Light without end

Aïn soph aur, beyond the sephirah kether

December 29th 2014
On the sephirotic Tree, beyond the sephirah Kether, cabbalists mention a space they have called aïn soph aur, ‘light without end’. This space is impenetrable: it is the Absolute, the Non-manifest, of which we can have no conception. Kether, as God manifest, is an emanation of this light. The Divine as understood by cabbalists is beyond light and dark, beyond created worlds. And to express this mystery of the Divine even better, beyond aïn soph aur they conceived of a region they called aïn soph, ‘without end’, and even further, beyond aïn soph, we find the region aïn, ‘without’. So at the origin of the universe there is a negation. But ‘without’, which means absence, lack, does not however mean non-existence. Aïn is not the nothingness that some have imagined the Hindus’ nirvana to be. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. Aïn soph aur, like nirvana, is a life beyond creation, beyond manifestation, and so far beyond that it appears to be a non-existence. Aïn soph aur… aïn soph… aïn… this is how the cabbalists have sought to give an account of realities that elude our understanding. It is impossible to speak of the Absolute, but we must hold onto the notion of it and thank God, our heavenly Father, who loves us, who helps us to grow and works in our heart, for even though the words are inadequate they give us a hint of this reality.