► Main article: Sefirot
In addition to the Tree of Life, another diagram some Kabbalists use to depict the emanation of the sefirot is the Lightning Flash. The Sefer Yetzirah (the oldest known Hebrew text on cosmology) says of the sefirot, “Their countenance is like the scintillating flame flashing in lightning, invisible and boundless.” This has also been translated as: “The ten ineffable sefirot have the appearance of the Lightning Flash.”
Some Kabbalists take this description to mean the sefirot are luminescent or that they can only be seen for an instant, like a flash of lightning. Others believe that the Lightning Flash depicts the continual descent of divine forces through the Tree of Life in a zigzag pattern like lightning.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Kabbalah: Key to Your Inner Power, chapter 3.
- Sefer Yetzirah 1.6, translation by W. Wynn Westcott, Sepher Yetzirah: The Book of Formation, 3d ed., rev. (1893; reprint, New York: Samuel Weiser, 1980), p. 16.