BOOK 231: The Differences Between a Path and a Gate
>> In your book 231, I have some difficulties to understand the differences between a path and a gate. Does a path make every time a gate ? Why do you say in the third cycle at the gate#4: 22.214.171.124 => is a gate ? Isn't it 3 paths ? <<
A Gate is the sequential travel from Sephirot to Sephirot which includes the Sephirot AND the 'paths' that connect them. In modern lingo, we use the term 'path' to indicate the connections between the Sephirot, but this is really a mis-use of the term, Kabbalistically speaking. In the ancient texts, the term "Path" is used for the Letters AND the Sephirot (e.g., the 32 Paths of Wisdom) and is not an indication of a connection between the Sephirot. So, the individual Sephirot are each "Paths" as are each of the individual Letters.
To illustrate a simple Gate (which looks like a 'path'), let's look at the first Gate in the Sequence of Initiation: Yesod > Tav > Malkuth. This Gate is composed of three "Paths": #1 - Yesod, #2 - Tav, #3 - Malkuth. It is "worked" or traveled, by first attaining Yesod, and then the 'path' of Tav is pursued "down" into Malkuth. This integrates the Yesod level of one's consciousness, into the Malkuth level, via the journey of Tav. The Gate is then traversed in the opposite direction, upwards and officially ends back in Yesod, thus integrating the Malkuth level of one's consciousness into the Yesod level, via the reverse
journey of Tav.
When working a Gate, one always begins with the highest Sephirot and travels first to the lowest Sephirot. In the example of Gate #4 (126.96.36.199), which is composed of five "Paths", one begins in the highest Sephirot of Hod (8) and travels first to the lowest Sephirot in the Gate, Malkuth (10). Then one makes their way from Malkuth to Yesod and then from Yesod back to Hod, completing the form. And then, one works the Gate in the reverse direction by traveling from Hod to Yesod, then to Malkuth and ending once again in Hod.
So, a Gate is composed of *at least* three "Paths" and represents the integration of the various levels of consciousness symbolized by the "Paths". A "Path" on the other hand, represents just a single discrete level of consciousness and not an integration of levels.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
14 Sept 2003
>>This is very interesting, are these gates approached in Key to the True Kaballah? <<
No. KTK is an entirely different ball of wax.
>> At what point does one begin this work? <<
The "231 Gates of Initiation" specifically, can be pursued as a path of kabbalistic self-initiation in conjunction with the "Eight Temples Meditation Project" work. The 8T describes the initiatory work that's required to attain each Sephirot (mainly in the "Follow-up work" sections) and the "231 Gates of Initiation" depict the "tasks" which integrate the new level of awareness into the former levels and thus enable the next rise. This method of kabbalistic self-initiation integrates very well with Bardon's self-initiation into Hermetics.
For example, one can pursue the Malkuth meditation ritual and begin the work of Step One. When Step One and the "follow-up" work within the Malkuth Temple have both been completed, one begins Step Two and pursues the Yesod meditation ritual. Once Step Two and the "follow-up" work within the Yesod Temple have both been completed, one "works" the first Gate in the Initiation sequence. Then one moves on to Step Three and the Hod meditation ritual. Etc.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
15 Sept 2003