Monthly Meditation

Ain: the absolute Unlimited

Primordial Galaxy

"A Primordial Galaxy" - Illustration © NASA/ESA/ESO/Wolfram Freudling
(click to enlarge)
'We shall never know whether darkness is truly dark, or whether it simply appears as darkness to us because of our inability to see. How can we know whether darkness is a reality or not? The initiates can help us to understand this: in their desire to instruct human beings in the mysteries of God and of creation, they teach that light is born of darkness.
The world of the ten sephiroth that we are studying is the world of manifestation, the world as it has been from the moment God said: ‘Let there be light.’ But this does not mean that darkness reigned before that moment – on the contrary. This is why cabbalists designate the space beyond Kether as Ain Soph Aur, Unlimited Light. The region of Ain Soph Aur is like a veil that cannot be penetrated by human beings. It is the absolute, the unmanifest, of which we can have no notion, and of which Kether, God the Father, is an emanation.
The Deity, as conceived by the cabbalists, is beyond light and darkness, beyond the created worlds. In an attempt to express the mystery of the Godhead even more clearly, they conceived the notion of a region beyond Ain Soph Aur, which they called Ain Soph, Unlimited; and beyond that again, a region called Ain, Un, or negation.
Thus at the origin of the universe there is a negation. But the Un that denotes absence or lack does not mean non-existence. Ain is not the absolute nothingness that some see in the Nirvana of Hinduism. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. Ain Soph Aur, like Nirvana, is not non-existence, not annihilation, but life beyond creation, beyond manifestation – so far beyond that it seems to us to be non-existence.
Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur are the terms that cabbalists use to express those realities that cannot be comprehended by the human mind. There is really nothing we can say about the Absolute. But try to hold on to these notions and thank God, your heavenly Father, for them. For the Father loves you, and works in your heart, and helps you to grow, and these words can, after all, help you to have some sense, however slight, of these realities. Ask heaven for the light you need to penetrate these mysteries. All I can do is point you in the right direction.'
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