We learned in my earlier post that the Rabbis believed Adam Kadmon embodied and exemplified the creation. The medieval Bible commentator Abraham ibn Ezra wrote, One who knows the secret of the human soul and the structure of the human body is able to understand something of the upper worlds, for the human body is the image of a microcosm.
(Commentary on Exodus 25:40). [Illustration from the Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism].
While he plays a mythic role in rabbinic thought, Adam Kadmon occupies an even more important place in Jewish mystical cosmology. This ‘heavenly man’ of antiquity becomes a prominent aspect of many subsequent Kabbalistic systems. In some, Adam Kadmon is a macroanthropos that signifies the totality of the Sefirot. In classic Kabbalah, the ten sefirot are often shown superimposed on the figure of the Adam Kadmon to represent his mediating role between God and creation – he is simultaneously the embodiment of divine attributes as well as the place of the universe (Zohar II:48a, 70b). In Lurianic Kabbalah, he is the first force that fills primordial space after the supernal light of God is withdrawn. Chayyim Vital elaborates on this theme, seeing Adam Kadmon as a kind of “world soul” and finds repetitions of him at each stage of the chain of creation (Etz Chayyim). He also teaches that various facets of the all subsequent human souls are derived from different “limbs” of Adam Kadmon and that the traits and qualities in a given soul reflect the location from which they were derived (Sefer ha-Hezyonot). Most mystics who include the Adam Kadmon in their system see the Jewish project as bringing a restoration of humanity to the state of Adam Kadmon. Mythically, the concept of Adam Kadmon has served Jewish mystics in their efforts to exalt and emphasize the divine aspect of humanity. Conversely, the concept has also elevated the status of the human body. Seizing upon a verse from Job, "In my flesh, I see God," the Kabbalists see the human body as a potentially supernal vessel, the ultimate theater in which the drama of divine redemption unfolds. Rather then retreat from the body and its appetites and its functions, as some religious traditions do, Jewish mysticism encourages us to cultivate an embodied spirituality. To learn more, read the EJMMM, available at amazon.com. Click here - http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Jewish-Myth-Magic-Mysticism/dp/0738709050/sr=1-1/qid=1159997117/ref=sr_1_1/002-7116669-7231211?ie=UTF8&s=books
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