First, some quotes from the Rambam:
ג: וְאִם יַעֲלֶה עַל הַדַּעַת שְׁאֵין כָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים מִלְּבַדּוֹ מְצוּיִים, הוּא לְבַדּוֹ יִהְיֶה מָצוּי וְלֹא יִבָּטֵל הוּא לְבִטּוּלָם: שֶׁכָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים צְרִיכִין לוֹ; וְהוּא בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֵינוּ צָרִיךְ לָהֶם, וְלֹא לְאֶחָד מֵהֶם. לְפִיכָּךְ אֵין אֲמִתָּתוֹ כַּאֲמִתַּת אֶחָד מֵהֶם.
ד: הוּא שֶׁהַנָּבִיא אוֹמֵר “וַה’ אֱלֹהִים אֱמֶת” (ירמיהו י,י)–הוּא לְבַדּוֹ הָאֱמֶת, וְאֵין לְאַחֵר אֱמֶת כַּאֲמִתּוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה אוֹמֶרֶת “אֵין עוֹד, מִלְּבַדּוֹ” (דברים ד,לה), כְּלוֹמַר אֵין שָׁם מָצוּי אֱמֶת מִלְּבַדּוֹ כְּמוֹתוֹ.
ה: הַמָּצוּי הַזֶּה–הוּא אֱלוֹהַּ הָעוֹלָם, אֲדוֹן כָּל הָאָרֶץ. וְהוּא הַמַּנְהִיג הַגַּלְגַּל בְּכוֹחַ שְׁאֵין לוֹ קֵץ וְתַכְלִית, בְּכוֹחַ שְׁאֵין לוֹ הֶפְסֵק, שֶׁהַגַּלְגַּל סוֹבֵב תָּמִיד, וְאֵי אִפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּסֹּב בְּלֹא מְסַבֵּב; וְהוּא בָּרוּךְ הוּא הַמְּסַבֵּב אוֹתוֹ, בְּלֹא יָד וְלֹא גּוּף.
3: If you would imagine that everything other than Him did not exist, He Himself would still exist, and would not cease just because they ceased. Because everything that exists require Him, but He, blessed is He, doesn’t need them, or even on of them. Therefore, His Truth is not merely like the truth of one of them.
4: This is what the prophet [Jeremiah 10:10] says, “Hashem G-d is True” — He Himself is the Truth, and nothing else has Truth like his. This is what the Torah says, “There is nothing else, but Him” (Devarim 4:35). As if to say that there is nothing truly existing except Him that is like Him.
5: This existence is the G-d of the world, the Master of the entire Earth. He rules the sphere with a Power that is never-ending and has no culmination, with a power that had no stop. For the sphere revolves eternally, and it could not revolve without a Revolver, and He, blessed by He, is the One Who turns it, without a hand nor body.
…ג: כָּל מַה שֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּעוֹלָמוֹ, נֶחְלָק לִשְׁלוֹשָׁה חֲלָקִים: מֵהֶם בְּרוּאִים שְׁהֶם מְחֻבָּרִים מִגֹּלֶם וְצוּרָה–וְהֶם נֶהֱוִים וְנִפְסָדִים תָּמִיד, כְּמוֹ גּוּפוֹת הָאָדָם וְהַבְּהֵמָה וְהַצְּמָחִים וְהַמַּתְּכוֹת. וּמֵהֶם בְּרוּאִים שְׁהֶם מְחֻבָּרִים מִגֹּלֶם וְצוּרָה, אֲבָל אֵינָם מִשְׁתַּנִּים מִגּוּף לְגוּף וּמִצּוּרָה לְצוּרָה כְּמוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, אֵלָא צוּרָתָם קְבוּעָה בְּגֻלְמָם לְעוֹלָם, וְאֵינָם מִשְׁתַּנִּים כְּמוֹ אֵלּוּ–וְהֶם הַגַּלְגַּלִּים וְהַכּוֹכָבִים שֶׁבָּהֶן, וְאֵין גֻּלְמָם כִּשְׁאָר גְּלָמִים וְלֹא צוּרָתָם כִּשְׁאָר צוּרוֹת. וּמֵהֶם בְּרוּאִים צוּרָה בְּלֹא גֹּלֶם כְּלָל–וְהֶם הַמַּלְאָכִים, שֶׁהַמַּלְאָכִים אֵינָם גּוּף וּגְוִיָּה, אֵלָא צוּרוֹת נִפְרָדוֹת זוֹ מִזּוֹ.
ד: וּמַה הוּא זֶה שֶׁהַנְּבִיאִים אוֹמְרִים שֶׁרָאוּ הַמַּלְאָךְ אֵשׁ וּבַעַל כְּנָפַיִם–הַכֹּל בְּמַרְאֵה הַנְּבוּאָה וְדֶרֶךְ חִידָה, לוֹמַר שְׁאֵינוּ גּוּף וְאֵינוּ כָּבֵד כַּגּוּפוֹת הַכְּבֵדִים, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר “כִּי ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֵשׁ אֹכְלָה הוּא” (דברים ד,כד), וְאֵינוּ אֵשׁ אֵלָא מָשָׁל. וּכְמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר “עֹשֶׂה מַלְאָכָיו, רוּחוֹת” (תהילים קד,ד).
ה: וּבַמֶּה יִפָּרְדוּ הַצּוּרוֹת זוֹ מִזּוֹ, וַהֲרֵי אֵינָן גּוּפִין–לְפִי שְׁאֵינָן שׁוֹוִין בִּמְצִיאָתָן, אֵלָא כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן לְמַטָּה מִמַּעֲלָתוֹ שֶׁלַּחֲבֵרוֹ וְהוּא מָצוּי מִכּוֹחוֹ זֶה לְמַעְלָה מִזֶּה; וְהַכֹּל נִמְצָאִים מִכּוֹחוֹ שֶׁלְּהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְטוּבוֹ. וְזֶה הוּא שֶׁרָמַז שְׁלֹמֹה בְּחָכְמָתוֹ וְאָמַר “כִּי גָבֹהַּ מֵעַל גָּבֹהַּ, שֹׁמֵר, וּגְבֹהִים, עֲלֵיהֶם” (קוהלת ה,ז).
ו: זֶה שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ לְמַטָּה מִמַּעֲלָתוֹ, אֵינָהּ מַעֲלַת מָקוֹם כְּמוֹ אָדָם שֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב לְמַעְלָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ; אֵלָא כְּמוֹ שֶׁאוֹמְרִין בִּשְׁנֵי חֲכָמִים שֶׁאֶחָד גָּדוֹל מֵחֲבֵרוֹ בְּחָכְמָה, שְׁהוּא לְמַעְלָה מִמַּעֲלָתוֹ שֶׁלְּזֶה, וּכְמוֹ שֶׁאוֹמְרִין בָּעִלָּה, שְׁהִיא לְמַעְלָה מִן הֶעָלוּל.
ז: שִׁנּוּי שְׁמוֹת הַמַּלְאָכִים, עַל שֵׁם מַעֲלוֹתָם הִיא; וּלְפִיכָּךְ נִקְרָאִים חַיּוֹת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וְהֶם לְמַעְלָה מִן הַכֹּל, אוֹפַנִּים, וְאֶרְאֶלִּים, וְחַשְׁמַלִּים, וּשְׂרָפִים, וּמַלְאָכִים, וֵאלֹהִים, וּבְנֵי אֱלֹהִים, וּכְרוּבִים, וְאִישִׁים. כָּל אֵלּוּ עֲשָׂרָה הַשֵּׁמוֹת שֶׁנִּקְרְאוּ בָּהֶם הַמַּלְאָכִים, עַל שֵׁם עֶשֶׂר מַעֲלוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶם הֶם. וּמַעֲלָה שְׁאֵין לְמַעְלָה מִמֶּנָּה אֵלָא מַעֲלַת הָאֵל בָּרוּךְ הוּא, הִיא מַעֲלַת הַצּוּרוֹת שֶׁנִּקְרֵאת חַיּוֹת; לְפִיכָּךְ נֶאֱמָר בַּנְּבוּאָה, שְׁהֶן תַּחַת הַכִּסֵּא. וּמַעֲלָה עֲשִׂירִית, הִיא מַעֲלַת הַצּוּרָה שֶׁנִּקְרֵאת אִישִׁים, וְהֶם הַמַּלְאָכִים שֶׁמְּדַבְּרִים עִם הַנְּבִיאִים וְנִרְאִים לָהֶם בְּמַרְאֵה הַנְּבוּאָה; לְפִיכָּךְ נִקְרְאוּ אִישִׁים, שֶׁמַּעֲלָתָם קְרוֹבָה מִמַּעֲלַת דַּעַת הָאָדָם.
ח: וְכָל הַצּוּרוֹת הָאֵלּוּ חַיִּים וּמַכִּירִים אֶת הַבּוֹרֵא, וְיוֹדְעִין אוֹתוֹ דֵּעָה גְּדוֹלָה עַד לִמְאוֹד. כָּל צוּרָה וְצוּרָה לְפִי מַעֲלָתָהּ, לֹא לְפִי גָּדְלוֹ. אַפִלּוּ מַעֲלָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה אֵינָהּ יְכוּלָה לְהַשִּׂיג אֲמִתַּת הַבּוֹרֵא כְּמַה שְׁהִיא, אֵלָא דַּעְתָּהּ קְצָרָה לְהַשִּׂיג. אֲבָל מַשֶּׂגֶת וְיוֹדַעַת יָתֵר, מִמַּה שֶׁמַּשֶּׂגֶת וְיוֹדַעַת צוּרָה שֶׁלְּמַטָּה מִמֶּנָּה; וְכֵן כָּל מַעֲלָה וּמַעֲלָה, עַד מַעֲלָה עֲשִׂירִית. וּמַעֲלָה עֲשִׂירִית גַּם הִיא יוֹדַעַת הַבּוֹרֵא, דֵּעָה שְׁאֵין כּוֹחַ בְּנֵי אָדָם הַמְּחֻבָּרִין מִגֹּלֶם וְצוּרָה יָכוֹל לְהַשִּׂיג וְלֵידַע כְּמוֹתָהּ. וְהַכֹּל אֵינָן יוֹדְעִין אֶת הַבּוֹרֵא, כְּמוֹ שְׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ עַצְמוֹ.
ט: כָּל הַנִּמְצָאִים חוּץ מִן הַבּוֹרֵא, מִצּוּרָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה עַד יְתוּשׁ קָטָן שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּטַבּוּר הָאָרֶץ–הַכֹּל מִכּוֹחַ אֲמִתּוֹ נִמְצְאוּ. וּלְפִי שְׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ עַצְמוֹ וּמַכִּיר גָּדְלוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ וַאֲמִתּוֹ, הוּא יוֹדֵעַ הַכֹּל וְאֵין דָּבָר נֶעְלָם מִמֶּנּוּ.
י: הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַכִּיר אֲמִתּוֹ, וְיוֹדֵעַ אוֹתָהּ כְּמוֹת שְׁהִיא. וְאֵינוּ יוֹדֵעַ בְּדֵעָה שְׁהִיא חוּץ מִמֶּנּוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָנוּ יוֹדְעִין, שְׁאֵין אָנוּ וְדַעְתֵּנוּ אֶחָד. אֲבָל הַבּוֹרֵא–הוּא וְדַעְתּוֹ וְחַיָּיו אֶחָד, מִכָּל צַד וּמִכָּל פִּנָּה: שֶׁאִלְמָלֵא הָיָה חַי בְּחַיִּים וְיוֹדֵעַ בְּדֵעָה, הָיוּ שָׁם אֱלוֹהוֹת הַרְבֵּה–הוּא וְחַיָּיו וְדַעְתּוֹ; וְאֵין הַדָּבָר כֵּן, אֵלָא אֶחָד מִכָּל צַד וּמִכָּל פִּנָּה וּבְכָל דֶּרֶךְ יֵחוּד. נִמְצֵאתָ אוֹמֵר: הוּא הַיּוֹדֵעַ, וְהוּא הַיָּדוּעַ, וְהוּא הַדֵּעָה עַצְמָהּ–הַכֹּל אֶחָד. וְדָבָר זֶה–אֵין כּוֹחַ בַּפֶּה לְאָמְרוֹ וְלֹא בָּאֹזֶן לְשָׁמְעוֹ וְלֹא בְּלֵב הָאָדָם לְהַכִּירוֹ, עַל בָּרְיוֹ. וּלְפִיכָּךְ אוֹמְרִין “חֵי פַרְעֹה” (בראשית מב,טו; בראשית מב,טז) וְ”חֵי נַפְשְׁךָ” (שמואל א א,כו; ועוד הרבה, בצירה), וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין חֵי ה’ אֵלָא “חַי-ה'” (שופטים ח,יט; ועוד הרבה, בפתח)–שְׁאֵין הַבּוֹרֵא וְחַיָּיו שְׁנַיִם כְּמוֹ חַיֵּי הַגּוּפוֹת הַחַיִּים, אוֹ כְּחַיֵּי הַמַּלְאָכִים. לְפִיכָּךְ אֵינוּ מַכִּיר הַבְּרוּאִים וְיוֹדְעָם מֵחֲמַת הַבְּרוּאִים, כְּמוֹת שֶׁאָנוּ יוֹדְעִים אוֹתָם, אֵלָא מֵחֲמַת עַצְמוֹ יְדָעָם; לְפִיכָּךְ מִפְּנֵי שְׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ עַצְמוֹ, יָדַע הַכֹּל–שֶׁהַכֹּל נִסְמָךְ בַּהֲוָיָתוֹ לוֹ.
4: This is that the prophets mean when they say that they saw saw angels of fire with wings? This is owing to the riddles of prophetic vision, for angels [in reality] have no bodies and are not affected by physical limitations, for it is written, “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire”. This fire is merely analogous, as it is written, “…who makes the wings His messengers”.
5: How are these forms different if they no bodies? They are not equal in their existence, some being “below” others and owing their existence to those above them, and all of them owe their existence to the power of HQBH and to His Goodness. Solomon in his wisdom hinted at this by saying, “…for there is a High One that watches over him that is high” (Qoheles 5:7).
6: The phrase “some being below those above him” does not refer to being above spatially, like a person sitting higher than his friend. Rather, as we say of two sages where one is greater than his peer in wisdom that he is “above” the other, and just as says that one set of circumstances is “above” another.
7: The difference in the names of the angels is according to their “height”… All these 10 names that the angwels are called by, they are according to their ten “heights” that they have….
8: All these forms live and recognize their Creator and they know great wisdom exceedingly. Each form according to its “height”, not according to its size. Even the first level can not grasp the Truth of the Creator as it is, their minds are insufficient to grasp it. However, they do grasp and understand more than the grasp and comprehension of the form which is “below” it. And so on each level until the 10th. And on the 10th level, it too knows the Creator, a knowledge that humans who are fused of body and form lack the ability to grasp and comprehend like they do. And non know the Creator as He Knows Himself.
9: All things that exist, with the exception of God, from the first level (Chayos) until the smallest grub that lives in the mud, do so through the power of His Truth.. Since He knows Himself and recognizes His own Greatness, Glory and Truth, He knows everything, and there is nothing that is hidden from Him.
10: HQBH recognizes His own Truth and knows it as it is. He doesn’t know it with a knowledge which is external to Him, the way we know things — because we and our knowledge are not one. But the Creator, He and is Knowledge and His “Life” are one, from every facet and corner. If He were Alive with Life and Knowing with Knowledge [as things other than His Essence] there would be many gods. And it is not so — rather He is One from every facet, corner, and way of Unity. This subject cannot be spoken or heard, and it is beyond Man’s understanding to know his Creator. … Therefore, God does not know the creations because of their own existence, but knows them of His own accord. Therefore, He knows everything, for everything relies on Him for existence.
— Hilkhos Yesodei haTorah 1:3-5, 2:3-10
The picture we get from Yesei haTorah is that the Rambam defines Hashem as
- The sole non-contingent Being. Everything else exists because He chose them to.
- Also, the sole uncaused Cause. The beginning of the causal chain. And in fact that chain goes down 10 levels of mal’akhim, to the spheres, to ourselves.
- The unity of the Knower, the Known and the Knowledge. The mal’akhim at each level have less perfect knowledge of Him.
And these are not distinct facts… The chain of will is the chain of causality which in turn is the chain of diminishing knowledge.
Note also that mal’akhim are described as “forms without substance” (2:3) and also a beings capable of knowledge (2:8), and that in fact the quality of the form is the quality of the knowledge.
Let’s compare this to the Rambam’s description of the spheres and angels in the Guide 2:4:
This leads Aristotle in turn to the demonstrated fact that G-d, glory and majesty to Him, does not do things by direct contact. G-d burns things by means of fire; fire is moved by the motion of the sphere; the sphere is moved by means of a disembodied intellect, these intellects being the ‘angels which are near to Him’, through whose mediation the spheres [planets] move… thus totally disembodied minds exist which emanate from G-d and are the intermediaries between G-d and all the bodies [objects] here in this world.
We have already stated above that the angels are incorporeal. This agrees with the opinion of Aristotle: there is only this difference in the names employed–he uses the term “Intelligences,” and we say instead “angels.” His theory is that the Intelligences are intermediate beings between the Prime Cause and existing things, and that they effect the motion of the spheres, on which motion the existence of all things depends. This is also the view we meet with in all parts of Scripture: every act of G-d is described as being performed by angels. But “angel” means “messenger”; hence every one that is intrusted with a certain mission is an angel. Even the movements of the brute creation are sometimes due to the action of an angel, when such movements serve the purpose of the Creator, who endowed it with the power of performing that movement; e.g., “G-d hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths that they have not hurt me” (Dan. vi. 22). Another instance may be seen in the movements of Balaam’s ass, described as caused by an angel. The elements are also called angels. Comp. “Who maketh winds His angels, flaming fire His ministers” (Ps. civ. 4). There is no doubt that the word “angel” is used of a messenger sent by man; e.g., “And Jacob sent angels” (Gen. xxxii. 4); of a prophet, e.g., “And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim” (Judges ii. 1); “And He sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt” (Num. xx. 16). It is also used of ideals, perceived by prophets in prophetic visions, and of man’s animal powers, as will be explained in another place.
When we assert that Scripture teaches that G-d rules this world through angels, we mean such angels as are identical with the Intelligences. In some passages the plural is used of G-d, e.g., “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. i. 26); “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language” (ibid. xi. 7). Our Sages explain this in the following manner: G-d, as it were, does nothing without contemplating the host above. I wonder at the expression “contemplating,” which is the very expression used by Plato: G-d, as it were, “contemplates the world of ideals, and thus produces the existing beings.” In other passages our Sages expressed it more decidedly: “G-d does nothing without consulting the host above” (the word familia, used in the original, is a Greek noun, and signifies “host”). On the words, “what they have already made” (Eccles. ii. 12), the following remark is made in Bereshit Rabba and in Midrash Koheleth: “It is not said ‘what He has made,’ but ‘what they have made’; hence we infer that He, as it were, with His court, have agreed upon the form of each of the limbs of man before placing it in its position, as it is said, ‘He hath made thee and established thee'” (Deut. xxxii. 6). In Bereshit Rabba (chap. li.) it is also stated, that wherever the term “and the Lord” occurred in Scripture, the Lord with His court is to be understood. These passages do not convey the idea that G-d spoke, thought, reflected, or that He consulted and employed the opinion of other beings, as ignorant persons have believed. How could the Creator be assisted by those whom He created! They only show that all parts of the Universe, even the limbs of animals in their actual form, are produced through angels: for natural forces and angels are identical. How bad and injurious is the blindness of ignorance! Say to a person who is believed to belong to the wise men of Israel that the Almighty sends His angel to enter the womb of a woman and to form there the fœtus, he will be satisfied with the account; he will believe it, and even find in it a description of the greatness of G-d’s might and wisdom; although he believes that the angel consists of burning fire, and is as big as a third part of the Universe, yet he considers it possible as a divine miracle. But tell him that G-d gave the seed a formative power which produces and shapes the limbs, and that this power is called “angel,” or that all forms are the result of the influence of the Active Intellect, and that the latter is the angel, the Prince of the world, frequently mentioned by our Sages, and he will turn away; because he cannot comprehend the true greatness and power of creating forces that act in a body without being perceived by our senses. Our Sages have already stated–for him who has understanding–that all forces that reside in a body are angels, much more the forces that are active in the Universe. The theory that each force acts only in one particular way, is expressed in Bereshit Rabba (chap. 1.) as follows: “One angel does not perform two things, and two angels do not perform one thing”; this is exactly the property of all forces. We may find a confirmation of the opinion that the natural and psychical forces of an individual are called angels in a statement of our Sages which is frequently quoted, and occurs originally in Bereshit Rabba (chap. lxxviii.): “Every day G-d creates a legion of angels; they sing before Him, and disappear.” When, in opposition to this statement, other statements were quoted to the effect that angels are eternal–and, in fact, it has repeatedly been shown that they live permanently–the reply has been given that some angels live permanently, others perish; and this is really the case; for individual forces are transient, whilst the genera are permanent and imperishable.
So again we see a chain of forms-without-substance, that are thinking beings, which leads from Hashem to events within this world. Furthermore, an angel actually is the intellect that causes by the event, it’s defined by that event it is to cause. Therefore every mal’akh can only have on task, and could never do anything but that take — there is no free will.
The Rambam even says (citing Plato), “G-d, as it were, ‘contemplates the world of ideals, and thus produces the existing beings.'” A close sibling of the Zohar’s “histakeil beOraisa ubara alma — He looked into the Torah and created the world”!
This thought directly causes existence, as in the Morah (3:20):
THERE is a great difference between the knowledge which the producer of a thing possesses concerning it, and the knowledge which other persons possess concerning the same thing. Suppose a thing is produced in accordance with the knowledge of the producer, the producer was then guided by his knowledge in the act of producing the thing. Other people, however, who examine this work and acquire a knowledge of the whole of it, depend for that knowledge on the work itself. E.g., An artisan makes a box in which weights move with the running of the water, and thus indicate how many hours have passed of the day and of the night. The whole quantity of the water that is to run out, the different ways in which it runs, every thread that is drawn, and every little ball that descends–all this is fully perceived by him who makes the clock; and his knowledge is not the result of observing the movements as they are actually going on; but, on the contrary, the movements are produced in accordance with his knowledge. But another person who looks at that instrument will receive fresh knowledge at every movement he perceives; the longer he looks on, the more knowledge does he acquire; he will gradually increase his knowledge till he fully understands the machinery….
Our knowledge is acquired and increased in proportion to the things known by us. This is not the case with God. His knowledge of things is not derived from the things themselves: if this were the case, there would be change and plurality in His knowledge; on the contrary, the things are in accordance with His eternal knowledge, which has established their actual properties, and made part of them purely spiritual, another part material and constant as regards its individual members, a third part material and changeable as regards the individual beings according to eternal and constant laws. Plurality, acquisition, and change in His knowledge is therefore impossible. He fully knows His unchangeable essence, and has thus a knowledge of all that results from any of His acts.
So Hashem has a Thought, which has a thought, and so on, down to the material world before us.
Despite the (hopefully) provocative title, how far is the Rambam’s position actually from Qabbalah, and notions of worlds of descending Atzilus from Hashem to physical being?
Most profoundly, the Rambam has a causal chain of entities — mal’achim and spheres — not worlds. There is no “plane of existence”, but a kind of intellect/form which is one step more removed from G-d than its predecessor. It also means that there is no mention of tzimtzum. A chain of thoughts that link His Will to the physical world doesn’t fill everything to require a “constriction”, real or apparent. Worlds include the spaces between the “entities”, and therefore we can speak of needing to make room from the higher ones for those lower.
But there is also much in common.
The Leshem’s Qabbalah derives from that of the Gra, but he also heavily cites the Rambam’s Guide to the Perplexed. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that in Haqdamos uShe’arim ch. 2, the Leshem explains that in the process of unfolding of worlds, the substance of a higher world becomes the form of the next one. Again, a chain of ever-descending forms.
I want to discuss this notion of a descent of form and thought as one gets “further” from G-d until the world of objects and events that we live in, olam ha’asiyah, in a future post.