286. "THE first disposition is that which commenceth almost at the beginning of the hair.
287. "Also we have learned: No beard (i.e., no part of this beard) is found which doth not (virtually) arise from the brain of the head (or from the heart). 1
288. "But in this (last section) this (first part of the beard) is not considered as distinct (from the others). For in this chapter only this first form (or portion of the beard) is to be considered, which descendeth from the beginning of the hair, and it hath this peculiarity (namely, that it riseth directly from the brain, which cannot altogether be said concerning the other parts of the beard).
289. "And this is to be kept perfectly distinct from this beard--namely, that which exists from the head (formed into), one thousand worlds, sealed with a most pure seal, with a seal which includeth all seals.
290. "The length of that portion of hair descending before the ears is not equal to the length (of the beard
itself); neither doth it twine together, nor hang down far.
291. "But those hairs, when they flow down, are extended, and depend.
292. "And the beginning of the first disposition consists of thirty and one equal locks, extended even unto the beginning of the mouth.
293. "Also three hundred and ninety hairs are found in each lock.
294. "Those thirty and one equal locks, which exist in the first disposition (of the beard) are strong, in order that they may dispose the inferiors according to the number of AL, El. 1
295. "What is this AL, El? Mighty and Powerful One.
296. "And among those single locks are distributed one and thirty dominating worlds, so that they may be extended 2 (correctly) neither on this side nor on that.
297. "And out of each one of these worlds a partition is made into a thousand worlds of desires and of great pleasures.
298. "And they are all concealed in the commencement of the beard, which representeth strength; and they are included in that (name) AL.
299. "And notwithstanding is AL Himself disposed towards mercies, because in Him the Ancient of Days is mitigated and included and extended.
300. "Wherefore even unto the mouth? Because it is written, Dan. vii. 9: 'The judgment was set, and the books were opened.'
301. "What is this? 'And the judgment was set.' It was set in that place, so that it might not have dominion.
302. "This is that which is written, Isa. ix. 15: "Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty One.' That is, AL, El, such a one who also is mighty, but is rendered mild through the holy beard of the Ancient of Days.
303. "And an Arcanum is concealed in that place wherein it is written, Mic. vii. 18: 'What AL, El, like unto Thee?' Because of the Ancient of Days it is spoken in the form of the configuration of the holy supernal beard.
304. "The first world, which proceedeth from the first disposition, hath dominion over, and descendeth and ascendeth in a thousand times a thousand myriads of myriads of shield-bearers, and by it are they comprehended under a great seal.
305. "The second world, which proceedeth from that disposition, hath dominion over and descendeth and ascendeth in fifty-seven thousand bodyguards, who are the lords of lamentations; and these are connected with it for the purpose of disposing the neck of the spine. 1
306. "The third world, which goeth forth from that arrangement, hath dominion over and descendeth and ascendeth in sixty-nine thousand authors of grief, who are upheld by it, like as metal (is upheld) by the tongs (of the smith).
307. "And by that conformation all those are subjected, and mitigated in the bitterness of tears, which become sweet in the great sea. 2
308. "Who is he who beholdeth this conformation of the holy beard, excellent and venerable, who is not overcome with shame thereby?
309. "Who can comprehend the mystery of those locks of hair which hang down from Him, the Ancient One?
310. "He is set on the crown of crowns, which are the crowns of all crowns, and the crowns which are not comprehended in the other crowns; I say, of those crowns which are not as the other crowns, for the inferior crowns are comprehended by them. 1
311. "And therefore are those forms (arranged in) such conformations, whereunto the inferior forms adhere; and they are the dispositions in which He 2 is disposed Who hath need that He may be blessed by Him, 3 and Who desireth blessing.
312. "For whensoever the dispositions take the form of these, blessings are found beneath them; and It Is that which It Is. 4
313. "All things are comprehended in those dispositions; all things raise themselves up in order that they may receive these dispositions of the Mighty King, of the Ancient One, the most concealed of all. And all those are mitigated by those ordinations of the King, the Ancient One.
314. "We have learned: Unless the Ancient of the Ancient Ones, the Holy of the Holy Ones, were disposed in those conformations, neither the superiors nor the inferiors would be found, and all things would be as though they existed not.
315. "Also we have learned by tradition: how far do those conformations of the beard radiate splendour? Even unto the thirteen inferiors; and whensoever those thirteen are found, those shine. 5
316. "And all of them are found in the number thirteen.
317. "Therefore is the beard of the King, the Ancient One, most venerable among all, at once in its entirety concealed, and most excellent.
V8. "And because it is most excellent before all things, and concealed, there is no mention made concerning it in any place in the law, and it is not manifested.
319. "But what beard is manifested? The beard of the Great High Priest, and from that beard descendeth the influx unto the inferior beard of the inferior high priest. 1
320. "How is the beard of the high priest disposed? The beard of the high priest is disposed in eight conformations. Because also the high priest hath eight vestments, when the ointment descendeth upon his beard.
321. "This is that which is Written, Ps. cxxxiii. 2: 'Like the precious oil upon the head descending upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, which descendeth according to the proportion of his attributes,' &c.
3231. "And whence is this to us? Because it is written in the same place: 'Also for brethren to dwell together in equality.' The word 'also' increaseth the signification of the inferior high priest.
323. "Seeing that in the same way as the inferior high priest ministereth in the high priesthood, so also, if it be permitted to say so, doth the High Priest above minister in His high priesthood.
324. "This is the first ordination of the beard of the Ancient One, the most concealed of all."
325. Rabbi Schimeon said unto him: "It is justly thy due, Rabbi Isaac, that thou shouldest be under the ornament of the conformation of the beard, and that
thou shouldest receive the light of the countenance of the Ancient of Days, the Ancient of the Ancient Ones. Blessed is thy portion, and blessed be my lot with thee in the world to come."
142:1 The heart being considered as the central motor of the body.
143:1 AL, El, God, the Mighty One, is equivalent by Gematria to the number 31; for A + L = 1+ 30 = 31.
143:2 For were they extended, the number would be altered, and it would consequently no longer = AL.
144:1 This is of course simply pursuing the symbolism involved in the idea of Macroprosopus, being typified by a vast countenance or head.
144:2 By the great sea. Binah, the third Sephira, is probably meant. (See the "Book of Concealed Mystery," ch. i. § 28).
145:1 To comprehend the real meaning of section 310, the reader should have carefully studied that part of the introduction which refers to the Sephiroth, which are symbolised by crowns. In this sense the "crown of crowns" is Kether, the first Sephira, the Ancient One; the crowns of all crowns will be the first three Sephiroth; and the inferiors will be the lower Sephiroth, and those other forms which are dependent on them symbolized by the crowns of the twenty-four elders in the Apocalypse, which latter is a purely qabalistical work, and is unintelligible without the qabalistical keys.
145:4 Cf. Exodus iii. 14.
145:5 This section refers to the statement that Macroprosopus pours forth His splendour upon Microprosopus, so that the latter shines by reflected light.
146:1 The Great High Priest is the son, Microprosopus, symbolized on earth by the High Priest. Compare what St. Paul says about Christ being our Great High Priest.