The goal of the Gnostic tradition is the perfection of the human being. As such, anyone who longs to actualize it must know in depth how the perfect human being is created, for such a creature does not arise by chance or mechanical means. A perfect work is a work of craft and knowledge. Therefore, in order to form the perfect human being, we have to know how it is done.
All religions contain levels of knowledge, given to the aspirants according to their need and level of development. In the tradition of Kabbalah, there are many texts that were reserved only for those who had been prepared to use them properly. The Sepher Yetzirah is one such text. As the most ancient known document of jewish Kabbalah, and as the very basis upon which all Western occultism has flourished, the importance of this document cannot be over-emphasized. However, the point of it has often been lost, as its readers become fascinated by the complexity and depth of the structures and mathematics it presents.
...the Sepher Yetzirah marvelously describes all the splendors of the world and the extraordinary play of the Sephiroth within God and the human being through the thirty two paths of Wisdom. - Samael Aun Weor, Alchemy & Kabbalah (1969)
According to Eliphas Levi, the three greatest books of Qabbalism are the Sepher Yetzirah, The Book of Formation; the Sepher ha Zohar, The Book of Splendor; and the Apocalypse, The Book of Revelation. The dates of the writing of these books are by no means thoroughly established. Qabbalists declare that the Sepher Yetzirah was written by Abraham. Although it is by far the oldest of the Qabbalistic books, it was probably from the pen of the Rabbi Akiba, A.D. 120. - Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928)
The name ספר יצירה [Sepher Yetzirah] is Hebrew for "Book of Formation or Creation."
The Sepher Yetzirah, according to Adolph Franck, differs from other sacred books in that it does not explain the world and the phenomena of which it is the stage by leaning on the idea of God or by setting itself up as the interpreter of the supreme will. This ancient work rather reveals God by estimating His manifold handiwork. - Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928)
The teachings of the Nahua Masters (Tlamatinime) have many points of contact with the Jewish Sepher Yetzirah. The duality of the Ain Soph and its ten Sephiroth is described within the thirty-two paths of wisdom of the Sepher Yetzirah. - Samael Aun Weor
The Sepher Yetzirah describes our inner constitution and how the Divine creates. This knowledge is necessary if we want to fulfill the purpose of our existence, which is not mere intellectualism or dogmatic cleverness. The wisdom encoded in this short book illuminates the consciousness and provides many essential insights into the laws of creation (formation).
The original Hebrew text naturally contains many levels of meaning that are inevitably lost in any translation, since each Hebrew letter contains numerical and symbolic significance. Nonetheless, we present a thoroughly researched translation prepared by the great Kabbalist Manly P. Hall and included in his marvelous book The Secret Teachings of All Ages.
"How foolish we are! We often think that we never do all the foolishness and perversities that we see others do; this is why we arrive at the conclusion that we are magnificent persons. Unfortunately, we do not see the foolishness and wretched things we do."