In later years Mikhaël often spoke of having been profoundly influenced not only by Jesus, but also by the Buddha, the two great luminaries of his youth. He must have striven to enter the mind of the Buddha as he had with Jesus, since he would say later that he had succeeded in communicating with the Buddha at the age of twenty-two or -three. In the solitude of his little room, eager to draw upon every source that spoke of God and the perfection of the created universe, he studied a wide range of spiritual philosophies. He was already familiar with the Cabbalah, whose definition of the structure of the subtle worlds satisfied him deeply.
He found great inspiration in The Tree of Life, with its depiction of the different levels of creation, and in the six-pointed Seal of Solomon with its symbolic representation of Good and Evil. This impressive symbol, composed of two interlaced triangles, contains a representation of the glorious countenance of God in the higher part of the upright triangle. In the inverted triangle below is a representation of the devil, a distorted reflection of the divine countenance. At the intersection of the two triangles, a horizontal line separates the air above from the waters below, and across this line, God’s hands have a firm grasp on the hands of the Devil.
In Mikhaël’s eyes, this representation of good and evil was an excellent and unequivocal expression of all creation as a reflection of God, who makes use of both positive and negative forces. For one in whom the spirit of mysticism is highly developed, every philosophical discovery seems to lead directly to a spiritual experience; it is an ‘event’ that triggers an inner change, however minute.
One day, reading the Zohar, the principal book of the Cabbalah, Mikhaël was extraordinarily moved by the text, ‘Seven lights are there in the highest, and therein dwells the Ancient of Ancients, the Most Hidden of the Hidden, the Mystery of Mysteries, Ain Soph.’ When I recited these words everything within me started to vibrate and quiver. Those seven lights are the seven colors, and each one corresponds to a particular virtue or quality: purple corresponds to sacrifice, blue to truth, green to hope, yellow to wisdom, orange to sanctity and red to love.