Gen. 2:14 (Cont'd)
Revised: November 2019
והנהר הרביעי הוא פרת׃
English: “And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”
Commentary: This finishes Genesis 2:14 and the whole Garden of Eden. Like the Tigris, the Euphrates has been given several names from Sumeria and the following cultures mentioned previously. The Hebrew Old Testament spelling for ‘Euphrates’ is פרת, Prath, highlighted red in the verse. Its gematria is 680. One sensible verb summing the same by merely transposing the very letters is פתר, patar, 'to solve, to decipher, to explain, to interpret’. It almost seems as if the original author(s) were covertly leading us; that the riddle of The Garden et al must be deciphered for something hidden deliberately. And, oddly enough, this is exactly what must be done with Prath since no further poignant gematria comparisons seem to surface.
Dr. Paul F. Case suggests the ‘Phrath’ is “associated with Earth”, but does not elaborate. George Arthur Gaskell, again in his Dictionary of All Symbols and Myths, Volume I, pgs. 72, 254, says that “the Euphrates River is a symbol of the physical plane, including the etheric”. Since there is little other gematria to deny or support these conjectures the word פרת, Prath, must be examined in the meticulous manner of the Literal Qabalist to glean any esoteric value. We must ‘decipher’ and ‘solve’ this for ourselves. It begins with each letter. Briefly, letter Peh symbolizes Mars and Iron; letter Resh, the Sun and Gold; as letter Tau equates with Saturn and Lead. All this is basic, but a good starting point.
The immediate inference behind ‘river’ Prath seems to suggest that the misunderstood Sex Force (Mars), the separative Ego Force (Sun) and the deluded Body senses (Saturn) all contribute to beguiling self-consciousness in the physical plane, that is, Earth. They are forces which hide the ultimate mystery of our True Self. However, they are the very same forces (chakras) that an Adept or the enlightened would use to grasp their own True Nature.
The first letter then is פ, Peh, meaning 'mouth'. One inference is to speech as a potency. In esoteric teachings speech, thought, and the written word were all considered equal authority. These are all Yetziratic agents. By this is meant that for Consciousness in a physical world the thought, behind speech and script, is primary for personality to communicate. The number value of letter Peh is 80. A poignant Hebrew verb sharing this number is בלל, balal. It has several shades of meaning all relevant to speech. Rooted from a verb form meaning 'to penetrate, break through, to soften'. Other shades of inference render verbs 'to complete, to finish, to make whole'. Different vowel points change it 'to confound, to confuse'. It is easy to understand how speech and its other modes can do all of these.
On the Tree of Life the letter Peh is assigned the 27th path connecting the 7th Sphere, Netzach (Desire) with the 8th Sphere, Hod (Intellect). Thoughts and desires, united and made manifest by active speech, may create or destroy, heal or curse, through this agent.
“Let Him kiss me with kisses from His Mouth...” Song of Solomon 1:2. 'His mouth' is פיהו, peho, in the verse. The author must have known and understood from the spelling of peho that the significance of the 'kiss' is the lightening strike from Mouth of God (letter Peh). An early version of the Tower Tarot Key illustrated a lightening strike blasting from the mouth of a solar disk. The author also must have known that the three letters יהו (Yod, Heh and Vav) after Peh in peho come from the oral tradition of Sepher Yetzirah. Therein, now recorded as Chapter 1, Section 8 is:
“He sealed them with spirit and fastened them to His great name and sealed with it six dimensions. He sealed the height and turned towards above and sealed it with יהו.”
The following verses in Chapter 1 continue with sealing the five remaining directions of a Cube in Space with permutations of these three letters from the Great Name by speech, that is, sound vibration.
'Exciting' is an apt name for the 27th path, which symbol is Peh, in that when the event occurs for each of us we excitedly abandon our previous life's course and style and actively take up a new path in accordance an inner, higher venue. We also arrest our thoughtless speech. Realization also makes us aware how we have squandered our reproductive force at the cost of our own evolution. The astrological force under the symbol of Peh (the Svadishthana Chakra) is the Mars force that, rightly understood, has the power to reproduce tissue cell structure. It also may serve to maturate our image making faculties. Misused it keeps us in earth-bound imagery. Re-channeled it serves to liberate. The Universal Mind Substance, Ain Suph Aur, attaches itself to matrices formed by imagination. This power is enhanced considerably when imagery is charged by redirection of the reproductive force. The highest function of this process is the formation of bodies, physical vehicles that can last far longer and healthier than generic humanity. It is ultimately the primary agent for enhancing awareness. Such is only partial power behind Peh in Prath.
The second letter in Prath is ר, Resh, meaning 'face, head, or countenance'. It holds the numeral value 200. There may be no end to finding gematria references for 200. But one is sufficient here and that is עצם, etzem. This word itself has over a dozen inferences. So again one should suffice, like 'essence'. The suggestion behind a ‘face, head or countenance’ exuding an energy ‘essence’ is very much symbolic of the human ego. All too often misunderstood and misdirected, we believe and act as if it were ‘our own’ personally to wield around indiscriminately; as if it came out from us individually rather than the truth of it coming through us. We do not own an ego. Qablalists teach that it is sort of ‘on loan’ to a personality from a much higher Source as an instrument of Itself. Our deluded ‘personal’ self is kept in bondage to this physical world as long as we remain ignorant of its true nature or essence. Our True Higher Ego is very much like the Sun in that it “shines upon all indiscriminately’. This is aptly descriptive of the sun's rays in that the sun is nothing less than compacted Ain Suph Aur radiating the essence of itself out into planetary space as. In fact our entire galaxy is nothing other than the invisible Limitless Light. The sun is just “its physical core, similar to a pit at the center of a peach sliced in half”, as one modern Qabalist put it so aptly. Eastern traditions recognize this 'essence' as Prana. Dr. Franz Hartmann was a notable German physician and scholar. His works included several books on esoteric studies and biographies of Jacob Boehme and Paracelsus. He quotes Boehme here:
“The sun is not very different from water, for water has the quality and essence of the sun. Without that the water would not receive the light of the sun. Although the sun is also in water, but not manifest. In fact, we recognize that the whole world is all sun, and the locality of the sun would be everywhere if God would want to ignite it and cause it to become manifest, for all existence begins in the light of the sun.”1
On the Tree of Life Resh is assigned the 30th path connecting the 8th Sphere, Hod, Intellect, with the 9th Sphere, Yesod, the Subconscious. The misconstrued solar, egoic force symbolized as the Sun, combined with an intellect that relies solely on the report of five senses impresses the subconscious with erroneous assumptions. The personality is convinced of its bleak separation from all life. If it is to survive it must fight for existence on its own against overwhelming resistances. Such is a life until self-consciousness realizes the fundamental fallacy.
The 30th path is named שכל כללי, Saykel Kellawliy, 'the Collective Intelligence' in the Book of Formation. It is rooted from the verb כלל, kalal, 'to include, to surround, to comprise'. Astrophysicists are only half correct in their assessment that our physical sun eventually will burn itself out. Our solar center and all suns in the universe are actually winding out an endless supply of electro-magnetic radiant energy to the physical side of creation while simultaneously winding up, or 'collecting' Ain Suph Aur from the invisible side. Our sun will nova, as other suns do, only when the Universal Mind releases Its focus or attention at that point within Its own infinite space, Ain Suph. In parallel the individual, separate ego consciousness assumes a similar circumstance. We die, as others do, only when the True Ego withdraws Its influence from one of Its vehicles. As we live the deluded life, erroneously believing in our limited mortal condition, the fact of death is the only certain conclusion. An enlightened self-consciousness, aligned with the True Ego within, knows no such death. The True Ego does not and cannot die as we understand death. Our delusion keeps us in earth, repeatedly, through successive reincarnations.
The third and final letter of Prath is ת, Tau or Tav, touched upon previously under Genesis 2:9. It means 'signature, mark'. The earliest shape for this letter was a simple ‘X’ or an equal-armed cross, hence its name 'mark'. It has also been seen frequently as a 'T' before it was evolved into its present form. The secret inference was and remains that of a 'central point' marked by cross hairs, and that Central Point is the Central Self, the Christ Consciousness or True Ego.
The numeral value for Tau is 400. A Hebrew adjective summing to 400 is משכיל, mask'iyl, 'intelligent, literate, educated'. As the Tau cross remains indicative of the Central Self esoterically, one so aligned with That Self is considered intelligent and educated in the hidden nature of existence (an under statement). On the Tree of Life the letter Tau is assigned to the 32nd and final path connecting the 9th Sphere, Yesod, Sub-consciousness, with the 10th Sphere, Malkuth, the Body of sensations (Earth). In the Sepher Yetzirah this path is named שכל נעבד, Saykel Nobed, 'the Administrative or Assisting Intelligence'. The plain secret is that the Guiding, Administrative Principle is the Christ Consciousness behind our self-conscious mind and beyond our deep sub-conscious awareness. In Tarot the letter Tau is attached to The World Key as is the astrological planet Saturn. Finally, the letter, planet, and Tarot Key are all assigned to the Center point within the Cube of Space, the very cross-hairs of the three spatial coordinates.
Again, in our separative state, our self-consciousness often relies upon our sub-conscious ‘feelings, hunches, intuitions’ for guidance. However, when the ego is believed ‘personal’ all our thoughts and desires are geared and prone to feeding that fundamental delusion. At the transition commonly believed as death the reality is made known. Since the self-conscious life had not achieved reunion through its last personality life, it must then be reincarnated again to work toward that reunion. Through enough physical sojourns it learns its way, when eventually it dawns on self-consciousness.
The 'mark' showing The Way can be viewed in its several variations in Tarot decks through the centuries. Many versions illustrate the High Priestess with an equal-armed cross drawn on her chest. As she personifies one aspect of the subconscious the cross over her heart indicates the direction of the Central Self, the One Ego, within and through her. Therein is where we seek. The 'mark' is also prevalent in versions of the Hanged Man. Various designs have him suspended from a 'T' or an 'X' and the Hebrew letter Tau. Crowley's Book of Thoth design has self-consciousness suspended from a solar orb (Tiphareth and the Central Ego) by means of a reversed crux ansata, an Egyptian Ankh, the 'cross' between self-consciousness (the man) and super-consciousness (the sun). All pictorial symbolism from differing packs are in agreement. The lower self-conscious personality, having been struck awakened from the Central Sun, is revitalized by that same Center and now performs all activities in the Name of the Central Ego. In Luke 9:23 the Christ Incarnate teaches:
“And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
At this Sermon on the Mount Christ hardly implied anyone need be physically crucified. We need merely drop our pseudo sense of self importance and childlike ego, and follow the Central Self proffering constant guidance through the true Voice of Intuition. The Voice always leads to Freedom. Granted, countless times in the past, and even in current times under some governments, following The Voice within may run against popular modes and mores. We may come under scrutiny, prejudice, and scandal. We may be ridiculed, ostracized and, yes, in extreme circumstances even tortured and killed. Continue reading from Luke 9:23 above all the way through verse 27. The reward, should we prove courageous and persevering enough, is promised to us here and now even before eternal life in the Universal Kingdom not of this world.
Firstly, recapping succinctly, letter פ, Peh suggests the Power of the Reproductive Force in sustaining cellular life, in the power of the Spoken Word, and with enhancing Imagery and Awareness. Secondly, letter ר, Resh, suggests that power to be inherent everywhere and eternal, as an invisible essence “within Whom we live, move, and have our being.” And thirdly, letter ת, Tau demonstrates that all power lies within us, and that to access this Limitless Source we but need to surrender to the Christos' level of Consciousness.
All this and more a Literal Qabalist could glean from the three letter word פרת, Prath, the Euphrates River metaphor.
It is rather poignant that letter Tau would be the last letter of Prath, and the final letter of the entire description of The Garden of Eden from Genesis 2:8 thru 14.
1 Hartmann, Dr. Franz, The Life And Doctrines Of Jacob Boehme. New York: Steinerbooks, 1977, pg. 169.