Joel David Bakst: The Meaning of Life – The Perspective of the Kabbalah

Joel 2012 (1)Questions about Questions

What is the meaning of life? This question would seem to be the most basic and fundamental question to be asked concerning existence itself and has been asked by theologians, philosophers and much of humanity from time immemorial. Before we can approach this question, however, it is sensible to question a number of unstated assumptions upon which this initial question is unsuspectingly predicated. In other words, may there be questions that are even more basic and fundamental that precede this question? This last question is crucial because there are no right answers to wrong questions. Before we begin an in-depth investigation into the profound mysteries and secrets of life we must begin with the correct question otherwise our answers, as deep and wonderful as they may appear, will be answering the wrong question. Moreover, the wrong question directs us altogether in the wrong direction. And if we are traveling in the wrong direction, e.g., traveling west when we should be going east, or looking outward when we should be looking inward, then all our answers will be misguided. This is true even if the initial question sounds good and appears to be an obvious place to begin.

Before we ask “What is the meaning of life?” we must first get conscious about the nature and underlining structure of our own consciousness that is asking the question. Where is the impulse for this question coming from? And just who — or what — is it that is asking the question? Infinite worlds within worlds and intersecting parallel dimensions — previously the stuff of science fiction writers — has now become the new geometry of modern physics. Consequently, we must now also ask in what dimension is this question being asked”? Perhaps, the question will render different answers when asked in different dimensions. Perhaps in some dimensions the question doesn’t even exist or perhaps only the “answer” exists, but not the question. In the cosmic world view of quantum physics questions such as these are no longer the exclusive realm of philosophers, theologians and science fiction writers. They are now also the domain of serious scientific based inquiry about the very nature of reality — the physical laws of nature. So we see that from this point on, nothing can be assumed to be only what it appears to be — even an ostensibly simple and straightforward question such as, “What is the meaning of life.”

These are only a few of the questions that need to be asked before any question can be asked about the meaning of life. There are still many more serious and consequential questions to ask. And we have not even begun to explore who is it that is asking the question to begin with! (In the Matrix movie trilogy, the entirety of what appears to be humanity is actually a simulated reality created by evil machines to control the human population, while the true bodies and life force of the humans are being used as an electrical source of energy to sustain the nefarious machines. The only real and conscious humans remaining are the small number of renegades holed up in the bowels of the earth. Outside of those living in Zion — the name of the last refuge of true consciousness — would it not be ludicrous to ask any of the billions of people on the planet, “What is the meaning of life”?).


The Medium is Molding the Message


There is one question, however, concealed beneath all the questions that precede the question which, as an all-inclusive uber-question, will include them all and even more. This question is unexpected and initially counter-intuitive. Before we can ask what is the meaning of life we need to ask, “What is the shape of life”? What is the shape or geometry upon which all our questions are being superimposed? What is the contour of the white board upon which we are writing our thoughts? In other words, what is the surface structure of consciousness itself — both of the macrocosmic Divine and of the microcosmic human — upon which the questions and answers appear to rise? The medium is the message.[1] The medium — the contour of consciousness and the shape of life — is what is molding the information in the message. The medium here is the hidden geometric landscape whose contour is formatting, in one way or another, the very message — true or not — upon which the question-answer format itself unfolds.

For the last one hundred years now, gravity, as postulated by Newton, is no longer simply “a force where two bodies of mass are directly drawn (‘gravitate’) to each other according to a mathematical relationship”. Rather gravity, as revolutionized by Einstein, is not an invisible force acting upon objects, but rather gravity is “the consequence of the curvature of spacetime caused by the uneven distribution of mass and energy within the structure of the space-time manifold.” In simple words, the objects in space-time themselves are not defining the relationship between those objects, as much as the ever stretching and contracting fabric of space-time itself is defining the relationship between those objects.

Likewise, a true spiritual enquiry can no longer simply remain a question directed towards an answer with the answer seemingly being generated in response to the question. Rather, the very question-answer format itself is a consequence of the consciousness-reality manifold, and it has a distinct trans-dimensional topological “form” or “shape”. Once we develop a clear vision of the underlying shape of life, then the meaning of life will begin to become self-evident. When all questions are superimposed upon a “sacred geometry,” the meaning of life becomes profoundly simple and yet also simply profound! So, what is the shape of consciousness?

A millennial old school of traditional Jewish Kabbalah is predicated precisely upon this model – that God, human and creation, and everything in between, has an underlying, inter-dimensional, mathematical-like “shape”. In this ancient, but little known, branch of esoteric Judaism, what is known as Emanator and emanation, Creator and creation, can be understood as a type of spatial or dimensional relationship between these two constituents. Although relative to each other they are two “polarities”, they are, in fact, a singularity — a super-unified “polarized singularity.” The contour of the interface between these polarities can be described as the energy field of the geometric form known as a torus. One of the names for the sum total of the data base of the entire spectrum of the Kabbalah and all of its branches is the term Torah – meaning “Instruction”. At the instructional core of Torah based Kabbalah is the cosmic shape of the torus. Everything — from before the beginning to after the end, begins and ends with the Torah’s primal self-iterating toroidal structure. What is the meaning of life? To unfold into our life, the mystery of the Torah Torus.


The Torah Torus

There is now a great deal of scientific and metaphysical information available to indicate that the Torus is the best model we have for attempting to understand the primal structure of the universe. What we are looking at is really the principal shape of consciousness itself being a spherical vortex of energy; a self-organizing and self- sustaining sphere of energy… .[2]

The uroboros, the motif of a snake, serpent or dragon swallowing or reuniting with its own tail, is found in various cultures and traditions around the world. This universal symbol is the subject of study and contemplation in comparative religion, mysticism, mythology, Hermetic teachings, alchemy and Jungian psychology.



Universal Uroboros



Kabbalah Uroboros

 As depicted in the ancient texts of the Kabbalah the Jewish uroboros, however, appears to be unique in that it is a serpent whose straight body splits into two tails, one curving around to the right and the other curving around to the left in order for both to reconnect into its head. Here, this sacred archetype is reflecting the paradox of “polarized singularity” — a “two” that is “one” and a “one” that is “two”. This paradoxical construct is embedded in the collective soul of humanity and is encoded throughout traditional Kabbalah based Torah. Herein lies the mysteries of the masculine and feminine energies, the “straight, expanding light” and the “curved, contracting light” of the Creator’s Divinity.

This Two-Tailed Uroboros is also the secret of what is known in ancient Biblical texts and traditional Judaism as Leviathan. Leviathan — ostensibly some kind of giant aquatic beast that is as big as the entirety of creation — is, however, more than a legend. Along with numerous levels of meaning, Leviathan is an esoteric concept alluding to the higher-dimensional “shape” of reality and consciousness itself. Moreover, traditionally, there is not just one Leviathan, but two Leviathans — one male and one female (One “yang-like” and one “yin-like”). Leviathan is also a code name for the Two-Tailed Sacred Serpent, a “polarized singularity” — a “two” that is “one” and a “one” that is “two”.

The symbol of a serpent with two tails in its mouth is, with little question, a most unusual and intriguing universal symbol. But there is something else that is mind-boggling. The image of the Two-Tailed Leviathan is simply a 2-dimensional representative model of a spherical 3-Dimensional spherical form. When its flat surface is projected unto a spherical surface and animated, amazingly we now have a dynamic, auto-rotating toroidal structure. This form — now on the cutting edge of science and consciousness — is a torus. The Two-Tailed Leviathan generates a vortex of energy which bends back along itself and re-enters itself. Continuously flowing back into itself, its “outside” becomes its “inside” and its “inside” becomes its “outside”. The Torah Torus is continually stimulating and energizing itself generating vortices at its “top” and “bottom”. These two vortices have polarity, i.e., positive and negative boundaries or terminals. Divine energy, like an ever-rising flame, incessantly funnels up (and/or down) through its center. Due to the polarity of its two funnels at both ends, a revolving torus is in a state of constant torque. It is an eternal, self-perpetuating dance between all things masculine and all things feminine — ever-uniting into more than both.


Although the picture of the Two-Tailed Leviathan appears static and rigid, in real life it is very dynamic. “The end is rooted into the beginning”, we are instructed again and again by the sage-master of the Kabbalah. This is toroidal movement. The “end” is always ascending up through the middle, stimulating the “beginning” to begin, and the “beginning” is always generating its own “end”. The two tails of the Sacred Uroboros are the “ends” being rejoined back into the head. A moving or rotating torus can be pictured as a doughnut-shaped vortex of energy which is constantly turning itself inside out just like a rotating smoke ring. The geometric shape used to describe the self-reflexive nature of consciousness is the torus. The toroidal movement is the self-organizing way consciousness is designed. The torus generates a vortex of energy which bends back along itself and re-enters itself. It is continuously flowing back into itself. Thus the energy of a torus is continually renewing itself, continually creating itself — from itself, to itself and all within itself — “[Beside the One] There is no other” (Deut. 4:35), i.e., there is no “other thing” or “otherness” other than Its own unified Singularity).


This is the living tradition of the Jewish Sage-Mystics who maintain that a constantly rotating toroidal form is what defines the mechanisms of consciousness itself — ours as well as that of the Divine Mind. According to the Kabbalah, all modes of consciousness have an underlying self-replicating topological structure and all levels of reality are fields of tori within tori within tori! Similar to a set of “Russian dolls” where a series of dolls are stacked in descending order one inside the other, in the Kabbalah it is the ascending and descending levels of the soul, the configurations of the sefirot and the dimensions of Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beriah, Yitzirah and Asiah. “The end is re-rooted into the beginning”. This is also the Kabbalistic formula of “keter-malchut” where the kingdom/malchut inverts on itself to become its own crown/keter and the crown/keter inverts upon itself to become its own kingdom/malchut (as well as for all the levels above and below).

This formulation is also encoded into the well-known Sabbath liturgical verse, “Last in action [the bottom toroidal vortex ascends to become], first in thought [the upper toroidal vortex]”. The Sabbath — the seventh day of creation — funnels back up through its own six “days” of creation to reveal herself now as the “crown of creation”. Sabbath and its relationship to the six days of the week is a toroidal relationship. The six days of the week and the seventh day of the Sabbath are simply a torus in time.


The Torah’s Two-Tailed Uroboros is a model of a living, universal cosmic torus. The spatial relationships and directions of flow of this structure is one of the most, if not the most critical models and maps accessible now in our generation to begin to describe the relationship between Creator and creation, Divinity and humanity, soul and body, between higher and lower dimensionality and even between “past” and “future”. The Two-Tailed Sacred Serpent torus is the root formulation which iterates and replicates itself throughout all existence, above and below.

What is the meaning of life? We need to learn to perceive the Divine through its own matrix, as it truly is… a moving, rotating, dynamic toroidal form. And in so doing we ourselves will be drawn up into that Divine flow. We will then begin to see that what seemed mysterious, confounding and incomprehensible, was only so because we tried to make it stand still. Consequently, the medium is rendered immobile and its “message” remains concealed. The Torah Torus is, however, very much alive, eternally emanating, creating, formulating and actuating and it is more than desirous to reveal Its truth to us. This is the secret of the Kabbalah’s Two Tailed Torah Torus. Within it lies an ancient map to begin to probe the meaning of life.

[1] A phrase coined in the 1960’s by philosopher of communication theory Marshall McLuhan

[2] Author Gary Osborn, Internet, http://garyosborn.webs.com/dimensiondoorways.htm


~Joel David Bakst is a teaching rabbi & scholar of Talmud and Kabbalah who, for 20 years while living in Jerusalem, studied and taught in Orthodox yeshivot. He has also taught extensively in the United States & lectured in India. He has written at length about the confluence of Jewish mysticism and science: Kabbalah — the Science of Truth unified with the Seven Truths of the New Sciences. He has also done extensive research on the Biblical and Kabbalistic references to the pineal gland and the DMT model as it relates to higher consciousness and global evolution. He lives in Southern Colorado.

Rabbi Bakst is the author of the series Torah, Kabbalah and Consciousness. This includes the two volumes of The Secret Doctrine of the Gaon of Vilna – Volume I, The Messianic Role of Torah, Kabbalah and Science and Volume II, The Josephic Messiah, Leviathan, Metatron and the Sacred Serpent. The third volume is The Jerusalem Stone of Consciousness – DMT, Kabbalah & the Pineal Gland and the fourth book is Beyond Kabbalah – The Teachings That Cannot Be Taught.  The fifth book soon to be published in the series is Metatron, Moses and Messiah. Joel has been interviewed in the documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule, on Gaia.com (formerly GaiamTV), in Psychology of the Future and others. His books and classes are available at www.cityofluz.com

Copyright © 2016 Excellence Reporter


Categories: Spirituality

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