Etymologies, meanings, and definitions of spiritual, religious, and philosophical words beginning with the letter N.
(Sanskrit; Tibetan tsa) Nerve channel for subtle energies.
“The term Nadi comes from the root Nad which means motion. The body is filled with an uncountable number of Nadis. If they were revealed to the eye, the body would present the appearance of a highly-complicated chart of ocean currents. Superficially the water seems one and the same. But examination shows that it is moving with varying degrees of force in all directions.” - Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
(Sanskrit नाग. In Tibetan: klu) Generally, "serpent." Also, "serpent-demon, shark, not moving, one of the 5 airs of the human body, best or most excellent of any kind, number 7, cloud, tree, cruel man, Indian cobra, sun, elephant."
1. Powerful water spirits who take the forms of serpents or serpent-humans.
2. A descriptive term referring to a master (whether white or black). "In the East, the Mahatmas are called “Nagas”—that is to say, “serpents.” This is why all of the guardians from the sacred crypts of the temples of mysteries have the figures of gigantic serpents who only allow initiates to enter." - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub
(Hebrew נחש) Literally, "serpent." A very deep and multifaceted symbol in the Judeo-Christian scriptures, whose meaning is revealed in Kabbalah. Nahasch, meaning “serpent” and “a shining one,” comes from the root "to shine." In Chaldee it means brass, because of its shine.
"Now the nachash was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" - Gen 3:1
"And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a nahasch; and Moses fled from before it." - Ex 4:3
"And Moses made a serpent (nachash) of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." - Numbers 21
Or Naamah. (Hebrew נעמה) A symbol in Kabbalah related to lust, seduction, and the infernal worlds (Klipoth, hell).
"...she also bare Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain [was] Naamah [נעמה]." - Genesis 4:22
"And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam [was] forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name [was] Naamah an Ammonitess. And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done." - 1 Kings 14
"Rabbi Chiya quotes, "And the sister of Tuval Kayin was Naamah" (Beresheet 4:22). Why do the scriptures mention her name, Naamah (tender)? It is because people were seduced by her, and spirits and demons. Rabbi Yitzchak said that the sons of Elohim, Aza, and Azael were seduced by her. [...] Adam had intercourse with the female spirits for 130 years until Naamah came. Because of her beauty, she led the sons of Elohim, Aza and Azael astray. She bore them. Evil spirits and demons spread out from her into the world. They wander around the world during the night, deriding human beings and causing nocturnal pollution. Wherever they find men sleeping alone in their own homes, they hover over them and cling to them, arousing lustful desires and having offspring by them." - The Zohar
"Nahemah is the mother of malignant beauty, passion and adultery." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Another interesting appearance of this name is in Genesis 3:
"And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree נחמד [to be desired] to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." - Genesis 3
(Sanskrit नास्तिक) Literally, "atheist, unbeliever, freethinker." In esotericism, this word is used to refer to the necessity to look beyond beliefs or physical things, such as a physical statue or idol of a divine being, to instead seek the reality of that being. In other words, those who seek the truth must reject idols, ideas, and beliefs.
"Religious esotericism does not teach atheism of any kind, except in the sense that the Sanskrit word nastika encloses: no admission of idols, including that anthropomorphic God of the ignorant populace. It would be an absurdity to believe in a celestial dictator who is seated upon a throne of tyranny and throws lightning and thunderbolts against this sad human ant hill." - Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains
(Greek, Νέμεσις) Literally "distribution" (of what is due), related to νέμειν [némein], meaning "to give what is due, distribute, allot, apportion one's due," from root *nem- "to divide, distribute, allot, to take." Nemesis is the law that balances nature, also called cause and effect, karma, which is managed by divine, awakened beings who balance the scales of Justice and Mercy. In Greek mythology, their work and intelligence was personified in the form of the goddess Nemesis, also called Adrasteia ("the Inescapable").
"Hymn to Nemesis. Thee, Nemesis, I call, almighty queen, by whom the deeds of mortal life are seen: eternal, much revered, of boundless sight, alone rejoicing in the just and right: changing the counsels of the human breast for ever various, rolling without rest. To every mortal is thy influence known, and men beneath thy righteous bondage groan; for every thought within the mind concealed is to thy sight perspicuously revealed. The soul unwilling reason to obey, by lawless passion ruled, thine eyes survey. All to see, hear, and rule, O power divine, whose nature equity contains, is thine. Come, blessed, holy Goddess, hear my prayer, and make thy mystics' life thy constant care: give aid benignant in the needful hour, and strength abundant to the reasoning power; and far avert the dire, unfriendly race of counsels impious, arrogant, and base." - Orphic Hymn 61 to Nemesis (C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)
(Hebrew נפש; alternatively, nefesh) In Kabbalah, one of the three souls of the human being. The animal soul.
"And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [נשמה neshamah] of life; and man became a living soul [nephesh נפש]." - Genesis 2:7
"The Initiate must descend into the infernal worlds during forty-days and has to recapitulate all of the evil deeds and frightful dramas of his past incarnations; little by little, the Initiate departs from these tenebrous regions. Before departing, the three souls, Nephesh (Animal Soul), Ruach (Thinking Soul) and Neshamah (Spiritual Soul) are submitted to ordeals. How interesting it is to see the animal soul submitted to ordeals, as well as the thinking soul and the Essence (Part of Neshamah) that also is submitted to ordeals. The Bible states, "Nephesh, Nephesh, blood is paid with blood." Within the Hebrew words wisdom is hidden." - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
(Hebrew נפש חיה) Literally, "living soul." In Kabbalah, a soul (see Nephesh) who has acquired spiritual life (Chaiah), the soul.
"And God said, This [is] the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living soul that [is] with you, for perpetual generations..." - Genesis 9:12
(Hebrew נפלים) Translated in the Bible as "giants," but actually derived from נפל, "abortion; fall; dud; to fail, to die, to be conquered."
"There were giants [נפלים] in the earth in those days..." - Genesis 6:4
"The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants [נפלים], the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants [נפלים]: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." - Numbers 13
The term Nephilim refers to fallen angels or masters, who were "giants among men" but fell, becoming demons. The Zohar describes five types of such beings.
(Hebrew נשמת or נשימה, literally "breath") In Kabbalah, one of the three souls of the human being, called the Spiritual Soul.
“And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [neshamah] of life; and man became a living soul [nephesh].” ‐ Genesis 2:7
"The נשמת (neshamah) of אדם (Adam, man) is a lamp of יהוה (Jehovah)..." - Proverbs 20:27
"All the while my Neshamah is in me, and the Ruach of Eloah (goddess) is in my face, my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit." —Job 27
"Said Rabbi Jehudah: 'How many garments (of the incorporeal man) are these which are crowned' (from the day man was 'created')? Said R. El'eazar: 'The mountains of the world (the great men of the generation) are in discussion upon it, but there are three: one to clothe in that garment the Rua'h spirit, which is in the garden (of Eden) on earth: one which is more precious than all, in which the Neshamah is clothed in that Bundle of Life, between the angels of the Kings . . . : and one outside garment, which exists and does not exist, is seen and not seen. In that garment, the Nephesh is clothed, and she goes and flies in it, to and fro in the world." (Zohar I., 119b. col. 475; Qabbalah, 412.)
(Hebrew נצח means victory) The seventh sephirah of the Tree of Life; the Mental World; the Mental Body; corresponds to the Fifth Dimension.
Netzach is the Mental World, the cosmic mind, the mind of the human being. There are some authors who suppose that the mind is Venusian; I have to disagree with them, because when properly observed the mind is found to be Mercurial. Anyone can realize that the mind is Mercurial, because Mercury gives wisdom, gives the word, etc. - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
While the term “neurasthenia” has a highly variable history and is no longer in use, it was generally used to refer to a condition of nervous weakness or exhaustion. Samael Aun Weor provides an interesting description:
"The world is full of neurasthenic persons. The neurasthenic type is a faultfinder, irritable, and intolerable. There are many causes of neurasthenia: impatience, anger, egotism, arrogance, etc.
There is a mediator between the Spirit and the body: the nervous system. Take care of your nervous system. When your nervous system is irritated by something that is exhausting you, it is better to flee from it. Work intensely but with moderation; remember that excessive work produces fatigue. If you do not pay attention to fatigue, if you continue with excessive work, then fatigue is replaced with stress. When stress turns morbid, it becomes neurasthenia. It is necessary to alternate work with pleasant rest so as to avoid the danger of falling into neurasthenia." —Samael Aun Weor, Introduction to Gnosis
“So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” - Revelation 2:16
“Only absolute saintliness and chastity can convert us into Angels. The Nicolaitans spill the sacred wine of the temple. They waste the oil of the lamp and remain within the darkness. The Nicolaitans spill the raw matter of the Great Work in their practises of Sexual Alchemy. This is Black Tantrism... The Nicolaitans are submerging themselves into the abyss. The Nicolaitans converted themselves into terribly perverse demons.” - Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
In Kabbalah, a reference to the sephirah Yesod of the Tree of Life (Kabbalah). When you place the Tree of Life over your body, you see that Yesod is related to your sexual organs.
"The Ninth Sphere of the Kabbalah is sex." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
The Ninth Sphere also refers to Yesod and to the lowest sphere of the Klipoth.
"The great Master Hilarion IX said that in ancient times, to descend into the Ninth Sphere was the maximum ordeal for the supreme dignity of the Hierophant. Hermes, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Dante, Zoroaster, Mohammed, Rama, Krishna, Pythagoras, Plato and many others, had to descend into the Ninth Sphere in order to work with the fire and the water which is the origin of worlds, beasts, human beings and Gods. Every authentic white Initiation begins here." - Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
(Sanskrit) From nir (without) guna (quality).
"The impersonal aspect [of God] (Nirakara, Nirguna) is called Brahman, or ‘unknowable’ by Herbert Spencer, ‘will’ by Schopenhauer, Absolute Noumenon by some ‘substance’ by Spinoza. The personal aspect (Sakara) of that Being is termed ‘Ishvara’ or Allah, Hari, Jehova, Father in Heaven, Buddha, Siva, etc. Just as vapour or steam is formless, so also God is formless in His unmanifested or transcendental state." - Swami Sivananda
(Sanskrit) From निर्माण Nirmana, "creation, producing, formation, making, transformation," and काय kaya, "body."
Also called “creation body” or “manifestation body.”
In Buddhism, one of the "bodies" of a buddha corresponding to a very subtle level of manifested existence. As such, it corresponds to a level of nature that other beings can perceive or experience with training, specifically during dream state, and in preparation for the process of death, during which one who is prepared can recognize the Sambhogakaya experience and utilize it as a doorway to a better level of existence.
Nirmanakaya corresponds in Kabbalah to the sephirah Binah.
(Sanskrit निर्वाण, "extinction" or "cessation"; Tibetan: nyangde, literally "the state beyond sorrow") In general use, the word nirvana refers to the permanent cessation of suffering and its causes, and therefore refers to a state of consciousness rather than a place. Yet, the term can also apply to heavenly realms, whose vibration is related to the cessation of suffering. In other words, if your mind-stream has liberated itself from the causes of suffering, it will naturally vibrate at the level of Nirvana (heaven).
"When the Soul fuses with the Inner Master, then it becomes free from Nature and enters into the supreme happiness of absolute existence. This state of happiness is called Nirvana. Nirvana can be attained through millions of births and deaths, but it can also be attained by means of a shorter path; this is the path of “initiation.” The Initiate can reach Nirvana in one single life if he so wants it." - Samael Aun Weor, The Zodiacal Course
"Nirvana is a region of Nature where the ineffable happiness of the fire reigns. The Nirvanic plane has seven sub-planes. A resplendent hall exists in each one of these seven sub-planes of Nirvanic matter where the Nirmanakayas study their mysteries. This is why they call their sub-planes “halls” and not merely “sub-planes” as the Theosophists do. The Nirvanis say: “We are in the first hall of Nirvana or in the second hall of Nirvana, or in the third, or in the fourth, or fifth, or sixth, or in the seventh hall of Nirvana.” To describe the ineffable joy of Nirvana is impossible. There, the music of the spheres reigns and the soul is enchanted within a state of bliss, which is impossible to describe with words." - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub
or Nirvanee (Sanskrit, locative of nirvana) Loosely, one who abides in nirvana, or who is "liberated" to some degree.
The word Nirvani is used in Hinduism among various groups as a title of status.
Nirvani is also used to describe those who awakened enough to reside in Nirvana, yet remain there, absorbed, and forget the suffering of those they left behind. In other words, they are "selfish gods."
"It is stated, “It is better to be a good man than a bad Angel.” When apprehending the most complicated characters of the “I,” we perceive that it becomes subtly covetous; here it no longer covets noble titles, but it covets divine titles and wants everyone to call it Master; it covets hierarchic and esoteric titles, and thus, one loses very long, infinite eternities entangled in the karma of the worlds. Here, it no longer covets gold or silver, but it covets occult powers; it no longer covets honors and greatness, but it covets initiations and degrees. Here, it no longer covets lordships or earthly kingdoms, but it covets internal kingdoms, lordships and majesties within the superior worlds. Here, it enjoys governing paradises, and moreover, although this may seem incredible to you, it even become jealous of its own divine hierarchy and thus, it transforms itself into an ineffable tempter, who enjoys governing worlds and suns, and thus offers its Edens to the bodhisattvas of compassion. Here, it no longer wants to rest on cushy beds within comfortable earthly mansions, but it longs to rest in the ineffable bliss of Nirvana. Yes, the “I” of the Nirvanis does not like the narrow, hard, and difficult path. It enjoys itself in Nirvanic, celestial rests, while wretched humanity suffers and cries. Notwithstanding, the Nirvanis offer unto the bodhisattvas of compassion their seductive paradises in order to impede the entrance into the Absolute. Verily, I tell you, beloved disciples, that it is better to renounce the bliss of Nirvana and to follow the path of long and bitter duty. The path of duty leads us directly to the Absolute. This is better than the bliss of Nirvana. Let us not fall into these divine, Nirvanic temptations." - Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
"The Nirvanis do not possess any of the four bodies of sin: physical, ethereal, astral, or mental. The Master takes only the psy- chic extracts from those bodies, which are absorbed and assimilated, before entering Nirvana." - Samael Aun Weor, The Zodiacal Course
(Sanskrit, literally “changeless samadhi”) An ecstasy within the divine abode of the Gods. Originally a term from Vedanta, referring to the highest possible state of consciousness, a state of no-mind, and non-dual union with Brahman.
"The Purusha experiences the transcendental state of independence - Kaivalya - in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Now ignorance is destroyed. The Purusha realizes that it was only His consciousness that gave Prakriti its power to please Him, to give Him joy, to delude Him, and to bind Him. He enjoys the bliss of His own nature and remains for ever independent and blissful. All thought ceases once for all in Nirvikalpa Samadhi." —Swami Sivananda
(Latin. Nisus: effort, striving, struggle. ) A term possibly introduced by Friedrich Casimir Medicus in the late 1700's (yet most known in relation with Blumenbach's Bildungstrieb) that was utilized by scientists investigating Vitalism to explain the impulse of nature to create forms and how those forms were managed. Darwin accepted this concept and discussed it in his writings, as did Immanual Kant.
"These causes [the secret force (vis occulta) responsible for the non-voluntary movements of the body] made me to follow up my own opinion, and to suppose a simple substance in addition to the organised matter and the soul; a substance that the creator gave to all organic bodies as a force bringing life into them. This force is in the vegetable and in the animal kingdoms the only force giving life to the organised matter. It is present in the man, too, where it causes all animal, or as other authors express it, all mechanic life. But man has a reasonable soul in addition to this organised matter and to this simple substance, the vital force; a soul that thinks and wants within him. Thus I think the man to consist of two simple substances, a soul and a vital force, and of a third one, of the organised matter.’ " - Medicus, lecture Von der Lebenskraft (On the vital force) 1774
The nisus formativus was therefore pointing towards the teachings of Aristotle, and what was already well known in esoteric mysticism, which is that physical dimension is a formation produced by the vital dimension, which in turn is a formation of the astral dimension, and so on into more and more subtle levels of nature. That is why the nisus formativus is variously described as pertaining to the vital body, the astral body, etc, because each one is the "formative force" of the more dense form below it. Each tradition represents this is various ways, such as the aggrgates of Buddhism, the koshas of Hinduism, etc. and are reflected in Kabbalah by the relationships between the sephiroth, specifically Malkulth (physical), Yesod (vital), and Hod (astral).
"To sustain it, the human body needs a nisus formativus — as Mr. Immanuel Kant, the philosopher of Königsberg said. That nisus formativus is the vital body or linga sarira of the Hindustani, the vital seat of any living cell, the Yesod [“foundation”] of the Hebrew Kabbalah. Just as our physical body has its vital body for its maintenance, sustenance, conservation, so likewise plants and any organism that has life; thus, in general, the whole planet Earth has it. So all the terrestrial world has its own vitality, vital foundation, its Yesod. Yes, in that Yesod of this terrestrial world [fourth coordinate] is the life of our world." - Samael Aun Weor, Alchemical Symbolism of the Nativity of Christ
A symbol used in the tradition of Alchemy. "The Nitrogen of alchemy is the sacred fire of the Kundalini. This Nitrogen is only achieved by working intensely with the Mercury of the secret philosophy. It is impossible to be an alchemist if one does not work with the Philosopher’s Stone." - Samael Aun Weor, The Manual of Practical Magic
(Hebrew נח. Literally, adj. resting, incumbent, quiescent; n. Noah (first name); adj. silent (grammar)) A Kabbalistic symbol with many important meanings.
Physiologically and spiritually: the "Master atom" or Nous Atom located in the heart.
A historical figure related to the end of the Atlantean epoch. "...the Four Thrones (Deities) said to the White Emperor Noenra (Noah), “Leave from this land, and pass to the Gobi desert, where you will find dry land, because God will sink this land.” Noah obeyed and departed with all his people towards the Gobi desert." - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub. "The Savior-guide of the elected Atlanteans, the one who took them out of the country of ‘the hills of clay,’ was the Biblical Noah, the Manu Vaivasvatha, the founder of the Aryan Race..." - Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains.
(Greek νοῦς or νόος) Nous is a philosophical term for the faculty of perception of what is true or real. Nous is a type of intelligent intuition, a form of perception that sees and understands truth. Nous is not the concrete, sensual mind that we commonly experience. Nous refers instead to Abstract Mind, the kind of mind that is fully developed in a person such as Buddha, Jesus, or Krishna. In esoteric psychology, nous is known as the Fourth State of Consciousness.
"And be not conformed to this aeon: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your nous, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, thelema of God." - Romans 12
From The Philokalia (writings of the Christian Desert Fathers): “[Nous] is the highest facility in man, through which - provided it is purified - he knows God or the inner essence or principles of created things by means of direct perception. Nous must be carefully distinguished from reason; nous does not formulate abstract concepts or argue them using deductive reasoning; but it understands divine truth by means of immediate experience or intuition. It dwells in the ‘depth of the soul’; it constitutes the innermost aspect of the heart.”
"Nous is perfect awakened Consciousness. Nous is the state of Turiya, profound perfect interior illumination. Nous is legitimate objective clairvoyance. Nous is intuition. Nous is the world of the divine archetypes. Noetic thought is synthetic, clear, objective, illuminated. Whosoever reaches the heights of Noetic thought totally awakens Consciousness and becomes a Turiya. The lowest part of man is irrational and subjective and is related with the five ordinary senses. The highest part of man is the World of Intuition and objective spiritual Consciousness. In the World of Intuition, the archetypes of all things in nature develop. Only those who have penetrated into the World of objective Intuition, only those who have reached the solemn heights of Noetic thought, are truly awakened and illuminated." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
A spiritual atom located in the left ventricle of the heart. This atom is also called the Master Atom and is directly related with the Christ.
"As we have already stated in our book entitled “The Perfect Matrimony or The Door to Enter into Initiation," the heart of the Sun is constructed like the heart of our human organism. Just as Seven Hierarchs exist in the Sun, who direct the seven cosmic rays, seven brains exist in our heart which belong to the Seven Great Cosmic Hierarchies. The sun has an atomic central nucleus, which is the Atom Nous, and this atom is the dwelling of Brahma within us. This atom is the first vital center which functions in the fetus and also the last atom which stops living in our organism. This atom contains the mind, life, energy and will power of the human being. It has an opal-like luminous aura which irradiates and shines." - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub.
For more information, read The Dayspring of Youth by M.
(Hebrew נוכבי. In Aramaic, "female") A term in Kabbalah hidden behind many symbols and words in the scriptures, such as earth, land, body, bread, daughter, woman, bride, cup, throne, temple, tabernacle, and more. Nukva refers to the two aspects of our physical body, symbolized on the Tree of Life by Yesod and Malkuth. The Nukva is influenced by the Moon.
"When the Temple, which is the Nukva, was defiled, death was caused to the world for the period of time until the moon, which is the Nukva, is corrected and resumes her radiance." - Zohar 3. Beresheet B : 57
"One needs to draw illumination into the Nukva." - Zohar
"Whatever exists down on earth also exists above. There is nothing in this world, in the Nukva, be it ever so small, which does not depend on something appointed over it above, in Binah." - Zohar 9. Vayetze : 23
"The mother of Solomon, as it is written: “Bat-Sheva the mother of Solomon” (I Melachim 1:11) is the Nukva..." - Zohar
The fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it symbolizes "a fish" (Aramaic).
Nun is written with the following letters: Nun, Vav, Nun-Sophit, which mean: the Light above, the Shechinah of the three primary forces hidden within the “Nun,” “the N” descending through “Vav” (spinal medulla) even through the final Nun in order to expand the Infinite Light below in the Ninth Sphere, the center of the Earth. In Yesod, the Solar Forces of Kether, Chokmah, and Binah (their Messiah or Solar-Light-Force), the Heir to the Throne (the Spinal Medulla) are hidden within Nun, the Sperm and the Ovum (the fish) that swims within the Mem, the waters of Yesod, the Ens Seminis.
Its Kabbalistic value is 50.