Were it not forthe excess of your talkingand the turmoil in your hearts,you would see what I seeand hear what I hear!

Ibn Arabi


The question ‘who?’ is actually the most transformative question we can ask. Whilst the sense of ‘I’ appears to be an immediate psychological presence, its real nature is elusive. This is a fundamental insight within Kabbalah that is found in all other mystical traditions. A favoured linguistic observation in kabbalistic writings concerns the Hebrew word ani, meaning ‘I’. The slightest rearrangement of its letters produces the word ain, ‘nothing’…..For Kabbalah, the ego is a false god lacking substantiality. It lies at the root of the yetzer ha-ra, the ‘evil inclination’ that ensnares the individual into self-serving desires. Kabbalistic work is intended to make real the rearrangement of the form of the word, in order that the individual should gain insight into the emptiness at the core of their being. Where ‘I’ had been, the higher mystical state reveals nothing other than the divine becomingness that defines the essence of the individual neshamah (divine soul). The root of the ineffable Name of God (Y-H-V-H) itself conveys this key teaching, for it depicts such ‘becomingness’. It is, of course, an emptiness that is paradoxically the real fullness.”


– Brian L. Lancaster (The Essence of Kabbalah)


BEHOLD how this drop of sea-waterHas taken so many forms and names;It has existed as mist, cloud, rain, dew, and mud,Then plant, animal, and perfect man;And yet it was a drop of waterFrom which these things appeared.Even so this universe of reason, soul, heavens, and bodies,Was but a drop of water in its beginning and ending.

. . . When a wave strikes it, the world vanishes;And when the appointed time comes to heaven and stars,Their being is lost in not being.

–the secret rose garden