reply to post by AfterInfinity
The numerical value of YHVH is 26 (yod = 10, heh = 5, vav = 6, heh = 5).
72 is one of the permutations of the divine name using the Lurianic method of "expansion"; when each letter of the name is spelled out in full i.e.
the Yod is spelled out Yod, Vav Dalet, etc. The letters of the name have 4 unique expansions; the highest one which corresponds to "wisdom" or Yod,
equals 72. And then there are the correlations between the 72 of this expansion with the shemhamephorash, the "72 letter name of God" which is derived
from three verses in Exodus where Moses parts the sea.
The Kabbalists really did devise an interesting system.
This entire thread is meant to point out the strangeness of it all. The books of Moses date back (according to contemporary biblical historical
analysis) to around 1000 BCE. The Hebrew name of God, the tetragrammaton, appears around this time period. Sometime later, around the period of Ezra
(400 BCE), Aramaic script was being used.
So we have 2 important facts: the name YHVH is ancient; it appears 2000 years before it was esoterically interpreted by the Zohar. The script used -
Aramaic - appears 1400 years before it was kabbalistically interpreted.
Then, in the 11th century (the kabbalists even attribute a mystical significance to why it was revealed at this juncture), the name of God - which
means "being" - was ontologically interpreted according to it's 4 distinct letters; God, or "being" appears in 4 distinct ways: in the experience of
physical action and vitality; in the experience of emotion; in the experience of thought; and in unconscious precognitive experience.
This is a pretty neat ontological breakdown. In addition to this, the shapes of the 4 letters are accurate pictographic representations of their
ontological concepts; A yod is small, indicating the paucity and obscurity of unconscious experience; it's there, but we can't "know" it in the 3
dimensional sense that we do thought. Thought, converely, does have a 3 dimensional substance, and this is reflected in the shape of the Heh. The Vav,
emotion, is merely the elongation of emotive unconscious processes into realized emotional experience. But feeling something in the body as emotion is
still incomplete; emotion wants to be physically expressed in some sort of action; whether that be talking, singing, dancing, moving, walking, etc;
physical expression is the end result - the ultimate end point of this ontological development.
So grammatically, the name means being. Next, the pictographic representation of the Aramaic letters contain metaphysical coherency; Last, the
kabbalistic meaning, the metaphysical significance of it all, holds up.
Given all of the above, it seems unlikely that this is all coincidence. There must have been a tradition reaching back into ancient times, into
biblical times even, where the letters of this Hebrew name of God signified something tremendously meaningful and mystical. The Jewish practice of not
pronouncing this name - that it is too holy and too arcane to be said, also lends credence to the overall tradition.
The Hebrew God - YHVH - is not some trifle primitive concoction, but rather, the product of a profound mystical theology - and that Gods name should
not be spoken because "being" is too enigmatic, too ephemeral and unknown in its very nature to be "exposed" in language; that all we can really
"know" of God is the experience of being; but to say it, to limit it with spoken language, is to reify it. Vision - the experience of seeing
something, is akin to experience. Vision is very opaque; when we see things, sometimes we have a hard time putting into words what we see. But hearing
is an altogether different experience; almost the opposite of seeing. Hearing adds substance, vitality, energy, and coherency to experience. By
representing God through visual letters, the Kabbalists point out that being can be experienced, and even described ontologically. But language -
understanding - is a level of comprehension that seems to be inherently beyond human capacity; we can know God spiritually, but we can't ever
understand what he is in any logically consistent way.
Anyways, if anything, this shows how abstract ancient thinkers really were. They were thinking in ways that moderners - despite our technological
prowess and scientific know-how - are woefully inept at appreciating.
edit on 13-10-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)