The Significance of the Number Ten, and its Neighbors in the SY
by A. C. George
In our analysis we will take the ten sephirot belimah as contemplative exercises, and we will see in the reckonings that they apparently involve sensing vital energy- the life force associated with the breath. Such practices would require some preliminary applications of the concept of mental restraint (or control) over inner-outer dialog and fantasy. To shed light on these preliminary applications, implied from the text, I want to go deeper into the letter-by-letter analysis of the names of the numbers ten, nine and eleven in this post.
The names of the numbers defined them before each was associated with a letter of the abjad. The latter association describes the Maccabean Period numbers, dating from the 2nd cent. BCE. The SY itself, furthermore, does not describe the numbers in terms of their abjad correspondences in the section on the SPIRVTh. Ten is not Yod in the text, but OShR. In the next section, however, the Maccabean numbering is implied. There, the twenty two letter-signs of the abjad (semitic alphabet) are called AVTh-YVTh or signs of Yod– in connection with the number ten whose power makes the activation of the abjad possible. The allusion most likely also refers to the nature of the Ezra (Post-Exilic) script. Therein, twenty-one letter forms are literally constructed from the fundamental Ezra glyph for Yod.
For a language based on pictograms, interpreting words as a synthesis of images is useful, as it complements assigning meaning according to conventional vocabulary. Given that the primary representation of a number is its name, the esoteric reading of the word in mention would hold the very nature of the number itself in that context. Where there is, moreover, a plurality of meanings in a word it is interpreting meaning as a synthesis of glyph images allows for a revealing of common roots to the varying patterns of meaning. If we avoid using Maccabean letter numbering we can still rest assured that, the cardinal name of any number provides all we need regarding that number’s qualitative nature.
In our given analysis, the central number theme is that of OShR (ten). The first letter-sign describes a “vision” or “well-spring”- the glyph of Ayin being that of an eye or top-down view of a fountain. The other two letters (Shin.Resh) denote authority, a person, divinity, or an awareness (head or mindset) that nourishes and sustains. Such a vision/eye or fountain can describe a revelation or some other treasure- material or not. We can render the cumulative meaning as: “eye/fountain of nourishing-penetrating intelligence”, implying revelation. Thus, in the context of occult wisdom, ten can be said to describe an authentic revelation. In our text this would be the product of the Singular Covenant.
That only scratches the surface. The fact that the letter Shin has two pronunciations opens an even more interesting path of interpretation for OShR. The first proncunciation is with the sibilant sh as in shoe. The second is pronounced as an s, as in the word snake. OShR (Ayin, Shin and Resh) takes on the second form and is pronounced OSR, with the Shin being phonetically equivalent to the letter Sammek. As such, Sammek might have been the original glyph of the word before the sounds became assimilated. Regardless of whether this is literal fact or not, the phonetic association alone hints at some link to the properties of the corresponding letter. Thus we can also render the writing- and interpretation- of the word with Sammek instead of Shin, at least for purposes of esoteric interpretation. Perhaps this is similar to the refinement the SY tells us to perform with the letters- to see if they have even more to reveal.
The letter Sammek is usually rendered with a glyph signifying a thorn bush, or a pillar, and among its variants these are the most common interpretations. One view points to the letter as a representation of a date-palm, and the date-palm being the representation of the Tree of Life itself. Thus the word OSR can be analyzed via its glyphs of eye, thorn tree and other, where the latter can be another person, a state of awareness or even divinity. The word OSR would then be- as an equation of letter-glyphs- interpreted as “the eye/vision of the Divine Tree.
To compare with the neighboring numbers let us consider that the text tells us the SPIRVTh are OSR (as pronounced), not ThShO and not AChTh OShRH. In examining the number nine just as we examined the number ten we find that a glyph-by-glyph interpretation of the word ThShO gives us the glyph array: sign, nourishing breasts and eye. Nine is a mark or the authorization/representation of the eye being given its fill. It is the number that reaches for decimal fullness, a number of assessment and regard, but at the same time, it is also a sign and not the fullness itself. Like some sort of preliminary symptom, it gives information on what it represents- like an idea of something- but is not the thing it describes.
The Hebrew word corresponding to the number eleven, on the other hand, is made up of two words: The first word, AChTh, is the feminine form of the number “one”. The second word is the feminine form of the cardinal number name for ten. The word for “one” can, therefore, be analyzed as the kindred sign, making AChTh OSRH– the word for eleven– “the kindred sign of the vision of the divine tree of joy, life, worship or any form of ecstatic expression”. If the number ten, in this context, relates to the divine tree or tree of life, then the number eleven relates to its kindred or sister-signature. To interpret the letter Tau meaning mark or signature as purpose would imply we are speaking of the kindred Tree to that of Life, which is The Tree of Knowledge (of TVB & RO).
To sum up, the letter equation for the name of the number eleven is the twin-purpose of the vision (or fount of abundance) of the Living Tree, something we may identify as the sign of the Tree of Knowledge. The number nine is the mark of the vision’s nourishing and fortifying qualities, something required for understanding the Tree’s archetypal meaning and raison d’etre. The particular quality of nine is that it represents the nourishing and penetrating qualities of vision. This is the mark that represents the visionary process and its sensory apparatus. In terms of this interpretation, proximity to the power of ten apparently activates these visionary qualities and may imply the step before actual contact with the revelation of ten. Eleven is an image of the revelation’s effects. It comes after the fact, and appears to be a dynamic of consequence. More simply, nine represents the subjective apparatus, and eleven is the next step in the experience of revelation, a step that involves being aware of what might distort or compromise the experience.
The point made is that the two numbers flanking ten represent the pitfalls of attempting to relate to a genuine revelation. In the pitfall of nine, one idolizes the products of thought. In the pitfall of eleven, one idolizes that which is already objectified as the form of the revelation itself. The experience of the Tree of Life is a truly divine revelation that is nourishing. It is an experience of participation rather than being preoccupied with semiotics (the mental conception of the experience). Nine and eleven are represent states that do not involve direct intimacy with the experience (a notion expressed in QBLH as DOTh– intimate knowing).
The numbers appear to confirm the commandment against idol worship. This may refer to mental idols (deified concepts) as well as prostrating to false revelations as opposed to opening to the reality of such an experience. Ultimately, the nature of these three numbers is coherent with the terms of an aspirant’s focus throughout the application of the teachings around the SPIRVTh BLIMH. As such, understanding them promotes avoiding any misconceptions regarding the aforementioned Covenant.
In conclusion, for the capable aspirant, the process of divine alignment that is the Covenant is based on terms the SY expresses indirectly, if not literally, in the verses. The apparently simple remark of the reckonings being ten (neither nine nor eleven), is a resource for contemplation and analysis that can provide insight to the attitude best sustained to insure maximum benefit from the cultivation process. It also opens doors for further exploration of the meanings at the heart of the biblical narrative. We shall explore some of these in the next installment before moving on to the material that involves instructions for the system described in The Earliest Recoverable Text.