Thursday, May 10, 2007
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
Anyone who studies the occult quickly discovers this phrase. But what is the source of this basic understanding of the way the world is structured?
Apparently it's the Zohar:
SAID Rabbi Abbi: "The higher or celestial world with its accompanying spheres, though invisible to mortal sight, has its reflection and analogue, namely, the lower world with its circumambient spheres, according to the saying, 'As above, so below.' The works of the Holy One in the celestial world are the type of those in the terrestrial world.
That text is taken from p. 180, subheading "Higher Devachanic or Heavenly Spheres" which can be read at the Sacred Text website entry for the Zohar. The index for the entire text can be found here.
The phrase also appears here:
For, according to the aphorism, 'As above, so below,' there is a joint conformity between the two worlds, when desire is excited in the one, so is
it in the other.
The phrase also appears in a Jewish online magazine:
Over and above the many instances of worlds in outer space noted in the Talmud, Zohar and elsewhere, there is, even more surprisingly, abundant reference to a hollow planet earth, with multi-layered worlds existing right beneath our feet. In fact, it's a case of, 'as above, so below' -- echoing the Kabbalistic 'unified theory of knowledge'. Just as there are said to be 'seven Heavens', so too is it recorded that there are seven nether worlds, one above the other, each inhabited by its own species. Indeed, one notable source, the 17th century Kabbalistic classic, Hesed L'Avraham by Rabbi Avraham Azulai, tells us that there are as many as 365 different species of beings living under the earth's surface. These are said to be half human and half animal, perhaps something like the legendary centaur.