Providence

We can say that Providence works in two ways; general and individual. General Providence maintains all Existence throughout the four Worlds. The point of origin is Azilut, the Will of God. At the Beriatic and Yeziratic levels there is a great hierarchy of archangelic and angelic entities, each fulfilling a particular function set out by Divine Laws. The timescale of Providence is vast. We can observe its physical manifestation in the evolution of organic life and humanity on Earth.

Those who wish to develop beyond the vegetable and animal levels of humanity come under the guidance and protection of individual Providence. At the beginning of interior work much Grace is given as encouragement along the way. Strange coincidences and synchronicities start to occur which may seem miraculous. However, there comes a time when Grace is withdrawn so that one learns to walk unaided as a spiritual adult.

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Providence

Suggested Reading

Introduction to the World of Kabbalah

This book by Halevi is an introduction to the Tradition, enhanced by many illustrations and diagrams. It outlines the origins of Kabbalah in biblical, mythological and metaphysical terms that explain the origins of Existence according to Jewish mysticism. Kabbalistic cosmology and psychology are discussed, as are schools of the soul, true and false teachers and working methods, in order to reveal the process of evolution and its aim ‘to aid God to behold God.’ This book is a synthesis of Halevi’s works.

Meditations

Ladder of Creation 

Recorded in London in 1993
Voice: Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi

Ladder of Creation is a panoramic view of Existence from the lowest to the highest levels. The meditator is invited to observe and experience each stage and learn how to transform imagination into a vision. Halevi recommended this meditation to regain a sense of proportion when one becomes too bogged down with the mundane and personal.

Diagram

Ascent

To climb the Ladder of Self-realisation means to pass through many levels. First there is the ability to manage ordinary life skilfully; then ascend the seven levels of the psyche, before entering the Great Spiritual Mysteries of the seven Halls of Heaven. Here the ‘Watchers’ check anyone who seeks to go beyond their capacity.

Not a few aspirants believe that once they experience a flash of cosmic consciousness they have achieved their goal. To encounter the Divine Realm requires many qualities, such as commitment, courage and integrity, and to beable to overcome the temptations while going up the Ladder. (Halevi.)

Providence: Questions and Answers

A large part of Halevi’s oral teaching came in responding to students’ questions. Such group discussions sometimes covered topics that were not written down in books. These questions and answers articles are compiled from group and workshop recordings over the years to give insights into Kabbalah as a living tradition.

Q: How is Providence organised?

A: Ideas are very powerful. They originate from the World of Beriah which is the creative force behind forms. At the individual level, first a person needs to become open to a new idea. Such a possibility may arise through a combination of providential circumstances and timing. Turning points are often indicated by a planetary transit which will manifest when conditions are ripe.

The cosmic hierarchy consists of archangels and angels who maintain Existence from galaxies to the smallest particles. The names of angels are composed with the suffix -el indicating that they operate directly under Divine Laws. They may have some flexibility like a bus driver who can choose to drive faster or slower, but they can not deviate from their preordained route. The variable is humanity with its free will; that is why the special guidance of Providence is needed.


Q: Where is Providence on Jacob’s Ladder?

A: The whole Ladder of Existence is an expression of Providence, you can not pinpoint it to one particular place. We often speak of the “Hand of Heaven” when something happens out of the ordinary and the laws of the World of Creation seem to override the laws of the lower Worlds. We can say that the Hod and Nezah of Beriah are the practical aspects or the hands of Heaven.

Higher still is the Hand of God which may adjust the creative impulse flowing down the Ladder. The Hosts of Elohim and the Hosts of Jahveh at the Hod and Nezah of Azilut underpin the Binah and Hokhmah at the top of the left and right pillars of Creation. Divine consciousness on the central pillar extends through all the Worlds from the highest Keter to the lowest Malkhut. God is aware of everything in Existence and can intervene if necessary. The ever-open eye is an often-used symbol for the Divine aspect of Providence.


Q: Does karma relate to Providence?

A: Karma is the law of cause and effect. What and where we are now is the result of our past actions, thoughts and feelings. Providence is well aware of our situation. To begin with, our time and place of birth are carefully chosen so as to give us the best opportunity for further development. Moreover, our personal situation needs to coincide with that of many other people with whom we have karmic bonds. It is all carefully orchestrated.

Providence can arrange circumstances, but because we have the privilege of free will the decisions are up to us. Most people choose not to exercise their free will. As such they are under general Providence and the law of large numbers. Life at the vegetable level runs quite mechanically unless some external event disrupts the routine and a crisis necessitates change.


Q; What about astrology?

A: Timing is the hallmark of Providence. Transits and progressions are significant in the unfolding of your life’s plan as set out in your birth chart. Such moments when you are more open and alert are anticipated by Providence, which sets up situations to help you grow. Sometimes an old pattern needs to be dissolved before a new opportunity presents itself. There is a certain time window for opening out or closing down an existing situation. Many have missed their moment and come to regret it years later.

Celestial configurations also create the spirit of the time which influences collective moods and events. Civilisations go through periods of creativity and progress as well as decline. Providence foresees times of destruction and helps to preserve the seeds for a later epoch. The flowering of classical knowledge in the European Renaissance was an example of such long-term planning.


Q: Can we ask for guidance?

A: If you have a genuine question and ask, the universe will respond. Or you can ask for a confirmation if you are not sure about something. The answer usually comes within 48 hours, often from a most unexpected source. For example, you may notice an advertisement slogan that is relevant to your situation. Heaven has a great sense of humour.

Oracles can give a right or a wrong answer and omens can be true or false. If you are not sure, wait. Maybe the time is not right. You need to ask yourself, does it take you towards the light or away from the light. It is necessary to use discrimination, because there is also the opposition which tries to block or divert your way. Providence can help us to negotiate the opposition, which is there to test our integrity. We learn from our difficulties.


Q: Why do we need to pray?

A: There are two basic prayers: “Please” or “Thank you”. Real prayers are quite rare. Tradition tells us that the archangel Sandalphon collects genuine prayers, weaves them into a garland and hands them over to Metatron. If it is willed from above, your request will be answered. Providence gives us what we need but not always what we want. There is also a warning – be careful what you wish for because you might get it.

Prayer can also be used as a meditation technique. When you are fully centred at Tiferet, you may be able to receive the Dew of Heaven and rise up to experience the Divine presence. It is said that the Holy One enjoys good conversation. Praying to the angels and archangels is not recommended in Kabbalah. You should always address your prayer directly to the Holy One who will appoint helpers if required.


Q: Can Providence stop disasters?

A: Many personal disasters are often our own making. If we are on the wrong track, Providence usually gives us three warnings before we hit the brick wall. These warnings can come in different ways, in dreams or through external events. One lady who had the habit of driving too fast on winding country roads had to slow down because there were birds on the road. Seconds later a huge truck came round the corner so she had avoided a collision. In an emergency Providence can use animals or anything available. Those who arrange such omens and warnings operate at a higher level and can foresee what is coming.

Sometimes there are collective or natural disasters that afflict a large number of people. Sensitive individuals may have premonitions and decide to leave the country before a revolution breaks out. Some are protected by a seemingly unlucky event like being delayed and missing a train that is later going to crash. It is often only in hindsight that we realise something was “a blessing in disguise”.


Q: Does Providence arrange relationships?

A: Most relationships are based on physical attraction or wanting a suitable match at the social level. People who are starting to individuate find it more difficult as they want a companion to whom they can relate at the soul level. That is when the heavenly marriage bureau can bring people together in ways that override any logic. Providence can arrange a meeting of two people from different countries or continents and from different ethnic or social backgrounds. If such a meeting leads to a marriage, it can have a profoundly transformative effect on both individuals.

Providence can also bring together soul groups that have a purpose, either for study or work that can not be done alone. Such groups are of particular interest to Providence. They can accelerate personal development besides being stimulating and inspiring as well as creative. There are many remarkable stories about how people have been guided to find a group ofcompanions.


Q: How do we learn from Providence?

A: Be awake in your life to recognise the lessons. Tradition says that we have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, both whispering their advice into our ears. We all have the archetypes of good and evil within us and our integrity is tested in many ways. The three basic temptations of money, sex and power may present themselves in the disguise of great opportunities. Providence is very much concerned with morality: “When in doubt, do the right thing.”

Consider the Ten Commandments and the teachings of the wise ones. Providence has given such guidance in order to lift humanity from savagery to civilisation. For example, take the rabbinic saying, “Do as you would be done by.” This phrase is found in every genuine spiritual tradition. It is the beginning of the realisation that Self is the same for everyone.


Q: What is the difference between magic and miracles?

A magician applies “my will” when he or she manipulates psychic powers in order to achieve a desired result. That may disrupt the natural flow of events and for this the magician will pay the price. In order to perform miracles, all four Worlds need to be aligned. The creative forces of Beriah can alter the yeziratic patterns and forms, resulting in psychological or physical transformation. Those individuals who can operate at the spiritual level consult “Thy Will” as a safeguard for a correct outcome.

For example, some gifted healers can reverse a seemingly hopeless situation and bring about a miraculous cure. Some of them co-operate as channels for discarnate masters who work from the higher Worlds. In distant healing the patient does not even need to know the exact time when the supernatural intervention takes place. The archangel Raphael, whose name means “the Healer of God”, personifies the healing aspect of Providence.