Engraving concept revisited

aryeh_kaplan_sefer_yetzirahSometimes I am moved by an inspiration and write about a concept without fully understanding why it is relevant at this point in time.

My original intention for writing this post was to say few inspiring words on Haqq which means Reality in Arabic but my mind kept thinking about the “engraving” concept every time I thought about Haqq.

In my subconscious mind I may have been associating the Arabic word “Haqq” with the Turkish word “Hakkak” which means engraver.  I don’t know if there is an ancient linguistic connection between “Haqq” and “Hakkak.”

Another interesting linguistic connection is the word “Naqshbandi” which means engraver of the heart in the spiritual context. Naqshbandi is also one of the mainstream Sufi orders with millions of followers around the world.

I was perhaps conditioned by the verse 1.1 of Sefer Yetzirah which may be the first text that introduced the concept of “engraving” in the context of spiritual philosophy.

Sefer Yetzirah is the earliest text of Kabbalah. The origin of the text is unknown. Sefer Yetzirah means “Book of Formation” in Hebrew.

In many of the Kabbalistic commentaries, verse 1:1 is translated as:

“…He engraved Yah…, the Living God,.. and He created His Universe with three books (Sepharim), with text (Sepher), with number (Sephar), and with communication (Sippur).” [1]

According to Aryeh Kaplan [1] the term “He” refers to Ein Sof. According to my understanding of Kaballah the term “Ein Sof” refers to Godhead (Absolute Being, Nirguna Brahma)  and the term “Yah” refers to God (Saguna Brahma, Supreme Being, Reality, Haqq).

God and Godhead are One. God has infinite number of names, attributes and dimensions. Godhead is nameless, dimensionless and free of attributes. Yet, they are the same! I always say this is the biggest mystery!

I am really fascinated by the “engraving” concept. I associate the word “engraving” with the word “contrast.” The emergence of Reality from the infinite potential of Godhead is similar to the appearance of contrast.


[1] Aryeh Kaplan, “Sefer Yetzirah The Book of Creation”, Weisner (1997), ISBN-13: 978-0-87728-855-8


About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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