Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Contemplation on a Permutation

There are twelve permutations (i.e. letter scrambles) of the Tetragrammaton, God’s primary name which is composed of four letters  י-ה-ו-ה  .י-ה-ו-ה in standard order is the name’s permutation for the first Hebrew month of spring, the month of “Nissan”. We are now in the Hebrew month “Tammuz” whose permutation is ה-ו-ה-י.
Oddly as much as it seems to be, this name ה-ו-ה-י is not simply י-ה-ו-ה in reverse. If it were  י-ה-ו-ה in reverse, then it would have been plausible to claim that this monthly permutation is also energetic opposite of  י-ה-ו-ה  The name  י-ה-ו-ה represents a flow of spiritual energy from above to below. This means that there’s an arousal from above, i.e. a flow of blessings that start in the higher realms and then steadily flows downwards to the earthly realm. This flow commences on Divine initiation alone without any human involvement. It’s totally or at least largely independent of human behavior. This is reminiscent of a waterfall. All one needs to do is stick out a cup underneath the falls and it easily fills to the brim.
The reverse of an arousal from above is an arousal from below. Here, the spiritual energies flow from below to above, from the earthly realm to the higher spiritual realms. This depends on human involvement. Activities like prayers and deeds of kindness send waves of spiritual energies aloft into the higher spiritual realms where they arouse the spiritual wellsprings of blessing to release their blessings for the benefit of humanity.
However, simply what appears to be an energetic reversal of  י-ה-ו-ה due to an exact reversal of spelling is not. Therefore, an arousal from below is not the central theme of the month of “Tammuz”. Here’s why.
All the seasons together comprise a single meta-Tetragrammaton; i.e. a single large  י-ה-ו-ה. Spring is the י. Summer is the first ה. Autumn is the ו. Winter is the final ה. Therefore, all the three spring permutations begin with י. They are י-ה-ו-ה   י-ה-ה-ו   י-ו-ה-ה. All the three summer permutations begin with the first ה. They are ה-ו-ה-י   ה-ו-י-ה   ה-ה-ו-י. All the three autumn permutations begin with the ו. They are ו-ה-י-ה   ו-ה-ה-י   ו-י-ה-ה. All the three winter permutations begin with the final ה. They are ה-י-ה-ו   ה-י-ו-ה   ה-ה-י-ו.
Clearly, since the starting letter of any permutation during the summer months begins with the first ה and not the final ה, the permutation of the month of “Tammuz” is also included in this pattern. So the ה-ו-ה-י of “Tammuz” really begins with the first ה of י-ה-ו-ה and not the last ה. Had the ה-ו-ה-י of “Tammuz” been the reverse of the י-ה-ו-ה of “Nissan”, it would have commenced with the final ה and not the first ה of י-ה-ו-ה.
(Actually, I saw in the writings of Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov that the first six months of the seasonal cycle, from “Nissan” through “Elul”, is characterized by an arousal from above. In contrast, the latter six months of the cycle, from “Tishrei” through “Adar” is a period of arousal from below. Since “Tammuz” is one of the first six months, it’s part of the period of arousal from above.)
So what’s the meaning of beginning the month with the first ה of the name? The first ה is an expression of the mother principle. It’s nurturing and understanding. The season of summer itself is the nurturing mother season. Most mating and seeding occur during the spring.  In the warmth of summer the products of spring’s seedings and couplings find a nurturing environment to begin their growth, whether in soil, in eggs or in uterus. As the first of the three summer months, “Tammuz” begins the fetal phase, which continues through the rest of summer. Then so much of what summer nurtured is born at the end of summer or at the beginning of autumn, as the first ה gives birth to the ו and the final ה of the name, i.e. the autumn and winter seasons. These latter two seasons largely draw life from the residuals of summer.
So beginning summer is really about entering into a very special season, a season whose effects will spillover well beyond itself. Spring can largely sustain itself, but, without summer the other two seasons would lack sustenance. There would be no warmth or remaining produce.
“Sefer Yetzirah” teaches that the character of “Tammuz” is “sight”. This makes sense in context. The beginning of pregnancy is the early fetal state when the bird’s eye view of the entire organism is being developed. At this time the fetus is a general outline, a phase with a vision towards the entire picture of the final outcome; the real creature in fullness. It’s the time when that larger vision is being coordinated, as sperm just met egg. It’s not a vision that either gamete alone could establish.
The letters of the permutation of “Tammuz” demonstrate this. The first letter  ה indicates pregnancy, i.e. mother/nurturing principle. The middle two letters are ו and the final  ה. These are the letters representing the two seasons of autumn and winter she’s carrying in her middle portion, i.e. in her womb. The middle letters of a name tend to indicate “process”. In this case the latter two seasons are being processed. Then the final letter, the י represents overall vision, a general vision with the goal strongly in mind. In Kabbalah this י is the father principle, which tends to stand back a bit from circumstances to opt for a wider angle view.

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