17.1 The 32 Paths of Wisdom [TABLE]

The Sefer Yetzirah begins:[1756]
Text 17-1: Sefer Yetzirah 1
With 32 mystical paths of Wisdom engraved Yah
the Lord of Hosts the G-d of Israel
the living G-d King of the Universe
El Shaddai Merciful and Gracious
High and Exalted Dwelling in eternity
Whose name is Holy He is lofty and holy
And He created His universe with three books (Seforim)
with text (Sefer)
with number (Sefar)
and with communication (Sippur)

The 32 paths of wisdom are related to the word ‘heart’. In Hebrew, the word for heart is Läv – לב that has the gematria value of 32. The Torah begins with the letter Bet – ב and ends with the letter Lamed – ל
בראשית ברא אלהים ... לעיני כל-ישראל

These two letters, the 32 paths, the knowing heart contain the Torah. Nevertheless, the heart is directed by the intellect – sekhel. The heart that pumps blood and affects our exuberance and joy with life is related to the 32 paths of wisdom. The literature refers to the 32 in three different ways: the first 32 instances of the natural name of G-d – Elohim – אלהים in the book of Genesis, the 22 letters plus 10 principle numerals which G-d combined to create the world, and finally 32 levels of consciousness that Hashem displays in our world.

17.1.3 The 32 Levels of Consciousness

These 32 Levels are mental attributes that operate in creating and sustaining our world. Genesis states that G-d created man in the image of G-d. The name for G-d, here, is Elohim. This is also the name for G-d in the 32 paths of creation at the beginning of Genesis. Since we are in the image (tzelem) of G-d, we have an opportunity to activate our mind on each of these 32 levels:[1757]
Table 17-1: The Thirty-two Levels of Consciousness
Level My Translation Kaplan
Translation
Transliteration Hebrew Prayer
1 Wonderous Intelligence Mystical
Consciousness
Sekhel Mufla
שכל
מופלא
Make for me a wonderous consciousness that I know that I do not know anything of the miracles of creation.
2 Shining Intelligence Radiant
Consciousness
Sekhel Maz’hir
שכל 
מזהיר
Make for me a shining consciousness that my head shines with the light of divine illumination.
3 Sanctified Intelligence Sanctified Consciousness Sekhel Mekudosh
שכל מקדוש
Make for me a holy consciousness that leads me to true faith.
4 Settled Intelligence Settled Consciousness Sekhel
Kavua
שכל
קבוע
Make for me a steady platform that my consciousness may rest upon Your ways.
5 Rooted
Intelligence
Rooted
Consciousness
Sekhel
Nishrash
שכל
נשרש
Root my consciousness in your Wisdom. 
6 Transcendental Influx
Intelligence
Transcendental Influx
Consciousness
Sekhel
Shefa
Nivdal
שכל
שפע 
נבדל
May the flow of n’vdal continue into my mind.
7 Hidden 
Intelligence
Hidden 
Consciousness
Sekhel
Nistar
שכל
נסתר
Make for me a consciousness that preserves Your hidden secrets that preserves my life and the life of my children.[1758]
8 Complete
Intelligence
Perfect
Consciousness
Sekhel
Shalem
שכל
שלם
Make for me a whole mind whose consciousness balanced with all Your knowledge equally.
9 Pure
Intelligence
Pure
Consciousness
Sekhel
Tahor
שכל
טהור
Make for me a clean mind that is one with you in spirit even in this world.
10 Scintillating
Intelligence
Scintillating Sekhel
Mitnotzertz
שכל מתנוצץ
Make for me a scintillating consciousness
11 Shining Intelligence Glaring consciousness Sekhel
MeTzuchtzach
שכל מצוחצח
Your Truth is before my eyes like the Sun shining in the day.
12 Brilliant
Intelligence
Brilliant Consciousness Sekhel
Bahir
שכל
בהיר
For your light is brilliant all around igniting my mind with inspiration.
13 Unity directing Intelligence Unity directing consciousness Sekhel
Manhig
HaAchdut
שכל
מנהיג 
האחדות
I direct myself in unity with the righteous seekers of my community and we walk as one.
14 Illuminating Intelligence Illuminating Consciousness Sekhel
Meir
שכל
מאיר
Illuminate my intelligence so that I may discern your ways.
15 Standing
Intelligence
Stabilizing Consciousness Sekhel
Ma’amid
שכל 
מעמיד
Keep me stable in your ways standing before You doing your deeds.
16 Enduring Intelligence Enduring consciousness Sekhel
Nitzchi
שכל
נצחי
Grant victory to my intelligence, an enduring victory.
17 Consciousness of the Senses Consciousness of the Senses Sekhel
HaHergesh
שכל
ההרגש
Grant for me a True perception to see the Hand of God in all the world.
18 Intelligence of the house of influx Consciousness of the house of influx Sekhel
Bet HaShefa
שכל
בית 
השפע
Let me dwell in the House of Abundance. Lord reveal for me the hidden meanings of your world, may my mind comprehend allusion.
19 Intelligence of the mystery of all spiritual activities. Consciousness of the mystery of all spiritual activities. Sekhel
Sod
HaPaulot
HaRuchniot
Kulam
שכל
סוד 
הפעולות 
הרוחניות
כולם
Reveal for me the wonderous spirits You place in all things.
20 Intelligence of Desire Consciousness of Will Sekhel
HaRatzon
שכל 
הרצון
My will longs for knowledge and the will is love.
21 Desired and beseeched Intelligence Desired and Sought Consciousness Sekhel
HaChafutz u’HaMevukash
שכל 
החפץ והמבוקש
That my intelligence desires life to ask You everything that is on my mind. This is Jewish meditation.
22 Faithful Intelligence Faithful Consciousness Sekhel
Ne’eman
שכל
נאמן
May I live by the fear of my faith to do what is right each moment of the day.
23 Sustaining Intelligence Sustaining Consciousness Sekhel
Qayam
שכל
קיים
Sustain me all the days of my life and let them be days of perseverance in helping others and studying your world.
24 Similar
Intelligence
Apparitive Consciousness Sekhel
Dimyoni
שכל
דמיוני
Let me merge my consciousness with others to know them and their needs.
25 Testing Intelligence Testing Consciousness Sekhel
Nisyoni
שכל
נסיוני
May I overcome my trials by seeing their lessons and the wisdom of Your ways.
26 Renewing Intelligence Renewing Consciousness Sekhel
MeChudash
שכל
מחודש
Renew for me my intelligence from the days of my youth to the days of old age.
27 Feeling[1759]Intelligence Palpable Consciousness Sekhel
Murgash
שכל
מורגש
May I feel the needs of life – woman, animal, plant, and stone. May I learn to manipulate them back to health.[1760]
28 Natural Intelligence Natural Consciousness Sekhel
Mutba
שכל
מוטבע
Teach me to understand the workings of nature so that I may tend the Garden of Your world.
29 Physical Intelligence Physical Consciousness Sekhel
Mugsham
שכל
מוגשם
Let me listen to the teachings of the body whose wisdom reveals our physical, social and mental health needs.[1761]
30 General Intelligence General Consciousness Sekhel
Kelali
שכל
כללי
Provide me with common sense so that I may know the state of my community.
31 Continual
Intelligence
Continual Consciousness Sekhel
Tamidi
שכל
תמידי
Strengthen my continual intelligence so that I may follow your ways all the days of my life.
32 Lost Intelligence Worshipped Consciousness Sekhel
Ne’evad
שכל
נעבד
Make me lose the idolatrous ideas of other nations so that I may fill my intellect with Your Intelligence.


Here is the source material:[1762]
Text 17-2: The 32 Intelligences
1. Mystical Consciousness (Sekhel Mufla); This Is The Light That Was Originally Conceived, And It Is The First Glory; No Creature Can Attain Its Excellence. 
2. Radiant Consciousness (Sekhel Maz'hir); This Is The Crown Of Creation And The Radiance Of The Homogeneous Unity That "Exalts Itself Above All As The Head." The Masters Of Kabbalah Call It The Second Glory. 
3. Sanctified Consciousness (Sekhel Mekudash); This Is The Foundation Of The Original Wisdom, And It Is Called "Faithful Faith;" Its Roots Are Amen; It Is The Parent Of Faith, And From Its Power Faith Emerges. 
4. Settled Consciousness (Sekhel Kavua); It Is Called This Because All The Spiritual Powers Emanate From It As The [Most] Etherial Of Emanations; One Emanates From The Other Through The Power Of The Original Emanator, May They Be Blessed. 
5. Rooted Consciousness (Sekhel Nishrash); It Is Called This Because It Is The Essence Of The Homogeneous Unity; It Is Unified In The Essence Of Understanding, Which Emanates From The Domain Of The Original Wisdom. 
6. Transcendental Influx Consciousness (Sekhel Shefa Nivdal); It Is Called This Because Through It The Influx Of Emanation Increases Itself; It Bestows This Influx On All Blessings, Which Unify Themselves In Its Essence. 
7. Hidden Consciousness (Sekhel Nistar), It Is Called This Because It Is The Radiance That Illuminates The Transcendental Powers That Are Seen With The Mind's Eye And With The Meditation Of Faith. 
8. Perfect Consciousness (Sekhel Shalem); It Is Called This Because It Is The Original Arrangement; There Is No Root Through Which It Can Be Pondered, Except Through The Chambers Of Greatness, Which Emanate From The Essence Of Its Permanence. 
9. Pure Consciousness (Sekhel Tahor); It Is Called This Because It Purifies The Sefirot; It Tests The Decree Of Their Structure And The Inner Essence Of Their Unity, Making It Glow; They Are Then Unified Without Any Cut Off Or Separation. 
10. Scintillating Consciousness (Sekhel Mitnotzetz); It Is Called This Because It Elevates Itself And Sits On The Throne Of Understanding; It Shines With The Radiance Of All The Luminaries, And It Bestows An Influx Of Increase To The Princely One Of The Face. 
11. Glaring Consciousness (Sekhel Metzuchtzach); It Is Called This Because It Is The Essence Of The Veil Which Is Ordered In The Arrangement Of The System; It Indicates The Relationship Of The Paths (Netivot) Whereby One Can Stand Before The Cause Of Causes. 
12. Glowing Consciousness (Sekhel Bahir); It Is Called This Because It Is The Essence Of The Ophan Wheel Of Greatness; It Is Called The Visualizer (Chazchazit), The Place Which Gives Rise To The Vision That The Seers Perceive In An Apparition. 
13. Unity Directing Consciousness (Sekhel Manhig Haachdut); It Is Called This Because It Is The Essence Of The Glory; It Represents The Completion Of The True Essence Of The Unified Spiritual Beings. 
14. Illuminating Consciousness (Sekhel Meir); It Is Called This Because It Is The Essence Of The Speaking Silence (Chashmal); It Gives Instruction Regarding The Mysteries Of The Holy Secrets And Their Structure. 
15. Stabilizing Consciousness (Sekhel Ma'amid); It Is Called This Because It Stabilizes The Essence Of Creation In The "Glooms Of Purity;" The Masters Of Theory Said That This Is The Gloom (At Sinai); This Is The Meaning Of, "Gloom Is Its Cocoon". 
16. Enduring Consciousness (Sekhel Nitzchi); It Is Called This Because It Is The Delight Of The Glory; As It Is, There Is No Glory Lower Than It; It Is Called The Garden Of Eden, Which Is Prepared For The Saints. 
17. Consciousness Of The Senses (Sekhel Hahergesh); This Is Prepared For The Faithful Saints So That They Should Be Able To Clothe Themselves In The Spirit Of Holiness; In The Arrangement Of The Supernal Entities, It Is Called The Foundation Of Beauty (Yesod Hatiferet). 
18. Consciousness Of The House Of Influx (Sekhel Bet Hashefa); By Probing With It, A Secret Mystery (Raz) And An Illusion Are Transmitted To Those Who "Dwell In Its Shadow" And Bind Themselves To Probing Its Substance From The Cause Of Causes. 
19. Consciousness Of The Mystery Of All Spiritual Activities (Sekhet Sod Hapaulot Haruchniot 
Kulam); It Is Called This Because Of The Influx That Permeates It From The Highest Blessing And The Supreme Glory. 
20. Consciousness Of Will (Sekhel Haratzon); It Is Called This Because It Is The Structure Of All That Is Formed; Through This State Of Consciousness One Can Know The Essence Of The Original Wisdom. 
21. Desired And Sought Consciousness (Sekhel Hachafutz Vehamevukash); It Is Called This Because It Receives The Divine Influx So As To Bestow Its Blessing To All Things That Exist. 
22. Faithful Consciousness (Sekhel Ne'eman); It Is Called This Because Spiritual Powers Are Increased Through It, So That They Can Be Close To All Who "Dwell In Their Shadow." 
23. Sustaining Consciousness (Sekhel Kayam); It Is Called This Because It Is The Sustaining Power For All The Sefirot. 
24. Apparitive Consciousness (Sekhel Dimyoni); It Is Called This Because It Provides An Appearance For All Created Apparitions, In A Form Fitting Their Stature. 
25. Testing Consciousness (Sekhel Nisyoni); It Is Called This Because It Is The Original 
Temptation Through Which Iao Tests All Of Their Saints. 
26. Renewing Consciousness (Sekhel Mechudash); It Is Called This Because It Is The Means Through Which The Blessed Holy One Brings About All New Things Which Are Brought Into Being In Their Creation. 
27. Palpable Consciousness (Sekhel Murgash); It Is Called This Because The Consciousness Of All Things Created Under The Entire Upper Sphere, As Well As All Their Sensations, Were Created Through It. 
28. Natural Consciousness (Sekhel Mutba); It Is Called This Because The Nature Of All That Exist Under The Sphere Of The Sun Was Completed Through It. 
29. Physical Consciousness (Sekhel Mugsham); It Is Called This Because It Depicts The Growth Of Everything That Becomes Physical Under The System Of All The Spheres. 
30. General Consciousness (Sekhel Kelali); It Is Called This Because It Is The Means Through Which The "Generalizer Of The Heavens" Collect Their Rules Regarding The Stars And Constellations, Forming The Theory That Comprises Their Knowledge Of The Ophan Wheels Of The Spheres. 
31. Continuous Consciousness (Skhel Tamidi); Why Is It Called This? Because It Directs The Path Of The Sun And Moon According To Their Laws Of Nature, Each One In Its Proper Orbit. 
32. Worshiped Consciousness (Sekhel Ne'evad); It Is Called This Because It Is Prepared So As To Destroy All Who Engage In The Worship Of The Seven Planets.
Here is another translation:[1774]

The 32 Paths of Wisdom

1. It is called Inconceivable Intellect - Supernal Crown - and it is Light, Idea, the Ancient One, and it is the First Glory, regarding which there is not any creature able to comprehend its existence.

2. It is called Shining Intellect. It is the Crown of creation and the splendor of the harmonious equivalence that “exalts itself as head over all,” and it is called by the masters of Kabbalah, the Second Glory.

3. It is called Sacred Intellect. It is the Foundation of the ancient Wisdom that is called deep Faith, and its roots are faithfulness, and it is the father of Faith because from its power Faith is emanated.

4. It is called Constant Intellect, and it is called so because from it all the spiritual powers are being emanated, through a slender emanation, for they are being emanated, these from those, by the power of the Emanator, the Ancient One - Supernal Crown - may He be blessed.

5. It is called Rooted Intellect. It is called so because it is the essence of the harmonious equivalence, and it is the one that is unified in the essence of Understanding, emanating from the enclosure of the ancient Wisdom.

6. It is called Set-Apart Influx Intellect. It is called so because in it the influx of emanation increases itself, and it bestows that influx upon all the blessings uniting themselves by its essence.

7. It is called Hidden Intellect. It is called so because it is the shining splendor of all the intellectual powers that are seen with the eye of the intellect and with the thought of Faith.

8. It is called Complete Intellect. It is called so because it is the ancient design, which has no root for one to settle in it, except through the Chambers of Greatness that are emanating from the essence of its existence.

9. It is called Pure Intellect. It is called so because it purifies the Sefiroth; it tests and brightens the decree of their form and the contents of their unity, so they unify without cutoff and separation.

10. It is called Sparkling Intellect. It is called so because it elevates itself and sits upon the seat of Understanding and illuminates with the splendor of all the luminaries, and it bestows an increased influx to the Prince of the Face.


11. It is called Polished Intellect. It is called so because it is the essence of the Curtain that is arranged in the order of the system, and it assigned the Paths to stand in the presence of the Cause of Causes.

12. It is called Bright Intellect. It is called so because it is the essence of the Wheel of Greatness, which is called Vision-Beholder - the explanation is, the place one reaches the vision of those who behold with the mirror.

13. It is called Unity-Directing Intellect. It is called so because it is the essence of the Glory, and it is the true completion of the united spiritual ones.

14. It is called Illuminating Intellect. It is called so because it is the essence of the Hashmal, and the teacher of mysteries, the Foundations of the Holy and their design.

15. It is called Erecting Intellect. It is called so because it causes the essence of creation to stand in the thick-darkness of purity, and the masters of study said that it is the thick-darkness, and this is, “and thick-darkness is its swaddling band.”

16. It is called Everlasting Intellect. It is called so because it is the delight of the Glory, for there is no glory below it, as it is, and it is the one that is called Garden of Eden, prepared for the saints.

17. It is called Sense-Perception Intellect. It is prepared for saints of the Faith, to clothe them with it, with the spirit of holiness, and it is the one that is called the Foundation of Beauty in the rank of the Supernal Ones.

18. It is called House-of-Influx Intellect, and through the probings of it, those who dwell in its shadow draw out a mystery and an enigma, also those who cleave by the probing of its substance from the Cause of Causes.

19. It is called Secret-of-All-Spiritual-Activities Intellect. It is called so because the influx that expands itself in it is from the Supernal Blessing, the Glory that is praised.

20. It is called Intellect of the Will. It is called so because it is the design of all things formed, and in this is the intellect that perceives every actuality of the ancient Wisdom.

21. It is called Intellect of the Object-Sought. It is called so because it receives the influx of divinity in order to bestow from its blessing to all things that exist.

22. It is called Faithful Intellect. It is called so because through it the spiritual powers increase themselves in order for them to be near to all those who dwell in their shadow.

23. It is called Sustaining Intellect. It is called so because it is the power of subsistence for all the Sefiroth.

24. It is called Apparitional Intellect. It is called so because it gives a likeness to all the similitudes that were created, with their similitudes fitting their nature.

25. It is called Testing Intellect. It is called so because it is the ancient test with which the 
Creator, may He be blessed, tests all the saints.

26. It is called Renewing Intellect. It is called so because through it the Holy One, blessed be He, renews all things that are new, that are regenerating within the Creation.

27. It is called Sense-Perceptible Intellect. It is called so because from it was created the intellect of all that is created beneath the Supernal Sphere, and the sense-perceptions of them.

28. It is called Innate Intellect. It is called so because through it was wholly completed the nature of every thing that exists under the sphere of the sun.

29. It is called Materializing Intellect. It is called so because it delineates all matter that will materialize under the design of all the spheres, in their development.

30. It is called General Intellect. It is called so because through it the astrologers comprise their judgments of the stars and the constellations, their study a complement of their knowledge of the revolving Wheels.

31. It is called Continuous Intellect. And why is it called so? Because it directs the course of the sun and the moon by way of their design, each and every one by the sphere appropriate to it.

32. It is called Worshipped Intellect. It is called so because it is established for all those who exploit in worship the seven planets, to their injury.
SOURCE: The Sefer Yetzirah

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Thanks, dear Rosey, very informative post!

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