From The Sepher Yetsira, Carlo Suares, 1976 (Book of Formation)

Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom: Energetic Transformations in the First Four Sephirot:
Sephirotic Permutations in the Sepher Yetsira

Sepher Yetsira Index

First Sephira
Second Sephira
Third Sephira
Fourth Sephira

Click to go through the first four Sephirot

Alternate Permutations of the First Four Sephirot

The Thirty-Two Paths are everywhere understood as the adding together of the twenty-two Autiot and the ten Sephirot. This is somewhat like adding the electricity to the transformers and Suares calls this assumption "a snare for the amateur cabalist." Here, the 32 Wondrous Paths are understood as initial energetic transformations within the first four Sephirot, where energy is first stepped-down from Ayn-Sof and Adam Kadmon's interior space is formed, containing the full evolutionary process.

  "Therefore the thiry-two signs in the first four Sephirot are the projection of the thirty-two within the combined ten" (SY, p76).

"In short, the first four Sephirot give birth to Interior Space in Human Consciousness" (SY, p83).

32 Paths:   The First Four Sephirot
Sephirot Number Name Quality Function
1 Ehhat Keter Oomq Reshith Rouhh Elohim Hhaim
First Kether Depth of Beginning Breath of Elohim Alive
2 Schtaim Hhokmah Oomq Acharit Rouhh Merouhh
Second Wisdom Depth of End Breath of Breath
3 Schelesch Binah Oomq Tov Mayim Merouhh
Third Understanding Depth of Good Waters of Breath
4 Arbaa Gedolah Oomq Raa Esch Memaim
Fourth Greatness Depth of Evil Fire of Waters
12 + 7 + 7 + 6   =   32 Paths

  Overview: The initial structuration of infinite energy-consciousness and the formation of "the Interior Space in Human Consciousness."

  Context: Keeping in mind that the Sepher Yetsira is a lab manual for Bereshyt/Genesis, the SY has five chapters and a concluding sixth chapter. The First Chapter deals with the Ten Sephirot. The remaining four deal with the Twenty-two Autiot -- Chapters Two and Three with the Three Mothers, Chapter Four with the Seven Doubles and Chapter Five with the Twelve Simples. The enumeration and description of the individual Sephirot begin in verse 9 of Chapter One. Verses 9-12 describe Adam Kadmon's interior (timeless) space as constituted in the first four Sephirot, and devote one verse for each Sephirot.

1:9   Ten Sepherot Belimah. One: Rouahh Elohim Hhaim, blessed and glorified his Name belonging to the life of worlds (space-time). Qol (voice) Ve-Rouahh (breath) Ve-Dabor (word) and it is Rouahh Haqadosch (the saint).

1:10   Two: Rouahh Merouahh, Hhaqaq Vehhatsav (legislates or organises and chisels or cuts with). Twenty-two Autiot Yassod, three fundamentals and seven doubles and twelve simples and Rouahh One with (in) them.

1:11   Three: Maim Merouahh Hhaqaq Vehhatsav (legislates or organises and chisels or cuts) with (in) them Tohou and Bohou. In Refesch (mud) and Tith (clay), organises as a kind of flower-bed (garden), hewn as a kind of wall, and covered as a kind of roof.

1:12   Four: Esch Memaim. Hhaqaq Vehhatsav (legislates or organises and chisels or cuts) the glorious throne (with) (the) Seraphim and (the) wheels and the Hhaivoth (holy lives) auxiliary messengers (angels), and with these three founded his dwelling as it is said: he made of his messengers the breaths (winds) and (the) blazing fire of his servants.

  Verse 13 describes Adam Kadmon's outer, or developmental, space, as the sealing of the six directions (upper, lower, East, West, South, North) with YHWH's great Name, devoting one verse for all six lower/outer Sephirot. See Seals in the Cube of Space. Chapter One ends with a recapitulation/emphasis of the qualities of first four Sephirot, and glorifies Height only among the directions.

1:14:   These are the ten Sephirot Belimah (that are) One: Ruahh Elohim Hhaim and Rouahh Merouahh and Maim Merouahh and Esch Memaim and Height glorified and low, East, West, North, South.     Suares SY 73-74

Height, the Fifth Sephirot, is glorified because it is the hinge, or gateway, to the inner four Sephirot and it is the only one of the outer/lower six that is sealed twice by YHWH. See the Ten Sephirot Belimah and Shabatai.

But it is clear that the Sepher Yetsira is putting special emphasis on the functions of the first four Sephirot summed up in verse 1:14.

The energising process, which passes through the Sephirot, at one and the same time, determines and is determined by them as is expressed by: Rouahh-Elohim-Hhaim, Rouahh-Merouahh, Maim-Merouahh and Esch-Memaim.     SY p.75

While the First Chapter of the Sepher Yetsira deals with the Sephirot, and the classification of the Autiot begins only with Chapter Two, in the last verses of Chapter One we find a description of the Autiot as active agents in the initial stepping-down of Infinite energy. Specifically, the thirty-two signs of Ruahh Elohim Hhaim Rouahh Merouahh Maim Merouahh Esch Memaim are the thirty-two pathways determining/constituting Adam Kadmon's three-dimensional interior space inside the first four Sephirot, and their permutations and transformations reveal the direct role of the Autiot detailed in the following chapters.

It is hopeless to approach the Sepher Yetsira as some kind of mystical text like the Zohar, or even worse, a non-semantic "magical" incantation as is the vogue in scholarly circles, having given up on understanding. It is written in code, just like Genesis, and its equations must be solved, and its routines run, within oneself. To help this process along, the text provides its own boot-sector, the First Chapter, so you can get up-and-running with the language of its operating system, the Autiot of the Hebrew Alphabet.

The MasterBootRecord / First Chapter of the Sepher Yetsira provides the initial information about the structure of the system (Ten Sephirot Belimah) and how i/o will be handled (a two-way flow) and how information will be processed inside the operating system (the four inner Sephirot). Then, after unpacking the Three Mothers in Chapters 2 and 3, the SY boots into a run-time environment (the six outer Sephirot) in Chapters 4 and 5. Along the way, it self-compiles (generates the Autiot it will need to to set up its language at the Second sephirot) and virtualizes itself (at the third Sephirot) and makes itself ready for an operator (at the Fourth Sephirot).

Or, after and all at the same time, a "call" and an "echo" of the infinite in the First Sephira, the Second, as a response to Breath (Rouahh) generates the twenty-two Autiot with a return Breath, which create "intelligent" formations out of primary substance, in three dimensions. At the Fourth, the space is enlarged into "the sacred dwelling of the Ineffable" where Iysch, perfected man, lives. The last six Sephirot are the outer dimensions of Adam Kadmon's developmental experience (spiritual-material, future-past, sensation-response, see Cube: Metapsychology).

Note that the first four Sephirot are doubly specified by quality (depth of beginning) and function (Breath of Elohim Alive), where they are paired, one-two, three-four (start-finish, stable-unstable). As always, we are dealing with double descriptions (qualitative-functional/quantitative) of the One Living Energy, which must be weighed, one against the other, twice.

The symbolic meaning of verses 1:9, 1:10, 1:11, 1:12 can now be read.

Verse 1:9 describes the projection of what, for lack of words, can be called infinity in number. In addition to the equations translated as appeal, or voice, but which express the prolific scintillation of Cosmic Aleph, and Dabor (Dallet-Bayt-Waw-Raysh: expressing the echo or the voice which reverberates from the solid substance struck by Qol.

Verse 1:10 says that the 2nd Sephira beget the Autiot, as response (Rouahh Merouahh) to "breath."

Verse 1:11 mentions Maim for the first time: Water as the "Prime Element" (in the alchemical sense) of formation. Maim Merouahh is a condensation of living energy. Next, referring to Genesis, the text takes Tohou and Bohu into account as substance without form. The element "water" cannot, in fact, take any form of its own. Consequently, in order to have a primary formation, mud (or ooze) arises. The equations used by the verse are Refesh (Raysh-Phay-Sheen: 200.80.300), which is remarkable, 80 being the undifferentiated substance of life: and Tit (Tayt-Yod-Tayt: 9.10.9), a two-fold female energy in life. (Tit is always clay in alchemical symbolism.)

Thus, symbolic or inner space is formed. It is shown by three symbols: a "flower-bed" (or or a lawn), symbol of the horizontal, a "wall," symbol of the vertical, and a "kind of rooting," a diagonal marking the third dimension of space.

Verse 1:12 is the symbol of "Fire" in its two roles: it hardens and stabilises the clay, and this completes the"formation" of an object, but it is also the blazing force, the "formative" element of Kisse (Kaf-Sammekh-Aleph: 20.60.1) or celestial "throne" which "serves" the hierachy of Seraphims, Auphanims, Hhaivot Haqadosch and assistant angels. The names of all these messengers and servants who are continually traversing the universe as blasts of wind and fire, are easy to decode and to "de-mythologize."     SY p.80-83

Before dealing with the transformations within the individual Sephirot, we can make a few further observations. What Suares is pointing out here (for the first time) is that the functional descriptions of the first four Sephirot can be de-coded and understood as a series of permutations of basic energies/structures which result in a stepping down of infinite energy ("infinity in number") and the formation of interior consciousness. Rouahh Elohim provides all the Autiot needed for the rest of the permutations until the Sheen of Esh Memaim. The Sheen implicit in the Breath of God (=300) is made explicit in the Fourth Sephira, where Iysch (Aleph-Yod-Sheen) is born in the Waters (Mem-Mem-Mem).

Rouahh, the same "Breath" of "Spirit" of "God" that "hovered" in the second verse of Genesis begins the sequence of permutations (Raysh-Waw-Hhayt = the cosmic container in fertile union with unstructured substance/possibility), and is used three more times (Rouahh Merouahh, Mayim Merouahh) for a total of four Breaths to make the Fourth Sephira. After the four universal containers of Raysh, Waw is used four times, Hhhayt and Yod appear five times, and we need nine Mem to complete the sequence (plus two Aleph, one Lammed, one Sheen and one Hay).

So we see that the "material" that the first four Sephirot are using to create their structures, is about as immaterial as could be: (Raysh: four cosmic containers of) unstructured substance/consciousness (Hhayt), basic existence (Yod) and formless primary substance (Mem). The infinite-energy-consciousness-movement of Aleph-Lammed in the Elohim of the Breath of God in the First Sephira operates successively and at the same time on primordial unstructured substance in the first three Sephirot to create the structure for interior consciousness in the Fourth Sephira, which does not need a Breath because it has resurrected its own in Sheen, and contains no Hhayt (unstructured substance) at all. Aleph, infinite consciousness/energy, reappears in Iysch, who is alive with the singular Hay of Elohim, found back at the First Sephirot.

After the initial Raysh-Waw-Hhayt -- Aleph-Lammed-Hay-Yod-Mem of the First Sephira, five Autiot - Raysh, Waw, Hhayt, Yod, Mem -- are combined in the Second and Third until Aleph reappears and Sheen is resurrected in the Fourth. The structural outline is two groups of six letters at the First, one group of six letters with a seventh as nucleus in Two and Three, and one group of six letters with no nucleus at the Fourth ("unity is rediscovered").

The whole sequence uses just nine Autiot, symbolic of a complete (archetypal) formation.

The Two Breaths: Nine Letters Become Thirty-Two Paths