A wealth of information and insight you have provided here Tyrone.......thanks....
Thanks..........I shall do so.........always a glutton for thought stimulation.........cheers
Is there a place we can post files? I'll upload the original for this if there is. In the interim, here's something for William John Meegan:
Substance & Form
by Shraga Friedman
In the chart showing the attributes of the Tetragrammaton Formula, as they are delineated in my essay “The Evolution of Matter and the Soul”, there is a line distinguishing qualities of the terms “Substance” and “Form.” In another essay I write about the Qabalistic definitions and qualities of Primal Substance as it emerges in the Maaseh B’Reishit. In these brief paragraphs, I hope to address the attributions given in the chart by associating ideas presented in “The First Substance of Qabala” with the definitions and usages given for the terms “Substance” and “Form”.
In “The First Substance of Qabala”, I state:
“The First Substance of Qabala manifests differently at different levels of the Tree of Life, ‘manifests’ being the key word here, as the manifestation is secondary to its Creation. Nachmanides, in his commentary to the first verse of Genesis, spends a lot of time discussing the First Substances, of which he says there are two. To quote directly from the translation I use (by Rabbi Charles B. Chavel; Shilo Publishing House):
‘Everything that exists under the sun or above was not made from non-existence at the outset. Instead He brought forth from total and absolute nothing a very thin substance devoid of corporeality but having power of potency, fit to assume form and to proceed from potentiality into reality. This was the primary matter created by G-d; it is called by the Greeks "hyly" (matter). After the hyly, He did not create anything, but He formed and made things with it, and from this hyly He brought everything into existence and clothed the forms and put them into a finished condition.
‘Know that the Heavens and all that is in them consist of one substance, and the earth and everything that is in it consist of one substance. The Holy One, blessed be He, created these two substances from nothing; they alone were created, and everything else was constructed from them.’”
This last statement by the RaMBa”N1 is important, as - in Hebrew - the terms “created” and “constructed” directly refer to the Worlds of Briah and Yetzirah, respectively. The level of the World of Briah represents the Creation of Something from Nothing (“Yesh M’Ain”, in Hebrew). According to the RaMBa”N, this was the Creation of the two Primal Substances out of that phase of the Evolution of Matter which is referred to as “Ain”, the Unique Divine Source. The RaMBa”N makes this statement in response to his own question concerning the very first statement of the entire Bible, “In the Beginning, G-d Created the Heavens and the Earth.” His question is a purely logical one; first we are told that “G-d Created the Heavens and the Earth” — a single statement which infers a single Creative Act which brought all of the Heavens and all of the Earth into manifest existence in a single Divine fiat. However, Genesis goes on to describe the particular Creative Acts which were distinct events spread out over the expanse of six days. This is an apparent contradiction of the first verse of Genesis, which implies that all the Heavens and the Earth were Created in a single, simultaneous act. The RaMBa”N’s response to this is to look at a particular Hebrew word used in this first verse of Genesis — the word “Et”. In the Hebrew, “the Heavens and the Earth” is stated as “Et HaShamaim V’Et HaAretz.” In Hebrew “(Ha)Shamaim” means “(the) Heavens,” and “(V’Ha)Aretz” means “(and the) Earth.” So it would suffice, in Hebrew to just say “HaShamaim V’HaAretz” for “the Heavens and the Earth.” But the word “Et” is interposed before both words, which has special meaning, Qabalistically. This word is spelled “Aleph-Tav”, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, respectively. Concerning this, the RaMBa”N explains:
“The simple correct explanation of the verse is as follows: In the Beginning G-d created the Heavens means that He brought forth their matter from nothing; and the Earth, includes all the four elements, as in the verse And the Heaven and Earth were finished,2 which includes the lower sphere... Now, with this creation, which was like a very small point having no substance, everything in the Heavens and on the Earth was Created. The word Et is like ‘the essence of a thing’... And so did our Rabbis say:3 ‘ “Et HaShamaim (the Heavens)” — Et includes the Sun, Moon, stars, and constellations. “V’Et HaAretz (and the Earth)” — V’Et includes the trees, herbs, and the Garden of Eden.’ These include all created things which are corporeal.
“Now after having said that with one command G-d Created at first [i.e., “in the Beginning”] the Heavens and the Earth and all their hosts, Scripture returns and explains that the Earth after this [act of] Creation was tohu [‘Chaos’]...”
The use here of the expression “the Heavens and the Earth” with the addition of “and all their hosts” is actually from Genesis 2:1, at the completion of the Six Days4, rather than in the first verse of Genesis. Used here, it emphasizes that the potential for all the specific components of Creation (which were completed on the Sixth Day) were inherently contained in the general substance denoted by the use of the word “Et”. This is the full meaning of the original quotation from the RaMBa”N:
“Everything that exists under the sun or above was not made from non-existence at the outset. Instead He brought forth from total and absolute nothing a very thin substance devoid of corporeality but having power of potency, fit to assume form and to proceed from potentiality into reality. This was the primary matter created by G-d; it is called by the Greeks ‘hyly’ (matter). After the hyly, He did not create anything, but He formed and made things with it, and from this hyly He brought everything into existence and clothed the forms and put them into a finished condition.”
The two substances of Creation – the two “Et”s – can be compared to Energy and Matter. Light is one of the profoundest manifestations of energy, with all the symbolic and philosophical attributes that come with the idea of light. Sound, too, is a form of energy, and the spoken word has the power to perform miracles. So “Light and the Lost Word” represent two forms of matter that have clear spiritual and philosophic potency, not least of which due to their particular place in the Act of Creation. These are of the First Substance, that of the Heavens, from which all their hosts were formed as the archetypes underlying the beliefs of most of humanity. The Second Substance is Matter, from which these same hosts were formed as the physical entities we see traveling across our skies. Even in their physical form, they are transmitters of light. The abstraction of the spiritual reality of these Heavenly Hosts is actually illustrated by the idea that many of the stars we see in the sky at night may no longer exist in time, but their existence with us now consists only of information that has been transmitted to us as a literal ray of light.
But energy is really essentially a form of matter, more volatile than vapours. Its effects are measurable physical realities, and its powers can be harnessed & directed. The spiritual substance which gives form and power to the archetypes, which effect their power in the mind and soul, is not of any material nature that is measurable by human instruments. Its effects, nevertheless, can be observed in the actions of the human instrument.
1The acronym for “Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachman”, otherwise known as “Nachmanides”.
3Bereshit Rabbah 1:19
4It should be noted that, at this point of completion (Genesis 2:1), the term “Et” is not used before either “the Heavens” or “the Earth”. The Hebrew is, indeed, “HaShamaim V’HaAretz.”