Pillars of Manifestation

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This drawing shows the Kabbalistic Tree of Life with the two pillars Jachin and Boaz and the mediating pillar between them. Together they form the three Pillars of Manifestation.

The three Pillars of Manifestation divide the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah into three areas. Jachin, the white pillar on the right, is marked with the Hebrew letter Hebrewי (Yod), which stands for the creative I-power of the Elohim, from which our own human I has also sprung; it also stands for the male principle. Boaz, the black pillar on the left, is marked with a Hebrewב (Beth), but written without a dagesch, i.e. without a dot, and therefore pronounced as a W. It is the undulating, envelope-forming creative force that gives rise to entities that are more or less separated from the rest of the soul world. It stands for the feminine principle. The middle, mediating pillar, the Pillar of Mildness (Hebrewגסת Gusuth) is not explicitly shown in many depictions of the Tree of Life, but is, as it were, only ideally present.

Of the three mothers - these are the Hebrew letters Aleph (Hebrewא), Mem (Hebrewמ) and Shin (Hebrewש), which also stand for soul, body and spirit - Shin is assigned to the right, white pillar Jachin, Aleph to the middle pillar of Mildness and Mem to the left, black pillar Boaz.

The 10 Sefirot are arranged on both sides of the Tree of Life as pairs of opposites, which find their balance on the middle axis. The right side corresponds to the perfection of the universe, the left side brings division, which makes the outer creation possible in the first place, but at the same time is also the origin of strife and ultimately leads down to hell. The Zohar says in this regard:

„And God said, "Let there be a parting in the midst of the waters!" Here follows in particular the mystery of the separation of the upper and lower waters: in the sign of the left side. For this stands in the mystery of division, whereas until then only the mystery of the right side had been spoken of. The right, however, signifies the perfection of the universe and is therefore called by the name "All", because all perfection depends on it. The awakening of the left is the awakening of strife; and in this strife the fire of wrath comes to the fore. Thus from that strife hell has its origin, which awakens on the left side and remains attached to it. . . The wisdom of Moses perceived this and thus gained insight into the work of creation: how in this work itself already lies the strife of the left against the right and how from this strife, in that the left comes to revival, hell also takes its origin. But then the middle pillar, that is the third day, unites with both, steps between them and settles the dispute and reconciles the two sides. Through this, hell descends, the left is completed on the right, and peace is achieved in everything.“ (Lit.: Sohar, p. 110)

The fourth apocalyptic seal

In the middle, mediating pillar, the reconciling Christ principle already announces itself, which also appears in a similar way in the Revelation of John in the image of the fourth apocalyptic seal:

„Seal IV depicts, among other things, two pillars, one rising from the sea, the other from the earth. In these pillars is indicated the secret of the role which the red (oxygen-rich) blood and the blue-red (carbonic acid-rich) blood play in human development. The human "I" undergoes its development in the earth cycle by physically expressing its life in the interaction between red blood, without which there would be no life, and blue blood, without which there would be no knowledge. Blue blood is the physical expression of the forces which give knowledge, but which alone in their human form are connected with death, and red blood is the expression of life, but which alone in its human form could not give knowledge. Both in their interaction represent the tree of knowledge and the tree of life, or the two pillars on which life and the knowledge of the I develop to that degree of perfection where man will become one with the universal forces of the earth. This latter state of the future is represented on the seal by the upper body, which consists of clouds, and by the face, which has appropriated the spiritual powers of the sun. The human being will then no longer receive the "knowledge" from outside, but will have "devoured" it within himself, which is indicated in the book in the middle of the seal. Only through such "devouring" on a higher level of existence do the seven seals of the book open, as they are also indicated on seal III. In the "Revelation of St. John" one finds the significant words about this: "And I took the little book out of the angel's hand and devoured it....“ (Lit.:GA 284, p. 91ff)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.