We raise our arms on either side, then as we slowly bring our hands down over our ears and chest, we say in our mind,
‘May the blessings of heaven pour down on us and on all of humanity, for the glory of our heavenly Father.’
In exercise eight, the figure we are tracing in space is a horizontal 8: ∞, which is used by mathematicians to symbolise infinity.
The figure 8 is formed of two circles placed one above the other and touching at one point. The higher circle represents the world above, the lower circle the world below, and these two worlds are connected.
The two circles of the figure 8 are exactly symmetrical, illustrating the principle expressed by Hermes Trismegistus in the Emerald Tablet: ‘Everything below is like what is above, and everything above is like what is below, to accomplish the miracles of one thing.’ The lower circle is like the one above, and because they touch, in effect they accomplish the miracle of one thing.
We find this same idea in the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus said, ‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ His wish was for the world above to come down into the world below, so that the earth could one day be an exact reflection of heaven. Heaven above must come down to the earth. And the earth also includes us humans; our mission is to connect heaven to earth and earth to heaven within ourselves by manifesting the virtues of heaven on earth.
When we write the figure 8, we start at the top, and following a circular path we return to the top: everything that comes from on high must return there. This is also the sense of the first two gymnastic exercises, where the first draws down currents from above, and the second causes currents to rise up from below.
Whether we use the symbols of the two triangles or the two circles of the figure 8, it is the same process: energies come down and rise again, and the descending and ascending currents come together at the centre in the solar plexus. A balance is established between high and low, which is why there can be harmonious exchanges between them.
In this last movement of our gymnastic exercises, we no longer bring our arms right back down, as we did in the first two exercises: each arm describes a circle either side of the body at the same height. So, we are drawing a horizontal 8, which is the symbol of infinity: ∞. The balance that exists between the higher and lower parts of the vertical 8 is found again in the horizontal 8, reminding us of the two pans of the scales, the symbol for cosmic balance.
The two pans of the scales also find their correspondence on the sephirotic Tree: the two pillars, known as yakin (the pillar of mercy) and boaz (the pillar of severity), are situated on either side of the central pillar, the pillar of balance. At the top, beyond the first sephirah, Kether, in the region they call ain soph aur, ‘limitless light’, the cabbalists placed the sign of infinity. But in infinity there is no longer either high or low, right or left: we are entering a mysterious, unknown dimension.
Learn or practice the exercises
If you wish to learn or practice the exercises you can purchase the book Bringing Symbols to Life(including a DVD), from which this series is taken, at Prosveta, or download to Kindle via this link on Amazon. You can also watch the video of the Master leading the gymnastics for free on YouTube. Watch the video.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Bringing Symbols to Life – The Gymnastic Exercises
Chapter 1 The treasures hidden in very simple exercises