Mysteries of the Qabalah, by Elias Gewurz, , at sacred-texts.com
In ancient times the world was not so overburdened with literature as in the unfortunate present, when millions of books which all treat of the same unimportant matters, things which come and go, mere illusions of the moment, are produced in such numbers. In those days man depended more upon the oral teachings and when ready received his due from a teacher to whom he was led often seemingly by chance. The method of teaching followed was generally the Qabalistic one of using the sacred scrolls, upon which were written glyphs and symbols, and upon this foundation building up a solid structure of knowledge which there is nothing in the modern world to excel. The teachings related to the Macrocosmos, the large world or the Universe, and to the Microcosmos, the reflection of that larger world, called Man. From the teachings hidden in these glyphs
and symbols a universal science may be obtained, as is agreed by all who have studied these things, notably by H. P. Blavatsky, a science which treats of the Becoming of the Universe, of flux and efflux of Manvantara and Pralaya, from the generation of the "Gods" to the perfection of man.
One of the methods used to unravel the mysteries hidden in these sacred writings or scrolls is that of Temura or permutation, the anagrammatical method of changing the position of the letters forming a word to create a new word which explains the original. A striking example of this method, which should be of interest to all who are concerned with occult development and to those who are interested in the writings of the Alchemists, is the following:
The writers on Alchemy speak of a mysterious substance to which no name is given. It is said to be the cheapest thing in the world and costs nothing, it cannot be bought, but is actually given "for nothing" to all who are entitled to it. What is this mysterious thing? Let the Qabalist answer. It is grace.
This strange teaching was known ages before the Alchemists gave it out to their disciples, being hidden in the sacred writings of old, to be discovered by this method of Temura or permutation. Let us endeavour to gain some idea as to the method of giving out the hidden wisdom in the days of old.
The Hebrew word MChN, Mechein, meaning literally "from grace," has six permutations of great significance, viz., MChN, "from grace," MNCh, "from the one who rests," CHMn, meaning "rich oil," NChM, "to comfort," NMCh, "to obliterate," and finally, ChNM, "for nothing."
In these permutations is hidden a teaching of the deepest significance.
He who has passed through the fires of life and seen the emptiness of carnal things, of things transitory, those things which at the utmost last but for a life-time, even if that limit be reached, he who has reached this stage becomes MNCh, the one who rests from action. He has discovered after bitter lessons, after repeated trials and tests, that all mundane things are useful only because of the lessons which they teach the Soul.
[paragraph continues] Having thus learned from long experience that nothing in the world of man may bind him, he becomes MNCh. He goes out into the world a disciple doing the work of his Master, doing his Master's will, seeking to bring anew to earth the mighty truths so long hidden from a materialistic world, seeking ever to serve his brethren unto whom the same light has not yet been vouchsafed, ever in the midst of great activity, yet himself inactive within. Whatever storm there may be without, however much it may pour with hailstones, however fearful the lightning and thunder in the world of man, he stands calmly by, ready to serve those who are sent to him, ready to do the will of God, for he has learned from the Silence and become MNCh.
Thus, he acquires GRACE, MChN, that grace which is his due through resting from effort, whilst ever in the midst of the fight.
This grace, or MChN, is like unto "rich oil," which is ChMN, pouring down upon him, anointing him and opening up a wider field of consciousness to him, which tells of perfect unity and at-one-ment, that plane or condition of being known in the East
as the Buddhic and spoken of in the West as Cosmic Consciousness. Entering into this condition of Buddhic consciousness through the anointing, all his doubts and fears are dispelled. Never again can he complain that there is no purpose in life, nevermore will he rail at the gods for the faults of man, for now he knows, he realises and understands the reason, and sees the Purpose shining even in the darkest night of misery. Thus knowing much he is enabled to forgive all, and sets his feet firmly upon the path of Attainment.
Henceforth, as the looks around him and studies the Sacred Scriptures written in the hearts of men, he sees nothing evil, except in a relative sense. There are only lessons to be learned and a something beyond all forms which is Real and Everlasting. Nothing that is human is evil in his sight, nothing that is human is wrong, there is no sin but what he might himself have committed, no stage but what he himself has passed in his upward climb and knowing the effect of these lessons upon himself he realises that all is for the best and that God in truth, is indeed in his heaven, and that
all is, as the poet says, right with the world.
The word NChM, "to comfort," shews us that after arriving at this stage the man is comforted with the knowledge gained, comforted by the Divine Grace which through resting he has attained. And now a new stage has been reached shewn in the word NMCh, meaning "to obliterate," the lower man is obliterated and the god appears in all his glory. It is now that the disciple attains to perfection and receives the great Arcanum, the true Philosopher's Stone which is given him literally "for nothing" (CHNM). He brings with him only grace (MChN), which permuted is ChNM, meaning literally "for nothing."
This then is the meaning of the Alchemists when they assert that the, sacred fire cannot be bought but is to be had "for nothing," but this "nothing" is a very precious "something," for it is grace without which no man can safely be entrusted with the Grand Secret.
We may read the lessons contained in these Temuras in a shorter way thus:
The grace of God is like unto rich oil pouring out from the Heavens, coming "to
comfort" the "one who rests" from strife and serving "to obliterate" all evil, so that nothing is left but the Perfected One, the Tahar or Arhat.
This is an illustration of the method called Temura. Let us now study that of Gematria or numerical valuation and incidentally learn the secret of the wonderful number thirty-three, a secret especially interesting to Freemasons.
The struggler, the disciple, it is well known, has to be thrown down into the Pit into the depths of matter, to learn the lessons which only can be learned through bitter experience. In the midst of his trials when for a time the Light is shut out from him he cries aloud: "Woe is me, my pain is greater than I can bear."
This pain is felt only by the lower man who is being crushed and the teacher reminds the disciple of this and instructs him by means of the perfect number thirty-three.
The value of the Hebrew word KABI which means "my pain" is exactly thirty-three, the number well-known to Occultists and Free-Masons. Why is this called the
perfect number? How many Free-masons can answer? Few indeed of those who specialise in the "fourth degree," the banqueting degree, in any case, can throw even a faint glimmer of light upon the subject. Oh! that we might be permitted to pour the "Chochmah Nistorah" into the empty Masonic vessels and purify the Craft of its defilements. Idol with feet of clay! Let us leave the proud holders of this degree in the hands of the earth-spirit who will awaken them all in good time.
KABI then, which means "my pain" is numerically thirty-three and contains a teaching well worth of study. When the teacher hears this cry and recognises the man as an aspirant, when the disciple thinks that his pain is too great to be borne then is help vouchsafed him. He is instructed to centre himself in God to rise from the Pit into which he has been thrown.
The word BAL which means "in God" has the same numerical value (33) as KABI (my pain). We see that the symbol of the Higher Self (A) is centered in this word pointing out to the disciples the goal to which he must attain.
When this centring has been effected the disciple is told that now he will have to meet his real Self and become one with his Father, the Master within. "In God" says the Teacher, "shalt thou find thy Father, through pain and by the destruction of pain shalt thou rise from the Pit."
The word pain as we have seen it is numerically 33. From this we get the word BAL in God, also 33. In God the Father is to be found, by union the Self is to be known, as we see by changing the letters to those of the same numerical value, viz., ABIKh, literally thy Father (33).
These lessons learned, the disciple rises from the Pit and having become one with God returns to the Mount from whence he came and receives the Law as all true Initiates have to do. Then it is said that he will live for ever.
These teachings are also found in studying the perfect number 33, for not only does it refer to the Pain of the Disciple, the Father, the centring of the self in God but it shows us that the man returns to the heights after these struggles and really begins to live in the eternal. The word GL means
[paragraph continues] Mountain and has the numerical value of 33, whilst YChIH has the same value and means he will live (in the eternal).
Thus in this number 33 is hidden the secret which tells how the risen one escapes for ever from the connection which he has been forced to make with Asmodeus and enters into that state in which Goodness and Light are predominating characteristics. Anything the treader of the Path possesses of these qualities is owing to individual advancement, but the popular or uninstructed world is not yet out of the hands of Asmodeus nor likely to be for ages to come. From all these teachings we should learn infinite patience and tolerance with our less progressed brothers, remembering the jewels from the Hall of Wisdom as set down in Light on the Path.