Abraham Abulafia: Light of the Intellect

Free online translation of a classic of Jewish Kabbalah

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Prolegomena

“Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord put His spirit upon them!”
-Moses, Numbers 11:29

“Samuel, among those who call on his Name”
-Psalm 99:6

“His head was covered by a tiara of fine linen, wreathed with blue, encircling which was another crown, of gold, whereon were embossed the sacred letters, to wit, four vowels” 
-Josephus, The Jewish Wars, V. 236

“The method of pronouncing the Name is found in the book Light of the Intellect by Abraham Abulafia, and this method is the secret of the Book of Creation” 
-Moshe Cordovero, Or Yakar on Zohar, Song of Songs

“I began to fathom the gist of Abulafia’s books and even attempted to perform a few of his instructions to the letter and experienced that they caused changes in my states of consciousness”
-Gershom Scholem, From Berlin to Jerusalem

Light of the Intellect gives the impression of a Judaized treatise on Yoga”
-Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Chapter IV

“This is to let you know that after four years of research and work I have finally finished my new novel VALIS for Bantam. In the writing I collaborated with the spirit of the 13th century Jewish Kabbalist Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia who seizes control of me from time to time, as circumstances require.”
-Philip K Dick, The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick: 1977–1979

“Robert Stratton went on to read nomenclature at Cambridges Trinity College. There he studied kabbalistic texts written centuries before, when nomenclators were still called baalei shem and automata were called golem, texts that laid the foundation for the science of names: the Sefer Yezirah, Eleazar of Worms’ Sodei Razayya, Abulafia’s Hayyei ha-Olam ha-Ba.”
-Ted Chiang, 72 Letters

“More wonderful than this is the intimation aroused through the use of a certain term whose letters are identical with those of another term; solely the order of the letters is changed; and between the two terms there is in no way an etymological connection or a community of meaning.”
-Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed II:43

Translator’s Preface

Amidst the rich panoply of Jewish Kabbalah, Abraham Abulafia (1240-c.1291) resonates the most with modern, philosophically minded seekers of direct mystical experience. Abulafia creatively combined ideas from Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed and the ancient Book of Creation into an integrated method of concentrating on the Divine Name that opens the path to fulfilling the soul’s deepest spiritual longings.

Abulafia was unique amongst Jewish mystics in composing comprehensive meditation handbooks for personal spiritual practice. Abulafia’s Light of the Intellect, written around 1282 in Messina, Sicily, is one of his most important meditation manuals. Abulafia himself singles out Light of the Intellect as the “most excellent of his writings that reveal the true knowledge of the Divine Name” as he puts it, and enjoins the aspiring kabbalist to “study and become wise through it”.

Abulafia’s writings achieved a wide underground circulation amongst an elite cadre of Jewish mystics throughout the ages despite a severe rabbinical ban on Abulafia promulgated by Shlomo ben Adret. Sections from Light of the Intellect were quoted and printed verbatim by the great kabbalists Moshe Cordovero (Pardes Rimonim 21:2), Avraham Shalom (Neveh Shalom) and Yehuda Albotini (Sulam HaAliya). The book has even left a subterranean influence on philosophers like Moshe Narboni, Pico della Mirandola, Yosef Ibn Caspi, Yosef Hamitz, Baruch Spinoza and Ephraim Lessing. Light of the Intellect was carefully copied from manuscript to manuscript and transmitted to our time. It bears the unique distinction of finally being published in two different Hebrew editions in Mea Shearim, the heart of orthodox Jewry in Jerusalem.

Abulafia was an eclectic thinker who absorbed and adapted Sufi (Ibn Arabi was Abulafia’s contemporary) and even Yogic influences (via Al-Biruni’s arabic translation of the Yoga Sutras) into his mystical toolkit. While the affinity between Abulafia’s meditation method and the ancient Hekhalot (Heavenly Palace) rituals is obvious, it also has interesting structural similarities to Graeco-Coptic magical invocations (like those found in PGM XIII 646–1077) and Gnostic works like Marsanes, while also sharing phenomenological resonances with the great classics of Kashmiri Shaivism like the Tantraloka.

Translating Abulafia will always be an impossible task. I hope this attempt will prompt deeper study of Abulafia’s oeuvre that can constitute a protreptic springboard for a lifetime of meditative practice, and provide a rich breviary of isopsephic concepts and illuminating linguistic interpretations to ponder on and apply in one’s spiritual path, with any tradition.

Avi Solomon, Jerusalem, 2017

Light of the Intellect by Abraham Abulafia

Table of Contents

Author’s Introduction

Part 1 Fencer of Breaches
Topic 1 Sign A includes the Fencer of Every Breach
Topic 2 Sign B includes the Essence of the Benefit of the Fence 
Topic 3 Sign R includes the Necessity of the Presence of the Benefit 
Topic 4 Sign H includes the Reason for the Effective Necessity 
Topic 5 Sign M includes the Matter of Loss due to the Absence of the Fence

Part 2 Including Commandments
Topic 6 Sign S includes the Matter concerning the Rule of all the Commandments
Topic 7 Sign P includes the Essence of the Benefit of the Commandments 
Topic 8 Sign R includes the Necessity of the Presence of their Benefit 
Topic 9 Sign D includes the Reason for their Necessity in General
Topic 10 Sign I includes the Matter of Loss due to the Absence of the Commandment

Part 3 Secret of the Holy Language
Topic 11 Sign B includes the Paradoxes of the Languages
Topic 12 Sign N includes the Secret of the Chosen Language amongst the Languages

Part 4 Secret of the Letters of Creation
Topic 13 Sign S includes the Matter of the Creation of Man
Topic 14 Sign M includes the Twenty-two Letters with which Man was Created 
Topic 15 Sign U includes the division of the Letters into three Primary Parts 
Topic 16 Sign E includes the Number that includes them all and a little of its Mysteries
Topic 17 Sign L includes their Division into Equals, half of them to Roots and half to Roots and Fractions

Part 5 Trinity of Speech
Topic 18 Sign A includes the Secret of the Names
Topic 19 Sign B includes the Matter of the Actives 
Topic 20 Sign U includes the Ways of the Words

Part 6 Unification of the Name
Topic 21 Sign E includes the Letters of the Special Name
Topic 22 Sign L includes the Matter of their Teaching

Part 7 Turning the Letters
Topic 23 Sign A includes the Combination of the Letters
Topic 24 Sign F includes the Permutation of the Letters 
Topic 25 Sign I includes the Weight of the Letters 
Topic 26 Sign A includes Gematria, Notarikon, Beginnings, Middles and Ends of Words

Part 8 Secret of the Pronounciation of the Name
Topic H Sign Z includes the Secret of Vocalizing the Name in its Vowelization
Topic V Sign C includes the Secrets of the Vowelization 
Topic H Sign R includes the Matter of the Participation of the Letter with the Vowel

Part 9 Secret of Forbidding and Permitting
Topic V Sign Z includes the Tying of the Upper and Lower powers with the Name
Topic H Sign D includes the Quantity of the Names of the Name Tying and Releasing 
Topic Y Sign I includes the Quality of the Knot and the Release 
Topic H Sign K includes the Benefit of the Tying and Releasing

Part 10 Form of Prophecy
Topic V Sign L includes Comprehending the Intellect
Topic Y Sign B includes the Form of Comprehending the Intellect
Topic H Sign R includes the description of the Intellect’s Speech with the Prophets in general 
Topic Y Sign C includes the difference between the Comprehendors and the Prophesizers
Topic H Sign A includes the description of the Necessity of the Influx that brings to Speech and Composition

Author’s Introduction

Being that human thought falls very short of grasping the divine matters that elude the eyes of flesh, and that the everpresent divine influx (Shefa) necessitates and pushes it very strongly to discover the matter of its powers, it is binding upon each and every person from the human species who has learned and become wise with his efforts to be attracted after its ways, and according to how that honorable influx pressures his intellect, to influence from its perfection onto others.

And according to what his intellect (Sechel) harvests, so will be the harvest of his influx in its measure, and according to how his mind has widened and abstracted will be the extent of his influence in its measure. That is to say, in his wish to influence others, he will influence according to what is present with him of the plurality of science and the excess of wisdom. If little is present with him, it is impossible for him to influence much; if a lot is present with him, it is impossible for him to influence a little, and if nothing is present with him from the influx, it is not possible for him to emanate anything, for how can he give to others anything that is not present with him?

And the sages of the world have already likened the matter of the honorable supernal influx to the matter of the abundance of wealth, that is to say that someone whose wealth has been increased by God has the ability to enrich others. For we have not divided this preceding distinction but by ability and not by will. Because there may be one who can enrich many people but his will does not let him, not even to enrich himself with true wealth, but as his power falls very short of benefiting himself from his wealth, so much the more will he not benefit others. And about him Solomon said in his wisdom “but God does not permit him to enjoy it; instead a stranger will enjoy it” (Ecclesiastes 6:2). This is to say that God punished him for having a miserly eye in God’s bounty.

And though the honorable influx in its presence pushes to make the potential of thought actual if the recipient is not prevented by internal or external obstacles, every one who has received will wish to give from what he has received. And since the influx brings about many matters, the one who received it will act in these matters according to his thoughts preceding the receipt of that influx. And it is also possible that the divine influx will innovate thoughts in him that did not precede it and will necessitate him to actualize matters, among them general human practices, private and useful practices or necessaries to precede the useful ones, till he will find that the benefit dwells in a strong home that binds the necessary powers with the useful powers.

Similarly, the preceptor of the young uses acts that are precursors to the intellectual wisdoms , since these acts are the dwellings of the intellect. And it is found that if there are no fair (moral) acts, there is no intellect, for if the intellect cannot find a home to dwell in, it does not dwell there at all.
And to be sure, the intellect itself has no need or necessity to dwell in a place, for the intellect is neither a body, nor a power in a body and possesses no particular advantages in dwelling somewhere, except that the thing that is a dwelling for it will be sanctified by it after it dwells on it.
And after the house was unholy in the likeness of the sun’s light with the dark house, where the house is called dark before the sun’s light reaches it, upon the light reaching it the house is called radiant. And the one coming to it will see what is in the house because the light has dwelt upon it, and the light is not a body. And even though it is a power in the body of the sun, it does not stick to the body of the house. And thus when the sun’s light leaves the house, the house will return to being dark and gloomy as in the beginning.

And even though the house owner has already received the benefit necessary to him from the matters in the house due to the light having dwelt on it, which is that he grasped by the sight of his eyes what was in the house, and fixed everything in it while the light was still there, and moved from it after fixing it. If the house owner were quick and understood that the light will leave the house at night, he would store what was worth storing in it, discover what was worth discovering in it and fence its breaches so that thieves would not damage it upon the departure of light from it. So the body of man is in the image of the house, and the objects in the house are the deeds that cannot be done without the organs, and the house owner is the soul spirit who mends the matters of the body.

And with the influence of the light of the intellect on the brain, heart, kidneys and the rest of the places where the light of the intellect dwells, the spirit, being pure and understanding the power of the light of the intellect, grasps with its power its reality and absence. And here it [the spirit] will make sure to mend all the matters that are worthy to be mended during the presence of the light of the intellect, because it will already grasp the matter of the [light] being present with the body, sometimes on its behalf, and sometimes absent due to its obstacles.

And the good deeds fence the breaches, but if the breaches are not fenced in with the power of the intellect, it is possible for vandals to come and inflict all their damage, and a deterrent from the vandal will not be found since the breach remains unfenced and a breach calls for a thief.

And since the light of the intellect is the first cause that fences all breaches, I have composed this treatise to fence any breach, and I have named it after the first cause, which is the “Light of the Intellect”. And with the help of the Light of the Intellect, I will illuminate in this my treatise the eyes of the hearts of the intellectors. And since the light of the intellect is attributed to the name of the tenth [sphere], I will divide it into ten primary parts, and I will mark each and every part with the letters of the alphabets, and each and every letter will include a letter till it forms a name or syllable as a group, divided into known parts of speech.

And I will aim in this book to benefit the beginners in the study of the Tetragrammatton and will teach them the way to its knowledge, till the value of this treatise to the knowledge of God in the way of the Prophetic Kabbalah will be as the value of the wisdom of the Account of Creation is to the Account of the Chariot.

And here I was roused to do this by the love of two friends in love with wisdom from all the inhabitants of Messina in the Island of Sicily who brought me very close to them and who obey my discipline. And their names are R. Avraham the learned and R. Nathan the wise, may his memory be a blessing. And this is because while I was with them for few days, they requested me to write them short introductory overviews of the knowledge of the honorable and awesome Name. And since I loved them with a true love, I made myself willingly provide their wish, as the time and the place and the lack were against me to prevent me in this. But from the courage of truth for them I overcame the obstacles and made sure to complete their wishes with the help of God.

And I know that this treatise will be of great benefit to them, and those like them who are keepers of the commandments of this book till what I will write will bring them to comprehend the Agent Intellect, which grasping also brings the reception of Speech from His mouth. And even if an obstacle prevents them from attaining this divine degree, God forbid, they will still benefit from this treatise by the intellectual influx with which they will become wise and grasp the secrets of the Torah and the reasons for the commandments in general. Thus they will not leave it without any benefit, little or much, and since the great influx leads to composition and speech, it is possible that they will receive this thing from this, my book, till they desire to cleave to their first cause.

And it is found that their intellect is actualized with it till they will be related to me as being my sons, and will also be the sons of God. And if the sons of God will be attributed to me as my sons, it is found that the benefit in this will also accrue to me. Since if I revel in the sons of my body and soul, the more so in the sons of my intellect. And if the wisdom of my soul will pass to the soul of Avraham, God has given (Natan) my reward.

And after I have prepared this introduction that declares the reason for the treatise, I will begin to announce my intention in it, and will wish help from the Name to help me in announcing his Name to others, so that his Name will be said throughout the land.

“The sun and moon will hide when the intellects of the prophets will rise to heaven. The intellect has dazzled and individuals will prophesize in it in the coming of the day after the days. The spirit of God will ascend and return and hover over the face of the waters.”

The First Part includes five parts marked with the letters A B R H M, and in them I will include five topics. The first, whose mark is A, will include the matter of a fencer of every breach. The second, whose mark is B, will include the essence of the benefit of the fence. The third, whose mark is R, will include the necessity of the presence of the benefit. The fourth, whose mark is H, will include the reason for the effective necessity. The fifth, whose mark is M, will include the matter of loss due to the absence of the fence. And it is found to call this first part in its totality “Fencer of Breaches”.

And the Second Part includes five parts marked with the letters S P R D I, and in them I will include five topics.
The first, whose mark is S, will include the matter concerning the rule of all the commandments. The second, whose mark is P, will include the essence of the benefit of the commandments. The third, whose mark is R, will include the necessity of the presence of their benefit. The fourth, whose mark is D, will include the reason for their necessity in general. The fifth, whose mark is I, will include the matter of loss due to the absence of the commandment. And it is found to call this second part in its totality “Including Commandments”.

And the Third Part includes two parts marked with the letters B N, and in them I will include two topics.
The first, whose mark is B, will include paradoxes of the languages.
The second, whose mark is N, will include the secret of the chosen language among them. And it is found to call this third part in its totality “Secret of the Holy Tongue”.

And the Fourth Part includes five parts marked with the letters S M U E L, and in them I will include five topics. The first, whose mark is S, will include the matter of the creation of Man. The second, whose mark is M, will include the twenty-two letters with which he was created. The third, whose mark is U, will include their division into three primary parts. The fourth, whose mark is E, will include the number that includes them all and a little of its mysteries. The fifth, whose mark is L, will include their division into equals, half of them to roots and half to roots and fractions. And it is found to call this fourth part in its totality “Secret of the Letters of Creation”.

And the Fifth Part includes three parts marked with the letters A B U, and in them I will include three topics. The first, whose mark is A, will include the secret of the names. The second whose, mark is B, will include the matter of the actives. The third, whose mark is U, will include the ways of the words. And it is found to call this fifth part in its totality “Trinity of Speech”.

And the Sixth Part includes two parts marked with the letters E L, and in them I will include two topics.
The first, whose mark is E, will include the letters of the Special Name.
The second, whose mark is L, will include the matter of their teaching.
And it is found to call this sixth part “Uniqueness of the Name”.

And the Seventh Part includes four parts marked with the letters A F I A, and in them I will include four topics. The first, whose mark is A, will include the combination of the letters. The second, whose mark is F, will include the permutation of the letters. The third, whose mark is I, will include the weight of the letters. The fourth, whose mark is A, will include Gematria, Notarikon, beginnings, middles and ends of words. And it is found to call this seventh part in its totality “Turning the Letters”.

And the Eighth Part includes three parts marked with the letters Z C R, and in them I will include three topics. The first, whose mark is Z, will include the secret of vocalizing the Name in its vowelization. The second, whose mark is C, will include the secrets of the vowelization. The third, whose mark is R, will include the matter of the participation of the letter with the vowel. And it is found to call this eighth part in its totality “Secret of Vocalization of the Name”.

And the Ninth Part includes four parts marked with the letters Z D I K, and in them I will include four topics. The first, whose mark is Z, will include the tying of the upper and lower powers with the Name. The second whose mark is D will include the quantity of the names of the Name tying and releasing. The third, whose mark is I, will include the quality of the knot and the release. The fourth, whose mark is K, will include the benefit of the tying and releasing. And it is found to call this ninth part in its totality “Secret of Forbidding and Permitting”.

And the Tenth Part includes five parts marked with the letters L B R C A, and in them I will include five topics. The first, whose mark is L, will include comprehending the Intellect. The second, whose mark is B, will include the form of comprehending it. The third, whose mark is R, will include the description of its speech with the prophets in general. The fourth, whose mark is C, will include the difference between the comprehendors and the prophesizers. The fifth, whose mark is A, will include the description of the necessity of the influx that brings to speech and composition. And it is found to call this tenth part, which is the final purpose, “Form of Prophecy”.

And after we have finished the ten parts according to their arrangements, we will include the names in equal order together. And they are:
the first “Fencer of Breaches” and
the second “Including Commandments” and
the third “Secret of the Holy Language” and
the fourth “Secret of the Letters of Creation” and
the fifth “Trinity of Speech” and
the sixth “Unification of the Name” and
the seventh “Turning the Letters” and
the eighth “Secret of the Pronunciation of the Name” and
the ninth “Secret of Forbidding and Permitting” and
the tenth “Form of Prophecy”.

And after we have mentioned all of them, we shall return to interpret each and every part in detail, according to what it can bear interpreting when our limited intellect can grasp it, since we are confident in the supreme power that awakes our intelligence to this; otherwise, we would not be worthy of this task.

Part 1 Fencer of Breaches

Topic 1 Sign A includes the Fencer of Every Breach

The first level of all seekers of God, to honor him, is not to tear down the fence to avoid hosting the snake that is habituated to come to bite through the breaches. This is what Solomon hinted at when he said “He who digs a pit will fall into it; he who breaches a stone fence will be bitten by a snake” (Ecclesiastes 10:5).

And since this treatise includes topics very strange to our Nation today in this generation, we began it with the topic of a fence for the breaches, on which, previously, many of the intellectuals failed.

As Daniel has destined for them in his saying they “will assert themselves to confirm the vision, but they will fail” (Daniel 11:14) and “some of the knowledgeable will fall” (Daniel 11:35) and gave a reason for his pronouncement “to be purged and whitened” (Daniel 11:35) and all that goes with this till he says that in the end of days “many will range far and wide and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4) since it has been said “they shall wander to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it” (Amos 8:12).

Since as the breaches multiplied, the priests (Cohens) were prevented from blessing with the explicit Name, but they agreed to bless the people with the written Name in the Temple and with his appellation in each district.
And as the breachers in their knowledge of the secret of the Name would breach the fence of the Torah and the commandment, and would lose belief when they would come to know that the real belief was the opposite of their false thought and evil imagination.

And this is since the person that believes one thing and does not have the scales of intellect at hand to weight that belief he received in the days of his childhood, since he could not have believed otherwise due to the limited capacity of his intellect then. Since if he had not received any belief whatsoever, he would have always remained like a beast in the form of a man.

It is worthwhile with all this that after he has expanded his intellect for him to inquire and put his opinion in his received belief and learn till his intellect becomes actualized. And about this it is said: “A simple person believes anything; a clever man ponders his course” (Proverbs 15:15).

And if he always remains in a conventional belief uncomprehended according to what is worth understanding in it according to the divine intellectible, he still stands in his foolishness and upon understanding his belief which he received in his childhood, he loses a little of his foolishness and returns to understand. And so he slowly rises from level to level, and his intellect increases day by day upon his study of the intellectible matters that he had received as likenesses attracted towards the sensibles.

And it is not proper that he doubt his parents or elders and teachers for not revealing to him the secrets of belief in his childhood for this was not due to them but because of the weakness of his intellect. Just as it is not proper that he blame his nurse who nursed him with the milk of her breast for not immediately feeding him with the rest of the thicker foods. For if she had done so it would have been a lot easier for her to sustain him, rather than sustaining him from her blood. But she wisely aimed to give him life and not to kill him with food improper to him, as it is a known fact that bread, meat and wine, even though they are a drug of life to grown-ups who have the power to bear them, they are the drug of death to infants whose power cannot bear them.

So is the matter of receiving the intellected belief together with the conventional belief, that even though the intellectibles are a drug of life to intellectuals whose minds suffer it, it is a drug of death to fools whose opinion cannot bear it. And so when the man of true belief will reveal to the learner his opinion, he will ascertain whether he can bear it. And the sign of this to you is if he revels in it and is not flustered upon hearing her secret, and will not breach her fences, which are to her like keys to a lock. In both, care will be taken to prevent evil animals from entering the garden.

Understand immediately that one who receives the intellectual belief is wise and understands from his own reason. “Instruct a wise man, and he will grow wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will gain in learning” (Proverbs 9:9), “Do not withhold good from one who deserves it when you have the power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27).

And if you reveal one secret to him and he is taken aback and stunned by it and will think that all his faith has been removed from him and you are a fool or a epicurean in his eyes, do not feed him the drug of life lest you will kill him. And he will demand his spirit from your hand, as Solomon has already warned you about him in his saying “Do not speak to a dullard, for he will disdain your sensible words. Do not remove ancient boundary stones” (Proverbs 23:9) “set up by previous generations” (Deuteronomy 19:14) and according to this manner examine the ability of every recipient of an intellected or conventional topic and judge it according to what it is.
And the first secret that you will reveal to him will be among the easier ones in your mouth and not since it is in your heart to hide rather than reveal.
And in your doing this give each man his law and be attracted after the ways of the blessed Name who gives bread to all flesh and satiates all willful beings, that is to say he satiates all life from his wish as he wishes according to what they have known in Him. And try in this matter to give each one according to his share and his behaviours.

And if you said teaching things that breach his fence, run fast and mend what you have breached until his intention is reversed to what was in him from the beginning, and work in deception till he will not feel you and will not grasp your intention in any manner, and in this you will be called the fencer of breaches.

Topic 2 Sign B includes the Essence of the Benefit of the Fence

Everything that a man is intent upon needs to bring much or some benefit, for if he did not intend this his action will lack providence. The matter of providence teaches about (points to) intent, will and choice, and whoever acts an action without them, his actions will be called random, till even if he comes to act a necessary natural action over which he has no intent (volition), it might be that if it were possible to do without it he would be happy in this and he would never act (perform) it.

Like food for an intellectual being that is hard for him since it relates to him in his being an animal, not in his being an intellect, or the waste after his exchanging what is purified from the food that is necessary to him to maintain his life with for a while.

And even to this the actor must focus some intention in common with natural necessity, which is to intend to eat the beneficial food, since nature does not force him to eat the harmful food. But the natural necessity due to his animality is only that he feed, but even nature receives the beneficial food and acts in him in the image of intention.

And even though he possesses no intent and does not receive in the same form itself the harmful food , but the harmful returns to him against his action, since the intent of the imprinter of nature was to preserve the nature of the nourished for a while according to its temperaments, and to preserve that nourished always in the recurrence of being and loss.

And if one who is just half-intent upon showing these things requests the beneficial and the loss necessary due to Being, so much the more is it proper for one whom the benefit is his own to intend to benefit himself in his actions. And if he does this then his action will be the act of an intellectual.
And as much as the human intellect is perfected in the person who intends upon the benefit, so much so will the benefit be more according to its matter.

And in as much it (the intent) will be stronger and perfect if it participates a little from the divine intellectual intention together with his own intention, he will then arrive at the intent of the essence of the benefit. And here it is known to every perfect intellectual that the benefit that accrues to him by his being a fencer of a broken breach is his being saved from all kinds of possible harm, and if the breach was slight by which many were harmed and he fenced it, the essence of the benefit will return strengthened and more honorable. And if the fencing of the breach benefits the individual and the many in bodies or wealth, so much the more will the fencing of the breach benefit the individual and the many in the salvation of souls.

And thus every ruler of a state or of a part of its parts or of many states, being intent in his actions to rule the people of his generation, installs regulations and proclaims decrees in order to fence the breaches of that generation and raises his orderings from degree to degree till he arrives at the benefit of profiting wealth to the people, and from there to the benefit of their being peaceful and quiet and healthy in their bodies, and from there to the benefit of their being inheritors of wisdom that brings about the life of the eternal souls.

And this is the man who upon doing so has arrived (and all those who listen to his speech and are drawn after him) at the end of all ends in benefit, since if the essence of any benefit is good, it is incumbent that this benefit is the one that has arrived at what was for it the creation of man in the lower world.

And if so, the essence of the ultimate benefit of all the benefits and the most honourable among them is the achievement of the ultimate eternal life, just as the intention of all the first and intermediate benefits was to reach this last-mentioned one, and if reached, the supernal intention was fulfilled in it, and if not, the intention was absent and was in vain.

And it is known that the placer of the ultimate benefit in the whole of existence in common with the existence of man intends always to actualize it, and if it falls short or is missing from reality so that this man hinted at will not arrive at it in the lost present, here it may be possible that the other one will arrive at it. And for this the species is preserved in order for one to comprehend and fill the lack of the other. And if this is from the side of the intended, it has been explained that the essence of the ultimate benefit exists for a few persons of the species.

Topic 3 Sign R includes the Necessity of the Presence of the Benefit

There is no doubt that since the prime mover intended that the benefit be present when he activated the benefit, the benefit is necessary and obligated to be present, and if the benefit is present to a small fraction of humans and sustains those humans in its abundance, then it is honored more by the people receiving it.
This is just as it is necessary that there be existent specific persons of the human species. And even though it is possible to conceive of these existents and others like them before their existence, after their existence it can be said about them that they are obligatories of reality from the aspect of their cause, and possibles of reality from their subjective aspect.
And as to the first cause for their presence, the one who intended their purpose, and imagined the essence of their benefit according to their quiddity, and like them he is possible in his beginning in conceiving their presence, and binding and necessary in their end for having brought them into existence.
And all this is according to the opinion of those who believe in the existence of every person being concieved of by his creator, that is to say, he who intended to bring into being intended that their benefit be also present, and obligated the benefit to be present before, with or after the person, that is, when he departs from the lower world.

Topic 4 Sign H includes the Reason for the Effective Necessity

Topic 5 Sign M includes the Matter of Loss due to the Absence of the Fence

Part 2 Including Commandments

Topic 6 Sign S includes the Matter concerning the Rule of all the Commandments

Topic 7 Sign P includes the Essence of the Benefit of the Commandments

Topic 8 Sign R includes the Necessity of the Presence of their Benefit

Topic 9 Sign D includes the Reason for their Necessity in General

Topic 10 Sign I includes the Matter of Loss due to the Absence of the Commandment

Part 3 Secret of the Holy Language

Topic 11 Sign B includes the Paradoxes of the Languages

Topic 12 Sign N includes the Secret of the Chosen Language amongst the Languages

Part 4 Secret of the Letters of Creation

Topic 13 Sign S includes the Matter of the Creation of Man

Topic 14 Sign M includes the Twenty-two Letters with which Man was Created

Topic 15 Sign U includes the division of the Letters into three Primary Parts

Topic 16 Sign E includes the Number that includes them all and a little of its Mysteries

Topic 17 Sign L includes their Division into Equals, half of them to Roots and half to Roots and Fractions

Part 5 Trinity of Speech

Topic 18 Sign A includes the Secret of the Names

Topic 19 Sign B includes the Matter of the Actives

Topic 20 Sign U includes the Ways of the Words

Part 6 Unification of the Name

Topic 21 Sign E includes the Letters of the Special Name

Topic 22 Sign L includes the Matter of their Teaching

Part 7 Turning the Letters

Topic 23 Sign A includes the Combination of the Letters

Topic 24 Sign F includes the Permutation of the Letters

Topic 25 Sign I includes the Weight of the Letters

Topic 26 Sign A includes Gematria, Notarikon, Beginnings, Middles and Ends of Words

Part 8 Secret of the Pronunciation of the Name

Topic H Sign Z includes the Secret of Vocalizing the Name in its Vowelization

Topic V Sign C includes the Secrets of the Vowelization

Topic H Sign R includes the Matter of the Participation of the Letter with the Vowel

At the hour you wish to recite this honorable Name inscribed with its vowels, adorn yourself and seek solitude in a special place where no one can hear your voice. Purify your heart and soul from all thoughts of this world. Think that in the coming hour your soul will leave your body and you will die to this world and you will live in the next world, that is the source of life scattered amongst all living beings. It is the Intellect which is the source of all wisdom, understanding and knowledge, and it is in the likeness of the King of Kings, whom everyone is in very great awe of. Indeed, the awe of one who comprehends this is double, consisting of the awe of excellence and the awe of love.

And when your consciousness comes to cleave to His Consciousness that produces knowledge in you, your consciousness must divest itself of the burden of all extraneous opinions, other than the knowledge shared between you and Him according to His honorable and awesome Name. Therefore, you need to know the form of His pronunciation.

And this is its representation…

The form of the pronunciation of Aleph with Yud, forth & back:

The form of the pronunciation of Aleph with Heh, forth & back:

The form of the pronunciation of Aleph with Vav, forth & back:

The form of the pronunciation of Aleph with Heh, forth & back:

When you begin to recite the letter aleph in all its vowelizations pronounced by you, since aleph points to the secret of unity, do not lengthen its recitation except according to the measure of one breath. You cannot stop anytime ever during that breath until you have completed its pronunciation. Lengthen that special breath according to your power to sustain one breath as much as you can lengthen it. And chant the aleph, and every letter you recite, with terror, awe and fear, coupled with the gladness of the soul in its comprehension which is great.

The form of chanting in every letter will be in the image of its vowelization, and in the vowel cholam (o) it will be upwards. When you begin reciting it face eastwards, not looking down or up. Sit wrapped in new or freshly cleaned white robes over all your clothing or covered with your prayer shawl (Tallit) and your head crowned with phylacteries (Tefillin) and your face towards the east from where the light reaches to the world.

And you have five directions in which to move your head.

With the vowel cholam you will begin from the middle, facing east, refine your thoughts, and raise your head slowly with the breath until you complete the recitation and your head is facing upwards. After you complete the recitation bow down to the earth once.

Do not differentiate between the breath of the aleph and the breath of the letter that cleaves to it, apart from one short or long breath. But between the letter of the Name and between the aleph in the straights or between the aleph and the letter of the Name in the inversions you can breathe two breaths only without pronunciation, no more.

After completing every row you are permitted to breathe five breaths only, no more, but you can choose to breathe less than five breaths. If you changed or mistook a row in this order, return to the head of that row until you say it correctly.

And in the image of the vowel cholam attracted upwards, chant the vowel chirek (i) drawn downwards and attract a supernal power to cleave it in you. Chant the vowel shurek (u) neither upwards nor downwards but as a central pull forward against the face in the center.

And with the vowel tzere (e) pull your head from the left to the right, and with the vowel kametz (a) from the right to the left.

And in all of them upon completion if you see a form in front of you prostrate yourself immediately before it (Genesis 17:3, Joshua 5:14). If you hear a faint or loud voice and wish to understand what it is saying answer immediately and say “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (I Samuel 3:9) and then do not speak at all and lean your ear to listen to what it will say to you.

And if you experience great fear that you cannot bear, prostrate yourself immediately, even while you are in the middle of reciting. If you do not see or do not hear anything leave it for all of that week.

And it is good to recite again once a week in the likeness of “dashing to and fro” (Sefer Yesira 1:8, Ezekiel 1:14) for upon this foundation is the covenant made.

And what else can I add that is not already known? If you are wise you will understand the whole order from my hints. And if you feel that your mind is weak in wisdom or Kabbalah or that your conceptions are full of the vanities of the time, do not recite the Name lest you miss the mark and add to your sins.

And know that between the table of the letter yod and the table of the letter heh you can breathe 25 breaths and no more, only if you have not stopped in the meanwhile either in speech or thought. And so between the letter heh and the letter vaw and the letter vaw and the letter heh only less than 25 breaths between table to table can you breathe.

Part 9 Secret of Forbidding and Permitting

Topic V Sign Z includes the Tying of the Upper and Lower powers with the Name

Topic H Sign D includes the Quantity of the Names of the Name Tying and Releasing

Topic Y Sign I includes the Quality of the Knot and the Release

Topic H Sign K includes the Benefit of the Tying and Releasing

Part 10 Form of Prophecy

Topic V Sign L includes Comprehending the Intellect

Topic Y Sign B includes the Form of Comprehending the Intellect

Topic H Sign R includes the description of the Intellect’s Speech with the Prophets in general

Topic Y Sign C includes the difference between the Comprehendors and the Prophesizers

Topic H Sign A includes the description of the Necessity of the Influx that brings to Speech and Composition

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