>> I do believe that the point of confusion that I am finding is that within Jewish Kabbalah, there are only 22 letters. Whereas Bardon's system posits how many letters, 27, I believe? <<
Yes, Bardon gave 27. However, Hebrew has 22 Letters (which are all consonants) and 5 basic vowel points. Bardon didn't discriminate between "Letters" and "vowel points" and thus presented 27 "letters". If you examine my Commentary Upon KTQ rather closely, especially my charts 1 & 2, I think you will understand how Bardon's letters and the Hebrew match up.
>> Moreover, all the letters are supposed to be mastered within each of the four realms: akasha, mental, astral and physical, correct? Yet here you're seeming to say that certain letters have an affinity with certain realms... <<
Yes. However, the fact that a specific Letter has an affinity with a specific realm does not preclude its usage in other realms. The nature of these affinities are the basis upon which formulae are constructed.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
21 Jun 2003
>> Perhaps a better question would be: why does the Sepher Yetzirah not deal with the five basic vowel points? Do these vowel points deal more with the transition from Yetzirah to Assiah? <<
Even though the S.Y. doesn't come out and name the vowels in the same way it does the Letters, they are still inferred. Many things are inferred or stated symbolically/obliquely in the S.Y. and this is why it's essential to study the S.Y. in its original Hebrew and go through it with a fine-toothed comb, so to speak.
Ultimately, each of the Hebrew Letters, which are all *consonants*, require a vowel to the *spoken* astrally and physically. The vowel points are the life breath of the Letters.
In S.Y., 2:3 we find an indication of the three forms of "speaking" a Letter --
"Twenty-two foundation Letters:
He portrayed them with voice;
He hewed them out with breath;
He hid them in the mouth in five places . . ."
The last ("He hid them in the mouth in five places") refers to the *mental* speaking, per Bardon. Here, the Letter is spoken mentally without any vowel attached. The key to speaking the *consonant* without the vowel is the shaping of the mouth: i.e., where they are "hidden" in the mouth itself.
"He hewed them out with breath", refers to the *astral* speaking, per Bardon. Here there is the addition of the "breath", which means the vowels since speaking vowels involves breath. By "hewing" is meant that the consonants are thus given dimension and life.
"He portrayed them with voice", refers to the *physical* speaking, per Bardon. Here the vocal chords are vibrated along with the issuance of breath and shaping of the mouth.
All of these actions are enacted upon the "22 *foundation* Letters".
>> Within your writings, you associate akasha with Atziluth; the mental realm with Briah; the astral realm with Yetzirah; and the physical realm with Assiah. Yet within your commentary upon KTQ you have the Gra tree represent the world of Briah, when elsewhere you state that the Gra tree is the best representation of the tree within the Sepher Yetzirah. So how do you rectify this point of contradiction? <<
Okay, this bit gets complicated, so buckle your seatbelt. ;-)
The Sepher Yetzirah or "Book of Formation" describes the *creation* of the realm of Yetzirah. The Creatrix is represented by the Gra Tree (the Tree of perfect equilibrium), and the creation (Yetziratic Realm) is represented by the Hebrew Tree. In other words, the S.Y. *results in* the Hebrew Tree, but the tree it *describes* is the Briatic Tree or Gra Tree.
The S.Y. tells the tale of the transition between the Briatic (mental) and Yetziratic (astral) Realms or Worlds. It's the *creation* of Yetzirah and the astral realm. This may be the reason why Aryeh Kaplan chose to translate the title of his book into the English "Book of Creation" instead of "Book of Formation".
The true "Sepher Briah", or "Book of Creation", is the first chapter of Genesis which defines the 32 Paths of Wisdom. It tells the story of the transition between Atziluth and Briah. This results in the mental realm or Briatic World, represented by the Gra Tree.
The Sepher Yetzirah picks up from there and describes how the Briatic Gra Tree, creates the astral realm of Formation, which results in the Hebrew Tree.
As for a "Sepher Assiah", or "Book of Making", which describes the transition from Yetzirah (astral) to Assiah (material), it's my opinion that The Ari (R. Luria) found the equivalent within the "Sepher ha Zohar" and from that divined his version of the Tree. To my mind, the Ari Tree describes the Assiatic Realm.
Clear as mud? ;-)
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
28 Jun 2003
>> With the Kabbalistic work one has to look for the essential meaning of each of the spheres and paths, then try to figure out the colour symbolism and work on condensing that essential meaning through colour. <<
There's sort of an alternative approach to the one you describe which I'd like to share with you. Once you get used to the whole direct perception of essential meaning thing, try pronouncing one of the Letters mentally (that means as a consonant, focusing upon the shape of the mouth and the positioning of the tongue). Keep in mind the corresponding color that Bardon listed and the *speaking of the Letter* will cause an eruption of The Right Color. Essentially, you will be directly perceiving the essential meaning of the *mentally spoken* Letter -- as color.
>> Now, what you're saying is that the preparatory work within KTQ works with the condensing down of the various letters/paths within the three bodies. Therefore essentially transforming the three bodies into the tree of life, and hence, a conscious living and breathing expression of the Divine. <<
Yes. Take for example, just the very first exercise of the Fire Pole in which you are condensing the color of each Letter, first in the universe, then in the whole body, inductively and deductively. This is the very first transformation in which your body acclimates to an accumulation of the colors and in which it becomes second nature for the colors to condense in the universe in exact synchrony with your mentally speaking their Letters. In other words, you speak the 'A' and immediately the universe is filled with the light-blue Light or your body is filled. The exercises of repeatedly accumulating and condensing the colored Lights change you.
But this is only the very fist step in the transformative changes that ultimately end in *becoming* the Tree.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
29 Jun 2003
>> I'll have to try that. Though I do believe that I'll have to experiment a lot more with the actual shape of the mouth as I can't seem to pronounce each consonant individually. <<
The key to this is found in Sepher Yetzirah 2:3 -
"Twenty-two foundation Letters: He portrayed them with voice; He hewed them out with breath; **He hid them in the mouth in five places -- Aleph, Cheth, Heh, Ayin: in the throat. Gimel, Yod, Kaph, Qooph: in the palate. Daleth, Teth, Lamed, Nun, Tav: in the tongue. Zayin, Samekh, Shin, Resh, Tzaddi: in the teeth. Beth, Vav, Mem, Peh: in the lips**."
Begin your practice by speaking the Letter normally, with voice and breath. Take very careful note of how your mouth shapes itself, where your tongue is placed and how the breath is compressed for the consonant itself. Then speak the Letter without voice, with the breath alone. Then drop the vowels associated with the normal speaking of the consonant and utter just the consonant itself. This stops the breath at the point of compression.
For example, let's take the Letter 'K'. Speak it first in a normal manner as 'kaaa'. Note how it's the back of the tongue which compresses the breath at the palate (roof of the mouth towards the back). Now speak the 'kaaa' without the vocal chords and focus just upon the compression of the breath and placement of the tongue. Notice how the 'aaa' is a release of the breath compressed by the 'k'. Now drop the 'aaa' and focus just upon the compression of the breath by the back of the tongue against the palate.
>> What about pronouncing the vowels though? <<
It's much the same except that instead of a compression of the breath, it's about the shaping of the flowing breath, again by mouth and tongue.
But be careful when using Bardon's letters to distinguish between the *vowel* Umlaut 'A' (the vowel point Kametz) and the *consonant* 'A' (Aleph), for example. Reference to the charts I provided in my KTQ commentary will help with this.
>> In KTQ Bardon calls for an accumulation of light within both the heart and the brain, yet in IIH Bardon repeatedly warns that an accumulation of the elements within those two regions is something that shouldn't be attempted except by the scholar that has attained the faculty of clairvoyance, through which they would be able to see the functioning of the internal organs. Or is creating an accumulation of light different from an accumulation of the elements? <<
Yes, the Lights are different than the Elements and Fluids. They stand in relation to the Fluids in the same way that the Fluids do to the Elements. An accumulation and condensation of the Lights that correspond to brain and heart, within those organs will not cause a disruption of their electrical functions in the way that a similar accumulation of an Element or Fluid could. The Lights interact with the universal materia in a somewhat different manner than do the Elements and Fluids.
>> When working with the first stage of the fire pole working with the letters definitely did produce an accumulation within the body, yet it is an accumulation that seemed softer and gentler than an accumulation of the elements, even though it was just as dynamic. Then again, that might also be due to the fact that I was working with the A which has a feeling of ease attached to it. <<
The Water pole correspondences aside, there is a difference in the quality of an accumulation of the various Lights. For example the 'C' (Tzaddi) is very fiery with its vermilion red and the 'Ch' (Cheth) with its sparkling silvery violet, is very invigorating and alive, in comparison with the expansive 'A' (aleph) with its sky blue. But the quantity of stress (i.e., the dynamic force) that each of these different flavors of accumulated Light bring to the body is the same.
>> More questions to come when I have the time to type them all out. :) <<
As I stated in my KTQ Commentary, there are limits to what I'm willing to discuss regarding KTQ, in public. Some of your questions have already taken me right up to the boarder of my limits and I've debated whether to answer you here on the BardonPraxis, or to answer you in private instead. So don't be surprised if I end up answering some of your future questions here, in public, and some in private, through direct correspondence. :)
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
03 Jul 2003