The Ten Sefirot (Spheres of Being) that are discussed in the Kabbalah are often represented by the symbol that can be seen in this picture. This symbol is called the Tree of Life. It is comprised of circles or wheels that are joined together by a network of lines. The Tree of Life represents the human form as a reflection of the entire universe. The upper three circles (Sefirot) represent our head (or the Heavens). The lower four Sefirot represent our lower body (or the Earth). The middle three Sefirot represent our upper body (or the Atmosphere). The circle that has the black dot inside of it is generally not counted as one of the Ten Sefirot, because it represents consciousness in general - (Daat) Knowledge - or the interface between the head and the body.
Although our bodies are made up of many parts - represented by the Ten Sefirot - all of our parts interact with each other in a dynamic way, and together comprise one person. Kabbalists see the entire universe in this same way. The Ari (Rabbi Isaac Luria) taught that the universe is a large Adam, and Adam is a small universe. In the Tree of Life symbol, the network of lines that connect the circles represents how the Ten Sefirot are ‘One Together’. The One that unites and resides in the Many is understood to be God’s Presence in the Universe and in our Soul in our body.
The first Hebrew letter - Aleph א - whose gematria is one - represents the One hidden in the Many, and which unites all the parts together as one. A large letter Aleph is also hidden in this picture. Its shape is made up of three parts: an upper red Yod י (framed by the four upper circles); a lower blue Yod י (framed by the four lower circles); and a diagonal yellow Vav or Wow ו (running through the three middle circles) and connecting the two Yods. It’s hard to see this Aleph because it is hard to see the One in the Many. We see the One by finding connections between things and seeing the parts ‘all together’.
The Sefirot are often described as emanations of God’s Infinite Light. The Hebrew word for ‘Light’ Ohr אור starts with the letter Aleph. Kabbalists believe that God is One and can be found both in the Heavens and upon the Earth (God is both transcendent and immanent). Modern science also tells us that Light is both waves (transcendent) and particles (immanent). In fact, Energy and Matter are one, and are made of both waves and particles. In this picture and several others like it, I tried to give a feeling of the Sefirot as waves and particles.