The Line divides into the Inner and Encompassing Light of the Sefirot.
The Line of Eyn Sof, blessed be He, that entered into the Residue is concealed within it on the inside on all of its levels, and is thus said to govern it. Yet it stands outside and encompasses it, and it must be said to include its power and to look down upon it on every side. Even so, all is only in such a way that the Line accommitself to the Residue. This is the Inner and Encompassing Light of the Sefirot, which is the underlying foundation of the Vessel.
Having discussed the entry of the Line into the empty Space, we must now explain the manner in which it spread out within it.
The proposition consists of four parts. Part 1: The line of Eyn Sof... This explains how the Line extends within the Residue. Part 2: Yet it stands outside. This explains the Encompassing Light. Part 3: And even so... This explains how the Line accommodates itself to match the Residue into which it enters. Part 4: And this is the Inner and Encompassing Light... This explains the different aspects of the spreading light and their names.
Part 1: The Line of Eyn Sof, blessed be He, that entered into the Residue is concealed within it on the inside on all of its levels... The concealment of the Light of the Line of Eyn Sof within the Residue is the source of the two modes of government discussed earlier: the rule of good and evil and the rule of unity, corresponding respectively to the Form of Address and the Name. The rule of unity is concealed within the manifest rule of good and evil. Accordingly, we say that the Line is concealed. And this is what was gained through having the Line clothe itself within the Residue.
...and is thus said to govern it. This is what we have said above, that the Residue is governed under the rule of unity. This explains what we mean by saying that the Residue gains from the fact that the Line is concealed within it.
Part 2: Yet it stands outside... The reason why it stands outside is because when the light came to enter into the vessel, not all of it entered. Half of it stands outside, and thus it accomplishes its function while standing in its appointed place -- what is within just like that which is outside. These matters are explained further in Part 4 of this proposition.
...and encompasses it... This indicates that it does not stand far off, for if so, it would have no connection with what it produces, namely the Residue. Rather, it surrounds it. ...and it is said to include its power... This means that it is the cause of and "includes" it in the way that a cause includes its effect. The Encompassing Light is the cause of the Vessel -- namely, the Residue. The Encompassing Light is the ultimate revelation. The Vessel and the Residue contain the roots of man's service, whereby we are able to attain the revelation, which is the reward. The Encompassing Light is thus the cause and goal of man's service, this being the means, the Vessel.
Part 3: Even so, all is only in such a way that the Line accommodates itself to the Residue. Even though the light is encompassing light and is not limited by the vessel, it is not like Eyn Sof, Who encompasses everything yet is beyond all limitations. In the case of the Line, everything that enters into the Space accommodates itself entirely to the Residue. The Encompassing Light thus has a relationship with the Vessel. In other words, the Encompassing Light is also within the Space, unlike Eyn Sof, Who surrounds and encompasses the Vacated Space or Place from outside.
Part 4: This is the Inner and Encompassing Light... These are the names of two levels of the Light .of the Sefirot, which is the underlying foundation of the Vessel. Here we have the explanation of the Inner and Encompassing Light. Thus the Zohar (Raya Meheimna, Emor III, 109b) states that "He is inside every Sefirah and outside every Sefirah".
As discussed earlier, the action of the Line in governing the Residue through all the pathways discussed is itself in the mode of limitlessness -- which is the mode of perfection. Thus every single level within the Residue is under the supervision of Eyn Sof in His intrinsic perfection, and these different parts exist only because it was His Will that they should exist. This is expressed by saying that Eyn Sof is found in every single Sefirah on every side, and the entire existence and functioning of the Sefirah is only through Him.
Thus the entire essence is Eyn Sof, blessed be He, but in every action that He executes for the sake of the created realms and beings, even those that are on their level, nevertheless nothing is revealed of Him except the very smallest part -- the Inner Light. However the Encompassing Light, while serving the created realms and entering into the Place created by the Tzimtzum, is not revealed. Anything man may understand about the works of the Creator is only a drop in the great sea.
Thus even though Eyn Sof looks down providentially and supervises the level of limitation, on which the lower realms and creatures receive, the greater part of His providence is too exalted for us. This is the Encompassing Light. The last part of the action is that aspect of His perfection that clothes itself in the executed work itself. However, even the level of perfection that we are able to understand to be contained in the action executed by the Line within the Residue is nothing but the smallest part of that action. This is what stands to govern the visible Residue, whose measure corresponds to that small part.
Now this providence is found in several ways in the each Sefirah -- within it on all of its different levels. These are what are called the Exterior, Interior and Intermediary Vessel. But the main light is the Encompassing Light outside. Both the Inner and Encompassing Light are divided into five levels, corresponding to the five levels of the soul: Nefesh, Ru'ach, Neshamah, Chayah and Yechidah. The Nefesh, Ru'ach and Neshamah are clothed respectively in the Exterior, Intermediary and Inner Vessel, while the Chayah and Yechidah encompass the Vessel from the outside as Encompassing Light.
All these are called by their own individual names according to the way in which they spread and extend. The explanation of the spread of the Inner and Encompassing Light in the writings of the ARI relates only to Eyn Sof's "looking down" over and providential supervision of the different levels in accordance with the laws of the Residue and its ordered levels.
In the vision this appears as lights built of perfectly wrought vessels, within and around which is the Light of Eyn Sof, blessed be He, on the levels of Inner and Encompassing Light.
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138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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