Occult Science in India, by Louis Jacoilliot, , at sacred-texts.com
Rabbi Simon, having assembled his disciples, seated himself beneath the shade of a sacred forest, and informed them that, before dying, he would reveal to them the great secret of the principle of principles.
"A voice was then heard and their knees shook together for fright. What was that voice? It was the voice of the celestial assembly (including all the superior spirits) which had assembled to listen. Rabbi Simon joyfully spoke as follows: O Lord! I will not say, like one of thy prophets, that upon hearing thy voice I was afraid, for this is not the time to be afraid, but it is the time for love, as it is written: Thou shalt love the eternal, thy God."
The Zohar then puts into his mouth the following description of the Supreme Being:
"He is the Ancient of ancients, the mystery of mysteries, the unknown of those who are unknown. He has a form that appertains to him, inasmuch as he appears to us as a man far advanced in life, as the Ancient of ancients, as whatever is most unknown among those who are unknown, but under this form beneath which he manifests himself to us, he still remains unknown, his garment seems white, and his aspect is that of one whose face is exposed; he is seated upon a throne of thunderbolts, which he uses at pleasure. The white light of his head lights up four hundred thousand worlds. Four hundred thousand worlds, springing from this white light, are the inheritance of the just in the world to come. Every day witnesses the birth of thirteen thousand myriads of
worlds which receive their subsistence from him, and the burthen of which is entirely supported by him. A refreshing dew drops from his head, which awakes the dead and infuses into them a new life, wherefore it is written; Thy dew is a dew of light; it is the food of the highest order of spirits; it is the manna which is prepared for the just in the life to come. It drops upon the field of sacred fruit. In appearance this dew seems white like diamonds, whose color contains all colors. The length of his face, from the summit of his head is three hundred and seventy times ten thousand worlds. He is called the long-face, for such is the name of the Ancient of ancients."
"Before he created any form in this world, before he produced any image, he was alone, without form, resembling nothing. Who can conceive of him as he was then, previous to creation, inasmuch as he had no form? Therefore it is not lawful to represent him by means of any image or under any form whatever, even by his holy name, even by a letter or a point. Such is the meaning of the words. You saw no figure on the day when the Eternal spoke to us."
"Woe to him who ventures to compare him even to one of his own attributes; much less still should he be compared to man who springs from the earth, and whose destiny is death. He should be conceived of as above all creatures and all attributes."
"Learn, however, that no one is intelligent or wise, except of his own substance, for wisdom does not deserve the name by itself, but on account of him who is wise, and who produces it from the light emanating from himself. Moreover, no one can conceive of intelligence as existing by itself alone, but through him who is an intelligent being and who fills it with his own substance." (Extract from the Zohar, a Cabalistic work.)
"The Ancient of ancients is, at the same time, the most unknown of unknown beings. He is distinct from every-
thing, and yet he is not separated from anything; for everything is united to him as he is united to everything; there is nothing that is not in him. He has a form and we may say that he has none. Upon assuming a form he gave existence to everything that is. In the first place, he projected from his own bosom ten luminariesor the ten Zephirothwhich shine by the form they borrowed from hint, and diffuse on all sides a most brilliant light. In the same manner as a beacon spreads rays of lights everywhere around it, the Ancient of ancients, the unknown of all unknown beings, is an elevated beacon, which we know merely by the light, which shines in our eyes with such brilliancy and fulness. What we call his holy name is only this light." (Extract from the Idra-Souata, a Cabalistic work.)
"The Ancient of ancients, whose name be sanctified, is the only form that embraces all other forms. It is supreme and mysterious wisdom, that includes everything." (Extract from the Zohar.)
These extracts contain almost everything that has been written by the Cabalists with regard to the divine nature, and we may say, indeed, that their whole system of philosophical belief is contained in its turn, in the following sayings, taken from the Book of the Pitris:
He is all and in all
And everything is in him!
[paragraph continues] He is the cause of everything and every effect is in him.
The same pantheism, in an infinite unity, was taught in the works of the Cabala as by those who had been initiated in the Indian temples.- The Ancient of Ancients in the Zohar is precisely the same as the Ancient of Days in Manu, the Vedas, and the Agrouchada-Parikchai. We find the same fundamental ideas at the basis of both philosophies, expressed in almost identical terms.
We shall now show how this most unknown of unknown beings revealed himself in creation.