Welcome and Thank You All for coming to Kabbalah: Lesson 2 – The Sephirot.
For this lesson, I kindly ask of you to refrain from asking questions or making comments during the lesson. If questions or comments come to mind, please write them down or make a mental note. I will answer these questions following the lesson delivery.
We have so much material to cover we cannot afford to suffer any distractions. I am very sorry about this and I thank you for understanding. I will stick around for an hour following the lesson to go over concepts which are still hazy to you, questions you might have, or even for just a general discussion. Thanks again.
In this lesson we will be discussing the Sephirot.
The word Sephirot, Sephiroth or Sefirot means "enumerations" or "emanations". The singular form of the word is Sephirah or Sefirah, or sphere. The Sephirot describe the process in which our physical reality, personal reality, and higher metaphysical realms are created from the Infinite (or the Source/Godhead).
In Kabbalah, the ten Sephirot and the twenty-two paths connecting them attempt to explain the mechanics of the creative Life-Force. In a way, it is like an operating manual for every aspect of our existence.
To recap the states of negative existence before the Sephirot, it goes something like this.
First, we have nothing [[AIN]]. No-thing. Zip. Nada. Zero. Absolutely nothing.
Second, we have infinity [[AIN SOPH]]. Out of the ZERO of AIN we have the un-ending, limitless, Infinite AIN SOPH. Zero gives rise to Infinite.
Third, we have endless Light [[AIN SOPH AUR]]. Between zero and infinity, we have all things, all creation. This "Infinite Light" is the paradoxical Divine/Self-Knowledge, and it is created by a process called Tzimtzum.
Now then. From this contraction of Infinite Light comes all Emanations, all Sephirot, and also, You.
Your individualized self is a part of the endless Light, the Eternal Universal Being. This contraction of light, this droplet of the infinite, makes you into a unique observer – the personal being that you are.
Knowledge of the system of Kabbalah empowers you to become a creator of your own reality, which allows you to truly become a master of your life and of your universe. Sound good?
Emanationism is a common teaching found in nearly all occult, esoteric and metaphysical writings. Emanation, from the Latin emanare meaning "to flow from", is the mode by which all things are derived from the First Reality, or Principle. Emanationism is the system of Kabbalah, Alchemy, Pythagoras, Plato, Hermes, and many others
Emanationism is opposed to both Creationism (wherein the universe is created by a sentient God who is separate from creation) and materialism (which posits no underlying subjective and/or ontological nature behind phenomena)..
Instead of perceiving the emanations or sephirot to be different occurrences in time and space, it may be more helpful to visualize the emanations in terms of concentric circles which exist simultaneously. In this picture, the emanating sephirot are envisioned as concentric divisions between the tangible reality (center) and the infinite light (outer edge).
From the initial state of non-existence, to its self-realization stage called Tzimtzum, come forth the Sephirot: 1. Keter (crown) 2. Chokmah (wisdom) 3. Binah (understanding) 11. Daat (knowledge) 4. Chesed (mercy) 5. Gevurah (severity) 6. Tiferet (beauty) 7. Netzach (victory) 8. Hod (glory) 9. Yesod (foundation) 10. Malkuth (kingdom)
Memorizing these 11 names of the sephirot makes life a lot easier for Kabbalah study, so I highly recommend you doing so if you are truly interested.
Please take a moment to ingrain the ordering of these spheres into your mind’s eye.
Initially, I had tried to explain the sephirot starting from Keter going down, but I got lost in trans-personalness (seriously, when you get way up in the tree, you lose your Self.) The path of descent, from Keter to Malkuth, is often called The Path of the Lightning Bolt, or the Path of the Sword.
It is much easier, conceptually, to start at the bottom of the tree and climb our way up, so this is the approach we will be taking in this lesson. This path of ascent, from Malkuth to Keter is often called the Path of the Serpent of the Wise, the Way of Return, or the Path of Initiation.
Notice in this illustration both the Path of the Sword and the Path of the Serpent.
*the crowd goes wild* Ok. Are we ready to start our journey towards the Limitless light?
.. as soon as we have reached the top, we find ourselves at the bottom ... and the end becomes the beginning ..
We begin our journey in Malkuth.
Malkuth is translated as Kingdom or Realm. It is associated with the physical reality, your physical body, the Earth, the solar system, the universe, etc. It’s all purely material. It is both the place of action and the place of manifestation. Although Malkuth is seen as the lowest Sephirah on the tree of life, it contains within it the potential to reach the highest.
This is exemplified in the Hermetic maxim 'as above, so below'.
Consciousness here is limited to the direct perception of touch, taste, smell, etc. Reflex, instinct and immediate memory of physical events are among the highest qualities of Malkuth consciousness. Only the experiences of the physical events and material objects are what matters here, not our thoughts of the experience.
This is the mental state of one who thinks only of living from moment to moment, akin to the instinctual mind of animals. Only the physical basis of thinking – thought as electrical impulses – belongs uniquely to Malkuth. The thinking processes themselves belong to higher states of consciousness found in the Sephirot above.
Malkuth is also the beginning of personality, as our physical body or DNA undoubtedly has a large influence on who we perceive ourselves to be. Although Malkuth is strictly physical, a lot of spiritual work can be done here.
Let go of your ego and become one with the breeze, the birds, the bees, the butterflies or the brook. Without Malkuth, we would be without our physical body, and so we would have no sense of the absolute beauty found in nature.
Malkuth forms the base of the Middle Pillar. It is called a pillar because it forms a vertical column in the Tree of Life, in this case, the column in the middle. The spheres above Malkuth which complete the pillar are Yesod (Foundation), Tiferet (Beauty), Da’at (Knowledge), and Keter (Crown).
All of these spheres are related to each other in the sense that they all relate to the processes of Balance, Equilibrium, Synthesis, Neutrality, or Mildness. The middle pillar is the backbone of the Tree of Life, and it is placed between two opposing pillars which will soon be discussed. If you wish to be in full control of your life, you want to be in the middle of it all, in the middle pillar.
Malkuth corresponds to the number 10, the planetary sphere of the Earth, and of the human body, the mouth or feet.
From Malkuth, we progress upwards into the realm of consciousness. We can consider this as the passing of the first veil – from matter, to mind. We are then presented with the triad of Yesod, Hod and Netzach. This is called the Triad of the Personality.
We first encounter the sphere of Yesod.
Yesod is translated as Foundation. It is associated with the subconscious, sex, imagination, dreaming, the astral/ethereal, thought-forms and psychic experience. It’s all about the concepts which unite us to the physical world. It provides a vision of the machinery of the universe, so that we may relate our thought and emotions to the physical world.
This is the place of beginning thought – the subconscious. Yesod is sometimes known as pure intelligence, as it does not have any bias, being completely free of censoring, rationalizing and analysis. When you are dreaming, you are experiencing the consciousness of Yesod. Same goes for imagination or visualization.
Yesod includes all our memories, conditioning, as well as instinctual tendencies. This is why sex plays such a prominent part in the workings of our subconscious. The past which we carry with us, literally everything we have ever learned and which we rely upon, really is our Foundation in the truest sense of the word.
The subconscious is a massive warehouse of unfiltered knowledge, and when accessed with an awakened mind, many treasures of thought can be uncovered. However, when entering the subconscious one can easily encounter repressed memories, neglected desires, painful emotions, or other psychological undesirables.
If you have a lot of insecurities or repressed thought, Yesod can be a terrifying place for you. However, having considered the risks of self-knowledge, exploring your subconscious is an excellent way to know thyself.
The framework of reality is believed to be closely linked with the “ether”, the all-permeating electromagnetic substance well known in spiritualism and psychic phenomena. It may very well be the case that our “physical matrix” is preceded by a concept-based “etheric blueprint”. This would describe the emanation from Yesod to Malkuth.
Ether is a subtle energy that vivifies, coordinates, integrates and stimulates the physical bodies. It is the same energy which our astral bodies rely upon during sleep, or our psychic bodies during waking hours. Psychic phenomenon such as telepathy is accomplished largely through the workings of this medium and the subconscious.
Yesod allows us to discover the mysteries of the astral levels, to sense the underlying clockwork in the universe, and thus to connect with the manifestation of life as it is unfolding. I like to think of Yesod as a mixing bowl which combines all the ingredients of life into a consciousness-based mixture which then gets transformed into matter in Malkuth.
Yesod corresponds to the number 9, the planetary sphere of the Moon, and the sex organs.
Above Yesod are the spheres of Hod and Netzach.
Hod is translated as Splendor, Majesty, Glory, or Reverberation. It is associated with thought, communication, reason, order, and science. It’s all about the logical, analyzing, rational mind. It provides us with the power to make sense of things – to give structure or form to reality by means of connecting ideas, words, and symbols.
This is the place of thought put into order. Much of the rationalizing and analyzing of the mind is done here. To gain knowledge of How or Why things proceed in the way they do is Glorious. We discern the meaning behind the events in Malkuth, the subconscious echos in Yesod, the emotions in Netzach, as well as the other Sephirot.
Due to the ordering nature of Hod, it is easy for thought-patterns and paradigms to form. All too often, our thought becomes biased and judgemental. The rational mind is also capable of censoring certain thoughts, which can result in an unfortunate state of denial or repression.
The definition of Reverberation is the persistence of sound in a particular space after the original sound is produced. This word implies a sense of sound to explain the “voice in our head” which we all are familiar with. You can listen to the sounds within. Hod is also the sphere of transmutation – change your mind, and you change your self.
We use Hod to communicate – I am choosing the order of these words. Hod is responsible for our understanding of mathematics, science, computing, and technology. It also reflects our teaching/learning capabilities, reading/writing, inventiveness, observational ability, skill sets / knowledge bases, and even our sense of humor.
Hod forms the base of the Pillar of Severity. The spheres above Hod which complete the pillar are Gevurah (Severity) and Binah (Understanding). All three of these spheres are related to each other in the sense that they all relate to the processes of Form, Order, and Rationality. It is the leftmost column in the Tree of Life.
Other names are the Pillar of Judgement, Structure, Thesis, or Form. In the Freemasonry tradition, it is the pillar of Boaz. It is also referred to as the passive, introverted, or negative pillar.
Hod corresponds to the number 8, the planetary sphere of Mercury, and the left leg, left brain, or left kidney.
Opposite of Hod is the sphere of Netzach.
Netzach is translated as Victory, Triumph, Endurance, or Eternity. It is associated with emotion, desire, sentiment, feelings, creativity and art. It’s all about the emotional aspect of being. It contains the experiences that we understand as love, satisfaction, joy, sadness, etc. It is a very passionate place where little-to-no thought occurs.
Consciousness in Netzach can be considered as non-rational, or at the least, pre-rational. It is like that instinctual gut-feeling, and is the experience of having feelings. It is the emotions which really rule your state of being, they are victorious over you - if you’re going to cry, you’re going to cry.
Also, it is much easier to change the way you think about something then it is to change the way you feel about something. Netzach has a lot to do with the experience of the heart and the vision of beauty triumphant. It also relates to the wisdom of experience, the endurance and patience required to follow through on your passions.
Someone once told me that music is sex. I’m not quite sure about that, but music and other creative forms do have a lot to do with emotion. How many songs can you name that have something to do with love? Don’t answer that. Art is a passionate affair – it is usually the emotions that are the original source of inspiration.
The polarity between Emotion and Thought is very effective, for one makes up for that which the other lacks. Netzach is the drive behind affection, romance, charm and relationships. It also helps to make conversation much more personal and less robotic – it is Netzach which directs the conversation while Hod modulates it.
Netzach forms the base of the Pillar of Mercy. The spheres above Netzach which complete the pillar are Chesed (Mercy) and Chokmah (Wisdom). All three of these spheres are related to each other in the sense that they all relates to the processes of Forces, Desires, and Will. It is the rightmost column in the Tree of Life.
Other names are the Pillar of Loving-Kindness, Desire, Anti-thesis, or Force. In the Freemasonry tradition, it is the pillar of Joachim. It is also referred to as the active, extroverted, or positive pillar.
Netzach corresponds to the number 7, the planetary sphere of Venus, and the right leg, right brain, or right kidney.
At this point, we have formed a complete group of interlocking states of consciousness. In truth, ordinary consciousness rarely goes far beyond the levels already described. You may have noticed that I specifically avoided using the word Ego to describe the placement of the psyche in each of these spheres of consciousness.
This is because your ego, or psyche, is contained within the totality of these four spheres – the sphere of physicality, the sphere of thought, the sphere of emotion, and the sphere of the subconscious. These also relates to the four Jungian types – sensation, thinking, feeling, and intuition, respectively.
In order to advance further, we need to progress past another veil. The Golden Dawn calls it the veil of Paroketh, and it has also been called the veil of illusion. This veil signifies the separation between the ego-identity and the Soul. The ego, as we typically know it, simply cannot survive in this new region. Death of the ego is a requirement for life of the soul.
Whether or not the physical plane or Triad of the Personality is in fact an illusion, beyond this veil we come before the true spiritual nature of our reality. We are thus presented with the triad of Tiferet, Chesed and Gevurah. This is called the Triad of the Soul.
After the passing of the second veil, we first encounter the sphere of Tiferet.
Tiferet is translated as Beauty or Adornment. It is associated with balance, equilibrium, integration, harmony, compassion, illumination and the self. It’s all about your higher self – that which is separate from your ego and body – your individualized self.
Tiferet is located in the middle of the middle pillar – the place of synthesis, mildness, and true equilibrium. Tiferet is unique amongst the Sephirot as it is connected to all the other Sephirot.
This is where the “I” is. Tiferet is the most desirable place for consciousness to reside in the Tree of Life. Situated between Chesed and Gevurah, it is the main conduit through which the spiritual experience is channeled. All conflicting forces are harmonized, and creation flows forth.
Similarly, Tiferet also holds the balance between Hod and Netzach, the intellect and the emotions. When making the journey to Tiferet, one brings the existence and awareness of their Soul into life, and for the first time, a higher self is recognized. When we meet our higher selves, everything changes.
Often we learn to sacrifice lesser desires, especially after experiencing the might of Gevurah. It is integration of the higher reality into daily life. This experience is closely related with that of Alchemy, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and many other sacred sciences. The spiritual nature is above, the animal nature below. We tame and stoke the fire in between.
The kind of vision that a person obtains at Tiferet is of the whole Universe as one ordered and beautiful pattern – and it is understood both by reason and emotion. Although each person has their own unique vision of the cosmos, each person still gains a full conception of what it is to live and to be among the living.
Unfortunately, many do not reach this awareness of existence, this direct realization of the soul. Many more do not even believe in a soul. However, those who have accessed Tiferet simply cannot deny the existence of their overlooking “I” – call it soul, higher self, or individualized essence. It is extremely powerful and is very “causal”.
The work of Tiferet is to explore the Individualized Self in a manner similar to the earlier analysis of Triad of the Personality. As Keter is at the top of the Transpersonal realm, Tipheret represents the apex of the realm of the soul, individuality or self.
In an abstract sense, Tiferet represents consciousness of consciousness, or to put it another way, consciousness of life. Consciousness of life is that awareness which can comprehend all the differences forms consciousness (intellect, subconscious, emotional, physical, etc). Once recognized, you may come to know the meaning of life. It is truly beautiful.
Tiferet corresponds to the number 6, the planetary sphere of the Sun, and the torso, or heart.
Above Tiferet are the spheres of Chesed and Gevurah.
Gevurah is translated as Severity, Judgement, Might or Strength. It is associated with inner strength, courage, confrontation, determination, self-control and free-will. It is about learning to take control your higher self, understanding divine justice through brutal experience, and eventually wielding personal power over reality.
The consciousness of Gevurah is about the order and law of the cosmos. Awe and Fear of the Divine is experienced. For the first time, the initiate directly perceives the legality, rightness, or “Divine justice” of all things. The initiate's experience during the process is of learning about the power and its use, which adds completion to the Individual Self.
Gevurah is the arena in which the initiate learns about their Individual power is the further transformation of Self at the personal and Individual levels. It will demand your right use of Will and Power, self defense, and forcing / facing of issues.
Gevurah, once attained, means an end to hesitations. In Gevurah, the initiate synchronizes with the NOW and therein finds unlimited power. Projecting this power downward and manifesting it within the sequential realm, the soul gives birth to material form and makes it complete. The higher rules over the lower.
When this Sephirah is fully active, the mind is rendered capable of immediate response and proper action in any situation no matter how complex. You become capable of anything in mental and in physical action. Such a major adept is perfectly a demigod to rule the world of his life.
When all the Sephirot up to and including Gevurah are perfectly developed in a person, Nothing can oppose such a one. In practice, the Sephirot are fully developed for some things and lacking where others are concerned. Repeated passage over the Tree of Life increases the development of the Sephirot and bestows more power on each attainment of Gevurah.
At some times, great development is accomplished in the Sephirot and great freedom to change is obtained. Such a time may be considered a mark of initiation, but not mastery of Gevurah. Total attainment and mastery of the Sephirot is never found in a mortal man.
The Self that is devoid of Ego, guided by the merciful (Chesed) vision of the bigger picture, learns what to do with the information received from the experience of Gevurah. Gevurah is the master who ultimately selects the course of action in life. The information received from Gevurah is one that is impossible to ignore. It affects the soul, not the ego.
The sphere of Gevurah is probably the most feared sphere on the Tree. It accepts nothing less than change and exerts a force that is transformative. You have got to be strong to endure it. It is a place of pure awe – it has a power which demands your complete respect. If you didn’t believe in a higher power before, the experience of Gevurah will change that.
Gevurah corresponds to the number 5, the planetary sphere of Mars, and the left arm, or left hand.
Opposite of Gevurah is the sphere of Chesed.
Chesed is translated as Mercy, Kindness or Love. It is associated with deep love, bliss, respect, enthusiasm, humility, optimism, gratitude, generosity, rewards and realized union with the divine. It is about kindness, blessing and grace, like a drink of fresh, pure water, a reward and refreshment.
Chesed is the silver lining to the black storm cloud of Gevurah. Chesed is the reward when we survive Gevurah; it is where we can drink deep of the joy in life, and show appreciation for the higher power. Chesed/Gevurah is a check-and-balance system; is has a form of parallax, and depth perception.
This is the place of consciousness of motivation in life. This is also the consciousness of the fervent desire for union with the divine. Chesed is the consciousness of all-encompassing desire for being. You can consider it as higher emotion, or the emotion of the higher self.
Chesed is the highest Sephirah of the Individual Self and stands at the border of the Abyss between our sequential realm and the non-sequential realm of eternity. It's the last stage of awareness that can be attained while in a human body. To pass beyond this a person must either be able to ignore the physical body or experience death of the physical body.
In Gevurah, the initiate encountered the vast power inherent to the temporal NOW, but in Chesed, the initiate experiences the temporal NOW directly and to its fullest. Thus the "power" found in Chesed (i.e., loving kindness) is infinitely greater than what the initiate experienced in Gevurah. Life appears to be the extremely beneficent miracle which it is.
In Chesed, the temporal NOW is defined as the infinitely finite point that divides past from future. It is toward the realization and experience of this NOW point that the initiate strives in Chesed. Once attained, this experience reveals an entirely new, completely objective perspective on the universe.
It's also a perspective that is naturally and unavoidably imbued with a loving kindness for EVERY thing. Because of Chesed’s position at the crux of time (the NOW point) it is the seat of "prophesies that seers behold in visions". In other words, from the Chesed perspective, time is an open book.
When the vision of the beautiful cosmos occurs in Tiferet, the reaction of Love to that vision is found in Chesed. Implications of Chesed for the initiate is included the attainment of a specific sort of inclusive temporal perspective upon the sequential universe.
This deepens still further the perception and understanding of the universal legality (Gevurah) and transforms it into a true faculty that the initiate must then employ in their transformation of the Individual Self (Beauty).
Chesed corresponds to the number 4, the planetary sphere of Jupiter, and the right arm, or right hand.
As previously stated, the experience we gain in the Triad of the Soul is the pinnacle of the personal reality we can experience. This is the highest point which the “I” can ever attain. Before advancing any further, we are faced with another veil. Watch out, this one is a doozey. It is commonly called “The Veil of the Abyss”, or sometimes just “the Abyss”.
This is the place where the non-Sephirah of Da’at (Knowledge) resides. The abyss is the place of ultimate paradox – that of self-knowledge and divine-knowledge. This veil signifies the separation between the self (the one) and the divine (the all). It also signifies a separation between time-as-we-know it, and eternity itself.
At this stage, the existence of your body must be completely ignored, the ego or personality must be temporarily vanquished, and your awareness of self must be nullified to the extreme. Only then may you cross the Abyss. We are thus presented with the triad of Keter, Chokmah and Binah. This is called the Triad of the Divine.
After the passing of the third veil, we first encounter the sphere of Binah.
Binah is translated as Understanding or Contemplation. It is associated with the intelligence, reason, language and philosophy. It is the peak of what can be considered as rational.
Binah is the first sphere of the transpersonal realm. It is the divine aspect of reasoning which has little direct relation to the physical. Thought here is devoted to the abstract, yet it still contains rational techniques of thinking. Pure logic here is like the cause of creation, the cause of the manifested Universe. It is the hidden pattern which achieves concreteness and form.
Binah represents the comprehension of the limit of possibility. Binah is the storehouse of archetypical patterns for the lower Sephirot. Gevurah and Chesed withdraw to the great library of Binah for relations involving the spiritual experience of the soul. Binah is the Great Mother of All, with symbols of space, time, fate, which spins and weaves the symbols of creation.
It is the Archetypal womb through which all life is made manifest. Attaining to the vision of Binah allows one to experience the mind of God, as you are revealed to the hidden patterns which, in an absolute sense, create, form, and manifest reality.
For the ascending initiate, Binah serves as the immediate goal of the crossing of the abyss. It is, so to speak, the gateway to eternity. Binah is where the eternal mental body resides. This is the Greater Self which projects its potential into Yetzirah and the realm of sequence, creating temporal mental bodies or Individual Selves. It is the direct causal agent of the Individual Self.
Once the initiate reaches across the Abyss and arrives at Binah, they begin the work of consciously emanating the non-sequential light of the Universal, Trans-personal Self into the lower levels of Self.
Binah will teach you the concepts of self control, silence, secrecy, impersonal understanding. You will understand the concept of “the concept”. Binah is the peak of all conscious experience.
Binah corresponds to the number 3, the planetary sphere of Saturn, and the left eye.
Opposite of Binah is the sphere of Chokmah.
Chokmah is translated as Wisdom. It is associated with oceanic consciousness, limitless light, wisdom, and revelation. It is the beginning of life and the first point of “real” existence.
Kochma is the wisdom beyond reason. As Keter was created from the reflection of Limitless Light, Chokmah is thus created from the reflection of Keter. It can be considered as the emergent universal self from the great All. Chokmah, containing the seed of self, can mean “I Am THAT”.
The word Chokhmah itself may be broken into two words -- koach ("potential") and ma ("what is"). Thus, Chokhmah means "the potential of what is", or, "the potential to be”.
The "wisdom" of Chokmah also implies the ability to look deeply at some aspect of reality and abstract its conceptual essence till one succeeds in uncovering its underlying axiomatic truth. These seeds of truth can then be conveyed to the companion power of Binah for the sake of intellectual analysis and development.
It is for this reason that Chockmah is sometimes referred to as the Great Father of the All, containing the seed of creation which impregnates Binah, the Great Mother.
The sphere of Chokmah is the creative vessel, the “idea” or “impulse”, and in a sense, it is the true and ultimate will. We will what we desire, and so this makes sense as to why it is located on the top of the pillar of desire. Chokmah is the first real manifestation of endless light and contains the ideal plan of all the worlds.
Chokmah is the pure, undifferentiated mind, before words - the tools of differentiation. The person who operates from Chokmah can even learn from evil. Only on the lower levels, starting with Binah, where words and language begin, does differentiation between good and evil occur. Chokmah has 2 faces, one facing Keter above, and the other overseeing the Sephirot below.
Chokmah resides in all matter, all thought, all form, all action, yet no body holds this soul. It is completely trans-personal. You can think of it as the Creative Life-Force. Chokmah is action without limitation.
Chokmah corresponds to the number 2, the sphere of the Zodiac, and the right eye.
Our journey is nearly complete. We encounter the sphere of Keter.
Keter is translated as Crown. It is associated with the infinite, endless light. It can be recognized as the “first thing”. It is the “I AM”, the point in the circle, the Holy Number “1”.
We cannot deny the fact of our own existence, or of at least –something– which perpetuates our existence, call it Mind or what we Will. Being, the state of existence, is beyond all doubt – however, we do not know the reason for this existence. Although we cannot comprehend the reason for this existence, we still exist none the less.
Keter is the Source of Existence - of all things on all planes, manifest and unmanifest, within the macrocosmic universe and the microcosmic man. It is the Self-Existent Crown of Being.
An important quality of Keter that should be carefully considered is that it is not capable of comprehension, nor is it capable of realizing its own nature. It just is.
It is the act of Reflection, of Comprehension, or Self-Recognition which brings forth the first duality of Wisdom (Chokmah) and Understanding (Binah).
This is the place of unconditional existence which may be identified with the highest state of consciousness. In Keter, all is one. Keter is the highest of the four Sephirot that form the middle pillar of the Tree of Life.
This middle pillar is a series of graduated levels of balanced consciousness reaching from the purely physical to the purely spiritual. The two pillars to the right and left contain unbalanced states of consciousness which display either too much emotion or too much rationality. Only the middle pillar is a comfortable place to reside.
Keter-as-Emanation is described in the Zohar, in "P'Tach Eliahu," where, addressing the Creator, Eliahu the Prophet says: "...[You are the] Orach Atzilut, the Path of Spiritual Emanation, which irrigates the tree of the Sefirot with its arms and branches, like water that irrigates a tree causing it to grow thanks to that irrigation. Master of the Universe, You are the Primary Cause, and Producer of Results, Who irrigates the tree through the spring of prophecy. That spring is like the soul to the body, in that it gives life to the body."
Keter is the existence of existences, the concealed of the concealed and the ancient of the ancient ones. Keter is the most hidden of all hidden things, and it is so sublime that it is completely incomprehensible to man.
Keter corresponds to the number 1, the first swirlings of the universe, and the skull, or encompassing crown.
Our journey is now complete.
Thank you all!