One of Halevi’s teaching methods was to give his study group different themes and exercises. Contemplating and meditating on specific topics combined theory and practice into a deeper understanding of the kabbalistic tradition. This section is also arranged into various themes; for example, Time was often the focus of discussion. Other themes from the storehouse of archive material will be added quarterly.
Prior to Existence there was nothing, not even time. There was only God, the Absolute. Kabbalistic tradition says that God’s Will generated the World of Azilut, the primordial Tree of Life. It contains in the Eternal Now the totality of all time in potential, which will become the past, the present and the future in the lower Worlds.
Time was set into motion in the World of Beriah as described symbolically in the biblical account of Genesis. In this World of Creation, time is a vast cosmic drama unfolding from the beginning to the end of time.
Yezirah or the World of Forms is also called the astral World. In this dimension, time consists of specific patterns that mark the quality of a lifetime or an historical epoch. Astrology is a study of how these celestial cycles influence both an individual psyche and collective events.
The World of Asiyyah is under the laws of physical time. On our planet Earth, we experience it in the cycles of day and night as well as changing seasons. Here we can observe the manifestation of time in its influence upon both inorganic matter and organic life.
Halevi was trained in visual arts and often used to quote ‘one picture is worth a thousand words’. Consequently, one video is worth even more as it also demonstrates the way of his teaching beyond the words. These videos were recorded at residential Summer Schools as well as private interviews.
Halevi used guided meditations to give his students experiences of the Higher Worlds as well as exploring the psychological Tree of Life in a symbolic form. The sound quality of some of the recorded meditations were not good enough for reproduction, so these meditations were transcribed and rerecorded by his students. They transmit the spontaneous quality of the Way of the Heart.
Guided Meditations by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi – Read by Mohammed Nazam.
In this meditation, originally held 10/03/2014, we can gain a panoramic view of place and time. From the here to galaxy’s space, from the now, looking back tens of thousands of year as well as looking into the distant future. By going on this journey, we can experience the difference between the Passing Show with its ever-changing form and substance and the presence, the Eternal Now where the guiding Watcher is observing.
This meditation, that Halevi originally led 02/06/2014, takes us back to our significant memories imprinted on our consciousness for a lifetime. These memories can range from the time of our arrival to the Earth to the near-present. These conscious memories in the past and when we are looking at them in the now, might provide greater insights into our lives, the cosmic processes and into the Eternal Now.
This meditation recorded first on 01/04/2013, takes us on a journey to observe how the most minute and vast parts of existence change forms. All, be it molecules, fashion, weather, animals, humans or galaxies get born, grow, flower, wither, die and reorganise into new material. Yet, who sees it all in the Eternal Now and where are we humans in this vast process?
Anatomy of Fate by Halevi
The Anatomy of Fate sets out the philosophy of astrology. Applying kabbalistic principles, celestial symbols and archetypal images to this ancient art reveals how, when fused with modern psychology, a profound insight can be gained into the processes of both the personal birth chart and historical events.
Between birth and death there are clearly recognisable stages, each related to a sefirah on the Tree of Life and to a celestial body. They last approximately seven years. What is not always observed is that while a person may grow older in body, their mind may fixate at the Lunar, Mercurial or Venusian stages. Many middle-aged people are still quite infantile or childish. In the process of inner development, one must reach Solar maturity before going on to Martial discipline, Jovial openness and the higher aspects of evolution, symbolised by the superior planets. (Halevi).
Time: 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: Can we expand time?
A: You can do it psychologically and spiritually, for example in meditation. Whenever you are in a place where there are lots of people, be it at work, in a market or a public entertainment, shift levels from the ego to the Self. In such a moment when you are awake, you may perceive reincarnation at work in the passing show of history. Such an insight into the scale of the soul’s perception of reality is quite different from the moment ‘now’.
Q: What is sacred time?
A: Time itself is neutral. It is your intention that makes it sacred. The most precious thing you can give to someone or to yourself is your time. Setting aside a certain time from mundane everyday life helps you to shift levels psychologically and spiritually. It can be a deeply emotional experience like listening to sacred music, or intellectual contemplation enriching your wisdom and understanding. You may practise in private or group meditation or religious festivals of your own culture. The first step is to rise from the ego/Yesod to the Self/Tiferet, where you may become aware of the Kingdom of Heaven and beyond, to experience the Divine presence.
Q: What is cosmic time?
A: Every level in the ladder of Existence has its own timescale. For example, for certain cells in our body a day is a lifetime, while the lifespan of our sun is like that of a cell within the vast body of the Milky Way. The galactic timescale can be compared with the World of Creation. Consider millions of stars being born, maturing and dying right now. Such a scale is truly cosmic.
Q: How does time relate to the Tree diagram?
A: One way is to consider how the left pillar of structure contains the past, the central pillar of equilibrium is the present, while the right pillar of dynamic represents the future in potential.
For example, a child does not have much past, so its structure is not yet fully developed, and its body is very small. However, its future is there in potential, so its dynamic is enormous. In contrast, an old person’s past experience can be seen in their physical and psychological structure, but there is not much future or dynamic left. On the central pillar of consciousness, you can observe how the past and the future are conditioned and work as a whole.
Q: Can the future be predicted?
A: Wanting to know the future has been a human preoccupation for thousands of years. The greater prophets can perceive future trends at the level of the spirit, which relates to the element of air, so they see more clearly. The so-called lesser prophets can perceive the future at the psychic level, so their vision can be either accurate or distorted by the watery lens of Yezirah. The ancient world had its oracles. Needless to say, much superstition was involved. The Bible warns against false prophets. Use your discrimination and common sense.
Q: What about astrology?
A: At birth, the celestial pattern of that moment is imprinted on the psyche. A horoscope contains both your past and your future. Your birth chart is the end of term report of your last life, and it describes the lessons and possibilities of how your current life will develop and unfold in time. The script is there, free will comes in how you play your part.
There is a story about a Catholic, a Protestant and a Jew debating ‘When does life begin?’. The Catholic says, ‘Of course, life begins at the conception.’. ‘No’, says the Protestant, ‘life begins at birth with the first breath.’ ‘You are both wrong’, says the Jew. ‘Life begins when the kids leave home, and the dog dies.’
Q: What are the astrological ages?
A: You could consider a lifetime as different seasons. The early life is governed by the Moon, Mercury and Venus. This is the time of the spring and growth. The middle life of the Sun, Mars and Jupiter relates to the summer and maturing. Pluto, Saturn and Uranus mark the autumn or the harvest time when you start to see the fruits of your life. Finally, the age of Neptune begins the winter, ending in hibernation and death.
Q: How does the spirit of the time affect us?
A: The spirit of the time manifests through the movements of the outer planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. They influence the collective mood of the time and fashions. We as individuals respond differently depending on our personal horoscope. Likewise, a collective mood may be different in other parts of the world depending on the national character of a people. The sun also has a clear impact in its annual cycle through the zodiac. Moreover, the solar energy fluctuates in a 11/22-year sunspot cycle, creating periods of high or low activity in human affairs.
There is an even larger cosmic cycle of 24,000 years called the Precession of the Equinoxes. In this, each zodiacal sign governs approximately a 2,000-year epoch. The Age of Pisces was marked by a preoccupation with religion. Now we are well into the Age of Aquarius with much social change and a more intellectual approach.
Q: Is time linear?
A: It appears to be linear, but in fact the arrow of time moves in a circular fashion. Our perception of time is based on astronomical cycles, like the planet Earth rotating on its axis in a daily cycle. Or in the annual cycle, the arrow of time always comes back to your birthday and starts a new cycle.
The so called tik-tok time is a human agreement and a necessary tool for practical purposes. We need clocks and calendars to synchronise our societies as well as private lives.
Q: Can we turn the clock back?
A: Sometimes we can, but that would be called regression. It would mean going against the universal flow of time, so the consequences could be severe. You can see it in individuals and even nations who crystallise and refuse to develop further. They are left behind. Remember the biblical story of Lot’s wife, who looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. However, God is merciful and gives another opportunity to move on either through a life crisis or in the next lifetime.