The Bahir revealed
One of the oldest Kabbalistic texts is the Bahir (Brilliant or Illumination) It predates the Zohar and is quoted in almost every major work on Kabbalah.
The name 'Bahir' literally means 'brilliant' or 'Illumination', and is derived from the first verse quoted in the text of the Bahir "And now they do not see the light, it is brilliant [bahir] in the skies", which itself is a quote from the book of Job (37:21).
It was reported to have been written by Rabbi Nehuniah ben HaKana, a Talmudic sage in the 1st Century. It was first published in Provence in 1176
Let's take a look at the opening verse and relate this to Modern Kabbalah to see what gems of wisdom we can arrive at today. By bringing together the Eastern concepts of mind along with New Thought we may get a better picture of the process and a handle on working with this process to promote our good and the good of those around us.
Here is the text:
"1. Rabbi Nehuniah ben HaKana said: One verse (Job 37:21) states, "And now they do not see light, it is brilliant (Bahir) in the skies...[round about God in terrible majesty]." Another verse, however, (Psalm 18:12), states, "He made darkness His hiding place." It is also written (Psalm 97:2), "Cloud and gloom surround Him." This is an apparent contradiction. A third verse comes and reconciles the two. It is written (Psalm 139:12), "Even darkness is not dark to You. Night shines like day - light and darkness are the same."
The last two sentences here, "Even darkness is not dark to you. Night shines like day - light and darkness are the same," set the tone for the entire course of study which is to come. There is nothing that cannot be received. Inside of the Eternal are all of our answers. How do we get inside of the Eternal? We're already there. Even though it may seem that there is darkness all around us the understanding and wisdom we need to navigate our way through has been provided for us. In this first verse we are shown that we do have a higher calling and that this higher calling comes through to us no matter what. In a few recent posts we've talked about the superconscious. It is this aspect of meaning that is being brought out here. Although we cannot see G-d's face because infinity cannot be encompassed in a countenance we can feel G-d's presence. This can be wooed by letting go of doubts and opening up ourselves to this divine light withinin. We are indeed surround by this divine energy. It courses through our bodies and at the core level of being it is the template upon which our bodies are taking form each day. We return to form through the template of form. When we sleep this template receives information necessary for it's spiritual progress. We are bathed in this light. Let's move on to the next verse.
"2. Rabbi Berachiah said: It is written (Genesis 1:2), "The earth was Chaos (Tohu) and Desolation (Bohu). What is the meaning of the word "was" in this verse? This indicates that the Chaos existed previously [and already was ]. What is Chaos (Tohu)? Something that confounds (Taha) people. What is Desolation (Bohu)? It is something that has substance. This is the reason that it is called Bohu , that is, Bo Hu - "it is in it."
Significant in this verse is the last quote "it is in it." What is it? It is the nothing out of which all things are made. This Chaos is the Primordial Substance. It is the Chitta of Yoga. Chitta is the subconscious mind It is the mind stuff. Without the light from above it remains nothing and it has no form. Because of having no form it is ultimately pliable and can be shaped into form as the next verse will suggest. Listen.
"3. Why does the Torah begin with the letter Bet ? In order that it begin with a blessing (Berachah). How do we know that the Torah is called a blessing? Because it is written (Deuteronomy 33:23), "The filling is God's blessing possessing the Sea and the South." The Sea is nothing other than the Torah, as it is written (Job 11:9), "It is wider than the sea." What is the meaning of the verse, "The filling is God's blessing?" This means that wherever we find the letter Bet it indicates a blessing. It is thus written (Genesis 1:1), "In the beginning (Bet Reshit) [God created the heaven and the earth." BeReshit is Bet Reshit .] The word "beginning" (Reshit) is nothing other than Wisdom. It is thus written (Psalm 111:10), "The beginning is wisdom, the fear of God." Wisdom is a blessing. It is thus written, "And God blessed Solomon." It is furthermore written (I Kings 5:26), "And God gave Wisdom to Solomon." This resembles a king who marries his daughter to his son. He gives her to him at the wedding and says to him, "Do with her as you desire."
The Torah must begin with a Blessing. How else can we form anything until we bid it to become that which we are seeking. That we are seeking must always have our highest praise and be separated from amongst everything else which appears. We take the nothing and make it something. This something begins with (Reshit) a blessing. As the text suggests it is wisdom which is the blessing. This blessing is to choose our highest good to begin with. When you start with wisdom you have the ultimate foundation for everything good that is to become. The King is your ability to choose your thoughts. It represents the highest Wisdom or the ability to command the highest wisdom. Your greatest command within is your choice to choose your good and leave your doubts unformed in the Tohu va Bohu. The son and daughter? These represent for example your good thoughts which have issued forth because of the Light of Wisdom. You are able to connect these good thoughts by the express permission or choice of the King to see the unity of these thoughts. Example: The son-"This field before is rich with promise." The daughter - "I know how to till this field." They are married when "I will till this field and mine the riches therein." It is the light which connects the two thoughts and marries the son and daughter each coming from the same source, father.
This is further clarified by the last part, "do with her as you desire." You make the choices in terms of what you desire to achieve or bring forth in your life. This Wisdom or this knowing how everything works is something that you have been given to do with as you please. When you start with something good everything else that follows will partake of and mirror that good.
Here is the next verse which continues the theme of blessing
4. How do we know that the word Berachah [usually translated as blessing] comes from the word Baruch [meaning blessed]? Perhaps it comes from the word Berech [meaning knee]. It is written (Isaiah 44:23), "For to Me shall every knee bend." [ Berachah can therefore mean] the Place to which every knee bends. What example does this resemble? People want to see the king, but do not know where to find his house (Bayit). First they ask "Where is the king's house?" Only then can they ask "Where is the king?" It is thus written, "For to Me shall every knee bend" - even the highest - "every tongue shall swear.
In order to relate this verse to the thread we've been following we have to understand that in order to receive a blessing we must first ask for it and then be prepared to receive. As we bend our knee we lower our heads in prayer. In addition we are acknowledging the higher power and asking that it flow through us or that we become aware of its flowing through us. When we make our choice we ask "where is the king," but first we have to choose which is asking "where is the king's house," what is our choice now that we ask to be elevated on high. The question of whether Beracha is blessing or bending the knee is really a way to point out the similarity between both and how we are being asked to consider both aspects in terms of Kingship, in terms of our choices which we make. Only can we live in the consciousness of being one with our heart's desire. Nothing can take precedence in mind. All of our thoughts become subservient to this desire including those thoughts that are to come, "every tongue shall swear," meaning every thought that comes after will support the truth of our blessing which we are bending our knee-becoming receptive to.
One more verse for today's lesson and this one is a big one.
"5. Rabbi Rahumai sat and expounded: What is the meaning of the verse (Deuteronomy 33:23), "The filling is God's blessing, possessing the Sea and the South"? This means that wherever we find the letter Bet it is blessed. This is the Filling referred to in the verse, "The filling is God's blessing." From there it nourishes those who need it. It was from this Filling that God sought advice. What example does this resemble? A king wanted to build his palace among great cliffs. He mined into the bedrock and uncovered a great spring of living water. The king then said, "Since I have flowing water, I will plant a garden. Then I will delight in it, and so will all the world." It is therefore written (Proverbs 8:30), "I was with Him as a craftsman, I was His delight for a day, a day, frolicking before him at every time." The Torah is saying, "For two thousand years I was in the bosom of the Blessed Holy One as His delight." The verse therefore says, "a day, a day." Each day of the Blessed Holy One is a thousand years, as it is written (Psalm 90:4), "A thousand years in Your eyes is as but yesterday when it is passed." From then on, it is at times, as the verse states, "[frolicking before Him] at every time." The rest is for the world. It is thus written (Isaiah 48:9), "I will [breathe out] My praise through My nose for you." What is the meaning of "My praise"? As it is written (Psalm 145:2), "A praise of David, I will raise You high [my God, O King, and I will bless Your name for the world and forever]." Why is this a praise? Because I will "raise You high." And what is this elevation? Because "I will bless Your name for the world and forever."
Here wherever we find Bet there is a blessing. This means that wherever there is even the inkling of an association with our heart's desire, wherever we can make the connection between our heart's desire and what our thoughts are telling us, we are able to promote this heart's desire into manifestation. Each confirmation of connection provides another key to its manifestation. This is really about the remarkable story of the unfolding of thought. Once you are certain of your heart's desire all kinds of things begin to fill your world. This is why we are talking of planting a garden here which is fed by the spring of water that we have mined. What is this spring of water? It is the constant refreshing of the course of our heart's desire coming into manifestation. More on this point follows. Once you make up your mind clearly about what it is you want then the superconsious (G-d) works with you as the craftsman for its fashioning delighting (or causing delight to appear) in this process of the unfolding of thought. A day, a day in terms of a thousand years or two thousand years, this is to remind us that time is being bypassed. We do not have to be concerned with time in terms of the outworking of our heart's desire. It is being taken care of by the superconsious which does not know time and can bring forth in an instant everything we set our heart's desire upon. Where does all of this unfolding of thought come from? "I will [breathe out] My praise through My nose for you." Clearly this is inspiration. We breathe in and out through our nose which connects to our highest center in our brains the sahasrara chakra in Yoga, the thousand petalled Lotus. While thought is unfolding we keep having these inspirations which unfold the thought even more causing our heart's desire to expand and fill with the breath of life. This praise is repeated and is situated on high which matches our earlier location of the sahasrara chakra. From this place on high, "I will bless Your name for the world and forever," which means that as you keep receiving inspiration your heart's desire is sent out into the world continuously forever. Your name for the world is what you name when you choose your heart's desire. Your focus and committment to letting this highest power reveal your manifested choice is the great work of who we are. It is both our challenge and our joy.
A note about the preceding study and the methods which are being used in order to illumine this information. First since this is the Bahir we know that illumination is its purpose. In order to show force in brilliance we have to unify the name. Unifying the name is making associations between what we see in the text and what we have discovered in mind through our life experience. More directly in order to unify the name we have to use the energy of the name of unificaition which simply states that all is one. This one is that all is mind and energy and that the relationships between the two determines every life factor we need to be aware of. This one resides within us and is the driving force of our being. One only seeks one.
More to come of course.
Many Blessings and continued inspiration
Mark Siet (JJ Slim)