The Shattering

The First day of creation: One

As explained earlier, in Kabbalistic terms Ain Sof had to withdraw his radiance in order to create a space or void for the universe to come into manifestation. The fact that the void came first is confirmed in the Torah's account of the first day of creation. On the first day of creation the Torah says:

1: 1 In the beginning God created Heaven and earth. 

1: 2 The earth was without form and empty, with darkness on the face
     of the depths, but God's spirit moved on the water's surface.

1: 3 God said, "There shall be light," and light came into existence.

1: 4 God saw that the light was good, and God divided between the
     light and the darkness.

1: 5 God named the light "Day," and the darkness He named "Night." It
     was evening and it was morning, one day.

The Torah says that water was present before the light became manifest. The water the Torah is referring to represents the void, the number zero. Sheinkin (93) supports this interpretation: "If you look at the text concerning day one, you can see that water preceded light. This water represents the basic substance from which everything is created."

Next the Torah says, "God said, "There shall be light, and light came into existence." Now we must address the Kabbalah story in a little more detail, for there is a Kabbalistic story of how light was part of the creation of the universe. There are three basic parts to the story of the Sefiroth; the first is that they were formed from the void. From the void Ain Sof created ten states of being in which the divine manifests itself called Sefiroth. A text from the Kabbalah (Matt 94) describes the forming of these vessels.

To fashion pottery, the potter first takes an unformed mass of clay and then puts his hand inside the mass to shape it. So the supernal emanator put its hand into the amorphous mass, that is, a ray of light returned from above. As this light began to enter the mass, vessels were formed.

The ten Sefiroth were to contain the different states of being that were to create the universe, but the light of Ain Sof was too powerful and shattered the Sefiroth. The vessels shattered because there was no relationship between the Sefiroth. The text just cited above describes the formation of the Sefiroth. David Sheinkin (87) explains:

There is a very intriguing Kabbalistic concept involving the "breaking of the vessels", fundamental to the entire mystical understanding of the Bible. Indeed, this notion is crucial to the whole of Jewish mysticism. Kabbalists have long taught that when we speak of "what was created first" we must refer to the dot - past Ain Sof, the vacated space. Within the dot there were the ten Sefiroth. These can be conceptualized as vehicles or vessels for the flow of spiritual energy through which the other universes would be created. The last universe is our own, which consists of both physical and spiritual aspect. Kabbalists explain that these ten vessels shattered; they were inadequate to perform the task for which they were designated.

If the second part of the story is about the shattering of the Sefiroth, then the third part is that the pieces of the shattered Sefiroth were gathered to make five pairs of Sefiroth, for the light of Ain Sof could be contained in a relational way in the pairing. This last piece of the story we take up in the next section, the second day of creation.

The first day of creation is about light coming into existence. Here several questions arise: wouldn't God have known that the vessels were not strong enough to contain the light of God, and is the shattering a necessary part of creation? Sheinkin (90) writes,

God was perfectly aware of the inadequacy of the ten Sefiroth in their original form to carry out their task. Therefore, this shattering must have been built into God's plan for the universe.

The Torah goes on to say "God saw that the light was good, and God divided between the light and the darkness". My understanding is that the shattering of the vessels signifies the separating of the light and darkness, and therefore the first release of light in the world.

Looked at from a Numerological perspective, One is an animating force representing the masculine principle. The energy of One conveys the penetration by the animating force, much as we saw above that "the supernal emanator put its hand into the amorphous mass." LaVigne (9), discusses this masculine principle in relation to the number One:

The one is clearly phallic, drawn as an arrow with a head and tail, a sperm (the shape of which was intuited long before the microscope revealed it.) The one, then is the vital animating force of God, while the zero the fecund egg of potential energy. They are seen as the seed and the ray of light that vivifies it.

During a Heyoan meditation at BBSH in December, 1999, an image of a seed with a ray of sunlight vivifying it came to me. I saw on my mind's screen an oval, which I knew represented the void, and I saw a light within it that I clearly knew to be the One. My experience was one of the unity of the void and the light, but I instantly knew it was also "The Two." I experienced the unified nature of zero and one, which is two, the masculine and feminine energies. It was an experience of the masculine and feminine like I have never experienced before; it was an encounter with a cosmic principle that made my personal images of masculine and feminine seem like mere grains of sand colored by my prejudices. In this image of the light within the egg, there was no separation yet there was a distinct and profound clarity of each, a true "union of opposites." This image also reveals a strong connection to the aura, hara and core star, with the aura representing the void, and the hara and the core star the light within the void. I have been seeing this connection during healings as the image of the cell.

A Numerologist, Lynn Buess (5), provides yet another description of the shift from the void to the one:

The desire for movement within the existence of the unmanifiest eventually topples the homeostasis, and we have the beginning of creation or manifestation. At this point the symbolism of numerology begins to share its depth of meaning, serving as a guidepost to cosmic events. The primal number, One, is inclusive of the all and all. It undergoes no change, yet it is not changeless. It simply IS.

Shattering is a call to union, and reunion, and for me, it is the most difficult concept to grasp and put into words. I experience my shattering as I struggle to write this paper; I feel it as a falling apart, a breaking into many pieces. I experience my client's shattering in their pain, diseases, fears, and losses. I always feel there is something very deep here that I am "not getting," something about God. I think the shattering of the vessels is a sharing of God's light with us, God's entry into the universe. I wonder how this is related to our shatterings? My shattering is an invitation for more of me to come forward. Without this invitation would I do anything? Perhaps not. I seem to be able to trust my client's movement toward wholeness more than I trust this process within myself.

Can we cling to safety by hanging on to one side of an opposite without experiencing shattering which propels us back into experiencing the opposites? For new life to come forth there has to be a shattering. There is a toppling from one state or place to another that takes place in a shattering. It is the first movement in the creative process that brings about something new. Setting the safe container as described in the void provides a safe container for long held defenses and images to shatter. There is a breaking apart that has to take place from the old to the new. Seeing the value in this movement creates respect for the process and a safe space for clients. It is the beginning of defining who we are. It cracks open all that we are in a movement toward greater wholeness. When the client walks through the door there is a shattering. The healer's consciousness of shattering and renewal gives the client the safety needed to fall apart.