Adam Mistry at the combined meeting of Duke of Leinster Lodge and Baron Barnet Research Lodge, Brisbane.


A lecture on the Gnostic Kabbalah presented by Adam Mistry from the Australian Gnostic Society presented a lecture on the Kabbalah .
The lecture was presented in the supper room after an historic combined meeting of Duke of Leinster Lodge and Barron Barnet Research Lodge at the Stones Corner Masonic Center, Brisbane on the 19th of September 2018. 





We’re very interested in the esoteric brotherhood of man and all the ideas that the entire humanity have come up with and all of the systems and techniques of developing the self – so that’s sort of what the Gnostic Society is about. We see ourselves as a type of school – much like (Freemasonry) an initiatic brotherhood in a way with our own rituals and our own mysteries, and so we’re very different but we have an intersection – we intersect with each other nonetheless. So tonight I’ve been invited to talk about this wonderful picture. Neil supplied me with a paper and a pen, not sure if I’ll use it as an aid, but mainly I’ll be pointing to this Glyph on my Left. This is the Gnostic Kabbalah. I’m not sure how well versed everyone in the audience is with Kabbalah – it’s a little bit of a tricky topic. So I’ll say as a disclaimer for this talk, at the end of this talk you have a greater understanding of Kabbalah then I feel I would have deceived you. My aim for this talk isn’t so much to tell you everything about Kabbalah but more, I want this talk to enliven something within you. To light a fire, create a yearning for you to dive into these mysteries yourself. That’s my aim. That’s what I want the function of this talk to be.

So in the realm of Kabbalah there are many different types of Kabbalah. There’s the orthodox Hebraic Kabbalah, there’s the Christian Kabbalah of the middle ages even the more practical Hermetic kabbalah which was used by the early 20th century Rosicrucian societies. I’m here to talk about the Gnostic Kabbalah which is quite unique but it draws from a lot of those traditions. Even though those traditions are all separate they interpenetrate, interconnect with each other.

To talk about the Gnostic Kabbalah, first I want to talk about the word in front of it. The Gnostic part of it. The Gnostics have some concepts which need to be laid down first before we dive down into the whole Kabbalah issue here. As you may know, the word “Gnosis” is a Greek word which means knowledge. However, the Gnostics have a different take on it. It’s not just information it is a particular type of knowledge and I’d like to just explain that a little bit. In essence, in this world there are three different types of knowledge that one can obtain. The first type of knowledge which you’re probably already familiar with is an empirical type of knowledge. Knowledge of the body. Knowledge that you perceive. You perceive the chairs in front of you, the food, and the liquor. It’s all observable and we can all see it at the same time and talk to each other about it. This is mere empirical data, like what scientists do. Go out and observe phenomena. Get 20 people to all observe the same thing and compare notes. This is the first type of knowledge. The second type of knowledge is more rational knowledge. Intellectual knowledge.  Conceptual knowledge, things like numbers and ideas and deductions and hypothesi. Things that float in the ephemeral world, thing that you can make up. It’s more imaginative. These are the first two types of knowledge. One is empirical and the second rational. You can see this in science. There’s this mind/body division. Like René Descartes and Spinoza were rationalists. They wanted to find Truth with the mind through intellectual means whereas others wanted to use their senses to find the truth. These people played with knowledge one and two but they were missing another type of knowledge. There’s a third type of knowledge in this world that isn’t talked about as much. This third type of knowledge doesn’t really have a name, it’s quite hard to explain but I’ll use an example to try and explain it. Imagine you need to take a plane flight from, say, Brisbane to Adelaide and you have a choice of two pilots. One pilot learnt to fly by getting into a cockpit of a plane and was taught by a senior pilot. He got to hold the gears, the manual steering wheel, he felt the plane as it moved in the sky. He had practical kinetic knowledge of how the plane moved. He may not have been taught what all the switch’s names were but he knows, pretty much, how to fly a plane. He knows what switches to click and what levers to move up and down and what buttons to press. Now take a second man. This man has studied everything about planes. He sat in a library and read every book on planes that he has ever found. He knows everything. He knows the history of planes, the history of aviation. Everything about aerodynamics, everything about the engine of the plane, what its structure is. But he’s never actually sat in a cockpit. Which one of these men do you wasn’t to fly the plane? The first guy knows how to fly a plane, which would be the right answer, right? The second guy knows everything about flying a plane but if he was to get in the cockpit, something would go wrong. Even though he knows everything about flying a plane he is missing the essence of how to fly a plane. This is that third knowledge and there is an emotional aspect to it. I’d like to use another example. The example of a broken heart. If you’ve experienced a broken heart you’d know what that feels like but imagine trying to explain that feeling to a five year old child. You really wouldn’t be able to get that across. You’d get something sad, you could probably convey that something is sad to the child but the child would not understand the essence of that experience. So that’s what this is. This third type of knowledge is a direct type of knowledge. A knowledge of something in and of itself and this is very important to comprehend. Because it is connected to how we speak and how we understand things in the world of esoterica. We use words to communicate right? But what is a word? A word is an external manifestation of something internal which is a concept. Words and concepts are the same thing, words are external and the concept is internal. What is a concept? A concept is a construct of something that we have perceived. But if we’ve never perceived that thing, we can never use the words correctly. So think of a Buddhist monk, or just a Christian monk who’s experienced something in prayer. That monk if he’s talking to a normal person he’s going to struggle to explain what he has experienced. But if he’s talking to another monk who has experienced a similar experience in prayer that they can have a talk. They’ve had similar experiences so they have similar concepts and they can have a similar dialogue. They can connect through dialog. This is important for Kabbalah but it is important for any initiatic school. An inititiatic school is like a brotherhood. The thing that connects us all is the process that we go through. I come from the Gnostic Society and in the Gnostic Society we have our own rituals but in Freemasonry you have your own rituals – I’m not a Freemason – so I’m going to make some assumptions. You’ll have your own initiations, you’ll have your own rituals and those rituals are things that only you’ve experienced and shared with each other. They’re things that you can talk about with each other on a level but you can’t talk about with a normal person. As an example, I’m sure you’ve probably been Freemasons for a long time and you’ve probably in your life been confronted by someone who – you know – they’ve probably seen a couple of YouTube videos and maybe they’ve read a thing or two about Masonry on the internet and they think they know a thing or two about Masonry but they don’t really know anything about Masonry. They may have Knowledge One or Two about Freemasonry but they actually haven’t experienced the essence of what it means to be a Freemason. So there’s actually something lacking in them. Something that they don’t actually have. Why am I talking about this? Because this is connected to something iin Gnosis known as “knowing and being”. Because we have knowledge – we collect it in our life, and this knowledge isn’t just something we’ve learnt from books, once again this is the third type of knowledge, all of our knowledge and skills, like the languages that we learn or how to drive a car, stuff like that. Knowledge is interesting because it is something that can’t be taken away from us, something that is intrinsic within us. Our possessions can be taken away but no one can take away our knowledge. There are two things that cannot be taken away from us. One is knowledge. The other is Being. And what does that mean? Our being is everything that we are. What type of person are you? Are you filled with pride and vanity and anger and hatred? Or are you filled with charity, or temperance and prudence and love for all humanity? A lot of people in the normal world have no knowledge of the actual being. They merely work on assumptions, they do not have the inner eye developed. That eye on top of the pyramid. That is an internal eye that is created by esoteric practice and it reveals to us the makeup of our being. Being is important because to a Gnostic, Kabbalah is the science of being. The aim of Kabbalah is to make an archetypal man, Adam Cadman and this can be conflated with obtaining the Golden Fleece, the Holy Grail or the philosopher’s stone of the Alchemists or enlightenment, the creation of the Inner Temple. All of these things are to do with the inner workings of being, the development of one’s own being.

This picture here, this glyph, in the world of Kabbalah, in the schools of Kabbalah there’s a lot of different stuff to work on, this side stuff here, but this is the main subject, the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life. If you type Kabbalah into Google this will come up. The ten spheres connected by 22 paths. This Tree of Life is interesting. This term Tree of Life is interesting, you may have heard it before. The Tree of Life in the western tradition is found in the bible and specifically in Genesis in the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life is the second tree in the Garden of Eden. In that story, the Tree of Life, Adam and Eve eat from this tree, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and they basically, through eating this fruit, partaking of this tree they become like us, they become Humans. There’s a line in that Bible where either God or one of the Angels speaking to God, remarked themselves after Adam and Eve have fallen where they say thank heavens that Adam and Eve did not partake of the fruit of the second tree, for if they did partake of this second tree they would become like us. So this second tree, the Tree of Life, which humans did not partake of, this, the fruit of the tree is what makes us God-like, or perfects us. Whereas the process of eating this fruit or creating this fruit, or developing the spheres within us, this process perfects us, or divinities us, or makes us more divine – it brings us closer to who we are supposed to be in this world.

This tree, this glyph, these spheres – what this is is a map. A map of two things at the same time which is very interesting. It’s a map of the universe, its structure and it is a map of the internal constitution of man. The easiest way is just to go through them one by one. These spheres I’m not sure if you’re familiar with them, the Sephiroth which they’re called in the Kabbalist tradition. The first sphere is the sphere of Malkuth and Malkuth corresponds to the physical world and corresponds to our physical body. The point of this sphere is, as you see it’s at the base of the Tree of Life, it is the foundation which we build everything off of. Not even the foundation, but the land on which we put the foundation stone on to eventually build that temple. Malkuth needs to be worked. We need to have a healthy physical body or at least a balanced physical life. You can’t be off doing all sorts of things and degenerating in physical life, you need to have a straight and narrow path, and you need to gentrify yourself. There’s that essence of having a healthy physical body because what this body is, it’s a container for spiritual energy. The Kabbalah is connected to the alchemical tradition through the wider umbrella of the Hematic tradition, so in Alchemy, in physical alchemy when they try to put things in Bunsen burners and flasks and such, that process is something that does happen internally in Western Alchemy. So what you see, when you think of it as an internal state, in Malkuth what we have is our body and our physical body needs to be a healthy vessel, an appropriate vessel and through internal processes, through prayer or through internal reflection or specific rituals or something we attract certain spiritual atoms of a higher voltage and we saturate ourselves with this. In the same way an Alchemist fills a flask with Mercury, we fill ourselves with a type of energy which I’ll elaborate on more…

The next sphere up is Yesod. Yesod is the etheric world. Internally in the human esoteric anatomy it is known as the vital body or the vital depth as Paracelsus the Alchemist explains.  In our physical body we have four different types of ethers that need to be worked. There are two inferior ethers that all humans have and there are two superior ethers that are generally underdeveloped and underworked in normal humans.

The sphere up from that is the sphere of Hod. This is the astral world. This is the world of dreams. To master this sphere is to master the astral world. When we go to bed at night, instead of going to sleep we wake up in another world and we can explore that world and all of its mysteries. Internally, it is the human emotions. It’s an emotional world. If our emotions are in disarray, the spheres within us, our internal Kabbalah is in chaos. We need to have stable emotions, and also this sphere is the sphere of ritual magic. If you’re familiar with Rosicrucian texts, you’ll know that they speak in certain Rosicrucian texts about “astral workings”. When you perform acts of ritual magic or certain rituals, certain initiations or certain mantras or certain implements in the physical can actually create astral workings in the astral world of that room. So any room that you have that you do a ritual in, it may look like a normal room in the physical but when you take out the implements in the astral world of that rom there are certain markings. It has a different function in the astral realm. The room that you use for rituals has a utility, it has purpose.

The next sphere, after Hod, or opposite Hod is Netzach. The mental world. The mind internally. Our mind is said to have 300,000 rays, these rays in normal people are completely dispersed, touching all things which is very ubiquitous, it’s that faculty which allows us to absorb a large amount of knowledge at all times however it also brings us a lot of chaos in our lives, we have very little control over our minds. So this is part of the work, the internal work that one must do is to learn how to truly concentrate. Through concentration whether you do a Buddhic practice or a Raj Yoga practice or a Rosicrucian prayer every night and you use that to focus the mind, to focus the rays of the mind to gain the faculty of concentration. This sphere is also the sphere of Hematic magic. All Hematic magic descended originally from this sphere.

Above this, and now this is interesting, is the sphere of Tiphereth. As you can see it is the centre of the Kabbalah and it connects to most other spheres. Also, I think this is interesting, is that you have the physical body, emotions and mind. These are things that everyone knows about, even mundane people acknowledge exists but there is something beyond the mind. This is the first time that we reach something truly beyond the mind. This is the world of willpower. The causal world if you’re into theosophy. The world of willpower, the world of the human soul. In Gnosis, it is said that we don’t really have a human soul, we have an essence that we develop. It’s like we’re not full humans yet or we’re humans and we need to develop into more than human. We have an essence, a seed, which can grow through our practice. Eventually that essence through our practice become a pearl, then an embryo then we are born. That’s when you truly become born-again. This world Tiphereth is the world of beauty and art and music. It’s said that the great masters like Beethoven and Mozart and all of the Debussy and all of the great western artists and composers, when they talk about the music of the spheres, like Beethoven went deaf half way through his life but he still wrote music. He talked about hearing the music of the sphere’s this is the sphere they connected to. A thing in this life is beautiful because light from this sphere has condensed in this thing. Beauty is important to humans because something truly beautiful is saturated with the divine. True beauty, like the beauty of a woman, makes us remember something divine. It strikes something within us. The energy from Tiphereth can be deliberately condensed. So the whole idea in some Hematic works is to get items and they can become fluid condensers, where you do specific rituals and gain esoteric energy and seal them in specific items. What makes something beautiful is that energy of Tiphereth. What makes something easier to contain it is its shape and colour. The idea of sacred geometry, why things are beautiful, things that use the Golden Ratio are generally more beautiful. Why is that? Something about Geometry. And if you give something the correct dimensions it merely becomes easier for it to contain the energies of Tiphereth. It was a bit of a roundabout explanation because it means that this is the archetype or the architects of the ancient cathedrals and the ancient temples and pyramids and that they would have been aware of this and this is where the mysteries descended from. The mysteries of the ancient architects would have descended from this sphere. This sphere is very emotional as well. It’s connected to willpower, the realm of the human soul itself. There is a certain brotherhood about it. When you connect to this sphere you feel connected to all of humanity itself. You feel as if humanity is one full brotherhood. The other interesting thing about this is that in the Gnostic Doctrine when we talk about the astral world we talk about the internal temples of the astral world and within our own internal Kabbalah we construct our own internal temple in a way but that temple also needs to be filled. One of the things that fills this temple is our soul. Our soul when it is developed, properly, it becomes like a warrior. The symbol of a warrior. This warrior becomes the guardian of that temple. Through mastery of Tiphereth our inner temple starts to properly activate because there’s something that can stand at the front of it and stop any desires or ego’s or Luciferic entities from coming in. It can then become a sacred place within us.

What then happens in a temple? A mystery takes place but there needs to be people in there to partake of this mystery so the next sphere is Geburah.
Geburah is a very feminine sphere. This sphere is the divine soul of man. In the Kabbalistic tradition humans don’t have one soul they have three souls. So we have a human soul of Tiphereth. In Geburah we have a divine soul and the final soul – the highest soul, spirit itself is in Chesed. That divine soul within us, the feminine soul within us is our internal Genevieve. If the human soul is like Lancelot then we have our own Genevieve, our Priestess, our internal Isis. This sphere when it is activated is pure consciousness. It activates and becomes the Priestess in the temple. It becomes the pillar of B— wheras the masculine pillar of Chased would be J—–, the internal Priest within us.  Chased, our internal Priest becomes very interesting because this sphere here in the Hindu tradition is that concept of Atman, the very inner most of a human being, that deepest part of a human is called Atman. That is this sphere. This sphere Chased, is like a director within us. If we connect to that sphere it has all of our past lives, it has all of this knowledge within us. This sphere can teach us real alchemy. This sphere can teach us anything that we want to know. This sphere is our internal Preist who officiates in our internal temple. It’s like w construct something inside of us through specific practices and once something – once a level is reached, then an automatic mystery is born within us. That then activates so we can participate within this mystery in our night hours, our dreams, our meditations we gain access to this mystery. We need to maintain our emotions, we need to train our mind.

This is the first seven spheres of the Kabbalah and the rough correspondences within us. We first have the very physical body and then there’s the more psychological stuff. Then there’s the much more esoteric stuff of the human soul and Geburah the divine soul and Chased, the spirit itself. These spheres up here these are what is called the Legoic spheres. The upper triangle. This doesn’t so much have correspondence at an individual level, this is much more of a universal thing. Up here is creation and outside creation is the three primary forces of Taoism, the three Guṇa’s of Hinduism, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of Christianity. Kether the highest sphere is the Father, Chokmah the Son, Binah the Holy Spirit, or Osiris, Horus, Isis – or any other trinity you want to include in that. These are pure archetypal energies. Kether is a neutral energy, it has no gender, and it has no duality. It is pure energy in and of itself, whereas Chokmah is masculine. It’s ever completely expansive 100%. It’s infinity, expansion outwards whereas Binah is feminine, restrictive. It restricts Chokmah, and in restricting this ever-expanding energy it creates form. So there’s this pure energy without movement, without form, without change, beyond everything which then expands and elaborates and that is then restricted and pulled into form. This is the great mother that then gives birth like in the Tao. If you’ve read the Tao there’s “The One” which gives birth to two, which gives birth to three and the three give birth to ten thousand things or the entire universe. So Binah is the Great Mother who gives birth to the whole universe. This is the trinity which gives birth to the universe within us these functions exist within us in more of a disconnected sense. So Binah is the divine mother within us. The daughter of Binah is Geburah the divine soul within us. Chokmah is our own internal Christ or our dragon of Wisdom or our own Solar Logos. Kether is the ancient of days.
The occult of the occult. The final mystery. It is said that if you conquered Kether a world war would be like watching leaves fall from a tree, you’d be so detached from the world.

So that’s the general overview of the Spheres of the Kabbalah.

In Gnosis we have a little saying, kind of like the meaning of life, what is the purpose of this world? This world itself is a womb and this womb gives birth to one of two things: angels and demons – and you get to decide which one. You can either fall and degenerate and have all the fun you want, but not really, it’s just filled with suffering or you can work on yourself and become a higher man, a more regal individual. That’s what we strive to attain in certain initiatic schools. We want to integrate virtue into our lives and I’m sure there’s a part of that in Freemasonry. In Freemasonry you promote certain virtues like temperance and charity, you’re a massive charity organisation. The first part of this is to balance the self, to enrich ourselves with virtue – to crystallise within ourselves virtues.