; but after 
circumcision, he enters that name and is joined therewith. 6 
Those who do not preserve the sign in purity make 
separation, in a manner, between Israel and the Heavenly 
Father. 7 All the forces of Nature centre in the organ 
of the Covenant, and in the metaphysical principle of the 
Covenant it is held 8 that there was subsequently hidden 
and enclosed that light created when God said : " Let 
there be light" -the alleged reason being that it 
symbolises the fructifying principle, qui semen injicit 
famine. It is this which is called in Scripture " the fruit 
of a tree yielding seed. 1 


1 When it is said in Gen. xxi, i : " And the Lord visited Sarah," the 
Divine Name used in the Hebrew is Jehovah, but according to theZohar 
it was that Degree of the Divine Essence which was symbolised by the 
Vau. It is added that all is contained in the mystery of Vau, and thereby 
all is revealed. Z., Pt. I, fol. H7b ; DE PAULY, II, 69. 

a Z., Pt. I, fol. i4Qb ; II, 190. It is very difficult to allocate 
sporadic symbolism of this kind to its proper source elsewhere in the 
text, bat the allusion seems to be to the extension of the Divine Son 
through the lower Sephiroth, having the head in Daath, as explained in 
my third chapter. 

3 /*., fol. 8a ; I, 45, 46. 4 /, fol. 95* J I, 543- 

6 /#., fol. i62a ; II, 235. The text is : " Blessings are upon the head 
of the just." Prov. x, 6. But the head of the just signifies the Sign of 
the Covenant. Z., in loco tit. 

6 /., fol. Sga; I, 510. 7 /., fol. iSgb ; II, 348. 

8 /., fol. i a ; I, 4. * Gen. i, 3. 

10 Z., Pt. I, fol. la ; I, 4. 

I 2O 

The Covenant with ^Abraham 

It is counselled : c< Suffer not thy mouth to cause 
thy flesh to sin," l and the exhortation is understood as 
a restraint placed upon speech, lest this should generate 
evil thoughts, calculated to soil the consecrated flesh 
which is marked with the seal of the Holy Covenant. 
When the Psalmist says : " The firmament sheweth His 
handiwork," 2 it is to the mark of the Covenant that 
reference is made that is " the work of His hands." 
So also those other words : " Wherefore should God be 
angry at thy voice and destroy the work of thine 
hands ? " 3 are an allusion to those who keep the seal 
in purity. In yet other terms, the firmament publishes 
the names of those holy men who have lived in chastity, 
and our part is to plead for their intercession with God, 
Who hears them always. Their names are written in 
the Book of God, which is the great firmament of stars : 
they are the 4 company which follow the Heavenly 

It is said otherwise concerning the Sign of the Covenant 
that holy flesh is marked with the letter Yod* referring 
to the obvious analogy between the " organ of sanctity " 
and this letter, when circumcision has been performed 
upon the first. The letter Tod symbolises also the 
configuration of the celestial river which is the source 
of souls. The words : u Sanctify unto me all the first 
born, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children 
of Israel," 6 is a commentary on the letter 1W, which is 
the first-born of all the heavenly sanctities. 7 

Finally, there is a curious train of thought which 
r&quires to be followed carefully. 8 " Through wisdom 
is an house builded." 9 This is termed an allusion to 
the mystery expressed in those other words : " And a 
river went forth from Eden to water the garden." 10 It 

1 Eccles. v, 6. 2 Ps. xix, i. 3 Eccles. v, 5. 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 8b ; DE PAULY, I, 48. 
6 Ib., fol. I3a; I, 74. 

Ex. xiii, 2. 7 Z., Pt. I, fol. I3b ; I, 79. 8 /., fol. 940 ; I, 539. 

Is. iv, 3. 10 Gen. ii, 10. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

is said further: "Thy tabernacle is holy," 1 but our 
renderings are not literally the same. This tabernacle 
is termed the union of all. The verse in question 
enumerates three enclosures, one within the other the 
Courts, House and Tabernacle and the Zohar says, 
unexpectedly enough on the surface, that whosoever 
subjects his son to the holocaust of circumcision may 
be assured that the Holy One will draw the child to 
Himself and make his abode in the innermost of these 
enclosures, while the father will earn no less merit than 
if he had offered all other sacrifices in the world and had 
raised up the most perfect altar. The explanation of these 
things can rest only, as I have said, in a most profound 
understanding of the mystery of sex, and the final place of 
that mystery is indicated by the correspondence alleged 
in another part between the Sign of the Covenant and 
the Sacred Crown. 2 

1 See Ps. Ixv, 4 : " Even of Thy Holy Temple." Compare, however, 
the corresponding passage in the Vulgate, Ps. Ixiv, 5 : Sanctum est 
templum tuum, 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 95a; DE PAULY, I, 542. The following points may 
be gathered from other parts of the text: (i) The mark of the Covenant 
is imprinted above as well as on man below ; but this is probably a 
reference to the mark on the Throne, already given. (2) The Kingdom 
was removed for a period from David because he had not preserved the 
sign in perfect purity. (3) He who so keeps it has nothing to fear from 
severity i.e., judgment being united thereby to the Name of the Holy 
One. (4) He who defiles it cannot aspire to the mark of God, which is 
royalty and Jerusalem. (5) The sign is the gate of the body, to hold 
which in sanctity is to find the gate of heaven always open. Z., Pt. I, 
fol. 94a ; I, 535, 536 ; and fol. I5ob ; II, 193. But that to which all this 
applies is surely the idea which lies behind circumcision. 




THE Biblical story of Moses issues in a mystery, for he 
" whom the Lord knew face to face," l having died in 
the Lord on Mount Nebo, was also by Him buried, and 
" no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day." 2 
But, according to the Zohar, the story of Moses begins 
in a mystery also, for he, about whom it is- said , that 
<l there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto 
Moses," 3 was not in his conception after the manner of 
men who had preceded or of those who came after him. 
The distinction belongs more properly to another part 
of my subject and will be found therein. I will there 
fore say only that his parents the " man of the house 
of Levi " 4 and she who was li a daughter of Levi " 5 
had their hearts uplifted unto Her who is called 
Shekinah, second of the Divine Hypostases at the 
time of that union when it is said that " the woman 
conceived and bare a son." 6 The consequence of this 
was that Shekinah reposed on the nuptial bed of his 
parents. 7 He was therefore born, " not of blood, nor 
of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man " merely, 
" but of God " ; 8 and even from the day of his birth 

, l Deut. xxxiv, 10. 2 /., v. 6. 3 /., v. 10. 

4 Ex. ii, i. 5 Ib. 6 /., v. 2. 

1 See Z.,Pt. II,fol. na-i2a; DE PAULY, 111,48-52. It is said in 
the most cryptic manner of the text that the " man of the house of Levi " 
was the angel Gabriel, who is called u man, 5 as it is written : " Even the 
man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning" (Dan. ix, 
21). The house of Levi signifies the Community of Israel referring 
probably to the School of Sanctity above, in the Sepkira Binah. The 
daughter of Levi is the soul. The meaning is that the parents of Moses 
stood for these symbolically. 

8 St. John i, 13. 

I2 3 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the Shekinah never quitted him. 1 He ascended into that 
region where she is said to extend her wings, 2 as it is 
written: "He did fly upon the wings of the wind." 3 
The Lawgiver is affirmed, moreover, to have been the 
first man who attained perfection, even as Messiah will 
be the last ; 4 but there are good reasons, from the 
standpoint of Zoharic Kabalism, why it was requisite 
to qualify this statement, and so it is said elsewhere that 
he was not perfect in all things, the reason being that he 
was separated from his wife. 5 There is no authority in 
the Pentateuch on this subject, but there is that of 
Talmudic tradition, which says that they ceased to 
cohabit. It is probably an arbitrary inference from the 
fact that neither she nor his two sons, Gershon and 
Eliezer, are mentioned in Exodus or elsewhere after 
they were brought back to Moses, "when he encamped 
at the Mount of God " in the wilderness of Sinai. 6 So 
it is said otherwise that the Lawgiver attained the degree 
of Einah but not that of Chokmah ; 7 in other words, he 
did not open the 5Oth Gate of Understanding which 
gives upon the path of Daleth^ leading from Einah to 
Chokmah in the Sephirotic Tree. 

It is difficult, however, to judge clearly as to the 
earthly espousals of Moses, according to the Zohar, for we 
learn elsewhere that he separated himself from Sephora 
by the ordinance of God, that he might be joined to 

1 The father of Moses is said to have been espoused to Shekinah 
apparently in the sense that she was attached to or overshadowed him. 
Otherwise he would have been unwonhy to beget the Lawgiver. But 
it is added that the daughter of Levi whom he espoused was the 
Shekinah perhaps in the sense of being her symbol beiovv. Z., Ft. II, 
fol. iQa; DE PAULY, III, 92. Ib., Pt. I, fol. izob; II, 83. 

2 Ib., Pt. 1 1, fol. 7b; III, 329. 

3 Ps. xviii, 9. 4 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 26ob ; VI, 7. 
6 /#., Pt. I, fol. 234!); II, 523. The explanation is that in order to 

perfection there must be union not alone with that which is above but 
also with that which is below. A falmudic tradition on the subject will 
be found in the Tract Sabbath, but this is at issue with the Zohar as 
it reckons the fact of his separation among his titles of honour. 

6 Ex. xviii, 5. 

7 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 223a; V, 564. 

I2 4 

Of Moses, the Master of the Law 

the heavenly light of Shekinah. 1 Hence it is intimated 
elsewhere, on the authority of Rabbi Simeon, that to 
attribute him children was in some sense beneath his 
dignity, as he had entered into spiritual espousals. 2 It 
is a question of the Mystery of Faith and a case of 
extraordinary exception from the prevailing mind of the 
Zohar, which makes children according to the flesh an 
indispensable title to union with the glory of that 
Second Hypostasis which stands for the nuptials that 
are above. It should be understood at this point that 
the Mystery of Faith consists, according to the French 
translation of the Zohar, "in the union of God with a 
Female whom He fructifies, after the manner of the 
union of male and female." This is true assuredly, yet 
it is only a part of the mystery, or rather it is the doc 
trinal side, and arising therefrom is a practical side about 
which we receive intimations at many points of the text, 
though it enters into complete expression nowhere. Its 
real nature is the sole end of our research. To con 
clude as to the marriages of Moses, there was a moment 
when God said to the Lawgiver: "Let it suffice thee," 3 
but that which was sufficient, says the Zohar, 4 was the 
prophet s union with Shekinah, to Whom he was nearer 
in truth than hands and feet, for as we have seen 
they were not in separation even prior to his birth in this 
life. So also he was under the guidance of no angel 
and no messenger from heaven but under that of God 
Himself, 5 because God and His Shekinah are one. He 
represented the male principle, 6 though in virtue of his 

* Z., Pt. Ill, fol. i8oa ; DE PAULY. V, 472. 

~ Ib., Pt. II, fol. 6gb ; III, 308. The argument is purely casuistic, 
pretending that Scripture attribute? the children of Moses to the mother 
only, and afterwards on the authority of Rabbi Simeon, wresting 
Ex. xviii, 5 maintaining that Tethro brought his own sons to Moses. 

3 Deut. iii, 26. 

4 Z., Pt. 1 1 1, fol. 26ob; VI, 7. 

6 Ib., fol. 286b ; VI, 72. This is held to follow frcm the words: 
"And he said unto Him, If Thy Presence go not with me, carry us 
not up hence." Ex. xxxiii, 15. 

6 Z., Pt. II, fol. 3/b; III, 178. 

I2 5 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

union with Shekinah he was the light of the moon, the 
moon being his symbol, for albeit that she and God are 
one as I have said she shines in the light of the 
Eternal Sun of Justice, more especially in her manifesta 
tion below, or in the work of her providence concerning 
the children of men. It-is by Moses that the men of 
this world are believed to have found salvation, for he 
communicated the vital spirit of the Tree of Life. If 
Israel had not sinned this spirit would have been pre 
served for ever in Israel. 1 

There was no servant so faithful as he who is called 
in the Secret Tradition the Faithful Shepherd. He knew 
all the celestial degrees and was never tempted to join 
himself otherwise than to the Highest. 2 His fidelity 
was greater than that of Ezekiel, for the latter is said 
to have divulged all the treasures of the King. 3 This 
statement is not explained by the Zohar, 4 but I suppose 
that it refers to what is called Kabalistically the work of 
the chariot, being that of Ezekiel s vision, and it seems 
to me that in this respect the later prophet may be held 
to deserve exoneration. The title of Moses was that 
he kept the Secret Law secretly, transmitting it only to 
the elect, 5 and that he made public the Exoteric Law, 
which does not contain the Mystery of Faith. In this 
sense he is called the elder son of Adam, 6 and the reason 
which is not readily translatable is quia verenda pains 
sui operaverat. It is the keeping of the Mystery. 

I pass now to the promulgation of the Law, and it 
would seem that Moses ascended Mount Sinai clothed in 
the vesture of Shekinah, being that cloud which he 
entered and in virtue of which it was possible for him to 
go up. 7 The intention of the Law was to place man 

1 By virtue of the gracious Law contained in the First Tables. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 76a ; I, 447. 3 /., Pt. II, fol. 5a ; III, 19. 

4 Except indeed to say that if Ezekiel so acted he had authority from 
the Holy One. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. 28b; DE PAULY, I, 179. 

6 /., Pt. I, fol. 28b; I, 179. 

7 /., Pt. II, fol. 99a; 10,398. 


Of Moses, the Master of the Law 

under the domination of the Tree of Life, 1 which means 
that there would have been no mysteries, the Law in 
this aspect being the Spouse of God, and therefore it is 
Shekinah herself, or the Mystery of Faith expounded. It 
is that mystery which is beheld in contemplating the face 
of Shekinah in the state which is eye to eye. 2 If this 
intention had been fulfilled, there would have been no 
distinction of Oral and Written Law, and the ques 
tion is therefore as to what intervened so that another 
order followed, contrary to the design of providence. 
Now, it is affirmed by the Zohar that a change took 
place in Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai, 3 and this is 
insisted upon so frequently in terms which never vary as 
to the alleged fact that one cannot help feeling some 
principle is involved, some unstated matter of Secret 
Doctrine. It is testified that Israel was joined anew to 
the Tree of Life, so that it beheld the heavenly 
splendours and realised their lights ; it experienced the 
ineffable joy which fills the hearts of those who desire 
to know and understand the Supreme Mysteries. The 
nation was reclothed by the Holy One with that cuirass 
formed from the letters of His Sacred Name which was 
the protection of Adam and Eve before their fall. The 
serpent could cleave no longer to Israel, and it is affirmed 
to have disappeared from the world. We must under 
stand all this as a reflection rather of the Divine in 
tention in its union with the covenant made by the 
people on their part : " All that the Lord hath spoken 
we will do." 4 They were washed also and sanctified. 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 26ib ; DE PAULY, VI, 10. 

* /., Pt. II, fol. 4ob The Faithful Shepherd; III, 189. 

3 Ib.y Pt. I, fol. 523, b ; I, 302, 303. See also ib., fol. 36b ; I, 226. 
It may be that an arbitrary mode of reasoning is all that lies behind 
this subject. In the view of the Zoharic doctors, there was something 
so great and beyond all experience in fallen human nature which 
it was designed to promulgate in the first Tables of the Law that for 
them it was the Law of Paradise, and its proposed reception by Israel 
involved for them a restitution of the paradisaical state. 

4 Ex. xix, 8. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

To go beyond this point is unreason, and I know not 
how the Zohar, regarded as commentary, can postulate 
such exaltations of Israel either on the basis of the text 
or of that which followed. 1 For we must remember 
that in the absence of Moses, and in the uncertainty as 
to what had become of him, but ex hypothesi in the 
absence otherwise of all temptation, Israel adored the 
golden calf; the old evil order was thus reinstated, and 
I conclude that the serpent returned. It is to be under 
stood further that the riot of the feast which followed 
the idol-worship signifies a sexual orgie, so that she who 
presides over the mystery of sex in sanctity was driven 
from the people, and her secret was taken from them. 
When therefore Moses came down from the mountain 
carrying the Tables of the Law he broke them in the 
presence of the people, which, according to Scripture, 
was because " his anger waxed hot," 2 but it is understood 
otherwise in the Zohar. The thesis is that the original 
Tables constituted the liberation of all, 3 meaning the 
separation from that serpent who is called " the end of 
all flesh." 4 They were formed originally from a single 
block of sapphire, but God breathed upon them and the 
precious stone was divided into two parts. 5 They were 
created prior to the world by the coagulation of the 

1 The canon of criticism seems to be reached by the contrast of two 
passages of Scripture : " And Israel saw that great work which the Lord 
did" (Ex. xiv, 31) which the French translation of the Zohar renders : 
"And Israel saw the mighty hand of the Lord," following apparently 
the Vulgate (et manum mctgnam qiiam exercuerat Dominns contra eos) 
this being reputed to mean that Israel was able to contemplate the 
celestial splendour and enjoy the vision of the supernal lights. The 
other passage is this : "And when Aaron and all the children of Israel 
saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to 
come nigh him " (Ex. xxxiv, 30). As to the value of the contrast, it is 
enough to point out that the first text belongs to the period when the 
Red Sea had just been crossed and has nothing to do with the sojourn 
at the foot of Mount Sinai, which was reached three months after 
(Ex. xix, i). 

2 Ex. xxxii, 19. 3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 630; DE PAULY, I, 371. i n 

4 /., Pt. I, fol. 63b : I, 371. It is understood that one consequence 
of this separation would have been that there should be no more death. 

5 /., Pt. 1 1, fol. S^a, b; III, 347. 

. 128 

Of Moses^ the Master of the Law 

sacred dew which is said to fall on the Garden of 
Apples. 1 They were written before and behind, and were 
symbolised by the loaves of proposition. 2 It is said in 
one place that the writing thereon was like black fire on 
white fire, 3 while according to another it would appear 
that the stones were transparent : 4 the writing in front, 
or on the obverse side, was read from behind, and that 
on the reverse, or behind, was read from in front. 5 It 
is an allusion to the inter-connection of the written and 
oral Law. The Tables were given to Moses on the 
Sabbath Day. It is recorded by Scripture 6 that they 
were cast from the hands of Moses and were broken, 
and here it is explained by the Zohar that this was 
because the letters took flight 7 a device designed to 
point out that no writing remained upon them which 
could possibly be seen by Israel in contemplating the 
fragments. The Tables were broken because Israel was 
not worthy to profit by them, 8 and that which was 
shattered is said to have been not only the written but 
the inward and oral Law. 9 The meaning is that the 
higher order of liberation and mercy which included 
these, the revelation of the secret union, was taken 
henceforth into concealment. The malediction brought 
upon the world by the trespass, and removed for a 
moment as the people passed under the shadow of 
Mount Sinai, 10 descended again upon them. The Tables 
came out of that region from which all liberties issue 

Z., Pt. II, fol. 84b ; DE PAULY, III, 348. 

/&, Pt. 1 1 1, fol. 2;ib; VI, 37, and fol. 273a ; VI, 39- 

/., Pt. II, fol. 226b ; IV, 248. 

/., fol. 84b ; III, 348. See also fol. 84a ; III, 347. 

/., fol. 84a ; III, 347. 

Ex. xxxii, 19. According to the Zohar, they fell of themselves from 
his hands. Z., Pt. II, fol. iQSa, b ; IV, 188. 

Ib. 8 /., Pt. I, fol. 26b; I, 167. 

//;., fol. 28b ; I, 181. "And the Lord said unto Moses, ... I will 
give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have 
written. Ex. xxiv, 12. According to the Zohar, the word " law " signifies 
that which is written, while the word "commandments" refers to the 
Oral Law. /., Pt. Ill, fol. 4ob ; V, 109. 
10 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 36b ; I, 226. 

129 I 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

and on which they all depend. 1 Over the mystical 
mountain they diffused a sweet odour, because the 
sanctities of the world of sanctity inhered therein, but 
this passed away when the golden calf was set up for 
the worship of the nation. 2 

It is recognised by the Zohar that the second Tables 
embodied another record, which was the Law of oppor 
tunism, the Law of mine and thine of prohibition and 
denial, being that of bondage. It was sacred after its own 
manner, because it was a shadow of the first intention, 
but it reflected at a very far distance. I do not know 
whether it is affirmed literally that it is a work of the 
Tree of Knowledge, but this must be held to follow 
from numerous unprecise intimations. And the Secret 
Doctrine, with all the Oral Law by which that Doctrine 
is encompassed, is the Tree of Life ; but the art of its 
mastery is long, and of all the Sons thereof, of all the 
heir s at law, I suppose that only Rabbi Simeon could 
have been said to possess it in the fulness. 3 We know 
that after him the reign of certitude was over and the 
great quest in the hiddenness was pursued in the attitude 
of groping, not erect as heretofore, with the light of true 
enlightenment shining from a meridian sun on the heads 
of the initiates. There is much more that could be said 
upon this subject, but I feel that my purpose is served. 
I would add only that amidst the clouded splendours and 
substitutions of the surface sense we can understand 
readily the great and pressing need for that study of the 
inward meaning which is imposed everywhere in the 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 6b ; DE PAULY, V, 17. 

2 Ib., fol. 6ib ; V, 170. 

3 I mean, of course, since the days of patriarchs and prophets. As 
regards the work of the Tree of Knowledge, the Law from this point of 
view was to preserve the species of the chosen people according to the 
mode of human generation in the world beyond the mystic Garden of 
Eden ; but the work of the Tree of Life, for those who could dwell 
beneath it, was one of mystic generation and fruition. It is never sug 
gested that the Sons of the Doctrine attained the secret in its fulness ; 
they raised a corner of the veil. 

I 3 

Of MoseSy the Master of the Law 

Zohar on those who would enter into the real heritage of 
the elect. To sum up therefore : Moses gave other 
Tables to Israel, and these were from the side of the 
Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, from which 
the Law emanates. The first Tables emanated from the 
Tree of Life. 

I should add that the written Law seems to be repre 
sented by the word Daath, or Knowing : l it is completed 
by that which is traditional. The Doctrine is sometimes 
called Chokmah, or Wisdom, and sometimes Binah, or 
Understanding. 2 The traditional Law has come out of 
the written Law, as woman was brought forth from man, 
according to the mystery of the Garden but this we 
have seen already. It can exist only in unison with the 
written Law, but I think that the Zoharic treatment of 
the latter shews that it was regarded rather as a beast of 
burden that ass of a certain comparison already cited 
on which the King and Queen of the Secret Mysteries 
must never be set to ride. 3 There is, however, one more 
memorable point concerning the Oral Law, and this is 
that although it is a balm of life for the just, for the 
unjust it is a mortal poison. 4 I believe that as much 
has been said concerning the elixir of alchemy. The 
aphorism is not therefore ve/ sanctum invenit, vel sanctum 
facit, yet I think that there is a heart of the Doctrine 
in which the good must fill us entirely as the student 
enters more deeply into its understanding. But the sor 
row of it is that after eating of the Tree of Knowledge 
through the years and the ages we are still untutored 
children knowing little in the essential manner either of 
good or evil.* 


1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 48b ; DE PAULY, I, 282. 

2 The reason given is that it has been formed by the "complete 
name" i.e., Jehovah Elohim, being the Divine Male and Female. 

3 It was like the mule in The High History of the Holy Graal "a 
beast on God s side." 

* Z., Pt. I, fol. 268a; 11,633,634. 
6 Deut. xxxiv, 6. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

I have reminded my readers already that Moses was 
interred outside the Holy Land and that " no man 
knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day." But this 
sepulchre, according to the Zohar, signifies the Mishna. 1 
The Secret Doctrine was interned in the written word 
that end of all revelations. 2 But the tradition says 
that the inner meaning like the spirit of Moses- 
remained with the elders and was handed on secretly. 
The Scripture mentions that "the children of Israel wept 
for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days/ 3 They 
might well have mourned him, had they known, through 
the triumphs and the exiles continued thenceforward, 
for they lost the Secret Doctrine of which he was the 
personitication. It was withdrawn when he left, as if 
into a secret sanctuary, and no voice issued therefrom 
until the days of Rabbi Simeon. That was the Rose of 
Sharon which blossomed on the ruins of Jerusalem in the 
days of Vespasian. I wonder not that there was sorrow 
on occasion amidst the Sons of the Doctrine, as with 
Marius over the ruins of Carthage. Moses was the life 
of the Doctrine, and hence it is affirmed that when he 
ascended to the height of Pisgah " his eye was not dim, 
nor his natural form abated." 4 It is recorded also of 
his figure in its prime that this resembled the sun in 
its splendour 5 so perfectly did his moon reflect that 

One legend says, however, that he did not die, 6 though 
the text repeats it on an authority which is not its own, 
and it adds rather in the manner of a casuist that no 
man dies who is graced by faith. As a fact, the authority 
is the Midrash Rabba, and the Zohar quotes it again in 
another place but in a less questioning mood. Perhaps 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 2;b ; DE PAUI.Y, I, 175- 

The Mishnah is the maid-servant who takes the place of the 
mis ress. /., fol. 28b; I, 175. 

Deut. xxxiv, 8. * Deut. xxxiv, 7, 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 28a ; I, 177- 

/., fol. 28a i I, 176, and tf., Pt. II, fol. i74a ; IV, 129. 


Of MoseSj the Master of the Law 

there is a deeper heart of meaning than transpires on the 
surface, for if we accept the Secret Doctrine on the subject 
of Moses and the Law th ere is an aspect of failure about the 
great mission of the Lawgiver. His stiff-necked genera 
tion prevailed against him to the extent that he could 
fulfil only the shadow of that which he proposed. His 
intention was to deliver the truth which makes men free, 
but they were fit only for a substitute. Now, this is set 
forth very curiously in a single passage of the text, where 
it is affirmed that Moses sought to bring the Shekinah 
out of exile, but he failed. 1 The Shekinah signifies here 
the Secret Doctrine and this implies that the First Tables 
were written ad clerum, but the content was destined to 
remain in exile so long as Israel was incorporated as a people 
in its own place and land, while there is no suggestion that 
the debates of the Doctors brought Shekinah into libera 
tion. 2 It is said therefore, in yet another place, that 
Moses will return on earth at the end of time to com 
plete his mission by revealing the true name of Shekinah, 3 
which is also in the hiddenness, and there is no pretence 
that it was known to the Doctors. Those whom he 
brought out of Egypt he will then lead into knowledge. 
This is why it is exclaimed by Job: "The Lord hath 
given and the Lord hath taken away : Blessed is the 
name of the Lord." That will take place which was to 
have been fulfilled at first : the elect will be set free from 
the death-angel by the true Tables of the Law. Mean 
while Moses obtained the degree of Binah as we have 
seen but not that of Chokmah. His death was from 
what is called in the Zohar the other side, which means 
the right side, the left being the side of the serpent. 5 It 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 28a ; DE PAULY, I, 176. 

8 On the contrary, so long as the Shekinah is in captivity, she is 
never left by Moses. Id. That which he did on earth was, however, to 
attract her to Israel. 7^., fol. 68a ; I, 400. 

3 Ib., fol. 28b ; I, 180. See also, for the return of Moses, #., Pt. II, 
fol. 255a ; II, 602. 

* Jobi, 21. 

5 Z, Pt. I, fol. 5 3 a; I, 306. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

was not caused by the sin of Adam but by the operation 
of a supreme mystery. It is also recorded of Joshua 
that he did not die through his own sinning, but through 
the serpent s counsel to Eve, and this is said to be ex 
pressed in the words : " His servant Joshua, the son of 
Nun, a young man, departed not out of the Tabernacle. 

1 Ex. xxxiii, 1 1 




LOOKING back upon the chequered history of their 
nation and on the purport of its life generally, the mystic 
doctors of Israel did not fail to discern the uplifting of 
strange portents in their spiritual sky, the full signifi 
cance of which was not rightly to be recognised before 
hand, supposing that they were real prognostics. It is 
only after the event that most of us become wise in this 
manner. In retrospect the portents were everywhere ; in 
retrospect the world s creation, the great myth of the 
Garden, the judgment of the Flood, and the rest of the 
Divine Providences were like tocsins and trumpet voices 
concerning all that was to follow. Not alone were the 
seeds therein, but it was Israel delineated throughout. 
Abraham might turn to the South and again he might 
turn therefrom, but the reason in either case was of that 
or of this to come in respect of the twelve tribes. Yet it 
was not only to come ; already it was in a sense there, so 
that the stories of old look weirdly in a light which sug 
gests that they were recorded before the events with which 
they are supposed to deal. The occurrences of the past 
were also fateful in respect of later things that were to 
come. For example, when the Tables of the Law were 
broken by Moses, this is said to have occasioned the 
ultimate destruction of the First and Second Temples. 1 

There are two aspects under which the Temples come 
before us in the Zoharic texts, and as happens so often, 
they do not harmonise together, while it is more impossible 
than difficult to believe that an adjustment can be effected 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 26b ; DE PAULY, I, 167. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

between them. 1 will collate them under what may be 
called the motives attaching to each. There is firstly 
that wherein there is no shadow of vicissitude as to the 
glory and the plenary grace which inhered in the design 
and execution of Solomon s Holy House. The inner 
sanctuary constituted the heart of the world ; 1 the She- 
kinah dwelt therein after the manner of a virtuous and 
faithful wife who never leaves the abode of her husband. 2 
It was therefore well with Israel during this period. The 
building plan was sketched by a supernatural hand and 
was seemingly delivered to David, by whom it was shewn 
to Solomon." The Temple was erected on seven pillars, 4 
the craftsmen following the design, point by point, until 
the work was finished. 5 There was a sense in which they 
followed blindly, but there was also another sense in which 
the work was self-executed . This is suggested by the silent 
nature of the work, about which we hear in Scripture. 6 
The analogy is that of creation, for the world evolved of 
itself, with God as the beginner of the work. 7 Hence 
David said : " Except the Lord build the house, they 
labour in vain that build it." The meaning is that the 
Lord designed the Temple and the work went on of 
itself. It is said also : " Except the Lord watch the city, 
the watchman waketh but in vain." This is Jerusalem 
in its building. The moon is symbolised as shining at 
the full during the whole period. 10 The Temple was 
built for the union of the King and Matrona, 11 God and 
His Church in Israel. Of the structure in its complete- 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 84b ; DE PAULY, I, 487. 

Ib., Pt. II, fol. i64a ; IV, 107. 
Jb. It was guarded by the archangel Metatron. 
Ib., fol. 74a ; I, 438. 

" And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made 
ready before it was brought thither : so that there was neither hammer 
nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building." 
I Kings vi, 7. 

7 Z., Pt. II, fol. 226a ; IV, 247. 8 Ps. cxxvii, i. 

9 Ib. 10 Z.,Pt. I, fol. I5oa; II, 190. 

11 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 74b; V, 203. 

I 3 6 

The Temples in yerusalem 

ness we are told that the earth inhabited by the Gentiles 
encompasses the Holy City, which is the centre of the 
habitable world ; the town encircles the Holy Mountain ; 
the Mountain surrounds the session-house of the Sanhe- 
drin ; this in its turn stands about the Temple; and the 
Temple encompasses the Holy of Holies, where dwells 
the Shekinah and where are the Propitiatory, the Kerubim 
and the Ark of the Covenant. 1 The Holy of Holies 
itself was built on that foundation stone which, as we 
know already, is held to form the central point of the 
world. It is identified with the celestial throne of 
Ezekiel, and in appearance it was like a sapphire. 2 
Solomon is said to have united Matrona to the Supreme 
King by the building of the Temple and there was joy 
everywhere, both above and below. 3 The Temple itself 
is understood as the spiritual union of male and female 
apart from any fleshly union. 4 It symbolised therefore 
the mystery of sex at the highest, and this is a point to 
be memorised in respect of all these reveries. 

Here is the first picture and the alternative is as fol 
lows. The First and Second Temples were transitory 
things in their nature ; they should have been the work 
of God Himself, but because of Israel s sin in the wilder 
ness, the First Temple was built by Solomon, and hence 
it did not subsist. 5 Contrary to the former intimation, 
the Lord was not its builder. So also at the epoch of 
Ezra, again on account of sin, the Second Temple was 
erected by men and there was no ground of subsistence. 
It follows that so far no holy house has been built in 

1 Z., Ft. Ill, fol. i6ib ; DE PAULY, V, 416. 

2 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 7ib, 72a ; I, 425. See Ezek. i, 26 : "And above the 
firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as 
the appearance of a sapphire stone." This stone, according to the Zohar 
(#.), signified the celestial throne, and the throne of the vision signified 
the Traditional Law, while " the appearance of a man" who sat thereon 
was the Written Law. 

3 /., Pt. Ill, fol. 74b; V, 203. 

4 /., Pt. II, fol. 258b; IV, 292. 

5 /., Pt. Ill, fol. 22ia; V, 559. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

reality at all, 1 nor has even the city of Jerusalem been as 
yet constructed. The world is still awaiting that pro 
mise of the Lord : " I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a 
wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the 
midst of her." 2 There are suggestions however which go 
much further than mere questions of substitution. It is 
said that from the day when the Holy One raised the 
Supreme Sanctuary the celestial favours were never mani 
fested in the terrestrial Temple, built of stones and mortar. 3 
I suppose that this is the house not made with hands 
which is termed elsewhere a place of spiritual nourish 
ment which the kingdom of heaven accords to those in 
need of it, and that sanctuary which brings all the poor 
under the shadow of Shekinah. 4 

The Temple of Solomon was a symbol of penitence 
as well as a house of prayer, and its destruction signifies 
an impenitent state. 5 The cause of its destruction is said 
otherwise to have been the separation of the He and Van 
in the Divine Name as the result of sin. 6 The people 
were sent into exile and the Shekinah was driven out. 7 
The Vau went in search of the He, but she was in a 
distant place ; it looked towards the sanctuary, but it was 
burnt ; it looked for the chosen people, but they were in 
exile ; it turned towards the source of benedictions, but 
this was dried up. 8 It is said otherwise that the destruc 
tion of the First Temple dried up the sources of the 
Shekinah above and that of the Second Temple dried up 
those of the Shekinah below. 9 All light was clouded, so 
that the saints of this world were no longer enlightened. 10 
During the exile in Babylon the wings of the Mother in 
Transcendence did not cover her children ; n there was 

I Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 22ia; DE PAULY, V, 559. 2 Zech. ii, 5. 

3 Z., Pt. 1 1, fol. io8b; III, 427. 

4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2o8a; 11,434. 

5 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 75a ; V, 204. 6 Ib., fol. I22a ; V. 316. 

7 Ib., fol. 75a ; V. 204. 

8 The reason was that the male was united no longer to the female. Ib. 

9 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 25sa; II, 601. 10 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 9b ; III, 40. 

II Ib., fol. 9b; 111,39,40. 


The Temples in ^Jerusalem 

therefore a separation between the Tod and first He of 
the Divine Name. The reference is of course to the 
spiritual state of Israel. During the present and greater 
exile the Divine Name is divided now as it was divided 
then, 1 albeit that which it signifies is one eternally above. 
In another form of symbolism the First Temple was 
destroyed because it wanted light, 2 which was absent 
also from the Second Temple, but in a still greater 
degree, the Second Temple signifying the fleshly union 
of male and female. 3 The priests of the First Temple 
ascended on the walls of the sanctuary, holding their 
keys in their hands, and said to God : Hereunto we 
have been Thine administrators ; henceforth take back 
Thy possessions. 4 The sun turned away from the moon 
and enlightened it no longer ; there was no day without 
maledictions and sufferings. 5 

These are the lamentations of the Zohar over its 
holy places arid houses; but another day will come when 
the moon shall resume its primal light. 6 It will be that 
period mentioned in Scripture : " Behold, My servant 
shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled 
and be very high." 7 The reference is to the Messianic 
epoch, when the world will be restored, impurity will 
disappear therefrom, and death shall be cast out for ever. 
The Holy One will remember His people Israel and the 
Temple shall be rebuilt. 8 Formerly it was based on 
severity and wrath, but it will be restored in charity and 
will be founded thereon. 9 Meanwhile, since the destruc 
tion of the sanctuary here below, the Holy One swore 

Z., Ft. II, fol. 9b; DEPAULY, III, 41. 
Ib., fol. I79b; IV, 150. 
Z., Ft. II, fol. 2s8b; IV, 292. 

Ib., Ft. I, fol. 202b, 203a; II, 406. This is " the burden of the valley 
of v sions." Is. xxii, I. 

Ib., fol. i8ia, b; II, 315. 

Ib., fol. i8ib; II, 316. 

Is. ii, 13. See also Gen. xxiv, 2. 

Z., Ft. I, fol. I34a; II, 128. 

Ib., Ft. II, fol. 593, b ; III, 263, 264. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

never to enter the Jerusalem above until Israel returned 
into the Jerusalem below. 1 No blessings have gone forth, 
either in the world above or in that which is below, for 
these worlds depend on one another. 2 The consolation 
of the elect is however that, in the absence of a place of 
sacrifice, devotion to the study of the Law will bring the 
forgiveness of sin more readily than the burnt-offerings 
of old." 3 

1 Z., Pt. I,fol. 2}ia; DE PAULY, II, 511. 

2 70., fol. 7ob; 1,415- 

:> II)., Appendices III, Secret Midrash, fol. 6a ; II, 680. 




THERE is no question that the Kabalistic teaching 
concerning a Deliverer to come should begin by a 
consideration of Talmudic intimations on the subject ; 
for these are many and important within their own 
measures. There is unfortunately no space for such 
an extension of the materials already in my hands, but 
there are several sources of information which are open 
to readers, and indeed the whole subject is available if 
he can have recourse to the French rendering of the 
JerusalemlTalmud l and to the valuable English version of 
the Babylonian Talmud 2 which appeared some years since 
in America. Outside this question of the past, the first 
thing for us to realise on our own part is that there is 
not one line, and much less one page, in the Zohar which 
can be constructed according to its proper sense on the 
assumption that a Messiah has appeared already in Israel, 
while there is consequently nothing that can be applied 
to a second advent of the Christ of Nazareth. These 
things are dreams, and recent pleadings on the subject 
are if possible of less consequence than those of the old 
scholars who filled Europe with their debates in the 

1 M.SCHWAB: Le Talmud de Jerusalem, nvols. Paris, 1871-1889. 
8vo. See also Le Talmud de Babylone. Traduit par 1 Abbe Chiarini. 
2 vols. Leipsic, 1831. 8vo. It embodies a condensed account of both 
.recensions and may serve some general purposes. 

2 New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud: English Translation. 
Original Text edited, formulated and punctuated by MICHAEL L. 
RODKINSON, vol. i, Tract Sabbath, 1896. In all 18 volumes, various 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

1 6th and lyth centuries. 1 The points of analogy be 
tween Kabalistic and Christian doctrine are many and 
eloquent in their way, but they belong to another order. 
There is an attractive hypothesis with which I shall 
attempt to deal a littlerlater on, and its whole design 
is to construct Zoharic theosophy in a direction opposite 
hereto, or not only in a Christian sense but in one which 
would place the texts under the particular obedience of 
Latin theology; and I who, of all things else, would 
desire, were it possible, to look through such enchanted 
glasses, have concluded that there is no evidence, so I 
would therefore warn others. It should be added in 
justice to the interests at large that the Roman Church 
is much too wise to lend countenance officially or 
extra-officially to the interesting view, which is therefore 
the outcome of private zeal only. 

The first question which concerns us is that of Mes 
sianic expectations in mystic Israel. The elect and if 
these are more especially the Sons of the Doctrine it is 
in the sense that the greater include the lesser, meaning 
the race of chosen people the elect must hope always 
for the coming of the man of holiness, 2 for it is said : 
" I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from 
the house of Israel, and I will look to Him/ 3 He is 
the man in transcendence, the man who is allocated- in 
one place to the Sephira Chokmah* but the point is one 
of great complexity and its elucidation belongs to a sub 
sequent part of our research. It is said further that 
He is the " man more precious than fine gold " who is 

1 See BENEDICTUS POSCANTINUS: Dialogum de Messia, Venice, 
1548, and ANTONIUS HULSIUS : In Theologiam Judaicam de Messia, 
Bremen, 1 580. -There is a still earlier work, but I can only claim to know 
of a report concerning it : Epistola R. Samuelis Judcci missam ad Isaac \ 
Mantua, 1475. It claims to have been translated from the Arabic by a 
Dominican, Alphonsus Bono-Homo, and is an argument from the prophets 
that Jesus Christ was the Messiah expected by Jewry. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 204a ; DE PAULY, II, 413. 

3 Is. viii, 17. 

4 I should mention that this reference depends on certain Supple 
ments of the Zohar, which are not included in the text. 

I 4 2 

The Coming of Messiah 

mentioned by Isaiah ; * and it is on record also that He 
shall be raised above all the inhabitants of the world, 
who will adore Him, prostrated in His presence. 2 As 
a further witness respecting His eternal generation, the 
Spirit of Elohim which brooded over the face of the 
waters is sometimes regarded as the Spirit of Messiah, 
who has washed His robes in the heavenly wine from 
the creation of the world. 3 He is also the sacred moon 
on high, having no other light than that which it receives 
from the sun above ; 4 but it is to be noted that the 
Shekinah is also symbolised by the moon and this has 
led to a precarious and indeed impossible identification 
of the Messiah as the Shekinah incarnate. It might be 
said on the same evidence that Solomon was an incar 
nation of Messiah and Moses also, for both had the 
moon as a symbol. 

According to the Midrash Talpigoth, the Messiah will 
bring eternal peace, which of course was understood by 
the Israelites as peace for Israel, plus that which may 
follow extermination for all who did not enter by con 
version into the House of Jacob. It is said in the Zohar 
that, according to tradition, wherever Solomon is men 
tioned in the Song of Solomon this King of Peace is 
designated. 5 Conversion at the Messianic period will be 
apparently on a great scale, because all the nations of 
the world will gather about the King Messiah when He 
shall be manifested, 6 seeing that these words of the 
Scripture must be fulfilled : 7 " And in that day there 
shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign 
of the people ; to it shall the Gentiles seek ; and his rest 
shall be glorious." It will be a time for the revelation 
of mysteries which the will of God has concealed through 
the ages, but as the day of the King approaches even 

1 Is. xiii, 12. 2 Z., Pt. I, fol. I07b; DE PAULY, II, 39. 

a Ib., fol. 24oa ; II, 548. 4 Id., Pt. I, fol. 2383 ; II, 540. 

6 Ib., fol. 29a; I, 182, 183. 

6 Ib., Pt. II, fol. i;2b ; IV, 127 Is. xi, 10. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

little children shall know the mysteries of wisdom. 1 It 
will be also a time of union, for in the Sabbatic millenary 
the Holy One will accomplish union between souls. 2 
All the blessings of Isaac will be realised in Israel, 3 
which will form one people only on earth, " and I will 
make them one nation in the Lord." The meaning 
seems to be that all nations will become one nation of 
the Holy One ; but the great war of the world will 
precede this. 

It is unfortunate that the annotations to the French 
Zohar are largely polemical in character and elucidations 
which would have been valuable on difficult points of 
fact are too often wanting. It would seem at first sight 
that there are several Messiahs to come. There is he 
who is to be the Son of Jesse, said to be master of all, 
by whom the earth is nourished. 5 There is secondly 
the Son of Ephraim, of whom it is testified that he will 
be driven back from Rome. 6 These personalities are 
mentioned, each of them once or twice only, and it is 
suggested in the notes but without offering a reason 
that the second is identified with the third Messiah 
who is the Son of Joseph. The fourth is the Son of 
David 7 and both these are mentioned in the Talmud; 8 but 
one of the " omissions " given in the first appendix to 
the first part of the Zohar affirms that the last two are 
one. 9 The Midrashim are said to agree, but the dis 
tinction for what it is worth remains perfectly clear in 

Z., Ft. I, fol. ii8a ; DE PAULY, II, 71. 

lb., fol. iiga ; II, 77. 

lb., fol. 1450; II, 172. 

Ezek, xxxvii, 22. 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 29!} ; I, 185, 186. Eternal life is possible through him 
only. The authority cited is i Kin^s xx, 31, and a supposed state 
ment therein that "the son of Jesse lives upon the earth," but it is to 
be found in i Sam. xx, 31, and refers of course to David. 

G Z., Pt. II, fol. I2oa; III, 461. See also Part III, fol. I53b; 

V, 394- 

7 The Son of David is said to be the Sephira Netzach^ while the 
Son of Ephraim \sHmL // ., Pt. Ill, fol. 24311, b ; V, 581. 

8 Tracts Aboda-Zara^ Siecai, Ycbauwt and Sanhedrin. 

9 Z., Pt. I, fol. 26 7 b; 11,633. 


The Coming of Messiah 

the Talmudic references, according to which the Son of 
Joseph will suffer a violent death l and will be succeeded 
by the Son of David. Elsewhere in the Zohar it is 
denied that the Son of Joseph will be killed, because he is 
compared to an ox and evil has no hold over him. 2 It 
is of this Messiah that it is said in Scripture : " He was 
wounded for our transgressions . . . and with his stripes 
we are healed." 3 On the contrary, the fact that he will 
die is reaffirmed a few folios subsequently. It is said 
also that one of these alternative deliverers is poor and 
mounted on an ass, while the other is the first-born of 
a bull. 4 They are the two Kerubim stationed before the 
Garden of Eden ; the Flaming Sword is Metatron, 5 but 
at this point the symbolism passes into a wilderness of 
confusion where it is impossible and would serve no 
purpose to follow it. I do not know that we need come 
to any decision as to the number of Messiahs ; it does 
not look in the Zohar as if they can mean states of one 
personality, which is the opinion of the editors, for in 
another place the text explains by an accident what is 
meant by a previous identification : it is said that the 
Messiah who is the Son of Joseph will be united that 
is, in his mission to the Son of David but will be 
slain. 6 The one is the conqueror of the great Rome 
and the other of the little Rome 7 whatever the distinc 
tion between these cities may signify. The number 60 
is fixed for the manifestation of the first and the number 
6 for that of the second. 8 I do not pretend to explain 
the mysticism of these numbers, but I note that the 

1 The Zohar agrees in one place, but adds that he will rise again. 
/., Pt. Ill, fol. 203b ; DE PAULY, V, 520. See also //>., Pt. I, fol. 26;b; 
II, 633, from which it follows that there is one Messiah and that he will 
suffer death. But this is contradicted in Pt. Ill, fol. 27Qa ; VI, 52, where 
a distinction is made between the Son of David and the Son of Joseph, 
who will be slain. 

2 Ib., fol. 2;6b ; V, 48. 3 Is. liii, 5. 

4 Ib., Pt. I II, fol. 279a; VI, 52, 53. 

5 //A, Pt. I, fol. 26;b, 268a ; II, 633. 

6 /A, Pt. Ill, fol. 2o 3 b; V, 520. 

7 Ib., fol. 252a; V, 589. * //>., fol. 252a ; V, 590. 

145 K 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

number 6 is represented by Vau and the Son of David 
is connected with this number. 1 It is obvious that it 
is convenient for purposes of Christian interpretation to 
identify the Son of David and Joseph, as Jesus of Naza 
reth was both. 2 I should add in this connection that 
the words : " Lowly and riding on an ass, and upon a 
colt the foal of an ass," 3 which are referred to Messiah, 
are not understood literally, for the ass represents that 
demon which shall be curbed by the King to come. 4 

The time of the coming of Messiah will be when all 
souls who are kept in the treasury of souls against the 
day of their incarnation shall have actually come hither 
in flesh. 5 Thereafter it would seem that new souls will 
be incarnated in Israel. Then shall the chosen people 
deserve to find and shall not fail herein the beloved 
and sister-soul predestined to each from the beginning 
of creation. It is in allusion to this that the Scripture 
says : " A new heart also will I give you, and a new 
spirit will I put within you." And again: "It shall 
come to pass that I will pour out my spirit upon all 
flesh ; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, 
your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall 
see visions." 7 The Intruders 8 shall be exterminated 

1 Z , fol. 203b ; DE PAULY, V, 520. The letter Vau as we have 
seen j s sa id to symbolise the Eternal World. /., fol. 252b ; V, 591. 

2 The Chevalier P. L. B. Drach concludes that the Talmud speaks of 
the suffering Messiah as Son of Joseph and of the victorious Messiah as 
Son of David, but the evidence which he quotes from the Tract Succa 
seems, on the whole, against him. De U Harmonic entre l*Eglise et la 
Synagogue, T. i ire , pp. 184, 185. 3 Zach. ix, 9. 

4 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 23;a ; V, 577. The explanation given is that 
the demon, who is called the ass, can be made subservient by the 
Sacred Name Shaddai. This reference and extract belong to The 
Faithful Shepherd. It follows that Messiah, who connects with the Ox 
symbolically, will overcome the ass or demon, and hence it is forbidden 
in Deut. xxii, 10, to yoke an ox and an ass together. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 
207a ; V, 528. 

5 //>., Pt. I, fol. 28b ; I, 179. * Ezek. xxxvi, 26. 7 Joel ii, 28. 

8 The reference is primarily to the mixed crowd which followed Israel 
during the Exodus from Egypt and were not afterwards separated from 
the chosen people. There are recurring allusions, and in one place it 
is said that these aliens were souls in transmigration from antecedent, 
destroyed worlds. Z., Pt. I, fol. 2$a ; I, 155. 

The Coming of Messiah 

and that tradition shall be accomplished according to 
which Moses and Israel shall find the beloved soul 
destined to each from the beginning of creation. 1 To 
this period there is referable also that text of Genesis 
which says that Adam and Eve were u naked and not 
ashamed," 2 the reason being that the Intruders are the 
cause of luxury and when they disappear all leaning 
towards incontinence will vanish in like wise. 3 Now all 
this is utterly stultifying disquisition and mania of inter 
pretation in the literal sense, so far as it can be said to 
have any ; and yet through all one feels that the Secret 
Doctrine is sealing and veiling the simplicity which is of 
all grace in Nature and Mystic Art. It is a change 
come over the dream of Israel, so that it shall enter into 
its own on all the planes and in all the worlds by the help 
of the " right spirit " renewed within them. This is the 
Spirit of the Messiah, 4 as it is written : " Renew a right 
spirit within me." 5 And as we know that the Christ 
Who is to come in each one of us, Who is of Nazareth 
and of all the local habitations of the mastery, Who is 
son of David, son of Joseph, Heir of the true legitimacy, 
stands ever at the door and knocks, that rectified period 
is the one when all the portals shall open, so that He 
shall be welcomed in all the ways. Out of the heart 
and the mind shall the Intruders be cast once and for 
all, and the soul shall find the Spouse. We might come 
to a pause at this point on the subject of the Messiah 
in Israel, according to the lights and shadows of the 
Secret Doctrine. It is a forecast of that time when the 
Mystery of Union, which is now a Mystery of Faith, shall 
have entered into realisation in experience on this earth 

1 See next chapter. 2 Gen. ii, 25. 

3 It will be seen therefore that the alien people are understood spiri 
tually as the prompters towards evil who are within us. 

4 It is also the Spirit of God which "moved upon the face of the 
waters" (Gen. i, 2). It is to this Spirit that David aspired. Z., Pt. I, 
fol. i92b; II, 357, 358. 

6 Ps. li, 12. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of ours, and as in the world above there is no distinction 
between Shekinah and the Holy One, so in that which is 
below there will be such a spiritual communion between 
the Lover and the Beloved that the voice of the turtle, 
which is the Canticle of Canticles, shall be heard every 
where, and of that time it may be said : " The male with 
the female, neither male nor female." 

There are, however, some further points which, being 
of an external kind, are of the shadows rather than the 
lights, and there is one which is a light of symbolism, so 
it shall stand first in the sequence. 

In the time of the letter He 1 that is, when the He 
shall rise from the earth God will fulfil that which is 
mentioned in Isaiah. The reference is to c. Ix, at the end 
of verse 22, and it reads in the Authorised Version: 
" I the Lord will hasten it in his time " ; 2 but the Zohar 
gives : " I am the Lord ; and it is I who will hasten 
these marvels when the time thereof shall have come." 
When Israel was driven from its abode the letters of the 
Sacred Name were separated one from another, if it be 
permissible so to speak ; the He was separated from the 
Vau, and hence the Psalmist said: "I am dumb with 
silence." 3 When the Van is separated from the He the 
Word is stilled. The day of the letter He is the fifth 
millenary the period of Israel in exile. When the sixth 
millenary comes, the Van shall raise up the He, and Israel 
shall be lifted also from the dust. 4 After six hundred 
years of the sixth millenary the Gates of Supreme Wisdom 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. ii6b, ii7a; DE PAULY, II, 66-69. 
* The Vulgate agrees : Ego Doinmus in tempore ejus subito faciam 

3 Ps. xxxix, 2. 

4 To understand this passage, it is necessary to remember that, 
according to more than one Zoharic testimony, the second He of the 
Divine Name ni!T = Jehovah, fell, as I have mentioned in Chapter III 
with a promise to recur in the future, when we pass to the consideration 
of Shekinah. We have seen also that the second He is the Daughter 
and that whereby she will be raised is the Van, or Son. It is well to 
observe here how remote these intimations are from the Christian 
scheme which is based on the resurrection of the Son. 


The Coming of Messiah 

shall open, and the springs of Wisdom shall begin to 
pour upon this world, which will make ready to enter 
worthily into the seventh millenary, and this latter will 
constitute the Sabbath of creation. 

Assuming that we have a proper point of departure 
for calculation, we have in another place 1 the exact year 
of the Messiah s advent. When sixty years shall have 
elapsed after the sixth century of the sixth millenary, it 
is said that heaven shall visit the daughter of Jacob. 
In the seventieth year the King Messiah shall be 
revealed in the province of Galilee. The portents will 
be as follows : (i) The rainbow which is now tarnished, 
because it serves only as a memorial that the world will 
be destroyed no more by a deluge will shine with very 
brilliant dyes, like a betrothed lady adorning herself to 
enter into the presence of her spouse.- (2) A star will 
appear in the East and swallow up seven stars in the 
North. 3 (3) Presumably after a period, a fixed star will 
appear in the middle of the firmament and will be visible 
for seventy days. It will have seventy rays and will be 
surrounded by seventy other stars. 4 (4) The city of 
Rome will fall to pieces 5 an intimation which should 
be of moment to the hot gospel of certain protestant 
second-advent preachers, whose vestiges remain among 
us. (5) A great King will rise up and will conquer 
the world. 6 There will be war against Israel, but the 
chosen people shall be delivered. According to one 
account, the seventy celestial chiefs who rule the seventy 
nations of the earth will marshal all the legions of the 
world to make war on the sacred city of Jerusalem, but 
they will be exterminated by the power of the Holy 
One. 7 It is written: "And the house of Jacob shall 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. iiga ; DE PAULY, II, 75, 76. 

2 /., fol. 72b; 1,429,430. 

3 /., fol. nga; II, 76. 

4 /., Pt. 1 1 1, fol. 2i2b; V, 536. 

5 Id. 

6 7.,fol2i2b; V, 537. 

7 Z., Pt. II, fol. 580; III,26o,26i. 

I 49 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the 
house of Esau for stubble." 1 As such stubble, by 
such fire and flame shall the nations perish. Thereafter 
the King Messiah will cause Jerusalem to be rebuilt; 2 
the Holy one will remember that covenant which He 
has made with Israel ; and in that day will David be 
also raised up. 3 The Messiah will draw to him the 
whole world ; it shall be so to the end of the century ; 
and then the Vau shall be united with the He.* It 
will be the period of true bridals ; the Messiah will 
bring about union between the palaces above and below, 
as also between El and Shaddai. 5 

The present place of Messiah, according to the 
prevailing opinion, is in the Garden of Eden, but as 
the testimony is not in full accord it must be left open 
as to whether this is the Eden above or that which is 
below. Wheresoever it be, there is a most secret place 
in the hiddenness which is called the Bird s Nest, and 
therein he abides. 6 In the Paradise there is also a 
certain place which is called the Palace of the Sick ; 7 
the Messiah enters therein and calls upon all the 
diseases, sorrows and troubles of Israel in exile to 
assail himself, and this comes to pass accordingly. Were 
it otherwise there is no one who could suffer the penalty 
due to his misdeeds. Hence it is said : " Surely he 
hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." So 
long as Israel dwelt in the Holy Land, and sacrifices 
were offered therein, Israel was preserved thereby from 
all maladies and penalties ; now it is the Messiah who 
bears them as it is affirmed, for the whole world ; but 
I fear that this can be understood only as the world of 
Israel. 9 

Obadiah v, 18. 2 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 2i2b; DE PAULY, V, 536. 

/., Pt. I, fol. 72b ; I, 430. 4 Ib., fol. IIQE ; II, 76, 77. 

Z., Pt. II, fol. 253a ; IV, 286, 287. 

But he visits various Palaces and the School of Doctrine. 

/., fol. 2i2a; IV, 222. 8 Is. liii, 4. 

Z., Pt. II, fol. 2i2b; IV, 222. 


The Coming of Messiah 

I have left one statement till the last, that it may 
stand for the present by itself, because we shall recur 
thereto at a point which is still far away. It is said 
almost at the beginning of the Zohar, and in that 
which is called The Preliminaries^- that God created 
man with the object of preparing for the advent of 
the Lesser Countenance that Divine Son, corresponding 
to the letter Van, about Whom we have heard sufficiently 
in my third chapter. It is obvious that this is the 
Messiah, and if the fact is not in agreement with some 
other intimations about which we have heard also, there 
will be an opportunity in the proper place to contrast 
them and perhaps also to reach a conclusion on the 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. igb; DE PAULY, I, 119. 



IT should be understood that the story of the soul in 
Kabalism is part of that central doctrine which the 
Zohar calls the Mystery of Faith, or at least the one is 
in close connection with the other and they arise to 
gether. 1 I shall proceed at once to my subject and con 
sider it under four heads, being (i) Pre-existence, (2) the 
Parts of the Soul, (3) the Soul in the world to come, but 
here only in respect of the blessed state, and (4) Rein 
carnation. The doctrine concerning Sheol will call for 
separate treatment. 

As regards pre-existence, I will establish first what 
may be termed the general thesis, with that which belongs 
thereto, and will then illustrate it by such distinctions and 
variations as may seem to deserve mention. When the 
Holy One willed to create the universe, He formed 2 
and apparently in the first instance those souls which 
were intended subsequently to dwell in human bodies. 3 
The place of their tarrying is said in more than one place 
to be the Paradise below, which is the Earthly Paradise 

1 It speaks at once for the genesis and term of the mystery : there is 
that which must be done in heaven, brought down amongst the simili 
tudes of earthly things and finally restored to heaven. 

2 This is the method of expression in the place from which I derive, 
but the idea, in its more adequate Zoharic expression, is not one of for 
mation ; it is rather of begetting. The point is that souls are affirmed 
to have a father and mother, and they are produced in virtue of the union 
between male and female. The basis of the idea is Gen. i. 24 : " Let the 
earth bring forth the living creature," this "creature" being held to 
mean the soul of the first celestial man. Z., Ft. II, fol. I2a ; DE PAULY, 


3 /., fol. 96b ; III, 387. " Each has its form like that of the body 
which it is destined to animate." 


The Soul in Kabalism 

or the Lower Eden. 1 This is also an abode of disin- 
carnate souls who have entered that path which leads 
to the blessed life ; but it is not their final home. 2 Like 
the Christ of Nazareth, the Zohar seems to know that 
there are many mansions in the House of the Father. 
Before they left the presence of the Maker, all souls 
were conjured to keep the precepts of the Law. 3 While 
they await incarnation in Paradise they are clothed with 
bodies and have countenances like those which they are 
destined to possess hereafter, but these vestures are of 
course of a psychic or spiritual kind. 4 When the time 
arrives for embodiment each soul in its turn is called 
before the Holy One and is told which physical envelope 
to inhabit. 5 Paradise is a place of blessing, and it may 
be that " from the gold bar " thereof it has leaned out 
and seen no reason to descend of its own accord, or to 
quit present happiness, as it is said, "for bondage and 
temptation. " It is assured, however, that from the day 
of its creation it had no other mission than to come into 
this world. 6 It submits therefore and is stripped of the 
paradisaical body, that it may be clothed with that of 
earth. It takes the road of earth sorrowing 7 and pro 
ceeds into the exile of human life. 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. iia ; DE PAULY, III, 48. It is also said poetically 
that souls are formed in Paradise of the four winds which breathe therein, 
but the reference is really to that psychic vesture which gives form to 
the soul. /#., fol. I3b; III,59,6o. 2 Z., Pt. II, fol, na ; 111,48. 

3 /., Pt. I, fol. 223b; II, 520. See also Pt. Ill, fol. isa; V, 38, and 
Pt. II, fol. i6ib. ; IV, 101, where the soul is pledged to the study of the 
Law and the attainment of the Mystery of Faith. 

* /., Pt. II, fol. I5oa ; IV, 70. There is no real joy for the soul, save 
in the body of Paradise ; in that of earth it is shut out from communica 
tion with the Supreme Mysteries. See also // .., Pt. I, fol. gob, Qia ; II, 
515, 516. 5 /., Pt. II, fol. 96b; III, 388. 

* Ib. Seeing that the Earthly Paradise is the house of pre-existing 
souls and the place to which they return after death, it may seem that 
the fall which took place therein was in the prototypical humanity, or 
Adam Protoplastes of later Kabalism, in whom all souls fell, as Recanati 
maintained. They are detached from the parent body in succession for 
incarnation on earth. 

7 It is even declared that all which is learned by man as a conse 
quence of his habitation here below was known previously by him in the 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Souls descend in a pre-established chronological order, 
though there are certain exceptions. 1 As in all the great 
events of human life and the universe the precedence 
must be taken by Palestine, it is held that descent to 
earth reaches its term therein, and this invariably, after 
which the souls are thence distributed to the whole world. 2 
What is much more important is that all souls awaiting 
incarnation are arranged in pairs ; the one which is 
destined to animate a male is by the side of one who is 
to animate a female, so that those who are united below 
have been united previously above, 3 because, according to 
Scripture, there is nothing new under the sun. They 
descend also together, but they come into the charge of 
an angel who presides over the pregnancy of women and 
they are then separated. 4 Sometimes the male soul 
animates a man first, sometimes the reverse. 5 When the 
time of marriage comes, the Holy One unites them as 
before and proclaims their union. After the espousals, 
and apparently when intercourse has taken place, they 
become mystically speaking one body and one soul. 

world above, but this is apparently the case more especially or only 
with those who love the truth and are righteous in earthly life. This is 
from the Commentary on Leviticus, and it puts an end to the question of 
freewill by adding that those who are wicked below have been already 
set aside by God, their incarnation being delayed through frequent en 
forced visits to the abyss. So also those who are headstrong here were 
headstrong prior to their incarnation. Z., Ft. Ill, fol. 6ib ; DE PAULY, 
V, 169. This was said in the presence of Rabbi Simeon and was suffered 
to pass unchallenged. 

1 Id., Pt. II, fol. loia; 111,407. 

2 /#., Pt. I, fol. 205b ; II, 424. The exceptions correspond to the 
idea of those who are born out of due time. It is said that male souls 
come from the Tree of Wisdom and female souls from the Inferior Tree, 
but it is a sporadic suggestion which is at issue with recurring notions. 
/#., Pt. II, fol. loia; III,4o8. It is explained in another place that 
just souls, attached to the sacred King by true love, are longer than others 
in coming to this earth. Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 68a, b ; V, 106. 

3 This is the blessed union. 7^., fol. Qib ; I, 520. 

4 Ib. 

5 It is not said that a mistake ever occurs, though this is recognised 
by one form of occultism and is held to account for certain sex-aberra 
tions. I have not found any Kabalistic warrant for the opinion. See 
itliphas Levi. 

The Soul in Kabalism 

If this, however, is the law, we shall see later on that it 
is illustrated chiefly by exceptions. 1 At. the moment I 
will mention only a variant of the last notion, which says 
that, prior to their descent on earth, all souls form an 
unity, and are part of the same mystery ; separation into 
male and female takes place by reason of incarnation, but 
they are again made one in marriage. 2 This recalls the 
Adamic legend and would seem its application to the 
history of individuals above and below. 

I have now given the general thesis, supplemented by 
counter-theses, but it should be realised that it is drawn 
from several places. Among questions which must be 
left open when the text is collated at large there is that 
which locates the soul prior to incarnation in the Paradise 
below, as I have said. Other accounts substitute the 
superior Eden 3 and according to one of these the descent 
for a period into the Earthly Garden takes place just prior 
to incarnation. The time is thirty days. 4 One of the 
alternatives has no explicit concern with either Paradise 
but affirms that from an epoch which preceded the 
creation of the world all souls have been in the presence 
of the Holy One and there remain till they are called to 
go down on earth. 5 According to tradition all emanate 

1 As the Zoharic considerations on the subject of sister-souls, who have 
been, so to speak, mismarried, bear ample witness. 

2 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 43b ; DE PAULY, V, 121. See also id., Pt. I, fol. 
85b ; I, 493, 494> where it is stated that whether or not a man shall meet 
in this life with the soul predestined to himself in union, even from the 
beginning, depends on his own desert. 

8 7#., Pt. Ill, fol. 43a ; V, 1 20. Here it is said that when the soul is in 
the act of descending towards this world it visits the Earthly Paradise, 
where it sees the souls of the just who have left this life. It goes also to 
5^0/and sees the souls of the wicked. These are object lessons, and the 
inference is that they may act as a guide in life. It is said in another 
place that the Soul is from the Sanctuary on high. Ib., Pt. I, fol. 2O5b ; 
11,424. It is that Temple which is mentioned in Ex. xv, 17, as "the 
Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established." Z., Pt. I, fol. 
7 ; I, 38. 

4 According to another account, they pay only a flying visit also for 
purposes of inspection. Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. I3a, b ; V, 39. 

5 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 282a ; IV, 310. It was especially the union of male 
and female souls which existed before creation. The time of intercourse 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

from the same region and during their sojourn in heaven 
they share in the government of things above and below. 1 
There are also certain souls which are kept in the hidden- 
ness and are guarded in a particular manner. When 
these enter into earthly bodies they have power to re- 
ascend into heaven without dying. 2 Of such were Enoch 
and Elias. Speaking for the majority of cases, there is some 
trouble in effecting a harmonious junction between the soul 
and its earthly envelope 3 ; it is not definitely established 
therein until after thirty-three days, and for the first 
seven it goes in and out continuously. One reason seems 
to be that circumcision, in the Zohar, does not take place 
till the thirtieth day and that for three days thereafter 
the body is in a state of suffering. 4 These reveries are 
tortured out of two texts : " She shall then continue in 
the blood of her purifying three and thirty days," 5 which 
is of course a reference to the purification of women after 
childbirth ; and : " It shall be seven days under the dam," 6 
which is a reference to the birth of animals bullocks, 
sheep, or goats. The " blood of her purification " is in 
some obscure way the blood of circumcision. 7 

Hereof is the Zohar in one of its exegetical moods ; 
but these things are weariness, and I will conclude there 
fore on pre-existence with one further reference. It is 
said that the souls of the patriarchs pre-existed in the 
thought of God before the creation and were concealed 
in the other world, whence they came forth in their due 

corresponds to midnight on earth. It is an union in the contemplation 
of God and the joy thereof brings forth other souls, which are those o( 
Gentiles who become converts to Jewry. 

1 Z., I--t. 1 1 1, fol. 68a; OK J AULY, V, 186. 

2 ///., fol. 68b ; V, 1 86, 187. See also //>., fol. iSzb, 1833 ; V, 475, 476. 

3 It is said to be attached to the body by one end only. The sou 
and its envelope develop simultaneously, meaning that their union be 
comes more perfect, but care of the soul is needed for this purpose, just 
as the body needs care. The soul, however, is in the care of heaven. 
/&, Pt. I, fol. 1973; II, 381. 

* Z., I t. III,fol.43b; V, 121, 122. 
6 Leviticus xii, 4. 

Ex. xxii, 30. 7 Z., Ft. Ill, fol. 43b, 44a ; V, 122. 


The Soul in Kabalism 

day. 1 The text apposite hereto is : " The flowers appear 
on the earth," 2 meaning that the souls of the patriarchs 
appear in this world. One would say that these souls 
were the thoughts of God dwelling in divine men, but if 
we reflect upon the subject, we shall, I think, see that the 
Zoharic hypothesis really comes to this ; that the soul- 
world is a world of thought in God ; that the thought 
precedes the Word, as it is shewn to have done in respect 
of creation generally ; and that souls are uttered forth 
continually, passing ultimately into expression in flesh. 

Though it is closely connected with pre-existence, the 
mode followed in the generation or creation of souls is 
hypothetically at least independent and there are import 
ant reasons why it should be postponed for consideration 
till I treat of the mystery of sex in Zoharic theosophy. I 
proceed therefore to the parts or divisions of the soul. 
It is taught in a summary way that man is composed of 
three things : 3 Life, or Nephesh ; Spirit, which is Ruah 
or Ha id ; and Soul, that is, Neshamah. By this he be 
comes " a living spirit" a term, however, which is 
applied more especially to Neshamah. They are called 
also three degrees, or vital spirit, intellectual spirit and 
soul proper. 4 Nephesh is the fallible part, for sin is sug 
gested neither by Ruah nor Neshamah.* It is said else 
where and more plainly that the vital spirit sins, but not 
the soul. The three degrees are superposed one upon 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. ia ; DE PAULY, I, 5. 2 Song of Solomon ii, 12. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2;a ; I, 169. The "living spirit" is said to 
proceed from the mouth of Shekinah, who is called "living soul." 
Here is another aspect of souls being uttered forth by the Divine, and 
seeing that this is the Shekinah in transcendence, who is (a) the Third 
Hypostasis and (b) the M other = Aima in the Supernal Sephira Binah, 
we shall understand the kind of union which subsists between her and 
the Father, who is Abba in Chokwah. There is the Divine Thought in 
Kcther : it is formulated as if mentally in Chokniah : and it is uttered 
in Binah, producing the living intelligences, who are therefore begotten 
into the higher Paradise. 

4 Il>., Pt. I, fol. 205b, 2o6a; II, 424. 

6 /., Pt. Ill, fol. i6a ; V, 46. It is said, however, elsewhere that the 
defilement of Nephesh defiles Rutfh and Neshamah. ///., Pt. II, fol. 
i82a; IV, 155. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

another in the order already given, 1 and Neshamah is 
attached to God, 2 but all these are not the imprescriptible 
possession of every person in life ; the higher parts are 
earned by serving the Master. 3 

Unfortunately, this thesis which may seem reason 
able enough in itself leads to very grave complications 
in respect of that which pre-existed and that which con 
stitutes man a living being in manifestation. It is said 
that some persons are judged worthy to possess a 
Neshamah, others a Ruah only, while yet others have a 
Nephesh and nothing more. 4 These last, by reason of their 
deficiency, are attached to the impure spirit. 5 The 
Nephesh alone is imprescriptible, or necessary to the 
man s existence. 6 If he comports himself worthily with 
this gift another spirit is poured into him, which is like 
a crown of Nephesh, and this is Ruah. The man is 
then illuminated by light from a superior region and is 
in a position to discern the laws of the Sacred King. If 
he still continues worthy he receives the crown of Ruah, 
the name of which is Neshamah, but it is called also Soul 
of God. Now, it seems obvious that it is this only of 
which pre-existence, paradisaical life and the Divine Vision 
can be predicated, and the point is therefore that con 
trary to the very clear doctrine concerning the descent of 
sou-Is Neshamah does not come down and incarnate in 
every human being. 7 It seems in this case to be mere 
fantasy with which we have been dealing previously. 

1 Z.,Pt.II,fol.2o6a;DEPAULY, 11,425. i /.,Pt.III,fol.25a; ,64. 

3 lb., Pt. I, fol. 2o6a ; II, 424. * lb., fol. 25a ; V, 65. 

6 We have to check this by other statements as follows : (a) Man is 
endowed with a Nephesh in the first place and it is given him as a pre 
paration for leading a holy life. lb., Pt. I, fol. 2c6a ; I, 424. (b) The 
three degrees constitute one soul and are attached one to another. lb., 
Pt. Ill, fol. 7ob; V, 191. But in further contradistinction hereto, another 
ruling suggests that the possession of Nephesh and Rua h leaves man use 
less for the purposes of Shekinah in captivity and of Moses who abides 
with her. Ib., Pt. I, fol. 28a ; I, 175, 176. But the reason seems to be 
that they are unskilled in the Secret Doctrine. 

6 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 7ob; V, 191, 192. 

7 Alternatively, the successive addition of higher parts of the soul 
must be understood as gifts of grace, and there is authority for this view 


The Soul in Kabalism 

There is, however, an attempt elsewhere to harmonise 
these disparities, for it is said that when the soul, mean 
ing Neshamah, leaves the celestial region and comes down 
towards earth it is joined to the intellectual spirit; after 
wards both are joined to the spirit of light that is, 

Nephesh? The spirit of light and the intellectual spirit 
dwell together and depend one upon the other, but the soul 
is independent of both. Another thesis is that when man 
proposes to live in purity heaven comes to his aid, grant 
ing him the holy soul, by which he is purified and sancti 
fied ; but if he be unworthy and will not live in purity, 
he is animated only by Nephesh and Ruah. It is obvious 
that this fails to concur with the earlier statement, which 
represents Ruah as a gift to be earned, but we can read 
between the lines of contradiction and conclude that the 
real intention is to represent the permanent part of man 
as descending and overshading the personality, when this * 
is born into the world ; it draws nearer with his growth 
and improvement ; and it may be, so to speak, incor 
porated with him, or it may not. Understood thus, the 
speculation will stand at its value : it is a primitive 
crudity of materialism, but the Zohar sometimes exceeds 
such notions and ascends into a clearer region. 

Before giving two or three casual examples, I will cite 
another classification because of the extraordinary conse- 

m the text, though I do not propose to consider it, as the multiplication 
ol aspects beyond what is actually needed must tend only to the reader s 
confusion. I have registered the fact for the use of those who would 
carry their research further. When it is said elsewhere that Neshamah 
cannot sin the reference from this point of view is to a state of attained 
sanctity in which lapse is by the statement impossible, meaning- 
unlikely. It has become not less difficult to sin than before it was to 
abstain from sin. 

F * ^ ArV/ 5 E)L , 62a v DE PAULY > I, 365. According to Adolphe 
* ranck, Nephesh throughout the Old Testament signifies the bod y of 
man so long as it is alive. La Kaballe, p. 61. It is identified with the 
rsyche by Adumbratio Kabbalce Christian^, which is one of the rare 
supplements to Rosenroth s Kabbala Denudata. It is here regarded as 
the vitality inherent in the natural and instrumental body, and it is vegeta 
tive and sensitive in its nature. There seems to be no Zoharic authority 
for such definitions. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

quences which follow. 1 Nephesh is the soul which forms 
the body and presides over the procreation of beings ; 
Ruah is the soul which causes Nephesh to act and deter 
mines its kind of action ; 2 Neshamah is the supreme force 
issuing from the Tree of Life. 3 These three degrees 
separate after death, each returning to the place from 
which it was brought. Nephesh is presumably of the 
earth earthy, for it is said to remain in the tomb 4 but 
any statement seems to serve which is made on the spur 
of the moment ; Ruah enters the Earthly Paradise, where 
the High Priest Michael offers it as a holocaust to the 
Holy One and it remains in the joy of Paradise ; 5 Nesh 
amah ascends on high. 6 What purpose has been attained 
by its experience below does not appear in the text ; if it 
cannot sin, it is not in search of merit. There is no need 
to add that here again this version of the tripartite 
personality, postulating independent survival in three 
separate directions for Nephesh is alive in the tomb 
cannot be reconciled with the alternatives that have gone 
before. I conclude that the Secret Doctrine in Israel was 
unsettled on the subject of the soul and its divisions, that 
there is no guide for the perplexed therein, and that 
we shall come in the end to recognise only one secret 
doctrine in Jewry, which is the secret concerning sex. 

Among several intimations which are better than 
formal attempts to classify there is one which says that 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 287)3, Appendix II, containing Tossefta or Additions : 
DE PAULV, I, 664. 

2 Late Kabalism sometimes termed Rurfh the Spirit, meaning the 
human soul itself. It was held to extend through the body, to be 
rational and self-subsisting, but its mode of comprehension was by inter 
mediaries and not direct. It was also the seat of good and evil, and 
hence of the moral attributes. 

3 Neshamah is understanding in late Kabalism, the individual intellect 
communicated by the Catholic and Divine Intellect. 

4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 287!) ; I, 664, 665. This statement is subject to 
considerable modification in other places. 

5 This is also qualified : it remains in the Paradise for a period and 
then returns whence it came, because the spirit i.e., A lta Agocs back 
to God Who gave it. 

* It returns to the Tree of Life, because it came therefrom. 


The Soul in Kabalism 

man acquires the soul of soul by fear of the Lord and by 
wisdom. He acquires the soul by penitence. Abraham 
represents the soul of soul ; Sarah is the soul ; Isaac is 
the intellectual spirit ; and Rebecca is the vital spirit. 1 
Another speculation designates Nephesh as the soul in a 
state of sleep, and this definition seems excellent. Ruah 
is the soul in a waking state, by which I understand the 
earlier stages of becoming alive to things above. It is 
said that these two do not differ in essence. Above 
them is Neshamah, which is the soul proper. 2 These 
grades of the spirit of man are the image of the Mystery 
of Wisdom and to fathom them is to discover that 
Wisdom. When Neshamah is pre-eminent in man he 
is called holy. 

The parts of the spiritual personality are by no 
means exhausted in any triadic enumeration, 3 for ascent 
in the grades of sanctity can provide additionally to 
these and in succession: (i) a soul from the world of 
emanation on the side of the Daughter of the King; 4 
(2) a soul from* the world of emanation on the side of 
the Son of the King; 5 (3) a soul from the side of the 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 264a, DE PAULY, II, 622. 

2 7^., fol. Sja, b; I, 480, 481. 

3 A more simple extension than here follows is given in Pt. II, 
fol. I58b; IV, 95, where it is said that the soul has five names, being 
Nephesh, Rua h, Neshamah, Ham and Yehidah. This is an extract 
from The Faithful Shepherd. But as we have seen Haiti is some 
times a synonym for I\tta?h. Isaac Myer gives the following definition : 
" YJhu-dah, the only one, is the personality of man ; Hay* yah is the 
life in man ; Neshamah the soul or intellect ; Rdah the spirit ; Nephesh 
the animal soul or vital dynamcis, the anima. Philosophy of Ibn Gebirol, 
p. 397. Such a classification makes for confusion only as the distinctions 
do not correspond to separable aspects of human nature. Late Kabalism 
said that Yehidah is individuality the unity or correspondence by which 
man becomes like unto his First Cause. Haul is a condition of unity 
between the particular and catholic intellect, the union apparently of 
our life with that life which is Divine. Franck says that it is the vital 
spirit, that its seat is in the heart, and that it is distinct from the principle 
of animal life. /- Kabbale, p. 235. 

4 Z., Pt. II, fol. 94b; III, 379. 

8 Ib., the authority being : " Ye are the children of the Lord your 
God." Deut. xiv, i. 

161 i. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Father and the Mother ; * and (4) a soul which reflects 
the four letters of the Sacred Name Jehovah. 2 This is 
one specimen extension, but there are others, some of 
which I will omit and some are transferred to their 
proper place elsewhere. I have mentioned already that 
there is a casual supplementary soul 3 added to the Stu 
dents of the Doctrine on the Sabbath Day, after which it 
returns whence it came. It appears to be a sacred soul 
issuing from the Tree of Life, and it is adapted to 
the works of the recipient. An alternative account 
attaches it to all good Israelites who fulfil the Law, 
whether they are Students of the Doctrine in the deeper 
mystic sense or not. 

The state of the soul in the world to come is de 
scribed in several ways, as we should expect assuredly ; 
but those which concern the blessed life of the departed 
can be harmonised, or at least there is nothing of essen 
tial discrepancy. When the good soul is preparing to 
leave this world, and while it is suspended from the 
body only at the larynx, it beholds three angels to 
whom the dying man confesses his sins. 4 These spirits 
engarner the souls of the just and they accompany the 
glorious Shekinah, for no man leaves this world without 
seeing the Shekinah at the last moment of life. 5 The 
soul prostrates itself before her and praises God. 6 It 
seems then to enter a cavern which is the door leading 
to the Earthly Paradise ; 7 there it encounters Adam, the 
patriarchs and all the just, who rejoice with her and she 
is admitted within the Garden. Either then or pre- 

1 Z., fol. 94b ; DE PAULY, III, 379, 380. The versicle appertaining 
hereto is " breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man became 
a living soul." Gen. ii, 7. 

2 A man in possession of this soul is the image of the Heavenly 
Master. Of him it is said: "And have dominion over the fish of the 
sea." Gen. i, 28. 

3 See Z., Pt. II, fol. 88b ; III, 361 among many other places. 

4 Z., Pt. I, Appendix III, Secret Midrash, fol. 3b ; II, 677. 
6 Ib. 

6 Ib., fol. 2b; 11,676. 

7 Ib., Pt. I, fol. i27a ; II, 103. See also fol. 287b ; II, 664. 


The Soul in Kabalism 

viously, she has been furnished with an envelope other 
than the fleshly body but still having the form thereof. 1 
It is said as to this that the days of life are a vesture, 
and the days of man s life on earth are his vesture in the 
world to come, in so far as he has lived them worthily. 2 
The odours given forth daily in the Garden of Eden 
perfume the precious vestments woven out of the days 
of man. 3 This again is a clear issue at its value, but 
it is superseded in other accounts and it complicates its 
own position by adding that there is one vesture 4 for 
Neshamah, another for Ruah, and one finally of an 
external and scarcely perceptible kind for Nephesh 5 all 
formed from the days of life. At the same time the 
commandments of the Law are the vesture of Neshamah* 
In this way we are taken to another point of spiritual 
progression which may be perhaps without prejudice to 
what has gone before. When the soul of a man who 
has been consecrated to the study of the Law during 
life quits this world, it goes up by the roads and path- 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 9ia ; DE PAULY, I, 516. 

a See ante, c. 7 ; and Z., Pt. I, fol. 224a, b; II, 482-484. It is said 
elsewhere that the soul cannot have two vestures at one and the same 
time, even as the spirit of good and the spirit of evil cannot dwell to 
gether. The heavenly envelope is assumed, or the soul is clothed there 
with, when that of earth is decomposed as well as laid aside. It is a 
curious theory of vehicles, but it rests on the authority of Rabbi Simeon. 
The object of Samael is to hinder man from receiving the garment of 
heaven, and this he can do until the fleshly body has dissolved./^, 
Pt. I, fol. i69b, lyoa; II, 441. But the reference is apparently to 
Nephesh. The Rudh is itself not at rest ; it is only after the complete 
return of the earthly part to earth that it is drawn back to the Holy Spirit 
which gave it. 

3 Ib. 

4 It is admitted that the wise in doctrine have not reached a full 
agreement on the subject, yet the number of vestures is three. Id., 
fol. 225a; I, 485. 

5 Because, notwithstanding previous testimony, Nephesh is bound up 
with the body in its tomb for twelve months only, after which it goes 
wandering, and enters into communication with those who are still 
incarnate to inquire respecting their sufferings and to pray at need for 
them. Ib., Pt. II, fol. I4ib; IV, 48. 

6 Presumably Neshamah is so clothed with righteousness because it 
cannot sin. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

ways of the Law, 1 so that his knowledge is a guide in 
attainment, while the souls of those who have neglected 
such study go astray in the paths which lead to the 
region of Geburah, where they suffer punishment. 2 In 
another manner of symbolism the Law goes before the 
soul when it rises into the celestial regions, and it opens 
all the doors thereto. 3 The Law remains with the soul 
till the day of resurrection, when it will take up the 
defence of the soul. This is again in reference to the 
students of the Law, and it is said that after their resur 
rection they will preserve intact all knowledge which 
they had during their antecedent life. 4 Indeed such 
knowledge will be extended, so that they will be able to 
penetrate mysteries which were concealed from them 
previously. 5 It would seem also that those who are 
dedicated to the study of the Law on earth will be so 
also in the world to come, and this apparently apart 
from the resurrection life. 6 

I will make an end of these economies by condensing 
one more parable of the soul. 7 There are seven palaces 
on high containing the Mystery of Faith, and I under 
stand these as seven stages of union, like a tower going 
up to God. In case I am correct herein, it is said that 
six of them are accessible to the understanding of man, 
but the seventh is secret and forms part of the Supreme 
Mysteries. 8 The reason is the old reason, namely, that 
" eye hath not seen " ; and considering that in this state 
the union is altogether ineffable, it may be worth while 
adding that we have no title to term it absorption, 
identity, or by any other word which is within the measures 

1 Z., Ft. II,fol. i75b; DE PAULY, II, 290. See also fol. 2?a ; I, 170. 

2 Ib., Pt. I, fol. I75b; 11,290. 

3 /., fol. i85a ; II, 329. Ib., fol. i8$a ; II, 330. 6 Ib. 

6 Ib. When stripped of its conventions, the real meaning which 
issues from these extracts is that the pursuit of the Law is the following 
of the will of God and that the union hereafter therewith is a penetra 
tion of the Divine Mystery, in which the soul progresses for ever. 

7 Ib., fol. 3 8a ; I, 235. 

8 Ib., fol. 38a ; I, 235. 


The Soul in Kabalism 

of things expressible. There are also seven palaces 
below, and among these one is superior to the others, as 
it holds both from heaven and earth. For the rest, they 
are postulated in relation to certain grades of advance 
ment in the world to come. When the souls of the 
just leave material life they enter the first palace and 
are occupied with preparations for the next stage of 
their experiences, but there are no particulars. 1 The 
second palace 2 is the sojourn of those who have suffered 
morally and physically in the present world, but have 
given daily thanks to their master, this notwithstanding, 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 38b , DE PAULY, I, 236. 

2 There are several systems of palaces described by the Zohar ; there 
are those in which speech prevails but in others thought or intention. 
The latter are more exalted in order, presumably because silence is 
better than speech, seeing that it stands for the contemplation of God in 
the heart. I do not find for what reason per se or in what manner, but 
the object of all the palaces above is to preserve Shekinah in the world 
below. The different accounts are somewhat confusing, as it is not in 
variably too easy to see whether the subject of discourse is the palaces 
which are above or those which are below. (See, for example, Z., Pt. I, 
fol. 38a ; I, 236.) It is said (Ps. xxvii, 4): "That I may dwell in the 
House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the 
Lord, and to enquire in His Temple." The beauty of the Lord is held 
to designate the palaces above, but the word " beauty " is rendered 
" delights " by the Zohar. The Temple means the palaces below. The 
seven superior palaces are (i) the basis and beginning of the Mystery of 
Faith ; (2) the abode of Faith ; (3) the place in which worthy souls are 
offered in sacrifice ; (4) the place of judgment, whether propitious or 
otherwise; (.5) the Palace of Love; (6) the Palace of Mercy; and (7) 
the Holy of Holies and final end of souls. See Tract Palaces^ being 
Appendix II., Z., Pt. II, fol. 244b, 26ia; IV, 277-294. There are also 
seven Palaces of Prayer, provided with doors by which the prayers of man 
ascend to the Great Master. The first corresponds to the "paved work 
of a sapphire stone." Ex. xxiv, 10. It leads to the heaven of heavens. 
The second is like "the body of heaven in its clearness" (ib.}. The 
third is a palace of pure untinctured light, having a point of golden 
splendour. The fourth is a palace of 70 lights, while the splendour of 
the fifth is like that of the lightning and thunderbolt, combining purple 
with many colours. The sixth is the palace of will, and it diffuses 12 
lights ; its mystery is expressed by the words : " Thy lips are like a 
thread of scarlet" (Song of Solomon iv, 3). It is also the Palace of 
Love. But the seventh palace is devoid of all form ; it constitutes the 
Mystery of Mysteries ; and it is separated from the other habitations by 
a veil. Herein sojourns the Infinite Will. Z, Pt. I, fol. 4ib~45b ; 
I, 248-265. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

and have not neglected prayer. 1 The Messiah descends 
into this abode and thence he draws souls into the third 
palace. It is the place of those who have suffered 
extremely in earthly life as the result of serious disease. 
It contains also the souls of young children and of such 
as have shed tears over the destruction of the Temple. 
They are consoled by Messiah, who brings them into 
the fourth palace, where are the souls of all those who 
have shared the sorrow of Zion and those also who have 
been slain by the heathens. The fifth palace is the 
sojourn of true penitents who have restored their souls 
to a state of purity, and of those who have sanctified 
the Name of their Master by going to meet death for 
His glory. 2 There also are the souls of those who have 
repented on their death-beds, for the Doctors of Kabalism 
insist no less on the possibility of saving the situation of 
life thus at the last moment than do the doctors of the 
Latin church : for the one and the other the great 
fatality resides in final impenitence. The sixth palace 
is the sojourn of the souls of Zelatorcs who have pro 
claimed the Master s unity, and have loved Him with a 
true love. 3 The seventh palace is that which I have 
called superior in respect of the rest ; it is also more 
secret and mysterious. It is not unlike that .glimpse of 
the Beatific Vision which according to Catholic theology 
is seen for a moment by souls on the threshold of 
purgatory, or it is like the vision of Shekinah which is 
granted in artlculo mortis^ according to Kabalism as we 
have seen. The soul on its departure from earth enters 
this palace for a moment though there seems no 
assignable reason and though it is not said to see any 
thing : it is then immediately relegated to that sojourn 
which corresponds to its state at death. It will be 
noted that the parable has no logical consistence and 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 38b; DE PAULY, I, 237. 

2 Ib,, fol. 3 9 a ; I, 239. 

3 Ib.; I, 240. 


The Soul in Kabalism 

it has no concurrence with previous accounts : if those 
who have suffered martyrdom for the glory of God have 
a particular abode assigned them, it is obvious that 
others who have died naturally for example have no 
title therein ; and so of the rest. Were it worth while 
to disturb one s mind on the subject, it might be sug 
gested that souls which have reached a certain grade 
in life do not pass through the palaces below that grade, 
while those who are below work, upward and attain the 
grade after a given period in the world to come. But 
the Zohar is really concerned only with enforcing the 
idea of ascent in the scale hereafter, and the logic of its 
fiction is of no consequence in comparison witfi the main 
object. It is therefore idle to rectify on our part ; let 
us realise rather that the Zohar is establishing another 
point of correspondence between the lesser and greater 
world. We have seen how early in the Christian centuries 
it has forestalled the modern doctrine of macrocosmic 
evolution and this now is a story of evolution in the 
microcosm, working on the basis of six periods corre 
sponding to those of creation ; while as the latter was 
followed by a period of rest, so is the seventh palace 
a place of the secrecy and mystery suggesting a Sabbatic 
state. But above it there is the other and ineffable 
order of the supernal palaces, and beyond the present 
epoch in created things there is the Messianic age to 
come, in which the story of the world and man 
reaches its end for Zoharic theosophy, as it does in 
the Apocalypse. 

The idea of reincarnation in Kabalism has been the 
subject of much confusion in the modern occult schools, 
which have depended, firstly, on the vague and incor 
rect vestige of elucidation offered by Adolphe Franck * 

1 La Kabbale, pp. 244-247. There is postulated in the first place the 
fact of metempsychosis in Kabalism on the authority of Z., Pt. II,fol.99b, 
and afterwards the author gives a very imperfect account of the Zoharic 
doctrine concerning overshadowing, impingement, or embryonic states of 
souls, with which I am proceeding to deal. 


The Secret Die trine in Israel 

and, secondly, on the obvious misstatements of Eliphas 
Leva. 1 It is dismissed by the one in a few paragraphs 
and the other states that the doctors of traditional science 
in Israel did not admit the subject. On the contrary, 
there is a very clear system of reincarnation scattered 
throughout the Zohar. 

To some extent the doctrine hinges on questions of 
paternity, for it is stated very plainly that when a man 
has failed to have children in this world, the Holy One 
will send him back, and many times at need, to fulfil 
what has been neglected, so that he is compared to a 
plant which is continually removed from the ground and 
located elsewhere in the hope that it will do better. 2 
Reincarnation is not, however, an universal law, or at 
least it is contingent on other cases than the particular 
case which has been just specified. Those who have 
accomplished their mission during a single sojourn on 
earth rest near to the Holy One ; those who return are 
those who have not finished their work, whether it be 
that of parentage or otherwise. 3 It is rather obvious that 
the perfect fulfilment of the Law was a matter of great 
difficulty, and we know that St. Paul regarded it as an 
intolerable burden ; we know also that failure in certain 
points voided the entire fulfilment; and the inference 
would seem to be that reincarnation for the doing of 
that which had been previously left undone arid for the 
undoing of that which was amiss formerly must, by the 
hypothesis, have been the rule rather than the exception. 
Hence it is said in one place that the words u seeing that 
he also is flesh " 4 signify that the spirit of man, meaning 
his soul, will be many times reclothed with flesh, until 
the time comes when the soul shall be susceptible of 

1 See A. E. WAITE : The Mysteries of Magic: A Digest of the 
Writings of liphas Lcvi. Second Edition, 1897, where it said that a 
multiplicity of incarnations has never been recognised by Kabalists of 
the first order. pp, 131, 132. 

2 Z., Pt. II, fol. i86b ; DE PAULY, II, 337. 

8 Ib. } fol. i87b; II, 341. Gen. vi, 3. 


The Soul in Kabalism 

receiving the spirit of God. In order that the significance 
of the expression should not remain doubtful, it is added 
that the Holy One will some day ransom the world and 
will grant the spirit in question to men generally, so that 
they may live eternally. 1 This is said to be shewn by the 
words : " For as the days of a tree are the days of my 
people," 2 and also : " He will swallow up death in victory : 
and the Lord God will wipe away all tears from off all 
faces ; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away 
from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." 3 
Reincarnation or transmigration would seem also to be 
the invariable fate of the Gentiles ; I do not know what 
happens to those who die in whatever land they belong 
to, but there is no reason to suppose that they are better 
off in this respect than the souls of Pagans who deliver 
up their bodies in the Holy Land. 4 Of these it is said 
that they are not received in heaven, that they wander 
about in the universe, transmigrate many times and finally 
return to the unclean place whence they came. The 
souls of Israel which leave the body outside Palestine 
have also transmigrations and wanderings before reaching 
the region assigned them. 5 If this is to be taken as 
definite and 1 do not think that the view is revised 
subsequently one side of the law of reincarnation 
depends upon a merely external accident. It will be 
useful to remark here that the Zohar knows nothing 
concerning spaces of time intervening between death and 
rebirth ; the question does not seem to have arisen within 
their consciousness ; the period elapsing may have been 
variable, as it is regarded in Eastern doctrine ; but it is 
sometimes at least immediate. Seth, for example, was 
animated by the soul of Abel, which thus returned to 
earth. 6 At the t birth of Benjamin, however, his soul 

1 An allusion apparently to the permanence of the resurrection state. 

2 Is. Ixv, 22. 3 Is. xxv, 8. 

* Z., Pt. II, fol. i4ia ; DE PAULY, IV, 46. 6 Ib. 

Ib., Pt. I, fol. 55a; I, 315. Adam is said to have called his son 
Seth to mark the end of a situation, the consonants of his name being 
the two last letters of the alphabet. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

left the body of his mother, which it had animated pre 
viously. 1 At the death of Rachel, her soul animated the 
son of Benjamin. 2 It seems to follow that in each case 
there were two f souls at one time in the same body. It 
is said further that Phineas received the soul of Nadab 
and Abihu, who were alive at the time. 3 Rabbi Simeon 
testifies that this is a mystery, meaning that their soul 
did not find refuge under the wings of Shekinah, because 
they left no children and had thus diminished the figure 
of the King. The King here is presumably the Adam 
Protoplastes of late Kabalism, corresponding to the Lesser 

I have spoken already of the place whatever it is, 
for it is indeed described variously in which souls are 
reserved, awaiting the period of their primary embodiment 
in flesh ; I have mentioned also the notion that at the 
Messianic period the fount of souls will be exhausted, 
leading to the creation of entirely new cohorts. 4 But 
it is said also that there will come a time when old souls, 
meaning souls in migration, will be renewed for the 
renewal of the world. 5 Each of these souls which have 
been incarnated previously will be united to a new created 
soul, as it is written : " And it shall come to pass that 
he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jeru 
salem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written 
among the living in Jerusalem. * We see by these 
extracts that reincarnation according to Kabalism is 
complicated by several considerations and that the word 
impingement or overshadowing would be a better de 
scription of that which occurred in certain cases. The 
subject is not developed in the text itself, and it came 

1 Z., Pt. I.,fol. issb; DE PAULY, II, 211. Ib. 

3 /., Pt. Ill, fol. 2i6b; V, 550. The suggestion is difficult to follow 
and would scarcely deserve the pains. It is added that when Phineas 
slew Zimri and Cozbi the tribe of Simeon were keen on avenging the 
death of their chief; the soul of Phineas fled and the two wandering souls 
took possession of its vacant place. 

* Ib., fol. 28b; I, 179. 

6 Pt. I, fol. iiga; II, 76, 77- 6 Is- iv, 3. 


The Soul in Kabalism 

into the hands of later Kabalists, who manufactured 
mighty systems thereon. The testimony of Isaac de 
Loria in his Book of the Revolutions of Souls is an instance 
of the lengths to which the subject could be carried and 
I shall have to deal with it at a later stage. 1 

The question of resurrection in connection with re 
incarnation created difficulties of its own. It was alleged 
that in the case of souls who take flesh several times the 
body which shall rise will be that in which the soul has 
succeeded in taking root, meaning presumably that it 
has fulfilled the Law in perfection. 2 Those bodies in 
which the soul fails to reach its ends are like dried up 
trees which fall to dust, and they will rise no more. 
There is some subtlety in this as a way out of the difficulty 
created by the idea of resurrection in connection with the 
idea of rebirth. But it will be observed that nothing is 
said as to those who have been rooted only in wickedness. 
I may add that the Zoharic doctrine of the world to come 
and the recompenses and punishments therein is quite 
independent of any reincarnation hypothesis and cannot be 
adjusted thereto. The two ideas were developed almost 
certainly in complete independence of e.ach other. As 
regards resurrection, there is a variant of the above view, 
according to which the soul will return into the last body 
that was animated, but the previous bodies will rise also and 
will be animated with new souls. " If these bodies have 
fulfilled meritorious works " I give the literal words in 
this instance "they will continue, but if not they will 
return again to dust," and as no purpose will have been 
served, this reverie does not seem less than imbecile. 3 

Some incidental points may be summarised as follows. 
On the basis of the words : " One generation passeth 
away, and another generation cometh," 4 it is said that 
the generation which comes is that also which has passed. 5 

1 See Chapter XIX. 2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 1313; DEPAULY, II, 114. 
8 Z., Pt. I., i3ia ; II, 114. * Eccles. i, 4. 
6 Pt. I, fol. 268b. Book of Brightness ; II, 365. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Reincarnation is sometimes despite the soul and some 
times apparently otherwise. 1 In one place it is formulated 
in the terms of uttermost simplicity by affirming that 
souls are sent for a second time on earth that they may 
repair faults committed on the first occasion. 2 They 
come back also through the workings of grace, as for 
example when husband and wife have been sterile through 
no fault of theirs in a previous lifetime ; 3 on the next 
occasion they will be enabled to fulfil the Law, though 
it is not suggested that they will do so one with another. 
This implies that the axiom once an Israelite always an 
Israelite obtains automatically, and though I have not 
had occasion to mention it previously, it may be said now 
that what may be called the primordial generation of 
the chosen people insures this supposing that rebirth 
occurs. There is another point : reincarnation is good 
because good reasons are, by the hypothesis, behind it, 
but as it is not good in itself it is well to be spared 
therefrom. In conclusion, rebirth befalls those who do 
not study the Law, the inference being that those who 
do and who at the same time fulfil the other precepts 
do not suffer transmigration. 4 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 96b ; DE PAULY, III, 387, 388. 

2 70., Pt. II, fol. 54a; III, 244. 

3 70., fol. loga ; III, 429, 430. 

* 70., Pt. Ill, fol. iy8b, The Faithful Shepherd; V, 464. Accord 
ing to the testimony at this point, incarnation may take place thrice, 
because of the words : " Lo, all these things worketh God often 
times with man." Job xxxiii, 29. The Zohar renders the passage : 
" Behold what God doeth in respect of each man, even to the third time." 
Compare the Vulgate : Ecce haec omnia operatur Deus tribus vicibus 
per singulos. 




IF there be any subject on which it might seem reason 
able to expect something like unanimity of opinion in 
the traditions of Kabalism, I should have thought that 
it would have been the question of rewards and punish 
ments the latter perhaps more especially. The very 
contrary happens to be the case, and it is the more 
difficult to account for as by no extension of language 
can. the question of the temporal or eternal punishment 
reserved for disincarnate souls be regarded as a real part 
of the Secret Doctrine. It seems to me that the Doctors 
testified very often with the unmeasured words of 
enthusiasm and that the emotion of the moment gave 
the inward meaning to the written word much more 
frequently than any abstruse law of interpretation. I 
will speak first of that which is held to occur at the 
time of death and then of punishment in Sheol, with 
special reference to its duration. 

Many things which are hidden from the mind and 
heart of man so long as the body is in health are beheld 
by the soul when it is hovering between life and death. 1 
Three messengers descend who begin to count up the 
days that he has lived, the sins that he has committed, 
and all the works which he has accomplished here below. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 79a; DE PAULY, I, 462. This is held to be the 
" spiritual interpretation " of Job xxxvii, 7, which reads thus in the 
Authorised Version : " He sealeth up the hand of every man ; that all 
men may know His work." In the Revised Version there is the follow 
ing variant of the last words : " That all men whom He hath made may 
know it." Cf. the Vulgate : Qui in inami omnium Jwminum signat, ut 
noiierint singuli opera sna. But the Zohar reads : " He causes every man 
to sign with his own hand, that each may know His acts." 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

The dying man confesses with his lips to the facts so 
related and signs the prods-verbal with his own hand, 
psychic or not, as you please. 1 Thereon is he judged, 
for Zoharic theology, like that of the Latin Church, 
recognises a particular as well as a general judgment at 
the end of time. On quitting this lower world the man 
gives account to his Master on the basis of the record 
which has been mentioned. Having crossed the threshold, 
he recognises many persons whom he knew on earth. As 
we have seen otherwise, he also beholds Adam seated 
before the Garden of Eden, so that he may rejoice with 
those who have observed the commands of their Master. 
Adam is ever encompassed with a multitude of the just, 
who have learned how to avoid the path going down to 
hell and who have been gathered into the abode of 
Paradise. 2 

Another account says that when the soul leaves this 
world, it is stopped by a number of angels who preside 
over the offices of severity, and is prevented from pass 
ing through that door by which it would attain a place 
on high if the person has left no pledge on earth, mean 
ing no son. 3 Those who would enjoy the inheritance of 
God and be united with Him for ever in the land of 
life must have produced male issue, so that the Divine 
Law may continue to have its servants through all 
generations. 4 

1 The thesis is that sins are committed while spirit is united to body, 
and the account rrjust be taken therefore before their separation is com 
pleted. Z., Pt. I, fol. 79a ; DE PAULY, I, 463. Zoharic pneumatology 
is inextricable, but we may remember that, according to one testimony, 
Neshamah cannot sin, whence it cannot be under the judgment ; Nephesh 
remains with the body for twelve months, and it would seem therefore 
that it is Rua-h only which enters into reward or punishment as a result 
of the particular judgment ; but in contrast hereto, we must remember 
further that all parts of the inward personality are one, by another 
account, so that the Zohar, like Latin doctrine, recognises fundamentally 
only (i) body and (2) soul. 

2 /., fol. 65b ; I, 386. 

3 /., fol. ii5b; 11,63. 

* This is the higher side of the desire which prevailed in Israel 
towards the increase and predominance of the people ; it was not alone 


The Doctrine concerning Sheol 

It is said also elsewhere that the day of death is the 
day of the Lord. 1 When the Holy One desires that the 
soul should return to Him, it does so return if worthy. 2 
In the case of the just man his approach to the gate of 
death is proclaimed in the Garden of Eden throughout 
the thirty days which go immediately before the event. 3 
During these days the soul is separated nightly from the 
body and ascends to heaven for the purpose of inspecting 
the place reserved for it in the world to come. 4 It 
follows also from a tradition mentioned by the Zohar 
that at the actual hour of death man is allowed to see 
his departed relations and friends, that he recognises 
these and that they appear to him with the same 
countenances which they wore here below. 5 If the man 
is worthy, his relations and friends salute him full of 
joy ; in the contrary case, he beholds only the guilty 
whom he has known and who are expiating their offences 
in hell. They are all plunged in sadness. Relations 
and friends accompany the soul into the other world 
and shew him the place of his reward or punishment. 

This is one side of the story 6 but another is that 
when the souls of those who have studied the Doctrine 
relinquish the body which is composed of the four 
elements they ascend into heaven or into that part and 

that they might inherit the earth but that the Law might prevail therein. 
The production of children was therefore for the glory of God. It was a 
continuous building of houses not made with hands which might become 
meet for His habitation. Here is one sense in which the Zoharic 
mystery of sex was a great mystery of sanctity and a divine work in the 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2i7b ; DE PAULY, II, 457. 

2 There is firstly a purgation by fire according to fol. 2iyb ; II, 457, 
for those who are imperfect and yet not deserving of entire condemna 
tion. The purgatorial state of Catholicism is therefore recognised. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2i7b; 11,457. 4 Id. 

6 /., fol. 2i8b; 11,463. The point is of interest in connection with 
death -bed visions in Jewry at the period to which the text is referable. 

6 It is said also that the highest place in the world to come is kept in 
reservation for those who have (a) penetrated the mysteries of their 
Master and (b) learned how to cleave to Him during life. It follows 
that the illumination of mind by Divine Things has a greater reward 
than works, but the works are necessary. 7#., fol. I3ob ; II, in. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

region which is allocated to the four living creatures. 1 
The more general thesis is that the spirit which man 
attracts during life will draw his soul after death. 
Should it have been the Holy Spirit he will be raised 
thereby into the higher realms and there incorporated 
in the legion of sacred angels he will become a servant 
of the Holy One. 2 He enjoys in the world above that 
light which he has desired here on earth. It is called 
" the splendour of light in reverberation," 3 reflected by 
that which is in the region above all regions. Souls are 
clothed hi what is characterised as the Mantle of the 
Master, in the absence of which they would be incapable 
of approaching the light and contemplating it. 4 I 
suppose that this mantle is that which is called vest 
ments in another place. These are said to be stored in 
a certain palace, each being adapted to that soul for 
which it is reserved. 5 All the good works which have 
been performed by him or her are, so to speak, 
embroidered thereon. The soul is not clothed, how 
ever, until the thirtieth day after death, because the 
sins committed on earth have to be expiated during 
this period, indifferently by bad and good. It is an 
expiation by fire and a passage through a river of fire. 6 
There is, moreover, a punishment of the body in the 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 273, b ; DE PAULY, I, 170. 

2 //>., fol. looa ; II, 8. The authority is : "I will give thee places to 
walk among" these that stand by." Zech. iii, 7. C[. Vulgate : Et dabo 
fil i ambit hint es tic his qui nunc his assistunt. The Zoharic version is : 
" I will give thee access among those who stand before me." 

3 Z., Pt. I., fol. 6sb, 66a ; I, 187. 
* //;., fol. 66a ; I, 388. 

6 Z., Pt. II, fol. 2ioa ; IV, 217. The vestments seem to be 
different from that which Latin theology terms "the form of the soul" 
and from which occultism with its derivatives calls the actual and 
psychic body. They are rather the soul s clothing in its literal sense, 
corresponding in things above to that worn by the High Priest in the 
ceremonies of the Sanctuary. I note further that in the Earthly Paradise 
souls are clothed with good works but in the Paradise above they are 
clothed more gloriously, namely, with purity of intention, Tightness of 
heart and prayers. /., fol. 2iob; IV, 218. 

6 //>., fol. 21 ib ; IV, 221. Pt. I, fol. 20ia ; II, 397. 

I 7 6 

The Doctrine concerning Sheol 

grave * for a period of twelve months, 2 during which the 
so-called animal spirit or Nephesh is attracted thereto 
and suffers therewith ; but the just are not subject to 
this. As there does not seem to be any purgation in 
view the intervention of this ordeal is idle. 

And now with regard to those who go down into hell 
I will endeavour to tabulate the distinctions and counter- 
distinctions under two heads, collating firstly those 
statements which predicate the everlasting notion of 
their torments. It is laid down that the Holy One 
forgives every man who repents of his sins ; but it is 
woe to those who will not and who persist in their evil 
conduct. They will be precipitated after death into hell 
and will not issue therefrom through all eternity. 3 The 
same idea is expressed analogically in another place as 
follows. The souls of those who defile their bodies, 
and of the evil generally, go down into hell and never 
come forth therefrom, 4 Of these it is said : " As the 
cloud is consumed and vanisheth away : so he that goeth 
down to the grave shall come up no more/ 5 But the 
Zohar here understands the grave (Sheol) in the sense of 
hell, against the obvious meaning of the verse. Again, 
to fall into the hands of him who is called the Angel of 
Vindication is defined to be death in eternity. 6 These 
instances will suffice as to one aspect of the subject, and 
it will be observed that they are sufficiently unqualified. 7 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 533 ; DE PAULY, V, 144. 

2 /#., Pt. I, fol. 22 5a ; II, 487. The Nephesh knows also the suffer 
ings of survivors but cannot go to their aid. After the twelve months it 
is clothed with that envelope to which I have referred previously and 
goes on wings through the world, learning from the Rurfh the mis 
fortunes which befall man and seeking to communicate with these, so 
that they may pray for the evil to be averted. But this we have seen. 

3 Pt. I, fol. 66a ; I, 389, 390. 

4 7^., fol. 77b ; I, 455. 6 Job vii, 9. 

6 Z., Pt..I,fol. 94a ; I, 535. The Angel of Vindication is Douma, and 
the Gentiles seem to be his victims en masse (#.), while that which is the 
protection of Israel against him and his consequences is the sign of the 
Covenant, on the understanding that it is preserved in purity. 

1 Respecting punishment in the other world, man was not considered 
to have attained his majority and therefore to be capable of punish 
ment till he had reached the age of twenty years. /., fol. n8b; II, 74. 

177 M 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

As much can be said of those in the opposite category, 
though if possible they seem more salient. There are 
only two extracts which need especially concern us ; the 
first is an unqualified statement that the guilty are 
chastised in the fires of hell, but that they are not 
damned for all eternity. 1 Indeed the period has been 
fixed by tradition at twelve months, being that of the 
sufferings of Job. 2 This is the first statement, and the 
second is that at the end of time all the guilty will be 
saved, with the single exception of Canaan. 3 It is said 
that this mystery is not unknown to those who are 
familiar with the highroads and bypaths of the Secret 
Doctrine. 4 The tradition respecting Caanan is part of 
an obscure sex-mystery which scarcely calls for notice. 
It belongs to the same realm of reverie as another 
mystery which presided over the marriage of Bathshebah 
with Uriah before she was espoused to David. 5 It 
is added that those who know this mystery will be 
in a position to see why the Holy Land was given as a 
patrimony to Canaan before the coming of the Israelites. 

The question is whether there is any middle term by 
which we can reconcile the two series of conflicting 
testimonies, and if it be granted beforehand that the 
Doctors of the Secret Law, as they are reported in the 
Zohar, were frequently very loose in their statements, 
we may find what we seek almost at the end of the great 
text. 6 There, on the authority of yet another tradition, 
it is affirmed that there are various compartments in hell, 
one beneath another, and corresponding to the different 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 2ib; DE PAULY, III, 105. There is some un- 
demonstrable way in which this assurance and its consolation are drawn 
from Is. xxxiii, 12 : "And the people shall be as the burnings of lime : as 
thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire." But the Zohar gives 
"thorn-bush and institutes a comparison with the burning but uncon- 
sumed bush on Mount Sinai. 

2 And also of Nephesh with the body. Z., Pt. I, fol. isob ; II, in. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 73b ; I, 435. See also fol. U4b ; II, 60, 61, where it is 
argued that all men will be acquitted at the celestial judgment. 

Ib. 6 //A, fol. 73 b ; I, 436- 

6 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 28sb, 286a ; VI, 67. 

I 7 8 

The Doctrine concerning Sbeol 

degrees of culpability found among men. The lowest 
of all bears the name of Abaddon, and the man who is 
cast therein is lost through all eternity, because it has no 
door through which he can go out therefrom. It is 
about this place that it is said : " As the cloud is con 
sumed and vanisheth away : so he that goeth down to 
the grave (Sheofy shall come up no more." J This not 
withstanding, says the Zohar, we learn otherwise from 
Scripture that " He sends down into hell and again He 
brings forth therefrom." 2 The first of these verses 
refers to the lowermost pit and the second to one of 
those places from which escape is possible. 3 Canaan is 
not located and the darksome picture of the deep below 
the deep is relieved by the unconscious grotesquerie which 
testifies that the denizens of this region are those who, 
prompted by disdain, have omitted the word "Amen" 
which completes the forms of prayer 

Two other points deserve to be mentioned in this 
connection as they tend to shew that the Zohar might 
have furnished some useful material to the pious author 
of Hell Opened to Christians. It is said 4 that the impure 
soul which is cast into Sheol is sometimes drawn out 
therefrom and carried through celestial realms, with this 
cry going before it : <c Such is the lot of those who 
transgress the commandment of their Master." It is 
then returned to its place. There may be some justice 
in adding that this moral diversion is meted out in that 
part of the text which limits the period of damnation to 
twelve months, after which the soul is remitted to a 
suitable region. Here is the first point, and the second 

1 Job vii, 9. 

2 I Sam. ii, 6. The French translators follow the Vulgate, which 
says, Liber Primus Samuelis, quern nos Priinum Regum dicimus. 

a But as a travesty of the whole situation as we shall see immediately 
the abysmal hell is reserved to punish acts of irreverence. I make a 
point of this because one is inclined to speculate whether Rabbi Simeon 
who is the supposed speaker was not secretly insinuating the opposite 
of that which he expressed. 

4 Z., Ft. I, fol. isob; DE PAULY, II, in. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

is a brief picture 1 of souls located in Paradise proceeding 
to view ceremonially the chastisement of the guilty. So 
does eschatology reproduce itself independently in the 
minds of its makers. I do not suggest that the Zohar 
in this place is really a post-Thomist text, nor that St. 
Thomas Aquinas was acquainted with the Zoharic Com 
mentary on Exodus^ but I say that the same notion is found 
in both. 

In conclusion as to the whole matter: (i) There are 
three chiefs in hell, acting as overseers of those who are 
doomed for murder, incest and idolatry. 2 If this is to 
be taken literally, Barabbas would have left the premises 
without a stain upon his character ; but the inference is 
doubtless that greater crimes stand at the head of a long 
list in their respective sequences. (2) The chastisement 
is by fire and ice, 3 but an elucidation in another place 4 
explains that the waters which fall from above are cold 
as ice, while the fire which comes up from below is water 
which burns. (3) The souls of the heathens will never 
come out of hell. 6 

I suppose that things more ridiculous have never 
been said on the subject of retribution, but there are 
gleams here and there of a better sense. It is recorded 
for example that those who have been guilty on earth 
but have been also punished on earth will not suffer in 
eternity if thev have shewn resignation here. 6 And I 
observe rather frequently a disposition in the doctors to 
lean towards human mercy and to forget very often even 
their sentence on the heathen in general. There is a 
feeling that all men will be acquitted at the general judg- 

1 Z.,Pt. II,fol.2i2a; DE PAULY, IV, 221, 222. As regards both these 
points they constitute solitary statements in the text, but the second is on 
the authority of Rabbi Simeon, by which I mean that it is imputed to 
him and occurs in one of his discourses. 

/., Pt. Ill, fol. 2373, The Faithful Shepherd ; V, 576. 

Ib., Pt. I, fol. 238b; II, 542. 

/., fol. 68b ; I, 405. 

Ib., fol. 4b of Appendix III, to Pt. I, i.e. Secret Midrasli ; IT, 687. 

7&.,Pt. I, fol. io8a r ; 11,42. 

I 80 

The Doctrine concerning Sbeol 

ment/ and there is one place from which it seems to 
follow that Satan himself will become again an angel of 
light. 2 So is the " broken circle " made whole by fits 
and starts. 

There are the following supplements and alternatives 
which have suggestive points, and they serve, moreover, 
the unintended purpose of proving that eschatology in 
the Zohar is in a state of complete rlux : all views were 
possible and the alternatives of all views. The souls of 
those who die impenitent go forth naked and find no 
envelope, 3 but it is set forth pretty plainly elsewhere that 
some kind of vesture is essential to personal existence. 
They suffer punishment in hell, but many of them are 
saved at the end of time, being those who intended to 
repent but did not get to the work. They take up their 
task in Sheol and its gates are opened subsequently in 
their respect. There is nothing more agreeable than 
this to the Sacred King, a view that is illustrated amply 
in another place. It is laid down furthermore that even 
those who are just and nearly approach perfection go 
down into hell (i) because all have been guilty of some 
offences at least ; but (2) because it is theirs to bring 
forth those very sinners who had proposed to repent in 
this life but succeeded only on the other side of the 
grave. 4 So and continually docs the Zohar Jean towards 
mercy, as I have said, though it holds out little hope 
for persons who have planned no atonement : 5 they re 
main in the place of perdition for ever. J This is the 

1 Z., I t. I, fol. ii4b, lisa; DE 1 AULY, 1 1, 6061. 

2 It is even said that while we are to be on our guard against the 
attacks of the demon we are not authorised to treat him with contempt. 
lb., it. II, fol. 237b; IV, 265. See also Ft. 1 1 1, fol. 2650; VI, 19. 

3 lb., i ; t. II, iol. isoa; IV, 70. 

4 //., Ft. I II, fol. 22oij ; V, 558. We have seen already that intention 
is greater than works and the uttermost sacredness is ascribed thereto. 
It may be said therefore that the Zohar is inclined to pave the way to 
God with good intentions rather than the road to hell, as the old 
proverb puts it. But it is imp.ied of course that such intentions pass 
continually into \vork ; it is a question therefore rather of a permanently 
right direction of heart and mind. 

5 lb. See I t. II, fol. ^oa, b; IV, 70, 71. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

case especially with those who have led a life of debauch ; 
they do not have respite on the Sabbath like the rest 
of the damned. 1 However, another thesis shews that 
the flames of hell are stilled of necessity on that day. 2 
By these and all other considerations we are justified in 
applying the most liberal sense to the vague suggestions 
that all men Jew and Gentile will enter ultimately 
into some kind of salvation and that hell will give up 
all its prey at the end of days, whether demons and the 
prince of demons or men, including Canaan. 

One last word : the doctors of the Zohar coun 
tenanced prayers for the dead, one of them asking another 
to visit his tomb for seven days following his burial, 
there to plead for his soul. 3 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. i sob; DE PAULY, IV, 72. 

2 /., Pt. I, fol. i4b; 11,84. 

3 Ib.f fol. 2i7b ; II, 458. It is testified also that the faithful departed 
pray for those who are alive, without which the latter would be unable to 
subsist for a single day, or even part of a day. /#., Pt. II, fol. i6b ; 
III, 75. This is another side of a very clear Christian reflection the 
intercession of the just above for those who need help below. 




SEEING that the doctrine of physical resurrection remains 
to our confusion as something of a blot on the scutcheon 
of Catholic theology, it may be reasonable to ascertain 
that which is advanced on the subject by Zoharic theo- 
sophy. We shall find that it is pleased to be particular 
I was about to say in no common degree ; but my 
readers may judge for themselves. It will be thought, 
and this naturally, that a secret doctrine which offers 
no enlightenment on the subject in the sense that we 
should attach to this term- is scarcely one that can 
appeal to the modern mind and much less that of the 
mystic ; but I trust that I have done nothing throughout 
the present study to reduce the difficulties, or if it 
should be preferred the impossible nature of much 
that has been transmitted from this source. To say 
otherwise would be to pose as unserious. We are, how 
ever, concerned in reality only with the root-matter of 
the tradition and we have yet to reach a decision thereon. 
If the central testimony should prove of moment, it is 
of little importance however regrettable otherwise that 
there should be a considerable accretion of waste and 
drift from all sources encrusted over it. 1 I believe that 
so far in our quest we have come across much that is 
at least of a certain value, while the curiosities taken as 
such are not in themselves idle. In respect of physical 
resurrection we shall find, in the first place, that it is 

1 The point is that the root-matter is not one of metaphysical specula 
tion or dogmatic teaching merely : it is a practice connected with a theory, 
the latter on account of the practice belonging to a category apart. 


*fhe Secret Doctrine in Israel 

physical above all things, and as the Sons of the Doctrine 
happen to be acquainted with the modus operandi of the 
whole process, we may have great expectations on the 
wonder-side and, though we can scarcely look to be 
edified, the lessons in other respects may not be without 

I should record in the first place that it must be left 
as an open question whether the Gentiles are included in 
the scheme of resurrection. 1 This is negatived categori 
cally in one place, 2 while in another it is added by way of 
re-expression that only the circumcised will subsist at that 
dreadful day. 3 But even here there are reservations, for 
certain persons belonging to the past of Israel persons 
conspicuous by their ill-doing are regarded as blotted 
out completely, so that for them there is neither judgment 
nor rising. 4 The restrictions would be still greater if 
several casual statements were to be construed literally 
as when it is said, for example, that resurrection is by the 
merit of chastity. 5 The vesture of holy days about 
which we have heard is a particular aid of the just; 6 

1 For example, when it is said without qualifying the statement that 
the guilty will rise with the just, will do penance and will enjoy thereafter 
the light of God, there can be no question that the reference is to Israel 
alone. Z., Pt. I, Appendix III, Mathnitin ; DE FAULV, II, 711. 

2 The words are that God will command his Servant who is charged 
with the work of resurrection not to restore their souls to the Gentile 
peoples. /^., fol. i8ib ; II, 317. The servant is Metatron. 

a Id., Pt. II, fol. 576; 111,256. 

4 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 6ga ; I, 406. The allusion is especially to the sin of 
Onan, the enormity of which is ever present to the mind of the Doctrine. 
See also fol. 66a ; I, 390. 

5 /., fol. 22oa ; IV, 234. The remark should perhaps be taken in the 
sense of the previous extract. 

6 Another account tells us that when a man has maintained his soul 
in its pristine purity, on leaving this world many lights are poured upon 
him and he is preserved against the day of resurrection in a hidden 
Palace of Love where the King of Heaven kisses the holy souls. /., 
Pt. II, fol. 97a ; III, 389. The Scriptural authority is Ex. xxi, 9, very 
curiously adapted : " He shall deal with her after the manner of daughters." 
It follows that all souls in respect of God are held to be female by the 
Zohar, and the kind of Divine Union here adumbrated is remarkably 
like that which we meet with in m my recognised aspects of Christian 


Concerning Resurrection 

but as it is certain that many of the wicked will also 
come to judgment it is possible that evil days may serve 
in their case, while making for their condemnation of 
course. 1 

The general thesis of the subject is put very clearly 
as follows : When circumstances required it, a simple 
morsel of wood the reference is to Aaron s rod was 
transformed by the Holy One into a thing having body 
and life. With how much the more reason will He 
change into new creatures those forms which possessed 
previously a vital spirit and a holy soul, fulfilling the 
commandments of the Law, consecrated to its study. 2 
It is the same bodies that have existed heretofore which 
will be resuscitated, as it is written : " Thy dead men 
shall live ; " 3 and they will be animated by the same 
souls. 4 There is a sense, however, in which they will 
be formed anew, but they will have the aspects of old 
and will be therefore recognisable. 5 The new formation 
is more especially a Divine act of healing, so that the 
lame and the blind will be so disqualified no longer. 6 
This will be effected by the rays of that primitive sun 7 
which shone at the beginning, embracing the whole world 
from one extremity to the other. 8 After God had beheld 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 224a, b ; DE PAULY, II, 483, 484. 

2 Ib.> Pt. II, fol. 28b; ill, 135, 136. 

J Is. xxvi, 19. * Z., Pt. I, fol. 1305 ; II, 113. 

5 /., Pt. Ill, fol. 9ia; V, 243. 

6 Ib. See also Pt. I, fol. 2O3b ; 1 1, 410. The robes of glory, or sacred 
vestures and vehicles with which the disembodied soul is clothed in the 
state of beatitude, being psychic garments would, by the hypothesis, serve 
in the transfiguration of the risen physical body, though there would not 
be two envelopes one within the other, this idea being set aside by the 
Zohar, as we have seen. 

7 The Gentile nations will be consumed by its fire. /#., fol. 

6 /., fol. 203b; II, 410. The light of this concealed sun encom 
passed Moses as an infant among the bulrushes ; it surrounded 
him on Mount Sinai, wlience the children of Israel could not look 
upon his countenance ; and in some sense it remained with him for 
the rest of his life. 7/5., foi. 310; 1, 19^. There is no question that it 
was the light ot Shekinati, which would have been presumably always in 
manifestation, if man according to the legend had not proved unworthy 
of the mysteries which would have been revealed therein. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the generations of Enoch, with those of the deluge and 
confusion of tongues, He concealed this light, which 
had curative properties. Its future restoration as stated 
signifies the restoration and enlightenment of Israel. 
It is said that "in that day shall there be one Lord, and 
His name one." 1 

We should read between these lines to our destruction 
did we seek to spiritualise any of the statements made : 
there is nothing so fell as their literalness, and the details 
to which I have alluded rise up here and there for our 
complete confusion. The resurrection of the dead will 
take place in the order of their interment : 2 if a wife 
was the first to be buried, it is she who will rise first, 
and this rule seems to prevail through the ages, with 
an exception in favour of those who died in the desert : 
the trumpet will sound for these sooner than for the rest 
of humanity. 3 When the great day approaches it will 
be the task of Metatron to embellish the bodies in the 
sepulchres and presumably to prepare them for rising ; 4 
but when the hour sounds the Holy One will cause 
a dew to fall, and it is thanks to this that the event 
itself will be accomplished. It will be a dew of light 
and it will emanate from the Tree of Life. 5 There is, 
however, a special dispensation in respect of students 
of the Doctrine. Whether or not without prejudice to 
those who died in the desert, it is those who will be 
raised first, 6 and they will bear witness in favour of the 

1 Zech. xiv, 9. 2 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 1643. ; DE PAULY, V, 423. 

3 /., fol. i68b ; V, 437. 

4 Ib., Pt. I, Appendix III, Mathnitin, fol. 6a; II, 705. But it is 
Matrona who preserves the souls for resurrection. /#., Pt. Ill, fol. 2220 ; 
V, 561. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. 1300, I3ia; II, 113. It is said elsewhere that at the 
time of resurrection (i) the waters of that heavenly fountain which is 
represented by the letter Yod will flow forth afresh; (2) the 32 paths 
of communication between things above and below will be open freely ; 
and (3) all letters of the Sacred Name will be complete, which has not 
been the case in the world heretofore. Ib., fol. loa ; I, 42. 

/&, fol. I75b, 1763; II, 290, 291. The risen bodies of these will 
subsist always, because the Law will be their protection. 


Concerning Resurrection 

rest. The instrument in their case will be a wind which 
shall be the synthesis of all winds. 

These things stand at their value, but there is a sort 
of central fact ex hypothesi which may be held to ex 
plain everything ; each man who is born into the world 
is provided with an imperishable bone in his present 
physical body, and it is from or on this that his organisa 
tion will be built up anew at the time of the resurrection * 
it is like the rib taken from the side of Adam. The 
bone in question will be to the risen body that which the 
leaven is to the dough. So is it sown a natural body 
and raised miraculous enough, though scarcely on the 
evidence spiritual. Now, it is said in one place that 
by virtue of the dew of light, already mentioned, the 
resurrection of bodies will be as the upspringing of 
flowers, 2 but this is the poetry of the subject, and there 
is another side of the question. It was desirable for the 
peace of the doctors that such an event as resurrection 
should take place only in Palestine, and it became neces 
sary to devise a particular scheme for the great majority 
of Israel dying outside the precincts of that sacred land. 
This was done by postulating that, after their recon- 
stitution, the bodies of such persons will be transported 
underground to the Holy Land, and there only will they 
receive their souls. 3 The complete resurrection will begin 
in Galilee. 4 Souls will come down through the gates of 
heaven and rejoin their bodies. 5 At first it will be a day 
of severity, for the Holy One will demand an account 
of all actions prior to the separation of soul and body ; 
the books of record will be opened and the chiefs of 
severity will stand ready to act. 6 But Israel is a nation 

1 Z., Pt. I., fol. 6ga ; DE PAULY, I, 406. See also Appendix III to 
Pt. I, Secret Midrash ; II, 716. 2 Z., Pt. I, fol. I3ob, I3ia ; II, 113. 

3 70., fol. I3ia; II, 115. 4 70., Pt. n fo1 - ioa ; 111,42. 

6 70., Pt. I, Appendix III, Secret Midrash , II, 712. 

6 70., Pt. I, fol. 2oib; II, 401. The particular and general judgment 
of Latin theology are therefore recognised by the Zohar, as we have seen 
previously. It is said also that the " Serpent will rise up to bite and man 
shall tremble in all his members." 70. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of the elect ; the guilty who rise with the just will do 
penance and thereafter will enjoy the Divine splendour. 1 
It is even testified as we have seen that the tempter- 
spirit will be transformed, 2 though whatever is understood 
by extermination is meted out to him in other passages. 3 
The Holy One will bless the bodies of the just and will 
render them like the body of Adam in the state of 
Paradise. Such souls will bring with them the higher 
lights which nourish them during their sojourn in heaven, 
between the death and the rising, and those lights will 
make their bodies radiant. 4 Soul and body in tine shall 
know their Master. 5 A great festival will follow ; but 
in place of the salted leviathan promised to the elect 
by the Talmud the refection will be spiritual, because 
those who are truly just have no need to eat or drink 
but are nourished by the splendour of Shekinah. 

I am no doubt exceeding the restricted province 
which I have chosen, but it seems to me difficult to 
deny that Zoharic eschatology is permeated with that 
of the Christian scheme, as presented by the Latin 
Church. Subject to the distinctions not always main 
tained on the question of the duration of punishment 
all souls at death go to the place prepared for them and 
the judgment connected with the resurrection determines 
once and for all the state of humanity for ever. There 
is neither change nor vicissitude thereafter. The just in 
their risen bodies will behold the Divine, so that the 
earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God. 7 In 
this world as it now is they are in a state of imper- 

1 Z,, Pt. I, Appendix III, Mathnitin ; DE PAULY, II, 711. 

2 Ib.y Appendix III, Secret Midrash\ II, 716. The passage is a good 
example of the Zohar in its most cryptic mood. " The tempter spirit and 
his two daughters will be transformed. Formerly he was called Lot, 
meaning malediction, but hereafter he will be called Laban, meaning wife." 

3 In one place it is said merely that he will disappear. /^., Pt. I, 
fol. I3ia; II, 114. 

4 70., Pt. I, Appendix III, Secret Midrash; II, 696. 

6 /.; 11,713. 6 70., P . 714. 

7 70., Pt. I, Appendix III, Secret Midrash; II, 713. /., p. 696. 


Concerning Resurrection 

faction, but after the resurrection they will be perfect 
and will rejoice with Shekinah. 1 Their bodies will be 
like the splendour of the firmament, or like silver that 
has no alloy. 2 So also will the earth be renewed. 3 

1 7/5., p. 698. 

2 /#., Pt, I, Appendix III, Secret Midrash ; II, 699. 

3 /., p. 697. I will mention in this connection for the students of 
numerical mysticism that the number 40 seems to be a resurrection or 
renewing number. Ib. Appendix III, Secret Midrash: II, 715, 716 
where the recurrences of the number in the Old Testament are tabulated. 
It will be remembered that the Ascension of Christ occurred 40 days 
after the Resurrection. 



THERE is a very true sense in which the Secret Doctrine 
of the Zohar must be said to centre in that mystery, 
whatsoever it may be, which lies behind the wonder and 
glory of Shekinah a recurring, and speaking literally, 
incessant subject of reference in adoring honour through 
out the great text. There is a very true sense further 
more in which it may be said that out of this mystery 
all Kabalism seems to issue and, moreover, goes back 
therein. It would have been very reasonable, if indeed 
it had been possible, to have opened my study of the 
Doctrine with this subject, but it would have involved 
entering at once into its most recondite and difficult 
part, one also which might have made the whole under 
taking insuperable for the general and unversed reader. 1 
As it is, I must proceed carefully, not only on account 
of the difficulties but because the keys of the mystery 
open into a region about which there are grave motives 
for speaking with considerable reserve, when it is possible 
to speak at all. It is here, if anywhere in our subject, 

1 The old maxim of the mystical alchemist, Khunrath, seems to 
obtain in every direction without variation or reduction : Sigillum 
Nattircc et Artis simplicitas^ and I quote it here, as I have quoted it on 
several occasions elsewhere, to indicate that it is one which applies in a 
paramount manner to the root of the Secret Doctrine in Israel; for the 
vast body of cryptic writing and the practice concealed behind it arose 
out of that one verse in Scripture Avhich says: "So God" that is 
to say, Elohim "created man in His own image, in the image of God 
created He him ; male and female" defining the nature of the image 
"created He them." Gen. i, 27. The difficulty therefore to which I 
have alluded above is not in respect of the fact wherein the Doctrine 
centres but in the complications of its development and in the details of 
the practical part. 


"The Mystery of Shekinah 

that we shall find whether as mystics we are coming into 
something which is our own in the matter of Jewish 
theosophy or whether we must relegate it to the 
curiosities of past speculation that are not of our vital 

" The sole object with which the Holy One, blessed 
be He, sends man into this world is to know that 
Jehovah is Elohim." 1 Herein is also all true joy of 
heart. 2 Now, it is in this manner that I open the high 
conference respecting the mystery of Shekinah, which 
is a mystery of man and God, of man in the likeness 
of the Elohim, of the relation between things above 
and things below, of intercourse for union upon earth 
performed in the spirit of celestial union, and the 
transmutation of one by the other for the work of God 
in the world. In this union abides the Mystery of Faith, 
which is the synthesis of the whole Law Written and 
Oral Law and of all that exists whatsoever. But union 
is not identity, 3 whence it is said further that Jehovah 
and Elohim are distinct, not synonymous, though to 
gether they form an unity. 4 It must be explained in 
the first place that Elohim is a title of Shekinah and so 
also is Adonai, 5 in which sense but presumably for us 
in manifestation she is called the Mirror of Jehovah. 6 
Like the First Matter of the Great Work in alchemy, 
Shekinah is almost myriony.mous in respect of her 
designations, but the chief ascriptions are feminine. She 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. i6ib, i62a; DE PAULY, IV, 101, 102. There is 
also a marriage of the two names in Kabalism, producing the Sacred 
Name of nine letters, the consonants succeeding one another alternately, 
thus Q^nm^ntP : Yod, Aleph, lie, Lamed, Vau, he, He, Yod, Mem. 
Ib., iv, 151. It is said also: " And the Lord God formed man" (Gen. ii, 7) 
i.e. f Jehovah Elohim, the male principle united to the female, according 
to the Zohar. Man is said to be grafted on Elohim, as the latter is 
grafted on Jehovah. Z., Pt. II, fol. 26oa ; IV, 293. 

2 Id., Pt. Ill, fol. 8b ; V, 23. 3 Ib,, Pt. II, fol. i62a ; IV, 102. 
* Cf. Deut. iv, 35 L " Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest 

know that the Lord He is God" or, as the Zohar quotes it, that Jehovah 
is Elohim. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. loia; II, 10. Ib., Pt. II, fol. I24b ; 111,482. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

is now the Daughter of the King ; she is now the Betrothed, 
the Bride and the Mother, and she is sister in relation 
to the world of man at large. 1 There is a sense also in 
which this Daughter of God is or becomes the Mother 
of man. In respect of the manifest universe, she is the 
architect of worlds, acting in virtue of the Word uttered 
by God in creation. In respect of the myth of Paradise, 
the Shekinah is the Eden which is above, whence the 
river of life flows forth that waters the Garden below, 
and this is also Shekinah as she is conceived in external 
things or Bride, Daughter and Sister in the world 
below. Considered in her Divine Womanhood, in the 
world of transcendence, she is the Beloved who ascends 
towards the Heavenly Spouse, and she is Matrona who 
unites with the King, for the perfection of the Divine 
Male is in the Divine Female. Hence it is said that the 
perfection of Jehovah is in Elohim. 2 She is a trinity in 
respect of her title as Elohim, for there is an Elohim 
in transcendence concealed and mysterious an Elohim 
that judges above and one who judges below ; but these 
three are one. 3 As such, the Oral Law is her image, 
while the image of Jehovah is the Written Law. 4 So 
also she is the waters that are above the firmament in 
respect of her title of Elohim, but she is the waters 
below the firmament when she manifests as Adonai. 5 
As Elohim she is the Middle Pillar, 6 and all the various 
aspects of the one thing that is needful from the stand 
point of the Secret Tradition are collocated, their seeming 
exclusiveness notwithstanding, to shew that she abides 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 8ib ; DE PAULY, I, 470. See also Pt. Ill, fol. 29;b ; 
VI, 124, for Shekinnh nnd Matrona ; Pt. I, fol. 2763. Book of Brightness ; 
II, 644, for Daughter of the King ; and Pt. II, fol. loob; III, 406 for all 
the synonyms. 

2 /., P. Ill, fol. 5a; V, u. 

3 //;., Pt. II, fol. 257*1 ; IV, 290. 

4 7&, fol. i6ib ; IV, 102. 

5 /, Pt. I, fol. i7b, i8a ; I, 108. 

6 /., fol. 2783, The Faithful Shepherd; II, 647. See also fol. 24ia; 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

in all, is at once above and below, without even as within. 
She is that Divine Presence which walked in the Garden 
of Eden in the cool of the evening, went before Israel 
in the desert and protects the just man who has fulfilled 
the precepts, dwelling in his house and going forth with 
him in his journeys. 1 As Elohim, in fine, she is the 
middle degree of the Divine Essence. 2 

Now, in all the references cited up to this point the 
intention of the Zohar has been to shew in the most 
positive and unqualified way that the Shekinah is female 
in its essential aspect, whether as the Bride of God in 
that transcendent state wherein there is no distinction 
between her and the Holy One 3 or whether as the 
tutelary guide of humanity. 4 But in preparation for 
another part of our subject it is necessary to glance at 
certain alternative allocations which appear in the Zohar. 
The Shekinah is the Liberating Angel who delivers the 
world in all ages, 5 who is ever near to man and never 
separated from the just. 6 Of her it is said : " Behold, 
I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, 
and to bring thee into the place which I have pre 
pared." 7 But it is stated that this Liberating Angel 
manifests as male and female, being male when it dis 
penses the celestial benedictions on the world below, 
because it then resembles a male nourishing the female ; 
but when charged with offices of judgment it is called 
female, as a woman who carries her child in the womb of 
her. 8 It is said elsewhere that those who understand 
these male and female attributions know the great 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 76,1 ; DE PAULY, I, 448. 

2 //>., fol. i sob ; II, 194. 

" She and God are one."//;., Pt. II, fol. ii8b ; III, 456. 

4 See // ., fol. 2o;a ; IV, 210. 

5 Pt. I, fol. 228b ; II, 502. 

6 71)., fol. 230:1 ; II, 508. 7 Ex. xxxiii, 20. 

8 Z., Pt. I, 232a ; II, 516. The " Flaming Sword which turned every 
way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life " (Gen. iii, 24) is a symbol of 
this Angel and of Shekinah in the dual sex of both. Mercy is always 
counted as masculine and severity or judgment as feminine. 

193 N 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

wisdom. 1 But the exposition as to this wisdom is given 
much later on, when it is stated that Matrona is feminine 
in so far as she is not in union, but in that state she is 
identified with the male principle, and this is how the 
interchange of sex in divine things must be understood 
throughout. 2 So also Metatron, who is an aspect of 
Shekinah, is indifferently male and female, changing 
incessantly according to the vibrations of the union. 3 
Now, it is said that Shekinah is to Metatron what the 
Sabbath is to the weekdays. 4 In other words, she is 
rest and the rapture of rest, yet it is that rest in which 
there is the intercourse of spiritual union. The same 
vibrations which are mentioned in the case of Metatron 
constitute the beatitude of the soul in heaven. 

There are two points which should be memorised on 
this subject. At the apex of the union between male 
and female which is to be understood only in a spiritual 
sense the sex distinction has ceased : it is only from this 
point of view that the Shekinah is mentioned sometimes 
as if she were on the male side. Here is the first point, 
and the second is that in characteristics and in mission, 
she is always typically female ; it is she who comprises 
all women in her mystery, 5 and this is why as we shall 
see she does not abide except with him who is united 
to a woman. 6 

We have next to consider her relation to the letters 
of Tetragrammaton. The He which is above, meaning 
the first He of the Sacred Name, is the symbol of the 
Shekinah in transcendence, while the He final represents 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. ioob ; DE PAULY, III, 406. 

2 /., Pt. Ill, fol. 3ia; V, 84. It is said distinctly that, in this 
respect, whether the feminine or masculine form is used by Scripture 
the same degree is always and only designated. 

3 lb., fol. 73b ; V, 201. * Ib., fol. 243b ; V, 581. 
6 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 228b; II, 501. 

6 Ib. The task of lighting the Sabbath candles devolved on the 
matrons, because they were in the service of Matrona. The act was 
regarded as an earnest (a) of long life for the husbands and (b) of a holy 
posterity for both, as well as (c) great personal rewards for themselves. 
Ib., fol. 48b ; I, 281. 

I 94 

The Mystery of Shekinah 

the Shekinah below, or in manifestation, connected with 
the idea of Malkuth 1 understood as the world of Assiah. 
According to one account, she has been in manifestation 
so long as the world was created. 2 She is, however, 
above and below at one and the same time there encom 
passed by twelve sacred legions and the supreme Hayoth, 
here by the twelve sacred tribes of Israel. 3 The Tod and 
the He constitute the Father and the Mother : these are 
Jehovah and Elohim. 4 She is the Mother, Matrona, 
above and Matrona or Mother below. 5 From the con 
stant and ardent love of He for Tod there issues Vau, 
conceived and born of He, who also nourishes Van. But 
Van came into the world with a twin sister bearing the 
name of Grace ; the two took root on earth and consti 
tuted the He final a reference to the metaphysical con 
ception of their affirmed union. Then and thus was the 
Vau united to the He, meaning the second He of the 
Divine Name. 6 It follows that there is a descent of Vau 
into manifestation, but there should be no need to add 
that, this notwithstanding, the Vau has its place in the 
supernal world and so also has the final He, because it is 
obvious that the Divine Name must be perfect above 
before it can manifest below, and from this point of 
view, though there is no Zoharic authority, and other 
allocations are paramount, the place of the He final is in 
Daath. 7 As the He in manifestation, the Shekinah is the 
repose of beings below and in transcendence of beings 
above, 8 referring more especially to souls which have 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 27b; DE PAULY, I, 174, where it is said also that the 
He final is the child of the first He. 

2 Ib., fol. 8sa ; I, 489. 3 Ib., fol. I59b ; II, 227. 

4 Ib., fol. 28a ; I, 177. That is to say, in Chokmah and Binah, as we 
have seen by the evidence collected in Chapter IV. 

5 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. lob ; V, 31. 6 Ib., fol. 77b ; V, 210, 211. 

7 I have put this on record in respect of the Sacred Name in the 
Supernals, but it need not concern us further. In the scheme of 
Divine Names allocated to the ten Sephiroth, Jehovah is referred to 
Chokmah. But this is late Kabalism. 

8 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. io8a, b; ,274. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

attained beatitude, and this is defined as the vision of her. 1 
The Van is the male child or the Son. 2 The Tod of the 
Sacred Name is ever united to the He, and when the Van 
is also joined thereto it is union everywhere, including 
that which should obtain between the Van and the He 
final. 3 Owing to the present state of the world, we shall 
see that this union has been broken. In a withdrawn 
sense the Tod of the Sacred Name designates the Supreme 
Thought, while the He designates Shekinah, as the Heart 
or love in that Thought. 4 To conclude as to the Divine 
Name, its consonants bear the vowel points of the name 
Elohim, 5 from which two things seem to follow: (i) 
That the intimate union between Jehovah and Elohim 
is here indicated by the silent eloquence of verbal symbo 
lism, and (2) That the degree or hypostasis, or that part 
of the Divine Nature with which man is in communion 
on earth, is that which the Secret Tradition understands 
as Shekinah. It is she who enables the name to be ex 
pressed on earth, or God to be realised in the heart. I 
conclude that in the perfect state the manifestation of 
the He final on earth would be in espousals with Van, 
but there is separation in the present order until that 
which now hinders shall be taken out of the way. 6 

The next point which is posed for our consideration 
is the place of Shekinah in the Sephirotic Tree, and it 
will be well to state at the inception that the attributions 
throughout Kabalism seem almost as many as the refer 
ences, though there is only one which is predominant. 
She is the Middle Pillar as we have seen the Pillar of 

1 Z., Ft. II, fol. 4ob, The Faithful Shepherd; DE PAULY, III, 
189, IQO. 

2 //;., Pt. Ill, fol. iiSb ; V, 305. 

3 //;., fol. 26yb; VI, 23. 

4 /&, fol. 23oa; V, 570. 

5 //>., Pt. I, fol. Qoa ; I, 511, 512. Otherwise this Divine Name has 
the pointing of Adonai. 

6 My reference is to the period, foretold in the Zohar, when the Vau 
shall raise up the He. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

Benignity, extending from Kether to Malkuth, 1 and she 
takes up the Sephiroth to God, or into the place which is 
no place, beyond the infinite height and depth, the infinite 
of all directions embraced by the Tree. This is the 
place of A tn-Soph? The Middle Pillar is described 
otherwise as the trunk of the Tree, 3 it being understood 
that the root is in Kether, so far as the genesis and legend 
of the soul are concerned, but it is in Malkuth in respect 
of the return journey to God, which is a journey through 
the Shekinah, or under her glorious leading. Shekinah 
is, in another form of symbolism, the body of the Tree ; 4 
and the elect summarised as Israel are the cloud of 
witnesses forming the branches; but it is said also that 
she is the crown of the Middle Pillar, 5 the synthesis of 
all the Sephiroth and of every Sacred Name expressed or 
implied in the wisdom of the Secret Doctrine. She is to 
God that which the vowel point is to the letter a thing 
not distinct therefrom but the means of its utterance. 
She is further the crown of the seven lower Sephiroth, 
and this might account for the allocation of the semi- 

1 This is likely to cause some mental confusion, for which the text is 
too often responsible. We have seen that, according" to the Jdras, the 
Son or Van. is extended through the three worlds which are below the 
world of Atziluth, and He also is called the Middle Pillar ; but He is in 
union with the He final, or Bride, thereon. I have spoken in the present 
tense, but this was during" the perfection of the manifest world. They 
are in separation now, for the He is fallen to earth that is, to Malkuth 
and has to be raised by the Vau. It is never said that the Van also 
has fallen, but as the method and terminology chosen to illustrate the 
notion are an adaptation of the Myth of Paradise symbolism, the Van is 
certainly involved, as Adam in the calamity of Eve. The undoing of the 
evil rests also with her as the Zohar itself intimates in one place. The 
whole account is an allegory of man and woman involved by a fatal con 
struction respecting the mystery of sex but intended to redeem the 
trespass, with the life belonging thereto. 

2 This is a matter of inference from one isolated statement, which 
says that Shekinah in her ascent draws up the ten Sephiroth, and it is a 
matter of logic that thither where she draws them is beyond Kether. 
Now, beyond Kether is Ain-Soph by the hypothesis of the Tree. See 
Z., Pt. I, fol. 24:1; DE PAULY, I, 149, where it is said that when she 
rises towards God she causes all the ten Sephiroth to go up with her. 

3 //;., Pt. I, fol. 24ia; II, 552. 4 //A, fol. 241 b; II, 555. 
5 //>., Pt. II, fol. rsSa; IV, 94. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Sephira Daath or Supernal Knowledge to the centre of 
the influence coming from Chokmah and Binah, as tabu 
lated by later Kabalism. 1 

Now, there is an appendix to the Sepher Tetzirah 
concerning 50 Gates of Understanding referred to 
Binah, also by late Kabalism, but this ascription is 
countenanced by the Zohar when it is said that these 
Gates are in the region of the Supreme Mother, who 
gives power to the Mother below 2 a reference to the 
Shekinah in transcendence and in manifestation. This 
determines absolutely that the Shekinah is in Binah and 
that the first He of the Divine Name is also therein. 
It is said further that the side of severity emanates 
from her, though she is not herself severity, 3 and we 
know that the Pillar of Severity is on the left side of 
the Tree, at the head of which is Binah? " Shekinah 
emanates from the left side." 5 The 50 Gates are another 
symbolism concerning the return of man to the heights 
by the operation of Shekinah, as by a journey through 
the great distance, for the first gate is in matter and 
the last is in God Himself; but this gate was not, 
according to tradition, opened by Moses because 
another tradition affirms as seen already that he ceased 
to cohabit with his wife on earth. It is to be observed 

1 This again leads to confusion, for we have seen that the head of the 
Son is in Daath. I am not, however, attempting to harmonise the in 
numerable statements and counter-statements. Our object is to study 
the bent of the symbolism, and the glaring discrepancies seeing that 
they speak for themselves must take care of their own differences. 

2 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 262a ; DE PAULY, VI, 12. As regards the number 
50 which is allocated otherwise to Shekinah, it should be noted that the 
jubilee year, occurring once after every 49 years, is allocated to the Divine 
Mother in Binah, as the Sabbatic year occurring every 7 years is re 
ferred to the Mother below that is, the Shekinah in manifestation, so 
that her number on earth is 7. See *.,fol. io8b, The Faithful Shepherd; 
V, 274. 3 /&, fol. 262b ; VI, 13. 

4 That is to say, in the ordinary diagrams of the Sephirotic Tree- 
left and right referring to the observer. 

6 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 275b ; VI, 44. But this is looking towards the 
observer as, for example, when he is faced by the two Countenances 
of the Idras. See Chapter IV. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

that it is a Gate in Einah^ so that God is attained by 
man in and because of Shekinah, for which reason her 
number is said to be 5O, 1 though from another point 
of view she is not contained in number. 2 There are, 
however, various allocations. Two Supernals, namely 
Chokmah and Einah^ are disposed on the right and 
the left, and these are said to be united in Shekinah. 3 
But the complete integration in her of all branches 
of the Sephirotic Tree will not take place till He comes 
Who shall be called Man, that is Adam or Shiloh* It 
follows that there is a sense in which the Shekinah is 
in Chokmah? and it is supposed to be of her that it 
is said : " She openeth her mouth in wisdom." 6 For 
the purpose of this attribution wisdom is the letter tie 
and all depends therefrom. 7 The Shekinah in this 
relation is called concealed and visible, conciliating 
the mysteries above and the mysteries below. 8 Her 
hiddenness is in respect of the Supreme Degree of the 
Divine Essence, which exceeds understanding. She 
herself is revealed in wisdom by the mode of the Law 
of Mercy, so that she is Mercy on one side although 
Severity proceeds from her on the other. As the 
mouth which is opened with wisdom, she is the He 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. io8b, The Faithful Shepherd; DE PAULY, V, 274. 

2 /., Pt. II, fol. i6 4 b; IV, 108. 

3 /., fol. i65a; IV, 109. 4 /., Pt. I, fol. 250 ; I, 160. 

5 Because she is indubitably present in things that are united in her ; 
because, in so far as she represents sex conceived transcendently, she is 
male and female ; and because as we have seen in the Supernals 
there is no distinction between her and the Holy One. 

6 Prov. xxxi, 27. The reference is to a virtuous woman accentu 
ating in this manner the feminine aspect of Shekinah. We ought, I 
think, to remember in this connection that, in the physical order, it is 
woman who conceives, contains and brings forth both male and female 
a point which must have been present assuredly to the minds of Zoharic 

7 But the attribution is casual or transient and as such fantastic. 
There is no question that in the natural allocations of the Tree it is the 
Yod that is in Chokmah^ and for this as we have seen there is full 
evidence. For example, according to The Assembly of the Sanctuary^ 
Z., Pt. II, fol. I23b; 111,478. 

8 /., Pt. I, fol. I45a; II, 171. 

I 99 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

final of the sacred Name, and this is the word which 
emanates from wisdom. 1 Again it is said that Elohim 
is seated on the right side, suggesting that the Shekinah 
is in Chokmah according to the familiar diagrams. 
Moreover, wisdom is the glory of and is revealed in 
the tabernacle 2 that is to say, by Shekinah. We must 
deal with this as we can, seeing that in another place 
Elohim, who is Shekinah, is said definitely to desig 
nate Einah? Fortunately the harmony between these 
statements is given elsewhere by the Zohar itself, when 
it is said that the mother below is sometimes called 
the Betrothed and sometimes Sister. If she comes 
from the side of the Father she is called Chokmah 
but if from that of the mother she is Binah* The 
truth is that Shekinah is on both sides of the Tree, 
and the explanation is that she is the spirit of all 
the Holy Assemblies, above and below. 5 It is in this 
sense and this only that Chokmah is sometimes said 
to be female and is that Mother who is allocated alter 
natively to Binah, while she is Daughter, Sister and 
Bride in the worlds below. There is also a question 
of the unity which obtains throughout the Supernals. 
For the same reason she is now located in her mani 
festation at the foot of the Middle Pillar that is to 
say, in the fallen world ; but we have seen that she 
is also at the head and is therefore in Kether that is 
to say, as Alma Elohim, covering the Supernals with her 
wings. Hence it is mentioned that the Holy One is 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. H5a; >E PAULY, II, 171. 

2 Elsewhere the tabernacle is said itself to be Shekinah. // ., Pt. Ill, 
fol. ii4a; V, 285. 

3 //;., Ft. I, fol. 263a, Secrets of the Law ; II, 620. It is all a very 
simple question of transposing the diagram and bearing in mind what 
follows above. 

4 //A, Ft. Ill, fol. 77b ; V, 212. She is known by many names, as 
we are told in another place sometimes as an angel simply, sometimes 
as the angel of Jehovah and sometimes even as Jehovah. /<., Ft. 1, 
fol. ii3b; II, 58- 

5 II)., fol. I03b ; V, 262. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

covered by His Shekinah, both within and without. 1 
I conclude that there are the Father, the Mother and 
the Begotten Son, being Chokmah^ Binah and Daath, 
overshadowing the lower Sephiroth, though other allo 
cations are made and stand at their value. These three 
are symbolised by Tod, He and Vau in the Sacred Name, 
while the He final, the Bride in manifestation, is in Malkuth 
since the legendary fall, but so that the kingdom of 
this world may become in the fulness of the Messianic 
day the Kingdom of Heaven. Outside these there is 
Kether, and it should be noted in this connection that 
Jehovah manifests with Shekinah in that Supernal 
Sephira? The seeming attribution of feminine descrip 
tions to the Shekinah in her threefold aspect, so far 
from leading to confusion, really provides the key. She 
is the catholic nature of womanhood in all degrees and 
grades. In so far as everything proceeds from Kether, 
it is in virtue of the union between God and His 
Shekinah therein. That which was produced is male 
and female also, being the Father and Mother in 
Chokmah and Binali, but because of this twofold pro 
cession there is a sense in which these two may be 
called Son or Word and Daughter. They beget on 
their own part the King and the Queen below, Lover 
and Beloved, the Son and Shekinah in manifestation. 
But the Supernals are in unity, and this is why the 
Zohar is so careless seemingly in its allocation of 
Shekinah, so that it is in Chokmah or Binah as the one 

1 Z., Ft. II, fol. 159.1, The Faithful Shepherd; DE PAULY, IV, 96. 
The Shekinah is represented also by the initial letter Shin of the word 
Sabbath, but this would be, I think, the Shekinah below, because of the 
Sabbatic year already mentioned. 

2 This is a most important point and is on the authority of TJie 
Faithful Shepherd. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 243a ; V, 581. It determines 
affirmatively a suggestion which I made in considering the symbolism 
of the White Head, as this is found in The Book of Mystery and 
the Idras. There is no aspect of the manifest Godhead in which the 
Male is without the Female, but the distinction is lost in Ain-Soph, 
about which nothing can be posited, except that it is shewn forth in 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

or the other mood happens to prevail. There are 
moments even when it looks as if Father, Word and Spirit 
abide in the Supernal Sephiroth. 1 We must, however, 
beware of being misled by apparent correspondences 
with Christian Trinitarian doctrine and must remember 
in this connection that the Zoharic hypostases are never 
spoken of as proceeding eternally one from another. 
The Word, for example, is strictly a time concept, 
postulated in respect of creation and preceded by the 
indwelling thought of God. 

Shekinah herself, in the state of distinction which- 
as we have seen is postulated concerning her, is either 
the first of created things or may be such when she 
assumes the vesture of Metatron. 2 In the state of in 
effable union and in that conception which lies behind 
her name, she can be only eternal like the Holy One, 
save in so far as the Holy One, postulated in Kether, 
is also a time conception in respect of A in-Soph, the 
inaccessible God, compared with Whom even the world 
of Atziluth is a conditioned state, and its conditioning is 
in respect of manifestation. 

I have mentioned in another connection the work of 
Shekinah in creation. In her office as architect of the 
world, the word was uttered to her, was by her conceived 
and brought or begotten into execution. We have seen 
that Shekinah below concurred with the architect above 
and was also its builder in what sense does not signify, 
nor is it explained by the Zohar. 3 In so far, however, 
as creation is the history of the elect symbolised, it is 
obvious that the work remains unfinished till the great 

1 Z., Ft. Ill, fol. iob; DE PAULY, V, 31. 

2 lb. It is said that Metatron is the vesture of Shaddai, but this Divin 
Name, with those of Adonai, Elohim and Shekinah herself are evidently 
interchangeable. See Z., Ft. Ill, fol. 231.1; V, 571, m respect of 
Metatron, by which it appears that they are so related because 
numerical value of the one name is the same as that of the other. 

3 /., Ft. I, fol. 22a, b; I, 136-138. It is said, however, that She 
kinah is the object of the mysteries relative to the works of creation. 
/., Pt. Ill, fol. 23ia; V, 571. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

day of restitution, and coincident therewith is the his 
tory of Shekinah herself. On the manifest side it begins 
in the Garden of Eden in that Garden which is she, 
according to another symbolism l and it continues for 
the theosophical Jew through the whole period of the 
Greater Exile. I have mentioned that it was Shekinah 
who walked with Adam in Paradise under the title of 
Lord God, 2 that is to say, of Jehovah Elohim, the union 
above communicating to the union below and prescribing 
the first law of life. This is the Shekinah in manifesta 
tion. But we know that the trespass followed and that 
our prototypical parent was driven out of the Garden. 
This might appear to mean that he was cast out from 
under the wings of Shekinah ; but he was not deserted 
in his need, for she followed him into the captivity of 
the senses. This is one side of the Zoharic doctrine 
that Shekinah suffered with mankind, 3 but it is put much 
more explicitly when it is said : " Therefore the man was 
driven out and the Mother was driven out with him." 4 
This was the primal captivity and many captivities fol 
lowed, wherein Shekinah shared ; for it is said that she 
is the sacrifice which God has placed on His right and 
on His left hand, and about Him. 5 

There was separation between the King and Matrona 
in respect of the outer world and so came about a sepa 
ration in the Divine Name, for the final He was detached 

1 The counterpoise to this is that Shekinah was the companion of 
human exile when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden as we 
shall see immediately. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. ?6a ; DE PAULY, I, 448. 

3 7^., fol. I2ob; 11,84, 85. 

* 7. , fol. 22b ; I, 137. The authority is : "Behold, for your iniquities 
have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put 
away." Is. 1, i. 

6 7&, fol. 256a ; II, 602. 7#., Pt. Ill, fol. loga ; V, 275. 7/;., Pt. I, 
fol. 24a ; I, 149. Sometimes it is a question of drawing into the deeps 
and heights of Divine Union. Sometimes it is the same conception 
symbolised by the female offering all her members and all the parts of 
her personality to the corresponding members and parts on the male 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

and came down on earth, the source of graces coming 
with her. 1 Though it is forbidden to separate the 
Heavenly Bride and Bridegroom, even in thought, it is 
this which has come to pass by reason of the sufferings 
of Israel, 2 with whom Shekinah was destined as we have 
seen to endure even from the beginning. 3 When 
Israel is in exile the Shekinah is also in exile. It is for 
this reason that the Holy One will remember Israel/ 
meaning that He remembers His covenant, " which is 
Shekinah." 4 The symbolical position is summed up m 
the statement that the second He was obscured and fell, 5 
becoming a symbol of penitence. 6 The meaning is that 
she is with the elect, for better, for worse, for richer, 
for poorer; 7 and as in their attainments so is she 
with them in their sins, though not after the same 
manner, for she is then on the wrath side. Her shame 
is the defiled body of man. 8 Again she is in separation 
from the King owing to the wickedness of man, and 
though she does not leave him the sin of Israel causes 
her to turn away. 9 To sum up on this subject, she was 
driven out of the Garden of Eden with Adam, like a 
wife sent away by her husband ; but it was for the 
salvation of the world. 10 

1 Z Pt I fol. 254b ; DK PAULY, II, 600. The point is expressed in 
a verf curious way-namely, that the world could not exist until t 
He final detached itself from the other three letters of the Divine Name 
and descended on earth. The authority seems to be : " I have said, Mercy 
shall be built up for ever (Ps. Ixxxix, 2), which the Zohar renders : 
"The world shall be built by mercy." Cf. Vulgate: In cctcrnum 
miscricordia aedificabitur in coslis. Ps. Ixxxviii, 3. 

2 Z., Pt. II, fol. 9a, b; III, 39- 

3 //;., Pt. I, fol. I2obj II, 84. 

4 lb\ Pt. I, fol. I2ob; II, 84. Compare Detit. xxx, 3 : 
thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee. 

* 7/>.,Pt. II, fol. 9a,b; 111,40. "// ., fol. iub; III, 442. . 

Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 74a ; V, 202. She is weighed down by the sin o 
Israel. //A, fol. 28a; V, 79- ,, 

//;., fol. 7>a ; V, 204. 9 /^, fol. 155", b ; 4 V T 397 i 

1 //;, Pt. I, fol. 2 37 a; II, 535, 5.3.6. It is written: " O Lord our 
God (Tehovah Elohimj, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over 
us but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy Name," or as the 
Zohar has it "but, thanks to Thee, we have remembered Thy ISam 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

In glancing at the concurrent history of Israel and 
that of Shekinah, considerable care is needed to distin 
guish between the allusions to her who is enthroned in 
Einah^ never leaving the Supernals, and the exiled servant 
of God 1 for there is a Shekinah called servant and a 
Shekinah who is Daughter of the King. 2 The one is 
above the angels, like her who in Christian doctrine is 
termed Regitta Angelorum? and in respect of all other 
lights of creation is that which soul is to body, though 
in relation to the Hol^ One she is as the body to the 
soul, notwithstanding that she and God are one. 4 She 
is the Mistress of the Celestial School, called the Abode 
of the Shepherds, and this is a school of Metatron, un 
derstood as a vesture or form assumed by Shekinah. 5 
In another aspect of symbolism she is that great and wide 
sea mentioned in Ps. civ. 25, and she embraces the whole 
world, which is concentrated in her. 6 She is the jubilee 
above presumably on account of joy. 7 All this is in 
the world of procession or emanation the hypostatic 
world, which is Atziluth* But Shekinah is said other 
wise to receive a body in Tetzirah 9 and so is empowered 
to manifest in Assiah, wherein among other titles she 
is the Lady of Battles, 10 who also obtains remission of 

only." Is. xxvi, 13. This verse is held to contain the Supreme Mystery 
of Faith. Jehovah Elohenou is the source of highest mysteries, and 
when Israel attains perfection it will make no distinction between 
Jehovah and Elohenou. It is forbidden as we have seen to separate 
these names even in thought. Yet is their separation now on account 
of the sufferings of Israel, and because it is apart from God. //;., 
Pt. II, fol. Qa, b; 111,38-40. 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 223a ; DE PAULY, V, 563. 

a /., Pt. 1 1, fol. 9 4 b; 111,378. 

3 7/;., fol. n6b; 111,450. 4 7^., fol. u8b; 111,456. 

5 /& , Pt. Ill, fol. I9?a; V, 508. 

6 II)., Pt. I, fol. 2^6a; II, 530, 531. 

7 /#., fol. 252a ; II, 593. 8 7b., Pt. Ill, fol. loga: V, 276. 
9 Ib. 

10 Ib., fol. 75b ; V, 205. It is of course obvious that Shekinah as 
Daughter of the King did not fall into sin, and hence her exile is willing, 
or she is empowered, as this text says. But that of which she is proto 
type incarnate womanhood did ex hypothesifa\\, and that son who 
is incarnate manhood fell with her. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the sins of Israel, after the manner of the Agnus Dei qui 

tollit peccata mundi.^ 

The Shekinah is held to connect in a particular sense 
with the patriarchal age. It was after his circumcision 
that the letter He was added to the name of Abram and 
it was also thereafter that he was united with Shekinah. 2 
Most of the divine visions beheld by Abraham were 
visions and manifestations of Shekinah, 3 who dwelt con 
stantly in the tent of Sarah, and this is why Abraham 
as we have seen on appearing in^the presence of Pharaoh, 
described Sarah as his sister, not as his wife, his refer 
ence being really to Shekinah, who bears this title in 
respect of man and who accompanied Sarah. 4 When he 
went to the rescue of Lot, 5 on leaving his house, Abra 
ham beheld Shekinah lighting the way before him and 
encompassed by many celestial legions. 6 She was present 
when Isaac blessed Jacob ; 7 it was she who conferred upon 
Jacob the name of Israel, 8 and she was with him when he set 
up the mystic stone as his pillar. 9 When seeking a wife 
it was with Shekinah that Jacob united his intention, and 
hence it is said in characteristic Zoharic symbolism that 
when he married Rachel he united heaven and earth. 10 
Shekinah, however, did not ignore or forget Leah, but 
as the Holy Spirit inspired her so that she knew respect 
ing her part in the bearing of the twelve tribes. 11 Rachel 
died when the progenitors of these tribes were com 
pleted and her place was taken by Shekinah, but after the 
death of Leah she removed to the house of Bala, so that 
she might be near Jacob, though she could not dwell in 
his house because as we know she resides only where 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. igib; DE PAULY, I, 353. 

2 7^., fol. 9 3 a; I, 529- *-. Pt - H fol - IO 5 a H > 2 7- 
* 7*., fol. i nb; II, 50- 5 Gen.xiv, 14. 

6 Z, Pt. I, fol. ii2b; II, 55- 7 /^, fol. H4b; II, 168. 
s Ib., fol. i?3b; 11,283. 9 /&, fol. 14% ; II, 1 86. 

10 Ib., fol. I53a; II, 203. 

11 Z., Pt. I, fol. 1573; II, 216. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

the man is united to the woman. 1 When Jacob lost 
Joseph he lost the Shekinah also, either because joy had 
left him, and she dwells only with the glad heart, or 
because it is said that he ceased to cohabit with his wife, 
as a mark of grief and desolation. 2 The part of joy re 
turned to him after reunion with his son, and presumably 
also Shekinah, for she accompanied Jacob and his family 
into Egypt, and forty-two sacred angels destined for her 
service came down with her, each bearing a letter belong 
ing to the Divine Name of forty-two letters. 3 So long as 
Joseph was with the Israelites the Shekinah was with 
them also and they were not enslaved by the Egyptians ; 
but when the day came for him to die, it is said that she 
departed, 4 and we know how it was with the people until 
the advent of Moses. It was he who again attracted the 
Shekinah to Israel ; 5 it is said that she never quitted 
him from the day of his birth ; 6 but more even than this, 
one of the doctors affirms that the father of Moses was 
espoused to Shekinah, or alternatively that both father 
and mother aspired towards her in their hearts during the 
intercourse which was followed by his conception. 7 This 
is what is meant by the statement, made elsewhere, that 
the Shekinah reposed upon the nuptial bed of the parents 
of Moses. 8 

The nature of the union which subsisted between 
Moses- and Shekinah is set out very curiously, for it is 
said that in a manner she had three husbands, namely, 
Jacob, Joseph and Moses. But the first abode with his 
wives on earth and was only united with her after his 
death. The espousals were not dissolved between her 
and Joseph until the bones of the latter were interred in 
Palestine. It was for this reason that Moses carried them 
out of Egypt, and they accompanied the children of Israel 

1 Z.,Pt. I,fol. i75b; DEPAULY,II,289. 2 Ib., fol. 1973, b; 11,381, 382. 

3 /, Pt. II, fol 4b; III,is. */.,Pt. I, fol. 1843; 11,327 

5 /., fol. 6;b, 68a ; I, 400. /., fol. i2ob ; II, 83. 

7 /., Pt. II, fol. iga; 111,92. 8 //;., fol, lib; 111,49. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

during the wanderings in the desert. It was somehow 
in virtue of their presence that Moses was united to She- 
kinah, so that she cohabited with him, and in connection 
with this it is observed that he detached himself from his 
wife _ a very strange intimation if the Indwelling ^Glory 
abides only with man in so far as he is wedded in the 
ordinary and lawful sense. 1 Indeed in another place the 
fact stated is not counted to Moses exactly as righteous 
ness. 2 The whole point rests as already noted 
on a Talmudic tradition concerning the separation of 
Moses from Zipporah, presumably because we hear 
nothing further concerning her than is found in the 
opening chapters of Exodus. 3 Another account, which 
is in opposition to much that has preceded, says that 
the Holy One espoused Matrona to Moses, and this 
was the first time that she made contact with the world 
below. 4 We may compare this with the remark on 
the Daughter of God in another place, where it is 
said that until she became a Bride, no one spoke 
with God face to face : 5 it is another reference to the 
espousals of Moses, contradicting her alleged union with 
Abraham and Jacob and her presence in the world before 
its creation. The meaning is that Shekinah was united 
with Moses after a new and more intimate manner than 

i Z Pt. I, fol. 2ib, 88a ; DE PAULV, I, 133-135- I am on 
verv slieht sketch of the whole subject, which would seem to the general 
reader a record of utter unreason. The fact that the bones of Jacob were 
interred in Palestine means that they belonged to the " celestial beings ; 
it was otherwise with those of Joseph, and he was still counted as belong- 
in^ to the earth. The bones are symbols of the celestial legions, and these 
only needed to be interred in Palestine. The Sons of the Doctrine did 
not know that a man in the position of Joseph would have been embalmed 
after his death. A still more inscrutable suggestion is worded literally 
as follows : " Moses cohabited with Shekinah, who is symbolised by the 
moon, even while the spirit dwelt in his body and he subjected her to 
his desires."-/*., fol. 22a ; I, 134- After his death he ascended to 
decree of the Jubilee, which as we have seen-is Binah and t) 
Shekinah in transcendence therein. She who was the spouse of Moses 
was the Shekinah in manifestation, and it is said that after his death she 

- 3 See Tract Sabbath. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

had been the case previously, just as God revealed Him 
self to the lawgiver in another way and in a sense under 
a new name. The exodus brought about by Moses occa 
sioned, moreover, the manifestation of Shekinah before 
the people of Israel, she being the pillar of fire by night, 
as Jehovah was that of cloud by day. 1 According to 
another account, she was also the cloud, and it was through 
this cloud that Moses passed on his ascent of Mount 
Sinai. 2 Finally, and most important of all, Moses caused 
Shekinah to manifest in the Ark of the Covenant over 
the Mercy-Seat, between the figures of the Kerubim. 
The tabernacle was erected to serve as her residence ; 
and at the moment when it was set up by Moses, there 
was another erected in the world above. What seems to 
have happened, however, was that the Mosaic tabernacle 
became the residence of Metatron, who connects so 
curiously with Shekinah. 3 The latter was also that cloud 
which abode on the tent of the congregation while the 
glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 4 Alternatively 
it was a cloud that rose up to veil her presence, and dis 
solved when she went forth. It is called smoke by the 
Zohar, which also gives the reason, according to its own 
fantastic symbolism namely, that the Shekinah had been 
drawn into this world by the fire which burns in the 
hearts of the patriarchs. 5 The male principle or Jehovah 
is said also to have spoken from the tabernacle by the 
intermediation of Shekinah, who is the female principle. 6 
The tabernacle itself as we have seen is the Shekinah 
under another aspect, 7 much as the tent of Sarah is so 
called on occasion, because she and the Divine Bride dwelt 
therein. 8 The Shekinah considered as the tabernacle is 
in pledge for the sins of man. 9 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 191!) : 13 E PAULY, V, 499. 

2 lh., Pt. I, fol. i;6b; II, 293. 

;! //;., Pt. II, fol. I43a; IV, 54. 4 Ex. xl, 34, 35. 

5 7., Pt. I, fol. i, 76b ; II, 294. G //>., fol. 2^;a ; II, 545. 

H>., Pt. Ill, fol. 114.1 ; V, 285. 8 /<., Pt. I, "fol. ioib : II, 11. 

//>., Pt. Ill, fol. 114,1 ; V, 285. 

209 o 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

We know by the scriptural account that in the temple 
of Solomon the Shekinah continued to repose between 
the wings of the Cherubim. 1 She is described as resident 
throughout the Holy of Holies, 2 yet is connected in an 
especial manner with the western wall of the temple. 3 
The Holy of Holies was guarded moreover by Metatron 4 
and was built for the union of the king and Matrona. 
It is written: " Those of the country shall utter cries, 
and the angels of peace shall weep bitterly." This is 
the Zoharic version of Isaiah xxxiii. 7. It refers to the 
weeping of the angels when the Sanctuary was destroyed 
and the Shekinah was exiled into a foreign land. 6 She 
underwent transformation and assumed another form 
than that which she had worn previously. So also the 
Spouse of the Shekinah referring to the Van of the 
Sacred Name, she in manifestation being the second He 
reduced that light which enlightens the world, 7 as it_ is 
written : u The sun at his rising shall be covered with 
darkness, and the moon shall give no light." 

These are naturally the heads, and such only, of the 
history of election in Israel and the glory of all in con 
nection therewith. In the Second Temple the Shekinah 
had no part, 9 though by the hypothesis of the subject 
she had followed her people into the exile of Babylon 
and helped them to remember Zion by its sad waters. 
Albeit the Sons of the Doctrine had their dark moments 
during that day of a thousand years or over which followed 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. i6b ; DE PAULY, III, 76. 

2 /., Pt. Ill, fol. i6ib ; V, 416. 

3 //;., Pt. 1 1, fol. n6a; 111,447- 

4 //>., fol. i64a ; IV, 107. /., Pt. Ill, fol. 74b ; V., 203. 

5 Cf. Vulgate : Ecce videntes clamabunt fores, angeli pacts amare 
fiebunt. The Authorised Version is : " Behold, their valiant ones shall 
cry without : the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly." The Revised 
Version agrees. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. 203a ; II, 407. /., fol. i82a ; II, 319. 

7 /#. 8 Is. xiii, 10. 

9 The First Temple was destroyed, because light failed therein, but the 
Second Temple seems never to have had the light. Z., Pt. II, fol. 9$b ; 
IV, 150. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

the destruction of Jerusalem, at some period of which 
the Zohar entered into record, and though some of their 
sayings in these moments haunt the heart with their 
catholic sense of unavailingness, the mood and its clouds 
lifted ever and unerringly. Deeper still in their own 
hearts they knew that they had not been deserted, that 
on account of the Betrothed of God Israel was not for 
saken by Him. 1 Were they not conscious also I think 
in my soul, most surely as by all the waters and in all 
the Babylons of the greater exile, they made up their 
dream of Shekinah, that she was more vitally and effica 
ciously with them than she had been with patriarchs of 
old ; that she was married to them not less closely than to 
Moses, prince of lawgivers; and that she was better realised 
as a presence than when she sat between the Kerubim ? 
Ever in Binah her celestial fire abode on the Throne of 
Mercy 2 for those who dwelt in her covenant, and by her 
mediation an union was still possible, as indeed actual, 
between the Holy One and the Community of Israel. 3 
This is one of the senses in which the souls of Israel are 
said to be attached to Shekinah. 4 That is not true, there 
fore quod unus doctor dixit in excessu suo : " Israel is dead 
for the Shekinah which is above by the destruction of the 
First Temple ; it is dead a second time for the Shekinah 
which is below by the destruction of the Second Temple." 5 
And again : " The destruction of the two Temples dried 
up the sources of the Shekinah above and below." 6 She 
and Israel are in exile together, in sorrow and loss together, 7 
and the path of penitence trodden by the one is the path of 
emancipation for both. Meanwhile, " the earth is the 
Lord s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they 
that dwell therein " ; 8 but the fulness thereof is a refer- 

1 Z., Ft. Ill, fol. iisb ; DE FAULY, V, 297. 

2 /#., fol. 34a ; V, 89. 3 /., fol. 37b ; V, 102. 
4 Id., Ft. I, fol. 25a ; I, 154. 

6 /., Ft. I, fol. 26a; I, 164. 

8 /., fol. 255a; II, 601. 7 /., Ft. II, fol. i8gb; IV, 175. 

8 Fs. xxiv, i. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

ence to Shekinah, as an ample moon enlightened over all 
its surface by the sun. She is full also of celestial bene 
fits, like a treasury ; and in her manifestation to Israel 
she is a treasury which belongs to the Lord. 1 More 
over, the exile of Shekinah and Israel, and her resi 
dence among other peoples, has its train of extrinsic 
consequences in the peace and benefits which are enjoyed 
by the latter. 2 This is the sense in which it is said that 
other nations have attracted the Shekinah towards them. 3 
Indeed her perfection is throughout the whole earth and 
her benedictions over all the world, 4 for Elohim is a 
mystery of life 5 and the source of all life. She never 
separated from man so long as he observed the com 
mandments of the Law ; 6 but in connection with this we 
must take and qualify freely a number of counter-state 
ments : (i) Every sin committed in public drives away 
Shekinah from the earth; 7 (2) The generation of Noah 
sinned in the sight of the whole world, and the Shekinah 
was far from the world ; 8 (3) When owing to the wicked 
ness of the world the latter has been left by Shekinah it 
is deprived of all defence, and the severity of justice 
reigns therein ; 9 (4) After the guilty have been extermi 
nated the Shekinah returns. 10 It is obvious that these 
statements do not obtain generically on the literal side ; 
the consequences, like the acts, are individual, or, in the 
case where they are collective, it is only in a restricted 

To sum up : the wounds of the world and the wounds 
of the church in the world may be wide and deep ; but 
the church and the world go on, for ten persons in the 
House of Prayer constitute the body of the Shekinah ; n 
and there is a very much truer sense than was ever con- 

1 ., Ft. I, fol. 6ya ; DE PAULY, I, 395, 396. 

2 Ib., fol. 84b ; I, 488. 3 Ib. 

4 Ib., Pt. I, fol. i66a; II, 251. 5 Ib., fol. 22;b ; IT, 497. 
Ib., Pt. I, fol. 2 3 ia; II, 516. 
7 Ib., fol. 5 7b; 1,333. 8 Ib. 

9 Ib., fol. 6Sb; 1,406. 10 // . 

11 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. I26a; V, 324. % 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

ceived by the Zohar in which those ten are never wanting ; 
the elect are everywhere the true Israel, and it is thanks 
to Israel that the Shekinah resides on earth, Israel being 
its bodyguard. 1 In thousands and tens of thousands of 
cases, all the wide world over, it is true and glorious that 
man acknowledges the kingdom of heaven and submits 
thereto; that the Shekinah rests upon his head, assisting 
him in the quality of witness ; that she testifies before 
the Sacred King that this man proclaims the Divine Unity 
or, in other words, that Jehovah is Klohim above and 
below, twice every day ; 2 that so far as these are con 
cerned the earth is perfect and all joy is found therein. 3 
So is Jerusalem rebuilt for ever in the heart ; the She 
kinah goes up into the high mountain and announces its 
reconstruction to the patriarchs. 4 In these also she is 
herself delivered, 5 and they dwell together henceforward 
in the Holy Land. 6 It is a foretaste of that time when 
all peoples shall enter under the wings of the Shekinah, 7 
as also of the day to come when evil shall be entirely ex 
terminated and there shall be the same solemnity of 
festival as when the Holy One, blessed be He, created 
heaven and earth. 8 Let us therefore join our voice to 
those of the doctors who say that the covenant with She 
kinah will endure for ever. 9 

Before attempting to place a reasonable interpretation 
on the materials which are now in our hands, it is neces 
sary to complete the collection by certain additional 
particulars which to some extent stand by themselves. 

The created Law is called the garment of Shekinah 10 
a vesture, as Metatron is also, being perhaps the same 
vesture. It follows that she herself is something that 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 6ia ; DE PAULY, I, 358. 

2 //>., I t. II, fol. i6ob ; IV, 99. 3 //>., Pt. I, fol. 6ia ; I, 357. 

4 //>., Pt. Ill, fol. I73b; V, 451. 5 Id., Pt. II, fol. 2i6b; IV, 229. 
fl lit., fol. 222a ; IV, 242. 

7 //;., fol. 69b ; III, 308, 309. Is. ii, 2, 3. 

8 Z., Pt. I, Appendix III, Secret Midrash ; II, 714. 

9 //;., Pt. 1 1 1, fol. 2573; V, 597. 
10 7^., Pt. I, fol. 2 3 a,b; 1,143- 

2I 3 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

dwells within it as, for example, the Traditional, Oral 
and Secret Law which is not disclosed to the rank and 
file of believers because of the wickedness of the world. 
When the Created or External Law is broken below it 
is as if the sinner rent or removed the vestments of 
Shekinah, while alternatively those who observe the 
commandments have the same merit as if they clothed 
the Shekinah with garments. 1 Such is the work of 
sanctity in the higher conventions, according to the 
reverie of Israel. The Mishna is the servant of 
Shekinah 2 and is also that helpmeet for man which 
is promised in Scripture. 3 Whether this interpretation 
could be elucidated by explaining in what sense the 
Mishna as part of the story of Israel may be said 
to have tempted men, understood as those who are 
elect or are at least capable of election, and may have 
led them into the exile of the fall, is another question ; 
but the tour de force is not attempted in the Zohar. It 
might be affirmed truly that it took them further and 
further into the bondage of the letter. The text itself 
says only that the Mishna was the spouse of Israel 
during his adolescence, 4 spouse also during his exile, 
though sometimes for and sometimes against him. The 
marriage was imperfect at best. During the adolescent 
period the Mishna was pre-eminent over Matrona, so 
that the King and Matrona were separated from the 
celestial spouse. 5 It was the servant who took the place 
of the mistress. Perhaps the meaning is that the literal 
explanation in its excessive development clouded the 
spiritual sense of holy doctrine; 6 but if it be this, it is 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 23a, b ; DE PAULY, I, 143. 2 /., fol. 2;b ; I, 174. 

3 Gen. ii, 18. 4 Z., Ft. I, fol. 2;b ; 1,174. 5 /., fol. 27b, 28a ; I, 175. 

b We have had one example previously to shew that the sense of 
darkness and uncertainty alternated with the sense of light. The suc 
cessors of Rabbi Simeon were not like that doctor himself, who had 
apparently William Postel s key of things kept secret from the foundation 
of the world. They were rather like the second circle of Brothers of the 
Rosy Cross, of whom it was said to be doubtful whether they were 
admitted to all things. It is clear, by their own confession, that they 
did not understand all things. 

2I 4 

The Mystery of Shekinah . 

also more. Who then is the mistress ? The answer, 
according to the Zohar, is that the Oral Law is the 
image of Elohim, and this we know to be Shekinah. 1 

There is one practical application of all this cloud 
of doctrine, and it may be summarised in a few words. 
It is prayer that attaches man to Shekinah, and as the 
Holy One is united constantly to her, it follows that by 
prayer man is attached to the Holy One. 2 All the 
angels open their wings to receive the Shekinah by 
prayer* and those on earth who wish their prayers to 
reach heaven should unite themselves with the Shekinah. 3 
Whereas the gates of the palaces to which prayers ascend 
commonly have numerous guardians, those of the palace 
of Shekinah have none, and prayers enter unhindered. 4 
It will seem at first sight that she occupies in Kabalism 
the same position of intercessor which is ascribed to the 
Blessed Virgin by the devotion of the Latin Church, 
yet having regard to Shekinah s incorporation with the 
Divine Hypostases, I incline to think that the analogy 
is misleading. In view of all that has been done to 
Christianise Kabalism by every good means, and by so 
many that are bad intellectually, one has to be very 
careful of reading Christian implicits into the text of 
the literature. 5 

There is a question whether my next and last point 
of analysis had better be taken here or in a later chapter ; 
but as I have mentioned Christian implicits, and as what 
I have to say seems to connect with this subject, I will 
incorporate it under that motive, though it has also 
other issues. We have come across already in our quest 
many allusions to the Divine Father, the Divine Son, 
being two of the Christian Hypostases, and as we know 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. i6ib ; DE PAULY, IV, 102. 

2 Ib. y Pt. I, fol. 24a ; I, 148, 149. 

3 Ib., fol. 279b, 28oa ; II, 648. 

4 Ib., fol. 24a; I, 148. 

5 Undesigned Christian reflections are another matter, and I have 
mentioned a few out of many possible examples. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

that the Shekinah in transcendence is also the Divine 
Mother, the question arises naturally whether this is 
the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Christian 
Trinity. 1 Those who are acquainted with theology will 
know that the Third Person is not recognised as feminine, 
though there has been a tendency in several modern 
departments of semi-Christian transcendentalism to regard 
the Holy Spirit in this light and thus complete the triad 
of the Divine Family. They forget, however, that neither 
in the East nor the West under the aegis of the Greek 
or Roman Orthodoxy is the Son held to proceed from 
the Father and the Spirit, but on the contrary that the 
last is postulated as proceeding from the Father and 
the Son. Albeit the Filioque clause of the Nicene creed^ 
was a ground of division between the two branches of 
the Church Catholic, as not of apostolical authority, I 
have heard that it is not denied otherwise in the Greek 
Rite. One alternative would be the co-equal and co- 
eternal procession of the Son and the Spirit from the 
Divine Father, and the symbol in this case would be a 
triangle with the apex upward, not in the reverse position 
which characterises Latin theology. Now it cannot be 
said that either doctrinal position represents the mind 
of Kabalism. We have seen that Jehovah Elohim, 
Spouse and Bride, Father and Mother, God and His 
Shekinah are in Kcther in a state of oneness, without 
separation, if not without distinction. There are very few 
references to this state in the Zohar. I have intimated 
indeed that there is only one which can be quoted with 
complete certainty in the wording, but I am justified 
thereby in saying that it is a state corresponding to that 
of parentage. They reproduce themselves immediately 

1 I have said that it arises naturally, but I do not mean that we 
should do much in this manner to complete the Christian Triad in 
Kabalism. Readers who have followed my study up to this point will find 
little o-round for comparison between those who dwell in the Sephirotic 
Supernals and Father, Son and Holy Ghost in the Heaven of St. Thomas 
Aquinas, or other of the Latin Doctors. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

below as Abba and Alma, referred to Kether and Chokmah. 
But as in the Supernals there is no distinction between 
Shekinah and the Holy One, so the male and female in 
these Sephiroth are one with those which are in Kether. 
It follows that Shekinah is on both sides of the Tree, as 
I have said elsewhere in this book, and it is difficult to 
postulate in such a triad either a time conception or 
passage from subject to object. But the Trinity was 
working towards manifestation, and the result was that 
Abba and Alma begot the Son, who is Van in Daath, 
from which His personality was extended through all the 
lower Sephiroth. They begot also the Daughter and Bride, 
at first implied in the Son, but afterwards separated 
and extended with him through the three worlds below 
Atziluth. Later Kabalism locates the conception of Tod 
in Chokmah, excogitated as King and Father ; He in 
Elnah, as Queen and Mother ; Van posited in the Six 
Briatic and Yetziratic Sephiroth from Chesed to Tesod 
inclusive, but enthroned especially as the Son in Tip- 
hereth ; while the He final is in Malkuth. The descent 
of the second He being into Malkuth, the two schemes 
concur, and have been followed in my special diagram. 
It must be recognised otherwise that two separate arrange 
ments of the Tree seem implied in the Zohar. There is 
that which I have followed, drawing largely from The Book 
of Mystery and the three Idras, and there is its alternative 
which can be extracted not without some confusion 
from other parts of the collection. According to this 
the Father and Mother are in Kether, the Son who is 
the Word is in Chokmah, the Daughter and Bride is in 
Binah. Now the Divine Name attributed to Kether 
is Jah, formed of Jod and He final belonging to the 
Tetragam. It is said to be the Unknown God for 
whom the Name in question is that which the propitiatory 
was for the Tabernacle a summary of the male world 
above and the female world below. It is the Name of 
the Ancient of Ancients ; it is the synthesis of all things 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

above and below. It follows in the arrangement that the 
Vau is referable to Chokmah and the He final to Binah, 
who descended to Malkuth, as the Bride or Shekinah in 
manifestation. Shekinah is really in every part as well 
as on both sides of the Tree, being the mistress of the 
height and the deep, president over the four quarters 
of the universe of created things and all that led up 

Now the editor and translator of the Zohar have an 
arrangement peculiar to themselves, by virtue of which 
Tod or the male principle, understood as the Father, 
is allocated to Kether ; He, understood as Shekinah, is in 
Chokmah ; while Vau in Einah is the Holy Spirit. The 
Christian Trinity is thus complete, though the question 
of procession is left to account for itself as it may. The 
attribution is part of a scheme for decoding the mystery 
of Shekinah along a particular line in connection with 
the Zoharic doctrine respecting Messiah, and it will be 
considered in full later on. The question which arises 
here is whether the Shekinah, by us allocated to Binah, is 
or is not the Holy Spirit. The editor or translator 
maintain that she is not, and the fact that two opinions 
are possible on the subject implies that the Zohar is 
either not at one with itself or utters an uncertain voice. 
There are many references, and perhaps there is a choice 
between them. It is manifest in the first place that 
the Holy Spirit is personified in the Zohar, and a pre 
liminary point is whether we can find authority for this 
in the Old Testament. "Take not thy Holy Spirit from 
me," 1 says David, and according to Isaiah the people 
of Israel vexed God s Holy Spirit. 2 He asks also : 
" Where is He that put His Holy Spirit within him ? " 3 
meaning Moses, adding that " The Spirit of the Lord " 
caused Moses to rest. I do not know whether these can 
be called personifications, but they exhaust the allusions 
in the Old Testament which are connected with the 

1 Ps. li, II. 2 Is. Ixiii, 10. 3 Is. Ixiii, 14. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

distinctive qualification of " holy." We know that " the 
Lord put his spirit upon them " ; 1 that " the spirit rested 
upon them and they prophesied " ; 2 that Joshua was " a 
man in whom is the spirit " ; 3 that God hardened his 
spirit " ; 4 that " the spirit came upon Amasai " ; 5 that 
David gave to Solomon all the designs for the Temple 
" that he had by the spirit " ; 6 that by His spirit God 
" garnished the heavens " ; 7 that God sends forth His 
spirit ; 8 that there is a spirit poured from on high, 9 and 
Isaiah also says that " the Lord God and His spirit hath 
sent me"; 10 that "the spirit of the Lord God is on 
me " ; n that the spirit took up Ezekiel ; 12 and that 
according to Zechariah God sent in His spirit by former 
prophets. 13 There is a sheaf of other allusions, but 
enough has been quoted for the purpose in hand. They 
may be kept in mind by the reader in connection with 
the Zoharic allusions which will follow hereon. He 
shall decide for himself as I have no wish to adjudicate 
whether there is more explicit personification in the 
Kabalistic text, and if so whether it is to be accounted 
for by (i) natural development of ideas; (2) Jewish 
tendencies prior to the Talmuds, represented roughly 
by Philo and, as s_uch, a possible common source for 
Kabalistic Jew and Christian; (3) Talmudic evidence; 
or (4) the atmosphere of Christian doctrine in which the 
Kabalistic Jew lived and moved for the most part and 
which he can have scarcely failed to absorb in some degree. 

I will take first of all those references which are 
either dubious or appear to suggest that the Holy Spirit 
is not synonymous with Shekinah. 

The Zohar asks : what is signified by the words : 
" And the Spirit returns to Elohim who gave it " ? 14 

1 Numbers xi, 29. 2 //;., xi, 26. 3 //;., xxvi, 18. 

4 Deut. ii, 30. 5 i Chron. xii, 18. G //>., xxviii, 12. 

7 Job xxvi, 13. 8 Ps. civ, 30. 9 Is. xxxii, 15. 

Is. xlviii, 16. l Is. Ixi, i. L2 Ezek. iii, 12. " Zech. vii, 12. 

14 "And the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Eccles. xii, 7. 
Authorised Version, for which the Revised Version substitutes : " And 
the spirit returns." Cf. Vulgate : Et spiritus redeat ad Deitm, qui dedit 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

The answer is that one of the words designates Shekinah, 
that word being Elohim, while another word designates 
the Holy Spirit, i.e. the word u spirit." It might seem 
therefore that the Holy Spirit is not Shekinah but is 
in close connection therewith, like a breath that goes 
forth and returns. 1 It does not signify for our purpose 
that the Zohar is making a false interpretation seeing 
that the spirit mentioned in Scripture is that of man. 
Again, it is said that when man is circumcised he is joined 
to the sacred crown of Shekinah and the Holy Spirit 
rests upon him. 2 In another place three spirits are dis 
tinguished : (i) The Spirit below, which is called the 
Holy Spirit ; (2) the Spirit of the Middle Way, which 
is that of Wisdom and Understanding; (3) The Spirit 
which sounds the trumpet and unites the fire to the 
water, this being the Superior, Concealed and Mysterious 
Spirit, whereunto are suspended all sacred spirits and all 
luminous countenances. 3 Now, it is stated, after the 
prevailing manner of the Zohar, which cannot postulate 
a triad apart from an inward unity, that these three are 
one and that they form a holocaust, which is the Holy 
of Holies. 4 This, however, is explained elsewhere to be 
Shekinah, for as we have seen she is the sacrifice 
which God has placed on His right and His left hand, 
and about Him. 5 Again, " she is the sacrifice of the Holy 
One," and prayer is the holocaust which in turn is offered 
to her. 6 Once more, it is said that when the Shekinah 
resided in the Holy Land the impure spirit took flight 
and found refuge in the abyss, while the Holy Spirit was 
diffused throughout the world, so that the one would 
seem to be associated closely with the other, if we can pre 
sume that there is indeed distinction. 7 In this connection 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 97b ; DE PAULY, III, 390. 

2 Id., Pt. Ill, fol. ub; V, 42. 

3 Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 26a; ,73, 74. 

4 Ib. 6 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 24a ; I, 149. 6 Ib., fol. 256a ; II, 604. 

7 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 26ga; IV, 303. I may add that when Joseph saw 
Benjamin with the rest of his brethren, as related in Gen. xliii, 16, he 
is said by the Zohar to have discerned, by the Holy Spirit, (a) that 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the cloud that covered 
the Tabernacle ; but the same cloud has been identified 
otherwise with Shekinah. It will be seen so far that 
it would be difficult to quote anything more indecisive. 
There is, however, one memorable passage which I have 
reserved to the last, and must cite almost in extenso. 
" A tradition tells us that at the hour when Moses, 
the true prophet, was about to be born into the world, 
the Holy One caused the Holy Spirit to come forth 
from the Tabernacle " elsewhere that which seems to 
be the abode of Shekinah in transcendence. God en 
trusted all power thereto and innumerable Keys of power, 
together with five diadems, the splendour of which en 
lightened a thousand worlds. " The Sacred King exalted 
the Holy Spirit in His palace and set Him above all 
celestial legions" even as Shekinah is placed above all 
angels. " These were in great amazement, for they saw 
that the Holy One was resolved to change the face 
of the world by the intermediation of the Holy Spirit." 
They began to inquire concerning u Him," and were told 
to prostrate themselves, because " He " would descend 
one day among men, and the Law till then hidden 
should be revealed. They did homage accordingly, and 
thereafter the Holy Spirit ascended towards the King 
The three letters, Mem, Shin and He, belonging to the 
name of Moses, offered their worship also ; and then 
the Holy Spirit, in fulfilment of what had been foretold, 
came down to earth, bearing the arms necessary to smite 
Pharaoh and his entire country. On reaching this world 
He found the Shekinah already here, radiant of aspect 
and spreading light through all the house. 1 It will be 
observed that the last sentence looks like an unqualified 
and conclusive distinction, though in its absence and 
from what has preceded in the extract one would have 

Benjamin would have part in the Holy Land, and (b) that the Shekinah 
would reside therein. Whether this tends to identification or to the 
opposite might be difficult to affirm. See ib., Ft. I, fol. 2O2b ; II, 405. 
1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 53b, 54a ; DE PAULY, III, 241, 242. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

said that the Holy Spirit was actually a synonym of 
Shekinah. We hear nothing more, however, of any office 
in distinction, for that which henceforward abode with 
the Lawgiver was not the Holy Spirit but the glory of 
his Spiritual Spouse, who had been with him from his 
beginning on earth. 

Let us now take the evidence in the contrary sense, 
proceeding in the same manner and remembering that 
there is only one decisive testimony at most on the nega 
tive side of the subject. 

In the first place, it is said as we have seen indeed 
already that the Holy Spirit inspired Leah concerning 
her work in connection with the foundation of the 
twelve tribes; 1 but we know otherwise that it is 
Shekinah who presides over birth, seeming to be in 
analogy with the chaste and conjugal Venus. In con 
nection with the daughter of Jethro who was the 
father-in-law of Moses the Holy Spirit is affirmed to 
have been always with Moses, J which we may read in 
the light of another statement that the Shekinah was 
associated with the orders which Moses gave to the 
experts charged with building the Tabernacle, because 
such work could not be accomplished properly without 
the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 3 The association 
of Shekinah meant the enlightenment of the Holy 
Spirit. Here again is at least the close connection in 
virtue of which the one is not without the other, and 
the kind of nearness is illustrated more clearly by 
another passage which speaks of that day when God 
shall pour upon us the Holy Spirit of His Shekinah. 4 
It would seem again to be the breath of Shekinah. 
Once more it is said that the Holy Spirit is called 
Z0//7, being the name which designates the sign of the 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i57a ; DE PAULY, II, 216. 
- //;., Pt. II, fol. i3b; III,6i. 

3 //>., Pt. II, fol. I79b ; IV, 149, i5- 

4 //A, Pt. Ill, fol. 219.1; V, 555. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

sacred covenant imprinted on man ; l but we shall see 
that this sign is connected especially with Shekinah. 
So also when Balaam lifted up his eyes, 2 he is supposed 
to have beheld Shekinah resting with poised wings 
above the twelve tribes of Israel, and to have questioned 
how he could prevail against them, seeing that the 
Holy Spirit was thus their stay and their protection. 
There seems no doubt that this is an equivalent of 
identification. 3 It is only at the end of the Zohar that 
we obtain a still more decisive voice on the affirmative 
side. The question is one of alleged or suggested 
criminal relations between Esther and Ahasuerus, which 
are characterised as slander, the Zohar adding that "she 
was clothed with the Holy Spirit," 4 as it is written : 
" Esther put on her royal apparel " or, as the passage 
renders it, " clothed herself with royalty." The inter 
pretation follows immediately thus : " The Holy Spirit 
this is the Shekinah with which Esther clothed herself." 5 
It is an opportunity for a favourite form of testimony, 
and the great text adds : " Woe to those who feed Upon 
the husk of the Law, while the grain of wheat is the 
mystic sense." It will be observed that, if words signify 
anything, this is not less than an unqualified and con 
clusive identification. If anyone will read over with 
care similar to my own the references which I have 
now provided on both sides of the question, I believe 
that they will conclude with me, as against the one 
definite statement on the negative side, that there is 
a cumulative affirmative evidence crowned by a most 
clear affirmation : " The Holy Spirit this is the 

When therefore the editor and translator of the 
Zohar allocate .this Spirit to Binah, it means that they 
are referring the Shekinah thereto, as I have done 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 228a ; DE PAULY, II, 498. 2 Num. xxiv, 2. 

3 As a fact, it is actually more than a simple equivalent. 

4 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 275b; VI, 47. 6 Ib. See Esther v, i. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

also, even if their design is in the opposite sense. But 
this Spirit is not the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity 
of Christendom, though it is impossible that it should 
not have aspects of likeness, in so far as the root of 
both doctrines is in the Holy Scriptures of Israel. I 
conclude on the authority of the text itself which for 
once I must repeat at this point that "from the 
constant and ardent love of He" in Binah " for Tod" 
in Chokmah "there issues Vau" in Daath, conceived 
and born of He, by which also it is nourished. 1 " But 
Van came into the world with a twin-sister bearing 
the name of Grace," which is Chesed because Grace is 
Mercy. " The two took root on earth and constituted 
the He final " that is to say, in Malkuth because the 
male is not without the female as we shall see either 
above or below. " Thus was the Vau united to the 
He" final. But in the completion, the perfection and 
harmony of the Divine Name, letter by letter and 
letter within letter, all these are one at the root: 
there would be separation proclaimed in the Divine 
Nature if Tod, He, Vau, He did not bear witness to 
His unity. 2 

The most important consideration which arises out of 
the whole subject is after what manner we are to regard 
essentially this Cohabiting or Indwelling Glory which is 
termed Shekinah in Scripture and in the sacred texts of 
the Zohar. We know that it dwelt between the Kerubim 
in the Tabernacle or Ark of Moses, and the Kerubim are 
said to have been male and female, types in the Sanctuary 
of Israel of things manifested on earth as types in their 

1 Z., Pt. III., fol. 7?b ; DE PAULY, V, 210, 211. 

2 The passag-e is important to my purpose, but it must be admitted 
that it is exceedingly confused. The meaning may be that in the 
extension of Vau through the worlds below Atziluth, the head of the 
Son is in Daathns we have seen otherwise while that of his Bride and 
Sister is in C/iesec/, which, however, is on the male side of the Tree. 

do not pretend to explain fully how the descent of the Son and Daughter 
constituted the He final, for the Vau is distinct from the He. But this 
has been touched upon in a previous note. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

turn of the union that is above. When the harmony is 
taken between all the cloud of references, it calls for no 
gift of interpretation to discern what lies with uttermost 
plainness on the surface ; but we have explained nothing 
which is vital if we say that Shekinah is the principle 
of Divine Motherhood that is, the feminine side of 
Divinity, implied in. the logic of our symbolism when we 
speak of the Fatherhood in God. It is a case of being 
true to our symbols, and though this is of consequence 
intellectually, it remains thereat. If we turn to the 
analogy which subsists in virtue of the symbolism be 
tween womanhood above and that which is found below, 
we shall not proceed much further if there is brought 
home to us merely the notion that the office of the 
mother on earth is made sacred in a sense that is above 
the hallowed sense of Nature by the conception of its 
archetype in heaven. It has been present to us through 
all the Christian centuries in the popular and most 
catholic devotion to the Queen of Heaven, which, like 
so many other popular interests, but those more especi 
ally that are consecrated by the greatest of all the 
churches, adumbrates a vital truth in the spiritual life 
and a first principle in the world of reality. It has been 
a very sincere and whole-hearted devotion in those who 
have been drawn thereto ; but the particular doctrine of 
miraculous and virgin birth, though eloquent and sugges 
tive within its own measures, creates a clear line of de 
marcation between subject and object, so that there is a 
world-wide distinction between the honour paid to her 
who is ever outside ourselves and the adoration of Him 
Who is never understood essentially until He is realised 
within. Now, there are no prayers to Shekinah in the 
official liturgies of Jewish religion, but in the Secret 
Church of Israel, frequented in spirit and in truth by 
the Sons of the Doctrine, she is either the House of 
Prayer or else abides therein, and we have seen that 
her doors are open to prayers for ever. She was the 

225 p 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

great object of prayer, though it is to be questioned 
whether it was by the way of prescribed forms : it was 
rather by that prayer in the stillness of unexpressed 
thought about which we hear in the Zohar. The reason 
is ready to our hands, and the first light which may be 
said to fall on our subject is that the Shekinah is an 
indwelling glory. The Latin Kabalists made use of the 
term cohabitant by an imperfect understanding on their 
own part of the mystery involved that is to say, by 
a consideration of the external side which obtains in 
espousal relations on earth. The proper word is inhabi 
tant, for it is said that the Shekinah dwells in man, 1 being 
in the heart of those who seek after good works zealously. 2 
And more definitely : Man is the House of the Shekinah. 3 
The beginning of this inhabitation is when man makes a 
firm effort towards self-amendment, for by such turning 
the Shekinah is drawn towards him, 4 and to this condi 
tion are applied the words : " I am my beloved s and his 
desire is towards me." 5 Those with whom she dwells 
are those who are humbled and even broken by suffering. 6 
Yet does she reign only where there is joy rather than sad 
ness, an allusion to the support of trials with resignation. 
The suffering is, however, more especially that of which 
the root or cause is in love, being the state of those who 
are consumed by the love of the Divine : these are the 
Brothers of the Shekinah. 7 Again, it is said that the 
work of Shekinah below is comparable to that which 
the soul accomplishes in the body : more accurately still, 
it is the same work, 8 and this enables us to understand 
in what sense she is termed the soul of the Tabernacle 
below, 9 which Tabernacle is the sacred body of man. 

I have called these intimations a first light, but I have 
not intended to exaggerate their value as such. I speak 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. i66a ; DE PAULY, II, 250. 

2 Ib., Pt. II, fol. I28b; IV, ii. 8 Id. 

* II)., Pt I, fol. 88b ; I, 509. 5 Song of Solomon vii, 10. 
6 Z., Pt. I, fol. i8ia; II, 315. 7 Ib. 

8 Ib., Pt. II, fol. I4ob; IV, 45- 9 Ib. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

as a mystic ; we have heard for two thousand years that 
God is within and His kingdom, yet the world remains 
comparable rather to the wilderness without the Holy 
City than to the blessed Zion, and if Shekinah is offered 
to us in the secret literature of Jewry as that aspect of 
the Divine Nature or Principle which is realisable by the 
heart of man, I do not see that we have added anything 
to our subject. It is idle to decode books of secret 
doctrine unless they have something more definite to tell 
us concerning the way, the truth and the life. So also 
it is beautiful to hear that whosoever wrongs a poor 
person is guilty of wrong to Shekinah, because she is the 
protectress of the poor ; 1 but we know too well already 
of the things which grieve the spirit. I might multiply 
these quotations, and it would serve no greater purpose ; 
the question would remain then which remains now ; the 
Secret Doctrine of Israel either covers a mystery of know 
ledge wherein there lies possible a mystery of certitude in 
experience or it is a temple in a waste of thought, far 
from any city of refuge and filled only with confused 
rumours or raving of empty words. Now, I have per 
formed many arid journeys in my time and have returned 
with an empty wallet ; but if this had been one of them 
I should not have written its itinerary in the present study 
of the Zohar. There have been recurring intimations 
there and here in these pages concerning a mystery of 
sex ; it is imposed upon me now to affirm that this is the 
mystery of Shekinah ; and the nature of such mystery 
corresponds according to its veiled claim with the 
definition which I have just given concerning a knowledge 
and an experience. The point and centre of the whole 
subject is the Indwelling Glory ; it is declared everywhere, 
but everywhere it is also concealed ; one aspect of its 
presentation amidst great hiddenness of wording sug 
gests that the entrance of the High Priest into the Holy 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 86b; DE PAULY, III, 355. See also Is. Ivii, 15. 


The Secret Doctrine i?i Israel 

of Holies belongs to the mystery of sex ; 1 but I do not 
propose to pursue this intimation, as it seems to me like 
that fiftieth gate which was not opened by Moses, and, 
moreover, the fitting time is not yet. I will rather resume 
the conference by saying that, according to the Zohar, the 
union of male and female is Modesty,- and that the title 
to behold the face of Shekinah is one of purity. 3 It seems 
true therefore to say that she is the Law of the Mystery, 
and the Zohar quotes concerning her, " When thou goest, 
it shall lead thee ; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee ; 
and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee." 4 The 
study of this Law is life eternal. 5 Considered as a law, 
it implies a covenant, and of this covenant Joseph is said 
to be the image, because of his continence in respect of 
Potiphar s wife. 6 Having tabulated these premisses and 
thus secured a point of departure, we have again to ap 
proach the great text and see after what manner it will 
shed light on the research. 

It is specified that the Shekinah dwelt with Israel prior 
to the captivity, meaning probably the captivity in 
Babylon, and the sin which brought about this exile 
was equivalent to the uncovering of the hidden physical 
centre of Shekinah. I am speaking here under great 
difficulty and am somewhat exchanging terms, for this 
Minerva and Diana of Israel is a woman, like Isis, and 
her veil is not to be lifted. The French translators finish 
the quotation under notice with the help of the Latin 
tongue, and it reads : Traditum est . . . genitaks panes 
Shekin* existere? This also is a sacrament, but we can 
understand the meaning by assuming that the Shekinah 
in such a connection signifies the Secret Doctrine in so far 
as it was a mystery of sex, and the Zohar goes on to 
particularise the alleged sin as a crime of incest, by which 

1 Z., Ft. Ill, fol. 66b ; DK PAULY, V, 182. The hour of entrance is 
when the Sacred King is united to Matrona. 

- lb., fol. i45b; V, 375. 3 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 6ob ; III, 268, 269. 

* Prov. vii, 22. 6 Z., Pt. I, fol. I75b ; II, 290. 
6 /., fol. i84a; II, 327. 7 /., fol. 27b ; I, 173. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

we must understand some illegal and reprobate application 
of the sex doctrine. It matters nothing to our subject if 
on the surface of Scripture the accusation seems without 
warrant ; to justify the hermeneutics of the Zohar would 
be a task as much beyond my province as beyond my 
powers of pleading. 1 But we begin to see in this manner 
the kind of problem that has been taken in hand. 

It is said farther that the mystery of the Shekinah 
comprises all women, and this as we have seen is why 
she does not abide except with him who is united to a 
woman. 2 She is fixed definitely in the house of man 
when he marries, ct quum ftfderis suum signum in locum 
pomt? This is why the He and the Van follow each other 
in the alphabet Vau being the symbol of the male and 
He of the female principle. Husband and wife are one, 
and a ray of celestial grace covers them ; it descends from 
Chokmah, penetrates the male principle, and the latter 
communicates it to the female. 4 We can understand 
therefore in what sense her shame is the defiled body of 
man, 5 and how she is weighted by the sin of Israel. 6 The 
reason is that she is a virgin betrothed to the Middle 
Pillar, 7 and of her it was said by Adam in the great day 
of his perfection : " This is now r bone of my bones and 
flesh of my flesh," s which is to affirm that in one of her 
aspects she is the type of stainless womanhood ; but she 
passes ever into espousals below as she is ever in es 
pousals above for the fulfilment of herself in humanity, 

1 As a matter of fact, the idea is drawn from the Talmud, which 
enumerates various cases of the crime in question, but the reference in 
the Zohar is to be understood spiritually, as of an assault on Shekinah, 
who as we have seen is the sister of all men. From all modern points 
of view and feeling, this kind of symbolism is unfortunate and disconcerting 
enough ; but I think that the Sons of the Doctrine, if they had been 
challenged on the subject, would have replied with Gerald Massey that 
Nature is not ashamed of her emblems. 

2 Z., Ft. I, fol. 228b; DE FAULY, II, 501. 3 Ib., fol. 943 ; I, 536. 
4 Ib., fol. 94a; I, 537. 5 Ib., Ft. II I, fol. 753, b ; V, 205. 
6 /., fol. 28a ; V, 29. 7 Id., Ft. I, fol. 28a ; I, 178. 

8 Gen. ii, 23. The interpretation of this text in this strange manner 
is like an opening into a great vista of the Secret Doctrine. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

and of all humanity in her. The evidence is that when 
there is a just man on earth the Shekinah cleaves to him 
and does not leave him henceforth. 1 

It will be observed that in order to gain the parti 
cular point at a given moment the Zohar is valiantly 
careless of that which goes before, as of that which may 
be designed to come after. The history of the fall 
of man through the intermediation of woman, acting 
under the virus of the serpent, is by no means the 
history of Shekinah, unless under a special aspect and 
as a remote reflection ; but when it is sought to shew 
that she is nearer to the elect than hands and feet are 
near, it is difficult to find anything more complete in 
its correspondence than such words as " bone of my 
bones and flesh of my flesh," 2 and the use of the text 
so long as it is apart from the context happens 
to be a true one, though it is about as literal in its 
application as is the tale of the Garden of Eden. So 
also when the Zohar wishes to apply that idea of a 
" field which the Lord has blessed " 3 to the mystery 
of sex, it is not above saying that the King who " tills 
the field " 4 or is u served by the field " is the Shekinah, 
sex-contradiction notwithstanding. The object is to 
indicate that the dwelling of the Shekinah in the house 
of those who are married is to bring about the descent 
of souls to animate children under her presidency. 5 
But perhaps there was never an instance so much to 
our purpose as the statement that on the day when 
the Song of Solomon was revealed below, the Shekinah 
descended 6 as if for the first time, though we know 

1 Z., Pt. I,foi. 66b; I, 391. 

2 Gen. ii, 23. 3 Ib., xxvii, 27. 

4 Eccles. v, 9. The Authorised Version says : "The King is served 
by the field." Cf. Vulgate : Et insuper universes terra rex imperat 
seruienti, and the Douay rendering : " Moreover there is the King that 
reigneth over all the land subject to him." Eccles. v, 8 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. i22a ; DE PAULY, II, 91, 92. 

6 /., Pt. II, fol. I43b; IV, 55. The putative authority is I Kings 
viii, 1 1 : "So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the 
cloud ; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord." 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

that she had been with man from the beginning and 
had shared in the whole creation. The object, however, 
is to shew that this glorious canticle is the world s 
history of her in man, the beginning and end of all 
that belongs to the union, the mystery of the Lover 
and the Beloved throughout the ages of election. It 
is the summary of Holy Scripture ; it is the work 
of creation, the mystery of the patriarchs, the exile 
in Egypt, the exodus of Israel, the Decalogue and 
manifestation on Sinai, the emblem of all events during 
the sojourn in the desert, thence to the entrance into 
the Holy Land and so forward to the building of the 
Holy Temple. It is also a summary of the mystery 
contained in the Sacred and Supreme Name, of the 
dispersal of Israel through the nations, of its deliverance 
to come, the resurrection of the dead and the events 
leading up to that day which is called the Sabbath 
of the Lord. In a word, it contains all that hath 
been, is and ever shall be, for it is the story of that 
Isis who is Shekinah, from the first verses concerning 
the kisses of his mouth to the last rapture on the 
mountain of spices. 1 

Now, it is said that there is desire on the part of 
man to be united with the Mother in transcendence 
as well as with the Mother below, to attain her by 
perfection and to be blessed on account of her. 2 We 
know that this is a desire for Divine Union because 
Jehovah is Elohim, and in case such testimony should 
not be found full or sufficient, the Zohar adds elsewhere 
that the memorable words : " I am that I am " signify 
in their inward sense : " I, the Holy One, blessed be 
He, am the Shekinah." 3 It is certain that the state 
of union is not only deeper than the state of vision 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol I44b. ; DE PAULY, IV, 55, 56. It should be under 
stood that while I have not given an actual translation of the passage I 
have kept faithfully to its sense. 

2 It is a question of integration in the Zoharic law of correspondences. 
8 /., Pt. I, fol. 23a ; I, 140. 

2 3 I 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

but differs generically therefrom, and I cannot say 
that I have found unquestionable Zoharic authority 
for the attainment of Divine Union in this proper 
sense of the term. It is rather vision which is 
promised to the blessed in the world beyond, to gaze 
upon the face of Shekinah, 1 as in a substituted state 
of union, and the title must be earned in this life 
by the following of the path of purity. 2 It is affirmed 
in reference to this that those only who quit the lower 
world in the grace of the Shekinah are judged worthy 
of eternal life. 3 So also there are some who do not 
die as men die commonly, but are ravished by the 
attraction which Shekinah exercises on their souls. 4 
The Mother in transcendence is, however, like the 
Mother below, and spiritual communion with her is 
in so far as man has become a house or abode by 
attaching himself to the female : it is then that the 
Divine Mother pours down her blessings on both. 5 

There is in the true sense of this term a spiritual 
union below for the Sons of the Doctrine, so that they 
are encompassed by two females G the wife who is 
on earth and the Unseen Helpmate. After what manner 
her presence is realised never transpires definitely in 
the text, but as there is no need to say it is by 
spiritual apprehension only. Curiously enough, this 
appears at its best not in connection with the nuptial 
state itself but in the discourses of the Sons of the 
Doctrine on the Traditional Law ; they are conscious 
then of the presence of Shekinah and testify respecting 
it continually with no uncertain voice. It must be 
said that the women of Israel are never present at 
the debates, 7 but their place in the house insured that 

1 Z.,Pt. II,fol.4ob; DEPAULY,III,i89. 2 //>., fol. 6ob; 111,268,269. 

3 I/}., Pt. I, fol. 82a ; I, 473. * /&, fol. i6b ; II, 99. 

5 //;., fol. soa ; I, 292. G //>. 

7 I remember, however, that there is a solitary exception in favour of 
an innkeeper s daughter, who was present when her husband exhibited 
his knowledge of the Hidden Law before a company of adepts. 


The Mystery of Shekinah 

of the Divinity. When, however, the master of the 
Law was going by himself upon a journey, and when, 
technically speaking, the male was to be apart from 
the female, he was not for that reason in a state of 
separation from the Shekinah, supposing that he had 
prayed to the Holy one before starting, 1 in order to 
maintain the union between male and female abroad 
as well as at home. Another condition was that he 
must watch over all his actions in every phase of 
life : 2 otherwise he might be separated from his spiritual 
companion, putting a stop to the union and rendering 
himself an incomplete being. 

It is scarcely desirable at this stage to speak of any 
thing so obvious and familiar as the known character 
istics of oriental imagery, to recall for example the 
personifications of Wisdom in the books ascribed to 
King Solomon ; but the literary vestures of these ex 
perienced two curious developments. The titles and 
offices of the Hebrew Chokmah were raised bodily from 
their setting and transferred to the Blessed Virgin by 
the compilers of the Roman Breviary, while through 
another channel they passed over to the Gnostic Sophia 
and by a last transition into the Virgin Wisdom of Jacob 
Bohme and the later mystics of his school. The cor 
respondences between Shekinah and the Christian Mother 
of God are rather plausible on the surface and may be 
deceptive to that extent, because shallow analogies still 
deceive many ; but even the unusual predispositions which 
led up to the French translation of the Zohar have not 
permitted its editors to postulate that the Shekinah is a 
veil of Mary. The correspondences between the In 
dwelling Glory and the Virgin Sophia of Bohme are so 
much closer that they cannot fail to create an impression 
that the German theosophist owed something to this 
source. There is nothing in his life to suggest that he 
was taught in any secret schools or was in communica- 
1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 4913 ; DE PAULY, I, 289. 2 // ;M fo j. 5oa . If 2 8 9 . 

2 33 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

tion with persons who were acquainted with the Secret 
Doctrine in Israel, though there were many Kabalistic 
scholars at his period. There is one possible alternative 
that the root-matter of Jewish tradition in the Scrip 
tures of the Old Testament developed in his own con 
sciousness, to some extent after the same manner as it did 
in that of the Sons of the Doctrine, so that in his case, as 
in others without number, it proved that true men and 
seers spoke the same language because they belonged to 
the same region of thought. They saw also in the same 
glass of vision. But the question, however interesting, 
is not of our real concern. 

We have now considered the Shekinah in the light 
of all her attributes. I do not believe that I have omitted 
a single reference of the least importance found in the 
text of the Zohar, while all have been considered criti 
cally. The conclusion reached is that the Shekinah, as 
the president of a mystery of sex, is the direction in which 
we must seek if as labourers in this strange field we are 
to obtain our wages. The other intimations are excellent 
and agreeable in their way, but that which we seek in 
what is for us an untrodden region of thought is some 
new message, which is not to be found in the other offices, 
qualities and virtues that characterise the Holy Guide 
of Jewry. I suppose that, here in conclusion, 1 have no 
real need to say that the Secret Doctrine in Israel is not 
one of sex only, though intimations concerning the latter 
are found everywhere. Eschatology, for example, is not 
of this order, nor are the parts of the soul in man, but 
with these things and with several others that are like 
them I have dealt at their value. 




I AM entering in this chapter upon that part of my task 
which is at once most important and difficult. It may 
be an open question whether I should begin at the highest 
point of the research and thence work downward or take 
the opposite course and so as the proverb counsels 
proceed from small beginnings to the greater end. That 
is best which seems the simplest, and I have therefore 
chosen to work upwards from below. I will cite in the 
first place certain great axioms of the whole subject as 
these have been proclaimed on the authority of the masters. 
It is testified that the union of the male and female must 
be a perfect union in the mystery of faith. 1 There is also 
another testimony, already given, and this is that the title 
to behold the face of Shekinah is one of purity, 2 the 
scholium on which though it lies far away in the text 
is that modesty is the union of the male and female ; 3 
and it may be noted in this connection that the most 
cryptic of all texts in the Zohar containing the mys 
teries of Divine personalities is called The Book of Con 
cealment or of Modesty. These things being so, we may 
consider in the next place what is said on the subject of 
espousals, as these are known on earth. There is one 
definition which is in keeping with the tradition at large, 
and this is that marriage is the union of the Sacred Name 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. ioib ; DE PAULY, II, u. 

2 Ib,, Pt. Ill, fol. 2i3a ; V, 542 ; //>., Pt. II, fol. 6ob ; III, 268, 269. 

3 Ib.y Pt. Ill, fol. 1450 ; V, 375. Man is perfect only when he com 
prises male and female ; it is then that he fears sin and then that the title 
of modest is conferred upon him. 

2 35 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

here below 1 that is, its completion in each person. The 
thesis appertaining hereto is that circumcision is the 
symbol of all purity in sexual intercourse ; 2 that Israel is 
placed on this account in purity as a starting-point and 
enters under the wings of the Shekinah. 3 This sacred 
sign of the Covenant constitutes the root-matter of the 
Sacred Name and of the Mystery of Faith. 4 As the 
sun enlightens the world, so the sacred sign enlightens 
the body ; as a buckler protects man, so does this : no evil 
spirit can approach him who preserves it in purity. 5 But 
as the advantage is greater with which the children of 
Israel begin their earthly life so is the responsibility 
greater if they make the covenant of no effect in their 
own persons. 

Now, the Sacred Name is never attached to an in 
complete man, being one who is unmarried, or one who 
dies without issue. 6 Such a person does not penetrate 
after death into the vestibule of Paradise, 7 on account of 
his incompleteness. He is like a tree that is rooted up, 
and he must be planted anew that is to say, he must 
suffer rebirth, as we have seen, in order that the Sacred 
Name may be completed in all directions. 8 The com 
mand to fulfil the Law, which means the pro 
creation and engendering of children, is to spread the 
radiance of the Sacred Name in every direction, by col 
lecting spirits and souls which constitute the glory of the 
Holy one above and below. Whosoever fails to apply 
himself to the fulfilment of this command diminishes the 
figure of his Master and prevents it descending here 
below. 9 The last statement refers of course to the 
making of man, male and female, in the likeness of the 
Elohim. It is said also that the paucity in the descent 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. ;a ; DE PAULY, V, 18. 

2 /#., Pt. I, Appendix III, Secrets of the Law ; II, 721, 722. 

3 //A, fol. 95a ; I, 543. 4 //;., Pt. II, fol. 3b ; III, 19. 

6 Ib. 6 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 48a; I, 278 . 

7 Ib,, fol. 66a ; I, 388 ; #., fol. 48a ; I, 278. 

a Ib. 9 Ib., fol. 2720; II, 641. 


"The Mystery of Sex 

of souls is the reason why the Shekinah does not come 
down into this world, 1 but this is in contradiction to the 
presence of the Indwelling Glory throughout the whole 
creation. God blessed Adam because they were made 
together male and female, and blessings are found only 
where male and female are united for the fulfilment of 
the purpose of creation, 2 which according to the counsel 
of the Elohim was to increase, multiply and replenish 
the earth. It was not good for man to be alone because 
this end was in a state of frustration. It may even be 
that the Zoharic legend concerning the male and female 
being originally side by side may be only a veiled way of 
indicating that they were not in the marital estate. 3 
Afterwards they were face to face, signifying the fulfil 
ment of the precept. 

I have now dealt briefly with what may be called the 
principles at issue, and we have next to see after whac 
manner those who exalted so highly the nuptial state gave 
instruction, so to speak, on its practice here below. The 
doctrine was that no marriage is made on earth before 
it is proclaimed in heaven, and that the Holy One 
accomplishes unions in the world above before the de 
scent of souls on earth. 4 About the last point we shall 
see at a later stage. In practice the Sons of the Doctrine 
were separated as far from the uninitiated world of Israel 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 272b ; DE PAULY, II, 641. The reference is really to 
her manifestation and not to her immanence. She stands at the door and 
knocks, but those who should welcome her in keep fast their precincts and 
tyle their portals. This, however, is symbolism ; it is more true to say that 
we fail to realise her presence in our consciousness. 

2 /&, Pt. I, fol. i6sa; II, 245. 

3 I have put this tentatively, as I wish to leave some conclusions in 
the hands of my readers ; but there is no question that Zoharic teaching 
is clear on the point, not only in what it implies but in what is expressed 
frequently. Whether there was ever such an epoch in the history of the 
human soul is another question. We must remember that the object of 
the soul s legends is not the delineation of putative histories, but the 
symbolical adumbration of possibilities inherent in the soul. That 
which is here indicated is a transcendental union between the Lover 
and Beloved, of which the nuptial union on earth is a type and to which 
it may be a path of approach. 

4 /., fol. 2293 ; U503. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

as the chosen people at large were separated ex hypothesi 
by the fact of their circumcision. There is a particular 
sense in which it is held that the union here below 
between husband and wife is the work of the Holy One, 
and herefrom, as from other considerations, arises the 
sanctity and necessity of that act which is implied by the 
word union. 1 After what manner the Divine is said to 
intervene therein, or perhaps I should say to overshadow 
it, is indicated by the theory that man is formed below 
on the model of that which is above. 2 It follows that 
he who, in Zoharic terminology, suffers his fount to fail 
and produces no fruits here-^-whether because he will 
not take a wife, whether his wife is barren, or whether 
he abides with her in a way that is against Nature- 
commits an irreparable crime. 3 " It is vain ... to sit 
up late " 4 are words that designate those who do not 
marry till an advanced age, for it is woman who con 
stitutes the repose of man. 5 Hereof, according to the 
text, is the peace of espousals, and in further variation 
of the testimony which recurs continually, it is added 
that man shall participate in the world to come because 
he has entered during this life into the joy of living 
honourably with his wife. 6 The reason is that soul as 
well as body shares in the gaudium inexprimabile by 
which children are engendered. This is the eroticism 
which characterizes the Zohar, according to certain com 
mentators : but as the Doctors of the Law beheld the 
supreme mystery in sex, it is obvious that whatever 
belongs thereto is explained thereby. 7 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i86b; DE PAULY, II, 337. 

2 Ib., fol. i86b ; II, 338. 3 Ib. * Ps. cxxvii, 2. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. i87a ; II, 340. See also Pt. Ill, fol. io8a ; V, 274, 
where it is said, on the authority of Rabbi Eleazar, son of Rabbi Simeon, 
that the He is the repose of beings above and below above being the 
rest of the Shekinah in transcendence and below of the Shekinah in 

6 Ib. t Pt. I, fol. 9ob; I, 515 ; ib., Appendix III, Secret Midrash, 
fol. I4b, isa ; II, 694 ; ib., fol. i87a ; I, 340. 

7 It is about the worst word that could be selected by a scholar and 
a critic who is alive to the issues of his subject. Coventry Patmore s 


The Mystery of Sex 

And now as regards the practice, the thesis is that 
whoever sanctifies himself at the moment of intercourse 
shall have children who will not fear the tempter-spirit. 
This is the consequence respecting the fruit of marriages, 
but there is also a consequence within the measures of 
the union itself so that it is raised from the physical 
into a spiritual degree, from the mode of Nature into 
the mode of grace. 1 The fulfilment of a particular pre 
cept is the condition attaching hereto and this is the 
raising of the heart and mind, on the part of the Lover 
and Beloved, to the Most Holy Shekinah, the glory 
which cohabits and indwells, during the external act. 2 
The absconditus sponsus enters into the body of the woman 
and is joined with the abscondita sponsa. 3 This is true 
also on the reverse side of the process, so that the two 
spirits are melted together and are interchanged con 
stantly between body and body. The sexes are then also 
interchanged in a sense, as the sex of Metatron is said 
to be transformed momently before the veil of palms 
and pomegranates on the threshold of the inmost shrine 
in the Supernals. 4 In the indistinguishable state which 
arises it may be said almost that the male is with the 
female neither male nor female : at least they are both 
or either. So is man affirmed to be composed of the 

young lady thought that the sacrament of marriage was rather a wicked 
sacrament, but the Zohar raises it into realms of which the Christian 
Churches have never dreamed, though I have met with some rare 
aspects of Latin theology which seem to indicate that a Redeemer may 
live hidden therein. 

1 It is added significantly that herein the Holy One exercises such 
providence over man that he may not be lost in the world to come. 

2 There are many references, but perhaps the most signal is Z, Pt. I, 
fol. 5oa ; DE PAULY, I, 290. 

3 7.,Pt. II, fol. loib; III,4io. 

4 This intimates what, by the hypothesis, can be accomplished in 
nuptials, through the purification of body and mind, towards the union of 
souls. The statement in the Zohar on which my words are based seems 
to contain the elements of the whole mystery on the manifest side and 
after what manner that which is now only mutual in a complete dis 
tinction may be unified by experience in consciousness. I am somewhat 
veiling my meaning because it is not possible to speak ad clerum. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

world above, which is male, and of the female world 
below. 1 The same is true of woman. 

Now according to the Zohar those words in the 
Song of Solomon : " Thy breasts are better than wine " 
refer to that wine which provokes joy and desire ; and 
seeing that all things are formed above according to a 
pattern which is reproduced faithfully below, it is held 
to follow that when desire awakens beneath it awakens 
also on high. 3 Herein lies the sanctity of espousals on 
earth and herefrom depends the need for exalting that 
sanctity and all that belongs to espousals into the highest 
grade. There are however two classes whose respective 
duties differ with the degrees of their election ; there are 
those who are termed ordinary mortals, meaning the 
rank and file of the chosen people, but there are also 
the Sons of the Doctrine, chosen among the chosen out 
of thousands. The counsel imposed on the first class 
is to sanctify their conjugal relations in respect of the 
time thereof, which is fixed at midnight, or forward 
from that hour, the reason being that God descends then 
into Paradise and the offices of sanctity are operating in 
the plenary sense. But this is the time when the counsel 
to the Sons of the Doctrine is that they should arise 
for the study of the Law, for union thereby with the 
Community of Israel above and for the praise of the 
Sacred Name of God. 4 

The Sons of the Doctrine are described as reserving 
conjugal relations for the night of the Sabbath, being the 
moment when the Holy One is united to the Community 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. i?3b ; DE PAULY, IV, 128. 

2 There can be no question that in the majority of Scriptural quota 
tions the translator of the Zohar has done his best to conform his 
rendering to the Vulgate: it was of course unlikely that he would follow 
any other version, and I am stating the fact only to shew that he has 
seldom translated de now. Our Authorised Version of I, 2 reads : " Thy 
love is better than wine," and the Vulgate : Quia meliora sunt ubera 
tua -vino. 3 Z., Pt. I, fol. yoa, b ; I, 415. 

* /., Pt. Ill, fol. 8ia; V, 224. 


The Mystery of Sex 

of Israel. 1 The thesis is that God is One and as such 
it is agreeable to Him to be concerned with a single 
people. Out of this arises the question as to when man 
may be called one, and the answer is that this comes about 
when the male is united to the female in a holy purpose ; 
it is then that man is complete, is one and is without 
blemish. 2 It is of this that the man and the woman 
must think at the moment of their union ; it is in uniting 
bodies and souls that the two become one ; man in parti 
cular is termed one and perfect ; he draws down the 
Holy Spirit upon him and is called the Son of the Holy 
One, blessed be He. 3 According to Rabbi Simeon, the 
relations of the patriarchs with their wives were actuated 
by a supreme mystery. 4 So long as Jacob was unmarried, 
God did not manifest to him clearly, and this mystery 
is familiar to those who are acquainted with the ways of 
the Law. After marriage he arrived at the perfection 
which is above as distinguished from the perfection which 
is below, and God manifested to him clearly. 5 The 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i4a, b; DE PAULY, i, 82. /., Pt. Ill, fol. 8ia ; 
V, 224. 

2 Ib. 

3 /., fol. 8ib ; V, 224. The intention here seems obvious, and it is 
to shew that beyond that process indicated by Gen. ii, 24, when it is said 
that "they shall be one flesh," there is another and higher process, in 
the fulfilment of which it is possible that they shall be one soul. The 
man is not, however, without the woman, and this is a thing to be 
marked because the contrary idea may be presented to some minds. 
The following curious point may be noticed in this connection. It is 
affirmed that the words: "In the beginning God created " (Gen. i, i) 
conceal the same mystery as those other words : " And the rib which the 
Lord God had taken from man made He a woman" (/., ii, 22). In 
" God created the heaven " the two last words conceal the same 
mystery as the words : "And brought her unto the man" (/#., ii, 22). 
In " God created the heaven and the earth" the three last words conceal 
the same mystery as " bone of my bones (/#., ii, 23). All designate " the 
earth of life." Z., Pt. I, fol. 5ob ; I, 293, 294. But it is said also that the 
words " the heaven " signify the Shekinah above, while the words " and 
the earth " denote the Shekinah below, whose union shall be as perfect 
on a glorious day to come as the union of the male and the female. 
Ib., fol. 5ob; I, 295. 

4 /., Pt. I, fol. I33b; II, 126. 

5 //>., fol. I5oa; II, 192. 

241 Q 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

explanation seems to be that the Supreme Wisdom is a 
mystery of sex. 1 

Out of these considerations there arose a very curious 
question, of which I must speak at some length because 
in its way it is a characteristic development on the 
practical side and, within certain measures, it carries our 
subject further. The principle is that the male must be 
always attached to the female for the Shekinah ever to 
be with him. 2 All holiness might be practised, the 
Secret Doctrine might be studied by night and by day, 
and the illuminations thereof might overflow the intellec 
tual part ; but failing fulfilment of this radical counsel 
a man was not on the way which leads into true life. 3 
He was in that condition in which " it is not good for 
man to be " 4 alone, like Adam in the Garden. 5 But 
those who had the precept at heart and were therefore 
complete men by their union with women on earth, 
remind us in one particular of many students of the 
Middle Ages : they were travellers in search of wisdom ; 
and they were also men of affairs, workers in the vineyard 
of this world as well as in the Garden of God. The 
Zohar is full of their little journeys, and these as far as 
possible were taken one with another, so that the Secret 
Doctrine might be studied on the way and that the presence 
of Shekinah might be thus secured for their consolation, 
protection and instruction as they fared forward. Great 
adventures befell them in the sense of the Mysteries of 
Doctrine, for strange people went about in those days 
carrying, unknown to one another, the treasures of 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. isob ; DE PAULY, II, 193. 

2 //>., fol. 490; I, 289. 

3 There was otherwise a certain dispensation for the Sons of the 
Doctrine in respect of the fruit of intercourse. On the assumption that 
there was no issue they appear to have been spared the penalty of return 
into incarnation. 

4 Gen. ii, 18. 

5 He was held to be in a state of sickness, and as such was lo be 
isolated from the offices of the altar. Only a man completed, and in 
this sense made perfect, by union with a woman, could offer sacrifice. 
Z., Ft. Ill, fol. 5b; V, 12. 


The Mystery of Sex 

mystic knowledge. It was after all an unincorporated 
fraternity, and though it looks differently there and here, 
initiation was by a segregating principle and not by 
communication from a common centre of knowledge. 
The son of an instructed doctor might have advanced 
a great distance unknown to others, while occasionally 
an isolated student entered by his own reflections, and 
by grace descending into the heart, into the golden 
chain of tradition, so that he was not less in the light 
state than if he had sat at the feet of Rabbi Simeon 
through the days and the years. 

Now, journeys in search of wisdom or in the prosecution 
of business which, it may be mentioned, was often of a 
humble kind meant separation from the wife of the 
doctor s household, and this would seem at first sight to 
involve separation from Shekinah. 1 To remove this diffi 
culty it was held sufficient as we have seen (a) that the 
doctor should pray to the Holy One before starting and (b) 
should watch over all his actions during the period of 
absence from home. 2 He would not then be separated from 
his spiritual companion, nor would he put that stop to the 
union between male and female which would render him 
an incomplete being. It was understood further that the 
counsel which prevailed abroad must prevail at home also, 
so that what was inculcated was really a precept of life. 
I feel that this might have been almost taken for a point 
of departure in respect of the Co-habiting Glory, if con 
siderations of a different kind had not intervened. It 
occurs early in the Zohar as a fact, in the first section 
and concerning the Great Presence it postulates the 

1 The position is a little fantastic, because in such case the same 
danger might arise from the isolation of a single hour : moreover, the 
notion discounts the whole value of unions realised in spirit and in truth, 
appearing to make physical contiguity more important than that near 
ness of heart which spatial considerations do not help nor hinder. But 
the question seems raised in reality because it is an opportunity to 
enforce a practice of inward dedication after the best manner of the 
Zohar. As usual, the peg answers because it supports this lesson. 

2 Z., Ft. I., fol. 49b, $oa ; DE PAULY, I, 289. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

dwelling of Shekinah with man. 1 The word cohabiting 
seems to be an incorrect word, for it was obviously in 
an inward sense only that the Shekinah accompanied the 
Sons of the Doctrine in their recurring voyages and ven 
tures. If not indwelling, she was their overshadowing 
grace and power ; but they seem to have been conscious 
of a certain marriage state spiritually realised in their 
relation with her, though it was of course collective and 
not personal. Alternatively, there is a sense in which it 
was peculiar and catholic at one time, and this is an im 
portant point of analogy between the Holy Guide of the 
Sons of the Doctrine and that Christ Who is the Spouse 
of the soul. That this, however, is per se an insufficient 
ground for the identification of the two Divine Principles 
we are likely to see at the end. I need not add that the 
Shekinah appears throughout this section of the symbol 
ism as distinctively feminine. 

Recurring to the text, after having made these lawful 
inferences therefrom, the Zohar with Rabbi Simeon as 
the mouthpiece of its teaching is comprehensive and 
precise in its justice, after the manner which obtains 
throughout. It is not in virtue of the man being side 
by side with the woman, as the legend depicts him pre 
viously, that the Shekinah abides with man. 2 We have 

1 It is said elsewhere that Shekinah never separates from man so 
long as he observes the commandments of the Law. Z., Pt. I, fol. 2323. ; 
DE PAULY, II, 165. The authority is : " Behold I send an angel before 
thee, to keep thee in the way" (Ex. xxiii, 20) ; and: "I will send an 
angel before thee " (ib. xxxiii, 2). This is held to be the Liberating 
Angel, to whom Jacob made allusion (Gen. xlviii, 16 ), who watches 
over man, who receives blessings from above and distributes them 
below. Z., Pt. I, fol. 23oa; II, 508; and fol. 228b ; II, 502. 

2 See, among other places, Z., Pt. I, fol. 49^ ; I, 284. I suppose that 
the reason is obvious from the Zoharic standpoint : contiguity is not 
union. It is obvious also, or should be, that we are not considering 
a Siamese-Twins symbolical legend. What lies at the heart of the 
story, regarded as hypothetically something of the far past, would be 
very difficult to decide if it were to be accepted as one of fact. It 
belongs to "the hunger and thirst of the heart" after a way to the 
blessed life through earthly espousals. Surely the Sons of the Doctrine 
must have found in their own marriages pearls of great price which their 
heirs have lost now, and of which we have not even dreamed. And yet 


The Mystery of Sex 

seen that this ancient mode was before all things imper 
fect. The man and the woman must be face to face, at 
once in the continuity and restrictions of the sacred 
mystical act. So also when, after days and weeks of 
travel, the Son of Doctrine returns to his home he must 
procure nuptial gratification to the wife of his heart, 
seeing that he has had the advantage of mystic union in his 
absence with the companion or helpmate who is on high. 1 
In the deepest understanding of the subject, the one 
belongs to the other, that which is without being Zohari- 
cally as that which is within and all the correspond 
ences being aspects of one thing seen and done upon 
different planes of being. The external and expressed 
reason is, however, twofold: (i) because there is Tal- 
mudic authority that conjugal relations on returning 
from a journey constitute a good work 2 and (2) every 
pleasure resulting from a good work is shared by She- 
kinah. 3 Furthermore, it is in such pleasure that the peace 
of the house is maintained, for the Zohar is much too 
modest and inclined spiritually to have any shyness over 
the physical and emotional facts of daily life. The 
Scriptural authority, obtained after the usual manner, is 
contained in the words: "Thou shalt know that thy 
tabernacle shall be in peace ; and thou shalt visit thy 
habitation, and shalt not sin." 4 To abstain from con 
jugal relations in such a case would be indeed sirifiilj 
depreciating the work of the companion on high, who 
cleaves to the man, but thanks only to union with the 
wife. 5 If subsequently there be fruit of this intercourse, 
the Heavenly Companion will provide a holy soul for the 

we continue to hear rough things about the position of womanhood in 
Israel, sometimes even from converted Jews, like that Chevalier Drach 
who chaffered and trafficked in his conversion as it seems to me more 
than enough. 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. soa; DE PAULY, I, 290. 

2 See Talmud, Tract Yebamoth. 

3 Z., Ft. I, fol. 5oa ; I, 290. She who suffers with Israel enters into 
joy with him. 

4 Job v, 24. 6 Z., Pt. I, fol. soa; I, 290. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

new-born child, the Shekinah being that Covenant which 
is termed the Covenant of the Holy One. The rule on 
return from a journey must be fulfilled therefore with 
the same zeal as the ordinance laid down by the wise re 
garding the restriction of conjugal relations to the day of 
the Sabbath, and it is apparently the only recognised ex 
ception thereto in the matter of times and seasons, unless 
of course an exception is made by Nature. 

Finally, and this, which is assuredly a most strange 
and within my experience of the sacred literature an 
unique counsel, has been cited already : when man has 
in view the Shekinah 1 at the moment of his conjugal 
relations the pleasure which he experiences is a meritori 
ous work. The reason is that the union below is an 
image of the union that is above. The mystery of the 
whole subject is that the Mother in transcendence abides 
with the male only in so far as he has constituted himself 
a house by his attachment to the female : there must be 
a local habitation, an union below to offer a point of con 
tact with the union that is on high, and then the Divine 
Mother pours down her blessings thereon that is to say, 
on male and female in equal measures. 2 So is the male 
below said to be encompassed by two females, and all the 
ways of blessing in the two worlds are open before him. 3 
He reads the Secret Doctrine in the womanhood on 
earth, and it is read to him by her who sits between the 
pillars of the eternal Temple with the Book of the Secret 
Law lying open on her sacred knees. 4 

1 It is part of the contemplation of the absent and higher beauty in 
union with that beauty which, albeit lower, is present, manifest and is or 
may become sacramental. It is a memorial also that the union which is 
of time has, or may attain, a part in the union which is eternal, described 
in one place as the contemplation of the beauty of Shekinah, already 
mentioned. Ib., Pt. II, fol. ii6a ; DE PAULY, III, 448, 449. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. 5oa ; I, 291. It is said also that Shekinah does the 
will of the master of the house. /., fol. 236b ; II, 532. The reference 
on the surface is to Moses. 

3 /., fol. soa ; I, 292. 

4 It is important to note here what is involved by the illustration as 
a whole namely, that man in his union with woman becomes a house in 


The Mystery of Sex 

Among its lesser objects the counsel concerning the 
Sabbath Day and the relations therein offers proof to 
the spirits of the evil side respecting the superiority 
of those on the side of goodness, meaning mankind, 
who being provided with bodies can fulfil the duties 
of procreation. 1 Whosoever has intercourse with his 
spouse, on what clay soever, must obtain her consent 
beforehand with words of affection and tenderness ; 
failing consent, he should proceed no further, for 
the act of union must be willing and not constrained. 2 
Nuptial intercourse is interdicted during the day 
because of the words : " And he lighted upon a 
certain place, and tarried there all night, because the 
sun was set." 3 Subject to these and the rest of the 
provisions, some of which I have omitted, because 
of their difficulties of expression, 4 it is affirmed that 
blessed are those who sanctify the Sabbath Day by 
intercourse with their wives ; for the Sons of the 
Doctrine it is a work consecrated to the Holy One, 
for as the union of Matrona with the heavenly King 

which the Divine Presence can dwell. Let us take another illustration, 
which is excellent and indeed admirable in its symbolism. The eye of 
man is said to be an image of the world ; the white of the eye is an 
image of the great ocean by which earth is encompassed, and the latter 
is represented by the "internal circle" of the eye. Within this there is 
another circle, and it is called the image of Jerusalem, centre of the whole 
worlch Finally there is the pupil, which corresponds to Zion and this is 
the abode of Shekinah. /., fol. 226a ; II, 490, 491. So also there are 
the parts of the human personality physical and mental parts and 
there is the conscious centre wherein is the Divine Presence awaiting 
realisation within us. The thesis is that marriage is a condition of 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. I4a, b ; DE PAULY, I, 82, 83. 

2 Ib., fol. 493, b; I, 286. 

3 Gen. xxvii, u. On the basis of this verse intercourse was forbidden 
during daylight hours. Z., Pt. I, fol. 49!) ; I, 286. 

4 In view of the sanctity which the Zohar attributes to the sex-act 
under the obedience of purity which is marriage there was a prohibition 
respecting its performance in nuilitate personarum. Those who ignore it 
are subject to the visitation of demons and will produce epileptic children 
obsessed by Lilith. This is the case more especially if the light of a lamp 
is used. I do not know whether this has Talmudic authority. Z., Pt. I, 
fol. I4b; 1,83. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

has for its object to send down holy souls into this 
world, so the colleagues on earth seek to attract 
these sacred souls into their own children. 1 The 
theory of conception is that the Holy One and His 
Shekinah furnish the soul, while the father and mother 
provide the body between them 2 heaven, earth and 
all the stars of heaven being associated in the forma 
tion, together with the angels. 3 By the desire which 
the man experiences for the woman and the woman 
for the man at the moment of their intercourse, their 
seeds are interblended and. produce a child which is 
said to have two figures, one within the other. The 
child in this way draws life from father and mother, 
and this is why there should be some kind of sancti- 
fication for all classes at the moment of conjugal 
union, so that the child about to be born may be 
perfect and complete in figure. 4 The secret of divine 
generation is however a secret of the doctrine and 
is reserved for the initiated therein ; it is apparently 
they alone who draw down the holy souls which 
are the fruit of the union between God and His 
Shekinah. But there are various kinds and generations 
of souls, some being superior to others, and when 
the desire apparently of the ordinary man provokes 
in an equal degree the desire of the male soul for the 
female soul, the child born of this union will have 
a soul superior to that of other men, since its birth 
has come about by the desire of the Tree of Life. 5 

These things are clear issues at their value, and 
in looking at them from the standpoint of Israel we 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. soa ; DE PAULY, I, 290. //,., Pt. II,fol. Sgb; III, 363. 

2 /<*., Pt. Ill, fol. 2i9b, The Faithful Shepherd , V, 556. 

3 Ib. 

4 Ib., Pt. I, fol. gob; I, 514, 515. 

5 If)., fol. 2oc;a ; II, 437. This also is important because of that which 
it implies. The frigid, uninspired unions si pro forma marriages are, by 
this hypothesis, useless for the higher purposes ; there must be mutual 
and equilibrated desire, upspringing from love, and such desire must be 
transmuted by the tincture of Divine aspirations. 


The Mystery of Sex 

must make allowance for national exclusiveness in 
what is said about holy souls which can only become 
incarnate in Jewry. We must make allowance also for 
that which by inference from the teaching might be 
supposed to befall the barren woman. In conclusion 
as to this part, it is affirmed that the Sons of the 
Doctrine, knowing the mysteries of the Doctrine, turned 
all their thoughts to God, and their children were 
called Sons of the King. 1 But those whose marital 
relations are not encompassed with sanctity cause a 
breach in the world above. 2 

The religion of earthly espousals, if I may so term 
it, is the part in manifestation of that which is called 
so frequently the Mystery of Faith and I will proceed 
next to the consideration of what is intimated there 
and here on this subject. In the words " male and 
female created He them " 3 there is expressed the 
supreme mystery which constitutes the glory of God, 
is inaccessible to human intelligence and is the object 
of faith. By this mystery was man created, as also 
the heaven and the earth. 4 It is inferred that every 
figure which does not represent male and female has 
no likeness to the heavenly figure. This is why 
Scripture says that God blessed " them and called 
their name Adam in the day when they were created." 
The Scriptural authority for the affirmation that there 
is a Mystery of Faith is drawn from several sources, 
but without exception on the lucus a non lucendo 

1 Here then is the counsel of espousals : Mens sana in corpore sano 
et spiritus Deo adhcerens , but such cleaving is in virtue of love uplifted 
through all the worlds. See Z., Pt. Ill, fol. ;8a ; DE PAULY, V, 213. 

2 It is said also that woman is the image of the altar, from which it 
seems to follow in the symbolism that man is the priest, and then of the 
oblations there should be no need to speak. It is said further, in this 
connection, that divorce makes a breach in the altar in the altar below, 
because there is separation between male and female, and in the altar 
above by the Kabalistic hypothesis of correspondence between things 
above and below. Z., Pt. II, fol. iO2b, io3a ; III, 415. See also *?., 
Pt. 1 1 1, fol. ;8a; V, 213. 

3 Gen. i, 27. * Z., Pt. I, fol. 55b ; I, 320. 6 Gen. v, 2. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

principle, as it is impossible to conceive where it lies 
in the texts or what it can be on the evidence of 
their surface meaning. I will group a few of them 
together and let them speak for themselves. (i) U O 
Lord, Thou art my God ; I will exalt Thee. I will 
praise Thy Name ; for Thou hast done wonderful 
things ; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and 
truth." 1 (2) "And his hand took hold on Esau s 
heel." 2 (3) "Thus the heavens and the earth were 
finished, and all the host of them," 3 et seq. This 
is said to be the Great Mystery. (4) " I will sing 
unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously : the 
horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea," 4 
et seq. Among the intimations which rest upon the 
Zohar there are many which seem designed almost 
obviously to confuse the issues and misdirect research 
thereon. The Mystery is said to consist in the examina 
tion of good and evil and then in cleaving to the good. 5 
It is said again to be contained in the fact that Zion 
constitutes the foundation and the beauty of the 
world and that the world draws its nourishment 
therefrom, 6 There is Zion, which is severity, -and 
there is Jerusalem, which is mercy ; but the two are 
one. 7 We may say in respect of both that goodness 
and mercy are on the male side of the Sephirotic Tree, 
while evil and severity are on the female side ; that 
these two must be united by the Middle Pillar ; that 
this is entering under the wings of the Shekinah ; 
and that when they are thus joined, goodness, joy 
and beauty are found everywhere. We shall speak 
in this manner the characteristic language of the 
Zohar and might deserve the blessing of Rabbi Simeon, 
but we shall not have advanced our subject by one 
line or syllable belonging to a line. We must there- 

1 Is. xxv, i. 2 Gen. xxv, 26. Z., Tt. I, fol. 1993 ; II, 387. 

3 Gen. ii, i. 4 Ex. xv, i. 6 Z., Pt. II, fol. 34a ; III, 166. 

6 /., Pt. I, fol. 2o6b ; II, 427. 70., fol. i86a ; II, 335. 7 Ib. 


The Mystery of Sex 

fore go further and test the values of a few less 
obdurate extracts. 

There are forty-nine gates of compassion which con 
nect with the mystery of the perfect man, composed of 
male and female, and with the Mystery of Faith. 1 These 
are the Gates of Understanding referable to Binah, 2 wherein 
dwells the Spouse in Transcendence, who is Shekinah, 
but there is a fiftieth gate which Moses did not open, 
according to the legend, and presumably because he ceased 
to abide with his wife on earth, as another legend tells 
us, and as we have seen previously. This gate is the 
mystery of espousals in the Divine world. Another 
reference tells us that there are seven degrees above 
which are superior to all others, and they constitute 
the mystery of perfect faith. 3 The attachment of Israel 
to the good side is attachment to the Supreme Mystery, 

1 Z., Ft. II, fol. i39b ; DE PAULY, IV, 41, 42. 

2 It seems desirable at this point to collect the references to these 
Gates which occur throughout the text, so that there may be no mis 
understanding on the subject. The points are these in summary, 
(i) It is through 50 openings of the mysterious heavenly palaces that the 
Word of Yod which, as we have seen, is in Chokmah penetrates to 
the He (in Binah}. Z., Pt. I, fol. I3b; I, 79. (2) There is one Gate 
which is the synthesis of all Gates and one Degree which is the 
synthesis of all Degrees ; by this Gate and Degree do we enter into 
the glory of the Holy One. Ib., fol. io3b ; II, 19. (3) This Gate is 
unknown because Israel is in exile, and the result is that all the 
Gates are shut. 7^., fol. iO3b; II, 20. (4) The 50 Gates of Under 
standing are or may become salvation for the whole world. Ib., 
Appendix I, Omissions; fol. 26oa ; II, 611. (5) The Gates emanate 
from or are referable to the side of severity. 7^., Appendix III, Secrets 
of the Law; II, 723, 724. (6) It was owing to the evil Samael that Moses 
could enter only 49 of the 50 Gates of Binah. Ib., Pt. II, fol. H5a; 
III, 443. (7) The union of the Father and the Mother produced 5 lights, 
which gave birth in their turn to the 50 Gates of Supreme Lights. Ib., 
Assembly of the Sanctuary, fol. I22b, 123.1; 111,473. (8) The light of 
the Mother above reaches us by 50 Gates. 7^., fol. I37b ; IV, 37. 
(9) He who devotes himself to the study ofthe Law opens the 50 Gates of 
Binah, which correspond to the Yod multiplied by the He. Ib., Pt. Ill, 
fol.2i6a; V, 548. (10) By such multiplication Moses attained these Gates. 
7^., fol. 22jb ; V, 565. (11) In the absence of these Gates Israel would 
have remained always in the bondage of Egypt. They are in the region 
called the Supreme Mother, who gives power to the Mother below. 
Ib., fol. 262a; VI, 12. 

3 7.,Pt. I, fol. 204b; II,4i4. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the Mystery of Faith, so that Israel is one therewith. 1 
On the hypothesis that the Mystery of Faith is a sex 
mystery, the practice of perfection therein, on the terms 
already indicated, should give a title to the knowledge 
of these degrees and thereby the Mystery of Faith would 
pass into a perfect mystery of experience. Probably 
these seven degrees are identical with the seven firma 
ments the purpose of which as we are told elsewhere 
is to reveal the Mystery of Faith. 2 They are also called 
seven palaces. 3 There is a kingdom to come after that 
which is called symbolically the end of the world ; it 
is a sacred reign, and this also is said to constitute the 
Mystery of Faith ; 4 but we have seen otherwise that 
the advent of Messiah means perfect conformity in the 
nuptial state, above as well as below. 

It has been necessary to make these citations ; but 
it will be seen that the most which they tell us is (i) 
the fact that there is a Mystery of Faith and (2) that 
it is concerned with the union of male and female. We 
may take the question one step further by the collation 
of some final references. The priestly garment with 
fringes 5 and the phylacteries on head and arms 6 designate 
the Supreme Mystery, because God is found in that man 
who wears them. 7 It is the Supreme Mystery of Faith. 
A spring which flows unfailingly is another image of the 
Mystery, 8 and we shall remember in this connection the 
sex-interpretation placed on the river which came forth 
from Eden to water the Garden in which man was created 
male and female and which was afterwards parted and 
became into four heads. A well fed by a spring also 
symbolises the Mystery of Faith, because it symbolises 
the union of male and female, 9 and here again we shall 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 205a ; DE PAULY, II, 217. 2 /., fol. S$b ; I, 494- 

3 See Chapter XIII, p. 165, note. 

4 Z., Pt. II, fol. i34a, b ; IV, 30. The Feast of the Paschal Lamb is 
said to contain the Mystery of Faith. /#., fol. 1353 ; IV, 32. 

6 Numbers xv, 38. 6 Deut. xi, 18. 7 Z., Pt. I, fol. I4ia ; II, 150. 
8 7.,fol. I4ib; II, 151. 9 /., fol. 1410; II, 152. 


"The Mystery of Sex 

remember (i) the " fountain of gardens/ 1 (2) the 
"garden inclosed" which is " my sister, my spouse," 2 
(3) the " fountain sealed," 3 and (4) the "well of living 
waters and streams from Lebanon." 4 Whoever contem 
plates such a well is said to contemplate the Mystery 
of Faith. 5 The moon is said finally to be another 
image, and we know that this luminary is a symbol of 
Shekinah. G 

I conclude on all the evidence that the doctors of 
the Zohar had no intention of communicating under the 
formula which they used so often more than a broad and 
general definition of what their convention symbolised. 

We must again go further therefore, and the key to 

1 Song of Solomon iv, 15. 2 Ib., iv, 12. 3 Ib. 

4 Ib., iv, 15. 5 Z., Ft. I, fol. I4ib; II, 152. 

6 /., fol. I42a, b; II, 157. As I have by no means exhausted the 
references and as so much seems to be implied in the formula, I will make 
a further selection as follows : (a) That the Supreme Mystery, which is 
synonymous with the Mystery of Faith, is the law of the whole world is 
taught in the words : " These are the three sons of Noah : and of them 
was the whole earth overspread" (Gen. ix, 19), as if the Zohar were 
indicating that the event in question marked a new epoch in the mode of 
generation. Z., Pt. I, fol. 73a ; I, 432. (b) The Mystery of P^aith is 
represented by Jacob. Ib., fol. isSb ; II, 143. (c) Every word in 
Scripture conceals the Supreme Mystery of Faith, because all the works 
of the Holy One are based on equity and truth. Ib., fol. I42a ; II, 154. 

(d) The Supreme Wisdom is by implication the Mystery of Sex. Ib., 

fol. isob; II, 193. (e) The Mystery of Faith and all celestial sanctities 
emanate from the union of male and female principles. Ib., fol. i6oa ; 
II, 229. (f) One Mystery of Supreme Wisdom is that the world s 
salvation must issue from the union of Juda andThamar, as if there were 
a secret sanctuary somewhere in the world which overwatched that true 
legitimacy belonging to the line of David. //>., fol. i88b; II, 344. 
(g) The union of the worlds above and below is of the Mystery of Faith. 
Ib., , fol. 2o6b ; II, 426. (h) The Supreme Mystery concealed in the 
Law is the Secret of the Lord, and this is a secret of the Holy Covenant. 
Ib., fol. 236!) ; 1 1, 533. (i) The Cup of Blessings comprises the Mystery 
of Faith, which Mystery embraces the four quarters and the Sacred 
Throne. 7#., fol. 2500 ; II, 585. (k) The Sacred Reign to come con 
stitutes the Mystery of Faith meaning union sanctified everywhere. 
Ib., Pt. II, fol. i34a ; IV, 30. (1) The Mystery of Faith is to know 
that Jehovah is Elohim. 7/>.,fol. i6ia ; IV, 100. As I have now omitted 
only references that are trivial or obscure and calling for considerable 
explanation, the two collections are in all respects adequate and it will 
be seen that they are quite clear as to the nature of the Mystery, whether 
it is qualified as Supreme or characterised as that of Faith. 

2 53 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the matter before us will be found, under another form 
of symbolism, by the collation of two passages which 
are separated widely from each other. It is affirmed 1 
that when the Tod is united to the He they give birth 
to that river concerning which it is said : " And a river 
went forth from Eden to water the Garden." 2 The 
other extract tells us that from the union of the male 
and female meaning, of course, in the transcendence 
come all souls which animate men. 3 The inference is 
that the Eden-river is that of life, or synonymously it is 
the river of souls, 4 and in this case we shall understand that 
the Higher Eden is the place of Divine Nuptials, while 
the Garden which was watered by the river was the place 
of nuptials below. We have seen this illustrated already 
by various speaking images as, for example, in the 
higher degree by the analogy instituted between Shekinah 
and the Seed of Solomon, 5 the tent of grace, 6 and so 
forth ; but in the lower degree by the identification of 
the Garden with womanhood. 7 We are not left, how 
ever, to mere inferences on the subject, for it is said 
elsewhere that at the moment of the union of the Spouse 
and Bride all souls came forth from the celestial river. 8 
The one is " the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands 
have established 1 and the other is the repose of man. 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 95b ; DE PAULY, I, 545- 

2 Gen. ii, 10. 

3 Z. Pt. II, fol. yoa ; III, 310. It is said here that the creation of 
man m the likeness of the Elohim is an allusion to the Mystery of the 
Male and Female Principles. 

4 It is the river of life and of souls in the sense that it issues from the 
letter Yod, regarded as the organ of the Covenant in the Supernal World 
semen superinerprimabile. Sometimes this idea is expressed almost 

6 Z.,Pt. 1 1, fol. 66b; 111,292. 

6 Ib Pt. I, fol. loib; II, ii, where the tent of Sarah is understood 
as the tent of Shekinah, or as Shekinah herself. There are other 
instances: The Jerusalem above is said to be designated a tent in 
Is. xxiii, 20, and to signify Shekinah.// ., Pt. II, fol. 6sb ; III. 288. 

7 It was also the Synod of Israel. /., Ft. I, fol. 633 ; I, 39- 

8 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 2oyb, 2o8a ; II, 432. They came forth male and 
female, descending confusedly. This intimation is of some importance 
in the legend of the soul. 


"The Mystery of Sex 

It is said elsewhere that souls are produced by the union 
of male and female, 1 whence it follows that they have 
a father and mother, even as their bodies have when they 
enter into incarnate life. We learn also that all souls 
emanate from the celestial region called Ja/i, which is 
explained to be the Unknown God. 2 As seen already, this 
Name is for God that which the Propitiatory is for the 
Tabernacle a summary of the male world above and the 
female world below. 3 We can understand now in what 
sense the Shekinah is termed so often the Supreme Mother; 
we can understand also why it is joy of heart 4 to know 
that Jehovah is Elohim and why the attainment of such 
knowledge is the object with which the Holy One sends 
man into this world. 5 It is said as we have seen pre 
viously that this is the Mystery of Faith which is the 
synthesis of the whole Law. It is said also that Eden 
is the Mother above and the Garden which was watered 
by the river coming forth out of Eden is the Shekinah 
or Mother below, while the river itself is the Middle 
Pillar of the Sephirotic Tree. 6 It follows that descent 
into manifestation is by the central path which com 
municates between Kether and Malkuth. It is the path 
of Shekinah, and when it is testified that she was destined 
from the beginning to suffer with Israel 7 this means that 
the nuptial intercourse which was infinite and holy in 
the world above, which was pure, spiritual and holy for 
a period ex hypothesl in the world below, descended 
through what is termed the Fall of man into the region 
of the shells, or the order of animal things. The physical 
sign of the Covenant is held to symbolise Shekinah 8 

1 See Z., Pt. I, fol. 207b, 2o8a ; DE PAULV, 1 1, 432, among other places. 

2 //;., Pt. II,fol.i65b; IV, Hi. 3 lb. * /., Pt. Ill, fol. 8b ; ,23. 
6 Z., Pt. II, fol. i6ib; IV, 101, 102. 

6 /., Pt. I, fol. 26a, b ; I, 164. 

7 Ib., fol. I2ob; II, 84. It is said here that Shekinah is the first of all 
that is, which is affirmed also of Metatron. 

8 Ib., fol. 2;8a, b, The Faithful Shepherd , II, 647. So also it is said, 
as we have seen, that the covenant with Shekinah will endure for ever. 
Ib., Pt. III.fol.257a; V, 597. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

because it symbolises the path of purification by which 
man may return into the perfection of spiritual union. 1 

We have seen that the Supreme Mystery of Faith is 
the union of Jehovah and Elohim, which union is the 
source of all other mysteries. We have seen also 
that when Israel shall become perfect, it will make 
no distinction between Jehovah and Elohim the male 
with the female being neither male nor female. It 
follows that the Supreme Mystery and the Mystery 
of Faith are one as [ have said and are also the 
Mystery of Union of Male and Female in the Divine 
Nature, behind which I infer that there is a mystery of 
experience in man. 

Let us now take another legend of the soul which is 
not quite in consonance with some things that have pre 
ceded, as it postulates a continual generation as fruit of 
the eternal union between the Father and Mother in 
transcendence 2 in place of a creation of souls once and 
for all prior to the evolution of the created universe. 
That which follows is more in consonance with the 
Mystery of Faith, and is in fact one of its aspects. It is 
said that at every birth new souls are created and detached 
from the Celestial Tree. 3 Thanks to these new souls, 
the legions of heaven are increased, 4 for which reason 

1 I ought to mention here that in one place only of the text it is said 
that in forming the prototypical Eve and placing her face to face with man, 
it was intended that the union between male and female should take place 
after the same manner as that of Jehovah with Elohim, or in the absence 
of any fleshly and impure sensation. Z., Pt. II, fol. 2$8b ; DE PAULY, IV, 
291, 292. This seems to me an allusion to a pre-natal state, for things 
must be referred to their natures ; the spiritual unions are one thing and 
have their own end; the physical union is another and Nature thereby 
insures the perpetuation of species. 

2 Hence it is said that man understood as male and female is the 
synthesis of Jehovah and Elohim. Z., Pt. Ill, fol. 4a ; DE PAULY, 

8 It is repeated also that all souls issue from the celestial region called 
Jah, which is the source of wisdom. It is called the Holy Spirit, and all 
souls are comprised therein.//;., Pt. II, 174.1 ; IV, 129. According to 
another version, those souls which animate men issue or emanate from 
Him Who is called the Just. 7^., fol. ?oa ; III, 310. 

4 /., Pt. Ill, fol. i68a ; V, 434 and elsewhere. 


The Mystery of Sex 

the Scripture says : " Let the waters bring forth abundantly 
the moving creature that hath life," l meaning the waters 
of the celestial river which has its source in the Holy 
and Eternal Alliance. 2 It should be understood that this 
Alliance, which is the union of Jehovah and Elohim, has 
its correspondence below in the Covenant between God 
and man on the basis of circumcision as symbolising the 
great postulate concerning purity. The Scripture adds : 
" And fowl that may fly upon the earth," 3 because at 
the moment when the newly created soul traverses the 
heavenly region called " living " meaning the Land 
of Life it is accompanied by many angels, who have 
followed it from the time that it was detached from the 
Tree of Heaven. 4 Those who abstain from practising the 
precept : "Increase and multiply" diminish if it be per 
mitted so to speak the celestial figure, centralisation of all 
figures ; they arrest the course of the celestial river and 
defile the Holy Alliance. 5 We have seen that this is 
a sin against God Himself; the soul of such a man 
will never penetrate into the vestibule of Paradise and 
shall be repulsed from the world above. 6 After this 
manner does the Zohar indicate yet again that from the 
beginning of the sacred text it is concerned with the history 
of man rather than the external cosmos and, by inference, 
with the history of Israel rather than of man at large. 
We on our part are in a position to understand it in a 
higher sense as the catholic history of souls ; it is this 

1 Gen. i, 20. 

2 They are the waters of Chokmah and Binah^ the Yod and the He 
in their union, or alternatively according to another form of the 
symbolism they are those waters proceeding from Kether under the 
presidency of the Divine Namey^. 

3 Gen. i, 20. 

4 This notion is expressed in one place only and seems only semi- 
poetical adornment. 

5 Z., Ft. I, fol. 273a, b, Appendix I, Book of Brightness ; DE PAULY, 

6 /., fol. 48a ; I, 278. The guilt of such abstinence is exaggerated 
in the prevailing manner of the Zohar, and if we come to discriminate 
thereon we shall remember that the man returns to this life in another 
body and has the chance to do better. 

257 R 

"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

on the inner side though it is cosmic history of course on 
the surface of the outward sense. This also is the con 
struction of the Zohar, which naturally does not deny 
that on the literal side the first chapters of Genesis are 
the story of creation ; but the vital or palmary interest 
rests in the internal sense as if the one were a question 
of accidents and the other of essence. 

The souls of all Gentiles emanate from the demons 
under circumstances which are not explained in the 
Zohar. 1 The suggestion is sometimes that they are from 
the left side of the Tree, but the question is exceedingly 
obscure, 2 because God and His Shekinah are everywhere 
in the Tree of the Sephiroth, and though there is a sense 
in which God is allowed to have created evil, the position 
is by no means maintained with any consistency through 
out. It was left for late Kabalism to contrive its own way 
of escape from the difficulty, for which purpose it devised 
the idea of postulating ten Sephiroth in each of the four 
worlds, as also in each Sephira. There is practically no 
warrant for this in the original text, though there is a 
trace of some septenary repetition of Sephiroth in the in 
dividual Sephiroth. There was, however, the case of those 
who were converted from Paganism to Jewry and fulfilled 
the whole law thereafter ; it was necessary that they should 
be reconciled on all the planes or it would serve no pur 
pose to receive them into the fold ; and it was therefore 
postulated that after undergoing circumcision they entered 
under the wings of Shekinah and were separated from the 
side of the Demons. 3 They did not participate, in the 

1 It is affirmed elsewhere, on the contrary, that they come from the 
Divine World ; but the question is negligible, as anything that is found 
in the Zohar on the subject of unbelievers is antecedently known to be 
worthless, all Secret Doctrine notwithstanding. The literal statement 
setting contradictions aside is that human souls come from heaven. 
Z., Ft. I, fol. isa; DE 1 AULY, I, 664. 

2 There is one place at least in which the right and the left side 
seem to be two paths of coming out into manifestation apart from any 
Sephirotic notion. Z., Ft. I, fol. i6oa ; II, 229. 

3 /., fol. I3a ; I, 76. 

2 5 8 

The- Mystery of Sex 

world to come, in the full beatitude of the elect who 
were such by their right of birth ; they remained under 
the wings of Shekinah, but the latter was like a chariot 
for Israel, in which Israel passed higher, namely, into the 
land of the living. The Gentiles had no part in the 
heavenly Tree and could not therefore return to it. 1 The 
view is naturally at issue with much that has preceded, 
but the question does not concern us in any important 


Returning to the generation of souls, it is said that 
there are three souls in the superior degrees ; 2 the first is 
the Supreme Soul, which is unintelligible even to beings 
on high : it is the soul of all souls, it is concealed eter 
nally and all depends therefrom. The second soul is the 
female principle, and by the union of these two Divine 

1 The records are obscure and contradictory, but I have suggested 
previously that the Sephirotic Tree is really the Tree of Life, and there 
may be a sense intended in winch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good 
and Evil is also Sephirotic in its attributions, the good being the right 
and the left the evil side. Zoharic Kabalism recognised, moreover, an 
averse Tree under the title of Inferior Crowns, in analogy with the 
Crowns that are above, namely, the true Scphiroth. The salient allusions 
are as follows : (a) There are ten averse Crowns and they are in 
analogy with ten varieties of magic, all understood as infernal, for the 
Zohar very properly recognises no distinction between "Black and White 
in the occult arts. Z., Pt. I, fol. i6 7 a ; II, 257. (b) The Inferior 
Crowns are rnmifications of one and the same Tree. /., fol. 1773 ; 
II, 296. (c) The Law of Correspondence obtains in these things, for 
as we have seen the Empire of the demon is modelled on that of 
God ; 7 ^-> PL n > foL 37b ; III, 179. (d) There is further a demoniacal 
triad m imitation of that Triad which is Supernal. Ib., fol. 4ob ; II, 189. 
(e) There are also inferior palaces corresponding to the I alaces that are 
above and like these they are seven in number. /</>., fol. 24$a ; 
IV, 278. (f) There are hierarchies of demons answering to the Hier 
archies of Blessed Angels Seraphim to Seraphim, and so forth. Ib., 
fol. 247b ; IV, 281. (o) The titles of the averse Sephiroth are the same 
as those above Wisdom and so forth, all the qualities being illustrated 
by their opposites.-/^., Pt. Ill, fol. 7 oa ; V, 190. (h) It is said finally, 
and this is a further light on another subject which has been under con 
sideration just previously, that there are ten averse Scphiroth on the 
right and ten upon the left, even as in the Holy World. Here is another 
way of understanding the right and left side in the Zohar, but I do not 
affirm that there is a single ruling idea throughout the references, yet if 
there be the modes of expression have been not less obscure than they 
have been otherwise misleading. /., Pt. Ill, fol. 2O7a V S27 

/,*., Pt. I,fol.2 4 5a,b; II, 570, 57L 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Works are manifested to the whole world, even as all 
acts of the human soul are manifested by the human 
body. The third soul is that of all holy souls emanat 
ing from the Male and Female in the transcendence. 1 
The multiplication of symbolical modes for the expression 
of the same speculative doctrines is disconcerting enough 
and sometimes tends to confusion, but the meaning is. in 
no sense remote, as it happens, in the present instance. 
We see in the first place the root-postulate belonging to 
the Mystery of Faith that the union of male and female 
in the Ineffable Persons causes conception and birth ever 
lastingly ; that what is born is souls ; that these descend, 
and that ; they are male and female. One account says 
that at the moment of earthly marriage the souls must 
sort themselves out, each male soul discovering the female 
who was its companion before incarnation ; but this is so 
rough and crude that it is set aside tacitly, without, 
however, establishing any general law in its place. The 
implicit is of course that the male body contains a male 
soul and that the soul of a woman is female, though 
there is an obscure sense in which any soul is male to 
any body but is female to the degree which is above it. 2 
Another implicit can be recognised which is more to our 
purpose that he who abides in the true way will meet 
in marriage with the woman-soul which was his pre 
natal companion. 3 If he has deviated it may happen 
that the woman predestined to him is espoused to 

1 Though there has been no occasion to dwell upon it, seeing that I 
am not concerned with the maintenance of orthodox theological views 
or their opposites, I think that the reader has abundant proof in his 
hands by this time that the Zoharic system as a whole is no more 
emanationist than pantheistic. That which proceeds from Ain-Soph 
into the complete concealment and yet comparative manifestation of the 
Three Supernal Sephiroth may be called an emanation from Ain-Soph, 
but as it is a question of Divine Essences, that is an orthodox view at its 
value. In the present instance the symbol is one of begetting, which is 
not synonymous with emanation. 

2 /., Pt. I, Appendix III, Mathnitin; DE PAULY, II, 703. 

3 See on the general subject ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 283^ 284a ; VI, 64, 65. 
Also, #., fol. 43b; V, 120, 121, and Pt. I, Appendix 1 1 1, Mathnitin; 
II, 703- 


The Mystery of Sex 

another, but in the event of his repentance a time will 
come when the alien male will disappear, thus yielding 
the woman to her true mate. 1 In a scheme like this it is 
obvious that there must be fatalities and mischances 
innumerable when it comes to be worked out ; among 
others there is that in virtue of which a male soul will 
come into this world without a sister-soul, and presum 
ably vice versa. It is held that such a person will not 
marry and cannot therefore have children, but in the 
event of his keeping the Law and proving worthy, he 
will find the means of rehabilitation in another earthly 
life. In the alternative case, he will be judged unworthy 
of a new transmigration. 2 It is part of the Divine Plan 
for the salvation and felicity of man that a sister-soul is 
not permitted to remain the wife of another. 3 

The considerations with which I have been dealing lead 
up to other dreams which are significant of the concern 
of Israel on another and higher side of the sex mystery. 
It is not to be supposed, the union of humanity 
below according to the manner of the flesh being, at 
least in its consecration, a reflection of the Divine Union, 
that there should not be an union of souls in the world 
to come so that in the beatitude of the true region of 
life they should not continue to reflect the Supernal 
work and its mystery. This is why, as we shall see, the 
union between God and the soul is in the sense of vision, 
though there are indications of deeper stages. That 
which is substituted is the union in heaven of souls who 
have been espoused on earth being those who were 
espoused previously before the world began. 4 When it 

1 See on the general question #., Ft. Ill, fol. 28$b ; DE PAULY, V, 64. 
And on this special point, ib., Pt. II, fol. 22Qa ; II, 503. 

2 We have seen that reincarnation is not in itself desirable but that 
it is justified ex hypothesi by adequate reasons. It follows from the 
above statement that there is a less favourable alternative. That which 
is embodied is, however, only a sporadic or casual notion, and it is quite 
out of harmony with much that goes before and comes after. 

3 This is somewhat fully discounted in other places of the text. 

4 It is a recurring subject of reference and we see that the triad 
obtains here as otherwhere. There are (a) Pre-natal union ; (b) Union 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

is said that the Blessed Vision is the sight of the She- 
kinah and the contemplation of her Divine Face, 1 we are 
to understand apparently that the union of sister-souls is 
under her eyes and in her presence. It is said that in the 
heights of heaven there is yet another union of two born 
of love and for ever inseparable. 2 It is contemplated by 
those who have part in the life to come. The way which 
leads to the Tree of Life, the Tree which is kept by the 
Cherubim and the Flaming Sword, is the grand Matrona 
herself. She is the way of the Sacred City, the way of 
the Heavenly Jerusalem, the intermediary of communi 
cation between things above and below in both directions : 
she is the perfect Mediatrix, to whom all the Divine 
Powers are confided. 3 The intimation is vague, but as 

on earth and (c) Union in the risen life of the spirit. Two things are to 
be observed, firstly, that we hear nothing" concerning the marriage life 
after the resurrection, or in that state wherein the perpetuation of a 
physical envelope seems to pronounce separation for ever between God 
and man, so far as all that is understood by mysticism respecting the 
union is concerned ; but, secondly, following all the analogies, there can 
be no doubt that the risen bodies will enter into the life of intercourse, 
because they are complete bodies. 

1 Z., Ft. II, fol. 400, The Faithful Shepherd; DE PAULY, III, 189. 
But there are other references. 

2 Ib., Pt. II, fol. sob ; III, 229. 

3 Ib., fol. 5ia; III, 230. The same Divine Powers were said to be 
entrusted to Enoch when he became Metatron, concerning whom I will 
now collect the following references, premising only that whatever we 
may think of his sex transformations and their meaning, neither he nor 
any of the angels beneath him were truly in the likeness of the Elohim 
and they did not therefore beget their own kind or species. The chief 
points are as follows : (a) He is charged with the government of the 
earth. Z., Pt. I, fol. I43a: II, 161. (b) He sets all his legions in 
motion by the power of a single letter in his name presumably any 
letter, as none is specified. //>., Appendix III, Mathnitin; II, 705. 
(c) He is the Serpent above. Ib., Pt. II, fol. 28a ; III, 134. (d) This 
is explained by ib. y Pt. I., fol. 2;a ; I, 171, which says that he is favour 
able to man when he is transformed into a wand e.g. that of Aaron or 
Moses but as a serpent he is against man. (d) The river which went 
out of Eden to water the Garden (Gen. ii, 10) is Enoch, who is called 
otherwise Metatron, but it is the Lower Eden and not that in the Supernal 
World. It is the place called Parses, which name according to Franck 
was never so used in the Zohar. Ib., fol. 27a ; I, 168, 169. (e) He is to the 
cohorts above apparently that which is Samael to the cohorts below. Ib., 
Pt. II, fol. 42a ; III, 191. (f) He is called Server and he embraces the 
six directions of space. Ib., fol. 94a ; III, 377. (g) It is said that souls 


The Mystery of Sex 

the contemplation of Matrona sanctified nuptials below, 
so is the path by which the elect enter into the higher 
nuptials as if they ascended that Middle Pillar of the 
Sephiroth which is so often said to be she. We can pro 
ceed therefore to glance at another question of those 
palaces for which the Zohar has a natural attraction, while 
their number is most usually seven. When souls leave 
the lower world they enter into a certain palace which is 
above, if they carry the proper warrants, and therein 
those which are male are again united to the female, in 
which union they radiate light as in sparkles. 1 This 
palace is said to be the throne of Faith and, I infer, is the 

proceed from the side of Metatron and from the side of Shekinah, but it 
does not seem to be by the way of generation, as between male and 
female. Ib., fol. 94b ; III, 379. (h) He is also called " Young Man," and 
it was he who dwelt in the Tabernacle of Moses. Ib., Pt. II., fol. I43a ; 
IV, 54. (i) He helped to build the Tabernacle. /#., fol. I59a ; IV, 96. 
(j) He guarded the Temple of Solomon. 7^., fol. io4a; IV, 107. (k) 
The School of Metatron is the School of the Holy One. lb., Appendix 
III, fol. 287a ; IV, 314. (1) The curtain of the Tabernacle was his 
symbol. /#., fol. 293a ; IV, 317. (m) He is like Michael, for he offers 
the souls of the just to God. Ib., Pt. Ill, Ike Faithful Shepherd, fol. 
29a, b ; V, Si. (n) There is an obscure suggestion that he may be the 
Angel of the Sun, and it is said also that he draws milk for his purifica 
tion from his mother, as if she were the Matrona in Binah and he were 
the Begotten Son or Vau. Ib., fol. 64b ; V, 177. (o) He has the Keys 
of Heaven. Ib., fol. I7ib; V, 445. (p) During the exile, he has the 
government of the House; he is the rainbow, and he is called Shaddai. 
Ib., fol. 2i5b; V, 547. (q)>He is old and he is again young. Ib., fol. 
2i7a, b ; V, 530. (r) He is the Man of the Lesser Countenance ; that is 
to say, he is the tenth Sephira, Malknthj and here we must remember 
that there is a sense in which the Vau came down to earth in union with 
the He final. Ib., fol. 223!^ ; V, 565. (s) As otherwise noted, he is the 
vesture of Shaddai. Ib., fol. 2313; V, 571. (t) As noted also, he is to 
Shekinah that w,hich are the week days to the Sabbath as if he were 
activity and she rest. Ib., fol. 243b ; \, 381. (u) He is poor in exile 
that is to say, in the exile of Israel, and his nourishment is prayer. Ib., 
fol. 278a ; V, 51. I have omitted only a few minor allusions and one 
fantastic comparison which would tend to confuse the issues. Apart 
from the stultifying intervention of the Enoch motive, I think that these 
extracts tend very clearly towards the identification of Metatron with the 
Son who is extended through the worlds below Atziluth, and who is not 
exactly in union with Shekinah and yet not apart from her during the 
fall and exile of the elect. At times perhaps generally they are 
distinct from one another ; at times they are found together ; and their 
end is complete union. 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 246a; IV, 279. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

place of its mystery. Yet another story of palaces tells 
us that there are four which are exclusive to women, or 
at least to holy mothers, but it is forbidden to reveal 
their nature. 1 Daring the day the females are separated 
from the males, but the spouses are in union at night, 
and in their mutual embrace the lights of both dissolve 
into a single light. The conclusion reached on this sub 
ject is that blessed is the lot of the just, male as well as 
female, for they shall enjoy all delights in the world to 

come. 2 

We are led on in this manner to the great mystery 
of the subject, as to which there are several testimonies. 
It rests on the witness of a testament bequeathed by 
Rabbi Eieazar the Great 3 that when the Holy One comes 
down into Paradise at midnight the male souls are united 
to the female ; fecundation follows from the joy which 
they experience in the contemplation of God, and they 
bring forth other souls 4 which are destined to occupy the 
bodies of Gentiles who will become converts to the Law of 
Israel. 5 But, almost immediately, this is explained after 
a different manner : the souls born of celestial unions are 
reserved in a palace, and when a man is converted one 
of them takes flight and comes under the wings of She- 
kinah, who embraces her because she is the fruit of the 
just in their intercourse and sends her into the body of 
a convert where she or he remains, and from that 
moment the convert acquires the title of just. 6 This is 
the mystery of those words in Scripture : 4C The fruit of 
the just is the Tree of Life." 7 There is, however, by 
yet another testimony, a general sense in which the Holy 

1 Z., Pt. Ill, fol. i6;b ; DE PAULY, V, 434. 2 Ib. 

3 It is not clear whether this means the son of Rabbi Simeon. 

4 I must not omit to mention that this is contradicted in The Faithful 
Shepherd, which says that in the world to come there is neither eating nor 
drinking, that there are no conjugal relations, and that the beatitude of 
the just as we have seen is to contemplate the beauty of Shekinah. 
Ib. Pt. II, fol. ii6a; 111,448,449. 

6 Ib., Pt. 1 1 1, fol. i68a; V, 434- 8 Ib. 

* Proverbs xi, 30. 


The Mystery of Sex 

One effects the union of sister-souls so that they may 
engender other souls, themselves animated by those sacred 
forces which are above them. 1 

The fact that these passages are all less or more irre 
concilable is of no consequence ; the object is to indicate 
the nature of beatitude in the world above, and they are 
ail independent fables belonging to the motive, inspira 
tion or casual spur of the moment, 2 and no one would 
have been more astonished possibly than a Son of the 
Doctrine, had he heard that they were to be collated and 
harmonised, were that possible. 

There are a few minor points which I will mention 
at this stage. It is said that all depends on thought and 
intention ; holiness is attracted by good thought ; but 
he who defiles himself by thought, and he who at the 
moment of fulfilling the act of intercourse with his wife 
thinks of another woman changes the degree above the 
degree of holiness into one that is impure. 3 We may 
compare the elective affinities of Goethe, for the child 
born of such union is called a substituted son : soul and 
body are held to be alike substituted. The second point 
is that there are rare occasions when conjugal relations 
seem forbidden, even on the Sabbath, and periods of 
famine are a case in point : 4 the child born at such a season 
will be from the side of the demon. Lastly, there is 
the question of virginity by which I mean among 
women. 5 That such a condition on earth should be 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i86b ; DE PAULY, II, 337. 

2 I must except, however, conditionally at least, one other quality of 
testimony which seems to suggest that the way of the generation of souls 
has been always by conception and birth, following intercourse. 

3 Z., Pt. I, Appendices III, Secrets of the Law; II, 730. Yet it 
would seem permissible on occasion to think of another, because in 
cohabiting with Leah, Jacob thought of Rachel, though unintentionally, 
as it is said. /#., p. 731. 

4 //>., fol. 204a ; II, 412, 413. The consequence threatened seems 
arbitrary, as usual, but according to Rabbi Simeon a supreme mystery 
is involved. Ordinary sense would assume that the regulation was a 
question of doing penance. 

6 /., Pt. 1 1, fol. I3ib; IV, 23. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

considered as tolerable, much less as a title of sanctity, 
never entered into heart or mind of any Son of the 
Doctrine. The only Zoharic reference to virgins in an 
exalted state specifies that the third among several legions 
is composed of celestial virgins who are in the service of 
Matrona and adorn her when she is presented to the 
King : these are her maids of honour. It is a very 
simple transfer of an earthly image, but the legion does 
not consist of human souls. 1 

We are now at the end of our inquiry into the 
Mystery of Sex, so far as the statements in the text 
are concerned, and that which remains is to determine 
whether the path which was followed by the early 
Kabalists may have led them into any experience of the 
spiritual kind that is implied rather than expressed in 
the records before us. I will suppose that they followed 
the counsel on which those records insist, and as it in 
volved a distinct mode of procedure in connection with 
an important fact of life, the insistence, as it seems to 
me, must indicate that in the experience of things the 
method had proved of practical service. In other words, 
they had found that there is a mystery of nuptials of 
which it has not entered into the heart of man to con 
ceive in the ordinary ways and under the common 
motives of desire. 2 There is one beautiful point to 
observe in this connection that their mystery lay within 
the pure offices of Nature, under all the accepted war 
rants. Those who conceived it had already fulfilled the 
Law in respect of marriage ; they sought no new way 
of the physical kind ; they were not lovers at white heat 
on the quest of the ideal beloved ; 3 they were not in 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. isib; DE PAULY, IV, 23. 

2 We must remember that there is no lawful act of life and no law of 
Nature which cannot be raised above its own degree by the consecration 
of motive, or otherwise that the will of man in all its authorised ways and 
places can be united to the Divine Will. 

3 More correctly, they had an inward, spiritual and godly ideal, on 
which they dwelt, and by which they seem to have accomplished trans 
mutations below. 


The Mystery of Sex 

search of an excuse for setting aside old pledges and old 
bonds ; they were content with that which they had ; 
they made use of the elements which had been given 
already into their hands, like true craftsmen and masters. 
The genesis of their practice is of course outside our 
knowledge : it may be that those who sought to make 
all things holy in their life had sanctified by intention of 
their own the fulfilment of that Law which told them 
to " increase and multiply," and that which they expe 
rienced in its sanctification may then have developed sub 
sequently the sequence of theosophical speculations with 
which I have been dealing ; it may be that they had 
come across teaching in unfrequented paths, something 
handed down from the past. 1 know nothing of written 
records on the subject outside the Zohar ; but I do know 
that there is some vestige of teaching in the East l which 
is communicated on rare occasions, though I believe that 
it is concerned with the act itself rather than with the 
fruit thereof, and it is not the kind of secret which the 
East keeps to itself exclusively. Two things followed 
in respect of Kabalistic doctrine and practice. Marriage 
for the mystic Jew had become a sacrament, and I care 
nothing if scholarship supposing that it were to take 
up the question should decide in its wisdom that the 
Zoharic notion of marriage owes something to the sacra 
mental system of the Catnolic Church. I reject the pro 
position in advance for what my view is worth and 
1 do not think that it will be put forward ; but it would 
signify nothing if it were true. There has been no 
failure so great on the register of Latin orthodoxy as 
its consecration of marriage.; there has been nothing that 
is so skin-deep, nothing so reluctant and half-hearted. It 
never did a wiser thing, a greater or a truer, than when 
it instituted the seventh sacrament ; how it ever came 
to do it is another question, having regard to all the 

1 It is precisely the same teaching as that of the Zohar, though not 
of course in -the same terms. 


The , Secret Doctrine in Israel 

conflict of interests, the so-called counsels of perfection, 
the intolerable and melancholy burden brought over from 
Theban deserts and everything that has been collected 
into that strange edifice which is termed the Paradise of 
Palladius. 1 The result has been that after nearly two 
thousand years of so-called sacramental rites there is 
nothing less consecrated either in the East or West than 
are the offices of earthly marriage. On the other hand, 
the ideal presented in the Zohar stands for true and 
life-long consecration on the highest plane ; it is not 
the ceremonial of a moment which puts a kind of eccle 
siastical veneer over something that was less or more 
abhorred. Here is the first point, and the second in all 
simplicity is added on the hypothesis, at its value, that 
the ideal did more than exist on paper and may repre 
sent the practice of a secret school. We are told by the 
records that the fruit of the mystic intercourse was the 
begetting of children from what is called the Holy Side, 
as against the side of the demons, and I believe that this 
was a Kabalistic way of accounting for the literal fact 
that children born of such unions belonged to another 
category than we are accustomed to meet with in the 
streets and byways of daily life all the world over, or 
for that matter to be familiar with in our own homes. 
They were children of Grace rather than what we call 
Nature, though Grace is only Nature better understood. 
There is one word more : of the personal con 
sequences which befell the Sons of the Doctrine in 
their delineated life of espousals we hear nothing 
directly, but the claim is that they came to realise 
the Divine Presence in their hearts as the general 
recompense of their consecrated lives. They were 

1 DR. E. A. WALLIS BUDGE: The Paradise or Garden of the Holy 
Fathers . . . Compiled by Athanasius Archbishop of Alexandria; Palladius 
Bishop of Helenopolis ; Saint Jerome and others. Translated out of the 
Syriac. 2 vols., 1907. I do not wish to be understood as making a 
sweeping condemnation ; I speak chiefly of processes and atmosphere. 
There are other respects in which the text is worthy to rank with The 
Golden Legend. 


The Mystery of Sex 

not ascetics and they were not solitaries ; truly they 
were a company of scholars in the city and along the 
country-side, in village and in wilderness. For them 
the world of Nature was grace externalised ; the Pre 
sence was about them therein, and they attained it after 
another manner which was one of very life and 
testimony each of them in his proper heart and 
mind. I conclude that they had found the true 
meaning of the words : " It is not good for man to 
be alone/ l and that there is a very secret path in 
which "the joy of living honourably with his wife" 2 
may bring the completed man male and female 
into the spiritual city of joy, great city of praise, 3 
wherein is the joy of the Lord. 4 

So the souls go up male and female into the world 
beyond ; if they are prepared souls, they find one 
another, and the union that is everlasting begins in 
the light of God. 

1 Gen. ii, 18. 2 See page 238. 3 Jer. xlix, 25. * Is. xxix, 19. 




THOSE who approach the Zohar with a general know 
ledge concerning the common repute of Kabalism will 
not improbably assume and I have suggested it indeed 
already in my prefatory remarks that the text is a 
storehouse of magic and that it belongs, properly 
speaking, to the domain of so-called occult science. 
With all his imperfections, the writings of Eliphas 
Levi, who is now well known in England, should have 
done much to correct this view, and there are other 
sources of information. When William Postel trans 
lated the Sepher Telzirah and so made a certain begin 
ning of public knowledge concerning the literature of 
Kabalism, the magical grimoires, which are a depra 
vation at a very far distance of certain Kabalistic 
notions, were already extant in manuscript and indeed 
in some printed forms. To describe these testimonies 
of the dregs and lees of life and quest as holding in 
any true sense from the tradition of Israel is unques 
tionably to place upon them an undue imputed import 
ance. They contain ignorant travesties of Hebrew 
Divine Names, angelical titles and things of this order. 
There is no doctrine attached to them, no practice 
which reflects anything in the sacred literature at 
large : it would be almost as reasonable at first sight 
to suggest that the makers of grimoires had drawn 
from Hebrew copies of the Old Testament with some 
additions from the Greek of the Gospels or the Rites 
of the Orthodox Church. But as a matter of fact, 
beyond the literature on any side of its subject, there 


The Occult Sciences 

were obscure ways of superstition in magical practice 
among the Jews and their root is in the power of 
Divine Names, Hebrew letters and so forth, which 
belief prevailed in Israel and is found in the Zohar. 

To this extent it has to be admitted that, out of 
all proper sequence, the question of occult sciences 
connects with our subject. Beyond this, and much 
more important that is to say, from the mystic stand 
point there is the fact that the voice of the Zohar 
testifies in no uncertain manner as to the view con 
cerning magic, its connections and derivations, held by 
all Sons of the Doctrine and imposed by inference on 
those who might seek to come after them, following in 
their path. This notwithstanding, we may find here 
and there in the long sequence of debate that the 
same standpoint is not maintained invariably on specific 
details, and there are certain statements which might 
lend colour to an opinion that the root-matter of one 
and another department of occult experiment may be 
found therein. It is said, for example, that there is 
a mystery known to the holy thaumaturgists con 
cerning the miraculous powers which inhere in the 
sacred celestial letters and that if these are written 
inversely, after a certain manner, the extinction of 
the guilty can be brought about thereby. 1 Now it is 
to be observed that the celestial characters are not 
those which are written with the hand by human 
scribes, but are the Great Letters, alive and givers of 
life, emblems of all intelligence and therefore endowed 
with understanding. By the Zoharic hypothesis, they 
existed before the creation and as we saw long ago 
one of them was concerned therewith. The explana 
tion of this fable is that, for all the sages of Israel, 
thought must pass into expression, because that which 
is done in heaven must be done also on earth. The 
Sons of the Doctrine must reflect therefore in their 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 6;b ; DE PAULY, I, 398. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

hearts on the Secret Doctrine, as the Divine Thought 
was turned upon itself in the eternity which preceded 
creation ; but it must also pass into expression, because 
at length the creation was formulated, and this expres 
sion enters into record by means of letters. These are 
further the elements of that Law by which the world 
was made, and the use of their reflections on earth 
was another instance of accomplishing below that which 
is performed on high. After what manner the holy 
thaumaturgists brought down the celestial letters for 
the purpose under consideration, or for any other, is 
not told in the story, and I suppose that for sane 
persons there can be no question that the intimation 
must be understood allegorically, though I am not pro 
posing to explain after what manner as the unexpressed 
meaning exceeds my purpose. For the rest, I am certain 
that the Zohar was unknown to the adepts of magical 
workings ; it reflects there and here some practices 
which obtained in Jewry and the Talmuds are a source 
of sporadic information to those who would pursue the 

The general thesis of the Zohar is that the science 
of magic came from the sages of the East, 1 and as it 
is said by the Scriptures that the wisdom of Solomon 
surpassed that of the Egyptians, as well as of all the 
East, 2 it seems to be understood that he drew from 
some superior source, in respect of occult science. The 
intention is not, however, either to exonerate the science 
or to justify the king in this branch of his learning. 
He seems to have pursued it when he fell away from 
justice, but it was otherwise during the building of the 
Temple : 3 then he beheld wisdom face to face and 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 223a ; DE PAULY, II, 478. 

2 I Kings v, 10. It is very difficult to understand the purpose of the 
Zohar in this reference. Somehow Shekinah was his teacher, but it is 
not certain, and the question is scarcely worth pursuing. See Z., Pt. I, 
fol. 223a,b; II,478-48i. 

3 Ib.j fol. I5oa; II, 190. There is more on the subject which need not 
be quoted here. We have seen in our study of the Deluge- Myth that 


The Occult Sciences 

had no need of the occult arts. That of the Egyptians 
is regarded as the lowest of all, 1 presumably because 
the subjugation of Israel is said to have been its chief 
object and it failed in the end therein. It was not, 
however, mere trickery ; the wands which changed 
into serpents became actual serpents, not only in dream 
or vision, and those of Aaron which devoured them 
were actual in like manner. 2 The Egyptian masters 
had acquired ten degrees of magic, corresponding to 
the averse or evil Sephiroth, the Inferior Crowns, 3 which 
rule in all magic. In virtue of his communications 
with the abyss, Pharaoh himself was skilled more 
highly in occult practices than any of the magicians 
he employed. 4 Abraham as we have seen was drawn 
in this direction, and when he first went into Egypt 
it was for the profound study of Egyptian occult 
science, though not as one who was seduced nor one 
who became attached thereto. 5 He penetrated the 
secret of evil only to reascend towards the good. As 
regards the later children of the East and their wisdom, 
there is a sense in which Abraham was himself a 
fountain of knowledge, for the presents made by him 
to the children of his concubines seem to have been 
a medley of true knowledge and occult arts, which 
were taken eastward and deteriorated in the course 
of the centuries. 6 There is therefore a vestige of 
truth in the eastern wisdom, but it is combined with 

magic is older than the Deluge ; it existed also during the patriarchal age. 
Laban was the greatest magician in the world and by the aid of his idols 
learned all that he wished to know. Ib., Pt.I,fol. i64b; DE PAULY, II, 243. 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 223b ; II, 481. " It is designated under the name of 
the maid-servant seated behind the mill." 

2 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 28a; III, 134- 

3 Ib., fol. 3ob ; III, 145. Ib., fol. 35b ; III, 171. "All the streets of 
Egypt were full of magicians, and in each house were to be found 
articles belonging to the works of magic." 

4 Ib., Pt. II, fol. 37b : III, 179. Also, fol. 52b ; III, 236. 
6 Ib., Pt. I, fol. 833 ; I, 478. 

* Iiliphas Le"vi makes a great point of these "presents." See my 
rendering of The History of Magic, p. 48. See also Z., Ft. I, fol. I33b ; 
II, 127. 

273 s 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

impure magic. The source of all magical power, 
howsoever it may be derived through individual per 
sons, is the first serpent, who is the impure spirit, 
and the theory is that in order to attract this spirit 
the magicians must begin by defiling themselves, 
apparently by sex acts against Nature. 1 The workings 
are facilitated by the fact that the impure spirit 
bestows himself for nothing, so that the path to the 
abyss looks easier than the path to the heights. The 
authority for this statement is not fortunately the Secret 
Tradition in Israel but a book of magic said to have 
been transmitted to Solomon by the demon Asmodeus. 2 
It affirms also that the Holy Spirit demands a price, 
must be bought and the cost is high. The Zohar 
explains that this price is one of effort for the puri 
fication of heart and soul, that the aspirant may be 
made worthy of serving in the tabernacle of the 
spirit. The present state of the art is defined at 
the end of the Zohar when it is said that magic has 
been abolished by the Holy One. 3 In other words 
that has prevailed which is always above magic, 
namely faith, this being friendship with God, whereas 
magic is friendship with the demon. 4 

The term magic is sufficiently general to answer for 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i25b; DE PAULY, II, 100. 

1 /., Pt. II, fol. I28a; IV, 10, The very opposite is taught in 
the Grimoires concerning evil spirits, of whom it is said that this kind 
of creature gives nothing for nothing. Whatsoever is evoked, for ex 
ample, must be satisfied on its own part; if it be a question of obtain 
ing some hidden treasure, a coin must be thrown to the fiend who assists 
in securing it. 

3 " The Holy One, blessed be He, has caused magic to disappear 
from the world, in order to prevent, men, under the seduction thereof, 
from forsaking the fear of God." /., Pt. Ill, fol. 2Q9b ; VI, 128. They 
are the final message of the text. I observe that Parisian occultism, 
after all its futilities, false-seeming and ignorant ascriptions respecting 
Kabalistic magic, has preserved a discreet silence since the publication 
of the Zohar in its own language. 

4 /., Pt. II, fol. 52b ; III, 237. It is said that Pharaoh was un 
acquainted with this truth and had found no confirmation of the doctrine 
that the Divine Name Jehovah, as formulated by Moses, had dominion 
over the whole earth. 


The Occult Sciences 

the rest of the things included in the department of 
occult science. Astrology stands to some extent apart, 
and it is perhaps for this reason that it is a subject of 
distinct and particular condemnation. The thesis is that 
it is a lying science, understood as the prediction of 
future events of the human order by the constellation 
rising at nativity, and the consequent pretension that the 
day, hour and minute of each man s birth exercises an 
influence on his future. 1 When God directed Abraham 
to look up to heaven, it was a counsel to forsake astro 
logy, this having predicted apparently that he would die 
without children, whereas God promised him a posterity 
not less numerous than those stars which in this matter 
seemed to have been in combination against him. 2 The 
point is, and it appears fully elsewhere, that Abraham 
had studied astrology, presumably in Egypt ; that he 
was wrong in fact, was told to neglect the study and 
have faith in the Divine Name, when a son would be 
given to him. 3 When it is said in the Scriptures that 
Abraham believed in God, 4 this means in contradistinc 
tion from the testimony of stars, and this faith was 
imputed to him for righteousness. At the same time 
it is not denied that many things are indicated by the 
course of the stars in heaven, but the Holy One changes 
them according to His will. 6 This is one aspect of the 
admission in respect of the subject ; another says that, 
according to an old book, there are times when the 
moon is hollowed, and souls born at this period will 
be overwhelmed with sufferings and poverty, without 
reference to their personal deserts. 6 On the other hand 7 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. ;8a ; DE PAULY, I, 458. 

2 /., fol. gob; I, 514. 3 Ib. 
4 Ib. 5 Ib. 

6 Ib., fol. i Sob, iSia ; II, 313, 314. When it is said that the moon is 
hollowed, the meaning is that it is sometimes waxing and sometimes 
waning, through the wiles of the old serpent. Ib. 

7 There is another point: the ancient and prevailing connection of 
angels and certain stars is admitted by the Zohar, which holds also that 
angel succeeds angel, and in some manner that does not transpire this 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

those who come down into incarnate life when the moon 
is full will enjoy all earthly prosperity. The Zohar 
explains that in the first case the souls are those whom 
the Holy One loves the most and allows to suffer in 
this world, so that they may be purified from stain. 1 
. . . This notwithstanding, the lunar intimation remains 
correct and astrology is justified by the hypothesis. 

The subject of occult science suggests that of 
demonology, as to which there is much information 
scattered throughout the text, and it may be well to 
summarise the doctrine concerning demons and the rest of 
the evil spirits though I have dealt shortly with the sub 
ject when concerned with the fall of the angels. Speaking 
generally, the evil spirit is a serpent and he who rides 
on the serpent is Samael. 2 The wife of Samael is that 
adulterous woman who seduces the world. 3 It is suggested 
that demons existed prior to the creation of the world, 
and there came a time when in company with all other 
maleficent and impure spirits, they were authorised to 
go about the world and ravage therein. 4 Their abodes 
are in ruins, in great forests and in deserts. 5 They are 
all emanations from the serpent and .this is why the evil 
spirit reigns in the world. 6 These are apparently one 
class and another are the scourges, or demons already 
mentioned, which Adam engendered during those years 
when he was in separation from his wife. 7 A third class 
arises from the fact that when the soul is apart from 
the body during sleep the impure spirit may attach it 
self to the latter, or in other words, that female demons 
may cohabit therewith. 8 They conceive and bring forth 

putative fact places human temperaments under the ascendant of that 
constellation which happens to preside at birth. It will be seen that 
the principles on which astrology rests do not seem to be denied, 
and that the "lying scierce :J is the attempt to calculate the influences 
and predict thereby. The authority in the present instance is The 
Faithful Shepherd. Z., Pt. II, fol. 423 ; DE PAULY, III, 191, 192. 

1 Ib. * Ib., fol. 35b; I, 221. 

3 See Chapter VI, p. 86. Ib., fol. i69b ; II, 265, 266. 

6 Ib. * Ib. 7 See Chapter VII, p. 103 et seq. 

8 Z., Pt. I, fol. l69b; 11,266,267. 


The Occult Sciences 

children as a result of the union. Such demons are in 
the likeness of man but without hair on their heads. 1 
It would appear that holy men, or people having holy 
souls, are not less liable than others to be thus denied in 
the body. I do not know whether these three categories 
correspond to those of the Mishna, some of whom 
resemble angels while some are like men and others are 
comparable to beasts. 2 They are occasionally versed in 
the oral law for the better misdirection of mankind. 3 
Another account says that there are many hierarchic 
degrees in the kingdom of the demons. Every three 
groups have at their head a chief placed in charge of one 
or other nation of the earth. 4 These chiefs in their turn 
are overruled by superiors entrusted with the direction 
of the stars, so that each nation is indirectly under the 
influence of a certain star, which, it will be seen, is another 
astrological intimation. Hence the destiny of one nation 
is never like that of another. 5 The reign of these chiefs 
will continue till the Holy One shall Himself come down 
and govern here below. 6 Most curious of all is the 
intimation that if these degrees or groups are disintegrated 
there will be found at the centre a sacred kernel which 
draws all, even the impure side. 7 

Having regard to the consideration allotted to the 
interpretation of dreams by the Old Testament, it would 
surpass expectation if the Zohar rejected the possibility, 
more especially with the authority of the Talmud to 
support the affirmative view. It does something, how- 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i6Qb ; UE PAULY, II, 266, 267. . 

2 An exact description of the Infernal Hierarchies according to the 
Grimoires not that they are borrowing from the Zohar but because the 
province of images is restricted. 

8 So also one of the demons in Goetic Theurgy is supposed to give 
true answers respecting things human and divine. 
4 Z., Pi. I, fol. i;;a; 11,296. 
6 7^., fol. i 7 7b; 11,297. 

6 Ib. This has been mentioned previously in other terms. It does 
not seem to differ from the doctrine of Latin theology. 

7 The logical consequence is realised in another place, where it is 
said that this vestige or kernel can never be lost utterly. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

ever, to reduce the rank, of dreams. They are the gross 
form of that which the soul sees when it is separated 
from the body. The soul then discerns things as they 
actually are, while the body perceives them only in a 
form corresponding to its own degree. 1 Every dream 
is regarded as an admixture of truth and falsehood; 2 
but the most curious thesis of all is that a dream is 
realised according to the interpretation placed upon it ; 
should this be favourable, 3 favours will overwhelm the 
man, but in the contrary case he will be weighed down 
by adversity. The reason is that the word governs, 4 and it 
follows that no dream must be disclosed to any one by 
whom the dreamer is not loved. There are in all three 
degrees dream, vision and prophecy ; the greatest of 
these is prophecy. 6 

Now it so happens that the Doctrine of Signatures, of 
which we seem to hear first in Paracelsus so far as 
Latin-writing Europe is concerned and which was de 
rived from him into the theosophical system of Jacob 
Bfthme, is a doctrine of Kabalism, and though the Zoharic 
allusions are few and far between in respect of actual 
definition, they enable us with the aid of their de 
velopments to conclude that the book-knowledge of 
Paracelsus, at once vast and confused, included some 
reflections from Zoharic sources. According to the sage 
of Hohenheim, there are elements and signatures of 
elements ; 6 a science of the signatures exists, and it 

1 Z., Tt. I, fol. i94a ; DE PAULY, II, 367. 

a /., fol. i83a; II, 322. 3 /., fol. i83a; II, 323. 

4 Ib. I think that this is the only place in which a definite, over 
ruling power is attributed to the formulation of thought in speech, apart 
from those words which like Divine Names are supposed to be 
essentially potent. The explanation is probably that the dream-inter 
preter was in a kind of prophetic state, but this is to be distinguished 
from the ceremonial and magical use of words, as for example when 
it is said of the pre-diluvian sorcerers that, with the aid of the mysteries 
contained in their secret book, it was enough for them to utter words 
and the desired things were accomplished. Ib. t fol. ;6a, b ; I, 449. 

5 /A, fol. i83a; II, 323, 324. 

Philosophies ad Athenienses Liber //, Text us x, p. 247. 


The Occult Sciences 

teaches how heaven produces man at his conception, how 
also he is constellated thereby. 1 Stones, herbs, seeds, 
roots and all things whatsoever are known by their 
signatures, that which lies within them being discovered 
thereby. 2 In respect of man, signature has three species, 
which are chiromancy, physiognomy and proportion. 3 
The Zohar has a good deal to tell us on the first two, 
while it has a supplement, so to speak, concerning char 
acter and hair. 4 I do not know how the findings would 
appeal to those artists of our own day who deal in such 
subjects ; but it is desirable to point out that within the 
consciousness of Kabalistic doctors such things were no 
part of the decried occult sciences ; they were matters of 
observation arising from that doctrine of correspondences 
which obtained in all directions. I append the following 
particulars, gleaned from there and here, without pre 
tending to know whether they have points of concur 
rence with later readings of character on the same bases, 
or whether they differ therefrom. I should expect that 
the Zohar would be found peculiar to itself here, as in 
more important matters. 

There are seven considerations regarding hair and the 
dispositions indicated thereby: (i) Hair which is crisp 
or frizzy and inclined to stand up signifies a choleric 
temper ; the heart is tortuous like the hair, and such a 
person should be shunned ; (2) Straight and silky hair 
is usually that of a good companion, one who succeeds in 
business if not undertaken alone. He is prudent re 
specting supreme mysteries, but cannot hold his tongue 
about matters of daily life. (3) Hair that is coarse and 

1 Rxplicatio Totius A stronomicc : Interpretatio Alia^ p. 666. 

2 /<., In Scientiam Signatam Probatio, p. 669. 

3 /., s.v. De Massa et Materia ex qua Homo factus est, p. 666. See 
Opera Omm a, Vol. II, Geneva edition, 1658. See also my Hermetic and 
Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus , Vol. II, pp. 268, 294, 305,295. The 
9th book De Natura Rerum treats at considerable length de signatura 
rerum naturalium. 

4 The general references are to Z., Pt. II, fol. 7ob to 78a ; DE PAULY, 
III, 311-328, and #., fol. 284b to 288b ; IV, 312-315. 


*fbe Secret Doctrine in Israel 

straight signifies one who does not fear God, but does 
evil knowingly. He will become better, however, if he 
reaches an advanced age. (4) A man having black and 
glossy hair will succeed in material things, but he must 
work alone. (5) The success of a black and dull- 
haired man is rather of an intermittent kind, and he may 
quarrel with his business associates ; should he take to 
the study of the Holy Law, he will make progress 
therein. (6) A prematurely bald man will do well in 
business ; but he will be crafty, avaricious, hypocritical 
and one who makes a pretence of religion. (7) A man 
who grows bald in the natural course of years will 
undergo great changes otherwise ; if he has been of good 
conduct previously, he will now be bad, but he will turn 
into paths of virtue if he has been so far an evil liver. I 
dare not furnish particulars, but these ascriptions are 
referable to mysteries belonging to certain Hebrew letters. 
Since some of the conclusions are a little hard and arbi 
trary under the reserve of sacred letters I will add 
that certain alternative readings at a later stage do not 
endorse them entirely ; but from this secondary account 
I will draw only a decision in respect of auburn hair ; on 
the understanding that it is curly, the head which wears 
it will fear sin, will feel compassion for all in misfortune 
and will have the welfare of others as much at heart as 
its own. 

Physiognomy is a larger subject and being treated at 
some length, I shall be content with a few typical ex 
amples. The man whose forehead is low and flat acts 
without thinking, is fickle in notions, believes himself 
wise and understands nothing. His tongue is like a 
biting serpent. The man who has deep wrinkles on his 
forehead which are not in parallel lines, and which are 
replaced when he speaks by parallel and less deep wrinkles, 
is to be shunned under most circumstances, as he seeks 
nothing but personal interests and will keep no secrets. 
A large and full forehead denotes the best kind of per- 


The Occult Sciences 

sonality, capable of acquiring knowledge with the least 
pains and successful in all search after spiritual felicity. 
In money questions he may succeed at one time and 
fail at another, but he is not solicitous regarding material 
things. The man with blue eyes has a tender heart and 
one that is free from wickedness, but he follows his own 
ends and is careless proportionally about wrong done to 
others. He seeks pleasure but not of an unlawful kind, 
yet if he should fall into evil ways, he would remain 
therein. A man with green, shining eyes is touched with 
madness, believes himself superior to others and lets them 
know it ; he will not prevail against enemies, and he is 
inapt for the Mysteries of the Law. A man with clear 
but yellowish eyes is passionate, though often sympathetic 
towards the sufferings of others ; yet is he cruel in his 
anger, and he also cannot keep secrets. A man with dark 
grey eyes will succeed in the Mysteries of the Law, and 
if he perseveres in its study he will make steady progress 
therein ; he will also prevail over his enemies. 

The distinctive marks of the countenance are modified 
by conduct, and differ from the general inherited types, 
which correspond broadly to the four living creatures of 
Ezekiel s vision. There are those which are distinctively 
human, those which are leonine, bovine and in aspect like 
that of the eagle. There are also four types which are 
said to be imprinted by the soul, being: (i) that of the 
virtuous man, who is distinguished by a small horizontal 
vein on either temple, the one on the left being bifurcated 
and crossed by another small, vertical vein. (2) That 
of a man who returns to his Master after leading a bad 
life. He is repulsive at first, but one is finally drawn to 
wards him ; he does not care to be looked straight in the 
face, because he thinks that his past may be legible ; he 
is alternately pale and yellow. He has one vein descend 
ing from right temple to cheek, another under the nose 
and this joins with two veins on the left cheek. These 
last are united by another vein, but the last will disappear 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

when the man is habituated to a virtuous life. (3) That 
of a man who has fallen off completely from the good 
way. He has three red pimples on either cheek and 
some faint red veins beneath them : should he be con 
verted the pimples remain but the veinlets vanish. (4) 
That of a man who has been incarnated a second time, 
to repair the imperfections of his first sojourn on earth. 
He has a vertical line on the right cheek, near the mouth, 
and two deep lines on the left cheek, also vertical. His 
eyes are never bright, his health is poor, and the cut 
ting of his hair and beard changes his appearance com 
pletely. Thick lips are those of the evil speaking. If a 
medium lower lip is cleft the person will be of violent 
temper, but he will succeed in business. Unusually large 
ears are a sign of stupidity and even of tendencies to 
mania ; persons with very small and well-shaped ears are 
awakened in mind and yearn for knowledge. 

I need some indulgence for bringing in these details, 
and I will forbear from dwelling on chiromancy, except 
to say that the lines of the hand are believed to shew 
forth great mysteries, including those of the fingers. 
On the contrary I might not be forgiven by the few 
who know if I omitted to certify that a man with two 
great hairs between the shoulders is one who swears 
without ceasing and to no purpose. The presence of 
three such hairs is the sign of a happy nature. To make 
an end of these fantasies, he who has been guilty of 
adultery and has not done penance is identifiable by 
an excrescence with two hairs, below the navel. If he 
repents, the swellings will remain but the hairs will 
fall off. 

Hereof is the Zohar when it makes an excursion into 
by-ways beyond its province, and it is likely enough that 
those who take palmistry and physiognomy seriously 
will regard the indications as worthless, even from their 
standpoint. It is none of my own concern. The lesson 
in general concerning the occult sciences is another matter 


The Occult Sciences 

and it counts to the text for righteousness ; it stands also 
much better in the context than can be made to appear 
herein. For the rest, even when it says that they are 
lying, the Zohar does not deny the arts ; they come 
from the pit and are deceptions belonging to the pit, but 
they are not vagrant trickeries. There is the greater 
reason to eschew them, and the work of condemnation 
has more than philosophy behind it ; there is the sense 
mystic of the essence and truth of things. The Book of 
the Secret Law in Israel puts forth its arms to draw those 
for whom it was written, among the Academies and 
Synagogues of the past, from the world of pictures, 
wherein the images of mind are multiplied and super 
posed one upon another, into the inward ways of thought, 
to a true refuge, where in processes of silent prayer and 
contemplation the mind is released from images and the 
Glory of the Indwelling Presence is understood and seen 
in the heart. 




THE circulation of the Zohar by Rabbi Moses de Leon 
at the end of the thirteenth century he being its con 
cealed author, according to one section of opinion 
proved unquestionably as great a surprise to the com 
munity of Israel as it was to the Christian scholars when 
they came to know of it later. I speak here with a quali 
fication because our first information concerning Zoharic 
MSS. comes to us from Picus de Mirandula towards 
the end of the fifteenth century and we have seen that his 
was the first voice which testified to the presence of Chris 
tian elements therein. On the other hand, the Jewish ex 
positors belong to the sixteenth century and later ; but 
I speak of those who are of repute, and if any one wishes 
to go farther into the matter there are the great rabbinical 
biographers to tell of things unprinted which are among 
the treasures of the Vatican and other libraries of Europe. 1 
Speaking generally as I have mentioned elsewhere the 
impetus of studies in both directions must be sought 
in the Cremona and Mantua editions of the Zohar. So 
far as the records are concerned, it must not be said that 
there is a very large literature on either side ; but a few 
sons of Israel had recourse to the wonderful memorial 
with as much zeal as Mirandula and his successors. 

1 The most important bibliographies are (i) JOHANNES BUXTORF : 
Bibliotheca Rabbinica novo ordine alphabetico disposita. 8vo, Basle, 1613. 
(2) BARTOLOCCI : Bibliotheca Magna Rabbinica : De Scriptoribus et 
Scriptis Rabbinicis, 4 vols. Folio, Rome, 1678-92. (3) IMBONATUS: 
Bibliotheca Latina-Hebraica (a sequel to No. 2, by the editor of 
Bartolocci s work, most of which was published posthumously), Folio, 
Rome, 1694. (4) O. CHRISTOPH. WOLF : Bibliotheca Hebraa, 4 vols. 
4to, Leipzic, 1715. 


Developments of Later Kalalism 

To the Kabalistic Jew it offered an illimitable field of 
development and the indulgence of that particular sort 
of metaphysical speculation which was dear to his heart 
at the period. There could be no greater opportunity, 
for I have indicated that the Zohar assumes throughout 
a more or less perfect familiarity with the chief heads 
of its subject, and it is not therefore concerned with 
presenting a formal system of the Secret Doctrine. The 
later Kabalists provided that which was wanted there and 
here out of their own heads, with the help of any flotsam 
and jetsam of theosophical reverie which was passing 
from mouth to mouth in and about the Academies from 
Sapeth to Beaucaire. We know that about the middle of 
the eighteenth century two sects arose in Jewry, claiming 
the Zohar as their authority in chief. One was the sect 
of Pietists or New Hassiaim, which rejected the Talmud, 
together with external forms, and was zealous in the 
practice of Contemplative Prayers, as recommended by 
the Zohar to those who are in search of inward know 
ledge concerning Divine Mysteries. It was incorporated 
for the quest of perfection along these lines. Solomon 
Maimon has left some particulars concerning the vagaries 
of these enthusiasts, who were followers of Israel Baal 
Shem, and its vestiges were to be found in Poland at the 
middle of the nineteenth century. The second was the 
sect of Zoharists who belonged to the same country. It 
was established by Jacob Frank, and it embraced Chris 
tianity. I mention these matters, because they shew the 
kind of influence exercised by the Zohar at one period in 
a particular locality. Of its secret influence on remote 
continental Jewry, in places like Galicia above all, we 
shall probably never know, so that the later developments 
of Kabalism are without adequate records. 

There is, however, no need to burden this study even 
with a comprehensive summary of the contributions of 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the extension 
and understanding of the Zchar. I suppose that to all 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

intents and purposes I have said that which is needed 
on the subject in my previous work. The most notable 
expositions and variations are on the four worlds, the 
Sephiroth and the mode of their distribution, the soul 
and the places of its emanation in respect of its various 
parts, the regions to which they return and the sequence 
of speculative theses which connect with the idea of 
reincarnation. I have met with nothing on the mystery 
of sex which can be said to carry the subject further, 
and except for one contribution by Isaac de Loria 1 
the concern was slight therein. Wherever there have 
been important developments on any matter they have 
appeared already in the annotations, and they stand at 
their proper value. In respect of one and all I may 
say that for those who believe that there was a floating 
tradition preserved among the doctors of Israel^ and 
transmitted from mouth to mouth, it will be advisable 
that they should not regard the later Kabalists as having 
reduced that tradition to writing. As I have indicated, 
that which they may have done was to reproduce current 
speculation to which they added their own. If the 
debates at Salamanca had ever been reduced into ^vvhat 
the Fama Fraternitatis R.C. calls "a true memorial," the 
later Kabalists supposing that they had been admitted 
to the conclave might have made a contribution which 
would have been within the law and the order in respect 
of the rule of debate, and this is where they stand within 
their particular subject ; nor have I found that they 
make a higher claim, all their contentious voice of certi 
tude notwithstanding. 2 

1 I know of this only through Rosenroth, who in the preface to his 
second volume gives a list of the Loria literary remains as collected by 
R. Chaim Vital. There are nearly 200 sections drawn into six volumes, 
but I believe that they have never been printed, except in so far as they 
were incorporated by Rosenroth himself. See ROSENROTH : Kabbala 
Demtdata, Tomux Secundns, Pars Prima, pp. 10 et seq. 

2 The worship of intellectual heroes seems to have reached a zenith 
in the schools and sects of Kabalistic Israel. For example, the adulation 
offered by his disciples to Rabbi Simeon, and by him accepted freely, 


Developments of Later Kabalism 

There is one subject on which I have drawn very 
little from their testimony, and it is of this only that I 
feel called to speak at some length the ground, if there 
be need to confess it, being that of previous silence 
when there was an occasional opportunity rather than 
essential importance in what there is left to say. It is 
the question of the Revolution of Souls, which was treated 
at great length by Isaac de Loria. 1 . So far as his repute 
is concerned at his particular period being that of the 
seventeenth century he was of almost indescribable 
lustre. The account of his literary memorials occupies 
a considerable space in the Kabbala Demdata, which also 
incorporated many hundreds of Loria extracts in the 
alphabetical apparatus which constitutes the bulk of the 
first volume. The treatise entitled De Revolutionibus Ani- 
marum is given in its entirety, and it is from this that my 
points are drawn. 

The sin of Adam resulted in an admixture of good 
and evil, and hence we are obliged to fulfil many re 
volutions before we attain reintegration. Two things 
followed, being (i) the necessity that man should sepa 
rate good from evil and then (2) reintegrate the good 
part. These dedications were accomplished by the 
perfect keeping of the Law, but this had to be done in 
thought and word and deed. Moreover, the Law must 
be studied according to its literal, allegorical, anagogic 
and mystical or Kabalistic sense, and the soul who has 
neglected one or more of these must return again and 
again to earth till he has become proficient in each and 
all. 2 There are two modes of return, one of which is 

passes almost through extravagance to blasphemy. The same befell 
other doctors and teachers within the particular measures of their 

1 De Revolutionibus Animarum, translaius e manuscript o quodam 
Loriensi, rarissimo ct niagna inter Judaos aitcloritatis. Kabbala Denu- 
data, Tomus Secundus^ 1 t. Ill, Tract 2. 

2 For this ihere is no authority in the Zohar, which at least in one 
place limited possible incarnations to three. It seems to have been 
supposed, rather roughly and broadly, that the moral failings of one life 
would be put right in another, and those who were not students of the 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

called Revolution and the other Embryonic Return. 1 It 
is the state of Revolution 2 when a soul enters a child at 
the time of birth and suffers all whatsoever that may 
afflict its body until the death thereof. The embryonic 
state is that of a soul who enters into a man already born 
into the world and as it may be of adult age. The 
analogy which is instituted is one of the sex-order, for it 
is said that when a soul enters into such a person it is 
like entering the body of a woman who has conceived : 
it is this correspondence indeed which accounts for the 
conventional name ; and the state is like a new fecunda 
tion taking place in the adult man, who receives a new 
soul in addition to that which is called his radical soul. 3 
This cannot occur till he has reached the age of thirty 
years and one day, being the period when he is held to 

doctrine when they were first made flesh could so be on a second 
occasion. Moreover, the Zohar never assumed that man could attain the 
knowledge of the whole Law, for that Law was infinite in depth of 
meaning. At the same time the conclusion of Isaac de Loria was natural 
enough, as in Law and in conduct the task imposed on Jewry was so 
arduous that it seemed antecedently unlikely for deficiencies to be fully 
atoned for if reincarnations were limited. 

1 The hypothesis is that all souls, as a consequence of the catastrophe 
which befell Adam Prrtofilastes in the mystical garden, are suffering 
from an admixture of good and evil : they come into this world to remake 
themselves by separating the good from the evil. It is the whole work of 
life. r*A II. 

2 This is called dlptl. 

3 There is an overshadowing of the embodied by a disembodied 
personality recognised by the Zohar and referred to twice by the text, 
namely, in the discourse of the Ancient Man in Section Mishpatim. It 
is a very important section for many doctrines and ideas connected with 
transmigration. The thesis is (i) That all holy and superior souls which are 
destined to enter this world are accustomed while awaiting incarnation 
to descend from their residence on high and visit the Earthly Paradise 
at stated periods. (2) That they meet therein the souls of proselytes and 
other inferior souls which have been incarnated once only and cannot 
ascend higher. (3) That the superior souls clothe themselves with 
inferior souls, as if with a vesture, and are so joined to these during their 
sojourn in Paradise ; but they unclothe to return above. It is a particular 
illustration of the invariable teaching that the spirit is draped to come 
down and nndraped to go up. (4) That the inferior soul, so far from being 
degraded by this use as a vesture, profits through the experience ; but 
unfortunately at this point there is a break in the discourse of the Ancient 
Man, and the same thread is not resumed. Z., Ft. II, fol. 98b ; DE 
PAULY, 111,396, 397. 


Developments of Later Kabalism 

have attained the full stature of manhood and to have 
assumed all the duties imposed on the elect people by 
the Law of Israel. 

The embryonic state is twofold ; there is the case of 
a soul which is added to a man because it is in a condition 
of imperfection, something having been wanting in the 
fulfilment of one or another precept during a pre 
ceding revolution. Alternatively there may have been 
some precept which a particular calling or condition 
may have made it impossible to carry out : the levirate 
is an example in point. There is no occasion for a soul 
to descend into reincarnation for the repair of such a 
formal deficiency ; therefore it enters into the embryonic 
condition and fulfils the precept in the person of that 
man to whom it is attached. Secondly, a soul may 
fructify a man solely in the interest of the latter, that he 
may be led to perfection in obedience to the Law. There 
is a difference in the two cases, for when a soul returns 
to improve its own condition it is extended through the 
whole body of the man, like his own soul, and shares all 
misfortunes which befall the body. On the other hand, 
when the soul comes for ministration and assistance to 
the man on earth it is not subject to his bodily suffer 
ings and there is no fixed time for the indwelling ; it 
seems to be at the discretion of the soul and may con 
tinue so long as there is good will in the personality. 
But if the man falls into evil ways, separation follows 
and presumably the experiment has proved a failure. 

There is also more than one kind of reincarnation, 
though it is difficult to present the details in an exact 
manner without carrying explanations much further than 
one is warranted by their value or interest. Speaking 
rather roughly, more than one soul may reincarnate in a 
single body. If one person has led another person away 
both will suffer rebirth in the same body, he who was 
seducer that he may help the other to fulfil those duties 
from which he has turned him previously and thus repair 

289 T 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the evil of which he has been the cause. The fructifica 
tion which is implied by the embryonic state may take 
place between two living beings ; for example, if a just 
man alive on this earth is engrossed by the observance of 
a particular precept and if there is another of the same 
period who is making a struggle to fulfil it, the Nephesh 
or lower soul of the just man may impregnate the other, 
though both are leading their separate personal lives. 

There are several reasons for reincarnation but they 
are reduced to four as follows, (i) A soul returns 
because it contracted a vice in its previous life and its 
period of rebirth is consecrated to the reparation of the sin 
in question. In this case it is easy for reincarnate man to 
sin afresh. (2) Another soul returns to fulfil and perfect 
some neglected precept, and this soul will be less likely 
to sin than one who comes back to atone for a specific 
vice. (3) Yet other souls come to lead men into justice, 
to conduct them along the path of goodness and not for 
any concern of their own. These are absolutely certain 
to avoid sin. (4) Finally some souls return because in 
the previous incarnation they have not deserved to receive 
the beloved spouse or sister-soul belonging to them, but 
they will do so in their second birth. The number of 
souls who will reincarnate in a single body is limited to 
four, or there may be a new soul, not previously incar 
nated and now appearing in conjunction with three old 
souls. The same rule applies to the embryonic state, 
the limit being three souls therein in addition to the 
root-soul belonging to the incarnate personality. 

I have spoken here of the principles which are held 
to be at work in the two states specified, and I feel that 
the matter can be left at this point. We are far already 
from the intimations contained in the Zohar, and it will 
serve no purpose to show the complications at full length 
or how the reincarnation of male souls differs from that 
of female, much less how rebirth and the embryonic state 
are developed with exhaustive particulars throughout 


Developments of Later Kabalism 

the history of Israel. It is a side view of the secret 
history of the soul among the elect people through the 
ages and generations, but it must be said that it is high 
fantasy. The office of the great Kabalistic text, amidst 
all its cloud of doctrine on the subject of pneumatology, 
is always and everywhere to shew that there are many 
ways which lead to the height, that the opportunity of 
salvation comes from many quarters of Divine Provi 
dence, on the understanding that they are all quarters 
wherein the Law reigns. But these later dreams strive 
to reduce the intimations into an arbitrary system, with 
confusion and all failure as a result. 

I have indicated that the literary memorials of Isaac 
de Loria are vast in their dimensions but nothing has 
entered into print, save through the medium of the 
Kabbala Denudata, and as to where the remainder are 
deposited, I do not pretend to know. He died in the 
odour of sanctity, leaving instructions that all his writ 
ings should be entombed with him, which ordinance was 
observed by his faithful disciples, who had however made 
transcripts in ful], so that the world did not suffer through 
the humility and self-effacement of their master. 

One thing more : it is never suggested in Zoharic 
Kabalism nor, I think, in any later developments, outside 
those of Isaac de Loria that there is any office of rebirth 
for the souls of women ; it may be said that the male is 
not without the female therein as in all else, but the fact 
remains and must be taken in connection with another 
fact, mentioned already that there is no instance of a 
woman being an initiate of the Secret Doctrine. 




I HAVE made some occasional allusions, as required by 
the matter of the moment, to those particular interests, 
circumstances and dedications in religion under which 
the Zohar seems to have assumed the luminous vesture 
of the French language. It has been owing to a group 
of literati, incorporated so to speak for the purpose 
and actuated by an old and time-honoured zeal for its 
interpretation in a Christian sense * at least as regards 
the chief elements of the text. I have indicated also at 
need the personal gratitude and joy with which I should 
welcome a proof in this direction. I believe in my heart 
that the mystery of the Christ in Palestine is the mystery 
of a Holy Sanctuary, hidden in the mystery of the Provi 
dence which moves humanity forward ; but it is not my 
intention to say anything on this subject until I have 
opened another path in the mystic quest. It is one thing, 
however, to confess, under every prudent qualification, 
to such a view, but it is another to affirm that the Zohar, 
written long after the advent of Christ, is a secret store 
house of Christian doctrine, confessing under veils to the 
Divine Mission of the Master of Nazareth. The bias of 
the translator in this direction was in several cases so 
strong that some paraphrasings, in which Christian pre- 

1 The claim is not only the old claim but the expression is almost 
identical when it is said that Christian teaching is neither more nor less 
than a continuation of Jewish tradition, and that the Zohar as the 
reflection of that tradition within certain measures formulates plainly, 
amidst all its obscurities, the doctrine of the Trinity and of the Man- 
God, Who came upon earth 2000 years ago. See Epilogue to the French 
translation, fol. b. 



Facing page 292 

The Alleged Christian Elements 

dilections obscured the true sense, have been excised and 
redone by revisers. The supplementary task of annota 
tion, which is partly the work of De Pauly but in the 
main that of his editor, is the storehouse of debate on 
the whole subject, and it goes even so far as to suggest 
that a considerable portion of the text, or of its codifica 
tion at a given period, was the production of a Christian 
school which, in some undemonstrable manner, lay 
hidden in Jewry. 

It is not worth while to follow out a speculation of 
this kind unless the canon of criticism on which it rests 
should be found to speak with authority, and this is by 
no means the case. But seeing that the Zohar does not 
correspond internally to that which it would appear on 
the surface, namely, verbatim reports of debates held in 
the first century of the Christian era, but is on the 
contrary a work of various periods and multifarious 
authorship, having further a certain rough method and 
sequence preserved moderately throughout, a certain 
unity of purpose, there is nothing improbable in the idea 
that it was the work of an exegetical school if only for 
the very innocent and candid reason that Kabalism sup 
poses Kabalists. My reference is here to the text itself, 
apart from the additional documents which are brought 
in at various points. Speaking rather in a tentative and 
fluidic sense than in one that is dogmatic and formal, I 
believe personally that some of these * have their roots in 
a further past than can be claimed for the Commentaries 
on the Pentateuch, at least in their extant form. It is, 
however, no part of my concern to insist on the question 
of antiquity, either in respect of the fact or its import 
ance. The existence of a Secret Tradition in pre- 
Christian times is beyond my province of research, as I 

1 On the other hand it is thought that some are later still, and one 
has been even ascribed to the fourteenth century. If this be correct, it 
follows of course that they were added by the editors of the first printed 
editions, and it is of common knowledge that these varied in respect of 
their contents. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

do not happen to have taken all knowledge for my sub 
ject. Herein, as in my other writings, I am dealing only 
with an epoch of Christendom. If it could be shewn 
that the Zohar did not antecede the twelfth or thirteenth 
century in any part of the collection, even this substi 
tuted antiquity would be adequate for my purpose, if I 
found that its intimations offered aspects of importance 
within the measures of Secret Tradition. 

There was assuredly a Secret School of Kabalism, and 
it is a subject of incessant reference in the Zohar under 
the general title of Sons of the Doctrine. Whether it 
was an incorporated school is another question. It is said 
in one place that man is renewed or reborn by every new 
idea respecting the Secret Doctrine 1 almost as if the 
latter constitutes a sequence of principles, presupposed 
and wholly understood, out of which many developments 
might issue. It was not consequently always a matter 
of tradition. Granting that there was this common or 
general root, not only were fresh lights possible but their 
discovery became a source of joy where and when 
soever it rose, with whomsoever it might be for a mouth 
piece. 2 The disciples of the Zohar held open minds, 
giving ready even rapturous welcome to any new idea, 
if it carried the proper warrants. But it is said further, 
-and not in full consonance with what I have just intimated, 
that the message must be one of a master meaning pre 
sumably that he must either be known as such or must 
prove himself. 3 It was a case, however, that by his own 
words ye shall know him. A stranger in the course of 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 5a ; DE PAULY, I, 25. 

2 For example, in the section Mishpatim, which contains the dis 
course of Rabbi Yebba the Ancient, as we have seen, that master of 
theosophy is treated at first with derision, for he is unknown and appears 
anonymously, with some crooked questions in his mouth ; but before he 
has finished the colleagues have thrown themselves more than once at 
his feet, with tears in their eyes, protesting that had they come into the 
world for no other purpose than to hear his words, their existence would 
not have been useless. //>., Pt. II, fol. gga. ; III, 398. They were hear 
ing new things. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 5a ; I, 27. 


The Alleged Christian Elements 

some journey, a poor and outwardly despised person, 
might so exhibit his titles, when he was recognised and 
acclaimed on the spot. 1 It follows that the masters, as 
such or otherwise, were not always known to one another, 
so that if the Society of the Secret Doctrine was after 
any manner incorporated, it must have been scattered 
widely and propagated by a process of segregation if I 
may so call it by instruction or communication from 
master to disciple, from father also to son. As to the 
latter classes the counsel was one of silence, because he 
who pronounces sentences without having attained the 
grade of a master of sentences would produce only mis 
fortunes. 2 Under the guide of ordinary reason, one 
would say that this must be interpreted intellectually, as 
of the misfortunes of ignorance, mistakes and mental 
mischances, or confusions arising therefrom. However, 
Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai cautioned his auditors on one 
occasion never to pronounce a word touching the Secret 
Doctrine without being entirely certain as to its exact 
ness. 3 To do otherwise might cause the death of legions. 
This is an alleged consequence which calls to be under 
stood physically, and I mention it because although it 
can be nothing but a grotesque hyperbole of speech 4 
it looks for a moment as if the great teacher of Kabalism 
were quoting the penal clause of a pledge by which the 
Sons of the Doctrine were bound together. It reads like 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 5a ; DE PAULY, I, 27. 

2 Some of the incidents to which allusion is made here are quite in 
the dramatic manner ; perhaps it is only to our modern minds that they 
betray the literary hand, but this is how they impress at least one sym 
pathetic mind. The section Mishpatim is again a case in point, but there 
are several instances. 

3 Z., Pt. I, fol. 5b; 1,27. 

4 There are analogies on the other side of the scale, as, for example, 
when it is said that the Holy One, blessed be He, comes down into three 
of the Heavenly Schools one of them being that of Rabbi Simeon and 
listens to the expositions of the Secret Law. Moreover, a new idea pro 
duced with authority concerning the Doctrine ascends to the Ancient of 
Days and is ornamented with 370,000 crowns, after which it becomes a 
heaven. Others are metamorphosed into lands of the living. /#., fol. 
4b, 5a; 1,22,23,25. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the vengeance threatened in the obligations of secret 
societies if their mysteries are betrayed by the recipients. 
Another counsel was to examine the Secret Doctrine 
attentively before it was given out or taught, so that all 
error might be avoided. 1 

Being, ex hypothesi, originally oral doctrine which 
passed in so far as it did pass at a much later period 
into writing, it was obviously stored in memory, by the 
implicit of the claim ; and the glaring inconsistencies 
which are met with ever and continually throughout the 
text of the Zohar are really a rather strong presumptive 
testimony to this kind of transmission. If Rabbi Moses 
de Leon had, as it used to be suggested, conceived 
and begotten the whole colossus of words out of his 
own head, he would not have fallen out with himself 
in quite such an obvious manner even if we grant that 
forgeries have an ill-starred manner of betraying them 
selves there and here, so that they are for the most part 
a miscarriage rather than a making. But while accepting 
under all necessary reserves the general idea that the 
Zohar embodies some ancient Midrashim 2 - which are less 
or more complete and is, for the rest, a late compilation 
made up from similar sources, it must be recognised that 
it bears in an extraordinary degree the marks of com 
pilation as I have said. In connection with my present 
point it would be possible to quote several cases in which 
the imaginary turba philosophorum seem to have been 
making up the Secret Doctrine as they went along at the 
moment. It is better to face these facts, but it may be 
added that they and the late editing otherwise so trans- 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. sa ; DE PAULY, I, 28. 

z This was the opinion of S. MUNK, in Melanges de Philosophic 
Juive et Arabe, as far back as 1859, but the work as a whole, "in the 
form under which it has been transmitted," is not older than the thir 
teenth century, and its authors lived in Spain. The last point seems to 
rest on the evidence of a single word, and, according to the French 
edition of the Zohar, it fails thereon. Munk, however, recognised that 
certain doctrines as, for example, that of the microcosm go back to 
the ninth century. 


The Alleged Christian Elements 

parent leave untouched that which is necessary to my 
purpose, being the existence of older material belonging to 
the Secret Doctrine. It may be of the tenth century and 
it may be earlier ; some vestiges may even go back to 
pre-Christian times, but this does not signify. 1 

The literature of alchemy made a great and new 
beginning, somewhere about that period, or when it 
assumed a Latin garb : the literature of the Holy Graal 
was posterior by some two centuries ; the other written 
testimonies to the Secret Doctrine under the asgis of 
Christendom were products of a still later period. What 
was the message of theosophical Jewry in comparison 
with the alternative messages ? As a purpose in litera 
ture, does it connect with the other and the later pur 
poses, as a school with some other schools in respect of 
the end proposed or is it of itself and no other ? The 
mystery of the Graal is of the mystical body of Christ ; 
the mystery of alchemy is many sided, but on one side 
it is of the body of man in its transmutation ; the mystery 
of Rosicrucianism is one of Divine Union, but here again 
there is more than a single aspect and one is the body 
of resurrection ; the mystery of speculative Masonry is 
of the building up of man into a spiritual house, meet 
for the inhabitation of God. And the Secret Doctrine 
of Israel concerns a mystery of sex summarised as the 
mystical body of Shekinah, while it includes the shadows 
and outlines of a science of perfection, of union also, 
therein, so that amidst all variations of process, distinction 
in symbolism and diversity as to root-ideas in doctrine, 
the question is answered by saying that it is not only in 
analogy but in living concurrence with the other witnesses. 

As such, it is to my own mind a matter of consider- 

1 I mean that it does not matter so far as my purpose is concerned. 
I have been trying for some years past to hold up a certain glass of 
vision which tends to shew that the same term of research was sought 
everywhere in the secret literary schools and in two instituted mysteries 
belonging to the Christian centuries. It is not essential that Kabalism, 
being a non-Christian system, should be linked into the chain, but it is 
important if it does enter therein, whether late or early in its origin. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

able consequence that it is not a Christian witness, while 
acknowledging that if it were it would be of consequence 
even greater, though of another kind ; and my task in 
the present chapter is to shew that the case on the con 
trary side presented by those who have put forward the 
French version of the Zohar is a case unproved. 

Now, the points at issue between Israel and Chris 
tendom on the subject of Messiah are obviously of a very 
simple kind, so far as the ground is concerned, for unless 
the Christ of Nazareth as His story appears in the 
records had not offered, or had not been represented as 
offering, at least some considerable proportion of the 
marks and seals by which He might be entitled to 
acknowledgment, the claim could not have been proffered 
on His own part, nor sustained on that of His believers. 
Otherwise, the expectation of Jewry was one thing and 
the event another, or there would have been no colourable 
basis for His rejection in the natural reason of things. I 
suppose that the time has gone past when it was thought 
possible to affirm that Jesus, Son of Mary and putative 
Son of the carpenter Joseph, was antecedently likely or 
tolerable as the Deliverer to come and that it was owing 
to wilfully hardened hearts, to eyes that were blinded 
wilfully, that He was not recognised as such. It is not 
less true that any claimant was, in a sense, antecedently 
improbable, because of the complete vagueness charac 
terising every intimation by which He is supposed to be 
foreshadowed. As it so happens justly or unjustly 
Israel expected a Deliverer who would be a mighty 
warrior before the face of the Lord Who sent him and 
before the faces of the nations whom he was to scatter, 
who was to deliver the Gentiles into the hands of Jews, 
that the one might be sacrificed by the other to that 
Samae l who is the master of the Gentiles. In other 
words, they expected a personality as much and as little 
promised in prophetic literature as it was foretold that 
He who was to come would be crucified between two 


The Alleged Christian Elements 

thieves, who are the Written and Oral Laws, would rise 
up on the third day and would ascend into Heaven. 
Jewry was entitled to its dream in proportion to the 
sincerity of its expectation, whether this was warranted 
or not ; the little company of disciples, whom the events 
of the crucifixion had scandalised, were entitled no less 
to theirs, when after the resurrection they received their 
Christ as the Lord of Glory, and so far as the present 
consideration is concerned, the question on either side 
is not of our business further. 

The speculative thesis before us is that by the 
evidence, expressed or implied, of Sepher Ha Zohar the 
Messiah has come. So far as expression is concerned 
this thesis is manifestly untrue, while so far as implica- 
cation goes I am very certain that the text is on the 
opposite side. It contains no particle of real evidence 
concerning that imputed sect in Jewry which under the 
title of Sons of the Doctrine had confessed to the 
Christ of Nazareth and were putting forward their views 
under veils. It is clear, in the first place, that if such 
evidence exists it lies within the veils ; it is not I 
repeat suggested that it is part of the surface sense, 
and hence the question is reduced to its minimum so far 
as circumstances will permit. In the second place, I have 
to shew that it is not contained in the hidden sense. 

Let me solicit my readers at the outset to recall and 
recur at need to all that which has been ingarnered and to 
the conclusions reached in preceding chapters : (i) On the 
Sephirotic allocations of the consonants comprised in the 
Divine Name, but especially those of the Pan and final 
He; (2) On the feminine nature and offices, the be-^ 
trothals and espousals of Shekinah above and below, 
but on those in particular which concern our Lady of 
Providence in her manifestation here on earth, the com 
panion and guide of our exile ; (3) on the relation of 
Shekinah to the Holy Spirit ; and (4) on the coming 
of Messiah. We found that the Vau is the begotten Son 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of the Tod and He, being Abba and Aima abiding in 
Chokmah and Binah ; that he is extended through three 
Kabalistic worlds below the Supernals in Atziluth ; that 
he came into the world with a twin-sister, namely, the 
He final, who was also his predestined spouse ; that she 
was at first latent within him but was afterwards drawn 
forth and put with him in the nuptial state, that is to 
say, face to face, like Adam and Eve ; that she descended 
or fell to earth, as Eve also fell, and is to be raised up 
by the Van hereafter ; that the Shekinah and Holy Spirit 
are in a condition of superincession ; and that the Messiah 
is he who has been always expected, a warrior and king 
to come. 

The counter-thesis requires very careful tabulation, 
as it is scattered through a great many notes and is 
not presented formally. I shall connect it with two 
subsidiary points, which will illustrate further the un 
critical bias with which we are called to deal. 

In respect of Shekinah and Messiah it is maintained 
that the former designates the Second Degree of the 
Divine Essence, otherwise the Second Person, in Chokmah 
and is also the Word. The Shekinah in transcendence 
is the Word before incarnation and below is the Word 
made flesh. It is stated in the Zohar that the Shekinah 
does become incarnate and in so doing assumes the form 
of man. The incarnation of Messiah is by operation 
of the Van, and the Zohar indicates that there is unity 
between God and the Redeemer. This incarnation of 
the He, or Word, is recognised by Rabbi Simeon. The 
Messiah is Metatron, or the body of Shekinah which 
is said to be the same thing. The Lesser Countenance 
of the Idras designates the Word incarnate on earth, and 
the Greater Countenance is the Word prior to manifesta 
tion in created things. One passage of the Zohar is 
declared to have no meaning unless the incarnation is 
admitted, while it is held that another announces the 
mystery in formal words. Finally, it is believed that 


The Alleged Christian Elements 

there is an allusion to Mary the Mother of Messiah and 
to her son Jesus Christ when it is affirmed as we have 
seen otherwise that " the world will remain under the 
domination of the serpent until the coming of a woman 
like unto Eve and of a man like unto Adam, who shall 
vanquish the evil serpent and him who rides thereon." 1 

As I have presented and collated these points, so that 
they may carry their own message with all the force that 
is possible, they would look rather plausible on the sur 
face, if we knew nothing of the state of things as the 
result of our research. I feel that the whole question 
is determined already in a negative sense by my readers 
as well as myself, but I will analyse the various clauses, 
so that no false impression may be possible. 

(i) We have seen that the Shekinah is on both sides 
of the Tree ; that it is in Chokmah as well as Binah, 
because the Supernals are in unity ; that it is in Kether 
for the same reason. (2) We have seen that the Holy 
One uttered forth the Word and that the Builder who 
is Shekinah acted thereon ; there is thus a distinction 
between God, His Word and the Architect, but again 
the Three are One, because all is one in Atziluth. The 
statement that Shekinah in transcendence is the Word 
before manifestation and below is the incarnate Word 
is made on several occasions, but unfortunately in respect 
of extracts which carry no conviction because they do 
not convey the intended message. It is said, for example, 
in the Zohar that the daily morning sacrifice 2 is signified 
in the words of Isaiah which it renders: " And the Lord 
shall keep thee always in repose " ; 3 but this sacrifice 
of the morning-tide is held by the French editors to 
mean the Shekinah above, while the afternoon sacrifice 
signifies the Shekinah in manifestation. Now, if this is 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. H5b, H6a ; DE PAULY, II, 174. 

2 Ib., fol. I4ia ; II, 151. 

3 The Authorised Version reads : "And the Lord shall guide thee 
continually." Is. Iviii, 11. Compare the Vulgate: Et requiem tibi 
dabit Dominus semper. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

correct as it may be there is no reference to the Word 
and much less to the Word made flesh. We find further 
in the Zohar a fantastic etymology of the word Sabbath, 1 
according to which it is identified with that only be 
gotten Daughter who is Shekinah below. This is for 
our delectation ; but as an instance of their canon of 
criticism the editors have recourse to the Talmud, where 
they find that the Sabbath came secretly into the world, 
unlike other gifts of God to Israel, and thence they 
conclude that the only Daughter is the only Son and 
was born secretly in flesh. (3) It is never said in the 
Zohar that the Shekinah becomes incarnate and much 
less that then it assumes the form of man. The passage 
referred to specifies that the letter Vau is a symbol of 
the body of man in an erect position, and adds cryp 
tically : 2 " Hence God willed that Shekinah should be 
present at the building of the Tabernacle" by Moses. 
The editors argue that if this does not mean what they 
postulate there is no sense in the passage. The second 
alternative is preferable to the arbitrary construction. 
(4) The Zohar does not say that the incarnation of 
Messiah is operated by the Vau. The passage in ques 
tion is dealing with Gen. xix, 33, concerning the first 
born daughter of Lot : " And he perceived not when 
she lay down, nor when she arose." The word which 
corresponds to " arose" in Hebrew " is augmented by a 
Vau" to shew that the child whom she conceived was 
to constitute the stem of Messiah. 3 (5) The incarna 
tion of the He or Word is not recognised by Rabbi 
Simeon, who is referring only to the descent of Shekinah 
into Egypt, 4 accompanying Israel and guarded by 42 
angels, as we have seen elsewhere. (6) Metatron is not 
identified with Messiah. 5 It is said in the place referred 

Z., Pt. I, fol. 23b ; DE PAULY, I, 146, 147. 
/., Pt. II, fol. i8ia; IV, 152, 153. 
/., Pt. I, fol. nob; II, 48. 
/., Pt. II, fol. 4b; III, 15. 
/., Pt. I, fol. i8ib; II,3i6. 
3 02 

The Alleged Christian Elements 

to that the "eldest servant M of Abraham is the image 
of Metatron, who is the servant sent by his Master. 
(7) The reference to the Lesser and Greater Coun 
tenances is purely arbitrary. The passage out of which 
it arises says (a) that the Little Van shall awaken to 
unite and renew the souls in migration, and (b) that at 
the period in question God shall send down new souls 
to earth. 2 The editors add that the Great Van is the 
Holy Spirit above and the Little Van the Holy Spirit 
below after descent to earth but I know of no place 
in which the Vau is said to descend except in connection 
with the He final and then what is stated is not in con 
sonance with the prevailing symbolism. The Vau must 
descend also to raise up the He final. (8) The passage 
which is affirmed to have no meaning unless it relates 
to the incarnation of Shekinah is as follows: "A tradi 
tion tells us that when the Holy One, blessed be He, 
regards the world and finds that the works of men are 
good here below, the Sacred Ancient is revealed to the 
world in the form of the Lesser Countenance, so that 
all men may see God and be blessed thereby." 3 What 
ever the meaning may be, the construction offered by 
the editors is impossible, as the Lesser Countenance is 
the Vau in its extension through the worlds, and this is 
not the Shekinah. (9) Here also is the passage which is 
held to announce the said incarnation formally : " I 
have found in the book of King Solomon that I^K = 
ASHER was born in the Heavenly Palace of Delight from 
the embrace of two other Supreme Degrees. ... It is 
a prediction that ;rnN = EHEiEH will engender ASHER. " 4 

1 Gen. xxiv, 2. 

2 Z., Pt. I, fol. iiga; DE PAULY, II, 77. The period is that of 
Messiah the King in his triumph, when the Van shall be united to the 
He, when the sons of Ishmael shall make war on all other nations about 
the precincts of Jerusalem. The reference to new souls shews also that it 
is just before the great resurrection. As regards the Greater and Lesser 
Vau, the ground and nature of the distinction do not appear. 

3 /., Pt. Ill, fol. I5a; V, 44. 

4 /., 116, fol. 6sb; V, 179. 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

The reference is to the words: rrriK IPK nviN = I am that 
I am, and the text itself explains that it is dealing with 
the revelation of the Sacred Name in successive degrees : 


revelation was to Moses. (10) The alleged allusion to 
Mary and her Son Jesus in the words quoted above is 
negatived by the fact that the Blessed Virgin was the 
mother of Christ, whereas Eve happens to have been 
the wife of Adam. 1 It is a pity to create analogies over 
things which have no similitude. 

I will mention only one thing more on this part of 
the subject. The He final comes down to earth and has 
done so from the beginning of things, according to the 
Zohar. If we could suppose for a moment that there 
is authority in the text for an actual incarnation of the 
He that is, of Shekinah she could appear only as a 
woman, or the whole symbolism would be falsified. 
There is indeed one passage in which the Daughter of 
the King is said to have taken flesh 2 but Metatron was 
her body, even as Shekinah herself is said in another 
place to be the body of the Holy One. It is flesh of 
the Land of Life and not of earth. If any personality 
symbolised by any consonant of the Sacred Name is 
really expected by Kabalism to assume the limitations 
of mortality in the bonds of the body of earth, that 
consonant is Vau, and what is meant can be only the 
incarnation of the Begotten Son, who is assuredly the 
Lesser Countenance of the Idras. At this point I will 
remind my readers of that which was stated at the end 
of Chapter XII, concerning the coming of Messiah. 3 
There on the authority of the Zohar we have seen that 
the creation of man was designed to prepare the way 
for the advent of that Divine Personality. 4 The memor- 

1 Z., Ft. I, fol. 145, i46a; DE PAULY, II, 174. 

2 Ib., Ft. II., fol. 94 b; III, 378, 379- 3 See p. 151. 

4 //;., Ft. I, fol. 190; I, 119. I am sorry to add that the subject is 
connected with the notion of an infernal "shell" or "mark" Lilith, 
or one of her type said to be the cause of epilepsy in children. 


The Alleged Christian Elements 

able passage is passed over by the French editors without 
a word of comment, owing no doubt to their unfortunate 
and impossible predilection for Shekinah as Christ. They 
could have done much better with the alternative materials, 
so far as the logic of symbolism is concerned. They 
would not of course have made out a case in favour of 
Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah of the Zohar, because it 
is obviously the intention of the text to shew that its 
New Adam, the Deliverer to come, is not without an 
Eve who is at once his sister and spouse, who has had 
an office in creation through all ages. For this feminine 
personality there is no room in the Christian scheme, 
because although I regard Shekinah as practically identical 
with the Blessed and Holy Spirit, the suggestion that 
this latter is in the relation of wife to Messiah or belongs 
to the side of womanhood means that Latin Trinitarian 
doctrine calls to be revised and the French editors are 
evidently under the obedience of Rome in respect of 
official religion. 

Having reached this point, we can deal shortly with 
their views on the subject of the Holy Spirit, Which is 
identified with the Van of the Sacred Name and is located 
in Einah. There is one passage in the Zohar where, in 
consonance with much that precedes and comes after, 
the Van is said to issue from the He in transcendence, 
while the second He issues from the Vau.^ The first 
clause of this statement is understood as the Holy Spirit 
proceeding from the Word and the second as intimating 
that the Messiah or Christ takes flesh by the operation 
of the Holy Spirit. The real intention is that which 
recurs everywhere namely, to indicate that the union 
of Tod and He causes the He as Mother to conceive and 
beget of Yod^ the Father and Spouse, that which is Son 
of both, namely, the f^au^ who comes into being carrying 
the second He latent within him ; but this is subsequently 
removed from him in a profound Adamic sleep and they 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i93b ; DE PAULY, II, 365. 

305 u 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

dwell as spouses in unity. As there is no need to say, 
it would be difficult to find symbolism in more complete 
opposition to Christian Trinitarian doctrine or to the 
Christian scheme of the Incarnation. By an accident of 
things, we are reminded in another note that the Holy 
Spirit is compared to the light of the moon ; but we 
know that the moon is Shekinah, and the Holy Spirit 
is therefore the light of Shekinah, which seems to corre 
spond with its office otherwise but analogically indicated 
when it is implied that the Spirit is the breath of Shekinah. 
As regards that place in the Zohar where the Indwelling 
Glory is plainly identified with the Holy Spirit, 1 the 
difficulty is disposed of by saying that it is a transcriber s 
mistake ; but to justify this, even in a preliminary sense, 
the error would have to be characteristic of one codex 
only, plus any edition or manuscript which may have 
derived indubitably therefrom. Now we have seen that 
the trend of all collated extracts seems towards identifica 
tion rather than distinction, or to something so like it 
that the two principles pass one into another and are 
interchanged continually, while in respect of the single 
extract which makes distinction absolute, I should be 
not less or more in order perhaps even more if I 
suggested, on the contrary, that the copyist s mistake is 
there. I do not adopt such devices ; the Zohar is a 
contradictory collection ; but I abide by the consensus of 

If, however, we wish for even more typical specimens 
of the true value attaching to the .annotations on their 
polemical side, we must have recourse to what is said 
about the Eucharist. According to the Zohar, there is 
a wine which is the synthesis of all joys, 2 an ancient and 
sacred wine which was known to Jacob, 3 Joseph, and 
David. 4 Metatron in the personality of Enoch is said 

1 See Chapter XVI, p. 223. 

2 Z., Ft. I, fol. H2b ; DE PAULY, II, 157. 

3 Gen. xxvii, 25. 

4 Z., Pt. 1 1 1, fol. i8 9 a; ,496. 


The ^Alleged Christian Elements 

to have administered it to the patriarchs. 1 It is not 
connected with the wine carried by Melchizedek, but 
according to the French editors we have here an 
allusion to the mystery of transubstantiation. So also 
the unleavened bread, which is called bread of affliction 
in the Old Testament, and is therefore the very antithesis 
of Eucharistic bread, is declared in the Zohar to represent 
the female in separation from the male, 2 who would be 
presumably represented by the yeast. Such separation 
means of course affliction for Kabalism. There is, how 
ever, some undemonstrable way in which this under 
standing of unleavened bread is held to mean the 
Eucharist in which case it can be only that of the 
Latin rite, where the bread is in separation from the 
wine. There is also a Zoharic reference to the offering 
of bread and wine, the one representing joy and the right 
side, while the other is the left and is therefore affliction, 
though it is not specified in the text. 3 This, say the 
editors, exposes clearly the mystery of the Blessed 
Sacrament. We are prepared in such manner for the 
last suggestion which I feel called to mention here. At 
the death of Rabbi Simeon, his son, Rabbi Eleazar, 
overcome with grief, exclaims that "all the colleagues 
should drink blood." 4 This indicates the " offering of 
the Holy Sacrifice and proceeding to transubstantiation." 
Under all these considerations, not to speak of many 
others of similar purport and intention, we can under 
stand that the Kabalistic Community of Israel is re 
garded as the Church of God, in the sense of the 
Christian Church. When it is said to be above, it is 

1 Z., Ft. Ill, fol. i8o.b; DE PAULY, V, 496. Seven firmaments, 
seven palaces, six directions, and five pathways issue from this wine. 

2 Ib., Ft. I, fol. 1573; 11,216,217. 

3 Ib., Ft. II, fol. 293; III, 139. I suppose that when any sacred 
text speaks of bread and wine, our Christian pre-occupations on 
the subject will look inevitably for Eucharistic analogies. I was on the 
watch myself anxiously at the beginning of my Zoharic studies, but I 
suffered disappointment only. 

4 /., Ft. Ill, fol. 296b ; Idra Zouta, VI, 120. 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

the Church triumphant and glorious in Heaven ; below 
it is the Church militant on earth ; but it is left to the 
reader s discrimination whether it is centred at Rome. 

I am sure that the work of annotation has been done 
by the French editors with sincerity and even with zeal, 
but on the side of their palmary concern it has not been 
done with insight. There seems to me nothing more 
unfortunate in the long story of attempts to construe 
the Kabalah in a Christian sense than the presentation 
of Shekinah as Christ, and, as I have indicated, without 
dwelling thereon, another way was possible by no means 
satisfactory, but not at least ridiculous. Our Blessed 
Saviour has been placed in many anomalous positions by 
those who seek to glorify Him and desire that His cause 
should prevail, but in none surely which is quite so 
curious as this. 




THOSE who seek in the Zohar for a deeper knowledge 
concerning the term of mystic experience, as it has 
reached expression in the great texts of mystic literature, 
will not find what they need in the way that they are 
likely to need it, though I believe that the experience is 
there. It follows, however, another path of symbolism, 
and there is this further to be said that, perhaps more 
than most others in the great schools, the doctors of the 
hidden Law realised that it has not entered into the 
heart of man to conceive what God has prepared for 
those who love Him. They must have known at least 
how the experience transcends expression, as the mourn 
ful failures of mystic literature bear witness on every 
side. I take it that this is why the union of male and 
female which is their adopted form of symbolism the 
more it is raised into the transcendence is the deeper 
covered with veils. On the sanctification of the natural 
act and the path therein, they speak with reasonable 
fulness, all things perhaps considered. They are ex 
plicit also on the correspondence between things above 
and below therein, but there is not a word or part of a 
word which tells of the end attained. This is not to say 
that the terminology of the Divine Union is never indi 
cated ; but we shall see by collating the allusions that 
they are not spoken from the centre, or at least in the 
wording itself the centre seems very far away. In the 
first place, as to the path which may lead to the mystery 
of union : the thesis is that the just aspire to contem 
plate the delights of the Lord and in Him their delights 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

are found ; * it is in the Lord Himself, and so only, that 
they desire to rejoice. The counsel in symbolism is that 
those who seek to contemplate the mystery of sacred 
union shall consider the flame which springs from a 
lighted candle. Two colours will be perceived, one being 
white and the other a kind of blue. The one is above 
and the other is the pedestal of the first ; they are united 
and yet distinct. 2 Here is an analogy borrowed from a 
material object and indicating something which is postu 
lated concerning the state of integration in God. The 
path is one of holiness, 3 for it is by the ascent of this as 
by a ladder that man is able to be joined with the Holy 
One. Hence God said to Abraham : " Get thee out of 
thy country." 4 It is a call from earthly into spiritual 
life. The necessity of this call and the departure which 
follows thereon resides in the fact that whatsoever is pro 
duced in this world is in a state of separation ; union 
exists only in the world above, according to the words : 
"From thence it was parted and became into four 
heads." 5 This is held to be the doctrine of distinction, 
diversity and inevitable separateness in the way of mani 
festation. The path is followed in the faith which pre 
cedes experience, and the postulate of this faith abides in 
the recognition of unity in heaven, on earth and in all 
the worlds. Those who can realise along this line are 
counted among the just whose will is done by the Holy 
One. 6 The Zohar in this place is either written more 
wisely than its makers knew or we have a hint of secret 
doctrine which never passed fully into expression. The 
essential of progress in the path is that man shall apply 
himself to the study of the Law and shall cleave thereto, 
so that he may be judged worthy of being united to the 
Tree of Life. 7 This is another symbol of the union, for 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. 2iQa ; DE PAULY, II, 465. 

2 /., fol. 5ia ; I, 296. 3 /., fol. 79b ; I, 465. 
4 Gen. xii, i. 

6 Z., Pt. I, fol. iQib; II, 355. 

/A, fol. i93a, b; 11,364. 

4 Gen. xii, i. 6 Gen. ii, 10. 


Conclusion on ^Jewish Tkeosophy 

as a tree is composed of leaves, branches and trunk, so 
are the souls which emanate from the Tree of Life 
grafted in the Holy One. 1 But there are distinctions, 
states and stages, and for this reason some souls may 
be compared to the leaves and some to the branches ; 
yet a common faith unites them and makes of them one 
tree. Prayer is an aid on the path, and there are two 
kinds of prayer held to be indicated by David when he 
speaks of the words of his mouth and the secret medita 
tion of his heart. 2 The one is the prayer of words and 
the other is the prayer of silence, the state of the latter 
being very deep, according to the Zohar. It is foretold 
that " I will multiply thy race as the sands of the sea, 
the multitude of which is innumerable," 3 and this refers 
to the state of silent, unexpressed and inexpressible prayer, 
for which reason it is said to conceal the mystery of 
perfect union in the Divine Essence. 4 

While the intellectual idea of a final union between 
the soul and God emerges with tolerable clearness in the 
sense that a state is suggested which seems to exceed that 
understood by the Blessed Vision of theology, the evi 
dence is as usual rather out of harmony with itself. It 
is said on the one hand that in their communion the 
Holy One and the Community of Israel are called one, 5 
as also that there is no separation in the joy of heaven, 6 
yet there are other modes of expression which are less clear 
in their nature. That of integration in the body of the 
heavenly King must be counted in this class, 7 and again 
it is said that the Master is in the midst of those who 

1 Z., fol. i93a, b ; DE PAULY, II, 364. 

2 /., fol. i6ga ; II, 264, 265. Ps. xix, 14. 

3 Gen. xxxii, 12. 

4 Z., Pt. I, fol. i6o.a ; II, 265. It is said in another place that man 
must not raise his voice in prayer higher than is necessary, or he is not 
likely to be heard. The reason is that true prayer is made in silence. 
There is an obscure suggestion also that the prayer of silence is spoken 
by the Divine Voice within us. So also the later mystics say that Christ 
prays in us. /., fol. 209b, 2ioa ; II, 440. 

6 /., Pt. Ill, fol. 93b; V, 248. 

Ib., fol. 4a ; V, 7. 7 /<*., Pt. II, fol. 8ya ; III, 358. 

3 11 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

love Him, 1 which corresponds more probably to the 
state of eye to eye than to that of oneness. 2 Perhaps 
the clearest intimation is in a short commentary on the 
words, " Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, 3 
which are held as referring to the union of all spirits 
with the Supreme Spirit, called otherwise the condition 
of grand, perfect and eternal joy. 4 Imperfect spirits 
will enter into perfection by its means, and spirits that 
would be otherwise apart from life will diffuse a great 
brilliance by its aid. 5 This mystery is expressed also 
in those other words of Scripture: "And Jacob kissed 
Rachael." 6 It is obvious therefore that the analogy 
is that of human union, and it is said cryptically that 
the perfect union above is accomplished only in so 
far as seed shall be communicated by the seventh 
palace above to the seventh palace below. 7 It is 
then perfect, and blessed is he who knows how to 
effect it, for he is loved above and below : 8 he is the 
just man who is the foundation of the world. 9 In 
the state of perfect union all is concentrated in the 
Supreme Thought, the forms and images disappear, and 
this Thought animates and enlightens all. 10 

1 Z., Pt. II, fol. 2iia ; DE PAULY, IV, 220. 

2 The words, " to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in 
His Temple" (Ps. xxvii, 4) are contrasted with, "Then shalt thou delight 
thyself in the Lord" (Is. Iviii, 14) to shew that the latter signifies a deeper 
state of union ; but those who attain hereto are very few in number. 
//A, Pt. I, fol. 2iQa; 11,465. 

3 Song of Solomon, i, 2. 4 Z., Pt. I, fol. 44b; I, 262. 

5 Ib. This union is said to depend entirely on the prayer of man. 

6 Gen. xxiv, 1 1. 

7 Z., Pt. I, fol. 45a, b; 1,263. 

8 Ib., fol. 45b ; I, 263, 264. 9 Prov. x, 25. 

10 Z., Pt. I, fol. 45b ; I, 264, 265. There are the following additional 
allusions on the subject of union and its correlatives : (a) By following 
the ascending path of the Sephiroth^ there is reached that supreme place 
where all is united and all henceforth is one. /., fol. i8a ; I, in. 
(/>) So long as severity rules this world there is no union, the reason being 
that this is mercy, peace and the covenant. It is thought to be proved 
by the words : " And God remembered Noah" (Gen. viii, i). Z., Pt. I, 
fol. 6Qb ; I, 409, 410. (c} True unity depends on attachment to the 
Supreme King. When the river which went forth out of Eden was 
divided into four heads, this signified separation in manifest things ; but 


Conclusion on Jewish Theosophy 

I have left until the present concluding section the 
suggestions which it is my intention to offer on the 
Mystery of Sex in Kabalism, as it seemed desirable to 
isolate my own views from the evidence or intimations 
of the text. It will be observed that the Mystery in 
its unfolding comprises (i) the doctrine concerning an 
union between male and female principles postulated 
as inherent in Deity and illustrated as to its nature by 
analogies in physical humanity, which analogies have to 
be checked by (2) the doctrine of the essential unity 
between Jehovah and Elohim, Who are the male and 
female principles in question. The analogy breaks at 
this point and is not restored by (3) the hypothesis 
that Adam and Eve were originally side by side, which 
hypothesis is grounded on certain monstrous births 
that occur from time to time in humanity and are a 
yoking but not an unity. Nor is it restored by a literal 
understanding of Genesis, according to which Eve was 
dormant in Adam, not active and conscious within him, for 
in the latter case he could not have been said to be alone. 
There is finally no intention of maintaining the corre 
spondence, because (4) the original generation of souls 
was in separation as male and female, and (5) this dis 
tinction will continue to be maintained in the eternal 
world by the mode of simple reunion in companionship, 
plus a transcendental intercourse the rapture of which is 
increased by a visual contemplation therein of God and 
His Shekinah, Who is also God. (6) But an important 
content of the Mystery is the generation of souls as a 

it was in union at the source itself. /., fol. 740 ; I, 440, 441. (cT) A 
sacred union is attained at times in prayer. /#., Pt. II, fol. 5?a ; III, 254. 
(e) Those who dwell in the higher region are united in joy and never 
separated. Ib., Pt. Ill, fol. 4a ; V, 7. (f) Lastly, the union of God in 
Himself which is the ground of all other unions is believed to be 
exhibited perfectly in the words Jehovah Elohenov Jehovah (Deut. vi, 4). 
Elohenov is the root mentioned in Is. xi, I : " And there shall come forth 
a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots." 
The final Jehovah is the pathway here below ; in order to know the 
mystery of union it is indispensable to follow the pathway. Z., Pt. Ill, 
fol. 7a ; V, 20. 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

result of Divine Intercourse, and this is imitated on 
earth by incarnate man, as it (7) will continue to be 
imitated in heaven, where the union of created souls 
will produce fruit after their own kind. 

We are not concerned with applying tests of value to 
the metaphysical part of the doctrine, for its collation with 
other doctrines leads to insuperable difficulties, some of 
which have been illustrated by the lights of later Kabalism. 
There is, however, the doctrine of experience, and I 
wish to say that if we accept Zoharic teaching on its 
own warrants, then the imitation on earth of that 
which is operated in the transcendence, being done if 
I may so express it in the sense of God s ineffable 
union, did not unreasonably become, in the eyes of those 
who not only held the doctrine but performed the prac 
tice, a work of sanctification. Now, the question is 
where it may have brought them. The Zohar is silent 
thereon, except in so far as it testifies with no uncertain 
voice to the presence of the Shekinah in the houses of 
the holy doctors of the Law. But this presence followed 
them in their travels abroad, and there is one allusion at 
least to a state in which it was realised invariably as 
indwelling in the soul. 1 It seems to me that there are 
three qualities of intimation as to a Divine Realisation 
in consciousness resulting from the manner of life laid 
down as indispensable thereto. In this case the Sons 
of the Doctrine walked not only by faith but by expe 
rience, and it follows that this mystery in its practice 
had a consequence within themselves as well as in their 
children. More than this cannot be said on the evidence 
which lies before us, and of the issue which came of the 
unions thus adumbrated it is obvious that we can say 
nothing. One of the Instituted Mysteries tells us in 
its moving ritual that the children of philosophers belong 
to philosophy, and we may believe that in the case under 
notice they were worthy of their high calling and birth 

1 Z., Pt. I, fol. i66a ; DE PAULY, II, 250. 


Conclusion on yewisb Theosopby 

In what manner does this secret doctrine of Israel 
affect us as mystics in the twentieth century ? There 
is firstly the doctrinal side, and it will be seen that those 
among us who belong to the Christian tradition, more 
especially on the orthodox side, must be conscious that 
they are moving through the great text as through a 
strange world of images vestiges of many pantheons, 
many systems of the past, and legends of the soul of 
man. I have mentioned already that the theological 
doctrine of the Trinity must complete its own symbolism, 
if it is to be held as a product of the logical mind, 
and that therefore the Eternal Father is ex hypothesi the 
Eternal Mother, or in the sense and reason of things 
there could be no generation of an Eternal Son. The 
Zoharic male and female in the Deity cannot be therefore 
repugnant to the Trinitarian. Beyond this point the 
Kabalistic system moves farther and farther, as it pro 
ceeds, from the authorised fields of theology. If it were 
not complicated by irreconcilable elements in the medley 
of texts and testimonies, so that on the one hand we have 
the creation of souls en masse, as if by the conventional 
Fiat, and on the other their unceasing generation as the 
result of Divine Communion, to say nothing of the 
minor alternatives, there is much that is suggestive in 
the second dream, and for those who feel able to accept 
any definite hypothesis on the subject it may have an 
appealing aspect. We know also that the tradition of 
souls being created, generated or otherwise evolved in 
pairs is old and far diffused. I am not sure that it does 
not belong to " the hunger and thirst of the heart " after 
something like a timeless sanction of human relations ; 
but it is difficult to regard it either as part of a secret 
doctrine or as convincing per se if it were. 1 The kind 

1 A distinction on secret doctrine is desirable in this connection, it 
being understood that I am speaking ex hypothesi on both sides of the 
subject. There is that which is based on experience and is kept secret 
because the nature of the experience is regarded as a thing to conceal 
from public knowledge. If an Order of Alchemists discovered a very 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

of reunion which constitutes the beatitude of the Elect 
who experience the rapture of intercourse one with 
another in the sight of God is rather like an houri s 
paradise conducted on monogamic lines, and it looks 
a little strange, moreover, in the face of its contrasts at 
other points in the text. 1 I refer to the continued study 
of the doctrine by the Elect in the Lower Paradise and 
by the Community of Israel gathered into the transcen 
dence of Binah. 2 I do not say that these ideas of a 
paradise of espousals and a college of transfigured adepts 
are absolutely exclusive, but 1 am equally certain that 
they were never meant to dwell together in unity. The 
nuptials of Rabbi Simeon at the close of the Lesser Holy 
Assembly were, one feels, of another order 3 than most of 
the psychic marriages proclaimed in the Zohar. When, 
however, the scheme is detached to some extent from 
its setting, it is worth while formulating its irreducible 
minimum as follows : (i) The Communion of the Divine 
Duality, Ineffable Male and Female, in the supernal 
world, generates human souls, male and female, in Its 
own likeness, who assume flesh according to a law of 
succession. (2) They are intended to find one another 
in earthly life and to enter into marriage therein ; but 
there are various interventions which postpone and even 
seem to frustrate the general design, yet it is accom- 

simple process of transmuting metals, they would keep it secret presum 
ably for their own benefit. If they discovered a simple way to compose an 
elixir of life which would confer physical immortality, they might keep it 
secret out of mercy to mankind. This is one side of the question, and the 
other is speculative doctrine, which there is no true reason to reserve from 
others, more especially as it seldom differs es-entially from independent 
analogous forms and is usually not new at all. 

1 It is beautiful and moving, however, within its own measures, and 
the heart goes out to greet it. 

2 This is a subject of continual reference and is a clear issue in respect 
of departed souls gathered into the Lower Paradise. Israel in the supernal 
world offers points of difficulty in most allusions. It is even described as 
a Degree of the Divine Essence uniting all legions above. Z., Ft. Ill, 
fol. i97a ; DE PAULY, V, 507. Presumably it is the Israel of souls in 
perfect union, almost in the state of absorption. 

3 See Idra Zouta, #.,fol. 2g6b ; VI, 121, and Pt. I, fol. 2i8a ; II, 461. 

3 l6 

Conclusion on Jewish Theosophy 

plished unfailingly in the case of those who keep the 
Law. (3) The souls return into the spiritual world and 
are reunited for ever therein. (4) The keeping of the 
Sex Law, which is part of the Secret Doctrine, ensures the 
procreation of those who may be called the Children of 
the Doctrine, assuredly a " peculiar people." 

It would not be worth while to place on record a 
personal opinion if it were not one which I feel is likely 
to be shared in the detached manner that I design to 
put it forward. If we draw from all sources whatever 
the soul s legends, her travels and metamorphoses, together 
into a single storehouse of memorials, I question very 
much whether we should find in our collection a more 
tolerable proposition at its value, and I make this qualifi 
cation because I am not suggesting that either one or 
another is convincing. I do not know of any light on 
the mystery of man s beginning in his inward state which 
carries the seals of mastery, for the literature of mystic 
attainment, the records of our precursors on the path 
which leads to God, have nothing to testify thereon, as 
it is not the concern of their experience. Each school 
reproduces therefore the accepted teaching of its time 
and place. 1 The Zohar shews in its own manner that 
the end is like the beginning, and if it be only a tale of 
faerie, it is one of grace as such. 

Having said what is possible on this part of the 
subject, there arises in the next place that which must be 
called indubitably the most important question of all, and 
though it is one that is difficult to approach it would be 

1 The inference is obvious and is, I think, utterly true. If we take 
the Christian records, that part of them which deserves to be called 
mystic is either a study of conditions, processes, practices leading to the 
term in God or it is concerned with the experience attained in the term. 
The first may depend from dogma e.g. the idea that an ascetic path is 
of Divine counsel but it does not explain the counsel or ordinance ; the 
second is a realisation of the Divine in consciousness and has nothing to 
do with vision, as when Dr. John Pordage seems to have seen the Trinity 
manifest in arbitrary forms. The deep mystic state is imageless and is 
not a light on theological teaching. 

3 1 ? 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

quite impossible to pass over and not miss the whole 
point of the present study. I have said at the beginning 
of this chapter that the form of symbolism adopted in 
respect of Divine attainment by the doctors of the Hidden 
Law is that of male and female in their union ; it begins 
here on earth and it is raised into all the heavens ; mutatis 
mutandis it is the same kind of intercourse on all the 
planes 1 and all planes or worlds are in communication 
one with another, not merely by the analogy which ob 
tains but in a manner which is represented by the recurring 
image of the world above being married to the world 
below. We have seen that he is called perfect and 
blessed who knows how to effect such an union, and 
this so far as the individual is concerned can be only by 
fulfilling that which he is appointed to do under the pro 
visions of the Secret Law. My hypothesis is that in so 
doing he became conscious of what for want of a better 
expression I must term the cosmic union, in which the 
personal act was merged, so that he shared in the loving 
intercourse which obtains, according to Kabalism, above 
and below. By this also the worlds are bound together, 
God is united to creation and the soul of man partakes 
within its proper measures and under the reserves of 
all the veils by which he is covered during the life of 
earth of that universal and divine communion. 

I have said that there are intimations of this state in 
eastern teaching, by which I mean India, but that so far 
as I am aware they have not passed into writing. It 
was testified also in the past once at least by a spiritual 
alchemist that he was acquainted with the mystery of his 
art but had never proceeded to the practice because he 

1 I hope that the qualification will be quite clear to my readers. The 
body of man was the most sacred thing for Kabalists and there is 
absolutely no question that it was in perfect analogy with the body of 
heaven in its clearness ; they were not afraid of their symbolism and they 
accepted all its consequences. The result was what on the surface is 
called gross physicalism ; but there is sufficient evidence that when they 
happened to drop their symbolism, or to adopt another form, they 
realised that the things of the spirit are understood spiritually. 


Conclusion on jfewtslt Theosophy 

had not found a woman who could help him in the work. 1 
So also when Thomas Vaughan speaks of " the conjugal 
mystery of heaven and earth " I believe that he had 
some notion of these workings, whether as the result of 
experience or merely in an intellectual way, by the study 
of the concealed literatures. 

It would be possible to carry these considerations 
much further, but I do not feel that they are meant for 
presentation at length in this place. The suggestion is 
that, expressed in very plain language, there is something 
to be fulfilled between man and woman by a marriage of 
Nature and Grace of which the sacramental aspect some 
times attributed to earthly marriage is the merest shadow 
and vestige. We have seen what Zoharic theosophy adum 
brates on this work ; I have found the same testimony 
in the allegories of some alchemical books, 2 and there are 
vestiges of the experience or of notions concerning the 
experience in the Philadelphian mystical school of the 
late seventeenth century in England. 3 It is better for 
the moment at least that those who feel drawn in this 
direction, with clean hearts and minds turned towards 
God, should follow out the research for themselves in the 
literatures to which I have alluded. They may come to 

1 The question is whether this is the open door of the Hermetic 
Mystery introitum apertus ad occlusum regis palatium in so far as the 
literature is apart from experiments in the mineral kingdom. It was 
once suggested that the key was to be sought in something done between 
operator and subject, after the manner of the trance-state induced by 
mesmerism. In The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal I have sought to 
establish certain crude analogies between the spiritual work in alchemy 
and that in the Eucharist ; it obtains within its own measures, but every 
thing depends on the true meaning of the breaking of the Host into the 

2 The Liber Mutus, first published at Rupella in 1677, and reprinted 
in MANGETUS, Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa, is of some importance as a 
case in point, but the allegories are in pictures only. I have called it 
elsewhere The Book of tJie Silence of Hermes. 

3 From this point of view and otherwise all the writings belonging to 
the Philadelphian school demand consideration anew, including Robert 
Roach s Imperial Standard of Messiah Triumphant, Theologia Mystica 
of John Pordage, the works of Jane Lead, and the rare Philadelphian 


"The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

see that the analogy instituted by the Latin Church be 
tween those who are joined in wedlock and the union of 
Christ with His Church has a deeper meaning than has 
been discerned in the public ways, that in certain grades 
of consecration the spouse and the beloved on earth do 
stand for Christ the Lover of the soul and for the soul in 
that nuptial union which is called the mystic marriage in 
great and holy texts; the absconditus sponsus may be 
under veils of the living man, and the sponsa may realise 
in the person of her own consciousness that the soul is 
indeed the bride. 

I am the last person in the world to enforce practical 
conclusions, but if those who are prepared thereto within 
and without and this not too late in life were to enter 
the nuptial state and fulfil it consistently, as also with high 
reverence, in the sense of the Zohar, I think that the world 
might be changed and that a generation to come born of 
such unions would be children of a risen life. 

For the rest, in conclusion, it will be seen that I have 
not put forward the Secret Doctrine in Israel as one who 
regards its part major as of great theosophical and high 
mystical .importance, though I hold its memorials not 
merely as of living interest but as belonging to that kind 
which does not die, for at the back of all its reverie, the 
strange fantasia of symbols and images, there is the 
pulsating heart of a dedicated humanity, set in and out 
of season to justify the ways of God to those who could 
see through its particular glass of vision. I speak as one 
who has found God in many strange ways of thought, 
and what is perhaps more unusual in very simple and 
homely ways. I look to go further, for much that has 
never been spoken or said, and so remains for expression, 
is not indeed beyond it. But the Kabalistic Jew, 
dreaming of liberation and of union under the grievous 
yoke of his law, giving it the wings of interpretation and 
rising himself thereon, is of my own lineage in the spirit, 
of my kinship in the heart of quest. His fall of man is 


Conclusion on ^Jewish Theosophy 

no mere dream, because it is high symbolism. His myth 
of Paradise has a voice speaking within it from a far 
home of the consciousness ; though the eyes of flesh may 
be dazzled and the longing of sense may sink when the 
glories of our end are published, I know that, be it ever 
so splendid, there is no place like home. The Jew s 
covenant in the flesh is assuredly, in Zoharic under 
standing, one of God s most true covenants ; the Master 
Who seals us within does often seal us without, whence 
peers and co-heirs have always known one another in 
every place of the world, and every sign-manual of heaven 
is honourable and worshipful, since it sets apart to His 
service. The outward and inward Law is like the book 
of our life itself, intus efforts scriptus ; there is nothing so 
allusive in the whole world of images ; it is illustrated in 
all our ways without in the rule of our conventions, 
without in the external veneer of our too imperfect con 
formities, without in the age-long tale of our schooling 
and self-schooling ; but within in our hungers and 
raptures after the " good things of the Lord in the Land 
of the Living," in the thirst after righteousness which we 
cannot attain ourselves and can scarcely formulate, in the 
ineradicable covetousness with which we would grasp at 
what God has prepared for those who love Him. The 
beauty of the courts of the Temple the Temple of 
Solomon and Esdras of its Holy Place and the Holy 
of Holies beyond, has eaten up our hearts with desire. 
Do we not also expect the coming of Messiah, while 
confessing to the Messiah Which has come, Whose star 
we have seen in the East, nor yet in the East alone but 
all the quarters of Heaven, through the ages and nations : 
Son of Issachar, Son of David, Son of Joseph, true 
legitimate and true King for ever, do we not know that 
for us He has never come without until He has come 
within ? Domine, non sum dignus utintres sub tectum meum: 
yet are we His stable in Bethlehem, yet is He born in us. 
Sed tantum die verbo O Word of Words, speak it in the 

321 x 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

inward silence et sanabitur anima mea. And the legend 
of the soul in Kabalism, at however far a distance, flashes 
and reflects within us its changing aspects of that long, 
strange journey of old taken by those who came forth, 
and perchance are still coming, taken by those who go 
back ; God-speed them in both respects, and give to 
those who seek it safe conduct and the blessed end. 
Yes, there is truth in Kabalism, all its contradictory 
messages notwithstanding ; the contradictions themselves 
are but turnings of the glass of mind, hither and thither, 
to encompass all directions opposites included, and in 
cluded the pairs of these. But the great message of all 
is the message of the Indwelling Presence, though it 
comes to us who are mystics under unwonted forms and 
in a peculiar radiance of vesture. The Divine Father 
hood is one side of the shield of faith and the other is 
Divine Motherhood. Whether we regard it as doctrine 
handed down from an immemorial past few of us can 
so regard it or whether we decide in our excess that it 
was conceived by Moses de Leon and born of his brain 
and pen, it is a wonderful heritage of mind which has 
come into our hands, and perhaps at this day it has a 
greater message for us than it had ever for our brothers 
in Jewry. I could almost wish that this Moses were the 
one and very man, for I do not think that in the wide 
world there would be the same kind of greatness as his. 
But taking things as they are, and by what we know of 
his writings, there is nothing so unlikely. 

It follows that I have not put forward the Secret 
Doctrine in Israel as one who believes that it is literally 
what it claims to be in respect of antiquity, though I have 
made evident that in my opinion the Zohar incorporates 
old Midrashim. It makes no claim except as to oral 
tradition, and about this I have no feeling. It follows 
also that I have not put it forward as a sum total of 
wisdom, written or unwritten ; but I do believe that in 
the expounded mystery of sex so far as it is indeed 


Conclusion on Jewish Theosophy 

expounded it suggests a great experiment which 
" once in time and somewhere in the world " was 
practised in hidden sanctuaries that were homes of man 
and woman. The doctrine of sex in the Zohar is the 
desideratum which I mentioned at the beginning, a key 
general to the House of Doctrine ; all other teaching in 
the great theosophical miscellany may be said to encom 
pass it, as the Divine Names and Sephiroth stand about 
the figure of the Cosmic Christ in the eloquent diagram 
of Khunrath. It is the central root which I have men 
tioned, and from this root the Tree of Knowledge grows 
up. It becomes, as the Zohar intimates, the Tree of 
Life. At this end of our travelling, I feel that in these 
final words I have reached what was set before us when 
the work was first undertaken, namely, a term of quest, 
from which we can look back over the strange path that 
we have followed and can survey it under one light. 
The Shekinah is the high light which shines thereon. 
We have seen that this Lady of Mediation is the president 
over that nuptial intercourse which I have described as 
begun on earth and completed in the World of the 
Supernals. The return journey of the soul is therefore 
under her light, in and by her grace, with the sustenance 
and aid of her mysterious power. For us at this day the 
Shekinah can be no more than a principle, but it is Divine 
as such, and after what manner if indeed differently 
from this it was understood by Sons of the Doctrine 
during earlier days of their exile through the long cen 
turies of Christendom, we must be content to leave. 
It would be a satisfaction to find the answer, but it is 
not of our vital concern. It is sufficient to have assured 
ourselves and this I feel that we have done that the 
central testimony is of moment. 

It follows, in fine, therefore, that Sephir He Zohar 
THE BOOK OF SPLENDOUR has something to tell us at 
this day which is worth hearing by those who have ears. 
I do not affirm, God preventing, that it is the only way, 


The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

for ways are many to the height. From the beginning 
of things He has called man and woman in all the states 
of life in childhood and virginity, in espousals and 
widowhood and He Who makes all things one has 
called the Lover and Beloved, that they may go up hand 
in hand and become one in Him. Hereunto is that 
which can be said in the public places, and for all that 
remains over 

^acramentum Begte abgconDere 


In the compilation of these references the annotations have been treated 
as if they were part of the text. 

AARON, 273; Rod of, 185 

Abba and Aima, 48, 157, 162, 203, 
217, 232, 256, 300; Supreme 
Mother, 198, 232, 246, 305 ; 
Mother below, 232 ; Father, 43, 
65, 200, 201, 215, 216, 256, 305 

Abel, 102, 105, 169 

Abraham, 21, 22, 33, 51, 115-119, 
135, 206, 208, 273, 275, 303, 310 

Abraham de Seba, R., 102 

Adam, 71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 84, 85, 92, 
93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 9 8 , 99, 100, 101, 
102, 103, 104, 105, no, 113, 114, 
127, 134, 147, 162, 169, 174, 187, 
1 88, 203, 204, 229, 237, 242, 249, 
276,287,300, 301, 313 

Adam Kadmon, 5, 74 

Adam Protoplastes, 49, 74, 153, 170, 

Adonai, 191, 192, 202 

Agrippa, Cornelius, 5 

Ahasuerus, 223 

Aima Elohim, 200 

Ain-Soph, 26, 28, 29, 45.46, 48, 
-52, 197, 201, 202, 260; Ain-Soph 
Aour, 28, 45 

Alabaster, 7 

Alchemy, x, xi, 9, 131, 191, 297, 319 

Alliance, Eternal, 257. See Cove 

Altar, 72, 1 10, in, 249 

Amalec, 86, 87, 88 

Ancient, 29 ; Ancient of Days, 47, 
48 ; Ancient of Ancients, 217 

Angelic Orders, 34, 35, 80, 82 

Apple, 93, 95, 9^5 Garden of 
Apples, 129 

Apron, 96, 97, 100. See Vestures 

Aquinas, St. Thomas, 180, 216 

Architect, under God, 60; She- 
kinah as, 202, 301 

Ark of the Covenant, 109, no, in> 

112, 137,209,224 
Arnold, Matthew, 61, 91 
Asher, 303, 304 
Asmodeus, 274 
Assiah, 30, 48, 69, 195, 205 
Astrology, 116, 274, 275 
Atziluth, 30, 32, 33, 41, 48, 69, 197, 

202, 205, 217, 301 
Augustine, St., 92 
Aza and Azael, 84, 85, 101 

BAAL-SHEM, Israel, 285 

Babel, 113 

Balaam, 85, 223 

Balance, 85, 223 

Bartalocci, Julius, 7 

Benjamin, 169, 170 

Bereshith, 19, 49, 54, 60, 61 

Beth-el, 117, 200 

Betrothed, 47, 211 

Binah, 31, 33,35,36, 39/40, 42,43, 47, 
48,49,69,70, 98, 123, 124, 131, 133, 
157, 198, 199*200, 201, 205, 211, 
217, 218, 223, 224, 254, 301, 316 

Bohme, Jacob, 58, 92, 93, 233, 278 

Bohu, 32, 88 

Bono-Homo, Alphonsus, 142 

Book, Secret, 20, 21, 49; Book 
of Concealment or Modesty, 
235 ; Book of God, 121 ; Book 
of Enoch, 21,217; Book of Mys 
teries, 113, 114 ; Book of Magic, 
274 ; Book of Brightness, vi 

Bread and Wine, 118, 306, 307 

Briah, 30, 31, 48, 69, 217 

Bride and Bridegroom, 47, 49, 192, 
204 ; Bride of Heaven, 24 ; 
Bride of God, 193 ; Divine 
Bride, 209 

Bryant, Jacob, 112 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

CAIN, 85, 101, 102 

Canaan, 118, 178, 182 

Celestial Chiefs, 115, 116 

Chesed, 31, 33, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41, 

217, 224 

Chiromancy, 279, 282 
Chokmah, 31, 32, 33, 35, 38, 39, 40, 

42, 43, 47, 4B, 49, 60, 124, 131, 

133, 142, 157, 195, 199, 200, 201, 

217, 218, 224, 233, 300, 301 
Christ, 101, 141, 147, 153, 292, 298, 

299, 308 

Christian Trinitarian Doctrine, 306 
Circumcision, 51, 67, 118-122, 156. 

See Covenant. 
Community of Israel, 55, 64, 123, 

136, 211, 240, 307, 311, 316 
Correspondences, 58, 59, 61, 259 
Countenance, Great, 45, 46, 48, 

303; Lesser, 46, 48, 49, 51, 170, 

303, 304 
Covenant, 20, 118-122; Sign of, 

236, 255 
Creation, 136. See Doctrine of 

Cosmology, 52-68 
Cuirass, 97. See Vestures. 

DAATH, 47, 120, 131, 198, 201, 217, 


Daleth, Path of, 124 
Daughter, 43, 47, 192, 200, 302 ; 

Daughter of the King, 24, 49, 

148, 161, 304 
Daughters of Men, 85 
David, 22, 63, 136, 311 
Davis, Edward, 112 
Deluge, 108, 109, 113, 135. See 

Chapter VIII, passim 
De Pauly, viii, ix, 293, and Notes, 


Dionysius, Pseudo-, 45, 82 
Doctrine, Secret, ix, x, 3, 14, 15, 

18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 50, 51, 53, 

58, 60, 69, 70, 73, 78, 106, 130, 

132, 133, 147, 158, 173, 178, 190, 

227, 230, 234, 241, 246, 258, 272, 

295,^296, 297 

Douma, Angel of Vindication, 177 
Drach, P. L. B., Chevalier, 146 
Dreams, 277, 278 

East, Wisdom of, 272, 273 


Eben Ezra, 35 

Eden, Higher and Lower, 72, 93, 
98, 99, loo, 106, 116, 135, 145, 
153, 154, 162, 163, 174, 175, 
176, 192, 193, 203, 204, 230, 240, 
254, 255, 257, 264, 288; Rivers 
of, 36, 72, 73, 121, 192, 254 

Egypt, 116, 117,133,272, 303 

Eheieh, 303, 304 

El, 150 

Eleazar, R., 102, 238, 307 ; Eleazar 
the Great, R., 264 

Elias del Medigo, i 

Elijah, 32, 53, 60, 156 

Elohim, 32, 36, 49, 52, 59, 60, 63, 
65, ?o, 99. ioo, 109, 1 10, 143, 191, 
192, 193, 196, 200, 202, 215, 216, 
219, 256 

Embryonic Return, 288, 289, 290 

Enoch, 21, 82, 107, 156, 1 86, 262 

Enos, 1 13 

Eschatology, 188, 234. See also 
Chapters XIII, XIV 

Essence, Divine, 28, 35, 36, 65, 
112, 199, 260, 311, 316 

Esther, 223 

Eucharist, 306, 307 

Eve, 49, 71, 73, 75, 93, 94, 96, 97, 
98, 99, loo, 101, 102, 103, 104, 

106, 112, 127, 134, I 47 , 300, 301, 


Evil, 37, 80, 81, 86, 96 
Evolution, 136, 167 
Ezekiel, 22, 126, 137, 281 
Ezra, 137 

FABER, G. S., Rev., 112 

Fall of Man, 80, 255. See Chapter 

VII, passim; also Chapter VI, 

for Fall of the Angels 
Fama Fraternitatis, 286 
Filioque clause, 216 
Flaming sword, 105, 145, 193, 262 
Franck, Adolphe, v, 28, 48, 70, 

159, 161, 167, 262 
Frank, Jacob, 285 

Gaffarel, Jacob, 2 
Galatinus, Petrus, 6 
Galicia, 285 
Galilee, 187 
Gasparellus, 7 


Gates of Understanding, 18, 124, 

Geburah, 31, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 

41, 164 

Gentiles, 184, 258, 259, 264, 298 
God, 5, 6, 16, 19, 20, 24, 25, 27, 28, 

32, 33, 34, 37, 40, 42, 49, 52, 54, 
56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 66, 67, 
70, 71, 74, 75, 77, 79, 81, 83, 84, 
88, 92, 95, 99, 100, 105, 108, 109, 
no, in, 117, 119, 120, 123, 125, 
128, 136, 139, 148, 151, 156, 157, 
158, 162, 164, 169, 185, 188, 191, 
196, 198,201, 203, 211, 219,225, 
237, 241, 249, 252, 257, 261, 264, 
269, 275, 297, 301, 303, 310, 319, 
320, 321 

Graal, Holy, xi, 21, 297, 319 

Grapes, 112 

Greek Church, 216 

Grimoires, 12, 270, 274 

Gui de Viterbi, 5 

HAIR, character by, 279, 280 
Hassidim, New, or Pietists, 285 
//"<?, 148, 150. See Sacred Name 
Head, Divine, 44, 45, 46, 48 
Hierarchy, Angelic, 82 ; Infernal, 

82, 277 

Higgins, Godfrey, 112 
Hod, 31,33,35,36,40,41 
Hogostratus, 6 
Holy of Holies, 45, 210, 220, 224, 

227, 228 
Holy Spirit, 88, 176, 206, 216 et seq.^ 

241, 274, 299, 305, 306 
Hulsius, Antonius, 142 
Hypostases, Divine, 20, 32, 35, 42, 

43,49,70, 123,215 

IDRAS, t .e., Texts of the Holy 
Assemblies, 45, 48, 49, 201, 217, 

Imbonatus, Jos., 7 

Immanence, Divine, 60 

Incarnation, 306 

Intruders, 146 

Irira, Abraham Cohen, v 

Isaiah, 60, 143 

Isis, 228 

JACOB, 63, 206, 207, 208, 241, 265, 

Jah ; 2i7 

Jeheshuah, connection with the 

Tetragram, 6 
Jehovah, 60, 65, no, 148, 191, 192, 

195, 196, 201, 209, 216, 256, 304 
Jehovah Elohim, 75, 203, 204 
Jehovah Elohenou, 205, 313 
Jehovah is Elohim, 191, 213, 231, 

Jerusalem, 40, 70, 137, 140, 150, 

170, 210, 213, 250 
Jesse, Root of, 143 
Jesus of Nazareth, 146, 147, 304, 


Job, sufferings of, 178 
Jonathan-ben-Uziel, 102 
Joseph, 207, 208 
Joshua, 134, 219 
Judah Halevi, 35 

KABALAH, 6, 12, 31, 33, 34, 41, 49, 

52, 115, 124, 141, 152, 173, 259, 

266, 270, 284 et seq., 293, 294, 

297, 3i3, 3i4, 322 
Kabalah, Practical, 5, 12 
Kerubim, 145, 209, 210, 224, 262 
Kether, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 39, 

42, 48, 52, 94, 157, 197, 202, 216, 

217, 218,255 

Khunrath, Heinrich, 190, 323 
King, Supreme, 137 ; Sacred King, 

213, 311 ; King and Queen, 49, 

136, 201 
Kircher, Athanasius, 7, 57 

LABAN, 85, 188, 273 

Lafuma-Giraud, Emile, v 

Lamb, Paschal, 83, 252 

Lamb of God, 206 

Land of the Living, 78, 257, 321 

Land, Holy, iii, 115, 116, 132, 150, 
154, 187, 213, 220, 231 

Latin Church,, 91, 108, 142, 174, 
1 88, 216, 308, 320 

Law, in general, 57, 64, 71, 87, 192 ; 
Written Law, 13, 15, 16, 22, 50, 
60, 81, 98, 130, 131, 191, 214, 223, 
299; Oral Law, 13, 15, 16, 17, 
130, 191, 192, 214, 215, 232, 299 

Lead, Jane, 319 

Leah, 206, 222, 265 

Letters, Hebrew, 29, 32, 54, 55, 56, 
271 ; Great letters, 271 

3 2 7 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Levi, Eliphas, 154, 168, 270, 273 

Leviathan, 104, 188 

Levirate, 40 

Liberating Angel, 193 

Lilith, 86, 98, 102, 104, 276 

Loria, Isaac de, v, 171, 287, 291 

Lot, 90, 1 1 8, 1 88 

Lover and Beloved, 68, 76, 148, 


Lucifer, 63, 89 
Lully, Raymund, 52 

Magic, 12,85, H3, n.5274 
Male and Female Principles, 209 
Malkuth, 30, 33, 41, 47, 52, 70, 95, 

195, 197, 217, 218, 255 
Mangetus, 319 

Marriage. See Mystery of Sex 
Mary the Virgin. See Queen of 


Masonry, xi, 297 
Mathers, S. L. M., 28 
Matrona, 41, 42, 43, 47, 75, 136, 

137, 192, 194, 195, 203, 208, 210, 

214, 247, 263 
Mediatrix, 262 
Meimra, 49 
Melchizedek, 118 
Mercy-Seat, 209 
Messiah, 5, 40, 124, 141, 143, 166, 

218, 252, 298, 299, 300, 302, 304, 

305, 321 ; Messianic Epoch, 139, 

Metatron, 22, 82, 136, 145, 184, 186, 

194, 202, 205, 210, 213, 262, 263, 

300, 302, 303, 304 
Michael, as High Priest, 160 
Microprosopus, 49 
Midrash Rabba, 132 
Midrash Talpiga, 143 
Midrashim, Ancient, 296, 322 
Mishna, 22, 36, 132, 214, 277 
Moab, Plains of, 132 
Modesty, 235 
Moon, 22, 212 
Moses, 22, 135, 185, 198, 207/208, 

209, 2l8, 221, 222 

Moses de Leon, R., vii, 2, 284, 322 
Mother of God. See Queen of 


Myer, Isaac, 161 
Mysteries, Instituted, 314 

Mystery of Faith, xi, 50, 53, 56, 
69,78,94, 101, 109, 119, 125,126, 
127, 152, 153, 164, 191,249,251, 
252, 253,255,256,260 

NAAMAH, 85, 103, 104 

Name, Sacred (including its 
separate consonants Ynn), 18, 
22, 32, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 
47, 48, 54, 56, 57, 58, 62, 63, 68, 
98, 113, 120, 127, 138, 139, 1 86, 
194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 200, 201, 

203, 204, 206, 210, 217, 2 1 8, 224, 

229, 236, 240, 254, 275, 299, 300, 
302, 303, 305 

Name, Sacred, of 9 letters, 191 
Name, Sacred, of 42 letters, 207 
Name, Sacred, of 72 letters, 21, 87 
Names, Power of Divine, 5 
Names, Divine, 270, 271, 299 
Nebo, Mount, 123 
Nephilim, 86 

Netzach, 31, 33,35, 36,40, 144 
Noah, 94, 109, no, HI, 112, 212, 

Nuptials, Divine, 254 

OCCULT Sciences, 12, 13, 116, and 

Chapter XV III, passim 
Onan, sin of, 108 
Onkelos, 49, 60 
Osiris, 55 

PALACES, 165, 251, 263 ; Palace of 
Delight, 303 

Palladius, Paradise of, 268 

Paracelsus, 5, 6, 278 

Pardes, 31, 70 

Parts of the Soul, 157, 158, 159, 
160, 161, 167, 174, 177, 178 ; and 
Chapter XIII, passim; Genera 
tion of Souls, 315 

Paths, the, xxxii, 29, 38, 186 

Patmore, Coventry, 238 

Paul, St., 81, 168 

Pharaoh, 273 

Philadelphian School, 319 

Philo, 219 

Physiognomy, 279, 280, 281, 282 

Picus de Mirandula, i, 2, 3, 4, 82 

Pillar of Benignity, Middle, 35, 36, 
37, 83, 95, 192, 196, 200, 229, 



Pillar of Mercy, 35. See also 

Pillar of Severity, 35. See also 

Pisgah, 132 
Pistorius, 6, 7 
Pordage, Dr. John, 317 
Poscantius, Benedictus, 142 
Postel, William, 4, 5, 214, 270 
Prayer, 166, 215, 225, 276 ; Prayer 

of Contemplation, 285 ; House of 

Prayer, 212; Prayer of Silence, 


Pre-existence, 152 et seq. 
Principles, Supreme, 50 
Procreation, 94 
Propitiatory, 137, 255 
Punishment, everlasting, 177 ; not 

everlasting, 178. See Chapter 


QUEEN of Heaven, 203, 225, 233, 
29 8 , 30 1 > 34 

RACHEL, 170, 206, 265, 312 
Raziel, 21 
Reggio, Isaac, i 
Reincarnation, 167 et seg., 261, 

289, 290 

Reuchlin, John, 6 
Revolution of Souls, 287, 288 
Riccius, Paulus, 7 
Roach, Robert, 319 
Robe of Glory, 100 
Rodkinson, Michael, 23, 141 
Rome, 145 

Rose of Sharon, 132 ; Roses, 72 
Rosenroth, Baron Knorr von, 7, 28, 

30, 44, 159, 286 
Rosicrucians, xi, 297 

SABBAOTH, 32, 47 

Sabbath, 36, 46, 77, 129, 162, 182, 

246, 247, 265, 302 
Saint-Martin, L. C. de, 92 
Samael, 82, 86, 89, 94, 101, 102, 

103, 104, 163, 276 
Sarah, 117, 206, 209 
Satan, 86, 101, 181, 188 
Schethiya. See Mystic Stone 
Seed, Divine, 64 
Sepher Dzenioutha, 45 
Sepher Yetzirah, 28, 29, 34, 35, 37, 

38, 81, 270 

Sephiroth, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40, 

41, 47, 120, 195, 197, 202, 217, 

258, 259, 260, 286, 312 
Sephiroth, evil, 273 
Seraphim, 83 
Serpent, 36, 86, 87, 101, 109, 128, 

134, 187, 275 
Seth, 103, 107, 169 
Sex, Question of, 51, 69, 93, 94, 97, 

101, 107, 137, 228, 234, 313, and 

Chapter XV 1 1, passim 
Shaddai, 32, 146 
Shekinah, 30, 39, 42, 69, 70, 71, 75, 

76, 82, 84, 85, 95, 101, 104, 106, 

108, no, in, 117, 120, 123, 124, 

125, 126, 127, 133, 137, 138, 148, 

157, 162, 168, 185, 188, 237, 239, 
241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 248, 251, 
255, 258, 259, 283, 297, 300, 303, 
304, 305) 3o6, 313, 314, 323, 324. 
See also Chapter XV I, passim 

Sheol, 177, 178, 181 

Shiloh, 199 

Signatures, Doctrine of, 278 

Simeon Ben Jochai, R., 2, 23, 24, 
44, 60, 73, 81, 124, 130, 132, 170, 
178, 180, 214, 238, 241, 243, 244, 
250, 265, 295, 300, 302, 307, 316 

Sinai, Mount, 18, 22, 23, 63, 105, 
124, 127, 128, 129, 185, 231 

Solomon, 63, 136, 137, 143, 210, 
233, 254, 272, 274, 321 

Sommer, G. C., 3 

Son, Begotten, 42, 43, 74, 149, 151, 
201,215, 217, 305, 315 

Sons of God, 83, 84, 85 

Sons* of the Doctrine, 13, 18, 22, 
24, 97, 106, 142, 162, 184, 1 86, 
210, 225, 232, 234, 237, 240, 242, 
244, 245, 266, 271, 294 

Sophia, Gnostic, 233 

Sophia, Virgin, 233 

Sophonias, 1 rophecy of, 114 

Spirit of God, 34 

Stone, Mystic, 62, 63 

Supplementary Soul, 18 

Supreme Mysteries, 23, 164, 251, 
252, 253, 256 ; Supreme Soul, 
259 ; Supreme Spirit, 62 

Swedenborg, 59 

TABERNACLE, 122, 209, 217, 221, 
224, 226, 255 

3 2 9 

The Secret Doctrine in Israel 

Tables of the Law, 63, 128, 129, 

131* 135 
Talmud, 14, 29, 36, 62, 81, 86, 101, 

103, 104, iii, 124, 141, 144, 188, 

219, 229, 245, 272, 277, 285 
Temples, First and Second, 76, 86, 

122, 210, 211, 272. See also 

Chapter XI, passim 
Tetragram. See Sacred Name 
Tiphereth, 31, 33, 37, 40 
Tohu, 32, 88 
Transcendence, 64 
Transubstantiation, 307 
Tree of Knowledge, 36, 76, 77, 78, 

79, 81, 94, 97, 99, 100, 109, 130, 

!3i, 154, 323 
Tree of Life, 36, 76, 77, 78, 79, 97, 

99, 106, 127, 130, 131, 154, 160, 

162, 186, 193, 217, 256, 257, 259, 

262, 264, 310, 311, 323 
Tree of the Sephiroth, 29, 34, 37, 

48, 196, 198, 199 
Triad, Sacred, 83, 224 
Triad, Infernal, 83 
Tubal Cain, 85 

UNION, Divine, 25, 184, 191, 203, 
231, 232, 235, 256, 261, 297, 309- 

Unity, 213 

Unknown God, 217, 255 

VAN DALE, Antonio, 80 

Vau, 120, 146, 148, 150, 151. See 

also Sacred Name 
Vestures, 72, 100, 106, 184 ; Mantle 

of the Master, 176 
Vision, Blessed, 71, 261, 262, 311 
Voice, 95 ; Great Voice, 50 ; Divine 

Voice, 311 

WAITK, A. E., viii, 168 

White Head, 45, 46 

Will, Divine, 25, 29, 58, 165, 266, 

Wisdom, 27, 39, 71, 114, 117, 161, 


Wolf, bibliographer of Kabalism, 


Womanhood, 98, 201, 246, 254 
Word, 31, 36, 49, 50, 51, 54, 64, 65, 

95, 201, 202, 300 
Worlds, Four, 30, 31, 33, 52 ; 

Worlds made and destroyed, 67 

YEBBA, R., 294 

Yesod, 31, 33,34,41,47, 120, 217 
Yetzirah, 30, 48, 69, 205, 217 
Yod, 119, 121, 186 


Zion, 47, 63, 70, 166, 170, 210, 227, 
247, 250 

Zipporah, 208 

Zohar, its influence on Christian 
scholarship, v ; traditional author 
ship, vi ; general content, vi, vii ; 
false and true Zohar, 2 ; its chief 
editions, 3; alleged Christian ele 
ments and complexion, 3; pos 
sible plans of its study, 8; a 
storehouse of Secret Doctrine, 9 ; 
scope of the present work, 9, 10; 
value of its exegesis, 10, 14; its 
contradictions, ii; of various 
dates, ii ; connection with magic 
and other branches of occultism, 
12, 13; original extent, 16, 18; 
Keys of its Mystery, 18; ante 
cedents of Zoharic Doctrine, 27 ; 
its testimony on God, 28; con 
cerning the Sephiroth, 33; the- 
osophy of the Word, 49. See 
also 55, 56, 59, 69, 73, 75, 80, 86, 
92, 99, 105, 108, 115, 123, 125, 
127, 128, 129, 130, 135, 139, 142, 
144, 151, 152, 156, 167, 168, 174, 
178, 181, 182, 183, 190, 193, 211, 
213,215,216, 227, 230, 235, 244, 
258, 267, 268, 270, 272, 274, 277, 
279, 283, 284, 285, 292, 294, 296, 
299, 302, 304, 306, 307, 309, 317, 
319, 320, 321, 322 

Zoth, i.e., Sign of Covenant, 222 



BM Waite, Arthur Edward 

525 The secret doctrine in 

A59W3 Israel