Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("RaMChaL"):
138 Openings of Wisdom
The connection between Adam Kadmon, Atik and Atzilut-Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah
From Atzilut and downwards everything follows the nature of the governmental order of This World, in which things go around until they reach perfect beneficence. However, from Atik and above everything is as it will be in eternity. Atik is in the middle, carrying over from one governmental mode to another. Adam Kadmon comprises the entirety of all existence at all times.
Until now we have been discussing three levels that comprise everything: (1) Adam Kadmon; (2) Atzilut-Beriyah-Yetzirah-Asiyah; (3) Atik - the link in the middle. We must now explain the purpose of these three levels.
From Atzilut and downwards everything follows the nature of the governmental order of This World. The government of This World is founded on the mystery of good and evil, which involves reward and punishment. This governmental order constitutes the entire cycle of the wheel, which goes to reveal the unity to perfection.
.in which things go around until they reach perfect beneficence. It is clear and evident that the nature and purpose of the laws and institutions from Atzilut and below involve aspects that fall within the category of good and bad, repair and deficiency, advancing in a way intended to bring everything to perfection in the end. Rooted here are all aspects of man's service.
However, from Atik and above. The lights of the Ears, Nose and Mouth.
.everything is as it will be in eternity - from the seventh millennium and onwards. For these millennia are all called eternity since there will be no more death. However, within this period one must distinguish between the time of ascents, which is up to the tenth millennium, when they reach the lights of AV, and the time of eternity, after things are firmly fixed. This is forever and to all eternity. (See Daat Tevunot pp. 253-5.)
Atik is in the middle, carrying over from one governmental mode to another. In order for the deeds of the present time to have their effect in the eternity that is afterwards, there must be one level in the middle that takes the deeds from this world and brings them to where they determine aspects of the destined ascents in time to come.
Adam Kadmon comprises the entirety of all existence at all times. Adam Kadmon does not follow as a step or level after any light, because all the lights are branches of Adam Kadmon, and the ascents which the lights themselves undergo are from one radiation of Adam Kadmon to another (i.e. in the branches of Adam Kadmon - the Ears, Nose and Mouth. However, Adam Kadmon undergoes no ascents).
One could ask how it can possibly be that the order is Atik over Atzilut and the Ears, Nose and Mouth over Atik if Atik is Malchut of Adam Kadmon - surely Adam Kadmon must be set over Atik! (For as Malchut of Adam Kadmon, Atik is a part of Adam Kadmon and not in the same category as the lights of the Ears, Nose and Mouth, which are only radiations emanating from Adam Kadmon.)
And if Adam Kadmon is not in the same category as the emanating lights of the Ears, Nose and Mouth, then Atik too, which is Malchut of Adam Kadmon, is also not in the same category as those lights. (Atik is not in the same category as the branches - the lights of the Ears, Nose and Mouth - but a part of Adam Kadmon. If so, how can Atik be under the Ears, Nose and Mouth - Atik should be under Adam Kadmon as Adam Kadmon's lowest part.)
The answer is that when Malchut of Adam Kadmon becomes Atik, it also stands level with the branches inasmuch as MaH and BaN are joined together in Atik, and they are branches, as explained earlier.
(I.e. Malchut of Adam Kadmon in terms of its role in governing Atzilut - which is why it clothes itself in Arich Anpin - becomes the Partzuf of Atik. In this role it too is built of MaH and BaN, which are radiations from Adam Kadmon, even though as Malchut of Adam Kadmon it is in the category of Adam Kadmon. The difficulty may also be resolved in the light of the teaching in Etz Chayim, Shaar 3, Seder Atzilut that only sparks of Malchut of Adam Kadmon are clothed in Atzilut.)
138 OPENINGS OF WISDOM INDEX PAGE
by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5764 - 2004 All rights reserved