Kabbalah teaches that the process of creation involved God taking what was basically a large in-breath and breathing His/Her/Its Self out to create the Universe.
It’s a bit more complex than that, but if we believe that all creation is the Breath of God (or the Word, if you prefer) then we know that everything is sacred.
As the Breath flowed down through Jacob’s Ladder being balanced by its two sides of expansion and consolidation and it’s central column of consciousness, it became coarser the further it travelled from its source.
Therefore the highest world, Azilut is represented by fire, the next, Beriah, by air, the next, Yezirah by water and the lowest, Asiyyah by Earth.
The highest world, Azilut is where all potentiality lies — everything flows from that into reality. And this world is the ‘fiery man’ as beautifully illustrated here in this painting of the Hebrew letters Yod He Vau He by William Hart McNichols. I first came across this image in the work of Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi.
The fiery man is Adam Kadmon (meaning ‘the primordial human being). This is the perfection of creation; the place of origin for every conscious soul. This is also where we return when we become perfect. Every one of us is one cell in the fiery body of Adam Kadmon and, when every conscious being has perfected then the process of creation is ended.
What happens then is anyone’s guess … but don’t worry, it won’t be any time soon!
The perfect human, Adam Kadmon, is the Cosmic Christ. And as the Cosmic Christ, It is the presence of God that can become a physical being. Jesus of Nazareth was a human example of the Cosmic Christ but it is vital to understand that Christ was not Jesus’ surname. He represented the Christ on Earth but, as he himself said, ‘Before Abraham was, I am’ (John 8:58). John is the Gospel representing the Divine world of Azilut and in this Gospel – the one with all the great ‘I Am’ sayings – Jesus is speaking as the Cosmic Christ. Christ is much bigger than just Jesus. Christ is in all humanity – and beyond. Christ is not and cannot be limited to one religion.
Believing that Christ can be limited is tribal thinking. Fundamentalist religion takes written scriptures literally but, as the great theologian, John Dominic Crossnan wrote: ‘My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.’
Understanding this helps to makes it clear that the Christ is the great potential in all beings. Christ is in the very air we breath and the food we eat. When we take communion we are acknowledging the sacred – the body and blood – of the Cosmic Christ. And we become what we eat.
Tt is our purpose in creation to become perfected – to become Christ. This may take many hundreds of thousands of years – or even more – but it will happen eventually and for all of us.