This is a transcription of the audio lecture 15 The Hebrew Letter Nun נ, which you can download for free.
There is a very close relationship between the letters מ Mem and נ Nun. They are always dependent upon one another, with relation with one another, close together. This makes it easy for us to remember the characteristics of מ Mem and נ Nun when we think about them this way. The fish (נ Nun) needs water (Mem) to be alive, to survive, to exist. So, the letter נ Nun needs the letter מ Mem. We see this in many instances. For example, in the word מ manna.
The scriptures tell the story of when the nation of Israel was in the wilderness for forty years, this relates with Mem, which has the numeric value forty. God sustained the people by providing them with manna, which is usually translated as a “bread,” a type of food. The manna came down from shamayim. Shamayim literally means “fiery waters,” but is usually translated as “heaven.” Shamayim is a “dew, or moisture.” and Manna is spelled מן Mem-Nun (MAN). Mem is water--that is the dew from heaven--and the Nun relates to a fish, symbolizes a fish, but is much more than that. So the Manna is that sustenance that the Initiates receive from God, to help their passing through their trials and ordeals. We need that מן Manna in order to survive our wilderness. We need more than just the water, the Mem; we also need what is in the water: the Nun, and that Nun is life. It is a type of primordial wisdom within the water.
We also have water here below, in our sexual glands. In that water is a kind of “fish” or living entity: the sperm and ovum.
The character Nun has two forms: נן. The primary Nun נ looks somewhat like a Beth or a Kaf that has been shortened. The final Nun ן, which is used at the end of a word, looks like an extended ו Vav. There are relationships between all of these letters. The final Nun ן is related to ו Vav. The primary or first Nun נ is related with Beth and Kaf, but primarily--most importantly--the Nun depends on Mem. Nun is the fourteenth letter and so represents tlevhe number fourteen, and also has the numerical value fifty. Mem is forty, Nun is fifty.
The image of the Nun is said to derive from an ancient hieroglyph of a serpent from the Egyptians (that old hieroglyph looks more like a Lamed to my eye, but nonetheless the Nun is related with the serpent). The word in Hebrew for serpent is נחש nahash, which begins with Nun.
As you know the serpent is a pivotal symbol in all religions, but especially Judeo-Christian. It is unfortunate that so many followers of religions are afraid of the serpent, and consider any appearance of a serpent to be evil. That is not religion, that is fanatacism. True religion is the knowledge that unites us to God, and the pivotal force that allows this to happen is Nun, the first letter of the Hebrew word for serpent: נחש nachash. In most cases, when you read in the scriptures about the serpent, you are reading about nachash. But sometimes, where in English the Bible says serpent, it doesn't say נחש nachash in Hebrew. There are other words that you need to know. This is why the Hebrew letters are so important for us to study.
The Hebrew word נון Nun is easy to associate with the English word Nun, which is a female renunciate--and there is a relationship--but primarily, the Hebrew word נון Nun, in addition to relating to this letter, is also a verb that means, “to become degenerated.” This is very surprising because a little bit later on in the Bible, towards the end of the story of Moses, we hear about Yeshua (who in English we call Joshua) who was in charge of Israel after Moses, and Yeshua is called “the son of נון Nun.” So how can Yeshua, which is also the name of Jesus, be “the son of נון Nun,” if the literal word נון Nun means, “to become degenerated”? This is a very curious fact in the scripture and it merits our investigation.
This letter נ Nun hides a great depth of mysteries. As I mentioned, it is the first letter of the word נחש nahash, serpent. It is also the first letter of many words that relate to water, such as the Hebrew word נחל nachal for flood, and נהר nahar for river. A flood comes from the water, the letter Mem, and a river comes from the water, the letter Mem, but the flood and the river both start with the letter Nun. And you remember in the time of Noah--which also begins with Nun--the flood came to destroy all the degenerated ones, those that were under the power of Nun. Yet, when we want to return to God, when we want to receive the blessing from above, and to drink of the waters of life, we need to drink from that fountain which springs in our belly. The word for 'fountain' also begins with Nun. The river of life that flows from our belly begins with Nun.
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. [...] ...whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. - John 4
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. - John 7
That river of life is within us, energetically, spiritually, even physically: it is our sexual waters. Not just the physical substance of it, the matter or the Mem, but what is in it: Nun. Not a literal fish, a physical fish, but the force of life: Nun. And how do we know this is so? Because in our waters is the power to create נפש החיה nephesh chaiah: a living soul.
And Jehovah Elohim formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a נפש החיה nephesh chaiah (living soul). - Genesis 2:7
Nephesh נפש is another Hebrew word that begins with Nun. Nephesh נפש refers to what is called “the animal soul” from the latin anima, soul. It is our primordial soul.
As the hart panteth after the מים mayim (water) brooks, so panteth my נפש nephesh (soul) after Elohim. My נפש nephesh (soul) thirsteth for Elohim, for the chai (living) El: when shall I come and appear before Elohim? - Psalm 42
The nephesh נפש is that aspect of soul that God places into existence in order for it to develop itself. Every living thing has נפש nephesh. That נפש nephesh, the raw animal soul, came out of the Mem, the waters of sex, but for that sexual act to create, there had to be a combination of Nun: sperm and ovum. Through that union of the Nun of a male and female, a new life emerges: a נפש nephesh, an animal soul, can receive a new body. Any נפש nephesh must be enlivened with חי chai, 'life'. This comes from God. For an intellectual animal to receive chai, spiritual life, it must be earned. This requires sanctity, sacrifice, and Chastity. Three factors: birth, death, and sacrifice. This is the basic point of religion, to teach the nephesh how to become nephesh chaiah; to teach the soul how to become a living soul. As we are now, we are dead: dead to Spirit, dead to God. We do not see God, we do not know God. Most of us are curious, but do not have experience of God. We are not nephesh chaiah. A nephesh chaiah is a living soul, a soul that perceives the divine, a soul that has life, that is enlivened by the power of Nun.
In the Bible, in Genesis / Bereishit we study the creation, the genesis, of life, and this alchemical book explains to us how to create the nephesh chaiah, how to become a living soul. In other words, how our own Elohim, our own Jehovah, creates in us through the power of the waters. This book is symbolic, especially in the first chapter that explains the days of genesis, the days of creation. Those days are symbolic. They are about you. They have some representation in relation with the ancient past, but we do not care about that right now. The ancient past is gone. What we have before us now is a terrible question: to be or not to be? As we are now, we are dead, we do not have life; we suffer. We need to be redeemed; we need to be saved. We need salvation, but from ourselves. We need Nun for that. We need the mystery of the letter Nun.
In the chapters or the sections about the days of genesis, the days of creation, verse 21 in the first book, it says in English,
And God created the great whales... - Genesis 1:21
It does not say “whales” in Hebrew. In Hebrew it says,
And Elohim created great תנין tanniyn, and every נפש החיה nephesh chaiah that creeps, which the מים mayim brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good. - Gen 1:21
Priests and scholars cannot agree on what tanniyn means, yet for the Kabbalist, it is obvious.
In Hebrew, tanniyn is spelled: תנין Tav-Nun-Iod-Nun. This is a very important word. Both forms of Nun are there, as well as a letter Tav and a letter Iod. We have already discussed the Iod at length. The Tav is the twenty-second letter. It is the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Tav is the synthesis of everything. Tav is the seal, the covenant, the fulfillment, the completion. The Tav represents 'it is finished, it is accomplished, it is done'. This word 'tanniyn', therefore, contains Nun and Tav, the seal, the completion, the fulfillment.
Scholars base their assumptions on literal readings of the Bible; they look for the other occurrences of תנין tanniyn and they compare with theories and beliefs, and they come up with many explanations. Some say tanniyn means dinosaurs, some say whales, some say crocodiles, alligators, or serpents. There are many theories and explanations, but all of them are wrong because they are interpreting the word literally, as if it means a physical animal. To understand the actual meaning, we will look at another occurrence of this word in the scripture.
In the book Exodus written by Moses, in the fourth chapter, it says:
And יהוה Jehovah said unto him [Moses], What [is] that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a nachash (serpent); and Moses fled from before it. - Exodus 4
God is giving Moses this instruction because Moses has to confront the Pharaoh, which represents our ego, and Moses is saying, "I can't do it, what am I going to do? I am just a man. What am I going to do to the Pharaoh?" This is why God says, "If you take your rod, you will become a serpent." This nachash represents the Kundalini, the power of Shekinah, the Divine Mother, which rises in the spinal column and gives the inspiration and the power to the prophet.
But when Moses and his brother go the Pharaoh, in the seventh chapter, and he throws the rod, it does not become a nachash. It says in Hebrew,
When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast [it] before Pharaoh, [and] it shall become a תנין tanniyn. - Exodus 7:9
It does not say nachash, serpent, it says תנין tanniyn. This is one of the places where people have made this assumption that nachash and tanniyn are the same thing. So they think tanniyn must be a serpent, because a couple chapters before he said the rod would become a serpent, so people assume that tanniyn is another kind of serpent. It is another kind of serpent, but totally different. Why? Because of the Tav, and because of the two Nuns that contain the Iod. Tanniyn is something more than nachash. To further understand this, we have to look at one more symbol.
Earlier in the book of Exodus we learn about the birth of Moses.
And there went a man of the house of לוי Levi, and took [to wife] a daughter of לוי Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a טוב tob [good] child [from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil; he was טוב tob not rah, meaning he was born from Chastity], she hid him three months. - Exodus 2
Then she put him in a boat and floated him down the river.
Although Moses is a real person, a Master, in the scriptures Moses is a symbol of the Sephirah Tiphereth: conscious willpower. God guides the Human Soul (Moses) as he works to free Israel (the Consciousness) from Mitzrahim (suffering). We all have our own Moses within, but undeveloped.
Moses is a child of לוי Levi, from the tribe of Levi. Few people realize that Moses has another name: לויתן Levi-Tanniyn. Remember, I was just explaining to you, the tanniyn, that whale or great serpent, and if you put לוי Levi in front of תנין, you spell Leviathan: Levi-tanniyn. This is Moses. The Zohar says:
And you [Moses] support yourself by your sage's statement more than all of them, since you are the לויתן Leviathan of the sea of the Torah. For the master of all fishes is called Leviathan... - Zohar
The לויתן Leviathan is Moshe / Moses. This is why in the Kabbalah, Moses is called “the Great Fish.”
In the Hebrew spelling of לויתן Leviathan, the first Nun and the Iod are hidden. And you will notice this in other Hebrew words, that the Nun can disappear. It will not be written, it is hidden as in this case. It is written Levi-Tanniyn: לויתן Lamed-Vav-Iod-Tav- and a final Nun. This word unifies tribe of Levi and that great, mysterious creature in the waters.
In the meantime the holy luminary, Rabbi Shimon, came. The Faithful Shepherd opened and said, “Mishnah sages, who is the Leviathan?”
The holy luminary answered him, “It is he whose grade is the Central Pillar and a righteous man of whom it says that we consider his body, Tiphereth, and member of the covenant, Yesod, as one. And he grows in that sea, which is supernal Ima, namely Binah, which is a sea [shamayim] where the Holy One, blessed be He, is unified in 25 and 25 letters IN SH'MA YISRAEL AND IN 'BLESSED BE...', the numerical value of which is that of 'yam ('sea')', that is, fifty, and who is in it, being in that sea that is Binah.”
The Faithful Shepherd said, “Surely this Leviathan stands on the beach and the world is poised on his fins, as this Leviathan is, "the righteous is an everlasting foundation" (Mishlei 10:25).” - Zohar
If you have studied Christianity or Judaism, you often hear that the Leviathan is bad, evil. It does not say that in the Bible. In fact, tanniyn is one of the first creatures that God places into the Mem, the water. Tanniyn is this great power of the Nun, which is in the Mem. Tanniyn is the sexual power.
In the book of Job, after Job passes through terrible ordeals and suffering, it concludes with an entire chapter describing the Leviathan, where God says,
Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord [which] thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft [words] unto thee? Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever? Wilt thou play with him as [with] a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens? Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears? Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more. Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not [one] be cast down even at the sight of him? None [is so] fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me? Who hath prevented me, that I should repay [him? whatsoever is] under the whole heaven is mine. I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. Who can discover the face of his garment? [or] who can come [to him] with his double bridle? Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth [are] terrible round about. [His] scales [are his] pride, shut up together [as with] a close seal. One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes [are] like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lamps, [and] sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as [out] of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved. His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether [millstone]. When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves. The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. He esteemeth iron as straw, [and] brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble. Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear. Sharp stones [are] under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire. He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. He maketh a path to shine after him; [one] would think the deep [to be] hoary. Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. He beholdeth all high [things]: he [is] a king over all the children of pride. - Job 42
Job is completely humbled by this, bows before God, and that ends his ordeal. Now why is that? Why should all of the suffering of Job - having his family taken from him, his health, his wealth, everything - conclude with a description of Levi-Tanniyn? Because the conclusion of the ordeals of the Initiate is the trial of Levi-Tanniyn, which is resurrection. Death and resurrection. This is what is represented in the stories of Job and Jonah.
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. - Jonah 1:17
Jonah יונה (with Nun in the middle of his name) is swallowed by the great fish. And it is said that the great fish kept Jonah waiting in its belly for three days, just like the three months that Moses was waiting to be put into the water and the three days that Yeshua was in the tomb.
Jonah was in the belly of the whale, which is symbolic of diving into the depths of our waters to die and ressurect. He had not yet become Levi-Tanniyn. He only became that upon exiting the great fish. The word Levi-Tanniyn represents a resurrected master - someone who has died and been born again. This is the power of Nun. This is why Yeshua is the son of Nun.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee יהושוע Yehoshua [Joshua / Jesus] the son of נון Nun, a man in whom [is] the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him... - Numbers 27:18
The word יהושוע Yeshua means “salvation.” Salvation is the son of Nun.
Yeshua comes from the power of Nun, the fish. This is why we see that the great master Yeshua, Jesus, was able to walk upon the water, transform the water into wine, calm the storms in the water, and use water to heal. He had power over the Mem, because Yeshua is a son of Nun.
Redemption comes from the water of which he spoke to the Samaritan woman.
Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with [his] journey, sat thus on the well: [and] it was about the sixth hour.
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. - John 4
The first נ Nun is undeveloped, incomplete. The first Nun represents the Nukvah, which is one of the Parsufim, the faces of God. The Nukvah relates specifically to our body; on the Tree of Life, to Malkuth and Yesod. The Nukvah is “the bride to be,” who longs to united with Zeir Anpin, our Being, our Innermost. Our Innermost needs to incarnate here, in our body, but our Innermost cannot do that while we are impure, while we are degenerated. In order for our Innermost to fully incarnate in our body, we have to die psychologically, spiritually, egotistically, and physically. We have to resurrect spiritually, Initiatically, physically. We have to be “born again” as a child of Nun in order for Zeir Anpin, the Being, to incarnate in Nukvah; when that happens, the final Nun ן appears. The final Nun represents the union of the Being, the perfection. That is why it is in תנין tanniyn.
The word תנין tanniyn contains both Nuns, and nestled between them, protected and safe, is the letter י Iod, which represents the soul held in the bosom of Nun, and sealed with a ת Tav: stamped, finished, complete. This is the goal. When we uncover the mystery of this letter Nun, we begin. We are not finished yet. The completion of the Work does not happen until we reach the letter Tav in ourselves, the end of the alphabet.
Now that we know the mystery of Nun, we begin. The secret of Nun is the incarnation of Christ. That mystery is only possible on the direct path. It is the only way. A mere saint cannot accomplish it. A saint is a saint, but a saint is not a prophet. A saint is not a Moses, or a Jesus, or a Joshua. These are different paths. Gnosis is the path of the bodhisattva. Gnosis is the direct path, the path that goes straight to the Absolute; it does not hesitate, and because of this it is a path of radical transformation. It is a path that the saints look at with horror.
demons and Saints look with horror and terror at the revolutionary Adepts of the Path of the Middle.
No one understands these rebels of the Path of the Middle. [...] The [Saints, the] Pratyeka Buddhas (even after having built the existential superior bodies of the Being) are not bodhisattvas.
Obviously, the Pratyeka Buddhas fell in the path of the Right.
There are also a great deal of Masters who fell on the path of the Left by means of Black Tantra.
The bodhisattvas with compassionate hearts sacrifice themselves for planetary humanities through successive Mahamanvantaras, and finally, they achieve the incarnation of Christ.
The “saints” are terrified by the Leviathan, by the Levi-Tanniyn. This is why all the religious people talk about the Leviathan with fear. They are afraid of confronting what is within their own waters. Until we conquer that which is in the waters, we are impure, we are Nun: degenerated. And that is the case of all of us: we have the great beast within. In the Bible it is represented as having two fundamental sides. The first one is called Behemoth. In chapter 40 of the book of Job, Behemoth is described as being a terrible beast full of incredible power, yet God put him there. Why? He is the power of the Nephesh, he is the power in our blood, the power of life. To be alive is to have Behemoth. But you will notice when you study that, that the Behemoth goes to the water and sinks into the water, and now we're talking about Levi-Tanniyn. That beast in the waters is Levi-Tanniyn and he is very powerful. He is the force of life itself. He is that force that drives every creature to procreate. How incredible is that power? It is sustaining this planet, it sustains every world. It is what drives a race to stay alive. Can your intellect compete with that? Never. Can your beliefs conquer that? Never. How many religions and beliefs have we seen fall to dust and yet life continues? There is no power in belief, there is no power in theory. But there is power in sex, in the use of that energy. Unfortunately we use it the wrong way. If we learn to follow the guidance of our Innermost, and discover the mysteries of the path, we can harness that power. This is why in the Psalms, David wrote,
For Elohim [is] my Malek [King] of old, working Yeshua [salvation] in the midst of the earth [Nukvah, the body].
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the rosh [heads] of the tanniyn in the מים mayim.
Thou brakest the heads of Levi-Tanniyn in pieces, [and] gavest him [to be] meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
Thou didst cleave the fountain and the נחל nachal [flood]: thou driedst up mighty נהר nahar [rivers].
The day [is] thine, the night also [is] thine: thou hast prepared the Aur [light] and the shemesh [sun]. - Psalm 74
King David praises his king, who is Elohim. Elohim works salvation, Ye-Hoshua, which is the body, the Nukvah.
Thou Elohim didst divide the sea by thy strength; thou breakest the heads of the tanniyn in the מים mayim.
The tanniyn has to be harnessed, broken, and tamed by God.
Thou breakest the heads of Levi-Tanniyn in pieces and gavest him to be meat to the people in the wilderness.
By the intercession of Elohim, the Leviathan becomes Manna. Without the Levi-Tanniyn in the waters, those who long to return to God cannot. Every prophet has needed the Levi-Tanniyn.
Our inner Elohim, if we do the work, has the power - through Mem, Minerva, Maya, Mary, the Mother Ama, the power of the Divine Goddess - to split the sea, our own מים mayim, to crush the head of the tanniyn, to break the Levi-Tanniyn, to tame them, to retrieve the power that they have and harness it. This is how the Elohim “works Yeshua in the midst of the earth.”
Thou didst cleave the fountain and the נחל flood.
...thou driedst up mighty נהר nahar [rivers].
Through the abuse of the Tree of Knowledge, the rivers in Eden burst out and flowed downwards, forming the rivers of hell. Through death and resurrection, those rivers are dried up.
The day [is] thine, the night also [is] thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
This cryptic passage is a teaching of the direct path, the bodhisattva path. This has nothing to do with the teachings of the saints and prophets. This work can only be done by someone who has become Moses / Moshe. Moses represents Tiphereth, the human soul.
Moses is called the Great Fish, the Levi-Tanniyn, because he took the direct path. He conquered that great fish. How?
But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry [ground] through the midst of the sea.
And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go [back] by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry [land], and the waters were divided.
And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry [ground]: and the waters [were] a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
And the Mitsrayim [Egyptians] pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, [even] all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the מים mayim [waters] may come again upon the Mitsrayim [Egyptians], upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Mitsrayim fled against it; and Jehovah overthrew the Mitsrayim in the midst of the sea.
And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, [and] all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
But the children of Israel walked upon dry [land] in the midst of the sea; and the מים mayim [waters] were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
Thus Jehovah saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Mitsrayim; and Israel saw the Mitsrayim dead upon the sea shore.
And Israel saw that great work which Jehovah did upon the Mitsrayim: and the people feared Jehovah, and believed Jehovah, and his servant Moses. - Exodus 14
When he finished his great mission, he did not demand to be in charge. After all his sufferings, he did not get to relax and be king. Instead, he died by the command of God. This represents how the initiate dies in his own will, and serves God. That is what a bodhisattva does: renounces everything in order to serve God. A bodhisattva does not attach himself to having followers, to having groups, to being a leader, a king. A bodhisattva clings only to God, and follows only God, and will sacrifice every atom of themselves in accordance with those commands. This is why in Deuteronomy, Moses, by command of his inner Elohim, transferred control of the nation of Israel. He gave it up. Most people do not realize that, but it is there. Who did he give it to?
So Moses the servant of Jehovah died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of Jehovah.
And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
And Moses [was] an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping [and] mourning for Moses were ended.
And Yeshua [Joshua] the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as Jehovah commanded Moses. - Deuteronomy 34
Moses died so that Yeshua, salvation, Christ, could emerge. Moses by command of God gave everything to Yeshua, Christ. This is what every Resurrected Master does. This is what every bodhisattva does. This path is very defined, very specific, very difficult and few enter into it. It is related with Tiphereth (Moses).
In the early stages of the path, we create the bodies of the soul, the Mercabah, the chariot of Ezekiel represented by the holy creatures. When that work is complete, the Initiate faces a choice:
- The spiral path: the easy way, to be a holy one, a Saint, to be followed, to be admired, to have powers, to guide people like a shepherd, but to take ages and ages to advance.
- The path of the Boddhisattva, the direct path. This is a path of bitterness and pain. It is a road to Calgary. It is the road that Christ represented when he carried his cross up the hill to be crucified. That is the direct path. In that path one pays the entirety of one's debts, now. All of the karma one has accrued over countless lifetimes is paid now. That is the path of pain, it is the path of suffering, it is a path within which a person is spit upon, ridiculed, rejected, abhored--especially by the Saints.
Jesus was rejected by the authorities of the temple. The same happened in the life of Samael Aun Weor, especially towards the end of his work. Everybody renounced him because no one can understand a walker of the straight path, only another person doing the same work can understand them, no one else can, especially the Saints.
The walkers of the spiral path take a wide, easy road; the walker of the straight path takes a narrow, very difficult, very steep path. The results of these paths are very different. They do not reach the same level.
The walker of the spiral path may ascend gradually over ages and ages and ages of time. Yet, they are always in danger of falling. The letter Nun is the first letter of the Hebrew word נפל naphal, 'to fall.’ Nun carries a great danger. As I told you, the word Nun means 'to degenerate.'
Nonetheless, the one who remains true to his Elohim, who clings only to God, can advance to this level of Tiphereth (Moses), within which the Nephesh becomes נפש החיה Nephesh Chaia. The person who reaches this degree becomes a living soul, a Nephesh that has life. In other words they become what we can call an Angel, or a Buddha. This is someone who can speak with God. It is at that stage that they make the choice: to take the spiral, the easy way, or to take the straight path, the difficult way. It is exceedingly rare for anyone to take the straight path.
Both are good paths; both paths help one advance towards the Light. Yet, they are not the same; there is a difference of speed and also a difference of attainment, because the one on the spiral path can never receive another Initiation. Once the spiral path follower has reached Tiphereth, the fifth initiation, then they just gradually work on eliminating the ego, little by little, over many lifetimes.
On the other hand, the one who walks on the straight path raises the Serpents of Light, until reaching the Initiation of the Sephirah Binah. The Hebrew word Binah has a Nun in the middle. This Initiation is related with Job and Levi-Tanniyn. To explain it, we can look at a word that we all repeat, repeat, and repeat, but scarcely know what it means: the Hebrew word אמן Amen.
It says in the Zohar that the one who says Amen consciously receives more than the one who gave the blessing.
Rabbi Yehuda said, "And they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed" (I Samuel 2:30), refers to he who does not know how to glorify his Master and does not concentrate when saying Amen. For we learned that he who answers Amen is more valuable than he who makes the blessings. We have presented it before Rabbi Shimon who said that he who answers “Amen” draws blessings from the spring, who is Binah, to the King, Zeir Anpin, and from the King to the Queen. In the Engraved Letters by Rabbi Elazar he said “From Aleph of Amen, which is Binah, to Mem of Amen, which is Zeir Anpin, and from Mem of Amen to final Nun, which is Malkuth.' When the blessings reach final Nun, which is Malkuth, blessings come out from there to the upper and lower beings and expand through everything. When the sound comes out, they drink of the blessings so-and-so has brought forth, a servant of the Holy King. - Zohar
In a church or temple, the priest or cohen gives a blessing, and then the whole congregation says, "Amen." If you say that word with great attentiveness, you get more than the priest, because this word has incredible power. It in itself encodes the straight path, the direct path to God, if you meditate upon it.
Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph represents the wind, the breath of God. Aleph represents the upper triangle, Kether-Chokmah-Binah, the trinity. We explained to you before that that trinity is the three Amens. Each sphere is an Amen, and each sphere is also a letter: Aleph-Mem-Nun. Nonetheless, all three together are Aleph. In Aleph are the three forces: three Iods, and the middle Iod is extended. They are also three ו Vavs.
This is an important point about studying Kabbalah: you have to have a very open and intuitive mind, and not try to fix your mind on one definition, because nothing is one thing only. You are not one thing only! You are a daughter and a mother, a son and a father. It is the same as with all the letters. Everything is relative.
So the upper triangle is Aleph. For the light of Chokmah, the light of Shekinah, to emerge from the upper triangle, the third Sephirah, Binah, with the Nun in the middle, divides itself into Jah-Hevah, Isis-Osiris. When that division occurs, that is Da'ath. The world of Briah begins. The light emerges. But how does that light of the Shekinah, the light of the Chokmah emerge? Through Mem, the waters. The upper Mem is Da'ath. This is the Mem in Amen. So if you imagine Amen, Aleph-Mem-Nun, as a vertical column with Aleph at the top, that is the supernal light. For that light to descend, we have to go to Briah, the second world, which is Mem--the first Mem, the upper Eden. That light goes through a process of gestation, just as a child in the womb for nine months, and when that light emerges we have the lower worlds. It comes through the lower Mem, Yesod, the lower Eden. What does it emerge as? Nun.
Nun is Horus, Christ, Yeshua, the Saviour, the Light. That Nun is a complete Nun; remember I mentioned the final Nun represents the union between the Innermost and the body. It is a self-realized soul. This final Nun of Amen represents a Resurrected Master like Christ or Buddha or Jesus, someone who is very high. A walker of the direct path, not the spiral path. Not just a saint, not just a holy person, but a highly realized Buddha, a completed soul, a Vajrasattva, perhaps a Paramartasattya, or an Ain Soph Paranishpanna, the highest type of soul. The final Nun represents high levels of perfection. This is how Yeshua is a son of Nun. We need to become a child of Nun.
Final Nun also represents a union (even the word union has two n's) between a male and female. When that light first comes out of the upper worlds, it is always androgynous, male/female. This is how God creates as a reflection of the Elohim, male / female. It is only later that that light is divided into sexes. For that light to return, it has to be unified once again. In order to return back to God, we have to be male / female. It sounds strange, but that is what a Resurrected Master is: an androgynous being. They may have a male body or a female body physically, but that is irrelevant. What we're talking about being androgynous is the Spirit, the Soul, the Nephesh. When that perfect union is acquired, when that final Nun is established in our Consciousness, it represents that Zeir Anpin has married Nukvah, has become a perfect soul, a perfect reflection of Elohim: God and Goddess, male/female, androgynous, perfect, complete. That is a final Nun.
When we say Amen, we are invoking these divine forces within us. We aspire to that. It is to become perfectly balanced, like God. To become complete.
There is a danger for us to misunderstand, to make a mistake, because we have a mind. In Hebrew, we call the intellectual mind נצח Netzach. It starts with Nun. Some people have been wrongly taught that the intellectual mind is related to the Sephirah Hod, but that is mistaken. This mistake is easily clarified when you know that the Hebrew word for forehead is מצח metzach. Behind the forehead we have our intellectual mind: נצח Netzach.
This mind reasons, compares, analyzes, it listens to logic. It does not listen to intuition. The greatest danger that we face even after becoming a Master - whether after entering the spiral path or the straight path - is from our own mind, not from outside.
Our mind is stubborn. It is a donkey; unless we tame it, it will take us on the wrong path: believing, thinking, and saying things that are not true. To get around that we have to appeal to a higher source. Instead of relying on the knowledge in Netzach, in our mind, intellect, thought, we need to rely on the Sephirah Binah, which means “Intelligence.” Binah is real intelligence, the Holy Spirit. Binah is the intelligence of God. It is abstract. It is intuitive. It is not concrete. It does not have reasons, it just knows.
Any of us can access the intelligence of Binah if we know how, because we have Nephesh, Neshamah, and Ruach. These are parts of the soul. When we open ourselves to receiving the guidance of God, it is to listen beyond our mind, to hear a voice that comes from the silence: the voice of our Innermost, the voice of our Divine Mother. The path really begins when we become Moshe, who followed the guidance of God. Moses begins as a babe floating on the waters. Those waters are inside; they are the Divine Mother Kundalini. Those waters can save us, because the Nun emerges from them. The 'n' comes from the 'm'.
In the middle of the word Binah is the Nun. This is very significant. Why? The first letter of Binah is Beth. Beth-Nun spells ben: son. The name of Jesus was Yeshua ben Pandir: “Yeshua son of Pandir.” Ben means son. “Bane” is another way of pronouncing it: [bay-nah]. Binah is this sphere above where all the creative power of God creates that womb Hei of the Prakriti, the upper Mem, the upper Eden, and from that comes that Nun, the light. This is the Nun we have to rely on, but to know that Nun you have to control your inner Leviathan, your beast.
Questions and Answers
Instructor: Ben-Yamin means “son of the right hand,” which is a name for any Master of the White Lodge. Ben is in other important names, such as Ben Hur, “son of the light.”
Audience: Can you elaborate further on why Moses said that throwing a staff down in the desert, he gets נחש nahash and then when he goes in front of the Pharaoh he gets a tanniyn?
Instructor: First, these stories of Moses are symbolic. When we first began working with the rod, which is our own ו Vav, the spine, we are harnessing the power in the waters and raising it up the spine. In the book of Numbers when the Israelites are being bitten by the nahash-seraph, “fiery serpents,” and they appeal to Moses and say, "please save us, we are being persecuted by these fiery serpents!" So God tells Moses, "Put a serpent on a pole, and any who look upon it will be healed." The nahasch-seraph is the serpent who is fallen, the serpentine power in the earth (body) that bites us: it is lust, Fornication, Adultery, pride, envy, jealousy. It is that power in our blood, in our sexual energy, that inverts and harms us as a soul, that is why it is a fiery serpent. Moses represents Tiphereth, our human soul, who can receive the guidance of God, and God tells our soul, "raise a serpent on a pole,"--that pole is the spine. That serpent is a brazen serpent, which, incidentally, the word Nun in ancient Caannanite language means “brass”. And in Hebrew, the נחש nahash becomes brass / bronze when you add the ת Tav to the word: נחשת. nehoshit, "bronze." Through transmutation and successfully passing ordeals, that serpent rises up the spine; that is the Kundalini, in sanskrit. It is נחש nahash. The serpent that is raised in each of the first few initiations is נחש nahash. It is only after someone goes beyond the initiations of Major Mysteries, to enter the direct path, that the נחש nahash can become tanniyn.
Be aware that tanniyn has a duality; we all have tanniyn within. It is the very root sexual power in our blood, in our sex--sexual energy. We all have that. It is put there by God, God created the tanniyn, we need it, but we have to control it. And we have to make that tanniyn into Levi-Tanniyn, Leviathan, but the upright one, resurrected. These are stages or degrees.
Audience: How do we understand the relationship between Nun and the dark night of the soul which [walked] St. John on the cross, and why Job's affair with [violent courage] and suffering that the wrong people [...] is the dark night of job's soul [...]
Instructor: The dark night of the soul, in relation with Job and relation with any Initiate, relates to a specific ordeal that occurs in many octaves and stages in the Great Work. It is also called a spiritual night. This is a natural process in life. Just as we have day and night physically, we have day and night spiritually, and when one walks on the path, you pass through periods of day and night. Yet there are marked phases. Some of them are long and very painful. In the Arcanum Nine, we see a hermit walking through the darkness of the spiritual night; this is a time within which we do not see God. We once did, and now we do not. This relates to an Initiate--someone who meditates, who can receive guidance--but then enters a phase when they receive nothing, they feel alone. Even Jesus on the cross cried out, "Father, why have thou forsaken me?" That is a spiritual night. That is a moment in which all the parts of the Being are withdrawn and what is left is the human soul, alone. It is an uncomfortable feeling and everybody feels afraid of it, but let me point out to you that everyone here is in a spiritual night, right now, because none of us feel God and see God right now. You are in a spiritual night. If you cannot perceive God--and I mean see God, not just imagine God, but see God, hear God, the same way you hear my voice or see anything else--you are in a spiritual night. Yet, when you enter the path, spiritual night becomes more painful. You think you are in pain now? You have not tasted anything yet. You want to understand that pain? Study the gospels. Study the life of Jesus. Study the life of any great Master and look at what they passed through in order to acquire what they have acquired; it is painful because of the debts we must pay, and a spiritual night is a part of that.
Audience: Did the Levi-Tanniyn take the Israelites from Egypt?
Instructor: In a synthetic way you could say, in a sense, yes, but in the absolute way, no. The one who led the Israelites out of Egypt was Iod-Heh-Vav-Heh. Through the pillar of fire, through the column of smoke, the Elohim, Iod-Hevah, provided guidance to the human soul Moshe, Moses, who in turn led the people, which represents the Consciousness, out of slavery. This is a long process and only once the causes of slavery are removed, in other words the ego, can the human soul die and give up his power and give it to Yeshua, the Saviour, and say, "You Lord are in charge, not me." And when he does that, then the human soul can die.
When Moses dies in the Bible it is very mysterious. He died and resurrected, but it is hidden. It is hidden deep in the symbolism of the Bible. That death and resurrection is where that once [formally], deeply buried and out of control creature, the Leviathan, then becomes a creature of God, and this is why the fifth day of Genesis, it says, "and God created the great whales, the tanniyn." This is related with that fifth day. The fifth day is related with the human soul, Tiphereth. The sixth day is the completion of that process. To become a man of the sixth day is to fulfill Initiation. So between the fifth and the sixth, Leviathan becomes Levi-Tanniyn, a Resurrected Master.
Audience: Is the exodus equal to the great path?
Instructor: The direct path, in its synthesis, is the work wherein the Initiate enters into the wilderness--which is our mind--in order to completely eliminate all notion of self. The process of the exodus is the same. The pure parts of the soul, Israel, are taken out of Mitsrayim, suffering. This is not a literal story in Exodus. People think that the race or people of the Jews were taken out of slavery in Egypt, and yet they were never in slavery in Egypt. It is a symbol. All of us are slaves in Mitsrayim, “the place between the waters.” [Mitsrayim has two Mems]. We are in slavery in our psyche. Our own Moshe, the human soul, Tiphereth, through rigorous work, can purify our mind by utilizing the power in the rod--that nachash, serpent--and cleanse us. That is the work of the direct path.
The people of the spiral path are only interested in becoming saints and then being worshipped and followed. The people on the direct path want to die, and this is the difference. You can easily see a different flavor in the teachings of Samael Aun Weor, Shantideva, Buddha Shakyamuni, or especially Padmasambhava and Milarepa. Their teachings are very direct, very potent, and many people are terrified of them because they call for the death of the 'I'. That is the work of the direct path, that is the exodus, to exit from suffering. To exit from suffering you cannot do it halfway. You cannot do it slowly. It is like getting a surgery. If you do it slowly, it hurts more and there is risk of dying. If you do it quickly and accurately, it hurts, but then you are done.
Instructor: That's exactly right. The Nun is the Ens Vertutis--which is the fire, the virility, the virtue--which is hidden inside the Ens Semenis, which is the semen, the sexual water. So the Nun is the Mercury. If you have studied Alchemy, you know that Mercury has many phases. Nun is that. That is why there is different characters that represent Nun, because it has different levels.
Audience: So, Mercury is converted from Brute Mercury into the other Mercury...
Instructor: Right, and we have to--that is the whole process of the work--is to extract the pure soul, or the pure spirit of the Mercury, which is Nun. That is how we become a son of Nun and this is why the Alchemists said, "Thank God for Mercury," because without it there would be no work. That mercury is Nun, which is the sexual fire in the Mem.
Audience: The second one is, what about the tanniyn in the Pinocchio story...
Instructor: Yes, the story of Pinocchio has a lot of Initiatic symbolism, and so that whale represents the same. The Initiate has to be swallowed by the whale, just like Jonah. To be swallowed by the whale is to go into your own waters, to cleanse it, and the end of that process is when the whale dies, right? That death is how the Resurrected Master emerges. Resurrection comes through death, and the story of Jonah is the same: the whale has to die.
Audience: You said that when one takes the straight and narrow path that we have to pay all of our karma now and go through pain, bigger pain. If we leave that path but however return to it, will that karma be heavier, than when we are on it the first time?
Instructor: Well let us look at it this way, when you say, "leave the path," that is open for interpretation, what exactly that means. To leave the path truthfully is to fall from the path, which is the Sixteenth Arcanum, which we are going to talk about later, although it is related with the Nun, because as I explained, the Nun is the first character of the word for 'to fall' and that happens because one expels the Nun. That is how you fall. To fall from the path is related with the next three letters of the Hebrew alphabet. So we are going to be talking about this, what exactly that means. Nonetheless, the path is steep. It is like a big hill. Remember the story of Sisyphus, from the Greeks? Sisyphus received his punishment, which was that he had to roll a giant stone up a hill. It is very difficult, a huge struggle each step to move the stone. But then he would lose control of it, and the stone would roll all the way back down, and he had to go all the way back down to get it. The first time would be hard, but the second time would be harder and then do do it again? It is going to be harder. That is how it is: harder. You become more and more burdened; it becomes harder. But karmically, it is even more complicated than that, because it depends on the heights to which you reached in your previous effort. To reach any particular height, you always have to get help, and when you betray that help, you owe. More than that, you might not get help again, right? If you betray a friend, and then you come back for a loan or you want that friend’s help again, they might not help again, or if they do, they will be careful about how they help you.
This is a very important factor that you have brought up, because the Nun represents the force of Christ which descends through the Amen and gives us the ability to return to God. The Nun is that Christic power related especially with the direct path. When someone incarnates that, that force becomes alive in them. That is how a נפש החיה Nephesh-Chaiah exists. The Nun is there alive in them; that is Christ. Samael Aun Weor explained that when Christ comes to inhabit your soul, he mixes with you--he feels what you feel, he suffers with you. He does not take your suffering away, he does not take away your karma, he does not take away your pain. He suffers it with you. This is distinctly different from what many of the established religions say. They say, "If you believe in Christ, or you accept our religion, all of your sins go away. No more suffering!" This is not true. Jesus never said that. We have to be very clear about that. When you have a debt, you must pay your debt. Some debts can be forgiven, but debts related with sexual energy, with Nun, cannot. They have to be paid. It is the only way to create equilibrium in your soul. This is not a punishment from God, it is a function of nature. It is the way it must be and when you comprehend the Nun, and you comprehend your karma, you will understand why, and you will accept it happily. You will seek for it, to seek to die. You will long for it. Because you will comprehend that when you take your karma and you gladly pay it, you clear your debts and you come through that clean, renewed, reborn. Whereas, if someone just forgives you of the debt, there is still a shadow there. This is why in chapter 41 of Job, God talks so much about Levi-Tanniyn and says, "Who can compete with him? Who can kill him? Who can conquer him?" Samael Aun Weor says about this in The Pistis Sophia, "Who can kill one who has already died?" Who can make suffer one who has already suffered everything? No one. A resurrected master is that. They have already suffered everything, they have already been dead, they have died. How can you make them suffer? How can you conquer them? You cannot. This is why these masters are so great--Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, even Samael. They have faced and suffered everything, they are like steel. They are beautiful. We have to become that.
Audience: I was still wondering about the relationship between Nun and night...
Instructor: It is a good question. The relationship between Nun and night. In that verse 21 in the first book of Genesis, it says, "and God created the great whales.” I explained it does not say whale, it says tanniyn, but that verse also says,
And God created the great tanniyn and every נפש החיה Nephesh-Chaiah that creeps, which the מים mayim brought forth abundantly.
When we read this, on the surface, it seems like God just created a lot of animals, but in fact this phrase is a Kabbalistic mystery because it says, in Kabbalistic terms,
...and נפש החיה Nephesh-Chaiah that move or that creep about...
The Zohar says this a reference to לילית Lilith, who is the Goddess inverted. The word לילית Lilith comes from לילה laylah, which means night. That tanniyn, that creature in the waters has a relationship with laylah, Lilith, the night. This is why in the Psalm that I read you, David says,
The day is thine, the לילה night is also thine.
The day is yam, the night is לילה laylah.
Thou has prepared the אור Aur (light) and the שמש [Shemesh](the sun).
Shemshon [Samson] means “one who carries the light of the Sun,” but he fell victim to laylah, Delilah, “the one from the night.” How? He was a Nazarene, from Nazar, which begins with Nun. He fell victim through lust, and he expelled his Nun, and Delilah conquered him. What happened then? He went blind. The light was taken from him, he entered the night.
Audience: In Tarot and Kabbalah, Samael Aun Weor talked about how Resurrected Masters are governed by the Law of the Leviathan.
Instructor: That is right.
Audience: I was wondering, since we've talked so much about the [...] today, perhaps this would be a good time to perhaps elaborate what that is...
Instructor: Yes, in the book Tarot and Kabbalah, the Master explains that the Resurrected Masters are Levi-Tanniyn, and that they are subjected to the law of Levi-Tanniyn. This simply refers to an aspect of Katancia--or superior karma, superior law--but specifically in relation with Christ. A Resurrected Master has become an embodiment of the light of Chokmah. This is why in Deuteronomy Yeshua was filled with the Ruach of Chokmah, the Spirit of Christ. In other words, Yeshua is a Resurrected Master and to have that means one answers to the law of the Levi-Tanniyn, that is the law of Christ. One law. That one law is Love. Not love the way we think of love, but love as sacrifice. This sounds simple to us. "Oh, it's just love." No. If it were simple, we would all be there. If love were simple, this planet would be a paradise. It is not simple. It is simple in the sense that it is one law, it is united, it is without conflict, it is pure, but to our mind, it makes no sense, because our mind is ruled by desire and that law is completely free of desire.
I should explain to you that when I discuss a Resurrected Master we are talking about someone in whom there is not an atom of desire. Not an atom of ego. Not even a shadow of pride or lust. This is a Being who is absolutely perfect from our point of view. So to be under the Law of the Leviathan is to be that. It is to be a great dragon, in other words.
The word Leviathan is often replaced by the word dragon, and interestingly, the dragon is also a dualistic symbol, because there are dragons of darkness and dragons of light. A dragon is a being who commands all of the elements. You see that the mythological figure or character of a dragon can fly, can swim in water, can cross the earth, can breath fire. It commands all of the elements, and it is very powerful. That is a Master. A dragon is a Master; but one can be a Master of the black path or the white path. And, being a Master of the white path, one can be a Master of the spiral or the straight path. Yet, someone on the spiral path is never a Dragon. They can be a Master, but a dragon of the white path is Resurrected. A dragon has died and been born again, completely.
It is worth pointing out to you that in many of his books, the master Samael warned his disciples about what was called in Spanish the Dag Dugpa, which is a way that Blavatsky was interpreting a Tibetan word. The actual word is druk, drug, or drugpa, and this word comes from druk, which is the Tibetan name of the country of Bhutan. So on the physical level, the literal level, a drugpa is simply somebody from Bhutan. What Samael Aun Weor is addressing are Initiates who follow the path of Black Magic or Black Tantra. When he is talking about the drugpa, he is talking about black dragons, not just anybody from Bhutan. A lot of people from Bhutan are perfectly normal people like the rest of us who are perfectly abnormal. [laughter] A drugpa, in the terms of Initiation, is any Black Master. It is a term that refers to a Black Magician, not just someone from Bhutan or someone who practices Buddhism. We need to be clear about that.