The 4 Phases of the Tree of LIfe

Class 1

This is the first advanced class that I teach to new students – students who have completed the basic class. This series of classes introduce the Tree of Life and the Tree of Life Glyff.

It is one of the most important classes you will ever study in your career/study of Kabbalah. Many of you have seen the Tree of Life Glyff or diagram. What you may not realize is that many of these diagrams are corrupted. Most of them do not have the Hebrew Letters connected to the lines on the Glyff. This is because there is a Machlochet between the Sages over which letters go with which lines.

Rabbi Ashlag teaches that it is best not to use a diagram when studying the Tree since the diagram is a two dimensional depiction and the Tree is 10 dimensional at a minimum. Some say it has infinite dimensions. Using a diagram will lead you to some corrupted understandings. This is a true statement. Please remember that you are to never believe a word I say. You are requested to try what I say.

If you find it necessary to utilize a diagram (and most people do) then please ask me or better yet email me an attachment of which tree you have chosen to use so that I can make sure the one you choose will be adequate and not corrupted.

Please consider the words of the Torah that describes the two trees in the Garden of Eden. In Chapter 2 Verse 16 God said, “Do not eat from the Tree that is in the Center of the Garden, from the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.” In Chapter 3 Verse 22 paraphrased God said that man was now like one of “Us” knowing Good and Evil. He must not reach out his hand and eat from the Tree of Life.

Where in the garden is the Tree of Life?

Why is the Tree of Knowledge in the middle of the Garden?

What is the difference between the two Trees?

Some Sages teach that the two Trees are actually one Tree. The Tree of Knowledge consists of the lower 7 Sefirot while the Tree of Life consists of the 3 upper Sefirot. From this teaching it is implied that the Tree was supposed to be “eaten” just not until Shabbat. Do you agree with this teaching?

The Tree of Life in Words

Close your eyes, relax your bodies, let the tension flow out of your muscles and other parts of your bodies. Listen to the words I am about to say. Try to visualize these words in at least a three or better a 4 dimensional picture.

As you develop your visualization of your Tree, if there is anything you do not understand please make yourself a note and ask me after the description is complete.

Are you ready?

The Tree of Life is called a Tree since it has roots, branches, and fruits. It is upside down compared to our world. The root is at the top and the fruit is at the bottom, where in our world the root is at the bottom and fruit is at the end of the branches which is considered the top of the tree.

This Tree consists of three trunks which are called columns. The middle column consists of a mixture of aspects of the other two columns. There is a right column called the “pillar of wisdom.” This is also called the sharing column. There is also a left column called the “pillar of understanding.” This is also referred to as the receiving column.

The Tree is both a stage and a process. The stages are called Sefirot and the process are communication lines between stages. They may also be communication directly between aspects of the communications channels themselves.

There are 10 Sefirot in the shape of a duohedron. The Sefirot are at the intersection of the lines that form the duohedron. The shape of a duohedron provides for Three parallel lines. It also leaves 7 vertical lines and 12 diagonal lines in a two dimensional drawing. Yet the two dimensional drawing is incomplete.

The 10 Sefirot are not separate they are one. Each one gives birth to the one below it in the idea of a straight line – one causing the other. There is no time there is only cause and effect.

At the same instant they are both in a straight line and in a set of three. At the same moment they are 10 distinct consciousness and they are also one unified whole consciousness.

As they transfer energy between themselves there is never any lack of communication.

The lower two sets of three are called ends since there is no continuity within them. Just as the 10 are a unified whole as oneness, the same is true for the six ends. They are six yet one.

The 10 Sephirot can be viewed as three sets of three with one below. The three sets of three – there is a head followed by a body followed by an end leading to the single end. The head is called Rosh; the body or middle is called Tosh; The end is called Soph.

Each set of three has one from the sharing pillar; one from the receiving pillar; and one that connects the two pillrs in a form of balance.

The Kabbalists have used different metaphors to help explain the essence of the Sefirot. One Metaphor is the 4 letters of the Tetragrammaton. Another Metaphor is the Names that they have called the Sefirot over the generations. A third metaphor is the Creative process and how the Sefirot are both stages and process all the same.

The Names of the Sefirot have changed over time. We will begin to give you Names, also the relationships within the metaphors and some additional information about the Sefirot now.

Keter = Crown

Keter is outside the body. When a King takes off his crown he does not truly change internally; yet people treat him differently since his trappings have been removed.

The Will

Hidden Potential

Pre-conscious Motivation

The reverse spelling of the word Keter in Hebrew means to weld or solder (a form of joining).

The tip of the Yood. Not even part of the 4 phases since from the lower perspective looking up Keter looks like the Endless World. From our perspective it looks like it is difficult to “see” the difference between Keter and the Endless.

The skull

Chochmah = Wisdom

The Hebrew spelling breaks into two words. Power and What. This means “what is the power” or the “power of what”

The germ of an idea.

A flash of insight



The Eyes

Phase 1

The Yood of the Tetragrammaton

Usually referred to as your unconscious which is meant eventually to become revealed and expanded to be your conscious. It is considered concealed.

It is the concept of running and returning in Kabbalah

Binah = Understanding = Mother


Feasibility Studies



Phase 2

Upper Hey of Tetragrammaton

The Ears

Conscious Level

Running and Returning concept – paired with Chochmah

Keter Chochmah and Binah are referred to as the Gimmel Rishonot - The First Three. This means that these three are always in Zvug – in unity.

4 Phases – General

The 4 phases is the most important revelation of the Light within Kabbalah since the Baal Shem Tov revealed his revelations. His teaching is that along with the concept of relativity any creative process must follow these 4 steps.

The 4 phases is a metaphorical understanding of the Sefirot and also the Creative Process and the Tetragrammaton itself. Other Kabbalists hint at the 4 phases while Rabbi Ashlag reveals the whole secret. It is an amazing revelation as I am sure you all will come to realize.

The light has a thought to be revealed. It is not a desire to be revealed since desire does not exist until phase 4 is reached as you will see. The thought to be revealed created a vessel.

The vessel that was created goes through a process. Whenever the consciousness of the vessel changes the vessel changes to something additional yet there is no disappearance in the vessel. The 4 vessels exists, yet the first three vessels are not the same intensity as when they are primary meaning they are the active vessel.

Phase 1

There is no coercion in spirituality. The light has to knock on the door of the vessel and ask permission to be revealed. The light say please reveal me and the vessel does not think about it yet says ok I will reveal you. It is not a desire to reveal the light it is a reaction. The consciousness of the vessel is ok it is no effort so I will do it. It is not sharing. It is not a desire. What do you think it is? It is not a lack because it does not know that it is not revealing the light at this moment. Remember the Light did a Tzimzum. It diminished itself by withdrawing into itself which is impossible since there is no place that the Light does not exist. If it withdrew into itself than where it doubled up so to speak it should be more intense, but that is impossible because all aspects of the light are equal and there is no place more intense than another part.

Phase one is the Yood. What is the nature of the Yood? It is a gematria of 10 so it implies multiples yet its essence is unity. It is the smallest letter. It is a dot yet a curve. These are things we need to spend some time contemplating. What is a curve what is a dot?

A dot is infinite. Picture a dot on a white piece of paper. The white was infinite and now is limited by the dot. The dot is infinite and yet limited by the white space. These are paradoxes. What is a paradox? In mathematics – actually calculus a paradox is two answers to an equation – two curved lines that answer the same equation. They both exist at the same instant separated by some space between them. Where is the line in the same between them? This is the first phase. Let me repeat this in different ways with different emphasis.

A dot is the still small voice within you which is the voice of God that you hear and don't hear. Can you go into the dot and expand the dot to take up all of the white space on the paper?

Phase 1 is not desire; phase 1 is not fulfilled by the light yet the light takes up space and time and velocity and … and... and.... etc. Phase 1 is revelation of the light because the light has a thought to be revealed. There is nothing else except light and vessel except the vessel is not a vessel since it has no desire – it is a potential of a vessel whatever that means. Thought of revelation and a place of revelation.

The consciousness of phase 1 is ok I will reveal you since you want me to and you created me. Is that payback? no. Is it appreciation - no. What is it?

What does the communication look like?

What happens when you pour hot water into a tea cup? - The cup becomes warm. It takes on the attribute of the fulfillment. What is the attribute of the Light of God? It is sharing. The non vessel of phase one takes on the consciousness of the Light of God which is sharing. Yet it is not the same consciousness since in spirituality if something has the same consciousness than it becomes the same thing. The Light is different than the non vessel. Yet they are unified which means there is an affinity of form.

We need to discuss the concepts of form and content. A vessel is form. The Light or the fulfillment is content. Can there be different contents at this level? Can there be grades or levels within the content? If a bank account of $999,999 is called a non vessel since the bank account does not have the desire the person who accumulated the money has the desire. Is this account equal to a bank account of $5?

This is the meaning of "there is no different grades or levels in the Light." That is true unity. If there is a different grade or level than there is no unity even if both are considered money.

When the potential vessel takes on the attribute of the fulfillment then there is an additional non vessel. They have different potentials. They are not the same thing. This has now become phase 2. This is the Hey of the Tetragrammaton. This is Binah. This has a consciousness of "I want to share." It is a different consciousness from phase 1 which is what consciousness? "I will reveal you"!

Does phase 2 have this consciousness. Yes and no. It does, but it is not an active consciousness. The active consciousness is "I want to share." What separates this from the fulfillment? The word is I. Ego. This is what separates the potential vesssel from the Light of fulfillment.