The term Ain Sof, Ayn Sof, or Ayn Sof (/eɪn sɒf/, Hebrew: אין סוף) is used to describe the cycle of time that is circular in motion. It is understood as God prior to his self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual Realm. Ain or атп, signifies a great circle, the vacuum of pure spirit, moved and created AIN SOPH, or Infinity. The meaning of Ain is nothingness, motionless space, and abstract space. Ain Sof may be translated as “no end”, “unending”, “there is no end”, or Infinity.
The Zohar explains the term “Ain Sof” as follows: “Before He gave any shape to the world, before He produced any form, He was alone, without form and without resemblance to anything else. Who then can comprehend how He was before the Creation?
Hence it is forbidden to lend Him any form or similitude, or even to call Him by His sacred name, or to indicate Him by a single letter or a single point… But after He created the form of the Heavenly Man, He used him as a chariot wherein to descend, and He wishes to be called after His form, which is the sacred name “YHWH“.
Many P. Hall had said, “THE Qabbalists conceive of the Supreme Deity as an Incomprehensible Principle to be discovered only through the process of eliminating, in order, all its cognizable attributes. That which remains–when every knowable thing has been removed–is AIN SOPH, the eternal state of Being. Although indefinable, the Absolute permeates all space. Abstract to the degree of inconceivability, AIN SOPH is the unconditioned state of all things. Substances, essences, and intelligences are manifested out of the inscrutability of AIN SOPH, but the Absolute itself is without substance, essence, or intelligence.
AIN SOPH may be likened to a great field of rich earth out of which rises a myriad of plants, each different in color, formation, and fragrance, yet each with its roots in the same dark loam–which, however, is unlike any of the forms nurtured by it. The “plants” are universes, gods, and man, all nourished by AIN SOPH and all with their source in one definitionless essence; all with their spirits, souls, and bodies fashioned from this essence, and doomed, like the plant, to return to the black ground–AIN SOPH, the only Immortal–whence they came.
AIN SOPH was referred to by the Qabbalists as The Most Ancient of all the Ancients. It was always considered as sexless. Its symbol was a closed eye. While it may be truly said of AIN SOPH that to define It is to defile It, the Rabbis postulated certain theories regarding the manner in which AIN SOPH projected creations out of Itself, and they also assigned to this Absolute Not-Being certain symbols as being descriptive, in part at least, of Its powers. The nature of AIN SOPH they symbolize by a circle, itself emblematic of eternity. This hypothetical circle encloses a dimensionless area of incomprehensible life, and the circular boundary of this life is abstract and measureless infinity.
According to this concept, God is not only a Center but also Area.
Centralization is the first step towards limitation. Therefore, centers which form in the substances of AIN SOPH are finite because they are predestined to dissolution back into the Cause of themselves, while AIN SOPH Itself is infinite because It is the ultimate condition of all things. The circular shape given to AIN SOPH signifies that space is hypothetically enclosed within a great crystal-like globe, outside of which there is nothing, not even a vacuum. Within this globe–symbolic of AIN SOPH–creation and dissolution take place. Every element and principle that will ever be used in the eternities of Kosmic birth, growth, and decay is within the transparent substances of this intangible sphere. It is the Kosmic Egg which is not broken till the great day “Be With Us,” which is the end of the Cycle of Necessity, when all things return to their ultimate cause.”
HP Blavatsky had written: “Ain Soph is also written En Soph and Ain Supk, no one, not even Rabbis, being sure of their vowels. In the religious metaphysics of the old Hebrew philosophers, the One Principle was an abstraction, like Parabrahmam, though modern Kabbalists have succeeded now, by dint of mere sophistry and paradoxes, in making a ” Supreme God” of it and nothing higher. But with the early Chaldean Kabbalists Ain Soph is “without form or being”, having “no likeness with anything else” (Franck, Die Kabbala, p. 126).
That Ain Soph has never been considered as the “Creator” is proved by even such an orthodox Jew as Philo calling the ” Creator ” the Logos, who stands next the ” Limitless One “, and the ” Second God “. “The Second God is its (Ain Soph’s) wisdom “, says Philo (Quaest. et Solut.). Deity is No-thing; it is nameless, and therefore called Ain Soph; the word Ain meaning Nothing. (See Franck’s Kabbala, p. 153 ff.)”
We find the number nine associated with the continued motion of the three words AIN /SOPH/AUR. These three words contain three letters each, making nine letters total producing the Sephiroth.
In ancient Celtic Ireland where they spoke Gaelic or Old Irish, the people had called this the Bel-ain (атп), or Ba’al ain/Béal-ain, ie, the circle of Baal /Belus, or the solar circle or annual course of the Father and Sovereign Lord of the Heavens, Jupiter. The meaning of the name Baal is the same precise meaning in Gaelic as in Phoenician which is now called Hebrew as “the lord of heaven.” Ba’al ain to the modern Kabbalists is called “AIN SOPH” and was referred to as The Most Ancient of all the Ancients. They also symbolize AIN SOPH by a circle.
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