One Kingdom: Seven Heavens…1

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The wisdom of the desert sees prayer of the Name as a hallowing of seven heavens which involves a harrowing of seven hells.  The Name  EHYEH, ‘I AM,’ was unveiled in the desert in the midst of a burning bush, symbol of uncreated transforming fire, which consumes hell’s confusions but not heaven’s sound differentiation and heals hell’s separation so as to sustain heaven’s holy unions.  Desert tradition was aware of the Jewish mystical tradition of the Temple and later of its transmission through the Kabbalah.  The wisdom of the Kabbalah sees ‘I AM’ as AIN: divine no-thing beyond all things, but also as AIN SOF, divine infinitude, boundless, all-encompassing completeness.   Glory crowns wisdom’s discernment of the Name with penetrating insight and receptive intuition, discerning in ‘I AM’ the great Face of God in Holy Trinity.  

The Kabbalah also discerns the lesser Face of God in seven heavens issuing from the ABBA of wise insight and the AMMA of wise intuition.  The Name unveils the seventh heaven of HESED: divine grace, unveiling infinite mercy, together with the sixth heaven of GEVURAH: divine justice, revealing loving rigour.   ‘I AM’ unites these heavens  in the fifth heaven of TIFERET: divine beauty, manifesting centrifugal and centripetal balance in back-turning harmony at the heart of wise theophany.  The Name is then unveiled as the fourth heaven of NETSAH: divine victory over all that usurps God, and the third heaven of HOD: divine majesty which reigns over all that opposes God.   Divine victory and majesty unite in the second heaven of YESOD: the divine foundation, which unveils ‘I AM’ as the founding expanse of prototypical creation.   Victory and majesty also ground the first heaven of MALKHUT; the Kingdom of God, whose parousia presence, SHEKHINAH, unites heaven and earth.  Just as the ‘I’ of the Name crowns the Great Face of God above, so the ‘AM’ of the Name grounds the lesser Face of God in the mirroring presence of the Kingdom here below.  The Name above unites ascent above with the hallowing descent of the Name below, and in Christian Kabbalah, this is the sacred trajectory of Christ’s Chariot Throne.

Wisdom’s vision of seven heavens between the uncreated awareness and the uncreated presence of the Holy Name includes her vision of seven hells appearing to separate God’s ‘I’ from his ‘AM’, dividing the Name into delusory but catastrophic, warring hells.  In Christian Kabbalah, the Name in the desert bears witness to Christ’s heavens as glory undoing dark hells of vanity, turning vainglory back into right glory, in wisdom, to reunite the Name.  Hells appear to divide the Name which heavens unite, showing the desert how Christ’s hallowing of the Name, kiddush ha-Shem, cures Name-profaning chillul ha-Shem, revealing how right glorifying wisdom in Christ heals kenodox vainglory.   The royal journey of Christ through seven hells inspires wisdom’s vision of his chariot throne, merkabah, restoring seven confusing, divisive hells to their original glory as seven united heavens.  Wisdom crowns Abba insight and Amma intuition because she needs piercing penetration as well as permeating receptivity if the Great Face of God above is to be mirrored in seven hallowed heavens by the Lesser Face of God below.  Wisdom discerns the glory of the Name in mercy’s grace and judgment’s rigour, so that divine beauty is manifest as hallowing theophany of glory.   Divine victory overcomes all that usurps God so that divine majesty reigns over all that resists God, opening to YESOD, wholesome foundation of healing and ground of MALKUTH, the Kingdom of God. 

When the glory of Christ’s Chariot Throne descends from God to the luminous waters of the seventh heaven, its subtle expanse begins to resonate with the primordial sound of the great Name.  Everything that appears on the flaming surface of the watery expanse, whether coming forth from God or returning to God again, explodes into a cry of joy and expands like a wave of luminous sound to extend over the whole expanse of light and glory.  This primordial prayer bursts forth as shattering praise, expressing glory, as each wave begins to reverberate throughout the ocean of glory as praise of the Name.   Each and every wave becomes the whole heavenly ocean as each voice joins the cry of joy that hallows the Name so the Kingdom comes.  The seventh heaven does not stop short of the other six but expands to include them so that hells are emptied by praise of the Name.  Heaven’s doxology works the re-unification of the Name, which unites the Kingdom of God above with heavens below by harrowing hells with hallowing glory.   One Spirit heals God above and heavens below by hallowing the earth as a heavenly earth with one earthly, heavenly breath.  One breath, one Spirit, restores the earth to its heavenly glory as the Name is hallowed so the kingdom comes.  Between the AIN of no-thing and the AIN SOF of boundless infinitude, the heavens of glory, encompassing everything, crown with glory wisdom’s hallowing of the harrowing Name.